To Love and to Love Again Chapter 41: Epilogue
IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER AND AUTHORS NOTE: I do NOT own Naruto. The awesomeness of the Naruto Manga and World is the creation of Masashi Kishimoto. This is Purely Fanfiction. All things Medical in this entire fanfiction should not be taken as serious medical advice or facts. PLEASE CONSULT AN ACTUAL DOCTOR FOR ANY MEDICAL INFORMATION/QUESTIONS. THANK YOU AND ENJOY!
CIA Medical Ward
Sakura was exhausted and wanted nothing more than to lie down. Sasuke's scrutinizing gaze wasn't helping matters and now she had to deal with a panicked Naruto.
"So what did you do to Hinata?" she asked. Naruto looked absolutely puzzled.
"That's what I can't figure out!" he yelled, flailing his arms around. "She's practically avoiding me! All I said was that she hasn't been looking so goo lately and that she should go see a doctor."
"Was that all you said?" she pressed, already having an idea of what was going on. Naruto looked a bit sheepish and scratched the back of his head.
"I…may have commented on her weight," he admitted. "I didn't call her fat or anything! I just noticed that she may have gained a pound or two. No big deal! She needs more meat on her bones and I like her curves, but she's looking sicklier lately and she's moody as hell. Plus she's been eating ramen like crazy and then complaining about the smell and that's never happened before but she's mad at me for some reason and every time I ask her what's wrong she avoids me!"
Sakura tried to get a word in, but was cut off by Sasuke when he growled "What are you doing in the medical ward?" His gaze was absolutely piercing as he took in her noticeable signs of fatigue. He was vaguely aware of Tsunade and Kakashi watching them from up above the railing.
Sakura didn't know whether or not now was the best time to tell them about her decision. She knew Sasuke would protest, but she also knew that Naruto would back her up. She decided they were going to find out sooner or later anyway so she might as well do it now.
"I've decided to become a Medic with the CIA," she informed. Sasuke's glare was instantaneous. "You didn't think I'd just sit around while you and the kids were here did you?"
"Alright!" Naruto cheered as he beamed at her. "I always knew you were meant to be here with us. You'll totally kick ass! Lighten up teme you know she'll be great," he said to his stone-faced best friend. He looked like he was trying hard not to grab her and run for it.
"Absolutely not!" Sasuke declared, making her glare right back at him. No way was his pregnant soon-to-be-wife going to go out on missions. "You're in no condition for it," he added making Naruto assess her more carefully.
Sakura didn't have time for this. She was running out of energy and patience fast. She decided to deal with this later and turned to Naruto, about to inform the oblivious blond of the problem with Hinata, when he said something that removed any self-control she may have had left.
"…Come to think of it, you both got a little bigger at the same time…," Naruto commented as he gave her the once over.
The vein in her temple exploded as she grabbed his ear and yanked him down to her level.
"I'm pregnant you moron and so is your wife!" she shouted to his horrified expression. "How dare you impregnate her and not realize it! I'll beat you into the ground until you can smell HCG from a mile away! Cha!" she shouted before lunging at him.
That's when Sasuke intervened and grabbed her before she hurt herself. She thrashed in his arms, but he wouldn't let her go. He was just as surprised at her outburst as the dobe, who was still caught in her death-grip, and carried her into an exam room when an exasperated Tsunade came a few minutes later to examine her.
Sakura was still steaming at Naruto for being so dense about his wife's condition. Hinata wasn't in control of her emotions at the moment; therefore Sakura couldn't blame her for being a little miffed at him for not figuring it out.
Naruto was both in a state of shock at the news and in fear of Sakura's wrath. Hinata was pregnant. His wife was pregnant! No wonder Neji was pissed. The bastard was still overprotective of his cousin, even though she's a married woman. Naruto wanted nothing more than to gun it out of the room and find his wife, but Sakura wasn't through yelling at him.
She was still shouting at Naruto as he hid behind Sasuke during her examination. Tsunade was in the middle of her ultrasound and trying hard not to pop each of them in the head for being idiots.
"I can't believe you would be so insensitive to your wife's condition!" Sakura screeched. "You probably made her feel like a cow! How could you not know she's pregnant?"
Naruto chuckled hesitantly behind Sasuke. "But Sakura…you didn't know you were pregnant until gah-!"
Sakura had thrown the nearest object at his head, which happened to be a box of gloves. She was not in control of her emotions either, and Naruto was just her poor target. Sasuke was starting to develop a twitch in his eye from their yelling.
"I ought a deck you-"
"Shut up the both of you!" Tsunade shouted, making Sakura and Naruto flinch. "Sakura, you need to get a grip on your emotions. It's not good for the babies."
Three pairs of eyes turned to gape at Tsunade. Sakura froze. "…Babies?"
Tsunade sighed before saying "As if you need more drama. You're having twins," she announced as she turned the screen to let her look. Sure enough, at fourteen weeks pregnant she could see the two beautiful little silhouettes of her babies with two strong and synchronized heartbeats beating away with health.
Life wasn't through messing with her after all. Tears streamed from her eyes as she gazed upon the two little miracles inside her. She touched the screen at a complete loss for words. "Both of them appear perfectly healthy," Tsunade added when it looked like Sasuke might pass out.
Sakura turned to look at Sasuke then. He was reeling. Panic mixed with joy as the thought of Sakura's chances of danger just doubled. She grasped his hand reassuringly and pulled him down to her level. His worried gaze melted her heart with love for him.
