Author Notes: Been working on this for the last couple days. Started out short and fluffy, then got longer and more violent, and is now really long and smutty and violent. And sorta fluffy. Go figure, lol. This fic is totally pointless. I have absolutely no idea why I wrote it, honestly, but it somehow got written instead of my midterm paper hurhur. More love for my OTP, I suppose, but it's kind of really just random and retarded lol. There was almost no smut, 'cause I was feeling lazy, but changed my mind. I'm still new to it, so it might suck. But I hope you enjoy anyway!

Pairings or Characters: Kakashi/Sakura, several nameless Iwagakure-nin
violence, blood, some language and smexing between two adults.
Word Count:
It's Sakura's first mission together with Kakashi in three years, and she suspects it won't go much better than the last one

Don't Underestimate Medics

"You know what would make this mission suck less?" Sakura asked suddenly.

"You complaining less?" Kakashi offered. She briefly gave the back of his head an angry look, but otherwise didn't acknowledge his response.

"If it actually had a point. We already know the lead we had in Iwa is dead. Why do I have to walk for three days to hear some arrogant asshole tell me what I already know when I get there? And if I didn't have to wait until we get back to Konoha to shower. And if I didn't have to travel with you, Mister Attitude," she added, with what Kakashi thought was an unnecessary amount of malice in her tone.

"Actually, Sakura-chan," he began, adding the belittling suffix to her name in a cheery tone, "this was supposed to be a solo mission. But because you kept pissing and moaning about being stuck in the hospital, Tsunade tacked you on, too. Now, what would have been an easy in-and-out mission is guaranteed to get complicated. And your constant blabbering and complaining isn't helping matters, either. So forgive my 'attitude'."

Sakura's face was incredulous. She hadn't heard more than three words out of the man for the last day and a half, and when he finally decided to speak in more than one sentence at a time, all he did was insult her. She tried to convince herself that she was not sulking when she decided to not speak to him for the rest of the mission (which, by her calculations, would be about four and a half days if their stay in Iwa didn't run long).

She also pointedly ignored the burning in her cheeks as she stared at her feet.

Kakashi, who had correctly figured that hurting her feelings would get her to shut up for at least a little while, was content with the silence they walked in for the remainder of the day. When time came to settle down for the night, however, her sulking became almost as obnoxious as her talking.

"Sakura, eat something."

Sakura did not want to eat anything. Particularly not something offered to her by such an asshole. Which was unfortunate, because he had been carrying all the food.

"Sakura, you need to eat something."

The pink haired kunoichi tossed a stick into the fire, ignoring the offered bento and the way she felt hearing her name rolling off his tongue.

"Sakura, it's been nearly a day since you last ate."

She rummaged through her pack until she pulled out her book -- a comedic horror story she'd reread nearly twenty times since picking it up a few months ago -- opened to the page she had marked and began to read, continuing to ignore the mission leader.

Kakashi soon gave up trying to persuade her, and announced that she would take the first watch and settled into his sleeping bag, being sure to face away from her.

Sakura doubted that he was actually asleep, but was happy that his attention was off of her for now. Her first mission with her old teacher in nearly three years, and it was not going well. Not that their last one had been much better, she reminded herself quietly. She knew it was partly her fault for being so uncooperative, but she really didn't feel comfortable around him when she wasn't being disagreeable. She felt her stomach rumble and, confident that it had been long enough that Kakashi might actually have fallen asleep, let out a sigh as she bookmarked her place before carefully reaching over to grab the bento he had left beside the fire.

A relieved smile briefly graced Kakashi's face beneath his mask as he heard her start to eat. It quickly disappeared when she insulted his cooking under her breath, but then he couldn't really blame her. He knew he was really a terrible cook. But as long as she ate something, he had no reason to complain

Sakura awoke to the first rays of dawn peeking through the trees, an empty camp and a dead fire. She panicked for a moment, worried that she had fallen asleep on her watch, but she remembered Kakashi offering to switch before she nodded off. The thought of him made her realize that all of his stuff was gone, and for a moment she seriously considered the possibility that he had left without her. It really wasn't that far fetched of an idea, and she had been difficult yesterday, but really that was no reason to pack up and leave her behind!

Luckily, before she could begin her angry ranting with lots of unflattering curse words directed towards one Hatake Kakashi, said man appeared between the trees and greeted her.

"I was about to wake you. Pack up. We're less than a day's walk from Iwa, and I'd like to get there before all the inns close."

