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Sai finally set his sketch book down to join the conversation. While the others had tried making Sasuke feel less guilty, Sai, with such a poor social filter, was less kind about it. "You deserve the guilt though, Emo. You betrayed the village to join Orochimaru, you tried to kill your teammates several times, you helped Obito start the war which killed many people, and you wanted to slaughter the village even after you learned the truth about Itachi." He watched Sasuke calmly. "The only reason you seemed to back down was because of Naruto kicking your ass." He glanced at Sakura. "And maybe because Sakura might have reached your heart."
Ashina listened to Sai and seemed really bothered when he heard the name Orochimaru. It was the first time since he arrived that his expression went from calm to freaked out. He finished his drink and got up, quickly putting his jacket on. "I'm sorry, Midori, but I have to go," he said as he rushed off. He left the Uchiha house as fast as he could.
sakura sighed and said. "i wanted to help make you better... naruto's plan of smacking some sense into you was a good idea but i couldn't make myself hurt you.... for some reason i couldn't."
midori looked up at ashina and whispered back. "not always, but my papa and uncle have things in their pasts that they regret doing and it makes them question a lot of things..."
Sasuke shook his head a little. "Sarada is alive despite my actions. Somehow, despite all I put Team Seven through, Sakura never stopped loving me. No matter how deep into the dark I went, she never really stopped caring about me." He was quiet for a moment as he stared at Sakura, the man looking unsure about something. "Well...she wanted to stop me once, but I don't think her heart was really in it."
Ashina listened to how serious the conversations had gotten and took a final sip of tea before whispering to Midori, "Are family dinners always so serious? It makes me almost glad I don't have family..." It wasn't entirely true, of course. Ashina felt lonely when he was at his apartment.
Midori looked up at her uncle and piped in. "But if you knew everything you know now, you wouldn't have done those things, Uncle Sasuke. Same goes for Papa. How was he supposed to know about danzo's plans were for the eyes of the dead?" She paused thoughtfully and added. "but then if those things didn't happen sarada and I wouldn't exist and mom might have died from her first tumor."
kara looked at her daughter and listened with a proud smile. she looked at her brother in law and said. "you know she has a point."
ino looked at midori and thought about it. honestly looking back on things, it made so much sense. "you're very smart, midori." she said and smiled.
midori blushed and looked away shyly. "thanks but i know that uncle sasuke and my papa both did bad things and i can see how horrible they feel about it, so if they think about it this way, maybe they'll feel a little better?"
"I helped Obito start the war by working with him and tried to kill you, Sakura," Sasuke pointed out quietly.
Sasuke glanced quietly at Sakura and watched her with a calm expression so she wouldn't be able to tell how he was feeling. He sipped his tea and said nothing more until he realized he admitted to trying to kill Sakura. He slowly glanced over at his daughter but remained quiet.
Itachi wasn't there to reply, though he likely would have reacted like Sasuke had, pointing out his flaws.
Ashina listened quietly and was soon done eating. He finished his tea and glanced at the others, unsure of what to say with the current conversation.
Ino blinked at her answer and snickered slightly. "Are they really that similar?" She asjed and smiled.
Kara dramatically rolled her eyes and said. "From what I can tell so far, yes. The only difference is surprises are Itachi's thing...."
Sakura listened and snickered. "So he tries to be all quiet and stoic in public but he's a giant sweetheart at home?" She asked Kara and smiled at her sister in law who nodded.
"They both have a habit of thinking they need to atone for shit they did all the time and that guilt seems to come out of nowhere to bite them in the ass." Kara said.
Sakura thought about it and peeked at Sasuke with a sheepish smile. "Yup that sounds like Sasuke."
Sasuke looked over as Kara returned and glanced at Sakura, now curious. "How would you respond, Sakura?" he asked her softly. He was curious about her true opinion about being married to him. He himself often thought he wasn't a very good husband, though Sakura seemed to love him anyway. He drank some of the tea Midori brought out as he watched his wife.
Sai replaced the broken pencil with a new one and continued his sketch. He wasn't very interested in hearing about marriage with Itachi. It wasn't that he actively disliked joining social chats, but he just never was good at it. So instead he continued his sketch of Ino he had started at their home.
Ashina ate quietly as well, occasionally drinking some of the tea. He noticed Midori watching him and gave her a polite smile. For the most part, his expression seemed either bored or just totally calm. He glanced at Midori as he finished his tea. "Thank you for the tea, Midori," he whispered to her. He was quiet so he didn't interrupt the conversations going on.
"i know Papa. I guess being worry warts is an Uchiha trait." She joked a little bit and smiled up at him. "I love you, Papa."
Kara saw he was getting tired and said. "Let's get you to bed." She said and kissed him softly. "Come on." She stood and led him to their room tucking him in. "I'll come back in a bit, okay? Try to rest."
Midori smiled and nodded. "You're welcome, Ashina-kun." She said and blushed slightly. She ate politely and peeked at him slightly. She studied his features through her hair and bit her lip slightly. She paused hearing the snap of pencil lead breaking and looked over at Sai curiously.
Ino smiled softly and watched as Sai drew. She ate politely and talked with Sakura about work and their kids. She looked up when Kara came back and smiled. "So what's it like being married Itachi?'
Kara sat down and blinked at her question. "You could ask Sakura the same thing and she'd have similar responses to be honest."
Sasuke closed his eyes when she touched his cheek but nodded a little. "Thank you, Sarada. If something ever happened to me..." He trailed off and shook his head. He hugged his daughter then, holding her close. "Sorry. I didn't mean to get so serious." He pulled away and smiled weakly. "You know I get worried. And...I don't want you to have to go through the things I went through."
