Author's Note: I got a detailed request from someone hoping for a female Sasuke x Itachi story, where the two are NOT siblings. Since they put so much effort into it, I decided to grant it. In this story, Sasuke was born female and her name is Suki and she will also be Shisui's sister. Therefore, Suki and Itachi are only distantly related. If any of that bothers you, you might want to turn back now. For those of you still here, I hope you enjoy this story and reviews are always appreciated.
Story Notation: This story will maintain some core elements of canon, but it will end up diverging radically for several reasons. For example, Naruto's parents are alive and Obito's role is going to be much different than it was in canon. Oh and yes, there will be time skips because Suki obviously isn't going to stay a little kid forever. I promise. With that in mind, happy reading.
Disclaimer: I own nothing and make no profit off of any of my stories.
"I hope you don't mind that I brought her with me." Shisui's voice was little more than a whisper. "It's just that I promised I would train with her and she was so excited. Besides, we're not really doing anything that dangerous." For good reason, his baby sister was following them.
Suki Uchiha was only seven, but that didn't mean the girl didn't have excellent hearing. Fortunately, her age meant she was easily distracted by well almost everything.
Had there ever been a time when Itachi looked at a field of crops in such wide eyed wonder? Surely, there must have been. Though the ANBU Captain couldn't recall it.
He chuckles at his best friend's concern. "Don't worry about it." Itachi didn't mind in the slightest. "As long as she doesn't get gored by the boar everything will be fine. Besides, it only makes sense to bring a kitten on a hunt."
"I'm NOT a kitten!" Suki pouts in a endearing fashion. "I'm a ninja. Well, in training!" The girl was just too cute for her own good with those big bubble eyes of hers. "I'm a student now at the Academy!"
Yes, Itachi was well aware of that fact. It was something that caused Shisui no end of worry.
His relative smiles as he turns around and looks at Suki. "Yes, you are." He pats her on the head. "Don't be in such a hurry to grow up. You don't want to grow old and boring like us too fast. Do you?" There was such warmth in his eyes. It almost made Itachi sad that he was an only child.
Perhaps, that was part of the reason why he spent so much of his precious free time with Shisui and his kid sister. Being the only child of a Clan Head could be quite isolating at times and it wasn't as if he could confide in his mother without feeling guilty about doing so.
Mikoto Uchiha loved her husband and she loved her son. Itachi didn't want to put her in the middle of any spats he might have with Fugaku. They meant well, but Itachi could read the warning signs. If something wasn't changed soon, it didn't bode well for their Clan.
"You're not old and boring." Suki giggles. Such a carefree sound. "Neither is Itachi, even if he's wrong about me being a kitten!"
It was at times like these, that Itachi could actually lower his guard. He also found himself slightly envious of Suki. What would it be like to be a child, who had actually been allowed to be a child?
"You're quite the stubborn little thing." Itachi chuckles and pokes her forehead. "I suppose that's how you get so many piggyback rides from Shisui. I remember you riding on his shoulders to your Academy Entrance Day."
Without any sense of shame, Suki nods her head in confirmation. The girl certainly did love her piggyback rides.
Shisui laughs at that as he leads them through a field and towards one of the houses by it. "We can get a better view from up here and likely a better shot at the boar too." That was true. Itachi didn't like it, but it was time to put an end to the boar who had been terrorizing their fields.
"Can you climb onto the top, Suki?" Itachi smiles at her.
The young girl gives him a dirty look for that. "Of course, I can." She jumps starts scaling the small building. "I'm a big girl now and I'm going to be a strong ninja just like my brother someday."
Itachi and Shisui both chuckle at that as they follow her onto the building. She was quite the proud little cat, the Uchiha Heir decides. Hopefully, she'd always remain like that.
"Thank you for inviting us to dinner." Kushina smiles at Mikoto and Fugaku Uchiha.
Minato nods in gratitude as well. It wasn't often that anyone who wasn't an Uchiha set foot in the Uchiha District. Something that was causing him to grow more and more anxious by the day.
Mikoto smiles as she finishes setting out the table. "You're welcome." She looks at them in confusion. "Where is Naruto though?"
