For FateofShadow, who asked for Tsunade plus Sakura and Naruto finally getting
hitched, and who was supposed to get a DRABBLE damn you what part of this is
a DRABBLE. D: *shakes fist at*
Anyway, this is a sequel of sorts to the Two Years Later ficlet where Sasuke asks Naruto to become his concubine while in Earth Country. Marriage ideas came from RurouniTriv, Bookpeople, Gladdecease, and Freed Wings.
Under the Rokudaime's rule Konoha extended its peaceful influence far afield, to countries Tsunade had never even heard of in her childhood, who most civilians her age had never heard of even now, too concerned with threats closer to home.
Tsunade might have been pushing seventy, but she was still strong enough to fight and their country had so many allies, nothing much stopped her successor, her student, and that man they both called "husband" from wandering off -- Naruto to sign treaties, Sasuke to guard him, and Sakura... ah, an advisor, she called herself, but every time she came back Tsunade was waiting with tea heating up and a chuckle already building in her throat.
"Master!" Sakura said brightly when she walked in that afternoon, hair a bleached shade of rose, skin tanned dark and faint white lines at the corner of her eyes like she'd spent all that time in the sun glaring at something. She sat when Tsunade waved her toward her chair, grinning like she wanted to bite.
"So how did it go?"
"Do you remember how sad it was that I couldn't marry Naruto in Konoha without being Sasuke's widow first? Well, it turns out I had a lot of free time during this trip..."
In other words, her line of inquiry had been a big bust.
"So on the way back I got thinking about Konoha laws! It says something like 'cannot remarry until their first spouse has died,' doesn't it? But I bet it doesn't say anything about the second marriage being invalidated if said first spouse was revived afterwards."
Tsunade smothered her laughter in her cup of tea. "I think Uchiha might object."
Sakura let out a long, fake sigh. "I think he might, too. Selfish of him, huhn. I knew I should have waited a little longer to fix him last time. Oh well, I'm sure there'll be other assassins."
The first time had been almost fifteen years ago, as Tsunade sent her chosen successor on his first solo diplomatic mission. Some lost valley in the mountains, well past the farthest reaches of Wind Country. Sakura had heard of their polyandrous habits and immediately -- blushing, but determined -- started campaigning to be allowed to go with. Their first and second children had been old enough to stay at their grandparents' for a couple of months then; Tsunade had given her permission and Team Seven had jauntily marched off.
When they came back Naruto was frowning, Sasuke so blank-faced it was a wonder he still bothered to breathe, and Sakura trailing her own metaphorical little raincloud.
It turned out their habit of marrying one woman to several men had been born from damaged reproductive abilities, due to being locked away in their same little valley for the last couple of centuries. The men allied in co-husband groups of three or four -- good! -- and bartered, schemed, and fought others for possession of their women. And then, once "married" to those women, they locked them up so they wouldn't get knocked up by some other brotherhood. Which was so far past not good, Sakura had no words for it. She'd been livid all the way home.
"So... No marriage then?" Shizune had ventured.
Sakura had let loose a torrent of recriminations that boiled down to 'I would rather become a nun than support that mindset by getting married there', which was the end of it -- the end of mentioning that particular little trip, at least.
The next couple of countries had laws similar to those home, so there was no extra-curricular eloping. But the one after those was far over the ocean, an ancient country, hot and lazily powerful, and while most of the leaders over there were kings, there were some queens and princesses who did more with the title than simply being the spouse of. And in deference to them, a woman could have more than one recognized, legally sanctioned lover.
There was this one last hurdle, though...
Later, Sakura found it funny enough to tell Tsunade, who laughed until she gave herself a coughing fit.
"So the blond hunk is snipped, huh? A shame. He'd have made you strapping children."
A woman of high rank could have several legal, bonded lovers -- if all but one were eunuchs.
"... Oh, yes, I can see that you aren't, young man. Haha, it would have been strange if the nominal leader was ... my apologies, I meant no insult. The pretty one then? I must have misunderstood, girl, I thought you said he was your husband. Haha, how silly of me. I should have know, he does look a bit..."
They were pretty lucky to come back home without a new war on their hands, Sakura had to admit.
After that for ten years or so Naruto had duties closer to home, and then Sakura had Aoru-chan, and she stopped entertaining Tsunade with the tales of her grand quest to get hitched again. She mostly busied herself with taking over the hospital and becoming Naruto's first in-village political advisor -- two full-time jobs on their own, even without "mother of three" on top.
There was that matrilineal clan over in Cloud Country, though, which rekindled that little flame in her eyes -- a tradition born of a female-carried bloodline. It required genetic diversity, and the women were the bottlenecks, hence several husbands each.
Alas, Sakura had no bloodline, so she was disqualified from the get-go.
