Theme 15: Supporting the Other
Sakura's pregnancy had been the most cherished, guarded, and monitored of all history of the whole Sunagakure no Sato.
She had suspected, of course, when Matsuri and Temari started visiting the classroom at the hospital at random times. Kankurou invariably came around to pick her up at the end of the day, and when he couldn't come, it was Gaara himself that appeared and almost had to carry her away from her desk. It was most bothersome, the way they babied her.
However, she really couldn't complain. She had been pretty much treated like an expecting mother by her people at the hospital, thankfully, but the rest of the citizens, her family, and her hubby had a severe case of overprotective-ness that had her at her wit's end.
Tsunade hadn't been of much help, from what she could gather from the latest letter from the Hokage. A new threat that appointed her husband at the receiving end of an iron fist belonging to the Slug Princess if he mistreated Sakura was the only thing she had written, but at the end of the week her former team, along with Shizune, had made a spectacular entrance into the Village Hidden in the Sand.
Naruto had been ecstatic with the news. It had been one of the few times Sakura could see how Gaara had looked positively alarmed, when their blond friend asked them to name the child after him. However, she hadn't been so diplomatic, smacking her brother silly and sending him sailing off the balcony of their apartment as her answer to such a stupid request.
Sai, of course, had become such a nuisance that it took Gaara's sand to restrain a righteously enraged Temari from killing the ink artist's because of his clueless potty mouth. Sakura had laughed so hard when he said that her pregnancy confirmed the Kazekage's tastes in ugly women, but Temari hadn't been so permissive with the pale man.
And regarding her former sensei and the resident pervert in her homeland, Kakashi had congratulated them warmly, but warned both Kazekage and Kazehime about the restraints they would have to bear thanks to the presence of a little one in their lives. He had said it with so much consternation that she couldn't help but laugh at Gaara's incredulous look at the Copy Ninja.
It had been quite the hilarious episode, but as Shizune finished the physical she performed on the expecting mommy and convinced herself that Sakura was as healthy as a mother bear, Team Kakashi and addendums returned to the Leaf with nothing much except for many, many promises to keep in touch through letters and to send their baby a ton of gifts.
Now, at the sixth month of her term, she was about to, quite literally, choke a bitch in frustration.
"I'm sorry, Sakura-sama," Baki was saying with a concerned face. "My orders are to be your bodyguard until Kankurou and Temari return from their missions."
"Oh, Baki-san! Don't pay attention to my husband! He's being overbearingly protective these days! I'm telling you, I am o-k-a-y. I know that I'm fine, my health is in top condition."
Said ninja nodded. "However, last week's episode with the Kazekage wasn't pleasant at all, Sakura-sama," Baki continued with a worried frown. "Gaara-sama's saying that the medic attending your case was at the verge of molesting you."
Sakura rolled her eyes. "He was performing a chakra sonogram! That intern is my most proficient student in chakra controlled examinations!"
"But Gaara-sama thinks that you must be protect—"
"Gaara-sama needs to be reminded of who his wife is from time to time," the Kazehime growled in annoyance, but then she changed tactics and looked up pleadingly to the obviously uncomfortable former sensei of her in-law family. "Please go away? I won't say anything."
Baki lowered his head. "Ask anything else from me, Sakura-sama, and it shall be done."
That particular discussion ended in a pouting Sakura, a sweat-dropping ANBU-ranked Baki, and massive headaches for the both of them.
"You are in so much trouble, Sabaku no Gaara," was the growled murmur that ended that council meeting, along with a door that swung open with a bang that pretty much made the elders jump in their seats. Most of them had seen their Kazehime perform in battle or a sparring session, but they were always surprised of the amount of strength the seemingly petite and sweet pink-haired kunoichi wielded.
And despite how beautiful she looked with her developing belly, one must never forget that she was the Godaime Hokage's Apprentice...
Especially when she looked as pissed off as she looked now.
"Honorable elders," the redheaded man that had been threatened by his very own wife droned calmly and unperturbed by the interruption, calling once more for the attention of the venerable geezers. "We will schedule a new meeting in regards of the agenda for the summer season. This will be all."
As the old men hastened to vacate the place, a glowingly beautiful and very pregnant Sakura glared daggers, kunai, and tanto knives at her beloved but arrogant husband. What she didn't know was that Gaara's sentiments over the whole pregnancy had been very much like those of a dragon that watched over its scaled fledgling. The council had tried to have a say about their forthcoming child, only to have Gaara's temper shutting them up about the matter for good.
However, as the Godaime Kazekage watched his wife making her way towards him and Baki lingering at the door with a worried look, he wasn't at all afraid to admit to himself that a pissed off, pregnant Sabaku no Sakura was one of the most intimidating visions he had encountered in his entire life.
And he had seen quite the sights, like a humongous statue with many eyes taking his life and the sealed bijuu away.
"Give me one reason not to pack my stuff and return to Konoha right now," she growled, emerald eyes almost gleaming with fury. "Who do you think you are, making Baki-san shadow me like I am some sort of prisoner?!"
Gaara had no qualms in letting out an obvious sigh of weariness.
