|The Downward Spiral
Author: cutecrazyice PM
And the downward spiral to madness - or is it something else? - begins. KakaSakuRated: Fiction M - English - Romance - Kakashi H. & Sakura H. - Words: 5,396 - Reviews: 76 - Favs: 67 - Follows: 80 - Published: 09-29-12 - id: 8566341
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
a/n: Gift fic for serenity-touched, who won first place in the LJ kakasaku tarot card art interpretation contest (her piece is wonderful!). So sorry this is late. D: I hope you'll like it.
This is unbeta-ed and any mistakes you spot are mine. Rusty is rusty (lol, haven't written anything in nine months). On that note, I still hope you enjoy.
The Downward Spiral
. . .
Sometimes, he doesn't understand why she stays with him.
"Would you like some tea, sensei?"
"I prefer coffee, to be honest."
"Well, tea would do you better, to be honest."
Maybe it's the fact that he is her teacher for the earlier parts of her childhood life and she is grateful for that—although he knows that is a straight-out lie, because he hasn't really done anything during that time except concentrate on his so-called prodigy and try to find potential in that prodigy's loudmouthed rival. Sakura is the odd one out, the one that he saw no potential in until it is too late.
"Coffee would kick me in and give me a headstart."
"Coffee would kick you straight to your grave. Just obey me and you will live."
He can't see her eyes from this angle, but the gentle strokes of her small towel on his forehead to ease the raging fever assures him that she isn't mad at all at his perversion—it is something that she lives with, something that she tolerates.
It doesn't explain why she sticks around, though.
He falls asleep still wondering.
. . .
Even after battle, she's fierce.
This thought jolts him more than the kunai wedged on his shoulder, and this is something to be honestly worried about because, really? Kunai on shoulder, hello—he is the Copy Nin, and there are generally no weapons that should wedge itself on any part of his body so easily.
His wonder turns to curiosity at this little creature that pushes out punch after punch, slowly and meticulously making every single nin drop to the ground in unconsciousness. It is pretty amusing how she treats it like she would a patient in the hospital—with a precision that unnerves those who do not know her well. She frowns when one punch lands too roughly, giving the last enemy nin leeway to jump closer and have at her.
One more punch, and the man crumbles down.
She looks up at the words, the frown turning to surprise when she finds him still standing there.
"Poison," he says nonchalantly. "Sleeping poison. Stupid enemy."
Then he crumbles like that last man, only with less grace as he snores along the way.
. . .
Curiosity turns to fascination.
She turns a year older and celebrates this by going to some bar with her two blond best friends (who are both equally loud and oftentimes exasperating, in his opinion) and drinking alcohol with a sour expression on her face. It's clear she doesn't like it, and doesn't like this kind of scene, and that is just proven when she glares at the first man who tries to flirt with her (well, more like grope her) and leaves right after.
The next day, she knocks at his apartment door and brings him cake and tea for his hangover.
"I couldn't help but notice you drinking your way to oblivion last night. So I just had to bring you this," she muses cheerfully.
Rubbing his throbbing forehead, he stares at her for a full minute before finally letting her inside. There is some loud banging of pots and pans as she looks for a clean mug before she opts to wash the stack—neat stack—near his sink.
The tea is calming and refreshing, but it doesn't explain why she is here. When asked, all she does is shrug, tied-up hair whipping in the morning sunlight.
"Nothing. I just wanted to."
Do you pity me?
The affronted look and how genuine it seems is enough to assure him that no, she doesn't.
"That's the last thing I would feel towards you, sensei."
"Stop calling me that."
There is a long pause.
"That's the last thing I would feel towards you, Kakashi."
. . .
He finds her one day kissing some strange fellow with too much gel on his hair and too much perversion in his eyes that he can't help but grimace and ask Naruto about it. The blond's only reaction is an outburst full of yelling and promises to defend her honor before the so-called weasel breaks her heart and destroys her life forever.
When word gets to Sakura about this, she simply gives her teammate a bop in the head and tells him that breaking her heart is the last thing this guy is gonna do because there is no heart involved in the first place.
