A/N: WHO'S SURPRISED?! An update with less than a year of time between!? Who am I, right?! Well, I started feeling like a terrible person and I figured I should give this fic my attention while I'm still off from school. At the same time I'm also grateful for all those that read this story and liked it enough to keep thinking about it while it hadn't been updated in years. You guys are amazing. So, I decided to also try and little harder with my writing. I'm obviously by no means a professional and I'm still using good ol' word pad so I still make mistakes but I'm trying more. I tried to make this chapter at least a little longer too. I'm bad at writing long chapters. I also am going to be attempting to have a better balance with my humor and serious moments. I did change the secondary category to humor though. Anyways, enough of this, on to the story.
Disclaimer: We don't get no tolls, then we don't get no rolls.
Chapter 5: Rude. Security!
I'm not a crybaby
I'm the crybaby
A caterpillar that got stuck
Mr. Moth come quick with any luck
A long walk to a dark ha-ha-house
A roman candle heart keep us far apart
I'm cocktail party doing all right
Hate me baby, maybe I'm a piece of art
The copy-nin was bored.
Since he gave the mission away to Genma he had a free two days. This was usually a good thing, but he didn't have anything to do. Of course, he could read his usual books but contrary to popular belief that wasn't all he did in his spare time. He would also go out to see a select few people. Those people were either on missions or he wasn't currently on speaking terms with them. There was also his last resort Genma, but he clearly wasn't around either. Nothing could ever make him seek out Gai.
The person he was most likely to bother in his spare time fell into the "not on speaking terms" category. He thought of his pink haired former student and their lack of being on good terms. He was pretty sure he had seen her last night at the bar he went to with Genma. Genma who had been gone for an awfully long time when he went to the bathroom, but Kakashi wasn't going to question that. What people did in the bathroom was between them, the toilet, and their maker. Moving on. At first, he had only seen a few of the other Konoha 11 and he thought maybe she had (wisely) chosen to stay home. Not soon after, he had seen her join them at their table. Maybe she, too, had spent some time in the bathroom. He wasn't going to think of that either.
At the very least, she hadn't seemed to be as wasted as she was that night a few weeks ago. Though, she clearly had been drinking. He was almost afraid to go home that night for fear of some kind of repeat from before, but he had seen her leave with Ino and the rest of Team 10. Shikamaru had a surprisingly high alcohol tolerance to go with that high IQ of his, so Kakashi at least knew he was sober enough to make sure his former student made it home. Chouji also seemed to hold his liquor well due to his size, but Kakashi wasn't sure if he would hold the same interest in making sure Sakura made it home. Unless she had chips for him there.
Kakashi glanced over at his clock and noted that it was almost eleven o'clock. He hadn't even eaten breakfast yet due to his lazy mood. At the sound of his stomach giving a small rumble, he decided it was probably best to go out to get some food. Cooking was just too much trouble this morning. With that thought, he rose from his place on the couch and headed towards his bedroom to get dressed. He was already wearing pants, he just needed to change into an undershirt with a mask and grab a t-shirt. Since he had no duties for the day he would forgo his usual flak jacket.
As the jounin pulled a short sleeved gray shirt over his head, his eyes caught the framed photo of him and Team 7. A small smile found its way to his lips as he walked over and picked the old frame up. The frame had certainly seen better days; this could also be said for those in the picture. So much had changed in all the years since the photo had been taken. They were back in more peaceful times, but a lot had happened to get there. It wasn't all bad considering how strong it had allowed all of his former students to become. Sakura was the top medic second to only the Hokage herself, with taijutsu skills that could put even the best of ninjas on their ass. Now she was also developing her genjutsu skills even more. Indeed, she would eventually surpass even her own master.
Naruto, of course, was in a league of his own. Both he and Sakura were now jounin with Naruto having the potential of joining ANBU. Something Kakashi felt Naruto wasn't really suited for but that was probably a good reason for him to join. It would give him more experiences that would get him closer to his dream of becoming Hokage.
And then there was Sasuke, who undoubtedly had become much stronger, though he wasn't here with the rest of them. After the war ended, he had chosen to continue wandering the world, unable to consider Konoha a home he could return to after all that happened with his family's past. It was difficult for the rest of Team 7 to move past this at first and in a way it had felt like a failure. The war had ended, there was peace, and they had all grown into fine shinobi; but through it all, they were still unable to bring Sasuke back. In that way Kakashi felt he had failed as a teacher. Thinking about it, though, he supposed he had failed in a lot of ways. His students most awing developments certainly hadn't been due to his help.
