Pairing: Neji x Ino, mentions of Lee x Sakura, mentions of Naruto x Hinata
Summary: You do not choose your destiny. It chooses you.
Word Count: 1,419
Disclaimer: Neji is hot and Ino is the shit, but both are, unfortunately for me, not mine. Summery belongs to Tim Kring, since it's a line from Heroes.
Dedication: Everyone who wanted me to continue this one-shot into a story (ish thing).
Hyuuga Neji. Jounin. Prodigy of his Clan. Age: 23. Current status: shaking in his ninja sandals.
"I'm going to kill him! When I get my hands around his neck I-" She broke off with a gasp.
"Yes, Ino, fine. You can kill your husband later if you want." From his (safe) vantage point in the (far) corner of the room, Neji frowned at Sakura. "But now I need you to breathe."
"But he did this to me!" His wife wailed, sending her husband a positively livid glare and causing him to shrink farther back into his corner.
"It takes two to tango, Ino," Sakura answered back calmly, clearly not realizing that sitting so close to the volatile blonde was a danger to her life. Though his was kind of her job, so maybe she knew some kind of trick to pacify the deranged laboring shin obi. After all, Ino wasn't glaring at Sakura.
Ino snorted and opened her mouth to answer, unluckily for her, a contraction rippled across her belly at the same time and what she wound up doing was screaming.
Unable to listen to his wife in pain, Neji took a step forward, arm outstretched so he could comfort her. He was stopped when she grabbed something from the table next to her (a book) and hurled it at him. As the hardcover whizzed by his ear, Neji remembered why he'd been in the corner in the first place.
She screamed again, and, deciding it was worth the risk, stepped forward to gently pick up the hand she had fisted on the railing of the bed. Though maybe he shouldn't have, he realized, wincing as Ino held his hand so tightly he felt his bones creak.
As he glanced towards her, he knew it was worth every minute of it. Worth all the death threats, violent outbursts, and bone crushing. It was completely worth it.
She had kept him completely out-of-his-mind with worry for the entire pregnancy though.
First the morning sickness.
Then the cravings. Normal food one day. Ice cream and chocolate syrup. Miso soup. Jasmine tea. Then the more strange ones. Pickles and caramel. And for one horrifying week all she had eaten was pork ramen. Naruto hadn't left their house and the grin hadn't ever left the Hokage's face.
And the mood swings. Did he think she was fat? What color should they paint the baby's room? Oh, he did think she was fat! Why the hell didn't he was the dishes?! Should she cut her hair? And then the hours of sobbing because she couldn't see her feet.
When Ino had been eight months pregnant and her mood-swing dial had been stuck on "pissed" for five days straight, he'd asked Sakura why Ino kept yelling.
"Because of the estrogen, Neji," Sakura had snapped, now one month pregnant herself. "Because of all the estrogen."
Add to all of that, the fact that Ino, his dear, sweet, independent Ino, was rather headstrong, and Neji was positive he was working on giving himself a minor heart attack. Or an ulcer. Or both.
Ino kept trying to act like she should do things herself. The day he'd come home and seen her standing on a chair in the kitchen, reaching for something on her tiptoes, he'd lost five years of his life.
She kept persisting she wasn't going to break. She was pregnant. Not porcelain. There was a difference. Yes, she could do light workouts until she was so many months along. Yes, she could still work at the flower shop and do easy low-class missions. Yes, she could go grocery shopping just fine on her own. And no the laundry basket was not too heavy dammit!
She seemed convinced. So did Sakura ("Light exercise and staying active will make labor easier.") But Neji wasn't so sure. What did they know anyway? He could do all those things for her. That was what he was here for.
And early this morning (about four hours ago if the clock in their room was anything to go by) when Ino had jerked upright with a gasp, Neji had tumbled out of bed in shock. When he had popped his head up over the side of the bed, hair everywhere, eyes unfocused, a questioning "hm?" on his lips, Ino had swung a pillow at his head in anger.
"Hospital," she groaned, the hand not holding the pillow curled over her stomach. "Now."
And he was instantly awake.
"Come on, Ino," Sakura encouraged. "Just one more push, then you'll be done, alright?"
Her answer was another scream as Ino hunched forward, almost breaking Neji's hand and she held her breath and pushed and pushed and…
… and suddenly collapsed with relief as the loud wailing of and infant filled the room.
Neji was rendered slack-jawed (and useless) as he caught his first glimpse of his child, as Sakura swept a cloth across the child's face, to clear their nose and eyes and remove the blood.
A gentle squeeze on his hand and Neji looked over at Ino who, cheeks red, hair in shambles, covered in sweat, panting, crying, and tired, smiled at him and looked more beautiful to him in that moment than she did on their wedding day. "Our baby," she whispered, eyes sliding to where Sakura was wrapping the child in a blanket.
Leaning down, he brushed the hair away from her forehead.
"Ahem." Turning, Sakura was grinning at them from the opposite side of the bed. "Congratulations. It's a boy."
His mind was fuzzy as Ino released his hand and reached out to take the infant, holding him to her chest.
Leaning so he could rest his chin on her shoulder, arms around her, he looked down. Blond hair, platinum, almost blinding. Eyes a milky blue, a cross between Neji's white eyes and Ino's sapphire ones. Chubby cheeks. Tiny fingers. Tiny toes. Neji felt his heart leap into his throat and stay there and didn't feel the least bit embarrassed when he felt his eyes fill with tears.
"Out son," he whispered, burying his face into the curve of his wife's shoulder and leaving a gentle, lingering kiss there. "I love you so much," he told her softly, honestly.
She leaned into him as well as she could from the bed. "I love you, too," she answered, smiling as she ran a finger down their child's cheek.
He smiled in wonder that the pair of them. His wife and his child. His son. His family. His smiled widened. He couldn't wait to make it larger.
And, he supposed he'd have to thank his uncle for shoving him (almost literally) into them. He'd never be able to repay him for that.
"Neji… remember when I said we'd name out first child after your father?" He hm-ed into her hair as he kissed the side of her head. "I wasn't kidding."
Sitting up, he stared at her for a silent moment, before his gaze traveled down to the infant yawning up at them. "Hyuuga Hizashi," he murmured, reaching out to run trembling fingers through his son's hair. He smiled.
"Welcome to the family."
A/N: Okay, yes, it is short, I am aware people. This is the end (yes, sad, I know). But I'm planning on doing another ten-chapter fic centering around Neji and his child(ren). So, there's that…
Also, I left some important-ish things out here. Like Neji cutting the umbilical cord like the father usually does. Lots of reasons for this. I didn't like the way it flowed. I also mentioned he became useless. Much like my dad did, who was crying too hard to be of use to anyone.
Anywho, kudos to TheLextacyBlossom who managed to ask me to update soon while I was in the middle of writing this chapter. Psychic…
Sayonara! Until I post the next story, I'll update this with a chapter letting ya'll know when it's been put up. But don't it expect it to be anytime soon. College is the devil!