I started writing this story to cope with the pain of losing someone very dear to me. I'm a year on since my loss now, and it's a different kind of pain now; it still hurts and some days are worse than others. But, it's not as raw. And writing Sakura was my therapy of sorts.

I'm so thankful for all of the feedback from this, i'm glad its brought happiness to someone else. So thank you for reading. Thank you for reviewing. Thank you for finishing this. I hope you enjoy the final chapter.

A.A
Xoxo


Chapter Forty:

"I saw Ami's kid today." Sakura whispered to Kakashi.

"Hm."

"She came in the clinic. Wanted a cough checking." she continued in hushed tones.

They were sat side by side on stiff wooden chairs as the council once again debated the future of the cursed object in their vaults, the one that had Sakura's life tied to it. The one that kept the dark edges swallowing her chakra every day. They invited Kakashi and Sakura to these meetings everytime, but they were rarely required to make comment.

"Hm." His hand reached out to her thigh under the table. A comforting squeeze to her emotions.

"She thanked me."

"Hm."

"For bringing her husband's remains back." Sakura finished. Kakashi turned to her slightly, his eye gliding over her features. "She's known since it happened."

"So it's decided." The councilwoman announced. "We risk removing the curse whilst the idol remains sealed."

Sakura and Kakashi turned their attentions back forward. Though his hand still remained on her thigh. "To enable the passing of bloodlines." The councilwoman finished, an elaborate hand signal to the couple before her. As far as the elders were concerned, them returning alive not only saved communities across the world, but it could now enrich them with a child born of two legendary nin- provided they remove the curse in her body.

They were focussed on the idea of a child, one conceived between them with potentially unparalleled talent. It was only the drain in her chakra that risked their child being anything less than perfect. As such, curse removal became a number 1 priority for the elders of Konoha.

"I understand the Hokage continues her hormone therapy with you." An elder spoke, a male with a leering edge that always probed far too much into her sex life.

"Hai." Sakura replied respectfully.

"Are you noticing a change to your sexual appetite?" he continued, leaning forward.

Kakashi saved her, as he often did with these questions. Usually because she was delayed with weighing up the pros and cons of striking a 70 year old man into his grave.

"Mah, unfortunately, there has not been a significant change." Kakashi offered in a smooth lie. The table preventing the elders from seeing the way his absent hand was trailing up her thigh, between the thighs she belatedly tried to close and was trapped against her core, where the black three quarter leggings separated him from her sex. "I'm afraid she still lacks the physical drive to procreate with me… or even to practice."

Lies upon lies, an hour before entering the Hokage tower to meet with them, Kakashi had taken her rough as she moaned against the kitchen table. He'd been a filthy tease, trying to get her to agree to wearing a sex toy to this exact meeting so he wouldn't be as bored.

Kakashi, as always, knew how to make his own entertainment.

"I see, is this something that can be addressed Hokage-sama?" the elder asked and eyes turned to the Hokage who sat behind Sakura and Kakashi, fully aware of where the copy nin's hand was, and very much aware from the several desperate pregnancy tests Sakura had taken from the hospital store after a late period that they were very much speaking a non-truth.

Still, the Hokage rose from her seat, cleared her throat and proceeded to confuse the council with made up statistics and figures about Sakura's hormone cycle and current oestrogen levels, justifying the lack of medical intervention in the couple before her. Kami, if they gave Sakura any more hormones, she'd never be able to walk straight again.

"Either way." The leader councillor spoke. "Once the curse is lifted, we will have to revisit the issue. Neither of you are getting any younger and for the sake of the village, your village, we need to think ahead for the safety of Konoha, for the future of Konoha."

"Agreed." The councillor on the left spoke.

Murmurs passed around the council.

"Have we spoken further with regards to marriage?" One asked and a debate over any requirement for marriage fell apart. Some were just happy with pregnancy, others desired it to go hand in hand with marriage.