Then she turns to her ex-teacher and gives him a withering stare, absolutely sure that he's the one who has planted the idea on the blond's head. Kakashi simply stares back.
"So you're telling me this is simply a physical thing?"
Maybe his voice is deliberately loud, and maybe there is a bit of glee inside him when he sees her cheeks turn pink. She looks around the little cafe shop in slight alarm, almost as if expecting someone to pop out and yell...well, now, he's not really sure what.
"No, it's not simply a physical thing," she bites off half-pleasantly. "I'm just not looking at relationships at the moment."
"Doesn't mean that feelings can't be involved."
"Feelings don't have to be involved."
"Exactly. So it's a physical thing. The sex and all."
He's pretty sure she wants to pull out his hair, but she makes an impressive display of restraining herself and opting to glare at him.
"Whatever. It's none of your business, sensei."
"Oh, stuff it."
He smiles. Fascination becomes a mix of that and amusement with the knowledge that his ex-student is growing up, but still a kid inside.
. . .
Everything changes on their one mission together.
It's not the usual mission where most shinobi interaction shifts—the kind that involves role-playing and closed spaces and roused sexual tension that eventually leads to skin whispering against skin and a sharing of heat that only lovers usually share. There is no role-playing and there is no sexual tension, but there is a closed space as they utilize their remaining money before the journey home. In this case, their remaining money is enough to grant them one night of stay in one of the village's more comfortable motels, and even more to go out and have a little fun.
They decide to go down together and separate from there, she to mingle with guys her age and he to...well, take care of some needs that she does not have any business knowing. It is rather easy, as the girl he picks up is already looking at him like she wants to ravish him all night long. It isn't long before she asks if he wants to go up to her room for coffee, and he quietly accepts.
He makes the mistake of glancing at his mission partner to see how she's doing.
She's doing fine. In fact, she's doing more than fine with her back against a wall and a guy standing in front of her. He looks better than her kissing partner from before, and from the way she is letting him lean closer and whisper in her ear, it seems that she knows this too and appreciates it.
Her fingers trail up his chest until it reaches his chin, and for a moment he watches the movement. Then her tongue comes out and touches her lower lip, and he watches that, too. Her dress is a simple red, nothing special and nothing she hasn't worn before, but her body language is that of an adult that he doesn't recognize.
Her mouth opens slightly, and the first thought that comes—no, urge—is to trace it with his thumb before sliding his tongue inside and—
It is a good thing his partner is there to tug on his shoulder, otherwise he might think of things that he shouldn't be thinking about. With quiet relief, he lets her lead the way and promptly forgets about the scenario he has just witnessed.
. . .
He does not forget.
It is annoying and exhilarating and stupid all at the same time, and he doesn't know whether he should keep seeing her (or rather, allow her to see him) to just get it over with and be immune to her growing charms, or to just avoid her altogether.
The amusement in her voice surprises him and he looks up. Surprise turns to contemplation when he sees that while the drink is offered to him, her focus is not—it is on their fellow nin sitting just a few tables away with his friendly giant canine. Said nin is looking back, winking confidently and flashing slightly sharp teeth.
"So it's a physical thing with Kiba, too?"
The snap of her neck back to him and the glare makes him smirk as he takes the tea and sips. Oh, how he wishes for coffee or sake. She sits across from him in their favorite cafe shop, fingers drumming impatiently on the table and eyes narrowing.
"Why are you so interested in my love life?"
"You mean your sex life?"
"Watch your mouth, Kakashi," she says mildly. "It's not like you're a saint in that department, as I recall."
In turn, he watches hers as it purses and she pouts, waiting for his reply. Pink, and very plump. He keeps his silence and his thoughts, finishing his cup and observing her.
"Mou, I don't understand you anymore, Kakashi. You're weird. And I'm not playing around. Kiba's just my flirting friend, nothing more."
Flirting friend equates to sexual tension, and sexual tension? Anyone can do the math.
She looks at him expectantly, silent and waiting.
More silence, because he does not understand himself either.
. . .
"Are you sure you don't want to take this mission?"
