It's like a bloodstain,
And it's spreading across my chest.
And I've been bleeding for so long,
I think this heart of mine deserves a rest.
Sasuke and Naruto were racing. She could see them, off in the distance; their tiny, blurred figures moving swiftly across the fields. It wasn't part of their training or had anything to do with a mission, they were simply in the middle of one of their "Who's stronger?!" disputes. Sasuke was only a nose ahead. Nothing new, really.
Even from where she sat, quite a ways from where the two boys ran, she could make out the head of impossibly bright blond hair. So very, very bright, glaring almost. You couldn't miss him even if you tried. Especially if you tried.
Maybe that was why Sasuke was always with him. For anyone hardly ever saw that shock of yellow hair without seeing an equally impossible head of pitch black hair. Everyone knows how it goes, 'the moon always follows the sun.'
Always with him. Even now, four years after coming together as a team, Naruto and Sasuke competed with each other the way they did before they'd hit puberty. Maybe they still hadn't reached it.
Some things never changed. It was still 'that complete idiot' when Sasuke referred to Naruto. And with Naruto, well, he could simply stick out his tongue, even at 16, and call out, "Sasuke-chaaan" And it never failed in getting a rise out of his dark-haired rival.
It was ridiculous really.
But... maybe things were a little different. Because four years ago, Sasuke had never held out his hand to Naruto to help him to his feet – he had quite of habit of falling on his behind.
And four years ago, Naruto didn't race through the village to see Sasuke as soon as he had exciting news. He would have shouted it out for everyone in his path to hear:
"Sasuke! Oi, Sasuke! Guess what?!"
And Sasuke would smirk, hands in his pocket, arrogant as ever,
"What is it, dobe?"
That is the way it was with them. It was a constant.
Four years ago.
Four years ago.
"You're slowing down, sensei."
He grunted in response.
Sitting on Kakashi-sensei's back as he did his one-finger push-up's was all she seemed to be good for these days. And no one knew it better than she did; Sakura was an extra weight. Not just for her teacher, but for her team, whether it was on missions or during training sessions. Even when she was successful before the boys, she would just become a standby as Sasuke and Naruto started their competitions.
And there was always competition.
Beneath her, Kakashi felt her sigh and fall back on him, as she usually did when he neared 1000. Her head rested in that familiar spot between his shoulder blades and her legs laid on top of his, her bare feet reaching somewhere in the middle of his calves. At least this was something that remained constant for her. Constant and hers alone. Her teacher never had anyone but her be his extra weight. Even if it was only because she was the only one who had the time for it.
She could feel his muscles ripple smoothly and steadily, his strength nearly radiated through her body. It was comforting, this up-down motion.
The sky would seemingly get closer as he went up. Close enough to touch sometimes, she thought.
And then, just like that, it would once again be out of reach.
Things were usually like that for her. Close enough to touch, but never have. Somehow, Sakura could never figure out the secret to holding onto anything. Things just seemed to have a way of slipping through her fingers.
Her left arm slowly raised and pointed a finger at an unknown spot in the cloudless sky.
"Up," she commanded, her voice deadpan, fully aware that he wasn't really listening to her.
That's where he was. Some unknown place that she just couldn't reach. Ever. It would have been all right to have had Sasuke like that; as a star no one could ever reach. But someone had reached him.
It wasn't her.
Her arm dropped back to her side.
It wasn't fair.
It never was
She slid off his back and rolled onto the grass, raising her hand to shield her eyes from the sunlight. Tilting her head slightly to watch him stretch out his arms, she caught a glimpse of pale, taut skin as he raised his hands over his head. He turned his back towards her.
He paused before he shrugged on his vest , then looked at her over his shoulder.
"What is it?"
She didn't say anything for a long moment , even when he moved towards her. He stood above her, staring down at her and blocking the harsh sun. She lowered her hand from her eyes, but remained silent. A normal person would have gotten impatient, but Kakashi only waited in silence. Aloof and unperturbed. She briefly wondered if anything ever unnerved him.
She turned her face away from him as she spoke.
"It's time to stop them."
He stuck his hands into the pockets of his pants, his frame comfortable in its lazy slouch. Looking away from her and towards the fields, he chuckled.
