Fandom: Naruto, The Sandman (Comic's)
Character's: Uchiha Itachi, Death of the Endless
Warning: Crossover, canonical Character Death (sort of)
Summary: "I'm back," the man with a kinder smile than her own says and Death opens her eyes.
Author's Note: I'm not happy with this. I have the feeling none of my writing will ever be good enough to match The Sandman. Please simply see it as Experiment No. I, since I have wild theories how the Endless would fit into the Naruto Universe. I guess I will keep writing until they make sense.
Death is a kind woman, especially to those who recently died and yet very firm, cruel even to those left on the other side. It's the rule. It's the order.
Or how human's would say it, just the way of life.
And yet ... there are exceptions. Sometimes Destiny gets in her way and cheats. He can be a little unfair, if the course of history isn't going the way it's supposed to be. Sometimes Destiny meddles with the time. Or sometimes a near death experience has been written into the pages in the first place.
So true exceptions are rare. Exceptions were Death gave in and not acted on Destiny's order. Come thinking of it, there was only one death in the last few centuries which made the job nearly unbearable. Only one man and his brother, who managed to let her close her eyes for a minute and ignore the shadow slipping through the curtain.
Footsteps approach her.
"I'm back," the man with a kinder smile than her own says and Death opens her eyes again.
"Surprisingly," she says and spots Uchiha Itachi, who watches her, calm and collected as if he had seen worse things (he had, she was there) and feared perhaps anyone but Death.
"I admit I thought I would have to go back for you," Death adds truthfully. "You cannot put past him of wishing you would stay at his side, any kind of form he could get."
Itachi's smiles widens and Death wishes she had so much love for her siblings like he does for his.
"Ah, Sasuke knows better than to mess with you," Itachi says in full confidence. "He respects you far too much. Besides he watched how Orochimaru still evades you like the fearful and pathetic snake he is."
Well, true. Orochimaru was an annoying little shit, yet just as endearing as the rest of humanity (but she wouldn't tell Itachi as much). If he was an example for Sasuke, no matter what kind, even better.
"Didn't stop him from summoning the dead," Death mumbled.
Even if it was pure brilliance that spoke for his family to let Orochimaru do the ritual. Technically Itachi's little brother hadn't done anything but to question afterimages.
But even Death couldn't fool Uchiha Itachi, since he said to her, "Lady, we both know Sasuke did you a favour by freeing the Hokage's from the Shinigami's belly. You might have freed them from any other realm. But not from the belly of your own employe."
True, again. But she does not admit it. Instead she says, "I repaid this debt."
Death looks directly at Itachi and not many would be this calm while enduring her gaze. The Uchiha just returns her smile cheerfully.
But his mood sobers after.
"Since Sasuke will never utter a word of thanks, when he finally meets you, I shall express my gratitude for the both of us." A deep bow follows and when Itachi lifts his head again, his eyes are deep red. "My eternal thanks for allowing me to meet Sasuke, no matter how briefly it was."
Yet enough to change the course of history, Death remembers the moment Itachi joined her realm again. She had been watching from the distance and had spotted Destiny carefully following Sasuke's change of heart as well. In person, she might add and not through his book. A rare event and a sign she wasn't the only Endless who made exceptions for the Uchiha.
Silence stretched between them, yet Itachi did not fade like the rest of the souls she usually guided. Death let out a sigh.
"You are a stubborn one, Uchiha," she said. "What could you still want?"
Red eyes fixated on her. "Nothing," Itachi exclaimed carefree after a long moment of silence and pushed his hands into his pokets. "I have just decided to wait for Sasuke to join me. I've no doubt your job will be easier if I'm there to greet him when his time finally comes."
"We shall see. But don't be surprised if you have make yourself useful," Death groused, slightly annoyed by the Uchiha. She had forgotten how presistent this family could be.
"Of course," Itachi waved and turned around to watch over his brother. Only his cloak moved slightly before Itachi joined the shadows as if he had done nothing else in his life.
Well, no. He had not, Death admited to herself and closed her hands to fists.
Theoretically it was frowned upon to let souls linger around, it went against the circle of life and the natural order. Yet in this case she had made so many exceptions already, what was one more? Despite, Itachi was probably right (as always). Sasuke would either greet her with open arms or fight her on every step along the way.
Besides, who would critize her for it?
Only Destiny knew, who she could feel smiling under his hood, because he had proven once again that sometimes the death of a mortal (and the live attached to it) was more important than the life and death of others.
Strangely Death wasn't angry at the Uchiha and their blood, the object her well hidden favouritism. Instead fury gathered in her belly, because her mercy had been necessary in the first place. Mad hat her siblings that Itachi and Sasuke had so little to say about how they would die and how influenced their life was by outer forces.
She would have words with Desire. (S)he was largely responsible for the entire mess in front of her. Despair probably only tried to help, but she had done more harm than good in Sasuke's case. Destructions absence hadn't helped either.
Perhaps Dream was the only one, who looked out for Sasuke and Itachi on occasion. Unuasual for him, but their abilities to craft dreams into reality warrented such action perhaps? So Death could only speculate about Dream's relationship with the Uchiha. Since Dream never turned up to claim the Uchiha has his own, when the died, the least she could to was prolong their rest, before the Uchiha (a pair of brother in this case) would be reincarnated.
Recalled to tempt Fate or do work for Fortuna. Again and again, until the day Destiny took his eyes back.