A/N: I've gone back in and messed with a few things. I'm not done doing it yet, because I'm pressed for time as it is, but I'll be going back through the chapters to make edits.

This was my first chapter fic with a pairing. I hope I didn't do too bad. It was fun.

Disclamier: I do not own Naruto.


Send Me An Angel

Chapter One


"I'm hurt and I'm tired. I want to go home," Sakura muttered beneath her breath. She had fought hard and this battle was weighing on her.

Naruto, Sakura, and Kakashi stood on a cliff overlooking their latest fight. The ground was covered in bodies and soaked with blood. The trees and rocks were lined with weapons and flesh. Kakashi's students were beaten, changed. They had never killed so ruthlessly. He couldn't say that in truth. He had fought in wars and countless battles. He was meant to kill, and he was meant to survive. Now he would make sure that these kids would be able to live after such an act as well.

He turned towards them and he could see Naruto's tears streaming down his young face, the liquid making marks on his dirty cheeks. Naruto's heart was too pure to commit assassinations without pain. It would be his weakness in the future. He would never be able to fight for the sake of killing. He would never be able to do what shinobi were born to do.

Sakura was sitting on her knees. Her head was cast downwards, to look upon the bodies of all those they murdered. Her face was pale and her eyes showed remorse and depression. She might break soon after they get back to the village, but she wouldn't it let stop her from completing her mission. She wouldn't let herself fall apart yet.

Kakashi looked down. "Let's get going."

He walked towards Sakura to help her to her feet as Naruto stepped forward to get one last look at everyone who died. Kakashi was still unaffected by their actions. He had done this many times and could no longer find himself crying at night because of it. Crying...he wondered when he had last done that.

All of it was simply in the past; no longer something to worry about because it had already been done. So he walked towards the forest that they would be traveling through. When he looked back he saw that Sakura was standing next to Naruto. They hadn't even begun to follow him.

He turned towards them but did not move from his position. They had fought all day and now were their only moments of peace. So he lifted his head to the sky to stare longingly towards the shining moon. He had never known why but the moon had always brought a measure of peace.

He felt like howling in its pure silver light, but thought better of it.

"We need to get moving. There could be more ninja coming to attack."

Naruto and Sakura looked towards Kakashi, that being the first time that their eyes had left the battle field. Sakura was the first to take a hesitant step towards Kakashi. He could now see everything so clearly, it was almost as though seeing through their very beings. He looked Sakura in her eyes, matching her gaze and found why she and Naruto were being so reluctant to continue their journey. She was scared.

They were afraid of him.

He looked down to see the shadows of the trees at his feet. He had never fought like that in front of them before. It was ruthless and savage. His right hand glowing with Chidori had been ripping through his opponents bodies in bloodlust.

His hand was still soaked with blood actually.

He looked towards them once more. "I told you I wouldn't let my comrades die." He tried to smile at them but the sorrow in their eyes only grew.

Sakura was the one willing to talk. "How could you have killed them so mercilessly Sensei? How could you?"

Kakashi's eyes were clear. "I did what I had to. Our mission is complete and everyone is safe. We can go home now."

Naruto couldn't take it. "Everyone is safe? Does killing over a hundred men really mean nothing to you? Does taking their lives, their futures, have no value in your heart?"

Naruto looked down, not willing to believe it. But his question had to be answered. "If your mission…was to kill us, would you go through with it? Could you murder us in cold blood like you did them… just because it was your mission?"

Kakashi looked Naruto straight in the eye. "I would die protecting you, not trying to kill you. Why would you ever think such a thing?"

They both looked down guiltily. Neither could tell him that it was because they had not seen their sensei tonight, but instead they had seen a cold warrior. They saw a man who didn't care if people lived or died, or even if it was his hands covered in their blood.

"I'm sorry, Sensei," Sakura said suddenly. "You were right. A shinobi's path is difficult and it can't be helped when you must kill someone." She smiled slightly, uncertainly. "I suppose death is always at your side, isn't it?"

