I have to admit that this may not be the most interesting chapter, just the plot flowing through a bit in the beginning and at the ending. Most of it revolves around Nicola. I don't know if there are many stories like this out there, but I only read a few mpreg stories and they were always about the pregnancy. Here I focused on how it is to actually have a one year old. Maybe I am a little off, but I'm trying to pick from what I have experienced with babies(which isn't much). I hope you will all like it anyway :) And otherwise I apologies, but I do want to show bits of the girl...

Oh and thanks for all the guesses ;) It actually made me change the ending... I am evil!

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A week had gone by already and Deidara and I have been taking shifts of who goes to the art gallery and keeps an eye out. The whole night had been a big success and they had sold many paintings and also Sasori's puppets. And they days afterwards had been extra busy as well, so business was going well and we were earning quite some money again. But now with the extra demand, I had to paint a lot more, so needed to be at the gallery more as well, but then the problem was that I wouldn't be able to actually be a host to the people that stopped by.

So the plan was now to make Sasori a manager as well and let him host some days and also actually move his workplace here as well. It were big plans and I wasn't that happy about it all. I still felt awkward spending much time with the redhead, still very aware of the feelings he held for Deidara, but there was no other option and with the big demand I might need to find more artists to actually get by. I never had anticipated on this being such a big success. There actually already had been a few people asking if they could place their art here as well now that I have given someone the approval. It was quite the compliment of course.

But now it's mostly time to enjoy our little girl. Deidara was at the art gallery, giving Sasori the tour on how to lead the place and lock it off when he would leave. Naruto had been hired as well to be sort of a guide and tell a story, but wasn't allowed to handle the register. Those were just some rules we kept on, but Naruto was happy he had a paying job in the first place and we were happy to have him.

So with the house empty, me sitting on the couch with a little girl next to me, playing with some blocks we had bought for her, I was at ease. Scratch that, I was not alone with my daughter. Oh no, the drama was not over yet and enjoying this peaceful day after working a few in a row was not an option. Mother was here… And she was going on and on about something that I frankly didn't want to talk about.

'You just really need to go see him, Itachi. It's been years since you have honestly talked and you can't keep on avoiding him forever. Doesn't he have the right to see his granddaughter?'

See, annoying. There is no reason for me to even want to talk to the man and no, he did not have the right to see Nicola. Not now, not ever. He had screwed that up the day he decided it was okay to beat his children until they listened. Although apparently Sasuke has had a pretty easy life. Even now that he had a boyfriend. It was all just fucked up, but that was not something I could say to mother. She might actually slap me as well, but she would have a better reason to. No bad words around Nikki. It was harder than it seemed at first…

Tiredly I wipe a hand across my face, a soft sigh escaping my lips. We have been going over this for the past fifteen minutes and neither one of us was backing down. 'I do not want to talk to him, mother. And I will certainly not let him see Nicola. That man will not lay a finger on her. So drop it and let's move on. Weren't you here to spend some time with your grandchild?'

And she actually nodded, finally listening to me. I could've kissed her, but yeah, I didn't of course. How awkward would that be? Still it felt like something was off. Mother wasn't someone to easily let something go, so I was pretty sure that she had planned something. Too bad I wouldn't find out until it was actually happening. Weird how Deidara was the same way. Excellent at hiding plans that would supposedly make me feel better and then shock me when something was happening. Maybe he actually learned this from mother. Untrustworthy people they were… Better warn Sasuke and keep Naruto away from the woman before he gets corrupted as well.

Then to pull us both out of our thoughts, Nicola starts tugging on my sleeve, saying rather loudly, 'mah, mah.'She had given us names now. Deidara was dah and I was mah. I certainly hope that she isn't referring to me as mama, because I don't think my ego would live that down. How embarrassing would that be?

'I think someone is hungry,' I say as I pick her up. It was about feeding time for her anyway, so it was time for a nice warm meal, from a jar. It looked disgusting, but she seemed to love it. Mother stood up as well and then I thought about making use of the situation. She wanted to spend time with Nicola, so why not? 'Could you put her in her chair, then I will get her food warm.' And immediately the girl was out of my arms and mother was cradling her close, cooing soft things at her. Too bad I hadn't warned her how badly Nicola reacted when she was hungry. Tugging on your hair until you gave her food and screaming mah or dah over and over again. It was something we were working on, but it was hard unlearning something like that. Someone had been too nice to the girl.

As I walked into the kitchen I could already here Nikki's voice getting louder and let's say I was glad there was now a door between me and my baby girl. I grabbed a jar from the cabinet and placed it in the microwave, the lid off as I warmed it up. It was so boring to wait for the food to warm up, but everyone already experienced that. Especially when something has to go in the oven. That takes even longer.

