Author: SkywardShadow PM
Sasuke's been roped into babysitting Sakura's daughter, and whatever can go wrong, will. Implied SakuLee and NaruSasu. Companion to "A Different Kind of Mission". Oneshot.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Humor/Family - Sasuke U. & Sakura H. - Words: 4,942 - Reviews: 13 - Favs: 14 - Follows: 2 - Published: 11-14-08 - Status: Complete - id: 4656020
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: If I owned Naruto..hmm…NaruSasu would be considered a canon pairing, Itachi would be alive, and Madara would burn. Translation:…I don't own Naruto. I do own Shayla, which may serve as an explanation for her…villany. XD
A/N: I got the idea from a review I got on "A Different Kind of Mission". So, I guess you could consider this a companion to that story…?
Dedicated to Moth Gypsy, who posted aforementioned review and thus spawned this story.
Hope you like it! –SS
"..Um, Sasuke-kun? Are you still there?"
Unfortunately. "..Yeah, Sakura."
"Oh. Well, then, can you?"
It was somewhat of a trick question. He could. Of course he could. But did he want to?
He was Uchiha Sasuke, one of the great Uchiha clan. He was among the top Jonin in Konoha. He'd succeeded on countless missions of all ranks. So naturally he could babysit, if you wanted to look at it literally. He had the ability. But he also had pride, and a total lack of experience.
The backstory to the raven's currant dilemma was simple enough. A few years back, Sakura had (finally) given up on Sasuke. It was hopeless; as much as it disappointed her, the rosette had to accept the fact that Sasuke was not attracted to her in any way, shape or form.
This revelation had given her the chance to see the potential in someone who had been pining over her as much as she had been pining over the Uchiha. One thing led to another, and now Sakura was happily married to Rock Lee. They also had a three-year-old daughter named Shayla.
Aforementioned toddler being the subject of Sakura's phone call. Apparently the pink-haired kunoichi was about to be deployed on a C-ranked mission-nothing huge, just an escort job. And Lee was still being treated for the wounds he had sustained on his last mission.
But why me, of all people? he inwardly groaned. "Why did you ask me? Why not the dobe? He's better at that kind of stuff."
"You of all people should know! Naruto's got to be at the Chunin Exams, remember?" Oh…that's right… It had completely slipped his mind. As Hokage, Naruto had a duty to oversee the Exams. Although, like Sakura said, Sasuke of all people should know that.
After smacking his head into the wall a few times, he resumed the most worrisome conversation he could remember having. "But…why…me?" he enunciated slowly, praying his former schoolmate would come to her senses and realize that he was not the best person for the job. Or the second best, or third best, or…
Actually, the only way he would be the best choice for this job would be if his only opponent was a rotting rabbit's corpse. And even then it was iffy.
But sadly, she didn't get the message. "Because you're the first person I thought of, and you're the closest one to our home who isn't in the middle of something important right now. See?"
No, he didn't see. Besides, he was doing something important. Sitting at home, relaxing, and hoping with every fiber of his being that he would not get called to ridiculous jobs like this was very important.
"C'mon, Sasuke-kun," Sakura pleaded, switching to "I'm-so-cute-and-I-need-your-help" mode, with a slight underlying hint of "Waste-any-more-of-my-time-and-I'll-kill-you".
Thus, any illusion of free will was gone, gone, gone.
"…All right, Sakura. I'll do it."
He didn't ask how long she would be gone. He didn't want to know how long he was going to be stuck in this hellhole with the puny horror that was Haruno Leeandra Shayla.
He disliked small children. And small children disliked him. End of story. And that was fine; as long as Sasuke wasn't roped into babysitting, everyone was happy.
When he was roped into babysitting..well, such a miracle had never occurred before, so it was quite possible that Armageddon was approaching. Which would make the raven very happy; that would mean less time spent with a crawling demon.
The few minutes in which he arrived at the house, was greeted and thanked by a rushing Sakura, and given a list of guidelines (the rosette wasn't completely heartless…or at least, she didn't want her house blown up or baby strangled in her absence) went by far too quickly.
