A/N: A lot of you wanted to see Sasuke's reaction to this whole thing, so this chapter involves funtiems with baby bro!
Also, not quite the place for pimping, but I CANNOT CONTAIN MY EXCITEMENT: sign-ups for the LJ community bitter_nakano's summer exchange open today! If you like Itachi/Shisui, we like you, so come sign up!
A/U Elements: non-massacre AU
Warnings: CRACK. Profanity, Shisui, stupidity.
Premise: Have they actually gone on a date yet?
I am having a conversation with Uchiha Shisui. This activity is probably what they had in mind when they coined the term "extreme sports."
"—a condom! No erection without protection, just repeat that after me—"
I of all people understand that cousins in old clans feel the need to take an unhealthy interest in others' private lives, but this is ridiculous.
"—have any sexy lingerie? I could lend you some? God, if I had your figure—"
"Or, you know, her gender," deadpans Hanabi, who has come into the kitchen to grab a tube of yogurt. Shisui's lip wobbles crazily and I look reproachfully at Hanabi, while sort of dragging my hand over Shisui's shoulder in something that vaguely approximates a comforting motion. He pats my hand and blinks either actual tears or fairly runny facial glitter away from his eyes—it's hard to tell, and sadly, either is distressingly plausible.
"I know I'm beautiful," cries Shisui bravely. "And speaking of—except not—I didn't see you around when we left last night, Hanabi-chan!"
"Don't call me that," says Hanabi, slamming the fridge door shut. "And yeah, I went to bed early."
"I knew it!" shrieks Shisui, waving his arms. Hanabi dodges adeptly and treks back across the linoleum, apparently unruffled.
"I d-don't understand," I say, although a miraculous sense of intuition that I have developed over the last few days cautions me that I'm much, much better off not understanding. "What's wrong w-with going to b-bed earl—"
Shisui practically leaps over the countertop so that he is almost literally in my face, or at least my ear. I can feel my semicircular canals rupturing at his increased proximity.
"Madara ojii-san went to bed early too!" he hisses. I gawk at Hanabi. She shrugs and leaves. I can hear her slurping her yogurt.
"Shisui-san…" I say, not quite sure how to phrase Please don't intimate that my sister and your uncle are involved in dodgy, possibly illegal relations in a polite manner or in fact any manner that doesn't cause my brain to hemhorrage. "P-please don't—"
"Ohmigod, I know. Keeping it in the family, amirite? But Madara ojii-san's nice, it's okay. He's also really good at—"
"I was totally going to say inter-clan relations," finishes Shisui, smirking. "In all kinds of ways." He fixes a few stray curls of hair with typical limp-wristed aplomb and rises to his feet.
"So we're on for seven tonight?"
"Y-yes," I manage
"Great! Be excited! It's going to be fabulous."
He blows a kiss, sashays halfway across the kitchen, and flickers out of sight.
I tell myself quite assertively that excited is what I'm going to be, and all I'm going to be. There is no possible way, after all, that my first actual date with Itachi can go any worse than the hookup, the morning after, and the clan dinner that preceded it. The slight nausea and persistent desire to faint is just a sort of…manifestation of that excitement.
It wasn't my idea to double with Shisui and Neji. It was Shino's. His reasoning, inasmuch as it can be called such a thing, was that Shisui is so outrageous that Itachi and I won't actually have to worry too much about what the two of us are doing, and thus can avoid awkward moments of the sort that theoretically exist on First Real Dates. Shino knows a great deal about awkward moments, as I imagine someone who routinely has to use phrases like "I have already told the termites to stay out of my belly button" must, so I've deferred to his expertise on this one. It doesn't mean it's reassuring.
For one thing, this means I'll be on this date with Neji, which is horrifying on so many levels I see no need to enumerate them. For another, it means that Itachi and Shisui are going to attract unwelcome attention, since putting them together in a closed space seems to elicit even more total estrogen failure than ordinary. For the last…well…Shisui.
Still, Neji and I show up at the Uchiha compound at precisely two and a half minutes to seven. I suspect masochism is included somewhere in the Hyuuga genetic makeup.
