I'm double-posting because I don't care, thank you very much. This just had to come out and I had to post it.
Fresh, crawled straight from my head:
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One step from my horizon
I think I dream I wonder
My honor yearns for reason
I plant this seed of treason
I?m the Sky, I?m the Heavens
I declare my intentions
Rain down, Bleed forever
Nothing?s held from the dead
Rip down the stars, both hands
And wait for the sign, my final act
Die with the sun, burn cold
I?ll empty the sky just to believe
I sow I reap I return
Dealing out retribution
Let truth be known through bloodshed
I?m the Sky, I?m the Heavens
I declare my intentions
Weighed down, False endeavor
Truth revealed at my end
Rip down the stars, both hands
And wait for the sign, my final act
Die with the sun, burn cold
I?ll empty the sky just to believe
I will fall and thus the sky will follow
I will fall and thus the sky will follow
- Empty the Sky, Divinity Destroyed
Itachi likes chemistry. It?s something he?s always had a passion for, as much as he has passions that is. He finds it fascinating how everything in the world can be constructed from tiny little bits of the same thing. Everyone is made of carbon, oxygen, hydrogen and a grab-bag of other trace elements. Potassium, nitrogen, calcium are all in there, somewhere. It is the order and arrangement of all these tiny little things that changes an unimpressive mass of molecules like, say, animal dung into ammonium nitrate. The only difference between Umino Iruka and Uchiha Itachi is those selfsame little bits, and look at the results.
Admittedly, he studied chemistry because it was important for him to learn. How many everyday substances can be used as weapons, or refined with minimal effort into something deadly? The sort of effort he could muster on a field operation? What combusts when exposed to an ignition source (something of a specialty of his, being an Uchiha and all) and what explodes, the critical difference being the rate of combustion and the force exerted during the process.
?Either way, brother,? Sasuke declares, standing eye to eye with the demon he?s carried in his mind since the night he stumbled into a massacre, ?It ends tonight.?
Chemistry is important. Yet another way of killing, of making his living, and few people ever see the esoteric chemical compound that ends them. It is important to him, because Itachi is a man who has never thrown away a tool in his life. He is an Uchiha. He is the Uchiha, a penultimate expression of an ideal. And Uchiha are (were) versatile, because their eyes given them dozens more options than any other shinobi could ever hope to match.
That demon chooses not to respond, already formulating his opening gambit against the younger man.
But now that he thinks about it, despite the complexity of the arrangements in their component molecules, the human mind is very simple. It?s primal, brutal, and even elemental. It is humorous to him that he never saw it before.
Sasuke is like lead, heavy and slow, but undeniably attractive. However, he is inimical, poisonous to the body and soul. No one he has ever met has come away whole or hale but most can?t bring themselves to blame the poor, tragic survivor. The Last Uchiha.
Sasuke strikes at him, but Itachi evades. Even as the younger Uchiha recovers, Itachi applies force to the back of his brother?s neck with the point of his elbow. Crashing down to his knees and dazed, Itachi calmly steps away from Sasuke, giving his brother time to gather his feet beneath him.
Itachi bites down on his irritation. Last Uchiha indeed, if anything Itachi is the Last Uchiha, the last scion who both remembers and understands their ideals. Even now, he still strives to achieve their goals with a will he cannot deny. The temptation to go beyond is? irresistible, even for one such as him.
Unlike Sasuke, Itachi?s elemental nature is iron. Strength, rigidity, resistance. Iron, just like lead, is atomically stable. Things make take a different path to get there, but in the end iron and lead are the result. And just like Sasuke, Itachi was once molded into something too. Forged with carbon ash, iron becomes steel and a whole world of possibilities open. Steel is light, flexible and yet unyielding at the same time, and is used in a plethora of different situations.
Lead, when alloyed with silver, becomes pewter, a far more aesthetically-pleasing derivative. Worked, it becomes something pretty, something worth observing, and perhaps even something worth displaying. Iron doesn?t behave like that. Iron is used for practical purposes, function before form is even considered. Itachi has never been anything but a shinobi, never a child, never a friend and certainly never a man.
In his effort to reach the nirvana of existence as a perfect shinobi, he has forgotten about things here and there that normal people take pleasure in and take for granted. The elder Uchiha has never been with a woman, but he cannot bring himself to see a loss in it. He doesn?t see this as problem with his masculinity or an inherent flaw of his character, because he can remember women from his adolescence who would have given their whole soul, not disregarding their bodies, to capture him.
