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A Corvid's Plight

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He sighed turning away from the grave as the sky just began to turn pink. He had only come to refresh the flowers like he usually did every two weeks, for the past hundred years. But, just like he seemed to do every time he came around, he had spent the entire day updating the love of his life about everything that was going on in his life. He told her about the little changes that went on in their long lives. The new inventions Shisui was getting into, the new boy Sasuke picked up, whatever book he had buried himself in. It was just time away from everyone if he was honest with himself. He started towards the gates of the old cemetery when he noticed someone waiting for him. 

"You came to visit her again?" Shisui sighed, pulling his hands out of his pockets. Itachi ignored the worried expression on his friend's face. Shisui pushed off the limestone of the gate to turn on his foot following Itachi as he passed through. 

"We all have our vices, Shisui," he said softly. He already knew what his best friend was going to say. His whole family was not so quietly concerned with how long he had been mourning. Everyone but Madara who, thankfully had the most say in his future. He was sure the leader of their family cared but he was not pushing Itachi to go out and be social just yet.

"Most people’s vices are things like drinking and having lots of sex," Shisui said. "Not visiting your dead lover from over a century ago." He watched as Itachi's face dropped. "Listen, I know it's hard losing someone. But there comes a point where you can't grieve too much because you know that's not what they want. She'd want you to continue living your life happily and--"

"Shisui..." Itachi cut him off softly. "I get it. But it's--"  He also knew Shisui was right in every way. 

"You both knew you were going to outlive her," he watched Itachi from the corner of his eye. His brows pressed tightly.

"I could have turned her." There was a ghost of desperation in his tone. There always was when it came to her

"But she didn't want that. You can't change someone's mind over something like that." There was a pregnant pause between them as they walked for a few minutes. The morning dew was starting to fall, coating their shoes as they walked over the grassy cliffs.

“Clearly,” Itachi said flatly as he continued down the rocky path. “Did you have fun in town?” He asked, wanting to change the subject. Izumi was the only thing he and Shisui got touchy about in their long lives. Shisui sighed silently, following after his best friend. He easily caught up, hooking his arm around Itachi’s.

“Of course I did,” he smirked. “Visited Hinata, annoyed her cousin,” he listed off on his fingers. “Watched the fireworks with another guy,” he licked his lower lip. Itachi’s own lips quirked up.

“You’re going to give that Hyuuga boy a heart attack,” he chided lightly.

"It would do the world some good," Shisui said. "He's a shitty guy, not only to vampires but to his own cousin. She just wants to have some fun and he won't allow her. That's where I come in."

"Oh, I'm sure you come in a lot," Itachi smirked.

"I like to spread the love." The sky started to turn a little pinker. "Shall we take the tunnels?"

"Seems like the safest idea.” They walked in tandem down a rough patch of rocks with the grace only one of their kind could master. “I heard there's a hunter out here somewhere." Itachi paused in front of a grassy rock face and kicked a small mossy rock. There was a shift and a hidden entrance to the tunnels opened for them. Shisui let go of Itachi to once again followed his lead into the darkness.

"Another one?" Shisui scoffed, his voice echoing off the tunnel walls as they entered. "When are they going to give up already?"

"Not until we're all dead, I suppose."

"That's such an impossible goal," Shisui chuckled. The whole cliffside each of the vampire families live on used the tunnels. They had been specifically designed to keep them safe from not only the sunlight but from hunters.

Itachi hummed softly as they followed the winding tunnels with no need for light. They reached a heavy wooden door maker with a fan to indicate their family's crest. Itachi pulled a set of keys from his pocket and pushed it into the lock.

"You should join me sometime," Shisui stretched hard, his voice echoing softly off the high vaulted ceilings of their castle. The heavy velvet drapes were drawn, keeping the early morning sunlight shut out. Unlike the tunnels however, there were flickering candles mounted on the walls of the long winding hallways that cast small pools of light every few feet. 

"I really don't see the nee-"

"One hundred years, every two weeks." Shisui cut Itachi off. His hand slipped down to take Itachi's and pull him close. "You have all of eternity. Do not spend it wallowing over one human!"

"She was the love of my life," Itachi muttered sadly, his eyes casting down to his feet. Shisui closed his own hard for a moment then opened them again to pin Itachi with a hard look. 

"She was one of the loves in your life," Shisui corrected him. "You loved her, she loved you. She died. You kept on living. And you will keep on living and she will remain dead." His words were harsh, but his tone remained calm and soft. "You will find other people to love. And you will find the One."

The One. The term made Itachi's heart squeeze, he sighed a little, his breath brushing Shisui's lips. 

