Standard Disclaimer Apply
It was an unspoken rule, but everyone who lived in the village hidden in the leaf knew it.
All medic-nins fall for Uchihas.
It was never spoken nor written down… except maybe in marriage certificates.
Some say it was because medic-nins were natural healers - it was in their blood to cure, to protect, and to love those who were broken in mind and body. And who were the people who broke themselves over and over again because they loved too much?
These shinobis who hailed from one of Konoha's founding clans were known for many things. Beauty. Intelligence. Courage. Strength. These were a few of the reasons why these people with dark hair and ruby eyes were both feared and admired across the nations.
But to the people of Konoha, Uchihas, above all else, were famous because they truly, deeply loved. They derived strength from the fear of losing love and those with the most powerful eyes were the ones who loved and lost the most.
Perhaps this was why many of Konoha's medics had romantic or marital ties to the clan.
The silver haired ninja hiding in a tree away from his ex-teammates could easily count a few such relationships that involved people near and dear to his heart. There were his two teammates: Obito Uchiha and Rin Nohara; his kouhai from ANBU and fellow classmate: Shisui Uchiha and Shizune; and numerous other Uchihas that had been his comrades during the war and ANBU missions.
There were always exceptions to rules, but it only really applied to the Fifth Hokage. She had fallen in love with a man that loved his village more than himself - and though no one truly admitted it - even more than her. But that was who he was and she had accepted that fact when she had chosen him over the white haired Sannin who still pinned after her.
This thought brought another monstrous, yet extremely talented, medic-nin into his mind. In a sense, she did follow the rule. She was head over heels for the Uchiha on the team when they were genins. In a sense, he was a very broken soul. He was nothing in his father's eyes; overshadowed by his prodigy of a brother. But being on a team with both the pink haired kunoichi and blonde ball of energy; he was slowly fixed by friendship. Perhaps that was why she had ceased her proclamation of love and instead, treated him as a brother. There was no need to fret over a well and whole Uchiha.
Kakashi sighed as he dragged a hand down his face. He had long realized that his feelings for the kunoichi was no longer the protectiveness of a mentor, but of something more - something a man held for a woman whom he wished was the first thing he saw when he woke up and the last thing he saw when he slept. He knew it was wrong for his feelings to have changed like that, since he was their sensei when they graduated as genins. But was he ever truly their sensei? He had them by his side for a few months and after the fiasco of a chunin exam, they had all basically left him.
Sasuke Uchiha needed to catch up to his brother and sought instructions from the people of his clan. He always attended their pitiful "team sessions" but there was nothing about the sharingan that Kakashi could teach that his clan couldn't. Besides, there were always his older brother and cousin; both of whom were on par or even more powerful than Kakashi.
Naruto Uzumaki had met Jiraya and the rest was history. Why would he seek knowledge from his father's student, whom had failed him when he was a hated and bullied child, when he could learn directly from the man who trained his father to become the renowned Fourth Hokage? Of course, Naruto had assured him that it was not the case, and even though Kakashi knew that as well, the little bits of guilt still filled his mind with lies.
And then there was Sakura Haruno, the only kunoichi with no special ability on his team. When the Third Hokage had first spoken to him about his future genin team, not much was said about this pink haired girl. The main reason she was truly on the team was to act as a catalyst for the two boys to compete and get stronger. At that time, the Third probably expected Kakashi and the boys to protect her and the furthest she would go was probably a chunin.
How wrong was the Third Hokage… or perhaps how wrong was Kakashi when he failed to see underneath the underneath. He should have known better when she proved her perfect chakra control to him. He should have known when she came up with mission strategies that even he was impressed with. He should have known when she fought nail and tooth to protect the boys when Orochimaru attempted to kidnap Sasuke in the forest of death. He should have known when she told him that she became Tsunade's apprentice and was one of the few medics that he trusted with his life.
He really should have known when she was the first to become a chunin and told him and the boys that she would no longer be an active member of the team. Her skills were needed in the hospital and on the field. Medic-nins were few to come by and ones of her caliber were rare. Naruto and Sasuke had been upset, but they understood. It only drove them to work harder and became chunins on the very next test. In a way, she had served the purpose that the Third Hokage had wanted her to fulfill. Sometimes, Kakashi wondered if Sakura was smart enough to know that that was the reason she was placed in Team 7. If she had known, her feelings must have been hurt, but she was too mature to tell them… to tell him and it was upsetting.
Truth be told, Kakashi felt hurt the most when all three of his once-genins came to him and said they were reinstated as Team 7 - a three shinobi squad. They were thankful for his guidance and saving them from deaths when they were young, but now they were fully-fledged shinobis who could brave the world without him watching their back. He had given that familiar eye crinkle, ruffled the boys' hair (but not Sakura's, because he only had two hands), and left them with a soft, "Don't kill each other."
