I sigh and sit up when I hear the alarm go off, I was already awake, I have been for the past 15 minutes when I heard someone rummaging in my kitchen. I was still embarrassed about last night, that's why I hadn't gotten up yet. I knew now though that as I shut my alarm off he would know I was awake. I get up, stretch a little bit, grab my ninja outfit, get dressed, brush and braid my hair, and open the door only for my nose to get attacked by a delicious smell of food. I make my way to the kitchen to find Kakashi cooking. He wasn't wearing any of his gear yet, but what was surprising me was that he wasn't wearing his long sleeve sweater either, he was only in his pants and undershirt. I stare at his bare arm muscles and tattoo as they move while he cooks.
"Breakfast is almost ready," Kakashi says, breaking me from my trance, I look to his face as he turns.
"Thank you," I say blushing. "You didn't have to cook."
"Honestly, I was hungry and I couldn't leave to buy something," He tells me, his eyes closing in a smile like they always do. "Hope you don't mind me using your food or cooking."
"Not at all, make yourself at home," I laugh. "I mean it is my fault you're stuck here."
"It's your mother's fault," Kakashi says, shaking his head as he flips the omelet onto the plate. "Well, it's my fault she is here, but we won't argue small details. It's too early for that," I say, yawning as I go to the fridge and get some orange juice. "Do you want some orange juice, milk, or water?" I ask as I get 2 glasses.
"Orange juice sounds good," He answers. I pour our glasses as he places our food down on the table and sits. I make my way over and place his drink in front of him.
"Thank you for the food," I say sitting. He shakes his head at me.
"I will still owe you food as it's your groceries I'm using," He tells me and I shrug.
"Regardless, thank you for cooking," I say.
"You're welcome," He says, we eat in peaceful silence and when we are almost finished there is a knock on my door. I sigh and get up looking at Kakashi when I realize his mask is up. Did I even see him with it down? What does his face even look like? I think as I make my way to the door, the knocking getting worse.
"Kane, open up I have something for you!" I hear Sakura's voice through the door.
"Hey, Sakura, what's up?" I ask opening the door to let her in.
"Hey, so remember what I said yester… " She cuts herself off when she realizes Kakashi is here. "Morning Sensei." She says looking between us both, I raise an eyebrow at her when she looks at me suspiciously.
"Morning Sakura, how are you?" Our Sensei responds, gathering our plates and taking them to the kitchen.
"I'm good," She answers, still looking at me.
"Sensei you don't have to do that, I would have gotten it," I tell him feeling bad that he is cleaning in my house.
"It's fine, I don't mind," He tells me and starts to rinse the dishes.
"What about yesterday?" I sigh, turning back to Sakura.
"Umm… I'll tell you that later," Sakura says, now staring at Kakashi. I strangely get irritated at my friend staring at him, I raise an eyebrow and flick her arm. She turns back to me, a small smirk forming on her face. "So do you guys have a mission or something?"
"No, Sensei is here because he is still on the guard duty till my clan leaves because of my mother's annoying ways, I didn't want him just sitting outside all night when I knew nothing was going to happen so he stayed on my couch and decided to make breakfast this morning," I explain, waving my hand to the couch which I just now realize doesn't have the pillow or blanket I gave him last night for proof. Great the one time I don't appreciate someone cleaning…
"Right, ok." Sakura giggles for a second. I was starting to wish Kakashi would speak, I sigh looking down at the floor about to give up.
"What did you have Sakura?" I ask, seeing a folder in her hand.
"Oh, right, this is for you." She says handing me the folder. I pull out the contents of the folder.
"So what do you think?" She asks as I stare at the picture. It was the one she took yesterday of Kakashi and me but what shocked me about it was how perfect the picture came out for it being a spontaneous capture. I was staring up at Kakashi with a laughing smile on my face and he was looking down at me with a closed eye smile. My hands were wrapped around his elbow as he escorted me to my seat.
"Wow, it looks great," I tell her, and she gives me a small wink then looks up as I feel a familiar presence come up behind me.
"That is a good picture," Kakashi says looking over my shoulder.
"I can make you a copy if you would like Sensei," Sakura says, her grin getting bigger.
"Sure, thank you," He answers and moves to the couch grabbing his things and finishes getting ready for the day.
"Well, that's all I came here for," Sakura says, looking at Kakashi. "I'll make the copy for you when I have a chance, Sensei. I'll see you after training Kane." She warns me and leaves quickly. I shake my head at the girl and make my way to my bathroom to finish getting ready.
Kakashi's P.O.V (Backwards in time to when he woke up.)
