Chapter 40: Epilogue:
Twenty years later…
As soon as she saw the door to the Hokage's office close she let herself relax. She had a throbbing headache, and she couldn't tend to it while she had been speaking with the loud, blond, Hokage. Now that she was finished talking to the Hokage she could make it go away. She removed her Leaf forehead protector so that it wouldn't get in the way of her healing.
Sakura rubbed her temples gently as she released just enough Chakra to make the headache go away. She then fingered the unscathed metal of the Leaf symbol. It had taken her all day to tell the Hokage what had happened to her during her time in the past and now it was late at night. Why the Hokage decided to suddenly ask about that now was a mystery to her. And of course, since the Hokage asked for the full story…
Sakura shook her head and put her forehead protector back on. She should have refused to tell, it would have been less stressful for her and stress wasn't something that was good for her, especially in her current condition. Even though she had the authority to refuse, she always had a hard time using that authority. It just didn't seem right to her to go against the Hokage…
From behind her she heard a quiet voice ask, "L-lady Sakura?"
Sakura turned around, ignoring how her open black robe with its red clouds twirled with her sudden motion. Behind her she saw none other than Hinata. Sakura frowned as she said, "I've told you not to call me that Hinata…If you call me 'Lady' anything again, I'll call you 'Lady Hinata'" Hinata began to protest so Sakura continued as if she hadn't noticed, "Or I could call you 'Lady Hyuuga' since you're now head of your clan."
Sakura then heard Hinata begin to start to say something that began with 'La' so she interrupted again, "But that's no longer your last name anymore is it? So maybe I should call you 'Lady-"
Hinata interrupted her loudly, "Sakura!" She blushed before she continued in a quieter tone, "I get it…" She then seemed to take in what Sakura was wearing.
Her black robe with it's red clouds was open, revealing her dark blue shirt underneath that bore the Uchiha clan's fan symbol and her light pink skirt that had a design on it that covered her skintight black ninja shorts. The design on the skirt was the symbol she'd made when she'd found out that the Hoshi clan had no emblem. It looked like a slightly rounded hourglass that was laid on its side that had beige sand lying immobile inside it and was surrounded by circles.
Hinata asked, though she already knew, "Official business?" Sakura nodded, then Hinata asked, "Are you done for today?"
Sakura nodded, smiled, then asked as they began walking down the hallway, "Are you headed to pick up your son from 'The Daycare Lady', and if so, can I come?"
Hinata nodded, then said meekly, "I don't think your cousin would like you to call her that…"
Sakura looked at Hinata, confused, and said, "Hanako doesn't care…" Then realization dawned on her, "…you mean Inuka? No, she wouldn't like it, but she's not the one who normally watches the children." Sakura paused as she read everything on Hinata's face, "Don't tell me she was hit by another bout of morning sickness this late in the day!"
Hinata answered her humbly, "Not quite. She was hit by the morning sickness this morning right before I came by to drop off Noboru. Inuka apparently convinced her sister to go home and let her take care of the children for today."
Sakura shook her head in sympathy as they continued on their way to the 'daycare center', as Sakura called it. "I feel bad for her…" She began, "She's not had the easiest of pregnancies."
Hinata just nodded her head as they turned a corner and came within sight of the door to the 'daycare center'. In the open doorway a seven-year-old boy with slightly long black hair was sitting. When he saw them, however, he jumped up and ran to them with the cry of, "Mother!".
He stopped himself just in time to not collide with them. His black eyes stared up at Sakura as he said enthusiastically, "I did it, mother! I passed the test! I'm a ninja now!"
Sakura smiled as she hugged her eldest son with one arm and said, "I told you, you would, but you wouldn't believe me." Sakura released him from her hug and said, "Let's get the twins and go home…it's past all of your bedtimes."
She began to walk again, this time without Hinata, who had already gone ahead into the room. She heard her son say as he caught her hand, "But mom…I'm a ninja now."
Sakura smiled as she retorted, "Maybe so, but ninja or no, you will be going to bed as soon as we get home." She held back a laugh as she heard her son groan and then drop her hand. When they walked into the room, Sakura saw her pink-haired cousin, Inuka, motioning for them to be quiet. Behind her lay three children fast asleep. One was almost six, with messy light brown hair that flew from his face every time he exhaled. The other two, a boy and a girl, were both three and had pink hair.
Hinata was gently picking up the brown haired boy. The boy didn't even stir as Hinata bid them goodnight and left. Sakura was about to do the same when she felt her eldest son grab her hand, holding her back. Sakura turned to look at him and saw that his little face was serious.
He whispered in an almost reprimanding tone, "Mom…Daddy told you not to push yourself. He wouldn't be happy if he found out you carried both of them home."
To her Surprise, Inuka spoke next, "He's right, Lady Sakura." Sakura glared. She hated being called that. Inuka was unaffected by her glare as she continued quietly, "I'll come with you so that I can carry them for you."
Sakura watched as Inuka gently picked up first one and then the other of the twins. Inuka motioned for Sakura to lead the way. Sakura knew better than to argue with her mule headed cousin. Instead she wrapped her fingers around her son's hand and walked out of the room.
Once they reached Sakura's house and Sakura had put all three of her children to bed, she walked Inuka to the door. Before she left, however, Inuka said, putting a hand gently on Sakura's shoulder, "You really have been working too much, Lady Sakura. And don't glare at me like that, you know it doesn't work and you know what I said was true. You're supposed to be a medic, yet here you are going against your own orders. Take a break…and take better care of yourself."
Inuka hugged her gently before she walked out the door. As Sakura closed the door, she heard Inuka call out, "Don't forget that what you do is not only affecting you."
Sakura gave a small smile and walked away from the door, headed for her room. Once there she removed her robe and hung it in her closet. Then she got ready for bed, now aware of how tired and sore her body was. Finally she was ready for bed, but she knew she wouldn't be able to sleep yet.
Sakura walked to the large window and lowered herself carefully to the chair. She knew Inuka was right. Her hand moved to her enlarged stomach as she felt movement. She looked out at the starry night sky and couldn't help but remember…She never would have guessed ten years ago that things would have turned out the way they had. No…ten years ago, when she'd just returned to her time, she was sure that she would never be able to be happy again…
The votes are in, and…I think it was very obvious that most of you (+200!) wanted a sequel (only about ten people didn't). So that is what I will do. The sequel will be called And the Circle Comes Round, so keep an eye out for it. i know I posted this early, but I'm sure you won't mind. I'll try to put up my new story either on the 16th or 17th. You can either look for it on the normal web layout or you can check on my profile.
Thanks to everyone who voted! Reviewers for this chapter will be thanked on the first chapter of my new story. Ok, now good luck finding your name on my long pretty list! (Why don't all of you review all the time! That would make me even happier!)
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