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Onyx and Ivory @mangokid
The Meaning of Death

The Meaning of Death.

Onyx and Ivory

"You're the only person I can count on, my best friend…please protect this village, and the honor of the Uchiha name."

"Wait, Shisui!"

"Don't stop me…Will you promise me one thing, Itachi?"


"One day…one day…tell Hoshiko the truth about us. She deserves to know…and…protect her, Itachi. If Danzo was strong enough to do this to me, who knows what he will do to her. I'm sorry for the burden that you must bear…but I cannot die peacefully until I know that she will be safe."

"…I will, you have my word, Shisui…"

"Don't give me that look…even like this I can tell what face you're making…"

"Goodbye, my friend."


When Hoshiko was a small child she had asked her father about death. She had wondered what it was like to die. At first he had abolished the idea. Telling her that a child so young had no place in worrying about death. The idea was ridiculous seeing as Hoshiko was in the academy and when she was a Genin she would be placed in dangerous situations. In time Kisho had finally answered her question.

"Death will only last a second, it is what you choose to do with your life that has meaning. The final destination for everyone in this world is the afterlife, be it your enemies or friends…we are all the same in that retrospect. In death, no one man is greater than another. Death is not the end, Hoshiko. It is a wonderful new beginning."


"Did you hear me?" Danzo asked the silent girl. It had been a few moments since Danzo had spoken the four words that had shattered Hoshiko's resolve.

Hoshiko's glassy eyes rose slowly until she met Danzo's beady eye, "What?"

"I said Uchiha Shisui is dead."

Hoshiko didn't want to believe him, she couldn't…Shisui couldn't be dead…he was too strong…

Hoshiko forced back her tears; she wouldn't let Danzo see her cry. She would let no one see her cry. She balled her fists up by her side, her nails digging into her skin to give her something to feel other then the painful ache she felt in her heart.

"How?" She whispered airily.

Danzo reached over for his clay cup, "A suicide, it seems." He said nonchalantly.

Her breath got caught in her throat. Her brows knitted together as she lurched forwards, "No! That's impossible! Shisui would never…not after I saw him the other day!"

"People can deceive you," Danzo stated. "They can hide their true feelings deep within." Hoshiko turned away, gritting her teeth harshly and squeezing her eyes shut. "Unless…" Danzo muttered. Hoshiko slowly turned back to face him. "There was something else at work here."

"What are you talking about?" Hoshiko asked.

Danzo sighed and stood up from his chair. He reached for his cane and shuffled the few feet towards her. "I just think…maybe this could've been avoided had I not sent you on that mission…" Danzo clicked his tongue and sighed ruefully. Danzo had stopped so that their shoulders were inches away from each other, facing opposite ways.

"I don't—what do you mean?" Hoshiko's voice was small; afraid of the answer she was about to receive.

"It's just that…" Hoshiko held her breath as she listened. "The last person to be seen with Shisui was Uchiha Itachi…"

Hoshiko felt her heart leap into her throat; it stopped her from producing any noise as she tried to shake off this feeling. It was the feeling of betrayal, sorrow and grief. The room was deathly silent, you could hear a pin drop. Her knees began to weaken, and she knew that if she didn't get out of there fast Danzo would have to witness one of her breakdowns. Something that hadn't happened since her father had died.

She spun swiftly on her heel, taking off at a sprint as she wrenched the door open and was flying out of the room and down the hall. Danzo watched her go, a triumphant smirk on his wrinkled face.

It was like the sky was crying. Light raindrops sprinkled down on Konoha on the mournful day. It was Shisui's funeral. Hoshiko's misty eyes watched the raindrops slide down her window. It was silent in her home, not even her mother was making a noise. News of Shisui's untimely death had spread through the village like wildfire. Everyone knew who he was, and everyone felt the loss of one so young. The funeral today was only for the Uchiha to attend, but Hoshiko was going anyway. She didn't care if the Uchiha glared and resented her, Shisui had been her best friend…and now he was gone.

