oroburos69: (Aggy)
[personal profile] oroburos69
Title: Dreams are Lives You Have Not Yet Lived
Beta: lady_of_scarlet
Fandom: Naruto
Rating PG-13/FRT
Pairing/Characters: Tsunade, Sakura, and Kakashi
Summary: Anon Meme Prompt: Sakura found a mysterious jutsu on a mysterious scroll in a mysterious store, so she cast it. It didn't seem to do anything. Unfortunately, the effects were initially microscopic, not non-existent. Three months later, Sakura figures out what the jutsu did and she has to tell Kakashi that he's pregnant with her babies. Unfortunately, Kakashi thinks she's joking. Cracktastic m-preg, plz.
Warning: MPreg. Also, less cracktastic than kinda angsty.

Tsunade was drunk. That was probably the root of the problem.

"You've...you gotta see this scroll, Sake." She tended to mispronounce Sakura's name after a certain threshold of booze was reached. Either that, or she was talking to the bottle again. "It's freaking hyst..hic...hys...damn funny, is what it is."

Sakura shrugged. "What does it do?"

"Shtuff." Tsunade shoved a scroll at her. "You should—" She stopped to laugh.

Sakura took the scroll and tucked it into her belt pouch. "Come on, Tsunade. It's about time that you get to bed."

Tsunade nodded and wobbled to her feet. "I like you," she said, sounding oddly clear for a second. She winked and swayed dramatically. "Sake."

The scroll was covered in gibberish. Sakura tilted her head in confusion, and the writing resolved itself, somewhat. It wasn't gibberish. The words were out of order, the handwriting was atrocious, and most of the characters were backwards. Tsunade must have written it when she was drunk.

Many of the best medical jutsu Tsunade had come up with had been developed that way, so Sakura felt no real sense of foreboding. As worst she'd end up with an explosion or something.

Sakura grabbed a blank scroll and sat down to translate it. Usually Shizune did this, but she was on her mandated vacation, as required of all the Hokage's aides. Until she got back, Sakura was in charge of wrangling Tsunade into attending to her duties.

Sakura inspected the scroll one last time. This one had been far worse than usual. She still had no idea what it did, other than that it involved some type of transference.

Her hand slid through the seals idly as she attempted to sense its purpose based on how the chakra moved. There was no external effect, and all she could glean from it was a sense of stored potential. Sakura sighed and closed her eyes.

Tsunade snorted in her sleep, and Sakura jerked awake. She rolled her translation scroll closed and set it on Tsunade's desk. Hopefully Tsunade would remember the effect she had been going for in the morning.

Sakura pulled a blanket from one of the lower drawers and draped it over Tsunade. She studied Tsunade's slack-jawed face for a moment, then pulled a blonde pigtail free from her mouth.

A spark leapt from Tsunade's skin to Sakura's fingers, sending a sharp sting through her hand and up her wrist. Sakura bit back a curse and glared at the afghan suspiciously. Stupid static.

The ANBU stationed outside Tsunade's office waved lazily. Sakura waved back, then locked the door. She stretched, cracking her back.

"Are you alright?" the ANBU asked her.

Sakura could sense the uncomfortable shuffling of the other three ANBU at the very edges of her perception. ANBU weren't supposed to talk.

"I'm fine," she replied. "Just tired." The ANBU nodded and Sakura smiled reluctantly. Spikey silver hair was not very anonymous. "Tsunade passed out around midnight and she'll probably be hung over," she warned the guards. Tsunade's hangovers were punctuated with sharp bouts of irritation with the world, and occasionally further punctuated by a thrown desk or poorly aimed backhands that could shatter steel.

The ANBU faded into the shadows and that likely would have been the end of it, had Sakura not tripped on her way out the door. Kakashi—the ANBU—caught her before she could hit the floor. Sakura hissed, her skin jittering where he touched her, a snapping crackle filling the air. There must have been a lot of static in the air.

"Thanks," she muttered, flushing with embarrassment, because what kind of ninja tripped on flat ground?

