Rose: This is it, the final chapter of Muse! We've come a long way, this thing took over three years to complete; there were ups, there were downs…but here we are!
Disclaimer: OC's and plot.
I turned away from the sink in the direction of the living room in time to see my small son stomp in with a frustrated expression; I smiled lightly "what is it, sweetheart?"
He shook his head, ruffling his strawberry blond locks, and stared at me with sky blue eyes "I'm bored! Come and play with me"
Setting down the dishcloth I struggled down so I was eye level with the five year old "darling, I've told you, mummy isn't in the right condition to play with you right now. Wait until your father comes back and ask him"
Sasori pressed his tiny hand to my large stomach and pouted angrily "why is it taking so long? It's not fair; whenever I want to do something with you, you can't because of the baby!"
I almost giggled and hid it by kissing the top of his head "your father will play with you"
"But he can't grow flowers in the garden! I want to do that!"
"You know you can't learn that" I explained softly "you have Deidara's Jutsu" he opened up his palms and frowned, the mouths mimicked him,
"I don't like them; they bite me when I'm sleeping!"
"They'll grow out of it" I held his hands and pulled him into a hug, with difficulty because of my belly, he buried his face into my shoulder "besides, I thought you liked your father's Jutsu, you were always begging for his birds when you were little"
"It's not that I don't like them…but they're boring!" I stifled another giggle "they just go 'boom' and that's it. I like your Jutsu better cause it's always different and you can make them last forever!"
"You're so much more like your namesake" I mumbled, Sasori didn't hear me and I glanced up at the ceiling, imagining the original one laughing at the irony of Deidara's son favouring the eternal "okay, sweetheart, I have to finish the cake"
He blinked up at me as I pulled away "what kind is it?" I could see the wheels in his head turning and knew I had to answer carefully,
"Carrot Cake, your favourite"
Sasori grinned widely "not the babies?"
I laughed "the baby doesn't have a favourite anything yet" he looked satisfied,
"But…when the baby is here, and it does have a favourite something, would you make that instead of mine?"
Placing the freshly baked cake on the side I thought for a moment "well, I guess we'd have to alternate"
"Heh…take turns. Like when we make dinner, sometimes it's your favourite food, sometimes it's mine, sometimes it's your fathers and sometimes it's something all of us enjoy" my son pulled a chair over so he could watch me ice the cake,
"When the baby comes, can we replace dad's favourite with it's? I don't like Bakudan"
This time I really did burst into laughter "oh…you're so unlike your father that it's almost sad" Sasori furrowed his eyebrows,
"I don't get it"
I waved my hand "don't worry, darling" brushing back my hair I placed the finished cake on the table "no picking at it" I ordered as his hand reached out, he retracted it quickly and blushed,
"When will the baby get here?"
"It was due a week ago, so it won't be long"
"Will I have a brother or a sister?" he asked,
"I don't know. Why? Do you have a preference?" the boy was silent as he thought about what I was saying, he figured out the long word quickly enough,
"Kenta at school has a sister"
"He has a big sister; you'll be having a little sister or brother"
The redhead sighed "I don't want either"
"Cause when the baby's here you'll forget about me!"
"Don't be silly, we're not going to forget about you"
He frowned "but…what if you love the baby more than me?"
I sat at the table and ran my fingers through his hair "Sasori, the heart is very special. There's always enough room in it for more people, and those people are all loved the exact same amount"
"So you love me the same as dad?"
Smiling I nodded "it's a different kind of love, but yes"
"I thought I was your favourite!"
I hugged him "you're my favourite son!"
"But what if the baby is a boy?"
"Then you'll be my favourite big son, and the baby will be my favourite little son" I stated,
He rubbed my stomach and I winced suddenly, he felt it "what was that?"
"Nothing, dear, nothing; why don't you go play?"
"That's why I came in here in the first place!" he argued, I chuckled,
"Alright, alright. I can't grow you any flowers but perhaps we could draw, or paint, or I could read you a story?"
He sighed "fine…"
Getting up to follow the boy I placed a hand on my stomach and grunted, another inkling of pain had run through me "typical, just after I finish consoling your brother you decide to make an appearance" as if arguing the baby kicked hard "just like when Sasori was born, you're going to be stubborn"
The redhead was ready on the sofa with the book he wanted me to read "mama?"
