Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto

"Let's see how delicious your fear can be."

In the next instant the man lunged toward them attempting to reach around Kakashi to grab at Sakura. A startled noise reached Sakura's throat, and she barely had time to react before Kakashi herded her around the way the man's attack had come from still placing himself in front of her.

"Sakura stay alert." She heard Kakashi order as he rocked forward on the balls of his feet ready to counter the oncoming attack. She steadying her footing and clenched her fists, this time she would be ready for him. She watched Kakashi and their enemy exchange blows waiting for her opening.

Kakashi chanced a glance over at Sakura she was watching ready trying to time her move with his. He paid for this break in concentration a moment later when a punch aimed for his face landed on his shoulder solidly. He kicked back trying to counter and gain some distance but found that it only served to make him lose balance. Another swift kick and Kakashi found himself thrown to the floor, he rolled out of harm's way trying to find his feet. He tensed ready to block the blow he was sure was coming, but found himself flinching for no reason. He gritted his teeth watching the man's back as he stalked toward Sakura. His heart juddered painfully as he watched the man snatch at Sakura's arm. Worry lanced through his body causing him to tense and stumble, he let out a relieved sigh as he watched Sakura dodge the blow and instigate one of her own. The attacker staggered away from her retreating quickly as he watched the earth split near his feet. Kakashi could have smiled, she had changed so much. Perhaps he didn't worry about her so much after all she wasn't the same weak damsel in distress she used to be.

"My my what a deceptively strong little girl you are."

Kakashi moved quietly to stand next to her.

"Sakura go help the boys, I've got this." Kakashi said not taking his eyes off their enemy. Sakura's brow twisted.

"I'm not leaving..."

Kakashi cut her off abruptly.

"Sakura please."

She huffed loudly before nodding and turning to make her way to the boys. She felt the movement of their enemy as soon as she turned her back; she took off running in response trying to follow Kakashi's order. She found herself being grabbed and spun painfully by her shoulder, she caught Kakashi's slight apologetic glance as he swung her out of the way of an attack that had been aimed for her. She landed on the ground with a thud and quickly took in Kakashi and the attacker exchanging blows. Sakura set her jaw and set off toward the boys once more, she knew Kakashi wanted her out of the way. Unfortunately it seemed their nameless attacker knew this and was going to play up to it as much as possible. Just as she ran past them the man made a grab for her the Kakashi just about blocked. Sakura hesitated for moment as Kakashi struggled.

"Get going!" Kakashi hissed twisting out of the grip.

Sakura ran toward the boys and tried to ignore thinking about the fight that was going on behind her, she knew she shouldn't but she slowed and turned to see how Kakashi was fairing. Kakashi must have felt her hesitation and turned to look at her. Sakura knew she shouldn't have looked back because that moment's distraction was enough for the attacker to gain purchase on Kakashi's throat. She stopped completely and the air rushed from her lungs as she watched the attacker raise his fist and bring it painfully down on Kakashi's face. She cried out to him before she realised it and she started to move back toward them. Kakashi lifted his arm up and connected his palm with the other mans nose and bucked his hips to tip him off as his hands flew to his nose.

Sakura let out a sigh of relief and slowed, Kakashi was by her side in an instant.

"Are you ok?" She asked worriedly analysing the damage.

"I'm fine."

Kakashi grabbed her wrist and shunted her around behind him once more.

"I thought you wanted me out of the way." Sakura said quietly tugging slightly on his grip.

"This won't last much longer. Sakura watched him carefully, was he planning to use the Sharingan? He wasn't making any motions to move his headband, what did he have up his sleeve?

Suddenly one of the other attackers joined the leader.


"I know."

The final member in the band joined them, and Sasuke and Naruto joined Kakashi and Sakura. The leaders gaze levelled back on Kakashi and Sakura.

"I'm afraid we have run out of time my dear friends, this area provides no further interest or use for us. I hope your budding relationship works out, make sure you take care of him my dear he can be a bit fragile." Sakura bit her lip and looked at Naruto worriedly.

"No doubt I'll be seeing you all again, goodbye." With that the three men were gone. Nobody moved for a moment all taking in their surroundings to see if they were really alone.

Kakashi straightened and relaxed slightly.

"Everyone ok?" He asked quietly finally turning to look at Sasuke and Naruto.

