AUTHOR'S NOTE: Just a little one shot that wouldn't leave me alone. The italic portions are from the song "Pretty When You Cry" by the oh-so-amazing band VAST. It's beautiful and messed up and absolutely perfect for Kakashi and Sakura.

ACT I: I didn't want to hurt you, baby. I didn't want to hurt you. I didn't want to hurt you, but you're pretty when you cry.

"Last night was a mistake."

Those five simple words made her eyes widen like he'd just punched a chidori laden punch through her gut. Kakashi shifted from one foot to the other uneasily as she stood gaping at him, so still and pale he worried for a moment she was going to pass out. She wasn't even breathing. Seconds that felt like an eternity passed where the only thing that moved was the bitter, chill wind whipping across the training ground, tossing about swirls of dead leaves in its wake.

He could see her swallow hard as she blinked rapidly, her green eyes brighter than usual. Wetter. "W-What?" she stammered, her voice no more than a harsh whisper of disbelief.

"Last night," he repeated, ignoring the way his stomach churned sickly, the cold sweat that made his mask cling to his skin. "It was a mistake. It shouldn't have happened."

Sakura blinked again and the movement very nearly dislodged the tears trembling on the tips of her lashes. The pain that flickered across her face sent a stab of guilt through him, one that almost rivaled the guilt he'd felt for what he'd done with her. A more selfish man would have taken the words back and replaced them with soothing, apologetic ones. But he wasn't selfish and he couldn't do that, not to her.

The breath she took was slow and wavering. She looked away from him, studying a clump of dirt near her feet, and chewed her lower lip. He could see the tell-tale redness starting around her eyes, making the tip of her nose look like a cherry. Some women made crying a beautiful thing. Haruno Sakura wasn't one of them. When she cried, it involved scrunched eyes, lots of tears and snot that she would hastily sniffle to keep from spilling. And he felt incredibly depraved for thinking that her natural, uninhibited emotion was the prettiest thing he'd ever seen.

"I don't… How could… Why?" she gasped brokenly. The dull sunlight of the fall afternoon hit her wet cheeks, which she hastily wiped with the back of her hand. Her first sniffle followed shortly afterward. He wanted to kiss her.

Instead, Kakashi maintained a cool, unaffected front. It was killing him, just as surely as it was killing her. "I already told you. It was a mistake."

"Then why did you…?" Her voice trailed off as a silent sob shook her shoulders.

He already knew the questions:

Why did you touch me…

Kiss me…

Fuck me?

There were a hundred answers he could have given her. Because he couldn't stand to see her so broken, staring at the names on the cenotaph that she recognized. Because he was tired of staring at the names he knew. Because he'd been going out of his mind for three years now wanting her. Because he got hard whenever he saw her, whether she was smiling in greeting or covered in fresh blood and viscera. He could have said any number of things… but he chose the one that would hurt her the most, drive her away so completely that she would never look his way again. "An act of stupidity. Nothing more."

Her head snapped up in horrified shock and her pale lips parted as a choked gasp came from her throat. Quickly in the wake of that was the anger he'd been expecting—hoping for even. It turned the new leaf green of her eyes darker, made the tear shine more hostile. She was trembling again, but this time it was with rage rather than misery. If she punched him now, he wouldn't stop her. He deserved it, even if he was acting in her best interests. "An act of stupidity," she repeated bitterly, spitting the words out as if they were poisonous. "That's what it was."

Kakashi wanted to take it back. He wanted to hug her to him, let her cover the front of his vest in tears and mucus. But more than that he wanted her to find happiness. "Yes," he confirmed, staring at the mark his shoes were scuffing in the dirt. "Stupidity that resulted from overwrought emotions."


"Sex doesn't equate love, Sakura," he lied smoothly, watching as the pained astonishment etched its way over her face again. The words were targeted specifically for her heart, as deadly as a kunai thrust to that same organ.

And he knew when she turned her back on him, hands covering her splotchy, tear stained face, that it had worked. Kakashi closed his eye and swallowed down the bile that had entered his throat. He was disgusted with himself for doing this to her, but what choice did he have? Sakura's affection was a precious thing. He couldn't be trusted with something like that. It was inevitable that he would break it. It was better to do it now while it was still a tentative thing rather than later when it threatened to encapsulate them both.

