Title: Sneaking Around Konoha
Author: enchanted nightingale
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or Naruto, nor the characters from them and I do not make any money from the writing of this story.
Summary: Loneliness was not for him, Harry knew that. Then he met Kakashi and he found a solution to his problem.
Pair: Harry Potter/ Kakashi Hatake
Chapter 27 – Career Choices
Kakashi was smirking at the sight bared before his eyes. Harry was on his stomach, lying just beside the water. It was not often that he got Harry to come to the hot springs Konoha had, the green eyed man was a bit self conscious when it came to strangers seeing him naked, seeing his scars too. So Kakashi had arranged a little something with the owners and had them reserve a bit of privacy. Because of that Kakashi was also able to touch his lover to his heart's content, small, innocent touches that were supposed to just massage sore muscles and help the green eyed man relax. Yet the silver haired Jōnin could not help but be aroused by the sight of Harry's naked back and the shapely figure of the raven haired man. So his hands wandered and Harry let him, enjoying Kakashi's ministrations a tad too much, the way they caressed sore muscles of his back, the way they teased Harry's sensitive spots, even if that teasing was tickling the green eyed wizard. It was a carefree time and the pair loved it as lately they had been busy and high strung with responsibilities.
It had been a while since the last time they had enough time for each other, enough time to relax without Naruto walking in on them for the first time (the blond Hokage had been mortified when he caught Kakashi all over Harry while the two men were hidden behind the house). Sasuke and Sakura had a bet going on about whether Naruto would do as they did and also walk in on them. They had finally been seen by the entire Team 7 and Teddy from Team 5.
"Now if only the Aburame and the Yamanaka brats walk in I'll have two out of two teams," Kakashi had muttered half amused half exasperated but his green eyed lover had been mortified, even more than Naruto had been. Harry had been angry that Kakashi had taken it all in stride and had not let the silver haired man touch him for over a week, until the Jōnin had done the sensible thing and buttered him up with a dinner out and a night full of amazing sex. Harry's anger never stood a chance.
Kakashi's ears perked as his lover let out a pleased sound. He had stopped tickling the wizard for a while now, focusing on just making the raven haired man relax and he had managed it quite spectacularly, turning Harry into a puddle of relaxed muscles and sinfully good sounds that tested his patience.
"Hm? Kakashi? What is it?"
"As personal favour to me, please stop making those sounds," the Jōnin asked. "I don't think the owner would like if I jumped you. I have self control, I truly do, but I'm suffering here!"
Harry blinked sleepily before his green eyes went wide. "It wasn't on purpose!"
Kakashi smirked. "Believe me, if it was on purpose, the whole establishment would be able to hear you scream in pleasure. Though those moans are pretty good."
"Then you best stop massaging me," Harry said.
"Or," the silver haired man suggested. "We could move this to our very comfortable, sound proof bedroom and you can be as loud and provocative as you wish. I'll appreciate it dearly," the shinobi said with a wolfish smirk.
Harry needed no further prompting.
Another kunai embedded itself against a tree trunk with a sharp sound. The two sparring shinobi ignored it in favour of dodging each other's attacks. The sound of chirping birds alerted Sarutobi Asuma that the silver haired Jōnin he was up against was using his famed Chidori aimed at him. Asuma dodged with aloud curse, using his wind techniques but not his chakra fist blades to counter attack.
"Damn it Kakashi! It's supposed to be a spar! Are you trying to kill me!" Asuma yelled.
It had to be said that the last male Hatake could do an impressive imitation of innocence when he wanted to. It was annoying, the wind user decided.
"You dodged, so it can't be that bad," Kakashi pointed out, making Asuma curse loudly.
They were panting by now since they had gone all out. It was supposed to be a spar using Taijutsu only but somehow they started involving weapons and ninJutsu as well and the entire clearing was totalled.
"No more," Asuma declared. "I'm done!"
Kakashi straightened. "If you're sure…"
"I am," the wind user insisted and relaxed his body, his hands immediately reaching for his cigarettes.
