Don't own Naruto...
Some dates: Chapter 1- October 10th early morning (Naruto's birthday as stated in the manga). Chapter 2-October 10th earlier afternoon to evening. Chapter 3-October 15th (with mention of the previous days that week too)
The next few days seemed to blur together for Sakura as everything was happening so fast. Sasuke wasn't kidding that he wanted his new empire to be established quickly... he's been working so much that she has barely seen him since the first night they stayed in the mansion. Just thinking about what happened that night caused her cheeks to reddened and drew several worried looks from her maid staff.
"Sakura-sama, are you alright... you aren't becoming ill are you?"
"What!? No, no I'm fine," the pinkette quickly waived off the approaching servant and in doing so moved the fabric currently draped over her arm which didn't go unnoticed by the seamstress.
"My lady, how many times must I ask you to stop moving or I won't be able to get the fitting right."
"Oh I'm sorry Aya-san, I keep forgetting, I'm not used to having clothes made for me," Sakura's blush deepened in embarrassment since this was the third time the old woman told her not to move.
"Yes well you will have to get used to it now, as the new lady of the Uchiha clan and kōgō you will not be seen in those ratty old clothes again," Aya gestured to Sakura's normal med-nin attire she wore during the war. Sakura cringed slightly when the old woman turned her glare back to her; it was obvious the woman didn't like her but with Sakura's new position there wasn't much she could do about it.
As stated before a lot has happened since the war ended five days ago, Sasuke wanted everything in the mansion to be ready for when he summoned the daimyo in a few weeks time, so everyone was busy the moment the sun rose that morning.
Though she didn't wish to be up so early, and Sasuke had not asked her to be, Sakura found herself seated next to the Uchiha in the large council room adjacent to the main house the morning after the war ended; all the members of his team were present along with Orochimaru which was the main reason she was there. A jaw popping yawn escaped her mouth and since it was the second one in ten minutes Sasuke had decided to address it.
"You don't have to be present for this Sakura, I'm merely going to question the group from last night; if you need to rest you may do so."
"I'm perfectly fine Sasuke, I've worked longer hours in the hospital than this; and if you're going to question potential staff members of the house shouldn't I be a part of that?" Sakura immediately snapped out of her sleepy haze to glare at Sasuke, after everything they've been through, he was still treating her like a child.
"Hn, of course you will have a say in how the house hold is managed; but I think due to your exhaustion your judgement may be clouded," Sasuke tore his stare away from the entrance of the room and turned to his right where Sakura was sitting beside him; his eyes slowly scanned her body for any sign of fatigue.
Sakura didn't miss what he was implying about and her face heated up by his implication concerning her health; but that embarrassment quickly turned to anger when she spotted the smirk on his face. "I assure you Sasuke, nothing from yesterday's events has rendered me so tired that I cannot sit here long enough for you to question people." Sakura didn't realize she just basically stuck a knife to Sasuke's ballooned ego but she was quick to catch that she had said something wrong when Suigetsu started to snicker. Running her last statement over in her mind again Sakura knew Sasuke would be hurt by her words and not to upset him she quickly went to apologize only to find him no longer staring at her but glaring in the direction that Suigetsu was standing.
"Is there something funny Suigetsu, and can you please explain why you're listening in on our private conversation."
"Well I wouldn't call it private really Uchiha since you're in a public room and not being very quiet about what you're saying," the sharp tooth shinobi wasn't in the mood to be nice today; unlike his leader his night was very boring as no one from the group left the area so he didn't get to kill anyone.
"Suigetsu, you really must learn your place, didn't all those years in my care teach you to respect those with power?" Orochimaru stepped out of the shadowy corner of the room and took up an empty space at the long table in the center of the room.
The room itself was the size of a traditional dojo with the only piece of furniture being a large u-shaped table in the center, there were many open settings at the table as Sasuke intended for both the daimyo and future kage to hold meetings here. At the current moment only Sasuke, Sakura and Orochimaru were sitting while the other members of team Taka were scattered about the room awaiting the group that Karin was sent to retrieve.
"Sasuke, are you certain this needs to be done?" Sakura had tried the night before to get more information about the purpose of the seal Orochimaru was ordered to create but Sasuke had remained tight lipped about it and he had managed to distract her soon after that with... other matters; but now her mind was clear once more so she wanted to try and persuade him to see reason.
"Every person that has obtained power was not able to keep it without being cautious of those unknown to them. I will not accept these people as my allies without some assurance that I can control them should they be spies for those that oppose my rein," Sasuke could feel Karin and a massive group approaching the doors so he stood from his seat and started to make his way around the table with his arms folded and his back to Sakura while waiting for the group to enter.
"So you're going to treat these people that are seeking help from the oppression of their villages the same way that Konoha treated your clan?"
Sasuke's relaxed posture immediately tensed up at Sakura's question, the look he sent over his shoulder would have caused anyone else to flinch but not her, Sakura held her ground against the sharingan laced glare. There was a soft knock coming from the other side of the door but just as Suigetsu was reaching to open it Saske raised his hand to stop the other man.
The Uchiha then turned around to completely face Sakura who was still in her same position; placing both hands against the table he leaned forward in an intimating manner to address her question, "Are you comparing the brutal genocide of my clan to a simple seal?"
Sasuke's voice took on that dark tone he possessed while in his state of madness and Sakura wanted to calm him quickly before he got out of hand, "No Sasuke of course I'm not, but the leaf did not trust the Uchiha which led to the coup which is exactly what will happen here if you force these people to have this seal."