Later that night, he had drank himself stupid in the comfort of his apartment. Obito and Rin were in town, but Kakashi knew that if he had asked to see them, they would immediately know that something was wrong and would do everything to discover the truth. And the once-ANBU was not ready for his ex-ex-teammates to know that losing his once-genin team had such an effect on him. Kakashi was supposed to be a cool and experienced ninja, not a washed-up sensei who felt guilty and hurt about his students.
As he chugged the nth bottle of sake that he got from a nearby late night market; he vaguely sensed a familiar chakra signature at his door. Then after hearing some shuffling, felt his door being unlocked. Even in his inebriated state, Kakashi was well aware that whoever just opened his door was not a threat. This person knew where he stashed his spare key.
A blur of pink and green came into view as a soft hand pulled the bottle from his hand. He heard the soft clink as it was placed on the coffee table. At this point, he totally forgot that his mask had been pulled down a while ago, but somewhere in his mind, he knew that this person already had the privilege of seeing his face. He tried to blink and clear his vision, but something… perhaps tears, were clouding his view.
The same soft hand reached up and touched his forehead, and a soothing sensation entered into his temple and ran down his neck. He remembered feeling this way when he had barely won a drinking competition with Gai a few years back.
"I was worried about you," the voice said. It was a kind voice; one that his mind associated with love and care and all things pink.
"Why?" he slurred, "I am per-perfectly fine."
"You can tell us if you are not happy with our decision," she - it was definitely a she - said.
"W-why would I be un-un-happy?" he muttered.
His vision cleared as the soothing feeling ebbed away and he barely made out two round and gleaming green eyes staring at him with concern.
She sighed, "Let's put you to bed."
Kakashi didn't resist as the person, whom he now realized was rather short compared to himself, was easily lifting him from the awkward position on the ground. She guided him towards his bed slowly and carefully. After she laid him down, she removed his sandals and headband, then tucked the blanket loosely around him. Her hand touched his head again and brushed his unruly locks away from his eyes. Kakashi weakly reached up and grabbed her wrist as she pulled away.
"Are you a dream?"
"If you want it to be," she whispered and placed a soft kiss on his forehead. Then she was gone.
To this day, Kakashi wasn't sure if that night truly happened or was it honestly a dream. He never asked her about that night and she never mentioned it. It had felt so real - Sakura had come to him because she saw underneath the underneath. She understood him better than he realized. But when he saw the mess that he had left behind the night before, he was fairly certain that it was a dream. Sakura would have cleaned up the mess because she did so last time. At least, that was what his brain wanted to believe.
This was his first predicament.
Kakashi sighed; he really was becoming a washed-up sensei. It had been more than two years since he had returned to being a solo shinobi and he was still thinking about the day that his students left. The jounin could have taken another team, but he knew there was no team that could ever compare to Team 7. He could have joined another jounin team, but it didn't feel right since his original teammates were now part of the Police Force and Konoha General. Hence, he had returned to active duty as a solo-nin, taking on only high ranking missions that few could complete and return alive.
When he had returned to the solo A and S ranked missions, he had basically reverted to this old self. The shinobi who avoided the hospital unless he was carried in half-alive and who escaped the very moment that he could. The first few times that he stayed were because either Obito or Rin had personally saw to it that he was restrained in his bed until he was officially discharged. It was the fifth time that Rin had bound him to the bed that things changed.
When the brunette had came into the room with his medications, a certain pinkette was behind her. They were conversing rather cheerfully, Kakashi never really noticed that Sakura and Rin were so close.
"Are you sure you want to watch him, Sakura-chan?" Rin said softly as they approached. "You just finished a major surgery, Shizune wants you to rest."
"It is fine!" Sakura smiled warmly, much to Kakashi's chagrin, "I still have a good amount of chakra left that if Kakashi wants to escape, I can still wrestle him down."
Kakashi realized that since the day they had left him; none of them attached "sensei" to his name anymore.
"You are an angel. I think in this hospital, only you and I can keep him here but we are both so busy! He escaped last time after putting a genjutsu on poor Akira-kun."
Sakura laughed as they finally stopped by Kakashi's bed.
The silver haired man narrowed his visible eye, "What made you so sure that Sakura can keep me here?"
Rin sighed, "Please behave. Sakura-chan is already being so nice to take care of you after her surgery! Obito and I have a reservation at a really nice restaurant tonight and I have been looking forward to it for 3 weeks now."
