A/N: Another one-shot. Can't believe I've had so much time to write. By some miracle, I've unexpectedly had 3 days off this week.

Thank you so much to anyone who has reviewed/commented/alerted/faved anything I've written. I wasn't really expecting much. Needless to say, it feels good and I really appreciate it. I will try to respond with reasonble timing. Thanks again.

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He wasn't nervous about the mission. No, not about the mission.

Dry leaves swirled around him as he walked the familiar path to her home. He'd walked that path so many times and never before had his nerves wrecked such havoc on him.

He thought about turning back. He tried to tell himself that it wasn't too late. Then he chuckled and gently shook his head. In reality, "not too late" was a long time ago. And regardless, this was something he just had to do. He was sure she would be angry if he didn't say goodbye.

The sun had already set and the remaining light was fading fast.

He stopped when he reached her door. He removed the porcelain mask to rub his face before running his fingers through his hair. He inhaled deeply, then released the breath slowly, trying to calm himself.

It's now or never. Then he reached up and knocked three times on the wood.

As the seconds ticked away, he grew more anxious. He was sure she was home, so why wasn't she answering?

He knocked on the door again, five times and a little louder than before.

Just as he reached up to knock for the third time, the door opened and green eyes peered up at him.

"Kakashi? Is something wrong..." Suddenly, the young woman lost her thought. She took in the sight of the man before her. This certainly was strange. He was in full ANBU uniform except for the white mask, held by the ties in one hand. His other hand was in a fist held about chest high and he looked rather surprised, both eyes a little wider than usual. But the strangest thing of all, was his mouth.

It was slightly open, showing a glimpse of what looked to be white, normal sized teeth. He lowered his hand and her eyes shifted as he did. They watched the movement of his lips, mesmerized. Somewhere in her mind, she recalled a time when her imagination had ran wild with the possibilties of what was hidden behind her teacher's mask. It was nothing like what Naruto had mentioned when they were children. It wasn't quite like anything she had imagined.

She continued to watch his lips move and was puzzled when they stopped to frown. Then she finally came out of her daze and looked up at his eyes, seeing the concern there.

"Sakura? Did you hear anything I said?" She hadn't even realized he was talking.

"Huh?"

"I said that I needed to talk to you," he said, repeating the words she missed.

"Oh, ok. But, why are you dressed like that?" she asked.

"That's what I was telling you. It's just a mission. I'm not sure how long I'll be away so I thought it would be rude to just leave without letting you know."

"But you're not in ANBU anymore."

"Not full time, but they needed me." He smiled and leaned against the door frame, teasing her, "What, you don't like it?"

It was almost enough to make her melt, but a bad feeling was already working it's way to the front of her mind. She looked at the black material that hung around his neck, then she asked, "Why aren't you wearing your mask?"

He chuckled. "I suppose...it was about time. You guys have always wanted to see my face. If I waited until I was finished with the mission, I might have a new wrinkle...and that wouldn't be very impressive."

"That sounds like a good enough reason, but I don't believe you."

"Alright," he sighed. "I wanted to show you. I wanted you to remember more than a mask."

Her brow furrowed at his words. "You're not...coming back?"

He stayed silent, not really sure what to say. She moved forward and wrapped her arms tightly around his waist, burying her face in his vest. As he held her against his chest, he felt her tremble. She was so quiet, but he knew she was crying.

"Shh. It's alright Sakura. Don't cry, it's just me..." Suddenly she began shaking harder, sniffles turning into sobs. He'd meant for those words to soothe her. He definitely didn't expect her to cry harder.

"But I...don't...want...want you to go," she sobbed out, squeezing him tighter.

He pulled away slightly to look at her. Her eyes glistened with her tears and her wet cheeks held a soft sheen. She looked up at him with the saddest eyes before whispering his name. He gently held the sides of her face and wiped away fresh tears. She sobbed, but before she could let out another, he pressed his lips against hers.

Her eyes widened with shock, but a moment later she gave in. This was something she had wanted for a long time.

She pulled him closer and pressed her lips harder against his open mouth. When she felt his tongue glide across her upper lip, she reached out to meet it with her own.

