Author's Note: College kept me. Chapter four of five.

"Man… that feels good…"

Sasuke wasn't exactly sure how he had gotten roped into giving Naruto a massage. Alright, that was a complete lie. He knew exactly how he had gotten roped into this. It hadn't even taken much whining on Naruto's part.

One hour earlier…


Sasuke, who up until that point had been dead asleep, was on his feet and had a kunai in hand before Naruto had even drawn a second breath. "What? What is it?"

Naruto didn't even seem to have heard him, clutching as he was at one of his calves (somewhat awkwardly; his expanding stomach made it more difficult than it would have been otherwise) and rocking back and forth, a steady stream of profanity issuing from his mouth. "Shit shit shit shit shit-"

Not sensing any danger (and profoundly irritated at having been woken up before it could even properly be called morning), Sasuke slipped the kunai back under his pillow (three years of serving under Orochimaru having finely honed his sense of paranoia) and sat back down on the bed. "What's wrong now, Naruto?"

Naruto stopped swearing just long enough to hiss out, "My legs are cramping up, and they hurt like a bitch… shit!"

Seeing as how Naruto hadn't exercised recently without stretching first and had stopped growing almost a year ago, Sasuke could only surmise this to be just another symptom of Naruto's… condition. Damn it. How did normal people put up with this?

Well, at least this particular problem had a solution. "I'll go get you some Tylenol."

It was through gritted teeth that Naruto replied. "Hurry. Hurry hurry hurry oh fuck my legs are on fire-"

So Sasuke hurried, returning to the bedroom something less than two minutes later with two small tablets and a glass of water in hand, both of which Naruto downed immediately. Unfortunately, the labeling had made it obvious that the pain relief wouldn't go into effect for another half an hour at least, which was, judging by the sweat making Naruto's face glisten in the lamp lighting, thirty minutes too long.

So Sasuke thought. And thought. It was a little difficult, seeing as Naruto's swearing was steadily upping in volume, and in the end it was in desperation that he blurted out, "Would a massage help?"


Alright, so maybe it hadn't taken any whining on Naruto's part at all. Maybe Sasuke had volunteered because he was a good boyfriend, even at one o'clock in the morning when he had just gotten to bed two hours before.

… Maybe he was going a little soft. It wasn't like this was his kid. Kakashi should have been the one doing all this shit.

"Little lower… Sasuke…"

Sasuke moved his hands lower automatically, no longer really paying attention. Not that he wanted Kakashi's hands all over Naruto or anything. That would be disgusting. And besides, Kakashi was the one to have to deal with the brat after it popped out. It wasn't like Sasuke couldn't help out until then. Better to be pressing his fingers into Naruto's (still firm, despite everything) flesh for a few hours than dealing with diapers and baby formula for the next few years.

"God, I don't know why I didn't ask you to do this before…"

It was funny, though. The back of the Tylenol packaging had claimed it would kick in a lot sooner than this.

Wait a second.

"So, how long ago did the drugs kick in?"

Sasuke attempted to make the question casual, but through the haze of getting a massage, the wording still managed to penetrate Naruto's brain, and it was with a very deliberate squint that he returned Sasuke's gaze. "About twenty minutes ago. What? You're telling me you're just doing this to get rid of the cramps?"

Sasuke scowled. His hands stilled right below Naruto's left knee. "Why else would I be doing this, moron?"

Naruto rolled his eyes and foisted himself up onto his elbows. "Foreplay, you bastard. Duh."

"It's two in the morning. Why in hell would I want to have sex now?"

"Because neither of us have work tomorrow and you get horny at weird hours. And because I'm feeling a lot better and not tired at all. And because we haven't done it in weeks."

Sasuke snorted and rocked back on his heels. "You're huge, dumbass. I'm not going to have sex with a cow."

Naruto's eyes narrowed. "You're a grade-A fucker, you know that, Sasuke? Shit, I don't know how you'd expected to revive the Uchiha Clan. If you said that to a girl when she was pregnant, she'd never do it with you again, and if your first kid hadn't inherited your bloodline, where the hell would you be?"

