AN: I own nothing, make no money, and have no bishis locked up in my closet. Instead I get my enjoyment by using my large imagination to create situations I wish could happen in real life…but alas, it is not so.

So don't sue.

PS: Special thanks to madmiko! She PM-ed me when she found out we could upload documents again, so I can post thanks to her!

…XX:X:X:X:X:X:X:X:X:X:X:X:X:X:X:X:X:X:X:X:X:X…

Kakashi regarded the rather frightened woman in front of him, cursing his persona for this mission and approaching her with a cold disdain under the eyes of the other (real) clients. The proprietor seemed to regard her with a strange gleeful light in his eyes that made Kakashi tense, but he ignored it and walked about her to examine every inch of her shivering body.

Stuck in his persona of a wealthy businessman looking for a relaxing time, he could do nothing that would ease the very real and great fear of the woman. All he could do was stalk around her and take in what would prove useful on the mission when he caught it from the corner of his eye.

The proprietor seemed to smile, though Kakashi was sure this man couldn't smile honestly to save his life, as he was greedy and filthy and lustful.

"We save her for the special ones…have a feeling she'll be to your tastes." And he clapped his hands with his tumultuous emotions.

Kakashi gave him a silent look, noting how the man shifted uneasily and glanced at his scarred eye. Kakashi sniffed and looked back to the woman- he had been sent under cover as a civilian, his hair tamed and pulled into a ponytail and died a graying brown and his sharingan covered with a genjutsu although he left the scar- it was easier to intimidate with some form of suggestion at his violent past.

He sneered and didn't hold it in at the stray thought.

The woman was small and timid, and he could faintly see a scar above the neckline of her kimono…he didn't need to know anything else.

He was on the job.

He was a shinobi.

He had no emotions.

Kakashi cursed silently, wondering if it was ingrained in males to protect females or he was just special.

And he tried to ignore it.

She was pretty enough, and the man he was portraying right now would buy her for the night.

It was with a curt nod of his head and another gleeful (greedy, lustful, sinful, yellow) smile that he gestured for her to stand, tried to ignore her hesitation and the clenching of something in the vicinity of his chest cavity, and brusquely led her down the hall to the room he paid to use for the night.

He quietly let his head tilt back to lean against the door, the woman silently folded on the tatami like a geisha doll as she stared at the floor and he tried to ignore her. There was a quiet sound- cloth shifting against skin, but he hadn't seen her move. He sighed and wished he'd taken up smoking like Asuma had - then he would have had something to do while he waited. Kakashi didn't want to take out his normal habit, not in front of this female, he did not know how she would react but, truthfully, he didn't want her to feel any more uncomfortable than she probably was.

Being bought for the night was worse enough- she didn't look like she was born into this type of work, and even if she was it was also rumored this place didn't treat their staff properly enough for the position to be held in respect like it was supposed to be.

He rolled his eyes up to the ceiling, wondering if the layout was correct, the boss' office should be right under the vent in that corner of the room, beside the bed. And there were no cameras or security measures in place to govern the clandestine meetings…to ensure the safety of the girls.

Kakashi cursed and then the noise came again. This time he dropped his chin so he could watch the woman hesitate and then look firmly to him, her eyes strong like he thought they'd never be for someone in her profession. She briefly pursed her lips before she took a graceful shift of her weight and levied herself up into a standing position- her hands automatically went into the genteel clasped pose.

"Omei-sama will not retire to his money until 0 hours." She looked down quickly and Kakashi watched her swallow. "I would be happy to help; I usually get this room and can't sleep after they've exhausted themselves."

Kakashi tactfully directed his attention to her face, refraining from glancing at the tired bed or commenting on what she did to exhaust them. "You hear a lot then?"

Her smile was grim and vindictive. "Oyabun believes me to be a simple woman; this is why I'm allowed to be the special one." Her eyes were piercing as they stared at him, "he doesn't think it matters."