"I'm very sure, Sakura."
"And this is the third time you asked. Go take it if you want it so much."
"It's not a solo mission."
"Bring Sai with you. Or Naruto."
"But it requires a female my age and a man your age."
"You mean an old man?"
"I never called you that, Kakashi."
True. He peeks at her from his orange book and crinkles his eyes. "That's nice of you."
"Well, are you gonna take the mission now?"
"Ugh. Never mind. You're so lazy."
She takes the mission, anyway, and brings Genma with her. He stays in the village and gets on with his pleasant, if sometimes broody, life.
Distance is the key for now.
. . .
He still does not forget, and it's crowding his head as the fascination for her grows.
She has taken into wearing thin tops and short shorts outside her house as the summer becomes warmer, and one time, he hears her whisper to Ino that she is not wearing her underwear as it is just a bother to do so in this unbearable heat.
Coincidentally, they train for a bit that day, and it is one of the rare times that he loses as she straddles him and pins him to the ground, her eyes lighting up in joy and her grin brilliant.
"Ha. I beat you! Wow. I've really improved."
Her bare thighs scrape against his training pants and her tank top is black, so there is no way to see if what he has heard her saying is true, even with the sunlight bathing them both and surrounding her hair like some kind of clichéd halo. They are both sweaty and panting hard, and he isn't really sure if he is thinking at all at this point.
He needs to find out, is all that is running through his tired brain.
So when she keeps on babbling, he turns sneaky and tickles her, her surprise earning her to lose her grip and giving him enough momentum to turn them around. Now it is her pressed to the ground, chest to chest, her hands pinned above her head and helpless, and—
She is telling the truth, and he feels them. It is manipulative of him to stay this way with only her upper clothing between them, and the thought comes that maybe he should have just not removed his shirt. But it is truly hot, so he has taken it off.
The gaze she gives him is unsure, and her mouth opens.
The action he wants to do is forbidden.
She snaps her mouth shut without uttering a word, and tries to struggle instead.
He gets off her before he regrets what he is about to do.
"Be careful of your ticklish spots next time," he reminds her mildly before getting his shirt from where he has left it beside a tree. Then he goes off and leaves her be, careful not to look at her reaction and wanting nothing more than to get himself some coffee, or maybe—no. Sake. Sake is best.
Tea won't do him any good now.
The next day, as he accidentally sees her walking down the street from his hidden perch on the roof of the Hokage tower, he tries not to put his book down and keeps on reading. But an apple falls from her basket of market buys, and as she bends to pick it up, his eyes stray to the way her dress stretches over the expanse of her back—the cotton dancing above her ankles and stretching over her ass is pretty much a sight to behold, in a way. It shifts and slides, and he wonders how she'll react if he takes her by the waist and pushes her towards the nearest wall.
He wonders how she'll take it if he slides her skirt up and—
The intensity of his thoughts and the awareness of his tense body almost on the verge of standing up snaps him out of it. No. He is delusional, and she deserves better.
So he sits back, focusing his concentration into relaxing every inch of his body. But he watches her as she puts the apple back in the basket, as she walks off into the early dew.
The fascination has turned dark, and he does not know how to stop it.
. . .
For the next few weeks, he avoids her like the plague and thinks he's successful at it. Judging by Naruto's comments that he never visits them anymore and Sai's snarky remarks (well, Sai's version of snarky) that he is probably too busy jacking off, he may have been too successful at it. He easily lies to them that he is busy and he is around all the time, and they don't really need him because they're all grown up ninjas who have made great marks in society—
"Sakura has been worried sick about you."
He nods, looking unaffected.
"I've been on missions. And home."
"Liar!" Naruto grumbles. "If you were, she'd have nagged you already about eating with us at our favorite shop."
Your favorite shop, kid.
Kakashi simply nods again and promises them (lie) that he would visit them soon.
The next day, he asks Tsunade to give him a mission that would take him away for weeks. She complies.
One week later, he miscalculates a fight and gets electrocuted in the heart.
. . .
