Title: Late Night Awkward

Spoilers: none really, before the chuunin exam

Rating: PG

Summary: Sakura can't sleep, and Kakashi just can't escape his students. Awkward situations and revealing conversations abound. Not to mention some realizations about themselves and each other.

Disclaimer: I don't own it; if I did Gaara would be in the show more. I do however own some nice Kakashi fan art I got a Otakon. But you can't have it.

Authors Notes: This is what happens when I get sick, jump on the bandwagon and have razor burn. It makes sense to me. I blame my friend Eric, he made me watch Naruto, and then, sickness and have nothing to do but watch anime. The razor burn should explain itself.

Feedback: Do I have to beg? Because I will.

Other: Yes, I know this isn't "These Dreams of Mine" and if that's what you came looking for, I promise to have something for it soon.  For further details, see the live journal.

One more thing: Sorry about this, but I'm html deficient, so to signify a scene break look for the dashes going down.  Thoughts in italics.




Her legs itched.

Earlier it hadn't been a problem.  She'd spent most of the day traveling. The constant pounding of feet seemed to hold back the onslaught of inflamed skin.

But now, that she had lain down for the night and was supposed to be getting some sleep the only thought on her mind was the fact that her legs were burning and she longed to drag her fingernails up and down the length of her legs.

Sakura knew that the worst thing to do would be to give in to the temptation and actually scratch at the itch, but right now it didn't matter. She was tired of twisting and futilely rubbing her calves against themselves in an attempt to lessen the desire to actually use her fingers.

She also knew that it was her fault.  She had overslept and raced through her shower. Her mother had always warned her about what would happen if she shaved with just water. But she had to get to her teams meeting place on the bridge and had hastily run her razor up and down her legs, forgoing the use of foam, cream or even soap lather. 

She was annoyed. 

Because for all her rushing, Kakashi had been late.

He was always late, thinking about this fact now, she realized now that she could have spent the extra time to properly lather her legs up with something and still have beaten her teacher to the punch by a good fifty minutes.

So, with that in mind, she decided to blame him instead.  In her mind, it made a round-about sense to place the blame on her teacher.

But even doing that didn't help alleviate the itching.

She gave up, sat up, and threw back her cover and frantically scratched at her legs with her fingernails.  Then she wanted to cry.

Because, it didn't work.  She didn't have fingernails.  It suddenly dawned on her that the hours of training and work had made it so that her nails her so short that they were below the top of her fingertips.  Just like a boys.  It made her feel strangely unfeminine. It was an irrational thought, she told herself.  Most ninjas had hands that looked the exact same way, if not more beaten.  But right now, it bothered her, she wanted nails.  No, she needed nails. Because she had to find someway to ease the feeling in her legs.

Then she remembered something that made her unbelievably happy.  Water, natural hot springs was just a little ways away from the area where she and her traveling companions were camped. She remembered Kakashi telling them it would take two days of travel to reach the village where their next mission lay, but luckily, he had added there was a perfect place to camp along the way. Sakura had looked around before while Sasuke and Naruto had set up the tents and she gathered fire wood.  It seemed that they weren't the only group of people who were camping in the area.

This meant that it was most likely a place she could wander around safely and take refuge in one of the springs.  She knew that the water could soothe her legs.

Mind made up, she crawled to the opening of her tent, thankful that she got to have one to herself and stuck her head out of the flap and glanced around.  Both of the tents belonging to her companions were dark. Everyone must be asleep.  For a moment, she wondered how two people who fought as much as Naruto and Sasuke did could share a small area like a tent without killing each other.

Satisfied, ducked back into her tent and shed her clothing and wrapped a towel around her, understanding why Kakashi had told them to make sure to bring them.  He wasn't the most prompt teacher, but sometimes he could surprise them.  She emerged a second later, and began to slip down a grassy path to the area the springs.




Kakashi sat relaxing in a small pool of water, enjoying the feeling in had on his lower back.  It was quiet, and he decided to relish the silence while he had it.  He had a genuine affection for his students, he found himself caring about the well being of them and wanting them to succeed in the things they set out to do.

But, they were noisy.

Well the boys were louder then Sakura for the most part.  But then again, on occasion she could rattle his eardrums as well.

So he was going to enjoy this moment while he had it.

His head leaned his head back to rest against the edge of the small pool he had commandeered, and closed his eyes. No one was around and he had stripped of everything with the exception of his lower mask. It was late and almost everyone in the vicinity of the camp site was asleep. Only a small group of people remained awake and still situated in a hot spring in a short distance from the one that Kakashi was occupying.

