So finally, spring break. Sorry about taking so long to update this thing has been practically done for nearly 3 weeks, but I just didn't have the time to correct and upload it because I have been so busy with school as I am taking more credit hours than I usually do and was dumb enough to take 3 more difficult science classes during the same semester. I also have been trying to find a job on top of this as I am dead broke (like using up the money from my coin jar) and I was laid off from the cafeteria at school. This chapter ended up being 9401 words before author's notes.
Start Chapter 23
He most definitely was pregnant…. He was going to have a baby! A baby with Shika! He couldn't help but feel panicked. Pregnant with a baby in the middle of a war with both of them so young and unmarried while being future clan heads! There was an imidate decision made by the Nara clan stationed at the Cloud, Kakashi, and the Hokage that they were to be married right before the battle started. It wasn't like Harri was opposed. He was absolutely the opposite, really, but that didn't make the situation any less stressful or overwhelming and what was even worse was that Shikamaru didn't even know about any of it yet, not the marriage or pregnancy! He was on a mission to some remote island somewhere to help collect valuable intel and to help strengthen bonds and protections from ports that were to be used in trade routes for medical herbs.
It wasn't just the Nara getting ready for the wedding. The Yamanaka and Akamichi were informed almost immediately, as was appropriate, Choji was nearly in tears over it he was so happy for Harri and Shika'. He then, was upset when he found out Shikamaru didn't know and was in just as much of a panic after he found out that Harri was going to have a baby. Ino chewed him out about protection and using his brain. Then somehow Shino found out before Harri could say a word and that was a whole ordeal as it had hurt the taller boy's feelings. Harri was quick to assure him that he had been on his way to tell him when he found out.
In turn, that made Kiba find out about the wedding because Harri had been in such a rush to tell his, more sensitive than he let on, friend. Harri hadn't even paid any mind to a quiet Akamaru standing there who had told Kiba who blabbed it and whined at Harri for not telling them himself. That and how the wild-haired teen wanted to be in the wedding party too. Though thankfully, it seemed that Kiba somehow still hadn't realized Harri was going to have a baby. Probably because he was too focused on himself in the whole situation and Akamaru was kind enough not to say anything to his partner again much to Harri's relief.
Shino had taken over nearly immediately and was taking his duties as wedding planner very seriously. Painfully so and guarded them fiercely. Even Ino had been cowed into backing down. It may not have been such an easy title to win if Iruka and Kakashi hadn't left to collect several pieces critical to a Hatake wedding and if Shikaku hadn't been so busy coming up with the best team strategies possible in the short amount of time that he had without knowing much about the enemies abilities there would have been a regular war going on over whom took over wedding plans.
The Nara may have come off as uncaring and lazy a majority of the time, but those were his kids and marriages of love were an incredibly important occasion to the Nara. Often times not a single love match occurred in the clan in an entire lifetime, so it was a big deal, especially with a head of clan. A party that revolved around the wedding and reception for weeks.
Such things were even more important and rarer to the Nara for those of the main family, to fall in love. From what was recorded, the celebration usually lasted well over a month if the clan approved of the choice. Not a single Nara member went on a mission during that time and on the rare occasion that the clan strongly approved a procession of clansmen would carry the future clan heads around and show them off. Such things would usually lead to a clan reorganization.
Few knew, but at one time, the Nara were rulers of a fair chunk of Fire country, specifically the lands the Leaf now resided on and they had taken quite a good chunk of the center of the country, sticking mostly to thick wooded areas. Their clan had once stretched into the thousands and their intelligence and secrecy had kept them well cared for and difficult to beat. The Nara were always a cooperative and logical, tight-knit group that functioned more like a pack of well-oiled predators than the average shinobi, practically able to read each other's thoughts in times of fighting, so there was no way to turn them against each other. They were also kind….. Sometimes to a fault, especially in those times.. Because of this, enemy clans used a toddler with abundant chakra that they had abandoned to infect them with a deadly virus, one that a Shinobi without abundant chakra reserves like a Senju or Uchiha even with good bloodlines couldn't survive. If the clan had been ordinary citizens with little chakra and little training they would have been fine as the virus wouldn't have taken well enough to kill, but the Nara were all well trained. Even their lady and lord were brilliant.
Very few Nara had abundant chakra reserves, though, very few. It just wasn't a trait common to the Nara so they had developed fantastic Chakra control and married primarily for smarts for generations until the whole clan was known for being one of the most intelligent to have ever existed as a whole. It was rare for a clan member to not be at least low genius level. These traits didn't help them when they got infected, though. Within a matter of a month, more than 99% of the clan had died.
The only ones that were left were around 35 branch members that had someone managed to survive the disease regardless of how much chakra they had, a few seemed to even have an immunity to it. Less than a handful of members had enough chakra that they just had the worse case of stomach flu they had ever felt and got over it within a week or so and the rest that had survived were nearly all very small children and infants. The only survivors of the head family had been Lord Nara and his nearly 8 month old son and not quite 2 year old niece who thankfully had rather normal levels for a Nara of chakra for that age.
The last of the clan had been quick to flee before others could properly attack packing up anything that they could and going to hide in their sacred forest of vicious demonic deer. Their close friends the Yamanaka and Akimichi were quick to follow after being brutally attacked at the same time that the Nara had been too ill to come up with a strategy or the manpower to assist in driving them off of the shared territory. They had no choice but to resign themselves to sticking to the tiny sliver of what they all had left. The Yamanaka and Akimichi settled as neighbors of each other. This is how it stayed up until the village hidden in the leaves began to be built and the Senju noticed the clans and the hostile deer so close to their chosen village territory. Hoshirama and Madara had nearly started a war between the budding village and three allied clans by not only trying to hunt the sacred Nara deer but also because they had tried entering the Nara forest without invitation.
