She had boys again.
It was strange, really rather alarming, for Sakura to think. She had boys again. Naruto and Kakashi, Sai, and even Sasuke before everything had gone south had been her boys. Her knuckleheads to wrangle and to knock over the head if need be. After the War, it had been hard for her to fall back into that mothering dynamic. Sai had Ino to beat into becoming more human, more alive, Sasuke was dead, Naruto was so much more than she could ever have imagined… She was left behind and while she resented herself for it, she couldn't be more proud of Naruto as he blazed across the sky like a comet.
Only Kakashi has still needed her. And needed was a strong word, to use. He was just as alone as she had been. Naruto had Hinata. Sai had Ino. Everyone had been pairing off and Sakura had just been the odd one out, Kakashi's arm around her shoulders as if to show that at least she still had her sensei. That poor girl still in love with Sasuke. She hadn't been, of course, she had stopped loving Sasuke very soon after he had left them. Once the reports of what he and Orochimaru were up to, that faint budding feeling of love and affection, a unnurtured and diseased plant that had taken root in her chest had wilted completely. When she watched the man the boy she had loved had become nearly kill Kakashi and Naruto, she had stopped pining for the memory of what she had loved completely.
Now, she had boys again. She had Itachi, she had Akira… She had Minato and Inochi, even, and Obito and a younger, more anal Kakashi. She was… Not comfortable. Even after two years, she couldn't deny that she still felt as if she wasn't supposed to be in that time. But she was content and she saw these people as her's.
"Sakura-hime," called Minato, amused as she trudged her boys into the house, through the ever convenient rooftop entrance.
The three of them fell, landing lightly and sandless onto the floor below. His team was all around the dinner table, setting up.
"Minato-kun," she replied, smiling at the man in greeting.
"You look terrible," snarked Kakashi as he laid down the large feast.
Rin rolls her eyes and whacks the stickler boy with a napkin.
"Shisho put us through, I believe the term is the 'ringer'," said Akira with a roll of his dark eyes.
Sakura bumped shoulders with him. The seven-year-old smiles.
"We require rest and substance before our next mission," said Itachi, softly and politely, "May we do so, Minato-senpai, inside your home?"
Minato smiles and ruffles Itachi's perfectly straight locks without missing a beat as he brings over his food.
"Anytime, kiddo. I told you to stop asking."
Even as Itachi is fixing his hair, Sakura can see a slight smile. She bumps shoulders with him next.
"Neh, neh, Sakura-hime, why do you look so horrible?" asks Obito, grinning ear to ear.
Rin drops a heavy fist on his head in a move so much like what Sakura would've done on Naruto, even after all this time she can't help but feel a faint twinge in her chest.
"Girls don't like it when you say that they look horrible," said her fellow medic, sniffing.
Sakura just laughed and gave a lopsided smile.
"Shisho saw it fit to be my sparring partner."
The rest of the house winced. Minato looked over and raised a brow.
"Are you okay?"
"Still dancing," she replied.
He smiled, letting out a breath of relief.
"Okay. Now let's eat," he said, ruffling her own hair.
Sakura smiles, but it's bittersweet because Kakashi-sensei had done that so many times, even when she was fifteen and she had begged him not too...
She had boys again.