Replacing My Sister || FullbusterFic » vonlane
The Namikaze family has fallen along with its kingdom. Two boys escaped and one disappeared in that revolt. Once becoming of age, Naruto decides to sacrifice himself for his sister and contract a matrimony with the Prince, Sasuke Uchiha: a womanizer without remedy who would have to give him an heir. Of course, not everything is easy. Sasuke refuses to touch the husband they have sought out for him and Naruto's running out of time to save his country.
Itachi Uchiha, King ever since the death of his parents, welcomes his old friend, Pein, into his kingdom and discovers that he is the nephew of none other than Orochimaru, the one guilty of having Naruto in his palace. There he would find himself with Deidara once again as he had not seen him since they were kids, surprised to see that he is Pein's concubine and is being used to give Pein an heir seeing as his wife, Konan, can not give him descendants. After seeing Deidara once again, Itachi can not understand how a Prince could end up in this situation but he is willing to save him no matter what it takes.
A Naruto fanfiction: SasuNaru, Ita-Dei
I have permission from the author to translate and post this.
Original Story by @FullbusterFic || find it at: https://www.wattpad.com/story/59497774-reemplazando-a-mi-hermana-naruto-sasu-naru-ita-dei
FullbusterFic's account: https://www.wattpad.com/user/FullbusterFic
Chapter 1: Destroyed Kingdom
Replacing my Sister
FullbusterFic >> vonlane
The city was in flames. Soldiers ran throughout the city with their sword in hand, making way as the new King enjoyed his triumph from where he appeared on the palace balcony. What was formerly a city of beautiful gardens, of grand fountains and brilliant statues, was now completely destroyed, full of soldiers who made sure to plant panic and assassinate everyone who was loyal to the late King. Nobody had expected the revolt of that night. The greed of one of the late King Namikaze's advisors had matured like a dark seed slowly growing until finally setting in. The fruit of betrayal had finally borne fruit. One night and the great City of Wind had been destroyed to the ground.
Two kids dressed in large capes ran through the streets trying to avoid the soldiers who relentlessly searched for them. The hoods covered their identities and the tallest would not let go of the smaller one's hand who ran behind him, tired and trying to keep up with him without comprehending anything of what was going on that night. The small one then stopped, no longer being able to run anymore while the older one ceased his hurry as he turned back and observed the palace in the distance they had just escaped. He then looked over to his little brother whose hood was falling off as the capes they had found to hide themselves were too big.
"Why are you crying?" The older one asked him.
"Because... I'm scared." The small one exclaimed, bringing his small hands to his eyes and feeling how his tears rubbed off on them.
"Princes don't cry, Naruto." His brother then explained, smiling as he grabbed the hood and fixed it in place so that people wouldn't see his blond hair.
The young boy of barely six years of age watched his older brother smile and he calmed down. He didn't understand anything, but his older brother was with him and that was all he needed. His sister had escaped some time ago with one of the palace guards— a guard they were looking for with urgency as they tried to find protection in someone who was still loyal to the late crown of his parents.
"Naruto... this is a game."
"A game?" Naruto asked. "I don't like this game."
"That's because you don't understand the rules."
"And what are they? To run?"
"Hide from the soldiers so they won't catch you or you would have to find them. Plus... the first one to find Kakashi wins." Deidara commented with a smile. "So you have to have your eyes very, but very wide open and tell me if you find him."
"I'm tired of running." Naruto said with a pout.
"Then I'll take you. Get on my back." He said to him and then crouched down to let his brother get on.
Deidara grabbed his brother and continued walking. He was barely eight years old and trying to escape from there was not going to be easy. He remembered all of the previous days: the happiness that they lived with in the palace, how he messed with the son of the neighboring King's kingdom and in just one night... all of his world had fallen, having to save his brother after having witnessed how they killed his parents.
He walked through one of the back streets until a door suddenly opened to reveal a soldier whose face was half-covered by a mask— a soldier who was covered in blood with a scar over his bleeding right eye and was trying to stop the hemorrhage with a dirty cloth he had found. Despite the scare, Deidara was able to recognize Kakashi and immediately neared him, taking the dirty cloth away from him and ripping a clean part of his own cape to cover the wound in his eye.
"Let me heal this for you. The only thing you'll get from that rag is an infection."
"Who's the teacher here?" Kakashi asked.
"You." Deidara responded. "How's my sister?"
"Safe with my men, only you two are left. Come, let's get out of this city." He said, grabbing Deidara by the hand as soon as the boy was done tying the makeshift bandage.
The voices and shouts from the soldiers were now even more audible and Deidara knew they would find them almost immediately. They would search all the houses and when they find this one, they would find the tunnel. They would track them down and he didn't want everyone to die there.
"Grab your brother and leave." Kakashi ordered.
"I can't." Deidara said. "I... I'll distract them. They won't do anything to me, I hope."
"No, Deidara... you're important to the kingdom, you're the legitimate heir to the throne!"
"Take care of my brother, then! He'll be it if anything happens to me. I can't show him the necessary things to govern but you can; you have to take him! You're the best advisor in the kingdom, the best soldier. Protect him until he can return to the throne once again, I know he'll be a good King, he can do it with your help! I wouldn't be able to take him to the throne again and we need you and your advice. They won't harm me, they need me so please... they'll kill you. You're not necessary for them."
"Fine." Kakashi said although it had been the hardest decision he had ever taken in his life: leaving the heir behind and taking Naruto, who understood nothing at his six years of age.
Kakashi ran inside the house, closing the door behind him in search for the passageway while the soldiers outside made a turn at the corner of the street. Deidara faked pounding on the door as if nobody wanted to let him in out of fear and when they saw him... the soldiers smiled as they realized that it was precisely one of the brats they were looking for. Deidara then ran off towards the end of the street, fixing his hood over the blond hair that was typical of the Namikaze and arrived at the central plaza.
A battle broke out before him— some soldiers who were still loyal to his father were still fighting against the traitors but they were losing. Their forces were looking diminished and he tried to pass by all the innocent people who were running in fear, who fell to the floor as they were assassinated by soldiers, and who tried to escape the chaos.
"Grab him!" He heard a soldier shout while pointing at him and he quickly turned away trying to exit through the grand gates of the city and trying to get to the forest to hide.
The robust doors couldn't close any faster. They were too big, too heavy... when they wanted to close them, he had already been running out in direction towards the bridge and he didn't stop running although looking back a few times to see how much of an advantage he had. It didn't help him much when he saw a soldier behind him on a horse. He would soon catch up to him but at least he knew his siblings were alive, that was most important. His kingdom would still have a future when his siblings would turn of age, Kakashi would make sure to give them their reign back, he knew it.
He managed to arrive at the forest and he tried to slow the horse down by running through rugged terrain, climbing over great rocks until arriving at the cliff-top. The horse wouldn't go any further but that wouldn't stop the horseman. He would be on foot and he came armed, not like him who had nothing to defend himself with. He looked out into the distance and knew that Kakashi's guards should be in some place in the forest. The fortress that his family of generations past utilized for wars was hidden somewhere in the valleys, in an easy to defend place but he did not know how to get there; he had never gone to that location.
He looked out at the cliff in front of him. The river crossed beneath his feet and there was no other way to cross to the other side. He turned around to look for another way when he felt something hit him. He then began losing equilibrium and falling over the edge. He bumped into the walls many times until falling into the water where he lost consciousness before reaching a tributary that began dragging his body through the river. That would be his death.
In the meantime, Kakashi brought Naruto and Ino with his soldiers towards the great military fortress of the Namikaze. There, the wind was always flowing favorably and their hopes were renewed. When they arrived and crossed the great bridge, he stopped halfway, feeling guilty for having left Deidara behind. He knew that the boy was right; that this was the best option of escaping but even so the guilt followed him. He preferred dying a thousand times over knowing he couldn't accomplish his job to perfection saving the royal family, or at least, all their sons. At least two of them were safe and sound.
He was going to continue crossing the bridge when none other than Naruto began crying and he inevitably looked towards the flow of the river as it pushed Deidara's lifeless body with the water's current. he grabbed Naruto, trying to calm him down although it was impossible. Not even he could forgive himself for having abandoned that boy who now floated down the river. The next few days, all of his men had been looking for the body along the river's shore but they never found it.
Twelve years later
Naruto found himself sitting on the bridge that gave access to the Namikaze fortress. The wind blew like it did most days and it swayed through his golden hairs. He was focused on looking at the moving leaves in front of him and then he lowered his head atop his arms which were subtly placed over the thick ropes that held up the bridge. He looked out into the river, that same river that only reminded him of the death of his older brother. He could barely even remember his face, his voice, or daily things like his cologne. His brother was slowly disappearing from his memory as if he had never existed and he only remembered one thing... the most important thing: he had saved his life that night although he couldn't imagine the hell his kingdom had become.
"May I sit down?" Kakashi asked behind his back.
"Of course." Naruto said quite discouraged. "What did they decide on in the end?"
"We have agreed that your sister Ino is going to marry the Prince, Sasuke Uchiha. Them and their armies would help us in our battle to get our kingdom back."
"I don't know if I want to get it back, what's more... Ino loves Sai. It's not fair for her to marry."
"Life isn't fair, Naruto. Princes don't marry for love. That matrimony will benefit a lot of people. Our villagers are afraid. Everyday more of them die due to hunger, from disease and the torture they are put through by that usurper of our throne. You should take the kingdom back and help all those people, you can do it, Naruto." He familiarly addressed in the end.
"I'd do it but... how do I know I'll be a good king?"
"We'll help you be one. The Council will never abandon you."
"I don't want Ino to marry him; she loves Sai." He repeated. "Let me marry him, I'll sacrifice myself for her. Let her at least be happy now that I won't be able to."
"It's already been said, Naruto. Sasuke wanted a woman and that's what we've given him."
"I, too, could give him sons if that's what he wishes for. I can be the perfect husband; you've shown me how to behave in courting."
"It can't be, Naruto, it has to be Ino. I'm very sorry, but there's no other solution."
Naruto understood the decisions they took perfectly well. He was eighteen years old and wasn't an idiot although he could admit that it cost him to keep up with a few topics at times; he was still a novice in some aspects. He had been raised within soldiers, raised in the woods, in a fortress. He was en expert in weapons and at home but he had no idea of legal topics, of diplomacy or how to be the perfect husband when entered in matrimony. He was a novice in so many things still...
"Do you think of my brother?" Naruto asked when Kakashi began leaving.
"Every day of my life." He responded seriously.
"It wasn't your fault, he had decided it."
"You shouldn't have seen that, Naruto, and I'm sorry. Even so... I shouldn't have let him sacrifice himself."
"He would've been a great King. I want to believe he was intelligent."
"He was." Kakashi commented. "He made adult decisions when he was but a child. I should have defended him better. Either way I made the promise to him of taking care of you and your sister and that I'll do. I won't ever let anything bad happen to you both."
Chapter 2: Kingdom of Fire
The King walked hurriedly through the hallways, his servants bowing as they watched him pass but Itachi did not even flinch to respond. He didn't even notice them as he simply continued on his way at a mild pace in search of his little brother who continued to disobey his orders over and over again. He was getting a little tired of having to deal with his impudence.
He had chosen a good wife for his brother, the youngest daughter of the Namikaze. That union would bring them a great benefit if they managed to recuperate the kingdom that dynasty had lost almost twelve years ago. All of the councilors told him that it was a bad decision, that it would only bring war to his country and it was true, Itachi knew it was. He had always fought to maintain the peace but this was something he owed to that kingdom. Ever since he was little, his parents used to tell him that one day he would marry the heir to the throne of the Namikaze and since then, it was his biggest dream to see both kingdoms united. However, that never came to pass due to Deidara's death.
Itachi could still remember how the two of them never got along as kids; both arguing about how they didn't want to marry each other while their parents forced them to live together every summer so they could begin to know each other better. In the end... he ended up taking a liking to that boy of barely eight years who not even remotely ever thought about what love was.
Itachi back then was fifteen years old; the word 'love' had no meaning to him but he later on began to take an interest in things he never used to look at and it's just that that boy began attracting him. He had never imagined that he would end up falling in love with the person they had obligated him into marrying, but he did. When he found out about his death, he never healed from that blow but now he could at least do something for that neighboring kingdom his parents greatly valued.
Sasuke, on the other hand, understood nothing about what was going on. The only thing he wanted was to continue with his partying; passing every night out of the castle in those strip-joints of bad luck fucking anyone that passed in front of him. He didn't care if it was man or woman, the only thing that mattered to him was sex and Itachi had had enough of that. Ino would be a good wife for him, he was sure of it.
He entered Sasuke's room without hesitating and without warning. He was the King, he had no need for formalities. He didn't expect to find him there, but strangely there he was... although busy, as always. He was laying in bed while a service boy rode him with desperation and a young woman who serviced in the kitchen licked and suctioned his testicles, giving them both pleasure.
"Everybody out! I want to speak with my brother." Itachi shouted. The young man was about to get up when Sasuke grabbed him by the waist and told him to continue, that he was about to cum. "I've said get out!" He shouted but Sasuke, still grabbing the boy by the waist, forcefully thrusted his member up and down into the boy until he finally released with a gasp. He gave a slap to the boy's ass and then ordered him to leave.
Itachi was tired of his brother's insubordinate behavior, of doing whatever the hell he wanted to do. The last thing he had said was denying to the marriage. He had created one of his scandals before the council saying he would never marry. Who the hell did he think he was to decide on destroying the benefit of two kingdoms for his nightly indulgences? The servants hurried out, grabbing their clothes and trying to cover their nakedness as they passed by Itachi, lowering their head but Itachi said nothing to them. It was not his fault, but his brother's fault who believed to have the authority to ignore his decisions. The servants closed the door behind them
"Who the hell do you think you are to pass over my word?!" Itachi shouted as he asked.
"The Prince of the country of Fire." The other responded smugly as he grabbed a robe to cover his nakedness.
"Then you should respect your King, because I am still it."
"But you have devotion to your little brother." Sasuke said trying to butter him up.
"Don't come to me with those things, Sasuke. What's this about not wanting to marry? I myself have sought the perfect woman for you, I have taken care of that."
"I'm not going to marry, I've already told you. Nobody is ever going to bind me to a matrimony, that's not fun. Sleeping with the same person? Please....that's not for me."
"I don't care if it's for you or not. I don't care if you want to continue your little games at night. You're going to have to deal with your wife one way or another but that matrimony is going to happen because both our kingdoms depend on it!"
"Then you marry her, you're the king! There's no better alliance than that of a king!"
"I can't marry her, Sasuke."
"Why? It's only normal. You need a wife and you're single and the king."
"Because she has no kingdom." His brother said. "It's not worthy for a King to marry someone without a kingdom."
"But it's worthy for a prince?" He asked.
"Yes, Sasuke. Someday when I'm not here, you'll reign and if I manage to return their kingdom to them, you'll be in possession of two kingdoms in your hands."
"I like the sound of that." Sasuke said, smiling as he thought of the many new faces he could fuck from the other kingdom.
"You're incredible." Itachi said with sarcasm. "You only think of fucking everything in front of you. Don't you realize that we're helping them? They need that matrimony and a king is too much for what they could offer right now."
"Yet you offer your brother. I'm not some meat you can put on sale, you won't sell me that way."
"It's already agreed upon, Sasuke. In fact, there has been a small problem a few days ago: they've changed your wife to be."
"A messenger informed us early this morning. Naruto Namikaze will be your husband, but don't you worry, he's also capable of giving you an heir."
"But... what the hell is going on? First you want me to forcibly marry some chick and now you bring me some guy. What's going on?"
"They haven't told us the details. The only thing that should matter to you is that you'll be marrying that boy in a week. Start thinking about what you do because your actions affect us all."
"I'm not even thinking about touching him." Sasuke stated.
"Dear God, Sasuke... you fuck everybody! There is no woman nor man in this kingdom whom you have not brought to your bed." Itachi recriminated his brother. "It's a good young man we've found for you. He's never been touched. He's a virgin, he's innocent, attractive, and very intelligent. He has been raised by the best professors they have and has a tragic past behind him. Behave as best as you can as I'm sure he'll behave as a proper Prince should behave."
"I'd fuck him as soon as I see him." Sasuke said. "But doing that would only bring joy to both you and the council for getting your way to force me into a matrimony I don't want. If you marry me off, I'll have God as my witness that I won't touch him and you'll have no descendants."
"You better give us an heir." Itachi threatened his brother. "Or you'll regret defying me."
"I'm not going to marry!" Sasuke shouted, pissed off as he watched his brother turn his back to leave.
"Oh... you will marry." Itachi said with frightening eyes. "Because if you don't, I'll exile you from the kingdom. You'll have to live life on your own and rot in those whorehouses until your cock falls off. Is that clear? I'm not thinking of maintaining a prince who's not capable of obeying or taking interest in his village in my kingdom. You're just a selfish, spoiled brat. You decide: either you accept that matrimony to Naruto Namikaze or you're thrown out."
With nothing more to say, Itachi exited Sasuke's room, hearing how his brother threw something at the closing door as he was angry at the decision. He had given him no other option than to threaten him but two kingdoms depended on that brat to marry. Naruto had not complained as much as his brother had and Itachi was so tired of dealing with his nonsense that it wouldn't be that bad for Sasuke to have a husband who would be behind him advising him. He needed someone smart who would impede him from getting committing more of his stunts and that would show him the right path to follow. He could no longer control his brother after the death of his parents. Sasuke had thrown himself to a life of prostitutes and sex, messing around with all the servants of the damned castle and disobeying his brother's orders every time he could.
One of the other things that concerned him was knowing the motive as to why they had decided to replace Ino Namikaze for Naruto Namikaze. It's not like he cared much about the replacement, perhaps Naruto had more character for being a man and could control Sasuke better, or at least, he hoped so.
Knowing that Naruto was the brother of the one who was going to be his husband disturbed Itachi's stomach. It created this certain sensation of remorse for not being able to do anything for that kingdom twelve years ago. Now he was twenty-seven years old and although no one had found out about the revolt until two days after it happened, he still felt guilty. Back then, at his fifteen years of age, he had participated in the search for his husband to be if the circumstances had not changed, if he had not died in that attack to his city. He never found him.
He arrived to the throne room and looked out the window. The sun was rising and it was a habit of his to wake up very early. The nights were a hell to him; Deidara would always appear whenever he closed his eyes and he felt so guilty that it impeded him from sleeping. He observed the red-toned sky as it was trying to clear itself with the first rays of the sun.
"Where has your body gone to, Deidara?" He whispered. "Let me find you so I can give you the proper burial you deserve and finally rest."
"Your Majesty." He heard his most loyal bodyguard call him from behind, Iruka Umino.
"Yes, Iruka?" He asked. "Come in, please."
"Your Majesty... as you have ordered, I've gone to send the message over the engagement. Kakashi Hatake, tutor and guardian of the heirs to the throne received me and informed me of the possibility of substituting Ino Namikaze for Naruto Namikaze."
"Yes, the Council has accepted the proposal. Did you deliver our affirmative answer?"
"Yes, your Majesty, and as you've ordered, I've tried to find out the motive of the change."
"Did they tell you anything?"
"No, Sir, they maintained themselves wary and told me that when Naruto arrived in our court, he himself will tell us the reasoning of the happening."
"Alright, we'll wait to know what happened, then. Thank you for your services, Iruka, you can leave." Iruka began leaving when Itachi turned towards him once again. "Iruka... send someone to prepare my saddle, I'm going out."
"Yes, your Majesty, right away. I'll inform your guard."
Itachi prepared himself to go out and mount his horse and when he got up on it, his bodyguards also followed behind him on horse. He headed towards the plain where the river was barely picking up current. It was an easy route towards the land of Wind and he looked out from the hill towards the faraway castle of the city, now a dark kingdom without life and without it's shine. It had lost all it's splendor when the Namikaze were brutally assassinated. That kingdom, the same one he would recover for Naruto, he owed it to him although it would also be to take some of his guilt from his stormed conscious over what happened to Deidara. This would only be the beginning to a war that would soon begin.
He then looked at the river and got down to touch the water, remembering how it dragged Deidara's body, or that's what they had told him. For days he searched for him and every morning he would come to this place to ask himself... where the current had taken that body that no one could ever find.
Chapter 3: Arrival to Court
The horses walked in lines of two by two as they made way towards the Kingdom of Fire. The guards were on lookout in both the front and back of the future heir to the throne while Naruto looked towards his side where Kakashi was completely serious. He looked at him and tried to speak when the man interrupted him.
"Don't even try to explain anything to me, I'm still mad at you. I never thought you'd do something like that."
"I didn't do anything."
"But you were the artifice of the idea."
"How the hell do you come up with these preposterous ideas? If only you used those ideas for something good and productive, that would be great."
"It was good and productive. I already told you I didn't want Ino to marry this so called Prince Sasuke Uchiha. I've heard rumors about him. They say he's a womanizer, that he's slept with the entire kingdom. I don't even want to sleep with him."
"Dear God, Naruto. You need a son to occupy the throne when you get to it."
"First I have to get there."
"You need that heir and you need it urgently. That baby and you can get to the throne. It'll make Orochimaru nervous to know that the people will support you when they see you with that child and with a kingdom behind you to back you up. They will fight for you to give you your rightful place. The people of your kingdom are going through hardships. As soon as the rumors that you'll have an heir start spreading, the sooner you can get your throne back. Orochimaru has no kids, you can be much faster than him."
"I don't like having a womanizer like Sasuke touch me, but if there's no other option, I suppose I'll have to do it for the people of my city who still wait for my return."
"You have a good heart, Naruto. I know you'll do the right thing to save everyone in your kingdom from that tyrant that has taken over it."
"Has he seriously fucked his entire kingdom?" Naruto worriedly asked.
"They're just a rumors." Kakashi said. "If they're true... you'd have to get what you want by whatever means possible. Make him fall for you until he listens to you and you can convince him of each and every one of your wishes. He'll do anything for you once you have him eating at the palm of your hand."
"I don't know how to manipulate people."
"Then you'll have to learn. You'll have no problems with Itachi, but your husband will be another story."
"He's a prince, he won't listen to me. He'll do whatever he feels like doing and will probably ignore everything I say or propose."
"You too, are a prince."
"Yes... a prince without lands. You think he'll send an entire army to fight for me? You think he'd endanger or leave his previous comfortable life for me? I don't think so."
"He could change if you give him the sufficient incentives to do it. Don't let what I'm about to say shock you, Naruto, but as a Prince, you'll be respected and have everything you want. However, if you have to become the biggest whore in his bed to have him eating from the palm of your hand, then do it. You'll have to learn how to manipulate him; all the queens and princesses know this."
The entourage arrived to the great red city. Naruto observed for a few seconds, looking around at the material they had never used. His kingdom was of the Wind; they always used limestone rock or white stone to build but never had he seen something like this, although, he had studied it.
"Is that brick?" He asked towards Kakashi in whisper, watching the people in the street kneel down as the horses passed by.
"Yes, and the drawings with the other colors is made with glazed brick. They're famous for the dominance this city has over fire and the high temperatures to create them." He commented.
Naruto felt bad seeing all those other people kneel down before him. It could be that he was a prince, but until now, he lived in hiding in the most remote part of the forest, in a fortress that his family had once ordered to be built for times of emergency; it was a place that very few people knew of. He had been raised with soldiers like any other, so he didn't know how a Prince should behave although they had taught him the theory of it. He had never been a prince, he was too small when he had to escape. He sighed and looked high up towards the castle on the hill. He had no other remedy than to learn how to be one. His good days of hunting with the soldiers and training with weapons had ended for him. Now they would even assign him bodyguards.
Once arriving at the carved doors of the castle, Naruto began to get off when he felt Kakashi's hands grab his waist to help him. He had never helped him before and so the blond supposed that now it would a formality. He smiled and once off the horse, he walked behind his entourage through the long hallways in direction towards the throne room where they would be well received.
The armed soldiers asked them to deposit their weapons at the door, indicating them that they would be able to pick them up once their reunion was over. Naruto entered after Kakashi and they walked with a firm pace towards the throne chair where Itachi Uchiha waited for them.
"Welcome." Itachi greeted as he got up from his chair to receive them.
"Your Majesty." Kakashi commented, looking over to Naruto, who immediately reacted as well.
"Your Majesty." Naruto said, imitating Kakashi's reverence.
"Please, stand." Itachi commented. "Make yourselves at home. So you're Naruto?" He asked with a smile. "You're a lot more attractive than what the rumors say."
"Thank you, your Majesty."
"I hope this compromise be something beneficial to both our families. Come, I'll present you to your future husband. He should be in the garden. Come with me."
Naruto looked over towards Kakashi as Itachi began walking towards a door on the side. Kakashi incited Naruto with a look to follow the King. Naruto then walked behind Itachi and once again turned around to see Kakashi following him at a certain distance, one where he could not listen to the conversation between them but maintaining watch at all times in case he needed protection.
"We thought it would be your sister to take Sasuke in matrimony." Itachi said.
"She had an accident." Naruto said without saying more.
"Oh. Is she alright?"
"Yes, she's recovering fast, your Majesty, but even so, the council had doubts in whether or not she could give descendants and hence preferred to replace her with me."
"I'm glad to hear that. Come, Sasuke's right there. I'll leave you so you two could introduce each other. If you need anything, don't hesitate to ask for me. Search for me when you two are done conversing and I'll show you to the room you'll be residing in."
"Thank you, your Majesty." He said, once again doing another bow in reverence and not standing up until he saw Itachi march away.
He turned towards the garden, watching how Sasuke practiced shooting an arrow against the targets in the farthest wall. He resembled Itachi a lot, or at least from the back. He wasn't excessively tall but he did seem toned, perhaps a bit more than Naruto was. He sighed for a second, trying to relax and his mind wandered off back, way back to the day in which they created the grand scheme that made it possible for Naruto to be walking towards his future husband today.
"Come on, nothing bad will happen to you." Naruto said.
"And if they find out about this? Kakashi will get so mad at us." Ino responded.
"He won't find out and if he does, I'll say it was my idea."
"It was your idea." Ino commented.
"Come on, Ino. It's a great plan and they wouldn't risk marrying you to Sasuke. They'll pass that off to me."
"Sometimes your intelligence scares me, Naru." Ino said with a smile. "Why do you do this for me?"
"Because you love that other guy, the one who will be your bodyguard in a future. I know you can be happy; I on the other hand, have no solution. I'm not happy now nor will I ever be. Why sacrifice ourselves when it could be me who marries that disgraceful womanizer?"
"I don't want you to sacrifice yourself for me. You deserve to be happy, too."
"And I will be as long as you're happy."
"You can still be happy, Naru."
"No. Deidara's death took an important part of me that I can no longer get back."
"You shouldn't feel guilty. Our brother saved us, he gave us a life and I'm sure he would want us to take advantage of it. He trusted us and made his decision."
"I'm also making mine, Ino. It's best like this, believe me. Come on, let's do this."
Naruto helped his sister get up on the horse and then he mounted his, marching off towards the forest and telling the guards that they would be out for a ride. Of course his escort would follow, even Kakashi did but when Naruto was sure that nobody was looking, he hit the rear of his sister's horse, making it gallop away.
The guards followed after it as soon as Naruto, too, galloped away after her until loosing sight of the guards. It was then that both of them stopped and Naruto helped his sister down, laying her on the floor so she could fake having fallen.
Naruto stayed there, holding on to his sister's hand until the rest arrived with a frightened Kakashi thinking she had actually fallen from the horse. It was best that they think that. Naruto's trick to make everyone believe Ino had been paralyzed worked well so that the council, frightened that Ino wouldn't be able to conceive Sasuke's child, would immediately change opinion and instead chose Naruto as his future husband.
Once having decided, Ino 'miraculously' began to recuperate but at least, she could continue her love with Sai without having to marry. Of course, Kakashi had caught on to the sneaky little scheme and although he didn't want to say anything, he knew perfectly well that Naruto had come up with all of it. He was an intelligent guy but now he had a greater problem: dealing with Sasuke Uchiha, another intelligent guy who would not bow down before anyone.
End of flashback.
Naruto sighed and introduced the first foot on the stone way that crossed the green lawn towards his future husband. He was nervous; he had never been nervous in his life but it's just that everyone told him what to do. Everyone tried convincing him that an heir was the best. He had heard the rumors about Sasuke, of course he wouldn't have any problems having descendants although later on he would go out to fuck someone else. Though, Naruto's only interest was that baby; he needed it to save his country.
The closer he got to the Prince of the Fire country, the more nervous he got. He mentally repeated to himself that he was doing this for his homeland, for his country, for all the population that suffered in silence and he wanted to help. That man in front of him had the key to permit him to return to his rightful place and he had to do it. He remembered Kakashi's teachings— his tutor and bodyguard— that to the King, you had to treat him with respect, always calling him 'Your Majesty' and with the Prince, 'my Lord'. They were noble and despite him too being noble, it was a sign of respect. He didn't know Sasuke well enough to have the courage or the gall to informally talk to him like he could with other people.
"My Lord." Naruto spoke, making a small bow in reverence and making Sasuke turn around to hear him.
Sasuke stayed for a few seconds in silence, then later on sheathing his sword in its cover while smiling. It was a guy he had never seen before and he wasn't that bad to take advantage of for one night. Had his brother hired new attractive servants?
"Well...are you my new squire?" Sasuke asked while smiling.
"No, my Lord." Naruto said once seeing him smile. "I'm Naruto Namikaze, your future husband."
"Oh..." Those words had wiped the smile off Sasuke's face.
He had promised not to touch his husband and upon seeing him right now, he had regretted it a bit. He was attractive and he could have taken advantage of grand moments with him, but too bad his pride was superior to his wishes. He wouldn't let his brother defeat him; he was still being sold despite his brother bringing someone fairly attractive to his eyes.
