Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto. Now that that's out of the way..
A/N: Oh, brother..I blame you for this one, dd-san. XD And thanks loads for letting me borrow Natsuko!! I hope I did her justice!
'Itoko' means 'cousin', just FYI. And if Itachi seems a tad OOC..well, he's young, and he doesn't have all the additional angst of the Massacre heaped on him. I suggest at least reading 'Friends Don't Let Friends Cut Their Hair' first, or this won't make as much sense.
Yay, my first trilogy..Enjoy!
Brought This on Yourself
"Itachi! Dinner!" Oh, drat-his mother sounded irritated now.
Itachi ignored the little voice in the back of his head that muttered 'Childish..' as he burrowed himself deeper under the covers. He could not leave this room. He could. Not. Do it.
Silently, whilst awaiting the inevitable, Itachi lamented the fact that he had been foolish enough to trust his cousin with something like this. Shisui had insisted on cutting Itachi's hair, saying that its current style made him look like a girl.
And I, Itachi thought in an uncharacteristically miserable tone, let him.
Shisui had transformed his friend's long, black, normal-looking hair into a two-foot-high spiky monstrosity dyed garish shades of green and yellow. Sasuke had entered and seen the spectacle; the two had had a good laugh over the Mohawk, and then Shisui had escaped just fast enough to avoid death by scissors at Itachi's hand.
Sasuke had been threatened with baldness should he breathe a word, but Itachi got the feeling his little brother was keeping his mouth shut in order to watch his aniki stomp on the land mine himself, rather than because he feared retribution.
The whole spectacle had taken place less than three hours ago, and ever since Itachi had kept himself locked in his room, praying Fugaku wouldn't pick today of all days to send him on a mission.
He hadn't. But this was the next-worst thing:
There was no way to escape. Now Mikoto, unused to her elder son taking so long, was becoming irritated.
"Itachi, what is taking so long?" Great, now his father had joined the fun.
Hearing a chair being scraped back, Itachi fought the instinctive urge to panic and cursed the Academy for not teaching him how to actually turn invisible.
"I'm coming," he made himself call. "I was napping; sorry."
After a pause, the chair scraped back into its original position. The Uchiha prodigy exhaled, relieved, but at the same time knowing he'd only bought himself a brief reprieve.
What am I going to do? he wondered dismally. What on earth could possibly make them overlook this?
Prodigy that he was, Itachi figured out the answer to his own question abnormally quickly. He ran through all possible options in his head, along with the issues of time constraint and materials on hand. By the end of a time period consisting of 2.1 seconds, he had come to a firm conclusion.
He was screwed. Beyond belief.
Fighting the urge to grab the sides of his head and howl in frustration, he hurriedly ran through everything again, praying he had missed something vital. But of course, he hadn't.
Yup, definitely screwed.
"Nii-san? I suggest you get out here before Father loses his temper," came a warning from the doorway.
"How can I?" Itachi demanded, turning to face his younger brother. "I can't possibly go out there looking like this!"
Sasuke shrugged. "Sorry, aniki, but it doesn't look like you've got a choice." Contrary to the first word of his sentence, Sasuke did not look sorry at all. In fact, he looked almost smug; Itachi's gut told him that Sasuke was fighting down a smirk with everything he had.
"Unless you want to sneak out the window," the smaller boy continued.
The words were an afterthought, said without care, meant to be unserious and flippant. But Itachi grabbed on to them with an almost frightening level of relief.
"Sasuke, you're a genius."
"What?" Sasuke went over what he had just said. His eyes widened.
"Yes, I would." Am I that desperate?!
"You're kidding me!"
Itachi made a few desperate hand motions, and Sasuke lowered his voice to a disbelieving hiss. "What am I supposed to tell Mother and Father?"
"Anything," Itachi muttered. "Feign ignorance. Tell them I must've vanished after you left my room. Or better yet-tell them I went off on a special training excursion. It'll keep Father from tracking me down." Hopefully..
"Are you serious about this?" Sasuke was grinning now.
