Knight in Tin Armor
Summary: "Brother?" Itachi turned around. "What is it, Sasuke?" The younger boy looked at him innocently. "Do we have some tin foil around?" He raised a brow. "Yes, but why?" He smiled a toothy smile. "No reason."
*Kaori does not own Naruto. So don't sue me, alright? :) This fic takes place when Sasuke and the others are seven years old. This is pre-massacre, okay? There might be invented events in the story, so I guess you could say it's sort of AU.
I worked hard writing this story, so I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Halloween has always been a popular holiday in Konoha. It's that time of year where little kids anticipate dressing up in ridiculous costumes and consume tooth decaying, sugar-rushing treats while they go around saying "trick or treat!" It's a holiday that one would either hate, or love. Love—because those little runts would finally be able to eat the sweets that they fantasize about in their sleep.
Here you ask, how and why could someone hate such a wonderful day?
"Oh my kunai, Prince Charming is so cool!" Cooed one girl.
"I know! He's so great!" Gushed another.
Seven year-old Uchiha Sasuke watched in disgust as his female classmates admired—for the sixth time that week—the said fictional prince in the fairytale book. He thought it was very stupid to fall in love with such an overrated character, he wasn't real! Just because he fell in love with goody-goody Cinderella and made her feel super special doesn't mean he's a great guy!
These girls, Sasuke thought, were really illogical.
What's next, they're going to fall in love with a glittering vampire who says, "You are my life now"?
Or—or "And so the lion fell in love with the lamb"?
Oh the cheesiness!
"You know what; I don't think Cinderella's all that pretty at all. I think I should marry Prince Charming!" A girl with hazel eyes declared; arrogantly flaunting her long brown curls in front of her peers.
"No, I'm obviously prettier and stronger than all of you! I know that I should be marrying Prince Charming!" Ami, one of his fangirls, declared; striking a pose with her hands on her little hips. Sasuke rolled his eyes. These cootie-bearing beings were known to be highly annoying and immensely moronic; he shouldn't be surprised that Ami was claiming Prince Charming too, when she falsely announces that Sasuke was hers to marry.
"Hah! Who are you fooling Ami? How can you be prettier than all of us when you don't even have your front teeth yet?" Yamanaka Ino asked with a taunting tone. The youngest Uchiha couldn't help but smirk at her cleverness.
Nice one, Yamanaka.
As the girls fought over the prince noisily, Sasuke kept himself busy by coloring the figures in his coloring book. These girls should stop fighting and start working on their tasks. Seriously, they wouldn't want to anger Mrs. Butherface. They had to admit, she had a good and healthy body, but her face? It just seemed… so out of place.
That's why she's nicknamed Butherface. But-her-face. Isn't that amusing?
"Psst! Yo! Chicken head!" At the sound of the oh so familiar voice, a vein immediately started pulsating on Sasuke's forehead. Sighing, he decides to ignore the sound that it produced. He was just going to be a good little student and finish his work. There was a small tug at Sasuke's lips. He was almost finished with his work, only two more parts to be finished. He took a gold crayon and started coloring the drawing's hair.
But Naruto did not falter.
"Psst! I said, Yo! Chicken head!" The blonde snickered at an unknown joke. Oh how he loved irritating the arrogant little brat. He glared when the Uchiha remained on his seat and deliberately disregarded Naruto's callings.
As an idea came in his mind, a sly smirk simultaneously crept on his young face.
When Sasuke heard no more noise, a smirk of triumph was on his lips. Finally, the dobe shut up. The smirk on his face grew when he realized there was only one more part of the princess in the coloring book left uncolored, the dress. It had said in the instructions that the dress would be colored pink.
He took the crayon carefully out of the box and held in his fingers before stroking the area needed to be colored.
He twisted his head swiftly to a certain direction. He glared. Surely enough, there stood Naruto who was conversing with a pink-haired girl sitting on a chair; her work neatly placed on the table. As their mouths moved while they mumbled words, out of nowhere, he saw the pink-haired girl blush while the blonde wrapped one arm on the girl's shoulders.
He frowned. Great, now his crayon's broken.
No wait, that's Itachi's.
"C'mon Sakura-chan, just admit it!" Naruto prodded. She shook her head.
"There is nothing to admit Naruto!" She insisted. Oh, but Uzumaki Naruto would never take no for an answer.
