Title: Late Night Misadventures

Spoilers: none really, before the chuunin exam, after "Late Night Awkward"

Rating: PG-13, for a few choice swear words and some talk of an uncomfortable subject (it least if you a guy)

Summary: Sakura and Kakashi return for more embarrassing situations and nocturnal misadventures in this sequel to "Late Night Awkward". Featuring girly situations, swordplay and bandits.

Disclaimer: I don't own it; if I did Asuma would get more screen time, same with Shikamaru's father.

Authors Notes: See me bow to demand.

Feedback: Do I have to beg? Because I will. And suggestions for still more situations just may lead to more stories.

Authors Notes 2: Once again, thoughts are in italics.

Sakura banged her head against the wall and wondered just why it was that she was always winding up in embarrassing situations with her teacher. Nobody's luck could be this bad.

Except hers, that is.

She closed her eyes and thought about all the different awkward situations that she had managed to get into in the vicinity of her teacher.

First, there was the hot springs incident. The one that had started it all and seemed to set the tone for all the other embarrassing moments she would have from that point on.

Then there was the time she had been pushed through window into his room while he had been changing, getting an eye full of his very naked rear end. And the discovery of yet another hidden tattoo on him. It had taken her three days to be able to look him the eye after that. And that had been difficult, due to the fact that they had been working on illusion techniques and she need to be able to watch him.

And she couldn't forget the time he had been looking in her pack for spare bandages only to pull out her bra, right in front of Naruto and Sasuke. She hadn't been able to look them in the eye for a week after that one.

"Actually," she thought to herself "that wasn't all that difficult."

She thought back to the start of her current problem. A mission that would take them back into the country of Waves. All three of the genins had been excited at the thought of visiting the town that they had helped save. And they weren't anticipating any trouble on the way to the mission either.

That is until they had been attacked by a group of bandits along the way. That in and of itself hadn't been a problem, even if there had been a rather large number of them. After all, none of the bandits had any training in the ninja arts. But the trouble came when one of them had gotten a lucky hit in on her in her lower abdomen, causing a massive bruise to form. She had knocked her attacker unconscious, and that had apparently not endeared her to the other thieves. It must have hurt all of their egos to have a teenage girl take one of them out. So three of them had bum rushed her and managed to back her right into a near by stream. She had lost her pack in the fight.

That is where the trouble really started.

Because now she was stuck with three men and she had just gotten her period. Normally this wouldn't have been an issue. She always kept a supply of tampons carefully hidden (to avoid another Kakashi/bra incident) in her pack. But she had lost her pack. So she had no money, so sneaking out to get some supplies was out of the question.

Now she was faced with the uncomfortable task of having to ask her teacher for money. And he would undoubtedly want to know why she needed it. Plus, she wasn't so sure that he would let her go out alone considering the fact that this wasn't Konoha Village and there was no way of knowing if it was safe. There was also the possibility that the bandits could still be around and wanting revenge. And there was no way that she would be able to handle them by herself. So she resigned herself to abject humiliation, stopped banging her head on the wall and stood up to go and went to go talk to her teacher.

Kakashi sat in his room, grateful for the fact that as a teacher, he got one to himself. He was tired and wanted nothing more than to go to bed. It had been a very long day that had begun far too early in his mind and it was coming to its close far too late. He rummaged in his pack for the pair of old workout pants that he slept in and pulled them out before beginning to strip off his clothing. He was down to his uniform pants and mask when he heard a knock on his door. He sighed, he should have known.

"Yes?" he called.

"Uhh, Kakashi-sensei, do you think that I could talk to you for a minute?"

Crap, it was Sakura. Which meant that it was most likely something important. She wasn't likely to disturb him if it wasn't. She had been a little skittish ever since she had accidentally seen him changing. He decided that if it was important enough to bother him he shouldn't keep her waiting.

"Yes, come in," he answered.

The door opened and admitted his only girl student; she was looking at the floor and seemed to be distracted. Or more accurately, she seemed to be in pain, judging by the way her eyes where screwed up slightly. He had seen her take that hit earlier, the guy who had hit her was three times her size and the hit had to have hurt. He had made her show him the area and had watched the bruise begin to take form. He could only wonder at what it looked like now.

"Are you okay?" Kakashi asked.

"Well….."She began before trailing off and shuffling her foot slightly. Whatever it was she was reluctant to tell him. He stepped closer to her, coming to a stop with arms length separating them and used one finger to lift her chin so that he could look into her eyes, trying to see if she was trying to hide any pain she was in.

"What the hell!!" Inner Sakura shouted, "At this rate, we might as well just get it over and see him buck naked."

Sakura could see why her inner self was ranting this time. When he had lifted her face, her eyes were forced to travel up the length of his bare chest, reminding Sakura of just how good a body her teacher possessed. However, she did her best to push those thoughts out of her head.

"Are you hurting from before?" he asked, trying to figure out the reason for her visit. Kakashi figured that since no enemy ninja had crashed through his windows he guessed that she wasn't here to warn him.

"No, no. Well yes, but that's not why I'm here." Sakura said, inwardly trying to work up the courage for the next part of what she needed to say. But before she could get it out of her mouth her teacher interrupted.

"Maybe you should let me look at it. It must look pretty bad by now. It's bound to hurt. That guy had seventy-five kilos on you at least," he said, squatting down and brushing a hand across her abdomen. When she flinched his forehead wrinkled in concern.

"It'll be fine; really that's not why I'm here," she said, stepping back slightly out of the reach of her teacher's hand. She didn't want him to touch her abdomen again, the combination of her bruise and now the cramps made it a very tender area. However, the look that Kakashi shot her clearly said that he didn't believe her.

