Pairing: Naruto x Hinata
Rating: K+ (?)
Summary: giving birth, a meeting held on another village, secretive elders, a concerned cousin and a couple who looks like they're dating — this makes up for Naruto's realization of his roles.
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters mentioned, except for Uzumaki Haru. All characters other than that belong to Naruto's "father," Masashi Kishimoto-san.
"The Hokage has given us orders," said the ANBU ninja who was guarding the hospital room. "He said that only the medic ninjas, family relatives and close friends are allowed inside his wife's hospital room."
"I am a family relative, in case you haven't noticed," Neji irritably replied as he intentionally grew his eyes big, a frown visible on his face. He had intended on visiting his cousin, Hinata, who was in labour since a day ago. He'd brought along his wife, the Weapons Mistress, Tenten, thinking that she could give Hinata the moral support she needed since they (Neji and Tenten) have had two kids, and the Hokage wasn't around to give his wife moral support. The Hokage was away, attending a meeting with Suna's Kazekage about the two village's alliance. They've always had this meeting – it ends up strengthening the bonds of the two gakures, and the friendship of the two kages.
"Then you have to answer me one question, sir. I am truly sorry, but this is the protocol the Hokage's left us with—"
"…let him in," came out a weak and small voice from inside the room, startling the ANBU ninja. "I can see him – it's Neji-nii."
Neji smiled triumphantly as the defeated ANBU ninja ashamedly stepped aside to open the door. Inside, Hinata lay on the bed—looking thinner than ever before. "H-hello, Neji-nii," the female Hyuuga greeted.
"Hinata, why…why do you look so sick?" he asked as Tenten rushed by Hinata's bedside. "What's wrong?"
"Hinata-chan, are you okay?" Tenten asked, putting a hand on Hinata's forehead. "Oh my, you're burning hot!" she exclaimed worriedly. "Since when did you have this high fever?"
"Two days after the Hokage left," Sakura replied from behind. She came in with Hinata's medicine. She was the medic-nin whom the Hokage had ordered to attend to the needs of his wife. "She was in this condition when she unexpectedly went into labour phase. She's giving birth two months ahead of time, and given that she's in this condition when she went into labour…well, I don't know. Her current situation makes me believe that this is going to be a very difficult delivery."
"Does he know about the condition of his wife already?" Neji asked worriedly as he went closer to Hinata's bed. The weak kunoichi grasped hold of his hand the moment it came in her reach. Sakura shook her head, and Neji held Hinata's hand tightly into his. "But why? Haven't they sent him messengers or ninjas or whatever to tell him about his wife's condition?"
Once more, Sakura shook her head. Neji frowned. "Why haven't they? He should know about this – he has the right to know!"
Sakura sighed. "I know, Neji, I said the same thing, believe me. I wanted to get the Hokage home as soon as possible. But the elders…they won't let me tell him. They said he's on a meeting with Gaara, the Kazekage, and the results of this mission could greatly affect Konoha…"
Neji bit his lip as he looked at Hinata. "…but his wife needs him."
"Isn't the Hokage good friends with the Kazekage?" Tenten asked as she softly rubbed Hinata's palms, who seems like she felt good when Tenten did so. "I'm sure the Kazekage will understand why he needs to go back to Konoha immediately," she continued as she held Hinata's hand tightly. The female Hyuuga had been calling out for her husband. Tenten worriedly looked at Neji. "Neji. She needs him here, now."
Neji nodded and looked at Sakura. "If they won't send anyone, then I will," he said before heading out of the room.
"You keep saying that I'm troublesome," Temari asked as Shikamaru lazily walked beside her. "So, why are you still escorting me?" she went on, waggling an eyebrow, which went unnoticed by Shikamaru. The Nara ninja laughed. "Oy, Nara Shikamaru. I'm sure I know how to go around Konoha, given the years that I've spent as my village's ambassadress to yours, and I'm more than sure that you have other things to do aside from 'keeping me company.' What are you up to, staying around me?"
