TITLE: Five Years
WARNINGS: none. a bit of drama LOL
SUMMARY: Five years. Four rejections. One free dinner. "Naruto and Tsunade are going to kill me."
DISCLAIMER: Masashi Kishimoto owns Naruto and all related characters, etc etc etc.
Last Edited: April 20, 2009
Said girl didn't bother to look up from her desk. She had missed dinner and breakfast, and she wasn't keen on missing her lunch as well. Only the fact that her blonde best friend had brought her lunch that she considered replying to her.
"Wha?" She mumbled through her mouthful of warm rice and breaded pork.
"Having an older guy as your lover must be really exciting, huh?"
The shintenshin user jumped from her seat and moved back, avoiding the bits of rice and pork that the pink-haired medic had coughed out. She gave a sound of disapproval as Sakura quickly took a swig from her drink.
"Don't tell me you fell in love with Asuma?!" Sakura said, looking at Ino with wide eyes. The man was married, for heaven's sake!
Ino looked back at her in disgust.
"First of all, ew. He smokes, and he's got that grizzly facial hair." She said, going back to her seat infront of Sakura's desk. "Secondly, I don't go for married men."
Sakura let out a sigh of relief, and started cleaning up her desk.
"And I'm not talking about me, you idiot, I'm talking about you!"
Sakura paused in mid-cleaning and looked back at Ino, her eyes wide open once more. What was she talking about?
"Don't look at me like that, Forehead, I know you and Kakashi have something going on. I can't believe you're hiding it from me!"
Sakura's jaw hanged even lower, and it seemed she had forgotten to breathe. Then, realizing she was talking to no other than Ino, probably Konoha's Gossip Queen, Sakura let out a hearty laugh.
"Alright, who said that?" She said, sitting back on her chair and bringing her bowl of lunch closer to herself, chopsticks poised in her hand. "Don't tell me you got that from the market?"
Sakura recalled coming across Team 7's leader at the market the day before, right before she went to her shift in the hospital. Since he didn't look like he was doing anything, she had dragged him around to help her carry her groceries. The green-covered porn never left his hand, but he still carried her groceries nonetheless, and saved her some time.
"Actually, I've heard some rumors from there, too." Ino said, nodding. "Anyway, don't try to fool me, Forehead, I've seen the way he looks at you! And sometimes I even see him standing outside our flower shop, and then poofing away before I could even call him inside!"
Sakura's laughter died completely as she stared back at Ino, who was looking at her with that familiar 'I know what's going on' gleam in her eyes. All of a sudden, it seemed like the air-conditioning in the room was off.
"Erm" Sakura tried to clear her throat. "You must be mistaken, Ino. Kakashi must be checking out what flowers to bring at the memorial, or he's waiting for someone or something…"
"Then how do you explain that look he gives you, huh? I've seen him do it during our combined teams' mission last week!"
Sakura tried to clear her throat once more. She had never seen Kakashi give her any kind of look except for pointed ones when she wouldn't listen, and that crinkled one when he was trying to make excuses at why he was late or when he would look up from that dratted porn. For the life of her, the only other look she could imagine Kakashi would make was anger or dead seriousness in the middle of a battle.
"Oh. My. God."
Sakura looked back at Ino, and then around her room. Since it was highly unlikely that something in her office would excite her best friend, she figured it was related to her misunderstanding with Kakashi's behavior.
"Sakura, you're not lying to me when you said you two aren't in a relationship, right?"
"… Right." Sakura said, not liking the way Ino was grinning rather manically.
"Then that means he still hadn't confessed yet!"
Sakura frowned and gave her friend a skeptical look.
"Look, Ino," She said, lowering her bowl of lunch to her lap. "Kakashi is not in love with me, so go snoop on other people and bother them instead."
"Ara, Forehead, didn't you have a crush on him before?"
Sakura was suddenly glad she hadn't taken another bite of her lunch just yet. It was rather embarrassing to cough and sneeze out your chewed-up food.
"That was five years ago, Ino-pig. Don't bring up old issues again."
