Chapter 51

Haruno household

Kakashi vaguely noted that the Harunos belonged to the upper part of the middle class, their house was well sized and the furniture was made out of quality wood, Sakura's father must be earning quite well. Haruno Hanako-san on the other hand was clearly a civilian housewife that had little to no contact to the ninja population of Konoha and just as clearly didn't want to. Furthermore Kakashi only needed a glance to come to the conclusion that she was the kind of woman that had her own views of how the world should be and would press them onto others given half a chance.
But that didn't mean that she was necessarily a bad mother, the silver haired Jounin would just have to wait and see what really was going on.

Kakashi was led into the living room where Haruno Koichi-san quickly stood up at the sight of the unexpected guest. The Haruno patriarch was tall, taller than the average civilian in Konoha and relatively well muscled, from what the Sharingan user could remember from Sakura's file he was a merchant that concentrated on high end products and antiquities. He had a shock of red hair that had strands of purple and dark pink in it which accentuated his clear defined jar and brought out his dark blue eyes. Haruno Koichi-san was definitely a good looking man especially for his age; his mien and eyes though were cold and a bit distant. So this was Sakura's father?

Kakashi rapidly recalculated his thoughts about Sakura's home life. His student had to deal with a cold, distant father and an overbearing mother with her own views about what should be and what not. Just great. That unfortunately explained quite a bit about her behavior.

"Haruno-san, please excuse my intrusion but I have some questions concerning Sakura." Kakashi stated calmly while watching the reactions of Sakura's parents like a hawk.

Hanako-san puckered her lips in a disapproving manner at Sakura while Koichi-san stood somewhat straighter and there was a short glimmer of something in his eyes that Kakashi couldn't quite identify.

"Is there a problem? Has Sakura behaved improperly?" Hanako-san asked disapproving while Koichi kept quiet.

"Certainly not, your daughter is on the best way to become an exceptional kunoichi." Kakashi quickly sat the woman in front of him straight.

Out of the corner of his eyes he could see that Sakura was smiling shyly while her parents' reaction was interesting, Hanako-san didn't look very happy about this but her father's shoulders relaxed and he sent a quick glance at his daughter. Hhm, maybe Haruno Koichi-san wasn't as cold as Kakashi had thought.

Kakashi then said why he had felt that a visit to his student's parents was necessary, "To be honest I'm concerned about Sakura's food intake. She is borderline underweight for a kunoichi and it inhibits her training."

"I'm sure you are overreacting Hatake-san, Sakura already eats more than myself." Hanako said with a tight smile.

"I'm afraid I'm not, this is a very serious situation. A Genin should eat at least two to three times the amount of an adult civilian. Haruno-san you are starving your daughter if you try to decrease her food intake."

"Now Hatake-san. I'm sure I know what is best for my daughter,…" the blonde woman tried to patronize the Jounin-sensei in front of her.

"Clearly you don't." Kakashi interrupted the woman across from him.

"NOW see here, for Sakura to find herself a wealthy husband she has to be thin, THIN! I won't let you interfere with her chances to marry well! Not everyone has the luck of an arranged marriage like I had after all." the blonde woman in front of him screeched.

Kakashi was close to releasing a burst of killer intent at Sakura's mother, not only did that fucking hurt his ears but that bint was also trying to force her daughter into a life that she clearly didn't want to. And damn it that was HIS student she was talking about. He didn't have Sakura for long, not even a month yet but she had so much life in her, so much hidden potential and he wouldn't let that woman that called herself her mother ruin that.

"Does Sakura look fat to you? I hope you are aware that if you continue to deny your daughter the right amount of food I will remove Sakura from this house? As you should be aware for a kunoichi a diet could mean death and I won't let you compromise my student like this." Kakashi stated in a relaxed and calm voice.

He wouldn't give that woman even the satisfaction to see how much she infuriated him. When the silver haired Jounin had stopped speaking he noticed how Koichi looked slightly worried at Sakura who was looking at her mother horrified.

"It is time for Sakura to stop her little game and become a civilian anyway; this has gone on long enough and before she can marry she has to lose these horrible muscles. Which man wants a butch looking woman anyway? Koichi say something." the … woman continued to whine.

Wow, Kakashi thought, he was genuinely speechless for a moment; he hadn't thought that Haruno Hanako could drop even lower in his opinion.

"Hanako, shut up." Koichi-san finally spoke while his eyes were still on his daughter who had become smaller and smaller with each word of his wife, "What do you mean with 'as you should know', Hatake-san?" the Haruno continued in Kakashi's direction.

"During the first Academy year you and your wife were invited to a parent-teacher conference." answered the silver haired Jounin-sensei calmly.

Koichi-san nodded thoughtfully before saying, "Yes, I remember, my wife went alone because I was in Fuku Gai at that time."

"During that evening everything a civilian parent should know about the changes in a ninja trainee's life was explained to them. They even handed out dietary plans for the Academy students." Kakashi said now somewhat coldly.

Koichi-san's questioning glance landed on his wife who now looked a bit cowed but still stubborn.

"So what if they handed out a few sheets, that was four years ago." Hanako-san said dismissively.

"And you couldn't remember that our daughter needs more food to not starve?" Koichi-san now asked coldly.

"I just want what's best for her." Hanako now whined.

"Apparently you have no idea what the best is for our daughter. She clearly doesn't want to marry or stop being a ninja,... You will stop interfering with her carrier right this instant Hanako, I mean it! Or there will be consequences!" the last part was said slightly normally than the rest of the sentence.