"Absolutely. Until I get this nightmare straightened out, I refuse to show my face to anyone besides you and Shisui. If someone else saw me like this I would never live it down."
Amused, Sasuke nodded. "If that's what you want to do, then I guess I can't stop you." He paused. "Just don't kill our cousin, all right?"
Itachi metaphorically halted in his tracks.
Revenge? The thought hadn't occurred to him before, but now it seemed like a rather excellent idea..
He poked his brother's forehead affectionately and turned to leave. "Thank you, Sasuke."
"No problem." Itachi didn't need to turn around to see the smirk that had made its way onto Sasuke's face.
Without any further ado, he slipped out of the open window and into the night.
There were still rays of sunlight-however fast fading-dappling the Uchiha compound, so Itachi was careful to stay in the shadows out of fear that one of his father's associates would pop up out of nowhere and see him. He hated feeling so paranoid; it was another addition to the (growing) list of reasons to track Shisui down and maim him.
After a few minutes of walking around aimlessly he decided he should probably come up with a more precise plan of action. Part of him-probably the part closest to his Mohawk-wanted to hunt down his cousin first thing, but it was getting late, and Shisui's father would probably kill him out of instinct if he barged into their house without warning.
Eventually he ended up sleeping in a tree as far from his home as possible. It was the best he could do.
Itachi woke up bright and early the next morning and received a shock.
He had no mirror on hand, but one knows when something about one's body is..off.
Heart sinking, he cautiously reached up to prod his hair. With a few touches, he suspicions were confirmed. He now not only had a Mohawk-he had a Mohawk plus bed head. Epic bed head, as a result of sleeping in a tree.
And here I thought things couldn't get any worse. How foolish of me.
There was nothing else for it. He couldn't afford to stall; he had to find his cousin and figure out a way to reverse this.
Well, at least now I have a plan. Step one: find Shisui. Step two: make him talk. Step three: fix hair. Step four: exact revenge on him. Step five: go back to living a normal, Mohawk-free life.
It was a good plan. Now the only issue was pulling it off.
No point in dawdling, he decided, already working on figuring out a short-term plan for hiding his hair in case another member of his friend's family answered the door. The problem was that there was a distinct lack of clothing options available to him; he was in the woods, after all. He ended up shredding the bottoms of his pants and tying them together around his Mohawk, creating a very strange sort of turban.
Onwards then, he thought, and headed back to civilization.
Itachi skirted around the backs of houses, going across roofs occasionally, until he came to Shisui's.
Coming around to the doorway, he hesitated. He'd covered up his hair to avoid looking like an idiot should one of Shisui's parents answer the door. But now that he thought about it, his makeshift headgear probably looked just as moronic..
Well, there was no point in turning around now. He knocked on the door, politely but with resolution.
It opened, and Itachi found himself looking at eight-year-old Uchiha Natsuko, Shisui's beloved little sister.
She saw who it was and grinned. "Hi, Itachi!" she chirped.
"Hello, Natsuko," Itachi replied.
"You're here to see nii-san, right?"
"See"? I suppose you could say that.. "Yes, I am."
"Come on in, then," was the cheerful reply. Itachi did so.
"I'll go get him," she continued, "but can I ask you a question first?"
He blinked. "Certainly." Why do I have a bad feeling about this?
Sure enough, she pointed interestedly at his turban. "Why are you wearing that thing on your head?"
Itachi sighed. "It's the fault of your brother. Let's leave it at that."
"Oh. Okay. What'd he do to you?" Natsuko inquired conversationally.
"..Natsuko, I really don't-"
"You don't want to talk about it?"
"Yes," Itachi replied thankfully. "I do not want to talk about it at all."
"Okay," she said, sounding a little disappointed. "I'll get my brother, then." And to Itachi's relief, she headed in the direction of Shisui's room.
"Nii-san!" he heard her call. "'tachi-itoko's here to see you!"
"Natsuko!" was the responding groan. "You weren't supposed to tell him I was here!"
The prodigy raised an eyebrow.
"You did something to him," the little girl replied, sounding remarkably like her mother. "You brought this on yourself, nii-san!"
