For Love of My Brother

A.N.: This is another 'what if' fic, yet again. I think I like these things. My reason for making this fic is a little different. If anyone has gotten to the Sasuke/Naruto fight and seen the flashback Sasuke has about his family and Itachi then you should know what I'm talking about here. I like to analyze things and what I analyzed in this flashback is that the Uchiha's had something coming to 'em. They didn't deserve to be murdered, but they probably deserved a smack-down. The clan as a whole and the parents in specific were glory-hungry and clan-centric; the only thing that really mattered to them was the glory of the clan.

Itachi had to have seen that and was disgusted by the fact that he was only a tool to gather more prestige, not a real person at all. And he had to have noticed that since Sasuke had only a little less skill than his elder brother, he was insignificant. Add to that the fact that Sasuke was probably the only one who was ever honest to Itachi and the fact that Sasuke only sought acknowledgement and attention… Well.

Seeing this, and seeing how when Itachi rebelled Sasuke became a replacement for his elder brother, I felt that the best way to strike at the parents and strike them hard would be to remove both sons from them.

Another thing I noticed; I believe that, in the series itself, Itachi genuinely loves his brother, but doesn't know how to communicate that love. My reasons? 1) Sasuke is the only one that is spared, 2) Itachi gives Sasuke something to live for after the massacre (Sasuke seems the type to suicide if not given a reason to live), revenging his family, 3) when Itachi meets his brother again, he doesn't kill the youth, merely 'encourages' him to get stronger. This is what I see and what I have deduced. Feel free to disagree, this is my opinion, I won't force it on you. If you wish to debate this opinion, by all means, email me! I love a good debate. Anywho, this is part of the background as to why I'm writing this fic; longwinded and rambling as it is. Please don't kill me for starting another fic and neglecting my other four, this idea was yelling at me to write it down. Enjoy.

Addition: Thanks G-man for the info from a Reliable source. I've made the corrections and I wanted to give you a shout-out for the help. Arigatou!

It had happened again. Sasuke had brought home a report card full of perfect grades, but their father barely even glanced at it. Why? Because I have another important Anbu mission. Whoop-de-shit. Itachi suppressed the urge to throttle his so-honored father with a greater effort of will than he used on any of his missions. One look at Sasuke's downcast face forced him to double his effort.

But the true difficulty for Itachi lay not in repressing his violent urges; he did that all the time. No, what he found truly hard was trying to find something to say to his beloved little brother to cheer the mite up. Itachi wracked his brain for something to say, but couldn't think of anything that wouldn't sound false and/or pathetic. He deserves more than that!

The little six-year-old mumbled something vague that his father didn't even respond to and left the room, pausing at the door way to look wistfully back at the man whose approval he so desperately desired before moving on. The man, his father Fugaku, didn't even notice, he was too busy interrogating Itachi on his newest mission. Itachi had to bite his cheek and glance down, away from the bastard who didn't deserve sons, to control his surging blood lust. It's getting harder, he noticed with concern, the more he ignores Sasuke, the harder it is for me to not pound Father's head in to make him notice how incredible Sasuke is.

One would think, that upon realizing that not only your first son, but you second as well were geniuses at the Ninja arts, you as the parent would brag to all and sundry and drag your kids around to show off to other parents. But no, not the Uchiha clan heads.

Mother and Father only care about how far up I can get in the ranks and then they brag about how difficult my latest mission was and how well I managed it. I'm the heir after all. But Sasuke? He's not important; he's just the spare in case something happens to me. But at this rate, if something does happen to me, Sasuke will rebel from all the demands they'll place on him. Hell, he may just suicide soon from the neglect. Not even Mother pays any attention to him. Why not? The kid is better than I am, not only is he great at the academy, but he makes friends, real friends, as well. That's something I could never do, and still can't. Thanks to the 'special training' Father gave me, I have no clue how to express my emotions save through violence! Gods, I hate that!

