(A\N: Before all of you start freaking out, when you finish the epilogue read the A\N at the bottom…there's a surprise for you :D Oh…and the only reason at all that this got out to you so quickly was because I have most of it already written…lol, I had this scene planned for a while now and I couldn't help but write it earlier. Anyway, enjoy!
P.S. This epilogue is dedicated to TigeressGV for correctly guessing the name of Sakura and Itachi's child. :D Congratulations!
5 months later
Itachi physically flinched as Sakura's cry resounded throughout the base. Beside him sat Kisame, Sasori, Deidara, and Tobi, all silent as well. Tobi was still rubbing his head, sniffling a bit after his last beating from their pink-haired pregnant member.
"YOU PUT THIS CHILD IN ME YOU ARE DAMN WELL GOING TO BE HERE HOLDING MY HAND WHEN IT COMES OUT!"
He could already feel the bones in his hand breaking.
Kisame gave a small sigh and an 'I feel your pain' look before he took another swig of sake. That only angered Itachi more. After all, Kisame hadn't been stuck in the same house as Sakura for the last four months like he had. While they had indeed built their relationship back up to what it had once been, Sakura's tendency to fly off the handle at every little thing had made Itachi extremely glad that he had the Sharingan and could anticipate her movements.
"IGNORE HER ITACHI-SAN! SHE'S DELIRIOUS!" Came Ino's cry from down the hall. Sakura had slowly patched up her relationship with the rest of her Konoha friends. It had been rough, but Sakura had accepted the fact that while they probably should have known that it was Sakura they had been talking about, the facts had pointed to her being Master-sama. And so, after quite a few tense letters and brief meetings between them, Sakura had finally gotten to the point where she had accepted everything that had happened. And that was why Ino was at the Akatsuki base, helping with the delivery. It had been decided that Sakura's friend would be brought in order that Sakura be given the best medical treatment possible.
It had actually been Leader-sama's idea…a small act of reconciliation for condemning Sakura earlier. Of course, the way Leader had said it, and the small smirk he had given, it had been as if he had known this was going to happen all along. And as much as that irked Itachi there had been very little he could do about it.
And at the moment Leader was the furthest thing from his mind.
Ino had warned them all that under no circumstances were they to enter Sakura's room until the child was born. This was for their safety, apparently, which they all believed. They had seen Tobi get pulverized enough times by Sakura during the last trimester of her pregnancy to take Ino's words to heart.
At the moment Tobi was pacing across the floor, waving his arms around as he ranted. He had been doing this ever since Sakura had begun showing. What had happened to his Sakura-senpai? She must have been kidnapped and replaced with this, evil, fat, angry replica who liked to hit Tobi! He had even tried to get them to form a search party to find the real Sakura-senpai.
This had not gone over well with the already six-month pregnant Sakura.
He had gone through seven walls and half a cherry blossom orchard before he finally stopped.
"DELIRIOUS MY ASS!"
Thank god he was emotionless. If he had been a lesser man he would have probably been in tears.
But to tell the truth…he was afraid of more things than Sakura's strength-enhanced wrath at the moment.
The moment had finally come. He was going to be a father.
Sakura was having his child.
He was sitting on a chair at the far end of the large room, fingers laced together, hunched over in what anyone from Konoha would have named the 'Sasuke brooding pose'. He was staring down at the floor trying his very hardest not to think negative thoughts.
However, thinking positive is a very hard thing to do for an s-class criminal such as Itachi. And so at the moment he was just trying to keep from thinking at all.
Meditation hadn't helped.
Sake hadn't helped.
Tobi's incessant chatter sure as hell hadn't helped.
"Breathe Sakura! BREEEEAAATHE!" Ino coaxed, trying to sound soothing over Sakura's panting.
"YOU TRY THOSE DAMN BREATHING EXCERSIZES THE NEXT TIME YOU'RE TRYING TO SQUEEZE A WATERMELON THROUGH A KEYHOLE AND THEN TELL ME HOW I'M SUPPOSED TO BREATHE!"
Oh god…not a good picture. Itachi forced himself not to give a groan of despair. He wasn't Deidara, after all. He sure as hell wasn't going to break down at a time like this.
Deidara was taking it very well actually—if one could account for the fact that he and Kisame were currently betting over how many hours Sakura was going to be in labor--it had already been ten hours--and which of them was going to be the favorite uncle. It was a joke, really, to keep the air of the room lighthearted and to hide their own individual nervousness.
Tobi was still running around, asking why Sakura-senpai was screaming so loudly.
Sasori was sitting off to the side, carving something from a piece of wood. He seemed completely relaxed, his face calm and his movements stress-free. Itachi really hadn't wanted any of them anywhere near here at this point in time. But unfortunately Leader had ordered that since a non-member was going to be brought to the base that there would need to be other members present. Two to take her back to her companions when she was finished with the delivery and the others to guard the area in case Konoha—for some reason—decided to try anything tricky.
