The Akatsuki's Daughter

Chapter 46

I threw up for what felt like the twelfth time that day, nothing left in my stomach but acid.

I groaned and rested my cheek against the cool tile as Gaara pulled my hair out of my face, feeling his worry and not having to look up to know that his expression showed that. Had we not had that bond, his voice would have given him away anyways.
''You've been like this for over a week, Love. Why don't you go to the doctor? I hate seeing you like this. Please?''
I sighed. He had been saying the same thing since the second day of my 'illness' and had been becoming more and more worried with every passing day. He was even late for work today because he couldn't force himself to leave me alone like this.
I finally nodded, already having an idea about what was wrong and sat up.
''Alright. Help me up and I'll go.''
He frowned and wrapped his arms around me, lifting me to my feet.
''I'll transport you to the hospital. Do you want me to stay with you while you're being checked out?''
I shook my head.
''No. Just go to your office once you drop me off. I'll come by once all the tests are done.''
He nodded, and in the next moment sand surrounded us.
When the sand fell away, I grimaced at the hospital smell that greeted me, upsetting my stomach.
The hospital staff instantly rushed towards us, a tall, middle-aged woman walking over and taking my arm with a smile.
''We'll take care of her, Lord Kazekage.''
I nodded and kissed Gaara's cheek quickly, trying to be reassuring when I knew that he was hesitating.
''I'll be fine, Gaara, go ahead and go to work. I'll meet you there later.''
I could tell that he wasn't convinced but he nodded anyways, turning a warning glare towards the woman before letting his sand again wrap around him, transporting him to the Kazekage Tower.
I sighed and smiled halfheartedly at the woman.
''I'm pretty sure I know what's wrong with me.''
She nodded and looked over me critically.
''What are your symptoms?''
I shrugged and spoke through a sigh.
''Vomiting, dizziness, I'm constantly tired...''
She bit her lip and nodded, her eyes lighting in recognition.
''Let me take you to Dr. Lo. She'd be the best one for you, I think.''
I nodded and followed her to a sterile, white room with the typical tall examination table.
I settled myself on the table while the woman went in search of the Doctor.
I didn't have to wait for long before another middle-aged woman with dark brown hair walked into the room, her clip bored and white coat giving her away as a Doctor.
She smiled at me brightly and closed the door behind her.
''Hello, Lady Kazekage. My assistant says that you're having some problems.''
I nodded and she looked at her clip bored before moving towards the table next to a wall.
''Alright. We need to take a blood sample and then get it tested. We're not really busy today, so this shouldn't take more than fifteen minutes. Mally told me how upset the Kazekage seemed, so I will make sure to rush these to the lab. ''
I nodded and let her take the blood samples.
She smiled when she was finished, disposing of the needle and placing the viles into a plastic container.
''Alright. I'll be back in just a little bit. Just rest here, Lady Kazekage.''
I nodded and watched her go, still not used to the title, before flopping back on the bed and hoping that my dizziness would go away. If my 'ailment' turned out to be what I thought it was, then I wasn't sure why people put themselves through this mess willingly. I felt terrible.

I must have dozed off, because the next thing I knew, the closing of the door jolted me back to the present.
I sat up slowly, and noticed the Doctor's grin as she stepped into the room and held in a groan.
''Congratulations, Lady Kazekage. It seems that your illness is nothing to worry about. You are simply pregnant.''
I groaned and covered my face in my hands, my shoulders slumping.
She was silent and I knew that my reaction had confused her and I took a deep breath before moving my hands, seeing her biting her lip hesitantly.
''I'm sorry, Lady Kazekage, but do you not want this baby?''
My eyes widened and I quickly shook my head, waving a hand quickly.
''Of course I do! I was just hoping for some more time with my husband before I had a kid.''
I saw her body relax and she nodded, her small smile relieved.
''Oh. Alright. I was a bit worried for a moment is all. Especially since we don't perform that kind of surgery here.''
I shook my head.
''No. I suppose that this was meant to happen, since I've been taking birth control for months now, and still managed to get pregnant.''
The Doctor chuckled and nodded.
''Birth control is effective most of the time, but there are cases where a baby can still be conceived. Did you stop taking them once you saw symptoms?''
I nodded.