Itachi answered another question in the cold, robotic tone that he was forced to use because of early conditioning and inwardly seethed. The Uchiha clan head had wanted a perfect son that was utterly obedient and incredibly capable in the only thing that matter to him; Ninjutsu and status climbing. Well, he got it; mostly. Itachi was hailed as the greatest genius of his age and had so swiftly risen through the ranks many suspected favoritism. He was completely obedient to his parents' wishes, even though he hated them. Then, when Itachi was seven, something unexpected had happened; his mother presented the family with another baby boy.

Itachi had immediately fallen for the adorable, dark-eyed infant, but his parents… seemed less interested. Only Itachi had noticed that Sasuke was speaking clearly before he was six months old, or that he was walking easily before he was five months. Only Itachi noticed how Sasuke had taught himself to read by age two. Only Itachi acknowledged these feats and praised him for it; however awkwardly he had managed it.

It's the same story all over again; Sasuke may not be the super-genius I was, but he's still outstripping his peers. The elder Uchiha son tasted bile as his anger rose. If I wasn't here, Father would notice how incredible the child is. But, even then, poor Sasuke would only be a substitute. I hate this family; they can't pay attention to one affection-starved boy and then lie about why they seek power and rank. And if Sasuke stays here, he may become the same; the same introverted, egotistical, arrogant, 'Only-Uchiha-Matters' minded fool that all the rest of this corrupted clan is.

He grimaced so faintly no one could possibly see, thinking about a recent incident, where an Uchiha girl loved a non-Uchiha boy, that clearly demonstrated the Uchiha attitude. Hell, when that she wanted to marry out-clan, how could that have hurt anyone? But the fuss they raised! You would have thought that she had just been caught selling Sharingan secrets to Suna!

Every Uchiha was like that, save Itachi and Sasuke. They only reason they weren't was because Itachi despised his parents enough to see through the stupidity and Sasuke had been so neglected that he had never been taught the Uchiha snobbishness and elitism. But if he stays here, it will eventually rub off on him. Or he'll go rogue. I wish I cou-

A thought struck Itachi as he continued to answer questions using less than half of his attention. Why did I not think this before? What is wrong with me? I have no ties to this village save blood, which is thinner than water to me. Why don't I just leave? No one is capable of catching me until it's too late. And I will take Sasuke with me, since I'm the only one who really cares about the chibi.

Itachi mentally smirked, deprived of his first and second sons; maybe my most honored father will notice that Sasuke's grades are just as perfect as mine, but that he was more liked. Maybe he'll even come to the conclusion that the way he treats us is the wrong way to win genuine loyalty. The older teen grinned inwardly, the only way he knew how. Perhaps the fact that he had a new, long assignment was really a good thing. He'd have to pack for it after all…

It was deep night; everyone was now asleep. Finally. Itachi had been released from his father's interrogation to pack for his mission. No one noticed that he packed far more than he would really need; or that some of the items he packed weren't really needed on this mission… Well, that may be because I'm not going on this mission, or any other from now on. His conscience had assigned him a very different one.

He inched his way out of his room and headed to Sasuke's, walking quietly but not stealthily. If he'd done the latter, he would have woken his parents, for they would still have sensed someone creeping around the house. As it was, if they sensed him, they would probably think that he was just using the toilet and trying not to wake them. Which is what I want them to think.

When he reached the child's room he went over to the bed and gently shook Sasuke awake, placing a finger over his lips to keep him quiet. The boy immediately understood, more proof, if needed, of his intelligence.

"Onii-sama?" he whispered. Itachi tasted bile again.

"Nii-san." The elder brother corrected. The younger cocked his head in confusion. "You needn't be so formal." He elaborated.

"Oh. Oh-kay..." the child replied, "um, what's going on? What are you doing?"

"I'm… er… taking you on a surprise trip." Itachi explained awkwardly, "It's a reward for getting such good grades and we need to leave early if we're going to get to where we're going in time." A decent story if he did say so himself.

