Author's Note: All right, here it is, "Younger Brother, Older Brother," a collection of oneshot stories focusing around the life between Uchiha Sasuke and Uchiha Itachi before the later one went mental. These stories will not necessarily be in chronological order. I also had to do quite a bit of research on the Uchiha clan to figure out names and spellings, and also to see if there were any mistakes in my knowledge of it.
A note about this chapter: This chapter takes place three years before Uchiha Shisui was killed by Uchiha Itachi, so the two are still on good terms with each other (aka: They're still good friends). Currently, in this story, Itachi is ten, which makes Sasuke around five.
Story 1: Of Long Hair and Braids
"Okaa-san?" a five year-old Uchiha Sasuke called out while wandering around the house. "Okaa-san?" When receiving no reply, he went in search of his father.
"Otou-san?" he asked meekly when he met up with him. He was currently writing up mission reports. Uchiha Fugaku looked down at his son, irritated to be interrupted from his work.
"What?" he asked sharply. Sasuke flinched before continuing.
"Have you seen Okaa-san?" he asked back.
"She's sleeping," he replied, turning back around to resume his work. "Don't bother her." Sasuke looked down at the ground before trudging away. His father never looked too highly upon him, as he was always doting upon his elder brother, Uchiha Itachi. He moved on to the next room where he found his brother lying on the floor on his stomach reading a book.
"Hey Nii-san?" Sasuke asked his elder brother. Itachi looked up from his reading.
"What do you need Ototou?" he asked him, puzzled. Sasuke hadn't come and bothered him in a while, so he was curious as of why he was bugging him now. Especially when he was in the middle of a good book too! Reading was one of the few things that Itachi seemed to enjoy, so he was a tad bit ticked off for being interrupted. Besides, the book was brand new! He had never read it before!
"Um, well," Sasuke started. Itachi looked back down at his book and resumed reading, waiting for his brother to continue. "Um, uh…"
"Come on Sasuke. Spit it out," Itachi coaxed his brother offhandly. His brother was usually very vocal in his wants and needs, so he was mildly surprised as to why his brother was hesitating now. It wasn't so surprising as to keep him away from reading his new book though.
"Well," Sasuke started again. "Can I braid your hair?" Itachi's head snapped up from his book to look at his brother.
"What?" Itachi asked, wondering if he had heard his brother correctly.
"Can I braid your hair?" Sasuke repeated. Itachi gave his brother a dumbfounded look. This was a new request. Usually it was "can you teach me some new tricks with shurkien?" or "can I watch you train?".
"Well, can I?" Sasuke asked his brother eagerly. Itachi hesitated. Truthfully, Itachi hated having his hair messed around with and the only exception to this would be his girlfriend. Well, that is, if he had a girlfriend.
"Go braid Okaa-san's," Itachi snapped, focusing his attention back to his book.
"But she's sleeping!" Sasuke protested.
"Then how about Otou-san's?" Itachi reasoned with him.
"But it's not long enough! Besides, he's working!"
"And what do you think I'm doing?"
"Which is considered work. Now go on and leave me alone Ototou. This is one of the few days I have off from Chunin missions." Itachi shooed his brother away with his hand, not taking off his eyes from the words printed on the page. The book really was engrossing, and he just had to finish it today or he'd be thinking about it on his missions which wouldn't allow him to concentrate on the task at hand. His brother didn't budge.
"But Nii-san!" Sasuke protested once again.
"I said no," Itachi said sharply, yet firmly.
"But, but..." Itachi heard his little brother sniffle. Shit. Sasuke was on the verge of crying. Wonderful. Sasuke was very loud when he cried, which was the exact opposite of what Itachi was when he was five. He was the kind of baby that rarely ever cried, so you could never tell what he wanted. You'd literally have to force him to get a sound out of him. Or so his mother had said. Then again, he was still that way too. Itachi let out a sigh. If Sasuke cried, he'd wake their mother up which would get his father upset, which then meant that the blame would fall upon him for not controlling his little brother. Personally, Itachi did not feel like enduring his father's wrath right now. Not to mention he'd probably get reading privileges taken away, and for Itachi, that was torture. Itachi let out a long sigh.
"Fine," Itachi said, caving in under the sound of his brother's sniffles and the thought of not being able to read for enjoyment. "Come over here."
Sasuke gave his brother an ecstatic expression and gleefully skipped over to where his brother was sitting. He was about to reach for his hair before his elder brother stopped him.