Kakashi pushed himself off the wall and used the shift of cloth to hide his quiet curse- there really must be something wrong with his heart. "Have you heard of Haka-ishi then?" he settled himself on the zabuton, his legs curled beneath him in the traditional pose as he leaned forward to address her on a more equal level.

Her eyes flared and her mouth opened before her lips firmed into a line and her chin tilted up with disgust. "That vile man comes often. The other girls are frightened of him."

Kakashi raised an eyebrow, wondering why she wasn't.

She tilted her head. "I am not frightened of the man himself, more of the power he believes he holds over me." Her eyes flashed. Afraid it would come true, afraid she would lose all this free will that let her undermine their cozy smuggling ring.

Kakashi choked and then closed his eyes. "You are very familiar with him then," he opened his eyes and quickly spoke before she could rise to her unneeded defense, but she was sitting there and regarding him with calm eyes, dewy but strong. "What business deal were they contemplating in Yongatsu?"

She fiddled with her hands momentarily, her eyes drifting off as she thought. "Yongatsu had the heavy winds, and I could hear them laughing over the howls. They had finally perfected their subduing collar, and could set out to capture kunoichi." Her eyes flicked to him before they looked away and she continued. "It was the next moon that they came back with Omawari-chan."

Kakashi sighed and closed his eyes, "Is she well?"

She gave him an inscrutable look, her eyes narrowed and mouth pursed before long lashes obscured his vision of the dewy orbs. "Omawari-chan couldn't handle it, I am sorry for the loss."

Kakashi blinked; his head tilting forward as he wondered about her lasting so long in a position that obviously led to harsher meetings than the other girls- and yet she had outlasted a trained kunoichi. "Do they usually last longer?"

She shifted and blinked softly, her eyes lingering in the corner of the room – the vent – before she demurely resettled into a traditional pose…trying to reinforce her sense of security. "There are very few who last more than two moons, Omawari-chan lasted almost the length of one, which is average for the woman they bring in."

Kakashi narrowed his eye at her and tilted his chin up to regard her more strongly. "How long have you been here …able to listen in on deals?" He almost rushed to finish the sentence, hoping that she wouldn't break down on him while he still needed the information- his heart clenched at the thought of her actually crying though he ignored that as well.

She pursed her lips in a wry smile, "I have been in this particular room for service for nine moons, before that I had training in the basement under the offices." Her lips curled back into a sneer.

Kakashi swallowed, his tongue feeling thick in his mouth and his mask feeling tight upon his face.

The woman shifted, like she was shifting the actual focus of the conversation, and then she spoke. "My real name is Kagome."

Kakashi stared at her for along moment, watching her hands casually smooth out her kimono and her head tilt in apparent absentmindedness- an act. This was important to her; she wanted him to recognize her as a person. "I am called Hatake Kakashi."

She nodded her head and then it was silent.

They could hear the shuffling of manufactured giggles and drunken men, and Kagome stared stolidly at the door as more than one 'couple' walked down the hall to work for the night. Kakashi watched her with another clench of his heart, his eyes soft before he closed them and focused to hear the room under them, trying not to listen as drunken voices came and went and females spoke with soft voices hiding sobbing catches and screaming hearts.

Finally his eyes snapped open as the room underneath them was cut off from the bar sounds, the click of a door heralding silence and then the shuffling of two heavy men and the clinking of brandy.

A husky laugh echoed strangely up the vent as Kakashi levered himself into an alert position just feet away, the woman still as stone as she listened. His eyes darted to her briefly before he shook his head and focused, now trying to ignore the sense of pain and blood that clung to the area of the room he was near.

He swallowed thickly.

"Are the tricks going good?"

A muffled laugh responded to the mumbled question. "The girls are doing great, revenue went up after the last addition and now we have quite the reputation."

"Ah, sou desu. So we're able to do another go?"

A snicker. "Omawari-chan was very popular."

"Yes; almost as good as your golden girl."

"Ah, none can be as good as her." Another laugh, he was drunk. "The men just love handling her, stupid onnna."

There was the sudden sound of a fist hitting the roof – the floor of their room – and Kagome flinched in shock and disgust away from the focal point before she stilled back into her previous forced position.