I sit up awake in shock trying to get my bearings as I wasn't in my bed, it's then I remember that I'm at Kane's house as her guard while her family is in the village. I lay back down as I remember the dream that woke me up in the first place, I frown and shake my head. For once it wasn't the recurring nightmares of those days. It was a strangely peaceful dream but it could never happen. My liking for the princess was starting to become something it shouldn't. Especially since I knew that I was the one she was attracted to, it wasn't hard to figure out when she changed how she acts around me. This was dangerous territory that my mind was entering now. I liked her, she was beautiful, kind, smart, charismatic, and she was more mature for her age due to her upbringing. But she was a Princess, and my student we couldn't be together, ever. I sigh and sit up, I wasn't going to be able to go back to bed now, I get up and go to the bathroom to brush my teeth and wash my face. Afterward, I contemplate getting breakfast but that's out of the question since I couldn't leave the princess alone right now. I make my way to her kitchen and wonder if she would care if I made something for us to eat. I shrug my shoulders and decide that she wouldn't. I rummage through her fridge when I find some already made rice and miso soup. I grab those to reheat and grab some eggs, cheese, and vegetables to make some omelets. I try to regain my thoughts as I cook. When I hear her alarm go off, I can hear her rummage through her room probably getting ready for the day. After another five minutes, I feel her presence behind me but she doesn't say anything. I can feel her stare on me and can't help but smirk. This is what you're not supposed to be doing baka!... I berate myself.
"Breakfast is almost ready," I say as I turn to her, her eyes dart to my face quickly and she blushes, I try to ignore it.
"Thank you," She says, "You didn't have to cook."
"Honestly, I was hungry and I couldn't leave to buy something," I explain smiling. "Hope you don't mind me using your food or cooking."
"Not at all, make yourself at home," She laughs. "I mean it is my fault you're stuck here."
"It's your mother's fault," I tell her as I put the last omelet on a plate.
"Well, it's my fault she is here, but we won't argue small details. It's too early for that," She says yawning cutely and going to the fridge. "Do you want some orange juice, milk, or water?"
"Orange juice sounds good," I tell her as I finish taking the food to the table.
"Thank you for the food," She says smiling at me as she sits and hands me my drink. I shake my head.
"I will still owe you food as it's your groceries I'm using," I say and she shrugs.
"Regardless, thank you for cooking,"
"You're welcome," We eat in peaceful silence and when we are almost finished I can feel Sakura's chakra getting closer, I quickly pull my mask up and hear her knock on the door. Kane sighs gets up from her spot and takes a quick puzzled look at me. The knocking gets worse.
"Kane, open up I have something for you!" I hear Sakura's voice through the door.
"Hey, Sakura, what's up?" Kane asks, finally opening the door to let her in.
"Hey, so remember what I said yester… " She cuts herself off when she realizes I am here. You were going to talk about me today, yes. "Morning Sensei." She says looking between us both, her eyes narrowing suspiciously at Kane.
"Morning Sakura, how are you?" I ask, gathering our plates and taking them to the kitchen.
"I'm good," She answers, still looking at Kane.
"Sensei you don't have to do that, I would have gotten it," Kane tells me I look to her for a second.
"It's fine, I don't mind," I say, starting to rinse the dishes.
"What about yesterday?" Kane asks, turning back to Sakura.
"Umm… I'll tell you that later," Sakura says, now staring at me, I frown for a second and almost laugh when Kane flicks her. That wasn't subtle at all… you girls are going to have to do a lot better at keeping this a secret. "So do you guys have a mission or something?"
"No, Sensei is here because he is still on the guard duty till my clan leaves because of my mother's annoying ways, I didn't want him just sitting outside all night when I knew nothing was going to happen so he stayed on my couch and decided to make breakfast this morning," Kane explains. I finish putting the dishes to dry and turn back to the girls.
"Right, ok." Sakura giggles for a second.
"What did you have Sakura?" Kane asks and I see a folder in her hand.
"Oh, right, this is for you." She says handing her the folder. "So what do you think?" Sakura asks.
"Wow, it looks great," Kane says and Sakura gives her a small wink then looks up at me as I make my way over, I raise an eyebrow at her in question and she looks away. I look down at what Kane has in her hands. It was the picture Sakura took yesterday of Kane and I as I escorted her to her seat. It was a good picture. It's then I realize that I don't have a picture of Kane and me as a student and Sensei.
"That is a good picture," I say stepping closer to Kane without thinking.
"I can make you a copy if you would like Sensei," Sakura says, her grin getting bigger.
"Sure, thank you," I say and move away to the couch busying myself with getting ready for the day.