"Just tell him you like him!"
"I told you I don't like him!"
"Sakura." She squeaked at the sound of a familiar voice. Taking a silent breath, she looked up to see Uchiha Sasuke glaring at her face.
She arched an eyebrow. "Is there something wrong, Sasuke-kun?"
He closed his eyes momentarily before opening them again, his glare gone. She wondered briefly how such a young boy could possess a very intimidating stare.
Must run in the family, she thought fondly.
"I need to borrow your pink crayon." It was a command. Not a question. Because Uchiha Sasuke, much like Naruto, never takes no for an answer.
She joyfully picks the Crayola from the box and hands it to the boy in front of her. He wordlessly takes it and seats himself in the chair in front of her—continuing his work on her table. A soft smile crept on her cherry lips while she admired his work.
"You color nicely, Sasuke-kun." She voiced, frowning when she only received a "Hn" as a reply.
Unexpectedly, there was a gentle tug at her chest area. Her frown lowered, this was happening a lot to her these days. Was there something wrong with her? Was she sick? No, she wasn't, but whenever he was at least five feet from her, her heart goes thud, thud, and thud like a maniac!
Panic filled her green eyes. What if she had heart ailment? She gasped silently. What if she had an abnormal heart?!
She felt a nudge on her shoulder. "Sakura-chan? Are you okay?" Naruto's voice brought her back to the present. Her eyes traveled to dark-haired boy in front of her. Sasuke was looking at her curiously. Suddenly, a hollow yet full feeling greeted her stomach.
There goes that feeling again.
"I told you Ami! You can't marry Prince Charming!"
Indignantly, the purple-haired girl crossed her arms. "And why not?!"
She smirked. "He married Cinderella; of course he'd prefer blondes!"
And that erupted another round of yells and shrieks.
Sakura rolled her eyes and propped an elbow on the table, resting her soft cheek on her palm. "I don't see why they're throwing such a hissy fit over a prince."
Naruto turned to her curiously. "You don't like Prince Charming?" At this, Sasuke stopped his coloring and shifted his attention on the girl questioned.
The aspiring kunoichi shook her head defiantly, her arms now crossed under her chest. "I don't. I think he's more girly than macho."
The whiskered blonde snickered.
"So, who do you like?" The two turned to the dark-haired boy. Naruto lifted an eyebrow. Was that a tinge of pink on his ears?
He heard Sakura gulp softly before nervously answering. He almost snickered when he thought that what she wanted to say was, "You, you Chicken Head!"
But of course, she was too prideful to admit crushing on the Uchiha heir.
Tapping her chin in a thoughtful manner, Sakura carefully considered what she wanted to say. She didn't want to lie, because she didn't want to be a baddie and be sent to hell where Lucifer and Satan made you eat vegetables for eternity.
Simply, Sakura spoke.
"I want someone who is strong and can protect me when I can't."
Uchiha Sasuke did not like it when he did not know a certain thing. He did not handle curiosity very well, same goes for deprived knowledge. Being an Uchiha, it was their nature to know any and every fact the world could hold; and when denied of that, one becomes extremely restless.
Take this situation, for example.
Ever since Sakura had spoke those words earlier that day, the boy had become very agitated and has been tremendously sensitive about any loud noise produced by anyone, ultimately stopping the 'Prince Charming's mine!' argument. He couldn't help it if he always wanted to be aware of things, he was birthed as an Uchiha, sue him.
She wanted someone strong and could protect her.
What could she have meant?
Was there a prince who was like that?
Or, maybe a shinobi who she admires?
He sighed and watched as his older brother threw kunais on a far tree, hitting the red mark time and time again. He smiled, that was who he wanted to be someday. His brother was a terrific shinobi, graduating at such a young age—wasn't he in ANBU already? Itachi walked to the tree, picking out all the kunais he had thrown. He carried them in his hands on his way to his previous spot; the metal weapons making a clanging sound as they hit each other.
Suddenly, an idea hatched in Sasuke's mind.
Thirteen year-old Itachi moved silently in the kitchen as he prepared himself an afternoon snack. He opened the fridge to reach for a bar of butter and a pitcher of water. He took it to the table and poured the substance on a washed glass, adding two tablespoons of juice powder before stirring it. Taking a knife, he took some butter and spread it to one of his toasted pieces of bread while smearing some marmalade on the other.
