Dared Quote: "snakes on a plane"

Required Words: Knife, Handkerchief, Leghair.

Warnings: AU-ish. Mild swearing.

Pairings: Slight ItaKisa, Squintable SasuNaru.

(I actually don't like this title for it………………….but I didn't know how to change it... was written for a friend)


It was a dark and stormy night. All the lights in the Uchiha manor were blinked black. The faint stench of burnt popcorn hung in the stale air, and a huge television flickered images across its screen, sending eerie bursts of light flashing around the room.

Two lone figures sat at opposite ends of the cushy loveseat, and a third, very gracefully, fell in between them, earning a smile and a scowl from the surrounding occupants, respectively.

"Popcorn?" The third man asked in a smooth voice, and smiled satisfactorily as the blue shaded palm beside him reached for a few kernels at the same time another paler hand did. The two touched accidentally and the smaller hand jerked back suddenly.

"Do we really have to watch this?"

The youngest boy's murmur caused a chuckled to escape from his brother at his side, and Kisame fished his blue hand out of the popcorn bowl and munched on it hungrily, eyeing the restless younger boy on the other side of the cushions. "What's wrong, Baby Uchiha, scared?"

Sasuke narrowed his eyes as resounding laughter ripped from between those despicable sharp pointed teeth. The sound dripped with mockery.

The middle man stared straight ahead, smirking, with a casual comment directed at his guest, "Are you pestering my brother, Kisame?"

"No sir." The laughter stopped immediately, "Just having a little…fun."

"Oh, bite me."

"Sure about that, little boy?" The laughter started up again as Sasuke snuggled further into the pillow on his side of the couch.

"Sasuke, are you scared?" Itachi's sarcastic tone was enough to drive Sasuke insane. He quickly crossed his arms over his chest and sat up strait, forcing himself to look at the screen in front of him. A giant anaconda had just slithered out from under the cockpit's seat on an airplane, and proceeded to devour the pilot in one gulp.

Sasuke shuddered. Oh, how he hated snakes. He rubbed the old wound on the side of his neck subconsciously as the snake suddenly regurgitated the man's bloody corpse.

"Sick. What the hell is this movie called!" Sasuke covered his eyes and stomach with his hands, cringing.

"Language, Sasuke." Itachi said calmly, watching the screen with a lustful intensity.

"Snakes On A Plane."

"How damn original."


"If you want me to watch my language, then why the fu- er, crap are you showing me movies like this!"

"It builds character, now hush!"

"Well said, Kisame."

Sasuke huffed, "Screw you both!"

"We can't with you here." Kisame chuckled at Sasuke's immediate grimace, and laughed harder when his partner actually gave his leg a small slap. "Forgive me, Sir." He snorted between fits of laughter.

"Silence, both of you." Itachi's attention had never left the screen, blood red eyes focused passionately. "This is the best part." His hand hadn't left Kisame's thigh, and he petted the older shark's oddly pokey leg-hair.¹

Kisame moaned thoughtfully and snaked an arm around his younger master's shoulders, listening to Itachi sigh contentedly at the grotesque images on the TV screen.

Sasuke made a face at his brother's friend, ever since the eldest Uchiha had returned, it seemed like he was always in Itachi's presence. Not that Sasuke minded; he wasn't eager to spend any quality alone time with his older brother. He could hold a grudge, and he decided he would. Also, Kisame did treat them to free meals on very frequent occasions from the fish market he worked at, but fish really did get old. Sasuke blamed his brother for him not being able to have wonderful cooking skills too.

When Sasuke had finally found Itachi, he was half dead, and Kisame was probably the only reason he wasn't fully dead. He'd stayed by Itachi, making sure he'd had enough to drink to stay alive. They'd both abandoned the gang that they'd become a part of, and as Sasuke learned, that same gang left them high and dry on some frozen mountain to die…

He was grateful to the spiky haired man with abnormally blue skin, which was always icy to the touch. He sometimes wondered how his brother could stand the cold.

Fish face had kept Itachi alive long enough for Sasuke to find them, and painfully decide that he wouldn't kill him after all. He couldn't explain why. It was just. It felt lonely. Especially surrounded by all the cold.

Sasuke sunk down lower on the couch, reaching out for some more burnt popcorn, and wondering why his two older companions preferred it hard and crisp and disgusting tasting.

He swallowed the rocky kernels anyways and his thoughts suddenly switched. At one time he was so set on assassination. On chopping every bit of his brother's visible flesh into bite sized pieces. He wanted a snake bigger than Orochimaru – or bigger than the one currently wrestling with the habitants on the plane – to slither out of nowhere and gulp the sorry excuse for a man away from existence.