When the jar is warm and I put the food in Nikki's own little plate, I bring it back over to the living room. Nicola comfortably sitting in her chair, tugging away at my mother's long hair. As soon as Nicola noticed the steaming bowl of food, she let out a happy screech, clapping her hands lightly until I placed it in front of her. Immediately her hands went to the food, but I told her no and more frequently she actually has been listening to me. Quite a miracle don't you think? So I told my mother to feed her while I sat down on the couch again, watching the cute display in front of me.

How strange it may seem, but it was actually kind of nice to have mother in my life again. Yes, I have been corrupted as well. Blame a certain blonde that I apparently still love. Why you ask? Ah, who knows? I guess he's kind of cute. More like he's the love of my life, but let's not get into that.

It takes some time for Nicola to finish her food and mother takes her time as well, cooing some more and making funny noises. Which Nikki in return loves, so only eats when mother makes the noises. She was doomed. This girl was smart and knew exactly what to do to make us do whatever she wanted. Deidara and I were aware of this and were trying to not teach her too much that made her feel better, but it was hard. Yeah, we were having a hard time being good parents, but it is something everyone struggles with. Didn't mean we didn't love being parents. Just seeing that precious face every morning made my day extra special. I had painted enough in her honour already.

As Nicola finishes I step over and quickly wipe her mouth clean with her bib, taking her bowl with me and leave her to my mother to get her out of the chair. And mother seemed happy about that, having more time with her grandchild. I just watch them when I get back out of the kitchen, seeing how much mother loves little Nicola, a pinch of jealousy flowing through me. Mother was never that happy with me, father always standing in the way, claiming that too much attention would make me weak. Such a strange man he really was or is probably.

'How's Sasuke doing?' I ask her. Hadn't spoken to the boy in a while and I kind of missed my little brother. I hoped he would come visit his niece soon, but something made him stay away still. Hopefully he didn't envy Nicola too much.

Mother turns towards me as Nicola struggles in her arms to get down to the ground again and play some more. It was already five p.m. so only so little time to actually play some more. Around seven she needed to go to bed, earlier if she seemed tired. Eventually mother just sets her back on the couch and sits next to her, making sure she can't fall off.

'Well, he seems to be doing alright. Now that this whole dating thing is more serious with Naruto, he actually does stuff and arranges stuff for the both of them. I think mostly he is working so hard to make you proud of him, but he would die before admitting that. I think he's actually planning on moving out soon and finding a place for him and Naruto.'

That was quite shocking. Moving out already? And hopefully not just to make me proud. You should move in with someone, because you wanted to. Like Deidara and I had done. It may have been an escape from father, but I certainly wanted to live together with my lovely blonde. It wasn't just a rash decision on our part. And we prove it by still living together and sharing all these responsibilities together. A contract that we are partners for life first of all, then we had the art gallery together, of course we bought Ita together and now the biggest responsibility, adopting a baby together.

'Oh, don't be so judgemental,' mother speaks up, immediately reading my facial expression. That damn woman. 'You know he admires you, but he does love Naruto a lot and he wants to live together with him, because of that. Not because you moved in with Deidara. I don't spend a lot of time with the two together, but when I call Naruto he always talks so sweetly about my little boy.'

What the hell? Of course she already had clawed her way into their lives. Sasuke was doomed. Naruto would be just like Deidara and mother. Planning things behind his back that were supposedly better for him. Damn those people! I definitely have to call Sasuke as soon as possible and warn him about this. But at least this also meant that mother saw their relationship lasting for a long time and that meant something. Mother had not cared for all the girls Sasuke had before Naruto.

'Well, I am just happy Sasuke seems to be doing alright and that father doesn't make them split up like he wanted me and Deidara to,' I respond, not letting up that I noticed the calling at all. She certainly would stop me and make sure her plans were going great.

A smile forms on mother's lips as she plays with Nicola, but it soon fades as she looks up at me with a serious expression. 'You really need to go talk to your father. Even Sasuke agrees with me. Don't keep this grudge forever, Itachi. I know it's difficult and I know you can't forgive him for what he has done, but at least let Fugaku explain some things.' A saddened look is placed on her face and it makes me uncomfortable, almost luring me in and give in to her little speech, but I won't.

'I won't talk to him mother,' I state and that was all we say to each other until mother leaves some time later, giving me a kiss on the cheek as she moves out of the apartment. And as I am alone again and putting Nicola to bed, I can't stop thinking about how she had almost sounded too desperate to get me to talk to father. Was something going on that I wasn't aware of?

Characters © Masashi Kishimoto

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