Hoshiko heard her door open from behind her. She didn't acknowledge her mother entering the room but heard her walk slowly over to her. "You look lovely." Hoshiko thought on what she was wearing. A simple black dress that ended mid thigh, a square neckline and short sleeves. "You should take a jacket," Hiroka said, placing a hand on her shoulder. Hoshiko shook her head. She didn't need a jacket, what was a little water and wind compared to the unbearable pain in her chest?

"Would you like me to come with you?" Hiroka asked, peering around her shoulder to gauge her daughter's emotions.

"No," Hoshiko finally spoke. "I need to do this." Hoshiko reached for her forehead protector as she secured it in place tightly. She turned to leave but was stopped by her mother enveloping her in her arms tightly.

"I am so sorry," Hiroka whispered. Hoshiko allowed her head to rest against her mother's cheek for a second. After the moment she pulled away from her and left her room.


Hoshiko stopped at the Yamanaka Flower Shop first. She bought a bouquet of white posy from the woman and left hurriedly. Her destination was the Uchiha compound first. The funeral ceremony would begin in a short while but there was something she had to do first.

She wasn't surprised to see the compound mostly empty, some Uchiha weren't attending the funeral but the majority had gone out of respect. She walked the familiar route towards Shisui's home, coincidently to reach Shisui's home you had to pass by the Uchiha manor; Itachi's home.

She didn't look over at the haunting house, keeping her eyes focused ahead of her. As she passed the entrance to the Uchiha manor something on the perimeter wall caught her attention. The tall wall separated the Uchiha from the surrounding forest, and all along the clan emblem was painted on it. On one particular emblem there was a crack, or a puncture. She approached it curiously. The rain dripped down the wall, making it seem like the crack was huge. She held the flowers in one hand and with her other she reached out, her fingertips running over the crack.

She knew that this wasn't a natural cause. Someone had done this, but why? If she had to guess, the way she saw it—it almost looked like someone had thrown a kunai into the wall. Hoshiko turned her head; the emblem was directly in line with the entrance to the Uchiha manor door. What could have possibly happened here?

Hoshiko shook the foreboding feeling away as she continued on her way. She arrived outside of Shisui's modest home to see an array of flowers and candles laid out around the entrance of the home. The wind and rain had long blown out all the flames but she had no doubt that someone would come back once the weather cleared up to light them all again. Hoshiko placed the flowers on the doorstep, bringing her hands together and bowing in respect. She sent a prayer up for Shisui.

Hoshiko remained there for a while. She was remembering her past with Shisui. She could still hear his laugh in her ears. She wanted to hear it again; she would give anything to hear Shisui tell her that everything was going to be ok; that he was playing a practical joke on her like he always did.

Reality sunk in. Shisui wasn't coming back. He wasn't going to throw an arm around her shoulder and drag her around the village like he normally would. They would never whisper behind Itachi's back playfully again, plotting out ways to annoy the stoic Uchiha. They would never bond over their love of ramen and their loathing of tofu again.

Hoshiko knew that if she were to have a brother, it would've been Shisui. He drove her insane but yet managed to always know what she was feeling. He would tease her endlessly and she would cuss him out, but deep down she treasured those times. He helped her through her childhood days. He was a pillar of jokes and support that she needed in her life…and now he was just gone. It was still hard for her to accept that a person she had known for years was gone. She would never see him again.

"What is she doing here?" Uchiha Fugaku asked lowly. Sasuke glanced up at his father, his wide eyes confused as he stood at the front of the clan with his family in the rain. They were at the cemetery, honoring Shisui. Sasuke stood close to his mother who held a black umbrella over their heads. Fugaku and Itachi stood next to each other, the former holding the umbrella.

"Anata, they were friends…" Mikoto said in a hushed voice. Sasuke had no idea who they were talking about. He glanced over at his older brother. Itachi was staring at the ground, his face expressionless. Sasuke looked passed his brother, and through the crowd he spotted a lone figure standing by themselves far away from the clan.

Hoshiko stood in the rain, letting the water drip off her as she stared at the headstone that had been engraved with Shisui's name. Sasuke couldn't tell if she was crying or not, the rain covering any evidence of her sorrow.