"All of that is moot," Sasuke pointed out coldly, "Seeing as this isn't my child and you aren't female."

At that, Naruto's mouth tightened, and it was without prior warning that he hurled a pillow at Sasuke's head. Sasuke caught it easily enough, but wasn't so deft when Naruto tossed the sheet after it. "Naruto, what do you think you're doing?"

"I," Naruto announced, "Am going back to bed. You, on the other hand, are sleeping on the couch, and will continue to do so until the kid's out or you apologize. I'm not going to sleep next to a shit like you."

Sasuke looked down at the pillow in his hands incredulously. "You can't just make me move out to the living room."

"My name's on the lease. Technically I could get you kicked out of the apartment entirely, but I'm a better person than you are, so I won't." At that, Naruto rolled back over and covered himself with the blanket. "Now go away."

For a moment, Sasuke stared at the top of Naruto's head (the only part that was still visible). It didn't take long for his surprise to transform into an emotion he was far more familiar with. Resentment, to be more specific. "Fine. I don't care. It's not like I'm living here for my benefit anyway." He dropped the pillow and sheet on the ground and turned away. "Screw this, Naruto. I'm leaving. It will be amusing to see how you deal with this on your own. I'll be at Sakura's if you want to come crying to me."

At that, Sasuke strode out. Naruto hadn't bothered twisting around to watch him go.

Six hours later…

Naruto was fixing himself some breakfast (instant ramen, which he hadn't eaten for months, but it wasn't like Sasuke was around to yell at him about it), when someone knocked on the door. Curious at to who would come visit at this time of day (eight o'clock wasn't that early, really, but still), he answered it with instant ramen in hand. "Yeah, who is it… oh."

Standing there was Sasuke. Next to him was Sakura, smiling pleasantly but with an obviously iron grip on the Uchiha's shirt. "Naruto! Good morning. Sorry to bother you before you've eaten…" She gave the ramen a suspicious look, but let it pass without comment, "… Breakfast, but Sasuke-kun here has something to say to you."

Sakura turned to look at Sasuke expectantly. Naruto did the same, though with considerably more reluctance. Sasuke, on the other hand, wasn't looking at either of them, choosing instead to glower angrily at the floor.

Sakura quickly ran out of patience. It was in a suspiciously patient tone that Sakura scolded quietly, "Sasuke-kun… you just have to repeat to Naruto what you said to me earlier."

Sasuke's eyes didn't move from the floor. Sakura's smile became tighter. So did her grip on Sasuke's shirt, which was starting to give slightly at the seams. "Sasuke-kun…"

Sasuke, with his characteristic abruptness, chose then to speak. "I'm sorry, Naruto."

He then went silent. Sakura, in an obvious attempt to prompt him, said, "For…"

"For calling you a cow earlier."

Sakura's smile turned cheery again. "Alright then!" It was without further ado that she shoved Sasuke past Naruto into the apartment and gave them both a jaunty wave. "See you guys later!" The door closed less than two inches from Naruto's nose.

Naruto blinked. Then he turned around to face Sasuke, who had resumed glowering at the carpet. "Hey, Sasuke…"

Sasuke's eyes rose to stare at the package in Naruto's hand. "You're eating instant ramen for breakfast."


Sasuke had always been just slightly faster than Naruto, and now he had the element of surprise. His hand shot out with enough speed that Naruto barely had time to yelp before Sasuke had the packet of instant ramen in his grip. Naruto didn't even get to reach out for it before Sasuke, with his usual uncanny accuracy, tossed the ramen over one shoulder and into the garbage.

Naruto couldn't help sputtering. "Hey…"

Sasuke turned his glower on him. "How many times have I told you that instant ramen is shit for you? You aren't eating that."

Naruto tried sputtering some more. Sasuke ignored him. "Now sit down. I'm going to make you some eggs and sausage and you're going to like it."

The fact that Naruto did like eggs and sausage was beside the point really, which was why Naruto didn't bother mentioning it as he returned Sasuke's glare. "The eggs had better be over easy."