He sighed and set the photo back down. It was much too early in the day to be thinking about such depressing things. He made his way to the front door of his apartment and slipped on his usual sandals, grabbed his wallet off the small table, and made his way out of his home. He walked down the steps of his apartment building and waved when he saw his landlady.
"Yo!" He gave a wave and his usual one-eyed crinkle. The older lady smiled a waved him over.
"Kakashi-kun!" She was probably the only person who ever added a "kun" to the end of his name. She was such a sweet old lady that he couldn't bring himself to correct her.
"Hello, Takahashi-san. You're looking lovely as usual," Kakashi complimented when he walked up to her. Indeed, compliments like these were not his style, but she really was a sweet lady.
And she gave him a discounted rate on his rent. So there was also that.
"Oh, stop!" The landlady blushed and swatted her hand at him. "You're leaving your place awfully late. I rarely ever see you leaving later than nine on your days off. Is your lady friend busy?"
"Pardon? My lady friend?" Kakashi kept his smile up but he definitely didn't follow.
"Oh, don't be shy! I saw her leaving your apartment in a rush a couple weeks ago in nothing but a large shirt. She was very fast so I don't think anyone else saw her. She was quite pretty! Pink hair, fair skin, very nice legs..." The landlady smiled.
"Ah, you seem to have misunderstood-" Kakashi began, his smile becoming more strained.
"No need to explain, my dear! I was once young, you know. I remember what it's like to be caught up in the passion of love." She winked when she said this and the copy-nin couldn't stop the slight shudder that ran through him. "I'm not judging, but you should introduce her to me sometime! I'm sure she's a lovely lady. Anyhow, I must be going now. Those sales at the market won't last for too long. Goodbye, Kakashi-kun!" The older lady smiled and turned to make her way to the market stands. The copy-nin simply stood there for a few moments.
What an awkward misunderstanding. How many of those was he going to have this month? With a sigh Kakashi continued his quest to get something to eat. He chose for the moment not to think about his landlady's words to him.
The jounin walked for about ten minutes, occasionally returning waves to people he recognized but didn't know well enough to actually stop and converse with. Eventually, he arrived at a small restaurant that he would frequent on the days he didn't feel like cooking for himself.
"Welcome!" The owner called from behind the counter. "Sit where ever you'd like, Kakashi-san!"
Kakashi smiled, gave a small wave, and made his way to a table. The restaurant had a high half wall with tables and booths on either side of it to the the copy-nin's preference. People he didn't feel like talking to had a harder time spotting him and deciding to stay and chat when they couldn't see him.
"Would you like your usual, Kakashi-san?" The waitress, Mayuri, smiled and set a glass of water down for him.
"Yes, please," Kakashi replied. Mayuri gave a small bow and left to put in his order. Kakashi picked up his water and took a sip as he heard the owner call out another greeting. While this was one of the copy-nin's favorite places, it didn't often get busy. That food was pretty good and well priced, but the lack of crowd is probably what kept the jounin coming back. He didn't mind being around people (it wasn't like it was some kind of misanthrope), he just preferred not to eat with people around. This could be to in part to so many people's desire to see his face. It was pretty hard to eat in peace with so many people staring at you, waiting for you to pull down your mask.
"Ino, you definitely drank too much," Kakashi heard a familiar voice interrupt his thought.
"Ugh, shut up forehead. Like I really want to hear that now," The blonde kunoichi replied back.
The two kunoichi were sitting on the other side of the half wall, a table behind his. Kakashi was grateful that they were unable to see him. He wasn't really avoiding Sakura, though he did suppose they were going to have to talk at some point and now probably wasn't the best time. He really just wanted to eat in peace. He just sighed quietly and took another sip of water.
"Hey, don't be mean. I let you sleep over last night, didn't I?"
"Oh, you're too kind. Like I haven't let you crash at my place countless times. By the way, after this, we are seriously going to start packing your stuff. Is Naruto going to be around when we move?"
"Yeah. Not that I know if he'd be much help. He gets distracted pretty easy. What about Chouji and Shikamaru?"
"Chouji will help as long as you promise him food. As for Shikamaru, let's be serious here."
"True. I think the last time someone moved and he came to 'help' he just fell asleep in a closet."
"I think that was Tenten. And you have to admit, that closet was huge. We all could've slept in there if we wanted." Kakashi heard Sakura laugh at this.
