I know, I know, I should be updating The Secret Wife, but I don't have the time nor the inspiration for it, however, here is a a little something for you
I hope you like it.
Sasuke woke up, still sore, to the wails of his five year old daughter. He knows Rei well enough to recognize her screams as part of a childish tantrum, instead of a result of pain or fear.
He stretched his arms over his head and winced at the jolt of pain that travelled down his back and settled in his lower back. His head throbbed, and his eyes burned, from lack of sleep. He turned his head, and glanced at the clock. Five minutes to seven. He groaned. Children should not be up this early.
He and his daughter shared the same sleeping patterns. They basically fell asleep whenever they felt like it. Sasuke had always been much like a cat, he liked to nap whenever he got the chance and he detested being woken from sleep, much like a cat did. While Rei shared the same quality with him, she absolutely despised it whenever someone woke her up; she had no qualms about waking him up.
She was a stubborn bit of goods, and smart to a fault. She was spoiled and had a way of getting whatever she wanted, whenever she wanted it, no matter the consequences.
Rei's wails gained volume and he forced himself to roll out of the bed that he shared with his wife. The wooden floor was cold against his bare feet, and the cool air assaulted his shirtless upper body.
He didn't have to walk far, because Rei suddenly burst into the master bedroom and catapulted herself onto him, latching onto his legs with her short, chubby arms.
Sasuke bent at the waist and circled his daughter's tiny waist, lifting her effortlessly so that she could be at eye level with him, though his back gave a sharp protest at that. "What is it?" He questioned in the gentlest tone that he could muster in his annoyed state.
With Rei, it was important to never show her that one was annoyed with her. She did not receive criticism well, and whenever she thought that she was right, which was often, she would latch on to her childish opinion, and close in on herself. Refusing to talk to anyone, or listen to reason.
She was one of those children that were never bereft of questions. She liked to inquire about anything and everything that she saw, and her parents were obligated to answer her patiently, and fully, to her satisfaction.
That didn't mean that neither he nor her mother showed her discipline. She was growing, and slowly maturing, she had to learn rules and boundaries, and whenever she made a mistake, she was disciplined accordingly. But none could contest to the fact that little Rei had her parents, and her parents' friends, wrapped around her little finger.
Big fat tears formed at the corners of Rei's huge green eyes, eyes that she got from her mother. Her nose scrunched up, and her lips curled into a pout. She furrowed her black eyebrows. "Baka's missing." She whimpered.
If Sasuke were a man prone to laughter, he would have burst into incontrollable guffaws at his daughter's words. Baka was her cat. At age twenty five and a father of a three year old daughter, Sasuke had yet to adapt to fatherhood, one of his many shortcomings was watching his language around Rei.
He still called Naruto a baka whenever he got the chance. Rei adored her makeshift uncle, the blonde idiot was one of her favorite persons to be around, much to Sasuke's chagrin. Always her father's daughter, she also associated the name baka to Naruto, much to her mother's chagrin. One day, she showed up in the kitchen, squeezing the life out of a newborn grey kitten and squealed, "Baka."
She had named her pet after her favorite uncle. There was no reasoning against that.
Sasuke suddenly wanted to pinch the bridge of his nose, but his daughter was still in his arms. "Did you check under the sink?"
The grey cat was just as sneaky as her owner; she liked to play hide and seek with Rei, and Sasuke was often stuck looking for her, if only to appease his daughter.
Rei nodded vigorously. "I checked under the sink, in my closet and under my bed." Rei nodded again, and held up three chubby fingers, satisfied that she had counted all of Baka's favorite hiding places.
Baka was not a ninja cat, and therefore did not have chakra, which made it all the more difficult for Sasuke to look for the damn animal. "Give me a minute."
Sasuke lowered his daughter to the floor and walked towards the adjoining bathroom, he washed his face, trying, in vain, to erase all traces of sleep, brushed his teeth, then slipped into a black shirt. "Let's take a look."
He was reminded of his genin days, searching the village up and down with Naruto and Sakura for the stupid cat that wouldn't stay with its owner. Though he had been the best of his year, he could shamefully admit that the cat bested him, and his team, more than once. They often returned to their respective homes scratched up and humiliated. Needless to say, searching for runaway cats was not his favorite activity.
