Chapter 9: Being Pregnant
As Hinata sat in Kurenai's bathroom, watching as Kurenai cradled her son, Yasuji, to her chest, Hinata wondered what type of mother she would be.
"Hinata, how did this happen?" Kurenai asked, looking at the pregnancy test that she just taken that had tested positive, along with the four other pregnancy tests that she had previously taken. They sat all lined up on top of their respective wrappers to make sure that their results definitely matched up to the positive markings. Hinata sat on the closed toilet seat while Kurenai looked at each stick and package to triple check that there were no errors in what they had read. Little Yasuji stuck out his hand to try and grab one of the little sticks, but was effectively intercepted by his mother.
"How did this happen?" Kurenai repeated when Hinata didn't answer.
While it might seem quite obvious how Hinata had gotten pregnant – physically speaking – Hinata knew that that wasn't what her sensei was truly asking.
"I went after him," Hinata said in a quiet voice. Kurenai put her hand to her head.
"Naruto," Kurenai said shaking her head, and Hinata nodded. There was no other "him" that Hinata would go after. "That's why he broke off the engagement with Ino so suddenly," she added thoughtfully. "Does he know about this?"
Hinata shook her head frantically.
"You need to tell him," Kurenai said, looking at her sharply. "You-" but her comment was interrupted by a knock on the front door.
"I'll be right back," Kurenai said as she exited the bathroom, Yasuji waving at Hinata as he exited. Through the open bathroom door, Hinata could hear Kurenai and her guest speaking.
"Everything okay Kurenai-san?" Shikamaru's distinctive voice asked worriedly.
"Yes," Kurenai said, warmth in her voice. "Thank you for coming so quickly when I called. I just need some time to speak with Hinata alone without Yasuji here while we speak. It would be a big help if you could take him for a couple hours."
Kurenai and Shikamaru talked a little more, but Hinata couldn't hear the rest of what they said as their voices lowered. She got the feeling Kurenai might have been talking about her, and she felt her cheeks flush slightly, wondering what she was saying.
"Of course. Come on little man," Shikamaru said affectionately, and Hinata could picture the smile on Shikamaru's face as he picked up Yasuji. Hinata wondered if Naruto would get so excited about having a child. She knew that he was good with people in general, but still…
When Kurenai came back into the bathroom she looked at Hinata and shook her head.
"I really don't even know where to begin. First of all, I can't believe that you of all people would forget to be properly prepared to prevent pregnancy. Second of all, I honestly can't believe that you were able to have sex with Naruto without passing out from excitement," Kurenai said bluntly and harshly.
"Why don't we go into the living room and sit down there instead of staring at the pregnancy tests in here? Then you can start at the beginning and explain to me everything that happened."
A pot of tea later, Hinata had finished explaining her story to Kurenai. For her part, Kurenai stared at Hinata in disbelief.
"In other words you wrecked Ino and Naruto's engagement," Kurenai said sharply. It was something that Hinata herself had thought about, but hearing Kurenai saying it in such a tone, hearing her say it like that made Hinata feel even worse.
She hadn't truly wanted to hurt Naruto. She hadn't.
"But clearly something wasn't right between him and Ino if he was so willing," Kurenai said thoughtfully. "At first, I thought it was strange when the two of them got together. However, I asked Shikamaru about it. He said that he was shocked at first, but the way that Ino was going on about Naruto, he said that she really seemed to like Naruto a lot. Apparently, the more she talked about getting married to him, the happier she became. Shikamaru even said that now she's been devastated that Naruto broke off the engagement, and that she hasn't been quite the same since."
If Hinata felt horrible before she felt even worse now. It was one thing to hear she had done something to hurt Naruto, but the more she heard about how she had hurt Ino, the worse that she felt. She'd seen how devastated Ino had been, but for some reason, she had hoped she would have gotten over it by now. Obviously she had been wrong.
"Now I don't know too much about Ino from first hand experience, but I know that Asuma used to always say that she was a very sweet girl that hid behind a more upfront personality in order to protect herself from being hurt by others."