It was a question not meant to be answered. Each of them knew that, but none were aware of how Kakashi viewed this slaughtering. He really had seen it has just another mission and perhaps that was wrong but…

"Naruto, Sakura, you're not wrong in blaming me for not caring much for these men's lives, but at least they were men you were killing. Once you've had to destroy an entire village and everyone inside, men - women, children, and even newborns - something like this doesn't seem so detestable anymore. I guess if I had the choice I would have chosen this battle sight to witness instead of kids' blood covering the very same dirt you walk on." He paused. "Let's go home."

Naruto and Sakura watched Kakashi's back as he was absorbed by the shadows of the forest. After what he had said, everything tonight didn't seem quite as bad as what he'd had to do. It made it slightly easier to live with, but the fact that their teacher had had to kill the way they had seen made everything seem that much more out of focus.

To Naruto, he wanted to comfort Kakashi, though he had no idea as to how. Kakashi had long since committed his vile acts and no longer needed to be consoled. Kakashi was not a man to let something hold him from his duties towards his village.

To Sakura, she couldn't believe that a man as respectable as Kakashi could actually go through with slaughtering children. From the rare times when a child had approached Kakashi she could tell that Kakashi had a soft spot for kids, especially the younger ones. To think that he would be able to kill an entire village was out of the question. It seemed unmistakable that Kakashi would have denied that mission and instead gone for something a little less bloody. But that's what scared Sakura; it was that it simply seemed unmistakable.

They may have known Kakashi for five years now, but they still knew very little of the mystery that he carried. It was something that they couldn't solve, and something that they wouldn't dare ask of. From what they knew, he was a simple man who would love to waste away a quiet afternoon under the shade of a tree reading porn.

But they knew nothing of what he was capable of.

When you can constantly take assassination missions and feel no regret about the ones that you've killed, when you can go on S-class missions and come home soaked in blood, when you can survive with no home or family and then feel nothing, then you can say that even those who know you are truly strangers; and that's what Sakura feared.

Kakashi was that type of person, and it wouldn't surprise her if half the things he did were beyond gut wrenching; but both she and Naruto still wanted to believe in Kakashi. They wanted to see him as the man they knew before tonight, so they silently followed him through the woods. They kept a safe distance behind him, knowing that now might not be the best time to speak to him, fully aware of what everyone had gone through.

It would have been much easier if Kakashi really was that simple old man who would love to read those stupid books on that quiet afternoon, but the truth was that he was so much more.

He was a leader, a ninja, a strategist, a teacher, a fighter, and then some. He was so many things to so many different people.

Naruto seemed to still think of Kakashi as part of his family, the one that was officially known as Squad Seven before it broke apart. Kakashi led that family, and guided them through tough times. They didn't have Sasuke back yet but there was no blame.

They just wanted Sasuke to come home.

Sakura turned her head towards Naruto to find that he was looking off into the endless forest; it truly was beautiful in the light of a full moon. She looked back at Kakashi. He hadn't so much as glanced back at them since they had started walking.

But then again she couldn't blame him. After telling them of killing those children it would be a surprise if that hadn't brought back bad memories for him. It must have been hard to do, looking down at an innocent face and then watching blood splatter across it.

It would have been traumatizing, but there were special people in the village that were designed to complete such tasks. Perhaps her sensei was one of them, one of those people who knew the secret of how to turn a heart to stone. It certainly would explain a lot. He had always seemed indifferent and aloof; maybe that was why.

Maybe he wasn't naturally that way. Maybe he had been specifically trained to do that. To not be noticed or seen in anyway and to be able to maintain that while completing a mission set forth to be accomplished in the most elegant of fashions.

Sakura decided that that was why Kakashi was the way he was. He was trained to be so, and if you were able to know the person behind that act then you would be able to know the true Hatake Kakashi.

But maybe she was just using her sensei's mysterious aura to let her imagination run wild, giving her a false hope that the murderer that they had seen tonight was not the Kakashi she thought she knew.

When she looked up she saw Kakashi pass under an open space among the trees and saw his form be bathed in sliver light. She saw that there really was much more to this man than may meet the eye. She could only hope that he would show those he cared about what he really was. She hated to think that he was hiding behind an act.

The more she thought about it the most frustrated she became. Kakashi was someone who didn't like people knowing much about him. He saw that people knowing him gave away his weaknesses, and perhaps it did. But he was even more afraid of becoming too attached to someone and then having them taken away. It was the one thing that his heart just couldn't handle. But she didn't know that.