Sasuke slowly moved off, wanting to go and stand with her. A strong hand clamped down on his shoulder, "…Sasuke."

The boy stopped and glanced up into his older brothers eyes. Itachi had finally moved for the first time since they had arrived at the cemetery. "Nii-san?" Sasuke said.

"Leave her." Itachi commanded quietly.

Sasuke frowned up at him and shook his head, "Just because you are fighting with Hoshiko-nee doesn't mean that I have to ignore her too." Sasuke shrugged off his hand and scurried off into the rain.

"You two are fighting?" Mikoto inquired, hearing Sasuke as she turned to her eldest son. Itachi averted his gaze from her.

"Now is not the time," Fugaku said sternly. Mikoto nodded and moved back into place.


Hoshiko knew the moment that Sasuke had left the vicinity of his family that he would be joining her. She watched him scurry through the light rain as he stopped a few feet away from her. Hoshiko was soaked to the bone, she had been walking and standing in the rain with no umbrella this entire time. Even if the rain was light, it was continuous. Her dark hair stuck to her face and neck, water running down her bare skin.

"Go stand with your family, Sasuke." Hoshiko ordered quietly, not meeting his gaze. She chose to stare ahead at the tombstone.

"But no one is standing with you," Sasuke said innocently.

Hoshiko turned her head to look down at him, "I am not an Uchiha. I am not welcome here. Please Sasuke, go to your family."

Sasuke frowned up at her, his little fists clenched at his side. "But you were Shisui's friend. You deserve—"

"Sasuke." Hoshiko said firmly. The little boy winced at her harsh tone of voice. Hoshiko walked to him and then knelt down on one knee so that she was directly in line with his eyes. Sasuke avoided her stare. Hoshiko reached out and wrapped her arms around his shoulders, bringing him closer to her so that she could whisper in his ear. "Arigato." Sasuke's eyes widened as Hoshiko pushed him away gently, she held his shoulders. "You know, Sasuke, all those times I was mean to you. The times where I called you names and pushed you around…I never meant any of it." Sasuke listened quietly for once, his gaze focused on Hoshiko's misty eyes. Eyes that he could see were pooling with tears. "All these years I've thought of you as my own otouto. I don't ever want to see you get hurt, Sasuke."

Sasuke tried to shake off the ominous feeling in his chest. "Why do you sound like you're saying goodbye?" He asked timidly. Hoshiko didn't answer; she merely smiled weakly at him.

Something over Sasuke's shoulder caught her eye as her gaze lifted. Her eyes settled on the figure of Itachi as the stoic faced Uchiha was calmly walking towards them. Around them, the Uchiha were dispersing, the ceremony was over and they would all be leaving. Hoshiko watched Itachi as he kept his stare on Sasuke's back, not even daring to look at her. He stopped a few feet away as Hoshiko stood back up onto her feet as Sasuke turned to his brother.

"Sasuke, go to okaa-san."


"Sasuke." Itachi said sternly, although his expression stayed soft towards his little brother, "Do as I say."

Sasuke nodded, understanding that something was probably about to happen between his brother and Hoshiko, and he shouldn't be around. He cast a fleeting look over his shoulder at Hoshiko, who gave him a reassuring smile. Sasuke could tell that the smile didn't reach her eyes as he passed by his brother and hurried over to his mother.

Hoshiko tore her gaze away from Sasuke and looked over at Itachi. The Uchiha still hadn't met her gaze as he began walking again. He brushed passed her silently, the only sound coming from his feet walking over the grass. Hoshiko turned her body with her gaze as she followed him with her eyes. The Uchiha was leaving the cemetery and turning right, heading off into the woods. Taking a deep breath Hoshiko balled her fists up tightly and strode after him.

She followed him silently. Itachi was jumping through the trees. There was a different element to the way he moved. His leaps were shaky. He was using more force to jump off then he normally would. Hoshiko was keeping her distance from him; she knew that he would know that she had followed him from the cemetery. If Itachi didn't want her following him, she would know.