"I'll be fine," she said quickly. "Nothing will happen to me," she promised.
Sasuke was at a complete loss as to what to do. One baby in her condition was already enough to worry him, but two? Fear gripped his hear now that there was twice the danger. Looking at her as she lay there just reinforced how delicate she was, just like her namesake flower.
Sakura, seeing the lingering fear in his eyes, smiled at him reassuringly and gripped his hand. "We'll get through this." She touched the side of his face until he looked her in the eye. "You won't lose me. I love you too much to leave you," she whispered.
Sasuke caressed the side of her face, not caring that the dobe of Tsunade were there to witness the display of affection, or his fear. Sakura meant everything to him. He couldn't afford to lose her. It would destroy him and their children. He locked eyes with Tsunade then, demanding that she take care of Sakura and his babies.
Tsunade huffed. "Do not make the mistake of doubting my abilities Sasuke," she warned. "She'll be fine under my care."
That didn't ease his worry at all. His tension was at its breaking point.
Naruto whistled before saying "Damn teme, you've got some skills. Twins! Who knew?"
Another box of gloves was tossed in his face.
In an organization composed of skilled individuals such as the CIA, there's bound to be those select few that are considered the best of the best. It's how legends are born.
Every now and then a group of individuals appear that stand out from the rest and leave their mark. Not so long ago, Tsunade, Jiraya and even Orochimaru became legends in their own right. Their individual skills alone were superb, but combined they were a force unlike any other.
There were others that had also made names for themselves as time went by; Kakashi being one example.
But now the CIA finally had another team that not only became a legend, but surpassed their predecessors in skill, strength and bonds.
Sasuke and Sakura had vowed that their life from here on out would be different. It certainly was that and then some. Sasuke was put through every rigorous test the CIA had to offer and continually surprised them with his skill and battle finesse. It wasn't long before they had him doing actual missions alongside his new teammate Naruto.
Uchiha Sasuke and Uzumaki Naruto; the duo soon became legendary for their rivalry, as well as the pyramid they created I combination with Haruno Sakura. Even in her condition and current lack of field work, her medical prowess, superior intellect and noted "inhuman" strength gave them an edge. Together they were unstoppable. They excelled under the supervision of their mentor.
Hatake Kakashi had never before taken a team under his wing. The reason was because every team presented to him had failed the infamous "Bell Test" where they had to retrieve two small bells off his person. The humble exam was no small feat when you were dealing with such a highly skilled and elusive individual with one good Sharingan eye. His prospective new team was no exception to the test. He was ready to turn down his daughter, future son-in-law, and his former mentor's son should they not pass.
He may have underestimated them just a bit.
The point of the test was to gauge how well they could work together as a team. All three of them had one thing or another over him. Sasuke had two Sharingan eyes, Sakura was his daughter (he just couldn't find it in himself to punch her, even though her punches were several times more lethal) and Naruto knew his one major weakness. He began reciting the ending to the latest edition of Icha Icha Paradise as all three of them came at him. Kakashi foolishly closed his eyes and ears, letting them walk right up to him and pluck the bells off.
Since then, the four of them had become the new Team 7.
Team 7 had risen through the ranks at lightning speed. Naruto had never been more successful with any other individuals than he had with Sasuke and Sakura. They balanced him in a way that no other teammates could. Sasuke was never left unchallenged with the "dobe" constantly on his tail. They both tended to get carried away at times with their sparring sessions, which ended up with treatment from Sakura as well as a scolding for giving her extra work. Her boys never let her rest.
Team 7 was at the top of their game, but they soon found themselves taking a mandatory break. Life was life after all and it waited for no one.
Sasuke and Sakura's POV:
Sora and Suki were Sasuke and Sakura's pride and joy. Their two children were their entire world. Though their lives now included the CIA, they were determined to be together as often as possible. They celebrated Sora's 6th and Sasuke's 27th birthdays together in July. Sora took great delight in sharing a birthday with his father. Suki was soon to follow in October with her 6th birthday, which she was willing to share with her Uncle Naruto a few days early.
No matter how bust the CIA kept them, they always found time to be a family of four. But that family was soon to have two more members, and their two kids were going to be taking on new roles: big brother and big sister.
"I'm having two babies," Sakura told them one evening from the comfort of their living room. Both children gaped at her.
"Two?" they asked simultaneously. Their mother simply nodded.
"Mommy how come sometimes you can have two babies and then Aunty Tenten could have three?" Suki asked.
Sasuke was glad he didn't have to answer that. Sakura looked contemplative and tried to form an adequate answer when Sora fired another question that made Sasuke nearly fall off the couch.
"…How did they get in there?" he asked as he stared pointedly at her small, rounded belly. Sakura locked eyes with Sasuke, who smirked right back at her. She couldn't contain her blush and told the children she would tell them all the secrets when they were older.
The kids were delighted either way by the thought of two new siblings. Suki took it upon herself to be her mother's personal at-home-doctor by doing small things such as fetching her things here and there, helping Sakura make dinner, or making sure she took her vitamins. She was also very insistent to know how the babies got into her belly, which Sakura continued to promise that she'll know when she's older.
Sora took after his father in that he became even more protective of his mother. He trained twice as hard at his karate and event so far as to glare at perfect strangers when they got to close to her at the supermarket. Sakura had to have a talk with him to simmer down. He was becoming more like Sasuke as time went by.
