A/N: So it's finally come to this folks….Zero hour of Loyalty and Love and its final chapter The Epilogue. I'd like to take the time to thank of not only all of my reviewers, but anyone and everyone who has followed the story and Sasuke and Tayuya's journey. So without further ado I give you the Epilogue.
Where could I possible begin to adequately tell the tale of the past eight or so months? It seemed like only yesterday I was pulling Sakon and Kidoumaru's ass out Orochimaru. Still so much has transpired since that day almost too much to tell at any given time in a single sitting. Though that was beyond the point. The story would have to be told one day.
Following Orochimaru's fall and subsequently the Sound I was given several options as to what my next move could have been. I could replace the snake sannin and become the new Otokage. The power was tempting sure enough, though inheriting a tainted organization like the Sound was not. I did however take the authority of enlisting a few choice operatives for future plans. The idea had been Karin's by design seeing as she had classified information on all of Orochimaru's test subjects and prisoners. The ditzy, dull-witted girl had proved herself to be less the former and the latter in the following months. I could remember the day when we'd finally agreed to tell Tayuya of what had transpired that day. I couldn't rightfully live with myself knowing I'd done something so unfaithful towards the woman carrying my child. Granted I accepted full responsibility and Karin tried to take some sort of blame I still had to hold Tayuya back from slaughtering her, I myself escaped with more than my share of physical scars. Eventually those healed and in due time she'd forgiven me though the months weren't too kind to me while I waited for her anger to blow over.
"Go fuck yourself, you son of a bitch! And get out, I never want to see your fucking face again!" her hateful words were more than typical Tayuya-isms this time, and I honestly thought I'd never see her face again she was so infuriated. It took a few more months of using Sakon and Kidoumaru to get me back in her good graces and even then I had to woo her again.
My second option was also tempting, I could have attempted to hunt and kill Itachi. Surely the time frame was small, but coupling the power I'd gain from being the Otokage obtaining information on Akatsuki wouldn't be a stretch. Though dwelling on what could have been was never a good thing, I'd learned that long ago. I still kept minor tabs on their whereabouts lest they gain wind of Tayuya and my unborn baby girl. I had to protect them at all costs after all. I must have neglected to mention that Tayuya and I were indeed going to have a little girl as Kabuto deduced from one of the numerous checkups. I was glad I decided to keep him around for Tayuya as a midwife of sorts. He wasn't particularly thrilled at the title, he considered it a demotion. Anyway, in her emotional state she was joyous one second and then apologetic the next citing that she knew I always wanted a son. I quickly shot down the idea that I was angry at something as trivial as that. Surely she hadn't thought I wanted a single child, did she? The thought brought a smirk to my lips.
"Oi, Sasuke. Let's clear out. These guys got nothing", Sakon chimed scratching his scalp as he walked away from the captive Otogakure nin. I turned my attention towards the voice remembering just what had happened. Although the leader of the Sound was successfully usurped, his soldiers remained out there. I, Sakon, Kidoumaru, and Kabuto took it upon ourselves to mop up the remaining pockets of resistance that laid scattered across the great nations. It was…noble work. Besides more often than not the ranking officers had valuable information about Akatsuki as well as Konoha. I had to keep a watchful eye on them as well. The last thing I needed was Naruto making an appearance just as I was about to make love to my wife as he did so long ago.
"What will you do with them now?" Kidoumaru asked finishing his inspection of a few corpses. I gazed at the four captives stoically. The look in their eyes was that of a scared child. I had no interest in them, killing them would be more trouble than they were already worth. Slowly I strode over to them each shaking beneath their bindings and my crimson stare. If I didn't know any better I'd have thought they pissed their pants.
"We won't be meeting again under these circumstances or any, will we?" I asked watching as they shook their heads furiously. It was good enough for me. I'd kill them if I saw them with more Sound ninjas next time. With a wave of my hand I cut the bindings on each of them. As if on cue they all dropped to their knees bowing, their noses deep in the soil.
"Thank you for your mercy Uchiha-sama! We swear to never---"
"Save it wimp. Just get the hell outta here before I get testy", Sakon threatened startling the ninjas making them flee the scene. I turned back to the orange sky. We'd spent more time than I expected hunting and eliminating this particular group and for next to no intel at that. Motioning for my comrades we made our way away from the scene. I couldn't keep Tayuya waiting all night, hell I shouldn't have even gone with Sakon and Kidoumaru on this mission with Tayuya so close to her due date. A smirk found its way across my lips at the thought of her engorged belly. My masterpiece. Motherhood really did do wonders for her body, despite what she thought.
