Side of a Bullet

Summary: She was an assassin, and he was her handler. Trapped in a world of lies, blood, sex and death, there is clearly no escape, and not even love can save a dying girl's soul. KakaSaku

1/?

His hands moved up her skirt, massaging the smooth velvety skin he found there. His lips trailed up and down her neck, leaving a trail of bruises and saliva in its wake.

She supposed that she could do better and act the part, giggle a little bit, moan, or probably touch him back, but all she could manage at the moment was scrunch up her face and bite her lip, giving the impression that she was trying to hold in her excitement. In truth, she just looked constipated.

But he clearly didn't think that as he said, "Baby, don't hold it in. I want to hear you scream."

His teeth, bright yellow underneath the dim elevator lights was nipping at her skin again. His large belly was digging into her stomach, flattening her against the wall while his fat fingers tried to gain access inside of her blouse.

She just gave him a lusty look while unobtrusively glancing what level they were in.

Ten more floors…

She gave a loud, wailing moan this time and arched her back, her hand reaching behind her.

Eight…

He was overjoyed at the sound, still not quite believing that he was going to get lucky tonight. And for the first time in his life, this girl wasn't some cheap hooker he found on the street. No, this one approached him on the bar, asking for a drink. Boggled and flattered, he wasted no time in getting her plastered enough to lead her to his bed.

And it's working.

Five…

Another moan, another shudder, masking the slight clicking sound.

Three…

"Time's up," she whispered.

"Huh?" He looked up, just in time to see the glint of the metal pointed beside his temple.

The silencer masked all three shots.

He didn't even saw it coming.

Two…

"Ch," she said, removing her blouse and using it to wipe her face and other body parts where the blood sprayed her. "This is why I hate working in closed spaces." Underneath the blouse she had on a plain white shirt. She quickly took off her skirt, stuffing her stained clothes in her large bag and donned a pair of leather gloves. Her wig was removed as well along with the eye contacts.

Ding!

She walked out of the elevator, knowing that it would take a while for someone to discover the body.

Humming a tune inside her head, she began to search for the nearest fire exit or staircase.

--

Sakura glanced at herself in the mirror, wondering if it would look better if she kept her strawberry hair up or down. Personally, she thought that pinning it up made her look a little bit too old, so she opted to just brush her hair a few more times until it shone and bounced around her shoulders.

Giving herself a last look-over in the full-length mirror, she grabbed her bag and went out of her room.

Kakashi, her guardian, was in the living room, his feet propped up the coffee table and reading one of his perverted books again. Sakura rolled her green eyes, pushing his feet off the table.

"Hey, that's not nice," protested the man, though not looking up from his book.

"That's why I bought a footrest last month," Sakura said, pulling said footrest over and placing his feet there.

"But it's too low," Kakashi grumbled. He took a peek over his book at her. "You look nice. Where are you going?"

"Don't tell me you forgot about it." Sakura rolled her eyes, clearly exasperated with the man. "I'm meeting Naruto for lunch and we're going shopping. I told you about it more than a week ago. Can't you listen to what I say just for once?"

"No," he answered simply and shortly, and to make a point, he put his feet back on the table.

Before Sakura could yell at him again, Kakashi picked up the remote lying by the armrest and turned on the television.

"The news is all over your last assignment," he said blandly. "Found his body more than five hours later. It's been more than twenty-four hours, but the only evidence they got from the elevator were his. Receptionist at the hotel said that he was with a girl, but he was stoned at the time so he couldn't give much of a description."

"That's lucky," Sakura commented, looking at everywhere but the TV. She absolutely hated it when her missions were shown like this, that's why she didn't like watching the TV or reading the newspaper very much.

Kakashi sighed, noticing her distress. "In any case, have fun and come back before it gets dark outside, okay? We might have a new one tomorrow."

"Okay." But before she left, she went round the back of Kakashi's arm chair. "Kakashi."

"Hmm?" He finally looked up from his book, leaning his head backward to be able to see her. The half of his face was hidden by a gray mask and his eyes were of two different colours--gray and red.

Sakura smiled and in one quick movement tugged down his mask, placed a small kiss on his lips, and put it in place back again.

"I left a casserole in the oven," she said lightly, her face still bent to him as they looked eye-to-eye. "I'll be back as soon as I can."

"Okay, I'll be waiting." He gave her a happy eye-crease.

Sakura straightened up and went for the door, hearing the locks click softly behind her.

--

"Naruto!" said Sakura loudly, waving a hand in the air for her fashionably late friend.