Holding his index finger to his lips, seeking quiet, he cast out his senses, trying to pick up any noise that could clue them into the cat's whereabouts. He rechecked the cupboard under the sink and Rei's room to be sure. And the little brat crossed her arms across her chest and tapped her foot impatiently, seemingly insulted by his need for further verification.
Baka was not in the bathroom either, nor in the living room. Sasuke glanced down at his daughter, prepared to tell her that the cat would just have to come back on its own, and he caught his Rei's tortured expression. Her large eyes were wet and shimmering with unshed tears, her lower lip was thrust out, and slightly trembling.
"We'll look somewhere else."
The cat proved to be immensely elusive. Baka was nowhere to be found. They even searched the Uchiha district, and by the lake. Rei sat at the edge of the dock, her short legs dangling off of the edge, but not touching the edge. She rested her elbows on her thighs, and cupped her cheeks in both hands, looking forlorn and thirty years older than her actual age.
A part of Sasuke knew that this was just a tactic, a strategy, designed to influence him, and to bend him to her will. He recognized all the signs, the pose, the expression, the little exaggerated, dejected sighs that she gave every once in a while.
And while he recognized all these, he could not stop himself from falling right into her little trap, like a newbie. "Do you want to read some scrolls with me?"
The little runt was a professional. She did not perk up right away; instead, she turned her head, ever so slightly, craned it to the side a bit, then sighed dejectedly once more. This sigh was prolonged, and overdone. She shrugged exaggeratedly. "I suppose I could."
Sasuke schooled his features into an expression of neutrality. He crept behind her and plucked her right of the ground. She squealed, and flailed with her arms and legs, trying to regain a semblance of balance.
Rei Uchiha was obsessed with the Uchiha family scrolls. Sasuke made sure to keep her from the skeletons that occupied his past. He never talked about his clan, he only told her good stories about 'Grandma' and 'Grandpa'. She did not know that her ancestors were once a renowned family of shinobi, she never had heard of Itachi, and he made sure that she never suffered any slights as a result of his past mistakes.
Though he kept her sheltered from her clan, she was still an Uchiha through and through, and she had that same premature thirst for power. It often scared Sasuke, terrified him, really. The shinobi world was now at peace, but there was always a one in a million chance that the same circumstances that put Itachi and him on the enemy's side would repeat themselves and he would die before allowing them to affect his daughter.
Rei loved to discover new things about the ninja world. She asked him questions about his training, his techniques constantly. She had the habit of squeezing herself next to him whenever he looked over some of his scrolls and pestering him until he explained the things that interested her.
She even asked him to enroll her early at the ninja academy, something that her mother vetoed vehemently. The matter of whether Rei would receive ninja training or regular schooling had yet to be resolved, though, to be honest; Sasuke was inclined towards the former. It was a tough world, and it never hurt to be competent.
The pair, father and daughter, settled in the den, Sasuke retrieved a scroll that explained the powers of the Sharingan. He had never spoken to her about it before, but she often expressed interest whenever she saw his "pretty red eyes".
He made sure to never activate the eternal Mangekyou Sharingan in her presence, though it took some control to keep his most prominent power from manifesting itself automatically at times of emotional duress.
Rei poured over the scroll and immediately sighed in delight. "Tou-chan." She exclaimed. "Your eyes."
She crawled onto his lap and spread both hands on the weathered parchment, to get a better look.
"What's it called?" Because she was smart enough to know that it was not called the "pretty red eyes", but too young to read kanji.
"It's called the Sharingan." He told her.
"The copy ball eye?" She asked, straining her neck backwards so she could look up at him. He adjusted her head then corrected her, "The copy wheel eye. It's a dōjutsu kekkei genkai. Remember what that is?"
She nodded repeatedly, almost bumping his chin. "It's an inherited genetic ninja ability that utilizes the eyes." She recited from memory, even though she had no idea what she just said. Rei had inherited her parents' sharp, and relentless memory. She furrowed her eyebrows, clearly confused, and asking for explanation.
"Your mother has green eyes." He stated. "And you have green eyes. That means that you got your eyes from your mother. You inherited," He pronounced it with emphasis, "Your green eyes from her."
"How do I inherit," She aped him and spoke the word slowly, "Them from ka-chan?"
"That's what genetic means." He answered. "It means that a part from her was passed down to you. A message."
"Now, I inherited my Sharingan from my parents." She nodded for him to continue, staring intently at the scroll. "The Sharingan does exactly what its name suggests, it copies. It copies ninjutsu, genjutsu and taijutsu." She nodded again, already familiar with those three words.
