All Fair in Love and War



Sixty-four percent of casualties occur in the long chase home after the mission objective has been completed.

The cut above her eyebrow measured the seconds in solemn drops of scarlet as she lifted her head once more to gasp for breath, shoved rhythmically against his chest with both hands before bringing her mouth down to force desperate, man-made life into her companion's.

Onetwo breath pushpush threefour breath pushdamnyouKakashilivelive

Sixty-four percent of casualties occur in the long chase home after the mission objective has been completed. And they'd been so close to home when the ambush hit too.

Kurenai started to feel the helpless terror every experienced jounin knows and dreads in the face of their partner slipping away in their hands. She was pulling back for more air when the man below her stirred, choked and began to cough violently as clear, red-tinged stream water gurgled from his throat. The relief nearly stopped her hands in their actions.

"Hold still! Hold st--damnit Kakashi, stop fighting me!"

Kakashi's discipline finally overruled instinct and his thrashing stopped, bright mismatched eyes trying to focus as she helped him choke out the water. Eventually the choking died down into sporadic coughs of water and both of them started to really breathe again in the sheer, glorious relief that he wasn't –oh no- going to die. Not today, at any rate.

In the funny way minds work, it is in the post-exhaustion of a battle and basic sweet exaltation in the realization that one has survived a brush with death that one truly, really appreciates life in all its trivial, precious detail.

Still giddy with relief, Kurenai's mind was regaining its well-known calm by appreciating those details such as say, the way Kakashi's damp ash hair was streaked with pink from the mix of their blood and -very casually and definitely without a little ridiculous thrill- how damn right those rumors about the mystery jounin' supposedly devilishly handsome face really was true.

In fact, a little sly voice noted as she panted and knelt over Kakashi's sprawled body to do the customary check up, she was probably ha, the first fema--

Kakashi's eyes rolled up to show its whites and he stopped breathing.

"Wha… Damnit! Kakashi!"

Air, air, he needs air fast and now, she screamed at herself, all composure lost to horrified panic.

Thus, weak with wounds and in the confusing aftermath of a recent battle, she lost her judgment to see the logic in a repeated lapse of breathing as unlikely and acted rashly, which was a completely normal and moreover, innocent thing to do.

…At least, that's what she tried to persuade herself (and later, others, who conveniently didn't seem to understand) on the following... event that happened next.

It took her all of three seconds, in her panic, to find that the mouth she was trying to force air in was not quite as limp as what she was accustomed to. In fact, it was surprisingly persuasive in its skill- taking wicked advantage of her unsuspecting open mouth to plunder with easy dexterity with his tongue. Warmth from their proximity and the male, Kakashi scent of metal and earth enveloped her— and she was lost in the unexpected haze of warm pleasure and female arousal. There was a rumbling chuckle from Kakashi as Kurenai responded instinctively and unconsciously leaned down unto him.

Long fingers suddenly found themselves entangled in her inky hair and pulled her firmly into a deeper kiss, and she was hazily thinking he tasted of metallic copper and mountain snow when reality whizzed past them with an explosive tag attached.

((Later, Kurenai would ignore her ash-haired companion for the rest of the short flight home, despite that grin and his deliberate forgetting of not putting on that damn mask again.))

Kakashi started and jerked away, lone black eye still cloudy with desire.

((Later, she would curse and have to resist the urge to bang her head- her previously sensible, rational head!- on the nearest tree whenever she walked past a stream, which Konoha's forests suddenly seemed flooded with.))

The sharingan, perpetually bright with unblinking vigilance, found the source of the hissing.

((Much later, in a bar and speaking with the mournful gravity of the willingly drunk, she'd explain with explicit detail to an amused Anko what really happened in that mission and oh gods, he was hot and damn, that man could kiss and yes, of course he was better than anyone she'd ever kissed before why do you ask?))

Kakashi swore.

((Then it'll turn out that Anko actually was Yours Truly in a terrible, evil disguise and even her best friend was helping That Man. He'll grin that lazy grin of his and say why thank you he was flattered, no he wasn't doing this to torture her and hey, before she killed him maybe they could start over again. And then while she was trying to sort it out in a sluggish fog of alcohol, he'd show her what he meant by staring over again (certainly not the whole relationship; he'd spent years building it up in the reluctantly careful way keen bachelors do) and finally, finish what he'd been previously interrupted in.))

But right now reality was interrupting in the form of a gleaming kunai, which was hastily pulled out of the ground beside them and thrown back by Kakashi.

Dazed and more than a little bewildered, Kurenai watched, disconnected, as if a judge at one of the Jounin examinations—Kakashi scrambling up, dragging her by the arm through the stream she'd just fifteen minutes ago been dragging his limp body through, rolling and ducking under the cover of bushes. The explosion behind them rained burning leaves.

It was perhaps the noise more than anything else that jolted everything in a roaring rush and then she was back, shaking her arm from his and giving no more than a curt nod to his assessing glance.

((It wasn't romantic. It wasn't even the slightest dreamy. They were both dripping and shivering and bleeding basically acting on sheer adrenaline and instincts alone, she remembered later.))

But then, battles were always ugly.

It was only in the middle of her finishing the last hand symbols of a fatal genjutsu when she had finally, resolutely recovered from her more flighty emotions and got a hold on the impassive jounin front she was famous for. How dare he, the voice of Righteous Indignation fumed. Assuming things like that!

Sensing rather than seeing his eyes on her back, she summoned up all her willing resentment and turned, ready to blast him for his unprofessional behaviour.

"Kakashi, how could yo--"

Then her breath caught.

Kakashi was grinning; one eye curved in that familiarly languid wink and a gloved hand rubbing his smooth chin ruefully.

His mask wasn't on.

((Cheater, she thought crossly, and ignored the breath caught in her throat. Just like the last time. But then this second kiss was better than the first, if possible, and she decided magnanimously to let it pass. Just in case the bar closed early, at any rate.))



incredible the amount of attention a mask gets, really


For Mature, who requested an appearance of either Kurenai, Gemna, Kakashi or Shizune.

Yes, I'm back after a nice long hiatus! Originally started off as a 200 word drabble but got… out of hand. I seem to be afflicted with comma abuse, long sentences andlots of general confusion in format again. GRR. This fic needs concrit and beta-reading, and a lot of it methinks and I'd be much obliged if you could spare me some of your thoughts.

To speed up finishing off everyone's requests, I'll be doing about short drabbles or so (which will hopefully not go off without me again) with one of Naruto 20 themes in mind. This one initially had the theme of (19) Cavities, can you believe it.

Many thanks for all feedback! XDD