Monogamy. There?s another thing he doesn?t understand, but this stems from the fact Itachi has only ever learned to appreciate a woman for her skills on the battlefield or her capabilities with medical-ninjutsu. (Kunoichi all inevitably take up the path of the medic-nin, just as they are all talented with genjutsu in his experience.) That is not entirely true, but for the sake of avoiding chauvinism, he fails to add ?and her skill at making meals? or ?child-rearing? to the list, despite these being the salient examples of women in his early years. Though he colors it being counter-traditionalist, rather than sexist, because he favors himself a rebel. It?s a truth, technically, however, in reality it is a jaunty, idealized view of himself that he carries around, deep in the back of his mind. Despite his best efforts, he can?t seem to rid himself of even basic human self-aggrandizement.
Growling, angry now, Sasuke launches himself in his brother?s direction, only to have his charge stopped dead by the elder Uchiha?s flawless crescent heel kick. Sasuke almost cries out from the pain. Almost. But he bears it and rolls back away from Itachi, then comes in low again and Itachi is forced to defend himself now.
Iron is forged into weapons precisely because it forms and holds an edge. It can be made sharp enough to cut through flesh at the merest touch, and that?s what Uchiha Itachi is, a weapon. Sasuke is a weapon as well, but lead is soft and deforms with too much pressure. Iron just holds an edge better.
It makes a better weapon.
Fire washes over him, and Sasuke is thrown to the ground, crossing his arms before his face in a warding gesture to hold away the flames. This blocks his vision for just a moment, and Itachi takes advantage. A dozen senbon needles seemingly sprout from critical locations across his body, pinning joints open and limiting his movement to a scent few degrees in every direction. Only a former ANBU could have known the exact right locations to target and only an Uchiha could have seen them through the flames.
The younger Uchiha collapses under his own weight, unable to shift his legs enough to compensate for his momentum. It drives the senbon under his kneecaps deeper into his skin and now he cries out. It?s a soft sound, barely loud enough to be heard, but it carries like a scream and Itachi hears.
?You are nothing,? the rogue ninja says. Sasuke stays quiet, because he knows that he?s already lost, just as quickly as the fight began it is over. He shifts his head on his neck, only to feel the two senbon there grind against vertebrae. Blood oozes slowly from torn flesh, flowing slowly down to pool between his shoulder blades.
?I should have just killed you along with all the others,? Itachi remarks, and Sasuke realizes that his brother is thinking aloud, perhaps for the first time in his life, ?Incapable of even following the simplest of orders. Worthless.?
This burns Sasuke. It sears him like no flame ever could and a strange burning sensation works its way up his throat. He does not know it is a scream of rage, but he holds it in, for now. It might be vomit, and Sasuke doesn?t want to embarrass himself anymore than he already has. Though it could just as easily be a cry of pain or grief, and that?s even worse than vomit, in his mind.
?You? bastard?? Sasuke wheezes. Itachi looms over him now, staring at him with those relentless, dead, soulless Sharingan eyes. His thin lips are drawn together in a hard line, curled at one corner ever-so-slightly to express his disgust. His aqualine nose is flared just a bit and the standing man is sneering.
?What would you have me do Sasuke?? Itachi asks, and that?s startling, ?What would you do if you were in my position??
Sasuke returns his brother?s glare evenly and does not respond. Itachi waits patiently and they stare one another down. The younger brother is at an obvious disadvantage, what with being maimed and bleeding and laying awkwardly on the ground, but Sasuke has been nothing if not stubborn his entire life.
?Go home Sasuke,? the older brother says after a pregnant pause, breaking the sharp silence. There is weariness in his words that Sasuke has never heard before and his glare has evaporated now. ?Don?t come after me again.?
Sasuke?s heart stops in his throat. His brother is pushing him aside again. The younger man will be forgotten, discarded, in favor of Itachi?s self-appointed mission. No, Sasuke thinks, Not again. Not this time. He refuses to be sacrificed or used for his brother?s mad plans and shadowy logic anymore. Uchiha Sasuke is going to make his own way in life, and he?s going to start by avenging his clan.
