A/N: R&R please... btw, this is based on a prompt - a blind date. might have a collection of it, say 19 more stories? we'll see.
Disclaimer: Naruto and other related characters are not mine. FAN-fiction, dude. and it stays that way.

Chapter 1: A Blind Date

She took out the short, red dress she had bought. Her viridian eyes took in the delicate flowers printed on the dress, wistfully rubbing the fabric between her fingers as her mind wandered off to the event that would require her to wear it. She had bought the dress upon the subtle suggestions of her well-meaning gray-haired sensei. She bit her lip. Somehow, the word 'sensei' did not seem suitable for him anymore. Kakashi-sensei, or should it just be Kakashi? She bit her bottom lip. Her mind was drifting off dangerously close to him. They were no longer connected by the student-teacher relationship anymore. In fact, she pondered further, it was more of a senior-junior relationship. Her intensive training with Tsunade-shishou had been very fruitful when she became a chuunin. She merely had to train harder and take the next level's examinations to be jounin – the same rank as Kakashi. Perhaps she should just call him Kakashi-kun? It sounded just right. With that finally settled in her ever busy mind, she turned her thoughts back to the problem at hand.

It was Ino's idea – to get herself a date and going to the party. She would rather go with Naruto or Sasuke, that is, if they were available in the first place. Unfortunately for her, they would rather date each other. It was that obvious. Funnily enough, years of being a missing-nin had certainly changed Sasuke's view regarding his friendship with Naruto. Naruto was only too happy to accept Sasuke back into the fold to notice the former's changed attitude towards him. It was amazing how dense Naruto could be when it came to reading body language and the signals one can exude. Her own childish infatuations for Sasuke had somewhat watered down to love meant for friends, perhaps to only love him as a brother.

She sighed. Her problem was still there. She had no date. Well, it was no one she knew. Her friend's attempts at setting her up with Lee were infuriating, though it provided much amusement to her friends. At least Kakashi was on her side. He had helped her escape several of Lee's more persuasive advances, though it meant that she was again and again stuck at footing the bill for her sensei. No, he wasn't her sensei anymore, she told herself as she shook her head gently. She certainly hoped that Ino was not being her usual humorless pig-self by setting her up with Lee. If she did… Sakura grinned wickedly. She would pay dearly.

She glanced at the clock. It was late. Great, now Kakashi's habit was growing on her. With a flurry of movement, she dressed up as fast as she could. Her make up was minimal, as she did not want to draw unwanted attention upon herself with thick make up. Without another glance towards the clock, she rushed off to the Inuzukas'. Her hair had been done up in a tight bun, but now loose strains strayed down her cheeks. At least it wouldn't look like she had put too much effort into looking good. If Ino's taste in men for her were any indication, she did not want to let him on with thinking she was looking especially nice for him.

She stopped at the front door. The music was loud but did not drown out the noise of the festivities going on inside. Her heart beat faster and she now half-wished that she had not agreed to come.

"Hello there, Sakura-chan." A deep, masculine voice greeted her from behind.

She turned swiftly, her fingers nervously adjusting the hem of the skirt. It was him. He looked especially amused now, watching her staring at him in a stunned manner. He chuckled.

"Ne… Sakura-chan, are you really going to wear that?"

"Kakashi-sensei! You're early!" She exclaimed softly, her voice clearly showing her ill-disguised shock.

"Aa? Early?" He scratched the back of his head. "I thought I was late… Didn't you say to come at 7? It's already 7.30 my dear Sakura-chan." He let out a nervous chuckle.

He had found it very amusing, exhilarating and also touched to see her wearing the dress he had chosen for her. He never would have thought that she would buy it, let alone wear it when he had suggested it about two days ago. She had practically dragged him to the boutique to get herself a dress to Kiba's birthday party. He found out it was Ino's brilliant idea of getting her friend laid, he frowned at the reminder, and perhaps see her friend occupied with someone instead of her medic nin duties. He himself would love to see her happy with a special somebody, if it weren't for his sudden streaks of possessiveness that usually crept up when he saw her with a date. Tonight was no different. Ino was setting her up with someone, and he did not protest although he had tried coaxing Sakura to get someone she knew as an escort – namely, him. She didn't take the hint though.

