A/N: Hello! I was very glad to see people enjoyed what I had. I am busy, however, so this chapter is largely unpolished, which might also be true for any chapters released during the spring semester. Nevertheless, I hope you enjoy this and have some laughs.

Oh lordy is Grammarly annihilating me for using 'dango' without capitalization.

Chapter 2: Sakura Gets A Dango

Itachi decides to boost Konoha's economy by purchasing his eighth dango box of the week. It was a Tuesday. The dango shop owner grew so used to Itachi's generous spending habits, that the very sight of the Uchiha fans makes the shop owner think of what gifts he ought to purchase for his wife.

It's no coincidence that sellers of other sweets swarm the immediate right, left, and the opposite side of the dango shop. Itachi's sweet tooth is known to all. From the moment that he earned his hitai-ate (far too early, by many's standards), little Itachi lopped half his savings away on sweets and weapons. Sweets being the majority since he's far too prudent and careful to waste his weapons. The street that the dango shop sits on is Shimura street, named in honor of Danzo's father, Mamoru Shimura's infrastructure contributions. However, Itachi's purchases had turned to The Confectionary street. On an unrelated note, the dango shop owner is an avid Uchiha sympathizer.

Danzo would never admit it, but this besmirching of his father's name had fueled much of his ire at the Uchiha, causing him to brew a nefarious, treacherous plan. Should Itachi's image be stained, he thought, the street would be restored to its former glory.

With a box of three dango in hand, pink, white, and green, Itachi sat on his favorite bench. The other benches felt jealous, as much as inanimate objects could, that the genius of this generation regularly blesses the other bench with his rear-end, instead of them, even though they're better benches with better views.

Itachi, unaware of the ongoing conflict, seats himself on a thoroughly overjoyed bench and opens his dango box.

To his utter and deep regret, he looks up at that moment and sees the shiniest green eyes set underneath horribly bubble-gum pink hair. A child.

A child looking at his dango, his. Now, Itachi's known to have three cares in life: dango, world peace, and children. Specifically, his little brother. But as soon as Itachi was old enough to discover children younger than him, and his interaction with Naruto, Itachi chose to reconsider his convictions to encompass all children. He recognized this one, what with her being one of Sasuke's many academy classmates, and having some of the most distinct features.

At this moment, his two greatest values were at war. Dango, or make the child happy? Itachi had never faced a decision so grievous before…

Somewhere, Madara Uchiha coughed.

"It's mine…" Itachi pouts, holding his dango box closer. But...it seems so unfair to him, that a child who so perfectly embodies dango colors doesn't get to have some… Pink hair, green eyes, white shirt. For a moment, he dares to think he'd share. Instead, he turns to the side, keeping the child out of his frontal sight but still in his peripheral, because what if?

The dango shop owner gaped, civilians tittered at his lack of decor, and ANBU agents across Konoha shuddered in fear. The average chunin wouldn't know what a terror Itachi becomes when anyone stands between him and his sweets. The missions that Itachi completes the fastest happen when there's a town nearby that sells sweets.

Incidentally, those tend to be the towns with vulnerable children who are, more often than not, the subjects of those missions, but the presence of sweets plays a big role.

The fact is, seasoned veterans, know not to touch his dango, of all things. It became their sixth sense. They send a quick prayer to whatever poor soul had dared infringe, and dash away from the marketplace at surprisingly coordinated speeds.

"Please?" the child's eyes water and Itachi damns his soul to hell 10000 times over. How dare he make a child cry?! Not to mention how similarly her eyes water as Sasuke's do, when Fugaku neglects to pay him attention (Uchiha don't make for children with secure familial attachments). He could swear his heart snapped.

"...No…" Itachi barely manages, before the child's fist comes slamming down onto his knee. Her face holds the determination her future shisho will hammer into her through literal force, and her fist foreshadows the many craters she'll form.

Itachi's leg hairs, meanwhile, wonder if something tickled.

"Fine," he gives in, giving the child one (1) dango stick, and holding the box even closer to his chest.

Sasuke sensed a great disturbance in the force.

Hiruzen desperately wanted to check on his crystal ball. Something monumental had happened, he knew it.

Danzo felt every single one of his rotten, rotten 65 years weigh down on him at once.

She claps, with the world now right in her eyes, and eyes the sweet like a dragon eyes gold.

