A/N : Just another one shot. In the process of being snowed in, so trying to get some stuff posted. Something that got stuck in my head while studying for my Geo test (don't ask how it got there) and wouldn't leave me alone until I typed it out. Written - as is my usual style - in one sitting.

Disclaimer: Not mine.

Play Date

Hatake Sakumo growled in frustration at the genius of his son.

For a three year old, Kakashi was incredibly intelligent. He could talk better than some adults. He could read and write. He could do theoretical algebra, for crying out loud. And how was he displaying his boundless intelligence now?

By coloring on the walls with crayon.

It does bear a strikingly close resemblence to the Hokage Monument… he mused, stroking his chin. Then he realized that his son was coloring on his white walls with green crayon… and that the paint wasn't latex based. Aw crap. He wondered if crayon was any easier to get off than singing left by a fire jutsu..

He had a strange feeling that it wasn't.

This was awful.

He was a ninja, damnit.

He had faced down the worst imaginable. He laughed in the face of danger, sneered at it. He dared death daily to take him, but yet he was still hale and hearty, mostly unscarred.

And his very being quaked at the evil that was a three-year-old. A bored three-year-old.

He thought his heart was palpitating.

He had to do something. There were only so many walls in his house, and Kakashi was far too clever for his own good.

Briefly, he considered submitting a babysitting mission to the Mission Desk. He doubted anyone would take a B-rank babysitting mission seriously, though, and he couldn't afford to classify it as an A-rank. He also couldn't afford to pay for the damage penalties if he classified it as a D- or a C-rank. And no genin deserved to suffer through a bored Kakashi.

Sakumo could see it in his mind's eye. A notice at the Mission Desk, a warning to ninja with babysitting missions. Safeguard all your kunai. Lock all your shuriken away. And don't forget to hide your explosive tags and scrolls.

Oh Kami. Explosive tags.

Sakumo had a moment of sheer panic until he realized with a start that all of his tags were safely in his leg holster.

Then the source of his terror toddled through the door.

Strange how a toddler wearing a Pikachu t-shirt could be such a ninja prodigy. Or was it more strange that a ninja prodigy was wearing an atrociously loud t-shirt with an evil creature on it?

Sakumo's head ached.

It took him a few more moments to realize that Kakashi, his silver hair an unruly tangle, was tugging on his pant leg, his hand uncomfortably close to aforementioned holster. He moved his leg to a strategically safer position.

The toddler peered up at him, eyes crinkled in their corners with irritation.

"I'm bored," he announced after pulling his thumb out of his mouth. It was red and slimy from an extended period of sucking, and he smeared his saliva across his father's leg.

Sakumo was convinced it was part of his son's plot to drive him insane.

"And what would you like me to do about it?" the elder Hatake queried, trying to keep the sarcasm out of his voice. His son was three, damnit. Not an idiot chuunin. A toddler.

"You tell me." His son, apparently, had missed the memo.

He grit his teeth, forcing out a smile instead. "Is your Uncle Jiraiya around?"

Kakashi scrunched his nose. "Said he was prop… um, proposizing-"


The toddler nodded, his face lighting up. "That word. Some girls he was proposizing. With his book." The face now darkened dangerously. "He said there were pictures in his book, but he won't let me see." He pouted dangerously.

Sakumo's eyes widened in horror. Uncle Jiraiya had best not let Kakashi get his sticky fingers on any of his books, if Uncle Jiraiya wished to continue being an uncle, and not suddenly wake up as an aunt. He could only guess what the pictures were of.

"And you have nothing else to do?"

The pout was the only answer he needed.

The tired father wracked his brain. Was there anything he had that would occupy little Kakashi long enough, and completely enough, that the village (and his house) wouldn't be in danger?

A plan formed.

A crazy plan.

A semi half-cocked, hair-brained plan.

A plan that just could work.

Kakashi sat on the floor, his legs crossed. Sakumo sat opposite him, a scroll spread on the ground between them.

Patiently, Sakumo explained to his son that he needed to write his name on the scroll in blood. Part of him worried that his son would argue, thereby blowing his plan out of the water.

He was pleasantly surprised when his son, with the practicality of a typical toddler, picked a scab on his knee and smeared his finger around in the now-weeping cut. In blocky, but relatively straight letters, he wrote his name. Sakumo scooped the scroll up and rolled it tightly, then tucked it behind him.

Even more patiently, he took his son's hands in his own, carefully showing the stubby (and sticky) fingers the proper varied hand-signs. After helping several times, then letting his son try own his own a few more before he was satisfied, he nodded his head in satisfaction.

"Ready?" he asked, surreptitiously checking to make sure there was nothing breakable in range.

His son ignored him, and did the hand-signs again, this time putting chakra into the mix. After the last sign, he put his hand on the floor, just like he had been shown, and squealed in pleasure as a poof of blue-gray smoke filled the kitchen.

"Good job, Kashi," his father encouraged over his son's cries of "I did it, Daddy."

The smoke cleared, and Kakashi squealed again, even louder.

A tiny puppy, a pug, sat in the center of the kitchen, wagging his tail.

Sakumo sighed in relief as Kakashi seized the puppy and ran out, giggling happily. His sanity, and the village, was safe for another day.