Chapter Twenty Two
Her husband was gone by the time she opened her eyes in the morning, typical with their schedules. With a small yawn she sits up in their bed and stretches a bit before sliding out of bed to go take a shower.
For some strange reason Sasuke had been acting differently last night. It wasn't bad per say, in fact she could honestly say that she had liked it a lot, it had just been different and she wasn't sure what had brought it on. He hadn't hurt her but he had definitely been very aggressive and demanding, an actual first for him. She decided not to dwell on it too much since even if she asked he probably wouldn't tell her.
Dressing in her normal jacket and pants she walks into the kitchen to make herself a quick breakfast when she spots the note on their refrigerator.
Be back in three to four days. Was all it said with her husband's name written underneath. Smiling, she put together a small lunch and ate a bit of fruit before heading out. Her schedule was going to be full in the next hour or so, meaning that she had little time as she hurried to the hospital.
"You're not pregnant." Ino told her and Hinata let out a mental sigh of relief. "Do you want me to put you on some birth control?"
There was a small nod from the newest Uchiha "Yes," she told her friend softly "It's not that we don't want them but…" she began to wring her hands "With everything going on it doesn't really seem like a good time."
The blonde nodded "Yeah, you've got your work cut out for you, I'm filling in for Sakura while she's gone for those first five years." There was a moment of tense silence from Ino before she moved away from Hinata to look through a drawer for something. Noticing her tense expression Hinata tilted her head slightly.
"Ino-chan?" she asked softly "Is everything alright?"
She was met with silence so she decided not to push it. Obviously there was something wrong with Ino but Hinata had never been one to probe into one's business. She'd either speak or she wouldn't.
Turning back to the brunette Ino handed her a slip of paper "If you take this over to the pharmacy section they'll give you what you need." There was a small pause where a pensive expression emerged and then she sighed "Hinata-chan?" she waited until she had the other girl's attention "I've been…wondering." Biting her lip she frowned, as if torn between saying something and just dropping it altogether. After another moment of deliberation she decided to just come out with it "How can you not be afraid of him?"
Milky white eyes blinked owlishly at her friend for a moment. Oh, she knew who 'him' was; she was just surprised to hear the question from Ino. Hadn't she been right along Sakura years back when they had been obsessed with Sasuke?
"Um," this wasn't the first time she's been asked this question and she is sure that until she leaves it will not be the last. "I was afraid, at first." She admitted. "He was so very angry and it seemed that he was focusing all of that anger on me for a while." A small sigh "But I learned that he hadn't been angry, well, maybe not in the sense that he seriously hated me, he had been confused. From what he's told me, it seems as if he's always held some sort of feelings for me but in the beginning he had been too angry and frustrated to want to accept it." Once more she began to wring her hands "I know that he's not kind to anyone and if you push him he'll become violent but as long as you leave him alone he ignores you. Since he's been here the only people he has killed have been our enemies. He's not a…good person." She admitted "But I think he wants to be an honorable one. Um, when you think of it like that…" Hinata frowned slightly in thought "He's angry, hateful and violent but there is more than that and it's not something he wants people to see. Naruto-kun and me…we're the only ones that really see that side of him s-so…"
"So you really don't think that he would hurt you?" Ino looked pensive "I mean, they say he's not all mentally there."
Hinata had to admit that she wasn't exactly thrilled about having to explain this to people over and over but maybe if she told Ino word would spread around? "I don't think that saying someone has a 'mental condition' is the same as them being insane. Sasuke was at one point insane and I don't think it's something you ever fully recover from, so I think that's why he's like this now." She shook her head "But I know he'd never hurt me. He did in the beginning when he was confused but he's saved my life so many times…he has changed, even if not many people see it."
Hugging herself slightly Ino gave her friend an apologetic look "I'm sorry, it's just that he's so violent and you're such a kind person, I'd hate for something to happen to you."
Her smile was genuine "Thank you, but you don't need to be concerned about me, Ino-chan." She reassured her friend "Sasuke isn't perfect but he really does love me, I've seen him prove it enough times."
Wishing her friend farewell she picked up her medicine and went back to her little house. From there she went to the Hyuuga compound and her day truly started.
From mid morning until late at night Hinata was with her father. He had been quite serious about the massive amount of things she would need to learn but she tried hard to keep her focus and not let anyone down. There were many things that she had not known about the Hyuuga clan even though she had been a part of the main house. He constantly asked her questions and gave her scenarios where she would have to explain how she would handle it. After the first month he had seemed more and more pleased with the responses she would give him, which had been encouraging.
