Another update! Yay~ So far, I've been mulling things over, and I think I'll be starting on the massacre soon. (As usual, my soon is relative...) I've had a long time to think about where I wanted the story to go, so I guess it's where the path starts to diverge. On one hand, I'd started it intending crack, on the other, I think I can see an actual plot coming out of this...which kind of doesn't really follow the rules of crack. It'll just be a humorous story by then, which...yeah.
Oh well. Enjoy.
The Morning After of the Wedding Night of an Uchiha Couple usually looks…
Well, there's no usual look, though the husband-strung-up-on-the-ceiling one has been seen quite a few times. A double knockout happens quite often too, though a one-sided knockout is more common.
(Usually the husband. One does not simply challenge a kunoichi on her homeground.)
The Morning After of the Wedding Night of one Uchiha Itachi and Uchiha Midori starts out like this:
Itachi wakes up just slightly before dawn while Midori continues to doze. They are in the same positions they went to sleep in, which means facing each other at a hand span's distance.
Itachi is a soldier who has been trained to be completely still lest he faces discovery by the enemy in dangerous land. He's not nearly experienced enough to separate his training from daily life where he's safe—and with him continuing to run missions immediately after the war without rest, he never will.
Midori is training to be a soldier like Itachi, but her experience is that of unpleasant wake-up calls by her mother and ambushes by nasty cousins. Her experience means she doesn't have the same urgency, but that she is still able to sense another's presence and act on it. In time, she will integrate it into herself and will be able to switch between relaxed and battle-ready in a blink. Unlike Itachi, her training in a safe environment means she will not suffer extensive repercussions because she will be more able to handle the shock of true battle when it comes.
Suffice to say: Itachi doesn't move in his sleep because it was shocked out of him. Midori doesn't move just because it was trained into her.
When Itachi wakes, his first instinct is to feign sleep, which is why he spends the next few minutes with his eyes closed. What he senses is this: The warm chakra of his wife beside him, the silky sheets warmed by his own body's temperature, and the humming at the back of his head that tells him this is Konohagakure no Sato of the Land of Fire and it is home and family and security.
Because of that last part, he spends the moments after simply doing what he does not know is called daydreaming. He sinks into the bed because this is the Morning After and the schedule for it is relaxation the entire day. The couple may do whatever they want for the day and the day after that before returning to their lives. It is a rare day for Itachi to rest.
He has nearly drifted back into sleep when Midori awakens. Her awakening pulls him from the soft lull of his mind because her waking chakra is like the unfurling of a blossom. It's the first time he feels her awaken normally and it fascinates him. She is fire-wind, a warm, free thing. Her chakra, still and dormant, opens. She is an inviting thing, sharing her laughter and joy.
Itachi is not.
"What are you staring at me like a creeper for, husband-dearest?"
Itachi is not delusional. This is a poisonous flower inviting her prey to her trap. Her honeyed voice and sweet gestures are lovely lures that hide the hooked, flesh-ripping thorns and strangling vines.
What Itachi is also not: A poet.
Midori is giggling because his distracted answer had contained some form of what he had been thinking, which was in essence that his wife was a conniving, alluring, siren of a plant. Of course, she took it as a compliment.
Itachi did not mean it as a compliment.
On hindsight, he can see how that could be taken as a compliment to a kunoichi, although his wife is not yet one. He had meant it personally, as an observation to her awful personality though.
He clarifies himself.
He gets slapped.
"You do not insult your wife's personality, anata."
He acknowledges the correction with a wince. The slap is not warm, but hot on his cheek and it throbs against his careful fingers. Fire burns, after all.
(He is supposed to know fire even in its most dangerous form, but he thinks this is the One Fire all his older male relations had warned about. Except his father. Strange.)
His wife is scowling now, which means he should start getting up or there will be yet another battle which he will lose. Itachi is a smart shinobi, he chooses discretion in place of valour.
Valour is useless in the face of cold steel, after all.
(Actually, valour doesn't even exist in front of Midori. Valour? Itachi is pretty sure the word was created only for foolish Samurai. He does not understand people who think Midori is harmless.)
He goes to wash up, leaving his wife stretching luxuriously like one of those spoilt pet cats the Nobles in the capital keep.
The two are confined in the suite for the day as long as a life is not threatened. It is rare that the tradition is obeyed, but as long as there is precedent there will be approval. Itachi simply does not care to face the throng of curious relatives eager to know the outcome of this match. He may be socially inept, but he knows very well the danger of a mob. Particularly, a mob he cannot blast his way out of.
(Mobs of civilians or enemy shinobi are a different question.)
Midori feels similarly, though she'd rather they went to the hospital NOW instead of the day after tomorrow. She relents when Itachi almost-pleads with her, because he rarely asks for things and she is not actually stone.
