Summary: "So what do you think about having a kid with me, Sakura?" - A family focused one-shot [KakaSaku]

A note: A drabble from my 'Thunder and Lightning' collection spurred me to explore my family headcanon for them, and then this giant fluff-fest erupted because I have no shame. Each section is between 300-400 words long, to give the snapshots consistency. I should say there are some side ships sprinkled in, but they are very minor. Cheers!

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.

To Grow a Garden

A KakaSaku one-shot about how two shinobi found themselves fighting in the perpetual war of parenthood.


Kakashi had never been in love before, but he still recognized it for what it was when it finally got around to striking. It had taken thirty-two years, two wars, dying once, and an entire series of Icha-Icha. And people called him late.

Like usual, his first reaction was to think that love was a total bitch for doing this to him. In Kakashi's case, it was because it had chosen someone he did not exactly expect: Sakura.

The little girl he had mentored when she was still a bubbly ditz, obsessing over Sasuke with the fervor of a dog wanting a treat. Although in hindsight, Kakashi had not differed much in his blatant disregard for his other two students in favoring the last Uchiha. Maybe it was because Kakashi wanted to believe the kid was like Obito in more than just genetics. Or maybe Kakashi truly was just that bad of a teacher.

The little girl who Kakashi handed over to Tsunade without him even being very aware of it, until he got the official scroll disbanding his team. It made sense, what with one gone to the enemy, one gone off with his favorite author, and the last off to remake herself. Sure, a team could be of two, but Team 7 would not be whole unless they were all present.

The little girl who he left alone for three years and suddenly turned around to see she was no longer little or a girl. Now she was a capable young woman, and although she still struggled, and Kakashi had to continuously save her from Sasuke attempting to kill her and give her comforting words after, she had finally made herself. And then she was off punching some God in the head and saving them all.

So now, as Kakashi stared up at Sakura's smiling, tired face when he awoke from his surgery to his stomach, he saw something much more than just his accomplished ex-student.


This 'love' thing was much more terrifying that the prospect of getting stuck in a perpetual genjutsu, or getting carved up by his best friend. Because while this was not truly attachment at first sight, it sure as fuck felt like it after waking up to see her standing over him in worry.

Usually Kakashi was the one saving her, but here he was, lying immobile as Sakura cared for him. Unlike his worthless promises to make everything better, that things would go back to their easy, innocent days, Sakura actually delivered on her ability to make him feel better.

Before Kakashi had almost always been there to save her from Sasuke, to push her away and brush off the Uchiha prodigy he had thought he could similarly save. But really it was not up to Kakashi, but the youths themselves. They were stronger than him, but maybe that was because they had each other. All Kakashi had was a shattered past and ghosts who miraculously materialized as the enemy.

Now Kakashi empathized over that bittersweet emotion Sakura must have been all too familiar with. Seeing the one Kakashi cared so deeply for, twisted and tarnished because they believed in a time that had passed. They were not rooted in reality like Kakashi and Sakura, where it had been pounded down on them that this was life and they had to deal with it. They could either succumb to their weakness, or learn to keep breathing.

Not for the first time, and Kakashi was dead sure not for the last, Sakura impressed him. Kakashi was torn up inside of seeing his friend turned in to something he was not, and Sakura had to deal with that fact daily. She took that pain and had only grown stronger because of it.

Kakashi had only managed to get his side ripped open and give himself shoddy stitches to try and tie himself back together.


Like many things in his life, Kakashi said nothing about it. Even when he was close to tears as Sakura mercilessly poked her stitches to check that nothing was amiss. Kakashi fancied the thought that maybe a confession would make her touch softer. Yet knowing Sakura, she would rather just get rougher from her disbelief.

Because really, what reason did she have to believe him? Other than maybe Kakashi had never given up on her, had saved her numerous times, and had always felt a pull to make her feel safer, better about everything despite the obvious demise that was to come. Just because Kakashi had to been broken from his team did not mean she had to as well. Maybe Kakashi had always loved Sakura in some abstract way, and it had only taken nearly dying again to reboot his reality. Although this was not just Kakashi loving Sakura anymore, but him being in love with her.

"Your stitches were deplorable," Sakura said with a snort, hands glowing to calm down his irritated skin (no doubt from her prodding, but Kakashi was a genius and so did not comment).

"I thought about fixing them we were suspended over the lava, but then I would've had to drop you. And I wouldn't dream of dropping my favorite ex-student," Kakashi responded cheerily, sighing a moment later as Sakura made his side numb with her healing chakra.

Sakura straightened up, lips pursing no doubt at the odd affectionate tone in his voice.

"How much morphine have they given you?"

"A bit," Kakashi drawled, dazed but not confused in his belief that Sakura was the prettiest thing he had ever seen. Her pink hair was illuminated behind her by the late afternoon's sun, giving it a deep coral color instead of its usual bubblegum. It also made her look like she had a halo, and Kakashi snorted. Although love had been late in his life, it sure decided to hit hard.

Shaking her angelic head, Sakura brushed his bangs away to check on the eye Naruto had gifted him with to make sure it was as perfect as it seemed.


When they got back home to Konoha, Kakashi relived what he did at the end of the Third Shinobi War: getting magnificently plastered. He never got drunk, but this was a special occasion. Winning a war and giving away his heart? Yeah, that caused for some type of hype.

While the first post-war fervor had been partly in celebration, but mostly in commiseration (as the last war had taken his father, mentor and teammates; or just everyone he had ever loved in short), this one was truly about feeling gleeful and happy. Because he was still alive, and even if things had not been perfect, they had worked out. His best friend had died again, and there was still no body to bury, but Kakashi had finally accepted it. Kakashi felt like he had closure, despite how he missed the heaviness of Obito's gift.

Through this drunken week-long haze (where Tsunade had never had such high poll ratings with all the free sake), Kakashi latched on to Sakura like never before. He argued it was because of his stitches that for some reason were not healing as fast as they should. Not that she minded all that much, but then again she was the definition of a happy drunk while usually Kakashi was a depressing one. But her smile was infectious to him, no matter how much Sai said it was creepy.

Because even without this sudden incessant pull in his chest, Kakashi was happy with just remaining friends. Because there were some things you could just not go through and instantly fall in to a friendship with. As in: she was the only other person who knew how much Obito actually cared, and how much it was a pain to get sucked in to parallel universes and feeling helpless. To feel that they had been important and capable, but still ultimately feeling like tools for Sasuke and Naruto to fight over yet again. To sacrifice yourself for others in hopes to make them better and forget about yourself in the process.

But now Kakashi would critically watch Sakura, to make sure she did not do anything stupid. Like fall in love with someone other than him.


So days passed in peace, and Kakashi found that Guy was correct in how it finally felt like Kakashi's springtime of youth had finally bloomed. The silver-haired man even stopped and took the time to smell the goddamn roses at the Yamanaka shop when he passed by. Icha-Icha fit easily in to his back pouch as Kakashi appreciated the flowers before buying some for Sakura. He also bought a bouquet of poppies that he handed back over the counter to Ino to offer for her Dad's grave.

Kakashi gave the blonde a cheery eye crinkle, wordlessly reminding her that he knew exactly what she was going through. He had never had much in common with the kunoichi, but now they both had fathers who killed themselves for the village. Sure, Ino's was considered a war hero and Sakumo's demise was still talked about in whispers, but death was death, and both had willingly accepted it.

"Sakura was right. You really are nice when you try," Ino said with a small laugh, a tear slipping out from her clear eyes.

Feeling unforgettable about the obvious emotion from the teenager (Asuma had always been good at this, not him), Kakashi reached forward and decided she would not want her neatly tied-up hair ruffled. Instead Kakashi patted her hand on the counter and left before Ino could talk more and make him wonder just how much Sakura brought him up.

Kakashi wandered the streets absently, a hand full of red tulips instead of his arresting, colorful books. Some gave passing glances of curiosity because was one of their most valued, ruthless shinobi carrying something red that was not a bloodied kunai or neglected injury?

It was uncharacteristic of him, but if Kakashi wanted to buy some flowers for someone he cared about, he did not think he should be getting stared at so openly. Although, it was funny to see Genma so distracted he walked in to a pole.

Shrugging, and deciding not help his friend get out the senbon that had gotten lodged in the wood, Kaksahi continued on to the hospital and hopefully a pink-haired doctor.

Sakura herself gave Kakashi and the flowers a queer glance (it was like no one in this village knew what courting was) before accepting them. As she twirled them in her hands, the red almost blending in with her vest, she asked if Kakashi would be willing to go out to lunch sometime with her.

Wondering once again just what Kakashi was getting himself in to, he nodded.


Kakashi watched absently as his ninken bounded after Sakura as she held the stick high above her head, easily running circles and leaping over them to avoid their crushing teeth and claws. Her hair she had been neglecting to cut to its usual short length floated about her as carefree as she seemed. Kakashi wondered if he should offer his services, as he had always cut his own hair. Skimping out on paying for meals was not his only thrifty habit.

In many ways, Kakashi was envious of his dogs' relationship with the medic. It was natural that they could trail after her, tongues lolling out and tails wagging at their obvious favoring to the young woman. Meanwhile here Kakashi sat, pretending to read and instead peaking over the cover to watch his friends get along so well together.

Because Sakura was still young and had her whole life ahead of her, and Kakashi was weathered and tired. People would not remember how much Sakura had grown, but only that she had once been his student. They would not see how she had grown in to an amazing adult who could heal or save a man on a whim, but only as a poor girl preyed upon.

If only it was as simple as following after her, eagerly adoring her unconditionally and not caring about what people thought. Although, Kakashi already did trail after her like a forlorn fan, so maybe he was already in the throws of puppy-love and had no idea.

Great Hokages of times past, when had Kakashi gotten so pathetic.

Bisuke gave a triumphant yip as he had thought to vault off of Bull to get to Sakura, landing on her colorful head to grab at the stick. Sakura wildly shook it in an attempt to get off the small, tanned dog, but he held fast.

Soon she was swarmed by them, red vest and bright green eyes disappearing beneath a pile of earthy-toned fur.

Sighing and smiling, Kakashi closed his book and rose to save her yet again. Not that he ever truly minded, of course.


Maybe it was because they had similar tastes in literature, or maybe it was because Sakura was willing to deal with Kakashi's overly-picky taste in food. Most likely it was because she had the amazing ability to make the ninken take a bath with just a look.

Even when he had taught her, Kakashi had never felt especially close to Sakura. Yes, he helped her with weapons and ninjutsus, but they had never been explicitly friends. Which made sense, as back then she had been a world and generation apart. Now she was on his level as a jōnin, and just as capable as him and more so in other areas. Kakashi could barely do even stitches; she could reattach a limb without blinking an eye.

So while before they had been practically strangers who appreciated each other when the time came for the other's help, they were nearly inseparable now. They talked about anything they wanted and empathized with the other over touchy subjects they did not want to worry others with.

But Kakashi wondered, as Yamato critically eyed his arm resting over Sakura's shoulders, if this was what friends really did. Other than Kurenai, he had never had a true female friend. He had been close to Rin, but that was when he had been but a boy.

And Kakashi supposed that none of his other friends, or other opposite-sex friendships like Ino and Shikamaru, at times greeted him with a friendly slap to his backside.

Kakashi tired to stay away from Sakura for a week to clear his head. It only lasted three days before she went to find him, angry that he had decided to ditch her for no discernible reason. She demanded to know what stupid thoughts he had put in his head, since she had obviously done nothing wrong.

As he looked up in to Sakura's flushed face, Kakashi sighed and resigned himself to his fate that he could not ignore anymore than the scars that criss-crossed over his body.


"Sakura, what are we doing?"

Kakashi asked this as he sat on Sakura's couch in her apartment. She had moved out of her parent's house a year ago, so she could be closer to the hospital. Unlike his sparse apartment, it was coated in memorabilia of gifts and pictures.

