Chapter 13 – Love
Fifteen years later
Today was always difficult for Itachi.
It was winter. The air was cold, snow was covering the ground and children were growing more and more excited for Christmas. Itachi himself was not much of a believer, wasn't all that religious, but he knew that some things would never be explained. Sure, nowadays Christmas was not what it used to be, but that was beside the point. His point was that it was almost Christmas, meaning only one thing.
The twins' birthday.
Like Sakura had known, she gave birth to one boy and one girl. Kiyoshi and Tsuki. Also, like Sakura had told him during her pregnancy, Tsuki grew into a beautiful, powerful kunoichi. Her long dark hair trailed down to her waist, though had choppy layers at the same time. For some reason she enjoyed the messy look. Itachi had no idea where that came from. Her black bangs often fell into her stunningly apple green eyes, the same eyes as her mother's. Kiyoshi also had black hair (although he preferred to keep it short and tidy) and green eyes. The twins also had the same pale complexion, but that was where similarities stopped.
Unlike Tsuki's full lips, Kiyoshi's were thin. She had a small, button nose, whereas he had a sharp nose like his father's. They both had the same eye shape as their father, the same impossibly long, black eyelashes, although they had their mother's eye colour. Itachi liked that about Tsuki and Kiyoshi. There was a perfect balance between both himself and Sakura in there.
They were both incredibly skilled. Whenever he got the chance, Itachi trained them both and made sure to remind his children that even though they were twins, they were their own person. He had read somewhere before that it was important to do such a thing. They understood perfectly. While they both excelled at genjutsu, taijutsu and ninjutsu, they each had their strengths and weaknesses. Tsuki was a natural with taijutsu and genjutsu, whereas Kiyoshi was a natural with ninjutsu. At that moment in time, both were storing chakra into their foreheads like Tsunade and Sakura (meaning they were both skilled in medical ninjutsu, too). His daughter signed a contract with his crows as well as Sakura's slugs and Kiyoshi signed a contract with only slugs.
It seemed they were more like Sakura, but there were definitely moments where Tsuki and Kiyoshi were more like Itachi. Tsuki had a personality similar to his own and Kiyoshi was known as a prodigy. Due to him being born first, Kiyoshi was clan heir, but Itachi knew his daughter did not mind. She had opened up to him about it one time, when there had been a clan meeting about it. After the discussion, Tsuki had approached him as he sat on the front porch, watching the rain. They enjoyed watching the rain together. Tsuki told him that she was glad Kiyoshi was clan heir, because he could be rather hotheaded at times and would never allow for anyone to walk over him. No, Tsuki wouldn't allow that either as she could be extremely intimidating at times, but like her father, she often went with things to save unnecessary arguments from starting.
Bringing up twins had not been easy – understatement of the century. They calmed down when they entered the academy, but before then… Itachi inwardly shook his head and sighed. It had been difficult to say the least.
Sitting down at the table, he gave a small smile to the twins. "These are for you," he told them as he handed them wrapped up boxes. "Happy birthday."
Tsuki watched him silently for a moment, ignoring her twin brother as he excitedly accepted the gift and unwrapped it. Like her father, she was extremely observant. Over the years Tsuki had picked up on the fact that Itachi would become more reserved around the time of her and Kiyoshi's birthday. She knew why, but at the same time, she didn't fully understand why it upset him so greatly.
"Thank you, Father," Kiyoshi exclaimed gratefully. He held up the katana and watched in awe as the light bounced off it. "This is amazing."
"It belonged to your grandfather," Itachi murmured as he poured cups of tea for everyone. "He did not use it often, but I am certain my father would wish for you to have it. It has been kept sharpened so that the blade would not dull and I will teach you fully on how to take care of and clean such a weapon."
Frowning, Kiyoshi lowered the katana and carefully placed it back into the box. "What about you? Or Uncle Sasuke? Would he not wish for his own sons to have it?"
Itachi merely shook his head.
Having accepted the boxed gift before her father began pouring tea, Tsuki opened it and once unwrapped, she blinked in confusion. Unlike the box Kiyoshi had been given (which had been rather large, considering he was given a katana), hers was small. Slowly, she opened the rectangular black box and stared down at the necklace laying on the velvet cushion.
She could not find the word. From what Tsuki could tell, it was made of crystal and even though she was not one to be ungrateful for gifts, this was not something she would wear. It looked a little childish for her. The chain was simple, but the pendant was–
"Wait," she gasped, lifting the necklace out of the box and holding it up, eyes going to the photographs on the wall. "This belonged to…?"
"Yes," Itachi answered when his daughter trailed off. "It is in the shape of a cherry blossom, so I believe it is obvious who it previously belonged to."
They did not view their presents as hand-me-downs. The twins believed the gifts were incredibly precious and they were absolutely honoured to accept them. All previous thought of not wearing the necklace fled from Tsuki's mind as she lifted it higher into the air until the charm rested on her chest and nodded in thanks as Kiyoshi closed the clasp behind her neck for her. Once done, she held the charm in her hand for a moment and smiled softly.
"Thank you, Father."
Kiyoshi nodded gratefully. "The gifts mean a lot to us."
Oh, that was one thing Itachi did not like. The twins had a habit of finishing each other's sentences. It wasn't them finishing each other's sentences that bothered him, it was how in sync their minds were. No, it was as though they could read each other's minds. It unsettled Itachi. Growing up, with Naruto around, they had been pranksters and Itachi had had to be on guard around them almost all of the time. Seeing them exchange knowing looks made him feel unnerved even now.
Suddenly, the sound of small feet beating against the ground, running in their direction, grabbed all of their attention. Kiyoshi smirked knowingly, Tsuki rolled her eyes and Itachi sighed, counting down in his mind what was about to follow.
"Misaki, Takeshi, Akio," a loud voice yelled and soon enough, slightly larger feet were stomping against the wooden flooring of their home. "If you make me chase you through this house one more time…" The annoyed voice trailed off, threat not even needing to be finished to know what would happen. "Don't forget it's your brother and sister's birthday today."
All three sets of small feet stopped, but the larger ones continued to stomp their way towards the kitchen.
"Go and wish them happy birthday."
And then three more were seated at the table, a table which had once been quiet and peaceful. It wasn't all too loud, but it certainly was not quiet and peaceful. The oldest of the three, at twelve years old, was Takeshi. His dark hair was messy, reminding Itachi of Shisui's hair and his eyes were forest green, a much darker shade than his mother's. He enjoyed following Sasuke around, just like Sasuke had followed Itachi around. The uncle did not mind. In fact, he seemed to like training Takeshi. Also like Sasuke, he could be easily tricked into competitions and bets and things of the sort.
Next, was Akio. Akio was like a miniature Naruto and was always bubbling with excitement. He was eight years old – nine in three months. Unlike his siblings, both his eyes and hair were dark. He was also rather tall for his age, looking at least eleven. As Itachi had just thought, Akio was pretty much a miniature Naruto from the way he was always grinning and making jokes, right down to the incredibly bright clothes. Fortunately, he did not wear orange. Instead he chose red.
