Glue between the Cracks

BY : Sasunarufan13
Category: Naruto > Yaoi - Male/Male > Naruto/Sasuke
Dragon prints: 3115
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto nor make profit of it. Kishimoto owns it.

Author's note: I figured it was time I finally posted Itachi's pov or in other words: how would Piece by Piece, Back Together have unfolded if Itachi had remained alive? You'll find out in this fic :) I haven't finished the fic yet, but I thought I might as well post the first chapter already, see if people are still excited about it or not LOL

I can't promise regular updates (not with university work and exams coming up soon) but I will do my best to keep the delays to an absolute minimum (hint: reviews tend to kick my arse in gear LMAO)

Warnings: Itachi's pov; minor character death (we start off with a bang, literally); some angst; some drama; smidgen of violence; takes place when Naruto is pregnant the first time

New warnings will be added when necessary with future updates.

I hope you'll enjoy this new part in the series!

Chapter 1

"That's the final one?" He studied the picture carefully, memorising the way the man looked.

"The very last one," his companion confirmed; the ice in his glass of whiskey clacking when he raised the tumbler to take a sip. "We could find no one higher than him."

"Where can I find him?" The picture crinkled slightly when his fingers tightened around it; his blood pounding furiously in his ears.

One more person and he was finally done. One more to go and he could finally step out of the shadows again. After all these years, it was finally time.

"In the next town, thirteen miles from here," the other one answered and flicked an envelope on the table between them. "In there you'll find the exact address, the key to your car and some extra cash to help you on your way."

Surprise flitted through him and he placed the picture next to the envelop. "You've already helped me plenty."

"I know," the older man smiled; purple eyes peeking through straight, red bangs. "But am I not correct in assuming I'll never see you again after you're finished?"

He remained silent, pursing his lips.

The Alpha nodded, not looking offended in the least. "I thought so. I have to admit it's a shame, losing such a great asset as you've proven to be, but I knew this day would come eventually. You're destined for greater things than this."

He stood up and rested a hand on his shoulder for a moment, squeezing it lightly. "I wish you luck in your future endeavours. I hope you'll find what you're looking for." Then he disappeared, as silently as he'd appeared in his life all those years ago.

He remained sitting there for a bit longer, contemplating the items on the table in front of him. He was so close to regaining his life; just a bit longer and he could turn his back to this whole business. He was grateful for the other man that he had taken him under his wings at a time when he needed guidance the most, but no matter how much he appreciated what the other one had done for him, he couldn't keep doing this.

That had never been the plan.

Opening the envelop, he memorised the address on the card before allowing the flames in the fireplace to consume the small, white card. The car key was pocketed in his jeans. He counted the money bills passively before slipping them in his wallet, halting when his eyes fell on the only picture he kept stored inside of it.

It was one of a young, dark haired boy, who grinned at him widely; his legs frozen mid-air in a kick. There were scuffmarks on his bare knees from when he'd been trying to catch a cat, but had failed spectacularly.

The boy in the picture was forever frozen at the age of ten; he wondered how the older version looked like now. He supposed he would find out soon, if everything went according to plan.

I'll find you, he promised, gazing at the bright grin for a couple of more seconds before he resolutely closed his wallet and stuffed it back into his pocket.

And when I do, we'll make up for all these missing years, I swear.

The shot was a clean one, muffled by a white pillow.

Expressionlessly he lifted the pillow and watched the blood slowly trickle out of the small hole in the man's pudgy face. It dribbled down a flabby cheek, leaving a dark red trail behind. Murky brown eyes were wide open in shock; his mouth frozen in a gape as if he'd wanted to scream.

He hadn't given him a chance. He hadn't even given him an opportunity to beg for his pathetic life. The man's fate had been sealed the moment he'd decided to go after his family. It hadn't been a matter of if, but when he would find him. Eight years he'd given him, but he had caught up to him eventually. There had never been any escape for the cockroach.

Checking his watch, he nodded to himself thoughtfully. Two o'clock in the morning. Right on time. Dropping the pillow on the carpet, he turned swiftly around and left the bedroom. Like a shadow he flitted through the corridors, leaving the house without setting off any alarms.

His car was waiting for him a few blocks further, shining darkly in the waxing moonlight. It unlocked with a soft 'click' when he pressed the button on his key and he slid smoothly behind the wheel. He put the gun in the glove department, intent on stashing it away in a safe place later on. Now he needed to leave. First, though, he needed to make one more call.