Sakura and Kakashi were once again ignored. Which worked out well as Kakashi's trapped digits began to stretch out between her legs, pressing against the thin layer of her leggings in a way that said he knew exactly where he was touching.

Sakura jabbed an elbow towards his torso, her own hands banded around his wrist as if she could stop it.

"This could be entirely different if you wanted it to be. I've heard about an egg that can be vibrated by chakra control." he whispered to her, a playful edge to his tone. "And a jutsu that can keep your nipples and clit sensitive all day."

"Shut up." she hissed quietly, a fist slammed to his thigh under the table. "I have work after this." she snapped.

"Tsunade will give you time off." Kakashi turned his head towards hers, his masked nose and lips hidden by his hair as he teased them along her neck.

Well not hidden from Tsunade, but she was so used to it, it was just another Tuesday for her.

"It's not with Tsunade." she retorted, unconsciously extending her neck as an invite to his actions, to parting her legs to give him the access he wanted. His fingers finally laid flat against her core and he rolled his wrist to draw them in a tight circle. "Hmph." She clamped her lips together lest she release any sounds.

"-Pregnancy should come after marriage, we should address this now-"

"-We don't require their legal binding to achieve the prodigy we are talking of-"

"Some women get even hornier during pregnancy." Kakashi darkly spoke to her "Imagine how you'd be, carrying my heir, desperate for me, bigger breasts too." She heard the smile lift the accent in his words. He was not against the idea at all, and until she was healthy enough to contemplate carrying it, he was happy to get in as much practice as possible. "You'd have to retire from ANBU of course." he continued with a tease. "I wouldn't be able to accept your current schedule, and after the last time I joined you on a training mission…" He'd accompanied her on her job –she was currently training field medicine to ANBU and gone for weeks at a time- there had been a LOT of complains about their flirtatious behaviour, and a few had walked into the medic tent to see a whole lot more than just some injured skin. "I don't think they'd let me come with you, and we both know how… insatiable." His forefinger found her clit through the fabric and gave it a quick flicker like he knew she went crazy for. "You are for me."

"May I politely suggest-" Tsaunde stood once more. Sakura blushed, forgetting about what her mentor would have seen. "We discuss this at a later time. These lengthy meetings are not good for my student's progesterone levels." Bullshit. But Tsunade knew how to play them.

"Of course. Postponed until next week." The elder closed the meeting that very second.

Sakura barely managed a half of an apology to Tsunade before Kakashi was casting symbols and she blinked the next second to catch herself on the kitchen table.

"Tsunade is going to kill you one of these days." Sakura threatened playfully, a laugh bubbling out of her as his mask was down and his lips were tasting her throat again.

"I make you too happy for her to do that."

"Hm."


"You're sick and twisted." Sakura snapped at him in hushed tones.

"Perhaps." he accepted it eagerly.

"You don't even know what I'm offended by, do you?"

"Could be a myriad of things." he allowed.

"-great pleasure to congratulate our team on cutting all links with the idol, whilst it still remained safely sealed-" the council spoke in the background.

"My spar with Ino."

"Hmmm." The noise was a deeply sexual one.

"Exactly. You know who pops a boner whilst watching their partner fight?" she hissed.

"Someone who's seen you do the same things naked." he provided slyly.

They were once again sat side by side on the wood chairs. Presented before the council of elders as they discussed their future without them.

"I can't believe you are seriously turned on watching me fight. This doesn't happen when we are out in the field."

"Doesn't it?" he questioned.

"Kami, are you serious?"

"You haven't seen how you look."

"I don't get turned on when you fight."

"Don't you?"

"Of course not."

"So when Gai challenged me to spar whilst blindfolded."

Fuck…

"Of course not." she denied.

"And you insisted upon playing referee so we wouldn't kill each other."

"I barely remember that event." Lies, it was one of her favourite things to think about when alone.

