Uchiha Itachi is two years old when he is presented with the reason he will become strong.
True, another will come along in three years, pushing him to even greater heights, but this one came first.
Sitting beside his sweaty, tired mother -he's never seen her so unrefined, and for a moment Itachi worries- his attention is caught by the squirming bundle in her arms.
A soft, pink pudge thing looks up at him with startlingly light grey eyes- no, more silver.
Itachi stares right back at the little baby, admiring the feather soft hair that tops his head, the pouty lips that press together and part without any thought.
"Itachi, meet Kyōya, your little brother," His father states firmly, though there's a proud tiny smile on his face as he looks down at the little boy.
Itachi leans forwards, and a pudgy hand catches onto one of his reaching fingers, and in that moment Itachi knows complete devotion.
His little brother might be strange, but Itachi will love him forever.
The first word he ever speaks is 'Nii-san,' and Itachi's heart clenches something fierce in his chest, honoured to be graced with his little brother's first word as they sit up to table for breakfast.
Both his parents startle, but Kyōya's heavy silver eyes are focuses completely on him.
"I am Nii-san," Itachi agrees, watching as Kyōya nods, still looking at him.
"Nii-san," the nine month old agrees, before his gaze swings around to look at their father, "'Bivore."
It takes him a moment to realise that Kyōya is attempting to pronounce 'herbivore' -were he any other child he'd probably not know what that means, but Itachi is a genius- and Itachi smiles despite his father's new title. Or even maybe because of it.
His little brother is so smart, already crawling and walking and talking.
He ignores the disgruntled expression on his father's face and instead offers Kyōya a slice of banana that the boy eats mulishly, eyes still locked on the bacon that sits on their father's plate.
Itachi never finds it weird that Kyōya refuses to acknowledge their father as his Tou-san.
It's just an adorable character trait.
When months later the label 'herbivore' is attached to almost every person they come across, Itachi wears his title of 'omnivore' with pride. The only person to ever be labelled with 'carnivore' -aside from Kyōya himself- is Uzumaki Kushina.
The woman herself is ecstatic; their father doesn't look happy though.
Kyōya's first sentence is, well...
"I'll bite you to death."
It startled all three of them, Itachi's eyes particularly wide as he looks down at his adorable little brother, who pauses in his staring match with their father to look to him.
He pats Itachi's knee, a pleased smile as he says, "not you."
The way he looks back at their father makes it abundantly clear who he's referring to.
Their mother giggles and their father's lips press firmly together, head tilting to a side as a building block goes whizzing past. Now their father looks down at Kyōya, who seems quite perturbed at his miss, given how on target the block was when he threw it.
"If you want to hit a ninja, then you'll have to train a bit harder, Kyō-chan."
Scowling at the nickname, Kyōya looks up to their mother and demands an explanation for- "ninja?"
"Ninja are the warriors of Leaf, they protect our village and all the live within it."
"And the clan," their father hastily underlines, but Itachi can tell it's too late, that his little brother is no longer listening, just sitting and thinking with that pleased grin on his face.
It's made obvious when Kyōya bobs his head as his little fists tighten.
"Protect the Leaf."
Itachi has no idea just how drastically that little statement will change things.
Hinata's crying, she knows as the Hyūga heiress she should not, but she cannot stop.
It's dark and whatever she's in is itchy and hurts her delicate skin, and something nasty has been stuffed in her mouth and makes it hard to breathe.
She wants her mother, she wants her father, she wants to be back in bed and for this to all be a bad dream.
The bad man who has taken her keeps muttering numbers under his breath, counting out the guard rotation, and she doesn't think her father will save her.
Oh, he's on his way, and in one world, he'd have killed her kidnapper.
In this world, another kind of imminent doom catches up to them first.
"What have we got?"
The Third Hokage can only stare after he finishes his question, looking at the four people current in his office alongside his best ANBU. Who had been beaten to a kidnapping by a six year old academy student.
On one side, Uchiha Kyōya stands, one hand steadily gripping a tonfa speckled with blood, the other effortlessly holding Hyūga Hinata to his side. The little girl is clinging to his neck with all her might, and though she sends her father the occasional look to make sure he's still there, she's quite content to stick like glue to the boy who pulled her from the burlap sack she'd been stored in for easy transport.
Beside them stands Hyūga Hiashi, who twitches every time Hinata so much as moves in the Uchiha boy's arms, but who's also leaking killer intent towards the downed body.