He was sure that if that ever happened again that he wouldn't be able to come back from that pain like he had before. That it would be too much to bear and that he'd break under the pressure.

In truth he was afraid.

He was afraid of leaving this world the same way his father had. And if he were to leave in the exact same manner as Sakumo then he would have to look into the eyes of the person he held dearest and watch them scream and cry in agony as he took his own life.

He would never be able to ever feel happiness again if that happened. And the dreams of his father's suicide still haunted him. His father's eyes had shown so much remorse and so much guilt and pain. Kakashi had let him go, but his father's smile and soft goodbye was still painful to think about.

Kakashi unconsciously shook his head to clear his mind of the images that he could never quite forget. It wasn't that he would want to forget his father; he just wanted to be spared from his heart squeezing and that familiar ache in his chest returning, causing him to tremble under the emotion.

To him it felt worse than being stabbed in his stomach, and he could say so from experience. It felt as though you were dying from the inside, instead of from wounds inflicted from outer objects, and such a thing was frightening and painful.

He remembered all of it, even if he wished that he didn't; the night that he came home and found his father plunging the family tanto into his abdomen was a night that could never be erased from memory. It was a vision that haunted his mind from the moment he woke up at the hospital to be greeted by the Hokage after the incident had occurred - a vision that he still endured.

He had come home from his mission with his sensei, the future Yondaime, early to check on his father and to start dinner. When he arrived on the porch out of breath and grinning in anticipation of seeing Sakumo, he realized something was horribly wrong.

His father had not come to greet him.

Usually Sakumo would meet his son at the door whenever he arrived home to make sure that the young boy was without injury, but he had not shown himself today. Kakashi was about to toss it aside as Sakumo not being aware that he was home, since Kakashi was home early, but something that simple would never cause his father to be unaware. Sakumo's skills may have dropped considerably but he could still tell when someone appeared at his home. Even if he had been robbed of both his hearing and his sight he could still tell that someone had arrived by using his nose, similar to the same use of an Inuzuka.

Kakashi dropped his bag on the porch and immediately ran inside, seeking to find his father. He ignored taking off his shoes and went straight to his father's room. Scrolls lay scattered across the floor; dozens of papers with complicated notes sat on his desk, and pictures of dead family, old friends, and assassination targets that had long since been taken care of circled Sakumo who sat on his knees approximately six feet from the bed or the desk.

Sakumo looked up from where his hands had gripped his family's heritage tightly to acknowledge his son who stood in the doorway to his left. Sakumo felt his lips turn upwards to form a long since forgotten smile.

His son was not wearing his mask today, so Sakumo could see the pure horror that streamed down across it. Even at the sight of his son's despair Sakumo's smile did not fade, it did not diminish as it had before when he had seen that look in the past, and it did not waver in doubt of his decision. It just grew slightly and his eyes showed the truth of his soul for his young child to read.

Please, don't be like me, Sakumo prayed as his thrust his blade into his flesh. Sakumo heard Kakashi let out the most fearsome scream he had ever heard from his silver haired protégé and felt the boy grab him and try to stop things from occurring. Poor Kakashi, he thought. You can't change Fate.

The last thing that Sakumo Would hear or feel when he had died was his son's crying and the wetness of tears on his shoulder. It had not been his first choice of how he wished to die, but he was more than willing to end it all in that fashion.

That had been the only night that Kakashi was able to read his father's soul. It was desperate and fragile, but so protective. He was dying for a purpose and he wished Kakashi all the best in the future - one he would no longer be attending.

Kakashi never understood what it was that his father died for, and that made his death so much more painful. It caused Kakashi to see the life of a shinobi differently and to see that it was not simply duty and honor that occurred everyday; there was also shame.

A part of him was aware that he had inherited a piece of that same dishonor that had destroyed his father. And another part of him was aware that he would never again allow it to hurt him. If he were to be disgraced or were to be discarded by the village that he would give anything to defend then he would live on gracefully.

He knew that the only thing that could hurt him would be losing those that he held dear. It would haunt him; knowing that he wasn't able to save them and coming to believe that he would never be able to. That's something that would make him bend to human weaknesses and kill himself in the same manner his father did, but for a different purpose.

