It seemed like an average day in Konaha. Ninja were coming in and out of the village, to and from missions from the Hokage. Walking down the street to Ichiruka's, Neji didn't think that it was an average day. It wasn't a good day to him. It was a great day. The night before he found out he was to be a father. And he couldn't keep the smile off his face. He wondered if this was how Naruto felt all the time with his grin constantly plastered on his face. With thoughts of his unborn child dominating his mind, he didn't notice the blond haired ninja that was his new relative. Luckily for him, Naruto was paying a little closer attention to his surroundings.
'hey! You better watch where you're going or you'll walk into something.' Naruto said, snapping Neji back to Earth.
'huh? Oh, sorry Naruto. I didn't see you there.' Neji was still smiling, and Naruto was a little confused.
'what is it?'
'why are you smiling?'
'what do you mean?' Neji's smile went away as he looked confused, but it still managed to creep back onto his face.
'I mean, you haven't stopped smiling since I saw you come down the street. What's going on?'
"well, if anyone should be the first to find out about this it should be family, right? And Naruto IS family," Neji thought to himself.
'I just found out that I'm going to be a father.'
Naruto reacted just as Neji thought he would. Loud and enthusiastically. 'CONGRATULATIONS! Now Nariaki will have TWO little siblings to watch.'
Neji was confused until he thought of something, 'Is Hinata…?'
'yep.' both soon-to-be fathers were grinning ear to ear.
Sakura and Ino had gone to do some shopping when they noticed Neji and Naruto standing in front of Ichiruka's and grinning like stupid idiots at each other. Wondering what was going on with those two, the girls walked over.
'what's going on?' Sakura asked.
'NEJI'S GOING TO BE A FATHER!' Naruto screamed
Ino and Sakura gasped. Turning to look at Neji, they asked if it was true. Still smiling, he nodded. The girls screamed and forgot about the rest of their shopping as they headed off to see TenTen.
Meanwhile, TenTen had been doing some weapons practicing, she was only in her first month and she didn't want to get rusty. She stopped when she heard the shrieks. She turned around and saw Ino and Sakura come running up to her. They were gibbering so fast and at the same time that she couldn't understand much of what they were saying. She did pick up a few words like, Neji, Ichiruka's, and there might have even been a congratulations in there. She calmed the two down so that they could talk. They, of course, wanted to know how Neji had reacted when she told him. 'to be honest, at first I thought I broke him. He just sat there, looking at me, frozen. It kind of scared me a little, he wasn't even blinking. I had to said his name five times before he reacted. Then this slow smile crept onto his face, and his eyes kind of got a faraway look to them. When he got back to normal he was grinning kind of like Naruto does all the time, and he hugged me so tight I had trouble breathing.' Ino and Sakura responded like, well like Ino and Sakura, with an "awwwww", and a squeal. Remembering her cousin, TenTen asked if they knew about Hinata yet. The blank looks she received told her no. 'it looks like Nariaki isn't going to be an only child anymore.' TenTen told them grinning. She then had to cover her ears because the screeching was too loud.
'the doctor said not to do that anymore. You have to rest.'
'Neji. Seriously. I'm fine.'
'I'm not going to be the one to tell Sakura that you aren't following her directions. Sometimes she can be as scary as Tsunade.'
Rolling her eyes, TenTen sat down in the chair. She was now in her 5th month, and Neji was very protective of her. "if this is how protective he is now, how is he going to be when our girl comes." She thought.
'Naruto. Naruto. NARUTO!'
'huh? Did you say something?' Naruto was ripped from his thoughts by his wife's voice.
sigh. 'Did you talk to Nariaki yet?'
'no, but I am planning on doing it today.' Hinata looks at him. 'I mean right now. Nariaki! I would like to speak to you!' he knew what that look meant.
'coming dad! What did you want to talk to me about?'
'well, you have been an only child for a long time. This is going to change soon. You are going to be a big brother. And that means that you have to take care of your baby sister. You have to protect her, and make sure that she doesn't get hurt. She will want to copy everything you do, so you have to be careful when you are around her that you don't do anything dangerous. You are also going to have to be very careful because babies are very fragile. Do you think that you can do that? Do you think that you can be a good big brother to your new baby sister?'
Looking at his father very seriously, Nariaki nods. He understands that his new baby sister is going to look up to him, and that it is going to be his job to take care of her and protect her. He is going to be the best big brother out there, he thinks.
Tousling his son's blond hair, Naruto smiles.
Watching the two of them, Hinata smiles.
'Naruto, if you don't calm down right now, I'm going to kick you out!'
'ok. Sorry, Sakura.'
3 seconds later
'THAT'S IT, NARUTO! OUT! Out, out, out, out, out, out, out, out, out, out!'
'but what did I do? Ow! Why'd you hit me?'
