A/N: The following contains material unsuitable for young viewers and scenes of a sexual nature. Viewer discretion is advised. (In other words, please take the rating seriously. I don't give my fics the highest rating for giggles.)


Chapter One

It had been decided the previous day that they would all assemble by the bridge at nine o'clock in the morning before heading out on their A-rank mission together.

At ten o'clock, three of the four team members arrived from three different directions. The fourth was unaccounted for, but that was to be expected. His name was Hatake Kakashi, though most people simply knew him as the Copy Ninja. His team mates just referred him as 'late'.

"He's late again, you know."

"I know."

"He's always late."

Eleven o'clock rolled around, and Kakashi was still late.

Sakura leant against the wooden railings along the bridge, watching the reflections of the scant few clouds above her ripple across the surface of the river. Sasuke propped himself along the railing next to her, facing the other way with his eyes closed and his arms folded. Sakura estimated his saint-like patience would last for another hour at least before he would explode with the true frustration he was probably feeling. Then he'd start ranting that they were wasting precious time waiting for their leader when they could be honing their skills as ninja.

Naruto, on the other hand, had no compunctions in trying to hold his impatience inside. "Where is he?" he moaned, dangling over the rails on Sakura's other side, hammering them with his fists. "He's never usually this late!"

Sakura sighed, hardly bothered about the mission enough to feel as incensed as Naruto. Honestly she was more irritated at his constant pacing and inability to stand still for longer than two minutes. "He's probably forgotten again," Sakura said flatly, chin propped in an upturned palm. "He's probably fallen asleep reading his book like last time. Someone should go check on him."

It was a hint, and not a particularly subtle one. Naruto suddenly went uncharacteristically still as he gazed off into the dark shadows of the houses along the bank, apparently too preoccupied with his thoughts to have heard her. Sasuke just didn't move or make a sound, ignoring her completely.

"Fine," she said with an annoyed grunt. "I'll go."

"Thanks, Sakura-chan!" Naruto cheered as she pushed away from the railings and began walking away.

"Check his apartment, Sakura," Sasuke called.

Boys! They were the ones who got impatient as hell when Kakashi didn't turn up, but they'd rather sit by the bridge and do nothing than fetch him themselves. Sakura rolled her eyes disgustedly, annoyed at the entirety of the male gender right then. Trust Kakashi to delay a simple A-class mission. The man was a downright scatterbrain.

Kakashi's apartment was in one the oldest districts of Konoha, where the houses were aged and cheap and patched up with all sorts of odd materials that everything looked like patchwork. New collided with old in an stranger conglomeration of spare parts, but the effect was quaint. It looked nice and cozy. Everything was built close together and on top of one another, with tiny little gardens fenced off with bamboo – and if there was no room for a garden, there were simply potted plants lining the doorways. Everyone seemed to have a cat on this side of Konoha, as they could be seen either roaming around constantly or draped over someone's porch or window sill, sunning themselves in the shafts of light that broke between the narrow gaps at the top of the buildings.

Kakashi didn't have a cat, to the best of her knowledge, and despite his natural affinity to canines, Sakura thought he would get along fine with a feline. They would be very alike; lazy, independent, clean, and liable to sleep all day if given the opportunity.

Feeling no need to rush on any of her lazy teammates' behalf, Sakura stopped at the vending machine at the end of Kakashi's street. She punched in the code for a can of hot chocolate and leant against the glass panel to drink while looking up the road to Kakashi's apartment complex. She'd visited a few times in the past, so she knew which one was his window. It was obscured slightly by washing lines and communication wires, but she saw at that moment it was open, meaning he was probably home. Mr Ukki was waving gently in the breeze.

"Unbelievable," she muttered to herself, taking another sip and closing her eyes. The warm day and the sleepless night had left her tired and a little irritable. She had no doubt that when she went up there she would find Kakashi asleep on his sofa with a book over his face. If she was lucky, she might catch him with his mask down.

But it wasn't that kind of day. She'd known from the moment she'd banged her elbow on the doorframe on her way out of her apartment that morning that it was going to be a bad day. In any case, she just wasn't in the mood to see anything in a positive light until she had a decent night's sleep.

Finishing her drink, she crushed the can and dropped it into the bin next to the vending machine and then started up the gentle slope towards Kakashi's building. She didn't bother ringing the bell. His buzzer had been broken for the last three years and he had yet to bother fixing it. If anyone wanted to see him, they had to climb up onto the fire escape and knock on his window.

Sakura didn't bother taking the steps. She just hauled herself up in true ninja style and stepped across the metal grating to Kakashi's window. Her hand caught the frame and she opened her mouth, about to call out to him.