Taking a large breath he slipped under the water, a silent test to see how long he could stay under.

It was peaceful under the water.




It was peaceful at night, Sakura decided.  It was rare that she was up this late.

She kept an ear open to listen for anyone in the area.  She wanted to be alone, so she bypassed several of the larger pools of water, in the event she wasn't the only one to have trouble sleeping.  Sakura didn't want to invite company.

She came upon a small pool half way along the path that wound through the springs.  She could hear a small group of people not to far away. But more importantly, the pool itself was empty.  Her legs burned and the sight of the soothing water made her sigh heavily.  She glanced around, looking for a place to set her towel, sandals and kunai. Catching sight of a flat rock, she shed her towel and folded it before placing her other items on top of it.

She then turned towards the water with a smile on her face; she couldn't wait to get some relief for her poor legs. 




Underwater, Kakashi frowned.

He thought he detected Sakura's chakra, but she should be asleep.  When he had left she had been settled in her tent, and the boys had already been asleep.

But someone was standing right next to the hot spring he was submerged in, and as he gently probed the chakra he realized that it was in fact his student.

One thought came into his mind:  Not to let his naked thirteen year old female student into the hot spring with him.

His reading material aside, he really wasn't perverted.  And the situation at hand was just wrong, and had the potential to be rather uncomfortable for both of them. He was positive that she had never been in the vicinity of a naked man before.

And unless he stopped her, she would be. 

Because his face mask was just not enough to qualify as clothing.

He was a second away from popping up and warning her when another thought thundered through his head.

If she was getting ready to get in, then she was most likely undressed.

This was not going to end well, he could see it now.




Inner Sakura was dancing for joy as Sakura stepped into the water. Already the half of her legs that was under the water was feeling much better. She sighed happily as she slid further into the water, but before she could relax totally her foot came in contact with something under the water.

Something that was most definitely NOT a rock.

In fact, it felt like it was skin.  Which meant someone was in here with here.

Sakura was fully prepared to panic when the water shifted and a figure broke the surface of the water.

Then she was ready to scream.  However she didn't get the chance, before she could even open her mouth, the figure shot across the short distance of the spring and a hand clamped over her mouth.

Her eyes widened as she took in the sight of her teacher, and she calmed a bit.

Then she noticed that Kakashi, like her was dressed for a hot spring.  Meaning that he was naked.

"I'm going to take my hand away now," He said, "Don't scream." 

With his hand still over her mouth she nodded.  She wouldn't scream.  She wasn't the one of the smartest in her class for nothing. She knew that Kakashi wouldn't hurt her. And she had taken a brief moment to take in their situation.  Obviously, he realized that they were both unclothed and even though he had his hand over her mouth; he was keeping a respectable distance between the rest of their bodies.

He felt her nod under his hand.

"Good" Kakashi said removing his hand.

"I didn't realize that you were in here."  Sakura said, eyes darting around trying to find a place to look that wasn't her teacher's naked form.

"You must have been distracted."  He said.

She nodded, still not looking at him. "My legs….." She trailed off, not wanting to go into the details of her razor burn, it somehow felt a little too personal, a little to well, girly to discuss with her male teacher.

"Are you hurt?" He asked, seeming concerned.

"No, no. Not really."  She said shifting a little while Inner Sakura was shouting about how utterly wrong this whole situation was.  And that she needed to find a way out before Kakashi saw what no man had ever seen before. 

 "Besides," Inner Sakura was shouting at her, "Do you really want to see him wearing nothing? He old! He's your teacher!"

"He's not that old."  Sakura shot back at her inner self before she really thought about it. But before Inner Sakura could reply to that, she was interrupted by Kakashi breaking into the argument she was having with herself.

"- need me to look at them?" He was saying, vaguely motioning to her lower limbs with one hand.

"No, I'm fine! Really!!" She exclaimed her voice squeaking slightly.  Kakashi gave her a look that clearly said that he didn't believe her.

"I don't believe you."  He said and Sakura's shoulders slumped slightly. "What's wrong?" He asked again, catching her eyes and forcing her to look at him.

"It's somewhat of a girly thing." Sakura said hoping that statement would halt any other inquires into her condition.

"A girly thing involving your legs? I've never herd of that before."  Kakashi said, clearly disbelieving her.

"And what would you know about it?"  Sakura asked shrilly.

"I've been around for awhile; I may have picked up a few things." He said, letting slight mirth slip into his voice.

