Disclaimer: Do I really need to say it again?...fine. I don't own Naruto. Happy?
A/N: Jeez, where are all these oneshots coming from?? I don't even like Fugaku-baka, and yet here I am writing about him..am I desperate for story material or what? XD The Uchiha plot bunnies must be feasting on my brain..Anyway, I hope you enjoy.
What to do when Fatherhood is Imminent
When Uchiha Fugaku was told that he would soon be a father, he bolted from the house with little intention of ever coming back.
He hurried towards the first place that caught his eye-in this case, the nearby forest-and hunted for a nice, shady spot where he could think the whole mess over without being disturbed. Or, alternatively, a nice shady spot where he could curl up and die.
Frankly, at this point, the latter was a far more appealing option.
But he hadn't been born or raised a quitter, and so decided to save a dramatic death for another time. Perhaps after the child was born, when parenthood proved itself too difficult to take.
He climbed up to a branch of an old tree, and immediately set his brain to work sorting out the sudden and stomach-churning problem he was having.
The events of the last few minutes raced through his head like a tape on fast-forward. Mikoto calling, telling him she needed to talk to him right away. Him running over, worried, because his girlfriend had sounded honest-to-God choked up when she called, and Mikoto never cried. Ever. Ever.
Arriving at her house, panting, to find her standing in the living room, beautiful black eyes shining and filled with with tears, a wobbly smile on her face.
And then, being hit with The News, the most important words he had ever heard someone say to him in his life. Abrupt and without warning. Like a slap in the face.
Just like that.
I'm going to be a father. Fugaku couldn't get the images out of his head. Mikoto, holding a blanket-wrapped so-called 'bundle of joy' and beaming, as if she didn't know how much hell they would be put through in the next few months. Him, frantically rocking a screaming baby at some ungodly hour of the night/morning, and panicking because my god, was it normal for a child to shriek for an hour straight? Him, holding the baby and attempting to feed it, and being rewarded with baby vomit all over his face.
And that was only after the thing had been born.
Oh, no; he hadn't even previously considered the chaos that would come before the actual birth.
More images flashed through his head. It was a horror movie-no, worse. It was his life. It was real. It was happening to him.
He would have to tell his father. Oh, merciful lord above, what would his father say? Uchiha Fugato would look down on him with those cold, icy eyes, the kind that make you shrink a few inches solely by being looked at with them. And then… No. Don't even go there. If he thought too hard about how his only living parent was bound to react to this development, he would fall out of that tree on purpose in the hopes of breaking his neck.
And what about the in-laws? Mikoto's parents? He feared them almost as much as his own father. If Fugaku had a daughter-which, heck, he very well could soon enough-how would he take to the news that some guy had gotten her pregnant? Right. Not kindly. Mikoto's parents would probably chase him out of the village with ninja dogs and pitchforks, carrying flaming torches and..and… Just stop; I don't want to think too hard about that either.
And what about the baby shower? He shuddered at the very thought and nearly fell from his branch. Baby showers were nightmares of the highest caliber; he had a number of male friends who had vehemently testified to this undeniable fact. Baby showers were tortures of a special kind, created by women solely to torment men. Baby showers meant hours on end of listening to high-pitched squeals and coos over tiny shoes and overalls, and thanking countless people for gifts that he didn't even want.
Yes, he could already see a thousand downsides to having a baby.
Underneath all of it, however, ran a strong current of fear.
I can't raise a child, Fugaku thought, clutching his head and trying not to sink into utter hysteria. I literally cannot do it. I am not capable of teaching another living being to talk and walk and eat and..and do virtually everything else!
I have no patience. I don't think I could stand to teach a child simple Genjutsu, much less everything he'd need to know about life! I'm incompetent! I'm a shinobi, and parenting isn't exactly on top of a warrior's priority list! Mikoto would go mad trying to do everything herself, and I wouldn't be able to help because I'd have to be on missions all the time, providing for my family!
