A Lesson for Teacher
Summary: An ANBU mission goes horribly wrong and Sakura trades in her white armour for a teaching position at the Academy. Which would be fine, if her ex-ANBU partner/sensei would understand the 'ex' in his title and stop trying to 'fix' her
Pairing: Kakashi Hatake and Sakura Haruno.
Rating: M (language, violence, sexual situations)
Warnings: All of legal age of consent, whilst there is no mention of romantic feelings during the time of teacher/student, their 'bond' does come from the experience of having been teacher/student and of course, Kakashi's perversion does make the title 'Sensei' turn him on. There's probably plot holes, but I'm okay with not being perfect. And let's be honest, if I were perfect, I'd be writing stuff for a career, not funsies.
Disclaimer: I do not own or claim to own any part of the Naruto world. I make no profit from this story.
I wrote this as my own therapy for losing someone dear. Lots of people experience loss, some people can talk about it, some people can cry and accept hugs… but I needed a different release for all of the feelings I kept bottling up and I chose to let a fictional characters deal with it on a more dramatic scale instead.
So if you have any desire to flame this writing, that's totally fine, but I'm not writing it for you, I'm writing it for me, and it makes me feel better so… just go ahead and close the tab and read one of the other super fab stories on here please.
If you do get any enjoyment out of this, I'm beyond pleased, even if it just distracts you from reality for a moment to give you a smile. Hope you continue to enjoy it.
"No." Sakura didn't even look up from the paperwork on her desk. She knew the chakra signature standing in her classroom doorway, and she knew what it would demand of her.
"This isn't you, Sakura." The lightning chakra owner let himself into her domain, as he so often did; little regard for any boundaries. "Why are you here?"
"I work here." She paused her marking and took a sigh. "As I have done for the past 8 months and as I have explained to you for the past 8 months."
"A waste." He never held back any opinions with her. The truth might set you free, but it dug a deep hole for her old sensei. Not that he cared. At all.
"Why are you here, Sensei?" she lifted her gaze and met the innocent eyecrinkle of Kakashi Hatake. The copy nin was anything but innocent, the bulging outline of the latest Icha Icha novel in the front pocket of his jonin vest was evidence of that. The worn pages from his 60th read since its release 4 weeks ago was also pretty damning.
The hitai-ate covered the sharingan and pulled the wild mess that was his hair into order. He must have just been to see Tsunade for an assignment; the only reason he tamed his appearance. "New mission?" she guessed before he could answer. Deductions confirmed within seconds of taking in the smell of freshly readied weapons.
"You're invited." he offered, knowing her answer. Knowing it wasn't even worth handing across the scroll.
"So sweet of you to think of me." she droned, heavy with sarcasm.
"It happens." He flipped the subject and earned a dark glare from her lifted eyes. "You move on."
"I'm happy with where I am. I'm not going back into the field." She had lost count of how many times she'd spoken the same words to the ex-sensei, he never acknowledged them as truth.
Her words came with a conviction built from fear and damaged pride; both of them knew that. One of them refused to accept it though.
"You did what you had to." he continued smoothly.
"Do you need healing or not?!" she snapped, standing up quick, hands slamming into the desk.
The wood protested loudly.
"A waste." Kakashi repeated softly, turning straight out of her classroom.
"You still owe the class a visit!" she called out to his retreating form.
In the silence after he left, Sakura felt herself sag, folding over to rest on her arms.
She had two, maybe three minutes before the horde of baby nin ran screaming back into her classroom to learn chakra control. Those few minutes to pull herself out of the dark memory Kakashi threw her into.
"I've never heard of the Kingdom of Bronze, is it true it was dark 18 hours of the day?" Sakura was with the ANBU as part of her regular duties, a medic taking adventure by the horns. Her captain, a seasoned gentleman approaching the later years of his career, was taking them further into foreign territory.
He'd volunteered to take the newbies of the ANBU on a training exercise. 12 new recruits on a tour of the countries, engaging in deep simulation exercises and picking up missions as they went. Simply due to numbers they'd asked for an ANBU medic to accompany them, hence Sakura was joining the party.
"20." Goat corrected, she was an encyclopaedia of knowledge, a mind like a trap. "When they had the dark ages of the iron war their forges were working all day and night, the smoke filled the skies as they fought for 20 hours straight." Eager to share her knowledge she fell easily into step with Sakura, a companionable position. "The light was so limited both sides adapted their fighting style to have a night-sight advantage. They'd sleep at the height of the sun, where they were less adept to handle the conditions"
"I thought that was just a myth." Sakura quizzed.
"Don't start." Captain silenced the eager response quickly. "You can save it for our client. At least he will appreciate it." Their captain took their lack of response as agreement and pushed them on. At least their client seemed interesting; he was a historical collector seeking the last pieces of the Kingdom on Bronze that remained. He was currently tracking down a bronze idol from the temple, rumoured to have been the effigy of a god.
It had started so bright. The promise of the history of a different world, to learn what their customs were, to bathe in the culture that ended long before she was born. The footsteps that came before her, that added to the tapestry of the world as it was now.
