Sakura

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21

"I'm home!" Sakura announces closing the front door behind her and immediately scanning the vicinity for her husband and son. It's not unheard of for both to be napping at this time of day, Itaku spread across Sasuke's chest, their similar shaped heads facing the same direction.

She's already taken several sneaky photographs of the phenomenon.

When she doesn't see either of them, she tosses her purse aside and goes searching. "Sasuke? Are you in here?"

It's possible he's not. Sasuke likes to take the baby for walks. Sometimes Sakura or Sarada or both will tag along, more often they won't. There's something about fathers and sons that necessitates a special sort of bonding time.

"I'm here," a quiet voice murmurs from the back of the house, and she smiles as she heads for the nursery. Sasuke doesn't shout, but he can always make himself heard.

Sakura finds her husband standing by the crib, hair tied back and out of the path grasping fingers; the baby is propped over a towel on his right shoulder.

Moments like these are the ones Sakura cherishes the most, and she's jubilant at the fact she can witness them again. The world seems to stop for Sasuke whenever he holds his children; Sakura noticed it with Sarada, and she notices it now.

Sasuke holds Itaku steadily with that arm while his newly attached prosthetic rubs circles along the tiny back.

It's been a month since Sasuke was fitted with the prosthetic made from Hashirama's cells, and it still sometimes surprises Sakura to see it. She had gotten used to expecting the empty shirtsleeve where there is now an arm.

Sasuke's decision to finally allow Tsunade to make the prosthetic surprised everyone. He has always been adamant that his amputation was a reminder not to fall into old habits again. When Sakura asked what changed his mind one evening, he glanced at Sarada. Their daughter was playing with Itaku, murmuring to the baby as she moved his tiny feet back and forth for exercise.

"I have new reminders," he replied.

Sakura wasn't entirely sure it was only post-pregnancy hormones that made her cry at that, though that's what she insisted.

"Everything went well?" Sasuke asks quietly now, absently checking the towel for signs of spit-up.

"Yep. It's official – Sai and Ino are the proud parents of a bouncy, screaming baby girl," Sakura replies cheerfully. "The labour lasted eight hours – that's at least a half-hour longer than mine was."

She is inordinately smug about this fact.

Sakura received the phone call early that morning.

"If you aren't here to deliver my daughter, I will break your face," Ino had snarled so loudly Sakura had to hold the phone away from her ear. "I don't care if you're on leave or not!"

Not that her friend needed to resort to threats; Sakura has been slowly starting back to work for the past few weeks.

Once her body recuperated from the stresses of labour, her healing abilities did the rest and she's almost completely back to normal now. Considering Itaku's serene temperament, and that Naruto asked her to consult on his latest project, returning to work is only a matter of time.

"Ino wouldn't allow Sai into the room until it was over," she tells Sasuke as he finishes burping the baby. "She did the same thing with Inojin. She's convinced that if he watches her giving birth, he'll be so disgusted he'll never want to have sex again. I tried to remind her the guy spent his childhood being completely desensitised to gore so he probably wouldn't be affected. But she'd entered the homicidal stage of labour, so she wasn't really listening." Sakura smooths back Itaku's hair as Sasuke passes him over, minding the baby's head even though he has started holding it up himself lately. "Hello, little man, how are you?"

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