Welcome! This story is the sequel to MARRY MY FATHER PLEASE? I hope to make this story self-sufficient so that the original need not precede it. But there is so much background and detail in the first story and I detest recaps.
Yes. This is a Gaara x Hanabi fic, and while she starts out young here…she will be comfortably older before anything serious might take shape.
Disclaimer: I do not own NARUTO or any character therein. All OC's are just that, OC's and are thus open to be used by others. Just let me know first is all I ask.
"Are you sure this will work?" Michi asked in a whisper, his light seafoam-green eyes looking on with evident worry.
Hanabi nodded absently, wholly focused on the tag she was setting up. In theory, this should work perfectly. The explosion would take out the practice target, the main force of the blast concentrated in a specified field of fire leaving the other areas relatively unscathed.
"It won't work." Rokuro said scathingly as he watched with barely disguised derision.
Michi grunted, but didn't comment, already used to the antagonism between his two teammates. "Shouldn't we wait for Ibiki?" He asked, holding his breath as Hanabi armed the exploding tag. They both started to carefully back away.
Rokuro snorted, looking bored. "Why do you think we're doing this before our new sensei gets here? He doesn't know a thing about what this cluck of an obocchama has planned.
Hanabi let the comment pass, but not without making note the verbal jab. She might be a Hyuuga, and descended from a long line of proud ninja, but that hardly made her a 'spoiled little rich heiress'. She'd file the comment away for now though.
Michi, however, not only noticed the comment, but wasn't happy about it. He scowled over at his other teammate. "Rocks." He said sternly, using the nickname Rokuro pretended to like, a leftover from their Academy days.
"What?" Sneered the air jutsu genin. "It's not like a shaped charge is anything special. I can do that all on my own with a regular tag." He bragged, referring to his ability to use an air-cushion jutsu to block a pre-selected area from damage during an explosion.
"You have to be there when it explodes for that to be effective." Hanabi said quietly, her eyes never leaving her own tag. "And it drains your chakra by quite a bit. This gives us greater freedom of movement and lets us not be anywhere in the vicinity when it goes. And it preserves chakra."
Rokuro didn't respond, knowing she was speaking the truth. Though he didn't have to like it. Then he too fell under the waiting spell as Hanabi remote triggered the charge.
The explosion wasn't very big, but then it hadn't been designed to be much. This was only a practice tag after all. Hanabi had been working for months to create her own shaped tags from the ones that Suna's Kazekage had given her when he'd left for home late last year. She'd been trying to replicate them perfectly, but it was more difficult than she'd thought.
As usual, the thought of Gaara made her frown. She'd liked him so much at first, he'd been very helpful with her 'stunts', even helping her research poisons. He'd been easy to talk to and hadn't turned her in for anything she'd pulled. Then he'd had to go and ruin it all.
Rokuro sighed. "See, I told you it wouldn't work." He jumped away from the tree he'd been casually leaning against. "Now let's get on to some real practice. Coming Michi?"
The water jutsu specialist looked over at Hanabi's scowling face. "It destroyed the target." He said helpfully.
The Hyuuga genin shook her head. "Too much damage along the side perimeters. Rocks was right, it didn't work. The calligraphy was perfect, so …."
"Not too perfect, or it would have worked." Rocks said in that mocking voice of his that drove her mad. Why oh why did they have to be on the same team?
"You two go on, I'm going to look at this a while before our sensei gets here." Hanabi told the two boys. Rocks laughed as he sauntered off, while Michi gave her one last appraising look before he followed the other boy.
Hanabi knelt down beside the damaged target, sighing. Her brows knit together as she activated her family's bloodline limit. The Byakugan allowed her to see through things, but this time it wasn't showing her what she wanted. How to make this damned explosive work right! She scowled. Gaara had left her all sorts of shaped tags and it frustrated her no end that she couldn't replicate them.
Maybe she should write to Gaara and ask him …NO. No, no, and again with the no. Pride might be a flaw, but she didn't want to ask that red-head for anything.
Thoughts of Gaara led back to where it had all started, with a plot and a list. She, Hinata, and their cousin had wanted to keep Lord Hyuuga Hiashi out of their business, especially when it came to marrying them all off. So they'd come up with a list and a plan in order to marry off her father, the prevailing theory that if he were too happy in his own life he'd leave them be.