He marveled at the feeling of her soft lips, the way they tasted, the way they moved with his. Kissing her was better than he ever dreamed it would be and there was no way he wanted to stop.

Lightly gripping her shoulders, he did the impossible and pushed her away. She looked at him, confusion written on her face.

"Sakura," he panted out. His chest heaved slightly as he caught his breath. "I love you." He pulled her back to him and placed little kisses on her forhead, cheeks, and lips, speaking between each kiss,"I couldn't leave...without...telling you...first."

She didn't say anything as she pulled away. Dread filled him. He must have made a mistake. But suddenly, her little hand reached out and fisted into his vest.

With hidden strength, she yanked him inside and slammed the front door.

"Sakura, what are you doing?" he asked.

"C'mon." She reached for his hand and led him to her bedroom.

He wasn't quite sure what to expect, but he was definitely surprised when her hands untied the front of her robe. She reached up and removed the clip that held her hair in place. As she shook her hair loose, the black silk slid to the floor, revealing the beautiful things it kept hidden until now.

His eyes moved from her face and over the rest of her supple body, clad only in a delicate set of intimates. It was made from the sheerest of materials. He studied the vertical little pleats on the black fabric and barely noticed the tiny ruffles that laced the edges of the bra and panties.

Finally, he took a breath, then asked,"Um, do you always wear underwear like that?"

She smiled coyly before answering, and slowly made her way infront of him. "Not always. Coincidentally, I was trying on something new. I guess that makes you lucky."

Slowly, she reached up and unfastened the clasps of his shoulder straps. Then she pulled down the side zipper and pushed the vest out of the way. She removed the guards on his arms and they clunked to the floor. She pulled off the long black glove on his right arm then moved on to the left, pausing to look at the swirling tattoo on his shoulder.

When he noticed her hesitation, he forced the words from his mouth,"Sakura, we don't have to-"

"No!" She looked up at him with pleading eyes. "Kakashi...you're leaving and...we might never see eachother again. Please, let me have this to remember."

He couldn't have said no even if he wanted to and honestly, he wanted this memory as well.

He bent forward to give her a chaste kiss, then stooped down and wrapped his arms around her thighs before lifting her off the ground. He smiled playfully before flopping her onto the bed. "Ok, we can do this, but I'm just gonna undress myself because you're moving way too slow."

"But-"

"Look," he cut her off. "I have to leave before morning no matter what. The less time we spend on removing my clothes means the more time I get to spend on you."

She blushed at his last statement but didn't hesitate to agree. As he began removing the rest of his clothes, she quickly removed hers. When she was done, she sat on her knees and eagerly watched him from the middle of the bed. When he pulled his shirt over his head, the muscles of his torso rippled, causing her breath to hitch.

When there was nothing left, he turned to her. In that moment, everything about her was priceless, from her exposed body to her innocent, wide eyes. He couldn't help the smile that spread over his face. He didn't know it was possible for someone to be so damned cute while at the same time looking so sexy. No, he would never forget this moment. She was too beautiful.

He moved to the edge of the bed. He knelt infront of her and wrapped his arms around her waist, pulling her close. As he embraced her, he took in the sweet fragrance of her pale pink hair, like Konoha jasmine.

When she rose on her knees, he placed open mouth kisses on her throat. His hands ghosted over the soft skin spanning her back, causing goosebumps all over. One hand slid around her side as he trailed kisses over her collarbone, then down between her breasts. When he took a firm but yielding breast into his hand, she let out a soft moan. But when he took the nipple into his mouth, she gasped.

She threw her head back as he continued his ministrations. His tongue flicked over the hardening bud,then he lightly grazed it with his teeth before moving to the other breast. He sucked on the nipple, massaging and caressing it with his tongue. He released it with a low plop and pushed her down on the bed.

His fingertips moved slowly over her skin, making her stomach flutter. Kisses followed after, trailing down her stomach. When he made his way past her belly button, her ran his palms over her hips and down the sides of her thighs. They ran back up the inner sides and he slowly pushed them open.

She jerked her head up at the implication, but he just smirked and nodded. He was definitely kissing that, too.

He lowered himself infront of her and brushed his thumb over the lips between her legs. She stopped breathing as she waited. He gently parted the lips and ran his index finger from the top to the bottom. She took in a ragged breath and he glanced up at her face. He hadn't even started.

