Sakura

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This chapter has been beta-read by: Sakura's Unicorn

"All right, you," Sakura growls. "Here's the deal: you're not getting the better of me. I'm Uchiha Sakura. I'm the disciple of the Slug Princess Tsunade and chief medical-nin of the Hidden Leaf. I defeated Sasori of the Red Sand and punched out the demon goddess Kaguya. I'm one of the three most powerful shinobi in existence, and you...will...YIELD!"

The pink taffeta dress she's been trying to squeeze into for the past fifteen minutes is unimpressed with her threats. Even as she tries to suck in her too-large stomach, it becomes clear that she will never get the zipper up her back.

At twenty-eight weeks, there's no question. Sakura is huge and fitting into her clothes has become nothing but a distant memory. The dress was bought last week, two sizes larger than she needed at the time, and she's still bursting at the seams.

A harsh rip echoes through the bedroom.

Sakura freezes in momentary disbelief, fingers still clutching the zipper that is no longer attached to anything. Then she roars in angry frustration.

"THIS TOTALLY SUCKS! NOTHING FITS ME ANYMORE! SHANNARO!"

She yanks the dress off and flings it across the floor where it joins four pairs of torn pantyhose (that the package insisted were extra large, but was clearly lying), a blue chiffon dress (another one she bought a size bigger but, with the extra weight she's put on, it's been rendered far too short), and two pairs of shoes she discovered her fat feet no longer fit into.

The cute (and comfortable) pink flats she now wears are useless as they don't go with any of the other dresses.

"Why can't I just wear sweatpants? I'm pregnant! I shouldn't be held to the same standards as everyone else!"

"No, you can't wear sweatpants to a wedding," Sarada tells her, looking unsympathetic as she adjusts her glasses in the mirror.

Sakura can't help feeling both proud and supremely jealous at how adorable her daughter looks right now. Sarada is at that coltish age where fitted dresses make her look like she's playing dress-up, but where ruffles and frills are long past.

Not that she ever was one of the girly girl types like Sakura was growing up. Her daughter tends towards simple A-line dresses most days that she's not training and now is no exception. Sarada is wearing dark blue today, instead of her usual bright colours, in deference to the formality of the event. An uchiwa pendant hangs from her neck

The girl looks neat and composed and so...Uchiha.

Yup. That's definitely jealousy blooming now.

"Well, I can't wear half a dress, either!" Sakura vents. "Ino would never let me hear the end of it!"

"Just wear a thick shawl over the back of the dress. No one would even notice as long as you don't take it off."

"Once the first hot-flash hits they would," Sakura scowls. Those have been happening more and more frequently as the baby gets closer to being born.

"If you're going to shoot down every suggestion I make, I'm not staying to help you get ready," her daughter tells her with an eye-roll. She heads for the door. "Honestly, Mom, if it's so much trouble, maybe you should've thought about all this before you got pregnant. You're being seriously annoying."

Again Sakura finds herself arrested by the emotions flooding through her. Worry that Sarada is upset with her, irritation at being mouthed off at, sadness because her daughter's growing up so fast, nostalgia because she sounds so much like Sasuke –

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