Awkwardly, he reached out and touched her shoulder. She jerked away from him sharply, casting the most coldly enraged glare he'd ever see over her shoulder. "Don't touch me," she growled fiercely. "Don't come near me. Don't ever talk to me again!"

Kakashi nodded and didn't bother trying to hide the deep sadness he felt at her words. "If that'll make it easier on you… okay. But eventually our paths will cross again."

"Leave me alone!" she screamed, whipping around so quickly that he had no time to prepare even if he'd been inclined.

The sharp crack of her open palm snapped through the autumn air. At least she hadn't used her fist, he thought dizzily as he pushed himself up from the soft dirt, tasting blood in his mouth as he tried to refocus. He heard her angry footsteps crunching through the dead leaves, heard the soft sounds of her crying. Kakashi groaned and gave up on trying to stand. He rolled over onto his back, closed his eyes and muttered a very heartfelt, "Fuck!"

Why did doing the right thing have to hurt so badly?

ACT II: I didn't want to fuck you, baby. I didn't want to fuck you. I didn't want to fuck you, but you're pretty when you're mine.

Not even a month after the incident in the training field, Kakashi heard through the gossip channels that Haruno Sakura was dating someone; Inuzuka Kiba. He didn't remember the trip to Training Ground Seventeen, nor did he really remember doing half the damage Tsunade later reprimanded him for and docked from his next mission pay to repair. He pretended to listen to her tirade concerning the costs of rebuilding and how it was not in the village's best interest to have him tearing it apart in a testosterone-fueled rage. He left her office the minute he was dismissed and went back to his place.

And now he was sitting on his lumpy, beaten couch with a container of instant ramen going cold on the scarred table and staring at his cracked, split knuckles dully.

Kakashi scowled at the dried cuts on his hands and his slightly burned fingertips from letting loose one hell of a lightning blast. That was what had sent an ANBU squad to Training Ground Seventeen; they'd seen the blast and thought an enemy was attacking. They'd been surprised to find it was one of their own. It was Tenzou who had approached him warily to insist that he accompany them to the Hokage's newly rebuilt office. He'd readily agreed and allowed them to escort him across the rooftops so that no one would witness the frog marching.

Inuzuka Kiba. Of all the shinobi she literally had her pick of… she chose Inuzuka Kiba. That loud mouthed, unhygienic… Sakura deserved better than that. While Kiba certainly wasn't anywhere near the bottom of the barrel, he also wasn't worthy of being seen with Haruno Sakura. She was out of his league, in every way imaginable.

Sighing, Kakashi flexed his swollen fingers and relished the flare of pain that came with the action. The faint idea that maybe it wasn't so much her choice in lover that angered him as it was the fact that she was choosing a new lover to begin with crossed his mind. He quickly killed that thought dead. He'd forfeited the right to have any say in her private life. The entire reason for driving her away was so that she could do better than him. Just… Kiba? Was Kiba really better than him?

An irritated sound rumbled from him as he stood sharply and left his apartment, the door slamming loud enough that it caused Genma, who lived upstairs, to curse loudly at having been woken up. Kakashi walked down the four flights of steps, exited the rundown, shabby looking building with its maze of wash and power lines overhead and headed down the street to the local bar. He didn't drink very often, but tonight was definitely a night where booze was needed.

To his dismay the bar was crowded and the only place for him to drown his chaotic thoughts was on a stool between a giggling blonde and a group of jounin who insisted on describing how each of them would fuck the various women in the bar. He pointed to the bottle of whiskey when the bartender looked his way and ended up getting scotch instead. Kakashi pulled his mask down and took a healthy swig of the stuff, grimacing at the acrid pine taste that burned his tongue and throat. He hated scotch but he didn't feel like sending it back.

