When Sakura told Kakashi she was expecting, the silver-haired Jounin almost fainted. Almost.
The battle-hardened shinobi was nothing if not made of sterner stuff, but the idea of becoming a father? It had blind-sided him. Since they had begun their relationship, they had been using protection during their 'endeavors'. But there were those instances when contraception was the last thing on either partners minds. Besides, they had been together for two years now and he wasn't planning on going anywhere.
Who would have thought that a pregnant Sakura would test his stamina or his inventive side? She was insatiable, to the extreme, and would pull him into the oddest places at inopportune times to satiate her hunger.
Who was he to complain?
Chapter 2: The Labor of Love
He was never going to have sex with her again. Ever.
His life partner turned screaming banshee, as she was going through the birthing process of their child, had instilled a fear in him that no S-Class, Bingo Book Missing-nin ever could have.
"I am so going to castrate you for doing this to me, Hatake!" screamed the petite pink-haired Kunoichi in the labor and delivery room. Her screams of pain and her promises to deliver that pain on him tenfold could be heard throughout the third floor of the maternity ward.
Naruto and Sai winced at the noise their teammate was making and watched as their team leader's shoulders slumped even more than usual as he stood in the waiting room. However, his spine straightened and his lazy eye widened in absolute horror at his lover's last words.
He felt the warm comforting hand of his good friend Kurenai on his shoulder and he turned to look at her for something, anything. Her ruby eyes looked at him in concern and then she smiled.
"It's the pain making her say things like that," she told him gently. "When your child is born all of the memories of the pain of delivery will be just that – a memory. It's perfectly normal."
Kakashi let go of the air he had been holding in in the sound of a long-winded sigh.
That had been all he needed to get through the next few hours. He just hoped that Sakura wouldn't deliver on her promise.
Word count: 256
Chapter 3: Introductions
"Kakashi?" the Fourth Hokage called to him in the waiting room. "You can meet your new daughter now."
When Sakura and Kakashi told Lady Tsunade that Sakura was expecting, the first thing to come out of her mouth was, "I'm delivering the brat."
Of course, that meant that Konoha's infamous 'Legendary Sucker' would have to stay sober around the entire month that Sakura was due, but it was a sacrifice that would have to be made and one that she was willing to make. She had even made bets that the child would be a strong son.
Kakashi should have told her to bet on the child being a daughter. With Tsunade's luck... well, you get the picture.
He walked into Sakura's room and made a beeline for his love to make sure she was okay. Deep down he hoped that she forgave him for impregnating her, like it had been his fault entirely and not something they had both participated in.
In her arms lay a little bundle wrapped in pink. Sakura looked so beautiful in that moment with her pink strands flowing around her shoulders like a caress, framing her and the infant in her arms. It was a breathtaking sight.
Sakura looked up when she heard her lover step into the room. "Do you want to hold our daughter?"
He hesitantly nodded his assent, not sure what to do next.
"Come here, ya boob," Sakura chuckled teasingly. It was funny seeing the usually strong shinobi show such weakness. It showed he was more human under all of that hard-as-nails ninja and it made her fall even more in love with the infamous Copy-nin.
Kakashi glared at the nickname but sat on the bed while Sakura motioned for him to hold out his arms in a cradling position. After a few maneuvers of his hands and arms and some gentle prodding and quiet instruction, he finally had the bundle securely in his arms.
When Kakashi first held his daughter and saw her little face he was smitten. Though her head was a little cone-shaped from her trip through the birth canal and a little wrinkled and red, in his eyes she was perfect. From the top of her white-haired head – 'totally a Hatake trait,' he preened internally - to the tips of her tiny little toes.
Then she opened her little eyes and revealed the most unbelievable green eyes he'd ever seen, and he fell in love even more.
Word count: 420
Chapter 4: Diapers and Doggies and Doo-doo, Oh My!
The first time Kakashi had to change their daughter's diaper, Sakura had made sure he got a loaded one.
"Kakashi," came the firm admonition. "You need to help with some of the duties of caring for our daughter. That includes diaper changing."
The silver-haired war-toughened shinobi looked at the lusciously full-figured woman that had only given birth 3 months ago to the little being that happened to be crying in her crib. Sakura had already determined that the baby needed changing and was putting her foot down that he needed to share in the responsibility of caring for her.
It was at that opportune moment that Pakkun arrived in a puff of smoke. "Yo."
"Hey Pakkun," Kakashi greeted, thankful for the distraction. 'Yes! Maybe I can sneak away…'
"Oh no you're not!" Sakura interrupted before Kakashi could get out of his fatherly duty. "You change her diaper before you even think to be going off and doing whatever it is you do when you get together!"
She planted herself in the little room that had been converted to the baby's room and waited until he did the job to her satisfaction.
Kakashi sighed before more could be said and he picked up the screaming bundle of noise. He gently placed her on the changing table next to the dresser and strapped her in so she couldn't roll away. He had watched Sakura change the little girl a number of times and listened to her as she explained the proper way to clean the little girl and then replace the diaper.
He could handle it, he chanted to himself like a mantra.
It was not long after he put down the squalling infant that he noticed the smell. Pakkun noticed it too, sneezing to try to clear the stench from his olfactory senses. When it didn't help he opted to leave.
"Uh, I'll see ya later, Kakashi. I forgot… I have somewhere I have to be." And with a poof of smoke, the pug was gone.
"Chicken," mumbled Kakashi.
He gently removed the adhesive tapes that held the diaper together at the sides and slowly revealed the source of that awful smell.
"Gah!" he cried as he turned away and tried to block the smell with his forearm, feeling his exposed eye water. He was trying so hard not to lose his stomach as his gag reflexes began to work against him. A squeal from the tiny stench factory was heard and it sounded suspiciously like she was laughing at him.
He turned to the little girl and chuckled, "Yeah, yeah, laugh at your old man. He can handle blood, guts and war. But that?" He pointed to the dirty diaper and physically shivered. She squealed again while shaking her arms and legs and gave a look like a smile.
Heart warmed by the love that only a father could feel, he got down to business, cleaning and powdering and diapering the giggling baggage that was his daughter.
Sakura walked up from behind as she watched father and daughter bond.
Her heart swelled with joy.
Word count: 514
Chapter 5: Bath time with a Stranger?
Bath time was daddy time with little Hatake Willow.
Kakashi had taken up the job of bath time wholeheartedly since she was born by picking up all sorts of toys for the tike to play with. Now that she was able to sit up on her own, Kakashi had picked up a tub ring that allowed her to sit on the base of the bathtub without slipping.
Today he had prepared the bath water to the perfect temperature, testing it to be sure it was not too hot before dropping her favorite ducky, a little tug boat and a plastic shuriken (his own personal favorite) into the water. He had the bath soap and her favorite pug-shaped doggy sponge at the ready along with the small cup to rinse off her hair off to the side.
