You don't have to know any specifics about the Naruto series to read this preview beyond the fact that Naruto-verse is about ninja and the sharingan is a special family trait. It's true!
Character(s)/Pairing: Uchiha Mikoto
Prompt: "I don't care if you are an Uchiha. I don't back down from challenges, Mikoto-chan," Uzumaki Kushina taunts with an impish grin. (fabulous one-line by lady_zana)
Fate is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
The day that Uchiha Mikoto met her husband-to-be had been a Thursday. It had been an average day, and at first sight, Uchiha Fugaku had been an average man, and someone five years her senior. But he was to be the next leader of the clan, and there was a look in his eye and a stubborn streak in the thin line of his mouth that let her know that there was much more to him than his appearance gave away. All in all, she had not been sure what to make of the “bargain” her mother had procured for her.
She was the only child of one of the purest families within the clan, to the point that even she, a woman, has been capable of awakening her sharingan—though it would never meet up to the potential of the men’s in her clan. To partner her with the younger brother of the head of the clan, who also carried the bloodline limit strong in his veins, was only a predictable match. Together, they would have strong children, the very future of their clan that everyone was putting so much faith in.
She bowed politely after the introductions and smiled at him courteously. He studied her for a moment, as if assessing her with his eyes and afterwards gave but the briefest of nods in acknowledgement of her.
The words did not even cause her mother’s smile to falter for a moment, as if she already knew how Fugaku would react. Mikoto took her cues from her mother’s pleasant countenance and did not show her own displeasure either. Such dismissive words were an immediate cut to her pride as one of the most desired single women in Konohagakure, let alone within her clan. It made her wonder at her own acceptance of this marriage proposal. Why should she choose this man, when she knew that there were hundreds more who would actually want her?
Because this is for the good of the clan.
It was the argument that her mother had used when she had first told her of this meeting with the clan head and his brother. The former clan head had died shortly after the war, and it was his son who had taken up the reigns. At the same time, Uchiha Teyaki was years older than his brother, but had yet to produce an heir. There was talk—as there was always talk, even if the men didn’t always realize that the women knew what was going on—that he should divorce his wife, Uruchi, in hopes of marrying someone else “for the sake of the clan,” but Teyaki was a soft-hearted man. To spare his wife such a disgrace, he had instead laid out the plan that the clan council had approved of.
Fugaku was already on his way to becoming chief of the Konoha Military Police, known for his leadership skills and his pride of being an Uchiha. Teyaki had made the agreement that should his brother marry and produce an heir within the first five years of his marriage, then he would relinquish his status as head of the clan to his brother. In her opinion, Teyaki never wanted to be head in the first place, but the sudden death of their father had put the clan in a precarious position. And thus a man who had never cared for the battle-ridden lifestyle to begin with—and had never made it beyond chuunin rank—had become the leader of a clan of ninja.
Fugaku’s agreement to his brother’s decision is what brought her to where she was now, her mother prostrating herself before the clan head and his heir apparent brother as she tried to all but sell her daughter to them. And her hard work seemed to have paid off.
Mikoto endured being sent out into the hall after her soon-to-be husband made his proclamation, and she dutifully did not listen in on what was going on inside. When her mother exited, her face filled with a look of satisfaction. Not even bothering to speak to her daughter she turned towards the doors leading out of the home, and Mikoto silently got up and followed her. Once they exited the home and stepped onto the path that led through the center of their compound and to their home on the far southern end, Mikoto was finally able to relax her body.
“He was very taken with you,” her mother commented.
“If you believe so, Mother,” Mikoto replied, only to then blow a stray strand of hair out of her eyes. She didn’t believe that Fugaku was capable of being interested in anything more than what would benefit the clan. She understood that she was nothing more than a means to an end—which of course was continuing on the strongest bloodlines in the clan.
Her mother still bore that pleased look on her face, “Oh he was. Mothers can tell about these things.”
She didn’t bother to voice her own opinion on the matter, as her mother would not care in the end. She had been set on this course of action since the announcement had been made at one of the clan meetings that Fugaku was to take over the clan, and even previous to that, she had been more than pushy about her desire to see her daughter wed to ‘someone of high standing.’ Arranged marriages were custom if it was thought that the clan would benefit from the union, and Mikoto know that the Uchiha were not the only clan to encourage such practices.
They arrived to their home shortly and Mikoto stopped, after removing her shoes, to stare at the shrine against the far wall in the lounge. Her father stared back at her, his face serious, without the small smile he rarely showed throughout her childhood, but his eyes soft. She bowed to the shrine, as was her custom, and then moved into the kitchen, so that she could begin to help prepare dinner. Her mother was already there, pulling out vegetables and fish from the refrigerator.
“…and they said that the decision would be announced at the next clan meeting this week,” she went on, not even noticing that her daughter had not been paying attention to what she was saying. “Oh, Mikoto dear, this is everything that you wanted! A good husband that will give you strong children. The clan will be so proud of you.”
Mikoto still didn’t respond, instead cutting up the fish to be fried. She could feel eyes on her, but she did not turn around to look at her mother. Suddenly she felt a light touch near her neck, and she spun, the knife in her hand spun for better handling.
Her mother moved backwards quickly, her hand held closer to her body. The younger woman’s eyes widened. “I… I apologize, Mother,” she said, her arm lowering, and her eyes straying to the knife clenched so tightly in her hand. “I did just come back from a long mission this morning.”
Her mother was silent for a moment, only to stand straighter, her eyes cut slightly. “I see,” she snorted. “Well, that’s something you’ll have to control. You wouldn’t want to attack your husband out of instinct would you? Perhaps it’s best if you retire from the ninja ranks before your wedding.” She then turned to leave the room, not bothering to notice the wide-eyed stare that her daughter gave her. She took her measured, thoughtful steps down the hall as she always did, but she stopped before turning towards the lounge.
“Oh, and you need to start growing your hair longer. Fugaku-san mentioned that it was too short.” And then she was gone.
Mikoto's empty hand flew up to touch the ends of her chin-length hair, clenching in the dark, ebony locks for a few seconds. Her eyes subconsciously wandered back to the knife in her hand, shining, stainless steel gleaning with the light from the open kitchen window, as if asking her what she intended to do with it.