''Yeah. As soon as I started throwing up and my boobs started hurting. I was almost positive that I knew what it was.''
She nodded and prescribed me a vitamin and gave me a list of foods that were bad for me. I left the hospital, trying to avoid the knowing looks of the hospital staff, and made my way towards the Kazekage Tower.
When I walked inside Gaara's secretary smiled slightly before returning his attention back to his paperwork. I walked into the office, not bothering to knock, and saw Gaara gazing out the window distractedly.
I cleared my throat and Gaara turned towards me quickly. He smiled slightly and held his arms out, wanting me to sit in his lap, which I did quickly, taking a deep breath to prepare myself for what I was about to say.
''So I found out what was wrong with me.''
Gaara nodded quickly and I could feel his anxiousness, his arms flexing against me.
''Alright. And what was it?''
I swallowed hard and bit my lip.
''I...I'm...I'm pregnant.''
His eyes had become worried with how upset I seemed to be, but his eyes cleared when I finally finished my sentence. He grinned suddenly and hugged me to him tightly, relief clear in his voice and through our bond.
''Is that all? I was so worried that something awful was wrong with you, but this is good news.''
I frowned and his smile slid from his face, his feelings confused
''What's wrong, Love?''
I shrugged and his arms tightened around me, pulling me closer to him.
Don't try to shrug this off, Ria. I can feel that you're upset.
My eyes shot to his and I sighed, my shoulders slumping as I tried to explain.
''I know that I should be excited, but I'm not. Not really. I was so careful to use protection and I still became pregnant.''
I shrugged and leaned forward to lay my cheek against his shoulder.
''I wanted more time alone with you. But now, in less than nine months, we're going to be parents.''
Gaara sighed and rested his head against mine.
''But isn't it more amazing that we're having a baby after being careful? Doesn't that show that we're meant to have this baby now?''
I nodded and sighed again.
''Yeah. I've already thought about that. But that still doesn't make me that happy about the timing.''
He sighed, his emotions too tremulous for me to decipher them.
''If I didn't know you better, then I would begin to think that you didn't want this baby.''
I pulled away and glare at him. He was the second person to imply that today.
''Of course I want this baby. Just because I'm not happy about having it this soon, doesn't mean that I don't want it.''
He nodded and pulled me back to lean against him, his emotions calming.
''Alright. I was hoping that was the case. I didn't know how to handle it if it turned out that you really didn't want to have a baby with me.''
I frowned and scoffed.
''Who ever said anything about me not wanting a baby with you? As far as I know, that's a normal part of marriage, and it's always been in the back of my mind that we would have kids one day, not that I was expecting one so soon, but I always planned on having a baby with you eventually. Did somebody say otherwise?''
He shrugged, his hand coming up to run through my hair.
''I heard some people talking today with one of the council members, I'm not sure who they were, and they said something that I just hadn't thought about before, and though I had ignored it, your news caused it to come to the front of my mind.''
I nodded, wanting him to continue, which he did after a moment.
''They were talking about our wedding, and a female voice began to question if you would ever want a child with me. Since I still had Shukaku, and with the awful way that my own birth had gone. With the death of my mother being a real possibility of happening to you as well.''
I scoffed, causing Gaara to lean back and look at my face.
I rolled my eyes and smiled.
''Whatever. I never met your mother, hon, but if she looked anything like your sister, I can tell you that labor won't hurt me nearly as bad. I mean...have you compared our hips? I have the best type of birthing hips, I think.''
Gaara frowned at me and I laughed, knowing that he was confused.
''Okay. Let me explain this to you, since I'm sure that you haven't heard it before. When a girl has a baby, the size of her hips will determine about how rough it will be for her to deliver a baby naturally. I mean, the whole contraction thing will hurt either way, but the entire process will normally hurt more for a girl with small hips than one with full hips.''
I saw Gaara taking in this information and after a moment he simply shrugged. His hands sliding onto my hips and pulling me closer, his voice deeper as he spoke.
''I like your hips. I can grab them and make you stay with me when we're sitting like this.''
I nodded and rolled my eyes.
''Yeah. But do you understand what I was saying? Your sister is pretty small through the hip area, and I've heard multiple times that she takes after your mom.''
He nodded and I continued.
