Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto.

A/N: I'm so sorry for the long wait! And I was surprised that this story is the most popular amongst my other stories, and I'm glad you all liked the little Hina & little Sasuke! And thank you to all who reviewed, you all don't know how much it means to me to know what all of you thought of the story.

Another reason I'd like to apologise for the delay of the story is that (for those who did not read my update status in the profile page), I accidently deleted my entire update folder! Not once, but TWICE!! Inside the folder includes all new chapters for ALL my stories! Seriously, I was so pissed off that time, I absolutely refused to see my laptop for a whole month! I didn't know Microsoft Vista is much more sensitive to keyboard delete compared to using the mouse.....

Okay, now on with the story....and sorry again for the super long wait….


Recap:

Sasuke jerked up from his bed.

Covered in heavy sweat as he recalled the dream he had which happened long ago when they were only children and sharingan swirling madly to the past

His heart was beating painfully as he recalled his past childhood and first love.

Crying into his hands, he realized the painful truth behind the dreams……

He broke his promise…..


CHAPTER 12: A BROTHER'S PROMISE

"Are you sure you're ready to let your father know about this, Itachi?" Sasori queried.

Itachi nodded his head while Ino fixed his blood red satin tie into the folds of his black Armani silk vest. Picking up the matching black suit jacket from the hanger, Ino held it out for Itachi to stretched his arms into them and buttoned himself up. His long ebony black hair was tied into a neat lose ponytail, hung loosely on his left shoulder as he turn around to face Sasori.

"I have made up my mind, Sasori. This has to be done," Itachi replied crisply.

"How about the Hyuugas?" Sasori asked back. "Don't you think they'll retaliate?"

Ino looked between the two men.

"You are risking the Akatsuki and everything we're fighting for, Itachi, and nobody is going to benefit from it if you go out there and openly declare that the Hyuuga Heiress who was gone missing for two years was all the while under your care!"

"Akatsuki is never on any risk and you know it, Sasori. We are more powerful than the Hyuugas and Uchihas combined," Itachi replied, fixing his ruby red cufflinks. "Letting my father know will only seal the bargain we made with the Hyuugas."

"What bargain?" Ino wondered.

Both men looked at her.

"The Hyuugas came a few weeks ago with a peace truce proposal. A proposal that will end all rivalry between the two clans, by unification of marriage," Sasori replied sarcastically, "…they are offering a daughter of the Hyuugas to one of the sons of Uchiha."

"That's pretty archaic, Sasori-kun," Ino looked surprised at her fiancé's sudden need for eloquence.

Itachi rolled his eyes upwards. "He's quoting it directly from the document, Ino. And yes, I know it is pretty archaic, but that is the way of the Hyuugas. They are bound to their traditions and customs dictates them to the tee. Including all wedding contracts sound the same way as it was thousands of years ago."

"So, you mean that the wedding contract is for you? I thought you've declined the position as 'heir' in the Uchiha Clan?" Ino asked.

Itachi smirked, "Technically a yes and a no."

"What the hell do you mean by that, Itachi?" Ino raised an eyebrow.

"The agreement is for the Uchiha Heir, Ino and as far as you know, Itachi have declined that position a long time ago," Sasori turned and looked at Itachi. "And I believe he is going to make a drastic change to that status."

"Its called 'thinking ahead' Sasori."

"More like 'taking advantage' if you ask me," Ino retorted on Sasori's behalf.

"Thank you, my love," Sasori give her a peck on the lips.

"You're very welcome, darling," Ino replied coolly, wrapping her arms around his handsome fiancé's waist. Looking back at Itachi, "I hope you're going to make an honest woman out of Hinata, Itachi. She's one of a kind, you know."

"Of course, Ino," Itachi smirked. "And that is why I am going to marry her."

"Oh, when is that?"

"I'm going to let my family know first."

"And then?"

"And then what?"

"When is your family going to know about this?"

"Tonight."

Ino blinked. And then for the life of Itachi and Sasori, she screeched like the queen of all harpies.

"YOU CAN'T LET SOMEONE ELSE MARRY HINA-CHAN!!"

Itachi and Sasori sweatdropped dramatically.

"I am not, Ino," Itachi replied. "I'm planning to make a deal with my father." Itachi looked himself into the mirror, hating himself for being who he is.

Sasori turned his gaze towards the taller man. "What about Leader-sama? Akatsuki?" Sasori demanded. "Are you just going to drop it off and leave us?"

"That won't change, Sasori. You know that."

"That is a load of bull, Itachi and you fucking know it!" Sasori's lips thinned as the spat out the words.