"But if your husband, who does have a bloodline, can also use that jutsu," the old woman leader conceded, grittiness briefly turning into something akin to religious awe, "then as a gesture of good faith and friendship between our people, and of thanks to Hokage Naruto-sama (may he have thirty daughters) we will allow Sasuke of the Uchiha to marry you both."
Team Seven went home with a new treaty, and they'd only asked to be taught the Sexy no Jutsu for it. Alas, Sasuke was a selfish bastard, and so Sakura still went home with only one husband.
When the travelers crossed the Elemental Countries, Naruto went to meet them, came back delighted -- if a little weirded out -- by their above-and-beyond adherence to principles of peace, love, freedom, and tolerance.
Men could marry other men, women could marry other women, their cousins, their religious ministers, and their best friends' boyfriends. Oh, and outsiders not of their own ethnicity or country, too. There was no such thing as an outsider in their point of view, only a neighbor you hadn't yet met.
Naruto was made a honorary citizen of the City That Never Stops Drifting Because The World Is So Vast And We Ought To See And Admire It All. Sakura was grinning from the second the garland of flowers was passed around his neck.
Problem being the High Priestess and the President In Chief also wanted the ability to marry Sakura's husbands.
There was such a thing as being too generous and selfless.
Sakura seemed to give up her little crusade after that. Tsunade watched with some amusement as she redirected her energies toward other pursuits -- putting medic-nins into each team, Tsunade's old personal crusade, creating cross-country information lines about epidemics and their vaccines and treatments, nudging forward the equality of sexes...
In all the upheavals that the Rokudaime Hokage and his teammates had introduced into the country in his last twenty years of rule, the abolishment of gendered language into Konoha's own laws passed almost unnoticed.
Three days later a petition to the Hokage for the right of the Haruno clan to an heir of their own landed on the Hokage's desk.
"I don't get it," said Naruto.
"It means my marriage contract to Sasuke meant any children born under its umbrella would be Uchihas, no matter who actually fathered them, but that's only if there's no other contract -- if the Harunos are recognized as a clan instead of an everyday garden-variety family then as the Haruno heir I could have official concubines of my own."
"... Oooh. It'll work?"
Sakura beamed at him. "Unless you've pissed off the Shourisha clan recently..."
Later she barged in Tsunade's office, brandishing the stamp-covered paperwork, green eyes gleaming behind their little round glasses.
"FINALLY! Oh god, finally."
Tsunade squinted as she read, and then nodded, amused and a little proud that Sakura would have engineered a whole social revolution rather than let go of her goal. "I take it this is the end of our little tea sessions?"
"Oh, I'm sure I'll find more reasons to come visit you. Like, er, say..."
"Alright, what have you done now."
Sakura sat, trying badly to pretend to be annoyed. Her eyes were still bright, still so fierce and so young. "Oh, it's Naruto, you know how he is..."
"Well, he asked me if that meant our next children would be named Haruno. And, well, yes, that's exactly what it means, except for a small, niggling detail -- menopause."
"Which would be grounds for refusal of your request by the Council," Tsunade pointed out, only because she could see Sakura coming from a mile away.
Sakura grimaced at her. "They've got enough grounds for that anyway. It's mostly just silly legalese and twisty loopholes, and the idea of a first-gen family becoming a clan is laughable, but I'm pretty sure the Council will approve it just so their Hokage stops flaunting the fact that he's someone's side dish. They're going to give this shiny bit of polite fiction the go-ahead because it's the most respectable they'll ever make Naruto look. BUT ANYWAY," she said, forging ahead.
"Yes?" Tsunade asked, as if she didn't know where her student of twenty years was going.
"Well. Naruto and Sasuke miss having kids. Young ones, I mean. They're all grown and out of the house now..."
Tsunade took a sip of tea, noncommittal. "I'm sure. That must be hard."
Tsunade relented, eyes laughing, though her face kept looking stern. "I might have some ideas of how to get around that little menopause problem, if you can find the funds for the necessary research at the hospital..."
Sakura beamed at her. "Great! I have a lot of those, too."
She looked down at the official decree, caressed the red stamps. Tsunade could see it on her face -- the silly 'official' approval that shouldn't have meant half as much as it ended up meaning for the balance of her relationship.
Naruto and Sasuke's concubine/husband bond wasn't even legal in Fire Country, yet how it had galled her to leave things undone -- done only twice. How much she had needed to correct that last imbalance, to bridge that last divide.
Then she looked up, and she smiled that bright, harsh smile that meant there were still heights to be conquered.
"While we're pioneering new medical jutsu, what do you say about making a child with two genetic fathers? I was thinking, if we emptied an ovum and then merged two sperm cells..."