"You're done?"

In spite of the late hour, the man on the other end of the line sounded wide awake, if a bit lazy.

"All done, I got the last one tonight," he confirmed, sliding his free hand over the steering wheel.

A sigh. "No way to have it traced back to you? Because in that case, you might as well stay gone. I didn't go through all this trouble, just for you to screw up."

"You know that none of this will get traced back to me," he replied flatly.

"Yeah, I know," the other one replied flippantly. "Well, I'm glad to hear you finished your mission. Took you eight years, but better late than never, I suppose."

He didn't rise to the bait, knowing the other man was just prickly because he was calling him so late.

"I'll start preparing the documents. You're lucky I know some people who owe me favours," the man huffed annoyed.

Ignoring him, he said, "I need his address."

For a moment only silence reigned between them before there was another sigh, a louder one, tinged with years of weariness, travelling through the phone.

"Are you sure that's a good idea?" he asked quietly. "He's making a life for himself now. He's finally putting the past behind him; you showing up might push him to the breaking point."

"I didn't spend all these years tracking them down for nothing," he said coldly. "Give me his address now."

"Fine, it'll be your mess to clean up," the older man murmured distastefully. "I'll send you his address through text. Give me a week to go under, will you? I'd rather not risk his wrath when he finds out the truth."

He snorted, but didn't remark on the cowardice. For him, only one thing counted now: getting that address.

"Oh and just a head's up: he's not alone anymore."

The phone was hung up before he could react to that particular titbit and he frowned down at the screen. Not alone anymore? In what kind of sense? He guessed he would find out soon if the man didn't go back on his word.

One minute later his phone lit up with a new message and his face softened when he read it. He recognised the street as one being close to one of the most prestigious universities in the country and a faint smile flitted quickly over his face. He'd always known he would make it far.

Slipping the phone back into his pocket, he started the engine; the car springing to life with a soft purr. He drove off, leaving the remnants of what had been his life for the past eight years behind him in the quiet town, nestled in the small wound in a lowlife's forehead.

By the time dawn broke and the housemaid discovered to her great horror the fate which had befallen her employer, the dark haired man was already miles away, joining others on their way to the big city.

Driving straight to his new life.

Finding an apartment and getting settled took him a week and while he would never admit it aloud when the other one was nearby, he was impressed with how quickly his papers had been arranged. He might be lazy and had no concept of time, but he got things done fast and efficiently.

Another two days later and he'd managed to land a job as a translator, working mostly from home. He wasn't in immediate need of money, thanks to the deposit he'd given him, but it was good to get into a normal routine again.

Because his life was back on track, back to being normal after years of working in the shadows. He needed the normalcy of working a regular job and living in an apartment, surrounded by families, arguing couples and single people, before he would seek out the last part he needed to get his life completely back.

Once he'd been in the city for a month and a half, he went out to search the address he'd been given. He wouldn't pay the apartment a visit. He hadn't entirely figured out yet how he would approach him after so many years, but he knew just showing up at the apartment would not be the way to go.

Mind, it was tempting to enter the building once he'd found it. He stood staring at it for a while from across the street, wondering whether the apartment was at the front or more to the back.

He left before people could become suspicious.

September was past its half way mark when he suddenly saw him.

Right there in the grocery store, standing in the aisle with the breakfast items, studying a cereal box with a slight frown marring his forehead.

He'd grown so much.

That realisation knocked the wind out of him and he could only stare, greedily drinking up the sight he'd been denied for so many years.

His hair was still in that particular spiky style, though he'd grown out his bangs a bit. His cheekbones were sharp; puberty had obviously got rid of all the lingering baby fat he'd still had when he'd last seen him. His build was lean, but strong, and he wondered whether he'd taken up some form of fighting sport.

He took a step forwards before he fully realised it, but came to an abrupt halt when a blond boy walked right past him, aiming straight for the dark haired man in the aisle.

"Sasuke, check this out, new biscuits!" The blond waved a box around before dropping it neatly in the shopping cart.

"Didn't you get new ones last week?" Sasuke raised an eyebrow unimpressed.

The blond – an Omega, judging by the sweet, citrus like scent – pouted. "Aw, come on, nothing wrong with trying out new stuff."