"I guess she needs a big closet for all those clothes of hers. Well, we could always invite him so he can keep watch at the new place while we bring our stuff there. The closets aren't really big enough for him to fit in."
"True. It's not like he's going to help with the heavy lifting. Not with Chouji and Naruto there, anyways."
"Please, I'm probably going to be doing more heavy lifting than Naruto."
"Well, we can't all have monstrous strength."
Wasn't that the truth. Kakashi still remembered the first time he saw that strength in action. He never thought his pink haired student could invoke that kind of panic in him. The jounin heard the same waitress come take their orders before they resumed conversation.
"So, forehead, when are you going to talk to Kakashi?"
"I don't know. The next time I see him I guess. I still don't know what to say to him though."
"Well, you could say 'Hey I'm sorry for assuming bad things about you and basically saying you were a shitty person, how about to make up for it I offer you my body?'"
Kakashi nearly choked. What was with these younger generation kunoichi and their lack of shame?
"Ino-pig! What's wrong with you?! I swear, you're so gross."
Well, the copy-nin didn't really consider himself gross.
"What? It's not like you have a boyfriend and he's hot."
"You don't have a boyfriend either!"
"Yeah, but I'm not the one who yelled at him. Speaking of which, are you ever going to start dating around again? I know you did for a little bit but then you stopped. I don't know if they'd let a ninja become a nun, but it seems like you're heading in that direction."
"Very funny. And I don't know, dating was just weird. When I went out with fellow ninjas, I only seemed to attract ones that either loved to talk about themselves and how great they fought in the war; or ones that were too nervous to really talk to me because I'm the Hokage's apprentice. I don't know if they thought that she would blast through the wall if they said something wrong or what."
Kakashi had a feeling that that wasn't completely outside the realm of possibilites. The Hokage could be pretty protective of her apprentice. Not all those times she trained her until the bubblegum haired kunoichi was half dead from exhaustion, but other times for sure.
"I'm not going to lie Sakura, that doesn't sound like something she wouldn't do. I think she's just too busy with leading the village to be able to."
See? He wasn't the only one who thought so.
"Well, whatever. What about you, though? You date around but you haven't gotten into any relationships."
"Eh, I just don't feel like being tied down right now. I mean dating around is fun, but I prefer civilians anyways, and civilians don't really understand my line of work."
"What about Shikamaru?"
"What about Shikamaru?"
"Why don't you guys date? I think you guys would be really good together. I mean, you guys lost your virginity to eachother. You didn't talk for a bit after that but you guys are back to normal now. I never understood why you just left it at that."
Oh dear. Kakashi was starting to learn more from this conversation than he wanted to. Why wasn't his food here yet? Did they go out to catch the damn fish?
"Listen, I told you before that was purely for the sake of work. They can't very well have a virgin taking on seduction missions and Shikamaru was the only person I trusted enough help amend that. While we're on the subject of dating teammates, though, why don't you trying going on a date with Kakashi?"
Kakashi really wanted to disappear at this point. He was just so damn hungry.
"Are we really going to have this conversation again?"
"You bet your ass. You have yet to give me a good reason why you won't consider it."
"There are too many good reasons! Firstly, ew." Rude. "Secondly, he's my former instructor and he's known me since I was a kid!"
"Shikamaru's known me since I was a baby and that didn't stop your crazy suggestion."
"You're both the same age! That's completely different. You guys grew up seeing eachother do stupid kid things. He was adult seeing me do stupid kid things."
"You act like he wasn't a kid before. He didn't just skip straight to being an old guy."
Seriously? Old guy? He was not old. These two had no manners.
"Yes, but Kakashi-sensei was very different as a kid than I was. By the age I had graduated the academy and was put on a three person genin team, he was becoming a jounin. He had lost both his parents while I was a brat who was ungrateful for being able to live in a normal, peaceful family. He fought serious battles in a war and I was too concentrated on getting 'Sasuke-kun's' attention that I didn't even take being a ninja seriously. All I had going for me were brains and he's obviously much smarter than me."
"Sakura, you were a kid. We were all like that. I was Sasuke crazy too."
"Yeah, but at least you still did well. You were among the top of our graduating class."