But… time had changed. Just as Kakashi-sensei had warned him it would. Even Naruto seemed to know that revenge wasn't what he was seeking most.

Naruto… Sasuke blushed at the blonde bimbo's name. Stupid ass knucklehead was supposed to be here, watching murderous snakes kill innocent bystanders, with him. Naruto was supposed to be distracting him, with his insane chatter, from the highly unanticipated gore fest.

He supposed it wasn't entirely his fault that the old perverted sage that his teammate trained with was having a birthday. But still, the idiot could've mentioned it sooner than two hours before the arranged time.

Stupid Naruto.

Sasuke cringed as another snake darted out from between a suitcase and strangled a shrieking woman with its fat scaly body.

Damn snakes.

Retarded Itachi for picking such a ridiculous movie. It seemed so unrealistic. Sasuke tried to scoff, but felt his stomach turn when blood splattered all over the jet's windows. More people were screaming.

He tilted his head so his thin black bangs swayed conveniently in front of his eyes.

"Best part." He heard his brother whisper excitedly into Kisame's ear at his side, and was suddenly feeling more uneasy. He debated with himself on whether or not to look at the 'good part' of the movie or just ignore it completely.

Uh… nope, should've ignored it.

It only took a moment for his brother and his friend to start giggling insanely. Sasuke sat forward, eyes dashing everywhere around the black room trying to avoid the screen.

Sasuke swallowed. I hate snakes… "Itachi, I need a drink" He almost whimpered before standing up suddenly, Kisame jumped up beside him and caught Sasuke's shoulder pulling him into a tight grip by his side. Against Sasuke's wishes, his eyes were forced to look at the television.

And he suddenly couldn't look away. His eyes kept focus on the illuminated box, drawn like moths to a flame. Dead bodies littering the aisles, seats, cockpit, and snakes slithering like footless devils across the red spotted carpet. Blood stained.

He heard a sickening chuckle from his brother behind him, and suddenly he panicked. Chaos from the television and crunches of snapping bones made his eyes widen. He remembered blood stained floors, and snakes, and sickening crunches from not too long ago. All of it real and something of his past that he wished he could forget. That he wished he could leave behind for forever.

Kisame dropped his shoulders and seemed to turn excitedly towards the couch cushions, a strong whiff of tuna catching Sasuke off guard and making his stomach turn. He stumbled forward a little, his feet trying to make the swirling ground stand still.

He could hear the blood pulsing through his ears, pounding in his head, and he knew he needed water, but he couldn't get his eyes to leave the television screen. The bright red blood and the fear in the people's eyes flickering in the dark room in front of him, and making him dizzy.

Everything after that seemed to grow so silent that the only thing he could make sense of was the thunderous thudding of his heart, thumping in his ears. Blood raced through his veins a million miles an hour, and soon his heartbeat was a deafening roar in his head. He felt like he was floating as he turned back to face the couch, and caught sight of his brother.

His elder's eyes; dark and excited, but as their eyes met, Itachi's were suddenly grounded in fear, matching those being eaten in the flickering light, and his mouth was open, screaming? No voice was coming out. He was a victim and the snake would get him… Sasuke panicked and felt himself falling forward, taken out by an invisible force, he saw his brother reaching for him, begging for the snake to leave him be. Sasuke reached out his own hand desperately and he heard a sickening crunch just before blackness swallowed him whole.

\o/ \o/\o/

"Sasuke. Sa-ke. Sas-skee, Sasuke?" Sasuke felt an annoying breath whispering in his ear, and tried to brush it away, only to find his hands being held down to his sides. "Are you okay?" He could feel some kind of restraints pinning his wrists.

The younger boy tried to sit up, only to be forcibly shoved back down by a something large, and cold, and fishy smelling. "Don't sit up yet, baby Uchiha, you're paler than a clam." Stupid fish references. Ugh, he recognized Kisame's voice hovering above his stomach and could make out the feel of rough damp flesh, cold on his arms. He couldn't stop the shiver that ran through him. The sudden ripping laughter burned Sasuke's head and he didn't struggle to get up anymore, choosing to lie back on the couch with a groan.

What the hell had happened?

As if to answer his own question a dark shadow cut off the glaring light that had been attacking the back of his eyelids. Sasuke peeked his eyes open carefully. "Hey, little brother, you okay? You fell pretty hard." He fell? When was this, and why did the side of his head feel like it had been bitten off by a shark?

"He'll live, Sir," Kisame's voice sounded amused by Sasuke's feet.

