Well, this fic is uuuuuuutterly bad writing to me, but I felt funky writing a pure romance. I'm more comfortable with violence.

Shukaku: Daaaaaamn straight.

Yeah so...anyway. Help a violent girl feel more more comfortable with her romantic side-

Shukaku: pretends to hurl

AHEM...and comment and review on this fic. Thanks.

Shizune knelt down to pick the red and brown mushroom and add it to her collection of herbs and medicines. She had some time off and she enjoyed walking in the woods. It was actually a random decision she made to turn the excursion to a medicine collecting one.

The summer weather was cooling down as it turned into fall. The leaves were not yet changing however. She walked deeper into the forest. Under a great oak, she sat her basket down and slipped her sandals off. The cool moss under her feet tickled and felt soft like a carpet. This was her sanctuary away from Tsunade's irresponsibility and away from work. Nature could be the most forgiving friend she had.

Behind her tree she heard a twig snap. Instantly, she grabbed a kunai from a pouch on her hip and tensed up into a crouch. A young man coughed painfully and stumbled into view. He was holding his ribcage, blood staining his shirt. He fell to his knees beside her, apparently unaware of her presence and simply lay over a large knotted root. He was motionless for a few minutes. Shizune didn't move, still unaware of whether or not he was dangerous. He gave a few raspy breaths and tried to support himself to move. He looked up and Shizune gave a small noise of shock.

A man with broken circle rimmed glasses looked up at her with slight alarm. They stared at each other for a few short moments. He sighed and smiled. "Shizune. Long time no see…"

"Ka…Kabuto!" She fell back and scampered to get away from him but he made no movement in response. He only watched. "If you're here, then…"

"Orochimaru is not here. I can move and live away from him, you know," he coughed. A pain in his ribs made him coil up in pain. "Ah…though I'm not really illustrating that now." He groaned and swung his legs over the root and fell to the same side that Shizune was on. Kabuto lied there motionless, only breathing.

Shizune gripped the kunai in her shaking hand. She was uncertain what to do. Here was her enemy lying by her needing healing and mercy but the question floated around her mind, did he deserve it. She could kill him in his weakened state easily.

"I was just thinking…that we're… a lot a like. We both serve on of the Legendary Sannin. They both need us as their right hand often to get the dirty work done," he said in barely above a whisper. "Sure…they could survive without us but we serve them willingly believing that their faults are too basic for their greatnesses to overcome…How…pathetic we are…" he paused, to cough. "How pathetic we are to love such selfish people."

Again he fell silent but this time Shizune approached him to feel his head and examine his wounds. "You're cold. Broken ribs. Several puncture wounds. It seems like you were caught off your guard and in a previously weakened state…"

He didn't answer but he did watch her. He expression did not say whether or not he trusted her to treat him. It was blank and weak.

Her hands were warm against his cold skin. She removed his shirt and ripped strips out of it to make bandages. She worked with surgical precision to heal his wounds. Her chakra sutured wounds and sped healing. The medicines she has picked earlier would help numb the pain in some areas.

Kabuto took her wrist firmly in his hand. She looked surprise at this action and seemed to await an attack but instead he pulled her down to his face. "The bandages are too tight, don't you think?"

"Well, if you want to start bleeding again then yes. Stop complaining and rest. The pain will subside if you relax." She stood up. "You don't need me anymore. You're skilled enough that you can probably take care of yourself by tomorrow."

"Don't leave me, Shizune… Just sit here for a little while, tell me what's going on in your life," he asked, eyes still closed.

She looked down at him at first hesitant to go but she knew that this was her enemy. "I'm not going to help you spy." He didn't say anything in response. She returned to the ground and sat beside him, pulling her knees up to her chest.

He looked peaceful, almost angelic. His shattered glasses were folded neatly beside him as was his Sound village headband, now scratched and worn. His body, well-toned and muscular betrayed the bookish image that he might give off. She took the outer layer of her kimono off and covered him with it.

"Thanks…I was getting cold," he murmured. She smiled. " Hey, do you … This is going to sound strange, but I'm only curious, do you have a boyfriend?"

"You're right, that is strange. No, I don't have time for one."

