Chapter 1: Festival
Sasuke is happily munching on the third takoyaki his big brother bought for him at the festival, when a big, tall man, suddenly appeared in front of them. He’s taller than Itachi, taller than father, and his animal mask tell Sasuke that he’s an Anbu.
Because vendors aren’t allowed to sell Anbu masks replicas. Even if they’re cool and Sasuke really wants one. His mom told him so. Because then, anyone could say they’re Anbu, and that’s dangerous.
“Uchiha.” Growls the man, the bulk of his body and the depth of his voice hidden behind the bear mask intimidating Sasuke and forcing him to hide behind his big brother’s legs. “The Hokage summons you to his office.”
The older Uchiha doesn’t seem faced by the man, staring at his masked face as if he could look right through it “I asked for this evening to be free.” Explains Itachi, calmly “as you can you can see, I’m escorting my little brother through town.”
Hearing this, Sasuke puffs up his chest. Staring at the man with false bravado hiding his inner insecurities. He’s an Uchiha. And Uchihas don’t feel fear. “The brat is old enough,” insists the Anbu. “This is S mission related, Uchiha. Let this go and kiss goodbye your Anbu uniform.”
Itachi sighs, defeated. He leans down at Sasuke’s level, holding his brother’s shoulders in his dainty, yet strong hands. “Would you mind staying alone at the festival?” He asks, combing one of his bangs at the side of his face with his fingers. “I could take you home, but I think you still want to enjoy the festival.”
“Do you really have to go, Itachi-nii?” Complains the younger brother. “You promised!”
“Maybe next time.” He pokes his forehead to Sasuke’s displeasure. “If you want I can summon the ninja cats or the crows to accompany you.” Bargains the Anbu.
“Really?” Forgetting his previous annoyance, he starts to ponder the options. He would look so cool, walking around the festival with the crows of his family following him around.
But on the other hand, the ninja cats are known to talk and to hold good conversations.
In the end. His loneliness and his need of company and attention win over everything “The ninja cats. Please, Nii-sama.”
“Alright.” Smiles Itachi summoning three cats and giving them instructions to protect Sasuke and help him find his way back home. “Remember, if you forget the address just let the cats guide you.”
As the nights at the festival progresses Sasuke feels properly elated once again, even if his brother is not there with him. The cats are entertaining enough until he hears a little girl crying from somewhere deep in the sea of people at the event.
“Someone’s crying.” He alerts the cats. “Help me find her.” Comands the boy, deepening his voice to make it sound like his brother’s.
Two cats follow his instructions, the other one stays with him. A new feeling of excitement fills him to the brim. He feels as if he were a ninja on a S rated mission, just like his big brother and his father.
“We found the girl.” Informs one of the cats, all business as they should. “Should we take you to her?”
“Take me to the Princess!” He screams. Now completely immersed on his fantasy.
“Yes, captain!” Obey the cats.
This is the best festival he’s been on a long time. And he has the feeling that it’s only going to get better.
Chapter 2: Far from home
Little Sasuke finds a stray Sakura.
For the Sasusaku month day 1: Far from home.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
When Mikoto comes back home from the market, the first thing she sees is the disturbing picture of her little Sasuke resting a flower crown on the, exotic, pink head of a crying girl.
They’re sitting under one of the many cherry trees that adorn their rather vast garden; the girl is siting with her knees on the floor and her buttock on the top of her dainty feet in a traditional seiza style, wearing a cute, green kimono, probably for the festival Itachi promised to take Sasuke to.
Her son on the other hand, is donning a rather handsome blue Yukata, sitting cross-legged on front of her as if they were a precious set of hime and tono hinamatsuri dolls.
The sight would be cute, if the girl wasn’t crying or if her son did anything to try and cheer her up.
He is, at least, making the effort of cleaning the tear streaks dirtying her pretty face. But even if she doesn’t want to admit it. Mikoto knows he’s doing it only so the sight of her tears won’t tarnish his handiwork.
“Who’s your little friend, Sasuke-kun?” Asks Mikoto smiling bright and kind for the sake of the crying girl.
“She’s Sakura!” Exclaims his son with a sunny grin, and Mikoto curses her son’s inability to use any kind of suffix because a ‘Sakura-chan’ would be lovely to hear from his enthusiastic child voice.
“Is that so?” Hums the Uchiha matriarch. “and where did Sakura-chan came from?”. Because no young girl should be crying, all alone in a stranger’s house.
“She got lost on the festival and didn’t know how to come back. Itachi-nii left me alone too, but I always know the way back home, so I saved her and now she’s ours!” He relates in one breath and with a proud air about him.
“I want my mama!” cries the girl sagging her head and dropping her pretty flower crown.
“Ah! Sakura, no! The flowers!” Shrieks Sasuke running to her side in an effort to try and fix his flower crown.
In a pacifying move for both kids, Mikoto rearranges the crown on her head and kisses her wide forehead. “What is your last name, little Sakura-chan?”
“Sakura Haruno” answers the girl between sobs. “Pleased to meet you, Uchiha-San.” She says, like the well behaved girl she surely is.
“Ah! You’re Kizashi’s daughter. Aren’t you, Sakura-chan?” She recalls her ex classmates marrying and having a daughter just before she had Sasuke.
Sakura brightens at her father’s name “Daddy is a Genin!” She proclaims proudly.
“Well, mom and father are Jounin,” boast Sasuke, proud as ever. “and Itachi-nii is an Anbu, so you should stay with us because they’re better!”
“No! I want my papa!” screams Sakura, now a little scared.
“Don’t worry, Sakura-chan” Smiles Mikoto, “Sasuke-kun and I are going to take you back to your parents.”
“But you can’t!” screeches Sasuke. “I found her so she’s mine.”
“Now Sasuke-kun. Little girls are not things, they can’t be owned and they sure shouldn’t be far from home.” She kindly reprimands her son. “now why don’t you take her hand and escort her home? If you’re good maybe her parents would let her come back here to play. ”
The boy watches her suspicious “Really?” he asks.
“Yes!” Answers Sakura taking his hand in hers. Both kids blushing to their ears.
When they finally find her parents, the couple jumps to hug their daughter. Tanking Sasuke profusely for taking care of her.
“Thank you, Sasuke-kun.” Murmurs the pink haired girl, kissing his cheek.
“You’re welcome!” screams the boy, blushing. “and don’t forget to come back home to play tomorrow!”
I hope you liked it and reviews are always welcome.