Chapter 3: A Smile and a Wink.
This chapter is dedicated to my artistic friend Duneboo who posted with me until midnight last night to get this chapter rolling. Thanks again! She helped come up with some of the quirky things in this chapter and the one thing that made it all come together, hence the chapter title.
Hope you enjoy it.
"Ah relief" the famous Copy Ninja breathed out as the scent of garden flowers filled the room with the slow unscrewing of the cap on his bottle of 'man-up' liquid. The sooner he got the pink polish off his toes the better, he had thought to himself as the strong scent of the acetone swelled in his olfactory senses.
It wasn't a pleasant smell to him, chemical flowers, and he felt he would need to air out the small apartment after its use. Using the bag of cotton balls and some cue-tips recommended by the purveyor of his pink painted misery, he dabbed and swabbed at the shiny cherry madness on his ten manly toes.
"Hm, it was easy to get off." He smirked as the cotton ball exhumed his beloved natural toenails. Within a matter of minutes, he felt back to normal with the exception of the churn in his stomach from the vomit inducing scent permeating every millimeter of his nose.
Shaking his head again, Kakashi was truly surprised to discover his Jasmine scented seducer was none other than sweet little innocent...well he'd have to redefine that definition.
He sat for a few moments letting the reverie encompass him as the passionate kisses they shared crept back into his mind. He suddenly became conscious of the unconscious light rub his finger was doing on his lips. Then more quickly becoming aware of his inappropriate thoughts, he shook off the idea that he might unconsciously desire a more conscious moment with Sakura.
Slipping his mask back up at the sound of a light knock on the door, he put his nagging conscience away for the moment.
"Hey Kakashi, I was just coming to see how your mission to the ladies isle went." Genma smirked.
"Actually there were a few ladies in the ladies isle and they were talking about the underdeveloped sense of humor, among other things, of Shiranui Genma." Kakashi smirked back while rubbing his sore head a little.
He backed up and let Genma come in as he lay down on his couch.
"It smells in here...like the ladies isle."
"It's the nail polish remover. I know, it reeks." Kakashi rubbed his temples.
"Ah ha ha, I see your feet look a little less S-Class criminal than this morning." Genma laughed at the heaped pile of pink stained cotton balls on Kakashi's small wooden coffee table.
"Yeah. I don't see how women would want to do that all the time. The smell of the polish remover alone makes it a pain in the ass." A small hunger pang made its way through Kakashi's stomach and he began to think his hangover had taken pity on him and dwindled.
"So? Did you find said mystery woman?" Genma leaned forward from his chair across from the reclined copy ninja with sudden interest.
"Ah...um..." Kakashi wasn't sure what to say, as he looked sideways at his compatriot.
"Oh, you did. Was she hot? I know it wasn't Anko, Kurenai or Shizune so who's left?" Genma's brain started trying to put together the other Kunoichis at the party and Kakashi began to worry he'd put 2 and 2 together. He could almost see the smoke as the wheels were turning.
"Um, how do you know it wasn't one of them?" Kakashi tried to get him guessing.
"Well, Anko passed out long after you left. Kurenai was with Asuma and Shizune went home with yours truly, so that leaves...um..."
"Hey buddy. If you don't mind, I think I'm going to go back to bed for a bit. I feel a little sick. If I feel better we could spar later or something." Kakashi calmly decided it was time to move Genma in another direction, just in case.
"Ok, you should rest up for the pub tonight. There's a band in town." Genma got up to leave.
"No, not going." The tired sharingan user covered his aching eyes.
"I'll be over to get you about 8:00." He laughed ignoring the refusal, "and maybe tonight your mystery woman will come back for seconds, eh?"
Kakashi shook his head at the mere thought of Sakura coming to the pub and coming on to him...in front of people. The thought never occurred to him that she might be interested and he vaguely believed she must have been drunk too. But then she told him she wasn't drinking and went home early...he knew at least part of that was a fib.
Dragging slightly, he flopped onto his small bed still smelling a light scent of jasmine on his pillow where he had held her.
"Hey Sakura, where did you run off to? Sasuke ate the ramen then got sick; he just took off for home. What do you say we go over there and take him some sake?" Naruto laughed as he rubbed his hands together seeing the approaching Kunoichi.
