A/N: Hey you guys! Glad to have you all back again for this final chapter. See the bottom note for more info on this series - you probably already know what I'm going to say. Anyway, let's get this one wrapped up shall we? Enjoy!
Sakura and Kakashi spent hours with Anko on the floor of the forest working on her, getting her put back together enough to travel home. She would in no way be completely healed, but she would be able to be transported carefully on Kakashi's back. Luckily for them, no reinforcements from Kabuto's barracks came after him, or gave them any trouble. Kabuto himself lay exactly where he fell. Eventually Kakashi got up from where he and Sakura worked on Anko to stretch his legs. He looked over at Kabuto and said, "I should kill him."
Sakura didn't even look at him. Instead, she kept working on Anko. She asked, "Are you sure?"
Kakashi looked at her and said, "Did you not see what he did to Anko? What if he comes after her again? He needs to die."
Sakura turned and looked at the heap of Kabuto and said, "If you're sure."
Kakashi walked over to Kabuto. He looked down at the nasty little fuck and felt his anger begin to boil again. Then he put his hands in his pockets, and looked at him for a few minutes more.
Sakura watched as Kakashi stood there and looked at what was left of their enemy. Then suddenly Kakashi turned and walked away from him and away from Sakura and Anko. Sakura asked, "Kakashi? What's going on?"
"You've decided not to kill him then?"
"Not exactly. If there was a way I could resurrect him, I'd kill him again. He's already dead."
Sakura said, "Oh," and she began to tend to Anko again.
Kakashi called back as he walked away, "I'll be back. She's ok right?"
Sakura said, "Sure. Go take a walk. But don't go far."
"Right. Call if you need me, or if her condition changes."
Kakashi walked away to try and deal with this new development in his life. For the first time in a very very long time, he actually cared enough about someone to love them. It was pretty hard for him to accept, and he was trying to figure out how to deal with it. It wasn't a bad thing; he liked how it felt, but the pain of seeing that person he loved suffer so much was almost too hard to handle. He understood completely what Anko was feeling when he came home practically dead. He thought to himself, if she felt then like I do right now, maybe she loves me too. Kakashi realized that he liked that possibility very much.
Sakura was exhausted. She'd used a huge amount of chakra just keeping Anko alive. But when Sakura saw Anko open her eyes and actually focus on her, Sakura could have jumped over the moon. And when Anko could speak, Sakura forgot how tired she felt. It was always a thrill to her when someone came all the way back from the brink of death, because of her.
Anko looked at Sakura and said slowly, "You're amazing. Damn my jaw hurts. Wasn't Kakashi here or did I dream that?"
"Oh you didn't dream it. He's just gone off for a little walk. I think it was a bit much for him to take seeing you in the state you were in. I've never seen him so crushed."
Now he knows how I felt Anko thought.
Sakura put her hand on Anko's jaw and pumped in some healing chakra. Then she said, "Kabuto broke you up pretty badly. You had multiple broken bones in your ankle and foot,"
"That happened when he used some kind of scalpel chakra on me. He blocked my kick."
"Ahuh, and you had a broken scapula,"
"He turned his fist into something like a sledge hammer and clobbered me."
"Ahuh, and then there's your skull."
"Broke that too huh?"
"That's why you were conscious, yet unconscious. You were paralyzed inside your own head."
"So that's what it was. I could faintly hear you two speaking, but at times the words didn't make sense. I couldn't tell what you were saying most of the time."
Sakura lowered her hand and looked at her, "Then you didn't hear what Kakashi and I talked about?"
"That you love someone? Was that it?"
Sakura, didn't want to tell Anko that Kakashi loved her, so she said, "No. Something to that affect, but it wasn't me. Here he comes now. Kakashi! Anko's awake!"
Anko turned in the sitting position she was in and saw Kakashi stop in his tracks. She smiled at him and thought he really is here, and if he wants to be my "friend" again, I'm not going to let him go.
Kakashi saw Anko sitting up, and broke into a loping jog. He was so relieved when he got to her, seeing her sitting up, eyes clear and back in the land of the living. You didn't leave me after all. Not yet at least. Kakashi still didn't know whether she might want to continue their "friendship" or not. He'd have to ask her, and soon. He also had a few other things he needed to tell her.
Anko smiled up at him. He squatted down and looked at her. He wasn't sure what to do, he wanted to pick her up and carry her home and have crazy sex with her, but he wasn't sure she wanted that anymore. He waited and watched for any clue that would tell him if she wanted to continue with him or not. After a few moments, he couldn't stand it anymore and reached his hand up and cupped the side of her face.
Anko closed her eyes and let him touch her. This is so right. I was an idiot to push him away. He really does care. I'll just have to learn to live with the fact that we're shinobi, and enjoy the time we can be together.