"Ho, Kurenai still stringing you by the bal…"
A kunai flew and the silver haired Jōnin dodged it easily and sent a cheeky grin that not even his face mask could hide at the Sandaime's son.
"Watch it," Asuma warned Kakashi. "It's not funny. I never get to smoke with the runts around and she's just entered the last month and my Kurenai is…"
"A demon in disguise? Because Harry has told me how bossy she has gotten. And how she cries over the littlest things."
"Hormones," the Sarutobi muttered. "Hate them."
Kakashi shrugged. He did not have to worry about such things, even though his green eyed lover had somehow gotten to be the godfather of Kurenai's second brat and the silver haired Jōnin suspected that the genjutsu mistress would rope his lover into becoming the godfather of her third brat as well.
"Troublesome," Asuma muttered.
"Still quoting Shikamaru?" Kakashi commented, earning himself a dirty look.
"I can get back at you. Gai is back from his mission and ready to face his rival in yet another challenge."
The silver haired Jōnin shuddered. "You're evil," he accused, sounding deeply betrayed.
Asuma grinned. He was about to elaborate on his plan further but as he opened his mouth Yamanaka Ino came running. She sounded out of breath.
"There you are!" she yelled at her former Jōnin instructor. "You got to go to the hospital!" she berated Asuma.
"What for?" the smoking man asked.
Ino pinned him with a stern look. "Put the cancer stick out! Kurenai has gone into labour!" she announced and with a swirl of leaves both Asuma and Kakashi were gone, leaving her alone in the clearing to roll her eyes at them.
Asuma had never reached the hospital so fast. When he and Kakashi arrived there, they were greeted by Harry at the reception.
"There you are," the green eyed man smiled. "Ino must have found you then. Shizune accompanied Kurenai to the delivery room. No complications," he added seeing how worried Asuma looked. "Just the baby being too anxious to stay cooped up in Kurenai for another month."
The Sarutobi sagged against the doorframe. "I was worried," he admitted.
"I can tell. Go, take a walk, by her flowers or better yet jewellery and then come back, alright?" Harry dictated.
Asuma nodded and made to leave but hesitated.
"Go," Kakashi told him. "Me and Harry can stay here and keep an eye on things."
"I also need to go to the Academy and get Isamu and pick up my daughter too," Asuma groaned. Little Kiyomi was at a friend's place playing as she was too young for the Academy as she was just four years old. Both kids would want to know that their sibling had arrived.
"Go then," Harry told the man. "We'll wait for you here."
With a sigh, Asuma left.
Eight hours later, Sarutobi Saitoh was born, the second son to Asuma and Kurenai and third kid in general, greeted by his parents and siblings and his very own godfather, Hatake Kakashi.
Harry watched as Uchiha Sasuke observed the three Sarutobi children running around the green eyed man's yard. Well, the two biggest were running around while Saitoh, the youngest, was nestled in Harry's arms, sleeping away undisturbed. There had been some complications that had led Kurenai back to the hospital for a few days and Asuma had been called briefly away on a mission. Neither parent had wanted the Sarutobi clan to look after the children. Konohamaru, their cousin had also not been an option as the young Jōnin was away on Suna with his genin team, delivering important mail. So Harry had offered and Kakashi had made himself scarce whenever Saitoh was grumpy, though the silver haired Jōnin had no problem helping Isamu throw his kunai or make Kiyomi learn how to hold one properly. Harry did not mind though. Sasuke had arrived wanting to go through with their usual sparring schedule but upon seeing the kids he had admitted that they would be forgoing that session. Yet he had not left immediately, choosing to just linger and watch.
"A penny for your thoughts?" Harry asked after the dark haired shinobi was silent for long.
"I'm the last one."
Harry realized immediately that Sasuke was talking about being the last of his clan. He had heard from Kakashi and Teddy and Kurenai on separate occasions enough information to know about how the Uchiha clan was wiped out, barring two members, the two sons of Uchiha Figaku. But missing Nin had no status so Sasuke was in fact the last Uchiha.
"The Council wants more Uchiha shinobi."
