Disclaimer: All rights reserved by Masashi Kishimoto
"Daddy! I want her to be my new mommy!"
Kakashi didn't know what to say. His single exposed eye widened, not giving a glance at the child attacking his pants, but staring back into mesmerizing blue and equally shocked eyes.
"Ehehehehe," the owner of those hypnotic blue eyes laughed nervously, her arm reaching back to scratch her neck out of some nervous habit. "I—I can't be your mommy, Kyōhei-chan! Th-That's impossible!"
"But…but Naruto-sensei!" Kyōhei whined to his blonde caretaker as he stomped the ground beneath his feet in protest.
What a weird name, Naruto. Kakashi thought, quietly observing his son's conversation with the daycare lady all the while taking in all of her exotic appearances. Golden blonde hair tied up in a ponytail threatening to unravel with baby strands sticking out in every direction. Paint in all sorts of colors splattered in places that the work apron should have prevented (Kakashi resisted the sudden urge to wipe at the dark green paint left on the woman's oddly marked cheeks). Tired but bright blue eyes twinkle and despair as they concentrate on the littlest Hatake. Tan skin…was a rarity even in this large city. I've never seen my brat act like this before.
"Are you new?" Kakashi interrupted the conversation, curiosity increasing as he observed the young woman.
"Ah! I am!" The woman perked up, a grin slowly stretching across her face. "I'm Uzumaki Naruto! Just started today! And I'm guessing you're Kyōhei-chan's father?"
"It's nice to meet you!" For some weird reason, Kakashi felt light-headed as Naruto smiled softly at him. People have said that you shouldn't stare directly into the sun. How interesting…
"Naruto-sensei!" Kyōhei demanded the young woman's attention. Both of the adults turned back to the 5-year-old whose scarf was seconds from falling off with all the excess movements. "Be my mommy!"
Naruto gave the little silver-haired boy an apologetic look, "I really can't be your mommy, Kyōhei-chan. That would hurt your real mommy's feelings."
"NO! I don't have a mommy! I want you to be my mommy!" Kyōhei stomped his feet harder in anger, his scarf barely hanging on now.
Naruto backed up in shock, her eyes automatically meeting Kakashi's in question with a slight hint of desperation. Help!
"Kyōhei's mom…left us when he was only two," Kakashi explained his eye softening as he gazed down at his upset son. He didn't realize that that woman's departure still affect the boy so much. Still, Kakashi didn't see a need to keep such information a secret. It wasn't like the whole city didn't know. The big scandal of Konoha. Of the Hatake family. Uzumaki-san would have found out eventually anyways.
"Oh," Naruto didn't want to pry any further. She looked back down at the child. "I'm really sorry, Kyōhei-chan. I just…I really can't."
Kyōhei's eyes started to water and Naruto began to panic as the pooling tears were on the verge of spilling. She didn't want to make the kid cry, but she couldn't just agree to his ridiculous demand.
"What?" Naruto was taken aback by surprise. When she asked Hatake senior for help through silent pleading…that was not what she had expected.
"Just one date or...an outing," Kakashi repeated himself. "Just to satisfy my crazy kid."
"I…uh," Naruto made the mistake of looking down at the puppy eyes directed at her with full power from the unfairly cute Hatake boy. "Alright…one date."
"YAY!" Kyōhei released his hold on his father's pants to tackle Naruto's leg in a tight hug. Naruto's eyes softened as she returned the little boy's embrace.
Kids are evil, Naruto thought, as she couldn't take her eyes off of the bouncing gray ball full of energy. Their puppy eyes are evil.
"When do you have off?" The gruff voice brought Naruto's attention back from her own thoughts. The look coming from the man in front of her unnerved Naruto for some reason, almost causing her to take a visible step back if it wasn't for the child attached to her leg.
"Um, I always have Saturdays and Sundays off." Naruto finally answered after an awkward long pause, turning back to watching the little boy as he started rubbing his cheeks against her paint covered jeans. Naruto grimaced at the colorful marks. That's not coming off in the wash anytime soon.
"Then I'll pick you up around noon this Saturday?" Kakashi asked the caretaker.
"Yeah," Naruto slowly took her eyes off the silver-haired child once more to meet his father's eyes…or eye. What is he a pirate? Who wears an eye-patch out in broad daylight? "Hold on a second. I'll give you my address."