He ignored the overly loud conversation around him as he drank, his gaze fixated on the crystalline ice cubes melting in his drink. A nod from him and the bartender refilled the glass once… twice more. The burn was now a soothing warmth in his body, coursing with his blood through his muscles so that he felt relaxed. It did nothing for his head though, save muddle it further.

The jounin next to him were still carrying on with their discussion, only now they seemed particularly fascinated with one victim rather than any at random.

"Damn… look at those legs," one murmured appreciatively.

"Yeah. Love to have those babies wrapped around my waist," another agreed.

"Providing she could even get them around, you fat fuck!" a third laughed.

"Think that's her natural color?" the first inquired.

"I dunno," the third replied, continuing to snicker while his rotund friend scowled. "Wanna ask that dog-ass guy with her? Looks like he's her boyfriend."

The second snorted contemptuously and mocked, "You're one to talk about being dog-assed."

"Maybe I should just ask her myself," the first suggested slyly. "You know, buy her a drink, work my magic and bam! I'll find out if the carpet matches the drapes!"

His two companions laughed jovially before the second said, "Pink's your favorite color now, huh?"

That made Kakashi's head snap up, his eye widening as a sick, sick weight settled in his stomach. No… it couldn't be… He followed their gazes across the bar…

And was just in time to see Sakura smile and blush at whatever Inuzuka Kiba had whispered in her ear.

Out of all the bars in Konoha… why this one?

For the second time that day, Kakashi acted without any cognitive realization that he was doing so. One minute, he was listening in on a lewd conversation and the next, his hand was curled around Sakura's upper arm and he was hauling her off her barstool, leaving a bewildered Kiba and a spluttering Naruto behind.

She could have fought him. She could have jerked her arm away very easily. But she didn't. She let him drag her outside the bar and down the alleyway until they were out of sight of the street. And when he spun her around, pushed her up against the wall and thrust his hand up her short skirt, she already had her legs spread for him.

Sakura was gasping, panting, fingers gripping his shirt so hard it was a miracle she didn't rip it from him. She ground herself against his palm, murmuring random snatches of phrases that were almost indecipherable. He caught a few 'yeses' intermingled with the groaned 'oh gods' and breathy encouragements to keep going, don't stop. And he didn't. He couldn't. Kakashi leaned over her, inhaling deeply as the scent of her hit his nose. She'd already soaked through her panties so that his fingers were slick with her. The wet cotton slid with the rub of his fingers –quick and firm, just as he knew she liked—over her clit, molding to him as he pressed against her entrance teasingly.

Her entire body was spasming, her breaths nothing more than ragged pants and gasps, groans of his name. She leaned against him, forehead resting on his shoulder as she kept shaking her head. Kakashi slipped his fingers around the strip of cotton that kept him from actually touching her and her head tipped back against the wall, arching her neck.

And displaying the bright red mark someone had left over her pulse.

It was a mark of possession, something to let others know that she belonged to another. That she was off limits. It should have made him stop. Instead… it infuriated him. And now that he saw the mark of someone staking their claim, he discovered another smell, one that pushed him over the edge completely; Inuzuka Kiba was all over her skin.

Sakura cried out in surprise and gripped his shoulders tightly when he jerked her off her feet, loosened his pants and pushed his cock deep inside her. Her legs clamped around his waist just like her inner muscles clamped around his member, squeezing in the most exquisite sin as he took her roughly. Their kiss was nothing but teeth and tongues, pants and groans. He was fucking her again, even though he said it would never happen. He was fucking her… and it was the most complete he'd felt in an entire month.

She moved to meet him for every quick, hard thrust, despite the fact that her back had to be scratched to pieces from the rough brick of the building. Her fingers were lost in his hair, pulling hard enough that it hurt, causing further disarray than was usual. She was gasping things in his ear as he sucked the unmarked side of her neck, staking his claim on her. The hand he didn't have squeezing her ass was groping her breasts through the thin fabric of her dress. Her nipples were hard and tight and god did he want to have them in his mouth again—want to see them bouncing from the force of him pushing into her.