He shook his hands, trying to regain feeling. "No problem."

"Sakura!" Tsunade's bellow tore her from her daydreams.

"Yeah?" Sakura asked, entering the Hokage's office.

"What's this?" she demanded, tossing Sakura a scroll.

Sakura unravelled it, and stared in confusion at her own handwriting. "Um..." Her face cleared and she remembered. "Right. A couple of months ago, you gave me one of your drunken jutsu scrolls and told me to translate it, so I did. I couldn't figure out what it was supposed to do, though."

Tsunade lifted a second scroll from the pile on her desk and handed it to her. "Was the scroll I told you to translate this one?" she asked.

Sakura nodded, recognizing the ink blots that obscured the lower left corner. "Yeah, why?"

"Because the scroll you wrote contains an extremely innovative fertility jutsu," Tsunade sounded strangely impressed. "The one I wrote contains a jumbled mass that was intended to transfer hair from one person to another. As it’s written, it just gives everyone, including the caster, food poisoning."

Sakura squinted at the scrolls. "Seriously?" she asked after a second. Sakura had an excellent understanding of jutsu theory, but some things were beyond her skill. The jutsu she'd written down was elaborate and obscure enough to be included in that category.

"Tested them this morning," Tsunade confirmed. "We now have three cages of pregnant mice in the lab, and most of the fourth floor is nauseous."

"How do they work?" Sakura asked, hooking her foot around a chair and sitting down. She barely remembered writing the scroll.

"The one you wrote? One person casts the jutsu and then touches another person of the opposite gender. The second person is impregnated with the first's child," Tsunade explained, waving her hand through the air to illustrate.

Sakura blinked, filled with a nagging sense that she was forgetting something. "Wait, how did you test this on mice?" She wrinkled her nose in disgust, envisioning little half-Tsunade, half-mouse monstrosities.

"It also seems to have a transference effect. If it's impossible for two people to produce a child—say, two women—then it takes and stores a sample of the second person's DNA until a suitable second donor is found," Tsunade said. "Impressive, considering the limitations that had to be included to make that true."

"So you touched two different mice to set it into action?" Sakura asked for clarification. She was forgetting something about that night. Something really important.

"Worked like a charm." Tsunade leaned back in her chair. "This may have been an accident, but I have to commend you, Sakura. This jutsu has the potential to help a lot of ninja have families. It doesn't appear to care about their ability to produce sperm or fertile eggs so much as it relies on a mix of chakra and—"

"Holy shit," Sakura interrupted Tsunade. "Holy SHIT." She rather suddenly remembered the night in question.

"Damn it, what's wrong?" Tsunade asked, alarmed.

"Did it feel like static?" Sakura asked. "When you cast it and touched the mice. Did it feel like static?"

"Yes. Yes it did." Tsunade sighed and slumped forward over her desk. "You cast it. When did you cast it?"

Sakura shook her head, her fingers fumbling through a set of seals that she'd learned one extremely panicked month when she was fifteen. "Damn it, damn it, damn it..."

The results came back negative. "Oh thank all the dead Hokages," she muttered, collapsing back against her chair. Not pregnant. Just as fantastic to find out at eighteen as it has been at fifteen, who knew?

Tsunade locked her hands together and rested her chin on them. "Sakura..."

"The night I was transcribing it, I ran through the seals to see if the feel of it could tell me what it would do. Nothing seemed to happen," Sakura admitted freely, deeply relieved that she wasn't carrying Tsunade and Kakashi's love child. Though love child probably wasn't the right word. More like chakra baby or something.

"Who did you touch?" Tsunade asked out of curiosity. "It seems to wear off after about an hour, so you may be over-reacting."

Sakura relaxed into her chair, rolling up the scrolls and returning them to Tsunade's desk. The important thing was that no one had gotten pregnant. "You passed out and were chewing on your hair, so I pulled it out of your mouth. I touched your cheek and felt a static spark."

A strange expression crossed Tsunade's face. "I hadn't considered..." she murmured thoughtfully.