He opened his eyes and smiled. "Babysitting a legend is full-time job, isn't it?"

"It certainly is. Tsunade's quite the gambler."

"Orochimaru gambles but I dare say he opts for higher stakes." She nodded. "I cook for him too."

"Ah, I don't have to but I do that too. Um… Out of kindness."

Kabuto shifted his weight uncomfortably. "Kind but cruel. The bandages on my chest are too tight, I'm bruised you know."

She pulled her kimono back and fiddled with the bandages. "A medical ninja such as yourself should be a lot tougher than you are."

He smiled took a deep breath. "Well, doctors are often terrible patients." She moved to cover him out but he stopped her again. "I'm still cold…lie beside me."

"Wh…what!" Her face burned. "I've her of sleeping with the enemy but you have go to out or you mind."

He gave her a gentle tug. "It's not like your boyfriend will mind and I have just as much to lose but Orochimaru finding out as you do. Maybe more. Men don't understand feelings like women do."

"I'm not going to-" Somehow Kabuto found enough energy to sit up and kiss her on the lips. He turned his head and coughed.

"I don't have the energy to try anything. It'll be strictly platonic."

Shizune looked around the forest, afraid that some bird would find them and tell the rest o f the world. Slowly she slipped under the kimono with him. She stared up at the canopy of the trees, every muscle in her body tense as a bow. Kabuto slipped in hand in hers and squeezed gently.

"I don't bite unless I'm told to…Relax."

She swallowed hard but did not relax. She was lying, hand in hand, with the assistant of her bitter enemy. She was literally sleeping with a snake, she thought. She ventured to look at him. His eyes were still closed. He thumb ran up and down the skin of her hand.

"Let's date," he said suddenly.

"Date? You move fast, don't you?" She gave a nervous laugh. "And I don't think it'd work between us."

"I know…but for now…let's be together…And pretend that it could work." She tightened her fingers around his hand and continued to absorb the gravity of the situation. "Let's pretend that we'll return to Konoha and I'll take you home and we'll sit together like this and nothing in our worlds will be wrong. I'll buy you things and you'll cook for me instead of Tsunade. One day we'll get married, and have three kids, they'll become medical ninja's just like us. We'll make a practice. We'll be the best in all of Konoha, won't we?"

Shizune moved closer to Kabuto's warm body and rested her head on his shoulder. "Yes." He turned to her and pulled her close to him. He smiled kindly and touched his nose to hers. "Um…pla….platonic?" she pleaded.

"We're dating remember? What's wrong with this?" He forced her to rest her head on his and simply held her like that before his arm relaxed on her waist.

"Kabuto?" He didn't answer or move but the gentle rise and fall of his chest, his slowed breathing, told her that he was asleep. The thought to escape entered her mind but so did his words. "We're dating….what's wrong…with this?" She smiled and put her arms around him and closed her eyes.

The chirping of morning birds woke Shizune the next morning. She sat up and looked around. The glasses, the headband, and Kabuto were gone. He basket was overflowing with herbs and her kimono had been replaced on her body. She wondered if she hadn't dreamed the entire encounter. Oddly, tears welled up in her eyes and her nose burned with oncoming tears. She pinched her cheeks and shook her head break her mind of the irrational sorrow that suddenly overwhelmed her.

"I should return to Konoha. Tsunade will worry," she said to no one in particular. She gathered up her things and headed home. She opened her door and dropped the basket at the table. She sat down on her couch and stared out the window, thinking of her 'dream' with Kabuto. "We'll have three kids. Oh man, I must be working to hard." She stretched and decided to make breakfast. When she entered the kitchen, she almost fell on the floor. Wrapped in cellophane was a plate of pancakes, bacon, and eggs. Next to the plate were a red rose, a note, and a pair of broken, circular rimmed glasses. She picked up the note and the glasses. Flipping it open, the read the note:

"Next time I stumble half dead into Konoha, I'll give you a visit. Take care of Tsunade, Legends are nothing without the people who support them.



She smiled and placed the card in her pocket. She unwrapped the pancakes and licked syrup off her finger. "I have a boyfriend." She mused.