When he wakes up, he thinks he is in heaven because he can still feel, hear and think. Then he realizes that this can't be heaven because that so-called place does not make you experience this kind of almost intolerable pain.
"Well, I see you're awake now."
The voice is matter-of-fact and familiar. He opens his eyes but can't really see, although that's not really necessary because other than the voice, the scent of her is close and alarmingly comforting. He is dizzy and everything is blurry from it, and—
Oh, wait. He really is dizzy from the injuries.
He only has a moment to catch the flash of pink and to hear her no-nonsense tone turn to worry before he is knocked out cold.
. . .
The coma lasts for five days, they say. Then they order him complete bedrest for the next couple of weeks, much to his dismay. It becomes worse when they tell him where he is gonna be staying the moment he refuses to be saddled in the hospital. Argument is moot, as the Hokage proves to be as difficult and stubborn as her apprentice.
Speaking of apprentice.
Maybe he should have just stayed in the hospital.
"I'm fine," he tells her for the nth time, pretending she isn't there and wondering why he cannot just stay at Naruto's house, or Genma's. Or Sai's, for that matter. This reasoning is proven pointless when Naruto comes to visit and breaks Sakura's porcelain dish, Sai insults everything that comes his way, and Genma entertains him with a blow-by-blow of his latest sexual conquest.
Maybe Sakura isn't such a bad option, then.
It all becomes routine too quickly for his liking—or if one wants to be honest (which he doesn't), he likes it too much and too quickly. She goes to work every morning and leaves him with food and medicine on the fridge, and a daily note of what he is supposed to eat and take on the table beside his bed. Sometimes the notes has hearts in them, other times there are tiny smiley faces—when she's angry, her writing becomes barely legible (which amuses him, of course, and eggs him on to make her so every once in a while). She comes home every night, tired, with bags under her eyes and sometimes a haunted look on her face. She eats with him for dinner, talks about her day, then badgers him to talk about his (not that anything is happening to his—what exciting stuff ever happens stuck inside a tiny apartment?).
Then the massage therapy comes, right before they both go to sleep. There is always a basin of warm water beside him as she gets ready in her sleep clothes (always a shirt and decent shorts), towel in one hand and chakra glowing green in the other. It is a slow process as she works the chakra from his head down to his toe, prodding for any odd internal whatsits and healing him minute by minute. The enemy's electrocution jutsu has been strong and complicated, difficult to get out in just one go.
"Does it hurt here?" she prods when her hands hover over certain places, gentle and steady. His mask is still in place, but he feels bare as she gazes at him that way.
"Not much," he replies, casually glancing at the ceiling. Imagining the chakra disappearing (trying not to imagine) and her hands touching his skin. Sliding up. Her body sliding against his.
It is pure torture and he loves every minute of it.
He must be effing insane.
One night, he dreams of her moaning under him, and the moans turn to screams until she is calling out his name, begging for his mouth and his hands to touch her everywhere and set her on fire. And he does, over and over again. He wakes up sweaty and inhales her scent on his pillow, and it is too much. Enough.
Once he is healed, he is out of here. Or maybe quicker than that.
Yes, that is the plan. Brilliant.
. . .
Of course, not all brilliant plans are fruitful.
On the Friday that he plans to escape, Sakura comes home early. He is back to his bed in three seconds flat, body protesting with every abrupt movement. He is pretty sure he has sprained what should not be sprained again, and winces at what she's going to do to him when she finds out.
Twenty minutes later and her bedroom door is still closed. He puzzles over this, contemplates about escaping while she is still ignoring him—then ditches it all when he hears her muffled crying through his nosy, chakra-enhanced ears.
He is inside the bedroom in a flash, not even bothering to knock.
"Nothing," she replies quickly, back turned to him. Then, as if finally realizing he is not supposed to be there, she stands up right away and glares at him through tear-streaked eyes. "And you are supposed to be walking, not running around, sir."
He repeats his question and hobbles his way forward as she marches towards him and tries to steer him in the other direction. But of course, she is stubborn.
So is he. He pesters her deliberately until her worry for him turns to irritation and she can no longer mask her impatience at being disobeyed so thoroughly.