Sasuke brightened so much at the praise and mention of reward that Itachi was taken aback for a moment. He couldn't help but wonder then if he had ever seen Sasuke happy before. That thought angered him. As a matter of fact, when was the last time I was honestly happy? He couldn't remember, and that angered him more, for Sasuke's sake. What they had done to him, Itachi, they were doing again through neglect to the innocent child. That was just wrong.

"But…" Sasuke started to ask, dragging Itachi's attention back to the present, "what about training? If I go on a trip, won't I fall behind?"

"No," Itachi answered the legitimate question, "I'll be training you while we're gone." Which was only the truth.

The current brightening of the child's expression fully eclipsed his earlier cheer. Does my attention really mean that much to him? Or is it that he's so attention-starved that any notice means that much to him? Either case just cemented Itachi's resolve to get Sasuke out of the village and away from the neglect. Even if they stayed with Itachi resolving to spend more time with the child, nothing would change because the elder brother was simply kept too busy.

"Hurry and pack, and stay quiet." Itachi ordered quietly, "We don't want to wake Mother and F-father." Sasuke didn't notice how his brother tripped over giving that man the title 'Father'.

"Aren't…" the child trailed off, then tried again when he noticed he had his elder brother's attention, "Are Mother and Father coming as well?"

"No." was the answer. Sasuke drooped a little.

"Do they know where we're going?" He asked.

"I cleared the trip with them." Itachi lied, not answering the question directly.

"Oh," the child folded a few more shirts and stowed them neatly in his pack. "May I leave them a note?" He's determined to make this difficult, isn't he?

"I already left them one." The elder brother said, which was true, just not the kind of note that Sasuke would have left. The younger brother drooped a little more.

"Father probably wouldn't read a note from me anyway." The child whispered sadly. He hadn't meant for that statement to be overheard, but Itachi caught it anyway and seethed. He probably wouldn't care even if he did read it; he thought but didn't say out loud. Sasuke didn't need to hear that thought.

"I'm ready." The child finally said. Itachi nodded and motioned for Sasuke to follow him quietly. The two made their way out of the house into the village. To make sure that they weren't spotted, Itachi told Sasuke that he should practice his stealth in the safety of the village where if he messed up it wouldn't matter.

The child took to the training with a vengeance, working hard to mimic his brother and hopefully impress him. Itachi was impressed with the skill the six-year-old exhibited and told him so, causing the child to practically glow with happiness. They came up to the wall that surrounded the village and Sasuke started to head down it to the nearest portal when Itachi stopped him.

"We'll go over it here," the elder brother whispered to his younger sib. "It's quicker and good practice for you. Do you think you can jump it? Tell me honestly." Sasuke glanced at his brother and then studied the wall carefully. He next studied the surrounding buildings carefully, the tip of his tongue sticking out the corner of his pursed lips. Itachi couldn't help but think how cute the expression was.

"If I jump up the buildings there," the child pointed to a taller structure right next to the wall, "I can make it."

"Good answer," Itachi praised. Sasuke beamed and proceeded to follow his plan, his brother following and lending assistance in the very few instances it was needed. They made it to the top of the wall and Itachi leapt into the nearby trees carrying Sasuke, who confessed that he didn't think he'd make it without causing noise. Itachi praised the honesty. If Sasuke's expression was anything to go by, this was the best moment of his life.

Dare I hope that we're going to make it out of the Fire lands without getting caught? Itachi wondered as he led his brother farther away from the village. He shouldn't have thought that; Murphy's Law exists even in worlds where Murphy himself never existed.

"You!" A voice called out from a tree near the one that the two brothers were on. "I'm going to need to check ID and verify your reasons for being here at this time!" Crap.

"Not tonight!" Itachi growled, tucking his kid brother under his arm and launching off rapidly. Sasuke stared up at his brother, back at the man calling after them then began blowing his emergency whistle, then back at his brother.