As the two started arguing whether or not they were going to buy the biscuits, he studied them intently, confused by the scent he caught from them. An individual's scent was made up out of several components and while he had had no trouble picking up the citrus hint that was part of the Omega's genetical makeup, he couldn't easily identify the others. The rest of his scent seemed muddled, mixed in with another one's – which only happened when two people had officially Mated each other.

As comprehension dawned upon him, he watched the blond latch onto Sasuke's arm and press a quick kiss on his cheek. "You're the best, you know that?"

Sasuke squinted. "Weren't you cussing me out just this morning because he was kicking you too much?"

"Well, I can hardly cuss him out, can I?" the Omega retorted without missing a beat. "Anyway, you were forgiven by the time we got into the car."

"How gracious of you," Sasuke droned and they started walking away.

But not before he could catch a glimpse of the obvious rounded belly the blond man was sporting.

He's not alone anymore.

Well, that was one way to put it, wasn't it? He definitely wasn't alone anymore; had found himself a new family by the looks of it.

He was making something of his life as the other one had told him.

He didn't begrudge him that, of course. He was happy to see that after that horrible night the younger man had managed to find happiness and love again. He deserved to make a new family after their own had been ripped away.

The problem was that he would need to rethink how to approach the other Alpha. Meeting him again after all these years already made things difficult, but the presence of a pregnant mate would make things a tad more complicated. He didn't want the situation to derail or end in an explosive manner.

How was he going to solve this particular issue?

It turned out the issue was solved for him instead.

The end of September found him approaching the apartment building again during the evening. He still hadn't been able to come up with an appropriate way to introduce himself and he held the vague hope that perhaps he would get inspired if he saw the building again.

He had to come up with something, because as the days past by, he was getting more and more antsy after having caught a glance of the younger man before. Now that he'd finally seen him with his own eyes after all those long years, he didn't want to wait too much longer.

What would be the best way to …

He stilled when he felt something sharp pressing into his lower back.

"I've seen you standing in front of the building several times before, but I know you don't live here. Who the fuck are you and what do you want?" the Alpha behind him snarled; menace practically dripping from his voice.

Slowly, he raised his hands in the air, clearly visible so the other would see he wasn't carrying anything and then, equally slowly, he turned around, keeping his face blank even whilst his heart start beating quicker.

He saw the moment recognition dawned upon the other man. First he stared at him blankly, the knife in his hand concealed from the sight of other people walking in the street. Then his black eyes widened in disbelief, in shock, and he took a stumbling step backwards, shaking his head.

"Y-you can't be him, you can't be. You died, I saw your body, I," Sasuke stammered and his lower lip trembled when he asked in a broken voice, "Nii-san? Is that – is that really you?"

Itachi smiled and lowered his hands. "Hello, otouto. It's been a while."

"Are you sure he's not an imposter?"

The hissed question came from the living room where Sasuke's mate had pulled him into after he'd been introduced to the blond man.

Itachi politely pretended he couldn't hear them and looked around the kitchen, taking stock of the grocery list pinned against the fridge; the stove where water for the tea was being heated up. He blinked when he noticed the camera aimed at the door leading to the fire escape. It was almost completely hidden away from sight, but after so many years of dealing with cameras and how to evade them, he'd grown an extra sense for their presence so to speak. Why would they have –

A pang shot through him when he realised why there would be a camera hanging there and he pursed his lips together, briefly clenching and unclenching his hand. Part of that was his fault, he knew, for making Sasuke think he needed the extra surveillance after what he'd been through, but what was done was done.

Hopefully with his presence – the proof that Sasuke hadn't lost his entire family – Sasuke would eventually get past his fear and remove this camera.

"So you're Sasuke's older brother." The blond man, Uzumaki Naruto as Sasuke had introduced him, strode into the kitchen; a suspicious look on his face.

Itachi smiled. "And you're my brother's mate. It's a pleasure to meet you."

"Right," Naruto said slowly, walking to the counter when the kettle started whistling. "No offence, but where the fuck have you been all these years?"

"That's a long story," Itachi admitted.

"We've got time," Sasuke remarked, entering the kitchen too. "So you can start whenever." He started taking out cups from one of the cupboards, putting a little tea bag in each one of them.

"Especially don't forget to explain the part where you apparently didn't die," Naruto added and the look on his face told Itachi he better not try to feed them any bullshit. He still gave him a cup of tea, but that might have more to do with the fact that he was Sasuke's brother and not necessarily out of politeness.

