Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.

Thank you for all your wonderful reviews! As suspected, there will be an epilogue (another chapter basically). I went back to fix some dire grammar mistakes in the past chapters, just to let ya'll know. Well, hopefully I fixed them. This chapter most likely will be fast pace, especially in the romantic aspect, because of the limited number of chapters I have placed on myself. I will try to make it as enjoyable as possible. I mean who really wants a long, long romantic fic anyway?

/runs and hides because of her own long, or planning to be long, Kaka/Saku fics/

He was her father's friend but could he be something more? Kaka/Saku. Not AU.

A Familiar Acquaintance
3 of 3

Three days had passed since she'd last since Kakashi. Two days since Ino basically told her to marry the legendary shinobi and started picking out wedding designs. Really, the girl was too much to handle at times of stress, be it emotional or physical. Sakura remembered back when they were teens and Ino made her a dynamic conditioning schedule. Her reason: she wanted Sakura to maintain a high metabolism saying that she would thank her one day when she was older.

Well, she was older and still couldn't thank her.

"Sakura-chan!" Someone yelled from behind her throwing an orange-clad arm over her shoulder and laughing. "How've you been? Haven't seen you in a couple of days."

"Dobe," another man's voice stated calmly. "She was probably avoiding you."

"Shut the hell up, Sasuke." Naruto bellowed smiling back down at his pink haired friend. "Don't mind him, Sakura-chan, he's only jealous of my superiority."

Sakura rolled her eyes as the two men she had come to know bickered like the two old ladies who taken care of her when she was younger. Naruto and Sasuke, as she had come to know, had a competition going on between them ever since their youth. And while Naruto lost considerably in looks against his dark haired, brooding friend, he sported a great deal of spunk and ability to make friends. There was a bright, red flame around Naruto that drew people in like moths to light. It was a love for life that made people want to be around him even if he could be annoying, as some people put, at times.

Sasuke was different. Popular amongst the women of Konoha, he held nothing of the animation that his blond, hyper friend created around him. He was the mysterious one, the one people tried to reach out and help though he would take nothing of their kindness...or pity as he knew it. Yet despite the coldness in his eyes, there was warmth in them as well. Those he was close with, he protected with a fierce loyalty in fear of loss. When he deemed it proper, he was kind in a silent way. Unlike Naruto who wished to help the world and its problems at once, Sasuke preferred to take it a piece at a time with slow precision. It was as if he stayed behind to pick up his friend's mess that he always left behind - another loveable, annoying trait Naruto sported.

Sakura came to love them both dearly as brothers. It seemed as if the three had meant to be though Sasuke would always deny it.

"Oh, Sakura-chan?" Naruto turned to her with his eyes closed scratching his cheek. "What did you do to Kakashi?"

Sakura stumbled and chocked simultaneously looking from Naruto to Sasuke and then back again. Her mind went blank. She did something? If anyone had done something it had been Kakashi. She wasn't the one who incited a very...pleasant kiss.

"I don't understand." Sakura answered with a smile readjusting her bag.

Sasuke spoke up this time. "Dobe over here thinks Kakashi has been acting..." He was silent for a moment before continuing. "More aloof then usual."

Sakura blinked again. Naruto looked anxious to get an answer. Sasuke looked like he just wanted to go.

"Why do you think I did something?" She asked pointing at herself. Why was she always the first to be chosen in the blame game? For heaven's sake, she hadn't seen the man in three days, and if he was acting aloof well that was usual, right?

"Because Ino told Shikamaru who told Naruto...it just goes on from there." Sasuke said uninterested. "So Naruto assumed that you did something."

Sakura clenched her hands together wishing to draw blood. Damn that Ino! She could never keep a secret in her life. A migraine was coming, Sakura felt its fingers wrapping around her cerebral cortex. Placing two fingers to each temple, Sakura looked at both men and sighed.

"How much do you know?"

Naruto crossed his arms. "Shikamaru told me that Ino was blabbing on about weddings?" He laughed. "Does that mean you're going to marry Kakashi, Sakura?"

"No!" Sakura exclaimed before blushing and lowering her voice. "Really, nothing of consequence happened." She laughed nervously as two sets of eyes regarded her.

"Then why is Kakashi acting..."

"Mid-life crisis?" Sakura blurted out before covering her mouth. Sasuke smirked and Naruto laughed. "But that can't be since he isn't even forty yet, but they say ninja's do age faster than regular citizens because of stress on the mind and body, and..." She was rambling; she knew it but couldn't stop her mouth from forming words. She really hated being nervous...really hated it.