He did some brief, simple math.
He was in someone else's house, with their toddler, having never babysat before. Not to mention said child's mother would skin him alive if anything went wrong.
All of this added up to…well, bluntly put, he was done for.
I suppose I should go see what my doom looks like, he thought hopelessly. He found the playroom…and, well, was quite surprised. After all, he hadn't really gotten a good look at the girl since her birth.
She was adorable. She had her mother's looks, no doubt about that-fair-skinned, innocent expression. A thin red ribbon tied a silken length of pink hair back from her face. She had leafy-green eyes that were wide and a bit fiery below the surface. Her chubby little fists were clenched tightly around what had been described as a 'favorite toy'.
Oh, yes. 'Favorite'. I'm not sure if that was the most accurate term. Indeed; the girl seemed very intent on throttling the life out of a limp rag doll that bore a remarkable resemblance to her own father. Charming, he thought sarcastically. Sadistic, evil little thing..she is kind of cute, though, I suppose..
"Well," he said aloud. "You seem to be perfectly happy here. I don't see anything that's necessary for me to do right now, so..I will be in the living room, I guess. Cry if you need me-wait, no, don't cry. Anything but that. Um-just-crawl in and get me, then, okay?" he finished awkwardly.
Shayla blinked at him, perplexed, no doubt wondering why her loving mother had hired such a dingbat to care for her.
Aforementioned dingbat immediately proceeded to the living room, where he collapsed on the couch and groaned, rubbing his eyes, wondering why in the world he had gotten himself into this mess.
Odd that such miserable thoughts could put a person to sleep.
A very long sleep, in fact. By the time Sasuke woke up, it was pitch-black outside.
It took a second for his tired brain to register what had happened. And when it did, he didn't really react. So it had been a few hours. So what?
How was he to know that toddlers have amazingly short attention spans?
Hungry now, he went into the kitchen and started microwaving soup, vaguely wondering if and when Sakura had learned how to cook. It occurred to him that he should probably get something for little Shayla, too, and dug a can of who-knows-what baby food out of a cupboard before awkwardly dumping it into a bowl (not a glass bowl, though. God no).
He gulped down a quick spoonful of soup (and proceeded to swear loudly as it burned his mouth), then carried the baby-food bowl into the playroom.
No Shayla. Just a dark and empty room scattered with toys that seemed to leer at him. Oh, no, he thought in horror. Oh, no, oh, no, oh no! He had to find the little beast as quickly as possible. Sakura would kill him if anything happened.
He did a sweep of the entire playroom, checking behind shelves and under large toys, and found nothing besides some extremely disturbing dolls and such. With every item overturned that was not hiding a pink-haired three-year-old, his panic grew.
All right. Let's think about this logically. So she isn't in the same room..big deal. She probably just crawled away while I was sleeping. I mean, it's not like she could go outside or anything. There are plenty of places in the house where she could crawl off to, and..and find sharp objects, and….OH MY GOD! I HAVE TO FIND HER NOW! was essentially his train of thought.
He examined the living room next; underneath the couch, behind the TV, inside the ottoman (don't ask), etc. This went on for a while.
He turned around to find another room to tear apart…and was almost given a heart attack, courtesy of one Haruno Shayla, who had silently crept up behind him during his rampage and was now simply sitting on the floor and staring at him with luminous eyes.
Deep breaths…calm down…alright. Disaster averted. Relax. "Shayla," he said in a slow voice, "I would appreciate it highly if you didn't vanish like that again. See, grown-ups have this thing called blood pressure…"
And, well, that went on for almost a half-hour.
Perhaps it was a strategic move on the Uchiha's part, because by the time he finished his little rant, the girl had fallen asleep. Satisfied that there would be no further incidents that night, he carried her up to her crib and then returned to the couch, where he promptly collapsed.
'No further incidents'?
It was about three o'clock in the morning when he was woken from a blissful dream by a steady stream of whimpering and sobbing coming from upstairs.