Kakashi watched her with heavy eyes.

"Does she have a customer tonight? It seems very quiet."

"Psssh, one scary man; she usually gets them tired within the hour, and they grumble about paying for the night."

The other man laughed. "Good revenue then, she's not so damaged from extended use."

"Ah, and she serves such a good example for the trainees. I swear she's too stupid to realize she can't save them all from their duty- I've forgotten how many times she's taken punishment for the new ones."

Kakashi let his head lean back against the wall, his eyes closing against the sight of the tense woman as she closed her eyes and remained so still.

"Oh? Was Omawari particularly difficult?"

A derisive laugh. "One of our worst- stubborn woman actually thought someone would rescue her. Poor little Ame-chan got another scar for her troubles."

"This is why I love doing business with you, how long did it take?"

"Omawari-chan took less than a week to subdue, with her chakra sealed." A grumble sounded along with the clinking of more brandy glasses.

"Ame-chan put up more of a fight." Rang the cold statement, and Kagome shifted with that soft sound again as Kakashi restrained himself.

There was the content murmur of drunken men reminiscing.

"So we'll be set for the next moon phase, I think the men would like an Iwa kunoichi- they're renowned for their stamina."

The clink of glasses meeting in salute echoed up the vent. "If we get two then they'll be trained in the same time span? The revenue will triple then- will we have enough?"

A grumble. "With two new tricks we'll be able to smuggle in enough and then some- especially if the Cyclops with Ame-chan comes back. She's expensive, but she knows her stuff," a derisive snort, "about the only thing she knows too, stares at the wall half the time."

Kakashi swallowed as his mind whirled, and he clasped his hands in front of his face as he thought. If they wanted to girls trained by the next moon and they needed a week to train, Kakashi had about a week and a half to brief a team to ambush them upon returning to the brothel.

"But she does look so pretty doing so."

Omei snorted. "Good thing, she's got so many bruises and scars it's a wonder she still gets customers."

"Maybe it is because she looks like the needs protecting?"

Kakashi shifted to lean forward, his eyes narrowing as he caught the undertones of the conversation.

"Mah, leave her alone. I can't have you making her angry again; she takes it out on the customers."

He looked up to see a grim proud smile on her painted lips.

"So we'll gather the guys together in a week, make sure that the girls are free to entertain them while they stay. I would like…"

"Ja, everyone knows who you'd like." A laugh, then the floor was hit again. "You hear that Ame-chan! You're claimed next week!" Raucous laughter followed. Kagome stiffened and her lip curled into a snarl as she stared at the vent, her eyes blank and narrowed upon their callousness.

Kakashi swallowed.

Underneath them there continued the sounds of drinking, but it came to bed boasts and lusty exclamations as the two men enjoyed more alcohol and betting games.

Kakashi nodded his head and looked up to Kagome.

She was staring directly at him, and her eyes were hard before she smiled slowly and nodded sharply. "You save those girls for me. I don't think I ever want to see another struggle like Omawari-chan."

Kakashi took in a deep breath and looked at her steadily; his eyes heavy as he watched her stand and smooth down her kimono before she smiled – more gently this time - and walked to the corner of the room.

He felt his heart clench painfully as she arranged the assortment of pillows meant for idle conversations, and when she curled up upon them and settled for sleep he closed his eyes and tried to loosen the tightness of his chest.

He wouldn't want to sleep in that bed either.

A week and two days exactly, Kakashi stood with his team outside the 'respectable restaurant and hotel' they would be casing for the next few days. He was one of the few staying alert during all twenty four hours of the day- the others were mildly disturbed at his interest in a case about a bunch of whores tainting their own.

Kakashi knew better.

He watched as customers came in during the day, looking very respectable, only for the flux to become seedier and angrier as the day wore on into darker colors. He heard the laughter of drunks and the sloshing of their drinks, the singing of the girls as they entertained, and he heard the fear and danger because he was truly listening.

And then he heard Kagome.