"Leave us, Baki."
The sound of a door closing softly was the only thing that broke the tense silence. Sakura was about to start her annoyed tirade when her redheaded husband stood from his chair, rounded the desk, and approached her with a firm step. She frowned at him, but he merely raised his hand and, slowly as you please, placed it over her stomach.
"Let me take care of you," he murmured softly, raising his jade eyes to hers. His gaze was soft, openly showing the emotion he felt when he looked at the product of their love. "I can't follow you around all the time, I exhaust too much chakra. Temari and Kankurou aren't returning from their assignments until next week."
"I think it's great you want to protect me and all, Gaara, but what you did with my student was out of line," she scolded him, not falling for his show of care like she had before. "I told you I was fine, and yet you almost butchered the poor guy because he was following my orders."
Gaara scowled inwardly at the memory of the male with his hands over his wife's belly. "Let a female doctor oversee your progress."
"You do realize you're jealous, right?" Sakura shot back without missing a beat. "What makes you think I'd leave the man I love and I'm bearing a child for right now? I promised you, Gaara. You are my life, along with this little one we're waiting for."
He dropped his shoulders in defeat. No matter how much he tried to resist her sincerity, he just could not. This, coupled with the fact that he couldn't pull the honesty act as well as she did, had him completely at her mercy.
Damn her and damn her open feelings.
However, it had been clear to him that she always told him the truth. She loved him with all she had, even going to the point to giving him—him, the monster of Suna—a wonderful but altogether terrifying idea: an heir.
There were times that he really didn't know what he was going to do when the baby was born. Sakura always reassured him, telling him that they were going to be okay, but sometimes, he wasn't so sure...
But when they sat together watching the sunset, he felt the movements inside her belly and he couldn't help but feel thoroughly amazed by the miracle of life. A miracle they propitiated together.
He blinked from his reverie when he noticed her rubbing her back in obvious discomfort. "What's wrong?" he asked promptly.
"I'm just tired," she answered absently as she lowered herself to a chair. "This baby is moving so much I feel like it's doing some mortal jumps inside me."
He dragged a chair next to hers and placed his hands over her stomach, feeling their child's movements. "It has been rather active, hasn't it?"
"Yeah...although we should stop calling it an 'it.' I was informed of the baby's gender this morning."
Gaara's eyes flew to hers. "A boy?"
Sakura shook her head with a brilliant, shimmering smile. "Nope."
There had been only a couple of times when the pink-haired Kazehime had seen her husband looking so openly surprised. When he fought with a man that was so fast that his sand couldn't follow; when he realized he wasn't the only one fighting to reaffirm his existence but for entirely different reasons...and when their dear friend Naruto welcomed him back to the living world with a sincere, happy smile.
"We're having a daughter?" Gaara whispered, so softly that she almost missed the reverence in his voice. Her smile widened when she noticed how his hands had frozen over her belly.
"Hey, now," she said tenderly, slipping her hand on his face and coaxing him to look at her. "We'll be fine."
"How can you be so sure?" he asked, genuinely curious. "You always say everything is going to be fine, and yet you don't tell me how you know that."
Sakura laughed, placing her other hand on his and moving them over her stomach, as they felt how their baby responded to their voices and chakra. "It's simple, love," she murmured. "I love you, and I know you love me...right?"
He nodded firmly, still bewildered at how she managed to put his feelings into words when he didn't know how to himself. She traced the kanji on his forehead and gave him another smile so beautiful that he just stared in silent awe.
"Then we both have enough love to take care of and protect this little girl, right? We are going to make sure she's the happiest girl in the whole world. Together."
Such heartfelt words, so honest and caring, he thought, fighting the sudden knot that appeared in his throat. "Yes, together."
"We have been walking together since I came here for you, Gaara. And as long as I live, I'll keep on loving and caring for you."
Gaara realized that, despite the past, the greatest gift that life could have ever given him was, to put it simply, Sakura.
He had to be grateful of this second life for that particular factor especially.
"I...I need to learn how," he murmured, tracing his fingertips on her taut skin. "I fear I...might do something wrong."
"I know, but get this, Gaara," she said with that tone she used when she promised to be with him always. "We'll try together. We'll work hard to be the parents she deserves."
He nodded. "We'll try our best."
"Yes, we will," she answered, caressing the red head that rested on her belly. "We'll try our best together."
- Tenna' ento lye omenta -
AN: And this is finally done! Can you believe I did these themes in less than a month? My friends say that I'm quite insane. And I can't prove them wrong, really. :3
For the final theme you get an unhealthy dose of fluff and the gender of their baby. No names because I don't want to follow the cliché of naming the girl after Gaara's mother or Tsunade. I'm just going to let you put whatever name you like to the GaaSaku girl. :P
As for Gaara, I'm sure he will learn to be a wonderful father; caring, fiercely protective...I really pity the boy that ever tries to woo the Kazekage's daughter, honestly. XD
As usual, I give my heartfelt thanks to MelissaRose85 for her wonderful input as a beta, and to you guys for reading! 8D I had tons of fun writing this series. I might write a few more with other pairings, haha.