AN: Sorry for the late update... have been busy lately... School problem :p

thank you again for all the reviews and encouragement. Really made me happy! :D

and special thanks for Tsunade's Apprentice for beta reading this chapter!

Disclaimer: Naruto belongs to Masashi Kishimoto


Chapter 3: Real

She rolled over, shivering as the cool temperature hit her. Unwillingly, she opened her eyes and realized that the windows were left open. She groaned, cursing herself for not being alert enough. She shouldn't have left the windows open. What if some assassins or kidnappers attacked her? She got out of the bed and closed the windows. When she was about to go to sleep again, she realized that the bed was empty. Minato was not there. She forced herself to snap her eyes open and stared at the clock. Her eyes started to see better in the dark, pitch black room. It was three in the morning.

Again? Kushina frowned. Minato almost never came home. He tried. She knew he tried. He came back very late at night, even though he could just sleep at his office. Last night, she found Minato sleeping beside her. She snuggled against him, pressing her cheek into his arm. She hated to admit that she missed him a lot. However, when she opened her eyes early in the morning, he was gone. Minato was working non-stop. She knew that becoming a hokage means a lot of work but, Minato could always manage his time for work and for her. She didn't know what happened this time, though. Minato worked his ass like there was no tomorrow. Still frowning, she threw herself on the bed, pulling the covers to her body. When she was almost back to sleep, she heard something outside the room.

Her eyes snapped open. She quickly sat up and grabbed the kunai hidden under the bed. She heard some whispers. She didn't recognize the voice. Her jaw was tense. She gripped the kunai tightly.

"We solved the problem. You can get some rest now."

Then she heard Minato's voice. Loosening the grip, she started to relax.

"Thank you, hokage-sama. Have a good rest." The unknown man said.

She put back the kunai while lying down. She suddenly felt so stupid by being tense and all that. Just Minato… and probably some of his men, she thought lazily as she pulled up the blankets. Not long after that, the door was opened. She sighed as she felt his familiar weight sat down on bed.

"Hey," she whispered.

He froze. "You aren't asleep?" He asked, huskily. She frowned as she heard his voice. Tired, exhausted. The normal Minato would realize that she had not slept. After all, his sharp instinct was what had made him into a hokage.

"Sleep. Now." She hissed, pulled him towards the empty pillow beside her. "And if I find you awake before me, I will definitely kick your ass."

He chuckled at her fierce tone. He took out his vest and turtle-neck shirt beneath it, followed with his pants and just threw them around. He didn't bother to grab a shirt to cover his upper body. With only boxers, he sneaked inside the covers. "Mm.. 'kay…" He murmured weakly as he pulled her towards his chest. His nose nestled on her head. He took another deep breath, catching her scent. He didn't know why, but Kushina's scent can always comfort him. Her scent was not like some feminine, flowery type of scent. It was more like… orange? He didn't know how to explain it, but he loved it. It was warm, comforting, relaxing. Made him feel like he was home whenever he pulled her into his arms. "… Shina…"

"Mmm?" She murmured at the weak whisper, her face pressed into his firm chest.

"… am… home…" Soon, he had dozed off, muttering her name once more before falling into a long sleep.

"Welcome home."

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She looked happy.

Minato realized that as he sipped his tea. Maybe that was because they were having breakfast together. Or maybe because he said something last night that he didn't even remember. He knew that they hadn't spent time together for quite a long time. He felt guilty about it. But he couldn't help it. Some village asked Konoha for help. He needed to accept it. He had no choice. It was important to built friendly relationships with other village. Now, the problem was solved somehow. He sighed happily as he realized that he could spend more time with Kushina.

"You know, the ramen you bought last time was superb!" She exclaimed, while chewing her toast.

"Which one?" He asked, trying to remember which ramen he bought for her. Kushina loves ramen and he often bought her Ichiraku's. But he hadn't bought her any ramen for quite a long time now.

"Oh, the instant ramen. Remember? I found it in the cupboard last night. I was too lazy to cook, with you staying overnight at the office," she grinned.

Minato frowned. "I don't remember replenishing the ramen stock… Are you sure the ramen is safe enough to be…"

Then he saw her smile fade. The color of her face changed, as if blood drained off from her face. "Kushina?" Minato put down his cup and his body started to tense. Her face was green now. She threw her toast, and got up, stumbled her way into the nearest bathroom. "Kushina? What's wrong?" his voice raised as he got up and followed her quickly.

"Stay. Away." She snarled. Her breath was unsteady. Suddenly she brought her hand to her mouth, and her face became pale green. She quickly pushed Minato away, and threw the door shut in his face. His eyes widened and he froze for a second when he heard her vomiting. His eyes caught four big bowls of instant ramen inside the trash bin near the toilet. He reached one and took a quick glance at the expiry date.

"Oh no…" he groaned. Six months ago? And Kushina ate four of them? Sometimes he wondered how Kushina can be such a big eater with her slim and small figure. He opened the cupboard and saw some of the expired ramen. He scooped all of them up and threw them away quickly. Better do it now before Kushina eats them again. After disposing all the ramen that was left, he knocked on the the door. "You need anything?"

"Just go away," she replied quickly. Her voice was shaking.

"Kushina. I need to check you out. Open the door." He knocked again, urgently this time. Then she threw up again. Minato frowned. The thought of Kushina suffering and being unable to do anything made him mad. "Kushina? Can I do anything? Please?" He was begging now. He should call a doctor. Never underestimate food poisoning, he thought. When he was almost about to transport himself to the hospital to drag a doctor back, he heard her whisper. She sounded in pain but better than before.

"Just… just bring me my toothbrush, and a tee shirt too."

