A/N: I think this is the first time in a long time that I actually respected my deadlines, haha!
(Yes, their new house is in Chicago, where Sasuke said he had to make a detour.)
By The Terrorist
Dreams Do Come True
A small whine slid past Sakura's lips as she felt the clutches of consciousness slowly beginning to pull at her. Furrowing her brows, she shifted and pushed her head into the pillow, exhaling contently once she had found a more comfortable position and the bothersome sensation disappeared.
The warm feeling only lasted for a moment, though, as the sleeve on her nightgown was once again tugged and a sound began to filter through her sleep-clouded mind.
The voice was closer now, and with yet another displeased groan, Sakura opened her eyes. Instead of being met by the unforgiving light the bay windows in her bedroom offered her on a day to day basis, however, she was met with darkness. Frowning, she tried to chase the sleep away from her eyes as she turned her head in the direction of the familiar voice, concern flooding her system as she noticed her five-year-old daughter standing at the edge of the bed.
"Sweetie? What's wrong?" she whispered in the silence of the bedroom; pushing herself into a sitting position, she opened her arms wide, an offer the little girl took as she crawled further into the bed and nestled in her mother's embrace. "What happened?"
"It's snowing," she answered, big green eyes staring back at her in the darkness, but there was no excitement she had come to associate with the declaration.
"I know," the pinkette answered, choosing her words carefully while tucking a lock of dark hair behind her ear. "It's been snowing for days, Emi."
"But it's snowing really hard now," she countered. "And I can hear the wind."
As soon as she heard her words, Sakura had a sneaking suspicion she knew what this scenario was all about.
Emi hated thunderstorms – completely loathed them – and ever since she found out that snow was just frozen water, she seemed to have taken a dislike to snowstorms, as well. Her mother doubted that she was afraid of them, though, and leaned towards believing that she was simply looking for an excuse to sleep in her father's arms.
It was amazing how much she loved him, and how much Sasuke returned the feeling – how much he showed her that. She was truly a daddy's girl. Even when she was little, and Sasuke entered the room, she would start squirming in the arms of whoever was holding her, and would only calm down when he was beside her. She even used to kick when she heard him talk. It was as if she had always been able to sense his presence. Though there seemed to be something about the Uchiha men in general, because she also adored her grandfather and especially her uncle.
Sasuke loved her more than anything, too. He was always eager to spend time with her, something that Sakura found to be extremely sweet. He helped her with her homework and took her with him to work. She never had to ask for anything, and when she did, she had it in an instant. Sakura would complain that he was spoiling her, because he was, but the truth was that they both took care that she would grow into an amazing person despite having had everything at the fingertips the moment she was born.
But of course, Emi was too stubborn and cared about her pride a little too much to admit that she wanted to sleep with her parents at her age – even though it was clear that Sasuke would never deny her that – so she used an excuse. And of course she would insist on keeping it up even when he wasn't home, because she didn't want to ruin the appearances.
Too bad Sakura knew both her and her father so well.
Kissing her forehead, the pinkette smiled down at her daughter. "How about a cup of hot chocolate?" she suggested. "And then you can sleep with me."
In response, she received a nod and a wide smile.
"Come on." Letting her slide from her lap, Sakura ran a hand through her tangled hair and heaved a quiet sigh. By the time she had pushed the covers aside and slung her legs over the edge of the bed, Emi had already skipped out of the room, leaving her to shake her head at her enthusiasm. Pausing for a moment to wrap a robe around her silk nightgown, she found her warm slippers and followed after her daughter, a smile creeping up her lips as she noticed that all the lights on the way to the kitchen were lit.
The raven-haired girl had already taken a seat at the table, and Sakura made her way towards the cupboards where they stored the hot chocolate both of them liked. Sasuke avoided that section of the kitchen like the plague, but she supposed that after so many years of marriage, the situation could only amuse her.
"Mommy, when is Daddy coming back home?" she heard her daughter ask, and she didn't know whether to smile or roll her eyes.
"In just a few days, Emi," she answered, moving around the kitchen with ease.
"That's what you said the last time I asked!" she exclaimed in indignation.
Sakura didn't need to turn around to know that she was pouting.
"And the last time you asked was last night," she countered, throwing her a knowing look over her shoulder.
As expected, Emi was slouched into her seat with her arms crossed over her chest and her lips in a pout.
Sakura smiled. "Emi, we both miss him," she started in a gentle tone, pausing her activities to walk over to where she was seated and crouch down in front of her. "I would bring him back if I could, but we both know that I can't. Your father has to work, and there's nothing either of us can do about that."
The words seemed to deflate her countenance. "I know."
