Sasuke hated text messages.
They could be convenient, especially because he and Sakura were still living in different time periods of the day, but other times they were just confusing.
Whatever you do, don’t answer calls from the center or listen to their voicemails. I need to speak to you first.
That was the first message Sasuke read in the evening when he woke up. He had noticed the missed calls and text messages from other people but Sakura’s were always first priority. Which is exactly why he ignored the missed call from the center and voicemail.
He had called Sakura right away but she had told him that she needed to speak to him in person. There was a stuffy, thick quality to her voice that made his stomach ache from worry. She hadn’t been crying during the phone call but Sakura had been crying earlier.
“Go home,” Karin snapped, snatching the folders from off his desk. “I’ll file your stuff away but get the hell out of here. Your anxiety is nauseating, you stink.”
“Fuck off,” Sasuke muttered, checking from his peripheral if anyone had heard Karin’s comment.
“This has something to do with your human, doesn’t it?” Karin clutched the folders close to her chest. “She’s okay, right? Humans tend to get sick so easily.”
“She’s fine just…” Sasuke ran a hand brought his hair recalling how easily she had been falling asleep, “more fatigued than usual.”
“Stop drinking so much of her blood then.”
“I don’t think that’s the problem.” Sasuke sighed and looked at his phone. Maybe if he slipped out he could give Sakura a call and convince her to tell him what was wrong. Or take a longer break.
Karin clucked her tongue at him. “Just go. I’ll cover you here. It’s not like anything has happened all night.”
“Call me if anything comes up.” Sasuke shut down his computer. Knowing Karin, she was likely to only call him if someone in the building was dying. One of the leftover symptoms from her long dead amorous affections for him was the preferential treatment she usually gave him. If he didn’t want anyone to bother him, Karin would make sure no one did.
It was a lot easier to be friends with a snarky Karin than an overly flirty one.
“Yeah, yeah. But you still gotta introduce me to your human. I’m dying to meet her.”
Sasuke offered her a soft smile. Sakura shared the same sentiment and, really, the two of them were likely to absolutely love each other and end up close friends.
That was fine with Sasuke as long as Karin and Konan didn’t try and get her to dress like them. As completely unaffected as he was by Karin’s slim figure or even Konan’s much more voluptuous one, he felt that it would be sweet torture to see Sakura parade around in a cropped top that revealed her taut stomach or a mini skirt so short it could pass for a belt.
Just the thought of her had him missing her all over again. They had been back from their trip only a few days and he was already suffering from withdrawal. He had planned to finish his shift and make his way to her apartment to get his fix of her, even if all he could do was sneak into her bed and curl his body around hers for a few hours as she slept.
Sasuke was tempted to stop by his apartment and pick up some more of his things and prepare to camp out at Sakura’s apartment until she visited her family. They found out that he technically wasn’t allowed in her human apartment building but as long as his name wasn’t on the lease, Sasuke was simply the man that came to spend nights with his girlfriend.
No one needed to know that the man was of the fanged variety.
Life would be easier if she moved in with me.
“Oh, fuck me.”
Sakura closed her laptop and pushed it away. Despite the emotional rollercoaster that had been her afternoon, she had fallen asleep quite easily when she got home from the center. Upon discovery that her tiredness was a symptom of being pregnant, Sakura woke up from her nap ready to do some research.
From what she had read, a vampire pregnancy was almost identical to a human pregnancy. There was of course the differences in diet—Sakura had expected as much. She was not prepared for how much sleep pregnant vampires required. They practically went through a period of hibernation.
There goes my plan of finding a part time, Sakura groaned inwardly.
She knew she was going to have to drop out of school, especially now that she was no longer going to be receiving funding from the center, but she had hoped that she could pick up work part time so that she could keep her apartment.
Looks like I’m not just visiting next week but moving back.
Sakura fell sideways on her couch and curled inward. A hand slid over her lower abdomen protectively.
“We can take care of it in house if you would like, but you don’t need to make any decisions now.”
She didn’t need to think long about what she wanted to do. Sakura hadn’t even stepped foot out of the center and she knew that without a doubt she wanted to see the pregnancy through.
Reading the results of her lab work, the only thing that had made Sakura nervous was the wine she had drunk throughout her trip with Sasuke and the few beers with dinner she had knocked back the weeks before. She was sure it wasn’t an amount that would cause any damage but it was still something she felt stupid about.
On the train ride home, Sakura couldn’t help but calculate the expenses that would be coming. She had sent a quick text to Sasuke about needing to talk and immediately began doing the math.
It wasn’t until she was two stops away from home that she realized she had been calculating without taking in Sasuke’s income into consideration.