It wasn't until the three allied clans agreed to join the leaf that the Nara and the others changed the very demon-like running of their clans, which had become far more strongly enforced with the clans being so much smaller and packlike. The seals weren't quite as strong on the oldest of the clanmates. Those that had been rumored to have survived the massacre by illness over 160 years beforehand. They were said to only start to get prominent wrinkles and silver in their hair at the time and had a wild glint in their eyes that unnerved even Hoshirama, particularly the man that supposedly was the original fleeing lord's former infant son.
The head clan members had been the clans center, particularly the three children within it. They always had the best and most powerful of the clan members guarding them. It wasn't a requirement it was a mixture of instinct and a throwback to when they once were a much larger, more powerful clan protecting their land's leader. The branch members didn't like anyone anywhere near their lord or the minuscule head family, to be near their treasure, their sacred bloodlines were directly descended from their founding demonic clan member and the purest still of the entire clan.
Even after their fall, the clan had stayed incredibly close. It wasn't at all like the Hyuuga or many other clans that segregated themselves and treated their branch members as lesser. They, lord or guard were just as respected and loved as any other member. Hoshirama had somehow managed to convince all three clans to join his village and had even won the Nara's trust so much that he was even allowed near the clan's children, of which there were very few.
Eventually, the clan elders died from battles and those that remained were once again sealed before they were born, so instincts no longer controlled them all so strongly and with no proper head family to protect the Nara lost their will to be so tightly knit anymore and their way of living. Eventually, they functioned more like an average, mostly human clan. The clans best warriors focused on protecting the village instead of the clan and they found no reason to do so otherwise.
The village became their reason for trying again to some extent. Most were still rather apathetic. Life had no color until their lord's heir had come across the sweet-faced Harri. Inquisitive and bright and so kind. Eager to do anything Shikamaru wanted to do and never growing tired of the lazy heir or getting annoyed with his disinterest in doing much but reading and cloud-watching and sleeping. It wasn't long before Shikamaru was following Harri around just as eager to do what the other boy wanted, happy to just be around the other child. They could do nothing all day every day and the two would have been beaming as long as they were in each other's company. Harri brought a brightness to the Nara's otherwise colorless lives that they hadn't even realized they had been missing.
When The Uchiha died and Harri and Mai were over all the time, full of smiles and laughter and Mai into mischief, it wasn't hard for the Nara to grow to adore the both of them. Even they weren't immune to such charms. Mai became their shared pet demanding love and adoration and Harri, their beloved sergeant niece and cousin and child and lady. He knew all of them and really got to know them only because he genuinely wanted to, because he loved them all and they him.
Harri was the pride and joy of the Nara, the spark they had lost so many generations ago. They couldn't have been happier when they found out about Shikamaru's engagement with Harri. Ecstatic really! It had tore the clan apart when Harri had gotten taken. Now though, he was going to have a baby! Shikamaru was going to have a baby with not only his light but the only one that the clan could ever truly accept as their Lady. The first true lady in over 300 years. They couldn't be happier…. Or more panicked and disappointed all at once for a number of reasons especially for those happily marriage-less clan members that had adopted Harri as a sergeant son of sorts. They weren't happy that the clan's collectively adopted baby was going to have babies of his own so soon.
Even so, in the situation, it didn't matter as Shikamaru need to come back and soon. It was an automatic thing perhaps brought on by being around a carrier demoness for so long. Maybe such a thing activated dormant instincts in the clan members no matter what it was, the clan members were already beginning to follow Harri around. Becoming even more protective of their most vulnerable clanmate. A few could even be considered uncharacteristically aggressive towards others that dare to approach him. Harri was no longer ever alone as the clan fretted over him. They were becoming a proper demon 'pack' once again after so many generations… Though such behavior had been hinted here and there since Harri was much younger.
"Harri, no training! How many times do I have to say it? How could you run off and worry us like that? You may only be a few months along, but Shoma said that carrier pregnancies are dangerous! You have already got delicate health!" Maen insisted, his voice an intimidating growl even as his stern face was filled with gentle affection and worry.
Harri sighed, feeling the need to burn off energy but feeling guilty at the same time. He made his way over and let the man pull him into a side hug and check him over. Feeling both affection and exasperation for the man.
Two others arrived, both Nara, relieved expressions on their faces. The looks quickly morphed into disappointed parental expressions.
"Lady Harri, you can't be doing that to us! I swore I nearly had a heart attack!" A slender mid-20s looking clan mate scolded.
Shisho nodded, "we may be in allied territory now, but we don't actually know these people…. Someone may try to steal you away or our current enemy may even sneak in and try and kidnap you again. Especially if your immunity to genjutsu, including the Sharingan, becomes known to Madara!" The man sternly pointed out.
"Yes! Shisho is right, we can't know who is friend or foe right now and you are most vulnerable and valuable at the moment. You may be powerful, but that doesn't matter all that much if someone gets a good hit on your stomach in a surprise attack." Maen lectured.
Harri grimaced and unconsciously cupped his slightly swelling belly at the thought. He… hadn't thought of that.
"You didn't have to go that far, Maen." Shisho said, frowning at his cousin and patting Harri on the head.
"No… it's…. okay.. I… he's right. It is dangerous. I should be more careful." Harri agreed, he was going to be married soon… in the middle of a war. He would need to start to think of not only his baby and Shika' but the Nara clan as a whole for he and Shika' would be leading them and not only that, but he had to think about the village and the allied nations as well. He needed to get out of the mindset of taking care of just them but get into one of taking care of everyone and keeping everyone he could as safe as possible…. He just wasn't sure how to do that yet.
