Hey Readers! Extremely sorry at the long wait! Real life and school gave me hell, and took up a lot of my time. I should have the next chapter up around Valentine's Day. I looked at the earlier chapters and fixed up some. Nothing major, just little mistakes. Thanks for your reviews and reading my story. Plus I snagged a beta, thanks Claire:)

Naruto mentally counted how long it would take before he could hide away in his room under the pretense of sleep.

It wasn't that anything was going wrong. But there was a problem nonetheless. Things were going too good. Naruto was a little wary of how things were progressing. He was trying to be extra careful not to do something that would mess up the near prefect night.

'Now if only if he was with me, looking at me as if I was a important thing to him. I'm so close, but I can't touch him like I want and all I want to do is hold onto him and never let go. Okay, I'm sounding like such a wuss. Naruto! Pull yourself together. Sure it'd we great if Itachi liked you back in any way other than a friend, or like a younger brother. Your not gonna go and ruin everything for nothing. You could do something stupid, regret it and lose Itachi's friendship, or you can just leave things how they are'. Naruto was giving himself a mental lecture for the millionth time. 'What a bad idea this all was', Naruto's last thought was before he bent down thinking of something to do to get out of this mood.

After the power went out and he and Itachi learned that they wouldn't be going anywhere anytime soon, things became slightly weird for Naruto. Wintertime and snow all seem to cause romance and his for Itachi love to come to mind more than usual, and Naruto was having a hard time coping. So in the pretext of finding some emergency candles and extra blankets Naruto scurried away in search.

Itachi flipped out his phone and called up Sasuke. Told him that he was stuck in the snowstorm, holed up in a house and that he wouldn't know when he would be coming home. Sasuke informed Itachi that he was safe at home and that the back-up generator was working just fine. Naruto came back in the room, arms carrying blankets, flashlights, and candles. He put them on the table, and looked up at Itachi. Itachi mouthed the word 'Sasuke'. Naruto nodded then smiled and grabbed his winter gear and put them on quickly. Opening the door he went outside without a word. Itachi joined Naruto outside as soon as he hung up on Sasuke.

Naruto was dancing and twirling around the snow. Itachi didn't look as excited as Naruto was, but there was no denying that smile on his face.

"Naruto" Itachi said softly. Naruto looked up at him when he heard his name called.

"Yeah?" Naruto mumbled as he fell on the ground, moving his arms up and down furiously. Jumping back carefully away from his creation, he then inspected it carefully. Itachi stalked over to him and looked at the snow angel. Glancing over at Naruto's joyful smile he kicked at the angel's head. Naruto gave a gasp and promptly threw snowball, or rather a nasty iceball at Itachi. Naruto ran off a few feet, preparing for Itachi's retaliation. Itachi turned around slowly, as if not believing the audacity Naruto had to do a move like that. And before Naruto knew what happened, Itachi had him pinned down in the snow.

"Ack! It's cold" whined Naruto, his face stuffed inside of some wet, freezing snow. "Itaaacchieee" Naruto continued to whine and narrowly escaped his hold. Teeth began to chatter, and bodies started to shiver. '

"Baby" taunted Itachi.

"Hey I last longer than Sasuke. He doesn't like doing anything!"

With a snicker Itachi replied, "Why of course. He's a princess."

"Princess Sasuke" giggled Naruto.

"Remember how that began?"

"Yeah. He was always like a girl. Whining about the sunlight being too harsh and that he got sand in places" Naruto paused, thinking about the old days. "I can't believe you forced Sasuke in a girl's swimsuit! He cried because of it later. No wonder why he hates you so much".

"And you would too if I made you do things that I made Sasuke do".

"Yeah well Sasuke did look up to you too. I think he still does in ways. You might have done shitty things to him, but you did make sure no one messed with either of us. Those east side skullriders punks, they were really bastards… They hung Sasuke up on top of the park's flagpole. Almost started me on fire…"

I stopped remembering the smell of gasoline. Those guys were serious. It was really scary and I started crying 'cause I couldn't help Sasuke. I think I remember someone's voice yelling. Screaming, threatening. When I asked Itachi later who it was, he said there wasn't anyone else there. I still didn't believe it was me. The voice sounded really strange, raspy and dark. It wasn't mine, but I never knew whose voice it was.

