Be Honest

"Papa why did you leave for so many years and didn´t you miss Mama and me? Were your mission really that important, that you just could live without us?"

Sasuke had feared that question since the day he returned to his wife and daughter. Seven months passed since then but until now Sarada hadn´t asked about the reason for his long absence. Although he knew how hurt his daughter must feel, she hadn´t shown him any resentment. On the contrary, she had treated him friendly since his arrival. She even tried to spend as much time as possible with him and she was happy about every little bit attention he offered her.

An although it had made so happy that his child welcomed him simple back in her life, he had seen the unspoken questions in her eyes and he knew that he owed her an explanation.

He couldn´t tell her about the missions details, it was top secret informations, only determined for the Hokage´s ears but he hoped that Sarada would understand how important the mission had been nevertheless.

But could he really demand this from her? Sarada was only a genin for a couple of months now and she was still completely unaware of the harshness of the shinobi world. If it would be in his power, Sasuke would like to protect her from that harshness forever. Letting her grow up protected and sheltered was the main reason why he had accepted that mission all those years ago. Only for the safety of his family. But how was he supposed to explain this to his daughter?

Sarada sat right next to him on the sofa. She was looking at him with wide dark eyes, almost praying for an answer. He knew that she deserved an answer and that she needed one. His daughter began to question their relationship and she had every reason to do so. He knew the reason for it very well.

Sakura was pregnant again and this had been a surprise for all of them. His wife was overjoyed, and as much as he wanted to feel happy about it, the thought of what Sarada might think about it, made him feel sad. Unlike with Sarada, he would be there for his second child growing up. He would experience all the meaningful little things that he missed with her.

When Sakura told them the news, she had assured their daughter that this wouldn´t change the fact that they both loved her above anything and he could tell that she had believed her mother. Sarada believed that Sakura would never love her any less, no matter if there would be another child but he had seen the fear in her eyes when she had looked at him.

And he saw it now. She was afraid that he would love this child more than her. That he would be closer with the child he could see growing up.

The truth was that alone the fact that he was forced to be absent in Sarada´s life for so long and that he had endured the mission only for her safety was reason enough, that his love for his first child would probably always be deeper. But how could he explain this to her?

Sarada had carried her worries for days and had waited for the opportunity that Sakura wouldn´t be home for few hours, before daring to adress him. Sasuke understood, this was something they needed to talk about alone.

"Papa?" She asked again, placing her hand on the back of his, in order to get his attention. "Can you please answer my question? I really need to now it." Sarada pleaded.

The expression on her face pained him. She shouldn´t doubt his love for her, shouldn´t fear the answers he could give to her. He would never hurt his precious child on purpose, but the truth was, alone his absence had hurt her deeply.

"You know that I can´t talk to you about my mission..." He began and was grateful that his voice wasn´t shaking. He was so afraid that he could hurt her feelings again. He had done it too much all those years. "But would you believe me when I tell you that there hadn´t been a single day where I haven´t thought about you."

"I understand that you can´t tell me about your mission and I´m not asking about that. I ask you if it had been really necessary to leave for almost ten years, or why you haven´t even visited us in between times. I mean... I know the you love us in your own way, Mama made sure that I know it... But... But... Every shinobi goes on missions but no one left for so one..."

Her voice broke and few tears escaped her eyes. The sight hurt Sasuke more than anything.

Without thinking he wiped her tears away with his thumb. All those months he couldn´t believe that his once so tiny daughter had grown so much but right now he saw the same little girl in her, which he left all those years ago. She still looked like the little toddler she once was and her tears hurt him equally as at that time, when she tumbled and hurt her knees. The memories of the little time he spend with Sarada when she was little, gave him the power to endure all the years of solitude.

"I know that I hurt you deeply and believe me that if there had been an other possibilty, I would´ve never left you and your mother for so long. But I don´t regret accepting that mission."

"You don´t..." Sarada lowered her eyes and avoided to look at him directly.

It was obvious that she was trying to hide new tears from his view. He knew that his last words hurt her even more. It wasn´t his intention but it was important that she would understand what he would tell her next.

