Chapter 18: The Aftermath
As much as Akina loved her parents wedding, she also grumbled about it. Why? There was a simple reason, and it was that school was starting. They had their wedding in the fall, right near school time, so a week later found Uchiha Akina (she liked the sound of that) getting up early and sitting angrily at the kitchen table, slowly eating a bowl of cereal. Sasuke was also eating breakfast, smirking at his sulking daughter while Sakura sat there, sipping at a cup of coffee and blatantly ignoring her husband and daughter.
"So, Akina, glad to be going back to school?" Sasuke asked, that oh-so-familiar smirk on his face. His daughter glared at him, causing his smirk to widen.
"Sasuke, please don't provoke Akina." Sakura said tiredly, and Sasuke merely shrugged, although he was still smirking and Akina was still staring at him hard, her eyes like jagged pieces of flint, looking ready to set her father on fire.
"I know that you don't want to return back to school, but don't worry, it'll all be over soon and you'll be on a genin team with your sensei." Sasuke said, and the dark-haired girl looked down and nodded at her bowl of soggy cereal. Sakura sighed and ran a hand through her hair. Honestly, she had never thought that her husband would be so...childish. She inwardly smirked; perhaps Naruto had rubbed off on Sasuke more than they all believed.
"Okay, Akina, it's almost time." Sakura told her daughter, glancing at the clock. Akina groaned loudly, and Sasuke chuckled.
"Come on, you. I'll walk you."
"You ALWAYS walk me." Akina grumbled, but complied. She kissed her mother on the cheek and headed out into the living room, grabbing her backpack and heading out the door with Sasuke. She yawned as they walked, and Sasuke rolled his eyes.
She was gonna have to get used to waking up early from now on, even if she didn't want to.
It was obvious that fall was in the air. The leaves on the trees were turning a crisp red, and some crunched underneath their feet. Akina sighed and shifted her backpack. In a flash, it was off her, and she glanced around, bewildered. It was then that she noticed that it was in her father's hands, and she growled. He merely shrugged.
The youngest Uchiha sighed and didn't object any further; after all, Sasuke was only nice for no reason on so many accounts. He was still that cold man before he left. Akina saw it, as did her mom. There were days were he would just sit there and be totally silent, or he would snap at one of them. Of course, there were worse days than that. Akina had once fallen asleep on the couch with her dad, only to be woken up by violent convulsions: it was Sasuke.
He had never told her what his nightmare had been about, and Akina had never asked; however, the look of utmost pain that had been on his face would forever stay with her.
"Is that girl still bothering you?" He asked, and Akina knew whom he meant. She silently shook her head.
"No. After I didn't respond to her teasing, she just...gave up." Sasuke merely nodded, and the younger one glanced up, watching as his jaw clenched and he kept his eyes straight ahead. Akina sighed; they were cold and empty, and it was obvious that something was bothering him. She reached up and grabbed at his hand, and her father looked down at her. She smiled slightly, and his eyes softened before he squeezed her hand and they continued to walk.
"Akina!" Ayame squealed, and the last Uchiha found herself in a tight and choking hug.
"C-can't breathe!" She gasped out, and her best friend let go, grinning sheepishly.
"Sorry," the green-eyed girl apologized, "it just feels like it's been forever since I saw you."
Akina frowned, but her lips twitched upwards: a sure sign she was trying to smile but was fighting it. "You just saw me a week ago."
Sasuke shook his head, smirking. He placed a hand atop Akina's head, and she looked up at him. She wasn't laughing, but her eyes were. "I'll be back at three, okay?" His daughter nodded, and he gave her a tiny smile before dropping her book bag gently and turning, walking back to the house. The two little girls watched him go, Akina with narrowed eyes, Ayame's merely curious.
"Is something the matter with him?" Ayame asked quietly, and Akina sighed.
"I have no idea. He always seems to be on edge lately," her eyes, if possible, narrowed even more at her fathers retreating back, "it's as if he's waiting for something." She sighed, running a hand through her raven hair. "Forget about it. Let's go, before we're late." Ayame nodded, and the two incredibly reluctant girls walked inside, condemned to their fate.
Weeks passed, and as they did, Sakura's hormones took a permanent ride on a roller coaster. One minute she was screaming at Sasuke, the next, crying in his arms. Overall, said male was very confused, although he would never admit it. He would just hold her to him, wondering what the hell could be wrong with his wife.
Not only was Sasuke confused, Akina was as well. Her mother slept a lot, ate a lot, and she seemed to be having quite a few emotional problems. Just the other day Akina had dropped a plate, accidentally slicing her finger a little bit, and it had been Sakura who had started crying.
