author's note:

Hnngh~ 2am wow, when did it get to be past that? Hope I caught all the typos and what not; did my best, time for sleep.

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STUPEFIED

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Chapter 3

Ambivalence

"Here are your mission scrolls," the Hokage said, sliding two objects across her desk. The shinobi before her nodded, reaching for their documents. "You will engage in a preliminary survey of the enemy – gather what information you can about the layout of their base. In this case, a mansion. You've heard of the kidnappings, yes?"

Sakura nodded, hand tightening about her mission scroll. "The disappearances of daughters from respectable civilian families throughout the villages in Fire Country."

"We believe it is tied to this man: Kawaguchi Sota. His base is located in Tea Country. We know nothing about him except that he is extremely wealthy and extremely greedy. Your only objective is to gather information about him and his operation." Her dark eyes flicked from one Jounin to the other, leaving no room for protest. "No one can know Konoha is involved with this: do you understand?"

The duo nodded. "Yes, Hokage-sama."

Satisfied, Tsunade leaned back in her chair. "Good. You are dismissed."

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It was your typical recon mission, nothing either nin hadn't done before. They even had a full day to get to the village in Tea Country – some little known industrial city that probably didn't belong in a land called 'Tea Country' in the first place and was hardly half a day's run with the use of chakra. Which was why, rather than rushing through the trees to their destination, the two shinobi who took their job very seriously, saved their energy and strolled. Tsunade had granted them three days to accomplish their task, which all three knew was more than enough time for a nearby reconnaissance operation. Somehow, Kakashi had the impression that the Hokage expected them to do something with all those extra days but he couldn't figure out what.

As he walked slightly behind his teammate, he allowed his thoughts to wander to their encounter a few nights prior. She asked him to kiss her; was she really that drunk? Did she even remember it? Neither person brought it up, as if it had never happened. But the memory was so sharp in his mind that he couldn't shake it. If that was the only opportunity he could have had to do something so frivolous he'd hate himself, but under what circumstances would Sakura ever ask him to kiss her ever again?

Maybe it was a dream.

A really, really realistic dream.

"Kakashi?"

He blinked out of his thoughts and met his teammate's gleaming eyes. "Hm?"

"Did you hear me?" She intoned, amused. "I asked if you'd like to camp out here tonight. It's getting dark and I think we're a little over half way there."

How long had they been walking for? It was so strange to meander without exerting chakra – he could walk for miles and miles. His view behind Sakura was a nice, too. He might never admit it aloud, but there was no denying his utter attraction to her, as damning as it was for him. For as long as he'd known her, Sakura was off-limits; he never dared entertain any sordid thoughts regarding her. Particularly not since the last time he saw her she was sixteen - Eighteen, his mind corrected. Oh, same difference for a man in his thirties.

Kakashi cleared his throat then and nodded, shrugging off his pack - "Sure. Perfect." - and knelt on the ground, busying himself with unstrapping his tent. Sakura followed suit, procuring her sleeping bag. He made a point of avoiding her gaze as he slid the poles through the loops of canvas, hoisting up their shelter for the evening.

"I'll get some firewood," the medic intoned, peering over at her counterpart over her scarf. "Be back soon."

Kakashi grunted a response as he tossed his sleeping bag into the tent, entertaining the possibility of sleeping underneath the stars and chancing frost-bite.

It wasn't unheard of for teammates to share a tent, but Sakura had oh-so-conveniently lent her camping gear to Naruto for his long mission since he lost his tent down a waterfall. Whether or not Kakashi believed it didn't matter because Sakura had beamed and very cheerfully said that she could just sleep with him before continuing on her merry way.

He wondered if she was doing all that on purpose.

The woman returned with an armful of firewood and unloaded near the tent, moving to set up the sticks so as to produce the best fire. Kakashi watched her work from between the pages of his favorite book. If she was frustrated that he was allowing her to do all the work, she didn't mention it. In fact, she managed to get the fire going quicker than he anticipated. Sakura drew her hands together in a job well done and crouched by the heat, peering over at her companion.

