Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto
It started with a picture.
A simple picture of him when he was just sixteen. There was nothing particularly special about this picture; it was just like any other picture a teenager might take, a group of friends enjoying a night out. Regardless of this fact something about it mesmerised Sakura. She couldn't quite place her finger on it, but there was definitely something there pulling her in, telling her to look closer.
She had stumbled across it when Tsunade had her help update the vast number of shinobi files that had been cluttering her desk for the past three weeks. It had slipped out as she had picked up the rather substantial and messy file on her sensei, she had been desperately hoping she would get a peek at Kakashi's file. It had become accepted within team seven that their sensei's past would remain hazy due to his unwillingness to divulge any information about it, and for her to have the opportunity to do a little snooping had made Sakura giddy.
She had just lifted the file of the desk when the photo fluttered out, and landed face down on the floor. She had given in an unimpressed look due to its audacity of falling away from the rest of the file, and with an annoyed sigh had bent down to collect it. As her fingers gripped one of the corners she noticed neat handwriting across the back of the picture. She drank in the message that said:
"Best days of my life. Remember what you promised, Love Rin"
With a sudden curiosity Sakura had flipped the picture over, and she was greeted with the sight of a group of teenage ninja, and after a moment she realised with a start that she recognised most of the group. On the end at the left was a surprisingly curve absent Kurenai, then a fresh faced looking Anko, followed by a beardless Asuma and a short haired Genma. Her eyes moved over the picture to take in the spitting image of Lee, before settling on a petite girl with a brown bob and a lean boy with the most hauntingly beautiful face she had ever seen. Her eyes roamed over his face and she noticed with an even greater start that said beautiful boy was none other than her sensei.
Her eyes had fluttered over the picture taking in every detail of him as she could, starting from the very tips of his shoes. Her eyes followed the long line of his legs upward, noticing how lanky he seemed, as if he hadn't quite grown into his height yet. She noticed with a slight blush the jagged shape of protruding hip bones from his low slung trousers, and the way his collar bones jutted out from under thin skin to frame slender shoulders. Her eyes moved back up to his face to relish in the sight of his exposed face, the high cheekbones, defined jaw and piercing eyes, all framed by a stylishly messy mop of hair.
She decided immediately that there was no two ways about it, he was perfect. She marvelled over her find in silence and had nearly died from heart failure when she felt a hand land on her shoulder. She had looked up sharply to see Tsunade gazing at the photo with a slight smile from over her shoulder.
"Ah, I remember that night. The end of the war had been announced formally, and these muppets were on their way out to celebrate." Tsunade recalled fondly, before a chuckle gathered in her throat.
"Look at that bag of bones, and those legs! Thank God the rest of his body caught up and he filled out a bit eh?" Tsunade laughed as she pointed at Kakashi. Her laughter caught in her throat and a new saddened smile graced her features.
"They were so happy then." She said softly before she had begun moving away to the door. Sakura had looked after her confused, with about a thousand questions forming about the picture alone.
"I'm going for lunch, enjoy that file but I warn you it will produce more questions than answers." Tsunade called over her shoulder. Sakura opened her mouth only to be sharply cut off.
"Answers that aren't mine to give." Tsunade said giving her a meaningful look. Sakura nodded looking slightly discouraged, how would she ever convince him to tell about all this?
"Give old bag of bones a chance, you never know he might open up easier then you think." Tsunade offered, cheerfully smiling at her apprentice, watching her as she stared back down at the photo. Tsunade had quickly turned back to the door, grabbing the handle in one swift movement before pausing.
"Oh and Sakura, try not to become too obsessed with the boy in the photo, he's grown up a lot since then it's not healthy to pursue a ghost."
Sakura looked up sharply to see the door close and Tsunade disappear from sight.
She had let out a slight sigh before picking up the file, healthy or not she knew it was too late.