"Nn," she muttered back groggily, briefly forgetting that she had decided not to speak to him. She was packed in moments, and followed him out of the foliage and back onto the road.

It seemed to be his turn to ignore her again today, as he had the latest addition to his Icha Icha collection out and securely in hand. She walked further behind him than yesterday and the day before, but he paid no notice to her nor the distance she tried to keep between them. Not that she expected him to, she reasoned with herself silently. It would be weird if he cared, after all. She tried to focus on something -- anything -- other than the man in front of her, but found the landscape was boring as it quickly went from grass and trees to rocks, rocks and more rocks.

Sakura, who was busy staring at her feet as she walked down the unpaved road, did not notice the glances Kakashi shot her, nor the occasional slowing of his pace to cut down on the space between them. She also failed to notice that he hadn't turned a page in over twenty minutes.

The rest of the day's walk went by fairly slowly, partly because Kakashi continued to modify his pace throughout, and they ended up arriving after the last inn had closed. Sakura opened her mouth to point this out, but quickly shut it when she caught the irritated expression he wore (which she could only differentiate from his other expressions because she'd known him for almost ten years). After a moment of quiet stewing, he suggested unhappily that they find a secluded outdoor area to lay out their sleeping bags. Curious as to why he seemed so upset with this -- after all, they spent a fair majority of their time while on missions sleeping outdoors -- she was tempted to ask, but was still feeling sulky and didn't want to start talking to him yet.

But as if reading her mind, he started mumbling quietly, "Sleeping outside in Iwa is always so... uncomfortable. Like sleeping on rocks."

At this, Sakura promptly burst out laughing, much to his surprise and confusion.

"It's the rock country, Kakashi," she managed through her giggling, "You really shouldn't be so shocked."

"Well, excuse me for preferring to sleep on soft mattresses," he chuckled, his mood lightened considerably. "Does this mean you're speaking to me again?"

Sakura's giggles stopped abruptly, and she looked up at him warily.

"... I suppose." Despite being the most infuriating man on the planet, it was oddly difficult to stay mad at him.

Perhaps that's part of what makes him so infuriating in the first place, she added as an afterthought.

"C'mon. Lets go find some rocks to sleep on that aren't totally uncomfortable.

The next morning, Sakura decided she agreed with Kakashi wholeheartedly about sleeping outdoors in Iwa. She woke up with a stiff back and neck which no amount of massaging seemed to get rid of. Kakashi's stuff was missing again, but this time at least he'd been courteous enough to leave a note. Where he had found the paper and the origin of the peculiar stain in the upper-right corner were probably things she didn't want to know, though. She squinted down at the wrinkled paper, taking a moment to read his awful handwriting, before letting out an aggravated groan.

"Of course I have to go to the Tsuchikage's tower and talk to his obnoxious assistants. Arrogant pricks," she grumbled as she rolled up her sleeping bag. Kakashi had quite obviously left out where he had headed off to, and had also left off a rendezvous time and place. Sakura rolled her eyes, half expecting him to be in the city, his plan to waste the entire day looking for some limited edition Icha Icha copy while making her do the mission work. It wouldn't surprise her at all.

About three hours later, after going through customs, meeting with the assistant's assistant's assistant's assistant to the Tsuchikage and being told (as she had predicted on the road two days ago) that the lead Tsunade had sent them to follow up on had, in fact, turned out to be fruitless -- and by extension, that this mission had been pointless -- Sakura was walking down the unfamiliar streets of Iwagakure, hoping desperately to find some food that wasn't totally disgusting.

She thought of the bento boxes Kakashi had given her the past two nights for meals, and couldn't stop the smile that spread across her face. True, they weren't gourmet or fantastic -- or even that good -- but he had made them for himself and had instead given them to her and settled for the ramen noodles she had brought along.

Suddenly, she frowned. She wasn't supposed to still be thinking like this. She was supposed to have gotten over it by now.

Lost in thought, she almost didn't sense the two chakra signals following after her. She paused outside of what looked like a diner to pretend to examine the menu while she located the two tailing her. She casually glanced over in the direction she had determined one of them to be, which turned out to be a mistake. Because they realized immediately that she found out they were there, they decided it wasn't worth hiding and appeared on either side of her.

"Come with us," said the taller of the two. They both wore scarves around their faces, so all she could see of their faces were their eyes.

