Hinata reached up and adjusted her wide cotton headband, humming softly as she waddled around her store. At eight months pregnant and somewhat happy, she had finally gotten back the motivation to get her boutique up and running again. Hiashi had wasted no time getting someone to come in and it clean up for her. He had even managed to find someplace for where she could send her designs and they would make thirty of them for her. She didn't know what it was called, but she had the number and she knew anytime she needed it, she could call and they would make thirty of whatever for her. It was a comfort to know she wouldn't have to spend a lot of time sewing, even if she liked it.
So she added something to her store: requests.
Surprisingly, this worked. The minute she had put the sign up in her window, a woman dressed in a business suit walked in, hoping Hinata could make her a sexy set of negligee and panties. Hinata had complied and business began booming all over again. She had to buy more shelves and another rack just so she could fit in her negligee and lingerie, which wasn't so bad, but Hiashi couldn't get himself to go past the dresses, where that section was.
The April sun slanted through the display window of her store and Hinata felt a smile touch her lips. A memory of Sasuke standing in that exact puddle of light, smirking at her, made her heartstrings twang, but in a good way. She was over being depressed. Sasuke may have left, but he hadn't left her heart. And even though the thought of never seeing him again broke her heart, she didn't let it control her actions. Sure, she had moments when she wanted to drop to the ground and sob her heart out, but she didn't give in. She had a baby to take care of, and if she couldn't even do that without breaking into a heaping mess, then what good was she?
Dressed in a faded denim button down that grazed her knees, dark gray leggings and light blue cardy Ugg boots, she stared around her store. It wasn't opening time yet, but she still felt the satisfaction surge up inside of her. It was amazing what a little pep talk and some therapy could do to a person. For the past three years, Hiashi had been seeing a therapist, letting out his inner most thoughts because he could no longer handle the amount of secrets on his shoulders. Dr. Yen (funny how her name seemed resemble the only thing she cared about) had been helping Hinata through her depression since her six and half month mark.
Hinata glanced around her shop one last time and turned in time to see Hanabi pull up. She stepped out of her car, wearing a loose-fitting tomatoe-red button down that skimmed her thighs, a pair of gray leggings and bright red cardy Ugg boots. Hinata smiled softly, waddling towards the mocha colored leather loveseat near the dressing rooms. Her ankles were swollen, her feet constantly aching, but she always managed to be running around, trying to keep her little boutique up and running. Not having the pressure of knowing Hiashi wasn't going to end her little shop on the corner allowed her to slacken her reigns, but not too much.
"Hey, you!" Hanabi breezed through the door; grinning behind her black wrap-around Ralph Lauren oversized shades. "How's my favorite pregnant sister doing?"
"I'm your only sister," Hinata said softly, smiling as she rubbed her large stomach. "But I'm doing well. Sakura says I'm coming along nicely."
"Awesome, awesome," Hanabi bobbed her head, walking towards the back. "As long as nothing happens to my niece, everything's cool."
Hinata chuckled and waddled after her. "How do you know that it's a girl?"
Hanabi smirked over her shoulder. "I just know."
"Hey!" Ino said breathlessly, rushing in. She was carrying several brown paper bags. A grin took over her features as she set the bags down on the counter by the register. "I got you some flowers, Hinata-chan! They're your favorites!"
She whipped out lilies from one bag and reached into the other. Going over to display window, she set a glass vase down between the three mannequins legs, humming as she arranged the lilies. The scent wafted through the shop and Hinata closed her eyes, letting her head fall back. The scent of lilies always calmed her, but made the baby kick, like now. She didn't know if it was because it liked the scent of lilies or not, but it was still nice.
She rubbed her belly and after a moment of relaxing, stood to grab her water bottle from behind the counter. Sitting back in the high back cushioned stool, she watched as Ino and Hanabi got the store ready for opening. Hinata herself couldn't really do anything except pay the bills and ring people up, so she contented herself with watching her friends and family members take turns with folding clothes and helping customers. It was only a matter of time before she would have to manage her chain of stores from her laptop.
That thought made her smile and she sipped her cucumber water, shaking her head. But the thought stuck. Maybe, when she had a little more experience and expertise, she could think about starting a chain of clothing stores. The idea had a certain appeal to it and Hinata could see herself at thirty, with her child, working from her front living room. She'd live a comfortable life, managing her chains and creating comfortable clothes for the everyday woman looking for a little help in the fashion department.
The baby kicked and she stifled a groan, rubbing her stomach. Maybe it liked the idea just as much as she did. It was certainly better than just sitting in her apartment, waiting for Sasuke to come home. She could feel it in her gut (and the baby too) that he would be home soon. She didn't know how many days, or weeks, or even months, but she knew he was coming. Soon. Which was all she really cared about.
