Disclaimer
For the last time in this story: no, I do not own Naruto.


Epilogue

"Finally back home," Mitsumi murmured happily, stopping in front of her apartment with Sasuke. The shinobi smirked and wrapped his arms around her, then said gently, "Too bad, I was enjoying the time alone with you."

Mitsumi laughed softly, then pulled away from him and headed towards her room. The trip hadn't been too long from the forest to Konoha, but Sasuke had still refused to tell her why he had killed everyone in the village. 'Too bad, I guess I'll never know,' she thought, waving at the shinobi goodbye as he turned around and left to get changed himself.

Her apartment was cool, welcoming, but Mitsumi didn't intend on staying there long. She only took the time to grab a quick shower, and then she headed back outside. The sun greeted her and she smiled in happiness as she made her way down the streets towards Sasuke's house. The trials were finally over, and she now could start relaxing again. Well, until Sasuke's next training session.

"Hey! Mitsumi, wait a second!" a voice rang out from the hospital's doorstep.

The brown-haired girl stopped and looked to her side, then rolled her eyes. Kakashi was hugging Motoko goodbye, then murmured something that made the woman start to laugh and nod. Finally, he left her behind and walked towards Mitsumi.

"Wow, did I actually see you without your Ichy Ichy Paradise, Kakashi? And with the same lady as last time? You and that medic-nin should get surgically attached," she teased, smiling happily at seeing her older friend.

Kakashi ignored the joke and pulled out a headband from one of the pouches in his Jounin jacket, then handed it to her. Surprised, Mitsumi opened her mouth to speak but he cut her off and said, "Sasuke told me about it, I'm glad you made it alive. I also heard you two are in a relationship, congratulations!"

Mitsumi's face took on an even happier tone as she tilted her head and tied the headband around her neck. "Thank you, Kakashi," she simply answered, unsure of what to say.

But then the Jounin tilted his head in thought, as if he had something to tell her. Finally, he spoke up and said, "Since you both are together now, I was wondering if you'd like to stop training with Sasuke. Your status will probably make your training lessons suffer, you should get a new teacher."

Mitsumi was slightly taken back by the question. It was true that she probably would have problems focusing on her training now, but she and Sasuke had done it before. Couldn't they do it again? Yet things had definitely changed since before the trip to Suna, and she had to throw that into the equation.

It took her a few minutes to make up her mind, and Kakashi patiently waited for her to come up with a clear decision. "Yeah, I think it would be best if we'd stop training together. But I certainly won't stop hanging around him, that's for sure!" she said, trying not to look unhappy at her resignation.

Her answer made Kakashi laugh, his uncovered eye shining mischievously. Mitsumi caught the mysterious look in his eye and narrowed hers, then asked, "What's going on? Why are you looking at me like that?"

Kakashi then stretched, almost lazily, and said, "Well I guess there's no reason for me to hide it now. I requested that you'd be trained by Sasuke. Tsunade refused bluntly, but I begged her to reconsider. It took a lot of time and a few bottles of Sake, but finally she accepted."

Mitsumi blinked, remembering the time when she had begged Kakashi to let her train with someone else. But he coaxed the Hokage to do otherwise? "But… why?" she asked him, blinking in curiosity.

Kakashi shrugged, then turned around and started to walk away. Once he was a few feet away from her, he turned around and called out, "Because I knew you two would get hitched together."

Rolling her eyes once again, Mitsumi broke into a smile and waved goodbye to the Jounin. She didn't know whether it was true or not, but it didn't really matter to her. The girl started to walk again, but then someone behind her cleared its throat.

She stopped in her tracks, wincing slightly as Sasuke's voice rang out teasingly from behind her. "So I guess I'm not that good of a teacher, hm?"

"Nope," she teased right back, starting to walk again. He easily caught up and she slid her hand into his as they walked together. "I just thought it would be easier for us to stay together this way instead of training," she explained quietly.

Sasuke smirked slightly; she was still trying to justify her acts no matter how hard he tried to make her stop. "I'm glad you decided to stop. I hated being a teacher anyways," he answered.

Mitsumi laughed as she remembered their first session together. She then allowed her mind to drift as they quietly walked together.

'I'm so thankful I met you, Sasuke… I don't know what our future will be like, but for now I guess I'll be content with spending my time with you. We'll take it a day at a time,' she thought to herself, but then she stopped and tugged on his sleeve. The shinobi looked down at her curiously, and she asked the same famous question.

"What happened in the village?"

Sighing, Sasuke looked up at the sky for a while. He seemed to be thinking deeply, but Mitsumi didn't want to rush him. Finally, he returned his eyes to her and said slowly, "I thought you were dead."

Realization slipped in the girl's mind as she nodded slowly. So he had slaughtered an entire village thinking they had killed her. He had done that for her, out of anger and sorrow.

Because he loved her.

Smiling, Mitsumi leaned over to kiss him. He gladly met her halfway and kissed her back tenderly, loving the taste of her warm lips against his. She then wrapped her arms around his neck as her mind began to float again. 'Thank you, Sasuke. For everything. I know I'll be fine, as long as you're by my side, as long as that fire's still burning in your eyes.

The fire of love.'

The End