Chapter 01: Haruno Sarada
"…I don't think that's a really good idea… If you-"
"Oh come on," the boy smiled even brighter and leaned in, giving her a wink, "hey why won't you try it out some time? What could possibly go wrong?"
"What could go wrong? Everything! Bolt... everything."
A second girl stood behind him. She had rather short black hair, dark eyes and wore glasses. Her body was a little shorter than Bolts but it did not bother her at all.
"Oh hey there…" Bolt turned around and faced his old nemesis, "I would sincerely appreciate it, if you would please stop interfering with me when I am about to get a date, Haruno." He grabbed the girls shoulder and pulled her at him, "am I not right, Momoka?" The girl named Momoka squeaked.
"God please Bolt, let her go," the so called Haruno girl sighted, tore of Bolts arm from around Momoka and let her go.
"Momoka! Wait! Please, come on! Damn it Sarada, you need to stop cock blocking me …"
"And you should stop, trying to pick up girls. Really, don't you have any class," Sarada tipped her glasses and rolled her eyes. She had known the idiot Bolt since they were kids. Their parents had always been friends, which was why they almost grew up together: One day he would be at her place (maybe if his parents were on an official greeting) or she would be with him and his little sister (if her mother had work at the hospital).
Sarada barely knew her father. She knew his name, background, and why he wasn't with them all the time. But she didn't know the man everybody called 'Uchiha Sasuke'. Of course they talked. And when she still had been young, she would always try to impress him with her knowledge and intelligence, her body control and ninjutsu. She even tried to master the sharingan for him. But he never acknowledged her in that way. He told her to not awaken her kekkei-genkai at any cost and turned again to talk to Bolts father, Naruto. Sarada still remembered that it was about "…the people from the northern hideout have left Orochimarus influence…" and "…do you know about the people form the other continent…" She then had been sent away to play with Bolt and his younger sister Himawari. The little girl was all too innocent in Saradas view. But she was more kind than her big brother. At least...
"You are a pain in the ass four eyes."
"Call me that again and I will cut of your balls and feed it to the Inuzukas dogs!"
With this she turned around, picked up her heavy bag (it was filled with books from the library) and put on her street shoes.
The sun was up high and birds flew over. It was a peaceful time. The last war had been the fourth shinobi world war their parents had fought years ago and Sarada had grown up in a very calm part of Konoha. The city itself had grown like crazy over the last few years: around the traditional part of it, huge skyscrapers had been built on top of the mountain behind old Konoha and the population had almost tripled within the last 5 years. But only the ones who were actual ninjas were allowed to live in flats and houses in the old part of the town, because all the important institutes were still placed there, as was the shinobi academy.
The old and the new part were connected by a huge staircase withing the mountain and a number of elevators. But Sarada didn't have to use them.
She sometimes visited friends in the city, went shopping there or met everybody to go and have a drink or two. But not today. Today she walked down the stony road to her home. She lived with her mother, Haruno Sakura, in a nice flat in the upper level of an old house close to the academy. Sarada had her own room and balcony. She appreciated it.
Her mother was always chatty and wanted to know everything about Sarada, but the girl herself wasn't like that. She loved getting information with those talks, just nothing else.
"Welcome back," Sakura chirped and hugged her daughter as soon as the girl had entered, "have you been at the library again? You must already know all the books by heart."
"I try mum," Sarada smiled, "uhm… where are you going? I thought you didn't have a shift?"
"I'm going to meet some old friends… You know… aunt Ino and the others. Do you want to come with me?"
"If I come, you won't be able to talk like you always do right?"
Sakura looked at her daughter with a sad look on her face, "I'm so sorry dear."
"You don't have to be," Sarada showed her mother the bag, "I have brought home some work!"
"Don't tell me its ninja legends again," Sakura gave her daughter a hug, "see you tomorrow. Dinner is ready, just warm it up!"
The door was shut and the girl took in a deep breath. She slipped on her warm socks, packed her cuddle blanket and sat down on the couch in the living room. Dinner smelled wonderful –Sakura probably probably made her rumored tomato omuraisu (rice, tomatoes, cheese) - but Sarada wasn't hungry anyway.
Just yesterday she had found an interesting book with old ninja stories. She knew all about the last war, how her father and the Hokage had the old powers used by the Ootsuki clan and how humans became ninjas. But there was so much more to it. In times, long ago, there had been many more kekkei genkais and techniques, which had been forgotten. And Sarada wanted to know about it.
She had mastered the basics of taijutsu, ninjutsu and genjutsu when she just entered academy – to impress her dad, she was not allowed to train her own special ability… So she started to search for her own way. Mum Sakura trained her daughter of course a little in medicine and fighting like she did herself, but Sarada was not interested in it. It was too easy for her. And it wouldn't impress her father.
