Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto or any of the characters in the story.

Chapter 1 - Toe-nail Assailant

Twenty-nine again - Kakashi silently wished as he sauntered down the dusty Konoha street. Wasn't that what women wanted? Twenty-nine and holding. Men shouldn't care about aging. They get more distinguished with age, don't they? he reminded himself as he scratched at the silver hair on his head.

At least I don't have to worry about going grey...

His mind wandered back as it recalled his yearly ritual for every September 15th. His routine was an intimate tradition he seemed to always keep up with, although no one really knew about it but him. It was also something he never really enjoyed. Same old, same old. Old being the operative word. The usual birthday would begin with a short visit to the memorial (which many of his mornings consisted of anyway), an offering for Obito, and then some natto at the restaurant near the headquarters.

Kakashi's slow meander settled to a stop as he arrived at the restaurant. And to his surprise he saw his three former students having late breakfast at a window booth. All three wore customary Jounin uniforms complete with vests and holsters, and he smiled seeing them all together and looking entirely too grown up. It was a rare occurrence now, meeting up with them, as they were constantly away on missions, as was he. But inseparable as always, it was quite a nice reunion for team seven when such coincidences happened.

Kakashi smiled at them, and though they couldn't see it, they knew and smiled in return.

"Ah, Kakashi-Senpai, are you here for breakfast?" Sasuke asked in his calm tone when the Copy-nin approached the booth. The Uchiha's twenty-one year old smile flashed, and even though he was oblivious to it, most of the young ladies in the restaurant sighed.

"I was just coming in for some natto," their former sensei replied.

"Kakashi-Senpai, you can join us, but no natto here," Naruto piped in, holding his nose.

"All right, I'd like that," Kakashi said evenly, although he didn't intend to eat in front of them. He would just partake of their company for a while - see how they were doing. He slipped in the booth next to Sakura and smiled at her.

"We don't really see you much anymore, Senpai. I was going to look for you today,. It's your birthday isn't it?" Sakura smiled knowingly, proud of herself for being the only one at the table who remembered.

"Oh is it? Well, we'll have to go and have a drink tonight!" Naruto almost yelled in happiness at having an excuse to go to the pub.

"Don't you remember last year?" Sasuke began with a smirk, "Kakashi's birthday is a Konoha event."

"I don't remember it," Sakura said quietly.

"You weren't there, Sakura. Don't worry, I'm guessing Kakashi doesn't remember it either," Sasuke scoffed lightly.

"Ah, you're right. I think I should just hide this year." Kakashi put his chin on his hand and leaned on the table.

"Well, just don't drink too much," Sakura said matter-of-factly, as if the solution was perfectly clear and easily attainable.

Kakashi looked at her green eyes, so much older than when he had known them as the eyes of the twelve-year-old genin he taught. Now all three were strong young men and women taking over the burden of the A rank missions of Konoha. Thirty-four wasn't old at all, he mused to himself, but sitting with those fresh faced Jounins made him feel so much older.

"Well, I better go find my hiding place." Kakashi chuckled as he got up to leave. "I'll probably see you all tonight."

"Oh, we'll be there." Naruto laughed.

Kakashi slunk through the door of the restaurant and headed home. Sasuke was right; he couldn't remember much of last year's celebration. Gai, Genma, Anko, and Asuma had plied him with sake, making the room spin until he felt sick. Every year, the morning after, he would swear on his dogs that it would never happen again - yet every year it did.

Same old, same old.

The day passed quickly and Kakashi hoped beyond hope that everyone would forget the date, but he really would never be that fortunate.
As darkness neared, he could hear a howl of warning outside his apartment. Opening the wooden door, separating sanity from insanity, he could see the cause of the commotion.

"Stop howling, Asuma," Kakashi laughed. "I'm coming."

"Oh Kakash! You are in trouble. Those three young Jounins you used to teach are there with fistfuls of cash. They want to see you topple over before the end of the night."

Kakashi felt a little disappointed that they were there. He didn't really want to see their young faces lose their respect for him, especially Sakura. Her innocent eyes would be unforgiving while observing her drunken old teacher knocking over tables. The boys wouldn't care; he had seen them like that plenty of times, but her bright eyes would shame him.

