DISCLAIMER: I do NOT own Naruto.

AN:After reading reviews from the last chapter, I would like to apologise for any undue emotional distress caused by the contents of the last chapter. I am glad my story has gripped your attention, however, it was not my intention to make anybody cry.

Chapter Eight - Surprise

White hot pain surged through Sakura's entire body. Sasuke's confession stung her ears much more than his desperate grip was squeezing her hand. Her heart swelled, fit to burst, at his words, but shrivelled and died at what she had done.

The pain grew, spread, gripped her heart, her organs, even her lungs, and squeezed.

"I love you too, Sasuke-kun." whimpered Sakura as the pain grew even greater than before. "Oh Kami-sama!" she cried out. "What have I done!"

Fire erupted in Sakura's side. She screamed out in pain. Sasuke, too, seemed to be clutching at his side, bearing the shared agony once again.

"I'm sorry, Sakura!" he yelled, trying to be heard above the pain. "This is all my fault! I never should have.."

Sasuke's voice failed him. There was so much he wanted to tell her, so much he needed her to know but the words just wouldn't come. He did the only thing he could think of.

Sakura gasped as Sasuke's lips crashed down on to hers. She kissed him back almost instantly, desperate to hold on to him just a little while longer.

Suddenly, the pain stopped. No, not stopped, vanished.

Sakura's back arched off the bed, a strange spasm ricocheting through her. Sasuke held on to her tightly, keeping their lips, and hands, locked together. Nothing, and he meant nothing, was getting to come between them. Not now, not ever.

Sasuke made a silent vow that even if they had to adopt to have a family, he would never be with anyone else. Sakura was his world, his everything and even if it meant having to fight his way through Hell itself, he was staying by her side.

"What the…"

Naruto's shocked gasp drifted in to Sasuke's determined mind, causing him to pull his lips back from Sakura's, even if it was only slightly.

"Oh my…"

Tsunade's gasp of surprise joined in charged air of the room, causing Sasuke and Sakura to open their eyes and glance in her direction.

"Well…"

Even the Third Hokage was lost for words. Sasuke and Sakura pulled their faces away from each other and glanced, first at each other, then at the others in the room.

Kakashi suddenly burst out laughing. Sasuke found it more than a little irritating that his former sensei was laughing at a time like this. Laughing at them when they had just lost their child.

Neji groggily made his way to his feet. He shook his head, trying to clear it. Several odd gasps and a bizarre laugh rang out in the air around him. He shook his head again, his eyes regaining their focus.

"Uchiha…" he started. "…was that really necessary. A simple push might have.."

His eyes locked on to the truth of the scene before him.

"What's wrong with Sakura? Where are her pants?" he demanded. "And what the hell is that?!"

Sasuke followed Neji's insistent pointing, making a mental note to punch him again for looking at Sakura in her vulnerable state.

All thoughts of violence died when his eyes locked on to Sakura's right hip. More precisely, the beautiful Uchiha clan symbol on her right hip.

"It's…" he stammered. "It's back!"

Sakura gasped, looked for herself, and gasped again. She quickly tugged at Sasuke's pants, pulling the right side down slightly. She smiled a brilliantly bright, if somewhat confused, smile. She looked up at Tsunade, then Kakashi, then Naruto, who was close to tears himself, before finally locking on to Third Hokage.

"What does this mean?!" Sakura and Sasuke spoke as one.

Sarutobi smiled, scratched the back of his head, and smiled again. "If the marks are back, the bond is back. If the bond is back, it must mean that the…"

"The baby's alive!" announced Tsunade, her glowing green hands scanning over Sakura's abdomen.

"But…" started Naruto.

"How?" added Sakura.

"Is that possible?" Kakashi finished for them.

Sasuke pulled Sakura into a warm embrace as he spoke.

"I don't know, or care." he kissed Sakura's cheek tenderly. "All I know, is I've got my wife and our baby back. That's good enough for me!"

"Wait a minute!!" announced Neji, his mouth fighting not to drop open in shock. "Wife?! Baby?!"

Naruto patted Sasuke on the back while gently laying a hand on Sakura's shoulder. "What? You guys were worried?! Come on…" he beamed at them. "Everyone knows, it takes more than that to take down an Uchiha!"

Laughter erupted around the room, shortly followed with congratulations.

***

"Messy little son of a…"

The librarian's voice trailed off as she gathered up the scattered pages and books. The room had looked like a battle field when she finally dared to go back in there. She was positive now that, evacuating the library when that growling Uchiha boy burst in, had been the right course of action.

"He better have found what he was looking for!" she announced to the empty, but now tidier, room. "There's no way he's getting back in here again."

She picked up the last scroll and was just about to roll it up and place it back, when the telephone in the hallway began to ring. She set the scroll down on a nearby table and went to answer the call.

The top of the scroll read: The Ancient Rite Of Separation.

The bottom of the scroll rolled off the edge of the table, exposing the text at the very end of the writing.

Please note: Should any intimate contact between the Union pair occur before the marks have completely disappeared, Union will restart and the process of the Rite will become useless.

The librarian returned, muttering about wrong numbers, picked up the scroll, rolled it back up and placed it neatly back on the shelf it came from.

"Kids these days!" she sighed.

The End

AN: Just to let you all know, I am thinking about possibly writing a sequel to Union. Let me know what you think. It would take a while for me to write it but, let's face it, matching a story like this one is NOT going to be an easy task.