4 months before birth
“It’s a boy,” - Sakura tells him looking at the blurry lines that should be his son. He prefers seeing his child with his eyes.
He squeezes Sakura's hand in his. The wave of panic paralyses him momentarily, and he freezes in fear for yet another person whom he loves. Sarada chats to Sakura with the carefree happiness he is going to protect with his life.
Sakura, amidst the talk she has with Sarada, brings his hand to her cheek to place it there. He concentrates on the texture of her smooth skin under his fingers, looks over the ever-changing expressions of her face, and the panic slowly drains away from Sasuke. It never leaves completely. It never will.
After a while Sarada leaves them to be alone, and he drops his head onto Sakura’s shoulder. Her fingers in his hair feel almost too good. Everything feels too good. How can he trust it? The terrified child in him is always there to remind how terrible the pain is from loosing something good.
“I wonder if he is going to inherit my hair, at last,” - says Sakura softly to him.
Sasuke imagines a boy with pink hair. His heart is in his throat. He loves him. It hurts how much he loves him. The pain isn’t even a little bit sweet, the love, as it always is for Sasuke, is a torture.
“Do you think my hair will go with your eyes?” - Sakura still makes the small talk.
Sasuke thinks about it. Black eyed pink haired boy. Sharingan will make the child look like a proper tomato.
“You sure he’ll get my eyes?” - he pushes out the words, struggling for normalcy amidst the pain. He hugs Sakura, concentrates on his wife’s scent around him to do so. He can’t hold his boy, not yet, but he can hold Sakura, creating the necessary illusion that so long as he will be holding her next to him, nothing will ever happen to her.
Sakura tenses at his words. Only a little bit, but he is used to be attuned to all her emotions. He can always recall the rhythm of her stable heartbeat, knows what her skin is like when she is relaxed, knows tension lines in her muscles and her calm scent. It is much harder to say which of the senses lets Sasuke know that Sakura is worried about something.
“Sakura. What?” - he moves so that he could see her eyes.
Green, green, green. The light green. Like the leaves that catch the sunlight. He would love for his child to have her eyes.
He realizes the reason.
“It doesn’t matter to me if the child,” - the boy, his son, his son, Sarada’s brother, Sakura’s son, against him he feels softening even more by the simple word, - “will or won’t inherit the sharingan.”
He thinks back to the years when he felt tormented by the thought of Sarada awakening sharingan. Back then he couldn’t bear to think about his daughter feeling the pain, necessary, he thought, for the awakening. And yet, he felt petrified by the idea of Sarada not having the best protection possible with her, at all times. It all ended up alright, and Sasuke still felt gratitude for it. And the constant amazement of his daughter.
Sakura breathes out the worry, and he savours the enjoyment he gets from her reassuring smile. He hides it away, as the treasure that it is for him.
Sasuke doesn’t even have the time to feel the knocking relief he gets from the quick and easy birth that Sakura has. It was very different from Sarada’s birth. That was an agony. Those hours aged him. He desired for absolutely anything else but to have Sakura feel such a pain. Like cutting his other hand, or have his eyes rip away from him.
But this birth has barely lasted two hours. And it was easy. Still a torture, and he vows himself the same thing he promised after Sarada’s birth - no more children. Sakura has somehow found a way to break through his defence later. That wasn’t the first vow he has forsaken for her, but this one he intends to keep.
But then all thoughts leave him because Tsunade gives him his son to hold. The joy beats him more cruelly than meanest punches he endured.
He is perfect. Sasuke has to summon all his will not to shatter to the smallest pieces at the sight of this squirming creature at his hands. He moves closer to Sakura and lowers their son for her to see. She is red and swollen and exhausted and more beautiful than anything he’s ever seen.
“My hair,” - smiles Sakura tiredly. She should sleep, but when she extends her arms for Sageki, he places their child on her.
Sarada comes jumping into the room, and with her Naruto and Kakashi, but he doesn’t take his eyes away from the two of them. Sageki blindly seeks the breast and when he finds it, makes an impatient sound that Sasuke vows to remember forever. Sarada comes closer to him and hugs him, while moving to look at her brother.