Ino looked worriedly at Sasori. Her beloved Sasori is usually the calmest amongst the Akatsuki, but the sudden ferocity showed a different side of Akasuna no Sasori, the part where he is being provoked.

"Don't you know what is it going to cost you if you make a deal with your father, Itachi?" Sasori frowned darkly. "It is like making a deal with the Devil himself."

"In case you have forgotten, Sasori," Itachi looked at him coolly. "I'm the Devil's spawn."

Sasori rolled his eyes upwards in exasperation.

Itachi walked towards the window and sighed deeply, finally gathering his senses, "For Hinata, I am willing to give up my life."

Both Ino and Sasori looked at him. Surprised? Shocked? No one could say anything.

"But this is madness, Itachi!" Ino almost wailed. "There must be a solution!"

Sasori glared, "You know what Leader-sama is going to say about this, don't you?"

Itachi's dark gaze looked outside his window. The azure blue sky graced by light magenta, signaling the sign of the sunset.

"I have made my decision." Itachi have decided.


Uchiha Family Residence:

When Itachi arrived, he was greeted by the usual group his father had in waiting. His mother, dressed in her traditional kimono with the Uchiha emblem emblazoned at both sleeves, happily greeted her eldest child home.

"Welcome home, my son," Mikoto kissed her son's cheeks. "I've prepared your favourites for tonight's dinner!"

Itachi sighed and nodded his head. "Kaa-sama, is Otou-sama here?"

"Yes, he is Itachi. What is the matter?" Mikoto asked, noticing the strange solemnity etched on her son's perfectly handsome face.

Itachi looked down at his mother and smiled softly. "Something very important."

"Oh?" Mikoto looked surprised and then smiled lovingly at her firstborn. "Well, that can wait, Itachi. At least changed into something comfortable, ne?"

"I won't be long, Okaa-san," Itachi replied.

Mikoto looked slightly crestfallen. "Why not, Itachi?" Mikoto queried. "I haven't seen my oldest baby for some time now. At least stay for dinner, ne?"

Itachi sighed deeply before nodding his head in agreement, surrendering before his mother starts to get all teary and emotional.

"Why not?"

Mikoto smiled.


Half an hour later:

Everyone sat at their own place whilst being served by servants garbed in Uchiha emblem.

"Where is Sasuke?" Itachi asked, looking at the empty seat right opposite him.

"Busy doing what you're supposed to be doing, Aniki," Sasuke replied icily from the doorway.

"Well, it seemed you're doing a good job of it," Itachi replied, picking his linen napkin. "I'm pleased to note that your progress is better than the previous year."

Sasuke took his seat opposite his brother and rudely ignored his father while his mother smiled at him gently.

"Okaeri-nasai, Sasuke, Itachi," Mikoto said, gazing lovingly both at her precious sons. Glad to have them at home again after some time. "Let us have a lovely dinner tonight, shall we?" Mikoto smiled graciously.

"So Nii-san," Sasuke started the conversation. "What brings you back home at this time?"

Three set of eyes looked at Sasuke.

"What?? Can't I ask him a decent question?" Sasuke demanded sulkily.

"Don't talk with your mouth full, Sasuke-kun. Its bad manners," Mikoto chided her younger boy.

"Kaa-san…"

"Okaa-san is right, Otouto-chan," Itachi said, looking at his brother, eyes already twinkling.

Sasuke twitched. "Stop calling me that, Aniki." Sasuke almost growled. Hating the nickname bestowed to him by his big brother when he was just a wee toddler.

Itachi smirked. Teasing his little brother was one of his favourite past-time when they were much younger, it was those times he spent with Sasuke before he was carted off to finish his studies abroad. How he missed those times and much more he regretted for not being able to be there when his little brother needed him the most.

"What are you doing here, Aniki? Its not yet the end of the month," Sasuke asked, popping a piece of cherry tomato into his mouth.

"Personal reasons, Sasuke," Itachi replied, coolly eating his favourite dishes prepared by his mother.

Sasuke almost sneered when Fugaku coughed purposefully, trying to shift the tension between the brothers.

"And what that might be?" Fugaku asked, sipping his red wine.

"I'm getting married."


"I wonder if we're at the right place, Shinomaru?" Hanabi asked her little puppy. "We're already in the Uchiha territory, but where exactly?"

Gggrroowwlll…

Hanabi blushed furiously at the growling stomach. "I'm hungry now, Shinomaru. Are you?" Hanabi asked her little puppy who whined at his mistress's call of hunger.

Spotting a few vendors down the street, Hanabi looked excitedly. "Lets go get some food, ne?"

