Author's note: Warnings; Possible out-of-characterness. Incest. It doesn't follow anywhere along the Naruto story line as it progresses. Other twisted little things, I couldn't possibly list all that, it would ruin the story.
I don't own Naruto.
It's a sin with a name -
Like a hand in a flame -
And our senses proclaim-
It's a dangerous game.
It's a crime and a shame-
but it's true all the same-
It's a dangerous game.
It's a sin with a name -
No remorse and no shame -
Fire, fury and flame -
Cause the devil's to blame-
And the angels proclaim-
It's a dangerous game.
-Let the Games Begin-
Little feet padded along the smooth wooden floors of the Head Uchiha household, wandering as if they had nothing better to do, the mind and soul controlling them just the same, lost in life. A young creature with no specific action to be busied with but walking about, and enjoying the sweet taste of a special treat that had been given to him, and only him.
Auntie; She always spoiled, and indulged young Sasuke. She had once done so for Itachi, though he was no longer seen as being so child-like, so everybody must have figured these little gestures and sugary delights no longer had any meaning or worth to him.
Obsidian eyes glanced up, feeling that they had detected a presence by means of a darker shadow in the well-lit hallways, but the young boy only shivered as he saw nothing, and nobody and he returned to his task of getting himself a plate to eat over before he got himself in unnecessary trouble. He would have worse things to worry about than hall-dwelling phantoms if his mother caught him walking around the house nibbling on sticky-sweets. He did wish, however, that he could find her, because really he wanted a cup of tea with tiny bits of fruit cut up and added special. He let his dango sit waiting on the table for him to return as he padded quickly out another door, off to search the most common places to find Mikoto in the house.
He must have done something to acquire a bout of bad luck, however, because as hard as he searched he could not seem to locate his mother. He returned to his food feeling defeated, but things only got worse. His luck really had turned sour; Pouting most pitifully he peered down at the plate where he had left his Auntie's gifts, and laying there was the half-eaten stick of Dango, holding only one last dumpling, and the one he had extra, untouched, had gone missing, as if it had vanished into thin air. Slowly those wide, innocent eyes trailed up to stare at the other person now present in the room.
Sasuke didn't want to make accusations, especially not against his most admired, and adored elder brother, but the way Itachi was standing, making his tea as if he hadn't noticed Sasuke's presence, it made him terribly suspicious. Sasuke bit his lip, unsure of what to do about his missing item, but he thought for now that patience was his best option. He sat in front of the table, eyes like sorrowful little coal-black stones watching his silent sibling, waiting to be noticed, and waiting for Itachi to figure out something was wrong.
Eventually he came to the table with his tea, and a cup he had generously prepared for his brother. It meant that he had taken note of Sasuke waiting here for his attention. Sasuke thanked Itachi quietly for expending extra time, and effort to please his younger sibling, and it almost made him feel guilty for assuming Itachi was the Dango-thief. But, then again, perhaps it was meant that way. Maybe this was Itachi's apology- The elder brother often used little actions to apologize for things, because he detested verbal atonement, especially to those who were younger and below him. Still, Sasuke's eyes gazed at Itachi as he sipped at his tea, and though the elder pretended not to take notice, eventually he couldn't let the stare go unacknowledged.
"What is it, Sasuke..?" His voice was calm, and stern, though not very interested in what Sasuke had to say, obviously. It made Sasuke shrink back a bit, but the way Itachi's eyes fell on Sasuke's pale little face, and blinked patiently waiting forced Sasuke to answer.
"I had another stick of Dango on my plate... And now it isn't here. You didn't take it, did you, Nii-san?" Sasuke's voice was so tiny as he tried his best to merely sound as if he were asking his brother a question rather than blindly accusing him. His eyes were downcast, and his cheeks were flushed; It was strange how he was getting so nervous over something so simple.
"You remember my friend, Shisui, right Sasuke?" The elder brother never looked up from his tea, and his voice was still utterly calm and unreadable. Sasuke glanced up just a bit, curious, wondering if his brother was intentionally dodging the question, or if there was a point to what he was saying now. Regardless, Sasuke nodded to his question.