Hiruzen has to admit, the Uchiha boy knew exactly where to hit to bring about maximum pain without actually killing the Kumo nin; it's quite impressive.
He doesn't doubt the boy will be graduating soon.
"What happened." This time, it's not a question.
"The Herbivore was kidnapping the Little Bunny. I bit him to death."
Puzzling through the oddest verbal report he's heard since Jiraiya's last visit, Hiruzen turns to glare at the Kumo nin once more. There's a special circle in hell reserved for those who attempt a kidnap during a peace conference, and Hiruzen dearly wishes to just send him off right now.
As it stands though, he has to at least give him a trial.
"Take him to T&I."
There's the familiar flash of a body flicker, and Hiruzen turns his gaze upon Uchiha Kyōya once again, just as his father burst into the room.
"Kyōya! What have you done now!"
He will never, ever admit it, but it gives him a certain kind of pleasure to watch Fugaku struggle with one of his sons.
Itachi is such a delight, so well behaved.
Kyōya appears to be the exact opposite of his older brother, if the way he stands his ground, raises his tonfa and shuffles the proclaimed 'Little Bunny' in his grip until he's stood between her and everyone else is any indication.
Promising attitude indeed.
With an absolutely furious sigh, Fugaku takes two steps back, and Kyōya judges the distance before nodding in acceptance.
What an incredibly difficult child.
"I was patrolling, came across a herbivore attempting to harm the Little Bunny, and I bit him to death."
Patrolling? Of all the hobbies to pick up...
Fugaku stares at his middle son, who lays napping on the Hyūga gardens with the Hyūga heiress all but curled up into his side.
Itachi sits beside them, Sasuke sprawled across his lap, looking inquisitively at the little girl -the first outside of family- that Kyōya has allowed to get near him.
The head of the Uchiha Clan can barely believe what is happening; invited to the Hyūga grounds, people greeting and praising his middle child -and subsequently himself for raising him- in the streets.
It's even stranger to be sat with the Third and Hiashi, drinking tea and casually discussing politics.
"You've raised an... Interesting child, Fugaku."
Fugaku doesn't say what he dearly wishes, that he hasn't so much as raised Kyōya as dragged him along, kicking and screaming the whole way.
And that was only before the lit toe hellion became capable of squirming out of his grip.
He's not about to admit that he has no other choice but to let him run wild, that he's still coming up with ways that try and fail to rein him in.
"Kyōya's exceptional in battle," Fugaku agrees, looking over at the boy that would prefer to nap as much as a Nara if he could get away with it.
Sasuke takes this moment to shuffle into Kyōya's side. The silver eyed boy pops open an eyelid for a moment, ruffles at Sasuke's hair, and then goes back to his snoozing.
Itachi watches them both with fondness in his eyes, love for his younger brother's evident.
"Exceptional indeed," Hiashi murmurs, looking over to the gorges that still exist in the Hyūga gardens from Kyōya's successful attempt at stopping a kidnapping.
"I believe we'll be keeping at eye on him."
Well really, that's the last thing Fugaku wants.
"Sir, he's at it again."
There is no need to explain what exactly is going on, Fugaku's heard these words too many times already, he knows exactly what that phrase means now.
Before it used to come with stuttering reports, jumbled exclamations from officers who couldn't quite believe what they were seeing.
Even now, four years on from when that behaviour first started, there's still the odd officer who gets blindsided by what's happening.
Part of him wants to blame Uzumaki, even though she only had three years to really create an impact.
The sensible part of him, the less vengeful part, acknowledges this is not the repercussions of the Fourth Hokage's wife and her influence.
This is just the worst streak of bad luck; in fact, it is potentially all of Fugaku's bad luck given form, to make his life truly hell.
But he knows if his wife ever finds out he thinks this she'd hang him naked at the village gates, so he never once breathes a word of his secret thoughts aloud.
"Right," he says instead, and if the tone is laced with resignation, then honestly Fugaku's won't bother to acknowledge that either.
He finds the little hellion in a training ground, surrounded by the bruised and battered Jonin hopefuls. It's as embarrassing for them as it is for Fugaku.
No matter how stern, how reprimanding he makes his voice, the boy never acknowledges it.
Hell, the one time he'd -so frustratingly done on accident- laced killer intent into his voice, the boy hadn't so much as twitched.
