Naruto (c) Masashi Kishimoto
Note: Finally, Madara with his kids stories are complete! Now to work on Yuzuki with her kids.
Though Katsuro was only eighteen months old, he was well aware of a few basic facts in life. One, was that his mother was the kindest and gentlest and most loving person in his small world. Despite the fact she was heavily pregnant, she still held him as if he was the dearest thing to her heart, and she always made time to play with him regardless of what she was doing. Katsuro loved her and felt extremely proud when he had first uttered the word "mama" to her. His heart would always remember that smile.
The second fact he was acutely aware of was that his father, though tall and intimating, was probably the strongest and most powerful man in the world. Katsuro knew this from the simple fact that when his father held him, he felt safe and secure. It was only logical to an eighteen-month-old that anyone that made him feel safe must be the strongest person in the world. Katsuro had no doubt his father loved him to pieces, even if he wasn't always smiling like his mother was, the small boy sensed it when his father held him and the sparkle of fatherly pride in his sire's dark grey eyes.
The third fact Katsuro was aware of was that his parents loved each other dearly. It was clear with his mother that she loved his father greatly, and that his father returned his mother's affections in kind though he was more subtle. Katsuro picked up on this fact by his parents body language and how the tone of their voices changed when speaking sweet little words to each other.
All in all, Katsuro's world was small, safe, and warm. He toddled around on slightly unsteady feet, trailing after his father or mother or being cuddled by his grandfather or uncle. The boy was content.
It was a snowy day in February, and Katsuro was enthralled with the fat drifting snowflakes outside the window of his father's study. "Sno!" he shouted, running back to where Madara was sitting, busy with paperwork. "Sno, Papa! Sno!" Katsuro squealed again, the sound was annoyingly high pitched and the little boy gleefully slapped his father's leg to get his attention.
"I'm aware of the snow outside, Katsuro," Madara announced without even looking in his son's direction. He gently pushed the boy away, noting the soft oof of surprise the toddler gave when he unexpectedly landed on his butt.
There was a brief moment of silence, in which Madara turned his head to look at this son, who was blinking rapidly in mute surprise. Katsuro looked up at Madara with a giggle and a grin, white milk teeth in his tiny mouth. "'Gain!" he shouted, pulling himself to his feet. He did a little dance and waited for Madara to push him over.
Chuckling the clan leader gently pushed against his son's chest and watched the boy fall again, only this time with a loud squealing giggle of delight. This game continued for a few minutes before Katsuro's attention went back to the drifting snow. "Sno!" he shouted, pointing at the window. "Play?" he asked, a hopeful look on his face.
"No, go ask your mother. Papa, is busy."
Busy. Katsuro didn't like that word, it was the opposite of play and his father used it a lot. He didn't know what it meant to grown-ups, but he was sure the definition of the word was not-play or something along those lines. It was one of the few things he hated in his small content little world. "Mama sweepy," Katsuro informed his father, frustrated unhappiness clear in his voice, a large pout on his lips as he stared at his tiny socked feet.
"Naturally, she's pregnant with your unborn sibling. It takes a lot out of her, be patient though." Madara skimmed the document he was reading before frowning in annoyance. "Damn fools the lot of them," he grumbled before putting it aside in a stack on his desk.
"Bwudder?" Katsuro asked, looking up at his father. He didn't understand what his father said, only that somehow his mother's large belly and the possibility of a brother were connected.
"Yes, your brother is making your mother sleepy," Madara sighed wearily, only to remember that yes, he was explaining things to a child.
Katsuro blinked once, twice, thrice, turned his head to the window and declared, "Sno!" very loudly. Madara sighed, rubbing his face, tired of the endless rabble of statecraft that was his bane during the winter. He looked over his shoulder and down at his son, giving in to the boy's demands. A break would do him some good anyways.
"Yes, snow," Madara said as he got up, stretching like a cat, "let's go get your shoes and coat on. We'll go play out in the snow for a bit."
"Yay!" Katsuro squealed in delight and began to run around the room before raising his arms towards Madara, opening and closing his tiny hands and rocking on the balls of his tiny feet. "Up!" he ordered. Madara scowled at the child.