Kakashi was almost half-dragged through town as the small group who came to kidnap him pulled him bodily towards the pub near the Jounin headquarters.

The place was already lively as they stepped in and a huge conglomeration of voices shouted out, "Happy Birthday, Kakashi!" upon his entrance. He put his hands up reactively trying to quell the applause and back pats as he moved through the room, his face three shades of red. He wasn't one to like attention. It wasn't his type of atmosphere, but year after year the crowd got bigger, and the noise got louder.

Finding a table at the back, he grabbed Genma's arm before he sat down.

"Genma, don't let me drink too much," He half-pleaded, "As a favor,. My old students are here,. I really don't want them to see me like that."

"Don't worry, buddy," Genma smirked, stifling a laugh, "I'm pretty sure they were here last year."

As Kakashi slumped into a chair, feeling the frustration of having no help whatsoever, the first birthday drink was shoved in his gloved hand. With a sigh of defeat, he slipped the mask down enough to let the dark liquid slide into his mouth, then tugged it back up. His friend's faces around the table all grinned like cats that had just caught the mouse, and he sighed again.

It was going to be a long night.

As the evening wore on, Kakashi seemed to lose his inhibitions abruptly due to being subjected to drink after drink. It was fun, and he had to admit he was enjoying himself. That is, until Sakura made her way to the table.

"Kakashi-Senpai? You look a little wobbly." Her eyebrows raised in concern.

"Oh Sakura, you are making me feel old," He slurred, waving a hand and nearly toppling a drink.

"What? How do I do that?" she asked, stitching her brow to show that she had taken it as an insult.

"Kakashi sat down at small table at the back of the room, his back banging against the vinyl cushioned booth too hard, as the Konoichi slipped in next to him.

"You look so young, Sakura, but still so grown up. What are you? Twenty? It seems like a long time since I was twenty." He sighed, the warm comfort of sake relaxing all his limbs.

"You think I look grown up?" she asked playfully, immediatly forgiving the insult.

"Well, you were just a little girl when I first met you...and even then I was older than twenty." He shook his head. Had it really been eight years since he first trained the team of young Genins?

"Why are you being so reminiscent? You sound like my grandfather," she laughed softly.

"I really didn't want you to see me like this. I'll lose your respect and ... you'll be able to see how old I've gotten."

Kakashi let his head fall back against the wood wall behind him, and Sakura could see his one exposed eye slowly close.

She smirked a little. He wasn't old by any means, but she knew how drinkers got. She'd seen Sasuke and Naruto hugging each other over a few cups of Sake.

"You're the best, buddy"

"No you are, pal"

At least Kakashi could keep his composure.

Feeling bad for his entire situation, Sakura sat beside him for a minute. The very last person she would call old was Kakashi. He was still a first rate Jounin, tall and strong. If she had a mission that was dangerous, she figured she wouldn't want anyone else watching her back. There was still no lack of women chasing him; even the Ramen girl constantly asked about him, but then she had seen his face, hadn't she?

Laughing to herself, she ticked her nail at the cloth around his face. He was so vulnerable now; he wasn't passed out but incredibly close. She figured if she could look under it he would probably be wearing a drunken grin. The temptation was sweeping over her. What could it hurt? They had known each other for a long time, although they were not as close now. She felt a little bad about that; she adored Kakashi as he was fun to be around. Tomorrow she would make a point of seeing him more.

Taking a long, sober look around the room, Sakura could see that no one was really paying attention to the man passing out or the pink haired woman sitting with him, so she decided to find a way to get him home. The thought of Genma or Gai plying him with more alcohol seemed cruel, and knew he didn't really want that.

Nudging his elbow slightly, Sakura watched the birthday boy stir a bit and opened his eye again. "No more thanks, Genma." He slurred through his mask.

Chuckling to herself, the young kunoichi pulled his arm over her shoulder and decided to heave him out the back door, hooking her small bag around her arm to hold him with both hands. He lived close by, and mercifully she had not drank anything so her chakra was a big help in supporting him as he leaned heavily on her.

It didn't take long to get him to his apartment and when she tried to open the door, she realized it was locked and that the key must be on him somewhere.

Damn it.