A messy blond with clear blue eyes approached her table sheepishly, rubbing a hand on the back of his head. He was tall, just an inch short of six feet, and dressed casually in acid-washed jeans and an orange hoodie. The scuffed Chucks he had on his feet looked like they've been through all types of mud and grime.

"Sorry I'm late," Naruto apologized, taking a seat opposite her in the open air café. "I got caught up."

Sakura eyed her friend warily before cracking a huge grin. "Let me guess, you were writing a term paper last night and forgot to set your alarm, then rushed down here. Suddenly, a bunch of ten-foot aliens beamed down from their spaceship, asking for your organs, or worse, the directions to the nearest ramen shop so they could copy the secret techniques of Ichiraku ramen and use it for nefarious purposes?"

Sakura and Naruto laughed outright, their boisterous laughter ringing throughout the plaza. Some people looked around, and after glancing at their way irritably, amusedly, or apathetically, went back to their own business.

"No, they were actually looking for a perfect male specimen," said Naruto seriously once he had calmed himself down. "And they wanted me. But why leave and rob the world of this handsome mug? So I ran, and just made it here."

Sakura rolled her eyes. "Yeah, half an hour late."

Naruto smiled at his friend. "How have you been?"

"I'm okay for the most part," answered Sakura as truthfully as she could. "Kind of tired every now and again, but that's only because my job takes up so much of my time and energy."

It was Naruto's turn to roll his eyes. "Bull. You're a researcher for some old pervert's books. What's so hard about that? Get back to university, and then we'll compare overall stress."

"Shut up. It is quite hard. I just came back from Tea Country looking for weapons!"

"Oh? How did it go?"

"A bit boring, but I did get to see some cool weapons there and we interviewed some of the local tradesmen, tracking this armoury and that."

"Cool. I'd love to do that one time. Maybe I should join you in your travels."

Sakura smiled, though it was a bit sadly. That would never happen.

Naruto caught the slight frown in her lips and he scrunched his nose in mock-disgust.

"Ah, I get it. He won't agree to it."

Sakura shook her head slowly, apologetically. "No, I'm afraid not. He's really reclusive, you see. Took me three months before he referred to me as anything more than 'you' to 'girl' and a year before he started to call me by name. The only reason I get to work with him is that he knew my parents somewhat."

"Then when is his new book going to come out? I hear that some buffs at the archaeology department are actually using his books as some sort of bible when it came to ancient weapons and armoury," said Naruto.

"Really? That's great. I'll tell him that. He won't be exactly pleased, but at least his books are getting used for a great purpose."

It was true. Kakashi had been releasing books, but only as a cover, and used different pen names. His subjects range from the academic to downright crazy.

"How's life doing for you, Naruto?" asked Sakura, stirring her spoon in her coffee cup as Naruto signalled for a waiter.

"Same old, same old." Naruto shrugged, relaxing more in his chair. "Wake up, get dressed, grab half-assed homework, steal my roommate's breakfast, get to lecture, come home, play videogames, get out, get pissed, get home again, pass out on my bed. Rinse, repeat."

"Wow, what an exciting life you lead," said Sakura sarcastically, watching his friend demolish a plate of bacon, eggs, toast, sausages, and hash browns.

"Fey!" garbled Naruto through a mouthful of toast and eggs. Sakura winced in disgust as she was exposed to the inner workings of the blonde's mouth. "I foo work gard!"

The pink-haired girl gave him a withering look reminiscent of a mother scolding her teenage son. "Don't speak with your mouth full. Haven't you learned manners?"

Naruto grinned and swallowed down his food. "They did. I just slept through it."

"Figures."

"How's Hinata? Why didn't you bring her with you?" said Sakura, glancing around as if searching for the boy's girlfriend. Hinata was a shy, sweet thing which was the real opposite of the blond in front of her. It had everyone wondering how the two even got together in the first place. They were the epitome of the saying opposites attract.

Naruto shifted uncomfortably in his seat. Then cast a guilty look on his friend.

"We broke up about a week ago."

"Huh? Why? Did you break up with her? You stupid, insensitive clod!"

"Hey, before you accuse me of hurting a poor girl or anything, hear my side, will you? Stop glaring at me. Okay, well, it was like this. Her older cousin, Neji, who is more like a bodyguard to her than anything, got in the middle of things. He'd insist that he go everywhere we go, and I mean everywhere. He was like a leech that won't give up. I finally got the guts to talk to Hinata about it, and she agreed that our relationship wouldn't really work with him hanging around."

"And so? Just tell the guy to lay off you guys but that isn't reason enough to break up."

