“Once upon a time, there were two very cool ninja named Kakashi and Sakura.” Naruto started, sitting down gingerly on the couch, Isa still clinging tightly to him. “They were standing outside the village with their two teammates Sai and Naruto.”
“You don’ have to say, ‘Naruto,’ Naruto-nii.” Isa giggled softly. Naruto relaxed at the sound of the small girl’s laughs. Finally she’s stopped crying.
“It’s a story Isa-chan.” He touched her nose lightly. “Anyways, I’m not that important in this story. It’s about mommy and daddy, remember?” Because the story wouldn’t be nearly as entertaining if she knew I was the one that completed the mission. Naruto shook his head looking back at the girls big, waiting, green eyes. “Anyways, Kakashi, Sakura, Sai, and Naruto were all waiting outside the village, waiting for their client, the man they were to escort back to the land of Keys.”
Isa snorted. “There is no land called the ‘Land of Keys.’” Naruto scowled. This chick talks just like her mother… “Hey! I’m the one that has gone and seen the world! You’ve seen the training grounds on the other side of the village.” He said in faux reprimand. He stared her straight in the eye, daring her to interrupt him again. “He was a very famous weapons dealer and had come to the land of fire to set up shop and need to go back home. But, there were many people that were after him.”
“Why?” Isa asked tilting her head to the side.
“His weapons were very powerful. If someone kidnapped him and forced him to make weapons for them, they could…take over the world!” Isa looked like she was going to say something, but Naruto sharpened his glare. Isa kept quite.
Naruto prayed to the gods. “He arrived soon after they had, which was saying something because Kakashi is always late.”
“No he’s not.”
Naruto inhaled deeply. “Isa, I’m trying to tell a story.”
She huffed. “If you’re going to tell a story, then at least tell it accurcretately.” Naruto raised a brow. She stuck her nose in the air, crossing her arms across her chest. “Daddy is never late for anything.”
“That’s because he married to your mother…” Naruto murmured. “Ow!” He grabbed his nose where smacked her hand into.
“Then let me tell the story!” Naruto seethed. Taking a deep breath he continued. “It was a three days journey to the Land of Keys. Naruto was excited, as he always was when it came to doing a mission. Sai was as indifferent as always, Sakura chatting with the weapons dealer while Kakashi read…his cookbook.” Naruto sighed when Isa said nothing. “The first two days went by smoothly, until darkness had fallen over the small campsite…
Naruto look over the campsite, being strongly observant. “Hey, hey! Does anything seem…strange.”
Sai looked up from his sketch book, flashing Naruto a fake smile, “Of course dic-dork. There are no birds.
Kakashi, who was standing at the end of the campsite, gave an ‘hmmm’ in agreement. “Sakura should be back with firewood soon.”
Naruto nodded, looking over to the weapons dealer. He was a younger man, perhaps in his early thirties, small grey hairs shining in the dusk sun. He had a scowl on his face and a short sword in his lap as he sat in front of the woodless fire pit. Naruto closed his eyes, listening carefully. “There should be birds…” he said prying his eyes open, looking up to Kakashi. Kakashi didn’t answer, hands in his pockets, body slouched slightly, standing perfectly still. Naruto had known Kakashi long enough to know all his senses were on high alert now. Naruto swallowed, standing up, walking out into the woods, looking for the birds.
Ten minutes later he came back; “There’s no wild life in this area…” he stopped looking around the campsite. Kakashi hadn’t moved and Sai’s sketchbook was still blank. The only person that had moved was the weapon’s dealer, who had edged closer to Sai, who was sitting near a tree.
“Sakura should have been back already.” Kakashi said. Naruto felt fear rise in his stomach.
“Do you-do you think something has happened to her?”
Kakashi didn’t speak.