"So when I won and you dragged me to my apartment, tied the blindfold back around me and sat on my dick the moment we got through the door, you were just naturally dripping wet?"

"-Logically, we must proceed with the conversations regarding the prospect of marriage-"

"Completely unrelated." Sakura fibbed. There was just something about seeing him completely relax into the fight, to glide so easily through the moves he made, to have the luxury to watch his muscles move as he fought completely unleashed against Gai. To have the chance to sit back and watch instead of being beside him. Damn, it was something like a living coil, winding deeper in her the harder he fought. "Besides, I shouldn't be surprised, everything turns you on. Like, like," she rummaged through her brain. "That time with Hikame." She poked at his leg under the table as she found her newest point. "You wouldn't let me go on a mission with him."

"It was a 2 person mission."

"He wanted to learn field medicine to compliment his fighting style."

"He wanted to lick you out." Kakashi was crude when he wanted to make a point.

"He did not."

"I asked him."

"You did what?" she snapped.

"-Haruno-san, is there a problem?" Sakura lifted her attentions back to the elders.

"Gomen. No, just digesting the conversation. Please continue." She bowed her head politely and the elders resumed their debate over if Sakura and Kakashi should get married.

"I asked him why he wanted to go on the mission with you." Asked him very politely considering he had a kunai pressed to the younger man's genitals.

"And he said that was why?"

"Not the first time I asked." But when he realised Kakashi had no problem taking off his favourite appendage, the truth came out. "But he saw I wasn't going to accept anything less than the truth."

"That's why he's been avoiding me." Sakura pieced it together now, why he darted the other direction when she tried to offer him any medicine lessons. "What did you threaten to do?"

"Nothing." he lied smoothly.

"What about the botanist we hired at the hospital, why is she avoiding me?" Sakura asked, finding all of the dirty laundry that she suddenly felt the need the air.

"Ah." And this time, she felt Kakashi shuffle in his chair. A nervous marker.

"Oh, Kami, what did you do?" Sakura leaned closer. "Should I be apologising for you?"

"Nothing serious." he denied.

"I swear to all that is sacred, I will stand up right now and tell them you've tested as infertile if you don't tell me." They'd already made suggestions of what would happen if Kakashi was firing blanks. He lost consciousness around the part of daily injections into his scrotum.

"I gave her a book and asked her if it was possible." he admitted quickly, not risking being thrown under the council's microscope.

"What book would you give a botan-" and it clicked. "Seriously, I told you it wasn't possible."

"I wanted a second opinion." He shrugged.

"Sex pollen is not a thing." she repeated slowly.

Tsunade, sat behind them again, smothered her laughter with a cough.

"I may have not fully clarified why I was requesting that." Kakashi continued.

"So the resident botanist thinks that you're a sex pollen rapist?" she summed correctly, rubbing her fingers over the bridge of her nose.

"Possibly."

"There's more?" It was just a feeling, from knowing him so well.

"I may have tried to recover my reputation by implying it was something we wanted to use together, and perhaps it had come across that we were co-conspirators."

A chakra infused punch came to his leg and he grit his teeth through the damage.

"She thinks I go around looking to drug people into wanting sex with us?!"

"-Marriage would assist with any legal issues surrounding the child should one of them die in service-"

"-Do we consider reduction of category of assignments until they have produced heirs-"

"-We would have to weigh the political climate against the lost skillset and the fertility chances-"

Sakura and Kakashi both sat, arms folded, slumped in the chairs, silent as they mulled over their words.

It took the council an extra 45 minutes of debate but they concluded that although marriage was desirable, it was not a requirement they were making of the shinobi before them.

So Sakura was encouraged to consider hormone therapy and to have conjugal relations with Kakashi as soon as possible with attempts to conceive.

She nodded at the guidance of the elders and stood quickly, before they could insist on exploring Kakashi's sex pollen idea and stalked out of the meeting room.