"Anyways, we are relieved that your safe, Harri. Come, the allied meeting will be soon. We need to get our assignments and we don't want you wondering on your own again." The mid to late 20s looking clan member, Kasuga, calmly pointed out, smiling as Harri readily agreed and followed without protest.
"Shikamaru should be back sometime today, you should be pleased!"
"Yes, our young lord is going to have quite the surprise on his hands. I am sure that young lord Aburame is going to have that poor boy's eyes spinning with all the prep work we have to get done in the next few days." Shisho said, smirking.
"Lord Shikaku is such a wreck right now! I haven't seen him work so hard to get things done in ages! I think he fears he might miss his sons' wedding with all that still must be done!" Kasuga chuckled, getting lazy grins and laughs from the other two Nara and a flustered sputter from Harri.
"I swear all of you just do whatever you can to get me all red-faced!" Harri pouted.
"Maybe a bit!" Maen agreed.
"Hey! Are you guys given that poor child a hard time again?" Inoichi exclaimed, even as his lips pulled up into a teasing smile.
"Ah, you caught us Lord Inoichi!"
"In our defense, our Harri is just so very easy to get flustered in matters involving our heir!" Shisho pointed out with a fond familial teasing tone of voice. The group couldn't hold back amused smiles as Harri emphasized their points by immediately going bright red again at the mention of his fiancé.
"That is true, but you shouldn't get him so needlessly flustered! Especially when he's doing a plenty good enough job himself." Inoichi scolded even as his lips quirked up into their own teasing smirk.
"You're all terrible!" Harri exclaimed, narrowing his eyes at the snickering platinum blond.
"There you are, heiress…. Is this a…. bad time? My son has been looking for you….. he said that Lord Nara wanted to meet the both of you before the assignments occurred." The familiar rough drawl of Shibi Abarame called out before landing in front of the group of Nara.
Everyone's faces sobered up.
"No, we were just chatting. I can go see Shino and Shikaku right now." Harri said, getting a nod from the man.
"I see, that is good then. Shino was….. concerned when he could not find you right away. I will come with you and make sure… you get to my son." The man said, using a pointed tone of voice that had Harri nearly ducking his head in shame and embarrassment. He hadn't meant to worry Shino!
"I'll be coming with as well. I'm Harri's guard after all." Shisho insisted.
"No….. I was informed that this was about something between the three." Shibi said in the typical Aburame deadpan. Making the other man pause and nod, readily accepting what Shibi was saying. Inoichi looked on in far more scrutiny after that.
"So….. I had known for a long time that…. You could… not be human…. Not with your strange pheromones and my insects notifying me of your strange…. chakra and flesh… My son has further confirmed my insect's hypothesis when I asked…. I have no issue with this as you have been nothing but good and trustworthy….. and you have been a good friend to my Shino…. Your secrets will always be safe with us as I trust in my son's judgment and strong friendship with you… that is why….. your pheromones… they are changing….." The man paused for a moment, clearly trying to think through what he was planning on saying.
"They have been for several months now…. Suddenly, I am finding things about weddings… and my Shino has…. Been researching babies… and I have caught glimpses of notes about…. Texts to do with traditions of the Uchiha that I know are not Uchiha traditions…. and…. The Nara clan traditions as well….. They were laying around the apartment that my family was graciously given for the time here…. What I am trying to say…. Is…. I wish to understand what is really going on…." Shibi paused for a long moment, letting Harri stare wide-eyed before he continued after it looked like at least a little of the initial shock wore off.
"Please be truthful…. Are…. You…. Aware that you are…. Pregnant?... Is that why my son has suddenly taken such an interest in….. pregnancies and weddings and why the Nara are acting…. so strangely?"
Harri let out a squeak of confirmation, startled when the man placed a hand on his shoulder. Something he wasn't expecting at all from the stoic Aburame. "I am…. Assuming that…. my hypothesis would be correct to say that it is the Nara heir's child than, yes?" The man promptly asked though a tad more gently. Getting a nervous nod. "I see… as.. I thought.. I want… you to know that…. you don't need to go through with this if you don't want to."
"I am disappointed that you would… allow… irrational instinct to cloud your judgment at such a young age…., but we will still support you. If you are being pushed into… this marriage with the Nara heir…. You don't have to go through with it. You have my clan's support….. We, the Aburame… would gladly have you and help you care for this child…... You… do not need to feel pressured to get married…." Shibi firmly told Harri.
"Lord Shibi, I-I wasn't expecting you! I am sorry that I have been dragging your kid away so much." Shikaku in a friendly tone of voice even as he narrowed his eyes ever so slightly at the other man.
"I know Harri is not a human…. And he is… powerful.. and emotional. What I do not know is if your clan has tried to capitalize on that fact." Shibi said in blatant distrust, especially after Shikaku had snuck up on the pair like that. Either way Shibi's words made the other man nearly chock on the tea he had been chugging down. They moved to head back into the building where the office provided to Shikaku was.
"I…. had suspected that you knew of Harri's…. 'differences' as it had been so easy for Shino to pick up on it…. But….. Accusing my clan of trying to take advantage….. Huh… Out of everything going through my head at what someone could accuse me of if they found out about the wedding we were planning….. I wasn't quite expecting that one… at least not out of you…." Shikaku said after a few minutes of thought, tone slightly daggered.