The young woman addressed moved her book away from her face, head turning in his lap to give him a quizzical look. Kakashi watched as her sock-clad toes wiggled on the opposite armrest her feet were resting on.

"Sakura?" Kakashi asked out again. He tried to sound nonchalant, but he was sure his voice had dropped a few octaves in nerves. He had never cracked under any torture from enemies, but it was an entirely different situation looking down Sakura's large, doe eyes.

"Dating, obviously. Our five-month anniversary is coming up next Thursday, by the way. It's fine if you don't do anything, but I expect something on our six-month one."

Kakashi blinked once down at her before voicing: "Well, that went better than expected. I thought you were going to punch me so hard I flew back to my genin days."

He watched, fascinated, as Sakura's smile widened and she chuckled lightly, turning her face in to his stomach to muffle her sudden belly-laughs. Kakashi did not feel entirely engulfed in humor at the situation like her, and instead smiled lightly as he petted her hair softly.

"I've never dated anyone before," Kakashi confessed.

"Clearly," she snorted in to his shirt before she was rolling back on to her back, staring up at his dark eyes. "I've been trying to get you to kiss me for weeks now. Weeks."

"Sorry, I got lost."

Rolling her eyes, Sakura asked: "On the road of life?"

"More like the road to get to you."

"That was nearly as bad as those garish red tulips you brought me that first day."

Kakashi watched Sakura avidly as a pretty blush spread over her cheeks, and did not think much of it as he leaned down to press his masked-lips over her seal. Sakura gave another chuckle, but this one was nervous and not as boisterous as her previous one.

So she really was serious about this.


When Kakashi retracted, already missing having her scent and self engulf all his senses, he looked down to see her blush had intensified. Now it was a shard darker than her hair, and Kakashi thought she had never looked more adorable.

Even when she reached up and punched him in the shoulder harshly.

"When you say five months ago, do you mean at the end of the war?" Kakashi asked as he rubbed the already sore spot.

Her shy expression flitted between emotions before it settled on her steadfast one, eyebrows furrowed and eyes hard meaning she had made her mind up about something permanently.

"When I woke up on the battlefield, you were still there. Kakashi, you were the one who put me first. Who actually cared about what happened to me, above anyone or anything else. You've saved me time and time again selflessly, even when I kept making the same mistakes."

Kakashi winced as Sakura lifted her hand a second time, but this time it was only to cup his cheek. He found himself leaning in to it, closing his eyes and exhaling noisily to try and distract himself from how much his chest suddenly ached. And he thought unrequited love had been painful.

"Took me long enough," Kakashi muttered dejectedly.

"Always with the late jokes," Sakura cooed before craning her head up to reciprocate his kiss with one to his cheek.

Kakashi had never considered himself to have lead a very innocent, easy life. He had been born in the beginnings of a war, and had lived through it with casualties all around him. His hands were stained with the blood of enemies and friends, and he had felt more alone than the first bird returning from winter on multiple occasions. His body was decorated with mistakes and misgivings, scars random and some faded while others were a fresh pink.

As his heart continued to beat incessantly, Kakashi realized that perhaps he had not given over every part of himself. And that maybe he still had time to experience this carefree life that people raved over.


Of course both Naruto and Tsuande nearly joined forces to tear apart the village when Kakashi and Sakura went and explained their mutual, growing attraction to each other. Kakashi knew he was already too far gone for the pink-haired medic, but no one really needed to know that. He did not understand it much himself.

Part of Kakashi wanted to hide away these tender emotions, so new and fragile, clearly not ready to be pushed out of the nest yet. But Sakura had been insistent they reveal what they intended before anyone else found out and ruined the whole thing. If they were caught hiding it, they would automatically be deemed guilty. It was better to air it out in the sun before rumors and misconceptions festered.

It was clear both their blonde friends were a little uneasy about their coupling, but there was nothing they could truly do about it. Sakura was no longer Kakashi's student, and was on equal standing in her jōnin status. There were the inevitable, awkward questions of if he had groomed her to reciprocate his feelings, and Kakashi felt himself hunch in from shame.

Because while he had absolutely not, it was still unavoidable that people would think this. That Kakashi, a revered shinobi of the village and who many looked up to, had taken her young mind and crafted it in to favoring him above others with the short amount of time she had been under his attention. Kakashi could feel the glares already, but maybe this was just him living up to another one of his Father's legacies.

Still, Sakura took his gloved hand in hers and declared that was obviously not the case, and that whatever they had was new. It was disgraceful that her closest friend and mentor would doubt her and the accomplished, selfless man before them. Truly, Kakashi was struck speechless at her bold courage and words, despite how her hand was shaking so violently in his.


Kakashi ambled down the street, one hand used to grasp Sakura's and the other to hold Icha-Icha. He had gotten quite good at using his thumb to turn the page instead of his other hand, as Sakura had it in her trademark death-grip.

Some passing individuals who knew their previous standing gave them glares, but others simply went upon their day. They passed Yamato who cheerily greeted them, teased them about the way Kakashi was so obviously blushing under his mask, and then went on his way whistling. Really, that tree-obsessed man's optimism could raise the dead. He was one of the few who had never questioned their intentions.

While it had only been seven months (two months since that lazy day on the couch of Sakura informing him of his tied-down status), Kakashi felt like these rituals were engrained in him. Their relationship mostly consisted of holding hands and cuddling on the couch while reading, and as pathetic as it seemed, Kakashi was perfectly content with just that. He did not want to rush in to anything (because he really was lazy most of the time), and Tsunade and Naruto were breathing down his neck in blatant threats. Probably because Sakura was so special to them, and they were worried he was going to break her heart.

Regardless, he would continue to accept her kisses with his mask separating them. How the only time they really got physical was when they were attempting to teach each other apart when sparring. Kakashi was a patient man, and could take things slow to wait for everyone to accept their changed status.

"Oh, how pretty!" Sakura cooed suddenly, pulling Kakashi along with her as she went to a window display.

Looking over the rim of his book, Kakashi noted the shiny, expensive, jewelry case. His dark eyes moved away from a pair of glittering emeralds to another pair of glimmering green orbs.

"No," Kakashi declared as he hid behind his book in habit.

"But you just finished that A-rank mission, and my birthday is in a week!"

"Well, right now you'll just have to be content with me making you dinner for tonight," Kakashi said as it was his turn to pull her along.


It turned out Kakashi did not have to spend any money on her gift, because Sakura wanted something that he could offer freely. In specifics: she wanted to see his face for her seventeenth birthday.

"That's not fair!" Naruto wailed. "He's obviously biased towards you!"

"He does follow you like a lost puppy," Sasuke muttered, once again sulking about something he was not first to.

"You're all just envious I thought to date him first," Sakura said as she latched onto Kakashi's arm. She always had a habit of holding on too tightly, and Kakashi winced at her monstrous strength.

"I knew there was a reason other than love for you for dating Kaksahi-sensei!" Naruto said before erupting in to laughter.

Maybe it was the constant exposure to their demure displays of affection, or maybe Naruto had finally matured to understand. Still, he was no longer threatening to tear Kakashi apart from the inside-out. It was nice to not have to worry about his neck around Naruto, as one murder-obsessed student was enough for Kakashi to watch out for.

A few hours later, as everyone left (sufficiently drunk) Kakashi pushed Sakura on to her couch, offered her a glass of water, and then began to clean up the mess. She told him to leave it for tomorrow, but this blatant mess would bother Kakashi all night if he did not get to it right away. After her apartment was back to its fairly clean status, he went back and sat beside her her. Automatically Sakura leaned against him, arms pressing against each other and her head lulling on to his shoulder.

"Ready for your present?"


Sakura nodded lazily, and Kakashi reached up first to ruffle her hair playfully before reaching up for the edge of lycra. But he was stopped as Sakura gripped his wrist, preventing him from dragging down the concealing material.

"No, let me."

Kakashi lowered his hand, and Sakura straightened up from his side before reaching forward, capable fingers tucking underneath the cloth and pulling down. She had always been impatient, and Kakashi supposed this was not a strip tease of any sorts. Still, it felt odd and Kakashi felt almost unbearably vulnerable without the mask. Usually he was only without it when he showered or slept, and the last person who had seen his face up-close had been his Father.

He only looked at himself in the mirror when his stubble was getting itchy and needed to be addressed. Kakashi did not think his face remarkable in any way, and was fairly normal. Maybe a tad handsome, but it was nothing like Sasuke's ethereal grace or Naruto's rugged looks.

Sakura continued to stare at him unabashedly, not even blinking. Kakashi had no doubt she was trying to commit his face to her memory, maybe to get Sai to sketchy it for a secret portrait. She could probably make a lot of money if they made copies and sold to the masses.

"I want one more thing."

"You're getting awfully greedy," Kakashi said, watching as her eyes zeroed in to his lips.

Her intention was clear as she leaned closer, and Kaksahi found himself immobile and unable to push her away because she really was going to kiss him. Kakashi kept his eyes wide open during the bereft peck, while Sakura closed her eyes. Her fluttering eyelashes tickled his cheeks.

"Happy Birthday, Sakura," Kakashi said as she leaned back, eyes still closed but a smile on her lips.


As Kakashi entered Sakura's apartment, not even bothering to knock or use the door, he expected a normal, quiet afternoon of sitting on the couch reading. Or maybe watching that television Sakura had recently splurged on, and Kaksahi was still unsure about. Probably a kiss here or there, although Naruto and Sasuke had begun skulking around waiting for just that type of situation to finally see his face.

What Kakashi did not expect was for Sakura to grab him by his jacket and get dragged in to her bedroom. She pushed on her bed with clear intent.

"Uh," Kakashi said intelligently as Sakura unzipped her vest.

"I'm tired of waiting," she said, her boots leaving a cracks in the wall where she had kicked them off.

The first time they had sex, in that dull late afternoon light, it was not exactly picturesque. Kakashi was overly hesitant (despite how Sakura was the one who could easily shatter bone), and Sakura tried to move things along too fast (despite being the virgin).

After they finished, they lied side-by-side in an almost stifling silence. By now the sun had set, and only the dull remnants of dusk lit up the room.

Sakura turned to Kakashi with a glare as she declared: "In my head you were always so suave."

"I got nervous," Kakashi said, lifting her comforter to hide his face out of habit.

Sighing, Sakura tucked in to his side, one finger lazily circling his left nipple.

"Well, I suppose it wasn't horrible."

Frowning, in a flash Kakashi loomed over her, and she met his narrowed eyes with a smirk.

"You're baiting me," Kakashi said lowly before putting a hand on her waist, using the other one to support his body as he leaned down to start trailing kisses down her neck to her sternum.

"It's working, isn't it?" Sakura asked with a laugh, her eyes seeming too bright for the dim lighting.

The second time Sakura deemed it 'alright,' but by the week's end she was moaning Kakashi name so loud the neighbors complained. Kakashi had never been interested in sex very much before, which was why he did not have a special set of skills for it like nearly everything else in life, but he had always been a quick learner.


And so the days, and then months, and then years passed by effortlessly.

Kakashi watched as the younger generation that had been full of idiot, wild-eyed children continued to grow. Just last week Shikamaru had gotten married to that sand kunoichi. It had been a huge political deal, as it had been the first inter-village marriage between the two nations ever. The Nara clan leader was clearly uneasy about all the attention, but Shikamaru did say it was good that there were always witnesses around if Gaara decided to go through with his threat of eliminating him.

Sakrua still worked at the hospital, and Kakashi battled with fellow Konoha shinobi over rare, higher-level missions (because he was not going back to the teaching profession). While Kakashi by no means did it out of monetary necessity, he still needed something to occupy his time other than steamy literature and a cute girlfriend. Still, the missions were getting slimmer and Kakashi knew he would step down soon enough to let others take his place.

