Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto or any of the characters in the series! I simply borrow them to do my bidding is all...
A/N: My first attempt at a humor KakuSaku fanfic. It has no real plotline and I'm for the most part making things up as I go along. To my credit, I do have several ideas in store for it though! Please R & R!
Chapter 1: Blink or Wink?
"So, what do you think they're up to?"
Sakura frowned, her eyebrows pinching together as she peered over at the pair in question. "I don't know," she hummed with a grimace, "it's too hard to tell from way over here..." She and Naruto stared suspiciously into the backs of the two figures, both of them familiar. They watched as the more thickset of the pale-haired duo leaned towards the latter to relate a maddeningly quiet remark.
"Well, if they would just speak louder!" Naruto fumed impatiently, craning his neck in attempts to angle better. His butt wiggled off his seat a whole second before a hand yanked him back down with a hiss, and none to gently.
"Sh!" Sakura did her best not to lose her cool. Lest their currently unsuccessful eavesdropping session be blown. "Stop it!" Naruto looked sheepish as the pair of jade eyes bore threateningly into him.
Ever eager to redirect Sakura's attention, as always, he whined in a deliberate whisper, "But I really want to know what they're talking about!" He breathed an inward sigh of relief as the pink-haired girl's gaze drifted back to the former objects of interest.
"I know already. So do I. But if you go and blow our cover, we'll never get to know why they've been hanging out lately," Sakura reasoned before adding on quickly with a wry smile, "Just think of this as a mission!"
And Sakura couldn't have scripted the results better.
As expected, the self-righteous blonde fell for it, leaning back into his chair, fisting his hands in the orange material of his pants, a fierce scowl on his face. To be honest, he looked constipated. But drawing from past experiences, Sakura knew that he was only carefully thinking.
It would take a while.
Or so she thought. It was then that steaming bowls of ramen were placed in front of the three chunin that Naruto's thinking session quickly evaporated. Short-spanned as ever. Even Sasuke, who seemed to have lost interest in the operation a long time ago, was keen on indulging in his bowl.
"Mmm!" Naruto snapped apart his chopsticks... not that he would be even using them much. "Barbequed pork, eggs, pickles, and those yummy crunchy things! My favorite toppings!" The blonde practically dived head first into his ramen, though not without receiving several disgusted glances from both Sakura and Sasuke.
Sakura rolled her eyes. Naruto had the attention span of a maggot.
Looking back over to the still conversing individuals a couple tables down, Sakura gritted her teeth, now cursing the side of Ichiraku they had chose their table. She would have attempted reading their lips, though considering how she couldn't see through the back of their heads, she immediately dismissed that idea. Oh, how she sometimes wished she'd been born into one of the clans with one of those incredible kekkee genkai techniques like Neji or Sasuke.
But then again, maybe she didn't have to.
"Sasuke!" she chimed, emerald eyes meeting onyx as the said boy next to her regarded her with an arch of the brow. "You have Sharingan!" As soon as the words had left her lips, Sakura wanted to kick herself for how incredibly stupid her little outburst sounded. No duh, he did! Evidently, Sasuke was on the same page as he narrowed his eyes at her.
"I'm so glad you've noticed," he intoned dryly before taking a delicate bite out of his ramen.
Sakura quickly flustered. She hated looking like a ditz in front of this boy! But then, it was hard not to when she felt as though those two dark eyes of his were constantly nitpicking her everything she did and said.
With a small smile she murmured, slightly abashed, "I was wondering, Sasuke... if you could use your Sharingan to read what they're saying?"
Sasuke's disinterested gaze flickered over to the two bleach-heads, where it lingered for what couldn't have been more than a moment. He looked back to Sakura matter-of-factly. "My Sharingan isn't able to read the back of people's heads."
Naruto, bless his heart, piped up through a bite of ramen spraying chunks of noodle and pork all over Sakura as he spoke, "Yeah, well why doncha' go somewhere where it can read what they're saying?" Sakura nodded eagerly as she dusted off the yucky food bits, swatting at one of Naruto's hands as they seemed prone to sought out her own bowl of ramen even in the midst of inhaling his own.
The black-haired boy sighed.
As much as Sasuke made a show of lacking interest, both Naruto and Sakura knew that he was also curious as to why Kakashi-sensei and the one Naruto deemed 'Pervy Sage' were associating lately. And they knew he ultimately wouldn't refuse.