What she does make him do, is get food.
Except she'd just said he didn't have to brave the throng…and there's a kitchen attached to the suite…and food in the fridge. Slices of bread. Sides of meat. Fresh lettuce.
It's easy enough to improvise something out of whatever there is. He slaps on extra meat because…the reason is obvious. It's Midori. He fills a glass with milk and stares at the jar of cookies.
No. He will not be party to feeding the Beast sugar.
He turns his back on the jar determinedly and balances the tray with the food and drink.
Midori blinked at the dish she was presented with. Sure, she hadn't expected Itachi to go out and find food, but this was obviously handmade. So there was an unoccupied kitchen somewhere. Cool. Except.
"You made me a sandwich?" She holds up the thick creation nearly overflowing with what she recognizes as sliced…whatever passes for ham in this world. It's…rabbit she thinks.
(There's an abundance of wild rabbits around the outskirts of Konoha. Some say it was a blessing from the Rabbit Goddess, others just think the little buggers were busy little fuckers.
Midori leans towards the latter with a touch of Fuck You Shodaime for the convenient Magical Forest. The other one. Not the deadly(ier) one.)
"What's a sandwich?" Itachi immediately asks warily, still eyeing her hands. Really, she's eating for goodness sake, she's not gonna KO him while holding a sandwich.
She gestures to the creation so stuffed with meat it'd be considered an abomination to her health-conscious former-family, "This is a sandwich. It's whatever in between two slices of bread. Why have we never called it that when we have bread? I don't get this world."
The newly wedded groom doesn't even blink, "I have never heard that name before. Very well, I shall identify it accordingly. The description needs to be further specified, because 'whatever in between two slices of bread' covers a very broad scope."
If she weren't holding the biggest (meat) sandwich she had ever seen, she'd facepalm. As it was, she ate it daintily, and then drank her milk politely.
"You are welc…it was my pl…"
"…I was simply doing my duty as a husband."
"Next time, just say 'yes, dear'."
Itachi chances a look at his wife, who is lounging on their bed with an air of disgruntlement. He has a book in his hand about ninja-wire techniques. He's been practising them more often ever since he saw a Mist-nin do something really interesting with a reel of it. He'd managed to replicate it with the Sharingan, but he wanted to break it down to use in other conditions.
Of course, it'd be more practical to actually do so in a training field so as to test it in a realistic setting, but being confined to the house as he is, he is making do with theories. Even if the book is one he has read several dozen times already. It is dull, but Itachi has been dealing with dull for a very long time.
He restrains the sigh. Midori is equal enough to his intellectual level that he can safely assume she experiences the same amount of dull in her everyday life. It is why she is always doing something, and is also why she prefers spontaneity to the monotonous, rigid schedule of standard training. The Clan has plenty of ways to support and guide budding prodigies, but when it comes to children of their ability, they find themselves falling just that little bit short.
It's the little things that count, Itachi knows. Just as he knows that if he allows Midori to guide their shared future, it will be tumultuous, reckless, and as exciting as possible.
He has pondered on that future more than once.
Unfortunately, ultimately, the cons outweigh the pros, and he would rather settle for a life of tedium than the fireworks that would come of such a choice. He has a family he cares for, a younger brother he is responsible for, and in the future, a duty to the Clan.
He wonders, momentarily, if he has shackled Midori to this fate as well.
He frowns. It is not a thought that sits well with him.
"Move your arm."
Midori is…a spark. He doesn't know if there will ever be words to aptly describe another human being, but they manage enough with similes and metaphors. Midori is the bright sparks when flint and steel strike, the static of lightning, the glow of embers just before they burst into flames. She brings to mind life and new and renewal. She is always the start of something. He wonders if she even realizes just how much she has changed, created, in the short years of her life.
Miyuki-sama told him the story of her birth and the story of her survival and he wonders if there isn't a bit of prescience in the Uchiha blood. Her daughter is aptly named.
Midori isn't a name that has previously been seen in the Uchiha records. There are a few others who bear no successor, but they all at least obey the trend of names. Itachi's own name comes from another ancestor, who, together with his sibling, was named after the creature called the weasel. More specifically, the Kamaitachi. A Sickle Weasel, an ill wind that bore cutting edges and preceded death and bad luck.
Itachi the first had been born some years before Uchiha Madara, during the years where being Shinobi meant being born to shoulder a never-ending battle between clans and settlements and an ancestry that did not deter the cold hand of death. There was no name to that period of unrest, to the years where all the Uchiha knew were the Clan and the Enemy. When Senju was a slur. When all the children learnt from their parents how to kill—to survive.
