Okay. I have to admit that the final chapter ended abruptly, even for me. There was a reason, though. Basically I needed to rip the damned band-aid off so I didn't end up with a LORD OF THE RINGS type of ending ...that is to say: never-ending! LOL
The summation at the end, if I'd written it all out would have taken a few more chapters at the very least. So, sorry for the abruptness. Hope the Epilogue helps ... :)
Gaara grumbled more than a little at the chaos around him. "Every thing's quiet right now, so there shouldn't be a problem. Which actually worries me in a way."
Baki shrugged, looking up from his copious notes. "Kazekage-dono, we've been all over everything three times."
The red-head's eyes narrowed. "Are you trying to say I'm being overly cautious?"
"No, sir." Baki said, hiding his inner smile behind a ninja facade. "But in point of fact, not everything is quiet."
Gaara stared at his councilor and waited. But Baki did not elaborate. "Do tell."
A ghost of a smile did escape the wind shinobi's lips as he spoke. "Your house, Kazekage-dono, is not quiet. It may require some ...personal attention?"
The Kazekage of Suna snarled at his closest advisor and former sensei. "Apparently even I am not capable of quieting that crowd. Perhaps I should assign it to another shinobi, you perhaps?"
Baki shuddered and shut the hell up.
They were interrupted, though, by the door being shoved open without warning. Two red headed blurs flew through the room before launching themselves at their father. At his feet, two nin-dog puppies barked and yipped and jumped up around his legs. The cacophony was mind-boggling.
Gaara tried to quiet the two, or would that be four? But he was having little success. Baki smothered his laughter and bent down over his paperwork.
"QUIET!" He roared, jade-pale eyes looking back and forth between Akinoame and Hanano. The two little girls fell silent, but their eyes were uncowed as they looked back at him mutinously.
Six year old Akinoame's hazel gaze was stubborn as she crossed her little arms and scowled. "Tsuyu pulled Hanano's hair!"
At this announcement, Baki finally looked up in deadly seriousness. "He did what?"
Four year old Hanano bit her bottom lip and her soft gray eyes filled with tears right before she hid her face in her father's white robes. Sniffling pitifully, she blew her nose on him as he rolled his eyes.
Gaara sighed as he knew he'd have to change before he left now. Baki was still scowling.
"Tsuyu!" The wind master yelled out, knowing his young son wouldn't be too far away.
Dark brown eyes peered around the corner of the door, but didn't look repentant at all. "Aki-chan started it!" The six year old told them in his quiet voice. "She said I wasn't fast enough to catch her or her sisters."
Baki sighed and looked apologetically at his Kazekage.
"Before you apologize, just remember the time my daughters painted Tsuyu blue." Gaara pointed out calmly, patting Hanano's back gently.
Giggles met that announcement as both little girls remembered the time they'd ganged up on the hapless male in retaliation for something they could no longer recall.
"Oh heaven's, they haven't gotten into the paint again, have they?" The young voice sounded years beyond her actual age as Gaara's eldest daughter Inazuma entered the office. The small eight year old blew an errant strand of red hair out of her face as she held baby Suzumushi.
Baki and Gaara both grinned at the oh-so-old young lady, who only a few months ago had been acting just the same as her younger sisters. But she'd started at the Academy this year, and thought all pranks were now beneath her.
"Suzu!" Inazuma scolded as the two-year old squirmed to get down, making grabby-fingers at the puppies still clamoring at the Kazekage's feet.
"Doggies!" Suzumushi yelled and dove head-first from her sister's grip.
Sand met the baby's fall and she rolled down the miniature dune right at her father's feet. Suzu squealed with delight and promptly pulled the tail of one of the nin-dog puppies, who mock growled at the child.
"SIT!" The command echoed through the office and everyone but Gaara and Baki sat down. Baki was glad he'd already been sitting because it would have been embarrassing to follow the shouted command.
Hana waddled into the office, one hand on her back to balance the large mound of her pregnant belly. Gaara's chest swelled a little as he watched his glowing wife of ten years, she was more beautiful to him with every passing year.
