The Torture of Silence
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto or the lyrics.
AN: Enjoy the last chapter!
Happily Ever After by He is We
Oh, happily ever after, wouldn't you know, wouldn't you know
Oh, skip to the ending, who'd like to know, I'd like to know
Author of the moment, can you tell me, do I end up, do I end up happy?
One year later.
Hinata put the now empty bottle by the sink and pushed back her messy hair. She managed a small smile for the cooing baby, fascinated with his mother's long hair. He reached out to tug on it again, but Hinata moved back and tied her hair up in a tight bun. She scooped the baby out of the carrier, put a cloth on her shoulder, and burped him. She kissed the top of his head, gazing into his beautiful navy blue eyes.
"Now, we're going to go the cemetery and see Daddy. How does that sound, Solitae?"
She got herself and Solitae cleaned up and ready. She carried him out of the little apartment out to the car. She strapped him into the car seat carefully and gave him a binky. She got into the front seat and turned to wave at him. He giggled. She smiled and turned the car on, Rachmaninov started playing, and she drove.
After about twenty minutes, Hinata took an exit. "We're going to make a little detour. How does that sound? It'll be fun."
Quite soon, she pulled up to Konoha. She zipped up her jacket and then wrapped Solitae up securely in a blanket, picking him up. She carried him into Konoha. After checking in with the nurse at the front desk, Hinata made her way to Chidori.
She'd barely set foot on the wing when someone came running towards her.
"Hinata!" Temari hugged Hinata and the baby. "You're here! We've missed you so much! And who is this?"
Hinata returns Temari's smile tremulously. "This is Solitae. H-He's six months."
"Aw, isn't he a sweet little thing? Absolutely the cutest thing...and look at his eyes, they're so big and cute!" Temari kissed the top of Solitae's head. "I just want to steal him and keep him!"
"I-I heard you were released. Why are you still-" Hinata began to ask.
"Well, Gaara's getting better, but you know that. He might be released in a couple of months if he keeps making such great improvements. I was visiting him..."
"Where's Shikamaru?" Hinata asked innocently.
"I'm right here. Troublesome woman, stop running off." Shikamaru slouched up to the pair of them, hands in his pockets. "Hello Hinata."
"Hello Shikamaru-san." Hinata noticed Shikamaru surreptitiously taking Temari's hand. "How are you?"
"We're good," Shikamaru answered. "This troublesome woman finally decided to move in with me."
"Lazy-don't say-that!" Temari blushed.
"It's sweet," Hinata said happily.
"Well, if you say so..." Temari nudged Shikamaru. "I'm going to take Hinata and the baby down to see the rest of the gang, so you can either follow me or you can go be a lazy ass and sit in the car."
The three of them walked down the hall, Temari and Shikamaru bickering as they entered the recreation room. Gaara was sitting there with Ino, who'd finally started to put on weight. She was still a while away from being 'normal,' but she was starting to look healthier and happier.
She jumped up with a squeal. "Is that the baby? Aw, Hina-chan, he's so cute!"
Gaara got up a little slower and followed Ino over to Hinata. "Hello Hinata."
"Hi Gaara-kun, Ino-chan. This is Solitae."
"He's even cuter than the pictures!" Ino was cooing over the baby. "You have to leave him here!"
Temari cried, "I get him first!"
Hinata cut across Ino before she could start. "Who else is here? I do not have much time. I will come and visit for longer later..."
Ino thought for a second. "Choji's on a day pass today...Shino's in a session right now. Naruto's napping. He's on ECT currently...it takes a lot out of him, but he's starting to do better. Lee's checked out. You know Tenten's been out for a month. Sakura's somewhere...Kakashi's with Tsunade. He's always with her now."
Hinata laughed softly. "W-We probably should go, so tell everyone else I said hello, please."
After a bunch of goodbyes and lots of hugs, Hinata managed to extricate herself. She was walking down the hall when she nearly ran into Neji.
"Nii-san, hello," Hinata tok a step back, trying to regain her balance.
"Oh, Hinata. And Solitae, how is he?" Neji rubbed Solitae's cheek gently, earning a smile from his nephew.
"Very awake. Will you be coming over for dinner? You never responded..."