"You've been awfully quiet," she noted, situating herself on the ground and relishing the fire's warmth.

Kakashi shrugged. "Have I?"

"Yes." Sakura affirmed. "Is something wrong?"

"What makes you say that?" The Copy-Nin asked pleasantly, turning a page. He heard her stand up, footsteps neared, and then that wonderfully seductive scent of cucumber and melons. When he lowered his book, she stood before him, hands on hips. "Is there something you need?"

She appeared on the brink of a tirade, but instead the young medic rattling about his mind shook her head and quite purposefully brushed past him to disappear into the tent, leaving the male Jounin acutely aware of the way her hair skimmed over his mask, the silhouette of her torso pressing against his upper arm. "Just hungry," Sakura sang from within, before emerging with some packs of instant ramen, bottles of water, and a pot. "I'll make us dinner," she said cheerfully.

When the noodles were done she served him a bowl and he took it pleasantly enough.

He was in the middle of enjoying his meal when Sakura threw a chopstick at him. He caught it with his own chopsticks, and sighed, setting down his bowl. "Is there something you want to discuss, Sakura?"

"I'm OK with the fact that you can't seem to bear to kiss me. I have no idea what made me even ask you to: the stars? The alcohol?" She waved a hand as if to swat away the train of thought. "And I'm OK with the fact that you'll never see me as more than student. But I thought we were at least friends," the medic accused.

The fire lit up her eyes in a way no other light could and Kakashi felt the desire to just shut her pretty little mouth with a kiss. He refrained, of course. He had an iron will. "I like to think we are friends," was his response.

Sakura huffed. "We haven't had a proper conversation in four days. You've been avoiding me." With an irate sigh, the woman set down her empty bowl. "I'm not offended that you didn't kiss me," - Kakashi wondered if she still wanted one. - "but I miss talking to you."

The Copy-Nin raked a hand through his hair. "We're talking right now," he insisted.

"You're so immature," she stated frankly before standing from her place across the fire and, sleeping bag in tow, crawled into the tent. "Goodnight."

Kakashi shook his head, pretending he didn't notice her silhouette as she moved, the eyelash shadows drawn across her face, or the way her hair absorbed the moonlight. "Sakura," he called back, throat dry. When she didn't respond, he put out the fire and joined her in the tent. Had it not been for his Sharingan, he wouldn't have even seen her lying there. Her eyes were closed but he knew she was still awake. "Sakura."

"We have a long day, Kakashi. I suggest you go to sleep," she muttered.

He wiggled his way into his sleeping bag and stared at the canvas roof overhead. "So...how exactly did Naruto lose his tent?"

A pause, then an amused grumble. "Well, he was practicing a new trick in the river. I guess he wanted to be able to create a whirlpool and it just got seriously out of hand."

Kakashi inwardly admitted that he missed talking to Sakura, too.

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They walked in companionable silence as they approached the Tea Country border; it certainly appeared that what little friendship they had built for themselves upon Kakashi's return to Konoha was restored. Sakura laughed and Kakashi silently wished that the world would stop being so damn cruel to an old man like himself, putting someone like her in his life like that – but he just gave that crinkle-eyed smile and scratched the back of his head. As they neared the border, they masked their chakra and utilized simple measures to disguise their most obvious features:

Pink and silver hair.

Sakura tucked her locks up into a straw hat and Kakashi found a stick on the ground and properly hunched over, tossing a cloak over his backpack. The woman laughed when she saw him emerged, wearing a straw hat and donning a scarf over his face.

He waved his walking stick at her. "Quit staring, you ungrateful brat!"

Kakashi smirked at the sight of her leaning her head back to laugh.

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The area they were in, referred to as Kawamura, consisted of remarkably tall buildings and particularly smog-filled air. A river ran along the border, separating Tea Counrty from the duo's homeland; it was obviously quite polluted. Identifying Kawaguchi's headquarters was simple: it was the solitary mansion along the peninsula.

