Title: Baby Boom
Disclaimer: I do not own these Naruto characters and stand to make no profit from posting this story.
Summary: Set 10 years after the original series. After the latest war, Konoha is experiencing its own little baby boomlet. Seven kunoichi, seven pairings, seven pregnancies, seven decisions, seven outcomes.
This is a series of loosely connected one-shots. They are not all happy because in real life it doesn't always work out that way.
Chapter 1: Tenten/Lee
Chapter 2: Temari/Shikamaru
Chapter 3: Hinata/Kiba
Chapter 4: Moegi/Konohamaru
Chapter 5: Ino/Chouji
Chapter 6: Sakura/Kakashi
Chapter 7: Yoshino/Shikaku
Chapter 1: Embroidery
Rock Lee had never expected to find himself in this situation, could not believe that he was the most fortunate of shinobi. His wife, his beautiful, perfect and splendid wife was about to give birth to their first child. He was thrilled, elated, excited and exhausted. And his hand hurt. His wife was stronger than he had realized.
"Tenten, I know you want to push, but not yet. Just a little bit longer," Shizune reassured her.
"Ah! Lee!" Tenten gripped his hand again with a strength he was only just now beginning to fully appreciate. He saw her eyes start to flutter close as the contraction gripped her.
"Tenten," he called her. "Tenten, look at me. Shizune says soon. Soon you can push but you must wait or you will injure yourself. Soon and we can meet our daughter, but until then, look at me."
Panting rapidly and looking into his eyes filled with such love and devotion, Tenten found the willpower to fight the almost overwhelming urge to bear down and push. Forcing herself to keep her eyes open and to keep looking at her husband also kept her from focusing inwardly on the pain. She smiled at him through gritted teeth, "Okay, Lee," she managed to whisper between pants.
The contraction subsided. Tenten caught her breath and shifted uncomfortably as Shizune checked her again.
"Okay, Tenten, you're fully dilated, on the next contraction, I want you to bear down and push," Shizune's voice was authoritative, and yet comforting.
Panting rapidly again, she felt the contraction build in her muscles, the pain building as well. But it was a good pain, a pain with a purpose, exhausting but so very worthwhile. And now she could do what her body had been aching to do, what her body had been made to do. She could push with the contraction, push with all her energy, push and deliver her baby girl, Lee's baby girl, their daughter into the world.
She cried out with the force of the next contraction and Lee brushed her sweaty hair back away from her face.
"Oh, my beautiful lotus," he said tenderly, "Oh, if only I could bear the pain for you."
She smiled up at him, at her wonderfully goofy husband, at his dark eyes under bushy brows that were full of nothing but love and concern for her. "Lee, it's a good hurt, really it is," thinking how ridiculous that must sound and unable to explain it to him before the next wave hit her.
"You're doing marvelously," encouragement was in Shizune's voice. "Keep pushing like that and it won't be much longer."
Tenten felt the wave cresting again, her muscles working for her, Lee's steadying gaze a true comfort to her. Wave after wave came and she worked through them all, breathing as she'd been instructed, keeping her eyes open and her thoughts focused on the work – they didn't call it labor for nothing she managed to groan out as a particularly strong contraction overtook her.
She sank back against the pillows for a moment, whispering, "I'm exhausted, Lee, I'm just so tired." She wanted nothing more than just a brief respite, just a little pause but that was not to be. She sat up again, panting and pushing again for the next one.
Shizune seemed to have a smile plastered on her face, Tenten thought she hadn't seen it waver once this whole time. "You are a textbook case, Tenten, your labor as progressed perfectly," Shizune chuckled. "The baby's crowning, any minute now and…"
"OH!" Tenten called out not really hearing what Shizune had to say and it all seemed very muddled in her head somehow anyway because she seemed to be laughing and crying at the same time now and Lee did too.
"Of course she is a textbook case, Shizune-san," Lee said, thinking he needed to defend her. "My Tenten is the most splendid kunoichi in all of Konoha." He looked back down at his wife's hand in his, seeing the tiny scars that crisscrossed her hands and arms from all her training with the weapons she was so skilled at. The scars covered her hands like embroidery, each one evidence of the hard work she'd put herself through to become the unrivaled weapons' mistress of their village. Of course she would labor with all her youthful energy in this most important of missions.
Shizune chided the shinobi gently, "Any delivery where the mother and baby are both fine is a good delivery, a great delivery, Lee. We don't make any judgments in here."
Shizune had attended enough births to know that even at the last minute something unexpected could happened.
Shaking her head, the medic kept her attention on her patient, patients she corrected herself. "Next one, Tenten, push for all you are worth, she's almost here."
"Tenten! Tell me how I can help you," Lee pleaded.
"Just look at me, Lee," she answered, panting again, "Just keep looking at me and I can do …this…" Tenten groaned loudly as she worked with the contraction again.
"She's here!" Shizune announced gladly, carefully catching the slippery infant who was looking at the world for the first time with wide, unfocused eyes. "Lee, get over here, if you're cutting the cord!"
"Go, Lee," Tenten waved weakly, "Hurry."
Quickly he turned to follow Shizune's instructions, his hands shaking only slightly, in awe at the miracle in front of him. Tenten had done this? He and Tenten had made this perfect, beautiful, tiny, splendid kunoichi in front of him?
"I want to see her. I want to hold her." Tenten demanded.
"Let's clean her up just a little," Shizune chuckled, gently toweling the little newborn girl and swaddling her in a soft cloth.
She handed his daughter to him. Lee accepted her with his mouth agape. Tenten laughed and cried again as she managed to sit up in the bed, holding her arms out, strength returning to them as she reached to hold her baby.
Cradling her infant in her arms, Tenten delicately opened the blanket, seeing her perfect little limbs, ten fingers and ten toes.
Lee watched his wife's scar-embroidered hands gingerly trace over their daughter's smooth unbroken skin.
"Tenten, oh Tenten, my beloved, this is the most splendid kunoichi in all of Konoha," he blurted out then quickly wished he could recall it as the last thing he wanted to do now was to hurt his wife's feelings.
"I know," Tenten agreed simply. "She is, isn't she?"
"We must tell Gai sensei, we must tell him to come in and see her."
"Not yet, Lee," Shizune interrupted, "Let us get Tenten cleaned up."
"But Gai sensei has seen Tenten bloodied in training, he would understa…"
"NO!" Shizune and Tenten emphatically stated in unison and then giggled together as well.
"Gai sensei can wait a few more minutes," Shizune ordered. "He's waited this long, I don't think she'll lose any of her splendid-ness in the next little bit." She busied herself with the remaining tasks at hand.
"Tenten," Lee whispered, kneeling down beside his wife and child. "Tenten, you will always be the most splendid kunoichi to me. It's just that…"
"I know, Lee," she said, crooning softly to her daughter, already losing herself in the unfocused eyes in front of her. "She really is perfect."
A/N: Why seven pairings? Well it's that old nursery rhyme, Monday's Child...
Monday's child is fair of face.
Tuesday's child is full of grace.
Wednesday's child is full of woe.
Thursday's child has far to go.
Friday's child is loving and giving.
Saturday's child works hard for a living.
But the child who is born on the Sabbath day
is bonny and blithe and good and gay.
As a reminder, this fic is set 10 years after the start of the original series. So age-wise Lee 23/Tenten23, Shikamaru 22/Temari 25, Kiba 22/Hinata 22, Moegi 18/Konohamaru 18, Hanabi 17, Kakashi 34/Sakura 22.