A/N: So! Welcome back! I know you're wondering what's going to happen next. Is Anko going to respond postively, or kill him? No hints, you'll just have to see for yourself. And by the way, this ending is the OPPOSITE of the original ending I'd planned for this fic. I hope you like it. Time for the finale. Enjoy!
Anko woke in her bed and sat up immediately. Her head was a little foggy and for some reason, she didn't remember going to bed. She did remember trying to cut up her gown, but there it was safely hanging in her bedroom. It was still dark out, and she tried to remember what had happened. She remembered Kakashi. He was home! But as she looked around – she remembered what he'd said. More like what he'd asked her. But he wasn't anywhere to be seen. So she flopped back in bed, a terrible tugging at her heart and said out loud, "Must have been a dream."
Kakashi peeked his head around the door to her room and said, "You had a dream? Hope it wasn't like one of my bad ones." He left the doorway and she sat straight up again. She stared at the door and thought, Am I seeing things? Was that just Kakashi or am I still dreaming? She pinched herself on the arm and let out a soft "ouch." Then she shook her head and rubbed her eyes. No, he can't be here – it's got to be my subconscious playing tricks on me. Yeah, that's it. That's got to be it. He's not back yet, it's just me wanting him to be back – that's all. Yeah. But then she heard movement in her bathroom.
She kicked into ninja mode instinctively and snuck to her bathroom – the door was open, and she saw shadows moving. The shadow she saw had a body shape and hair close to the size and shape of Kakashi's, but not quite. She heard something swishing water in her sink. Someone is SHAVING in my sink? What the fuck is going on here? As her anger began to return to her, she decided to take down whoever it was who DARED use her bathroom without her permission.
Anko got low and without looking up, she scurried into the bathroom, and wrapped her arms around some legs she found, that were only partially covered in a towel. She lurched to the left, turning the person to the left and bringing them to the floor face down.
Kakashi brought his hands up to break his fall, when Anko grabbed him and threw him to the floor. He tried to look back at her – her face turned to the side, not looking at him. He said, "I was hoping for a little better reception than that."
Anko's head snapped up as soon as she heard his voice. She stared at the side of his face as he tried to turn and look at her. She thought it's him! Oh my God, oh my God, he's here! He's really back! She said, "So it wasn't a dream."
She started to get off Kakashi as he said, "What? Me being here? Nope, this is no dream. I'm here and," he stood as soon as he could, "I'm waiting for a proper greeting."
Anko stood with her mouth open as he opened his arms to her. She flew forward to him forgetting all her anger, forgetting how long she waited, forgetting how lonely she was when he was gone. It all left her as he folded her in his arms. She put her face sideways against his neck and deeply inhaled his scent.
Kakashi squeezed Anko and convinced himself that this was the best moment of his life. He said, "You haven't said much – you ok?"
She looked at him and said, "You've been gone so long, I thought you were just a dream." She touched his face, reassuring herself that he was real and he was there with her. He was back home with her where he belonged. But then she realized something. She thought since he really is here, that means that he asked me to, he actually asked me, oooohhh God.
He looked down at her and smiled, a few shaving nicks on his face. He said, "So,"
She knew what he was about to say, so she changed the subject and said, "So, are you fixed now? Are you all better, and good as new?"
Kakashi smiled and said, "Yep – all better. I heard you've been pretty mad and moody lately."
"Where'd you hear that? Did Pakkun say something?"
"No Genma did on my way back in tonight."
Anko looked away and said, "That fuck."
"Yeah, that's what I said."
She stepped back from him so he could finish shaving and said, "You seem different. Calmer. Almost happy."
Kakashi dragged the razor over his chin and down his neck. He said, "I guess I am. I feel a hell of a lot better now than I did when I left."
"So what happened to you out there?"
He wiped his face off and said, "There's a lot to tell. But first I should run back to my place and get some clean clothes."
"Why didn't you go there first?"
He turned and said, "Everything I care about is here. My plant and you. The things at my place are just necessities; I don't care much about them – except maybe the couch."
Anko thought hard about what he said. Everything he cares about is here – his plant and me. I wonder if he might like to move his couch over here after all. Then she blurted out before she could stop herself, "Wanna move in here? With me? I just thought it'd be easier, since I'm here and your plant seems to like it here, and your couch would look much better than mine does." Her previous nervousness about "permanence" and "commitment" flew right out the window. She'd accidentally mentioned moving in before, but this time, she meant it.
Kakashi grinned and said, "Stay right here." He went to her front door in nothing but a towel.
She shouted at him, "Where the hell are you going? You don't have any clothes on!"
"I know. I'm going to get some."
"But shouldn't you put on something first?"
"Nothing's clean. I'll be back. Who's gonna see me? It's so late, nobody'll be up. I'll be right back."
Anko watched him fish in his discarded clothes for his key, then he grabbed the side of his towel and ran out her door. He seriously had nothing on – no underwear, no socks, NO MASK! Oh my God, what the hell did he do on his sabbatical???
About two minutes later, she heard him back at the door. She opened it and almost cried when she saw him. He was wearing some casual pants – and socks, and a t shirt, but still no mask, and under each arm, was a cushion from his couch. He said, "Here take these. Be right back." She took his cushions and put them aside in total shock. A minute later, he came back carrying the other one, and the two smaller decorative pillows that came with the couch.
She said, "Does this mean?"