Chapter 4: Matrimony
Sasuke's face was of complete surprise. He could not believe they had engaged him to this blond young man with an innocent look on his face and that barely knew how to act in his presence. If he hadn't said that little magic phrase about being his future husband, that boy would no longer be a virgin. Sasuke would've been capable of pushing him then and there against the wall or on the lawn but no... they had to play with him and appoint him such an exciting man as his husband.
Sasuke looked towards the stone hallway from where his brother was smiling at him and clearly understood that he was challenging him. He was challenging that Uchiha pride he had, the one that whatever he said, he would accomplish and he said he wasn't going to touch that boy no matter how exciting he was. If his brother believed that he was going to give up so easily, he was wrong; he wasn't going to give up.
He knew the standards perfectly well. A matrimony in his social status was always for interest and convenience. He knew there was something behind all of this if Itachi wasn't going to be the one to marry him; so now the problem was being thrown onto him.
"Is there something wrong, my Lord?" Naruto asked, surprised at his reaction.
"Eh... I have to speak with the council. Hold this and don't cut yourself, will you?" Sasuke said, handing him the sword and marching off from there.
Naruto was stunned. What did he mean 'don't cut yourself'? Who did that idiot think he was? He knew how to fight; he had been raised amongst soldiers and he was no damsel in distress. Had he treated him like one? He sighed in resignation and then marched off towards a bench in the gardens to sit down.
"Are you okay, Naruto?" Kakashi asked, approaching him.
"Yes...no. Did that brat just treat me like a damsel who doesn't know how to do anything?" He asked in a frustrating tone. "As if I didn't know how to hold a sword. Cretin." He whispered and Kakashi smiled.
"Well, most women of the court don't tend to learn the art of the sword. Perhaps the fact that you're not like them slipped his mind."
"I see... I still don't like it." Naruto said, still frustrated. "He's treated me like some weakling."
"Patience, Naruto. Remember that you're here for a single motive."
"Yes, the heir and to get my kingdom back. But, Kakashi... I don't understand. Why do I need that heir? I only want to get my kingdom back and I can do that by force."
"Nobody will fight for you in this kingdom, Naruto, no matter how much of an ally they are to you. Sasuke is a prince, but he has no lands. Everything here belongs to his brother. Unless his brother dies, he would not inherit any of what you see here. If you have a son with him, he'll surely fight to leave something for his child: your kingdom."
"But then the kingdom will be his, not mine."
"You'll be married; it will belong to the both of you and that's why you have to learn to manipulate him from the shadows, Naruto. Many battles are not won on the battlefield."
"No? Then where?"
"In bed. Convince him of your ideas. He'll do what you advice him to do if you manage to deceive him."
"That's going to be complicated."
"Nobody said it was going to be easy. Be his shadow and literally 'eat at his ear' until he does what you ask him to. You can get whatever you want so long as you have him on your side."
Sasuke walked with a fast pace towards the chamber of the royal council followed by Itachi, who smiled smugly at everything he had seen so far. At least Naruto had resulted to be a formal and educated young man. He was exactly the type of guy that drove his little brother crazy; those innocent types that he could teach them whatever he wanted in bed.
"Stop smiling, you should've been the one to marry him."
"You know I couldn't."
"Yeah, sure. That whole deal with the new kingdom."
"Sasuke, listen to me." Itachi spoke, grabbing him by the arm to stop him. "I am King. I have a kingdom. Why do us kings marry?"
"Very good. What does Naruto have to offer me? He has lost his kingdom, his family, his influences. The only thing he conserves is the title Prince and to make him legitimate, he would have to get his kingdom back in his hands. He can't marry me, he has nothing to offer."
"And what has he offered me?"
"His kingdom." Itachi responded. "He gives you his kingdom, his entire land, his influence and the power his name has in that place. He is giving you his kingdom."
"A kingdom I first have to conquer." Sasuke commented in annoyance. "It doesn't look like a good deal. What has he asked for in return for giving me his kingdom?"
"That you get it."
"Of course... the difficult part goes to me." Sasuke commented sarcastically.
"If it seems costly and difficult, then you should start planning a strategy and mobilizing the army. You have a kingdom to win." He teased.
"Of course, since you already have yours."
"You're really not going to touch him? What a waste." Itachi said smiling. "I even went through the trouble of finding you someone attractive."
"And complicated. That guy wants something more, right?"
"I suppose he wants what all us Kings want: an heir who could take over if something happens to us."
"He can have it after I get his kingdom; it's not a priority."
"Are you going to conquer his kingdom?"
"Not at the moment. The contract was made by you and the council, so you figure it out."
"Come on, Sasuke... it's a promise."
"In which you didn't count with my opinion on. Figure it out so you could accomplish what you've promised."
"He's your husband."
"No, he will be my husband by obligation. I didn't want you to exile me from the kingdom."
"If you help him recover his kingdom, you could leave here and you wouldn't have to deal with me anymore." Itachi smiled.
"Idiot." The other said in a bad mood as he entered the room towards the council.
Although Sasuke entered to confront the council and his brother said nothing despite being King and having the last word, Sasuke gained nothing. The matrimony was concerted and they had basically told him what his brother had said before: that he had no lands and it was a good matrimony for he would get the lands of his husband. It was a kingdom united with the alliance between brothers without treasuring all the power in Itachi's hands, but instead between both: two kingdoms united yet separated at the same time.
Sasuke knew they were right, that this was a good option. He would never be king unless his brother were to fade and this alliance offered him the chance to be the King of the neighbouring kingdom. It was a good opportunity... if he managed to conquer that kingdom that he could only ever see from the limit of the river whenever he went out to hunt... he saw it desolated, sinister, spoiled.
He exited through the door and watched as his brother walked at a calm pace through the grand hallway of stone towards his dormitory when he approached him.
"I'm not going to even bother touching him."
"Enough with that story now, Sasuke. You know as much as I do that this is a good deal."
"You've sold me."
"No, I made a deal. Us Kings and Princes don't marry for love, ever." Itachi told him. "Get it through your head. What's more, I've offered you an intelligent and attractive young man who could give you a kingdom if you put a bit of effort in it. It's a great deal."
"The guy is attractive, I won't argue, but I'm not touching him."
"Dear God, Sasuke... you put your dick in whatever hole you see." Itachi smiled teasingly seeing how there was no one around to hear his vulgarity at the moment. "At least the guy is attractive and of a good family. You've put it in worse places."
"That offends me."
"No more than it does me that has to deal with your sprees and reputation." Itachi said, marching away. "Do whatever you want. I'll see you in church in two hours."
Sasuke internally cursed at his bad luck. Having to endure his brother was the worst of it and now, he had a blond brat that excited him with only laying eyes upon him and he couldn't touch him due to his own stubbornness. He didn't want appear weak before his brother and he had promised not to touch Naruto. This was going to cost him, but he'd go through with it. He wouldn't touch not even a centimeter of that blond's skin no matter how enticing.
His servants entered to help him get dressed for the ceremony although Sasuke, knowing he couldn't touch his husband tonight, decided to take advantage of the moment to have fun with them. He had to vent now since later he wouldn't be able to. Perhaps he could escape from his bedroom although it'd be difficult and even if it ended up being rumored that he didn't sleep in the bedroom made specifically for the both of them, it wasn't something unusual that each of them sleep in their own room. Almost all the Kings did it and they only ever visited their wives for a bit of intimacy, so he could stay for the time necessary and then march off to his own bedroom to call some servant he could satisfy himself with.
The ceremony was long and none of the two wanted to look at each other. You could cut the ambience with a sword from how tense it was. Everybody knew that this matrimony was an arrangement and although the people celebrated it, everyone knew that Sasuke would not change his habits from the night to the morning.
Naruto was guided to his room after the Royal banquet and the servants undressed him despite him insisting that he could do it himself. Now he was no longer just another soldier, he was a prince and he had to endure and let them undress him with the embarrassment it brought. He had never needed people to do things for him, he had hands to do them himself, but such was tradition and he couldn't fight against it.
They put him in a long sleep shirt and guided him towards the bed. They even opened the covers for him to enter, something he wasn't used to. All of them marched off, leaving him alone in the room until his husband arrived. They hadn't even kissed in front of the eyes of God, only that ring on his finger was proof that they were married but Naruto knew perfectly well that this matrimony was not complete...they weren't fully married.
Sasuke entered with the servants that had helped him undress. The blond had blushed almost immediately as he saw the perfect, toned body of his naked husband and to Sasuke, a small chuckle escaped him to see how the blond captivatingly looked at him. Of course, he wasn't going to enjoy it. once everybody marched off, Sasuke got in bed and was bent on going to sleep.
Naruto could not believe that his first night would precisely be with his husband sleeping at his side without giving him the least bit of interest. Wasn't he a playboy? He had assumed that he would fuck the entire court, including him, and he had accepted to do it so long as he got his kingdom back and an heir who could reign his recently recuperated kingdom, but for him not to touch him... he couldn't ignore this. He clenched his fists together and tried to calm down so he could think. He couldn't throw himself without more than a discussion that would bring him problems in the future; Kakashi's words still resonated in his head. He had to win that man over and if he had to become a whore in bed, he would do it although he had never done it before.
He got closer towards the back of his husband and graced his lips over Sasuke's tempting neck, depositing a subtle kiss before moving a bit closer to suck on it, creating a shiver on Sasuke's skin but he too, noticed how he tensed.
"I'm sleepy, leave your games for another moment." He commented.
"Do I not excite you?" Naruto asked with an innocent look; one resembling a child just like they had taught him to do to get whatever he wanted. "I can do whatever you wish." He whispered to his ear and Sasuke could no longer endure the temptation, getting out of bed with the devil at his heels.
"I'll be going to my room to sleep." He commented, marching off and leaving a surprised Naruto in bed, one who grabbed the first pillow he could find and throwing it against the door that Sasuke had closed after himself.
"Son of a..." He suddenly quieted down without knowing how he was going to charm his now husband. "Damn it!" He scolded himself for not managing to do so.
Chapter 5: Crownless King
A soldier walked through the gloomy hallways of what was once the most luminous castle in the land. Now there were only shadows left, white stone that darkened into a grey tone, and only torches illuminated the wide hallways. The splendor that once lived in this fortress had converted itself into the most darkest of castles. Soldiers stood guard in each and every one of the doors until finally, that one soldier arrived to the door of the royal dining hall.
Twelve years ago, this was the place where only the best and luxurious banquets were held. Its floors were once a stage for thousands of dancers who danced happily for the nobles and now, it was only a vast dining hall in which sometimes, some noble would dare enter to discuss some issue with the illegitimate king, usurper of the throne.
The guard that stood guard at the door knocked and entered to name the soldier who looked for an audience with the king. He entered somewhat frightened, although he tried not to look like it. The rumors that were spread about this new king were no good. Everyone knew what would happen if you went against him, so it was best to obey and do things right if you didn't want a major punishment or even a death penalty.
As he approached the table with an abundant amount of food, he began hearing the heavy breathing of a young man and only when he was near the chair in the back could he see a young man with odd blond hair mounting Orochimaru while he faintly moaned, eating and encouraging the boy to continue with his task. The young man, once seeing the soldier, tried to get up to leave them so they could talk but Orochimaru only pulled the boy by the hair, impeding him from getting up and ordering him to continue with his task, that he had not finished yet.
The soldier, somewhat shocked, approached him to deliver a letter but another soldier, Orochimaru's personal guard, Kakuzu, intervened and took the letter from him so he himself could hand it over. Between the boy's moans drowning into the vast room, Orochimaru read the letter while the soldier patiently awaited his answer.
"Damn it!" He exclaimed, with his arm sweeping part of the table, sending a few cups of the most finest silver to the floor, spilling wine.
Everyone who was present at the scene were frightened for a few seconds but then relaxed when they saw Orochimaru made an effort to cease his sudden anger.
"How is it possible that he is still without an heir?! I've searched for him a woman of high lineage, the most noble within nobles, and all he needs is a kid. Konan was promised to be the perfect wife and they had assured me that she was fertile. They've spent three years trying and nothing!"
"Perhaps it's time you give him his gift." One of his advisors, Kabuto, commented at his side. "You've been holding it back a while."
"I was hoping my inept nephew would have descendants so that I could keep his gift." Orochimaru commented.
"The kingdom should always be over your personal interests, my King. The boy could give him the heir you're looking for and it would be completely legitimate as he was to be the authentic King. If that newborn carries with him the blood of the late King, nobody would ever say the throne was usurped because he has royal blood. He would have the right to sit on the throne."
"If that boy finds out he is the son of Minato Namikaze, late King of my territory, he's capable of doing anything to take us out of power." Orochimaru countered.
"Don't let him find out."
"What do you mean?"
"The boy thinks he is a simple peasant, let us let him believe it, that his mission is to only satisfy his masters. When we get the heir we need, we can kill him or if you prefer it, you can keep him as your personal toy. We only need him to birth your nephew's son. He's still pure, right?"
"Yes." Orochimaru replied with reluctance. "More or less. How I wish to have been the first with him but... I've had to conform with this bunch of good-for-nothings. I've even had their hair dyed with the finest of tints I've gotten from the middle east. It doesn't even looked like the original color." He angrily commented, grabbing the hair of the young man that rode him.
"Your nephew, Prince of the Kingdom of Rain, will be throwing a banquet in celebration for his future coronation. It's a tragedy that his father has fallen." Kabuto smiled, knowing well that they themselves had been the ones to poison the late King and Orochimaru smiled as well. "But now, Pein will be the new King and you, as his Uncle, have and will always provide the necessary care so he should trust you. You could have both Kingdoms, reign from the shadows, tell him what he should do. He will always listen to you as you have a loyal puppet in your hands. I know it's hard to let go of such gift but... you have to do it, my Lord, for the good of both Kingdoms. Give it to him and when he no longer needs it, he will come back into your possession and you could then enjoy his body as many times as you wish."
"You're right. I'll head off to take care of things immediately. We'll part at sunrise to the coronation of my nephew. His uncle cannot be of absence." He smiled.
Orochimaru roughly pulled the young man off of him and let him fall to the floor, naked as he was, without much consideration.
"Satisfy my advisor, he has earned it." He said towards the boy while he buttoned his pants and exited through one of the side doors, leaving the young man there before the lustful gaze of the king's advisor.
Orochimaru walked through the sinister hallways until arriving at a well-decorated, carved door locked with a key and guarded by two guards. He touched the frame with his fingers and supported his forehead atop of them, caressing the door.
"My most valued treasure... soon you and I will be together again." He whispered, looking at the guards and ordering them to open the door.
The doors were opened and just like that, Orochimaru entered into the dark room that was only illuminated by the chimney and the scarce light that entered through the grand window far back. The guards closed the door behind him, the keys making noise as they closed.
Orochimaru observed the comfortable couch where he tended to sit in front of the chimney. He had ordered that the chimney always be lit so that that boy with faintly bronzed skin would never pass a day in the cold. His eyes, not seeing the young man on the couch, roamed over towards the window that looked out into the village and there, he found him: observing the snowflakes falling by the window. The harsh winter was nearing.
The boy's long, blond hair had always excited him and over all, his body and mind, those blue eyes that nobody else in the kingdom possessed. Nobody in this kingdom could ever come close to resembling a minimum of the beauty that was of the Namikazes. To think that Orochimaru's rebellion against Minato began because Minato didn't want to offer him the hand of his firstborn. They were going to give him to the Uchihas, to the firstborn of the Uchiha. Orochimaru couldn't take that, that boy should've only been for him. If only Minato would've attended to his petition and given him matrimony to that boy, none of this would've happened. Oh, but he had to deny him, that stupid King, always thinking in what was best for his kingdom, thinking that the Uchiha's army and his trading routes would bring more riches and prosperity to the kingdom, thinking of marrying Deidara to Itachi.
Orochimaru smiled. Although it was by force, he now had the boy he wanted. That boy was in his castle, he was at his side despite not being able to touch him like he wanted to. Orochimaru approached the boy's back and as the young man watched the snow fall outside, Orochimaru took one of his long, blond strands of hair and drowned his nose into the relaxing aroma of fruits it always carried.
"Why can't I go out, my Lord?" The boy asked with his voice dull, not once looking away from the window. "Winter's almost coming again but you've never let me out to touch it. I've counted twelve years."
"I'm very sorry, Deidara, but there are dangers out there that you cannot comprehend, you're most safe here." Orochimaru said, now burying his nose on the boy's neck and hearing a faint moan from Deidara, who was still fixated on the snow outside.
"Why protect a simple peasant?" He asked and Orochimaru turned the boy towards him.
He caressed the boy's hair and as he parted a strand of hair on the right, he saw the small scar from the impact he got from where he had fallen into the river. Ever since then, that boy remembered nothing, not even who he was. Orochimaru had told him the worst of lies, that he was a simple peasant who could only obey his masters.
"Because there are no other blond peasants like you, you have something special."
"A King never marries a peasant. Why do you keep me caged?" Deidara asked and Orochimaru looked at the shelves filled with parchment paper and books. Deidara was well-informed and at this pace, he would end up understanding everything, he'd end up discovering his lie.
"Every King needs a lover. You will be that lover, my favorite Deidara."
"Please... I want to touch the snow." Deidara commented with those innocent blue eyes that drove Orochimaru crazy.
Without helping it, Orochimaru neared the boy's lips, kissing him passionately. He knew Deidara didn't love him nor will he ever, but as he was a 'peasant,' Deidara always obeyed and let his King do anything he wanted to him. His lie would at least have a good part to it as he could have the boy to his desire. It was a pity that he couldn't touch his body like he would've wanted to, though.
"Be good today and I'll let you touch the snow." Orochimaru sweetly said. "Come, today will be the last day that you'll be with me."
"Where am I going?" He asked.
"From now on, you'll serve my nephew. We'll go to his coronation and you will be his gift, his servant. You'll have to please him in all he asks for as he will be your new master, alright?" Orochimaru asked him.
"Okay." A confused Deidara responded, looking out the window; at least finally he would be able to get out from that small enclosure.
Orochimaru sat on the couch in front of the warm chimney. He would've been so happy if Minato had married the boy to him, but no... he had to give him to that damned Uchiha. Orochimaru smiled, knowing that Deidara would never be Itachi's for he would never be able to remember who he was and he would obey his masters without knowing of what had occurred. No one in his entire palace knew how sweet Orochimaru could be but this boy, Deidara, somehow managed to bring out a sweet side of him that he never showed to anyone. Everybody called him the cruel King and Deidara knew nothing. He had been closed off in that tower under the dim light of the chimney and the only thing he knew about the exterior world was from what he saw through the window and the information from the books he read. Now he was twenty-years old and he still seemed like a young kid, one they had saved from the flow of time and from the cruelty of the world to preserve his innocence.
Orochimaru had never planned to do him any harm, but he accepted that the fall, that the impact from it had really done the kid some good to confuse him, so that it'd be easier to make him believe that he was a person much different than what he really was.
"You'll be with my nephew for a while. When you give him the heir he's looking for, you can come back to me, Dei." He said, sweetly caressing his hair.
"Yes, my Lord." Deidara responded.
"Until then, do me one last job, Dei."
"Then I can go down to see the snow?" He asked, smiling like a little kid.
"I'll take you to see it if you do it good."
Orochimaru, sitting on the couch, unbuttoned his pants in front of him and pulled them down while Deidara kneeled down and placed the pale member into his mouth, giving pleasure. It could be that Orochimaru couldn't have his body, but he was delighted to know that Deidara's mouth had always been his. He was the first in having him. Orochimaru enjoyed it like he never had despite knowing it'd be the last time after twelve years that he could be with this boy. After releasing and asking Deidara to get ready, Orochimaru waited for him at the door with a large black cloak he had placed over his shoulders.
"Follow me, but do not run. I don't like people to disobey me, understood?" He asked.
Orochimaru gave two knocks on the door so that the guards would open and when he exited and they began closing the door behind him, he impeded them from doing so, letting the boy come out after him and leaving the guards surprised.
"Today, he comes with me. We'll return soon."
"Understood, Sir." The guards commented.
They walked through the hallways, Deidara always behind his master like a good servant. Each guard he passed turned in instant surprise to see the young Namikaze walk behind the King. Everyone opened their eyes and observed the odd, brilliant, blond hair that Deidara had and Deidara, without being able to look away from the guards with his intense blue eyes, hypnotized the guards, making them fall for him as he passed by. It had been twelve years that anyone had seen the young twenty year old. Deidara finally lowered his gaze towards the floor until they arrived to the last door that made way to the castle's central patio.
"There you have it, Dei." Orochimaru said, opening the door to let him see the snow.
The boy first opened his mouth from the impression and then smiled, running outside and throwing himself over the snow, laughing like a little kid. Orochimaru sat down on one of the benches, watching with certain tenderness as to how the boy he had held captive and in absolute ignorance smiled. The guards, seeing him, also smiled. Nobody could have ever imagined that they would ever hear such laugh coming from within this sinister castle. Nobody had even known that such angel of blond hair had been trapped here, not since his wings were cut off twelve years ago.
Chapter 6: Seduction
Naruto woke up in the morning when the sun's rays entered through his window. It took him a while to wake up but after opening his eyes and checking to see that his husband had not spent the night with him, he frustratingly sighed, slapping his forehead.
"I'm useless." He scolded himself. "How do I get you to get in bed with me, damned bastard?" He asked himself.
He couldn't understand it. They had told him he was a cureless womanizer, that he slept with anyone who dared cross his way and now it turns out... that he won't touch him. Why wouldn't he touch him? Was there something wrong? Is it that he couldn't excite him? He didn't know what he was going to do; he was never good in things such as seducing, conquering, or flirting. He had trained with soldiers. He was good with a sword and even better at bow and arrow but seduction... of that, he understood nothing and that was precisely what he needed to lure his husband to their conjugal bed.
He parted the covers along with the other sheets and got up to change his clothes. He knew the servants wouldn't take long in entering, bringing him those extravagant clothes that were much suited for a prince but he had decided to continue with his usual clothes. He hated looking like a Prince despite being one; it felt so normal. He had always been raised with soldiers and that's what he considered himself: a soldier.
Naruto exited the room just as the servants arrived to attend him. All of them were stunned in surprise to see him already dressed and groomed as he exited the room.
"Sir," one of them called out to him. "you should wait until we arrive."
"I can dress myself, thanks either way. You can go help my husband." He told them formally and continued walking off, leaving them stunned.
Naruto knew perfectly well that every King let everyone do things for him. He also knew that all of them had lovers on the side but he didn't want to be like that. They had taught him differently. They had educated him outside of the strict norms of a castle, out of luxuries and commodities. All of that had made him hate the formality they had and how he had to depend on the servants for everything.
"You should learn to let them do things." Kakashi commented behind him once seeing Naruto walk through the hallway.
"You know I hate depending on people. I have hands for a reason and it's not so that I can have others do everything for me."
"I should've educated you better on court behaviour." Kakashi smiled.
"Perhaps." Naruto responded with a smile. "But I didn't turn out too bad."
"You've come out as militant responsible for his acts but you're not one, Naruto, you're a King. Well... in your case, you're a Prince since you've just married one."
"If you want, I can change when I become King and I'll let them do things for me. But in the meantime, I'm still a soldier in mission."
"You'll never change." Kakashi commented frustratingly. "You're too stubborn and I shouldn't have raised you with so many soldiers."
"I'll always appreciate that you have because I'm capable of defending myself. I don't need anyone to have my back."
"Come, I'll accompany you to the grand dinning hall. We can't keep the King waiting."
It was true that nobody had ever treated him like a King. Naruto wasn't used to these behaviors nor being constantly followed around by servants. They said he was the future King before the absence of his brother, but he had never been in his castle nor in his kingdom. He had to hide to survive. He had trained with soldiers and he behaved just like any other one. He had the title of Prince and even now as he had married one and he had the title of legitimate King in a kingdom he did not posses, all that was to him was just that: titles. Titles that were placed after his name and his person, but for him, it meant little except for the obligation of having to marry someone on the same level and that he had already done.
He entered through the empty grand dining room. It was clear that nobody had yet arrived even as they waited for the servants to come attend them. Kakashi smiled seeing how Naruto sighed. He knew the boy didn't understand these habits but he couldn't help it; some day he would have to understand it. Naruto was about to sit on one of the chairs when Kakashi indicated with a throat clearing sound and a subtle movement of the head that that was not his chair, instead, it was the one on the side. Naruto sighed, tired of too much formality and sat down on the chair to the side.
Itachi entered in that same moment, opening the grand doors and Kakashi, standing behind Naruto's chair, whispered to him to stand up. Naruto did so and immediately bowed as the King neared. Seeing him, Itachi asked him to sit while he, too, took a seat on his royal chair. Both waited in silence for a few seconds for a Sasuke who showed no signs of life.
"Have you slept well?" Itachi asked towards Naruto.
"Yes, thank you. It's a very comfortable room."
None of the two dared say anything about Sasuke. Itachi had supposed it hadn't been the perfect wedding night seeing how Naruto was awake and sitting down on time while his brother hadn't appeared yet. He was about to tell the servants to serve breakfast without his brother when Sasuke appeared, sitting himself next to his blond husband.
"Good morning." Sasuke said without much reluctance.
"You're late, you know how I hate unpunctuality."
"I was asleep."
"Let it be the last time, Sasuke." Itachi commented in a serious tone, asking for breakfast to be brought.
Breakfast was held in a tense silence but to Naruto, it didn't bother him much. There were some dishes on the table he had never tried. Having to escape his kingdom had brought him to survival; they themselves had to go out and hunt or fish what they needed from the forest they had taken refuge in. Sasuke found it odd how Naruto would look at some fruits or other dishes with curiosity. He would smell them and then slowly taste it, trying to guess if it was edible or if it had good flavour. It made him smile although he tried to camouflage it.
Naruto looked at a cup fabricated from the most finest silver and contemplated the red liquid inside. He turned towards Kakashi when nobody was looking and tried to call him by clicking his tongue. When Kakashi realized, he slightly approached him to hear him whisper.
"What is this?" Naruto asked.
"It's wine, my Lord." Kakashi answered in formality.
Naruto had studied it in his books. In court, wine was always consumed but he was used to water. In his fortress in the forest, supplies were never delivered and much less barrels of wine. Naruto felt like a moron for not knowing of everyday things, as if he had lived like some savage all these years and now they had caged him in a golden cage to which he could not get used to. He was not like those fine and distinguished kings, he was not raised or even educated in the same way as they were.
After finishing breakfast, they all exited the dining room. Itachi had some matters to take care of with his counselors and Sasuke simply disappeared immediately without giving any explanation to his husband. Naruto, frustrated, walked down the large hallway of stone towards the interior patio where he had been in the last few days; the patio where he met his husband for the first time.
He sat down on a stone bench, observing the birds drink and bathe themselves on a small fountain and thought about how he would manage to get his husband to look at him. He knew perfectly well that it was normal for kings to have lovers on the side but that Sasuke didn't even want to touch him was something he could not permit. He heard Kakashi behind him and knew that he was worried about him.
"The people of my kingdom are dying and he only thinks about screwing with those hookers instead of getting in bed with me." Naruto complained.
"I see it wasn't any good last night."
"Good? It was horrible. As soon as I got closer to him, he ran out of the room as if I had leprosy and went to sleep in his own dormitory. I'm sure he'd rather be with his servants rather than share my bed. Do I not attract him?" Naruto asked worriedly. "Am I the problem?"
"I'm sure you attract him..." Kakashi tried explaining.
"I'm sorry, it's my fault." They heard Itachi say behind them as his advisors followed him. "Please, leave us." He asked them, making everyone march off so he could walk towards Naruto.
Kakashi made a reverence towards the King and then walked away so the two could talk calmly. Naruto tried getting up to also bow in respect but Itachi stopped him and told him to sit down again. He made room and both looked over towards the fountain.
"I'm sorry, Naruto." Itachi commented. "It's a lack of manners to eavesdrop on foreign conversations but I was passing by the hallway and I couldn't help hearing you. Sasuke is... very stubborn. I know that it's not because he's not attracted to you. You're a very attractive guy, very educated, and it could be that you don't know many things about the royal court as you were not raised in one but... it's a problem of my brother's, not yours. He's been fixated on going against me ever since our parents passed away. I haven't had much time to be with him; I've had to lead a kingdom so I may have not paid much attention to him. He's become... well, how you see him. He told me he wouldn't touch his husband because we had obligated him to contract the matrimony. He's a damned airhead and very prideful. I'm sure he's having a hard time for not being able to touch you; he must be pulling his hair out." He said, smiling. "He didn't expect to have someone as attractive as you at his side and I'm sure you'll drive him crazy. At some point his pride and his airheadedness will fall, you'll see."
"Why me?" Naruto asked. "I mean, you had many kings with proper kingdoms to chose for matrimony. I don't think your council decided on me precisely."
"It's true. They advised me to not have an alliance with you, seeing as you have nothing to offer, but... my parents and yours made a pact in the past. I know they are people of their word; your family never once betrayed mine and I have that into account. I know I can trust in you and in your last name, you'll make an honor to him. I—" He interrupted his conversation for a second as he watched a butterfly rest atop a flower. "I was once engaged." He said sadly. "I hated my husband to be. He was a bit like you." He smiled. "Rebellious, attractive, smart... I knew he was good at almost everything and I hated him. I didn't want him to be better than me. I convinced myself that that boy and I would never get along and one day... as I grew up, I realized that what I always thought to be hate, was in reality, admiration. I liked that boy and I smiled like an idiot when he spoke or made some prank." Itachi smiled.