"No I don´t regret it in the slightest. Because I knew that accepting that mission would keep you save. The mission was important for the sake of Konoha but far more important was for me that I could keep you safe. You and Sakura. Maybe you won´t understand it now but as your father it´s my job to protect you and this is what was able to do with that mission. Maybe you can´t forgive me for being absent almost your whole life and I understand that you probably despise me for it, but that didn´t change the fact that you´re my precious child and I love you with all my heart."

Because it was true and his daughter needed to know how much she actually meant to him. How much Sakura meant to him and even the unborn child in her belly. How much it meant to him to have a family again.

"Papa... I´m glad!" The girl sobbed and before he could react, she wrapped her arms around his torso and clung herself at him while sobbing into his chest.

She had hugged him few times since his return but this was the first time she was doing it without tension. He realized how much she had needed answers. Sasuke had the feeling that she could finally see him as her father again without all the tension build over the past years during his absence. And he realized that it was finally the time for him to be her father for real this time. And he would do his best not to disappoint his little girl for a second time.

He returned the embrace and stroked her back in a comforting manner, while she cried all the pain out. Finally the fears of being unwanted would leave her alone and he swore to himself not to hurt her ever again.

He didn´t move and waited patiently for all her tears to dry. After calming down, Sarada broke the hug but instead of separate completely from her father, she leaned her head on his shoulder while Sasuke wrapped his arm around her.

"Papa thank you."

"You don´t need to thank me. It´s your right to know all of this." He merely said.

Sarada nodded. "I´m just glad that you spoke to me openly. And I think I´m finally able to accept the fact that you were absent for so many years. I´ve the feeling to understand you and I´m just happy you´re back now and we can finally be a family."

Those words brought up a strange sensation of emotions inside his chest. It were all possible feelings and he couldn´t place it. He only knew that he felt so much relief that tears welled up in his eyes.

"It´s getting late. You should get ready for bed soon." Sasuke said when he realized that he couldn´t control his emotions. He needed some time alone now. But Sarada shook her head.

"If it´s alright for you, I would like to stay like this for a bit longer." She said and pressed her head firmer on his shoulder.

Of course he hadn´t the heart to reject her and accepted her request with a short nod. They stayed like that for a long time. Sasuke stayed strong and surpressed his emotions successfully. It was when he noticed Sarada´s deep and even breath that he noticed that she had fallen asleep. He didn´t move in order not to wake her but he removed her glasses carefully.

When he observed her sleeping face, he couldn´t help and felt a wave of emotions raise again. Before he even knew it, few tears escaped his eyes and only when he touched his wet cheek with his hand, he noticed that he was actually crying.

"I would´ve never imagined that I would see you cry..."

His head shot up at once and his eyes widened when he saw Sakura standing in the doorframe. How distracted was he for not noticing her presence sooner?

"For how long are you here?"

"For a while now but I didn´t wanted to interrupt you both. I´m so glad you two could finally speak openly to eachother." Sakura said and made her way to the sofa, sitting down right next to him.

"I know..." He replied, while wiping the tears from his cheek.

"Sarada needed it. She needed to know how much she actually means to you. I´ve always told her that you love her but she needed to hear it from your mouth." His wife said and leaned her head on his other shoulder. "But you know what, I believe you almost needed it as badly as she did."

"I did..." He said sincerely. "For the first time I´ve the feeling that I can be her father again. That the wall between us finally crumbled. And I never imagined that she would just forgive me so simple."

"You know Sarada is a very smart girl. She understands your reasons perfectly and she never despised you, she was just scared that´s all. I guess becoming a pregnant all of the sudden wasn´t helping her situation at all. But I´m convinced she will become a great big sister after all." Sakura smiled and placed her hand on her still flat belly.

Sasuke couldn´t tell whether Sarada would be a good big sister or not, or if she was still unsettled about the idea of getting an sibling soon, but he swore to himself he´d never show preference between his children and that he would never stop showering his first daughter with love and attention, so she would never doubt how much she actually meant to him.

He placed a soft kiss on his wife´s head and returned the wide smile she offered him with one of his own.

"Sakura thank you."


English is not my native language so I´m very aware that there will be few mistakes. Please don´t mind x) and let me know what you think!

(Big Thanks to Fanofthisfiction for helping me to correct some of my writing mistakes :)