A/N- I'm not typically a short story writer, but this little idea came to me and I just had to tap it out. This is for all you self-sufficient girls who wouldn't mind having a man around every once in a while for these kinds of situations.

Disclaimer: The characters of Naruto belong to Kishimoto and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Enjoy!

Hero

Kakashi studied the intruder with a half-lidded gaze most intelligent creatures knew to fear. His one-eyed glare required minimal effort and was usually effective in such instances, but this, this thing seemed completely oblivious to it.

It wasn't uncommon for him to randomly stop by ever since he found out about the clandestine cooking classes she'd been taking. Sakura wasn't a bad cook, just seriously out of practice and he, chivalrous man that he was, could hardly leave his former student to her own devices when he was more than capable of providing her with a willing test palate. Really, what man in his right mind would turn down free meals, even if a few of them were somewhat indistinguishable?

It became a rather pleasant habit, despite the risk of occasional indigestion. He'd lounge on her couch indulging in one of his favorite books while listening to her putter around her small kitchen in an enticingly domestic way. The routine was comforting to an old warrior like him. Sakura's home was always warm and tidy, her cheerful presence soothing…and he'd never tire of watching those long legs in motion. It was such a shame she wore tall boots on the job, but in the comfort of her home, barefoot and reaching for something on the top shelf…ah, now that was bliss.

She wasn't unaware of his appreciative eye and he swore sometimes she'd do things like that just to tease him. Dinner and a show. Who was he to argue? He'd really been enjoying the slight hitch in her short skirt as she leaned over the counter for the washcloth when her shriek startled him into motion. He was in the kitchen before his ears stopped ringing, tense and battle ready. His dark eye swept the room for a threat so sinister as to frighten the typically fierce kunoichi, riveting on the culprit within seconds.

He blinked.

And blinked again.

Heaving a sigh, he glanced over his shoulder at the woman hiding behind him, frantically clutching his shirt. "You can't be serious."

Verdant eyes widened to preposterous proportions, swallowing him up more effectively than any genjutsu. Soft lips parted and he valiantly braced himself for the inevitable.

"Please, sensei?"

Oh no, not this time. She could prance around in short skirts and tight shirts, rail and rage with flashing eyes, but by no means was he going to be manipulated by that alluring little whimper.

"You're the Godaime's apprentice," he said dryly.

The simpering look threatened to morph into something decidedly deadlier. "So?"

"You can crush mountains with one fist," he pointed at the intruder, "and you're afraid of that?"

She smacked his arm and he smothered a wince. "Will you just kill it already?"

"Why?"

"Because you're a man."

"That's a bit prejudiced, don't you think?"

"Kakashi...."

"And I really don't remember this being in the job description."

"Kakashi…."

"What's in it for me?"

Emerald eyes stared at him incredulously. "Besides the fact that you've been eating here every week," she bared her teeth, "for free?"

Kakashi tapped a thoughtful finger to his chin. "Well, that's a pre-existing arrangement. This is extenuating circumstance."

She looked ready to stomp her foot when she shrieked again and latched onto his arm so hard he thought she might rip it off.

"It's moving!"

One dark eye shifted to the counter. "So it is."

"Kakashiiiiiiii!"

He fought the urge to chuckle at her genuine distress. If he didn't do something soon, she was likely to jump onto the table like a frightened housewife. Hmm, pink hair in a sloppy bun, skimpy robe, begging to be rescued by yours truly…not a bad image, that.

"This isn't funny!"

"If you say so."

She squeaked as the intruder veered towards them and the warmth of her curves pressing up against him short-circuited his brain. What was it they were arguing about?

"Kakashi, please!"

Oh, right. Save the world, save the village, save the pretty woman cutting off the circulation in his arm. All in a day's work for the legendary copy-nin.

With a resigned sigh, he lifted the book in his left hand and smacked it sharply onto the counter. A deafening silence ensued and Sakura hesitantly peeked around him.

"Did you get it?"

His eye flickered towards her. "You think I'd miss?"

She eyed the counter speculatively then looked up at him. Emerald eyes softened at his disgruntled expression and she looped her arms around his neck. Standing on tiptoe, she pressed a lingering kiss to his cloth-covered cheek. "My hero."

Slipping away from the startled shinobi, she danced over to the stove to check on dinner. "Maybe I'll make you some dessert, ne?" She shot him a saucy wink before stretching up to reach the cabinet above the fridge, one long leg curled up behind her for balance.

Eye riveted on a petite foot teasingly twisting left then right, Kakashi swallowed hard. What's a little sacrifice in the face of such a tempting offer? His hand touched his still tingling cheek and a slow smirk curved his lips. I could really get used to this.

Retrieving his beloved book from the counter, he turned it over and eyed the centipede splattered across the special edition cover.

…or not.


A/N- I had a centipede startle me once when I was reaching for a towel and it was right there just inches from my face, so yeah. Nasty little buggers. Anyway, if you enjoyed this, check out my others stories. I'm currently posting Ikigai, a multi-chapter SasuHina. It's got everything: angst, suspense, mystery, fluff, romance, action, adventure…. Why settle on one when you can have them all?

Thanks for reading!