Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto

Sunday mornings were always a lazy affair. Sasuke woke slowly, his eyes figuring out the time of the morning as they adjusted to the light. It wasn't that late yet. From through the window he could see the pale blue of the dewy morning sky. It was probably five o'clock, but because it was Sunday morning that meant that he didn't have to get up right at this moment. Instead, he could spend the delayed minutes in bed looking at his wife, who he realized, was looking up at him somewhat expectantly.

No words were used. They knew how important their Sunday mornings were to each other. She smiled a little as his face traveled her features and his hand pushed open her shirt just a bit so that he could caress her throat and her breastbone and her stomach and let his hands roam deep below her pubic bone as he listened to her gasp and watched her shiver and see her skin flush all over. He wondered if he would ever grow tired of her. He doubted it. He had been with her, but that wasn't all there was to it.

Afterwards she rested her back against him. She pulled her thick hair mostly to the front and the sensation of her hair gently brushing against his skin as she pulled it to the front reminded him of when the baby would breathe on him. Sasuke held his wife tighter against him as she imperceptibly arched her body more into his. It was Sunday morning and he was satisfied with everything in life right now.

When Sasuke awoke it was almost two hours later, about closer to half seven in the morning. He woke groggily and to the noise of a child crying. Hinata was not next to him and he lay there for a few seconds listening for her presence, only instead getting the incessant wailing of his baby girl. He got up a bit reluctantly and shuffled over to her room to pick her up and head downstairs to make her tea. He had made her tea and sat down by the irori comfortably with his daughter as he remembered that Hinata had told him that she was heading to the market to get some things for later and that he should keep an eye on the girls. Girls?! His sleepy, half-lidded eyes shot open in concern. Where was his older daughter?

Generally the little girl followed him like his second shadow. There were times when he'd suddenly turn and he'd accidentally step on her. As soon as he opened his bedroom door, she was there to silently or sometimes not so silently follow his every move. Even when he went to the toilet, as soon as he opened the door when he was finished, she would be there to stare up at him with her large, black deliquescing eyes of wonder. When he left to go train or go to the Hokage's office, she would stand at the porch and look like the saddest thing in the history of sad things. And he would stoically turn his back, his gaze hard as he trembled and struggled not to go running back to her. Often he would wonder how it was possible for him to have a daughter that was so cute what with her big head of messy black hair, large eyes and stubby limbs. She was all soft and huggable looking in her small size and he feared and cared for her more than he thought was possible. The thought of something happening to her was too much to bear and for that he completely tolerated her constant shadowing of him when he was home and he completely understood and sometimes joined in with Hinata's over-protectiveness. Given everything that they had lost in their lives, this family that they had with each other was something more precious than life.

Sasuke flew up from his position at the irori, his kekkei genkai activated as he shouted her name and searched the house for her. If something had happened…Oh God, he couldn't bear to think of it. He could barely think of it. And what about Hinata? She would never forgive him. He would never forgive himself. Of all the things in life they shared, he would never wish for them to have to share the same experience of regretting the tragic mistake of losing a child. It was one of his greatest fears – that what he had now would be lost forever. He didn't want what he had with Hinata to turn into what she had with Naruto.

The little girl with the messy black hair and the ridiculously cute rounded face stared up at him with unabashed curiosity. Then her eyebrows crumpled and she shook her head as her eyes got this determined look.

"Nuh uh. My father is the Hokage."

"Uh uh. I'm the Hokage. Your Dad is just holding on for me."

"Nuh uh."

"Uh huh. Do you see your Dad's face on the mountain? I'm the Hokage."

She thought about what he said and in the same way that children innately understood object permanence (it was why peekaboo fascinated them) she knew that he had a point, but she just didn't know how the details worked. Nevertheless, she was sticking to her guns.

"Nuh uh."

Gah! Sasuke and Hinata's daughter was stubborn just like them, Naruto thought.

