A Series of Firsts

For satalex

Many of you may have read this already at my journal, but I wanted to post it as a complete one-shot and had the time to fix a bunch of the blatant errors. This is rated M for mature - lemon content, sex and mature content. Be warned.

I do not own Naruto.

The first time Kakashi had seen Sakura in three years, she was fighting. Her long pink hair was loose and flowing with her movements as her gloved hands thrust through the air, looking for purchase on her male opponent. Her body was lithe, and looked strong and wiry in her white ANBU uniform. When a hit finally landed, the poor, unsuspecting man tumbled backwards, ass over teakettle, gathering the snow in his hair and clothes.

Kakashi grinned under his mask. It wasn't exactly what he expected to see the moment he arrived at the base camp in the Snow Country, but it was a pleasant surprise. He didn't realize she was the medic attending there, and that when Ibiki had said there was only one woman that it would be her.

He could feel the chill on his feet where the packing snow melted against his dark boots, yet he stayed to observe her while she calmly watched her young opponent trying to get back up to continue. But it appeared that, with a wave of submission from a weak hand, he was finished. The bright purple mark on his chin indicated how effectively she'd rung his bell.

Kakashi was mildly impressed, and selfishly proud due to the believing he had something to do with her abilities. Of course, he'd never tell her, so it didn't matter. So he just stood in the snow watching the aftermath as the young woman spun to return to her cabin, halting abruptly the moment her bright green eyes caught sight of him.

She froze in place, her pretty mouth open in surprise.

"If she beats up any more of my ANBU, I'm going to need reinforcements," Ibiki laughed from beside the Copy-nin.

"Not the first then?" Kakashi asked in a hushed tone.

"Looks like she's going through the entire company, man by man. You think they'd learn from each other not to come on to her. She chose a strange post for someone who's not too fond of men."

"Ah," Kakashi half-laughed, shouldering his pack and turning to point at the multitude of cabins they had long ago erected as their base camp. "I'd like to toss my things down."

Ibiki nodded, coming back to himself, and began to walk to the circle of buildings surrounded by small snow banks. Kakashi followed, glancing back to Sakura and nodding once before turning his attention to his new home for the next few months.

Sakura was clenching her fists and looking outwardly annoyed at his lacklustre greeting.

When he turned from her, he couldn't help but smile at her anger. Nice to see she was still the Sakura that he remembered.

The first time Sakura had seen Kakashi in years, she was shocked. After decking Hasano for his remarks on her frigidness, she never even suspected that she'd have the audience of her former team-leader, as well as Ibiki. No one had mentioned Kakashi would be coming with the next set of ANBU. Most of the men that were sent were young and fresh from Jounin duty and the ANBU exam. A year tour on an away mission was required when joining ANBU, so why did Kakashi come? It was almost assured that he'd done it years ago.

Another shock was to see him standing there in an ANBU uniform. She imagined he'd never wear one again, but there he was clad in the svelte, tight vest and pants, complete with long gloves and guards. He looked different, lankier, taller...younger...

And his strange look... What was that? He seemed to be smirking, almost condescendingly.

She'd been out on the ANBU rotation for eight months, taking over for the last medic who had finished his outlying tour, and hadn't seen anyone she knew from the village since arriving. All the ANBU were men, all between eighteen and twenty-five, and all looking forward to doing rounds through the Snow Country.

Why would Kakashi bother?

Well, she supposed they had time to talk and she imagined since she hadn't seen him in at least three years, she would find out what he'd heard regarding why she left the village.

She crossed her arms and huffed a little.

At least he could have said hello.

The first time Sakura had gotten up the courage to come and sit with him in the mess area just the day after he arrived, Kakashi tried hard not to laugh at her discomfort. They weren't strangers, but something seemed different between them and perhaps it was because she was older now.

A young girl training with teammates and a sensei would not have discomfort like she had. The pink of her cheeks showed she was embarrassed and the way she played with the ends of her hair showed she thought of him as a man now, instead of a teacher. Sakura was never shy, but now she was a woman and probably couldn't help working the situation to advantage as most young women learnt to.

"Kakashi-senpai, I didn't expect you to be here. I haven't really seen anyone in eight months that I know. What brings you all the way to the Snow Country?" she asked smoothly, sweeping her fingers through her long bangs more than once during their conversation. She didn't call him sensei anymore.

"The Hokage sent me to keep an eye on you," he said evenly, flipping the page of his favourite orange book.

"What?" Her eyes met his creased gray one.

"I'm just kidding, Sakura. They've sent me for eight months to take over for Ibiki while he goes back for a different rotation."

Her silence and the way she looked around the room displayed the level of discomfort she was having between trying to be a woman with him, and remembering their past when she was just a girl. "Sorry, I guess I'm always expecting that from Tsunade."

"Are you doing something that you need to be checked up on for?" Kakashi smirked behind his mask. "You know, like beating up all the men out here."

Instead of the typical irate reaction to the joke or the fist thump on the table he expected, she turned her head and laughed softly, trying not to be too obvious. "Sometimes men don't learn, Kakashi." She shook her head and smiled, making the mood lighten. Slowly getting up from the table and crossing the room to grab a peach, she turned and winked at him before walking out.