Instead he just twirls the tonfas -the worst gift he has ever bought the boy, but there's no parting them now without the loss of limb at best-, expertly flicking the blood free from their metal body before storing them upon the thigh holsters.
He stares down at the nearest body, poking it with his foot and seems entirely unamused when the man lets out a pained groan in response.
"Herbivore," Uchiha Kyōya states decisively, eyes half-lidded and frown marring his pale face.
He's got Mikoto's jawline, that crystal clear already, with shaggy black hair that falls somewhat artistically around his face. The light silver eyes threw both of them off to begin with, but Kyōya's Sharingan was already blazing by the time he turned three -otherwise known as the beginning of the end- when he received his first set of tonfas.
Everyday has been a battle since.
If the boy isn't busy training, he's off 'patrolling' the streets to beat up 'offending herbivores'.
When he'd attended the academy, he'd disciplined his year-mates for 'crowding' and then disciplined the teacher for failing to 'control the herd'.
Now a genin, Fugaku's second son goes around challenging every ninja he finds to a battle, to see where they fall on his personal 'food chain'.
More often than not, Kyōya always walks away the victor of the match, sometimes even bruise free, something that is becoming more and more common as the days pass by.
And always, always, he steamrolled right over Fugaku's authority as if it isn't even there.
Fugaku hasn't been able to rein the boy in since he first managed to wiggle out of his grip aged three.
It's a constant source of embarrassment on the Uchiha clan and himself as a father. If it isn't for the fact the boy is a damn good ninja -even more of a fighting prodigy than Itachi, some whisper- then Fugaku has no doubts the elders would be complaining.
Oh, his eldest is good, refined and elegant, but were he and Kyōya the same age, the latter would have him beat.
There's just a brutally efficiency to his movements, not a drop of wasted energy. He's fast, he hits hard, and he's absolutely relentless. A genius at reinforcing his body with chakra, once Kyōya gets going it's almost impossible to stop him.
Finally, finally, the boy turns to look at him, but it's with some shade of almost contempt, as if he's not even worth the time of day.
And that title!
"Home, now!" Fugaku snaps, just in time for his second son to dissolve into wisps of smoke and just how damn long has he been snarling at an illusion?! How long has he been stood there in this training field with the unconscious victims of the bane of his existence?
And how big a bill will the hospital send this time?
"Why was I not informed of the Little Carnivore?"
Itachi looks up, almost dreading to see what he will find.
Sure enough, Kyōya is stood holding Uzumaki Naruto out by the collar from an extended arm.
For a moment, Itachi likens him to a cat, presenting his kill to a favoured human. He quickly discards that idea though, because he doesn't like the implications in the least.
"Uzumaki?" Sasuke blurts out and Itachi belatedly realises that the two are in the same schooling year at the academy.
"Hiya Sasuke!" He's loud.
Kyōya obviously thinks so too, because he gives the blond in his grip a sharp shake, scowling as he does so. Uzumaki hangs there limply as he's violently shaken back and forth, still grinning wildly and is that paint on his fingers? Well, it seems quite obvious why Kyōya's dragged him in for some discipline. Yet-
"The Carnivore procreated."
Itachi and both his parents had been rather hopeful Kyōya would have forgotten about Kushina, or at least, not make the connection between mother and son. Not for any particularly nasty reason; it's just that Kyōya is, for lack of a better description, rather blunt. And there's certain S-ranked secrets to consider.
There's a tugging at his pants leg and Itachi looks down at his youngest brother, just to ignore the dilemma that is Kyōya right now.
"What does procreate mean?"
That, that is even further down on his to-do list, explaining that word.
"That's a question for father," Itachi insists, sighing at Kyōya before inspiration strikes him.
Because Itachi might be the eldest brother, but that doesn't mean he has to deal with this.
Because he's not at the top of the command chain.
While he might rank higher in Kyōyaso personal chain, this is a problem for their father.
"I believe that is also a question for father, Kyōya."
The genin hums, nods to himself, and makes no move to put Naruto down, hefting him under his arm as if he were a rugby ball, the boy's limbs hanging down towards the ground even as he laughs.
Well, it appears they will be having a dinner guest today.
Dinner is tense, to say the least.
His mother looks upon Naruto fondly, piling his plate up with food the second the boy admits to living alone.