"Why should I?" she asked calmly. They hadn't laid a finger on her yet, but she could snap the both of them in two in a second if she wanted to. Doing so in the middle of a populated street might be a bad idea, though, she admitted.

"Because we have your friend, Hatake. He's not cooperating, so we'd like your help in coercing him," the shorter answered.

"You're idiots. Whatever you want out of him, you won't get. And I won't be able to help. He barely tells me anything as it is," she replied, her calm rapidly being replaced with anger. Both at Kakashi for getting captured in the first place, and because she wasn't lying.

"We're certain that's not the case. Now, we only ask nicely once," the taller smiled. Sakura figured it would be easier to be led to Kakashi than to kill the two of them and try and figure out where he was being kept. She let out a sigh, wondering how often other people's teammates got captured on what should be easy missions, and told them to take her wherever it was they were holding her ex-sensei. She wasn't surprised when her world went dark as they pulled a blindfold over her eyes, but felt indignant when one of them tried to sling her over their shoulder.

Sakura felt the blindfold being removed and opened her eyes to see her mission leader's arms and legs chained to the wall and floor respectively. His uniform was slightly torn, and there seemed to be a suspiciously large amount of blood staining the cloth around his neck. He lifted his hand in his usual greeting, mumbling a lazy, "Yo," her way as if he wasn't being tortured. There was a very attractive man asking him questions and pressing a kunai against his throat, and when he followed Kakashi's line of sight, he brightened at the sight of her between his lackeys.

"Ah! Good, good. Okay, Hatake-san. You can see we have your friend here. She's safe and sound. Now, tell me what I want to know before I have to slit both of your throats." He pushed the kunai closer against Kakashi's throat, and Sakura made a move to help but froze when he sent her a look. She suddenly felt very awkward standing there watching him get tortured. Not that she hadn't before, but this was the first time nothing was really stopping her from rescuing him but him. And then a thought struck her.

"Why don't I get chained up and tortured, too?" Sakura asked suddenly.

The two men who had brought her to wherever this was exchanged curious looks. The handsome captor seemed to be fighting back a chuckle. Kakashi looked extremely pleased with himself, even as he sat chained to the wall and bleeding.

"I'm serious!" she insisted, not catching the smug look on Kakashi's face.

Normally one does not encourage their captors to chain them up and torture them. But Sakura was, while not as experienced or famous as Kakashi, certainly as dangerous, and not being treated like a dangerous captive when she obviously was one was insulting, and she did not appreciate that.

"My dear," the handsome man laughed, "It would be pointless to chain you up. Just because you're Hatake-san's little medic-nin girlfriend--"

Sakura almost thought it a shame that such a handsome face would be permanently disfigured after this, but the satisfaction of feeling his face collapse beneath her fist sent that thought far from her mind. He fell into a collapsed pile across the room, clutching his face with both hands and screaming bloody murder. His shell-shocked lackeys moved to act several seconds too late, getting their legs cracked in half when they reached her, and were tossed effortlessly on top of their boss, all of them now squirming and crying in pain.

All the anger and embarrassment she'd felt over the last few days was suddenly lifted from her shoulders, and she felt like gloating. A wide grin spread across her face as she approached the men she'd just beaten into submission in seconds.

"Because I'm a 'little medic-nin,'" Sakura began as she knelt down in front of the pile of broken men, casually skipping over the "Hatake's girlfriend" comment, "I know how to rip your body apart six ways from Sunday, and put it back together just like it was only to rip it apart again. Also, I'd go see a doctor about those injuries. Could be serious without immediate treatment."

Sakura left the nameless men to their pain and walked up to Kakashi, breaking each of his shackles with a tap of her finger. She hesitated briefly, but when he made no move to get up yet, she placed her hands around his neck and watched as they began to glow and the cuts from the kunai quickly disappeared beneath the fabric of his mask. She was grateful that he didn't mention the blush she could feel spreading across her face. She helped him up and let him lean on her as they left the small torture room.

On the way to the exit, the two leaf ninjas discovered that the screams of the superior had attracted the attentions of several more underlings as they encountered nearly a dozen of them. They were dispatched in under thirty seconds, and Sakura was baffled as to how Kakashi could've been captured by such an organization.

Stepping through the exit, Sakura realized they were no longer in Iwagakure proper, and probably out in the middle of rock country, miles from any village or town or city.