Sakura watched Tsunade quietly. She'd forgotten Tsunade's desire for children. It was only polite to forget tear-stained drunk confessions, after all. "Do you think it would work for you?" Sakura asked.

"My body can't carry a child to term," Tsunade said regretfully. She closed her eyes, and the wistful expression left her face, replaced by the calculated stoicism of the Hokage. "Besides, I don't have the time or energy to raise children."

Sakura sighed. She wished she could make Tsunade's life better, or give her back some of the dreams that had been torn away from her. "I'm sorry," Sakura said.

"As I said, the jutsu doesn't work between two females anyway," Tsunade said, ignoring Sakura's sympathy. "It requires a man and a woman to produce a viable result. Which is a pity, but it can't be helped," she concluded.

"I heard you—it's just that after I left your office I tripped and one of the ANBU caught me," Sakura explained.

"Which one?"

"Ka—" Sakura cleared her throat. "Wolf."

Tsunade's brow furrowed, and she pulled a file folder from pile on her desk. "He just applied for sick leave, citing a re-occurring stomach bug."

They looked at each other across the expanse of messy papers.

"It couldn't possibly—" Sakura began.

"The idea is ridiculous."

"Did you try with the mice?"

"I didn't think to."

"Well, it doesn't matter—"

"—because men can't get pregnant," Tsunade concluded firmly.

Silence, as they stared at Kakashi's sick leave request with mutual expressions of unsettled interest.

"Do you want to go to the lab?"

"A visit to his apartment would be faster," Tsunade replied.

"It'll only take a second."

"Because there's no way—"

"I'm sure it's a coincidence."

Tsunade nodded firmly, standing up. "We should go."

"Get the idea out of our heads," Sakura agreed, getting to her feet.

"It's crazy, that's what it is," Tsunade said sharply. "We'll just check up on him. He's a valuable employee who happens to be sick."

"We're going to ensure that he's healthy enough to be outside of the hospital."

"Well we certainly aren't checking to see if he's—"

"Of course not."

Sakura locked the door behind them.

Kakashi looked like shit.

Sakura felt a wave of relief. Looking like shit was connected to having a stomach bug.

He also looked confused. "Sakura?"

Tsunade leaned closer.

"And Tsunade. Was my sick leave revoked?"

"Hm? Oh, no," Tsunade said distractedly, looking him over. "We discovered that you may have been exposed to an untested jutsu. Your sickness may be a side effect of this jutsu."

Kakashi nodded, sagging against the wall. He was wearing a pair of loose shorts and a tank top with a lopsided mask and headband. It was fewer clothes than Sakura had ever seen him in, but there was still the faint of glow of fever sweat on his skin. "It's not a stomach bug?" he asked, closing his eye.

"We hope it is," Sakura said. "But it's better safe than sorry. May we come in?"

Kakashi twitched and glanced over his shoulder. "Ah, just give me a second. My apartment's a mess." He closed the door and the sound of rapid cleaning came from inside.

"Is he seriously cleaning up before he lets us in?" Sakura whispered in disbelief. In her experience, guys didn't do that. Hell, they didn't even seem to notice that things were dirty.

Tsunade nodded. "Hatake men have always been domestic," she whispered back.


"Kakashi was raised by his father until he was four. His mother supported the family by working guard duty."

The door opened. "I'm sorry, it's still messy, but please come in," Kakashi said. He backed up, allowing them through the door.

Sakura scanned the apartment as she entered. It showed evidence of rapid tidying, but it smelled clean. Other than that, her only real impression was that the place was really small.

"Sit down before you fall down," Tsunade ordered.

Sakura glanced back at Kakashi and realized that he was wobbling ominously without a wall to support him. He dropped onto his bed with more relief than grace.

"I don't have any chairs," Kakashi said. He looked a little anxious. "I guess...I'm sorry. I'm not equipped for entertaining."