"He's with Jiraiya." The Fourth Hokage sighs at that. "I'm afraid that we both know that whatever conversation we're about to have isn't fit for the ears of children."
This wasn't a social call and they all knew it. Those stress lines weren't natural. The tension was starting to get to Fugaku. A man who Minato had previously viewed as unmovable.
Both Uchiha's grimace at that. "I'm afraid that you're right." Though it was Mikoto who spoke first.
"Ever since the Nine Tails attack, there have been rumors that our Clan was somehow involved." Fugaku's voice sounds so wary that it makes Minato and Kushina wince. "There has always been tension between our Clan and the rest of the village, but it has never been this bad before. At least, not in our lifetime."
That certainly wasn't anything to sneeze at. Fugaku was a lucky combat ninja. He had actually made it to forty and Mikoto was thirty-five herself.
Kushina slams her fist on the table. "We know that you had nothing to do with it!" His wife was shaking. "Kushina, we've been friends for years. I know that you would never do such a thing and neither would your family."
Minato nods in agreement. Though he knew it would do them little good. While he was Hokage, even he couldn't turn back time. The cards of fate had already been dealt and now, they had to play their hand.
"Thank you, Kushina." Mikoto sighs as she takes her friend's hand in her own. "I urge you to calm yourself though. Us losing our heads, will accomplish nothing." That was true.
Sadly, Minato suspected that the Uchihas were becoming increasingly desperate. Their backs were against the wall and he didn't know how the Clan would react.
"I'll see what I can do to vouch for your characters." Minato clenches his fists in frustration. "At this point, I'm not entirely sure we can turn back the clock, but we will try. Your family helped to found the Leaf." He wouldn't see them cast aside so easily. "It's not right that you've been exposed to this, but your isolation is not helping matters! Fugaku, at least try to get your Clan to socialize more with those outside it."
Fugaku crosses his arms over his chest. The man could be so damn stubborn sometimes. "We'll try, but that could be viewed as suspicious as well." Alright. That was a fair point.
If the Uchihas suddenly became social butterflies, everyone would notice. Then tongues would start wagging about that.
"Well it's like everything else." Minato forces himself to smile at his friends. "Do it in moderation. Speaking of which, we should probably go and retrieve our son from his Godfather." Minato rubs the back of his head sheepishly. "I sincerely hope that he hasn't asked Naruto to read his books yet."
Kushina looks ready to kill him. "What?!" Still, the ploy was effective. It had gotten his wife's attention.
Not that anything he had said wasn't completely true. It was just that the Fourth Hokage wanted to get them out of there before things grew even more awkward.
"I doubt he would, but it's always a possibility." Minato smiles at his wife as he offers her his own. "Come. Let's go make sure that Jiraiya knows not to have him read such things."
She nods her head and takes his arm. "Very well." The feisty red head smiles at their friends. "Thank you for dinner, even if we didn't get a chance to eat it."
The two Uchihas nod and with that being said, he and Kushina left. They still had to pick up Naruto and Minato had much to ponder about the entire situation. He could sense a disaster coming, but he didn't know when or in what form it would strike and that made him uneasy.
A few minutes later, Suki Uchiha was on top of a roof and looking around excitedly. "Can I try?" Her eyes fall on the bow and arrow Itachi had. "I can do it!"
Itachi smiles, but looks at Shisui a bit nervously. Why did grownups always think she couldn't do things? She was at the top of her class at the Academy and everything!
"What do you think?" He holds up the bow for Shisui to look at it. "It's an easy enough bow to fire. It's not overly complicated and we're right next to her."
Yes, that was right. Though Suki finds herself frowning at that last part. Itachi was worried that another bow might have been difficult for her. He really did think that she was some kind of helpless kid.
"Alright." Shisui smiles. "I think she can manage." That was better. Her big brother had faith in her. "Just follow Itachi's instructions closely. He's a Jonin. He knows what he's doing."
"Okay!" Suki smiles and giggles with glee.
She was finally going to prove to them that she was a ninja too. Well kinda. She wouldn't be an official ninja yet until she graduated the Academy.