"Come on," He finally said, pulling away from him, still holding his hand. "Let's go wash the town off of you so you can go see your one," he teased, the sadness wicked away by a small smile pulling at his lips. "I doubt she'd enjoy tasting six other people when she kisses you."

"Six," Shisui scoffed. "That's light work. Wait, is that why you haven't kissed me yet?" He gasped, scandalized.

"That is precisely why I haven't kissed you yet," Itachi smirked, walking ahead of Shisui. They passed a few servants who bowed to them as they passed. He turned down the hall and up a set of spiral stairs to the main floor of the castle.

Note to self, Itachi is jealous of everyone who touches me," Shisui mumbled softly to himself as he was led into the sitting room at the top of the stairs.

"It's not jealousy," Itachi smirked. "Because if it were, I'd be upset about your wife." Shisui shrugged, unable to argue with that logic. He did get along with her very well.

"So then what is it? The townspeople are gross?" Shisui smirked as they made their way into the bathroom.

"Is that even a question?" Itachi scoffed over his shoulder as he shed his clothing. He folded his shirt up neatly and started the water in the deep pool. He added a few different things to the bath to give it some scent before removing his pants and undoing his hair. "I take it back. Hinata is fine but the others..."

"I'm wounded," Shisui pouted dramatically, watching the other man from across the pool. 

"You look fine to me," Itachi countered with a smirk. 

"Do I now?" Shisui responded with a purr. He pulled his own clothes off, wasting no time to slip into the water and relax back against the pool's wall. "You didn't say yes to going into town," he pointed out as Itachi dipped his toe into the water. 

"Can't you take a hint?" Itachi sighed.

"I can take a lot of things," Shisui winked. "But never hints."

"I don't want to go into town," Itachi said with finality.

"Good. So we're going tomorrow night."

"Shisui--"

Shisui put his hand up to stop Itachi from saying anything else. "I already made reservations. You have to go," he smirked.

Itachi looked at him hard for a long moment before closing his eyes and sighing heavily. He really did not want to go, but maybe he needed it this one time. Hopefully, it would be enough to get Shisui to leave him alone about visiting the grave. "Fine," he relented.

"That's my boy," Shisui purred.

"I hate when you say that," Itachi floated over to Shisui, to rest in his lap. 

"Lier," Shisui smirked, he leaned in for a kiss and Itachi dove for his neck. 

"Your mouth isn't clean yet," he teased, nicking his neck lightly with one of his fangs. 

Shisui shuddered slightly. "You caught me," he joked. "I guess I was just a little eager."

"A little?" Itachi smirked.

Shisui let out a playful sigh. "Yes, a little." He took a firm grip on Itachi's hips, pulling his body closer before reaching for the soap.

"There isn’t a single little thing about you Shisui," Itachi smirked as he pressed his body in closer to the other's to help him wash his hair. 

"Good to know you're still aware of that," he teased back, enjoying the feeling of Itachi's long fingers in his hair. "Did Madara make Sasuke's latest engagement official by the way?" he asked, moving Itachi's hair gently out of the way so he could wash his back. 

"He did," Itachi hummed. "Sasuke isn't happy about it."

"This will be wife number three," Shisui hummed. "Her name is Ino right?"

"I believe so," Itachi nodded. "I think this one is also a doctor or nurse or something of the sort."

"I got a glimpse of her," Shisui said. "She doesn't look like much of a doctor or nurse."

"Looks can be deceiving. Anyway, I think she looks, pretty nurse like."

Shisui stifled a chuckle. "I guess so. The poor girl's going to get ignored just like the other two. I almost feel bad for them."

"There are three of them now," Itachi shrugged. "And they have their own clinic. They will occupy themselves." Madara had been pushing Sasuke to marry since Itachi went into mourning over his last love. He couldn't bring himself to marry someone who he didn't love and Madara seemed to respect that.  However, that meant his younger brother got saddled with all the "good matches". The three women his brother was married too came from good families and were all versed in medicine.

"You think they're going to find him a fourth?" Shisui asked. "None of those girls are the One for him. I think I feel bad for Sasuke more than I do for his wives."

"He seems pretty apathetic about it," Itachi hummed. "I wouldn't feel too bad about it. He does not intend to turn any of them so it isn't like he'll be married to them forever."

"Somehow that's worse," Shisui snorted. 

"You haven't turned your wife and she is the One," Itachi reminded him. “Besides, he has Azumi.”

"You aren't wrong, we are just waiting for the right time," he said, moving to finish up Itachi's back. He started to work the soap into his hair. "Mmm this means another big wedding," his face split into a grin. "We haven't had a good party in almost four years!"