Hinata swallowed, looking down at her hands. Now that she thought about it, Kurenai would probably be upset that she had inadvertently hurt Ino. Ino was one of Asuma's former students, so naturally Kurenai would feel protective of her.
"Now I don't want you to think that I'm saying all of this to put you down, but I want you to see that you really ought to tell not only Naruto what happened, but Ino as well. She'll find out sooner or later, and trust me, it's better that you say something to her than someone else." Hinata saw the logic in Kurenai's words. She knew that her sensei meant the best for her.
Of course it would be best for her to tell Ino (naturally Ino would be hurt once she found out), and it would be better if Hinata explained the situation to her as Naruto didn't know all of the details. Kurenai paused for a moment and let Hinata take in her words before speaking again. "I know that you said that you've been trying to talk to Naruto for a while now, but this is something that he needs to know. That is, you are keeping the baby right?"
Hinata hadn't even thought of any other options. It was Naruto's baby, so of course she was going to keep it!
"Yes, I'm keeping him or her," Hinata said without hesitation. "It's just, I don't understand. It was the first time, and I got pregnant. That doesn't happen..."
"Hinata, it happens quite frequently actually. I've known quite a few women who have gotten pregnant their first time because of the "it won't happen to me" or the "it's just this once" philosophy." Kurenai sighed. "Now that I've finished with making you feel guilty, I'm sure you are feeling guilt-ridden – I can see it in your face – we should talk about what you're going to do in the future for you and your baby. I know you well enough to know that talking to Naruto can be a colossal event. Telling him you are pregnant after he didn't even really believe that the two of you were really having sex will be a blow to him. But from what I know about him, he'll want to know so he can do the right thing."
That was something that Hinata had wondered about. Naruto was the type of person to do whatever he could in order to try and set things right. Yet in this situation, what was the "right" thing? What Hinata wanted to be the right thing was for Naruto to marry her and be with her and their baby. But was that really best for everyone? If Naruto didn't really want to be with her, then he would be unhappy, which would make her unhappy, which would no doubt cause their child to be unhappy.
However, there was another thing that made Hinata very nervous. What if her father bullied Naruto into marrying her? Surely her father would find out soon. He was the kind of father that would make Naruto marry her in order to prevent her from having a child out of wedlock. Her father had already threatened that Naruto ought to propose to her if they'd had sex. Add a baby to the picture, and she didn't want to see how her father reacted toward Naruto. She definitely didn't want Naruto to be forced into marrying her though.
"But what is the right thing for him to do?" Hinata asked Kurenai.
"That's a good question. The right thing for you to do would be to tell him what's going on. Let him decide. He really didn't get much say in the whole thing, but I must say, everything seems a bit strange. Like I said, I understand that Ino seemed really into wanting to marry Naruto, but if he was willing to have sexual fantasies – real or otherwise – involving you, then perhaps that's something that you need to talk to him about. I don't blame him for his actions, not really, but doesn't it seem off to you Hinata?" Kurenai asked.
Hinata nodded. It did seem off to her. She didn't understand why Naruto and Ino had gotten together. She didn't get why –
A gasp escaped her lips as an epiphany hit her.
"Shikamaru might know, right? I mean, Ino must have said something more to him as to why the two of them got together. Even if she didn't, he's always brilliant at figuring things out. Maybe when he brings Yasuji-chan back I can ask-"
"Hinata," Kurenai interjected, and Hinata quieted immediately. She had noticed that her sensei had been saying her name a lot, and it made her feel like she was in trouble. Of course, in a lot of ways, she was. "This is something that you need to ask Naruto about. You need to face up to what is going on."
Hinata pressed her index fingers together.
"I know, but I d-don't k-know what to d-do," Hinata said. She looked down at her fingers and felt tears slip from her eyes. It all felt very surreal to her, but reality was catching up with her, and it was catching up too quickly.
Warm-arms wrapped around her shoulder, and Hinata looked up to meet the softening eyes of Kurenai.