Shikamaru just muttered beside her, but the phrase 'troublesome woman' did not go unheard of. Temari was about to smack Shikamaru upside the head when Neji arrived breathlessly. "Oh. Hey, Neji," Shikamaru coolly greeted as he gave Neji some time to catch his breath. "What's up?"
"Take food rations and clothes for a three-day trip, Shikamaru," Neji said with so much authority and urgency that the Nara ninja just had to take his orders seriously. "You and Temari-san are going to fetch the Hokage."
Shikamaru blinked. Had he heard wrong? "What? Why us? Aren't the ANBU ninjas up for that mission? And isn't he supposed to stay there for another four days?" he asked and Temari nodded.
"He's currently on a meeting with my brother," Temari muttered. "I'm sure it'll do both gakures some good if the Hokage finishes this event on schedule—"
"That can wait!" Neji exclaimed, shocking Temari and Shikamaru. "His wife's in labour, her life's in danger, and no one's told him yet! He should know about her condition now!"
Neji paused as the thought of his suffering cousin entered his mind. He looked at Shikamaru in the eye and said, "please do this. My cousin…Hinata needs him now. Please, Shikamaru, please…"
Neji thought Shikamaru needed to be persuaded some, so it was to his surprise that the shadow-manipulating shinobi accepted the mission. He smiled as he remembered Shikamaru as someone who could easily understand what's good and right to do. It's a very good thing he saw this impromptu mission as the right thing to do. He could've hugged his friend but he let the two ninjas dash away.
As he watched Shikamaru and Temari of Suna sprint, a random thought entered his mind. Shikamaru had taken Temari's hand into his, and the kunoichi didn't seem to mind. Neji looked suspiciously at them.
"…are they dating?"
"It's been two days since Temari-san and Shikamaru left," Ino muttered. She, Neji and Tenten were inside Hinata's hospital room with Sakura as the attending medic-nin. The others waited anxiously outside the room. "Hinata-chan's condition isn't improving…not one bit."
"The Hokage needs to get here now—he needs to be here this very instance," Tenten sighed as she gently laid her head on Neji's shoulder. "I can feel Hinata-chan's pain…this was how it was like for our Yujin."
Neji acknowledged the comparison. He was on a mission when Tenten gave birth to their second child and first daughter, Yujin. However, unlike Hinata, Tenten wasn't sick at the time and she gave birth on schedule. Neji had hoped that Tenten would be fine; she was, and he was glad she was. Neji sighed.
"I hope they've reached Suna."
The gates of Suna-gakure opened for Temari and Shikamaru at the same time the news of their arrival reached the two meeting kages. "I wonder what brought them here," Gaara wondered aloud. "Sister was supposed to stay at Konoha for another two weeks. What could've made her go back here so early?"
"…and the shadow-manipulating jōnin from the Nara Clan's with her, sir," added the messenger-nin. The Hokage perked. Gaara looked at his Konoha-counterpart and thought that he looked excited—and scared for some reason.
"What's Shikamaru doing here?" the Hokage mumbled when the doors opened, allowing the newly-arrived ninjas in the room. "Shikamaru, Temari-san, what is going on?"
"Hokage, your—' Temari breathlessly started.
"—wife," Shikamaru said, finishing the line for Temari. "She's in the hospital, sir."
Gaara blinked, and when he took a glance at the Hokage (who rose from his seat the moment he heard wife), it seems like he's gone pale. "Hokage, what's wrong?" he asked out of curiosity—and concern.
The Hokage sat down on his chair, visibly trembling. "My wife…Hinata, was attacked only a few days ago—maybe it was a week ago, I'm not sure anymore. She didn't get hurt because she had bodyguards with her, and she's one powerful jōnin herself. However, she gets tired easily, and her bodyguards aren't really that…talented, if I may say so. During her fight with one of the attackers, she almost had a miscarriage. She would've, if I didn't arrive just in time to catch her—the ninja had pushed her off the stairs. I dealt with the rebel after making sure Hinata was fine. After the struggle, Hinata's lost a great deal of chakra and physical strength, so for a few days, I opted to do my duties as a Hokage from home—I had Konohamaru stand in my office as a representative. I had to stay at home and take care of my wife.