"That's pretty cruel, don't you think?" She laughed, "Um...Ok." She added as they began to walk towards Sasuke's large home.
The day was cool and Sakura felt particularly giddy with her unusual but surprisingly pleasant encounter with the drunken copy ninja last night and then her equally as interesting encounter with the hung-over one today.
It seemed strange to her to be looking and thinking about him as anything other than a former teacher, but there it was. He had kissed her into a new point of view, she laughed inwardly. The embarrassment he felt for his toenail predicament only made her think more about him. Was it really wrong to have some minor feelings for someone a little older? Had he not been her teacher would it be just fine to go to dinner with him? There was that sad little fact that seemed to get in the way. He had taught her a long time ago, but she was a grown woman now, what would it hurt?
She played with ideas in her head and found she just couldn't relieve herself of that kind of thinking. He was well respected, and she'd seen bigger age gaps before. Truly he was only in his early thirties. With a sigh, she put it aside, it was pipe dreaming, she knew it. Even if she developed stronger feelings, more than her little tickle for more soft kisses, he would probably not want her anyway.
She couldn't help but smile thinking of his surprised look as he put it together. She seemed to be thinking of him non-stop.
"Um, Naruto. If you met a woman who was a lot older than you like ten years or so, and you thought that she was interesting and wanted to get to know her, would you think people would find it weird?" she asked out of curiosity more than intention.
"What like Anko?" he sneered. "Eeww!"
"Well, ok like Kurenai?" she asked a little more timidly.
"Um, I guess she's hot but she's always with Asuma. I think he could kick my ass...well, probably not, but she's taken." The sunshine blonde eyed her with confusion.
"Urgh, you aren't getting the point. Let's say a random woman who is quite attractive and fun to be around and is older than you by a decade or so winks and says she wants you, is it weird?" she shook her head in mild frustration.
"Hey, have I been talking in my sleep on missions?" his eyebrows rose nervously.
Sakura slapped her forehead in reminder that she was asking the completely wrong person. Muttering incoherencies she continued to walk towards the large expansive apartment of the hung-over Uchiha heir.
"I'm just giving you a hard time." He laughed. "Would it be weird? Maybe, but I certainly wouldn't turn down a hot older woman if she wanted me and I wanted her." He smirked a little. "It would probably be weirder if I was chasing an older woman who wasn't interested, I guess. Why are you asking?"
"Oh, just curiosity." She waved the question away.
"Um, I hope you aren't the older woman, that's just wrong." He laughed.
"Shut up." She hit him playfully as they began to race to Sasuke's house.
"Last one there buys the first round." He yelled as he leapt to the roof of a nearby building. Sakura stopped in her tracks.
"What are you talking about?" she laughed.
"New band at the pub tonight. They're supposed to be good and you're coming with us. Come on, last one there is the older woman!" He yelled into the wind as he flashed away.
Kakashi awoke to find the room dark and the sound of a loud bang on the outside of the large door that just might be his salvation had he remembered to lock it. As the hinges creaked he cursed his lack of need for deadbolts and mentally made a plan to get one.
"Hatake Kakashi? Your ass is responsible for the first round of drinks." Genma's deep voice called through his bedroom door as the blinding light flicked on overhead.
"Nope, not going." His hand made a makeshift blindfold with staggering speed.
"Five minutes." He laughed as he made his way back out to the living room area. "You've got five minutes before I go out to the pub and announce to everyone that the genius copy ninja has a new found love for pink toenails."
Slowly, but with greater ease than this morning, the thirty four year old made his way out into the living room to see Genma leaning into the fridge.
"Alright, let's go before you pilfer all my food." Kakashi moaned groggily, "Just let me brush my teeth."
"That's the spirit."
"I can't believe I let you drag me out here tonight." Sasuke sneered as the smell of the alcohol made him gag out a dry heave. He stared at the mocking shot glass of whiskey in front of him.
Naruto laughed heartily as he slugged back the first drink and eyed the roseate haired Kunoichi with raised eyebrows. "Well?"