"So Sasuke's last wedding," Itachi laughed. 

"Was that really what it was?" Shisui paused his hands for a second, thinking back. "I don't remember the events, just the fun," he smirked as he resumed moving his hands in Itachi's hair.

"It has been a while since anything interesting has happened up here."

"It seems like Sasuke needs to keep getting married for this place to not be dead and silent," Shisui grumbled.

"Well, when you finally turn your wife then there will be another celebration to be had. But until then, we will rely on Sasuke's weddings for things to get lively. Unless someone in one of the other families gets married, I suppose."

"Or," Shisui smirked, gently pushing Itachi back so he could rinse his hair. "You start coming to town with me again and we make some fun down there!"

"I'm going with you tomorrow night," Itachi said, tilting his head back into the water to rinse. "Is that not sufficient enough for the next hundred years?"

"No, I think every two weeks should do it."

"Don't joke like that." Itachi huffed,, swirling the water in front of him. Shisui smirked, moving closer to help rinse his hair off. 

"Come with me more often. I promise you'll always have a good time."

“Am I going to entertain you or me?” Itachi questioned.

“Both,” Shisui rolled his eyes. Itachi sat back up and shook his head. He eased out of Shisui’s lap, making sure to press their hips together as he did.

“The humans aren’t that interesting either.”

"You know there are vampires living down there too, right?" Shisui smirked.

"They're also not interesting," Itachi hummed.

Shisui placed a finger under Itachi's chin, gently pulling his face closer until their lips pressed together. He hummed softly, pushing into a deep kiss. "Is my mouth clean?" he asked when they pulled apart.

"Clean enough," Itachi said.

"I'll take it," Shisui shrugged.

Itachi shook his head, pulling him back into the kiss. They pulled apart only long enough to clean up when they heard a familiar voice call for Shisui.

“Dear husband,” Mei pulled a chair from the wall to the edge of the pool. “It is sunrise and I’ve not seen hide or hair of my little bat,”

“Oh, Mei, you mispronounced brat,” Itachi smirked, moving to get out of the water and dry off.

"Are they not the same thing?" Mei smirked. "I thought they were interchangeable."

"Wow, you two really love me," Shisui sighed, moving to float toward Mei. He leaned in to pull her into a kiss before getting out of the water.

"Of course we do, brat," Itachi chuckled.

Shisui wrapped a towel around his waist then held his hand out for Mei to take. He guided her out of her chair and to the sitting room. "Did you sleep well?" he asked her as they sat down on the sofa.

“Of course I did,” she set her legs in Shisui’s lap and leaned back into the cushions. “I had so much space to stretch out.” She gave him a wicked smirk. “And did you have your fill of fun?” She reached for his hand, lacing their fingers together.

Across the room, Itachi was pulling his hair up into a braid before getting dressed. He shifted a painting of Izumi on his desk to pick up a ribbon to tie his hair off.

"I did," Shisui sighed. "And on my way home, I caught this one," he pointed toward Itachi, "doing his fortnightly mope."

"Don't call it that," Itachi muttered.

"Leave him alone," Mei scolded softly. "Losing someone you love is hard."

"She died way before you were even born," Shisui told her, lowering his voice. "It's been long enough."

“He’ll find someone when he is ready,” she chided her husband. “Now are you two up for some modeling?” Itachi nodded a small thank you to Mei for her defense.

“I can not, unfortunately,” Itachi sighed. “Madara wants to meet with the Naras and I need to go with him,” he rolled his eyes fixing his collar.

“Is it about the hunter you think?” Shisui asked.

“Most likely,” Itachi nodded again.

"It's a Senju, I heard," Mei hummed.

"That sounds about right," Shisui nodded, stretching hard on the sofa. "The worst hunters," he sighed. They were actually the best. Which made them the worst, because they were good at their job. "But I'm always up to be your model," he winked at Mei.

Itachi finished getting dressed. "Maybe if I'm back in time, I'll join you," he said. "I don't think this meeting will drag on."

"The meeting won't," Shisui smirked, "but Madara and Shikaku are going to want to talk for a century after it."

Itachi rolled his eyes and groaned. "I'll leave with Shikamaru then. He won't want to stay."

"I'm surprised that boy is even going to be awake to do this," Mei chuckled.

“He’s been getting up a lot lately,” Itachi noted as he walked to the door.

“Probably found someone,” Shisui grinned. “He’d be the one to sleep for fifty years at a time and find the One his first day alive again,” he joked.

