Well, here goes my first fanfic ever. Give any comments you guys have to say, please!

As a black-haired child walked along the streets of Konoha, whispers of him began as he walked by. The child paid them no mind; he was used to it after all. It was a usual occurrence, since he was, of course, the famed Uchiha genius and heir. His many accomplishments, despite his young age, was known to everyone, even the civilians.

Uchiha Itachi, currently eleven years old, was used to the whispers and blatant stares, but that didn't mean he liked them. He didn't want villagers to bow so low that their hair got dirt in them, he didn't like that people his age kept away from him just because he was so much more skilled than they were, and he detested the fact that people assumed he was just a killing machine, nothing more, nothing less. He was a normal person, too, damn it!

That wasn't the reason he was currently scowling more than usual, though. He and his Chuunin team had gone to the Sandaime Hokage to turn their mission report in and get their new mission, but it had not gone well. The two chuunin he had been assigned to lead had gotten into a fight and were now in the hospital with injuries. None of the injuries were serious, but that wasn't the problem. The problem was that now he had to do their share of the new mission as well!

The mission was to guard a class of academy students while they were taken out of the village walls to visit the forest surrounding the village. It was a simple C-ranked mission, but now all the work was put all upon him!

Itachi had decided to take a walk to clear his mind. He was now venting his anger by glaring at the peaceful scenery. Nothing stood a chance against the infamous Uchiha glare, yet somehow no matter how much anger he put into the glare, the damn flowers he was glaring at would not die.

Itachi sighed. He could use the Sharingan but then that would be a waste of precious chakra. He had been given orders from the Hokage to not expend too much chakra today so that he would be rested up tomorrow for the mission. It annoyed him, knowing that he couldn't train to help vent out his anger, but he held it in. A mission was a mission, and as a shinobi from Konohagakure he had to be at his best, no matter the situation.

He knew he had to fulfill the mission, but still, the thought of watching a bunch of kids was enough to make him shiver. At least Sasuke would be in that class. The thought made him smile. Tomorrow, he would observe how Sasuke did in the environment and against Itachi's own… traps. Hmm… now the mission didn't sound so bad.

His thoughts were cut short by the sound of a child crying. It was coming from behind a tree not too far from him. Itachi debated between going to comfort the child or not and with a sigh walked over to the sound. 'I could at least find out why the kid is crying,' he thought to himself.

The sight that he found was surprising, to say the least. A girl about Sasuke's age was sitting with her hands around her knees and her head down. He could hear her soft whimpers as tears rolled down her cheeks. The girl had black hair. 'More like a bluish color,' he mused. What shocked him the most was her clothes. She was wearing a lavender kimono that was splattered with blood and caked in mud. 'Now what's a little girl doing, covered in blood?...'

He walked a bit closer, deliberately making his footsteps loud so she could hear him approaching. When he finally got to where she was sitting her head snapped up. He was surprised when her lavender pupil-less eyes met his obsidian ones. It was a Hyuuga. Judging by her age, she was most likely the heiress and in Sasuke's class. Hmm, interesting…

Itachi knelt down in front of her and asked, "What are you doing here, little one?"

"M-my m-mother d-d-died…," said the girl in a soft voice, as tears started flowing again. A mud-covered hand went to her eyes and tried wiping them away, to no avail.

Her answer stunned Itachi. He hadn't heard of any Hyuuga dying. But then again, he had just come back from a mission, so he couldn't have heard anything anyways. And it must've been the Hyuuga head's wife too. He had heard that she was heavily pregnant a few weeks ago, so she must've already given birth to her child.

The girl's cries got louder, but they were still quieter than any of Sasuke's tear fests. He felt a certain companionship with this tiny girl, since they were both heir and heiress and were quiet.

Maybe it was because of this conclusion or just his own gentlemanliness (the thought made him snort; he was a ninja, not some lord's son) that he did something out of character for him. He gently wrapped his arms around the crying girl.

The girl stopped crying and stiffened at the contact. Her eyes snapped open and stared at him, eyes rimmed red. He smiled at the girl and wiped her tears. "It's okay, Hyuuga-san," he said in a low voice, not wanting to startle the girl.

The girl surprised him even more when she put her short arms around him and hugged him back. "Hinata," she said in her soft voice. Itachi decided that he liked her voice. It was so much different from Sasuke's whiny one. The thought took him aback. There were not many things he liked, and here was this girl, making him go completely out of character. He decided to not dwell on this, as it made him feel slightly odd.

"What?" he asked.

"M-my name is H-Hinata, Uchiha-san."

"You know my name, Hinata-san?" he asked wonderingly, looking down at her head. He noticed that she smelled lightly of lilacs and vanilla mixed with the coppery scent of blood. It wasn't a good combination at all.

"H-hai. You are Uchiha Itachi-san, right?" She lifted her head, locking gazes with his black eyes, then blushed and averted her gaze. Hinata looked adorable while doing that, something his mind couldn't help but agree with.

So the quiet girl knew his name. That piece of knowledge made him slightly happy. He didn't care that some high famous lord knew his name, but the fact that this young girl did was invigorating.

"Yes. Yes, I am, Hinata-san. Oh, and you may call me Itachi, if you want," he offered, politely.

"H-hai, arigatou, Itachi-san…" The way his name rolled off her tongue made an unknown feeling creep on him. All he knew was that his cheeks were slightly warm, which meant he must be blushing. Uchiha did not blush! He decided to not look into it and ruffled Hinata's hair.

"For what, Hinata-san?"