"Alright people, it's time to retire for the night- we hope you enjoyed your stay and wish you are coming again!"

A fellow nin snickered and nudged the side of another grinned shinobi. Kakashi scowled and glared at them until they got the point. They settled, a little ways more away from him now, and watched steadily into the night.

It was after 0 hours that the first shadow moved. Kakashi's eye widened as he suddenly let out a shrill whistle- the sign to abort the mission.

There was an ambush.

But it was too late.

Ninja had never expected civilians to be capable of such planning: an unconscious kunoichi was held limply between two burly bouncers from the brothel, two rogue samurai guarding their backs as they slipped into the building, and then there were five more rogues grinning from behind scarred faces as they surrounded his measly team of three.

Samurai were the worst enemy of shinobi- trained beyond natural skills without the aid of chakra; they had become natural opposites and therefore natural opposition- counters and foils to their own strengths and weaknesses. They would have to focus their all on the fight. Kakashi sighed and readied himself to battle against the Oni style user- he had three swords and dagger.

Suddenly it started, and his two partners were grunting under the force of blows. Kakashi scowled as he avoided a pincer strike from two blades directed at his neck, and he swung his kunai in a downward arc, he grimaced at the scratch that was dribbling blood down his arm, cursing the fact that his anbu tattoo was quite visible now that he'd lost a patch of his sleeve.

He cursed again when dirt was suddenly in his eye- the samurai excuse for an opponent was smirking at him- triumphant in incapacitating his sight.

Kakashi growled and charged.

There was a - crash - of kunai meeting sword, a strange echo that told him his partners were still fighting and had not fallen or risen victorious.

He felt - blood - trickle down his temple, and he could feel the tension in the air that spoke of more wounds and struggling fatigue.

Suddenly they were thrown to the ground by an explosion- Kakashi whipped around to watch in horror as a part of the building went up in flames.

Suddenly people were exiting from the remaining doors, their faces panicked- Kakashi's eyes widened as he spotted Kagome, her face calm and stern as she directed the girls out of the brothel and into hiding in the forest, her face firm as she barked out orders and ushered hysterical women away from the chaos of men and blood and fire.

He spared a glance to his opponent, finding him down, before he darted to his contact. "Kagome!" he placed a hand upon her arm to draw her attention, and she gave him a grim smile before her eyes flashed and she was suddenly running forward.

Kakashi spun to see the two bouncers trying to drag away one of the kept women- the kunoichi was thrown over a bulky shoulder and bleeding from the temple. Kakashi snarled and was suddenly charging beside Kagome, marveling at her speed even as she was hindered by the delicate kimono.

Then she had knocked the bouncer over, remained hovering over the weeping woman even as Kakashi tackled the remaining man and took down his considerable bulk to free the comatose kunoichi. They started grappling, and Kakashi cursed the fact that he was now too close in range to draw a weapon even with the kunoichi out of harm's way.

He heard Kagome cry out, and he looked up briefly to spot her retaliating to a punch with a clawed hand gouging out bloody lines in a cheek.

He grinned feral behind his mask, his fingers finally finding the tenkestu points of his nemesis' neck before the man was out cold and Kakashi was struggling to roll to his feet.

Suddenly Kagome cried out and fell to her hands and knees, her head hanging and her hair falling in disarray from its previous arrangement. Kakashi snarled and was suddenly holding a kunai lodged in the neck of her attacker.

She looked at him, her whole body trembling as her eyes blinked away sweat and blood- then she smiled shakily; and he thought it was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen after battle.

He sighed but was startled when Kagome was abruptly standing and in his face, her hand held behind him with a stick from her hair- the strange gurgling behind him caused him to turn around, and he gaped at the sight of a customer with bulging eyes- clawing at the hair accessory lodged into his temple as he slowly fell to his knees.

Kagome panted and fell against his side, and Kakashi barked out a surprised laugh as he sank to his knees beside her, quickly looking her over for any extensive injuries- his heart was beating so rapidly he was surprised it didn't jump out of his chest.

But he needed it still.