"Trust me when I say that I wish we weren't having this wedding here during such a crisis. It's so troublesome…. I wanted this wedding to happen at least a few years in the future during a time when everything was settled down and able to be celebrated properly! Their relationship has nothing to do with anyone but themselves and my grandbaby, their foolish demonic teenage hormones….. Honestly, mostly my lovesick brat's." Shikaku grumbled and rubbed at his face. He's eyes lighting with an unusual amount of fire when he focused back on the Aburame.
"So to give a proper answer, no, we aren't nor have we ever tried manipulating a relationship between the two. The pair pretty much had one of those love at first sight fairytale sorts of scenarios, I suspect." The man explained with a roll of his eyes.
"Shikamaru's proposal happened months ago and was a surprise for everyone! I mean, they're just kids! Suddenly Shikamaru wants an entire academy class worth of kids. Before he left, the pair were arguing with me about getting married in a year or so, is all! You can ask your son. He was there or involved in a lot of it. He has even insisted on taking over the ceremony. Harri and Shikamaru are both heirs on top of all of this, so it was decided the easiest and smartest way to clear everything up is through a wartime 'alliance creation' marriage between the Nara clan and the Uchiha, its such a mess!" Shikaku bemoaned.
"It is true, father. I have been assisting the Nara in managing the wedding. It may not be during a great time to have it, but I want Harri to be able to get the most out of it. Shikamaru is Harri's chosen life mate, after all." Shino insisted.
"It's true. I really love Shika'!" Harri exclaimed, cheeks going red at his own declaration. Especially as he was practically shouting such a thing to someone that was known for a quite stoicism that outclassed even Shino.
Shibi hummed under his breath and even through his sunglasses, his gaze was unnervingly intense as he seemed to be mulling everything over. For several long minutes, he did this before letting out a sigh. "Harri has been nothing but accepting and polite with the Aburame and our ways…. But I fear he has allowed emotions and hormones to cloud his rationality. He is… very young….. so very young and…. Deciding on a life mate… I…. I suspect he is as close as my Shino will ever….. come to having a life mate himself. I just wish for him to live a life that he will stay satisfied with….. Marrying for love is only good if it's a mutual symbiosis…. The life of an Aburame is calm and peaceful when not on missions, something…. I know Harri needs and has… expressed wanting….. Can such a life be provided for him? If he were to marry your Shikamaru… with the help of the Aburame….. would you as his future head of clan…. forbid Harri from being used as a shinobi once and for all if he wishes not to be one? If not…-"
"Yes.. Of course! I never wanted Harri to become a shinobi! I just never had any real say in if he was or not since even though I think of him as my own kid, he isn't."
Shibi nodded slowly, "The Aburame would like to supervise and assist then. It is traditional for the Aburame to assist in the wedding of a clan friend….. May I see your plans, son?" The man finally said after what felt like ages of him sitting and methodically thinking.
"Of course, father."Shino readily agreed, clearly relieved with the man's decision. He had felt the same way about Harri choosing so young. When he had discovered the baby, he felt ready to have a heart attack over his friend's impaired decision making. Still, he had seen the pair together for years. He felt Shikamaru and Harri really were a good match. However, if Shikamaru were to ever speak cruelly to Harri again…. Shino would end the Nara's life himself, in the most painful way, he could possibly come up with. And the Nara better not complain about him visiting his pseudo niece or nephew as often as he liked.
"The fans…. This isn't traditional to the Uchiha." Shibi pointed out, tone questioning. Though he was quite certain that Harri wasn't actually even part Uchiha, much like Hatake had said.
"It's traditional to his mother's family. The Uchiha copied many of the clan's traditions eons ago from what my research tells me…. As… I am confident you were able to tell… Harri's family isn't…. human….. the male….. demon's that can carry offspring are called carriers as you know father… and carrier from that particular clan of…. Demons…. are to wear particular garb when going through a life mate ceremony. This consists of hand-carved fans to be worn in the hair and from the ears along with the fan in the hair a string of opals and onyx are to hang from the paddle of the head fan 28 long….. while the ceremonial robs should only be made…. Of the silk of a giant…. demonic spider an… Arcumantula…. And cured in bright exotic dyes for precisely 91 years… As that isn't a reasonable amount of time nor are the materials needed to be gathered within reason we are just going to-"
"We're back!" Kakashi's voice cheerfully rang through the room.
"We had to go through every box in the underground bunker…. Thing.. he had neglected to tell me his entire clan had used for storage the last hundred years or so!" Iruka grumbled, clear disgust in his tone.
"My dolphin, it's really not like that!" Kakashi sheepishly assured, giving off the distinct impression that he was pouting. "I always keep the main house cleaned up!"
"No, don't dolphin me! The way I described that foul horde was kind!" The brunet hurmphed.
"But most of it wasn't even my mess, so you can't really get angry!" Kakashi wheedled, getting a raised eyebrow for his troubles.
"You have an entire house-sized bunker filled to the brim that I hadn't even known about and we have been mated for nearly 10 years now. 10 Mr! You know how-how I feel about filth Kakashi!" Iruka growled, shuddering and nearly tearing up as his skin crawled with the memories of all of those dusty spiders crawling all over him. He straightened his back. "Something permanent will be done when all of this is over Kakashi, I'm serious!" Iruka insisted, the pair hardly even noticing those in the room anymore as Kakashi meeped, holding his hands up in a placating way.
"My beautiful dolphin, we don't need to get so worked up over this… surely we can come up with…. Something." The silver-haired man tried negotiating. Clearly not enthused at the idea of having to clean all off that up, so gross! He squeaked at the rage that filled his beloved's face.
"Do not tell me how to feel…. About that filth Kakashi. We don't 'come up with something' we will go through it all together or it burns!" Iruka hissed.