She'd found the balance, he thought to himself. Right before his eyes, she grew up.

He couldn't look at her like a child anymore.

The first time Kakashi saw Sakura as a woman, it was late at night. He wanted to creep into the mess cabin to get something to eat as he'd forgotten hours ago to remember to get something. Typical really, he forgot meals all the time.

Wandering through the cabin area, he could hear voices coming from all over. Most were men, but between two cabins in the darkness of where the roof blocked out the lamplight, he heard a woman's soft tones.

Curiosity got the better of him and he moved nearer in the shadows. By the sounds he could hear coming from the pair, he figured they wouldn't notice his approach. It wasn't that he wanted to spy on her, but it appeared that this was the first man she hadn't decked for coming on to her, and he wanted to know which of his ANBU could pull off that feat.

She stood up against the cabin wall, and a dark-haired ANBU worked at trying to kiss her. He touched his mouth to hers gently, and his hands were slow as he ran his fingers down her gloved arms. Sakura grabbed his vest and pulled him closer and his palms reactively went up to the wall so they didn't collide.

"Come on," she growled in the back of her throat, twisting a hand in his shirt and pulling him to her for a deep kiss. But he dragged down the momentum that she tried to speed up. Even scratching her nails along his thigh didn't get the reaction she wanted, and she hissed in frustration.

His fingers touched her slender waist so gingerly that she probably couldn't even tell his hands were there.

Fed up and left wanting, Sakura finally pushed him away from her and told him, "Never mind."

"What's the problem?" he asked, disillusioned and confused.

"I was...just looking for something else, that's all." Sakura said, reigning in what Kakashi could tell was pent up need and now frustrating disappointment.

She'd made her own bed with it though. She'd beaten so many of them so many times that they couldn't look at her like someone they wanted to tear clothes from. They couldn't find her feminine, even though she was probably the most feminine woman they would ever meet. She needed someone to take charge, meet her assertion, to be in control. They were too young to understand what made her tick, and maybe she was too.

But she was a woman, soft and delicate, and on the properly orchestrated occasion, overtly sexual.

The temptation to walk over, push her hard up against the wall and kiss her like she'd never been kissed before played on Kakashi's sense of chivalry and pervertedness, because she wanted and needed it so badly.

Perhaps he was the only one that could see that.

Perhaps he shouldn't have seen it at all.

For days that scenario would replay in his mind.

The first time Sakura saw Kakashi as a man was on an errand run to the nearby village called Tsurara, where the water would drip and freeze in long icicles, coating the buildings and making everything shine.

They went in a group of four to get some supplies and take a break from the monotony of living in cabins in the snow ...with nothing to look at but snow... when a young ANBU suggested they slip into the small, quaint village hotel for a drink.

Kakashi, being commander...and well being Kakashi, had no problem at all with it, and neither did anyone else.

The foursome wandered into the pub filled with locals who were talking and drinking happily. It appeared to be someone's twenty-fifth birthday and the crowd was a decent age to join in with.

Drinks were shoved into their hands and more than one young lady sauntered over to meet the young men in their ANBU gear. Everyone knew it was hard to resist the sleek, sexy looking uniforms.

Sakura sat at the bar with some of the local men that had questions for them, and she glanced around behind her at Kakashi, who had opted to choose a quieter place by the wall. A woman had just joined him at his table. She couldn't have been any older than Sakura. She had long beautiful hair that cascaded like golden ribbons down her shoulders and back, and the brightness of her blue eyes rivalled Naruto's.

Sincerely, Sakura believed Kakashi's young companion was the prettiest thing in a room full of pretty things.

Sakura found she couldn't look away from the intimate interaction as Kakashi leaned closer, holding a conversation with her easily as she twisted her hair around her finger, and smiled widely, leaning near to him as well.

The ivory cable knit sweater she wore was heavy and woollen, and when she raised her hands to gesture, the thick sleeves of it ran all the way to her fingers. Everything about her seemed perfect, natural, and feminine. Their interaction seemed so intimate, like old lovers that had run into each other after years apart. She'd laugh softly, and touch his arm, his wrist, his hair.

Sakura wondered why she would choose to meet Kakashi when there were two fairly decent specimens of young male at the bar.

But after an hour and two drinks, the young woman's fingers crept up to Kakashi's mask and he leaned closer, his eye creasing a little with his smile. Gently, with those long fingers poking from the thick sweater, she slipped two into his mask and pulled it down slowly.

When it reached his chin, she stared, just as Sakura was staring.

Her fingertips dragged gently across his jaw line and she neared him to whisper something, holding his face in her hands. For a moment, Sakura thought she was going to kiss him.

Kakashi regarded her and then pressed his mouth to her ear and whispered something back.

Sakura was suddenly desperate to know what they were talking about, feeling her face redden to be an intruder on something that shouldn't have included her. She'd forgotten what it was like to have a man whisper in her ear like that, tickling it and making goose bumps rise along her skin.