It had failed and worked all at the same time. Turns out Hinata was already married and hadn't even known it! There'd been a marriage by proxy when she was one years old to Kankuro of the Sand Village, who'd been an older man at the ripe old age of three. But what looked to have been a disaster had turned into a love match with her sister due with twins by the end of the month.
Then there'd come those attacks on the Hyuuga family, one of which had nearly killed Neji and had almost cost Hanabi her very eyesight. One of their family elders had turned out to be a traitor, looking to take over the leadership of the Hyuuga clan by force and deceit. Turns out, the man had coerced one of Hiashi's mistress' into running away when she'd discovered herself pregnant. Misyu, the bastard of an elder, and his son Hajime had raised the boy in secret hoping to harvest the Hyuuga eyes when the boy manifested use of the Byakugan.
Hinata and the others had rescued the boy, Katashi and brought him back home. Hanabi was really glad too, she loved having a younger brother. She grinned wryly at the thought of the seven year old. Turns out that Katashi wasn't the only surprise though. The attacks on the family had caused the Hokage to station Mitarashi Anko in their home for the duration. Love had bloomed in the most unexpected of places. Now there were even more babies in the house!
Anko had given birth nearly two months ago to the newest Hyuuga, tiny Jishin whose name literally meant 'little earthquake'. And now Neji and Yugao had their new son too, baby Katsuro. Only Hinata was still waiting to give birth.
So. One big happy ending, right?
Hanabi scowled, standing as she kicked the offending remains of the target, all the while picturing in her head a certain Suna Kazekage. The sand in her ointment. Literally. Sand. Hah. Stupid Suna jerk. She deliberately turned away the memory of when he'd saved her life against that Cloud Village assassin. Frustrated and angry, she kicked the hapless target again, crushing it beneath her heel.
"Ah now, what did the poor target ever do to you?" The voice behind her grated her every nerve, but she turned with a blatantly false smile as she greeted her new sensei. Yugao had stared out as their genin team leader, but her marriage and unexpected pregnancy had put a damper on that. So now they were stuck with the ANBU torture division leader.
"Nothing." She said to Morino Ibiki, sweet as pie.
Ibiki's smile widened. He didn't trust her one iota. Experiencing her irksome ways first hand had taught him much about this particular Hyuuga. She'd been unhappy with him after he'd had occasion to torture her cousin Neji, even though his reasoning had been sound. So …the little genin chit had made his life a living nightmare during the time he'd been stationed in the Hyuuga household as a servant for two months. Which had been the Hokage's idea of an 'appropriate' punishment for exceeding the boundaries of his job. Now he was her sensei. And which position was worse, he couldn't yet say.
"Well, why don't you do 'nothing' on your way back home." Ibiki told her, his smile fading back into his normal stern expression. The scars lent him an austere quality, but she was Hiashi's daughter, she was not intimidated by much of anything.
"Am I being punished?" Hanabi asked, pursing her lips quizzically. "You don't want to train me?"
Ibiki cleared his throat and shook his head. "Hardly. I just got word though, your sister is in labor and I thought you'd might like to be there. But if not, we can always go over the trajectory variances of available weaponry during poor weather conditions in forest terrain."
Hanabi's ears perked up as excitement thrummed through her body. The twins? The twins were coming? Stupid Hinata hadn't wanted to know the gender and wouldn't let anyone else find out either. But Hanabi knew. Their father had supported her sister's wishes and had forbidden the use of the Byakugan to 'cheat' and look. Hanabi snorted. Right, like that had stopped her from peeking!
She bowed hastily to her sensei, her eyes never leaving his though as she did so. They were in an uneasy truce at the moment, but one never knew. With that, she took to the tree tops and rushed home, her excitement bubbling up with glee.
But at the back of her mind she did worry about whether or not this meant that Gaara would come back to Konoha for a visit. He hadn't bothered to show up to his own sister's wedding, so maybe the twin's birth would also go unheralded by the red-head? Somehow, she doubted it.
Kankuro was burning holes in the door with his eyes, even though he did not have access to his wife's abilities to see through walls.