Woof! Woof! Shinomaru barked happily and proceeded to follow his happy mistress.


Two men wearing the traditional Uchiha garb finished paying for their okonomi-yaki (1) when the shorter of the two notices something.

"Look there."

"What?"

"That kid and her dog."

"What? You're bullying kids and puppies now?"

"No," he paused for a brief moment. "That child is a Hyuuga."

The other man almost dropped his food and stared at the dark-haired child whose pearly eyes could be noticed from afar.

"You gotta be fuckin' kiddin' me! What's a Hyuuga kid doing at the Uchiha territory? Fugaku-sama is gonna flip!!"

"I don't know, but let's inform Uchiha-sama about it." The taller man stood up only to realize that the little Hyuuga was walking towards them.

"Excuse me?"

Both men looked down at the smaller figure, hugging her puppy.

"Are the two of you belonged to the Uchiha-gumi?"

The little child looked bravely at them.

"Why'd ya wanna know?" A slightly smaller man with silver hair asked, peering down at the kid.

"I'd like to know where can I meet Uchiha Sasuke, if you don't mind."

Both men sweatdropped.

"Meeting the Uchiha Sasuke? The Mafioso Sasuke??" Suigetsu exclaimed. "Are you fuckin' outta your mind??"

"Suigetsu…" The taller man glared at him.

"Pretty please, oji-san???" the child pleaded. "I promise its only gonna be a short while!"

Woof! Woof! Woof!! Shinomaru barked at them.

"Even the fuckin' puppy is pleading," muttered the silver-haired man.

"Suigetsu, please mind your language in front of the child," the taller man replied.

"Juugo," Suigetsu almost growled. "Having a Hyuuga, especially a child on Uchiha's territory is not to be looked easily at."

"He's just a child," Juugo replied, who looked at the Hyuuga and smiled softly.

"I'm a girl. Not a boy," the Hyuuga child frowned.

Both Juugo and Suigetsu looked surprised.

"A girl??"

"A girl!!"

"I am Hyuuga Hanabi, it is nice to meet you," Hanabi bowed slightly. "And this is my faithful companion and protector, Shinomaru."

Woof! Woof! Shinomaru wagged his tail happily.

"Well, isn't he kinda..err….small to be your…uhh….guard…dog…puppy sorta…thing?" Suigetsu scratched his head.

Shinomaru whined protestingly.

Hanabi twitched slightly before replying. "He may be….small now, but he'll grow."

Shinomaru barked happily. Woof!

"Well, hello there Hanabi-chan and Shinomaru," Juugo smiled softly. And Hanabi started to soften around the big giant. "I am Juugo and this grumpy one here is my partner, Suigetsu. And may I know why do you want to look for Sasuke-sama?"

Hanabi's large pearly eyes looked at him. "I need to ask him some very very very important question."

"And what is that?" Suigetsu asked.

Hanabi glared at him and turned away, facing only at Juugo. Suigetsu twitched.

"I can't tell you, I must ask him…..myself." Hanabi looked rather miserable and Juugo noticed the dark bags under her eyes.

"How old are you, Hanabi-chan?"

"Ehh?"

"And that was why you come all the way here into Uchiha territory? Just to ask some very very very important question to Sasuke?" Suigetsu asked, with the look of incredulous bore on his pale face.

Hanabi glared at him. "I was asking Juugo nii-san here, not you, Fish-face!" She stuck her tongue out at him.

"Why you brat!!!" Suigetsu was prepared to fight Hanabi when Hanabi ran and hid behind Juugo's massive legs.

"She is my responsibility now, Suigetsu."

It was not a question or request. And Suigetsu know very well that tone whenever Juugo is using it.

Juugo, otherwise known to all as the 'Uchiha Giant' is the tallest and biggest member of the Uchiha-gumi. As a child, he had no recollection about his past and served the feared Orochimaru as a child-killer. He was also used by Orochimaru in various scientific experiment, in trying to create his 'perfect soldier'. Juugo did not have a childhood at all. All his life he was taught to kill and have no pity. Soon, he had risen into the ranks of professional assassin before the age of twelve until the Uchiha Family decimated Orochimaru's obsession for power. It was Fugaku who took Juugo into the ranks and Mikoto who gave him the childhood he was deprived. And to that, Juugo earned the rank of being Fugaku's right-hand.

Suigetsu naturally tagged along. He was Juugo's partner since his days with Orochimaru and wherever Juugo goes, Suigetsu naturally tags along.

Suigetsu's history was pretty much the same as Juugo. He had no recollection about his past, only that he remembered waking up one day in Orochimaru's lab with a splitting headache, and that was how his life began.