"Well, that would work, until Neji told me the real reason why he won't let me be alone with Hinata. It seems like there's bad blood between our fathers and Neji's actually been helping us with his presence. Hinata's father doesn't approve of our relationship. Tired to talk to Hina about it, but Hina said that if he tried to interfere, she would break off from the family and they would lose an heiress. Got the old man scared, but tried to get people and try to beat me up and stuff. Neji's been, er, asking the thugs to back off of me. So, we decided to call it quits. She's a nice girl, but it isn't worth all that. I mean, I really like her, but we know that we both deserve better than that."

Sakura sighed. She understood the situation perfectly.

"You okay about it?"

"At first, I was kind of pissed that what our dads did is getting between us, but we're both getting the hang of it. We talk in hallways and stuff. Neji said that Hinata locked herself up in her room the first two days and cried the whole while but got over it. Scared her old man half-to-death, so much in fact that he was actually going to consent. I wouldn't give him the satisfaction, though. Let him see what his stupid pride did. Hinata's okay now. There's a guy in our class that she's been hanging out with last time I heard."

"She seems to be getting over it quite quickly."

"What choice do we both have? It really, really sucks. But there are just some things that aren't meant to be, you know? Even though you try to tell yourself that it could work, it just can't. You have to learn to give up sometimes. It makes life easier."

"Since when did you get so fatalistic? The Naruto I know would be looking on the bright side in everything."

Naruto shook his head tiredly. "You can't look in the bright side when you're trapped in a dark room with a candle in your hand but no matches."

Sakura sighed again. When even Naruto makes sense, then it means that it was more than likely correct. Still, it was really sad about what happened to both of them.

"Are you seeing anybody new?"

The boy seemed to think about it for a while.

"I have a new friend, name's Sasuke. Met him at one of dad's parties," he answered finally. "His father is head of the security company that my father uses. He's this cold, dark type but really fun once you get to know him. He's training to be a bodyguard too and is in the army. That guy is a mean marksman. Bull's eye nearly every single time."

"Him? A guy? I didn't know that you were bi, Naruto."

A slight flush went across Naruto's cheeks which Sakura didn't miss and she grinned even wider.

"It's not like that at all! It's just that, how many friends can you say have military traning, and is disciplined in at least five martial arts? He could give any James Bond pansy a run for his money."

Sakura smirked knowingly and raised her cold cup of coffee to her lips. Speaking of bodyguards, Sakura glanced unobtrusively around the perimeter of the plaza. ANBU--the name for the special service operatives acting as bodyguards for the present Hokage of Konoha, the highest political leader in the city--were all over the place; she had counted at least five. They were plain clothed, and their disguises would have been perfect if only everything about them--from their postures, stances, and even the way they held their cups, as if they were holding a trigger--screamed 'Military Standard Issue'.

Sakura couldn't fault them, really, as it was their job to protect the Hokage and other family members. In this case, the Hokage's one and only son, Uzumaki Naruto.

Naruto finished his breakfast in record time, gulping down his milkshake with the finesse of an emancipated addict after a week denied of his substance. He stood up, burped loudly (to the repulsion of many other people in the vicinity), and pulled his friend to her feet.

"Come on! I haven't been out in ages and I want to see this new movie they just let out!" said Naruto.

"What? You're not even excited at all that I'm back from a long trip and just wish to spend time with me?" wailed Sakura in mock hurt. "That cuts me deep, man. Real deep."

"Stop being so melodramatic. I've been wanting to watch this movie for weeks!

"Okay, but who's going to pay for your food?"

"Hey, you're the one with the job between us, aren't you? I'm broke and Dad says I can't have an advance on my allowance. Was it really my fault that they released the new PlayStation 4 the same day he gave my monthly stipend?"

"Oh, you so owe me for this," grumbled Sakura, throwing down enough money to cover for their orders. In the corner of her eye, she saw five men stand up as well after communicating with the cuffs of their shirts.

"With how much I've been paying after you, I should own your soul by now."

"Yeah, yeah. You can send my soul for eternal damnation in your firey lair, oh great Satan, right after we finish this movie!"

"Don't forget shopping," said Sakura suddenly, getting an idea. "I need new brassieres."

"Crap, no way!"

"Remember, Naruto, we're due for lunch in about three hours."

"So, it's Victoria's Secret after the cinema, yeah?"

"Oh, I so own you."

"You're the devil with pink hair and high heels."

"And don't you forget it."

"Yeah, yeah, Lucy."

--

The girl never had any recollection of anything before she was nine years old. She supposed that she had a family, but it was hard to imagine anything when you suddenly find yourself in a dirty alley, streaked with mud and blood, and no memory of anything.