"A patient died, okay?" she snaps at him in frustration. "And I always cry myself to sleep when that happens, it's nothing new. I just don't let people see it because no one has ever invaded my home before." Then, as if realizing what she has just said, she snaps her mouth shut.
His stance becomes stiff, and his voice distant. "Well, if that's all you want, I can leave you alone and find my way out of this apartment—"
"Oh, stuff it," she grumbles, anger draining out of her. Now she just looks tired as she sinks back to sit on the edge of the bed. "I just want to sleep tonight, okay? You're not scheduled for therapy tonight, anyway. Go behave and don't try to make your injuries worse. I'll be okay in the morning."
When she climbs into bed with her back towards him, he knows just what to do. The surprise in her face is obvious as the bed dips to accommodate his weight behind her.
"What are you doing?" she yelps, "Why are you—"
"Sleep. I'll keep you company."
She stares at him as if he's grown two heads.
"No perversion meant, I swear," he adds for good measure.
There is silence before she finally nods her head and turns back around, whispering goodnight to him. He whispers it back and keeps a few inches between them (just like on their missions together), listening to her shift around until she finds a comfortable position. Ten minutes later, her heartbeat is steady, and so is her breathing.
He wonders how a kunoichi so tough could be so compassionate, too. The misery in her eyes weighs heavy, and he wishes he can wash it away. Kiss it away.
In the middle of the night, she wakes up with the nightmare of her memories and quietly cries. He is still there, and more than ready to gather her in and rock her back to sleep.
Staring at the ceiling, he silently asks himself how any more idiotic he can get. Then he just stops thinking altogether, because thinking is tiring and maybe it's better to just sleep everything off and hope tomorrow he can be smarter.
No, this is no longer fascination. It is something else and he never, ever wants to define it.
. . .
When he wakes up and finds soft, warm—familiar—woman in his arms, he holds on tighter and presses his mouth against what seems to be an expanse of bare flesh. The whisper of her taste is there, promising all and more, but he does not move. There is a murmur from her lips, but he pretends to be asleep as he keeps his hands and mouth where they are.
She doesn't drive him away.
When he wakes up a second time, the rain is falling hard and fast, and she is no longer in bed.
. . .
Her smile lights up a room, he realizes.
So does her laugh as she runs towards Naruto, who has come back home from his most dangerous mission to date, weary but safe and sound. She embraces their blond teammate with the fervor of someone who hasn't seen a friend in years. Naruto accepts this embrace and twirls her around, and they laugh some more, chattering a mile a minute and catching up on the latest gossip and news tidbits.
How long he watches them, Kakashi isn't sure. But there is one thing he is sure of.
He is doomed.
. . .
Genma celebrates the copy nin's last day in Sakura's apartment by smuggling wine in the room and insisting that Kakashi drink some to relax. Of course, the senbon-wielder has probably thought Kakashi would only drink a glass or two—which he does, until Sakura comes home early again with a take-out meal in her hands and an amused look on her face. It is only natural that they drink the rest until all the food is gone and the bottle is empty.
Having not pegged Sakura to be a lightweight, he is surprised to find her stumbling a bit as she tries to clear the dishes—and giggling as she does so. It's probably a good thing that none of the plates fall to the floor, and that it's her day off tomorrow.
"We can always do that tomorrow," he says, limbs loose and feeling sleepy and relaxed as he sits on the floor with his back leaning on the living room couch. The empty bottle is still in front of him, which Sakura tries to clear before she stumbles again in front of him. He holds her there, but she pushes off him and stands up, determined to pick up whatever mess she can and bring it to the kitchen. With a sigh, he stands up and gets the dishes for her.
The moment they are all piled in the sink and they go back to the living room, Sakura starts chattering like a bird.
"This is s—s—so much fun, isn't it? Isn't it a—amazing?"
"Yes, it is."
"Kakashiiiii, I want a dog now," she pouts, frowning at him. "It's going to be so—s—so lonely going home and not having anyone to take care of or talk to or feeeeeeed."
He gives her his amused eye-crease. "Did you just equate me to taking care of a dog?"