She had no time to train unless she wanted to miss out on sleep, something she couldn't afford. The last time she actually saw and interacted with her friends had been yesterday at Naruto and Sakura's wedding.
As for spending time with her husband; she saw him less than her friends which was rather sad. He was always off on missions and either she'd be asleep or he waited up only long enough to pull her into bed and sleep. He still could not sleep unless he had her in his arms. Hinata treasured those moments when he would just hold her, his expression peaceful. He said that he didn't dream when she was there and he had admitted that he didn't want to dream, not anymore.
Their sex life had come to a rather annoying halt as well, simply because the two of them were too tired to be intimate. Last night had been the first time in weeks; probably a good thing because now that Sasuke was in a squad Neji had told her a few times that the longer her husband is away from her the more irritable he became. There was also a hint that Neji felt and understood his pain, reminding Hinata that she should probably go visit Tenten whenever she could. They had been married for a while but his assignment to Sasuke had put them in the same situation she was currently in with her own husband. She was beginning to learn that men tended to get rather pissy when they have someone to be intimate with and they can't. Her husband had mentioned Neji having been irritable for a while because he had been unable to be with Tenten.
Despite their lack of time together Hinata still managed to make meals and leave them out for him or for herself for the next day. Like before, he would always eat whatever she had made for him and now that she knew he was somewhat getting some sleep she worried less about him being on dangerous missions.
Two weeks later she was called into the Hokage's office, the ambassador from Suna had arrived.
"Ah, Temari-san!" Hinata smiled brightly at the Kazekage's sister. The blonde returned the smile with a small one of her own. Beside her was Nara Shikamaru, her usual escort when visiting. To her surprise her husband was also in the room, still in uniform. He must have just gotten back and had been instructed to report immediately.
"It's good to see you Hinata," Temari said "Sorry to call you out here last minute like this, we made sure to let your father know so he doesn't think you're ditching."
Her smile was grateful as she moved to stand beside her husband who immediately put an arm around her shoulders and pulled her close. She couldn't complain, she hadn't seen him in almost a week.
"We have news from the prospective daimyo." Tsunade began immediately, wanting to cut to the chase "It was annoying but we were finally able to get him to agree. The biggest issue was that the previous daimyo of that land still legally held control even though Orochimaru had eventually killed him. The new daimyo had wanted all of the old daimyo's estates, coffers, and everything else under the sun while the remaining family members…well it had been a huge pain in the ass, let's put it that way. This means that construction can begin immediately. The hospital will be one of the first along with the kage tower." She looked at Sasuke "Two months before your time is up you will be going over there and start trying to get your clans together. The volunteer teams will also be going out. By then the tower and hospital should be completed and the academy will be next. There's still going to be a lot of construction to do even after you get there and we'll need to know how you want clan districts to run. Hyuuga and Uchiha lands have already been set aside."
"There's around ten or so clans that had been devastated by Orochimaru's meddling." Sasuke explained "Maybe half of them have enough members to properly function as a full on clan. It should take me a week, maybe two, to give you final numbers." Putting his free hand in his pocket he tilted his head at her "You still haven't told me who is going to be in my council, are they going to be volunteers or permanent residents?"
"A mixture." The Hokage informed him "I can tell you now that Anko and Kakashi are tagging along, Anko is actually staying for the long haul, she'll be training your chunnin into becoming jounin. Kakashi will be a senior member of your council but he'll be returning."
"Gaara is sending Matsuri to teach the children at the academy," Temari offered "but she will be returning. Haruno has been working with the volunteer medical team in Suna but my brother is wondering what will happen when the five years are up. At the moment you don't have any permanent medical staff members."
"We'll work it out." The Uchiha said, shrugging "Sakura's in charge so she'll more than likely have her own plans. If Gaara needs an answer now you'll have to go talk to her."
"Hinata," Tsunade turned to her "tell your father I need those damn numbers on how many Hyuuga will be tagging along as permanent residents, it shouldn't have to take this long."
"Yes, Hokage-sama." She said politely.
"Alright, here's how this is going to work," the busty blonde leaned back in her chair "Temari will be here for two weeks meeting up with Sakura and everyone else involved to hash out details. Once we have everything settled you'll need to be here, Uchiha, so that means I'm taking you off of missions starting next week. There's going to be a ridiculous amount of meetings and you're going to be there for all of them."
He shrugged in confirmation. "Are you going to do the apartments first and then separate districts?" he asked, "It'd make things a lot easier."