"Is every one packed and ready to go?" Hana's voice carried the aura of authority as four little red-headed girls all fell silent and nodded, except the two-year old who was still yanking on the nin-dog's tail.
"Mommy, Suzu's hurting my dog!" Akinoame's bottom lip trembled.
Inazuma picked up the baby, who cried in protest, giving her own puppy a pat on the head as she did so.
"I wanna puppy!" Hanano whimpered as she snuggled into Gaara's hold on her.
The Kazekage kissed the top of her red hair and grinned. "As soon as you're packed and ready, we're leaving for the Leaf village and you can get your puppy."
"YEAH!" The little girls jumped from their father's grasp and the whole entourage swept out of the office, all yelling and squealing as they made their grand exit. Hana laughed as she watched her four daughters, plus two nin-dog puppies, her hand absently rubbing her stomach as baby number five did a somersault inside her.
Tsuyu tried to slip away with them, but found his shirt collar to be held by his father. Baki gave his only child a stern look. "Did you finish your chores?" The boy just looked down at his feet. "Go find your mother and apologize, then do your chores and after that you will volunteer to help out with her shopping."
The six year old looked horrified at the thought of carrying his mother's bags, it was so ...unmanly! But he nodded, knowing better than to argue.
Gaara took off his snot-soiled Kazekage robe and shook his head as Tsuyu slowly made his sulking way out the door. "He'll be starting at the Academy soon."
Baki shrugged, "He has some more growing up to do. His mother babies him."
"She babies you too." Hana said with a wicked gleam in her eyes. "And I seem to recall that your son would not be as undisciplined as Inazuma was at the time?"
Baki gave her a baleful look, "Your eldest is trying to act grown up, but I still caught her putting glue in her sister's sandals just last week."
"Kankuro did that to Temari once." Gaara grinned. "Once." He smiled as he remembered his brother's myriad of bruises following that incident too.
"Are you ready?" Hana asked, making her husband frown over at her.
Gaara's jade-pale eyes dropped down to her bulging stomach. "I still don't think this is a good idea. We should wait another two months."
Hana's gaze narrowed on her worrywart of a husband, who still hadn't grown out of the need to 'rescue' her even after so long. "My babies never come early, you know that. And there are no new nin-dog litters in Suna that are appropriate. Akamaru's new litter is perfect, and it's time for Hanano to be selected by a nin-dog companion." She paused evilly. "Remember, I'm the Inuzuka heir and your merely the Kazekage."
"Only the Kazekage, woman, get it right." Gaara teased her, remembering Kuromaru's words well even after so many years.
Shino poked his head into his son's room, nodding at the fact that he'd cleaned up as ordered. "Are you ready?"
Keichitsu nodded at his father, the seven year old slipping dark glasses over his gold eyes and straightening his high collar.
"I'm ready too." Mijikayo pulled on her father's coat with her small hand, her wild hair tamed into two long braids.
Shino scooped up his four year old daughter, blowing into her ear to make the girl giggle and squirm. "You don't look ready."
"I am! I am ready!" She said, her bottom lip poking out slightly.
"No, it's your job to bring your mother, and I don't see her." Shino looked at her over the tops of his own glasses.
Mijikayo giggled and jumped down to go and hurry up her mother.
"Do you have the gifts?" Hinata asked a few moments later, as her daughter almost literally dragged her down the hallway.
"Yes, mama." Keichitsu said, "they're over he..." The seven year old boy stopped and turned to glare at his younger sister. "They've been opened."
Mijikayo poked her tongue out at her tattletale brother. "You helped."
"I did not!" He said with upright indignation.
Shino sighed. "Keichitsu?"
The boy squirmed and fell silent as he studied his feet a moment. "I didn't touch the boxes." He said slowly. "But, I didn't stop her."
Mijikayo grinned widely. "He told me where they were!"
"Go downstairs, both of you and wait for us." Hinata said, trying not to smile.
Both children raced to obey her as Shino shook his head, putting his arm around his wife. "Planning and manipulation. Maybe we need to enroll him in the Academy early."
Hinata smiled and gave him a long kiss, "Just let me re-wrap the gifts and we'll be on our way."