But she was a smart girl. She still knew some things. So the first thing she did was go to a police station. There was a tall man, lounging in chair outside the small station, looking bored to the world. She had told of her story, and the policeman, not wanting to just sit on his ass for the next five hours, went inside the room, telling the girl to follow him.

She didn't cry, move, or do anything while the policeman sat on his small desk and picked up the phone. He was nice, she remembered. He gave her half his sandwich and some tea. It fortified her somewhat, and subsided some of the panic that rose in her throat whenever she thought of who the hell she was.

Child services came more than an hour late--abandoned children were not really high on their list, it seemed--and took her to a home. She couldn't say who she was so the director christened her as Pink.

Pink was a quiet child, but her intelligence shone. Though dubbed as 'billboard forehead' by some of the more cruel children, she quickly proved that there was a brain underneath that big brow.

She was twelve when a strange man came to the home. Pink had been ushered from one foster family to another, until she came back to the home to help with some of the younger children. Though she was young, she quickly proved to have a mental and emotional capacity of someone at least five years older.

Maybe it was the fact that she had no memories, and wanted to prove herself to somebody--anybody. That she was not just another orphan nobody. That she was someone.

That she was Pink.

The man was so strange. It was Pink's first impression of the silver-haired man before her. She wondered why his hair would look like that when he looked so young…well, at least from what she could see. He kept his face half-hidden. Pink though that he was on costume for some play or something.

The silver-haired man took one look at her, and he smiled, or rather, his creased eye gave the impression of that.

"You are the one called Pink, aren't you?" he asked, his tone gentle.

Pink gave him a wary look but under the director's gaze, she nodded politely.

"Yes, pleased to meet you."

The man was still smiling. "Pink, I have great news for you. You see, I'm looking for the perfect little girl to adopt. And the director here told me all about you and I wanted to meet you. And I think I like you." A pause. "Will you consider me as being your adoptive guardian?"

Pink frowned. "But I'm already too old. There are a lot of younger children here who would be better."

"Pink!" admonished the director. It was a chance to get out of here, what was the child thinking?

"Well, it's true," Pink defended. "I noticed that only the younger children get adopted anyway. If anybody's more than five, we either stay here until we run away, get too old, or die."

"Pink, that is enough."

But the silver-haired man was thoughtful. "Yes, you are quite right. Quite an observational skill and as blunt as a brick. I like you, let's leave it at that, shall we? Besides, I don't like younger children. I don't have the patience to take care of bawling children. They say that you are intelligent, and quite mature for your age. I could go with that."

"If you take me, will you send me to school?" there was a hopeful glint in the round, green eyes of the child.

"No, I got something better. I'm a teacher. I'll be the one to teach you everything you need to know."

"Pink, what do you think?" asked the director. The little girl scrunched her face, as if weighing her options.

"You don't look like a teacher, but if the director says that it's okay to be with you, as long as you teach me stuff and everything, I suppose you could adopt me." Her face brightens. "And I could take care of you, too!"

"Oh?"

"Your clothes, though they look fairly expensive, are not ironed nor washed properly. Your hair is a mess, and I'm betting that your house looks as if a tsunami hit it."

"Not a tsunami," the man grumbles though slightly amused. "Just a small typhoon."

Pink laughs, delighted.

It didn't take long for the paperwork to come up together. By the end of the day, Pink was now under the care of one Hatake Kakashi.

"Pink…" said Kakashi as he drove down the road. They were in his car, with Pink's measly belongings in a small bag at her feet. "Do you like that name, Pink?"

"No, not really," says the girl, staring past at the scenery.

"Well, do you want a new name?"

The girl brightens, and gives her new guardian a wide smile.

"I want to be called Sakura!" She points to the row of cherry blossom trees lining the sides of the road. It was spring; the beautiful bloom of the millions of tiny pink flowers were in sharp contrast against the deep green grass and light blue sky, giving relief to the dullness of the grey, empty roads. The soft hum of the well-kept engine of the car and the light screech of the tyres against the asphalt didn't spoil the serenity of the nature they passed by.

It didn't take long for the man to realize that it was really the perfect name for her. The pink hair (he wondered if it was natural) and emerald green eyes strongly reminded anyone of the beautiful flowers. It was a delicate, beautiful name, which explains why it was so common. Fit for the little girl now under his care.

How appropriate.

Kakashi smiles. "Nice to meet you, Sakura-chan."

Sakura looks ready to launch herself at the man but restrains herself. Her smile grows wider and she feels that she has never been happier.

"You too, Kakashi-san."

It really was a beautiful spring day.