Suddenly, Sakura didn't want to continue her lunch. The memory of her liking Kakashi was something she didn't want to go back to. The first time she confessed to him back when she was a chuunin, he had only dismissed it as a trick to outsmart him to steal the green-covered book and burn it to ashes. The second time she tried, he had pretended to be asleep. The third time she tried, he finally listened to her, but dismissed the confession and told her, with that infamous eye-crinkle, that she was just being carried away, as she and Kakashi had always paired during missions while Naruto was paired with Sai. With full determination, she trained even harder, made herself seem matured enough for him, as it seemed their age gap was the primary reason Kakashi wasn't even considering the possibility of them being together. When she tried to confess to him one last time, even going as far as kissing him though that accursed cloth on his face, he told her, without batting an eye, that she and Naruto would definitely bring back Sasuke one day, and she wouldn't be so lonely anymore.
That was the last straw, and she was left regretting even thinking of confessing to the man. All the frustrations had helped her pass her jounin exam, though, she had to admit.
Five years had passed since then, and her relationship with Kakashi had been nothing else but friendly.
"Sakura, you haven't had a boyfriend. Since you don't like Sasuke-kun anymore and you refused to have anyone after Kakashi failure, don't you think it's time you try it with him again?"
Sakura shrugged. Although she didn't have any boyfriends, she did go out on dates once in a while, which would occasionally be ruined by Naruto or Sai's presence, sometimes both. She tried to imagine going out with Kakashi, but it only left her sighing tiredly.
"I'm not going to go out with someone who rejected me four times with no consideration whatsoever." She finally said, making Ino grunt in frustration. "And you might just be seeing things. You tend to do that when you get too excited."
Sakura jumped as her best friend slammed her palms on her desk. It bothered her more, however, to see that manic glint in her eyes once more.
"How about a bet?"
Sakura rolled her eyes. She suddenly felt like she was back in their genin days, when she and Ino would compete in anything.
"I'm not making any bets with you, Ino."
"Oh really?" Ino drawled in a sing-song voice. "Even when the winner gets four treats to a full body spa?"
Sakura's eyebrows twitched. Long hours in the hospital and heavy duty missions could really take its toll on one's body, and full body spas are perfect remedies for that.
"First of all," Sakura finally sighed. "What's the bet?"
"When you ask him on a date and he agrees, that's two full body spa treatments. If you kissed him and he kissed you back, that's another two full body spa treatments. AND here's the best deal—"
Sakura moved back in her seat, gulping. Maybe she should step back from the bet right then and there.
"If he goes for more than groping and kissing, you'll treat me at that new fancy café near our family's shop!"
Sakura sank in her chair. The first bet was acceptable, but the next two were a tad too much. She didn't feel like betting on kisses and… whatever else could happen.
That, and she really didn't want to get rejected again.
"I'm not making any bets, Ino, sorry."
Her blonde friend gave a sound of protest as Sakura placed her half-eaten lunch on her desk. Grabbing her medic cloak, she headed towards her office's door with the intention of going straight back to work.
"Hey, Forehead. Tell me something."
Sakura turned back at her friend, who was now looking at her intently.
"It hurt that much, huh?"
Sakura only gave her friend a grin.
"We have patients to look out for. We can't have them waiting, can we?"
O O O
Sakura could clearly see her frowning face at the glass display that held several kinds of cakes. She was really hungry for dinner, and she wanted to try eating in the new café that Ino had mentioned, but now that she was there, she just found out that she didn't have her wallet with her.
"Are you ordering anything, Miss?" The woman behind the counter asked, and Sakura shook her head regrettably.
"Sorry, I forgot my wallet."
Sighing dejectedly, Sakura stepped out of the café. She could go back to the hospital to retrieve her wallet, but her stomach was already churning angrily.
Sakura glanced to her right and greeted the silver-haired jounin. Suddenly, her face broke into a relieved grin and she quickly grabbed on to her former sensei's arm before he could get away.
"Ne, Kakashi, aren't you hungry now?"
The man only looked at her questioningly.
"Well, it is dinnertime…"
"Great! Treat me to dinner. You've always made us pay for your meals anyway."
The older jounin looked back at her quietly, seemingly weighing the pros and cons, and when Sakura wouldn't let go of his arm, he finally relented, making the girl's grin even wider.
"Thanks!" Sakura said, now pushing the man inside the café. "Actually I left my wallet, so don't you dare run away on me."
Kakashi only gave a defeated murmur as Sakura guided him to a table next to a wall.
"Don't you think eating at a barbeque restaurant would be better?" Kakashi said as a waitress handed them menus. Sakura ignored the complaint and began to peruse the list of heavy meals.
"Don't worry, Kakashi, they serve barbeque if you want them." She replied, taking note of ordering a bowl of warm soup and a large steak. "Besides, Ino said—"
When you ask him on a date and he agrees, that's two full body spa treatments.
