It was a bad day for the Uchiha prodigy. Despite it being the season of celebration and the approaching Christmas, it was still a lousy day. His father had gone somewhere and his little brother was out doing god-knows-what. Most likely training, he thought to himself. Thinking about Sasuke training reminded him of their non-existent family relation. He was sure that his little sibling hates his guts. But that can be argued, since he was very likely to hate every single inch of him as well, including his guts.
On top of being stuck in the house, he was now told to open the door for their relatives and greet them. It seems fate was against him seeing as how almost the entire clan decided to say their holiday greetings on this day. So he was quite surprised when a little girl showed up on their doorsteps.
Round bright orbs of the purest green he had ever seen stared curiously into his own onyx eyes. Her short pink hair framed her small face, tied together with a red ribbon on the top of her head. She stood at the door, barely reaching his thigh as she stared up at him, a wondrous look on her face. Just like most kids during this time of the year, she too was wrapped up in thick layers of clothes to fend off the cold weather. Out side, the snow was falling, covering the village of Konoha in a layer of pure white.
The Uchiha turned his attention back to the small bundle of clothing standing at the door. Kids nowadays have the strangest hair colors….
"Yes?" he asked in his low voice.
That seemed to shake the little girl out of her daze as she tilted her head to the side. After a moment of hesitation, she bowed slightly to him.
"Gomen Nasai," Her voice was small and shy. " Watashi wa Haruno Sakura, can Sasuke-kun come out?" Her eyes were hopeful as she looked up at him with a smile. Now that he thought about it, she does look Sasuke's age, and he had always complained about annoying girls bothering him at school. But this little girl doesn't strike him as the type to be a stalker and the obsessive type…
"Wait here a moment." He turned to leave and ask his mother where Sasuke went but the little girl started talking quietly.
"…It's okay if he doesn't want to come out…" Her voice held sadness. "I don't want to bother him if he's training…I just wanted to say Merry Christmas to him…" The pink haired girl started to fidget, it was then that Itachi noticed the small package in her hand. It was wrapped in a soft colored cloth with a red ribbon tied on top.
"…ano…" She held out the package to him with her small hands. "Can you just give this to him and tell him Merry Christmas?"
He took the package from her gloved hands and was about to close the door when his mother came out from the kitchen.
"Itachi, who is it?" She was still drying her hands on the apron as she approached. As soon as she saw the girl, his mother kneeled down on the ground to see the small girl at eye level.
"What can we do for you sweetie?" Itachi rolled his eyes at the soft and feminine tone women use whenever they see something 'adorable' or 'cute'. The little girl bowed again to his mother and introduced herself with manner that his little brother lacked. It amazed him that a kid this young would already know how to act respectfully.
"Konnichiwa, watashi wa Haruno Sakura. I just wanted to wish Sasuke a Merry Christmas." Her face was flushed, whether from the cold or meeting the mother of her classmate, he didn't know. Either way, his mother seemed to be rather fond of the girl, considering she had only met her a minute ago. Maybe it's just something all mothers go through when they don't have a daughter but only sons…
"Aren't you sweet?" It seemed as if the woman had fell for the little girl's charms. His mother was practically dragging the little girl into their house as she urged her in.
"Come in then, I don't want such a sweet girl like you to wait and freeze outside…" Itachi sighed as he closed the door behind them and followed them into the kitchen where his mother was sitting the girl down and getting her something warm to drink. Being so short, her chin barely reached the tabletop as she sat still. Her large emerald orbs followed the woman as she walked back and forth, preparing everything she could for their little guest. After a moment, she placed a steaming cup and a plate of cookies in front of her.
The Haruno girl was still watching her with her big eyes.
"…You're very pretty…" she said shyly after a moment. It was then that Itachi decided that all mothers who have had no daughter definitely has a fetish with cute little girls… such as this one. Her mother instantly hugged the girl to her and petted her head.
"Aww…You're such a sweet cutie…"
"Mother…" Itachi couldn't stand it anymore. "Aren't you over-reacting?"
His mother gave him a miffed look but ignored him as she sat next to the little girl and watched her taking small bites out of a cookie.
"Why don't you stay for dinner, Sakura-chan?" Itachi cringed at the affectionate tone his mother used with the little girl. It hasn't even been ten minutes and his mother was already acting as if the little girl was her long lost daughter… He watched the girl finish chewing and wiped her mouth clean before answering.
"Arigato… but I have to go find Ino at 5 o'clock…" Both Uchihas looked up at the clock on the wall. It was already 4:30.
"Sasuke should be home in a bit. I can call your friend so she'll know you're here." His mother suggested. It seemed as if though she truly wanted to keep the little girl there, Itachi noted.
"Iie… I don't want to be a bother…" Her eyes were downcast. "I just wanted to give him his Christmas present."
