The local Ninja rumor mill was flourishing as of late. Although they seemed to gravitate toward the infamous Rookie Nine.

Reportedly, a certain Snake Mistress and Yamanaka heir were said to have drunken themselves into a stupor. The day after was said to be filled with awkward glances, and general avoidance of each other which egged on the rumor that the two interrogators had participated in some less than savory activities. Not to mention, Ibiki's apprentice odd disappearance since then.

Most people thought that Ino was so mortified that she couldn't be seen in public.

The Aburama Clan was said to have finally narrowed down the prospects of Shino's arranged marriage to five candidates as opposed to the twelve they had claimed before.

His teammate, Kiba, meanwhile seemed to be cheating on his current girlfriend—the fact ebbed on by the chase that was held around the village, the goal quite possibly to neuter Kiba.

Sakura's and Naruto's relationship seemed to be on the rocks, seeing as they no longer jumped each others' bones in inadequate hiding spots that really hadn't been all that discreet to begin with. The village seemed to be torn in half with the knowledge of their hero's failing relationship. As their savior, Naruto Uzumaki deserved what he wanted, and if that happened to be Sakura Haruno, then so be it, she was the girl of his dreams after all. The other half believed she had never been worthy of their future Hokage in the first place.

Yet, oddly enough, it was the sudden relationship of the two doujutsu users that had become the hottest topic. The Clan Heiress and the Traitor—together, as a couple.

It was common knowledge that Sasuke had a string of girls, night after night, and many were saddened to find out that the Hyuuga Heiress had befallen the same fate of those nameless women. But then, there was heart break after heart break, and soon, only the Hyuuga girl was left—the rumor stating that the Uchiha had finally fallen in love.

Nobody knew what was really going on.

Hinata has a fairly tight grip, Sasuke absently thought.

As much as he would like to think about the impending meeting, it was impossible with the pain that was shooting up from his hand. So he stopped them before the Hyuuga estate became visible.

"Hinata..." Said Hyuuga jumped and looked at Sasuke, nervously chewing her bottom lip, breaking the skin, and making blood run down to her chin. "I think you might have broken something," he mentioned, no longer able to feel anything in his hand.

Hinata's eyes widened and she apologized repeatedly, compiling chakra in her hand, and letting the green glow heal his crushed hand. Sasuke took a moment to fist his hand, it feeling a bit sore before deeming it fine.

"Don't be so nervous," Sasuke whispered, bending over to kiss her lightly before running his thumb over her her bleeding lip with his own healing jutsu. Hinata blinked before slightly smiling.

They were able to heal each other.

"What do you think will happen?" Hinata asked, rather calmly for someone who had been freaking out only moments before. They hadn't actually talked about the event, but now was a good a time as any.

"I don't know," Sasuke answered truthfully. It had been a while since he had to interact with any of the clans. Decorum wouldn't be much of a problem, but he didn't actually know how Konoha viewed their "relationship". It probably depended on how the Hyuuga's allies viewed him and what they stood to gain.

Or maybe not. Sakura had mentioned how Naruto was changing things left and right, maybe clan politics wouldn't matter. It would probably stem from how the Hyuuga head felt about him.

The thought made him nervous.

They stood there for a moment in contemplative silence—their hands intertwined.

Sasuke stared down at their joined hands in surprise. He hadn't been aware he had grabbed them. The fact that he didn't even think about touching her, holding her, kissing her; that it was natural it... it perturbed him greatly.

Without blinking, he disentangled their hands and continued to the front gate of the Hyuuga compound. The guard blinked at him, the equivalent to a civilian gaping.

Odd. Most people know we're together.

Once Hinata appeared beside him, the Branch member bowed.


"Hello, Nat-san," Hinata greeted back.

The gates opened in the next moment and Sasuke wasted no time going through, making sure to keep his face carefully blank. Two Hyuuga maids waited for their arrival, bowing, but Sasuke merely ignored them. He allowed Hinata to take the lead. Their relationship was probably being analyzed by every single Hyuuga within the compound, and it wouldn't do any good for him to seem controlling.

Which he wasn't—controlling that was.

But it was her home after all. They didn't know if it would be the last time she set foot in it.

Sasuke didn't bother to hide his smirk when Hinata thanked and dismissed them in one breath.

The maids hesitated before following the request, but not before the older of the two gave him a stern look, while the younger one just stared in both nervousness and awe.

Sasuke frowned and took a step closer to Hinata.

She smiled up at him, interpreting the closeness for something else before leading the way into her home. Sasuke's frown deepened when he noticed that Hinata grew less tense as they got closer while Sasuke couldn't help, but begin to outline five different escape plans in his head in case things went wrong. It was something he normally did, but this time it was different. It was suddenly very important for him to be able escape with Hinata in case things went wrong.