Her heart stopped and her voice died.

She didn't need to call him as he was pretty much there in front of her, on his bed directly beneath the window. And he wasn't alone. On her knees before him with her face pressed into the pillow was a woman, groaning loudly every time his hips pushed against her. Both were very much naked and too involved with their activity to have noticed Sakura, which was quite a blessing, as Sakura didn't think she could move now even if they looked up and saw her.

Sakura didn't dare breathe. Her eyes were riveted on Kakashi, on his lean, defined frame – on his hips that flexed languidly against the woman. She was crying out, murmuring "Oh god, oh god!" over and over again into her pillow and pushing back into him, as loud as he was silent and as slim and feminine as he was solid and masculine. It was disturbing, watching something so raw and intimate as this, but Sakura couldn't say it wasn't mesmerizing.

Kakashi only had to lift his head to see her, but his eyes were clenched shut in concentration and pleasure. With a jolt, Sakura realized he wasn't wearing his mask. His face was exposed to her hungry gaze, and she took in the sight of a straight nose and pale, full lips that were parted slightly as his breath came in shallow pants.

With another jolt, Sakura realized something else. She knew the woman. Kimura Yoshi. Mrs Kimura Yoshi – wife to one of the more renowned members of the Kimura clan. Not a powerful clan, but fairly rich nonetheless. Everyone knew that the clan married more for looks and money than skill and talent, and Kimura Yoshi was no exception to this rule.

Sakura knew she should leave, but now she was too afraid to move. She only had to step the wrong way and the whole platform she stood on would creak, alerting Kakashi to her presence. No matter how preoccupied he looked, he was still a ninja.

Their movements were speeding up. The woman's gasps were shifting into hard cries as Kakashi threw his head back and drove into her faster and more ruthlessly than before.

It was too much for Sakura to watch. Unwittingly she stumbled a step back, her hand catching hold of the iron rail behind her. The metal loop of her ring tapped against the rail with an audible ping.

Kakashi's eyes snapped open and fixed directly on her face.

Sakura couldn't move.

Suddenly the woman was crying out, writhing and shuddering and clawing at the pillow beneath her. Almost in the same instant Kakashi's eyes slid shut and his mouth opened in a quick hiss, giving her a split-second glimpse of a slightly crooked canine. His back hunched and he bent over the woman, hands gripping her hips so tightly he left white marks as he began pumping in a final broken rhythm.

Feeling returned to Sakura's body in a rush of heat, flushing over her face and through her belly. She turned immediately and leapt over the railing to hit the ground with a clumsy thump, having to whip out a hand to keep from toppling over. Then she ran, not stopping until she had skidded around a corner and sank into a closed shop doorway with a hand over her mouth and her eyes squeezed shut.

An air conditioning unit hummed directly over her head, blowing heat down around her shoulders, but Sakura still felt the cold sweep of humiliation and shock. Kakashi had seen her seeing him doing that

It was all Sakura could do to keep from running home that very moment to pack her bags and move to another continent. Perhaps it was just her complete and utter bewilderment at what she'd seen that kept her from doing anything more than leaning there against the rotten wooden doorframe, her mind caught in a loop like a broken record, repeating what she'd just seen again and again.

She forced herself to breathe, trying to push the images out of her mind. It wasn't that it disgusted her. If anything it was just confusing. It was strange to see Kakashi in a completely unguarded moment when he was acting so un-Kakashi-like. She had wondered in the past if the man possessed a sex-life, but she'd usually come to the conclusion that it was too much of an effort for such a slow, apathetic and lazy man.

But even cats could be heard yowling with passion at night. It shouldn't have shocked her that Kakashi really did have a sex life. He was human too after all.

Even so, Sakura wished she hadn't been stupid enough to try and barge through the window of an adult man's bedroom, thinking he would be innocently asleep on his sofa and not even remotely considering the possibility he was fucking a woman on his bed. Sakura may not have been the one caught naked and in the throes of orgasm, but she had a feeling that she would be coming out of this as the most embarrassed party.

Why wouldn't it leave her head?

No matter what she looked at – the trees, the houses, the people walking past her or the blue, blue sky – her mind's eye was focused intently on what she'd just seen. She could see two bodies moving in unison, hear the cries of a rather happy woman and the soft groan of her sensei as he went over the edge. The pit of her belly tingled alarmingly, making her whole body shiver with awareness. Sakura wrapped her arms around herself, trying to push all the thoughts and feelings out of her with sheer physically force.