"Oh." His mother sound disappointed. "Then-"
"We'll give him the present when he homes home." Itachi interrupted, holding up the package. The girl turned to him and gave him a warm smile before saying thank you and standing up. She half waddled to the door before sitting down and putting on her shoes. Both Uchihas followed her and his mother started to grab her own coat before the phone rang. Just as she turned to answer the phone, she gave Itachi a small push from behind.
"Walk her home." Even from her tone, he knew it was a command and not an option to refuse. Itachi sighed and grabbed his own coat before following the little girl out the door. It was snowing hard outside, large pieces of the crystal blowing into their faces. He caught up to the girl quickly, consider her stride wasn't very big. The girl tilted her head and looked at him again.
He cleared his throat. Truth be told, he didn't like it when people stare at him, least of all a little girl. They walked for a while as Itachi kept silent seeing as the girl knew her way. The only thing bothering him was the speed they were going at. With her small feet and short stride, it would take a while before they make it to her house, not to mention the snow was almost burying her alive. Sighing inwardly, he reached down to pick up the little girl. She gave a surprised squeal before settling in his arms, a questioning look on her face.
"It's faster this way." And silence once again dawned upon them. Under normal circumstances, Itachi is never one for conversations, so he doesn't have much experience to begin with. He searched his brain for things to talk about with little kids, but she got to it first.
"Sasuke-kun really likes you." She said in her small voice.
Itachi raised a brow. "Oh?" He gave a small chuckled and looked at the small girl in his arms.
"I think hate is the word you're looking for."
"Why do you say that?" Maybe it was her innocent curiosity that got to him, or maybe his brain was just frozen from the cold, but he answered her anyways.
"Because he can't match up to my standards, father doesn't see him because he's not me." He doubted the girl would understand what he's saying, but he still told her anyways.
"But Sasuke-kun is Sasuke-kun, and Itachi-san is Itachi-san." She tilted her head to the side. "So Sasuke-kun can't be you." If he was surprised at her words, he didn't show it. But he was surprise that the little girl would know his name.
"You know who I am?"
The girl nodded. "Sasuke-kun once wrote a report on you, I wrote about my friend Ino." His interest was peaked. Why would Sasuke write about him… unless the topic was the one you despise the most. But still, it wouldn't hurt to ask.
"What's the report on?"
"um…" She thought about it for a moment before turning back to Itachi. "… My Idol." He was shocked for a minute, and didn't bother to hide it. He stopped walking and stood there, his mind turning to process the meaning of all this. After a few second, he started to laugh. A true laugh, not the forced one, but a genuine laugh in the middle of the snowy weather. The little girl waited patiently in his arms, looking at him again with the wondrous daze.
After recomposing himself, he started walking again. His face was gentler, and his heart felt lighter after that, as if a burden was lifted from his shoulders. He turned to the girl and noticed that she was watching him again, with her bright emerald orbs.
"You should laugh more often." She said with a smile. Before he can say anything else, she tugged on his coat and pointed to where another girl was standing. He watched as another little girl came towards them, huffing along the way.
"Sakura! Where have you been? I've been waiting since forever!" The blonde girl yelled. Realizing that this was the friend she talked about, Itachi slowly put the pink haired girl down. She walked towards her friend.
"Gomen nasai Ino-chan." Her face was downcast again, staring at the snow on the ground.
"Come on then." The girl said as she turned and started back towards the flower shop. Sakura stood there for a moment before trailing after the other girl. Itachi watched as she ran into the shop, when he was sure the girl was safe, he turned around to head home. Before he could go three steps, her small voice stopped him. He turned around and saw the little girl run towards him, a single flower in hand. Her breath emitted white clouds when she spoke.
"Here." She held out the lavender-colored flower to him. If he wasn't mistaken, it was a Heather.
"Ino-chan said that this flower means ad-admira-… um…" She was struggling with the word.
"Yeah." She smiled at him. "Just like how Sasuke-kun looks up to you." Not knowing how to reply to this, Itachi opted to pet her head instead.
"Arigato for walking me here."
Itachi nodded and turned to leave. Not bother to wipe the small smile off his lips. It seems as though the girl had that talent, of making people around her smile. Or perhaps it was just her contagious smile. Behind him, he could distinctively hear the little girl shout out Merry Christmas to him.
With the flower in hand, the Uchiha prodigy finally decided that this day was so bad after all. It seemed as though he had gotten his present early this year.
A/N: Here's my attempt for writing something with the Christmas theme, it's not horrible now, is it? This was meant to be a one-shot, all I wanted to do was write something with a young Sakura and Itachi before he turned all evil and slaughtered everyone. Anyway, this is just my way of saying a formal "Merry Christmas" to everyone who puts up with my story. So have a happy whatever-that-you-celebrate and just enjoy the holidays!