"I really need to learn how to convey thoughts that well with only half my face, that man is just uncanny sometimes," Sakura thought.

"Why don't I believe that?" he asked.

"Because you're smarter than you look?" Sakura guessed, not really paying attention to what she was saying.

"Shit! Inner Sakura cursed frantically, "Not a good idea to smart mouth your teacher, especially one that could kill you with one hand tied behind his back." Sakura could only agree with her inner self.

Kakashi, on the other hand, smiled broadly at her statement. Pleased that she was comfortable enough with him to be able to mouth off to him. The boys certainly had no issues with it.

"Don't let anyone else know; I've got a good thing going." He said conspiratorially. She grinned in spite of her nervousness.

"I'll remember that," Sakura said.

"So are you going to tell me why you're here now?" He asked.

She steeled herself, "I need to borrow some money."

"Huh?" Kakashi asked dumbly, that was not what he had been expecting.

"You remember how I lost my pack?" Sakura asked. He nodded so she continued. "Well, it had all of my stuff in it, and now I really need something that was in it. So I need money to go and get a replacement."

"Please please please, don't ask what I need," she chanted in her head.

"What do you need?" he asked.

"Well, there goes that hope. We're screwed now," Inner Sakura pouted.

"………" Sakura mumbled, praying that it would work

Kakashi raised an eyebrow at her response and wondered what it was that she needed that she was reluctant to tell him. "Sorry, I didn't catch that."

He could swear that she just watched his student snarl, it was somewhat intimidating. She grit her teeth and raised her voice, although she kept her eyes firmly glued to the floor.

"Tampons." Sakura ground out, cursing all aspects of the female body.

That was not what he had been expecting, he knew that she had been embarrassed about what it was that she needed, but he had been betting on her needing some new underwear, seeing as how hers was now drifting down a stream.

"Oh…." he said, other than that he really wasn't sure how to respond.

"Yeah." Sakura replied.

"Well, this is certainly going well," Inner Sakura shot sarcastically.

"Oh, shut the hell up. This is hard enough without your snide remarks," Sakura shot back at her other self.

Both Kakashi and Sakura stood there for a minute, not saying anything. Sakura kept her eyes glued to the floor while Kakashi let his eyes dart all over the room but not looking at his student directly. Sakura knew that one of them was going to have to break the awkward silence, and it would probably have to be her. After all, she's the one that brought the whole situation forward.

"So…the money?" Sakura asked in a slightly smaller voice than normal, hoping that he would just give her some and then let her slip away, then she could put this whole awkward conversation behind her.

"Right, uh, sure, no problem. Just hang on a second and let me grab my wallet," Kakashi said, momentarily losing his ability to form productive sentences. Still not meeting his student's eyes completely he turned and made his way across the short distance of his room and to the pack sitting on the foot of his bed. He rummaged through it and after a moment pulled out his billfold and opened it. He debated on asking Sakura just how much feminine products were, but then thought better of it realizing that she probably didn't want to discuss the current price of tampons with him. So instead he just pulled out a large bill and held it out to her.

"Enough?" He asked

"More than, I'll bring you back the change," she answered, grateful that she was making such an easy escape. She took the money from his hand and turned to leave the room.

"Yes! Mission accomplished and it doesn't look like he's going to insist on coming along. Now let's get out of here quick," Inner Sakura was doing a dance of victory in her head.

Kakashi on the other hand, had come to the conclusion that maybe he should accompany his student. After all, this wasn't Konoha. He realized this after she had already slipped out of his door and was most likely on the way out of the inn by herself.

"Way to go, Hatake. That was smooth. You just let a genin give you the slip," he thought to himself and quickly threw on his shirt and shoes, not bothering with the Jounin vest or the headband. Maybe they wouldn't attract too much attention if he didn't scream 'ninja'. Dressed again he decided to head her off by going out the window right onto the street, grateful that they were on the ground floor and his room faced the main road and she would have to go down it to get to most of the shops in the town.

Sakura had made it onto the main road of the town and was searching for an open shop. She had begun to head towards the south end of the town when she heard something coming up behind her, without thinking she slid her hand into the kunai pouch and pulled one out. When she heard a crunch of gravel right behind her she whipped around and raised her hand in a defensive position.

Kakashi was standing behind her, looking both amused and impressed at her quick response. He raised an eyebrow and she noticed that he was dressed only in his pants, shirt and mask, although the weapons pouch was still strapped to his thigh.

"I was going to call out to you," Kakashi stated.

"And you couldn't have done that a little further away? Instead you wait until you get close and stalker like so I threaten you with a kunai," she retorted.

"Stalker like?" he asked, clearly amused.

Sakura berated herself for a total breakdown of cohesive thought and absolutely stupid sounding statement. She decided to blame it on delayed PMS.

"Never mind. Why are following me?" she countered his question with one of her own, ignoring her teacher's inquiry.

"It's late at night in unfamiliar territory and there are likely the remnants of that group of thieves around somewhere," he responded.

"Crap. I hate it when people use logic on us. It makes it difficult to argue for what we want," Inner Sakura complained.

"Oh yes, damn that man for looking out for us," Sakura argued sarcastically to her inner self.

"Well, it looks like your hormones are in full swing. The bitch factor has arrived," Inner Sakura shot back.

"Please, just shut up," Sakura resented that last statement, even though it was mostly true.

"I suppose you're right," she admitted to her teacher.

"I know," he replied.

She decided not to reply to that, she wasn't sure that she could trust her response to her cocky teacher. So instead she went with, "What about the boys?"