The children were content with their mother's condition, but no matter how much he prepared for it, Sasuke was still blown away with her.
He watched her grow as the weeks went by. She endured her pregnancy with more strength and grace than he thought possible. Each day made her more beautiful…and brought out more of her temperamental side, but that was to be expected. Each night with her beside him was surreal. She rested in the comfort and safety of his arms.
As she slept, Sasuke always took the time to bond with his unborn children. His hands never left her belly throughout the night. It was an experience he had never been able to enjoy the first time he became a father. His babies must have known it was their special time to bond with their father, because they kicked up a storm inside her, only occasionally waking their mother with their restless ways.
Sakura kept her eyes closed, but smiled as she felt his hands roam around her growing abdomen. Sai used to do the same thing with Sora, and now Sasuke kept the tradition alive. Sora and Suki were also fascinated by her growing belly. It became a nightly ritual for them to sit beside her on the couch with their hands glued to her abdomen. They giggled each time they felt a kick.
"You're going to wear the jammies that grandma's making," Suki said to her belly. "I helped put the Uchiha fans on them and grandma said they have to be the first things you wear when come out!"
"Are you sure they can hear you?" Sora asked. Suki nodded her head enthusiastically.
Suki talked to the babies as if they were already born. At times Sakura didn't know if Suki was speaking to her, or her belly. The kids also had a pool going.
Sora was determined that he was going to have two new brothers.
Suki was adamant that she was going to have two new sisters.
The babies in question never gave them a clue as to what gender they would be. They were terribly shy on her monthly sonograms. Even Tsunade became frustrated as tried to peek between their legs, only to find crossed shins with no clear view at all. At the end of every session, Tsunade would simply mumble something about how "Uchiha's are born stubborn after all."
The babies kept everyone guessing until the very end. Either way, Sakura had plenty of things to do to keep her occupied until they came.
Her work with the CIA had commenced.
Now that she was an official Agent, she divided her time between working at Konoha Medical Center and the CIA base. Due to her reputable career as an extraordinary physician, she couldn't just leave the hospital without a trace. She didn't want to anyway. She loved her work (both secret and public) and would never favor one over the other. All Agents needed a cover story for the public, and working at KMC was going to remain hers.
Sasuke also kept his title of CEO of KMC; however he became a more out-of-the-office leader than most. Konoha Medical Center was already the cover for many of their friends as it was. Tsunade used that to her advantage when it came to Sakura's training for the Agency. The new CIA leader had her using every skill she had to treat the numerous conditions never before seen in the typical hospital setting.
"The work we do puts us in contact with substances and chemicals not yet known to the public," she informed as they did their rounds. "Experimentation, poisons, exposure and so forth calls for new techniques and critical thinking at a moment's notice."
"I figured Naruto was just the tip of the iceberg," Sakura mused as she poured over numerous medical texts.
Naruto and Sasuke were training and doing field work. Due to her pregnancy, Sakura remained in the CIA hospital working in close contact with their resources and medical cases. She was quick to impress the medical staff with her skill and aptitude with their unusual cases.
One event in particular put her in the record books. Their Kyoto based colleagues required her aid when Kankuro was exposed to a deadly new toxin during one of his missions. Gaara and Temari wouldn't settle for anyone other than Sakura to care for their brother. Kankuro was rushed to the Tokyo base for treatment.
A heavily pregnant Sakura, via wheelchair, was quick to examine his blood, breakdown the chemical compounds and analyze the venomous properties with the aid of Shino and his lab. It would have been impossible to breakdown the venom with the resources at hand, yet she had ingenuity on her side.
"It has all the symptoms of venom," she noted when she informed him of the situation. "I know you would be the most knowledgeable when it came to that."
Shino nodded in agreement as he assessed the blood under the microscope. "This particular compound is unlike any venom I've ever seen."
Sakura furrowed her brow in concentration. "Shino…is it possible to use your leeches in isolating the chemical compounds in his blood?"
The deeply introverted lab tech assessed her through his shades as he thought about her idea. It wasn't every day that a fellow operative (a pregnant one at that) demanded the use of his insect resources. Many of the Agents had a deep aversion to the entomology department.
"My leeches are bred to divide such compounds in blood," he informed. "However it appears this toxin would kill them before they can assess the strands."
Sakura thought for barely a minute before asking him another question. "Well what if they ingest the toxin and be feed to another species of insect? Would it dilute enough to be processed through that particular bug? I know it's an unusual request but I know your department can be put to more use that it already is."
Shino was taken aback by that suggestion. One the one hand, the thought of sacrificing one of his precious bugs was beyond him. On the other hand, her idea was very plausible. Besides, his highly engineered insects had notoriously short life spans and they could finally be put to some immediate use.
"That can be arranged," he replied. She looked pleased and participated in the experiment. Shino was impressed with her quick assessment of the information and a bit humbled by her faith in his abilities. He wasn't one for praise, but he would give her credit for her skill.
Sakura then proceeded to use his lab to develop the anti-venom. She was wheeled away by an impressed looking Shizune and administered the anti-venom to Kankuro, who was declared stable within the hour. Gaara and Temari couldn't be more grateful to her.
Indeed she had lived up to her reputation as Tsunade's pupil. Her work kept her busy, yet in constant contact with her friends. Everyone was more than happy to lend their assistance when it came to her official CIA training.
Gai and Lee immediately volunteered to coach her fighting skills once she delivered. Kakashi didn't think it was necessary given her current fighting skill, nor did he think Sakura would be able to tolerate all that green.