"Darling, before we begin, would you run upstairs and under mummy's bed is a bag of your father's clay. Bring a handful to me please?" he did as I asked and returned after a couple minutes "now, do you remember how to make a bird?" he nodded and pushed the clay into the mouth on his hand, since it was smaller than Deidara's it had trouble chewing and took much longer to charge the clay, as he was doing this I neatly scribbled out a note to my husband for the bird to take "thank you" I smiled, taking the bird and opening the front door to release it,
"Is something wrong?"
"No, now what book did you choose?"
"And the Big Bad Wolf said-"
"Akina!" I cut myself off mid-sentence as the front door was flung open and my husband stalked into the living room with an anxious expression "I got your bird, un"
Sasori leapt off the sofa and ran to his father, holding his arms to him to indicate he wanted to be picked up, but Deidara merely ruffled his hair quickly and took a seat beside me, our son wandered back over with a pout "I'm fine" I said "I just wanted you to know it was starting"
"Why aren't you worried? Shouldn't we get to the hospital? Where's the overnight bag? How long has this been happening? Un"
I sighed "I'm not worried because I know there's still a long time to go. We don't need the hospital yet. It's under our bed. Only about fifteen minutes"
"Go play with Sasori, he's been waiting all morning for you to come back" we glanced over to see him standing, when he noticed us he grinned and lifted his box of building blocks, Deidara looked between us and then went to sit on the floor with his son, pushing the table out of the way so they could begin building as I remained where I was watching them,
An hour passed and I shifted my position, pressing a hand to my stomach as I did and wincing "I think it's time" my husband looked away from the Sistine Chapel of blocks he'd built with Sasori with a puzzled look, then he blinked,
"Ahem" I coughed and he recovered with an apology as he helped me to my feet "go get the bag under mummy's bed for her please?" as I said it the redhead vanished and returned with the backpack "can you get the others?"
"I'll contact them when we arrive at the hospital, un" the blond replied, picking me up and jumping onto the back of the bird he had outside, Sasori climbed on beside us, having become used to riding them early on in his life,
Landing outside of a hospital, the nearest of which was about eight miles south of the village; the next few moments passed as a blur as I was laid on a stretcher and carted off to some unknown area to begin the labour completely, Deidara was forced to remain behind with Sasori until someone arrived, as a five year couldn't be left alone no matter what the situation.
Leaning back against the pillows I groaned loudly when a crushing contraction pressed down on me, the doctor assisting me told me to remain calm but I could see on his face that he was anything but, and that unnerved me, nurses flittered in and out as hours passed and there was no change in my condition,
Finally one of the nurses appeared with a long haired blond man who rushed over and kissed my forehead "are you alright? Un, it's been hours!"
"I think so" I nodded and hissed through my teeth "but…ah…but something's not right!"
"What makes you say that? Un" he dabbed at my forehead and glanced down at my beach-ball of a belly, still no different to how it had been when we arrived, I didn't know what he was expecting; maybe for me to be as flat as a plain and to be clutching a tiny bundle but I was obviously not fulfilling his expectations,
"Mrs Michiko" the doctor drew our attention "I'm afraid the drugs aren't working, I think there may be a problem we can't resolve whilst your like this"
"What? What's wrong?" I tried to sit up but Deidara and a nurse stopped me,
He took a deep breath "the baby is breech" when we didn't follow he continued "feet first, this makes for a difficult labour, especially since your body doesn't seem to be naturally…equipped for such a feat" he was referring to my tiny hips and we knew it "what's more…I fear that the umbilical cord may be wrapped around the baby's neck, preventing it from shifting to another position and endangering its life in the process"
I panted "so…so what're you going to do?"
"I want to perform a Caesarean"
It wasn't me who shouted, but Deidara "please, sir-"
"No way in hell are you cutting my wife up like a steak! Un" he roared,
"Deidara-" I tried weakly,
"No! No! It's not happening! Un, it's not natural!"
Typical Iwa male mentally!
"Sir! If we don't operate then your baby and possibly your wife could die!" the doctor argued,
"I said no! Where I come from there's no such thing as a Caesarean and babies are born healthy! You just aren't trying hard enough! Un" he spat furiously,
"Mr Michiko!" the doctor dropped all attempts at being calm "if you don't lower your voice you will be escorted off the premises" the blond faltered at the threat and sunk his teeth into his bottom lip,
"Do it!" I ordered, clutching at the bars of the bed "do what you have to!"
"Deidara, this is about me and the baby, not about your stone-aged ideologies!" I snapped and he clenched his fists, not missing the double meaning of the word 'stone' referring to his old village. The doctor turned to the nurses and began giving orders to have another room prepped within five minutes as my husband sulked at my side,
In a moment of curiosity I forgot about my pain and addressed him "are there really no C-Sections in Iwa?"