Maybe history really does repeat itself and there's no way to escape it. The Sannin were now remade in his former students, and he was well on the path to becoming just another Konoha shinobi to die a useless, forgotten death.

Or maybe he'd end up like his sensei and die a hero. One could always dream.

Kakashi stopped walking, startling the two following him; they were not expecting him to stop after traveling for only an hour. They still stood over ten feet behind him, but they could tell that he was not at all troubled. He raised his head to smile towards the sky in a gesture that could only mean he was at peace in that moment. He caught sight of the moon and his smile widened.

It was so full tonight and so beautiful. Kakashi always thought that the moon was the only thing that lay in common between killers. He believed that shinobi who were considered to be among the deadliest usually saw the moon as something of a median. It tranquilized a soul and gave peace to those who were burdened. Or maybe it was just that silly wolf playing tricks on his mind. He should have never learned to summon that thing. It only ever caused him trouble.

A wolf with silver fur that glistened and howled in the light of the full moon was what he could not control. It was a jutsu to summon not a dog but a wolf. It was to be taught from parent to child or to teacher to student, depending on the situations.

Kakashi had been taught this jutsu by neither his father nor his teacher. He had found a single scroll in his father's room that interested him. It had been pure black and had been laid out on his father's bed.

Apparently Sakumo had meant for Kakashi to find it. He wanted his son to learn of this technique. Kakashi was young and didn't fully understand. It wasn't until he had perfected the new jutsu and used it in battle that he questioned whether he should use it at all. It was powerful and deadly but it involved another spirit entering your body.

That didn't sit well with Kakashi. Another spirit controlling his actions was not something that he enjoyed. He found that it was not him fighting but another being defeating his enemy. Kakashi realized long ago that he loved to fight. He still enjoyed the adrenaline that ran through his body during a battle.

When his heart was pumping hard and his brain racing to find an attack that would finish his opponent, all the while keeping in mind his enemy's techniques and advantages. He loved being at least four steps ahead of his attacker and loved being the one who was declared strongest. Avoiding it was good if it was possible, but if you had to fight then you may as well enjoy it. He had grown out of enjoying taking his enemies' lives but for some reason he still enjoyed the fight.

That joy was stolen when another spirit fought in your place.

Kakashi closed his eyes and allowed the night breeze to ruffle his hair and felt a chill run up his spine from the sudden change in temperature. He turned to face Naruto and Sakura who were now prepared for anything. They might have lost their trust in him tonight.

That was all right with him.

But when he smiled at them it seemed like all was forgiven in Naruto's eyes. Sakura was still visibly wary but was more relaxed. It's funny how a single smile could change the atmosphere from unbearable tension to relaxed friendliness.

Naruto turned towards Sakura. "See Sakura? Kakashi-sensei's still the same guy."

Naruto grinned and started to walk towards Kakashi; Sakura hadn't moved from her position. Was he really the same? Had he changed? Could they trust him? Were they in danger?

"C'mon Sakura, Sensei says that we're making camp here!" Naruto called out. Sakura stared at them with a worried expression. Kakashi smiled at her and all doubt was erased.

He may have killed mercilessly, without a single regret, but he was still Kakashi-sensei and he was still their protector. He would never go back on his promise.

"I don't let my comrades die."

He would protect them with his life. She smiled back and began to jog over to her remaining teammates. They would always protect each other, even if one could be ruthless at times.

Naruto and Kakashi had gathered firewood while Sakura retrieved water from a nearby river. They were to meet back in about half an hour.

Kakashi and Naruto had returned before Sakura since they had less distance to cover, and considering how tiring their battle had been they weren't expecting Sakura to rush. It would be better if everyone took it easy for a while. Their muscles were already going to be sore as it was so they might as well make it less painful by resting up a bit.

Kakashi placed some fair sized rocks in a circle formation to keep the flames from spreading and causing a wild fire. Once that was done he and Naruto placed the sticks and logs into the circle before stepping back to start the fire.