But then Kakashi got up, adjusted his mask back on his face and waved a little to the girl as he left, turning once to look at Sakura before making his exit.

The woman's eyes watched him until he stepped out the door.

Sakura's eyes watched him too, seeing something there she never noticed before.

The first time Kakashi began to look at Sakura sexually was the morning the sun had risen brightly and there were no clouds. The sun gave off a wonderful heat even though the snow still blanketed the ground. Men were slipping out of their vests and black shirts to soak in the rays.

Kakashi wasn't much about tanning, but he enjoyed the warmth and so joined them out on the wooden tables on the cement patios outside the cabins. Sakura was sitting on the step of her cabin, leaning back and enjoying the heat, crunching on the end of a sucker from the jar she kept by the hospital bed for local children who came for shots. The pink of her cheeks looked delicate, almost like a blush, and after just an hour, her shoulders looked burnt.

She'd shirked her vest like everyone else, stretching back in just the dangerously thin, black, sleeveless lycra shirt.

It was obvious to him, and probably others, that she had omitted a bra. Kakashi never contemplated if a bra was a required part of an ANBU uniform before, although he could imagine the tight vest would be support enough....not that she needed support as things seemed supported quite well by nature.

The bright red sucker slid out of her perfect red-stained lips, and she opened her mouth to press it on her tongue. She ran a hand down to her stomach and lifted her shirt hem to expose the taut plane of her abdomen, and when a breeze blew gently, her nipples hardened.

How long Kakashi had watched her like that was beyond him.

The dirty thought of feeling her nipple under his tongue through that black shirt caught him by surprise and he had to walk away before he started to work out how to act on it.

The first time Sakura began to look at Kakashi sexually, it snowed in puffy white flakes that dropped lazily from the sky. They were fat and soft, just perfect to sit by the fire and watch.

A number of ANBU had met in one cabin to share the fire and enjoy some company. It was peaceful in the Snow Country and they were all lucky to be stationed in it, as there was more leisure time than anything else. Kakashi had joined them late, and he shook the snowflakes from his hair as he entered.

Sakura laughed when she thought to herself that he could have left the snow in his hair and no one would be able to tell.

As he walked by, he nudged her a little, most likely knowing what the chuckle was for. An easy comfort had grown over the first few weeks between them since he arrived, so he naturally chose the seat next to her. Call it history or just familiarity, but they both strove for it regularly.

Stories began by the men, and time slipped by with both of them sitting in silence. Once in a while, Kakashi would look up from his dirty book and interject, but it was rare. Sakura sat next to him and would glance at the pictures as he turned the pages. Their thighs touched the entire time.

How he could sit there and look at it without getting turned on was a mystery to Sakura.

The room was just getting too hot from the glances she stole and the contact of her leg with a man's. Sighing and sticking a finger in her shirt, she tugged at her collar and found the heat a little bit too much to take. It was probably her own fault for reading over his shoulder but the images of what the man did to the woman...the faces they'd make...the positions they were in…

Standing up and moving fairly quickly to the door, she swung out and breathed in the cold air, wondering what had truly possessed her to come out and be alone in the Snow Country for a year. It took months to realize it was no solution to the problem of Sasuke and his cold ways. His embarrassing rejection of her was enough to make her run away like she did, but was the far away camp the answer?

All in all, she supposed there were worse places to go.

"Are you all right?" Kakashi asked from the steps of the cabin.

"No, not really," she said to the sky, letting the snowflakes drop on her hot face, instantly melting.

"Is there anything I can do?" he said quietly, knowing there was, but it was something he couldn't voice.

"Yeah. Want to fight?"

"If that's all you want me to do," he said, not exactly hiding the fact that she just needed to ask plainly for what she wanted, no matter what it was.

How could he know? Did they all know?

Sakura felt her face turn red, and finding a little more anger rising in her blood, she pointed to the back training field so they wouldn't alert an audience. Their boots crunched in the soft snow and if anyone wanted to follow the two sets of footprints, it would be only too easy.

Sakura's experience fighting Kakashi was fairly extensive from years before, and so she waited for him to tell her to go.

But this time, and to her surprise, he didn't.

Instead he lunged, quickly taking the attack without warning. It was all she could do to get an armguard up to block him. He kicked her next, connecting with her side and making her fall hard into the snow, wetting and chilling her fingers through the gloves.

She got up quickly, using her leg guard to block a kick, and then took the opportunity to swing at his chin. But it was Kakashi, and he was not so easy to hit. Thrusting at him while chasing, he led her through the trees, occasionally stopping to land a blow or to topple her off a branch.

For at least fifteen minutes, it went on.

When his feet finally hit the ground, she was breathing hard above him on a branch, and could feel the ache in her shoulder where he'd speared her into a tree. She stared down at him and he looked up, both their chests rattling with the cold air as they breathed out heavy misty breaths.

She jumped down, and swung again, nicking his chin, but doing no real damage. Her legs were out from under her before she knew it and she lay in the snow, panting, limbs aching, and feeling so much better than she had for ages.

"That was so good," she whispered. "I needed that so much."