A perfect afternoon snack.
Pride and content swelled in his chest. Who said boys couldn't cook?
But before he could even take a bite off of his work, a voice cut through the silence of the home.
"Brother?" Itachi turned around to see the dark-haired boy looking around as though searching for an object. What was his foolish brother up to now?
"What is it, Sasuke?" The younger boy stopped twisting and turning his head and looked at him innocently, his black, black eyes earnest to a fault.
"Do we have some tin foil around?" He raised a brow.
"Yes, but why? Was there something you needed to be cooked?" He asked solemnly while he took a roll of tin foil and handed it to his sibling. To his surprise, he smiled a toothy smile.
It was almost seven, only a few more minutes before his younger brother would be going to meet with his friends for the annual "trick or treat" party in the village. Vaguely, he remembered his experience with the activity, however, back then, they only held parties for those who are nine and up, with the fear of traumatizing the little children. He dressed up as a vampire then, false teeth and tomato blood and all. Or at least, he was planning to be. Just when he was about to leave, he remembered he hadn't smeared the fake blood on his face.
So, walking to the kitchen, he looked for the ketchup he placed on the counter. Oddly enough, it wasn't there. He was so sure he'd left it there.
Then, out of nowhere, there came four year-old Sasuke slurping the ketchup bottle as though it was a bottle of milk. He was covered in red substance and looked like a mess.
In the end, Itachi gave up a night of earning sweets to clean up his younger brother while his parents enjoyed a night out of town.
Come to think of it, that night was quite similar to the present.
Minus the ketchup.
But Uchihas are very unpredictable; not to mention his younger brother is a fool for tomatoes. We wouldn't know that yet. He smirked at his own humor. His brother had such a great weakness over the fruit-able. If you're wondering what a fruit-able is, it's a kind food that is either a fruit, or a vegetable. He didn't really know what it was, but what he was aware of, was that his brother would much rather eat tomatoes for a year than spend more Ryos on meat and such.
He chuckled. Maybe once he ruled the world, he could make a tomato farm for his brother.
Momentarily, Itachi wondered what Sasuke would be wearing tonight. He didn't buy any costume from LeafMart, nor does he have a disposal of attires in his closet; at least, none that he knew of. But he did ask for two extra rolls of foil; whenever he asked what it was for, he would turn red and mumble words like, "pink… classmate… shiny…"
He had a pink classmate who he thought was shiny?
It didn't make sense.
Curiously, Itachi picked up a picture frame placed near the staircase.
It was a picture of Sasuke's class.
Suddenly, it all made perfect logic.
My, my. What have you got in store for this little girl, foolish brother?
"Sakura-chan, tell me again why we're still here at the park when everyone's trick or treating already?" Naruto asked under his flowing Hokage hat, his gaze lowering down pitifully on his empty orange basket. It was unfair, all those kids were getting tons of cavity causing sweets already, and here he was with Sakura in the park.
The girl dressed in a fairy costume glared slightly, before twirling her star wand boredly—her fairy-themed basket on her other arm. "Because," she started. "I promised Sasuke-kun we'd meet him here."
Naruto sighed exasperatedly. "Great! I'm losing my friend to the Uchiha idiot again."
He rolled his eyes at that thought. The danged Uchiha just had to ruin everything for him, didn't he? Stupid dang Chicken Butt. Now he had to lose all the good candies to that Kiba kid. He was a very odd boy, I mean, who carries a rabies-bearing animal in class?! He's also friends with that sun-glasses wearing weirdo who was always playing by the ants that were considered as the class project.
The only one who wasn't strange in the group was that Tanaka girl.
Yeah. Hinata. That shy violet-haired girl. She's really nice, Naruto thought. And pretty too! She was as pretty as his Sakura-chan. But she was always so… different when he was around. The thought made him sad. Everytime he would try to get close to her, she would turn all red and faint.
Was she trying to avoid him?
They only exchanged a few words before. And that was when he first met her in class.
I guess you could say it wasn't how the young boy thought it would be.
It sort of went like this.
Naruto: Hey! *smile*
Hinata: H-Hi. *blush*
Naruto: *grin* my name's Uzumaki Naruto, future Hokage of Konoha! You're very pretty! I wanna marry you someday! What's your name?
Then she became really quiet.