"Shouldn't they h-have c-come to pick us up?" I ask.
Neji glares at me. "I am not," he snaps, "getting picked up by Uchiha Shisui."
There is no tactful way to mention that it's a bit late for that, so I don't. Itachi gestures to us from the porch steps. He's wearing civvies. I miss his black spandex for several unmentionable reasons, but he's compensated for this by rigging his civilian clothes with more fishnet than is logically necessary.
"Hinata-san," he says, rising to his feet, and I feel a horrible stupid smile glopping across my face like a demented amoeba. As disconcerting as this date is, it's still a date with Uchiha Itachi, who is technically my boyfriend, and this thought makes it impossible to feel anything but a little bit giddy. That and lightheaded, but this is negligible.
"Shisui should be out in a few moments," says Itachi, bowing politely to Neji.
"What's he doing?"
Neji changes the subject so quickly he nearly gives the conversation whiplash. "Where are we going?"
"The Laughing Kunai," says Itachi, naming a rather posh restaurant in the entertainment district. It sounds dubious, but Hanabi informs me that a restaurant's degree of swank is directly proportional to the ridiculousness of its name. "Shisui was hoping to go the Tsukuyomi afterwards, but we decided you might like to see a Kabuki instead. They are doing after-dinner showings of The Founding of Konoha this month."
I'm surprised at the level of idiocy that is not present in this itinerary. It's not as if Uchiha Itachi is cognitively deficient or anything, but after his awkward alienation of common sense at The Dinner Party That Shall Never Be Spoken of Again, I've begun to develop a theory that he double-wraps his social competence and stashes it in his ANBU cubby with his mask, donning it about as often. But the plan is solid. Dinner and a show is comfortingly…civilian. There is no strawberry milk involved. There are no explosives. There is no Madara or Hanabi. Most importantly, there are no Raikiri Daiquiris.
My hopes of have a normal evening out for once soar. Kabuki shows are usually all-day affairs, but shinobi rarely have time for this kind of thing, so the theater downtown occasionally does special shortened shows for its honorable ninja citizenry. I've been wanting to see The Founding of Konoha for a while, too, so this is a pleasant surprise.
Neji apparently doesn't share this opinion. "Isn't that basically the Uchiha clan obsessing about itself?" he says suspiciously, apparently determined to make up for the sheer fact of his presence at this date by acting as hostile as possible.
"…Why would we want to see that?"
"We simply assumed, given your sexual proclivities—" begins Itachi, seeming genuinely puzzled. He has a point about this, but before Neji can say anything we spot Shisui flickering in intervals down the street, wearing exactly the same fishnet shirt as Itachi, but covered in silver sequins. This doesn't surprise me. Neither do the body tattoos. Or the special-import Iwa manbag in fake alligator.
The Uchiha fan bling is nowhere to be seen, so we can all consider Shisui's outfit a success.
"Helloooo, darlings!" trills Shisui, pecking the air next to Itachi's cheeks, then mine, then Neji's. Upon reflection, he seems to think better of this and launches himself at Neji, giving him a kiss that I'm fairly sure ups the rating of this entire evening before anything that even happened. "I'm so sorry I'm late, my garter belt just wasn't—well anyway, excited? The Founding of Konoha'sa great show! Remember, Itachi? We performed that when we were kids—something like three years old," he explains sotto voce. "I was Uchiha Madara and had to ride the Kyuubi, which was some neighbor's dog, and let me tell you, that dog was not housetrained. Itachi was Shodaime-sama! So cute, right? Weren't you cute, Itachi?"
"I was cute," attests Itachi gravely. "My armor was made of cardboard."
This is cute. I have to physically bite my lip to prevent the inane squeals from escaping like a bunch of crazed hamsters.
Maybe—just maybe—this evening might go reasonably well.
The Laughing Kunai is a fairly upscale restaurant situated between a dress shop and what seems like a glittery casino. I'm not familiar with either of these buildings, since kunoichi almost never enter the entertainment district unless it's to pose as a society woman and kill someone—which happens much more frequently than one might expect, but is an experience that I, fortunately, have never had.