"F-for c-comforting me, I-I guess…" Hinata bashfully buried her head in his chest as she said this, making the warmth on his cheeks even more pronounced. He coughed lightly.

"No problem, Hinata-san." He looked at her slightly trembling body that was still feeling the after-effects of crying her heart out and decided to ask, "What happened to your mother?"

Hinata raised her head slowly up, loosening her grip on Itachi. "Th-the doctors s-said that sh-she… d-died during ch-childbirth." As she said this, she started to softly cry again, but continued her story. "I-I heard h-her last w-words… Sh-she told me to b-become a strong k-kunoichi." Hinata could say no more as her body was soon overtaken by sobs. Itachi unconsciously tightened his hold on her, pushing her more firmly to him. He soon felt his shirt begin to wetten, but he did not care at the moment.

After a few minutes, Hinata finally quieted down enough to add something. "A-and here I-I am… c-c-crying! H-how am I-I supposed to be s-strong l-like th-this!" She buried her head back into Itachi's chest and started to hiccup.

Itachi looked at her, feeling something he hadn't felt in awhile: compassion. He, the famed Uchiha genius, the stoic boy of few words, was feeling emotions that he thought he had lost during his active years of being a shinobi of the Leaf, and it was all because of this small, crying girl. He felt his walls that he had worked so hard to build crumble to pieces.

"Hinata," he said gently. "Crying does not mean you are weak." At this, Hinata looked up, tears still rolling down. "It means you are strong enough to show your emotions." Hinata looked at him confusedly, half-blinded by her tears. Itachi sighed and wiped them away.

"You crying means that you are strong enough to show your emotions. So many ninja of the Leaf have lost that ability. They may not be weak physically, but they are crippled by their inability to show their emotions." 'Just like me,' thought Itachi.

Hinata looked at Itachi in awe and her tears stopped falling down, although she was still hiccupping. "So you see," said Itachi, "what your mother meant was that you become a kunoichi she would be proud of. And I know that she would be proud of you." He smiled down at her. "How many Hyuuga today would allow anyone to see their tears, if they had any? They are the weak ones, Hinata-chan."

New tears began rolling down her cheeks, this time, Itachi was happy to note, with a smile on her face. "Arigatou, Itachi…nii-san!"

He almost frowned, but held it in on Hinata's behalf. She looked so happy while smiling up at her new 'nii-san.' 'Oh well,' he thought. 'There is time later to fix that later.' He smirked to himself.

"Do you want me to take you home, Hinata-chan?" asked Itachi, looking at the sun starting to set.

"If it doesn't b-bother you, Itachi-nii-san," said Hinata, blushing.

"Of course not. Come on, Hinata-chan." Itachi gave Hinata his hand, which she took. He lifted her up and noticed her wince. "What's wrong?" he asked, noting the way her ankle looked a bit bloody.

"My a-ankle… I think I r-ran through a th-thorn patch." She winced as she put pressure on it. Now that Itachi looked at her more closely, he realized that the blood on her kimono that he had assumed to be her mother's actually had some of hers. 'Damn it. How could I have missed that?'

"Let me clean it up a bit, okay, Hinata-chan?" She nodded her head.

Itachi grabbed his first aid kit in his pouch and cleaned her scratches on her ankle. 'Some of these are deep. I can't believe she wasn't wearing any shoes!' After wrapping her ankle, he realized that she had scrapes all up her arm and on her hands. She also had scratches on her face.

"Hinata-chan, how did all this happen?" he asked as he set about to cleaning those too.

Hinata hung her head. "I-I was running…" Tears sprung to her eyes again. "F-f-father found me holding H-Hanabi, my n-new s-sister. H-he told me to never touch h-her, so th-that I-I wouldn't c-contaminate h-her with m-my w-w-weakness." She winced as the harsh memory came back to her. Itachi could feel himself starting to hate the girl's father even if he had never met the bastard. His hands involuntarily clenched as he heard the girl's tears hit the ground. He decided to busy himself with bandaging her wounds, lest his anger be felt by the girl.

Despite his restrain on himself, the girl looked up anyways. "I-I'm s-sorry… that y-you have t-to take so m-much of your t-time to talk to a f-f-failure like me, Itachi-nii-san."

Her words shocked Itachi. For the first time, he was at a lost of words. 'The Hyuuga bastard really did a number on Hinata,' he thought to himself furiously.

"Hinata, I do not want to repeat myself again. You are not weak. You are more than strong enough for your age." He looked at her with serious eyes. "You are only weak when you say you are. You are strong when you believe in yourself. And I believe in you, Hinata-chan." Itachi smiled at her shocked face. The girl looked like she didn't want to believe him, but when he told her that he believed in him, she had looked at him with shining eyes.

"Now that I've finished wrapping you up, let's go." He squatted down in front of her and asked her, "Do you want a piggy-back ride?" Hinata nodded and climbed on. The girl was lighter than he thought. More so than Sasuke, that pig. He smiled.

When they reached the Hyuuga gates, he left her with a stern looking Hyuuga man. Before he left, though, he ruffled her hair and gave her a kiss on her forehead, not noticing or caring that people were watching. "Ja ne, Hinata-chan. See you tomorrow." He was pleased to note that her face blushed tomato red like the ones Sasuke loved so much.

When he finally reached home, he couldn't help but look forward to tomorrow's mission, hoping to see a blushing, blue-haired angel.

He wasn't disappointed when he arrived at the academy to see the lavender-eyed, five-year old girl say, "Itachi-nii-san!"

Needless to say, Sasuke was not a happy Uchiha when he saw his aniki smile at the icky girl.