Sasuke shrugged.

"Nothing life threatening." He said trying to catch Kakashi's eye to motion to how he was still gripping Sakura's wrist.

Sakura kept her gaze on Kakashi's back her breath catching as she realised Kakashi still had a hold of her hand, she tugged on it gently but Kakashi seemed to ignore her. She slowly looked at Naruto who was staring intently at their joined hands. She tugged harder and this time Kakashi released her clearing his throat at the same time.

"I think it's time we headed back to the hotel." He said finally after scanning the surrounding area.

Nobody argued as they fell into step behind Kakashi who was quickly making his way back to the town. Sakura tried to quell the sickly feeling that had settled in her stomach as she marched behind the boys. The feeling didn't let up even once they reached their hotel rooms.

"Alright guys what's the damage?" Kakashi asked not quite looking either boys in the eye.

Sasuke shrugged.

"Not much on my front, a few scratches and I think I popped a knuckle."

Sakura immediately grabbed his hand and inspected said knuckle, whilst she set about healing it Kakashi turned to Naruto.

"How about you?" He asked casually.

Naruto frowned slightly as he levelled his gaze with Kakashi's.

"Nothing I can't bear." He answered slowly before moving to his room door.

"I'll see you guys at dinner." He said disappearing into the room.

Sakura sighed and dropped Sasuke's hand.

"All done." She told him quietly.

Sasuke nodded and followed Naruto into his hotel room after throwing Kakashi a meaningful look. Once the boy's door clicked shut Sakura chanced looking up at Kakashi, he was looking blankly over her shoulder at the wall behind her. She snagged his sleeve and tugged gently.

"Kakashi? Kakashi let's go inside." She said quietly trying to guide him toward the door.

He swayed slightly and snapped out of his trance.

"What. Sorry yeah go ahead." He mumbled following her tiredly.

Once inside Kakashi sat on the edge of the bed and lay back with a heavy sigh. Sakura wavered for a moment before sitting beside him.

"Are you hurt?"

She began running her fingertips up and down his forearm.

"Not really, just a few bumps and bruises." Kakashi replied lifting his arm to pull her down to his side. Sakura relaxed next to him and enjoyed the feeling of his chest rising and falling.

"Do you think Naruto knows?" She asked carefully.

"I don't know. I think he suspects something but doesn't what to put it in words just yet." Kakashi answered sounding on the edge of sleep. He pulled her tighter to him and Sakura listened as his breathing evened out as sleep pulled him under. She worried and bit her lip before sleep claimed her as well.

The bar was crowded and noisy. There were too many people to move freely and the music was slightly too loud, but Kakashi didn't mind it stopped him from thinking. He moved slowly absorbing the boisterous civilian atmosphere, a cigarette in one hand and a drink in the other. Glancing ahead he could see Rin, Asuma, Anko, Genma and Tenzou sat in the booth he had left them in. This was their new thing, slipping on civilian clothes and going to civilian bars. It was more fun they had decided. Civilian bars were easier to get into underage, after all ninja's seemed to radiate confidence making them seem older than they were, and unlike the other ninja bars their faces weren't recognisable to teachers, squad leaders, senior medics and family friends. Someone grabbed Kakashi's right arm and from the press of long nails he guessed it was woman before he turned to regard her. She was a petite blonde with big blue eyes, she radiated self-confidence and her smile told him everything he needed to know. She was interested and eager. Normally Kakashi would have taken her up on the offer but something about the way her nails scrapped circles on his bicep and how her perfume stung his nose put him off. He offered her a flattered smile and shook himself loose to rejoin his friends. He wasn't surprised to see Anko leaning over the both talking animatedly with a brunette boy. Genma and Asuma were talking and laughing over something and Rin was studiously flipping her lighter on and off. It was Tenzou the commanded most of his attention though, he was sipping his drink cautiously and nervously looking about the bar. He was new to the group Kakashi had met him shortly after joining Anbu and he had found him interesting and funny in a remarkably geeky way. They poor guy just needed to loosen up. Kakashi smirked before sliding into the booth next to Tenzou clapping a hand on his shoulder.

"You alright? You look a bit shook up." Kakashi commented before swigging his drink and snuffing out his cigarette. Tenzou paled feeling slightly embarrassed for appearing a party pooper.