"I'll explain later!" Itachi said, glancing back over his shoulder, then ducking under a shuriken, "For now, let's just say that this trip actually wasn't agreed upon!" He ducked a few more shurikens and pivoted to throw a few of his own, hitting one of the five pursuers in the legs. His Sharingan was activated and he was rapidly making battle plans, most of which he had to discard due to Sasuke's presence. Most of the ones he didn't discard largely involved running as fast as he could.

"Sasuke, hold on to me." He ordered. The child obeyed. With both hands free, he swiftly made the nessacary signs for the jutsu he decided on. A few moments later, six different Itachi's, each carrying a Sasuke, leapt out and scattered. The young ex-Anbu grinned feralily at the sounds of confusion. Then he swore quietly as one new voice gave out the confident command to chase after the real Itachi.

Copy-Ninja Kakashi? What the fuck is he doing here? He's supposed to be on the mission I reneged on! Itachi sweated for moment as he wracked his brain for a way to combat his Anbu sempai as well as try and figure out how the only non-Uchiha, Sharingan bearing ninja could possibly be here. Oh, we were supposed to meet at three a.m. weren't we? Oops.

Sasuke was still clinging like a tick in spite of the fact that Itachi was supporting him. This allowed him to make a few more seals and unleash his next jutsu: Ryu-Ho-oh.

It was one that he'd worked out himself, combining Fire and Water elements. One could roll to put out fire; one could swim or brace to escape water. Steam however… A jet of super-heated steam shot out at the pursuers in the shape of intertwining dragons and phoenixes and hit the bulk of them, scattering the rest. This gave Itachi just enough time to vanish from their senses using a few more tricks.

Kakashi paused by one of his default teammates and checked him over for serious injuries. Seeing that the man was going to be okay, he summoned his Ninja dogs and sent them out after Itachi's scent. It's probably too late though.

Itachi was exceedingly competent and had worked with Kakashi before and knew what he was capable of. But that's not what frustrated Kakashi, it was this escapade itself. Why had Itachi kidnapped his brother and made off with him? The young Anbu wracked his brain while he waited for his dogs to report.

Slowly, a pattern emerged in his mind. The Uchiha prodigy had been sent on a lot of missions in recent times, returning only to be sent out again. At his father's insistence. Kakashi realized that Itachi had been looking a little haggard in the past few weeks, not something you expected in a thirteen-year-old. The next thing that Kakashi noticed as he mulled over his memories was that while Itachi rarely, if ever, talked about himself or his family; Sasuke would come up as often as not when the young Anbu did talk.

But the Uchiha clan heads Fugaku and Mikota, Itachi and Sasuke's father and mother, never mentioned their younger son. Ever. The only reason that Kakashi was even aware of the fact that Sasuke existed was because Itachi had mentioned him in a positive light. When Kakashi had been sent out to collect the tardy Itachi, he had expected to find him held up by his little brother in some manner. I was right, just not in the way I expected.

One of the dogs, the greyhound type, lunged out of the woods and stopped in front of Kakashi's feet.

"The runaway had passed the border of the Fire lands." It reported regretfully. Kakashi sighed.

"I was afraid of that." He said, "Oh well, you did your best and so did we. You're dismissed now." The dog nodded and vanished in a puff of smoke. Kakashi looked in the direction that Itachi had vanished in and tried to come to some logical conclusion.

For whatever reason, Itachi must have felt that Sasuke was in danger of some kind. That's all I can think of as a reason for his doing this. I can't think of any other motive. He sighed and shrugged, he'd report his conclusions to the Hokage when he returned. Now he needed to attend to his teammates and bring them in as well. There wasn't much else he could do.

Itachi lunged from the head of one of the sentinel statues that marked the border, across the canyon to the other and looked back. One of Kakashi's dogs was standing there, snarling in frustration. Itachi snorted his derision and trotted into the brush on the other side of the river. Now, after all the fuss was over, did Sasuke stir.