"Civilians are so much cooler than, like, anyone I know," says Shisui, as we head inside. "Yeah, hi! Table for four, please?"
The maitre'd just stares at him.
"It is a Saturday night, young man," says the maitre'd, sounding as if he's trying to get the words out past a dead rat. "Do you have a reservation?"
"…Sure! Under 'Uchiha!'"
"Hm. I'm afraid I don't see—"
"I said," says Shisui, and his sharingan begins to spin lazily, "under 'Uchiha.' See it now?"
"Why…why, yes," the man says suddenly. "Surprising…I…didn't notice it before."
It's not surprising at all. He's staring at a lamentably tacky souvenir matchbook with The Laughing Kunai—Look Sharp! printed on it. It also happens to be upside down.
As we're escorted to "our" table, he quite seriously wails "Taste the rainbow!" after us.
"Do you have to do that every time you use that technique?" asks Itachi irritably.
"God, yeah?" replies Shisui. "It's hilarious."
"Quite," mutters Neji.
I should probably say something about shinobi and dates at this point.
There are a lot of considerations that need to be taken into account when going on a date with a shinobi. One of these considerations is that shinobi are, to put it mildly, hair-trigger paranoid. Even the lazy ones, like Nara Shikamaru. Itachi, for instance, probably wouldn't notice a concept such as tact or humor if it projected itself onto the moon and controlled him via illegal genjutsu, but he startles noticeably when a particularly subtle waiter pops up to present us with the drink menu. By "startles," I mean "goes into full-on battle mode." Fortunately, for Itachi, this merely involves activating his sharingan and staring fixedly at some point above his victim's shoulder. This is oddly terrifying; I have no idea why. It may have something to do with his eyelashes, which he probably dips in human growth hormone every morning before applying his mascara—oh my god, shut up, Hinata, shut up.
"Calm down, sweetie," says Shisui soothingly; whether to the gibbering man or to Itachi or to my internal monologuing demon I'm not sure. "What do you all want to drink?"
"No one is having anything alcoholic," says Neji immediately, and Shisui pouts and latches onto his arm.
"I'll have a l-lemonade," I say, making a mental note to do something extremely nice for Neji when we get home.
"Fabulous!" says Shisui, and the waiter scuttles off like a spooked crustacean. "So! How are you guys tonight? I'm so glad we could do this! I think this is Itachi's first date, right?"
"Third," says Itachi.
"Aww, you grow up so fast—"
For a moment it feels like someone's blown up a balloon inside my stomach and just sort of left it there to pursue…whatever activities balloons pursue. It takes me another moment to realize that this feeling vaguely approximates what might come sort of kind of close to jealousy, which makes me feel like a horrible person. Itachi is twenty-one, the most desired shinobi in Konoha by anyone in possession of gray matter and two X-chromosomes—actually, scratch that last—and he even looks good in black spandex. It's actually very surprising he hasn't had more dates in his lifetime.
"—didn't know you'd had three?" Shisui is ranting. "With whom? Does that time when we—"
"What about when we—"
"Not even when we—"
"I do not believe so."
"Asuma-senpai danced with me at a spring festival once," admits Itachi.
We're all stunned. Even Neji is trying to pretend he isn't wildly and indecently interested in this piece of information.
"Why?" gapes Shisui.
Itachi shrugs and takes a sip of water. "He thought I was Kurenai-senpai. The lighting was bad."
"Ohmigod, what! So why didn't you leave, you nut?"
"I was curious," says Itachi. "I have heard people enjoy dancing at spring festivals. And you were behind the goldfish stand with Hatake Kaka—"
"All right, enough about that!" squeals Shisui, flailing around with his juice and nearly causing a disastrous incident involving broken glass and eyes and copious amounts of screaming. "Not in front of the babies! Who was the other one?"
"Itachi! Naughty boy!"
"She wanted to celebrate my initiation into ANBU," says Itachi. "We ate dango and went to a sumo tournament. We were asked to leave. Apparently one is not allowed to partake in sumo wearing fishnets, and while Anko-san was willing to remove her shirt, I was not."
Neji and I look at each other.
