Two Families,


They had married on the same day, two couples both alike in dignity, two couples who had had two very different weddings. The first couple's wedding had been arranged as a loveless marriage of state between two villages. The second couple's marriage had taken place hidden away in a a governors office very hush-hush incase the groom's family caught wind of it, after all they had married off their heiress so that he could inheirt, which meant he couldn't just marry any one now. Although a marriage of state the first couple grew to admire and eventually love one another in the months that followed. The grizzled leader who had never known love outside of his siblings and a very close friend (who had orgainized his marriage concidentally) fell hard for his demure little bride, whose eyes were worth a fortune and whose shy nature had made it hard to get close to her at first. The bride had fallen for her husband with relative ease when she saw he wouldn't push her into things she felt she wasn't ready for, no matter what his advisors said. She began to see his soft side as he addressed the children of the village and his own nephew. She chose not to mention this to him, but was surprised when his softer side began to include her. She would never grow to regret her desicon to marry him, despite the trials they would face together. Three months into the marriage they began to try for the heir that they councillors so badly wanted. In another village the second couple fell more deeply in love, despite the criticism and demands for the groom to put his wife aside, the went on with their love only growing stronger in the face of such adversary. They both decided that there careers were more important and to put aside the idea of having children together for now. The wife went on contraception and they put aside all thoughts of an heir. It was a surprise to them when two years into the marriage, the wife found herself three months pregnant, in the middle of a mission.

Two years into the first couples marriage, their was no sign of children, tactfully the couple never discussed it. Instead they both threw themselves into work, but the grizzled leader still very much in love with his bride watched as his wife began to sneak into a black hole in her quest for children, when her cousin wrote that he and his wife were expecting twins despite using two kinds of contraception. Gaara saw his wife breakdown for the first time, she had been sitting at a small desk in their home office when she read the letter and to his complete shock began to cry. It was the first time in their marriage despite, twenty one months of trying to concieve, that he had ever seen her loose control of her emotions. In that breif moment he knew he would do anything for her so long as this never happened again.

The first time Neji saw TenTen cry was when she was laboring over their little surprise twins. A hard labor, with one twin still in breech, and the other sticking close to TenTen's rib cage. It lasted three days, until finally two little girls were born. The elders on the hyuuga council didn't think it was funny that their heir would marry someone so unsuitable then go on to have twin girls with her. They informed Neji that next time his wife better have a boy. Neji responsed with language they had never heard the like of. Young people now days, no respect for their elders they had muttered amougst themselves. Meanwhile, Neji was perfectly happy with his girls. Reita and Hideo would be strong and suscessful no matter what path they were on. This Neji knew as though it was written in front of him.

Four more years passed, and two more children for Neji's growing brood. Slight mumurs of the kazekage and his wife having fertility issues had turned into bald face questions, though Gaara and Hinata never cofirmed this. Every month the black cloud surrounding Hinata got worse, and Gaara began to despair he would never get his little shy happy bride that had come to him just six years previously back to normal, in truth he had begun to forget what normal was like. All he knew was that one night when she crawled into bed beside him she had whispered that she did not feel as though she could live if she was destinied to never have children. He would do anything to save his wife this despair. To rescue her from the pit of depression that had swallowed her whole.

TenTen watched as her twin girls, the little babies she labored so hard over went to school for the first time, and felt a sense of loss. She couldn't protect them anymore, they had started on their own paths where eventaully they wouldn't need their mother. She sighed and went inside to tend to her younger children, the days would go on and there was the letter from the sand that needed answering today as well as Ashi's blanket needed mending. She and Neji had yet to have a little boy, and Sakura had warned TenTen off having more after this one. Sliently she prayed for a boy, and idly wondered when Hinata was going to have her first.

Nine years into their marriage, and it was Hinata's thirty first birthday, she had long given up hope of having a child of her own. The gods had not seen fit to bless them with children yet, and seemed unlikely too. She did not take this news lying down however, she and Gaara fought at every turn, continuing to try, to the point where it consumed them both and began to put a strain on them. Hinata's mental health continued to cause worry for Gaara, though she did her best to put on a brave face she couldn't hide from him that she had turned into a walking cloud of misery, whom now, even children avoided because she was just too sad. For her birthday they visited Konoha for the first time since their marriage. Gaara worried for the entire three day trip there that the sight of her nieces and her year mates children might be the weight that broke the camels back. However, on their fourth day in Konoha she seemed down right cheerful, truly cheerful for the first time in recent memory. She didn't even flinch when Sakura mentioned she was expecting once more and she didn't give off an aura of longing when she held Ino and Naruto's new born son. Gaara didn't know what to think.

