Author: grilledjellyfish PM
Sasuke never left, but even as an adult ninja, would he give up his revenge? Would he even go so far as to jeoperdize his friend's lives? And will Sakura and Naruto survive his plans? SakxNar, SakxSas, InoxCho, AsuxKure, TenxNej more to comeRated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Drama - Sakura H. & Naruto U. - Chapters: 2 - Words: 11,896 - Reviews: 7 - Follows: 2 - Updated: 12-15-06 - Published: 11-11-06 - id: 3239893
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I had the idea for this some half a year ago. Albeit a bit different, so I re-wrote it... and then I didn't like some parts, so I re-re-wrote it again.
I really hope it was the right decision! Write your opinion in form of reviews! THANKS in advance!
This story is kinda AU-ish. Lets just assume, that Orochimaru died by the hands of the Third during the battle Oto/Suna/Konoha. If you don't like him getting killed, just imagine, he survived the battle, rethought taking Sasuke's body and is now selling ice cream in a small village far far away.
So Sasuke never left, Kabuto died suffocating on his own stupidity, Tsunade became Hokage, Kakashi's six-pack got even more bite-able, Naruto trained with Jiraiya, Sakura with Tsunade and Sasuke with Kakashi... and everything else that is of importance will be explained in the story itself!
Now have fun reading and don't forget to r&r!
-()-()-()- signals start/end of flashback
Her eyes were still tightly closed, when Sakura fumbled blindly for the cushion that should have been under her cheek but wasn't anymore. Her fingers clumsily wandered across the smooth surface of her mattress, reaching the edge of the bed and clutching at thin air.
A displeased grunt escaped her throat when her hand came back empty. But the young woman was way to tired to even attempt getting up and finding the desired object. Instead she grasped the end of her blanket and pulled it further across her prone figure.
Frowning, the kunoichi buried her face in the sheets and covered her head completely under the soft material.
She lay still for several seconds, sleep already claiming her again when something or better someone pulled away the blanket, ruffling her hair and exposing her bare arms to the slightly chilly air of her room.
A large firm hand closed gently around her shoulder, the warmth emitted by the palm caressing her cool skin pleasantly.
"Sa-ku-ra." A voice reached her ears and the warm breath of its owner tickled the hair at the back of her neck. Somewhere deep in her mind, Sakura realized that the person had to be quite near her head, but the thought got pushed farther and farther away with every second of comfortable silence.
Suddenly, the fingers on her shoulder tightened their grip on her soft skin and the person at the other end of the arm started shaking the woman not so gently.
Sakura's eyes snapped open with a start, but the world around her was still bleary and her sleep-fogged brain needed some additional minutes to reboot.
"Ino... ." She slurred, patting away clumsily the hand and rubbing the sleep out of her watery eyes. "Can't you read?
I wanna sleep, dammit! Tsunade gave me another 48 hour shift and I really need some rest."
Propping her upper torso up on her elbows, Sakura glanced at the person kneeling beside the head of her bed.
Two things happened then.
Sakura's vision cleared dramatically and the person laughed sheepishly in response to her statement.
"Narutoooo!" She yelled, grabbing the next best thing in reach and throwing it at the perplexed young man. The next best thing happened to be a medical textbook (1246 sides, hardcover) and the part of Naruto's body that Sakura had aimed at, was his face.
The blond hit the other side of the room with a sickening thud and a pained yelp.
"Ouch! Dammit!" Naruto cursed, rubbing vigorously at his sore back and aching nose.
"I told ya to wait till tomorrow, dobe."
Frowning, the pink-haired woman turned her head slightly across her shoulder, just to find another young man standing casually in front of the closed door, shoulder barely touching the cupboard he was leaning against.
"Shut up, bastard!" Naruto shot back. Sakura watched him getting up from the floor and pinching the bridge of his nose, a pained grimace appearing on his face as he did so.
"I'm hungry and can't wait another minute! I want ramen! ASAP!!"