"That's tonight? Yes, Tenten did text me about it..." Neji pulled out his phone and checked it. "Yes, we will be joining you, Uncle, and Hanabi tonight. I'm sorry, I've been very busy."
"I know. Tenten told me about all the unpacking. You two are almost settled in, right?"
Neji nodded wearily. "I should have taken off more time after the wedding and gotten all this sorted out. But, Tenten said she could handle it. I know she can, but I wish I could be there..."
"Ask for more time off?" Hinata suggested.
He leaned down and kissed the top of Solitae's head. "Maybe. It has just has been so chaotic since last year...You should go to his office. There are some things that he wanted you to take."
Hinata nodded slowly. "I will stop by. I don't have much time, but I can manage. I'll see you tonight, Nii-san."
Hinata and Solitae went to the office. She let herself inside very quietly. "Now, this will only take a minute, Solitae, and we can go."
"Oh really?" Sasuke spun his chair around. "You were going to come visit and not say hello to me?"
Hinata jumped and then looked sheepishly at the ground. "I...I-I just meant..."
He'd gotten up and walked closer while she hadn't been looking. He tilted her face up, a smile playing on his features as he traced over her bottom lip with his thumb. "I may forgive you."
Hinata leaned up, but then Solitae started fussing. She pulled back and tried to comfort him. Sasuke took Solitae from her, saying, "Allow me."
He'd calmed down Solitae in a minute. He looked Hinata over. "Hard day?"
"He likes my hair," she answered.
"So do I." Sasuke kissed her forehead.
"You were going to be late anywayas. We were supposed to be at the cemetery...ten minutes ago."
"I did call you," Sasuke said with a smile. "I didn't know you were planning to stop by."
"Nor did I. It was nice to see everyone."
Solitae yawned. Sasuke chuckled and slipped an arm around Hinata's waist. "We have dinner tonight with your father."
"Neji, Tenten, and Hanabi will be there too. It's a family dinner," Hinata said, leaning against Sasuke.
"A real family dinner? Who would have thought after the last one..."
"There really was no need for you to throw that dish."
Hinata giggled. "As you told us, but it did not help your case that the bulk of the sauce ended up on my father."
"He's just looking for another excuse not to like me. He doesn't like that we're living together and I haven't married you yet. We're raising a child as if we were married," Sasuke grumbled. "You'd think it was enough."
"He is very traditionalistic." Hinata shrugged. "I promised to make his favorite dish tonight."
"I'll cook. You look tired." Sasuke kissed the top of her head. "You should let me take Solitae during the day. Then you can go class and not keep rushing back between classes to check on Tenten and him."
"You have patients."
Sasuke turned her around to give her a serious look. "As I've told you before, I can work it out. We can work this out together. A baby doesn't mean the end of your dreams. You'll just need to rely on me, your family, your friends."
Hinata nodded. "I know and you have been so kind. He's not even your son..."
"Blood doesn't matter. I want to be his father. A family is more than genes and blood. It's about love, Hinata, and I love you and Solitae."
She leaned up and kissed him. "That is how you should propose."
"I'll remember that the next time I try." He laughed softly, hugging her and Solitae gently. "Will I get the same answer next time?"
"No. We had only been dating for a month then, Sasuke. It has been about eight months now," Hinata smiled.
"Will you tell me it's still too soon again?"
Hinata looked at him seriously, mulling it over. "I might just say yes."
Sasuke ran a hand down the side of her face, before leaning in to kiss her again. It hadn't been easy. But, in life, what was? It had taken time, but right now, he felt like he could wait forever as long as she stayed by his side.
He'd never thought he'd find someone who understood him and loved him despite it all. She loved him because of everything. And he loved her because of who she was, where she had been, what had happened to her, and how she had changed.
Words were how he diagnosed, how he learned about a patient. He couldn't find the words to describe how he felt about her, but that was right. Not everything could be explained. Sometimes you found happiness, sometimes you didn't. Sometimes, happiness found you.
AN: And so ends ToS! Thank you all for reading, reviewing, commenting, and connecting with this story! Special thanks go out to those who stuck with story even when I stopped updating for a really long time.
All in all, thanks!