It was a sunny, yet cool day of autumn. Much like most days in Konoha, really. Itachi always liked rainy weather better, but everyone else seemed to enjoy the sun, so he didn't mind.

That was Sasuke's first day at the ninja academy and his older brother had decided to go fetch him as a surprise. Needless to say, the boy was thrilled.

To a random watcher, it would seem that Itachi never got tired of listening to his brother talk about all the little things of his day; what he learned that day, how he was the best at shuriken practice, the name of the kids that had spoken to him and what he had had for lunch. Absolutely correct impression. He couldn't wait for when Sasuke became stronger, when he became a gennin, a chunnin, and so on… Most of all, Itachi wanted to spar with his brother one day, when they were on the same level.

Suddenly, the youngest of the two stopped talking, and believing he had just ended with his inventory for the day, the other didn't even gave a second thought about it. That is, until a sharp scream made him aware again.

"Sasuke, what was that?" He asked, turning to the little boy who tightly grasped his hand and gave him a smug grin.

"I was trying to scare you!" came the answer "Did it work?"

"Hm… Not really…" Itachi had to smile when he saw the pout forming on his brother's lips "You'll still have to work a little harder… Would you like if I tried to scare you?"

Sasuke seemed to ponder for a second, but then nodded vigorously. He was a little man now, nothing could scare him!

Itachi let go of his hand and walked to a nearby tree. It was cicada's season, so the whole village was swarming with those insects. Just liked their father, Sasuke hated cicadas, but for a different reason. Fugaku often complained "Aren't those damn crickets enough? I can't get a wink of sleep!" while the youngest of the Uchiha was simply terrified of them. It was their eyes, he said, there was something just plain wrong with them.

A little husk was hanging from the trunk, so Itachi grabbed it, hid his hand behind his back and walked closer to the kid who watched him suspiciously.

The oldest brother pulled out his closed fist and showed the discarded skin.

The reaction was immediate.

"No! Aniki! Throw it away!" Sasuke screamed and retreated.

"Don't be so harsh, Sasuke." Itachi smiled and walked closer "It just wants to be your friend."

"No! It's evil!"

"Come on, just give it a hug and it'll leave you alone."

Sasuke's eyes became as big as saucers and he ran from his brother, screaming.


"Just a hug…!"

And thus, the two got home surprisingly early that day.