"Maybe you shouldn't have spent all that money from your last mission in two hours, idiot." Sasuke replied calmly as he pushed away from the cupboard and headed to Sakura's bed.
"So what?! 's not like it's any of your probs, sob, so stop acti-" Naruto was cut short mid-curse by another (though smaller) book flying his way and he dodged the unusual missile successfully by diving for cover behind a desk to his right.
"Shut up! Both of you!" Sakura ordered, a slight hint of menace and anger vibrating at the edge of her voice.
"So-sorry, Sakura... ." Naruto mumbled his apology hastily, grinning with false bravado as he crawled out from behind his hiding place.
Sasuke's only reply consisted of a grunted "Keh" and his hands vanishing deep inside his trouser pockets.
"You woke me, 'cause you have no money for food? Naruto, you're lucky I'm too tired to lift my arms, or you'd be in some serious shit right now!" The kunoichi growled. She sat up straight in her bed and stretched her arms high above her head, yawning widely. When she opened her eyes again, she found Naruto looking away, cheeks flushed and his teeth gnawing at his lower lip in embarrassment.
It was then that she noticed that the spaghetti top of her pyjamas had moved north and had caught underneath her breasts,
exposing her smooth belly to the two men. Sweatdropping ('Men are such babies!'), she pulled the shirt back down and stood up.
"How'd you get in anyway? After you woke me last time, I sealed the window from the inside with some tags specifically blocking guys with your chakra signature." Sakura demanded to know, walking across the small space towards her wardrobe and pulling one door open. She grabbed automatically her favourite black leather dress and looked through her bras for something matching.
"Ino let us in." Came the simple reply from the raven-haired man standing some feet behind her.
"That pig?!" Sakura asked incredulously, swivelling around, fist risen dramatically. Ino and Sakura had moved in together some half a year ago, their money just enough for the small apartment and food. They got along pretty well again, having both overcome their obsession with a certain black-haired teammate of Sakura.
They had decided to leave the past alone, but some of their rivalry seemed constantly to be present, manifesting itself in form of childish pranks and a diversity of nicknames every bystander soon lost track of.
"Payback's a bitch, Ino... . I swear...!!"
"Sakura?" Looking up, she found one of her best friends looking down at the carpeted floor. Naruto's arms dangled limply by his sides and his gaze was casted downwards.
"I'm sorry I woke you. I didn't know, Tsunade, that old hag was being a monster again. You don't have to come along.
I just thought it'd be nice to have ya around after we've been all gone for weeks... ."
Sakura sighed audibly, arms akimbo as she rolled her eyes at the devastated ninja.
"I'm not 'that' tired. And anyway! You've obviously lost some weight and I'm responsible for your health."
Looking up, Naruto's face brightened instantly as it transformed into a bright toothy grin and Sasuke shook his head in suppressed amusement.
"Ha, I lost weight and you gained some, Sakura!" He exclaimed (obviously) without thinking, grinning from ear to ear.
Naruto was totally oblivious to the vain popping up on Sakura's forehead and utterly ignored the very unladylike swear words she muttered in a low dangerous voice.
"I really think you look great that way, Sakura." Naruto finally mumbled after a pause, the tips of his ears tainted in an embarrassed red. That gained a sigh from the young woman, her fury dissipating instantly at the sweet comment.
This time, he had been able to pull his head out of the sling, but he wouldn't always be that lucky... .
Fortunately for the blond young man, Sakura had realized a long time ago, that he was not the womanizer he would have liked to be and that he didn't have the faintes idea what to say to a woman and what 'not'... . So, she decided to let the case rest and punish him next time twice as hard.
"So... ." Sakura began, gesturing with her chin subtly towards the door. Unfortunately, the two so-called 'men'
were dense as wood and just stared back at her with a frown.
"Get your sorry asses outta here! I'm so not gonna change with you pervs staring at me!!"