"They'll be fine. They were asleep and we'll be quick. And I doubt that anyone will attack the inn. It's too risky; it'd draw to much attention," Kakashi answered.

"Good point," she said.

He really didn't have a come back for that one. In fact, after she had answered they stood there, lapsing into a somewhat uncomfortable silence. For a few moments they just stood there, doing their best to not look each other in the eye.

"Why the hell is this so awkward? This by far is not the worst of the embarrassing situations we've gotten into. I've been in a hot spring naked with her and she's seen me naked. Well…almost," Kakashi thought to himself.

"Come on, come on, think of something to say damn it," Sakura's inner thoughts were far less incisive and she decided that her intelligence must decrease with the rise of the hormone levels in her body.

"Have you found an open shop yet?" he asked, deciding on a relatively safe question.

"Not yet, I was going to head towards to the south end were some of the restaurants were. I figured that there should be some open there. It's not to late after all," she replied hoping that her hunch was right and due to the fact that eating establishments tended to stay open later, the stores near them would remain open as well.

"Sounds reasonable," Kakashi agreed.

"Let's hurry then," Sakura said, turning around and beginning to walk down the road again.

Kakashi fell into step behind his student and decided to follow her into the southern district of the small town they were staying in.

They walked in silence, the only sounds coming from the distant pubs and restaurants they were approaching. Kakashi knew that this whole situation was stupid, he had spent quite a lot of time one-on-one with the teenage girl since their return from the mission with the infamous hot spring rendezvous and he had never had any trouble speaking to her, even after she had seen him changing or the unfortunate incident when he went into her pack.

"And after that one, I will never ever go through a woman's bag again unless she tells me where to look," he thought. However, they both kept walking.

Sakura coughed.

Kakashi wished that he had a sister. Maybe then he would have the faintest idea of what to do.

He had finally thought up something to say when Sakura suddenly swerved to the right and made to head down a dark alley. That then led into still more dark alleys.

"Where are you going?" Kakashi asked, wanting to know why she was leading them into a dark labyrinth.

"Towards the restaurants," she replied.

"How do you know that's the way?" he asked.

"We walked down it before on our way towards the inn," Sakura answered. She pointed to a few of the signs that hung above the shops that were already closed for the night, "I recognize the signs."

Kakashi was impressed with the observation skills of his student, he was reasonably sure that neither Naruto or Sasuke would pay that much attention to the shop signs in a foreign town unless they were looking for something specific. Sasuke tended to look down or at people, always weary of threats and Naruto looked everywhere but remembered only pieces. Sakura tended to not only look at everything, but remember it as well. Her memorization skills were impressive, she usually only had to watch him do a sequence of hand seals once or twice before she could remember them. Even if she was unable to complete the act of the jutsu itself.

"Ok then, lead on," Kakashi agreed, and altered his footsteps to go down the alley after the slight girl. "This is probably faster than walking all the way around, like I was thinking that we were going to have to."

"Were you really going to walk all the way around?" Sakura paused and turned to look at him while asking.

"I was looking for something I recognized, trying to figure out where we were." Kakashi finally admitted to the fact that he hadn't exactly known where they were. Idea yes, exact placement, no.

Two minutes later the two of them were firmly entrenched in a mess of darkness. Kakashi could no longer see the point at which they entered, and what was more unnerving was the fact that he couldn't see their desired exit either. Being a ninja was dangerous line of work, and when you had been one for as long as he had you learned to develop good instincts for when things were not quite right.

Or when things were about to go wrong.

And he had noticed that things were a little to quiet, it was eerie. And he had a very bad feeling that his long night was about to get longer.

Sakura on the other hand was distracted and only pay peripheral attention to what was going on around her. At the moment, she was more concerned with hurrying through to the shops, getting what she need and then getting back to bed. By now she was about six different kinds of uncomfortable.

"This is by far the worst night that I've had in a long time," she thought, "and I just know that I'm still going to have to get up early in the morning. And I'm not going to be able to sleep well tonight, thanks to cramps. Plus, I get the joy of having to wash my underwear in the sink and then putting it back on damp when I wake up. God, three days in the same clothing. I wonder if Kakashi-sensei would let me buy some new panties. Then again, I'm not sure that I'll be able to ask. This was bad enough."

"She looks very distracted," Kakashi thought as he watched her. "That may be a problem; I have a feeling that I'm going to need her alert very soon."

He quickened his pace and stepped up right behind Sakura and casually placed a hand on her shoulder. Sakura instantly knew that something was amiss, as close as her teacher was with his students and as close as the two of them had grown in the recent weeks, he was not the type of man that randomly touched people for no reason. Especially, young girls. Because, reading material aside, Sakura knew that her teacher really wasn't a pervert. It least not anymore than the average twenty something male.

"Where?" she asked, keeping her voice low and sliding her hand down into her weapons pouch and slid her fingers around one of her throwing knives.

"About ten feet ahead, in the shadows," he replied bring the hand that was on her shoulder up to her head and playfully ruffling her hair while the other hand flexed its fingers, making it ready to form any number seals.

Then in a louder voice he asked, "So what are you in the mood for, ramen or sushi?"

"Not really in the mood for something raw," Sakura said, understanding that he was trying to hopefully fool whoever was out there into thinking that they were still unaware. At the moment, neither one of them really looked like a ninja. He was dressed down and she didn't have her headband on. She had taken it off to go to sleep and hadn't bothered to put it back on.

They kept walking forward; Kakashi wondered if he was going to have to make the first move when a group of men slid out of their hiding places both in front of and behind the teacher and his student.

"Can I help you with something?" Kakashi asked, playing the role of the clueless traveler for all it was worth.

