A/N: This is kind of a companion piece to 'Under the Moonlight' but can be read alone. It's just better if you read the other too.

Like every other day, the Uchiha compound was teeming with activity this morning. Since the event that came to be known as the Uchiha Rebellion, many of the clan had been either imprisoned or executed. Still, there were those who stayed loyal or were unaware. These are the ones who now ran the shops, going about their business now.

In a quiet house, one Uchiha Itachi was just rolling out of bed. The retired ANBU captain now clan head staggered blearily towards the kitchen of his clan home, completely missing the scorch marks on the walls as he lazily tied the sash of his robe. In previous years when he woke, he'd be welcomed with his mother's smile, hot tea, and good food. Today, he went to the cupboard and pulled out a box of pocky before taking the jug of milk out of the refrigerator.

He leaned against the counter as he ate his decidedly un-wholesome breakfast. Let's see. What was on the agenda today? An appointment with Tsunade-sama concerning the progress of the Hyuuga alliance; he now understood fully his father's extreme hatred for Hiashi. After she eventually stopped laughing at the situation, he'd have to avoid his horde of fangirls; he didn't care what the elders said, he was not getting married now. He'd sooner go rogue.

Speaking of rogues, he was missing a brother. The younger ninja had been sleeping in the house last night, but Itachi could sense that Sasuke had been gone some hours. He shrugged and rubbed absently at a long scar that ran across his chest. Sasuke was probably training somewhere. Again. Obsessively. Ever since Naruto had come back from his training with Jiraiya, Sasuke had become…passionate about becoming stronger than the blond.

He was near fanatical in his desire to beat the Uzumaki. Still, he usually slept through the night before he went training. Taking a drink from the jug, he decided he'd go find his brother later, probably passed out from exhaustion in one of the training fields, and mock him about being foolish after he regained enough of his sensibilities to get mad about it. Itachi picked up a chakra signature on the edge of his awareness approaching the front door. He made his way to the front of the house, still snacking on the pocky. He opened the door just as the pink haired chuunin on the other side raised her hand to knock.

"Oh! Good morning, Itachi-san!" Sakura said.

Finding nothing 'good' about the morning, Itachi replied with a nod and said,


He was never overly – or regularly – a social person but even more so upon waking. While Sakura waited a beat for him to say more – having the younger Uchiha on her team for so many years should have taught her better - , Itachi merely stared back, nibbling a pocky stick.

"Uh, so is Sasuke here? He was supposed to meet me at the training ground for a spar, but he never showed."

Itachi blinked down at the pinkette, silently reassessing his earlier conclusion but still not worried. Uchiha didn't worry anyway; they reacted…violently.

"He is not. I don't know where he is but assumed he was training on his own somewhere," he said, tilting his head in thought.

Then something occurred to him. He shook the box he was holding slightly, and Sakura looked up from worrying her lip.

"Would you like some?"

"No, thanks," she sighed. "Your brother's usually not this much of a jerk."

"Oh, yes, he is," he replied, lips quirking slightly.

Sakura chuckled at that, placing her hands on her ample hips and glancing away from him.

"Hypothetically speaking, if dear Sasuke-kun were to show up with several superficial but painful wounds, would the person who did the damage have the Uchiha clan head after her…or him?" she asked sweetly.

He shrugged.

"Hypothetically speaking, my brother needs to be slapped around every now and then. It's good for him."

She smiled and cackled with what he could feel as actual killer intent. Was it wrong that he was a little glad that his team was dead so he didn't have to deal with them? …maybe. It was then that Itachi looked over her head and arched a slim brow. Seeing this, Sakura turned around and gaped.

Sasuke was limping towards the house. Even from this distance, a red gash provided sticky, dried blood to the side of his scowling face. His shirt and pants were torn and dirty.

"It would seem someone beat you to it, Sakura-san."

Sasuke glanced up, saw his brother and teammate staring, and upped the glare. Sakura smiled cheekily, and Itachi waved lazily. He hobbled the rest of the way to his brother and leveled his 'die-shrivel-die' glare at him.

"Itachi," he said slowly, "you are at least a kage level ninja! How do you not notice when fire jutsus go off in your house and your own brother gets dragged off in the middle of the night!"

Sakura stood to the side as Sasuke ranted at his brother. At any other time, she would be offended – and she would be later – that he was ignoring her. But this whole scene was just too amusing. She watched the brothers with of keen interest. When Sasuke stopped talking, her head swiveled in Itachi's direction.

The elder Uchiha chewed the chocolate covered biscuit in his mouth contemplatively before swallowing.

"Sasuke," Itachi said slowly, "for one thing, it was the middle of the night. I was asleep and unaware. I apologize for not thwarting your kidnapping at the hands of your fangirls.

The sharingan flashed in Sasuke's eyes.

"I hate you."

"Oh, you don't mean that," Itachi waved it away, "You're obviously traumatized and don't know what you're saying. Go inside and take a nap. I'm sure you'll be less grumpy when you wake up."

Sakura giggled. When Sasuke turned to glare at her, seemingly trying to use a fire jutsu with just his eyes, she really did try to stop.

"Sooo…we're not sparring then?" she asked with faux innocence.

"I want all of you dead," he declared before brushing past them with as much dignity as he could muster.

"You'll never get a girlfriend with that attitude," Itachi called after him.

Sasuke responded with the one finger salute and muttered something about 'books', 'raining ashes,' and 'masked pervert'. Itachi smiled at his little brother's retreating back before returning his attention to the amused chuunin.

"He's so adorable when he's spouting hatred and death threats," she said.

"Like a pouting child," he mused.

He noted the considering look on the girl's face and asked,


"Are you doing anything now?"

Later, when Sasuke got up from his nap, he would go to the kitchen, glaring at the scorch marks along the way. On the refrigerator, he'd find a note.


Gone to spar with Sakura-chan. Will be home much later. Go get more pocky.


Sasuke would then re-read the message three times and try to burn a hole through the paper with his eyes.


A/N: Please don't comment on the fact that this is AU and canonly incorrect. I know.

Disclaimer: It's not mine, people.