Sasuke calmly walked to the door and opened it. He allowed a scrambling Naruto through first, grunting in disapproval as the other shinobi stepped on his friend's right foot. Before the door closed completely behind the two men, Sakura could have sworn she had seen Sasuke's eye twitch maniacally... .
"Phew! That was good, Sakura!"
Nodding, the young woman lifted her chin, eyes roaming over the houses lining the street as she searched for a clock. She found one hanging at the side of an already closed shop.
Twelve past eight, it read and Sakura suppressed a yawn that threatened to escape her throat. It was summer and the sun had barely touched the edge of the Hokage monument, the color of its bright light slowly changing to orange and pink. Most shops had closed already, but there were still a lot of people buzzing through the lively streets,
chatting and having fun.
Sakura's gaze followed a young couple as they made their way down the sidewalk to a door that lead to a large apartment building. They had a small child, not older than a year, with them. The infant was laughing happily when his father threw him up into the air, just to catch the boy again.
A small smile played at the edge of her lips, as Sakura watched the young family disappear inside the complex.
Soon the village would be silent again and night would claim its throne.
And with another night, a fate would come along every ninja shared.
No matter where they were from. Konoha, Suna, Oto. Enemy and friend.
Family ties were only hindrances, a liability only few ninjas were willing to take upon them. Sisters, brothers, parents, lovers, children. The only true weaknesses shinobis shared. Sooner or later, any ninja turned away from their family. Tried to break the ties connecting them emotionally or at least tried to hide the bond that was their greatest risk.
Sakura had seen people do it, had listened to friends crying after another fight with their mothers. She had even gone down the path herself and had experienced first hand what it felt like leaving behind something so precious, that she couldn't stand the thought watching the pain on their faces every time she would come home injured.
She couldn't stand the thought that some day her parents might get killed because 'she' was a kunoichi. War was like that. Especially those wars nobody could see. A battle between ninjas was one fought in darkness and shadows. And that was no good place to raise children or drink tea with parents.
Ninjas only had real families, when they had something they 'had' to pass down. Special jutsus, a powerful blood limit.
The only reasons why such families existed. Either every member of a clan was a shinobi, or no-one.
And so they walked alone and shared their burden called loneliness with people who knew the feeling.
Some of them even more than others... .
It was then that she realized that she had followed Naruto's monologue only halfheartedly and that silence had descended upon the three friends.
When she turned her attention back towards the two men walking to either side of her, she found their eyes glued to her with a more (Naruto) or less (Sasuke) confused expression on their faces.
"What?" She asked a bit perplexed, frowning, when Sasuke made a strange noise.
"Sakura! You haven't listened at all!!" Naruto exclaimed, an accusing finger pointing at her.
She just smiled sheepishly back at him and scratched the back of her head.
"How 'bout we have some drinks, guys, huh?" She suddenly asked, giving the two men questioning stares.
Sasuke merely shrugged with his hands still buried deep in his trouser pockets, while Naruto punched the air above his head with one fist in ovbious excitement.
They made their way to the small bar in silence, just enjoying each other's company. It was a rare event lately,
that all three of them went to their favourite bar together. In the last half a year, Sasuke constantly found new reasons to excuse himself from spending time with his other friends. Mission briefings, stuff at home to take care of or just a 'no time'. Naruto and Sakura had given up trying to coax him into coming nevertheless. Sasuke had always been... not so comfortable with crouded places and prefered the solitude of his apartment to a bar full of strangers.
When the door of the pub came into sight, they slowed down, eyes roaming over the walls as they searched for figures they might know.
When they didn't find anyone outside (was probably too early for drunken shinobis to get rid of their last meal,
the three friends entered silently. They headed purposefully to a table in the far right corner and sat down on the benh, leaving the chairs unoccupied for possible fellows.
A young waiter rushed towards them, staring expectantly down at them. Without missing a beat, Naruto ordered for them all,
watching as the other man scribbled down hastily on his pad. Soon he was gone again, leaving behind the members of former team seven.