Last, but certainly not least, was Misaki. Itachi gave his youngest daughter a gentle smile as she sat down beside him, staring up at him with impossibly green eyes and just like on the day she had been born, he found himself wanting to give her the world. It was the same with Tsuki. There was simply something different about having daughters to having sons. It made you feel as though you had to protect them and give them everything they wanted. No, that sounded wrong. It was different for Tsuki and Misaki because… Well, they were his daughters. His little girls, no matter how old they got.
Misaki was three years old and was at that stage where her father was her absolute world. His older daughter, Tsuki, was still in that certain stage and she was now fifteen years old. Secretly, Itachi hoped neither grew out of it. Misaki's hair was dark, but it had a certain tint to it. If you caught sight of it in the light or even the sun, you could see streaks of dark pink, almost red. They were dark though and barely even noticeable. She was a tiny little thing and always seemed adamant on clinging to her father. Itachi did not mind.
He did not raise his children how he and Sasuke had been raised. Around a year after the twins had been born, Itachi had been made patriarch of the clan. It would have been done sooner, but Fugaku had agreed that the new family needed time to settle and get used to certain things, such as parenthood.
"Happy birthday," a cheerful voice sounded and Itachi smiled at the sound of her voice.
This time of year was so hard for Itachi for two different reasons. The first being that he had almost lost the woman he loved while she had been giving birth to their children. Deep down that was something Itachi had never forgiven himself for and he couldn't see himself doing so any time soon. He should have been there. Had he been there, perhaps Itachi could have saved her from that fall. The second reason was the fact that both his parents passed away during the winter season.
The first had been Fugaku. Around six years after retiring from being head of the clan, he had been sent on a mission he never returned from. Well, his body returned to Konoha, but Uchiha Fugaku never truly returned. It was two years later when Mikoto passed away, dying of a broken heart. That had been the moment Itachi and Sasuke truly understood how deeply their mother had loved their father, despite it being an arranged marriage.
As she fully entered the kitchen, Sakura kissed both Kiyoshi's and Tsuki's cheeks before taking her place beside Itachi.
"Any plans for today?"
Itachi inwardly sighed. Now she had done it.
"I'm going to train with Uncle Sasuke," Takeshi told them. "He got back from his mission last night and promised we could train together today. We're working on Chidori and Uncle Sasuke said I'm doing well with picking everything up."
"Arashi invited me to go and train at the Hyuuga district," Akio practically yelled, despite the fact they were all right next to him. Tsuki glared down at her brother, silently telling him to lower his voice and as Itachi glanced down at Misaki, he saw her doing the same thing, watching her older sister to make sure she had the expression right. "He said his dad's going to be there and that he's going to train us both."
Arashi was Naruto and Hinata's eldest child. He was the same age as Akio and the two were best friends. Naruto had been Rokudaime Hokage for around ten years now and he had fit into the role rather well, Itachi had to admit. As well as Arashi, Naruto and Hinata had another child. He was four years old and called Daisuke.
Pretty much everybody from Konoha Twelve had settled down and started a family. Temari had moved to Konoha and married Shikamaru (since Shikamaru was the heir to the Nara clan and couldn't move away). Tenten had Neji. Kiba and Shino married women from their clans. Lee was dating a civilian. Ino had Choji and together they had four children.
Aki was their firstborn son and a month older than Tsuki and Kiyoshi. Then there was Fujita (he was thirteen years old), Haru (he was ten years old) and then there was little Akina. Akina was the same age as Misaki – three years old. Ino had joked about the two becoming rivals, just as their mothers had been. Sakura hoped so as it was partly because of their rivalry that she pushed herself so hard. She had to be better than Ino. Akina was like a younger version of Ino. It secretly terrified them all.
Everybody had found someone, including Sasuke. He was taking things slowly with the woman he was now courting, although they could all tell he was in no rush to settle down yet. They didn't understand why. Sasuke simply did not want children of his own and not a lot of women agreed with his decisions. He was like Kakashi, now that Sakura thought about it. Both were loners and neither had children. Kakashi was satisfied with the occasional one night stand, as he did not want the bonds having a family brought. He had once told her that he didn't ever want to risk falling in love.
Part of her hoped the two would change their minds and start families of their own, but she never said it. They were happy the way they were.
The sound of the front door opening had Takeshi and Akio grinning wildly at each other, which could only mean one thing: their guests were none other than Uchiha Sasuke and Uzumaki Naruto and Sakura's suspicions were proven to be correct as the two entered the kitchen, Sasuke shoving Naruto into the door frame so that he could enter first. They still acted like little kids when around each other.
"Aw, c'mon, Sasuke," Naruto growled with annoyance, rubbing his sore shoulder with a pout. "I'm Hokage, so you can't go around shoving me into doors."
Putting on an annoyed expression as she watched Sasuke sit down next to Takeshi and Naruto next to the Kiyoshi, Sakura tapped her fingers against the table. "Haven't you guys ever heard of knocking?" she asked in a soft and deadly voice and her fingers stilled.
"Don't be like that, Sakura-chan." Naruto grinned and threw his arm over Kiyoshi's shoulders, dragging the boy closer and almost causing him to choke on his tea. "It's my duty as Kiyoshi and Tsuki's favourite uncle to be here and wish them a happy birthday. Oh, by the way, Hinata has your presents, so she'll give them to you both tonight."
"Sorry to disappoint you, Naruto." Tsuki smirked. "But you're not my favourite uncle."
"Eh?" he whined, letting go of Kiyoshi so that he could talk over him. "Don't tell me it's Sasuke."
"Nope." Her reply ripped the smirk from Sasuke's features, much to Itachi and Sakura's amusement.
Sasuke's eyes narrowed as he turned his head to the right to glare at Tsuki. However, knowing that he had a soft spot for his older brother's and best friend's children, she was not afraid. Instead, Tsuki smirked again. "Shisui?"
"Uncle Shisui is mine," Misaki yelled over them all. She turned to look up at her father with large eyes. "Right, daddy?"
Akio rolled his eyes, as did Takeshi.
"No, Shisui is not my favourite uncle, either, so he's all yours, Misaki. Although, he certainly ranks higher on my list than you, Naruto," Tsuki teased and took a sip of her tea.
Many at the table frowned. Who else could there be?
Waiting for a second and inwardly grinning as she saw her mother lifting her cup to take a sip, Tsuki told them, "Kakashi is my favourite uncle."
Tea was suddenly spat across the table by a now coughing Sakura. She lowered her cup to the table with shaking hands, barely even hearing the groan of annoyance from Akio as he wiped the tea from his face, as she was too focused on trying to breathe once again. Itachi patted her back and after a second, Misaki joined him, seeming to appear out of nowhere. It was obvious Shisui was her favourite uncle. There was no doubt in any of their minds that one day, she would probably be as fast as him.
"W-Why Kakashi-sensei?" she rasped and quickly cleared his throat.
"It hurts my feelings when you speak about me in such a disdainful way, Sakura-chan." Oh, she should have known Kakashi would be close by. It was like saying his name was actually summoning him. He sat down on Tsuki's other side, giving her an eye crease, which they all knew to be a smile. "At least Tsuki-chan appreciates me."