Tenten offered her training in the use of weapons. Sakura never wanted to use another weapon against anyone if it could be avoided. Her work was about saving lives, but there were times when it would be needed. Since Tenten was the weapons mistress of the CIA, Sakura couldn't be in more capable hands. Tenten was more than pleased to show off her arsenal. Rooms and rooms of every kind of artillery imaginable adorned the walls of her practice range.
"Just think of it as surgery, only long range," Tenten said as she selected her weapon of choice and aimed. "Focus, aim and pull," she said before unloading a gun in less than a minute with lethal accuracy at the paper target. When the paper came back, Sakura was stunned to see a single hole in the paper man's chest. All of the bullets entered a single fatal wound.
Neji, who was watching from the observation deck, smirked with pride. Lee could be heard rooting for his teammate right beside him.
"Tennie…I had no idea you were that good," Sakura said in awe.
The mother of Neji Hyuga's triplets only smiled sheepishly. "Meh, I had some sniper training in the early days. No big deal. Guns are one thing, but they don't hold a flame to the old fashioned ways of senbon needles, kunai and shuriken," she said with a gleam in her eye akin to bloodlust.
Sakura sweat dropped. She would never look at the weapons mistress the same way again.
Ino wouldn't be left out of loop when it came to Sakura's CIA orientation. Though she wasn't an active field agent after having Akio and Akira, she was still a consultant in the botany department. She was also a fellow mom to children in the CIA training department.
"We decided to get the twins evaluated," Ino informed her one day over lunch. "After what happened to your kids, the CIA is offering training to agency children as a defense, should anything like that every happen again. Kiba's already got Jun evaluated. It turns out Jun's something of a dog whisperer. He's an Inuzuka, of course he would be," she said as she rolled her eyes.
Ever since Sora and Suki's recruitment, the Agency saw fit to evaluate particular children for CIA potential, with their parents' consent of course. Akio and Akira Nara were evaluated, and their results were stunning.
Shikamaru and Ino's twins were highly intelligent. Both children inherited their father's tactical mind. When presented with a series of games, Akio and Akira methodically played the courses and stayed at least three steps ahead of the tests.
"These tests are so boring," Akio complained as he yawned and finished yet another one. Akira was quick to agree as she also finished the same test with identical results.
"Yeah daddy," Akira said to her father, who was watching the testing going on from behind the glass. "You said this was supposed to be fun! I'm bored!"
"Amazing," Asuma said from the observation room. "They both completed level five tactical operations sequences and correctly identified multiple courses of action."
"Well they don't know that," Shikamaru drawled. The twins may have been given a series of simple jigsaw puzzles, but it was how they completed the structure that showed how far ahead they could plan and foresee into a certain course of action.
"Can we go home now?" Akio asked as he yawned again.
"Yeah daddy I wanna go practice my ballet!" Akira yelled.
Asuma sweat dropped. With their results, it was easy to forget they were just two six-year olds. Shikamaru smirked at his befuddled mentor before taking his kids home. He was proud of them indeed, but wasn't looking forward to having the entire family in the CIA. Things would always be troublesome, but then again that was just his life.
The Agency was interested in training Akio and Akira as future tacticians if the children were so inclined when they were older.
"What about you?" Sakura asked Ino. "Have you thought about returning to the Agency?"
"It's not like I ever really left," Ino clarified. "I was a field agent with Shikamaru and Chouji as my teammates. Our families kind of have this tradition going on where we work in teams pretty well. Anyway, that lazy ass husband of mine knocked me up with the twins around the same time you were carrying Sora. You know how it works to be young and expecting. I had to quit field work to be a mom. But my kids are older now, and most likely they'll be a part of the CIA family in the future. It's time I got back in the loop."
"Glad to know you're on board Ino pig," Sakura teased.
"Shove it forehead," Ino returned before giving her a smug smile. "Guess what department I've decided to join? The Medics!"
Sakura promptly spit out her soup in surprise, making Ino laugh. "Be prepared to be outdone forehead girl," Ino challenged.
Sakura simply smirked. "Bring it piggy."
Ino was actually helpful in the medical department. Sakura was more than okay with having an assistant either way. Her pregnancy was certainly taking its toll on her work load.
Luckily, it helped to have someone she could relate to. Hinata Uzumaki was also an expectant CIA mom.
"I wish you could deliver this baby," Hinata admitted one day as the two of them waddled their way through the training center. Sakura was grateful she wasn't the only one doing the penguin walk in the agency. "But I know we're due around the same time, so it's impossible."
"I wish I was able to as well," Sakura said as she compared Hinata's figure against her own. Sakura was nearly twice as big belly-wise due to the twins. "But you and I are in better hands with Tsunade. She delivered me and Sora so I trust she'll do great with us."
Hinata agreed. "Naruto bets that our baby will be born first. I told him it's not a competition, however he seems to think so," she said chuckling. "I hope he doesn't find me here. I can't sit around anymore, but I don't want to worry him."
After Naruto had absorbed the fact that his wife was indeed pregnant, he was overjoyed. He then proceeded to drive Hinata out of her mind with his overprotectiveness. Sakura was thrilled to have a pregnancy buddy, as she and Hinata were due around the same time. Naruto was excited to be an expectant father along with Sasuke. It also increased the competitive side of their brotherly relationship.