Naruto quickly shuffled back into the daycare center, carefully dragging the tiny Hatake still attached to her, and came back with a quickly scribbled on sticky-note. "I'll be ready by…you said noon right?"
"Yeah," Kakashi took the piece of paper from her and glanced down at the poorly written words. Interesting…she lives near there…never saw her move in, though. "Alright, Kyōhei let go of the nice lady now. We need to go home."
And just like that, the little boy released his tight hold from the blonde woman's leg and smoothly slid right up to his father's side.
"Have a good evening, Naruto-sensei." Kyōhei politely bowed.
"Bye, Kyōhei-chan, Hatake-san," Naruto bowed to the silver-haired family. "I'll see you two on Saturday!"
Kakashi quietly nods his head back before quickly ushering his son along. It was starting to get dark. They had stayed for far longer than he had anticipated. Of course, he should always expect the unexpected.
Naruto stood outside a little longer, watching as the little family climb into a sleek black minivan (She snorted. A minivan…absolutely unexpected) and drove off.
"A date…this Saturday, huh?" Naruto mumbled to herself, unconsciously scratching at the itch on her left cheek. She pulled back her hand, idly peering at the green paint flakes stuck in between the short nails. "Wait…that's tomorrow!"
The drive home was quiet for the Hatake family. Kyōhei was preoccupied with making images out of the fluffy clouds floating steadily in the evening orange and yellow sky.
Orange…Kakashi couldn't help but continue to muse over the strange, exotic new caretaker his son seemed to have fallen in love with. "And blue."
"Blue? I think it looks more purple, Daddy." Kyōhei answered nonchalantly gazing out at the quickly darkening sky; the moon already seeking to take over the sun.
"Kyōhei-chan," Kakashi called to his son, glancing at him through the rear-end mirror. "Why Naruto-sensei?"
"Because she's nice!" Kyōhei returned a toothy grin before proceeding to ignore his dad again for a game of finding stars.
Hm…it's that simple.
"Is he cute?"
"I guess?" Naruto replied to the phone as she cleaned up the scattered toys and art supplies in the last classroom before she could call it a day.
Her boss stuck her head into the room, "You're the last one left Naruto-chan! Don't forget to lock up!" Naruto paused in the middle of cleaning the tables and nodded her head at the woman, her phone conversation put on hold as well.
"Bye Kurenai-san! I'll see you and Mirai-chan on Monday!" Naruto smiled widely at her boss. A little tuff of black popped around the door as well. The two-year-old toddler giggled in her mother's arms as she waved at the nice blonde lady who played with her today.
"Bye Naruto-chan! See you on Monday!"
"Bye-bye!" Mother and daughter left the room and Naruto placed her phone next to her ear again.
"…ruto! Naruto! Helloooooo! Tell me! What does your date look like?" A high-pitched voice nagged on the other end of the phone.
"Geez! Hold on for a second, Karin!" Naruto rolled her eyes at her cousin even though the other girl couldn't see it. "I said he looks alright, I guess. I can't really tell."
"What do you mean you can't tell? Describe him!" Naruto could hear the impatience oozing from the girl's tone.
Hm. "Oddly spiked silver hair, an eye patch, and a large scarf that covers the bottom half of his face. Like what gives? I know it's starting to get colder now that winter is nearing, but who covers their entire face like that save for a single eye?"
"So wait…you don't really know what he looks like then…?" Irritation was now laced around Karin's words. "Ugh! You're so useless, idiot."
Naruto knew Karin didn't mean it, but she still couldn't help the sting that was entirely too close to her heart. "What did you expect me to do?" She grumbled, her eyes taking one last sweeping glance around the room. When it was to her satisfaction, Naruto locked the door and went to get her stuff before heading home. "Grab his scarf and pull it off his face?"
"But what if he has buckteeth? Or giant lips…or…" Karin began, her voice rising to near hysteria as she continued to spout out baseless fears. "He could even be a criminal! Oh my god! That's it! I don't think you should go, Naruto. Cancel it! Call it off!"
"I can't, Karin." Naruto gave an exasperating sigh. Taking care to walk far from the curb, Naruto briskly head towards her apartment, letting her eyes sweep the still busy streets ever so often. "I don't have his number. There's no way I can reach him in time to cancel anything."