As Sakura's gaze wandered over the few occupants of the pub, her eyes finally settled on a boy sitting at the bar. He wasn't much older than fourteen, Sakura guessed, but his hands were closed around a half empty glass of booze. His eyes were glassy, whether from the alcohol or from crying silently into the drink, she couldn't tell.
Drinking wasn't legal at that age.
She herself had just reached the magical number of 20, that marked her as an adult in this country some weeks ago and was now legally allowed to drink the hard stuff.
But she was a ninja.
Children in this world lost their childhood when they entered ninja academy. They lost their innocence when they learned how to use a shuriken to kill and they lost their life when they took on their first mission.
Kids at the age of six were considered adults, because how else could one explain why they knew how to kill, had perfect control over their body and thought like an assassin and not like a child walking by the side of its mother. They played ANBU with fellow students and trained jutsus until their hands bled and their bodies collapsed.
They were supposed to kill, protect the village and they did it without a second thought. Drinking was just another something they could do, because they were 'adults.
And sometimes, drinking was the only way for shinobis to drown their sorrows. Forget about a mission gone wrong and escape a reality where childish dreams had no place and no right to exist. Escape the prospect of another failure tainting their crimson record.
Shinobis usually had their first experience with alcohol at the age of thirteen.
Usually, the time when their lives ended.
"Here ya go." The voice of the bartender cut through Sakura's thoughts abruptly and she watched mildly startled as Naruto downed the first glass of apple juice in one swig. He made a strange noise and burped in content.
"Man, I really needed that!" He announced, grinning like an idiot.
Sakura gave him a weird look and sipped absently at her own slightly alcoholic drink. She wasn't intending to get drunk today. Nothing had occured that could have made her wish to escape and she wanted to be aware of her surroundings.
Naruto and Sasuke had been gone for almost six weeks and she wasn't about to miss any second of their newest reunion.
"So, Sakura," Naruto began, gaining his friend's attention at once, "what are the newest news in the grande grapevine?!"
The medic nin suppressed a sigh and rolled her eyes inwardly at the eager man. Setting down the glass with a 'clonk,
she edged closer on the bench and waited for her companions to do the same. Heads stuck together conspiratorially,
she pressed a finger to her lips.
"This still isn't confirmed and a, you may call it, wild guess on my side, but... ." Looking back at the door, Sakura made sure that nobody 'special' had entered. "But I am almost 100 percent sure that Chouji and Ino are dating."
"Wh-what?!" Naruto asked incredulously, eyes wide as he stared at Sakura in disbelief.
"Yes, you heard right. Of course, when I asked, she'd tell me that she was seeing a Sasuke-look-alike and would disappear with a beet red face, but I so looked right through that unconvincing facade!"
Mouth agape, Naruto waited for his friend to continue with the rumors.
"Tenten and Neji are gonna make their engagement official next saturday and if Ino is correct, the wedding is already in one month. So you better keep your asses out of missions and stuff!"
With a happy smile, Sakura settled back in her seat and waited for the two man to digest the news.
The concept of Ino and Chouji dating wasn't easy for most bystanders, but Sakura had to admit, that she loved the thought of them getting together. In her opinion, the two friends were made for each other.
"What about the rumor of you having applied for ANBU?"
Frowning, the kunoichi stared at Sasuke, surprised that he had finally decided to say something. It had been quite unnerving to watch his mute being for the last one and a half hours, but the statement startled her nonetheless.
"Gosh, I totally forgot about that!" She exclaimed, cheeks colored in a light blush.
"I asked to be allowed to take the exam nine days ago."
A long silence followed her words as Sakura's two male companions stared at her in something Sakura could only describe as shock and surprise.
"A-ANBU?" Naruto stuttered, a strange, maybe concerned, look flickering across his features.
"Uhm, yeah. Tsunade declared me head medic of all S- and A-rank missions two weeks ago. Shizune took over my post as teacher at the medic school. Now I wanna make chief medical ninja for all ANBU related missions as well, but I'll have to become one for all the classified stuff."