You did this to me you bastard! I'm as big as a fucking house, my breasts hurt like a motherfucker, and I walk like Jiboumaru after eating a five course meal!"
I allowed a small chuckle to escape my lips drawing questioning glances from the two males following me. I increased my pace from a brisk sprintto a full on mad dash at the thought of Tayuya going into labor without me.
"What's the big rush all of a sudden Sasuke, gotta give the misses a foot massage or something?" Sakon joked laughing obnoxiously. I must have been losing my touch if he could read me that well. I paid him little mind though, they've caught me tending to Tayuya's pregnant needs on numerous occasions, but I didn't care. I wanted to help Tayuya even though sometimes she found me overbearing and had the tendency to baby her. The Uchiha's were always a privileged, spoiled bunch and my wife and child would be no different. Though while Tayuya and my marriage wasn't lawfully binding nor by any means recognized I still consider her so. Hell she even warmed up to the idea of being known as Uchiha Tayuya when I felt it was necessary to remind her.
"Let's take a break, what do you say Sasuke?" asked the six armed shinobi stopping in his tracks to catch his breath. Usually I didn't like leaving Tayuya alone for the night, especially when we weren't too far from home. Pausing mid sprint I turned to inspect the two. I suppose the battle and long winded interrogation wore them out. The sun had almost fully set below the horizon and the forest was nearly pitch black. With a small nod they dropped to the floor thankful for the momentary reprieve.
"Don't get too comfortable. I'll give you both a few hours; you can rest when we get back home", I said slicing off a few low hanging tree limbs for a fire. I scowled at my lazy team as I prepared the camp, why I kept them around I'd never understand. Then again despite their short comings, they were good to have around for more lively company. Granted I wasn't very social with them, their banter was welcomed; when it wasn't directed at me of course. As I joined them on the forest floor I gazed up at the starry night sky, Tayuya being the sole focus of my less than clear mind.
"Hey Sasuke, did you and Tayuya ever agree on a name for our little niece?" Sakon questioned smirking at Kidoumaru's laughter.
"I don't remember ever giving you or Kidoumaru the title of uncle to my child" I said coolly brushing their arrogance aside. My daughter was going to grow up around quite a few interesting characters. Though truth was Tayuya and I hadn't come to a compromise on our daughters' name. I was never good at naming things and neither was Tayuya. I considered naming her after my deceased mother, it wasn't a bad name by any means, though it was best to leave her in my memories. They were right though. My daughter would be born soon and surely I wouldn't let her run around without a proper name. I noticed that there was a full moon out tonight. Its light shone through the dark brush of the trees and down on our makeshift camp.
"Mitsuki…" the name seemed to roll right off my tongue and around the camp towards my comrades.
"Eh? That's the one huh? Not bad I suppose. How should we address the little Uchiha Princess when she arrives?" Kidoumaru joked noticing how I glared. With that comment I rose slowly giving them both a hard look before speaking.
"Get up, were moving out." I ordered ignoring their groans and protests. All this talk about my child only made me long to be there all the more. Leaving no room for discussion we set off for home leaving the campsite with mild haste. My concern for Tayuya wasn't the only reason I began moving again. Not long after we set camp three different chakra signatures had appeared and now they were giving chase. It was highly unlikely that they were more Oto-nin, possibly an Anbu Black Ops reconnaissance team. Either way they wouldn't stop me. Better to deal with them now rather than allow them to follow me back to Tayuya. Coming to a suddenly halt that caught my teammates off guard I prepared for a battle.
"What gives Sasuke?" Sakon questioned annoyingly. Silencing him with a glance I peered ahead towards the approaching chakras. My own stupidity surprised myself, especially when the three revealed themselves.
"Karin, Jugo, Suigetsu. What are you doing here?" I question eyeing each warily. I hadn't been around the newest recruits much, it wasn't a surprise I hadn't recognized their chakras. All of them were silent as if trying to find the correct words to say.
"What's going on?" I asked again this time my voice much more forceful enough to snap them from their stupor. Something had to be up.
"It's time", Karin spoke simply pressing her glasses closer to her face despite it not being necessary. I was still perplexed by what they were trying to get across and frankly it annoyed me to no end.
"It's Tayuya-san. The baby is coming", elaborated the gentle giant noting the quick change in emotion on my face.
"You'd better hurry too. Kabuto's doing all he can but---" before Suigetsu could finish I had fled the scene at a speed I hadn't used in a very long time. Tayuya was all that I could think of as I raced blindly through the dark trees, not caring as the stray limbs scratched and clawed at me as if to keep me from my love. I could hear the distant shouts of my team become a dull whisper in the backdrop as I closed the distance between me and my wife.