The blonde woman looked frustrated at her husband before she threw her hands in the air and stomped out of the room. Sakura's mother was acting like a petulant child, Kakashi was once more glad that he happened to be married to a sensible woman.

"My apologizes for that scene, Hatake-san. Rest assured Sakura will not be starved, I will make sure of it." The red head said calmly.

"Very well Haruno-san." Kakashi agreed easily while his stiff shoulders relaxed into his default slouch.

Suddenly Haruno Koichi-san's cool behavior made a lot more sense to the Hatake patriarch. He clearly was trapped in an arranged marriage to a woman that had not one ounce of common sense. With a wife like this he too would try to be away as often as possible. The level of self restraint that man had was probably comparable to that of a ninja monk grandmaster. It was really a miracle that Sakura hadn't turned out even worse. Looking down at his pink haired student he sent her a reassuring smile to signal that everything was going to be fine.

Sakura smiled back somewhat wobbly, her mother's reaction had unsettled her quite a bit, she honestly did NOT want to marry someone right now or even in the near future. Yes she had dreamed about marrying Sasuke-kun but that had always been far away in her mind after a long romance.

To reassure the blatantly hurt and frightened girl Kakashi casually ruffled her hair on his way out of the house. He was still not completely happy with Sakura's home situation but he knew that it could be worse than having a crazy mother. Furthermore the silver haired Jounin had promised that as long as Sakura didn't want to leave her parents he wouldn't pressure her into anything. At least at the moment the situation seemed under control. The silver haired Jounin would just have to find a lot of female role models for Sakura to emulate, inwardly he sighed that was going to be a chore.

Kami-sama safe him from stupid civilian women!

T&I Division

Anko looked stunned at her superior while she tried to understand what just had happened, they were putting on a command team? Her? That was,… she had no words for what she was feeling right now.

"Don't look like this Anko, Inoichi-sempai and I have been trying to get you a promotion for years and now nobody can say anything anymore. You earned it." Ibiki said calmly before he handed her the file that contained her new duties, "Take a look at the interrogation report. A word of warning, don't schedule anything else for the day if you read it now, it's a mind fuck."

Anko looked curious first at Ibiki and then at the deceptive ten page summary that gave an overview over the learned knowledge. With a decisive snap she closed the file, put it under her arm before she gave the scarred Morino a sloppy salute and a cheeky smile and walked back to her office. Inside said room she activated her privacy seals, plugged in her private water cooker and brewed herself some Mariko's tea before she took some bites from the Bento Shiori had sent to her through Kakashi.

Having calmed her nerves somewhat she took a deep breath, opened the report and began to read.

Mariko's tea house

Shiori stretched her arms behind her back and futilely tried to relax her aching back muscles and stiff shoulders. She had worked her way through the giant stack of paperwork that had accumulated during the days she had been away from tea house as well as put together a rudimental game plan for the upcoming Chunin exams. She really would need to look for an assistant soon or she would have no time left at all.

Standing up and taking the dirty plates and cup with her Shiori wandered in the production kitchen of Mariko's, where ten of her cooks concentrated only on producing the desserts that were sold in Mariko's and through other especially chosen restaurants. She gave the kitchen help that looked up when she heard her entering a small smile before Shiori wandered over to the industrial dishwasher and put her dishes into it. With a content sigh she then watched as cakes and pies were produced and cut up in portions before they were packaged and set aside for the transport.

XXXXX

Around dinner time Shiori quickly had some dishes made by one of the kitchens before she walked to the crèche to pick up Hinako and return to her home. The first thing after putting down the takeout in kitchen had been a quick look into the guest room to check on Genma. There she found the senbon wielder awake and he cheerfully waved at her when she opened the door.

"Are you hungry? I brought takeout from Mariko's." the black haired civilian said while she looked at her friend.

"Not desperately but I could eat." Genma answered her before he painfully moved out of the bed.

Shiori bit her lip before she came closer and carefully helped him sit on the edge of the bed.

"Do you need your bandages changed?" she asked with warm blue eyes.

"I really don't want to trouble you,..." Genma began before he sighed at the stubborn look her received and gave in, "Okay, help would be appreciated."

With a nod and a few gentle moves Shiori helped the senbon wielder out of his bandages and started to reapply the cream on the cuts, they looked really painful. When only a few gashes were left Hinako came toddling through the door, Zeke hot on her heels. Shiori's little daughter stopped and looked confused at Genma before coming closer and looking curious at the white bandages and red stripes all over his body.

"Genma-ji,… are you hurt." Hina-chan asked unsure.

"Yes sweetheart and your mummy is helping me get better." Genma confirmed while he smiled down at the silver haired toddler.

"Oh,… I want to help too." Hinako said determinedly before she patted Genma's non injured shin.

"Of course you can help Hina-chan. Do you see that white role on the lower shelves of the side table over there, that's a bandage, please bring it to me." Shiori said amused.

The black haired woman took care to speak slowly and additionally pointed at said item to help her daughter to comprehend. She knew that if someone was specific enough and let her daughter time to comprehend what they were saying; Hinako had no problem with doing tasks that even children twice her age had problems with.

Said silver haired toddler nodded enthusiastically after a short moment before doing what she was told. Both the injured shinobi and her mother watched with amused smiles while Hinako first grabbed and then handed over the bandage.

"Thank you sweetheart." The brown haired thirty year old chuckled while he petted her head.