Considering that he was getting on in his years, Kakashi was asked by Naruto to be one of his advisers, meaning he received very few missions. Sasuke was also an adviser, much to the previous elders' disliking. They had argued with him for months about his choice, saying that it was 'unwise' to give the Uchiha clan so much power. Naruto ignored them. Sakura had been made his personal medic and she also received very few missions. If Naruto was to leave Konoha, she would go with him as his medic. Those were pretty much all the missions she received nowadays but Sakura didn't mind that she rarely left the village. Watching her children growing up had to be one of the most wonderful things she had ever experienced and she was so very proud of them all.
The table was beginning to grow crowded, but none of them cared. This was the large family Sakura had always dreamed of and she was lucky to have them all with her, safe and alive. Misaki crawled onto Itachi's lap and sat down there, smiling brightly when he brushed the hair out of her eyes. Akio and Takeshi were arguing over who was the greater shinobi and uncle, Naruto or Sasuke. Tsuki and Kiyoshi were chatting to Naruto, who was grinning and nodding excitedly. As for Sasuke, he was talking with Kakashi, seeming to be displeased by something as he raised a dark eyebrow.
Her eyes narrowed.
Sighing, Kakashi slipped his beloved book back into his pouch, much to Sasuke's amusement.
"Hinata is pregnant," Naruto suddenly announced with a large smile on his face. "I'm going to be a dad again."
"Poor kid," Sasuke muttered with a smirk.
"What was that?" the blond demanded, slapping his hand onto the table as he knelt up, glaring down at Sasuke. "More like a freaking lucky kid. What about you, huh? What happened to that woman… Uh…"
"Aya." Kiyoshi rolled his eyes.
"Yeah, her." He smirked wickedly. "Haven't you knocked her up already?"
Sakura growled and her hand lashed out, gripping Naruto by the collar of his shirt and dragging him forward, giving a good shake or two as she glared viciously at him. "Idiot. Don't say stuff like that in front of my children otherwise I'll be giving them a demonstration on how to cast–"
A sheepish smile pulled at Naruto's lips as he quickly grabbed her wrists. "I'm sorry, Sakura-chan. It just slipped out, I swear."
Shoving him away, she sat back down beside her husband, ignoring the stunned, amused expressions her children were sending her. "Don't think that I'm not up to breaking my latest record for how far I can punch you."
Misaki watched her mother with an awed expression before looking up at Itachi, tugging on his shirt to grab his attention. "Can I be strong like Mama?"
He smiled. "If you train hard, you may even surpass her one day."
Eyes widening with delight, Misaki practically trembled with excitement.
"Well," Kiyoshi stated as he got to his feet, soon followed by Tsuki, "we've got to go and meet Aki for training."
She liked that her children were on the same team as Ino's son. It was sad that the Ino–Shika–Cho formation had been broken, but what with Ino and Choji getting married and whatnot, it wasn't too surprising. That was probably why the elders of all three clans hadn't been too happy about the marriage in the beginning.
Once Tsuki and Kiyoshi left, Akio stood up and bit into the last bite of his breakfast. "Uncle Naruto, are you ready to be beaten by me and Arashi?"
Naruto smirked. "There's no chance of you beating me." Also standing up, his smirk widened. "It's going to be fun beating you both into the ground."
Sakura rolled her eyes and shook her head. Still a big kid.
"Uncle Sasuke?" Takeshi spoke up when Naruto and Akio left. "Can we start training now?"
There was a pause. "I need to speak with your parents first."
Her son, knowing Sasuke as well as he did, easily picked up on his mood and nodded seriously, picking up Misaki (even though she tried her best to stay with Itachi, clinging onto him until he chuckled and told her he would only be a moment) and carrying her out of the room to give the adults some privacy.
"What's up?" Sakura asked and leaned forward. Then, a bright smile graced her lips. "Is it about Aya-san? Have you proposed?"
Sasuke shook his head. "We broke up."
"Why?" Itachi asked with a frown.
"I thought you really liked her?"
"Liked," he repeated. "Not love. Aya wants more. She wants to start a family and I don't feel the same way."
Kakashi sighed. "So you both decided to go your separate ways."
It wasn't a question. Hatake Kakashi had been in a similar position many times and even now, nearing his fifties, his mind had not changed. He was a loner, had been hurt too many times to risk opening his heart in such a way just for it to be broken again when something went wrong. Something always went wrong. The last time he was in an official relationship, the woman had gone on a mission and was killed. There had also been Rin. Obito. Minato. His parents. He'd lost them all and there wasn't a chance he'd risk losing somebody else he cared for. It was bad enough how close he felt with Team Seven. If he lost them, after all the pain he'd already been through, Kakashi knew it would destroy him. It seemed, even though Sasuke hadn't experienced loss in such a way, that he was also uneasy with opening up to people.
"I'm sorry, Sasuke," Sakura told him with a small, sympathetic smile. "I know how much you liked her."
Instead of replying, Sasuke shrugged. You can't force feelings that weren't there, after all. One day, Aya had been fine with simply hanging out or having sex, but then the next day she suddenly wanted to get married, wanted to have a family as large as Sakura and Itachi's. That just wasn't him. He didn't want that. Sure, having a large family was probably nice, but… Sasuke just couldn't see himself with one.
Every time Kiyoshi, Tsuki and Takeshi were sent on missions, Sakura would be on edge, she would be biting her nails and worrying like a parent should. Sasuke would even admit that he worried about the kids, too. That was why he didn't want any of his own. Already he cared so much about the children already in his life and it would make his chest ache if something went wrong on one of their missions. What if it was his own children? He'd be devastated. It'd break him.
"So," Kakashi spoke conversationally, taking the attention away from a brooding Sasuke. "What exactly is the plan for tonight?"
Sakura brightened immediately.
Her back hit the wall and not even a second later, a hard body was pressed up against hers, drawing a gasp out of her when her legs wrapped around his hips, his growing erection grinding into her.
"Itachi," she breathed shakily, eyes fluttering closed at the hot open-mouthed kisses running up and down her neck. "We shouldn't be doing this! What about–"
Instead of answering her, Itachi moved his kisses to her mouth, silencing her halfhearted protests. To take away all other thoughts, he pressed his arousal more harshly against her, whispering heated words into her ear, "I need you, Sakura."
Like Itachi had been expecting, a gasp mixed with a whimper fell from her lips and Sakura's arms wound around him, trying to pull him even closer. "Where's Misaki?"
"She is with Ino-san and Akina-chan," he murmured, not even giving her a chance to reply as he moved them away from the wall, only for her to yank him downwards and causing them to fall down onto the table. Luckily, due to her monstrous strength and tendency to break things, it was strong enough to hold their weight. "Shouldn't we–"
"Don't even talk about going all the way to the bedroom now," Sakura groaned as her hands unbuttoned his pants impatiently, hips raising to his when Itachi undid the sash around her waist, effectively opening her yukata and revealing her body to him.
Even after carrying and giving birth to five children, she still looked beautiful to him. Life as a kunoichi meant Sakura had to work out every day to keep her body in shape, to keep fit and her reflexes sharp. So, her body was still toned and firm. Itachi wouldn't have cared even if it wasn't.
A moment later, he was sliding her underwear down her legs, once more kissing her neck and after throwing her underwear to the side, Itachi yanked her body closer to his, muffling her moan with his lips as he entered her. Sometimes, neither of them had the patience for foreplay. Yes the build up to that final moment was amazing but right now they didn't want the build up. They wanted the blissful, intense feeling of their releases hitting them at full force.