Itachi almost snickered at her authoritative tone.
A few seconds later Natsuko reappeared.
"My big brother's making a run for it," she explained.
I should have known. "Thank you, Natsuko," Itachi said hurriedly, already moving for the doorway.
"Don't kill him, okay?" she called after him.
"I won't," he replied grimly. (Crossing his fingers, of course.)
The chase was a brief but interesting one. Shisui had mastered the art of teleportation, but Itachi could still sense his chakra. He captured his troublemaking cousin at the edge of the forest.
"Quit running now and I might be merciful," Itachi growled.
Shisui faced his friend with a nervous laugh. "Merciful. Right." He paused thoughtfully, then added "Loving the hat, little cousin."
Itachi scowled. "How do I get rid of the Mohawk?" he snapped.
Shisui shrugged. "How am I supposed to know? I'm no hairdresser."
"You somehow managed to give me this!"
"I looked up instructions on the internet for that." The word 'duh' went unspoken.
"I don't care," Itachi seethed. "Look up instructions for how to get rid of it, then."
"You ruin all my fun," Shisui sighed. "Besides, it could have been worse."
"How so?" was the sardonic reply.
A wicked grin. "I could've made it pink." Shisui actually felt the murderous air beginning to surround his friend after that and surrendered with a yelped "All right already!"
They returned to Shisui's house, where the older boy got on the computer and attempted to hunt down a solution while his cousin sat in the corner, trying not to brood and mostly succeeding.
That venture became much more difficult, however, when Shisui finally shut off the computer almost thirty minutes later and turned around. "No dice," he said before Itachi could speak up. "I tried every variation of 'how to get rid of a mohawk' possible. Sorry."
You don't look sorry, Itachi thought mutinously. Not in the slightest.
There was nothing to be done, however. Shisui's parents would be home soon, and if they saw Itachi like this word would definitely get to his own parents, so he had to retreat for the time being.
But he wasn't done with his cousin yet. Leaving the house, the Uchiha prodigy was gripped with a firm resolve.
If I have to suffer, Itachi vowed grimly, then so does he.
He spent the night in his tree again, naturally. When he woke up it was Day Three of his escape from home, and no search party had been sent out yet. He wondered just how far he could push the 'training excursion' alibi.
With any luck, things would be cleared up-to an extent-very soon. An idea had come to Itachi in his sleep. A ridiculous, immature, childish and petty idea, but one that would satisfy his need for revenge while not physically harming anyone. After all, Shisui gave me a Mohawk for heaven's sake. That's not exactly 'mature' either.
When he went back to his cousin's home he discovered that Shisui had been deployed on a mission. Naturally, this made everything much easier. Natsuko let him in, examining his hairstyle with interest (he'd given up on trying to cover it; that just wasn't possible anymore).
"So that's what he did." The little girl sighed. "I thought your old hair looked beautiful.."
Itachi fought the urge to groan over the 'beautiful' comment and got to his point. "I need your help," he said without preamble.
"With what?" she asked, looking interested. Itachi rarely asked for anyone's help.
Her cousin's eyes glinted. "Revenge," he said simply.
Natsuko frowned. "You aren't going to hurt nii-san, are you?" she demanded anxiously.
"No, no," Itachi replied quickly. "Of course not. I'm just going to..rattle him a little."
"Oh. That's okay then." She grinned. "What do you want me to do?"
He told her, and she looked a bit skeptical at first.
"Are you sure, Itachi? Won't nii-san notice?"
"No," the teenager replied firmly. "I'm sure of it. Shisui is so slow to wake up in the morning it's a miracle he manages to put one foot in front of the other."
Natsuko mulled this over, and then started grinning again. "You're right!" She giggled. "This is going to be fun."
I couldn't agree more, Itachi agreed silently.
Many hours, much sneaking around, and six gallons of dye later…
Itachi left his tree very early the next morning in order to watch as the situation played out. He hid himself next to the police station door that his cousin tended to use, and waited.
It was still dark out when Shisui turned up, bleary-eyed and practically sleepwalking. With one glance, despite the very dim light, Itachi could tell that the scheme had worked perfectly. He smirked and moved so that he could see the results through the window. Here we go..