Kakashi used a small fire ball jutsu to ignite the flame. There was a warm orange-yellow glow that followed soon afterwards. As the fire grew so did the length of the light. There wasn't much smoke coming from the fire and Kakashi explained that he had cast another jutsu that lessened the smoke by casting the jutsu on the wood itself. He also explained that he did this just to be careful. Even though it was night and they had killed most of the enemies there was still a chance that the few remaining enemies could smell the smoke coming from the fire and thus giving away their location. Not to mention that one might see it in the sky.

"Hey Sensei, hasn't Sakura been acting a little weird lately?" Naruto asked.

"What do you mean?"

"Well, you know." Naruto's face became a bit more serious and took on a worried look. "She hasn't acted the same around you since that battle. I'm just a bit scared that we'll never be the same." Naruto looked towards Kakashi. "What do you think?"

Kakashi used a stick to gently push the logs in the fire. "I think that you were both frightened." Kakashi smiled. "But I'm sure that everything will be fine. You're both strong. I'm not worried a bit. You'll pull through."

"Yeah, you're right," Naruto grinned. "Thanks, Kakashi-sensei."

"Sure thing," Kakashi said offhandedly. Although he wasn't worried that everything would return to normal shortly, he was beginning to worry about Sakura. She had left over forty minutes ago.

"You always know what to say Sensei."

Naruto's face took on a mischievous expression. Kakashi was looking off into the woods in the direction that Sakura had left. Naruto grabbed a kunai from his holster and threw it into the fire. The result being a lost kunai and a startled Kakashi.

When Kakashi jumped at the unexpected sound and burst of flames Naruto took the opportunity to push Kakashi off of the log they had been sitting on.

It had rained the day before and the ground was still mildly damp, meaning that it was cold. Kakashi jumped again at his bottom's change from comfortable warmth to a freezing cold ass. Naruto burst out laughing at his old teacher's reactions.

Tricking Kakashi was not something he was able to do normally so he had to take the opportunity when it presented itself; which usually involved a period of time when Kakashi was injured.

Kakashi got off the ground and found a nearby rock to sit on. It was slightly chilled but better than whatever small puddle the copy nin had landed in. Kakashi gave an annoyed glare to Naruto, though it was not a glare that was delivered from someone who was truly angry. It was more of a glare that you gave a person in slight competition. If Naruto hadn't been laughing so hard he might have seen that and he might have known to be precarious of what trick Kakashi might pull against him.

Naruto finally stopped laughing when Sakura hit him on the head to announce her arrival. Apparently Naruto had been too busy laughing at something and Kakashi was too busy plotting something against Naruto.

"So, what's going on?" Sakura asked as she handed both boys their respective canteens.

"Oh nothing, we started a fire, we talked, Kakashi fell on his ass," Naruto said in a boring tone.

"He did what?" Sakura asked in disbelief.

Naruto started laughing again so Sakura turned to Kakashi for answers, though she couldn't say she was expecting much of one. "He pushed me."

Sakura raised her eyebrows. "And he managed to get you to fall?"

Kakashi gave Sakura a mild glare - just enough to tell her that he really was embarrassed about it. Sakura smiled and let out a giggle imagining the act of Naruto pushing an unprepared Hatake Kakashi into a puddle.

It got funnier when Kakashi got up and started walking towards the woods.

"Where are you going Sensei?" Sakura asked trying to suppress her rising laughter.

"Well, I was going to wipe this mud off," Kakashi answered as he turned to face her. "What are you doing looking at my butt for anyway?" he asked realizing why she was laughing harder.

Sakura blushed slightly. "Well my, uh, eye caught sight of the mud."

"Right, well, I'll be back in a minute."

Sakura joined Naruto in their fit of laughter. Kakashi had mud caked across his bottom. It had been quite a sight, but Kakashi acted so normal that it took away most of the humor that should have accompanied the vision. Eventually they calmed down and began a conversation to pass time until Kakashi showed up.

"Naruto that was a pretty mean thing to do," Sakura said with a smile still on her face.

"Maybe, but how often can we prank Kakashi-sensei? I had to take the only chance I had, and it turned out to be worth it."

"I would've killed you if you'd done that to me."

"But this only proves that Kakashi-sensei is still Kakashi-sensei. Right, Sakura?"

Sakura looked at Naruto a bit impressed. She had never thought of putting Kakashi in a situation of embarrassment to see if he would have reacted the same way.