That scream of rage finally claws its way out of his mouth as the Uchiha progeny lunges from his prone position, fist preceding body in a chakra-enhanced right hook that lacks both subtlety and defensive capacity, but Sasuke doesn?t care anymore. He?s tired of running, he?s tired of hiding, and above all, he?s tired of living miserably.
As though he expected the outburst, Itachi flows around Sasuke?s awkward blow, grasping his wrist and pulling hard. Balance lost, the younger Uchiha stumbles forward until his chest presses against his brother?s. They are face to face, eyes inches apart.
?Leave.? The quiet force that permeates the elder man seems to double in intensity. Sasuke?s tired and broken mind is awash with anger, but he?s still sharp enough to notice the lack of breath from his brother?s mouth. The lack of breath minimizes the noise caused by the use of his mouth. ANBU are commonly taught how to throw their voices and control the sound produced, but Sasuke doesn?t know anyone who has ever gone so far as to control every inhalation and exhalation for maximum stealth.
Itachi is the iron forged by the crucible of combat into the steely shinobi before him. The tungsten-carbide coating of experience and training merely coats and protects the Uchiha prodigy, reduces wear and tear accumulated from years on the road and innumerable deaths by his hand. Controlled breathing is as much a part of him as ruthless efficiency or callous indifference. Casually, as though no more concerned with straightening his clothing, Itachi pushes his brother to the ground, purposefully allowing Sasuke to fall hard on the tips of several senbon.
He does not enjoy the look of agony that flashes momentarily across his sibling?s face. In truth, Itachi understands why Sasuke tries to hide his pain, especially in front of him. It?s a useless effort, because the one still standing has seen all the forms of pain a man can feel, and dealt almost all of them. Sasuke can no more hide the pain he?s enduring than he could travel backward in time or discover the secrets of the universe on the back of a milk carton.
Turning away, the Akatsuki member makes as if to leave. He?s taken those Sharingan off of his brother, deciding that he poses no threat anymore. It is strange that Itachi allows Sasuke to live, when he has killed so many. During the course of his life, he has killed for money, for vengeance, and most importantly, for power. He has killed when slighted, when insulted, when ignored. He has killed to be noticed, to cause suffering, to fulfill a contract.
But he does not kill Sasuke. Never Sasuke.
The pain Itachi forces Sasuke to endure is a lesson, like everything the elder brother gives the younger. Carefully planned for maximum effect, the grey-haired man molds Sasuke until he becomes something useful, the final tool to unlock what Itachi searches for.
Sasuke lunges from the ground, thrusting a sharpened hunk of steel toward his brother?s unprotected back. He is screaming now, partially from pain but mostly out of hate and spite. His brother refuses to die, and Sasuke doesn?t understand why he will not fall and die. The Uchiha progeny needs to move on with his life. This chapter needs to be closed, because Sasuke has other business to attend to, and other people to kill. He can?t bear the insomnia, but the teen just goes to pieces when he dreams about it.
He feels the kunai catch for a second, hears the tearing of cloth, and then feels his brother jerk away in a motion almost too clumsy to be Itachi. The hit is scored, and even if it wasn?t enough, Sasuke will still be satisfied, because this is closer to his goal than he has ever come before. Whatever consequence he will face, it was worth it.
Momentum unabated, he stumbles forward, those damned senbon pinning his muscles in awkward positions. Unable to maintain his balance, the dark-haired shinobi crashes to the ground once again.
His fingertips are wet with blood, but Itachi stares at them with an almost clinical detachment. It has been a long time since the rogue ninja has seen his own blood. This makes it almost a novelty to him. At the very least, it is thought-provoking and shocking to some degree. In being invincible for so long, Itachi has forgotten how to react to being injured.
It takes him close to three seconds to figure out an appropriate response. But the flesh around the wound is tingling oddly. Dimly, Itachi remembers wounds not feeling quite like that, years ago when he last had one. Forsaking dignity, he checks himself and finds a razor cut along the underside of his left arm. At the edge of his sight, Sasuke is watching with something akin to rapt fascination. He looks delighted at his minor victory, as though a simple scratch could possibly win him the entire battle. The aura of invulnerability is destroyed by just a little nick, and if Sasuke?s gone so far, then certainly he can summon the strength to go the last mile.
Itachi cannot have such baseless assumptions. He will not tolerate foolishness from Sasuke. To allow his brother to entertain fanciful illusions would be to destroy all that Itachi has worked for.