The other's wisely decided to back off, no one was going to help the Hatake out with Iruka that angry. His temper was just as legendary as his patient and kind nature. He was no one to mess with when angered.
Shikaku looked ready to take a runner if necessary, Harri was quick to make his way to the window, standing next to the man, just as willing to dive out if Iruka entered raging dragon momma mode, completely.
Harri hardly even noticed Neji enter the room, only picking up on his energy than the sight of someone inching around the room, sweating bullets. Once the teen realized he had Harri's attention, he discreetly gestured at Iruka, getting a nervous shrug in return.
Finally, finally, after a few more minutes of promises of fires and pain to Kakashi, the man squeaked agreements to whatever Iruka wanted. A wise decision. One should never try and make deals or argue with an angered Iruka, even those that didn't know much about him knew that much. He wasn't one to provoke. Him being a chunnin at that point meant just about as much as being a genin did for the eternal genin.
"We don't have much time left. Can we please get started before Shikamaru shows up?" Shino eventually spoke up after a few moments, deciding that it was safe again.
Shikaku nervously coughed into a closed fist. Unable to help himself as he slowly practically tiptoed himself back over to the desk he had been sitting at and made no move to sit back down as he whale eyed Iruka. "Y-yeah, I was informed a little over an hour ago that my brat would be here in the next 4-6 hours. So we don't… have much more time. No matter what, the wedding has to happen by tomorrow evening." The man elaborated, "Batallion assignments can only be moved until the day after tomorrow. It was already quite a fight to get the Kages to do that and I was only notified they were willing to do that a few hours ago." He admitted.
"Oh, dear, that soon?" Iruka sputtered. Clear nervousness twisting his face. He was instantly diving headfirst into worried mother hen mode that ping-ponged between nerves and flashing Harri heartbroken/disappointed parental looks. Though, Harri swore Kakashi's looks of hurt and utter disappointment were somehow far more potent and soul-crushing, maybe because he didn't even bother to try and find any silver lining in the situation.
Harri nervously fiddled with his hair. Letting everyone take over again. Iruka and Kakashi had testily taken over wedding robes. Shikaku had unwillingly had to assist in that department being part of all sorts of arguments he clearly didn't want to partake in. None of the clan's involved through bloodlines and adoption, really had traditions that could be agreed upon. Though, it was insisted upon that traditions from all clans had to be considered other than traditions like pillaging clans and villages nor…. The disturbing ones discovered about the Black clan, though that wasn't a surprise there.
Everyone agreed that serving peoplekabobs probably wasn't the best or most acceptable idea. It had even had the usually nearly expressionless Shibi nearly choking on his berry, pineapple and papaya salad lunch after finding a whole section of human flesh-based recipes in a scroll he was skimming to better understand the Black clan's wedding(Mateship) traditions. It was quickly decided upon by all that it was a tradition that would be dropped from the family lines. The Nara weren't going to be picking up on any form of cannibalism and Harri wasn't too keen on the thought of eating humans, beings he had been raised with since he could remember to be family and friends, either.
Kakashi had simply shrugged and pointed out at the beginning of his clan such things weren't that unusual. He had then proposed kidnapping a clan child instead as long as they were below the age of 2 as practice before the baby was born, which was considered to be long-standing tradition of the Hatake. Making everyone give him the hairy eyeball. He laughed stiltedly after, waving his hand and insisting he was kidding…. Harri had the sneaking suspicion that he wasn't… He was pretty sure everyone else thought the same as they got rather quiet for a while after.
"You know….. This….. mother of yours…. Was quite obsessed with drowning people… and talking about themselves… I find myself concerned….. Is this a common theme among this clan?" Shibi eventually stated, tone on the edge of pained.
Shino made a quiet hum of reluctant agreement. "Yes, you will find lord…. Or lady…. As I am unsure what he referred to himself as… Black to have an unhealthy obsession with many things… from what we have all gathered, it was a common trait amongst the clan…Madness, that is…."
"Yes, thankfully, Harri didn't end up like them," Shikaku mumbled, tone more like a thankful praise to whatever gods he worshipped.
"Mu'm I don't think they were so bad I mean my clan descends from a few and look at how I turned out! Yeah, that one lady was…. crazy and slaughtered people into the thousands…. And Harri's mom was a bit… obsessed with himself…. And had a thing for… drowning people…. And his uncle was a train wreck… that may or may not have tried trapping Harri with him…. And….."
"Please…. Stop while you're ahead, I beg you. Knowing how you are, you really are not making a good case for you or them." Shibi said, tone dry. He gave an irritated Neji an odd look as he stood nearby fists shaking.
"Lady Harri, you cannot really be okay with letting them talk about your clan like that!" The Hyuuga implored, nearly vibrating in place.
"No, they were definitely crazy. I mean… look at what nearly happened to you! I've read more than anyone… their ramblings…. I mean…. I found a sugar cookie recipe that would melt any none clan mates eyes out of their head if they tried reading it because my cousin was so worried someone would try and steal it and… It wasn't even a very good one. They all had the consistency of sand and tasted….. kind of burnt no matter how long I put them in for….. and they were also really salty." Harri admitted, puzzled, sounding.
"The ash cookies the dogs wouldn't even eat! Huh, I always thought Sakura made those….. ugh, and I forced myself to eat those so she wouldn't feel bad….. I nearly choked to death on one of those things!" Kakashi grumbled, clearly pouting at Harri.