--

Sakura closed the door behind her, hearing the multiple locks click in place. It had been an eventful and fun, albeit exhausting day.

After the movie--Naruto had insisted on watching a comedy flick about two guys pretending they were gay (which left Sakura teasing the poor boy for hours even after the movie ended)--she had made good of her promise that they were going to buy some underwear for herself. Naruto had made gagging noises the whole time they were there.

He had actually looked green around the gills when Sakura asked whether a pink or a black lace thong was sexier.

"Aha! Any guy would be ogling when they come into stores like this!" Sakura had exclaimed when the boy had practically begged on his knees to be let out of the shop. "Admit it, you are gay and you are falling for that Sasuke guy!"

Naruto had twitched. "Okay, maybe I'll admit that I'm leaning into the other direction, so to speak, but I don't like that Sasuke-bastard, okay? If I were gay, I wouldn't be gay for him."

Sakura had then took pity on him and dropped the subject but she hadn't let him go out until she was finished with her purchases. It was some sort of punishment for all the times he had let her pay the tab on their meals.

They continued to trawl through the shopping centre, though by some unspoken decision, made it shops that they were both comfortable to be in--which means no more lingerie shops. Naruto had the time of his life in the games store, where he nearly had fought over the use of the games sampler.

It was five when Naruto said that he had to be going back. He had some more unfinished term papers to be done. Sakura was sad to see him go, as she had not seen him for months since she was assigned missions left and right, but gave him a warm good-bye hug anyway.

Sakura sighed. Naruto was in fact the only friend she had. She had never been the social type, and had met him in a library nearly five years ago. She had been using the library to look up on some of the subjects that Kakashi had been teaching her so that she could get ahead with her work. He was sitting in a chair on the table next to her, and was groaning quite loudly.

When she couldn't take the noises he made anymore, she stomped over to his table, asking him politely to pipe it down. Naruto took one look at her, and pointed at his books.

"Do you understand any of this?" he had asked.

Sakura took one look at the work presented before her. She and Kakashi had gone through the topic only a few months ago, so it was still fresh in her mind. Without another word, she pulled a chair close to him and began to teach him about the wonderful world of Basic Physics. Before she knew it, she was also helping him in his Classical Literature and Chemistry work as well.

The sun had already set when they realized that they were almost alone in the library. Naruto had thanked her profusely, saying that she was a great teacher--he understood the topic more than when his own teacher explained it to the class.

Sakura had said stiffly that it was okay and that she had better be going back home.

Naruto had argued that he hadn't thanked her properly and as payment for the priceless help she had bestowed, had offered to take her out to ramen.

Even though she knew that Kakashi would be wondering why she wasn't home yet, she had accepted.

She vaguely remembered that she had never enjoyed ramen as much as she did that night.

It had become a normal affair for them to meet in the library where Sakura would tutor him and then they would have ramen afterwards.

And from there struck a strong friendship Sakura would cherish all her life.

To her surprise, Kakashi never objected to their relationship, nor did he comment about it. There was a slight glint into his eye when she told him of his name though.

Sakura removed her shoes, placing them neatly in their respective cubby hole. Before she could enter the kitchen, though, arms wrapped around her and she leaned into a hard chest.

"How was your day?" asked Kakashi softly, burying his face in her perfumed locks.

"Tiring, but enjoyable," answered Sakura lightly, turning around in his arms. "How was yours?"

"The same."

"I bet you just sat on your backside reading Icha Icha Paradise."

"Like I said, it was a really enjoyable afternoon."

Sakura reached up, brushing her lips gently against the cloth covering his lips.

"I need a shower," she complained.

Kakashi grinned under his mask. "You smell like you need it."

"Shut up!" She poked him at his sides.

He pulled down his mask and nuzzled her neck, inhaling her soft scent. Even though she did smell a bit sweaty, she still had that distinctive musk about her that drove him crazy. He took in her moan of approval at his ministrations.

"I think I need one too."

"Wanna have one together?"

"Yes."

Sakura smiled. Kakashi really knew when to cheer her up.

--

To Be Continued

--

A/N: All right! This is my first foray into the wonderful world of KakaSaku fics, so I hope I did well. No, Kakashi is not a paedophile pervert in this story. I will explain in the next chapter how their relationship came to be from one of guardian-ward to lovers. Yes, Sakura is of age. She is nineteen in this story, so is Naruto. This chapter is a bit boring, but I just wanted to introduce some stuff. The real fun begins in the next chapter. Comments and suggestions are very much loved and welcomed!

Disclaimer: If I owned Naruto, I would have killed Sasuke off already. He does not deserve any lovin' anymore!