He sighed softly.

"Kakashi-sensei, you think this looks horrible on me, don't you?" A timid voice broke his chain of thoughts.

Well, she looked ethereal in her sakura-patterned dress. It ended just a few inches above her knees, exposing her flawless and endless legs. His lone eye moved up slowly, savoring the view before him. The dress clung close to her womanly curves, though it was not too tight for comfort. Her bare shoulders were tempting him to touch and he forced himself to stop there. Tempting? Sakura? He swallowed his saliva, hoping dearly he had not drooled.

"Ne… Sakura-chan… I thought I told you to call me Kakashi?" His eye crinkled.

"Kakashi, what do you think? Did I just ruin it?" She asked nervously.

"No…" He shook his head. "You look…" He scratched the back of his head. Should he say it? "Sexy."

Her eyes widened in shock as her blush crept up to her cheeks. It was embarrassing enough for her to wear such a revealing dress, without Kakashi making it worse by calling her sexy. Was he making fun of her? She gazed at him intently. He seemed sincere, amidst the nervous chuckle. Somehow, she could not shake off the feeling of nervousness around him in that dress. There was also the unmistakable tingly feeling she got from seeing him in that marvelous suit. He looked… delicious. The door flew open, timely stopping her thoughts from marveling silently at her sensei.

"There you are Sakura! What made you so late??" Ino yelled above the noise as she opened the door.

"I well… I …" She was at lost for words, though that did not stop Ino from shoving a tall, tanned man towards her.

"Here, this is Kaneshi. He's a family friend traveling from another village." Ino beamed at him and turned to Sakura.

"Enjoy yourselves you two… Oh!" Apparently she had caught sight of Kakashi, who was faking another smile – though only Sakura knew it. Sakura smiled apologetically at him, but was unable to wish him luck with Ino when a large hand encircled itself around her delicate wrist.

Kaneshi wasted no time in pulling Sakura by the hand into the party scene. He smelled … Atrocious. She would even prefer one of Kakashi's sake-and-sweat-and-blood-combo smells to THIS. She fought hard not to scrunch up her nose at him. That was one point down for Kaneshi. Another point down for his breath to stink heavily of sake. She turned back to see Kakashi pushing past Ino lazily with a dismissive wave at the furious blonde. He sat within her viewing range and took out his offending, little orange book.

She rolled her eyes. Great. There goes her guardian. She turned her eyes towards Kaneshi, who was now pushing through the crowd to get to the dance floor. Oh no. The evening was indeed getting worst.

"Let's dance," he slurred.

She smiled forcefully and painfully as his hand gripped her waist tightly. As the song wore on, their uncomfortable distance grew even more disconcerting – for both Sakura and the man in the corner who was watching her albeit his feigned reading. Kaneshi seemed to have a lot of nerve to pull her closer. He was a good head taller than her and was unabashedly staring down her cleavage as he kept on stepping on her toes. Her well pedicure toes. His points had reduced by a demeaning five points by now.

"Ahem." The two dancers turned to the person. "Hello, Sakura, would you like to dance with me?" It was Kakashi. She looked relieved, delighted and positively ready to throw her arms around his neck when her date spoke up.

"She's my date, old man. Get your own." He growled and pushed Kakashi roughly in the chest. She bit her lip. It was one thing to call him an old man, and another to manhandle him when he had been very courteous. With just a blink of an eye, Kaneshi shot through the roof – clutching his bottom, screaming in pain and his eyes bulging. One Thousand Years Of Pain. That was his and her favorite technique when it came to warding off unwanted suitors.

Everyone's eyes riveted swiftly to the smiling duo, some were rolling their eyes and some were giggling. Apparently, no one thought much of Kaneshi – thanks to his very courteous manners tonight.

"So, Sakura-chan, shall we now?" He turned to her, smiling warmly under his mask.

"Of course, Kakashi-sensei. My pleasure," she added sincerely.

"Ah… Didn't I tell you not to call me sensei? Kakashi is absolutely fine."