"Then stop pouting," Sakura said, poking her nose adoringly. She stood and was halfway across the kitchen when a muffled noise caught her attention, making her eyebrows draw together. "Where's Boomer?" she asked her daughter, but she seemed just as confused as she was.
She shrugged. "I left him in my room. I think he went back to sleep, since he was too lazy to follow me," she explained.
"Stay here," Sakura ordered as she walked out of the kitchen and made her way towards the source of the noise, passing the living room and entering the small hallway near the entrance.
Her eyes widened when they came across a shadow looming in the doorway and a gasp escaped her lips when she realized that she recognized that shadow.
"Sasuke!" she exclaimed, and thought of nothing else as she jumped into his arms. He was cold and smelled of winter, and when she pulled back, she saw rapidly melting snowflakes in his dark hair. "What are you doing here?" she asked, but didn't give him a chance to answer as she cupped his face within her hands and kissed him.
He had been due to come back in under another week, and she was truly curious to hear his reasons for having lied to her, but feeling his lips on hers seemed to be more important, especially after having spent two whole weeks apart.
Sasuke chuckled into their kiss. "Well, I would tell you if you let me," he said.
Sakura pulled back, playfully slapping his arm. "Shut up!" she commanded, adoration as clear as day in her green eyes, before she wrapped her arms around his neck in a tight embrace. "You have no idea how much I missed you!"
He buried his face into her pink hair and breathed her in, his arms tightening around her as he murmured, "I think I might have one, actually."
She smiled softly from where she had stuck her head into the crook of his neck, and had every intention of pressing his lips back to his, but their tender moment was interrupted as little footsteps thundered down the hallway and an obviously excited voice called out, "Daddy!"
The parents managed to detangle themselves from their embrace just as their daughter came into sight, giving Sasuke enough time to catch her as she practically flew into his arms.
"What are you both doing up at this hour?" he asked, brows furrowing.
Sakura smiled. "Well, your daughter remembered that she isn't too fond of snowstorms – and we decided that some hot chocolate would warm us up," she explained.
"Emi, what did I tell you?" Sasuke asked, his gaze turning towards his daughter. "Didn't I tell you not to bother your mother too much?"
In response, the girl smiled the dazzling, sheepish smile she knew always got her what she wanted. "Yeah, but you weren't there, so…"
"Stop being silly," Sakura cut in with a roll of her eyes. "I'm her mother, that's what I'm here for. Now, let's let Daddy get more comfortable while we finish making our hot chocolate, alright?"
When he came back downstairs, he found both his wife and his daughter on the couch, giggling as they lightly tickled each other. Had he been any other type of man, Sasuke would have smiled at the sight.
Sakura was such an amazing mother – not too stern, but not too yielding, either. She imposed respect naturally, but she would give everything in return. She would listen to the silliest things Emi told her and even so, she would know how to give her a good advice. Everything with her had an answer, every problem a solution, and while that had always reassured Sasuke, now it did the same for their daughter. Emi might seem like a daddy's girl, but Sasuke knew she adored her mother just as much.
"What are you two doing?" he asked as he made his way further into the living room, walking around the couch to take a seat next to his family. Emi jumped on him in the next second, and as stories from school and home, of friends and grandparents and uncles and a mother filled his ears, Sasuke barely had a moment to see Sakura's soft smile as she watched him.
Eventually, the chatter died down, as the wind howled outside and the snow kept on falling. The focus of the conversation shifted to Sasuke and Sakura, and Emi nestled up against her father and rested her head on his chest, savoring the warmth and protection of his arms that she had missed so much. Slowly but surely, her eyes began to drop, and as much as she wanted to spend more time with her father, the sensation was too much to bear and the comfort was too big to resist; the voices of her parents lulled her to sleep.
"How have you been feeling?" Sasuke asked, one of his hands coming to rest on his wife's stomach, revealing the barely-there bump her loose nightgown hid.
"…Better," she answered after a slight moment of hesitation.
His eyes narrowed. "That didn't sound very convincing to me."
"I'm still not feeling perfect," she explained. "But I'm better. Your mother was there for me whenever I needed her." Mikoto may have stayed behind when they moved to Chicago, but with both of her sons away, there was nothing truly tying her to that place, so when she found out she had a beautiful baby granddaughter, she flew across the country to see her. The moment she held her in her arms for the first time, she swore she was never leaving her side again, and Sakura had found in her something she had never had – a mother.
"Good," Sasuke said, tucking a lock of hair behind her ear.
She smiled widely. "I'm so happy you're home," she gushed.
"Aa," he answered. "Me too."
Pouting, she cocked her head to the side in a childish manner. "Don't leave again."