He pouted at the memory. That was the last time he was going to take advices from television shows. It said there that if a boy wanted to get close to a girl, he should say something like "I wanna marry you" or something along those lines. Stupid show. No wonder the man didn't have a wife yet!
Ever since that day, whenever Naruto tried to strike up a conversation with her, she would turn red and faint. Like—like earlier for instance! He saw her walking with Shino and Kiba. The aspiring-Hokage couldn't help but smile, she was so pretty! Her purple hair was worn the same way, but now there was a crystallized butterfly barrette that swept her bangs to the left. He assumed that she too was going for a fairy costume. She wore a lavender ballerina dress with white tights and matching ballet shoes. She had small pink wings on her back while she carried a white basket.
His eyes perked when he spotted the purple-haired girl down the road.
"Hey Hinata-chan!" He yelled while waving a hand, a smile brightening his whiskered face. She stiffed when she heard his voice. Her pale eyes met his azure pair. She attempted to smile, but—
"Wha—Hinata-chan!" Came Naruto's panicked voice as he watched the unconscious girl being carried by Shino and Kiba back to the village, to the direction of the Hyuuga compound.
He frowned. "Was it something I said?"
He heard the pink-haired girl giggle. The blonde jadedly stared at his classmate who was looking the other way, to the direction of where Hinata and her friends had disappeared. Her pink hair was tied up pigtails then curled right down to the tips. There were star clips on her hair and a silver tiara too. She wore light pink summer dress with spaghetti straps, the dress ending just by her knees; a pair of glittery fairy wings on her back. Finishing it off, she wore red strappy sandals.
He sighed. It's such a shame Sasuke didn't know how to voice out his emotions; if he didn't know Sakura had a thing for the boy, maybe Naruto would have stolen her from the Uchiha already.
But then, he thought, he was too young to die.
He did just turn seven recently after all.
"Well, well, well. Look what the garbage man forgot to collect." Ami said, laughing with her posse as she made fun of the pink-haired girl. "You know what, you're so ugly you don't even need to wear a costume anymore! Your forehead's going to scare even the criminals away!" They laughed again. Sakura grimaced when she felt warmth prickling her green eyes.
Her forehead wasn't that wide, was it? So why did they always bully her?
"Hey!" Naruto shouted. "Stop teasing her, Sakura-chan's the prettier than all of you!"
Ami glared at him before tugging at one of Sakura's pigtails. She screamed in pain.
"Ah! Don't—don't do that Ami! Ah! Stop—please!" She shrieked, a few tears escaping her eyes as the purple-haired girl continued to harshly pull at her hair. It hurt, why couldn't she just stop?! She was laughing at her, along with her friends. Naruto tried to help her and break off Ami's grip, but then her friends shielded her and threatened to punch him if he tried anything funny.
Not the one to hit a girl, Naruto watched his friend helplessly cry out in pain.
Sasuke was right.
He was such a dobe.
"Serves you right for trying to be close to my Sasuke-kun!" She interjected, raising another arm to pull the other ponytail; Sakura tried to slap her hand away, but it seemed Ami had the upper hand.
It was no use.
"I don't belong to anyone, for your information."
Actually, it seemed as though time had frozen.
They turned around to see a boy wearing tin foil around his body and a colander as a helmet while holding a gray plastic sword.
The dark shade in his eyes gave away his identity.
"Sa… Sasuke-kun?" Sakura's heart perked up when recognition flashed in his eyes. Suddenly, there was a tinge of color in his cheeks and ears. But he did not affirm her implied question.
The color however, was abruptly drained from his face when he processed her state. Sakura's pigtails were misaligned, there were tear streaks on her flushed face, her tiara had already fallen on the ground and her wings were tilted to a direction.
She was a mess.
"Oh Sasuke-kun you look so adorable!" Ami squealed before latching herself unto one of his foil-wrapped arms. A glare was all it took for her to back off. "Wh-Why the face Sasuke-kun?"
He glared harder, his gaze traveling to her posse then back to her again. "Touch her again, insult her again, you'll answer to me."
Ami was caught off-guard. With widened eyes, she took a step forward. "S-Sasuke-kun—"
"I said," He paused. "Leave."
And with that, they left running to the other direction, including those who were holding back Naruto. With a relieved sigh, the blonde ran to Sasuke and patted his back while he laughed.
