Of Cherry Blossoms and Copy Cats

Title: Watching From Afar
Pairing: Hatake Kakashi/Haruno Sakura
#4 – Our Distance and that Person
Kishimoto-sensei owns Naruto, no matter how much I wish I did.

a/n: Done for LiveJournal's 30 Kisses challenge. Enjoy :)

He had always been in the background.

When she was a young girl, her life revolved around Uchiha Sasuke.

And then, when Sasuke left, it revolved around training.

And then, when their team went on another Sasuke-retrieval mission (without him), it revolved around Uchiha Sasuke once again.

But maybe, that was his own fault. After all, back when they were still genin, he had, admittedly, paid more attention to the one who he thought had the most potential. This person happened to be Sasuke. So while he knew that Sakura could possibly, if steered in the right direction, become a great kunoichi, he chose to let her fade into the background and concentrate on the dark-haired Uchiha.


He would only admit it years after, but singling out Uchiha Sasuke instead of paying equal attention to Naruto and Sakura as well was a huge mistake on his part.

Disappearing on month-long, consecutive S-class missions after Sasuke left was also a mistake on his part.

But maybe that mistake had helped trigger Sakura's initiative to ask Tsunade for training. Surely, without the Godaime's guidance, Sakura would never have become such an accomplished kunoichi.

Long gone is the bubbly young girl who used to be on Team 7. That girl died the moment Uchiha Sasuke defected from Konoha. But in her place bloomed a strong and willful kunoichi.

It should've been a good thing.

Too bad he fell in love with that strong and willful kunoichi.

He isn't certain when it happened. Maybe it began to start when he first saw how strong and determined she had become. Maybe it got helped along when he saw how her confidence was unwavering, even when she was told that she would never be as beautiful as Ino or as graceful as Hinata or as charismatic as Tenten or as bold as Temari.

Somewhere along the way, Haruno Sakura learned that it was alright to live for herself, and it was not alright to kiss the ground on which her idols walked on. It was around that time that Sakura began to soar, reaching heights that no one had expected her to be even able to see.

But now, it is too late.

Years have passed since Sasuke left Konoha. He achieved his lifetime goal. He returned to Konoha. And once again, he became the person Sakura's life revolved around.

Except this time, it wasn't only she who was revolving around someone. Sasuke and Sakura became like twin stars, captivated by each other, their lives revolving around each other and each other only.

He should have been happy for her – after all, Sakura finally got to be with her first and only love, and Sasuke got a chance to experience love at its best.

But on the inside, he was bitter.

Because no matter what, he would never be able to outdo Sasuke.

Because no matter what, Sakura's heart would forever be out of his reach.

Because no matter how talented, how accomplished, how respected he was, Sakura wouldn't notice.

Just like he hadn't noticed Sakura's hidden potential, how he had chosen to ignore her inner turmoil when she needed him the most, now he had been pushed to the back burner of Sakura's life.

Because he wasn't Uchiha Sasuke, he could only watch as his beautiful cherry blossom was plucked by someone else. But though Hatake Kakashi wasn't the one a blossom named Haruno Sakura chose, the sweet scent of that flower would remain in his memory forever.