"Our kid's coming out first!" Naruto proclaimed one day as the four of them dined at Ichirakus. Sakura rolled her eyes.
"It's not a competition dobe…even though my kids will arrive before yours," Sasuke replied. He was confident that Sakura would deliver before Hinata, only due to the fact that twins are usually born a week or two earlier than single pregnancies, according to Sakura that is.
Naruto simply huffed. "Yeah well my kid's a genius," he continued as he rubbed Hinata's belly affectionately. Hinata felt like a Buddha statue that should grant him a wish.
"Based on what?" Sasuke asked.
"He's got great taste," Naruto answered. Sakura chuckled. Hinata's major pregnancy craving was Ichiraku ramen. Their son was already a ramen addict, even in the womb. They were lucky enough to find out the sex of their baby early on, unlike Sakura's stubborn twins.
"Hn," Sasuke said, not taking that seriously at all. "Ramen doesn't account for genius."
"Neither does tomato consumption," Naruto shot back. "I've never seen ramen butchered that way before," he said as he eyed Sakura's bowl of tomato soup and noodles. She shot him a glare that made Sasuke proud. So what if she couldn't handle traditional ramen? The owner was nice enough to whip up some soup to her liking. She was carrying Uchiha babies after all.
"I'll be happy to quit ramen once the baby's born," Hinata confessed. "I can't handle much more of this," she said, to which Naruto encouraged her to try for the baby's sake.
Hinata and Sakura shared everything during their simultaneous pregnancies. The CIA even threw them a dual baby shower, cutesy of Ino and Tenten.
Naruto and Sasuke took comfort in the fact that Hinata and Sakura had each other while they were away on missions. When Sasuke was away, Itachi and Kakashi took charge of Sora and Suki's training.
The children were happy that they were now a family, but even so, there were times when insecurity would arise.
Sasuke had yet to return from his mission, leaving Sakura alone with the kids for the night. Suki had already fallen asleep. Sakura was in the process of tucking Sora in for the night, when he asked her a question.
"Mommy, are you excited about the babies?" he asked as she brought the blanket up to his chest. Sakura smiled down at him as she patted her large belly.
"Of course I'm excited," she answered. "I'm ready for them to come out. Are you excited about being a big brother?"
Sora looked contemplative before nodding his head. Sakura got the sense that something was bothering him. "Is there something on your mind sweetie? You know you can tell me anything."
Sora looked at her belly before looking up at her. "Are you going to like the babies more than me?" he asked. Insecurity about his place in his mother's heart had been gnawing at him for some time now. He never voiced his concern, but the bigger she got, the more he needed to know before they got here.
Sakura's heart melted at his question. She had tried her best to make sure both Sora and Suki knew they were loved, but with their busy schedules and Sasuke away more often than not, it was inevitable that some doubt would creep up on their minds.
"Nothing in this world, not even these babies, will make me love you any less," she answered as she smoothed out his hair. "I love each of you equally, but all of you have a special place in my heart. These babies will be my youngest so far. Suki is my first daughter," she said as she glanced at her sleeping form. "But you…" she said turning back to her son. "You are my first baby. You're the one that made me a mommy. When you were born it was one of the happiest days of my life. Everything about you was special to me and your daddy. You were the best thing that ever happened to us, and your daddy and I love you very much. Even though he's gone, he'll always be a part of you, and I will always love you for the both of us." she promised.
Sora smiled and accepted that as the truth. Even though Sasuke was his father now and he officially hyphenated his surname to Arisugaki-Uchiha, Sora would always remember that he had a daddy before Sasuke. His first dad Sai was the reason he was so good at drawing.
"You know, these babies will love you too," she said, patting her belly. "You're their big brother. You're Suki's big brother too. They're going to want to do everything just like you, because they'll look up to you."
"Are they going to have Sharingan too?" he asked.
"They might," she answered, knowing the possibility was more than likely. "It's an Uchiha family ability after all. Dad's teaching you how to use it properly."
"I can tell them to eat tomatoes," Sora thought. "Because dad says if you eat tomatoes, you can get stronger, so if the babies want to be like me then they have to eat lots of them," he said, making her chuckle.
The babies were way ahead of their brother. Sakura major pregnancy craving was indeed, anything and everything tomato. The Uchiha household was in a constant supply and demand for tomatoes. Not only did Sasuke and the children consume them daily, but Sakura ate more than all three of them combined due to her cravings.
"I think they'll like that," she said smiling. "I will always love you Sora," she said as she leaned down and kissed his forehead. "Mommy will always love you," she promised.
"I love you too mommy," Sora said before yawning and closing his eyes for the night. Sakura stayed by his side, smoothing out his hair to comfort him, just as she always had since her baby boy was born.
Sakura's relationship with her father had also improved. Now that he was mentoring her along with Naruto and Sasuke as Team 7, she got to spend more time with him. She respected her father's abilities and skill as a CIA Agent.
She was fascinated to learn of the history behind his Sharingan eye, and her mother's involvement in the risky procedure. The fact that it tied to Sasuke's relative added to the affect.
"Obito's body was completely crushed on one side," Kakashi told her one day after training. Her little brother Obito was also with them, enjoying a dango. Kakashi ruffled his hair before continuing. "Knowing it would be the end, he gifted me with his working Sharingan eye. My eye had been slashed during the mission, and your mother was the one to perform the procedure in the woods."
Sakura cringed at the thought of her parents undergoing such an ordeal in an unsterile environment. Her mother's medical skill was amazing.
