Summary: It was the most awaited marriage of the year, of all time in fact. Yet, deep inside her, she often wondered if she married him because she still loved him, or because she pitied him.
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto, at all. All the characters belong to Kishimoto Masashi-sensei. The only things in this story that are mine are the OCs and the plot itself.
Guise of Love
Chapter Two – Four Children in Tow
It was such a sight to see the brand new Uchiha family walking down the road, Sasuke and Sakura either taking out the children for a walk or for a visit to one of their friends.
In Sasuke's left hand was the small hand of their eldest son, Satoshi, an almost spitting image of him save the style of his hair and his eyes. Satoshi's hair was growing long, almost long enough to tie it into a ponytail in fact. His eyes, however, were as deep and as green as his mother's.
His right hand was supporting a young girl, their only daughter. She was half-asleep, her sable eyes, half-lidded. Her rosette colored hair was tied into pigtails, the tufts of hair short.
In Sakura's arms were their twin boys, Kyou, the older one, and Haru. Kyou looked strikingly like Satoshi while Haru, without a doubt, looked exactly like their father. Their hair was still short, growing quickly and messily at the same time.
Today was the day they were going to Neji's house to celebrate the birthday of his twins, Ruu and Ren. It was their fourth birthday, the same as Satoshi's. Though Neji and Tenten had gotten married earlier than they, Ruu and Ren were born some three weeks after Satoshi.
Soon enough, they were finally there, the house of Hyuuga Neji and Tenten. The outside hardly spoke of the fourth birthday of the twin children of the Hyuuga prodigy but somehow, they highly doubted the interior was anything like that. Neji dearly loved his children, despite not showing it.
As that thought crossed Sasuke's mind, an amused smirk found its way to his face. Even he was like this with his own children. Although Yuzuki, Kyou, and Haru didn't seem to notice, Satoshi did but he understood. It was in his father's nature.
"What are you smirking about?" asked Sakura, facing her husband as he let go of Satoshi's hand, knocking the door. Obviously, Sakura was incapacitated to do so, carrying sleeping three month old boys in her arms.
"Nothing," replied Sasuke, his son's hand in his once more. Raising her eyebrow, Sakura nodded slowly, slightly doubting that he had just wanted to smirk right then and there.
When the door finally opened, they were greeted with a slightly hassled Tenten. It seemed that mothers always wanted every single detail to be perfect. The Uchiha patriarch wryly remembered what happened when it was Satoshi's birthday. Every time someone was going to talk to Sakura, she looked like she was about to have a nervous breakdown.
"Sakura-chan, Sasuke-kun, welcome!" greeted Tenten, a somewhat obvious forced smile on her face, probably to keep the children from worrying about her. "I see you brought the children."
"Yeah, we did. We couldn't leave the twins at home so we had to bring them," replied Sakura, a slightly weary smile on her face. Sasuke was adamant about not hiring a baby sitter to take care of their children.
"Let me help you with one of them," said Tenten, picking up Haru from his mother's arm under Sasuke's watchful gaze. "This is Kyou-kun, isn't it?"
"No, that's Haru," said Sakura, pointing to the baby's slightly opened eyes. Tenten frowned at her mistake.
"I can never tell them apart. With Ruu and Ren, it's so easy to tell who's who," she muttered, ushering them inside.
"Sometimes, Sasuke can't tell Kyou from Haru as well and he's the father!" said Sakura with a laugh, earning a dark look from him.
In the Living Room
It was a fairly pleasant sight in the living room. Kyou and Haru were still busy sleeping, this time set up in Ruu's and Ren's old cribs. Satoshi, Ruu, and Ren were playing with building blocks, trying to see who could build the tallest tower. Yuzuki was playing in the corner with some plush cubes, playing with Naruto and Hinata's only child at the moment, the three year old Hyuuga Mirai.
It was one of the few conditions that Hiashi set down in front of Naruto before allowing him to marry his older daughter, that their son would bear the name Hyuuga so the line could carry on. All his other children would bear the family name Uzumaki. Naruto seemed to all too readily agree.