"Because of the Sharingan," Harry said and Sasuke shrugged.
"It's not that great a tool, I know that now," the raven haired shinobi said. "But I need to get heirs. It's part of the agreement I made when I was allowed back in Konoha."
"Forgive me if I'm wrong, but aren't you…"
"Gay? I am. They don't care about that."
Harry went silent for a bit.
"I spoke with Naruto and he tried to change their minds. If I do back out they can make my life difficult," Sasuke said after a while. "They actually went and presented me with future brides."
The wizard winced. "You are getting married then?"
Sasuke snorted. "Of course not! I turned down every single one of them."
"Shinomori Kiyo," the Sharingan wielder said.
"Who is she?"
"She agreed to bare the child and then become the nanny. She comes from a lesser known family that the Uchiha's traded with. She's deaf," Sasuke added. "Her parents knew she would not find a husband and gave up on her. She knows I don't want to sleep with her and she's fine with it, preferring her artwork to men. But she wants a child so…"
Harry was silent as he pondered over Sasuke's situation.
"Tsunade has agreed to do the process that will get Kiyo pregnant," the Uchiha said.
The wizard sighed. Really, what Sasuke was describing was a lot like what the pureblood wizards did back in his old world where bloodlines were thought scandalous to end just because those entrusted with their continuity did not wish to have kids with the other sex. In some things Konoha was scarily similar to Magical UK, Harry realized. He also saw that the Uchiha was rather anxious, not about his choice, that had obviously been decided, a done deal. But he just seemed to want to hear what the green eyed man thought about the whole thing. Harry had not balked when killing and torturing were involved but the Uchiha feared this would be one aspect of shinobi life and politics the civilian would not like, or at least that was what the wizard thought Sasuke might believe. It was amusing that just because he was still with Kakashi, all the Jōnin's students gave him the proper respect they aught to give their Instructor, perhaps even more so for some strange reason.
"When?" was all Harry asked, no judgment showing on his face or his tone of voice. That made Sasuke visibly relax.
Sasuke shrugged. "Soon."
"Good luck," the wizard said.
They went back to watching the two Sarutobi kids play.
The herb shop was quiet. It was the usual lull of the midday hours when most customers were at home eating and the sun was high and too hot for people to walk the streets. It was also a perfectly good opportunity for Kakashi to corner his green eyed lover for a while because he would be leaving for a week or so for a mission. Naruto was quite gleeful when he gave the silver haired Jōnin this one; it was about protecting a drunk merchant all the way to Fire Country's capital. Harry had been amused by how despondent Kakashi had sounded.
"You are being a baby about this," Harry said with a smile. "Naruto likes you."
"Yes, but he likes to get even," the silver haired shinobi pointed out. "He no longer pranks the village; he just torments poor unsuspecting Jōnin."
"You made fun of his hair," the wizard half stated, half accused.
Kakashi grinned. "I'm not admitting that."
Harry shook his head and the silver haired man just attacked his neck and continued from when he left off that morning. The green eyed man sighed when Kakashi did that thing that just made the wizard week in the knees. Harry moaned and leaned against the wall he was trapped against. Kakashi had planned ahead, having them hide in one of the alcoves of the store while he tried to get some time alone with his lover. Once again it was not meant to be though. The Jōnin had his hands on Harry's chest, inwardly wishing the green eyed man was topless when a surprised squeak made the kissing pair stop and turn around.
Etsuko was standing there with a crate of vials in her hands and her face redder than a tomato. Behind her, Hirohito came to a halt and his Hyuga eyes fell on the pair. Then he gave a tired sigh and eyed the box still held in Etsuko's hands. Harry moved before the stunned girl could drop the box, he swept it up and turned to Kakashi.
"Don't you have a mission to be going to?" the wizard pointedly asked.
Kakashi groaned and with a last look at the still blushing Etsuko and a nod at the Hyuga, he disappeared with a swirl of leaves.
"I'm not sweeping those leaves up," Hirohito declared.