Can I get Confused for $500, Alex? (A/N- Reference to Jeopardy. I know, there's no Jeopardy in Japan, but work with me here, people!)
"Dad?" Akina murmured, as Sasuke washed dishes and she herself dried them.
"Is...is mom okay?" Her father sighed, privately glad that Sakura had gone in to go take a nap, claiming that she was exhausted.
"Of course, Akina. She's just tired; she works a lot, you know that." Akina nodded, absentmindedly drying a plate carefully so that she wouldn't hurt herself again.
"Yeah, I know. But... she hasn't been herself these past few weeks." She said lowly, and Sasuke felt inclined to agree; however, he knew better than to pester his petal-haired wife, not unless he wanted to find himself thrown through a wall, courtesy of her monstrous strength.
"Don't worry, she'll be fine," is what he said instead. His daughter nodded again, and Sasuke put a hand on her shoulder. Dark orbs stared up at his, their eyes mirroring one another.
"Are you sure, daddy?" Akina whispered, setting down the plate she had just dried. "I'm really worried about her."
"She's a medic."
"She's also human."
Sasuke grunted, and his female clone sighed, putting the last dish away. "I'm gonna go do some homework," she told him.
"Hn. Good idea." Akina nodded, and began to walk away, but she stopped at the doorway.
"Oh, and dad?" He turned to her, an eyebrow raised. "You don't have to walk me to school tomorrow."
Sasuke's eyebrow rose higher. "I have a mission tomorrow, but why?"
"Because Kayo-kun is going to walk me." She announced cheerfully. (A/N- Kayo means beautiful generation. I was going for genes here, I guess. Sakura falls in love with the most beautiful boy of her age, Akina has a crush on the most handsome of hers. Get it?)
However, Akina had flitted away upstairs. Sasuke scowled darkly, because now, he couldn't comma- er, ask her to staythefuckAWAY from this boy.
"Che, whatever," he muttered to himself. "If Kayo so much as even looks at her, he'll find he can't have kids in the future. Especially with MY daughter."
"Possessive much?" A voice teased, and Sasuke turned towards it. Sakura leaned against the door, smiling, though her eyes were tired. His eyes narrowed at his wife, and he made his way over to her.
"Hn." He muttered, scrutinizing the female. Her eyebrow rose.
"Something the matter, Sasuke?"
"No, not with me," he said, coming over and slipping his arms around her waist, and she burrowed her head into his chest. "But you look exhausted, Sakura."
She sighed. "That's because I am."
"Are you sick?" Sasuke asked, pulling back and peering into her eyes as if it would say so right there.
"I don't think so. It might be something else, a bug or something, but I'm going to visit Tsunade-sama to see what's up tomorrow." Sasuke nodded and kissed her forehead. She smiled slightly. "So, I've noticed that Akina has some Uchiha family books spread out on her bed, particularly about the Sharingan," if she felt Sasuke stiffen slightly, she didn't mention it, "I wonder when she'll get her Sharingan."
Sasuke inwardly cringed. "Well, erm, she already has." Much to his surprise, Sakura nodded.
"I thought as much." She mused softly.
"You mean you knew?" The male Uchiha inquired, feeling slightly curious. Sakura nodded.
"Call it Mothers Intuition." Sasuke smirked and picked up his wife bridal-style, causing her to shriek softly and laugh.
"Uchiha Sasuke, put me down!"
"Sure..." he said, smirking, "when we get to the bedroom. I want you to go to sleep."
"I know that look of yours; you have no intention of sleeping!"
Sasuke's only response was for his smirk to widen.
"Dad?" Akina asked, looking at her father in shock. He sat at their kitchen table, sipping some coffee. "Don't you have a mission?"
"I cancelled it." He replied calmly.
"Why...?" Akina asked suspiciously.
"Don't worry about it." He answered vaguely, and she gave him a look and crossed her arms. She grabbed a bagel and began to eat quickly, glancing at the clock every so often. "Antsy much?"
She scowled at him. "No," she denied, and Sasuke smirked.
"Sure." He said, but didn't sound too convinced.
Akina glared at the man. "Nice diversion. Don't think I'm going to let you forget about changing the subject." Sasuke looked a little disgruntled at his daughter having caught on to his scheme, but otherwise didn't deny it. "Dad..." she began hesitantly, and Sasuke looked at her, knowing from the serious tone of her voice that she knew something he didn't, "is mom pregnant?"
In a rather comic move, Sasuke choked on his coffee, inwardly scowling; Naruto (that dobe!) must've been rubbing off on him. "Why would you say that?"
Akina shot him a flat look, one that he recognized giving to people in Konoha before he betrayed it. Huh, he never knew it was contagious. Then again, she WAS his daughter. "Dad, I'm not stupid. Aunt Hinata had the same symptoms as mom, and obviously, you guys have been married for a while. So that'd mean that she's like, what? A month along?"
