A/N: Hi everybody. Welcome to the final finale. This is it. I've just got a couple more things to finish up here and the "Friends" series will be officially complete. It's been a wonderful ride with all of you - seriously. I'm still very moved by the fact that this series has been embraced by such a large group of passionate readers. You all make me feel warm and fuzzy inside. With that said, let's do this. Enjoy!
After Anko and Kakashi got into their apartment, Anko made it as far as the couch, then slumped over on it. "Ugh, tired."
Kakashi said, "Time for your vitamin." He walked to the sink, and brought her back a glass of water to take her vitamin with.
She popped a vitamin in her mouth and swallowed it with the water, making a horrible face, "Gah! Those things taste like shit!"
"And you've got to take one every day."
"Ewww. I'm going to complain loudly every time I have to take one."
"Fine with me. I'll get used to it. Soooo, shall I go see if Kurenai and Asshola are available?"
"Yeah. Go ahead and get them. Bring them back here. I promise I won't move from this spot."
Kakashi practically jogged to the door in his enthusiasm.
"Don't you tell them anything until you get back here! Promise me!"
"Ok, ok! I promise not to tell them anything until I get them back here." Kakashi paused a moment and looked at his now pregnant wife. "Who would have thought that not that long ago, you and I were just friends."
Anko smiled and said, "Then we were 'friends with benefits.'"
"And now we're everything the other needed. That is something else."
"It's perfect. Now get the hell out of here. I want to get this over with so I can take a nap. We've both got to work in the morning."
"Yeah. You're right. I'll be right back."
"Ok. Kakashi?" He paused at the door and looked back at her. "I love you." She smiled warmly, yet wickedly at him. It warmed him inside and out.
"I love you Anko." Then Kakashi turned and went out the door, closing it behind him.
After he'd left, Anko sat and thought about how far she'd come in such a short period of time. She thought about how much her life had changed. She was once the 'crazy proctor lady' who was pretty much a loner with a terrible past. Yet, from everything she was, she evolved into a caring, passionate woman, who was valuable to her village, as well as to the man and the friends who loved her. And on top of all that, she was starting a family with the only man she'd ever loved. Holy fuck that's a lot to take in she thought. As she sat there, she found that she was ok with all of it.
She also thought about how everything that was bad in her life was now gone. Her past could stay in the past. Her former sensei was officially and completely gone. He could never come back, no matter how hard he tried to. I owe Itachi so much. She moved a bit and felt the pain in her shoulder - and smiled. The pain reminded her that any hold that Orochimaru had had on her at one time, was completely gone. She was finally free of him.
She had her whole life ahead of her now with the man she loves with the fierceness of a lioness. She could have a 'normal' life free from worry that Orochimaru would try and 'get her' or anyone she ever loved. She was free to raise a child now, free from that same worry. She felt an inner calm that she had never known before as she sat there in the quiet of the apartment she and Kakashi shared. She smiled to herself realizing that she'd gotten everything she ever wanted and then some.
Her attention was drawn to the door as she heard a key being put into the lock. Her heart picked up a few beats and she thought oh shit, they're here. What do I say? How do I tell them? Should I just punch Kurenai in the mouth and go from there? I don't know how to do this! The door opened and an almost breathless Kakashi, Asuma and Kurenai rushed in.
Asuma said, "What the hell Kakashi? Did we have to run all the way here?"
Kurenai said, "Hey Anko. Kakashi said you had the tests done at the hospital and we had to get over here right away. What did the tests say?"
Quietly, Kakashi walked over and sat next to his wife. She looked at him for reassurance – he took her hand in his. She smiled at him, then said, "You are such a fucking know-it-all Kurenai. I swear to God, any time you think something's wrong with a person, I'm gonna believe you're right about it."
Kurenai looked at her funny and said, "What the hell are you talking about?"
She leaned forward a little and said, "You were right on the money with that pregnant thing."
Kurenai looked at Anko, trying to understand what she'd just said. "I was right on with the pregnant, oh. Oh ho ho. Ho ho ha, ha hA HA HAAAA HAAAA!" Kurenai's laughter rang out as she realized what her best friend was telling her.
