yo

i'm alive

here's a chapter, beta'd by the wonderful Daelyn

the sheer amount of fluff makes me want to kill a bear so i'll feel manly again

cries manly tears of manliness


After lunch, Sasuke and Itachi sat on the couch together, watching a movie. Itachi wrapped his arms around the smaller body and once again caught himself thinking that Sasuke felt just a bit thinner and bonier than he should have. He rubbed at his arm, feeling the way his shoulders jutted out a bit more than they used to. This nagging voice in the back of his mind told him he should be concerned, but truth be told, he didn't really want to entertain the thought of his brother having yet another problem. Cutting, promiscuity, depression…adding another to the list would be awful, but Itachi couldn't deny the fact that he barely seemed to eat anymore was worrisome.

"Nii-san?" Itachi jerked his head towards the smaller raven cuddled up to his side.

"Hm?"

"Thank you for always being there for me," Sasuke said with a small smile. "I've put you through a lot."

"Don't worry about it," Itachi said, hugging Sasuke tighter to himself and internally grimacing at how small he felt. I'd do anything for you.

The movie was boring at best, but neither brother minded. Being close was all that mattered, and they were more than happy to simply snuggle on the couch together. Sasuke drifted off halfway through the movie and Itachi let him sleep. The boy was still tired from all of last night's and this morning's events, as was Itachi. Eventually, he fell asleep as well.

They were both awoken a couple hours later by Mikoto lightly shaking them. She smiled at the sleepy faces of both her sons and told them dinner was almost ready. Sasuke grumbled and clung tighter to Itachi, but eventually the elder was able to pry him off his arm and they both joined Mikoto in the dining room.

Now, Itachi decided to pay close attention to how Sasuke ate. The smaller raven pushed around the food on his plate a bit and occasionally took a small bite here and there, but nothing of true substance. He barely ate anything. As Itachi ate his dinner, he never once took his eyes away from Sasuke's plate. Mikoto, on the other hand, was oblivious and made idle conversation which Sasuke tried his hardest to respond to. Well, at least they seemed to be getting along a little better.

"Would you boys mind doing the dishes?" Mikoto asked as she took her last bite.

"Sure," Itachi said. Sasuke nodded and shoved a piece of broccoli towards the corner of his plate. With a smile, Mikoto stood and took her plate into the kitchen. She placed it in the sink then went back out to the dining room.

"I'll be in my room if you boys need me," she said as she walked past. Once she was gone Itachi stood as well and brought his plate into the kitchen. When he came back out, he was sad to find Sasuke still poking at his barely-eaten food. It was untouched aside from being shifted around.

"I'm going to go grab my phone," Itachi said. "Then I'll help with the dishes." Sasuke seemed to perk up a bit and nodded.

"Okay."

As soon as Itachi was out of sight, Sasuke sprinted into the kitchen and dumped his food into the trashcan. He'd been scared for a minute there that he'd actually have to finish his dinner, and was more than relieved that Itachi gave him that small break. He grimaced as he finished scraping his plate clean, the thought of finishing all of that making his stomach hurt more than it usually did. After most of the food was off of the plate, he placed it in the sink and grabbed a handful of napkins. He tossed them in the trashcan quickly in an attempt to be done before his brother came back down, but didn't have a chance to double check to make sure it was covered well before he was joined by Itachi.

"You finished your food that quickly?" The elder asked as he slipped his phone into his pocket and turned on the faucet. Sasuke shrugged but gave no other answer as he squirted soap onto a sponge. They were finished washing dishes within a couple of minutes, and once they were done Sasuke excused himself. As Itachi put the last dish away, he glanced down and caught sight of the trashcan; or rather, what was in the trashcan.

Well, that explained how Sasuke 'finished' his food so quickly.

Itachi shuffled over to the food graveyard with a slight groan. Sasuke's dinner lay partially covered by a mess of white napkins, though it was still easily visible if one were to actually look.

Great, just great.

Although it was gross, Itachi moved some of the poorly covered food aside and came across Sasuke's lunch from earlier, though it was slightly better covered. So he didn't even eat that, huh? Itachi shook his head. Why on Earth would Sasuke, well…starve himself? He was far from overweight—he always had been—and now he was honestly getting a bit too slim. So Itachi did have a reason to be worried, after all.

Itachi thought through his options.