The soft gurgle of a baby told him that he wasn't alone. But the puppeteer was having a hard time paying attention to much of anything right now, so focused was he on what was happening behind that damned door. "What's taking so long?" He asked gruffly, only to be met by a derisive snort behind him.
Blinking he looked around and saw Yugao cuddling with baby Katsuro in her arms. "I was in labor for nearly 24 hours, you've been out here, what? Not even one yet?"
Not even an hour yet? Kankuro sighed. If this was how long an hour felt like… then if Hinata's labor went into tomorrow he'd be a right mess.
"Greetings!" A bright voice called from the stairway. "If we're going to stand around the hallway and wait, may I suggest chairs?"
Kankuro spun around glaring, "What took you so long?!" He snarled at the newcomer.
Shizune drew back, a bit stunned by the ferocity in the former Sand shinobi's eyes. The headband protector might show a different symbol now, but he still had the rough edges of a Suna nin. "I'm not the midwife, nor is my specialty in obstetrics. I'm here to speak with Hiashi on a separate matter entirely."
"But …" Kankuro's voice faded as he groaned, running one hand absently over his face and smearing the Bunraku make-up rather heavily. He didn't know the other medic, and he trusted Shizune.
"However, I'd be glad to check in with the midwife and give you an update. How's that?" Shizune offered, knowing anxiety when she saw it.
The puppeteer nodded gratefully and shot her an apologetic look, which she accepted without comment before heading into Hinata's room.
Hiashi was the next one to join them. "How is she?" He asked, then blinked at the smeared mess on his son-by-marriage's face.
Yugao shrugged and then grimaced down at her increasingly fretful infant son. "Shizune just went in to check for us, but Katsuro's getting fussy. I'm going to take him over to the nursery." She nodded over at the agitated puppet shinobi. "I just wish Neji was here."
Hiashi nodded in understanding. Having just gone through this himself, Neji would have been a good choice to sit with the worried father-to-be. While Hiashi himself had just gone through this too, Neji and Kankuro were closer in age and both first time fathers. But the Hyuuga heir-apparent wasn't in the village at the moment. "She'll be fine." Hiashi said simply.
Kankuro paled further at those words, but he also stiffened his spine and nodded. He remembered when his and Temari's nurse had whispered the same thing to him when Gaara was born. It was about all he could remember though, having been so young. Just that …and the memory of when he'd found out the nurse had been lying.
The door opened, drawing the puppeteer's attention away from his morbid past. His eyes narrowed on Shizune as she shut the door behind her. The medical nin was smiling and he started to relax just slightly.
"Everything is fine. The medic is taking care of the labor pains and Hinata is smiling and happy. The boys are not quite in the right position and need to be turned head down, the midwife is preparing to do that when everything is ready."
Kankuro blinked, all thoughts ceasing. "Turned? Head down? BOYS???"
Shizune stopped and grimaced. "Oh I'm so sorry! I forgot you didn't want to know yet."
Hiashi grinned, pounding his son-by-marriage on the back enough to stagger the younger shinobi. "That's okay, he would have found out shortly anyway."
"Boys?" Kankuro repeated, looking dazed.
Hiashi grinned as Hanabi rushed up the stairs looking all expectant. "Not yet, not yet." The elder Hyuuga reined in his younger daughter before she could even ask. "It'll be a while, why don't we go down the hallway to the informal sitting room and wait? I'll have some food brought up and we'll all sit together."
"Boys?" Kankuro looked at his father-by-marriage, still looking lost.
Hiashi grinned. "Boys." He asserted happily. "I guess Minami and Suzushi are out." He said, referring to the names Kankuro had picked out for the twins that he'd been sure would be daughters.
Hanabi grinned and helped her father pull the hapless soon-to-be-father down the hallway. Only to stop abruptly as Kankuro suddenly dug in his heels, his eyes narrowing on the pair.
"You knew!" He said, raising an accusatory finger at the pair. "You both knew! You're not surprised at all, are you?"
Hiashi eyed the young man and nodded, completely unrepentant.
Kankuro sputtered a bit, but managed to follow after them to the sitting room. "I thought you told everyone not to peek with the Byakugan? You made it very clear." He said, still in a state of shock. "You said it several times."
The older man nodded and shrugged. "I lied." He said with a wide grin. "Neji broke first, interestingly enough. I thought it would be firecracker over here, but she held out longer than he did."