Harry groaned and poked at Etsuko who was still shocked still. "Perhaps I should have let Kakashi buy her that Icha Icha Paradise book." He then turned to Hirohito. "I'll have Etsuko sweep them," he told the Hyuga. "As soon as she gets her act together."
"And perhaps keep Hatake away from the shop for a while," Hirohito added.
Harry considered the girl working for him and hung his head. "Yes, I can see that."
Sasuke's home never really felt like a home, especially since he moved back to the Uchiha compound. Kiyo, the girl he had chosen to bare his heir or heirs had moved in with him and she had answered the door when the Hokage came calling on the last male Uchiha. Naruto around the girl was all sunshine and smiles, but when she turned her back, he usually gave her a sad look. The blue eyed shinobi had blown up spectacularly when Sasuke had originally informed him that he would be continuing his clan and what way he was going about that. It was one of the many things the duo disagreed but not enough to make it an issue, not yet. Naruto had gotten a stern talking to by Sakura, who had advised the blond to wait how Sasuke acted with the kid and then act.
"I bet Sasuke will surprise us all," the pink haired kunoichi had told the Hokage and Naruto had taken a step back on the whole thing.
Currently he was visiting the Uchiha compound not to talk about the ways the Sharingan wielder was going about reviving his clan.
"You look a mess," Sasuke commented. "When was the last time you slept properly?
Naruto shook his head and accepted the tea Kiyo had made both for him and Sasuke. She also seemed to sense that the two shinobi had matters to discuss because she bowed out pretty fast, leaving the two former team-mates to their privacy.
"Are you going to tell me the reason you look like you've been training non-stop for a month, with no rest and no food."
"Really? That bad?"
Naruto sighed. "Well… Shikamaru is working on it but I really need to speak to someone…"
"Say no more," Sasuke said and activated the built in seals all rooms at the compound had, getting them added privacy just in case. "You can speak freely now."
"Hey! I got the same thingy in my office!"
The Uchiha nodded. "I bet you do."
"There's a mole."
Sasuke stood straight. "What?"
"Lately, I've noticed things. Missions end up under classified. Last week an A ranked was given to chunin. They came back a mess. An S ranked was missing information and we lost one Jōnin and two are critical. And now…"
Naruto looked at him with steel eyes. "I created shadow clones and assigned them to read every single mission, from D ranked to SS ranked. Someone was been messing up the files, forging signatures and making a mess. Personally, I think it's the Elders."
Sasuke swallowed. "Naruto… That's treason."
"I know and I will deal with it. Most shinobi have been recalled, even those in long term missions. Scratch that, especially those in long term missions."
"Like Lupin Teddy," Sasuke mused. He knew since he sparred with the teen's godfather that the brat was out of Konoha currently.
"Like him," Naruto agreed. "I fear he is dead. There's no way to find out whether he's alive or dead as he will only report when he's back."
"How dangerous is the mission?"
Naruto shrugged, not answering and Sasuke did not press for further details. He was a shinobi and he knew that some things you just did not share with anyone.
"When is he supposed to return?"
The blond Hokage sighed. "He's expected in a week," he admitted to his old team-mate.
"Then you'll learn what happened in a week," Sasuke said logically. "If things are like you suspect and someone has been misclassifying missions on purpose then I'm certain you will weasel him or them out and heads will roll."
Naruto nodded grimly. Nobody messed with his shinobi.
"And Naruto, if you need any help…"
"I'll ask, believe me, I'll ask," Naruto assured the Uchiha. "I don't want any of my shinobi to be in danger and I'm not going to be an idiot about this."
"Good. Now, are you staying for lunch with us?" Sasuke asked. "Kiyo is a nice girl, and she'll be a great mother. And she wants this Naruto, no one is forcing her."
The Hokage really seemed to consider this before he shook his head regrettably. "There's a mountain of paperwork with my name on it."
Sasuke smirked. "Well, it was your childhood dream…"
"Ugh! Don't remind me! I keep it a secret from Konohamaru. I need that sucker to succeed me," Naruto stated, making Sasuke smirk. "Later! And rain check on the meal? I'll stop by another time. And thank Kiyo for the tea from me."