"Tayuya please your going---"
"Just shut the fuck up and get that bastard who did this to me here!" I roared roughly grabbing the medic nin's collar and shaking him like a doll. Here I was as pregnant as I could be and ready to burst. Yet that son of a bitch was nowhere to be found. Off on one of his bullshit recon missions of course. Another ripple of pain shot through me almost sending me to my knees, though thanks to Kabuto I stood my ground. She was coming; finally I'd be able to hold my daughter in my arms. Even now as Kabuto lead me through the base Sasuke and the others had built for us to Kabutos medical room I could feel the little devil inside kick impatiently. Tch, she must have wanted out as badly as I did her.
Sasuke and I wanted to live a relatively peaceful life, but it was hard to forget your roots hence why he'd built a base rather than a house for us to live in. Above ground it appeared to be a moderately sized house in the middle of nowhere, designed specifically as our martial house, but it was hard to take Sasuke away from his work. Which is why it led to the underground base for of his and the rest of their less than family orientated activities.
"I've sent Karin and the others to fetch Sasuke, he can't be far off by now, but please try breathing---!" Kabuto tried to calm me as we finally reaching the medical bay only to have me crush his arm with maternal strength.
"I want him here now! Not an hour from now, not thirty minutes from now, not even five minutes from now! I. Want. Him. Now!" I exclaimed on the verge of tears as another convulsion rippled through my body. Luckily for me I landed on the operating table this time. Every part of my body was on fire and I was already exhausted. Truth be told, I was scared. I didn't want to give birth without Sasuke present. He'd been there for the majority of the pregnancy except for when it really counted. Irony was a real bitch sometimes. I peered over at the white haired nin as he mulled around the lab quickly hooking me up to machines and sticking me with needles. He mentioned once about giving me a sedative to dull the pain, but I'd already told him I would endure the pain when it came to the baby's health. Tch, what a fool I was.
The contractions were getting closer and closer together it couldn't wait any longer. I had to give birth to our child with or without him. Trying to listen to Kabuto's order of calming my breathing I gained some sort of control. Kabuto had covered himself in his medical scrubs; he mentioned how squeamish he was when it came to birthing, he was far more comfortable with the idea of ending life rather than bringing it into the world. That sent a shiver down my spine. I still didn't trust the quack doctor completely, but he was the best I had at the moment.
"Alright Tayuya, keep breathing you're doing well so far. Now I want you to push next contraction", he advised behind his medical mask as he propped my legs open and spread them. He rolled my kimono up to my knees too keep me some sense of modesty, but I wasn't complaining I just wanted this out of my gut and into my arms. The last eight or so months had been the hardest thing I've ever experienced in my life. The first three months hadn't been so bad, I could live with being excluded from Sasuke's little raids and suffering the occasional morning sickness and dizzy spells everything after that point became a living hell though.
The tiny Uchiha seemed to like to kick me in my bladder and leave me restless for at least a week in total and then the soreness came. She grew far faster than Kabuto had expected and because of that I blew up like a damn balloon! Even an expert kunoichi was crippled by this horrible affliction called pregnancy. First it was my feet that failed me. More often than not they would swell to enormous proportions so much that Sasuke's sandals would even be a tight fit. But I wasn't complaining when Sasuke-kun would massage them for me. A few months later my back became a problem so much that I was bedridden for a while, though Sasuke-kun was always there to attend to me. His patience came especially in handy in the final months of the pregnancy when my mood swings were in full effect. He never argued or antagonized me, though that would sometimes hurt more than help. Hell I remember scolding him for trying to seduce me, when I'd been the one confronting him about it.
"You never look at me the same anymore Sasuke. What the fuck's up with that!?" I exclaimed standing in the doorway of our bedroom hands planted on my wide hips.
"I don't know what you're talking about Tayuya. If you're insinuating that I don't think you're still attractive then you're mistaken" he defended calmly taking a seat on the bed patting a spot for me slyly smirking in my direction. Hesitantly I took the offer noticing how his smirk widened as I waddled towards him.
"I'm just one big fucking joke to you huh!" I yelled trying to slap him only to have him grab my hand and pull me to the bed my back to his chest. He whispered his adoration against the shell of my ear, claiming that he'd had to contain himself for so long just because he found her more attractive than ever when she was pregnant. He sure hadn't lost his ability to smooth talk me, but I wasn't going to fall for a few sweet words.
