I'm still working out the details with the timeline. Curse my inability to remember important things!
The reviewers, huh? Not bad, not bad. Guest, I will be taking your decision into account. EdTen does sound cute, ne?
Ah, I'm such a crack-shipper... Though Ino will have a large role as well, so maybe...HMM. ;)
When Sasuke woke up the next morning, he was pleasantly surprised to find that Edo had not, in fact, been a hallucination.
That meant, of course, that the blonde HAD carried him to his bed and tucked him in. Edo had been a bit embarrassed, Sasuke recalled, and certainly uncomfortable, but was willing to put Sasuke's happiness ahead of himself. Sasuke was liking this replacement brother more and more.
But right now he was really hungry.
"So," he said, as calmly as possible, poking and prodding at Edo's face, "When are you going to wake up?"
Edo groaned, swatted Sasuke's fingers away with his left hand, flopped over, and blinked. "I'm up, I'm up, A- Sasuke." Funny how fast his voice changed from drowsy yet grumpy to defeated, forlorn. Maybe Edo's other little brother woke him up like that, and the memories were making him sad.
Sasuke scowled. Well, he couldn't have that.
Stepping over to Edo's futon, he decided to test the boundaries a bit by pulling his hair softly. Edo grumbled a bit, looking up at him reproachfully, before burying his head back into the pillow.
Sasuke sighed, and gave the golden strands an experimental yank.
"Argh! I'm up, I'm up!" Edo seemed rather frazzled by this, and almost jumped up, covering himself with the blanket at the last moment, before asking (demanding) in a rather forced tone for Sasuke to "Please leave so I can get dressed."
Sasuke wasn't too happy about it, thinking that Ed would go back to sleep, but he complied.
A few moments later, the door slammed open and Ed stalked out, mumbling incoherently as he braided his hair with gloved hands. It reminded Sasuke of It- that man's ponytail, and he winced as he recalled just why Edo was here.
Brothers shouldn't have to be replaced, he thought moodily.
His bad mood vanished when he saw what Edo was wearing. Black leather pants (not too tight but not too baggy, allowing for a wide range of movement), a plain black tank top, and a white-accented black jacket. And white gloves, of course- don't forget the gloves.
"Is that what people normally wear, where you're from?" Sasuke thinks he must either sound dazed or arrogant. He decides he doesn't like either, and snaps to attention. He doesn't want to be dazed- no good ninja is- and quiet arrogance was something that that man had plenty of.
Ed frowns at him, snapping, "Yes, so hurry up and help me make this on-a-gilly thing!", pounding at a package of rice, trying to get it to open.
Sasuke sniggers, and hurried over as Ed accidentally spilled the rice into the sink.
Apparently the gods didn't teach you how to cook.
After a few more mistakes-
"IT'S ON FIRE! THE STOVE'S ON FIRE- NII-SAN, DO SOMETHING!"
"Shit- argh-THERE'S THE WATER-"
"Nii-san, that was a gas fire! YOU DON'T ADD WATER TO A GAS FIRE-"
"DARN IT! DARN IT-"
"Eek! Nii-san, you spilled the water- THE FLOOR'S TOO HOT OW OW OW MY FEET-"
"Hold on, Sasuke!"
-They decided to toss out the badly burned rice. Luckily, nothing was damaged, and Edo grabbed a bucket of cold water for Sasuke's feet even as he rubbed away ashes from his face.
It was all very messy. And while they did it wrong, it was fun nonetheless.
And nonetheless, Sasuke was still hungry, so Edo made some instant ramen. Sasuke frowned at that, but Edo looked so down that Sasuke settled for the noodles anyways.
...They were actually pretty good. When he voiced this aloud, Edo looked very pleased, so Sasuke laughed slightly and trotted over to the freezer to pour them both a glass of milk.
And that was why they were in the current predicament.
"It's good for you," Sasuke pouted sternly. He wasn't going to have his brother be a shrimp- that would be all kinds of weird later on when Sasuke got taller. Edo looked up incredulously.
"It tastes like poison, and comes from a cow! Cow. Juice. How is it good for me?"
Sasuke scowled. "It makes you tall...er. Taller."
Edo was now glaring at him murderously. "Did you just call me short?"
The Uchiha backed up slightly. "N-no...just...that guy was taller than normal, is all..."
Now Edo seemed more unconvinced. "You want me to be taller to look more like that ass?"
Sasuke flinched slightly, and Ed softened, reaching out, coughing awkwardly, and placing his hand on Sasuke's shoulder. "Er."
Seeing the opportunity, the younger boy launched himself at it. "My mom made great recipes with milk, you know," he started. "And I like milk." Which wasn't exactly a lie, but it wasn't really true either. He was fairly neutral about it.