"What happened?" Naruto curiously asked.
"It's been twelve years since he's passed away." He commented. "I didn't get to marry him and now I can't forget about him. So many years as kids hating each other and when I discovered that I loved him... when our kingdoms were finally going to unite, I lost him. Everything ended in one night."
"You're talking about my brother." Naruto said, finally realizing.
"Yes, Naruto, of your older brother."
"I saw his body." Naruto said before Itachi's surprise. "I saw his body being dragged by the current." He repeated, beginning to cry. "And I can't forget it. He saved me, he took me out of the city and I... I couldn't help him."
"You did what was right, Naruto." Itachi said, trying to calm him. "Your brother was always like that. He worried more about everyone else than himself. He would be very happy to see the person you have become."
"He believed I would get our kingdom back. He believed in me and I haven't done it."
"We'll do it, okay? We'll get it back. Give Sasuke a bit of time, I know you'll be able to win him over like your brother did with me." He smiled, trying to calm him down as he saw Naruto wipe his tears.
"Thanks." Naruto said trying to smile.
Chapter 7: A Brother's Secrets
Itachi got up to walk away after cheering Naruto up a bit. He could still not believe that the boy whom the King of the most calm and prosperous kingdom spoke of was the one they had once paired with Deidara. Itachi was good to be around with and he could see the pain he still felt for the loss of his brother. It was an arranged marriage, much like his and Sasuke's, but even so, Itachi had fallen in love with the one who was going to be his partner in life. Could he, too, fall in love with a womanizer like Sasuke who wouldn't even touch him? He wasn't sure, but he had to do something about this matter if he wanted to honor the memory of his brother and recuperate his kingdom.
Sasuke waited behind one of the corners, surprised of what he had heard. He couldn't believe his brother had hidden a pain like that for so long. He had always seen his brother as the perfect person, one who did everything right. His father always had praise and compliments for Itachi but never did he bother to direct his eyes towards Sasuke; that had made him hate his brother in a way. Perhaps that's why he always went against him; he didn't want to be anything like his brother but at this moment... he was realizing how incredible his brother was.
After the death of his parents, Itachi had taken care of everything. He had become a young King and he had to learn fast. The had engaged him to a person he had hated and one he had learned to love so much... that now his absence was unbearable.
Seeing his brother approach, Sasuke hurried to get away from there. He didn't want his brother to find out he had heard and so he ran all the way towards his room and closed the door behind him. He waited until he heard his brother's footsteps march off through the hallway and then he sat down on the floor with his back leaning against the door, thinking about what he had heard.
It was true that he hated how they had treated him like merchandise, that they sold him more for the convenience of the country rather than giving him an option to know his husband, but he now realized that his parents had done the same with Itachi. They had obligated him to take that boy in matrimony, Naruto's brother. To find out that Itachi had hated the boy that was going to be his husband all those years in which they were obligated to live together in the summers and that he had fallen in love to the point of suffering for years after his death... Sasuke would have never imagined.
It made him see Naruto in a new light. He, too, must've been sad for what happened to his brother. Sasuke hadn't even bothered to ask anything about his past. He knew Naruto had lost his kingdom but it didn't occur to him to ask how many other things he had lost. He felt bad for not having his feelings into account, nor the motive for why he had married. Surely this guy wasn't in love with Sasuke either and now he was realizing that. Both had been obligated to be together and only one of them was trying to make everything work out.
Sasuke didn't get out of his room for a few hours until he decided to go train with some of the guards. Fighting with them in the training grounds relaxed him so he went down to the main patio, finding them practicing with the sword and the bow and arrow. Upon seeing him, his soldiers ceased all combat and bowed in reverence towards him. Sasuke unsheathed his sword and asked if he could practice with them, of course, no one said anything against it. They practiced with the sword for a long while until Sasuke's eyes fell upon the stone hallway that crossed the grand patio, seeing the blond head towards the stables.
He stopped the combat for a few seconds and then ran towards his husband, trying to catch up with him. He saw how Naruto continued to dress in soldier's clothing rather than the ones that corresponded to him but Sasuke said nothing. He began to understand after hearing his brother and everything that boy must've gone through. Now he felt unworthy of touching him, Sasuke... a womanizer without cure and the one who had left him alone on their wedding night. The only thing that came to his mind right now was that he had to change, be a better person so he could be on that guy's level. He wasn't going to touch him until he didn't feel like he deserved to be with him. Instead, he was going to make him fall for him like his brother had ended up falling for his husband's brother. Only then would he touch him.
"Naruto!" He called out to him and Naruto turned to see his husband, immediately bowing.
"Yes, my Lord?" He asked.
"Stop calling me like that, you're not a stranger here. You're my husband."
Sasuke saw the doubt in his husband's blue eyes. He knew Naruto didn't believe him. To Naruto, the word 'husband' meant nothing if Sasuke hadn't touched him; they hadn't confirmed that marriage and he felt stupid to have said it seeing the doubting face Naruto made. However, instead of saying anything, Naruto stayed silent as to not leave his husband in questioning in front of his men.
"Are you going to go out?" Sasuke asked him.
"I wanted to see the kingdom." Naruto commented. "Go on a trip on horse, nothing else."
"I'll accompany you." Sasuke said, beginning to walk in front of him.
"No need, I can go alone or with one of my bodyguards."
"Relax, I feel like going out. Plus, who better than me to show you the limits of our kingdom? Come, I'll show you around. I'll ask for our horses to be saddled."
Naruto followed Sasuke towards the stables seeing how he ordered the stable boys to prepare their horses. Naruto disappeared from Sasuke's side to head towards the horse they were preparing for him and began helping the young man prepare the horse. Sasuke observed him attentively and smiled. There was no remedy with this guy; he liked doing things for himself. Sasuke watched how Naruto secured the cinch himself without trusting anyone to not leave it loose and this giving him a possibility to fall. After securing it, he didn't even let the stable boys help him mount the horse; he did it himself and got out of there first followed by Sasuke and an entourage of guards.
They didn't speak the entire way until they practically reached the limit, just where the creek delimited the kingdom of Fire and Wind. Naruto observed the water rush down on the river below and tensed, making his horse feel the same anguish that traveled through his body.
"Let's go to the other side, we can see how your kingdom is."
"I don't want to pass over." Naruto said as he observed the water and remembered his deceased brother.
"Why not?" Sasuke asked.
"I've had enough. Let's go back. I don't want to be here."
"Alright..." Sasuke said without understanding anything. "Let's go back, then."
On the way back, Sasuke didn't want to ask Naruto anything although he knew something was wrong. He hadn't had any problems until they arrived at that river, but then again they didn't have enough trust between them to tell each other things. Sasuke was convinced that making that boy fall for him wasn't going to be an easy task. The Namikazes were very different than the Uchiha. They maintained respect and promises. He had it clear that Naruto would never disrespect him because that's how they had taught him but... he knew it wasn't going to be easy getting to him. They had character and that made him smile.
Upon arriving to the city once again, the people who saw their princes pass by on their horses made a reverence at their pace. Of course, Sasuke looked over to Naruto's face. He wasn't used to these types of greetings but he said nothing. He behaved just like a Prince should have and continued towards the castle. There, he began losing his composure as he got off his horse without waiting for the help of his servants and began grooming his horse. One of the stable boys tried reasoning with him formally that it was his job to do that but Naruto, with a warm smile, explained to him that it relaxed him to brush the horse, making the stable boy look at Sasuke without knowing what to do.
Sasuke indicated with his head that he could leave and he approached Naruto, touching the head of the boy's horse while observing how the other brushed him.
"You should let them do their job, you know."
"I can do it myself."
"I know." Sasuke said, surprising Naruto. "I know you know how to do it and that you can do it, but you're confusing the employees." He commented delicately. "Here in the royal court, each person has a role to play and everyone knows what they have to do. The stable boy is here to attend to the horses, you're taking his job from him... he maintains his family with this job, Naruto." Sasuke commented.
"I'm sorry." Naruto suddenly said upon realizing. "I didn't want him to lose his job."
"He's not going to lose it for just one day. You can come any time you want and groom the horse but... don't take the job from him every day. If they see that they're dispensable, they'll throw them out of court."
"I hadn't thought about that." Naruto commented.
"I... wanted to apologize for last night."
"You're the Prince; you can do whatever you want." Naruto responded frustratingly, grooming the horse and Sasuke stopped his hand, placing his own over Naruto's.
"Hey, I'm sorry. I'm not prepared for matrimony, I'm not worthy of it. You'll soon know of the rumors that run around about me and... God! You don't want to be with me, either." Sasuke said.
"Whether I want to or not I'm already married to you, Sasuke. I now belong to you but you won't touch me and I don't know why."
"I want something much more important than your body from you. I want what my brother once had with your brother. I want you to love me, I want to know how it feels when someone wants you and you don't do that. You've married me by obligation but you don't love me."
"Don't try to justify yourself, it's normal. We didn't know each other and here we are: married before the eyes of God. There is no emotion flowing between us. I don't want to touch you simply because you're mine now."
"It's because of your brother." Naruto annoyingly said. "Don't tell me your excuses, you fuck with anyone who stands in front of you but you're not capable of making me yours because you challenged your brother. I know the Uchihas' character; I've read about your family and the soldiers have told me many things. You all are prideful and stubborn, a bunch of airheads that try to outdo each other. You think your brother is better than you and that's why you're challenging him. You only want to be more stubborn than he is and that's why you promised him not to touch me! Don't even bother coming into our room if you're not willing to break this... 'promise' that you made to your brother. If you're not going to touch me, don't come into my room." Naruto said very clearly, leaving the brush in one of the buckets and calling the stable boy to finish the job.
Sasuke stayed surprised at seeing him. He knew the Namikaze had character, but they were also sincere like no one else was. Naruto had let out everything he had been keeping in from these past days without the minimum fear of the repercussions.
Naruto was already leaving towards the hallway when he found Kakashi leaning against a stone wall and he followed behind after Naruto passed by.
"You should try seducing him, not push him away." Kakashi said.
"I don't know what to do with him now. You think he's going to touch me? He won't." Naruto annoyingly spoke.
"What happened to you out there?" Kakashi asked. "I saw you at the river, Naruto. You've never let us go to the river. Whenever we went, you didn't want to go with us and now when you see it, you run from it."
"It reminds me of my brother, okay?!" Naruto said, almost shouting and about to cry. "I can't go into the water. I see my brother there, dead, and... I can't. I prefer the water to be away from me."
"Naruto... take care of Sasuke. You need him to begin planning something to help you regain your kingdom; you haven't even proposed it to him."
"You think I don't know that? I want to get it back as much as you do but I can't convince him. He's a damned and stubborn Uchiha."
"Do whatever is necessary, Naruto."
"Leave me this night, I don't want any advice for now. We'll talk tomorrow." Naruto said as he marched off about to cry.
Chapter 8: The Kingdom of Rain
His eyes could not look away from those crystals that were soaked from the unceasing rain. It had been the first time he had ever gone outside of the castle, the first time he had ever gotten on a carriage and it had been the first time he had seen these forests. Despite supposing to be happy, he wasn't. He was only a caged bird, one that had been sold to another owner with whom he'll be locked away once again.
He felt exactly how the rainy day felt: depressed, sad, and melancholic. A hand was then posed over his hood, making sure that it didn't show his long, blond, hair but Deidara didn't move. He continued looking out through the window until his escort closed the curtain to keep him from looking outside.
"It's best like this, Deidara. There are innumerable dangers outside and we don't want anything to happen to you."
"Why do I have to hide?" He asked, lowering his sight.
"Your blond hair attracts too much attention, it's best to remain hidden."
"Nobody would look at a simple servant." He commented. "I don't have anything to offer."
"Deidara... outside, here, people don't care what you are. So long as you attract them, they'll do thousands of horrible things to you. You're most safe hidden."
"Alright." He said in the end, avoiding any more conversations.
"Deidara, don't be sad or you'll make me sad as well."
"I don't want to go to that kingdom. Why can't I stay in the country of Wind?"
"Because you'll be doing me a grand favor."
"I don't know how."
"Just make sure you give my nephew an heir and I'll take care of the rest."
"I don't know what you'll be able to gain from all of this."
"I could make you my husband if you obey me."
"That's not true. A King never marries a commoner. I don't know what interest you could have in all this."
"I could give your son a good education. I could become his advisor and since he'll be the King of the Kingdom of Rain's son..."
"You want power... you want to manipulate him so you could control the kingdom from the shadows." He said fearfully.
"Saying it like that makes it sound sinister. No, Deidara, I only want to give him an education."
"I don't want to do it. Please... I prefer to stay with you locked up in the castle!"
"It can't be, Deidara. You're a key part of my plan. I trust that you'll do it. You're a subject of the Kingdom of Wind. You wouldn't want to fail your country, right?"
"Please!" He begged.
"Deidara, I would've liked to have been the one to take your virginity but this is how things have turned out. I'll come back for you, I promise. You are the most important and valuable thing I have. If you're still a subject of the country of Wind, pay attention to your King and obey him in everything. It'll only be for a few months."
"I'll do anything but don't obligate me to stay there with someone I don't know. You know I'll only be just another servant in his bed, nothing more!"
"You won't be like the others."
"He has a wife; of course I'll be just like the rest of his servants! I'll only be a toy he'll have fun with and one he'll do everything his wife isn't able to do to him. I don't want to be just that."
"You read too many books, Deidara." He smiled, although both knew that Deidara was right in every single word he said.
The carriage arrived at the bridge that crossed towards the castle but Orochimaru didn't let Deidara open the curtains at any moment to see the town. Deidara could still hear the rain falling. It seemed that in this kingdom, the rain never ceased.
The horses stopped at the entrance and the occupants of the carriage waited for the subjects to open the doors. The first to get out was Kabuto, followed by Orochimaru who extended his hand towards Deidara to help him out. The boy placed his hand over Orochimaru's and got out, covering himself a bit more with the hooded cloak. He looked up and contemplated the stunning castle that was to be his new home and as he lowered his gaze, he locked eyes with some guard that looked at him with his mouth open wide at the sight of his blue eyes.
Deidara, upon realizing, lowered his gaze and covered himself with his hood while Orochimaru indicated him to follow. Upon entering the castle, he didn't dare to look up. He maintained his sight on the floor, seeing the guards' feet at his sides. They walked towards the grand room and the last guard announced their arrival.
They entered through the grand salon, although Deidara continued without picking up his gaze from the red carpet at his feet. He followed Orochimaru in complete silence and despite not agreeing to all of this, he was still a simple peasant that had to obey his Lord. He didn't know how all this would end, but he didn't like anything about the path his life was taking.
"Uncle." Pein greeted him happily upon seeing him. "Such a surprise to see you here."
"I couldn't miss out on your coronation." Orochimaru commented.
Pein became engrossed, looking over to the hooded figure behind his Uncle and advisor. He looked back for a few seconds towards his wife sitting on his throne and then looked back to the figure.
"It's my present for you." Orochimaru commented in a whisper as to not let anyone hear. "A Namikaze, the heir. Although, he's lost his memory. I hope you know how to handle the situation with caution."
"A Namikaze? That would mean... if I have a son with him, I could be the King to his kingdom."
"At my death, I'd leave everything to you." Orochimaru said. "You'll have your kingdom and mine."
Orochimaru's words always seemed so promising. Though, he had no intention of giving him his kingdom. Of that, never. Once they've gotten an heir and somehow manage to take power over the Kingdom of Rain, upon signing the transfer of powers, he would assassinate Pein and keep his kingdom. He would have Deidara at his side once again and with two kingdoms; he would have everything. He only needed to let go of Deidara for a bit of time until he was able to give Pein an heir to his kingdom and nothing more.
Obviously Pein wouldn't suspect him after giving him such a luscious present. He was offering him two kingdoms with this boy; two kingdoms poisoned by Orochimaru's greed. Orochimaru turned around to look at the hooded figure. This would be his only sacrifice: to loose him for a few months, but he would get him back. Deidara would always be his and he would come back to him sooner or later. He smiled with malice until he heard his nephew say something about going to a more private place.
They entered a different room and Pein asked the guard to leave him alone with his uncle the hooded figure. Orochimaru stayed at the side, watching how his nephew approached Deidara and grabbed the hood, lowering it with certain doubts and becoming surprised to see such blond hair. With two fingers on his chin, he lifted Deidara's face until he could see those fine traits: those innocent blue eyes.
"I've heard talk of these blond men." He said without mentioning the Namikaze name to avoid getting Deidara confused in the lie. "I never believed the rumors were true, but here he is, much more precious than I would've ever imagined. For once the rumors are true."
"It's my gift to you." Orochimaru repeated.
"Is he a virgin?"
"Completely. You can check for yourself tonight."
"I don't know why my father held you in such low regards; you've always been good to me and offer interesting gifts."
"Your father was a rough leader that never listened to the advice of the family." Orochimaru said, trying to win him over so that way, with his own advice, he could manipulate the kingdom.
"Thank you for your gift, Uncle. I'll make great use of him."
"Remember, you need that heir if you want to maintain yourself on the throne. I've heard from a good source that these boys are prodigious for it." He whispered as to not let Deidara hear him. "I'm sure that even with a blow you'll be able to impregnate him." He exaggerated as he smiled.
"That's what I look for: someone extremely fertile that could give me the heir I wish for."
Pein called for one of his guards to ask him to accompany the young man to his new bedroom in the west wing. He also asked that they prepare his stay as he could be as comfortable as possible. Deidara looked towards Orochimaru for one last time with a fearful look on his face as he was scared of not knowing what awaited him or knowing very well about what was going to happen later on in the day. Now he was alone; without protection and with a King he didn't know.
He was locked in the tower while Pein finished talking with Orochimaru. The stay was comfortable, very much like the one he had in the castle back at the Kingdom of Wind. He tried warming up, approaching the chimney and placing his hands close to the fire. This kingdom was very different to his. Here, it was cold and the humidity seemed to absorb itself into his bones, making him feel a lot colder that it really was. That night, he watched Orochimaru's carriage part from the window of his tower.
The door opened and Pein entered the room, observing how the boy hadn't even bothered to take his cape off. He was kneeling down in front of the chimney trying to find warmth and he had only take the cloak off, leaving it on top of the matrimonial bed.
"So your name is Deidara." He said, seeing how the boy didn't even flinch. He took advantage of that and sat down on the couch behind Deidara, grabbing at one of the blond strands with his hands and smelling it. "You smell good, like exotic fruits. My Uncle tells me you're very complacent. Are you cold?" He asked upon seeing how Deidara didn't respond.
"A bit." The other commented, grabbing at his cape to better cover himself.
"I can help you get warm." Pein whispered over his ear, kneeling down and hugging him from behind while he placed his hands under Deidara's cape in search for his crotch.
Deidara felt how Pein's hand entered under his pants and caressed his member and although at first, by instinct, he tried to close his legs to immobilize his hand, he immediately realized that he could not do something like that; it was the King that was touching him. He was a simple peasant that had to obey, that had to feel honored because his King was touching him, but he wasn't... he was scared. Upon realizing, Pein gently parted Deidara's legs, hearing the faint whimper coming from the boy, and kissed his neck softly up towards his ear.
"I promise to be gentle with you." He whispered as he licked his ear. "Open your legs and let me touch you."
Deidara obeyed, even with that fear in his body as Pein dug his nose in that long, blond hair. Pein had never expected to lay with a Namikaze and much less with one so docile that didn't know who he really was. If he knew just who he really was... surely he wouldn't let him do all of this. This was lucky for him. Pein lowered Deidara's pants slowly until his knees and placed one of his fingers upon his entrance, earning a soft moan from the blond.
"Shh, relax." He whispered. "It's just a finger. You and I are going to have a good time tonight. You'll enjoy this new experience."
"I don't... want to do it." Deidara whispered.
"That's the fear speaking." Pein commented. "But calm down, after this night, you'll wish that I come visit you everyday."
Pein could feel the boy's length even when he slowly placed more fingers inside his interior. He smiled with malice.
"So it's true that you're a virgin. It's odd that my Uncle hadn't made you his the moment he saw you. Perhaps he fell for you."
"That's not true. I'm only a peasant. A King would never fall for someone of low class such as me."
"That's true. A King would never fall for someone like you, but he could for your body. It's still odd that he hasn't touched you, but oh well, better for me." He smiled, grabbing Deidara's hand to bring it upon his member. "Touch me and get familiar with it. From now on, you'll see it every night and you'll see how good it feels inside you."
Chapter 9: Lies
Naruto woke up completely alone in his room. He brought his hand up to his forehead, slapping himself softly with it as he realized he still hadn't gotten anywhere with his supposed husband. He began to think about whether or not this whole thing was a marriage; they hadn't been intimate at all. They hadn't consolidated the marriage, all if this was just a farce, or at least, Naruto saw it that way.
He himself had told him never to come anywhere near his room unless he wanted to approach him seriously. Now, he was starting to regret ever saying it. Sasuke would never approach him voluntarily. Naruto needed him to come to him but he didn't know how to make that happen. Upon exiting his room all dressed up, he found himself with Kakashi in one of the corners as he waited for him to escort him to the grand dinning room.
"Sorry." Naruto commented. "I wasn't in the mood yesterday."
"I understand. All of this is very new to you, but the solution isn't in you pushing him away."
"I don't know how to get his attention. Do I have to challenge him to a duel or something for him to notice me?"
"Don't even think about it." Kakashi said. "What the Uchiha hate the most is being defeated. Forget about trying to be better than him."
"What if he challenges me?"
"Pretend you don't know." Kakashi replied. "He'll think he's superior. He won't ask you any questions and if he sees you as more innocent than what you really are, he could feel attracted to you."
Naruto snorted; on top of everything he had to do, now he had to feign being a useless idiot. Kakashi smiled, following him through the hallway.
"I know you don't like any of this." Kakashi spoke.
"I'm not an idiot."
"And when you get Sasuke in bed with you, you'll demonstrate it. Until then... it'll only be for a few days."
The two of them entered the grand room where only Itachi was there, sitting down with his bodyguard behind him. He greeted Naruto and Naruto bowed before occupying the same spot from last time. His husband hadn't appeared yet and seeing as how Naruto entered alone, Itachi knew right away that Sasuke had yet to sleep in his matrimonial bed. That morning, Sasuke didn't arrive, leaving only Itachi and Naruto to have breakfast, observing each other in a tense silence from time to time.
Naruto wasn't used to drinking wine. To each sip of it, a new gesture painted itself on his harmonious face as he tried to get used to the flavor. Itachi couldn't help but smile and sent for someone to bring water as it was obvious Naruto wasn't used to wine. The blond watched as they replaced his glass of wine for that of water and he looked over to Itachi who smiled at him from the other end of the table.
"Thanks." He commented with a blush on his face.
"You're welcome. Next time just ask. Don't drink something if you don't enjoy it."
"Very well." Naruto said with a faint smile.
After finishing with his breakfast, Naruto exited out of there with his head lowered thinking about how he would get his husband to get in his damn bed for once and for all. He walked through the last hallway towards the patio when he heard a lot of noise coming from it. He approached it to see how Sasuke had invited some of his friends over and were shooting arrows towards a target on the other side of the patio. He observed for a few seconds until one of Sasuke's friends noticed that he was behind them and they blushed, calling the friend at his side and they called the other until it came down to Sasuke.
Sasuke turned around, seeing his husband there in the hallway and he smiled. Sincerely... Naruto had expected to find him having sex with one of the servants. He hadn't expected to see him awake 'playing' at shooting arrows to the targets. His eyes found themselves with the target all the way across the patio. He could successfully hit it even with his eyes closed but he maintained himself immobile.
"Naruto, come. I'll present you." Sasuke said and Naruto walked over towards Sasuke's friends who blushed upon seeing him. "This is my husband, Naruto Namikaze, future King of the Wind Country."
"It's a pleasure, my Lord." Sasuke's friends bowed towards Naruto.
"We were practicing a bit. Would you like to give it a try?" Sasuke asked Naruto.
Naruto looked at the target. He really wanted to, but then, his eyes fixed themselves upon Kakashi, who softly shook his head, secretly explaining to him to not bring himself any attention nor leave Sasuke in ridicule.
"I'd love to, my Lord," Naruto explained to his husband, "but you know better than anyone that I'm no good with weapons."
"I could help you." Sasuke said with a smile. "Come, please. I'll help you."
Naruto could not refuse having his husband's friends present. Kakashi, too, sighed as he realized that Naruto had no other option than to accept his husband's proposal. He only hoped that Naruto not show his natural talent for weapons. Naruto had spent years perfectioning his aim with the soldiers of his now late father, so it was impossible for Naruto to miss; he had perfect aim.
Sasuke walked towards one of the wooden tables and grabbed a very light bow, giving it to Naruto. The blond was confused upon seeing the choice of bow and smiled as he could not believe that Sasuke considered him weak, as if he couldn't handle a much heavier bow. Naruto looked towards Kakashi with a confused expression, Kakashi shaking his head as he indicated to not do anything stupid. His husband's pride was on the line and every one knew that the Uchiha were very prideful.
Naruto grabbed the bow and feigned not knowing how to use it, letting himself be advised by Sasuke, who stood behind him and helped him shoot the arrow. Naruto moved the bow slightly to avoid the arrow from landing in the center of the target. Sasuke, smiling, shot his own arrow in the center of the target in one shot, receiving everyone's praise.
Sasuke looked at Naruto with a smile and although the blond tried not to let it affect him, it did. His husband was treating him as if he were stupid and he was beginning to get pissed off. He wasn't stupid, he knew how to fend for himself. He hadn't grown up with the easy life like Sasuke had.
Sasuke's companions suggested something about going out to hunt, and of course, they marched off without saying anything to Naruto; which was logical, seeing as they supposed he didn't like hunting or anything to do with weapons. Even so, it bothered Naruto, not because they didn't take him into account to go with them, but because his husband seemed to prefer going out to hunt with his friends rather than stay with him.
Kakashi had always told him about how in love his father was when he got married, how both his parents couldn't be away from each other for much time. Naruto had made himself an idea of what marriage would be like, of what it would be like to fall in love with someone. Now he was realizing his mistake: he didn't love Sasuke and Sasuke didn't love him, either. All of this was a forced arrangement and obviously, none of them was willing to spend time with the other. They avoided each other as much as possible.
The blond watched as his husband marched off and when Sasuke approached the stone hallway, he didn't even turn to look at him. Naruto heard Sasuke's laugh, his words speaking about how much fun they were going to have in the hunt. He heard his friends laugh and joke around with him; having a good time while Naruto had to stay behind, caged between the walls of this castle.
He tightened the grip on the bow although he continued giving his back to them and when he stopped hearing them, he took out an arrow from the quiver and placed it on the bow rapidly, turning around and shooting it. The arrow went through and broke the arrow Sasuke had shot in the center of the target. Kakashi smiled; he knew the boy had had a short attack of fury and he preferred to do that to vent rather than go confront his husband and make the situation much worse than it already was.
"Good shot." He heard a voice behind him and the blond jumped in surprise.
Naruto quickly discarded the bow on the table and placed a grand smile on his face, feigning to not have an idea of what they were talking about.
"It was only luck, your Majesty." He commented towards Itachi as he approached the blond.
"To go through an arrow and land dead center is not a question of luck; you'd have to have good aim and skill. Don't try to hide it, it wasn't luck."
"Don't tell your brother, please." Naruto said.
"I won't say anything. It's as if I haven't seen a thing."
"He will find out sooner or later, though."
"I hope it's later." Naruto spoke. "I don't think he'll like any of this."
"Well, perhaps he won't like the idea that you know how to defend yourself, but I appreciate that you feign it in front of his friends. It's best like that. Sasuke is a very prideful young man; he likes to always be the best."
"I know, the rumors about him are everywhere. At least I haven't seen him with his servants lately."
"It's a step." Itachi commented. "My brother will soon fall for you, I assure you. Let's just give it a bit of time. As long as he comes to know you better, he'll get closer to you. He's a big dunce on top of being prideful."
Naruto watched as some servants passed by with large sacks of wheat, an abundance of meat, and many barrels of whine. It surprised him and he only watched them without daring to question anything, but Itachi, upon seeing him distracted, turned to check what the blond was looking at.
"An old friend of mine is coming to visit." Itachi informed. "I couldn't go to his coronation due to some important matters of my kingdom so he's decided to come see me in person. I'll take this as a chance to talk about governing topics, otherwise boring diplomatic matters."
"I see." Naruto spoke somewhat serious. "When does he arrive?"
"Early tomorrow. He's the King of the great Country of Rain. It's been years since I've seen him. We have to deal with the new agreements on the peace we maintain. Bureaucratic matters."
"I don't understand much about state of affairs." Naruto said. "I've read about them and Kakashi's taught me the basics but..."
"I know, you've never had the chance to reign. One day you will, Naruto. I'll make sure to recuperate your kingdom and that way you could see your birth place once again."
"Thanks." Naruto smiled.
Chapter 10: Alive
He opened his eyes with a heaviness to them, he still felt them swollen. His hand caressed the humid pillow, realizing that he had been crying in silence the entire night. He didn't want to turn around to look behind his back. He cuddled to himself even more and grabbed the covers to cover himself with them. He gripped at them tightly to avoid anyone from ripping them off from him.
A hand caressed his hair, making his body tremble to the touch and he held back the urge to let out a sob that he had been suppressing. The pale hands that were gripped tightly around the covers were soon displaced as he brought them up towards his mouth, trying to avoid letting out any other sound. He closed his eyes tightly, wishing for everything to pass soon.
"Get ready and don't be late in coming down to eat. We'll be leaving soon." Pein ordered but Deidara did not respond.