Pushing him up against his door bodily, she held him with one hand, while the other searched his vest pockets. In his drunken stupor, his hands slid to her biceps and his head bowed forward onto her shoulder.

"Kakashi, for a lightweight drinker, you sure are heavy," she grunted while holding him up, carefully sliding her fingers into his pants pocket. She cringed at the thought of having her fingers down a drunken man's pants. Worse still, her hands were down the pants of her drunken former teacher.


Her fingers touched the silver key and managed to pull it out without him seeming to notice. She turned around in his grasp and he fell lightly against her back. She pulled his arms over her shoulders and bent slightly so she could support his weight. His heavy feet dragged along the floor before she heaved him onto the bed in the corner of his small bedroom. It was just a little single bed, but she supposed since he never married or had girlfriends he didn't really need a large bed.

With a motherly instinct she pulled off his shoes, and began to unwrap his legs. Then she moved to the vest and unzipped it, rolling him out of it. His headband was next, followed by his gloves. He was almost undressed, well, as far as she would allow herself to undress him anyway. He'd be comfortable enough for sleeping it off.

As she looked down at his closed eyes, she could see the scar covering the sharingan and slowly ran a finger down it. He moved slightly but didn't wake up.

Again she felt the urge to see his face; he was just asking for it being in this state. Her fingers began to run along the top of the fabric, testing to see if he was really asleep.

Her inner self was cackling, "Mwahahaha!" spurring her on to do it. Mentally she was guessing at what she would see, convincing herself.

I bet he is good looking, bet he has a baby face, bet...

That was enough; she was going to pull it down quick, then pull it back up. No one would know, it was a secret she could keep all to herself.

No one would know...!!

Hooking her fingers into the black mask and sucking in a breath that she held tight in her chest, she pulled...

Expecting to be bent over the bed and looking at his face, Sakura was shocked to find herself lying on the mattress, her back crushed against the wall and a body pinning her there. Her breath was released in a panicked whimper as she looked at the uncovered face in front of her. She cocked her head and looked at him with a creased brow. Funny enough...his eyes were still closed and the most devious drunken smirk crossed his face.

He's still asleep?

She took a moment to look at the sight in front of her. H...hot...? What the hell does he cover that up for?

It suddenly dawned on her that she was looking at him as a man, instead of a superior, instead of a teacher. She couldn't help but grin at her discovery. Old? She laughed to herself; if that face was old then she must look like a grandma. He probably covers it up to stop from looking like a twenty year old, she mused inwardly.

Suddenly it felt too intimate, lying so close to him and being pinned by his warm body up against the wall...in his bed! From the close proximity of their faces, she could smell the sake on his breath and the musky scent of his cologne. It smelled nice... She closed her eyes and breathed deeply, moving a little closer to see what it felt like to be so near to an attractive man.

I've come this far, what could it hurt? she wondered. He's so handsome and a man should be kissed on his birthday right? I'm just giving him a nice little peck, as a friend. He probably won't notice. Her inner self was screaming that she had somehow lost her mind, but if he woke up she could just play drunk as well, pretend like she didn't know what she was doing. It had been so long since she was kissed, and this man's soft lips were just screaming for it.

But it was Kakashi...remember? You don't really want to kiss Kakashi- Senpai, Sensei...Hentai!!

Oh go on, her inner self chided in, he won't know, add it to your secrets.

Sakura 2, Kakashi 0

Slowly and still unsure, she closed the rest of the space between them, letting his breath sweep across her cheek.

I'm just close, I'm not really kissing him, she reminded her conscience. A little more and she could almost feel his lips on hers. She shook with anticipation, but started second guessing herself, unsure if it was a good thing to do. What if he woke up? What if he remembered?

Taking stock of their position, she decided that it was probably not a good idea, even though he was the hottest man her face had ever been near. It would be taking advantage of him in his vulnerable state. Deliberately trying not to wake him, she tried to figure out how to get out of their entanglement. His leg had pushed between hers and his arm was over her waist, pulling front tightly against his. The small bed made it impossible to push him back without him falling to the floor so she had to think of another way.

Deep in thought, she hadn't noticed his face move over closer to hers. It took a moment to register that his hand had slid up the back of her shirt and his fingers were running lightly over her skin.

"Uh...Kakashi?" she said softly as she felt him tighten his grip on her.