Sakura stared at the surface of the water as what she took in what her teacher said. When she got his full meaning she fought a blush and shot Kakashi a look that let him know just what she was thinking.

"See! Men are all the same."  Inner Sakura was screaming in her ear, "He's nothing but a dirty pervert."

Sakura told her Inner self to shut up and leveled her teacher with a gaze that usually worked in freezing Naruto in his tracks. Unfortunately, it didn't have the same affect on Kakashi and staring directly into the Sharingan was unnerving. But she didn't let it show, it least she hoped it didn't show. She decided to just tell him and hope that he would leave her alone afterwards.  She needed to find a way out of this hot spring and still maintain her dignity.

"I have razor burn." She said looking directly into his eyes.

"That can be painful." Kakashi said, nodding in understanding.

"You have no idea." Sakura agreed, "Try getting to sleep while both of your legs are burning."

"Is that why you came into the spring?"

"I was hoping that the water would help. It is, but now I'm naked in a hot spring with my teacher."

"Shut up! Shut up! Stop talking before you make a fool of yourself!" Inner Sakura was screaming.

Kakashi watched as a red tinge spread over her face after she said that, he smiled under his mask. He felt bad for her, as awkward as this was for him, it had to be even worse for her.  Because while he wasn't the most comfortable, it least he had been undressed in the company of the opposite sex, willingly. This was just an unfortunate mishap for his young student. He didn't think that she would have chosen him to be the first one in this situation with her.

"Don't worry, I haven't seen anything." He said, hoping to calm her a little.

"Huh?" She looked confused and distracted. "Oh, that was REALLY intelligent! What was he saying?" Inner Sakura had been railing at her, so Sakura had completely missed whatever it was that her teacher had just said.

Kakashi cocked an eyebrow at her, wondering why she was so distracted. Normally she was on top it any situation, she was certainly the smartest one in the team.

"Are you sure that you're ok?" He asked again.

"Yes!" She said a little too loudly, eyes darting everywhere except her teacher, "It just…."

"You're trying to find a way out of her without me seeing you?" He asked

She squirmed and sunk a little lower into the spring, "Well, actually, I was just kinda arguing with myself." She said keeping her eyes on the surface of the water.

Kakashi realized that she wasn't nearly as worried about him see her and she was worried about her seeing him. She wasn't ready to be confronted with the image of a naked man.

"About what?" He asked, hoping that they could talk their way out of this situation. She was, after all, the most mature of the team.  She didn't answer.

He sighed, "Sakura, look at me." He said, trying to sound gentle.  It worked to a degree, her head came up a fraction diagonally and one eye glanced at him.


"Sakura, you're not going to see anything, it's to dark and I'm still half under the water. And I can't see you either." He said, and at his words a large weight seemed to be lifted off her shoulders, and she relaxed a bit.  Although she still wouldn't look at him fully.

"Don't relax yet! Just because it's to dark for him to see under the water doesn't mean he can't see above it. If you can, he can!" Inner Sakura was still dancing around in her head.

"Oh shut up!!" Sakura told her inner self, "This is our teacher! He's always done his best to keep us safe, he's not going to do anything wrong. Besides the only thing above the water in my shoulders and my head."

"But that's not the only parts of him above the water! You're going to see a lot more of him."  Inner Sakura said

"Oh, it's not I haven't seen a shirtless guy before." Sakura said indignantly.

"Not one that looks like that before!" Inner Sakura said sarcastically, pointing towards Kakashi.

At that, Sakura was finally fed up with her inner self and squashed the argument and snapped her eyes up to her teacher to actually look at him for the first time since this whole encounter began.

Then a good part of her mind promptly shut down as she took in her teacher, shirtless and wet.

Kakashi had been starting to get a little worried about his student, she had seemed to get lost in the own mind again when she finally had raised her head and looked at him.  Maybe now he could figure out what was going on inside her head. 

"How are your legs feeling?" He decided to start with a simple question and hopefully that would start a conversation. He sensed that something else was going on with his only female student, and he wanted to be able to help her.

She didn't answer.   He saw her shake her head slightly, as if to clear away something before she focused on him again, this time not loosing her all her brain functions at the sight of her teacher.

"Better, they feel a lot better. The water is helping quite a bit." Sakura was proud of herself for being able to respond and sound reasonably intelligent at the same time.

"After all, I'm a ninja. I can handle this. And Kakashi is an adult. We can handle this. No matter how good he looks like that." She thought.

"Don't think too much about that!" Inner Sakura cautioned, "Focus on the conversation and act like an adult."