He felt how the other inhaled the scent of his fine hair, delighting himself with it's fine aroma. He felt how Pein's fingertips softly graced his naked shoulder, one that faintly poke out from under the covers, and how he deposited a soft kiss upon it. Perhaps he was treating him sweetly, but Deidara could not stop thinking about the pain from the other night. He could not stop thinking about how he did not love this man and that he was being held here against his will, obeying someone whom he shouldn't obey. He felt just like any other servant who was simply used as a mere marionette for their sinister plans. They had taken the most important thing for him and there was no going back. All he could do now was pray that he not give him the heir he so much wanted.
Pein got out of bed, calling his servants so that they attend to him. Once ready, he exited the room with one last look at the blond boy that was still laying down with his back to him. Ever since they had brought him here, he had not pronounced a single word. He simply let himself be touched and later on cuddled himself, avoiding looking at him or speaking to him. It wasn't something that mattered greatly to him, though. He only needed an heir from him and nothing more. Even so, as he marched off through down the hallway, Pein felt a certain emptiness. Perhaps he would've liked it if the boy had participated and not ignored him.
Deidara heard how everyone began to leave and he turned around, watching how Konan passed by the hallway trying to get at least a kiss from her husband but he only shot past her. He felt dirty and disgusted; he saw Pein's wife there in front of him and he knew he had just become the King's lover. He thought Konan would look at him disgracefully but instead, when she looked towards Deidara, he saw that it was only pity. That woman had pity towards this entire situation.
He couldn't see more when the servants closed the door, maintaining the Queen from his sight, but he did not hold back his sobs as he began to cry. Five minutes had barely passed when he heard the door open and the Queen herself almost ran inside, closing it behind her. Deidara thought the worst. Everyone knew that Kings always had their lovers but despite tolerating it to keep them at their sides and hold their title as Queen, that didn't mean that the idea sat good with them. They only ever feigned not knowing about it.
Deidara backed away a bit on the bed when he felt Konan grab him by the wrist and began pulling him out of bed, hurrying him to get ready. He didn't understand what was going on.
"Come, you have to shower and get ready." Konan hurried.
"Because you're going some place special."
"We're only going to the Kingdom of Fire." He spoke.
"That's why. Your betrothed awaits you there."
Konan knew they had given her husband something important, something that made him absent from their matrimonial bed that night. What she did not expect to find was this Namikaze. She thought only two were alive and had escaped far away, or at least, that's what they've told her. She knew at that moment that Itachi would recognize him as soon as he saw him, if he got ready, that is. He could not go as he was now. Orochimaru had once told her how he had taken Itachi's future husband and she had been convinced it was Deidara.
"What are you talking about?" Deidara asked, unaware of the situation. "What betrothed?"
Those simple questions made Konan suddenly freeze. Did he not know who he was? He didn't know who he was supposed to marry? She began to understand just how they managed to control him; she was willing to get him out of there no matter what.
"It doesn't matter, get ready." She said when she heard the door open and she hurried to hide behind the curtains.
Deidara, seeing Pein enter, pulled the covers up to cover his nakedness, making Pein give him a perverse grin from his part.
"There's no need for you to cover yourself." He commented, approaching him to lick his neck while his hand grabbed Deidara by the waist, bringing him closer to his body. "Your King has enjoyed all of your body. You and I will be seeing each other again tonight." He said, pulling Deidara's hair back to devour his lips in a wild kiss.
Pein then marched away, demanding him to change quickly and as soon as he was gone, Konan walked out from her hiding spot to pull Deidara towards the bath. She saw how his long, blond hair was now tangled and dirty.
"You need an urgent bath." Konan said, looking at his hair.
"Why are you not mad at me?" Deidara asked. "You know perfectly well what happened last night with..."
"With my husband." Konan finished his sentence with a sigh. "Yes, I know it very well, but it's something normal to which I've gotten used to years ago. You're not the only one who's shared his bed."
"Many consent to it but don't support the idea." Deidara said.
"Perhaps it's that I don't care much that he does it. I married him by obligation. My parents were noble to the services of the Kingdom of Wind; they pertained to their private council. After the betrayal that the royal family suffered, my family was imprisoned. However, due to us having the majority of the northern lands in the Kingdom under our possession, they preferred to marry me to the King of the Rain to unite those domains.
"Something like that. They asked me to give him an heir."
"Why haven't you left if you hate him so much?" Deidara asked, noticing the repugnant expression Konan had when she spoke.
"I can't. Since I didn't give him an heir, they've killed my father. They still have my mother and my brother in their prisons. I can't simply disappear and leave them there. I want to free them. This would not have happened with the Namikaze. Now get ready, the trip to the Kingdom of Fire will be a long one. I'll ask that you be my servant."
"He won't let you."
"Of course he will. The advantage of still being married to him is that I am still the Queen. They'll have to obey me."
"I still don't understand why you're helping me, although, I appreciate it."
"I'll tell you about it one day, but not here. The walls have ears. Now, get ready as fast as you can."
From the moment in which Deidara got in the bath tub, he didn't know anything more about the Queen. A few servants entered to help him dress and they accompanied him down the stairs to indicate where he should go. Deidara knew that aside from accompanying him, they were keeping an eye on him to keep him from committing anything as drastic as to try to escape or even suicide, although, he didn't think on doing any of the two options.
He looked over with resignation as Pein walked out of the grand dinning hall and asked for one of the servants to open the door to his carriage. Deidara waited patiently; surely he would go with the rest of the servants as one more of them but was surprised to hear Pein obligate him to go in his carriage. He got on it without flinching an sat next to the Queen, looking out through the small window when one of the other servants once again covered his hair with a hood to avoid anyone from recognizing him.
The trip was long and exhausting. He was practically falling asleep when he felt the carriage come to a stop and the guards spoke with someone outside. Surely they were guards of the Kingdom of Fire who were checking their credentials. They let them in right away and although Deidara wanted to move the curtain to see the outside, he could only see a few intense rays of sunlight that made him close his clear eyes before another set of hands closed the curtains, leaving him in dim darkness once again.
He understood that they wouldn't let him look outside until they've arrived and he didn't insist once again. He only hoped they wouldn't take long in arriving. Barely twenty minutes later, the carriage stopped once again to pass through one last door towards the castle. Deidara looked towards Konan, who returned the look as she tried to calm him without saying a word.
Once at the door, Pein got out followed by his entourage and they advised Deidara to follow them without taking his hood off. He walked behind all of them, following the advisors of the palace without lifting his gaze from the floor until they arrived at the grand throne room. Only for an instant did he lift his gaze towards one of the guards, noticing how the guard looked at him as well and was surprised, looking over to the other guard next to him. He didn't understand what was going on but both guards began making signs that he couldn't quite understand towards each other.
He heard the grave voice of the King of Fire and something inside him stirred. He felt as if that voice was extremely familiar but immediately discarded the idea once he realized he had never been in this kingdom; it was impossible. Surely he was confused. Both Kings were talking about the room that was to be their stay and the King of Fire took advantage to congratulate Pein for his recent coronation. Deidara could tell the two Kings treated each other with amiability and that they wanted to continue with the peace treaty they had. Barely a few words later and the kind King snapped his fingers, calling forth a few guards to lead them towards their rooms where they would rest from their long trip.
Deidara turned to follow after Pein and his entourage when Konan placed herself at his side and let one of her bracelets fall, telling him to pick it up. Deidara didn't understand why, but Konan was not willing to permit that no one see him. She had to get someone from the royal court to recognize him and nobody ever would once he made it to his room. When Deidara reached down to pick up her bracelet, Konan took the advantage to pull his hood back a bit, leaving the characteristic blond hair of the Namikaze to be seen and thus surprising those in the grand salon.
Itachi, turning around from the sudden gestures and sounds from those around him, discovered Deidara kneeling on the floor as he picked up the Queen of the Rain's bracelet. His lips trembled, his eyes stayed fixated on the sweet, angelical face his old betrothed harbored and a few long seconds passed by until his brain managed to make it clear that it was not an illusion nor a ghost of his past that was before him: it was Deidara himself.
"Dei!" He exclaimed in a whisper, getting everyone's attention on him.
"Dei!" He heard someone else yell much louder than him and that same person hurried to his side.
Nobody could stop Naruto until he arrived next to his brother's side and the guards remained ecstatic when they saw how Naruto hugged the other, uncontrollably crying. They didn't know what to do and it was Itachi himself who stopped them with his hand, holding them back from separating Naruto from a confused Deidara who still didn't know what was happening.
Chapter 11: Pain
Naruto had thrown himself upon his brother with a speed as if the devil was at his heels to hug him. Deidara remained ecstatic without knowing what to do while Itachi remained stunned. He couldn't believe that his betrothed was here, so close to him.
"Who are you?" Deidara asked, practically whispering.
Naruto's eyes then widened, paralyzed before his brother's question. He pulled away from Deidara and looked at him, unable to understand what was happening. It was his brother who was before him, of that there was no doubt. It had been years since he had seen him but very few people had this blond hair he had. That face was of his brother's, he had grown up but it was him. Naruto had no doubts about that. He couldn't understand how his brother could not recognize him.
"Dei, it's me. Naruto."
"I'm sorry. Should I know you?"
Naruto was about to respond to him when he felt Itachi's hand over his shoulder. Turning around to look at Itachi, he realized that he was practically asking for patience until they understood what was happening. Naruto maintained silence in front of the King despite wanting to clear out the situation.
"What's going on?" Pein asked.
"Nothing." Itachi responded with a smile. "The color of his hair has surprised us, nothing more. Please, follow my guards, they will lead you to your rooms."
Everyone was surprised but Deidara got up with even more confusion than before and obeyed, following the guards. Pein was the first to exit, followed by his wife. Naruto remained kneeled on the floor, paralyzed as he watched his brother walk away.
"Why?" Naruto asked, whispering towards Itachi. "He's my brother."
"I know." Itachi said. "But Pein doesn't know I know him and something's going on with Deidara. Give me a bit of time until I manage to understand what's going on. I promise that I'll help him, trust me, please."
"Pein doesn't know anything about our union?" Naruto asked with surprise.
"No. Nobody knew except for the council of our kingdoms, no one more. Just the council of the Namikaze and of the Uchiha. They wanted to keep our ties a secret to keep other nations from intervening. In the end, it was a traitor within the council of the Namikaze who ended everything. Pein shouldn't know anything, not him nor his family where involved in the councils."
"What I'm asking is why my brother did not recognize me." Naruto said. "I haven't changed much in all this time; he should've recognized me."
"Many years have passed, Naruto. I believed your brother to be dead and now he appears before me without knowing anything. Believe that I am the first to be interested in discovering what happened with him all this time but we can't be hasty or our enemies could take advantage."
"I try to think calmly but... that's my brother there."
"I know, please, just have a bit of patience. It's impacted me, too, and I'm dying with the urge to go ask him all these questions that are attacking me, but we must have patience. We can't make any mistake or Pein'll decide to march off, taking him."
"He's not going to take him away; over my dead body will he be able to take my brother away again!" Naruto replied angrily as he walked out of there.
Naruto marched angrily out of the throne room under the attentive looks from a few bewildered guards and even more from his husband. Sasuke huffed; he didn't expect his husband to have such an irrepressible temper. Itachi, too, huffed in frustration from Naruto's reaction. He only hoped the boy wouldn't go and commit something crazy. Itachi turned to return to his throne when he crossed with Sasuke's gaze.
"What a character." Sasuke commented.
"Yes, but I'm not the one who has to live with him." Itachi smiled, returning the weight on Sasuke.
"I know. It's me." He smiled.
"Watch over him and be careful. I don't know what that boy is capable of doing just to save his brother."
"Of anything." Sasuke whispered without having anyone hear him as he watched Naruto's back, the boy walking out the door and disappearing into the hallway.
Naruto walked into his room and locked himself in, throwing the door closed. It had been the first time in a while that he had lost control of himself. As a kid, he was very hyperactive. He let himself get carried away with his emotions but Kakashi had taught him how to keep calm, how to wait, to have patience, to not throw himself at things or let himself get carried away by his emotions. Now here he was acting like he would as a kid: frustrated, angry, and with the urge to go look for his brother, destroying everything that had hurt him, but he had to control himself.
"Naruto." He heard Kakashi's voice as the man entered his room and closed the door behind him. "Come on, calm down. I know it's a tough situation, it is for everybody. Nobody expected your brother to return. We thought him dead."
"He's alive, Kakashi. Do you know what this means? It means he's the firstborn. He has more right to the throne than I and all we're doing right now works for nothing. I don't care if he takes everything, but I don't want them to treat him like you saw; he's a damn servant! He saved my life and I owe him that!"
"Don't get carried away, Naruto. I know it's difficult to see this situation and just stand there, but... you have to trust in the people around you who support you. We'll find a solution. Itachi loved him, he won't let you lose him again. He doesn't want to lose him, either."
"I know. I know he loves him and that he's suffered the same as I or even more during all these years but that does not take away this anger I have over me! It hurts to see my brother like that!"
"Calm down, Naruto. I can't give you any more advice. You should think with your head, not with the heart. If you want your brother, approach him and try to find out what has happened and what's happening before acting out without sufficient information. Nobody here wants to lose Deidara."
"Aright." Naruto said. "I'll calm down."
Itachi walked out a few minutes later from the throne room, directing himself towards his bedroom. Even he couldn't believe what his eyes had seen. All these years of thinking that Deidara had passed away in that river. All these years of restless searching and never being able to find his body... today he understood everything. He couldn't find his body in the river because he wasn't there, he had been someplace else and he didn't even remember his brother. Something weird was going on here and he was going to find out no matter what it takes. Deidara was still his fiancé despite him not being able to remember and he owed it to his parents as much as he did to Deidara's. He was going to get to the bottom of this.
Itachi also had to relax for a few minutes in solitude within his room, expecting to calm down. He felt so much fury inside him, so much rage, just like Naruto, but he couldn't rush things, either. He had to calm down and think things calmly, lie if it was necessary, until he found a solution to all of this without putting Deidara in danger. Pein could do whatever thing possible if he knew they knew Deidara.
A bit later, Itachi walked out of his room in search for Pein. He should've made himself comfortable by now. To his luck, the first person he found was Naruto, whom despite being much calmer than before, still had a noticeable frustration.
"Come with me." He ordered, grabbing Naruto and distancing him towards an empty hallway. "I know what we can do for the moment."
"What do we do?" Naruto asked with his head lowered.
"We lie to Pein. We'll pretend that we don't know Deidara."
"I said his name out loud."
"Simple coincidence, a common name in the Kingdom of Wind. Pein has never been there, so we'll lie. We'll get close to Deidara and investigate what it is that he does know. Little by little, we'll try to give him information and take him from Pein without him realizing."
"What lie do I have to tell him?" Naruto asked.
Itachi smiled and explained his first plan. At least they would be able to make time until they knew something of what was occurring. Naruto left, confused with the plan but he trusted that whatever Itachi was doing was the right thing.
The King walked through the patio, set on telling the grand lie when he found himself with Pein, who was looking for him to discuss the incident. Itachi, with a grand fake smile, excused himself for the spectacle back at the throne room and explained how everybody had simply been confused at his servant's striking resemblance to the heir of the Namikaze. It was just another lie that Itachi had hoped would keep Deidara safe for a good time while he thought up a plan to get him out of the position he was in.
That night, everyone ate dinner in the grand dinning hall, although, Naruto could not keep his eyes away from the servant's table where Deidara was. His fists clenched tightly, moved by rage, and despite Sasuke trying to calm him down, Naruto could not stop feeling so impotent without being able to help him.
"Calm down." Sasuke commented.
"That's what I'm trying to do." Naruto replied, turning back to his food.
Sasuke grabbed Naruto's hand, trying to loosen the tight fist the blond maintained and he managed it. Naruto began calming down as he felt Sasuke's hand over his, trying to calm him. He turned to look at him, blushing, as it was the first time they had contact, although it was faint with the exception to the morning with the bow and arrow. He felt that soft and delicate skin over his; it was much different than Naruto's. Sasuke was the typical Prince with soft hands from not doing much work whereas Naruto had his rough due to the hard training he went through in the forests of his kingdom.
"I'm not okay." Naruto said, parting his hand immediately. "Excuse me, but I'll retire to my bedroom."
Nobody said anything and much less when Itachi gave him permission to leave. Nobody was foolish enough to intervene a word given by the King. He had his permission and everybody watched Naruto leave to his bedroom. Sasuke was beginning to understand his husband a little; it had been a strange day, after all. It had been full of emotions, lies, and betrayals.
Towards the end of dinner, Pein retired along with his entourage and Itachi fixed his eyes on his brother, who huffed as he tried not to look worried over his husband although it wasn't true: he was worried about him and the tough emotions from the day.
"I'll go see if he needs something." Sasuke then said, also leaving under the approval of his brother.
Sasuke walked towards Naruto's room when he heard the sob of a young man. He neared the hallway from where the cry was coming from, finding Pein having sexual relations with Deidara. He was going to walk away and tell his brother of what was happening when he saw Naruto, ready to unsheathe his sword. He had just enough time to block him and get him out of there before they saw him, covering his mouth to avoid him from shouting. He locked the boy in his room and took advantage of the solitude that reigned there to let go of him.
"Let go of me, idiot!" Naruto shouted, crying. "I'm going to kill him!"
"Stop at once!" Sasuke shouted. "You think is easy for us?! My brother has an alliance with them that'll be eliminated if you try anything against the King of Rain!"
"I don't care about the alliance! Look what he's doing to my brother!"
"If the alliance is off, Pein will leave this castle and he'll take Deidara. You want to loose him again?!" Sasuke asked angrily.
Naruto reacted immediately to that. Sasuke was right, he had gotten him with that. He couldn't let Pein disappear with his brother once again despite feeling useless without helping him. Naruto, with tears in his eyes, walked closer to Sasuke, throwing his sword to the floor and placing his forehead on his husband's shoulder, crying even more.
"Come, Naruto. We'll find a solution. It hurts us all as it does to you of what's going on, but we can't risk him taking him away again. It'll be for a short time, we're looking for a way to get him out of this without him suffering any damage."
"Sasuke..." Naruto whispered, nearing his lips and kissing him passionately.
Sasuke let himself go for the first few minutes; he had been holding himself back for a long time before the insistence of his husband and he could no longer watch him this way. He couldn't stand watching him cry, nor blush, nor seeing him so fallen. He would've liked to have been with him that other night, but he realized... that it couldn't be. He didn't want to have sex with Naruto that night, not with him being so depressed. He didn't want Naruto to regret this as well, to have been taken advantage of in his moment of weakness.
"Stop, Naruto. I can't."
"You reject me?" Naruto asked, confused.
"Yes." Sasuke told him. "You'll regret it tomorrow of having done something like this. You don't love me and you don't want to be with me. You're hurt from what's going on with your brother and you're only looking for a way to not think about all of this. I am not your solution tonight, I'm sorry."
"Imbecile!" Naruto shouted, pissed as he walked out of Sasuke's room to leave to his.
Sasuke smiled as he heard the door shut loudly. He preferred to be an imbecile that night than to be the guy who took advantage of his husband's worst moment. He only wanted Naruto to desire him for real, to want to be with him voluntarily and that won't happen, he knew it very well.
Chapter 12: Brothers
Naruto entered his room with the devil at his heels, damning Sasuke the entire way. He wasn't even good enough to help him forget about this. So hard was it to get that womanizer in his bed? He got in everybody's bed but his and he had had enough of having to go behind him, begging him for a measly touch! He had never begged for anything and now it seemed he would do it for his damned husband!
He let himself fall onto the soft, feather mattress and tried to calm down. One thing was true, though. It was very possible that laying with his husband in these conditions would surely bring consequences the following day. In all honesty, he really didn't feel nor want to lay with him; he didn't love him and he was scared of sex, or more concretely, of the pain that could come from it. A part of him understood Sasuke but at some moment, they would have to have relations; they were married!
Naruto remained on the bed for a few seconds more. The nights were beginning to become cold and despite the servants always fixing the bed perfectly, he was always cold when going to sleep and waking up. He cuddled to himself all he could on the bed, covering himself to the top; he didn't want to come out to the cold. Winter had already come and as he turned, he saw how snow fell outside the window.
Kakashi, seeing how Naruto wasn't waking up early like he normally would, decided to go to his bedroom as he was worried. Knocking on the door, he entered the bedroom, seeing a large bulge in the covers. He called one of the servants that was near and asked them if they could light the room's chimney. In a moment, the room began to heat up.
"Naruto... are you okay?" Kakashi asked as he approached the bed.
"Yes." The boy lied.
"Is it because of your brother?"
"I can't stop thinking about him. What am I doing, Kakashi? He's the heir, he's the one who should be King, not me. The deal with Sasuke no longer has any meaning to it."
"Your brother and the council will have to decide that. For the moment, let's worry about the imminent: getting your brother out of this. We'll worry about fulfilling our promise to the Uchiha later."
"I promised them my kingdom. I promised Sasuke that I'd give him my kingdom, that's why we were married. However, my brother is alive and I can no longer offer something that is not mine, it belongs to my brother. How do I tell Sasuke now that he's married me and won't have any benefit from it? I'm not capable of telling him that."
"He already knows it. Calm down, Naruto. From the moment in which Sasuke saw Deidara in front of him back there, he knew what was going on. You don't have to explain anything to him, just wait until we manage to understand what happened to your brother and then we can come to a new agreement that would benefit everyone. Have patience. Sasuke won't say anything if he hasn't already. It could be that Sasuke be a stubborn guy and perhaps a womanizer, but he's not dumb. He knows how to behave and knows to wait until things are fixed."
"At this moment... I feel as if I get out of bed, I'll directly head out to kill that guy." Naruto said angrily, grabbing the pillow with force. "I can't look the other way while having my brother that way. I... need to get my brother out of this."
"I understand, Naruto, but you need patience. Deidara worries me as much as you and I don't want you to suffer any risk by committing something foolish. You should control yourself."
"I'll try, but I won't promise anything."
"Come on, get up, Naruto. The day is just beginning."
"I'm not capable of getting anything done." Naruto whispered. "Not even Sasuke gets in my bed. Now I have nothing to negotiate with him for my kingdom and Deidara is locked up in a grand lie crafted by our enemies. I don't know how to solve all of this."
"Something will occur to us. For the moment, get up and don't let him see you defeated. We are not defeated, Naruto. We're going to confront them and we will defeat."
"At this moment I'm not very sure of that." Naruto glumly commented.
Kakashi was about to respond when they heard a few knocks at the door. As it opened, both were surprised to see Sasuke's face through the slit as he asked his husband for permission to enter. Kakashi excused himself and walked out rapidly, bowing faintly towards the Prince before marching off to the hallway and leaving them alone in the room. Sasuke closed the door behind him as soon as Kakashi was out.
He looked around Naruto's room, seeing it perfectly in order and with a bag in one of the corners that hadn't been unpacked. The chimney seemed to have been recently lit and the room was beginning to start getting heated. His eyes fixed themselves on Naruto, who took off his shirt as he looked for another one on the chair. Hurrying, Sasuke grabbed the dress shirt and passed it to him, obligating him to brush against his hand to be able to take it from him.
"Thanks." Naruto said with not much enthusiasm.
"You've been cold?" Sasuke asked, looking at the chimney.
"As if it matters to you. It's not like your bed is always empty." The blond replied with his back facing him.
"Sorry Naruto, but I don't want to have relations with you only because we're married. I want something more and last night—"
"You could've done it last night, but you pushed me away, you humiliated me."
"That's not true. I realized that you only wanted to do it because you were pissed off with the situation. You would've regretted it to have done it that way."
"Let me worry about what I'll feel."
"This is something between us, Naruto. You're my husband and I worry about you."
"Well it doesn't look like it." He spat as he walked towards the door.
"It's been a while since someone's been in my bed." Sasuke said without looking at him and Naruto stopped entirely. "You can believe me or not, I don't care, but you yourself know it. The servants talk to you and they tell you. Everyone in the court knows it. If you still think that I continue my life jumping from bed to bed and asking the servants to come visit me at night... then that's because you like lying to yourself."
"I know that you haven't been with anyone since a few days ago, but that changes nothing, Sasuke. You're still not where you belong."
"I've already told you, Naruto, I won't be with you until I see that you actually want me. Face it, you don't want to be with me and you know it. You regret marrying me."
"Yes." Naruto replied. "Marrying you was the worst thing I could've done. I feel humiliated at your side. I can't even be myself, I'm just a pale lie— a deception in the eyes of the others. You don't even know me, you know nothing about me. You treat me as if you have to constantly protect me, as if I were some kidnapped princess in a castle and you're the one saving me. I don't need to be saved, Sasuke, I can save myself and I'll save my brother! If you want to help me, fine, but don't treat me as if I were useless because that I am not."
"I don't do that." Sasuke said. "It's you who avoids the reality. You only want to lay with me by obligation. You only want me to help you with your kingdom without taking note in what I could feel. I'm right here, trying to understand you, trying to not make any mistakes and not rush anything with you. I want our first time to be something perfect and not a simple obligation but you can't understand that. You're just a brat."
Naruto realized that but it was already too late to tell him when he saw Sasuke walk away down the hallway after closing the bedroom door behind him. Naruto walked out a few minutes later for breakfast and although Sasuke was there at his side, he said nothing. For a moment, Naruto understood his husband. He knew he had been too engulfed in his problem with the kingdom to even look into what Sasuke thought or felt about the arranged marriage. He had only been focusing on himself and he had not realized.
At the end of breakfast, Sasuke had marched off notably upset. He hadn't even spoken to him. Naruto felt bad, very bad, but didn't know what to do or how to fix the situation with his husband. He walked through the hallway towards the garden and sat down on one of the benches in front of the fountain. The birds landed there to drink water. He watched them attentively, thinking in how it would feel to fly and be free when he felt someone sit at his side. He was surprised to see Deidara.
"It's a calm place." Deidara said, faking a smile.
"Yeah..." Naruto replied, surprised to see him there. "I... I'm sorry about what happened yesterday in the throne room. I confused you with someone very special and important to me." He lied.
"They've told me about your brother. They say he looked like me."
"Yes," Naruto said. "he was exactly like you."
"You miss him, it's understandable."
"I miss his advice. He was smart, always knowing what to do."
"Well, I don't know much, but I've read quite enough these years. If you want to talk about anything... I could listen. I'm a really good listener."
"My husband..." Naruto began, trusting in Deidara. "it's an arranged marriage. I'm only here so he could help me get my kingdom back. I've been trying to get him to sleep with me, always thinking about this one objective and now I'm only realizing that it's been difficult for him, too. I hadn't stopped to think about it. He's pissed at me and has reason to be. I crossed the line a bit yesterday; I was upset and I tried to force it. I need him to lay with me; my kingdom suffers and I need him to listen to me and fight with me to get it back. I don't know how to do it."
"He's falling in love with you." Deidara said, this time smiling. "He's a good guy, but he needs a little push for him to definitively approach you. Flirt a little with the guards just like he does with the servants."
"You want me to make him jealous?"
"Yeah. You don't have to sleep with anyone, only... throw little smiles at some guard. Demonstrate to your husband that you are attractive to many people and that you can be very suggestive, that you can get what you need from anybody, and that he's not important. He'll get in your bed. They say the Uchiha are very prideful; he won't let anyone touch you. It's his pride as an Uchiha, only he will want to have you."
"I hadn't thought about that. I didn't think he could fall in love with me."
"If he's been holding back his urge to get in bed with you after you've suggested it, then that boy must be staring to love you. He doesn't want to force you. You'll have to force the situation a little bit for him to come to his senses. He's worried about you. Your first time, right?"
"Then he's scared he'll hurt you, he doesn't want to hurt you. He's a good guy, but doesn't know when is the right time. It's been a long time since he's lost his virginity and he doesn't remember how it was. I know you're scared and he's scared for you. He doesn't know when is the appropriate time to take what's most precious from you. Demonstrate to him that you're ready and he'll fall for it."
"Thanks." Naruto smiled.
"You're welcome. Now I have to go back." Deidara commented, looking back where Konan came with the rest of the servants. "Work is calling me." He smiled at him.
"Deidara... how did you end up serving Pein?"
"I... don't know. I was only a peasant that the King of country of Wind rescued. Now, I am only this." He commented. "A simple gift to his nephew. I'll see you around... Naruto, no?"
"Yes, Naruto Namikaze." He said, trying to get the other to react to the last name but failing. Deidara only smiled and Naruto let him walk away.
Chapter 13: Lovers
It had helped Naruto a lot talking to Deidara. At least now he had some tactic to get Sasuke— that arrogant and prideful Uchiha— to approach him. The matrimony was a great farce. Naruto hadn't been able to go out but the guards rumored about what people were saying in the streets. Everyone thought that the matrimony was functioning very well now that they barely saw Sasuke at the city's strip joints. Everyone thought that Naruto must've been fierce in bed to have his husband so controlled. The rumors where far from reality, though. He hadn't even gotten him to get in bed with him.
Ever since Deidara left the garden, Naruto had not stopped thinking about those words. He only needed a good plan; it didn't even have to be good, he just had to get someone just as attractive to make his husband jealous.
Naruto got up from the stone bench where he had been sitting and walked through the hallways until Kakashi came out of nowhere, worried about having lost Naruto out of his sight for a few seconds. With Pein in the castle, Kakashi did not trust even his shadow because in the end, Pein was the nephew of the usurper of the Namikaze's throne and he had retained the heir to the throne. He didn't want to lose Naruto out of his sight as he didn't want any tragedy to occur.
"I'm fine." Naruto told him to take away the anxiety that followed him.
"Don't ever disappear that fast."