The blonde seemed at loss. "Yeah," he agreed, "my mom used to make the best stew ever...Ah..." Glaring at Sasuke, he downed his glass in one gulp, before washing out the taste with several cups of water. "Blech," he said.
Then he began to rummage furiously through the cupboard until he found a recipe book. Slapping it down on the table, he said, "What do you want for lunch?"
Sasuke saw a dilemma. "You can't cook," he said drily.
Edo seemed unconcerned. "Yeah, yeah," he waved it off as he flipped through the pages, smiling slightly. Under his breath, Sasuke heard him murmur so softly that he had to strain his ears to hear it, "...born from the kitchen, after all."
Raising an eyebrow, Sasuke leaned in. "What was born from the kitchen?"
Edo grinned. "Fried milk. It's supposed to be sweet- let's try this one."
Ah. So Edo had a sweet tooth like Itachi, then? Well, thought Sasuke, I wonder how he'll react when he finds that fried milk can be salty as well as sweet.
It promised to be very amusing.
The first few days passed spent mostly in the kitchen. It reminded him so much of his mother that he wanted to break down in tears right then and there. He actually did start crying, once, after Edo found that stew that Mikoto made on Sundays and made it as a surprise. Edo had apologized over and over, panicking, wondering what he'd done wrong. It was rather endearing, to say the least, and Sasuke managed to choke out the word, "memories," and then he clung to Edo as if the golden-eyed boy was a rock and Sasuke was weathering a storm.
And the memories were exactly that.
All his aunts and uncles who'd run their own food stands, their own little stores; Sasuke knows Edo, with his stomach like the Valley of End, would have loved their cooking. Then they'd exchange old people jokes and one would call Edo short, and there would be a fight but everyone would laugh when Edo (inevitably) lost again a more experienced shinobi.
Which made him think, really; what happens if that man came back?
A wave of panic- a tsunami, really- slammed into his mind. "Oh no," he breathed, before dashing off to Edo's favorite reading spot- under the tree at training ground seven. His brother (not Itachi, that man was no brother of his, and Edo was far better) was fascinated by the way chakra worked, the jutsus you could use, something about trajectory angles (whatever those were) with kunai, and asked if he could borrow a few books from the Uchiha clan library. 'Few' became many as they traipsed around the compound, exploring old houses and raiding all the scrolls and books to make one huge library. Many of the rooms were laden with traps, so they had shared many adventures together.
Adventures which might never happen again if Itachi decided that Edo counted as Uchiha; even the civilians, the children, and the elderly were killed, and the adopted children and non-Uchiha lovers- why would Edo be exempt?
"Edo!" he shrieked, running into the grounds. "Edo-"
"Sasuke?" Edo set aside the scroll he'd been looking at. "Sasuke, are you okay-"
"How well can you fight?"
Edo blinked. "Ah- fairly well, I suppose. Why do you ask?"
"What if Itachi comes back?"
Edo froze up immediately, stiffening as his eyes hardened. "How well can you fight?"
Sasuke's mind went reeling. "Are you offering to train me?"
It was such a novel idea. Itachi had never had time- the liar, the traitor- and his parents were always focused on Itachi, Itachi. Now Edo was going to help him fight...
"Stand up," Edo ordered, steely eyes staring at him. "My teacher was harsh, but good, and I hope I can be the same."
Sasuke swallowed. He didn't really like the growing smile on Edo's face.
I'm going to leave off there since I'm lame like that *eyeroll*
I stink at this. I can't transition at all- I rewrote this what, seven times? And I still don't like the way it turned out. Seems too...skippy, I guess. One scene to another.
I NEED PAIRING HELP HELP MEH
People have suggested NaruIno, NaruHina, NaruSaku, SasuIno, SasuTen, EdIno, EdTen, BLARGH BLARGH BLARGH.
My brain is farting now. Any other ideas for pairings? There won't really be anything- just shiptease and crushing and uncertainty.
Also; How will Ino affect the lives of Sasuke and Edo? (She will find out about Edo, btw.) And how will Tenten enter the story? ARE there any golden-eyed shinobi other than Orochimaru (and Edo?) Will Edo have any chakra? (I've seen several crossovers where the dimension-skippers are undetectable.) How will ROOT come into play?
I NEED SUGGESTIONS AS I AM A NEWB.
I have various ideas but no idea how to apply them or how the story will continue.
Ah well, let's hope the next chapter is less...random. Spontaneous.
I can't control the spontaneous ness.
EDIT: OH MY GOD.
I confused they're with there in the author's note- fixed now, thank goodness.
The bad grammar is rubbing off on me! *FEAR*