Despite it being four years of peace, not much had changed. Kakashi still went visited Obito and Rin, still had the same ninken and Mr. Ukki to take care of, and he still put a mask on every morning.

But then other things had changed. How Sakura had grown her hair out so that it hung just above her shoulders, how Kakashi no longer slept alone underneath his patterned comforter, and how there was a third picture on the windowsill.

It was a candid picture of the two of them after Kakashi had come back from a long, tiring mission where he had nearly lost everything below his ribcage. Thankfully he had managed to bleed all the way back to Konoha, where Sakura put him back together with clinical precision. Tsuande had taken it, when Sakura had curled against him in the hospital bed to keep him company. Their Hokage had originally kept it for black-mail purposes, but after Sakura found it she gave it to Kakashi as their four-year anniversary present.

Seasons passed, and still Sakura reached for Kakashi's hand and he reached for her at night when his nightmares got too bad.


"So, what do you think about having a kid with me, Sakura? On a scale of perpetual-bachelor Sasuke to child-hungry Temari, where do you land?"

Sakura, who had been frying some eggs for breakfast, turned to look at Kakashi with a furrow in her brow. Coupled with the frilly pink apron she was wearing (which Kakashi had brought in to her apartment when they moved in together), she was the picture of adorable domesticity. Even her hair was tied up in a small ponytail, although some rebellious pink locks still framed her face.

"Where is this coming from?" she asked, her mouth pinched down in clear confusion.

"Oh no, you're totally an Anko, aren't you," Kakashi sighed.

"I would say I'm more of a Yamato," Sakura divulged softly.

Kakashi perked up at that, and he watched avidly as she put down the spatula and went over to him. He automatically lifted his arms, and she slid easily in to his lap as Kakashi hugged her smaller frame to him. They continued to sit like that, Kakashi's forehead pressed against her collarbone and hands trying to grasp her always closer, before Sakura leaned back and studied him.

"You're serious."

"I've always been serious with you, Sakura," Kakashi said in a deep monotone that was meant to convey just how much he cared for her, but only had her giggling.

Sakura leaned down to press her lips against his masked ones before getting up to leave. In a flash, with one hand Kakashi pulled her back against him and the other pulled away his mask. Understanding what he was angling for, Sakura craned her head back down to give Kakashi an actual kiss.

They only pulled away from each other as they smelled the scent of their breakfast burning.


While Sakura had never cared about if they married or not, Kakashi was sure his Father would roll over in his grave if he did not. Kakashi liked to think Sakumo would be proud of him, and Kakashi often found himself wishing he was still here. While before he had yearned for his father's presence to pull him out of depression and just tell him why, Kakashi just wanted to share this moment with his parent. To allow the man Kakashi had always revered to similarly feel his chest puff up with pride at such a job done well.

Kakashi watched, eyes never straying from her, as Sakura walked down the isle by her own father's hand. Her strides were quicker and more forceful than the usual dainty, slow progression, but Kakashi found himself grinning. Because it was just so her.

Their ceremony Tsuande lead was short enough, as it was the middle of winter and it was cheap and last minute in a true Kakashi-esque fashion. Yet it had been Sakura's idea. Kakashi had argued to wait until a more delightful time of spring or summer, but Sakura had just wanted it out of the way as soon as possible. Naturally, just like her request to lead their first dance, Kakashi gave in to her request.

Only their closest friends were present, and Kakashi watched Sakura's bridesmaid Ino (a position Naruto had wanted desperately but had lost by the female blonde threatening his life with clear promise), cried and clung obsessively to Yamato (who in turn was Kakashi's best man, as much as Guy had cried over it). It was making the ex-ANBU captain quite edgy, if his nervous chuckling and crooked smile was anything to go by.

Kakashi had bullied the brown-haired man in to taking care of the emotional blonde because it was obviously a best man's duty, but now Kakashi felt a tad guilty.

"Don't worry, Yamato will just get a broken heart out of the whole thing at the worst," Sakura said as she indulged in another piece of cake. It was quickly dissipating by the way his ninken were going after it, and suddenly Sakura's insistence that they did not get chocolate cake made so much sense.


They bought a house with a giant back yard for the ninken and hopefully future children. After they had married, Kakashi allowed Sakura a look in to his finances and she had nearly fainted in shock.

"Well, my Father did a lot of high-level, expensive missions, and I did the same. Plus not paying for meals adds up quickly," Kakashi said cheerily as Sakura continue to stare dumbly at the huge numbers.

"And you still haven't bought me any jewelry," she groused.

Instead, Kakashi offered to buy her a home.

Sakura had instantly fallen in love with the house and its spacious, two floor spread. Kakashi was more interested in the abandoned yard, where there would be good sun for a personal garden. There was also a massive ginko to hang a swing from.

Honestly, if someone had gone back and told Kakashi a decade ago, when he had been immersed in ANBU, blood and denial, that he was going to have a life with a pretty backyard and an even prettier wife, the twenty-odd year old would have laughed before electrocuting them.

As they sat on the back porch having tea, the keys handed over to them previously that morning, Kakashi told Sakura about his plan to convert some of the land in to a garden.

"That would be lovely," she said, tucking herself inside his arm.

"What, no jokes? It's pretty open, what with my name and all."

"I thought we were having a moment," Sakura growled, poking him ruthlessly in his side. Kakashi squirmed, thinking that her prodding index finger was close to the scar Obito had given him and she had healed. It was faded, no longer a fresh puckered pink.

"Yes dear. Domestic perfection, that's us."

"If that's true, then we need to make some rules. One, no bleeding over the furniture. This excludes the floors and bathroom, since you'll obviously come home first before actually getting fixed up from a mission at the hospital like protocol demands."


Kakashi squirmed in her arms again, but this time not because of any wandering hands.

"About that..." Kakashi drifted off, lifting a hand to scratch at his unruly hair. His eyes focused on the fence at the end of their yard, where it partitioned off the back alley-way. Kakashi could already imagine their kid jumping over it to get to the house instead of using the front door. Or at least Naruto would definitely do it, and the poor impressionable kid would no-doubt mirror the blonde without hesitation. Because even Kakashi could admit Naruto was role-model material.

"What?" Sakura asked in a snap, green eyes narrowing dangerously. She was probably mad that Kakashi was hiding even this smallest thing from her. She always hated secrets, even if it was stupid things like how Kakashi liked to have ridiculously late lie-ins on the weekends.

"I was just thinking, what with a kid hopefully on the way soon, that I'd just take domestic missions from now on. That way you can keep working at the hospital without worry. I'll stay home to take care of them."

Looking down at her, Sakura just stared at him mutely.

"I hope we get a daughter. With your hair," Kakashi divulged to fill the silence, nervous that she was not saying anything just yet.

But then her face was cracked by a grin as she declared: "I vote for a son! As long as he doesn't have your droopy eyes."

"Well, as long as they don't have your temper."

Kakashi had just enough skill to dodge the first fist, but not enough finesse to dodge the second.

"You're just proving my point," Kakashi whined as he rubbed at his stomach. "And here I thought we were supposed to be domestic bliss."

The wind was knocked out of Kakashi again, but this time it was because Sakura had straddled his hips, causing him to fall back on the wooden boards. Her hair tickled his face as she leaned down over him, body sinuously flush against his.

"I'll show you bliss," Sakura said challenging before attacking Kakashi's lips with hers.


It had been nine months and still they were having trouble.

Despite all the tests they both had gone through, showing that there should he no problems, they still had not managed to create a new little life together. Kakashi did not see himself as a young anymore (he had stopped feeling that at five), but thirty-six was not a ridiculous age to have a child. Sakura herself was in the prime of her health. Even Tsunade was confused over what was not adding up.

It was another hot day, with Sakura away at the hospitals and Kakashi had no missions to prepare for. The ninken were away on a pack bonding run in the mountains, and the house was eerily quiet. Kakashi would put on the radio, but he still did not like the contraption. It reminded him of the war and radio communication, and Sakura was not around to sing softly with it, so there really was no point.

Getting up, Kakashi decided if he was going to mope he could at least go work on the garden as he did it.

Which is how Sakura came home to see him a sweating heap outside. Kakashi could already feel the tightness of a sunburn on his neck, and dirt was plastered against his his damp skin, probably making him seem more tan than he actually was.

Always one to see right through him, Sakura crouched down beside him. Her shoulder leaned against his as she asked: "You alright?"

Kakashi stared at the lettuce that was wilting in the harsh sun with a dispassionate gaze. He had already watered the bunches this morning, but they seemed in further need of help.

"Stop worrying, Kakashi. It's unnerving."


"But I found three stink beetles in the bean bush today. It can't be helped," Kakashi shared.

He focused on her bare elbow against his, offering heat that was not oppressive like this summer. Sakura always told him it was his fault for wearing so much black, so Kakashi had opted for a red one today. It had made no difference. It was still sweltering.

"You know what I mean, so stop evading. Now come on in and wash up. I brought home your favorite saury from that little hole in the wall. I swear, you're the one patron keeping that shop limping along."

"I like it better when you cook it," Kakashi argued as he allowed himself to be manhandled in to standing.

Sakura looked up at him from under pink eyelashes, one eyebrow raising in an obvious call on his bluff, before reaching forward and dusting off some of the dirt from his shoulders.

"Obviously a lie, but I appreciate the effort all the same," she said with a kiss on his forehead, uncaring of the dirt or sweat.

"Alright, but I'm going to water everyone one more time," Kakashi said as he moved to grab the nearby hose.

"You and this garden," Sakura said with a roll of her eyes.

"Stop acting like you and Ino don't boast over which husband has the better green-thumb," Kakashi said with a chuckle.

"Which is totally unfair, as Yamato can simply just grow whatever he god-damn well pleases out of his fingers. Meanwhile here you are, sweating your ass off just so some pathetic lettuce doesn't wimp out on us."

"Unlike those greens, thanks for sticking up for me," Kakashi said honestly as he ruffled Sakura's hair after returning with the hose.

She had always hated the action, and it seemed that still held true as Sakura stole the hose to spray Kakashi instead of the plants.


Despite how refreshing the sudden dousing of the hose-water had been, Kakashi still took a shower. As he stepped out, toweling his hair dry, he took in the sight of Sakura humming as she prepared miso soup. Unlike her fish, she could actually do miso soup just fine.

The radio Kakashi had previously avoided was on, but was not loud enough to drown out Sakura's mumblings of the lyrics. She could memorize tombs and she still had trouble with remembering lyrics past the choruses.

Dropping his towel carelessly, Kakashi went to her like a man possessed by a force above. He stilled behind her before the stove, leaning down to press a cheek against her temple as his arms wound around her middle. Kakashi's hands splayed wide of Sakura's stomach, and he hoped he would not drip all over her.

"I just want to give you everything," Kakashi voiced softly over the bubbling of the soup. "And I'm just being reminded that maybe I can't."

Sakura continued stirring the soup for a few silent minutes, as if not hearing his confession at all.

"At first I was a little worried, when you suddenly said you wanted a kid," Sakura shared honestly herself, expression hidden from him but the emotion in her tone obvious. "At first I thought it was you just worried about your time running out, even though all those missions you now take are as dangers as a gnat to your skill level."

Kakashi huffed, moving his chin to rest against her shoulder. He could feel Sakura's heartbeat as his ear pressed against her neck.

"And then I thought that maybe you were lonely. That I wasn't enough."

His arms tightened around her, and Sakura huffed a laugh.

"I know, it's ridiculous. But I also want to help you. I know how much a family would mean to you, something you've been denied for so long. First with your parents, and then with your team."


Kakashi could only remain silent as she turned in his arms, hands reaching up to frame his face. Fingers gently carded through the hair at his temples, and the silver-haired man swallowed at the pure tenderness Sakura was looking at him with.