So there?s only one thing left to do, even though it will cause a set-back to his plans. The time schedule will be thrown completely off, but in retrospect, he guesses that there is nothing he can really do about it. This was inevitable.
Sasuke struggles to his hands and knees, now laughing weakly. He?s enjoying his little victory and, quite probably, the last little bit of life he?ll get. This is, he thinks, not a bad way to go out. All in all, it is fitting.
Then his brother kicks him in the stomach, hard enough to lift his entire body from the ground and skips him across the clearing floor. He lands on his arm and feels the ribs all down his side vibrate to the impact. Something gives around the senbon in his elbow, ripping the sharpened needle free with a dull sucking noise. Blood pulses freely from the new wound, but Sasuke?s pinned his arm under his body and he cannot see it. For that matter, the Uchiha progeny cannot feel the wound either and that bothers him more.
It?s not the only needle pulled loose by his wild tumble, but he?s merely traded lack of mobility for blood loss. Both of them are equally appealing and yet neither is desirable. Funny that.
Sasuke drags himself back to his knees, pulling his body erect just in time to catch the heel of Itachi?s backhanded palm-strike with his mouth. It snaps his head back and ever so slowly he topples backward. Spinning in the reverse direction so fast it seems an illusion, the Akatsuki flicks his foot into the path his brother is taking. His heel strikes a few centimeters beneath Sasuke?s left armpit, dashing him down, against the ground. The shorter man bounces once, then comes to a stop.
The breath has been dashed from his lungs and his wide Sharingan are panicked as he gasps for breath that will not come.
He looks up into dual three-armed spirals. Just for a second, he is mesmerized, frozen in unblinking fascination. The natural evolution of his own eyes made manifest before his eyes. Even from this distance, Sasuke can feel the unlocked power, the raw, highly-controlled essence of the Sharingan in his mind, like a burn scar across his psyche.
It is not pleasant. Gritting his teeth, Sasuke forces his eyelids closed, but they only fall halfway. The sclera feels as though it?s swelling, filling with fluids until the soft, fleshy orbs can take no more and will burst. Pain rings through his skull and the dull thump of his heart beat fills his ears. Something is on the tip of his tongue, but he cannot expel it from his mouth. His breathing is short and rapid, and soon enough he?ll hyperventilate. This is wrong, it?s all wrong. Itachi has done something to him, but he cannot understand it. The eyes he prizes so much show him no trickery or technique, but intellectually, he suspects this is some scheme of his brother?s design.
Itachi watches, staring with the implacable gaze of the Mangekyou Sharingan, coldly monitoring his brother?s internal plight. It?s been almost ten years since he grasped the power offered to him with both hands. Now, after much internalizing and self-realization, the grey-haired man has come to be a master of the most powerful Sharingan form. Holding it open is child?s play. Seeing the world as it really is does not pose trouble for him.
He can see deep into Sasuke?s mind, through the eyes he cannot close. The Mangekyou Sharingan allows him that much control. Pushing past the troublesome guards everyone maintains around their most personal memories is no more difficult than opening a door.
This is not a desirable method of achieving his goals, but if it brings about what he wants, Itachi will finish this unpleasant task. That?s the sort of man he is, anything for the mission.
Door opened, Itachi proceeds to examine the contents of Sasuke?s mind. Sifting through like a man panning for gold, he holds up each and every one of Sasuke?s fuzzy memories to the light, looking for a little glint of what he?s hunting.
It feels like a marching band crashing through his childhood. All the most embarrassing and frightening moments of Sasuke?s life are relived, though through the haze of time. It?s not the Tsukiyomi; these memories do not have the power to hurt. It?s in muted color and soft sound, just as Sasuke remembers. But for some reason, they stab his fragile pride like a thousand knives.
Naruto has a thunderous power. I?m inferior. How can I get that sort of power?
I?m an avenger. I?ll do anything for power, even if I have to sell my body to the devil himself.
The speed of his flashing memories increases now, and there is a quiet desperation on his brother?s face. Whatever he?s looking for, he hasn?t found yet, and for that Sasuke is thankful. All he needs is to hold out just a little bit longer, just a little bit more time is all he needs. But Itachi increases the pressure of his mental deadlock, pushing past his brother?s momentary resistance like a flood crashing over a dam. He?s too deep, too quick, too broad for the younger man to hold back, just as he has always been.