Sakura had Willow ready for her bath, stripped down to her baby skin and wrapped in a small towel and handed her to Kakashi. The little girl kicked her legs like a frog while flapping her arms as she squealed and smiled for her daddy.
"Ready for your bath little one?" the masked man asked, to which the little girl gave him a big toothless grin.
He carried her to the bathroom and removed the towel before gently sitting her into the bath ring. Willow stared at the ring with those intelligent green eyes, analyzing the strange blue object that kept her in one place in the tub.
Kakashi watched his daughter as her little fingers touched the hard plastic stopping at the indentations where pieces fit together and then over textured parts seemingly noting their differences. It was truly amazing to watch as she picked things apart.
And then she was done, flapping her arms and kicking her feet in that same frog-like manner while making noises and raspberries with those rose-colored lips. Her unrestrained flapping, however, splashed Kakashi with a substantial amount of water causing the mask on his face to become heavy and difficult to breathe.
So he removed it.
It got quiet all of the sudden.
Kakashi looked at his daughter and saw that she was staring at him, her green eyes boring into his own with the sharpness of a future Konoha Shinobi trying to figure out if he were friend or foe.
And then she smiled and squealed making the Copy Nin smile in return. It was a sign to continue with their bath now that Willow had deemed him friend.
Word count: 413
Chapter 6: Wall Crawler and So It Begins
Willow was quickly showing the signs of a prodigy and it had not surprised the Kakashi or the Hokage. Lady Tsunade had been absolutely thrilled that the two most intelligent and talented shinobi, next to her of course, of Konoha had procreated. She knew that the offspring of the Hatake and her protégée would be something altogether.
And she was right.
The signs had shown around the little girls' sixth month. Kakashi and Sakura had some time from their usually busy schedules to just get out and have a picnic near the training grounds.
Of course, that meant that their hard-assed team leader made it into a training session, but it was more relaxed due to the infant's close proximity.
Little did they know that Willow had been paying attention to the training sessions that she had been privy to since her birth.
Sai had been left to watch the infant, with standoffish disdain, and sat on the blanket next to the white-haired child. He had been watching the training instead only to turn and see quite the sight.
"Kakashi-sempai!" the pale-faced ex-root member calmly called.
"We're kind of busy, Sai."
"You might want to see this," Sai replied, still seemingly composed. Inside, the boy was strangely impressed at what his eyes were conveying to his brain.
Stopping the sparring session momentarily, Kakashi, Sakura and Naruto walked over to the shaded area from the large tree that they had placed the blanket under. Something was missing.
"Sai," Sakura began with partially gritted teeth. "Where is my daughter?"
The pale-faced male lifted his right arm and pointed towards the tree and up the side of its trunk to reveal the little cherub-faced baby hanging on the side by her hands and knees, looking almost like a small monkey.
"Whoa!" exclaimed Naruto, eyes practically bugging out of his head. "How is she doing that?"
Kakashi removed the Konoha headband that covered his Sharingan so that he could try to determine how his daughter could be doing... that.
"Sakura, it appears our daughter has your chakra control," he explained.
And it was the first of many occasions that they would find Willow crawling up the walls. It would eventually lead up to walking up the walls, and driving her parents... well, up the wall.
Word count: 390
Kakashi and Sakura were concerned about Willow's progress.
Her physical growth had always been quite average, her weight and height well within the norm for a girl her age. She began crawling on time, her teeth came in at regular intervals and she began walking by age one.
By the age of two, the toddler had shown incredible intelligence by the way she was able to already manipulate her chakra and the beginnings of chidori were manifesting as well. It made her parents very proud.
However, she still wasn't talking. And this scared her parents.
"Don't worry about it," Tsunade calmly told the frazzled parents. "She will speak when she is ready."
"But..." Sakura tried to interrupt.
"Her hearing is fine, so we can rule out a developmental issue there. Just give her time. She just might surprise you."
And she did.
With fully formed sentences spoken like an academy graduate.
"Mother? Why is it that you allow Father to read those," Willow points her chubby little finger towards the collection of orange books on the shelf nearby, "when it obviously annoys you?"
Sakura blinked owlishly, then laughed and replied, "Because when I first met your daddy, he was never seen without one of those books. And while mommy doesn't care for them herself, it's one of the many endearing things that attracted me to him."
Willow made a noise that sounded like a huff before mumbling, "Adults make no sense."
Kakashi laughed at his daughter's remark and rubbed his hand over her head mussing her hair just like he used to when Sakura had been his student before he replied, "You have that right, kiddo."
Word count: 276
AN: I actually knew a child that didn't speak until about 2 years old only to speak in almost full and complete sentences. It was hard to forget that he was still 2 and you almost expected the kid to think as old as he spoke.
Sakura had been sent on a week long mission to Suna, a personal request by the Kazekage to train the village's medical corps some of the recently updated techniques that Sakura had developed. Tsunade agreed to send her, leaving Kakashi home with Willow.
Willow was already down for the night after Sakura had already explained to the little pale-haired elf that mommy was going on away for a week. Many hugs and kisses were exchanged before the little girl went to bed. It was hard for Sakura to leave her daughter behind, but duty was what it was.
"Don't worry, Kakashi. A week wont be so bad," Sakura consoled her partner while she was packing for her mission. "There's a weeks worth of food for you and Willow in the freezer and all you have to do is throw in in the oven like I explained before. Just make sure that Willow only gets 4 sticks of Pocky for dessert and no more," she told him emphatically. "If she eats more than it gives her a stomach ache and I don't think you want to have to deal with that."
Her lover nods before grabbing her and pulling Sakura in his arms. "Have I told you lately how much I love you?" he asked while nuzzling her neck and nibbling along her jawline.
"Kakashi!" she squealed, much like their daughter. "I have to go!" she squirmed out of the amorous nin's arms and grabbed her pack before giving him a peck on his mask-covered face.
"I love you too, Kakashi," she told him before disappearing in a swirl of cherry blossoms.
Kakashi went to bed that night and understood how Sakura felt when it was he that went on missions – lonely. He lay in bed waiting for sleep to come missing the warmth from the body that he had taken for granted that she would always be there.
As he lay there pondering his missing half and the sudden loneliness he was feeling, Kakashi felt the light chakra of Willow nearing the door of the bedroom before a slight knocking was heard.
"May I come in, Father?" she quietly asked.
When Willow had begun walking, Sakura and Kakashi had quickly learned that no barrier, seal or crib would keep their daughter from entering their room unannounced. It was early on that they had to teach their daughter about the privacy of her parent's bedroom and that knocking and asking to enter the room for permission was necessary. It would save them a lot of embarrassment and explanations of certain facts of life before she was really ready to hear about it.
"You may come in, Willow."
The door creaked open, said noise helped to warn the sleeping Shinobi if they were ever to be attacked in their own home. The very light padding of little feet could barely be heard as she made her way to the side of the bed where her Father lay.