"Well, whatever it is, your decision Juugo. But if Big Red starts screaming like a banshee, you're taking all the hit, and it ain't gonna be me," Suigetsu muttered darkly, throwing the remaining of his okonomi-yaki into the nearby rubbish bin.

"Hey!" Hanabi yelled at him.

"What is it, brat!"

"Don't throw away those," Hanabi ran and dug up the polystyrene container and held the food out for Shinomaru. "Thank goodness its still okay."

Both men sweatdropped.

"Did I see what she just did?" Suigetsu whispered.

Juugo nodded his head.

Hanabi took out the remaining food and fed it to Shinomaru. The white puppy wolfed down the delectable Japanese pancake within seconds and barked happily at his mistress.

"I bought some food just now, and it wasn't enough for Shinomaru and I. And I'd hate to see food wasted," Hanabi explained. "I hope you won't think we're….we…"

"Its okay, little one," Juugo smiled. He ruffled Hanabi's head. And Hanabi grinned happily. "I'd hate to see food wasted too." He handed out his plate to Shinomaru, who happily wolfed down the delicious dish with his tail wagging excitedly.

"Does your family know where you are, Hanabi-chan?" Juugo asked.

Without looking at him, Hanabi nodded her head.

Suigetsu raised an eyebrow and Juugo looked at him knowingly. She's lying….

"Hn." Juugo nodded his head. "Why don't you come with us, Hanabi-chan. We'll take you to see Sasuke-sama."

Hanabi looked up at him. Her eyes widened and next thing they knew. She threw herself at Juugo. Her little arms too small for her to hug his huge gigantic frame, but was enough to cling herself up at him.

"Arigatou Juugo nii-san!!" Hanabi cried.

"There, there," Juugo smiled gently and patted her small back with his huge hands, liking the warm brotherly instinct that overwhelmed him tremendously. Nobody noticed the slight tears at the side of his eyes. Juugo has never received such attention, not from anybody, except for Mikoto whom he regards as his foster mother.

"After that, we've gotta send you back brat," Suigetsu said.

Hanabi turned to him and stuck her tongue out. "No way I'm going to go back! Not until I find my Nee-chan, I won't go back home!"

"Your Nee-chan?" Suigetsu and Juugo echoed.

"What does your Nee-chan got to do with Sasuke-sama, Hanabi-chan?"

Hanabi started to sniff, and pearly tears streaked down her chubby cheeks. Roughly she wiped her eyes against the sleeves of her jacket, Hanabi contemplated to tell her story, but decided against it.

"Not until I…(sniff)….get to see…(sniff)….Sasuke-nii (sniff)," Hanabi cried softly.

Juugo gave Suigetsu a look. "Do you have a tissue?"

Suigetsu almost choked. "What do I look like?? I'm not a pussy like you guys!"

"Suigetsu," Juugo almost growled.

"Alright! Alright! I got a hanky," Suigetsu gave up and pulled out his favourite silk hankerchief from his haori pocket. "Here brat, wipe that face of yours. Its depressing to see a little brat like you crying."

Hanabi glared at him. Shinomaru whined and hid himself with Juugo. Juugo patted the little head gently.

"What here, Hanabi-chan, there is something I'd like to discuss with Suigetsu for a while."

"Hai," Hanabi said, wiping the remnants of her snot and tears with the hanky Suigetsu gave her. "Here you go."

Suigetsu paled. "Nevermind, you can have it." Not ever wanting that hanky back again, Suigetsu followed Juugo to the side.

"I'll call Sasuke-sama before calling Fugaku-dono about this, meanwhile, you look after Hanabi-chan and Shinomaru until I get back. Understand, Suigetsu?"

"WHAT THE FUCK!!!" Suigetsu yelled. "What do you mean you're leaving that Hyuuga brat with me?? Are you losing your fuckin' mind 'ere Juugo??"

"Just for a little while, Suigetsu. Bring her out for ice-cream and buy her balloons, little girls love ice-creams and we'll meet back up with Sasuke-sama at his place. Is that clear?"

Suigetsu kept quiet. Mentally thinking of the many things he could do to get back at Juugo. "Deal, but you owe me one Juugo. Big time."

Juugo smiled. "Many thanks, my friend."

"Don't count your blessings, yet, my friend," Suigetsu hjssed back sarcastically.

"I know I can count on you," Juugo laughed.

"Ha ha ha! Can you hear my sarcasm now?" Suigetsu muttered. "What if the fucking Hyuugas see me with her? They'll think I fucking kidnap her or something."