Kakashi sometimes disliked how kind Rin was. If he truly argued, she would drop the date and both her and Obito would literally sit by his bed until he was ready to go. Sometimes he worried that his ex-ex-teammates would become an old gullible couple that would get tricked and still have a good laugh about it.
Sakura nodded at Rin as she took the syringe from her hand and proceeded to add it to Kakashi's IV. "Don't you dare cancel! Ino told me that it's super hard to get a reservation and you waited 3 weeks!" What Sakura conveniently forgot to add was that there was a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a dazzling ring waiting for the brunette as well.
The pinkette set the syringe down and turned Rin around with both hands, "I can take care of it from here! Go, go! You need to get ready!"
Rin gave a quick backward glance at Kakashi, who gave her an eye crinkle, and then left the room with Sakura's hands still on her shoulders.
Several minutes later, Sakura came back and smiled at the jounin who was still sitting on the bed. "I see you didn't escape."
"Obito would kill me," Kakashi said matter-of-factly. He knew how important this date was for his friends. He was actually the first person to hear of tonight's big event.
"So you knew," she smiled at him as she injected another solution into his IV and ran a quick chakra scan throughout his body. There was a slight furrow on her brow as she pulled away.
Kakashi half expected her to sit on the chair by the bed, so imagine his surprise when her bottom settled by his side and her warmth radiated across the hospital blanket and onto his hospital gown cladded body. It was rather intimate - for him anyways. He assumed that she always sat like this with patients whom she cared about… which were basically all of Rookie Nine and her teammates.
"You can't keep doing this," she suddenly said, "I know you are a strong shinobi, but a lot of people would be really sad if you don't make it back one day."
The worry and concern in her eyes were clear for the world to see; it was very similar to the expression he saw in his "dream".
Kakashi knew playing around and avoiding her words would only prolong the conversation, because Sakura was going to get what she wanted eventually. He sighed, "But someone has to take these missions and don't you rather have a strong shinobi like me take them instead of someone else who has a lower chance of coming back in one piece?"
They both knew he was right, but it didn't mean that either of them had to like what was said.
Sakura's fingers lighted traced Kakashi's exposed knuckles and a sharp shiver ran down the silver haired man's back. There was a look of contemplation on her face before she smiled brightly at him, "How about this? We both know you hate the hospital, so after every mission that you go on, regardless of whether you get injured or not, you have to come see me for medical treatment before reporting in to shishou. Unless you are obviously dying or the mission require immediate report. What do you think?"
Kakashi blinked, then he crinkled his eye, "You are offering to be my personal medic?"
The gleam in her eyes made his heart skip a beat, but he was not going to act on it. "Anything for you, Kakashi!"
That was how Kakashi found himself walking to Sakura's simple, but homely apartment after every mission. It had been about a year since he had started this routine. Perhaps it was because he didn't want Sakura to worry, so he always took extra precaution to be careful on his missions. He had not needed to go to the hospital since the night that Rin Nohara agreed to become Rin Uchiha.
It occurred to him that Sakura was always at her apartment when he showed up, as if she kept tabs on him and knew whenever he would return from a mission. He didn't ponder on it; he assumed those were just coincidences.
This was his second predicament.
Kakashi groaned and slid down further against the tree. He really shouldn't waste any more time thinking about the pink haired medic-nin. Not especially what he happened upon the last time he was at her place after a mission.
It was exactly 1 month, 2 days, and 5 minutes to 9 hours ago, when she finished healing some minor cuts on his arm, that a dark figure had knocked on her window.
It was a raven haired man in ANBU gear, wearing a mask that Kakashi knew exactly whom it belonged to. Afterall, it was him himself who handed that very mask to the boy whom he personally trained when he joined the ranks.
But the thing was, that boy was not a boy anymore. He was a full-grown man who also quickly left him in search of something more.
Itachi Uchiha was a fast learner and invaluable partner, but Kakashi only worked with him for a few months, because they were both needed as captains for other new recruits. Their goodbye was not sad because they still saw each other often at headquarters. And when Kakashi quit to become a jounin sensei, Itachi had entrusted his little brother's life in his hands.
Sakura had jumped off the couch the moment she recognized the figure, leaving Kakashi to miss her close proximity. When she opened the window, the figure leapted in and landed gracefully. The masked face nodded at Sakura first, then turned to regard the older man in the room. "Kakashi-san."
"Itachi," the jounin replied in greeting. A faint scent of blood was in the air, but Kakashi knew that only he could smell it. Itachi was injured; badly enough to bleed.
"Kakashi, you are welcomed to stay, but I need to help Itachi now," Sakura said softly as she glanced over the Uchiha's body, assessing for injuries.
