Baby Meme!

For Flowerflute, who asked for "HinaSaku, shield". Some gory bits.


She's the second medic on the scene, though Shizune is close on her heels. The first is (of course, since he lives there) Hyuuga Nishibi, who is already bent over his own patient. Sakura starts on triage.

This one is dead. That one too. This one, she thinks, alive -- blood streaming from his nose, from his eyes, from the exploded veins on his temples. She's never seen the end result of a Caged Bird seal pushed to the limit of human tolerance, but it's obvious this is what happened anyway.

She bends to check the damage and Nishibi-senpai snaps, "Leave him, let him die, let him fucking die," and that's when Sakura looks at the young woman he's snarling and fighting over and recognizes Hinata.

Her knees hit the ground on the other side of her body in the next second. Nishibi-senpai's hands are pressed tight over the slight curve of her stomach.

There's no blood anywhere Sakura can see. That doesn't mean a thing. Sakura is smart and she knows what it means that all victims here are Hyuuga. (Coup. Betrayal.) Tenketsu damage.

She places her hands on Nishibi-senpai's and lets her chakra flow through to support his, because she cannot see the tangled mess of inner coils he is fighting to fix. Behind her Shizune-senpai finds the broken arms, the kunai wounds. An ANBU squad mills around them, securing the compound.

Another Hyuuga limps close. Neji. His Byakugan strains his face. He seems on the edge of chakra exhaustion, but it's like he can't look away. There's horror and defeat in every inch of him. Shame, too, which she doesn't really get.

"Neji-san," she says, a bit sternly. "Report. What the hell happened? Is it the Branch and Main again?"

He nods. Sakura grits her teeth. That conflict won't end before all who remember the Caged Bird seal are dead and buried. She thought things were getting better. Naruto, too. What the hell triggered this?

"She was pregnant," another Hyuuga Sakura doesn't know says, absent, dazed, and his eyes strain to see through Nishibi-senpai's hands to Hinata's belly.

"She's still pregnant," Neji snarls back, denial more than challenge. "She's still pregnant, and she still has an heir--"

Of course -- of course this would be about politics and succession. Goddamn all those Hyuugas to hell. "Hey," Sakura snaps, before an argument can start. "Report now, argument later. I can't see her insides, Neji-san. Talk to me."

Neji's anger abates, long-fingered fists clenched hard at his side. But before he can talk, the Hyuuga medic does.

"Strike was redirected around the embryo -- Hinata-sama managed that much -- but the womb is damaged, she'll never be pregnant again." Nishibi-senpai says. "And she's losing this one anyway, it doesn't matter that she protected it, it's too early to live, I can't fix this --" A wordless snarl, and he chokes on a furious sob. "-- I can't fix this, cascading failure, it'll spread to her other organs soon if I don't--"

Neji closes his eyes. The other Hyuuga starts crying silently. Sakura thinks she might get why -- Hanabi long known to be infertile, Hinata deciding to have a child out of wedlock to circumvent exactly that kind of problem -- to stay free of a husband's family's expectations of their own influence, of their resentment when they realized they wouldn't have any -- and now without heirs of her own, her closest blood relative barred from succession for belonging to the Branch ... It means another civil war, tearing the clan in two.

Hinata's eyelids flutter open and by the look on her face Sakura knows she heard it all -- or perhaps she can just tell, just feel the damage inside her, but she knows either way.

"I can't save you both," Nishibi-senpai says. "I can't save your heir. I'm sorry, so sorry--"

Hinata releases a long, shaking sigh, and then she somehow finds the strength to smile. She raises a hand to touch his wrist, and says, "It's alright." It's an absolution.

Sakura's hands are still on the other medic's, and she watches Hinata's pale, slender fingers curling on his wrist for a second, and then her own gloved hand slides forward and catches Hinata's before it can fall, and she doesn't let herself think because there isn't any time to think anyway.

She doesn't care about Hyuuga politics. It sucks, it's harsh, she doesn't like how it stresses Naruto and Neji-san and Hinata so much, but she doesn't care.

"Neji-san," she says. "Take my place. Don't let Nishibi-senpai run out of chakra. You, go get Shizune and Tsunade-sama." She looks down at Hinata's pale, drained face. "I need you all to hold on a little while longer."

She doesn't know how she can even smile, but she finds that power somehow, smiles down at Hinata whose stoic acceptance slowly turns to incomprehension, and then hope.

Sakura doesn't think she could live with herself if she let that hope down.

"Alright! Your 12th week, is it? It should work fine then." She nods toward the woman who just joined them. "Shizune-senpai knows the procedure better. We still have enough time for an emergency embryo-placenta transfer, if everyone holds on."

She lets go of Hinata's hand and swallows the hormones and nutrients pills she's going to need in about ten minutes, when her body has to support a pregnancy in its third month.