"Yeah, well…. Her cooking sure hasn't improved. I swear the fumes from anything she cooks could peel paint from a wall…. On the road with her for a couple of months and it was a total drag, I swear another few weeks and I would have been a goner! I'm just glad Harri was so troublesome and forced me to help him in the kitchen so much because it made me picked up a bit in cooking or I would have definitely died from starvation…. Poor Lee…. I swear he's lost at least ten pounds…." The familiar voice of Shikamaru rung out.
Harri squeaked, startled he hadn't noticed Shikamaru of all people approaching. He had apparently gone straight there instead of to bath before showing up. It was unusual for him to forgo a bath unless reporting something of great importance as he hated being covered in the filth and sweat of the road. Shikamaru had, on more than one occasion, admit to hating greasy hair even worse.
Although lazy and sometimes unkempt, when it came to hygiene, the Nara were a rather fastidious lot. It was likely one of the reasons that the Nara had always been known to have rather long life spans even during the warring eras before the great Shinobi villages were a twinkle in the eyes of any man. Shikamaru was especially focused on cleanliness, especially after being gone on a mission. It instantly had Harri a hundred times more nervous than he had been just to see Shikamaru again. Was something wrong? Was everyone alright?
The older teen's face lit up into a soft, besought grin when his eyes met Harri's frazzled ones. Shikamaru couldn't help but chuckle under his breath and immediately made his way over, pulling Harri to himself. Shikamaru nuzzled his cheek into Harri's soft hair and sighed at the strange sweet milky scent that filled his nose. It was like his whole body melted the moment he felt Harri in his arms again as cheesy as it sounded.
Shikamaru found that he couldn't eat without comparing everything to Harri's cooking, he thought about nothing but him and worried constantly and just ached and itched to have his mate back next to him. Shikamaru had felt so anxious that he could hardly even sleep the whole time that he was away. The feeling of being away from Harri had just been so wrong! The stress and exhaustion had stiffened every joint and muscle in his body. After months of soreness, Shikamaru worried that he would never not feel as decrepit as a 150 year old man again. That would have been such a drag, especially if he and Harri had a classroom worth of kids. It would surely be more than just a little troublesome, that's for sure!
Shikamaru had worried for nothing. Now that Harri was back in his arms, he felt he could finally loosen back up. Maybe they could go cloud watching for a little bit before dinner? That would be nice. He missed doing things like that and it wasn't ever the same without the other boy. Would Lightning country's clouds look different? Did they get to see different stars? He wanted to see… and he wanted to see… to see that with his Harri.
Shikamaru frowned as he realized he wasn't able to pull Harri as close to himself as he would have normally been able to and wasn't that particular? The new lovely milky sweetness was to. Shikamaru's eyebrows furrowed as his hand slid over a tiny roundness. His eyes went wide with bafflement. Before anything could properly register in his brain, his father's words collided with his ears like a raging bull.
"Way to make me a grandfather well before the age of 50, brat. How troublesome, my own son turning me into some old geezer at such an age!" Shikaku grumbled loudly, making sure his son could hear him loud and clear.
"You old, what about me?!" Kakashi scuffed.
Shikamaru stood perfectly frozen, looking faint.
"By the way, you're getting married tomorrow."
Shikamaru choked, "Wha-what?"
"It'll be in the evening."
"To-to Harri right?" The teen asked, sounding a bit panicked. What had happened while he was gone? What was even going on at this point? Harri… was going to have… Have a… their baby? He couldn't be a dad, yet he had a plan! Not until he and Harri were at least in their 20s! They would have more stability then! He and Harri would be older and he would have taken over most of the Head duties by then! On top of all of that, how could they have been unlucky enough to have gotten Harri pregnant at the start of the worst war that the world had probably ever known? What if something happened to Harri and the baby? He had been such a wreck at the thought of Harri not only being separated from him but also, being in the middle of the upcoming war. It had terrified him knowing such a thing was going to happen and-and wait….-
Shaking fingers carefully, anxiously ran their way over Harri's lightly protruding belly. He must be one sick puppy to feel the sudden delight that he was experiencing at the realization that the…. Ba-baby would keep his Harri out of the war…. that they had made that together, the baby that shouted to the world that Harri was only his, but he couldn't help it. Shikamaru bit his lip to control the calculating possessive smile that wanted to blossom over his lips and managed to settle for something a little bit less inappropriate for the situation. He just couldn't help but want Harri to be safe and pleased with the thought that even before marriage, he had irrefutable proof of his special bond with his love.
"So damn possessive." Shikaku snorted, eying his blood son with a pained sigh. Getting an embarrassed guff from Shikamaru.
"He truly is." Shibi monotoned, picking up on the boy's pheromones, practically gleefully screeching that the other boy was all his.
"Everyones always saying things like that!" Shikamaru grumbled, though he wasn't able to deny it…. It didn't mean he wanted to control Harri or anything like that. Not like the Uchiha. He just really really loved and adored Harri! He was the light of Shikamaru's life after all, as cheesy as that may have sounded. Shikamaru was more than happy to follow Harri to the ends of the earth as long as he was allowed to bath in that blinding light and make his Harri happy for the rest of their days.
Harri looked so unsure, so anxiously at him, Shikamaru quickly came to realize and it broke his heart that such an expression would be aimed at him. Shikamaru didn't like it, not one bit. The brunet's lips tugged up into the slightest of teasing smiles. "You're so troublesome! I mean, would being stuck with me be such a drag? You look like you would rather keel over any second!" He exclaimed, tone playful. A grin lit up his face when Harri let out a flustered sputtering guff, yelping slightly when Harri gave him a wack on the arm.
"Not true and you know it!" Harri huffed, nuzzling the other boy after getting pulled back into a hug again.