"Don't worry Suigetsu," Juugo assured him. "I trust she won't do anything drastically. Its not like she's somebody of importance in the Hyuuga Clan. If she is, won't the Hyuuga be frantic by now?"

Suigetsu gave him a dry look. "You better be sure what you're talking about Juugo."

"Hanabi-chan," Juugo touched her head. "I'm leaving you with Suigetsu while I make some important calls to Sasuke-sama. Don't worry, you'll be alright."

Hanabi pouts.

Both men aww-ed at the sight.

"Why are you leaving me with Fish-face?"

Suigetsu twitched at his new nickname.

Juugo sweatdropped at Hanabi's courage at provoking his short-tempered partner.

Shinomaru trembled at the oncoming battle.

"Can I kill her now?" Suigetsu hissed.

Juugo sighed. "No, we can't."

"Yeah, Juugo-nii said you can't!" Hanabi pouts again.

"Juugo," Suigetsu began, looking as if his veins are just going to pop out.

Juugo sighed, again. "Patience, Suigetsu."

"Patience isn't one of my virtue, if you remember that."

"Suigetsu, if you try to test my patience one last time, I assure you, Karin will know who put dye into her shampoo last week and the lice in her bed two nights ago."

Suigetsu gulped nervously. "Okay! Okay!" He turned to face Hanabi. "Okay brat, lets go get you some ice-cream and balloons."

"I'm not a brat, Fish-face!"

"Yes you are, brat!"

"Fish-face!"

"Brat!"

"Fish-face!"

"Brat!"

"Idiot," Juugo murmured.

Woof…. Shinomaru agreed, albeit a little hesitant with his little bark. Fearing something worst could happen….


Back at the Uchiha Main House:

Uchiha Fugaku felt the burden of the years heavily upon his shoulders after listening to his eldest son's latest shocking announcement which resulted his wife passing out for a full fifteen minutes and then, came a flur of activities occupying around the Uchiha Main House with his recently conscious wife taking charge.

Fugaku sighed as he leaned back against his high-backed leather chair and gazed around his private study. The place where all Head of the Uchiha Clan reside to do business with the rest of their business associates and clan matters. Portraits of his father, grandfather and forefathers hovered across the deep maroon walls, all bore the same expression. The tough and grim look of all Uchiha Clan Leaders, most of them had scars on their faces and some partly disfigured due to scuffling with the Hyuugas but the scars could not erase the dark handsome looks on their faces.

It was undeniable that the Uchiha men lived through the namesake of being 'tall, dark and handsome'. Either it was a blessing or a curse, Fugaku knew better.

Pondering about his eldest son's latest fiasco, Fugaku wouldn't be surprised as he note a airy kind of difference hovering over his son. It was something Fugaku was certain, Itachi has something up his sleeves, and Fugaku won't stop until he knows what his son is planning.

But….can it be for real? The Hyuuga and Uchiha merge? Will it work?? Fugaku thought to himself. Wondering something that was realistically impossible when he was younger, his childhood sweetheart who was lost to him.

Fugaku sighed again. Closing his eyes as he reminisces, a small smile etched on his solid granite face. The face which all the former Heads have bore, now being replaced with something tender and gentle.

It was not the face of a hard, tough man. But a man who once knew what is love.


Konoha General Hospital:

Ino arrived at Hinata's room, flamboyantly placed a fresh basket of lilies and roses beside Hinata's bedside.

"Hello Hina-chan! I hope you like lilies and roses, they seemed so fresh and beautiful today, I can't help put them in a basket just for you!"

She sat by Hinata's bedside and took Hinata's pretty cold hand in hers. "Ya know Hina-chan, I'm so glad you came into our lives. Before this, it was pretty much same old boring life. Usually its just me and Sasori. Sometimes Itachi and the others would join and not many women. Konan was different, well actually she's pretty much indifferent to many things and I guess that's why she and Pein get so well together."

Ino touched Hinata's hair gently. "Since you came into Itachi's life, everything have turned out for the better." Ino smiled. "He doesn't go out with those cheap hussies and sluts anymore. He used to go clubbing every week, but after meeting you and looking after you, I guess he's pretty much a changed man. And you know what, Hina-chan?" Ino grinned.

"I remember I read this once in a romance novel, '..reformed rakes often makes the best husbands'. Don't you think its true?" she patted Hinata's head gently. "And you're what Itachi needs in his life. You hear me??"