"Well, that's all I came here for," Sakura says, looking at me. "I'll make the copy for you when I have a chance, Sensei. I'll see you after training Kane." She says to Kane and leaves quickly. Kane shakes her head and makes her way to the bathroom. Sakura was sometimes even less subtle than Kane about this situation, I'll just make them think I don't know. I don't want or need to embarrass her.
Kane's P.O.V. (Present)
Once I wash my face and brush my teeth, I make my way back to the living room and sit on the couch not wanting to do anything.
"So when do you want to go see your mom and the clan?" Kakashi asks me after a minute. I sigh and rub my face in annoyance. "You forgot about it didn't you?"
"No, I didn't, but I also don't want to see her right now, not after yesterday, as petty as it is."
"Do you and your mother always argue about suitors?"
"We never used to, but ever since I turned 15 it's all she seems to want to talk about. I understand that in my clan's eyes I became an adult that day, but it feels like on that day I lost my mother and now only have a queen. It doesn't help that for the last 10 months we've only been able to talk over letters, I just thought that maybe since we haven't seen each other that yesterday would have been different." To my surprise, he seemed to be listening intently and reading between the lines.
"Is it just talking about the suitors that irritate you or all things that come with being a Princess?"
"Just the suitors," I answer honestly he nods.
"Why?" I looked at him in surprise.
"What do you mean?"
"Why is it only that topic that irritates you?" He stares waiting for my answer.
"I don't know," I say getting up to put my shoes on, I can feel Kakashi following me.
"I think you do," He says pointedly. I scoff and open my door making my way around my balcony to my herbs. I grab my shears and start to look for any herbs that need pruning. I had done this before I left on our mission so not much needed to be done and this was starting to anger me. "So?" Kakashi asks, leaning against the railing next to me.
"What do you know about it anyway?" I ask glaring at him, he raises his eyebrow at me in surprise, I rarely snapped at him.
"The topic does anger you doesn't it?"
"I don't know much about suitors, but maybe if I figure out why you're mad about it, I can help," I glare at him still not knowing what to say, he sighs. "Look, I was in the Anbu and have dealt with a lot of politics for Konoha, I can help you come up with a compromise and I agree with you. Your mother should have kept yesterday fun and only talked to you about your duties today. Maybe if you talk to her about it she will understand and you both can make a compromise."
"I appreciate you wanting to help, I do, but my duties to my clan have no compromises. My feelings rarely matter I don't get to say 'no' to something just because I don't like it. I have a comfy bed, I have clothes, money, and I'm happy, I don't have anything to complain about," I tell him the same thing I tell myself almost every time I think about marrying a suitor. He frowns and his eye searches mine, I look away quickly, feeling as though he can read my mind.
"Kane, you may be a princess, but you are also human, you have feelings and those feelings deserve to be heard," His words hit me like a ton of bricks and I shake my head glaring at the floor as my eyes start to water.
"Thank you Sensei, but being a princess comes with sacrifices," I tell him, turning back to my herbs, I take a whole stock of mint and make my way back into the apartment busying myself with putting a tea kettle on to boil. I glare at the mint as I start to rinse it off and pick the leaves. Kakashi's words echo in my head causing my heart to hurt even more. Could he be right? Could I get rid of this tradition? I don't realize that the tears have fallen till Kakashi takes the herbs from my hands and pulls me into a hug as he leans against the counter.
His scent and warmth calm me down enough to pull myself back together, I wipe my cheeks and look up at him. I was going to say thank you but my breath catches when he looks down at me, last night's thoughts cloud my mind as the feeling of his masked lips play on mine again. I stare in his eye, he seems just as lost as me, without thinking my hand makes its way to the edge of his mask, I feel his hand on my side twitch a bit, but he doesn't move more than that. I feel my heart rate accelerate as I pull his mask down as we stare into each other's eyes.
"Kane…" Kakashi whispers hesitantly, I shake my head, stalling any words as I press my lips to his. Was I doing this? Is he going to let me? He doesn't kiss back at first, but after a few seconds, he wraps his arms around me pulling me closer and deepening the kiss. His lips were warm and soft, forming to mine better than I imagined last night. I smile into the kiss and gasp when I feel Kakashi's tongue run against my bottom lip. The kiss deepens more as his tongue easily wins, dominating mine, I blush as I can't help the small moan that escapes me.
I jump backward as a sharp whistling breaks through the fog of our kiss. I turn and fumble as I take the tea kettle off of the burner and turn off the burner. I turn back when I hear a chuckle come from Kakashi. The already existent blush heats my cheeks even more as I see his face for the first time. Oh, he's handsome, is this why he hides his face from others? A small smirk forms on his lips, apparently I wasn't hiding my thoughts well, my eyes dart back to his. The faintest of blush makes its way to his cheeks as I search his eye for any regret. If there was any I couldn't find it, worry starts to make my stomach hurt and I turn around to grab 2 cups.