Option 1: Confront Sasuke.

Judging from previous experience, Sasuke was likely to shut himself away from the world and deny there was a single thing wrong with him until he nearly died. Again. Needless to say, Itachi didn't want to relive that terrible experience.

Option 2: Tell Kaa-san.

No. Nobody needed a hysterical Mikoto.

Option 3: Prove him wrong.

With a small smile, Itachi decided option three was undoubtedly the best choice. He rinsed and dried his hands then pattered up the steps. He found Sasuke in his room (things are getting back to normal, are they?) and joined him on his bed after shutting the door. Sasuke was reading some manga and barely glanced up as the bed dipped under Itachi's weight, but a thumb caressing his cheek successfully drew his attention away from the black-and-white pages.

"Nii-san?"

"You're beautiful."

Right on cue, Sasuke's eyes widened and his cheeks flushed a light pink.

"Wh-What?"

Itachi smiled and leant in, lightly pressing his lips against Sasuke's temple.

"You're beautiful," he murmured, stroking Sasuke's cheek with the pad of his thumb. "You're gorgeous, breathtaking...perfect."

Sasuke's face nearly resembled a tomato at this point, and he shifted a little. Itachi was affectionate, of course, but what spurred this?

"I'm far from perfect, Aniki," Sasuke muttered. Itachi shook his head and lightly took the manga from Sasuke's hands, tossing it aside once he did so. He lightly pushed Sasuke onto his back, crawling on top of him, and smiled at his blushing little brother.

"You're beautiful," he repeated. He lightly kissed Sasuke on his forehead, then each cheek, then his nose, then his lips. Sasuke's cheeks burned and he squirmed again. What was Itachi doing?

The elder lifted Sasuke's wrist up to his face and gazed at the dark scar from the time Sasuke nearly died. He couldn't—wouldn't—go through almost losing his little brother again. Sasuke meant the world to him and he couldn't imagine living without him. Why did Sasuke have to hate himself so much?

Itachi lightly kissed the scar before moving his fingers and lacing them through Sasuke's. He dragged his eyes from Sasuke's arm to his eyes, stifling a laugh at how adorable his blushing Otouto looked, then bent down. He lightly lifted Sasuke's shirt with his free hand, just enough to expose a little of his pale stomach and his belly button, then pressed a small kiss there.

"Every part of you is perfect, Sasuke. Even here," he said, pressing another light kiss on Sasuke's tummy and staring straight into his eyes. "Never forget that."

Sasuke nodded, his blush only intensifying with every word out of the elder's mouth. He had no idea why his big brother was being so sweet, but he'd be lying if he said he didn't enjoy it. But what did he mean about his stomach…?

Sasuke's thoughts were momentarily forgotten as Itachi moved up to kiss him. Sasuke nearly squeaked in surprise, but was able to suppress it in an attempt to keep at least some shred of manliness. They kissed softly before Itachi pulled away, a light smile stretched across his lips.

"I love you," Itachi whispered, brushing some hair off Sasuke's forehead.

"I-I love you too." What's gotten into him?

Itachi kissed him once more then leant back, unlacing their fingers in the process, and stood.

"Are you sleeping in here tonight?" Sasuke nodded fervently at Itachi's question, causing the elder to shake his head with a small laugh.

Maybe things were getting back to normal after all.


When Sasuke came home from school the next day, he was disappointed to find that Itachi hadn't come home yet. He checked his phone and saw that Itachi had texted him and told him he'd be home by dinner. Sasuke pouted and plopped onto the couch, his stomach meeting the soft cushions.

He thought through what Itachi said to him last night. He said so many nice things, but why? It wasn't like it was uncommon for Itachi to show his love for Sasuke, but last night was just…really nice. Sasuke silently cursed the butterflies fluttering around in his stomach. He was fourteen, for Christ's sake! He and Itachi had basically been together since he was twelve, so why the hell was he still acting like a giddy little schoolgirl?!

With a groan, he grabbed a pillow and buried his face in it. He felt his cheeks burn as his mind replayed every nice thing Itachi said to him, though he tried to convince himself none of it was true.

I'm not beautiful; Nii-san is just too nice. I'm so far from perfect it's not even funny. I'm fat and gross and ugly and just…

"You're beautiful," he murmured, stroking Sasuke's cheek with the pad of his thumb. "You're gorgeous, breathtaking...perfect."