Sasuke tried to look down, only to find he couldn't move his neck. Panic rose in his chest for a split second. "Easy, your ear's bleeding, hold still." Itachi's calm voice eased his exploding heart, and finally recognized the feeling of two warm hands on either side of him, holding his head in one place, while something cold lapped at the side of his neck and sent shivers racing down his spine. "Silly little brother."

"W-what happened?" Sasuke cringed at the stutter in his voice. He couldn't help it; he could feel his entire body trembling.

Itachi's hand combed through his hair again, avoiding the left side of his head and the mysterious cold licking thing – that Sasuke could only hope was a wet rag – was being pressed to his temple, occasionally wiping at his earlobe. "Take some deep breaths before you puke." Itachi's command was blunt, but Sasuke obeyed, breathing deeply through his nose and mouth and trying to get himself to stop shaking. He felt his brother's legs shift beneath him, and the calmness in his quiet voice was loud in the silent room, "You passed out, and hit your head on the coffee table on your way down."

"Heh, you fell like a lump." Sasuke's eyes wandered again, trying to find the pale bluish man that he knew was there. He gave up after he realized he couldn't see anything past his waist from the angle his head was being propped.

Sasuke sighed, feeling too stunned to be embarrassed, and far too out of it to care. He turned his head more to the right, and wasn't held back this time as he moved to bury his face in his brother's pajama pants. He relished in the scent of something normal and familiar. "Do me a favor Sasuke, warn me not to let you watch anymore scary movies." He could feel Itachi's deep voice reverberating beneath his head, and sunk a little lower, "You scared the hell out of me."

So was that the reason he was being so nice, I scared all the evil out of him? Sasuke smirked a little at his thoughts, but unconsciously gripped the dark wine colored fabric that covered his brother's knee tighter in his palm.


Sasuke could feel the old familiar eyes of his brother gazing upon him. "What is it?" He asked, soft and gentle, but always serious. Sasuke let a smile tug at his lips. He felt like he was eight years old again. Nuzzling his brother's leg made him feel like a child, and he felt a silky hand tangling through his hair, again and again.

"I'm glad you're back…" He whispered and felt a little foolish when Itachi's firm laugh echoed above him.

Sasuke could hear the familiar bang of a heater click on from some distant corner, and realized he must be in his brother's bedroom. The smell of warm bread and stale fish was daunting. "Kisame, are you sure there's no concussion?" He could here the teasing tone in his sibling's voice, and the rumbling chorus of quiet laughter.

Sasuke scowled, but it was a weak attempt. Itachi was back. He regretted ever thinking some of the things that he'd thought of just a few short months ago. The truth made everything different. He'd almost made such a grave mistake, and he shuddered at the mere thought.

He felt Itachi squeeze his shoulder gently, reprimanding him for answers. "Tell me that story again, Itachi."

Sasuke's small request caused Itachi's eyes to roll, but his gaze was still gentle when it came back down, "Sasuke, you've heard it, and I told you, it was self-defense." He let a weasel-like grin appear on his thin lips. Both concerned and annoyed at the fragility in his younger brother's voice.

"But you had blood all over you, how can I believe…" Sasuke cut off with a yawn, his doubt tapering. He knew the question was automatic, no real thought directed.

Itachi sighed above him, and shifted again, leaning back on the dark leather sofa that they shared, "Half of it was my own," he began, and felt the raven haired teen shift slightly, curling up more comfortably. The blood from the small cut was drying, and Itachi let the cool wash cloth drape over his tender ear and half his forehead in a fold.

Kisame picked invisible lint from Itachi's maroon sweats as he spoke. "Our Mother tried unsuccessfully to prepare dinner when he staggered in from work. He was yelling something about detectives. She found out one way or another that he was drunk. I fled to my room. Mom tried to talk to him, but the knife² she was holding slipped when he shoved past her." Itachi let his finger's dance over Sasuke's cheek in a slicing motion, watching Sasuke's eyes flicker in tired consciousness.

"It cut his arm, and then he took it and came after me. Finding that weapon far more useful than the rounded Sake bottle he was holding. It all happened so fast. He cut me, mom had screamed, and I threw myself to his feet." Sasuke's hand fisted the material even tighter when Itachi's voice dropped into a monotonous state – Seemingly now on auto-pilot, as if the story had been told too many times over again – and it probably had. Like a bad horror flick. "By the time father had realized what he was doing, our blood was mixed on the floor."

"Father was drunk, and in trouble." Sasuke had to confirm quietly, just letting the idea sink in.

