Chapter 24

Disclaimer: Don't own!

Thanks to Fernlight, Kyoichi Amaya, Sally95, Silent-Himitsu, Forever Buckskin, and SoraLover987142 for reviews. Thanks to for favorites.

Sally95: Hmmmm I didn't think of that. Let's hope Kakashi's not late! O.o I'd think Ame would murder him if he was. lol

FLUUUUUUFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF! ^3^ And there's a high possibility that Itachi is OOC... but it's kinda hard to keep him in character and have a relationship going on... 9_9


"Mama! Let's go there." Tenshi squealed and pointed to a shop, I looked up and frowned, she was pointing to a weapons shop. I looked down at my daughter, "Tenshi, I already told you, we need to go home." My blind daughter tugged at my hand, "But Mama... I don't want to go home yet! I wanna go in there." I gave her a look, "That's a weapons shop, sweetie." Tenshi paused for only a minute before she began tugging on my arm again, "You said I could be a ninja if I wanted to! I want to feel the weapons!" I tried to squish my panic, a four year old blind girl did not belong in a shop full of sharp objects meant for cutting, but I couldn't tell her that- not without her getting mad again.

"Alright, alright... but you're not picking anything up, just feel." I grumbled and Tenshi squealed before running into the shop, nearly hitting the doorway. I grimanced and half hoped that the shop owner would throw us out, not daring to let my daughter get near the weapons. Of course, he happened to be one of those men who enjoyed little kids. I leaned against the counter as I watched the old man walk Tenshi around his shop, telling her each attribute of the weapon. The blind four year old listened avidly, her small face shining. I was just glad that when she reached out to touch a weapon he grabbed her hand and carefully made her avoid the sharp edges. He even gave Tenshi an extremely dull kunai to keep. I tried to pay him but he wouldn't allow it, saying that it was a pleasure to see such a little girl interested in weapons.


"Okay Tenshi, we've already wasted most of the day in town. Quit stalling and let's go!" I snapped as my daughter bent down to tickle a puppy's chin, "Mommy, I want a doggy." Tenshi said, completely ignoring me. I glared at her, "You don't need a dog." I growled. Tenshi turned her face towards me, "But Mama, since I'm blind I need a seeing-eye doggy." I stared at her for the logical reason, then humphed, "You've been around Itachi too long." I grumbled. She only giggled, "Please Mommy? Can we get one?"

The Inuzuka who was selling the puppies spoke up, "They're very cheap, and most of them are housetra..." She trailed off as I glowered at her and she coughed, "Ah... nevermind." She finished and looked away. I turned to my daughter, "Maybe for your birthday, let's go!" I grabbed Tenshi's hand and began dragging her behind me. She dug her heels in, "I don't wanna!" She shrieked, bringing attention for every villager in hearing range to us. I frowned at her and said in a very stern voice, "I'm tired of being dragged around town for no reason. We. Are. Going. Home. Now!"

Tenshi pouted then asked curiously, "What time is it?" I gave her a strange look for the sudden change of attitude and checked my watch, "Six in the evening." I responded. Suddenly Tenshi grabbed my wrist and ran forward making me actually stumble a step, "Let's go home, Mama!" She said excitedly. I followed suspiciously, just a moment ago she didn't want to leave. Why the sudden change of heart?


Tenshi chattered happily as she jumped up and down, "Open the door, Mama! Open the door! Open the door!" I struggled to balance the shopping bags in one arm and to unlock the door with the other without stepping on my daughter at the same time. "Patience, Tenshi. I'm trying..." I said as I turned the deadbolt and opened the door. It was uncommonly dark inside, usually the setting sun cast some light into the living room, but it was almost pitch black. Tenshi giggled and ran inside before I could stop her. I sighed and shook off my paranoid feelings, maybe Reiko had drawn the blinds today.

I walked in the house, slidding the door shut behind me. As I started to set down the shopping bags the lights suddenly flicked on and mutliple voices yelled, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!" I screamed and leapt backwards in surprise. Shisui caught me in his arms, to prevent me from falling to the ground; everyone was laughing at my shock. I glared at Reiko, who seemed to be enjoying it the most, "What's the meaning of this?" I snapped at him. Shisui grinned as he set me on my feet and slung an arm around my shoulders, "Well you see Kitty, it's a surprise birthday party for you. Happy ninteenth birthday!" My eyes twitched, I had been hoping that no one would remember that today was my birthday.