He moved in and nudged the bundle of nerves with his nose. Her scent was intoxicating. He placed a kiss on the little mound, earning another gasp. He swirled his tongue around it and took it into his mouth, slowly sucking on it. More ragged breaths escaped her and she reached out for him, hands fisting into his silver hair.

He slid his tongue from his mouth and let it gluide from the top of her opening to the bottom, then back up. As she began moving her hips, he wrapped his arms around her thighs and pulled her closer. He pushed his tongue further inside of her and then back out to swirl around the opening.

She whimpered with frustration. Everything he was doing definitely felt good, but it simply wasn't what she wanted. He shook his head at her lack of patience as he crawled over her. It was strange when he kissed her afterwards, but she liked the new taste.

He looked into her eyes and asked, "Are you ready?"

"Mmhm," she nodded.

He wrapped his arms around her and she followed suit. Positioning his body over top of hers, he used one hand to guide himself to her opening. His eyes moved back to hers and he kissed her again, slowly pushing himself inside.

Her eyes squeezed shut. Her breathing hitched and her body clenched around him. He stopped moving and broke the kiss.

Then he spoke softly, "Sakura, look at me." Green eyes slowly opened, staring into mismatched ones. "If you try to relax it won't hurt as much. You're too tense, it's only going to make it worse, and this is suppose to feel good. So take a deep breath and let it out ok?" She nodded and inhaled deeply before exhaling, repeating a few times. When he felt her relax a little, he pushed deeper.

He stopped when he was completely inside her and he searched her face for any trace of pain.

"I'm ok," she answered. "It hurt at first, but it feels better now. Just go slowly."

He kissed her before pulling out slightly. As he explored her mouth, he slowly pushed himself back in. She kissed him back with more fervor than before. He moved slowly in and out of her and gradually, her body became accustomed to his.

When he noticed how much she relaxed, he started a faster pace. He kissed her cheek while she panted breaths against his ear. He licked her neck and grazed it with his teeth, then nipped at her ear before whispering her name. He tried grinding his pelvis against hers, earning a gasp and moan and scratches on his back. He moved her arms over her head and laced his fingers with hers, leaning on his elbows. Then he tried it again. She moaned again, but this time she squeezed his hands. He realized that was what it was going to take for her to reach her peak.

She moaned out the pleasure he was giving her. He continued to roll his hips against hers, rubbing against that wonderful spot just beneath her opening.

"Kakashi..." she breathed out, struggling to speak. "Please...I...faster...go faster..."

He immediately obeyed, eager to give her what she wanted. He pushed deeper inside of her, she cried louder. He reached under her and gripped her shoulders, making sure every thrust count.

Once again her body clenched around him and he stopped when he felt all her muscles tense.

"Don't stop!" she cried out. "Are you crazy?!"

His eyes widened at the realization and he began thrusting into her again. He wasn't going to let that feeling escape her. He'd be damned if he didn't make her feel such pleasure.

Just when he started to think she'd lost it, her muscles tightened around him once more. She wrapped her legs around his waist as her moans became frantic cries. Pleasure washed over her and she was unable to comprehend the visions before her. He kissed her hard as her reaction drove him over the edge as well.

When he finally released her mouth, he rested his head in the crook of her neck and shoulder, breath fanning across her throat. She reached up and ran her fingers through his hair, lightly massaging his nape.

When he pulled his head back up to gaze at her, she whispered. "I love you too..."

He laid there with her, indulging in her embrace a little while longer. It was going to be much harder to leave now, but he was happy. Finally telling her and learning that she felt the same way. He felt unbelievably lucky and he was always going to cherish the things she'd given him tonight.

They'd spent the rest of the night loving eachother. When she'd finally fallen asleep, he decided to take his leave. He dressed as quietly as he could. He moved to the edge of the bed and bent over her. He kissed her softly on the lips, then her forehead. He whispered "I love you" next to her ear, and inhaled the scent of jasmine, one last time.

When she woke up, he was gone. She looked around and saw a note on her nightstand.