“Well dang! We need to go find her!” Naruto yelled, cracking his neck, stalking passed Kakashi. Before Naruto could leave the camp ground, Kakashi threw him on the ground. Naruto felt a whoosh of chakra exploded at the campsite. Naruto sat dazed for a minute, looking up to Kakashi. He held a Kunai and a small wrist in his right hand, and another wrist in his left. Naruto’s eyes widened at the attacker.
It was Sakura.
Isa gasped. “Mommy would never fight daddy!”
Naruto gave her a smirk, “Are you sure?”
Isa shook her head emphatically. “Never!”
Naruto poked her nose again, “I remember quite a few times when mommy attacked daddy, breaking bones and rupturing organs-”
“Can you just say what happens next?” Harou’s voice came from the doorway. Naruto inwardly smirked. I think I’m pretty good at this baby sitting gig.
“If you come in the room. I don’t want to raise my voice so you can hear me on the other side of the room.”
The boy shrugged, shoving his hands in his pockets and came and sat on the floor in front of the couch, still a good distance away. “I could hear you from up in my room just fine.” Despite the boy’s desperate want to sound indifferent, his eyes had a different story.
“So there I was, face down on the ground, Kakashi holding Sakura back from killing him…”
Kakashi adjusted his grip on Sakura’s hands. “Sakura!” he called. Naruto could see that her usually bright green eyes were dulled and unfocused. “Sakura, I don’t want to hurt you…” Kakashi warned. Sakura’s hands started growing green before a loud crack filled the campsite. Sakura had grabbed hold of Kakashi's wrist that held her hand and the Kunai, sending a giant blast of chakra through his wrist, shattering it.
Naruto scrambled to his feet, about to help Kakashi against Sakura when Sai called to him. Sai was fighting three men at once, while trying to protect the weapons dealer. Blood was coming out of his ear and streaming down his leg. Naruto summoned a rasengan, dashing towards Sai.
Kakashi bit back a scream, ignoring the pain that laced through his arm as he stared widened eyed at Sakura. He rushed her, throwing his shoulder into her chest with more forced than he wanted to and jumped back as she stumbled, releasing him from her grip. Kakashi switched kunai hands, circling Sakura. He felt as her chakra moved to her hands. Her head tilted and a wicked smile played across her lips. “What’s wrong, Kakashi-sensei?” her voice was high, much higher than Kakashi had ever heard it.
Kakashi’s heart jerked. “Sakura, you need to wake up.” His right arm dangled at his side, almost lifelessly. She held her arms up, and spread her legs slightly before she started the attack. Kakashi blocked all her attacks, stepping sideways, back and ducking as she threw dangerously charged blows at his head. She was moving at a speed he had never seen her move. He gritted his teeth as her heel came in contact with his head, making stars explode. Before the next one could connect, Kakashi used his elbow and arms of his right side to capture her leg, throwing her off balance as he pushed her back. “Sakura!” he hissed, “Wake up!” he pressed the kunai into her arm, breaking skin, but not doing major damage. She screamed, withering under Kakashi as he held her down, screaming her name. He wasn’t going to lose another teammate. He wasn’t going to lose Sakura.
He dug the kunai deeper into her arm.
A wave of chakra almost knocked him off her, but Kakashi held strong. “Sakura.” He gasped. He looked down at her as the wave of charka dissipated. She lay motionless underneath him. “Sakura!” he screamed, releasing the kunai, throwing it off somewhere, grabbing her face with his good hand. “Sakura!” he willed her to open her eyes to no avail. He felt a something drag him off her, throwing him into a nearby tree.
“She’s not so useless after all.” A gruff voice said. Kakashi’s eyes opened blearily as he watched a tall, burly man with black hair picked Sakura up by the front of her shirt. “To be able to disable the Copy-Ninja Hatake Kakashi is no easy feat.
Kakashi’s eyes whirled to where Sai and Naruto stood. Sai, releasing in tigers on two men and Naruto crouching down, three tails from his demon fox summon out, whirling dangerously as he stood protecting the weapons dealer. Kakashi gritted his teeth. They need his help…but Sakura… he watched Sakura be lifted onto the man’s shoulder. Sai let out a loud noise. Both men turned to see a fourth tail emerging.