"Nothing's happened. What's more, Pein wouldn't be so unwise as to attack me being in the Uchiha's castle. That'd be like declaring war to the entire kingdom. He wouldn't face the supposed rage my husband would take out towards him. To my luck, Pein doesn't even know that there is nothing but hate and little affection between us. Sasuke wouldn't bother to start a war just for me."
"You can't know that, Naruto.
"But I do know. Sasuke doesn't worry about me."
"Perhaps he worries more than what he lets on. He's an Uchiha, they're always trying not to show emotions."
"You don't know him."
"It's you who doesn't know him, Naruto." Kakashi told him with a serious expression on his face, making Naruto think better in what he had to say about his husband. "Remember that I've lived longer than you. I've seen many things and I've raised you and your brother. I was Deidara's bodyguard way before becoming yours. I watched him grow, laugh, and cry. I spent my summers with him in that palace watching how your parents tried to get him to get along with Itachi ever since his infancy in hopes of marrying them in the future. They didn't get along well, they never did until that one last year."
"You were with my brother that year?"
"Yes. Every summer, the Uchiha and the Namikaze would meet in the palace in the outskirts of the city— a castle in the north— trying to live together and strengthen their alliance. I've watched Itachi grow up. He was arrogant, stubborn, and cold. He was just a stuck-up kid who thought he was the best warrior in the kingdom. Deidara always tried to play with him when he was young but to Itachi, he was only a bother. With the years passing by, Deidara stopped following Itachi to play. He locked himself in books and read in the library while Itachi practiced the art of swordsmanship. His father always taught him how to fight; he was insistent with that subject as well as with diplomacy. He was just a boring kid. That one last year, something changed in him."
"I don't remember anything." Naruto commented.
"You were very little. Not even Sasuke could remember something like that. You liked playing with him." Kakashi smiled. "You were a cheery little kid and Sasuke, a serious Uchiha. You loved bothering him, grabbing his cheeks and pinching them. That bothered him a lot but at the same time, I think he liked it. You were always together and when you weren't, you'd cry without stopping."
"I didn't know about any of that. I don't even remember ever meeting Sasuke."
"I know. You were very little, Naruto. The alliance was designed for your brother and Itachi."
"What happened that last year?"
"He fell in love." Kakashi said without wavering. "He was twelve years old but back then, that first day of summer in which they would find themselves once again in that palace, Itachi didn't look at him like he had all those other years. He looked smitten. Deidara had changed. That long, blond hair of his, those innocent eyes the color of the most crystalline water you could ever imagine, his sweetness and his rebel side that would avoid Itachi... something got his attention. That year was the first in which Itachi finally began to understand that he would love his husband."
"Did my brother fall in love?" Naruto asked.
"I believe so. It wasn't easy. They hadn't gotten along well when they were young but at the same time, they knew each other well. They respected each other, they made each other mad but they felt an attraction to one another. Towards the end of the summer, I saw a special glow in Deidara's eyes that I had never seen before. He fell in love with that boy and both of them promised to see each other the next year as with every other year. It never came. Deidara disappeared that same fall. You know the details of that night."
Naruto recalled that night and his body faintly shook. He could still see that darkness illuminated by torches in the bloodied streets. He remembered the screams of his people, the intensity of the lights in the main streets when the usurper's soldiers lit houses on fire. He felt the cold on his skin despite the cloak his brother had thrown upon him. Only as they passed near the flames did the coldness disappear for a few moments.
"I remember." Naruto said. "My brother didn't return that night. I remember his body floating in that river, being dragged along with the current. I remember the torched houses, the screams of agony of the people that stood out over the guards' who were instructing us to meet."
"I hadn't seen Itachi since that summer although they did tell me he helped in search of your brother's body. I supposed he had become a great King. What I'm trying to say, Naruto, is that the Uchiha are not always what they seem. Itachi was just like Sasuke at first, but it's just a front that they want you to see when on the inside, he's in love with you and not even he has stopped to think about it or even realize what he's feeling. Perhaps it's the same with you."
"Thanks for the advice, Kakashi. It makes me happy knowing all of this although I've been talking to Deidara. He think's he just another peasant."
"They have him deceived in some way. We'll discover what's going on."
"He gave me some piece of advice. I think I'll follow it. I'll be careful, he's told me the Uchiha are prideful, so even if Sasuke gets upset, at least I'll know if I really matter to him or if it's true that he hates the day he was married to me."
Naruto marched off down the hallway, asking Kakashi to be alone for a while. He promised to not get in any problems and that he would avoid Pein while he was alone, but that he needed privacy to carry out his plan. Kakashi understood and walked away in direction towards armory.
Once Naruto came to a stop in front of one of the guards, he decided to try his luck a bit. Sasuke wouldn't take long in passing by there since it was nearing time for him to go out towards the garden to show his friends just how good of a warrior he was. Sasuke always strictly stuck to his schedule. He approached that guard of long, dark-brown hair and almost white eyes that stood guard in the hallway's entrance. He stood by his side, talking to him and flirting, subtly caressing his arm and making the colors of the guard he managed to know as Neji, stand out.
Neji didn't know how to react at first. The Prince was insinuating him, practically insisting in meeting somewhere private later on. He wasn't comfortable in that situation. Sasuke didn't take long in appearing, surrounded by his friends and Naruto stopped immediately, feigning that nothing was going on as he immediately marched away down the hall. Sasuke, seeing Neji's blush, knew that something had been going on, making him prefer to leave his demonstration of talent in arms for some other time as he walked out behind Naruto.
Neji tried to maintain himself on edge as he watched Sasuke pass by, biting his lip with frustration. He was more than upset and that was not something missed by those who knew the Uchiha. Neji knew by then that Naruto had gotten himself in trouble although that... the blond had already known once he had stubbornly insisted with his adventure and his insinuations.
In the penultimate hallway towards his bedroom, Naruto found himself with Pein dragging his brother by force behind him. That scene made him open his eyes wide, seeing how the man dragged him by force towards his bedroom despite Deidara not wanting to go. It's not like he had much option, either. He could talk and try to convince him, but he continued walking behind Pein, trying to hold back the moment. Naruto, filled with rage, ran behind them, willing to stop Pein, willing to confront him for his brother but Sasuke was much faster, grabbing him by the wrist and dragging him towards his room.
He threw him with force towards the ground, placing himself over him to kiss him passionately. He had never seen Sasuke as aggressive as in that moment. His hands ripped and tore Naruto's clothes, leaving him practically naked before him. Naruto tried to speak, to explain to him, to tell him what had happened and what he was looking for but Sasuke trapped his lips over and over, avoiding him from speaking. Naruto understood one thing: he had tried to get in his pants and he had managed to do so although not in the way he had hoped for. He kept quiet, at least he knew it would finally end, that he would become his husband's. He had finally gotten what he was looking for but even so, a tear rolled down from his cheek, making Sasuke stop.
Chapter 14: Plans and Mixups
Seeing Naruto flirt with the guard like some vulgar woman was something Sasuke didn't like. Never did he expect his husband to do something like this. Ever since the first time he saw him the castle, he had thought the boy to be educated, refined, independent for having been raised amongst soldiers but at the same time, sweet and friendly— a gentle boy who wouldn't succumb to his lower instincts. Now, he saw that he had been wrong about him. He was just like any other— an adolescent only looking for pleasure and succumbing to his carnal instincts.
He dragged him towards his bedroom and pushed him inside with certain force that threw him to the floor. He was tired of the situation. He had tried to make his husband fall for him. He had tried to have patience with him, knowing that he was a virgin. He had given him space to get used to his new life, and he had even stopped fucking the first thing he saw, dreaming of one day being with his husband— of the day he would decide to give this arranged marriage an opportunity. Now Sasuke's patience had come to it's limit. He couldn't stand it that his husband went along and behaved like a whore, insinuating with the first person he saw.
He got on top of Naruto's body and didn't permit him to speak. He didn't want to hear his excuses as to why he had done it. He was tired of his husband only feeling like he had an obligation on his shoulders and how he couldn't comprehend that he didn't want to force him. If that's what the blond really wanted, then he would get it.
At first, Sasuke felt how Naruto tried to get away from his hold, how he fought against him but finally, the boy ended up giving up. He knew what awaited him and it was exactly what he had been looking for and trying to force. Sasuke smiled triumphantly for a second until he opened his eyes seeing how the boy cried in front of him. He wasn't expecting this. For a moment, he knew that despite him looking for it, this boy was still scared; it was his first time. At that precise moment where everything clicked in his mind, Sasuke stopped, parting himself and off of Naruto to go towards one of the mirrors in the room. He couldn't even recognize himself in the mirror; he wasn't like this. He didn't like forcing anybody and much less the one he was supposed to love.
"I'm sorry." Naruto was surprised to hear. "I shouldn't have let my rage take over me."
"But..." Naruto started. "I want you to do it once and for all!" He shouted.
"I don't want to force you!" Sasuke shouted back. "Is it that you don't understand me?!"
Naruto was surprised to hear that, opening his eyes a few seconds before lowering his gaze to the floor. His clothes were still somewhat torn and despite that, he didn't care, he sat there on the floor without lifting his gaze towards Sasuke.
"Why do you not touch me?" Naruto asked in whisper.
"You hate Pein?" Sasuke asked, lowering his tone of voice as he still looked at himself in the mirror.
"Of course I do." Naruto replied hatefully.
"Why?" Sasuke asked.
"Because he hurts my brother! He humiliates him. He does whatever he wants to him, whenever!" He responded with rage.
"If I took you now by force... how would I be any different from him? Would you hate me?"
Naruto's eyes widened upon understanding. At that moment, he understood his husband and regretted what he had tried to do.
"I don't want you to hate me. I want you to love me. You understand?"
"I'm sorry, Sasuke." Naruto pronounced.
"I understand what you're going through with your brother. I can understand that you have so much rage inside that you just want to forget everything and try to get in my bed but that's not the solution. You'll feel worse tomorrow. The rage will still be there and overall... you wouldn't have enjoyed our moment. Is that really what you want?"
"No." Naruto whispered a bit blushed.
"I'm not going to touch you until you ask me for real. I'm not an object you can just fuck when you're depressed. Tell me when you're ready to be with me."
Sasuke exited the room a bit frustrated, upset, and agitated. He was too tired for this and despite wishing to have that boy in his pants, he didn't want it that way. He only hoped Naruto would finally understand.
Naruto stayed there for a few long seconds and later on, eternal minutes as he sat on the floor completely alone. His body shook faintly. He knew that provoking Sasuke was not one of the best ways to get him but he had been so desperate. He hadn't even felt prepared for the marriage, much less to have sexual relations. But there was no other way. This damned matrimony obligated him to accomplish his objectives. He cried in silence for a few seconds but in part, despite the fear he had felt, he had also understood something. Sasuke wasn't as bad as they had made him out to be. He had feelings and he didn't want to do it by force.
Once he managed to compose himself, he went through his husband's closet trying to find something to cover the disaster of clothing he had been left with. He found a large, dark cape and he put it over himself, covering his entire body except his head. He exited the room and walked towards his room so he could change clothes before anybody could see him in such state. He was about to reach his door when a sob made him stop.
He looked at his surroundings but could find no one. Finally, after trying to open his door and once again hearing the sob, Naruto let go of the door knob and roamed the hallways of the floor until he found a figure sitting on the floor, covered with a green coloured cape. He immediately recognized his brother despite him being covered with the cape.
Naruto approached him and sat at his side, feeling how his brother's body shook as he had felt someone near, but did not move. For the first time, he began to understand what Sasuke had tried to make him comprehend. Seeing his brother in such state, he had appreciated almost a thousand times that Sasuke had not been like Pein. He hesitated in whether or not he should touch his brother's shoulder and when he was about to touch it, he thought it over and retired his hand. He didn't want to see him shake from someone's contact ever again.
"Are you okay?" Naruto asked despite already knowing the answer. Deidara did not reply, he only dedicated himself to crying in silence, trying to avoid letting Naruto know he had been crying. "I... in the end, I got nothing from Sasuke." Naruto said, trying to make conversation. "Your advice worked, at least I know now that I do matter to him even if it isn't apparent, but... I've realized that perhaps it's not that important to have him in bed. It's possible that it's only a matter of time that we get closer."
Deidara smiled a bit as he listened to Naruto.
"I advised you that it was a dangerous game, especially with the Uchiha. Even so, I'm happy that you've noticed. You have the luck of having him at your side. It could be that you can't see it now, but... he will always be on your side."
"If only he would listen to me for once and help me with my kingdom's problem."
"He's already doing it, Naruto." Deidara commented. "The other day, in one of the eastern wing hallways, I heard Sasuke speak with one of the council. They're planning to help you. The army isn't mobilized from one day to the other and with us here, I supposed he'd want to keep it a secret until he can carry it out."
"But you... then, you know the plan." Naruto worried.
"And who would I tell it to? Pein?" Deidara asked with a faint smirk. "As if my plans consist of helping him. If Pein wins, I'll only be his prisoner like I am now. But if he loses... perhaps I'll have an opportunity to escape from him."
"Where would you go if you escape?" Naruto asked.
"I don't know. I don't have a family, nor money, or much knowledge of the world, so I suppose that my plan only consists of staying away from the Kingdom of Rain as much as I could."
"Come here with us." Naruto told him. "We can help you."
"I'm only a peasant, Naruto." Deidara smiled.
Naruto tensed to hear that. He was dying to tell him it was not true, that he was the heir to one of the most prosperous kingdoms, or at least... had been in the past. As pissed as Naruto was, he kneeled in front of Deidara, grabbing his cape and making the hood fall over his brother's shoulders.
"That's..." Naruto was going to say 'a lie' but stopped upon seeing his brother's face.
The rage drowned him even more as he saw a busted lip, as he saw bruises. Not even the eyes that he had loved so much were the same; they had no shine to them whatsoever. They didn't have that innocence that he knew of him; he only saw pain, sadness, and desperation in his look. His hands let go of Deidara's cape although his eyes could not look away from the emaciated face. Deidara simply grabbed the hood once again and pulled it up to cover himself. Naruto was going to speak when they heard the food bell and Deidara got up, tumbling as he left down the hallway.
He had no other option than to head towards the grand dining room to attend lunch, but he could not stop thinking about his brother. He could not let the rage inside him just flow. He had a very clear decision and that was that that man was not going to touch his brother once more. He would find a way or he would kill him. He didn't care about the diplomacy, he didn't care about the justice. He himself was going to put an end to all of this.
Naruto entered the hall, bowing towards Itachi as he was already sitting. After greeting him formally, he took a seat at his husband's side and said no other word during the rest of the time. Sasuke, trying to avoid that tense silence, proposed to go hunting later on, something Pein immediately agreed to. Naruto saw a perfect opportunity in that proposal. There were many accidents during hunts and nobody would suspect anything if a rogue arrow shot and killed the man that was converting his brother's life into hell.
"Could I go as well?" Naruto asked to everyone else's surprise. "It's been a while since I've gone out to hunt. I'd like to accompany you." Sasuke sighed, but having what had happened this morning in mind, it seemed like a good moment to soften things with his husband.
"Alright, I don't we why not."
"Thank you, Sasuke." Naruto smiled, making Sasuke's cheeks faintly blush.
Chapter 15: Hunting
Sasuke walked out of the dinning hall after his brother, who walked at a fast pace. Only his personal guard followed after Sasuke, making his steps thunder through the closed, stone hallway. Sasuke caught up to his brother, grabbing him by the wrist and obligating him to come to a stop.
"Hey, wait a second." Sasuke said, seeing how his brother stopped but kept his back to him.
"What do you want, Sasuke?" His brother asked, voice serious and hoarse.
Sasuke let go of his brother's hand and lowered his head upon realizing this was not a good moment. He knew Itachi was not alright: this situation was getting him out of control and he no longer knew what to do to get Deidara out of the mess he was in.
"Did you speak with him?" Sasuke asked.
"I haven't been able to yet." Itachi commented. "Every time I try getting close, Pein appears to take him away. I don't know what else to do to separate him from Pein."
"I'll distract him. This afternoon, when we leave for the hunt, you can stay with the excuse that you have some urgent meeting. One of your advisors could come to get you when you're about ready to get on the horse and he could ask for your urgent presence. Pein won't suspect a thing; he'll think you'll want to go with us but this unexpected meeting impedes you from doing so. While I take Pein far away from here, you can take advantage to go to Deidara. You know Pein won't take him along to the hunt. He won't risk letting anything happen to him."
"Are you sure you want to do it?" Itachi asked, staring fixedly at his brother.
"Yes. Look, I know that we haven't understood each other in many years; we're like cat and mouse, were always against each other but... I think that perhaps I finally understand a bit of what you have so guarded inside you that you don't want to bring up. I know you have something intense with that guy and you may not recognize it but... I want to help you, so let me help you. I can distract Pein long enough for you to get to Deidara. Trust me."
"Alright." Itachi said. "I'll pretend to be excited for our hunt this afternoon."
"I'll speak with your right hand in the council and tell them to go look for you before you leave. He'll provide the excuse of the meeting. That way even if Pein doesn't let you out of his sight, he won't suspect anything. He's not keeping eyes on me and he still thinks you and I don't get along all too well so he won't even imagine that I'd be helping you."
Sasuke left soon after smiling towards his brother. For the first time in a long time, they were beginning to understand each other. Itachi continued with his daily routine and of course, he had to deal with Pein in the different meetings to maintain the alliance that Itachi only thought how to break by placing exaggerated conditions. He didn't want to come to an agreement. He didn't want Pein to not have anything else to do in his kingdom, otherwise he'd march off to his kingdom, taking Deidara with him once again. He could not permit that, so the meetings became long and heavy as Itachi tried to not come to an agreement, thus holding Pein from leaving to his domain.
In the afternoon, after the intense meeting in the morning where both kings could not come into agreement, they decided to close all negotiations at the moment and instead enjoy the splendid day to go out to hunt. Itachi, just like he promised his brother, changed his clothes for the event and accompanied Pein towards the horse stalls, ordering for their horses to be prepared for the outing. Sasuke was around there, waiting for his saddle and Naruto had decided to saddle his own horse under Sasuke's attentive gaze.
"You know, I don't know why you're so fixed on coming to the hunt if you don't even know how to shoot an arrow." Sasuke commented as he didn't believe all that about Naruto being so useless.
"I wanted to go out for a while and you've only given me the perfect option to do so." Naruto replied in all seriousness.
Something didn't sit right with Sasuke. He knew Naruto didn't decide on anything simply because he felt like it. Sasuke knew Naruto was up to something but he didn't dare say it to Naruto. He preferred not letting him out of sight and try to discover what he was planning instead. Sasuke kept in silence, observing his husband get on the horse until a squire brought him his saddle. He got on the horse and went after Naruto towards the castle's main patio.
Itachi too, got on his horse once ready and went out along with Pein. Of course, upon arriving at the patio, one of Itachi's advisors ran out in a hurry, demanding the presence of the King for a matter of great importance. Itachi told him to postpone the matter, feigning wanting to assist the hunt, but the advisor, just like Sasuke had ordered him this morning, insisted.
"You'll have to excuse me, then." Itachi excused himself, getting off the horse. "My duty obligates me to postpone our hunt."
"Then we can go tomorrow." Pein stated, making the gesture of getting off the horse.
"It'll rain tomorrow." Sasuke spoke up, looking at the clouds that approached. "Please, your Majesty, don't let this matter impede us from enjoying a good hunt. I can show you our domains while my brother assists his boring meeting." Sasuke suggested while smiling.
"I believe you're right. Surely we'll arrive before your brother finishes." Pein commented towards Sasuke.
"Before then. Those matters tend to take hours in resolving. Come, I'll show you our best places for hunting."
Itachi stood from the gates of his castle, watching how his brother took Naruto, Pein, and some of the guards behind them for the hunt. At least his plan had worked.
He waited until he lost sight of the horses and entered the castle in search of Deidara. He roamed the caste hallways, asking Pein's servants and finally, Konan, seeing Itachi worried, told him that he would find Deidara in the laundry room; that Pein had sent him there.
Itachi entered the laundry room, finally finding Deidara there kneeled down with his hands inside the cold water, rubbing and washing one of Pein's clothes. He couldn't even see his face; nor his blond hair but he knew that it was him from the way in which he cleaned, from the way his hands moved and because there was no one else in the area.
He took advantage of the moment in which Deidara took his hands out of the water to leave the wet piece of cloth in one of the buckets to approach him and grab his hands. They were red from the cold and freezing. He couldn't help but try to warm them between his hands.
"Dei." Itachi whispered, placing his hand under Deidara's hood to gently graze his cheek when he felt Deidara's trembling. Even so, he did not stop. "Hey, look at me."
"Your Majesty,"— he heard before seeing how Deidara loosened himself and bowed before him —"you shouldn't be here."
"Loose the formalities with me, Deidara,"— Itachi ordered. —"please... I only want to talk with you for a bit."
"With me? What exactly could a simple peasant like me offer someone of your position?" He asked.
"A simple peasant." Itachi repeated while smiling.
"What is so funny?"
"That you don't even remember who you are. Any simple peasant would want to be like you. Have you not realized it yet? Your odd blond hair, your blue eyes, that I know your name... you're not a simple peasant. I know you're smart and that you know there's something in what they've told you that doesn't fit."
"Your voice... it's familiar to me. I know you, but I don't know from where. The first day when I came here and heard you say my name... I knew we had seen each other but I am not able to remember." Deidara cried.
Itachi got closer to him, hugging him and letting him bury his face in his chest. Both stayed there for a few seconds; Deidara trying to remember what his mind denied returning to him, and Itachi trying to make him remember. They had passed eight years together, they had seen each other each and every one of those eight summers, he had to remember!
"I'm going to get you out of all of this, Dei." Itachi told him, moving the hood from his face only to be horrified by the damaged face of his former fiancé. "I promise you. Deal with it for just a bit longer." He whispered, almost about to cry. "You and I will be together again, just as it should've been."
That was the first afternoon in which both could finally be together alone for a while. Deidara could not remember Itachi, but Itachi didn't care so long as he could have him once again at his side. He was more decided than anything now to avoid Pein from getting away with his plans.
Meanwhile, at the hunt, Naruto tried to get away without much success from his husband. Sasuke did not give up and it was obvious he was not thinking of letting him out of his sight for even a second. When the hunt began, it was Pein who distanced himself with his guards and Naruto clicked his tongue in sign of disgust. If Sasuke continued being over him, he wouldn't be able to carry out his plan. Finally, he decided to announce that he wanted to urinate. Sasuke tried following him but Naruto, annoyed by the absence of intimacy, ended up winning the argument.
He urinated in front of a tree as the urge to go was true. Upon finishing and pulling up his pants, he realized something: luck was on his side because at a certain distance from him, Pein was crouched down staring at a deer like an all sneaky hunter. Naruto smiled and walked over to his horse without making a sound and grabbed his bow along with an arrow from his quiver. He aimed directly at Pein's head. Breathing deeply, he relaxed and still having his brother's wounds in mind, he aimed and launched the arrow.
He smiled knowing that it would hit its target but his smile froze on his lips when another arrow crossed the air and hit his; making it land against one of the nearby trees. Pein, seeing both arrows on the tree next to him, turned around in alarm, expecting to see the one at fault. But of course, Sasuke had thrown himself over Naruto, bringing him down to the floor and hiding themselves amongst the vegetation.
"What the hell are you doing?!" Naruto asked in annoyance.
"You're an idiot! Did you think they wouldn't suspect you? You're the first they'll come to suspect, fool! It's your brother that's imprisoned. Is it that you do not think of things before acting?"
"How did you know I was going to shoot?"
"Did you really think I bought the 'I don't know how to shoot' trick? You were raised amongst soldiers, I imagined you were only pretending, they taught you how to defend yourself. What's more, when you said you wanted to come along, I knew then that I was right and that you knew how to shoot. Good job, Naruto... now he knows that someone is after him and you'll be the first on his list of suspects."
"You should've let me kill him!" The other replied, crying.
"And have you beheaded? Never. I wouldn't be able to deal with them killing you over someone like him."
That surprised Naruto a bit. He didn't know that Sasuke was that worried about him. He was willing to assume his death if that meant he'd bring Pein down with him, but he had never expected Sasuke to become his guardian angel to avoid them from killing him from his madness.
Chapter 16: Suspects
Pein turned around quickly, trying to discover from where those arrows could've appeared from. Obviously, they had to come from behind his back. He stood up and looked around observantly throughout the vegetation but saw no one. Perhaps it could've been a stray arrow, however, there were two... that told him this was no simple accident. Someone had stopped the first arrow and he began suspecting of one person in particular. Only the Namikaze could be so desperate and full of hate from his brother to have done such thing.
He couldn't see him and he could not confirm it but he took out both arrows from the tree bark and smiled. He was convinced that the Namikaze had something to do in everything that had happened. Surely the second arrow must've been from one of his own bodyguards but he immediately discarded the idea. If it had been his bodyguards that had intercepted, they would've brought that brat to him already. Perhaps his husband was the one who what stopped that attempt. It couldn't have been anyone else but Sasuke.
"Damn brat." He whispered as he looked at the arrows on his hands. "Your husband may have saved you this time, but we'll see if he'll be able to do the same the next time we meet, Naruto."
Pein looked at Sasuke's arrow in his hand once again and gripped his fingers tightly around it until they broke the stick.
"Well played, Sasuke. Sneaky kid; I can't be sure that it was your husband although my instinct says it was him."
"Your Majesty, are you alright?"
"Yes, it was only a lost arrow." Pein commented, taking away the importance of it.
"The important thing now is that there is no damage. Although, I would love to go back to the palace and rest."
"Of course, Your Majesty." His guards agreed.
Pein and his guards began picking up their things and looked for their horses. The guards shot towards the sky a few times in a way of signaling to regroup and return to the castle. Everyone waited patiently until the first guards began to show up, but Pein only wanted to see two people, look at their faces, and assure himself it had not been them although he was convinced that he would see otherwise: the guilt, the failure to have missed on the blond boy's face. He only waited to see them.
Sasuke was still on top of Naruto. Upon looking into his eyes, he immediately knew that Naruto had heard him and had understood him. So, he let go of his wrists, leaving him free at once. Naruto stayed in place for a few moments in surprise, faintly lowering his face until his fringe covered those blue eyes that began breaking tears.
That had surprised Sasuke, whom stayed over him observing how the other cried in silence, how he brought a hand over to one of his eyes in attempt to hide it and sneakily dry the tears that poured from them.
"Hey, Naruto... please, let us take care of this. I know it's hard and difficult but... I'd like you to trust in me."
"I know, and we'll free him but I need you to stop acting like an actual lunatic. Think of things before acting or you'll get us all in a much bigger problem. We want to get your brother out of this as much as you do."
"That's not true, you don't want to help me. You haven't even bothered to hear what I need."
"You want to regain your kingdom." Sasuke said, surprising Naruto. "The army is not convened from night to day and much less having Pein hanging around the castle observing everything we do. I have to tread lightly and try to pass on information without having Pein suspect that I'm gathering an army to attack his Uncle."
"I didn't know you were gathering them."
"I'm doing everything as quickly as I can, Naruto. It's not easy with Pein here, I can't give direct orders. Come on, get up and fix yourself up immediately. Don't let Pein see you distressed. If he asks, we've been out hunting towards the north."
"He won't believe it."
"Of course he will." Sasuke said, smiling as he sat up and aimed his bow towards one of the birds that was feeding nearby.
When Sasuke shot his arrow, Naruto sat up all he could, ending up even more closer to Sasuke's body who had not yet gotten up completely from his husband. Naruto looked back, seeing how the arrow had hit the bird directly and was surprised that Sasuke was very good. Perhaps he had expected him to be more modest; more of a mom and daddy's boy, more spoiled and pampered. He did not expect for him to be able to know how to do things on his own without the help of his servants.
Sasuke got up, finally letting Naruto's legs free and hung the bow behind his back as he walked towards the prey he had hunted. He picked it up, taking the arrow out of it's neck and began walking in search of his horse.
Naruto got up as well, following Sasuke and both walked towards Sasuke's horse. There, the raven placed the arrow on the horse's quiver and got on, helping Naruto get on behind him to look for his horse. With the uproar they had brought on with the arrows, the animal had decided to march away from the site. They didn't take long to find it grazing in a small clearing within the forest.
Upon finding his horse, Naruto let go of his husband's waist to get off when he saw how Sasuke offered his hand to help. Naruto grabbed it and saw how Sasuke even took his foot off the stirrup so he could support himself on it. After doing it, he moved the other leg over the animal and got down on his feet, still holding onto Sasuke's hand until he was completely on the ground. Naruto didn't event want to look at Sasuke, he didn't want him to see that creeping blush but Naruto was starting to fall in love with that boy who appeared so serious and in reality, was always attentive to him, worrying about him.
Naruto grabbed his horse's reins and got on, directing it towards his husband. Both arrived at the gathering. And when they arrived, Pein and a few of his men immediately turned towards them. Pein didn't loose time in asking where they had been; but of course, Naruto only smiled as if he knew nothing of what had happened and said that he had been hunting in the northern zone of the forest. Sasuke held up the bird with a smile.
"There are some good birds in the northern zone; it's much easier to hunt there." Sasuke began with a smile. "Have you grown tired of hunting?"
"Something like that." Pain said. "A rogue arrow has given me a deathly scare."
"Oh, my. I didn't know anything about that. Are you alright?"
"Yes, it was only a scare." Pein commented, ceasing the importance of the matter although he was still suspecting of them.
"Let us return, then. It'd be best to. We'll all be able to rest and while we're at it, I'll ask the cooks to prepare us this delicious duck." Sasuke offered.
"Seems like a good idea."
