Happy birthday Itachi! (even though this is a day late)
On days like these, days when the Sakura trees are in full bloom and the weather has just started to turn warm, there is hardly a more spectacular place to be than the woods of Konoha. And in between the laughter ringing out amongst the sunlight dapples that dance across their dark shirts, the two brothers who walk hand in hand through this splendour barely have a thought to spare it.
From the adults who tell of how handsome they will be in years to come, to the somewhat unwanted attentions of girls their own age, everybody knows what a sight these two boys are to see. But none of these strangers could tell of how much more beautiful they look when carefree expressions of youth are set into their smooth features from the prospect of spending an entire day with each other.
It might not seem like much to an outsider, but life has already handed these boys so much (especially the elder) at such an early age, that they already feel their grip on time slip away from themselves. To them, this is a time to reminisce and catch up on what the other has been doing. It is a simple time. A time before the complications of betrayal, slaughter, revenge and murder were even possible in their minds.
And to the two young Uchihas, it is pure, unadulterated bliss.
As Itachi looks at his younger brother, he wonders where the time has gone. Sasuke is already five, though he can remember holding a barely two month old baby in his arms like it was yesterday.
Sasuke's mind is at a slightly more simple stage, a stage when his brother is everything; his hero, his best friend and perfect incarnate. It is also at a stage when seemingly simple things can muddle it and confuse him to his wit's end.
Putting two and two together, his childlike brain decides that his role model, who plops down on a log beside him, is the best person on the entire planet to lay his confusion to. If anybody can clarify life's problems, it is his big brother.
Itachi, being ever observant, has noticed that something has been troubling his younger brother lately, and is curious to know what it is that has been on his mind.
"Nii-san," the child states cautiously, not wanting to look stupid in front of the person he most admires in life. "Have you ever been kissed before?"
Ahh. Sasuke has been contemplating the complexities of kissing.
"Sure," Itachi laughs. "Loads of times. Mom and dad kiss us all the time."
A small frown pulls Sasuke's eyebrows down and together as he concentrates on what he thinks to be one of the most important topics in the world. Itachi can't help but smile. Surely nobody else's little brother is this cute?
"…I don't think that counts," he finally resolves, face lifting.
"So? Why is it bothering you so much?" Itachi presses on, taking a genuine interest in the childish musings of the youngest Uchiha, who, at this moment, blushes a deep shade of scarlet as he realises how awkward the topic really is.
"Sakura-chan and Ino-chan both asked me to kiss them yesterday." He sighs, venting his frustration to his ever ready-to-listen elder brother.
"And did you?"
"It's just that…" he breaks off, uncertainly. "I think my first kiss should be with someone I really love."
The child looks up at this stage, eyes settling affectionately on the ten year old beside him as he delivers this profound piece of insight about kissing.
"And is there anyone that you love?" Itachi smiles back.
"Who?" Itachi interrupts; inquisitive as to whom his brother might actually have a little bit of a crush on.
Itachi sighs, turning slightly away from his brother and his obvious confusion between romantic love and familial love, allowing this to conclude the conversation. However, Sasuke has had somewhat of a moment of clarity.
"So maybe I should kiss you."
Or so it seems to him anyway.
"Do you want a kiss, Sasuke?" Itachi asks, not hiding his obvious amusement at the situation that doubles when Sasuke's cheeks burn anew.
"N-No, I…" he stammers, looking away to hide his embarrassment.
"Are you sure?" Itachi teases, leaning in closer and puckering his lips to fluster the younger boy even more.
However Sasuke is lying and Itachi can tell. Even if he couldn't tell whenever his brother is lying, the way Sasuke eyes his lips indecisively is message enough to the elder.
What is a kiss among brothers?
Sasuke barely has time to look up before he feels a pair of soft lips brush chastely against his own. It's not much of a kiss to tell the truth, nothing to write home about. There is nothing eye-opening about it and there are no fireworks going off in Sasuke's mind.
Sakura had it all wrong.
Then in a second, it's over; Itachi pulls back and smiles down at his stunned little brother.
"See?" he questions softly. "You've had your first kiss."
Sasuke's senses flood back and the first emotion he feels is rage. Didn't he say he didn't want a kiss?
"Itachi!" Sasuke yelps in his anger and his cheeks once more look as if somebody has coloured them in with a red pencil crayon.
"Relax," Itachi smirks. "It was just a kiss."
Just a kiss? Just a kiss? Sasuke cannot believe what he's hearing.
He frowns, turning away from his brother so he cannot see the smile threatening to tug its way to the corners of his mouth.
"Baka. That doesn't even count."
A/N: I know. I said I wouldn't write anything until the holidays and I know I'm supposed to be studying... but come on! How could I resist Itachi's birthday!?