“Your hair is really pretty,” a high, childish voice says from behind her.
Kushina spins around in surprise to find a toddler standing behind her. Upon gaining Kushina’s attention, the girl– she can’t be older than two– tilts her head to the side and offers her a sweet smile.
“It reminds me of fire. It suits you,” she adds.
“Thank you! That’s so nice of you to say!” Kushina beams, absently noting that the words are strangely articulate for someone of her age. The girl’s smile brightens in response, cheeks dimpling slightly, and it takes every ounce of willpower Kushina has to restrain herself from squealing at the sight. “I’m Uzumaki Kushina! What’s your name?”
“Hisana,” she answers before glancing over her shoulder. “If you’re looking for Mikoto-san, she was just called away for a mission.”
“Ah, drat. I was hoping for some company for lunch,” Kushina sighs. “Ramen’s always better when you eat it with someone.” At that, the girl in front of her visibly perks up.
“Ramen?” She asks hopefully. Kushina glances at her before shrugging. Eh, why not– she’d return the kid eventually.
“Wanna come?” She offers, holding out a hand.
“Of course. I never turn down ramen, Uzumaki-san,” Hisana says, sounding almost offended. At that, Kushina can’t help but grin a little.
“Call me Kushina-nee. I have a feeling you and I are going to get along just fine, Hisana-chan.”
“There you are!” Kushina looks up just in time to see a furious Uchiha Fugaku barreling down the streets, an enormous scowl on his face. She notes with some bemusement that for once, it doesn’t seem to be directed at her. “How many times have I told you not to wander off by yourself?”
Hisana pointedly ignores the fuming clan head in favor of noisily slurping up the last of her soup. Given that her behavior up to this point has been impeccable, Kushina is more than a little inclined to believe that her sudden lapse in manners is deliberate. Judging by the way Fugaku’s eye twitches, he feels the same way.
“Jeez Fugaku, chill,” Kushina decides to speak up in little Hisana-chan’s defense. “It’s not like I wasn’t going to bring her back.”
“You should know better than to take a clan child from the safety of their compound, Uzumaki,” Fugaku snaps harshly. “Mikoto may regard you as a friend, but don’t think that I will excuse such behavior. And you, you should be back home traini–oh, would you stop that!” He glares at the toddler currently staring at him with wide, guileless eyes, one thumb lodged firmly in her mouth.
“Goo goo ga ga,” Hisana chirrups, tilting her head to the side innocently.
“I don’t know why you insist upon acting this way, both you and I are well-aware that you are capable of–”
“Blah.” Kushina has to bite her lip to keep from giggling as Hisana blows a giant raspberry at the steadily purpling man, cutting him off mid-sentence.
“Insolent little demon–”
Kushina is really starting to wish that she’d brought a camera, just so she’d be able to capture the sight of the venerated Uchiha clan head getting into a name-calling match with a toddler for all posterity. Internally, she congrats Uchiha Hisana for succeeding in getting under Fugaku’s skin in a way very few have managed before.
She can’t wait to tell Minato.
(In which after waking up as a baby for the third time, Hisana decides that if she has to suffer, someone else is going to damn well suffer with her. So when Fugaku walked into that room…well let’s just call it the Yukimura Hisana version of imprinting.)
So, classes were cancelled ‘cause of the whole - well you know. But contrary to rumors, the party at Delta Lambda is still in full swing tonight. You can think of it as a wake. Time to celebrate life. Anyone who knew him personally, your drinks are on me.
Itachi knows what his parents are up to. The play dates, the training sessions together, the way his mother makes sure to invite Hisana over to dinner at least once a week–it isn’t that hard to figure out. He doesn’t mind doing his part for the clan; besides, in comparison to becoming a ninja, entering into a marriage of convenience is a relatively light commitment, and he finds her company pleasant enough. Ultimately, Uchiha Hisana is intelligent, intuitive, and incredibly skilled, and while his cousin’s actions are…puzzling at times, no one can deny that she’s the strongest female of their generation.
One day he will marry Uchiha Hisana, fellow prodigy of the Uchiha clan. It’s a fact he’s accepted since the moment he was old enough to understand what marriage was.
Of course, Hisana has different ideas.
“Marriage? To you? Yeah no, not gonna happen,” she snorts, absently tossing a kunai in the air.
“We are sufficiently compatible,” Itachi points out reasonably. “Any children we have will have a heightened chance of awakening the Sharingan, and experience has proved that we work well together. Out of everyone in our age group, we are the closest in skill and intellect and we are familiar with each other. Why shouldn’t we marry someday?” Hisana just stares at him for a moment.