"Great. What is it with people and having their bases in the middle of nowhere?" she grumbled angrily. Kakashi was busy rummaging through his torn uniform, not really listening to her, until she noticed what he was doing and asked him what he was looking for.

"The scroll for Tsunade. Oh, that's right," he smiled, suddenly digging through Sakura's pack.

"H-Hey!" she protested, but was silenced when a scroll was held up in front of her face.

"This is what we were sent here for."

"When did you get that?"

"This morning before you were up."

"Wait. If you got it before I was even awake, then why did I--"

"You had to ask about the dead lead to make sure Iwa thought that's what you were sent here for."

"And what about you? What do they think you came here for?"

"Oh, I tagged along because I heard there was a special edition Icha Icha Vacation being sold here."

"Of course." She fought back a groan. It was pathetic how believable that was. "Well, looks like mission's over if we got what we came for. Uh.. What is it, anyway?"

"Hmm? Some recipe for something."

"Medicinal, right?" she asked hopefully.

"Don't know. I almost lost an arm to bring back a brownie recipe for the Hokage earlier this year, so it's anybody's guess."

Sakura deflated. What was it with the people she knew and being so unbelievably ridiculous?

The journey back to Konoha so far was much more pleasant than the trip out. For one, Kakashi was actually talking. About random, obscure and occasionally frightening things -- Sakura never wanted to hear the story about Gai in a dress again -- but it was much better than the cold silence she'd been subjected to their first day out, and the uncomfortable quiet in the days after. And she was actually walking next to him instead of keeping as far behind without seeming like she was actively trying to do so.

Apparently the story about catching Naruto doing odd things to an effigy of Kakashi had ended, as he was silent again and looking down at her as if waiting for a reply.

"I'll be sure to punch him real hard next time I see him. How's that?" she offered.

"Sounds like a plan," he chuckled. "Just don't break his face like you did to that other guy. Or you can save me the trouble of worrying and just get rid of that doll."

"Fine," she smiled. "Wait, who was that guy anyway? Did he want the scroll?"

"What makes you think that? Of course he was after my signed copies of Icha Icha--"

"I'll take that as an 'I'm not sure,' and 'yes,'" she interrupted, rolling her eyes. "And how did you even get captured by that bunch? I could've taken them all on by myself back when I was twelve!"

"If I made a fuss, Iwa would realize that I hadn't just tagged along to check out books. And I was bored. I figured you'd be along to rescue me eventually, anyway."

"You're incredibly lazy."

"So, do you normally beat the crap out of people you know are weaker than you? Or were you just blowing off steam?" he asked, surprising her.

"O-Of course not! They-- He-- I-- You--!" she practically shouted, stopping in her tracks as her words seemed to fail her.

"I'll take that as a 'usually no,' and 'yes,'" he interrupted, grinning beneath his mask as he stopped as well.

"You're an asshole."

"Are you gonna tell me why?"

Sakura blanched. She knew the only reason Kakashi would be bringing this up was that he already had a pretty good idea of exactly why she had been in a mood to inflict far more damage than really was necessary. But he was the type who liked to hear people say it themselves, and he was very good at making them, too.

"I-I..." She looked up from her feet to see him stepping closer. She was tempted to take a step back, but her pride refused to let her back down. If he knew -- and by the smile she could tell he was wearing, he obviously knew -- her embarrassment was no excuse to let him bully her.

"Do you remember the mission three years ago? The last one we went on together?" she asked suddenly. She could feel her cheeks warming as she stared up at him.

"Hm? Oh, yes. If I recall correctly, the last words you said to me were, 'I hate you. Go to hell, you unbelievable, infuriating, self-involved prick.' And then you threw me through a building."

Sakura seemed to recall a longer list of adjectives and far more curse words in those last words, but decided it best not to correct him. He seemed to have gotten the general gist of her rant, anyway.

"Yes, well," she coughed as casually as she could, "I did that because... I was angry."

"Obviously," Kakashi interrupted, looking down at her curiously.

"Let me finish," she warned. "I was angry about the bet you and the target were making in the bar."

"Sakura, you know I was only--"

"'Playing the part,' yeah I know! But you were talking about how easy it would be to get the waitresses in the sack, and I was jealous, and just got really, really mad because I was... kindofsortofinlovewithyou," she finished in a rush. Her entire face was red by now.

To his credit, Kakashi managed to keep from reacting visibly, but there was a pregnant pause after she had finished and a definite quietness to his voice when he finally broke the silence.

"... You what?"