Hanabi growled at her father, somehow a bit surprised that she'd not managed to keep her actions from him. "How'd you know I looked?"
"The grin when you watched her and the presents you were picking out." Hiashi shook his head. "It's hard to hide gifts from a Hyuuga, and those were not dresses you were wrapping up."
Shizune, having followed them, laughed from the doorway. "I hate to intrude, especially right now. But Lord Hiashi, if I might have a moment?"
"Does everyone know but me and Hinata?" Kankuro growled, frustrated and anxious.
Hiashi leaned in and mock-whispered. "No, just you."
"And Hinata." Kankuro said.
"No. Just you." His father-by-marriage smiled in a placating manner. "Hinata caught me wrapping boy's gifts. She knew they weren't for Katsuro as they were identical outfits and obviously for boys. She guessed then."
The puppeteer sank into the nearest chair, feeling drained. Hanabi nudged his shoulder and handed him a damp cloth, then indicated his facial paints were smeared. He nodded a 'thank you' and wiped his face, completely discouraged. "Why wouldn't she have told me? Why didn't any of you?"
Hanabi shrugged. "I didn't because I didn't know that Hinata had guessed."
Hiashi sighed and held up a finger to Shizune, asking for just a moment more. "Hinata begged me not to tell you."
"But why?" Kankuro moaned, looking abjectly miserable.
"Because she knew you'd be worried." Hiashi said bluntly. "You were all wound up about her being too small to carry your child, much less a set of twins. Thinking it might be girls eased your mind as you thought they'd be smaller and easier on Hinata. If you'd known all this time that the twins were both boys, you'd have been driving her crazy with worry."
"That's stupid. Sweet, but stupid." Hanabi commented, but wiggled herself into the large chair next to the puppeteer. The seat wasn't meant as a double but it was over-large and she managed to wedge herself in next to him, though only barely. She slid an arm around his waist, leaning against him. "She's going to be fine."
"Don't say that!" He snapped.
Hanabi stared at him.
Kankuro dropped his shoulders and muttered an apology.
Hanabi kept staring at him. Kankuro sighed and watched as Hiashi left to speak with the Hokage's assistant.
Hanabi didn't move, nor did she blink.
"What?" He turned his head, glaring down at her.
She met him glare for glare, then smiled up at him. "She is going to be fine."
"How do you know?" He asked, feeling silly taking comfort from a girl barely more than a child herself.
"She's a Hyuuga."
That answer made no sense to him at all. But Hanabi's smile was sure and her stare never wavered. Her pale eyes stared into his darker gaze and suddenly, he actually started to feel a little better.
Temari sighed and stared down at the note in her hand, ashamed of herself for even thinking of saying it had never arrived. That she'd never read it.
Hinata was having her babies. Babies. Two of them.
Deep inside, the blond acknowledged her pain and jealousy as being unreasonable. She liked Hinata. A lot, actually. And she counted the long-haired beauty as a true friend. It was funny, she remembered, having actually offered to kill Hinata when she'd first found out her brother had been married to the girl against his will. Their father had arranged the whole thing seventeen years ago.
Luckily, Kankuro had already started falling for the girl and hadn't taken Temari up on her offer. The blond grinned, thinking about how hard her brother had fallen for the pretty Hyuuga.
If fate was a lady, like luck was said to be, then she was one with a sense of humor. Temari chuckled to herself, though not feeling light-hearted right now. Of the three Sand genin in on the attack against Konoha so long ago during those chuunin exams, two were now Leaf ninja and the third was the Kazekage of Suna. How improbable was that?
Temari crumpled the note up in her fist, sighing. And if fate and luck were ladies, then they were more in the line of sick bitches as far as she was concerned.
A tap on the door had her looking up, smoothing out the expression on her face. Shino poked his head inside and Temari felt some of her pain ease away just by the sight of her husband. Husband. She smiled at him, unable to help herself.
"I love you." Temari said plainly.
Eyebrows arching, Shino removed the glasses she hated to see him in and smiled at her with his gray-silvery eyes. "I love you too." He murmured, pausing. "What's wrong?"
"Do I need to call the medic back?" Shino asked, watching her carefully.
"No." Temari told him, then held up the balled-up paper. "Hinata's gone into labor."