"Hn, this is no surprise to them Sakura, they knew this was to happen," Sasuke was not backing down from this and with good reason, this was the only way he could control such a large group until he would be able to weed out those who planned to kill him. He turned back to face the door, but not before spotting Sakura's disappointed look, and motioned for Suigetsu to open it, "It won't be a permanent seal like the Hyuga's; if they earn my complete trust I shall remove it," though he was no longer facing her Sasuke knew his words pleased her greatly as he felt her usually warm chakra signature ignite behind him once more.
"Thank you Sasuke."
Surprisingly, though Sakura still thought it was a very barbaric form of trust, not many of the group protested Sasuke's demand of the seal; the people thought this small sacrifice was worth the protection they would be receiving from the Uchiha. Though she was forced to watch as Orochimaru place the seal on these people Sakura drew the line at the small children that were there, "They're children Sasuke! Some can barely walk and you expect them to betray your loyalty... they don't even know what that is; I will not allow you to put the seal on them!"
Sasuke observed the group of children barely over the age of six that were scattered about the room with their parents; many had fearful tears in their eyes as they watched the adults obtain the seal while their mothers tried to comfort them. "What do you purpose then Sakura?"
"You plan on having an academy built to train new recruits yes? Then at graduation they receive the seal to confirm loyalty to your reign and not a day before."
Sasuke had spoke the night before about an imperial academy to train young shinobi who wished to become his guard, and he would need an army in case someone tried to overthrow his ruling... not that that would happen anytime soon of course but it paid to be prepared. "I suppose that would be far, but what of those that will serve the house... that could start at any age."
"You said the house was my domain yes, let me worry about that."
"Hn, very well... but remember I have final say on all matters Sakura," Sasuke turned back to face Orochimaru and those in the group yet to come forward, "No one under the age of twelve shall receive the seal."
"Sasuke-kun, are you certain of this, some of these young children probably already know how to handle a weapon," Karin was shocked by his declaration, she knew for certain children from Kirigakure were taught how to strike a death blow when they were old enough to hold a kunai .
"Karin, are you questioning my ruling?"
"What? No of course not Sasuke-kun, but as one of your loyal advisors I was merely-."
"And surely you don't think a child could possibly attack without me being aware of it?"
"Then refrain from speaking unless ordered to do so."
Karin meekly bowed her head at the Uchiha's command, it angered her that he hadn't lashed out at Sakura when she clearly defied his orders on several different occasions far greater than what she just did but he allowed it to slide, "I'm sorry."
Once the seals were completed Sasuke informed the men that planned to be his guard would need to report the following morning to the training fields that were located behind the mansion; he wanted to assess their skill level to know what they would need to work on. Those that were servants of the house would be under Sakura and Karin's care to see what jobs in the mansion would best suit them; and then there was a small group that were neither guard nor servant. They were mostly civilian women and men that were trade people, once the village was set up around the remainder of the lake's edge they would take up residence there along with their shops; but for the time being they would stay in the spare servants quarters till that time.
Once all this was planned out and the group dismissed in what was the early afternoon it gave Sakura plenty of time to go to the nearest town to purchase furniture; Sasuke had many details he needed to go over before sending out the requests to the daimyo so he told Jugo to accompany her. "But Sasuke, is there anything in particular you would like?"
"Hn, whatever you pick will be fine," Sasuke briefly kissed her forehead before handing a large pouch to Jugo, "Whatever she wants make sure she gets."
"Of course Sasuke-sama."
Despite her worried look that she would pick the wrong thing Sasuke had complete confidence she would be able to make the cold dark mansion a home. Just thinking about it brought a small smile to his lips, Sasuke hadn't lived in a home since before his clan's massacre and even then it wasn't a warm loving home most children were used to; but Sakura has always had that way about her and before he wasn't ready to accept that... but now he was. He was ready to put his past to rest and focus on his future and what that would bring.
After that first day the mansion was a bustle of activity, Sakura was focused on getting all the buildings on the compound furnished while Sasuke focused on training his men and deciding how the first meeting with the daimyo would be held; neither of the two saw much of each other until the fourth night they stayed in the mansion.
Sakura had been sitting at a low vanity she had purchased in town preparing for bed when out of the mirror's reflection she saw Sasuke coming up the stairs. "I'm surprised to see you, I would have thought you were planning on sleeping in the downstairs study again," she didn't bother to turn around, since she could see him in the mirror, as she watched his reaction to the room's new setup.
When Sasuke first brought her up here to show her this massive room that was theirs all that was there was a wooden bedframe in the center of the room that Yamato no doubt made when forming the room's design. Later that evening when Sasuke brought her back to the room a futon had mysterious appeared on the bed frame and was put to use rather quickly... but the rest of the room remind bare.
Sakura couldn't have that as the empty space and odd shadows on the walls due to the one lit candle freaked her out; so when Sasuke told her to go shopping she made sure to fill this room completely. She shouldn't have called it a room really since the entire third floor of the mansion was theirs, but instead of just buying a bunch of stuff for a bedroom Sakura decided to turn the massive room into a few smaller ones just by putting a couple of rice paper shoji in certain spots to divide up the space.
"Hn... did you buy everything you wanted?" Sasuke, having not been on this floor since it was furnished, beginning to walk around the room; that smile came back to his face as he knew he was right in choosing her to decorate the mansion.