Luckily, three years and some months since Mirai's birth, Hinata was pregnant again. Her stomach revealed a healthy five months of pregnancy, her face more radiant than usual as she sat down, her opalescent eyes on her only son.
Naruto was up in the guest room, sleeping. He had just come from a mission the night before and had begged to be excused until all of them were complete. Neji had at least allowed him that much.
Meanwhile, Neji and Sasuke were playing poker, betting imaginary money, in order to pass time by. Ironically, they weren't wearing their poker faces. They were wearing their normal expressions though everyone could have sworn it was their poker faces, had they not known the nature of the two prodigies of their respective clans.
In the kitchen, Sakura and Tenten were busy decorating the cake. Half of it was violet, white characters on that side spelling out Ruu's name. The other half was blue, the characters spelling Ren's name instead. In the center were two candles, carved into the shape of the number four, one for each of them.
"I can't believe it's almost been five years since you were married," commented Tenten, pressing down on the piping bag to add more leaves to the pale pink butter roses that rested on top of the violet half of the chiffon cake. "How's it been since then?"
"Wonderful, I couldn't ask for more," said Sakura with a smile, gently adding sugar bandages atop the small butter kunai that were placed haphazardly on top of the blue icing.
"Well, that's it. I'll bring out the cake and you can go and check on Kyou and Haru. I'll have Neji wake Naruto up soon, hopefully not too violently," said Tenten, a bright smile on her face. Standing up straight, she marveled at their handiwork.
"Okay," said Sakura, toweling off the granules of sugar on her hand. "I'm sure Ruu and Ren will love the cake." Tenten beamed at her words. It wasn't often that Tenten cooked or baked but when she did, she tried to go all out with her work.
Fifteen Minutes Later: The Dining Area
Standing in front of their cake, Ruu's and Ren's faces were illuminated with the soft orange glow from the lit candles. Allowing himself to lower his defenses a little, Sasuke had provided the fire using an extremely mellow version of the Katon: Housenka no Jutsu.
During his two and a half years with Orochimaru, Sasuke had thought to learn how to mellow out the Katon: Housenka no Jutsu. It seemed like a useful thing to learn, sometimes needing only a slight amount of light in order to see without giving himself away.
"Blow the candles out!" urged Tenten, clasping her hands in anticipation. Taking in a breath of air eagerly, the twins blew out their candles; Ren's dying out just slightly before Ruu's. "Happy birthday Ren! Happy birthday Ruu!"
"They grow up so fast, don't they?" commented Naruto after yawning. It was obvious he didn't have time to get ready, still in his pajamas. None of the others seemed to care though, knowing he had just come back home from a difficult mission.
"Okaa-san, can we have cake already?" asked Ren, tugging on his mother's arm. It seemed that he was preferential to his mother.
"Otou-sama, let's have cake!" said Ruu cheerfully, her hands wrapping around Neji's right. It also seemed that Ruu was preferential to his father.
Looking at Neji's family, Sasuke vaguely wondered what kind of shinobi Ruu and Ren would turn out to be. Though both of them would be adept at weapons and the Byakugan, their parents obviously seeing to that, would Ruu prefer to use the Tai Jutsu style the Hyuuga Clan was famous for and would Ren prefer to use an impressive arsenal of weaponry?
"Ne, Otou-sama, what are you thinking about?" asked Satoshi, tugging on his father's shirt. Looking down, Sasuke eyed his younger son. He really did look a lot like him, though he had his mother's green eyes, the same green eyes that drew him to her since the beginning.
"Nothing really," replied Sasuke, patting his son's head. A slow nod came from Satoshi, a slightly crestfallen look on his face. A slight pang of guilt surged through Sasuke, seeing his son's reaction. "We can go to the park later if you want, if it's alright with your mother."
At his words, Satoshi's face brightened considerably. It seemed that it didn't take much to make the young Uchiha heir to be happy. It seemed that it didn't take too much to make the older Uchiha content either, an amused smirk on his lips.