Even after all these years, they still craved each other, still craved the other's body.
At first Itachi's thrusts were slow and gentle, but it wasn't long until Sakura was gripping his hips, urging them to move more harshly. And he did so. Beneath them the table shook with the force of his hips slapping against hers and he had to place his elbows above Sakura's shoulders to stop her from moving upwards too much with each thrust.
He gazed down at her with heated eyes, eyes that only became more hungry at the sight beneath him. Itachi had always loved seeing Sakura in such a way. Right now, both her arms and legs were wrapped around him, trying to drag him impossibly closer, although one hand had slipped up and underneath his jonin sweatshirt, scratching his pale back. The position of her legs caused him to falter for a moment, as she was unknowingly pushing his pants further down until they were making movement difficult. Itachi ignored them and instead changed the angle of his thrusts, making Sakura throw her head back, a loud moan ripping out of her and her features contorting with pleasure.
Kisses were suddenly being brushed to different places on her face, starting from her jaw, making their way up to her chin, her burning cheeks, her nose, the seal on her forehead, until Itachi made his way back down to her lips, kissing her more heatedly, more passionately. And when they parted for air, he moved his open-mouthed kisses to her neck.
Fisting her hand in Itachi's hair, Sakura's back arched, her hips grinding up into his with his every thrust.
Sparks of pleasure shot up and down his spine, causing him to grab her hip, leaning more onto the forearm resting above Sakura's shoulder. His thrusts slowed, but they were still just as forceful, just as rough and going by the movements of her hips, he began grinding against her after each thrust.
It didn't take long to bring her to orgasm and with hers, came his.
Once they had slowly come down from their high, Itachi pressed his forehead to hers, smiling at the smile on her lips. "You know," she whispered, running her hand through his hair. Sakura couldn't remember when or how she had released it from it's tie, but apparently she had. "This is going to have to stop. What if one of the kids finds us in a position like this?"
She could remember all the times they had been caught in the act. So far, it was around eleven times altogether. Once by Shisui. Four times by Naruto. Another four times by Sasuke. Twice by Kakashi. Oh wait, no they had been caught twelve times. Ino had caught them at it just the other month and afterwards, it had taken Sakura hours to shut Ino up. The blonde had been adamant about sharing tips and skills.
Reluctantly, Itachi pulled out of her and stood up, fixing his pants and watching with a smile as Sakura also stood up, trying to fix her yukata. Without saying a word he picked up the sash while she slipped on her underwear once more and the moment she was done, Itachi tied the sash around her waist.
"You are the only one who makes me lose all self-control," he murmured into her ear, brushing a final kiss there.
Her legs weakened. The words may have not seemed like much to anybody else, but having his lips and teeth grazing her earlobe, hearing his low and deep voice right in her ear…
Sakura froze, looking up at Itachi with panicked eyes.
Shit. It was Takeshi. And he was around that age to receive the talk. Nope. Sakura was not ready for that. She was still mortified from when they had given Tsuki and Kiyoshi the talk. There was simply something utterly not right about discussing sex with your children, telling them what happens and about contraception and…
"I swear, Itachi…" she growled, glaring up at him and her annoyance only grew when she noticed his hair was flawless, his uniform neat and tidy. It looked like nothing had even happened between them. "How the hell do you do that?" Itachi smirked and smoothed down her hair, tucking a strand behind her ear. She shook her head and growled once more. "If Takeshi asks about what just happened in here, you're the one who will be giving him the talk."
"It was going to happen either way," he told her, giving one last tug on her yukata before he was sitting at the table. The table they had just had sex on. "It was agreed that you would speak with our daughters and I will speak with our sons."
Was it strange that Itachi didn't find having the talk awkward at all? Yes, it was slightly uncomfortable explaining sex to young children, but at the end of the day, it was all natural and it was better to safely explain what happened instead of them going out and experimenting. He couldn't understand why Sakura disliked it so much – she was a medic.
By the time Takeshi reached the kitchen/dining room, his mother was scrubbing the table clean and his father was sitting peacefully, looking more relaxed than he had earlier that morning. That was nice. Smiling, he took a seat opposite Itachi. It didn't go unnoticed by him or the older siblings that their father got a little… antisocial during that time of year. Okay, he became more antisocial than usual.
"I thought you were training with Sasuke, Takeshi?" Sakura asked and once she had cleaned the table, she moved over to the refrigerator, grabbing his favourite drink and passing it to Takeshi. He didn't like tea all that much, but around Sasuke, he would drink it like there was no tomorrow. Her former teammate never told her son that he was aware of that fact.
"He was called for a last minute mission." The young boy pouted. "He went with Tsuki and Kiyoshi's team."
Sakura's eyes widened in shock. "Naruto sent them on a mission today, of all days?"
"It's only a half day mission – they'll be back before tonight."
Oh. Well, at least she knew her children would be safe. Sasuke would never allow for any harm to come to them. Considering it had only just turned ten o'clock, that gave them eight hours to return for their surprise. They didn't have to be right on time, but she would prefer having them home early. Sasuke was in on the surprise, which was most likely (hopefully) why Naruto sent the Uchiha with his niece and nephew. To make sure they were home on time. But still. Sakura was pissed with Naruto. He was supposed to be taking the day off and training with not only her son, but also his own. A memory came to the front of her mind, making her fight against the narrowing of her eyes. He'd better not have used a clone to train with them again.
Then again… He was Hokage now. He was crazy busy.
"Do you have any idea what their mission is?" she asked after a couple of minutes, handing Itachi a cup of tea. A moment later, she sat down beside her husband.
Takeshi was thoughtful for a moment, sipping his fizzy drink. "Um… I think they're escorting a delegate to a meeting point."
She hoped with all her heart her children would be back on time.
Itachi glanced at his wife out of the corner of his eye. If their children did not return on time, there was no doubt in his mind that they would be needing a new Hokage by the end of the night.
Sakura smiled brightly as she heard her daughter's voice. They were home. "Get cleaned up, you two," she told them seriously, even though they hadn't even removed their shoes yet and she was still in the kitchen. "Naruto has arranged a dinner for you both and since he's Hokage, you need to be clean and looking formal. You have thirty minutes."
There was the sound of a sigh from both of them before they did as they were told.
Thankfully, they did not take after Sakura too much, as she enjoyed spending at least half an hour in the shower, whereas they quickly washed their bodies, cleaning off the grime and sweat that had built up from being pushed so hard to complete the mission (they loved their Uncle Sasuke, really they did, but had there been any need to completely exhaust themselves trying to return home before it got dark?). There was a small feminine part of Sakura in Tsuki, as she spent a little longer washing her hair – although that could have been Itachi, too.
No, Sakura knew that it wasn't. His hair was naturally beautiful.
While making a mental note to thank Sasuke for making sure they got home on time, she picked out outfits for the twins and placed them down neatly on each of their beds. It took her a little longer to choose something for Tsuki as the girl had way too many clothes, especially for someone who was so very much like a tomboy, but the moment she had, Sakura left Tsuki's bedroom and moved over to Kiyoshi's to do the exact same thing.