"He's going to kill me," she whispered in mortification to no one but herself. If he didn't kill her for catching him in the act, he'd certainly want a word with her about Kimura Yoshi. Up until five minutes ago, Sakura had thought she was a respectable, woman happily married to one of the richest men in the village. If Sakura let word get out that she was taking it doggy style from the Copy Ninja, there would be trouble. Of course, Sakura had no intention of running her mouth off about other people's business, but Kakashi wouldn't know that.

Still, the prospect of running away from Konoha to keep herself from facing him ever again was entirely too tempting, if not a little silly. She knew she couldn't run away, and she knew she'd have to face him at some point. It would be better if she just went back to the bridge and pretended it had never happened. If he said anything, she would just brush it off with a laugh and apology, saying it was her own fault for not trying the door first and hope to high heavens that this didn't damage their relationship.

Numb, despite the warm day, Sakura began making her way back to where she'd left the boys. She couldn't get naked Kakashi out of her head, but that was to be expected, so she stopped bothering to suppress the images. But more importantly, she couldn't help but wonder about how happy that Kimura woman had sounded.

Frankly it wasn't fair. Sakura had never gotten to a point with any of her previous boyfriends where she'd felt like screaming "Oh god, oh god!" Certainly not with her current one anyway. The most she ever felt like sighing to him was, "Is that it?"

Either Kimura Yoshi was an easily pleasured woman, or Hatake Kakashi knew how to please. And for a brief, disturbing moment Sakura imagined herself to be in that woman's place, feeling Kakashi pounding into her at just the right speed to make her cry out in the same kind of pleasure.

Sakura didn't realize she'd arrived on the bridge until Naruto's hand waved in her face and she started guiltily as if she was worried he'd read her thoughts. "Hellooo? Sakura-chan? You in there?"

"Stop it." She pushed his hand away, stress and shock making her snappy. "What?"

"I said, did you find him?" Naruto repeated slowly, looking worried for her.

"Ye – no. I mean, yes." Sakura floundered helplessly, not sure what to say that wouldn't make them suspicious. So far, not so good. "I mean, I found him. He was at home."

"Let me guess," Sasuke drawled from exactly the same position she'd left him in. "He went temporarily blind when he woke up this morning and decided it was best to just stay put and wait for help, but his vision mysteriously cleared up just moments before you knocked on the door?"

This guess was probably based on the fact that last week Kakashi had said 'momentary deafness' was the reason his alarm clock had failed to wake him up.

"Y-yeah," Sakura said, forcing a laugh. "Something like that."

"Well, is he coming?" asked Naruto with what Sakura felt was a poor choice of words.

"He should be. I think," she murmured, moving to lean on the rails to hide her fiery blush.

"He should be? You think?" Sasuke echoed. "Did you tell him we were waiting or not?"

Sakura was momentarily lost for words. If she told them the truth that, no, she hadn't actually said anything to him, then they would demand to know why she hadn't been her forthright self in admonishing their sensei on his tardiness. If she said, yes, and Kakashi didn't show up, it would only come back to bite her when the boys went and told Kakashi off for not only forgetting their mission but for forgetting Sakura's reminder.

Sakura's mind wasn't quite steady enough at that time to handle such a complex set of probabilities to find the least incriminating answer, so it was almost a relief to hear Kakashi's voice.


A relief in the way that it made her blood run cold.

"Kakashi-sensei!" Naruto howled. "Where have you been?"

"Well, I was on my way here at eight-thirty but I came across this hungry little kitty cat and thought I'd better take her back home to feed her," Kakashi said in a rather unconvincing manner.

"Liar!" Naruto shouted, then darted a confused look at Sakura when he realized she hadn't chorused the accusation with him.

But Sakura couldn't call Kakashi a liar… because she didn't think he was actually lying – just speaking in metaphor. Besides, Sakura couldn't even look at her sensei, let alone speak or yell at him. She'd need at least three years intensive therapy before she could manage that again.

"So mistrusting," Kakashi sighed. "Well, are we going on this mission or what? What are you all waiting for?"

The boys grumbled at the injustice of it all and took lead position. Kakashi mooched after them. As he passed her, Sakura chanced a look up at him, certain that his attention would be on his path.

But no. He was looking at her. Her heart stopped for the second time that day as his brief glance flicked over her. He didn't look angry, or embarrassed, or even amused at her expense. Just curious. Sakura swallowed hard, feeling more naked and exposed than he'd been earlier. Then Kakashi's gaze moved on and he was calling to her over his shoulder. "You coming?"

Really bad choice of words, Sakura mentally whimpered as she trailed after her team.