"It's not what you need, but I guess it'll do for now," Kakashi said smoothly, putting a hand out to help her up.

Sakura's open mouth and wide eyes displayed she completely understood what he meant with his blunt statement, and she was again embarrassed that it was so obvious. So before she let go of his hand as he helped her to stand, she punched his face with the other.

"What were you saying?" she said smugly.

Kakashi's brow creased and his eye narrowed as he lightly rubbed his chin.

Sakura's eyebrows rose as if to say, "So what you are going to do about it?"

And then Kakashi came at her, his hands twisting in her ANBU vest, the intensity taking her by surprise. He lifted her a little, backing them up so quickly her feet barely touched the ground as he thrust her against a tree hard and held her there. Two fingers went up to his mask and he yanked it down.

Sakura's wide frightened eyes looked into his just before he pressed his mouth so hard to hers, he probably bruised their lips.

After the initial shock, Sakura responded desperately, allowing him to take control of her.

She groped at him, trying to get a hold of his vest, trying to pull him between her legs while wrapping one around him.

But he pushed himself off of her.

"Like I said...a fight isn't what you need," he said evenly, turning away and walking back to the cabins while rubbing a tense hand through his hair.

The first time Sakura realized she was fighting a losing battle with her hormones, it was sunny and bright outside, but cold.

But sadly, the temperature was not the problem today. The complete and total problem was that she was stationed in a remote, isolated camp with nothing but young, testosterone-laden men who got bored pretty damn easily.

The sounds of cheers roused her from stocking the medical shelves to drag herself over to the window to inquire as to what the uproar was about. It wasn't the first time the scene in front of the cabin played out, and she suddenly knew that it would be a day full of bandages and first aid.

Grabbing her large bag of triage supplies and some icepacks, Sakura wandered out into the courtyard that the immediate cabins surrounded to wedge herself between men whooping and pumping their arms within the entire ANBU company.

Two men jostled and surveyed each other, fists up, shirts off, and cloth wrappings around their hands. Blood layered the taller man's knuckles and the smaller man wiped blood from his nose on the back of his wrapped hand, ignoring the swelling and bruising. The taller man lunged at the smaller, catching his jaw and effectively ending the bout. The shorter of the two fell backwards as if he was a tree that had been cut down, thumping hard enough for everyone to hear his head hit the snowy ground.

"Not this again," Sakura grumbled, standing there and waiting to see if the man got up.

Eventually, he rolled onto his hands and knees, and some arms pulled him up and lifted him to stand. Pinching his nose, he walked past Sakura who jammed an ice pack into his chest without even looking at him.

"Dumbass," she mumbled, making him laugh.

Already another fight had broken out. Two men were sparring, testing each other and advancing and retreating like the swell and ebb of a tide. Unfortunately, Sakura knew one of the opponents as Kyouran, a hot headed dirty fighter whom she'd never had the pleasure of knocking out before. Most men wanted to do the honours of knocking his block off every so often, but the problem was he was just so damn powerful.

The man he fought was fairly new in the camp and had obviously not had his proper orientation on which fights were worth picking and which were worth avoiding.

"Didn't think you'd be here," Kakashi laughed softly from beside Sakura.

She glanced over at him to see he was just in his black sleeveless shirt, not bothering to pull up his mask or put his headband on. His arms were crossed leisurely over his chest and his head was cocked slightly, his sharingan closed.

"Medic," she sighed. "For a foreign-based ANBU detachment, the majority of our injuries are self-inflicted. Funny, huh?"

Kakashi huffed a little laugh, his eyes glued to the fight. He didn't actually look happy.

Sakura could understand why. Twice Kyouran had tried to hit his opponent's family jewels, and twice he'd used chakra to increase his momentum. The fights had rules. It was two men, no chakra, no jutsu, and no low blows. It was, to them, a gentleman's fight, a fight with honour. It helped to wash out the pent up anxiety and cabin fever, while blowing off steam.

Sadly, no one ever stood a chance with Kyouran, but usually no one was dumb enough to fight him either.

For the third time, the brute went to use chakra; a quick cock of his fist and a swift downswing would mean the end of the poor fellow barely left on his feet, but the blow never landed.

Kakashi stood between the men, his hand on Kyouran's.

Sakura looked at the empty space beside her and then back at the trio of men in the centre of the wide circle of bodies, shocked by Kakashi's speed. She hadn't even seen him move.

"I think this fight is finished," Kakashi said calmly.

Kyouran stood up straighter, puffing his large chest out. "He's still standing," he growled. "And I'm not finished fighting. Unless you'd like to step in."

An excited murmur began almost immediately.

Kakashi rubbed his chin thoughtfully, glanced at Sakura, and then back at Kyouran. "I don't have anything else I have to do at the moment, so why not."

Sakura creased her brow, listening to the charged-up rumblings and the hiss of bets on who would win a hand to hand between the two. And why had Kakashi had looked at her briefly? Did he want to make sure she and her medical supplies were still around? For Kyouran? For him?

Waiting for the other ANBU to be removed from the fight area, Kakashi allowed a man to wrap his knuckles with strips of fabric so he wouldn't damage his hands when he hit.