When the twins had been growing up, Sakura had enjoyed dressing them up in cute little outfits, although Itachi hadn't allowed her to have them wearing matching clothes. He kept saying something about them needing individuality. Whatever. Those outfits had been adorable and he knew it. Now, however, the twins were old enough to dress themselves… but damn, Sakura wanted them to stay her babies forever.
"Where are the others?" Kiyoshi asked as he stepped into the kitchen where his mother was waiting.
"Oh, they're meeting us there," Sakura told him with a smile, but that smile faltered when Tsuki stepped into the room. "Tsuki." In a way, Tsuki was kind of like Ino – in the clothes department, of course. "You can't go to a formal dinner with your breasts on display. It isn't proper." Kiyoshi groaned, turning his head in the other direction as their mother shot to her feet and stomped over to a wide-eyed Tsuki. "You don't need them out on display."
Tsuki pouted, but allowed her mother to fix the kimono. "All the other girls–"
"You are not 'all the other girls'. You're Uchiha Tsuki." Sakura sighed in return.
Her pout grew more pronounced. "But you can't even tell that I have them."
Can't tell that she had them? Was her daughter losing her sight? She was more or less the same size Ino and Hinata had been at that age. But… Maybe her daughter had self-image issues, like Sakura had growing up? Oh, she hoped not. More than anything she hoped Tsuki didn't have self-image issues.
"You have a much bigger chest than I did at your age." Their mother pushed aside her pride and once again, Kiyoshi groaned. He didn't want to hear this. However, he knew better than to say anything. Their mother was terrifying when angry and Tsuki was no different. "I was always 'flat chested Haruno Sakura' growing up." Rolling her eyes, she gave one last tug on the kimono before straightening up. "Tsuki, you don't need to have your breasts on display for people to know they're there. You don't need them out at all. You're beautiful enough without them."
"When did yours start growing?"
Trust her daughter to just brush off her words. "When I was sixteen or seventeen, although they never really grew until I was pregnant with the both of you."
A frown pulled at Tsuki's features. "And father still–"
"No," Sakura cut her off, refusing to have that conversation. They had started off as friends with benefits after all and she refused to be the one to tell their children that. "If you want to know what your father thought, you should ask him."
"Fine, I will."
They had been stunned when they arrived, much to everyone's amusement. Sakura had been smiling brightly, talking quickly and excitedly while their twins were walking behind her, giving an occasional sigh or shake of their heads.
But then they entered the large hall and had many people yelling "surprise" at them. To stop it from seeming suspicious, at least half of the guests had been masking their chakra, so it would seem like only the family's friends. However, when they entered, when the guests were yelling surprise, they had all revealed their chakra, almost scaring the life out of the twins.
Itachi was glad he had had his Sharingan activated. The looks on their faces was something he didn't want to forget.
Misaki let go of her father and ran forward with a smile even brighter than their mother's, almost tackling Tsuki and Kiyoshi to the ground. "Happy birthday."
She was definitely going to be as strong as their mother.
"Misaki-chan," Kiyoshi wheezed, trying to get back the breath that had been beaten out of him. "What have we told you about doing that?"
The three year old pouted and lowered her tear-filling eyes to the floor, sniffing once. "I only w-wanted to… to surprise you!"
Kiyoshi's eyes widened.
Tsuki rolled her eyes.
"Wait, don't cry, Misaki-chan," the older brother exclaimed, pulling his youngest sister into a tight hug.
But then giggling reached his ears and glancing down at his sister, he saw that he had once again fallen for her tricks.
"You fell for it again, nii-san."
He pouted childishly. "That's because if I'm not nice to you, Father will beat me into next week."
Tsuki snorted. "No he wouldn't. He'd simply get you back in another way for her."
Genjutsu. And if it wasn't Itachi who got them back, it would be Shisui. Both of them secretly (or not-so-secretly) adored Misaki. To those two she could do no wrong. To those who fall victim to her tricks and pranks, however, she was like a demon child. But of course their father did not believe that. She was a daddy's girl, after all. And the suddenly alarming smile on Misaki's features told them both that she knew that, too.
"Pure evil," Kiyoshi muttered as their little sister ran back over to their father.
Tsuki nodded numbly in agreement, but then turned to face their mother. "You should have warned us," she told the older woman with a smirk. "We could have been having an extremely stressful day and the surprise–"
"Oh, be quiet." Sakura chuckled with a roll of her eyes. "You're too much like your father to have breakdowns and if there's a chance that you do have them, you'll act calmly and wait until you're alone. That's just how you Uchiha are."
Green eyes glanced over at a laughing Misaki, watching as the young girl was lifted by Shisui. The moment their eyes connected, however, Kiyoshi could feel the colour draining out of him as yet another one of her alarming smiles was directed right at him. "Except for Misaki," he spoke quietly, quickly tearing his eyes from her. "She's way too much like you, Mother."
There was a pause as Sakura watched Misaki being placed onto her feet, smiling sweetly up at Shisui, before she smiled and shook her head. "Actually, I'd say she's more like my mother. Although, saying that, there are definitely parts of my temper in there, too."
Suddenly, Tsuki's eyes widened and she reached for the charm laying on her chest. "I never thanked you for this necklace," she murmured and smiled at Sakura as she pulled her into a hug. "Thank you for allowing me to have it."
It had been hard parting with the necklace, in all honesty, but she believed that her daughter deserved it. When she heard that Itachi was planning on giving Kiyoshi the katana belonging to Fugaku, she had wanted to make sure her own father was somewhere in there, too. So Sakura had given Tsuki the necklace he had bought her. The shape of the pendant always reminded her of his hair.
"I thought you should have it," she said simply, giving her daughter one last squeeze before releasing her. "There will be more presents after the party from not only your guests, but also me and your father. He wanted to give you both the katana and necklace this morning, though."
Nodding, Tsuki glanced over her shoulder, looking over the guests before her eyes fell onto the last member of her team. Ino's eldest son, Aki.
Sakura smirked. "Go."
So she did.
Kiyoshi, not for the first time, groaned. "Tsuki's been acting really weird around Aki lately."
"Don't you like it?" Sakura asked as she turned to her son, giving him a questioning stare. "She's happy, isn't she?"
He pulled a face. "Yeah and I'm happy for her, it's just weird. We grew up with Aki, didn't we? And now suddenly she's acting like a fan-girl around him. No, actually, not a fan-girl – please don't ever tell her I said that, she'll kill me." His features were pleading and Sakura chuckled, nodding. "It's… I don't know how to explain it. She does whatever she can to make him happy, even if she gets hurt in the process."
Love. Her daughter was falling in love.
Oh she just had to tell Itachi.
"That is because your sister is a selfless person," she told Kiyoshi softly, watching Tsuki for a moment as the girl smiled up at Aki, her smile widening when he suddenly handed her a gift. "And she cares for her friends and family. Your team is like an extension of your family, Kiyoshi. You've seen how close Team Seven is. Not a day goes by that we don't see Sasuke or Naruto. Maybe not so much Kakashi-sensei, but he's always been that way and it wouldn't be him if he wasn't."
After a couple of moments, Kiyoshi nodded in agreement. He glanced over at Tsuki, scrutinising her features to see if she was truly happy. She was. And that was good enough for him. "You're right," he murmured to his mother before turning to face her, grinning. "So do you want to tell father, or can I?"