''Then we really don't have any reason to worry about that type of labor trouble. This baby won't have a Tanuki spirit put inside of it, nor will I have the same issues with child birth as your mom. So, whoever that was in that room, was an idiot.''
Gaara smiled and I could feel his tense muscles relax as he let go of the concern that I was sure even he hadn't realized had affected him so deeply.
I felt one of his hands slide around and he touched my stomach softly.
''Did the doctor tell you how far along you were?''
I rolled my eyes.
''No. But I'm pretty sure I can pinpoint the date. I mean it's not like I had done anything before our wedding night, and I didn't start having certain symptoms until five weeks ago? Yeah. That's about right. So about two months, give or take.''
He nodded, his expression thoughtful.
''I was wondering why you stopped taking your birth control. I guess that this was a good reason.''
I frowned, raising an eyebrow as I looked at him curiously.
''And just how did you know that I wasn't taking my birth control?''
He shrugged and scoffed.
''You've been taking it everyday before I went to work, but then I noticed that you didn't take it again.''
I sighed and nodded, slumping slightly.
''I should have known that you would notice that. Why didn't you say anything?''
He shrugged, not seeming concerned.
''I knew that something was up. I just knew that you would tell me at some point, and until you got sick last week, I wasn't worried. I guess I should have put two and two together, huh?''
I shook my head and smiled softly.
''No. If I was in your position, I wouldn't have thought anything about it either.''
He nodded and laid a kiss to my temple.
We were silent for a moment, and I was beginning to think that it was strange not to be interrupted when the door to Gaara's office was flung open and I rolled my eyes. My thoughts had to be seriously cursed or something.
I looked over my shoulder at the startled Council Member and sighed, trying to pull myself away from Gaara, only to be jerked back to my original spot. I turned wide eyes towards Gaara and he simply gave me a challenging look and I rolled my eyes, letting him keep me pressed against him.
Once he was certain that I wasn't moving, he turned towards the man, his face expressionless.
''Is there something that you needed?''
I saw the man nod slightly, his eyes darting around the room, trying not to focus on his Kazekage, as his new wife was spiraled across his lap. I'm sure he was embarrassed...It was entertaining.
''I'm sorry to intrude, Lord Kazekage. Had I known that you, I would have waited to interrupt you. We need to discuss what to do about the Chunin Exams this year, and which of our ninja's we will be sending.''
Gaara nodded, his face becoming thoughtful.
''I'll talk to the Sensei's tomorrow and give you an answer. It's up to them anyways since they know how their students are doing.''
The man nodded, and after a quick bow, excused himself, hurrying from the room.
I laughed and shook my head.
''I think that you want all of your Council Members to find us in an awkward position just to embarrass them.''
He smirked and shrugged.
''Maybe. Though they seem to be more accepting since they met your family.''
I giggled and nodded, letting my head fall back to Gaara's shoulder, his hand stroking my hair gently.
''I think that the room next to ours would make a good nursery, don't you?''
I shrugged.
''I guess. I haven't been in that room. I guess I'll need to find baby furniture and clothes soon.''
Gaara frowned.
''We have some baby stuff in the attic. If you want to use that.''
I pulled away and looked at him.
''Really? You still have all of that stuff?''
He nodded and I bit my lip.
''I'll need to look at it to make sure that it's still usable, but truthfully, I would probably prefer older furniture to anything new. It's normally more stable.''
He smiled for a moment before frowning.
''What are we going to name the baby?''
I groaned and buried my face in his neck.
''I don't know! You know how much trouble we had naming Butterball, and he's a panda! I guess we need to come up with both a boy and a girl name...unless we have twins! Oh man...''
Gaara's shoulders were shaking and his arms moved to wrap around my back. His voice shaking as he spoke.
''It's alright, Love. We do have some time before the baby gets here.''
I nodded.
''But still...we should probably make a list of names that we really like, and then we can narrow them down as the months pass.''
He nodded, his amusement plain as he began to ramble off a list of names and I groaned. This was going to be awful.


I sneezed as a cloud of dust flew off the sheet that I had just flung to the floor.
I was in the attic, looking at the old baby furniture that had been stored for years, and had succeeded in finding a bassinet, a changing table and I had just found the crib.
All were made out of white, birch wood and had brass knobs and latches. And they were heavy. I couldn't even lift the bassinet though it was mostly white cloth.