And before he could even turn fully around to look at Kyouran, the large man's hand was already flying toward his face.

"Kakashi!" Sakura shrieked out, but he had dodged right and the swing went easily past his head, nearly toppling Kyouran over.

Kakashi used the big man's momentum to dip a shoulder into his side and flip him over; the thud of his solid body tumbling almost shook the ground. But it wasn't enough to stop the giant, and he spun to his hands and knees and got up without skipping a beat - but smartly, a little more wary of Kakashi's speed.

Circling each other, Kakashi threw a left to test the distance between them. Kyouran did the same, with Kakashi easily swaying out of the way.

Sakura could feel her heart pounding, her chest tightening much like her fingers as her knuckles turned white on the strap of the bag. Kakashi's arms were strong and sleek, the muscles long and sinewy. Each swing of his fist made her breath hitch.

The first hit Kakashi landed was sound, and the snap of Kyouran's nose made a satisfying crunch. Blood spurted out, but he only wiped at it casually and continued on. The next hit Kakashi landed was on Kyouran's chin in a lightening fast uppercut.

For a moment, Sakura was sure the big man would topple, but with a shake of his head, he was back in it again.

Things progressed as both men seemed to be tempered by the sound of the crowd cheering and hollering, and the thrill of the fight taking over. Sakura could practically smell the testosterone and it frightened her. They all seemed angry, thrilled, excited, turned-on by the violence of watching two men beat each other. Their faces were red, their brows sweaty, and their lips curled back over their teeth.

Kyouran's fist managed to catch Kakashi's cheek, slicing a straight cut just below his right eye. Kakashi hadn't seemed to even notice as his swing back caught Kyouran in the chest, making him wheeze.

Sakura felt a tingle in her body to see his strength in action, remembering that kiss and how he'd grabbed her and forced her up against the tree, pressing his perfect lips to hers, sliding his hot tongue into her mouth. Watching him like this, she felt so much desire coursing through her. She wanted him badly, wanted to feel his body holding hers against that tree again, this time working his way to her clothes.

Another blow landed, but it hit Kakashi's shoulder as he dodged again, this time snapping a hard fist to Kyouran's jaw, the sound of the connection so loud that Sakura knew it was over. The big man's eyes rolled back in his head, and he crumpled to the ground like a house of cards.

The crowd went wild, shouting and hollering their admiration and respect for their team leader. She supposed it was how it should be, their commander being the strongest. Sakura knew that no other man in that company could have beat Kyouran, let alone beat him so easily.

Kakashi stood watching the man, his breath coming out in hard pants, his chest rising and falling quickly. It wasn't just the fight that made him like that, but the thrill, the completely masculine desire to dominate and win. Even the great, consummately lazy Copy-nin wasn't immune.

Sakura could feel her own breath keeping time with his as her chest rose and fell, and her cheeks burned with a deep flush. He frightened her and it took on an erotic charge through her body.

As if he could sense it in her, smell her desire, he looked at her with those mismatched eyes, narrowed and focused. It was all she could do not to take a step back.

Coming back to himself and rubbing a hand through his hair roughly, he nodded that he was finished and moved through the crowd, purposefully trying not to look at her. As another fight started quickly, Kakashi disappeared into his cabin, the blood still trickling down his cheek.

Shoving a few bandages into the hands of the man standing beside her, Sakura adjusted the strap of her bag and took a deep breath. It was stupid, she knew, to go to his door and knock, knowing what state he was in and what seemed to be hovering between them ever since that kiss. Whenever she didn't think he was looking, she'd stare at him, tracing the lines of his body, thinking about what she'd like him to do to her. Most times, he'd catch her as if he could hear what she was thinking. Even then, she'd let her gaze linger, hoping he would confront her on it, or perhaps even act on it.

And he was the same - taking opportunities to brush against her, flip out his book when she was beside him, reach over her shoulder to get something from the cupboard she stood at so he could press his chest against her back. They were in a frustrating limbo, but it was inevitable that they would end up in some sort of compromising position.

Slowly, trying not to draw any attention and easily successful as the men were enthralled with the latest beating, Sakura wandered over to Kakashi's cabin. She'd lifted her hand to knock, but felt worried that he may not let her in. So throwing caution to the wind, she put her thumb on the latch and squeezed, pushing the door open just a crack with a trembling hand.

"This isn't a good time," he mumbled, obviously knowing it was her.

"You're bleeding," she responded, her voice small and timid.

"It's nothing." His voice sounded strained. "Go watch the fights."

Sakura swung the door open and stepped inside to find Kakashi leaning over a basin of bloody water, shirt off, and his face wet.

"You really need to go," he said strongly without looking at her, the rise of his chest still fast, his hands tightly gripping the sides of the basin.

"Let me check your face!" she growled, responding equally as strongly to his intensity. "Sit down. It will just take a moment," she hissed when he turned away from her.

Rubbing a wet hand over his face, Kakashi nodded a little, probably deciding he could handle it and finally obeyed without any more argument. Maybe he felt it was better to just placate, get it over with so she could leave.