Itachi laughs softly as he shows her how to work the bow and arrows. "If you get a good clean shot in the right spot, you can kill it almost instantly and the animal won't have to suffer." Oh that was good.
"I can do it." She smiles as she looks around to see if the boar was coming back yet.
Of course, it didn't take long for the boy to arrive. It knew where the 'free food' was. So Suki pulls back the arrow and lets it fly.
It was beautiful the way it blitzes across the field. Moving so swiftly that her young, inexperienced eyes could barely keep track of it. Of course, it was easy to tell when the arrow had hit it's mark.
THUD! The arrow had struck the boar straight in the heart. It looked like Itachi was right. It hadn't suffered.
"She might be a kitten." Shisui laughs as he looks at Itachi. "Though you can't deny that she does have some very sharp claws."
Itachi smiles and pokes her forehead affectionately again. "Indeed. Perhaps, they're sharp enough for her to learn the Fireball Jutsu." Suki's eyes light up at that.
That was the Jutsu that every child in the Uchiha Clan wanted to learn. As soon as an Uchiha could produce a fireball, they were considered adults. Well at least inside the Clans anyway.
"Really?" She beams at him.
Shisui sighs and shakes his head. "Well now, you've gone and gotten her hopes up." He smiles at Suki. "So I can hardly tell her no now." That was right! "We'll give it a try, but don't expect to start breathing fire right away. It's like anything else, it takes practice."
"I don't like it." Kushina sighs as she and Minato walk towards Jiraiya's home. "I've seen Danzo come out of Sarutobi's house far more often than I would like."
She might be known for being a firecracker, but that didn't mean that Kushina didn't know when to be quiet. This was one of those times. That was why the red head barely hears the own words that were leaving her mouth.
Her nods, but he waves cheerfully to anyone who greets them. "I know, but I'm going to speak with the Third later about the matter." Good. "For now, l let's just go pick up Naruto. We have to trust that things will work out in the end. They always have in the past."
She nods at that. Kushina might be worrying over nothing. Mikoto and Fugaku were smart. They would do whatever was necessary to keep the peace.
"Alright." With that thought in mind, they continue bobbing and weaving through the sparsely occupied streets of the Leaf as they made their way closer to Jiraiya's home.
It was just late enough that most people were already home from work or in their shops, but not late enough for the night life of the Leaf to have blossomed into being yet. So thankfully, it didn't take much agility to get towards the old pervert's house.
She respected Jiraiya's skills as a ninja, but facts were facts. He really was such a pervert and there was no way that she was going to allow Naruto to ever read those trashy novels of his!
Minato smiles as they arrive. "Here we are." He also politely knocks on the door.
Her husband had very good manners. It was part of what made him such a good Hokage and part of the reason why she would never want the job personally. She had far too much of a temper.
"Ah. You're back early." Jiraiya smiles as he opens the door and Naruto bounds over to him. "The kid and I already ate some Ramen." He winks at them. "He's obsessed with the stuff, though I guess that's probably because of his name more than anything else."
That was true. Maybe, they should have named their child after healthier food. Oh well. It was too late to turn back now.
"Yes, the discussion was brief, but illuminating." Minato smiles at the Toad Sage.
Jiraiya sounds as cheerful as ever, but Kushina didn't miss the undercurrent of concern in his next words. "Well that's good." Not even his happy grin could fully hide it. "I'm sure that you'll tell me all about it later, but this little guy really needs to get home first."
Kushina smiles and nods as Naruto hurls himself into his father's arms. It didn't take long for the blonde to use the Hokage as his own personal jungle gym. After all, Uchihas weren't the only family that gave their children piggyback rides.
"Ready!" Naruto laughs wildly.
"Of course." Minato smiles as the three of them head off together.
They were a family and nothing was going to separate them. Kushina could only hope that the same would be said for the Uchihas and the Leaf.
"Alright. So this is how you make a fireball." Shisui smiles at Suki, a few minutes later.
He, Itachi, and Suki had gone to a peer in the Uchiha District. It was the perfect place to teach children how to breathe fire because well, there was water nearby and it was relatively private.