Ino giggled, "I'm sure Itachi loves you, Hina-chan coz he has never love or fallen before. Not that I know of, but the only one he truly cared for is his brother." Ino snorted. "That ego-centric little punk, you know what? I used to go to the same school as his brother was and I can't believe how I used to have a silly crush on him. Well, who wouldn't?? He's such a hunk of a guy!" Ino paused briefly. "You don't have to tell Sasori-koi about this, alright? Though Sasori always looked cool and calm, but he's the 'freakingly' jealous type. I think its all in that gorgeous red-hair of his."

Ino put an arm around the still comatose young woman. "I hope you'll wake up soon, Hinata-chan coz I for sure don't want to see Itachi marrying someone else other than you. Please Hinata….please wake up for Itachi. Don't let him marry someone else…."

Ino kissed Hinata briefly at the side of her head and went out to proceed to change the flowers in the vase with the ones she brought and continued, "I guess Itachi will be a little late today, Hina-chan. He's gone off to see his family and his brother, Sasuke."

Unknown to Ino, Hinata's fingers twitched and her eye lashes fluttered…..


Hyuuga Manor:

"Hyuuga-sama, you have a guest," one of Hiashi's aide-de-camp announced.

"A guest?" Hiashi asked from his huge mahogany desk. "Who is it?"

"Please do not bother." Entered into Hiashi's private study was a rather tall young man with spiky red-flaming hair. "How are you Hiashi-sama? Its been quite some time since we last met."

"Hello to you too, Gaara. It has been a long time," Hiashi agreed. "To what honour do I receive your gracious presence into my humble household?"

"Aside from attending the Kage's Summit, I'd thought I'd drop by and visit Hinata." Gaara took a seat right in front of Hiashi. Dressed impeccably in a dark three-piece suit, Gaara exudes elegance for a young man. If only Hinata is not promised to Neji, he wouldn't hesitate to forge an alliance with Suna. But Hiashi despise Gaara's father as much as he hates the Uchihas.

"Its been a little more than two years since I last heard from her."

"She's.....rather...engaged with...things."

Gaara frowned.

"What is the matter, Gaara?"

"You hesitate."

"Is something wrong when I hesitate?" Hiashi looked impassive.

"You only hesitate when something is bothering you."

"How very...perceptive of....you, Gaara." Hiashi cursed inwardly.

"Is there a problem with me seeing Hinata." To Hiashi, that doesn't sound at all like a request. Hiashi knew well who and what Gaara has become, and was rather surprised that his gentle eldest daughter could even calm the monster sitting in front of him. He knew all about Gaara's past and family, but the thought that what Gaara has achieved despite his ugly childhood and past, he was surprised at the remarkable young man before him. But still....he felt uncomfortable.

Gaara lean forward, "Where is Hinata?" His aquamarine eyes glared sharply. "Did something happened to her?"

Suddenly, the door to Hiashi's private study was slammed opened. "Uncle!"

"What is the matter, Neji? Can't you see I ha...."

"Hanabi is missing."


Uchiha Family Residence:

Both Sasuke and Itachi lazed around in Sasuke's room, with cans of beer and bottles of sake strewn around the floor.

"I can't believe my elusive playboy big brother is going to get married. Here is to you, Aniki. May your happiness last," Sasuke raised a can of beer, toasting his older brother on his good fortune.

"I am still human, Otouto," Itachi raised an eyebrow, wallowing up a cup of sake. "And getting married is part of life. You'll understand that when your time comes."

Sasuke laughed cynically, lighting his cigarette. "You think I'll ever settle down?? What makes you think the bride will be my own choice, Aniki? Since you've accepted the Hyuuga proposal, that means I'm not wanted anymore." Placing his right elbow over his right knee, Sasuke frowned darkly, flicking his lighted cigarette. "Perhaps when you're back, Otou-sama would stop nagging at me." He turned to his older sibling, "Want a smoke?"

"No thank you," Itachi declined. "Apparently she doesn't like the smell of cigarettes."

Sasuke grinned. "So was mine."

"You mean…"

"Yeah," Sasuke killed the fire in his cigarette, rubbing it into the ashtray. "I know you know about the pictures in my drawer, Nii-san. Its just…."

"You don't have to tell me if you don't want to. Maybe next time, when you're ready to talk about it, you can come to me."

"Now you sound like a fuckin' therapist."

"Lets just say, 'experience' certainly account for that, Otouto-chan."

Sasuke frowned darkly at his brother. "How many fucking times do I have to tell you not to call me that, Aniki?"

Itachi laughed and ruffled his brother's hair.

"Get your dirty hands off my hair, Aniki!" Sasuke flail about with his hands, trying to get Itachi to stop messing with his hair.

After a while, Sasuke looked at his brother. "What is she like?"

"Hn?"

"What is she…my sister in-law like?"

"Beautiful."