"Tch, I'm surprised you'd try to take advantage of me in such a vulnerable state! You really are something else Sasuke." I said giving his stunned face a hard long scowl before removing myself from off him.
"I don't want to hear it. I know you don't find me attractive anymore, so there's no point in lying Sasuke. It's best if you don't sleep here for a few nights" I said finally my voice wavering slightly. He didn't protest or try to make me reconsider only frown at me in defeat before leaving.
"Goodnight, Tayuya." Sasuke chimed leaving with his head hung low. Granted I felt sorry after, I couldn't be blamed. Not with my hormones and all.
"Tayuya! Please you have to push!" Kabuto urged bringing me out of my musings. I must have been completely occupied because I hadn't noticed another contraction as it made my body spasm. Alright, she wanted to play. Then let's play. With that I patiently waited as the next contraction came and I pushed with everything I had. My screams rippled though the silent compound. God it felt as if this child was trying to tear me in two! I attempted to see what had happened, but was blinded by my sweat drenched hair.
"You're doing good Tayuya. Keep it up!" he encouraged doing whatever it was he was doing. I couldn't, I felt completely drained. Suddenly the door burst open causing Kabuto to jump in shock I would have done the same had I not been so exhausted.
"Sasuke! Glad you could make it, she's been asking for you this whole time", he explained going back to his spot between my legs. Weakly I turned my head in his direction seeing his disheveled face marred with tiny scratches as he rushed to my side and took my hand in his.
"Tayuya, I'm here…I'm here" he repeated squeezing my hand reassuringly as he knelt down to eye level.
"I know, Sasuke-kun. I'm glad" I whispered smiling at the sincerity in his eyes. His eyes gave me the strength I needed to keep going. With that I fought the pain with each strained scream and powerful push that accompanied it.
"That's it Tayuya, we're past the head. One more push come' on!" he cheered spotting how Sasuke snuck a peek.
"How does it look?" I asked faintly struggling to catch my breath. Sasuke shook his head with a smile. I didn't like the way that registered in my brain, but I had no time to think as a final contraction wracked my body. I could feel the tiny being final leave my body as I collapsed spent. The sound of baby cries filled the small room and much of the hallways, but I was seemingly deaf to the world and on the verge of passing out.
"Congratulations, it's a beautiful baby girl." Kabuto announced finally taking off his mask as he finished his initial cleaning and check up on the child in his arms, "And with quite a set of lungs on her. Like mother like daughter I suppose." Sasuke left my side momentarily as he took our daughter in his arms, wrapping her in a blanket, and brought her to me. I could feel the tears swell in my eyes as I stared down at the tiny girl in my arms. The small scuff of obsidian hair that lay on the dome of her hair drew my attention before she raised her head curiously peering into my eyes. Just like her father's onyx ones, but I did notice her eyelashes smiling slightly at the resemblance to my own. She opened her mouth as if she was going to speak, but instead she began giggling her tiny arms reaching for my face. I could feel my heart swell to massive proportions as the tears flowed from my eyes freely.
Sasuke placed his hand on my shoulder drawing my attention to the smile that graced his visage. He offered our laughing daughter one of his fingers which she gladly took inspecting it inquisitively.
"What are you going to name her?" Kabuto asked finally free of his bloodied scrubs. I looked hesitantly at Sasuke. I still hadn't decided on a name and frankly I was worried Sasuke hadn't either.
"Mitsuki…Uchiha Mitsuki", Sasuke said never breaking eye contact with me.
"It's perfect, Sasuke-kun" I said smiling proudly as the newest little Uchiha continued her fit of laughter. Just then the whole gang came bursting into the tiny room crowding around us and the baby.
"Ooooh! Is that Mitsuki-hime? What a cutie, just like her father!" Karin gushed trying to get as close as possible causing the baby to watch her cautiously before bursting into tears.
"Geez Karin, not even newborns like you." Suigetsu teased making the room erupt in laughter mostly from Kidoumaru and Sakon.
"She's beautiful…Congratulations Sasuke-san, Tayuya-san." Jugo said just loud enough to be heard above the dying laughter.
"Thank you, everyone" I said turning my attention back to the infant who had buried her head in my chest. She must have been hungry. Sasuke shooed everyone including Kabuto out of the room as I fed my daughter for the very first time. I jumped at the new sensation of feeding as she vigorously suckled on my nipple.
"When's my turn?" he asked slyly smirking as he planted a kiss on my cheek. I giggled at his lightheartedness.
"Take a number Sasuke or you'll have to get your milk somewhere else." I joked gently stroking the hair on Mitsuki's dainty head. She really was beautiful.