"I miss mommy," she sniffled.
"I miss her too," her father replied. This week was so not going to be easy. He could already tell the way it was starting now and Sakura had only been gone, what? An hour?
"C-can I sleep with you, daddy?"
Now Kakashi was stuck between a rock and a hard place. One of the things he and Sakura had discussed early on in her pregnancy was allowing the baby to sleep in the bed with them. While it comforted the infant, it also set precedence for the child to continue to crave that comfort and never leaves the parent's bed.
Not going to happen.
And since Willow had been born, she had never slept in the bed with them. However, now that she was seeking comfort now that Sakura was gone on a short mission, Kakashi was hard put not to say 'yes' to the child. Especially when she used 'the eyes' on him.
"Just for tonight," he relented, knowing that it was probably going to be a lie. He needed the comfort just as much as she did.
Willow slid under the blankets laying her head on the pillow that still held her mother's scent and sighed as she closed her eyes. She was out in seconds.
Kakashi watched as his daughter slept, her messy white hair flowing about her in a gentle halo, her blonde eyelashes dusting her pink cheeks. She was such a beautiful child and it continued to surprise the one-time bachelor that she was a creation of him and Sakura. It warmed his heart even more.
He really missed that pink-haired woman so much now that she was away. But he felt that as long as a piece of Sakura was with him, he would be okay.
Word Count: 796
AN: Moving forward, I will only add a chapter per day... provided RL doesn't get in the way. Probably in the morning on the weekends and evenings during the week.
The days passed as father and daughter counted them down together in wait for Sakura. Willow didn't sleep with Kakashi after the first night apparently having derived enough comfort from him to last the rest of the week.
Days were filled with preparing meals, baths and trips to the park. Kakashi would try to change the routine up a bit by making an unannounced trip to see the Hokage, which delighted Tsunade. The woman loved seeing little Willow, not only to see how much the mini Hatake had progressed, but because she was a ray of sunshine and managed to lighten the mood within the walls of the Hokage's office.
Once Kakashi had settled Willow with crayons and paper off to the side, Kakashi broached a subject that had been weighing down on him recently.
"I want to ask Sakura to marry me," he began.
"And you want, what? My permission?" Tsunade responded with a snort. "She's already had your child and didn't ask me if you could impregnate her prior, so why are you asking now?"
Kakashi's shoulders dropped a bit, feeling a bit sheepish for how things had managed to happen out of order. "No, actually that's not what I was going to ask." He fell silent, a testament to how uncomfortable he felt at that moment, but took a deep breath before continuing.
"Do you think she'll have me? Marry me, I mean."
The leader of Fire Country's amber eyes widened at the subtle show of insecurity from such a strong shinobi. Who would have thought the great Copy-nin would have doubts about his relationship with Sakura.
"She obviously loves you if she's put up with you this long," Tsunade began. "She knows all your little ins and outs, your eccentricities and habits; good and bad." Then she slapped him on the back and told him, "You had better make the proposal special and very memorable, or I'm not healing you from any injuries she may inflict on you for being a cheapskate!" she promised laughing.
Kakashi chuckled with her in spite of the insult to his already injured pride. "Thank you, Lady Tsunade," he said with sincerity.
"Just make sure she's happy, Hatake. You're a good friend and valuable shinobi and Sakura is like a daughter to me. Keeping both of you happy will only benefit you and the village."
Kakashi left the Hokage Tower with Willow in tow feeling a little better about things.
Now he had plans to make.
Word count: 415
AN: Yes, he's OOC... sorry, but I just write em as I feel em.
Chapter 10: Where Willow Gets Sick
The first time Willow gets sick on Kakashi's watch is because he doesn't follow Sakura's explicit instructions not to allow their daughter more than 4 sticks of Pocky for dessert. He forgets his daughter's stomach can't handle too much chocolate.
Kakashi is awakened in the middle of the night by his daughter's screaming, followed by a gurgling from her bedroom, and his shinobi reflexes prepare for battle as he grabs a kunai and speeds like a bolt of lightening to save his little girl from certain doom. What he discovers is not what he expected.
Willow is alone, sitting up in her bed covered in last night's supper and crying, her green eyes full of tears and anguish, her hands to her sides as she looks at her daddy, pleading to make it better.
The frantic first-time father doesn't know what to do initially when met with such a sight, but when her eyes beg him to help her something kicks his brain into gear and he suddenly knows what he has to do.
He scans the area for immediate danger, just in case, and finding none places the kunai he picked up in his hurry on top of the tall armoire, making a mental note to make sure to put them away later. Approaching his crying daughter, Kakashi speaks to her soothingly while he quickly removes the quickly cooling soiled blankets from around her.
"Do you feel okay now? Do you feel like you're going to be sick again?" he quietly asks.
Willow shakes her head, the fear in her eyes making Kakashi's heart squeeze. He hates seeing his little girl like this. She reminds him of Sakura so much when she was younger.
"I'm sorry you don't feel well, but just know that it's okay. I don't think any less of you for getting sick all over everything. It's not something you can control," he tries to comfort her. It may not be what she wants to hear, but he's doing his best. "If anything, I should apologize to you for giving you that extra dessert." Willow smiles half-heartedly in response.
"Come on, let's get you cleaned up." With that, he encourages her to walk into the bathroom and draws a warm bath.
After getting Willow cleaned up, changed and a glass of water into her, he gently lays her back in her remade bed after having fallen asleep in his lap during his telling of a story.
'She's exhausted, poor thing. She usually stays awake for all of my stories.'
Kakashi sat on the bed next to Willow and watched her sleep, his single onyx eye drooping in fatigue yet not losing sight of the important being nearby.
'I would do anything to protect her, to never see her hurt or unhappy.'
Word Count: 485
AN: Because I truly believe that all dads have the ability to do what is necessary in times of crisis. Even when moms are the ones who usually handle these kinds of things.
Chapter 11: With This Ring...
The night Sakura returned from her week long mission to Suna, she was welcomed home by a sleepy but amorous Copy Nin.
Willow was already in bed, as was Kakashi who was awakened by the stealthy movements of his mate as she climbed through their bedroom window. Kakashi knew by the gentle chakra signature who it was.
“You’re back,” he muttered drowsily as he tried to rub the sleep from his tired eyes.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t want to wake you but it seems I did,” she quietly replied. By now Sakura had removed her sandals, shin guards and hitai-ate and was working on her clothing next.
“Are you going to come to bed or shower first,” he asked huskily.
Sakura knew that voice. “Now?” she innocently asked and before she knew what hit her Kakashi had her where he wanted her. He made sure that she knew how much he had missed her that night. Thoroughly.
The next few days flew by in a blur for Kakashi as made preparations. He would disappear for hours only to return with no apparent explanation of his whereabouts. Sometimes he would take Willow along on his little excursions, but not Sakura.
