AN: This was inspired by chapter six of Xment2bursX's Skimming over the 'Why'. All credit goes to them for the idea- I just expanded on it a little for my own amusement.

That being said, this is an AU with a nice Itachi.


It was an unspoken tradition between the two Uchiha siblings.

Every year, Itachi would silently slip into Sasuke's room and quietly deposit his gift at the end of Sasuke's bed before slipping some form of the clan symbol onto the slumbering boy's person. The years before Sasuke started at the Academy were easy enough since Sasuke was oblivious to the world where sleeping deeply and implicitly trusting anyone would get you killed. Itachi probably could've left an entire brass band performing in Sasuke's room and sit secure in the knowledge that his idiotic little brother would sleep through it all. But once Sasuke started training…Well, it still wasn't by any means, a challenge for the recently promoted jounin but still- he couldn't just walk in and place his gift at the foot of Sasuke's comforter before carelessly placing that year's clan symbol gift where it was supposed to go. But he managed- Itachi always managed.

Later, in the weeks leading up to what would be Sasuke's first birthday after that night, both brothers pondered their tradition. Would it continue, or would their last tie break entirely? Sasuke would lay awake at night, staring at his ceiling or sometimes, he would look at the gifts of previous years- a shuriken pouch one night, an old stuffed weasel the next. Somehow, he couldn't bring himself to destroy these gifts. Because destroying these gifts would mean that the person who had given them to him was gone- Gone, gone, gone, forever.

The night before his birthday, Sasuke went through all of his gifts- from the first one, a small wooden kunai, absolutely covered in teething marks now, to the last one, a small brace of kunai. He looked over the clan symbols as well- a baby mobile that had dangled pretty tomoes and kunai and the obligatory Uchiha fan to the simple necklace with its red and white pendent. Sasuke fell asleep, sleepily clutching at the stuffed weasel that had been the third- or was it fourth- gift to him.

Stealthily, a lone figure crept through the deserted compound easily, this year's gifts in hand. It was child's play for the former ANBU captain to slip in through Sasuke's window. He stopped for a moment, surprised to see his otouto asleep on top of the covers in his clothing, an arm draped ungracefully over the stuffed weasel. A small smile graced Itachi's lips as he silently preformed a sleeping jutsu to ensure his little brother would sleep deeply and not wake up. Itachi quietly set down the year's gift- wrapped in fine black silk and secured with a red silky ribbon- before gently manhandling Sasuke into his usual pajamas and tucking him into bed, the much abused stuffed weasel nearby. Throughout the entire process, Sasuke only stirred once as Itachi clasped the year's secondary gift- a simple bracelet of woven wire holding the traditional red and white fan- around his left wrist.

"Good night, otouto and happy birthday," was the quiet murmur as Itachi slid back out the window and into the night, easily evading the ANBU patrols on his way out of the village.

When Sasuke awoke and found himself warm and comfortable, he was confused. But as he felt the bracelet on his wrist and saw the silk wrapped package by his feet, his mind understood and his face crumpled. Aniki…

The tradition continues.


The second time in his life, Uchiha Itachi considered breaking his unspoken tradition with his precious little otouto was when he discovered that for Sasuke's fifteenth birthday, he would have the uncertain joy of descending nine levels underground, deliver his gifts, and then retrace his path back out- preferably without alerting any snake-wielding sennin who might happen to be in the vicinity. Oh, he had no doubts that he could- and would- be able to do so, and flawlessly to boot- but it was still rather annoying.

And yet here he was, silently closing the door of Sasuke's new room, wrapped presents forming an irregular bulk under his Akatsuki cloak. As he turns, he is unsurprised and faintly annoyed to see Sasuke sitting up in bed, onyx eyes watching him calmly. "You're supposed to be asleep," he mutters under his breath, the irritation plain in his expression.

Sasuke shrugged. "Traditions must be flexible or else they shatter with the passing of years," he quoted- no doubt from some ancient ancestor's journal. Itachi fought the urge to roll his eyes before calmly walking to the end of Sasuke's bed and set down the two boxes. Sasuke eyed them curiously- they were definitely larger any of the other gifts Itachi had left for him over the years. His attention was diverted by Itachi casually chucking another, smaller, box of medium thickness at him.

"If I don't see you using this year's gifts, I will disown you and let the Kyuubi brat kill me," Itachi stated in an icy tone, his own black eyes noting with satisfaction that Sasuke's eyes had narrowed and the small box was in danger of being crushed. "And," the older brother continued, "If Orochimaru has a problem with it, refer him to me."

Sasuke snorted but looked faintly amused of the thought of telling his current master to take it up with his brother. "I'll make sure to do that," he murmured, a small part of him wondering what barbecued snake would taste like. Itachi smiled as if he could follow Sasuke's thoughts before moving towards the door.

"Happy birthday otouto," he stated, not bothering to turn his head.

"Tch…see you next year aniki."

---

Itachi stalked through the forest surrounding his little brother's team's camp. Entering the clearing silently, he was unsurprised to see his little brother's two teammates leap to their feet, hands moving towards weapons as they saw him. Before the Kyuubi brat could do more than open his mouth for the first shouted insult, Itachi flung a cylindrical shaped object at Sasuke's skull. As Sasuke caught the object and looked at it with mild curiosity Itachi spoke. "You are making it increasing difficult for me to deliver your gifts," he almost growled.

Sasuke raised an eyebrow, ignoring his stunned teammates as he placed the still wrapped gift by his pack. "You never had a problem finding Orochimaru's current hideout and infiltrating it without alerting a single soul," he commented dryly.

"That was completely different. Last I had heard you were still restricted to the village boundaries. Imagine my displeasure at arriving at the house and discovering that no one is there. I had to infiltrate the mission room and find your mission scroll before summoning Kurume to fly me out here," Itachi explained in an irritated voice.

Sasuke actually chuckled while smirking. "It was my birthday gift from Naruto. Now where's the other half of my gift?"

"I considered leaving it at the house but decided that would be too much of a departure from tradition." Itachi calmly pulled out a bulkier box from underneath his cloak. He carefully walked up to his brother and handed him the box, silently pleased to see the pink-haired girl edge closer to Sasuke protectively while the Kyuubi container turned to keep an eye on him. "I expect to see results by next year," he explained cryptically as he turned to leave. "Happy birthday otouto."

"Tch…see you next year, aniki."


AN: Nice and fluffy Uchiha brotherhood! So the gifts Sasuke got in the fic are listed below. First listed are the gift-gifts and then what ever holds the Uchiha symbol.

Post Massacre: A katana, remaining true to Xment2bursX's version [albeit minus Kakashi] and a bracelet.

Orochimaru's Hideout: New clothing xD Itachi refuses to have his otouto's outfit scream "I'M OROCHIMARU'S BITCH!". The smaller box held Uchiha fans for Sasuke to sew onto his new clothing.

Mission: Itachi's mission scroll, with the orders to kill the clan. Sasuke's old enough to know the truth- and it would make Itachi's homecoming a lot easier. Yes, if this were to continue, Itachi would return to Konoha. The larger box holds their father's patriarchial robe [though Itachi did get it tailored to fit Sasuke], meant to be worn when the clan starts being repopulated- hence Itachi's second comment.