"Ah, it is isn't it?"
And he was gone. Off to stop Naruto and Sasuke from killing themselves. Boys were like that, after all. They didn't think about things like consequences and tomorrow. It was only 'right now,' this moment, live or let die. Always out to prove something to the world.
She missed him
It was silly, really, because he wasn't even gone. That cold-hearted, good-for-nothing, beautiful, arrogant son of a bitch was within arm's length most of the time, so there really was no reason to miss him.
It had been a while since the last time she had gazed at him softly and asked him out on a date. And it'd been quite a while since she'd even felt hopeful.
It had been five months, twelve days to be exact.
It was all very clear in her mind. It wasn't that he had been any colder that particular day than usual, or had said anything especially cruel to her as he turned down the offer. It was just that she was too busy running an errand for her mother the next day to ask him out again. Then the next day had been a holiday so there was no mission or even training, so she didn't see him again. And then the day after that, she'd gotten sick and had to miss their 3-week long mission. They say that in order to get a habit, you have to do it daily for two weeks straight.
Sakura discovered that it took three weeks and two days to lose one.
When they had gotten back from their mission, Sakura had been waiting for them at the village's entrance gate. Well, it was more like she had been waiting for one of them. Her heart had pounded against her chest, half in anxiety and half in ill-contained excitement. She would never forget the way her heart dropped to her feet as she saw three figures make their way toward her.
Naruto had had a big grin on his face to match his horribly swollen and deformed looking eye, which was almost all right, because Naruto had a knack of healing quickly. But her teacher was walking with a slight limp and a crutch. And Sasuke, she had noticed to her horror, had half of his hair shaved off, a bandage covering what she knew must have been a terrible gash. She knew that, even now, his long hair hid that scar.
Something had infinitely changed at that moment she had weakly greeted them. Looking at her teammates in their battle-worn state, while she was freshly showered and her dress neatly pressed, Sakura had never felt so out of place. Her ears had turned deaf and her smile dumbly frozen as she watched Naruto boast about their adventure. Sasuke "hmph"-ed and his smirk widened as Naruto became more and more animated. Her teacher had simply laughed and knocked him on the head, telling him they had to hurry up and report back to Tsunade-sama.
She had stood there for a moment as they had walked off, her mouth unable to form words, hands in clenched fists at her sides. Somewhere in the back of her mind, something told her that the three of them didn't need a fourth, that they looked quite complete without her.
Sakura groaned and rolled over onto her stomach, then changed her mind and sat up.
/There's no point in thinking about that again./
Her hair was getting long again, flowing past her shoulders now. She liked it long, though, it helped when she wanted to hide her face.
"---did ya see that?! I beat him! I beat that Sasuke!"
She gave him a smile from where she sat, looking up as she saw him running towards her. He wasn't trying to impress her, she knew, but was just excited, as he always was when it came to his 'rival.'
"You didn't beat me, idiot. I stopped and you just kept going," replied Sasuke as he and Kakashi caught up.
Naruto growled and raised a fist up at him.
"Sasuke-" he was cut off as Kakashi grabbed the back of his jacket to pull him back.
"Maa, don't get so worked up, you two. We've got a mission tomorrow."
"Yeah! I can't wait!" Naruto exclaimed, happy all over again. He was so simple-minded it was unbelievable.
"Hmph," was all Sasuke had to say, but he was smiling. He was excited for the mission, as well, the past month had been boring for the both of them.
She watched them, the way Naruto talked excitedly to the dark haired boy, and the way Sasuke listened intently to everything that supposed 'complete idiot' had to say. She felt a sharp surge of annoyance.
"We're meeting six a.m. sharp at the gate. Bring your passports, gear-"
He paused when Sakura abruptly stood up, dusting off the back of her skirt before reaching down to slip on her sandals.
"-sensei? Oi, Kakashi-sensei!"
He turned his head to look at Naruto, who was looking at him strangely. He cleared his throat before continuing.
"Bring enough provisions this time, Naruto. I don't want you begging Sasuke for an extra blanket again."
When he turned back to Sakura, he hesitated again. Instead of paying attention to her teacher like the others, she was looking the other way, her face bearing a troubled and distracted expression.