Sakura smirked. "Why don't we mess with him? But I definitely want to be there when you break the news about your sister falling in love."
He returned her smirk.
His wife and eldest son were up to something.
Nobody would be standing so closely, they wouldn't be whispering to one another, if they were not up to something. Misaki was also suspicious as she narrowed her eyes at the pair.
"Papa, what are they doing?"
His own eyes narrowed a fraction when both Sakura and Kiyoshi began smirking. It was definitely worrying. "I'm not sure, Misaki-chan."
She turned to face them, her eyes widening. "Can we play ninja?" she asked excitedly, gripping his shirt tightly.
Itachi chuckled and adjusted his hold on his daughter, lowering her to the ground on her feet. "First one to find out what they are planning, wins."
"The prize?" At his blank expression, she pouted. "There has to be a prize, Papa."
"Of course." He paused for a moment, trying to think of a suitable prize for his daughter. She already had every toy she could ever want, so what else was there? But then he remembered an earlier conversation they had. "If you win, you may begin your training early." Her eyes widened almost dramatically, mouth falling open in shock and awe. "And I will be the one to teach you."
She was gone in a second.
"Oh no," Kiyoshi muttered, his eyes widening. "Misaki's coming."
Sakura shook her head and sighed. "I wish you and your sister would stop acting like she's the spawn of the devil. Misaki is only three years old. Completely harmless."
If only she knew. If only his poor, poor mother knew just how evil Misaki truly was. She was devious and knew how to get what she wanted. To makes things worse, she had their father on her side as well as Shisui. Hell, Kakashi too. Misaki could get away with pretty much anything. Of course, whenever Kiyoshi tried to warn his parents that he believed the devil may be inside his sister, they always scolded him for saying 'such hurtful things about his little sister'. Please. She acted innocent around them. But soon, so very soon, they would all know how evil she was.
"Mama." Misaki grinned when she finally reached them and not even a second later, she was in the woman's arms. "Why are you over here? Papa's over there."
"No reason, Misaki-chan," Sakura told her with a smile. "I'm speaking with your brother."
She pouted up at her and inwardly Kiyoshi sighed. That was the look that gave her everything she wanted. "Why?"
"Because it's my birthday?"
Sakura shot him a warning look at his sarcastic remark and while doing so, she didn't see the glare Misaki gave her brother.
He gave up. How the hell could his mother not feel the dark waves pouring from the little demon child in her arms?
"We're planning on teasing your father, Misaki-chan," Sakura murmured, giving Kiyoshi one last warning look before turning to face her daughter. "See over there?"
Narrowing her eyes a fraction, Misaki followed Sakura's line of sight. "Tsuki and Aki?"
"Mm-hm." She smirked. "Tsuki's in love."
There was another pout when Misaki glanced back up at her mother. "Like how I love Papa?"
"No, no." Sakura smiled sheepishly, while Kiyoshi choked on his drink. Gods, he wished his sister never loved their father the way Tsuki was falling in love with Aki. It was just plain wrong. "Like how I love your father."
Misaki's eyes widened and she gasped. "Uncle Shisui said we're not allowed to love boys like that."
She couldn't help but chuckle. It sounded like something Shisui would say, especially to Misaki. Just as Sakura opened her mouth to speak, her daughter began to struggle against her hold, resulting in her being placed onto the ground once more. "What's wrong, Misaki-chan?"
"Uncle Sasuke is here."
And then she was running off, leaving Sakura and Kiyoshi to stand there in stunned silence before the former turned to face the latter once more. "Go and be with your friends, Kiyoshi. I'll wait until later to begin teasing your father."
Once she was out of sight, Misaki quickly ducked under one of the many tables, the white sheet hiding her from view due to it reaching to the ground. She loved playing ninja with her father. He always gave her tasks and even though Itachi had told her "first one to find out what they are planning, wins" she knew he wouldn't be attempting to gather information the way she had. No, Misaki knew what to do.
Three hundred and sixty-eight seconds later and she could feel her father's chakra spiking slightly to tell her he was there. Glancing at the sheet for a moment, she watched as his shadow drifted closer until all she could make out were his legs.
"Done," Misaki whispered, knowing to keep her voice low. "Mama and Nii-san are going to tease you, Papa."
There was a pause. "Tease me?" he asked and on the other side of the sheet, Itachi was glancing down at the spread. His lips barely even moved as he asked, "About what?"
"Nee-san," the three year old whispered, before her voice became more excited. "Papa, Tsuki broke Uncle Shisui's rules. He said no falling in love with boys."
It was from years of experience that Itachi did not show how he was feeling on the outside, how he just about managed to stop from snapping the chopsticks he had just picked up. His daughter… in love? No. She was much too young. Okay, maybe not too young for love, but what if things became… sexual? Itachi had to hold back a growl. What was this strange feeling in his stomach? It felt like anger, but it feel much deeper than that.
"Who with, Misaki-chan?"
"Um…" She thought for a moment, trying to remember who her older sister had been standing with. "Oh, Aki!"
Itachi inwardly grimaced. It could be worse, he supposed. Aki was a decent enough boy and had impeccable manners, but was he the right kind of boy for his daughter? Right at that moment in time Itachi didn't think anybody would be good enough for Tsuki (he downright refused to think of Misaki ever falling in love – she was three years old, after all).
Glancing over his shoulder, Itachi's eyes went straight to his son and daughter's team – Team Five. Kiyoshi was grinning, talking excitedly and nodding quickly. Tsuki was… He sighed. She was staring up at the blond stood opposite her with warm eyes, a slight blush sweeping across her cheeks at something that was said. Itachi could not see Aki's features, for he was facing the other way.
He snapped out of his thoughts, looking down at the table once more. "Yes, Misaki-chan?"
"This means I won."
There was no question, making Itachi chuckle. His youngest daughter had unrivalled confidence and she was only three. "It does. You can come out now."
She was out in a second, grinning up at him until Itachi picked his daughter up, shifting her to his side so that he could also pick up the plate he had been filling with food. Misaki's eyes brightened. Her favourite. Like her father, she had an obsession for dango. When Itachi was certain he had a hold on both his daughter and the plate, he made his way over to one of the sitting tables, taking a seat on the chair and keeping Misaki on his lap.
"Is Nee-san is trouble?"
Itachi looked down at his daughter, handing her a stick of dango. "No." Misaki frowned, obviously confused as she paused in eating her snack. "She is happy, Misaki-chan. You must never come in the way of another's happiness. It is unforgivable."
Taking a large bite, she stared over in the direction of Team Five. Her older sister did look happy. Incredibly happy. "Why is she smiling like that? It's weird."
He chuckled, also noticing the large smile on Tsuki's features. It was a surprise she hadn't gotten cheek strain yet. In all honesty, it reminded him of the way Sakura smiled up at him when she was feeling happy. "…Because she is in love, Misaki-chan."
His daughter was in love.
It had been a month since the party now. Three weeks since Team Five was sent on a mission and a week since Takeshi's team went on a mission, too.
Once she had figured out that she would not be able to tease Itachi about they're daughter falling in love, Sakura had smiled and kissed his forehead, telling him that it was good he wasn't acting like a cliché, overprotective father.
