Finders Keepers Chapter 35
I can't believe this story is winding its way toward the end. I'm already discussing the last chapters with my beta and arranging stuff. I'm getting excited! I actually wrote the last chapter while working on the second chapter and have been dying to share it, but I couldn't! There are still a few chapters left though, I have more story to tell, and I don't want to rush, so please look forward to it. Please drop me a review if you enjoy this chapter! Your reviews really help keep me going. And lastly, let me please say thank you, Sakura's Unicorn, for getting on my case to write more often and for your super editing. Without you, I'd still be floundering.
Warning…some grossness ahead. Don't read if you're eating.
Chapter 35—Growing Concern
Sasuke heaved and another round of upchuck splattered the side of the toilet. He suppressed a groan so not to disturb his wife who was still sleeping. He washed his face with cold water, rinsing the sour taste in his mouth. He'd been sick like this every day this week and was beginning to worry.
Was Itachi's illness hereditary? Or did I come across some disease while crossing the country or from the Akatsuki base?
Whatever it was, he didn't want to expose Sakura to it—he wasn't taking any chances with her health. Sasuke decided that, if he wasn't any better tomorrow, he was going to move into one of the other houses in the Uchiha district.
Through their bond he felt Sakura stirring in the next room. Quickly disposing of the mess, he brushed his teeth and came out to meet her.
"Sasuke-kun?" Green eyes studied him. "Are you feeling all right? You look a little pale."
She placed a cool hand against the side of his face and he leaned into it. Feels so damn good.
"Aa. I'm fine. Breakfast?" His stomach clenching at the thought of food, he slipped his arms around her, drawing her close before she started examining him. He kissed just below her ear, knowing she melted when he did so.
"Hmm…sounds good, but we won't make it downstairs if you keep doing that." She laughed, hugging him warmly as his hands drifted under her robe. She placed her forehead against his. "Ne, you feeling a little feverish?"
Her eyes clouded with concern and she started going into medic mode—exactly what he didn't want. He kissed her deeply until she responded in kind, her body fitting into all the right places against his. When he pulled back, she wore a different kind of look.
"Sasuke-kun," she sighed. Her need burned in her eyes and through their bond. He picked her up and took her back to bed to make love to her. He wasn't exactly hungry anyway—at least not for food.
Two hours later found them both at the breakfast table—Sasuke barely sipping tea while Sakura wolfed down omurice—when Naruto came barreling in without knocking.
"Oi, Teme! Let's get to the training grounds. We're late." Adding with a snicker, "No one answered the door when I was here earlier.
Blushing, Sakura rose to clean up the dishes.
"Dobe." Sasuke suppressed a smirk, getting up to help her when there was another knock at the door.
"Come on in!" Naruto yelled.
Sasuke narrowed his eyes. "Who's house is this, Dobe?"
Hearing Naruto, Kakashi let himself in. "Sakura-chan. Boys." He nodded in greeting and turned to Sasuke. "You ready to check the shrine?" Sasuke pushed off the counter and Kakashi added, "Oh, Sakura-chan. Tsunade-sama wants to speak with you as soon as possible."
She frowned as she dried the last cup. She was just as curious as everyone else to see the Uchiha shrine, but…she shrugged. Apparently, her shishou had other things in mind for her today.
"Hai. You guys be careful in the shrine. Naruto, don't touch anything there," she warned.
"Oi! Why just me?" He made a sour face. "There's three of us going in, Sakura-chan!"
She tried to keep a straight face, but when Kakashi winked and Sasuke frowned, her tiny smirk grew into a smile. "You're absolutely right, Naruto. Be careful, Sensei." She wagged her finger at him then leaned up on her tiptoes to kiss Sasuke's cheek. "You especially," she whispered in his ear. "Have a care."
"Hn." Sasuke grunted and dropped a peck on her cheek as he moved toward the door. "You too."
She watched them leave, setting the folded dishtowel on the edge of the sink before getting changed. She hurried, wanting to get to the Hokage's office quickly to ask Tsunade about Sasuke.
