"Where is it? Where is it?" Itachi mumbled as he sorted through the old clan business that the Head of the Clan was obligated to hold on to in perpetuity. He technically shouldn't be in his father's office doing this, but something needed to be done before...
Eventually, he found the scroll that had been passed down from generation to generation under a pile of old tax records from the Nidaime's era. The contract had been more of a symbolic gesture that would have to be fulfilled someday. The clan had intended for that "someday" to be either sometime around the Twelfth of Never or in the exceedingly unlikely event that there were only one member of their clan left and only one member of that clan left, whichever came first.
Unfortunately for the clan's plans, Itachi was looking for a lifeline, a way of tying his clan back to the village they'd become separated from, before he was forced to...
Itachi unrolled the document and carefully examined it. Yes, this might do. He likely wouldn't know who the heck he was marrying until the wedding ceremony, and getting a divorce should they prove incompatible would be Hell considering there were Clans involved - even if one of those clans was near extinct - but he was willing to make that sacrifice for both Clan and Village.
"Itachi, what are you doing in my office?" Fugaku asked as he watched his son roll up that contract.
"I-" Itachi started. "The main problem we have with the negotiations with the Hokage is he isn't entirely convinced that we're serious about negotiating, and therefore is willing to listen to those who tell him we should be kept contained. I think I've found a way to convince the Hokage that we're really serious about negotiating and willing to fully join the village rather than remain a separate entity within the village walls."
"Son," his father said almost sadly, "It's -"
"It's not too late!" Itachi said. "We've done nothing but talk yet. We can still stop things before they actually start."
"Fine." Fugaku said. "I don't believe that the clan will go for it after...But, if it's really that important to you, we can try."
The next morning the Uchiha father and son stood before the Hokage. Well, Fugaku stood. Itachi kneelt like the good ANBU he was. The Sandaime's eyebrows rose as he read over the contract made between the founders of the village and an associated clan. Senju Hashirama had thought that it would be too much to ask that the son and heir of a Uchiha Clan Head marry a Senju, so the contract had been for a related clan. Which led to the second purpose of the contract.
Not only would the contract symbolically tie the founding clans of the village together, but it would also tie a closely allied village closer to Konoha as well.
A village that was gone now. Been gone for a couple decades.
"Send for the great-great-grandchild of the man who was Head of the Uzumaki at the time this contract was written." the Sandaime said to an aide after he'd carefully perused the contract and checked that all seals and signatures were genuine.
"Uh," the aide said, a look of utter confusion on her face.
"The individual in question will be at the Academy under the same family name." the Hokage said, clearly being deliberately mysterious and making it clear that he was being such.
Something seemed to dawn on the aide whose eyebrows shot towards her hairline before she said "Oh" and went to follow the Hokage's orders. Fugaku frowned as a possibility presented itself, and he quickly dismissed it.
The Hokage carefully scruitinized the Uchiha who was standing before him, looking for something and either seeing it or not seeing it.
"You would tie your son to a stranger for the sake of peace between your clan and the village?" the Hokage asked.
"It was Itachi's decision." Fugaku replied. "I will support it however."
"I see." the Hokage said after giving Fugaku another searching look.
"Hopefully, Itachi's future bride will be more restrained than Mikoto's friend was." Fugaku said, obviously referring to Uzumaki Kushina, Mikoto's on again off again friend who could stay away for months or even years before randomly turning up out of the blue and tipping his well-ordered home into chaos and disorder back before she'd died.
"Considering the fact that such exuberance is something of an Uzumaki trait, that may very well be far too much to hope." the Hokage said, looking like he was trying hard not to laugh.
"You realize that if a marriage goes unconsumated for over five years, both partners can file for a no-fault divorce with little to no problem in spite of certain Clan allegiances." the Hokage said, a look of amusement edging around lips that were carefully not smiling and glinting in the corners of eyes that were being Very Serious.
The relief at being provided an out from this farce, even if it were five years down the line apparently provided Fugaku some relief, considering that some of the tension eased out of his shoulders slightly. Itachi also felt some relief at this as well. While he'd been willing to sacrifice the possibility of ever having a loving marriage, the possibility of freedom after five years should he and his future spouse prove to be incompatible was a relief. Especially in the face of the Hokage's worrying amusement at the situation.