Shino's hands pulled reluctantly from her as he leaned in for one more kiss. "Do we have to go?"
Hinata just laughed.
The Hyuuga family compound was a whirl with activity, organized and orderly, it was still a celebration. That is, most of it was organized.
Neji was welcoming the Aburames with a warm smile when they all heard the sound rumbling down the stairs right at them.
Hinata flashed her cousin a bright grin and teased him. "I hear the sound of thunder."
Neji shook his head and sighed. "They're impossible, they won't listen and they won't slow down."
Two blurs rushed past them, their feet pounding as the three year old twins ran from their nanny, with their mother close behind holding their shirts.
"Oh heavens." Neji groused. "They're not dressed."
Shino's mouth quirked in sympathy. "They're wearing pants at least."
"Small comfort." TenTen groused as she stopped beside them to offer a rushed greeting and then hurried off behind their over-worked nanny.
The two Hyuuga boys were known throughout the village as 'The Thunder Twins'. No one ever had to ask why they were so named, not after meeting the terrible twosome even once.
"Is Hanabi here yet?" Hinata asked, her voice no longer as shy is it used to be. Motherhood could do that to you.
"Not yet." Neji told her with a telling glance. "Hiashi still doesn't know she'll be here."
They all contemplated that thought a moment, before turning to greet the next arriving guests.
It had all started just over three years ago, with Uchiha Sasuke's return to the Leaf village after the death of Itachi. He'd been accepted back, but only warily. Sasuke's quest for revenge finally over, his next task was to revitalize the Uchiha clan. His eyes had fallen upon Hanabi, who'd been flattered.
Unfortunately Hanabi already had a suitor, Uzumaki Naruto.
The fights between the two men were legendary.
Hanabi though, had not been pleased. Throughout the battles, she'd realized she wasn't important to either man except as a win over each other. So she'd turned to a long time friend of the family and that friendship had blossomed into love.
Hiashi disapproved, of course. But he, and the entire clan, had been distracted by the long awaited birth of Neji's twin sons. It had taken a long time for the couple to conceive, despite all the medical attention they'd sought. Then, the pregnancy had been a difficult one, and TenTen had nearly died delivering the duo.
So, while everyone was watching the twins and their mother to make sure every one was healthy, Hanabi had eloped.
The uproar had lasted nearly a year. The entire village had been split down the middle on the subject.
In the end though, the marriage stood with the backing of Kakashi, Gai, Anko, Genma, Shizune, and many more, including Tsunade herself.
Still, it would have been torn apart if Neji had not stepped in front of his clan elders and told them that they'd been wrong about Kameyo, they'd been proven wrong about TenTen, and that he stood behind Hanabi's decision.
Still, relations were strained between father and daughter and the two haven't spoken since. Hiashi, faced with the loss of his youngest, had become devoted to his two young grandsons. To the extent that he'd retired as head of the clan, allowing Neji to step in.
Neji's reflections were interrupted as Shunrai and Kaminari raced by him once more, screeching at the top of their lungs. One had a shirt hanging half-way off while the other was now wearing his shirt, but somewhere had lost the pants, leaving only the diaper.
Hiashi walked down the stairs smiling as the two hellions changed directions and headed right for him. The elder Hyuuga bent down and scooped the two boys into his arms just as the nanny and TenTen caught up with them.
"I'm so sorry, Hiashi-sama." TenTen huffed, and shook her finger at her unrepentant sons. "You boys are in soooo much trouble!"
"No they're not." Hiashi said indulgently. "They've done nothing wrong. And it's only once you get to turn three." He sniffed at them all and waltzed by everyone else as he headed toward the food. "Are you two scamps hungry?"
The two boys babbled happily, even waving at their parents with angelic smiles that fooled no one.
On the way there though, Hiashi stopped and stared as Hanabi and her husband arrived.
The two stared at each other for a long moment, everyone holding their breaths. Finally, the older shinobi nodded at her, and she nodded back.
"I want more of these." Hiashi told her, bouncing the boys a bit as they squealed in delight. "You working on it?"
Hanabi smiled and nodded.
"Well then, you might as well walk with me to get some food. You look thin."