It was the last birth TenTen would ever face and Neji, despite having sat through three labors muttering comforting words, rubbing her back and holding her hand, had come to terms with the fact he would never get used to the sight of TenTen crying. As luck would have it, Sakura had told them early on that this would be another set of twins, two sets of twins, and two single births. At least, he thought, they were doing things in even numbers. The labor, thankfully, was TenTen's quickest yet, and as she sat there a twin suckling at each of her breasts, Neji thought he could never love anyone as much as her and his family. Two more little girls, the elders sighed over dinner that night. Evidentally, Hizashi and Hisashi had bred two dud's, one could only produce girl babies, though he seemed to have those in excess. The other could produce none.

He began to worry when Hinata didn't appear in his office to force him to take a break for midday, something she had done since the very first day of their marriage. A niggling worry though not to serious, prompted him to wonder if he should take a break and go look for her. When his midday turned up made by the chef's the niggling worry turned more serious. The chefs that hadn't made a single meal for him since his marriage ten years and three days ago. The had only gotten back from Konoha a week ago, so Gaara told himself that his wife was probably resting in her own office. A quick check of said office caused slightly more panic on his behalf and he sped up his pace as he checked the kazekage building. She wasn't in there, so he decided to make a quick check home, quickly he formed the seals, and appeared in the lobby of their home. It was only a five minute walk but the little bit of panic he had first felt had now developed into full blown anixety. A maid had told him that Hinata hadn't come into the Kazekage building at all that day.

He flew into their bedroom and stopped dead in his tracks. The room was a mess, he found it hard to believe his clean freak wife would have left it like that. There seemed to be a trail of odd white wrappers leading into the bathroom, he followed those without delay. What if something had happened to her?! He couldn't imagine a life without her, she was his worl-.

Hinata was sitting on the edge of their tub, face as white as the sheets on their bed. surrounding her on every surface were pregnancy tests, along with one in her hand, slowly, avoiding the tests, Gaara walked in and took her hand, the one not holding the test.

"Hinata?" She looked at him, and Gaara was struck by the sheer happiness, it was more than just happy, she was positively euphoric. Simply glowing with joy.

"I thought so, when we were in Konoha, I saw Sakura and she said I was but to test again when we got home because her charka is all wonky because of the baby," Gaara wasn't following, he was still staring at her like he had never seen her before, and a tear rolled down from an over bright eye, Gaara went to wipe it with his free hand however, Hinata caught his hand, as more tears began to roll down her face.

"Gaara, don't you understand?" He didn't. Silently she handed him the test in her hand. Two pink lines. Gaara had seen enough of these with just one line to last a lifetime. Two pink lines was something, two pink lines was different, two pink lines meant...

"Are you sure?" He asked quietly, hardly daring to believe it was true.

"I've taken about a hundred tests since this morning all positive, I must have drunk my weight in water about twice. I can feel another charka signature as well, I am 100% pregnant, Gaara, about four months pregnant I would say,"

For the first time in their ten year battle, Gaara wept.

You never know till you hold your child for the first time, how great your love can be for one small person. You never know how small toes can be, or how you can love someone unconditionally without them ever doing anything to you except throwing up on you. Until you hold your first hard won child in your arms you never understand pure love. Gaara felt numb as he stared at the naked bundle of human flesh in his arms, he wondered how his father could have brung himself to put a tailed beast into him as a baby. Hinata looked at him, as though she had never seen him before as she smiled still high on natures drugs that help women through childbirth. Gaara counted the babys fingers, ten perfect fingers, ten perfect toes, two big lavender eyes that seemed almost ageless staring up him. This was perfection, he didn't need to know if the baby was a boy or a girl. It didn't matter, it was their's. A perfect mix of him and his wife. His beautiful wife, who he handed the baby back to so they could settle down to feeding him for the first time.

"Welcome to the world, Ena,"

They were married on the same day. But the road of life took them on different yet similar paths. The grooms brought about social change within their day to day dealings. The wives were shocked to find their lives did not go as they had orignally planned. The first wife had thought she would be the mother to a family legacy, as her mother had been, as her grandmother had been, and as her mother in law had been before her. She was young and healthy why should she not be? Fate, she found out, often had different ideas. The second wife had no daydreams of babies and legacies, sure she would have eventually but only when she was too old to be an active field ninja. She found out that sometimes fate needs you to be open minded, to this day she curses the waste of the very expensive birth control that had landed her with twins. Not that she regretted the twins, they were just a bit early than she had planned.

Fate rules the young, the cock sure and the proud. The two families learned this, but they never regretted the lesson for in the end their lives were richer for it.