"Fine." He gave a quick smile trying to prove he was having a good time.

Kakashi glanced up feeling sets of eyes on them. A group of girls stood giggling and talking in the corner. A plan quickly formulated in Kakashi's mind and he stood swiftly and made he was toward them.

"Hey I was just wondering if you girls would like to join us for a drink." He motioned back toward their booth.

One girl who Kakashi felt was probably the queen bee looked him up and down before looking behind him at the booth. A slow smile spread across her lips as she looked at her companions.

"Sure." She nodded.

Kakashi smirked at them in return and led them to the booth. Genma and Asuma stopped talking and straightened to greet the girls, and Tenzou looked slightly startled before regaining his composure to talk with the girl who sat down in Kakashi's place. Pleased with his handy work he avoided the conversation the queen bee was looking to start, and sat down next to Rin who was still focused on her lighter.

"Nice catch." She said after he was sitting comfortably motioning with a tip of her head. He chuckled in response and snagged her lighter from her, slipping a cigarette into his mouth with his other hand.

Rin mirrored him.

"These things will kill you, you know." She said dryly as Kakashi light both cigarettes.

"Seems like you can say that about everything these days." Kakashi replied sipping his drink again. He watched her as she reached for her own drink.

Her hair was still at a choppy chin length bob full of layers and mixed colours of brunette and blonde. Her skin looked clean and clear, her make -up darkened eyes contrasting against her pale face. He knew if he looked around at the boys nearby he would see them admiring her, unbeknownst to her. Despite the fact that she was dressed provocatively, knocking back drink after drink and dragging on countless cigarettes, Kakashi still saw the Rin he had first met. He knew underneath all that was the innocent, loyal and loving girl he had always known. He gave into impulse and pulled her in for a quick but intense kiss which she returned whole heartedly. He pulled back and finished his drink only wincing slightly as it burned his throat.

"Same again?" He asked motioning to her empty glass. She gave him a calculated look before catching a hand on the back of his neck and pulling him down to her. She caught the soft skin below his ear with her teeth.

"Sure, and get Tenzou something a bit stronger." She grinned glancing at Tenzou who was still conversing with the girl who had chosen to sit next to him in a slightly awkward manner.

Kakashi concentrated and enjoyed the fuzzy feeling of his head as he walked toward the bar. He rubbed his hand absently over his face remembering belatedly that he wasn't wearing his mask. When he reached the bar he leaned on it trying to catch a tender's eye. Kakashi wasn't too sure when he became like this. He knew it was sometime after Minato died, he was pretty sure when Minato had made him promise he and Rin would act their age he hadn't meant this. Kakashi could barely remember the last time he had been sober more often than he was drunk. The smoking would most definitely have not been in the fine print of that promise, and he was pretty sure the promiscuity would have been frowned upon by his late sensei as well. But Kakashi supposed all this wondering what Minato would think was irrelevant, his sensei was after all very much dead. An unsettling feeling curled in the pit of his stomach as he waited. He hadn't felt right for months there was a paranoia that would not leave him. He felt as though someone was watching him. Ordinarily this wouldn't bother him many different people watched him for many different reasons, whether it be to comment on his fighting technique, monitor his injuries and weight or to simply appreciate him. Kakashi had learnt rather quickly after joining Anbu that people paid close attention to him. He captured interest and this was a deadly weapon he could add to his arsenal. But there was something uncomfortable this unseen attention he felt on edge about it constantly, whether he was alone in his home or smack bang in the middle of a crowded bar the feeling of being watched, no stalked, would not leave him.

He shivered and tried to keep his attention on the bartender he was giving his order to. The prickle of fear crept up his spine and the hairs on the back of his neck stood up. Whatever was fuelling his paranoia was close. He turned around leaning his back on the bar hooking his elbows on it to lean back more comfortably. He scanned the crowd noticing nothing particularly menacing or out of the ordinary. He bit his lip and closed his eyes smiling at his own jumpiness, maybe all that medication was messing with his head? Opening his eyes again he found himself frozen. A sickly sweet and familiar smell filled his nose. His teeth let go of his lip as his mouth opened in shock at the figure who against the back wall of the bar. Yellow eyes met Kakashi's for a fraction of a second before a small group of friends obscured his view. Once the group had passed so had the figure.