"So don't think that you're the only one who wants to give someone everything."

Feeling like he was going to cry very soon if he did not distract himself, Kakashi swooped down and kissed her deeply, glad he had forgone putting his mask on after his shower. Wanting to be closer, Kakashi maneuvered Sakura away from the stove and propped her up on a counter, so their height difference was not so much of a problem anymore. He fit snuggly between her legs, his hands sneaking behind her shirt to grasp at her cool, bare skin there.

As Kakashi kissed Sakura, he felt the curves and dips of her spine. Truly, Sakura just continued to grow stronger every day. Not only could she effortlessly carry herself through this time of uncertainty, but she could easily pluck Kakashi up to take along as well. Just like those rice bags she always hauled back from the store when they went grocery shopping.

"Don't you want to have dinner?" Sakura asked breathlessly when she managed to pull her lips away. Kakashi did not let this deter him as he just started kissing her neck, angling down and pushing away her vest to get to the swell of her chest.

"I'd much rather have you," Kakashi said with a growl, hands at her back dipping down to the elastic of her skirt.

"I hope you know how cheesy and un-sexy that sounds," Sakura said, although she was still breathless and let out a small yelp when he pinched her behind.

Before she could retaliate, Kakashi removed his hands from her skin to throw her over his shoulder. Wordlessly, he started marching with clear intent on getting to their bedroom.

"At least turn off the stove!" Sakura huffed over his shoulder.

Wordlessly, Kakashi turned on his heel, switched the burners off, and resumed his mission.

"Good boy," Sakura said with a pat on his back.


Kakashi paced the hallway frantically, steps measured carefully and executed stiffly.

"Is his pacing giving you a headache, cause it is for me," Kakashi heard Yamato whisper to Naruto. Ino thankfully punched him in the arm a moment later, and the brown-haired man huffed before elapsing back in to silence.

Kakashi wanted to be in the room with his wife, to help Sakura through this, but Tsunade had wisely advised against it. Sakura would probably crush his hand (or head) so bad Kakashi would never be able to feel out of it ever again. So he would have to wait, and just hear her agonizing screams, feeling utterly helpless.

"Stop worrying, Kakashi-sensei," Naruto said with a sigh.

Kakashi turned to him with a glare, and the modest group of his and Sakura's friends blinked at the vicious glare he was giving. The small toddler in Kurenai's arms started crying.

"Alright, let's calm down my friend," Guy said as he stood and went to Kakashi's side, bravely patting his hands on either of his shoulders, pushing them to lower to a less threatening position. Kakashi supposed the glare he usually showed only his enemies before killing them slowly was a little harsh for Naruto. His tanned face looked unnaturally pale.

Trying to force himself to relax, Kakashi took timed breaths. It seemed to work, as his heart started to calm down. But then he realized something: Kakashi had not heard Sakura's loud bellows for the past two minutes. When the door was opened with creek, Kakashi turned to look at Tsuande in a blur of silver.

"You can come on in, now," the blonde said with a tired sigh.

When everyone jumped up, Tsunade snapped: "The father can come in you bunch of idiots. You lot can wait a few minutes more."

"You don't know that yet," Kiba joked under his breath, but thankfully Shino stomped on his toes hard enough to make the doggish boy howl.


Kakashi entered the room on weak legs, and the first thing he noticed was the bright puff of pink hair that was not coming from Sakura's head. Just like he had wanted, their child had Sakura's bright hair rather than his boring silver.

"And here's your Father, little guy," Sakura said with a smile as she offered the bundle to Kakashi.

"A son, huh?" Kakashi asked in disbelief as he looked down. Blue eyes stared up at him tiredly, and a little pink mouth matching his hair widened as he yawned.

"Now we just have to see whose eyes he gets," Sakura joked weakly.

Kakashi sat down slowly, handing back the bundle to Sakura. One hand ran through her sweaty hair, straightening it from her flushed face, and she eagerly leaned in to his cool palm. His other hand moved to lightly poke the boy's cheek. Even after nine months, watching Sakura's stomach grow, and the baby that sat demurely between them, Kakashi was still in disbelief.

"I want to name him Sakumo," Sakura voiced gently.

Kakashi laughed out, feeling a few stray tears fall to be absorbed immediately in his mask.

"Father is totally laughing that his legacy will continue on with pink-hair right now."

Sakura turned to him with a deathly glare, pressing Sakumo closer to her chest protectively.

"Laughing with pride, I'm sure. Like me, he never really liked his lack of hair pigment."

Sakura studied him for a minute more before turning back to their child, who had seemed to have fallen asleep sometime during their little tiff. Sakumo breathed calmly, the grey blanket he was swaddled in contrasting against his warm skin.

"We should probably let everyone else in before they burst down the door."

"As long as Naruto and Guy don't get in to another fight over whose going to be the Godfather," Sakura countered, clearly already protective over their son.


Sakumo was not a hard baby to care for. He rarely cried, and when he did, it was mostly just because he wanted to be held longer or sung to. Kakashi thought he favored Sakura's higher tone, but she was adamant that their son was entirely in love with Kakashi's deep voice. Kakashi had to admit, it did lull him to sleep better than anything else.

Kakashi had spent a good hour making dinner tonight, but he was uncaring as it cooled it in favor of feeding Sakumo. His mask was gone momentarily, allowing Kakashi's exaggerated expressions (the only thing that really distracted Sakumo enough for the boy to actually want to eat) were entirely visible. Kakashi was sure someone was rolling over in their grave from how ridiculous he looked. Probably Zabuza.

Throughout this, he felt Sakura's intense stare, but Kakashi was ignoring it at the time. Secretly he was sweating, wondering what he had done to be the center of such scrutiny.

"Let's have another," Sakura declared authoritatively as Sakumo chewed noisily with little teeth.

Turning away from Sakumo who was smearing butternut squash all over his grinning face, Kakashi asked: "Really? But Sakumo's isn't even two, and your research is really picking up at the hospital. You don't want to wait a bit?"

"No," Sakura said with finality.

She stood up and moved to drape herself behind Kakashi's back, her weight nothing compared to the burdens Kakashi had previously endured. At the sight of his mother, Sakumo flashed his pink gums that perfectly matched his hair in glee.

"Well, alright, if you say so," Kakashi said, giggling when Sakura kissed the ticklish area right behind his ear.

"Well, it's not like I'm the one who might get threatened with more diapers and housework," Sakura said, and Kakashi did not have to turn around to know she was rolling her green eyes.

"It's the dust that really bothers me. So many sneezes," Kakashi sighed before trying to make Sakumo eat another blob of food.

"Such sacrifices you make for me, my perfect husband," Sakura said with another feathery light kiss, this time against Kakashi's temple.


When Sakumo was beginning to learn how to throw stones at the crows that tried to infiltrate their garden, Tsunade paid Kakashi a visit. It was not uncommon, as the child's godmother adored the little boy and he was in awe of the powerful woman in return. Yet as Tsuande brought out a bottle of sake, Kakashi knew this house-visit was different.

"I'm retiring."

"About time," Kakashi said as he sipped the sake. "I hear Nagi Island is beautiful this time of year."

Snorting, Tsuande said: "Sakura really doesn't exaggerate how quickly you deflect. I'm not here to get vacation advise, Kakashi."

Kakashi put down the saucer and looked out at the garden. The sweet potato plants were encroaching on the cucumber plants, and he would have to alter their grown back in to their neat little mound. Also the tomato plants were springing up too fast for their own good, and he would have to tie them to steaks so their stalks did not break prematurely.

Then his gray eyes shifted to Sakumo, who had gotten bored with weapons practice and was now riding Bull, ordering the other ninken around to get in to whatever Formation E was.

"As honored as I am, I decline," Kakashi said, eyes sliding back to the blonde to gage her reaction.

But Tsunade had her eyes focused on the pink haired boy with a fond, bittersweet expression. No doubt she was remembering when her own younger brother was at that age, ready to conquer the world.

"You're one of the lucky ones, you know that?" she laughed with a slight smile. "And don't worry, I'll try and explain how you're being reasonable about turning down the most honored position available for your family. Sakura told me how you're trying for another."

Kakashi thought back to Obito, and how he asked Kakashi to become Hokage, and here the opportunity was. All Kakashi had to do was say yes and the hat and robes would be his, along with all the prestige. But that would mean sacrificing his time with his family, and that was unacceptable. He hoped his best friend could forgive him again.

"Will Naruto be ready in time?"

"If he gets his blond head out of his ass, probably," Tsunade hummed. "I mean, have you seen his pathetic attempts at flirting with Hinata?"


Unlike Sakumo, they managed to conceive Misaki quicker this time. Before it had taken nearly a year of trying, but Sakura proudly declared she was pregnant after only three months. The stark contrast was a little curious, but Kakashi did not complain in the least. Maybe he had finally gotten that timing thing down.

Sakumo had just turned two, and seemed to understand there would be a new addition to the family. At first he thought they meant a new ninken, but Kakashi calmly explained (as Sakura giggled and did not help at all) that no, this would be a little person. Not a little animal.

Although, maybe Sakura had been right about wanting another son instead of a daughter like Kakashi. Because if he knew how much trouble this little girl would be, he would have favored to have another son like Sakumo.

Misaki had sticky fingers in more ways than one, going through any drawer and then managing to sneak away things to curiously investigate. Just the other day she had found his ANBU mask and had chipped it carelessly, but Kakashi found himself shrugging before putting it back.

She had Kakashi's silver hair and grey eyes, but had inherited all of Sakura's stubbornness. Misaki was also quick to scream and have tantrums that made Sakumo run to climb and hide in the large ginko tree outside, the ninken quickly following after him. Kakashi thought he knew betrayal from Obito and Sasuke, but there was something especially heartbreaking about your first-born bolting in the face of his caterwauling sister.

The days were tiring, even with Sakumo beginning to go off to the Academy for most days, but Kakashi made do. Despite Sakura's busy and demanding schedule, she was always there every night to tuck them in, or to take them on family outings on weekends. Some time Sakura was called away for the rare emergency, but she always made it a point to put the family first like Kakashi.


It was a brisk spring morning that found Kakashi and Misaki working in the garden. Or, at least the former was, and the later one-and-a-half year old was toddling around on shaky legs chasing butterflies, covered in dirt, and never looking happier.

Sakumo did not hate the garden, but then again he was not immediately attracted to the activity. In contrast, Misaki was always crawling outside to explore and get tangled in the bean bushes.

"We're ho-ome!"

At the cheery call from Sakura, Kakashi discarded the trowel and stood. He tried to pat away the dirt from his clothes but gave up a moment later at the futile effort. Instead he went to do the more impossible task of pulling Misaki away from a stag beetle she was staring at fascination with.

Sakumo came out of the house, and Kakashi blinked as yet again he reminded himself that was not a walking mirror, or that his past self had not dyed his hair and time-traveled to the future. Similarly to Kakashi, Sakumo was already showing amazing skills at his young age. As the boy smiled at Kakashi, the older Hatake was grateful the boy had not adopted Kakashi's mask as well.

Giving up momentarily on taking Misaki inside for lunch, Kakashi opened his arms with a sigh and grunted at the brute force of Sakumo running in to his chest.

"Naruto is so cool, Father!"

Sighing, and realizing that soon enough Kakashi would not be the sole male role model for his son, Kakashi nodded and patted Sakumo's pink head. He listened as Sakumo babbled, clearly coming down with a serious case of hero-worship.

"Misaki, where are you?" Sakura called from inside the house. "Ino-chan gave me a new plant for you!"

Immediately the girl sprung up and attempted to spring towards the house. She faltered and fell quite a few times, but she never cried and just kept going. Kakashi could only hope that if she decided to go in to the shinobi profession like her brother, she could maintain that resolve.