Takeshi wasn't due home for another week or so, but Team Five were returning tonight if there were no problems during the mission. Sakura closed closed her eyes and released a slow exhale. Nothing was going to go wrong. They're mission was only b-ranked, but that didn't mean it wasn't dangerous, anything could–
She had to stop doing that to herself.
Instead, Sakura focused on getting Akio ready for the academy, which didn't take all that long to do and soon enough, she was kissing him goodbye before he all but burst out of their home, sprinting through the district. Moving over to the kitchen, she glanced around herself. It was so strange not having four of her five children at home, laughing and talking over breakfast. It was too quiet.
Thankfully, the moment breakfast was ready for those who were still at home, the sound of footsteps reached her ears and Sakura smiled, though shook her head with a chuckle when Itachi entered the kitchen, Misaki clinging onto his back with her arms wrapped around his neck.
At her questioning look, Itachi gave her a soft smirk. "Misaki-chan apparently needs to save her energy."
Misaki nodded quickly. "Akina-chan's mama is taking us to the fields today to pick some pretty flowers."
Oh yeah. Ino had mentioned something about that. The blonde enjoyed taking Akina and Misaki to the fields they had grown up in, teaching them the very basics of womanly skills. It was pretty much the same as what they had learned in the first year of the academy. Sakura had been invited to go with them, but she had a hospital shift in the afternoon and was needed for a major operation.
"You'll make a pretty bouquet for me, won't you?" Sakura smiled as Misaki slipped off Itachi's back and took her place at the table, waiting patiently for her food.
Not even ten minutes after they had finished eating, Ino and Akina were knocking at the front door, walking in a second after knocking. Sakura sighed. Well, at least she was giving a warning knock this time, having learned her lesson after walking in on her and Itachi.
"Forehead, I'm here to teach your daughter how to be a woman."
Itachi tensed from his place at the table at Ino's announcement.
"Misaki is only three years old, Ino-Pig." Sakura rolled her eyes, but handed Misaki her sandals anyway. Oh, she wasn't allowed to help her put them on, especially not in front of Akina. The girls were already beginning to become rivals. They tried to outdo each other in a lot of things. Even putting on their own shoes.
"You know what I mean," Ino groaned with annoyance, placing a hand on her hip. "I'm talking about what we had to learn back in the academy. All that stuff about needing to act like a lady." She then smirked, giving Sakura a sly look. "Since you're definitely not a lady, it's up to me to make sure my goddaughter doesn't–"
A slam interrupted Ino, the blonde's eyes going wide as she quickly pulled Akina away from the door, the young girl barely missing being squashed into the wall.
"Oi, watch it. Akina was standing right there!"
It surprised them all when Tsuki and Kiyoshi entered, the former glaring viciously at them all before she was stomping out of the room and into her bedroom, slamming the door behind her. Kiyoshi grimaced but just as he went to follow his twin, his mother stepped in front of him, folding her arms over her chest, staring him down and even though he was taller than her, she was much more intimidating at that moment in time.
"Come on, girls," Ino told them, taking both of their hands. "It'd be best to leave them to talk in private."
Misaki looked torn as she stared in the direction Tsuki had gone in. "B-But Nee-san is upset."
Standing from his seat, Itachi gave her a small smile. "Do not worry, Misaki-chan. I will speak with her."
She gave him a serious look, her childlike features growing angry. It startled him how much she looked like Sakura with that expression. "They got in the way of her happiness." He blinked in surprise, making Misaki growl. "You said at the party, Papa. It's wrong to get in the way of people's happiness."
"When you return, we shall deal with that person together." He gave her a serious look as well, which relaxed Misaki greatly. "Go and enjoy your day, Misaki-chan. By the time you come home, I will have found out who upset your sister."
Having an extremely powerful father and a demon child for a sister was terrifying, but when they teamed up?
"C'mon, daddy's girl." The blonde woman grinned teasingly, pulling Misaki along. "We'll find some of the best flowers for Tsuki, okay? That'll cheer her up."
They could still hear Misaki speaking excitedly about which flowers to pick even when the door had shut and they walked away.
"Itachi, can you please go and get Tsuki?"
He frowned in response. "Would it not be best if you went to her?"
Sakura shook her head and narrowed her eyes on Kiyoshi. "No, we're going to talk about this together."
"Father, please go and get Tsuki," Kiyoshi practically begged, his eyes wide with fear. "Mother has her fighting face on."
Even though now was not the time, Itachi couldn't help but shake his head and smirk before going to retrieve his daughter.
Ten minutes and a lot of shouting later and Tsuki was being carried out of her bedroom. Unlike when Itachi had been carrying Misaki, however, Tsuki was slung over his shoulder and he didn't even seem to feel it as she beat his back with her fists, yelling at him to put her down and leave her alone. On the inside, Sakura was aching, not only because she knew it was hurting Itachi having his daughter react in such a way to him, but also because there so was much anger and hatred in their daughter's voice…
When he came to a stop, he sighed, seeming almost bored. "Are you done acting like a child, Tsuki?"
"Just put me down." She growled before yelling, "Now!"
"Don't speak to your father like that," Sakura snapped at her. "We want to know just what the hell happened to put you in this foul mood. Don't go taking it out on him, do you understand me?"
And just like that, Tsuki fell silent and stopped punching Itachi's back, allowing him to put her down without risking her being hurt due to her struggling. She knew not to argue with her mother, no matter how upset or angry she was and when the dark haired teen looked up, her eyes were red-rimmed, her cheeks were stained with tears and her button-like nose was also red, making it obvious she had been crying. Tsuki sat down quickly and lowered her head so that her bangs shielded her eyes and not even a moment later, Kiyoshi was by her side, sitting closer than usual and silently offering his comfort.
Growing up, the twins had been inseparable and it was because of this, because of how in sync they were, that they had been allowed to be on the same team. Usually siblings were split up and put on different teams, but Sakura had pulled a few strings with their Hokage. Okay, so she had threatened him with violence, but so what? It was nothing new to Naruto. In fact, he had apparently been planning on putting them on the same team anyway, since he had seen them fight together.
Once Itachi and Sakura took their places at the table, the former narrowed his eyes. "Explain what happened."
"We were on a mission," Kiyoshi told his parents quietly. "It was to protect a woman from a prestigious, civilian clan while taking her to a village on the outskirts of Iwa. She…" He sighed, glancing down at the quiet Tsuki by his side, her head lowered and face trying its best not to scrunch up. It reminded Itachi of when Sakura was about to cry, when she was trying to hold back her tears. "It was an arranged marriage. Tsuki and the woman didn't see eye-to-eye and kept arguing – she was bitter about being sold off to another clan, I believe. But she said something to Tsuki and since then…"
Sakura's eyes narrowed dangerously but she forced herself to stay calm as she reached out across the table and gently placed her hand over Tsuki's. "What did she say?"
For a second, Tsuki's lower lip trembled and it honestly pained Itachi. It always felt like his heart was breaking when his children were in pain, whether it was emotional, physical or psychological. "She said… said that I should be expecting the same thing soon, since I'm not the heir to our clan, since I'm not as important as Kiyoshi." Tears filled her eyes. "She said you're going to send me away like her parents did to her – an arranged marriage."