“Flip!” Kakashi cried, jumping to his feet, stumbling as he felt his shin crack. White filled his eyesight as he reached into his leg pouch, pulling out a seal. He released as the seals raced towards Naruto, wrapping him up before the fourth tail could completely emerge. The man laughed. Kakashi felt pain erupt in his side as he crumpled to the ground. He looked back as a man pulled a sword out of Kakashi’s leg. “She comes with us. If you want her back, you give us him.” He pointed the sword at the weapon’s dealer.
Kakashi sneered, “You tard-face.”
The man laughed, patting Sakura slightly before calling to his comrades who instantly backed off, disappearing into the night. “Twenty four hours, copy ninja.” the voice spoke. “At the boarder of the Fire and Keys.”
Kakashi tried standing, tried to go after the man with Sakura. “Sakura!” he screamed as the man and Sakura disappeared from sight.
Naruto froze, eyes widened as he looked at the two children. Isa was gripping his forearm, sure to leave bruises as Harou was now sitting so close to the couch that his head rested on the cushions.
“Well?!” Harou demanded, his small brows furrowed as he bit his lower lip. “Did he go after her?!”
Naruto gave a fox like smile. “He couldn’t. His mission was to protect the weapon’s dealer.”
“But-but-but!” stammered Isa, tears welling in her eyes. “But daddy wouldn’t leave mommy!”
Naruto nodded, trying to pry the small girl off his arm. “Kakashi knew that if he wanted to keep her safe, he was going to need his teammates help.” He put the girl at arms distance before plopping her on the couch. “Kakashi also knew Sakura would be very upset if she knew that Kakashi didn’t help his teammates first and the mission succeeded.”
Both of their heads went down, frowns on their face, deep in concentration. “You don’t have a ‘demon fox summon!’” the boy shot an accused finger at him. “You summon toads you dirty liar!”
“Hey!” Naruto held his arms up, “This is a story! It’s not all real!” Not even half. “You’ve seen your mommy’s arm! There ain’t no scar!” Because I clearly remember it going through her side. Sakura wasn’t happy about the ruptured kidney…
Harou look skeptical. “I haven’t seen father’s leg, where he was stabbed.”
Naruto held back a snort, that’s because it was his back… “I can’t help you there little guy.” He shook his head, standing up.
“Where you going!?” they both screamed at him from their positions off and on the couch.
Naruto grinned. “It’s time for dinner.”
“But-But you can’t just end it like this!” they exclaimed, faces having matching red hue to them.
Naruto almost was jumping up and down. “Your mother made it very clear that if I didn’t feed you, she’d kill me. We’ll resume the story after dinner. At eight thirty.” Blackmailing small children wasn’t Naruto’s thing, but it was the easiest way to get them to not lock themselves in their room and cry the whole time.
They looked at each other, talking in a secret silent children’s language that Naruto had never understood and then nodded. “Only if we can have cookies for a snack.”
Naruto laughed, “What kind of baby sitter would I be if I didn’t let you eat cookies?” One that would live to see Monday…
Naruto cheered at his genius. He was, hands down, the greatest babysitter this side of the fire country. This side of the world. Blackmailing had done the trick and his god children behaved as well as any small child could. He grinned, standing in the door frame as both children sat on Harou’s bed, and each had one hand full of a juice drink, the other a giant cookie. They were giggling and whispering excitedly about what they thought was coming next. Naruto walked into the room, mind reeling on what to put in and take out of his story. It was going to have to be a juicy ending or the next day was going to be hell for him. He sat on Isa’s bed, elbows on his knees as the children became suddenly silent, eyes wide with excitement.
Naruto groaned, rubbing his head. “What-what happened?”
“You summoned your demon fox, you dork.” Sai said in a pleasant voice, looking up at him for a moment before returning to his work; patching the hole in Kakashi’s leg up.