His father is evidentially torn. One on hand, his wife is happy. On the other, there's already enough rumours spreading through the village about the Uchiha and Biju.
Naruto's asked what 'carnivore' means twice, and snickered none too quietly when Kyōya addressed father as 'the false carnivore'.
Itachi has no idea where his little brother has picked these names up, but it's quite adorable to watch strict and serious Kyōya dote on the 'little animal' that is Sasuke. For all the youngest sibling complains, he's obviously thrilled with Kyōya's attention.
It is only as mother is bringing out dessert, with Naruto looking both dazed and a bit teary-eyed, and Sasuke mulish at the other boy's prolonged presence, that Kyōya's expressions firms.
He can all but feel his father tense beside him in dreaded anticipation.
"I will help the little animals sharpen their fangs."
Everyone pauses for a second, before the exclamation runs through Itachi's mental Kyōya translator.
"Yes!" Sasuke punches the air non too gracefully just as their father's face crumples in preemptive resignation.
"Huh?" Of course, Naruto has yet to spend any amount of time with Kyōya, and thus hasn't quite gotten his head around his, unique speech patterns.
"Nii-san's gonna train us!" Sasuke exclaims, and Naruto bolts upwards to join in the celebrations.
"Yes! That's so cool, 'ttebayo!"
"Which means you'll have to come over for dinner more often, Naruto-chan."
Itachi hadn't even heard his mother return from the kitchen.
Beside him, his father just lets out the softest, most pained whine Itachi has ever heard a human make. No doubt picturing Kyōya passing on his teachings, and thus his attitude, to a gaggle of students.
And with that thought-
"I shall supervise these lessons."
For all that Kyōya looks a bit irritated with him for butting in, Itachi has never had his father look so incredibly grateful for something he's said before.
Mmm, that's all for today, but in the works is;
Kyōya trips over a ROOT, and then he starts digging.
Jiraiya and Kyōya. 'Nuff said.
By the age of nine, Kyōya has all the ANBU patrols memorised.
He knows their masks, he knows their chakra, and he knows the Dying Will that rests inside them. Something about chakra interferes with it, because no one else but he has access to the flames, despite their chosen profession.
Regardless of that mystery, Kyōya focuses on the fact there is an ANBU group passing below his watch that are not certified.
A vicious smirk spreads across his face, and he pounces.
Fugaku doesn't even want to acknowledge why he has been dragged to the Hokage's office at four in the morning.
His head is sore, he was on the late shift last night at the station, and he'd politely ignored the fact his middle child's bed was occupied with a genjutsu rather than an actual body. It was sloppy for Kyōya, who's illusions even Itachi had trouble seeing through on his best days.
Quite frankly, it just shows that Kyōya has stopped trying to really fool them, given that Fugaku has finally accepted his fate, that he just cannot stop his middle child.
The last time he tried he'd been caught in an illusion he'd thought he'd broken, only for Itachi to snap him out of it three hours later after crushing all of Mikoto's prized roses in his genjutsu induced stupor.
He needs to regroup, retreat, and come at his Kyōya problem from a new angle.
Because trying to put his foot down, trying to stop the hurricane that is his middle son, just isn't working. Instead of trying to halt the tsunami that is Kyōya, he needs to redirect him.
If that is even possible.
Right now, all he can do is stare at the Hokage, who has seen him dragged out of bed far too early to deal with the bane of his existence.
Don't get him wrong, Fugaku loves Kyōya. In the same way one loves ice despite it tripping you, the way one loves the appeal of fire despite the bite of its burn.
And speaking of biting-
Fugaku looks to the ANBU on the floor -masks he doesn't recognise- then back to the Hokage.
"It would appear that Root is still active."
The demand comes not from Fugaku who, despite their better relations, would never dare to speak to the Hokage in such a way.
Instead, it comes from Kyōya, who's staring down at the false ANBU as if they are something scraped from the bottom of his sandal. Or tonfa.
Certainly peeled from the surface his preferred weapon, given their bruised and battered forms.
Kyōya is only nine, and yet already he is blazing ahead, the fighting capabilities of a Jonin. The only reason he never passed his first Chunin Exam aged eight was because of 'questionable leadership'.
Given that Kyōya had knocked both of his fellow genin unconscious and carted them the full way through the second task under his own power, Fugaku wasn't exactly surprised.