"I am sure Hinata-san is not interested in this," Itachi dismisses. This is a scurrilous lie. "Shall we talk about something else? Recently I have initiated a campaign to re-allow nail polish inside ANBU headquarters—"
One of the things I have never particularly understood about my fellow females is their high tolerance for men who are, while attractive, exceptionally boring. Not that Itachi is boring, but I don't know why anyone would be interested in this nail polish information except Shisui, who is all over it like Jiraiya-sama on an underage girl or green spandex on an appendage that should not be well-outlined or some equally unappealing metaphor. At this point I suddenly understand that it's because it gives one extended opportunities to stare and overanalyze things while the object of observation…talks about boring things, I suppose. So I stare at Itachi. In particular, his cheekbones.
Itachi has lovely cheekbones, high and smooth as if they've been carved into his face—which is a definite possibility considering the two long scars that snake down his cheeks. They really are incredibly sharp, which makes me wonder if the real reason he never carries any weaponry with him is because he assaults people with his cheekbones. It's not hard to imagine. I picture him shoving his face into someone's—okay, fine, maybe it's a little hard to imagine.
I startle. Luckily, in my case, this means that I just stutter and look around wildly, and no one undergoes psychological trauma or anything like that.
"Itachi-senpai's talking to you," says Neji, giving me a funny look.
"I approve of th-the nail p-polish," I gush immediately. "I l-like purple…"
"I am glad to hear it, but I was not asking about that," says Itachi, lifting one eyebrow and causing my stomach to dribble out of its allocated cavity and slosh around on the ground in ecstasy. "I was asking if you would mind using your byakugan to assess the street outside briefly."
There is only a single flare of chakra outside strong enough to pose any threat to anyone, a blue chakra tinged with red at the edges and belonging to someone about sixteen years old. It doesn't seem to be doing anything. Just standing outside the restaurant and waiting. I report this back to the table and Shisui rolls his eyes.
"Ohmigod," he says. "Are you serious?"
"What?" asks Neji.
"Sasuke," Itachi answers. "He was sulking more than usual when we left. I had suspected he might show up arbitrarily."
"So why didn't you tie him up or something?" demands Shisui. "Didn't I leave you those handcuffs last time?"
"I gave him strawberry milk," says Itachi in a tone just this side of defensive. "It is usually an effective distraction."
I don't understand the Uchiha. Seriously, I don't. I don't understand why they're the most feared clan in Konoha. I don't understand why so many people want to procreate with them. I don't understand their creepy fixations on everything ranging from strawberry milk to incest and how can these terms even belong together in a sentence, oh my god.
"What now?" snaps Neji. "I didn't come here to be attacked by…Uchiha Sasuke."
"Of course not, pookie," gushes Shisui, practically pouring himself over Neji and letting his hands shunshin into places I have no interest in knowing about. "No one attacks my Neji-kun except—um, I mean. But seriously, Itachi…not cool."
"I apologize," says Itachi, and he looks genuinely concerned, by which I mean his eyelashes are perhaps a bit more droopy than usual. "Sasuke has never been receptive to the idea of my acquiring a girlfriend."
"Sasuke is a jealous little brat. You should make out in front of him," says Shisui. "Worked on my older sister. After she finished having a nervous breakdown."
"She had a nervous breakdown because you were seeing Orochimaru-sama at the time," says Itachi, ignoring the way Neji's face turns the color of regurgitated carpet. "Neji-kun and Hinata-san are not nearly as offensive."
I'm flattered. Maybe.
"In any case," continues Itachi. "It might be wise to head to the theater immediately. He will not be expecting that. I believe he is standing outside waiting to fight someone. It is his way of coping with situations. Once he and Naruto-kun had a fight on the roof of the hospital."
The really appalling thing is that he says this almost fondly.
"Just because that's what he does on his dates," mutters Shisui. "All right, fine—he doesn't know where we're going, right?"
"Fabulous. We should be able to shake him off. Split up, guys. Hinata-chan—sorry about this. We'll pick up something to eat after the show, okay?"
I'm not worried about food. I'm too busy being worried about getting murdered by Sasuke, so I just nod dully at him.
"Let's go, then, chickies," says Shisui. "Goddamnit—this is going to ruin my shoes, isn't it?"