They retreated to the living room once they had their tea; Sasuke and Naruto occupying the couch and he the armrest. Outside the wind was picking up a bit and the neighbour upstairs was playing classical music.

"I did die for at least a moment," he started, resting his hands around his cup. "That at least is true. But I came back and as soon as one of the policemen noticed I had a pulse again, they quickly brought me to the ambulance. I think the surgery took around four to five hours? Not sure." He shrugged, his memories of that particular time still fuzzy even years later. No wonder seeing as he'd spent most of it lost in a daze of pain and medication.

"Why didn't anyone tell me you were still alive? The police was still there when they took everyone away," Sasuke remarked, frowning. Whether conscious of it or not, his hand sought out Naruto's, who grabbed it and laced their fingers together.

"I assume they didn't tell you anything initially because it was touch and go for me for a while," Itachi replied, taking a sip from his tea. "There was around an eighty-six point three percent chance that I wouldn't survive even with the surgery; they might have thought there was no point in getting your hopes up if I didn't survive."

"But afterwards – when it was clear that you were pulling through, why didn't they warn Sasuke then?" Naruto asked, narrowing his eyes. "Next of kin is always informed and seeing as only Sasuke was left, it doesn't make any sense that he wasn't notified at all."

Now they were getting to the dark part of the story. Breathing out slowly, Itachi explained, "That is because as far as the hospital and the police were concerned, I'd died a couple of days after the surgery."

"Explain," Sasuke demanded blankly; his eyes a bottomless pit.

"Do you remember I had been chosen for that internship a month before the attack?" Itachi inquired, placing the cup on the table.

Furrowing his eyebrows, his younger brother was quiet for a moment, visibly trying to recall the offer. "Yeah," he said after a bit. "What of it?"

"The leader of that company was quite impressed with the work I had been completing," Itachi murmured, remembering the interest in dark purple eyes when he had met him for the first time. "He also had connections in a lot of places. Those connections ended up informing him of the attack on our family and he decided to visit me in the hospital, making use of his connections there to bypass the 'only family allowed' rule."

"Why would a leader of a company go to the hospital? You make it sound like he wasn't just there to give you flowers and wish you well," Naruto commented sceptically and despite the situation, Itachi had to laugh.

"No, he wasn't there for that," he agreed. "Like I said, he's a man of many connections – ones which allowed me to track down the people responsible for killing our parents."

"You went after them," Sasuke quickly realised; his eyes widening a tad.

Itachi nodded solemnly. "I couldn't just let them get away with what they had done, Sasuke," he said quietly. "When that man offered me a way to track them all down, I took it."

"Why didn't you tell me, though? I had the right to know you had survived. Especially when our parents didn't," Sasuke said bitterly; his jaw clenching. The bitterness couldn't hide the years' old pain in his eyes, however, and the older Alpha masked a wince.

"Because it was dangerous," he replied honestly. "Because I wasn't sure how extended this web was nor how many people were involved. When I accepted the offer, I had no idea whether they would try to come after you. I knew you would want to help me if you knew I was still alive, but I couldn't let you do that. You already went through a lot that night, I couldn't put the burden of this on your shoulders as well. That wouldn't have been fair."

"What wasn't fair, perhaps, was keeping the fact that you survived from him," Naruto pointed out poisonously sweet. His blue eyes were like shards of ice, glinting harshly in the light. "You could have still kept in contact with him, you know. Maybe not actually be around him while you were out doing whatever you were doing these past years, but things like telephones and e-mail exist."

"Naruto," Sasuke murmured, shaking his head.

The Omega turned his head abruptly to him. "No, Sasuke. I don't care whether he's your brother, he had no fucking right to keep information this huge from you! He could have found a way to let you know without endangering you!"

Sasuke pursed his lips and asked flatly, "What happened to the group behind the attack? Are they gone?"

"I tracked them all down, yes," Itachi confirmed. "They won't bother us ever again."

"And so you decided to just show up and be like, 'Hey, surprise, I'm still alive!'?" Naruto sneered; his cheeks flushing slightly.

"Naruto, calm down," Sasuke murmured, squeezing his arm. "Think about the baby; getting worked up isn't good for you now."