Sakura eyed the tiny innocent looking glass of dark shimmering liquid. She wasn't a drinker by any means and this golden brown alcohol, though safe looking in the glass would certainly become her undoing if she were to indulge too liberally. She looked back at the whisker-lined face of her twenty-year old friend.
"I really shouldn't. I really don't drink Naruto." She spoke timidly then bit her lip watching the glowing liquid flirting with her sensibility.
"Sakura, don't worry. We'll take care of you." Naruto chuckled and even Sasuke looked like he was going to enjoy watching the corruption of her delicate innocence.
"If I'm sick after this, I'm going to rip you a new one." Sakura slammed her fist beside the tiny shot glass and with frightening speed let the burning whiskey slip down her throat.
"ARGH, that's horrible!" she rasped as she scraped her tongue on her teeth trying to get rid of the rough taste.
Her two vested companions belly laughed at her grimace and likened her to a dog with peanut butter stuck to the roof of it's mouth with the way she tried to get the taste off her tongue.
"Get off the floor Naruto" she yelled at him in embarrassment.
"Sakura, I'm sorry. Let me get you a drink you'll like better." Sasuke chuckled as he headed for the bar and Naruto tried to regain his composure.
Upon his return Sasuke held out a tall glass with an orange slice and a cherry skewered with a tiny pirate sword over the top. A bright blue paper umbrella beckoned to Sakura telling her it was a safe drink and less fiery than what she previously imbibed.
"Um, that's better." She smiled with the tall straw in her mouth, "It's really sweet, almost like juice. This is much better." She continued, as she proceeded to drain it much too quickly. "What's it called?"
"Oh, that's a 'Skirt Lifter." Sasuke's eyes were wide at how fast the young Kunoichi had managed to empty the glass and still her straw made noises as she vacuumed up the last remnants.
"Wonder why it's called that?" She said as the warmth of the two drinks mixed in her stomach. Within ten minutes she was feeling more at ease with the thought of having a few drinks. "I'd like another, whose turn to buy?"
Sasuke and Naruto looked at each other and silently agreed that the next drink would be virgin. "I'll get it Sakura." Naruto stood up and moved to the bar watching her with wide blue eyes.
He was absently waiting for his turn when he spotted a familiar tired looking eye passing by him.
"Oi, Kakashi-Senpai, I really didn't think we'd see you. What brings you in here tonight." Naruto laughed as he remember the staggering form of his old teacher dodging a nimble fingered drunken Anko.
"Blackmail." Kakashi smirked, "How about you?"
"We're here for the band. Why don't you come and sit with us and I'll get a round of drinks. What would you want?" Naruto raised his eyebrows.
"Well, I guess we could sit for a minute." He said, absently spotting the pink-haired devil at the table, "I'll pass on the drink but you can get Genma some gasoline...make it sake."
"No problem. Oh, I see Genma's already found the table." Naruto laughed.
Kakashi watched the tall form of Genma take a place on a backwards turned chair at the table and smile at Sakura with that wide grin her reserved for attractive women, the long coffee stir stick balancing precariously from his teeth. He seemed to be involved in a lively story of some....Shit
"Hey Genma, what are you doing, let's leave these young p...." Kakashi suddenly forgot what he was saying when he registered a change in Sakura as he chanced a glance at her. Her eyelids looked a little droopier than usual and she was smiling really warmly.
"I was just telling them about your little adventure last night." Genma smirked as Kakashi sat down next to him, his exposed eye still looking at the slouching Kunoichi in mild surprise.
"What adventure?" Naruto asked as he placed the drinks on the table. Sakura's hand immediately found the colorful glass in front of her and the straw pursed between her lips revealed the hurried movement of liquid.
"That's virgin, right?" Sasuke asked as he pointed to the glass.
"Oh Crap" Naruto mouthed back forgetting to order it that way.
They both shook their heads. Sasuke pointed to empty shot glass that resided in front of him. "She drank that too." He mouthed. Both rolled their eyes figuring that in about half an hour they would be carrying their teammate home.
"Sorry Genma, go on." Naruto looked nervous.
"Well, some mystery woman kidnapped Kakashi last night and took him back to his place. He doesn't remember who it was or at least he's not telling me." Genma chuckled as he let the first small cup of Sake slip down his throat.