With that, the rift ended.
Hanabi sighed with relief as smiles blossomed all around them. Her husband took her hand, having to bite his tongue to stay quiet. Quiet wasn't something Rock Lee excelled at, after all.
"Shigeri!" The girl's mother yelled sternly, her hands on her hips. "You can't clean a room by wind ninjutsu, it only redistributes the dust and doesn't clean a thing!"
The eight year old girl pouted, pushing her long auburn hair behind one ear. "But I'm late!" She said, her dark emerald eyes melting expressively. "Kanoko will get to sit beside him and she'll gloat! She's so evil!"
"Stop talking as if everything is a crisis." Sakura told her eldest child. "And who's 'him'?"
"Seikirei takes a break from his Academy classes every day about now! He's sooooo handsome, and he's the best at everything! Simply everything!"
Sakura sighed. Was history doomed to repeat itself?
Kankuro looked up from his blueprints with a fierce frown. "Since when are you interested in boys?"
Shigeri rolled her eyes dramatically. "Dad's don't understand about boys!" With that announcement she stomped out of the room. Or tried to do so.
"DAD!" She shrieked as his chakra strings pulled her inevitably back to where he was sitting at the table.
"No boys. There will be no boys." Kankuro announced. "Dad does understand about boys, he IS a boy."
"In more ways than one." Sakura muttered affectionately, as she carried the dirty laundry out to be washed. When would the man learn to put his dirty clothes in the hamper?
"You don't understand!" Shigeri howled. "Seikirei is the utmost! He's so beautiful, and his hair is always perfect and he's the tops in all the Academy classes."
"I hate him already." Kankuro sighed as his daughter wailed. "And keep your voice down, I don't want you waking your brother from his nap. Wait, isn't that Kiba's oldest boy you're talking about? You can't see him, you're cousins."
Sakura returned to the room as he said this and she winked at her daughter. "No, they're not. Seikirei is cousins with Gaara's brood through Hana, but no actual blood relation through you and Gaara."
Shigeri grinned triumphantly, as she tried to form the hand seals for a replacement jutsu. Her father reached out and straightened a finger here and flattened the palm there. Grinning as she got it.
"But then, neither is Kanoko." Sakura teased as her daughter's face fell. "And she's a delightful child, not evil at all." Refering to the girl that actually was her daughter's cousin.
"She's not even a REAL ninja!" Shigeri yelled again.
Kankuro's good humor faded as he brought his palm down sharply on the table. "Enough of that young lady. Kanoko has no interest in being a ninja, true. But she was accepted into the Academy at seven, a full year before you. She's studying to be a veterinarian and has the top grades in her class. She will make an excellent support ninja."
"Aunt Hana's a veterinarian, and she's a full ninja." Shigeri said, almost quietly.
"Different people, different focus." Sakura said calmly. "You're just angry because you two are interested in the same boy. You've been best friends forever, you shouldn't let something like a boy come between you two."
"You just don't understand!" The girl wailed, making Sakura roll her eyes and Kankuro laugh.
"Why do I have to help clean the house?" Kanoko whined, her dark hair pulled into four pony tails.
Temari laughed and handed her daughter another plate to dry. "Because I said so."
"But I need to beat Shigeri to the Academy training ground. She'll gloat and everything!"
The blond kunoichi considered the matter a moment. "While I don't want anyone to beat you in anything, neither do I think you're old enough to be chasing after boys. You're only seven. Sorry kid, prudence wins over pride. You're staying here."
"When's Dad getting home?" The young girl whined piteously.
"Your father knows better than to say 'yes' to anything I've already said 'no' to. Besides, he's on a long mission. He should be home by the end of the week though. Just in time to be here for Gaara and Hana's visit." Temari sighed. It had been two months since she'd seen Shikamaru, though Tsunade kindly let her read the mission missives as they came in.
Yamanaka Seikirei ate his lunch in relative quiet, his two biggest annoyances no where to be seen. It was going to be a good day. His grandfather smiled at him as the two blonds went over the finer points of mind possession hand seals while they ate.