When she sobbed once, Kiyoshi turned to the side and wrapped his arms around his younger sister, looking over her shoulder to continue speaking. "I tried telling Tsuki that you weren't going to do that to her, that she's just as important as I am, but she won't listen to me."
"Tsuki…" Sakura sighed, lowering her eyes to the table.
"Tsuki, look at me." At her father's softer than usual voice, Tsuki slowly lifted her head from Kiyoshi's shoulder, glancing up at Itachi with bloodshot eyes. "We will never force you into anything you don't want to do or be a part of. Even if your opinion is not the same as ours, we will respect it and never judge you. Do not believe what your client's daughter told you. There are no favourites in this family and there never will be."
Looking back up, Sakura gave her daughter a small smile. "Your Uncle Sasuke once felt this way too, you know," she told her quietly. "He often felt inferior to your father, what with him being the younger sibling."
She sniffed. "W-What did he do?"
"Nothing." Sakura smiled softly. "Sasuke loves your father, his older brother and he never let those feelings, that favouritism, get in between them. Your grandfather often put your father before your uncle, but your grandmother put Sasuke before your father. Know that we will never do that to any of you. It's because of the way they were brought up that your uncle and father want better for you all. They changed the clan's ways, Tsuki. No more arranged marriages."
"Your mother and I came close to losing each other," Itachi murmured after a moment of silence. "My father, your grandfather, did not approve of our relationship, did not believe your mother would be able to handle the responsibility of being matriarch–"
"That's stupid," Kiyoshi exclaimed in a rare show of anger – proving that he was definitely Sakura's son. "Mother is more than capable of such a duty."
Itachi inwardly smiled. He had always hoped his children would think highly of their mother, would love her no matter what. They even loved her bursts of anger, the defiance and the stubbornness. Their mother was most definitely no pushover. She couldn't afford to be, what with raising five children, being matriarch of the Uchiha Clan and also the Rokudaime Hokage's personal medic. They loved how others feared angering her.
"So… So I get to marry whoever I want?" Tsuki asked hesitantly, fighting back the hope in her eyes.
They all saw it. "Yes, although we wish to meet that person first."
Sakura smirked up at her husband. "We've already met him, Itachi."
A fierce blush swept over Tsuki's cheeks and it only increased when Kiyoshi smirked down at her.
"Tsuki-chan," Sakura teased with a lilt in her voice, resting her elbow on the table and her chin in her hand. "When were you going to tell us about you and Aki-kun?"
The blush once again deepened.
"Papa," Misaki yelled for him, waiting by the door and holding the straps of the pack resting on her back tightly. It was Kiyoshi's backpack, but that didn't matter to her. He wasn't using it. "We leave tonight!"
Stepping out of the kitchen and holding a cup of tea in his hand, Itachi stared down at his daughter for a moment in confusion. "Why, Misaki-chan?"
Her eyes narrowed dangerously. "No jokes, Papa. We're being real shinobi now and we need to find the bad guy who upset Nee-san."
Oh. Oh. Now Itachi remembered. He had promised his youngest daughter that once he found out who upset Tsuki, they would seek vengeance on the foolish individual. His features suddenly became blank, serious. It was his no-nonsense look and noticing it had his daughter straightening up, had her watching him intently while waiting for her orders. "It was Naruto-kun, Misaki-chan. He is the one who upset your sister."
And then there was the flash in her eyes, the one that reminded him so very much of her mother. No doubt she had decided they needed outside help. "We'll make him pay. Mama, we need to go and beat up Uncle Naruto."
"That's fine by me," she stated, stepping out of the kitchen and drying her hands on a tea towel. "But may I ask why?"
"He upset Nee-san," the little girl cried with annoyance, tired with having to explain herself again. "And he's scared of you. If you're there, Uncle Naruto will be too scared to see me coming and then bam." She smacked her fist into her other hand. "I take him down!"
Noticing the 'just go with it' look from Itachi, Sakura nodded (since neither of them particularly wanted to go into detail about arranged marriages and whatnot with their daughter, surely Naruto wouldn't mind taking an uncalled for beating?) and her face set into a serious mask. "That's a great plan and all, but what if your Uncle Sasuke and Kakashi-sensei are there? They're supposed to protect the Hokage as well as work as his advisers."
For a moment, Misaki seemed in deep thought before she smirked wickedly. "Papa can take them both. Nobody can beat him." Sakura opened her mouth, about to argue, but her daughter's eyes narrowed dangerously. "Nobody can beat Papa."
It was at that moment that she saw what frightened Kiyoshi so much.
Oh no. Her daughter was a miniature version of herself.
The reaction from Naruto had been downright hilarious in Sakura's opinion. While she had glared angrily at him, he had made the mistake of thinking that, if he was holding Misaki, the pink haired mother would not lash out and hit him. Oh the shock on his face when Misaki's fist lashed out and hit him had been amusing, although Sakura made a mental note to work on her daughter's punches.
Also, at dinner, they had received some amazing news. Takeshi returned home early from his mission. He had been utterly exhausted and all but collapsed into his place at the table, but once he had eaten a home cooked meal he soon perked up.
And now, as Sakura switched off the bathroom light and entered the bedroom she shared with Itachi, she smiled nervously, slipping onto the bed and sitting on his lap. He lowered the book he had been reading and looked at her questioningly.
"Is something wrong, Sakura?"
She took a deep breath. "I'm pregnant."
Sakura nodded quickly, smiling sheepishly once more. The past month had been a mixture of different emotions for her and finally, while in the shower, she had decided to examine herself with healing chakra. Her suspicions had been correct. She was pregnant again.
Itachi closed his book and dropped it onto the bed, sitting up straighter. One of his hands slipped around his wife and held onto her lower back gently, making sure she didn't fall off his lap (she didn't tell him that it was extremely unnecessary – he was always overprotective now when she was pregnant because of what happened during her pregnancy with the twins) whereas the other was placed onto her stomach.
"How far along?"
"Just over a month."
Her eyes narrowed. "This is the last time, though," she snapped, glaring at him suddenly. "I mean it, Itachi. And Tsunade-shishou is going to kill me." Her shishou had left the village once Naruto became Hokage and was once again travelling the world, although she came back every now and then to see how things were going and to see her godchildren. "You know what she's like, she'll want to be here to make sure that the pregnancy goes well and whatever."
Itachi chuckled and wrapped his arms around Sakura, lowering her onto her back and silencing her with his lips.
That night, he made love to his wife, thanking her with his actions for being the woman she was. The amazing, terrifying woman who was an amazing, terrifying mother.
He was so very proud of his family. Of Sakura.
A/N – It's finally over! I'm not entirely happy with this chapter because I was stuck on it for so long. Parts of it just seem forced to me, but I'm happy with how this story turned out altogether. I hope this was the kind of ending you all wanted!
Oh! And keep an eye out for my other ItaSaku stories! Some are almost half finished so I'll be posting them soon. Also, somebody suggested writing a fanfic of what happened between Sakura and Kakashi in this story, only make it a KakaSaku fanfiction instead. I promise I'll try my best! I've started writing it.
HOPE YOU ALL ENJOYED AND DON'T FORGET TO REVIEW! :-)