“Might be the first pink-haired Uchiha,” - Kakashi asks, half-askingly. Sasuke nods.
“First green-eyed, too,” - he drops. Sarada leaves out a happy sound at that. Sakura pats the place at her bed, and Sarada abandons him to cuddle next to Sakura, trying to see Sageki’s eyes. He is asleep, and sharingan, unlike his other eye, doesn’t let her see the colour, too.
Sageki is such a happy, giddy child, Sasuke is not surprised to find Sakura exhausted when he comes back home. She is all but falling from sleep-deprieval, barely awake to greet him, thrust blabbering Sageki into his arms and fall asleep on the futon. It is a summer, so Sasuke is sure she doesn’t need a blanket to cover her.
Sageki is a bubble of energy, in that he is complete opposite of Sarada, who even as young as Sageki, was a calm child. It usually seemed to Sasuke that their children have inherited the tempers from the same parent they inherited their hair from.
Sasuke goes outside for the sun that struggles to be as bright as his son, despite it’s heat and high position. In just five minutes running and playing with Sageki Sasuke knows they have to have water. Sageki is delighted and laughs so loudly when Sasuke splashes them both with the water from the pipe. He uses some jutsu to create the tricks for Sageki to laugh at - with the fire, water and steam. Sageki catches the steam with his bare hands, his joy - one of the best things Sasuke has ever seen. He thinks that he has never been glader to know all those jutsu than here and now.
Sarada joins them when she comes back from her mission, his beautiful grown child, and dances with her brother under rain, vapour and sun, both of them so happy, it is more than he ever thought to receive.
At the end, after a couple hours of never-ending games, both he and Sarada barely make their way to the place where Sakura is sleeping at. His wife stirs and gets in her usual position - her head on his chest, their need for constant touch equally insatiable. Sageki crawls towards them from the open door, his giddy laughter with him, even exhausted as Sasuke is, he smiles at that sound.
Sageki knows how to walk, it is only that he prefers to be quicker, so he laps towards them with the same never-ending energy.
Sasuke thinks that his daughter and wife watch at youngest Uchiha with the same emotion as he is - delighted at him, sure, but absolutely petrified by the energy with which he’ll demand entertainment, once he’ll reach all of them.
“Are we sure he doesn’t have Nine-Tails stuck inside him?” - asks Sasuke through the happy mumble Sageki is saying.
Sakura chuckles. Sasuke knows that Sageki doesn’t actually have unusual amounts of chakra, he has fairly typical Uchiha’s chakra, maybe even a little less so. Sasuke remembers that Sarada at his age seemed to have bigger amounts. It is highly probable, that Sageki has the same innate control as Sakura has over hers. But he isn’t sure.
There is something in Sageki that isn’t from him or from Sakura. His chakra only proves that. Sasuke has dark chakra, Sarada inherited it from him. Sakura’s is of course, cherry blossom pink. But Sageki… His chakra is opposite to Sasuke’s in the way that is different from the way Naruto’s is. Naruto’s chakra is bright fire. Sageki’s is pure, in some places crystal see-through like the cleanest water, in others - white like the snowflakes. It is so ethereal, Sasuke is afraid of spoiling it, dirtying it.
“Let’s have Naruto babysit him, just to see who’ll drop first,” - Sakura suggests. Naruto is just dumb enough to never pass a chance to compete with anybody in anything. Including competing with a one-year old child while holding a Hokage office.
“Absolutely not,” - Naruto and babysitting his children is not something to even joke about.
He can’t take his eyes away from the raw power that is his son. It might be the first time that Sasuke sees him fight with all his might. He is good. Better than good. He awakens the desire Sasuke started cultivating from a young age - he wants to fight his son in order to see just how strong he is. It’s been a while since that desire could show it’s head. After all, there were only so many people who could have the potential to keep up with him in a fight.
Sageki is strong, just like Sakura, and he pounds his opponent without letting her breathe out. He is all confidence and good mood. He doesn’t use any secret plans, doesn’t have to, really. He faces the opponent proudly face to face. He is shining brighter than the sun, and Sasuke feels so damn proud to be his father.