Two Hours Later: At the Park
Sasuke watched as Satoshi played in the sandbox, trying to build something from the dry sand. He wanted to tell him that the sand was far too dry to stick but the determined expression on Satoshi's face amused him. It reminded him of when he was seven, trying to get his brother to teach him the proper use of the shuriken. Now, it was far too late for that.
Sasuke was twenty-two when he was sent out on an ANBU mission, the details concerning the planned destruction of a civilian village by a pair from the Akatsuki. He was hoping that it would be his brother along with the shark-looking one from the Mist.
It was a long and arduous travel of three days, the village isolated from the rest of the citizens of the Fire country. When the eight of them arrived, the Rokudaime Kakashi deciding to have two ANBU platoons working on the case with Sasuke being the overall leader, they were greeted with a smoldering village, two shadowy figures approaching them. He could still remember the words they spoke before the fight ensued.
Flashback: Six Years Ago
"…You," hissed Sasuke, lifting up his mask to reveal his already activated Sharingan. "What did you do this for?"
The other seven ANBU backed away slightly, watching as the two remaining Uchiha engaged in a staring contest where the loss was even greater than just getting a slight headache. The minute their Sharingan had locked onto each other, it seemed that there was nothing that would stop them from walking the path of killing the other to stay alive.
"To measure my strength, foolish little brother," replied Itachi, an amused look on his face. "What else would this be all about?" He seemed to know all the right buttons to press.
"BUT YOU KILLED OUR ENTIRE FAMILY TO DO JUST THAT!" accused Sasuke, his face twisting itself into a such a violent expression that terror-filled shivers ran through the spines of his fellow ANBU teammates.
"Ah, you seem to have become an ANBU Captain at… twenty-two right? My how time has flown," said Itachi, changing the topic. "I was only thirteen and a Chuunin when I got that title. Nine older and when you're a Jounin, that's when you become an ANBU Captain. Pity."
"THAT'S NOT THE POINT BASTARD!"
"Quite frankly it is, foolish younger brother of mine. Now, let us see if those nine years and that higher level will be to your advantage, Sasuke," spoke Itachi, his Magenkyou Sharingan spinning wildly.
At Itachi's words, Sasuke all too readily sprung into battle, forgetting how tired his body was from the traveling, the wailing of the spirits of the dead Uchiha adding more fuel to the fire that would soon consume him if he didn't kill his brother during this encounter.
End of Flashback
"Otou-sama, Otou-sama!" cried Satoshi, a delighted tone in his voice. Sasuke snapped out of his blood-filled reverie, looking up to where his son was playing. "Look, I did it! I made a sand castle!"
Near the sandbox was a small bucket of water that Sasuke didn't seem to notice, almost empty already. Spots of damp sand lead from the edges of the box to the pile of wet sand that had been formed to what Satoshi called a castle. On his hands were clumps of wet sand, clinging to his skin like metal would to a magnet.
"…As expected of my son," said Sasuke standing up and walking towards Satoshi. He had only heard his father say that once to him, when he had mastered the Katon: Goukakyuu no Jutsu. He felt that he didn't need to keep Satoshi from hearing those words. He would speak it to them as often as Satoshi deserved to. "Let's get you cleaned up before we go back home. Your mother, your sister, and your brothers are probably looking for us already."
Clambering out of the box, Satoshi ran towards the nearest faucet, planning to wash off the sand from his hands. Satoshi really did remind Sasuke of himself when he was younger and ignorant. He was everything he used to be before his brother killed their, his, clan and along with it, the naïve soul that held everything Sasuke could have been but could never be.
After Dinner: In the Kitchen
When Sakura had been waiting outside for her husband and her eldest son, she smiled at the sight of them when they finally appeared. Satoshi was sitting on his father's shoulders, his left hand pressing against the top of Sasuke's head while his right hand waving vigorously at his mother.
"What made you decide to go to the park with Satoshi?" asked Sakura as she passed a wet dish for Sasuke to dry. He shrugged, absently drying the plate with a towel. "You made Satoshi's day and mine as well."
Sasuke looked up at his wife, a slightly confused expression on his face. He knew how he made his son's day, but just how did he make hers? A soft smile appeared on Sakura's face as she looked at him, the dish she was washing down in the sink.
