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Mind Gardens: Prologue. [ShiIta; G]
Title: Mind Gardens
Author: the_lady_lamb
Genre: Naruto
Sub-genre: Romance/Drama
Summary: Shisui is a problem solver. Itachi is a problem. And according to Shisui, any problem that starts with sex can be solved with sex. AU. ShiIta. Brain Damage spinoff.
Rated: NC-17 for sex, incest, etc.
Author's Notes: So, antisaints and I got an idea to do a prompt for 30_lemons . And then we were all, "why not do a multi-chapter fic, while we're at it." Behold.

Mind Gardens

The first thing Shisui remembered about anything was how terrible Seoul used to smell. Since the Green movement became mainstream, the city had cleaned up immensely, but he still wouldn't go. Unlike the rest of the Uchiha, he hadn't been born in Japan, and unlike Mikoto's family, he didn't get the luxury of moving until after Su Moon died. But of all insignificant things Shisui remembered from his young age, it was the death smell of South Korea's capital. The way a room smells when you know an animal defecated there, but it's dark and you can't see. Or the way a piece of food looks when there's something on it, something that might be mold, but you're so unbearably, unfathomably hungry that it makes you crazy with need. Then you eat it, and the idea that you might have eaten fungus and bacteria disgusts you so thoroughly that inevitably, the food spills out of your system a few minutes later.

Seoul smelled like dead animals. Like hospitals. Watercolor paint. Expired medicine.

He lived out in the suburbs, in a house too nice for his mother's unemployed lifestyle and his own expensive school tuition, but they were Uchiha, and that meant whatever they want, they got. It was an unfair lifestyle. Even at the shy age of eleven years old, Shisui knew that. He'd assumed that, before his father left, his mother had worked for most of her life and earned her money. But apparently something was special about her, because twice a month, she received checks with Japanese postage. And once a month, for the past eleven years of his life, she would receive a call from her half-sister. That was, of course, until very recently. Something happened in Japan, and suddenly, they were making trips to Seoul. All the time. Sick, epidermal-rot Seoul whose air could only make him think of the word bacteria and contagion.

Shisui wasn't a germaphobe. Quite the opposite, he was a rather messy child, and came home most days from school with paint and dirt smeared on his pretty face. But he was hypersensitive to smells, and even as Seoul began to clean itself up, that first horrid scent never left his memory, and forever would he associate that first wave of nausea with the city's name.

He was there when Mikoto's family had touched down. Auntie, uncle, seven year old cousin, three year old cousin. Shisui had been excused from his private school for the affair, his haircut quite ridiculous because Su Moon loved his hair long and wouldn't take him to get it cut himself. After some children made fun of him for his hairstyle, Shisui had hacked most of it off with a pair of left-handed scissors that he could barely maneuver because he was in fact not left handed. He'd gone from looking like a darling little girl to a darling little girl whose hair alone seemed to have intercepted a weed whacker, but after realizing that the children in question were going to make fun of him either way (and oh, how he'd been teased for the disaster on top of his head) he'd stopped caring what other children thought of him entirely.

That was, of course, until he was forced to meet his Aunt's family.

The day that seven-year-old Uchiha Itachi emerged onto the tarmac at Incheon International Airport was swelteringly, disgustingly hot. It was already twilight, sun resting its tired head on the horizon, but the humidity was in the ninetieth percentile and it weighed like a heavy cotton blanket across his face, so that even his breath felt too hot as it slipped from his lips. His mother's perfume, fragrant and cool, was immediately smothered simply by the smell of the heat, the steam from the asphalt and the rubber of the wheels of the plane. It called a dampness to his skin and made him sore.

They walked in through air so thick that it felt as if they were swimming. Itachi was not a fan of swimming, and he was even less a fan of sweating, and so approximately thirty six seconds into his arrival on Korean soil, he had decided that his first impression was that he did not like it at all, least of all the weather.

His mother, who was dressed in a beautiful pink dress that swayed around her like an array of petals and a beige cardigan that made her look frighteningly young, led his baby brother along by his small, sticky hand, and his father walked along and tried to look as proper as usual, which really just made him look stuffy and irritated.

The airport had a modern, minimalist look to it, all echoing tile and sharp-edged tile and chrome, and it was immensely congested, people seeming to scramble about in hot, sweaty tangles. Itachi looked only forward and stopped when his mother stopped, in front of a small, modest looking family to hug a woman he had never met with an almost suspicious amount of enthusiasm.

