Ask any ordinary Konoha villagers. Uchiha Sasuke was not entirely made out of ice.
inspired by my very own awesome friendly neighbourhood and its lovely people in it. (:
Uchiha Sasuke counted his money, and bit back a curse. He knew enough Uchiha manners to know the appropriate manner one should conduct before an old lady. He looked up, and shot her an apologetic look. She had grayish white hair, many wrinkles on her forehead. She looked really old.
"I'm sorry." Sasuke bowed down his head a little, carefully keeping his eyes from the ramen bowl before him. He felt embarrassed, but did not show it. "I don't have enough money for--"
"That's okay." The old lady flashed a grin, showing off her broken teeth and several golden ones. "You can pay me back some other time."
Sasuke blinked. He had not expected such kindness - but then again, this was Konoha, where villagers were warm and welcoming. He respectfully bowed his head. When he lifted his gaze, he offered the lady a small, rare smile of his that spoke of gratitude.
Sasuke allowed the old lady to lean forward and ruffle his hair. He never allowed anyone to touch his hair, but he would make this an exception. Sasuke knew the old lady had no children, and was always very lonely.
"You're welcome, Sasuke-kun."
Sasuke smiled slightly, and nodded. He picked up his chopsticks, and prepared to dig into his ramen bowl. His heart was warm, and he felt light-headed. He kept his gaze on the old lady's form, which was getting smaller and smaller as she disappeared into the kitchen.
Finishing his ramen quietly in the trademark Uchiha way, Sasuke dropped from the high chair, and proceeded into the kitchen. Peeking his head in, he caught the attention of the same old lady.
She grinned her toothless grin. "What else can I do for you, little Sasuke?"
Sasuke did not mind the endearment at all. He smiled, and slid his hands in his pockets. He bowed his head a little. "Arigatou, Obaa-sama, for the ramen bowl."
"I hoped it was to your liking!"
Sasuke's smile never faltered. "It was delicious."
Hopeful eyes, happy smile. Clasped hands in eagerness. "Really?"
"Hai." He turned his back slightly, and nodded a little to convey the fact that he was leaving.
"Take care along the way, Sasuke!" The old lady told him.
"Ah." Sasuke raised his hand in a half-wave, acknowledging her words, before walking towards the entrance, and existing.
His heart felt warm.
Sasuke blinked, as a child collided into his way. He watched as the little boy picked himself up from the ground, rubbing his head, and going "Owww..." It seemed like he had run quite a bit of distance, and had bumped into the Sharingan heir.
"Are you okay?" Sasuke knelt down to the boy's height.
"Ittai..." He continuously rubbed his head, his eyes scrunching up.
Sasuke felt the strange feeling again. Sighing inwardly, pushing it away, he leant forward to examine the boy for any wounds. He rested his hands gently on his shoulders, "Don't move," he told him. The boy paid heed intently, and watched the older boy in awe as Sasuke proficiently checked his body.
"I'm okay now." The little boy nodded vigorously. "No injuries. Nothing." As if to prove his point, he raised his arms, and smiled. "See?"
To which Sasuke responded with a faint hint of a smile. He didn't say anything.
"Anou, nii-san," the term made Sasuke's heart flutter abit, "sorry about that."
In a moment of impulse, Sasuke reached out a hand to ruffle the crown of the boy's head. "Never mind."
The boy smiled up, twiddling his thumbs together. "I was trying to run away from Okaa-san!"
Raised eyebrow. Sasuke remained where he was, kneeling before the boy. "Why?"
"She was trying to beat me. I have been a bad boy." The boy's face fell. His eyes brightened. "Demo, demo, I'm going to buy some flowers to make her happy later. Is that a good idea?"
Sasuke had to smile at the boy's childishness. "Ah." He stood up.
"But I don't know where to buy flowers in Konoha. It's sooo big!" The boy complaint.
Sasuke looked down at the boy, and pressed two fingers to his forehead - a gesture he remembered someone often did to him in the past. "I'll bring you around."
"Really?" The boy hopped up and down eagerly, hands rubbing in a gleeful motion. Sasuke nodded, and didn't pull away when the little boy reached out to take the older boy's hand in his. "Can you show me the way?"
"Ah." Sasuke looked up to the sky, as he held the boy's hand in his.
The old man was cursing his luck as he leant down to pick his oranges. They had fell from his crate accidentally when someone had bumped into him and walked off without an apology. His broken back was making retrieving his oranges difficult for him.
Sasuke stopped in his tracks, and took his hands out of his pockets. Without a word, he bent down, gathered the oranges in his arms, and placed them carefully in the old man's crate.
The old man blinked, before he showed off a similar toothless smile. "Thank you, young lad."
Sasuke nodded, but he had not stood up. Instead, he counted the oranges for the man. "Are you missing any?"
The old man thought outloud. "I have 50 in my crates."
"They're only 44 here." Sasuke told him, his eyes never leaving the oranges. His eyebrows furrowed as he stared into the crate. He sensed the old man's face falling.
"Oh...ah, it's okay, young man. I'll just deliver the 44 oranges that I have."
"Demo," Sasuke looked to the old man, shaking his head, "you'll get a docked pay, won't you?"