No one noticed the copy ninja and the kunoichi share a glance.
"So what happened?" Sasuke asked with a slight chuckle.
"He's not telling but I think she maybe took advantage of him in his drunkenness and then painted his toenails." Genma was enjoying his little ribbing of Kakashi to an unimaginable degree as the two young men fell into fits of laughter.
As the clang and thump of instruments rang around the room, the band began to set up to play and the crowd tussled and moved around the bar filling up every seat and stool.
"So, Kakashi-Senpai?" the drunken Sakura's voice asked over the din, "What was your mystery woman like?" she smirked feeling the complete lack of inhibitions and the joy of inebriated fuzziness. She pointed her finger over her drink at him as her lopsided smile waited for his answer, the memory of his soft lips returning with the discussion.
"Fat and ugly" he said with the straightest face he could manage. It was hidden behind his mask but he knew the smirk would show in his eye. He watched the inner conflict on her face of whether she was going to show she was offended and let her secret out or keep it under wraps.
He knew she couldn't be sure that he knew it was she but a little sweet retribution wouldn't hurt, not after the humiliation of pink toenails was still fresh in his mind. To have Sakura here, half in the bag was just icing on the cake of revenge.
"Fat? And Ugly?" she creased her brows, then let them settle, "I guess that's probably the kind of women you draw then, is it Senpai?" she smirked.
"Ah, but she was a good kisser." He laughed, as the faces of his three former students looked at him in shock, incredibly stunned by an admission like that. Naruto and Sasuke looked at each other and both figured perhaps Kakashi was still drunk from the previous night. Sakura on the other hand couldn't help but blush and avert her eyes slightly. Even through the intoxication she was embarrassed he had said that, even though they were the only one's at the table who knew.
"Come on Genma, let's leave these three to their drinks, I see Shizune over there." Kakashi stood up and couldn't help the wide hidden smile upon seeing Sakura's bright pink cheeks. Genma stood up too and they left the three stunned Jounins sitting silently at the table.
"Holy crap, I wonder who Kakashi's mystery woman is?" Sasuke laughed. "Fat and ugly?"
"I'm sure she wasn't." Sakura added in somewhat affected, "he doesn't seem the type to be with fat and ugly. She was probably gorgeous and he's crazy about her."
"Ah ha ha ha ha" Naruto almost fell off his chair again. "Kakashi-Senpai? Crazy about a woman? He seems more the love 'em and leave 'em type."
Sakura watched him standing at the bar laughing and talking with his regular group of friends. Naruto was probably right, although her focus challenged mind was dismayed at the possibility that she was considering how nice their little interlude was. She sighed heavily as she watched him standing there, drifting in and out of focus.
"Sakura? Are you alright?" Naruto asked her quietly as she leaned lazily on the table; unable to draw her eyes back to the person talking to her.
"I'm fine." She said dreamily.
The night wore on and she managed to shmooze more drinks from people as she made the rounds in the bar. So many friends with cash to burn, she didn't think she'd bought one drink the whole night.
The band was loud, which made it more difficult to concentrate and she welcomed the feeling. Haruno Sakura, always thinking, now had an excuse to be blissfully mindless. She danced with Ino to the loud music and traipsed around with friends enjoying the lively conversations. At the beginning of the night her eyes would wander to her former Sensei but now the intoxication ran so deep, she didn't really know who was in the room. Her mind was off him until, in her drunken pace around the pub, she banged right into him, catching his arm to keep her balanced.
"Sakura, you look like you've had too much now." He said with some concern.
"Uh, Senpai, I think I had too much two hours ago." She looked a little woozy and rubbed her head a bit. "I've never drank before." She slurred.
"Maybe you should go home." He held her arm to stop her from teetering.
"Y...yeah, I probably should." Her eyes had trouble maintaining their focus on him as her vision drifted slowly around. She pulled out of his grasp as he had begun to scan the room for her teammates. "Where are Sasuke and Naruto?" He asked her as she stumbled back into him, her face pressing into his shoulder.