"Yes, though I may have gone a tad bit overboard; but I got everything and the larger items for the first floor should be here by the end of the week," Sakura stood and moved to Sasuke's side wanting to show him everything in the room and to see if he approved of it.
The layout of the room was very simple, since the bedframe was attached to the floor it wasn't hard to decide that their bedroom would be on the back wall which was the only wall that didn't have moveable door panels and the wood was extremely thick; apparently Sasuke thought of everything when designing this home. For privacy Sakura had put shoji screens up to the other three walls of the bedroom so if anyone were to come up the open staircase at an odd time they wouldn't be getting an eyeful of anything they shouldn't.
The space that made up the front of the mansion had a beautiful view of the lake and land beyond the waterfall so Sakura turned that into a seating area for when they didn't feel like laying in bed or had a small private gathering. The last bit of space on the left wall of the mansion Sakura made a small study; she knew Sasuke had a larger one on the first floor but this one was for if he wanted to work in private... plus she would see him more often if he used it.
Sasuke approved of both her choice in furniture and how the room had been set up, truthfully he really didn't care what she bought for their room as long as she was happy with it, "And the other guest rooms?"
"Well that was a bit more difficult, Suigetsu and Karin were adamant about decorating their own rooms so they're going to do that, Jugo was surprisingly easy so his room is complete and I decorated the five other rooms on the second floor all the same. I figured once the lords came for their first visit they would want to change a few things anyway," Sakura motioned for Sasuke to sit on one of the pillows around the low table in the sitting area; she had made tea not to long ago before coming up here herself and it was still warm so she poured two cups and gave one to him.
"Yes they probably will, I am not looking forward to this meeting... do you think I could replace the daimyo as well as kage?"
Sakura coughed up a bit of her tea at his question, she wasn't certain if he was being serious of not, "U-um... I don't think that is possible Sasuke, some of them have been in their positions longer than we've been alive; plus it may cause more panic among the villages and may start another war."
"Hn... it was just a thought."
That time Sakura caught sight of his smirk before he brought the cup to his lips signifying that he was joking... it was odd to see this playful side of him, but two could play that game. "You're going to have to play nice with them Sasuke or can you honestly tell me you know how to run the entire world already? I know they can be a pain but they have some experience in these things... you're going to need them on your side."
"Hn, I've been leader of Taka for over a year, running the countries shouldn't be that hard."
Sakura was about to protest his last statement but a shrill feminine scream form downstairs interrupted her. "Suigetsu, stay the hell out of my room you disgusting pervert!"
"Oh please like you have anything good to spy on anyway."
"How dare you, you wouldn't know what beauty was even if it kicked you in the ass like I'm about too!"
"Heh, like you could!"
The argument got quieter after that as both Karin and Suigetsu chakra got farther away from the mansion. Sakura turned her attention back to the Uchiha sitting next to her, a large smirk coming to her lips as a frown formed on his, "You were saying something about running a team... oh great leader."
"Hn, I didn't say my team was sane now did I? Do you know the restraint I had to have not to kill any of them." Sakura just gave him a blank look which Sasuke immediately understood as the woman knew actually what he went through, Naruto was still a sore subject between the two of them and how things were left between the team, they tried not to speak about him but he always somehow came up in conversation. "Right... maybe you did... never mind," Sasuke put his now empty cup back on the table close to Sakura wordlessly asking for more.
"We may have another problem other than your meeting Sasuke, I highly doubt the daimyo will be pleased sharing the same living space as your team if displays like what just happened occur regularly," Sakura threw that bit of information out there for him to think about while pouring him another cup of tea.
Sasuke knew she was right, having spent the last year in Karin and Suiguetsu's presence he knew how annoying they could be, "Hn, I will have to speak to Suigetsu about his behavior... and you will have to talk to Karin about her temper."
"Me!? You're joking right, have you not noticed that she didn't like me very much? And you want me to talk to her... I don't think that will go well," Sakura could already picture the other woman freaking out at her for merely calling her name.
Sasuke took his cup back once it was full, "Hn, she'll have to get over it; you're the lady of house and I have made her an advisor under your ruling... I would like for the two of you to get along," he knew Karin was angry he chose Sakura over her but he had made that decision long before meeting the red head; and seeing Sakura's strength during the war only proved to him that he made the right choice.
Karin was an annoyance but still valuable to his empire so he wanted to keep her close which meant the two women would need to get along; the Uchiha knew Sakura would be the more reasonable of the two to try and make peace. "I'll try Sasuke."
"I have a seamstress arriving in the morning to fit us for new clothes." It was a few hours later and both Sakura and Sasuke were laying in bed when he randomly brought up their morning visitor.
Sakura had been laying on his chest when he spoke and so she pushed herself up to face him, "A seamstress... but why do we need one? We just purchased new clothes two days ago." It was true while shopping for furniture Sakura also decided to buy a couple new sets of clothes for both Sasuke and herself since the only outfit she had was the same one she wore during the war.
"You need a junihitoe for when attending court and a few homongi for if we need to travel to the villages, I also need formal clothing as well not to mention the family crest will need to be added," Sasuke reached up to gently finger the tips of Sakura's hair, the odd color always fascinated him even when they were children; the Uchiha always had a certain look to them but over the last few days Sasuke had been picturing what their children would look like.