"Your mother was devastated by Obito's loss," he continued. "She knew he had a thing for her after all, even though she didn't reciprocate his feelings. It made it hard for her to move on. But Obito changed my life from that point on. He was my first true friend. Your mother even had the idea to name you Obito, had you been a boy that is."
She chuckled. "Well you eventually got that namesake," she said as she wiped the sugary mess off of her baby brother's face. She loved spending time with Obito, even though he was just a baby. It wasn't easy having Hatake Kakashi for a father, and he would need her input when he got older. It was the sisterly thing to do after all.
"So when are you and Anko going to make it official?" she asked.
Her father simply regarded her with his usual aloof manner before surprising her and saying "It's already official."
"Say what?" she shouted. "When did this happen?" And why wasn't I there?"
"Calm down," he said, waving a hand dismissively. "It's there on paper…she just doesn't know it is all."
Sakura couldn't do much more but gape at him. "You married her without her knowing you did? How the hell is that possible?"
"Anko isn't one for ceremonies. I had to get crafty or she'd never marry me," he said, forgoing an explanation.
Sakura shook her head, deciding that that was the last thing she wanted to get involved in. She liked Anko, even feared her a bit. She was just the kind of person to keep her father on his toes, but she couldn't believe his sneakiness.
"She'll kill you when she finds out," she warned. "And I can't say that I blame her."
"I've lived a good life," he replied.
Anko eventually did find out about the covert marriage and went on a rampage unlike any other to kill her husband, who was mysteriously missing from base that day. No one dared to talk any sense into her. She calmed down…eventually.
All in all, life for Sakura had taken a hectic, yet fulfilling turn for the better. She couldn't have asked for more when she had Sasuke and the kids by her side. She treasured every minute she had with them, and tried her best to prepare for their unit of four to grow. And grow she did. Sakura grew until she didn't think she could get any bigger.
Then at last, on a cold night in December, she had finally gone into labor. Sasuke tried his hardest to keep it together when she woke him in the middle of the night and told him it was time.
"The kids are still asleep," he told her as she waddled her way into their room.
"I promised I would wake them before I left," she said. She leaned down and smoothed her hands over their backs, gently waking them enough to tell them the babies were coming, and to kiss them goodnight. It was past midnight, and both children were exhausted, but smiled in excitement before closing their eyes again.
Sasuke helped her up and brought her into his arms. They watched their children rest for a moment, savoring the last night it would just be the four of them, before her labor pains told her it was time to get going.
Coincidentally, when they arrived at the agency, they ran into a panicked Naruto with Hinata, who was also in active labor. Sakura could have sworn she saw a glint in Sasuke and Naruto's eyes as they began counting down whose baby was going to be born first.
Sasuke's momentary competition was instantly set aside as Sakura's pain grew. He was by her side the entire time during her labor and endured her crushing strength against his hand as she pushed his babies out of her womb. Her anguished screams sent flashbacks of losing Aya during her labor, intensifying his fear, but his bruised hand was reassurance that Sakura had the strength in her to live.
Hours went by. The process was much longer than what he remembered. His nerves were frayed with fear that she wouldn't be strong enough to handle this, but he held on for her. After what felt like the battle of their lives, it was finally time.
Sasuke held her hands from behind her as she began to push. She pushed with all her might as Sasuke supported her, determined to give her his strength however he could. She pushed with one final breath and sighed as the instant sound of crying filled the room.
Uchiha Shouhei was born crying like there was no tomorrow. He was his father's son in every way, except for his piercing green eyes given to him by his mother. He already had a head full of shinning raven hair, with a distinct spike angle resembling a young chicken. He was wrapped in a blue blanket with prints of the Uchiha fan all over it; a gift from his Uchiha grandparents.
Sasuke and Sakura had only a minute to marvel at their baby boy, before the next baby came through.
Uchiha Saiyuri was born immediately after her brother and wailed twice as loud after her first breath. She was such a delicate looking baby girl with a head full of her mother's beautiful soft pink hair. The only dominant feature she received from her parents was her signature black Uchiha eyes given to her by her father. She too was wrapped in a pink blanket with the Uchiha fans printed all over it. Mikoto commission two blankets in each color just in case. The pink color was at the insistence of big sister Suki.
Uchiha Shouhei and Saiyuri were finally here.
Shizune handed both babies to their father's waiting arms. Sasuke stood there, at a loss for words at the two newborns in his arms. He turned to Sakura, who gave him an exhausted smile.
"Sora and Suki both won," she chuckled. "One of each."
"Hn," he said, making her chuckle again.
He sat next to her bed and handed her the babies. She smiled down at them with love and kissed their tiny foreheads. She whispered sweet nothings to the both of them as they blinked their little eyes at their mother.
Sasuke's heart flooded with love for his family. Never had he experienced a love as powerful as this. Never had he experienced the sight of mother and baby like them. He was alone from the get-go with Suki. Now Sakura had given her three new siblings.
"I told your daddy I'd never leave him," she whispered to the babies. "Mommy loves you both too much to leave you too," she added softly before looking up at him. He smiled, making her heart beat quicken as he leaned in and kissed her lips.
"I love you," she whispered.
"I love you," he returned.
Sasuke stood in awe of his family. Sakura lay in bed with their two new babies nestled safely in her arms. Sora and Suki sat on either side of her bed, fully engrossed into their new siblings. They were absolutely ecstatic when they both got what they wanted.