Needless to say, Sakura was a bit perturbed.
But the way that he continued to show his affection for her every night with painstaking detail gave her the courage to trust her lover. Besides, he had never given her any reason not to.
But when he told her to keep the evening two days from now open she was stumped.
'Why?' But she continued to trust.
Kakashi was, needless to say, thrilled at how things were coming along in his plans. A good ninja always planned and came up with a back up, just in case something fell through.
He had already told Sakura to keep the date open; Tsunade was in on the event since she would be watching Willow for the night, which thrilled the little girl, no end, and the Hokage had given him permission to proceed with what he had planned.
The boys, Sai and Naruto, had been warned to stay away from the site of their date; the promise of extreme physical pain had been conveyed to them. When they asked what what was going on, he told them after he had their word that they would say nothing to no one. Only those that were involved with the set up were aware of what was going on and had been sworn to secrecy.
They promised to stay away. They knew an angry Kakashi and Sakura could mean the end of Sai and Naruto.
The day of Kakashi and Sakura’s ‘date’ was a busy one for the planner. He awoke early, kissed his love on the forehead before he was dressed and out the door.
All he had told Sakura the night before was to be dressed for a formal date and be ready by dusk. He had also let her know that the Hokage would be picking up Willow for the night and to please pack her an overnight bag.
When Sakura asked why, he just told her to be prepared for the date and left it at that.
And as he walked from the restaurant that would be catering his little date, many feelings and insecurities bombarded him. Needless to say, he was extremely nervous.
But what had made it even more real to the Copy Nin was the little black box he held in his hand. Within its shell contained the Hatake Family ring.
‘I hope she says ‘Yes’,’ he thought to himself as he made his way to Genma’s apartment to change for the night after looking at the position of the sun. ‘It’s almost time.’
Sakura was nervous.
Why should she be nervous? Because she and Kakashi had never in the four years of their relationship had ever gone on a formal date together. This was unusual, to say the least, and while Sakura could say she was thrilled at the prospect of going out with her scarecrow formally it was just uncharacteristic!
Tsunade had dropped by quite early to pick up their little girl. She had told Sakura that she had all sorts of things planned for the evening and not to worry, Willow was in good hands. Sakura told her Shishou that she trusted that she would stay away from her sake stores while watching her daughter. Sakura received a ‘harrumph’ and an ‘of course, how could you think such a thing?’ from the busty blonde before she took Willow in hand along with her overnight bag and left the pink-haired Kunoichi in the doorway.
She now had plenty of time to prepare for her date and no one to interrupt her.
At the appointed time, Kakashi knocked on the front door their home. When she opened the door Kakashi was hit dumbstruck by her beauty.
Smiling brightly, Sakura smugly asked, “Are you going to just stand there or are we going on a date?”
A smooth chuckle resounded through the nervous male as he held out his arm for her to link hers to as they left the house, the door shut behind them.
Each shinobi noted the changes in each other’s appearances. Sakura wore a light green gauzy dress that hung to her small figure beautifully accentuating every curve. The color brought out the dark amber speckles in her jade eyes, and accented the healthy pink in her skin and hair. To Kakashi, she was a vision and he was more than proud to make her his wife.
Sakura was impressed with Kakashi’s appearance. She’d never seen him in anything other than typical Jounin attire consisting of green, green and more green. There was the occasional black that was his mask and maybe an undershirt, but for the most part it was green.
Tonight he wore black and was that charcoal gray? Black dress slacks and dress shoes along with a deep gray almost metallic button down shirt was what he wore. He was wearing a black undershirt with his typical black mask, but he was without his hitai-ate. Instead he wore a black eye patch making him look deadly. And sexy.
‘Gorgeous,’ they both echoed the sentiment in their minds.
They walked the short distance to their destination – the bridge in the center of the village. This was the bridge that Team 7 and Team Kakashi would meet prior to missions on many occasions. This was the bridge where many things had transpired over the years. It was also the bridge where Kakashi and Sakura shared their very first kiss.
But what Sakura saw as they walked up to the bridge made her gasp sharply in surprise.
“Oh, Kakashi,” she breathed out. He smiled.
As the sun began its descent, the paper lanterns that had been strung around the bridge made the area glow. There were more lanterns floating upon the water beneath the bridge and the area appeared to be devoid of any civilian life. Upon the bridge sat a small table with a setting for two.
They walked up to the table; Kakashi pulling out Sakura’s chair in a most gentlemanly manner and allowing her to sit as he gently pushed her chair in. He then sat across from her.
“What do you think?” he asked, the crinkle of his visible eye giving away the obvious smile hiding beneath the mask.
“Kakashi! This is magnificent!” she gushed, blushing. “Really, for someone who’s not into dating you sure know how to pull out all of the stops!”
“You know, no other guy would be able to top this as a date for me,” she told him honestly. “You’re a tough act to follow.”
“Hn. Well, I’m pleased you like it so far,” he told her, his heart clenching a little at the last comments.
Dinner was served by Ino shortly after their arrival, followed by sparkling cider served by Genma. Kakashi had not wanted to pollute the date and the occasion by serving alcohol. He wanted to be honest in his proposal to Sakura and in turn he wanted her to be fully aware of what she was possibly saying yes to.
The only music to be heard was the sound of the crickets and frogs singing their love songs into the night air. The lighting was not only provided by the paper lanterns but by the harvest moon that hung in the sky like a large beacon. It glowed in the sky reflecting in the water below, watching the two lovers as they ate and talked for the next hour.
The dessert dishes had been cleared and their flutes of cider had just been refilled when Kakashi decided it was time.
He stood up and walked to the other side of the table where Sakura was seated. She turned towards him in her seat as he stood before Sakura and then her eyes widened as Kakashi got down on one knee before her. He lowered the mask from his face. He wanted Sakura to see the sincerity in his face.
“Sakura, I have known you a long time,” he began. “I’ve watched you grow from a gangly little pink-haired teen to the beautiful, strong Kunoichi that you are today.” He took her left hand in his.
“You’ve given me so much over the last few years. Love, a home, a family with a beautiful little girl and I feel like I’ve taken advantage of you because I haven't given you anything so wonderful.”
“When you left for Suna for that week long mission, I hadn’t realized how much a part of my life you had become. It made me realize that the next time you go on a mission you may not come back and that frightened me,” he confessed. “I don’t ever want to lose you, whether it’s due to a mission or due to another man. I can’t… I won’t let that happen.”
“I love you so much it hurts, Sakura. I don’t want another day to go by without you in my life and a complete part of it, because without you, I am incomplete.”
He could see the tears in her eyes building and that she was having a difficult time keeping from letting them loose. He pulled out the little black box that had been burning a hole in his pocket and heard her quick gasp. She knew what was coming next.
“Haruno Sakura, will you please do this old man the honor of becoming his wife?”