"We know it was you that got the better of us before. We don't take well to that," one of the men said.

"Sorry, I think that you have us mistaken for someone else," Sakura said, in what she hoped was an innocent voice.

"We recognize that one's hair," the one right in front of Sakura said, pointing at her. And not for the first time she cursed her easily distinguished hair color and decided right then and there to seriously consider investing in something to cover her head for certain missions.

"I don't suppose that you'll just let us go on our way?" Sakura asked, only trying to buy some time and get a count of the bandits that presently had the two of them surrounded.

"That's not likely to happen," yet another one of the thieves said and some cue was given and the whole group of men around them pulled out some weapon and got ready to attack.

"Didn't think so," Sakura mumbled, not quite low enough that some of their unwanted companions heard her.

Meanwhile, Kakashi wondered just what had happened to his normally well behaved charge. It seemed that something inside her had broken loose and her mouth was getting the better of her. He had always had the feeling that she wanted to say more then she did, but something always held her back. He didn't have time to think about it right at the moment though and filled the information away for a time when he could question her about it.

"Well shit," Sakura cursed out loud to herself as the outlaw group made their move and the two ninjas sprang into defensive postures and got ready.

About five minutes into the fight Kakashi looked over to see how Sakura was fairing in the struggle. And he was surprised, it seemed that all the extra training sessions that he had with her were paying off.

Sakura was efficiently working her way through her opponents with a calm precision. She worked her way from man to man with a kunai in had. The young ninja struck with ruthlessness, she avoided the areas that were fatal but instead took out the much larger attackers by targeting key points such as slicing the backs of knees and aiming heavy handed punches to the solar plexus. He noticed that the trail of fallen men behind her all had numerous cuts and bruises. He was positive that some of them would be missing teeth, judging by the amount of fat lips that she left in her wake.

But what impressed Kakashi the most was the fact that so far his young student had gotten through the entire conflict using only hand to hand techniques and a kunai.

Sakura was running on pure energy and anger by this point. She found that she didn't really need to resort to any of the ninja arts, her frustration at her situation was by far enough to fuel her in the battle.

"Bastard bandits, I'll teach them. I can't believe my luck. All I wanted was an open general store and instead I have to fight my way through a bunch of sweaty hairy men," She thought as the dropped yet another of the thieves. She knew that her current stress was adding to her performance, but since it was aiding her at the moment, she decided not to question it and figured it was a small perk to her current condition.

She spared a glance at Kakashi a found that he was having no issues taking out the crooks whatsoever. He was working at an almost lazy pace.

"Well, lazy for someone like him. For us it's pretty damn fast," Inner Sakura observed.

"Ogle teacher later, for now concentrate on not getting pounded by thieves," Sakura reprimanded her subconscious as a rather large and intimidating crook landed directly in front of her.

"Damn, he's really big," both Sakura and her Inner self said and gulped when the large criminal reached one arm behind him and unsheathed a deadly looking katana. With his arms and now the sword, his reach would be considerable. "No choice gotta do it," Sakura told herself and she pulled out an additional kunai and prepared herself to battle the new opponent.

By this point, Kakashi had managed to dispatch the remaining few criminals and turned his attention to his pupil. He saw her about to face off with a fearsome looking foe and debated stepping in to relieve her. He glanced around to make sure that the man wielding the sword was the last of the bandits. Confirming that the man in front of Sakura was indeed the last one he watched his student steel herself for the fight and made the decision to let her handle it by herself. If it looked like it would be too much to handle, he would step in, but for now he would watch his most intelligent student at work.

Sakura slid her left foot back and rested her weight on it to ready herself for the rush at the large man. The bandit slid her a lewd look and slipped his tongue out and across his lips before giving her a leering grin that showed off his lack of dental hygiene.

"Wanna play, pretty thing?" he asked, holding the katana with one hand and putting the other out to her and bending his fingers in the classic 'come and get me' fashion.

Sakura responded with a sneer, "You wish deadbeat." She shot at him and raised one of her knives and twirled in her fingers, copying the gesture she had seen Kakashi and several other jounins do when they wanted to add a little flair to a stance. She was relieved that it didn't slip thought fingers and land on the ground, it was the first time she had attempted the trick.

She shifted her body slightly and almost faster than the man could see she charged him. He brought up his sword and slashed downwards only to be deflected by the small knife that the small girl held in her hand. Her arm moved in an arch and threw off his sword and his stance in one swift motion and her other hand shot forward to slash at his side. He felt the blade she carried bite through his shirt and tear his skin deeply. He slid back quickly and brought his hand to his injured side. When it came away it had and trail of blood on in. It wasn't a fatal wound, but one that would be painful and slow to heal.

Kakashi stood where he was and watched Sakura move and interact with the crook that could have easily made three of her. She was doing extremely well and he allowed himself to feel pride at how much she had grown since he had been devoting more time to her training.

He saw her rush in and score a good hit one the large man before flipping away.

"You little bitch. You made me bleed," the criminal spat at her.

Her grin was tight and slow and an intense look spread across her face. It reminded him of Anko in her more manic moments and that unnerved him slightly.

"Join the club," was Sakura's low response. Her eyes narrowed and she rushed in to attack again.

The two of them parried and swirled in clanging motions as the katana was repeatedly deflected by the genin.

She was doing well, then he saw her grimace and tense, it was all her opponent needed to swing around and in one move brought the sword low and swipe across the side of Sakura's abdomen. It cut through her clothing and into her flesh. From where he stood, he could see a thin line of blood leek out of the wound. From where he stood, he couldn't tell how deep it was, but he was sure that is hurt.