"I just want you happy."
"I know, Naruto. Don't worry about me."
Naruto nodded and left as Sasuke dispelled the seals around the room.
Dinners at Harry's house whenever he got back from missions were like a family tradition for Teddy and Kakashi. As this was Teddy's night back from whatever place he had been sent to, he arrived at his godfather's place around seven and was greeted by Harry, who just grabbed him into a tight hug before releasing him and ushering the younger wizard inside the house.
"Welcome back," the green eyed wizard said.
"Good to be back. And something smells amazing."
Harry grinned. "Kakashi's making dinner. "Barbecued ribs are on the menu tonight. And you get a second helping, a third even." He critically eyed his godson. "You lost weight."
Teddy sighed. "So you noticed?"
His godfather's concerned stare lingered. "You look really thinner," he stressed.
"I gained it on muscles, so don't worry. I'm fine," the young Metamorphmagus insisted. "It was a tough one, this mission but I'm fine. I did not even get hurt. Not a scratch, I promise."
"If you're certain…"
"Harry…" Teddy warned.
"Then that's that," the older wizard accepted. "Now come sit, let Kakashi slave away for us. We can talk, catch up. Quite a few things changed while you were away."
"Tell me about your two helpers? You mentioned that you were looking for help and I heard from Kenji that you found some," Teddy said as they made their way further inside the house and sat comfortably.
"Etsuko and Hirohito?" Harry asked and his godson nodded. "Well, they're a lot of help you know. I'll be getting help for the greenhouses too. Two Yamanaka's actually and a Nara, from the civilian parts of these families, which means no shinobi training whatsoever. They were the most helpful. They're also the ones that came that had a vast knowledge of herbs and plants, medicinal and non medicinal."
Teddy grinned. "I'm glad you're still having fun with this job. You know, whenever I speak to Neville… He still has trouble seeing you as a Herbologist or a potions provider. You have to admit it is funny."
Harry shared his godson's grin. "It is," he replied. "Now, anything you can share about your mission?"
Teddy shook his head but then paused. "Just that I really, really hate canary yellow," he finally said, making Harry shake his head at the randomness of that statement.
"Teddy, welcome back," Kakashi said as soon as he saw the sixteen year old ANBU operative. His eyes searched Teddy for any obvious signs of harm. When he could not find any his one visible eye relaxed. "Well, seeing as you're in one piece can I hazard the guess that you're hungry too?"
"Starving," Teddy informed the silver haired man.
Kakashi smiled. "Start on the pies Harry made, and Teddy? There are several." He motioned to the food still roasting in front of him. "All this should be ready in a while."
Teddy nodded and turned to accept the plate Harry had made for him. After the first bite he sighed. He really had missed his godfather's cooking, Kakashi's as well. Generally, he had missed being home, being in Konoha, the very air he breathed held the scent of Fire Country. Teddy truly loved being back. He caught Kakashi's knowing stare from across the table. The Jōnin had sharp senses quite similar to the amber eyed wizard's (Teddy had learned that while training with the Jōnin) and he had also felt that feeling, the one where the shinobi was glad the mission was finally over and they were allowed to relax and gain strength surrounded by friends and allies, not fearing a blade would stab them in the back.
"So, have you heard that Kurenai had a second son?" Harry asked. He was not oblivious to the small tension that ran through the room, tension that had previously weighed heavily on his godson's shoulders. The green eyed, raven haired man was more than eager for light-hearted conversation.
Teddy shook his head at the question and thus his godfather decided to clue him in as to what happened with the kunoichi's newest bundle of joy.