"Well, I can't deny that I was and still am amazing. But, Sakura, I think you're overthinking it. Again, you were a kid. Yeah, you did embrassing things but every kid does. You think Kakashi didn't make embarassing mistakes or do some things that he doesn't look back on with pride? They may be different than your mistakes and maybe even to a more serious degree considering how he grew up, but they still stand. Even Naruto wasn't the best kid when he was growing up, though a lot of it was out of his control. He was loud, obnoxious, did terrible in the academy, and spent most of his time eating ramen and pulling stupid pranks. Now look at him, he's a great ninja who most everyone has acknowledged will someday become Hokage. Even though it's Naruto, I'm sure he's at least thought back a couple times to his behavior as a kid and been embarassed.
More importantly, though, those are things that are in the past. Who cares now? Think of all your team has been through in all these years. You guys went through an invasion, losing a teammate, a war, and countless other things. You all are closer than ever. You're the second best medic in the village- no, probabaly the world- second only to our Hokage. You've done your part in battles and the war, not just as a medic, but also as a shinobi. Do you think either Kakashi or Naruto are thinking about how much a brat you used to be? No, they're thinking of their amazing team mate and how great of a kunoichi she's become."
Wow. Kakashi never thought such deep words of encouragement would ever come from Sakura's old rival. He didn't approve of her trying to get Sakura to go on a date with him, but the rest of it was a pretty good speech. He was going to have to give her a pat on the back.
"Wow, Ino... Those are the nicest things you've ever said to me. That was really nice. Are you feeling okay?"
"Yeah, well, don't get used to it, forehead."
"Is this really about the Kakashi thing?"
"Not really. I just see you and the way you act and you have so little confidence. Like you just can't forget the past and how you used to be. Honestly, I think that's why you have trouble dating. That, and you seem to attract a fair amount of weirdos."
"I'm not judging. Everyone attracts some number of weirdos. You just attract more than your average girl. But anyways, more than anything, I can't have a rival with so little self-confidence. I don't need people thinking I'm bullying you or something."
"You're ridiculous." Kakashi heard the smile in his former student's voice as she said this.
"In a good way. Anyways forehead-"
"Here's your food, Kakashi-san!" Mayuri called and set his miso soup, rice, and broiled fish down. Why was she being so loud? Isn't there such thing as being too enthusiastic about your job? The copy-nin heard a significant silence on the other side of the wall as Mayuri walked back to the kitchen.
Sakura and Ino stared wide eyed at each other. They both glanced in the direction they had heard the waitress but could see nothing but her retreating back. The half wall was too high to see the seating on the other side.
"Do you think it's him?" Ino mouthed to Sakura. Sakura shrugged in response. Ino motioned her eyes towards the booth where the waitress had set the food down, clearly saying "well, check to see".
Sakura sighed at stood up to look over the wall. On the other side she saw an old man eating broiled fish with miso soup and rice. She stared at him a moment longer before sitting back down and shaking her head at Ino. They both sighed in relief.
"Holy crap, that scared me. It's not like he's the only person named Kakashi though, right?" Ino laughed. Sakura gave a weak laugh also but continued to look suspiciously in the direction of the booth.
No, he wasn't the only person named Kakashi, but this was definitely a favorite place of his. Her attention was brought back to the table when the waitress brought them their food. They ate with small conversation in between bites. It was less of a serious conversation now and they just talked about moving and things they still needed to get for their new apartment.
Out of the corner of her eye she saw the old man get up from his seat. Sakura looked down at her own plate. It wasn't really close to being finished but if her hunch was right, she wanted to catch up with that old man. She really hated to waste food, but then again she could just have Ino get a box to bring the rest to her.
"Hey, Ino, I just remembered I have to go and pick something up before one. Could you get a box for my food while I run and do that?" Sakura asked. The blonde raised an eyebrow at her.
"Forehead, if this is your way of getting out of packing today, it's not going to work," Ino said as she gave the medic a serious look.
"No! Come on. It'll take no time at all. Just go to my place after you finish eating and I'll meet you there." The blonde still looked unconvinced. "I'll pay for your meal," Sakura offered.
"Oh Sakura, if you insist," The blonde grinned. The medic rolled her eyes but pulled out her wallet to set money down for both meals.
"Alright, it'll be quick. I'll see you back at my place," Sakura said as she stood. The blonde waved her off and went back to eating.
Sakura walked out to the street and glanced around to see the old man's retreating back to her right. She jogged to catch up to him, dodging a few people as she did.
"Hey!" She called when she had almost reached him. The man just kept walking.
Did he really think she would just go away?