"Excuse me. Excuse me. Hey buddy you need to pay for these drinks."

A hand on his arm told him that the slightly irritated request was directed at him and he mumbled an apology before handing over cash to the bartender. He collected the drinks shakily and stumbled back to the booth. Tenzou looked grateful and began necking the drink no doubt looking forward to that extra bit of courage it would bring. Rin accepted hers but kept her eyes on Kakashi.

"What's the matter you look like you've seen a ghost?" She said only half joking. Kakashi laughed darkly eyes still scanning the crowd.

"I think I'm just losing my mind is all." He stated flatly.

Rin watched him carefully.

"Losing your mind?" She asked absently picking at a beer mat.

"A little bit yeah." Kakashi replied seriously.

"What did you see?" Rin questioned her drink all but forgotten. Kakashi looked back to where he had been standing.

"Orochimaru." He answered taking another gulp of his drink.

"And no before you ask I'm not drunk or high and I've eaten enough to not be hallucinating." Kakashi said dryly smiling at her.

"You know me too well." She sucked in a breath through her teeth. The smile slowly slid from Kakashi's face.

"You don't believe me." Kakashi pointed out. An emotion that looked close to hurt flashed through Rin's eyes.

"Do you believe you saw him?" Rin countered quietly glancing at Genma and Asuma who were still far too occupied with the group of girls to be listening in.

"Yes and no." Kakashi licked his lips before continuing.

"I mean he was there then gone in an instant which makes me doubt myself. But the smell the feeling of his presence it was all too real. I've felt like there's been someone following me for weeks and I can't help but wonder." Kakashi's throat closed up and he shook his head taking another drink.

"You can't help but wonder if it's him that's been following you." Rin finished

Kakashi nodded.

"Maybe you should tell someone." Rin suggested quietly.

"I have I've told you." Kakashi returned picking at his sleeve. Rin watched him for a moment.

"You know what I mean someone who can do something about it." Kakashi wanted to flinch at the tone she used to say that. She still blamed herself for him getting hurt in their last encounter with Orochimaru.

"If he is back the village needs to know Kakashi, so they can stop him before he does anymore damage." She whispered seriously any signs of drunkenness disappearing from her speech.

Kakashi hesitated and shrugged and immediately regretted it. Rin's brow twisted in anger and she grabbed one of his hands.

"Don't take this so lightly!" She hissed.

"I'm sure it'll be fine, what's the worst that could happen?" Kakashi said dismissively trying to disguise his worry.

"He's dangerous especially to you; if anything goes wrong you could end up seriously hurt or dead. Sensei isn't here to save us this time." She barked back grimly almost regretting it as she saw the hurt in Kakashi's face.

"You need to tell the Hokage." She finished firmly.

"I was probably just seeing things." Kakashi interjected.

"I thought you said it was clear and you weren't drunk and all that other spiel." Rin was starting to get irritated, Kakashi could see it in the way she was gripping the table edge.

"How about this if I see anything else weird I'll tell the Hokage. You know just so I know it wasn't a one off, we wouldn't want to start a panic over nothing now would we?" Kakashi responded giving her a hopeful look. After a moment's hesitation and a sceptical look Rin relented.

"Fine but you have to promise if there's anything else you'll go to the Hokage."

She held her hand out for him to shake in agreement. Kakashi gave her an odd look before accepting the hand.


Kakashi woke slowly and groggily he still felt tired from his dream, the fight yesterday and the prospect of talking to Naruto had all left him feeling drained and weary. He pushed up onto his elbows carefully making sure he didn't jostle Sakura too much. She mumbled something and her hand gripped his shirt a little tighter. Kakashi couldn't help but smile as he watched her, he found himself doing this far too often just watching her. His heart gave a warm squeeze and that was warning enough for him to get out of bed. He didn't want to admit he was happy, not yet, because whenever he did life had a cruel way of snatching that small glimmer of happiness away. He rolled out of the bed slowly and made his way to the bathroom. He blinked tiredly as the bathroom light flickered to life, and he sighed tiredly as he switched on the shower. He pressed the heel of his palms to his eyes and waited to let the shower warm up. Hot showers always helped him feel moderately better after a particularly tiring incident, the steam and heat always helped distract his mind from whatever was troubling him. He closed his eyes again and let his forehead fall to rest upon one of the few remaining cool tiles. Something was wrong he could feel it in the pit of his stomach. Something terrible was going to happen he knew it and the feeling was beginning to exhaust him. He didn't know how long his spent in the shower but it gathered it must have been to long as the water started to chill and lose its affect. Kakashi opened his eyes and turned off the shower before heavily getting out and dressing slowly. Kakashi frowned as his legs felt weak, the churned feeling in his stomach intensified and his mouth ran dry as breathing became slightly more difficult. Once he pulled his jumper over his head the feeling increased and Kakashi tipped his head back trying to fill his lungs. He dropped to his knees and began to breathe harshly moving toward the toilet. The coughing began and Kakashi could feel the panic rising in his chest, he couldn't breathe. He pressed a tissue to his mouth and closed his eyes trying to ride it out.

