Title: The Listening
Note:
I was playing with writing styles here so... bear with me?
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto


Sometimes, when he can find no one else, the Hokage calls upon Fugaku to carry out certain missions that require an Uchiha — certain ANBU missions. Mikoto never quite approves of this; she never enjoys seeing her husband's sad attempt at refolding the clothes that cover the box he keeps his armour and mask in; she never gets used to the idea that when her favourite cream shirt lacks its usual pristine folds, then Fugaku is leaving that night. But Mikoto is a ninja as well. She understands duty and obligation and that orders are orders. So when the time comes that the Hokage can find no one else and he calls upon Fugaku to carry out a certain (ANBU) mission that requires an Uchiha, even though Mikoto doesn't quite approve, she stiffly kisses her husband on the cheek and says her goodbyes as he gives Itachi a look and softly puts a hand on her belly. Then she spends the day with Itachi, cooking and playing and trying to pick a name for his coming brother, and prays — prayspraysprays — that Fugaku will return safely.

This is why she pities Koizumi Hana.

The night her husband returns home bloody and barely conscious and alone, she knows the mission went terribly, terribly wrong. He passes out from blood loss almost immediately after reaching the village and is taken back to the Compound where the clan's medic heals him right away. Mikoto stays at bedside for days and when he finally wakes, he solemnly tells her what happened.

Ambush, he murmurs. Typical, Mikoto thinks. How typical of him to use a single word to explain so many injuries. But he goes on; he tells her as much as he can to explain his situation without revealing anything confidential. Her husband is a ninja to his very core and more often than not, Mikoto doesn't think that that's a good thing.

Fugaku looks troubled. It's surprising that he looks anything. Then he smirks. He shakes his head and takes her hand in his, a surprising but not unwelcomed gesture.

I should have died.

He feels her tense. She blinks rapidly to push back the tears. It would be silly — very, very silly — to cry over something hypothetical, especially in front of her husband. So Mikoto nods and looks down at their joined hands and works hard not to think about the prospective life as a widow. What a dreadful life that would be.

Haruno Yukio.

When she raises her head she sees that the smirk is gone. Everything is gone, actually. He's Fugaku again with the usual stern, hard features of stone that show nothing. Haruno Yukio saved his life on that mission and the man didn't even know him.

Why?

Fugaku doesn't know. That much is evident when frustration creeps into his visage. Mikoto wonders what bothers him, but given her husband's system of honour, she knows it has to do with obligation. Haruno Yukio wasn't married, but he certainly had a family.

So she pities Koizumi Hana.

Mikoto's met the woman a few times. She's a civilian. She's a doctor at Konoha General — a surgeon. The last time Mikoto saw Koizumi Hana had been two months ago when Itachi had come down with the flu. For whatever reason the woman was helping them and she was incredibly patient despite Itachi's sullen attitude and poor manners at the time (for he was sick). Yes. Mikoto remembers her clearly now. She can recall the peculiar pink hair pulled sloppily into a bun with a pen stuck in it; the way her bangs fell into her brown eyes. She can envision the navy blue letters of her name stitched into her lab coat. She can also see the clear swell of her pregnant belly beneath the flaps of her jacket.

That poor woman. Now she's all alone. That poor child. Now—

Fugaku takes Mikoto away from her thoughts when his hands fall onto her growing midsection.

We should help them.

We will.