“YES! Oh my God yes!” Sakura cried and then jumped up and practically pushed Kakashi into the floorboards of the bridge in her excitement. She hugged him and kissed his bare face and then his lips and Kakashi didn’t stop her, rather he encouraged her.
“You don’t know how happy you’ve made me, Sakura,” he told her as they finally came down to earth. Kakashi sat on Sakura’s chair with her on his lap holding her close.
“You have no idea how long I’ve been waiting for you to ask me,” Sakura confessed. “I know that you’d never leave me now that we have Willow, but I never wanted you to feel obligated to staying with us if you weren’t happy.”
“Sakura, I have never felt obligated. I love you both and I plan on being a part of your life as long as the Gods allow,” he told her.
“Now, do you want the ring or not?” he chuckled.
“You got me a ring?” she asked incredulously.
He grabbed it from the table where he had left it after Sakura had attacked him. As he opened the box he spoke.
“This ring has been a part of the Hatake Family for a number of generations,” he told her. Within the box was a thin platinum band with a stone set within platinum circlets. The stone was an almost glowing blue.
“This ring represents the power the Hatake Clan. The power of lightening – the Chidori.”
Sakura could see why. The ring was beautiful and represented the one jutsu that had made Kakashi a deadly opponent.
“I would be honored to wear your family’s ring, Kakashi, and I would be more than happy to be your wife in name as well as in body,” she told him.
He placed the ring upon her finger and very pleased that it fit her.
They had decided upon a simple civil ceremony, overseen by the Hokage in her office and witnessed by their closest friends. It was quiet, with the exception of Naruto, but it was what they had wanted.
Willow hadn’t quite understood the idea behind the wedding but it was okay. Because in her mind, they were already her parents and that was all that mattered.
Word Count 2102
AN: Yeah, I know that the drabble series was supposed to be more about dealing with the challenges of raising a child, a female at that, but I felt that our pair needed to tie the knot. I used some creative license in this to with the Chidori story and whatnot. I think it came out pretty fair.
My apologies for any errors. I don't have a beta.
Chapter 12: A Bun In the Oven?
Thanks to everyone that has reviewed and/or given Kudos. I really appreciate it!
Willow was watching her mother. There was something off about her that made the precocious child stop and take a look further.
She had first noticed the change a few weeks after her parent’s wedding. Sakura’s aura seemed to glow even more than usual. At first, Willow had thought that maybe her mother was just ecstatically happy at finally carrying the Hatake name like she and her daddy. But her mommy was always a pretty happy person.
Then what could it be?
Then she noticed that her mother was getting sick in the morning, kind of like that night when her daddy let her eat too much dessert. It would happen every morning and her mommy seemed even more tired.
And then she noticed something different one morning at breakfast. Willow was sitting at the dining table with her daddy waiting patiently for her meal and observing her mother closely.
“Mommy,” Willow called to her mother, who was at the stove trying to fry an egg trying not to look like she was about to get ill at any moment.
Sakura took a deep cleansing breath to dispel the nausea before she replied. “Yes, Willow?”
“Why is your tummy glowing?”
Kakashi looked up at Sakura, who looked back at him in disbelief.
“What do you mean, Willow?” her father asked warmly, encouraging her to verbalize what she was seeing.
Willow got up from her seat at the table and walked over to her mother and placed a hand over her womb. “Right here,” she said. “There is a separate energy here that is different from yours.”
Kakashi looks at the spot that Willow has her hand on and then looks at his wife questioningly. “Sakura?”
“I-I wasn’t sure…” she stuttered in quiet amazement while placing her hand over Willow’s, feeling the telltale sign of life. “I have an appointment to see Shizune later this morning to make sure.” Her green eyes glistened with hormonal tears while she held onto her daughter.
Kakashi stood up and walked up to his girls and then placed his hand over theirs relishing in the warm feeling of chakra that flowed through their hands. The little sign of life was already very strong, just from the chakra signature alone.
A smile bloomed on Kakashi’s uncovered face. “A boy?” he whispered with hope.
Chapter 13: Confirmation
“You are most definitely pregnant, Sakura,” Shizune confirmed as the green chakra dissipated from her hands before turning to make notes on Sakura’s medical chart. “I would say you’re about 8 weeks along.”
Sakura nodded and smiled. “I think you’re about right on that figure. Don’t you agree, Kakashi?” she asked with a glint of mischief in her eyes.
There was no hiding the smug look in the one visible eye of the Copy Nin. Memories of the night of Sakura’s return from Suna danced in his head. There was no doubt that that was the night they conceived. It was what he was after in the first place.
Oh yes. He was very smug indeed.
“How soon can we discover the sex?” he asked.
“Not for quite a while,” Shizune responded. “At least not until she’s about 18 to 20 weeks along.”
Shizune knew why he was asking. Every father wanted a male to carry on the name and she was not surprised that Kakashi was no different.
As she left the room to allow Sakura and Kakashi some privacy, Shizune silently prayed to the powers that be that this child would be a male.
’Kakashi deserves at least that.’
Chapter 14: What do we say?
After confirmation of Sakura’s pregnancy it was decided that she and Kakashi needed to break the news to Willow. Even though she was the one to initially confirm the event, they wanted to make sure she understood that the energy she had felt was indeed another being; her sibling.
How do you explain to a 2-year old how it got there? While Willow was highly intelligent for her age, was she really ready to know about the birds and the bees? Maybe a loose version would do.
However, when confronted by their extremely curious daughter, they would not get off that easily.
Chapter 15: Where they defer to another day
They had sat Willow down, Sakura and Kakashi as a united front, to explain to her that they were expecting a baby.
"That chakra signature you saw and felt in your mother's belly? That is the early stages of the development of your new baby brother or sister," Kakashi explained.
Instead of excitement at the though of a sibling, their daughter through out the difficult question first.
"How did it get there?"
Both parents had expected that question and had discussed at length how to answer her.
"When two people like your daddy and I love each other, they spend time alone together and show their love to one another. Alone." Sakura tried to be concise yet vague and hoped their daughter bought it.
They should have known better.
"How do you show your love to each other?" she asked innocently enough.
"W-well," Sakura began slightly uncomfortable with having to try to explain things without fully explaining them in detail. "We hug and kiss…" Sakura tried not to show weakness but failed miserably.
"And that makes a baby? That doesn't make any sense to me," Willow grumbled obviously feeling like they were beating around the proverbial bush.
"Look Willow," Kakashi stepped in. "I realize that you are confused about this and honestly? You're too young to know the intimate details with regards to human procreation. Let me make you a promise, though," he told her. "When you are older and we feel you're ready to hear the details, then your mother and I will explain it to you. Deal?"
Willow stared at her father and then her mother. Her eyes observed everything around them as she thought about what her father said and then sighed while her little shoulders slouched, making her look a great deal like her father.
"Deal," she mumbled.