Shisui entered the office with a yawn. "Morning, Inabi."
"Hey, Sh-" The older man stopped as he looked at Shisui. "…What the hell?"
"What?" Shisui asked, perplexed.
By now the initial shock had worn off and Uchiha Inabi looked positively gleeful. This would be sufficient blackmail material to last the rest of his natural life. "Nice outfit, Shi."
Now Shisui really looked confused. "What are you talking about? I'm wearing the same uniform I wear every-" He looked down at his body and did a perfect double take. "What the crap?!"
Itachi held back a snicker as his cousin stared, flabbergasted, at his..improved police uniform. Inabi too looked endlessly amused, and for good reason. After all, it wasn't every day an officer showed up for duty at the prestigious Uchiha police headquarters wearing a uniform that had been dyed a violently hot shade of pink.
Shisui started figuratively tripping over himself trying to think of an excuse, and just when Itachi thought this couldn't get any better, who should walk in but his own father.
Inabi wiped the smile off his face and stood up straight. "Morning, Fugaku-san."
Fugaku nodded, and then his gaze shifted to Shisui. The look on both their faces was priceless.
"..What," the police chief said finally, "is this about?"
Shisui weighed his options and decided that there was only one course of action that might buy him time to think of a way to avoid losing his job. He ran for his life.
Naturally, Itachi-who had sneaked away when Fugaku entered-was the prime suspect. Shisui caught up with him at the edge of the woods.
"You're diabolical!" the older boy exclaimed.
Itachi raised an eyebrow. "I can't help but think you should have seen it coming," he stated dryly.
"I knew you were angry, but I didn't think you'd go this far!" Shisui yelped. "Look at me! You're dad's going to kill me for-"
"'Disgracing the noble stature of the Konoha Police Force'," Itachi finished for him. "I know. He'd say exactly the same thing to me if I showed up with a Mohawk." He gave his cousin a very pointed look.
Shisui winced. "Fair enough." After a pause he asked, "Where'd you get the paint? I didn't think you'd want to risk being seen in public with..that." He gestured vaguely to Itachi's ever-messier hair.
Itachi shook his head. "Natsuko had some pink dye lying around, apparently. I don't want to know what she was planning on doing with it before.."
"Natsuko?" Shisui spoke in a tone of mock horror. "You turned my own sister against me; how could you.."
"Is that really relevant right now?" Itachi asked testily. "I think we should both be thinking about what on earth to do next. My father thinks I'm on a training excursion, but who knows how much longer that will hold water. If you vanish too they are bound to smell a rat."
"Well, we both look utterly ridiculous now," Shisui observed thoughtfully. "Maybe we could use that."
"How?" the younger of the two asked incredulously.
A few seconds passed before Shisui snapped his fingers and grinned. "I've got it," he said. He gave Itachi a sideways glance, and his grin grew even wider. "You're probably going to hate me for this, Itachi, but at least it might get us out of this mess."
Itachi had a feeling he was going to regret asking. "What do you have in mind?"
Fugaku stood with his arms folded as two short figures came into view. He already had a scathing lecture prepared for Shisui, but-wait, why was Itachi with him?
And what in the Five Great Shinobi Nations was his son wearing on his head?
His frown deepened as both boys walked into the room.
"Good morning, Fugaku-san," Shisui said brightly.
"What is this all about?" Fugaku asked irritably, gesturing to Shisui's pink uniform and the green nest Itachi had on his head.
"Oh." Shisui grinned sheepishly. "Well you see, sir, Itachi was deployed on a top-secret mission a few days ago by one of the higher-ups; I was set to join him today."
"And what was this mission?" Fugaku asked suspiciously, eyeing his silent son.
Shisui continued. "Y'see, for the first stage of our mission we had to go to Yugakure and infiltrate a famous punk band.."
A/N: ZOMG, that was fun!! And perhaps a tiny bit crackish, but whatever; I loved writing it. (I hope I got Natsuko in character, dd-san.) Hope you enjoyed! -Sky