It was all so strange and it seemed foreign to him. He was the man that turned Konoha upside down many years ago with the brutal slaughter of the cursed Uchiha clan, he wasn't supposed to be back here. Alive and living among his native shinobi again, walking the familiar beaten paths throughout the village, sleeping in his once abandoned home.

The shinobi nations were now settled in the time of peace with the conclusion of the fourth shinobi war. Many died, many lived. There hadn't been a single town or village in all of the shinobi lands that didn't experience some kind of effect from the war. Still, they all rose together and would again rebuild.

He shouldn't be here, shouldn't be allowed to live, he felt as though his presence in this new world of peace and understanding would taint what everyone fought so hard for. The same tranquility he himself had sacrificed everything to achieve.

"Itachi, let's spar," a low voice broke him from his thoughts.

"Hn," he responded in agreement.

That meant physicality. Human contact, skin to skin, it was wrong that he carried the ability to live and be able to feel flesh of others. He should be dead. Sasuke had once killed him, he shouldn't be here. That was something else he would need to grow accustomed to, the bond that was once broken with his brother, was slowly connecting them to each other again. His young brother was the key that was holding him sane, he had been for so many years.

Itachi's raven hair swayed gently as he led the way to the private training grounds in the Uchiha district. Their family compound lay just outside of Konoha's village gates, still empty and desolate save for the last two Uchiha brothers. It bothered him, the feeling of his own hair against the nape of his neck. It was irritating to him because of the reminder that his hair continued to grow, just as he continued to live and breathe. It was unnatural.

The two brothers faced each other eerily, both remembering how it wasn't so long ago when they faced off, for once fighting together towards the same goal.

Silently agreeing to the use of taijutsu alone, as usual Sasuke started towards him first. Sasuke was anything but patient, while Itachi could stand there the entire day waiting for his little brother to make the first move. They were blurs of movement, before settling down into a complex display of their extreme talent, with high kicks, delicately aimed punches and skillful dodges. Two hours had gone by before Itachi fell into a familiar habit, the ease of his muscles as he demanded them. And then…

He poked Sasuke's forehead.

The younger Uchiha brother's eyes had widened fractionally in surprise, the last time his elder brother had done that was before his death some three years ago, only for Itachi to be resurrected by the demented Kabuto / Orochimaru.

In a way, Sasuke was relieved with the knowledge that Itachi was here, alive and with him. In another way, it bothered him, because he knew Itachi desired eternal rest, knowing his sibling was robbed of the peace death offered him. His brother was weary of this world, and had been resigned to his fate.

It was as though he was now a lost soul.

Itachi stilled for a moment, his two fingers still on the pale forehead of his brother, before removing them to see the familiar red mark he had left behind. They were close to each other, their eyes now connected; it was another rare moment of understanding passing between them. Was it wrong to reminisce on times shared together from their childhood? To miss the times lost between them?

"We should get ready," Sasuke broke the silence.

Itachi gave a single nod, "Yes," and he once again, led them back towards the residential area.

They had an appointment to keep with the Lady Hokage, Tsunade. This was the day where Itachi would finally be rightfully installed as the clan head. He and Sasuke had briefly discussed this issue, as Itachi himself believed his brother should hold the title and responsibilities, if either one of them should. Sasuke down right refused the position, admitting that he was too hot-headed to take on such a role. Not to mention he was still bitter, despite finally understanding why the elders had ordered the destruction of their clan so long ago.

This was perhaps the only chance for the Uchiha to make things right. To shape their clan into something they could be proud of, instead of a long line of deceitful ancestors and betrayals.

Finally standing in front of the Hokage in her office, the brothers stood silently, waiting for her to begin.

The Hokage herself though, was too busy eyeing each of them up. To her, it was still shocking to see both of them here, not only in the village, but in her office. And all they had to do was sign a scroll or two and the Uchiha clan would be apart of Konoha once again. So much had happened since the dawn of the fourth shinobi war. Had she not witnessed it herself, along with most of Konoha's elite shinobi, she could never believe and trust that either of these men were loyal. But not only did they verbally say they were, they had proved it. Old documents were found on Itachi's original orders, directed by the former elders and ordered by the Sandaime himself, naturally they had all been secretly under Danzo's manipulating influence. Itachi had played his part beautifully, for the sake of his clan…for the sake of Konoha. It was obvious that he loved both his village and clan, and to do what he did, was almost humbling. She could understand, at least a little, how and why Itachi Uchiha lived the way he did.

