By Yellow Mask

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.

The cell was brightly – almost blindingly – lit, and Madara's chakra was so low his mind was flirting with unconsciousness.

So he wasn't really surprised when the pink-haired woman approached his cell without fear – why should she fear a snake without venom?

She didn't speak immediately, but instead observed him with a sort of detached interest, as though she were watching an intriguing animal in the zoo.

"Do you know what your mistake was?" she asked quietly.

Madara fought the urge to roll his eyes. She was one of those ones – those that insisted on rubbing Konoha's triumph in his face. As though it was something to be proud of that the village would now stagnate in peace, that the Uchiha clan had finally fallen.

"You believed Uchiha Sasuke when he said he wanted to learn from you," she finished.

That surprised Madara, though he didn't show it. He shifted to give the girl his full attention. Taking in the pink hair, the green eyes...memory tugged at his brain – that face was familiar...

"I was the one who brought you in, you know?" the girl said conversationally. "The ANBU with the tiger mask?"

That further surprised him. The girl looked barely eighteen. Not that age was a factor in power or skill, but he would surely have heard of her before now if she was that good. After all, he'd heard of Uzumaki Naruto, Uchiha Sasuke, and...

"Haruno Sakura?" he said quietly. "She's dead now, but you look...remarkably similar..."

The girl showed no surprise – on the contrary, she smiled. "She was my mother. I'm Haruno Chitose."

Madara smirked. "You mother's name – born out of wedlock?"

He'd hoped for some sort of reaction – in a clan-oriented society such as Konoha, bastard children carried a lot of stigma – but she simply smiled again. A small, peaceful smile that seemed to hint at a secret Madara had no knowledge of.

"Not really. Taking my mother's name was...safer. Especially after she died."

Madara remained silent this time. If his estimation of her age held true, Haruno Chitose would have been barely a year old when her mother was killed.

"I'm surprised I haven't heard of you before," he commented indifferently.

"You have your 'student' to thank for that," Chitose mused. "Sasuke found me, and took me to a small village on the outskirts of Fire Country. He gave me to my foster parents to raise. I only joined Konoha recently."

"Given the circumstances, I'm surprised you even know who your mother was," Madara scoffed.

"Sasuke told me," Chitose answered. "He didn't just give me to my foster parents and never see me again. He came to visit me often, whenever one of your missions sent him my way. He told me stories about my mother, even gave me a picture of her once. Did you ever wonder why he always took so long to return at times?"

Madara had wondered that, but Sasuke had always made some excuse – avoiding ANBU, tangling with missing-nin – and Madara had seen no reason to doubt him. Except now, this girl was telling him Sasuke had deliberately hidden Sakura's offspring from him...but why?

"Suppose what you're telling me is true," he said. "This still doesn't show why taking Sasuke as my student proved to be my fatal mistake. A mistake, surely, but hardly fatal."

"Because every technique, every jutsu you taught Sasuke, he passed on to me."

Madara stiffened. "Why? You were the child of one of his former teammates...I can see why he might have some sentimental reason to want you to live, or even to visit you to ensure you remembered your mother...but why train you?"

Another smile. "He had his reasons."

"It's not possible," Madara insisted. "Many of the techniques I taught him are exclusive to the Uchiha clan – they couldn't be performed properly without-"

"-this?" Chitose's green eyes suddenly washed red, black commas spinning lazily.

And Madara was left speechless as he stared into Sharingan eyes.

"I never thought anything of this until I came to Konoha," Chitose said in a low voice. "Where I was informed that the Sharingan wasn't a run of the mill ability. And that was the first time I understood why Sasuke had done what he'd done."

Chitose smiled again, her sad smile. "I'm not sure when it happened, or how it happened, or what misunderstanding or danger forced my mother to leave Konoha...but I know that Sasuke is my father. He never gave any indication he was, and never called himself such within my hearing...but there's no one else it could be."

A soft snort, and she shook her head. "I can hardly be blamed for not realising. After all, it's not like there's much family resemblance between us. He used to tell me I was the spitting image of my mother, and now I think I finally understand why he looked so sad when he said that."

"Is that all?" Madara said, trying to sound bored even as his mind reeled. Sasuke, his supposedly loyal student...had a child with a Konoha kunoichi – one that had killed a member of the Akatsuki, no less.

"That's all," Chitose nodded. "I just think I wanted to tell you why you lost. You never took into account that maybe, just maybe, Sasuke wanted something else besides restoring the glory of the Uchiha clan. That maybe he didn't want a war – maybe he wanted his wife and child to live in peace. And maybe he'd betray you to ensure that."

"Wife?" Madara was unable to halt the word that burst from his lips.

Chitose nodded. "Wife. They were married. I took my mother's name because father...wanted to keep me safe. He knew that if you ever found out there was another Uchiha in the world...there would be no place I could hide."

She sighed, and shook her head. "I think I just wanted to let you know where you went wrong. And now, I'll leave you to wait for the execution. My dad and I are going to visit Mum's grave."

Chitose left, her pink hair whispering behind her.

And Madara was left with his thoughts.


AN: This is just scenario that popped into my head one day. Some of the events leading up to such a scenario are left unexplained, and that's deliberate – I just had this image of Sasuke and Sakura's daughter explaining to Madara his big mistake, and I figure I'll let the reader's imagination fill in the rest.

And thanks to justcallmefaye for beta-ing this.