Some hours of reading later, Sarada got up and switched on the light. She still wasn't hungry. She never felt hungry, but she knew, if she didn't eat anything, her mother would get angry again. With just a few hand swipes, she warmed up some of the food and ate it while going on with the book. It described a power which could control all powers of nature. And it wasn't a kekkei genkai. Now she just had to find out if those powers were real and actually achievable. But the part about being "real" was just getting destroyed by the book bit by bit and with and angry growl, she threw it into a corner.
"Damn it… I thought I had something…" Sarada growled when the doorbell rang. A quick look on the big clock on the wall told her that it was already ten in the night. If it was her mum, she would surely use her keys. So the question was: Who would want to talk to them in the freaking middle of the night?
Sarada corrected her glasses, slipped away from under her warm cover and slowly made her way to the door. Maybe whoever it was just went away if she took too long?
She wasn't that lucky.
Whoever was out there rang the bell a second time, just before she opened it.
"Oh please it's the middle of the freaking ni-"
In front of her was a tall man, with shoulder length black hair which covered his left eye. He was dressed in a dark navy coat, over a white shirt and dark pants.
They looked at each other for a moment. Then, Sarada opened the door completely and let him in.
"Do you need your slippers?"
He nodded and she handed them over.
"Mom made omurice… Do you want some?"
"hm…" the man didn't say anything. Sarada knew him only like this. She was probably not interesting enough for him to pick up a conversation.
"Here you go," she said and placed a steaming plate with Sakuras cooking in front of him at the dinner table.
He sat in the chair which was usually empty.
Sarada went back to reading. She picked up the book she had thrown away earlier, put it on the stack of 'not useable' book and started the next one. It was about kuchiyose animals: 'A short history of Animals and Human Cooperation'.
She didn't notice how the man stood up and put away his plate. She only noticed when she felt his eyes on her.
"Was it good?"
Wow we are already up to words! A small success for me I guess?
"Moms cooking is always delicious," Sarada went back to reading.
"How old are you now?" The man had taken out a bottle from the liquor shelf and a glass. He poured himself a small drink, "do you..?"
"Thanks but I am 14. I don't drink alcohol you know?"
He nodded, held up the glass like cheering with her and drank some. "So... how are you doing?"
Sarada sighted and put her book away, "I'm fine. I guess."
"I finished three years ago… I am currently being prepared for the second try on the chunin exams."
"Why did you fail the first time?"
"Why is our ceiling white and not black? Enough…" Sarada closed her book, put it down and went to put her plate in the dishwasher.
Sasuke picked up her book and looked it through. Was his daughter really reading fairytales? Not just fairytales. Old fairytales.
"Do you like books?" Sarada had come back into the living room to pick up her stuff.
"Not in particular. Some of them hold information. But other than that."
"Please give it to me."
"Where are you going?"
"You don't want to talk to me, do you?"
"I could ask the same question."
There was an awkward silence between them. They looked at each other.
She saw Uchiha Sasuke. The man she should call father or dad or even papa. But she didn't feel like it. She knew, he couldn't live in town, he wasn't permitted to. When she was younger, she would always ask her mother to please come with him, every time he left. And her mother would just stroke her hair and shake her head. If he ever came around. Every 10 months or something. The last few times, he had messaged them beforehand. So Sarada had avoided him. They saw each other again after almost five years now. She didn't want to see him. Ever again.
And Sasuke? Sasuke saw his daughter. He saw Sakuras face and his features, mixed with the stubbornness of his old teammate Karin from long ago. He didn't know anything about her. Except for the fairytale books.
He was about to say something, when a key was turned in the door lock and Sakura came in.
"Sarada? I saw you had the lights still on. Shouldn't you be already…" she stopped when she realized, what she had walked into.
"Hey Mum. Sasuke has come home. He already ate. I'm going to bed."
And with this the girl picked up her blanket, books and ran upstairs.
Sakura slowly approached Sasuke, "I didn't know you would be back tonight."
"Me neighter," he pulled her close and kissed her, "…"
"Hey… its ok… She is just… well… It's kind of new for her to see you I guess."
"Maybe? But.. why does she call me 'Sasuke'?"
"It's your name, isn't it?"
"Not daddy, not papa… but Sasuke?"
"When she is angry, she even refers to you as 'that Uchiha'… I'm sorry dear."
She hugged him tightly, "she will get used to it again. I promise. So…" Sakura took his hands and pulled him with herself on the couch, "how long are you staying?"
Sasuke brushed her some hair out of the face. A loving gesture.
"I don't know yet. Maybe a week?"
"That's great... Then you might get to know each other a little more?"
"Maybe… but for now… I would like to get to know you a little better."
Sakura grinned and Sasuke kissed her.
"I'll be alright…"