"True." Shikamaru all but purred, running wandering fingers over Harri's belly in a slow descending path. Eyes intense as he leaned over for a kiss.
"Ugh, enough! Stop panting all over each other!" Shikaku scolded, looking a little green. Getting a dazed nod in agreement from Neji, who looked like he wanted the floor to just eat him at that point. "Honestly, the pair of you can't even restrain yourselves long enough to try and find a closet to hide in, let alone until the pair of you are finally legal." The man grumbled.
"My, my, you just keep stealing all of my lines Lord Nara!" Kakashi exclaimed, tone deceptively friendly and cheerful. His eyes spoke of murder as they landed on the man's son, though, lingering on his still wondering fingers. His eye twitched at the sight.
"Hands Shikamaru!" Iruka barked, huffing when the teen sputtered and scuffed a 'such a drag' under his breath.
Kakashi beamed at his mate.
"Now, can we please finish up this last-minute stuff without having to watch you two all over each other? We only have about 16 hours left to get this all figured out and it isn't going to be happening if you can't stop giving each other gaga eyes for two seconds!" Iruka snarled, even as his eyes narrowed dangerously at Shikamaru, who gave the man a nervous placating smile and quickly stepped away from Harri. That man scared him maybe even more than his own mother and that woman was absolutely terrifying!
"Wait, what about the reception? You can't have an heir wedding without booze!" A guffed, and continued to run a brush through a giant pile of perfectly groomed wild white fluff bleating in agreement on his lap.
"What the? What is that thing?" Tsunade sputtered.
The pile of fluff sprung from the man's lap and darted over to Shikamaru, pawing at his legs and excitedly bleating, demanding pets.
"T-that thing is Mai?" The teen exclaimed, feeling like he was going to die from the sheer soft fluffiness of the goat when his hand sunk into her strangely long and messy fur. He could hardly see her legs or face there was so much fur now. He yelped when the static seeming to make her fur stand on end zapped him, then, continued petting more carefully. It reminded him of a more cottony version of Harri's hair in softness quality…. Something he would pet practically every minute of every day if it weren't considered incredibly weird and creepy to do so. Harri's hair had practically been a drug when they were kids, with it somehow being even softer than it was currently.
"Yup, the last few days it just started growing out of control! Probably because of my constant attention and care! That and she hasn't had a hair cut since she got here so, that probably helps." The Raikage said, tone more than a little bit braggy at that point.
"I don't know… it doesn't make much sense… She's short-haired and hasn't ever needed to get a haircut… her fur doesn't even feel the same either." Shikamaru pointed out.
"Yeah, this is really… really… weird…. Even for her… I mean- Oh! She's so soft now!" Shikaku exclaimed, nearly melting at the feeling of her fur. He to, yelped when he got zapped. "Why are you so full of static? We are in a humid environment." The man grumbled.
Harri couldn't help but gush over his little gremlin. She was just so adorable and soft! Her coat had such a luscious sheen to! "You've done such a good job with my Mai-Mai! Thank you so much for watching her the last few days! She just looks so great and pretty! I try so hard, but I can never get her to look even a tenth as good as she does now! Could you please tell me your secret?"
"keratin, I used keratin on her fur! Looks great, right?" A said, chin in the air as he grinned.
"It's still so weird that her hair grew out like that…. especially so fast!" Tsunade butted in, eying the little creature with a mixture between puzzlement and mild concern.
"Not as strange as one may think," Kakashi spoke up from the back of the room, sounding strangely unnerved as he eyed the little beast with an unusual amount of trepidation. However, he didn't say much about the topic after that. Harri and the Raikage got distracted with Mai. They went into an enthusiastic discussion about the little heathen until Shikaku and Shiba managed to wrangle the discussion back around to the wedding.
It was decided that there would be no reception as it was not only not an intelligent thing to do with war starting two days after the wedding, but also because the marriage was considered to be such a big deal for the Nara it would be considered to be an extreme insult to have some quick put together reception afterward. Feud worthy even. It was already hard enough to get the clan members that were even presently there to agree with the quick little wedding that they were doing for the pair and it was thought of more as a legal claim on each other from the pair in case something happened than anything to do with a marriage. That and a proper claim on the baby that Harri carried.
The wedding wasn't nearly as big or eyecatching as one would have thought it would have ended up as with so much time being put into it to the clear disappointment of one brooding Shino. After scrambling around for days, it was decided that they would leave his plans until Shikamaru's and Harri's official Nara approved wedding. Which was considered to be an act of great friendship and respect to the Aburame. Especially when the 'real' weddings plans would be allowed to be planned out in the slow and methodical way the Aburame loved so much and gaining such trust as to be allowed to assist in the planning of a true heir wedding of two different clans. Not surprisingly, Shino, Shibi, and the others involved were much happier even if they were still annoyed with their plans being ruined.
The ceremony was held in a local mixed religion temple that the Raikage's family maintained, featuring not only idols from Shinto and Buddhist beliefs but also a few members from the God's Black as well. It had been more than a little unnerving to have the bronze face of Harri's deranged uncle staring at them the entire time. The same with being in a room with a probably 50 foot tall Sirius posing like a young female pop idol which the Raikage proudly bragged was a one of a kind piece that had supposedly been created eons beforehand and he swore that each God's Black statue had been created after each, then living, god had allowed themselves to be used as models. Supposedly being created by Dean, the younger cousin of, Kingsley, a demi-god that the kage proudly exclaimed his minuscule clan had descended from. Harri could believe it. The statues looked disturbingly close to the real-life looks of his mother and uncle figure and the statue of Kingsley matched one that he had seen back at the Black clan compound. On top of that, the demi-god had looked almost painfully similar to a statue that Harri had seen of the first Raikage…. So he was apparently distantly related to the Raikage's linage….. It explained why he was so powerful why the clan had such amazing lighting chakra. The cult in lightning country was starting to make a whole lot more sense now, to.
