Disclaimer: Itachi is supposedly dead, Sasuke's going to cause more trouble for himself, and Madara runs about scot-free. I don't own Naruto, obviously. And I don't own "He Was My Brother" by Simon & Garfunkel either.
A/N: The song is beautiful, and it fits the Uchiha bros. TYVM CeruleanCypher and devotedtodreams for pointing that out. (Are you sick of me mentioning you guys yet? XD)
This story takes place in a world where Itachi is, unfortunately, dead. It is a world to which I am morally opposed, as it violates my religion, but plot progression is plot progression, right?
Otosan means father in Japanese, btw.
He was my brother
Five years older than I
He was my brother
Twenty-three years old the day he died
"Come on, otosan, hurry up!"
Why? Sasuke couldn't help but think dryly. It's not like he's going anywhere.
He shook his head, pushed away any more dark, mirthless humor, and continued to follow his excitable adopted daughter.
Ten years, he noted silently. It had been ten years, give or take, since Itachi's death. Ten years since, after a series of events which he preferred to avoid reminiscing about at all costs, he had buried his older brother's body in the soil next to their parents. In the village Itachi had given everything to protect.
It had been a lot less time-maybe eight months-since he had been able to force himself into thinking of today as just another day. A part of the so-called healing process which was long overdue, yet still felt like some sort of betrayal.
The black-haired man blinked out of his mini reverie and focused on the six-year-old. "What is it, Sashi?"
She grinned up at him hopefully, dark eyes gleaming with childlike glee. "Um…Can I carry the flowers?"
When he only stared at her, she added a drawn-out "Pleeeease?" in case she had not been sufficiently polite.
Sasuke glanced down at his hand and the plants that rested there, in danger of being strangled by a slowly clenching pale fist. He silently sighed, making a mental note to work on not letting his memories push him to throttle innocent plants.
Truth be told, though, he had forgotten the flowers completely. He always did. Every year when he visited the Uchiha clan's graves, he brought a few flowers to put on the dirt that covered their bodies. But he didn't really consider them important; they were traditional, if nothing else. Symbolic-a sign that somebody living still cared for those deceased. The raven knew well that he probably only brought them because he wouldn't know what to do with himself otherwise.
But evidently Sashi thought they bore importance, or maybe she just liked flowers. Either way, he couldn't care less. He shrugged and offered her the small, pitiful bouquet. She took the plants with a smile completely disproportionate to Sasuke's gesture. "Thank you!"
The last Uchiha nodded, eyeing his daughter-in-all-but-blood as she trotted along the worn path. Raven-haired, coal-eyed; she could almost pass for an actual Uchiha. Until she opened her mouth, that was. Once Sashi started talking, she often couldn't stop, and Sasuke was moderately sure she didn't think at all about what she said before she said it. He could guess where she'd gotten that habit from.
They walked on in silence to the Uchiha compound, long-deserted by everything except ghosts and memories, and proceeded to the cemetery. Headstones filled a large patch of dead and dying grass. Some of the names-the last signs that those people had ever existed-were so worn, they were almost illegible.
The pair made a beeline for the more recent graves, ones bearing names like Uchiha Fugaku, Mikoto, Itachi. Their names are already beginning to fade, Sasuke observed, not letting himself show how depressing that realization was.
Sashi wasted no time in hurrying forward and laying flowers in front of several gravestones, methodically making sure that each one was pencil-straight. "Don't forget Shisui," Sasuke reminded her automatically. He always brought an extra blossom for his gold-hearted cousin; he knew Itachi would've appreciated it.
There he stood, silent before his brother's final resting place, staring at the engraved words 'Uchiha Itachi' until his eyes began to water for several different reasons.
Sashi, having finished her job, rejoined her father and pretended not to notice when he wiped his eyes with a discreet sleeve. After a few more moments of quiet, a question occurred to her and she promptly chose to send it out into the open.
"Who…is that, otosan?" she inquired, pointing at Itachi's grave.
Sasuke spared her a slightly surprised glance. He realized that, in the two years he'd now been bringing her to visit the cemetery, he'd never told her just who in particular he came to visit.
He waited awhile before answering.
"…He was my brother," Sasuke finally told her, his voice heavy. "And he was a hero."
He was my brother
Tears can't bring him back to me
He was my brother
And he died so his brothers could be free.
A/N: Yes, I skated over any explanation of why and how Sasuke is back in Konoha, because I am just a lazy individual. And Sashi…well, I don't know where she came from. You can guess who Sasuke's, ahem, significant other is. XD Hope you enjoyed!
Oh yeah, 30 stories!! Pocky for everyone!!!