"It was my thought." She confirmed "Let them bitch and moan about who is going to be at the top of the food chain and go from there. Alright, that's it for now, Hinata needs to get to her training and Temari needs to get settled in." she looked back at Sasuke "Your last mission will be in two days, details forthcoming."
As the couple was leaving the tower Sasuke grabbed his wife and pulled her into a dark corner, arms moving around her hips before she could even let out a squeak his lips were on hers, passionate and demanding.
"When does Hiashi let you go in the evenings?" her husband asked, burying his face in her neck.
"Usually around ten at night." She admitted "B-but I might be able to convince him to um, let me go a little earlier."
"Hn." Was the response as he continued to breathe in her scent. It was rare that he was able to hold his wife while she was actually awake. "Don't cook." He told her "I'll get take out or something."
Her smile was soft. His way of telling her that he wanted to spend as much time with her as possible. She nodded, burying her face into his chest. Despite being gone for days she could still smell his natural scent with the faint scent of blood. The latter was to be expected, ANBU did not have glorious or pretty jobs. "Maybe we could watch a movie?" it was a mild suggestion. She would be tired and it would cut in on her sleep time but it was worth it for a few hours alone with him.
"I don't care what we do, Hime." He admits and she can feel his lips brush along her neck "I really don't care."
"Um, I've been wanting to ask this for a while," his wife asked him as they lay in their bed "about children."
The fallen avenger had actually been lightly dozing off "What about them?" he asked, his voice muffled from his head being buried in the crook of her neck. He loved her neck, there was just something about it that was enticing to him. "I already told you we probably won't have any mutants or whatever the hell your council wants to believe."
There was a small giggle and he felt her hand slide over his, which was draped over her stomach. "Well, I mean, you want to rebuild your clan right?"
There was a small pause "You might not want to ask what I think you're going to ask." His head raised and he was fully awake "You won't like the answer."
His wife muttered something about his Sharingan and 'telepathy' but he didn't catch it all "Well, what was I going to ask?" he smirked at how pouty she sounded.
"You wanted to know how many kids we'd have to have to actually really establish a clan since I'm the only Uchiha left."
She didn't say anything for a long moment. "Are you psychic?" came the abrupt question after a while and he actually laughed slightly, placing a kiss on her shoulder.
"No, you're just easy to read." He ignored the small pinch she gave him for that comment "If you want to crunch numbers and seriously try to have enough children to jump start a clan in our situation…it'd be between ten to twenty." She made a harsh choking sound "I told you that you wouldn't like the answer." He reminded her "You'd have to have enough kids so that as the generations went along families within the clan could form. Anyone genetically an Uchiha will be related to each other in some way or another but as the generations go on it'll become more and more distant and sub houses will form." There was a small pause "It's going to be weird because some of our kids will probably have the Byakugan."
"What about the Sharingan?"
There was another pause and then a sigh "Look, if you want an actual pure bloodline of Uchiha with the Sharingan at least two to four of our kids would actually have to marry each other. From there it'd be cousins but inbreeding would be unavoidable. If there were more Uchiha this wouldn't be a problem but there isn't. It's just me. It almost wouldn't even matter if one had Byakugan and one Sharingan because it'd still be a fifty-fifty chance for either side but if they also want the clan to grow they'd have to have quite a few kids as well. If you do it that way there would be a higher chance of Byakugan users remaining from your direct lineage in the future but it's all a real huge pain in the ass because you can't predict genetics."
She frowned thoughtfully. "So then, there's an actual chance that the Uchiha clan will become one with two bloodline limits."
"Yeah, more than likely. If no one in our family married within and it remained that way, which I doubt, there would probably be Sharingan and Byakugan users but maybe not as powerful because of the thinning of blood or whatever. Otherwise it doesn't matter, cousins will eventually marry cousins and then it'll go from there, so there'll always be Uchiha with either Byakugan or Sharingan or, by some freak mutation, something completely different altogether."
"You really think ten to twenty children…"
"Yes, Hinata." He sounded slightly exasperated "It'd be really damn hard to grow a clan with one or two kids. It's either that or I whore around impregnating women indiscriminately." She giggled at that because he was hardly serious and they both knew it. "Hime, this isn't something we need to do. If the Uchiha line dies out with me then whatever, I don't really care. If you want to seriously start a pure bloodline directly from our lineage that's what would have to happen. Eventually the main or 'pure' bloodline would be like the Hyuuga, you guys are all related in some way or another but some are more distant than others."