I sighed and turned to the white trunk that was filled with toys and baby clothes. I could see Temari, Kankuro, and Gaara's childhood trunks set in a corner, but I had no idea who this one had been for...maybe just storage?
I pulled out the small outfits, trying to figure out who they belonged to and finally gave up, not really finding an answer.
I found a plush panda bear and laughed, comparing it to Butterball and shaking my head when I found that it didn't really look like the real thing.
I was re-folding a tiny shirt when Temari poked her head into the attic, a curious look on her face.
''Hey, Ria. What are you doing up here?''
I felt my face flush in embarrassment and I shrugged.
Gaara and I hadn't told anyone the news yet, preferring to keep it quiet for another month or so, until my body made it harder to hide what was going on. But apparently, that was going to be an issue, since Temari had the worst timing about coming home unexpectedly. She had been on a mission when I had come up here, and wasn't supposed to be back until late the next night.
Temari came fully into the attic and frowned as she looked at what I had been doing. Her eyebrows rose when she saw what I had uncovered and she turned back to me with wide eyes.
''Ria, are you pregnant?''
I opened my mouth to reply but only a squeak escaped. I finally sighed and nodded, feeling my face flush.
Temari stood still for a moment, her mouth open in surprise, before she let out a squeal and I was suddenly tackled in a tight hug, her arms wrapped around my neck.
''Are you serious? Why didn't you tell me? We have so much planning to do! How far along are you? Are you feeling alright? Have you been sick? Did you go to the Doctor?''
I sighed and rolled my eyes, pushing her away.
'Calm down, Temari. I can only answer one question at a time you know.''
She nodded and I tried to remember what she had asked.
''Alright. We didn't tell you because we were trying to keep it from everyone until I was further along. I don't want this to be made a big deal of. I mean we were JUST married.''
She nodded, her smile dimming slightly.
''I guess I can understand. Alright. Have you had any symptoms, or did you just have a suspicion and take a test?''
I shook my head and sighed.
''No. I was sick for a week and it was always at the same time everyday, so Gaara made me go to the hospital and I found out then. Though I haven't been sick since.''
She nodded and frowned.
''How are you feeling now? I know that some of the women I've talked to have issues in the first few months.''
I shrugged and shook my head.
''My boobs and hips hurt. And certain smells are getting to me, but otherwise I'm fine.''
She nodded and grinned.
''So, you're up here because you want to use the baby stuff that's up here?''
I nodded and she squealed, clapping her hands happily.
''That's great! But I hope you know that I'm still going to buy lots of outfits for the baby. Oh! Maybe you'll have twins.''
I groaned and covered my face with my hands, causing her to laugh before she continued to prattle on about the possibility of more than one baby.


I stared at the nursery, smiling slightly as I took in the walls that Temari had painted fairy-tale stories on. Who knew that she was so artistic?
Gaara had moved all of the furniture into the room using his sand and had arranged it in the way that I wanted. There was a large throw carpet on the floor and Kankuro had surprised us with a yellow trunk for the baby. Apparently he was more excited about becoming an uncle than he was willing to let on.
I smiled when a pair of arms wrapped around me, a nose nuzzling against my throat.
''What do you think about the nursery, Love?''
I shrugged lightly and hummed.
''I like it. Your sister is a fantastic painter. Where'd she learn how to do all of that?''
Gaara shrugged.
''Our uncle liked to paint, he must have given Temari lessons.''
I nodded and sighed, slumping back into his chest.
''We'll need to tell Dolly soon.''
I felt him grimace and he sighed, his emotions slightly nervous.
''I know that your right, but I really don't want to. I'm not sure how to handle the angry father figure that I'm sure will storm into Suna.''
I laughed and shook my head.
''We're married, Gaara. It was bound to happen at some point.''
He shook his head.
''Yeah, but not this soon? You said that he was coming to visit this week?''
I nodded and smiled happily.
''Yeah. He should be here either tomorrow or the next day.''
His arms tightened, pulling me closer to him and he laid a kiss to the mark on my neck.
''Alright. I don't guess that we would be able to hide it anyways.''
He ran his hand across my swollen stomach and I shook my head with a sigh.
''No. No one would believe that I was just getting fat.''
He grinned and shook his head, kissing my cheek.
