I do not own Naruto.

Here is the epilogue with little time skips! Enjoy ;)


There was more power in forgiveness than Itachi realized, standing in front of Fugaku's grave. Sasuke had long forgiven many things, so then Itachi, with reservations and logic, forgave their father.

And he moved on with his life.

For many it would be unbearable to exonerate those who had been cruel to the very end. Fugaku's dying speech was that he was proud of Itachi. A last lie to appease his son's psychology, so that his tyrannical plans may live on. Sasuke had tried to reason with Itachi, saying he believed their father meant his last words, but Itachi knew Fugaku better. It was a topic they no longer had a need to readdress.

Itachi's considered his mother's gravestone.

Mikoto. She turned a blind eye to it all, to the treason, to Itachi's feelings and Sasuke's welfare, because she loved her husband.

He did not understand why, but she had been more difficult to forgive. A single tulip was placed on Mikoto's resting place.

Despite his childhood, the truth was that Itachi loved his parents. Affection toward one's parents was imbedded into the makeup of every man. It would be a lie to say otherwise. Their choices in life ruined many things—but both things could be true. Itachi's love and his parents' betrayal.

Itachi heard laughter not too far off. He lingered only a moment more at the graves and then left.

On the way home, Kanna walked next to him. She'd taken to wearing her hair up since their son was born.

He was Keisuke. A silver haired toddler who was attached to his father. Itachi was with him, always. When he was a year old, Kanna returned to her field to teach little ones in the academy. Keisuke could have entered a preliminary school, but Itachi insisted he be the teacher during the child's formative years. Socializing was not an obstacle, as he had relatives around his age.

Naturally, Itachi cared for his son. He hardly put him down and often they went to play in the streams. His naps were spent in Itachi's arms while the man continued to take religious strolls and swims.

One could often spot the Uchiha swimming with a happy toddler holding on to his neck.

Today, Kanna was with them on their walk. Itachi wanted to visit the cemetery and she tagged along to keep Keisuke occupied while his father said his prayers. Now she held Itachi's free hand as he held a sleeping child. The boy's cheek was smooshed against his father's shoulder and soft little sighs escaped him.

"Satomi says he snores like me," Kanna whispered, the ends of her fingers brushing her son's cropped bangs. Outside of his hair, he looked like his father. Or Sasuke, Daiki often joked, reveling as everyone became uncomfortable.


She laughed and squeezed his hand. "Hey!"

"He sleeps well like his mother," Itachi corrected, as a smile lit up his face.

Every year in his second life Itachi discovered new forms of love. The first had been the love of reciprocation with his brother. The second, the love of a woman. He gained a devoted wife, an intimate companion for every day and every night. It was not too long into their marriage that he realized heaven had given him the love of the entire Hatake family as well.

In addition, Sasuke and his own wife deemed it fit to have another child.

"Three girls," Kakashi said, solemnly patting Sasuke's shoulder. Sasuke retorted that he preferred well-behaved daughters instead of spawning three village terrorists. To which the Rokudaime quoted, "My sons are angels."

Satomi and Daiki gained infamy in the shinobi world as the Lightning Brothers. While the world knew them as powerful ninja, Konoha knew them as the Rokudaime's naughty sons.

Satomi was allegedly known for womanizing. His once boyish charm evolved as the boy aged. In his twenties, his popularity among women knew little bounds. But those were old speculations. In truth, Satomi was dedicated to his family and all its extending members. And while for a time he struggled with the fairer sex, his rakish days had quickly ended when his childhood teammate returned from a mission talking about another man.

A handsome comrade from Suna, Tsubame explained dreamily.

An unrestrained jealousy had sprouted out of nowhere, and Satomi made it clear to Tsubame that the only man she needed to pay attention to was him. That had made for a disquieting family dinner. Not too long after that, the eldest Hatake son had been discovered entangled with Tsubame, naked in the family room, by his mother.

Daiki had become as, if not more, infamous than his brother. He was exceptionally tall, and his natural tan darkened over the years due to long missions and even longer scouting expeditions. His black, spiky hair was kept short and trimmed. And although his cheer was often available for anyone he spoke to, these days the man had matured and was less inclined toward humorous spectacles.

Finally, there was Hiroyuki. The spitting image of the Copycat ninja, the young boy was exceptionally talented in the shinobi arts. Ironically, he was disinterested in learning the craft and wanted to quit the Ninja Academy at six years old. He desired to be a chef, he told his parents.