Naruto didn't seem to mind at all. He just stood looking at her and nodding his head seriously as if he were taking notes on what she was saying. Sasuke slowly placed a hand on her mouth successfully silencing her.

"Sorry." Sakura offered laughing at the same time. "And just so you know, I haven't seen or talked with Kakashi in three days."

"Maybe he's planning something." Sasuke offered cryptically before telling Naruto that he would beat his sorry ass the next morning and heading off to an unknown location. Naruto cursed back before bringing Sakura closer to his chest with his one arm around her shoulders.

"Just be gentle on Kakashi, Sakura. He really is a big baby." Naruto laughed at his own joke before saluting her and jumping off in the opposite direction Sasuke headed off to.

The sun was sinking into the western sky littering the city with strips of orange red. A warm breeze played across her face as Sakura walked to a nearby alcove and sunk into a wooden bench. The alcove was meant for pedestrians who wanted to take coverage from the midday heat. It was a rare beauty filled with plants and a little trail heading towards where the bench sat; one tree offered solace from the sun, but for the twilight period of the day, it was more haunting than helpful, but Sakura loved it.

She needed to rest, not to mention think of the conversation that just passed. Kakashi was acting weird basically. Did she really do something? Was he disgusted that he kissed her? Was that why he was now avoiding her? Confusion soon melted into anger. What the hell was his problem? He could at least have the decency to tell her that they couldn't be friends! He was the one who initiated the kiss - he should be the one to pay for doing it, not her. Argh! Men were such a nuisance. More confusing then any woman she had ever met.

"Mid-life crisis, Sakura?" A masculine voice drifted on the wind.

Sakura tensed and looked up only to see Kakashi standing against a brick wall reading an Icha Icha novel. He never glanced towards her as he sat next to her on the bench effectively taking up most of the seat. He probably did it on purpose, Sakura mused seeing how she had to move over a bit to sit comfortably.

"And you said my first name," he pointed out flipping a page with his thumb.

Sakura gulped nervous once again. He was far too close, his voice far too deep and smooth for her to think rationally. Here was a man who kissed her and left her for three days. Not that she searched him out or anything, but that was despite the point. The point was that he was now looking at her with an intense, brown eye as if she were the only person in the world.

He scooted closer again and her breath hitched, but his visible eye was no longer on her because it was back on his novel. Sakura thanked God for that much. At least now she could gather some of her bearings back from his sudden appearance.

"Did I say your name, Hatake-san?" Sakura asked trying to find a way to escape.

It was an impossible task though since he immediately placed his novel down and cupped her cheek in his hand. His eye was that intense brown once again which made her heart flutter with sensation. Sakura managed to smile a little. Keep face, she told herself.

"Sakura," he said in a warning tone. "Stop playing around. My name is Kakashi not Hatake-san."

She tried to laugh - it came out as a pitiful squeak. "I know that. I'm not stupid, Hatake-san."

When nervous, play it off. It was her motto, but Kakashi didn't seem to be enthralled by her method as she. His hand moved from her cheek to her hair brushing back pink locks that had messed with her face before. Sakura held back the urge to sigh in contentment. If felt so good; she had always loved it when her mother use to stroke her hair in effort to make her fall asleep. Sakura did not think it would be a wise decision to fall asleep here, next to Kakashi. Not that he would do anything inappropriate, but she couldn't show him that weakness of hers. It could be used against her.

"Sakura," his mouth whispered against the shell of her ear. She shivered. He smiled and for the first time Sakura noticed that he'd taken off his mask.

Eyes wide, she pulled back slightly to look at him and her mouth dropped. He did not hold the appearance of a late thirty year old but of a young man in his late twenties. He was a different type of handsome than Sasuke was, stone and perfect structure; Kakashi was something more, something delicate yet harsh, a man holding strict features and soft smiles. His nose was perfect, god-like, and his mouth was a little thin yet Sakura could care less. That mouth had done wonders for her, both physically and mentally.

Her eyes roamed his handsome face only to stop at a vertical scar that traced down his left eye to his cheek, and Sakura noted to ask about it later. Father once told her that scars were both painful and precious to their holders. Sakura kept that in mind and heart. Her eyes went back to his lips and she felt a small blush form when he pulled her towards him again.

Kakashi did not smile as he looked down at her, his hand moving back towards her cheek. God, he was devastatingly handsome; Sakura could hardly believe her eyes. This man kissed her! Plain and normal her of all people, disappeared for three days, suddenly showed back out of the blue, and probably eavesdropped on her conversation earlier with Naruto and Sasuke. She should be furious at him, slap him or punch him, but she could hardly muster the strength to breathe much less talk.

