Epilogue: When the Sand Stops Shifting

Little Falcon: I can't believe that this is the last chapter! How many years did I take to weave his story into a completion? Anyway, it's all thanks to you, my avid readers/reviewers, that I never lost my purpose. Domo arigato gozaimasu!

Standard Disclaimer: I only own the idea that's all. If I did own this series I'll be the happiest person on earth!

"Hey, I've heard that the Hokage's all squeamish about his wife's pregnancy," the captain of the Sand village's Anbu Squad and also the older sister to the Kazekage strolled the streets casually during her long awaited leave.

Her other younger brother and also the head of the Village's over-all security barked in laughter as he walked by her side. "Y…yeah, apparently, the one who throws up a lot in the mornings ain't Hinata!" Tears were already welling up in his eyes as he replied in between his chuckles. "Seriously, I find it scary sometimes to even date medic-nin's! You can never know what they're capable of doing when mad," the puppet master shuddered visibly, earning a smirk from his sister.

"Says you, when you've dated Sakura's best friend, Ino," Temari arched an eyebrow as her smirk grew more naughty.

"And I'm glad she finally found her missing half in that lazy-eyed dude, YOU previously had the hots on," Kankuro countered and immediately jumped a meter away in reflex, just in time to evade a very painful head slap.

The two continued bickering all the way to the park, near the nursery, where a couple of kids were playing.

"Sora!" As the little boy turned his head, his sand tendrils dematerialized slowly. His eyes are in the deepest shade of jade while his unruly fiery red hair had distinct streaks of his mother's tresses.

"Tsuki!" The three-year old girl accidentally crushed the brick she was inspecting as soon as she heard her name. Although she and her brother shared the same hair color, hers flowed down her chin flawlessly like silk.

The twins smiled instantly as soon as they saw familiar faces smiling at them from behind the gates.

"Uncle Kankuro!"

"Aunt Temari!"

"Yo, kids," Somehow the two adults made it a habit to pick them up after school on their free days. "Let's get some ice cream!" Kankuro pumped his fist in the air together with the youngsters while Temari shook her head nonchalantly. It had been their bad habit- spoiling their niece/nephew but it was a habit they can never grow tired of.

Now seated outside the ice cream parlor, four were spooning away the top of their towering parfaits when someone called the attention of the two.

Sora and Tsuki waved enthusiastically at their friends who were with their parents before they resume devouring their just dessert.

"Hmmm, I think that boy with the cute haircut likes you, Tsuki," the wind master teased with a toothy grin.

"That girl with the twin braids was definitely smiling at you, Sora," the tattooed shinobi playfully nudged his elbow at the blushing boy.

It was utterly childish for grown men and women to act this way but they can't help it since they loved watching how the duo would react.

"I don't like him/her," they declared almost at the same breath.

"Why? Do you like someone else?"

"I want someone like Papa/Mama,"

"I've heard about this… some kind of complex children goes through… being overly attached to their parents... that sort of stuff," Temari whispered. "Ain't that cute,"

"Hmm, why? What can you see in Daddy or Mommy that you like so much?" Kankuro titled his head mockingly as he wiped a smear of cherry syrup from Tsuki's cheeks.

"Papa's reeeeaaaaalllly incredible! Because he never fails to make Mama smile! Brother and I can do it too but her smile is the biggest when she's looking at Papa!" The little girl animatedly shared together with lively hand gestures that made it more charming.

Gulping a spoonful of chocolate ice cream, Sora swung his feet as he was in deep thought for a short while then his eyes lit up. "I don't understand it yet but Mama has this power. I've heard many people say a lot of good things to Papa but only with Mama's smile… it's as if she never makes Papa feel he's anything less than amazing," he spoke as if he was a few years older.

The two adults were dumbfounded at what they heard. These kids, that just learned how to read and write, defined something so intangible and it was possible because what they can see everyday between their parents is undoubtedly genuine and overwhelming love for each other. After sharing a mutual nod, Kankuro and Temari felt so proud for no apparent reason.