Sasuke snorted, but he never did get around to saying otherwise.


"… and in the end, all it turned out to be was the stomach flu, can you believe it?"

It was, yet again, the day of their monthly Team Seven non-business get-together. This time, both Sai and Yamato were present, but unlike past months, no one had any particularly exciting stories to tell (except Kakashi, but whenever anyone asked him about the three mobiles stuck in the wall parallel to the door of his apartment's new nursery and the bloodstains on the carpet, all he would do was shake his head and say, "No. Just no. … no," which wasn't encouraging), so in the end it had been left to Sakura to try and keep the conversation flowing. Unfortunately, her patient stories were all, to say the least, boring, as no missions had failed spectacularly lately, so in the end she had been left to babble about colds and infections while Kakashi stared at the ceiling and Sai absently doodled disturbingly accurate sketches of bird entrails on the tablecloth. Yamato and Sasuke, on the other hand, were trying to listen politely, but their attempt at dodging Sakura's inevitable ire when she noticed no one was really paying attention failed when Naruto's head hit the table for the sixth time.

As it turned out, number six was the charm, as Sakura stopped halfway through yet another story about cancerous moles and glared at the blond shinobi. "Naruto! I know this isn't the most interesting conversation, but you don't have to pretend to fall asleep just to get me to stop!"

Naruto yawned and rubbed at his eyes. "Sorry, Sakura-chan. It's not you. I've just been so tired lately…"

Sasuke rolled his eyes. "That's because you aren't sleeping at night, moron. Just stop napping during the day. You're keeping me up, too."

"Trouble sleeping during the last trimester is a common symptom of pregnancy," Sakura rattled off, her irritation forgotten as her medical training took over. "I recommend sleeping on your side with a pillow between your knees, Naruto. That should make it easier for you."

Naruto yawned again. "I'll try that tonight, Sakura-chan, but I doubt it'll work. Everything aches all the time now and it makes it hard. And I've started peeing all the time again, too."

"Well, it shouldn't be much longer now," Sakura consoled. Then she brightened. "Hey, this is your last month, isn't it?"

Naruto blinked. "Uh… yeah."

"Well," and it was here that the medic-nin's voice dropped as she leaned forward to whisper in Naruto's ear, "Normally we'd wait for the prospective mother's water to break before taking her to the hospital, but seeing as that won't happen to you, lacking a vagina and all, we could always take you in now. The baby would be due in a week or so anyway, so it should be fine."

Kakashi and Sai abruptly started paying attention, but it was Kakashi, with his one visible eye widened and his hands moving around in uncharacteristic urgency, that got the first say. "The kid's coming now? That's too soon! We haven't assembled the crib yet and I haven't gotten in enough practice with holding a baby and I'll probably kill it!"

Sai took a somewhat more positive tack that was nonetheless unappreciated. "Can I be present during the birth? I want to sketch it."

"No," was the unanimous answer before everyone turned back to the matter at hand.

Sakura, as the resident medical expert, did most of the talking. "Don't worry, Kakashi-sensei, you won't kill it. I've been informed by one of the other medic-nin that you've been very careful to attend all the baby care classes. You'll do fine. Naruto, you'll have to wait a day until we set everything up, so just come in tomorrow morning. Sasuke, it will probably be best for you to be present during the procedure. Naruto can hold your hand instead of breaking all the fingers of one of my assistants. No, Sai, you can't watch, and it's weird that you'd want to, though I should expect that from you by now. Yamato-senpai…" Yamato looked at her expectantly, "Um… you can keep Kakashi-sensei and Gai-sensei company in the waiting room. They'll need someone calm to reassure them, anyway."

Yamato nodded, a slight smile on his lips. "Got it. I'll be sure to confiscate all their weaponry. Wouldn't want them doing something foolish."

Sakura blinked. Sometimes Yamato had a very strange sense of humor. "… Right. Okay. Everyone got all that? Good."

And that was that. In Naruto's opinion, it was a little anticlimactic, but as Sasuke dryly pointed out to him, better uneventful than the alternative. Then they went out for dessert. The dango was excellent.