Ever the reluctant caretaker, Sasuke held a pillow over his ears and tried to go back to sleep. He started to drift off again, but was once again jolted back to reality by sobs that had gotten even louder.
Groaning and exhausted, he lifted the couch cushion up, stuck his head under it, and then plopped the cushion back over his head. That should do it. And he sank back into a happy slumber.
For about five minutes.
Realizing with fury that she was being ignored, Shayla began to shriek-loud, high-pitched, hair-raising screams that sounded like they were tearing at her throat. The frustrated Uchiha held out for roughly thirteen seconds before finally dragging himself off the couch and towards the girl's room, almost falling down the stairs multiple times as he did so.
Worst…mission…ever, he thought miserably, walking over to the crib and wincing at being in such close proximity to that awful noise. "Hmm, I wonder where you got that huge mouth from," he uttered sarcastically, picking the toddler up.
Shayla calmed down a bit, her shrieks reduced to whimpers. "Iwah-m'mahma!" she croaked. "Uh…what?" was the confused reply. Her eyes started to tear up again. "I-wan-m'-m-mahhmaa!" she moaned pitifully.
Thank god for decoding classes at the Academy, Sasuke thought as he wearily pieced together the child's sentence. "You want your mama?" he inquired. Shayla nodded fiercely.
…Crap. How do I get out of this one? Think, Sasuke…. "Uhm..Shayla…your mother isn't here right now. See, she's..um..helping someone get home," he explained carefully. Who knows what words could set the kid off?
"O-oh. Buh..buh when does s-she ge' h-home?" I'm starting to wish I knew. "Uh-soon, Shayla. Soon. But time'll go faster if you go to sleep," he tried.
"O-okay, I g-guess." Phew. He placed her back in her crib and fairly ran for the door, but she wasn't about to let him off the hook that easily.
"Bird-head?" a small voice said tentatively. He closed his eyes, praying he'd heard wrong. "Bird-head?" she repeated. "…Why're you hurting yourself?"
He quit banging his head into the wall. "..What do you want?" he asked in a pained voice.
"W-well…m-mama always sings t'me before I go t'sleep. S-so.." He could feel his eyes popping out. No. Absolutely not. Never. No no no no no no no..!
"I c-cry if I don't get my s-song," she added tearfully. "A l-lot."
…And thus, I will forever shame the name of the Uchihas. His response was a defeated, "What song does your mother usually sing?"
I hate kids. I really..really…hate…kids.
Never again would he even be able to look at that girl without blushing at the memory of that horrible, horrible song. He had spent the remainder of the night trying to erase the melody from his mind. And failing abysmally.
Today, though, he was going to be firm. Assertive. There would be no more little disasters threatening to push him over the edge. Oh, no. Today was going to be completely unexciting.
To Sasuke's credit, he managed to get through the entire morning of Day Two without chaos ensuing; Shayla was in a perfectly happy mood, and had no problem with entertaining herself. Sasuke mostly stayed in the living room, although he had learned his lesson from yesterday and watched only the scariest, most bloody movies he could find (with subtitles, naturally; the last thing he needed was for the toddler to sleep with him that night, never mind what Sakura would do to him) in order to stay awake.
It was around lunchtime that things started…happening.
Sasuke, having read through Sakura's cookbook thoroughly, was in the kitchen making two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for his lunch and the kids' (because it was pretty much the only recipe he could handle without putting anything or anyone in imminent danger). He had been whipping around to glance up and down the hallway about once every five seconds, to avoid a repeat of yesterday's Houdini-style disaster. So far, Shayla hadn't made another break for it.
He finished the sandwiches after an undisclosed amount of time and brought one to the playroom, on a plastic plate, evenly cut in half. He handed the plate to the girl and went for a quick bathroom break, figuring (read: praying) that food would keep her busy for a minute.
In the amount of time it took for Sasuke to cross the hall, use the bathroom, and head back, he thought up about a hundred ways the girl might have killed herself in his brief absence. He was walking very quickly back to the playroom.
