It was impossible to say who was more surprised. Itachi, because Sasuke had just yelled at him for attempting to hurt his little brother, or Sasuke, who had just claimed Naruto as family in front of his older brother.
Or maybe it was even Kisame, who was looking between the two Uchiha in amused disbelief.
But let's rewind this story a bit.
About thirteen years ago there was a blonde man.
Wait, that's too far back. Fast forward, please.
Two months earlier.
Yes, that's better. Thanks.
A Tale of Three Brothers
"Kakashi-sensei," Naruto grumbled, throwing an irritated look at his teacher. "Why did we have to take this boring escort mission? I mean all we are doing is guarding a bag of rice!"
"It is an important bag of rice, Naruto," Sakura jumped in. "It is supposed to help the outer settlement against poverty and…"
"Yeah…yeah, I know," Naruto interrupted the lecture. "But it's still boring, right teme?"
Uchiha Sasuke answered with a "Hn," of agreement. Or maybe it was just an abbreviation for "Shut up, idiot." It was really up for interpretation.
Kakashi opened his mouth to add to the conversation, but stopped in the middle of breathing in, his head whipping into the direction of the trees.
Half-a-breath later a kunai pierced the spot Hatake Kakashi had just been standing on, hitting the ground with a loud clanking sound.
The projectile was immediately followed by an incensed ninja, yelling "DIE! Sharingan no Kakashi!" and the three genin watched as the attacker jumped down the tree, posing dramatically in front of them and looking rather bewildered at his lack of intended opponent.
Someone prodded his shoulder and the ninja turned around to see Kakashi smiling at him. "I am here," he informed the man and bashed his fist into his face.
His opponent immediately collapsed onto the ground.
"That…" Naruto began suddenly. "Was the most idiotic thing I've ever seen."
Kakashi continued reading.
Team seven moved on.
Uchiha Sasuke collapsed onto his bed, exhausted from his mission, and lazily grabbed the diary he had found in the attic. It had belonged to his mother and he loved reading it before bedtime.
He had recently reached the point where his mother had declared that her best friend Kushina, someone she saw as a sister, was pregnant.
Curious about that fact, Sasuke continued to read.
Kushina said that they are expecting a boy. That's wonderful! Maybe he and my soon-to-be baby boy can grow up together. I would love it if they could see each other as brothers.
Kushina said that they want to name him after the book Jiraiya-sama wrote. Naruto.
Well, it's certainly an interesting name and Uzumaki Naruto has a rather nice ring to it, right?
Sasuke nearly dropped the book. Uzumaki Naruto? The dobe was the son of the woman his mother saw as a sister?
She wanted them to grow up as brothers?
Sasuke stilled. Brothers. With Naruto.
He had to sleep over that.
Sasuke put the diary on his bedside table and fell into an uneasy sleep.
Naruto had no idea why Sasuke was staring at him so contemplatively. He had never seen such a look on the boy before.
And he was even more surprised when said boy cornered him after training and dropped a book into his lap. "Read."
Confused, Naruto's eyes glanced over the page.
Sasuke watched with narrowed eyes as Naruto's eyes widened and a smile stretched over his face. "Mother," he whispered quietly.
Sasuke averted his eyes. Maybe having a little brother wouldn't be so bad after all.
Even if it was Naruto.
Kakashi stared in disbelief at the scene in front of him. He had no idea just what the hell had changed between his two male genin, but that was definitely not normal.
Sasuke was practically hovering over the younger boy, trying to feed him tomatoes, because they were apparently 'good for his health," while the younger one grumpily munched on the offered vegetables, complaining loudly about the lack of ramen.
Then Sasuke proceeded to hush him, as one would do with a little child and promised him a vegetable-filled ramen bowl if he applied himself during their training.
Kakashi really wanted to know just what rabbit hole he had stumbled into.
Judging by the slack-jawed expression Sakura was wearing she was wondering the same thing.
As if feeling their stares, Sasuke raised his head and narrowed his eyes at them, shifting slightly to shield Naruto from their view.
Just what was going on?
Things became even more strange when Naruto turned up the next day, an Uchiha fan proudly displayed on the back of his orange jumpsuit.
"Sasuke," Kakashi began slowly because he was starting to doubt his genin's sanity. "Why is Naruto wearing your clan symbol?"
"Because he is my brother," Sasuke answered matter-of-factly, carefully lining up two bento under a shady tree. "And I am an Uchiha, so Naruto is one as well."
Kakashi had nothing to say about that convoluted logic and watched as Sasuke stalked off to help Naruto with his taijutsu style.
Shrugging to himself, Kakashi picked up his book and started to read. If Sasuke wanted to start a family with Naruto who was he to deny him? Maybe it would even be good for both of them. Although he fervently hoped that the black-haired boy would not pick up his older brother's overprotective tendencies.