"Because you spent the afternoon with our son, that's why," she explained, leaning forward and giving him an affectionate kiss on the cheek. "It's what a mother wants to see, happy children." Picking up the dish, she continued to clean it, the porcelain cool against her weathered fingers.
A frown found its way to Sasuke's face, lifting his hand and touching the place where his wife's lips had touched. It was a little lacking for him, as images of the nights that caused her to be pregnant flashed in his mind.
"Can we do the dishes tomorrow?" asked Sasuke, pulling away her soapy hands from the plate that had so taken her interest. She looked up at him, a slightly annoyed look on her face. Why postpone something when you could do it now? He answered her with a kiss, soft with passion but strong with want.
When they pulled apart, a rather impish, but still very Sasuke, look appeared on his face as he began walking towards to their room, his wife's hand in his. It was past the bedtime of the children so they didn't have to worry about being heard. Besides that, their room was secluded, far away from the children's to have privacy, but close enough for the children to walk or run to.
Arriving at their room, Sakura felt a surge of passion rising between her and her husband, his mouth at the base of her neck, his calloused hands supporting her back. He had already kicked the door closed, pushing his wife down on the bed as he moved from her necks to her lips once more.
Moaning, Sakura wrapped her arms tightly around Sasuke's neck, pulling him closer and deepening their passionate kiss. She knew where this was going and quite frankly, it was a welcome change from how he had been acting the past few nights.
Four in the Morning: In Their Bedroom
It was cold and empty beside her when Sakura had finally woken up, the crisp white sheets of their bed wrapping around her. He was probably in the shower, getting ready for the day. He rarely had any days off when it wasn't his vacation leave. He was just lucky that he got one yesterday.
Yawning, Sakura sat up straight, her right hand making sure the sheet wouldn't fall from her body. It was four in the morning but she was wide awake.
"I'm probably going to have a nap in the afternoon because of this," whispered Sakura to herself, standing up and walking over to their closet. She was at least going to wear a robe and her underwear to cover herself up.
While the pink haired Jounin rummaged through their closet, the clothes there mostly hers, the door to the bathroom swung open, revealing a slightly wet Sasuke. His hair was messier than usual, the cause of that probably the towel that was on his head.
"You're up," said Sasuke, walking over to Sakura as he continued to dry his hair with one hand. "You should still be in bed. The four of them are such a handful after all."
"I thought I should be up early anyway. I also don't think it's a good idea for Satoshi or Yuzuki to come into the room seeing their mother naked. Kyou and Haru are too young to care," replied Sakura as she turned to face him, an amused gleam in her eyes.
And thus ends chapter two of The Guise of Love!
Thank you for all the wonderful reviews that you gave. It makes me feel like writing TGoL was indeed not a bad move for me to take!
And yes, I did have that sudden urge to make Sasuke like that. This story lacks it so I just had to write it XD
Kyou and Haru sleep far too much. Then again, they're just months old so the babies will have to be excused and be left to sleep cutely.
And I so want to see this family drawn, but my craptastic skills in drawing force me not to. Is anyone kind enough to draw for me? The effort will be highly appreciated. :o
The next couple of chapters are probably going to be somewhat dark, as Sasuke will be leaving on a mission and Sakura is starting to feel the toll of taking care of four children, all of whom she loves very much.
Anyway, here's the chapter preview and hope you're awaiting the next chapter of The Guise of Love like I am!
Next Chapter: Chapter Three – The Dark Side of Family Life
Chapter Preview: Sakura sighed as she turned to face the side Sasuke would be sleeping in, had he not left for another ANBU mission. The bed was cold and uninviting; her hands resting on the pillow Sasuke rested his head on for the past five years of his marriage. It was always like this whenever he left the village.
"…Okaa-san…?" came a voice, causing Sakura to look at the doorway. It was Satoshi, his hair mussed from tossing and turning on his bed. His shirt slipped from his shoulder, a sleepy look on his face, as his right hand dragged a thin blanket. "Okaa-san, can I stay with you tonight?"