It wasn’t that she doubted that Sasuke loved her—she just wasn’t sure if Sasuke would want to have a hybrid child with her. The two were completely exclusive from each other.
Considering the world they lived in and the issues of segregation of the species, Sasuke may very well have planned to never have children with her. Why subject a child of theirs to the cruelty of the world?
But I love them.
Their child was a speck, only a couple of weeks old, but Sakura loved them as soon as she saw her hCG levels on that piece of paper. They were her, they were Sasuke, they were love. And she would welcome them into the world even if Sasuke was against it.
She tried to strengthen her resolve and tell herself that she could handle it if he preferred she aborted—that he would have no part of the difficulty of raising a half vampire, half human child. She tried to tell herself that, but her chest ached and her eyes stung from imagining Sasuke’s rejection of the physical manifestation of their union.
I guess it’s a good thing I’m going home for Obon, huh?
All she wanted was to be wrapped up in one of her mother’s home knit blankets with the promise of her father’s homemade dandan noodles—she didn’t even care how spicy it would be, she just wanted home.
“Mama will probably freak out when I tell her that Sasuke-kun has been a vampire this whole time,” Sakura muttered into one of her throw pillows.
There was a soft click from the door to her apartment. She sat up and saw Sasuke slip out of his shoes, stumbling slightly from his haste. Sakura had barely begun wiping her cheeks with the back of her hands when Sasuke was already sitting on the edge of the couch, replacing her hands with his.
“I wasn’t expecting you so soon, Sasuke-kun. I thought you had—“
“I dipped out early.” Sasuke stroked her cheeks with his thumbs, resting his forehead on hers. “Are you okay?”
Sakura sniffed, blinking away tears. “You didn’t talk to the center?”
“You said you wanted to talk to me first.”
Sakura let out a laugh that was broken by a sob she couldn’t reign in. She wasn’t sure that she would have had the same restraint as Sasuke if the roles had been reversed.
It was strange. As soon as she heard the news, she had committed to her decision and had started making plans. She had come to terms with her pregnancy and nothing was going to make her change her mind. Sakura repeated the words to herself and had even prepared a speech for her parents and for Ino.
But now she couldn’t find the words.
Closing her eyes and taking a deep breath, Sakura grabbed one of Sasuke’s wrists and pulled it away from her face. She flattened his palm with her thumb and placed it on her lower stomach. Slowly, opening her eyes she watched as understanding dawned on his face. First his eyebrows scrunched down in the adorable way they did when he was confused and then his eyes widened, mouth falling slightly open as he stared at their joined hands transfixed.
“Birth control pills are ninety-nine percent effective,” Sakura explained. “But considering we’re one of those rare vampire and human couples we should have expected to be that one percent.”
“This is why you wanted me to ignore the calls from the center.” It wasn’t formed as a question but Sakura nodded her head regardless.
“I thought you would freak out when they told you they would need to find you a new donor.”
“I wouldn’t want a new donor anyway. I can survive on cold donations.” Sasuke sat back, pulling her along with him so she settled in his lap. “You stressed me out. I thought you were sick or something.”
“You’re taking this surprisingly well.” Sakura pulled slightly back to narrow her eyes at him. He had begun to rub soothing circles to the small of her back, cradling her body against his.
“It was inevitable.” Sasuke smirked at her, chuckling at the drop of her jaw. “The wrong order, but come on Sakura. As if I would want this with anyone but you.”
Sakura buried her face into the crook of his neck and grumbled, “I was so stressed and you’re acting like it’s nothing.”
“Well it’s not nothing.” Sasuke buried his fingers in her hair and massaged her scalp. Sakura murmured softly, content with the small gesture of affection. “But my sister-in-law is a Daywalker. It wouldn’t be the first hybrid in our family.”
Sakura shifted on the balls of her feet and combed her fingers through the ends of her hair, twirling the strands so they formed curls that rested against her shoulders. She took a deep breath in and exhaled slowly.
“The longer we stand out here, the later we’ll be, Sakura.” Sasuke sighed and shifted the box holding the gift of wine Sakura had brought with her to meet his parents in his arms. He was going to need the wine after his mother found out that he had knocked up his girlfriend.
“You’re going to be just as nervous when we tell my parents next week!” Sakura snapped at him, closing her compact mirror. “You try being the pregnant out of wedlock human girl in this scenario.”
Sakura turned the corner to head to the front gate but then swiftly turned bout almost knocking Sasuke into the high wall that shielded his family home.
“And I know you said your family came from old money, but really this is not what I expected,” she hissed, pointing at the compound walls.