Especially since he was just as pissed as they were that their sensei felt whatever-it-was was important enough to dismiss their training sessions unacceptably early. This had been going on for a couple of days and evidently his students felt that they were fully entitled to know why!
"Fine. I'll do it."
Jiraiya smiled before reaching a hefty hand to clap Kakashi on the back, causing the slender shinobi to sway on his stool in turn. Beaming down at the array of papers scattered over the bar counter in front of him, the sage then shined the passive ninja to a full-blown grin. "I don't know whether or not I should be pleased or worried! I might have some competition here, Kakashi-san, if you should ever decide to get this published."
Kakashi's lone eye peered at Jiraiya inquisitively before it crinkled with a telltale smile. "Do you really think so?" he asked offhandedly, though anyone who knew the Copy Nin would have been able to tell that he was flattered. The old sage smirked, a throaty chuckle booming through his chest as he took a large spoonful of ramen into his mouth.
"Sure," Jiraiya replied with a nod. Taking a couple more bites from his bowl, he then glanced at Kakashi and his ramen, untouched. "Aren't you going to eat that?"
Kakashi nodded simply. The sannin reminded him uncannily of a certain blonde idiot. "Yes. I'm just waiting for it to cool down a bit more." Jiraiya stared at Kakashi's bowl of ramen.
It was frigid.
Other than raising an eyebrow at the peculiar ninja, Jiraiya didn't push the subject. Come to think of it, he had never ever seen this one elusive shinobi eat anything in public or at all for that matter. And he had known him for years and years. Clearly, if someone had made this much effort to not be seen eating so far in their social career, he doubted that the person would want to risk revealing his face now for the sake of ramen. Even if it was wasteful to just let it sit there.
But, if nothing else, he, along with everyone else in the whole of Konoha, knew that Kakashi was an odd person and that his practices should rarely be questioned. Lest they be bombarded with strange if not bizzare excuses.
"I think I'd better get going," Kakashi was saying as Jiraiya next glanced at the jonin. "Would you...?" he trailed off, nodding to the pile of papers strewn before the Toad Sage.
"Of course," Jiraiya nodded, following Kakashi's gesture to the papers, which he began collecting. After no more than just a few moments, he faced Kakashi once more, papers settled on his outstretched hand.
The silver-haired jonin accepted them graciously, tucking the clumsy stack into some invisible cavity within his green vest as he returned the smile. "Thank you for reviewing chapters six and seven, Jiraiya-sama," his voice came muffled as he climbed to his feet. As if automatically, he quickly lodged his hands into his pockets before turning on his heel curtly. "Same time, same place tomorrow?" He paused, awaiting Jiraiya's simple nod before sauntering off.
Jiraiya watched as Kakashi strolled out of the restaurant before smirking to himself.
His expression quickly died off his face with the sudden realization that the contents of Kakashi's ramen bowl had been sucked clean. And, of course, the offending ninja was no where to be seen - once again leaving him with the bill.
And so, Kakashi left Ichiraku, the squawks of a particular infuriated sage ringing in his ears and fueling the bit of briskness in his walk.
Apparently, he had no intention of sticking around to see exactly why the legendary sannin were as famous as they were.
Little did the Copy Nin know, he was being pursued.
Or at least, that's what his stalkers were convinced.
Sakura distanced herself from Kakashi as she tailed behind him down the busy street, though she made sure to stay near enough so she could still keep close tabs. She weaved through passing pedestrians, sometimes losing view of her target until she caught site of the bobbing silver mop floating through the crowd again.
Sure, he seemed to walk at his leisure, clutching that all too familiar orange book he'd read the umpteenth time and his other hand wedged idly in his pocket. But sometimes, but sometimes... she wondered if he was actually zigzagging her through all the people on purpose, intentionally slinking through the tightnit groups of conversing shoppers and vendors.
It sure wouldn't have been a shocker considering how Kakashi lived to tick his fellow man off. Not that it was even remotely possible. There was no way that he could have known that she, Naruto, and Sasuke had all been tracking him since the second he'd left Ichiraku's. Not when they'd sat there and planned this out. Not when it was Naruto and Sasuke who had readily agreed to Sakura's ingenious plan! It was impossible.