And good thing, because the first thing he noticed upon entering the room was that Shayla was suspended almost ten feet off the ground. She had climbed up the curtain, and was now beginning to dangle precariously as her clinging child's grip loosened.
Sasuke could never and would never say for sure whether or not he had screamed as the girl-and, essentially, dear life-fell from a dangerous height as if in slow motion.
I'm sure you can picture him running forward, also in slow motion, moaning "Nooooooo" in a slow distorted voice, arms outstretched. Which may very well have been the case.
Slam. He barely caught the kid, who was sure to start wailing at any given moment, and in the process slammed his head quite hard into the wall. Ouuuuch….Have I mentioned that I reallyhatekids?
And the icing on the cake…he squeezed his eyes shut, waiting with dread for Shayla's screech.
She was…giggling. "Kukuku! Kukuku!" Her face was split into a wide, happy smile as she laughed her evil little laugh (at least, it sounded evil to Sasuke), rejoicing in his pain.
And on top of that, it seemed the pain of his wound was the least of the problem.
He blacked out.
The noises were distorted, so Sasuke didn't react to them at first.
"Whuzzgonon…?" he mumbled, dazed. He sat up and immediately regretted it. His head was in serious pain.
It occurred to him that it was, indeed, a 'crash' sound. As in, the kind of sound that usually is made when something breaks.
Normally something very delicate, very valuable, and very sharp.
He wasn't sure which he should panic over first, and compromised by panicking over all of it at once.
"Shaaayylaaaaa!" he yelled, darting for the kitchen. Shayla had somehow managed to climb up onto the counter, open the cabinet above her head, and dump a pretty china plate on the floor. Pleased by the satisfying crash, she had proceeded to break every precious china dish and cup in every cabinet she could reach. The result was a very dangerous mess.
"Haruno Leeandra Shayla!" he screeched, realizing that this must be the horror of what it felt like to be a father. I am never having kids, he vowed vehemently. Never!
Well, the only obvious way to get the little brat down safely was to just walk across the glass-covered floor. And that was going to be very, very painful.
With the grace he had acquired through years of ninja training, the raven pounced onto the kitchen table. It swayed, but thankfully did not fall over. He stood cautiously, then leaned forward to gauge how far he'd have to jump in order to get to the counter below the cabinets, without bashing his head into said cabinets.
Easy…eeeeasy…. Sweating, he inched toward the table's edge to prepare for the jump.
Unfortunately, he had forgotten one crucial fact-the table was round. It dipped suddenly under his weight, and he had no time to right himself and restore the balance.
He went flying forward. Shayla paused in her destruction to gaze at her poor, hapless babysitter.
His chin slammed hard into the countertop, making his head spin. The impact also bashed his teeth together, bloodying his tongue painfully. And the worst was yet to come.
Before you could say "Laws of gravity", the Uchiha went down.
He crashed, putting all of his weight abruptly onto a floor carpeted with sharp bits of glass.
Shayla giggled hysterically at each new pained noise that escaped Sasuke's lips as he plucked shards of glass out of his body, one by one. He resembled a porcupine with clear quills. Except it's doubtful that porcupines are ever in that much pain from their own quills.
Adrenaline had pumped him long enough to grab the girl and escape that dastardly kitchen, which drove glass into his bare feet as well. Once he was back on relatively safe ground, agony hit him. And for the next twenty minutes he had sat, yanking glass roughly out of his skin with little varying yelps of pain.
There..I think that's the last one… He started to stand, put his left foot on the ground; the answering bolt of pain contradicted him. Did I manage to avoid any of them? he wondered, wincing as he grabbed out the offending shard.
"Hate is a strong word," he growled at the three-year-old Lucifer sitting before him. "And your mother would kill me if I said it to you. So let me just make this clear….I really, really, really don't like you. And it is obvious you don't like me, either. So here's what I am going to do."
Shayla's eyes widened in fear.
"Quit whimpering," Sasuke groaned. "It's not like I used spikes and chains, you know."