Sasuke rolled his eyes upwards. "Of course I know that. She has to be beautiful in order to get your attention. Did you have fun with her? Or what attracts her to you?"

"Why the questions?"

"Nii-san, its pretty fucking obvious that everyone goddamn person on this planet knows how you play with women like how you play the stock markets, but getting married?? That's pretty farfetched, don't you think? Coz I can't seem to grasp the fact that you're getting married. Its just plain weird."

Itachi chuckled, taking another swig at his sake. "Do you believe love at first sight?"

Sasuke froze. He just stared at his older brother. Raising an eyebrow, "You. Fall. In. Love. At. First. Sight?"

Itachi smirked. "Do you have a problem with that, Otouto?"

Sasuke peered closer to his brother. Frowning slightly, Sasuke made a grab at Itachi and started shaking him hard. "Who the fuck are you!! What the hell did you do to my brother!!"

Itachi blinked. Then he laughed out loud. "Calm down Sasuke! You're being delusional."

"If I am delusional, you're no fucking brother of mine! Now. Who the fuck are you?" Sasuke took out his dagger.

"I'm still Itachi, Sasuke," Itachi looked at him, activating his Mangekyou.

"Oh," Sasuke murmured. "Gomen, Nii-san," Sasuke kept the dagger back. "Its just…that..you…that….Its just not you okay!!" Sasuke yelled. "You. The most dangerous assassin in the Uchiha Clan and the only one who has the Mangekyou, have slain thousands for power, fucking around with women all across the world without a care to them and now you're fucking telling me, you fell in love at first sight?? You? Uchiha 'the Weasel' Itachi??"

Sasuke grabbed another stick of cigarette, lighted it and smoke. His dark gaze laid upon his handsome older brother.

Itachi just stared at his brother. Half expected what Sasuke might think. "Well, I know its hard to believe, but its real." He smirked.

"I can't believe this," Sasuke shook his head. A small smile appeared on his handsome rugged face. "My aniki has finally succumb to the things which are near impossible to achieve in the Uchiha Clan." He looked at his older brother again. "You know, we Uchihas are never allow to fall in love? We're cursed to live our lives without ever to love, and if we do find love, it will be taken away from us. Now, pray tell me Aniki, the curse of the Uchiha Clan has never been broken. How are you ever going to rescind the curse on our family?"

Itachi looked solemn when Sasuke reminded him of the Curse that plagued the Uchiha Clan for ages. Only Kami knows how long it was that happened a long time ago. Some said it was the Hyuugas who cursed the Uchihas. While other stories includes one where their Uchiha ancestor who sold his sold to the Devil in order to have immortal life at the expense of the Uchiha Clan, and others include one particular tragedy involving a forbidden love story of a Hyuuga girl and a Uchiha boy with a sad twisted ending. Their names have been long forgotten as time passes on, leaving only a fragment of memory.

Whichever one it was, the Uchiha Clan has never felt true happiness in their marriages. Their affection in public were merely pure decorum, for the sake of keeping face and their image.

"There is no such thing as a curse, Sasuke."

"Oh really?"

"Whatever fucking nonsense you've been listening to are all just fairytales, Sasuke. Bedtime stories. So, just grow the fucking up or else you're just screwed as they are."

"But you can't deny that nobody in this fucking clan is ever happy, huh? Don't tell me you've forgotten all about Obito-niisan?"

Itachi knew better than to argue. He has seen for himself, many of his clansmen suffer. Like his cousin, Obito. Shaking his head, Itachi did not want to remember the sad past. "It was by his own choice to choose that path, Sasuke."

"All because of Rin," Sasuke replied grimly. "The only woman he ever loved."

"It was not her fault. And don't go blaming others when you don't know the real story."

"How can it be not her fault, Nii-san!" Sasuke demanded. "And what about the real fucking story? She left Obito-niisan to fuck with another man! She's just a gold-digging whore, Aniki!"

If only you knew the truth, Sasuke…. Itachi thought to himself, remembering the ugly history between his cousin and the woman he loved, Yuuhi Rin.

"And only Kami knows what is she doing now," Sasuke spat spitefully. "What a fucking whore."

"Shut up!" Itachi's eyes had the Sharingan blazing around, swirling furiously. "You don't know a fucking thing, so just shut the fuck up Sasuke!"

Sasuke glared at his brother. "So, you're defending the whore who broke Obito-niisan's heart which lead him to his suicide??"

"She did not run away."

Dead silence filled the air.

"What?" Sasuke got up and walked towards his window. "What are you fucking telling me, Nii-san?"

