Akatsuki Babysitters

Afternoon

Honestly, he had to admit that this was more fun than he had originally thought. But of course, he would never say that out loud. Sakura was trotting ahead of him, a bright smile on her face as she curiously looked around the shopping district. Konan had told him that he had to go out with Sakura to get some new clothes.

He was adverse to the idea with the sole reason of wasting money. But he couldn't bring himself to be too upset about it. The only real thing that discomfited him about this entire ordeal was that he now was standing awkwardly in the middle of a store filled with nothing but mom, grandmas, and young kids. All the eyes focused on him didn't help either.

"Kakuzu-san, what should I get? A shirt and pants or a dress?" Sakura asked. He quickly looked around the store and only saw dresses of the cute, puffy variety.

"... Shirt and pants. Wearing a dress is inefficient if you were caught in an emergency."

"Okay!"

She bounded off somewhere in the store, leaving Kakuzu to sit uncomfortably in one of the plush chairs. He was about to pull out his bingo book and calculate the money he could make over the next few weeks when an elderly woman sat down beside him.

"Your little darling is so adorable!" she cooed, "How old is she?"

"Four, but she's not-"

"Four! Oh, how precious! I remember when my little boy was four years old!" she interrupted as she clasped her hands together. Kakuzu twitched and decided to keep his mouth shut. The woman kept on talking.

"-and your little girl is the the damn cutest! I bumped into her about ten minutes ago and she apologized immediately and it wasn't even her fault. I have never met such a polite and respectable four year old before. Which makes me wonder, does she ever throw temper tantrums?"

Kakuzu looked at her.

"...What?"

"Does your little girl ever throw temper tantrums?"

"No. I don't believe she ever once had done so." he replied. His eyebrows furrowed as he thought about it. He supposed that it was strange. Kids her age usually threw fits, didn't they? The elderly woman sighed, a soft smile on her face.

"Is that so? What a sweet little thing. My grandson never threw a tantrum when he was younger either, but I know that it was my fault. He was oddly considerate for his age, but later on I found out that it was because he was sad." she said. Kakuzu cast her a strange look as Sakura came back with a couple of shorts and pants and two red shirts.

"Here, I'm finished!" she chirped. Kakuzu stood up and took the clothes from her. He inclined his head to the stranger who responded with a smile and a wave. At the cash register, Sakura tugged on Kakuzu's pant leg.

"Who was that nice obaa-san?"

He shrugged.

"Who knows."

The elderly woman stood up, stretched her old limbs, and made her way out of the clothing store. Almost immediately, a Suna shinobi appeared by her side.

"Chiyo-baasama! We've been looking for you, where have you been?!"

At a secondhand thought, Kakuzu made a detour to a small bakery. Sakura was absolutely delighted when he had bought her a red velvet cupcake, one that she readily munched on.

"Thank you, Kakuzu-san!" she exclaimed with a full mouth. After they began their long trek home, a thought was racketing Kakuzu's brain. The question the old woman had asked him earlier.

"Sakura."

"Hai, Kakuzu-san?"

"Why is it that you've never thrown a tantrum before? It was implied to me recently that kids your age do this quite often."

She looked up at the afternoon sky and smiled as birds passed by overhead.

"Well... you guys are always busy, y'know? You all have missions to worry 'bout and I'm pretty sure you guys have your own problems to take care of. If I throw a tantrum, I'd just bother you guys. I don't wanna do that." she mumbled. Kakuzu's eyebrows furrowed.

"So what do you do?"

Sakura glanced up with surprisingly jaded eyes. Suddenly, she looked tired, older, and just devoid of her past cheeriness.

"Don't worry about it, Kakuzu-san. It's okay."

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