Making sure that Hinata and his... children were safe was important.

They reached the main room, decorated simply. Sasuke wasn't fooled and knew that while it seemed simple at first glace, everything was probably made from expensive and lavish materials and objects.

"Hinata. Uchiha," Hiashi greeted stoically. As per usual, his face was an impenetrable mask. Neji and Hanabi were present, Neji with a petulant stare, and Hanabi with a confused look on her face. They all sat and were overcome by silence as they waited for Hiashi to speak.

"Hinata. You have news to tell your sister," he stated. Her father knew. The question was: how much did he know? With a breath of confidence, she was about to find out.

"Hanabi," Hinata began, turning all her attention to her sister. "This is Sasuke my... boyfriend." How odd that word was to refer Sasuke as. While it wasn't wrong, it didn't really feel right. Father of my children was a much more comfortable term. "And we're expecting."

Hanabi reeled back as if physically slapped by the news. Hanabi wasn't one to be surprised often, but this really took the cake. The four in the room watched as she struggled to find something to say. Finally, it looked like Hanabi figured out the foremost important question that plagued her mind.

"You actually had sex?"

"Hanabi!" Hinata scolded, blushing furiously. She glanced at her father, who remained unaffected, and sipped his tea. Hinata distantly wondered if it had been in the room the whole time.

"Oh wow, you have had sex. You used to faint when I told you to just jump Nar-"

"Hanabi," Hiashi interrupted. Hanabi deflated, suddenly remembering where they were.

"You have associated yourself with a man that the clan does not favor, have completely destroyed any possibility of arranged marriages, and have a child out of wedlock. Your status in the clan has been damaged irreparably, and they no longer wish for you to carry the name Hyuuga. I am inclined to agree with them."

Hinata closed her eyes in resignation. It hurt to have all your insecurities confirmed. It proved that she had never been a good enough heir—to be Hyuuga. That her father really didn't love her.

"Then she will be Uchiha," Sasuke stated. Hiashi didn't look surprised by Sasuke's declaration or all affected really. He drank some more tea as the other three were tense. Setting his cup on the table, Hiashi stared Sasuke down. Sasuke was not deterred.

"...Father," Hinata interrupted, her eyes still clenched closed. "We're having triplets."

Silence. Hinata opened her eyes and found Hiashi frozen, his cup at midway point. His eyes were what passed for wide and his expression was shocked. After a few moments, he let out a sigh, and his shoulders slumped. It was the first time that Hinata had seen her father lose his composure.

"Good. You are officially disowned. The clan must know immediately." Hiashi rose, too slowly at first before moving to go out of the room.

"You will come for tea in one month, Hinata. I'll see you then."

Hinata was in a daze. Sasuke led them as she replayed their visit to her former home. Had it really been so short? Could her world truly put upside down by a few exchange of words? She felt faint and her grip on Sasuke's hand tighten.

When they went inside, Hinata collapsed onto Sasuke.

"D-did that just happen?"

"You were disowned and then invited for tea? Yeah," Sasuke grunted, smoothing down her hair.

"My father just saved my sister and our children," Hinata breathed, looking up at Sasuke with a smile.

"From what?" he asked, eying her.

"From the branch seal." Hinata began to explain the traditions of the Hyuuga clan, his mouth settling into a fierce scowl as he learned the fate of the branch house. Learning that Hiashi's own twin brother had been branded by the disgusting seal simply because he had been born a few minutes later. That with Hinata being disowned, her sister could become heir and they wouldn't have to be subjected to the possibility of the seal. By Sasuke giving her his Uchiha name, the clan could no longer interfere with their children, no matter if they were born with the Byukugan.

"Your father is... manipulative," Sasuke said. "We have to thank him the next time we see him," he grudgingly admitted. The man's reputation did not proceed him. He had everyone fooled quite thoroughly, his own daughters included if the way Hinata was acting was any indication.

"My father loves Hanabi and I very much," Hinata stated with such happiness that Sasuke couldn't help, but kiss her. Sasuke wasn't going to question it this time.

She was happy and an extension of that feeling went into him.

I don't know what to say, just that I honestly came to a complete stop for this story, unsure of where I was going with this. It was hard to remember what I was initially going to write for this chapter, and harder still to remember the rest of the plot. I'm still stuck, hence the short chapter, but I somehow trudged through it. I had to read the whole story to regain a sense of this and it was eerie to see the progress of my writing as the story wore on.

The huge inspiration for this update is Die Again Kikyo who gave me such an amazing review a couple of days ago. I had—admittedly—given up on this, but have given it another try because of her.

I have a Twitter now, so if anyone would like to see if I'm making any progress on this—if there are any people who are still reading this—or to give me any suggestions, the link is on my profile.

Here's to finishing this—Thanks for reading.