"I'm watching." She smiles and nods.
Itachi smirks at that. "Good. Pay close attention or else you might burn that pretty hair of yours." Shisui's sister glares at Itachi for that comment and sticks her tongue out at him for good measure.
Shisui knew the truth though. Suki idolized Itachi almost as much as she did him. Actually, he suspected that she might even have a tiny crush on Itachi. He wasn't too worried about it though. Most children outgrew such things fairly quickly.
"You take a deep breath and release the chakra in your body through your mouth." Shisui smiles at his sister. "Give it your best try."
The results were predictably comical. Suki takes a deep breath and releases the air from her mouth in a manner that made her resemble a squirrel. Adorable as it was, it wasn't a Fireball Jutsu.
Itachi chuckles at that and demonstrates for her. "Like this." An enormous ball of fire launches out of the other ninja's mouth and onto the water.
Sadly, Shisui knew that this was a gamble. There was a far better chance than not that even if Suki mastered the technique, the girl might simply not possess the chakra reserves for this.
"Being an Uchiha gives us a natural born advantage when it comes to Fire Jutsus, but it's not something that happens automatically." He smiles at her reassuringly. "You have to nurture your flame. You might just be too little yet to breathe fire, but your technique is good."
Itachi nods and pokes her forehead. "Your claws are sharp, but they're still little." Which was apparently the wrong thing to say to Suki.
His little sister takes a deep breath and screams. "Fireball Jutsu!" Expelling a fireball right at Itachi.
Mercifully, this was Itachi. The ANBU Captain was able to dodge it with relative ease. A fact which leaves Suki sulking.
"Well that was a very good job." Itachi smiles serenely at her. "One must never forget that your emotions can be either your greatest strength or your greatest weakness." He pauses for a moment as though debating on whether or not Suki would understand the next part. "More often than not though, it's a mix of both."
"I did it though!" Suki grins triumphantly at both him and Itachi. "I made a fireball. That means I'm an adult now too."
Ah. It was so sweet, that she truly believed that. It was a tradition in their Clan, but Suki was also an aspiring ninja. Sadly, this was just the beginning and one day, those fireballs would be used for a far different purpose. To kill.
"Yes, you did." Shisui smiles at her. "Come on. We should get back home." It was getting late and their parents would be wondering where they were. "We don't want Father and Mother to worry." He sits down on the ground. "So climb on."
Suki smiles and quickly jumps onto his back. Shisui did worry about her sometimes. She was far more bold amongst her Clan, but a bit shy at the Academy. Maybe, she'd grow out of it though.
"Okay!" She smiles. "I'm ready. Next time though, I want to play with Itachi's sword." On second thought, Suki was going to be the death of him. "The big one that he thinks no one can see."
His innocent sister had no idea how her words could be misinterpreted, but Itachi did. He snorts at that and was barely refraining from laughing. Which was a good thing because Suki had clearly heard the snickering.
"What did I say that was so funny?" She frowns. "I managed to shoot the boar with the arrows. I can handle a big sword too!"
Shisui gives Itachi a dark look as he stands up and the three of them head off together. The Uchiha Prodigy adored his younger relative, but Itachi would be in for a world of pain…if he filled Suki's head with filthy, dirty jokes this early on.
Itachi shakes his head in amusement. "Nothing, Suki." He smiles at her as he walks about three feet behind Shisui. "It's just that it's adorable. The harder you try to be a fearsome tigress, the more of an adorable kitten you seem to be." Yes, that was one way to look at it.
"I'm not a kitten!" Suki grumbles as she holds onto Shisui tightly.
Shisui smiles at that. She was still so innocent. That would change in time, but he would protect her from the less than ideal world for as long as he could.
"There are worse animals to be compared to than kittens." Shisui chuckles.
Suki considers this for a moment and then nods. "That's true." Of course, there were probably dozens of examples Shisui could think of off the top of his head. "I mean at least I'm not a snake man like Orochimaru." Gods and Goddesses, Itachi was right. She was such an adorable little kitten.