Well well well. I live! New story, peeps. And I'm not gonna ruin it by telling you the pairings! Ha ha ha! Read through it! Do it!
INSERT STANDARD DISCLAIMER HERES
Sakura stood in the doorway, one hand holding a chart that contained all of her patients for her rounds, and the other hand gripping the shiny steel of the door handle. Her face held a blank expression, her eyes squinted and her mouth drawn around the syllable of the hesitant: Um.
The sun was shining through the gauzy curtains that were drawn over the hospital window. It was sometime in the midmorning; around eleven o'clock. Sakura had been asked, as a medic intern, to make rounds for Tsunade on the second floor, southeast corridor, of the hospital where Sakura was currently undergoing medic training. Sakura had been interacting with the other medics, civilian doctors, nurses, and the occasional patient all morning, and so far she was having fun doing her job. It was only her third real day of being a medic intern, and Sakura was receiving good marks. Shizune, Tsunade's right-hand woman, had told Sakura that Tsunade was impressed with her abilities already. Of course, Shizune wasn't supposed to tell Sakura this: Tsunade had specifically forbade it. But the dark haired woman couldn't contain the compliments Tsunade had praised Sakura with... Tsunade barely lauded anyone! And besides, Shizune told Sakura conversationally, Sakura could use the ego-boost, couldn't she? The comment which promptly had Sakura frowning and lightly stomping away from the woman.
"Should I... come back later?"
The man in the room, who was busily unstrapping the 2000 kilogram weights from his shins, dropped one of the weighted packs, which fell to the floor with a distinct CRASH.
Oh yeah, Sakura thought blithely in her head, Tsunade's going to be real happy when she finds the dent from that in the floor.
"S-S-Sakura!?" Rock Lee leaned sideways and for a moment Sakura thought he was going to faint to the floor.
Luckily, with her super quick konuchi reflexes, Sakura rushed into the room and caught his shoulders, steadying him. His face was a brilliant shade of scarlet, and Sakura was sure her cheeks were a bit pink as well. After all, Lee was in his green boxers, and it would have been impolite not to blush ashamedly at the state she'd caught him in.
He flinched when her warm fingers came into contact with his naked shoulders. How was he supposed to know she'd walk in on him while he was trying to figure out why he was in the hospital? And in his underwear too?!
"I'm sorry, Lee. I should have knocked first." Sure that he wasn't going to fall over, Sakura removed her fingers and turned around, suppressing a smile. She flipped through the Lee's patient chart. Here was an outline of what he was in the hospital for... hmmm... he was unconscious when he came in. Sakura stifled a gasp as she read through the rest of the explanatory paragraph. He's overdone his Lotus technique. Again. That was the same reason he came to the hospital last time. And last time he'd overworked his body using his Lotus technique was when he'd tried to open his 7th gate. Sakura hoped he hadn't succeeded this time...
"Lee?" Sakura heard a tiny gasp/grunt behind her. "Here it says...on your chart, I mean... that you came in because of your Lotus usage." She turned around, facing him with a stern look.
Lee's cheeks burned. Having her see him in this state of undress was partly humiliating and partly... awesome. In fact, he was certain he'd had a fantasy about her exactly like this, with her in a medic uniform and him in his boxers, and then she'd throw away the chart, push him down on the bed, and then--
"Lee? Lee?" Sakura clipped her chart to the foot of the bed, where there was a plastic holder for it. Lee had been staring at the wall opposite the bed for about a minute without answering her question. His flush was positively purple. She was now annoyed. She snapped her fingers in front of his face. He flinched backwards, then blinked up at her and blanched. Sakura stared at him oddly.
"Your last admission to the hospital was a couple of weeks ago, I know. Your doctor told you not to over-exert your body. Did you listen to him?" Sakura folded her arms below her breasts. Lee's face was draining its violet hue and taking on its natural color.
"Well, I..." Lee started sheepishly, rubbing the back of his head with an unbandaged hand. "Gai-sensai said--"
Sakura snorted and placed her hands on her hips. "To hell with what your teacher said, you idiot! It's more important to listen to your doctor! Don't you have any respect for your body at all?!" Lee stared at her, eyes wide. She was so cute when she was angry...
Lost on this train of thought, Lee almost didn't manage to duck when Sakura's open-palmed hand swiped at his face.
Sakura pulled back, annoyed further that her slap didn't touch him. He sure was quick. Lee was now reclining on his bed, his bare chest turned towards her and his head resting on the head board, hands folded neatly on his abdomen. He was grinning.
Sakura's lips quirked down, and now she frowned. Lee raised his gaze to the ceiling, and began to hum.
"Alright then..." Sakura spat under her breath. She raised her voice so he could hear. "And I'm guessing you did open the 7th gate?" Lee shot her a surprised glance, but nodded.
Sakura feigned a smile. "You must still be really sore."
"I...yes. I did not want to go on with the training of the usage of the Lotus technique, but Gai-sensai was adamant. He was quite sure my body was healed already, and that I was okay to try again." Lee kept his eyes on her face, and noted the downward curve of her lips. Why was she so upset about his injury?
"Did you... oh, nevermind." Sakura waved her hand in the air, a dismissing gesture.
"What?" Lee sat up a bit more, smiling slightly. She looked at him. Lee was struck by the emerald of her eyes. He'd never been good at reading eyes, but now he thought he saw a glimmer of... tenderness in them? His heart leaped at this thought, and a light blush spread itself along under his eyes. A classic shallow anime blush.
