gigantomachy: (Itachi - Startled)
gigantomachy ([personal profile] gigantomachy) wrote on July 3rd, 2011 at 12:07 am
[khr, naruto crossover] butterfly caught
Archiving here; another Tablefappers thing from '09. For [livejournal.com profile] queen_qing , and the crazy neverending AU we did. Rated ... R? Blood, tears, and nudity.


butterfly caught
(a study in watercolor, or: love as blood)



Itachi can't breathe.

The bag of groceries drops from nerveless fingers, a pair of oranges rolling free of the paper bag to come to a stop at the edge of the counter. He doesn't notice.

Around the studio apartment, his canvasses lay uncovered -- all of them, from his first attempt with oils at the end of junior high to the last of them, finished only three days before a certain model had walked straight out of his dreams and into his composition class.

That same model stands now in the center of his studio, entirely naked, long indigo hair unbound, blood dripping from slightly curled fingertips -- Itachi's painter's eyes slide past the image (noting in a heartbeat how the lamp needs to be shifted just so and what shades he will need to compensate for the temperature of the lighting and that one of those long, smooth arms should be shifted to break the uniformity of that posture, however lazy it is meant to be) and onto the array of painted canvas that has come to define the artist who has created them.

Each of them bears this man's face and body, and now they bear his blood as well, deliberate strokes of brilliant crimson over acrylic and gouache and pastel, still drying in places.

Six years of his work destroyed, and the worst part of it is that he cannot not help but see how right it is.

Slowly -- as if in one of those chased-after dreams -- Mukuro turns to face him, blood across his chest and those thin lips curve into a serpent smile. "Welcome home, Itachi." A sultry purr, throaty and thick with an odd sort of smug pleasure.

Something deep within the mild-mannered student snaps. Time moves in slow motion; Itachi feels like he has a lifetime to step forward, one hand gripping the bloodied knife on the counter top, another to take that second step and backhand the taller man with far more ferocity than he'd ever have thought within his possession. Itachi blinks, and he's on top of him, wide-eyed and gasping, the point of the blade trembling against the base of Mukuro's sternum.

And Mukuro is still smiling, and that silky voice just drips concern. "You don't like it?" He doesn't even acknowledge the blow.

A long pause; a suffocating silence that stretches throughout the stillness of the small studio.

What have you done?

Itachi opens his mouth, and no words come. Mukuro lifts a graceful hand and reaches upwards, extending a bloody fingertip --

(For a moment, it seems like he might slip it between those parted lips.

For a moment, it seems like Itachi might let him.)

-- it touches the corner of the young man's mouth, leaving a faint streak as it trails down to his chin.

Right ... but off, as well.

"It's wrong," is what Itachi murmurs at last, and stricken, he pulls the knife away. A thin brow arches over Mukuro's human eye, quiet amusement shifting to something darker as his lips purse in a small moue of somnolent curiosity.

"It's ... wrong." The dreams were never so clear. He lifts his face to eye the smears of drying blood across his life's work. "They're wrong."

(And Mukuro cannot think that this Itachi is so much softer than the ones that have come before. There is a knife in his hand but the younger man's other is already moving to touch those self-inflicted wounds, brows furrowed in concern as he tries to assess the damage. It's ... touching, perhaps, in an entirely meaningless way.)

The illusionist draws his hand back from Itachi's face to lay bloody fingertips against the hand curled around the hilt of the knife, stroking fingers clenched so tightly the knuckles are white. Something flickers in those mismatched eyes -- something profound and beatific and utterly destructive.

"Then fix it," Mukuro whispers.

Itachi chokes on that soft command, those wide crimson eyes glittering with unshed tears, and Mukuro knows that this round, too, is his. This Itachi will die (and oh, he will) before he can kill.

Do you remember?

"Why?" Confusion lines the younger man's face, and he stares down at Mukuro as if the illusionist holds all the answers -- and he does, but he will hold his silence (he has seen what those answers have done to Itachi before), and revel instead in the way despair is taking hold as that hand slips to the side, tracing a line across his chest, down nearly to where the point of the knife has just barely scored his skin.

There should be scars here -- perfectly straight, smooth at the edges, as if made by a surgeon's tool.

And he tosses the knife away with a quiet growl, ignoring the harsh sound of it skittering across the floor; he's not going to use it and they both know it and Mukuro's expression is almost sympathetic as he reaches up to curve his hand around the back of Itachi's neck, pulling him into a gentle, almost chaste kiss.

And Mukuro thinks: this is how I destroy you, every time.


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