Hey? dead-last? what did Sakura tell you?
You won?t lay a finger on my forehead.
It?s a fever pitch now, memories beginning and ending before they reach completion. Half his life is being viewed in half an instant. Pain wracks him and he draws his arms about himself as though to ward it off. It does not work.
Then, Itachi finds what he?s looking for. A single, fragile memory hidden away at the very back of Sasuke?s mind. It was so small, so well hidden, that the Akatsuki almost didn?t find it.
For you have become my best friend.
And just as quickly as it began, this phantom pain stops. The mysterious swelling of his eyes subsides and the feeling of broken and cracked ribs floods back. It is agony, but he does not cry out. Sasuke?s ears ring with silence, and he?s sure his balance is thrown off, but that?s alright because whatever his brother did to him is over now.
Itachi is not pleased by what he sees. He found what he is looking for, but it is not as he expects. Nothing? nothing works? everything?s broken.
To express the depths of his displeasure, he breaks Sasuke?s collarbone. A straight snap kick delivered at the perfect angle and speed to shatter bone, a practiced move from a long-gone day when he used to brutalize prisoners undergoing interrogation. Sasuke?s body falls limply backward, tumbling from his knees to his shoulder.
Itachi is angry now, and it shows. His Sharingan eyes have narrowed to venomous crimson slits. He can?t remember the last time he was this furious, this wild and out-of-control. The stone walled persona he has built around himself is crumbling, the flames inside licking higher than ever before. He is incensed and only blood and pain will sate his fury.
Sasuke?s bleary eyes open just in time to see Itachi reach down for a handful of his raven hair, the same distinctive every-which-way mop of blackness every girl looked for and every boy hated. The strands pull tight against the thin skin atop his skull as he is lifted bodily. He?s gone comfortably numb, though, and makes no attempt to stop his brother from beating the living kitten out of him.
Itachi pulls back a fist, all finesse and form gone in the haze of anger, but dark blue chakra coalesces around the tightly-clenched fingers. Even so far gone in his madness, the rogue ninja still perfectly controls his chakra with the mindless direction of an automaton.
Fist cocked, the clear victor sends it crashing into the loser?s face, releasing the hair at the exact right moment to ensure the maximum degree of whiplash. He feels Sasuke?s nose break as the fist skips across an eye socket too small to accommodate it. He suspects he hit his brother hard enough to give him a concussion as well. Sasuke reels, then makes as if to collapse again. Gods, how he wishes he could pass out? but he?s not that lucky, evidently.
He could end it now. All he would have to do is draw a kunai across Sasuke?s all-too-exposed, all-too-pale throat and call it a day. But he does not. Death would be too good for his foolish little brother, after all the trouble he?s caused for Itachi.
But his torment is far from over.
Lunging forward in an obscure style of taijutsu that the Sharingan master knows perfectly, he slams the point of his bent knee into the hunter-nin?s sternum. It throws Sasuke like a rag-doll, end over end, for several meters, ending face up.
Itachi is on top of him before he stops rolling. A leg shoots up, freezing for a long moment in Sasuke?s field of vision, threatening and promising all in one fluid motion. Then it descends silently, without warning. The heel strikes Sasuke dead amidships, and something soft inside breaks. The force of the blow curls him up around the offending foot for a moment, and then Sasuke goes slack once again. Still he does nothing.
It is this passive resistance that irritates Itachi more than anything else. Amazing as it is, such a simple action as doing nothing sums up Sasuke perfectly. He sits in one place, never moving, never changing but always letting others change him. The growth or loss is never by his own hand, always provoked by another. Kakashi, Naruto, Sakura, Orochimaru, all perpetuators of his rise to the top. But none more important than Itachi.
When he should be fighting, Sasuke meekly lays back and accepts what comes as fate or destiny. The Uchiha were better than that, stronger than that.
And Itachi hits him again, if only to drive that point in just a little deeper. We are stronger. And again. We can overcome anything. And again. It?s funny that Sasuke, so steeped in his own righteous indignation over revenge for the clan, does not understand Itachi?s motives. When it should be so clear, so maddeningly simple, Sasuke fails to see? and Itachi cannot discern why. The lessons are not flawed, and the success of the method is in the archives, so the fault must lay with the student.