Kakashi stood with a bit more effort, the chakra infused fist had done some deep injury to his leg it seemed.

Tsunade gave him no sympathy in the glare as he tried not to limp on the exit of the building.

He found the nearest window, dropped out of it and intercepted Sakura on her thunderous route home.

"Don't even try right now." Sakura anticipated his attempts to smooth things over.

"Where are you going?"

"Home."

"You're not going to tell Tsunade?" he asked, putting extra stride into his steps for the limb to keep pace with her.

"No."

"You wanted to this morning."

"I wasn't pissed at you this morning."

"And that changes if you tell Tsunade?"

"Yes!" she snapped.

"You were excited to tell her."

"And if I tell her right now, she'll ask me questions I'm not wanting to answer."

"Like?"

"How I feel about you."

"And?"

"I don't know how I feel about you right now."

"Hm."

Sakura heard his steps stop chasing her, felt the pause in the air and then the whipping wind as he took himself out of the streets.

Sakura stopped and re-routed herself to Ino's apartment. She needed a good gossip session.

It was just a shame it would have to be one without alcohol from now on.


"What are you doing here?" he asked. As he had so long ago. Stood addressing her in the classroom she used to teach in.

"I'm covering for Hinata today, I told you this morning." Sakura replied without even looking up. She knew his chakra scent like it was her own. She could feel him like a pulse under her skin.

Sakura filed the papers on the desk.

"You don't belong here." He mirrored words he had spoken before again. The memory probably making him nostalgic. But a lot had changed since those days where the classroom had been her sanctuary.

"Let me guess." she tried, rounding the desk. "I belong naked in our bed?" she guessed, approaching him slowly. "I belong on my knees?" She rolled her fingers up his arm and around his neck, pulling herself into his tight embrace. "I belong to you?" she suggested sickly sweet, a purr trickling through her words.

"You belong at home with your feet up." His hands came from the caress of the hug to smooth over the bump of her belly. She was showing now, and he had taken to having his hands on her growing shape. To embracing the silence to listen for a heartbeat growing stronger each day.

"I'm not an invalid. I'm just pregnant." She swatted his hands off and moved back to her desk. "Besides, Hinata and Naruto are probably having the same marriage talk that we had, she needed the time off to get over the intrusive questions." Sakura smiled to herself. "She'll have probably passed out when they asked about her last hormone cycle." Poor woman. As soon as news broke she was officially dating Naruto, the elders began their plots and meetings with a new vigour. "Besides, we have our meeting with them in an hour." She turned a fingers towards his direction, her eyes finding him with a hand in his hair. "No, not again." she chastised with a heavy sigh.

"We should skip."

"We've made excuses for the last two." she reminded him, her foot tapping on the floor judgementally. It wasn't like they'd be asking him about his vaginal mucus in these meetings. "We should tell them."

"Not yet." Kakashi approached, taking the bag of lesson plans and homework from her.

"You don't think the giant belly is a bit of a give-away?" she asked incredulously, a laugh trickling out of her.

"These are bigger too." His eyes went to her breasts.

"Don't think they'll be distracting enough for all of the councillors." She rolled her eyes and looped her arm with him to guide him out of the classroom, lessons finished and all children handed off to their parents. "Besides, Tsunade knows." she continued with a shrug.

"Tsunade hates them too much to give them good news." Kakashi correctly advised.

"They'll be a point where they won't believe that I'm just getting fatter you know." Sakura fondly smiled at his lies.

"He's getting stronger." Kakashi spoke as they left the academy together, both raising a hand in parting to Iruka as he stood at the gates speaking to parents.

"Hm?" Sakura prompted, guiding him down the main street, her usual destination in mind.

"Stronger heartbeat every day." It was something Kakashi and his ninken had taken to monitoring constantly. Like they could hear every growth the baby made if they listened hard enough.

"Or she." Sakura corrected softly, the sedate pace taking them through the markets.