He nodded and said, "I'll make Naruto and Asuma help me move the couch tomorrow, and my clothes and whatever else I need." He closed the door and walked to her and said, "You can have me if you want me, for as long as you want me, or until I drive you nuts."
Anko hugged him and wanted to cry. This was all so sudden! But she loved every second of it. They spent all their time together anyway, so this was just the next logical thing for them to do.
Kakashi separated them and said, "I have so much to tell you, but the one big thing I learned while I was out there is that life is way to short to worry it all away. You can't enjoy any of it if you're drowning in worry." He took her hand and led her to her bedroom. He sat her on her bed and said, "You know, I'm still waiting for an answer." He looked right at her, right into her. His look almost made her want to look away, but she didn't.
She took his hand, scared to death. She said, "I love you very much. I was so alone without you."
"I'm so sorry I left how I did, but I had to."
"I know. I accept that, but."
Anko sighed and said, "But, I have a few conditions."
"Ok. Here goes. I don't care who knows about us living together. In fact, I think it'll be quite fun when Genma finds out – remind me to tell you about THAT whole thing."
"Do I have to kill him?"
"You may want to, but I'll ask you not to."
"Ok. Your conditions please?"
"Yes. I want this to stay a secret for a very long time, until I'm ready to do the other thing."
"The other thing?"
"The other thing. The marriage thing."
"Let me get this straight then. You want what to stay secret for a long time? I thought you were ok with people knowing about us living together?"
"I AM! You know! The OTHER, other thing. The question you asked. The answer you're waiting for."
Kakashi got it. "Ooooooh. Now I get it. So are you saying yes?"
Anko looked at their hands, blushed and said, "Maybe a little."
He looked at her blushing face and felt the excitement building inside him again. He said, "A little yes?"
Anko just nodded, and continued to blush, looking at their hands.
"Ok, so you don't want anyone to know that we're engaged until you're ready to do the next part. Am I getting this right?"
Anko nodded, still blushing. ENGAGED! She wanted to scream. She wanted to run, she wanted to hide, and she wanted to run through a field of butterflies on a sunny day spinning like a happy little girl. She just got engaged to the man she loved because of something he'd said, "Life's too short to worry it all away." And she believed it too.
So they sat on her bed and went over the rules of engagement again. First, it was ok for people to know they were moving in together, second, it was NOT ok for anyone to know they were engaged until Anko was ready for "the other thing." Kakashi was a very happy man. He'd put his demons to rest and done everything that he had to do for himself. Anko was almost giddy. In one short period of time, Kakashi had come home, proposed to her and moved in, and she loved it and him completely. She only hoped he didn't want to share her underwear drawer with her because she seriously had no room to share.
They sat on her bed and talked until well after the sun came up, reveling in their new status. They both felt so comfortable telling each other everything that happened while they were apart. Kakashi told Anko the entire story about how when he left that he'd done all his tributes and everything completely mask-less which Anko that was completely crazy of him to do, but since it was his choice, she let it go. He detailed to her, all the tributes, and where he did them, where he stayed and what he saw, and how he felt when each tribute was concluded. He even told her how he finally "got it," when he'd had the final nightmare he knew he'd ever have of her being killed. Anko couldn't be more happy with the progress he'd made, and just the fact that he'd come back to her.
Anko then told him about how much she missed him, and how she found out about how long he "might" be gone. She told him how she "got all up in" Tsunade's face, which Kakashi thought was pretty ballsy of her – he was so proud. She also told him about the whole Genma situation, and Kakashi decided that he was just going to have to kill him. Anko convinced him not to, but instead, they decided to make sure he would be the first to know that they were moving in together. She even said that when they decided to announce their "engagement" some day in the future, FAR from then, that they'd make sure he was one of the first to know.
When neither of them could keep their eyes open, they both fell back on Anko's bed, which was from that point on known as "their" bed. They wrapped around each other, not caring that it was past the time for Anko to be at work. When Kakashi reminded her that she was going to be late, she said, "What was it you said? Life's too short to worry it all away? Besides, Tsunade doesn't want to see me – she gave me the day off, but I was going to go in and make everybody miserable. I'll stay home instead. She'll be glad I did."
"I'll be glad you did. We need to sleep, and later, we need to go see Tsunade and let her know we've both got control of ourselves again."
"And one other thing." He snuggled into her as close as he could get.
"I need to give you back your Fridays and the black scarf."
Anko giggled and started to drift off to sleep. She'd never had a better day ever. And now that the man she loved was a permanent part of her future, she foresaw many more good days to come.
Kakashi slept soundly wrapped around the woman he loved. So much had changed in his life, and she was a big part of the reason why it did change. He'd gotten past his fears and started on a new road in his life with the woman he loved, and he couldn't have been more pleased.
A/N: YAY! I know you're all crying, or sighing, or laughing, or calling me names right now, but that's all fine. As long as you enjoyed yourself with this fic and got into it even just a little bit, then I'm pleased. Please review - this one took a lot out of me! Again, thank you all for reading, and it's with great pleasure that NOW I can release the name of the next one! The next fic will be called, "Secret," and you can only inagine where I'll go with that one. It won't be as long as this one, but it will pick up where this one leaves off. My profile will note the progress and when I decide to post it. So again, thank you all SO MUCH for everything - your kind words, your PM's, your reviews, and your time. Thank you for reading and as always, I'll see you soon!