Everything that day seemed to blur, and it all seemed kind of surreal. I never was as afraid as I was that day. "I thought I was gonna die, but then you showed up. Itachi you were always looking after the Sasuke and me." I must have said the last part out loud 'cause Itachi gave me this look. A unusual concerned and worried look.

"Of course I protect the both of you. You both are very precious to me. I'm not going to let anything hurt either of you. I mean that's my job" said Itachi. It startled me some; I wasn't use to Itachi making such declarations. He was always quiet and unwilling to admit things like that. Feeling reassured I smiled brightly at him.

"Ah yes, my knight covered in wet snow. Protector from other people's evils, in exchange performing some small, lesser evils on me for his entertainment later."

"Don't worry, you'll enjoy it." Itachi smirked.

"Who enjoys anything you do?"

"Now now. It's okay to admit you like to be whipped, tied up and forced to bark like a dog"


These banters were similar to the ones he had with Sasuke. Perversion must be genetic.

"And you like little them younger and related to you."

"Only if it's you. Then it's not true related. Brother-like isn't the same as blood brothers. Don't worry, blood or no blood I'm still here."

This flustered me up some; I knew he was just playing. He made similar comments to some other of his friends. 'He doesn't mean it'. Naruto said trying to calm his heart down.

"…" I didn't say anything, but grabbed a snowball and flung it at him. Apparently this started a war up and soon we both were tired out and breathing hard. I plopped down heavily on the snow. Itachi came over to me, kneeled down and whispered into my ear, "I win, and I always do".

Whenever Itachi was away from all the troubles and responsibilities he usually had he was great to be around. It was these times when Itachi smiled so happily.

"Sure, whatever you want to believe". He was still there leaning down, probably tired from our snowball fight. Even though he was tired, he was still smiling. 'I really love it when he smiles like that. He seems to be not there during the day. And now he's smiling like because of me'.

I couldn't hold back a smile myself, and reached up knocking some of the snow out of his hair. I always liked finding any reason I could to touch his hair, not only did he dislike when people touched and messed up his hair, it was silky. Dark, shiny and nice to touch, of course now it was wet and soggy, however it didn't matter. I still liked it anyway it was.

We both sat up and regained our breaths. Neither of us said and we just watched the sky. I was cold as hell, and even Itachi must be freezing at this point too, but no one made a move to go in. So I stayed sitting there, looking at the sky. Feeling at peace for the first time in long time, being with Itachi was the best. He made me feel safe, and at peace, like nothing else really mattered. 'I wonder he feels the same around me. I mean he appears to be less tense and less blank about everything. He usually took down his mask for me and Sasuke in the old days. I wonder if he likes being with me too.'

I snuck a look at Itachi. He was just looking at the sky all relaxed. Before I knew it I was leaning over towards him. His eyes meet mine and his shown confusion. His eyes were asking me what I was doing. Seeing that that questioning stare I realized what I was doing. I was really close to him now. Close enough to smell his scent. I didn't want to act weird and make him think about it later, so I just aligned my mouth to his ear and blew a raspberry. I tried to put on a huge grin at the way he pulled back and glared at me annoyed. He got up and headed inside saying to hurry up and it's cold.

I lingered in place for a awhile longer. Banishing the thoughts I had about his lips and how close I was to kissing him. I got up and went inside slowly. My mind was a mess, filled with thoughts of him that I just couldn't stop. I wanted to just go right to my room and go to bed, so I wouldn't have to think about it anymore or be by him. I didn't have the control I thought I did and I wasn't sure that next time I wouldn't be able to stop myself. One thing was clear. I didn't want to lose Itachi. 'Well, it could have been worse. I could have not stopped myself and had Itachi look at me with some kind of disgust.'

That's when I remembered that I'd be stuck with Itachi at least a day. Even if he could drive he wouldn't leave first thing in the morning. It would be rude. Also living further away from the city, the snow plows tended to come later than you would expect them too, sometimes days later. An urge to run in my room and hide away until Itachi left filled me. I wasn't sure how well I could handle being in the middle of nowhere, no distractions, alone with Itachi. Walking inside of my house I groaned. Things were great, but I couldn't help myself from feeling scared, that it would come to end all too soon because of something I'll do.