Itachi sighed. He might as well, since his promise to Rin did not involve Sasuke.

"Rin was ill at that time. Very ill."

Sasuke looked out of the window. He had a faint idea where this is all going to.

"She had leukemia, Sasuke."

It all came crashing down to him.

"Rin didn't want Obito to suffer as how much she suffered. She wanted him to move on, and the only way she could do that was to let him go. Make him hate her, but unfortunately, she never knew it would happen this way. That Obito would rather give his life than live without her." Itachi looked at his kid brother. He knew the look on Sasuke's face. Pain and guilt. It was the same look he had when he knew the truth.

"How did you know?" Sasuke asked.

"I went and followed her, all the way to the hospital. That was when I uncover the truth. She made me promise not to tell Obito the truth because she can't see him in pain. It'll hurt her more than anything after what she's been going through."

Sasuke had tears streaking down his cheeks. "Don't you think it was the curse, Nii-san?"

"I don't know Sasuke, but I know that even if Obito knew about the truth, he still won't be able to live without Rin."

"What do you think happen to her?" Sasuke asked.

"Who?"

"My hime."

"I don't know Sasuke. I really don't."

"It was my fault, Nii-san," Sasuke admitted, leaning by his window-sill. "I shouldn't have done what I did. And its all my fucking fault!! Damnit!" Sasuke slammed his hardened fist to the wall next to him. Strips of blood flowed down from the slightly cracked wall. "Up until now, I can't find her, my hime, my life, Aniki. I even had my men stationed around where her family stays and to keep an eye on things, but her fucking fag of a cousin always put a lid on things."

"Her cousin?"

"Yeah," Sasuke nodded his head. "He's bloody over-protective of her, not just because they're cousins, but also betrothed. And there's no fucking way I'm going to let him have her! She's mine!!" Sasuke growled and then his gaze softened. "She's the only one for me, Nii-san. I loved her since I was five and….and…when you….went away, she was all I had," Sasuke's eyes gazed far and away until he looked at his brother. "If I find her, I'll take her away with me by force if necessary."

"You really do love her, don't you?"

"This heart," Sasuke grasped his chest with his bloodied hand. "….beats only for her, Nii-san."

Itachi looked at his brother. His expression softened, "Sasuke, I can promise you one thing. I will do whatever I can in my power so that you will marry the one you choose. You're my brother…." Putting his hand on Sasuke's shoulder. "….this I promise you."

Sasuke looked up at his brother. Both eyes had their sharingan swirling in recognition of each other. Sasuke smiled briefly at his older brother's promise.

"You will not break your promise, Nii-san?"

"I swear on it," Itachi gripped his brother's shoulder knowingly. "I won't abandon you like before because I'm your brother. And brothers always stick together."

Sasuke choked on his tears, happy to have his big brother back in his life again.

"Now Sasuke," Itachi gripped his brother into his arms. "I think you need a bath. You stink like a fucking skunk in a mud."

"As if you don't stink Aniki."

"Well, I don't want you to stink me with your stench when I'm bringing your future sister in-law."

"Oh?" Sasuke raised an eyebrow as he gulped down another swing of beer. "Tell me about her."

Itachi's masculine expression softened further as he thought of his beloved, until…

A familiar tune of Spring by Vivaldi filled the air.

"Sorry, its mine," Itachi said as he flicked his mobile to answer a call. Eyes widened, he looked at his brother and then shut his mobile. "Sorry Otouto. Something urgent came up, I'll see you around next week." He then flicked his kid brother's forehead like he used to before rushing out of the room.

Sasuke looked surprised. He has never seen his brother like this, and it was pretty much unsettling for him to handle. Looking at how his brother rushed off in hurried emergency got Sasuke's thinking.

The only woman who is able to tame the Wild Weasel? Sasuke chuckled at his prospective sister in-law whom he has yet to meet. "I wonder what is she like?" Sasuke asked himself as he took another swig of his beer. "Hell, I can't wait to meet her…"

TBC


(1) Okonomi-yaki is Japanese pancake or sometimes known as Japanese pizza, depending on the area, over here, Juugo and Suigetsu are eating the 'pancake' version. Pretty good I'd say, and its making me hungry....


A/N: Sorry if my grammar went off tangent, coz I really needed to get this done and my kid brother needed to use the laptop for his assignments and I don't know why I am not happy with this chapter….

Initially I wanted to put Fugaku & Hinaya's childhood flashback in here, but decided not to, but I'm going to use it in other chapters in this story!

And I know most of you are pretty excited that Gaara showed up, huh?? Well, he's going to be in here only briefly, like a guest-star….

Thank you for reading!