Sakura strode through the rickety doors of an inn and approached the man at the desk. "Two rooms, please," she declared.

The fellow held up a finger, alerting her that he was busy. His nose was buried in a book, one whose bright orange jacket was all-too familiar. Finally, he glanced up and absolutely gaped at the sight of his customer. A smile sleazed across his face then, as he set the novel down and leaned an elbow on the counter. "My, my, has anyone ever told you you've got such green eyes?"

Sakura offered her most innocent of expressions. "Why no, not at all. I've been told my entire life that they're orange. Now, if you were half as good at your job as you are at discerning colors, then I might already be in a nice, comfy bed. Two rooms, please," she repeated.

Kakashi masked his laugh with a cough.

The man – Ryuu – scowled at her and didn't bother breaking eye-contact as he responded, "There's only one room available. Here." He handed her a key attached to a wooden panel. "Room 208. All yours, miss."

"Is it two beds, at least?"

"No."

"Can I request an extra cot-?"

Ryuu shook his head, looking utterly bothered. "Nope, all out – sorry. Do you want it or not?" He implored, obviously raised with neither patience nor tact.

"Fine," Sakura ground out, snatching the key from his outstretched hand and slapping money onto the counter. "Come on, grandpa," she called towards Kakashi who wobbled behind her, relying quite heavily on his walking stick.

Ryuu rolled his eyes at the inn's newest guests, grumbling about what he'd like to do to tame a girl like that, when a rather blunt object smacked him in the back of the head, forcing him to face-plant onto the reception desk. When he looked around for the culprit, he only caught a ratty cloak disappearing up the flight of stairs.

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The room itself mirrored the state of the staff: sleazy, lazy, and offensive. A single bed, drawers, and closet were the only occupants – Sakura didn't even want to risk peeking into the bathroom. The walls were dirty, the paint peeling, and the ceiling fan didn't work. The woman sighed and trudged in, dropping her pack on the floor as she found a spot on the foot of the bed. "Let's just make quick work of this so we can get out of here," she declared, glancing over at her partner who was discarding his cloak.

"I don't imagine this will take very long," Kakashi mused, resting his trusty cane against the wall. He pulled out the mission scroll to review their objectives. "The only question is how we're to get inside the mansion in the first place." A rather distinct 'ahem' drew his eyes to the lovely cotton-candy-haired woman on the bed who was giving him that grin of hers – the one he could never tear his gaze from.

Crossing one leg over the other, Sakura leaned back on her elbow, trailing her free hand down her thigh. "Seduction, of course."

Kakashi allowed himself to watch her fingers trace the counter of her thigh, dipping over the swell of her hips and into the valley of her waist, before clearing his throat and returning his gaze to the scroll. "Hmm..." he answered, disinterested. The Copy-Nin shifted to recline against the wall and pretended to be intensely reading the mission scroll, demanding the flashes of flesh on flesh, tangled pink strands, and strangled moans to remain buried deep, deep in his mind.

"You don't think I can do it?" Came the young woman's retort and Kakashi opted to ignore her. His single dark eye read the words on the scroll rather intensely – at least, until the sound of bed springs and light foot steps let him know that the object of his very, very dirty thoughts was approaching. He intensified his concentration on the scroll. It was to no avail, however, as Kakashi felt his personal space invaded. He lowered the scroll and stared straight into Sakura's blank, unreadable face. She inched nearer, toes touching his. "Admit it," the medic whispered, "you don't think I can do it."

Kakashi fought to keep his voice even despite his incredibly parched throat. "I think you can do anything you set your mind to," he answered dismissively, ever the proud mentor and supportive friend.

