Quality Time: Part 2!


"Nii-san?"

"G'way," you mutter through a mouthful of pins. Now is really not the time for your baby brother to be bothering you, especially since you're surrounded by pointy objects and short-fusing on patience. As if having to explain everything to your father last time wasn't bad enough, here he is again to torment you when you're busy with something…less-than-masculine.

"Don't wanna," he retorts, knowing perfectly well he's annoying you. "Whatcha doing?"

"G'way Shashkay, uhm busy," you growl before spitting out your pins and carefully sticking them in your mother's borrowed, apple-shaped pincushion.

"…Why?"

You send him a glare, hoping he'll leave. He only glares right back at you, before staring at the pile of brightly-colored cloth in your lap.

"Whazzat?" he asks, pointing with an accusing finger.

"If you must know," you answer in irritation, "Cousin Akiko's summer festival kimono is torn, and Auntie asked me to fix it for her. Now go away."

As you suspected, he doesn't listen. All he does is stand there, giggling through the hands he's clapped over his mouth so you can only barely see his amused grin.

"Nii-san's a girly," he chuckles as evilly as a five-year-old can manage. "Girly girly girly!"

"Go away," you mutter, returning to your project. There's only one tear on the hem left to fix, but you're stuck. Your cousin's only six, and right now you have no idea how tall she is. Without that information, you can't be sure your mending of the kimono silk won't make it trail on the ground when she walks and dirty the expensive designs.

"Sasuke?" you mutter reluctantly through gritted teeth.

"Meh?"

"Who's taller, you or Akiko?"

He was quiet for a moment, rubbing the back of his hand against his mouth as he thought.

"Neither," he says finally, scowling his unhappiness at not being taller than someone in his own age group. "Same-same."

You bite your lips for a moment, glancing between him and the cloth in your lap. It'd be finished much more quickly…and you'd have an idea of how to fix it up…

"Sasuke," you say slowly, "Can I ask you a favor?"

"…'Kay?"

"Come here and hold this up for me so I can fix the bottom."

His scowl vanishes, replaced by a happy-to-be-needed smile as he trots over to stand in front of you. You get up, pushing back your chair so you can get down on your hands and knees as he holds the pink kimono against himself. As you suspected, there would have been a chance of you making a serious error if you'd had to hold it in your lap like before.

"All right, now don't move."

"'Kay!"

Carefully, you begin threading your needle through each side of the small rent just beginning at the hem. Your little cousin would be overjoyed to find her "princess dress" restored to its former glory, though you'd have to have a conversation with her mother about letting her wear it for play clothes…

"Am I helping good, Nii-san?"

"Yeah, just hold still…"

After a few more minutes of microscopic stitching, you get back up, feeling the bones in your spine crack from bending over so long.

"All done?"

"Mmm…" you murmur, lifting up the bottom of the tiny robe. The tear is almost invisible, but you needed to check to see if it'd hold…

"Sasuke, turn around. I'm going to lean this against your back."

"'Kay…"

So maybe having a meddling baby brother isn't so bad after all, you think as you hold the vibrant silk up against him. The child's robe seems the right length, and even with a few soft tugs, the material appears to be holding up.

"Slipping," he warns.

"All right, just…just put your arms through the sleeves for now, it'll help it to keep from moving."

"Soft!" he exclaims approvingly as he obeys.

"Good. Stay still."

Another minute or so, and the rosy cloth shifts as he begins to squirm.

"What now?" you ask in the most exasperated tone you can muster.

"…Itchy."

"That's because it's not tied. Now hold still. Mannequins aren't supposed to move."

"Whatsa manny-kin?"

"A…model. Ugh, this isn't working…"

His big, dark eyes watch in curiosity as you reach for the until-now folded obi sash that goes with this kimono. The deep, cherry-red color complements the soft pink of the feminine robe rather nicely.

"Here, I'll tie it so it won't itch."

He remains still as you wrap the sash around his waist, tying it in the back with a snug knot so it won't come undone while you're working.

"Now hold still or I'll gut you."

"'Kay…"

You had just been about to reach for that accursed pincushion when you froze as the room's door clicked open. You didn't even need super-ninja senses to tell that a pair of shocked eyes were currently glancing between you, and your little brother dressed in a bright pink girl's kimono.

"Ooh! Ooh! I know!" Sasuke exclaims happily. "'This isn't what it looks like,' right?"

You groan in frustration as the door slams shut for the second time this week, with quick footsteps trailing away from this obviously shocking scene.

"Nii-san? Where was Uncle going?"

"To…see Daddy," you mutter, your palm already slapped against your forehead.

"Why?"

"…To tell him his little boy's become a…transvestite."

"What's that?"

"I'll tell you when you're older."


Muhuhuhahaha. Sequal love for joo all.

Because I'm in a bashing mood, rawr.