Kakashi looked at the pair as Itachi removed his mask and Sakura pulled him towards a chair. A million thoughts crossed his mind, but none of them could be formulated into words. He ruffled his already unruly hair and crinkled his eye, "It's okay, Sakura, you are busy. Thanks for treating me, I probably should report in now."
He didn't notice her lingering gaze on his back as he turned and exited through the front door.
After he finished reporting the findings of his investigation, the purpose of his mission, Kakashi was stopped by Tsunade before he could make his exit.
"Something wrong, Kakashi?" she asked, a slight crease on her brow.
He shoved his hands into his pants' pockets, "Nothing."
"Well, yes, I know Sakura checks on you before you report, so there is nothing physically wrong with you, but I can tell something is bothering you."
Kakashi stared at the blonde woman before him and she returned it with ease.
"Do you know the unspoken rule, Hokage-sama?" he finally asked about a long moment.
"Which one?" she was fairly sure she knew exactly which one he was referring to.
Kakashi raised his eyebrow.
"She is an exception to the rules, you know?" Tsunade said off-handedly.
He opted to disappear in a puff of smoke.
After that night, he took a month's worth of long overdue vacation to simply rest as he told Tsunade - totally not because he didn't want to have to go on missions and then being forced to go see Sakura because he had promised to see her after every mission. For some reason, after he saw that she was not only his personal medic, he felt sick at the idea of visiting her during ungodly hours. Being a personal medic was reserved for special people who deserved it and compared to the Uchiha, he definitely did not deserve it.
This was his third predicament.
A familiar chakra signature snapped him out of his thoughts and he lazily sat up straight on the branch. Standing right before him was the medic plaguing his mind.
"I know it gets boring to eat Ichiraku all the time, but it's been 1 month since you last ate with us, Kakashi. Naruto and Sasuke miss you, stop hiding already!"
There was a light gleam in her eyes. She always knew where to find him.
"What made you think I was avoiding Ichiraku?" Kakashi replied with a crinkle.
Sakura sighed as she sat down beside him, her thigh touching his and sending a shiver up his back.
"You are not," her gaze was serious, "You are avoiding me."
Time froze and Kakashi nearly stopped counting the time that had passed since the incident.
"I didn't expect Itachi to drop in that night. I told him to come to me if he gets a fairly nasty injury. Last time he went to the hospital with a gaping wound, the Uchiha Elders stormed the hospital and they were so annoying. It is for the good of everyone at Konoha General and he was kind enough to agree to my request."
Kakashi didn't understand why his heart was relieved at the short, but clear explanation. Heck, she didn't need to explain why she had an Uchiha at her home in the middle of the night, but she still did, because he was avoiding her.
"You didn't have to explain to me," he finally said.
"I wanted to," she smiled back.
"No, you don't see."
He blinked at her accusatory tone.
"Have you heard of the unspoken rule, Kakashi? The one where medic-nins only fall for Uchihas?"
"People only know of unspoken rules. No one talks about them, hence no one hears them," his mind was running in circles. The pinkette seemed to know exactly what had been bothering him, but he was completely unaware that she knew. He really was a failure at looking underneath the underneath.
"I take it as you know of it," Sakura smirked.
He shrugged his shoulders, "What of it?"
"My shishou doesn't follow that rule. That means neither do I."
Kakashi could hear his heart racing against his chest and prayed that Sakura couldn't hear it. She probably couldn't, her hearing was not as good as his.
A big grin took over her smirk as she watched Kakashi's eye widen in surprise. He was unaware of his dumb found expression, but Sakura found it endearing.
"I rather like my initials, you know? If I ever decide to tie myself to a man, I'd find one so that I don't have to change my initials. I mean, I could just keep my own name, but I -"
Before she could finish her sentence, Kakashi coughed, "Hatake starts with a H."
"Where do you think I can find a Hatake who would love me more than life itself?" Sakura tilted her head with a fake sense of innocence.
"There is one right here."
"I know," she smiled and leaned up, planting a soft kiss on his forehead. It felt strangely familiar to Kakashi.
"It wasn't a dream, by the way. I wanted to stay that night, you know? But I didn't want you to think that I took advantage of you."
"I wouldn't have minded," Kakashi said softly as he leaned forward and slowly tugged down his mask.
A bright blush crossed Sakura's cheeks, "But Ichiraku..."
"They waited a month, they can wait another day," Kakashi firmly pressed his lips to Sakura's and they both promptly forgot their boys waiting at the ramen stall.
I was hoping to write a light hearted story, but this kinda just happened. I might do another multi-chaptered story, but we'll see! Thanks for reading!