'ok, ok. I'm going. Sheesh.'
Naruto went into the waiting room holding his head. Neji had heard all of this and was sitting there chuckling to himself.
'Oy Neji! Did you get kicked out too?'
'no. I didn't think that it would be appropriate for me to be in there.'
In truth, he didn't think that he could just sit there when his wife was in so much pain. At the first scream he was on his feet. He paced around the waiting room, and with every scream he would stop and look towards the door, worry clearly written on his face. Naruto wasn't fairing much better.
After what seemed like an eternity later, Sakura came out, smiling, and holding a child wrapped up in a fuzzy pink blanket. Gently handing the girl to her father, she told Naruto that he could go back in and see Hinata. Hurrying as fast as he could without harming his daughter, he ran through the doors nearly knocking Sakura to the ground. 'that was still better than last time.' Sakura said to no one in particular. Worried, Neji went up to the medic. 'how's TenTen? Is she ok?' Sakura couldn't help but think about the change in her friend. She remembered him back when they were gennin trying to become chunnin. "he was so cold and distant then." she thought. Looking at his face and the worry that was threatening to turn into panic, she needed to try to reassure him. 'she's fine. I have to go back, but she's strong. She'll be all right.' mumbling that she's going to be ok to himself, he went back to pacing, his speed increasing with every turn.
'who are you trying to race?'
Neji looked up to see his old teammate Lee and their sensei Gai standing there. 'what are you two doing here?'
'we heard that TenTen was in the hospital and we came to see how she's doing.' at this point a particularly loud scream could be heard. 'what is going on in there?' Lee asked.
Confused Neji said, 'didn't you guys hear? She's giving birth right now.'
'Ahh. The next generation of youth.'
Neji tuned them out when they started talking about youth, just like he used to.
Sakura came out once more, but this time she wasn't holding a baby. Neji was worried, thinking that something had happened. Her smile told him that everything was ok, as she led him down the hall and into a room where an exhausted TenTen laid holding their girl. He gently walked over to her and smiled down upon his family. Smiling the weary smile that all new mothers have, she gave Neji his daughter, and saw his face soften. She had been thinking about what her name should be and thought that Hotaru (firefly) sounded nice.
'how about Hoshimi?'
'hmm. Starlight. I like it. What do you think, Hoshimi?'
giggle 'I think she likes it. Hoshimi it is.'
'Hoshimi! Come back here! Awww, come on Hotaru!'
Nariaki was watching his little sister and her friend (their cousin). Ever since Hoshimi came home, he had calmed down drastically. He took his role of big brother very seriously. Some might even say too seriously. Some might say he was overprotective of her, but that was only because he cared about her so much. He didn't want anything bad to happen to his baby sister.
'Nariaki, I have a date tonight. Can you please not scare this one off. I really like him.' Hoshimi was fifteen and her overprotective brother scared many of her dates. They were afraid that he, or her father, would hurt them if they did anything. It was generally very awkward when Nariaki had to go on the date with her as a chaperone.
'you know I only do it because I care about you.'
'I know. But please. Be nice. No threatening, no physically or mentally harming him, and if he does something, let ME take care of it if I don't like it. I can't have you ruining my date because he's afraid to put his arm around me because of you and what you might do. You know that you've got dad's strength. And besides, Hotaru and her date are going too. I'll be fine.'
'I'm so excited.'
'I understand that, but can you stop wiggling in your seat. You're making it hard for me to do this Hotaru.'
'sorry mom. I just can't believe it, Akioshi actually asked me out. And when I said that it would have to be a group date, he just asked who else was going. He knew that Eiji liked Hoshimi, and he's not afraid of her brother! Well. Not completely anyway. We're going to have an awesome time!'
The boys were very cordial to the parents, and Nariaki was on his best behavior when Eiji showed up to pick up Hoshimi. Akioshi was like his name, bright and good, and Eiji (two protectors) promised to bring Hoshimi home safe and sound before curfew. They saw a movie that was slightly scary, allowing the girls to hold the hand of their date, and for the guys to put an arm around Hoshimi and Hotaru. At dinner, they talked about the movie, their parents, and some of the missions that they have gone on. At ten o'clock sharp, Hoshimi was in front of her house, and with a good night hug and a promise to call the next day, Eiji reluctantly walked home. At the same time Hotaru was being escorted up the walk to her front door. Akioshi was a perfect gentlemen, and with the same promise of a call, and a good night hug, he too walked home. All four teens enjoyed the evening and couldn't wait for it to happen again. The girls called each other, and even though they were both there, they talked the entire night about their dates. The guys, on the other hand, waited for the next day. They nodded to each other at the ramen bar and talked about what was good on the date, what could be improved for the next date, and thought about their respective girl over bowls of ramen. All were happy and all were smiling as they thought about next time.