Her cries were turning to keening little moans, her face contorted as if she were in agony. He could tell from the almost primal response of her body that agony was about the last thing she was feeling. Kakashi gasped and panted into her neck, mumbling words he wasn't aware of, his fingers slipping on her thighs due to the sheen of sweat coating them both. The salty tang of her combined with the thick, musky scent of her arousal very nearly drowned out that of the bastard who only thought she was his.

She came first but he was only two strokes behind her. Kakashi grit his teeth and growled against her shoulder, his fingers digging in hard enough she would be sporting bruises. He ground his hips into hers as his seed filled her, spurting hotly from him. It went beyond mind-blowing into mind-shattering. The feel of her body clamping down on him, squeezing the very last bit of his essence from her. The choked off cry that she buried in his shirt. Her fingernails digging into his shoulder through the black cotton covering them. It was beautiful and it was exactly what he'd been craving for an entire month without realizing it.

Kakashi tried to pry her legs from around his waist but she only tightened her hold on him, keeping his spent cock inside her. "Please… don't," she begged in a harsh, broken whisper. "Please don't pull away."

She wasn't talking about pulling away from her body. And he knew that. He also knew that this was yet another mistake, another stupid move on his part. Why—why—couldn't he let her go?

He closed his eye, breathing in deeply the smell of him now coating her skin. Slowly, he withdrew his hands from her thighs and, relying on how tightly she was clinging to him to keep her in place, he did the hand seals required to transport them from the alley to his apartment.

ACT III: I didn't really love you, baby. I didn't really love you. I didn't really love you, but I'm pretty when I lie.

The morning after he'd dragged her away from the bar and her new boyfriend to fuck her in an alley, Kakashi woke up in his small, single bed to find Sakura peering at him intently through the messy fall of her hair. They'd had sex two more times before collapsing last night, once with him rolling her onto her stomach and taking her from behind and once with her riding him nice and slow. He knew she was bursting with questions, with the conversation she felt they needed to have, but she'd held off from initiating any of it.

Now though… he could tell by the closed off, almost suspicious look in her eyes that there would be no escaping this time. Kakashi let out a low, resigned breath and threaded his fingers through her hair. "Okay," he said softly, and with that one word he allowed her in.

Sakura pushed herself up onto one elbow to better see him while tracing random swirls and circles over his chest and shoulders. "Why?" she asked. It was the same question from their conversation a month before.

"I didn't want to hurt you," he replied honestly, trailing a single finger along the curve of her cheek, down the bridge of her nose, over her lips… like he was trying to memorize her features. In a way, he supposed he was.

She scoffed at that and swatted his hand away. "Why?" she pressed, her voice sharper and carrying an edge of threat.

He knew this why was about last night rather than the past. "Even if it hurts you… I can't let you go."

That answer made the hard, angry set of her jaw soften. The hostility retreated from her eyes and her fingers stilled on his chest as she studied his face curiously. "I won't hurt you if you won't hurt me. And I won't leave if you won't."

As heartfelt as he knew the words were meant, he still couldn't quite silence the voice that warned this was a very bad idea. She was young, too young, to know how the world worked. What she said now would change when she realized she'd tied herself down with an old man. And the likelihood of him dying and leaving her alone… Kakashi looked in her eyes again and realized none of that really mattered. She was here now. They were together now. What happened in the moment was the most important.

He leaned up and brushed a soft, tender kiss to her lips, one he intended to be quick but turned into a series when he felt her fingers curl against his chest. He was already half hard when he rolled her underneath him, deepening the kiss with slow strokes of his tongue. Sakura hummed in pleasure, her fingers tangling in his hair as she rocked her hips encouragingly against his.

"Kakashi," she breathed out against his mouth at the same moment he began pushing his cock slowly inside of her.

"Hm?" he asked back, his brow furrowed in concentration at the exquisite feel of her encircling him.

"Do you still not love me?"

He settled himself on his forearms so as to watch her as he slid completely inside, pausing when her back arched a little and her lips parted in a soundless gasp. "Yes," he said, a smile quirking his lips when her eyes opened languidly to meet his.

Sakura smiled back and pulled him down for a kiss as she began rolling her hips against his. "Good. I don't love you either," she murmured.

She was so beautiful when she lied.