"Oh... well I suppose if they are needed but shouldn't we have bought the fabric a few days ago?" Sakura wasn't looking forward to having to wear so many robes at once, she had only owned one kimono for festivals when she lived with her parents, but if it was what Sasuke wanted then she wouldn't argue; plus deep down she really enjoyed when he treated her like a princess... which technically she was now. She still couldn't believe how everything had come about so quickly, or that no one had showed up in the last few days to oppose Sasuke; and the thought that she was now royalty completely blew her away.
The other afternoon Sasuke had requested she come to the study to speak with him; when she arrived he had been looking over a scroll that he intended to send out to the villages as his formal announcement. Sasuke knew she had some experience with public announcements since she was the Hokage's apprentice so he asked her to look it over before it was sent out. She of course was more than happy to do it and even flattered to know that he was trusting her with such an important task.
It didn't surprise her how well articulate he was, being born into a noble clan it was breed into young children, so there wasn't really much to look over; she changed a few words here and there to not make him come off like a jerk and there was one word she kept coming across that puzzled her, "Sasuke, what does this word mean? I've never seen it before."
Sasuke looked at where she was pointing at on the scroll and a smirk came to his lips, "That is my new title should anyone need to address me."
"Te-nn-o... it sounds like a type of clothing to me," Sakura rolled the word on her tongue, "What does it mean."
"One with great power, who rules over an era."
"You made that up didn't you? Well it does suit what your role has become doesn't it... although I must admit it seems like a very masculine term, what would happened if there was a female heir?" Sakura wanted to know his views on this question, the Uchiha had viewed power more in the male family members than female; so what was to happen if a daughter was born instead of a son?
"Hn, it's highly unlikely, unlike the Hyuga the main branch of the Uchiha always had a male heir... I don't foresee that changing."
Sasuke had been very confident but Sakura had her doubts, "But what if there was a female heir... just humor me on this."
"Aa, if there was just one heir that happened to be a daughter then she would inherit my title. If she were to marry before that then she would inherit your title."
"I-I have a title?"
Sasuke took a piece of paper from his desk and a pen and wrote another word somewhat similar to what he referred as his title, "Kogo, a feminine version of my title; therefore should I be away from you for any reason you act as ruler in my stead. And should we have a daughter and she marry she would still hold power over her husband; the Uchiha will forever remain in power."
Sakura at the time didn't argue, but now thinking about that conversation in bed she was tempted to bring it up again. "Sasuke, about having an heir."
"Hn, not now Sakura, go to sleep, you have a lot to do tomorrow. And the seamstress didn't sound like a pleasant woman."
"What did I say about moving your highness!? If you do not wish to be poked again please stand still."
Sakura was pulled from her memories of the previous night by a sharp jab in her thigh, she must have moved while not realizing it and was stuck with a pin as punishment... determining if it was an accident or on purpose on Aya-san's part would be hard to figure out though since the old woman didn't say a word.
"Sakura-sama, are you alright?" The servant that had questioned her health before this time ignored Sakura's dismissive waive and approached the young Kogo.
"I'm fine Kokoro-san really, it's just a small scratch," Sakura knew she had had worse wounds in battle but the older woman refused to back down as she pushed Sakura's hands away and moved the fabric away from her bare leg to examine the injury. It was clear to Sakura that neither of the servants Sasuke assigned to her had any type of medical training judging by the horrified expression on Kokoro's face when she saw the small trail of blood running down her leg; the tiny pin hadn't hit any major blood vessels or organs so Sakura wasn't worried but Kokoro was white as a sheet for some reason.
"My lady you're bleeding! Suzu-chan, quickly fetch a wet cloth and some bandages!"
"No, no that's not needed really, it's just a small scratch, I can heal it myself," Sakura quickly placed her hand, filled with healing chakra over the wound; she pulled away a minute later and all that was left of the cut was the now dried blood on her leg, "There all better, not even a mark... though I could probably use that wet cloth if you don't mind Suzu-san."
"No of course not my lady, I'll be right back," the other servant, who was a few years older than Sakura, quickly took off down the stairs heading toward the kitchen to retrieve a bowl of water and rag.
"Take all the time you need girl, at the rate this fitting is going I'll have all her measurements by the spring!" The seamstress threw down the fabric she had in her hands and marched over to the table in the sitting area; after dropping down on a cushion she scooped up the closest cup of tea on the table as one of her assistants handed her a dango from the tray of assorted desserts that were brought up for the fitting.
"What has you in such a foul mood seamstress-san, do you realize what you have done; if his majesty heard that you caused harm to his wife I'm certain you would be punished severely for it," Kokoro stood from her position as Sakura's side to glare as the old woman.
"I highly doubt Sasuke-kun is going to waste him time killing an elderly woman simply because she poked Sakura with a pin... he has other priorities to tend to," Karin, who had been sitting at the table the whole time, spoke up between sipping her tea.
As Sasuke had requested the day before Sakura was trying to make peace with his other female teammate, she even invited Karin to be apart of this fitting and going so far as to let the red head also have a custom made kimono; but apparently trying to be friends was going to require a lot more time and patience. "Look why don't we all calm down and take a short break; we'll have some tea and maybe lunch will be served soon," Sakura could see that Kokoro had become angry because of Karin's statement and she just wanted to defuse the situation before anything got out of hand.
"I don't have time to sit around and play tea party your highness, I still need to fit Sasuke-sama for his clothes as well so if you're planning a break I will be downstairs," Aya stood and hobbled over to the stairs, her two assistants following closely behind.