Proud of his son's prowess, certainly, but not surprised in the least that he'd handled his teammates with the same grace and thought as two sacks of rice.
Neither of them had been impressed, nor had Nara Shikaku, Kyōya's Jonin sensei.
The man knew though that nothing could be done to reel Kyōya in.
The boy at least looks after his teammates, and is evidentially loyal to his team. There's not a lot more they can really ask of him without getting 'bitten to death'.
Still, Fugaku is surprised when the Third explains the history of ROOT to Kyōya, who scowls something fierce.
"It's unacceptable if an organisation's leader is not loyal," the nine year old spits, and Fugaku's internal 'Kyōya Alert' rings something fierce.
He blazes out the door before he can be stopped though, and all Fugaku can do is watch him go, because it is quite clear that the Third is yet to be done with him.
"When that boy reaches Jonin," the elder Hokage begins, lacing his fingers together as he does so, "I plan to offer him a place in ANBU, leading his own hunter nin division."
Fugaku can only nod, dumbstruck, wondering where this is going.
"Already ANBU Bear has picked him out as his preferred replacement, and I want him trained as soon as possible."
Kyōya, in charge of ANBU?
What could possible give Bear any indication that such a terrifying thought is a good idea?
The Third had to read the underlying horror he's feeling from his face, for he gives a withered chuckle and shakes his head.
"I'll admit, he's not ready yet, but that's what the training is for. I've sent ANBU to escort young Kyōya home, though I would appreciate a written re-"
An ANBU appears before them, looking exceptionally battered and bloodied, and Fugaku's stomach sinks.
He doesn't need to hear the words to know what's happened.
"We were unable to stop Uchiha Kyōya from arriving at Danzo's residence."
There's an almighty bang, and when Fugaku looks out the window, it's to the sight of a giant elephant facing off against an equally large hedgehog.
Upon one of the spikes, his son stands, engulfed in purple fire and Sharingan blazing.
Oh god damn it.
(He's using Mist Flames to strengthen his illusions, and it throws everyone off)
This isn't meant to be serious, but remember, Kyōya's already lived one life of fighting, it's not too out of there for him to be so skilled, with both Flames and chakra powering him forwards.
Or, at least I think so.
Plus, Danzo's doesn't have any stolen Sharingan yet. So... Eh.
"Good morning, is Kyōya-sama home?"
Sasuke stares in blatant surprise at the dark haired, pale skinned -and he means pale skin, it's not even flesh colour it's just white- boy that stands at the door.
He's dressed in standard ninja garb, rocking back on his heels with a pleased fake-smile.
What does that even mean?
Does it have anything to do with the reason Kyōya-nii had been gone for six whole days?
Sasuke knew a week ago something had happened in the middle of the night, startling him into the waking world just in time to see an elephant and hedgehog do battle on the western side of the village, standing tall over the buildings like gods.
Itachi-nii had rushed out the door, and that was all Sasuke knew of it.
He hadn't seen Kyōya-nii for days afterwards, only yesterday had he come home, looking as pristine as usual before slouching off up to bed.
And now, now there's a pale faced boy in the doorstep asking after him, several other funny looking people stood just behind him and clearly here all for the same reason.
Snapping to attention at the address, Sasuke spins on his feet and latched onto Kyōya's side.
The nine year old glances down at him and pats his head, looking serious as he does so.
"Nii-san, the strange ninja are asking for you."
"These are the Foundation, Little Animal. They are my people now."
What were they before then?
Sasuke doesn't dare voice his question aloud though, suddenly terrified.
Because if Kyōya-nii is in charge of people now, then what does that mean for training time? He and Naruto and Hinata were just starting to get good together, and Hinata always made super delicious bentos for all five of them, so did this mean it's just be Itahi-nii training them when he could.
"Lessons will continue on evenings, Little Animal. I will deal with the Foundation in mornings."
That's, that's acceptable, Sasuke guesses.
"I don't believe it."
The groan that resounds from the table top is the only noise that suggests Fugaku empathises with this statement.
They'd never been quite close, Fugaku a handful of years his elder, but Shikaku has seen more of him these past two years than to just label him an acquaintance.
Most of the time it had been for advice on how to control Kyōya, even though Shikaku had quickly learnt that such a thing was not possible.
From then on out, it'd been for discussions on how best to direct him; something that between the Uchiha smarts and Nara genius, they still haven't figured out.