“Sounds like him,” Itachi rolled his eyes. He was tired of the One talk for the day. He waved goodbye to them and slipped out the door.

He enjoyed the quiet walk to Madara's study. No one to get on him for visiting his dead lover's grave and no other couples being flirty in front of him. He took his time getting down the tower stairs and through the halls. A few servants bowed as they passed but said nothing. Once he approached the massive doors to the study, he took a deep, preparing breath and then knocked.

"Enter," Madara's voice came from inside. Itachi opened the door and stepped inside. "Ah, you're finally here."

"Am I late?" Itachi questioned. He was quite sure that he was early.

"You're on time. Which is late for you, I suppose." Madara stood up from his desk with the grunt of an old man. Itachi stifled a smile, only able to think of the comments he heard from Shisui and Sasuke about how Madara makes old man noises. "Let's go," Madara said as he rounded the desk.

They headed out of the office and down the hall. 

"Are we going to them, or are they coming to us?" Itachi asked as they turned a corner to continue down to the other side of the castle. Madara looked up from the paper he had pulled from his pocket. Itachi raised an eyebrow, not recognizing the handwriting. 

"We are going to them for a change," Madara hummed, descending a set of stairs that lead them to another network of tunnels. 

"That's a surprise," Itachi snorted internally.

"It was something I only agreed to because I didn't want to hear Shikamaru complain about having to get up and go somewhere," Madara grumbled.

"You're especially grumpy today," Itachi said, the smallest smirk appearing on his lips.

"Hard to not be when there's a hunter somewhere up here."

"Fair enough."

They walked in near silence through the tunnels, taking a few turns before coming up to a door with the crest of the Nara family on it. Madara knocked and a few seconds passed before a servant opened the door. "Welcome, my Lords," they said with a bow.

Madara nodded slightly breezing past them smoothly. Itachi gave a proper bow, following after his family head at a much more relaxed pace. The Nara castle was almost the opposite of the Uchiha's. The Nara's was light and airy, with mainly calming greens and mellow yellows. You could smell the forest the castle was set deep into wafting through the air. Madara's eye twitched as they came to the top of the stairs and saw the halls flooded with light. 

"I don't understand why they insist on keeping the castle so open during the day," Madara grumbled, running his hand through his hair. 

"They have way more humans living here then we do," Itachi reminded him. Itachi led the way down the halls, the servants expertly dropping the blinds the second they passed a window. 

They passed through the hall easily, ending up at the door for Shikaku's study. A servant knocked for them and then opened the door at Shikaku's command. "Lord Madara and Lord Itachi have arrived," they said with a bow as Madara and Itachi walked in.

Shikaku gave them both a polite nod in greeting and the servant backed out of the room. "Did you see Orochimaru out there?" he asked.

Madara shook his head. "I would have expected him to be here last," he said. "He lives the farthest from here."

Shikaku nodded and gestured for the two Uchihas to take a seat. "I guess we can start discussing the matter and catch him up when he arrives."

The Uchihas took their seats and settled in to start the meeting when the door opened again. They turned to see Orochimaru walk in, looking more than a little grumpy. Which was a statement in of itself considering the elder vampire was usually as collected and level headed as they came. His sharp serpentine eyes scanned the room for something. He growled lowly.

"Ah," Shikaku nodded to Orochimaru. "Welcome, where is Azumi?"

"I was hoping she was here," Orochimaru grumbled, taking his seat.

“Where would she even be during the day?" Shikaku asked.

"Probably with Sasuke," Itachi hummed.

Orochimaru rolled his eyes. "Of course," he said under his breath.

"Well, then I guess we'll just start," Shikaku said, retaking his seat behind his desk. "We know the hunter is a Senju; but do we know which Senju?"

"They haven't done anything yet," Itachi brought up. "But it's been a while since they've been in these parts." The door opened once more behind them.

"Something must have attracted them back this way," Shikamaru ran his hand down his face with a long, hard yawn. "But I haven't figured out what."

"Once we find out which Senju it is, then we can figure out what attracted them here," Shikaku said.

"Who reported the first sighting?" Madara asked.

"One of the Yamanakas' servants," Shikaku answered. "They were on their way here with a delivery from Inoichi when they spotted the hunter."

"Do you have a reported description of what they saw?" Orochimaru asked.

"No, but we can acquire one," Shikaku said.

"It's on its way here," Shikamaru said. "The servant is coming over."

"Good because I believe this generation has three brothers," Madara folded his hands. He closed his eyes grunting softly as he relaxed into the chair. "Two of them have made names for themselves but I don't know what they look like."

"And what of the other brother?" Shikaku asked.