"I'm glad; I can sympathize with razor burn." Kakashi said, glad that she seamed to have pulled herself out of whatever inner conflict she was going through and was talking to him.

Sakura thought about that, even though she had never seen his face and she didn't know anyone who ever had, she guessed that had always figured that he kept himself clean shaven.  Otherwise the mask wouldn't fit the way it did.

She gave him a small smile, "I guess you can, the other two, I don't think that they have to worry about things like that yet."

"I think your right." Kakashi said, giving her a smile that he hoped that she could see. So far so good, now he just had to keep the conversation going. "Where the boys still asleep when you left?"

"Yes, I don't think much could wake them up. They wore themselves out earlier with all the racing." Sakura said.

"You know, I've often wondered how those two can share a tent without killing each other." Kakashi remarked, echoing the same thought that Sakura had earlier.

"I think the exhaustion helps."  She said.

"Most likely." Kakashi agreed

"So why are you still awake?"  Sakura asked

"My lower back was bothering me." Kakashi admitted, wanting to share a little with her after she was opening up to him.

"What happened?" She asked, wondering what could have happened to Kakashi. She knew how strong her teacher was and was curious as to who or what had caused an injury to him while he was still in the village.

"Gai challenged me to another contest. Rock hurling." Kakashi said sounding somewhat exasperated.

"Who is Gai?" Sakura asked, wondering just who this person was.

"He is a teacher to a group of genin from the class a year above yours. He's somewhat…..odd. And he has a habit of challenging me to any number of odd matches." Kakashi informed her. Somewhat glad that his own group of genin had not had a run in with Gai's.

"Odd how?" Sakura asked.  She had never considered her teacher totally normal, and she had a feeling that he didn't think of himself that way either. So if he was referring to someone as odd, she could only wonder as to what this Gai was like.

"It's somewhat hard to explain. Trust me, when you meet him, you'll know."  Kakashi answered her; know that when Sakura finally did meet up with him, she would understand.

"So did you win?"  Sakura asked giving Kakashi a sly smile, she just had to know.

He shot her a look and a smile that was completely cocky, "I did."

Sakura started to giggle. She had thought that by the time a ninja became a teacher, they would have given up rivalries. But she figured that there were some things that boys just never grew out of.

Kakashi as inwardly pleased at Sakura's laughter. He was happy to be talking to the girl. But when she shifted slightly he noticed something that made him frown. There was a wound on her shoulder, one that he hadn't noticed before.  From the look of it, it was a few days old and looked like it would leave a slight scar. It was just a small sliver of marred flesh, straight across and it didn't look like it hurt anymore, but what bothered him was the fact that it had escaped his notice. He didn't even know when she had gotten it. He hadn't seen her get injured in the last mission and he hadn't seen her get hit on that shoulder in any of their recent training exercises.

Kakashi was fully aware of how most saw him. He knew that he didn't come across as the most observant of ninjas, despite his rank of jounin. But in reality, not much escaped his attention, especially when it came to his students. So a wound serious enough to leave a scar on Sakura that he hadn't seen before troubled him. He knew about all the scrapes, cuts and bruises on Naruto and Sasuke. He knew their battle wounds too. Naruto's didn't tend to scar, thanks to the Kyuubi sealed inside of him, but he could recall most of the slight scars on Sasuke. He knew where they were and how he got them. Same for Naruto.  And he thought he had known the same for Sakura.

"Where did you get that wound on your shoulder?" Kakashi asked, gesturing towards the red and inflamed skin on her shoulder.

Sakura looked at her shoulder; it was a kunai cut that she had received a week ago. When she had gotten it had been ugly and raw. It had bled a fair amount as well. But it was getting better, even though she was sure that it would leave a scar. But she found that she didn't really mind all that much. All the ninja she knew had a few. It seemed to be a badge of growth almost. Because while she had not dodged the one kunai that injured her shoulder, she had managed to deflect all the others that had been hurled at her.

"I was training," She shrugged her marked shoulder, "this is one that got me."

"Who were you training with?" He asked, wondering why she hadn't come to him.

"Ino, in exchange for me bailing her out of some trouble at her family's shop." She said, smirking at the memory of Ino frantically running around trying to put five shelves of arrangements back together before her mother returned. She had toppled them over when she had hurled a trash bin at her team mate Shikamaru. Sakura had distracted Ino's mother while the young blonde fixed the chaos in the shop.  Ino had repaid her by agreeing to help Sakura train.