He took two steps back and sank onto the end of the bed, looking down and working at removing the wrappings from his hands.

Sakura moved over to him quickly, trying to seem professional and medical and all things ANBU while she set down her bag beside him on the bed and dug through for the right size bandage. Her toes were nearly touching his. But upon finally finding the right one, she raised her eyes to catch his, which were now looking up at her in that same narrowed gaze he gave her after the fight.

"It..." she breathed out, the heat rising to her face again. "It stopped bleeding."

She trembled, feeling that fear mixed with that desperate anguish of wondering if he would put her out of her misery and do what his dirty gazes had been promising her for weeks.

"Why are you nervous?" he asked quietly.

"Y...you're...making me nervous," she breathed out in only a whisper. A small sound of surprise mixed with exhilaration and need escaped her lips as she felt his hand slide up her thigh to her hip, squeezing it tightly. Her skin tingled under his touch.

Kakashi pulled her closer to him with a quick tug so that her knees were against the bed between his legs. He leaned forward and pressed his mouth to her hip, biting her gently and making her gasp. The fingers that lingered there tightened with her shocked sound and he grunted out a sound of his own in response.

"Get out of here, Sakura," he ground out, but his fingers were unable to let go.

"Why? Be..because I'm nervous," she whispered.

"No..." he strained, "Because I like it."

Sakura couldn't help it, but the sound that escaped her this time was half between a gasp and a moan of need and it seemed to be the seal on the guarantee that he would have his way with her tonight.

With a movement so quickly that it shocked her, Kakashi stood and grabbed Sakura around the waist, spinning her so that her legs were against the bed. Almost roughly, he pushed her down to the blankets and she allowed it all, wanted it just like that, giving him complete permission to do anything and everything he wanted to her.

Kakashi pressed a knee into the bed beside her, leaning over and surveying his prize. Sakura believed he was deciding where to begin, and so she closed her eyes so she could just live in the first touch.

When it came, it was his mouth on hers.

The bed shifted and his weight half-fell on her as he slid his tongue into her mouth, coaxing hers to reciprocate desperately. In all her life, she didn't think anyone ever kissed her like that. But all too soon, he broke the kiss and sat up, his fingers already working at the zipper on her vest, pulling it up so fast it almost broke. The click of her straps was next and he nearly tore it from her body as he yanked it away to throw it on the floor.

The feel of his hands as he slid them over her body, smooth and slow over the lycra shirt, was so sensual and arousing. Her nipples hardened under his fingertips and he pressed his tongue to one, flicking at it and dampening the fabric.

"Oh God," she moaned, arching her back a little.

Kakashi groaned a little in response before he climbed her again to kiss her. He kissed her and kissed her for what seemed like an hour, moving to taste the skin of her throat, sweeping her jaw line and grazing his teeth along her earlobe. The pulse of her blood rushed heavy and strong through her body as her breathing sped, her skin tingled; the place between her legs ached and throbbed.

He was moving fast, never breaking the momentum as his hand began to push and peel her clothes away from where he desired to give his attention to next. Her stomach fluttered as he bit and kissed her there, tracing a circle around her belly button with his tongue before tugging at her pants and panties to pull them right off along with her shoes.

Sakura gasped again, her hands twisting in his blankets as his mouth returned to start at her knee with kisses. His strong hands slid between her legs, inching up until they were mid-thigh before he began to spread them apart, still dropping kisses along her skin.

She stared at the ceiling, the dim yellow light above her, waiting for it, waiting to feel what she'd been desperate to feel for ages, for months, for years.

His hot breath was moving along her thigh, his tongue preceding a small nip here and there until there was no further for him to go. Giving her legs another push open wider, Kakashi's tongue made experimental flick against her clitoris.

Sakura gasped.

The next one was slow, and she could feel his tongue was hot when he ran it up and down the soft area between her legs, connecting perfectly against that electric hub of nerves. It didn't take long before she felt her abdomen tighten, the tingle where his attention was beginning to lengthen and tie together like a perfect coiling string of pleasure. She began to breath and groan with each stroke and flick of his tongue. One of Kakashi's hands slid around her leg and gripped her thigh to try and keep their movements in rhythm, while a finger from his other hand slid inside in perfect time with his tongue.

That first deep thrust of his finger pushed her over the edge, and fighting to breath through the blinding pleasure, Sakura dug her nails into the bed and panted out her orgasm, squirming and squeezing her eyes shut.

For a long moment after, she just lay there, jerking her sensitive body away from his cheeky tongue, which kept trying to flick against her. But it seemed he gave up as he rose up from between her legs, his eyes roving over her shirt.

Sliding a kunai from his leg holster, he grabbed the bottom of the flimsy black material and slipped the edge of the weapon through the fabric, cutting it away from her. Her nipples were still hard and immediately his attention was on them, sucking and licking them, tracing circles and grazing his teeth over the tight buds. Sakura writhed beneath him, feeling her arousal increasing again, shocked that her body could be coaxed into it so quickly.