"You smell good. Is that Jasmine? You're so soft...warm..."

She thought that he might be dreaming; his eyes were still closed and that devilish look he wore was a little scary - exciting but scary. It occurred to her that in his state he was probably aware there was a woman beside him, but not his former student, not young little innocent Sakura!


Her argument was stopped with his mouth before she could even begin it. His soft lips pressed gently to hers as her inner self did a little dance. And it didn't stop there; it was lazy and slow but the coaxing tenderness and expertise with which he touched her with made her give in all too quickly.

More soft passionate kisses were given to her and she responded wholeheartedly. His fingers pressed into her back, pulling her body totally against his. She whimpered with pleasure. How long had it been since anyone had kissed her like that? Too damn long, inner Sakura nodded. He was masterful too; she could feel it everywhere!

His mouth found it's way down her neck and she tipped her head back to give him all the access he wanted. The soft drawing on her skin and the delicate flicks of his tongue made her thankful she'd decided to bring him home. Serendipity, she laughed to herself.

It went on for a little while. The passion was delicious with how he made her squirm with just his mouth on her throat. She had never thought of him in this way before but no matter what happened, she would never look at him the same way again.

After a good twenty minutes of make-out time, Sakura could feel his ambition waning. The sake had finally rung his bell, so to speak, and his head tipped back to the bed as his hands loosened on her. He was passing out. She knew he was this far gone, and figured that he probably wouldn't remember it when he woke up.

She giggled a little at seeing his mouth open and hearing the heavy breathing, which would soon turn to snoring. Now was her chance, she thought as she managed to release herself from his light grasp and slip from the bed - inching slowly down the end of it.

With a last long breath she found she couldn't get the grin off her face. It was, in a word...splendid. It bothered her a little that he would probably never kiss her again, but seeing as how a relationship wouldn't work, it didn't really matter. She had that hot half-hour with him; it was enough. Her new secret, she would take it to her grave.

Reaching down for the small handbag she had dropped on the ground, she had to laugh as a devious thought ran through her mind.

Morning screamed through the window above Kakashi's head, and he groaned in pain with the migraine that threatened to dig it's claws in right behind his eyes.

"Well, you've got another year to figure out how to avoid this again," he warned himself. Vaguely he became aware that he was in his bed, and tried hard to figure out how he had gotten there. "I swear on the dogs I won't do this again."

His mask was hanging around his neck, the headband placed neatly on the table on the other side of the room. His vest was hung over the chair and his shoes and wrappings were off. He sat up slightly to look at his feet, feeling the cold on them from where he'd pulled off the blanket.

"What the f..."

As he wiggled his toes, he became instantly dismayed at all the possibilities of how his nails had become a screaming shade of hot pink overnight. With quick hands, he checked the rest of his body for tattoos and piercings, and then sighed with relief.

He tried retracing his memory but it ended with the bar. He remembered drinking sake...god, and then more sake...and yet more sake. He was given sake by Sasuke, Genma, and Asuma. Anko had tried to pull down his mask so he went to the back of the room to hide when he saw...Sakura?

Rubbing his lips he began to remember bits and pieces of kissing someone. The softness of her hair, smell of jasmine, tender skin of her throat as he explored her with his mouth...

Please god, don't let it be Anko...

He couldn't remember! It was good, he knew that, and he was fairly certain they didn't have sex. Not that he could have in his state, but it was not for the lack of wanting to.

He lay his head back down and pondered whom it could have been. .


"Shit! I don't have nail polish remover" he growled out loud.

"Oi, Sakura-chan? Ready for this morning's mission? Where did you go last night?" Naruto asked in his usual chipper tone. The alcohol never seemed to hit him like it did everyone else and she laughed as she saw Sasuke trudge up like a zombie, holding his head.

"I went home early, I didn't feel like drinking, " she lied, but couldn't stop herself from grinning.

"Kakashi-Senpai went home early too. He just disappeared. Genma was going to go check on him this morning to make sure he got home all right last night," Naruto chuckled. "I can't wait for Kakashi-Senpai's next birthday!"

Sakura grinned even more widely and pulled her collar tighter to hide the telltale marks Kakashi had left on her neck.

"Yeah, me too."