Kiba grabbed his five year old blond son as he tore through the house on Akamaru's back. "Whoa there. You're mother's taking a nap. Cool down."
Five year old Shirauo grinned, bouncing up and down on his nin-dog seat. "Can I have one of the puppies, daddy?"
Kiba knelt down beside his son thoughtfully. "You can play with all the puppies, Shirauo. But you're a Yamanaka, not an Inuzuka."
"Hanano's coming and SHE gets one of the puppies!" Shirauo pouted. "I live here, why can't I get a puppy? Tell him it's okay, Akamaru." But the dog just dipped his head.
Kiba sighed, having difficulties explaining about how his son had inherited his mothers mind ninjutsu and not his father's bloodline. Neither of his children were Inuzukas. And although only Seikirei had been born during his year and a day as a Yamanaka, he'd petitioned for the right to name his second child Yamanaka as well.
"You can have a puppy." Kiba said quietly, ruffling his son's hair.
"One of Akamaru's puppies?" Shirauo asked suspiciously.
Kiba sighed. "I'm sorry son, but nin-dogs choose their companions, not the other way around. You are destined to be a great mind ninjutsu user, like your grandfather, and even your brother."
"What about me? I'm a great mind ninjutsu user too." Ino said sleepily, looking a bit haggard.
Kiba frowned and walked over to her, his hand going to her extended belly. "Do you need me to send for Tsunade, or maybe Sakura?"
She slapped his hand away. "I'm not only a mind ninjutsu user, but I'm also a full fledged medical ninja. And I'm still not talking to you."
Her husband grinned, though still worried. Ino could read his concern easily as he watched her. "I'm fine. And I thought you told me that I wouldn't have a litter."
Kiba grinned ruefully, running one hand absently through his hair. "Multiple births don't run in my family, or yours. We're just ...blessed."
"Three, Kiba." Ino whined, leaning her head on his shoulder as he wrapped one strong arm around her. "I'm bigger than a HOUSE! There are three of them in here!"
Kiba rubbed her belly sympathetically. "I distinctly remember telling you, when YOU asked, that I thought three would be a great number for children. I meant in total, not three more at once!"
She hit him in the arm and winced, rubbing her back. "When does your sister get in? The house isn't near ready."
Kiba frowned, "You don't have to clean up for them. I've already cleaned the house. Besides, I think they're staying at Kankuro and Sakura's house."
Ino snorted and laughed outright. "Like you can clean anything without making it worse."
Akamaru whined in agreement, earning a glare from Kiba. The dog just laughed, then winced as Shrauo pulled too hard on his ears.
Three days later, Gaara and his brood arrived in the Leaf village. Kankuro and his wife put up his brother and Hana, along with the two smallest girls. Inazuma and Akinoame went to stay with their Aunt Temari, much to the delight of Kanoko and her younger brother, Kajiko. Shikamaru still wasn't back yet, and Temari was glad for the company. Not that she was worried or anything, but the latest mission missive was late arriving and she was glad for the distraction.
Ino and Kiba watched as proud papa, Akamaru sniffed the latest Inuzuka to present herself for the nin-dog's inspection. Then the child went to Kuromaru, who sat stiffly next to Tsume. The eldest Inuzuka was still clan leader, but had retired from active missions ever since a lucky strike had left her with a permanent limp.
"So what have I missed since our last visit?" Hana asked her mother as they set up for the puppies to meet Hanano.
"Genma's been kicked out again." Tsume told her with a grin. "But I don't think it's too serious, Shizune didn't put his things outside this time."
Hana laughed as Kiba rolled his eyes, watching as both Akamaru and Kuromaru approved Hanano, much to child's relief. The puppies had then been let out to sniff her, to see if any found her suitable to become their companion.
Each of the puppies sniffed the four year old, who was watching them all with her big gray eyes. Hana and Kiba shared an affectionate look as they remembered the moments they too had gone through this.
"Go on, Hanano." Tsume called roughly, her own eyes alight with remembering cherished moments. Kuromaru wagged his tail and whined a bit, waiting for the 'moment'.
One of the puppies, a large white one walked over to the girl and sniffed her toes, which wiggled as the puppy licked them. "Now?" She whispered.