Shayla continued to whimper in protest. Fed up, Sasuke had put her on a little kid's chair in the playroom, sat her up, and used Sakura's entire roll of duct tape to ensure that the toddler did not escape. I should've taped her mouth shut too, he thought wearily.
I wonder if Itachi ever had to babysit? he wondered. He picked up the phone and dialed his older brother's number. I doubt it, but on the off-chance he did, maybe he'll have some tips…
Thank the lord. "Itachi?"
"…Sasuke…? What is it?"
"I just had a question…do you have any experience babysitting?"
"….Where did that come from?"
And so Sasuke poured out the whole sordid story.
"Well, it sounds like you have a problem."
"Not at the moment, actually. I duct-taped her to a chair."
Something like a muffled snicker on the other end of the line. "Oh, did you? I wish I had thought of that when you were younger…"
"What? You babysat me?"
"Of course. Mother wasn't home 24/7, you know."
"Oh. Well..how did it go? Any tips?"
Another snicker. "You were a regular nightmare to look after. The only reason you lived to see another day was pure dumb luck. Sorry, Sasuke; I can't help you here."
Unbelievable. Even the great Uchiha Itachi had been defeated by the nightmare known as babysitting. It's official…I'm doomed…
"The only advice I can offer," the older Uchiha continued, "is to keep an eye on the girl. Don't let her out of your sight. Just try and keep her-and yourself-alive until the mother comes home."
Sasuke sighed. "Thank you, aniki." And he hung up.
He started multitasking. He stared down Shayla while simultaneously sending psychic thought waves to Sakura, silently begging her to return soon. Hey, he was desperate.
But being up all night courtesy of a screaming toddler did not exactly contribute to keeping his eyes wide open and fixed on aforementioned toddler for hour after hour.
He felt his head dipping toward the carpet and jerked up, determined that accidental sleep would not be his downfall again. A few more quiet minutes, and his head bobbed again. This time he dozed off, but only briefly; it wasn't enough time for Shayla to put herself into mortal danger.
It was enough time for her to wreak another small bit of havoc. Naturally.
His head rose again after less than ten minutes; he noted with relief that Shayla was alive, sleeping, and secure-as in, still taped firmly to the chair.
But something was off. What was it, what was it….?
My..my head? What the…?
Filled with foreboding, Sasuke reached up and felt his hair. And almost bit his tongue off in an effort not to yell.
Deep breaths, Sasuke. Just take deep, calming breaths. Little Shayla had decided to have some fun with her snoozing sitter. His 'birdlike' hair was now covered in a disgusting, clear-ish goop that was almost undoubtedly drool.
I am going to kill this kid, he swore silently. No, no, that wouldn't work; Sakura'd kill me and then I'd be stuck with the brat for all eternity someplace.
Running to the bathroom, sticking his head in the sink and getting all this crap out of his hair would take 5 minutes, at the very best. And nothing was going well, so it'd probably be much longer. But he was willing to take the risk.
He darted into the bathroom and jammed his head under cold water, wincing and bracing himself for the possibility of a nasty cold later on. The only thing that kept him from screaming in frustration was the viciously gleeful activity of scheming ways to make the girl's death look like an accident. (Not that those plans would ever be carried out, but at the time it was necessary for his mental health. Or what remained of it.)
Murphy's Law had been increasingly present from the second the raven had entered his old schoolmate's house, so he half-expected to find Shayla chin-deep in some sort of trouble by the time he returned to the playroom 10 minutes later.
Still, you have to admit-it's pretty impressive for a three-year-old to escape a stiff bondage of duct tape all by herself in that amount of time. Sasuke looked at the tipped-over chair and the defeated-looking tape on the floor and swore. Curse Lee and all of his freaking 'hard work' talk…no doubt that's where she got this tenacity…
Gulp. A distinctive little moan was coming from the general direction of the staircase. The last thing he wanted to do was deal with the brat again, but it was that or face certain death when she vanished again.
Resigned, he began the journey to the stairs like a soldier heading off to a suicide mission. Shayla was sniffling on the bottom stair. "Th-there you a-are," she stuttered. "I didn' know where you w-were."