"What is wrong with you?" Karin cried through the speakers. "Naruto…ugh…I don't know what to do with you! I thought you'd be more careful after what happened last time!"
Naruto visibly grimaced at the memory that assaulted her. "Don't remind me, Karin-chan. I am being careful! That's why I moved! Besides, I did tell you that Hatake-san is bringing his son with us, so it'll be alright." Naruto smiled softly to herself as she took to reassuring the person who's practically her sister. "I was planning to tell Hatake-san that this wouldn't work out after tomorrow anyways."
Naruto could imagine her cousin's defeated face clearly in her mind. She had seen it more than enough. "Fine. Just be extra careful! Call me after everything is over! I want to know all the details!"
A small laugh fell from frozen lips. "I will! You big gossip." Naruto couldn't help the grin that just won't leave her face even as she gaze up at the shabbiest apartment complex within the area. "Well, I'm home now! Good night, Karin-chan! I'll call you tomorrow!"
"Good night, Naruto-chan! Talk to you tomorrow!"
"Hatake-sama, Hatake-bocchama," the family butler, Homura, greeted the pair coming through the garage door as he reached out to take both of their coats. "Welcome home, sirs."
"Homura-oiji-san!" Kyōhei screeched as he launched himself at the elderly man, "I found the perfect person for dad! We're going out with her tomorrow, so that she can see how great it'll be when she becomes my new mom!" Kyōhei released the man from his gripping hug, beaming brightly at him before bouncing away to his room.
Kakashi stared straight into questioning, weathered eyes. Mitokado Homura was like a father to Kakashi ever since his very own passed away when he was merely five.
"Uzumaki Naruto, Kyōhei's new caretaker at the daycare he goes to." That was all Kakashi revealed, but it brought an exasperating sigh out of the butler for a whole other reason.
"Hatake-sama, why do you insist on keeping Kyōhei-bocchama at that care center? I certainly can look after the young master while you're at work, sir." Homura asked the words rolling off his tongue as familiar as the other times they were spoken.
Kakashi knew the next words that would spill out of his own mouth as well, "You're getting older and need more time to relax, Homura. Besides, Kyōhei is there to—"
"To make friends and get out of his shy shell. Yes, but it is still dangerous, sir. We both know that those people are still on the loose." Homura gave Kakashi a stern stare, looking more like a father reprimanding his careless son.
Kakashi just smiled at the elder man from behind his large scarf. "I know what I'm doing, Homura. I trust Kurenai with my life and my child's life. And you should have faith in my decisions too, old man." Kakashi left the conversation and Homura's disappointed sigh behind him as he walked towards his personal study. "I'll see you at dinner, Homura."
"…Very well, sir."
Kakashi slid into his cushioned chair before turning his laptop on, absentmindedly listening to the sound of his office door closing. He had half an hour before dinner to make the necessary phone calls for tomorrow's arrangement. After all, there can't be a date if his day was booked with other matters. He just hoped that Naruto-san would be worth the lecture he's going to get from Asuma for skipping out on their monthly executive meeting.
The Next Day
"WHO THE HELL KEEPS RINGING THE DOORBELL!" Naruto sat up quickly in her bed, shooting terrible glares at the empty wall in front of her. Another ring echoed through the barely furnished apartment, reminding Naruto of her rude guest who couldn't take a hint after she didn't answer the door for the past 10 minutes.
A single glance at the blinking red light at her bedside told her it was only 12:11 PM.
"Oh my god!" Naruto growled loudly to herself, taking to throwing her comforter roughly away as if it was at fault for her being awake. Whoever is at that door better have a good reason for waking me up so early! Either way, they're meeting my fist!
Another ring sounded. Followed by some hurried knocking.
Naruto took no time to yank her door open when she got there, an angrier scowl plastered on her face and an insult ready on her tongue. "WHO THE FU—OHHH FU—Uh…"
Innocent gray eyes stared back into frozen blue eyes.
A/N: Just a little something I've been wanting to work on for some time. I hope you guys enjoyed that. If there's enough interest in this, I'll definitely write it back to back with Mendōkusei. So, tell me what you guys think of Hoikuen (Daycare)?