Sakumo frowned at her struggles before going to help her. Misaki thanked him with a bite to his forearm, but Kakashi was convinced it was one from affection and not annoyance.


Kakashi leaned against the worn, sun bleached wood of a bench as Yamato sat next to of him.

If he was not so certain that it would wake up a rarely slumbering Misaki, he would be laughing at the situation right now. Because not too long ago both of them were going on assassination missions in ANBU that had success rates in the single-percentile range. Now they both had little girls strapped to their chests and were essentially sun-bathing on a Thursday afternoon in the park.

"Mind if we join?"

Both heads turned to see the kind face of Hinata. She herself was holding the hand of a little boy who, if Kakashi remembered correctly, should be turning four fairly soon. The dark haired boy had a small smile on, clearly nervous and excited.

"Please do, Hinata-chan," Yamato said cheerfully, scooting down a little to make more room for her.

"If Neji wants to play with Sakumo and the ninken, he's more than welcome," Kakashi commented with a nod to the blurs of pink and various browns.

The boy grinned wickedly, his blue eyes gleaming, before trying to tug away. But Hinata kept him at her side.

"What do you say to Kakashi-san?"

"Thanks! Dad's summons are all just yucky toads!" Neji exclaimed happily before bounding away with more balance than a child at his age should have. Obviously he would be a shining star in this new generation. Kakashi could see the rivalry between Sakumo already.

"How's life treating you, Mrs. Uzumaki?" Yamato asked pleasantly as he rubbed his daughter Akiko's back soothingly. The blonde had woken up at the new voices, but was already drifting off.

Misaki continued to sleep like a rock, just like her mother.

"A little tiring, but good," Hinata sighed as she sat. "Naruto is always so busy, and Neji is starting to notice."

Kakashi hummed, thinking that was the exact reason for why he had denied becoming the sixth Hokage all those months ago. But he was sure that Naruto, with his perpetual energy and vibrance, would easily balance his schedule to account for his family.


Kakashi found himself humming, a habit leftover from when Sakumo was younger that had never gone away, as he poured himself a cup of coffee. He turned when he heard the patter of soft footsteps, and was not surprised to see Misaki coming out, her gray eyes bright and short hair uncontrollable already. Unlike Sakura and Sakumo who were still sleeping peacefully, she was a chronic morning person like Kakashi. Except she did not like to sleep in on the weekends, and Kakashi had been rudely awoken quite a few times as a result.

What did surprise Kakashi was the stuffed dog she held in her arms that definitely belonged to her brother. Guy had given it to Sakumo at his first birthday party, and the boy had treasured it ever since. Kakashi found it a little queer, as he had a pack of living dogs to play with whenever he wanted, but then again Kakashi had seen the way the boy squeezed that toy. The ninken had accepted their positions as glorified nannies, but they would never stand for that.

Still, Kakashi did not comment on it and instead moved to get the little girl some orange juice. She sipped it happily, the dog still perched in her lap. One of its buttons eyes were threatening to come loose, and Kakashi reminded himself to ask Sakura to fix it.

Predictably, as Sakumo treated that toy like another limb, the boy came stumbling out with frantic, searching eyes. They quickly focused on it in Misaki's lap, and Kakashi watched in dread as her little silver eyebrows furrowed in challenge.

"I'm taking him," Misaki said with more gusto than a three year old should have.

As Sakumo stared, unblinking, Kakashi tensed. The boy was usually passive about everything, always quiet and studious and not smiling as much anymore as when he had been younger. But he had his odd bouts of emotion, too.

But rather than attack his sister physically or verbally, Sakumo instead just tipped his head back and wailed like someone had stabbed his leg. Wincing, Kakashi thought that this was much worse than a scuffle. Especially with knowing Sakura would sleep through it.

Misaki stared in dumbfounded amazement, and Kakashi realized she had never seen Sakumo cry. He wanted to attend to the nearly hyperventilating boy, but Kakashi knew this was something Misaki needed to fix.


Misaki turned to Kakashi with her gray eyes wide, for once unsure of herself and the consequences she created. Kakashi helplessly waved at the still bawling boy, silently telling her to do something.

But she was sniffling herself now, fat tears welling up, and Kakashi wanted to sigh. It was really too early in the morning for this.

But instead of just waiting for Kakashi to make everything better like usual, Misaki slipped down from her chair and trotted over to her brother. Sakumo was having trouble breathing now, and his cheeks were ruddy. His chest was heaving underneath his black short-sleeve shirt, and his hands were balled in fists.

"I'm sorry," Misaki said kindly, grabbing on to Sakumo's hand with her smaller one. "You can have Katsu back."

Sakumo quieted instantly, his watery eyes opening to see Misaki standing before him. Still wordlessly, he held out his hand expectantly with a few residual sniffs. Misaki handed over the dog effortlessly, and Kakashi sighed in relief.

The pink haired boy hugged the toy tightly to his chest, and Misaki gave him a wobbly smile that seemed fake in how much teeth she was showing.

Kakashi sighed, realizing why she had stolen Katsu: Misaki was jealous. He supposed that Sakumo was withdrawn and did not show affection as freely as others did, and maybe Misaki had done this to stab some sort of response out of him. Kakashi was sure that the little girl had not meant to nearly give Sakumo a panic attack, but Kakashi was more worried about how strategic she was becoming.

Idlying sipping his coffee, Kakashi heard Sakumo mutter something to Misaki before enveloping her in a hug, and then the little girl was the one bawling with the strength of a storm.

"What is going on?" Sakura asked as she shuffled out. "You guys are worse than mothers in labor."

Kakashi could only chuckle as the two eagerly let go of each other to latch on to either of their mom's legs, where they both started babbling over each other of what had happened.


Iruka welcomed them warmly to the classroom that had Kakashi's chest tightening in nostalgia for when his friends had still been alive. And then to when he had first come across those hapless three genin.

"First off, Sakumo is a pleasure to have," Iruka started with, hands crossing on his desk. "Not only is he amazingly advanced for his age, but he keeps others in line with just a glare."

"He inherited that from me," Sakura said with a devilish smirk.

Iruka nodded with a grin before beginning again: "His advancement has me wondering if you want him to be put on a faster track, so that he can graduate to genin before the others. I know he's barely six now, but he could probably advance already if he wanted."

Sakura turned to Kakashi, silently telling him to speak his mind first.

"No, I want him to graduate with those of his age," Kakashi said after a moment of silence. "I want him to have a normal experience like everyone else."

"We'll start giving him extra lessons ourselves, so he doesn't get bored," Sakura added.

Iruka's demure smile expanded and he nodded as he said: "I think that sounds best. Other than that, there's not much to say. Although maybe you could ask if he could let up on me for being a minute or two late somedays."

"Enjoy it while you can before Misaki," Kakashi informed stoically.

"Oh stop, she's not that bad," Sakura said with an elbow to his side.

"Sakura, she tried to die my hair purple today. She argued that if I liked eggplants so much I might as well just become one."

"She sounds like the next Naruto," Iruka laughed loudly over Sakura's giggles, "And as tempting as you make it to stay, I'm retiring after this year."

"I learned to do that from teaching long ago," Kakashi said with a serious nod.

"More like you learned to be lazy a long time ago," Sakura snarked.

"Hey, I don't see you-"

Iruka smartly pushed them out of the classroom and waved in the next pair of parents before they could get in to a domestic dispute before him.


Kakashi watched in a mixture of sadness and annoyance as Sakumo picked out the eggplant from his miso soup. He did it quietly and efficiently, putting it in Sakura's bowl when he thought both of them were not looking, but it was still obvious. Kakashi did not go on dangerous missions anymore, but he was not that rusty yet.

Soon enough they were all done and Kakashi did the dishes as Sakura wrestled with Misaki for her to take a bath. Once that feat was done, Kakashi came in to read to both of them. It took nearly the entire history of the Sanin before Misaki finally drifted off, Sakumo seeming to be in a trance as he walked back to his own room.

Sakura was already in bed, medical journal out and taking notes, but Kakashi pushed them away so that his head was instead in her lap. She huffed for a moment before moving the papers entirely away, using her hands next to run through his hair.

"Kids are harder than any S-rank mission I've ever gone on," Kakashi groaned, feeling a jab of pain from when Misaki had 'accidentally' kicked in him the hip with more chakra than needed. "If only I had the energy to at least kiss you. But I'm exhausted."

Sakura was oddly silent, as she usually enjoyed poking fun at Kakashi about his aches and age. Opening his eyes, Kakashi looked up to see she was giving him that look. The one she had worn before telling him they needed to take the ninken to the Inuzukas right away because they were infested with ticks. Despite how Kakashi tensed in worry, he waited for Sakura to speak.

"I'm pregnant again," she said softly.

Kakashi blinked once. Twice.

"That- That's fantastic!" he said as he sat up and pulled her close, one hand resting on her back and the other one wrapping around to splay over her trim stomach that would be ballooning out soon enough.

"You're not mad?" Sakura asked in his shoulder.

"Mad?" Kakashi asked in shock, pulling away. "Why would I be mad, Sakura?"


Sakura squirmed under his intense gaze, and Kakashi took a deep breath before his grip on her lessened. He drew away from Sakura to give her space to explain herself, but Kakashi placed his hand back on her stomach comfortingly.

"Well, it's just that we already have Sakumo and Misaki, and they're a handful already. Or, well, Misaki is at least."

She still looked unsure as she looked at him with wide, green eyes, so Kakashi moved to loom over her. He felt his bangs fall against her forehead, and Sakura gave a sly smile before grabbing on to his shirt. Her knee playfully knocked against the hip Misaki had hurt, and Kakashi just knew she did it on purpose by the slight giggle that escaped.

"Let me show you exactly how appreciative I am," Kakashi said before dipping his head to kiss along her jawline.

"I thought you said you were too tired," Sakura continued to giggle, either at his words, or feather-light kisses, Kakashi was not sure.

"You always had the ability to make me feel like I'm twenty again."

They told Sakumo and Misaki about the news the next morning, and while they were both a little shocked (although Sakumo looked very eager), they took the idea of having a new sibling quite well. Although, it was still in practice, and thankfully it seemed that Misaki was calming down and becoming at least a little mature. At least, until she would go visit Naruto and Neji and she would come back with pockets full of mischief.

So Sakura's stomach grew and Kakashi planned to have another baby to take care of, wondering if he should finally build a swing in that tree like he had always dreamed but been too busy to do. Everything was going just fine, until Sakura came home from with a new development in their plans.

Because it turned out that she was not having just one child, but two. Twins.


Kakashi lazily looked out at the wide array of shinobi, parents and kids running around his house. It was Sakumo's tenth birthday party and they had decided to host a huge event that was nearly as large as Sakura's stomach.

The silver-haired man weaved through the people, giving greetings and stealing food here or there, before going out on the back porch with a sigh. He looked out and saw the assortment of kids all playing with the ninken. Kakashi saw Sakumo and Misaki were two among the many, and Kakashi sighed in relief. So Misaki was not in the shadows trying to sabotage this party like last year's celebration.

"Did you ever imagine yourself in this scenario? Because I never did, and I'm considered a genius among geniuses," Shikamaru said, obviously having gotten stuck by his wife to stay out here and watch the kids.

Kakashi glanced over and saw that Naruto's most trusted advisor had a bright, bee themed rattle he was shaking. The little girl strapped to his chest was reaching for it in amusement, but Shikamaru could not look more bored.

"No, definitely not," Kakashi said with a shake of his head and a sigh before sitting down next to the younger man.

Glancing back to the grouping of kids, Kakashi took note of them separately instead of the wild pack they were. First there was Neji, and then Lee and Tenten's son, Yamato and Ino's little Akiko, Kiba and Karui's three sons, and lastly Shikamaru and Temari's son. Choji's daughter must be inside still eating, as usually she was the center of attention.