''No. Especially not Sasori. But let's not worry about that for the moment. I'm hungry, and I'm sure that you are too.''
I blushed as my stomach let out a loud growl and laughed sheepishly.
''Apparently I am.''
He dropped his arms and I turned, actually seeing his smile for the first time since he got home.
''Let's go find something to eat then, Love.''
I nodded and let him lead me to the kitchen.


Neither Dolly or Die took the news of my pregnancy as badly as I had thought they would.
Dolly had expected it, or so he had said and Die simply fainted.
Niko was excited about having a new playmate, and was currently sitting on Gaara's lap, spouting off names that he wanted the baby to be called.
Dolly was frowning, his eyes focused on my protruding belly and he surprised me by strolling towards me and placing a hand on my stomach. I frowned as I felt a warmth coming from his palm, traveling through my skin. It only lasted a moment before he pulled back, nodding his head confidently.
''I can only feel one heartbeat, so you're not having twins, and the chakra is strong, which is good.''
I sighed in relief, knowing that we weren't going to have two babies to take care of.
Gaara was looking at my adopted father curiously as Dolly returned to sit in the large armchair, relaxing into the cushions with a hum.
''I don't really feel old enough to be a grandfather, but then I suppose that I am. How are you handling pregnancy, Dearheart? You don't seem to be ill like some women tend to be.''
I shook my head and shifted slightly on the couch that I was sitting on to look at him better.
''I haven't been sick for a while. And I don't seem to feel the symptoms that most of the mothers here have told me they experienced. I mean, I'm not any more tired than I was before I got pregnant, I don't have a lose of appetite, or the morning sickness. Not since those first couple weeks. And even then, it wasn't nearly as bad as some of the women have complained about.''
Dolly nodded and hummed lightly.
''That's good. Has the baby been active? Do you feel him moving or rolling?''
I frowned before nodding slowly.
''I feel a flutter. Kinda like the feeling of butterflies in my stomach? I didn't know what it was, but I guess that it's the baby moving?''
Dolly nodded.
''That's how it's always been explained to me. Have you gotten everything settled? The nursery set up? The Doctor that will help you deliver? I wouldn't suggest going natural, Niko's mother tried that with him, and we saw how well that worked out.''
I nodded, knowing that Rosa had caused too much stress on the baby and the Doctor had been forced to not only give her the pain medication anyways, but also a light sedative.
''Yeah. It's all taken care of. The baby doctor here is really nice.''
Dolly nodded and sighed.
''Well, I suppose that Deidara and I should start moving our things into the house we bought then. I don't want to be doing that in case you need us.''
I frowned and tilted my head to the side.
''What do you mean, Dolly?''
He copied my movement and tilted his own head.
''Deidara, Niko, and I are moving to a house close to Suna. Did you really think that I would let you be so far away for long? There is an abandoned house in one of the oasis's close by. Deidara found the owner and bought it from him right after your wedding.''
I was too stunned to speak for a moment before squealing lightly and throwing myself into his arms, speaking excitedly as he situated me carefully.
''Really! You're moving to Suna? But I thought you hated it here?''
He chuckled and patted my knee gently.
''I won't be living IN Suna, Dearheart. But Niko and Deidara have been constantly harassing me about us being to far away from you. And of course I missed you too. And now I will have to give you advice on how to care for a young one. It was the perfect time to move close by.''
I laughed and hugged him tighter, looking over my shoulder to see that Gaara was unconcerned with this news. He had probably already known something like this was coming. Jerk.
Die opened his eyes about the time I was crawling out of Dolly's arms and pouted.
''Sasori! Did you already tell her about our moving plans?''
Dolly nodded and Die huffed as Dolly scoffed.
''You shouldn't have fainted. It's not like her news was that startling. We even talked about this happening on the way here.''
Die shrugged and Niko laughed.
''Aunt Ri, when will the baby come out to play?''
I shrugged and settled back onto the couch.
''In a few months, Niko. Let's not rush him. Okay? Gaara and I have a lot still to do.''
Niko nodded and I relaxed into the cushions, listening to Die and Dolly argue, while my husband paid close attention to the stories that Niko was telling him, the chaos causing me to smile. I could get used to having all of them together like this.