Kakashi sat either oblivious to what was happening to him, or to focused to care, staring into the dark night. “They took Sakura.”
Naruto froze. “They took Sakura-chan?! How! Why!”
Kakashi didn’t say anything, he just continued to stare.
“The girl attacked him and you came to protect me with the other guy, and grabbed her and took her away.” The weapon’s dealer said softly. Naruto’s head whipped back to him. “He has 24 hours to deliver me in exchange for the girl.” The man’s voice was small and weak.
Naruto turned his head back to Kakashi who sat motionless, mask covering his emotions. Naruto swore he heard his voice softly call out ‘Sakura.’
“Well, what are we gonna do!? Naruto said, standing up, brushing the dirt and mud off his shirt.
Kakashi didn’t say anything, but Sai looked from Kakashi to Naruto. “Well, in situations like this, it is our job to complete the mission…” Kakashi finally moved, sending a death glare to Sai. Sai gave a fake smile before finishing his wrap on Kakashi leaning back. “But in books it says that friends and comrades save each other.” Kakashi didn’t speak, but continued to look out at the darkness. Sai looked to Naruto. “We will save her right?”
Naruto nodded emphatically. “Darn right!”
The following night Naruto, Sai, Kakashi and the weapon’s dealer all walked solemnly to the spot they were to meet. The weapon’s dealer was trembling.
“We-we we don’t have to-to-to do this!” he stammered, face white with fright. “There-there is another way!”
Kakashi grabbed the man by the scruff of his neck. “Sakura is more important than you.” He growled, shoving him in front of him, halting the rest of them. It didn’t take long before the familiar chakra signature filled the air and ten men showed up in front of them.
The leader, who had Sakura by the shoulder laughed. “So you brought him. You’re a smart man Hatake Kakashi.”
Kakashi’s eyes narrowed, his sharingan, now showing spun menacingly in the socket. “You’ll get your man once I get her.”
The leader laughed. “You are a smart man, but also very stupid.” His grip tightened on the girl, who was still in the trance. “You think I would just give over this girl and then have to fight all of you to get my prize?” As he spoke ten more men came into the clearing. “No one lives to see tomorrow!” he shouted.
The weapons dealer trembled under Kakashi. “You said it would work!” his voice went up an octave. Kakashi ignored him as the leader held up a sharp knife, the same one that pierced him yesterday, to Sakura’s throat. She didn’t flinch. “I will kill her now, then the rest of your team, then you!” The man laughed.
Kakashi shrugged. “Tell me this then? Why not just kill us yesterday. It would have been easy. I, mortally wounded, and my other comrades incapacitated. Why wait until today?” he pulled out a weapon. “You’re cockiness is what’s going to get you killed.” Kakashi twirled the kunai between his fingers once before throwing it in the back of the weapon dealer’s head. Everyone gasped as the man’s eyes widened and he hit the floor, and disappearing in a small poof. While everyone stood, dumbstruck at where the man once stood, Kakashi make quick hand seals “Daibakufu no Jutsu.”A great ball appeared out of nowhere and Sai, Naruto and Kakashi advanced behind the great waterfall. Kakashi pulled out a second Kunai, twisting through the air, gracefully cutting arms and legs, making the enemies fall down and unable to battle, but definitely not dead. As the water technique hit the leader, Kakashi’s hands formed the familiar hand signs and the sound of birds filled the air. “Chidori!” he screamed as he dug his technique into the leader’s stomach, which quickly dropped Sakura. Kakashi grabbed her with ease. Kakashi focused all his attention on the girl in his arms, shaking her violently so she would look at him. Focusing all his energy into his Sharingan he made it spins sharply, releasing a burst of energy.
Suddenly, Sakura jolted. Her eyes began to focus as she looked around frantically. “Kakashi? Kakashi!” she screamed. Kakashi was dripping with water the fell as an aftermath of the waterfall technique. He looked very cool.
