Chapter 15

Asuma sat up slowly, noticing Shizune at his side. Tsunade had insisted on keeping him under her radar for a while, and he didn't like it. At all.



Shizune stared at him. "How often do you smoke?"

Asuma shrugged. "Not much…I can get a pretty good drag off one that's a day old, sometimes."

Shizune sighed. "Please stop smoking."

Asuma shrugged. "Why should I?"

"Because your lungs are deteriorating."

Asuma shrugged again. "Can we talk about something else?"

Shizune sighed, even more heavily than she looked. "Asuma, I wish you would take some things more seriously."

"Yeah, yeah. So do I."


Asuma waited for Kurenai; sure enough, it was only a matter of seconds before she tackled him backwards, and Asuma laughed. "Hyper much?"

"Just happy to see you."

Shizune smiled and stepped back. "Well, I'll leave you two to catch up."

Kurenai nodded, and Shizune walked out, softly closing the door behind her.


Kurenai shook her head. "No word yet. Akatsuki seems to be very good at hiding…"

Asuma nodded. "Well, they are the most dangerous ninja in the known world…"

Kurenai sighed. "They're retards," she spat. "I can't believe-!"

"I can, so calm down."

Kurenai took a deep breath, and Asuma set his hands on her shoulders. "That's better. You need to blow off a little steam."

"I know."

Asuma reached up and gave Kurenai a gentle kiss, trying to bring her temperature down to sub-normal level. "Come on, you're hot when you're angry, but you can't burn down the building."

Kurenai laughed and relaxed a bit. "True. And I'm lucky it's you, otherwise the entire country would be on fire."

Asuma nodded. "So, get me a map and I'll show you one guess of the Akatsuki's whereabouts."


Kakashi collapsed for the second time today.

Tsunade glared down at him, looking exasperated with him.

"I told you so."

Kakashi knelt at Tsunade's feet, clutching at his bleeding side and struggling to breath. Tsunade sighed, leaned over, and picked him up. "You overexerted yourself again, and now look what you've done to yourself."

Kakashi simply waited while Tsunade helped him stand and tried to walk, nearly unsuccessfully. Shizune came out of Asuma's room just as Tsunade walked past with Kakashi. The injured jounin watched as Shizune's eyes widen, and then she sighed with annoyance.

"You brat, you shouldn't have gone after them," she scolded. "Oh, well. Tsunade-sama, just get him off his feet and I'll take care of him."

"Don't kill me."

Tsunade sighed and focused chakra to her arms, then picked up Kakashi and carried him, laid out across her arms, to a room. She set him down in a bed and looked to her left. Sure enough, Shizune was there, immediately trying to close the wound in Kakashi's side.

"You wanna tell me what happened?"

"Not really," Kakashi grunted, "Given that I can't breath."

"You punctured a lung, broke three ribs, and ripped your side apart. What happened?"

"Can't breathe…!" Kakashi reminded her. Shizune sighed and began moving around even faster.

"I'm trying, believe me."

Kakashi didn't seem convinced.

Shizune pulled his shirt off, revealing a long gash across the skin of Kakashi's left side. Tsunade moved around Shizune to Kakashi's head and began absently stroking his spiky silver hair. Kakashi drew another labored breath, and Tsunade reached forward, searching for his pulse. "Shizune…dangerously low…"

Shizune nodded. "Get him oxygen, I'm working on this."

Tsunade settled an oxygen mask over Kakashi's face, praying her could make it. Shizune was working fast, but the wound was deep and…

Tsunade reached forward, green chakra glowing around her hands. She set her hands next Shizune's, trying to heal Kakashi even faster. But it still wasn't enough; Kakashi was coughing out blood, and Tsunade wasn't even sure she could heal him fast enough. Green chakra was being poured into Kakashi's body, but Tsunade could tell he was barely hanging on.

"I never should have let him take that mission," she mumbled. "It was too soon…I never should have let him…"

"Don't cry over spilled milk," Shizune said quickly. "Focus on healing him!"

Tsunade wasn't sure what she should do anymore. This was insanity-and Kakashi wasn't-


Shizune seemed to have found the light at the end of the tunnel-she was pouring even more chakra into Kakashi then ever before. Tsunade began healing the middle layer of muscle, trying to close up the wound faster.

"…Okay, that one hurt."

Tsunade breathed a sigh of relief. Kakashi was back, and if he could mouth off that much, he was fine.

"You constantly get yourself into trouble," Tsunade scolded. "If you don't start being more careful, I'm going to lose you one of these days."

Kakashi mumbled something violent under his breath, causing Tsunade to wonder if he was still sane, and then reached inside his jounin vest and produced a small scroll.

"Mission successful."

Tsunade smiled. "Thank you. But next time, try to get out before the enemy ninja tries to skewer you."

Kakashi sighed. "Be happy. I saved the scroll, didn't I?"

"I want your life more."

Kakashi made a face, but gave no biting remark back. He probably couldn't come up with anything caustic enough that wouldn't qualify as "hurting a girl."

Tsunade grinned. "Little brat."

Kakashi saw it coming all the way down Main Street; but he didn't exactly want to avoid it. Tsunade wasn't that bad…was she?

When Tsunade's lips brushed his own, Kakashi swore he passed out.


Tsunade confessed to having a crush on Kakashi that same hour, and Kakashi took pity on her and asked her out. They ended up with two children, a girl named Michiko and a boy named Ichigo, and Tsunade stepped back from Hokage to take care of them. Kakashi took over for her, and he stayed until he reached sixty. When he finally started to slow down, he allowed Naruto to take over. Naruto, as the Hokage, reminded Kakashi constantly of Yondaime, his lost sensei.

Kurenai did get pregnant, and Asuma was the father. They only had one child, a girl named Sora. She grew up to be a shinobi under Naruto and she eventually became the next Hokage. Asuma wasted no time in eliminating the Akatsuki. The Swallow was more than happy to help him, and Katsu agreed to partner with Sora when Asuma died. When Sora became Hokage, the first thing she did was go to the memorial stone outside the tower and pray that her father was proud of her.

A/N: Well, that's that. I ran out of inspiration, and this seemed like a good place to end it anyway. Wow, all of my fics seem to end the same way… . I'm a really boring person, aren't I? Well, I'll do something interesting over summer vacation, I guess…well, review please, I guess.