They were in the training field that was not too far from the Hyuuga compound. Naruto had returned not too long and he had taken his boys out for some early morning training. They were five years old now and to them it was just horsing around with Dad, but to Naruto it was a bit of that and a bit of training too. Sakura was kind of lapsing in that department, he thought. He would never voice it though. His relationship with his second ex-wife was somewhat shallow. Since their divorce there was never a matter of dissidence in their relationship. She never complained about how he had left to go save the world, only quietly returning a few times each year for birthdays and other milestones and only to quietly leave after spending a few days. After everything, their friendship was still too fragile – one harsh word and their perfect glass interactions could come crashing down. Now that he was back he planned on working on that.

"How'd you know I was here anyway?"

She shrugged. "You're yellow and red." She said with great enthusiasm. Clearly she was here because she wanted him to explain this anomaly.

Naruto looked at her in confusion for a while and then realized what she meant. "How old are you?"

"Three and a quarter."

"Wow!" And you've already awakened your Sharingan, he thought. He almost laughed. Sasuke is going to have a fit with you, he thought, wondering if this little girl was the first Uchiha to awaken her Sharingan at such a young age. He bet that she must have taken after her Uncle. He hoped not.

"Does your Mum know that you're here?"


Naruto looked up to see Hinata standing in the clearing with two big plastic bags of groceries, her eyes darting from him to her daughter to the two boys who suddenly noticed her presence and stopped 'training' read horse playing.

"Hina-chan." Naruto walked over to her. They hadn't spoken in years, but he was glad to see her. She looked well. She was no longer depicting depression through fashion and was dressed in dark blue skinny pants and a white fleece pullover shirt. He wondered if the Uchiha crest was emblazoned on the back.

"Mummy!" The little girl ran up to her and hugged her mother's legs.

"Hinata-sensei!" The twin boys ran up to her and bowed faintly in greeting.

Hinata dropped the groceries in her right hand and patted the girl's head as she smiled and greeted the boys.

"Mummy, he says that he's the Hokage. Tell him that Daddy is Hokage-sama."

"I am the Hokage!"

"Nuh uh!"

"This is our Dad. He is the Hokage!"

"No, he isn't!"

"Yes, he is!" They shouted in stereo.

Hinata giggled. She imagined that this had been going on a while. Naruto shook his head and laughed as he made eye contact with Hinata. The surrealism of the situation was back and his heart pounded in his chest and he knew that she recognized it too:

This, this could have been us.

It was still there between them, Naruto noted and knew that she realized too. They might not get it back in this lifetime, but "it" was still there between them.

Sasuke entered the clearing at a break neck speed. He still had the baby in his arms. His hair was sticking up and was even more than just on this side of ridiculous. Fear and jealousy rang off of him like the thunderous peal of a bell.

The little girl's eyes widened and she ran to her father and latched onto his leg. He walked over and joined everyone as best he could with a three year old who decided that his leg was the best place to be that day.

Naruto laughed out loud and hearty at the sight.



"You're back for good now?"

"Yeah. Things are…better." He looked at his children and then at Hinata, but she was looking at Sasuke and her children happily. Sasuke nodded in understanding. This lifetime was his and he would cherish it and protect it fiercely.

"Have you had breakfast as yet, Naruto-kun? Maybe you and the boys should join us for breakfast."

Sasuke picked up the groceries in one hand and they all walked back as Sasuke explained to his daughter that yes this overly loud man was indeed the Hokage. Hinata held her sleeping daughter in her arms and Sasuke continued to have the cutest three-year old stuck to his side. Naruto's boys danced around him, ecstatic that their Dad was finally going to stay for good this time. Naruto smiled. Yes, this could have been them, but this is where they were now and he was happy for it. He was genuinely happy that after everything, they were all happy and satisfied.

A/N: Thank you so much for your support of this story. It meant a lot to me. Review and let me know what you thought of this epilogue and of the story on the whole. I'd really appreciate it!