Kamaitachi, to be a wind that would bring ill to their enemies. Kama-Itachi, because their parents could not find a prayer that would encompass all the wishes they wanted for their children. And if they could not have wishes, then at least let them have a prayer realistic enough to allow them to survive in their cruel world.
Not many know, but Itachi is not the first baby his mother had carried.
Kama-Itachi. There had been an Uchiha Kama once…enough that a name had been prepared.
It isn't well-known, but when a body has gotten too used to fighting, it does not lend itself well to child-bearing. Sometimes the body treats the foetus as an invasion instead of the lifeform it had grown, and it attacks it. That is why Kunoichi usually rest a year or so before trying for a child.
His mother had been young for a potential mother. She'd yearned for more than one child. His father had grown to love her enough to indulge her, despite the difficulties they would face. They'd been young. Hopeful. Determined.
Too early, they'd named the child. Too early, she'd borne it. And when winter came…
Uchiha Itachi without Uchiha Kama. That was who he had been before Sasuke was born. His parents had needed an heir, but Mikoto could not bear the unmarked grave in her garden. She had recovered enough to do her duty, but for her dream of a sibling where she had none…Itachi could almost see the shadows in her eyes whenever she looked at him.
It had taken more years, but his mother was strong and she fought to shoulder the burden of Kama until finally, finally, Sasuke was born. He'd seen, then, how his brother had brought some unseen spirit back into his parents' eyes, and sworn to protect that precious light, that wondrous gift. When Kyuubi came, he'd heard his mother scream and thought his heart would stop. Saw his father stumble in battle when the news came and he'd been torn—rush home, or fight? Duty, or that jerk-pull against his heart?
He'd closed his eyes to hide the rush of tears when he'd returned to find his brother in his mother's arms. Scared, but alive.
"Turn the page."
He blinks away the vision of another time, feeling the tomoe fade away. There's hair tickling his nose and his view of the book is blocked. It didn't much matter when he hadn't been reading, but he'd like to return to it (and the page he left) now.
He finds himself hooking his chin over her shoulder, a stretch in his neck that will turn into an ache if he maintains it for too long. He's taller than her by quite a bit, but sitting down, he finds that the difference is reduced.
He turns the page.
His neck aches when they (Midori) decide to spar instead of reading, but it's a simple thing to flush it away with chakra. There are pins and needles, and Midori pokes at it (a little too close to the jugular), but it feels fine in minutes.
The spar is just as exciting as anything Midori starts.
They don't use any wire techniques.
So this one is more heavily Itachi-centric, with a lot of his POV and some history. I hadn't actually intended to give him a whole new other sibling, but when I researched his name, I came across the weasel, and then it went to the mythology behind it. Sure, I could have just made Itachi a derivative and not have to incorporate the whole name, but I felt it was a bit boring as such. And I wanted to give Itachi's name some due respect, because all I've ever read are people making fun of this poor kid called 'weasel'. And even when you delve into Japanese myth, what normal couple would name their child after a bringer of death and ill-fortune?
I wanted to give the name greater meaning, because it's the culture canon has. I mean: Naruto has a meaning other than Fishcake!
But I also didn't want to mess things up too much, which is why I killed Kama before she was born. Hence why Itachi is firstborn son of Uchiha Fugaku and Mikoto. Sorry Kama!
Some further world-building details: Kamaitachi is a name in Uchiha history that isn't very...happy. (As the Sickle Weasel is known for) He or she is always the older sibling of a pair of planned siblings, which means they're usually seen as two halves of a whole than two separate people (kind of like twins, which one pair was). Kama will always resent Itachi for making them a pair, while Itachi will resent being the footnote in a word. They're like the less extreme version of Indra and Asura. Or Madara and Izuna. Fortunately (or unfortunately), they are also really, really close due to how they are brought up. They usually live together, fight together...get married within the same year. So kind of an enforced codependence. And yes, the Uchiha are a bit superstitious about separating Kama and Itachi. Despite never knowing if the deceased Kama was a genius, they'll forever lament the loss of one half of what could have been the greatest pair of Uchiha siblings in...a long time.
And yes, Itachi has had to deal with being seen as less than a complete person for the longest time. It is also partly why Fugaku keeps pushing him-because he thinks that Itachi will never fulfill his true potential alone.
No idea if I will ever let Midori know this, but it's an interesting way to tie up some loose ends, no?
Sasuke is very firmly his own person because his brother insists on not making him the 'replacement Kama' which Fugaku is somewhat subconsciously trying to turn him into. Truthfully, the entire family doesn't want that (hence why he's Sasuke) but they can't help their upbringing...
Midori has absolutely no clue about this. Which is why Mikoto likes her so much. She's also the least superstitious Uchiha ever, which is why the elders don't like her so much. *Coughcough*
That's about it for now? XDDD
Tell me how you feel about this new backstory~