Disclaimer: I do not own "Naruto" or Jessica Simpson's "Between You and I."

Sweet Sixteen

Between you and I,
And the stars that light up the sky…

It was a mild, starry night in late March and they could hear the party revelers inside the house as nothing more than a faint buzz of chaos. The pair was too caught up in each other and this slow dance of theirs to pay much attention to the noise or anything else for that matter.

In the midst of the crowd of friends and family, Kakashi had found himself inadvertently seeking her out, always looking for the streak of pink hair. And when he found her in a corner, green eyes sparkling, laughing, and talking to her friends without a care in the world, for the first time in his life, Kakashi saw Sakura as this birth date, this "Sweet Sixteen," had intended…Not as a child or a girl who needed his guidance, knowledge, and protection, but as a young, vibrant woman full of life and her own unfulfilled potential.

Kakashi was taken aback. When had this change occurred? How had she grown up before his very eyes without him taking notice? How could he be so quick on his feet and his wits in the heat of battle, but not so with something like this?

So, he waited.

He waited for her to make her rounds through the crowds talking to everyone in friendly light banter. He waited for her while she embarrassingly took to the dance floor with one male friend and the next and the next. He waited through the night until she was tired and exhausted on her feet, until she finally made her way to him. He made it purposely so, so that it would seem like it had been her decision all along, even though he had his eye on her the whole night.

She acted both surprised and pleased to see him, her eyes shining with recognition and joy. She gave him a big, friendly hug, but nothing more than what she'd already given to her other friends that night. If she had known to look for it, she'd have noticed the change in how Kakashi held her in his arms, but instead she light-heartedly asked him why he was being such a wallflower. He mumbled something about big social gatherings not really being his thing and she suggested, well, if he wouldn't rather go outside then? It was a nice night, after all, and they could both use the fresh air. He smiled, agreeing with her, and followed her out.

Nothing and no one would ever know…

They leaned against the wall of the house, standing shoulder to shoulder, talking about sweet nothings. They talked about the party and the silliness going on, most of it initiated by Naruto. They talked about old times and where the time had gone. Kakashi voiced his surprise at her already being sweet sixteen and his own surprise at recently becoming thirty. Thirty's not old, she consoled him. Thirty is your prime of life when you've got it all figured out. He denied having it all figured out and chanced a lingering, side-long look at her. She caught it, blushed, then distractedly pointed out that she liked the song that was softly drifting outdoors from the party within. Kakashi took it as a cue and offered his hand to her, quietly saying he never had the chance to dance with the birthday girl. So Sakura gave him a sweet smile, placed her hand in his, and let him pull her into an intimate, slow dance that only the two of them would ever know about.

Kakashi held her close, his arms wrapped low around her waist, his nose and mouth ticklishly warm near her ear. Sakura nestled against his chest, her arms entwined underneath his, taking in his scent. Together they swayed to the ballad, not really moving, just swaying. They had never been alone together like this before, yet it felt like an old dance, like they had been doing this their whole lives.

I'll cherish this quiet time we spend...

When the song came to its end, they slowly parted as if waking from a dream. When Sakura looked up at Kakashi, she saw something in his eyes that she'd never seen before…But then her name was being called out from inside the house. It was time to blow out her cake. She gave Kakashi a reluctant smile and he just smiled back, motioning for her to go. She walked in and he followed close behind her, but they quickly parted as she took her place at the center of the table, in front of the cake. The birthday song was sung, she blew out her cake, and then amongst everyone else's cheering and scrambling for a slice of cake, in a moment that only he would notice, Sakura looked up straight at him and smiled. He knew and didn't know what that smile was about, but he secretly hoped it had something to do with the wish she made when she blew out her cake.

Between you and I darling
Nothing could get better baby…