"KAKASHI!" Sakura called as she clamped her hand onto his shoulder causing the man to nearly fall over. "I know it's you Kakashi-sensei, you can go ahead and drop the henge."
For a moment the kunoichi didn't think he'd do it and was briefly afraid that maybe she was wrong. As soon as she thought it, though, there was a puff and before her was a familiar spike of silver hair. He turned to look at her.
"Oh, Sakura, fancy meeting you here," The copy-nin gave his one eyed smiled and rubbed the back of his head.
"Yeah, pretty fancy," The kunoichi muttered sarcastically. "I knew that was you in the restaurant. Did you really think I wouldn't be able to see through your henge?"
"Well, no," Kakashi admitted. "But I thought it would at least avoid an awkward situation." Sakura rolled her eyes in response.
"So you heard our conversation?" She asked. His eyebrow creased though he tried to keep up the smile.
"Maybe a little bit."
More than likely he had heard the whole thing. The kunoichi almost wanted to die.
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to listen in. I was really hoping my food would quickly come and I could leave before you guys noticed me. I know it was a private conversation," Kakashi explained. Sakura still had a slight grimace on her face but she held back any of the usual anger that would come to her in a situation like this. Finally, she took a deep breath and let it out.
"It's fine. You didn't mean to. That's not why I followed you anyways," Sakura sighed again. She gave herself a quick shake to pep herself up and looked up at him. "Listen, I'm really sorry Kakashi. About all those things I said to you and doubting your character. That was terrible of me and I know you're a better person than that. I was out of line and I don't blame you for getting mad at me. I should've talked to you right after it happened so I could clear things up rather than avoid you like I did. So, again, I'm sorry."
Admitting you were wrong always sucked, Sakura felt. It was the adult thing to do, for course, but what if that person still didn't forgive you? She looked her former teacher in the eyes as she waited for him to say something. He would forgive her, right? They had certainly been through worse. Though none of those things included anything quite like this. Just when Sakura was starting to think that he may not forgive her, he smiled.
"It's alright. I'm sorry, also. I said a lot of things to you in my anger. I'm sure I made you feel horrible. I guess we both could've sorted through this misunderstanding better," Kakashi gave a small laugh. Sakura smiled in return.
"Yeah, you're right. Don't worry about, either. I'm sure I've done worse in my anger," Sakura admitted.
"Well, now that we've gotten that out of the way, don't you have some packing to do?" Kakashi asked.
"Oh! You're right. I gotta meet Ino back at my place." And grab a book or something. She did, after all, tell her that she had to pick something up. "You should come by the new place after we get it set up. We're going to have a big dinner as a sort of house warming and to thank anyone who helped us move."
"Sounds good," The copy-nin responded.
"Great! Well, I better get going. I'm glad we cleared everything up. I'll see you later Kakashi!" Sakura gave a smile and wave, then turned to make her way to a book store.
"Hey, Sakura," Kakashi called before she could get far. She turned to look at him curiously. "Um," He rubbed the back of his neck slightly nervously. "Hey, how about going on a date sometime?"
A/N: Bam! Whachu know about me?! I figured I should actually give some insight as to what kind of setting/time this fic is taking place. I was trying to see if I already stated Sakura's age but I did not find it. But I'm also prone to moments of not being able to see what's right in front of me. She's about 19 though. I'll actually sneak that in eventually if I haven't. Their drinking age is probably 20 or whatever, but who's going to tell a ninja no? Riddle me that.
Anyways, I actually finally have a definite direction for this fic. One of the ideas actually completely flipped from a previous one. Yes, perhaps to no ones surprise, I was just writing to write before with only the foggiest of ideas as to what I was going to do. A lot of you guys made me happy when you said you remembered reading this story and then were like "Why" when I disappeared. Or that you had read it and decided to come back only to see that I had updated. I really appreciate it! I followed a couple of reviewers advice for this chapter. I know I'll still have some mistakes which I apologize for. I'm probably going to get Microsoft Office for my new semester though so hopefully that will help.
Also, I was thinking about making a one shot about that earlier line with Ino and Shikamaru. I actually started typing it up any everything. I feel it's worth mentioning for no reason other than I want to share, but Temari/Shikamaru is my least favorite pairing. I have no idea why. I have never cared about any other pairing before. If I like them, I like them and if I don't, whatever. I hear of them pushing it more so in the anime than the manga but for some reason I'm like "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOO!"
I dunno. It's weird. Anyways! That was your pointless fact about me for this chapter.