Morning. This is my first attempt at a SasuNaru, but it's going well so far. I hope you like it.


It was the same dream as he always had, when he wasn't dreaming of the day, three weeks away, when he entered the academy as a student of Konoha, one step closer to being a proper shinobi. It was the only dream he had had in his short life that had sent Uchiha Sasuke running from his bed into his mother's arms on a regular basis, where he begged his mother to 'make it go away'.

The dream was innocuous enough to begin with, as Sasuke padded around a forest barefoot, stepping into and out of patches of warm sunlight. After a while of walking, he began to notice that a small, black snake had slithered up beside him, it's cold, smooth scales brushing gently against his foot. Sasuke pushed it away with his foot gently, and the snake rolled over twice, each time exposing its pale, defenceless belly. Once it had righted itself, the snake raised itself up and hissed at Sasuke, baring teeth he hadn't known it possessed. He started walking slightly faster, aware that the snake was following him closely. He could feel it's presence over his shoulder, brooding behind him. Without thinking, he turned back to see the snake, and had to stop himself from crying out, because Uchiha's didn't do that, as he saw that the snake had grown to the size of Sasuke himself. He began to scramble away from the snake, but as he turned to run, the snake once again got larger, blotting out the sun above him.

Sasuke let out a gasp, and tumbled backwards over an upraised root, and slammed backwards into the suddenly cold forest floor. The snake reared up above him, forked tongue darting between its scaly lips. It hissed briefly, and plunged towards him.

Sasuke awoke with a start and a yell, launching himself from his bed, and straight into something remotely warm and solid. He kept his eyes closed for a moment longer, before he opened them, and found himself looking up into the face of his brother, which was crumpled and twisted by the scowl he usually wore at this time in the morning. His face relaxed a bit, and he reached down to ruffle Sasuke's hair.

"Bad dream again?" Itachi asked, trying to stave off a yawn.

Sasuke nodded, trying not to let his stoic big brother see that his eyes were glistening with tears.

"Want me to stay with you?" he asked, his voice softening slightly. Sasuke clung tighter to Itachi, his fingers turning white with the intensity of his grip, and nodded. Itachi picked him up, and carried him over to the bed, where he lay him down, and pulled the sheets back over him.

Every time Sasuke tried to close his eyes, he could still see the cavernous mouth of the snake, reaching down towards him to end his life. He lay there for a long time, eyes staying resolutely open, before his brother pushed him over slightly in the futon and lay in beside him. Sasuke's wide black eyes, lined red and bloodshot with tiredness and tears, looked up at his brother, who was smiling gently, something he didn't do very often, but when he did, it was either sadistic and scary, or warm. This one was warm, like puppies in hot springs.

"Don't worry," Itachi told him, as he settled himself on the floor beside Sasuke's futon. "I'll tell you a story about a snake and a fox. It's good." Itachi smiled again.

Sasuke nodded slightly reluctantly, settling down further into his bed.

Once upon a time, there were ten demon lords, each with immense power and unlimited amounts of chakra. They each had a different number of tails, from the one-tailed tanuki to the nine-tailed kitsune. There was one different demon, however. The ten-headed snake demon, the most malicious and gratuitously violent demon of them all, liked to prey on humans and weaker animals, especially the young ones.

The demon lords all tried to live in harmony, occasionally battling and testing their strength against one another.

The beautiful fox demon Kyuubi, mated to a lesser fox demon with three tails, was considered the Queen of the demons, as she had the greatest chakra of them all. The demon snake always challenged her position, taking advantage of its influence over the lesser creatures.

The demon lords had lived in relative harmony for a number of years, and during that time, Kyuubi and her mate had raised a number of kits. They were happy, with only the occasional outbreak of violence between the demons.

Until, that is, the ten-headed demon took it upon himself to rid the world of Kyuubi's children. The demon bit them once each, all ten of her children, injecting his deadly poison into their bodies. Kyuubi was left to watch them, along with her poor, beaten mate, die, writhing in pain as the demon's ice-like poison swim slowly through their vains.

Kyuubi mourned her loss for ten days and nights, before she gathered the other demons with her, and waged war against the demon snake. The battle raged for seventeen days, until the lesser demons supporting the snake demon fled, and he was left alone, against nine other demons. They each took one of the demon's heads and ripped it from its body.

The body writhed momentarily, one head still intact, as blood began to flow into the trampled earth. Kyuubi's strong jaws closed around the final head in a moment, crushing it like an egg.

The killing of the snake demon was the last time the demon lords banded together, as they went their separate ways after that, heading to all directions of the compass, trying to live in peace. But that could never be so.

Humans saw the demons as a threat, and began to battle them, sealing them away within human hosts, one by one. The fox demon would not come out of hiding easily, so the humans forced her from her hiding place by killing one of her children.

The demon levelled four villages with a wave of one of her tails, and turned on the village of Konoha, where the body of her child was being kept. She stormed towards the village, only to be stopped by an arrogant, yellow-furred man, riding atop a giant frog.

"Turn back," the frog said to her, his face serious and grim. "They mean to seal you, to make you a subordinate like they have made me."

The fox demon's snarling grew louder. "The murdered my child. I cannot let them live."

Crouching further down, the frog pulled a katana from where it was slung on his back, and raised it to the fox.

"Then come at me like you mean to kill me."

The demon grinned, a feral smile that exposed all of her teeth, before she crouched down, hot red chakra rolling from her in waves. "Get ready for it, frog-man."

She leapt forwards to attack, claws bared, the trees beneath her withering and burning away from her immense chakra. Mid leap, the great fox Kyuubi, queen of demons, turned completely black, and swirled down into a single speck of ink.

The great demon Kyuubi was reduced to nothing but a seal on the stomach of a baby, pacing around behind the bars of the mental cage the fourth Hokage had created at the cost of his life. She roared a few times, barked and snarled, but knew it was futile. She would wait until the child could talk, and then call her here, so as they could have a chat.

Itachi finished his story of the battle between the fox and the snake, and looked back down to the futon, where his brother was sleeping soundly, the fear that had previously been marring his pale face. He smiled down at him, smoothed the errant locks of his younger brother's hair, and left the room, sliding the shoji shut quietly.

See you next time.