Once the seamstress disappeared down the steps Sakura dropped to the edge of her futon in a very un-ladylike manner while accepting the cup of tea Kokoro was bringing over to her. Over the last four days Sakura's servants quickly became used to the real her and not the show of royalty she was supposed to act as. "Thank kami that old woman decided to leave, she was starting to give me a headache."
"You shouldn't speak of Aya-sama in such a manner, she is the finest seamstress in the five great nations... it is an honor to receive a garment from her; not to mention she dropped everything to come here," Karin turned up her nose and proceeded to the stairs as well; Aya-san's assistant already got her measurements so she saw no point in staying in the room anymore when she could assist else where.
Sakura rolled her eyes but ignored Karin's comment not feeling guilty in the least for the old woman; Sasuke didn't force her to come here and if she truly had so much work to do she could have said no to his request without being punished. No the real reason she was there is because Sasuke was probably dishing out a lot of money to have these clothes made and she wanted it and the rights to brag about how they were wearing her clothes.
"Please forgive me your highness, but I cannot see why his majesty choose that woman as one of your advisors... it obviously wasn't for her personality," Kokoro snorted before going about the room and cleaning up the mess Aya's two assistants made.
Sakura couldn't contain her laughter at the maid's cheeky comment, she had only known this woman for a mere few days and yet she felt a very familiar presence. When Sasuke told her she was going to have a her own private staff of servants Sakura had adamantly refused; she was a young woman and though most would probably love the idea Sakura didn't want to be waited on hand and foot. But Sasuke wouldn't allow her to say no, so on the day the group swore their loyalty to Sasuke, the Uchiha introduced her to Kokoro and Suzu her private maids.
Sakura was furious that he disobeyed her wishes but the smirk on his lips told her this was payback for not listening to him the previous night. "I am terribly sorry you were forced to do this, I told Sasuke I didn't want anyone waiting on me," she quickly apologized to the two women who at this point were completely confused by their mistress' behavior.
"My lady... it would be our honor to serve you," Suzu bowed deeply to Sakura. Judging by her soft voice and with Sakura's medical training she could easily determine that the woman was the younger of the two, probably close to Sakura's age or a year or two older.
Kokoro didn't say a word but her personality showed through the next morning when she abruptly woke Sakura at sunrise to start the day. She was a much older woman that reminded Sakura of a combination of her own mother and Tsunade; Kokoro was every bit the mother hen and apparently Sakura was her new chick because she treated the young empress like her own child... it didn't take long for Sakura to become use to these two women being with her all the time.
"Kokoro-san! You shouldn't speak again his majesty's judgement," Suzu was horrified at her superior's brash words, the man in question could come up the stairs at any moment and though his wife was very lenient towards them she wasn't so sure the Tenno would be pleased with their conversation.
Sakura could see the younger maid's worry but dismissed her panic, she liked how honest Kokoro was, it was her link to the outside world where she wasn't new royalty, "Kokoro-san isn't wrong Suzu-san, I am still trying to figure out his decision myself... as you can see Karin and I don't get along very well," Sakura was a little bitter that the first time she tried to make peace with the other woman had failed but she couldn't expect a miracle to happen so quickly.
"You don't have to be her friend your highness, she needs to learn to respect you though... she did seem to be talking down to you," Kokoro bent down to pick up a piece of fabric and folded it neatly before setting it down on the table.
"She does have a bit of free range yes, I think Sasuke feels guilty about nearly killing her; and she was of help in Sasuke's mission," Sakura didn't go into detail beyond that as it wasn't their business to know Sasuke's past.
"Yes well I may not have known his majesty for long but I know he wouldn't be pleased to know how she speaks to you."
"How whom speaks to you Sakura?" The deep male voice coming from the direction of the stairs drew all three women's attention.
"Sasuke, I didn't sense you coming up the stairs... did Aya-sama find you?" Sakura smiled softly towards the man walking farther into the room.
"Aa, but I sent her to have lunch first before my fitting... I couldn't help but overhear her rambling about you being difficult during yours," Sasuke sent a look toward the two maids which they knew was their queue to leave the couple alone.
Once the couple was alone Sasuke approached the small table and took up the cushion he had the previous day but was facing Sakura who was still sitting on the futon. "So what were you doing that caused her to be in a bad mood?"
He casually leaned his arms on the table behind him while staring at Sakura; though his gaze wasn't accusing by any means Sakura couldn't help but feel slightly guilty, "She wasn't happy that I had been moving around some while she was trying to get my measurements... I've never had clothes made for me before."
"Aa, it does take time do get used to it. Who was your maid referring to?" Sasuke looked around the room and wasn't please with the mess that had been left behind; Sakura's two servants had started to clean up but he would have to call more upstairs before they retired to bed for the night.
"Sasuke, I really wish you would call them by their names. Calling them maids makes it sound like we're better than them," Sakura frowned at her husband, she really didn't like when he spoke down to the two women she thought of as friends.
Sasuke didn't respond because their titles did in fact mean they were better than anyone else in the house but knowing that would anger her more he didn't voice that, "Sakura, you didn't answer my question." He stood from his position at the table and approached his wife.
Sakura could hear the playful tone his voice took but knew he would still demand an answer to his question, "Kokoro-san thinks Karin spoke out of turn while she was up here earilier," she turned away slightly when Sasuke sat on the futon next to her; she felt extremely embarrassed to speak of Karin right after he had asked that the two of them try to get along.