"I was mad then and I went overboard today because I'm in love with you," she repeated more clearly. She wasn't sure why he seemed so surprised. He was staring at her very hard and it was difficult to keep her eyes locked with his. After all, he had brought this up, because he had already known. Unless, of course...

"You didn't know."

"... No."

"Then, why did you ask about today?"

There was another long silence as he brought a hand up to run over his face. Sakura was starting to panic. He did not seem happy about the news, and she hadn't needed to share it in the first place, and oh dear god was this embarrassing as hell. Hopefully for the both of them, so he'd never share this story with anyone ever.

"... I wanted to hear you say you didn't hate me anymore," he said after a while, which confused her. After what she'd just confessed, it was pretty obvious she didn't hate him. "I knew-- thought you still did when the mission started, but I was hoping you'd stopped. Or at least burned yourself out on it by beating the shit out of those men thinking they were me or something."

"Yes, well... I don't hate you. At least not all the time. And now I vote we never speak of this again so--"

Suddenly his mask was down, and before it registered and she could take in the sight of his face, his hands were on her neck and in her hair and he was kissing her. She figured she could sneak a peek later as her eyes slid closed.

He kissed her hard and hungrily, and she pushed back with just as much force. Sakura was too excited at the feel of his body up against hers to think about why he had suddenly decided to kiss her, or that neither of them had showered in the last five days, and let out a happy moan as she felt him do something wonderful with his tongue. His stubble tickled her chin, and the fact that he even had stubble amazed her. She'd been thinking about this moment for three years -- not that she'd ever admit that to anyone -- and she probably would have had her way with him in the middle of the dirt road if he hadn't pulled away and put his mask back in place.

"Wha--" she began, irritated that he'd stop their make out session so soon after it had begun -- and that she missed another chance to glimpse what he hid beneath that mask of his -- but was silenced by a hand over her mouth and a quick glance. She suddenly realized they weren't alone.

They'd traveled far enough to have reached the point where the scenery became less rocky and the roads became lined with foliage, and out of the trees stepped six men wearing the same scarves as the men who had taken Sakura to where Kakashi was being held. She wondered briefly why Kakashi seemed so uneasy since these men belonged to the same organization that they had practically wiped out in less than a minute. She then noticed that all six pairs of eyes were trained solely on her. His hand fell away from her mouth to rest on her shoulder.

"Medic-nin Haruno Sakura. You are to come with us. We'll take you by force if need be," spoke a blond man Sakura assumed was the leader.

"I'll pass, thanks," she growled, still miffed that she wasn't kissing Kakashi at the moment.

"I'm afraid this is not a request."

"She's never been very good at following orders," Kakashi supplied.

"Our leader is no longer concerned with you Hatake-san. Give us the medic and be on your way."

"I can't say I've been very good at following them, either."

A kunai ripped through the air suddenly, aiming straight at Sakura, but he caught it easily between his index and middle fingers. Sakura looked up at him briefly, and after a brief meeting of eyes, they launched into action.

Sakura went for the blond immediately, sending a fair bit of chakra into her fist as she pulled her arm back before firing it forward. Much to her surprise, he dodged rather easily and she went tumbling through the air he'd been standing in before regaining her footing. She clumsily dodged a handful of kunai that he had thrown at her before going through a series of hand signs and disappearing. The blond was apparently surprised that she knew more than healing jutsu, and his moment of hesitation gave Sakura her opening. Winding up another chakra-powered punch, she lunged forward but the moment her fist reached his side, he transformed into a brick that turned to dust beneath her knuckles. He had seen through her genjutsu, and she was quickly realizing that these men were far more dangerous than the ones back at the base. Why they obeyed the handsome man when he was so weak, she had no idea, but it wasn't the time to think about that.

She felt a fiery pain in her calf right after she made to start running again and realized she'd been hit. He had been aiming for her Achilles' tendon, but she had moved just enough that his aim was off. It wasn't very deep, so she let it bleed as she leapt backwards. When she landed, she felt a pair of arms trap her and let out a frustrated grunt as he pushed several pressure points in her back that left her feeling numb.

"I told you that you would be coming with us," the blond whispered in her ear. The feel of his breath against her neck made her extremely uncomfortable and a shiver ran through her. He seemed to take that as a sign that she was afraid, and decided it appropriate to taunt her. "Don't be scared, Haruno-san. Our leader just wants to talk to you. He'll probably keep you around, too. Once we make sure you can't call up your chakra, of course. It's natural to de-claw a wild pussycat before taking it home."