"Oh, pffft, you know so—o—o well I did not mean it that way, you old—man."
"And now you're calling me an old man."
"Pffft, shaddap. Shaddap, Kakashiiiii. You're very lovely company."
"So are you."
"I know I am."
"Yes, you are," he murmurs, alarm bells ringing as her hands start divesting her pajamas off.
"Why are you—?"
Her shirt is big enough to cover her underwear (are you wearing any, Sakura?)—but not enough to cover her thighs. Perhaps his eyes should not stray too much, but like a magnet, they are drawn to long and slim legs coming closer, closer—
She stumbles again, and his hands shoot out to catch her before he even realizes it. Then she is once again in front of him, and he wonders how the hell she has gotten there so quickly—but those questions fly out of his mind when his line of vision is filled with hazy green eyes, flushed cheeks, messy hair and a swollen mouth pursing.
Oh, to be able to make that mouth even more swollen. Pressed against his, then kissing his—
"So are you," she giggles. "And I want to see your—mask—off."
"Please?" she pleads, crawling towards him. "Pleaseeee?"
"Sakura, I think it's time for you to sleep—"
"I can just c—close my eyes and you remove theeem and I touch your face yesss?"
She is already slurring her words, and he thinks, what the hell? She will forget about this tomorrow, anyway. With a shrug, he nods his consent, and she gives him one bright grin before closing her eyes and waiting for him to remove it.
When he informs her that he's already slid it down and she can touch now, she eagerly moves forward until she is all but in his lap, fingers moving around and touching every inch she can. It is a slow process, agonizing process as she starts from his forehead, moving to touch his eyes and cheeks (careful not to poke too deeply), then down to his jaw. She makes approving noises all the way. He has not shaved, and he knows she can feel that, too.
Then her hand moves to his lips, and there is surprise on her face.
"You're no f-fish lips," she says with a drunken smile, delighted.
"No," he murmurs, body tense as her thumb rubs across his bottom lip. There is a white hot thrill running down his spine, and blood is rushing down parts she should not be acquainted with. The alarm bells are ringing insistently again, but he ignores that too and forces everything down as he takes the wrist attached to the thumb moving against his lip, keeping it and his sanity still.
Her smile disappears, but she does not open her eyes. "K—Kakashi?" Her voice has gone soft, very soft.
"You should not do that," he says quietly. "You should not—"
And then everything is cut off as she shifts in his lap, and awareness runs through him like an exploding bomb. He is stunned.
"You're not wearing underwear."
At the words, she flushes and makes a move to scramble back, but his hand is still on her wrist and somehow, his other hand is already on her waist, gripping it tight to keep her in place. The shirt slides across her skin like silk.
"You have no underwear on," he repeats, aware that his voice is low now. Aware of its raspiness.
"I—I ran out of laundry."
She is breathing hard and her mouth has parted and there is only one thing left to do, with his inhibitions gone and this warm, warm woman in his arms.
Damn it all to hell.
Decency out the window, he pulls her flush against him, groaning at the feel of her so close. Then he captures her mouth in his, glorifying in the moment, hungrily taking what he can, tasting every inch with his tongue, nipping and nipping, and feeling her soft gasp against his lips. She tastes sweet and potent, like the wine they have drunk, and maybe he should just stop now before it all becomes too late and—
She moans, and kisses him back.
It is already too late.
Stop. Stop, stop, stop—
"Touch me," she begs, moving against him. "Touch me."
And this is where he knows he is beyond doomed.
. . .
He is an old man, and a pervert, and—as he repeats to himself more often than he cares to—she deserves better.
Tucked in bed and sound asleep, she is breathtaking, still. He watches from the bedroom doorway and tries not to remember that one kiss, and how her body feels like under his hands. There is only the assurance that nothing has happened beyond that, and she is too drunk to remember anything when she wakes up. And if she does remember, in a few weeks she will find another boy, and kiss another boy, and forget all about him.
Jealousy has never tasted so bitter.
That morning, he packs his bag and leaves as quietly as he's come.
a/n: Part two will be in Sakura's POV. :)