I know he's feeling under the weather. Hmmph. Thinks he can keep it a secret from me? Not with this bond. She laid a hand over the clan crest on her hip.
"Overprotective men," she sniffed, closing the front door behind her.
On her walk to Hokage Tower, Sakura enjoyed both the sunshine and the friendly greetings of the villagers. A few weeks of being back in Konoha and she was finally starting to relax. The nightmares of the previous weeks when she'd been captured were fading into the background. Spending every night in Sasuke's arms made a world of difference. With him, she always felt safe and loved.
Sakura knocked on the Hokage's door and was ushered in immediately. She stopped short, noticing the wide grins on the faces of Tsunade and Shizune.
"What's up?" The knowing look shared between the two women made Sakura pause. "Did I miss something?"
They both took an arm, escorting her from the office.
"Remember when I said you'd get a proper examination in two weeks? Well, it's been two weeks, Sakura-chan."
With Sasuke being sick, she'd forgotten all about Shizune kicking her out of the lab. "Oh, yes!" She smiled, getting excited. "Do you think I may be pregnant?"
Tsunade smirked. "I don't see why not. Taking fertility drugs and marrying such a good looking man will usually take care of that sort of thing." She nudged her young apprentice. "Everything's been going good with your new husband, hasn't it, Sakura?" Shizune and Tsunade both shared a laugh at the red-faced girl. "Don't sweat it, dear." She placed a hand on Sakura's head, sharing a secret smile with Shizune. "What's meant to be will be."
"Yes," Shizune chimed in. "Let's go take your tests and have some lunch while we wait for the results to come back, ok? Is there anything special you feel like eating, Sakura-chan?"
The pink-haired girl thought for a moment. "I'd really like some green tea mochi."
The two women shared another smile over Sakura's desire for the chewy sweet.
"How have you been feeling? Any cramping? Nausea?"
"No. None." She shook her head, thinking carefully. "But that reminds me. Tsunade-sama, could you find an excuse to examine Sasuke? He's been feeling unwell, but he won't tell me and when I ask him he, er, distracts me." She blushed again.
"Don't worry. I'll write up an order for his physical this afternoon." Tsunade assured her. "He won't say no to me."
"Jeez, Teme. You look weird." Naruto tilted his head, looking at his teammate.
Kakashi pulled his book down enough to see, too. "Sasuke, you do look a little green around the gills."
"Ugh." Sasuke sneered. "Do you have to eat that now?" The smell of Naruto's instant ramen made him want to vomit the contents of his stomach all over the Uchiha library.
"What? We've been in here for three hours! I'm bored and hungry," Naruto complained. "Aren't you hungry?" He held the container under Sasuke's nose.
"Damn it," Sasuke growled, moving quickly outside to lose his breakfast near the shrine entrance. Kakashi motioned for Naruto to stay put and followed him out.
"Sasuke, are you feeling unwell?" Above the mask, his eyes held concern for his student. "Does Sakura know?"
"No, and don't tell her." Sasuke noisily threw up again. "I don't want her worrying. It's probably nothing."
Kakashi folded his arms and leaned against the temple door. "Well, maybe it is nothing. You won't know until you get it checked out."
"He's right, Teme." Naruto came out, carrying with him the strong odor of cup ramen, which he may or may not have spilled both on himself and on the fancy book he'd been perusing. Sasuke turned even greener before he walked away.
"Oi, Teme! Come back! We're not through here!"
A summons appeared with a poof on Kakashi's shoulder.
"I have a message for Uchiha Sasuke," the small slug said softly. Sasuke immediately turned back, waiting for the word. At the same time, he checked on Sakura through their bond to make sure she was ok. "Tsunade-sama wishes for you to come to the hospital. Exam room eleven, Uchiha-san, immediately."
The words no sooner left her mouth than Sasuke was gone in the flash of a displacement jutsu. Kakashi and Naruto both looked at the slug.
