Disclaimer: I don't own any characters or plotlines from "Naruto".

Author's note: The following is a series of vignettes exploring Kakashi's courtship of Sakura. This fic has been rated "M" for later chapters. If you are too young to read "M" material, please go away.

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Sakura opened her eyes and screamed.

He thought she always looked so cute when she was surprised.

Kakashi grinned at her in a friendly manner while dodging a number of lightening fast punches and the deadly projectile of a one-eyed teddybear. Tsunade had truly tapped into Sakura's potential.

"What do you think you're DOING?!" she yelled, stomping over to channel her chakra into his injured shoulder.

He was touched that she seemed so concerned. And chagrined that he hadn't managed to dodge quite every punch.

"I noticed how lonely your apartment seemed on this quiet street and was worried that anyone could enter it. I decided to enter it myself before someone who meant you harm would find you unprotected."

Sakura rolled her eyes. "If you were out of food for breakfast, you could have gone to the grocery store. It's two blocks closer to your house."

"Ah…but then I would have been tortured with my concern for your well being and unable to eat any food I purchased there."

"Kakashi, why is my living room filled with boxes?"

"Well…you see…I was so worried for you that I thought I should simply move in. Otherwise I would be too distracted to continue my missions for the village."

"Move…in?"

"It was the only solution to my problem."

Sakura took a deep breath. What the HELL was going on?

"Landlord kick you out?"

"No."

"Hiding from Gai?"

"No. Although that is an additional benefit I had not contemplated."

"Make a bet with Tsunade?"

"No. But you now make me realize that I missed a valuable opportunity."

"So-"

"So, where should I put these towels and extra dishes?"

Sakura stood there in her sheep-patterned pajamas and decided that her day simply couldn't get any weirder. And those dishes looked really nice too.

"Uh…let me show you," she said and steered her former sensei toward her kitchen.

Kakashi was pleased. And suspicious.

He had expected a tantrum. Sharper projectiles. At the very least, the Chakra Fists of Doom. But here she was, the love of his life, calmly showing him where she kept the dishes.

Honestly, he'd had to do something. His 21-year-old former student had blossomed into a strikingly lovely, radiant woman and all of Konoha had seemed to notice. He was having a difficult time remaining discreet while he put the mortal fear of death into every young man who sought to gain her attention. There were simply too many of them these days. It was high time to stake a claim.

Pakkun would suggest peeing on trees, but Kakashi preferred a proper bathroom – like the one in Sakura's house.

Of course kissing her might help. Even once. That was, if he could convince her not to clobber him.

Kakashi sighed.

One step at a time.