Last chapter. This one gets a little sketchy, but trust me, this version is a lot better than the original plot twist I had planned. Tell me how you like/dislike it.
Disclaimer: Starts crying "I WANT KAKASHI!!!"
When Kakashi came to his senses, he was no longer in the den. In fact, he was no longer on the mountain at all. He stood up and surveyed his surroundings. All around him, sinister looking gray trees stretched to the canopy. Dappled light fell to the loamy floor, and had he not felt that someone or something was watching him with murderous eyes, it would have been a wonderful spot. The air was cold and stale, and no wind blew through the leaves of the trees, giving it an utterly lifeless feel.
He spun around slowly in a circle, noting that the flat forest floor seemed to stretch out forever, fading into darkness near the horizon on all sides.
His training had taught him to keep silent in such situations. A small noise could alert anyone to your presence, especially when the only noise in the strange place was his soft breathing and nervous heartbeat. That, paired with the gut feeling that Kia would not be able to hear him no matter how loud he called for her, kept him silent. At least for a second or to.
"Kia!" his voice rang out through the trees, becoming slightly muted as the soft loam swallowed his call. "Kia!"
Kakashi spun around at the deep growl that bubbled behind him. Standing not three yards away from him was the largest, blackest, most menacing wolf Kakashi had ever laid eyes on. Or dreamt about. Or, even if he had thought about one, imagined.
"She's always been safe. Stubborn, unhappy, but always safe."
"W-wha… who…" and then the great creature shifted. A shadow or essence of him seemed to lag behind, creating a momentary black outline of his former position. Chakra. A lot of chakra. Very black chakra. Kakashi surveyed the huge wolf, feeling dizzy at the sight. Wait a second. The tails that swayed behind the black giant didn't all go away when the streaks dissipated. Three large black tails swayed lazily, dragging about their black outlines.
The three-tailed wolf demon laughed.
"Well, at least you aren't that moronic."
"You mean, that seal on Kia's arm…"
"Is a chakra seal, used to keep my power in check. You should have listened when she didn't want you to touch the seal. Now you are locked in here with me." He smiled menacingly. "What fun."
"Then she's a…"
"Jinchuuriki. Yes! Very good Kakashi! You're catching on. I only said that I was the three tailed bijuu about a minute ago," he said with mock gentleness. Suddenly he snarled. "However, you weren't very smart when you ignored her request, or when you chased her down in the woods, or when you let her put herself in danger to save you. You were down right idiotic when you tried to let her deal with her family when she was exhausted, and it was by no means alright when you took her for your own."
Kakashi's shock was replaced with nervousness as the Sanbi snapped at him. He needed to find a way out. Now. Who knew what happened to Kia when he broke the seal. He cursed at his childish curiosity. It could have gotten her killed! But then… the wolf demon spoke in a confusing manner. Had he wanted to hurt the copy-nin, he would have done so earlier instead of lecturing about… what was he lecturing about?
He was mad a Kakashi because he had endangered Kia.
"You're not like the others, are you?" Oops. He didn't mean to say that out loud.
The demon looked at him with silted golden eyes.
"No. I'm not like the other bijuu because I have a pact with my pack. I protect them. Also, I am not like my pack because I am much less forgiving."
With that, the black wolf crouched down and lunged. Kakashi didn't even have time to blink before the great beast was on him, and he was thrown into blackness again.
The second time he pulled into his consciousness was much more relieving than the first.
"Kakashi! Kakashi!" Kia was crouched over him, wrapped in a blanket. She was shaking him hard, and tears streamed down her face. "Kakashi! Wake up!"
He coughed slightly and opened his eyes fully.
"Heh. Sorry about that. Curiosity killed the cat. I guess I'm a pretty lucky guy."
He sat up and she knelt across from him, head down and shoulders shaking slightly.
"Gravekeep told me that there was a hidden power in you. I just didn't think it was a bijuu."
She sunk lower on her knees at that.
"I-I'm sorry. I-I meant to tell you. I just- I'm so sorry. Please, I can understand if you no longer care about me. Just please, please don't tell the villagers. They'd never let me back. Please Kakashi…"
She kept going, talking with her head down in respect, shoulders shaking with sobs. Kakashi was watching with an amused look. She looked cute when she babbled, but it was up setting her. He sighed inwardly and did the only thing he could think of to shut her up. He kissed her. He wrapped his arms around her tightly and pulled her up to him. Then he kissed her.
He stopped after she had relaxed. Well, ok. He stopped after they had both relaxed completely, she had stopped crying, and he was short of breath. Pulling back from the kiss, he held her close, with his mouth by her ear.
"Kia. There is no way in hell I would leave you because of that. Do you know that you're the first person I've ever told that I love them?"
"What? The Sanbi? You're not him. He's just overprotective, which is good, because I am too. Besides, one of my students is the jinchuuriki for the kyuubi. I know how to deal with nasty demons, and yours isn't even all that nasty."
He yawned. Luckily, the whole ordeal hadn't taken too long. There was still plenty of time until morning, and he needed it. Noting the dark circles around Kia's face, so did she.
"You'll have to be extra careful though. It's sort of ironic, actually. My long-term assignment until my two pupils are finished training is to train for a confrontation with a group called Akatsuki. They're goal is to find each bijuu and use them for power. It kills the jinchuuriki when they take the demon out of them. Just promise to be safe, and to not tell anyone else." She nodded.
"Good. Anyways, you smell too nice for me to leave." He did and inner jig as she smiled against his neck. "Come on. We both need some sleep." With that, he curled her up next to him and tugged the blanket over both of them, so he could feel her soft skin against his, and fell asleep to the sound of her steady and content breathing.