Sakura locked eyes with Sasuke as he made his way over and sat before them. The Uchiha's certainly were a unit.
The babies began to fuss. Sakura gently rocked them in her arms, humming a sweet tune and placing soft kisses on their foreheads. Sora and Suki watched, enthralled by their mother, baby brother and baby sister. Sasuke hauled their two older children by his side, giving Sakura enough room to cradle the babies.
The diamond of her wedding ring caught the light with each rocking motion.
Sasuke had married her at the first chance he got. After her first sonogram, Tsunade and Naruto left them alone to process the news. It took Sakura a few minutes to reassure him that she would be fine. Sasuke surprised her by presenting her with a ring from his pocket. It was a beautiful heirloom made of a gold band with an oval diamond flagged by two red diamonds.
The wedding was a simple ceremony in Sasuke's backyard by the cherry blossom tree. Their CIA families were the only people present for the intimate gathering.
Sakura wore a simple white silk gown. At four months pregnant, she had a noticeable belly. Kakashi held Obito in his arms as he and Sora walked her down the aisle. Suki was an enthusiastic flower girl, showering the aisle with pink rose petals courtesy of Ino. Her blond best friend wanted an elaborate wedding that would have taken months to plan, but Sasuke wouldn't have any of it.
Kakashi and Sora both gave her away.
His wife smiled at him as she lulled their babies to sleep.
Sora and Suki also succumbed to her gentle humming and began to fall asleep on their father. They had just finished their training for the day and were exhausted. Sakura smiled at them as they both dropped their heads in sleep.
"They've been training so hard," she whispered.
He nodded in agreement. Sora and Suki's training was no easy task. Each session took a good amount of energy out of them, but it had to be done. Sasuke laid them down to rest in an adjacent bed before moving to sit next to her.
"Tsunade better not send you on any more missions," Sakura muttered as he placed his arm around her.
"I think she'll back off in light of these two," he stated. Tsunade had been nothing but brutal in Sasuke's CIA initiation. He had been sent on every kind of mission non-stop, only just getting a break to be by Sakura's side as she gave birth.
"For now," Sakura corrected. "I think she's determined to break you."
"Ch, she can try," he said smugly. "Uchiha's don't break easily."
Sakura resisted rolling her eyes. Shouhei and Saiyuri had peacefully nodded off, but not for long. She already knew that these two were a restless bunch. Sakura smiled down at the two perfect replicas of themselves. "Thank goodness Shouhei didn't get my hair."
Sasuke simply squeezed her shoulder, silently grateful as well. "Saiyuri was fortunate enough to get it. Suki's envy was palpable," he said, glancing at his sleeping older daughter.
Sakura smiled. "She does lover her pink. Sora's going to have a tough time managing three younger siblings. I can see him trying to grow faster just so he can. We're out of tomatoes by the way. These two made me eat the last ones in the house."
He smirked. He was extremely proud that all of his children inherited his love for tomatoes. His thoughts were interrupted by the sounds of soft baby noise. The babies began to wiggle in her arms again.
Shouhei opened his beautiful green eyes and waved his arms at his parents. Saiyuri followed suit, staring at her parents with her charcoal black orbs.
"Hello my sweet babies," Sakura cooed.
Sasuke was in awe of her. He had never experienced such joy in the entirety of his life. The only other time that could come close to this was when Suki was born. Back then, it was just the two of them against the world.
Now he had an extraordinary woman by his side, and four beautiful children to raise. Pride for his new family instilled the internal declaration that they would not stop at four either. Sasuke planned to get his wife pregnant as many times as she would allow. She gave him beautiful children, all because they were a part of her.
Sasuke kept his arm securely around Sakura as she smiled down at their newborns. He gently cradled their heads, savoring the feel of becoming a father once again. Shouhei and Saiyuri seemed to sense him, as each simultaneously reached for his hands and grabbed each index finger.
A jolt of love rushed through his veins at the contact. The sight of their tiny fingers gripping his was almost too much to bear. Sakura leaned her head against his chest, smiling at the three of them bonding.
"Sora and Suki look more alike than these two," she whispered. "When do you think the sibling rivalry will begin?"
He smirked. "What makes you think they'll be rivals?"
"Please," she huffed. "They're all smiles now, but just you wait until these two reach their terrible twos. Ino told me horror stories about Akio and Akira at that age. That's when they'll begin testing you."
Sasuke smirked. "Uchiha's are more composed than that," he said, to which she simply rolled her eyes.
"I wonder how Hinata is doing," she said. "Naruto as well."
"Probably celebrating at Ichirakus," he answered.
"His wife just gave birth. I doubt he'd leave her side," she replied. "I can't wait to meet little Minato." Sasuke simply gave his signature "hn" before giving his complete attention to his children. He knew this was only the beginning for them. All of his children were going to be raised with more love than they could handle.
"You have five reasons to live through these CIA missions," Sakura said suddenly. He looked at her questioningly. "I can't lose you ever again."
"You never will," he said. "Nothing could keep me away from you or the kids."
She looked down at their babies, who still clutched their father's fingers in wonder, before looking back up to him. He met her stare and leaned in, kissing her with as much love as he could.
"I never thought my life would end up this way," she said when they parted.
"…is this not what you wanted?" he asked.
"No, what I meant was that I never thought I could love any one as much as I love you right now," she answered. She smiled and kissed him again. "I never thought I could love again, but I love you so much. I always will," she said as a tear slipped through her eye.