"At least he'll be busy with them now," Inoichi offers weakly, only now just realising the scope of what exactly they were dealing with.
The blond had always thought Shikaku to be exaggerating when describing Uchiha Kyōya, but there's no denying the Uchiha boy's nature after this.
Not when he eventually took down Danzō -though not without a few heavy injuries the medics had only just patched him up from- and claimed ROOT as his own.
The Hokage has tentatively left the boy in charge of the newly founded 'Foundation', expressing the belief Kyōya is as loyal as a Leaf nin can possibly be.
Shikaku doesn't doubt that in the slightest.
He does worry though for what his frighteningly driven student will whip those ninja into.
And to think, between Gemna's little sister, a clanless orphan and an Uchiha, he'd thought the latter would be the least of his worries.
"Can we talk about the kid's purple fire? What's up with that?" Chōza pipes up around his chicken leg, watching Fugaku scowl even harder.
"I have no idea, getting any information out of Kyōya is like pulling teeth from an Inuzuka hound."
"That hedgehog summons as well, it started off tiny and then it got huge."
Another thing with the purple fire; Shikaku has never seen the boy use that before.
Sage damn it, this kid is gonna be the death of him, one way or another.
"The Hokage wants to put Kyōya in charge of ANBU."
Shikaku lets that thought sink in for a second, as Fugaku downs some sake after dropping that particular bomb, looking pale and tired.
"Looks like you'll be pushing the kid through the Chunin Exams," Chōza snickers, still not quite grasping the gravity of this situation.
Inoichi, at least, is beginning to understand.
Maybe he should send the brat to them for a day, let them try and get a handle on the unstoppable force that is Uchiha Kyōya.
Then again, Chunin means that Shikaku can unleash the little monster on the rest of the shinobi forces, and that he will never be his problem again.
After all, Shikaku is Jonin commander, and Kyōya will probably be a Jonin for no more than ten minutes before ANBU swallow him up.
And that's if ANBU's lucky enough to get ten minutes to prepare themselves.
"Yes," Shikaku says, nodding, "Chunin sounds good."
Both himself and Fugaku shelve the fact Kyōya now has his own little army in the works to be dealt with another day.
Today is not that day.
A chill runs down Jiraiya's spine. It's the only warning he gets, a haunting premonition, before he throws himself to a side on instinct.
The ground he'd been resting on cracks as if Tsunade had a persona grudge against the stonework, but instead of a busty blonde bombshell he finds himself meeting the spinning red eyes of a Uchiha kid.
In the same moment, ninja descend upon him and the Toad Sage scowls.
Another of Sarutobi-sensei's tests?
Jiraiya takes them all down, all but the Uchiha boy who stands perfectly at ease inside his crater.
"Invading the privacy of Leaf Ninja is against the rules. I will bite you to death."
It's a long fight and Jiraiya has to draw the little hellion away from the village because hello property damage!
He manages to win by the skin of his teeth and just where the hell has this little bugger come from?
Those tonfas, that purple fire, that bleeding Akimichi of a hedgehog! Summons should not be able to change size like that, especially ones that come equip with their own spikes!
Sat on the boy's back and struggling with pinning his arms down -how the hell has this kid achieved Tsunade level strength?!- Jiraiya stares down at the boy who actually snarls back up at him.
With bared teeth and all.
He doesn't even look upset, instead some kind of thrilled.
"Kyōya, what have you done?"
An exasperated looking teen that Jiraiya belatedly recognises as Uchiha Itachi approaches the two, and the boy -Kyōya?- beneath him goes limp.
Looking down at the brat who can't be more than a decade old, Jiraiya has to acknowledge that it is the first fight he's actually had to work for in a long time.
What the hell is the Uchiha clan feeding their kids?
"Nii-san," 'Kyōya' grumbles in return, the once again tiny summons pressing it's little nose into the Uchiha's pale neck.
And oh, if he's Uchiha Itachi's little brother, that makes this kid's father-
Jiraiya chokes on the first laugh, but can't quite stop the rest from bubbling out.
Oh by Tsunade's tits, this little hellion belongs to Fugaku?
If that bastard hasn't managed to train this behaviour out of him by now, it means he can't, and it's probably driving the Uchiha clan head crazy.
Itachi seems to know exactly why he's laughing, because there's a dry smile on his face as he approaches.
"Okay you damn hellion, we're going to have a talk about literature."