"No, un" he mumbled, looking away "it's not natural. Babies have to be born to be born, if you understand"
"Vaguely, but all I keep imagining is that scene from Macbeth about that Macduff guy" I laughed quietly before moaning in agony "God…you're never doing this to me again!"
"Me? Un, if I recall is was you who wanted to-"
"You're the one who wants to keep trying until we get a girl! You better hope this one is because after today I'm off limits unless you wrap it up beforehand!"
His cheeks flushed "but…but…can't I just take the pill, or the mill, whatever you called it?"
"No! It only has a ninety-five percent success rate, that's lower than the female pill, which I'll be taking also!"
His blue eyes darted wildly about the room and then, he just stopped and fixed his gaze on me "I'm just going to assume this is your hormones talking, un" he smiled politely,
I growled "don't start that crap with me!"
"That's right, dear" he continued as if I'd said nothing "you can have the procedure as long as we never speak of it again, un, and afterwards you can't take the pill because you said you wanted to breastfeed again and it will mess up your milk production, and I can't wear condoms because they make me lose it, so…we'll just have to carry on as usual and 'hope' you don't get pregnant again" he was grinned as if he'd just discovered the cure to the common cold, I gaped at him "I read all the 'New Mother' magazines in the waiting room"
"Oh yeah?" I glared at him and he suddenly looked scared "I'm getting the procedure whether you like it or not because there's more at stake here than your damn male ego! And I'll talk about it as much as I fucking want! Further more, I can start taking the pill again after six weeks, and during those six weeks you're aren't getting your dirty hands on me because I'll be healing from the damage your rock-headed spawn will have left in its wake just like last time! You will wear condoms after that time because otherwise I'll be castrating you with my bare hands! So, which is more preferable?"
"Condoms" he answered instantly, I fell back into the pillows with a smirk,
"Thank you, darling, I love you"
"I love you too, un" his voice pitched at the end because I'd just crushed his hand in my hold when the contractions started up again "you just broke my fingers!"
"Oh, I'm so sorry! Why don't we swap places since, clearly, you're in far more pain?"
"Point taken, un" he wriggled his hand away and began to heal the wounds quickly as the nurses and doctor returned,
"We're ready for you" the bed was steered out of the door and down the hall, Deidara was trying to keep up but one of the nurses pushed him back "I'm afraid you'll have to remain in the Waiting Room, due to the complications no family can be allowing in the operating theatre"
"Akina!" he shouted as I vanished behind the doors,
Opening my eyes I blinked up at the painfully white ceiling with fuzzy eyes; it felt like I'd gone five rounds with a kangaroo in my belly, speaking of which, my stomach felt tight and tender but inside I felt loose and flabby, glancing down I found myself in a small room tucked into a bed, my hand reached out and shook my stomach, the loose skin shook like jelly and I laughed lightly,
"Ow" pushing myself up I got more comfortable but it hurt to move too much so once I was leaning against the headboard I didn't try to shift again "I'm never doing that again!"
Out of the corner of my sky blue eye I saw something in the doorway and watched a nurse enter the room looking down at a clipboard, she seemed surprised that I was conscious "oh, you're awake?" I smiled wryly and shrugged "let's see…Michiko Akina, excellent, I'll go inform your husband you're up, he's been asking every nurse that passes by, and on the way I'll collect your new arrival" she smiled as he left and I waited patiently,
Soon enough Deidara appeared holding Sasori with one arm, he glanced around the room nervously, looking for the baby, when he didn't find it he locked eyes with me and let his son go because he was squirming so much "mama!" he cried, flinging himself across my lap, I grunted quietly and he was pried off immediately,
"Be careful Sasori! Un" the man scolded "your mother just 'gave birth' so you can't go crawling all over her like you used to!"
"Don't say it that way" I joked, he pulled a face and lost the fight with the toddler "come here darling" I whispered, pulling the redhead up beside me and cuddling him, he stuck his tongue out at his father who mimicked him, I giggled,
"So where is it? Is it a boy or a girl? Un"
"I don't know, about half way through the procedure I blacked out and only woke up a few minutes ago" Deidara's face fell "but the nurse said she'd get the baby after getting you"
As I said it she waltzed into the room holding a tiny bundle, after handing it to me she smiled and left us together "well?" the blond urged, I smiled down at the baby and kissed its tiny nose, Sasori peered over with wide blue eyes, I pulled away the yellow folds of the blanket and not a moment later Deidara whooped "a girl? It's a girl!" he shouted "I have a girl! Un"
"A sister!" my son breathed "I have a sister?"