Sakura imagined how she'd feel if people had shown up unannounced on her doorstep and asked to come in. She winced. "That's fine Kakashi. We're just here to make sure you weren't affected by the jutsu, and hopefully get you feeling better either way."

Kakashi shrugged noncommittally and listed slightly to the side.

Tsunade knelt beside him and placed her hand on his wrist. "Feeling dizzy?"

Kakashi nodded.

Sakura frowned contemplatively. "You know, you can lie down for this. We may end up being here for a while."

"I'm fine," Kakashi muttered. The little energy he had seemed to drain out of him.

"It really will work better if you're lying down," Tsunade told him. She slid one arm under his knees and the other around his shoulders. "Let me know if you get nauseous," she said, picking Kakashi up and carrying him toward the head of the bed. He clutched at Tsunade's shoulder weakly, but offered no other protest.

Sakura followed, feeling vaguely useless. She was almost certain that he was just sick, which meant that there wasn't a huge amount that they could do other than taking away the aches and fevers for a couple of hours.

Tsunade laid Kakashi onto the rumpled top sheet.

He rolled onto his side, panting lightly.

"Nausea?" Tsunade asked, grabbing his hand and pressing down on a pressure point that reduced motion sickness.

Kakashi sighed and nodded, burying his face in a pillow. "It's better now," he said, his voice muffled by the fabric.

"I'm almost certain that you're just sick," Tsunade told him, sitting on the edge of his bed. She waved Sakura over. "But it's better to be sure."

Sakura sat by his legs, resting a careful hand on Kakashi's bare knee. "We're going to run a series of scans, alright?" she asked him. Kakashi's anxiety issues around medics were well documented. It paid to ensure that he remained calm.

"Okay," he answered sleepily, apparently too tired or ill to care. Sakura squeezed his leg lightly, then launched into the same series of hand seals she'd used earlier that day.

"Well?" Tsunade eventually asked when Sakura didn't say anything.

Sakura glanced up, and performed the hand seals again. To double check.

"No," Tsunade denied, a faintly shocked look crossing her face. "It's impossible."

Sakura stared at the exposed line of skin between Kakashi's shorts and his tank top. She could sort of see his belly button. "Maybe I'm not doing it right. Or, like, it's a false positive. You should try."

Tsunade ignored Kakashi's confused questions, and cast the jutsu herself. Her hands dropped slowly, and she joined Sakura in staring at his belly. "I'll be damned."

"What?" Kakashi asked, struggling to sit up. "What's wrong?" Tsunade pinned him with a hand on his shoulder, shaking her head mutely. Unsurprisingly, it did not reassure Kakashi. "What—?"

Sakura gave him a faintly panicked look. "Um...we need to run a few more scans."

Kakashi looked at her, then at Tsunade. "Okay," he said uncertainly.

"We should check and see if his sickness is a side effect, or if he's just sick in addition to the whole...thing," Sakura said.

"And check on the health of the—Check his overall health." Tsunade sounded slightly stunned. She stroked Kakashi's hair, smoothing the worst of the unruly cowlicks down, and Sakura suddenly realized that this was probably her baby. Embryo. Whatever. 50% Tsunade's genetic material.

"Am I dying?" Kakashi asked, obviously freaked out that Tsunade was petting him.

"No," Tsunade said firmly. "You'll be fine."

"It's not fatal," Sakura reassured him, suppressing a hysterical laugh. How was she supposed to explain this? "We just need to...check on a few things. None of which will kill you."

Tsunade initiated a series of scanning medical jutsu. "The flu is incidental," she determined. "Though likely brought on by reduced immune system function."

Which raised additional questions. "How long had you been feeling ill?" Sakura asked Kakashi, distracting him as Tsunade rolled him onto his back and rested both of her hands on his belly.

"A month? I don't know. Was just...sick," Kakashi said. "I didn't really feel bad, I just couldn't keep much of anything down."

"And this?" Sakura asked. Tsunade slid Kakashi's shirt up to the bottom of his ribs, baring a narrow waist and well defined muscles. "How long with other symptoms?"

