Sasuke ducked with all his might, avoiding a fist only to find that a leg was already aiming to sweep him off his feet, jumping up and backwards he did a backflip before pushing off the ground with his hands and landing on his feet once more. This time it was him who kicked at his still-crouched opponent, aiming to hit his chin only to have him adjust his head slightly so that the attack barely misses, before leaning further backwards, making a bridge from his body he pushed up with his legs aiming to hit Sasuke with them on their way up. Sasuke, already off balance from his kick, failed to dodge, falling backwards onto his back as his opponent straightened up into a handstand, jumping up with his arms and landing back on his feet, similarly to how Sasuke had done only a second ago.
Sasuke sighed as he got up into a sitting position “You got me again.” It had been more than a year ever since they entered the academy and became friends, yet Sasuke had never managed to win a single spar against his clanmate.
Shinku smiled “But you’ve gotten way better haven’t you?”
“Still nowhere as good as you...”
“Then you only have to keep working don’t you?”
“I guess... I don’t think I’ll be better than you, but I’ll still do my best to be worthy of the Uchiha name.”
Shinku nodded “That’s the spirit. Well, not that I’ll mind if you aim higher than me.” And extended his arm to Sasuke. As Sasuke grabbed it, Shinku pulled him up and they both locked their right hand’s index and middle fingers together, the same fingers they’d used to make the one-handed earth seal, better known to students of the academy as the seal of confrontation, before they began the spar.
“It’s already gotten dark.” Noted Sasuke, not having noticed while caught up in his training
“Oh boy... looks like we got carried away... Dad’s gonna be mad...” Sasuke himself became palefaced thinking how his mother would react.
“L-Let’s go back...”
“Yeah. Better late than never.”
Leaving the Uchiha training ground, they headed straight to the compound. The full moon was out and the night was well-lit compared to most. Though it could also be taken as ominous.
“Hm?” Sasuke stopped and looked up as they were walking through the streets. Shinku stopped and followed his sight but found nothing but an electric post. He tilted his head slightly.
“I just... thought... Huh?” He suddenly noticed something else “The lights are out…” Shinku looked around as if to confirm this.
“You’re right. Weird. It’s not really late enough for everyone to sleep yet.”
“Let’s hurry up.” Sasuke suggested, receiving a nod from Shinku before they ran forward.
They ran through the streets only to turn a corner and suddenly stop.
They both exclaimed in shock at the street littered with unmoving bodies of people from the clan. The old lady from the dango store, her husband, several other people Shinku had seen around the clan. What happened? Sasuke seemed to be thinking the same before he suddenly exclaimed.
“Dad! Mom!” And he ran forward. Shinku froze. That’s right. His parents. He needed to check on them. But Sasuke… He couldn’t leave him alone. He didn’t have time to think. Cursing in his mind, he ran after his friend.
“Sasuke!” He shouted, though it went unheard. Running through street after street littered with bodies of members of the clan, Shinku finally caught up as Sasuke reached his home and opened the door. He went inside.
“Mom? Dad? Are you home?” He yelled as he took his shoes off. Shinku hesitated before doing the same and following Sasuke inside the house. They checked the kitchen first, but they weren’t there, neither were they in the living room. Though as they entered it they suddenly heard a thud from somewhere. Sasuke quickly ran, following the sound, Shinku on his tail.
“Dad! Mom!” He yelled as he threw open the doors of their bedroom. But what he found were the bloodied figures of his parents laid out on the floor. They only received a brief moment to process this as a man stepped out of the shadows. No, not a man. He was a child just like them, only not even five years older than Sasuke.
Both children exclaimed.
“Nii-san! Dad and mom are! I don’t understand… Why? Who would do such a thi-“ He was interrupted as a shuriken spun past the two, cutting slightly into Sasuke’s shoulder.
Shinku understood from the moment he saw him. Unlike Sasuke he couldn’t deceive himself. He shivered in fear. Neither of them truly knew what Itachi was capable of, but what both of them knew was that they wouldn’t be his match no matter what. Shinku activated his sharingan, he couldn’t not. The next attack could be the last.
“Nii-san… what are you-“ Sasuke couldn’t finish his sentence, interrupted again, as Itachi’s sharingan spun into a pinwheel shape rather than the normal three tomoe one. Sasuke suddenly screamed in terror and pain before collapsing on the ground.
“Sasuke?! What-“ Shinku felt something impact his stomach, as he flew out the doors and into the house’s garden. He didn’t even see it coming. The one moment he took his eyes off Itachi was the moment it happened. He picked himself up, coughing out mucus and only barely managing to hold himself back from vomiting.
“Nii…san. Why… would you do something like this…?” Sasuke managed to ask, still lieing down on the ground.
“To measure my abilities.” His brother answered for the first time.
“Just… that? For something like that… you… killed everyone?”
“It was an important thing.”
Sasuke stood up shakily.
“Wai-!” Shinku tried to shout, but was interrupted as Sasuke yelled in rage and raised his hand against his older brother, only to get punched in the chest, the pain and shock of the impact almost robbing him of his consciousness. As Itachi retracted his fist and Sasuke fell to the floor he walked out towards Shinku, who had finally managed to get to his feet.