'Crisis averted,' her parents thought simultaneously as they looked at each other.
AN: I mean really? Would you explain the details to a 2-year old?
Chapter 16: I hate to tell you, but...
Yes, a second posting in one day. I felt it was needed after the last one... Enjoy!
That night after having broken the news to Willow about the new baby, Sakura decided to point out something to her husband.
"You do realize our daughter is going to expect you to explain 'procreation' to her, right?"
Kakashi's back stiffened. "Why do you say that?"
A mischievous smirk was plastered on Sakura's face. "Because, my dear husband." She wrapped her arms consolingly around his waist and leaned her chin on his shoulder as they stood in their room. "You made the deal with her. You are the one that told her that when we felt she was ready, we'd explain it to her."
"I said 'we' Sakura, not 'I'," he replied as he turned around and began to trace her jaw with kisses.
"Yeah, but you made the deal," she countered.
"I'll make you a deal," he murmured against her neck. It was her weak spot and he was going to take advantage of it. "Let's talk about it when she's ready to hear it, 'kay?"
"Mmmm, 'nkay." She gave in this time but she made a mental note to bring it up later. Right now, she was more interested in other things.
Chapter 17: Pregancy Woes
Kakashi was seriously re-thinking getting Sakura pregnant again. It was amazing that after a little more than two years he would have forgotten such a tidbit in the whole process.
Sakura was once again praying to the porcelain god, the whole of last night’s dinner lost to the sewer and the creatures within. He felt bad for her and he really wanted to be there for her, really he did. He just had a really tough time with the sounds and the smells…
‘I hope this stops soon,’ he thought to himself. ‘I don’t know how much more of this I can handle …’
He would move heaven and earth for his little pink-haired woman to make sure she was comfortable and happy. He would worry about her. Nothing would stop that from happening.
Now, if he could just get her to stop getting sick...
His first mission was to find a way to curb her nausea.
Chapter 18: Moving forward...
AN: First off, I want to apologize for the lack of updates. Creative processes that they are, I just haven't had much in the way of new material. I wrote a bunch of stuff originally, but without thinking about Sakura getting pregnant again. So, what I am going to do is post some of the items I have, just keep in mind that there is a little one somewhere out there that I haven't accounted for. I hope you like!
Willow proved to be everything and more than her prodigious father had been. She had begun the academy and graduated at 5 and promoted to chunin within the same year, thus surpassing her own father.
Her chakra control had been as good as if not better than her mother's marking the girl as a potential medical Nin. Tsunade wanted to wait on her training until she turned 10, so it left Willow with doing odd jobs and missions until then.
While the littlest Hatake would not have to experience war at an early age, she did participate in missions that were C-rank and under due to her tender age. It had basically limited her to saving cats, doing random chores and such around the village, but it was more than her parents would allow their daughter to do.
She would take part in simple escort missions and document transfer missions (as long as one of her parents went with her) and Willow had by the age of 9 more experience than any of the other kids her age.
And it set her apart from them as well.
Tall and lanky, beginning to surpass the boys of her own age in height, Willow was just that - willowy. She was beginning to show the signs of a great beauty with her long white hair and expressive green eyes, and it scared the heck out of her father.
She was also very confident, having been brought up by a mother that had many insecurities growing up, Sakura did her best to make sure her daughter knew that she was unique and that she was loved for who she was and not what she could do. Her father was also a fantastic role model (and her chunin team leader) teaching her all of his jutsus and tricks. Well, that was when he wasn't reading porn in public. Though she didn't have the advantage of the Sharingan, Willow's photographic memory assisted her greatly. Willow seemed to take after her father in easy-going demeanor, but more like her mother when it came to compassion.
Jealousy has a way of bringing out the worst in kids and Willow was exposed to it as girls began to see her as competition for the attention of the boys, even though she really had no interest in the opposite sex as other than a friend. The girls would throw insults at Willow who would reply with the sharp whit of her Father and the quick mind of her Mother, effectively shutting the harpies up. They should be grateful that she was slow to anger unlike her volatile mother.
'What did I do to deserve such animosity?' the young girl wondered as she walked home after hanging out at the village playground with her friend Shuichi, who happened to be the son of Ino and Shikamaru.
Shuichi was very much like his father, lazy to the extreme but highly intelligent. And that was one of the reasons Willow liked him. Well, the intelligence part. He was another being, besides her parents or any of the other adult shinobi, that she could carry a decent conversation with. Yes, he had a bit of a relaxed attitude but his mind kept hers sharp and she like that.
And her father noticed the apparent friendship and wondered what the boy's intentions were in regards to his daughter. He voiced this to Sakura one night after catching Shuichi and Willow quietly talking while lying on the grass in the training grounds as they gazed at the clouds.
Sakura just laughed stood behind him, wrapping her arms around him as she rested her chin on his should before speaking. "They're only 9 Kakashi."
"I know, but didn't you fall in love with Sasuke around her age?"
"Pfft. That wasn't love, Kakashi. Leave them alone," she emphasized with a tighter squeeze around his waste. "I mean it, Hatake. Leave the boy alone."
'Darn.' He so wanted to threaten the boy but he'd been ordered not to. However, he could find ways to discourage the boy...
"Kakashi, I see that look in your eye. Drop it before you end up living with Pakkun for a month," she promised.
Shoulders slumping in defeat the once-feared Copy-nin had once again been subjugated.
Chapter 19: Tsunade's Anger
AN: Going backwards in time, this time. Sorry but my muse has been... lazy.
When word of Sakura’s pregnancy reached the Hokage, it was Shizune who felt the brunt of her anger.
“Damn that Hatake! Doesn’t he know how to keep from getting Sakura pregnant?” she raged while searching frantically for a bottle of sake... or any alcohol she could get her hands on. “And why did he and Sakura not come and tell me themselves?”
“Uh, sometimes things happen, Tsunade-sama,” Shizune calmly replied to which she received an unlady-like snort.
“Well, for being such a genius, he sure is acting like a teenager, allowing his hormones to control his actions instead of his brain,” she grumbled back. “Now I have to pull him from the S-rank and A-rank missions list again,” she growled.
“Where is that sake?” Tsunade yelled while tearing apart her office.
Shizune kept quiet as she watch the blonde finally find what she was looking for and eagerly swig directly from the bottle. She sighed.
If anything, she figured Hatake was still pretty smart. He had taken his wife and daughter for a short vacation out of the village after confirming Sakura’s pregnancy and leaving Shizune to inform the volatile leader of the village.
‘He knew what Tsunade’s response would be,” she though inwardly and then smirked. ‘He can run, but he can’t hide from her anger forever.’
Chapter 20: Cravings
Kakashi had thought he’d seen everything until he watched Sakura eat pickles with peanut butter. Even little Willow grimaced as she watched her mother lovingly spread a huge dollop of peanut butter over the dill pickle spear and then lovingly bite into it, savoring it as if it was the most delectable thing in the world.