"Shinobi believe that the Sharingan can predict the future." He added.
"But that's not true." She surmised and Sasuke smirked, filled with pride at her intelligence.
"No." He answered. "It's not true. The Sharingan can influence the mind of your opponent with genjutsus. You can influence your opponent into following a course of actions that you decide. It also sees fast movements."
It was amazing how much information a five year old could take. Rei was going to be a formidable ninja. It didn't matter which academy they put her in. There was fire in her blood. She was drawn to it and there was nothing that he could do to change that. Rei was an Uchiha through and through.
People often assumed that the Uchiha clan relied on intermarriage to preserve a pure gene pool, but the traits of his clan were so strong, so potent, that being born a "half-breed" would not decrease the power that Rei had inherited any bit.
"Tou-chan," Rei's small voice caught his attention. "Will I inherit the Sharingan too, like you did?"
"I don't know." He answered truthfully, and his daughter's eyes went wide. She had never heard those words coming from his lips before, and it shocked her to know that there was something that her father did not know. "Time will tell."
"When did you get it?"
Sasuke closed his eyes, and tried with all his might to ignore the pang of hurt that emerged from deep within him. His Sharingan came at the cost of the death of his family. Some days, the hatred that he harbored for Konoha resurfaced. Those days were the worst.
He was still often plagued with nightmares, some more horrible than others. A part of him clung to the need for revenge, while the rest of him struggled to make peace with his past. But ten years of hatred were hard to let go of.
"When I was seven." He finally answered. "Two years older than you are now."
Her smile widened revealing her missing front teeth. "Then I'll inherit the Sharingan when I am seven, too."
A bittersweet smile tugged at the corner of Sasuke's lips. Once upon a time, having a child, another Uchiha, so attached to his clan was something that he craved. But he did not want his daughter to awaken the Sharingan. He never wanted her to go through something hard enough, cruel enough, for her to awaken it. And he would make sure that she would always be safe, and protected. That was his goal. The quest for vengeance was what gave him strength to keep moving at the age of seven, and now, twenty years later, the quest to make sure that his daughter was always as happy as she could get, was what gave him strength to move on.
Sakura returned home a few minutes after noon, having completed her shift at the hospital. Being in charge of an entire medical facility was not as easy as it looked. As a medical nin whose skill came a close second to that of the slug princess herself, Sakura was no longer required to perform mundane healing procedures, instead, she was left in charge of the more difficult ones, the lost causes, and the critical cases. But the paperwork that she had to handle alone gave her constant backaches.
The feline in her arms squirmed, seeking her freedom, but Sakura had promised Rei that she would deliver the cat back into her arms.
Sasuke's chakra buzzed softly and peacefully from the den. He must be sleeping. She thought to herself. She had left him sleeping in their bedroom, having just returned from a six weeks long mission to the land of snow. He came back with back pain and a headache an hour after midnight. She drew a hot bath for him, rubbed his back, fed him, then tucked him into bed like a mother would do to her child.
She found the pair, father and daughter, sleeping on the couch. Rei had her arms spread as far as they could go, clinging to her father's torso. Sasuke's hand lay protectively on her small back, anchoring her to him. He opened his eyes as soon as she entered the den.
His charcoal orbs zeroed in on the animal in her hands. "Where did you find her?" He whispered, careful not to disturb the sleeping creature in his arms. Rei was usually just as surly as he was when woken from sleep.
"Find her?" Sakura echoed. Her eyebrows furrowed in confusion. "I took her with me. Rei said that it was time for her shots. It's amazing how she keeps track of-"
"Wait." Sasuke interrupted. "Rei said?"
"Yeah." She replied, her confusion growing by the second. "She was awake when I left. She gave me Baka and said that it was time for her shots. Are you ok?" She asked when she saw his gaze darken.
"No." He hissed back. "I got played for a fool by a five year old. My five year old."
Sakura used the hand that was not clutching Baka to her stomach to cover her mouth, lest she burst into laughter and wake her daughter up. Baka chose that moment to jump and trotted away towards the hallway. "She tricked you into showing her some scrolls, didn't she?"
Sasuke glared at her and chose not to comment. Slowly, he stood, cradling Rei in his arms. Sakura followed after him, and leaned against the door of Rei's bedroom as he was tucking her in.
