Disclaimer: not mine

Warnings: male/male pairing(in the future), unbeta-ed version

Sasuke: 7

Naruto: 17

Itachi: 13

Minato: 25

Kakashi: 18

Iruka: 17

Chapter 16

During breakfast Itachi watched his clan-member to be more intensely than ever before. He was glad to notice that although the blond's eyes were still shadowed with past pains, the sorrow-induced madness had left them. At least he wouldn't have to fear being murdered in his sleep now.

Sasuke was still wary of his food, but it had become routine for either Itachi or Naruto to taste the little boy's food. If that were the entirety of trauma Sasuke would keep from that nightmarish day his family betrayed him, they would be lucky.

"Naruto-kun, I would like to discuss your future options with you." Itachi began politely. "As you well know Hokage-sama cannot let you leave Konoha in good conscience, since you remain a largely unknown factor and know altogether too much about Konoha and its people and politics to risk that our enemies get their hands on that information, with or without your consent.

Even if you were willing to join the shinobi ranks, which you aren't, Hokage-sama would not be able to trust you, because of your ill feelings regarding Konoha and nearly all of its population."

Itachi paused, letting both Naruto and Sasuke absorb what he had said. Though he could have discussed this without Sasuke present, Itachi preferred to let Sasuke know exactly what was going on and why. Ignorance could be deadly.

As Naruto nodded his head in agreement of Itachi's analysis, the teen continued: "I don't know if you are aware of it, but your ancestry alone is a political powder-keg that could plunge Konoha into a civil war, not to speak of exactly how you appeared here and where you are from.

This would be less of a problem if it weren't for your likeness to your father. The council would not even need any proof to ship you off for a proper interrogation, they could simply accuse you of being a spy.

Fact is, as a clan-less civilian you would have no protection from the council and its politics at all, law would be on their side." Again, Itachi stopped, taking the time to read Naruto's face for clues as to how the older boy was taking the news. The blond was frowning and his blue eyes were shining with barely repressed anger at the mentioned council and its dirty tricks.

Itachi took his gaze off Naruto and locked eyes with his little brother. Sasuke's dark eyes were flashing with fury on Naruto's behalf and Itachi was relieved that he had already thought of a solution that would offer Naruto all the protection he would need. There was no telling how Sasuke would react should something happen to his saviour.

"However if you were a civilian member of a clan, the council would have no right to even look at you. Civilian clan members are subject only to their clan, if the Hokage or council wished to question you they would need the formal permission of your clan-head.

This is why, as of last night, you are registered as a member of the Uchiha-clan, Naruto-kun. You will live here with us and the only task I will require of you would be taking care of Sasuke."

Stunned silence met his proclamation. Then Sasuke's face broke out in a blinding smile. "That means Naru-chan will be staying with us forever and ever. Thank you, Nii-san!" As fast as the younger Uchiha could, he clambered down from his chair and ran around the table to throw himself at Itachi.

Itachi patted his little brother's head, both glad and saddened at Sasuke's immense joy, but didn't take his eyes off of their houseguest and newest clan member. Naruto's body was frozen in shock, but buried deep in his wide blue eyes was an age-old yearning that Itachi couldn't explain.

When Naruto lowered his head so that he could hide his eyes behind blond bangs, Itachi decided to prod the older boy for a reaction: "Naruto-kun?"

"You want me to be part of your clan?" Naruto whispered with a course voice full of some kind of tightly repressed emotion.

"Yes, we do."

"You want me to live here in this house, with you, and all I have to do is look after and care for Sasuke?" halfway through his question, the whisper turned into a choke.

Itachi was curious about the blond's strong reaction, but decided to respond to the unvoiced and desperate emotion in Naruto's words.

"Indeed." He replied calmly.

Taking a choked breath, Naruto continued: "You were not ordered or paid to do so?"

"Not even the Hokage has the power or right to order a clan to take someone into their family. Family and clan are sacrosanct, at least to Sasuke and me. I would not offer to make you part of our family if I didn't want you to be part of it."

Sensing that something was wrong with his saviour, Sasuke quickly left his brother's side and walked up to Naruto. He took the blond's hands and cradled them between his significantly smaller ones.

"Don't you want to stay here with us, Naru-chan?" he asked worriedly, nervously biting his lower lip when Naruto only shook his head in denial.

"Then why are you so sad?" Sasuke broached the subject again. "Uchiha Naruto doesn't sound funny at all, I think it sounds brilliant."

Finally Naruto raised his head to smile at the young boy who looked beseechingly into his eyes.

"You are right, it does sound brilliant, Sasuke." Bowing his head at Itachi, Naruto said formally: "I thankfully accept your offer, Itachi-san. I promise that I will die before letting anything happen to your brother and heir."




Kakashi whistled as he walked up to the large house and knocked merrily on the door. For the next two weeks at least he would play the role of guard to the mysterious blond boy who had called him "Kakashi-sensei" and embraced him like he was the only thing keeping him rooted in life.

It was as flattering as it was confusing, since it implied the he of the other dimension had done something to earn the utter trust Naruto had shown to have in Kakashi. He had to admit, he was kind of curious about his charge.

The door was opened by Itachi's small clone, who, after one look at Kakashi, scowled and slammed the door shut again. Sometimes it was a burden to be as popular as him. Grinning behind his mask, Kakashi knocked a second time.

This time he heard a small scuffle take place, before the door opened again, revealing Kakashi's charge. A charge that was clad in a dark gray yukata adorned with the traditional Uchiha fan on his left shoulder.

"I see that Itachi-kun has already told you the good news, Naruto." Kakashi greeted blithely, waving with his right hand.

Naruto sent a foxy grin at the grayhead, and then shut the door in Kakashi's face again.

"You were right Sasuke, there was nothing at the door." Kakashi could hear through the door. "Let's go back to the living room and continue your lessons."

Opening the door himself, Kakashi entered the house, calling after Sasuke and Naruto's back: "Now that wasn't polite at all. Is that any way to treat your guard?"

"If he is a liar and a pervert, then yes." Naruto replied in a merry voice, then stooped down to Sasuke and told him: "Now remember, never invite a pervert into your home."

Kakashi's protests ignoring the group of three reached the main living room, where Sasuke went back to the books, Naruto observing and helping when needed and Kakashi leant sullenly at the door.

After the third glare sent his way by furious azure eyes, Kakashi broke the silence: "Why are you so angry at me anyway?"

The blond raised an eyebrow in obvious disbelief, then snorted: "Don't think I've forgotten how you pretended to be my teacher yesterday, Kakashi. I may have been to out of it to realize it at the time, but there's nothing wrong with my memory."

"Don't be like that, it was my job to collect more information about you. And you did afford me with a golden opportunity to do so." Kakashi protested cheerfully, enjoying this little spat with his teacher's son.

Sensing a familiar presence in the hallway, Kakashi sauntered over to Naruto, lowered his head so his mouth was right next to the blond's right ear and offered huskily: "Let's deepen our relationship here, too."

Naruto had stiffened at the unbidden violation of his personal space and nearly choked at the insinuation in Kakashi's voice.

Before he could voice his protest or ask what the hell the older boy was playing at, Itachi entered the room.

Pinning Kakashi with a cold glare, he informed Naruto, that the Hokage was awaiting his presence.


AN: I really dislike transitory chapters, it's three times more difficult to write them than normal chapters.