Then there were the midnight cravings for all kinds of foods. Green Tea ice cream one night, nachos another night… Kakashi was beginning to lose sleep from having to run out at different hours of the night to fulfill his wife’s latest cravings.
But he never told Sakura ‘no’ nor did he ever say anything about her choice of foods. It was never a thought that he wouldn’t go out in the middle of the night in the pouring rain to get that one thing that she just had to have at that moment in time. There was just something that made him do these things for her.
He loved her just that much.
Forgive me for being MIA but I've been working on so many different projects. Plus, my daughter suffered a horrendous bout of Vertigo caused by what we can only figure to be from exhaustion and stress. But all is good and I will try to update when I can. Thanks for reading!
Chapter 21: Welcome home
Sakura had been on her feet all day. For being about 7 months along the extra baby weight wasn’t too bad, but it was just enough to make her feet and back ache just a little more than usual.
‘God, what I wouldn’t give for a soak in the hotsprings and a good all over body rub,’ she thought dismally as she walked from the hospital towards the home she shared with Kakashi.
Sakura loved her job at the hospital. Being a med-nin and helping those who were sick or injured was what she felt was her calling and Kakashi was not one to make her give it up just to stay at home with their daughter.
Besides, she knew that Kakashi loved spending time at home with their little girl. For someone who was such a lousy teacher in the past he had made huge strides to teach Willow.
When she arrived at their home, Sakura was surprised to find her husband and daughter waiting for her. Kakashi held a cup of hot tea for her while Willow held a picture that she had drawn of their family and the smell of dinner cooking wafted towards her as she entered the doorway.
‘What a way to come home.’
Chapter 22: Hand in the Cookie Jar
Sakura was in her last trimester and Tsunade had put her on bed rest for the remainder of her pregnancy. The cause? Her body was trying to go into labor much too soon.
Disgruntled, Sakura laid in the bed she shared with Kakashi and was trying not to go insane from boredom. ‘How can anyone spend so much time in bed and not go insane?’ she internally raged. She’d already gone through all of the magazines and books that Ino had brought over – none of them were all that entertaining anyway – and now she needed something, anything, to pass the time.
Taking deep breaths to calm herself down, as well as her blood pressure, Sakura looked at the colorful stack of books gathering dust on the bookshelf sitting in the corner of their room.
While Sakura had nagged at Kakashi about those books many times over their past, there was something about them that tempted her.
‘No. I refuse to do it,’ she told herself.
Still, Kakashi had told her on many occasions that Jiraiya’s works were art and that unless she read them, she would never understand why he loved reading them. Why wouldn’t she give them a chance?
Still, her inner nun spouted off about ‘filthy literature’ and ‘tasteless pornography’, but were the books really that bad? She’d never read them, totally out of principle, but now she was terribly tempted.
Besides, no one was home and no one would be the wiser if she peaked into one of them, right?
Slowly Sakura moved off of the bed and padded slowly around the bed and to the bookshelf. She looked at the titles and decided to start with the first one – Icha Icha Paradise. Memorizing where the book had been positioned previously so that she could return it to its proper place without anyone noticing it had been moved, Sakura made her way back to the bed.
Making sure her pillows were propped perfectly for reading, Sakura leaned back and carefully opened the cover of the book. There within the book was a personalized inscription from the author himself.
‘To my number one fan.’
She turned a couple of pages until she got to the beginning. ‘Chapter 1 – First Contact’
It was a few hours later and Sakura had discovered that she’d read the entire novel, cover to cover without stopping. Well, except for bathroom breaks. And snack breaks. But Sakura had read the entire thing and could honestly say that she was impressed - and incredibly aroused.
While the story itself was very romantic, some of the scenes were obviously geared towards men. But Jiraiya really had a way with words and Sakura was almost embarrassed to say that she was looking forward to reading the next book.
She groaned at that thought. ‘And I thought Kakashi was a pervert for reading those things in public all of the time,’ she thought to herself. She didn’t even want to think what was going through his mind reading them while Team 7 were training as genin.
The telltale sounds of Kakashi and Willow entering the house awoke Sakura from her mental meanderings and she rushed from her spot on the bed to return the book to its proper spot on the shelf. Positioning it just so, she waddled back and was on the bed just as her two favorite people opened the bedroom door.
“Hi guys!” Sakura greeted with an overlarge smile, panting from the exertion she’d just put herself through. “How was your day?”
Willow proceeded to tell her about everything she’d done while Kakashi stood back and noted several subtle things, including her sudden breathlessness. He looked around the room and with his skilled shinobi eye he figured it out.
He smirked behind his mask when he'd figured it out. He was going to have a bit of fun with his little mate.
Chapter 23: Relish
Kakashi and Willow were at the training grounds the following day as had become the norm for father and daughter lately. With the impending birth of their next child, Kakashi felt it was necessary to not only spend more time with Willow for bonding, but begin really training her for the eventual day that she would start the Academy.
It would be a difficult day for both parents he knew. The thought of Willow starting the Academy would signify that she was growing up and would very soon become a Kunoichi just like her mother.
While Willow was practicing her kunai throws, Kakashi watched from his spot under a nearby tree making sure that her stance held correctly. Willow had been a very apt pupil and he knew she would pick things up quicker than most kids.
Of course she would. She was a Hatake.
Kakashi’s mind drifted thinking about what he had recently discovered. He wouldn’t forget that his little wife had been sneaking peeks at his favorite literature and it made the copy nin chuckle to think that she had been so desperate for something to do that she’d resorted to reading Icha Icha, of all things.
However, he would let it slide for now. Her current state made her extremely temperamental, amongst other things, and wouldn’t bring it up until their child was born and her hormones settled. For now, he would just bask in the delight that she had read one of the things she’d swore up and down she wouldn’t.
He’d enjoy the rewards of rubbing it in later and was looking forward to that day.
Thank you so much for all of the Kudos and responses to this little story! I'm so pleased it's being enjoyed. Please don't hesitate to review and even throw an idea at me.
Chapter 24: Double the Trouble
Kakashi had been beginning to worry about his wife’s growth during her pregnancy. Whenever he voiced it, the med-nin in her told him that it was natural for her to gain some weight, though he could see she was a little worried herself.
‘Some weight?’ he thought to himself. Sakura had never gained so much while carrying their daughter, but after each check up with Shizune there was always the “You’re doing great Sakura. Everything is normal,” speech from the woman.
He never saw it coming. He should have, being the exemplary ninja that he was, but nothing could have prepared him for this latest news.
He had been called by the Hokage, which would have seemed unusual since he was off the duty list until well after Sakura delivered. Deciding to walk through the doors instead of his usual entry through the window, Kakashi strolled in to see not only Lady Tsunade, but Shizune.