Sakura,

I honestly don't know how long this mission will take to complete. It will take time to reach my destination, and I don't know if I will even succeed. I can't promise you I will return, but know that I'll put every effort to make it back. I guess it's pointless to tell you not to cry, but just try not to cry too much. You've made me a happy man and I'll always keep you in my heart. Thank you.

Love,

Kakashi

Sakura sat at her desk in the hokage tower, trying to work and failing miserably. She pulled the letter out and unfolded it again, reading the words hastily scrawled on it.

Sakura,

I have good news...I think. I'll be back home by Sunday(30th), that evening at the latest. I hope that you've been doing well and that you'll want to see me.

Love,

Kakashi

Sakura sighed and rested her cheek on her palm. It had been just over four months since the night they'd spent together.

Tsunade observed her apprentice and didn't miss the dreamy look on her face. She turned her head when a knocked sounded at the window.

"Oh get in already, Hatake!" she yelled.

Sakura snapped out of her daze and looked at the man climbing through the window. He removed the porcelain mask and walked over towards Sakura. He pulled the black mask down, stopping infront of her desk and leaned forward, planting a kiss on her shocked face.

He pulled the mask back up before turning to the hokage. "Here's my report, Hokage-sama," he said, holding the scroll out to her. When she didn't take it, he placed it on the desk and spoke again. "Do you think you could help me out Tsunade-sama? I have this small cut that I'd like you to heal...right now if you can."

Tsunade blinked, coming out of her stupor. "Um...let's see it then."

He unzipped the tattered material that served as his vest, and tossed it to the side. Tsunade's eyes widened as she stared at the gash.

"Small cut?!" she cried out.

Then she did a double take, surprised again. It was still a gash, but it was different from his usual wounds. "Well, I guess it doesn't look as bad as I thought."

Puzzled, she looked up at his face. Kakashi rubbed that back of his head in embarrassment, careful not to disturb his injury and explained, "Well, since it was so bad, I thought I should clean it a little and try to keep it covered. I didn't feel like getting an infection before I made it back. I even used the first aid kid you gave me for my last birthday..."

Tsunade was beside herself with shock.

"Tsunade-sama?" he addressed her.

Shaking off the shock, she made him sit on her desk to heal him. When she was nearly finished, Kakashi asked, "Could Sakura leave work early today?"

Tsunade looked at his face, then at Sakura's. She took note of her blush and looked back upon Kakashi. Things were starting to become clear. "Ok. Just leave the rest of those papers Sakura."

"Yes Shishou, thank you."

Kakashi hopped off the desk and thanked Tsunade for the impromtu healing session. He gathered his ANBU vest and mask off the floor and walked up to Sakura, taking her arm in his. She was still in shock.

"Did you get my letter?" he asked.

She nodded and said, "Your letter said you wouldn't be back until Sunday and you're always late."

"True, but I decided to be early for once. Besides, if I didn't come back by today, I would have missed your twentieth birthday."

"Oh," she said as a smile crossed her face.

"Now that I'm back, we can go on a date. And this time I won't have to rush off before sunrise."

She stopped when they were finally outside. She jumped at him, wrapping her arms tightly around him and he held her close, smelling the jasmine. She reached up and pulled down the mask to see his smile. She stood on her toes and kissed him for the first time since he left.

Relief filled her as she realized what it meant. He was happy that she was giving him the chance and she was happy that he was able to take it.

He kept her in his heart and tried his hardest to come back home. And he made it afterall...early.

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A/N: This was inspired by my other story, Cloud Gazing. It works as a prequel if you want to call it that. When I wrote Kakashi's little cloud story, I orginally had them in mind but I didn't really know how to make it them, so I just hinted at it more or less. Consider this the actual event of how they got together.

Excuses: This is also my first attempt at a lemon. I was afraid of making it sound too vulgar but I didn't want it to be boring. So, this is what you have. My apologies if it's boring anyways. Part of me wanted to end the story when he left her, but I guess a bigger part wanted to show that he came back, even though that would be implied by the existence of the other story.

Dear "Lurker,"

To be honest(and little embarrassed), I'd never heard of that story, but I looked it up immediately and it sounds pretty interesting. Thanks for mentioning it. I will try to read it when I have the chance.