He knew what was going to follow, the sickness. As if on cue he felt the horrible hot feeling in his mouth that you usually get before throwing up, and he leaned heavily over the toilet bowl coughing a few times before retching.


He felt Sakura drop down beside him he wanted desperately to say that he was ok, that she shouldn't worry but he was finding it exceptionally hard to raise his head. He felt her hand on his back rubbing soothing circles as he proceeded to try an empty his stomach. He couldn't say that he didn't feel embarrassed having her see him like this, being sick was bad enough but it was even more distressing when someone you wanted to think of you as attractive was witness to it. The sickness began to ebb slowly and the coughing resumed. Sakura pushed another tissue into his hand and removed the one he was currently using. He felt her tense beside him and he tried to lift his head to see what she was worried about but stopped when she began running a hand through his damp hair. He closed his eyes again and let her comfort him, cringing slightly that she had to watch him struggle to breathe.

"Do you think you'll be able to travel today?" Sakura asked quietly.

Kakashi swallowed thickly and nodded. He lifted his head and turned to look at her.

"Yeah, I should be ok." He replied sitting up and wiping the back of his hand over his forehead. He could feel Sakura watching him closely.

"It's nothing I'm just a little run down, that day in the rain caught up with me I guess. I'm sorry if I worried you." Kakashi said quietly, slipping a hand onto her shoulder. Sakura tipped her head slightly leaning into his touch.

The sat like that for a while listening to the drip of water from the shower and the hum of the extractor fan. Just as Kakashi felt as though he's be able to drift off Sakura spoke up.

"You were coughing up blood." She said plainly. Kakashi stopped moving his hand gently over her shoulder and looked at her passive face.

"Really?" He asked casually.

"I think you should see Tsunade when we get home." Sakura answered firmly before patting his hand and standing up.

"I'm going to go get ready."

With that she left for the main room, closed the bathroom door and left him.

As soon as the door clicked shut Sakura sagged against it heavily. She pressed her hand to her mouth and steadied herself. Coughing up blood was never a good sign, and the fact that she had caught Kakashi being sick and coughing up blood twice now was definitely worrying. She shook her head and began to get ready; it would do no good worrying about it now she'd just have to wait until they got back to Konoha.

Sakura wanted to smack Naruto around the back of the head. She knew he wanted to get back for Hinata's party but if told them to hurry up one more time she was going to lose it. Said boy was now bounding along in front them tuting and sighing when he looked over his shoulder at them.

"Naruto stop fussing we'll get there in plenty of time for the party!" Sakura hissed snagging Naruto's elbow to slow him down.

"Fine, fine, fine." Naruto yielded grumpily still choosing to walk ahead of them. The next half hour continued like this, with Naruto fidgeting and rushing ahead and Sakura fumed quietly and stared down at her feet instead. Just as she was getting into a rhythm she bumped straight into the back of Naruto.

"Ah Jesus Naruto first you barrel off now you just stop dead, what the hell is..."

"Shh I thought I saw that guy." Naruto interrupted her and stood tensed and ready. Kakashi and Sasuke drew up either side of Naruto.

"What did you see?" Kakashi asked whilst he scanned the area. Naruto shook his head and relaxed slightly.

"I thought I saw that guy we fought yesterday, but he was there and gone so fast that I'm not sure I did." Naruto explained shrugging his shoulders.

"Well there's nothing there now loser, and I can't sense anything." Sasuke scoffed elbowing Naruto.