Sakura nearly backed on her seat rather violently. Instead, she brought the menu closer to her rapidly reddening face, hiding it from view. Her heart started to pound rather fast in her chest, and it seemed that the air-conditioning in the café was busted as well.
"What did Ino say?" She heard Kakashi say, and Sakura had to take several deep breaths to compose herself.
"S-She said the food here is really good."
Without waiting for a reply, Sakura called on to a waitress and placed her order. Kakashi only ordered a bowl of noodles and coffee, and Sakura couldn't help but raise an eyebrow at him.
"You're finally not eating at Icharaku, yet you're ordering a noodle dish?"
Kakashi only shrugged, and Sakura decided not to bother anymore. Her heart was back to its normal rate right now, and she inwardly scolded herself for acting so stupidly. She just misunderstood the situation, how silly of her. It wasn't like she asked Kakashi to go on a date with her. She just asked him to treat her to dinner, just like how Naruto always asked Iruka to treat him several bowls of ramen.
"Ah, Kakashi," Sakura said, noticing something unusual. "You're not reading 'that' book?"
Kakashi looked down at his right hand and shrugged once more.
"I just finished reading it before I bumped into you."
Sakura only nodded, glad that at least she wouldn't be seen eating with someone who was openly reading porn.
Silence came in between the two, but Sakura didn't mind as Kakashi wasn't one to talk a lot.
Come to think of it, this would be the first time she would be eating alone with him.
"We did once, while undercover at Grass."
Sakura looked back at Kakashi, confused.
"Before you took your jounin exams." Kakashi said, and Sakura was still confused. "We had a mission at Grass, and we ate at a restaurant where our targets were eating as well, while Naruto and Sai checked their hotel rooms."
Sakura felt her body had gone numb. Without realizing it, she had apparently thought out something aloud. Or she could have been muttering to herself and Kakashi heard her.
And how could Kakashi remember such a small thing like that?
Anyway, don't try to fool me, Forehead, I've seen the way he looks at you!
Sakura turned back on her seat in panic. No, Kakashi's famous for remembering things. He's the damn Copy-nin!
'Calm down, and think nothing of it. You're being an idiot again, Sakura!'
"Here are your orders, ma'am, sir."
Sakura turned back to their table and concentrated on the food before her. Kakashi didn't talk while eating, and therefore she would be left in peace with her dinner.
For now, she would concentrate on pleasing her empty stomach.
* * *
"Nnn that was a great dinner!"
Kakashi only gave a short 'hn' as a reply as he kept his wallet back in his pocket. Sakura grinned at him as they walked on their way home.
"It feels nice to treat others, ne?"
"As long as they didn't eat food enough for two people."
Sakura frowned. It was true that she ate quite a lot, but that was because she had missed several meals already. Screw diet, she was hungry.
"Speaking of eating, I've never noticed you eating your food, but it's finished a few minutes later." Sakura said, looking at Kakashi's mask curiously. "Why do you keep that mask, anyway?"
Kakashi only shrugged, and much to Sakura's annoyance, took out a familiar green-covered book.
"You said you just finished reading it!"
"Doesn't mean I can't read it again."
Sakura frowned, but the man had treated her to dinner, so she would let him off the hook for now, even when the people they passed by gave him and his book disapproving looks.
Sakura broke into a small smile. If this situation had happened years ago, back when she had fallen for the man now walking beside her, she would have been ecstatic. She would have been blushing, trying to control the pace of her heart, trying to calm down by taking several deep breaths, talking away just to distract herself and avoid being too self-conscious.
But now she had given up, and she couldn't feel any tension between them.
Unless she was suddenly reminded of Ino-pig's words.
'Calm down, stupid Sakura! You've been rejected too many times already.'
Said girl stopped in her walking and looked back at her former sensei, who was standing infront of an all too familiar building.
Her apartment building.
"Oh." She said, laughing apologetically. "I guess this would be my stop. Thanks for the meal, Kakashi."
The man only gave her that crinkled eye look and went on his way.
'I told you, Ino-pig,' Sakura thought, going up her apartment building with a tired sigh. 'That's the only look he ever gives me.'
: to be continued :
Author's Notes: This is the one-shot I was talking about in 'Not Late'. They came out quite differently, ne?
This is supposed to be a one-shot, but I figured it was too long for a chapter and I didn't want people to get tired of reading LOL so I split it into two.