Laying on the floor as itachi moved towards one of his only friends, no doubt intending to kill him, the unmoving form of his parents reflected in Sasuke’s eyes as tears started streaming from them. Regaining his consciousness, he quickly stood in a crouch and ran out screaming, overcome in fear. Itachi didn’t look back at this for a second. Shinku gulped down his fear.
“My parents…” Shinku hesitated… “Did you do the same to my parents too?” Itachi looked into his eyes without answering, but that was everything Shinku needed to hear. He clenched his teeth and narrowed his eyes, trying to hold back his tears. But his look quickly turned into that of determination. He couldn’t die yet. Not there. Not then. He knew he was no match for Itachi. Instead of trying to do anything about him he jumped up and backwards. A shuriken flew towards him, but with his fully awakened sharingan no matter how fast it was, Shinku could see it. He was too slow to intercept it with one of his own, but he pulled out a kunai from his bag and slashed at the shuriken, deflecting it. Landing on the wall of the house he jumped down onto the street and ran.
Before he died he needed to see for himself. He needed to see his parents. Even if they were really dead. He had to confirm this with his own eyes, or else it wouldn’t click for him. He wouldn't be able to die in peace without confirming it with his own eyes. Shinku ran through the dead Uchiha compound. He ran until he reached his house, throwing the door open, he no longer had shoes to take off, simply running inside and to his parents’ bedroom.
Throwing open the door he witnessed, just like Sasuke’s parents, his own were both on the ground, their eyes lifeless, blood seeping from the the deep wounds in their necks. Shinku’s eyes narrowed as he attempted to hold back his tears once more, this time failing miserably as they started leaking. He walked over to his parents and fell to his knees as tears streamed down his cheeks, sniffing and sobbing.
He gently embraced the two lifeless corpses. They were still warm. The warmth of an already faded life. Why did they die? Why had Itachi killed them? To measure his own vessel. Truly? Just for that? Was it really that easy to take a life? As he questioned he heard a creak from behind him, slowly turning his head around he came to look at Itachi standing in the doorway.
The one most surprised wasn’t Shinku though, but Itachi himself, his eyes slightly widening as he watched the young boy’s tears become bloody, the tomoe of his sharingan spinning once into a pinwheel shape and then again, further into an even more complicated shape, as if combining the previous with another different one. Itachi hesitated. Here he was, a child with the mangekyo sharingan, something he had awoken from seeing his best friend throw himself to his death of his own accord. No matter how firm his resolve this was beyond his expectations. He knew the pain that was needed, both to awaken the sharingan and then the pain beyond that in order to awaken the mangekyo. But it didn’t matter. He had to finish what he started. Only Sasuke was to be allowed to live. He gripped the hilt of his sword tightly.
Itachi stepped forward drawing his sword. Shinku let go of what remained of his parents and stood up. Shinku lamented. Why? Why couldn’t he at least let him mourn in peace? It was his fault. All his fault. Because he was here. As Itachi rushed towards him a ribcage surrounded Shinku along with a deep blue chakra. Itachi’s sword struck it and failed miserably to pierce it. A skeletal arm formed next, swinging its fist towards the slayer of the Uchiha clan.
“Go awaaaay!” Shinku yelled from the bottom of his lungs and though Itachi dodged the attack the fist struck through the door, opening a gaping hole in the wall. Shinku turned, the arm following Itachi, ripping through the wall as it head for Shinku’s former idol, who ran out of the way throwing four kunai at the child, two blocked by the ribcage’s slight movements while the remaining two are deflected by the kunai in Shinku’s hands.
“Go away, go away, go away!” He yelled again and again as the second blue skeletal arm finally formed and struck its fist out towards the running Itachi, anticipating his movement. Itachi stopped and rolled backwards out of its way and under the other arm. He looked the child in the eyes, preparing to cast a genjutsu upon him when the ceiling suddenly collapsed, too much of the walls having been destroyed for them to support that part of the building anymore.
Jumping out from one of the holes the skeletal arms had created in the walls itachi quickly found a place on the roof of a nearby building to overlook the collapsed section of the house as he pondered. If the child had survived, if he grew up in this village and remained loyal to it, he would become a great aid to Konoha when the village needed him. The child was too young to know anything. He should retain the original ideals of the Uchiha. If that’s the case, it would be for the best that he be left alive.
As he observed the rubble move and a piece of it rise together with Shinku, Itachi closed his eyes and disappeared.
As Shinku rose from the debris he tried once again to summon whatever it is he summoned before. The ribcage formed around him followed by an arm, which started picking up the rubble until he found his parents underneath, taking them out from the collapse he caused himself, he let them down gently on the ground. But what if he did? What should he do now? Bury them? Where? On the side of the street? In the nearest park? No… Konoha should organize a funeral to honour the death of the clan. Where even was Konoha? Where were the shinobi? Where was the help? Why was nobody here? Knowing nothing, he began to wander. Observing the death throughout the compound. He wandered and wandered. All the way until morning. As he turned a corner for the thousandth time he came face to face with Sasuke.
Looking at each other they both looked terrible, their eyes looked dead, with bags under them. In one night they had both seen the death of their clan and experienced true fear of death. They were alone now. They had nobody to turn to but each other. They were the Uchiha clan.