"Three days." Kakashi wiggled and glanced down, his skin twitching under Tsunade's hands. "What's wrong with me?"

"You're sick," Sakura said. It had the advantage of being true, without being all that true. Tsunade grabbed Sakura's hand and placed it low on Kakashi's belly, between his hips, ignoring the faint noise of protest he made.

"Check it out and tell me your opinion," Tsunade said, her brow furrowing.

Sakura sent a gentle wave of chakra under Kakashi's skin, searching. Her breath caught, and she leaned closer, tucking a lock of hair behind her ear. There were two! "He's..."


The little—things (she isn't going to get attached)—had independent chakra sources that wiggled as her chakra touched them, one much more enthusiastically than the other. It felt familiar. Like Sakura's chakra.

"One is mine," she said, looking at Tsunade. Sakura had imagined that they would figure out whether Kakashi was pregnant and remove the embryo if he was. She had no idea why this changed things, just that it suddenly felt real in a way that the abstract had not.

They were so...small. Sakura fought back a wave of protectiveness, grasping for emotional distance. It would be his decision and no one else's.

"What the hell are you talking about?" Kakashi demanded. "Will you please tell me what is going on?"

Sakura snatched her hand back, blushing. "I'm sorry," she said. "This is just...there was a jutsu, and I..."

"You're pregnant," Tsunade said.

"That isn't possible."

"We didn't think so either," Sakura said. "But like I was saying, I made a mistake transcribing one of Tsunade's jutsu and created something that impregnates through touch."

"I'm not—I haven't—" Kakashi protested, waving his hands in distress. "I didn't!" He paled and scrambled off the bed, sprinting toward his bathroom.

Tsunade sighed and for a second Sakura could see just how upset she was. "This is probably the strangest thing I've ever been call to deal with," she murmured softly.

"Yeah," Sakura agreed. Kakashi hadn't managed to close the door all the way, and she could hear him being vilely ill. "Should I...?"

Tsunade shook her head.

The sounds of Kakashi retching faded and were replaced by running water.

"What are we going to do?" Sakura asked quietly. He probably could hear them, but she desperately wanted to know where they were going with this.

"What we'd do for a kunoichi. Give him the options and all of the information. Then let him decide," Tsunade said, her voice pitched perfectly for Kakashi to be able to hear.

The water turned off. "How..." Kakashi slouched back into his room. "How did this happen? —Wait. First I think I should ask if you're sure. I haven't. I honestly haven't..." he ran a frustrated hand over his face, drying the water he'd splashed on it. "...you know. In years. Over ten years if we're going to be really fucking precise about it."

Tsunade raised an eyebrow. "I almost want to ask what 'you know' is, but we'll skip that. You are pregnant. We both cast the diagnostic jutsu, and then used a physical scan to locate the embryos."

Kakashi's eye went wide. "Embryos? As in plural?"

"You're carrying twins," Sakura informed him.

"Ah." Kakashi swayed. "Can I lie down?" he asked, staring at his bed longingly. "I'm not...I feel somewhat..." Kakashi pushed his hands through his hair and shook his head.

Sakura took one of Kakashi's hands and lead him toward the bed. He swayed worryingly as he walked, and dropped to his knees once he reached the mattress. Kakashi crawled into the corner by the wall and curled around a pillow, only his eye visible over the edge of the pillow case. "Okay. Okay. So how did I—why did this happen?"

"Look," Sakura began awkwardly, "you shouldn't—" She paused and took a breath, gathering her thoughts. "I don't know what you're thinking, but you should know that if the circumstances are going to be compared to anything, it has to be civilians trapped in an area effect jutsu. You were in the wrong place at the wrong time and you caught me when I tripped over my own feet. That is the extent of your blame in this, okay?"

Kakashi relaxed at her explanation, so obviously he'd been thinking something weird.

"I screwed up when I was trying to translate Tsunade's handwriting, and I managed to create a fertility jutsu that impregnates by touch. You're pregnant because you touched my skin and the jutsu's effects transferred to you.