It started with hope.
It ended without any…
Sakura stepped back into the land of fire covered head to toe in blood. The only parts of her free of the red evidence were the tear trails down her cheeks. She remembered the squelch of her sandals, the way each step felt like she was treading on the memory of good comrades. The cold grip of fear still shuddered her, still held her ti-
"Sensei, Iruka-sempai says we're training outside today. Are we?"Sakura pulled out her best smile for her most annoying student and stood from her work to straighten out her jonin vest.
"Absolutely. It's a beautiful day."
Sakura redirected her returning students back out to the training paddock, a fleeting glance over her shoulder to the doorway Kakashi had owned. The one that had brought the dark cloud over her day.
"Really?" Sakura's next run in with her former sensei came all too soon, three days after he last invaded her classroom, as she sat in the restaurant next to her apartment, relaxing with onigiri and lesson plans. "Don't even bother sitting down." She waved a hand dismissingly at him as she scribbled another correction onto her timetable.
This was her favourite restaurant, not because of location (although that was a major plus), but because she taught the owner's kids two months ago and they came home to say she was the best teacher they ever had. Not to mention she'd previously worked as a medic for the owner's wife's brother in a mission to Sound too.
It basically made her their favourite customer and entitled to a great discount. They didn't even complain when she spread out her lesson plans over their back table and worked through them with endless refills on her coffee. Kakashi was not ruining this place for her.
But, as usual, he didn't care about public appearance, or her requests, and settled himself opposite.
"Sometimes I think you don't care about your poor old sensei."
"Poor?" she barked a laugh, folding her arms on her work, she wouldn't get it done until he'd gone. She was best to give him the attention he needed so she could finish the task at hand. "You've done 4 solo B-class in the last week alone, you're far from poor."
"Ah, but I've had to pay for my own meals."
"Criminal." she mocked with an eyeroll. "You bringing me your reports now?" she asked, eyebrow raised at the stack of manilla wallets he just added to her workload pile.
"No rest for the wicked." He grinned through the mask, lopsided and light. He wanted something.
"I expect an apology if you want any healing done." Sakura turned back to onigiri, fully aware she would lose one if she turned her back, but knowing she wasn't going to get any apology from the great copy-nin.
"You'd let me suffer in pain?" he gasped, hand to his white armour in mock.
Slowly, her eyes rose again. White ANBU armour. Not B-class this time then.
"Coming, or going?" she asked curiously.
"Leaving in 2 hours."
"And you're dressed early?" she laughed. "What game are you playing?"
He didn't answer verbally, just passed across the mission scroll that was marked highly private and confidential.
Rules state it should never leave his hands. Rules state she should never see it.
But Kakashi and Sakura were too used to each other to care. They'd both been cleared to ANBU level anyway.
It was A-class.
He'd probably been given it the second he handed in his last one.
It was the kind of mission she used to take with Kakashi for small change. The kind they would rattle off one after another and consider it an easy week.
Missions never did. This was a clean cut assassination and return, medic to assist on the latter rather than the former.
Their target was a poisons expert. It came with risk.
"You'd be perfect." His voice was quiet across the space.
"You know my answer." she grumbled out, feeling the dark cloud return with his presence. "If that's the only reason why you are here, you can leave." She tossed the scroll back into his waiting hands. Every so often he would turn up, attempt to get her to go on a mission with him, abandon her job at the school and fall back into step with him.
His attempts ranged from the wild and wacky to the emotional and guilt provoking.
Her answer hadn't changed for 8 months though.
"Advice." he answered, chin resting on his templed hands.
"About?" Her eyes met the slouching sensei, he looked bored and distracted. But Sakura knew underneath that. She knew something was bothering him. The mission?
She grew hesitant with his stoic silence though. She wasn't going to fall into another trap again.
Last time, he'd hurled a kunai at someone in the street and demanded she heal them to prove she should be back in the field. Or at least, that was the genjustu he trapped her in.
Slowly, he took his right hand from its place to fan the manilla files out in front of her.
"If there's a smoke bomb in one of these and you're planning to steal my meal, I am not falling for it again." Last time, she'd fallen off her chair in her rush to grab her hidden kunai. She'd come back from the instant combat rush to see her ex-sensei repositioning his mask and her bowl rattling empty on the table.
She'd tried to put her chopsticks through his cocky eye after that.
"If a kitten jumps out again." Same story, different approach. Same ending actually.
"I don't know how that poor injured kitten got in there, I swear." he lazily lied, not even bothering to attempt eye contact.
"Save it for Naruto." She rolled her eyes. Naruto still fell hook, line and sinker even now, whilst training underneath the Legendary Sannin Jiraya.
Stealing a breath, Sakura put her bowl to one side, away from Kakashi's arm reach and opened the first file.
They were nin profiles.
Sakura spread them out further, viewing each in turn.
She remembered a few faces. Some of whom she had worked with, others she's assisted in the training of.
"Advice." he repeated.
Sakura's attention was already fully focussed though, her hands dusted off under the table and she closed two files instantly, setting them to one side.
"Let me see the mission again?" she extended out a hand but the scroll was already there, ready for the request.