Given that my annual visit to Suna was only a few days away, I had asked Sakura to take care of Hinata for me. I was reluctant to leave, but of course I had to. I was truly grateful that Sasuke had allowed Sakura to spend more time with my wife than with him. I thought everything went and is going well."
The Hokage paused. "Which is why I don't understand why the two of you had come to personally inform me about my wife's condition when no one's sent messages or ninjas to tell me about it," he said, a frown appearing on his face. "How is she?"
"Sir," Temari started after being able to catch her breath. "Your wife is in the hospital. She's acquired a very high fever two days after you left, according to Haruno-san. She went into premature labour after another day. Haruno-san's attending to her, but she says that your presence is needed by your wife, and that you should come back to Konoha immediately."
"Need him? BUT THE MEETING ISN'T EVEN HALFWAY THROUGH YET—" a ninja from Suna protested, but Gaara raised his hand to silence him, allowing Shikamaru to say his piece.
"Your wife needs you now, Hokage."
That was all the Hokage needed to hear – he didn't need to be told twice. He looked at Gaara, and as if he could read minds, Gaara smiled. "There's no need to apologize. Your wife needs you, and because of that, I'm cutting our meeting short. We could always continue this. Your wife is more important at the moment, and I completely understand. Please spend the night here, and I shall accompany you back to Konoha early in the morning."
The Hokage smiled. "I knew I could count on you."
The medic-nins were panicking around Hinata's hospital bed. "Hyuuga-sama's stats are going haywire!" exclaimed one. "Haruno-san, what do we do, what do we do?"
Sakura, as much as she didn't want to, was starting to panic as well. Who wouldn't? She's doing everything she can and knew, but nothing proved effective. She was starting to doubt her abilities when Hinata spoke his name once more. It was as if a light bulb switched on. Sakura brightened up. "Where is the Hokage?"
As if on cue, a messenger-nin arrived. "The Hokage is back! He's just entered the village gates and he is currently sprinting his way here—"
A yellow flash appeared, followed by an exclamation of a name. "HINATA!"
Sakura turned around to see a blond man beside Hinata's bed. He grasped onto her hand and it seemed like he's whispering to her. A medic-nin announced the sudden slow stabilization of the patient's vital stats.
For a second, Sakura was going to say Hokage in order to address him, but it didn't seem right at the moment. She smiled as she went over to the side of the bed where he's on both knees, stroking his wife's hair gently. "Good job, Naruto," she said, patting her friend's shoulders. "Give her another minute without you, and—ah, I don't know, it would've turned out bad!"
"Heh, thanks a lot, Sakura-chan," Naruto replied, smiling tearfully. "You worked beyond my expectation—I'M HERE, I'M HERE!" he suddenly exclaimed. Hinata had squeezed his hand. "You're so great, Hinata-chan, so great! I'm here now, so don't you worry."
"What…h-happened to your…meeting?" Hinata asked weakly. Naruto grinned.
"Postponed!" he exclaimed excitedly. "Gaara even accompanied me back here! We're going to continue with it after you've given birth – Gaara said I've had enough stress…ah, I don't even understand why you're here. I thought you wanted to give birth at home!" he laughed. Hinata smiled for the first time in days, when sharp pain swept across her abdomen. She shrieked loudly and Naruto panicked. "Wh-what's wrong, what's wrong? Hinata-chan?"
Sakura ordered her people to go get and prepare the things she needed before answering Naruto. "This is it, Naruto. She's giving birth to your child."
The Hokage blinked. He whispered something to hinata before kissing her forehead lightly. Hinata smiled once more and watched him leave the room. She understood that as much as it is physically draining for her, it was on an emotional level for Naruto.