"I think we should keep moving, were probably all just a bit tired and jumpy." Kakashi offered already shifting to walk on a sense of déjà-vu hitting him as a vivid memory crept up on him.

It had been two months since Kakashi had seen Orochimaru in that dingy civilian bar and ever since the paranoia and the warning signs had gotten stronger, more clear cut and even violent. He no longer felt as though he was just being watched, he felt as though he was being followed. Things had disappeared from his apartment only to reappear days later somewhere where he knew he had not left them. Sounds of intruders in his apartment woke him in the dead of night, but once the lights came on for Kakashi to investigate all there was to be found was the thick feeling of uneasiness, the kind towns got when a large storm the promised destruction loomed. Despite all this he had held back on his promise to Rin that he would inform the Hokage as soon as something else odd happened. He argued with himself that all that nothing much had actually happened he wasn't injured or anything and therefore there was no need to inform the Hokage. However deep down he knew he was just scared to admit that he knew something terrible was about to happen. He ran a shaking hand through his hair as he approached the Hokage's office door.

"I'm here to see the Hokage." He said polity to the polished looking assistant who sat on the desk by the door.

"Do you have an appointment?" She asked professionally.

"Ah no. It's rather important though." Came the sheepish reply.

The assistant smiled and began looking through an appointment book that was spread out before her.

"Your in luck. If you don't mind waiting around for fifteen minutes we can fit you in after this meeting." She offered.

"That's great." Kakashi replied already glancing at the clock.

"Take a seat."

Kakashi opted for the seat nearest to the exit, he felt far too penned in these days. The time passed slowly as Kakashi occupied himself with wringing his hands and listening to the clack of the woman's type writer. Just as his mind began debating whether he should just bolt and keep his paranoid thoughts to himself the door opened. A jonin that Kakashi vaguely recognised walked out and gave him a nod as he passed, Kakashi quickly turned his attention to the office door.

"You can go in now." The woman confirmed helpfully.

He nodded and strode into the office trying to think of how he was going to voice his concerns. He closed the door behind him with a click which caused the Hokage to look up.

"Ah Kakashi, I wasn't expecting you." He said warmly the lines on his face wrinkling deeper as he smiled.

"No sorry, it won't take long though." Kakashi apologised hovering by the seat in front on the desk.

"Don't worry, please take a seat."

Kakashi sat down sharply.

"Now what can I help you with Kakashi?" The Hokage asked folding his hands on the desk.

"Well I'm not too sure how to phrase this, but for a while now I've had this weird feeling like I'm being followed or watched and it's been getting worse." Kakashi stared speaking slowly as he tried to make sense of what he was saying.

The Hokage lifted his chin but remained silent allowing Kakashi to speak.

"And I know this will sound crazy but I think I've seen Orochimaru." He said quietly, avoiding eye contact.

The third Hokage straightened in his chair and regarded the teenager in front of him carefully.

"You've seen him?" He asked slowly.

Kakashi hesitated for a moment and then nodded.


"In a civilian bar downtown." Kakashi cringed as he watched the unimpressed look that passed over the Hokage's face.

"Did he say anything?"

"No he just looked at me and then he was gone." Kakashi responded.

The Hokage stared at his desk darkly for a few moments, and just as he was about to speak there was a knock on the door.

"Sorry sir your next appointment is here." The assistant called through the small gap in the door.

The Hokage sighed and nodded to his assistant.

"I'm sorry Kakashi I'm afraid I have an important meeting I must take now. I'd like you to come back tonight at six so we can talk this out it more length."

Kakashi nodded and took his leave.

For the first time since Obito's death Kakashi was on time. He strode straight into the office noticing the assistant had left and the lights were dimmed, clearly the working day was over. He opened the door slowly and peeked around to see the third sat writing.

"Kakashi, take a seat." He said without looking up from the paper in front of him.

Kakashi slid into the same seat and waited anxiously for the third to look up. Finally the man's eyes lifted to look at Kakashi, and Kakashi felt a slight pang of worry at a small look of regret and sadness that lingered in the Hokage's eyes.

"Now Kakashi tell me exactly what you've seen over the past few weeks." The Hokage asked slowly.

"Well it's not so much what I've seen it's more of a feeling." Kakashi started.

"So you've not seen Orochimaru?" The third interjected.