"What do you need, Shayla." Please make it short, to the point, and not physically or mentally demanding, so I don't have to throttle you. Please.
She watched him with wide green eyes that were shining with tears. Then she pointed to a hamper-looking piece of furniture at the side of the staircase.
Growing more apprehensive by the second, Sasuke opened up the hamper thing.
….. God, if you could just strike me down now, it would be greatly appreciated.
Unfortunately, god was either out or enjoying himself too much, because the Uchiha remained, unhappily, alive.
You thought I was bad to look after, aniki?
Lying inside of the hamper thing was a package of diapers.
It took an hour for Sasuke to bring himself to even begin the task, and another hour to figure the whole thing out.
After two exhausting hours of mortified, quiet chaos, the pair sat on the couch with their eyes closed, trying to forget about the traumatic experience.
Shayla had finally run out of the energy needed to drive her caretaker over the edge of sanity-to which he was already dangerously close-inadvertently or otherwise.
Who knows how long they sat like that before they heard the sound.
The sound of relief. Sasuke's ears perked up.
The sound of joy.
The sound of salvation.
The sound of keys in the doorway.
He leapt from the couch and ran like the wind to the front door, opening it with a sudden burst of energy. Sakura! He had never been so happy to see the pink-haired kunoichi.
"Hey, Sasuke-kun," she said brightly, entering. "How'd it go?"
You really don't want me to answer that. But he knew better than to say that aloud. "Fine," he choked out. "We're both among the living." She raised an eyebrow and walked into the living room to find her daughter sleeping soundly on the couch.
"Wow," she whispered. "I'm impressed. Thanks a lot for doing this, Sasuke-kun. I know you're not a fan of kids, but you deal with them pretty well. I hope she wasn't too much trouble."
Deciding to be diplomatic, Sasuke chose not to say anything. He nodded and made a beeline for the door. "Thanks again," Sakura called after him. "And say hi to Naruto for me, will you?"
Upon hearing the door shut, Uchiha Sasuke ran for his own home as fast as he possibly could.
"So how'd it go?"
Of course. Those would be the first words out of his mouth. "…I'll choose not to answer that, dobe."
"Aw, c'mon. It couldn't have been that bad."
"You try babysitting that little demon sometime. See how your sanity fares. Sakura says hello, by the way."
He collapsed on the bed, wanting nothing more than to just stay there for a year or so. But Naruto would not let it go.
"It's not nice to call little girls demons, Sasuke," he pointed out, grinning.
The raven tried a different tact. "How did the Chunin Exams go?"
The Sixth Hokage shrugged. "Pretty well. That kid Inuzuka Michi almost knocked Nara Aname out of Konoha, but other than that.." Naruto shook his head and returned to the subject at hand. "Come on, teme, tell me something."
Sasuke sighed and lifted his head briefly from the wonderfully soft pillow. "You want to know something? Fine-we are never having kids. Ever."
And back down went his head.
The blond spent a while after that wondering just what had happened during that infamous few days.
A week or so later, Sasuke was lounging about the house, slowly recovering from the nightmare that still screeched "BIRD-HEAD" in his dreams.
And then the phone rang.
He picked up skeptically. "Hello?"
"Hi, Sasuke-kun, it's Sakura! I was just wondering-I'm going to visit Lee at the hospital later on, and Shayla's been banned from the place since the…erm, IV incident. You did so well with her last time, so maybe-"
She got no further than that. Sasuke slammed the phone down on the receiver and took measures to ensure that the request would never be finished.
When Naruto got home that evening, he inquired as to why all the phones in the house were unplugged, not to mention why the door was bolted shut so that he had to enter through a window.
Needless to say, Sasuke did not answer.
A/N: So, how was it? I think I had waaay too much fun creating chaos for poor Sasuke; looking back, Itachi got off easy. XD
Reviews are, as always, greatly loved and appreciated, but feel no obligation. I hope you liked it! -SS