"Hm, or she." he accepted.

They passed the fruit stall, sharing a look as the vendor called to his wife to remember to buy more batteries.

They strolled through the park as Gai and Rock Lee were in identical headstands enthusing about the growth of the flowers that had been re-planted months ago by his hands.

Shizune rushed past them with a smile, balancing medical files in her hands as she raced to the Hokage tower.

Sakura would bet any money they covered the entire medical history of Hinata for review of the council.

Ino's voice carried from the street over where she was arguing over proper hostage protocol with 'dickless'.

It was the usual street life of Konoha when there was peace.

It was peaceful, in its own way.

"I finished the nursery this morning." Kakashi began, no doubt feeling happy to have moved into the clan housing and away from the noise of the village.

"Hm." She turned to him, a smile on her face, bright and happy.

"Told Bull to stop following you around the house." he updated her again.

"Hm."

"There's a rocking chair." he finished, his voice taking a darker edge.

She smiled to herself, knowingly.

Kakashi had made several suggestions that a sex swing would take the pressure off her back as she furthered her pregnancy. Sakura had shot him down multiple times and he was currently looking for a work around that was 'guest acceptable'.

"And exactly what do you have planned for this rocking chair?" she replied in hushed tones, aware of the swarm of chunin racing each other to the ramen stand, some of which she had taught.

"Hm." He tilted his head but had no requirement to think. "I was thinking we might start with some light cuddling, I could read a certain novel aloud." Sakura felt the blush on her cheeks, there was no doubt who the father of her child was, who else would have a foetus that would relax to the story of Icha Icha?! "Perhaps massage the sore areas of your body." It wasn't the back ache he was referring to, it was the way she claimed she got an ache across the muscles of her chest as her breasts grew. "Then I was thinking I could have you call me Sensei again as you sit in my lap and beg for me to fuck you."

"Oh Sensei, you really should learn to behave." she offered mockingly, a laugh trickling out. She stilled her feet as they reached their destination; the cenotaph. "Thank you." She pushed onto her tiptoes and pressed a kiss to his lips. "I'm sure the nursery will look fantastic. You'll have to show me when we finish telling the elders about the pregnancy an-"

"Just one more week." he pleaded with a sigh. He wanted her all to himself, he didn't want to share her with the overbearing councillors who would want to micromanage the unborn child, to do chakra scans from the mention of the conception.

He just wanted her in his arms, without their pressure.

"We're telling them today." she finished. "And then perhaps you can show me the nursery, and how the rocking chair works… Sensei." she winked at him and stepped out of his embrace, slipping out from his hand.

He let her go, watching from a distance as she approached the cenotaph.

As she did when she was in the village with time to spare.

She looked strong, healthy, stubbornly confident.

She took measured steps and stopped before the memories of the deceased with a shy smile on her lips.

He watched as she touched a hand to the names she carried with her.

The ones that didn't come back with her. That she couldn't save.

The sadness hadn't gone. The insecurity still remained. The fear and weakness crept in from time to time.

The bad days still came, but the memories were more peaceful as the months passed, and the frequency of the pain became lesser.

She was strong enough to stand before her demons and greet them politely.

Strong enough to stand beside his side and accept all of his love and quirks.

Strong enough to carry his heir.

If someone had told him the pink haired student he'd been given from the Academy would turn into a deadly kunoichi, he would have told them to visit Ibiki to have their head checked.

If someone had said the teenager with the infatuation to the bad boy was going to be head over heels for him, agreeing to be the mother to as many children as he wanted, he would have laughed himself home.

If someone had told him the pre-occupied weakling in his team would avenge the death of 13 ANBU agents, courageously prepared to lay down her own life to do so, to crack apart from survivor's guilt only to pick herself back up, rebuild herself into a beautiful woman able to stand strong and proud… he would have refused to speak to them ever again for suggesting such nonsense.

But there's always a lesson, even for a teacher.