It was Satomi who convinced the boy to wait. "A ninja can be a cook, but a cook can't be a ninja," the eldest Hatake son advised. He said the Hatake could only become a clan if all three brothers were shinobi. That was untrue, of course, but it was Satomi's cross to bear the day he was confronted by an older and wiser younger brother.

The eldest and only daughter of the Rokudaime married Uchiha Itachi. The resurrected dead, a manslayer of kin and the sacrificial scapegoat of Konohagakure's dark past.

But Kanna knew him as simply Itachi—as that was the only version of him she ever met. A quiet man who enjoyed swimming and reading. What he loved the most was his family. His brother Sasuke would likely always have the most powerful hold over his heart, more than anyone could ever understand.

But, Itachi explained one night, Kanna and their sons had become his precedence, to protect and to love, forever.

"Chichiue," Uchiha Natsu greeted, kneeling by the shoji door. His father and uncle sat in the clan's meeting hall, their hands tucked into their yukata sleeves. They acknowledged him and he entered the modestly sized traditional room. It was set apart in the compound by the lake.

"Always so formal," Sarada said, the eldest cousin and potentially the next Hokage. The candidacy was now between her and some Nara guy.

"Are you embarrassed by it, onesan?" Keisuke chuckled. He was Natsu's older sibling. At a glance the brothers looked identical, but they were a couple years apart. Keisuke added, "We can't all go around saying 'papa' at this age." They were in their late teens and twenties, but Sarada would be thirty-three this year and had a family of her own.

"Natsu-kun," Sarada said, ignoring the jab, "you know I prefer you over Keisuke, but you both are too serious. It's not a good look." Beside her, Usagi ducked her head. Her pink bangs covered a flustered face. Her hair was long and wavy and she was the epitome of a pale beauty. Natsu was proud to have such a beautiful cousin. His comrades were always wanting to be introduced to her.

Not that it mattered now…

Natsu quietly took his place next to his brother. It was like this for every meeting. His father, the clan head, would have his sons lined up next to him. Across from them would be his uncle and his three daughters, by order of birth.

Sasuke considered the shoji door. "Where is your sister?"

Sarada and Usagi stiffened at the mention of the youngest. Of course it was Sarada who answered her father straightforwardly, "She slept in. I'm not sure she'll make it."

This disappointed Natsu. His cousin Momo was the best at breaking the tension in these sorts of situations. She was the youngest of all the Uchiha, but the brightest in personality. Everyone else was too intense or serious. Natsu wished his mother and aunt were attending today's assembly, but they had thrown in the towel.

"We will start without Momo," Itachi finally spoke and then specifically looked at Usagi, who was ready to crumble under his stare. "Why have you done this thing? Where is your consideration toward the clan?"

"I l-love him," Usagi stuttered but at least held her tears back. Sasuke kept his gaze away from his daughter, having given Itachi full authority today. The last meeting had been a disaster. Sasuke had nearly killed the man she 'loved.'

"He is not a shinobi," Keisuke needlessly reminded his cousin and she glared at him.

Sarada scoffed. "Once a shinobi, always a shinobi. It's fine." She habitually defended her sisters, to a fault.

"Even so," Itachi said, "Usagi lied to the clan and kept this hidden from the families." He pointedly stared at the pink haired woman. "Did you think we would not realize it?"

Usagi's brow pinched together. "If papa would have approved, we wouldn't have done what we did." She covered her face and began to cry. Sarada frowned, wrapping an arm around her shoulders.

"Jii-sama is right about that," Sarada whispered, "why did you lie to us?"

"Hiroyuki is a good man," Usagi cried. "He will be an asset to the Uchiha!"

"He is a cook!" Sasuke barked.

"How dare you say that!" Usagi argued. "He is the Rokudaime's child! He is the son of your teacher, and brother to this clan's first lady! Papa, you know him." The dialogue was starting to remind Natsu of the last meeting…

"Enough," Itachi said. "Your father is angered because you married a man in secret. Hiroyuki is my wife's brother, yes, so he is a generation above you. He is the clan heir's elder."

Keisuke addressed his father. "Usagi-onesan is already above me by order of birth. It does not bother me."

Itachi nodded. "That is true. You approve of this marriage then?"

"Yes, chichuie." Keisuke always had a way of simplifying things. "But only if Usagi-onesan apologizes for the lies." She had been secretly married for six months. She pretended to be away on long missions, when in reality she was renting an apartment on the mountainside, with a husband.

"I see." His father's piercing gaze landed on him. "And you, Natsu?"