"B-but, Sakura!" The blond suddenly exclaimed. "I'm really not comfortable with that! I mean, look at you"
He so didn't notice the dark aura surrounding Sakura's being, intensifying with every word he stuttered.
"You're not made for ANBU! You could get hurt!! What do you think happened to us last time, huh?!"
Sakura's hand clenched slowly into a tight fist.
"I've already been impaled, sliced, burned, genjutsu-ed into oblivion and Neji gentle-fisted me 'twice' for some stupid nothings!"
"That had been your fault, Naruto." Sasuke interjected, mildly interested in the complaints of his friends. He already knew what was about to happen and he wisely decided (he 'was' after all a freakin' genius!), that he so wouldn't endanger his precious life!
"Yeah, whatever! What I wanna say is, that you, as a woman, shouldn't go on such dangerous missions. Period!! No arguing on that one!"
Naruto couldn't have escaped Sakura's wrath even if he had seen the fist coming in the first place.
Her knuckles made painful contact with his cheek, leaving behind red imprints and a probably aching headache.
"Aha... and what do 'you' think was 'my' motivation to become ANBU? Surely not the poor payment or the long missions!
Or maybe the fact that 74 percent of all ANBU members die before their 35th birthday?" Sakura retorted back, voice louder than she had intended.
"I asked for that position because I'm at least as concerned as you are, Naruto! You think I'm sleeping well, knowing you, Sasuke, Kakashi or anybody else of my friends are out there, maybe fighting for your life and that of others? Bleeding, in pain and probably on the verge of death? Yes, you come back in one piece most of the time, but I can remember quite clearly days when I got called back to hosptal in the middle of the night because a squad had returned with fatally injured!" Sakura paused, drawing in a calming breath. She had to look away when she felt the damn emotions gaining the upper hand.
Naruto averted his gaze as well and stared instead at his calloused hands, recalling a mission where he had dragged back Sasuke and Shino. He had been injured pretty badly himself, but the kyuubi had done some much needed damage control, having made it just possible for the blond to carry the two unconscious men. Sasuke and Shino hadn't had that much luck. By the time Naruto had arrived at the hospital, the two friends had barely been breathing.
He could still see their bodies glowing eerily as Sakura and Tsunade worked on saving their lives. Hours later, the pink-haired medic had collapsed from the strain. Naruto remembered how Sakura's eyes had been glassy, but she had been even too tired to cry back then.
"Sorry." He mumbled, not looking up.
A hand appeared on top of his own, fingers closing softly around his digits. His lips were pressed together in a thin line as he waited for Sakura to continue.
Finally her soft voice broke the silence. "You can't talk me out of this, Naruto. Tsunade tried and failed miserably.
I'll come along and be there when you need me. Because that's the reason why I've striven to become a medic.
To save those close to me."
Naruto sighed exaggeratedly as he lifted his chin. His blue eyes found Sakura's and he watched her closely for a very long moment. He then looked past her face and made eye contact with Sasuke. The raven-haired man was sitting lazily in his seat, smirking confidently.
"There won't be anything to heal for ya, Sakura." Naruto said with a lopsided grin. "That'd be better for you! Gonna kick your asses for every scratch I have to take care of!"
Grinning wildly, Sakura lifted her hand from where it had been lying on Naruto's and took her glass again. She downed the content in one swig and watched as Naruto and Sasuke did the same.
She couldn't exactly recall what had happened to her, but she decided that it must have been a log... or Tsunade's fist, because she couldn't remember having ever felt so groggy in her entire life. Her head hurt, her shoulders and arms were aching like she had been holding way too heavy weights way too long and her stomach was revolting even at the prospect of her moving any time soon.
Not that she actually wanted to move, mind you! She just had the feeling, that she 'had' to.
When she finally opened her eyes, Sakura nearly jumped out of her skin.
With a not so ladylike yelp, she scrambled out of her bed sheets, got tangled up in them even more in the process and stumbled head first out of her bed. She landed in a heap on the floor ungracefully, her butt sticking up into the air as she seemed to kiss the dusty ground.