As the Copy Nin turned onto another significantly less crowded road without even looking up, Sakura narrowed her eyes. It was certainly remarkable how the jonin could avoid things from something as simple as a pothole in the road to a fist flying for home on his face sans so much as even batting an eye from his ex-rated book.
Perhaps she had once upon a time been impressed by his ability to function perfectly while reading his brain-numbing smut, but now, Sakura found his 'talent' was incredibly annoying. Especially when she could hardly keep on her toes when she wasn't distracted!
Upon spotting an orange blur flitting from the roof tops of one building to the next, Sakura smiled, her gaze immediately scanning the area for Sasuke. She should have known that that boy was too much of a perfectionist to ever allow himself to be seen as easily. Sakura drew in a sharp breath of anticipation, figuring that both Naruto and Sasuke were readying to carry out the next step to their plan.
While Sakura was busy scoping the area for the intended cue, she was completely ignorant to the sudden cease of footsteps before her.
Before she knew what hit her, Sakura's cheek collided into something big, black and green. Stumbling backwards in recoil, Sakura didn't even have to look up to know what she'd bumped into.
Sakura grimaced, one eye squinting shut as she rubbed at her smarting cheek; her other glared into the offending back of the certain silver-haired shinobi she simultaneously dreaded and anticipated.
"Rule number twenty-four, section B, of the ninja handbook declares that a shinobi should always remain acutely aware of his surrounding area at all times no matter his environment," Kakashi chided before peering at her cheekily from behind his shoulder. "I expect you of all people to have known that one, Sakura."
The girl inwardly seethed, but never-the-less Sakura nodded with a knowing smile, "O-of course. Understood, sensei."
Kakashi's eye crinkled as he reached out to tousle her hair, though it did not go without an indignant growl on her part. Heat rushed to Sakura's cheeks while she quickly brushed aside his hand, shaking her head as she waggled a disapproving forefinger at him. "I told you before... I'm not a kid anymore, sensei! So you don't have to go and treat me like I am. How would you like it if I ruffled your hair?" she scolded shortly.
Kakashi couldn't help but to notice how she adopted that all too familiar pose she usually succumbed to when reprimanding Naruto. Her hands resting on her cocked hips, and her shoulders squared up, a curious emphasis on the gentle dips and curves of her slim figure.
"Mm. Well, to be honest, I wouldn't object Sakura. You see, if you stroke me just right, I'll purr like a kitten," he mused, his hooded gaze lifting from his book to regard her with something she quickly identified as a taunt.
Sakura's mind malfunctioned for a moment, her brain hiccupping on her sensei's remark like a record player to a glitch. What the hell did he mean by that? Sakura stared at him, not sure what to do with that last bit. She'd have searched his face for some expressive facial hint, but, as usual, there wasn't much to be gotten from a countenance that was two-thirds hidden.
Damn that mask.
What promised to turn into an awkward silence between them was quickly shattered when the knuckle-headed idiot everyone knew to be Naruto came galloping out of no where - to Sakura's relief!
"Gyaaah!" he shrieked as he leapt straight for Kakashi, who simply side-stepped, letting the boy catapult himself into a heap of stacked crates.
There was a crash. A spray of dust. And then Naruto wheezing in a fit of coughs and sneezes.
"Oh my," Kakashi arched a brow as he glanced at the grumbling blonde tangled in the crates, most of which he'd managed to smash to smithereens in his little bout. "I can see the effects of our training."
"That's the problem," came Sasuke's scoffing voice and three heads turned to see the Uchiha leaning against the pale wall of some old beaten down apartment building. Apparently, like the sharp little tool he was, he'd sensed that the original plan had shamefully fallen apart and decided to come out of hiding. "No thanks to you."
"Mm?" Kakashi hummed as though he had no earthly idea of which Sasuke was referring.
"Don't play dumb, Kakashi-sensei!" Naruto screeched, teetering to his feet and patting down his orange and black jacket before spanking the dirt from his rear. "You've been bailin' on our training sessions a hellova' lot early for the past coupla' days to go and hang out with Pervy Sage and we wanna know why!"
"Yeah, sensei! What's going on between you and Jiraiya-sama?" Sakura questioned.
It was Sasuke's turn. "We saw you exchanging papers with the old man. What were they?"
Three sets of eyes burned fiercely into him. The spotlight was on Kakashi. Again.