Itachi confirmed by rubbing Sasuke's shoulder softly and continued, "He was shocked at his actions, and I can only guess he regretted it, although he never said, and never will be able to say. Father was out of the house before I could say anything myself. I was too shocked, too hurt to move. Mother had gone after him, pleading him to come to his senses. I heard her screaming, frantic that he'd taken the car keys. I heard the engine start. I heard the car pull away. He blamed me for Shisui's death, because everyone else wanted him to. It was only logical. I couldn't tell father that it was what Shisui wanted.

"My friend, my idol, was hurting so much. It wasn't right to let him suffer any more. All I had to do, as a best friend, was stand back and watch. Watch him take his own life. I couldn't tell anyone how much it hurt me to see my best friend kill himself, right in front of me. He was dead, and they blamed me for his death. You'd think police would prove to have better detective skills than finding planted evidence. I couldn't deny anything, after all."

Sasuke jumped at the coldness that numbed his brother's smooth tenor voice. It almost sounded sorry and malicious to some extent. He'd never heard many details about this part, but didn't press. Apparently it hurt Itachi to even remember, so Sasuke let him continue in silence. Knowing Itachi had somehow blamed himself for the events – and knowing that he'd been brainwashed into believing that he'd actually murdered their older family member.

"It was ironic how our parents ended up in the same river he'd jumped into; How their blood was now also on my hands, both sensually, and quite literally. Somehow, I knew they'd crash, somehow the rain made that clear.

"I couldn't let them stay in that river. Not where Shisui was. They didn't die for the same reasons he had. I thought somehow it was my fault, I thought I could somehow change how I'd be judged if I went and tried to salvage their bodies.

"When you got home, when you found me, when you saw the blood and my eyes reflected the attacks that had happened in that room. I knew that you wouldn't believe me either. It was so much easier then, to run Sasuke. Although it wasn't smart, don't you think that it was a little smarter than death?" He paused to breathe out and felt Sasuke tap his leg weakly with his fist, not knowing the answer and just urging him on. He could tell from the stiff rigged pose that Sasuke was upset. He continued on emotionlessly, but could feel his throat tightening a little more at each word.

"Little brother, if I could have somehow spared their lives, maybe if I wasn't so weak at that moment. If I hadn't tried to prove something that couldn't be helped. Our family might still live on. Our clan could prosper again.

"With our parents dead, the leader of the clan in a permanent rest, it was perfect for any sneak attack. The Uchiha clan didn't stand a chance against the rouge ninja that attacked after that one tragedy, and our clan, we all fell apart. Except me and you, little brother. You were spared, and here you are, living through a nightmare and not even able to watch gore, without tripping over tables." Itachi chuckled then, even though it was wet. Sasuke blinked his eyes shut, feeling a swell of emotion escape, running through his dark lashes, and burning his cheeks like a raging fire on the way down.

He sniffled, and blinked up at Itachi who was silently wiping his eyes with a cloudy red handkerchief³.

Kisame was eerily silent through the entire tale, probably hearing it repeatedly throughout the eight years that the older Uchiha had been away. Probably seeing and maybe even feeling the guilt that had once coursed through the teen prodigy's very heart and soul. So long ago, but still so much fresh regret. Still unforgiven.

"Here, blow your nose." Sasuke gripped the cloth tissue as it fell on his head, but only dabbed at his cheeks, ignoring his brother despite himself. "How does your head feel?"

"It's okay," he mumbled, then lay back down flat, pressing his cheek into Itachi's thigh, "I'm tired, brother."

"Kisame, let's put this little boy to bed. Then we can have some fun." Itachi winked in his partner's direction, which Sasuke caught, and blanched.

"I'm not a little kid." He grumbled, as he felt Itachi stand carefully beneath him, gathering his exhausted body into strong arms. Sasuke fisted his hands into the material of his brother's shirt and yawned sleepily as he was bounced in the arms carrying him, not bothering to put up a fight or follow through with his argument.

Kisame's deep voice was right behind them as he felt Itachi moving him down the hallway. "How can you still carry him, he's nearly as tall as you?" He laughed, and Sasuke didn't really care to think about it. His dark eyes scanned the bare lavender walls around them as they walked, occasionally shifting to trace the white, and equally bare, ceiling.

Sasuke could barely detect the faint faded lines on the hallway's weathered paint where his mother's portraits of adored artwork once hung. She always had a particular eye for art, but it was too much of a memory to see the paintings that would never fade hang around when she could no longer admire them. Sasuke threw them off the walls years ago.

The floor creaked when Itachi passed under the threshold into Sasuke's room. The younger boy sighed in his brother's arms, and 'oofed' when Itachi dropped him back on his spongy mattress. "Get some rest, little brother. I'm right down the hall, just holler if you need anything."