"You know what Naruto?"

"What?"

"You really do have your moments."

"That's what I've been telling everyone," Naruto said, taking a compliment too far. "I'm super smart and super strong and super sexy and nobody ever notices and-"

"What's all the commotion?" Kakashi asked.

"Oh Sensei, you're back," Sakura said. She hadn't felt his presence at all. Kakashi was always on guard. It was almost too much for her to bear.

"What's Naruto rambling on about?" Kakashi rephrased.

"Nothing, as usual," Sakura said with a sigh. Sometimes her blond teammate was just too much to handle as well.

Kakashi sat back on his rock. "Hn. I'm going to guard tonight. We're heading back out early, so no complaining when I tell you to get up. I want to make it back to Konoha to report to Tsunade as soon as possible."

Now that sounded more like Kakashi; demanding, hard, firm, and deep. He always held a tone in his voice that gave him authority. After training under him for a month Sakura could tell what he wanted them to act like based on the underlining silkiness that he used. If he wanted you to behave and follow his orders without question, which is the way it was most of the time, it would be boring and short. If he felt playful he'd use more words and his voice would be lighter.

Sakura flopped down on a soft patch of grass. Although the soil was still damp the blades of grass were mostly dry. They didn't have anything to sleep with. All had been lost in their battle. Sakura rolled onto her side, listening to the comfortable grunt Naruto released when he dropped to the earth for a long night's rest. She tried to hear Kakashi's movement, but she waited a few moments in silence. Turning her head to the side she saw that he had already moved, but he had made no noise.

That put on her edge again. She couldn't help it. Meeting him as a child you're stunned in amazement at his power because he's your protector. But knowing him when you get to fight alongside him, that's a different story. She closed her eyes in an attempt to shut it out, but she was only met with short flashbacks of the fight she wished to forget.

Kakashi rushing through a crowd, ripping men in half as he ran; Kakashi summoning dogs to bite and nip other humans to death; Kakashi breaking necks with swift kicks when his chakra finally depleted itself. She couldn't understand how the man she admired most could destroy so much. He had given everything he had just to kill.

She was a medic. Her job was to save. Watching her leader murder without pause, or mercy, or even a slight hesitation had given birth to a fear inside her. She knew that Kakashi had been working as a ninja since before she was born. She didn't know exactly how long, but that didn't matter. She was almost an adult now, and that gave Kakashi a good seventeen years of shinobi life. Sakura hugged herself to get warm.

She wanted to cry, but she wouldn't let herself have that indulgence. After being trained by Tsunade Sakura had been able to control her emotions so much better that she had even impressed Kakashi. She knew because he had told her once. He had complimented her on her jutsu, and her intelligence, and her humanity on the day she became a Jounin. It was a bittersweet celebration now that she thought back on it, laying there the night after her very first mission since her promotion.

Was his first mission as an elite so dreadful?

Sakura couldn't stop herself when she felt a warm wetness caress her cheek, a tear, another running slowly across her nose because of her sideways position. She opened her stunning eyes to stare at her hand, her slim fingers trembling.

Perhaps she wasn't as strong as people thought.

She shivered, knowing that it had something to do with the emotion but also because of the breeze that had cut through the trees. She was cold, and hurt, and desperate.

Feeling more than hearing the soft foot steps infront of her she set up, wiping her tears away to be greeted by a worried masked face of someone who she held dear. "Are you all right, Sakura?" Kakashi asked sincerely.

She nodded automatically. When Kakashi asks if you're all right the correct answer is yes, you are. She felt ashamed and embarrassed. After something so trivial she was broken, when he had been through so much more. He was still useful.

"No, you're not," Kakashi accused softly. Watching her pink strands sway when her head jerked back towards him, he couldn't help but smile. "You're lying to me Sakura."

Sakura expression was hard to read for even the copy nin. It was borderline worry, but held a reluctant acceptance. He was grateful to have been able to train these kids. No matter how he felt about protecting his heart, he had opened it to them without anyone's knowledge; not even his own.

"I'm just cold," Sakura said helplessly. Telling him the truth would be like stating the obvious. Kakashi could see her fear a mile away. He always had.