"Yes" I whispered "isn't she lovely?"
The ex-nin cupped my face and kissed me quickly "I love you, un, I love you!"
"Ugh" Sasori grimaced "dad, don't kiss mama; it's gross"
"What? You kiss her all the time! Un"
"Yeah, but I'm supposed to!"
Deidara rolled his eyes "can I hold her? Un"
I handed our tiny daughter to him carefully and he held her tightly to his chest and stroked the downy white fluff on her head "I wanted to hold her!" Sasori argued, running a hand through his hair I smiled,
"In a minute, sweetheart"
"She's going to look like you, un"
"Probably" I agreed, still holding my son close "and to think she wasn't 'born'"
"Don't be silly, un, that's just stone-aged nonsense" he shot me a smirk as I laughed gently "ah…she's gorgeous…I'll never let her go"
"Good luck feeding her then"
"Uh…except maybe for that, un" she started to whimper and cry "uh…and that!" he thrust her back into my arms and she was instantly calmed, Sasori now cradled her with my help,
"Everyone is going to be so jealous! My sister is the best ever cause she looks like you!" he said to me "and I'm going to be the best brother ever, I'll play with her every day and show her all of the Jutsu dad showed me and-" he paused suddenly "she doesn't have mouths on her hands!" he squawked,
"Of course not" his father chuckled "only boys have them!"
"But…but…this means she'll have mama's Jutsu! That's not fair!"
We were laughing at him as the doctor entered "I'm glad the operation went well, your baby is perfectly healthy"
"I'm so relieved" I replied, hugging her close,
"But, there is just one thing I've come here to say" I exchanged glances with the Iwa-male "I must advise you to not try for any more children"
Deidara frowned "what? Why? Un"
"Mrs Michiko, your body was not fully equipped to handle birth well in the first place, your narrow pelvis is unable to expand far enough to allow for a clean birth unlike most women, it's a miracle you weren't broken in half during the birth of your son" I winced at the thought "it's your choice but I'm afraid that your body will be unable to handle the trauma of another pregnancy and labour, natural or otherwise"
"Thank you" I nodded "luckily I wasn't planning on any more after this" smiling at Sasori and my daughter I sighed "I appreciate all you've done"
He bowed "my pleasure, but I must excuse myself as I have other patients"
"No more? Un" Deidara pouted pitifully, I stroked his cheek,
"What are you sulking about? You've got the girl you always wanted and a son who is most defiantly not a monster, unless there's a mystical third sex I've never heard of you should be content"
"What about a monster?" Sasori paled and eyed the edge of the bed worriedly,
"Nothing, love, why don't you go and find Uncle Itachi and the others, I'm sure they'd love to meet your new sister"
"Yeah!" he cried, I took back the baby and he scampered from the room,
"I always wanted two girls, un"
"No you didn't; you just made that up!"
The blond grinned cheekily "yeah, you're right. She's perfect, Sasori's perfect…" he blinked at me "and you're perfect, un"
"I'm glad you remembered" I drew him closer and pressed my lips to his, throwing one arm around his neck and using the other to hold the baby, he placed both his hands on the curve of my waist and kissed back "I love you"
"I love you too, un"
"Remind me again how we ended up here?" I touched our noses and he blushed lightly,
"Because from the moment I first saw you I was under the impression that you were the most beautiful woman on Earth and destined to be the mother of my rock-headed children, un"
I pecked his lips "uh huh, is that all?"
"Well…there's that, un, and then there's the fact that you're my wonderful Muse and the inspiration for everything I do"
"There it is" brushing some of my mussed up snowy locks away from my face I hugged him tightly "can you be my Muse too?"
"Only if I inspire things in you, un"
I breathed into his ear softly "oh, you inspire me alright…in many different ways" I felt his neck grow hot "and you can inspire me again…" his hands were twitching against the ties of my hospital gown "in six to eight weeks!"
Rose: I thought it would be good to end on a funny, pivotal and yet strangely romantic note.
And that, my dear readers, is Muse. Almost exactly three years in the making, 76 chapters, including this one! There were fights, there was action, there was a lot of love and a few lemons; it started out rocky but gained a great number of fans. This story would never have gotten this far without you. There were times when I believed I'd never finish this thing but you all kept me going and for that I thank you.
If you wish to read anything else I've written take a look on my profile. Also on there is a list of stories I'm working on and thinking about publishing, one of them is another Akina-Deidara.
For the last time for this great epic…Review please!