"Do you remember about two and a half months ago? You were...um..." Sakura avoided the word ANBU. Everyone knew, of course, but no one was supposed to. "...in the room outside the Hokage's office. At two in the morning. I tripped, you caught me, and we both got a big electric shock. That was it."

Kakashi was quiet for the space of a few breaths. "So...how..." He shook his head again. "Who's the father?" he asked.

Tsunade chuckled. "You are. This only seems to work between males and females of the same species. The question you really want to ask is 'who is the mother?'" She stopped talking, possibly too abruptly.

Kakashi looked at Sakura in disbelief. "You're telling me that I'm carrying the children of my former student."

Sakura blushed, because it sounded really weird like that. "Well, one of them is mine," she said awkwardly. "The other—"

"The transfer effect is cumulative," Tsunade interrupted her. "And Sakura touched me before she touched you." If her voice got any more neutral, they'd have to start peace talks so as not to waste it.

Kakashi didn't speak.

Tsunade bowed her head slightly. "Now, as you doubtless heard me say, you have several options."

The room suddenly seemed colder. The sun outside seemed darker. Sakura forced her expression to stay blank.

"I need time," Kakashi said afterward. "To decide what I want to do."

Tsunade nodded solemnly. "That is understandable. Sakura and I will leave. You may come to either of us with your decision."

There weren't any words that Sakura could think of that didn't feel like manipulation, so she didn't speak. She did lean over and hug Kakashi because it wasn't his fault. He was stiff and unresponsive in her arms, but she hadn't expected anything less.

"Kakashi?" Tsunade said, standing in the doorway, half in and half out. "If you need anything..." she let the words die and left, closing the door behind her.

Without Tsunade watching, Sakura found words. "I'm sorry," she muttered into Kakashi's shoulder. "And if there's anything I can do..." Sakura let go and backed away from him. Kakashi didn't look up.
"I'll help you if I can," she promised, closing the door behind her.

A few seconds later, Sakura heard the lock snap into place.

She woke to the sound of her floor creaking. Sakura threw a kunai before she opened her eyes, and surged into a defensive stance before she located the intruder.

"Hey." Kakashi was backlit by the light of the moon.

Sakura stared at him, the tension seeping from her muscles, leaving her exhausted. The red numbers on her alarm clock said that it was four seventeen in the morning. "Hey," she replied.

He shifted and the floor creaked again. "You look tired," Kakashi said. "I should go."

Sakura flipped the dagger in her hand, returning it to the sheath strapped to her thigh. "No. Sit," she told Kakashi. Belatedly, she remembered that her bedroom had no chairs. "In the kitchen," she clarified, heading toward the door.

He laughed, the sound choked and startled, but followed.

Sakura flicked the light switch, grateful that her kitchen was clean for once. She'd scrubbed her apartment top to bottom to keep from thinking. "Tea?" she asked, filling the kettle with water.

"Please," he said. One of the chairs scraped on the kitchen floor as he pulled it out from the table.

Sakura pulled down a second cup and took two tea bags from the box.

"Is this possible?" Kakashi asked.

The tea kettle whistled, and Sakura distracted herself with pouring boiling water in the mugs. Dark pigment swirled free from the tea bags, staining the water red.

"Sakura?" His voice revealed strain. Stress. Fear?

Sakura grabbed both cups and set them on the table, taking the seat across from Kakashi. She stared into her tea, watching the slowly deepening tint until her heart calmed and her emotions settled.

"I..." Kakashi stood, shoving the chair back, knocking it into the wall. "I shouldn't have bothered you. I'll leave." The faint waver in his voice betrayed his distress.

Sakura grabbed his wrist, and shook her head. "No, stay," she insisted. "I'm sorry. I'm more emotionally involved in this than I should be." His pulse thrummed under Sakura's thumb, too fast.

Kakashi sat down with careful precision, pulling his arm free. "Then...?"

Sakura nodded. "What do you want to know?"