Realization stole over Asumas face, and he said, "No shit? Really?" Anko nodded at him. He pounded over to Kakashi and stuck his hand out, "Congratulations man!" he shook Kakashi's hand, then wretched him off the couch and gave him a manly hug, complete with plenty of back slapping.
"Ow! Asshola, it still hurts when you do that!"
"I'm really happy for you man. That is just amazing. A little shinobi. Simply amazing."
Kurenai was still laughing. Anko threw a pillow at her in annoyance, "Will you shut up already? Jeez! Try and tell someone something private about you and they laugh their heads off. What's with you?"
Kurenai looked at her, tears running down her face. Then she walked over to her best friend and sat on the other side of her. Then Anko saw that the tears running down Kurenai's face were still running, even though she'd stopped laughing. She reached over and hugged Anko tightly, and whispered, "I'm thrilled for you." Both lady shinobi hugged tightly like sisters sharing good news. When they separated, both ladies were wiping their eyes.
The four friends then sat around talking about the upcoming addition to their little foursome. Lots of questions were asked, and Anko broke out the information that Tsunade had given her. They passed around the leaflets and booklets and tried to familiarize themselves with the process that Anko was about to go through. Everyone pledged their support to her, and promised that if she needed anything before, during or after the baby was born; they'd be ready and waiting to jump in.
Anko started getting pretty tired, and Kakashi noticed. He said, "Well guys, I hate to break up this little soirée, but my wife here looks a bit tired. We've got work in the morning, so I think it's gonna be an early night."
Anko said, "Yeah, I need to hit the sack. But before you two go, you have to swear you won't breathe a word of this to anyone. SERIOUSLY! NOT ANYONE! We will tell people when it's the proper time to tell them."
Kurenai said, "I promise not to say anything to anyone. Does anyone else know?"
"Then your secret's safe with me until you tell it. Then I'm telling the rest of the world."
Anko said, "Fair enough. You too Asuma. Not a word."
Asuma held up his hand and said, "Shinobi's honor."
Kurenai came forward then and hugged Anko once again. She said, "I'll see you tomorrow. We're both working too. Get some rest. Seriously. I'm so thrilled for you both." She then hugged Kakashi, but not quite as tightly.
Asuma shook Kakashi's hand again and then gave Anko a slight hug. "This is really fantastic you guys. See you in the morning." Everyone waved bye to each other, and Kakashi walked them to the door.
As Kurenai and Asuma left Anko and Kakashi's apartment and the door shut behind them, Asuma said, "I can't believe it. I still can't believe it. That's really great for them."
Kurenai agreed, "I know! And to think I was right when I said she probably was pregnant."
Asuma got a little quiet then. Kurenai asked him, "What's the matter?" as they walked down the stairs and out of the apartment.
"You want the truth?"
Asuma said, "I have to admit I'm a bit jealous."
"Of Anko, Kakashi, the baby, what part?"
Asuma said, "All of it. I want what they have."
Kurenai turned to him and said, "I do too. But this is their time. Let's let them have it. Besides," she said as she easily slipped her hand into his, "we have a lot of adventures awaiting us with work, and missions, and bedroom activities."
"Hey now. Maybe I should borrow some of Kakashi's Icha Icha books."
"Only if you want."
Asuma said, "Naw. Not my style. I don't need porn. I'll stick with you. You're all I need."
Kurenai smiled at him then stood on her tiptoes and kissed him.
The two shinobi linked hands and Asuma said, "I wonder if they've considered any names for the baby yet."
Kurenai said, "I'm sure we'll find out soon enough."
Asuma and Kurenai walked hand in hand back to her apartment, both smiling quietly because of the happy time that they had shared with their friends.
A/N: THE END.
Thank you all for being the kind wonderful readers you have been. I have made so many great friends because of this series, and I am so grateful for each and every one of you. Thank you all again, and keep an eye on my profile for updates on the spin-off and the 'informational one-shots' that I'll throw out there on occasion to report Anko and Kakashi's progress toward parenthood.
Finally, if you've been a silent reader, tell me who you are! I'd love to hear from all of you who read quietly in the background. If you don't want to review, feel free to send me a PM. With that said, there's only one thing left to say - SEE YOU SOON!