They waited a few more minutes until the last guards arrived at the zone. Once the entire group was reunited, they parted towards the castle once again. Not even for a second did Sasuke stray from Naruto's side; maintaining a flowing conversation and pretending to not know anything about the events prior. Pein smiled; it's just that those two knew how to hide it well. However, he still kept thinking that both of them had something to do with the whole arrow matter.
He would prove Naruto's guiltiness or innocence. If it had been him, then he had to have been carried away by his rage and desesperation. Pein knew how to get the rage out of that blond very well; he had his brother, after all. He would manage to demonstrate how Naruto was guilty no matter the way.
Upon arriving at the castle, the first to come out to receive them was Itachi followed by his bodyguards. Iruka never left his side. Kakashi didn't take long to come out upon seeing Naruto return. This had been the first time he had let the boy under his constant protection to go out on his own with only his husband as his personal guard. At some point he had to demonstrate to the Uchiha that he trusted them and their decisions. He saw no better moment than this one to leave his position clear.
"How did everything go?" Itachi smiled as he asked.
"It went well." Pein hurried to respond. "Now if you'll excuse me, I'll leave to my room to rest a while before dinner."
Itachi said nothing although he did look at his brother out of the corner of his eye. Sasuke, upon seeing his brother's doubts, gestured his head over towards the stables where he was going to go leave his horse. Itachi followed in silence. Once verifying that they were alone, Sasuke had told him about everything that had happened during the hunt.
"He'll suspect Naruto." Itachi immediately commented.
"Surely he would. I aimed an arrow to intercept Naruto's. I don't think he mised the two arrows; so he knows we were together and we returned together to the gathering point. I can't prove it but, I'm convinced he suspects us."
"He'll want to corroborate that it's true."
"That's why I think you shoud go in as soon as you can and not let him out of your sight." Sasuke said. "It's possible he may want to make Naruto's rage come out by getting him back with Deidara."
"I'll head towards there immediately. Thanks for informing me, Sasuke."
"Be careful. I don't think Pein is being comprehensive at this moment, not after they tried to assassinate him."
"Keep pretending you know nothing about this. I'll try resolving this."
Itachi entered the castle pissed off and despite Iruka quickly following behind him trying to figure out what was going on, he didn't manage to get a single word out of Itachi. He had never seen Itachi in such a state— obsessively searching in all the corners of the castle. He never thought to see Itachi enter the laundry room the way he did and much less finding Pein there trying to force himself upon a very scared Deidara. Itachi grabbed Pein's arm forcefully, pushing him away from Deidara before Iruka's surprise.
"Iruka, take Deidara to the kitchen and let them take a look at his wounds." Itachi ordered, notably angered. "Then accompany him to the room next to mine and prepare it for him. From this moment on, he will stay in that room while his Majesty of the Rain stays in my castle."
Pein said nothing until Iruka walked away from there with Deidara. Iruka could see his lip bleed, he saw his tears but said nothing, only pulling up his hood to once again hide him from the other guard's sight and then accompanied him towards the kitchen just like they had ordered him to.
"What do you think you're doing?" Pein then asked with annoyance.
"No, what are you doing? I do not consent this type of behaviour in my castle and if I see such thing once again, believe me that you yourself will sign a war with me."
"A war over a simple peasant?"
"We know very well that he is no simple peasant."
"But he doesn't know that." Pain smiled.
"But I do and I will not endure for a second more that someone of his title is subjected to something like that. If you are not in accordance to my rules, then you can go back to your kingdom. But while you're here, you will obey my orders."
Pein reprimanded but still, he did not dare to refute those rules. He knew perfectly well that Itachi and his kingdom had more power than his. The important thing right now was the alliance. Frustrated, Pein jerked his arm free from Itachi's grip to leave to his room.
Chapter 17: Lost
Pein entered his room very pissed off, slamming the door behind him. He knew perfectly well that he could not go against Itachi and despite the fact that Deidara had been momentarily withdrawn from his side due to the events, he also had in mind that that boy would always be his. Itachi could not deny him the right to see his servant and they both knew it. The only thing Itachi may had impeded him from doing was touching him in public, something that ruined Pein's plans to bother Naruto, but it didn't impede him from enjoying every night with Deidara until he got pregnant.
If his Uncle was right, Pein would obtain results soon. He barely had a few weeks of sleeping with him, perhaps in two or three more weeks, he would have his results. In a month, after much wait, he would see if that boy really was as fertile as the rumors said. He smiled at the thought. He would finally get the heir he so much sought for his throne in the Kingdom of Rain, and what's more, he would have a legitimate heir to the throne for the Kingdom of Wind. He would not simply just settle for his own territory; he would end up snatching his Uncle's territory as well. He only had to find a way to get rid of Konan and get get people to recognize Deidara as King and as a son of the Namikaze. It wouldn't be too difficult to get people to realize he was a Namikaze, the problem would come to when Deidara found out and wanted to oppose the forced marriage with him. Pein still didn't know how he would control the boy when he found out, but he needed to know how if he wanted to rule his kingdom. At some point he would have to tell him the truth and that was a great risk.
Someone knocked on his bedroom door and upon letting them enter, he saw Hidan, his most trusted advisor.
"You've called for me, Your Majesty?" He asked.
"Yes, enter. I have something important to consult. How do you think Deidara would react if he knew the truth?"
"I do not advise that." Hidan replied. "That boy hates you. Unless you have something to keep him under control with, he would prefer committing suicide before giving you his kingdom. Right now he doesn't know what he has to lose if he ends up getting pregnant but... if he knew that his son could rule, he would immediately refuse to marry you as to not give you domain to his kingdom. It's a very bad idea."
"Do you think Itachi can take him from me?"
"At the moment he has no option. If he had one, he would've done it by now. That boy doesn't remember a thing and as long as he remains that way, he won't be able to choose. He thinks he's a peasant and peasants don't make decisions; they only obey and what Deidara knows is that you're his master. Unless he remembers that he is King and then decides to stay here, Itachi can't do anything. Perhaps Itachi's better option is to try and make him remember so the boy could decide for himself."
"The greatest obstacle is Naruto. He is the heir and by recognizing his brother, it's possible he could take him away from me."
"He's a kid; he knows nothing about diplomacy between nations. There's much for him to learn still. He can't prove he's his brother, either. It's clear that we all know Deidara is a Namikaze, but as long as there is someone to disprove that, it can't be proved. There would always be doubt in the village and Naruto cant risk saying he's his brother without putting various nations against him. What's more, if they take Deidara from you, it would be like declaring war against you and your Uncle. It'd be two kingdoms against one and that wouldn't be convenient at all."
"They'll try to make him remember by himself to discredit me."
"It's most logical. Itachi is a tough opponent, he doesn't like war and tries to fix everything with his ingenuity. He wouldn't risk his entire kingdom without motive, he would think about it every possible morning before arriving at an armed conflict."
"Thanks for your advice, you may go now."
Hidan bowed before walking out and marched off, closing the door behind him. He was about to leave down the hallway when a click of the tongue got his attention and made him turn to see who called him. In the end, hidden behind one of the corners, was Konan and after looking both ways to see if anyone saw him, Hidan walked over towards her, entering her room and closing the door behind them before rushing to kiss her.
"Are you alright?" Hidan worried and asked.
"Yes. Ever since Deidara is around, I haven't seen Pein much. How's it going?"
"He's worried about the situation. He doesn't like it one bit that Itachi gets his attention despite him not being able to do anything yet to take Deidara from him."
"Yes, that's what I thought. What did he want to know?"
"He asked me if it would be a good idea for Deidara to remember everything. I've told him no. If he remembered everything, Deidara would surely want to stay and Pein isn't willing to permit something like that. He would kill him before letting him stay with Itachi."
"It's very possible. What will we do, Hidan?"
"At the moment, it would be convenient that Deidara not remember anything as to not get Itachi in problems but... even so, this would end in a war sooner or later."
"How are we going to help Itachi?"
"We'd have to get Orochimaru and Pein against each other or at least, to not be allied. That's what's most complicated since they're family."
"I can take care of that." Konan commented. "If I keep Deidara under Pein's domain, it's possible that we can get them against each other. Orochimaru is obsessed with Deidara, he'd want to get him back somehow and he's capable of declaring a war against his own nephew just for his whims and obsessions."
"It would help if both were against each other. The only problem would be how to make that happen to weaken their forces before the Uchiha attack and take over the kingdom."
"I'll plan something." Konan said. "For now, just try to keep advising Pein in our favor. You have his trust, he wouldn't doubt your words."
"It's a pity for him that I am a traitor to my own Kingdom."
"And I didn't plan on falling in love with you, either." Konan said, smiling before kissing him once again. "We'll build a better kingdom, we can if we're together."
"That's only if they don't accuse me of high treason and execute me."
"They won't. I won't permit it."
In the throne room, Itachi was attending to the pleas and requests of his subjects, or at least, that's what he should've been doing. Despite being present in body, his mind was far from the problems of his civilians. He thought of Deidara and that perhaps he may have freed him from Pein this time, but he didn't know for how much longer. He couldn't prevent Pein from keeping his subject and if Deidara didn't remember, then Itachi couldn't help him. Even so, giving him help would put him in a difficult position, even more when two kingdoms would unite against him; he couldn't fight against two. Perhaps he would have to wait for the best moment to attack; the moment of greatest weakness amongst his two enemies.
"Itachi?" Iruka asked, managing to bring him back to reality. "They await your response."
"We will pay for the cattle that escaped. That the fences were destroyed by the intense rain that dragged the mud was our fault for not having fixed the path in time." Sasuke said, saving Itachi of not having heard the problem.
"Thank you, Your Majesty." The villager commented, walking happily out of the throne room.
"I'm sorry, I'm a bit off today." Itachi said.
"I see. Not bad that I was here, huh? I see that you're still worried about the matter with Deidara."
"It gets more complicated each time. I'm convinced that Pein wants to end the negotiations soon to take him back to his kingdom and I don't know how else to hold back negotiations. I'm lacking ideas."
"We'll find a solution."
"Are you mobilizing the army?"
"Yeah, but it's difficult giving orders while trying not to get found out. All our soldiers are alert in case Pein does something sudden."
"I don't think he'll rush any time soon seeing as he's being held in my castle. It's possible that in the day of his leave or in the days before he leaves, he'll be thinking of how to defeat me."
"Well, I think that if you don't need me here anymore, I'll be off to see my husband." Sasuke said, smiling as he got up from the throne.
"Your husband went out a while ago." Iruka informed.
"He said to prepare his horse, that he just wanted to go out for a ride. He went with some guards."
"I think he was in his bedroom, Sir."
"Have them prepare my horse, I'll be going out, too." Sasuke ordered.
Sasuke walked out of the salon to go to his room and change. He needed comfortable clothing to be able to ride his horse. Since Naruto had decided to go out for a ride, Sasuke would have to go look for him although at least a weight a had been lifted off his shoulders to know that Pein was nowhere near him. None of the two should try to kill each other. Upon walking out of his room, he encountered Konan nearby with one of her bodyguards: a young man with well-brushed white hair; surely some noble from her kingdom. When he asked for Pein and Konan had confirmed that he had gone out, that's when Sasuke really worried for Naruto, hurrying out towards the stables and getting on his horse; rushing out to find him.
Naruto had gone out for a simple ride with his bodyguards but he did not expect crossing paths with Pein roaming around not too far from the zone. He feigned not knowing anything and greeted Pein with courtesy while Pein, too, greeted him with a smile, asking to accompany him for a while. Naruto didn't like the idea, but he couldn't say no to a King, either, so there was no other option than to nod.
They were talking calmly even though Naruto felt the weight of Pein's sharp tongue, catching his hints and pretending not to know of what he was talking about. Naruto didn't even notice when his horse became frightened and galloped out into the woods. He tried to stop it, though he knew that until the fear was not out of the animal's body, it would not cease it's galloping. The guards tried to slow down the horse but slowly, they lost sight of it except for Pein, who was still after him.
When Naruto managed to slow the horse down, he tied it to one of the trees and thought of how to catch Pein unprepared. This time, he would not fail and much less after realizing that Pein would not restrain himself with him either. He looked at the road and aimed with his bow. His surprise came when Pein attacked him from the back, throwing him against the cold water in the river. Naruto knew at that moment that he was finished; he was afraid of the water. He felt Pein sinking him further and despite trying to get to the surface, it was impossible.
He thought he would die there when Pein's weight over his body ceased. He had gotten up and upon sitting up to catch his breath, Naruto realized Pein was leaving the area. Sasuke hurried down the hill towards him and helped him to his feet, throwing a cloak over him to warm him.
Chapter 18: Cold Night
Sasuke kicked the horse with the heel of his boot as to hurry it up. Perhaps it was just a hunch or perhaps what was going on in his mind was all too real. Pein was smart as to make it all seem like some coincidental accident and he could not permit that. On his way, he met with the guards who were restlessly looking for both Naruto and Pein. The only thing they could indicate to Sasuke was the direction in which both horses had headed towards, thus he went on his way.
He went through the north road, getting farther away from the border when he remembered something: Naruto was afraid of water. He had tried to hide it the last time they were at the limits between the Kingdom of Fire and the Kingdom of Wind. Sasuke hadn't missed the slight trembling in Naruto's body when he had suggested they cross to the other side. It was possible that he had decided to get as far away from the river but it was also very possible that he had gone towards it trying to get a better shot at Pein. It was the only place with enough clearing to shoot and have a hundred percent accuracy of shooting directly.
Sasuke changed the animal's direction and headed towards the river. Upon arriving at the summit and looking out at the river, he found Pein there, sinking Naruto's head inside the water. He didn't even think twice as he saw how Naruto tried to separate Pein's hand in attempts to breathe. Sasuke grabbed his bow which was tied on the side of the saddle and taking an arrow out of its quiver, he aimed and shot the arrow, striking the arrow deep in Pein's shoulder. Pein immediately let go of Naruto, letting him finally breathe.
Sasuke got off his horse in one jump and slid down the side of the hill towards the river but when he arrived, Pein had disappeared. Surely wounded and caught in the act, he had decided to put some distance away from them seeing as his possibility of ending Naruto had failed.
"Come here." Sasuke said, grabbing Naruto to help him up.
He continued to tremble from both the cold and panic, so Sasuke took off his cloak to throw it over Naruto for warmth. He accompanied him towards the horse and helped him get on. He had to get him out of the area but as the sun was setting at the pace it was, he wasn't sure about taking Naruto across the field all the way to the castle without Naruto getting more cold along the way. He snapped his fingers and got on his horse, placing himself behind Naruto's back to keep him against his chest and so that he wouldn't fall off. With a soft movement of the wrist, he indicated to the horse in a certain direction and set off towards the river, crossing it to the other side. On the way, he saw Naruto's horse tied to a tree; he took it along with him as well. He was sure Pein would never think that he had taken Naruto to enemy territory and the city of Wind was so far, that they wouldn't be discovered if they maintained along the limits of it.
Sasuke was able to make out a small cabin nearby and didn't hesitate to head out towards it. Surely the people there would immediately recognize Naruto; the typical blond hair of the Namikazes couldn't pass unnoticed and taking into account how much the people there hated their new King, there was a possibility they would help them.
He approached the door and got off his horse, leaving Naruto over it still trembling from the cold and holding on to the cloak Sasuke had thrown over his shoulders. A man armed with a rake answered the door. Upon seeing him shake, Sasuke tried to calm him down and explain the situation to him. He mentioned that they needed a place to take shelter in for the night and that they would leave in the morning. The man was not so easily convinced by the situation, but upon seeing the blond hair upon Naruto's head over on top of the horse, he asked his older son to take care of the horses and take them to the stables to take off their saddles and give them food and water.
Sasuke got Naruto off the horse and helped him enter the house, leaving him in front of the fire so he would warm up. The woman who was in the kitchen stirring a pot of soup remained ecstatic for a few seconds upon seeing Naruto. It was difficult not to recognize a Namikaze. The small kids that belonged to the pair were happily playing with some blocks of wood their father had carved and upon seeing those two strangers walk in, they had stopped to observe them from the floor where they sat.
"We have to take off his wet clothes." The woman commented once seeing Naruto enter, then she looked at Sasuke also noticing his wet clothing from holding onto Naruto so as he would not fall from the horse. "You, too, should change. I'll look for dry clothing for you to change into. Dinner will be ready in an hour in case you would like to join us."
"Thank you so much." Sasuke thanked.
The woman led them to a room where they could change in and lit a fire in the small chimney for them to warm up. Sasuke thanked her with a nice smile and sat Naruto on the edge of the bed to undress him. He was going to take off his sleeve when Naruto nervously backed off to impede it; perhaps from the fear he still had.
"Naruto, I have to take these clothes off of you; you're soaked."
"No." Naruto whispered in a barely audible tone.
"It'd be worse if you left them on; you'll get pneumonia. Come, take it off, I promise not to look if that's what worries you."
"You promise you won't look?" Naruto asked.
"I'll turn around. Come on, go over to the side of the chimney and put your clothes to dry. They've left clothing for you on the furniture to the side."
Sasuke then turned around, looking at the darkness of the wall; only the light from the chimney illuminated the room. For a few seconds, Sasuke thought over the bad times this kingdom was going through with Orochimaru as its ruler. It was so bad that people answered their doors armed, thinking they were going to be robbed or some other thing. He understood a bit of the situation Naruto was in.
Naruto looked over to Sasuke's back to reassure himself that he was not looking and still, with the blush on his cheeks from the cold, he took off the cloak around his shoulders and began undressing himself near the chimney. He was cold; he felt his entire body frozen but what was worse, was that he hadn't thanked Sasuke yet for having gone out to look for him.
"How did you know?" Naruto asked.
"That I was in the river, Pein, I don't know... everything."
"Iruka told me you had gone out and I wanted to go out and ride along with you. Then, I found Konan and her bodyguard, they told me that Pein had also gone out. I tied up loose ends and had a feeling of what Pein wanted. Even so, the situation is bad enough."
"You could accuse him of attempted murder."
"And he could accuse me, too. I wont have evidence that he had tried something against you, but I was the one that shot him; he has proof against me."
"Do you think he'll accuse you?"
"He'd be an idiot if he did. My brother would put a price on his head and all negotiations would end. I think we're even; we can't say he tried to kill you and not even he would say I tried to kill him."
"I hate this situation."
"Only the best strategist will win in the end, Naruto. Have patience and don't rush things. We have to think with a clear head and not let ourselves go from rage or impatience. I'll find a way for him to pay for everything, but we'll have to wait to see his next move."
Naruto lowered his head. He didn't even know how to thank Sasuke for going out of his way to look for him. He had saved his life in two occasions and even still he could not thank him for either one. So much was his pride that he couldn't do it? He closed his eyes tightly until a tear slid down his cheek, falling onto the wooden floor. He swallowed hard before trying to speak and prepared himself.
"Thank you." He whispered.
"Eh?" Sasuke asked as he had not heard him. "Did you say something?"
"Thank you." Naruto said a bit more loudly, making Sasuke turn around instantly to look at him surprised. He had never expected to hear something like this from Naruto.
Sasuke looked at Naruto huddled up on the floor next to the chimney with his cloak still placed over him. Although, upon looking at his shoulders, Sasuke confirmed that Naruto had listened to him for once and taken off his clothing.
"No problem." He responded. "Get dressed before you get a cold."
Sasuke turned around before Naruto could see how flushed he was. Seeing Naruto that way made that feeling of wanting to protect him come out in him. Of wanting to throw himself to kiss him, but he couldn't— Naruto wasn't ready for that yet. He lowered his head looking down at the floor when he felt Naruto's arms wrap around his waist letting his face fall over his shoulders; he was leaning against his back.
"Naruto?" Sasuke asked a bit surprised.
"I'm ready." Naruto said. "Please."
"I'm cold and I'm scared, I can't deny that but... this fear will not leave until I can really see what it is. Believe me, I'm ready, I want to be with you. Only... be careful with me, nothing more."
"I can do that." Sasuke said, caressing the hands that had grabbed on to his waist.
Sasuke turned around fixing his eyes on Naruto's. He saw the fear in them, it was something unavoidable, but he also saw confidence and that was enough for now. He moved his hand over to Naruto's cheek and tried to warm it; it was cold. Naruto placed his hand over Sasuke's and closed his eyes letting himself be engulfed by the warmth his husband emitted.
Naruto, despite having closed his eyes, felt his husbands breathing against his cheeks. He knew he was getting closer to him and his heart beat more intensely each time until Sasuke's lips pressed against his in a sweet kiss that turned possessive over time. Naruto could only try to follow his husband's rhythm seeing as Sasuke had more experience and less fear; he only wanted to be guided this first time.
Sasuke's free hand wrapped around Naruto's waist before pushing the blond with his chest until he fell over the bed. Sasuke did not separate his lips from Naruto's at any time except for just enough time to breathe and check if his husband was okay. Naruto shook but he supposed that it was from the nerves of something unknown to him. Perhaps it was better to do it as soon as possible to take that atrocious fear that shook the blond.
He moved the cloak Naruto had on to leave his body naked before him. Naruto tried to cover himself, blushed, but Sasuke's hands were much faster to impede it.
"Don't cover yourself, please." Sasuke whispered.
"I know, and I'm sorry but... it excites me seeing you naked."
"I don't know what to do."
"Don't worry about it. I'll tell you what I like."
Sasuke lowered his pants a bit before grabbing Naruto's hand and indicating him to grab the member that was beginning to rise upon seeing his husband's nude body. He showed him how to move his hand and indicated what pace he liked. Despite Naruto's blush, when Sasuke moved his hand away from his, the blond continued the indicated movements, hearing for the first time Sasuke's attempts to hold in his moans. Surely because he didn't want the family on the other side of the door to find out what was going on here, or perhaps he was worried about the kids more than anything else. Naruto smiled; he had always thought Sasuke was a womanizer who only cared about sex, but no, that was not true. Sasuke worried about the person he had sex with. He was a caring person despite having been the biggest womanizer in all the kingdom.
The raven, upon moving Naruto's cloak, also took advantage to take Naruto's member and give him pleasure while slowly introducing one of his fingers into the blond. At first, Naruto stirred a bit nervously, then he tried calming down once hearing Sasuke's calming voice as he tried to calm him. The pain from the first was slowly diminishing although it came back when Sasuke placed another finger to dilate him as much as possible.
Once Sasuke felt that Naruto was ready, he licked his fingers to lubricate the area more and then positioned himself to enter. The pain of it made itself present almost immediately but Sasuke roughly captured Naruto's lips to get him to concentrate on something else until he managed to be completely inside of him. He moved slowly, knowing the pain was till present in Naruto but he didn't stop moving slowly until Naruto let out the first moan that drowned in his mouth.
At that moment, Sasuke understood that he could begin to move much faster. He grabbed Naruto's hand and took it over his own member, asking him to pleasure himself while Sasuke caught speed, entering a bit less each time. Naruto had been the first to release, followed soon after by his husband who then laid himself over Naruto's chest.
Chapter 19: Disappeared
Naruto looked at the ceiling of the room while he let Sasuke caress the palm of his hand with his fingertips. Few people had come this far with him to know his tastes, and now here he was in front of Sasuke showing him everything he liked. He had always been a strange child; he liked things that were uncommon and among them, he liked having his hands caressed like his husband was doing now.
"We should go out to eat with the others." He heard Sasuke say.
"Yeah, I know, but..."
"I feel like staying at your side for a bit longer."
"We'll have all night for that, Naruto. It's not convenient to go out in this darkness and not without knowing where Pein is."
"Do you think we'll be safe here?"
"He won't suspect that we've entered enemy territory, don't worry. This would be the last place he'd look for us."
"It's his Uncle's territory. Perhaps he thought the same as us: that we'd be safe here."
"It's possible, but his Uncle won't be here to save him. The capital is far from the border and Pein knows that his Uncle reigns harshly. No villager is going to want to help them. He can't move without being discovered until the capital. He wouldn't risk having the villagers recognize him and hang him."
"You're right; it'd be crazy to enter a territory you're not welcomed in."
"Let's go out to eat something."
Both boys got dressed and walked out to eat dinner with the rest of the family that was setting the table. They didn't exactly know how to behave but that was something normal: never had they been before someone of such high status and yet here was the Prince of the Kingdom of Fire and the supposed heir of the Namikaze family.
After dinner, the family went off to sleep. Everyone had to work the fields and Sasuke and Naruto had to leave to the palace once again. Sasuke wanted to leave early, as soon as the first rays of light shone to take advantage of time.
In the castle, Itachi walked nervously through the throne room looking out of the large windows with the hopes of seeing his brother and Naruto walk in any minute now. He couldn't believe they had gone out and that they had yet to come back being this late. He was starting to worry that something had happened to them. Not even Pein was around and he knew this because Konan had approached him to inform him that she could not find Pein anywhere in the castle.
"Your Majesty, it is time for you to come to the dining room," Iruka informed.
"I'm not hungry."
"You should eat something. You're not going to get your brother to come soon by just standing here all night."
"Has Deidara come down to eat?" Itachi asked worriedly.
"I haven't seen him since yesterday. I left him in his new room just as you asked. Nobody has seen him since then. One of the maids had gone up to deliver his food, though he hasn't opened the door to take the tray the other times, either."
"This time I'll go."
"Are you sure, Your Majesty?"
"Yes. I'll take the tray to him."
Itachi stormed out of the throne room and made his way to the kitchen without delay. The servants who worked there had been surprised to see him; they had not expected the King himself to go down to the kitchens to find the tray. Determined to bring the food to Deidara himself, he ordered them to go on about their usual business and not worry about the task of having to go to Deidara's room.
He went up to the hallway and stopped just outside Deidara's door, knocking several times with his knuckles but not once receiving a response from the inside. This also worried him; it was not normal that nobody had seen Deidara all day. He knocked again and this time, his voice accompanied it as he called for the boy inside to open the door and take his tray. On the floor, he noticed the tray of food the servants had brought up previously; the meal left untouched.
"Dei, open the door, please." He said.
He was surprised upon hearing the lock open and despite the doubts, he touched the doorknob and opened the door to enter the room. Deidara was already walking back to the couch, immediately sitting down on it and curling himself up with a blanket in front of the fireplace. Itachi walked up to him and set the tray of food down on a small table next to the blond. He then walked over to the bed and picked up another blanket, grabbing it and throwing it over the one Deidara already had over his shoulders.
"If you're that cold, I can go ask for more blankets."
"No need." He said, hiding his hair under the blanket.
"Dei,"— Itachi called to him as he sat on the edge of the small table. —"you have to eat something. You've gone all day without taking a bite. What's wrong?"
"You used to mess with me," — Deidara said, suddenly surprising Itachi. — "you used to say that I looked like a girl and you always ran after me with a pair of scissors trying to cut my hair." He smiled and Itachi smiled as well.
"That's true. I was seven and I didn't even think about guys back then. I just wanted to make you mad."
"Yeah, well, you accomplished that. I hated you."
"I know. How much can you remember?"
"Not much. From my father, I remember his blond hair, his smile... I remember him pushing me through one of the hidden passages within the walls with my brother the day the city caught fire."
"Do you remember what happened?"
"No, only that scene comes to mind. Sorry."
"That's enough, Dei. Why have you started remembering?"
"You were right that things didn't make sense to me. I didn't believe that the kings would need a simple commoner, but I suppose it was better to live that way than to go against them. Until you showed up, of course. Your voice was so familiar. I knew I knew you and that I couldn't be a commoner if I did. If I had been a commoner, then I wouldn't know you; you never leave the royal court. Why do I know you?"
"Because my parents wanted to unite our kingdom to yours in a lasting alliance. I was going to marry you when we turned the right age. That day of the fire... it was a revolt, or so we were told. The last thing I knew of you was that you had died, but here you are, in front of me and without remembering me."
Deidara uncovered himself a bit to approach Itachi, brushing his icy lips with those of a surprised Itachi who hadn't expected this. For so long he had dreamed of having Deidara back here with him that now he could still not believe that he was really in front of him and much less kissing him. He had been paralyzed by the impression; he hadn't expected anything so daring as that moment and that same moment of confusion made Deidara push away from him frightened.
"I'm sorry, Your Majesty."— he whispered. —"I don't know what came over me. I'm sorry, I've crossed the line. You are King and I..."
Itachi smiled upon seeing him so flushed. It was true that the punishment for crossing the line with a King could be a harsh one, but no one had been around to see them and he could not deny that the boy always ended up surprising him. Itachi loved him and he was happy to have him here again. Seeing the blush on Deidara's cheeks, Itachi smiled even more before running his hand behind the blond's neck to pull him towards him, this time Itachi taking initiative.
"Dei, you are not like the others. You do not have to worry about crossing the line with me."
"Do not tell me again that you are a commoner because we both know that is not true."
"I don't even know who I really am."
"You are the heir to the Namikaze throne. Naruto is your brother and on that night, you saved the life of both your brother and sister."
"I'm sorry, I can't remember."
"Yet you still kissed me," Itachi whispered.
"I don't know why I did. It's like I felt that it was the right thing to do. My head can't remember anything but a part of me wants you."
"It's normal, Dei. We lived many summers together. You may not remember now, but somehow, you know deep inside that you can trust me. But please, do not treat me like I'm your King. You were always the same as I and nobody is going to see us here."
"I don't want to disrespect you, nor step out of line."
"You never did and you never will, I'm sure of it. You always knew how to behave in court," Itachi said, whispering to him with his lips almost pressed upon the blond's.
Deidara, feeling Itachi's lips so close to his, could not help to rub them a little more, trying to ask Itachi for permission to kiss him again. It was Itachi who opened his lips lightly, catching those of Deidara and turning that sweet and shy kiss into a more passionate and desired kiss between both.