Well, at least they realized she was a threat now, she thought. She didn't appreciate being associated with a kitten though. She wasn't some pet, and the way he said she could easily imagine what she would be being kept for.

"Now, say good-bye to your boyfriend, Haruno-san. Tell him not to follow and we might let him live."

Sakura's eyes opened wide as the blond whistled and one of his associates came out of the trees dragging a bloody body she assumed was Kakashi. There were kunai, shuriken and needles that she could safely assume were poison-tipped riddling his entire body, and he didn't seem to be breathing very much.

"Kakashi!" she cried, feeling helpless for the first time in a long while. The brunette dragging him came to a stop in front of her and the blond, and Kakashi struggled to lift his head to face her.

"Hi... Sakura-chan," he coughed, blood dripping from the corners of his mouth as he tried to smile.

"Where are the others?" the blond man asked.

"Dead," the brunette answered, sounding extremely tired.

"No wonder he's famous. Killing four of our jounin is no easy task. He's better off dead."

"You said you'd let him live!" Sakura protested loudly, struggling against his hold despite the numbness she felt throughout her limbs. Kakashi coughed and dotted the dusty road with more blood.

"I said we might. But he's too dangerous for that. Kill him."

Sakura had no demon trapped inside her belly. She was born without a bloodline limit, and her family was not a well-established clan with secret jutsu handed down from the old generations to the new. She hadn't watched her best friend die because of her own hesitation and received another clan's abilities as a result. She wasn't a genius or a prodigy. All she had was her own strength and determination. She had gotten to where she was largely on her own because she had no other choice. She was a fast learner with great chakra control, but because she was a kunoichi and a medic to boot, she was never taken seriously by enemies, and sometimes not even by friends and allies.

But this no-name organization with no-name shinobi of vastly varying strengths had insulted and angered her and hurt her friend one too many times, and even with her arms and legs feeling like lead, she whipped her neck backwards and shattered the collarbone of the man holding her with her head. He let out a cry and released her, taking a step or two backwards, and she paused briefly to send her chakra to unblock the points he'd pressed. The brunette dropped Kakashi onto the road as he pulled out his needles and made to throw them at her, but was stopped by her hand punching a hole through his stomach. He choked and spluttered for a few moments, the needles between his fingers dropping to the ground just before his body fell backwards with a loud thud.

She turned to face the blond again, the blood of the dead shinobi coating and slowly dripping off her hand, and saw he was backing away slowly. It was about damn time someone realized they should be afraid of her.

"I spared your boss and the men back at your hideout because they were weak and just in my way. And I'm sparing you now for the same reason. If he's angry that he was beaten down by a girl with pink hair and emasculated, ask him if he'd prefer being dead. Now leave before I change my mind."

After watching her kill his associate with a fist through his torso, he took the opportunity she offered immediately and disappeared into the trees. The moment he left, she fell to her knees beside Kakashi. She still had most of her chakra and she hadn't received more than a cut or two, while he had taken on five of them and looked like death. She fought back the urge to cry and began pulling out the various weapons sticking out of his skin.

"I'm sorry," she mumbled repeatedly until he shocked her by pushing himself off the ground and sitting up. "How are you--"

"Don't... be sorry. You'll... fix me up... no sweat," he said slowly, smiling as he swayed slightly. He reached a bloody hand up and stroked her cheek before dropping it back into his lap and closing his eyes. It was really hard to fight back her tears after that, but she managed somehow and set to work.

Three days later, Kakashi woke up in a hospital bed back in Konoha feeling rather nauseous. He must have looked particularly green in the face, because a familiar voice suddenly said, "The nausea is a side-effect of the antidote for the poison the senbon had been coated with. It should subside fairly quickly, though."

"... Sakura?" he asked dazedly, squinting from the sunlight pouring in from the window. His voice was rough and he figured he must have been asleep for some time.

"Yes, Kakashi?"

"... How did we get back?" He couldn't remember anything after the confrontation on the road, and he knew they had been another two days away from Konoha.

"You're really heavy," she answered as she closed the blinds on the window. Now that he could open his eyes, he noticed that she looked rather tired.

"Sorry. How long have I been out?"