Kakashi's P.O.V (As the tea kettle whistles)
Kane jumps from my arms as the tea kettle whistles, I sigh in disappointment for what just happened, yet I wanted to kiss her more, and I didn't regret it. I chuckle to myself and at Kane fumbling with the tea kettle. She turns to me and I can see her already red face turn a slight shade darker. She's beautiful when she blushes. I think and can't help the smirk that forms on my lips as she stares at my face. I flush at my thoughts but blink as I watch her eyes go from wonder to worry, she quickly turns and starts to grab for cups to make tea. This is why you shouldn't have let it happen you baka! I sigh and pull my mask up again. Watching as she turns in circles to find something, that's when I realize she's looking for the mint she started to wash earlier. I grab it from the table behind me.
"Kane," I try to get her attention but she seems to ignore me. "Kane," I sigh again and stop her by putting my hand on her shoulder. She slowly looks up at me, the worry still evident in her eyes. I hold the mint in front of her and she slowly takes it from me.
"Oh, umm… thank you." She whispers and turns continuing to make the tea. When I know all that's left is to let it steep I turn her again.
"I won't tell anyone about what just happened if that's what you're worried about," I tell her, she searches my eyes and I can see her relax the slightest bit.
"Thank you," She whispers still, I nod. "I won't either."
"It can't happen again, Kane," I tell her flushing at the thought that I wanted it to happen again.
"I understand, Sensei," My gut clenches at the word Sensei.
"Right, now let's finish our tea and go visit your clan before they leave," I tell her. She nods, the frown that was already on her lips deepens and she avoids eye contact as we sip our tea. This just made shit a whole lot more complicated. I think frowning as I watch her keep her distance.
Kane's P.O.V. (Present)
The walk to the training grounds to visit my family is awkward and deathly quiet. My mind can not keep up with the thoughts running through it and I couldn't concentrate on the fact that I was about to talk to my mother about clan duties, let alone anything else right now. My mind only wants to find a way to make things less awkward with Kakashi. I will just have to keep my distance to make sure that that doesn't happen again, so that means during training you don't do anything stupid like you did yesterday and during missions, you stay at least 2 feet from each other, that is close enough to save each other. That's the rule you have to follow now. Seems reasonable and doable. I nod to myself and take a deep breath focusing as I see clan members standing at the barrier of the training grounds. I smile as they greet me with a bow, I give a light bow back and greet them. From there I say hello to each member I pass making my way to my mother.
"Good morning Queen," I say, trying to give a real smile.
"Ah, Princess, I hope you slept well,"
"I did, thank you," I lie. "I hope you did as well,"
"Yes, thank you," She turns then to Kakashi. "Good morning, Kakashi,"
"Good morning, Queen Beradon'na," I hear him standing closer than I anticipated. I tense and have to force myself to relax, thankfully they don't seem to notice. "I hope you don't mind if I steal the Princess to talk some things over, I will have her back to you in an hour."
"Of course not," I hear Kakashi say from behind me and feel his presence disappear, I frown. My mother turns back to me and tilts her head in confusion.
"Are you okay Musume?" She asks me, I just sigh and nod.
"I'm fine, just a bit tired," I answer as I lead her to her carriage that has a bench near that we can sit on. I sit down and turn slightly to her as she sits.
"Do you want to talk about it?" She didn't believe that was the only thing wrong.
"No, it's okay,"
"Look, if this is about yesterday, I am sorry, I didn't mean to upset you and…"
"Haha-San are you forgetting what today is?" I ask and I watch the realization come to her face. Today was the anniversary of my father's death and not to mention what happened earlier, my mind was not in a good spot. She nods and grabs my hand.
"Well, I'm sorry to say that right now I will have to burden your mind a bit more, Musume," I frown confused but let her continue. "The reason we had to change our plans is because Mrs. Lu is now sick enough that she has to stop traveling, it's taking its toll on her, she and her husband have decided to stay here in Konoha." I stare at her in shock, Mrs. Lu has been sick for a while, I had been feeling the effects through our bond but didn't realize how badly she was sick, to be a part of our clan and choose to stop traveling was a big decision. "Lady Tsunade is doing all she can to keep her comfortable in the hospital," I gasp now just realizing how bad it was, she was dying, my mother squeezes my hand.
"She looked fine yesterday…" I say, remembering her at my birthday dinner, "She cooked all the food didn't she?"