His hopes proved to be in vain.
"Don't you think we should step in, sensei?" Sakura asked nervously as she watched Sasuke sternly lecturing their latest client.
The man had made the mistake of being rude towards Naruto in the boy's presence and had subsequently found himself at the receiving end of a ten-minute lecture.
Kakashi reluctantly tore his eyes from the page he was reading to glance at the incensed boy. "Nah." He answered casually. "Remember one thing, Sakura. Never get between an Uchiha and the one who insulted his brother." He shuddered in remembrance and hastily returned to his book.
No, he would not make that mistake again.
Sasuke was not well pleased when he was called into the Hokage's office only to find himself face to face with the Third, his two advisors, and Konoha's clan heads.
"Uchiha-san." Homura greeted him calmly. "Thank you for your presence."
Sasuke crossed his arms in front of him and glared at the man, refusing to take the seat that had been offered to him. "Hn."
"The reason we have called you here," Koharu continued. "Is to ask you what you were thinking to let Uzumaki run around wearing your clan symbol."
"Hn." Sasuke repeated. "Well?"
The woman blinked in confusion. "Excuse me?"
Sasuke raised an eyebrow. "Aren't you going to ask?"
Behind him, Shikaku and Tsume snorted.
The woman's lips twitched. "Very well. Why, Uchiha-san, is Uzumaki wearing your clan symbol?"
"Because he is an Uchiha," the boy answered immediately, narrowing his eyes at the woman.
"He is an Uzumaki," a man with a bandaged eye corrected. "Not an Uchiha."
Sasuke absently noticed that he was sitting at the clan table. On the seat that belonged to him.
"Danzo is correct." Homura agreed.
Sasuke raised his head and threw his patented Uchiha glare at the man before he straightened and declared loudly: "I am the Uchiha Clan Head now, and I say Naruto is an Uchiha. So, stop butting into our clan matters."
He turned towards the clan table. "And speaking of Clan heads. That's my seat you are sitting in, Danzo-san, move off before I arrest you for impersonating a clan member."
The man sputtered. "Arrest me? You?! This insolence-"
"I am the Head of the Police force, remember?" Sasuke cut him off. "This is well within my rights."
"Uchiha-dono is correct," a calm voice commented from the table. Sasuke turned around to see Hyuuga Hiashi raising his eyebrow at Danzo. "The Uchiha are still Konoha's police force. The position was never taken away from them. With Uchiha-dono being the last of his clan, the position of Head automatically falls to him."
"I suggest you do move, Danzo," Tsume agreed, amused. "You don't want to get arrested, right?"
Danzo rose from his chair, threw an angry look at Sasuke, and marched out of the door.
The newly minted Head of the Police Force walked over towards his chair and threw an almost challenging look at the elders. "Was there another reason you called for me, Homura-san? Or did you just wish to give your valued input into our clan matters?"
"No, Uchiha-dono," the man ground out. "You may leave."
Sasuke made a point to look at the Hokage, who had watched the proceedings with hidden mirth. "Is there something else you need, Hokage-sama?"
"No, Sasuke," the Third answered with barely concealed amusement. "There is nothing else. Now, hurry along. I believe your brother might be expecting you."
Sasuke immediately perked up.
They had found the Nine-tails.
Or more like, the kid had found them.
They were not supposed to take him just yet and their meeting really had just been a coincidence.
Still, Kisame was excited as they closed in on the startled-looking kid.
His partner raised his hand only to stop when a very angry voice suddenly cut through the air.
"Itachi!" Sasuke had appeared, his red eyes spinning furiously as he pinned his older brother with a heated look.
"Who is that?" Kisame asked, looking pointedly at Sasuke.
"My younger brother," Itachi answered plainly, staring intently at Sasuke.
"Your brother?" Kisame was both surprised and amused. "I thought you killed your entire clan?"
"He was not worth killing," Itachi replied coldly, putting as much derision into his voice as he was capable of. "He is too weak."
Cool eyes settled on Sasuke. "I don't have time for you today, foolish little brother. I am here for the boy at your side."
That had been the wrong thing to say.
Sasuke immediately stomped forward and glared at him with the intensity of thousand fires. "Keep your hands off my little brother!" he snarled loudly. "Or I will end you here and now."
It was impossible to say who was more surprised. Itachi, because Sasuke had just yelled at him for attempting to hurt his little brother (had he missed his mother being pregnant again?), or Sasuke, who had just claimed Naruto as family in front of his older brother.
Or maybe it was even Kisame, who was looking between the two Uchiha in amused disbelief.
Of course, Naruto used that moment to interrupt and peeked past Sasuke's protective form. "So that's your brother, nii-san?"
"You really have a convoluted family tree, Itachi!"
Two pairs of Sharingan eyes glared at him.
This is now a collection of loosely connected, semi-chronological one-shots centered around the same premise.