Itachi held Kara tightly. "I know I get clingy if you've been gone for awhile, but it's because I miss you and worry." He kissed her cheek and relaxed in his chair, feeling tired thanks to the alcohol.
Ashina listened quietly and nodded when she mentioned plants. "I know a few uses as well. There's a useful plant for getting rid of fevers if you get sick during a mission. You make a tea out of it. It doesn't taste horrible, either." He eyed her hand for a moment. "If you're sure you are fine, then I won't bother you about it." He drank some of the tea she brought him. "Thank you for the tea, Midori."
She smiled at his poke and looked up at him curiously. She frowned slightly and listened. She hugged him and said. "I won't, Papa... I promise..." She peeked up at him and touched his cheek just under his sharingan eye. "I'll make sure everyone is safe."
Kara blushed more as he spoke and hid her face against his shoulder. It made sense why he always gets antsy and clingy when she's gone too long and comes back.
Midori looked up at Ashina and smiled slightly. "I'm fine, i just got a little distracted..." She reassured him and giggled slightly listening to him correct himself. "If she hadn't been here I would have put honey on the burn. It actually helps. I also know a lot of other medicinal plants that could be used too... A lot of which can be used on missions." She said and blushed slightly. "Sorry I didn't mean to ramble."
Sasuke watched Sarada for a moment before he reached out and poked her forehead gently. "Sarada, promise me you won't be like me," he whispered, talking low enough so only she could hear him. He showed her his Mangekyo Sharingan. "I don't ever want you to unlock these eyes, okay?" He rarely was this serious with her, but he wanted her to know just how much he cared about her.
Itachi swallowed his food then kissed his wife. "Kara, I love you so much that it scares me when you're away. I NEED you in my life, okay?" he assured her gently.
Ashina noticed when Midori burned her hand and stopped eating. He scooted closer and watched as Sakura began to heal her, staring at her hand the entire time. "Are you okay?" he asked her finally once she was healed. "I know Lady Sakura is the best medic around, so I'm sure you'll be fine, but I have a few ointments I can give you if you want. Naruto recommended I have medical supplies for missions." He paused and then said, "Sorry, I meant Sakura."
Sarada blushed slightly hearing his compliment and smiled at her dad happily. She ate politely and smiled happily.
Kara blushed and kissed him back. "Sometimes I don't feel like I do." She whispered and leaned against his side. She ate politely and also fed Itachi blushing slightly.
Midori made some tea and came back with a tea cup and the teapot in case anyone else would like some. She set the cup in front of him and carefully poured the tea. Peeking at him shyly, she blushed and slipped her hand onto the scalding hot side of the pot. She jerked her hand back and set the teapot down carefully but quickly.
Sakura paused and went over to check how bad it was. She made her niece sit down and started to heal it. "I know it hurts, trust me I've done it too." She said reassuringly and smiled at her. She knew that Midori had a crush on the boy and remembered one time doing the same thing with Sasuke.
"It's not a problem, Midori. Our house is big enough...I guess I thought our family would be bigger by now, which is why we bought such a large home." He shrugged and looked at his daughter. "But I'm happy with the family I have and am very proud of my daughter." Sasuke rarely praised Sarada so openly like that. "We'll deal with Itachi when he sobers up, don't worry."
Itachi kissed his wife gently. "I love you too, Kara. And you do help. Without you, the nightmares would be way worse without you. Never forget that, my love," he told her, gently touching her cheek.
"Wine is...smoother, right?" Sai asked innocently. "Could we try some at some point? If it's not so strong, and doesn't burn as much, I might enjoy it."
Ashina bowed his head at her response. "All right then, Sakura," he responded. He ate quietly as he looked around the house. "You have a nice home, La-...Sakura," he said to her. It was far nicer than his small apartment.
Midori smiled at him and said. "Thanks Uncle Sasuke... Um... Can you help me with my dad when he's sober?" She blushed and whispered in his ear how protective he could get. She looked at him hopefully and paused when Ashina asked for tea. "I'll get it for you." She said and went to the kitchen.
Kara sighed and said. "I know.... I just wish I could help you with them better.... I know how you don't like drinking often." She watched their daughter and looked up at him. "I love you."
Ino smiled softly and guessed. "You probably tried some kind of hard liquor." She kissed his cheek and said. "I think I might be able to find you something you'd like... We can try ice wine, if you want."
Sakura smiled at Ashina and said. "Thank you, the edamame and the dessert was made by Ino.... And you can just call me Sakura."
Sasuke sighed and nodded at Sakura before he hugged Midori back. He glanced at Ashina and something felt...oddly familiar about the teen. Sure, he had seen him around the village before, but there was something about his chakra..."I suppose he can stay," Sasuke finally agreed. He made a mental note to check in with Naruto later, to figure out more about Ashina.
With permission given, Ashina draped his jacket over an empty seat and sat down near Midori's seat. He watched the others quietly, and when he noticed Akira and Itachi eating he relaxed and tried the food as well. "It tastes great, Lady Sakura," he said politely after swallowing his food. "Could I have some tea, by any chance?"
Itachi grinned at Kara and shrugged. "But come on, I'm way funnier when I'm drunk," he pointed out. He kissed her cheek then squeezed her hand. "Plus, in my defense, I had a nightmare."
Sai thought about it then shook his head. "I don't believe I've been drunk," he admitted. "I hate the taste of alcohol, the burn, and then the lingering taste it leaves."
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