Chapter Sixteen


Nine Months Later…

"Oh my gosh Gaara. Just pick an orange for pete's sake. Do I have to do everything myself?" Sakura asked, waddling up to the stand and grabbing an orange. She turned and handed it to him.

"Here. This one is perfect. Now pay the man and let's go. I want some ice cream." She said, slowly turning towards the direction of the ice cream vendor.

Gaara simply let her rant, already used to her mood swings and cravings by now. If he had had his way, he would be here grocery shopping by himself, leaving the very pregnant Sakura at home. But because she knew he was useless when it came to shopping, she had insisted on coming along.

He quickly paid the man and turned to catch up to his wife, grabbing her arm to support her. It took a while, since Sakura couldn't walk as fast as she used to, but they eventually made it to the ice cream stand. Buying their usual, one chocolate and one vanilla, he handed her the chocolate one and began on his.

She took one lick and then froze. Suddenly beneath her there was a puddle of water. Gaara stared at it, confused. "Sakura…what is that?" he asked, slightly horrified. He didn't remember hearing anything about pregnant women suddenly wetting themselves.

Sakura stared at the puddle, knowing exactly what that meant. She shrugged and continued to eat her ice cream. "It just means that my water broke and the baby is on the way." She told him, biting into her cone.

"WHAT?!" he screamed, "What do we do?! Where do we go?! The hospital! We need to get to the hospital!" he panicked, starting to cause a scene in the middle of the street. After all, he wasn't the best in these types of situations.

Sakura watched him indifferently, not surprised by his reaction at all. She continued to eat her ice cream, intent on finishing it before making her way to the hospital. He stopped in his pacing, looking back at her. "We have to go!" he yelled, worry all over his face. He grabbed her wrist, causing her to drop her ice cream before they disappeared in an instant.

They arrived in the lobby of the hospital. Gaara was immediately at the front desk demanding to know what to do and telling them she was about to have their baby. Sakura simply stared at her empty hand, sadness overwhelming her. "My ice cream…" she pouted. Shifting her glare to her husband, she huffed. "Gaara! You go get me another chocolate cone THIS INSTANT!" she yelled, stomping her foot.

He turned around from the front desk and blinked, "Sakura we don't have time for ice cream! The baby is coming!"

"It's not gonna be here for a while. If you don't go get me another cone, I swear this baby will grow up without a father." She threatened, completely serious.

He glared back at her, "I'm not leaving. So deal with it."

One of the nurses walked up, pushing a wheelchair, "Hello Sakura-sama. I see your baby is on the way." She smiled happily.

"Chair. Now." Gaara pointed towards the nurse.

She crossed her arms defiantly. "I am perfectly capable of walking thank you very much." She said, turning towards the hallway that led to the rooms used for birthing.

He followed her, grumbling with his arms crossed tightly over his chest. Such a defiant woman, he hoped their child took after him more. The nurse simply laughed and followed the two.

When they reached the room, Sakura grabbed one of the nightgowns and headed for the bathroom, closing the door in Gaara's face. When she reemerged, she placed her clothes in an empty chair and began to fold them, humming softly to herself.

"Sakura, you need to get in the bed. Leave the clothes alone." He told her, afraid that the baby would pop out at any moment and land on the tile floor.

"As I said Gaara, we have plenty of time. Most births take hours, so you might as well make yourself comfortable, because we'll be here for a while." She said serenely, placing the now folded clothes in the chair. Then she walked over to the bed and got in it, situating herself in a semi-reclined position. At the moment she could feel the pain of the contractions, but it wasn't anything she couldn't handle, and she knew she would need to save her energy for when it was time to push the baby out.

She turned to the nurse and asked, "Can you please send a message to Ino for me? Tell her that I am giving birth, and that I need chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate. And some kebabs, the really tasty ones from the street vendor. She'll know what I'm talking about."

"Right away Sakura-sama." The nurse said, quickly leaving the room.

"Sakura, this is no time to be thinking about food. You should be doing those breathing exercises we learned about, not eating." Gaara told her, trying to remember how the exercises went.

"I need to eat something, since you wouldn't let me have any more ice cream. Besides, I'll need all the nutrients and energy I can get to push the baby out. Why don't you have a seat honey? You look kind of pale." She said, giving him a worried look.

He sat down in the empty chair in the room. He wouldn't let it show but he was freaking out. He had no idea what was supposed to happen, and it was his child. He didn't want anything bad to happen to her, or their baby. He almost didn't like this feeling. It was hard enough always worrying about Sakura's safety, and now he had another life to look after. He leaned back and let out a loud sigh as he shut his eyes. This was going to be a long day.

A slice of chocolate cake, eight kebabs, and thirteen hours later, Sakura was close to screaming at the pain she was feeling. Ino and Kiba were waiting outside the room, since she only wanted Gaara to be with her when the baby arrived. She was so close, she could feel it. Literally.

Sweating from the effort she was putting forth, she turned her head to the side to look at Gaara. He looked like he was about to go crazy. She held her hand out to him. "Gaara…are you feeling ok?" she asked, panting.

Gaara tore his gaze away from her stomach and locked eyes with her. "Maybe I shouldn't be in here." He said, looking very strained. He took her hand. He needed reassuring that she would be alright. She was in so much pain, and he couldn't do anything about it. It was like his worst nightmare.

"No, don't leave. I need you." She said, letting out a scream as another contraction hit her. She squeezed his hand really hard then, not focused enough to control her natural strength. After it had passed, she let go of his hand. "I'm sorry. I didn't hurt you too bad did I?" she asked worriedly.

He shook his head, "No I'm fine, sand armor remember?" he informed her, holding up his hand for her to see. His sand skin was cracked, slowly repairing itself. "You don't need to worry about hurting me." He took her hand once more and kissed her forehead. "Just hurry up and make it through this."

"Ok." She said, giving him a small smile.

"Sakura-sama it's time. You're dilated enough. Now give us one final push!" the doctor said encouragingly.

She let out a full scream then, gripping Gaara's hand tightly and scrunching her eyes in concentration. A few seconds later small cries filled the room. The doctor took the baby and washed it, cutting the umbilical cord and wrapping it in a small blanket. While this was going on the nurses retrieved the afterbirth, and healed Sakura's wounds from pushing the tiny child out of her body.

The doctor walked over then and handed Sakura her baby. "Congratulations, you have a beautiful baby boy."

She let go of Gaara's hand and sat up, cradling her son in her arms. She was a mother. She smiled at her baby. He had his father's hair and eyes, although they were just a bit darker. "Gaara, you're a father." She said in awe. Looking over at her love, she asked, "What should we name him?" slight worry on her face as her dream from months ago came back to haunt her. No, he wanted this child, otherwise he wouldn't have been so worried.

He was beside her in a second, looming over their beautiful creation. She saw the smile that crept slowly up his face. He let his hand up, stroking the small boy's cheek gently. "His name…should be Toshiro." He said softly, looking from his perfect, innocent son to its beautiful mother.

She smiled back up at him tenderly. "Toshiro it is then." And there so began one of the greatest journeys the couple would embark on with each other. The journey of parenthood.




The terrifying sequel to Typhoon. Gaara and Sakura have a family now and everything is going great, until a disastrous Quake threatens to destroy the foundation of their lives.