Sasuke rolled over to bury his head into his pillow, the cool flannel giving him some relief. "Fine. Just make sure you don't holler too loud." His reply came in a grunt and he peeked up long enough to share his smirk with the duo. Itachi's expression was unreadable in the dark room, but Sasuke could almost picture it. Flustered and warning.

"Careful little brother." The older Uchiha gave an empty threat that was practically drowned out by the shark's haughty laughter.

Kisame clutched at his side, "Oh Sir, I knew I liked this kid, we'll keep him around. Feed him, water him, the works." Kisame slammed his palms against his own leg as Itachi just rolled his eyes, smiling crookedly. "Good night, Baby." Kisame offered as he padded out the doorway, hard laughter echoing down the hall.

Sasuke chuckled at the rigid silhouette of his brother standing at his bed side. "You're sounding more and more perverted everyday. It is that Kakashi who's your sensei, right?" Sasuke's weak laughter died and he scoffed.

"You only wish you had my innocence." He teased wittingly. At this Itachi laughed, low and deep and humble. Sasuke blinked wide eyes up at him, and felt his brother's hand ruffling through his feathered hair gently.

Itachi sighed, "Cocky brat." He mussed through the boy's raven locks and threw the sheets gingerly over the boy's head. Sasuke moaned disapprovingly, and reached out blindly for his family's hand, finding it easily and squeezing Itachi's long slender fingers. "I do wish I had your innocence, Sasuke. Maybe not in a perverted sense," he felt the design Sasuke was tracing in his palm stray off course, and he smirked, "but your innocence that you hone in your heart, and on your hands."

Sasuke stopped tracing his brother's life line and went to prod his knuckles instead, twisting the ring around his middle finger idly. Itachi laughed as the ticklish sensation that the movement left, "No one else's blood has bathed them." He continued softly, and Sasuke stopped moving altogether.

He squinted at the pale flesh that sat between his palms, and moved a little unsurely, before gaining more confidence. "Does this tickle, Itachi?" Sasuke asked coyly, but serious as always, running his fingers in feather light movements across his brother's five digits. He felt each one give a small twitch at the sensation.

Itachi swallowed calmly, "It tingles." He admitted.

Sasuke smiled and dropped the other's larger hand into the blankets where it fell. "Then it's not dead yet. It can still experience innocence." Sasuke spoke, lowering his head so his bangs fell in front of his dark eyes, shading them from the moon's blue light. Raindrops fell lightly against the window, and Itachi nearly had to strain to hear his brother's whisper of, "It can still change."

It's never too late to change.

It was a dark and stormy night. Thundering when Naruto had told those words to Sasuke, and pattering when Sasuke repeated them to Itachi. The two boy's sat on the bed, unblinking until they heard the shower water stop from down the hall. Smiling at each other in the darkness as Itachi stood and crossed the floor to exit. It took hell and back – a lot of blood, sweat, and pain – and a few snakes to get them where they were today.

Two brothers, under one roof, both…

"Sir, I can't find a towel!"

… hosting a fish…

"Better hurry, big brother."

Itachi's face flamed, "I'll be back for you, little brother." The glare that was supposed to be menacing died in thin air when Kisame's wet footsteps splashed loudly against the grainy floor, and Itachi fled from the room.

Sasuke smirked at the resounding commotion going on just outside his doorframe, and shut his eyes tiredly while his brother's bedroom door snapped shut a few feet away. He rolled over, concealing his head beneath the comfort of his pillow and laughed. Some things, he knew, would never change.


© March 12, 2008 ©


author's notes

Ahhh! The END! Lol, this story took a turn for… better or worse, you'll have to judge. All I was trying to do was play with description and flash back sequence. Also story quotes, where one person tells a long story in a story and the quotes never end but begin on each new paragraph! Yeah, I wanted to try that. I think I succeeded, a bit.

I made up that whole past, I hope that's okay, it really could make a little sense if it were true, and the whole story was flipped upside-out and inside-down.

I don't think I described the character's enough… so without background knowledge it would probably be lost.

OH! I wasn't going to mention Naruto's name ANYWHERE'S in this fic, and was debating if I should take the few lines out or not… but then I thought, heh, what the heck, the show's named after the boy anyways. So I left his mentioning in. I know he's all important to Sasuke and all, but he sounded random to me… \

Okies, well, hope you sort of liked it. There's my first completed Dare Challenge! (grins)

Probably a comma or two outta place. Swy. 0w0

As always, any construtive critisism or comments are appreciated.