“Yeah, great-uncle Madara didn’t hold back on the extravagance.”
“Stop being so nonchalant about this, Sasuke-kun!” Sakura huffed. She dusted the front of her qipao style fit and flare dress. “Do I really look okay?”
“Good enough to eat,” Sasuke replied dryly.
“Oh, you think you’re so funny.”
“Sakura. You’re so worried about making a good impression, but you’re making us late and my father is strict about punctuality.”
“I’m freaking out, okay!” Sakura wiped her hands down her cheeks. “You said the only one I have to worry about is your uncle, right? But he might not be there?”
“Probably not.” Sasuke stuffed his hands into his pocket and leaned against the wall, giving up on being on time. “Not sure what would bug him more: the human thing or the half Chinese thing.”
“Oh, great. So I’m double screwed.”
Sakura started pacing back and forth, muttering under her breath and second guessing their decision to inform their parents. When she mentioned something about moving to a secluded small seaside town or to the country, Sasuke wrapped his fingers around her forearm and led her to the front gate.
“Come on, my mother is probably freaking out thinking that you decided to dump me instead of having dinner with them.”
Sasuke pulled her arm so that it was looped through his and clasped his hand over hers when it settled on his elbow.
Sakura scowled as she glanced around the compound the deeper they went. “It’s like a small town here. Is that a river?”
“It’s a creek. Once we cross that bridge, it’s just a short walk to the main house.”
Sakura leaned into him, looking around warily. “I haven’t seen your apartment yet and I’m already glad that you live there instead. This place is kind of intimidating.”
Sasuke snorted. “You’re not even afraid because you’re surrounded by a clan of vampires, but because of how wealthy they are.”
“Well when you put it that way it does sound silly.”
He patted the hand that rest at his elbow to soothe her and led her through a grove of trees that blocked the main house from the rest of the buildings for privacy.
They had barely passed the last line of trees when they heard a cry of “Sasuke-kun!”
“What was━” Sakura couldn’t get the question out before she was tackled into a strong embrace by someone. It was no wonder Sasuke had insisted that he carry the gift for his parents.
“You’re so cute!” A woman who looked no older than thirty with a similar face to Sasuke’s gushed, pulling back only for a moment to look at her face before she was wrapping her arms around her again.
“Um, I━” Sakura squeaked when the woman tightened her embrace.
Sasuke sighed and tugged on Sakura’s arm, only for the woman to hold on even tighter. “Okaasan, she’s human remember? You’re hurting her.”
“Right!” Sasuke’s mother loosened her hold but grabbed both of Sakura’s hands in her own as if she were afraid that she would run off. “Come in, come in.”
“I’m Mikoto, Sasuke’s mother,” Mikoto introduced herself, linking her arm with Sakura’s as they walked up the path to the house.
“I’m Haruno Sakura.” Sakura flushed at the bright smile the beautiful woman gave her. She had almost assumed that the woman was Sasuke’s sister-in-law because of how young she appeared. Must be a perk of being a vampire.
“You could have waited until they entered the house before pouncing on her.” A handsome older gentleman was at the entrance of the door giving Mikoto a disapproving look. The way his mouth thinned into a straight line reminded Sakura of whenever she did something that earned her the ‘Look’ from Sasuke.
“And this is my husband, Fugaku.”
Fugaku inclined his head slightly in a bow towards her before turning to Sasuke and reprimanding him. “You’re late.”
“It seems like every time I come here, the house gets further and further away from the entrance of the compound,” Sasuke covered for Sakura, slipping out of his shoes and lining them up next to the neat row on one side of the genkan.
“Come this way,” Mikoto gestured down a hall after offering Sakura a pair of slippers.
“Your father is a silver fox,” Sakura muttered to Sasuke as they followed behind his parents.
“Please don’t.” Sasuke nudged her arm gently with his elbow, but the tips of his ears were tinted red.
“What? I’m just making an observation. You’re going to age really well.”
Sasuke let out a low groan from the back of his throat but chose to ignore her comment and pulled out a seat for her.
“We really should have invited Itachi but Sasuke insisted that just the four of us meet today.” Mikoto clasped her hands underneath her chin in the same fashion Sakura had seen Sasuke do and narrowed her eyes at her youngest son. “I wonder why.”
“After dinner, Mikoto,” Fugaku grunted, eyeing Sasuke as he took a sip of his tea.
Oh this doesn’t look good for us, Sakura cringed inwardly. Doesn’t look good at all.
Surprisingly, dinner had been more pleasant than Sakura had originally thought it would be.