"Is that so?" Sakura hummed, quite interested in his mask, or rather, the way his mouth moved beneath it. Her fingers just barely brushed up his tunic, the pads leaving trails of fire along his torso, before she pressed them lightly along the edge of his jaw. "It's funny, ever since I was a little girl I've wondered at what you could be hiding behind this mask," the young woman said, more to herself than to the very tense Copy-Nin before her. "I always imagined you had giant lips, buck teeth – or no teeth! That'd be hilarious. Or maybe a hairy mole. But do you know what I think now?"

Kakashi parted his lips to speak, but she stole his voice as her fingers ghosted over his bottom lip.

"I think you have absolutely nothing to hide," Sakura confessed, "I think that what started as a game for some pesky little twelve-year-olds became something like an obsession. And I'm not really sure what I would do if I saw underneath the underneath." Her breath fanned across his chin. "But I've always wondered. What do you think would happen, Kakashi?"

The Copy-Nin watched her mouth move and reveled in the way his name was almost a prayer on her lips. He caught her wrist, the warmth from the contact drew both their attention to it. Without letting her go, Kakashi leaned closer, pressing his free hand into the wall behind him to refrain from gathering the infuriatingly tempting young medic against him. "Do you really want to end the game?" His voice was thick and hoarse and the way Sakura's eyes widened gave him some sort of satisfaction. "I think that you don't because it keeps us close. I think you enjoy wondering and imagining and maybe even fantasizing," he smirked beneath the mask, noting the redness creeping into the medic's cheeks. "And I think reality would never be able to live up to your imagination."

Sakura's breath hitched at his proximity, at the way his single dark eye saw directly into her core. His touch was gentle, but his hands were rough, and she found the disparity to be quite pleasant. "I don't think I could ever be disappointed with you," she confessed.

Kakashi's grip tightened just a fraction before he dropped her wrist and replaced his back firmly against the wall behind him. "Are you trying to seduce me, Sakura?" He asked quite plainly, at which the young woman's face broke into a Cheshire Grin.

"Ah! I thought I had you!" She laughed, tilting her head to the side. "You knew the whole time, didn't you?"

The man internalized a string of expletives and instead responded with a chuckle. "Can't fool me," he said, scratching the back of his head.

Sakura shook her head as she returned to the bed and fell back onto the mattress, staring up at the useless ceiling fan. "Well I obviously can't seduce anyone if I can't entice an old man. We can just do our covert thing and be in and out in a night," she suggested lazily, trying not to think about how dirty the sheets probably were.

Her partner coughed in agreement, ignoring the desire to let her know that she was more than capable of enticing anybody.

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Getting onto private property was nothing new to the duo; they slunk under the cover of night, donned in dark garments. A dark beanie hid both noticeable heads of hair, leaving only diligent eyes exposed to the moonlight. Kakashi led the way, as per usual, checking and double checking the chakra signatures in the area before deciding to use a burst of his own to aid in scaling the far wall of the mansion. He knew Tea Country was not a shinobi territory, but it was never clear who hired shinobi to do their dirty work. So far, he didn't notice any particular power present – save for the chakra emanating from his partner.

As they paused on a ledge to listen near a closed window, they met eyes. It was easy to communicate without speaking; they had been doing it for years. Despite being apart for nearly half a decade, their chemistry was undeniable. Sakura pressed lithely crept further away from Kakashi to peer into a different, open window. The light from the room outlined her features as she peered in just enough to see someone rummaging through the bookshelves. Without turning around, she signaled to her commander: just a maid.

Kakashi lifted his slanted bandana, allowing the Sharingan to swirl into place and peer into the dark window he stood watch over. Empty. He fixed the cloth back over his scarred eye and clicked his tongue once to alert his subordinate. She lifted two fingers in the air and jerked them straight ahead, before tapping on her window pane to draw the maid nearer. The woman spun around in the room, eyes searching, before wandering towards the window. There was a smudge across the glass and she scowled – hadn't she just cleaned that? The maid bounced over to the sill, only to be greeted by a swift hand at the base of her neck. Sakura caught her before she could collapse and slid through the open pane, tying up the bystander and keeping her in a closet for safe measure. Sakura moved across the width of the room peered into the hall. There appeared to be one or two maids bustling around, all It wouldn't be difficult to elude them, but it would certainly be a nuisance if there were more. Most people would be in bed at 1 in the morning, after all. When the coast was clear, she shut off the lights.

