Title: Underneath the Rug

Author: Tigris Lilium

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto at all, only the idea for this story.

Summary: He tried to expose the dirt to her. She chose to sweep it under the rug. KakSaku.


It wasn't as if she expected it. She didn't at all. But she wanted a little more credit for the work that she put into the mission. And she wasn't getting any.

Sakura tied her hair back into a messy ponytail at the nape of her neck, and pulled the apron over her head. No. She had to be put on clean up duty. After healing her sensei and her best friend, she had to be put on the cleaning crew.

"You need to distance yourself from them." Tsunade had said. In all actuality, Tsunade was just as concerned about Team Seven's welfare as Sakura was. But that still didn't give the Hokage the right to assign Sakura to something else.

"You need to rest. Let Shizune take care of them." Tsunade had said. Rest. The pink haired girl didn't need to rest. She mopped the hallway with a vengeance. She had the energy of a chipmunk. She doesn't need to slow down. She could take care of her team members herself.

"And Sakura, you need to realize that Kakashi saved all of you." No. Kakashi did not save them. Sakura did because she healed them. She didn't even need to heal herself. Kakashi hadn't failed, but he also had been about to unravel. Sakura had pulled through, called for help and began to heal both Kakashi and Naruto's wounds.

Sakura simply grumbled and agreed to Tsunade's orders. After all, she was Hokage and Sakura was just an apprentice who really had no opinion whatsoever.

So then why did Tsunade ask her about Kakashi? Why did the Hokage ask her about how Kakashi was doing? Sakura didn't see him any more than Naruto did. They only time they'd see each other is when she'd be training and he'd accidentally stumble and say something like, "Late for another meeting with Naruto." Then he'd stay and help her with her training. But that wasn't really out of the ordinary.

But apparently it was if Tsunade was asking.

The mop was dry and she looked up from her rather stubborn, melancholy trance. Stupid janitorial work. She really shouldn't have to sink so low to do this.

She watched as Shizune left Naruto's room. Once Sakura's elder turned the corner, she tiptoed and looked through the window.

The blonde sat in his bed, looking out the window. He had a cast over his arm and a frown on his face. Both of those images did not go well with Naruto's rambunctious personality.

Sakura slipped in. Naruto looked over at her, his eyes neither lighting up or smiling. "You shouldn't be here."

So Naruto was going to do it too, huh? "Are you alright?"

"I'm fine." He held up his arm, "I'll be fine." He then turned his face to look out the window, effectively ending the conversation. Sakura crossed her arms rather self consciously over her chest.

"Naruto? Are you mad?"

"Mad at what?" Sakura actually couldn't tell if Naruto was mad or not, which was weird because she was always very good at reading her best friend's emotions.

"At me… for some reason?"

"No." He clipped, "You should go home."

Sakura swallowed the lump in her throat. For some reason, it got harder to breathe, so she turned around and left through the flapping door. The empty hallway practically laughed at her.

Strange, really. It wasn't very Naruto-like of him.

She then padded over to Kakashi; maybe he knew what was wrong with Naruto.

Through the door window, Kakashi was standing beside the window, a dark look in his one eye – the other was shut because of the scar. Oddly enough, he didn't have Icha Icha in his hands; the book lay neglected on the bedstand beside the hospital bed.

The door yielded at her fingertips. Kakashi didn't even need to look. He could smell her scent through the doorway. "Sakura, you shouldn't be here."

The cherry blossom didn't even need to say anything to voice her questions.

"You should go."

And that time, she let out a frustrated sound and said, "What's with everyone saying that I can't be here?"

Kakashi looked to her and smiled, his eyes gentle yet still underlined by the strange darkness. "You almost got killed today. You almost got me killed today."

"What?" Sakura strained her neck as she went to stand beside Kakashi. "What do you mean?"

"Thos rogue ninja were after you. They aimed to attack you first. I sensed their attack and threw myself in front of the blade." He crossed his arms over his chest and looked down at her, "You can't tell me you don't remember."

"I don't remember anything like that because it didn't happen. You and Naruto were fighting those rogue ninja, but not because they came to attack me. They were aiming for Naruto, for the nine-tailed fox. You can't honestly believe that they were aiming for me simply because of my being a medical ninja."

"Yes, that it was one of the reasons."

"Then what's the problem? It's my job. It's what I'm trained to do. There's no reason why I can't continue doing this on Team Seven."

"That wasn't the only reason. They were attacking you because of me." He said, eyes looking out the window again.

"That's a stupid reason." Sakura shrugged her delicate shoulders, "I'm not that important to you anyway." She then let out another frustrated groan as she moved to the shoulders, "I'm not going anywhere. You two are all that I have. Tsunade can't take that away from me too."

"I requested it." Kakashi said just as Sakura was moving through the doors. She froze, and he could feel the stifled pain within her chest build. The constant threat of her overwhelming power was looming in the hospital room.

And then she was gone: her and her bubble gum pink hair and her alluring scent. Apparently, she wasn't ready to face the darkness that emerged from somewhere deep inside his chest.