Disclaimer: I don't own Inuyasha or Naruto.
Age: Itachi – 8, Kagome – 3, Iruka – 14, Hana – 14, Asuma – 20
7/20/09 – 7/31/09
"Good job, team. The mission was a success."
Itachi would have been perfectly content (ecstatic even) if his sensei had simply left it there and dismissed everyone. But, the chances of that happening were probably slim to none. He had a feeling that he would have an easier time persuading him father to have tea with a Hyuuga than talking his sensei out of giving them a "reward".
"So, Itachi, how does barbeque sound to you?"
At those words, Itachi inwardly cringed. It wasn't that long ago when they had their last "barbeque dinner," and since then, he had sworn he would never go on another. Teammates just weren't meant to get to know each other that well.
"I'm expected at home." he excused.
"But we got back early today." his sensei shot back as he patted down his Jounin jacket in search of a cigarette. "You're family won't be expecting you for a while."
"My siblings started teething recently, and Mother needs extra hands around the house. I promised to watch over my little sister for her." he lied again, his face betraying none of his inner thoughts. He had always been an accomplished manipulator, and he had little qualms about lying to achieve certain goals and ends.
"Oh, I know what you mean." Hana broke in, a frown on her lips. "Kiba started teething recently too! I swear he tries to stuff everything he can get his hands on into his mouth – even if it doesn't fit there."
Itachi blinked. He wasn't sure if Kagome was as bad as Hana's brother, but he knew that she had (somewhere along the way) developed a strange obsession for sharp, pointed objects. He would never forget his father's horrified expression when they came home one night and found her gnawing on the blunt end of one of his kunais.
At that time, he had been sure his father would have gone straight to the Hokage and demand that the production of kunais be stopped until Kagome was older. Thankfully, before he had found it necessary to intervene, Shisui had appeared, drawing his father's ire away from the kunais.
The kunais were saved. However, Itachi was sad to admit that the same couldn't be said for his cousin's mental health. When Shisui had the great misfortune of walking through the door at the same time that Kagome had been crawling out, a nasty collision had occurred. Needless to say, the aftermath of the crash had become somewhat of a reoccurring nightmare for his cousin. Even now, a full year later, Shisui had admitted to having nightmares of his father running after him with kunais and Katon Jutsus.
"Well, you could go home and pick up your sister first." Hana suggested, breaking him from his thoughts. "I was planning on going home for a moment too. I promised to watch Kiba for Mom." There was a slight pause before Hana tentatively suggested, "Hey, maybe Kiba and Kagome can play together!"
Itachi pinned her with a rather dark look.
He'd rather they not.
Itachi stood with arms wrapped loosely around his sister's tiny body as his teammate gushed over how cute his baby sister was, and how lucky he was to have such an adorable little sister instead of a brother (to which Itachi didn't bother trying to remind – again – that he had a younger brother too).
"Great," his sensei boomed, clapping his hands together as he entered the room that he had especially reserved for their small get-together. "Now that everyone's finally here, we can begin. Even though this was on rather short notice, I'm sure everyone's glad to be here –"
At this, Itachi glared.
"Now, now, Itachi, it's good to spend time with your team outside of missions. And…is this your sister?"
"This is Kagome." Itachi answered, setting the little girl down. However, as soon as her feet touched the ground, she darted behind him. Reigning in a sigh, he gently pried her fingers from the back of his shirt and quietly herded her to one of the empty seats. "Be good," he softly whispered in her ear as he helped her settle down. "Uchihas do not hide."
Ignoring Kagome's adoring look, he turned his face towards his teammates and waited for them to finish bickering over who should take which seat. Once everyone was finally seated, he turned and directed Kagome's attention to his sensei and said: "This is my Jounin sensei. Say 'hello'."
Kagome looked up and shyly scrutinized the large (and somewhat scary) man sitting across from her with large, wide eyes. However, a quick glance at her older brother immediately had her straightening her back and turning up her nose at the man. "Hewo." she said, head turned to the side in a poor copy of her father's sneer – an expression that most people considered to be the Uchiha's trademark look.
Asuma blinked, chopsticks stilling in mid-motion as he stared at the young Uchiha with a startled expression. He knew the Uchihas were strict (rumors had it that the Uchihas literally beat any childhood tendencies their kids may have out of them), but the little girl seated next to Itachi couldn't be more than three years old!