Fugaku appeared as imposing as the vast estate the Uchiha made their home, but he was mostly soft spoken like Sasuke was. Sasuke had told her about what his childhood was like and while his father was strict when he was younger, he had mostly mellowed out as Sasuke got older.
Sakura decided that she liked Mikoto━really liked her. She had calmed down from the earlier excitement and she reminded Sakura of her own mother. She wanted to know everything about her and kept pushing more food towards her.
“You already know all of that, okaasan,” Sasuke muttered, interrupting his mother’s questions about the vacation they had just taken.
Mikoto scoffed and waved her hand dismissively at him. “You told me your version of events which was boiled down to ‘It was nice. I would go again.’ Not exactly what I was looking for. I need details about the place.”
Sakura couldn’t help the giggle that snuck out of her as she watched her pouty boyfriend interact with his mother. The two of them really did remind Sakura of her own mother and herself. Just not as loud as the Haruno women could get.
We’re still the same in the end. Sakura smiled softly at the scene before her. Human or vampire, we have our families and our friends.
After dinner, Sakura insisted on helping Mikoto clean up. Sasuke mumbled something about needing to talk to his father and he left with the older man. It was probably about his change of plans for Obon and that unfortunately he would be traveling to Osaka with Sakura.
“We should have some of that rice wine you brought with you,” Mikoto suggested, wiping her hands on a hand towel. In a mock whisper she added, “It’s Fugaku’s favorite.”
“I’m actually abstaining from alcohol at the moment…” Sakura mumbled, averting her gaze. “For the next two years potentially…”
Mikoto reached for cups and frowned, “I’m sorry, dear. I didn’t quite catch that.”
“You’re, um,” Sakura swallowed and took one of the little ceramic cups from the stack Mikoto was holding and placed it back in her cupboard, “only going to need three of those.”
Mikoto stared at her, eyebrows drawn down quizzically. “If you say so…”
She knew she was acting weird, but Sakura couldn’t just come out and say it. Sure she would have preferred their meeting to have been sooner—at least not only after getting knocked up—but that wasn’t the woman’s fault and Sakura wasn’t going to ruin her evening by dropping the ball in the middle of her kitchen without letting her son be the one to tell her in his own way.
So she kept her mouth shut, too afraid to let their news slip early, and followed Uchiha Mikoto to the living room and helped pour sake for Sasuke’s parents.
“Your son plans to go to Osaka next week,” Fugaku informed his wife while eyeing Sasuke.
“Osaka? But you just came back from a trip in the region.”
“He’s traveling with Sakura who is visiting her family.”
“Oh, my.” Mikoto’s lips curled into a devious smirk and now Sakura knew where Sasuke got it from. “Oh my, my. Visiting the future in-laws, hmm?”
“Yes,” Sasuke answered bluntly. “We will be expecting a new addition to the family in the spring.”
Mikoto’s eyes shone brightly and a squeal began to form in the back of her throat but was interrupted by her husband. “I thought you wanted the ceremony to take place next month?”
“Next month!?” Mikoto floundered.
“Ceremony?” Sakura turned to her boyfriend who was now looking anywhere but at her, his cheeks dusted a pale pink.
“Aa.” Sasuke coughed into his hand. “I know a full moon is approaching this month, but a month will give us time to at least notify her parents and formally meet.”
“Next month!?” Mikoto asked again, cheeks flushed red in frustration. “That gives us almost no time to prepare. If it can’t be recognized legally, it could at least be special!”
“We don’t need something big,” Sasuke protested.
“I didn’t say big, I said special!”
With the two of them bickering, the three vampires almost missed the soft voice asking, “Won’t be recognized legally?”
Mikoto sent a glare her son’s way who simply grimaced in return. Fugaku glanced back and forth between the two of them before letting out a sigh of frustration and pinched the bridge of his nose.
“Unfortunately, Haruno-san,” Fugaku replied softly, his features set in a neutral expression, “inter species marriage isn’t legal in any country. While among our clan you would be recognized as an Uchiha and even in vampiric circles, the government will not recognize your marriage.”
“We would still have a ceremony under Uchiha customs,” Mikoto rushed in to reassure her, eyeing Sakura warily as her breathing came out in quick spurts. “It’s only paper, Sakura-chan.”
It was something that Sakura knew—in the back of her mind she knew—would be impossible, but she had been avoiding the subject. She knew when she was doing research into the segregated establishments that there had to be more laws against her and Sasuke.
Her hand slid from its place in her lap, upwards to her lower abdomen. What did this mean for her child?