"Sakura, I want you to be responsible for the-"
"I'm not going."
He blinked, as did Naruto and Sasuke.
"Do you have something more to do, then?" he asked, his voice was light, but lined with a distinctly sharp edge. The sharpest blades always cut silently.
"I have my period."
No one knew what to say to that, so they all just momentarily froze. Sakura took this opportunity to make her exit and turned around to leave, her face heating up as she blindly walked away. It'd been stupid, she knew, horribly and completely stupid. Her head was swimming, her heart beating erratically and rapidly.
/Why the hell did I just say that?!/
She felt like laughing and crying at the same time over her sudden brazenness. It had come out of nowhere; and she wasn't even due yet. Her feet made their way to the village and toward her house, where her empty room would welcome her and she could close her eyes and forget. Her heart was still threatening to jump out of her chest when he appeared in front of her.
Sakura jumped back a foot and clutched her hand to her chest.
/That stupid, cocky-/
"Sensei, you idiot! You scared me!"
But he only stood there, watching her. She hated his mask the most at times like this. With his face hidden and body giving away nothing, she could never know what he was thinking or feeling. Only his right eye was visible, and most of the time she was too afraid to look into it directly for longer than minute. It made her uneasy; tehe way that he saw through facades so easily.
"What do you want?" she asked irritably, crossing her arms and trying to feign a bored expression. She never could do it as well as he could.
"Why aren't you coming on the mission?"
/That idiot! Is he trying to humiliate me?!/
Praying her face wasn't as red as it felt, she turned her head to the side, refusing to meet his gaze.
"I told you why already. What's your problem?" she muttered the last question under her breath, but they both knew he heard it.
"I want to know the real reason and don't lie to me again."
/Fuck. Fuck. Fuckity fuck fuck./
"What are you talking about, sensei? I told you the real reason-"
"I warned you once and I'm not going to do it again. Don't lie to me."
At this, she turned to face him. When he took on that tone it meant he was serious.
"What makes you think-"
"You already had it last week."
There was a wild moment where Sakura wondered if her heart could actually stop from sheer embarrassment.
He paused when he saw the look on her face. Maybe it hadn't been a good idea to be so blunt.
"Y-y-you, how.. how did," she sputtered out, her face was having trouble deciding between tomato red and sheet white.
You've been under my supervision for four years, Sakura, he answered, I know-
/How dare he?!/
"You have no shame whatsoever!" she yelled. Kakashi was suddenly glad that everyone was at work during this time and the street they stood on was empty. He hated making a scene.
He was really glad no one was around.
"Sakura," he tried, "let's-"
"Get away from me!" she yelped as he come towards her. He sighed and scratched his head. He hated dealing with the opposite sex. Once they got riled up, they really went at it.
They both just stood there, he with a hand tucked into his pocket and the other rubbing the back of his neck, and her with a clenched jaw and petrified spine.
"I'm not going," she finally breathed out, "I'm just not."
He nodded, afraid to do or say more. Women were emotional creatures, and Sakura was no exception.
"So please," she said, finally looking up at him, "please, just leave it."
There were no tears, no quivering lip, just a tired and worn look in her eyes. And somehow, that was worse than if she had been crying, because tears from her were nothing new...
He was suddenly behind her, his hand on her small shoulder. Sakura let out a sigh of relief and leaned back, ever so slightly, letting his tall frame support her weight.
In the manga, Kakashi actually does have Sakura sit on him as he does 1000 one-finger push-up's. It's during the Wave Country arc. It inspired this story.
I was really debating whether or not I wanted to post this story on ff.net, more so than even whether I should even write this story. I'm a little wary of 12-year old Kakashi fangirls coming to read this and cheer for Kakashi and Sakura's super secret LUV affair! But, oh well, 12 year olds can read, so why the hell not?
And to people who want to flame, you have every right to do so. In fact, I deserve to be flamed for writing this story. KakaSaku scares me, but...oh well. It was an itch that needed to be scratched.
Anyway, thanks for taking the time out to read this. Any type of feedback would be most welcome.
(Lyrics by Amanda Marshall)