We decide to take the rooftops. It's not clear to me why shinobi find this a prudent idea, because as I do it, various civilians stop their mundane tasks to look up at me and point and leisurely say things like "Look, there's a kunoichi jumping across the rooftops!" which is not in any way conducive to my stealthy escape, but this is standard protocol and standard protocol clearly needs to be followed in this case or I'll probably go insane. Suddenly Sasuke appears in front of me with a disturbing speed he must have copied from his cousin, and I nearly plunge headfirst off a particularly slippery stile. I catch myself. Then I look at his furious red eyes and consider jumping off it anyway, because death would probably make this situation more bearable.
"S-Sasuke-kun!" I whisper, trying to sound as if we've just coincidentially met. On a rooftop.
Stranger things have happened.
Honestly, this entire situation is mind-boggling, but not wholly unexpected. Ninja tend to equate acceptance with defeat; it's true, so if you go out with a shinobi you should automatically expect to be attacked by maniacal ex-girlfriends (Ino stalked Temari all the way to Suna and lived in her basement) or ultra-possessive best friends (anyone who tries to pick up Sakura has to go through Naruto first) or insane family members (I think Hanabi actively bit Kiba at some point). What goes on in these parties' heads is a mystery. Sometimes they're jealous that someone is taking up their Most Precious Person's time. Sometimes they just want to prove that you're not good enough for the aforementioned person. Sometimes they just have such serious clinginess issues that it's best to back away slowly and remember what we learned at the Academy about dealing with rabid animals.
So really. I should've expected that Sasuke would pop out of the woodwork and harass me at some point. If the descriptors "maniacal," "ultra-possessive," "insane," and "clingy" apply to anyone, after all, they apply to Uchiha Sasuke in relation to his brother.
"It's a n-nice night," I gibber valiantly, inasmuch as anyone can gibber valiantly, and Sasuke just looks at me. It's horrifying. He and his brother have the same freakish borderline-psychotic stare. "Are y-you just taking a st-stroll—"
I begin the process of slowly dying in graduated increments.
Many people in Konoha seem to harbor the belief that Uchiha Sasuke and I would make an excellent couple. I'm not sure who these people are. I've never met them. They have clearly never met me either, or for that matter, Sasuke, who is currently eyeing me as a vicious blue shark-humanoid missing-nin might eye a succulent jinchuuriki in possession of a few spare body parts, and I don't even want to puzzle out why my brain is presenting me with these nonsense images at a time when I need it to function properly. Trauma. Trauma is probably responsible for most things. Such as global warming. Oh god, I've lost it. I'm nauseous. I'm going to throw up my lemonade all over Sasuke.
"W-well, I'll just be g-going over h-here, then—" I say uselessly, and then Sasuke opens his mouth and ups the unadulterated lunacy quotient of this conversation to alert levels.
"Fight me!" he stresses, looking slightly crazed. "Do you not understand speech?"
I almost reply "no" because I'm too busy composing my will in my head to listen to what he's saying. It's surprisingly easier to stay calm when I focus my energies on whether the lavender high-heeled geta should go to Ino or Shisui.
"W-why?" I manage to warble. "I d-don't—"
"You can't be nii-san's girlfriend," he snaps. "It's just not right. Nii-san's the most powerful shinobi in Konoha."
What? Why? What am I even supposed to say to this?
"I don't have all day!' yells Sasuke. "Are you going to fight me or not?"
Um, no. "O-okay…"
"Katon: gokakyu no jutsu!"
I dodge. Sasuke sets a weathervane on fire. This is so stupid. We're in the entertainment district, it's something like eight-thirty at night, and Sasuke is causing property damages. I don't think insurance covers these circumstances. We're both probably going to be hauled into the Hokage's office first thing tomorrow morning for questioning. If there is a tomorrow morning.
Another burst of fire lights the tiles beneath me and I leap to the side and peel away down the center of the roof, wildly making my hands into some sort of lame water jutsu that won't do much, given the circumstances. Sasuke shoots a few Housenka bullets at me and singes the ends of my hair.