Naruto stared at him before he breathed in deeply and looked away. He stood up, shaking off Sasuke's hand gently. "Fine, you're right, I guess," he muttered petulantly. "I'm going to rest a bit, okay?"

"All right, I'll be with you in a bit, if you want?" Sasuke looked at him questioningly, brushing their fingers together.

"Yeah, that's fine," Naruto agreed before suddenly whirling around and jabbing his finger at Itachi, who was admittedly a bit taken aback by the unexpected move. "You are the biggest arsehole I have ever met and you better be ready to grovel to your brother for all the shit you put him through!" He marched away after that, the door of the bedroom slamming shut behind him.

"I'm sorry," Itachi said remorsefully, meeting his brother's guarded eyes. "I know I fucked up years ago when I left without telling you I was still alive. Your mate is right; I should have found a way to at least let you know that."

Slowly Sasuke shook his head. "For years I thought I was the only one who'd survived and only because I stayed hidden," he murmured; his face giving nothing away. "Why are you here now?"

"To make amends. To apologise. Because I want my little brother back," Itachi answered honestly, resting his hands on his thighs. "I missed out on so many years with you and I – I know I won't get that time back. Perhaps we can start again? If you'll have me in your life of course."

He honestly wouldn't blame him if Sasuke told him to fuck off. He had fucked up rather big by not telling him he was still alive. At the time he'd been mostly worried about the danger he could be possibly leading to his younger brother if he came into contact with him, but perhaps there could have been a safe way to let him know, to reassure him he wasn't alone.

Well, hindsight was twenty-twenty as they said. They also said it was a bitch, which was unfortunately true.

"Does Kakashi know about this?" Sasuke asked instead of answering.

"He knows I survived, yes, but don't be mad at him. I made him swear not to tell you," Itachi answered, sending a silent apology to the older man. There was no point in lying about this, though. Not when he was attempting to make amends and rebuild burnt bridges.

"I guess the promise to a dead man meant more to him than his responsibility to the kid under his guardianship, huh?" Sasuke smiled cynically and stood up. "Well, I suppose I shouldn't have expected anything else from that guy. The only thing that surprises me is that he actually managed to keep quiet about this."

"Sasuke, I …" He shut his mouth again, uncertain for the first time what to do.

The younger man jerked his head towards the door. "Look, no offence, but this is a lot to take in for me right now, okay? I thought for years that you were dead and now you showed up, still alive and I - " He broke himself off and breathed heavily through his nose. "Can you please leave for now? I need some time to think."

"Of course. I'll leave my phone number and my address here, for when you want to talk," Itachi said softly and placed his card next to his cup. He stood up and followed his brother to the front door.

There he hesitated; for the first time his ability to read the situation correctly had deserted him and he had no idea where he and his brother stood now. Whether he still had a chance to reconnect with him and get to know his mate and his as of now unborn nephew or whether he'd burnt all his bridges when he'd left their hometown without reassuring Sasuke he was still alive.

"I'm really sorry," he said, deciding that going for a hug or the poke on the forehead he used to do when they were young kids wouldn't be appreciated right now. "I should have told you."

"Yeah, you should have," Sasuke said curtly and opened the door. "What's done is done now, though. I need some time to think."

"Of course. My apologies for upsetting your mate," he said, figuring he should say that whilst he still had the chance.

Dark eyes quickly flitted down the hall to the closed bedroom before Sasuke looked back at him. "He'll be fine," he said and hesitated. "I'll talk to you soon, I guess."

Itachi nodded and stepped out into the corridor. "You can find me at the address I gave you. I'll be there."

And this time he wouldn't leave, not without saying goodbye at least if it really came down to that.

When someone knocked on his door two days later, he was surprised. He hadn't expected Sasuke to show up this soon; he had figured at least a week would go by before his younger brother would attempt to contact him.

Squashing down the nervous butterflies in his stomach – why was he even nervous? This was his younger brother, for god's sake, not one of the people he'd dealt with in the past – he abandoned his laptop and went to the door, calling out, "I'm coming!"

He opened the door and had just enough time to register something flying at him before a fist slammed straight into his nose.

AN2: So this was the first chapter of a story quite some people were curious about when I was still posting Piece by Piece - I hope at least the first part meets your expectations LOL

Please leave your thoughts behind in a review; should you spot any mistakes, please point them out to me.

I hope to see you all back in the next chapter!



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