Because if Fugaku couldn't correct the little beast's behaviour, Jiraiya can at least corrupt him a little more.
"What are those."
It's not a question, Fugaku knows exactly what books his middle son holds and they're too old for him right now.
"A preemptive gift for my fourteenth. From the Carnivore." Kyōya responds dully, stashing the two brightly coloured novels upon his bookshelf, novels commonly seen within the hands of one Hatake Kakashi.
It's either him, or the damn Toad Sage, but Fugaku will murder both of them, just to be sure.
"A rebellion." Fugaku repeats dully, looking between the quasi-excited Uchihas before him who stare back hopefully.
"The Hokage and the Leaf are trying to segregate us, if we rise up-"
Fugaku slaps a hand over the idiot's mouth before he can say anymore, and it's just in time because Kyōya blazes into the police station, dragging two battered forms behind him. He dumps both and their feet, one Uchiha and one Inuzuka.
"They were crowding, breaking rules," is his only explanation before sweeping back out, black gakuran fluttering in a nonexistent breeze. The red Konoha headband is strapped to an unused sleeve, the left housing a similar cloth with the symbol of the newly created Foundation. A blatant reminder that Kyōya is whipping the former ROOT into shape before they officially become his ANBU hunting squad.
Fugaku feels a little bit sick at the reminder.
"That," he breathes, once fully sure that his son is out of range "is why a rebellion is not only unfeasible, but also impossible."
"Itachi could beat Kyōya, that is true, but only if he gave the fight his all, and not without heavy casualties. My eldest would not be able to stomach going at Kyōya with the intent to kill. Do we have anyone else that could stand up to him? Because Kyōya would side with the Leaf. And that's not to bring up the problem of Jiraiya or Hatake or even Sarutobi."
There's a knowing silence and Fugaku sits back, running a hand through his hair as he does so.
"If you're unhappy, then try reaching out to the village, as, as Kyōya has done."
It physically pains him to ask his men to follow in Kyōya's steps, even if only slightly. To follow Kyōya, that is. The pain is quite substantial.
From the look on the rest of their faces, they know it too.
Uchiha Shisui has absolutely no idea how this has happened, but he's liking it a lot.
When his delightfully wild little cousin had taken over ROOT, Shisui had let out a breath, because that meant he wasn't going to get pulled into an organisation if it didn't exist anymore.
Only, Kyōya had rebuilt ROOT into something better -'the Foundation', as he called it- and Shisui had found himself pulled in anyway.
So now here he is, watching over the latest training session, the newly appointed second in command.
They'd gone to the Hokage just two hours ago, in which Shisui had been treated to the sight of his little cousin blazing right through the Third's admittedly weak attempts to stave him off from sucking Shisui into the Foundation. Clearly the Third is more than happy to have Shisui move over to this new branch of Konoha nin.
The man's probably hoping Shisui might be able to direct the force that is his cousin, but really, Shisui's not got much hope for that.
He does know now though that despite being Kyōya's second in command, he's still got to go through the same training as everyone else, which involves one on one spars with the hedgehog loving monster.
Serious, that innocent little creature hasn't left Kyōya's shoulder once, even during the spars. Not that anyone dared land a hit on the cute little thing.
Kyōya would probably send them back to the Hokage in a matchbox if they did.
Still, Shisui's laid sweating on the ground, beaten and bruised but at least Kyōya looks like he's actually been in a fight now, instead of the pristine state that'd preserved through his spars with the former ROOTs. If this is Kyōya's power right now, Shisui's kind of terrified how he'll be in ten years time. He's either looking at the next Hokage, or the man that's going to rule all five of the Great Nations.
Regardless, it's going to be a fun ride no matter what the endings going to be.
Shisui turns his head to a side to see Sasuke dashing over, the Uzumaki kid and the Hyūga heiress right behind him. The rest of Foundation have already cleared out, sectioned off into teams to go and perform a few missions for their Hokage, just to see how well they'll do. Leaving Shisui under Kyōya's direct command, though there's every chance the two of them will be going out on a mission of their own soon.
Shisui's kind of looking forward to it.
"Little Animals," Kyōya muses, driving one tonfa into the earth until it stands perfectly on its own.
"Itachi-nii's just dropping off a report, but he'll be here in a moment."
Kyōya nods, body easing into a kata as if it comes more naturally than breathing.