"Before I let you start, are your hands clean?" Itachi asked him.
"Huh?" Sasuke responded, a bit confused.
"Are your hands clean?" When Itachi saw the befuddled look on his brother's face he felt inclined to explain.
"I've already washed my hair once today," he said. "I don't feel like washing it again. You know how long it takes to wash my hair." Sasuke looked down at his hands.
"Yup. They're clean Nii-san," he said.
"Let me see," Itachi ordered, not trusting his younger brother. When their mother and father weren't home and Itachi asked his little brother if his shoes were clean from playing in the rain before he went onto the wooden porch, his brother had said yes. Itachi believed him, but when his little brother came inside, he had trailed mud all over the house. Itachi was the one that had to clean up the mess, not leaving any evidence of letting his brother walk into the house with muddy boots so their father wouldn't kill him. Sasuke showed his older brother his hands.
"Alright," Itachi said, confirming his brother's cleanliness. "They're clean enough. You can start." Itachi undid the tie from his long hair, letting it hang freely. He went back to his reading. After a moment, Itachi felt a good amount of weight on his back.
"Sasuke," he said, "are you sitting on my back?"
"Yes," Sasuke said innocently.
"May I ask why?"
"Um…" To tell the truth, Sasuke had no idea why he had climbed onto his brother's back.
"So I could reach your hair better," he quickly said, making up an excuse. Itachi snorted and rolled his eyes. He knew his brother had come up with that answer on the spot. The "um…" was a dead giveaway.
"Fine," Itachi said. "I'll let you sit on my back only if you promise not to pull."
"Deal!" his little brother replied. Itachi went back to his reading once again. He didn't get more than two words before feeling a hard yank.
"Ow! Sasuke, I said not to pull!" he scolded his younger brother.
"Sorry," Sasuke said. "I didn't mean to." Itachi rolled his eyes once again. Sure his brother didn't mean to, just like he didn't mean to take missions. His brother just liked to annoy him, and he was almost always successful in this goal too. The two sat in silence for about fifteen minutes before the door to the living room slid open.
"Itachi, do you what happened to those mission…" Uchiha Fugaku trailed off when he saw the sight. It took all he had to keep from laughing. He never thought he'd see his eldest son having his hair braided, by his youngest son no less.
"What are you doing?" their father asked after regaining his composure. Itachi turned his head to the side to look at his father.
"What does look like?" he answered irritably.
"Don't move!" Sasuke's tiny voice demanded in his elder brother's ear.
"Okay, okay. Not so loud," Itachi told his brother, putting his finger in his ear in an attempt to open his ear canal back up. He was going to be deaf in that ear for awhile, that was for sure.
"I won't read too much into it," Fugaku said. At this point, his wife had woken up and had joined her husband in the doorway.
"Now there's a sight for sore eyes," Mikoto said.
"Okaa-san!" Itachi protested. "It's not like I wanted to have my hair braided! Ow! Sasuke, for the last time, stop pulling! Why don't you go and braid Okaa-san's hair now?"
"She won't let me sit on her back," Sasuke answered, not at all willing to relinquish his hold on his brother's hair.
"Damn it…" Itachi muttered under his breath.
"Itachi!" his mother scolded. "You know we don't use language like that in our house!"
Sasuke braided his brother's hair for another hour before letting him go free. When Itachi went to take the braids out, his brother would threaten to cry which gave Itachi no choice but to leave them in. Great, and Uchiha Shisui was supposed it be meeting up with him any minute now. There was a knock at the door and Mikoto answered it.
"Itachi," she called. "It's Shisui!"
"I'm coming…" Itachi said sullenly. When he stepped outside, Uchiha Shisui stared at his friend for a moment.
"What on earth happened to you?" he asked Itachi.
"Don't ask," Itachi told him. Sasuke came running up to the doorway.
"I braided it!" he said proudly before his mother quickly ushered him back into the house. Shisui stared at his friend before starting to snicker, trying to hold back the laughter that was threatening to bubble up.
"You laugh…" Itachi warned him, "you die…"
Author's End Note: Hmmm, now we all know the real reason for Itachi killing Uchiha Shisui. XD The girls must have been running away from Itachi that day! No wonder he never had a girlfriend! By the way, this story was inspired by a picture called "Early Plotting," drawn by Sora-ko on Deviantart. I thank you!