"I must thank my predecessors for the liberality of Konoha's marriage laws." the Hokage said as he, Fugaku, and Itachi waited in somewhat tense silence for Itachi's bride to arrive. "Fulfilling your family's obligation this generation would've been impossible otherwise."
Fugaku's eyes narrowed at this, and Itachi did his best not to swallow an invisible lump in his throat as certain facts regarding the Uzumaki clan that he'd deliberately not been thinking about in his desperation to get this done sprung to mind. Considering when the destruction of Uzushiogakure took place, there were good odds that his bride - who was likely one of the Academy cleaning staff or grounds crew considering the fact that he didn't recall there being an instructor named Uzumaki - was around his father's age. His being a Chunin made him an adult, if only just, as far as certain aspects of the law were concerned. Which was probably why this was going through despite his young age. The Hokage could and had interfered with marriages he considered problematic, and through his interference, something of a minimum age requirement for marriage had been formed. An age requirement he was about three years below.
Eventually, there was a knock on the Hokage's office door, and Itachi's heart rate started going doubletime as he turned to get his first glimpse of the woman he would be married to for at least the next five years, possibly more. The Hokage bade the person on the other side enter, and the door opened.
Rather than there being a middle-aged woman in an Academy maintenance uniform as Itachi had been expecting, Uzumaki Naruto appeared looking very nervous.
Itachi's shoulders slumped imperceptibly. It would seem that his bride wasn't here yet, and that the Uzumaki child had done something that required discipline from the Hokage, and possibly a massive cleanup effort.
"Normally, I don't approve of child marriages " the Hokage said, "But, this time I will be willing to make an exception."
"Child marriage?" the Uzumaki asked, looking confused.
"Come and meet your new spouse Naruto." the Hokage said in an almost gentle tone as he indicated Itachi.
The Uzumaki who, come to think of it, was pretty much the only Uzumaki running around the village, looked up at Itachi in awe for a moment before blushing and saying "You're very pretty Nee-chan!", causing Fugaku's hands to twitch as if the man dearly wanted to wrap them around the boy's throat.
Damn his delicate, almost feminine features!
"You expect my son to go through with...!" Fugaku said, looking like he was just about ready to jump the Hokage and assassinate him on the spot.
"Father, it's fine." Itachi said, laying a reassuring hand on his father's arm which was very tense under the cloth of his KMPF shirt.
"I'm sure you remember what I said earlier." the Hokage reminded the man. Reminded the both of them if that interesting undercurrent in The Professor's tone was warning him of what he thought it was.
Not engaging in...Relations with Naruto for the next five years and change would be the easiest thing in the world. Though his closeness with Shisui had sparked a number of rumors, his interests, what little he'd had of them, had lain with the female sex. Which Naruto - who was younger than his little brother (ugh)- was not. Even thinking about doing THAT with Naruto just about made Itachi physically ill.
It was probably no coincidence that the five years that Itachi would have to be married to the boy would cover Naruto's time at the Academy as well as his time as a Genin. Unless the boy was particularly dull that was.
"Fugaku," the Hokage said. "I think we should leave the young...couple to discuss their wedding plans while we have a discussion of our own."
Looking like he wanted to strangle somebody. Possibly even Itachi. Fugaku followed the Hokage out of the room, leaving Itachi and Naruto to sit there in awkward silence.
Sasuke did his best to wipe the tears from his eyes before his father could see and make that face. The wedding had been the most awesome thing ever, and his Aniki had looked so beautiful in their mother's wedding kimono.
Next to him, Shisui was shaking and wiping tears from his eyes and leaning over and acting like his stomach hurt for some reason.
Could it be? Was Shisui-nii jealous of Aniki's new husband? Would there be a dramatic declaration of love during the reception like in that show his mom loved to watch? Would Naruto and Shisui spend weeks fighting over Aniki before Aniki ran off with a Samurai from the Capitol like Kagome had when Shin and her husband Sai had fought over her?
That would be so Awesome!