Her long pink tresses played with the cool breeze that invited itself through the open window. Her hand unconsciously touched the phoenix pendant nestled below her neck. She caught a faint whisper of sand before a pair of strong arms embraced her from behind. "Tadaima (I'm home)," his low, velvet voice still send shivers down her spine.

Leaning her head back against his chest, her arms covered his. "Okairinasai (Welcome home),"

His jade eyes wandered over the thing she held then back to the vast desert they called home. "You're thinking too much about it," the Kazekage kissed her hair and held her closer.

A couple of days ago, they had a surprise visit from a person she treats like her real brother, Kamui. Sakura found it hilarious that the twins can't help gaping at him since the guy had longer silver hair than hers plus his eyes were gold! A set of traits you don't see so often. Upon announcing that Kamui is their "sort-of" uncle, Sora and Tsuki had grin plastered on their faces that lasted for two hours.

Being the only two remaining members of their clan, Kamui and Sakura must maintain connection obviously but it wasn't the reason he was there… not entirely anyway. With him was an old tome, he discovered buried in their forgotten city. It contained their lost history… and also a glimpse of the future.

"I'm not certain but there is a possibility that your children possess some sort of hold over time. It was what your enemies were trying to get a hold of. Their life could in danger if they do have that ability,"

Soon after, Kamui left to return to his bride with a promise to visit every now and then.

"Gaara-kun," she turned around and met his eyes. "That power he spoke of… I know that Sora and Tsuki have it… but I'm not worried at all because I know that it's a power they share …I would've been worried if our child was the sole inheritor but when it was split in two… I think it's no longer as powerful as Kamui feared it to be. Besides, they have US to protect them," she gave him a smile that made his knees weak and made her so irresistible to kiss.

"But I think we should hold on to telling them that they're part royalty..." since Sakura is, after all, the last princess of the Summoner's clan.

She chuckled at his suggestion hooking her arms around his neck and engaging in another lip lock. "Yeah, being the son and daughter of the Kazekage is already making them grouchy,"

Their shared mirth permeated in the mansion just as another wind blew again.

"Tadaima!" The door cracked open to let in the kids and their voluntary caretakers.

"Okairinasai," Gaara and Sakura automatically opened their arms just in time when Sora and Tsuki lunged at them with all their might.

That night, Kankuro and Temari stayed for dinner which made it nosier but definitely livelier.

"Tsuki, you need to finish your veggies," Sora said with his big brother tone that made Kankuro smirk because that was the same tone he used on Gaara way back.

"But they taste funny," the little girl pouted then looked at her mom for support.

Her heart almost melted at that scene but Sakura cleared throat before stating her side. "Tsuki, if you eat your veggies then you'll be a good big sister," everyone around the table fell silent.

"Big sister?... then… I'm going to have a younger brother!" she squealed then immediately stuffed her mouth with veggies.

"Yay, I'm gonna have another brother!" Sora jumped out his seat and started running around the table.

"Well, we're not sure about that part yet," Sakura touched her husband's cheek as he was still frozen in shock.

The moment he felt her soft hand, it was like a wave of exhilaration flooded his entire being. He can't speak, he can barely move. All Gaara did was embrace her tenderly before showering her with kisses. Just when he thought he can never be happier… she proved him wrong.

The meat, the puppet master was chewing, fell out of his mouth. "Shit, I gotta find a wife soon,"

While Temari's fork landed on the carpeted floor "Damn it, I suddenly feel old."

There will be somebody who will love you unconditionally despite all your flaws and faults and that somebody will continuously love you more than you could ever imagine. If you find that somebody… never ever let them go… because you'll be the luckiest person in the world to have the person who has the heart to love you at your worst and arms to hold you at your weakest… and that if more than enough.

Little Falcon: *throws confetti in the air* Yes! Its done! Desert Rose II: Child of the Desert is finally over! I'm so proud to have written such a piece. For the last time for this series, read and review please! *grand bow* (Curtain closes)