"Which scroll did you show her this time?"
Sakura asked her husband that when they were both in the kitchen. She opened the fridge and inspected what they had, and wondering about what to make for lunch. Eventually, she gave up and retrieved several fresh tomatoes. Father and daughter were obsessed with the "fruit".
Sasuke remained silent for a few heartbeats longer than necessary, and she looked at him over her shoulder. "Sasuke?"
"The Sharingan." He replied. "I showed her the one about the Sharingan."
Sakura's hand, holding the knife, froze in mid air. She released the ripe tomato in her hand then turned slowly. "Sasuke. We talked about this."
"I know." He shot back. "Don't you think I know that? Do you think I want her to be a kunoichi? Fuck no."
The outburst told her much about Sasuke' state of mind, he was in turmoil. Sakura could relate to that, to some extent. She was a war veteran, she had lived through loss, pain, and sufferance. She had seen firsthand what shinobi life did to a person. Yes, she had suffered, and it terrified her to see her child follow the same path that she did. But Sasuke had suffered more. He had suffered to the point where his pain had driven him to insanity, total madness.
There wasn't a person in Konoha that understood the consequences of the shinobi life better than Sasuke Uchiha, because of shinobi, he lost everyone that he had ever loved.
Naturally, he was even more terrified at the prospect of Rei going down the path that he had followed. To be driven to betrayal, to abandonment, at the tender age of twelve, had left its scars on Sasuke. In his own stoic, distant way, she knew that he regretted it with every fiber of his being.
His worst nightmare was to see Rei betray her own people because she was driven to it. And for that, Sakura's fear could never amount to Sasuke's.
"It's a better world now, Sasuke." She whispered. "History will not repeat itself. Konoha looks at Rei not as an Uchiha but as a Leaf citizen."
"But what if-"
"Thinking about what if's so soon after everything fell into place is pure masochism, Sasuke."
He pressed his lips together at that, and crossed his arms over his chest, his head bowed. Sakura shook her head and went back to slicing the tomatoes.
"She's going to be a ninja." He said after a while, severing the comfortable silence that they had fallen into.
Sakura did not pause this time, but continued to cut the red fruit. "You don't know that."
"She's going to be a kunoichi, Sakura." He repeated. "And there's nothing we can do about it."
"You're in denial." He shot back. "Thinking that we can stop her from following what she is meant to do at this point is pure masochism."
"I thought that we didn't believe in destiny anymore, Sasuke. It never did us any good."
"It's not about destiny." He countered. "It's about blood. It's in her blood, Sakura. I'm in her blood."
"I wish it weren't so." She whispered. "We never really thought about this when we-"
"Regrets?" He cut her off, he was standing so close to her, she could feel the heat radiating from his body against her back. She leaned back, and sighed as she came in contact with his hard chest. His warm hand came to rest at her hip.
"No. You know better than to ask me that." She replied. "Being married to you is everything I ever wanted. You know that."
Sasuke leaned forward, and she felt his nose touch her ear. "Are you sure?" He whispered, his voice low and husky. His lips brushed against his ear as he spoke, and Sakura tilted her head, reveling in the moment.
"Always." She replied. "Never doubt that, Sasuke."
His insecurity was endearing at first. To think that she was married to Sasuke Uchiha and he was the insecure one.
There was history between them, wounds and betrayals that could never heal, and scars that would never go away. But she liked to believe that it brought them closer.
To be able to lie next to the man that tried to kill her twice, to conceive a child with the man that she had tried to kill twice, it spoke of a bond, forgiveness and love. She loved him more than she loved the air around them. And he loved her, even though in the years of their marriage he had never said it.
"We'll be there for her." She finally said, craning her neck to look at him. "Your parents were not there for you, they were taken from you, but we're here for her, and we'll never let anyone hurt her."
He rested his head on her shoulder.
"It will be alright." She assured. "You'll see." He didn't answer. "I love you."
He grunted against her neck, and that was the closest thing to a declaration of love that Sakura could ever hope for. She had stopped waiting for the words a long time ago. It was just the way he was, it wasn't pride, it wasn't fear. Flowery words and poetic proclamations were not part of his constitution.
Perhaps, if he hadn't seen, heard, and lived the life that he had, he would have been different. He could have been a doting husband, the kind that professed his love every day, and showered her with gifts. But he wasn't.
And she wouldn't have it any other way.
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