"You finished with your beauty sleep or do you need another hour, Sakura!?"
Wincing slightly, Sakura got up from where she had been lying, her dignity having vanished in a cloud of embarrassment.
"Sorry, Tsunade-sensei." She mumbled, rubbing the back of her head. "I- I... ."
"Got drunk last night, did some fine flirting with some of the boys and ended up beating the crap out of both Naruto 'and' Kiba! And here I was, thinking I gave you enough work to make you go to bed early!" Tsunade stated, brows risen high and arms crossed in front of her enormous chest.
"Or is anything of what I've said wrong"
Sakura had to bite her lower lip to keep herself from covering her hypersensitive ears to protect them from the loud, harsh tone of voice.
"No, the information was right. May I ask, who- ."
She was cut short by her teacher. The Fifth grabbed Sakura underneath her left arm and helped her up into a standing position. The older woman waited patiently until her student had untangled herself from the bed sheets and finally sighed.
"Kakashi." Tsunade answered Sakura's unspoken question and rolled her eyes. "I want you in my office in 30 minutes! With or without clothes, I don't care!" She barked out, turning on her heels and stormed out of Sakura's messy room. The young kunoichi stayed like this for another few seconds, until her ears picked up the noise of the front door closing behind the Fifth Hokage not so softly.
"Not getting drunk, my ass... ." Sakura muttered under her breath, massaging her pounding temple soothingly. She still had some grey areas about last night. Maybe if she laid down another few secs... Sakura grabbed one of her boots, she had carelessly thrown away some hours ago and stared at it for the longest moment.
'So, Kakashi has brought me back, huh?', she thought, brows creased. 'Gotta thank him later... .'
Suddenly, the fog inside Sakura's mind cleared dramatically and her memories of last night became crystal clear...
Soon after their talk, Sasuke left her and Naruto alone. He said something about checking out some information before the meeting tomorrow, laid down some bills and waved bye when he disappeared wordlessly outside. The two remaining friends watched him leave with a frown but shrugged it off as typical Sasuke-behaviour.
"What a spoilsport." Naruto mumbled, taking Sasuke's half empty drink and downed it in one swig. He swept his mouth clean with the back of his hand and lifted it then high above his head. A nearby waitress nodded in return and made her way across the room towards them.
A fiasco, Sakura would hate herself for later, started then.
Sakura and Naruto both started ordering some of the harder stuff and just enjoyed each others company. As always, the alcohol loosened his tongue and soon the blond dove into a lively description of one of his not so secret missions. He told Sakura how he had defeated a bulky "three meter" grass ninja with a move Kakashi had shown him "maaaaaany years ago!".
Smirking and sipping happily on her drink, Sakura listened as he rambled on and on about jutsus and anything else that happened to enter his fuzzy brain. She had soon learned after their first shared encounter with booze, that one had to be careful what to believe of Naruto's stories. He loved to mix the actual truth with some heroic pictures his mind decided to make up.
It was then, that Sakura noticed a group of men entering the bar, their eyes roaming over the few occupants. They were obviously searching for familiar faces and Sakura decided to help them out. Lifting her arm above her head, she waved enthusiastically into their direction, smiling when she found their eyes locked to their table.
The party of six man strolled casually towards them. They sat down, a collective 'Hi' rolling through the group as they waited for somebody to come and take their order.
Sakura smiled at the man sitting where Sasuke had been some time ago, her cheeks slightly flushed from the influence of her drinks. She wasn't one to get drunk easily. Tsunade had made sure of that with some fine parties and her medical knowledge did the rest (if she wanted to she could get the alcohol faster out of her system than Naruto could eat a bowl of ramen).
Kakashi smiled back, one visible eye crinkled up and his mask moved slightly where his lips formed a grin.
"How'd the mission go, Kakashi?" She drawled in a light tone of voice. Her hand lifted the glass filled with green liquid and spun it until a small eddy appeared in the drink.