Weirdly, the only thing that crosses my mind is that I'm wearing Hanabi's dress. If he messes up Hanabi's dress, there will be no corner of the universe remote enough to hide me from her wrath. Seriously, the reason Neji is so messed up has nothing to do with the curse seal; it's more a function of his untoward interest in Hanabi's clothing.
I can't get close enough to jyuuken Sasuke because he's spewing fire everywhere like a dragon with the worst haircut known to dragons or haircuts or just worst things in general, so I settle for crouching behind a random chimney stack and casting horrified looks at him. He's pacing. Any moment, he's going to start monologuing, which I'm counting on to buy me some time.
"Don't hide!" shouts Sasuke. "You're the most incompetent kunoichi in our year! This is a disgrace—"
I whimper and knock my forehead against the bricks of the chimney. Shisui was right; Itachi should've restrained him or something. Sasuke is a menace. And then, at the thought of Shisui and his advice, fireworks go off over my head.
This is so incredibly embarassing. But "embarassed" is preferable to "catatonic."
Kurenai-sensei has a few tips for casting genjutsu on sharingan users. They are, in order of importance:
-Hide before doing it, so that they don't know where to direct their eyes.
-Stay out of range so that you don't get charbroiled before you accomplish anything.
-Check to make sure you are not suffering head wounds.
-Use a genjutsu that shocks or disconcerts, so that you can have it catch hold in the moment of surprise that will inevitably ensue.
Her tips are generally good. The only sharingan user she's ever failed to cast a genjutsu on is Itachi, because he's so socially questionable that nothing ever surprises him.
His brother, fortunately, is a different story. And Sasuke is very, very much surprised when I fling my chakra wide from behind the chimneystack and treat him to a beautiful full-color rendering of…well, of what exactly Itachi and I did in the hallway after the clan dinner yesterday.
Shisui is clearly wise beyond everyone's understanding, because it turns out Sasuke totally has a nervous breakdown too.
Well, to be fair, there's no nervous breakdown. Just a lot of wincing and twitching. Sasuke falls dramatically to his knees and claws at his eyes, yelling "No, nii-san, get away from her!"
"All right, Hinata-san," says a voice very close to my ear, making me jump, "that is enough."
I shriek, and Itachi puts his hands together and says "Kai!" before striding over to his hyperventilating brother.
"Sasuke. Stop that."
Sasuke stops, just like that. I actually feel sort of bad for him, crouching there on the roof tiles and casting furious glares at Itachi while simultaneously crawling towards him like an abandoned cat. Itachi dusts a bit of soot off his shoulder and says, "What was your thought process?"
He's being very generous to give him the benefit of the doubt that there was a thought process involved.
"You can't date her, nii-san! She can't even fight—"
"I believe she just won your match."
Sasuke's cheeks go a few degrees off magenta, and his expression goes a few degrees off 'contrite.' "That was—I mean—cheating—"
As if his own brother didn't use the same trick on me. Not that he knows this, or I might reconsider that "jumping off the roof" technique.
"Sasuke," says Itachi tonelessly. "Are you jealous?"
"I do not mean that you wish to be sexually involved with me," clarifies Itachi in his usual display of 'completely missed the point.' "That would be mildly troubling, and I am afraid I would have to reject your advances."
I giggle. Quietly. Sasuke is still in warpath mode.
"However, you did tail us to the restaurant, and I believe you were planning to ambush us at The Founding of Konoha. Therefore, that is my deduction."
"I am not going to ignore you because I have become involved with Hinata-san, Sasuke."
Sasuke's mouth falls open in the way that people's mouths only fall open when they've just heard exactly what they were thinking, but don't want to admit it. This is a very precise facial expression. It's common among shinobi because their collective emotional maturity falls somewhere between that of rabbits and paramecia.
Itachi brings up his finger and pokes Sasuke in the forehead.
"Foolish little brother," he says. "Next time you feel the need to intervene in my personal life, discuss it with me first."
Sasuke lurches to his feet and brushes himself off. "I'm not—I mean—you can date whoever you want, nii-san," he says loftily, although he still looks mildly pole-axed. Then he makes a series of unintelligible and mystifying noises. "I—uh. You. Nii-san. Hm."