Kakashi's eyes narrowed as Akiko offered a flower to Sakumo with a blush; the boy accepted it gravely, like a scroll for his most important mission yet. Kakashi had noticed how the little blond girl trailed after his son, and a sudden weight in his chest landed in worry. Because it seemed already like he was destined to get Yamato as an in-law.

"Yep, I definitely had not expected this," Kakashi sighed.


After the twins were born, Kakashi breathed a sigh of relief to see that they were not identical. There was one boy and one girl, but other than that they looked exactly the same with their little puffs of silver hair and mouths stretched wide to whine and cry.

"I can't see them!"

Automatically Kakashi lifted Misaki to sit on his shoulder, so she could easily look in to the window like he and Sakumo were doing. Usually she would squirm away at the offered help. 'Father I'm already eight I can do that myself!' was her favorite phrase lately. Almost as much as asking for more milk so she could grow taller already.

"Which ones?" she continued to order, legs swinging to lightly kick against Kakashi's chest.

"There they are," Kakashi said, pointing to the two swaddled up and still crying. Kakashi could already tell his hearing was going to be irrevocably compromised like it had been with Misaki. Really, if Sakumo had been like either of these screaming three, Kakashi would have convinced Sakura to stop at one.

Sakumo himself was looking at them in wonder, his hands and nose pressed firmly against the glass to get as close as possible. His grey eyes were wide and mouth agape, and Kakashi nearly chuckled at the odd display of open emotion from the boy. Although just last week he had broken a few bones of a boy who had made fun of his hair. Or maybe the idiot child had made fun of shy Akiko over her boyish name. Either way, Shino had been entirely confounded why his best student would go on such a rampage.

"They look so... tiny," Misaki said with a pout, pulling at Kakashi's hair uncomfortably.

"You'll have to be very careful with them," Kakashi reminded again. "Like with Bull's pups."

"Alright," Misaki agreed softly, and Kakashi imagined that her expression was one full of wonder just like Sakumo's.


Just after the twins turned one, it was time for Sakumo to graduate to genin.

Haruki and Haruna were oddly silent as they waited outside the Academy for Sakumo, but that may have been because they were seeing so many new faces. Most they recognized (they especially liked Hinata), but there were just so many they had still not acquainted themselves with. Kakashi could tell they were going to be the exact opposite of him and be active extroverts. He could easily see them now, surrounded with adoring friends as their green eyes glimmered dangerously.

He got a shiver at the image of them reigning as Hokage together, an unbreakable team of power and ability.

Sakumo's hair looked a little ridiculous at the angle it was at as he walked towards them, and when Kakashi commented this to Sakura, she had just looked at him flatly like he was the biggest idiot in the world. Misaki thought it funny, but had enough manners to stifle her giggles in to her elbow.

It was surprising to many that Sakumo had waited to graduate this long, but Kakashi was happy to see his son exit out of the academy with all the other students. Although Kakashi would not be surprised if he passed to jōnin at an earlier age than even Kakashi. Lately he was teaching Sakumo more and more obscure jutsus, grasping at straws really, to occupy the boy's attention and time.

Misaki eagerly grabbed the forehead protector from her brother and wrapped it around her own head. Sakumo just shrugged and turned towards his parents, dark eyes expectant.

Sakura crouched down to his level and put her hands on either of his shoulders before saying: "You are simply amazing, Sakumo."

Sakumo had always seen Sakura as his biggest idol, so Kakashi was not surprised when he started to tear up a little. But Misaki did not tease him, and instead just wrapped the strip of cloth and metal back around his forehead before giving him a bone-crushing hug.

Kakashi ducked his head in a pretense to check on the twins strapped to his chest, so Misaki would not see his own tears. Because while she was merciful with her older brother, Misaki had never been with her father.


While Haruki and Haruna were not mirror images of the other, they tried their hardest to make it so. It was easy enough when they were little and Kakashi could dress them in different clothes, but as they got older they started to wear the exact same outfits and grow their hair out.

Kakashi had thought Misaki had been a handful, but that was nothing compared to the two. After they turned two he could finally sigh in relief, because it seemed they no longer were trying to throttle each other every time he looked away.

After they calmed down, Kakashi thought that maybe they were becoming more like their dutiful older brother, and not their sinister older sister. But then Kakashi learned they were just better at getting away with things than Misaki. That when they were supposed to be napping they were instead exploring the village.

Thankfully Sakumo offered his help nearly whenever Kakashi asked (or begged, depending on what day of the week) for his help. Unlike with their parents, Haruki and Haruna actually listened and obeyed their older brother. It also helped when Yamato or another friend would come over and visit, as another set of highly trained eyes was needed to pay attention to the twins to see if they were behaving or not.

Guy came around often now, as his legs were not what they used to be and he had similarly taken himself off the roster for serious missions like Kakashi had over a decade ago. Still, Kakashi made sure that his children did not spend too much time with the boisterous man so he would not pick up his dramatic flare and uncanny ability to cry over anything.

Sakura was still as influential at the hospital as ever, and had taken over for Tsunade in supervising the entire operation of the place. Kakashi would think this meant more time away, but Sakura just trained multiple assistants to take care of most of the work.


The twins had just turned five when Misaki came home with a black eye. While Kakashi was not shocked that she had gotten in to a fight, he was shocked that someone had managed to land a hit on her. That only happened when she was emotionally compromised, and Kakashi added it up to mean that someone had provoked the altercation with an insult.

"Alright, who said what," Kakashi asked as he let the twins free out the back yard. He was sure they would be over the fence and out in to the streets in a few seconds, but he could give them a running start before tracking them down this time.

Probably because there was no one else around, as Misaki only cried around him and Sakura, the girl teared up and ran to him with her arms open. The girl was still small for her age, but it did not feel that way as she slammed in to Kakashi's chest and knocked out all the air in his lungs.

"Shikaku was making fun of you! He said that you don't go on many missions anymore because you're old and don't work anymore."

Kakashi remained silent for a minute, just rubbing her back gently, and listened as her gulps for air became slightly less drastic.

"Thank you for protecting my honor, my little blossom, but I don't care what your teammate's brother says about me. All I care about is being here and helping you grow up to become the best kunoichi you can possibly be."

Misaki released the death-grip she had around Kakashi's neck to give him a watery smile.

"Now let's go find your brother and do some special training since I don't feel like tracking down the Haruki and Haruna right now."

She brushed away any remaining tears before wrapping her arms uncomfortably yet again around Kakashi's neck. But this time it was only for a moment before she gave him a hard kiss against his masked cheek and bounded away to find Sakumo.

"You spoil them," Pakkun voiced from the couch.

Kakashi gave his loyal summon a shrug, as it was pointless to deny it.


Sakumo was barely fifteen when he and his team were attacked by a rouge group of bandits.

It should have been a simple enough mission: go to the Land of Lighting with some diplomatic scrolls about developing trade routes, get the Raikage to sign them, and then come back to Konoha. But they were ambushed from behind in the Land of Frost, and there were grave consequences because of it.

Sakumo had been one of three chunin, and one of the only two to make it back alive. Kakashi and everyone else did not know exactly what had happened yet, as Sakumo had appeared at the gates with a dead teammate on his back and a barely-living one in his arms before pitching forward, collapsing from exhaustion and blood loss.

He and his teammate were immediately rushed to the hospital, where thankfully Ino had been on call and had managed to save his remaining teammate. Yet Sakura did not even wait to change out of her pajamas before sprinting to the hospital after they were alerted of the situation. Kakashi himself was right after her, despite how he could offer no true assistant other than a hand to hold.

But Ino said that his physical injuries were superficial, and that she needed Sakura to help in a surgery to help the last chunin. Kakashi waved her away and stayed by a slumbering Sakumo.

Kakashi looked at the bandage wrapped tightly around his head, and remembered how Ino had said his right ear was permanently gone. Because of Naruto and Sasuke, advancements in limp and body replacements were huge. Kakashi knew his son, and Sakumo would not get a replacement. He would not hide away the scar, unlike how he would hide away his guilt at letting one of his comrades die.


After only half an hour of waiting and watching his son's chest rise and fall, Sakumo came to consciousness. Sakumo turned his head, and his gray eyes blinked away any haziness of sleep.

"Juro?" he asked, voice dry from a lack of water and heavy from emotion.

"He's going to be fine, if your Mom has anything to do about it," Kakashi informed.

Sakumo sighed in relief and pressed his head back in to the pillow. His eyes closed, and his face resumed its unreadable blankness. Somedays it was like his son was the one wearing a mask, and a damned better one than Kakashi's at that. He watched Sakumo for a moment more before uncharacteristically talking without being prompted.

"I think you just followed through with the Hatake legacy. My Father lost his heart, I lost an eye, and now you lost an ear."

Sakumo chuckled brokenly, but it still did not make Kakashi feel much better. Moving, he sat on the edge of Sakumo's bed and placed a hand on the boy's head. Two pairs of gray eyes connected as Kakashi ruffled his son's pink hair.

"I'm very proud of you, saving Juro and returning Kaya. It must have been very hard, Sakumo."

Before the teenager had time to respond, the door to his room was viciously kicked open, revealing a manic Misaki and two teary-eyed Haruki and Haruna in either of her arms. Instantly they were three silver blurs to get to Sakumo on the bed. Kakashi left them all to be a bubbling mess and went to Sakura, who was standing at the door frame.

Reaching forward, Kakashi pulled her to him and noticed she was shaking.

"He's alright, Sakura," Kaksahi said calmly. "And you know we couldn't shelter him forever. All we can do is help them along, so that they can survive these ordeals. Like Sakumo did tonight."

"I know, it's just hard," she sighed, folding in to his arms neatly. Kakashi felt capable hands grasp at his shirt like it was her one lifeline.


Kakashi always enjoyed visiting Sakura at the hospital, even when he had to bring along the twins who were always flirting with the nurses. And of course they would just blush and coo at them, unfortunately not curtailing the behavior. Kakashi supposed it was adorable when the seven year olds did it, but Kakashi was already thinking ten years in to the future. When they would be getting more slaps than lollipops for their forward behavior.

Maybe he should make them go visit Sasuke more, so they could hopefully pick up some of his brooding through close proximity. At least the last Uchiha would not be afraid to knock them out with a genjutsu.

Sakura smiled wide and opened her arms for the two, and they eagerly ran up to her. Really, Kakashi was the one who had mostly taken care of them as babes, and it seemed all their children were only interested in finding favor with their amazing, accomplished Mom. It almost made Kakashi regret turning down Hokage.

The four ate lunch together in her cramped office before Kakashi gave a wave of parting.

"Where are you going?" Haruki enquired, turning away from braiding Haruna's hair for the moment.

"The cenotaph," Kakashi informed, shuffling closer to the door.

"Can we come?" Haruki asked, his own long braid down his back flicking over his shoulder as he pivoted quickly. It created a pull on Haruna's hair, and she elbowed him in the stomach in retaliation.

Kakashi remained silent, eyes narrowing in thought.

"You have to behave," Sakura said as she turned towards her youngest. "And you have to be respectful. This is a very special place for your Father."

Two pairs of glittering green eyes centered on him, and Kakashi sighed in defeat before waving them forward. The two children leaped up in glee, gave a synchronized kiss to Sakura's cheeks, and then bolted out the door. Their silver braids trailed after them like cat tails.

"See you for dinner?" Kakashi asked.

"I'll cook," Sakura said as she tilted her head up to him and closed her eyes.

Unlike the twins, Kakashi gave her a parting kiss on the lips.


"So I may be pregnant again," Sakura said one brisk, fall day.

Kakashi was working in the garden, trying to harvest the last of their carrots before the cold weather got too bad and they were frozen underground. The children were inside preparing lunch for them, where Misaki was no doubt trying to boss everyone around. Sakumo would go along with it effortlessly, but the twins would be sure to bicker and glower.