He sighed, looked across the table to where Asuma and Genma were sitting and mentioning with his chin subtly towards them. Sakura frowned and followed his gaze, but only found a sly smirk on the men's faces. Her head whipped back around just to find Kakashi holding an empty glass in front of her features.
The silver-haired shinobi had downed its content in the second Sakura had needed to turn her head.
Again he had been able to conceal his face from her. In return she glared unbashfully up at him, rolling her eyes when he said something about "brain reaction of a slug".
"Mission was fine." He finally replied, frowning when Genma ordered another round for the group on his treat. "You know me, Sakura. I'm too scared of you and the Fifth to even think about getting a splinter."
Sakura giggled, her ears picking up the heated conversation between Naruto and Kiba. They were apparently fighting over whose newest jutsu was cooler, but she only halfheartedly paid attention to their rambling.
What caught her eyes, was Genma's not so subtle gaze that appeared to be glued to her cleavage.
It wasn't a secret that the senbon-chewing jounin was interested in anything that resembled somewhat a woman. But Shizune had told her some weeks ago that he seemed to have gotten obsessed with the idea of getting into the pants of a certain somebody, with pink hair and a right hook that smashed boulders the size of houses.
To his dismay and everybody's delight, Sakura was obviously so not interested!
She liked to play with the poor man and just when he thought he had finally reached his goal, she would drop him like a hot potato. But he didn't give up easily on his prey and just dove deeper and deeper into a sea were Sakura had the power. And she couldn't deny that she was getting a lot of fun out of teasing the poor love-sick puppy.
She wasn't a child anymore and there were few who knew that better than Kakashi.
He watched her sideways as she smiled seductively back at the man sitting across from her, ignoring the two chuckling shinobis beside Genma. Asuma and Ibiki both had noticed the hot gaze their friend had given Sakura and were waiting for another scene of a drama were Genma would not so voluntarily play the main role.
Her hand left the glass and pulled a strand of pink hair back behind her ear. It then slowly, very, very casually (NOT)
wandered down the side of her face and neck, finding its way to the top of her leather dress. She absently caressed the skin where her cleavage started and she could almost see Genma's eyes bulging out of their sockets as saliva dripped down his chin.
Kakashi nudged Sakura subtly in the side and waited patiently until she averted her eyes from her 'victim' and watched her former teacher through alcohol leaden lits.
"Don'tcha think he deserves a break, huh?" He asked, not really hoping for an answer. Instead she rolled her eyes at him and Kakashi wasn't surprised when the pink-haired kunoichi suddenly decided to rest her head softly on his shoulder.
'Yes, they aren't small helpless children anymore', Kakashi thought as he shook his head with a sigh.
They were part of a sick play, where innocence was just a way of gaining the upper hand. Where acting was the only way to survive.
Life hardly ever rewarded shinobis with even a compliment, let alone the feeling of having won something apart from another second of being allowed to breathe and fight.
He could remember a night many many years ago.
Kakashi had been standing in front of the leader of his squad, staring up at the blond young man with eyes that contained the anguish of a soul that had lost its light.
"Captain." He had mumbled, his legs wobbly and his hand unable to clutch any longer onto the dripping kunai. "I have won."
The man standing in front of the six year old kid, had slowly gotten down on his knees and had taken the crimson weapon out of Kakashi's grasp. His eyes had flickered to the two corpses in the far right corner of the room, before they had settled back on the boy, who would soon be one of his first students.
"No, kakashi. 'We' have lost"
The silver-haired boy hadn't understood then.
He may have won a battle that night, but the war had been lost. The war for his very own humanity.
Sakura's head suddenly weighted heavily on his skin. He felt his guts churn and an uneasy feeling spread out through his system. Something seemed off, but he couldn't quite put a finger on it right then... .
He rather felt than heard Sakura sigh beside him, her temple still pressed against his body. Pink hair fell across his upper arm and he noticed that her eyes had closed for the longest second.