Itachi smirked, knowing exactly what was going through his sensei's mind. Sometimes, despite being a Jounin, his sensei's expressions were as open as a book. Hiding his amusement, Itachi quietly took Kagome's plate and began piling it with food.
"I don't think she likes you." Hana pointed out rather obviously when she noticed their sensei was still lost in thought.
A cube of splattered tofu slid down Asuma's face.
"I don't think she likes you at all." Iruka corrected.
"Kagome," Itachi said, stopping her with a look.
Immediately abashed, Kagome quickly lowered her head and mumbled, "Sowry."
"It's okay," Asuma laughed, picking off a few pieces of the tofu from his vest. "There was no harm –" Before he could even finish his sentence, a piece of beef flew through the air and smacked him right in the eye.
"Not me!" Kagome immediately cried, holding up her hands.
"Kiba!" Hana scolded, drawing everyone's attention to the grinning Inuzuka child. "What did I tell you about throwing food around!?"
She was answered with a piece of a raw fish, which nailed her right in the forehead.
"Ki-Ba!" she snarled.
For a while, Itachi had been content with staying at the sidelines. His only concern was keeping Kagome away from trouble and out of harm's way, which was why he was eventually forced to intervene when Kiba began throwing around utensils like chopsticks, plates, and bowls. "Inuzuka," he coldly intoned when he had to nab a flying cup out of mid-air with his chopsticks to prevent it from smacking Kagome in the face.
From the dark look on Itachi's face, Hana immediately knew Kiba had gone too far. Quickly plucking her younger brother from his seat, and ignoring his cries to be put down, she hurriedly carried him out of the restaurant.
Even though Itachi was only a child himself, he was a lot more dangerous than normal shinobis. To Hana, her youngest teammate was not only dangerous because of his skills and icy demeanor, but also because he was unpredictable. For example, while Itachi had been known to show great mercy and forgiveness, he was also known to be capable of extreme ruthlessness. In the case of Itachi, it wasn't strange to find him to show kindness to a man, and then turn around and slit his throat the next second.
Really, she couldn't understand the way he thought at all. Why give money to a man he had been prepared to kill from the very start? Why didn't he kill the person immediately instead of waiting a day? These questions – and many more – had always troubled her. However, Hana had a feeling that she may never find the answer.
Uchiha Itachi had always been a sort of enigma. In her opinion, even at best, he was unstable (much like the rest of his clan), which made him a dangerous enemy, and an even more dangerous ally.
Either way, despite his seeming indifference towards his younger sister, Hana had seen the way he had cared for her. And, even though she was more than just a little curious to find out how he would react if Kagome was harmed, she wasn't about to risk Kiba's life for it. Annoying as he was, Kiba was still her brother.
"That was close." Iruka murmured.
Asuma wasn't sure if he was referring to Kagome's near-injury or Kiba's near-death. However, deciding that it was best not to bring it up again, he reached into his pocket for another cigarette. Sticking it in his mouth as he searched for the lighter, he was a little startled to find it suddenly gone.
Looking up, he watched Itachi with a strange look in eyes as the young boy crushed the cigar against the table. Again, he couldn't help but wonder exactly how much the young prodigy had been holding back during their missions. When he had moved, he hadn't sensed him at all.
"Next time," Itachi said as he placed the crushed cigar back in his sensei's hand, "Please smoke outside." Standing, he didn't offer another explanation before bowing, taking Kagome's hand, and leading her outside.
Blinking, Asuma looked towards Iruka.
Iruka stared back. "Um…I don't think you should try smoking in front of Kagome-chan anymore."
Lighting a new cigarette, Asuma nodded. He didn't think it'd be wise either.
Author's Note: I apologize for the confusion with the last chapter. I was out of town and didn't have access to my laptop, so I had my brother update. He posted the rough draft instead of the final draft, so I had to take it down. And then he couldn't find the final draft, so the update had to wait until I came back. So...thank you everyone who notified me. And for those who read the rough draft...there's some differences, but the general idea is the same. So, hope there was no real confusion.
Next Chapter: The Early Inheritance
The rumors were right. The price of power was sanity. That explained why Elite Ninjas had weird quirks and Prodigies usually ended up insane.
When a drunk, chronically abusive Jounin has the misfortune of meeting Uchiha Kagome, he learns first-hand how "mentally unstable" Uchiha Itachi can be. However, Itachi may not be the only unstable Uchiha in Konoha.