‘She’s safe.’ He thought, feeling the rush of adrenaline leave him as blackness overcame him.
“And where were you this whole time?!” Harou accused.
“Are-are those people-de-de-dead?” Isa said softly.
Naruto ran a hand through his hair, feeling tired. “Of course they’re not dead Isa-chan. And I-” Naruto smirked. “I’ll get to that.”
Sakura looked around at her surrounds. Bodies that definitely weren’t dead were surrounding her, and even more stood, encircling her. Her eyes searched for her teammates, fear rising when only Kakashi’s unconscious body sat next to her. She put her fist up and positioned herself in her fighting stance.
A deep voice laughed. “Clever, clever man, that Hatake Kakashi…” a man, clutching his stomach laughed, “He is a fool to think that he could stop me and my men. All to save ‘you.’” Sakura looked down at her old sensei, anger welling up in her.
“He apparently forgets that I can take care of myself.” She huffed, pushing fatigue out of her mind as she pulled all her chakra to her fist, smashing the ground, sending chucks of earth careening around them, hitting some foes and knocking them unconscious. The man stopped laughing looking at the girl with daring eyes.
“You think you can defeat me?”
“Not ‘think.’” She said, advancing on him, through a hard punch to his face, hearing a knowing crack. “I know.” She smirked as the man fell, unconscious to the ground. She looked around to all the men standing. “Who’s next?” she said popping her knuckles. The men took tentative steps back before running frantically back into the woods.
Sakura wasted no time rushing over to Kakashi. “Kakashi! Kakashi!” she screamed, shaking him slightly before letting her hands pulse green, placing them on his chest, mending the major wounds. “Kakashi!” she hadn’t realized tears had started streaming down her face. “Kakashi please! Open your eyes!”
After a few more minutes, Kakashi’s eyes opened blearily. “Yo,” he croaked.
Sakura laughed. “Oh, thank god Kakashi!”
“Sakura.” He said feebly. “Sakura, I’m dying.”
She shook her head, “No! No please! I’m going to fix you! I promise! You’ll be well again!”
He shook his head, a shaky hand coming up to cup her face. “Please Sakura, stop crying. I-” he paused to cough, a small bit of blood came up. “I need to tell you something before I die.”
Sakura shook her head. “Kakashi, you’re not going to die. I’m-”
“Sakura, I love you.” He said, coughing slightly.
Sakura gasped, but didn’t stop her healing. “Kakashi-”
His hand came up, kissing her softly on the lips before his energy gave out and he collapsed. “Please, take care of Pakkun for me. You both-” he wheezed. “You both like the same shampoo.” He took one final shaky breath before closing his eyes, giving in to the darkness.
“LIAR!” both kids exclaimed, jumping up from the bed, almost falling over again. “LIAR! Kakashi can’t be dead!” Isa had tears welling up in her eyes.
Shit. “Of course he’s not dead!” Naruto laughed, pulling Isa into his arms. “Sakura healed him up because she’s the most awesomenest medic nin the world has ever seen!” he pulled Isa back to look him in the eye. “Even better than Tsunade!” Isa shook her head, but Naruto nodded.
“And you didn’t say where you were! How do we know you didn’t make any of this up?”
I never said I didn’t make any of it up… “Me and Sai took the weapon’s dealer to his destination and Kakashi took my shadow clones with him. To throw off the bad guys.”
“Was-was it daddy’s idea? To do all that cool stuff?” Isa’s eyes were wide.
Naruto laughed, “Of course it was!” Lie. “Who else would have thought of all that awesome butt kicking moves!?” Naruto placed Isa in bed, kissing her forehead before looking over to Harou who got under the sheets without question. “Now! Go to bed! And maybe, if you’re good, I’ll give you another story tomorrow night!” They nodded, pulling the covers up close to the nose.
As Naruto left the room, he stood by the door, listening to their excited whispers. Naruto checked the clock on the wall; 8:59.
Naruto laughed, cheekily. “Best baby-sitter ever.”