He sat in the little paddle-pond, watching the small waves he created with his hands. It was really hot, so little Sasuke was allowed to play in the water. He could have gone to the pier like all the other kids his age did, but he preferred to stay at home.

"Mou..." he pouted, splashing the water around in boredom. Itachi had promised to play with him once he got home from training but the older boy hadn't showed up yet. His training should have ended one hour ago and Sasuke had been waiting patiently for his brother to arrive. Yet no one came.

His mother had called out for him to come back and help her clean the kitchen but Sasuke had insisted on waiting for his brother.

"What if he comes here and finds me gone? He'll think I didn't wait!" So he crossed his arms and remained in the paddle-pond, pouting and sighing every now and then.

Hours later, when it was getting dark, Itachi finally came home. He walked into his room and shut the door without a sound, totally ignoring the little boy wrapped in a towel, trotting behind him.

Sasuke stood before the closed door and frowned. He tried to knock but stopped when he remembered Itachi getting annoyed because of this once. He knew better than to anger his brother.

Heaving a sigh, he flopped down on the floor, leaning against the door of the room. He rubbed his arms with the towel and curled his toes on the warm carpet. Staying in the water for so long had made him feel cold, even on this hot day. Itachi hadn't even bothered to look for him...

Sasuke sighed again. He was about to snuggle into his towel when the door he was leaning against suddenly opened, causing him to fall backwards. He blinked in surprise as he gazed up into a pair of black eyes.

"Sasuke," the older boy said, slowly moving to crouch down. Sasuke quickly sat up again, readjusting the towel around his shoulders, and gave Itachi a smile.

"Nii-san promised to play with me..."

He knew he was probably being a burden again. But he wanted to be with Itachi, had been looking forward to this day since weeks. Itachi was always so busy so he rarely got to spend time with him like they used to.

"I know," the boy gently replied as he reached out to cradle Sasuke in his arms.

"I had work to do," he murmured, pulling Sasuke close to his chest.

The little boy sighed contently as he rested his face against the warm, inviting chest. The familiar scent of his brother always made him feel safe and warm.

"Can we play tomorrow?" he quietly asked while feeling Itachi's fingertips press against the top of his hair.

"Yes," came Itachi's answer and he felt a small kiss on his hair.

This was enough, Sasuke thought as he was being picked up by his brother. Itachi carried him all the day over to his bed and dumped him there, patting his head.

"Get ready for bed," the older boy mumbled, moving to pull off the fuzzy towel. "You can stay here," he added as he saw Sasuke's hesitant look.

The little boy on the bed blinked, then smiled, and eventually bounced up to hug his brother around the neck. A faint smile graced Itachi's lips when he moved to wrap his arms around Sasuke's waist, holding him gently but firmly.

Sasuke hummed happily and nuzzled his brother's cheek before giving it a little kiss.

"I love you, nii-san," he softly declared before pulling back to beam at Itachi.

The older boy nodded and affectionately patted his brother's head.

"I promise to be on time tomorrow," he muttered, knowing fully well that this promise was probably meant to be broken again. He rarely kept his promises.

Sasuke, however, shook his head. "Nii-san is very busy... you can't always come home because of me...I know that." He smiled again in that sweet way of his, causing a warm feeling inside Itachi's chest. It felt so good to see Sasuke like this.

"If I can just stay with you whenever you're at home..." Sasuke eventually murmured,

"...then that's enough."