"You're just waiting for me to kiss you aren't you, little one?" And before she could answer, his lips were on hers and Sakura wrapped her arms around him.

She felt sinful and utterly wanted. His lips roamed hungrily against her own asking for permission to enter her, and she complied - a little fearfully - but he remained gentle while retaining his own hunger. She moaned against him as he pulled her close to himself, their position awkward because they were sitting on a bench in a public alcove. Thankfully, no one was out on the street. And then as suddenly as it began, Kakashi pulled away breathing heavily with his eyes trained firmly on her.

"Marry me." He said hoarsely. There was no question, so like him, Sakura thought in the mess of her emotions.

Her heart constricted in fear, excitement, and confusion. "Why?"

It came out wrong, but Kakashi didn't seem the least put off by it. She loved him, but he never said he loved her, it could only be assumed, and Sakura did not like assuming anything, especially things that had to do with her. What if this was just so ploy to make sure she was taken care of; she just a burden to her father's memory; a person who Kakashi thought he had to care for?

"If this is some way just to make sure that I'm taken care of..." She began angrily, but was silenced when Kakashi roughly kissed her.

When he pulled back after a few moments, he held her shoulders with a vice-like grip and his eyes burned with an emotion Sakura never saw before - anger. He was anger with her.

"Don't you ever say that again, Sakura." His voice was smooth, cold steel. He held her eyes with his own severe ones, her heart pounding in uncertainly and a little fear, before he leaned his forehead against her own and sighed.

"I love you, Sakura." She gasped willing her tears to go away.

It was all too fast, and even if she loved him, admitted it herself and Ino, was she willing to let him know? She was still young and that made her scared for some reason. He was beautiful, the most attractive man she'd ever known, and everything she wanted. And yet she couldn't stop herself from running.

Too fast, her mind screamed. Too fast.

She was ready for a relationship, but love and marriage? She loved him and was content to keep it that way, one-sided, but he admitted he loved her. She was defenseless and raw and confused. Ino would want to kick her ass for her thoughts.

Sakura buried her face into the crook of his neck while one of his arms circled around her waist as the other stroked her hair. "I don't know you and you don't know me."

His arms tightened around her and he laughed desperately. "Then marry me and we'll find out together, Sakura."

She smirked into his neck. "You won't give up, will you?"

"Never," he said kissing her ear and making her shiver. The butterflies in her stomach her multiplied, and Sakura was not sure if this feeling was of pure bliss or fear or maybe a bit of both. "You love me, don't you?" He asked quietly.

Sakura sighed squeezing her eyes shut. She couldn't lie to him about that, didn't want to lie to him. "I love you. I love you very much."

He kissed her again and when she looked at him her breath was taken away for the second time. Sakura would never forget that smile on his lips until the day she died. It made her melt on the inside and her eyes water in happiness. When he smiled at that precise moment, she knew that she would never want to spend her life with anyone but him. All fear vanished then leaving only bliss in its wake. That smile was all because of her, he would admit later.

"Marry me then." He said again, smiling.

Sakura laughed holding him close to herself. "Ask me another time, Hatake-san."

"Is that a yes?" He daringly asked.

"Take it as you like, Hatake-san."

He growled kissing her eye lids at the same time. "My name is Kakashi, little one."

"Hatake-san," she teased as he took her hand and pulled her off the bench with him so that they were standing face to face.

"I think we know each other well enough, little one. Call me Kakashi." He said inferring to the past moments of intimacy. Sakura blushed prettily.

"Don't you like your last name?" She asked as they walked together down the street.

She smiled with her hands behind her back and a skip in her walk. At the moment, she was so full of life and happiness that she couldn't help but tease a little reverting back to her childhood.

He stopped so that he could grab her from behind in a hug. To be fair to his personality, no one was on the street to see his stunt. "I would like it so much more after your first name, Sakura."

Sakura smiled furtively, her eyes peeking up to his face while a blush was on her own. "Goodbye, Hatake-san." Sakura smirked.

His fingers rose to touch her cheek, and without a thought he pulled her into a chaste kiss from behind. "Not yet, Sakura. I'm walking you back to your place whether you like it or not."

And Sakura found for once she couldn't argue.

A/N: So you are probably thinking, "What the hell kind of ending is that?" Well, there is an epilogue coming up so don't worry. As well, I think I was blushing from the amount of fluffiness I wrote in this chapter. It's probably really corny, so don't make fun of me. /laughs/ I would like to know what you think of this ending though, since it is kind of an ending. And about why Kakashi did not talk to Sakura in three days will be answered in the epilogue.

It's been fun, and I do hope I didn't go over with the corniness. I might as re-write so parts of this chapter. I don't know yet.

Felix02