Hinata blinked, turning her eyes from her large stomach to the woman in front of her. The woman who had ordered a set –lacy bra and boy shorts- in light blue and was to pick them up by Friday. Today. Her full lips stretched into a grin as Hinata smiled back and waddled towards the back. "Oh good, I thought you hadn't remembered me."
Hinata shook her head softly, smiling as she placed a hand on her lower back. "Of course not. Light blue, right?"
While she sorted through the clothes, Hinata thought about her life so far. A lot of things had happened. From Itachi coming to her home to Hiashi picking her up and cradling her like a child. Before, she had felt like she hadn't owed up to much, like she wasn't a purebred Hyuga. But with Sasuke's child and her shop up and running, she didn't know what to feel like. Things between her and Hiashi were hazy, awkward, but he was really trying to be there for her. She could say she had gotten strong from her experiences. She had to be, how else would she be able to take care of Sasuke's child?
"How far along are you?" The woman smiled down at her, her eyes covered by a pair of oversized Calvin Klein shades. "You're huge."
"Eight months." Hinata smiled softly as she took the set and walked back towards the register, the woman following close behind. "Everyone is holding their breath for me. We Hyuga aren't known for our easy birthing."
"Oh," the woman clucked her tongue empathetically. "I'm sorry to hear that. I hope all goes well, Hyuga-chan."
Hinata nodded, slipping the set into a pale blue, thin package box. She tied it with a piece of dark lavender ribbon before ringing it up. "Thank you. It means a lot that you care for me."
The woman rested a hand on her shoulder, smiling brightly. "I recommended you to all my friends, sweetie. So expect a few more customers." She tucked the package under her arm. "And my new husband is going to love to see these on our wedding night."
Hinata nodded, her smile dimming. "I wish you luck in your marriage."
The woman nodded, turning on her heel. She strode out of the doors and straight into a idling black Jaguar. Hinata sat back on her stool and took a sip of her water. She had wanted to get married a long time ago. When she was younger, she used to dream of wearing a puffy ivory dress with a veil and the whole nine yards. But now, she just wished for something simple and short. Like a wedding in the park on a sunny Spring day. A simple ivory dress. A simple ceremony. But it would make for an incredible moment in her otherwise chaotic life.
Hanabi flicked on the radio and J-pop streamed through the system Hiashi had had installed. Hinata laughed as her sister and Ino shimmied to the beat, folding shirts, arranging the displays and tidying up. Even a few customers bobbed to the beat, leafing through the racks. Hinata couldn't have felt happier.
It was around nearly seven that night something felt terribly wrong.
Hinata gritted her teeth as a sharp pain shot through her body. Pressing the heels of her hands to the cool counter tops in her apartment's kitchen, she breathed in, like in her Lamaze class. But that didn't stop it from spreading throughout her. It seemed to radiate outward, towards her stomach and through her head.
Her vision swam as she heard Kiba's laugh echo in her ears. The living room felt like it was a thousand miles away. But somehow, she made it to the doorway of the kitchen. She stumbled through the hall and had to lean against the doorway in her living room so she wouldn't throw up.
"Hina-hime?" Kiba looked at her, real concern in his eyes. He reached towards her and Hinata felt like her lungs were being compressed. Everything just . . . hurt. She felt like she was going to heave her lunch, snack and dinner all over the carpeting. Her skin was flushed, her body trembling. Everything felt out of whack.
And then the liquid between her legs.
Kiba sucked in a sharp breath, his arms wrapping around Hinata as her legs gave out beneath her. "Oh shit! I mean, oh damn! Hinata! Hinata, are you okay? Oh damn! oh shit! Fuck! You're bleeding!"
"What?" Hinata clamped her eyes shut as the buzzing in her ears grew. The whole room was blurry and she could see everyone beginning to panic, which made her heart rate kick up. Everything throbbed in the worst way possible and she couldn't tell if she wanted to lie down and go to sleep right there on the floor, or jump out the window to end her pain.
Kiba was ordering everybody around, everybody being Ino, Neji, TenTen, Hanabi, and Naruto. He supported her as they got her down his black Audi. TenTen was calling Sakura as she; Neji and Naruto rode in the car behind Kiba as he rushed Hinata, Ino and Hanabi to Sakura's clinic. And the whole way, all Hinata could think about was "Where is Sasuke?"
Shino frowned at his cell phone. It read one missed call. But he couldn't afford to answer right now because he was waiting for someone. A specific someone. A specific someone in a black leather jacket with a dark blue large duffle bag. And that specific someone was supposed to call him a quarter till eight, walk out of the airport and get into the back of his car so he could drive that someone home.