"There's nothing to worry about," she assured them. "Tsunade-sama only needs to speak with Sasuke." She vanished in a puff of smoke.
"All right. Let's call it a day before you dump ramen on an old text and accidently call forth a demon or something." Kakashi ruffled Naruto's blond spikes and grabbed the protesting boy's collar.
"Oi! I only spilled a little of my ram—er… Ne, ne, Sensei! Don't tell Teme, he'll skin me," Naruto whined, looking back at the shrine with renewed interest. "Do you really think we could call forth a demon?!"
Kakashi drew him further away with a firm pull. "Not today, Naruto. One troublemaker in the Uchiha district is enough." His mask rose with his smile, eyes crinkling at the boy. "Let's see if Iruka would like to go to Ichiraku's with us, eh? Maybe he'll treat." He nodded as they headed toward the Academy, Naruto talking excitedly all the way.
Tsunade opened the door to the waiting room to find the new Mr. and Mrs. Uchiha waiting patiently.
Well, not exactly patiently.
Sasuke leaned against the wall, arms crossed, looking annoyed. He'd come tearing in like a bat out of hell to find he was running right to a physical with the Hokage herself. There was no way he could refuse.
Sakura fidgeted in her chair, waiting to hear news of their prognosis. Shizune let on nothing and Sakura was becoming as annoyed as her husband.
'A perfect match,' Tsunade mused. "Ok, who wants to go first?"
She had to laugh when both said the other's name. "All right, I'll choose. Sasuke, why didn't you come for a checkup when you first started feeling ill?"
"I'm not—" He couldn't argue any longer. He'd vomited as soon as he gotten into the office. One of the nurses wore the most noxious perfume and he'd tossed his cookies right in front of Tsunade. "Hn."
"Shishou, please tells us about Sasuke first. I feel fine." Sakura took his hand and he relaxed his stiff posture. His dark eyes watching over the top of Sakura's head, he nodded once and waited.
"We'll, I have some good and bad news," Tsunade began. "First, the bad news. Sasuke, I've never seen this before and, as far as I know, it's incurable."
Sakura gasped and Sasuke put his arm around her, frowning. "What is it?"
Whatever he had, he'd be damned if he died before killing Madara and making sure Sakura was safe. Plans raced through his head and he braced himself for the worst. Preoccupied, he was sure he misheard the Hokage.
"I said you're pregnant—that's the good news. And by you, I mean both of you." Tsunade snickered. "Sakura, you are with child, but your husband here has all the symptoms of early sympathetic pregnancy. It's rare, in fact I've only read of it, but it may be that the bond you share has something to do with it. Sasuke has morning sickness."
A small laugh escaped Sakura's lips before she covered her mouth. "Oh, Sasuke-kun, I'm sorry." She started laughing again.
"You said it was incurable!"
"For nine months, it is." Tsunade erupted into laughter.
"But I'm not just sick in the morning," he argued. "It's anytime. Anything sets it off."
"That's a common misconception about morning sickness. It doesn't always happen in the morning." Tsunade smiled at the two. "Sakura, make sure you take a prenatal vitamin. And it might not hurt for you to take one too, Sasuke. I'd also suggest you keep some plain crackers on your nightstand. Try eating one before you get out of bed. It helps most pregnant woman." She snickered again.
"I'm not pregnant."
"But your wife is and you are experiencing her symptoms. Now, Sakura, get plenty of rest and I want you back here in another week for a checkup." She hugged her apprentice. "Congratulations."
Sasuke blinked. Pregnant? We're pregnant? Then it hit him full force. Sakura, my wife, is pregnant with our child.
She turned to him with a loving smile on her face and a warm feeling came over his entire being. He picked her up, swung her around, and hugged her close.
His family was growing.
On the northern border of Fire, an ANBU agent slumped to the ground, dead. His murderer picked up the painted porcelain mask, placed it on his face, and headed for Konoha.
Thanks for reading,