Itachi stands, his duty finished and leaves. However, a second set of footsteps follow, much clumsier, and quicker than his own. With the clap-clap of children's shoes on feet that haven't learned silent walking, he knows the child is following him.

"Go back home," he nods towards the child and walks on. The patter of feet follow.

"What's your name?" a squeaky voice asks.

"It's polite to offer yours first," Itachi answers, drawing on years of etiquette lessons. Mikoto knows when her sons act with bad manners. She never fails to rain shame on them for a single offense. Itachi knows this, and in an act of self-preservation, follows his lessons to the T.

"Sakura," she says cheerfully.

"I am Itachi," he answers, remembering how he met Naruto just the week before. Perhaps… "Where are your parents?"

"Work," she says shortly, cheeks stuffed with anko paste and mochi. "I went to the playground after school, then came here because the food smelled nice. That box has the nicest dango, I know! So I went to you."

"I see," Itachi rubs his small chin, mentally drawing up a tutoring schedule for Sakura. It wouldn't do to have a ninja who so openly gave information, with neither caution nor direction to what's given. "Would they be happy to know you wandered so far without their permission?"

"You won't tell them right?" she says, barely waddling along with him. Quite like Sasuke, in fact. Just like a duckling.

"If you go home, I won't have to," he answers evenly. Fugaku taught him to be a role model.

"Alright…" she pouts. "It's two houses down the Yamanaka Flower Shop!"

"Very well."

Being a Tuesday, Sasuke and Naruto had also just left school. Now free from the clutches of doting Uchiha elderly, they wander the marketplace and stumble upon Haruno Sakura following Itachi with devotion. Quite literally. There was an impressive amount of devotion in the speed and force she used just to keep pace with Itachi.

The devotion wasn't the issue, however. It was that Sakura was taking up their space.

Sasuke and Naruto agree for the first time since Itachi's affections have been divided amongst them. They might not like each other and want the best Aniki in the world for themselves, but there is one thing they can agree on. For Kami's sake, they will not share Itachi with an icky girl. This is a brother's territory! They have no room for sisters!

So they nod, united against a common enemy, and follow the two. This causes a ripple effect that will reach beyond the clutches of the elemental countries.

Two more pitter-patters join Sakura's, and Itachi finds himself with three little ducklings following his way. He smiles softly.

("Sandaime-sama! Elder Shimura is having seizures!"

"What in the world?" Hiruzen gasps, looking away from the crystal ball where his new favorite candidate for Hokage was guiding children down the street.)

("Yashiro," Fugaku calls, and his right-hand man nods in response. "Do the villagers seem… kinder these days?" His brows furrow and the lines around his mouth grow deeper.

"It seems so, Fugaku-sama," Yashiro answers. "It must be Itachi-kun's good influence."

"Is that so… Hn, perhaps there is hope.")

The weasel-mother and his ducklings pass by a mask shop, whose owner doesn't take kindly to Naruto's shifty walk or general presence.

"Hey, brat! Get outta here!" he yells at the top of his long, belly straining from his apron ribbons. "We don't need your filth around!" Should a bypasser look closely, they might notice the red in the owner's cheeks or the sheen on his eyes. As is, the rage clouds all, and the grief stays buried.

Naruto blows his cheeks out, then puffs up for an equally loud response. "You don't own the streets, old man! I can walk where-e-e-ever I want! And you can't do a thing about it!" Perhaps a little moisture collects on his eyes, too.

Itachi tops in his walk and turns back, and Sakura does the same. Almost identical, in fact. Clean, reserved, curious turns.

"Should we help?" she asks, looking up at her new role model.

"We must see how it unfolds, first," says Itachi, never passing up an opportunity to spit straight wisdom.

Sasuke thinks carefully, just like otousan taught him to. He doesn't like Naruto, no. He doesn't like much, as he might once announce in the distant future. But he dislikes some people Naruto dislikes, and this guy is one of them. So, Sasuke decides to intervene. It's good training for the police force, anyway.

"I never knew a shop owner could want to scare business away," Sasuke says, and smirks down his nose, just like Mikoto does when others assume her to be

weak.

The man leans further, spitting his words. "You privileged red-eyed demons, all of you! I'll wrangle your pale necks!"

"I'm scared," Sakura says.

Itachi glances down, hands the dango box to Sakura, then body-flickers to the front of the stall.