"Oh." He crouched down. "I thought it was something else." He smiled again, knowing that this small game would only last so long. "Here," he said shifting out of his vest, which was splattered with blood that she didn't want to see.

She watched him drop his green flak jacket to the ground, then reach for the ends of his shirt, pulling it over his head. He wore a navy blue tight fitting sleeveless shirt underneath, complete with an attached mask. Sakura could clearly see his hidden muscles. Though he may look skinny and slim Kakashi actually had quite a built figure. He offered her his shirt soundlessly, and she accepted with an unsteady right hand.

"But won't you be cold?" she asked. It was her own way of trying to turn away his generosity but she continued to sit on her knees and wait for his comeback. If Kakashi was willing to give something up to someone else then they weren't going to say no.

"Maybe." He shrugged with a smile. "But I'm used to it." He picked up his jacket and threw it over his shoulder. As far as she could tell what he said proved to be the truth. The icy wind biting at his skin didn't affect him at all.

She looked down at the dark cloth still in her hands - she hadn't decided. But it wasn't like she had a choice. Kakashi was almost as stubborn as Naruto was. Maybe even Tsunade. She sighed. "But…"

Kakashi shook his head. "Sakura I went to the Land of Snow in an Anbu uniform and a scarf. I'm sure I'll live one night in a chilly forest." He said it as though it were a joke, but she could tell that he was serious, so she smiled.

"Thanks, Sensei," she said with honest gratitude. The shirt was still warm and felt so inviting that she almost couldn't resist. Besides, what could it hurt?

Kakashi chuckled and ruffled her cherry locks. "'Bout time." He felt much better now that she wasn't crying and trembling. It broke him in two to see her like that. Cocking his head to the side in a playful manner as he drew back his hand and his grin resided into a smile. "Good night, Sakura."

"Good night, Kakashi-sensei," she answered with a warm upturn of her lips. He was still the same guy, no matter what side of him had been revealed that night. One moment he was a ruthless killer and the next he was a gentle friend. He stood up and put one hand in his pocket while letting the other limply hold his vest over his shoulder. She watched him and felt that familiar sense of being in the closely knit Squad Seven family. Her boys never let her down when she needed it, and Kakashi was no exception.

When she saw him reach the base of the tree, she turned back around and sat with her legs crossed. Slipping the cooling fabric over her arms first she pulled it over her head, noticing how long it actually was. Kakashi kept it tucked in most of the time, she'd only seen it untucked a few times, and even then it still only fell slightly past his hips. It almost reached her knees and the sleeves were sloppily rolled up, just passing her wrists.

She immediately felt better without the cold nipping at her bare arms and lay back down. She saw how pale her skin looked against the dark colored shirt and realized belatedly that Kakashi really wasn't as pale as people thought him to be. He was darker than her. Her creamy skin standing out against the shirt told her this. In the night's limited light the shirt almost looked black. Put that with Kakashi's whitish-silver hair in the dead of night, you coudn' helpt but think that the copy nin was as pale as the last surviving Uchiha.

She unrolled the sleeves over her hands and clenched it in her fists. Turning back on her side she brought her hands close to her body, adding to the warmth. She lay there for a few peaceful moments, until she noticed the difference of smell. It smelled like Kakashi.

She knew the scent only from the few times when he had had to carry her because of an injury or lack of chakra, or for other reasons that she couldn't think of at the moment. It was a pleasant smell. It wasn't contaminated with cigarette smoke, like Asuma, and wasn't covered in a fake scent, like Kurenai, and wasn't dirty, like Naruto. It was simple and untouched. She could almost smell the sweat and blood and dog that had covered him during the battle, but chose to simply ignore it.

Kakashi's scent was better anyway. Soon enough it lulled her into an undisturbed sleep. It left her hoping that everything would stay the same, though she knew that it wouldn't. They would continue to see the countless pieces of Kakashi's personality that made him who he was. Living in ignorance was something that she despised. She had worked for years to get out of that bottomless pit and she would never return.

Maybe knowing the real Kakashi wouldn't be so bad. Like Naruto said, he's still the same guy. This side was just hiding.

Sakura fell into the darkness begging to take over. Sleep had won their small, irrational battle. She knew it would.

But she didn't know that she didn't understand anything.