Kakashi looked at Sakura who happened to be watching what was going on with a dreamy foofy look on her face. He turned to her, glared at her and made an almost imperceptible movement with his head that said, "Beat it," to her. She said, "Oh, yeah," and she turned and began to walk away, giggling slightly.
Anko and Kakashi both watched Sakura walk away. When she was a respectable distance from them, Anko turned to Kakashi and thought it's now or never! She reached up with one hand, yanked down his mask, threw her arms around his neck – even though her shoulder hurt like hell – and kissed him.
Kakashi had his answer even though he never asked a single question yet. Things were going back to the way he liked them. The way he loved them, and her. He would have to tell her about that whole love thing, but it could wait a little longer.
When their kiss ended, Kakashi gently pulled her to him and held her tightly. He didn't want to let her go again. He'd almost lost her – for good. He had to let her know, so he said, "I get it now. I know what you meant. When I saw you when we got here, I felt it. I felt that hurt. I get it now."
Anko nodded. Then she said, "That doesn't matter anymore. I've been thinking. I'd like to make a deal with you."
"A deal? How so?"
"Here's the deal. You promise not to get killed, and I promise to be waiting for you when you get back."
Kakashi grinned. "Ok. That's fair. But I've got one for you too then. You promise not to get killed, and I'll make sure I'm always there for you."
Anko smiled back at him and said, "I think it's a deal."
"Definitely. So that means we're going back to the way it was? The whole, "friends with benefits" thing?"
Anko was quiet a second and then said, "Oh, I don't think so."
WHAT?! was all Kakashi's mind could scream.
Anko looked at the shocked Kakashi and said, "Sorry, but we are SO much more than friends."
Kakashi chuckled and after pulling his mask back up he reached out and pulled her to him again.
Sakura peeked from behind a tree and giggled. Kakashi-sensei is in love with Anko! And from the looks of it she's kinda crazy about him too. That's good, those two need each other. She began to walk back toward them, and she said, "Anko, you should be good to travel soon. Want to try and move around a bit? Just go slowly. You still need a lot of taking care of."
Kakashi got under her arm and said, "That's where I come in. My turn to take care of you, and oh the plans I have for you. Up we go." He stood up with her and said, "I seem to remember someone helping me up like this when I was healing. I think a bath followed shortly afterwards."
"You remember correctly," Anko said, "But I don't think any baths are around here. Just get me home and take care of me."
"What's in it for me?" Kakashi asked her.
Remembering what he said to her when she asked the same thing, she said, "I'M in it for you."
He smiled under his mask and said, "That's all I needed to hear. Now come on, get moving."
Anko elbowed him in the ribs and said, "Man you're bossy when you're the nurse! Maybe I'll have Sakura come take care of me instead of you."
"Ok, but will Sakura do this for you?" Kakashi leaned over and kissed her on the neck.
"I don't think I want Sakura to do that for me. I guess I'm stuck with you."
"Yeah, you are. More than you know."
And the fun and games began again.
After a bit more resting, some serious flirting, and a fair amount of naughty conversation, Anko climbed onto Kakashi's back and they headed back to the Village Hidden in the Leaves. Kakashi was one happy man, for the first time in as far back as he could remember. Anko was glad they were back to the way they were best – sharing each other's benefits, but this time, a whole lot more than friends. She held on to him tightly, giving his ear a nip once in a while, as they made their way home. Kakashi made sure to give her thighs a suggestive squeeze now and again, just to let her know what was in store for her when she was well again.
Sakura noticed their obvious play and thought to herself I have never seen two people who belong together more than those two.
As they traveled Anko watched the trees go by, and thought to herself can I really do this? With him? I know it won't be easy, but a deal's a deal. She leaned forward and bit the back of Kakashi's neck, letting him know that she'd keep up her end of the deal, if he'd keep up his.
A/N: So there you have it. Finito. I hope you enjoyed it - it was great fun to write. Review please!
NOTE: Now, I had said at the beginning of this story that this was the end of the series. But after I wrote this and went through it and asked for "the gang's" honest advice, (after giving them a sneak peak of the ideas I had) I've decided that there will indeed be a 6th Anko/Kakashi story in this series that will deal (but we just finished that one! ahem . . .) with what they do on the way home, and what happens when they get home. Don't forget, no "i love you's" have been exchanged. Will there be? That's for me to know and you to watch for. Check my profile for when the next one will start. Thanks so much for reading and reviewing and a special THANKS A BUNCH to Lira W.M, Michel Hazard, Seresid, AngelofContemplation, and MeatwaD9021 (who has the greatest pen name EVER) - you guys are THE BEST! With that, have a good one and I'll see you soon!