"I didn't bring him up because I only know he exists," Madara responded not bothering to open his eyes.

Orochimaru looked at Madara and smirked. "Is the grandfather tired?" he asked, earning stifled laughs from Itachi and Shikamaru.

"We're not that far in age," Madara told him. "Don't act like you aren't close to doing this too."

"I am nowhere near close to doing that," Orochimaru retorted, smirk unwavering.

"Maybe we can ask one of the human families to scout the area," Shikaku suggested. "The Senjus are notorious for their number one rule to not kill other humans."

"Your household has the most humans," Madara hummed, low in his throat. "They would be the best to use since they will be able to move more naturally."

"You're nephew Shisui goes into town pretty often too," Shikaku brought up.

"He hasn't seen anything," Itachi interjected. "He would have told me by now."

"Then we need to come up with a plan to have a human scout the area at the times the hunter has been seen," Shikaku said.

"I vote we send the Yamanaka servant that saw them," Orochimaru said.

"Yes, they would know what to look for," Madara agreed.

Suddenly, there was a knock at the door. "My lords," a servant came in with a bow. "The Yamanakas have sent over one of their own servants to see you."

Shikaku nodded for them to send the servant in.

"Tone down your grumpy aura," Orochimaru smirked at Madara.

"Tone down your grumpy aura," Madara said back to him.

"Both of you turn it down," Shikaku smirked as he waved the Yamanaka servants in. They bowed low and greeted the Lords. "We need you to do something for us," he said to them as they stood up. 

"Of course my Lord," one of them nodded. 

"There is a Senju hunter starting to lurk in town. We need you to report to us what they look like and where they are staying if you can find out," Shikamaru spoke up.

"And where they like to linger and if they start to hunt, where, it happened," Itachi added. 

"I only saw him from far away," the servant said, "but I will do my best." They took the offered seat. They looked up in thought for a few moments, trying to recall the night. "He was quite tall, built big, and from where I was standing, I could see that he had white hair."

"White hair," Madara's eyes cracked up. "Interesting."

"White hair is defining," Itachi hummed. 

"Plenty of old humans have white hair," Shikamaru commented. 

"It doesn't make them any less lethal," Orochimaru added coolly. "Can you tell us anything else?" he asked the servant. 

"Well, I have heard that the hunters carry a few weapons with them when they go out but this one...had an entire arsenal on his body," they frowned.

"So he's very serious about his job," Shikaku said. "We just need to figure out which Senju has white hair. Then we can narrow it down from there to figure out his name."

"Is there anything else I can do to help?"

"Would you be interested in going out again to see him a bit more clearly?" Shikamaru asked. "The Senjus will not kill humans so we can guarantee nothing will happen to you."

"Of course my Lords, anything I can do to help," they bowed low. 

"You can report back to me," Shikaku told them. "Any time something significant comes please let us know." They nodded again and bowed. "You're dismissed. Make sure you pick up the materials before you go."

"Did we have anything else to go over?" Madara brought the room’s attention back. The meeting moved on to more mundane things and about three hours later they were finally released.

Itachi groaned lowly as he walked into his room. He had been stripping as he walked through his sitting room and straight up to his bedroom. His head was starting to throb. He heard someone shift in his bad and throw their arm over his back.

"What are you doing here?" he grumbled into his sheets. "I can't believe Mei let you out of her sight," he said, looking up to see Shisui.

"She wanted to go to bed," Shisui grumbled back, "and when I told her there was a perfectly comfortable bed here, she told me I could sleep in it."

"So she can let you out of her sight as long as she knows your location ," Itachi hummed, pulling a pillow close. "I bet she checks in on you frequently to make sure you're in the same spot."

"I'm a bat. Not a cat." He pulled in closer, pressing his face against Itachi's back.

"Too bad Sasuke is such a grumpy cat," Itachi chuckled softly. Itachi closed his eyes. He was starting to feel his all-dayer hit him. He burrowed deeper into his sheets and pressed closer to Shisui. "Orochimaru and Madara wouldn't stop going at it all meeting," he mumbled, smiling a little. Shisui snorted, nuzzling the back of Itachi's neck.

"Madara's content being old and Orochimaru is in denial," Shisui laughed. 

I'm surprised his kids don't age him," Itachi hummed. "And Madara was born old."

"How did the meeting go overall?"

"Well. We should hopefully have a clearer idea of exactly who this hunter is tomorrow night." He could feel himself drifting off as he spoke.

"That's good." Shisui could hear it in his voice how tired he was. He let Itachi drift off to sleep for a few hours, enjoying the cuddling time before they went out to the town.