"Thank you, for giving me such a beautiful daughter" he whispered in my ear as he buried his face in my neck gently covering it with kisses.
"Thank you, Sasuke. For being there for us" I said lifting his head carefully as to not disturb my feeding daughter and kissing him.
"I wouldn't miss it for the world" he said placing a chaste kiss on my forehead. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect memory of the birth of our daughter.
A month down the road they were no better off than they were in the final months of pregnancy. Having a baby was indeed an amazing thing, and taking care of one had its up, but they were stretched far and thin. Mitsuki-hime, as she'd become known as around the household and base, had the most amazing set of lungs either of her parents had ever heard. She'd cry for hours on end taking less than a minutes worth of rest in between. Sometimes the new parents would give the job of nanny to Kidoumaru or Jugo. For a man with six arms Kidoumaru wasn't much of an improvement from Sasuke or Tayuya. Mitsuki did seem to take a liking to Jugo, it might have been his quiet, kind nature that calmed her at times. Then again she calmed him to a certain degree as well. Sasuke had been hesitant to let him care for his child with his violent streak, but Mitsuki seemed to be just as effective as he was when it came to quelling the gentle giant.
Finally they get the peace and quiet they so desperately needed and what better way to spend than in the bedroom. The bedroom was one of the few sanctuaries they still had when the baby didn't need attention or need to be fed.
"How long has it been Tayuya?" asked the raven haired man as he clawed at his wife's' kimono in the dark confines of their marital bed which they had yet to bless.
"As if you have to ask," she mumbled covering his face and neck in feverishly hot kisses as she succeeded in undressing him, "just don't make me wait any longer."
"Seeing as you're going along with this I assume you don't mind having another child", it was a statement rather than a question that came from Sasuke as he paused in his ministrations for an answer.
"Tch, only if you're the one giving birth this time around Sasuke", she said half jokingly, pulling him into a liplock despite how it contradicted her prior statement.
Sasuke laughed placing his hands on either side of her face as he hovered above her, "I'll have to take special care then, besides we may never get another chance like this", he cooed smirking at the anticipation in her eyes. Just as he was about to seal the deal, so to speak, a knock was at the door accompanied by the familiar sound of Mitsuki's crying. Both parents growled in frustration, though Sasuke was the only one to make a move as he dressed himself haphazardly before approaching the door.
"Gomen Sasuke-san, Mitsuki-hime won't stop crying. She must be hungry", Jugo said sadness in his eyes as Sasuke peered at him annoyingly through the small opening in the door.
"Thank you, Jugo. We'll handle it from here." Sasuke assured allowing the ginger haired man to hand the crying baby to him. Gently rocking and attempting to sooth the baby Sasuke carried her over to her pouting mother.
"Suki-chan! You shouldn't be crying like this all the time, daddy and I have…important things to do." Tayuya half scolded holding the child above her head earning a high pitched giggle.
"Aa, your mother's right little one." Sasuke said offering his finger which she took greedily into her mouth resuming her cries when she received nothing for her efforts. Tayuya sent him a glare as she opened her kimono and began feeding.
"I'm like a damn dairy cow nowadays…" she mumbled turning to her smirking husband who joined her once again in the bed.
"There, there Tayuya. I'm sure we can survive a few more months" he assured kissing both his girls lovingly.
"What after that? We can't in good conscience have Jugo raise her just so we can…you know" she said blushing prettily abstaining from using any harsh language around their daughter.
"I hope you're not worrying that you'll never feel me again Tayuya." Sasuke teased ignoring her growl.
"Don't worry about me Sasuke, being pregnant does wonders for your patience."
Sasuke laughed at her confidence, "The Uchiha's aren't known for their patience Tayuya. Mitsuki should be proof enough, seeing as whatever she wants' she gets" he countered settling on sleep rather than sexual satisfaction for yet another night.
"It must be a real pain to not get what you want, huh Sasuke?" she asked smirking at her husband's tired form before noticing that the tiny baby that had been attached to her had fallen asleep as well.
"I could say the same for you Tayuya", he mumbled before drifting off as well.
Placing the infant between the two of them Tayuya retired herself. So many things floated through her mind before she fell into slumber, her and Sasuke's future even that of the newest little Uchiha.
The future was a mysterious subject; hopefully it would favor them this time around.
And there you have it. Loyalty & Love is officially finished, but we all know a story as such is never truly complete hence a possible (and highly probable) sequel.
Thank you once again everyone! You guys made all of this possible so don't go giving me all the glory and instead give yourself a big ol' pat on the back.
As always until next time and,