Disclaimer: Does not own Naruto

The Line

Preface: Set before "Sasuke Retrieval" to Kakashi

"I can make you feel true pain," Sasuke's face twisted into a contorted grin as he shot back the words.

"You don't know what it is until I kill your heart." He allowed his body to sink into an attacking stance.

"I can't have my reason to live taken away by your filthy words."

Chapter 1 12 year old Sasuke

What have I been doing? Sasuke screamed in his head. What have I been doing up until now? His heart clenched as he thrust the words Kakashi repeated away from his mind.

"I won't be inferior," he muttered darkly,

"I won't be stopped. I have- I have power! Power!"

Sasuke clutched his head as his mother's fall came unbidden in his mind's eye.

"Mother, Father!" he moaned, anguish ripping his heart to shreds,

"No. Don't leave me. Aunty. Aunty. Please stay. Stay!"

Run... Hold on to life... Hate me... Detest me...

"Itachi", Sasuke bit out the words, "I will make you pay!"

Sasuke collapsed onto his knees, hating himself, hating the world, hating his brother, for causing him this pain.

A smoky cloud inched across the moon, obscuring all light.

In the silence of the night, darkness crept towards his soul.

"Come," the darkness coerced, "I will show you how to never feel fear again."

Sasuke's body quivered with sudden, tense excitement.

"Ha. Hah. HA!" He let out a scream of inane laughter. He felt a relief, as he at last embraced the darkness, and allowed it to wrap his last trace of humanity away.

Chapter 2 15 year old Sasuke

His eyes stared flatly at his opponent. There was no regret, no mercy, as he bore his sharingan into the boy who had once become his closest friend.

"Come," he beckoned with a twitch of a lazy finger.

"Come," he repeated, daring the weaker boy to an attack.

"Come," a hungry smile lifted his face.

"Sasuke," that boy growled,

"Darn it Sasuke! After all those battles, take me seriously!"

Sasuke's shoulder lifted in mirthless laughter. He threw a degrading glance towards Naruto's direction.

"You still think yourself an equal? Don't flatter yourself."