Gentle fingers took hold of her other hand. Sasuke interlocked his fingers with her and pulled their hands into a safe cradle with his other.
“She’s a medical student preparing for the MCAT and you got her pregnant.” Fugaku glared at his son. “You realize the position you’ve put her in by being irresponsible?”
Embarrassment caused her cheeks to burn, but Sakura squeezed Sasuke’s hand gently and with resolve told his father, “It’s not Sasuke’s fault. We were being safe but things happen. And the MCAT can wait. To be honest, I had been pushing it further and further back. This baby isn’t an inconvenience, Uchiha-san.”
Silence filled the room and Sakura wanted nothing more than to shrink into the couch. She wasn’t expecting silence. She expected yelling and reprimands or cold indifference. Fugaku’s concern was surprising, but reminded her of Sasuke’s stories about growing up and his father’s expectations.
“A spring child,” Mikoto broke the silence with a gentle smile. “How sweet.”
“They should be due sometime in April.” Sakura returned the smile.
“I am not against this, just to preface what I’m about to say,” Fugaku drew their attention back to him. “And quite honestly I’m disappointed that Sasuke had not considered warning you.”
Sakura winced at the tightness of Sasuke’s hold on her hand. What could it be?
“If you are set in following through with this pregnancy, you must be prepared for the consequences of having a Daywalker child.”
Sakura glanced over at Sasuke through her peripheral. He had a steady glare in his father’s direction, who ignored it and continued to keep his attention focused on Sakura.
“A Daywalker is not simply a hybrid of a human and a vampire,” Fugaku continued. “It is almost an entirely different species, a dhampir. They are rare children born of the union between a vampire parent and a human parent, only rare because it is looked down upon by both vampires and humans to crossbreed. They are viewed as abominations by most, but to a select few that know the true nature of dhampir children…they are something akin to an elixir. While they too have vampiric qualities, their blood has properties that are extremely beneficial to vampires.”
Sakura swallowed, fingers gripping tightly to the satin fabric of her dress. “What does that mean for us and our child?”
“After the ceremony, you will have to move into the compound for your safety. Once it is discovered that you have been impregnated by a vampire, ill feelings towards your union or not, you will be targeted for the baby’s blood.”
“Your daughter-in-law, Izumi-san—?”
“She doesn’t leave the compound unless it is day time or she has escorts,” Sasuke spoke up this time. “It’s a safety precaution, but because her mother is Uchiha, not many know that she’s not a pure-blooded vampire.”
“It is getting late.” Mikoto stood up. “You two should spend the day here. I’m sure you’re really tired, Sakura-chan.” Mikoto held up her hand at Sakura’s protests. “No arguments, young lady. You were nodding off during dinner and I’ve had two pregnancies so I know now that it’s not because we’re keeping you up with our nocturnal lifestyle.”
Sakura grumbled under her breath but nodded in understanding. At the smile that was sent her way, she had the feeling that no one argued with Uchiha Mikoto and came out the victor.
Sighing, Sakura sat down at the engawa outside of Sasuke’s room and inhaled the sweet scent wafting from the flowers in the garden.
“I’m surprised that they didn’t stuff me in a guest room,” Sakura teased Sasuke as he took a seat next to her. Unlike her, he had clothing in the house so he was in his normal sleepwear while she was given a yukata by his mother.
“Kind of too late for that, don’t you think?” He flashed her a smirk.
“Oi.” Sakura nudged his side with her elbow.
“You’re going to be my wife, it would be obnoxious to give you a separate room.” Sasuke took her hand in his own and rubbed his thumb over her knuckles. Before Sakura could voice the question that had plagued her mind since their conversation with his parents, he answered it: “I did know that it wouldn’t be a legal marriage before asking my father if we could perform a ceremony.”
Sakura laid her head on his arm. “You did?”
“I looked into it.”
Sakura perked up at his admission and leaned back to smile slyly at him. “Oh, you looked into it, huh?”
“Shut up.” Sasuke readjusted themselves so that Sakura was sitting between his legs with her back to his front. “Don’t be annoying, I already told you that we simply went in the wrong order. You knew I meant that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with you.”
“Sure I did,” Sakura continued to tease him. She burst out into a fit of giggles when he buried his face into the crook of her neck and blew a raspberry against the flesh there. “Okay, okay, I did. Sasuke-kun, please!”
Sasuke loosened his grip but pressed a kiss to the top of her head. “As long as it’s what you want, you’re going to be my wife. I don’t need a piece of paper to tell me so.”
“Then I guess we’re getting married next month,” Sakura murmured, completely content. “We just have to tell my mother that I’m pregnant next week. Good luck with that.”