Kakashi was about to rush forward and take over the battle, when something in Sakura seemed to snap and she shot forward like a blot and in a flurry of kicks and punches managed to knock the katana out of his hands. Her feet collided heavily with his knee caps and he dropped like a sack of rice. He didn't collapse completely however. Sakura grasped the collar of his shirt and started to shake him and yell at him at the same time. Kakashi could only watch in wonder as the young girl's anger flowed out onto the thief.

"Do you have any idea of what I've been going through tonight?" Sakura growled right into the face of her attacker.

"I'm going to enjoy this outlet while I can," she thought and then proceeded to give the bandit a large piece of her mind.

"Thanks to you I lost my pack earlier. And now I'm trapped with my three MALE teammates and I got my period," she raged. The man she had a hold of was looking frightened. "Now I have nothing to deal with it. I had to ask my teacher for money for tampons. My only pair of underwear is ruined! My clothes are filthy! And I have nothing to change into! And you just cut a huge hole into my only outfit, the one that has to last for three days. I have cramps and a bruise from your gang's first pathetic attack and now I probably need stitches!" She shook the man as she vented, he looked like he wanted to crawl into a hole.

Kakashi watched as her tirade of verbal abuse ended and the would-be robber cowering under the wrath of the thirteen year old girl. A look of disgust crosses her face and she sighed and shook her head slightly before she brought her kunai up and over, striking him on the head with the blunt end and rendering him unconscious.

Her attacker fell to the ground and Sakura stepped away and glanced around to see all the other members of the gang scattered around the alley. All unconscious.

"Feel better now?" Kakashi asked her, genuinely wanting to know if she was.

When Sakura meet her teacher's face, hers burned red that clashed with her light pink hair. "Yeah," she admitted in a small voice, shifting her eyes back down to her feet. "Well, less anxiety it least, I'm in a lot of pain though." She put a hand to her side to feel the cut that the sword had given her. It wasn't life threatening, but it stung and she was positive that it would need stitches. But she still had some time before she lost too much blood.

Kakashi knew that he needed to approach her; he had to look at the wound on her side and check her for other injuries that she may not have noticed yet. Despite her impressive performance a few minutes ago, she was still his young student and he was responsible for her well being. But before he could step towards her she moved over to the fallen man and yanked on the scabbard that was strapped to his back. She fingered the latch for a second and it snapped loose. She pulled it free form his bulky body and slipped the katana into its holder. He had to admit that she looked natural in the few moments that she handled the classic sword.

"I'm keeping this," Sakura spoke to the man at her feet. "Your men made me loose my stuff and this is a nice weapon. I think it's a fair trade."

"I agree," Kakashi said and Sakura locked her eyes with his, half of her mouth curled into a grin before she bushed crimson again.

"I'm sorry that you had to hear that," She said shuffling her foot on the ground.

"That's aright. I had already guessed most of it. And your not the first person I've seen do that. And I'm sure that you won't be the last. But I saw you freeze up for a second. What happened?" He tried to reassure her as he stepped towards her and carefully placed a hand on her back and began to guide her out of the area of the alley that was littered with fallen crooks.

"I got hit with a big pain in my abdomen. My whole lower half tensed up. I'm sorry." She repeated her apology and her voice shrank and she allowed herself to be guided away from the scene of the fight.

It's not your fault," Kakashi said, "I should have given you a pain killer when I first saw the bruise, it would have helped." He spoke softly, trying to keep her clam so she wouldn't freak out when he had to examine her.

"What are we going to do about them?" she asked, gesturing back towards the alley.

"We'll go by the local police force; they'll come and collect them. And they should have some med supplies that I can use to treat your cut," he said, they reached the end of the dark alley ways and stepped into a still lit area. They emerged into an intersection of buildings that were all still open and busy, the local law enforcement was directly to the right, Kakashi steered Sakura through the door way and directed her to a few chairs that were lined up against the wall near the entrance. He walked up to the font desk and held a hurried conversation with the officer behind it. The man behind the counter disappeared into a back room for a few moments and quickly returned with a med kit that he tossed to the tall ninja.

With his dealings in the offices concluded, the jounin collected his student and the two of them strolled back out onto the road.

"They said that if we go a little way down this road," He pointed to the street to the left, "That we'll find a general store that'll still be open."

"Oh, thank God. I was beginning to think that karma was coming back to get me for something," Sakura said, fiddling with the strap that stretched across her chest, trying to adjust her new found katana, at the moment, it kept slipping awkwardly.

"Here let me," Kakashi said, pausing her stride and shifting to stand in front of her. When he reached for the strap Sakura had to remind herself that he wasn't going to grope her and stilled the hand that was ready to slap him. "And thanks for not slapping me," he said, letting a good amount of amusement slip into his voice.

"Like I could," Sakura said, embarrassed that he had noticed the halted motion of her hand. "I think that you'd be able to stop my hand in plenty of time."

"I could, but it's still good reflexes. In fact, if some guy ever does reach for you chest, feel free to pummel him all you want." He joked as he tugged at the buckles on the leather, pulling them tight and placing them so that the sword fit properly on the young girl.

"What if I want them to though?" She asked before she could stop herself.

"PLEASE tell me that you didn't just say that!!" Inner Sakura was fully raging inside her mind.

Sakura promptly wanted a hole to appear at her feet so she could sink into it and disappear and never have the chance to say something that stupid again. Unfortunately, no such hole appeared, so she was stuck as her temperature quickly rose a few degrees as her face burned the color of her dress from embarrassment. And just when she thought that she would be forced to commit ritual suicide to save herself, her teacher began to laugh out loud.