Kakashi waited for the light to flick off before following suit. He dropped in and very nearly fell right back out as he bumped against Sakura. She grabbed onto his shoulders to steady him and even under the cover of night he could see the amusement in her eyes. He glared. What the hell was she doing standing so near to the window like that, anyhow? She knew he was going to follow after her!

"Careful there," she whispered, the grin in her voice. Perhaps her hold on him lasted a second too long, because suddenly she blinked and dropped her hands. "There are a few maids on this floor – probably every floor," Sakura reasoned. "But I don't sense any shinobi."

Kakashi didn't either. He nodded and strode to the door. It would be easy to cast a genjutsu to hide Sakura and himself as they explored the compound, but the chakra from it would alert potential enemies. No, better to play it safe and simply remain in the shadows – at least until they were certain no other ninja were around.

He motioned for Sakura to remain close and she appeared behind him at once, like a shadow. Together, they emerged from the study and wandered down the hall, making certain to avoid the maids wandering around as they tidied up the rooms. A staircase led them to the next floor down and they crept along the steps, foot-falls light and undetectable.

Kakashi made a mental map of the facility as they explored the dark mansion. Its décor was gaudy to say the least; paintings in extravagant frames adorned the walls, each flanked by wrought-iron sconces. For a man who oversaw what appeared to be Tea Country's own Industrial town, Kawaguchi Sato certainly loved the lavish extravagance of old.

It didn't appear as though Sato was expecting any visitors to be snooping about his affairs; the mansion was decisively empty of guards. Perhaps the businessman didn't have as many enemies as someone in his position should? Or he took care of them all, Kakashi wondered. Only when he felt a strange absence behind him did the Jounin glance over his shoulder to see nothing but shadows.

Sakura was staring at a painting on the wall. There was nothing particularly remarkable about it – it was a bowl of fruit sitting on a table. Even so, the medic stared at it as if deciphering a secret message. Kakashi nudged her to keep moving, but she held her ground. "There's something off about this," she whispered, near enough to breathe the words against his ear. "Just look at it. It's the only painting we've come across so far that wasn't of something grand. It's a bowl of fruit. It's frame isn't even that ornate."

Kakashi was about to tell her that sometimes a bowl of fruit was just a bowl of fruit when a door creaking open alerted them both and he grabbed her arm, tugging her against him as they all but melted into the nearest room, movements so silent that it seemed as though they moved through the shut door. It was apparent that they had entered a bedroom – luckily the occupant was sound asleep. Sakura allowed her forehead to rest against Kakashi's chin at her relief. If she felt him stiffen, she said nothing. Kakashi, on the other hand, was hyper-aware of the faint smell of cucumber melon, the soft breath warming his neck, and the slim torso of the woman - It's Sakura, Hatake. Get a hold of yourself. - in his arm.

When no sound followed the earlier creak, they left the room just as swiftly and silently as they had entered and the Copy-Nin could breathe again.

Sakura, seemingly oblivious to her captain's discomfiture, resumed her perusal of the painting. She picked the frame off the wall, only to realize it was on a hinge, and behind it sat a small padlock safe. Her triumphant gaze Kakashi's way was enough to irritate all impure thoughts from the Copy-Nin; she could be so childish sometimes. Pulling out a stethoscope, the medic set to listening to the clicks of the lock, missing the combination the first few times. Kakashi meandered down the hall to keep watch as she did her work. Then the woman popped up beside him, a small silver key glinting in her palm. Whatever it was for, it was obviously something top-secret.