And so Itachi was stuck with a group of idiots trying to calm himself and deal with the fact that he was going to be a father.
He was going to be a father.
He couldn't really blame the others for being so excited. Ever since Sakura had handed Leader-sama the scroll containing the Kyuubi there had been nothing to do. Leader had said that their plan would come 'in due time' and that they needed to be patient.
But patience is a virtue and the Akatsuki were anything but virtuous. Deidara had already blown up several bases after getting into fights with Kakuzu and Hidan. Because of this they'd all been separated. In fact, Itachi hadn't seen much of any of the others save for Sakura for some months…that is, until Ino had arrived a week ago.
"Sakura! Now I need you to calm down and push," Ino cooed. "The baby is crowning. That means her head is—"
"I'M A FUCKING MEDIC INO! I KNOW WHAT THE HELL CROWNING IS!"
Itachi held his face in his hands now, eyes closed as he tried to ignore the oncoming headache. He could do this. He was Uchiha Itachi. He could do this. He feared nothing. He was not going to be afraid of something like this.
They heard one last, unearthly scream from Sakura—which sounded more like a war cry than anything else—before a shrill wail pierced the air.
Itachi's head snapped up as all the others in the room went silent.
The wailing continued for a few minutes before everything went quiet. Finally after what seemed like ages the door slid open and a tired but very excited Ino poked her head into the room.
Her eyes were sparkling with tears as she looked over at Itachi. "Itachi-san…you can go see them now." It seemed that her wonder had blocked out her inherent fear of the elder Uchiha.
"Is Haruno-san well?" Sasori asked Ino offhandedly.
"She's fine. There was a little tearing but I healed that. She won't need me for anything else at the moment. This is Sakura we're talking about after all." She gave a small grin as Itachi stood, walking to the door.
He ignored their conversation, even as he heard Sasori's last line before it all drifted into silence.
"I suppose that Deidara and Tobi will be taking you back to the drop-off spot then, Yamanaka-san…"
He heard nothing else as he stopped in front of the door to Sakura's room. He could hear nothing from inside, save for the shuffling of sheets. He swallowed, because for the first time in his life his throat was dry.
I will not be my father, was the last thing he thought before he opened the door and walked inside.
Sakura looked up at the sound of Itachi's voice. Her daughter sucked greedily at her breast, a small tug that didn't bother her in the slightest. Itachi was standing in the darkened doorway, looking as emotionless and confident as ever.
She had known he wouldn't lose his cool façade, not even then. But she could see the small hint of uncertainty in his eyes and it heartened her. She had been afraid she was the only one worried about their daughter's birth.
She had tried to keep these thoughts to herself, kept the emotions bottled up inside of her over the last few months. Would she be a good mother? Should she breast feed her? What if something was wrong with her? What if she was sick? Who was going to watch her when she was on missions? Could she teach Tobi how to change diapers?
"…Itachi…" She finally whispered, giving him a tentative smile. "Come look." She motioned to the bundle in her arms.
She heard his footsteps as he came closer, echoing throughout the small room. She saw his sandals at the edge of her vision beside the bed and heard his soft breathing. Even, with a slight hitch every time he inhaled.
Her daughter let go of her breast, sated for the moment as she gave a small coo of contentment, snuggling against Sakura's chest.
Sakura looked down at the pink little thing in her arms, her face blank of every emotion save wonder. If she had the ability to actually look away from her child she would have turned to Itachi to see a strange look on his face as well.
It couldn't really be called wonder, but an overwhelming look of curiosity.
She saw a hand hesitantly come into her field of vision and blinked, seeing Itachi's fingers rest above the child's head, almost touching the small mop of charcoal hair.
"…you can touch her." Sakura prodded with a small smile.
She saw fright flicker through his dark grey eyes, as if he were afraid to touch his daughter…as if he would break her. But his hand lightly rested upon her head, and the little girl moved under his touch, face scrunching up as if to cry before it relaxed.
"It's a girl." His voice sounded strange, as if he were having trouble speaking.
"I told you so." Sakura commented airily. Earlier on Itachi had ignored Sakura's medical facts that the child would be a girl and had sworn that he would have a son. He would be an Uchiha after all.
At his bland tone the little girl's eyes scrunched even more and her mouth opened as she let out an unworldly wail. Itachi's hand immediately left her head as if burned, and his eyes flickered in surprise.
Sakura gave a soft laugh as she bounced the child in her arms. "It's alright."
"There's something wrong with her." Itachi's voice held a small tremor, indiscernible to anyone who wasn't accustomed to reading his emotions. "Why is she crying?"
"Babies cry a lot when they're born." Sakura supplied as she held her daughter close, kissing her forehead as she continued to cry. "Didn't Sasuke cry a lot?"
Itachi shrugged. "I never paid attention." His eyes never left the little girl's face.