"Onii-san?" He asked, looking up at the brother who was currently confusing and scaring him.

"Yes, you deserve an explanation don't you?" Itachi replied, looking for a place to sit down. He found a newly fallen tree, a much preferable seat than an older fallen tree that would be bug infested. He set his brother down on one side and set himself down on the other. Sasuke looked over at him in confusion and finally voiced it in one word.


"Why did I run off with you, you mean?" Itachi asked in turn, stalling while he tried to come up with a reason that Sasuke would accept. The child nodded, staring intently. "Because… you deserve better than what you were getting."


"We both deserve better actually." Itachi said, clearly struggling with this, "You need and deserve more attention and consideration than you were getting;" and I deserved to be treated as something other than a tool and an object. "That's why I kidnapped you and why I'm basically running away. We need to get away from that egocentric clan where people loose sight of themselves as people and only become tools for the clan." Sasuke's glazed-eyed expression told Itachi that he'd lost him.

"Never mind." He said, "I took you away from there for your own good, and I don't want to return you for the same reason." Itachi reached out a hand to the child, "Come on, let's go."

Sasuke blinked up at his brother for a moment, then took his hand and walked off with him; away from Konoha.

A.S.: #peeks over sandbags# Oh gods, the readers of my other fics are going to kill me…. I have a number of other fics that are in-prog and I've already got people yelling at me to hurry up and update those, so needless to say, I really shouldn't be writing this one. Updates will be on a monthly to six-week basis if you're lucky. I will try and update more often, and since my scuba class is going to finish within the week, updates will occur with slight more frequency; until college kicks in and starts whipping my ass as it has a tendency to do.

I have Pre-calc (five units), Spanish 1 (four units) and Ceramic Sculpture (three units) this semester, plus and average of eighteen hours of work average, which means I'm a very busy girl. Writing is a hobby I take seriously, but it's still a hobby. I would love to spend eight hours a day typing, but that's not going to happen anytime soon.

I don't mean to sound preachy or lecturing or anything, I'm just letting you know my schedule so you don't get your hopes to high, or feel that I'm one of those 'Write half a story then vanish off the face of the earth' people. I WILL finish all my works; I hate the afore mentioned people and I hate hypocrites. I have no intention of becoming either. This will be finished at some point. That point may be ten years from now… but it'll still be finished.

That being said, the next chap will take place six years from the end point of this fic; namely, the rough start time of the Naruto-verse. Already got it roughed out, should appear relatively soon. How soon is that? No frickin' clue. Ja Ne!

P.S.: Sorry about all the repetition in the fic, I need to rewrite it without all that, but I wanted to get this up to see how well it'll be received. I also wanted to get the idea I have about the Uchiha clan across crystal clear

Further more, before anyone can even hint about it, This will not be an ItachixSasuke fic! Yaoi may appear later, I don't know yet, butNO Incest! Incest is wrong on so many levels it's not even funny, and incest between to brothers with a ten year age gap... #sticks finger down throat to show thought of that#

The only time I'll ever let incest slide is if the two involved aren't aware of the fact that they're sibs. Ex: Luke and Leia in Star Wars episode four. Not here. Okay, done ranting now.Ja Ne once again.

PPS: I've gotten complaints (already) about how I'm handling the timeline and wheter or not Itachi would do this that and the other. All I've got to say is: IT'S A FRIKIN' FIC PEOPLE! I'm changing the story and the characters! Itachi is going to be wildly different from the series Itachi and so is Sasuke due to what I've done here! Deal with it. I'm not going to change the fic because you don't like this that and the other. If you have legit complaint, like the age gap, which is seven, not five nor ten years, I'll work with that. And no, I'm not changing the title; I like the this one. Again, deal.

Apologies to any who are horridly offended, but this will stand as they are.