Kiba shook his head. "Not yet, you'll know."
The puppy swatted at her toes then walked back to his litter mates, making the little girl frown, tears forming in her eyes.
Hana grinned, sending a reassuring smile to her husband in the next room. Gaara couldn't watch. He wasn't ALLOWED to watch these moments anymore. Not because of clan secrets, but he couldn't stand the tension or the waiting. And when Inazuma had teared up when she'd gotten her puppy, Gaara had nearly gone to pieces. So he wasn't allowed to watch anymore.
The large white puppy growled at one of his brothers, who was also white but with gray markings. The second puppy bowled over the white puppy in his excitement. This puppy went airborne, right at Hanano, toppling the laughing child onto the floor as he tried to lick her face.
"See, told you that you'd know it when it happened." Hana chuckled.
"You were covered in fur." Tsume clucked her tongue. "Three of them on you at once, it was pandemonium."
Hana laughed as Gaara rushed in to look, relieved to see Hanano so happy, the puppy washing his new companion's face.
"Speaking of threes." Ino said, pulling everyone's attention toward where she was sitting. Kiba watched as his wife's stomach tightened, held, and released.
A new form of pandemonium hit the room as Kiba rushed to her side. "We need to get you to the hospital. They're early!"
"Not that early." Tsume groused, getting up stiffly. "Only about a month. Her first was about a month early too, remember?"
Kiba growled as Hana laughed, shaking her head.
Ino screamed. Kiba's name. Along with several words that made even Tsume's eyes widen.
Everyone was out in the waiting room. Even Kiba, though he'd fought it, but Tsunade had shoved him out with a snarl.
"Stop pacing, son." Inoichi said, having been called in when they'd rushed Ino over here earlier in the afternoon.
The blond shinobi had charge of his grandsons. Seikirei on one side, and Shirauo on the other.
Gaara and Hana had sent their brood over to Temari's for the interim. Sakura was in with Ino and Tsunade while Kankuro waited with the rest of them.
"I don't think that's how to babysit." Gaara pointed out to his brother.
Kankuro shrugged, absently going over the blueprint of his newest puppet. His three year old son, Ryokuin, was running around in circles trying to grab anything he could. Except he couldn't quite reach because of the chakra strings attached to his back.
"It works." The puppet shinobi said, glancing up at his son who was currently trying to grab a potted plant.
Gaara looked at his nephew too. "Is his hair ..."
"Auburn." Kankuro said firmly. "It's definitely auburn."
"It looks a bit more ..." Gaara frowned as Kankuro shot him a dirty look. "Tsk. Fine, it's auburn."
"Uh oh!" Shirauo giggled. "That's a bad word!"
Seikirei rolled his eyes at his younger brother, reaching over to hit him. Inoichi intercepted the blow, and it's retaliatory strike as well.
Suddenly there was a loud bang as the potted plant flew off the table and crashed onto the floor.
Everyone stared, then Kankuro started grinning. "That's my boy!"
"What just happened?" Tsume asked, watching curiously.
"Chakra strings." Gaara said, chuckling softly. "Although at Ryokuin's age it's more of a blunt instrument to get what he wants."
"He's going to be a puppeteer?" Inoichi asked, also curious.
"Damned straight." Kankuro crowed, drawing a frown from Kiba.
"It's hard enough to keep them from using bad language." The Inuzuka stopped pacing long enough to throw the puppeteer a hard frown.
"Sorry." Kankuro said, but clearly didn't mean it from the wide grin on his face. "Do it again, Ryokuin!"
"Life just went down the toilet." Gaara prophesied.
Inoichi glanced over at the grinning puppet master. "I think he looks pretty d... darn happy, myself."
The Kazekage shook his head. "I mean for Sakura. Can you imagine a baby trying to pull everything he wants towards him. All the time?"
Inoichi winced and Tsume laughed outright, easing some of the tension until they all heard Ino scream again. Her words carrying clearly over them all. Inoichi put his hands over his grandson's ears and pulled them into his body.
Kankuro waited a moment before looking at Kiba. "And you're worried about my language?"