She sensed him stopping up ahead. She glanced up through the trees, the rain was heavier now, the clouds darker. Hoshiko knew that he was waiting for her, she was terrified to step into that clearing…but she had to—she had to know the truth.

She jumped out of the tree and took a few calming breaths before she walked between the large trees and into the small clearing. Itachi stood a few meters away, the rain already soaking through his clothes. Hoshiko shivered from the chilly gust of wind that blew around them.

The two ANBU stared each other down, neither wanted to be the first to speak. When Hoshiko looked at Itachi, she didn't recognize him anymore. Gone was the boy who had protected her from bullies, who had spent years putting up with her arrogant and petty attitude. Who went out of his way to protect her Mizukiri ability. He was a shadow of his former self. Hoshiko didn't know this Itachi. His onyx eyes were distant…aloof—like he was desperately trying to detach himself from everything.

"If you aren't going to ask me anything, you should leave." Itachi finally spoke. His tone was calm and collected.

Hoshiko bristled, "Who says I want to ask you anything?"

"Then why else would you follow me here? I doubt it's to offer me any sentiments." Itachi stated.

Hoshiko gave him a shrewd smirk, "You're right. I'm not here for that." Itachi waited for her to continue, he was curious as to where this conversation was headed. Hoshiko took a deep breath as she hardened her gaze towards him. "I want to know why you killed Sh—him." Hoshiko changed saying his name at the last second. It was still too painful to say Shisui's names, especially to Itachi.

If Itachi was surprised or hurt at her accusation, he didn't show it. "What makes you think that I had anything to do with his death?"

Hoshiko grit her teeth in irritation. Itachi's insouciant attitude was getting on her nerves. She took a step forward, her finger pointing at him accusingly, "You were the last person to see Shisui! The Shisui I know would never have…" She paused, unable to say the words. "He never would have done that!"

Itachi felt a sense a familiarity with her words, it was only a few days ago that the Uchiha Police Force members had been accusing him of the same thing. Itachi blinked slowly and turned his head away from her. "Then you did not know Shisui as well as you thought you did."

His statement triggered Hoshiko. In a second the silence was broken by her Raikiri as she made the lightning collect in her hand. Her anger got the best of her. All she could see was red. She was furious at Itachi's attitude, she was heartbroken by Shisui's death. Made worse by Itachi's comments that she didn't really know Shisui. Hoshiko leapt at Itachi, a scream tore through her throat as she ran at him. Her emotions were making the Raikiri unstable in her hand and bolts of electricity were flying out and hitting the ground and nearby trees. She could feel the surge of power ricocheting up her arm. From her Root training she had been practicing this jutsu more and more, if she was going to use it in a battle with Itachi, there would be nothing left.

She was fast approaching Itachi, and yet the Uchiha made no move to dodge her attack. She wondered vaguely why that was but the thought was gone when her rage overtook her once more. She was so close now; she could see the minute details on his face. Hoshiko brought her hand up, intent on piercing right through his chest when suddenly her vision wavered. Before her stood Shisui, an illusion with a smile on his face and his thumb held up. Hoshiko skidded to a stop, her Raikiri extinguished as she watched the vision of Shisui fade away and Itachi once again stood before her. The vision had been so real; she could have sworn it was really him. Now that he was gone the reality set in again, Shisui was dead.


Itachi watched Hoshiko as her eyes searched his for the vision of Shisui he had made her see. It was the only way he could think of to stop her from killing him without harming her in the process. He had seen the intent in her silver gaze, she fully meant to harm or kill him so he had protected himself. He tried not to feel guilty about using that particular Genjutsu on her, but he did anyway. It was silent between them, until a strangled cry emanated from Hoshiko's mouth. Her knees buckled as she dropped to the soggy ground, her hands catching her fall as her whole body began to shake. Itachi could hear her mournful cries as they echoed around him.

Itachi knew that Hoshiko was at her limit. She never cried—never around people anyway. So for her to breakdown, in front of him no less, he knew that her emotional state was compromised. Itachi tilted his head back, lifting his chin up to the clouds that he could see through the foliage. Hoshiko's cries would haunt him forever; he would always remember this moment.

