Finding Peace

Chapter 20- A Rainy Day

Asami sighed, another night alone. Anko had been by to visit but she had gone home early, she had another mission to go on in the morning. Damn missions! Kakashi had been gone for a little over two months and she missed him. She missed his arms around her and his kisses, and laughing with him. Well, there was nothing for it. She couldn't even complain to him, she was afraid it made her look weak. She didn't remember her mother ever complaining that her father had been gone for ages. She always just smiled and welcomed him home. She was drawn from her thoughts by a knock at her kitchen door.

Before she could answer it though the door swung open and she squealed out loud. "Jiraiya-ojisan!"

"Well hello there little one." Jiraiya had been meaning to visit for ages but hadn't found time until now. He scooped her up into a hug and put her down. "How have you been?"

"I've been good. How about you?"

"Well you know me. I always find a way. So your still running the onigiri stand, huh? It hasn't changed much." Jiraiya looked around and remembered her mother standing just where Asami was making onigiri and giving them all away it seemed. "I hear Kakashi has been hanging around here a lot lately. Is that true?"

Asami blushed, "Yes, it's true except he hasn't been here for a while because he's on mission. Jiraiya, what do you think my father would have to say of that?"

"I think your father would want you to be happy. Does Kakashi make you happy?"

"Very. Have you eaten?"

"Oh yeah, I'm good but I wouldn't mind some tea." Jiraiya looked at the young woman in front of him. She might as well be his daughter, that's how much he cared for her. "Has Kakashi been gone a long time?"

"A little over two months. I know father had long missions, I don't know how mother did it without complaining. She was always happy."

"Oh, don't you believe that. She cried a lot when he was gone. After you had gone to bed she and I would sit up and she would fret and worry about his safety. I think she even let him know a time or two how much she missed him. He told me once that she let him have it for not sending word when he was going to be delayed. You may not have seen it, and I'm sure no one else did either but she wasn't always smiling."

Asami took in this new information about her mother. "How did they meet Jiraiya? Do you know?"

"I do. Of course we all went to school together. But when your mother stopped serving as a chunin and your father moved up to jonin they stopped running into each other. I had noticed the way your father looked at her when she was around. And I had seen the way she looked at him. So I engineered a few meetings. I knew your mother first through our families so I would invite her to join us when we had parties and get-together's. I also made it a priority to be friends with your father. I guess you could say I set them up." He chuckled. "I did a pretty good job too, if I may say so."

Asami was floored. Jiraiya had played matchmaker with her parents? It was inconceivable. But as far as she knew he had no reason to lie. "I had no idea."

Jiraiya saw her disbelief and laughed. "They were as mismatched a couple as you and Kakashi. Your father grew up with only his father around and he wasn't around much. Your grandfather died just before your father made chunin leaving him on his own. And your mother was part of a huge family, as you know. Just like you and Kakashi. He'll be home soon little one."

Asami was reassured to hear about her own parents. In her eyes they'd had a perfect relationship, it was a relief to know they had struggled also. "Thank you for sharing that Jiraiya. I never knew."

"No problem, little one. I suppose your mother figured she would tell you when you got a little older. Hey! Speaking of getting older! I heard Kichirou got selected for Anbu. Did I hear right?"

Asami beamed with pride "you did hear right!" She was so proud of Kichirou and what he had accomplished.

"I have heard some of the older ninja who remember your father comparing Kichirou to him. He must be very good."

"You should make time to see him. He is an amazing young man and he looks so much like father!"

They spent the rest of the night recalling old stories and laughing about them together. Asami was glad he had come by. He joined her upstairs and she made them dinner while they talked. After dinner Jiraiya said his goodbyes and left promising to return soon but knowing that was a promise he wasn't likely to keep. He sighed to himself, it was the way of the ninja life, promise to be there and always be late. He hoped Kakashi would come home soon.

Asami cleaned up from dinner and reflected on her visit with Jiraiya. He had showed her several sides of her parents that she hadn't known about. Her father had hardly had a family, she remembered how good he was at being a father and wondered how he had managed it. And her mother, crying? She couldn't imagine it but she knew Jiraiya had been telling her the truth. She wondered again when Kakashi would be back.

As she got ready for bed that night she thought about his first visit. That had been before the invasion, how things had changed since. And now, although the mission he was on was a simple escort, she knew that there was danger inherent in every mission. His escort services were not a whim, they were for protection. She wondered how much longer it would be. With a sigh she flopped into bed and fell asleep thinking about him.

The next morning the sky was dark and threatening when she got up and it was starting to drizzle when she went down for work. Hikari was in the kitchen already and the new girl she had hired was out front setting up.

"I thought you might take today off, Asami? It is the usual day." Hikari looked at her friend with a worried expression. "You've not taken anytime off in a while and the rest might be good for you."

"I just don't feel like it lately, Hikari." Asami knew that a day off would help her clear her head but she couldn't face going to her spot today, especially in the rain. "Besides the weather is awful today."

"You could go to the hotsprings. It might be nice to soak. The steam would help clear your head of all those cobwebs." Hikari laughed trying to cheer Asami up.

"I know. I just miss him so much! I understand that he has to be away but it's been so long. It's not that I can't do anything without him. It's just that I miss the stuff we did do together." Asami looked at her friend and worried that she might sound lame. "Does that make me sound weak?"

"Asami, of course you miss him. He's been gone for ages. And no it doesn't make you weak. It makes you human. I'd worry there was something wrong with you if you didn't miss him." Hikari gave her friend a hug. "He'll be home soon. Did he say how long the mission might last?"

"I think he said 2-3 months, so yeah, soon."

Outside the rain poured down. Mid morning a thunderstorm passed through with lightning flashing through the trees and the thunder rolling down the streets of Konoha. Asami liked the storm, the rain was calming to her and she worked near an open window so she could listen to it. The day passed quickly that way, greeting customers, forming the onigiri and boxing them up. She daydreamed while she did it.

She wondered how Sakura was doing on the mission. She missed the regular visits that the pinkette had made and the days they had spent time visiting. Of course she had seen Mebuki in the meantime and had taken the opportunity to tell her what a lovely daughter she had. Mebuki had glowed under the praise and thanked her. She also knew Naruto had gone on this mission and she wondered how he was doing. Kakashi had said he could be a handful at times, not knowing when to keep quiet.

That got her back to thinking about Kakashi. She guessed it wasn't so bad after all. At least he was coming home to her. That last day they had spent together down by the waterfall he had told her that he would be back, even if it was just to see her. She remembered the sound of the waterfall as he had kissed her. Later when he had left to go home he had held her in his arms for a long time, saying, I don't want to forget how nice it is to hold you while I'm gone. Yeah, he was coming back to her.

She was pulled out of her daydream by a knock on the door and opening it she was greeted by the sight of the most handsome masked ninja in all of Konoha.

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