I groaned as I stared at the ceiling of our room, trying to ignore the constant kicking that was keeping me from napping.
I swore that if this baby didn't grow up to be a ninja, then he was going to be some other sort of fighter. He was constantly punching and kicking me. And doing flips.
I sighed and rubbed at my tired eyes. Well maybe I would be able to get some sleep tonight if the baby kept this up. Hopefully wearing itself out.
I hadn't been able to tell the gender of the baby, Gaara's stubborn streak had reared it's head when I had suggested finding out, with him completely against it. Something about the machine hurting the baby or something. Dolly had firmly agreed with him, much to my consternation, and I had had no choice but to give in. Though it was driving me insane, not knowing.
I winced at a sharp kick to my ribs and began to wonder where I had scared Temari off to. She had been hovering not long before, not wanting to leave me alone and rubbing at my belly every few minutes until I had finally snapped and told her to go away.
I hadn't really meant to hurt her feelings, but my mood-swings had been crazy for the past month. I had cried more than I had in my entire life. And it was always about stupid things. I was making stew and had to chop carrots and had began to bawl because 'I was taking away the rabbits food.' Gaara had walked into the kitchen, finding me in a pool of misery on the floor, a half chopped carrot in my hand and tears running down my face.
Temari had been put in charge of cooking after that.
And when I wasn't crying, I was yelling. Poor Kankuro took the brunt of that symptom. Though he mostly just laughed at me, stating that it was the most entertaining thing that had happened since he met me.
Which only made me angrier.

Kankuro had also been put in charge of getting me food when I had weird cravings. Like pickles and sweet tea...which sounded really good at the moment.
I shook my head and smiled slightly.
Gaara was probably the only one that stood through all of my mood-swings without flinching.
He held me when I cried about nothing and smiled softly when I was yelling at him and throwing pillows at his face.
He was coming home at lunch, and straight after work, making sure that I was okay.
Dolly and Die visited almost every day as the pregnancy progressed, Dolly making sure that the doctors were doing everything right. And Die just wanting more company than Dolly and Niko, though he had become pretty attached to the boy.
I grimaced at a hard kick in my bladder, hoping that I wouldn't have to get up.
''Will you give me one minute of rest without kicking me?''
The baby stilled at my voice, but continued to kick at me when I stopped speaking.
I sighed and placed a hand over my large stomach.
''I think that you're a boy. I don't know why, maybe my 'mother's intuition' is starting to take affect, but I think that you'll be a boy. Either way, you have one killer kick.
Now if your daddy and I could just settle on a name. I never thought that it would be this hard to come up with a name, but I suppose since you will be stuck with it forever, it should be a good one.''
I frowned, thinking about what Gaara's preference for the name had been. He was convinced that we should call the baby Lee, after his friend from the Leaf and I had put my foot down, squashing that idea instantly.
I bit my lip, a sudden name coming to mind.
''What do you think of Sasori Cole?''
I felt a kick, this one softer than the last and I smirked before continuing to speak. At least the baby was still when I spoke.
''I like that too. I guess we just have to convince your daddy when he gets home, huh?''
There was another kick as if the baby was agreeing with me, and I giggled, pushing myself off the bed with a groan. I was hungry, and Temari should have something edible fixed by now. I was glad that she had gotten better at cooking in the last months since I had been banned from the kitchen...most of that being from my tendency to vomit if anything remotely upset my stomach. She had followed every recipe to the letter after that.
I made my way carefully down the stairs, which was harder than it should have been, since I couldn't see my feet or where they were going.
I finally got down the stairs and breathed a sigh of relief before making my way to the kitchen, pausing outside the door when I heard the voices coming from inside.
''She looks like she's about to pop, Temari. She can't carry that baby for much longer.''
That was Kankuro's voice, and Temari answered, her own voice irritated and harsh.
''The baby will come when it's ready. It's not good to force these things. And she still has another month until her due date. And you know that Ria's not too happy about that either. She's almost as impatient as you are about getting this baby here.''
I laughed dryly and walked into the kitchen, causing both of their eyes to turn towards me.
''You're right. I'm sick of being huge.''
Temari and Kankuro laughed and I eased myself down into a chair, Butterball who had been lounging next to Temari ambling over to lay at my feet.
I rubbed my back and shook my head.