"Jamae!" This was the first Korean word Itachi ever heard, and it came in a strange cry from the woman before him, her narrow arms wrapping around his mother's waste and a strange smile to match her company's. "Seobangnim...!" The second word, addressed at his stoic father, who hadn't slept at all in days and thus the total of his response was a short nod. Her eyes flitted over Itachi, then Sasuke, a strange flatness in her expression as she smiled, and Sasuke flinched visibly, squeezing Itachi's hand and making an inarticulate sound. At three, Sasuke could convey compound and complex sentences with increasing comfort, and his vocabulary was growing steadily, but when faced with things he could not understand, tended to regress within himself.

Shisui stared.

Itachi stared back.

Then he gathered Sasuke a bit closer to him, one small, sharp hand on the back of his small head, dark eyes leveled on his cousin's face, and he did not take them off of it for a long while, until his mother began to guide him towards the family car with the family chauffeur waiting alongside it.

It seemed like a strange, youthful accusation. As if he were to blame for the heat. And for Korea as a whole.

Itachi made up a futon like an elderly woman. His corners were boxed and military, as if he had been long employed by a hospice, and he seemed to have the empathetic capabilities of a brick, or a wood chipper. He did not look around the house or even at his cousin, whose room he and Sasuke were to share. They were staying over, Shisui's mother's half-sister's family (that was to say the Main Family; the Main Family) until the boxes were moved into their house which was not too far away. Shisui's mother's half-sister, which was to say his aunt, was fantastically beautiful and agreeable woman, and she was chattering sweetly like a bird in the other room. And Sasuke, who'd stayed awake during the entire flight (which, admittedly, wasn't very long, but he was three and didn't often exert himself to such a degree), promptly took great pleasure in exploring every crevice of their temporary home despite his paralyzing fear of speaking to its typical occupants, then ate a cookie, which gave him a temporary, babbling sugar high before a very powerful crash that had him asleep in a futon prepared by his mother only 45 minutes after they'd settled.

Shisui was quiet but watchful, sitting on his bed with his back against the wall and his eyes placid. The kind of placid that, if seen on an adult, one would suspect the person in question might be under the influence of something illicit, but on a child? Dismissed as daydreaming. Which was his favorite thing to do. He was a dreamy, blurry child, the kind that would sing in the hallways and run in place in the shower, and there was a sticky pop! of a noise as he pulled a cherry lollipop from between his lips, speaking in even but accented Japanese:

"What is your name?"

Itachi stiffened, shoulders flattening from where they had previously been slightly hunched and back straightening. He had damnably good posture, which was also the sort of things adults noticed differently than children. He looked like some bird straightening its wings. Other than that, however, he did not acknowledge that he had spoken at all. He had no desire to speak, very less to Shisui, and so he pretended that he had not heard him. Itachi was rather inexperienced in pretending -- it did not especially agree with him, since it always went against his naturally honest disposition. He was honest. An honest, brutal child possessed of a passionate, soaring intelligence that made it almost impossible to interact with children his own age. Rather, he was asocial and awkward, in a cold, graceful sort of way.

He found himself thinking, rather, about the mechanics of masticating a lollipop, and he allowed his thoughts to move fluidly into the further mechanics of digestion. He imagined the undulations of his esophagus and the glands that processed his saliva.

Shisui frowned. "Hey, I'm speaking to you."

Itachi managed not to flinch. He did not appreciate being brought out of his thoughts.

"Please stop," he said, sounding greatly depreciating.

The older of the two leaned off his bed and, without missing a beat whatsoever, flicked him in the forehead. "No. Tell me your name or I'll babble at you in Korean for the next four hours."

"Please do not touch me," Itachi said, balking sharply away from his fingers.

Shisui blinked. It was like a bell had gone off in the back of his mind, and he grinned, that strange grin he and his mother shared as he leaned towards him, far enough off to stumble and hurt himself if he were as graceless as the average eleven-year-old, but he wasn't. Close enough to kiss him, should he have felt the impulse, but he hadn't. Not then, anyway. He was still sick from that godawful, sickly smell of Seoul, sick of the way it clung furiously to his skin and to the skin of his company's, trapping the ill will of it in the small containment of his well-kept bedroom, and he paused for a moment, eyes moving to the red mark on the boy's forehead where his fingers had been.

"One day. I'm going to make you my wife~"

Chapter 1.

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SHISUI WITH AN ACCENT AN ACCENT OH MY GOD this whole thing is like friggin' adorable btw

Edited at 2010-05-20 08:42 pm (UTC)

omg wouldn't he make the cutest little kid in the history of ever

This is really interesting. I love the modern setting and I know nothing about Korea so it's a nice change. Your writing style is great too! Nice job &hearts

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