Days had passed and both TenTen and little Yuuko had grown quite fond of Izanagi, TenTen had begun to think this would be what a grandmother or even a mother would feel like. Yuuko's cheeks were glowing a bright pink, the picture of health after Izanagi's treatments and care.
"Izanagi-san, I-" TenTen froze as Izanagi's had shot palm flat at her face.
"She's found us. Go! I will buy you time. Keep straight and do not be fooled as you continue. Yuuko is strong but her strength can only go so far without you, you must be stronger." Izanagi said shoving her further along the path and sealing the cave off with a solid rock wall.
"Izanagi..." TenTen whispered to no one. Yuuko began to fuss in TenTen's arms and TenTen cuddled her closer picking herself up and running as fast as she could away from the silent rock wall.
She continued on straight as Izanagi had said and she came to a forked path. How was she to continue straight if the path forked. She looked at Yuuko was was watching her quietly with her large, pale, lavender eyes.
"If only I could have kept your eyes for just a while longer." She begged. Yuuko fussed and TenTen rocked her moving towards the forked path's separating wall to bang her head in desperation. It helped her think. Her head passed through the wall and she nearly fell with Yuuko in her arms.
"A genjutsu?" She whispered. An explosion setting off behind her in the cave got her running full speed again.
'Straight, Straight, Straight.' She continued to tell herself hoping she wouldn't walk straight into a wall and pass out. Was she close to the exit? She didn't know, how long could Yuuko hold on?
Up ahead a tiny almost invisible dot of light peered at her. Her heart raced, she sped towards it hoping, praying, begging any and all mighty beings that it indeed was outside light.
Her feet swung past one another at inhumane speeds her head spinning with hope.
Neji, Ino, Kiba, and Akamaru sped along the ground above the tunnels following them to whatever strange exit they would find. The tunnels took them threw forests, mountains, and wide open valleys all covered in thick frozen layers of snow.
"W-What the fuck. S-She gets to be a-all cozy while we freeze our a-a-asses off?!" Ino chattered noisily shivering at the chilled air that bit at her skin.
"Shut up. You aren't the one who just gave birth out in the wild and ran several thousand miles, while holding and caring for that baby!" Kiba yelled out.
Neji was silent eyes constantly on the tunnels to catch any possible movement he could see.
So far there was no sign of TenTen, nor Tai Ming, but you could never be too careful. Morning turned to night and back to morning repeatedly as they continued to cross the various landscapes the tunnels transcended. Few rests were taken when absolutely unavoidable, then in a few hours they returned to their search.
Neji cringed his Byuakugan began to burn from over use. The tunnels blurred and he shut his eyes tight rubbing them violently. This was no time to surrender to fatigue. He opened his eyes and a few kilometers from them he could see the end of the tunnels.
"Th-!" He started.
"I sense people! Several thousand. I think we may have finally reached Shimo!" Ino said her teeth chattering in between each sound she made.
"Let's hurry!" Kiba said pulling ahead, the others followed.
They slid to a stop finally in front of the cave's only other exit. Out of breathe and out of drive the three slumped before the exit waiting for someone to show themselves from the tunnel, they would wait to ambush them. Both day and night passed twice yet still no one had come up from the exit.
"Something isn't right."
"Let's go in and get her then." Kiba offered. The other two nodded following after him into the hole.
Kiba, Ino, and Neji all stood gazing down at a bloodied body strewn on the floor a few feet from where they stood. An elderly lady with fading red hair, and a kind expression on her face as she lay in eternal slumber.
"Who...This can't be...The person accompanying TenTen?" Ino whispered. Her eyes darted to Neji who stood frozen his lips tightened into a white line.
"Look TenTen's body ain't here, we have to get back out! There's no way TenTen died that easy!" Kiba said looking away from the lifeless elderly woman sprinting for the door.
Neji gazed a moment longer walking after the two sprinting shinobi. He whispered thanks to the motionless body wishing he had time to bury her properly in thanks.
TenTen shot up eyes darting about the room. How she gotten here? Where exactly was here? Memories darted in and out of her head and she relaxed. After finally making it to the end of the tunnels she burst into the blistering cold weather of Shimogakure. Yuuko cried quietly bearing the cold as best she could, TenTen held her as close to her as possible pushing through the snow.
Finally reaching the village's gates she was forced to her knees by exhaustion and the chill encasing her bones. Yuuko was snatched from her hands and as her vision faded a man tossed her over his shoulder and she let the darkness consume her.
They must have taken them to their hospital. She definitely had to thank Izanagi when she could, She and Yuuko stood no chance without her. A loud clanging came from a ways down the hall. Looking around the room Yuuko was no where to be found and a babies cries echoed down the same halls. A searing pain ran through her body and she rushed down the hall and burst into the noisy room.
Tai Ming stood covered in blood, her hair a mess, face bruised and beaten. TenTen nearly felt sorry for the woman until her eyes laid upon her beautiful little Yuuko dangling by her tiny foot in the injured woman's hands. The nurses and doctors bodies lay strewn about the hospital floor and Tai Ming laughed haughtily.
"Your eyes are finally mine. Did you really think you could escape me?!" She yelled out laughing even louder. TenTen glared daggers through the woman.
"Yuuko," TenTen said her eyes burning, the veins around her eyes swelling and throbbing slightly. "is my baby, I. will. not. let. you. harm. her." TenTen growled through her teeth. Her eyes faded pale white and TenTen shot various weapons from her scroll knocking Tai Ming to the wall behind her and making her drop Yuuko. TenTen slid to catch her baby, tossing her gently on the table behind her and spun to find Tai Ming right in front of her.