"Whew! For a second there I thought I was gonna die in the hands of annoying little girls!" He laughed nervously when the Uchiha did not move a muscle. His gaze was transfixed on the panting girl on the ground, holding her fallen tiara in her lap. Naruto followed his gaze and a foxy grin fell on his mouth. "Go get her, you tin can, you." He whispered before giving the Uchiha an unexpected push.
He glared at the sun-kissed blonde who held up his hands in defense; pointing at his symbolic hat. "Hey, I'm the Hokage, you're only a knight. Show some respect you ungrateful chicken!"
He glared harder. Stupid Naruto and his Hokage costume.
Sighing, he approached the fallen girl; bending one knee while the other is propped up, as though he was about to propose.
"Stop crying, it's annoying." He said out of impulse. She glared at him.
"I wasn't crying."
"You aren't fooling anyone, Sakura."
"Neither are you with that costume, Sasuke-kun."
He sighed and started wiping her tear-stricken face with his thumbs. "You're a mess." He said simply. She watched wordlessly as Sasuke started fixing her hair, pulling out the hair ties so it would fall on her shoulders, her pink hair in graceful waves. Ami had pulled at her pigtails so hard that a part of her scalp had ached, it was probably best to stray away from any hair tie for now.
With a soft tint of red on his cheeks, Sasuke towered over Sakura while holding out a hand. She took his offered hand with her left, and he pulled her up.
He looked away.
She giggled. "C'mon! Let's go trick or treating!" She said and pumped her right fist in the air.
Naruto yelled in equal excitement, while Sasuke simply smirked.
She giggled again.
Ah. Her boys.
They started walking to the direction of the houses when Sasuke stopped. As a chain reaction, the two stopped too.
"What's wrong Sasuke-kun?" She asked.
"I realized something."
Naruto peered curiously. "Well? Are you gonna tell us or would you keep us guessing until that Choji kid eats up all the good sweets?"
He glared, but the hard look faltered the moment he spoke.
"It's sort of… hard to walk around with foil wrapped around your body."
Sasuke could only hope the colander could hide the embarrassed flush on his face.
This was not good for his image!
"HAHA! FOR AN UCHIHA YOU'RE SUCH AN IDIOT! HAHA!" Came Naruto's cry of laughter. Oh great, since when was he the laughing stock?! He sighed.
Sakura giggled for what felt like the nth time. "You know Sasuke-kun; you didn't have to cover yourself in tin foil to be my knight in shining armor."
He glared at her. "Who said it was for you?"
She smiled. "Don't deny it Sasuke-kun. I know you like me."
"You're annoying." He mumbled.
Naruto glared at him; that was no way to talk to a girl! Oh one day, he was going to teach that Uchiha some manners.
They continued walking in silence, much to Sasuke's surprise. Sakura wasn't brooding over his answer. She knew better, of course. She was smart enough to know that Uchiha Sasuke would never have dressed himself in such a moronic way if Sakura didn't imply she wanted a knight over a prince. She was smart enough to know that he did not say he didn't like her, he merely pointed out that she was annoying.
She was smart enough to know that he indeed liked her.
And all for one main reason.
He was still holding her hand.
*You probably wanna kill me right now for the immense cheesiness and OOC-ness. But probably mostly because I have not updated in such a long time. My defense is that like every writer, we have our blocks. I was actually about to pull my hair the other day, fanfiction hadn't been the same. Like a friend told me, fanfiction isn't supposed to be frustrating. You're supposed to be having fun.
And when I started writing this fic, I couldn't stop.
So I guess you can say you should expect the next chapters of my multi-chaps soon. I'm sorry if you find this doesn't contain too much humor, I think so too. I guess I'm really just not a funny person. :)) Can you tell that I struggled in the latter parts of the story? Heh. I'm sorry if it was that obvious. :))
Oh yes, this story is for my wonderful best friend who has survived my numerous fan-girl moments. Whether it be Dramione, Moliver, M&M or SasuSaku, she manages to remain a tough Cookie. LOL. I love you Beliah (her pen name's Moon-kun/Runaway Soul)! Thanks a bunch Bestie. :D Abby got her fanfic dedication, now it's your turn. :]
I revised this on May 06, 2009. Now it has NaruHina! Thank you Dragon Jadefire for your suggestion. :)
I guess that's it.
Flames are accepted, whereas con-crits and reviews are loved. :)