"Sasuke went home. I don't know where Naruto is." She chuckled a little as she tugged on his vest pocket and leaned comfortably against him.
With a sigh, Kakashi registered Naruto's drunken form on stage singing into an unhooked microphone along with the band. He was moving sluggish as well and he winked and pointed to the women around the small stage while firing imaginary bullets from his fingers.
Unhooked? Thank heaven for small favors.
Kakashi smirked as his mind ran back to the less than sober young woman clinging to his unzipped vest for fear of losing balance. With a sudden lurch she slipped down towards her knees, her arms caught in a light grip by the Copy Ninja shaking his head at her.
"Let's get you home." He said with a great deal of warmness. He peered at Genma and Asuma who had watched them and they instantly understood. They joined his concerned look as he pulled Sakura up to stand against him. Everyone knew Sakura was a fairly innocent girl and didn't frequent the bars often. She was never intoxicated to anyone's memory and as the men watched her they recalled their first drunk and the first hang over which in all probability was always the worst.
Kakashi led Sakura to the door, half directing, half supporting her, until the cool night air hit her face and she breathed deeply. The smoke filled pub had rung with the loud music for the last few hours and Sakura found she could still not hear properly, even out in the quiet night.
"I'm having a little trouble walking straight." Her loud voice said as she looked up at Kakashi with half-lidded eyes. Her foggy vision couldn't register if he was upset, laughing or even looking at her. She let her tired eyes close momentarily as she felt a great shift in weight and her feet lift from the ground. It felt like she was falling for a moment and she was dangling upside down.
The wind whipped her hair as she finally realized she was being carried over someone's shoulder, like a fireman would carry someone. They were moving quickly, she was quite sure of it and from a bit of euphoric dizziness she gripped onto the back of the vest he wore.
Was that just a few moments? She laughed a little at nothing in particular as she was stood up against the wall.
"We're at your apartment Sakura. Do you have a key?" Kakashi's smooth concerned voice reached her ears.
"Oh, Senpai? How did you get here? Want some coffee?" she slurred as her fingers tried with difficulty to find her key. After managing to clasp it, she staggered as her double vision tried to focus on the silver doorknob dancing in front of her.
"Stay still." She laughed, as the key end scrapped and tapped around the lock opening.
"Let me." Kakashi grasped her hand to steady it and led the key into the lock. Turning it, he clutched her around her waist and helped her inside, closing the door with his foot.
Sakura's drunken form slumped over on the couch as she watched the tall Jounin move easily around her kitchen returning with a glass of water and two aspirins.
"Take this Sakura. You're going to be sick in the morning, but it'll help a little." He held the glass out to her and she pulled it up and took a drink after popping the aspirins in her mouth. Kakashi didn't relinquish his hold on the glass just in case she dropped it.
Taking a deep breath as she managed to rest her eyes on the sharingan user, she smiled sweetly and her lids closed a little more. "I'm fat and ugly am I?" she slurred almost amusedly.
"Of course not." He humored her. "We'd better get you to bed before you pass out."
Lightly, Kakashi gripped her arm and helped her from the couch as her fingers plied at his vest. Her feet just weren't cooperating and it was frustrating her slightly. Staggering and dragging a little she leaned on his strong form.
"Thanks for taking care of me." She slushed out in less audible speech.
"Do you think it's weird?" she asked him, remembering some small remnant of her conversation with Naruto earlier in the day.
Kakashi sat her down on her bed as her head lobbed a little sluggishly but still managing to look up at his silver hair as he took off her shoes. He crouched in front of her and he began to remove the wraps on her calves.
"Do I think what is weird?" he asked offhandedly. He raised his face to look at her, seeming a little too close with her looking at him like that.
"That I really liked your kisses." She smiled with a warm drunken flush filling her cheeks and her clumsy hands pulling him closer, gripping at his collar. She let her fingers slip to his mask and he allowed her to pull it down to reveal his smirk at her drunken speech. She had already seen his face, the damage was done.
"I don't think it's strange. I liked yours too." He smiled softly as he continued to unwrap her legs. She was very sweet and he couldn't help feeling bad that she was going to be feeling less than sweet in the morning.
"Really?" she whispered.