"Itachi, promise me that one day you'll tell Hoshiko the truth. She deserves to know…"

Itachi thought back on his promise. He shut his eyes in anguish, 'Shisui…today is not that day. I cannot tell her yet; otherwise doing so will put her in danger. I hope you will understand.'

Itachi was not an idiot. He knew of Hoshiko's secret mission. The day that Shisui had seen her in the Hokage tower he had doubled back and eavesdropped on the conversation between Danzo and Hoshiko. He had heard enough to know that Danzo had been manipulating Hoshiko this entire time. She solely believed that Itachi was the one planning the coup and not the clan. When Shisui had told him this information, he was livid. Danzo seemed to be on their side but really he had his own agenda, but he couldn't figure out where Hoshiko fit into all of this?

Was Danzo hoping that Hoshiko would truly try and kill him? If Itachi died, there would be no one to stop the Coup and war would break out. Was that what Danzo really wanted? Another war?

Quiet sniffling drew his attention. He lowered his head, watching Hoshiko as her shaking started to subside; she wiped her face with the back of her hand and slowly started to push herself onto her feet.

"How dare you," she whispered. "How dare you do that to me!" She raised her head, so that she was staring into his dark onyx eyes. Itachi kept his face emotionless as he thought about what he was about to do. It would be the final straw that would sever their friendship. Itachi had to do this, he couldn't tell her the truth about Danzo. He knew that if Hoshiko found out, she would try and kill Danzo, and even she wasn't strong enough to take on the whole of Root and ANBU. And Itachi couldn't make a move against Danzo until the Uchiha matter was taken care of. It's like he was a double-edged sword, either option would cause everyone pain.

"It matters not anymore." Itachi stated calmly.

He saw the fury flash in her eyes as Hoshiko drew back her arm to punch him. Before she was an inch away from his face Itachi reached out and latched onto her wrist painfully. Hoshiko gasped in shock as Itachi twisted her arm and body and pinned her arm against her back. His chest pressed against her back and he lowered his mouth to her ear.

"It would be wise to not attack me, Hoshiko." He said silkily. He felt her body shiver. "You are not strong enough to defeat me, and you never will be."

He was playing on Hoshiko's weakness. He knew that her fear in life was that she would be weak; she hated people protecting her and always wanted to best him. There had only been a handful of times over the years that she had rarely gotten close to beating him. He knew that if he tried his best to make her fear him, she wouldn't pry into the truth. She would stay safe.


Hoshiko wriggled out of his grip, stumbling a few feet away as she tried to calm her pounding heart. She spun around; fear evident in her eyes as she tried not to tremble under the Uchiha's gaze. She watched as his eyes suddenly blazed crimson, her heart gave another jump as she stepped back. Fearing that Itachi was about to attack her.

"Was it all an act?" She asked softly.

Itachi's head tilted to the side, "What was?"

Hoshiko swallowed back the lump in her throat, "Everything…our friendship. Did any of it mean anything to you?"

A cold smirk passed over Itachi's face, "Those foolish enough to carry such bonds could never understand the true meaning of being a Shinobi."

A tear fell from her eye; Hoshiko stood her ground with her head held high. "What true meaning is that then?"

"To ascertain power."

Hoshiko's expression dropped. It was like Danzo had said all those weeks ago. Itachi was doing this for power. She had enough of this. Hoshiko spun on her heel, turning her back on Itachi. She walked a few steps before stopping and casting a glance over her shoulder.

"The next time we meet, Uchiha, will be for the last time." She threatened and disappeared into the trees. Hoshiko had made her decision. She would be the one to kill Uchiha Itachi. She knew she would probably die in the process but if she could save Konoha and the few other people she cared about, maybe Shisui's death wouldn't be in vain.

"It is as you predicted, Danzo-sama."

Danzo looked up from the scroll he was reading to his ANBU agent kneeling before him. "So they met."

