So when Aoru was born, Kakashi was there -- right there, in the room, having his hand broken with savage glee, seeing as how Sakura's water had broken while she was practicing a grappling hold on him. (Also with savage glee. The first pregnancy had made her mood-swingy and the second one somewhat murderous, but the third pregnancy combined the heights of her good cheer with a tendency to go straight for the throat.) Incidentally, he was now shirtless under the hospital garb they forced on him, because his vest was drenched with mommy fluids.
When the squalling little thing was taken out he was allowed to stagger off into the waiting room, only to be barreled into by Sasuke and Naruto. Yes she was fine, the baby was presumably fine -- it wouldn't be that loud if it wasn't -- and what did he know whether it was a boy or a girl, it wasn't like he had looked at it.
"You didn't look?" asked Naruto with puzzlement.
Kakashi paused. Weighed his words.
"It was coming out of Sakura's. Place."
Sasuke was the first to laugh, though Naruto joined him fast. Kakashi only sighed and sank into the closest couch.
So then Naruto ransacked a vending machine for Sakura's favorites, and Sasuke paced a hole in the floor, and Kakashi had a nurse fix the hairline crack in his knuckle bone. He considered leaving afterwards but he was growing older and slower and he had to admit with great regret that long gone were the days where he could hope to outrun a woman scorned. Besides the couch was comfortable, and there was something hypnotic about the regular back and forth of Sasuke's nervous pacing.
"And who is going to meet Daddy now? Oh yes you are, you precious little angel."
Naruto dumped his loot on the couch and quivered in excitation. Sasuke whirled around on the spot and almost tripped. Both their fingers twitched with the need to appropriate the child. Kakashi closed his eyes and relaxed into the couch.
A second later he had a tiny little package warming his lap.
"Ah -- there's been a mistake," he said, trying to notice Sasuke glaring red murder at him.
The nurse giggled. "Oh, it's a big change indeed, but you'll get used to the idea soon. Look, doesn't she look just like you?"
Kakashi tried not to breathe too deeply in case he rolled the squirmy thing off his lap. "No, you see, I was just accompanying the mother -- huh."
The baby's hair was barely there, light and fuzzy -- but also unmistakably gray. Had Kakashi been an artist, he would have named the color "light slate." He wasn't, so he just named it "mine."
Naruto paused in mid-step. Stared at the baby. Tilted his head. Opened his mouth. Paused again, considering.
Then called out through the open door, to the bed Sakura was recuperating on.
"Oi Sakura-chan, you could have told us you were cheating on us with Kakashi-sensei!"
It was the talk of the hospital for a whole two months. Kakashi was just glad he wasn't the one who had to pay for repairs.
The baby grew up into an active, hug-happy, tantrum-prone toddler who walked at eight months and said her first word at nine ("idiot.") Naruto took to referring to his beloved, much-admired sensei as "Sakura-chan's concubine," taught his daughter to comb her hair over half her face, and referred to New Year and birthday presents as hush money.
Sasuke was the one who got her a miniature chuunin vest to wear for her first costumed party, but Kakashi forgave him. Sasuke was still clinging to his denial that little Aoru was just trying to be more like papa. Well, Sasuke-papa.
"Genetics are weird," Sasuke would say. "She got the white hair gene from Sakura's father and the black from me, and came up with her own color. That's my daughter alright." And the housewives of the block clucked sadly behind his back.
Kakashi was lucky these days when he managed to time his visits with Naruto's missions, because being greeted by "why, if it isn't the other, other boyfriend!" lost some of its charm after six years. And it never seemed to help when Sakura snapped and went after the blond with whatever heavy thing she happened to have in hand.
Then one day Sakura snapped in a different way.
When Kakashi hopped over the gate and strolled toward them, already wearing his long-suffering 'ignoring Naruto' face, she didn't sigh, or look embarrassed.
She smiled at him.
That was rare enough, but it was the type of smile that made Kakashi's hair raise on the back of his neck. It was a secretive smile. A pleased, languorous smile. She stepped up to him in a hips-rolling, feline way that his cute little student should have had no knowledge of, at all, ever, and she placed a hand on his shoulder. Her voice was way too low, too intimate when she greeted him.
"It's been a long time... Kakashi."
Naruto seemed to have forgotten his mouth was still open.
Kakashi was a good ninja. A great ninja, even. So even though in his mind he wanted nothing more than to put his hands on his eye and ears (all three of them at the same time; he was talented), on the physical plane he only gave a little twitch before leaning toward his student and smiling back, heavy-lidded and attentive.
Naruto's arm worked well to point with, but his mouth was still out of order, which boded well for the ultimate result of this plan. Sakura gave a sensual little chuckle and leaned in.
Kakashi's nerve broke when he saw her lips approach.
A couple of hours later Naruto was still breaking into random fits of giggles and muttering "his FACE ahaha" at frequent intervals, but at least it was another three whole months before he made the baby daddy joke again.
"At this rate you might as well become our fourth lover for real," said Sasuke one day when they were sitting at the edge of the deck, watching not-so-little Aoru throwing earthworms at her older siblings. And while Kakashi choked in his mask, Sasuke just waved at the wall that separated them from the rest of the district philosophically. "After all, we've already dealt with the wave of shocked gossip."