The team found their way to the first floor of the compound, having inspected every inch of the top two, along with the left and right wings. Their exploration served little purpose but to count the number of bathrooms Kawaguchi had, and they were about ready to call it a night and report that the base of operations was not in is home when Kakashi felt a creak beneath his step. He glanced down at the tile beneath his feet – the sound was precisely what he had heard earlier that night. How could tile possibly make that sound?

Sakura lifted two fingers to her mouth - "Kai." - and dispelled the genjutsu to reveal a wooden trap door with a small silver lock. They exchanged glances.

The key fit perfectly and, one by one, they disappeared down the passage way. Kakashi made sure to replace the genjutsu before continuing on. Now they were getting somewhere. The basement was just as dark as the rest of the mansion, but it was bare of any decorations. Torches flickered along the corridor. A conversation floated down the stone walls and the Jounin tensed.

"She is from the Yoshiro family," one voice declared arrogantly. He sounded young and with far too much authority in his demeanor.

A second voice, far older, but with all the pomp as the previous speaker - "She is lovely, certainly. Is she pure?"

"You know all my girls are."

"How much?"

A pause, then, "10,000,000 ryo."

"I believe we have a deal, Kawaguchi-sama."

Sakura's hand fisted at her side and she took a single feral step towards the far room, when an arm swung around her waist to hold her back. Kakashi's mouth was at her ear before she could his a protest. "We're here to gather information only," he iterated firmly, only releasing her when he was certain she would comply. "The girls aren't here, we need to find them first." The woman scowled, but understood. "Don't worry, he'll get what's coming to him," Kakashi added. "Let's go."

They left without a trace as to their entrance or presence at all.

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"So we have our proof," Tsunade said sternly, regarding the Jounin before her with her unwavering copper gaze. "I expect your mission reports on my desk first thing in the morning," she ordered crisply, "You are dismissed."

"Shishou—what's the next step? We know Kawaguchi is kidnapping those girls and it seems as though he's running a brothel somewhere. Or worse," Sakura implored, staring down her mentor. "We have to act soon. Who knows what's happening to them-"

The Hokage, hands steepled before her, fixed her eyes on her apprentice. "Sakura," she barked, immediately silencing the younger medic. "We will take care of it, don't worry. Now go get some sleep you look like a wreck."

Sakura scowled but nodded her reverence before leaving the office.

Kakashi followed her out. "She's right, you know," he said as they walked down the hall to the elevator. "You do look like a wreck."

"Maybe it's because we traveled all night to return home," the young woman groused, giving her counterpart a ferocious glare that was far too similar to Tsunade's for Kakashi's liking. "Besides, you don't look so hot yourself," she admonished.

The Copy-Nin shrugged, fitting his hands into his pockets. "I don't particularly have a need to look otherwise," he said cheerfully. "The only women I hang around have all seen me at my very worst."

"You'll never find a nice girl to settle down with you with that attitude," Sakura commented wryly as the elevator doors parted.

Kakashi hummed in response, stepping into the small space, and leaned his head back along the cool metal wall. "What do I need one of those for? I've got my hang-over healer; what more is there?" He didn't miss the way Sakura grinned and he wondered what it was about his response that prompted it.

"One day I won't be around to help you endure those next mornings," the medic said playfully, "and then you'll wish you had found yourself a nice lady to take care of you."

The lift descended and, just as the doors opened to reveal hospital lobby, Kakashi inclined his head in her direction, single lazy eye unreadable. "You give all the care I need," he said, before leaving her alone in the elevator. "Later, Sakura."

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Naruto returned from his week long mission three days early and Sakura set to planning four consecutive parties for their favorite Jounin teacher. Nevermind that Kakashi quite vehemently insisted that he had been joking and that he really didn't need four parties. But the persistent medic waved her hand and all but threatened him to show up and enjoy it. So when the first evening came to celebrate his rather belated thirty-third birthday, he sighed before stepping foot into the admittedly large and spruced up abode of one – Umino Iruka.