"He and I used to do this thing... I suppose you could call it a game. Whenever one of us wanted something from the other, be it an answer to a difficult or personal question, or a partner for training, the other would propose a challenge, and.. If that challenge could be completed, then one had to oblige the other, and do as instructed.. Sometimes one could suggest something different, but their offer could always be rejected, and they would still be stuck doing what was originally asked of them.. Eventually we developed other rules such as 'The same challenge or suggestion can never be made more than once.' and in order to keep it from being an everlasting game with no winner we decided that it should only go on for seven rounds. Whoever failed first or lost in the seventh round was the loser, and the other was the winner... We used this for all sorts of things. For disputes, to challenge one another, or just for amusement and conversation at times.." Itachi spoke slowly, and precisely, being sure not to make this explanation too complicated for his younger brother to grasp, and though it was relatively simple, Sasuke still seemed to be confused, though he tried to hide it as best he could. The elder saw right through him, and continued to explain further. "You asked if I took your Dango... And I say if you can go out back, and hit the target mounted outside in the center point with a kunai, then I will tell you whether I did or not... Otherwise... I have no answer for your question."
Itachi took a final sip of his tea, then gave Sasuke the most pleasant look possible for him. It was that 'tricky older brother' look that Sasuke always got when he was being lured into some sort of trap, though there was a playful edge about it. This was Itachi's idea of amusement, apparently, dangling information out in front of Sasuke, and holding it so high that it seemed the boy would never get to it. Sasuke sighed, and crossed his arms, pouting, though Itachi didn't relent. Rather, he laid his hand on top of Sasuke's head for a moment before going back about whatever business he surely had busying him. Sasuke only had one thing to do at this point, and he swallowed down his last dumpling, and drank his tea, feeling suddenly very determined to beat Itachi at this proposed game.
Perhaps this would be a bit fun, even if it wouldn't get Sasuke his snack back from the phantom Dango-thief. The chance to beat Itachi at something was almost as tempting in itself as a sugary treat.
Much later that evening; a few cuts, and a lot less light later, Sasuke found himself bounding down the hallways, filled with more zeal than he had been during the earlier portion of the day. He was searching now, not for his lost Dango, but for his brother. He scurried off toward Itachi's room, slowing down and halting right in front of the door, speaking excitedly and trying to get Itachi's attention just the same.
"Nii-san! Nii-san!" Sasuke grinned, his cheeks flushed in fervor and from the effort, and he balled his fingers up into fists, holding them against his chest as if to keep his heart from banging its way out. He bounced slightly on his toes, exhausted and filled with immense energy all at once; A feat only a child could manage. When finally Itachi slid the door open, and emerged from the privacy of his room, Sasuke grinned that much wider, innocent eyes beaming up at his older brother, passionate and spirited. "Nii-San- Can you come with me, please?"
Itachi agreed in his most expressionless manner, and followed after his younger brother at a regular pace, while Sasuke trailed along in front, wanting to run at full speed down the twisted hallways and open doorways. He seemed frustrated, and yet he was too gleeful to be put down by Itachi's lack of a hurried manner; Sasuke just glanced back every now and then to make sure Itachi was still trailing along behind him.
Once they made it out to the yard Sasuke halted, and pointed spouting off an enthusiastic "See!" as he drew his brother's attention to the target mounted on a stone wall with a kunai stuck in dead-center. Itachi nodded but crossed his arms, looking down at Sasuke with an accusing, but blithe sort of glare; So long as his lips were tugged into the slightest smile, it wasn't all that threatening. "You didn't cheat, did you?" Itachi's words were questioning, and at the same time he sounded as if he truly believed Sasuke hadn't put out a full effort to do this honestly. The younger of the duo shook his head furiously, his long strands of black hair waving from side to side as he did so, and instantly he let a pleading expression mask his previous vigor.