"Whatever happens you are always welcome here. If you need help, you can come to me. But as you know, I won't let you run away from what you need to do. I also won't let you do it alone either," Kurenai said kindly. Hinata smiled at her weakly.
It was one of the things that had made coming to Kurenai-sensei a no brain option. Kurenai was able to tell Hinata her faults, but also help her fix them. She wouldn't let Hinata run away from her problems, but she would be there to face them with her as well. It was the make of a good teacher, and Hinata hoped that she would be able to be like her sensei. Kurenai put a lot of faith in her. She had told Hinata what she didn't necessarily want to hear but had made her hear what she needed to hear.
It was something a good mother would do. Something that she would hopefully learn to do herself.
"Another person who you should tell is your father," Kurenai said quietly. A little shiver of fear went through Hinata. Kurenai laughed. "It's better that you tell him then someone else."
Again, the voice of reason, but not something that Hinata wanted to do.
"I've watched you and your father for years. I know that he is much harder on you than he should be. He's said many things about you that I think were unwarranted. However, I also think that some of it has to do with the fact that he was very inexperienced in knowing how to raise a daughter. Unfortunately for you, by the time Hanabi came around, he had a better idea. He seems the type that would want to be a part of his grandchild's life, especially since the little one you carry would be the next in line for the Head Family."
Another shiver of fear went through Hinata, and she suddenly didn't want to tell her father at all. She had never really thought about the implications of what it would mean for her to have children. While her father had threatened to give the Head Family status to Hanabi when Hinata was younger, he hadn't mentioned anything about it in years. She had come to terms with the idea that yes, she might for one reason or another get demoted to the Branch Family, but she never thought about what Head and Branch Family might mean for her own children. Her first child would belong to the Head Family. But what about any other children she might have? It seemed almost cruel to continue to have children after the first.
"I...I guess I should do that t-too. B-but after I s-speak with N-Naruto-kun," Hinata said, finding her stutter coming out worse as she thought more and more about everything that being pregnant meant.
"If for whatever reason your father doesn't take the news well, you can stay with me," Kurenai offered.
"Thank you," Hinata said, truly grateful. Her mother had been ill during Hinata's young childhood and had been ill after Hanabi's birth. She'd died shortly after giving birth a second time. The only mother figure that Hinata had truly had growing up had been Kurenai.
For the second time that day, Kurenai was interrupted with a knock at the door. Kurenai smiled at Hinata a little before getting up to answer the door. Hinata frowned as she watched Kurenai opening the door. She had been there when Kurenai had first made the call for Shikamaru (she had done that before Hinata had re-taken the pregnancy test at her house). She wondered who else would be visiting Kurenai at this time of day. She really hoped that it wasn't Kiba or Shino. She really didn't feel like explaining to either one of her teammates that she was pregnant. Of course, she would have to later. She wondered if Akamaru already knew. Dogs knew that sort of thing early on. And she idly wondered if Shino's bugs might know. Maybe her teammates already knew and hadn't bothered to ask her about it. They would most likely wait to say something until after she did.
"Come on in," Kurenai said kindly. Hinata really hoped that it wasn't Kiba or Shino. However, when she turned to look at the person coming through the door she froze, shocked.
"Shikamaru found me, saying you had asked me to come over," Naruto said with a confused tone to his voice. His full attention had been on Kurenai when he had walked into the house, but once his eyes glanced around, he also froze when he saw Hinata.
"Hinata has something that she needs to talk to you about," Kurenai said. She came over and gently placed her hands on Hinata's shoulders.
Hinata supposed she really shouldn't feel betrayed, but she did. She wasn't ready to see Naruto. She hadn't even known that he was back in Konoha. Perhaps he had been avoiding her specifically?
Maybe it was better to get this over and done with, but she could feel that sense of rising panic building inside her, coming from her center and coming to weigh heavily in her throat. It felt as though she couldn't breathe, let alone talk to Naruto.