"I do not approve," Natsu said but did not mean it. "Unless," he looked at Usagi's wounded expression, "you promise that any children you have will become shinobi. It is what the clan needs." There were so few of them and he knew if she agreed to this it would sway their fathers.

Sarada began to argue at the old ideology, but Usagi bowed her forehead until it touched the floorboards. She thumped her temple several times, signifying remorse and agreeableness. Sarada gasped and tried to lift her, but Usagi pushed her hands away.

"I will do it! Please forgive my actions. I should not have lied. It was wrong!"

"Usagi," Sarada harshly whispered, "don't let them bully you. Hiroyuki will not agree to this!"

"He will agree," Sasuke said and got everyone's attention. "Or they will divorce."

Natsu schooled his own features so he would not cringe. His uncle was something else…

"And he will be reinstated as a shinobi," Itachi added without argument. "We are too few to be left without skilled shinobi." Ah. There it was. The final condition. The leader had spoken.

Usagi and Sarada were horrified. Everyone knew Hiroyuki had served as a ninja for a time and then gave it up. He had been very proficient, so when he quit, the village and clans were disappointed. Though Hiroyuki's devil-may-care attitude had been entertaining to watch, his whimsical aspirations had provoked many elders to frustration. But the opinions of others had little bearing on Hiroyuki's ultimate choice to become a chef. It was his life to live and no one else's.

Yet now his happiness was in the hands of a clan's ideology. Even Keisuke seemed uncomfortable with the idea of telling Hiroyuki how to live his life when years ago he had already overcome that hurdle.

"That being said," Itachi's gaze and tone softened, "reinstatement does not signify Hiroyuki must give up his restaurant or participate in missions. His life will remain much the same."

Sasuke finally looked at his second born. "It will be enough for him to come to our training days, and assemblies." Carefully, he added, "It was not my idea, but Hiroyuki's."

Usagi gasped, seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. "Papa! You spoke with him?"


She flung herself over Sarada and landed on her father, wrapping her arms around his neck. A gentle smile pulled at Sasuke's features, rubbing her back. Sarada and Keisuke let out silent, but long sighs. Natsu simply sat there, smiling to himself, having known Hiroyuki spoke with the Uchiha patriarch. He had also been witness to his uncle and cousin's nuptials, but that was his own secret.

The Ghost Technique was funny like that.

"Very good. We are all of the same accord," Itachi said, indicating the meeting was over.

"Oh, jii-sama!" Usagi bawled, reaching her uncle to embrace him just as tightly. Itachi patted her back.

Natsu exchanged wry glances with Keisuke. The girls in their clan were so spoiled…As coheirs, he was pretty sure he and his brother would be beaten should they ever deceive their father in such a way.

Suddenly Momo burst into the meeting hall, short raven hair askew and face swollen from sleep. She fiercely pointed at her father. "I vote Usagi-onechan and Hiroyuki-san run away if they can't be together!"

"Idiot," Keisuke said, "that wasn't even an option."

"Really, Momo-chan," Sarada said, "you're sixteen years old. Running away would be the worst thing either of them could do."

Natsu waved two fingers. "Yo."

"We've resolved the matter," Itachi stated, still comforting a sniffling Usagi.

"Papa!" Momo whined. "Everyone is being mean to me!"

Sasuke patted the spot next to him. "Tell me what they've done."

As the children and Sasuke left the hall, Itachi could hear the cousins voice rebuttals at Momo's chaotic nature. He imagined Sasuke humoring them, considering their excuses. He would likely side with Momo at the very end.

"Kanna," Itachi said, placing a hand on the invisible lap next to him. His wife's body took form, and she was smiling at him. She wore a yukata with red flowers and the clan's insignia on its back.

"Do you like it?" she said, inclining her head to the side. The movement caused her pale hair to brush against her cheek. He reached up and touched the silver ends.

"You've cut it." It was like when she was a girl. "Yes."

"Would you like to go on a walk?" she softly said, gauging his mood.

Nodding, he stood and brought her up with him. "How long were you with us?"

Kanna held the crook of his arm as they walked down the hall. "Hmm," she tapped her chin, "the whole time?" Itachi chuckled at the candor. He had no idea she'd been present.

"Did it end well?" He wanted to know her thoughts, always.

She leaned her head on his shoulder. "It ended very well."


Name Meanings:

Kanna - summer waves

Satomi - wisdom, beauty

Daiki- grand tree

Hiroyuki - a lot of happiness

Keisuke - save

Natsu – born in summer