Kagome sighed and turned to him, her eyes as gentle as her hands while she prodded some of his cuts and bruises- he could only watch with wide eyes as she demonstrated her knowledge of medicine and murmured and fretted over his wounds. He grimaced when she got to his arm, but she only smiled and held his skin together before raising her other hand to hover over his cut.

He watched her hand light up with energy – something altogether different than chakra – and then his cut was a scar, a fading memory.

His heart was still pounding as she smiled and finally settled, her breathing evening out as she closed her eyes- uncaring of the blood and dirt around her.

Kakashi laughed, more freely this time, and he stood on shaky legs. She reclined beside him calmly, and he watched the fire dwindle under the water jutsu his partners had used before they were approaching him curiously. He smiled, felt his eyes crinkle into his signature lazy content look, and then greeted his partners so they could make a decision.

"The building is gone, and the husks of two men were found in a side room chained to the wall."

Kakashi opened his eye in curiosity and turned to a strangely satisfied Kagome at his feet. She smiled and sighed contently, struggling to stand as she dusted off her kimono. "They were trying to put the girls in the basement."

Kakashi swallowed and nodded. "Then the mission is over- the samurai will be taken by the hunter nin and we can return to Konoha."

His partners nodded, giving unsure glances to Kagome as she stood so stoically under their gazes, and then they were setting off in the direction of home.

Kakashi turned fully to face Kagome, and he watched her sad eyes turn from him to the forest.

His heart clenched.

He sighed and rubbed his mess of hair, his eye squinting at her before he smiled and held out his hand. "You'll come with me, ne?"

When she turned to him, so shocked and disbelieving, he could only smile more and watch as she recovered and took his offered hand.

He held her as she stumbled, she fussed over his wounds; and they completed the trek to Konoha together.

Kakashi sighed and leaned against the doorframe of the kitchen, watching Kagome hum happily as she puttered about the kitchen- it smelled delicious whatever it was.

He grinned at the next devilish thought to enter his head, and he followed through with all the stealth of his profession.

Kagome squealed and jumped when his arms were suddenly around her, lifting her up to spin her around as she dropped her stirring spoon and laughed with him. Kakashi sighed and breathed in the scent of her hair as he set her down, and she turned around in his arms to grin up at him with sparkling eyes and a flush to her cheeks.

"How was the meeting?"

"Ma, usual."

She grinned slyly. "Right. Well then let me cure you from your boredom."

He closed his eye innocently, but then it snapped open when her hands were behind his head, his mask suddenly down around his neck, and she was pulling him down to her forcefully. He slowly let them fall close as she kissed him, and he relaxed completely under the softness of her lips and the swirling of her scent- she smelled like baking and something else that was entirely her.

He loved it.

Just as he was set to push her against the wall, there was something wet on his nose and Kagome was giggling in front of him. He crossed his eyes to glare at the icing standing out brightly against his tan skin.

Kakashi gave a sour look to Kagome.

She suddenly smiled softly and leaned up on tiptoes to kiss his nose, taking the icing away and licking her lips.

"I missed you too." Kakashi suddenly grinned and Kagome's beautiful blue eyes widened before a startled laugh escaped her and she tried to run for the living room. Kakashi lunged forward and caught her up in his arms, and growled playfully as she squirmed and tried to get out of his grasp.

He settled her with a kiss to her forehead, and then he was kissing her lips properly- like he'd wanted to do ever since waking up beside her this morning and having to go to the stupid meeting. She sighed and melted into him, and he groaned as he finally got to press her up against the wall.

He could taste the remains of icing on her lips, and he grinned as he finally realized the smell was cake and sugar- the confections Kagome liked baking for the neighborhood children. He didn't think they'd be getting them this time- he'd found a far better use for them.

All's well that ends well.

…At least in his world.

He wasn't quite sure about the fate of the cupcakes.
.

Pretentious closing note: Kakashi is not MPD- you must realize that he'd be serious on a mission and then his usual happy-go-lucky lazy self back in Konoha- and in love! X