There were balloons and streamers – Does Sakura think I'm five? - and of course his close friends and cake and drinks to go around. He enjoyed himself for the most part, that was until Anko got quite rowdy and all but threw herself at him. He deflected her with an easy side-step and inadvertently sent her into Iruka's surprised arms.

When the host and the snake woman mysteriously disappeared, Sakura declared that it was time to shuffle on out and that she'd better see them all the following evening for Kakashi's thirty-fourth party.

She hung behind to help clean up Iruka's living room a bit, doing her best to ignore the rather amorous sounds emerging from the bedroom.

"That was fun," Kakashi voiced as he held out a giant garbage bag for her to stuff the streamers into.

The young woman smiled brightly, whatever makeup she wore for the evening smudging just barely beneath her eyes. "I'm glad," she answered, "a part of me thought you might not even come." She reached across the coffee table to stack cake-smeared paper plates.

"A part of me really didn't want to," the Copy-Nin confessed as she dropped the plates into the garbage bag. "But it was bearable – until Anko."

Sakura snorted, straightening up and fixing the birthday celebrant with a look of disbelief. "I'm sorry about that, OK? I thought you might want to get laid on your birthday."

"It's not my birthday," the man deadpanned.

"Details, details," Sakura said with a dismissive wave of her hand.

"And even if I wanted to get laid, I could find a willing partner myself, thanks," he sniffed.

The medic laughed, picking up plastic forks and party hats – yes there were party hats. "Oh, I'm sure, with all your charm and good-looks," and she gestured to his mask after dumping the party goodies into the trash bag, "that you would have no problem with that whatsoever." She crossed the room to pull the couches back to their original set up.

And then he was behind her, standing so near she felt the front of his vest against her biceps. "I assure you, Sakura, it's not that hard." Something in his voice had changed, the sake was seeping through, the huskiness from an evening of drinking, and the intent. She stiffened. "Let me get that for you," he continued, leaning forward and grabbing the backrest of the sofa to give it a swift tug. The movement trapped her between the piece of furniture and Kakashi's arms. "Anything else I can help you with?" He asked.

Sakura, unmoving, felt her fingers press into the fabric of the couch. There was something going on here and she wasn't quite sure what to make of it. His arms flanked her and though she could easily move away, she didn't – something made her stay. Slowly, the medic turned around to face him. The look in his gray eye repeated his earlier prompt. Was there anything else he could help her with?

The rhythmic thud-thud-thud from the far room coupled with cries of sheer pleasure made something thicken around them, and Sakura allowed her gaze to drop from his single visible eyes to his mask. "No, I—I think we can probably leave Iruka and Anko to their privacy," she whispered with little interest in her own response.

Kakashi didn't move and Sakura didn't mind.

A woman's moans met his ears and he briefly entertained the idea of what Sakura would sound like. What Sakura would taste like. Sake, perhaps? As that was the drink of the evening. Genma had insisted she was a vixen and he so sorely wanted to find out if it was true.

The front door burst open and Kakashi stepped away from her, hands in his pockets.

"Sakura-chan! I felt so bad leaving you behind with this mess—oh, Kakashi-sensei!"

"Yo," the Copy-Nin greeted, without a care in the world.

Sakura greeted the intruder with a nervous smile. "Thanks for coming back to help, Naruto, but everything's clean now." She pointedly avoided looking over at her former mentor who had found a remarkably interesting spot on the roof to stare at. "We should probably all go now," the young woman declared, "and leave Iruka to his privacy."

Naruto smirked at the implication. "They're going at it like rabbits, huh?"

Sakura promptly smacked him over the head.

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author's note:

I'm updating this like crazy - but blame my relatively free Thursday, Friday, Saturday schedule. You can expect majority of my updates to take place over that time frame :) That being said, I still have no idea where I'm going with this story. It's really more like a day in the life of... featuring Kakashi and Sakura. One Kakashi party down, three more to go. Wonder what'll happen next ;) Hope you enjoyed! And reviews are very much appreciated ~ Lady Flick