"No, No, I didn't cheat! ..I was out here all day doing just what you told me to do, and I hit that target, I promise I did." The younger brother's plea was unbelievably whiny, but he still had a pleasant disposition about this entire thing, even as it looked as though his hard work would be shrugged off by the elder brother.
Surprisingly Itachi looked back up at the target, and held that tiny smile on his face, staring for a moment as if he were trying to concentrate on some tough decision. Sasuke waited, not quite patiently, but wordlessly as his brother contemplated his answer, and at last Itachi just shrugged, and sighed out words of defeat. "Alright then.." Then he reached into his pocket, and pulled out a bamboo skewer; Evidence, all that was left of Sasuke's missing dango. He placed it into Sasuke's dainty little hands, and the child just stared at it in disbelief.
"I can't believe it, Nii-san... You really did take my dango." And the younger Uchiha's voice truly did sound as if he didn't believe what he was seeing. Itachi gave little reaction to it, merely he waited for Sasuke to fully react so that he could get back to whatever work he had to be doing right now that he was putting off. Rounded obsidian eyes glared up rather cutely at Itachi, and even the stoic Itachi probably had to admit in his head that Sasuke's indignant frustration was somewhat charming.
"I had assumed that you wished to share with me, rather than eating them both yourself.." The older Uchiha's words were gentle, and somewhat playful, even. He was utterly devious, though, knowing just how to work the situation so that Sasuke wouldn't stay angry with him too long. Sasuke just sighed, and let the aggravation slip away in defeat; If he denied his brother was right then he would seem selfish, and Sasuke wasn't really selfish at all. No, he usually preferred to give rather than receive, especially when it came to his older brother. Anything in exchange for Itachi's praise or happiness was fine and good with Sasuke.
Now, letting his tiredness catch up with him, and his sudden urge to seek out his brother's affections, Sasuke softly clung to Itachi, wrapping his arms around his much taller sibling's waste as he snuggled his face against Itachi's belly.
"Your right, Nii-san... That one should have been yours anyway." Sasuke's eyes fluttered closed, and he could have fallen asleep on his feet right there. Being close to his brother in this manner made him feel safe and relaxed, and since his entire body was begging to be rested, that also contributed. Luckily enough, before Sasuke had the chance to collapse Itachi scooped him up in his arms.
"Your so accepting of your losses, Sasuke.. That might come back to get you some day." Itachi's words were friendly, and brotherly all at once. It was almost as if he were giving true advice, but his tone seemed to say he wasn't really to be taken seriously in what he said. Sasuke just chuckled lowly as he let his head rest against his brother's shoulder. "Well, the Dango wasn't all that important... Besides, I don't mind sharing with Nii-san.. It just would have been nicer if Nii-san asked first.."
Itachi laughed softly in response as he carried his younger sibling inside. How silly- He was getting lectured right back. What was worse was he probably deserved it. He didn't think he needed to admit that so openly, lest Sasuke start thinking he knows everything.
By the time Itachi made it to Sasuke's room with the boy in tow he had fallen silent and was practically asleep. He really had worked hard out there today; there was no way Itachi would have believed this kid cheated, because he had used himself completely up. The elder brother laid Sasuke down on his bed, and tugged off his shirt, quickly replacing it with a clean one to be slept in. The younger boy was roused by this, and sat up as his elder slipped him out of his stained-up white shorts and replaced the soiled article with clean sleep pants that matched the top.
It was fairly amusing that this kid was old enough to hit a target with a deadly weapon, but not quite old enough to keep himself awake long enough to change his clothes, and get himself to his bed.
Sasuke yawned, rubbing his eyes with tiny fists sleepily, and he slithered under his covers as his brother pulled them up, and tucked him in, leaving him to enjoy a cozy night of rest. Sasuke cracked one coal-black eye open as he watched his brother pad off toward the door, and he muttered "G'night, Nii-san." very quietly, and almost unconsciously.
Itachi continued out the door, only offering a glance back at the tiny boy. It didn't matter, he was already asleep anyway. The elder slid the door shut, and said nothing.
TO BE CONTINUED.