"Where are you getting all this information?!" Honestly, she was rather knowledgeable for a nine year old.
Akina smirked. "Sources." 'Aunt Ino...' Her aunt was a medic, and her best friend; it was obvious Sakura would confide in the blond. Akina just happened to overhear, that's all. She wasn't eavesdropping, nope, definitely not. Her? Not a chance.
"Your mother isn't pregnant, Akina," Sasuke said monotonously. "I think you're just too eager for a little brother or sister."
The dark-haired girl pouted. "Well, can you blame me? I was alone with mom for the first seven years of my life, with just the people in Konoha to keep me company. You hadn't come home yet, and my cousins might've been like my siblings, but it wasn't the same, y'know?" She smiled a little sadly, and her father shifted uncomfortably, not liking the guilt that built in the pit of his stomach.
"Hn." He murmured, stuffing his hands into his pockets- a habit he didn't think he could ever break. "Don't you have someone else to bother?"
Akina smirked at him cheerfully (and a little sadistically too, he noted). "Aww, don't you love me, daddy?" She batted her eyelashes at him, and he snorted.
"Go pester Ayame, or something." She pouted, but then smiled brightly when he shook his head and ruffled her hair.
"Okay, bye dad, I love you." She said happily, kissing him on the cheek. He smirked and waved at her as she turned around and bounded out the door. "Hi, Kayo-kun!"
Immediately the male Uchiha was at the door. A boy with spiky brown hair and hazel eyes was smiling slightly at Akina.
"Hi, Ki-chan." KI-CHAN?! It was then Kayo noticed Sasuke standing in the doorway, and he bowed. "Uchiha-sama."
"Boy, look at my daughter funnily and..." Sasuke smirked, "well, you don't wanna know the consequences."
Akina scowled at him, hooking her arm through Kayo's, who had merely nodded. "Yes sir." He murmured quietly.
"Smart boy." Sasuke praised.
"Dad!" Akina hissed. "Try anything funny and I'll sic mom on you!" Scowling at him and huffing, Akina marched away, chatting eagerly with Kayo, but not before turning around and glaring at him for one last time.
Sasuke couldn't believe it. She was using intimidation on him!
He was so proud of her.
Sasuke smirked and headed inside and back upstairs to check on his wife.
"Sakura?" Sasuke asked from outside the door, wincing slightly at the retching sounds coming from inside. He waited a couple of minutes more before he heard the sound of running water penetrated through the door, and Sakura appeared a little while later, smiling tiredly. Sasuke didn't like the bags underneath her eyes. He gently grabbed her by the upper arm and steered her toward their bed. "C'mon, you're tired."
"But it's only six thirty! And I have to cook dinner!" Sakura protested weakly, but Sasuke shook his head, never releasing his grip.
"I'll cook," he told her, as if this just solved everything, causing the pink-haired female to scowl at him angrily.
Did she ever mention how much she hated him? Why did she ever marry this stubborn Uchiha in the first place? Sasuke turned around and smirked at her, then leaned over and kissed her on the temple, and Sakura blinked before a serene smile spread across her face.
When Sakura awoke, she was aware of the warm feeling that was holding her; however, there was something wrong... she glanced down, and her eyebrows furrowed in the middle. Akina was scrunched in between Sakura and Sasuke, but the emerald-eyed mother noticed the paths of water that trailed down her daughter's cheeks. Akina barely ever cried anymore, so what had happened?
Her motherly instinct urged her to wake the girl up and just hold her, murmuring soothing comforts in her ear and goading her to explain the reason for her tears; however, she just wrapped her arms around the smaller female and placed her cheek on the top of Akina's head, listening to her soft, even breathing.
When Sasuke woke up the next morning, it was to find his wife and child huddled together. He smirked slightly, moving a piece of Akina's dark hair behind her ear and kissing Sakura on the forehead before getting ready to go see the Godaime. He was hoping that she had a mission for him, since he wanted to get some extra money. Not that he needed it, of course, but it would be good to get out of the house, if only for a few days.
The morning air was cool as Sasuke stepped out of the house; the sun was barely rising, now that fall was finally back upon them all. The Uchiha shoved his hands in his pockets and walked faster, until finally the sight of the Hokage Tower rose into his sights.
"Come in!" Tsunade called, hearing someone knock on her door. A tall dark-haired male walked in, bowing his head at her stiffly. "Ahh, Sasuke. Is there something I can do for you?"
"Tsunade-sama, I was wondering if you had any missions for me." The hazel-eyed female smirked.
"You just got back from your honeymoon not too long ago and you're already itching for a hard mission?" She inquired, and Sasuke shrugged.