"You're probably right, 'sensei'." She whispered with a smile and lifted her head again from where it had been resting way too comfortably. She felt his palm softly touching her lower back and she knew without asking, that the simple gesture wasn't supposed to be anything sexual. It felt more like he wanted to make sure she was still there. A silent support... but for whom? And why?
She turned her head slightly towards him, a deep frown appearing on her flushed features.
A question shone in her glassy green orbs, but she herself wasn't sure what it was that she wanted to know from her silent companion.
Her train of thoughts suddenly got interrupted by Naruto crashing not so gently into her side and she was smashed into Kakashi's chest, cursing and pushing the blond back.
The discussion between him and Kiba had turned physical and both heated men rose at the same time, Naruto bringing his boot down on the bench.
"You and me! Outside! NOW!!" Naruto barked, jumping across the table and storming to the open door. Kiba was hot on his heels, all the time grunting incoherently and glaring daggers at his friend's back.
Inside the bar, everyone had gone silent, conversations having ceased and and drinking having stopped momentarily.
Sakura, too, had forgotten totally about Kakashi and was practically fuming. Getting up, she walked to the door. To the outer eye she looked maybe a bit angry at the most, but Kakashi could almost see the stem coming out of her ears.
With a sigh, he got up and buried his hands deep inside his trouser pockets, fishing for some crumpled bills. He let the money fall carelessly on the table and took after his former students, closely followed by the rest of his companions.
When he finally came to a halt right outside the door, he shook his head at the sight that presented itself to him.
Sakura had jumped right into the fight and had forced the two opponents apart. Naruto's head was already spotting a nice red bump and Kiba was holding his side were Sakura had obviously landed a hit.
Kakashi shook his head and slowly headed towards his combating friends, preparing himself for the second when he would force them apart as soon as an opening presented itself to his waiting form... .
Making a face, Sakura glared at her feet.
Her head didn't hurt that much anymore. Though she refused to do something against the headache with some medical jutsu (normally a wonderful trick when it came to hangovers and other problems after having consumed too much alcohol). She had made a fool out of herself and somehow thought that enduring the headache, or better suffering, was a good way to make up for having transformed into a total moron last night.
She had gone to Tsunade's office right after having finished in the bathroom that morning (Oh, and how she would probably never forget the embarrassment from having been scolded by Tsunade... the sole woman on this planet who was drunk at least four times a week!), just to find it empty. Shizune had walked by and had mercifully told Sakura that the Hokage had been called to an urgent meeting with some daimyou's.
And so she had ended up in the hospital, taking care of some papers and looking after two critical patients.
"Ma'am?" A deep voice asked tentatively into the silence and interrupted Sakura's self-loathing with a start.
Looking up, she found one of Tsunade's errand boys (though they'd actually come to that job unintentionally) standing in the doorway. He was holding a folded sheet of white paper.
"Yes?" She asked, scribbling her signature down on the medical chart she had been holding for the better part of the last ten minutes.
Instead of answering verbally, the chuunin handed her the letter, nodded curtly but friendly and turned back around, disappearing in the corridor of the hospital.
Unfolding the sheet, Sakura's shoulders sacked down tiredly.
'Mission briefing 1630 in my office. Come late and I'll make you wish you had died of alcohol poisoning!', the paper read.
Unseen to her, four eagles and five chuunin were sent with similar orders to nine jounin, delivering Tsunade's orders within ten minutes everywhere in the village.
Oh, in this story I decided to make 20 the age pals in Konoha get officially and legally adult. So they can drive cars, smoke, drink and have sex (though they did only one of the mentioned things).
If you think this story has potential or if you strongly recommend to burn it, write me some reviews! I need them almost as much as oxygen!!
I already have the next chapter(s) in my mind and can only tell you, that there will be fun, hard feelings, betrayal, love and a tragic death.
If I'll ever write that down, lies in your hands though!
Ja ne, see ya and bis bald!