"Hai," the ANBU replied. "Uchiha Itachi and Ginyoru Hoshiko met outside of Konoha. They proceeded to get into an argument where Ginyoru attempted to use her Raikiri on him but Uchiha used a Genjutsu on her to stop her."

"Did they say anything about the Coup?" Danzo asked.

The ANBU shook his head, "No. Their conversation was specifically about Uchiha Shisui and their previous relationship."

"Previous?" Danzo questioned.

"It seems that Ginyoru has declared to kill Uchiha Itachi."

Danzo smirked, "Excellent. That little girl is finally proving useful to me. Soon this will all be over and I will no longer have to worry about that prodigy and that gullible child. Where is she now?"

"She arrived at Headquarters a few minutes ago. I believe she is heading down to the training area."

Danzo pushed himself out of his hard chair, "Well then. Perhaps I should go down there and add more fuel to the flame, so to speak." Danzo felt the nervousness from his agent. "What is it?"

"Danzo-sama…" the ANBU began. "Is it wise to continue training her? Should the girl find out the truth, she will no doubt try to harm you."

Danzo chuckled, "Do not fret. My little Tenshi is so consumed with her rage and sorrow that the only thing she can focus on is killing Itachi. This is what I have been manipulating her for. All the tests, the training's, the torture was all for this moment. Where she would finally go through her final test. That test is killing the Uchiha brat, and if I know her…she will do everything to succeed."

The ANBU thought over this for a moment, "Hai, Danzo-sama."

As Danzo left the room he could feel the rumbling from under his feet. Power was surging from the training room. No doubt it was Hoshiko preparing for her final test. A crooked smile appeared on Danzo's face as she slowly shuffled to the stairs, "That foolish Uchiha. He's made this all too easy for me."

Whoa! Sorry for the wait guys! Life got in the way and then this chapter really really really didn't want to be written! I had so much trouble with this chapter, trying to make sure I got everything right without revealing too much but also giving some bits away. But I'm glad it's out! It may not be the longest chapter, blame that on my writers block for this chapter but I did try my best. Also, in case you were wondering why Hoshiko didn't say anything about the Coup is because she is under Danzo's Genjutsu remember? Because of that she couldn't even think about asking Itachi about it all, so yeah, Danzo is still a Jackass.

On another note, the big ole' 'event' will most likely be happening next chapter. I never planned on having the pre-massacre be this many chapters! I only intended to have one or two of Itachi and Hoshiko as young teenagers but I just couldn't not do their past. It makes it all more tragic don't you think? Sigh, just what do you think is going to go down with all of this!? I'd love to hear your opinions and I actually can't wait to write the post-massacre stuff, I have a lot planned so get excited, or dread it...whatever...


Dark Rose Charm - Yes, I am so sorry that Shisui died...honestly it killed me to kill him off. I really tried to think of a way to incorporate him into the plot I have created but it just didn't work out :/ But I promise that there will be a wonderful homage to Shisui in the end.

StarshineRose18 - I know he died. I was heartbroken that he had to go, I loved writing him so much...I'm sad to see him go, but I guess I could always write flashbacks...Hoshiko and Sasuke moments are always my favourite, other then our main two. Though I do wonder how his relationship with Hoshiko will change him, or keep him the same? We'll see!

Me And Not You 1001 - I'm so sorry for killing him off! I didn't want to but I had to. If i would've known how much I loved writing his character I would've found a way to incorporate him into my plot, but I didn't...sorry. But yeah shit really hit the fan in this chapter, and it will continue long into the next one too!

Davina - Thank you! Ahh Sasuke and Hoshiko are so cute and funny to write, their sibling relationship is something I totally live for! Itachi is a god, i doubt Hoshiko will ever beat him...maybe when she's older...maybe...we'll see ;) You're welcome, sorry this one took me so bloody long!

Sarette - You and me both...this chapter was so hard to write with all the sadness and angst..

Alera33 - Oh my god wow, thank you for saying that! That honestly means so much to me! I hope you enjoyed and I am sorry for the delay! Next update will be quicker, I promise!

Thank you everyone! I'll be back soon, promise!

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