The wedding may not have been what anyone had wanted, but Harri didn't mind all that much. He was just finally happy that he was Shika's and Shika was finally officially his too! Maybe not quite by Nara standards, but at least by common law and he had most of his favorite people all around him.
Harri didn't think it was possible to be happier until he saw the bright wide grin making his Shika' practically glow. It took his breath away, that dazzling look, those eyes only for him, that pure adoration directed at him. Harri swore he fell in love all over again, a heavy syrupy sort of happiness filled him all the way up. Harri loved him, he loved him so much and their baby… the baby, his Shika, made with him. Harri didn't think he could ever be convinced that another more handsome man could ever exist than Shikamaru, who had him feeling faint at the slightest tilt of those soft warm lips. Harri suspected that he had been captivated by his mate years ago, before he even knew what love really was, the first time Shikamaru gave him one of those lazy mischievous knowing smiles that made Harri feel even at his worse moments…. like everything would be okay.
Harri had heard some of the girls say things like the other teen was too plain or boring, but they were idiots losing out on a once in an eon sort of catch. A good handsome guy that bared himself raw to Harri and what was under that lazy exterior was a wonderful radiant warmth Harri was so happy was his! And don't get him started on Shika's eyes, he had such beautiful, expressive eyes! The golden tint reminding Harri of a sunflower. No, those girls were such idiots if they couldn't see how stunningly handsome his Shikamaru was and Harri was glad for it. He would never share him, ever.
"What's making you think so hard?" Shikamaru teasingly purred, planting a kiss on Harri's nose.
"You'll think it's silly!"
"Maybe I won't…. Why don't you tell me? You'll give yourself a headache scrunching up your face like that." Shikamaru hummed, leading Harri towards the kage tower, where Harri and some of the others had been staying at. Harri shuddered when the other teen gave his ear a light nip. "and I would hate for my lovely bride to… not be… enjoying himself on our wedding night. It would be a drag if I were to have to celebrate all on my lonesome.~"
Harri whimpered, cheeks going bright red. "I… Was thinking about how handsome my Shika' is… and how happy I am to have you." Harri admitted.
"Well, I'm glad you're attracted to me as much as I'm attracted to you. It would be such a drag to spend the next eternity with someone that couldn't appreciate this gorgeous mug of mine!" Shikamaru teased, grinning at how easy it was to get Harri all red and flustered. "But…. Seriously…. I love you…"
"What kind of question is that? Of course, always and forever! I gave up dying a human death, silly troublesome thing! Do you think a pitiful cowardly creature such as myself would give something like that up for just anyone? I love you more than words can convey!" Shikamaru grumbled, yanking Harri up into his arms and nuzzled his face into Harri's before nipping harshly at his mating mark.
"Me to Shika' I love you to… More than I could ever find the words to say… I always have… I… think.. even when we were little… I knew when… you would smile at me… Everything would- ugh, be okay. And uh- we have the pup now and-ugn-and I'm so happy!" Harri whimpered, shuddering as Shikamaru nibbled more gently at his mark, the other humming in pleasure at Harri's words.
Shikamaru pushed open the door to the apartment and went straight for Harri's nest, which he had seen earlier in the day and carefully tossed him down on it. Harri squeaked when the other was immediately back on him and mewed when a finger was suddenly rubbing greedily up and down his insides. Harri couldn't help but to keen when Shikamaru leaned down, his hot breath velvety against his ear and cheek and that finger turned into a firm, warm hand twisting and rubbing his cock head just right. Shikamaru let out a charmed little chuckle when Harri let out a string of needy submissive sounds.
"I'm happy to, happier than I thought a guy…. Like me…. could ever be." Shikamaru admitted, whispering like it was a secret that only Harri was ever meant to hear. Like if he said it too loud, he was afraid he would wake up to it all being a dream.
Harri hoped it wasn't a dream. As horrible as the world had been to him…. He didn't think he could bare this, all of it to be a dream. It may not have been the best time… and they were still so very young… but Harri was still so happy… for once in such a long time, he was totally content feeling. He and Shika' were together now… and they were going to have a child together even if life felt hard right now, life would get better. He was having a baby with Shikamaru. They were happy and nothing could change how they felt for one another. He felt safe.
End Chapter 23
So yes, I know this is probably not what everyone was expecting. But I realized this chapter would have been at least 15,000 words if I completed it the way that I wanted to and I decided I wanted to get this chapter out and that I wanted to wait until after the war to have a proper Nara wedding. I hope people enjoyed it still and yes, sexy times will happen. I just plan to have it happen, starting at the beginning of the next chapter.
So I am dead broke and I have commissions open if anyone is interested. I am becoming a scientific Illustrator and so I am decent at drawing if anyone is interested. I draw Harri pretty often at this point and am decent at drawing him and Shikamaru, to be honest. I can also draw animals well. I would also probably be willing to be commissioned to write some fanfictions. Not pushing it but putting it out there because I'm down to my change jar and I think I am decent enough to at least start commissions.
A new fanfiction will be released soon and once I get a little more time I am working on some chapters from already posted stories so look for those updates soon!
Please review! It really helps motivate me, especially when I am going through really stressful times like I am right now. I oftentimes take suggestions in reviews for consideration in use in my stories as well!
I have been a little stuck on what should happen next in the next chapter, so suggestions would be appreciated! It is one of the reasons it took me so long to finish up.