"That's entirely up to you; just make sure that they know that you could beat them up if you wanted," he said, "and please, don't let them do it in front of me. I may be overtaken with the need to defend your honor." He grinned broadly up at her.

"I'll remember that," she agreed.

"And when we get back home, we'll start training with that new toy of yours." He finished his adjustments and ruffled her hair in an affectionate gesture. "Now let's find this store. I still need to stitch up that slice on your stomach."

She groaned when she remembered, she hated getting stitches. It was a pain to take care of them. Plus this time there was the added factor of how much skin she was going to have to bear to Kakashi in order for him to treat the area.

"Don't worry; I'll be quick about it." Her teacher said in response to her obvious reaction to the reminder that she would need a part of her skin sewed back together.

However, in Sakura's hormone soaked brain and due in large part to her state of mind the comebacks that popped into her mind at her teacher's last statement ranged from sarcastic to downright naughty. And it was the more suggestive ones that echoed, causing her to choke and begin to giggle hysterically.

"On man, at this rate, I may as well invest in a copy of Icha Icha Paradise and walk around with my head buried in it half the time," she thought to herself as she continued to laugh.

"What's so funny?" Kakashi asked, wondering why Sakura had suddenly been overcome with laughter. He re-ran the last bits of their conversation over in his mind, trying to find the reason. In doing that he realized the most likely reason for her outburst. "You haven't been reading my book have you?" He asked, only half serious. His question only made her laugh harder. "Okay, what now?"

She managed to get herself under control before she gave him an answer, "Kakashi-sensei, you really don't want to know."

He was ready to accept that for an answer. And instead gave her a gentle push towards the shop they were trying to reach

After a few moments of walking they had finally reached the destination that they had set out for before all the delays. But it would seem that Sakura's luck had gotten the better of her once again. By the time that they arrived at the store, it had closed.

"I think I'm going to cry," Sakura thought, "in fact, I take that back. I know I'm going to cry."

And with that she sunk down to the ground in a jumble of splayed knees and her lower lip began to tremble as her eyes filled with tears. She didn't want to cry, but knew that she was fighting a loosing battle.

Kakashi was stuck at a loss for words when he was confronted with the closed sign and the image of Sakura collapsing in an undignified heap in front of it.

"Sakura…," he didn't get any further than that, when she heard him say her name she turned her head towards him and he was smacked with the sight of his student's tears streaking down her cheeks in what was most likely far too many emotions and too much frustration. The scene in front of him tugged his heart in a way that he'd never be able to admit to and still keep is manly ego. So instead he just crouched down next to her and patted her shoulder, not really sure what was the best way to comfort her, he didn't have much experience with overwrought teenage girls.

"What a pathetic sight we must make," he thought.

They did. The sight of a crying girl and a man who was clearly at a loss of what to do was drawing a bit of attention from the surrounding people. One brave woman approached the duo who were camped out in front of the closed store and bent down to address Kakashi.

"Excuse me, is there anything I can do to help?" she asked kindly.

Kakashi turned his head to take in the woman in front of him. She appeared to be middle aged and looked like a mother. That may have been what drew her to the crying girl that was in his company. He decided to talk to her, she just might be able to lend a hand. At this point, if she could help, he was sure that Sakura wouldn't mind him spilling the details of her predicament to a stranger.

"I hope so," he said to her, he then turned to his student, "Sakura, wait here. I'll be right back." He walked a short distance with the woman and in quite tones explained the situation to her, including the story of how he and Sakura had managed to disarm and make possible the arrest of the bandit group, hoping to get a bit of an edge so she'd want to help.

He was lucky; the woman listened to his account of the night's events and didn't even take time to think about it before walking over to Sakura who was still sitting dejectedly in front of the store.

"Come on honey, I think I can help," she said and reached into her shoulder bag and pulled out a ring of keys. In a few quick seconds she had unlocked the door to the shop, stepped in and flipped on the lights. "My husband and I own this place, you're lucky that I left the account book here and I had to come back for it. Go ahead and get what you need. Let me grab something in the back that I think will help."

As the woman disappeared into the back of the store, Sakura wasted no time in zooming down the isles to where the sanitary products were kept. She selected a box of her much needed tampons and was overjoyed to see that in the back of the store there was a small clothing section. Apparently, this town got a lot of travelers and was equipped to provide the things that they might need in an emergency. The clothing area didn't have much, some very basic shirts and pants for both men and women, a few light sundresses, socks, sandals, but most importantly underwear. They were plain white and cotton, but there was a pack of small in stock and she wasted no time in grabbing them, deciding that she could pay Kakashi back when they returned to Konoha.

"Are you ready dear?" The question came from the side of the store where the shop owner (who was Sakura's new hero) was standing with her teacher.

"Yes, I really can't thank you enough." Sakura said, hurrying towards the till at the front of the store. "You've really saved me."

"Don't mention it," the woman said, "Here, take these, it's not much, but they should fit. Your teacher said that all your clothing has been lost. I was going to send them to my niece but I have a feeling that you'll get more use out of them."

Sakura looked inside the bad that she woman held out to her, in it was a few changes of clothing. Nothing fancy: two shirts, a dark green one with long sleeves and a simple black t-shirt. A pair of cropped kaki pants and some black slacks. Simple and comfortable looking and most importantly, no holes from a sword battle with an overgrown ape.

"I can't just take these; I can't afford to pay you for them," Sakura protested.

"Don't worry about it. I can pay," Kakashi said.