“Wow, you’ve really thought this through, haven’t you,” she mutters. “Still, there’s more to a marriage than just what looks good on paper, you know.”
“For civilians, perhaps,” Itachi allows. “But we are ninja.”
“Nice try. Still not marrying you,” Hisana says flatly.
“Why not?” Itachi asks, honestly curious. “We would make a good match.”
“Would we though, Itachi-kun?” Hisana asks, and there’s something tired and sad in her voice, like an old wound rubbed raw. Itachi decides that he doesn’t like it. She looks at him, a crooked smile twisting her mouth. “If I told you I was broken, that my greatest wish is to finally rest, would you still want to marry me?”
Itachi doesn’t say anything for a moment. Then–
“We can be broken together, then,” he says finally. Hisana just shakes her head in response before standing up.
“Find someone who can love you, Itachi-kun. You deserve that much.”
Alternatively, the crack version:
“Itachi-kun, would you care to explain why every girl in our class is currently glaring daggers at me.”
“Ah. I may have told them that we were engaged.”
“See, stuff like this is exactly why I refuse to marry you.”
“You would break my mother’s heart, Hisana-san? She already thinks of you as a daughter.”
“It’s partly her fault why I won’t marry you. Like heck I’m gonna end up with a guy named weasel.”
“Have you changed your mind yet?”
“And risk getting killed by your rabid troupe of fangirls? Heck no. Dying is such a hassle.”
“…you consider dying a hassle?”
“Yeah, I don’t recommend it.”
“I’ll cook for you every day.”
“Tempting, but no. You’re a Gemini and I’m a Virgo– the signs just don’t work out. Can’t go against the stars.”
“What is your excuse this time?”
“I’m too old for you.”
“…Hisana-san, you are three months younger than me.”
“I’m an old soul, Itachi-kun. An old soul.”
“I see. Is that why you used to act like an infant whenever my father was around up until we were four years old?”
“Hey now, watch the sass, weasel-boy.”
(In which Hisana feels vaguely like a cradle-robber despite technically being like 6 years old.)
Uchiha Hisana is the first member of their clan to have their Sharingan active at birth. Word spreads quickly and the midwife has barely finished wiping the screaming newborn clean when Uchiha Fugaku steps inside the room to confirm the reports for himself.
“This is the girl, then?” He asks, staring at the infant in Uchiha Yuuko’s arms. Crimson eyes stare back at him, three tomoe clearly evident around each pupil. He can’t deny that he feels more than a little shaken– he’s never even heard of anyone activating their Sharingan before age ten and this child manages to fully activate hers the second she slips out of the womb?
Before he can say anything else, the child blinks and gives him a decidedly unimpressed look.
“Bleh,” she gurgles, nose wrinkling, and blows a spit bubble at him. He knows it’s ridiculous– the child isn’t even old enough to form cognizant thoughts yet– but he can’t help but think that he’s just been sized up and was found lacking.
The following years do nothing to dissuade him of this notion.
(In which Hisana dies without regrets after a long happy life filled with children and grandchildren, and promptly finds herself shoved into an infant body. In a different universe. Again.)
It was the first time Tony had left the tower in weeks, and it was not to fight the good fight, to suit up as Iron Man again or to even take his husband out on a date–both happy alternatives to this–whatever this was. It was the first time Tony had left the tower in weeks, and he was spending his day out listening to a government operative drone on about ‘mysterious energy readings’ and faulty mechanics in the power grid, something they claimed was so dire they’d had to bring in their best scientists: which apparently meant him and Victor Von Doom (apparently they were still too scared to bring in Bruce, and Reed Richards was out of the country, because Tony had to assume both men were more qualified and more trusted than Doom; and yet here they were).
So on a Monday he was the city’s most wanted, and on Tuesday he was meant to save the city–again, and, according to the government agent, in secret. Of course. Because why let the supers come out on top, even once, when you could force the to do your bidding in secret and call them your enemy every other day? “I want immunity,” Tony said.
“I don’t work in that department,” said the operative.
“Then I want my own workshop. One that he’s not in.” He pointed a thumb at Doom.
“I can’t make that happen either,” said the man. So what could he do?
It took me 20 years to realize that for sixteen years my parents couldn’t go on a Valentine’s date thanks to me. Every time I’ve cancelled family dinner since I’ve woken up to flower deliveries and presents spaced evenly throughout the day… why did it take so long for me to realize this pattern? Anyway, that’s just a long-winded way of me saying Happy Birthday to me. And I guess Happy Valentine’s Day to you all.
Alright, quickest way to tick off your cousin: walk in on him trying to make out with his girlfriend out on the back patio. How was I supposed to know that was a plan? I was just trying to get some nighttime shots.