"Why didn't you come find me if you wanted to get some extra training in?" Kakashi asked, curious as to her reason.

"I couldn't find you, besides; I know that Naruto and Sasuke take up most of your time."  She said, this time shrugging both shoulders. In truth, it really hadn't occurred to her to actively seek out her teacher. Trying to train her other two team mates was trying enough, she honestly understand why the boys took up so much of Kakashi's time.

However, her response sent a thunder clap into Kakashi's stomach. He suddenly understood why he hadn't noticed the cut on her shoulder. And why she didn't try to find him for training.

He had been neglecting her.

The thought made his stomach roll. He was completely disappointed with himself. He was a teacher with three students, yet he focused mostly on the boys. They both had such outstanding potential, Sasuke with his advanced bloodline and Naruto with his untapped power.  Sakura had become overlooked. She was incredibly smart and had amazing chakra control for someone her age, but she was overshadowed by her two team mates. Kakashi felt terrible. It was his responsibility to make sure they were ready for anything that they may encounter. And he had been almost ignoring the young girl. She had potential to be an amazing ninja, but she did need work. And thinking about it, there was quite a bit that he could teach her. He knew so many jutsus and with her control she could probably master a lot of them, even if she didn't have an amazing amount of chakra. He promised himself that he was going to make a huge effort of make up for his lack attention to her when they got back to the village. 

"Well, when we get back to the village, we'll work out a schedule for some train with just the two of us. I have a feeling that there is quite a bit I can show you." He said, putting voice to his thoughts.

Sakura's eyes went a bit bigger, "Really?" She sounded excited.

Kakashi nodded, "Yes."  He didn't want to see another wound appear on her that he didn't know about.  Not while she was still under his care. There was so much that he just didn't know about her. "Besides, you'll need all you can get soon."

"Do you know something that I don't?" She asked

He smiled, thinking about the upcoming exam. "You never know when you might need a trick up your sleeve."

"I can see that, but what about Naruto and Sasuke? Don't they need to train as well?"  Sakura didn't want to be responsible for holding back her team.

"A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. The team needs you to grow as much as the boys do."  Kakashi quoted the age old cliché that every academy student had probably heard a dozen or more times over the course of their studies.

"I'd be happy to get some more training in." Sakura said. "I don't want to hold anyone back."  She bit her lower lip slightly and cast her eyes down. It made Kakashi feel even worse to hear her fear of holding back the other two.  It was time to swallow some pride and admit that his mistake.

"It's my fault." Kakashi began, looking into her eyes, so she would know that he was genuine. "If anything, I have held you back by not giving you the same amount of time as I gave the other two."

Sakura looked shocked, "That's not true."  She said and sighed, "Those two…..''

"It's not a good enough excuse." He said when she had begun to trail off. 

"But you see Sasuke and Naruto, they well, they need you more than I do. I have a home and parents. They don't. Naruto especially," She sighed and for a moment, she looked much older than thirteen. She raised her eyes again to look directly into her teacher's, disregarding the shiver she got from the Sharingan, "All my life I've seen the way that the people in town look at him, I don't know why. But I do know that he doesn't deserve it. So it's important that he has people. He doesn't have many."

Kakashi was impressed. He knew that none of the younger people in the village knew why Naruto was an outcast. But Sakura's insight into the situation, he was surprised that she was able to see past the way others looked at him.

"You are right about that, but still, it's not a good excuse for my neglecting you." He said

"But you haven't!" She said firmly, "I've learned so much since you became our teacher."

"And when we get back, you'll learn even more." He said. "I don't want you to get injured like that again. Not during training. You need to be training properly. Ino is good, but you can be better."

She smiled and glanced at her injury, and then she took a good look at her teacher. Taking a firm hold of Inner Sakura's squeals at the sight of her shirtless teacher she observed the number of scars that she could see, as well as a ANBU tattoo on his shoulder and another one of something she couldn't identify that was low on his right side and was partially hidden under the water. Admittedly, it was only a few scars, but still they were there. She had an urge to move closer as figure out what it was, but she stomped out that thought convinced that it was just her hormones being egged on by Inner Sakura.

Kakashi noticed her appraising him and wondered what was going on inside her head. But at the same time he wasn't sure he wanted to know. It wasn't a lustful gaze, just inquiring. And he had a feeling that she would be flinging some questions at him soon. He was also impressed at her ability to look at like that, like an adult but one without any sexual interest. She was more mature then he thought. Or she was just better at hiding it than others would be. He remembered what it was like to be a teenager. Of course, it was probably much different for a girl.