"I got us back the night after you lost consciousness, and that was three days ago. Oh, and you'll be glad to hear that I delivered the scroll to Tsunade-shishou, and she has excused you from writing a mission report this time because mine was so fantastic. And the whole, y'know, being poisoned and near-death thing." He raised an eyebrow. Tsunade never let him off the hook for writing mission reports. Even though he always turned them in practically a year after they were relevant. Sakura noted his skeptical expression and eventually her smile widened. "Okay, okay. I may have bribed her with sake. Lots of sake."

"Well thank you," he chuckled.

"You're welcome," she smiled softly, a blush suddenly coloring her cheeks. "So, now that I don't have to worry about you being dead, I think I'll go home. I could really use a shower."

She paused for a moment, hoping and half-expecting him to stop her, but all he did was stare up at her. She felt her smile shrink and her blush redden, but she recovered quickly and excused herself once more before walking swiftly out of his room and out of the hospital. She felt disappointment and a little anger, but reasoned that he either forgot about her confession or wanted to pretend that he had.

She only wished he hadn't kissed her and gotten her hopes up in the first place.

Sakura had spent every day in the hospital since she had returned to Konoha with a roughly patched up Kakashi slumped against her, waiting anxiously for him to wake up. She hadn't showered or eaten much and had left his side only to report in to Tsunade and to use the bathroom. She imagined she didn't look or smell very nice, but ninjas normally didn't when they got back from missions, so she figured anyone passing by would assume she'd just returned.

She opened the door to her home and immediately stumbled into someone, which was odd and disconcerting, considering that this was her house, where she lived alone. Looking up, she saw Kakashi staring down at her. It took her a moment to notice that he wasn't wearing his mask or hitae-ate, and she could actually see his smile.

"Y-You..." she began slowly, her blush returning as she absorbed the sight of him and made sure to save it to memory.

"Sorry I didn't ask you to say. I didn't want you to see me vomit." She blushed deeper knowing he had read her reaction so easily back in his hospital room.

"... How romantic," she replied sarcastically after a moment.

"I brushed my teeth, you know," he smiled, leaning forward.

"But did you shower? You smell awful," she asked evasively, poking a finger to his chest to stop him from leaning closer. He paused to consider this, before grinning.

"No, actually. And neither have you, by the looks of it. Let's go," he smiled, closing the door behind her as he took her hand and began pulling her toward the bathroom.

"W-Wait, together?" she stuttered, her face a blazing crimson now.

"Sure. Why not?" he asked, stopping to regard her curiously.

"You..." she grumbled, amazed at how casual he was while offering to shower together. But she was dying to know something, and thought this was an opportune moment to ask. "Kakashi, why did you kiss me?" she asked.

He regarded her quietly for what felt like forever, and she was afraid he hadn't wanted to discuss it and would leave now that she'd brought it up. But if he didn't want to acknowledge it, she wasn't about to let him lead her on after admitting how she felt.

She realized he was still holding onto her hand, and she made a move to get out of his grip but froze when he started talking.

"If a strong, beautiful woman, whom you've admired since she tossed you through a building, that can fight beside you, rescue you when you get in trouble and take care of you when you get your ass handed to you, admits she loves you, what would you have done?" His serious expression sent a chill down her spine, but a smile was quickly spreading across her face.

"... I don't swing that way," she answered finally, and his face quickly broke out into a smile, too.

"And isn't that a shame?"

Her retort was cut off as his mouth found hers. They stood in her living room, absorbed in each other, for several minutes before he slowly started walking them towards her bedroom. They stumbled awkwardly through the doorway to her bedroom, and he lazily kicked the door shut behind him before dropping the both of them on her bed. As he slowly started kissing his way down her neck, something he had said stuck out in her mind.

"Wait, did you say... you started to like me after I told you I hated you and chucked you through a building?" She heard a faint groan and felt his breath tickling her stomach.

"Don't you ever stop asking questions?" he asked between kisses.

"I will when you finish answering them," she replied stubbornly. He rested his chin on her stomach to look at her with a distinct pout on his face.

"Fine. Yes, that's when I realized it," he grunted. She felt his fingers trailing up her thighs and beneath her skirt.

"You have awful timing," she smiled.

"I'll work on it," he promised, and resumed kissing a trail down her stomach, smiling against her as he heard her start to moan. Sakura surprised herself with the volume some of her noises escaped her with, but was more startled with how fast Kakashi seemed to have gotten her naked.

"Wow, you're quick," she mumbled breathlessly as he kissed the inside of her naked thighs.