He made a tiny yelping noise and looked down to see Mikoto, lovely as always, despite looking very concerned. "Are you alright?" she inquired hesitantly. "I know the news must have come as a bit of a shock.."
That's the understatement of the millennium.. "I'm fine," Fugaku replied in a strangled voice. A neon sign couldn't have made it clearer that he was lying.
"…All right, I'm not fine," Fugaku admitted, jumping down from his branch. "I'm..I'm panicking. I'm going out of my mind with worry." He looked at his girlfriend with terror written all over his face. "What are we going to do? We have no experience with children, we both have careers going..how on earth will we be able to care for a child? My father will probably disown me for impregnating you without proposing first, and I don't even care to imagine what your parents will do to me.."
Mikoto attempted to derail his panicked tangent, but was steamrolled. "They'll probably disembowel me while I watch, leaving you alone to care for a child," he continued, pale and sweating. "And even if I do somehow miraculously survive, I couldn't tell you the basics of raising a child. My father left me to care for my little sister once, while he was on a mission-she almost died! Multiple times!"
He paused for breath. Mikoto saw an opening and pounced upon it.
"Nobody has previous experience when they become parents," she pointed out gently. "There's a first time for everything. As for time management, well.." She bit her lip. "I'll have to hand the Hokage my resignation notice, I suppose."
Fugaku stared. Mikoto had worked hard to reach Jonin status. He could only imagine how hard life as a housewife would be on her.
She continued steadily. "I don't know what your father will do, but I assure you, my parents won't kill you. They'll probably be surprised, but I'm sure they'll be proud to have you as a son-in-law once we're married."
"And you aren't alone," she concluded. "I'll be caring for our child as well. It won't be entirely your responsibility." A smile. "Alright?"
"I…what if I'm a horrible father?" he croaked out. "What if the baby hates me?"
Mikoto rolled her eyes and smacked him upside the head. "Listen to yourself, Fugaku! You're being completely ridiculous. No child of ours is going to hate you. People have always called you smart-so act like it." Softening, she leaned and gave her chagrined boyfriend a kiss on the cheek. "You're going to be a great father."
Fugaku swallowed hard. "I..I'll try my best."
"That's more like it," Mikoto replied. "Now, who are we going to first, my parents or your dad?"
The visit with Mikoto's parents went as expected. Her father was somewhat shocked but raised no objections as long as the two were married as soon as possible; whereas her mother insisted she had known for a long time something like this was going to happen.
It took days for Fugaku to realize he was not, in fact, going to be chased from the village by a pair of irate future in-laws.
Uchiha Fugato probably would have disowned his son after being told the news, but Mikoto saved the day by pretending Fugaku had already proposed. The lie worked, albeit narrowly.
Fugaku was so relieved that he ended up proposing the instant they had left the house.
Fugaku was on his way home from a long and tiring mission when a mutual friend informed him-excitedly-that Mikoto was giving birth as they spoke.
Witnesses would later swear that they had never seen any man run quite so fast.
Uchiha Itachi came into the world on June 9th.
Fugaku held his son with slightly shaking arms and swore to himself that he would make the boy into the best shinobi possible. After all, he himself wouldn't be around forever.
He knew that he would sleep much easier knowing his son could protect himself, and his mother, no matter what happened.
Parenthood was less of a nightmare than Fugaku had anticipated. It was hard work, certainly; more difficult than any test he had come upon as a ninja. And he found himself in a state of constant worry for his wife and son whenever he was deployed on missions. But the whole thing was surprisingly rewarding.
He became used to arriving home to a shrill and excited "Oto-san!" He became used to, quite simply, being a father. It all became 'business as usual.'
At least, until the day when Mikoto announced that she was pregnant again.
…Well, at least second children don't get baby showers…
A/N: Yeah, Mikoto was, in canon, a Jonin..wow. I never woulda guessed.
Hope you enjoyed! A review would be oh-so-lovely, but feel no obligation. ^.^ -SS