"So, tell me then, how did you come by all those scars on you?" Sakura asked somewhat cheekily, "None of those are from training?" She had a hard time believing that. Even Sasuke had a small scar or two from training.

Half of Kakashi's mouth flipped up in a smile, she had a point. He nodded at her "Well, maybe a few of the smaller ones."  He raised one of his arms out of the water to show a scar running the length of his forearm. "Katana training, when I was first with ANBU."

"And the others?" She asked.

He smirked, "You do know I was a chuunin at age six. That's twenty years of missions, plus some of those years were with ANBU. They get into some sticky stuff."

Sakura was quiet for a moment as she took this information in before she spoke. "Huh." Was all she said though.

"What?" He asked

"I thought that you were older than that." Sakura said raising her eyebrows at him.

Not many people could manage to look affronted with a mask on, but somehow Kakashi managed to pull it off. "I'm only twenty-six."

"Well maybe if you didn't hide your face all the time." Sakura began.

"You know, Kurenai was saying the same thing to me a few days ago." He said.

"You should listen to her, she's a smart woman." Sakura said

"You know her?"  Kakashi was surprised.

"Not really, mostly just of her. I got stuck in a shop with Hinata during a rain storm. She doesn't talk much, but she had good things to say about Kurenai." Sakura said, remembering the shy girl. She really didn't know that much about Hinata either.

Sakura grinned at Kakashi, "So, what's the story behind the other tattoo?" She asked "I can't even tell what it is."

"And I'm not going to show you either." Kakashi said, he hadn't realized that she could see parts of it.

"Why not?" Sakura asked.

"Because, I'd have to get more out of the water, and that is not going to happen.  You are far too young to see that." He said as the implications of his statement sunk in and every visible inch of his student blushed.

"And the story behind it?" She asked, trying to regain control of her body temperature.

"Also too young, but it involves sake, a kimono, a dare, Asuma and a duck."  He replied

"Never mind, I don't think I want to know anymore. But I do have a question." Sakura said, mind coming up with some very unpleasant scenarios involving the things he had listed.

"What?" Kakashi braced himself for her question.

"Did it hurt? The tattoos, getting them, I mean?" Sakura asked.

"Yes, but not as much as you might think. And it's nothing compared to some of the injuries you get in the field."  Kakashi answered her question. "Thinking of getting one?"

"I don't know yet. My dad had one I really like." She replied, "Although, if I get one before I turn sixteen, my mother would kill me."

Kakashi nodded and was going to say something else when Sakura yawned.

"Tired? Think you can sleep now?" He asked.

"Yeah, my legs feel much better and I think I could fall asleep."  Sakura replied.

"You should go to bed; we still have to travel tomorrow, plus a mission." Kakashi reminded her, the mission was nothing to serious, but she needed to rest. He needed to get some sleep too.

"Ok, but how am I going to get out of here. I'm still naked." Sakura reminded her Kakashi of the situation.

"Oh yeah, I guess the sensible thing would be for you to climb out." Kakashi said, as if she were a little dim.

The look that she gave him made him realize why she could stop some people in their tracks with it. He decided that she should put it to good use and work on some intimidation tactics.

"Turn around; close you eyes and duck under water." Sakura ordered, it was overkill but she was taking no chances.

"You don't trust your teacher?" Kakashi asked, trying to sound hurt.

"I trust you, but accidents happen."

He decided not to argue, even though his mask was just now finishing drying. Once he was under he felt the water shift as she climbed out. He counted to thirty before emerging, but he still kept his back to where Sakura had been.

"Kakashi, it's ok now."  He heard say.  He turned around and ventured to open hid eyes.  She was standing a bit back from the edge of the hot spring, a towel firmly wrapped around her with sandals on her feet. One hand kept the towel firmly clutched and the other held a kunai.

"I just wanted to say thanks."  Sakura said, looking at him, willing herself not to wimp out and break the eye contact. "For talking with me, it's nice to know that you care about us and that you're willing to work on training me more when we get back to town."

Kakashi was surprised that she had the courage to stay here in her towel and say that. Even after their talk and he realized that she was growing up, he still had to remember that she was only thirteen. He was glad that she could get the words out.

"You're welcome.  Now go get some sleep. I'll see you in the morning." Kakashi bid her good night and she smiled, turned and headed back down the path towards the tents.

He sat back again. He was grateful for the opportunity that had presented itself for him to understand his student a little. But now, he was going to relax and once again, enjoy the quiet.