He smiled at her bright eyes opening wider and the happy lopsided smile she gave him.
Grabbing his collar again she pulled his face close to hers and happily he wasn't really resisting. It was making things so much easier. His scent and soft touches were taking control, she couldn't stop thinking of his warm soft kisses and it was too late to back down now. The alcohol provided a perfect excuse to let her thoughts and new interests take over.
Well this was not uncommon territory for Kakashi; he had seen many a Kunoichi lose their inhibitions after a few 'Skirt lifters' at the pub. It was not uncommon for the average Jounin to take advantage of such willingness but this young woman was different. She always held a special place with him and it seemed unconscionable to take advantage of her in any way.
"I think you should sleep, Sakura." He whispered as he tried to untangle her fingers from his vest collar.
She watched his mouth as his hands gripped hers. His half smirk showed his will was teetering and she took advantage.
"Just one." She whispered and pressed her mouth to his softly, feeling him tense but not pull away. Releasing him after the innocent peck she looked at his face, he looked funny, somewhat surprised, somewhat pleased.
"Ok, two" he responded as he slipped his hands to the sides of her head letting his fingers play among her locks. Guiding her face to his, he kissed her deeply. Her kiss was drunken and imperfect but still held the ability to run feelings through both of them. He could feel her tremble as she moaned slightly with drunken passion.
Pulling him with her she fell back on her bed, the rough fall on top of her seemed to wake Kakashi from his momentary slip in morals and he rose up above her. He held himself in place and looked at her barely opened eyes, pressing his hands in the bed on either side of her.
Shaking his head he got up, freeing himself from her light grasp. She was way too drunk to do this without him feeling a tremendous amount of guilt and ensuring an uncomfortable relationship from now on between them.
She was passing out anyway.
With another smirk watching her writhing form try to get comfortable on her bed, eyes shut tight; he pulled his mask back up. The jasmine scent was on it from where she touched it and it made him smile.
Oh the pain you will be in tomorrow, he sighed to himself and he wasn't sure whom he meant.
Kakashi turned to leave listening slightly to her incoherent mumblings, but something caught his ears before he reached her door.
"I think pink is your color Kakashi." she slurred a little as she spread out on her back, eyes closed to the night. Hm, a rather interesting statement, especially since she left off the honorific.
Turning slowly the nasty thought crept into his mind.
I really shouldn't
Looking at the black permanent marker screaming to him from the silver holder on her small desk in the corner, Kakashi grinned like a schoolboy with a slingshot.
I really should.Pink is my color eh?
The copy ninja smiled as he slowly raised the Kunoichi's black shirt dragging it up her perfect tight stomach, her skin revealed goosbumps at his light touch.
Hmm, not a mark on her, he admired, we'll fix that.
The blasting beep of the alarm clock prompted a fierce round of wretching followed by an hour or dry heaves. Sakura didn't think she could feel any lower. I'll rip a new one for Naruto for this, she thought painfully.
She didn't have to piece together the night, she remembered everything. The drunk dancing, the drunk flirting, the fireman's carry and the amazing perfect kisses.Is every night going to end up this way?
Not exactly a bad proposition with the exception of the hang-overs. Perhaps she would get to kiss him at least once while they were both sober.
After a couple of hours of much needed sleep and so much water she figured she drank the land of Mist dry, Sakura managed to drag her half asleep body to the shower.
The warm water felt good sliding over her aching skin and as she finished, she had just managed to open her eyes. The towel was hung lazily over the shower curtain and she dried herself off before stepping out onto the pink plush bathmat in front of her sink.
Rubbing the mirror with the towel so that she could survey the damage to herself, she noticed something rather peculiar on her stomach. The complete shock and dismay left her speechless as she peered at her skin again in the mirror to see what appeared to be a large smiley face that was winking. She cringed at the realization that it also had not come off in the shower...permanent marker.
Looking at the little black streak of a scar drawn over one eye of the face she cringed with the possibility that she might not actually remember everything that went on.
I wasn't sure if I wanted to do another chapter for this. I don't want to overkill on the fun. I did want Kakashi to get back at her. There will most likely be another chapter after this one when the muse hits me.
Thanks for reading.