“Ah, Hitake,” the blonde Hokage beamed at him. “We have some news for you.”
The looks in both hers and Shizune’s eyes was somewhat scary, almost as scary as Sakura when she was ready to deal out some serious pain. He shivered where he stood.
“You might want to sit down for this,” Shizune chuckled.
“I’ll stand, thank you.” Sitting put him in a position of submission. There was no way…
“We’ll get to the point,” Tsunade spoke. “Since you and Sakura wanted to again make this birth a surprise and refused to even look at the ultrasounds or no the sex of this next child, Shizune and I felt it imperative that you know what you have coming.”
“Lady Tsunade…” Kakashi began.
“Let me finish,” she growled, her amber eyes darkening.
Kakashi sighed and let her continue.
“I feel it is necessary that you know this bit of information so that you can properly prepare,” she paused. “Look… Kakashi… you and Sakura are having twins.”
There was silence followed by a loud ‘thud’. It was Kakashi. The proud Copy Nin had just fainted.
Shizune looked at Tsunade with a smile. “Pay up.”
Chapter 25: Will I be Good Enough?
Kakashi walked the streets of Konoha in a daze after just leaving the Hokage’s office. The news that Sakura was carrying twins had fairly hit him between the eyes and landed him flat on the floor and he couldn’t say he was embarrassed by it.
‘Who wouldn’t be in shock after hearing that kind of news?’
But how was he going to tell Sakura?
‘Gee honey, wouldn’t it be cool if we bought two of everything because you’re having twins?’ or
‘You’ll never guess what Shizune was hiding from us all this time? You’re actually having twins!’
Willow might have issue with sharing both of her parents to two younger siblings as well. That opened up a whole other set of potential issues.
He hadn’t even thought about their potential or gifts. Willow had shown tremendous chakra control early on, not to mention her ability to see the chakra in Sakura when she had become pregnant. Never mind the fact that the girl, at such a young age, could throw a kunai perfectly before she had even started formal training at the academy. Her siblings could be just as talented and that frightened him.
Double the diapers, double the midnight feedings, the colic, the laundry, the food…
He had to stop thinking about it. He was beginning to hyperventilate.
What it all boiled down to was, would he be a good enough father?
It was fortunate that his feet knew the way home because honestly, he hadn’t been paying attention. Before he knew it, he was standing in front of the door to there home. Grasping the door handle he readied himself to face his fate.
‘Here goes … ’
Chapter 26: Smooth move, Kakashi
When Kakashi enters the house he discovers that not only Sakura and Willow are home, but they have visitors.
It was not uncommon for Ino and her son, Shuichi, to come over as sort of a play date for the kids. However, Kakashi hated the name of their playtime ritual – play dates seemed a little too close the idea of the Nara boy and his daughter holding hands and going out and… well, you get the idea.
Sure, they were all of 2 years old, but still… kids nowadays seemed to do things earlier than he recalled from when he was a kid.
What was frightening was that the two children were quietly playing what looked like a simple game of shoji while their mothers chatted and sipped tea nearby as if it were nothing. Well, for the two children born of the brightest ninja in Konoha, it was normal.
"Kakashi!" his pink-haired wife called as she tried to roll to the side to get better momentum to get up off of the couch. Ino stood and tried to help her friend rise so that Sakura could greet her husband properly.
"Sakura, sit down," Kakashi admonished. "You know you're not supposed to move much."
"Kakashi," she whined. "I'm so tired of being bedridden! My sore spots have sore spots and I'm just so darn bored!"
"I know, but you have to think of the babies," he told her as he held her close to him and rubbed her stomach lovingly.
"BABIES?!" Ino and Sakura chorused loudly.
Chapter 27: Because... they didn't ask
Sakura's and Ino's outburst had not distracted the two young prodigies, who sat nearby, as they continued to play their game of shoji. Both children had a look of extreme concentration unseen in such young ones, yet looked so much like their respective fathers at that moment.
"Did you know that your mom was going to have twins," Shuichi asked Willow as he made his next move.
"Yes," Willow answered some time later after she had thought out her next move.
"Why didn't you tell your parents?"
Green eyes looked into black. Willow then replied to the young Nara as if he'd lost his intelligence for the moment and shrugged, "Because they didn't ask me."
Chapter 28: Together as a family
Meanwhile, Ino and Kakashi did everything they could to calm Sakura down, eventually settling her on the couch with her feet elevated and a cup of tea in her hands. Ino lingered close by to hear the details.
"How many, Kakashi?" she calmly asked her husband.
Sakura took a deep breath and exhaled slowly knowing that getting upset up wouldn't do her any good. Then she took a sip of her tea, slowly swallowing and thinking about her next question.
"Did they say anything about the sexes of the babies?" Kakashi shook his head in the negative.
"But why did they wait so long to tell us? We could have been preparing long before now! Now you have to do all of the shopping for the second baby, (Kami forbid!), and what are we going to do when I go back to work, and…" Sakura still managed to get herself worked up before Kakashi wrapped his arms around her and began to rock her, shushing her into submission.
Ino sat on the other side of the couch and watched the scene with amazement. She knew Sakura wouldn't have been with a man that didn't have some sort of compassion in him, but she'd never believe it if she hadn't seen it now. Who knew the copy ninja, Konoha's infamous Sharingan Kakashi, had the ability to show affection much less a soft side? But seeing him calmly talk to Sakura about how they would be fine and things would work out in the end helped Ino to know that her friend would be well taken care of.
"If there's anything I can do to help, you only need to ask," Ino interrupted.
"Actually," Kakashi looked up at the blue-eyed Ino. "If Sakura is alright with it, would you mind helping me with the shopping for the items we'll need?"
Ino looked at her friend, searching for her agreement and found it. "I'd be more than happy," she replied and smiled. She was excited to do some baby shopping once again!
"Why don't the two of you make a list tonight and I'll meet you here tomorrow, say at 1 Kakashi?" He nodded his assent. "Good. Then I'll leave Shuichi here with you, Sakura so that the kids can play together while we shop," she told them as she gathered her purse. "Do you want me to see if Hinata or Tenten can come by to help out while we're gone?"
"No, I should be fine, Ino. Thank you, though," Sakura told her friend.
The kids had already put the shoji board to the side, having overheard the arrangements for the following day. They would complete their game tomorrow.
When the Nara's left the Hatake household, Kakashi and Sakura called Willow to them and sat her nearby.
"You knew that your mother carried twins, didn't you?" her father asked. At her nod, he looked at Sakura who shrugged. Kakashi looked back at Willow.
"I guess asking you why you didn't say something is moot at this point," he commented. Willow just smiled, her eyes held maturity within them not seen often in children her age.
Sakura smiled at her husband and daughter. "Wow," she said in amazement. "Twins."
Father and daughter surrounded Sakura lending their support in the form of physical contact. She knew things would be challenging, but as a family, they would get through it together.