As for Sasuke, it took years, several fights with Naruto, until finally he found his way out of the darkness. Naruto did play a major role in that, but so did Itachi. When the elder Uchiha was finally released from Kabuto's fuda tag, he explained everything in truth to his brother, of details that Madara had skillfully left out. By explaining, it meant yet another epic battle between the two, and this time, Itachi had shown his little brother the true extent of his powers. Naruto entered the fray of course, Itachi couldn't be killed, but Sasuke and Naruto almost died. And not even a few short three months later, the three fought together and brought down Madara in a battle that permanently changed the landscape of the shinobi world.

Tsunade could very well see for herself that Itachi was a lifeline for Sasuke, the one who kept him grounded, where as Naruto was the tether tying them together.

Enough of these idle thoughts, it was time to reinstate these men.

"Just sign here," she smiled with a deadly gleam.

Sasuke raised a brow, "Just like that?"

Tsunade steepled her hands together in front of her chest, "It's been six months since the war has ended, you have been here all that time, under probation and the watchful eyes of anbu." She didn't mention that if the brothers chose to cause chaos, there was probably little the anbu could do. "Just sign and you'll both be Konoha citizens again."

Itachi silently stepped forward and quickly signed his name, it just seemed wrong though in some sense. For so long he held the truth back, for his brother's sake. By all rights, he should be dead right now. He didn't even have the courtesy of feeling numb inside, instead he was tormented with the onslaught of memories.

Sasuke followed Itachi's lead and signed his name, pressing heavily into the scroll with the quill pen, indenting his name harshly.

"Now, as for re-establishing the Uchiha clan. Normally, this would be discussed with the elders, and a vote would occur between the jounin. However, the elders are no more," she glanced at Sasuke, "as you are well aware. So it has been left to me, and I am reinstating the Uchiha clan to represent Konohagakure. Itachi, sign here."

He glanced quickly through the contents entirety of the new scroll she placed facing him on her desk. After signing, he returned to his stance next to his brother. He was now head of the Uchiha clan.

"Sasuke, are you prepared to carry out missions as a leaf shinobi?" she asked seriously.

His eyes narrowed, "At what rank?"

She smiled and leaned forward, "Jounin."

"What team will I be placed on?" he asked with caution.

Her smile grew, "Who do you think?"

"Tch…the idiot and the banshee," he scowled darkly.

Itachi looked at his brother, "You may be surprised Sasuke, people change."

The brothers shared a glance, yes, people could change. They were evident of that themselves. Still…couldn't an Uchiha complain without ridicule every once in a while?

The younger sibling sighed, "Fine."

"I'm glad you agree Sasuke." Tsunade said, "Now, I have several scrolls that were removed from the Uchiha compound after the incident. There are a few you should go over Itachi. In fact, I have a meeting set up tomorrow to go over the details on one in particular."

Characteristically his face remained blank and impassive although the question was clearly visible in his gaze..

She shook her head playfully, enjoying her teasing of the new 'Lord Uchiha', "I'm sure you'll know which one I find urgent enough to place a meeting, especially with it involving another clan and all."

He and Sasuke took their share of the scrolls after being dismissed and headed for home. Between the two of them, it took less than an hour to locate the scroll in question. It began with Sasuke staring at his brother after reading one scroll in particular.

This scroll had been laced with chakra traps and seals. But once his eyes scanned the contents, he had to go over them again.

Feeling Sasuke's stare on him, Itachi finally looked up from his own scroll, describing the effect of the sharingan against eyesight. "What is it, Sasuke?"

Sasuke tilted his head just the slightest, glanced at the scroll again to make sure he had read it correctly. After making sure there was no mistake, he sent a smirk at his brother, "Congratulations."

Frowning, Itachi grabbed the document from him and read it for himself. He blinked after reading it. With the sharingan activated the words would forever be implanted in his memory.

The Marriage Contract of the Uchiha and Hyuuga Clan Heirs:

Itachi Uchiha and Hinata Hyuuga

*A/N* Hi, let me know what you think, please r&r. *LaClem*