"You are perfectly capable of walking, Katsuro. You do not need to be held everywhere you go. I don't understand why your mother still insists of carrying you, everywhere," Madara growled before heading towards the door to his study. "Come," he shot over to his bewildered son, who was standing utterly still. "Katsuro..." Madara growled.
The boy plopped deliberately back onto his bottom, screwed up his face in a pout, took a deep breath and began to wail at the top of his lungs. Madara rolled his eyes and marched over to the boy. "None of that," he ordered, kneeling in front of his son. "You stop it right now or we won't go outside to play in the snow."
Katsuro began to kick his legs in protest, his face red with his screaming and fat tears rolling down his chubby baby cheeks. This was a proven method of getting what he wanted, only Katsuro constantly forgot that this method never worked on his father. "Fine. We won't go outside," Madara scooped up his son, yanked the boy's pants down and gave him one firm swat on the butt. "Maybe in fifteen minutes if you behave." Madara said and placed Katsuro on the ground. The Uchiha leader went back to his desk and began to work again.
It took Katsuro a few minutes to process just what had occurred, but regardless he was soon wailing again in frustrated protest and his father was pointedly ignoring him. "Madara, what's going on? I'm trying to take a nap, what's wrong with Katsuro?" Yuzuki asked, rubbing her eyes as she stood in the door way. Madara glanced up at his pregnant wife and gave a nonchalant shrug.
"I'm teaching Katsuro a lesson," he said simply. Yuzuki looked at her son, who was face down, taking great heaving breaths, his tantrum in it's last stages. "He refused to walk, he wanted me to carry him. He's capable of walking, he doesn't need to be constantly held, I keep telling you that, yet you ignore me."
"Madara, he's eighteen-months-old! Just carry him if he wants you to carry him. It's not going to hurt him."
"Yuzuki, I'm teaching him independence. He can't depend on us for everything when he's older. Go back to sleep, he'll forget about it in a few minutes, trust me."
Yuzuki gave her husband a beady glare, made a soft moaning sigh as she rubbed her belly before waddling off to bed. Madara waited a few minutes before turning to Katsuro, who was still face down and sniffling. "Katsuro, want to go outside and play in the snow?" Madara asked. Katsuro looked up, his face red but other than that no worse for wear.
"Sno?" Katsuro asked.
"Yes, snow," Madara stood up and began walking towards the door. "Come," he said.
"Ah!" Katsuro scurried to his feet and toddled quickly to his father's side and clutched at Madara's pant leg.
Madara put Katsuro's shoes on and his thick winter haori before he put his own on as well. Madara scooped up Katsuro and exited the the house before setting his son down into the snow and watched the boy exhaust himself in the white snow.
Madara blinked as the memory faded. He wondered why he even remembered that. It was so long ago, when he could still hold Katsuro in his arms. He would never admit it, but he enjoyed the weight of his young son in his arms as the boy slept there when he was still a toddler. He missed that, a lot. Madara looked down at the little haori he was holding. It was a bright blue, with little uchiwa sewn into the fabric, it belonged to Katsuro when he was a toddler. When all he wanted to do was play in the snow.
Now... now his son refused to even speak with him. Answering only when directed spoken too, with a "yes sir" or "no sir" reply. It bothered Madara more than he wanted to admit, he was at an utter lost on what to do and had nobody to turn to, since Natori passed away three years ago. He tried everything he could think of to get his eldest to talk to him, but all were ineffective. Yuzuki had pointed out that the majority of his methods were for interrogating enemy shinobi and not talking to a broody thirteen-year-old boy. Madara would acknowledge the fact that she was right, at least not aloud anyways.
"There you are," his wife's voice brought him out of his thoughts. "What are you doing with Katsuro's old haori?" Yuzuki tilted her head, puzzled.
"Oh?" Madara rubbed his thumb against the fabric. "Just... remembering... when he was younger," he whispered, swallowing the wellspring of emotion that wanted to bubble up. He took a deep breath and centered himself.
"Yes, he was adorable when he was small. They all were," Yuzuki said as she walked up to her imposing husband and leaned against him. "I actually came to ask you if you had seen Katsuro lately," Yuzuki said.
"No. I think he prefers it that way of late, actually," Madara's voice was gruff and his eyes narrowed in annoyance. "I only see him during morning training, the rest of the time, I don't know where he's off to."