Shino didn't need to hear anymore to get to the crux of her upset. He sighed unhappily. He knew this moment would hold both pain and joy for his wife.
The seeds of this moment were in their past. The two had fallen in love on one of her trips to Konoha, even going so far as to become betrothed. They had waited to tell anyone though, at least until she'd had a chance to speak with her brother Gaara. What they hadn't known was that she'd returned to Suna already pregnant.
Brief happiness faded as Temari had miscarried before she'd even learned of the pregnancy. The medics had then dropped the news on her that she would never be able to carry a child to full term. Heartbroken, she'd sent him a note breaking off their relationship, but not explaining why. Temari had mistakenly felt that as the Aburame heir he would not want a barren wife. To spare herself the shame, she'd just broken it off without explanation.
Pain and recriminations had followed, but with Kankuro and Hinata's marriage, everything had changed. Shino and Temari had been forced together on a joint mission to protect the pair, and on that mission she'd finally confessed her reasons for breaking off their betrothal. They'd reunited during that long mission, and had returned to face down the Leaf's Elder Council, her brother Gaara and even Shino's father. Now they were finally husband and wife.
Shino turned away from those memories and poured the unhappy blond a cup of water, then sat down beside her. "We don't have to go."
"Yes we do." She sighed, ignoring the water glass in her hand and instead leaning her head down on his shoulder. "You know we do." She said wistfully.
"They will understand." He told her, hugging her tight and pressing a kiss on top of her blond head.
Temari sighed. "I'm not that weak. And I won't give in to this. We're going over there." She said adamantly and pulled away from him. "I'll be ready in a minute."
Shino nodded and watched her get up and move around the room, changing her clothes. It hurt him to see her in pain like this. He'd done all he could to prevent it, insisting he didn't want or need and heir as he already had two younger brothers and three nephews by his older sister. But Temari still wanted to try. Insisted on it, actually.
That was the reason for her surgery before they even married. A surgery that had increased her changes of carrying a healthy child to full term to sixty-five percent.
"Are you wearing that?" She teased him, hiding her hurt behind her light words.
Shino nodded and acquiesced, getting up to change into something nicer. He wondered if they were ever going to talk about it. No, 'it' was the wrong word somehow.
No one knew, just the two of them and the medics. His father and great-aunt might suspect, but they didn't know for sure. Shino smothered his sigh as he got ready.
Both of them silently mourning the child they'd miscarried just last week.
"Takiji?" Hanabi said.
"Toko?" She tried.
The genin sighed. "Niji is a nice name."
"It means 'rainbow', I'm not naming one of my sons after a fucking rainbow." Kankuro growled. "Besides, it's too close to Neji."
Hanabi grinned. "I thought you were trying to watch your language around the house."
The puppeteer sighed and dropped his head. "You turned fourteen in March and will be heading out on a C-ranked mission next week. I think you can handle a bad word or two."
"Or teach you a few." She grinned, nudging him with her shoulder.
"You probably could, but I would thank you not to corrupt my brother." The newcomer said dryly from the doorway. "I hear I'm just in time for the big event."
Kankuro looked up in relief, not that his sibling could do anything to ease the situation. Other than just be there.
Hanabi frowned hard, feeling like she'd just been punched. "Gaara." She said, her voice carefully blank.
"Hanabi." The red-head nodded to her, his pale-jade eyes giving away nothing.
Okay. I hate long notes at the end, so please bear with me.
The title for this sequel was suggested in a review by WickedWickedDame. Thank you!
As for the voting in the poll. The winning title was "Marry My Brother Please?" and I just …couldn't do it. It's so close to the original title of the first story that I didn't want to confuse anyone. The second place winner was "Firecrackers and Cupcakes". Which I liked, I just liked "Explosive" better. LOL.
Yes, I know the twins aren't born yet. But I'm hoping you all will forgive me as I did tell you that they are both boys.
I hate a lot of re-capping and exposition. But it couldn't be helped and I apologize and humble myself on the ground. Sorry, a thousand pardons please!
The next chapter won't be so exposition grounded. Even so, I didn't cover everything that happened in the original story and if you really want answers I suggest you read that one first.
Hope you all liked the first chapter. And I'd love to hear from you, good or bad. So REVIEWS are always welcome.