"Oh... and what did she say?"
"Well... she thought to remind me that I should be thankful that Aya-san dropped everything she was doing to come here and make me clothes."
"Hn... then I shall remind Karin of her place since it seems she has forgotten hers." Sasuke gently grasped Sakura's chin and turned her to face him not liking to talk to the back of her head; he then proceeded to lean in to steal a kiss from her but Sakura put up her hand to stop him.
"Lunch is surely to be over soon which means Aya-san will be looking for you before dealing with me... I don't think she would be happy to find us in bed together," though the act of being intimate with Sasuke was still new to her and made her blush she could easily read when he was getting into the mood and at this moment if she hadn't stopped him the old seamstress would have gotten an eyeful should she have chosen to come upstairs.
"Hn, she's dealt with many of those above her in status so she should know what to expect from a young couple," Sasuke wasn't please that she had tried to stop his advances; he gently pushed her hand away from his chest so he could get close to her body once more.
Sakura still couldn't get over how affectionate the Uchiha seemed to be, when they were children and even years later Sasuke was never the type of person that enjoyed close contact; but the first night in the mansion Sakura saw a completely new side to the man. Of course their first time was hesitant and unsure as most people new to the world of intimacy would be; but it would seem after the first time a switch had been turned on in Sasuke's head and all he could think about was Sakura.
When they were in the presence of his old team and the house staff Sasuke acted like his normal moody self but the second they were alone Sasuke was practically a leech towards her always having to touch her in some way. At the moment Sasuke seemed to find his way to Sakura's neck, which apparently was his favorite spot, with his kissing while his hands were trying to grab at her waist and pull her into his lap; if he had managed to get her completely in his grasp it would have been all over and no more work would have been completed that day.
But that old seamstress was not one to be lazy even if it was the new Tenno halting her work, "Excuse me your majesty but in order for me to complete the items you asked for I still need your measurements and that of Sakura-sama's as well."
Sakura wasn't sure she was blushing from embarrassment at being caught in such a situation with her husband by the old woman or because she was trying to hold in her laughter at the stunned expression on Sasuke's face. The Uchiha himself had froze in mid-assault of his wife's neck when the old woman's voice reached his ears, he slowly though reluctantly moved away from Sakura and turned to face the old seamstress with a deadly glare at being disturbed.
"Have you not heard of knocking?" Sasuke specifically remembered closing the large wood doors down the steps the old seamstress was currently standing on and so far her to be there meant she ignored what a closed door represented.
"Forgive me your majesty but I must complete my work or else the garments will not be finished on time."
"Hn, very well... you will finish Sakura's fitting before mine," Sasuke gently took Sakura's hand and helped her stand from the bed; he also didn't miss the frown that twisted the old woman's features more than they already were, "Is there a problem seamstress?"
Sakura knew right away why the woman was displeased, she didn't want to have to deal with trying to measure her again after what happened a mere half hour before; but the seamstress knew she couldn't voice this complaint out loud... at least not while in the lord's presence anyway.
"With all respect your grace but it would not be appropriate for you to bear witness to her lady's fitting... she will be barely clothed after all," Aya seemed proud of herself for coming up with such a quick response as to why Sasuke shouldn't be in the room, but the Uchiha's fast wit beat down her reasoning in seconds.
"Hn, it isn't anything I haven't already seen these past few nights or the nights to come so I will stay and you may continue with her fitting."
"Sasuke-kun!" The pinkish hue that attacked Sakura's cheeks at his statement caused Sasuke to smirk and pure rage to fill Aya's face at his refusing to do as she asked.
Being the greatest seamstress in the five great nations she was used to people groveling at her feet for one of her hand stitched garments, even the daimyo's would grant her every wish to receive even a few minutes of her attention; but the look the Uchiha was now sending her spoke volumes that he did not care how spectacular her clothes were, if she disobeyed him he would simply find another to replace her and she couldn't have that... there was no way she was going to allow anyone to brag to her that the new Tenno chose to wear their garments over hers. "As you wish your highness. My lady would you please stand still over here and it shouldn't take much longer to finish." Sakura could hear the strain in Aya's voice to remain calm and she wouldn't cause the old woman any more trouble than possible.
With her husband present, Sakura didn't move an inch as Aya and her assistants worked quickly to attain her measurements; she was finished in a matter of twenty minutes what couldn't be completed all morning. Once she was finished Sakura stepped down from the stool and made her way over to the table where a maid had brought up some onigiri and more tea should anyone wish to have some.
While Sakura sat down to eat Sasuke stood from the bed for his turn to commence; however unlike Sakura he didn't need whole outfits for when they had visiting dignitaries at the mansion, while clothes shopping the days before Sakura picked him up plenty of hakama in various colors so all he needed were sokutai. Sakura was much more respectful than her husband was during her fitting where as she didn't gawk at him while he disrobed, as he said before she had seen him the last few night with less clothing on than now so she was not shocked by how handsome he was... Aya's assistants however froze in place when his shirt came off. Both women were a few years older than Sakura but she remembered when they were children even old women stared at how handsome he was... and that was when he was twelve.
In her musings of the past Sakura completely missed when the young of the two assistants disappeared down the stairs only to return a few minutes later with someone Sakura was in mood to see right now.
"Karin, is there a reason you are here, I was told the seamstress already had your measurements?" At first Sasuke wasn't going to bother drawing attention to his teammate because frankly he didn't care but when he felt Sakura's chakra spike behind him he decided to find out why she was here and address the issue so she would leave.
