An: Because the dads need love too

Timeframe: About 12-13yrs pre-series


It was unusual for anyone to see Nara Shikaku motivated, but today he was on a mission. Not one appointed by the Hokage, but a mission none the less. Shikaku had given this particular mission a personal ranking of S+ seeing as how failure would no doubt lead to his gruesome and horrifying demise.

He wandered through the Konoha market with a purposeful stride, bending over stalls to carefully inspect the produce. After a good 20 minutes of searching he finally spotted his target. Sitting on a table only ten feet away, reflecting the sunlight in all their plump, red glory, was a basket of fresh strawberries. The last basket of strawberries.

Shikaku quickly made his way to the stall, elbowing somebody's little, old grandma out of the way, to close his hand around the baskets handle, at exactly the same time as someone on the opposite side of the table. Shikaku looked up, preparing ot fight tooth and nail for his prize, to be face with a pair of dark sunglasses.

"Shibi," he smiled tightly, trying to appear friendly without giving the impression he would be willing to give up his hold on the precious berries, "It's good to see you out this morning, but I believe I had these first."

"Good to see you also, Nara-san," came the stoic reply, "but we actually grasped the handle at the same moment, and I assure you my need is greater."

'The Hell it is!' screamed Shikaku in his head, while externally he dropped his smile.

"I hate to contradict you, Shibi-san," he nearly growled, "but it is a matter of like and death that I bring these berries home with me."

"I face the same predicament, I assure you"

The two men stood, glaring at each other, until the tension was palpable, both refusing to loosen their grip on the basket's handle.

"Shibi," Shikaku decided to attempt reasoning with the man, "Yoshino is six months pregnant. You know how my wife is, imagine that plus pregnancy hormones. I need these strawberries, pregnant Yoshino demands them!"

He tugged the basket slightly in his direction to emphasize his point.

"Unfortunately," Shibi countered, giving a tug of his own, "My wife is also expecting, and she and her hive of angry kikaichu have also demanded strawberries. Unlike Yoshino, who is no doubt encumbered be her pregnancy at this time, my wife's hive are uninhibited; thereby, making my situation the more precarious of the two."

Shikaku growled, Shibi tensed angrily and actually looked a tad flustered. The basket handle strained between them and civilians began to flee the scene as quickly as possible, dragging groceries and children behind them.

Just as the handle between the two men began to darken with beetles and shadows, something blocked out the light from above them. Both men looked up to see a panting and flustered Akimichi Choza standing above them.

"Need strawberries," he panted, "My wife…"

Shibi and Shikaku exchanged a look, glanced down at the basket in their hands, and then back up at Choza, who's wife was heavily pregnant at this time. Both offered up the basket at the same time, knowing better than to come between any Akimichi, let alone a pregnant one, and their snack of choice.

As the stall owner materialized from his hiding place to ring up Choza's purchase, both Shikaku and Shibi sighed and slumped against the table that had previously housed the now forsaken strawberries.

"I hear Sandaime is looking for a pair to take a mission to Snow." Shikaku offered.

"Hn," came the only response as Shibi pushed himself off the table and headed towards the tower.

Shikaku was quick to follow.


End AN: That must have been a lot of dangerous women to all be pregnant in the same place, at the same time. I'm just sayin'.