As promised, here is the next chapter. It's not the longest I have written but it is on time!

This chapter is beta'ed by Midnight-Kitsune11. Thank you for your hard work.

Chapter 20: Recovery

When Naruto regained conscious, he didn't immediately open his eyes. He was lying in a soft bed and he hurt everywhere. Focusing inwards, he noticed Kyuubi's chakra was still healing him, hence the pain he felt. Frowning, he tried to remember what happened. Images flashed before his eyes briefly and sighed softly. He heard a door open and opened his eyes.

"Finally awake?" The Uchiha heir smiled softly as he closed the door behind him. "You've been unconscious for almost two weeks."

"T-two weeks." croaked Naruto surprised.

"You worried everyone." confirmed Sasuke.

Naruto averted his gaze. "What happened?"

"You died. You were dead for about five minutes before Kyuubi managed to restart your heart." snapped Sasuke with a glare.

"I'm sorry for worrying you." muttered Naruto.

"You had better be!" With a last glare, Sasuke sighed. "It would be a waste of time to make you promise never to that again. You're too rash, Naruto."

The blond could only grin sheepishly.

"Anyway, Orochimaru was killed – Hokage-sama, sensei and I finished him off. While Kakashi and I watched you dying, Hokage-sama managed to seal Orochimaru to his current body meaning he couldn't leave it in any way. Then Kakshi-sensei blew his heart out with a Chidori and I got him in his head. There is not much left of him."

"That's a relief."

"Indeed. Currently everyone is busy repairing the damage that was done. Gaara, as you know, went to help with the snake summons that breached the walls. In the end, very few casualties on our side. It ended well."

"I am glad. How is Kakashi?"

"Ah, Kakashi-sensei." sighed Sasuke.

"What? What happened?"

Seeing the blond working himself into a small panic attack, Sasuke hit him on the head.

"Let me finish my sentence, idiot. Kakashi-sensei wasn't hurt. However, he clearly worried about you. You should have seen him when we all thought you had died in his arms. While he still leaves us waiting for him before training, he doesn't visit the memorial stone anymore. He's spending that time in this room since the invasion. He should arrive soon, since we were supposed to meet him for training half an hour ago."

As if he knew they were talking about him, Kakashi entered the room and Naruto was greeted with a sight he hadn't seen before. Kakashi was clearly speechless, staring shocked at the blonde.

"You are awake." Naruto smiled softly.

Sasuke gave his hand a squeeze and silently left the room, leaving the two alone.

"I'm sorry I worried you." Kakashi approached the bed and grabbed Naruto's hand. Reassuring the other, Naruto squeezed. Taking a deep breath, Kakashi sat down.

"You died. For me. Why?"

Hesitatingly looking at his crush, Naruto decided to answer honestly. "I've seen you die once, taking a blow to protect me. I couldn't watch you die again."

Tears welled in his eyes but he couldn't look away. Suddenly arms enveloped him and he was gently pulled against a firm chest. His eyes widened. Kakashi was … hugging him?

Unwilling to believe it, he was a bit late in hugging the man back, but it didn't seem to bother the jounin.

"Don't ever do that again." Muttered Kakashi. Naruto just smiled, not saying anything. He knew if the situation called for it, he would do exactly the same again.


It took another week, before they let him out of the hospital. Well, it took a day before Naruto was sick and tired of the hospital and tried to escape. It took a whole week of this before they let him be and didn't chase him to lock him back up in his own personal prison. Sure his friends, team, Iruka-sensei, Kakashi and even the Hokage came visiting, but he had never liked hospitals. And he had seen his medical files. It was only Sandaime's orders that kept him there. He had been physically healed th day after he woke up. It was probably jiji's revenge for worrying him. With the whole dying thing…

Anyway, a week had past and he was once again a free man. Kakashi-sensei had promised to take him out when he was discharged, so now he was walking with the man through the park where he used to play as a kid after ramen. Again, Naruto had chosen to not wear the genjutsu bracelet meaning he once again looked like he was in his late teens. There hadn't been much talk during dinner and now they had completely fallen silent.

It was a bit awkward. Kakashi seemed as relaxed as always but Naruto was a bit nervous. Was this a date? Had Kakashi figured out Naruto loved him? Why didn't the man say something? Unable to endure the silence, Naruto broke it with a question.

"Sensei, … ano, the day of the exams. I noticed you arrived early. Was there a reason? I half expected you to come late, as usual." Grinned Naruto sheepishly, hand behind his head.

"I wanted to see you in the exam... And Sasuke-kun blackmailed me."


"He promised to tell me the name of your lover, if I came on time." Said the scarecrow nonchalantly.

"And did he tell you? Or did you figure it out on your own?" asked Naruto shyly.

"He didn't tell me." Pouted the man.

Naruto laughed a bit, to nervous to enjoy the face his sensei was pulling.

"Have you been leaving me hints?"

A violent twitch appeared just above his left eye.

"I think nearly dying because I didn't want to see you hurt is a big hint." Replied Naruto sarcastically.

A hand gently grabbed his chin and raised his face towards Kakashi's. The man had a soft look in his eyes, a look Naruto hadn't dared hope to ever see again.

"I had hoped it was me."

"It always has been."

"Say it."

Their faces slowly inched closer. Naruto's fingers played with the hem of Kakashi's mask, not yet pulling it down, but giving Kakashi enough time to make him stop.

"I love you, Hatake Kakashi."

Immediately pulling the mask down, he closed the last few inched between them and kissed Kakashi full on the lips.


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