"Please refrain from besmirching our clan's name, sir," he says, staring straight on. Civilians and ninja alike have learned to be wary of an Uchiha's eyes, even when inactive. The elders would reprimand him for his rudeness, as it is courtesy for an Uchiha not to look straight into another's eyes.

But he has three little siblings now, and he won't hesitate, (bitch.)

"Oh, another- get out! Get out, all of you!" he screams, until his throat aches.

Arms out, Itachi scoops the three children into his arms, and leaps for the roofs. They yelp and grasp at his shirt, head whipping around in every direction. Thick hair slaps gentle skin, and small bellies roll from the sudden change of movement.

Then, before they could tell which way was up or down, Itachi lands by the flower shop and lets the children go.

"I'm gonna be sick!" Naruto shouts and runs to the closest patch of grass he could find. It just so happens to be the Yamanaka front yard.

"I didn't mean to disturb you," Itachi apologizes.

"No way! That was awesome!" he shouts.

Meanwhile, Sasuke glares at his newest rival. Pshhh, pink hair. Next thing he knows, Itachi will pick up a dog for a sibling, or, kami-forbid, a Hyuga. And she got a dango. Itachi never gives anyone a dango.

"Give that back to him!" he shouts, pointing at the box. "You don't deserve it!"

"What?" Sakura yells. "Ani gave it to me!"

"Ani? Ani?! He's not your ani, he's mine!" Pale hands rip for the box, and smaller hands fight them off. Clan training against a civilian's desperate hair-pulling, kicking and clawing. Clan training pulls through, though, and Sakura falls with a heavy thump. Naruto toddles to her side and helps her roll over and breathe.

"Sasuke!" Itachi exclaims, which is about as loud as the average person's library voice. "You mustn't hurt your comrades!"

"B-but...ani…"

"Mother will be most disappointed. Sakura is your classmate, and she will one day work with you on a squad. How can you rely on someone you hurt? And for such a silly fight, too."

"She...but she…"

"There is no excuse for your behavior, Sasuke. Apologize," Itachi sets his foot down. He doesn't understand. Sasuke is such a good boy! What had gotten into him?

"Sorry!" Sasuke shouts with venom and runs off for the Uchiha compound, where he promptly flops into his futon. Sasuke cries that day, for approximately 48 seconds before Mikoto comes storming in (silent as a cat, but everyone knows she's storming in) to soothe him.

"What happened?" she asks, petting his spiky hair down, the same shade of blue as hers. Mikoto celebrates this win over Fugaku's very-much inferior genes with another tide of affection.

"Itachi never shares his dango with me," Sasuke says with a wobbling lip.

"Dango?" Mikoto repeats. Sasuke was never bothered by Itachi's dango. He doesn't even like sweets. "Why are you so upset about his dango?" She hugs him closer.

"He shared it with someone else!"

"Naruto?"

"No, some stupid imouto, I bet. She's in my class, too."

"Your class?"

"Sakura," he pouts, stewing further.

"He found a little sister, now?" Mikoto exclaims and then breaks out into a close-lipped grin. "You should be glad, Sasu-chan. You're going to have so many friends now, my little turtle-duck!"

"Turtle-duck? That makes no sense, kaa."

"You clearly haven't seen Love Amongst the Dragons, then! I will take you when it's shown in Tanzaku-Gai."

"I don't want stupid theater! Ani… what if he loves them more?"

"Don't give me attitude, Sasu-chan," Mikoto pets him softly. Sasuke freezes. "And if you want his favorite snack, give him yours first."

At dinner that night, Sasuke furiously pushes a plate of cut and salted tomatoes towards Itachi.

"Do you want me to check them?" he asks.

"No, eat!"

"I don't like tomatoes."

"Just eat them!"

"Sasuke, if Itachi doesn't wish to eat something, you should respect that," Fugaku says firmly.

"But-but-"

"Uchiha don't stutter. Speak clearly."

"I...I want Itachi's dango," Sasuke pouts, and settles into his arms.

Fugaku blinks. "Since when do you eat dessert?"

"That's not the point, otousan!"


A/N: Anyone catch the ATLA reference? I really love the series, and I recommend all of you to watch it! Thank you for reading. Feedback is very welcome :)

Possible Preview:

"You can call me... big brother!"

"...dude, are you a gangster or something?"

Mikoto stifles her chuckles in her hand. Fugaku snickers so much his shoulders bounce.