"You-!" Tai Ming tried to say a malicious grin on her face, TenTen interrupted throwing her palms out towards the woman and seeing bodily fluids shoot from her mouth from the impact. Her hands continued on their own continuing to slam into the woman various exponentially increasing times. With her final blows Neji Ino and Kiba burst into the room to see the last two strikes land on Tai Ming's chest finally leaving her dead.
Neji, Ino and Kiba stared in disbelief shrugging it off for the moment to grab their friend, her child and immediately evacuate the hospital. TenTen rode on Kiba's back and Ino carried Yuuko using a one handed mystical palm to check her well being
"The Byuakugan is a dominant kekkei genkai that usually gives mothers the strength to protect their children, however I have never seen it reveal techniques. Yet again, I have not seen it outside of the clan. This must not be reported to anyone." Neji said quietly. Ino moved beside him.
"I don't know how long you have, ,but she's doing great and looks pretty excited to meet you." Ino said softly pushing the baby towards Neji. Neji nearly smiled at the sight of the tiny being.
"Her name is Yuuko." TenTen called from on Kiba's back.
"Welcome home, Ms. Yuuko." Neji told the baby who smiled at whatever he'd said.
TenTen beamed at the sight glad Neji reacted so kindly.
Days had passed since they'd begun walking. They were close to their village, TenTen could feel the worry bubble up inside her stomach.
"The circumstances for Yuuko's birth were not predictable, nor were they either of our concious decisions, I am sure she will not die, but as for you or me, I do not know." Neji said noticing the worried look she had while looking down at their sleeping girl.
Ino and Kiba walked ahead giving them the space to discuss what they needed to.
The gates were now in sights they'd be home by night fall. TenTen never felt such bittersweet feelings seeing the village gates before. She coddled Yuuko closer to her chest whispering to the baby who smiled regardless.
"Yuuko, my precious little one, you were so strong for me, I hope you know I love you no matter what happens in the future." TenTen said tears beginning to well in her eyes.
TenTen looked up to see the entire Hyuuga family waiting for them at the gates.
"They must have sensed my chakra." Neji whispered bitterly.
Hiashi stepped forward a stern but passive look on his face as he held his arms out for the child. TenTen shook tears now creeping down her dirty cheeks.
"No..." She whispered. Hiashi's brows furrowed in slight irritation. "No...I can't give her to you..unless...unless you promise me. Promise me she won't be harmed! She has to live no matter what happens to me. Please!" She begged between soft sobs clutching Yuuko tightly. Yuuko fussed slightly and Hanabi walked up sliding the baby away from her mother to cuddle her.
Yuuko gave her a friendly smile mirroring Hanabi's. "Aww she likes me father!" Hanabi said showing her father the baby's smile. Hiashi glanced over and looked back at TenTen.
"Father please, this child may be illegitimate, but it was not a concious nor consensual agreement between the two like stated in our laws. She does not have to be killed!" Hinata called out quietly behind her younger sister.
Neji stepped forward bowing before his uncle.
"I will take full responsibility for any and everything related to this child and see to it that she and all that she does is nothing but the best for our clan." Neji said remaining in his bow.
"She will be branded at age three as Neji's daughter." Hiashi said silencing everyone.
TenTen continued to sob on the floor hugging her body from the loss of Yuuko's body.
"You however, are to leave this village and take refuge in our allied village Sunagakure. I do not want you anywhere near my nephew nor his daughter. He will wed a Hyuuga born and bred woman with whom he will raise his child." Hiashi said looking down at TenTen and walking away after no answer was given.
"You will leave when your health has returned and arrangements have been made." He finished off motioning for the other Hyuugas to follow him.
TenTen continued to sob inaudibly into her hands her friends watching in silent despair.
TenTen stared out the window of her hospital bedroom. It was her final exam before she was sent of to Suna. She hadn't seen Yuuko since that night and judging by the look on Hiashi's face she wouldn't be seeing her when she left. Her things were long since packed and shipped ahead of her, her papers sighed and inside her pack. Sakura and Tsunade burst into the room.
"TenTen, I'm so sorry it had to end this way. You are fully healthy and unfortunately this is the last time we will see you here. Goodbye. Take good care of yourself." Sakura said nearly in tears.
Tsunade said nothing only looking away with a miserable expression on her face. TenTen grabbed her pack and gave them a smile before shutting the door behind her.
Today would be the last time she ever walked this hall, the last time she'd ever feel the cool breeze tickle at her elbows, the last time her shoes would tread these earthen roads. This was her last day as a Konoha shinobi. She took her final steps to the gate before a hand settled on her shoulder to stop her.
Turning she found Neji holding their child up for her to see one final time.
"I'm very sorry TenTen please, please forgive me." Neji begged. TenTen smiled kissing Yuuko's forehead and letting a tear fall onto her face.
"You know, i didn't spend much time with her outside of me, but I grew to love her so much. If I'd known it'd have been this hard, I might have just run away with Yuuko to some far away place. But she belongs here in Konoha with her clan who can teach her. Take good care of her Neji." She said turning to leave the village one last time.
Three days it took to cross the dessert all alone, She hadn't been gone long yet she already missed Lee noisy cries or passion or strange attempts to better himself. She even missed Neji's silence and occasional chuckle or head shake at Lee's antics. She missed her village.
Suna's sand gates appeared in the distance and she rushed towards them eager to get out of the sun and sand she's been in for days. Gaara greeted her at the door with a small smile and directed her to her new home.
TenTen walked into the tiny empty house much like her at home except this one was made from sand and clay. She sighed walking to the window to look out onto the town. It was going to be a long life for her here in Suna.
Pretty short because what comes next is gonna tell you all about Yuuko cuz im sure you are curious right :D Review XD