He grasps his kid brother by the throat, pulling him from the soft ground and slamming him against the nearest tree trunk ruthlessly. It is of little matter that he carries his brother essentially at arm?s length for ten meters before he contacts this tree. Sasuke feels the rough bark break free, splintering in his skin. His older brother has been less than kind to his face, but he?s so dazed right now he can?t feel the blood run from his mashed lips or broken nose. Head lolling on his neck, Sasuke hangs pinned by the neck to a redwood.
Never being the sort to admire his handiwork, the S-class missing-nin is surprised to find he cannot help but look.
Their faces should be nearly identical, what with the propensity of the Uchiha clan to ?keep it in the family? and the closeness of their countenances at a young age. Sasuke merely lacks the thin lines that run beneath Itachi?s high-born cheekbones.
Itachi lacks the broken nose, ruined lips, swollen left eye, gash across his forehead, and bloody crimson patina coating his chin and chest. But everything is relative, he realizes and it is of minimal importance. Sasuke bleeds from a dozen different wounds, both internally and externally, but he has neither passed out from the pain nor collapsed from blood-loss. All of this evidence supports Itachi?s suspicions, but does not eliminate the obvious failure that the hunter-nin represents.
In just continuing to breathe, Sasuke makes Itachi a failure. The greatest mistake he ever made. Now having tasted the heights of hubris, enjoyed the forbidden fruit of vainglory, Itachi is older and wiser now. He?s twenty-seven, and that?s too old to be messing around with Sasuke like two brothers wrestling. Though, he admits, this is hardly play and far from the normal sort of sibling rivalry most children endure.
?Why do you continually disappoint me?? Itachi asks, leaning close to Sasuke?s dulled onyx eyes, still seeing the little spark of consciousness hidden in their glossy depths. The question is unimportant. Itachi already knows the answer, just as he always has. Fragile as the flame of hope is, it is all that has kept the elder man pushing the younger one to succeed.
?Weak,? he hisses, answering his own question. The truth is a harsh pill for him to swallow, though Sasuke still seems too far gone in the pain to really register the slight. His brother was never capable of following in his footsteps, a flaw either by design of the clan before the massacre or mere Sasuke?s misguided attempt at crippling himself to spite Itachi.
He is a great possessor of cruelty, Uchiha Itachi. But it is rational, applied with straightforward logic, and delivered with practical efficacy. His brother is now useless? he bites his lower lip, the only outward sign of his frustration at the admission? has always been useless. And he never saw it before. Sloppy. Careless. If he were still an ANBU, he would have severally dressed-down someone trying to pull that sort of kitten in his unit.
The alternative has been progressing nicely, though. His mind skips away from the limp shinobi pinned before him and to another promising candidate. For a moment, the most dangerous man alive considers the ramifications of abandoning his work with Sasuke in favor of his second-string choice. Theoretically, even with a crippled form of the Sharingan, the subject should be capable of providing what Itachi needs. The patterns are all right there, laid out so conveniently in Mangekyou Sharingan construction and, as a whole, chakra theory itself. If he wanted to get technical, he didn?t even need a Sharingan user for his plans, but they were the easiest for him to manipulate, control, and ultimately, expend. Like attracts like and all.
The loss of time is the most infuriating part. He is a patient man, willing to wait as long as it takes, but that doesn?t mean he enjoys every second of not getting what he wants.
On the other hand, Sasuke?s reaction should be well-worth the wasted years. Yes. This is a suitable course of action. With the decision made, Itachi turns back to the task in hand.
He forces Sasuke?s face up, smearing the already-drying blood from his brother?s chin to his hand. Sasuke weakly attempts to jerk his head from Itachi?s grasp because he knows what?s coming, but the hold is like iron. Relentless, just like iron. That pleases Itachi on some baser level he does not acknowledge.
?Let me show you something, otouto,? their eyes meet and the Mangekyou Sharingan opens fully.
Weak as he is, Sasuke finds the strength to cry out.
Weak as he may be, his screams carry for miles.
There. That's out. I'm not sure I did the beat-down properly.
I need reactions. Thoughts. I need to know if you guys think this works. I'm not sure.
Give me some guesses, whatever first comes to your mind about what's going on here. Because I need to know if it's more confusing than I first intended or too straightforward.
Edit: Changed a dependent clause from present tense to future tense, to avoid some confusion about whether Sasuke's eyes really exploded or not. They didn't.