Ruri grinned, "That's quite a scream you got there, Tora..." She and Mitsuko laughed. Tenshi ran up to me and hugged me around the leg, "Happy birthday Mommy!" I rolled my eyes and ruffled her hair, Tenshi I could forgive. I glared darkly at Reiko, my brother however... The red head laughed nerveously, "It was Shisui's idea for the surprise party, I just wanted to throw you something." I turned my glare on my best friend. He didn't seem fazed at all, but then being around Itachi probably built up his immunity to glares, "I can understand why you hate surprises now, Kitty. Ruri's right, that was some scream." I elbowed him in the gut, hard. He doubled over grunting.

Yuki bounded around her brother figure, "Oh come on Tora, don't be mad! We're all here to have a good time!" I glanced at the red headed Uchiha and sighed, "Alright, I'll try to have fun... but only if we play pin the tail on Shisui!" I finished with an evil grin at my friend. He gulped while Hana and Itachi smirked at him.


Though I was surrounded by friends and family, I felt uncomfortable. It wasn't that I didn't want to be around my friends, I did, but I never did like birthdays. I excused myself from a conversation between Ruri, Yuki and myself and disappeared into the kitchen, unnoticed. Or so I thought.

A minute later Itachi walked in to find me sitting at the table, staring at a glass of tea between my hands. The dark haired Uchiha sat down across from me, waiting for me to speak. When I didn't look up he reached out and brushed his thumb across my scarred cheek before running under my chin and forcing me to look at him. "What's wrong?" He asked. I shrugged, "I hate birthdays." I stated as if it was perfectly normal. Itachi didn't answer, he just sat there, silently telling me to continue.

I took a sip of my tea before elaborating, "Well, I guess I don't hate Reiko or Tenshi's birthdays, just my own... It kind of hard to like the day when you were born to an abusive father and a mother who turned out to be a S-ranked criminal." I sighed and rested my forehead on the back of my right hand, "I only know today is my birthday because my father always hit me harder on this day than any other... if I remember correctly, he cut my face on my third birthday, but I don't know; I was young I could just be assuming things." Anger sparked deep within Itachi's depthless eyes. It was only a brief flash, but I still shivered from the intensity of it. I just glad that it wasn't directed at me.

Itachi reached out and took my hand in his, grazing his thumb gently over my knuckles. I closed my eyes at the feeling. "You could look at it that way..." Itachi started and I opened my eyes to meet his gaze. "...or you could think of it as another year alive." He finished. I smiled, "I suppose so, it would be hard to break the habit of hating my birthday though." Itachi leaned closer, a small almost playful smirk on his face, "Isn't that what habits are for?" He teased. I chuckled, "I don't know... is it?" I responced leaning closer myself. We were inches apart, grinning at each other. Itachi's smile turned soft and he reached out to brush the back of his fingers across my cheek. I bit my lip and blushed at the attention. We both fell into a comfortable silence.

It was then that I realized there was no sound coming from the living room.

I glared at the kitchen entrance to see if anyone was watching, thankfully no one was there, and shouted, "If any of you are spreading gossip I'll murder you personally!" Gails of laughter drifted through the doorway, showing that everyone was indeed listening. I slouched in my chair, sulking. Itachi chuckled, "Why do you let it bother you?" He asked. I shrugged, "I don't know. I'm used to people gossiping about me, and unwanted attention... I guess I just never really cared before since none of it was true." Itachi had that smirk on his face again, "And you care now...?" He asked slyly. I glared at him, "Who are you and what have you done with the real Itachi?" Itachi only smirked as he stood and came around the table to my side. He leaned down so I had to sink farther into my chair to avoid hitting our head together, "I've done nothing, you have." He whispered. Before I could ask what he meant by that, he closed the space between us for a brief kiss then disappeared so fast I wondered if he had really just kissed me. I sat there blinking in my chair, wondering what he meant.


XP Itachi is a flirt! Mwahahahahahahaha!

Make reviews, not flames! *throws flowers around* ...Just kidding FLAME ME! I dare you!

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