Itachi's free hand passed under the blanket and around Deidara's waist. He squeezed a little, trying to get him to get up from the couch when he felt Deidara's complaint. At that moment, Itachi didn't understand, but he retracted his hand in fear that he might have hurt him. Deidara placed his hand over Itachi's trying to reassure him that he was okay but then pulled the blanket away, lifting his shirt a little to let Itachi see a bruise. There was no need to speak; Itachi knew who had done this to him and thus bent down towards the bruise, placing over it a soft kiss.
"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to hurt you."
"It's not you who hurts me,"— Deidara whispered in his ear. —"I still want to be with you, but I'm sorry you can't be my first."
"I was your first kiss." Itachi smiled. "Plus, the important thing is not to be the first, but the last. I promise that you and I will be together in the end, no matter what. I'm going to marry you just as it had to be, well... that's if you still want to."
"I would like that very much."
Deidara's hands let go of the blanket and grabbed a hold of Itachi's hair; gently touching it. It had been so many years that Itachi had not seen that tender smile on Deidara's lips and seeing him at this moment made him fall in love with him even more. He took the blond's hand and stood up from the table where he had been sitting to help Deidara up. Deidara followed him to the bed, letting himself be kissed once again by the boy his mind struggled to remember.
Deidara sat at the edge of the mattress, climbing onto the bed and feeling Itachi climb over him carefully, lifting his shirt up slowly and caressing his body with his hands until he got rid of the garment. Only at that moment did their lips disconnect, only for Itachi to take his lips once again as if he needed them the way he needed air to breathe.
Itachi could not think of anything else but Deidara. He knew this was wrong; that Deidara was still a prisoner, but he could not help loving him. Pein was not there and although he knew that sooner or later he would take Deidara from him, Itachi could not allow himself to be separated from him now that he had him so close. He was determined to get him back, he would. One day, everything would return to be the way his parents had devised. Both kingdoms would be united in a reliable and solid alliance.
Itachi lowered over Deidara's bare chest leaving behind a trail of kisses. The bruises on Deidara's body hurt him more than they did to Deidara, yet he kissed them delicately as if that might make the blond forget all the damage he had gotten. Itachi wanted him to know that with him, he would always be safe, that he would always love him and always respect him.
Upon reaching the waistband of the blond's pants, Itachi gently pulled them away, kissing every inch of skin until he reached his member. He didn't hesitate twice before taking the boy's appendage in his hand to massage it for a few seconds to fuel his erection. Deidara blushed at the moment and tried to remove Itachi's face from that area, but Itachi put it in his mouth as to impede Deidara from achieving his goal.
He raised and lowered his mouth over Deidara's member, savoring every part of it and delighting himself in those moans Deidara was trying hard to endure. He could not help but smile inside. He had known Deidara since childhood and although Deidara was brave for some things, he was also very innocent and shy towards other matters. Itachi had always liked that about Deidara. Itachi pushed his mouth away from Deidara's member before the blond could release and licked his fingers to introduce them inside him as to dilate as much as he could. He knew he would have to do it gently because if Pein was able to leave this perfect body of his in such state, he could not imagine what he could accomplish to do when he entered it.
"I'll be careful," Itachi whispered.
"It's okay. I know you'll erase his marks. I trust you."
"Of course I'll erase them. I will not let you remember those bad experiences. You are with me and everything will be alright."
Itachi slowly entered him. He could feel how Deidara tensed from the slight pain. Itachi took advantage to softly bite at his earlobe, trying to get him to focus on this sensation rather than that of the pain as he entered him. Once entering fully, he paused for a second to watch Deidara's taut expression. It hurt him and he couldn't fake it despite trying to smile without much conviction.
"it's done. I'm going to move."
"Do it," Deidara told him.
Itachi moved slowly inside him. Each movement was a new gesture of pain on his parter's face. He was convinced that Pein had not been any delicate to Deidara. He took long to take pleasure in it than Itachi had originally thought, but in the end, he had managed to hear a gasp from Deidara, seeing how his face relaxed and how he no longer held back the moans as he let them out now. That excited him even more. He had never thought of being in a situation like this when they were kids but now upon seeing him, he knew he would repeat this a thousand times and more. They had never gotten along, they hate each other and they had fallen for each other. The summers they had spent together that they hated so much at the beginning had managed to unite them more than ever. They had achieved the unthinkable: to make two hot-heads that only ever played heavy jokes on one another fall in love.
Itachi finally finished after hearing one of Deidara's last groans, after seeing how the blond closed his eyes and let himself get carried away with the excitement, releasing onto the Uchiha's chest. It didn't matter to Itachi at all; knowing that Deidara had at least been able to enjoy himself with him was more than enough.
"Behind the couch," Deidara said, smiling as he felt Itachi lay on his chest.
"Our first kiss,"— He smiled. —"it happened behind the couch in the library. We saw my parents kissing and we wanted to imitate them. We hid so they wouldn't see us."
Itachi smiled, happy to see that Deidara still remembered that.
Chapter 20: Faking It
Deidara's fine, elegant fingers roamed Itachi's bare chest. He was fast asleep at his side with a few covers over him though Deidara could see that he was hot. He smiled. As far as Deidara could remember, he had always been prone to being cold. Deidara hated the cold yet that's how he always was. Itachi, on the other hand, was a hot-headed boy in everything he did. Being King of the Kingdom of Fire suited him perfectly.
Being with him, Deidara began to remember a few things— insignificant details from their summers together— of how their parents struggled over and over again trying to force them to get along. However, the more they insisted, the worse their relationship became. The two had been a couple of airheads intent on not following their parent's orders. Only when they had surrendered once they saw it was nearly impossible, that's when the two kids finally decided to give themselves a chance. On that last summer, he fell in love with Itachi Uchiha.
He couldn't stop smiling upon remembering the timid kiss behind the couch. They were only kids back then and yet, after seeing Deidara's parents kiss so sweetly in front of the fountain in the garden, they had wanted to try it as well. Maybe they had just wanted to know how it felt like, maybe they were envious to see their tenderness.
"You're not going to sleep?" Itachi asked without opening his eyes. "Or is it that you're still cold?"
"I'm fine." He smiled. "With you by my side, it's impossible to be cold."
"I don't remember you being so cold."
"I do remember that the Kingdom of Wind has brutal winters."
"Maybe it was from the accident,"— Deidara said. —"I don't know. When I remember that freezing water, I cannot stop my body from trembling and looking for something to warm up with."
"You remember the accident?"
"I remember too many things right now. My head hurts a bit; it's as if my entire past is bombarding me with random scenes trying to get in the right order."
"At least you remember what happened and who you are."
"Yes, and I won't let Pein get away with it. He and Orochimaru will pay for what they did to my Kingdom."
"War is imminent, Deidara, but to be honest, I do not think we can win. The Kingdom of Fire is strong but they are two Kingdoms against us. If they allied, they'll have twice as many men as we can recruit. Being honest... I know the casualties are irremediable but, I'd like to have as few as possible."
"You've never been a supporter of war,"— Deidara smiled. —"maybe I can regain my Kingdom without fighting."
"You've always been an idealist, Dei."
"Think about it: they don't know that I remember everything that happened."
"I don't like where you're going with this."
"Come on, Itachi. I can pretend that I'm still the same Deidara as always; they won't suspect me. I will recover my Kingdom from within; I'll be able to contact the nobles still faithful to my father. I'll create a revolt from within. The people are against Orochimaru and his mismanagement of the Kingdom. I can get them to rise against him."
"The peasants will not rise up just like that and you know it."
"Not alone they can't, but if I convince the nobles to lend us their armies, people will join the cause knowing they're being supported by more powerful people."
"It's an option, but it's risky. If you get caught—"
"They won't. Orochimaru is obsessed with me, he only sees what he wants to see of me. I'll pretend to be the boy he fell in love with, the timid and innocent boy who trusts him but then weaves his fall into the shadows. I can do it."
"I know you can, but I do not like the risk."
"Sometimes you have to fight for what you want and I want to recover my kingdom. I want to take revenge for what they did to my family. Let me do it, please."
"And Pein?" Itachi asked "I don't like it that he touches you and mistreats you. We both know that he'll keep doing so if you continue at his side."
"He wants an heir, well... I'll give it to him. I'll pretend to be pregnant. He won't touch me believing he'll do harm to his heir."
"You'll need a reliable doctor who is willing to follow along with that lie."
"Surely you have trusted doctors in the kingdom."
"They would suspect of me and that I may be trying to help you."
"Yeah... but that's if they knew that we're allied. Right now Pein doesn't know that I've recognized you. He won't believe that I've pretended to say something like that and that you've helped me with the doctor. It's the perfect opportunity and you know it."
"I know it is, but... at the same time I feel that I can't let you do something like that. I don't want to lose you again."
"When all this is over, we'll be together. You promised me that you'd marry me, so I hope you'll be there to keep the promise when I've accomplished my revenge."
"Dei..."— His voice sounded worried this time. —"and if you are really pregnant? I know you don't want to think of something like this, but... there might be a possibility."
"Then... I'll have to do something with Pein so he won't get my kingdom. I can't allow him to use the child just to gain more power."
"Don't do anything crazy, Dei."
"It's just a possibility, I don't even know if it will be true."
"It could be that you might be right and that you're not, that you're only pretending, but I want to talk about all our options. I don't want to have any surprises later on and that they'll throw our plan out the window. By the way... what are you going to do with Naruto?"
"At the moment, I'd rather him not know that I remember things. He's always been quick to act and right now I need people with a cool head who think before acting otherwise it could destroy all the strategies we've devised."
"Okay, I will not say anything then. Just... promise me you'll be careful."
"I promise. We'll be together again, you promised." Deidara smiled.
Clearing out the whole matter, despite Itachi not being happy with carrying out the plan of leaving Deidara alone again in that mess, he had no choice but to trust him. He knew Deidara too well to know that he was never bluffing. Deidara was serious about whatever he said and he was smart enough to create complicated plans and win. Strategies were something that came naturally to him and he knew how to move about in the court. No one would suspect him and he was right about something: he was the only one able to get close enough to Orochimaru and put him against his nephew. To separate that pair would be the key so that the army of the Kingdom of Fire would finish the job with the smallest possible number of casualties.
He kissed Deidara gently, realizing that he wouldn't take long in leaving; this would be one of the few possibilities he would have to be with him. That morning he decided to succumb to the charms of the blond before Pein appeared. Itachi knew he'll be prevented from being close to Deidara again once he showed up.
Itachi soon left the room concerned about the return of Pein. He had asked his guards to let him know right away if Pein or his brother and Naruto appeared. He had not yet received any news and was now worried. Going out into the hall, he asked Iruka to get his horse ready. He was going to go get them when he was told by one of the soldiers who came running that his brother was entering the door at that very moment. Itachi wasted no time and ran to the entrance to check if they were okay.
Deidara, after showering and changing clothes, left his current bedroom to go to Konan. He had managed to become Konan's 'Servant' and at least it was better than spending all day servicing under Pein. When he reached her room, he heard a commotion inside although Konan told him she would open the door right away. When she opened it, he was surprised to see Hidan there dressed and sitting on one of the chairs. Konan was nervous but tried to pretend that everything was in order. It did not go unnoticed by Deidara that those two had also had a busy night, but said nothing. He feigned not having noticed and started with his work.
Sasuke helped Naruto get off the horse and asked one of the stable boys to take care of both animals, to give them a bath, some food and water and let them rest. It had been a long day for all of them and all he wanted was to lie in bed and sleep, although trying something new with Naruto would not have seemed like bad idea, either. Naruto had at least stopped looking at him with hatred and now blushed whenever they met eyes. At least their relationship was improving by the moment.
Itachi ran out, yelling at Sasuke and asking where they had been all night. Sasuke smiled; it had been the first time he's seen his older brother so worried about him but it made him partly glad. That showed that Itachi cared more than what he let on. He tried to speak when Pein appeared on horseback. Sasuke then remained silent without losing sight of the King who clutched at his shoulder. He prepared for the worst, thinking Pein would say something... but he did not do it to his surprise.
"Can you all tell me where you've all been?" Itachi asked.
"I got lost. I'm sorry, your Majesty," Pain said, avoiding scandals.
"And you?" Itachi asked Sasuke.
"Honeymoon, I suppose," Sasuke whispered, knowing his brother wouldn't question further.
"Right, all of you come in and fix yourselves. You all stink after a day in the woods."
Itachi stepped inside the castle and Pein tried to follow him looking at Sasuke with hate while the other also gave him the same look. Meanwhile, Naruto stayed at a distance contemplating the tension that now existed between the two.
"Why haven't you accused me yet?"
"For the same reason you did not. We don't want any more problems. One day I will take revenge on you and that blond bitch that you defend so much."
"Maybe the first thing I'll do is cut off that tongue of yours so you won't ever disrespect the future King of the Kingdom of Wind."
Pein laughed but Sasuke remained serious. He knew what Pein thought: that Deidara would give him an heir, that he would rule in the Wind Kingdom, but Sasuke was not entirely convinced of that. He would snatch that territory from him even if it was by force.
"We'll leave tomorrow,"— Pein said, looking at Naruto, —"and I'll be taking your brother with me; he's a good toy."
Naruto reacted by clenching his fists. He wanted to go at Pein, hit him then and there for the offense against his brother, but Sasuke stopped him by placing his hand on his chest. He knew at that moment that he could not ruin Sasuke's plans. He was a better strategist and knew better how to sink that damn King of the Rain. He had to trust Sasuke and this was not the time to start fighting, so, swallowing his hatred and anger, he calmed down, letting Pein go inside to tell the news that tomorrow... they were leaving back to his Kingdom.
Chapter 21: Pregnancies
Itachi walked nervously around the Throne room. Pein had arrived at the castle after spending the night in the woods and his brother and Naruto had arrived shortly before having the chance to talk to them to find out about what had happened. What's more, Pein wanted to leave the castle. Itachi had no choice but to accelerate his plan since Deidara had told him he thought he was pregnant.
Itachi had commented that it might be a risk for Deidara to travel with the child to the Country of Rain, something that nobody could still believe, but even so, Pein willingly agreed to have a doctor check if Deidara was really pregnant or not. The doctor soon entered the Throne room in search of Itachi and upon seeing him, he rushed towards him, desperate for news.
"Well?" Itachi asked.
"I did what you've ordered me to." The doctor said. "I've told His Majesty of the Rain that the boy is pregnant."
"But is he really?" Itachi asked, hoping he was not.
"No, although I've found traces of semen inside."
"I apologize, that was my fault..." Itachi said.
"Do not apologize; my King should have no reason to justify anything to me. I still wouldn't throw away the idea that he could still be pregnant, though, it would be very strange if it were Pein's. As you've ordered me to do, I've told his Majesty that Deidara would need some rest and no moving around. I have forbidden him to have any sexual relations with him; I've scared him into thinking that he could endanger the child if he does so. But I do not think you should worry about Deidara; Pein seemed to understand it and was happy to have an heir."
"Thank you so much for helping us. Here is what we've agreed on." Itachi said, handing him a bag full of coins that the doctor took and right away hid it from people's eyes.
"It's always a pleasure to serve you, my King. If you need anything else, just let me know."
The doctor then left, quickly crossing the door with Konan. He bowed slightly towards the Queen and went on his way. Konan walked in and walked over towards the window where Itachi looked down at his kingdom.
"It's a calm, sunny realm." Konan smiled.
"It is." Itachi said, smiling, too.
"Pein... he's crazy happy about that heir."
"I can imagine. It's what he's wanted."
"You don't have to lie to me, okay? I know Deidara is not pregnant, at least, not right now. You've had relations with him a couple of times and it's possible we might see results in a few weeks but... in the worst case scenario, it's also possible that he might not get pregnant and then we'll have a problem on our hands. Pretending to be pregnant is a brilliant idea for Pein to leave him alone, but... what would happen if he really doesn't get pregnant and in a few months we really see that he's not? All of Pein's wrath will fall on him. That boy will be in more danger than ever."
"I had hoped to have the matter resolved before Pein found out it was all a lie."
"If by chance he does not get pregnant, I promise I'll take care of him. I'm going to try to have Pein leave me to his care so he does not suspect anything. I'll arrange for a doctor there to continue lying about his condition."
"I appreciate it. What do you want in return?"
"Something very simple." Konan said. "I want to see Pein and Orochimaru fall. They've taken my family away from me, forced me to get married... I had to endure them for years. To watch them fall and to free my family is enough for me."
"Alright. I promise to you that when that Kingdom falls into my power, it will be the first thing I'll do: free your family."
Konan bowed to excuse her exit and began to walk back to the door to leave the room, leaving Itachi alone with his thoughts and his worries but somewhat more relaxed to know that he had an ally within enemy territory.
"Are you okay, Konan?" Itachi asked and she smiled even though she did not turn to look at him.
"Yes. I have a good bodyguard." Konan commented, referring to Hidan and how he was the only one she trusted in that Kingdom.
"Look after him for me." Itachi said, looking back out the window and Konan turned back to look at him, bowing once again to leave.
The next day, the entirety of Pein's entourage set out to their country. Itachi watched them from the window as they left without loosing sight of Deidara. He knew that the blond was also watching him from below, but he tried to hide it and make it look as if he were looking at the whole castle. He got into the carriage and they left.
"You're just letting them go?" Sasuke asked behind his back.
"Yes." Itachi said.
"But there's something you can do! You can't let them take my brother away!" Naruto shouted angrily.
"Naruto, calm down. Deidara decided this. We did not want to tell you anything in case you opposed it, but believe me: your brother knows what he's doing. It hurts to see him in Pein's clutches but I can't nor will I go against his decision. He is determined to regain his kingdom and I will not stop him from doing so. Now, instead of screaming, we can begin to organize the army. We're going to need to."
That month, it snowed without stopping in the country of Fire and it rained like never before in the Kingdom of Rain. Deidara looked out of the window as the drops fell, soaking the glass. Konan patiently knitted in front of the little light coming in through the window, watching Deidara absorbed in the bad weather.
"Thoughtful?" Konan asked, watching how Deidara didn't want to knit.
"Sorry," He apologized, picking up the cloth between his fingers.
"Has something happened with Pein?" She asked.
"No. Ever since he thinks I'm pregnant, he's been acting pretty indifferent to me. He's been sending his servants to attend to me lately. I think he only worries that I give him a strong, healthy heir, nothing more. At least he's left me alone." He smiled.
"So... you're thinking of Itachi?"
"Yes,"— Deidara said, looking back at the window. —"I've been feeling strange lately, and I think... I might be pregnant. I'm a bit afraid that it might be Pein's."
"Can I tell you something?" Konan asked, looking at him with a smile.
"I'm scared, too. I'm not in the best of positions right now, but I assure you that if you're pregnant, chances are that you're not from Pein."
"Why do you say that? He's been with me so many times, even before we came back here."
"Because I'm pregnant, Dei." Konan said. "It's not me who couldn't bear children. I think it's him, but men will never accept something like that. It's easier to say it's our fault. If Pein finds out I'm pregnant, he'll know he's the one who has a problem, that the son I'm bearing is not his and that I've been with someone else. He has not touched me for months. Has the doctor visited you?"
"Yesterday,"— Deidara said. —"I have no doubt that I'm pregnant, but... I didn't know from who."
"I was locked up here with Pein for years trying to give him the heir he wanted so badly, yet there was no effect. Now, I'm pregnant and it's not his. I think the child you're expecting is Itachi's."
"I'll keep your secret."
"I don't know how long I can keep my state hidden until the result is completely visible. Pein will order my death if he knows it and he'll come after the life of this child, too. He can't find out."
"I'll cover for you as much as I can,"— Deidara told her. —"just as you've been covering me this month pretending to be pregnant from Pein. We'll end Pein's reign, you'll see. Is it Hidan's?" Deidara asked and Konan smiled slightly.
"You know it is."
"And he knows?"
"I told him just a few days ago."
"He must be happy."
"And worried,"— Konan added. —"if Pein comes to hear this, he will kill all three of us without question. Hidan is his most loyal adviser, or so he thinks. He knows nothing of what's happening in the shadows."
"He'll be too busy thinking about the son I'm going to give him; he probably won't even care about you."
"I would hope so,"— Konan said. —"you should tell Itachi."
"I wouldn't know how to."
"You can send a dove from the top of the roof."
"But if they intercept the letter, they'll find out everything."
"Surely you have some way of writing something without anyone noticing."
"I'm thinking of something," Deidara smiled.
Itachi was sitting on the couch reading a book in front of the fireplace trying not to focus too much on the matter with Deidara. He wanted to think that he was alright although he had not heard news from him in over a month. Anxiety took over him but he could do nothing more but to trust in Deidara. He adverted his eyes for a few seconds from the words in the book to watch the snow fall through the window; it was accumulating on the ledge.
Someone knocked on the door at the moment and surprised Itachi. He motioned the person on the other side to come in. Iruka then entered with a letter in his hand saying that if had just arrived and that it was for him. It seemed to have come from a dove from the Kingdom of Rain. Itachi was even more surprised. He ordered that the dove be taken care of from the cold, hard journey it went through and took the letter as if it were gold itself. A smile placed itself upon his lips when he saw that it was from Deidara. Of course, the smile on his face wore off as he read a simple 'Thanks for letting me stay in your castle.' in black ink. Was that all he wanted to say to him?
This was not like Deidara, and when he was about to leave the letter on the table, he remembered something he used to do as a child: the invisible ink with lemon juice trick. It was simple, but effective. Their parents never caught the hidden messages in which they talked about everything. He went over to the fire and placed the paper near it for warmth until the letters began to appear. His smile returned as he bang to understand the situation: Deidara was pregnant with his child and Konan with Hidan's. This was the most opportune time to rescue him. Soon the army would be ready though it was preferable to wait for the cold to cease.
Chapter 22: Wars
Winter was retiring and the time for war approached in giant steps. Itachi opened his eyes slowly, fixing them on the rising sun. The snow on the ledge of his window was beginning to melt, giving way to a bright spring. Four months had passed since he heard from Deidara and since he had begun mobilizing the army. The stage of war was approaching and without an alliance agreement between the Kingdom of Rain and Fire, everything was possible. The only thing that worried him was if Deidara had managed to get to Orochimaru and put him against his nephew; he wanted to think the blond had carried out his plan.
Itachi took the letter from Deidara out of the drawer from his bedside table; it was the only thing he had received from Deidara all this time but it was the most important thing to him. He smiled upon reading it again; he couldn't wake up without reading that letter everyday and rejoicing for the son they were going to have. He was willing to do anything to get his family out of that damn Kingdom.
Upon getting out of bed and getting dressed, he went straight to the grand dinning room for breakfast before he began planning his strategy. Today they would go to the front, taking advantage of the rumors that indicated Orochimaru leading his way with an army towards the Kingdom of Rain. He wasn't even sure if that was good or bad, but at least... Itachi wanted to bring the troops to the border and see what would happen before attacking. At least that way, if Deidara needed help, Itachi would be closer than where he really was.
He walked down the hall towards the dining room, listening to Naruto giggling behind his bedroom door on the way. He smiled as he listened. His brother and the blond were now closer than ever since Pein left and there was not even a night in which they slept apart. Itachi was sure that all these months had helped them secure their marriage. Sasuke would sometimes remind him that this was a arranged marriage, but he could not deny that he had fallen in love with that hyperactive boy who kept asking about his brother and when they were going to get him back. At least he had become more patient and trusting in his husband's decisions.
Itachi did not even wait for them for breakfast. He supposed they were very busy. Iruka and Kakashi were the only ones who accompanied him to the table and when they were finishing breakfast and their talk about the strategy that the army would follow, Naruto and Sasuke appeared by the dining room apologizing for being so late.
Kakashi excused himself, wiping himself with a napkin and standing up to leave; he still had a long way to go. His troops were still in the territory of the Wind, hiding and watching over the safety of Naruto's sister. They decided that some guards would bring Ino to the castle of Fire and the rest of troops still faithful to Naruto and Kakashi would join the fight next to the army that Itachi and Sasuke had gathered.
Although Itachi offered on sending one of his own to give the order, Kakashi preferred to do it in person. Itachi did not keep insisting, knowing that Kakashi knew his men and if he wanted to go in person, surely it would be because they did not trust anyone else except him— something that Itachi understood after the betrayal they had suffered when they killed the Namikaze family.
Kakashi went out the door and walked quickly down the hall in search of the stables. They were already preparing his horse to leave immediately as he had a whole day before arriving to his men. He was about to reach the exit door when Naruto's voice behind him made him stop for a few seconds.
"You're leaving with nothing more?" Naruto asked.
"Yes. I'll send Sai and some other men to bring your sister here. The first thing is to ensure her safety in these new times to come. Our refuge back home is no longer so safe."
"I know and I appreciate you bringing her. I really want to see her but... will you come back?"
"No, Naruto. Itachi's troops will leave today for the border post. It would be too long a way to have to come back here with our troops and then try to follow Itachi's. The border post is not far from our position, so we will go directly from there. I'll be back when we finish the mission."
"Don't die, okay?"
"Of course not." Kakashi smiled at him, beginning to walk again.
"Kakashi," Naruto called out to him, blushing.
"Do you need anything else, Sir?" Kakashi asked, returning to the usual formality.
"I... I wanted you to be the first to know. I'm expecting a son from Sasuke. It's still early but the doctor confirmed it yesterday. I haven't even told him yet."
Kakashi turned, looking paralyzed as he looked at Naruto for a long second. That boy had been like his son ever since his father passed away, since they lost their brother; they had never separated since then. He had cared for him, taught him, protected him and watched him grow into what he was today. He hurried over to the blond and hugged him tight against his chest as if it were his own son.
"Take care of him, okay?" Kakashi asked, kissing Naruto's head.
"I will... we will,"— he corrected, thinking of Sasuke. —"you take care of coming back with us and bringing my brother back."
"I will. Be careful from now on and don't get into any trouble I won't be able to get you out from." Kakashi smiled, also making Naruto smile.
"If I don't get in trouble... how would I entertain Sasuke?"
"Behave yourself,"— Kakashi smiled, —"and don't give Sasuke any worries. See you around."
"Kakashi... if it's a boy, I'm going to call him Sakumo, like your father. I know he died trying to protect mine so... " Naruto didn't finish the sentence.
"It will be an honor for me for you to give him that name. It means a lot to me."
Kakashi left and Naruto stood in the hallway, watching as the man climbed the horse in the yard and turned him, forcing the horse to gallop along the bridge in the direction of the village. All the soldiers that had come along with them when they first brought Naruto were leaving with Kakashi, leaving him alone for the first time within the defenses of his husband's city.
"He'll be back." He heard Sasuke say behind him.
"I hope so. He said that you were going to the border today, that you were going to move the troops. I want to go."
"I would love for you to go, Naruto, but I've also happened to hear your conversation with him and I don't think it's a good idea."
"Spying is rude," Naruto smiled.
"I wasn't spying on you,"— Sasuke said, smiling at the blond's back and touching his belly. —"I passed by and heard. So, a little Uchiha, huh?"
"None of that. A little Namikaze. Come on Sasuke... let me go with you."
"You know that I respect you and that I have always accepted that you are a great warrior and a better archer but... in your state, I don't want you to go. We will take care of everything."
"Nothing will happen to me and you know it."
"I want to get your brother out, Naruto. I want to see you happy and I can't fight in perfect conditions if I'm thinking about you and the child. I'll be looking for you on the battlefield the entire time, worried if something has happened to you. It's better that you stay this time. Trust me, I'll bring your brother back and later on, you can prove to me one and a thousand times if you want that you're better than me, but not in this war, please. Just... take care of our son for the moment. Protect him until I come back."
"Alright," Naruto finally resigned.
"You know I love you, right?" Sasuke asked, smiling at Naruto.
"Yes, I know."
Both stood holding each other until they completely lost sight of all the soldiers accompanying Kakashi. Soon, his sister would come and he hoped his brother would be free shortly after. After so many months without hearing from him, he was worried. That afternoon, the entire army of the Fire Kingdom left towards the border with Itachi and Sasuke accompanying them. Only a small garrison remained in the castle for the custody and protection of Naruto and the servants. Naruto saw from the window of his room as his husband parted in that rain; Sasuke hadn't even allowed Naruto to see him off, worried that Naruto could catch a cold during these times and that something could happen to the child.
In the Rain Kingdom, Orochimaru and his men made their appearance. Pein had summoned them, asking for their help in case the Kingdom of Fire decided to attack and Orochimaru had accepted the alliance for the moment by the simple fact that Pein was his nephew... or that's what he had said, since deep down, he had only gone to recover the only thing that really mattered to him and had been too far from his power: Deidara.
Orochimaru entered the court, surprised that he could not see Deidara there considering his position. Surely Pein was still hiding who the blond really was and keeping it a secret, so he decided to ignore the matter. After the presentation and the greeting to his nephew, he excused himself, saying that he was tired from the long trip. He looked around for Deidara, finally finding him in the back garden sitting on a stone bench in front of some rose bushes.
He couldn't help but smile; he had missed that blond hair so much that illuminated the sad, rainy, Kingdom of Rain. He walked over to him and sat down beside him, watching the smile that Deidara gave him, always with that innocence he had fallen in love with since the first time she saw him.
"How are you, Dei?" Orochimaru asked, watching as drops of water fell from the ledge of the roof where they were sheltered under and were lost within the leaves of the roses.
"You want the truth or do you want me to lie to you?" Deidara asked.
"Did he do something to you?" Orochimaru asked.
"I'm pregnant and your nephew is not exactly the best host,"— he said bluntly. —"why do you not take me with you? Am I no longer good for you?" Deidara asked, trying to put Orochimaru against Pain.