Outside the room, friends and relatives stood by and they all gave Naruto advice. Grateful as he was, Naruto still couldn't hide the nervousness he feels—and the excitement. "Now, I know how Dad felt," he joked. The people laughed and grinned, but their little joy was stopped abruptly when two ANBU ninjas arrived, announcing that the elders want to see Neji.
"Why?" asked Tenten protectively. "What do they need Neji for?"
"We have only been ordered to take Hyuuga Neji-san with us back to the elders," replied one of the ANBU ninjas, and Naruto immediately sensed that it had something to do with his early (and untimely) return from his meeting with the Kazekage. He glanced at Neji, who didn't show any hesitation as he stepped forward—although fear was apparent on his face. Tenten's hold on his arm tightened, and she wouldn't have loosened it if Neji hadn't told her to let go of him.
"It's going to be alright, Tenten, there's no need to worry," came in Neji's assurance. "I'll come back later—"
"I'm coming with you," Naruto said firmly, and Neji's attention went to him.
"I'll come with you," Naruto said once more. "I'll accompany you—and don't say no. I can't let my wife's favorite cousin go in there alone."
"I'm sorry, sir," interjected one of the ANBU ninjas. "But the elders only called for Hyuuga-san—"
Naruto glared at the ANBU right through his eyes. "I've made my decision. I'm coming with him, and nothing's going to change that—not you, not the elders, not anyone. And that's that. You don't dare to go against the Hokage's decisions, do you now?" he said sternly, and all the ANBU ninja could do was to gulp the lump that had formed in his throat. "Well, do you? Do you plan on stopping me from doing my will?" Naruto asked once more, and the ANBU ninja shook his head. "Then that's settled. I'm coming with Neji."
The village elders stopped as they noticed that the person they've summoned didn't come in alone. They watched in amusement and bewilderment as the Hokage entered the room alongside Neji. Hoping they'd start off on a good note with the village leader, they all greeted him warmly. "Hello, Hokage-sama. What brings you here, to Hyuuga-san's deliberation?"
Naruto raised an eyebrow. "Deliberation? Why are you deliberating Neji? What did he do?" he asked. The elders looked at each other, reluctant to answer his question. Naruto was growing impatient, so he asked once more. "What did Neji of the Hyuuga Clan do that made him deserving of a deliberation by the village elders?"
The elders hesitantly explained to him that Neji had sent two ninjas to Suna to fetch the Hokage (who wasn't even in the middle of his meeting with the Kazekage) without their permission. Explaining that what he did was impolite and rude, they've decided that it was the proper disciplinary action to take Neji into a deliberation that would decide whether or not he should stay in as Konoha's Sensor Ninja team leader. They observed Naruto as he stood in the middle of the hall—Neji beside him. The Hokage had both his hands folded and crossed against his chest. He seemed impatient, and it didn't do anything to help boost the elders' confidence that the Hokage will listen to their reason.
"…so, you think it's polite and fair for me not to know about my wife's condition?" Naruto started, his eyes shrunk into small slits. He glowered at the elders in the room so hard that it seemed as though he was trying to drill holes onto their foreheads. "So, you think it's the proper thing to do—you think it's right not to inform me about my wife's situation? SHE COULD'VE DIED!" he angrily exclaimed.
"If Neji hadn't sent Shikamaru and Temari-san of Suna to Suna to report to me what was happening to my wife, she could've been dead already! She could've died with our child! Do you not understand that?" Naruto said. "What made you do this cruel thing to me? What made you want to hide my wife's condition from me?"
One elder, despite his stammering, bravely answered him. "…y-you were doing your duties as the Hokage, and we di-didn't want you disturbed—"
"DUTIES?" Naruto barked angrily. "Is being Hokage the only duty I have? Is being Hokage the only role I have?" he continued. His blood was boiling—the elder dare answer him with something as ignorant as that! "I…am not just a Hokage," he said, emphasizing just. "I have other roles too, which sometimes prove to be more important than my role as the Hokage!