"Come, Little Animals."
They dive at him.
Previews for the next few chapters;
010- Kyoya goes to pick Sasuke and co up from the academy for the first time.
011- Kyoya finds out about Itachi's illness, and that only Tsunade will ever be capable of healing it. Jiraiya just wants to tag along to see the carnage.
Had the others ever turned up, this is how it'd have gone down;
Mukuro- I'm stuck between him being a Uchiha too and driving Kyōya crazy, or Kurenai's little brother, and pissing off the Uchiha because his illusions are unbreakable. Or maybe even a Kurama, who knows?
Gokudera- Certainly one of Deidara's clan, or a Nara.
Lambo- I see him as Yugito Ni's little brother. No idea why.
Yamamoto- Tenten's twin
Ryōhei- he's an Uzumaki. No way he's not.
Tsuna- he'd be Tsuna'd accidental child; a Senju, a big legacy to live up to, and still a scary cat.
Byakuran- he'd be that annoying little shit that comes from no background, out of nowhere, and blasts through everyone.
Tenten will never be like those other girls in the academy, she will not trip over her own two feet, she will not turn red, and lose her mind at the sight of a boy.
All those other girls in her year who tail after Hyūga Neji, the ones a year below who follow Uchiha Sasuke, nope, that is not the life for her.
Tenten is going to be a brilliant Kunoichi, like Tsunade-sama, but she's going to do it her own way. She's going to be a weapons mistress, the best in the whole damn village. She's going to make a name for herself and prove that girls can be just as good as boys!
That her Papa owns the best weapons shop in the village gives her a good starting point to work from.
It's on this day that Tenten learns that, while she'll never give up her dream for a boy, that doesn't mean she cannot admire one.
He comes into the store like a hurricane, and the little brunette wonders how she'd possibly missed him before, given all the dangerous energy that just seems to bleed out of him.
He stalks up to her Papa, presenting him with a pair of well worn metal tonfas. They look quite similar to the pair her Papa has been working on, and she watches as he pulls the weapons in question from beneath the counter to show the boy.
He hums, accosting them and giving a twist, just enough for the secret compartment to open up and showcase the thin chains stored inside. Tenten has no idea what they're for, but evidentially the boy does, because he gives a pleased smirk and snaps the compartment shut.
"I must say, I'm quite pleased to be supplying the Uchiha Kyōya with his famous weapons."
Tenten's blinks, trying to get a clearer look at this 'Uchiha Kyōya', but all she really gets a chance to see are his light silver eyes before she's forced to duck back behind a shelf to avoid his piercing gaze.
"They're acceptable weapons."
No way, Papa's weapons are the best!
Tenten squeaks in surprise, because she didn't mean to have said that aloud and the Uchiha has obviously heard her. But he's just got an amused smirk on his face, one eyebrow raised.
She nods, bottom lip jutting out as she gives confirmation. At that, Uchiha Kyōya turns to her Papa and his face settles back into that blank mask.
"I will take over her training tomorrow."
And he sweeps out before either of them can gather their wits.
He is so very pretty.
Kyōya has gotten his own fan.
Mikoto suppresses the urge to giggle, but really, it's just too funny. Her eldest, of course, had gained fans the second he entered the academy, as had Sasuke.
But Kyōya's abrasive personality and general threat to others wellbeing when in his vicinity had successfully kept back the fans he would have otherwise collected.
Much to the progressive jealously of the other Uchiha males.
Little Tenten samples after Kyōya, shyly offering up the kunai she'd collected and she can see the blatant confusion on her middle child's face. It's in the slight furrow of his eyebrows, the slight curve of his lips.
He doesn't understand why Tenten is acting this way, and it's damn adorable.
Itachi and Shisui clearly know why, because it's taking everything they have not to burst out laughing, while Fugaku just watches with some kind of disbelieving terror. As if wondering how this little girl has not only the guts to approach Kyōya without a solid reason to do so, but also why the boy has yet to so blatantly steamroll over her as he doesn't everything else.
Her boy has a soft spot for cute thing though, Mikoto knows it.
That little hedgehog summons is enough to point towards it, but the fact he signed the canary contract of all things is as a big an indicator as any.
The nail in the coffin though, is how he treats the little animals he trains.
Mikoto smiles, plucking up the tray of snacks for the little group.
Her sons worry her a great deal of the time, but she wouldn't want them any other way.