He began to brush his lips along her shoulder and she wiggled against him, earning her an appreciative grunt "I'd like…for there to be an Uchiha clan again." She admits "I-I mean…it's just that…"
"Let's see if you say that after kid number three." He murmured and began trailing kisses along her neck "You'd constantly be pregnant Hinata, I don't think you'd like it much." In all honesty he really didn't want her to try and go through something like that. When he had been twelve he had seriously wanted to restore his clan but at twelve he hadn't thought about the fact that if he killed his brother it'd be up to him and true Uchiha have to come from somewhere. It was virtually impossible to rebuild a pure blooded clan with one member without either having multiple women having his kids or having one woman pop out a lot of kids. If he had seriously thought about it back then he probably wouldn't have wanted to do it so much although all of the girls in the village would have been more than happy to volunteer. Hell, they still were, he somehow managed to still have fan-girls even with his past and bad temperament.
"There is one thing, though," he began, his hands beginning to roam along soft pale skin "even if we don't have any kids I'll still enjoy going through the motions." Her soft giggles turned into small sounds of pleasure and he smirked along her skin.
"When you arrive in Oto there will of course be a few ceremonies," Hiashi told his oldest daughter "One of them will be you becoming clan head for the Hyuuga branch there. There is already a main house built which will be more than enough for the ones coming along."
"How many will be coming, father?" she asked. For some reason they had been keeping the actual number a secret and now that they were leaving tomorrow she wanted to know something.
"You will see." Is what he tells her, is what he's been telling her for a while now. "They will be traveling with you for the trip."
"I understand." Although she really didn't. Why all the secrecy?
"I have taught you all I can with the limited amount of time we had," he told her "but you have learned quite a bit and you hold a natural ability to lead as long as you believe in yourself. You are kind and gentle but you also know and understand when it is time to be firm. Every leader has their way of doing things and contrary to what the council believes, it is not a weakness to be a kind and gentle leader. I feel confident that you will do well." Standing up, he walks over to his daughter in the study and puts his hands on her shoulders "I have only told you once that I am proud of you but it needs saying once more. I am proud of the woman you have become, you are strong in more ways than one and you stand up for your beliefs. Despite pressure from the main house you stayed determined to be with Uchiha and he proved himself worthy of you. You and yours will always be welcome here and I do ask that you keep me informed on the on goings of your clan. I will also send Hanabi to visit often, I believe she would benefit from the experience."
Fighting back tears Hinata nodded "T-thank you father." She says it softly, almost a whisper.
"You are so sentimental." Sasuke tells his wife, more amused than anything else. "We didn't even live in here that long, stop crying already."
Hinata shoots him a soft glare and refuses to wipe away her tears, her small way of being defiant. "Yes b-but…I have special memories." Her face flushed as she remembered their first night in their little house. "We've been here since the first day we married."
Sighing, he moves in behind his wife and pulls her close "We still have the bed, that should be good enough right? I mean, that is where our night happened."
The look on her face was priceless. "Sasuke!" she looked miffed and a little sad "Yo-you're so insensitive." She says it softly and a little dejectedly and his arms tighten around her middle.
"Sorry." He says although he doesn't sound very sorry at all. "I haven't been attached to a home in a long time and we barely really lived in this one."
Turning her to face him he kisses her passionately, his hands sliding up her back. Her arms wrap around his neck and he holds her like that for a while before lifting his head, his dark gaze taking in her flushed face and swollen lips. He should probably stop kissing her like that because every time he did he'd want to just take her and…
"I'd rather have you to remind me of that night instead of a room." His voice is low as he rests his forehead on hers "And I do remember it, just like how I remember the way I felt when you finally gave me an answer. I could give a damn if I ever see that hospital room again, looking at you reminds me of that day." His arms tighten around her "That's the truth, Hime, every time I look at you I think of it and how you…" he stops, unable to voice the way he fully feels. Perhaps one day he will be able to do such a thing, to open his mouth and tell her everything that he feels about her. He sighs, almost sounding a little shaky "Hinata, I have no idea what I would have done if you had said no." he tells her honestly, murmuring it in her ear, his voice soft. "I really don't." You became the reason why I wanted to live and keep my promise to my brother.
"Sakura left about a month ago to set up the hospital," Kakashi explained to the two Uchiha "Naruto left a few weeks ago. Anko and I will keep ahead of you guys since you have your clan coming with you." His expression grew thoughtful and then he smiled at them "I almost forgot, I have a wedding present for the two of you –"
"If it's porn we don't want it." Sasuke deadpanned.