"Nonsense, my daughter outgrew them. And I'm sure that you'll get far more use out of them then my niece will," the woman said. "But I will let you pay for those." She took the items from Sakura's hands and entered the prices into the cash machine and displaying the price for the young ninja. Sakura decided not to argue about the clothing and instead handed the money that Kakashi had let her to the shop owner and was handed her change.

"Again, thank you so so much. I don't know what I would have done if you hadn't come along," Sakura said, bowing to the woman.

"Think nothing of it, now go get some sleep," the woman said kindly and shooed both ninjas out of the store and closed the door behind them.

"Let's head back to inn, okay?" Kakashi said.

Sakura nodded her head esthetically and followed the older ninja back to the inn.

When they got back to the inn, Sakura was ready to head into her room and fall right onto the bed. She began to head in that direction, but a hand on her shoulder stopped her. She froze and looked up at Kakashi.

"Sorry, no sleep yet. I have to take care of that injury first," he reminded her.

She groaned, and as soon as he mentioned the wound on her side it began to throb and sting. She couldn't believe that she had forgotten all about the massive cut that graced her side.

"Come with me," Kakashi said and he steered her into his room. Once inside he went to his pack once again and rummaged in it for a few seconds before pulling out a spare shirt and tossing it to her. "Here, go bathe first and you can use that to sleep in. Once you're clean and have changed come back here and I'll stitch you up."

"Okay, I'll be back quick," Sakura said and then she grabbed the bag with her purchases from the store and left for the bathing room at the end of the hallway.

She was back fifteen minutes later with damp hair and wearing his old shirt; it was long on her and trailed down past the middle of her thighs and over her hands. He had once again stripped and was in only his old work out pants and mask. He had rifled through the med kit the police man had given him and managed to find a syringe and a mild anesthetic that would numb the area and make it relatively pain free to sew up. Without it, putting in the stitches would have been painful. And while he had the supplies for the stitches themselves he had been lacking the other supplies.

"Ready?" he asked.

"I guess," she said, not liking the sight of the needles laid out on the bedside table, knowing that all of them were bound for her skin.

"Well then, lay down and I'll give you the shot to numb the area first, it'll take a few minutes to take affect," Kakashi said, motioning to the bed.

"Lay down?" Sakura asked.

"Yes, if I put the stitches in while you're sitting up, as soon as you do lay down they'll tear. So it's up to you, get it over with now or have to do it again." Kakashi said calmly, he had realized that he was going to be seeing quite a bit more of her in a few minutes and he wasn't entirely comfortable with having a barely clothed thirteen year old girl on his bed, he was just better at hiding it then she was.

Sakura knew that he was right and tried to make her movements as natural as possible as she crossed the room and laid on the bed, her head propped up by a few pillows. In spite of her best efforts, her motions were still a little jerky as she lay down. Kakashi gave her a reassuring look before he reached for the hem of the oversized shirt.

"Wait!" She said and shot up. Kakashi gave her a puzzled look when she bolted up and hopped off the bed and grabbed bag that held the things that she had gotten at the general store. She pulled the long sleeve shirt out before returning to the bed. "Look away for a minute."

He guessed at what she was going to do and complied. When he looked back she had the second shirt spread over her to hide her underwear and distinct lack of pants from view and had pulled the shirt he had given her up so that the long sword wound was exposed. He still was seeing quite a bit of flesh, considering how far the cut dipped below her navel. Now that he had a good look at the sliced skin, he was surprised at how long of a cut it was. It stretched from the side at the rib level and continued several inches below the belly button. It would need many stitches and would likely leave a scar.

"This will sting for a second." Kakashi said, picking up the already prepared shot and flicking it a few times before pushing it into her flesh next to the tear in her skin.

She didn't flinch when she felt it prick her but she did draw in a deep breath until the needle withdrew. "You have done this before, right?" Sakura asked, curious to if he had done this many times.

"More times that I've cared to," he said. "Everyone chuunin level and up gets basic medic training. You'll learn to do it too." He lightly ran his finger down her side next to the injury and saw that her nose crumpled slightly, she wasn't numb enough yet. "Once I even had to sew up my own leg. Not pleasant. I didn't have anything to numb the area with."

"Why didn't you have anything?" she asked.

"That kind of thing isn't included in the basic med kits most ninja carry. It's in liquid form and you have to keep it at certain temperatures, not to mention that it needs to be kept in glass phials. To big and to easy to break," he explained. "The kits just have to supplies to do the actual sewing."

"So you just sew up without numbing? Sounds rough," Sakura winced in sympathy, "All those needles going in and out."

He grinned, "Same as getting a tattoo, you don't get a local anesthetic for that you know."

"Yeah, but it least then the area's not already injured," she said.

"Good point," Kakashi conceded.

"Speaking of tattoos, do I get to hear the story of that other one you've got hidden?" She grinned up at him.

"I'd forgotten that you'd seen that one." He smirked, he was surprised that she even brought it up, considering the location of his second hidden tattoo. He ran his finger along her stomach again, this time she didn't react. He did it again, harder this time and closer to the wound. "Can you feel that?" he asked as he tested the area one more time to make sure.

"No, don't feel a thing," Sakura said. "Time to start I guess."

He nodded and reached for the medical supplies that rested on the table. "Let me know if you do start to feel anything."

Kakashi bent lower over her and began to thread the surgical string and needles in and out of Sakura's skin. He tied each stitch off into a knot and then would move onto the next, he slowly began to make his way down the length of the ripped skin. Surprisingly, Sakura angled her head and watched him.

"Find this interesting?" he asked.

"Believe it or not, I do. Call me morbid," Sakura said.

"Not morbid, but maybe I should scrounge you up some books on medical ninjutsu. It takes a good amount of chakra control. You already have that," Kakashi said, weighing the thought in his head and deciding that it would be a good idea.