"She wanted to do one more feast before she stayed in the hospital permanently, she was on a lot of meds yesterday and took a dose of Acmella Oleracea of course." I nod understanding why I haven't been able to detect how she felt. The herb was a pain-numbing herb we used to keep ourselves and clan members from feeling uncomfortable in the bond when we are in pain. "Of course I ask that you watch over her and visit while she is still here."
"Of course, I will go visit after I am done talking here," I say sadly.
"The only other thing we need to discuss, and I know you don't want to so I'll try to keep this short is, the suitors." My mother says and kisses my hand to empathize with her promise to me. "I have narrowed it down to two suitors, I want to again ask you if you want to add any of the Chunin here on the list."
"No, I don't think any of them would be suitable for the list," I say shaking my head. I also didn't want to put any of them through that ordeal. My mother gives a short sigh.
"And what about your crush? Don't you want to give him a chance?" I look at my mother about to snap but she was staring at our hands and I knew then she didn't want to make me mad. She was genuinely asking.
"I don't think he would make a good suitor," I say shaking my head. My mother looks at me then silently asking for me to elaborate. "Don't get me wrong he's got some great traits: he's nice, he's smart, a great leader, he's hardly ever failed a mission and it's a bonus that he's great looking," I say blushing and almost whispering the last part. My mother laughs and I look up at her watching her eyes shine brightly. I smile embarrassed. "But he also has some terrible qualities: he is constantly late, he doesn't seem to care about things, he is way too laid back and honestly I know very little about him," I say shrugging.
"You don't think you could train him to not be late for everything?" My mother asks tilting her head in wonder, a small smile still playing on her lips.
"I doubt it," I laugh trying to even imagine Kakashi showing up to training on time.
"What's his name?" My mother asks, shaking my hand. "I'll still think about adding him to the list." I shake my head and she sighs. "Musume please…"
"It doesn't matter because even if I added him to the list and you did just so happen to choose him, he's way too loyal to Konoha to leave to become a king," I say standing up and walking to a tree I lean my head against it forcing myself to stay calm.
"You've thought about asking to put his name on the list haven't you?" My mother asks, laying her hand on my head and petting it.
"No, but you have instilled in me the habit of searching for suitors, so every male I meet I can't help but check the list to see if they would make it," I say to the tree. I hear my mom sigh and she turns me pulling me into a hug.
"I'm sorry, Musume," She tells me and I frown not knowing why she was apologizing.
"For what?" I ask, pulling away and looking up at her. Her eyes were sad and for once I couldn't read her.
"For putting you through all of this, you sometimes forget that I was once in your position." My mother tells me staring off in the distance as memories flash through her mind. "I wasn't all that happy about finding a suitor either when I turned 15, granted I wasn't as unhappy as you are," My mom smiles at me and I can't help but laugh. "I did have a crush once, his name was Low Chang of the Water tribe, but like your crush he wouldn't make the list, Low would not have done well following my orders, he was too much of a leader, so instead my mother chose Meishu, your father. Needless to say, Musume, I understand." I smiled at her then looked down.
"Did you ever learn to love father?" I ask and hear her gasp.
"Oh, Musume," My mom smiles sadly at me and pulls me into a hug again. "Of course I did. You may not like somethings this person does, but the more time you spend with someone the more you learn to not only compromise and respect why the person does things but you also learn to love that person. Your father was a great man when we met, and still was when he passed, but he had some things that I didn't like about him, he was apathetic, after a while I learned that he did care about things and just barely knew how to express his feelings, so we compromised. He could be this way around others and the clan but when it was just us two he had to at least try to show his feelings." My mother tells me I nod, I didn't know whether to feel better or not.
"Thanks, mom," I say kissing her cheek. "I love you."
"I love you too." She smiles down at me then sighs. "Now, just so you know you have to choose between the second Lord Enkai from the Land of Water or Kaneko from the Land of Lightning." I frown but nod nonetheless.
"I understand," I tell her and nod when I see Kakashi walking to us. "Kakashi Sensei, is it time for training already?" I ask smiling, knowing that he was late for training by at least 30 min. He sighs but nods anyway.
"Oh, your training is right now?" My mother asks me. I nod.
"Well may Masao, Hogo-Sha, and I watch? To see how much you have progressed obviously." She beams at me her motherly attitude fading into her Queen-like personality. I can't help but wonder if I would be like this one day.
"Of course, Umm…" I look to Kakashi. "Are you okay with that Sensei?" Please say no… I think but he raises an eyebrow questioningly as if he could see I wanted him to say no.
"I don't mind," He answers and starts to lead us to a big enough space to train and fight. I sigh as I follow.