Yet there he was. While she was upset that Kurenai had gotten Shikamaru to find him and send him to her house, and while she was less than thrilled with his frozen expression (though she herself was surely frozen in place) she was honestly glad to see him. It was Naruto, her beloved Naruto. Somehow seeing him, despite everything, made the world just a little bit better.
"Hi," Naruto said, a blush rising to his cheeks.
"Hi," Hinata managed to squeak out.
"I'll be in the kitchen making some more tea," Kurenai said, giving Hinata a supportive squeeze. Part of Hinata wondered if it would be silly of her to call out to her sensei and ask her to stay. Kurenai was giving them privacy, but she was also stating that she was nearby if Hinata needed her.
Hinata watched as Kurenai left the living room and entered the adjacent kitchen.
"How are you?" Naruto asked, sitting down in a chair as far away from Hinata as he could get. His cheerful tone was clearly forced, and Hinata didn't know how to even begin to answer him. She didn't know what he thought of her, but she desperately wanted to know if he loathed her for being the cause of breaking up with Ino.
"I'm pregnant," Hinata blurted out in a squeak. For half a second she wondered if he had heard her, but the expression on his face as his eyes widened and his face seemed frozen in shock told her that he had indeed heard her.
It was one of those awkward moments where she could actually hear the birds chirping from outside. The noises of Kurenai preparing tea from the kitchen also seemed unusually and unnaturally loud.
"Oh," Naruto finally got out.
Hinata felt like hitting herself. That had not been the best way to tell him, blurting it out like that.
Naruto and Hinata sat in Kurenai's living room, not speaking to each other. Naruto seemed frozen in shock, and Hinata wasn't sure if she should speak or not.
"Wow," Naruto finally breathed out. "Just my luck that I'd get you pregnant. I must have some pretty good sperm, huh?" Naruto said, grinning widely before seeming aghast with himself that he said something like that. "I didn't mean it to sound like that."
But Hinata didn't care what it sounded like. His reaction made her smile, and she couldn't help it. She let out a little giggle that quickly turned into full-blown laughter. Of all the reactions Naruto could have had, it was one that she somehow hadn't expected but no one other than Naruto could have had.
Naruto stared at her and watched her laugh. He scratched the back of his head, looking awkward.
"It wasn't that funny," he said with a nervous laugh.
Hinata couldn't help but laugh harder. Maybe it wasn't all that funny, but the tension in her had to have some release. She sobered up suddenly as tears began to prickle at her eyes. She took a deep shuddering breath and wiped at her eyes before they fell.
"I'm not dreaming, right?" Naruto said with a less than amused laugh. Any good feelings that had come with her release of tension died with his uncharacteristically bitter words.
"N-no," Hinata said, looking down at her hands.
"I mean, I know the last time I saw you wasn't a dream. But that first time wasn't a dream either, was it? You really came to my apartment, didn't you?" Naruto asked. Hinata couldn't look at him nor find her voice to answer. She merely nodded. "And now you're pregnant," Naruto said, more of a statement than a question, but Hinata nodded anyway.
Naruto didn't say anything more for a minute, and Hinata finally looked up. He sat with his legs slightly apart with his head between his knees. His fingers were laced in his hair, but his eyes were still open staring but unseeing at the floor.
"I-I need to go. I forgot to do something," Naruto said, suddenly standing up. He looked at Hinata, and there was no way that she could read the emotions in his eyes. He was a blur of color, and the next thing Hinata knew she heard the door shutting.
"Well, he didn't slam it, so that's a good sign," Kurenai said as she brought out the tea. "He could have taken the news much worse."
Somehow, that didn't make Hinata feel any better.
Next Chapter: Hiashi vs. Naruto
This chapter was very difficult to get out. It was literally painful to finish editing; I broke a nail. While that seems cliché and silly, I broke my nail down in the nail bed. Pressing on the keys (with my left pointer finger no less) hurt.
On an unrelated note, there's a possibility that the next chapter will not be out next Sunday as I will be busy next weekend.
Hope you enjoyed the chapter! ~ Jelp