Surprisingly, it’s not the Uchiha that have a problem with the idea of Haruno Sakura and the youngest son of the clan head.
Despite their somber looks and the stoicism that seemed to be built into their genetics, they are a clan of love.
Mebuki can see it in their eyes when she passes them in the streets. Sees the shine when they gaze upon their own children, their lovers, and their friends.
She sees it in the gentle chiding and the soft smiles that grace Uchiha Sasuke’s face when he thinks no one is watching him and her daughter.
There was a time she wouldn’t have believed it was possible. She wouldn’t have dreamed of her pretty bookworm child catching the eye of someone from an elite clan.
But there she goes. Sakura blushes at the attention she never thought she would receive. Just a hardworking girl from a civilian clan.
Mebuki takes pride in embroidering their clan’s crest in all of their clothing but she knows that to all it is nothing but a mere circle, an empty space.
Sasuke is always punctual and polite when he picks up her daughter for a mission or training. Mebuki has met his mother on multiple occasions and knows she would be proud that her harping on manners have been deeply ingrained.
Sakura is always forward and latches onto his arm, intertwining their fingers. Red tints the tips of Sasuke’s ears but he lets her have her way, only letting go in the presence of Kizashi.
A funny habit considering her husband is so sunny in disposition and is quite fond of the boy. But Mebuki knows the boy is only attempting to be chivalrous and not step on any toes. To not cross any boundaries of a father’s comfort.
But it is in these moments that Mebuki can hear the whispers.
The words weave around her head and settle in her ears.
“The police chief would not like that.”
“Look how she makes him carry her things,” another voice scoffs.
“Using an Uchiha as an errand boy? How impudent!”
And those are the kindest things she has heard.
When did names mean more than feelings? When did a piece of fabric on a person’s back hold more value than a human being?
Mebuki looks down at her qipao. Looks at the red circles embroidered for her husband’s clan. A crest he does not wear on his own clothing but she wears with pride on her own.
That their daughter wears with pride on her own back. A ninja of the Haruno clan, a small civilian family of no significance.
A small family proud of their daughter who works hard and is strong all on her own despite having a name of no significance.
Who is loved not because of a piece of fabric on her back but because there is something in her that speaks to the dark eyed boy she holds in high esteem.
If she were not already looking at the doorway, Mebuki would not have known that the dark haired beauty had entered her humble little shop.
Once a ninja, always a ninja.
Uchiha Mikoto smiled softly as she walked towards her, her footsteps not making a single sound. Bowing slightly, the matriarch moves with grace and is far more respectful than those of Mebuki’s own status.
“I must apologize.”
Her voice is clear without a hint of an accent. Proper enunciation all the way through. A truly posh manner of speaking she had once heard her own child attempt to emulate.
“I did not mean to postpone this meeting.” There is a flush of red on the woman’s ears, reminiscent of the embarrassed look her son displayed himself. “I only just discovered the nature of our children’s relationship. If I had known sooner I would have properly introduced myself.”
Ah, Mebuki caught on to what she meant. This isn’t a confrontation.
“It’s nice to make your acquaintance Uchiha-san,” Mebuki responded, not bothering to hide the dialect she spoke in. She bowed, slightly lower. “Haruno Mebuki at your service.”
“Mikoto.” There was a firmness in her tone that promised difficulty if Mebuki did not do as asked.
“From a shop I favor.” Mikoto handed her a white carton. From the sound of the shifting items and weight, Mebuki knew what the gift was.
Sasuke brought a box every week, a pink flush on the apples of his high cheekbones, as he politely greeted the Harunos before being dragged away by Sakura.
“Kizashi really likes these senbei.”
“Your son brings them all of the time. Such a sweet and polite boy.”
Mikoto’s face flushed pink as she beamed with pride.
“I am glad to hear it.”
“Would you like some tea?”
“Um…” Mikoto’s eyes shifted to the wall of canisters that held the loose tea leaves. Her eyes quickly ran over the foreign script on the labels.
“No,” Mebuki chuckled. “Have tea with me! What’s your favorite? White oolong, perhaps?”
Mikoto nodded shyly.
“Sasuke picks this one up a lot. I assumed it would be for someone at home. He only drinks matcha.”
“He prepares the tea the best,” Mikoto admitted.
“The key is in controlling the heat,” Mebuki instructed. “I’m sure being from a clan of fire gives some kind of advantage.”
“Does he come by often?”
“Can you believe how far she makes him travel just to pick her up?”
Mebuki chanced a glance at Mikoto’s face. The tone of her voice did not give away any underlying resentment. And neither did her eyes.
In them was worry. A worry that looked all too familiar.
“Yes. He’s so polite. He always offers to help around the shop when he’s waiting for Sakura.”
The stress around Mikoto’s eyes smooths out. The corners of her lips quirk upwards into a familiar smile.
Mebuki prepares the tea and sets it down on a chabudai closest to the opened doors that led to the back garden of the shop. A gentle breeze was quite relaxing and she was sure Mikoto would enjoy it as well. Hopefully enough to let go of the tension in her shoulders and neck.
It is on their second cup of tea that Mebuki brings up what she concluded was the true reason for the visit.
“Your son is nothing but charming. He treats my daughter well. She is happy. He makes her happy. And that in turn makes me happy.”
The tenseness Mikoto carried in her shoulders is gone.
Mikoto is a mother, just like Mebuki is a mother. Before anything else, she is Sasuke’s mother.
“Sakura makes Sasuke happy as well,” Mikoto offers shyly. “He gets so flustered when I bring it up. He’s so cute.”
And there it was. A sweet smile Mebuki is sure is reserved for those Mikoto holds dear. A smile she has seen on Sasuke’s face when he is with her daughter.
A smile that says more about the Uchiha than any whispers or gossip of the villagers that look down on her daughter simply for being with the one she loves.
Because that’s what it all buckled down to, wasn’t it? Love, simple love.
And the love Mikoto has for her son and his happiness, was all that mattered. More than the crest on her back or the one on Mebuki’s skirt, her son’s feelings held more value in her eyes and in her heart.