Sasuke kicked his feet and nearly screamed into the pillow. Why did his brother have to sound so sure when he said those things? Why did he have to make it sound like there was no room for doubt? He kicked his feet a few more times with muffled yells.

Sasuke was too caught up in his internal brooding and small temper tantrum to notice the sound of the door opening or footsteps padding into the living room. However, he did notice the sound of a small, amused chuckle coming from a few feet away. He whipped his head up and glared at Itachi.

"I thought you weren't coming home for another couple hours?" Sasuke seethed, his eyes narrowed at the cause of his anger and…giddiness.

Itachi shrugged and slipped his bag off his shoulder.

"I missed you and wanted to come home early."

With a strange sort of strangled choking noise, Sasuke once again buried his face in the pillow. He couldn't stop yet another violent blush from decorating his cheeks and he quite frankly hated everything at that moment.

Itachi, sensing his adorable brother's embarrassment, strolled closer and knelt next to him.

"Otouto," he breathed. Sasuke turned his face just a fraction and gulped at how close his big brother's handsome face was to his. "You're so cute when you blush like that," Itachi smirked.

Sasuke's eyes widened and he buried his face in his pillow again. Damn his big brother for saying those types of things!

His smirk only growing in size, Itachi decided to give Sasuke a small break and ruffled his hair a couple of times. He stood after that and shifted on his feet.

"Mother called and said she'd be home late tonight," he said. "I figured I'd make us dinner. I know it's a bit early, but I'm hungry now. Is that okay with you?"

Sasuke did his best to shrug and breathed a huge sigh of relief once he heard Itachi leave the room. It was like Itachi was trying to kill him with compliments or something! Not that he didn't like it—wait! He definitely didn't like it because nothing he said was true!

But he sounded so sure…

Sasuke shook his head.

Damn it, Itachi-nii!


Once their gourmet dinner of frozen pizza was ready, the two boys sat down to eat. Itachi watched Sasuke carefully, noticing the small, careful bites he took around the crust. Sasuke's eyes flickered up and he caught Itachi's gaze, and with a small sigh he took a bigger bite. Itachi's face fell as he saw this. He knew Sasuke was just trying to appease him; he never wanted people to worry.

"Sasuke," he began. He soon paused, wondering what he should say. He knew confronting Sasuke wouldn't be good, but he needed to eat more than just a little here and there. He didn't look well; he was far too pale, and that was definitely saying something considering the normal paleness every Uchiha inherited.

"What is it?" Sasuke muttered, trying his hardest to suppress a grimace at the taste of the pizza. Itachi shook his head.

"You're perfect, alright?" He said. Sasuke huffed and threw his hands up, piece of pizza still in hand.

"Why are you saying this stuff?!" He exclaimed, exasperated. His face turned red without his consent but he tried his hardest to ignore it. He wanted to know what was up with Itachi's weirdly sweet behavior!

"Because it's true," Itachi said with a small shrug. He took another bite of his pizza, trying his hardest to suppress a smirk at his Otouto's sputtering.

"I'm not perfect," Sasuke muttered, setting down the piece of pizza. He stared at the food with a look of disgust. "I'm fat, ugly, weird, gross, awkward, annoying-"

"Shut up," Itachi snapped, startling Sasuke just a bit. The younger dragged his eyes up and was surprised to find that Itachi looked rather…furious. "You're none of those things and I don't want to hear you call yourself them ever again."

"But they're true!"

"No, they're not," Itachi sighed, shaking his head. "Baby brother, do I have any reason to lie to you?"

Sasuke's lower lip jutted out but he shook his head. "No," he muttered with a shrug.

"Then believe me when I tell you that you're the furthest thing from any of those. You're beautiful, Sasuke. Please just believe me."

Sasuke felt his eyes watering and he tried his hardest to wipe them with the back of his hand, but some tears still spilled out.

"That isn't true," he whispered, his voice choked. Why wouldn't Itachi just leave him alone?

"Yes, it is." Itachi stood and made his way over to Sasuke. He wrapped his arms around his shoulders from behind and tightly hugged him. "You're perfect."

Sasuke shook his head, only to be met with the same response.

"You're perfect, Sasuke."

He cried harder and his shoulders shook, but Itachi held him tightly.