"I won't," he assured her, either ignoring the fact that she was joking or not picking up on it at all. "I wouldn't have left if it hadn't been completely necessary."
Smiling, Sakura decided not to start an argument over his protectiveness – not that night. "I know," was all she said.
Sasuke had been adamant about not leaving her alone when she was pregnant with Emi, and she wasn't sure how, but he had done it. Managing an entire company was definitely more challenging than it would have been if Neji had been there with him, so Sakura had no idea to whom he delegated every single business trip, but he had managed the impossible and stuck by her side throughout the entire pregnancy and most of Emi's first months of life.
He was even home more often than usual – suspiciously more often. She would have grown annoyed that he insisted so much on pampering her, and she had been on the verge of screaming at him a couple of times, but ultimately, she knew that he did it out of love for both her and their child, so she had always refrained herself from commenting.
She had finally put her foot down when Sasuke, knowing that there was no way he could evade this particular business trip, had started to brood for hours in an effort to find a way out. The pinkette could not deny that, so far, this pregnancy had been worse than the one before, what with her throwing up for hours consecutively in the mornings, but she could handle herself.
That didn't mean it wasn't a relief to finally have her husband back at home, though.
"We missed you," she whispered, caressing his cheek. "Emi's been asking about you at least twice a day."
Sasuke huffed an amused breath, a small smirk present on his face as he gazed down at his now asleep daughter, running his fingers through her long hair. Maybe it was the fact that he hadn't been away from them in so long or maybe it was the worry constantly present in his gut when he thought about his wife's condition, but he had missed his family more than usual. He was glad to have been able to arrive before the weather got any worse and the airports closed down completely.
"We should go to bed," Sakura said, her voice hushed, as she stood to gather the empty cups on the coffee table.
Sasuke shifted Emi in his arms until he was able to pick her up; the girl wrapped her small arms around his neck and buried her face into his chest even in her unconscious state. He decided not to wait for his wife as he climbed up the stairs and headed for his daughter's bedroom; with the warmth of the chocolate in her system and the knowledge of her father home in her mind, she didn't even stir as the cool sheets touched her back and the comforter was tucked around her. After stopping for a moment to brush the dark locks of hair away from her face and place a kiss on her forehead, Sasuke stood and silently moved out of the room, the door closing softly behind him.
He met Sakura down the hallway, halfway to their room. The pinkette had obviously decided to put off washing the cups until the following day and she wrapped her arms around his waist, titling her head back to receive a kiss – a wish that Sasuke granted her whole-heartedly.
"I don't think there's any chance of us getting out of the house tomorrow," she murmured as she buried her face into the crook of his neck. "So we can look forward to sleeping in and cuddling by the fire…"
Sasuke smirked in her hair. "We can send Emi to her grandparents…" he suggested, flattening his hands on the small of her back.
Sakura laughed. "I don't think Emi's going to be so willing to leave the comfort of her father's presence after so much time spent missing it."
He rolled his eyes. "It's only for one night."
"Tell that to your daughter," she countered with a grin.
"I will," he replied confidently. "And I'll promise to buy her something, too."
The pinkette threw her head back, but this time, her laugh was cut off by his lips.
"I love you," she told him gently after they had broken apart, green eyes boring into his.
Sasuke tucked a lock of hair behind her ear. "I love you, too."
It was not often that she heard the words, so she smiled – so sweetly and so genuinely and so brightly that Sasuke wondered, for the umpteenth time, what exactly he had done to deserve such an amazing woman.
"Come on," she said, tugging on his hand. "Let's go to bed."
In the end, he always reached the same conclusion. It didn't matter. What mattered was her, Emi, the child they had on the way – the family he had never dared to dream of having. And for that, he would be forever grateful to Sakura – for being in his life and for remaining there in spite of anything and everything.
A/N: This is it. A huge thank you goes to everybody who supported me! And I guess if you follow my other stories, we shall hear from each other again soon!
(Updates may slow down from now on, though, because my last year of high-school is about to start, and I have a feeling I will be much, much busier than I would like.)
Emi basically means blessing, grace, kindness, and beauty – all together; but Uchiha Emi sounds good, and that's probably more important.
Also! I have set up a poll on my profile for you to help me decide which stories I will focus on in my free time (meaning, when I'm not in the mood to write anything of what I've already posted). You have two choices, but please use them only to vote for a story from each category—Naruto and Shaman King—since I will choose one from each. So, using both votes for the two Naruto stories doesn't make my choice or my life any easier.
Review, please! You will receive chocolate chip cookies to celebrate the fact that I can finally, after three long years, mark this story as complete! Yayyy!
Much love! :)