The clues were there if one knew how to spot them, how to properly study them. Teddy was acting odd, Kakashi realized. Like something had changed that only he knew about. He looked more confident now but also more wary. As he knew that Teddy had not been hurt, Kakashi feared it was something else entirely. He watched and observed silently and finally, when he could no longer keep quiet, he decided to confront the teen. The silver haired Jōnin did not do that in front of Harry. He had asked around and he knew that the mission Teddy had gone had changed from 'A' rank to 'S' while the teen was deep under cover, taking the place of a married shinobi from Grass. Teddy had to become the man, become a husband and a father and a teacher and his team-mates who had been posing as merchants had been unable to help or provide back up properly. Teddy had been in way over his head on that mission and Kakashi could guess the mental strain had been great for the teen. But it was also a sign as to how strong the teen had gotten, it was what he had been practicing for all these years and even though the Copy nin would have wished for Teddy to be sheltered for a bit longer, he was proud the amber eyed wizard had pulled it off, making the mission a success and impressing his ANBU colleagues at the same time.
Instead, after he and Teddy had finished sparring he asked the kid out for a meal.
"Really?" the Metamorphmagus asked.
Kakashi nodded. "I spoke to Harry, told him I would take you out for a meal. He was fine with it as he's rather busy. So, are you up for it?"
Teddy swallowed the water he had been drinking and then he nodded. "Sure, but first I need a shower."
"We both do," Kakashi stated. "Shall we meet in half an hour?"
The younger shinobi nodded. "Sure. Where?"
"Yakiniku Q? Or maybe that new place near Anko's usual haunt? They serve fish mostly."
"Fish sounds great," Teddy said.
"I'll come by your apartment, half an hour."
"Don't be late."
And Kakashi was not late, as promised. He arrived on time and the duo walked to the restaurant and ordered. It was while they waited for the meal to arrive Kakashi found the opportunity to broach the subject he wanted to speak to Teddy about.
"You've changed," he told the younger shinobi.
Teddy started, his amber eyes not hiding his surprise at Kakashi's choice of words.
"What do you mean?"
"You don't have to pretend around me or around your godfather. Something's different about you. Harry won't ask but I don't even need to, I think I know," the silver haired shinobi said.
The young wizard froze. "Kakashi…"
"I can listen without judging. Because trust me Teddy, I've done everything as a Shinobi, there's nothing you have done that I have not, nothing I would condemn you or judge you for."
Teddy worried his lower lips and stayed silent. The food came, their waitress left and Teddy did not move. Kakashi did not touch his food either, waiting for some kind of response from the younger male. Finally, Teddy picked up his chopsticks and played with the food a bit. Then he stopped that and, refusing to meet Kakashi's eyes, started speaking.
"Do you know what kind of mission I was on?" the wizard asked.
"I still have a bone white mask, Teddy," the Jōnin said, admitting to still being an ANBU but nothing more.
"It was a seduction mission as well as an information gathering one," Teddy muttered reluctantly.
Kakashi nodded. He had suspected as much. "You had to sleep with someone?"
"The wife of the guy I was impersonating," Teddy admitted in a very low voice.
The silver haired Jōnin pushed his plate away. "We'll take the food to go and go to your place," he told the teen.
Twenty minutes later they were in Teddy's apartment, the food still untouched. The amber eyed wizard had told Kakashi as much of the mission parameters as he could and Kakashi listened, not judging.
"I had to sleep in his room, wear his clothes…" Teddy shivered. "Sleeping with his wife was not the hardest thing, though it was uncomfortable and odd. It's the kids… he had kids and they wanted to cuddle with their dad, wanted a look or a hug from him and I had to pretend and I hated every minute of it. I had to lie every second of the day and it made me feel rotten."
"Was she your first?" Kakashi asked rather bluntly.
Teddy coloured and that was all the answer the older shinobi had needed.
"Did you know that you would need to sleep with her?"
Teddy shook his head. "None of my team-mates knew that either. The information was not in the file and when we captured the target the rest of the team interrogated him for details before I took his place. It was a shock. Most of them wanted to abort the mission as it had so many unknown factors but I told them I would do it, complete the mission." He flexed his hands. "I was not ready after all. I nearly blew the whole thing apart. I never had seduction training, ever and…"
Kakashi moved, sitting next to Teddy and pulling him in a one armed hug. "But you pulled through," he said. "You completed the mission, pulled through for your team and made Konoha proud. I just wish you did not have to lose so much, no mission is worth it."