He ran to their bathroom at on the upper floor, grabbed the stuff, and in less than half a minute, he knocked at Kushina's bathroom. The door was opened, and Kushina looked much better. Her face was still pale, but no longer green in color. "I'm okay now." She grinned weakly as she snatched the toothbrush and t-shirt from Minato's hand. "Thanks." And she slammed the door in his face again, making his mouth open in disbelief.

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"Are you sure you are okay now?" Minato asked for the hundredth time.

"I AM fine." And she replied for the hundredth time.

"But you said the same thing this morning," he protested. "And now you look quite sick to me. I really need to take you to…"

"I'm okay now." Kushina sighed. She admitted that she threw up but that was because of the stupid expired instant ramen. Okay, maybe she was the stupid one, not the ramen. But that was only food poisining. And she was fine now. She felt much better after she threw up. She felt better now. She didn't want to waste time by going to hospital and left him alone at home. She missed him. So much. She didn't know whether Minato felt the same. She missed him. She hated to admit that. All this time he was busy, working, taking care of his citizens. She was not some kind of selfish woman that wanted her husband all to herself but that didn't mean that she couldn't miss him.

"I can come with you to the hospital, you know," he said, smiling at her. "After all today is my day-off."

"I know," she replied, trying to ignore his smile. She was too familiar with that smile. Minato always let her win in every argument, but he can always manipulate her with that gorgeous smile. She stared at him and his smile widened, as if he knew what was going on inside her mind. "Today is your day-off." She repeated to herself, looking like an idiot. His eyes sparkled as he saw her blush. "That is exactly the reason why I don't want to go to the hospital. I want you to rest, enjoy your day-off. And I want to stay here..." She stared at his cerulean eyes. "With you." She stumbled as she said those words.

She never said those things to him. Never mention to him how she really feels about him. She was never good with words, not like him. But she knew that he understood. "So, can we just stay here for today?" She asked once more, trying to hide her blush.

"I'd love to," he answered, frowning. "But you're not well, not since this morning."

"I am now. You don't see me vomiting again right?"

He sighed, realizing that he couldn't make her to go to the hospital. Indeed, Kushina looked fine now but she had refused to eat anything after throwing up this morning, which made him worried. "Alright. But you at least need to eat something."

She groaned. "I'm not hungry." The thought of eating made her feel sick again.

"I'll cook." He smiled, knowing that Kushina won't refuse his offer. And he was right. In less than a second, she grinned widely.

"Alright, I'll eat. I haven't eaten your cooking since forever!"

Minato couldn't hide his relieved smile. "Sure. What do you want to eat?"

"Anything," she laughed for a moment. "You think of something, while I change my shirt..." She looked down at the shirt that Minato gave her. She had just realized that the shirt was his. A light blue, over-sized t-shirt. She ran upstairs, went to their closet. When her hands dug through her clothes, she saw something inside the closet. She froze.

Pack of pads. Untouched.

She frowned, pulling her fingers, counting the days since her last period.

Then she froze again.

It was not days since her last period. It was months.

Two months.

She's not a bright woman, but she's not stupid. She didn't take the shots. She knew exactly what would happen once she stopped having the contraceptive shot. No shots, no period, vomiting...

A baby.

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He hummed his favorite song as he cracked the eggs and placed them in a bowl. Maybe he could make some omelets for dinner. As he reached the spoon, he thought of Kushina. As soon as she had changed, she had ran downstairs, shouting to him that she wanted to get something outside. He asked her where she wanted to go but she didn't reply and fled just like that. He shook his head slightly. He couldn't understand what was going on. Kushina was acting all weird since this morning. He stirred the eggs quitely and suddenly his hands stopped as his nose caught some weird, disgusting smell. He frowned, sniffing at the eggs.

"Bad eggs," Still frowning, he threw the eggs into the sink and opened the fridge. His eyes stuck on dozens of eggs. "Which ones?" He groaned when he realized that he didn't know which eggs were still edible. Finaly, he decided to just crack them one by one. "This going to take a long time." He was thinking of just forgetting about the eggs and cooking something else. But Kushina loves eggs.

It took him about half an hour to finally find the edible eggs. He was still stirring the eggs when he heard the door open. "Minato!" He heard her screaming. "Minato!" She screamed again. He forgot his eggs and tilted his head towards the direction. What happened to her now? Why she sounded so... delighted?

"Yeah, hon?" he called back. He looked at her. She was standing few metres away from him. Her eyes were sparkling, her face beamed like it was about to explode. She breathed heavily as if she had been running fast just now. One of her hands was placed on top of her flat stomach. "What's up?"

"A baby!"

"A baby?" He raised one of his eyebrow, still didn't understand what was going on.

"I'm going to be a mother, dattebane!"

Then his mouth dropped. It was a miracle that he didn't drop the bowl too.

He thought back to the time when Kushina decided not to take the shot, when she blushed as she thought of their future baby, when they made love, when he was so busy that he rarely see her, when she vomited this morning, when she suddenly ran from the house without telling him where she wanted to go, and now...

Baby.

Her, becoming a mother.

Him, becoming a...

"I'm going to be a father..." he barely whispered. His face felt hot and the eggs were long forgotten. He didn't believe it. He couldn't believe it. But it was real. His eyes were stuck at the red shades over her cheecks, at her glossy violet eyes and finally, at her stomach.

A baby.

His and Kushina's.

A baby.

"I'm going to become a mother!" She exclaimed once more. Her feet moved a few steps towards him.

"I'm going to become a father!" He found his voice at last. Still holding the bowl, he moved a few steps as well.

"I'm going to become a mother!" And she threw herself towards him.


to be continued...

thanks for reading. Hopefully i didnt make them out of character...

Suggestions are welcome :)