Much later that night, Temari grinned as she heard her bedroom door open.
"Don't attack. It's me."
Shikamaru sounded tired as she listened to him getting undressed and head for the shower.
Temari listened to him wash up and get ready for bed, wondering how long it would take the genius to figure it out.
"Kids good?" Shikamaru yawned as he stumbled toward the bed, not bothering to put on any clothing.
"Kanoko's grades are top notch, of course. Kajiko's in trouble, he hid rather than help with his chores. And he stole Kanoko's book and colored the pictures."
"So?" Shikamaru slid in beside her with a satisfied grunt, wrapping himself around his wife like a spoon. "He's only three."
"So, it was a medical book and she's very upset. Oh, and Ino had her babies today." Temari told him quietly, just waiting.
Shikamaru groaned. "So many children." He shuddered against her, letting her warmth seep into him. "They alright?"
Temari bit her lip, and nodded as Shikamaru's hand trailed possessively over her, his hand passing her stomach to her thigh. Then she felt as his hand paused, trembled, and went back.
The blond held still as her husband's hand settled over her slightly distended stomach, tracing the outline gently. "Uhm, Temari?"
"Go to sleep, Shikamaru." She told him, playing with him a bit.
"Did you know about this before I left?" He asked, leaning up over her now.
Temari blinked as he turned on one of the bedside lamps. She didn't fight him as he pulled down the sheet to look at her.
She nodded, unrepentant as she met his gaze.
"How far along are you?"
"Four months. It's another boy."
Shikamaru groaned and rubbed his eyes. "Why didn't you tell me?"
"Not something I wanted to let you know the night before you go on an S-class mission." She said with a bit of injured dignity. "I wanted you to focus on the mission, not obsess over this."
He shook his head, as if to deny the obvious. "But Temari, what about our plan? You know, a girl and then a boy. Nothing was mentioned about another child."
"Get over it." Temari leaned up and kissed him, drawing a groan from her husband who responded eagerly.
He pulled back a long moment later and looked at her. "Fine. But this is it, we're not having anymore after this. It's not in the plan."
Temari winked at him wickedly, grabbing his hair to pull him over to her. "Sex first, talk later."
"But what about the plan?" He asked desperately, even as his body responded eagerly to her closeness.
"Plan's change." She said smugly.
Well, well, well. I'm sad now.
Oh, and if anyone was confused (I know I would be) over names and ages and the such:
Gaara and Hana have five children, four red headed girls and the new one will be a boy. He'll inherit his father's abilities.
Kankuro and Sakura have two, girl (wind) and a boy (puppeteer). His hair is pinkish. His father is in denial. He's ordering a Bunraku hat for his son even as I type this.
Shikamaru and Temari have three (so far). A girl who becomes a veterinarian and a boy who is nearly an exact copy of his father (and grandfather). The new baby is a little hellion like his mother, and will become a puppeteer like his uncle.
Kiba and Ino stop at five. Two boys with the mind ninjutsu talents, and three little blond girls – all Inuzukas, complete with nin-dogs.
Shino and Hinata are quite happy with two little Aburame's running around, a boy and a girl. They each have the Aburame clan jutsus.
Neji and TenTen have the 'Thunder Twins' and have their hands full. Neji doesn't want anymore. TenTen does.
Baki and Koto have one son, Tsuyu. He has his father's jutsus and his mother's manipulation skills. He'll make a fine shinobi.
Genma and Shizune are still living together, when she doesn't kick him out.
Hanabi and Lee are expecting their first child (a girl). She is going to be quiet, but quite strong. When asked why she doesn't talk much, she just says her father never lets her get a word in.
Sasuke and Naruto are still bachelors, but Sasuke has his eye on a kunoichi from the Village hidden in the Snow. Naruto is dating too much to settle down. They're both happy, but they're even happier when they're fighting ...each other.
And it comes to the end. This hurts. It's been a long journey, thank you for taking it with me and reading all these durn chapters! LOL
Hope to see you again soon. REVIEW please ...yes, I must know what you thought.
Am going off to eat lunch and contemplate the next chapter in GAARA'S 12 STEP PROGRAM TO SERENITY.