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red is your color

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“Hi! Were you waiting long?”

She approaches him. All smiles. Soft, pale, pink. Subtle curves and taut muscle. His eyes catalogue the differences since they last saw one another. It hasn’t been too long, just an hour. He watched her get ready and leave the house through the cameras he’d installed. 

“No,” he smiles at Sakura, careful and soft. She flushes a pretty red. She likes it when he’s mysterious, when he’s kind. She doesn’t know the truth and he’ll die before she does. Everything has to be perfect.

Their meeting place is a tiny cafe. He counts two other customers seated, another at the register who doesn’t look like he plans to stay. Itachi watches the exits. Counts off the sixteen different escape routes. Thinks about killing everyone in the store to make their date perfect.

He refrains. The clothes he wore today are too nice to be stained so carelessly. He could probably get away with no blood splatter...but then where would the fun in that be?

They sit at a table in the corner, where he can keep the wall at his back and observe the interior. Dark, insidious eyes parse over every detail while she’s blissfully unaware. She orders while he waits, trusting her to get what he likes. He’d eat anything she brought over, really, but she insists on getting to know everything he enjoys.

It’s cute. She’s endearing in her desire to uncover everything about him in an effort to grow closer.

He knows she wouldn’t enjoy every aspect of his life, however. Not the bloody, gritty parts that he revels in. The basement and the cabin in the woods and the thirteen pears trees that grow on human remains. Itachi killed his first man at five years old. It had been a bit of an accident, and also not. His father had found him, had grabbed him by the shoulder and looked him in the eye. His father knew. His father helped him get rid of the body.

Sakura returns after ordering, giddy at such a simple action. She smells like blossoms and the faintest hint of antiseptic. Not enough to be grating. It’s probably hand sanitizer. She keeps some in her purse. He remembers from the time he went through it while she was asleep.

“What have you been up to? I haven’t heard from you in a while.”

“Oh, this and that,” he replies, offering another indulgent smile, “Nothing exciting happens in the family business.”

“I can’t imagine running a multi-million company is boring — well...actually, maybe,” she laughs throatily, “Seems like a lot of paperwork.”

“It’s mostly that; and dealing with rather...stubborn council members.”

Sakura looks at him with a gaze as warm as spring, the green of her eyes lighting up under his careful attention. He’s been cautious. Slow. Every step planned out as he captured her heart. He keeps her talking about her day, just to watch the emotions flash and bloom on her expressive countenance. Every memory they make is carefully stored away.

Once he has her, everything will be perfect.

They talk and talk and talk a little more, her sentences more plentiful than his. When their food is ready and their names are called, they both get up. He sees a sandwich, a salad, and some soup — and a side of dango. She knows his preference for sugary sweets. She’s so eager to please him, to be loved.

He likes that about her.

Itach is not incapable of love. If anything, he loves too much. Feels too much. He enjoys a select few people and cares not at all for everyone else. First was Sasuke, then his cousin, Shisui. Growing up he learned that obsessive behavior was not polite to show. Not openly. So he keeps it under wraps. 

Sasuke and Shisui are his family members. He likes knowing where they are at all times, and has killed for them before. A bully, a bad teacher, a thug. Those humans were insignificant in the face of his loved ones’ happiness. 

Sakura is new.

She is strong in body, blossoming in mind. She’s smart as a whip and so very stalwart it would take the gravitational pull of the entire planet to tug her away from something she believed in. Itachi doesn’t know when this new obsession started, but he doesn’t mind cultivating it. Keeping her is a new goal. A new challenge. 

The cameras are for her protection. The man he killed last week for coming on to her in a bar? For her safety, obviously. Peace of mind. Besides, who would miss one less leech in the world? 

Itachi twirls a strand of her petal pink hair between his fingers. They are stained to the marrow with blood despite their pale, clean appearance. He kisses the side of her head and watches the blood pool in her cheeks. Her verdant eyes go misty, her white teeth dig into the plush meat of her bottom lip. Her smile is a ray of sunlight in a hurricane. He fights the instinct to bare his own teeth and sink them into her flesh. If he scarred her, she’d carry a piece of him forever. But the idea of marring her fragile, pretty skin is repulsive. 

She kisses him on the mouth when they leave, her fingers tangling in his own. She runs rather warm, while his hands are somehow always cold. Not for a second has she truly stopped blushing. He likes it.

She looks so good in red.