Teddy leaned closer to Kakashi. "You're proud?"
"Well, I'm not the person to judge anyone, remember? I killed when I was six or seven."
"When did you first… you know."
"Have sex?" Kakashi asked.
Teddy flushed and nodded. "You don't need to answer."
"I think I do," the Jōnin replied. "Thirteen, a bit younger than you. And it was during a mission. I slept with someone for information. It was how I realized I was not cut out for the Seduction Corps. There's no shame to admitting that. I know now I was too young then but we had war and no one cared what happened as long as we won by losing as little soldiers as possible."
"That…" Teddy trailed off.
"Is one of the ugly sides of shinobi life. Not the worst and not one many realize is not very easy. I have heard other guys and women my age wave it off but sex for information or part of a mission is not as easy as it sounds. Some have no trouble doing it. After I got enough clout I could refuse missions that required it and I took advantage of that fact. It helped that while Minato was the Yondaime refused to allow me to take such missions; I was too young back then. The Sandaime had no such problems but that was way after the Kyuubi incident and I was about sixteen that time and in a dark place and I hardly cared."
Teddy stared. "I had no idea. Does Harry know?"
"About those things for me?" Kakashi shook his head. "He might suspect. It's not something you discuss, not even with your lover."
"Yet you told me."
"You needed to hear the truth. You are not alone, not the first and not the last shinobi that had to do these things. You should not feel guilty or dirty."
"But I practically rap…"
"No!" Kakashi cut Teddy off. "Don't go down that way. Technicalities can drive you insane, Teddy. Do not ever go that way. It might be pretentious of me or idiotic, whatever you want to call it call it, but you are not a rapist. It was a mission."
Teddy nodded. "I just feel rotten. Like such a fake… I kept thinking that it could have been me in the place of those children…"
"Oh, Teddy," Kakashi hugged him tighter and the younger male buried his face in the Jōnin's neck, taking in the older shinobi's familiar scent.
"Ibiki wants me to talk to Yamanaka Renjirou."
"My therapist is Yamanaka Hiromi and before her a Nara but she retired after her first kid."
Kakashi gave a wan smile. "You cannot be a high ranked shinobi and not go to a therapist. I've had four, the first one was Yamanaka Inoichi as a matter of fact, but when I was a genin and a chunin, I only saw him after high level missions, certainly not after my first kill. Minato helped me through that. After Inoichi there was another male Yamanaka who died during the Kyuubi attack. Mostly the Yamanaka clan, because they are mind walkers, deal with matters of mental stability. They can certainly tell a lie and that helps a lot. It'll get better Teddy and unfortunately, it will get easier as well."
"But what about when I have a family myself?" Teddy asked. "Never mind the fact that I don't know whether or not…" he deflated a bit, "I don't know whether I like boys or girls yet."
The Jōnin blinked. "Well, I can relate to that, I really can. And I know for a fact of several shinobi that have families and kids and yet they work in the Seduction Corps."
"Do their wives and husbands and children know?"
"The kids never know, not unless they later join the same division. Some tell their spouses or lovers, but not unless they are fellow shinobi, civilians rarely understand the sacrifices we make. In fact, civilians rarely dare to sleep with killers and tend to stay away from shinobi over Chunin rank in general. Now, let's just stop talking about this and get some food in you."
Teddy nodded reluctantly. "But do you think I'm making a big deal out of it?"
"No, you're not making a big deal out of it. Not at all."
"So, I should just get over it."
"No!" Kakashi stressed. "You should talk to your councillor and me whenever you wish, never treat it as if it does not matter. Shinobi are weapons for their village, that is the general mentality. But a bright kid I once taught said he would make a new way of being a shinobi."
"Sound like something Naruto would say."
"He did say this, when he was a runt, a new Genin on his first mission out of Konoha. And now he's our Hokage and he will protect the interests of the people he commands, because to him we are more than blades that think."
Teddy nodded. "Kakashi… Thank you."
"Don't mention it."