''This sucks. I almost don't ever want to go through this again.''
Temari nodded in sympathy and Kankuro chuckled, putting his hands behind his head and leaning back.
''I'm just lucky that I won't have to.''
I raised an eyebrow and grinned evilly.
''Not yourself. But Misa will. And she'll be FAR worse than I am, I'm sure.''
Kankuro's face went an ashy white and he sat forward in his chair.
''How can anyone be worse than you? Your mood-swings have been...I mean...''
He was swallowing hard, his eyes darting around the room, suddenly realizing what he had said to me and I smiled harshly.
''Careful, dear. I can blame any injuries I inflict on you as a pregnancy symptom, and I have a good twenty extra pounds of weight on my side. I doubt that anyone would blame me.''
Temari laughed and Kankuro made an excuse about having something to do in his room before retreating from the kitchen as fast as possible.
I laughed, watching him run away and turned back to Temari who was walking towards the stove.
''Are you hungry, Ria?''
I nodded and sighed.
''Aren't I always?''
She smiled and began to pull ingredients out for dinner, making sure that she had a recipe in front of her to look follow.
I closed my eyes for a moment, trying to ignore the grumbling of my belly and oofed when Butterball took a flying leap onto my lap, hitting my stomach and sliding to the floor in a heap of black and white fur.
I laughed and bent awkwardly to pick up the panda, placing him on the table and scratching behind his ears as I panted slightly from the movement.
''I'm sorry, Butterball. But you won't be able to do that for at least another month.''
He seemed to grumble and I chuckled as Temari brought me a piece of cake and a glass of milk.
''Here. I know how nauseous you get if you don't eat when you're hungry, so snack on this while I finish dinner.''
I nodded and dug into the cake, Butterball falling asleep on the table.
I practically inhaled my cake, and Temari took the dirty dishes to the sink before kneeling in front of me and placing her hand on my belly.
''Hello, there baby. When are you going to come to see me?''
I smiled before wincing as the baby kicked at where her hand rested, causing Temari to gasp.
''He kicked me!''
I nodded and smiled slightly.
''He's been really active today. I think that he's getting restless.''
Temari nodded and turned her attention back to my stomach, her voice anxious.
''Well hurry up and come out! I want to see you.''
I laughed before looking behind me, feeling the presence even before his voice echoed through the kitchen.
''Are you pestering my wife again, Temari?''
I smiled at Gaara as he walked forward and Temari shook her head before standing, grinning unrepentantly.
''Of course. I need my niece or nephew to know my voice.''
Gaara shook his head and leaned down to kiss me lightly, his hand on my stomach. When he pulled away, I noticed that Temari had left to give us some privacy and I smiled at Gaara.
''Hi, hon. How was work?''
He shrugged and pulled me to my feet, hugging me.
''It was boring. How are you feeling?'
I shrugged and sighed.
''About the same as when you left this morning, ready to have this baby.''
He nodded and stepped back, placing his hands on stomach, leaning down slightly to get closer to my stomach.
''You need to come out soon. Your mommy is tired of...''
I laughed, interrupting him.
''Of being fat and hungry all of the time.''
Gaara frowned slightly and shook his head, knowing that I knew he disliked it when I would say anything negative about the pregnancy.
''You are not fat, Love. You're pregnant.''
I shrugged and rolled my eyes.
''Same difference. I still cant see my feet.''
Gaara rolled his eyes and pulled me to him, causing me to pout when I couldn't fit against him as I wanted to.
''I miss you being able to hold me tightly. My stomach keeps getting in the way.''
He sighed and winced as the baby gave a hard kick, Gaara feeling it as well.
''We'll be able to do that soon. Though for the moment, I want you to know that you're beautiful, Ria. And I love you.''
I sighed and shook my head, looking up at him seriously.
''Yeah, you better think that. This is partly your fault too.''
He smirked and kissed me deeply, speaking when he pulled back, his smile still on his face as he caressed my cheek with his thumb.
''Yes, Love. I know.''
I sighed, and Gaara released me to grab Butterball from the table before returning to grasp my hand.
''Let's go upstairs, Love. I know that you're tired, and you can sleep a bit before dinner. It looks like Temari is making something that will take some time.''
I nodded and let him lead me up the stairs, hoping that the baby would come soon.

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