"Really?" Kakashi asked as he pulled out a carrot with too much vigor, causing dirt to splay up and get caught in his hair and eyes. Sakura took pity on him and crouched down, using the sleeve of her soft jade sweater to brush away the soil.

"Remember when this used to be hard?" Kakashi asked out, head already spinning with what this would mean.

Sakura gave a warm chuckle before pulling him up by his elbow, causing Kakashi to stand chest-to-chest with her. She lifted her head up, and Kakashi obediently lowered his to kiss her briefly.

He wore his mask less and less these days, but still kept it around his neck in case Naruto or Sasuke came around. It was fun, to deny them something many had seen already, and see them whine about it like the little boys they still were deep down.

"I don't know how it happened, but I hope it's alright," Sakura said softly. "Although, I'm the one whose feet get to grow even more."

"Well, we won't have a guest room anymore, not that anyone ever stayed over after Misaki was born," Kakashi said absently. "And we'll have to steal back everything we donated to Kiba and Kauri for their newest son. So other than dealing with Akamaru's recent litter of offspring, I don't think it'll be too big of a problem."

"Want to flip a coin over who gets to tell the kids?" Sakura asked.

Both of their heads snapped to the overgrown rhubarb bush as it suddenly shook violently before the silver head of Haruki popped out.

"I want another sister!" he exclaimed.

"No way, another brother!" Haruna said with a frown as she emerged, never far from her other half.

"Either way is fine," Misaki said as she revealed herself behind the bean bush. Kakashi should have know, considering how many times she had hidden there as a child.

Sakumo, who came out from behind the ginko tree, just shrugged before reaching forward to push the twins apart.


They were gifted with another girl in the dead of summer, and they decided to name her Ayaka. Sakumo looked eerily similar to Kakashi, but Ayaka was a carbon copy of Sakura with her pink hair and green eyes. Kakashi would think it an immaculate conception if she had not been so attuned to his lightning techniques.

Of course she became the baby of the family. Sakumo, despite being sixteen and a fully-fledged jōnin now, doted upon her any time he had away from missions. It was probably because she was his only sibling that shared his pink hair he was much too proud of.

Ayaka was definitely the easiest child to deal with. She did not cry much like Sakumo had, although she did have a bad habit of crawling in to places she could not get back out of. It helped that her array of older siblings were adamant about taking care of her. Kakashi no longer needed to use his ninken to help out, which was a good thing, as most of them had their own pups to worry about.

Yamato found it hilarious that the previously elusive and reclusive Copy Nin suddenly had an entire team of offspring. He and Ino had decided to only have Akiko, who had always been painfully polite and kind. As refreshing as it sounded to not worry about so many little bodies hurting themselves, Kakashi would never trade his five children away.

In a way, Yamato was correct to call out the harsh contrast that had happened in Kakashi's life. For so long he had been used to being alone, and then Sakura had strong-armed her way in. And then it was like Kakashi had blinked and he was surrounded with kids and ninken pups.


So quiet and not-so-quiet days passed by. Sakura continued squeezing her family in her busy schedule, Kakashi continued chasing after the twins, Sakumo continued on as a jōnin with a pristine record, and Misaki continued beating up those unfortunately assigned on the same missions as her.

Soon enough the twins were old enough to go to the Academy, as they were adamant about becoming as accomplished shinobi as their parents and siblings. In a way, Kakashi had wished that at least one of his kids would have chosen a less risk-heavy occupation, but it was in their genes and their personalities. At least he got to dump them on Shino, who had learned the first day to just tag them with a bug each so he could find them instantaneously.

But soon enough the bug-infested man would not have to worry about them, as just like their older sister and brother, they graduated. The two were the first to explode out of the Academy, screaming in victory at the top of their lungs and startling young Ayaka in Sakura's arms.

Through the years the two had become quite close to Hanako, the quiet second child of Hinata and Naruto. Even without the two exclaiming their team, it was obvious enough that they would be paired with her. What Kakashi was more interested in was who their new teacher going to be.

"Che, just boring Konohamaru," Haruna said with a grimace on her pretty face.

Kakashi hummed, thinking that he needed to thank Naruto for that. The young man was a great teacher, and this would already be his fourth team. As much as Kakashi was looking forward to having someone to distract the twins from him, he almost felt bad for the man. Konohamaru was sure to get a rude awakening when he discovered just how much patience he would need.


Kakashi sat on the back porch, his elbows locked to support his weight as he leaned back on his palms. His dark eyes moved from the twins (who were definitely Haruki and Haruna and not a clone) as they picked weeds for their latest prank. Misaki was caring for her sunflower patch, their large buds ready to bloom swaying in the breeze. She was obviously in love with the flowers, and Kakashi would have to thank Ino for the recommendation.

While Kakashi liked to attend to vegetables, Misaki was positively obsessed with flowers. It was quite the contrast to her brash behavior. Apparently just the other day in ANBU some poor soul had questioned her ability, so she had pulled out his two front teeth, let him bleed for a few minutes, and then jammed them back up and healed him like nothing had ever happened.

She took her skills as a medic to a scary level even Tsunade had never accomplished. Although Kakashi was sure the past Hokage had more than a little something to do with that.

Internally, Kakashi commended the teenager on her ruthless show of strength. But Kakashi knew better than to tell her that, as she would take it as permission to cut off a leg (or another important appendage) from a boy next.

"Father, look out!"

It was the only warning Kakashi was given before he felt a dead weight hit the base of his spine, and then a chorus of high giggles. Turning, his eyes connected with the bright green ones of his youngest. Ayaka gave him a grin full of teeth before climbing on his back, grabbing on to his hair to pull her up to settle her legs around Kakashi's head.

Kakashi nodded to Sakumo as he sat beside them, jostling Ayaka slightly and causing the girl's giggles to begin anew.


"That looks like it hurts," Sakumo said with a wince.

"Nothing I haven't dealt with before," Kakashi said with a shrug.

Kakashi supposed that a lesser man would be in tears from a toddler viciously pulling at their ears, but Kakashi was used to being thrown around like a rag doll when it came to his kids. Kakashi was honestly surprised he was not bald yet from the stress, or their incessant pulling on his hair. Maybe he should follow Misaki and sheer it to a ridiculously short length.

"Can I ask you something?" Sakumo asked.

"Anything, Sakumo," Kakashi said, a little on edge about how upfront his son was being. Usually Sakumo did not initiate conversations, which lead to hours of silence between the two of them when they were left alone.

"Is there any reason why you and Mom had so many kids?"

"You mean other than to do all the garden work I don't want to do?"

Kakashi moved Ayaka as her wandering hands nearly poked out the eye Naruto had so graciously gifted him with. He cradled the small girl against his chest, rubbing her back soothingly in hopes to put her straight to sleep. It was nearly her nap time, but she was being stubborn about it lately.

"Honestly, no. We planed for you and Misaki, and then the twins happened. We definitely did not plan to have our little summer blossom, here."

Kakashi looked over to see if Sakumo had given any reaction at all, and was shocked to see the bright blush coloring the young man's cheeks. It was like he was five again, getting caught trying to sneak mochi before dinner for the first time.

"What is it?" Kakashi could not help but ask.

"Well, about Ayaka... I've been meaning to tell you something."


"Wait, wait, wait- let me get this straight," Sakura said before she lied down on the bed next to Kakashi with huff. "One day Sakumo was riffling around our room, trying to find your Icha-Icha series to see what the books were really about. Instead he tips over my pill organizer. But he doesn't panic, because he just thinks they all look the same, and there's only one per day, so he puts them back randomly."

"Exactly," Kakashi hummed.

"Only years later would Sakumo discover those had been my birth-control pills, and he realized it was because of him that I got pregnant."

"That's what he told me," Kakashi said with a grin. "Oh, and he also told me not to tell you, so this is a secret between just us. I think he still feels guilt over it, and doesn't want you, his ultimate hero, to know of his mistake."

"Well, it makes since now how much he offers to babysit for Ayaka so often," Sakura commented lightly. "You would think Sakumo would just want to sit and stare at Akiko all day instead."

"But that's just because he adores her so much. I bet he's secretly ecstatic he made that mistake if it meant having Ayaka," Kakashi said. "It makes since really, as he felt so all alone with his pink hair."

Sakura nodded her head seriously at their speculations before she burst in to giggles. Chuckling lightly himself, Kakashi wrapped an arm around Sakura to pull her directly against him. He always enjoyed feeling the vibrations of her laughter against his chest.

"Ah, we truly have the best kids," Sakura said with a sigh, raising a hand to rub away a stray tear or two from her laughter.

Kakashi hummed in agreement.

"Is there anything else I should be made aware of?" Sakura asked playfully.

"I think both Haruna and Haruki have a crush on Hanako," Kakashi commented idly.

"Shit. That's got trouble written all over it."


It was a Saturday morning, meaning it was market day and their weekly convergence to attack the public with their huge number of children and ninken.

As they walked through the various stalls and busy streets, Kakashi did not miss how a recently growth-spurt Sakumo (making him look much more like a weed that the skilled shinobi he was) reach forward to hold Akiko's hand. The slight blush on his cheeks matched his hair perfectly. In return, the blond haired girl gave him an even softer smile and tightened her grip around his hand confidently.

Really, it was almost depressing to see such hard evidence of how Yamato was definitely going to be officially included in to his family. At least he could hopefully get a good discount at the flower shop as a result.

Ayaka was now six and prided herself in getting lost in the crowds, showing off exactly what Shino-sensei was teaching her.

"Go after her Misaki, I'm too old for that," Kakashi said absently. Truthfully, he just wanted to keep walking beside Sakura leisurely, her arm tucked comfortably in his and her warmth pressed against his side.

"You're just lazy," Misaki said with a dramatic roll of dark eyes, although she dutifully disappeared to track her sister. Or maybe this was just a convenient excuse to ditch the family outing.

"We should get that saury you and Misaki like so much since we're close to that little place," Sakura added.

"Alright, although truthfully I'm quite happy enough as it is," Kakashi said.

Sakura rolled her eyes at his cheesy comment, but still lifted her face up to him expectantly. Ignoring the crowds of people all around them, Kakashi pressed his masked lips against hers.

Even the gagging noises from Haruki and Haruna, the sigh from Sakumo, or the howls from the ninken could not stop the smile that spread easily over Kakashi's face.


Sakumo and Misaki had moved out of the house, but the twins and Ayaka still made enough ruckus to keep Kakashi on his toes. Or, at least the Haruki and Haruna did which resulted in Ayaka trying to prevent the damage, but only ended up making it worse. And then the shy girl was crying, the only thing that actually made Haruki and Haruna feel guilt over their actions.

Today the house was oddly quiet, so Kakashi had decided to go work on the garden. It was times like this that made Kakashi feel the odd, familiar pang of loneliness. He had not been given time for himself in years, and now that he actually had a moment to hear his thoughts, he did not like it. It reminded him of the days when he sat around the empty house waiting, scared he would be refused a family yet again.

Kakashi sat back on his heels and felt the dirt press against his knees through his pants. Despite how neat and orderly the beetroot patch looked, Kakashi did not feel the usual jolt of pride.

"Father, what's wrong?" Ayaka asked, and Kakashi jumped as she swung down from one of the thick branches of the ginko tree.

"You're getting better," Kakashi said with a smile before turning back to the tomato plants he needed to put in the earth next. He was taking a chance with planting them, as it would probably bring that tomato-thief everyone was always complaining about. Kakashi knew for certain it was just a bored Sasuke refusing to be anything but a dramatic boy.

Kakashi felt Ayaka's vivid green eyes continue to watch him. She really looked more and more like Sakura every day she got older. The biggest difference was that she kept her hair styled with a fringe and long, side braids that were already past her waist. Like Sakumo, she was extremely proud of her hair color.