Konoha's Hospital was a place Harry had not thought he would have visited so often, certainly he never expected that when he first moved to Konoha. But he had been a regular visitor when Tsunade had retired and took up the running of the hospital, coaching Shizune and Sakura to take over when she was unable or in the event she died. Harry for a while now was the main herb provider of the facility. He made potions and creams and salves for the hospitals in both Konoha and Suna and his remedies were readily available to shinobi and sometimes civilians as well. The more magical mixtures were made solely by Harry but the simpler ones that did not need magic to brew, those the green eyed wizard had assigned to his two helpers, Etsuko and Hirohito. His business had expanded quite a lot and he was considering hiring more staff but Harry held back briefly and the reason was the talk he was having with the Slug Sanin. They were in one of the gardens of the hospital and not the stuffy rooms and offices. Here Tsunade would enjoy her sake away from Shizune's indignant eyes and it provided enough privacy for the talk to take place.
"Have you given it any thought?" the former Godaime Hokage asked. "We could really need your skills. Some of your salves work better than chakra healing. We are short staffed on medic Nin."
"But you have started a program to train more," Harry pointed out. Sakura had mentioned as much and Kurenai as well. Absently Harry realized that he was probably the only civilian in Konoha so deeply involved in shinobi affairs.
"It will be years before any of the brats have a perfect enough chakra control and intimate understanding of the healing arts. The medic Nins that are on active duty teams are always targeted first in battles and ambushes. They have even higher mortality rates than ANBU does," Tsunade stated. "Konoha is understaffed. If I can have even a rookie medic slather the ointments you make and have the more experienced ones treating serious cases then the workload will be lighter and more lives can be saved."
Harry sighed and stared up above at the sky. "You know, this is not the quiet life I envisioned."
"Will you stop complaining? You sound almost as bad as Nara. I'm not telling you to coach any brats into sword fighting, though Naruto has considered it, as I considered it."
"Relax," the blond kunoichi told the wizard. "We know you don't want to fight and we respect that. But healing? You are already an herbalist."
"I deal mostly with teas and soothing solutions."
"For the civilians. You have to admit that the ointments you give us are top quality. And I hear from Sakura that you have experimented with soldier pills."
Harry sighed. He really should learn to keep his mouth shut but he had been excited. Hirohito had mentioned soldier pills and what they tasted like, how they were made and just how he and the Hyuga in a rare mood to experiment had decided to try out one of the recipes the former shinobi knew. Then the wizard had decided to mix and match ingredients and somehow he made small soldier pills, the size of a small pill, in vivid orange colour. His test subjects had been Kenji, Akihiko and Sasuke. When none of them had gotten sick and all three had remarked how better this tasted, especially compared to the ones Haruno Sakura could make, Harry had gone to the pink haired kunoichi. Now it seemed she had told her mentor.
"Okay, fine, I have some skills in healing and certain energy products," the green eyed wizard admitted.
"More than some skills but who am I to stop you from being too demure," Tsunade said. "I just want you to join in my medical program, teach a few classes about making soldier pills and salves, better yet, make your shop a branch of Konoha's hospital and teach brats you want, not necessarily medic nins. I already have Nara clan members eager to learn from you. They deal with making medicine and they can provide whatever herbs you have shortage of. They own vast lands and keep herds of stags and deer."
The wizard knew, he had a Nara working at his greenhouses.
"I cannot ally my store with Konoha's hospital and keep selling to Suna, can I?"
"Sure you can," Tsunade stated. "They are our allies and the red haired brat that rules them is chummy with our blond brat."
"Can I think about it?"
The Sanin sighed. "I'd rather a quick answer but fine. You got a day."
"A week tops," Tsunade said.
"A week will be fine," Harry agreed. "You'll have your answer by then."
"Good, now scram. I want to enjoy this," she jiggled the sake bottle she had smuggled; "before Shizune notices I'm gone."
Harry grinned just as a loud, familiar female voice had Tsunade cursing.
"Too late about that," the wizard smirked and the former Godaime cursed. Harry left with a spring in his step although inwardly his mind was pondering about the offer Tsunade had made him.
End of chapter.