"I love you Sakura," he returned.
Sasuke kissed her back, holding her as close as possible with the twins in her arms. No amount of words could possibly let her know just how much she meant to him. Loving her was the most unexpected yet wondrous thing that could have happened to him. Sakura was his life, and never again would he be without her.
"Ewwwwwww kissies!" came two little voices from the next bed. Sora and Suki had woken up already and jumped up onto their bed.
"Mommy I wanna hold the babies now," Suki stated.
"I wanna hold one too," Sora declared.
"No me! I'm the big brother!"
"I'm the big sister!"
The ruckus woke up the babies who began to cry, adding to the suddenly noisy room. Sasuke grabbed Sora and Suki and gave his wife a look. She may have been right about the sibling rivalry. She chuckled before smiling at him.
"Life with four kids begins now," she shouted as she tried to sooth her babies. He simply smirked over his two arguing children.
Kakashi's POV: CIA Hospital
"We're going to visit your big sister today," said Kakashi as he strolled through the CIA base with an eight-month-old Obito in one arm and his carefully concealed book in the other. Obito merely looked at his father with disinterested eyes as he too glanced up from his mini-picture book, if only to acknowledge being spoken too.
Obito had inherited traits from both of his parents. He was an avid reader of picture books, and was rarely seen without one nearby. His books however, were picture books filled with all the different types of dango ever made. He was Anko's son indeed and to Kakashi's slight chagrin, his son was also a total mama's boy.
They approached the nursery just in time to see Shizune walking in with a bundle in her arms.
Kakashi stopped in front of the glass to the nursery as she placed the newest arrival in his bassinet before giving them a warm smile through the glass.
"Well, there they are," Kakashi said at his two new grandchildren. Shouhei and Saiyuri were placed in the nursery to give their mother time to rest. His peripheral vision caught another baby on the way. Shizune looked exhausted but happy as she placed another bassinet next to the Uchiha twins.
"And one more supposedly," Kakashi mused.
This baby definitely made a statement in his orange baby blanket. A tuft of shinny blonde hair peaked out from the top, and as he was laid to rest Kakashi could see clear blue eyes, opaque with the Hyuga genes.
Uzumaki Minato was born a few minutes shy of the Uchiha twins. It had to be some sort of CIA record for three children to be born within minutes of each other. The new threesome was already given the nickname "Team 7" after their parents.
Anko made her way over to get a look at the "new recruits" as she thought of them.
"I take it they're all born now?" she asked as she stood next to her husband and child. She still glared at Kakashi from time to time over his trickery, but only for a moment.
Obito's eyes zeroed in on his mother and began to squirm out of his father's grasp. Kakashi sighed and handed his son to her. Anko took him and smirked. It wasn't her fault their baby was a mama's boy. It also wasn't an accident that she happened to be holding a stick of dango, and their son was an addict.
"All three of them, just within the hour," Kakashi replied turning back to the babies. Anko took a good look as well. The CIA had been experiencing a sort of baby-boom. The Hyuga triplets, plus Kurenai's daughter, Obito, and now these three totaled at eight new CIA babies within one year. It was a record for sure.
"Well, Iruka's going to have his hands full with this group when they reach academy age," she commented. "He shouldn't have any trouble with you," she said to Obito, who was busy chewing on the dango.
"That's assuming any of them wish to join the CIA," Kakashi reminded.
"Ch, like they have it in them to reject it," she replied. "It's in their DNA. Four Uchiha's, three Hyugas, two Nara's, an Uzumaki, Sarutobi and Hatake are not going to be random citizens if given the choice."
Kakashi took a moment to process the list. It certainly was a roster of who's-who in the CIA world.
Obito gave each new baby his full attention. "So what do you think of this new team?" his father asked.
The orange bundle began to whine nosily then. This stimulated the blue bundle to begin complaining as well. Sandwiched between the two was the pink bundle, whose poor ears were straining at the noise. She too began to wail, even louder than the other two combined. Soon all three babies were crying hysterically, forcing Shizune to run back into the room and give them questioning looks.
Obito threw his book at the glass and waved his arm at the loss. Kakashi sweat dropped again.
"Yup…idiots as usual," he concluded.
AUTHORS NOTE/ NEWS:
I dunno how you all will take this ending but it was hard to write! REVIEEEEEEEEEEEW! Fun fact, Naruto's birthday is soon! October 10th!
For NEWS about future projects and stuff, check out my newly updated profile page with a sections titled NEWS! Where all my NEWS will be! Update statuses and what nots because I should have done this six years ago. NEWS! Buahahahaa. REVIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEW!
Thank you all for sticking with this story through my sporadic updates and spaz-attacks (still rocking back and forth with my fist in my mouth over chapter 614 in the manga T_T). This is the end for To Love and to Love Again! It's been a wild six year ride and a whole lot of eggs! REVIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEW!
*Uchiha babies crawl up onto stage*
*Uchiha babies unleash Sharingan*
*Uchiha babies make you want to review due to their unbearable cuteness*
*Uzumaki baby joins them on stage*
*Uzumaki baby has no idea what's going on*
*Uzumaki baby begins to cry*
*Uchiha babies glare at Uzumaki baby before crying as well*
*Sakura and Hinata approach the stage and scoop up their babies, shaking their heads*
Hinata: "….um…please review. For the children"
Sakura: "Review because our kids are the cutest! CHA!"