"I'm worried though," Yuzuki mumbled.
"You worry to much. He's a good shinobi, talented as a sensory ninja and has a two-tomoe Sharingan. He's perfectly capable of defending himself," Madara shrugged.
"I know, but still... I'm a mother. I worry. And it's not so much his physical well being, but more of his mental one. You two have been... fighting a lot lately. And, I'm... worried," Yuzuki informed him and glanced at her hands.
"He's a teenager. Teenagers and their parents fight. It's only natural."
"Madara, you know what I mean. I know what's ever going on between you and Katsuro is bothering you as well. You may be able to hide a lot of things from me, but things about our family you can't... at least not all of them."
Madara chuckled as he set the little haori back into the wicker basket and wrapped his wife in his arms. "Clever little shinobi wife you turned out be," Madara said as he pressed his lips against Yuzuki's hair.
"Could you please go look for him?" Yuzuki begged softly. "It's almost dinner and it's getting dark... I'm scared..."
"He'll come back on his own, he always does."
"Yes, around this time, he hasn't... not yet!"
"Maybe he's taking longer than normal because he's dreading the thought of interacting with me."
"Regardless of that, he's always home before dinner! Always, like clockwork! Katsuro may be a sensitive kindhearted boy, but he's predictable."
"And that'll get him killed in battle."
"Stop thinking of him as a soldier for once, Madara! He's a thirteen-year-old boy! What if he hung himself out in the woods! Or some rival shinobi kidnapped him because he's your son or that bitch, Takara, murdered him to get back at me!"
"I don't want any part in your and Takara's never ending cat-fight, I've told you this before. Frankly, I think it's rather stupid and has been going on long enough. Murdering Katsuro would be invoking my wrath. She doesn't want that, she wants to invoke yours and killing any one of our children won't obtain that," Madara's voice was grim. "I'd kill her myself if she so much as violently touched a hair on my children's heads."
"Second, Katsuro can defend himself. I've trained him myself, so getting kidnapped is out of the question as well, because Katsuro can sense someone approaching via their chakra from a hundred yards away."
"Fine, but what about suicide!" Yuzuki felt tears prick at the corner of her eyes. "I... I don't want to lose my son..."
I don't want to lose him either, moonlight, but I can't get through to him! Madara squeezed Yuzuki tightly, "I know, moonbeam, I know." He whispered into her hair.
"Please, go look for him," Yuzuki mumbled, "I'm begging you."
"I'll go look for him," Madara said as he pulled away from his wife. "I'll go look for him," he repeated.
Katsuro gritted his teeth as he leaned up against the tree. He cursed himself for training so far away from home and for slipping from the highest branch. He knew Ran wouldn't have been that klutzy, he knew Ran would've landed cat like without breaking any bone if he had fallen. Ran was better than him at everything and their father's favorite. Katsuro knew his father hated him, because he was sensitive, kindhearted and ultimately weak. Ran was the one their father loved. Ran and Hikari, the two geniuses of the family. Katsuro was heir in name only, everyone in the clan knew Madara planned to ultimately name Ran his heir, Katsuro was just the distraction for enemies. The spare, the sacrificial lamb. The worthless, unwanted child that nobody would miss if he dies. And for this, he hated his father.
"Damn him," Katsuro grunted as he slumped to the ground, clutching at his broken leg. At least he made it out of the woods. He could see the village and at the edges of it, on a small rise was his house. Another part of his father's overly inflated ego was to have the family home built on top of a knoll, as if he was looking down at the rest of the clan. The arrogant bastard. "Damn leg," Katsuro glared at his broken limb, at least the break was clean and inside, no bones poking out. He did his best in splinting the injury, but it still hurt like hell.
Katsuro sniffed, frustrated tears welling into his eyes. "Mom..." he whispered, his voice choked with tears of pain and emotion. All he wanted was to be held in his mother's arms. The kindest, gentlest, most caring and most loving woman in the world, was his mother and he just wanted to be held by her and cry. He bit his lip in a vain effort to hold back the tears, failed and cried softly.