Shifting a little, Kakashi stopped momentarily to remove what was left of his clothing. He crawled back over her, his skin was hot on hers, and she spread her legs when he lay down on top. His erection pressed against her, rubbing in just the right spot to make her hum through her closed lips. His hips were hard and tight against her thighs, and she shifted to wrap her legs around his back to give them better connection, her sex slick against his.

Kakashi hissed a little when she shifted just right, and she could see how hard it was for him not to just push inside her, but it seemed he had other ideas as he slid an arm under her back and rolled them on the bed until she was on top.

When she spread her knees as far as they would go, they were connected almost perfectly. And as she rocked her hips, she slid back and forth across his erection, giving them both a jolt of pleasure with each movement.

Kakashi closed his eyes, digging his fingers into the supple flesh of her tight thighs.

Sakura continued to increase the perfect friction between them until she felt she couldn't take anymore and maneuvered herself so she could force him inside her. Kakashi grabbed for her hips to stop her, but it was too late. She'd slid onto him so smoothly that they both groaned with the first deep thrust.

Again, she began the slow roll of her hips, picking up some momentum because it just felt too damn good not to. Each thrust, each time she came down on him, his hips were rising to make it that much closer, tighter, harder. She felt him inside her, felt her body enjoying every little caress he gave her and ever noise he made when he liked what she did.

She moved faster now, leaning forward to press her hands into the bed just above his head as he lifted it up to slip his mouth over one of her breasts. Her fingers dug at the sheets, twisting into the material. He bit her nipple gently, and it undid her. The double shot of stimulation was too much and she moaned louder as she sped up, the bed shaking and squeaking with their thrusts. Kakashi's hands tightened on her hips again, guiding their motion so they could keep the timing perfect.

Sakura's eyes squeezed shut as the feeling came, spiralling through her lower half and making her gasp out sounds so much louder than she should have or ever thought she would. Kakashi's hands moved her more erratically, his head tipping back as he growled and gasped, his own orgasm washing over him.

In the end, all that was left were their spent bodies and their heavy breathing as Sakura fell forward and felt his hand slide over her back, tightening to hold her in an embrace.

They just lay like that, he still inside her, she not wanting to move from the feel of his heated skin and strong arms. But even though she'd expected this to happen, she had no concept that there would be an afterwards. Almost not realizing she voiced what was in her head, after a moment of just breathing against his shoulder, she said, "So what now?"

Kakashi shifted so she could lie beside him and he reached over to flip the extra blanket from the end of the bed over them. The heavy cover didn't reach their feet, so they held together for warmth.

A smile crossed Kakashi's face and it made Sakura's brow crease.

With a smirk, he said, "Want to fight?"

Sakura laughed softly, closing her eyes and shaking her head. Then she shot his words back at him. "If thats all you want me to do."

"Oh, what I want you to do? Let me get my book," he said evenly.

Sakura laughed again before he kissed her - tenderly this time.

The first time Sakura knew Kakashi felt more for her than just to be someone to keep warm with during the cold nights, they were standing in the mess cabin when some fresh ANBU had arrived.

As usual, Sakura hadn't recognized anyone. They were young jounin, some even in their teens, and they all had something to prove. Seasoned ANBU normally relaxed into the role and looked forward to the quieter times, but the fresh ones always needed to posture and prove they belonged. The new ones always had to be the centre of attention.

Something as simple as a dropped spoon brought about the awareness that Kakashi had let her in and had raised her importance to him from cohort to companion.

When the only female in the camp bent to pick up the spoon she'd dropped from her tray, one new ANBU took the opportunity to express his appreciation for some of her tighter assets.

"That's a fine looking ass. I might have to get injured just to get close enough for a grab," he said, making a couple of new recruits with him chuckle.

Sakura spun angrily, the spoon bending in her fingers before it snapped. But the shock of a hand on the ANBU's throat, and a quick push of him up against the wall kept her from reacting to his inappropriate comment.

"Have some respect," Kakashi said coolly, his lone exposed eye trained on the wide shocked ones of the young man. "She'll probably save your life one day."

"S...senpai..." he breathed out. "I'm sorry...I'm..."

Sakura could hear the shock and embarrassment in the ANBU's voice to be there just a day and have Kakashi – their commander – already singling him out with a show of force.

The young man sputtered and stayed as still as possible, mumbling apologies, his eyes moving from Kakashi to Sakura in darting panic. The fact that his commander was holding him, but worse still, that it was Hatake Kakashi, make Sakura worry that the poor asshole might wet himself.

Finally, Kakashi let go and the ANBU rubbed at his throat with shaking fingers. He walked up to Sakura and apologized again.

After, as usual, Kakashi ate lunch with her, the ease in him apparent even after a quick confrontation. Some things never changed, she thought to herself, as he never took things personally and never held a grudge. He flipped out his orange book casually and read some of his favourite parts – and Sakura had to admit, some of her favourites too.

"Why did you do that?" she half-laughed, shaking her head.

"It'll keep them all in line, and I couldn't afford to have you break his neck on his first day. I don't know how I'd explain that to Ibiki or Tsunade," he mumbled without looking up.

Sakura just laughed, and then put her foot up against his under the table, getting a quick glance up for her small touch. He was smiling too.