He awoke in the cave with a start, panicking at the absence of her warm body against his. To his relief, she was sitting in at the entrance to the den, watching the sun as it peaked up over the mountains.
He silently walked up to her and sat down behind her, wrapping his arms and legs around her still naked body. She arched back against him and tilted her head back. He kissed her parted lips until his stomach interrupted him.
Sheepishly, he reached for the pack and pulled out some dried strips of meat. Not much, but it was better than nothing, especially when she was frustrated by tearing up the chewy meat. She sat in the nude and tore at the stringy strips, growling softly at it. She only looked up when he started to laugh at how she was, in fact, very doglike. She smiled, blushing when he stated this, and he was relieved to see that she was much more beautiful when happy.
They got dressed and she led him around on a higher route to the Main Den. It was just a coincidence, she stated with a grin, that it was also the route to the natural hot springs. It was not a coincidence when Kakashi tripped and grabbed out for Kia's hand when they were at the edge of one of said hot springs when she was tentatively checking the temperature, especially because he had already taken off their clothes and put them on a high and dry rock shelf.
He discovered she was ticklish as he washed her down. Not something that would be forgotten.
When they had dried off enough, they dressed again and set off for the main den, bumping into Asuma and Kurenai as they hit the main trail. The embarrassed couples stood, awkwardly studying each other's damp, just washed appearance. The men averted their eyes to the ground, blushing. Kia and Kurenai quivered with silent laughter and shook their heads.
"We won't tell if you don't," offered the Leaf Village kunoichi.
"Deal," laughed Kia.
When they set out later with a group of wolves and villagers, the shinobi decided to stay for a while to help rebuild the village. To save themselves the commute, the wolves slept out in the village park at night. Kakashi left his window open.
Within a week, the dams wand canals had been repaired, and houses were quickly being built with materials the wolves brought in from the mountain.
On their last night together, Kia lay next to Kakashi, blinking away silent tears. Unable to hold back his own, Kakashi lay by her side, trying to absorb the picture of her beautiful face into his very being. They said goodbye that night, and in the morning they waved cheerfully to each other, thanking the gods for the miracle of masks.
Kia walked endlessly that day. She avoided any contact with living beings, and had no destination in mind. At last, her feet brought her to a halt at the Northeast Den.
She took a deep breath and entered. Tears came to the corners of her eyes as she took in her surroundings. The pot was still lying next to the fire pit and the blanket lay crumpled in a corner where they had left it. On the fur mattress lay a small, brown package. She hesitated, but picked it up.
Gently unwrapping it, she revealed two notes and a leather collar. She picked up the collar first. It was thick and black with silver stitches, and many small seals were etched in it. It had a small silver buckle, and a silver tag with 'Kia' engraved in it. She flipped it over to the inside, revealing a silver plaque. She tilted it in the light to read.
"You are never alone and always loved. Never let anyone call you a 'stray'."
She smiled and picked up the first note, which explained the many seals on the leather strap. It must have taken hours to complete.
She picked up the second note and slowly read the distinctive chicken scratch.
"I love you, Kia. I know I may not have the chance to see you often, and I know the village and your pack need you, but please, when I am not called out on field missions anymore, and when your people and your wolves are safe and can get by without you, please, Kia, will you-"
A tear fell on the last two words and Kia put the collar on. With purpose now, she headed to a cave system that she knew well.
After giving his report to the Hokage, Kakashi walked into his apartment and shut the door behind him. He leaned his back against it and slowly slid down to the floor. He rested his head in his hands and remained there until he remembered that Mr. Ukki needed water. He slowly got a glass and poured it onto the slightly withered leaves. He dropped the glass on the window sill beside it and slumped onto his bed.
Why did I leave her there? A small tear squeezed out from his scarred eye as he stared blankly at the ceiling.
All the way home he had faked a good mood. His squad-mates had seen right through it, but that didn't matter. He didn't want to be convincing to them.
He called in to Leaf Village Head Quarters, telling them he would be out for a few days for personal reasons. Naruto and Sakura weren't done their training yet, so no one would miss him.
The second morning after his homecoming, there was a knock on his door.
"Mail for you, Kakashi-san!"
He rolled out of bed and reached for the door. Along with his usual junk letters, bills, and catalogs that he would never read, pay late and throw out respectively, there was a small brown package. His heart skipped a beat.
"Calm down," he told himself, "it's probably nothing."
But it wasn't nothing.
A silver chain and dog whistle sat on top of two notes.
He pulled out the whistle and turned it slowly in his hand. Tiny seals were intricately carved into its side, with "Only Yours" written on the back.
He reached for the first note and glanced at it. He would read about what the whistle could do later, but there was only one thing that concerned him now.
He took the second note up with trembling hands and cautiously broke the seal on it. He closed his eyes and held his breath instinctively. When he could bear it no longer, he looked at it. One word, one syllable, one sweet answer.
He reached over to his phone and called the Head Quarters.
"This is Kakashi. Yeah. Call in and tell the others that I'll be there today."
He slipped the chain under his vest and walked out the door, his mask barely covering his smile.
Finished! I hope you liked it, I know it ends without really ending, but that's what the sequel will be for. As for the Sanbi, I think that a turtle is lame. Xif you don't know what I mean when I say turtle, you haven't gotten that far in the series, or you forgot Sanbi is a turtle demon in the manga/animeX Wolves are much better, so I made akatsuki make a mistake and the wolf is the real Sanbi. They don't call these fanfictions for nothing.
Please review and give me advice for the next story, or just editing this one.