"Keeps me busy." He muttered, and Tsunade nodded.
"Alright, let me look," she replied, and began to shift things, looking for the folders that held missions in them; however, another folder caught her eye and Tsunade frowned, opening it up. She scanned the writing that was in there, eyes widening slightly before locking with Sasuke's obsidian ones. "Sorry, Sasuke, I can't give you a mission right now."
The onyx-haired man scowled. "Why the hell not?!" He demanded, and the blond shook her head, sighing.
"That is not my answer to give. You'll learn why eventually." Sasuke scowled and muttered something inaudible beneath his breath, a curse that the female ignored. "I'm sorry, Sasuke. Just wait and be patient. In the meantime, why don't you go home to Sakura and Akina?"
"Alright. Goodbye, Tsunade-sama." Sasuke said lowly, not even bothering to incline his head this time before poof-ing out of sight. Tsunade sighed, closing her eyes and running a hand through her hair in frustration before re-opening them, fixating her gaze on the papers she held in her hand.
I can't believe this...
"Akina? Akina, sweetheart, wake up." Midnight eyes slid open, and the girl yawned, stretching.
"Mom? What's up?" Sakura was propped up on her one elbow, fist in her cheek as she gazed down at her daughter. Akina smiled sleepily and Sakura returned the gesture. She then proceeded to brush the dark hair from the girl's face.
"Akina, why were you crying last night?" Akina frowned and looked down at the comforter, twisting it slightly in her grasp.
"I'm not sure," she confessed softly. "All I remember was having this really weird dream. In it, I was...well, I was facing someone's back. It was dad; I know it was cause of the uchiwa fan that was sowed on the back, but he was younger. Like, a teenager. And I kept on screaming that I loved him and that if he stayed how happy I would make him. Mom?"
Sakura had stiffened, eyes unfocused as they stared unblinkingly at the wall behind Akina. "Mom?" Repeated the smaller female, and Sakura finally looked back down to her. She gave her daughter a weak smile before leaning down and kissing her gently on the forehead.
"Yeah," said Sakura, "that IS a weird dream." The roseate-haired female smiled before throwing off the comforters. "Why don't you try and get some more sleep, honey?"
Akina smiled and snuggled farther under the thick blankets. "Okay." She whispered. Within moments, she was asleep.
Sakura exited the room, closing the door softly before sliding down it, clutching at her arms and closing her eyes tightly. She knew exactly what Akina had dreamed of: the night Sasuke left.
Three weeks passed and Tsunade had yet to contact him. The only good thing to be said about staying home was that he could help Akina with her homework. For her part, Sakura's mood swings seemed to have stopped, though on more than one occasion Sasuke had seen her space out. It was beginning to worry him, but he didn't say much about it.
Sasuke trudged home one morning after he had dropped off Akina at the Academy. Opening the door, he called out for his wife. "In the kitchen, Sasuke." She yelled back. When he removed himself of his coat, he walked in there. He blinked at the sight that greeted him.
For the first time in a while, Sakura was radiating; however, Sasuke could tell that she was only slightly happy. He kissed her on the cheek before taking a seat and scooting it close to her.
"Sakura," he began, but Sakura shook her head, indicating for him to stop.
"I already know what you're going to say, Sasuke." She said. She smiled nervously. "You want to know why I've been so moody and unpredictable for these past two months, right?"
Sasuke nodded, and Sakura took a deep breath.
A/N-- Augh, this is the WORST CHAPTER EVER. If this could even be called a chapter. It was shorter than the others were, but I wanted to give you guys SOMETHING, since I haven't properly updated since December. Which I am, once more, so VERY sorry for. I've really been having a terrible writers block with this, and for those of you who have stuck with me for the year that Surprise has been created (actually, more) I cannot thank you enough. Free Kakashi t-shirts for you all!
Now, as I said in the A/N that I gave you guys two months ago (-cringes-) I've had some pretty big issues with Surprise, and for those of you that understood the kind of trouble I've been having, thank you SO much; however, for those of you who simply CAN'T be patient and have been hounding me with reviews that merely say OMG IT'S BEEN SO LONG WTF UPDATE! Or "PMing" me, those go to Christina. For some reason, she gets PMs. Unless she somehow hacked into my e-mailing. But anyway, while I'm glad that you love my story so much, please stop. That will only serve to tick me off even more.
Now, this was supposed to be a longer chapter, but you guys have suffered enough. So, the last chapter WILL be the last, and then after that is the epilogue. After that, I'm done. No more Surprise, it's totally finished. And I won't be using this penname anymore; I'll be on my more-frequently-used, HPBabe91.
Now, many MANY thanks for waiting so patiently, and don't forget to review!