Kakashi hummed with distracted interest and pointed out a very interesting taijutsu combo Aoru-chan had used to trip up Naruto's kid. Not a genius, no, but she was still gifted. Look how well she beat up her bigger siblings.
Sasuke only smirked at him and snapped a no-nonsense order at the squabbling children. Aoru even managed to look contrite. "And a remarkable actress as well," Kakashi commented.
"She's a pest," Sasuke replied, but he looked more amused than anything. "Yamada-san asked me why you weren't living with us yesterday."
"Seems like public opinion is reaching the point where it's becoming more shocking that you aren't parenting your daughter than we're living in a depraved sex commune."
"Sasuke." Kakashi gave his favorite pupil -- ex-favorite now -- a disappointed look. "What have I ever done to you?"
Sasuke arched an eyebrow, and took a sip of coffee. "You mean beside the fact that Sakura's parents wonder why we haven't brought you over for dinner yet?"
"I would tell them that all signs point to Aoru having the sharingan, but at this level it would only get me more denial points." Sasuke said. "You're obviously a bastard child of the Uchiha. That implant story is just a cover-up."
"...Yes, obviously," Kakashi repeated weakly.
"Might as well accept the inevitable and move in."
"Sasuke. Sasuke. I will personally go to your in-laws and explain to them in great details the laws of genetics and why I am not your daughter's father. Or why I am not your incestuous cousin either. If you drop this conversation right now and pretend it never happened."
Sasuke gave him a considering look over the rim of his coffee cup.
"... And I'll babysit the kids Saturday night."
"Three Saturday nights."
"You drive a hard bargain."
"Bargain about what?"
Kakashi was too cool to jump, so he didn't. He even managed to slide the kunai that had appeared into his hand back in the pouch before the newly arrived Naruto noticed. (Sasuke was laughing at him with his eyes, of course.)
"Hey Sensei. Hey bastard." They were sitting at the edge of the deck, feet dangling in the grass underneath. Naruto crouched between the two of them, propping up an elbow on Sasuke's shoulder for balance. "Bargain about what?"
Sasuke shrugged his shoulder in an attempt to pretend he minded the casual contact. "You free Saturday?"
Sasuke grumbled at him. "Just like that. I'm free too."
"Hint, hint," Kakashi added helpfully. Sasuke kicked him.
"-- Oh! Are you asking me on a date?" Naruto grinned. "Sure! Anywhere you want, any position--"
"My, isn't that a rare Northern Purple-headed Finch?" Kakashi said, pointing at a pigeon.
Naruto scoffed a him. "Just because you're jealous you never got on one of our dates."
Kakashi only winced inwardly, but his students were so used to reading him through the mask and the neutral body language that the two brats snickered anyway.
"No, seriously, they're super-awesome. I bet you'd love them."
Sasuke was considering Naruto in a vaguely quizzical way, but one that wasn't exactly a 'what the hell' yet. Naruto smirked back, fangy and evilly delighted. "Sakura's hogged you long enough, Sensei. I mean, we share everything else, right?"
The heavy-lidded look the blond gave Kakashi was mildly unsettling; as for Sasuke, he watched the scene with a thoughtful, weighing look that said nothing on his true thoughts but hinted a bit too much anyway.
Pointing out that Sakura did not have him to share and the very thought of befouling his student (any of them) in such a way gave him hives would be useless; he'd been doing so for the last, oh, however long it had been since Aoru was born, and it hadn't stopped Naruto yet. Kakashi was still considering an appropriate counterattack -- retreat was the better part of valor, right? No, that was discretion. Live to fight another day? -- when a distraction came from an unexpected quarter.
"Dad!" their eldest child called out, as the brood noticed Naruto. "When did you get home?!"
They rushed toward the deck, grinning and waving; Naruto unfolded from his crouch and stepped forward to meet them.
Aoru, being the youngest and the one with the least decorum, was also the fastest to rush to say hello. Naruto opened his arms wide and leaned down to pick her up.
"Daddy!" she cried happily, and entirely bypassed him to throw herself at Kakashi.
Naruto stood frozen in horror. Kakashi blinked placidly, and gave the grey-haired head butting against his chest a little pat.
"You -- you -"
"Oh hey Naruto," she added with a little wave.
Naruto opened and closed his mouth a couple of time, finger pointed accusingly at the tableau. At Kakashi's side, Sasuke was quietly suffocating with laughter.
Kakashi arched a quizzical eyebrow at the little girl on his lap. Aoru beamed up at him, sweet as you please. Then she hugged him around the neck in a move worthy of a cuteness award.
Naruto whimpered. "A-Aoru-chan, you know, he's not, I mean -- he's not really your..."
The little girl gave him a pitying look and patted his hand. "It's okay, Naruto. I love you anyway."
Naruto opened his mouth, and closed it again.
"I think those two need a bath," Sasuke intervened serenely. Naruto snatched up the two leftover kids, made a horrible grimace at Kakashi and Sasuke, and stomped off, ranting under his breath about the traitorous ways of children.
Kakashi waited until the voice of the protesting pre-teen Naruto was handling like a sack of potatoes had faded in the distance.
Aoru sat up, snorted disdainfully, and flipped her hair. "You owe me a
LOT of candy."