After seven forty-eight, a figure walked out, his shoulders hunched against the chilling cold of the night. His head was bowed, his hands in his pockets. He looked surprisingly put together for someone who had been on the run for nearly seven and a half months. His hair was a little longer, his body a little leaner, and his face a little softer. He looked like he had accomplished something, yet gained nothing from it.
Shino's grip on the steering wheel tightened. He popped the lock and Sasuke threw his bag in the trunk of the dark green Acura TL before sliding into the passenger seat. The strong scent of soup filled Shino's nose as he breathed deeply, pulling away from the curb at the waiting area of the airport. He wasn't going to ask any questions, because he knew at this moment, Sasuke was fighting a silent war with himself. He could tell by the haunted look in those onyx eyes.
Sasuke was the one to break the silence. "I guess I owe you, huh?"
Shino's jaw clenched. "You've got some nerve, Sasuke-san."
Sasuke closed his eyes, letting his head fall back. Underneath his jacket, he wore a white button-down with blue vertical stripes and khaki cargos. "Please, Aburame. I really don't feel like being yelled at."
"That's too damn bad," Shino gritted out, his brow creasing as his jaw clenched. "You've caused Hinata-chan a lot of heartache. You're lucky I even considered doing this for you're sorry ass."
The man beside him stayed quiet. Shino glanced out the corner of his eye and saw Sasuke's lip tremble. He stayed silent as Sasuke breathed deeply, dropped his head in his hands and hunched his shoulders. It was silent, but Shino felt his heart go out to the lone Uchiha. He knew what he had done, who he had hurt in the process. He knew the heartache, because he had it himself. How many times had he told Shino that if he heard Hinata's voice, he feared he would run home just to hold her close? A deep confession for a normally very masculine man.
Shino let the tension go in his jaw. It wasn't worth it, he realized. Sasuke was breaking from the inside out. "You'll have a lot of explaining to do. But I'm pretty certain she was waiting for you to come back this whole time."
Sasuke sighed. "She's not angry?"
"Hinata's not capable of getting angry. The last time I saw her get angry was when Kiba had selfishly shoved me off a swing in second grade. She gave him a lecture, then made us split her last sugar cookie to make sure we bore no grudges."
He glanced over at Sasuke to see a half smile grace his face. "Damn."
He chuckled, flipping open his phone to check his voice mail. The wind rushed out of him as he heard TenTen hold back tears, explaining Hinata's current predicament. Just fourty-two minutes ago, she had gone into the Haruno clinic, suffering from a possible miscarriage.
"Fuck!" he cursed, snapping his phone shut. This was not happening. Not his Hinata. His heart leapt into this throat as he shot forward, feeling as if he were racing against time to get to her side.
Sasuke blinked as Shino leaned forward in his seat, white-knuckling the steering wheel. "What? What is it?"
"Hinata," he gritted out between clenched teeth. "She went into the hospital, suffering from a possibly miscarriage."
Sasuke sucked in a breath, then said in a quiet voice, almost to himself. "She's pregnant?"
"Eight months." Shino took the corner hard and was glad to see that he was just within fifteen minutes of the clinic. Ten if he kept up his speed and didn't get caught by the police for speeding. "She kept the baby, though for the life of me, I don't know why."
"Thanks for the vote of confidence."
Shino shot him a look. "Don't fuck with me. You don't want to fuck with me right now, Sasuke-san."
Sasuke sighed, letting his head drop into his hands. "I feel like such an ass. I shouldn't have left her."
"Damn right," Shino agreed.
Sasuke shot him a look as they rounded another corner. "You are not helping."
"No," Shino snapped. Sasuke blinked as this usually calm and rational man took deep yogic breaths. In a perfectly reasonable voice that didn't match the frantic speed he was driving, he said, "Sasuke-san, I don't know what was best for you and Hinata. I don't know if absence makes the heart grow fonder or if you'll even see your child, by the way things are going. But I do know this. Hinata loves you and would give up her world to have you in her arms." He sighed softly, maintaining their break neck speed as Sasuke watched. "Do me a favor, Sasuke-san."
Shino let a smile slip onto his face. "Take better care of her than I was able to."
Sasuke blinked and nodded slowly. Suddenly, Shino was slamming on the brakes in the parking lot of the clinic. They bolted from the car, rushing through the automatic doors and down the halls like there was no tomorrow. And for Sasuke, he felt as if there would be no tomorrow for his child.
The baby survived, thank God.
Hinata smiled down at the bundle of joy in her arms. Uchiha Shinji had the blackest eyes and the creamiest skin she had ever seen. They reminded her of Sasuke. But then again, Shinji was like an exact replica of the man she had fallen in love with. She wasn't surprised by the least. He was silent, his eyes wandering over her with great concentration, as if trying to memorize every line, every trace in her face. There was an unmeasurable amount of love in their smokey depths, making sure she knew she was never without love in this world again.