It was almost dark by the time he felt a prickle of chakra at the far edges of his senses. Katsuro had dozed off, his body's only defense against the swearing hot pain of his broken leg. "Wh-Who's there?" Katsuro called out, Sharingan coming to his eyes. Two tomoe spun lazily, something Ran gleefully pointed out. Ran had three tomoe, yet he was still barred from accompanying their father to battle. He wasn't yet fifteen. "Don't come any closer! I know Amaterasu! The legendary black flames of hell that only the wielder can command!" Katsuro shouted, trying to keep the fear and pain from his voice, trying to sound like the father he once adored and idolized.
There was a rude snort. "I highly doubt you can use Amaterasu, boy. You need Mangekyou Sharingan for that."
Katsuro felt his blood go cold as he drew a kunai. "I'm armed! Don't come any closer! Kill me and you invite the wrath of Uchiha Madara and the entire Uchiha clan! I'm Uchiha Madara's heir!"
"The only wrath I'd be invoking if you end up dead is your mother's."
Katsuro squinted in the darkness and was able to make out the outline of his father. He relaxed a little, and sheathed his kunai. "What do you want?" he growled. Madara walked up to his injured son.
"I came looking for you. Your mother is distraught with worry because of you," Madara said. And so am I, even though I won't admit it.
"I see," Katsuro didn't meet his father's eyes. "I'm fine. I just need to get my strength back before I can hobble home. You can tell her I'm alive."
"I'm not some messenger Katsuro. I'm your father."
"Some father you are!"
"Uchiha Katsuro." Madara's voice was cold and hard as iron. "Do not disrespect me. It'll only end badly for you."
"How badly can it end? You won't kill me because of Mom and the fact that you need me to distract your enemies from assassinating Ran! I'm the sacrificial lamb! The expendable child! I know you hate me! You never wanted me! You never loved me! I hate you!"
There was a loud crack of flesh against flesh and bright red hand print on Katsuro's cheek. The boy bit his lip and whimpered like a whipped dog.
"Foolish boy," Madara spat, his eyes narrow. "Don't go assuming how I feel about anything. I... treasure you, your brother, and your sister more than you even realize. I treat you the way I do because I know there is untapped potential in you, but you are too thick-headed to realize it! You are just convinced that because I don't doll out praise and affection to you means I don't love you, hence you go belly up every time I challenge you! Ran takes to the challenge like a fish takes to water! I challenge you because I care about you and I know you can do it. And withholding my affection seems to be a damn fine motivator."
"Well, it's not working."
"I think it is, you just are too quick to go belly up." Madara shrugged before bending down and scooping of Katsuro. The boy protested weakly, too exhausted to put up much of a fight and secretly glad his father had came. "Now," Madara licked his lips, "what happened?"
"I was training in the treetops... and... I slipped and fell," Katsuro looked away, cheeks coloring slightly. Madara let out the breath he didn't realize he was holding, glad to know his son wasn't attacked by some wild rabid animal.
"Aa. Well, you learned your lesson," the Uchiha leader said as he began walking towards Yuki's house. "We'll stop at Yuki's house first to get your leg fixed then head home."
"Okay," Katsuro leaned his head against his father's shoulder, his thick unruly true black hair fluttering slightly in the gentle breeze. Madara looked down at the boy in his arms, studying his son's face. He was surprised how much Katsuro resembled him, it was like looking at himself when he was thirteen. "I'm glad you found me," Katsuro mumbled, his eyes closed.
"You're my son," Madara said, "that means something... it's a bond... a very strong and deep bond."
"I love you, Dad."
"I know," Madara felt a smile tug at his lips, amused by what people say in frustrated anger. "I know." And I love you too, Katsuro.
Written while underway.
I've been meaning to finish up my Madara and children thing. Katsuro was the hardest, because of the three children, he's been around the longest so his relationship with Madara is very well thought out and everything. So, here it is. I personally think the flashback is rather cute.
Moonlight/Moonbeam are pet names that Madara refers to Yuzuki when they are alone together or he wants to be endearing.
I think I did a good job in keeping Madara in character yet portraying him as a worried parent. It was difficult, though. Finding the right balance between stoic "I don't care" and emotional "OMG! Where is my son!" I think I pulled it off.
I don't know if I ever officially said when Ran's birthday is but, it's April 18th. It was originally in May, but Ran and Katsuro are roughly a year and nine months apart in age, since Yuzuki finds out she's pregnant with Ran around Katsuro's birthday which is August 8th.