"Oh she has Sasuke-kun, rather quickly I might add," Karin gracefully approached the table and took up one sitting pillow while her eyes never left his figure.
Sakura glared at the obvious jab at her squirming earlier, it would seem the red head was hell bent on showing her up every chance she got where Sasuke was concerned, "Is there a valid reason you are here then Karin-san, I'm sure there has to be some place else in the mansion you are needed."
"There is a valid reason as to why I'm here, I have made the final approvals of the housing staff and we must prepare to make quarters for those that will be staying within the mansion's walls," Karin's eyes where still glued to Sasuke's sculpted back as she carelessly threw a scroll in Sakura's direction on to the table nearly knocking over the plate of onigiri had the empress not grabbed it fast enough.
"You made final approval... on who's orders may I ask?" Sakura unraveled the scroll to analyze the list of servants to the house, she didn't know half the names present nor did she see any type of qualified medical staff; her rage boiled higher when at the bottom of the scroll were her signature should have been Karin's was staring at her instead.
"I don't need anyone's permission to approve a selection, Sasuke-kun has given me the title of head advisor which means-."
"It means you may advise on the selection of staff in the mansion chosen by me not approve the final list... that is my job alone as lady of the house."
Karin finally turned to face Sakura for the first time since she came up here, her red eyes blazing like fire at Sakura's words, "I'm certain Sasuke-kun would approve of those I have chosen, I am a sensor after all and can best judge those with ill intent... we don't want anyone on his staff to kill him now do we?"
"Sasuke is more than capable of handling himself where civilians are concerned, or do you have so little faith in him? Also you have approved a staffing with no healers, what if someone were to become sick and spread their illness without proper treatment!"
"Can you not heal them, I was under the impression that Tsunade of Konoha was the greatest medic of all time... did you not train under her?"
"Enough," Sasuke's command wasn't loud as he didn't need to scream to gain the room's attention, the mere forcefulness of his tone silenced the two women who had been fighting. Aya had just finished taking his measurements and was in the process of having her assistants and a few of the maids clean up her things and bring them down to the room she was staying in the mansion, so Sasuke was able to move freely about the room again, "Everyone leave."
His order was directed to the servants and seamtress of whom all quickly scurried down the stairs fearful of the Uchiha's wrath; this only left the two women and him in room. Though his features hadn't changed much Sakura could tell he was extremely angry with their behavior. And he had every right to be really because she hadn't acted like much of a lady the last few minutes, she hadn't punched Karin like she wanted to, but she shouldn't have been fighting with her like children in front of guests and servants.
Sakura was just about to apologize for her behavior but Sasuke turned his now red eyed glare on Karin, "You have spoken out of turn too much Karin."
"What!? But Sasuke-kun I was only trying to-."
"I don't want to hear excuses, it is clear to me that I have given you too much free reign; you are an advisor to the Kogo and have no grounds to under mind her authority which you have been doing," Sasuke was furious with what he just witnessed, it was clear to him now he should have reprimanded the woman earlier in the week about her behavior towards Sakura and by not doing so he now looked like a fool in front of members of his own staff. This type of insubordination could not go on when the daimyo arrived in a few weeks otherwise they may think he was incompetent at ruling. "We will discuss your punishment after dinner, for now leave us."
For a second Karin looked like she was going to protest but the second a sound left her lips Sasuke's sharingan began to spin and she quickly shut her mouth, stood and scurried to the stairs to leave.
"Sasuke, I want to apologize for my behavior; I shouldn't have allowed her to upset me like that... it won't happen again," Sakura bowed slightly while still in her kneeling positon at the table, waiting for him to reprimand her next for the fight.
But the Uchiha didn't turn his temper on her as she thought he would, instead he quietly sat at the table close to her and took a tea cup in his hands, "Hn, you have nothing to apologize for, Karin was out of line."
Sakura could see her husband was eying the onigiri still on the table, with a soft giggle Sakura grabbed the plate and slid it closer to Sasuke so he could reach. "I know that she was but you asked that we try to get along and that hasn't been working very well."
"Hn," after finishing off one onigiri and before reaching for another Sasuke grabbed the scroll his wife had thrown on the table during the fight, "So there is no medical staff on this list?"
"It doesn't have the people on it that I have observed might have a small knowledge of medicine, they are all civilians with no training."
"So we would likely need shinobi or doctors from a village then?" Sasuke put down the list and grabbed the onigiri again.
"Preferably yes, we would at least need a team with how many we have living on the grounds; if some kind of epidemic were to happen I wouldn't be able to care for everyone alone."
"Very well, when I have the meeting with the daimyo I'll bring it up."
Sakura was happy he was listening to what she was saying but she had wished to ask him about maybe having her old sensei lead the team. Karin was right that Tsunade was the greatest medical shinobi their world had ever known and it would only make sense that she be here; but knowing how Sasuke felt about the old hokage she knew he would shoot down her request... maybe in a few months time she could bring it up.
Later that night at dinner the atmosphere was still tense, Sakura had arrived earlier than her husband as he had some work to finish up in his study after their lunch so she had a front row seat to what would lead up to Sasuke and Karin's meeting after the meal. The woman in question arrived to the dining room a few minutes after Sakura did dressed in a kimono a little too formal for their casual dinners; the minute she slid the shoji open and spotted Sakura sitting at the table talking to Jugo a deep frown marred her face. She of course blamed the other woman for Sasuke's harsh words towards her earlier and wasn't looking to forgive her any time soon.