It could never be said that Kakashi and Sakura didn't work well together. They read each other like open books. Kakashi would pull a mission from the board, Sakura would plan the structure of the requirements and ensure it went without a hitch. They were one when they worked together. The nin community and Kakashi alike protested when she resigned from active duty. The community welcomed her to teaching with pride. Kakashi didn't.
The scroll returned back to Kakashi's waiting hand as she finished and more folders closed by her hand.
He didn't need to say anything.
Another big positive as to why Sakura used to like working with him: comfortable silence.
"Alright, well, it's not feasible for these 6." she commended aloud, the sum of the closed files nudged back his way. "This one, this one and… this one." She pulled out three more profiles, "Said they would rather take a thousand kunai's to the head before working with you again." Not everyone worked as well with the copy-nin of course. "And this one." Another file eliminated. "claimed you tried to seduce her the entire week long mission."
"A misunderstanding." he commented.
"So that leaves us with-" she paused. "No, wait, Adame won't work with you after you tied her to a tree in a 'training exercise' and forgot about her for 3 days."
"A misplacement." Of course, the copy-nin didn't work well with other people either.
"These two will refuse as soon as they see your name on the bill, but won't say why." She lifted her eyes as she extended the next two. "Do I want to know what you did?"
"We didn't… connect." he offered, an obvious lie.
Sakura shook her head slowly.
Kakashi left a hard impression on the medical community. Most expressed that he was disrespectful and rude to their profession and service. Most required an apology to work with him.
Sakura wasn't going to lie; he could be an asshole.
But, he was good at what he did. When it came to it; he was there and he was on point.
"So, we're left with these that have the required poisons experience and will work with you."
"That's three." he noted aloud. He'd brought her over 30.
"My life is in the hands of one of these three?" he clarified.
Sakura presented the first file.
"She's newly training, but she has the knowledge of poisons for the mission, her test scores are high, she comes from a family of 6 brothers and also… hasn't worked with you before, so is less likely to run screaming from the Hokage tower." Sakura smiled cockily at him. It had happened before.
On several occasions when medics met who they were paired with.
"No field work." He tapped at her file. The nin was a bookworm at best. Her active duty was D's and C's at best.
"Number two…" Sakura introduced before trailing off. Number two was well known as the matron of death. She would heal the cut in your leg, by slicing it clean off. There was no bedside manner and enjoyed the thrill of the battlefield a little too much. She'd keep you alive, but you'd regret her methods. "On the plus side, she doesn't hate you. In fact, I think she'd be rather happy to get her hands on you." There was a pretty good rumour she had taken a liking to Kakashi.
Kakakshi blank expression said it all.
"So, we'll look at number three. " Sakura took the last file and skimmed it again. "Number three is… just as bad." Three was a skilled medic with an addiction to pain killers after a nasty injury a few years back. She'd been cleared for work, but there were plenty of medics who were way more reliable.
"Are you sure there is nobody else?" His eyes pierced her. Of course Sakura had the proper training, of course she aced her poisons exam. But… no.
"Guilt trip? You've used this approach before. It's getting stale." She shoved a single file at him. "Take number one. She's skilled on paper. Time to test that." Sakura closed the other two and finalised her work of 'advising' him. "Don't abandon her, don't trick her, don't use the sharingan on her, don't grope her. Just do the missions, get back. If you need healing, she will be fine."
"She's new." he complained sullenly.
"So take number two, or number three." Sakura huffed out, arms wide. "I know what you want, but I am not an option."
She breathed out long and hard and picked her pen back up again, returning her rice balls to where they sat before.
"You'd let me put my life in the hands of an inexperienced medic?"
"It's A-rank, you can probably solo it." she deadpanned. Not that the council would let him. "You'll be fine."
"Sometimes, I think you don't care about your old sensei anymore."
"You don't need hand-holding, sensei."
"Mah, you've changed Sa-ku-ra. Everything we've been through and you'd risk my life so coldly."
Sakura didn't need to respond verbally, her eyes cut at him as if to agree with the words he spoke. Cold hearted. It worked against his emotional blackmail. "Then again, maybe she'll be more welcoming than you. Won't mind sharing a bed roll on the cold nights."
His words intended to play on some form of possessiveness Sakura had over him. After all, she'd been his sole medic and ANBU partner for almost 5 years; there was a bond there that had been built over time. And they had shared a bedroll on a few occasions.
She blamed the bond for the reason why her pulse kicked up and anger brewed in her mouth, demanding she chastise him for suggesting such a thing.
She doused the flames with the reality that if she said as such, she'd be back in the field without a second to think of how she ended up there.
"Here's to hoping she's flexible." Sakura turned her eyes back to the paperwork and lifted her drink in his direction.
She listened to his footsteps fading out of the building before slamming a fist to the table rattling the plates and drawing eyes. Damn him.
He was the reason she ate half as much ice-cream as she did, it was why she'd treated herself to the sweet dessert …
Sakura lifted her eyes to the exit with rage flared up in chakra around her body.
Bastard had taken her meringue pie when she wasn't looking.