He has always been amazed by how good Sageki was from the first moments of his life. Such a happy, healthy child. Good-natureness is ingrained into him, along with the good humour, constant laughter has been filling their house mere months after his birth.
Sasuke thought he got addicted to that sound too easily. There were already so many things he couldn’t bear to live without - Sarada’s quiet moments that made Sasuke wonder what she might think of, and the delight he got when he learned of it, her smart plans, Sakura’s never-ending love for him, her smarts and her strength, Sageki’s laughter made his way into his life so easily, as if his life wasn’t already full.
Even now it is a struggle not to think how much it could hurt him - if all that was ripped away from him, a possibility worse than pain or death.
He and Sakura have had numerous conversations trying to understand just what Sageki has inherited from each of them. It was clear to Sasuke that the goodness was coming from Sakura. But both of them were at loss as to where the humour might be from. It belonged to his son only.
Unlike Naruto, Sageki’s humour is not borne out of the need for attention. He is not a prankster, and with the never-failing goodness, he is never mean in his jokes, too. Sasuke wasn’t too surprised to learn that in the school his son was considered to be a class clown.
Underneath that brightness, underneath the jokes, Sageki is always so gentle. He is loyal to his friends, and cares so much about everyone whom he loves. The way that he loves - giving everything out, happy only when surrounded by his loved ones, makes him the true Uchiha, truer than the sharingan that Sageki awakened only recently. He has done it in his son’s unique way. While Sakura and Sarada have been worried that Sageki hasn't inherited the sharingan, his son hasn’t cared about it, not one way.
He awakened it, only when he truly needed the eyes. The first green sharingan in history. Sakura needn’t have to worry. It is mesmerising, Sasuke always thinks. He is luckiest man alive to have such a beautiful wife giving to his children such unique qualities.
Sasuke has been a long time admirer of Sageki’s ability to know what is truly important and what isn’t. Sageki hasn’t been as determined and ambitious as Sarada, but Sasuke knew that his unusually low for their family marks were not a measure of his abilities. Sakura and he both knew how smart their child is.
Sageki only hasn’t cared about something as trivial as grades. He wasn’t as diligent as Sarada was in anything, a student that appears when combining his and Sakura’s good grades. While his eldest daughter has been amazing everyone with her capabilities in anything (Sasuke is sure that when she is going to inevitably achieve her goal, she is going to be the best Hokage in entire history, no one will measure to her), Sageki was more of a nature’s child. He loved nothing more than running through the woods with the friends, befriending the animals.
Sasuke had to admit that Sageki taught him all about this particular enjoyment. Sageki knew how to enjoy his life, he was a genius in that. Sasuke struggled first at that - when Sageki was demanding for his father to go with him to swim. He has spent a big portion of his childhood on that lake. Sasuke remembers the countless hours spent training the jutsu on here. And Sageki was swimming, his constant companion of laughter filling the lake and Sasuke.
His son knew not to rush towards anything in his life, - the reason, Sasuke knows, for Sageki taking the chunin exam later than all of them, only now at fifteen.
Why couldn’t he? Sasuke was (the word still felt dangerous) happy that his son knew not to hurry towards anything.
Sageki was happy with doing the mostly-funny (as Sasuke realised only after hearing his son describe his missions) D-rank missions. His son needed time to then go and live - run through the forrest, scream at some birds, catch the lizards, without the pressure of getting better and better in order to get some higher rank by learning new jutsu. Sasuke thought that Sageki would remain forever the genin (Sasuke himself has never gotten higher than that rank, but he did, to be fair to his child, take the chunin test once).
After all, what did Sasuke work so hard for? For the world without war, and for the strength inside him to protect everyone he loves, should it come down to it. Sageki should live peacefully, Sasuke thought. Until the last mission that seemed to be the goal for Sageki, too.
But then, his son is also full of surprises, and only few months ago suddenly announced that he decided to take the chunin test. And now, he is here and surprises Sasuke even more by his abilities.
He is natural. How did he get so good? - Sasuke wonders.
Sageki wins the fight, and then waves at them, who are always watching him.