"I'm hurt," Kakashi sniffled, pressing his hand melodramatically to his chest. "My three favorite students... my students that I've poured my heart and my soul into raising and nurturing for six long and treacherous years... have not even an ounce of confidence in their poor old sensei?"
His injured innocence act fell on deaf ears. All three of his 'favorite' students droned at the same time, "Nope."
Kakashi frowned as he clenched at his chest feebly. Fanning his face with his book in his other hand, he sighed, "I'm not sure how much more my feeble heart can take of this..."
"Quit acting like such a drama queen, Kakashi-sensei! We're serious here!" Sakura reprimanded shortly, prodding him bitterly in the chest.
"So, there was a reason behind stalking me was there? And I thought my students simply had an obsession--"
"--Yeah, yeah," Naruto interrupted with a grimace, "Don't flatter yourself, sensei! We were going to ambush you and snatch all those papers to see why exactly that you've been sneaking off with Pervy Sage! That is until Sakura blew the plan... her own plan..."
Sakura wanted to crawl under a rock. Cheap shot!
"But anyways! That's not the point!" he continued, being on the receiving end of one of Sakura's signature death glares. "If I don't get any stronger, I'll never be able to become Hokage! And you know that Sasuke-bastard has that whole overly dramatic 'I'm an avenger! Need to kill that certain someone...'-bull going on!"
Sasuke glowered. It was safe to assume that Naruto was going to pay for that one later.
"So, what is it? What's on those papers?" Naruto ruthlessly pushed on, successfully having dug his grave, "Why've you been meeting up with the old pervert? And why're you neglecting my - I mean our training time to do it, hn?"
"Yeah and it better be a good excuse," Sasuke threatened, crossing his arms.
Kakashi opened his mouth to speak, but was cut short when Sakura interjected, "And it better not be one of those lame excuses like you come up with when you're late either. None of that 'Well, I was on my way... when a giant sparrow scooped me up and carried me away'!"
"Oh, so you've already heard that one, have you?" the jonin chuckled, scratching at his temple uncertainly.
Evidently, his students failed to see the humor in this.
"Well... I'll tell you what," Kakashi said, sighing as he held a hand up in submission. His gaze dropped back down to his Icha Icha Paradise edition. "Meet me at the training grounds in front of the big oak tree at nine tomorrow and we'll see if I can't teach you all a new genjutsu. I admit, I'm beginning to run out of things to teach you guys and soon you'll have acquired enough techniques to move on... but, to my credit, your old sensei still does have a couple aces up his sleeve."
If Kakashi had meant to throw them off his trail, he'd done it, because all three of his interrogators' faces lit up at once. "You mean it?" both Naruto and Sakura chirped at once, obviously thrilled. Sasuke remained as he was, though it was easy to see that he was also intrigued.
"I mean it," Kakashi repeated with a nod, leaning over to ruffle Naruto's hair, who in turn snickered, before reaching out to do the same to Sakura. He stopped mid-way as if catching himself in the midst of a bad habit, probably remembering their little chat from before, because he simply let his hand slide back into his pocket.
As much as Sakura was convinced she was too old to have her hair rumpled, she couldn't help but feel a twinge of dissatisfaction when her own hair tousle never came. She leveled a disappointed stare on Kakashi as he turned to leave.
It was then that any sense of let down was obliterated when Kakashi's half-lidded eye swept over her face, that Sakura could have sworn he had winked at her. She was positive.
Was he pulling her leg? Did he even think about things he said and did before he did them? Did he do these things just to see her go red?
Well - to Sakura's dismay - it was working!
But then, she had to give him the benefit of the doubt here. It just as easily could have been her imagination.
Just like it had been her imagination that there had been lewd connotations around his kitten comment.
But then, there was a always a chance that it was merely a misconstrued blink. Yes. An oddly suggestive misconstrued blink.
Now, when any other person winked, there was always a second eye and mouth one could refer to be sure. You know, context clues. But, no. Not with Kakashi. Of course not with Kakashi.
For the second time that day, Sakura found herself cursing that mask of his!
Taking his leave, the maddening silver-haired Copy Nin called behind himself lightheartedly, "Remember, nine o'clock. And don't be late!"
"You don't be late," the three chunin voices chorused venomously, three pairs of eyes following the whimsical sensei until he disappeared behind a street corner.
There was a brief silence.
"Is it just me, or did Kakashi-sensei not answer a single one of our questions?" came Sakura's voice minutes later, irritated.