"Of course you're good for me, I've always loved you."
"Then get me out of here, take me with you to the Wind Country."
"I can't do that."
"Don't treat me like an idiot, Orochimaru. You know you could do it if you wanted to."
"You were always a smart kid but I can not follow your mind. Give me a good plan that I can follow and I'll take you with me."
"You have what you wanted: I'm having Pein's son, an heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Rain. Get rid of Pein, take me to the Kingdom of Wind, my son will reign in the Kingdom of Rain for being the legitimate heir and I can give you a son to be the heir to the Wind Kingdom. You would have two Kingdoms. Is that not what you've always wanted?"
"You really are a smart boy, Dei. Aright, I'll do it. I'll get rid of Pein and I will marry you. You and I will be the owners of both Kingdoms."
Deidara smiled as if he were his accomplice but deep down, he only hoped Orochimaru would never realize that this son was not Pein's, that he was lying to him to divide the enemy forces.
Chapter 23: Strategies
Deidara entered Konan's room after knocking and closed it once inside. He walked over to Konan, who was sitting by the window, watching her knit. For a moment, his eyes dropped down to the woman's belly; her pregnancy was barely noticed thanks to the loose dresses she was wearing lately but no one knew just how long she could keep hiding something like that from Pein.
"How'd it go with Orochimaru?" Konan asked.
"He suspects me a bit." Deidara responded.
"Did he say something to you?"
"No, but I've seen it in his eyes. He knows I have something in mind, yet, he is so obsessed with having me that he would do anything for me."
"How are you going to convince him that you're telling the truth?"
"By showing him the marks Pein placed on me, by making him think I'd really do anything to get out of here, even marry him. Do you know anything about Itachi?"
"Pein has said nothing to me, but the Councilmen were talking about a military camp out on the outskirts of the Kingdom."
"It must be them. They must be camping out on the edge of the Kingdom. As long as they don't enter here, they can't be accused of breaking the rules but they're close if they need to intervene quickly."
That night, Orochimaru took advantage of the solitude of the castle and the darkness of the corridors to make way towards the room where Deidara slept and sneak inside. He went over to the bed where the blond slept and upon sitting on the edge of the bed, he stroked the blond's hair, letting those fine golden threads tangle around his fingers.
Deidara opened his eyes lazily, even so, he recognized that scent perfectly; he knew it was Orochimaru. For years that man had been sneaking into his bedroom in the highest tower of the Castle in the Wind, for years he was his prisoner. A part of Deidara hated him for what it meant to see him here alive; Orochimaru had killed his parents, nearly killed his whole family, held him against his will in that tower and had deceived and lied to him so that he wouldn't discover who he really was. But, another part of him... had a certain appreciation. Orochimaru had never hurt him, he had never lay a hand against him, never tortured him, never violated him. Orochimaru did nothing to him but keep him safe. Although his reign had always consisted on creating and fomenting fear, Deidara never really had a reason to fear him. Even so, he would take revenge on that man for his whole family.
"Good morning, little one," Orochimaru greeted, smiling as he continued stroking Deidara's hair.
"What time is it?" Deidara asked, trying to open his eyes.
"Too early. Don't get up." He said sweetly, but Deidara reached for one of the candles.
Orochimaru gently took Deidara's hand back to the bed while he turned and lit the candle himself.
"Has something happened?" Dei asked.
"No, I just wanted to see you."
"Seriously?" Deidara smiled, pretending to still be that innocent boy whom Orochimaru liked so much. "I thought you wouldn't return for me."
"I promised you I'd come back."
"I thought you cared more about conquering both kingdoms than me."
"Never, Dei. You were always the most important. Now our plan will succeed, you'll see."
"I'm scared,"— Deidara said, pretending, —"if Pein finds out what we're up to, he could endanger this child and he's the only one who'll inherit all the territories."
"I won't let him hurt him."
Orochimaru reached into the collar of Deidara's shirt and pulled it slightly, revealing his neck and part of Deidara's shoulder. He still had bruises and scars from the very last of Pein's beatings. Orochimaru was startled upon seeing them, but Deidara quickly pushed his hand away, covering his shoulder as he lowered his head.
"Was it him?" Orochimaru asked. "He dared hit you?!" He asked, now angry.
"I already told you he hasn't exactly been the greatest host. You never hurt me."
"I would never, Dei. I love you too much to hurt you."
"Please, don't let Pein raise his hand against me again. I'll do anything, but please—"
"Don't worry. I won't let him hurt you. I will end him and soon we'll rule both kingdoms. We'll get married, Deidara, we'll be happy."
Orochimaru embraced Deidara and although Deidara corresponded to him, a smile escaped the blond's lips as he realized that he had Orochimaru completely under his control. The man was so in love, or perhaps, obsessed with him, that he didn't realize that this innocent boy of his was planning his fall. Deidara was going to regain his kingdom and take revenge for his parents even if that was the last thing he did.
Barely two days had passed since Orochimaru arrived at Pein's castle. Both had been locked behind doors discussing their plan of attack against Itachi's troops. Deidara had no way of knowing about the plan— the two were always wary — but he didn't give much thought to it knowing how Orochimaru was, at the moment, on his side. Every morning, he watched as Orochimaru dropped a few drops of something on his nephew's food, probably poison. At least those two were against each other. At this rate, they would end up killing each other before Itachi even entered the Kingdom.
The rest of the day, Deidara stayed behind Konan. They would take a walk in the gardens and later on knit in the bedroom in front of the window. Pein had demanded that Konan cease all activity with Deidara to avoid any risk on his son, so Konan had stopped treating him like a servant until Pein's new orders. Konan always smiled, noticing how blind her husband must be to not realize everyone was plotting against him, but it was better like this; for Pein to be so occupied in his own things meant that he would avoid of finding out her relationship with Hidan.
That night, Deidara went to bed late. He had been around Konan and Hidan all day, plotting their escape to leave with Itachi as soon as the war begun. Hidan had gathered news about the situation and informed that they would soon attack, so they must be prepared. He slept as little as he could because in the first hour of the morning, as soon as the first rays of the sun appeared and the first rooster sang it's first notes, the bells of the great Cathedral in the Kingdom of Rain would ring— sounding the alarm that the army of the Fire Kingdom was entering the city and making way towards the direction of the castle.
Deidara got up and ran towards the window, observing the panorama. He could see smoke on the horizon. Worried about what was coming, he got dressed quickly to try to get out of there. He had done enough to weaken Pein thanks to the help of Orochimaru and his poison. Pein had been weird these past couple of days.
He was barely finishing up on changing his clothes when Pein entered through the door quickly. Deidara was suddenly stoic before feeling how Pein grabbed tightly around his arm and began dragging him behind him. He tried to break free as they moved down the corridor; he wanted to get away from Pein but he knew Pein would not permit it.
"Let go! I don't want to go with you!" Deidara suddenly said, causing Pein to stop.
Pein didn't even let go of him when he turned around and slapped him to make him shut up and keep walking behind him. Deidara bit his lips for a second before once again raising his head and looking at him defiantly.
"I'm not going anywhere with you!"
"You think I care about you?!" Pein asked angrily. "You're just a kid, all I want is to keep the child in you alive! He'll be the heir to all of this!"
Deidara smiled. Pein still thought that the child was his and not once had he stopped to think if that child really was his.
"The heir to the Kingdom of Rain?" Deidara asked, smiling.
"What's so funny about it?"
"You may be right that he will be the heir, but not to your Kingdom. I know perfectly well who I am and this child will eventually rule in the Kingdom of Wind and quite possibly in the Kingdom of Fire. He'll be great and will control both Kingdoms, but he will not be yours."
"It can't be his..."— Pein said in surprise. —"it cannot be Itachi's!"
"Oh it's definitely his. You haven't even stopped to think that the problem is you! You can't ever have an heir; you couldn't with your wife and you couldn't with me, it doesn't matter what you try!"
"That's not true... Konan can't bear children!"
"Please, she's been pregnant for months! You don't even bother sleeping in your matrimonial bed and all you care about is yourself! You haven't even stopped for a second to look at her and see what's been happening in front of you!"
Pein, now more angry then ever, grabbed Deidara by the neck and pushed him against the wall. He was going to hit him, Deidara knew it and so he closed his eyes as he thought about it, but the hit never came. Instead, he heard Orochimaru's voice and as he opened his eyes, he saw how he had quickly stopped Pein's hand.
"Don't you dare try and hit him! Let him go!" Pein hesitated for a few seconds, looking at his Uncle, but he was even more angry. "Now, let him go."
Pein let go of Deidara, who stepped away from him and upon doing so, stood behind Orochimaru's back. Deidara watched Pein smile as he stroked his aching neck.
"You're so blind,"— Pein said. —"you can't see how that boy is using you. You're too obsessed with him, Uncle. He's bearing Itachi's son."
Orochimaru turned to Deidara, but Deidara simply shrugged his shoulders as if trying to indicate that he knew nothing about what Pein was talking about.
"Do not speak nonsense."
"It's true. Why else would Itachi come here and attack us if not for Deidara and his son?"
"Have you gone mad?!" Deidara asked. "How could this be Itachi's son?!"
"Don't say foolishness!"
"What's going on here?" They all heard Konan ask behind them. "Dei, are you alright?"
"Yes," Deidara said, approaching her as he watched the situation get out of control.
Chapter 24: Obsessions
Orochimaru had been paralyzed by the situation. He didn't know what to think of it all. He knew that Deidara was an intelligent boy, that sooner or later he would find out about everything but here he was with that innocent look of always. He was still the boy whom Orochimaru had fallen in love with. He didn't want to believe that Deidara could have betrayed him in any way, much less believe that he was pregnant with Itachi's son like had Pain said. He looked at Deidara and then immediately fell onto something even more important.
"You took him to the Kingdom of Fire?" Orochimaru asked.
"I had to sign the alliance with them."
"And it did not occur to you that it would be a bad idea?"
Orochimaru could not yet believe that his nephew had taken a Namikaze through two Kingdoms. Deidara could've learned of who he was at any moment and above all, he could've recognized Itachi. Perhaps his nephew had no idea that Deidara and Itachi knew each other, but it could be a good reason as to why Itachi was entering the City of Rain: he had recognized Deidara and he was coming for him.
"You're an idiot!" Orochimaru told Pein, then looked at Deidara. "Is it Itachi's or Pein's?" Orochimaru now questioned Deidara but the blond remained silent. "You don't have to answer me. You couldn't get your wife pregnant and neither Deidara, incredible!"
"He can't continue to live: he bears the heir to the Throne of Fire." Pein said, looking at Deidara and walking towards him, drawing his sword.
Deidara took a few steps back, seeing how Pein was coming straight at him. He placed his hands up to defend himself against the sword that would kill without hesitation. He closed his eyes, expecting the blow but once again, it did not come. What he did hear was the metallic clash of two swords striking against each other and when he opened his eyes, he found that Orochimaru was in front of him blocking Pein's sword with his own.
"Don't you even dare touch him."
"He carries Itachi's son within him; they cannot live."
"But that's your fault! I offered him to you and you didn't know how to take advantage of that! You preferred to go to the Land of Fire and take him with you. it was you who neglected him and that's why he went with Itachi! This has never and would have never happened to me!"
"You only kept him locked up!"
"I had him safe from everything and everyone!"
"You're too blind for him, Uncle. You have to kill him."
"I won't do it."
"This kid has deranged you! He'll never love you; he's probably wishing to leave with Itachi! Kill him now that you can!"
"And to be without him? That will never happen. I have no problems; I can lock him in the tower back in the Wind Country."
"And the child? What will you do with the child? If he escaped, it would be a big problem. He would be the heir of the Fire Kingdom, the son of Itachi; he would go with his father!"
"I can raise him as if he were mine, put him against Itachi and then, when everything goes right, I'll defeat Itachi when his own son betrays him." Orochimaru smiled.
"You will not take my Kingdom, nor will you conquer the Kingdom of Fire!"
"We'll see about that," Orochimaru commented with a wicked smile.
Pain moved the sword away from Orochimaru and with a quick movement, grabbed Deidara, taking him from there. In his sudden escape, Konan, who was in the middle, tried to back away, but luckily, Hidan pulled her away before Pein could hurt her or her child.
Orochimaru also left after them while Hidan ordered Konan to lock herself in her room and to not open to anybody, that he still had to go for Deidara before those two did something crazy. They were both about to leave in separate directions when Itachi appeared in front of them accompanied by his brother and some guards. He stopped in front of them asking for Deidara.
"They've taken him,"— Konan said, —"they've gone that way, the back door. They'll probably go into the woods."
"Lock yourself in and do not go out. One of my men will stay with you." Itachi said, running towards where Konan had indicated.
"Wait, I'm coming with you, too." Hidan said, joining the search.
Everyone ran after the fugitives. Itachi was worried about Deidara, although he tried to hide it however way he could. He always knew that the plan was a risky one but he had let him do it. Perhaps only once had Itachi regretted letting him go with Pein and it was when he had received that letter where Deidara told him that he was pregnant. Itachi was afraid that they might discover him, that something would happen to both Deidara and the child and now, that fear was coming true. Fortunately for him, despite not wanting to acknowledge it, Orochimaru refused to let anything happen to Deidara. That had calmed him down a little, knowing that Orochimaru would protect him. However, he also had in mind that he had to arrive before Deidara was taken again because the defenses of the Kingdom of Wind were much stronger than those of the Kingdom Rain. He would never be able to reach Deidara if he was locked up again.
They left the castle towards the courtyard where they asked some of the guards who were guarding the city and detaining soldiers still loyal to Pein to avoid collateral damage for some horses. They hopped onto the animals and galloped away, following Konan's instructions. Pein had a somewhat smaller castle to the east of there. In past wars, it was where the royal family was sheltered against harm and at this moment, Itachi knew that Pein was planning to take Deidara there. He only hoped to get there before Orochimaru and Pein fought things out for the worst.
Hidan, who was further in the back, forced the horse to accelerate its pace as to reach Itachi, who was in the front next to a pair of guards. Itachi looked at him for a few seconds in silence until Hidan spoke, indicating the way they should go to Pein's castle. When they were far enough away from the rest of the group, Itachi couldn't help to ask what had been revolving around his head for a while.
"Hey, Hidan... why betray your King? I mean... you were born in the Kingdom of the Rain and I doubt very much that you wanted to see how war arrived in your country."
"For the same reason that you're here in my country invading us. I fell in love."
"Of the Queen? You aimed very high."
"I came from a noble family; the protectors of this kingdom. My entire family has always been soldiers and I learned the arts of arms when I was young. When my father passed away, I entered the council to replace him and... what can I tell you? I suppose Pein liked me; he consulted me for practically everything. By marrying Konan, he 'offered' me the task of protecting her, of becoming her bodyguard. At that point in time, I didn't think I would end up falling in love with her. Seeing how Pein treated her... I suppose it created within me a feeling of wanting to protect her. You can't imagine how it is living with him for years; it's nothing compared to what Deidara has lived through all these months. He even sent to assassinate her imprisoned father when she refused to sign documents that were important for him."
"Does he not suspect that Konan carries within her your son?" Itachi asked in surprise.
"The King no longer has eyes for his wife since a long time. I guess the only reason I am still alive is because he doesn't know." Hidan said with a smile. "Pein would send me to the gallows if he ever found out that the child is mine and that I've been sleeping with his wife."
Itachi smiled and thought to answer him when in the distance, he heard the voices of those two arguing. He hastened the pace of his horse and Hidan followed closely, forcing the others behind him to speed up to arrive before anything happened. As soon as he had them in sight, Itachi dismounted his horse and ran towards them. They hadn't even been able to reach Pein's castle as they had barely made it halfway, probably because Orochimaru had reached him before Pein had the chance to keep going. Worst of all, Itachi hated to see Pein so close to the edge of the cliff with Deidara still in his grasp without any possibility to escape.
Deidara's blue eyes focused on Itachi's dark ones. Orochimaru tried to convince Pein to release Deidara, but Pein seemed to have gone mad; losing everything he had had brought him to the brink of utter madness. He was capable of anything and would not hesitate to take Deidara with him. Each step back brought him closer to the precipice. Itachi was slowly approaching Orochimaru without losing sight of Deidara.
He didn't want to get in the conversation between them, but when the situation tensed, he had no other option than to run forwards, watching how Pein threw himself over the cliff and dragging Deidara along with him. To his luck, Orochimaru, who was much closer, managed to release Pein's arm around Deidara's neck, pushing the blond towards Itachi but in exchange, falling along with his nephew.
Itachi took Deidara's hand before he fell back and pulled him hard towards him, hugging him and falling to the ground with Deidara snuggling on his chest to the point of crying over the terror he had gone through.
"It's alright, I've got you,"— Itachi whispered as he sweetly caressed the blond's hair. —"you're safe, you're both safe." He corrected, thinking of his son and smiling. "Come on, let's return to the palace. There's a lot to do. We have to get your kingdom back."
"It'll be easy now that Orochimaru is gone," Deidara said, looking towards the cliff with a certain sadness.
"Do you still feel sorry for him?" Itachi asked.
"I know that he did many bad things and I will never forgive him for what he did to my parents, but... he always looked after me and protected me, even if it was for that sickly love that led him to this. He never hurt me or wanted to hurt me."
"I know. He was obsessed but I guess that has benefited you. I'm glad you're okay."
"I want to go home,"— Deidara said tiredly, —"please."
"Of course, let us first return to the palace of the Rain and release Konan's family from their prison. Surely she must be wishing to see them. Then I'll take you to my castle so you can rest. I will take care of the procedures to return to you the Kingdom of Wind."
"Thank you," Deidara thanked him just before joining their lips in a sweet kiss.
Chapter 25: Alliances
Kingdom of Fire:
Itachi opened his eyes to his new room and looked towards the window, watching as the sun's rays began to illuminate the whole room. It had been two months since the war was over and Deidara was about to give birth. Everyone had been prepared; they had even informed the doctor that spent almost every day to check him just in case. For at least a month, Itachi no longer slept with Deidara. First, it was because the blond needed space; Deidara practically threw him out of bed, uncovering him when he got too hot or cold and his constant movements would not let Itachi sleep. He then finally decided that he would return to their shared bedroom after the child was born and when all of Deidara's hormones calmed down.
The door to the room suddenly opened, letting him see his brother Sasuke coming in without even asking for permission to enter. He, too, was also having hard nights and that was because although Naruto was less months pregnant than Deidara, his hormones were also noticeable.
"Have you seen Naruto?" Sasuke asked.
"I haven't even gotten out of bed,"— Itachi smiled. —"I imagine that if he's not in his room, he'll be with Deidara."
"Again? He's been going to sleep with him for the past month," Sasuke said sulkily.
"Better for them to put up with each other and their mood swings than to get us in between," Itachi said and Sasuke smiled.
"He kicked you out of bed, too?" Itachi asked, but Sasuke smiled.
"More like I'm the one who kicked him out. He uses it all but since he's up around midnight with his eyes wide open, he goes to sleep with Deidara complaining about how sweaty he gets when I hug him." Sasuke smiled. "You should try it sometime: that way if he takes your side of the bed, hug him, and you'll see how fast he'll leave."
"Good thing he's got a bit more to go," Itachi said.
"How's he going?" Sasuke asked in seriousness this time.
"He's scared, but he's doing pretty good."
"Naruto is more than scared. I think it won't do him any good to be around his brother when he gives birth. He'll know what he's going to face soon and it'll overwhelm him even more."
"Then perhaps it would be a good time for you to march off to the Kingdom of Wind. Deidara does not want to take care of it, saying that since he's now married to me, he does not need to take care of two kingdoms, that it's too much work. He's passed it off to Naruto."
"Seriously? He's named Naruto as King?"
"And you, too; the two of you are married so from now on it is your territory as well."
"I could propose to leave to that palace. I could deal with the diplomacy and restore the kingdom back to normal. The people would be much calmer to see a Namikaze back on the throne and this way, I'll be able to keep Naruto away from his brother when he gives birth. We aren't that far away so once our child is born, we could come and see you.
"I think that's a great idea."
Sasuke smiled, then went to look for Naruto although Itachi also took advantage and told him to wait, that he would accompany him, too. When they reached Deidara's room and entered, they found the two of them in bed hugging and covered all the way up. The two brothers looked at each other and smiled.
"There's no cure for them," Sasuke said.
"Let them sleep. They haven't been together for many years. Let's have breakfast, they'll come later."
Both brothers went down for breakfast to find Sai and Ino in the dining room. It wasn't until they were all nearly finished when the two blonds came down to eat. They all looked at each other and smiled upon seeing their sleepy faces but even so, they said their 'good mornings' as they sat down to eat.
Towards the end breakfast, Itachi got up and went to a council meeting to finish solving some problems that had arisen. Everything had been chaos since the war. The Kingdom of Rain was still trying to decide on a new King, one that Itachi was sure would be Hidan since he planned to marry the Queen, for legal purposes, because despite Orochimaru and Pein being dead... Konan was still Queen.
Itachi then left the council chambers and headed for the library; Deidara tended to always be around there reading some book. As he entered the room, he found him immediately in front of one of the large windows looking towards the horizon with a book in his hands, which of course... he was no longer reading. Something had distracted him from his reading. He walked over to him and hugged him from the back, gently caressing his belly.
"How's my little boy?" Itachi asked, sinking his face into a smiling Deidara's neck.
"Giving a hell of a war, just like an Uchiha." Deidara responded.
"That's the way I like it, he's going to come out with character," Itachi said and smiled as Deidara punched him lightly on the shoulder so he would shut up.
"Don't say those things."
"Do you see your Kingdom?" Itachi asked, looking out the window to the horizon.
"If you miss it so much... why do you give it to Naruto?"
"Because I just married you,"— Deidara replied, showing him the ring on his finger. —"and controlling two Kingdoms is complicated. Plus, I'll be ruling with you here. It's best that Naruto take care of our Kingdom, that way we don't break the promise he made."
"The promise was made under the assumption that you had died,"— Itachi said. —"you're the rightful heir. Sasuke won't have the Kingdom of Wind if you don't want him to."
"I'd rather they keep it. It's also a sign of trust, a good alliance. Don't you think so? We know they'll never betray us."
"And I expect the Rain to not betray us as well. Surely they'll name Hidan."
"I'm glad to hear that."
"Have they informed you that Naruto and Sasuke are leaving for the Wind?"
"I figured they wouldn't take long. There are many things to fix and they have to calm the people with their presence. We're close; there is no problem, although I will miss them a little."
"I know," Itachi said, embracing him in a tender hug.
The following morning, Sasuke was already preparing everything necessary to leave and although Naruto had opposed the idea at first, he quickly understood and decided that it was time he return to work: they had a Kingdom to restore order to. It wasn't exactly a long trip. After a few days, they had returned to the Kingdom of Fire to meet the new member of the family— a child of blue eyes like the Namikaze and intense, dark hair like the Uchiha. Naruto had bever seen his brother so happy as he was at that moment: holding his son in his arms while Itachi smiled happily at his side; happy to have his family with him.
Kingdom of Rain:
It rained intensely, something habitual in the grayish Kingdom that was always surrounded by dense clouds. Even so, the bad weather did not stop the people who were crowded around the church where the Queen's marriage was being celebrated. Nobody had expected the Queen to return home and much less with the one who was once her bodyguard, the one who was now crowned King. Although Hidan had come from a great and noble family, becoming King had always been far beyond his goals until Pein's death brought him good luck.
The Kingdom would change slowly. The old rules would be left in the past as to give start to a time of great splendor, this time accompanied by the rise of Hidan to the Throne with the prosperous alliance with both the Country of Wind and Fire. The three nations had been united in something the people had never seen before but even so, they observed with great interest as they felt more secure and relieved. The topic of war would have to be really thought out if any enemy decided to face them knowing they were three united Kingdoms.
After the wedding, Hidan had to take care of some pending matters with the new advisors he himself had called upon made up of people with his complete trust. As he left the meeting, he walked down the long stone corridor to his room. Opening the door, he listened as Konan sang a sweet song to their son which was snuggled in her arms as she tried to get him to sleep by gently rocking him back and forth. Hidan smiled as he recognized the song— it wasn't a song from the Kingdom of Wind where she had been raised, but a song from the Kingdom of Rain.
"Where have you heard that?" Hidan asked in a whisper as to not wake his son.
"Some children were singing it on the street." She replied and smiled.
"My mother used to sing that song when I was a child," Hidan said.
"Really?" Konan smiled, walking towards Hidan to place a sweet kiss on his lips. "Do you think we'll be happy now?"
"I don't know, but I promise that each and every day, I'll try to make you happy," Hidan replied, stroking his son's head as he smiled.
The door suddenly swung open, revealing Konan's brother, who had finally been released a few days ago. However, when he entered and saw the scene before him with his sister holding her baby in arms and so lovey-dovey with her husband, he thought twice about entering and excused himself for the interruption and left, red as a tomato while Hidan and Konan smiled.
It would be a rainy and usual day in the Kingdom of Rain, but for them, this was only the beginning of their happy days even if it rained continuously.
Kingdom of the Wind:
The Palace of the Wind had always been the most beautiful of all castles; its white stone that glittered in the sun made it appear majestic. When Naruto hopped off the horse and finally stepped upon the land in the yard, he looked up at the tall towers. He still couldn't believe how much damage they had done to his entire city, to his Kingdom.
"Come, Naruto. We'll fix everything," Sasuke said with a smile.
"Of course," Naruto said, placing a hand over his belly. He still had a couple of months to go before the birth of his child.
They had to travel back to the Kingdom of Fire for a few days to meet the new member of their family, but soon, they returned to work. Although Sasuke would always insist that he rest, Naruto refused to leave all the work to him. The servants worked day and night to clean and repair all the defects that had occurred during the absence of the real Royal family and all of the prisoners under Pein had been released under pardon. Many of them... had been soldiers that had always kept their loyalty and faith to the Namikaze and that had refused to swear to their new usurper King.
During his last weeks of pregnancy, Naruto could only think of one disturbing thing: sleeping with Sasuke. Ever since he knew he was pregnant, Sasuke hadn't touched him for fear of harming the child but the blond only wanted sex. He was really looking forwards to the birth of the child so he could finally be back with his husband without being afraid that something bad might happen.
He closed the book he had been reading in the library and looked out the window, smiling when he heard his bodyguard's voice behind him.
"Why the smile, Naruto?" Kakashi asked.
"I still remember when I got married because of the arrangement. Who would've thought I'd end up falling in love with that idiot?" He asked, smiling.
"He's a lucky guy."
"Maybe I'm the lucky one. He's good at everything he does but I... I haven't been able to help him with anything regarding the Kingdom. No matter how much I read these books, I can't seem to yet understand the policies I should follow."
"It'll take you a while to learn it, Naruto, but Sasuke will always be by your side to help you in everything. You won't make all the decisions yourself, at least, not from now on. That stage in your life has already passed."
"Boy or girl, what do you think?" Naruto then asked, touching his belly.
"I don't know."
"If it's a girl... she won't be able to inherit the Kingdom."
"Stop worrying about it, Naruto. If it's a girl, you'll love her as much as if it were a boy. In addition, if it turns out to be a girl, you'll have the perfect excuse for Sasuke to want to continue trying to get that heir. You're very young and Sasuke is, too. You will have many opportunities and you will be happy, you'll see."
Naruto smiled at Kakashi's words and tried to get back to his reading. He wanted to learn as much as possible now that Sasuke wouldn't let him do anything but rest. How he longed to have that child out of him, to hold him in his arms, and to see him for the first time. He wanted to feel him by his side and not inside him. He wanted to get his life from before back.
The day finally arrived and to their surprise, the maid walked out in search of Sasuke, who was walking impatiently outside until they could let him see Naruto. The woman brought the child along in her arms, covered with a towel as she showed it to the King and with a smile, he then took the child in his arms.
"It's a girl, Your Majesty,"— The maid said, smiling. —"a precious girl."
"Fuck... she's got all of Naruto's genes,"— Sasuke started to laugh, making everyone else around him laugh, —"Look how blonde she is! You're going to give me a hard time, little one. I'll have to scare away all the boys from you when you're older." He smiled, making the other servants smile as well. "How's Naruto?"
"Resting. It's been a long and complicated birth. He's sleeping now."
"I'll go in to see him."
"As you wish."
Sasuke entered with his baby girl in arms, seeing Naruto on the bed sleeping, completely exhausted. He approached the bed, seeing how the rest of the servants who were looking after Naruto left, smiling as they bowed before taking their leave. He sat on the bed and let the baby down between them as he laid down and watched his husband sleep.
"Thank you, Naruto," he whispered.
"That's not like an Uchiha," Naruto said, smiling without opening his eyes.
"Wasn't it you who once told me it was impolite to spy?"
"I'm not spying on you,"— Naruto smiled. —"you speak too loud. Is it a girl?"
"Yes, a beautiful girl with hair as blond as yours."
"I'm going to fill this palace with Namikazes,"— Naruto teased as he smiled at Sasuke. —"you'll have to look for the boy."
"Yes, but not today, Naruto. Rest."
"I'm... very tired," Naruto whispered, moving closer to Sasuke for warmth.
Sasuke hugged both the baby and Naruto as he stroked the blond's cheek to sleep. All three ended up sleeping in the bed like a happy family. Naruto had never expected for all his happiness to be gathered there with him, but now he had his daughter and a husband whom he loved madly and whom he would spend each and every night with for the rest of his life. He would strive to give him the heir he needed. The Kingdom of Wind would finally be returned to its real owners.
The people of the Kingdom celebrated the birth of the child. Many brought presents and Sasuke took care of giving a large amount of money to the family that had once sheltered them when they had fled from Pein. It was the least he could do for the people that had helped them then.