Fully intent on ignoring the empress Karin quietly approached the table to take up her usual place setting... only it wasn't there. "What's going on... where's my plate?" Karin's question was addressed to the lone servant in the room that set the place settings at the table every night, but Jugo was the one to answer her.
"Sasuke-sama thought it best that you move down a few places starting tonight, the seat to his left belongs to nobles."
Karin's twisted glare first went to Sakura, thinking she was behind all this, then she turned it on Jugo, "I am his advisor, I have every right to sit where I please, and I've had the place next to Sasuke-kun since we came here... what has changed now?"
Jugo's berserk side came to the surface slightly at her challenging tone, "Because though you may wish it you are not the lady of the house, that title belongs to Sakura-sama and she alone!"
Fear quickly replaced the frown on Karin's face as she felt the murderous lust of the giant man's chakra consume the room and his sights were set on her.
Two different voices called out the man's name, Sakura who was right next to him quickly placed her hand on his forearm and began pushing a low slow stream of chakra into his body to calm him down. While this was happening Sasuke, who felt Jugo lose himself from his study, quickly approached the dinning room; upon arrival he activated his sharingan to push back the berserk rage that was fighting it's way to the surface. With both forces pushing the beast back into its cage Jugo was able to retain control once again, when he came to only to realize what happened he immediately became ashamed of his actions.
"I'm terribly sorry Sakura-sama, I did not harm you did I?"
"No, you barely moved Jugo-san... everything is alright," with the hand still on his forearm Sakura began to rub soothing circles back and forth much like a mother would comfort a sad child.
Though his wife was soft and gentle Sasuke knew the man was no child and therefore wouldn't treat him as such, "Jugo, learn to control your outbursts or else you will do something you will regret... I will not always be here to stop them."
"Of course Sasuke-sama, I will try harder."
Sakura wasn't happy the Uchiha made her guard feel guilty over an accident but she didn't voice her displeasure... Karin did however. "Oh Sasuke-kun, than you for saving me. If you hadn't come in when you did I'm certain he would have attacked me." Karin's fake distress caused Sasuke to cringe and Sakura roll her eyes at the display.
"Why was his rage targeted at you Karin... what did you do to anger him?"
When Jugo had lashed out Karin had backed away from the table for an easy escape through the door she had entered from minutes before; she was still standing there when Sasuke appeared so she was now too close for comfort for him. When he asked his question and it looked like she was going to start crying at his accusation Sasuke side stepped her form to enter the room.
"Wha-Why would you think I did anything Sasuke-kun? I merely asked why my place at the table was changed and he nearly attacked me; he said you ordered that my seat be changed but that is obviously a lie made up by someone," Karin had been following the Uchiha as he made his way over to the large fire pit, but she quickly shot a glare over her shoulder to the two people sitting at the table.
"Hn, it wasn't a lie Karin, I ordered Jugo to tell the kitchen staff to move your place setting," Sasuke casually stated while pulling a scroll from the inner pocket of his haori.
"But... why?" Karin was genuinely shocked this time, during their time traveling together the man had never put up a fuss about where she sat, she knew he frankly didn't care really and if it stopped her from screaming out in protest he just allowed it to continue; but now after one little fight everything changed... was that all it took now? Despite her shock over what Sasuke said Karin was still the ever nosy woman she was so when Sasuke revealed the contents of the scroll she couldn't help but peek over his shoulder to see what was written. A small smile returned to her face when she realized it was her list of selected staff members for the mansion, Sasuke must have looked it over and approved her choices; she was just about to turn and send a smirk to Sakura when Sasuke spoke.
The Uchiha noticed the look of delight that flashed on the woman's face when she saw what he was holding, truth was he allowed her to see the scroll on purpose because a second later he tossed it into the fire, "Because as I said earlier you have overstepped your boundaries here Karin and you must know where the line not to cross is." The snaps and pops from the scroll catching fire and the soft foot falls of Sasuke moving to the table were the only sounds in the room after that.
Sakura cringed a little bit herself at Sasuke's harsh words, he always knew how to crush a person's spirit and he did it with little thought or effort on his part. She felt bad for Karin, as shocking as that might sound, because at one time she was on the receiving end of Sasuke's nasty reprimands before so she knew exactly what the other woman was feeling right now.
Little did Sakura know that when she felt embarrassed and upset by Sasuke's words, Karin was angry and resentful; as she watched the scroll burn in the fire and begin to char she kept running Sasuke's words through her head. 'So I've over stepped my bounds have I, Sasuke-kun I believe you are mistaken as to who actually needs to know where the lines is; that woman can try and blind you with her little charms but I will make you see the truth very soon.'
Note: So since it took over a year to get chapter 2 out I thought I would give you guys a treat and put out chapter 3 before I finished chapter 4. Breaking my own rules for this story I know. Also things may seem a little weird in this chapter but basically the Naruto world is ruled by the daimyo, Sasuke has put himself above them with the title of Tenno (Emperor) so this is very new for everyone.
Also Sasuke's definition of an emperor is slightly different than what the name actually means, with him coming up with the title he chose what it would mean to the people.
Things are going to be slow for the group, typically right after a war there is a time of settlement where those involved try and heal and figure out what the next move for the world would be... that is this time, so sorry if this seems like it's drowning on.