oOo Two Years Later oOo
"So, I was thinking."
"I know," I sighed, raising a hand to the ceiling and shrugging, "but if you have found the 'off' switch you just have to share it with others instead of being a selfish ghost, Number One."
"Sorry, ghostly tricks are very important secrets. I can't share. No, can't do," Shisui replied while hanging from a light. "Oh, look, the ankle-biter is doing a runner."
I looked over my shoulder to see my son leaving his play mat and huffed at the terrible little genius. You couldn't have more than ten minutes of peace with that one. Trouble Four was a budding explorer.
Standing up reluctantly from the kotatsu, I sighed and went to grab him by the back of his onesie. "No, dearie. No going around until your daddy or uncles are there to stop you with their super-fast and freaky shinobi reflexes."
The silver-head cooed and waved at me. I lifted him on a shoulder and let him play with my braids while I continued my conversation.
"Anyway, I was thinking. Now that they're all dead. You know, the assholes, from Tobi to Danzou…"
"Obviously, I can live. Which is cool, otherwise, that pregnancy would have been a bit more complicated than the shit-show it already was, but what about you?"
"What about me?"
"Are you going to haunt me until my death? Death number three, may I specify. Is my punishment for annoying the Shinigami eternal?"
"Pretty much, yeah. I felt like I could leave when Itachi killed Danzou, but I didn't want to."
Shisui shrugged and floated around. "You were already waiting for the kid by then, and I figured that I wanted to see how that would go. It promised to be entertaining, at least."
"You enjoy seeing Kakashi and I making fools of ourselves, aren't you?"
"Very much so," he confirmed with a large grin. "Also, I wondered if Itachi would get one. His own kid, I mean, not this three-way parenting you're doing because he's the only one who has any idea how to care for a child."
I made a noise. If he had the choice, I was pretty sure that Itachi would never marry. Unfortunately, with only two living Uchiha, he probably felt obliged to. I had already started screening all women looking even mildly interested. No-one could ever deserve Number Two, but I'd settle for someone who would take care of him. Of course, this wasn't urgent. Itachi could and should wait a few years... enough that Number Three wouldn't need a third parent anymore.
"I still want to keep an eye on all of you, so not leaving anytime soon," Shisui concluded cheerfully.
"Damn," I muttered, just for show. I had gotten used to my little Casper. A vicious tug on my hair made me hiss. I was still getting used to my little baby pest, however.
I grabbed his hand before he could do more damage and went to sit down with him in my lap. Apparently, he was tired of being alone. He got that from me, which was worrying. What kind of person would come out of a mix between me and Kakashi? Our awesomenesses were very different and might not be compatible. I was half certain we had created a monster.
"You know, for a heart-burn, the kid has grown pretty well," Shisui commented, falsely innocent.
"Urgh. Will you stop with this? You forget once, once, that you can get pregnant, don't take necessary precautions, think you have indigestion instead of a bun in the oven, and then you end up with this squirmy, fragile little thing to raise until death do us apart, and no-one will let you forget it!"
The little tragedy squirmed in my lap and tugged on my fingers to pull them into his mouth. I made a face and resisted. He whined and looked up at me imploringly.
"You're disgustingly cute, Number Four, but I have resisted far more heart-wrenching than you. I shall not endure the mortifying fate of having my fingers full of saliva just for your pretty eyes." Even if they were my chocolate eyes and not his father's black ones, I wouldn't falter!
He started to fuss and opened his mouth to cry. I immediately surrendered my index. "Okay, fine, fine. No need to pull out the big shuriken," I grumbled, ignoring Shisui's laughter.
I hated nothing more than a baby crying. What kind of terrible weapon was that? Which gods had seen those poor, embarrassing, small things and decided to make them able to break your tympans so they could survive? Claws would have been just fine, no need to go so far.
"Finally!" I turned around to stare at the entrance expectantly. "Come here and take your nephew!"
Itachi calmly walked in, taking his sweet time. "How was your day?"
"Like any day with Number Four," I sighed dramatically before handing the infant over to his favorite being. As soon as he was in Itachi's arms, the boy settled. He played favorites. Everyone loved Itachi. It was a terrible fate, but very fortunate for me.
"Peace, at last!" I rubbed my back and went to tidy the kid's room. The house had been recently renovated. It was traditional but up to date. I liked its large garden. It was one of the main reasons we had chosen this one, along with its position close to the rest of the village and at the edge of the Uchiha compound slowly being fixed and inhabited anew.
Kakashi, Itachi, and I were living there happily. Number Three passed by whenever he wasn't fooling around with… whoever, or doing whatever with ANBU. I didn't want to know.
With enough space for everyone, we could still have the pleasure of each other's company without stepping on any toes during the inevitable 'bad days'. By that, I meant that everyone fled during the day to do shinobi stuff, except for me.
Well, at last, Itachi was happy, or as happy as I had seen him since… that night.
His reinstatement had been and still was a big deal, but people just had to deal with it. Sasuke and Kakashi (and the Godaime, that might be important too) had vouched for him, so that was that. Move on, people!
Until Konoha got used to him, though, he worked for Intelligence. He shared what he had learned while he was among nukenin. He didn't complain, but then, Itachi never complained. So, I just had to trust my instincts. He was content. For some reason, he also loved the ankle-biter. Maybe even more than he loved me… No. Impossible… Right?
"Itachi, I'm still your favorite, right?!" I asked, frowning, as I came back to the living room.
