Chidori - Sequel to Secrets
Inspiration: Sweet Lullaby by Deep Forest (More specially the first four lines, which can be found here: www (dot) tinyurl (dot) com (backslash) 25g7gs or at the official website deepforestmusic (dot) com. A sample of the used lyrics can also be found, and reading them might allow a better insight into the story.)
Disclaimer: I do not own or claim to own any of the characters mentioned below.
Edited: August 10, 2007


Sasuke managed to stumble back to his brother's side before collapsing onto the ground, barely stopping himself from hitting it face first. Sweaty, worn out, and grateful for a moment to rest, he pressed his cheek against the cool grass and thought about taking a quick nap.

Itachi glanced at him out of the corner of one eye, looking faintly amused. "Couldn't keep up?"

"I tried," Sasuke retorted immediately, laboriously pushing himself into a sitting position and trying to hide the amount of effort it took. Turning around, he leaned against Itachi and sighed. "It's not easy, though. They just wouldn't stop."

"I don't think they plan to any time soon," Itachi agreed, resting a hand on his younger brother's head.

Encouraged by this action, Sasuke allowed himself to relax and watched the duo across the field.

Darting forward in a flurry of white and gold, her dress and hair streaming out behind her, Usagi snatched her little brother up and spun around as fast as she could, both of them shrieking with laughter. Fighting to get free, Naruto soon turned to tickling, escaping from her grasp and stumbling away, his speed hampered by his inability to draw a proper breath.

A nearby flock of birds eyed them curiously before going back to the all important business of pecking for worms.

"Shameful," Sasuke heard behind him and turned his head to see a group of older villagers glaring at the Uzumaki siblings. Some of the faces he recognized as the mothers and fathers of his classmates, but when he waved none of them glanced his way.

"He shouldn't be allowed to get this excited," another person continued. "It's just dangerous. If his sister isn't going to take proper care of him…"

Their voices trailed off as they walked away and Sasuke was left looking at his brother in confusion. "Itachi, what are they talking about? Why wouldn't Usagi take good care of Naruto?"

Itachi was nearly always unreadable, but as he gazed back his face took on the complete blankness of a shinboi, all of his thoughts hidden behind unblinking eyes. For a long moment, the joyous sounds of the siblings seemed to be the only noise in the entire village.

"Usagi has a lot of responsibility," he responded at length. "She's not allowed to just be Naruto's sister; she also has to take the place of their mother and father. Some people think the stress might be too much for her to handle and she might harm him somehow."

"She'd never do that!" Sasuke argued.

"No she wouldn't, but that doesn't keep the issue from coming up."

Sasuke frowned. "Their parents… They've been dead for a long time, right?"

"Since about the time you were born," Itachi clarified.

Sasuke pulled his legs up and hugged his knees. "So Naruto never knew his mom and dad?"

"No."

It was beyond Sasuke's abilities to picture life without his mother's smile or his father's reliable presence, but not only had his friend grown up without both of those, he didn't even have memories to comfort him. He had always known this, of course, in the back of his mind, but it was an easy thing to forget; watching them now, as they startled the birds into flight and were obscured by a storm of feathers, it was nearly impossible to imagine the siblings as anything but completely happy.

"We're really lucky to have our parents, aren't we?"

"Yes," Itachi replied, and his hand tightened a little on Sasuke's head. "We are."


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