I don't own Naruto.

As to where this lil thing came from…well, chapter 220 of the manga was just cute. The relationship between the two brothers was really strong. Not gonna say anymore so as not to spoil it for people who haven't read it yet.

But after seeing that, I think that Itachi and Sasuke had a really good relationship when they were younger.

About the 'niisan' and 'aniki' thing…Sasuke used to call Itachi 'niisan', not 'aniki'.

In this fic, Itachi is 9, and Sasuke is 4. There are no sexual innuendos or anything here…if you see any, you probably have a dirty mind.

Slight grammar errors fixed as of September 2010.

List of words (Japanese = English):

Tadaima = I'm back

Kaachan = Mom

Niisan = Big brother

Chibi = Little (the way it's used sometimes, and the way I use it in this fic, is an affectionate nickname. The translation of it for the purpose of this

fic is 'little one')


Lullaby

"Tadaima." Uchiha Itachi grunted as he stepped through the doors. Not that he expected much of a welcome. His father was on a mission, as was his mother. And, at this hour, his four-year-old brother should have been asleep.

"Niisan…"

Itachi was startled, and looked over to see his younger brother, Sasuke, standing nearby in his pajamas, shivering. "What's up, chibi?"

Sasuke walked over to Itachi and shifted. "Are you back this time? Not going out again? Can you…read me a bedtime story? Or sing a song? That's what kaachan does…"

Itachi shook his head. "I just got back from a mission…"

"Please?" Sasuke whimpered.

Itachi was about to protest again, when he noticed the red tint on his little brother's cheeks. He placed his hand to Sasuke's forehead, then pulled it back. "You have a fever."

Sasuke bowed his head. "I…didn't feel good earlier…kaachan told me to go to sleep early. Nobody was here when I woke up…" he bit his lip to keep from crying.

Itachi sighed, and put a hand on the younger boy's head. "I'm here, now, so don't worry, chibi." He picked the boy up with a smile.

"Can I sleep with you?" Sasuke asked in a trembling voice.

Itachi paused, then nodded. "Sure."

Sasuke smiled brightly and hugged his older brother.


Once Itachi had Sasuke in bed after giving the boy some more medicine, he got into bed as well.

Sasuke instantly moved closer to his brother with a shiver. "Thanks, niisan."

"Will you go to sleep now?" Itachi asked.

Sasuke nodded, and closed his eyes with a yawn.


It was apparent that Sasuke wasn't falling back asleep, and seemed even more restless.

"Niisan?"

"Hm?"

"What if I'm really sick and I gotsta go to the hospital?"

"You're not, and you won't."

"But…I'm really cold and my head hurts lots…"

"That's because you have a fever." Itachi yawned, glancing at his younger brother to see two wide, scared onyx eyes looking back up at him.

"What if you have a mission and I gotta b-be here b-by myself…?" Sasuke sniffled.

"I won't take a mission if you're sick and nobody's here to look after you," Itachi assured the boy.

"What if some bad guy comes out of the dark and tries to get me?"

Itachi resisted the urge to roll his eyes as he turned onto his side. "Go to sleep."

"But…"

"You're safe, and I'm trying to sleep, so stop asking me questions."

Silence.

Itachi grunted and closed his eyes again. He was about to fall asleep when he heard small sniffling noises and felt his younger brother's hot body on his back, clutching at his night shirt. With a sigh, he turned back around.

Sasuke looked imploringly at his older brother, a hand gripping the boy's shirt sleeve as tears filled his eyes and he trembled uncontrollably.

Itachi gently brushed Sasuke's hair out of the boy's eyes. "Don't worry, Sasuke."

Sasuke hiccupped, wiping his eyes with his hand and burying his face in the front of Itachi's shirt.

Itachi rubbed his brother's back for a little while, and gazed softly at the trembling four year old. With a small sigh, he sat up and moved Sasuke onto his lap, then wrapped his arms around the boy snugly.

Sasuke sniffled but smiled slightly, nestling into his brother as much as he could, looking up at his older brother.

Itachi looked at the boy again, "Try to go to sleep, Sasuke. Close your eyes."

Sasuke trembled and just buried his face in his brother's shirt again.

Itachi sighed and rested his chin in his brother's hair, one hand holding the boy to him and the other still rubbing Sasuke's back comfortingly. He didn't know many songs, and wasn't one to normally sing. But, he looked down at his brother and decided to make something up in a slow, quiet tune as he gently rocked the small boy slightly.

"Little brother, it's alright

Don't be afraid of this night

No matter what comes your way

In your heart we'll always stay…"

Sasuke's eyes started to droop as he snuggled into the warmth of his older brother, while a smile crossed his face.

"Now it's time for you to sleep

And dream sweet dreams for you to keep

Do not worry what form they'll take

Cause I'll be right here when you wake…"

Sasuke yawned, and his eyes closed as the smile grew wider on his face, while he remained curled up on his brother's lap.

"So now please rest your head

You are safe with me in bed

Tomorrow will bring a new day

And we'll be here for you all the way."

Itachi looked down and smiled softly when he heard the gentle, slow breathing of his sleeping little brother. Carefully and slowly, he moved Sasuke to lay next to him, and then got under the covers as well. Then, he pulled the sheets around both of them and shifted Sasuke close to him.

Itachi's smile widened when he saw his brother smiling in his sleep, one hand still clutching his shirt sleeve. He quietly moved and kissed Sasuke on the forehead, vaguely noting that the boy's fever had gone down to almost nothing, then brushed strands of black hair out of his brother's sleeping face. Closing his eyes, he also submitted to dreamland…but not before he heard his little brother whisper four words in his sleep that made his smile grow even more before he fell into the peaceful oblivion of dreams.

"I love you, niisan."

THE END