The little girl ambled over before sitting directly in front of Kakashi, grabbing the trowel from his gloved hand.

"Teach me," she declared authoritatively.

She was definitely a little Sakura in the making.


Kakashi woke up to feel someone brushing ruffle his bangs against his sweaty forehead. Resisting the urge to groan, Kakashi blinked his eyes open to see Sakura smiling down at him, her crow's feet obvious in the glow of the late afternoon's light.

"I came home expecting dinner, only to find you two lazy bums had fallen asleep outside."

Kakashi groaned and sat up, dislodging Ayaka who had fallen asleep propped against his chest, and causing the girl to awaken as well.

"Just because the twins are away on a mission doesn't mean you can slack off," Sakura continued to tease.

"Mom!" Ayaka said excitedly after rubbing her eyes of any remaining sleep. She reached forward with her arms extended, and Sakura allowed her to grip around her neck.

"And look at you, forgetting to take off your mask," Sakura said as she stood, one arm coming forward to support Ayaka's weight so she did not swing on Sakura's neck like an overweight necklace.

"You know you love the tanline," Kakashi said as he stood, frowning at the odd tweak in his neck that must have come from sleeping on the ground. On past missions he had slept completely fine on bedrock, and now he could not even handle a grassy yard. He really was getting old and soft.

"I like it," Ayaka said with a grin. "I actually want to get one myself."

"That's just because you're in awe of Yamato," Sakura said with a roll of her eyes.

"But he's so cool," Ayaka said as she buried her face against Sakura's neck.

"What about me?" Kakashi asked, forcing more hurt in to his voice than he felt.

"Well, obviously you're the best," Ayaka said with cute little pink eyebrows furrowed. "You know that, don't you Father?"

Kakashi felt himself chuckling before moving forward to pin the little girl between him and Sakura. Unlike any of their other children, Ayaka smiled wide at the obvious sign of affection. Then she lifted her face just like Sakura did when she wanted a kiss.


It was interesting, watching the dymanics of his family.

Ayaka and Sakumo were the closest, always trailing after the other for various reasons. Sakumo still hauled her up on his shoulders, even when she was gangly with her recent growth spurt. Despite their significant age gap, it was like they had been born together.

Sakumo was one of the individuals given the important, secret missions that Naruto was hesitant to hand out unless he trusted the shinobi explicitly. While this was their histories most peaceful, prosperous time, that did not automatically mean there were not dangers or secrets. Sakumo always acted with the utmost professionalism, and while he was not as heartless as Kakashi at that age, he kept a strong resolve and a realistic outlook on what he needed to do.

Misaki got along better with the twins, but those two were usually a team on their own. Their eldest daughter instead favored to pester Sakumo, who tolerated it, or others, who also tolerated it for some reason past family obligation. Most likely because she had inherited Sakura's obvious beauty. If her eyes were not obvious enough indicators to whose daughter she was, Misaki excelled in the medical field. She had made sure to master the seal quickly, so she could go headlong in to any ANBU fight without anyone's complaint.

The twins continued to braid each other's hair daily. They had easily passed to chunin, and Kakashi was sure Konohamaru was counting down the day when they would become jōnin and could be officially taken away from him. Thankfully they no longer fought over Hanako, as Haruna had instead moved her attentions on to Neji. It gave Kakashi nightmares to think that they might both marry the Uzumakis. Then again, some days they ignored them to train for hours on end. Despite their popular status, they would clearly not let love stop them from advancing.

Ayaka looked up to Sakumo the most, but Kakashi could tell she avidly praised Misaki. Unlike her older sisters and the twins, Ayaka was not attuned to the fine chakra control needed for the medic-nin field. Despite her quiet persona, Ayaka was attuned to an aggressive fighter style like Kakashi. Kakashi worried how she would fare without her protective siblings, but she had adopted two of Bisuke's pups, and it was not like she was hopeless. She was not the prodigy Sakumo was, or had the brash ability the twins and Misaki boasted. Instead Ayaka had a quiet strength just waiting to manifest like it had with Sakura.


Kakashi watched Sakumo pace the white hallway just as Kakashi had decades ago. The young man pulled at his pink hair, causing it to stick out of the ponytail he kept at the nape of his neck. While he was eerily similar to Kakashi, he had followed after his grandfather in this physical attribute.

"Sakumo, sit down, it'll be fine," Kakashi said patiently as he patted the empty seat between him and Ayaka. "You know your mother and Akiko's are both in there. Even if something goes wrong, they'll easily fix it."

"I know, I know," Sakumo blabbered.

"That sit down," Haruna snapped, Haruki sitting directly next to of her looking equally peeved.

Ayaka, who was silent as usual, reached forwrad. With a sigh, Sakumo took her hand and sat down. Unlike Kakashi's words, Ayaka's grip actually made the man relax.

The family waited in silence, hearing the shuffle of people passing around them.

"Suddenly I wish I had Shikamaru-san's smoking habit. To do something with my hands," Sakumo sighed dramatically.

"Wouldn't matter much, considering we're in a hospital," Kakashi commented.

Suddenly there was a commotion nearby, and Misaki sprinted around the edge of a hallway, her ANBU mask astray.

"Did I miss it?" she asked in a pant.

"Shouldn't you be on duty?" Kakashi asked with a furrowed brow. It was one thing to break the rules like she did daily, but another entirely to abandon her post.

She snorted like a flustered pig, but still a male nurse passing by could not take his eyes off of her or stop blushing.

"Yeah, like our esteemed Hokage would actually notice me gone," she scoffed. Misaki then turned away from Kakashi and said to Sakumo: "You look like dog shit left out in the rain, by the way."

"Thanks," Sakumo muttered.

"It's your fault for making offspring," Misaki smirked.

Ignoring the snickering twins, Kakashi sent Misaki a glare and watched as she seemed to shrink in a little on herself. She looked down, embarrassed and properly chastised, and moved to sit down next to Kakashi.


Kakashi and Sakura decided to move out of the heart of the village to the outskirts of it when the twins moved out, where they could have a bigger yard for Kakashi to cultivate a bigger garden. They gave their old house to Sakumo and Akiko, and the new parents had been eager to move out of their cramped apartment. Kakashi thought the gift was a little heavy-handed with all the empty rooms just begging to be filled with more grandkids, but Kakashi did not comment on it with Sakura.

His hard working wife still went to the hospital some days, but not as often as before. While Sakura had never been an official teacher, she had taught dozens of competent doctors who now ran the place. Haruna and Haruki themselves were apprenticing under one at the moment. They were going in to the posions department, and Kakashi thought it painfully fitting for the twins.

Ayaka did not like their move very much (despite how it really was only a few extra minutes), but she simply kept her room in the old house and alternated where she slept for the night. Kakashi was sure Sakumo appreciated her continued presence. First to have his favorite sibling around, but also to help take care of little Kikuko. Like Sakumo, Ayaka was very good with children of all ages. Still, Kakashi felt a little bad for Akiko getting left out of the pink-haired trend of the household.

Friends still came and went, and Kakashi found himself boasting no longer about how many jutsus or kills he had under him, but his kid's latest impressive feat. Kiba was especially stubborn over whether his youngest son Kazuhiko or Ayaka had the best ninken. Honestly, Kakashi was more concerned over how his young son's red marks against his cheeks seemed to disappear in a blush every time Ayaka appeared.

Kakashi brought up the boy to Ayaka one day over a game of Go, and she tilted her head slightly to collect her thoughts before speaking.

"Kazuhiko is nice. His ninken Tadashi likes me quite a lot," she voiced slowly.

"You know, ninken follow their masters in more ways than one," Kakashi advised.

Ayaka was blushing then, and Kakashi could not help but chuckle at her ineptness. Maybe she was more like Kakashi than he previously believed.


Kakashi found himself smiling as Sakura wound her arms around his chest from behind, resting her forehead between his collarbones.

"Keep your elbows in, else you want mine knocking against yours," Kakashi informed as he continued washing dishes, his long sleeves rolled up to avoid them getting soaked.

Sakura hummed lightly and did just that, but she did not move or say anything in response. Kakashi continued washing the various pots and pans, the dull voices of the drama Ayaka obsessively watched floating in to the kitchen from the background. He could also hear the snuffling of her two ninken, Ken and Kei, underneath the dinner table looking for dropped morsels. It seemed getting the leftovers had not been enough for small decedents of Bisuke.

When Kakashi was finished, he turned around and raised an eyebrow expectantly for Sakura to explain herself.

"What, I can't hold my husband and father of my children without a reason?" she asked with a smirk.

Kakashi smiled gently down at her, and ran a hand through her hair. There were now jolts of silver in her pink, and Kakashi wondered if one day they would be a matching pair of silver heads like their twins. Despite how Kikuko adored pulling at his hair like all his children had, Kakashi miraculously still had a full head of unruly hair.

"Soon I'm going to have as much silver as you," Sakura said, as if reading his thoughts.

"You'll look like a true Hatake, then."

"Not really, as now pink hair is synonymous with the name thanks to Sakumo."

"Well, at least Yamato's mission record will be crushed soon enough by Misaki and my legacy can continue on there."

Sakura rolled her eyes before grabbing his wrist and leading Kakashi to the couch, where she pushed him down beside Ayaka. The girl did not even offer them a glance, her green eyes fixed obsessively to the glowing screen full of unrealistically pretty people.

Ken and Kei came trotting and settled on Kakashi's lap. Kakashi petted the two dogs rather than watch the program, and thought about how much he missed their father and the rest of his passed ninken.


"Hurry up, we're going to be late!" Sakumo snapped as he pulled at Kakashi's sleeve like he was five and not the loving father and dedicated jōnin he was. Although maybe Sakumo acted like this because he had finally stepped down from missions to get his first team. He was dead-set on being the best teacher for the kids, and Kakashi wondered if it was a ploy to impress Akiko enough to want another kid.

"Ayaka isn't going anywhere, as it is her graduation," Kakashi said with a sigh. "And stop pulling so hard, I'm a brittle old man."

"Oh yes, you're definitely ancient considering how you can best nearly everyone in the village on any off day."

"Not you, though."

"I said nearly for a reason," Sakumo joked, flashing Kakashi one of his rare smiles.

They quickly arrived at the Academy from Sakumo's incessant pulling. Kakashi saw Haruki and Haruna were once again bickering, but Misaki crashed their heads together with nod, which promptly shut them up. It was no wonder that Naruto was hesitant to assign her a team like Sakumo. Yes, she was much better suited to stay in ANBU.

"Hello, love," Sakura greeted as she reached up to rub her nose against his.

"Yes, you can be cute inside," Sakumo said, urging everyone along. Recently they had started opening the genin graduation for families to watch, and apparently twenty minutes early was cutting it close for Sakumo to get a good seat.

They found prime seats easily enough, and Kakashi looked at the empty stage. Soon Ayaka would walk up on it gain her forehead protector and the responsibility to help protect the village. She would no longer be his little girl, but a recognized protector.

"I think I'm going to cry," Kakashi confessed in a hush for only his wife to hear.

Sakura did not make a quip, and instead simply took his hand in hers. She leaned her head against Kakashi's shoulder, and Kakashi mirrored the action so that his masked cheek rested against the top of her colorful head. Kakashi found himself smiling as the grip of her hand on his tightened.



New name meanings:

Misaki - beautiful bloom
Haruki - spring wood
Haruna - spring vegetables
Ayaka - colorful flower and summer
Akiko - light, bright and Iris, which in the flower language stands for good news, good tidings and loyalty
Hanako - flower girl
Kikuko - chrysanthemum branch child, which in the flower language yellow crysanthemums stands for imperial
Kazuhiko - harmonious prince
Tadashi - loyal or true
Ken - healthy and strong, modest, or sturdy
Kei - blessed/lucky, excellent, respect, or wise