Sakura's laugh was a bit louder this time. "Maybe she'll stop crying if you held her."
Itachi stilled beside her, and she saw something akin to horror flash across his face.
"It's alright. I promise you won't break her." She lifted the little bundle and placed it in Itachi's lax arms. He immediately tightened his grip, as if he was afraid she'd fall. She continued to wail and Itachi looked to Sakura helplessly.
"Try rocking her." Sakura motioned with her own arms.
He raised an eyebrow as if to say: you've got to be kidding me. But he took her advice, and the motion made the little girl begin to quiet in his arms, her cries soon becoming nonexistent.
Sakura took in the sight in front of her. Tears welled up in her eyes and she let out a small sob, quickly covering her mouth with a hand. Itachi's eyes went to hers immediately, searching for a reason for her tears.
"This is…I…" She swallowed, merely giving him a smile through her tears. Neither said anything else, their sole attention fixed on the girl.
"Her eyes will be green." Itachi finally said.
Sakura blinked, "Well, babies eyes change colors when they're born, and since she has your hair, she'll probably have your dark eyes too."
"They'll be green."
Sakura decided not to mention that his presumption that his daughter would be a boy had been incorrect. For some reason his words struck true this time. So she merely nodded, letting herself fall back against the pillows, closing her eyes tiredly.
"Don't do that."
Sakura immediately looked to him. "Do what?"
"Close your eyes."
Sakura's brow furrowed in confusion. "Why?"
His lips twitched a bit, as if he wanted to frown, but he merely looked back down at the little girl. "…I might do something wrong."
Sakura stared at him, stunned. Uchiha Itachi had just admitted that he could make a mistake. She wanted to drink the moment in, let herself relish in the fact that Uchiha Itachi wasn't as perfect as he had thought he was. But instead she nodded, holding out her hands, "I'll take her back then, if you want."
Itachi's gaze flickered back to his daughter, before he placed her in Sakura's arms.
"…have you thought of a name yet?" Sakura finally asked as they watched their daughter sleep. The notion of collaborating on a name for their daughter had been an almost taboo subject, one they'd skirted around for several months. Sakura had just decided that she'd let Itachi decide, since she knew he probably would in the end anyway. It had hurt, since she'd already silently named her little girl, but she knew that it wasn't just her decision, but his too.
"Why not?" Sakura asked quietly, not wanting to wake their little girl.
"Names are of little importance to me." Itachi finally answered.
"Aa." Sakura agreed, hearing the truth behind his words. Itachi wasn't someone who would base much importance on something like a name. He had, after all, denounced the importance that others stressed on names.
"Eh?" Sakura blinked a few times, "Me?"
"She is your daughter as well."
"Well yes but…"
"You already had a name chosen, no doubt." Itachi's mouth twitched into a small smirk and Sakura blushed, smiling sheepishly. Her smile faded a bit as she nodded, however.
"Hai. I did but…I doubt you'll like it."
"It does not matter. It is just a name."
Sakura nodded. "…Mikomi."
Because she was Sakura's hope, had been her hope for so long. And she was the start to rebuilding the Uchiha Clan…the hope of Konoha…Sasuke's hope…and even, deep down, Itachi's hope too.
"Uchiha Mikomi." Itachi stated, and to Sakura it sounded like a grave decision had just been made.
And Sakura closed her eyes, letting the sound of him saying their daughter's name in that hauntingly beautiful emotionless voice of his wash over her...she could feel it then, feel the turbulent maelstrom that had surrounded them for so long begin to settle down.
Those stormy waters that they had weathered for so many years were finally calming. The ripples and waves were still there, for they could never have true peace while alive. But it was enough.
In fact, it was perfect.
(A\N: So…I am sure some of you are freaking out at the moment, lol. You're probably like—wait, this is the EPILOGUE? But…what about everything with Pein and the mysterious chess player and the Kyuubi's warning? Well…I have a nice little surprise for all of you…THERE'S GOING TO BE A SEQUEL! The final installment in this story. DEFINITELY the final one, lol. The title of the next installment is Shisui. And no, this does not mean that Itachi's dead best friend is coming back. His name is significant, but it is also significant just for the translation: Still Waters. :D So…I'll leave all of you to have fun with that one.
I want to take this time to thank all of you who have read this story and stuck with it, as well as those of you who reviewed. You guys have kept me going and I can't thank you enough. You all deserve lots of cookies! I could feel my own writing skills grow through each installment in this ItaSaku story and I hope that my writing will continue to grow in Shisui and my other stories. Until then, ja ne!
Sincerely, Lady Hanaka
P.S. Since some people have been wondering…yes, MissSakuraUchiha and I will be writing a story together in the future. Man…I have so many stories I am going to be writing :)
Oh and PLEASE look at my profile and decide which of my stories you want me to start next--besides Shisui, of course. It would be very heplful, thanks you.)