The first time Kakashi ever felt affected by a woman, truly affected, was the day Sakura went home. He had four more months in the Snow Country and suddenly everything changed.

She was taking the train in the morning so they spent the night together, talking and making love until they fell asleep, only to wake an hour later and wrap up in each other's bodies again. He loved her stamina and her reaction to every touch he gave her. He loved how she'd try anything with him in the way of experimenting and positions. She was comfortable in her own skin, and was comfortable with him enjoying that.

The day she'd seen him reading a prized Icha Icha book and commented on the threesome that went on for eight pages, he couldn't resist giving her a taste of it.

That night, when she walked into his room, he was waiting for her. He told her to take her clothes off and then sat and watched her while she slowly stripped, dragging it out to heighten his desire. But he'd surprised her as she stood there naked, watching him watching her, when another set of hands slid over her shoulders.

The shock on her face was priceless, but the wry grin she had when she realized it was a bunshin was perfect. Being able to put his tongue between her legs and graze his teeth across her breast at the same time was such a unique sensation that he kept at it for at least an hour. And Sakura had enjoyed it so much, she asked for it more than once. He'd never tried that with any other woman, and never wanted to again. She was it. He'd never had her equal in bed or out of it.

Something about her was different from other women in that she'd give herself over completely. No, that wasn't it - she wasn't like other ninja in that she held nothing back, kept no secrets from him. Everything she did was to make him happy. The times they'd argue, it was heated and intense, and when they make up, it was slow and dirty. She was perfect.

But now he stood at the edge of the training area as Sakura hoisted her pack on her back and smiled sadly, getting ready to leave with the ten others heading home. Obviously she didn't want to leave, but her year was up and they'd only had a few months of learning about each other.

"You'll be back in four months," she said, her fingers tracing the tattoo on his shoulder.

"Sakura," he began, "If I come back and things are different, it's all right."

"What do you mean?" Her brow creased.

"Being home isn't like being here."

Sakura laughed. "Yeah, my bed is much softer, much larger, and it will be cold until I get you into it."

With a shake of his head, he laughed with her. It was all right to let her believe it would be fine when he returned. If she wanted him in her bed, not much could keep him out of it, but there were so many other factors at work there. Her friends, her family, Tsunade...team seven; they would all be deciding influences, she just didn't know it yet.

He told her he'd see her in four months, promising to write a letter or two (of which he hated doing) before he went home. Truthfully, he would try to figure out how he could come back and pretend like nothing had happened because it would be a hard thing to see her uncomfortable with what they did. If she changed her mind in those four months, he would respect that.

She kissed him, slid her arms around his neck, and held him tightly for as long as she could, then she turned with a wave and a "See you in four months," and left.

The snow felt cold on his feet.

For the first time in four months, Sakura was nervous. Kakashi was returning today, and would be entering through the large gates any moment. He'd never written, and no one returning from the Snow Country had any news except to say everything was normal and he was doing his job.

When she had arrived back, she'd told everyone how she'd fallen for him. It was bold, but she felt no need to keep it a secret; in actual fact, she was bursting with it. How could she keep it a secret? She was in love. There was nothing wrong with being loved and loving someone in return.

Naruto was silent for an hour after she told him. In the end, he said it was a surprise but didn't really care. His own life was going crazy with training and work for Tsunade so he just congratulated her and said it was weird, but fine.

Sasuke didn't care, or never let on that he cared. They'd been an item for months until she found out he cheated on her and then admitted he couldn't love her in front of most of their friends. Nothing else could have made her leave home for a year, but in the end, she was glad everything worked out the way it did.

After telling a wary Tsunade and Shizune, Sakura told Ino who wanted to know every detail of their sex life. Sakura never thought she'd ever make Ino jealous but the description of the bunshin technique had Ino suddenly dissatisfied with having a man that couldn't do it.

For an hour Sakura waited, pacing and nervous. What he said the day she left about things being different plagued her. What if he was easing her into the idea that he wouldn't want her when he got back? What if he was preparing her for the rejection?

But her questions and concerns were answered when she watched him wandering toward the gate with his usual lazy pace, now back in his black standard issues and carrying the heavy pack she'd seen him with that first day he'd arrived and watched her fight whatshisname.

Her breathing sped up and the tingle of excitement ran through her body, wondering how quickly she could get him alone.

Kakashi stopped in front of her, the faint shadow of a smile under his mask. "I didn't expect you to be wai..."

"I love you," she blurted out. "And four months is so long."

He was silent, his eye moving between hers, down to her mouth and back up again. "How's your bed?" he whispered, the obvious smile growing beneath his mask.

"Cold," she replied, a grin of her own on her pink lips.

Dropping his bag and moving so close to her that their chests touched, he slid an arm around her shoulders and pulled her tightly against him. "We'll have to fix that."

He tugged down his mask and then he kissed her. In front of the border guards, the people passing by, and anyone they knew who happened to be around at that moment, he didn't hold back.

It was the last time she ever doubted, or ever had to again.

Thanks for reading! Gotta love those ANBU uniforms.