"Ah...but it's a small matter. 6 oranges wouldn't deprive me of an extra meal. Just a few dishes perhaps," the man joked, "and my employer would probably just yell a bit at me. I'm used to it now..."
The man trailed off when he watched Sasuke going down on all fours to search beneath the stallhouse for the missing oranges. "Anou, it's really okay--"
"No, I'll search for you." Sasuke cut him off.
The old man had to smile. He rubbed his bald head, shaking it. He couldn't remember the last time he had met a boy like this. "You won't be able to find it--"
Sasuke appeared from beneath the stallhouse, his head sticking out in a awkward way. With a soft smile, he held out three oranges. "Three more to go, Ojii-sama."
The old man held his breath, before Sasuke stood up again, swiping the dust away from his shorts. He shook his head, "Sorry, I couldn't find the other--"
"That's okay, young man." The old man strode forward to rest his hands on the shorter boy's shoulders. "You've done enough--"
"There's a stall around this area that sells oranges." Sasuke nodded towards the older man. "I'll go purchase three for you. Wait here. I'll take only a while."
And Sasuke was off.
The old man was left staring at the Uchiha crest on the back of his shirt.
Sasuke took his hands out of the pockets, and stared up at the high tree. A girl sat on a branch above, and she was crying. She constantly rubbed at her eyes, but the tears wouldn't stop flowing. Frowning, Sasuke took a step forward.
"Oi, daijoubu?" He called up.
The girl looked down timidly, "I'm stuck."
Sasuke sighed, as he strode towards the tree trunk, pressed a feet against it, concentrated his Chakra carefully, before launching himself up to the nearest tree branch. "What are you doing up there?" He asked as he made his way effortlessly towards the girl.
She couldn't stop crying. "Maomi is stuck."
"Where?" Sasuke squinted his eyes. The girl pointed, and he saw. Maomi was a little kitten, and it was purring a distance away, resting a branch higher than the girl. Sasuke shook his head, trying not to sigh a second time. He didn't want the little girl to think she was troublesome.
"Hold on for a while." The Uchiha male said quietly, as he climbed past the girl, stepped a branch higher, and sought out the kitten that was above. Carefully, he caught the kitten in his hands and cradled it against his chest so as not to hurt any of its paws or tail. Then without difficulty, he had sidestepped to the diagonal branch and had offered a hand to the little girl.
His eyes implored hers. "Take my hand."
The girl shook her head, frightened. "N-No."
"I won't let you fall. Take my hand."
"You...won't...let me fall?" The girl's eyes widened. Sasuke nodded, his hand beckoning.
"Come on. Your Maomi's waiting for you."
And the girl reached out, to slip her fingers between the older boy's one.
"Arigatou, Nii-san." She whispered quietly and dried her tears, as Sasuke enfolded his arms around the small girl's frame, and together with the kitten in his other arm, he brought both safely to hard ground.
The old lady looked down at the empty ramen bowl. She smiled a toothless grin as she collected the tray in her arms and strode to the kitchen. Nobody had ever said her ramen was delicious before, and that was why she had so little visitors to her ramen stall. She wasn't a good cook either.
But Uchiha Sasuke had always been a regular customer, and would always say her ramen was delicious no matter what.
The little boy hummed a happy song as he looked at the small flower in his hand. It was a dark pink rose. The 'Nii-san' he had just met had chosen the flower for him, saying that it would make his Kaa-san happy.
"Okaa-san! Gomen nasai for being a bad boy! This is for you!" And the little boy held out the dark pink rose. He was pleased to see his mother's eyes lighting up. "A dark pink rose represent praise and thankfulness, and I'm thankful for all you've done for me! You deserve the best praise any mothers can ever have!"
Happily, the little boy thanked his new older friend for teaching him the meaning of a rose, and for aiding him in his efforts to win back his mother's forgiveness.
The old man grinned at his boss, proudly placing his crates full of 50 oranges onto the table. "There! Flawless delivery as usual!" He tilted his straw hat in his signature pose.
His boss paid him his regular check, and nodded. "Good job as always. Maybe I'll raise your pay some time soon." The old man watched carefully as his boss inspected the state of the oranges. It wasn't some time later that he held out three of them - the ones the old man recognized as those the Uchiha had chosen.
"These look really fresh."
The old man smiled, nodding. "They are."
Sasuke crouched down before the little girl, who was stroking her kitten in her arms.
"Don't cry again." He reminded her.
The little girl beamed up at him, saluting playfully, "Hai!!!"
Her savior had just told her that if ever she needed help, it was best not to cry, but be strong on her own. This way, she would grow up quicker. The little girl had dried her tears quickly then.
"I've decided to change my kitten's name, Nii-san!"
Sasuke raised an eyebrow, as on a whim, he leant forward to brush a streak of tear from her eye. "Which is?"
"SA-SU-KE!" The little girl giggled with joy. "That's Nii-san's name, right?"
Sasuke stood up, slid his arms in his pockets and turned on his back.
He slanted his head just a little, enough to throw a small smile behind his shoulders, for the little girl. "As you wish."
"Ja ne, Nii-san!" She waved fervently, her hair plaits swung back and forth in the wind.
Sasuke nodded in response, and strode down the path to resume his walk again.
He looked to the sky and clouds, closed his eyes, and breathed.
apologies for OOCness.
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