I'm a friend. I'm a son. I'm a brother. I'm all of that, and more. Right now, my most important role is the role of a husband!" he said, as if lecturing the elders. "My wife needs me, and that puts my role as a husband above my role as this village's leader! My wife needs me beside her, to support her through this ordeal, and that means that at the moment, I am Naruto, the husband of Hinata, not Naruto, the Hokage of Konoha. I know that being the Hokage means I have so many important tasks, but that doesn't mean I should always choose to perform the role of the Hokage. There are times that I should be Naruto, the friend or Naruto, the son, or Naruto, the whatever!
I don't really get you, guys. I'm offended, to be honest. And disappointed—utterly, utterly disappointed. I never thought you could do this to me," Naruto concluded as he looked at the elders one-by-one into their eyes. "I say that there is nothing to be deliberated about Neji's actions—I believe it was the right thing to do. Now, as the Hokage of this village, I declare this meeting adjourned. You will not deliberate Hyuuga Neji about his actions."
"But, Hokage—" one elder called, but Naruto sent an ice-cold glare at him.
"My wife is giving birth—she needs me now. I am leaving, and there is nothing you can do to stop me," he said with so much authority that the elders decided to concede.
Hinata slowly opened her eyes. She was greeted by the lovely scent of fresh flowers, and the sight of a blond, blue-eyed man. She smiled as she recognized the man to be her husband. "Naruto-kun," she smiled. "What are you doing here? Aren't you supposed to be at Suna…?"
Naruto grinned. "There you go, asking me the same question again. As I've said, my meeting with Gaara's postponed. We'll continue it after you've given birth, and we'll go on with it here at Konoha, so I wouldn't have to be away from you," he explained. "I can't leave you now that you've given birth, now, can I?"
Hinata shook her head. "Yes, you can't. You have to take care of me and the baby…speaking of the baby, where is—?"
"If you're looking for our little bundle of joy, she's right here," Naruto beamed excitedly. "She has your face, but she has my eyes. I'm not sure if she's acquired Byakugan, though. We're going to discover that in due time. Right now...I have to say, she looks a little like Mom," Naruto remarked, recalling how beautiful his Mom had looked like when he encountered her at the time he was trying to master the Kyuubi's chakra. "She looks like Mom and you. She looks beautiful."
Hinata giggled. "Aw, Naruto-kun. Stop flattering me," she jokingly exclaimed, bringing a smile upon Naruto's lips. "So, what are we going to name her?"
Naruto observed the little plump baby beside Hinata's bed, trying to think of a good name. Minutes passed by, and he still haven't got the slightest idea of what to name her. "Ugh, I'm no good in naming baby girls! If she were a boy, I'd give her something really, really awesome! Why don't you name her, Hinata-chan?"
Hinata looked at the baby thoughtfully. She never realized it was hard work to name a child. She looked outside the window and noticed the sky. It was very bright—it seemed as thought it was Spring on a day during Autumn. It took some seconds before it sank. "…ah! Why don't we name her Haru? Uzumaki Haru. What do you think, Naruto-kun? Does Haru sound okay to you?" she asked.
Naruto knelt beside Hinata's bed, his eyes on the little baby. Then he fixed his sight on his wife. He held her hand and kissed her gently on the forehead before patting her head. "Harusounds perfect. That's my girl."
And now, Naruto's role-list had another item on it:
Naruto, the father.
Author's note: So, this story came out on its own accord. I typed this (damn) thing within, what, like – fifteen minutes? It was really impromptu. I had to type it down the minute it came into my head. I'm sorry if the story's pace was too fast – I typed this almost in the same instance the story came to mind. This is my first Naruto fan fiction, so I hope you give me your honest opinion about it. Compliments and criticisms are both welcomed – I'm sure these could help me improve my writing. Thank you! x