Tears gathered in her eyes as she tucked him closer to her body. Her voice was barely above a hoarse whisper as she let his tiny fist curl around her slender digit. "You gave us such a scare. I thought you were going to leave me before you even came home."
He stared right at her and Hinata sniffled softly, staring right back as she brushed the black fuzz of his hair back. "You're more beautiful than I even realized." She turned her eyes away. "I wish your father were here to see you."
Shinji blinked and Hinata felt the tears streaming down her cheeks as she kissed his forehead. "He'd have loved to see how much you look like him. God, I miss him."
A nurse in white floral scrubs walked in, smiling softly. "Are you all right now, Miss Hyuga?"
Hinata nodded as Shinji's face pinched up. The nurse smiled down at him. "He's hungry. Maybe I'll leave you two alone for a few minutes."
Before she could thank the woman, she was gone, the curtain swishing closed behind her. Hinata swallowed around the cottany lump in her throat. Tucking Shinji against her, she breastfed him. It was a different sensation when Shinji suckled than when she made love with Sasuke. Maybe it was because there was different intimacy. A child suckling his mother's breast. A grown man tasting his girlfriend's tits. She smiled. There was a definite difference.
The curtains swished, but she kept her head bowed, supporting Shinji's frail body. An all too familiar said softly, "Wow."
Her head snapped up as she stared at Sasuke in wide-eyed shock. He was a little worse for wear, his hair longer and greasy looking in the fluorescent lighting of the hospital. He was leaner, as if he hadn't eaten a decent meal in a few months. Dark rings under his eyes hinted at lack of sleep, and by their color, he hadn't had that in a long while. But the smirk tugging at his lips was like going back in time. Hinata felt her heartrate kick up and her skin flush. Tears gathered behind her eyes, making her vision swim. For a moment, she thought she was seeing a ghost, or possibly even a mirage. But then he walked across the room, sat on the edge of the bed and watched as Shinji ate.
Hinata couldn't stop staring at him. She didn't know what to do. Shock and disbelief fought for control of her features. But after moment, she bowed her head, letting her tears fall. Sasuke was back. That's all that mattered. He was back, and Shinji was alive and she had been right. He had been coming home sooner.
Sasuke reached over and brushed his fingers over the black fuzz on their baby's head. For a moment, he didn't say anything, just stared in awe. He was in shock. He hadn't thought it was possible to love something this much. Hinata had given birth to their child, to their creation. He felt choked up, but wouldn't allow the tears to fall. He wouldn't cry, no matter how much he wanted to.
"I-I thought you were never coming back."
His eyes snapped up to meet the same lavender ones he had fallen in love with months ago. A smirk crossed his lips. "I'll always be back to see you. Don't ever think like that again."
Tears of joy fell down her cheeks as she cradled Shinji in her arms. "Everyone thought I was a f-fool for believing you would c-come back to see me again. Even I th-thought you weren't coming b-back." She looked to the baby in her arms. "I thought you w-would never get a c-chance to see your s-son either. But he's here, and so are . . . So are you." She snilffled. "I love you, Sasuke."
He leaned forward, pressing their foreheads together. The words sent his body into overdrive. He wanted to do so many things to her to make up for leaving her. But he knew it was useless. The only way he could ever make up for leaving her for so long was by never leaving her again. Shinji looked up at him with the most incredible eyes ever and Sasuke felt something much better than the satisfaction of knowing he had done something right for once shot through him. Fatherly love for his first born son.
"I love you, Hinata," he said forcefully. "And I will never leave you again. Not ever." His eyes flashed and Hinata felt the lump in her throat grow bigger as she nodded. He kissed her forehead, her cheeks, her eyes. He couldn't remember the last time he had held her so tenderly. It broke his heart, knowing he had hurt her, left her alone to fend for herself this harsh reality they shared.
He cradled her in his arms, resting his chin in her hair as she cradled a now sated Shinji. "Goddammit, I wish I could have been here to hold your hand." He sighed softly. "I'm a rat bastard. You should be hating me. I sure as hell am."
She smiled as Shinji gazed at Sasuke with interest. "All that matters is that you're here now." She nestled closer to him, suddenly tired and in need of some good ol' sleep. "You're here now."
Shinji blinked for a second before deciding he was tired. Sasuke felt a smirk descend on his lips. "If you say so."
Oh man, I'm more emotional than I realized.
Anyways, you probably know that this is the end. And it breaks my heart to say this but
I'm going to miss you.
At least I got 200+ reviews. It's sure a helluva lot better than I was expecting XD
I love you guys! You've been so nice to me! And Glamour Shots is still going so I guess that's good XD
Anyways, I'll miss you!
Lovin' ya 'cause ya lovin' me ~CocoaAngel95 :']