"I-I'm not," he choked, wiping at his eyes. "H-Have you even seen me?"

"Every day," Itachi muttered. "And I still can't believe such an amazing person is mine…" He smiled softly and nuzzled Sasuke's neck.

"Will you stop," Sasuke whispered, tears still slipping down his cheeks unhindered. "Please…?"

"No. I won't stop until you believe me," Itachi said. He needed Sasuke to see himself the way he did. He wasn't fat, he wasn't ugly, he wasn't annoying…

"Why do you want me to believe you so badly?!"

With a huge sigh, Itachi tightened his arms around Sasuke.

"Because I'm worried," he said.

"Why?" Sasuke hissed. "I hate it when you worry about me."

"Trust me, I know that, but you have no reason to…"

Itachi paused for a moment, just trying to decide if this was the best way to go about things. Convincing Sasuke otherwise didn't seem to work; he'd already accepted those lies as undeniable truth.

"...Starve yourself."

Sasuke's watery eyes widened and he tried to wiggle away from Itachi, but found the elder's grip was too strong.

"What makes you think I'm doing that?!" He asked, his voice cracking. He was terrified. Would Itachi tell their mother? Would he have to go to the hospital? These thoughts made him thrash harder.

"Calm down," Itachi murmured. Sasuke was bigger now so it was harder to hold him still, though it was still possible with a bit of effort. "I just want to talk to you."

After a few moments, Sasuke's struggling died down and he stilled. With a small sigh, he leant into Itachi's warm embrace.

"How do you know?" He whispered. He knew denying it further would get him nowhere. Itachi already knew, that much was obvious. He wouldn't have mentioned it if he was the least bit unsure.

"I noticed you've been losing weight and you barely seem to eat anymore. Finding your discarded food in the trashcan only confirmed my suspicions."

Sasuke pouted. Dammit, he should have put it somewhere else!

"What are you going to do about it?" He asked, his voice fearful.

"I won't tell mother, if that's what you're worried about…though I will tell her if this isn't something we can work through together."

Sasuke nodded. Well, that was a bit of a relief.

"So," Itachi began, loosening his hold around Sasuke and standing up straight. "When did this start?" Itachi returned to his seat and locked eyes with Sasuke, only to be met with a glare.

"Why should I tell you?" He hissed.

"You don't have to tell me anything," Itachi said, his voice quiet and a bit tired. He just wanted to help. Why was it so difficult for Sasuke to accept that? "But I'm worried."

Sasuke rolled his eyes. He knew the only way to get Itachi to stop worrying was to be truthful… He groaned and stared at the table.

"Around the time I turned thirteen." Itachi tilted his head in confusion. That long? But he hadn't noticed much of a decline in Sasuke's eating habits until recently…

"I used to only skip breakfast," Sasuke explained as though he could sense Itachi's confusion. "Then sometimes lunch…then dinner…" He shrugged. "I just wanted to feel skinner. I don't know how it got so…bad."

Well, at least he knows it's bad, Itachi thought. That was progress, right?

"But you've always been skinny," Itachi said. "You don't need to worry about that."

Sasuke shrugged and glanced at Itachi.

"I feel gross. I don't know why—I just do."

"But you have no reason to feel that way, Sasuke," Itachi sighed. "When was the last time you had a full meal?"

Sasuke shrugged again. "A week or two ago," he muttered.

"Sasuke…that isn't healthy," Itachi said, leaning forward in his chair. His little brother was doing terrible damage to his body by starving himself like this. "Don't you feel ill?"

"I mean, at first I did…then it kind of faded away," Sasuke said. "Food makes me feel sick now. I hate eating." As if to prove his point, Sasuke grimaced at the mostly untouched piece of pizza on his plate.

Itachi stood once more and walked until he stood in front of Sasuke. The younger looked up at him curiously, obviously wondering what he was going to say.

"I promise I'll help you through this," Itachi said, a small, sad smile on his handsome face. He leant down and kissed Sasuke softly, then pulled away just a little.

"What do you mean, Nii-san?" Sasuke asked, his voice quiet.

Smiling gently, Itachi kissed him once more before pulling away again.

"I'll make you believe you're beautiful."


ugrhhurghgrughurhgurhg fluff

so much fluff

ugh

*vomits*

please review and im sorry i suck at responding to people's reviews im just a lazy fuck

i still adore all of you

hard