"Tsunade said...she said it may be possible for me to carry them to term." Kakashi took a sharp breath. "A chance that they could live." His hands wrapped around his tea, hiding the way they shook.

Sakura felt a faint stirring of hope that she didn't understand. She didn't really want children. "Yes. Between Tsunade and I, almost certainly. Without medical care the embryos would likely die. Even now they are undersized, likely because the placentas have attached to the abdominal wall." Sakura blew on her tea. "But I've thought of at least three ways to fix that and I'm certain that Tsunade has thought of more."

Kakashi's fingernails whitened, the blood leaving them as he gripped his tea cup. "If you were to estimate the chances..." he said softly.

Sakura could feel his eyes on her, the strength of his interest in her answer. "Essentially the same as they would be for a woman," she said eventually. There were significantly more risks, but with Tsunade's vested interest in ensuring that the embryos survived, Sakura would be very, very surprised if they didn't.

"And me?" he asked. "Would I...?"

Sakura laughed, startled. "Oh, but that's easy," she assured him. "I can fix damn near everything short of decapitation on a full grown adult. Your body knows what it is. There's very little risk that you will die."

She felt the tension lift, like the sun had risen or the clouds had parted. Sakura looked up, startled.

"That—That's good," Kakashi said, slow and a little uncertain.

"You want—them?" she asked. Happiness rose unbidden, lightening her heart.

Kakashi looked at her, his smile slightly stilted. He glanced at his tea, then slipped his mask down. "Yes." he said, lifting his tea and sipping it carefully.

Sakura stared.

"I want children—very much so," Kakashi told her, setting his tea on the table. He smiled hesitantly at her. Sakura's lips curved in an instinctive response.

"You need to tell Tsunade tomorrow, then. She's probably dead drunk right now, but you need to tell her that you want to keep them," Sakura said, sorting through the uncertain rush of emotions his declaration had caused. She was happy, maybe. Happy for Tsunade, certainly.

"Will she be mad?"

Sakura shook her head. "No. Tsunade will be very happy." She glanced up and gave Kakashi a considering look. "Are you feeling all right?" Sakura asked. Kakashi was nearly white. The kitchen lights were admittedly harsh, but he was colorless.

Kakashi pulled his mask back up, but not before she saw a hint of pale pink flush coloring his cheeks. "I couldn't sleep," he admitted, "and I couldn't keep anything down."

Sakura sipped her tea. "Do you think you could handle soup?" she asked, mentally cataloguing the contents of her kitchen.

"I'm not very hungry," Kakashi said.

"I have ramen, miso, or ramen with miso," Sakura continued, heading toward her dry goods cupboard. He needed to eat, and soup was more likely to stay down than week-old takeout.

"Miso is fine," Kakashi replied.

Sakura refilled the tea kettle and turned the stove back on.

"How about fever, aches, and chills? We were a bit...startled this morning, but I can make those stop for a couple of hours to help you sleep."

"I would appreciate that," he said carefully.

Sakura ripped open the soup packet and squeezed the paste into a bowl. "It's no trouble," she said, pouring the hot but not quite boiling water over top. She grabbed a spoon and stirred until she couldn't feel any lumps, then handed it to Kakashi.

Kakashi pulled his mask down again, the dark fabric wrinkling around his neck, and drank directly from the bowl, draining it in a few quick swallows. "Thank you," he said, stretching his mask back over his face.

"No trouble," Sakura repeated. "Now, how tired are you?"


"Any objections to sleeping in my bed instead of going home? I'll take the couch, but I can tell from here that you're about to collapse." Sakura only exaggerated a little bit on that score.

Kakashi shook his head. "I wouldn't want to put you out of your bed," he replied, standing carefully. He wasn't quite steady on his feet.

"Is that your way of asking me to join you?" Sakura teased him, gathering the dishes and placing them in the sink to do tomorrow.

Kakashi stuttered a nearly incomprehensible negative, blushing furiously. "No—I wasn't—I'm very sorry—"

Sakura looked up, startled by his vehemence, then interrupted. "I—ah—Kakashi?"