His old sensei pouted "So little faith in me, and after I went through such great lengths to find the perfect gift…"
"We will love whatever you've brought for us, Kakashi-sempai." Hinata told him with a bright smile. Sasuke glared down at her and Kakashi flashed Hinata a bright smile. Well, as much as he could through the mask in any case.
"You're so sweet Hinata-chan," he says "I wish my little team had grown up to be as sweet and cute as you."
When she turned a bright red Sasuke took a step forward and Kakashi held up his arms, giving the other man a nervous smile.
"Stop hitting on my wife." He growled at his former sensei. "She has no idea how depraved your mind really is."
A dramatic sigh as he turned back to Hinata "This is what I had to deal with for years." He says to her and she giggles, earning Kakashi another glare from his former student. Instead of responding he takes Hinata's arm and walks away, ignoring Kakashi as he muttered "It's going to be a long five years" to himself.
Something caught Hinata's attention out of the corner of her eye and she turned to see around thirty Hyuuga, all former branch members. Slowly she walks over towards them, her eyes wide with surprise. This many? This many had volunteered to become a part of the new branch?
"All of them have cared for you since you were a little girl." A voice came in. Turning, she spotted Neji with Tenten at his side, both smiling. "When Hiashi-sama asked us who would like to volunteer there were actually more than this, so he had me go through and pick the people that would benefit such a small starting clan."
"Your new clan." Her cousin confirms "And I will be joining them."
She must have heard that incorrectly "You're…going to stay with us?" he was truly going to leave Konoha? He was in ANBU, he had a good career as long as he stayed.
"My promise was to protect you, Hinata-sama," he begins "and it will be a little difficult to do that if you are so far away." A small smile "Tenten and I discussed it at length and then Hiashi-sama personally approached me. It is understood that you will not exactly be able to fully run the clan considering your obligations to growing the Uchiha clan and being the wife of the Otokage. I have been appointed as your most senior council member and, for the most part, I will be the one actually leading the clan. If you desire to make it official Hiashi-sama informed me that you could do this, since you will still be leading a clan; your training was not for naught."
"We'll always be Konoha shinobi," Tenten came in "but Neji wanted to stay by your side and considering how close you two are, there was no way I could say no." her smile widened "Besides, we're practically sisters now, right? With you leaving, you'll need some familiar faces to stick around for the long haul."
She had to nod because if she spoke she knew she would start crying. Behind her she could feel Sasuke's presence and then his arm was around her shoulder. When she turned to look up at him his face was blank but his gaze was intense. She smiled at him and he gave her a ghost of a smile before letting her go.
"We have everything," he told her "our other stuff has already been sent over there and I hear that it should all be set up by the time we arrive."
"I'm nervous." Hinata told him later on that night when the group camped out for the night. He was sitting against a tree with his wife in between his legs, an arm around her. "It all seems so big."
"Hn." Leaning his head back against the tree he looked up at the sky "Yeah, it is. Believe it or not there's supposed to be a welcoming party, almost all of the clans in that land have settled in for now."
When she let out a shaky breath his grip around her tightened "E-everyone, they came through for us." She smiled up at him but his gaze hardened a bit.
"No, they're here because of you." He said flatly "Don't ever misunderstand that, Hinata, all of these people are here because they either trust that with you being with me that things will work out or because they care about you in some way. This village wouldn't even exist if I had tried to make the deal on my own. It's always been about you, Hime, from start to finish." Bending down he wrapped his other arm around her and pressed his lips to her ear.
"This deal, the things I did, the sacrifices I made," he continued, speaking so that only she could hear "yeah, it was so that if we ever have kids they wouldn't be controlled by Konoha but in the end, we could never have a kid and I'd be fine with it. I didn't do all of those things for future kids, I did them because I wanted to be with you. I did them because that night when you almost died I realized that I wouldn't have a life or a future without you. Without you this life has no meaning and so to keep you I did, and would do, anything. Anything, Hime."
Shifting so that she could lie against him sideways she tried to bury her face in his chest so he wouldn't see her tears. One hand began to rub up and down her back; the other kept her close to him.
"Sasuke…" she whispered and he leaned his head down again, tilting her chin up so their gazes could meet and then he kissed her.
"I love you, Hinata." He says against her lips "That's what I wanted to say that day when you said you'd be with me. The last time I remember being genuinely happy was when I was a kid, before the massacre. That day, when you said yes, that was the first time since that day that I had felt real happiness. So…" he buried his face in her neck as he pulled her as close against him as he could "Thank you. For everything."