"Sounds interesting. Do you really think that it's something that I could do?" Sakura asked.

"I think that it'd be right up you alley. I'm not really all that well versed in it though. I'll do my best to try and find you someone who has a little extra time for some training. I'll just stick to teaching you the other ninja arts. And weapons, you've gotten good with those kunai. I think you'll take to the katana quickly," Kakashi said, while continuing to work the stitches down the wound. He was halfway done by now.

"You do realize that once the boys see me with a sword that you'll most likely be stuck teaching it to all of us?" she asked.

"I think that I'll find some way to cope." He paused in his work and grinned at her before turning his head back down to his work. "In fact, it'll be easy compared to ANBU. After I had been there awhile, they put me in charge of katana training. Imagine ten trainees at once and all of them convinced that making it into ANBU put them one step below Hokage. Way too many swelled heads."

"I thought that most ninjas outgrew that after awhile," Sakura said, not liking the idea of having to deal with inflated egos all the way thorough her career.

"Most do, until you get the knocked down a few times by a higher ranking ninja. But you have to remember that ANBU is elite. Only one in a hundred makes it. So it tends to inflate a few heads," Kakashi said, remembering his own training and the people he had worked with while with the elite squad. There were some good memories there.

"I've never met someone in it," Sakura said, raising her head a little more to see how the progress was going.

"In ANBU? You may not know it if you had. Especially if they were wearing sleeves. They wear masks for a reason after all," he said. He was almost finished with the stitches. He was glad, both of them could really use some sleep.

"Is that so? And all this time I thought it was just to make them seem mysterious."

"Smartass." He noticed that she was getting more and more comfortable with him each time they got themselves into one of these situations. He looked on it as a positive side of what were some rather uncomfortable situations.

She didn't reply verbally, instead she stuck her tongue out at her and then let her head rest back against the pillow. The events of the night were catching up to her.

Once again, he just raised his head to smile at her before returning to the stitches. Within a few more minutes he was finished, he cut the last of the threads and folded her shirt back down over the her stomach.

"Let them set for a few minutes, try not to move. I'll be back in a few minutes; I want to check on the boys," Kakashi said. He stood up and left the room. He made his was across the hall to the room where the other two members of team seven were housed for the night. They were both dead to the world, looking as if they were in the middle of a deep sleep.

"Lucky little trouble makers," he thought; ready to go to bed himself. "We're not in a huge rush; I'm going to let us sleep in a little in the morning." Decision made, he made a quick detour to the bathroom before returning to his own room across from the one Naruto and Sasuke shared. When he went inside it though, he found Sakura already dead asleep.

He sighed heavily and thought about waking her and making her go back down the hall to her own room. But that would be cruel, and he didn't want to carry her and run the risk of pulling the stitches to soon, they would be better in the morning. He sighed again, grabbed his weapons pouch and headed down the hall to Sakura's room.

He was asleep soon after.

Neither Naruto nor Sasuke liked mornings. Given the chance, Naruto would sleep late everyday and Sasuke, while more disciplined about getting out of bed, was highly unpleasant to be around until he had eaten breakfast. But it least he got up without complaint.

So when Sasuke woke up the morning after they had set out and saw that the time was much later than Kakashi had said that they would be getting up, he assumed that something was wrong. Because Sakura hadn't come to get them either.

So he did the logical thing in his mind. He whacked Naruto in the shoulder and shouted for him go wake up.

Naruto shot up and looked around frantically for some enemy to be jumping through the walls and bearing down on them, finding none he turned an accusing glare towards his team mate.

"What the hell was that for?" Naruto asked.

"Look at the time," was Sasuke's simple answer.

Naruto craned around and focused on the clock hanging on the wall. "It's late," he observed.

Sasuke just shook his head and got out of bed.

"Where are you going?" Naruto asked, climbing out of bed and following the other boy out of the room.

"Don't you find it odd that it's this late and neither Kakashi-sensei nor Sakura has come to get us? Even if he didn't, she would," Sasuke replied and crossed the short distance to their teacher's room. He opened the door and the two boys went in.

Then they froze.

Instead of finding Kakashi, they saw Sakura curled up in their teacher's bed. And she appeared to be wearing one of his uniform shirts.

"Are we in the wrong room?" Naruto asked.

"No, this is his room; his stuff is all over the place." Sasuke answered, eyes darting around and finding Kakashi's possessions lying around the small room.

Naruto looked around and saw the same things. He blinked, rubbed his eyes, blinked again. As if trying to make the picture change into something else. When it didn't he did the logical thing in his mind.

"WHAT THE HELL?!?!" he shouted, causing Sasuke to wince at the volume and Sakura to wake up, bolt upright into a sitting position and whip her head around in different directions to find the source of the sudden noise.

When her eyes came to rest on her two team mates she did the only thing that she could think to do in her sleep addled brain.

She screamed, loudly. Then she remembered how she was dressed and promptly dove back under the covers.

It was then that Kakashi walked into the room from the one he had slept in down the hall. However, he didn't know that the boys were in the room and he was still mostly undressed, having left all his other clothing in the room with the sleeping girl.

So, he walked into the room asking, "Are you still sore from last night?" Figuring that she had inadvertently banged or bumped the still raw area that had the stitches.

It wasn't the best way to enter the room and he could swear that he heard a sound coming from under the covers that sounded like she had smacked her forehead with her palm, and when the other two members of the team whirled around to pin him accusing stares, he understood why. This was going to take some explaining.

It had been a long night.

And it looked like it was going to be a long morning.