Kakashi stopped talking and looked at her. His hands were shaking again.

"I was teasing you. If you want someone to sleep next to then I'm not going to object, but honestly, I was teasing."

Kakashi smiled blankly like he didn't know what else to do, and Sakura suddenly remembered the way he'd said 'ten years.' "I can't sleep. With other people, I mean. It doesn't work."

"That's pretty normal," Sakura said calmly, hoping he'd take her words to heart. "But teasing aside, you are ill and rather unexpectedly pregnant with my child, so I'd like you to stay so that I can keep an eye on you. I promise, my couch is very comfortable and I really don't mind." Her couch was hellishly lumpy, but she really didn't mind. 50% truth was good enough.

Kakashi's posture relaxed. "Okay."

"Good." Sakura led him back into her bedroom, turning on the bedside lamp. The yellowish light made him look far healthier than the fluorescents in the kitchen. "Lie down?"

Kakashi slipped his vest off, then his belt and kunai pouch and set them by his sandals under the window. He stared at Sakura's bed uncertainly, like the rumpled sheets would somehow attack him if he came too close. "Are you sure?" he asked.

"Completely," Sakura replied. "Lie down."

Kakashi complied, folding himself neatly into the hollow where she usually slept.

Sakura knelt beside him and watched for a few seconds, her chakra seeking out the tiny echo inside Kakashi. It twisted eagerly, clumsily pawing at Sakura’s chakra. Its sibling followed suit a moment later.

"Is that—?" Kakashi asked softly, his hand sliding up to cover his stomach.

"Yes," Sakura answered quietly, dragging the sheets and blankets up to cover him. "They're both very lively."

Kakashi stared at her, then pulled his mask off entirely, taking the headband covering his sharingan with it. "This is real, isn't it?" he asked, the words rushed. "This is actually happening?"

Kakashi's face was a shock, even after having seen it twice earlier. "Yeah. This is happening," Sakura said unsteadily, combing his hair with her fingers to make it lie flat. His happiness left her breathless, because Sakura couldn't imagine wanting children so badly that she would carry them in her own body.

"Thank you." The sharingan spun slowly, black fish swimming around a dark pool. "I know this was an accident, but thank you. I never thought I would have a chance to have a family again."

It clicked and Sakura suddenly understood. "Me neither," she answered, startled by the depth of the longing that overtook her, tears coming unbidden to her eyes.

Her team had been made of orphans and lost causes, but when Sakura thought of family, she thought of the three boys who had been her brothers. This wasn't like the blood relatives who had not known her, had not seen her, and had never, ever understood her. These children were a part of her family.

Kakashi's hand patted hers, fast and gone almost before she noticed. "Are you okay?" he questioned anxiously.

"I'm fine. I just realized how much I miss having a family," Sakura answered, blinking away the tears.

"You want them too, then?" Kakashi asked. His emotions were so much clearer when she could see his face. "You didn't seem—I'm pleased."

"I wasn't thinking about it in the right way."

"How will—"

"We can talk in the morning, you need to sleep," Sakura interrupted him, noticing again the deep circles under his eyes. She turned off the lamp and placed her hand on Kakashi's chest, sending out a wave of chakra that soothed his irritated stomach and the faint fever. A careful brush along his spine dulled his sensitivity to pain for the next six hours.

Kakashi melted into her mattress, his eye fluttering closed and his body falling limp, the tension that had been keeping him awake gone.

"Better?" Sakura asked, petting his hair one last time.

"Yes," he sighed. "Thank you." Kakashi's voice was hazy and faint, though his gratitude was clear.

Sakura left the door open.

Date: 2011-12-22 12:42 pm (UTC)
edellin: (Default)
From: [personal profile] edellin
That was very unique! I really enjoyed it!

Date: 2012-09-01 03:29 pm (UTC)
lunabee34: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lunabee34
Without knowing this fandom, I think this is a really interesting idea. I love the explanation for how he gets pregnant and that everyone has a bit of time dealing with it. Wonderful read.

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