"Apology accepted," says Itachi graciously.
See what I mean? Emotionally stunted.
Sasuke casts a venomous look at me, although it's not quite as psychotic as before. "Enjoy your date," he mutters, and then with a leap he's off again, and Itachi and I are left alone on the mildly charred rooftop.
"I apologize for that," says Itachi. "Sasuke can be possessive."
It suddenly becomes clear to me that I am standing on a rooftop with Uchiha Itachi wearing an only mildly wrinkled fancy dress and fairly hungry and in uncomfortable date shoes, and Sasuke is most definitely not the ideal topic of discussion. But from a look at the sun, it's clear that we've probably missed the evening showing of The Founding of Konoha, so I'm not really sure what I should suggest. I'm about to find some way to say "Thank you for the wonderful evening" that doesn't sound insultingly ironic when Itachi walks right past me and scoops up a bag he apparently dropped on the ground.
"I told Shisui and Neji-kun to go ahead to the theater, but you and I," he says, "have not had dinner."
The bag says Ichiraku Ramen. Or possibly manna from heaven. I don't know. There might not be a difference.
Itachi brushes off a little alcove of the roof and gestures to me to take a seat. Then he gives me my ramen and chopsticks and takes out the few dozen boxes of dango he's picked up for himself. We say our "Itadakimasu!" and enjoy a few moments of blissful miso-scented silence, during which Itachi polishes off a few skewers of dango in unheard-of amounts of time and even breaks out the two containers of packaged milk he picked up for us. Strawberry, of course. I'm smiling so hard I can barely chew.
Then, while I'm finishing off my second container, Itachi puts his hands together and makes a few seals. I recognize them as genjutsu-type seals and panic for a second.
"Wh-what are you d-doing?"
"Dinner and a show was what I promised," he says by way of explanation.
The rooftop and the orange-tinted sky of the entertainment district bleed out slowly and flawlessly, replaced by what looks like a school auditorium. Belatedly, I recognize it as the stage at the Academy.
"I am sorry you cannot see it at the theater," says Itachi.
As I watch in the genjutsu, a tiny child wanders onto the stage, completely serious despite the ludicrous cardboard breastplate he seems to be wearing. The Konoha symbol is awkwardly crayoned onto the front. He's wearing a felt headband.
"I, Hashirama Senju, hereby declare this village-" says little Itachi seriously, and trips over his 'armor.' He rights himself remarkably quickly. "—Kono…Konoha!" In the front row, Uchiha Mikoto seems to be sobbing proudly into a little embroidered handkerchief, and Uchiha Fugaku is repeatedly muttering "As expected of my son."
This time I can't even stop a crazed little squeal of delight.
"It is rather inane," says Itachi, and moves as if to dispel the genjutsu. I grab his sleeve before really allowing my synapses to fire.
"N-no!" I say. "Itachi-san, this is—this is p-perfect!"
His eyes grow a little round.
"You are not upset that Sasuke ruined this date?"
"It's n-not ruined!"
He still looks doubtful. So I set my ramen down, move a little closer to him, and kiss him on the cheek. It gets a little easier every time, and I'm sure it'll get even easier if he keeps doing things like this.
Itachi smiles very slightly. His sharingan spin on autopilot, maintaining the genjutsu.
"All right," he says. "Let us watch, then. Shisui's part will be of great interest to you."
Shisui at five indeed cuts quite a figure as Uchiha Madara, although at one point his wig slips off and he bursts into tears, wailing about how his hair is ruined and there's no point in going on with the show. A panicked-looking—and much younger—Kurenai-sensei ushers him backstage and brings him back out again with a new wig, at which point he preens and flounces around and nearly knocks Itachi cross-eyed with a 'battle fan' made out of rice paper and pipe cleaners.
I laugh and laugh and finish my ramen and huddle a little closer to Itachi, and at some point he says, quite matter-of-factly, "If you are scared, you may hold on to me."
"Itachi-san, i-it's an Academy p-play…"
He considers this.
"Very well," he amends. "You may hold on to me for no reason, then."
So I do just that.