"No I have in that bar." Kakashi corrected fidgeting with his sleeve.

"I'm assuming you were drinking?"

Kakashi straightened.

"I wasn't drunk, not enough to imagine things."

The Hokage tilted his head.

"But you were drinking? I'm sure your aware that you're underage aren't you Kakashi?"

Kakashi nodded slightly irritated, that wasn't the issue here.

"Who were you with? Did they see him as well?"

Kakashi's mouth worked before he answered.

"Me, Rin and Genma and no they didn't." Kakashi replied leaving Tenzou out he knew the poor boy would probably break down if he got busted on his first night out. He also felt it best to leave Asuma out; he knew that wouldn't go down well.

"So when you saw him he didn't approach you or speak to you?" The Hokage asked causing Kakashi to squirm. He was starting to think he didn't believe him.

"No but..."

"And apart from that one instance you haven't seen him?"

Kakashi bit his lip.

"No sir. But I've been feeling like I'm being watched and followed and..."

"Kakashi I've been looking through your file and I can see you haven't really taken any time off for a while now." The Hokage stated quietly.

Kakashi frowned and shook his head in questioning.

"I don't see what that has to do with this." He answered running an exasperated hand through his hair.

The Hokage gave him a sympathetic look before clasping his hands together and leaning on the desk.

"I know it's been a hard couple of years for you Kakashi. You lost Obito, had to adjust to that eye, then there was the Orochimaru incident and you lost your sensei. No one expects you to deal with it smoothly all alone."

Kakashi shook his head swallowing thickly.

"No, no you don't understand."

"There are plenty of people who are stricken with grief who need a break and some support to get them through it. Sometimes we are so hurt that our hearts cause our minds to break down as well. "

The Hokage finished carefully. Kakashi lost his breath for a moment.

"No you don't understand I'm not crazy ok? I'm not, I saw him I really did see him!" He cried banging his hand down on the arm of his chair.

His outburst did little to sway the Hokage's opinion.

A knock on the door sounded and the Hokage called for them to enter.

Kakashi turned his head and felt his blood run cold in instinctual fear and confusion as four Anbu enter the room and two medics. He turned back to the Hokage the question hanging on his lips.

"I think it would be best if you had some time off." The Hokage said simply sadly refusing to make eye contact with Kakashi. Kakashi stood up as the Anbu fanned out around him.

"Wait no. Wait please I'm not crazy. Please listen to me!"

And hand clamped down on his right arm pulling back into a broad chest.

"Stop please! Look I'm not crazy you have to believe me!" Kakashi hissed trying to wrench free.

His left arm was grabbed as well and he was jerked back painfully. His teeth gritted as he watched one of the medics move toward him with a needle prepped in his hand. With a frustrated cry he threw back his head to connect with the Anbu's nose. One hand released his right hand and Kakashi tried to wriggle free violently. The other Anbu grabbed his free arm whilst the one in front of him watched him carefully. He continued to twist and struggle as the medic advance once more. Kakashi kicked out a leg and caught the medics arm.

"Oh for the love of god hold him still, he's just a boy." The third Anbu growled grabbing at Kakashi's shoulders to shove him down to the floor, straddling his hips as they sank down to pin him. He felt the Anbu behind move away settling to cradle Kakashi's head as they slid to the floor. With his wrists pinned down and his legs now ineffective Kakashi had to settle for twisting and bucking his hips, which quickly proved useless.

"You're making a mistake!" He tried again twisting his head to look at the Hokage who was watching with something close to horror.

"Please don't let them do this!" He pleaded.

A movement to his left and a sharp prick in his bicep told him he had lost the fight. He struggled weakly before letting the feeling of sluggishness take over his limbs.

"It's for your own good Kakashi, I'm sorry."

Was all he heard before blacking out completely.

Sakura could see the way Kakashi's brow twisted as he appeared deep in thought.

"What's wrong?" She asked touching he wrist softly to gain his attention.

"Nothing Naruto just reminded me of something." Kakashi answered smiling at Sakura, but she could see it was strained.

"Oh you mean that we have to talk to him?" Sakura asked. Kakashi looked slightly relieved and nodded.

"Were not far from home now, things will be better once were home."

Sooo very sorry that it has taken me so long to get this chapter done! Really sorry hope you enjoy it. Read and Review.