"Of course," he replied nonchalantly while playing… something with the kid. "But only for birthing this little angel."
I squawked in outrage. Shisui burst into laughter, the traitor.
When Kakashi came home, he found us squabbling (although it was really hard bickering with Itachi, let it be known that no-one could manage better than me!).
"Maa. You seem busy. I better keep this dinner for myself, then," Kakashi drawled as he passed by on his way to the kitchen.
Attracted by the smell of Food, I abandoned Itachi and my child to hurry after him. "That's why you're my favorite," I said, leaning my chin on his shoulder while he put down the take-out on the table.
He caught my hand before I could grab a box.
"Food is only for good mothers. Were you a good mother to Shiro, today?" he asked with his 'I want to mess with you' tone while he turned around.
I glared at him. "I fed him, cleaned him, entertained him, put him to nap, and didn't peck his eyeballs for tugging on my hair. What did you do?"
Smirking, he leaned down to kiss my forehead. "I brought you food."
"Then let me eat it," I whined. "Your son is exhausting. I need energy."
"Maa. Shiro-kun isn't that bad."
"He's our son. Of course, he is," I grumbled.
He tilted his head then nodded. "Point taken." He let me reach for the food. At last.
"This is all your fault," I mumbled.
"I think it requires two people to make a child, Tsukiyo-chan. At least, in a consenting relationship. Are you saying that you—"
I elbowed him before he could finish such an absurd comment. "Fine. It's all our fault! My brain failed me. My uterus failed me. And I ended up a mother," I whined with a horrified voice.
"Poor kid," commented a snide voice coming from the rooftop.
I spun around to point at Sasuke dropping in and coming through the garden like the heathen he was. "Excuse you! Shiro is damn lucky to have me, Number Three! And is that a way to greet your family after being gone for ten days?"
He rubbed his ears with a scowl. "You can talk."
"Here, put some meat on those bones of yours," I grumbled, handing him one of his favorite boxes from the take-out.
"I'm not staying. I'm just taking some stuff," he replied, leaving for his bedroom.
I followed him with the box of hot food. "Excuse me? Is this house a hotel? I don't think so! Why don't you tell your girlfriend to come here, instead? Introduce us, at least."
He closed the door violently behind him. I knocked on it repeatedly.
"Or your boyfriend, dear. You know we don't care. I mean, you can't do more untraditional than a bird so let's not be weird about such a trivial thing as gender. We're not this kind of family. Not under this roof, no, Sir."
"I mean, people can be so close-minded, really—"
"Tsukiyo-chan," Kakashi repeated from the kitchen. "He already left by his window."
"What?! Number Three, you stereotypical teenager!"
Using my awesome wings just to fly on a rooftop was probably some kind of sacrilege, but my days of courier work and espionage were behind me. I was reduced to the banality of finding any way possible to get my son to sleep. For some reason (genetics, a Kami's dark sense of humor, or both), watching the stars and flying were good tricks.
"Is he asleep?" Kakashi asked as he jumped to join us.
He crouched down by my side to glance at the small face visible among the blankets.
"Kurenai suggested a playdate with Mirai-chan."
"Aww, the cutie pie? Sure. You can take him."
"I think that was an excuse to invite you too," he explained with a nudge.
"You know, to get you to leave the house a bit and make friends."
"I leave the house!"
"Grocery shopping and picking almonds at the Tsukiyo Park doesn't count."
"Well… I have friends! Kisame will come to visit, one day… when his integration gets sorted…" Itachi had convinced him to join Konoha after several long conversations. However, nukenin joining a new shinobi village was unusual and thus a very lengthy process.
"That's one friend, who isn't even from Konoha, Tsukiyo-chan," Kakashi pointed out with a judgemental eyebrow. "I do better, and you say I'm the asocial one."
I huffed. So demanding! Human social life was so complicated, but I supposed I ought to make an effort. Kurenai had always seemed tolerable, after all. "Okay, fine. I get your point. I'll go to this… playdate thing. Happy?"
"Overjoyed. Why don't you come down, put Shiro to bed, and I'll show you?" he offered with a wink before disappearing.
"Is that supposed to make me swoon?" I grumbled but followed. "Seduction has died tragically, nowadays."
I stretched my wings to slow down my fall from the roof to the patio. To step inside, I pulled them back in with a wince of discomfort.
"Number Four, I hope you get your father's strength but your mother's tongue. For your own good. Your father is very silly, you see," I murmured to Shiro while I put him in his crib. "We love him nonetheless, of course. That's just how he is, and he can be decent, like when he takes a nap with you for example…"
I was caressing Shiro's cheek distractedly when Kakashi leaned against the doorframe. He was shirtless, and his abs were… distracting. I blinked at him. He smirked and gestured with a finger before disappearing into our bedroom. Forgetting whatever I was thinking or talking about (nonsense, probably), I followed eagerly.
I suppose that, sometimes, words were unnecessary...
oOo THE END oOo
(no, really, this time, I mean it, I won't tell you my whole life after all... or lives, in fact, just give me a break, people!
Go read something else! Shoo!)
Tada! I know, it's a short epilogue, but I wanted to finish this before the end of the year and give you a true ending. This shall do.
Little detail: Shiro means 'fourth son'. Tsukiyo tried to named him 'number four' or 'trouble', but Kakashi said no. :(
I hope you enjoyed the ride, everyone. I'll now focus on the Shikaku/OC I have in progress. I wish you all the best for 2021, may it be kind to you and give you lots of almonds!