"I take my time where it counts," he replied with a grin right before he pushed a finger inside her.

Sakura let out a loud gasp at the feeling of being entered. She had had sex before, but only a handful of times when she had plenty of alcohol in her stomach and with boys she had very little interest in. The experiences had been mediocre, and even though Kakashi wasn't doing anything new, the fact that it was him pushing a finger in and out of her slowly and gently made it that much hotter.

He had made his way back up to her chest and was unzipping her vest while he gently pushed a second finger into her. He smiled at the way she arched her back and reached out for him, grabbing onto his shirt and mewling in pleasure. He couldn't say that he hadn't hoped their mission together had ended like this, but he certainly hadn't expected it to actually happen. As her shirt fell open to reveal her breasts, he quietly thanked anything and everything he could think of for his luck. He pressed kisses all over her chest, teasing her before finally taking a rosy nipple in his mouth. The moan she let out was absolutely delicious, and he could feel his erection pressing hard against his pants.

Another finger was pushed slowly inside her as his thumb massaged her clit. She could practically see stars beneath her eyelids already, her panting growing louder and louder the closer she came to climax. And then she heard him mumble her name between kissing her breasts and she lost all control.

Kakashi held her as she rocked against him with pleasure, making his way up her chest and neck until he was kissing her lips when she finally came down from her ecstasy.

"... Wow," she smiled lazily, wrapping her arms around his shoulders as he nibbled on her ear. She couldn't remember the last time she enjoyed sex so much, and he hadn't even unzipped his pants yet. She could feel him, hard and pulsing, against the inside of her legs, and she tightened her thighs together experimentally and grinned as he shuddered above her. She uttered a soft mewl of disappointment as he pulled his fingers from between her folds, and blushed bright red as he brought them up to his mouth to lick.

Sakura was suddenly very aware that she was almost completely naked, while he was still wearing all of his clothes. She decided that this was unacceptable and sat up as she began tugging his shirt up until it was over his head and off his arms. He helped her remove his pants and boxers, and chuckled softly at her expression as she took in the sight of his erection. She surprised him by reaching out, taking his length in her hand and stroking him in a steady rhythm, a confident grin spreading across her face as he closed his eyes and pressed his forehead against her shoulder.

"Shit, Sakura," he groaned, and she let up slightly.

"Hmm?" she asked, teasing him with a brief squeeze. He moaned again, and suddenly she was on her back and her legs were wrapped around his waist. Surprised, she let out a startled squeak and cried, "W-Wait!"

He obeyed, but the look on his face was hardly happy. He stared at her with mismatched eyes, waiting desperately for her to speak. She let out a giggle before reaching up and running a hand through his hair.

"Sorry. You just startled me... Kakashi, please," she smiled, the last word coming out breathy and hot and Kakashi felt his cock twitch in excitement before he leaned down to kiss her and push his way inside her.

Sakura grunted as she felt herself stretching to accommodate the length inside her, but as he slowly began pulling out and pushing back in, discomfort quickly gave way to pleasure. Kakashi was surprised at how tight she was and briefly wondered how long ago she'd last had sex before hastily banishing that thought. He didn't like the idea of her in bed with anyone else, and hadn't for quite some time. The sight of her pink hair splayed out beneath her, her cheeks red as she let out short moans and started breathing heavily, and her breasts bouncing in rhythm to his thrusts sent any thought of ex-boyfriends from his mind. He began picking up his pace, and she felt herself approaching orgasm once again.

"Ka... Kakashi," she moaned, pulling him down until she could bury her face in his shoulder as he thrust in and out of her faster and faster. She bit his shoulder gently to stifle her own cries, and his pace increased eventually losing all rhythm until he spilled himself inside her, unable to hold it in as she unclenched her jaw to cry his name again. The feeling of him filling her pushed her over the edge as well, and the two shook against each other as they climaxed until their bliss faded away.

It was as they laid together, Kakashi trailing lazy kisses over any and all skin his mouth could locate, that Sakura realized she still hadn't bathed in over a week, and neither had he. And now there was an additional layer of sweat and the smell of their come coating the pair, and she desperately wanted to get clean. Pulling his chin up from her chest until their eyes met, Sakura blushed faintly as she asked if he was still interested in his proposal from earlier.

"A shower does sound awfully nice."

A slow smile spread across his handsome face, and before she could say anything more, he had her scooped up in his arms and carried her into the small, pink bathroom to start running the hot water.