"You would never disobey him, huh?" Sakura pulled up a visiting chair and plopped herself down in it. She might as well stay for a bit. She'd been meaning to visit with Lee anyway, for the past week. Her scheduale, however, had been too full. She should enjoy her time with her friend now, before she had to continue rounds and become too busy to see him later.
"No." Lee examined Sakura's face. She looked tired. He continued. "Gai-sensai is a very important person to me. He is the man I emulate, to become a better ninja, every day. He... he gave me hope." Lee looked away from Sakura. Her eyes were fixed on a hospital painting near the other window, and she seemed to be thinking about something that had nothing to do with what he was saying.
"He gave you hope?" Sakura questioned, face lax and peaceful. "How so?" Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Lee's face snap back to her own.
"Well, um... you know I can not use ninjutsu or genjutsu, right?" He waited for Sakura's nod. She surprised him by speaking aloud.
Lee blinked, and hesitated. "Gai-sensai... he was the first teacher to put faith into my abilities, my dream to becoming a ninja who used hard work to overcome disadvantages and beat geniuses."
"Like Neji and Sasuke?"
Lee blinked rapidly again. She was looking at him now, voice soft, but eyes sharp. He swallowed.
"Yes. Even...even my parents did not want for me to become a ninja. They knew I struggled with my career choice when I was younger, when I was first enrolled to train. They wanted me to stop, to become an accountant, like my father."
Sakura felt a giggle bubble up in her when her told her quite solemnly his parents' wish for him. To her credit, though, she wouldn't allow it to escape her lips. She stretched, and glanced furtively at the wall clock. 11:20. She'd been in here 10 minutes. She wondered how much longer she could sit with Lee until someone noticed and made her finish her rounds. It was nice sitting here with him, listening to his story. They didn't see each other in Konoha, but Sakura supposed they were friends. They'd even been on missions together once or twice. And once, a bit after her fourteenth birthday, he'd asked her to accompany him to a dance. She had agreed, and they'd had a lovely time. At least, it was lovely until he'd tried to kiss her. She had thrown him against the wall of the party house, and the two were quickly escorted out. After that, things were awkward for a bit, but then the awkwardness had dissiapated, and they'd become-sort of- friends again.
It wasn't as though kissing Lee would have been horribly awful, it was just... she hadn't had her first kiss yet, still hoping Sasuke would finally give in and fall in love with her and agree to marriage and children and a happy, wonderful life together. But... Sasuke was gone now, who knows where. There were rumors he was working for Orichimaru. As much as she was disgusted by that rumor, and wanted Sasuke to come home, she found after a year of waiting for her golden knight to come back, her feelings for him had vanished. She wanted him to come to back to Konoha more than ever, but, now... she wanted him to come home because she missed her friend. Not her crush. Her friend. Exactly when Sakura had started describing Sasuke in her head as her friend, she didn't know. But when she realized what she now labeled him as, she was surprised by how relieved she felt. Now her heart belonged to no one, not even Naruto, who was training away with a pervy old sannin named Jirayira. Naruto sent her letters, humoursly explaining his escapades with his new mentor, and she replied to him when she could. But her life for the past year and a half had been pretty busy. Tsunade was working her very hard, and signing up as a medic intern meant learning tons of new material in very short time periods. But it was worth it. Sakura had never felt more fulfilled in her life. Granted, she was fifteen and more tired than ever, but she was happy. And that was all that mattered to her.
Sakura leaned back and stretched her arms above her head, loving the feel of her tired arms contracting. She was being trained ninjutsu, genjutsu and taijutsu by Tsunade every morning and evening, in between her shifts at the hospital. She usually felt a bit exhausted by the time her shift started, but today she really didn't. She supposed Tsunade was either going easy on her this morning, or she was improving her physical condition very well. A smile lit her lips.
Lee was still talking, looking at the ceiling. He was less aware of his basically naked body now, and slid easily into being comfortable with Sakura. She was so easy to talk to, and he felt so comfortable being with her. His blush had left his face, and he was happy. He was also pleased that Sakura wasn't leaving, even though she had other things to do, he was sure. He had woken from his coma about half an hour before she walked in on him undoing his second set of leg weights, which he kept beneath his training suit, first set of leg weights, and orange leg warmers. It had been Gai-sensai's idea to start him training with two sets of weights, so that he could be even faster when they were unhooked. He was describing the training session that had landed him in the hospital. Every so often, he stole a glimpse of her face, and he could tell she was concentrating and even entertained by his story. He was proud of himself.
The door to the room opened, and Lee paused in his recounting. Sakura turned her head to the door. Sakura exhaled suddenly, a bit violently, and bit the inside of her cheek.
Tsunade looked unimpressed to find her student and a patient together. It looked as though Sakura had been slacking off. And why was that boy in his underwear?
"Why is that boy in his underwear, Sa-ku-ra?" Tsunade drawled, eyes flicking over and focusing on her protoge.
Sakura slumped. Oh noes...
Lee, embarrassed, pulled his covers up to his chin, tried to yank them over his head, and failed spectacularly.
"Oh, Rock Lee, you don't need to do that. It's nothing I haven't seen before." Tsunade leaned against the door frame and crossed her arms under her generous bosom. "I did operate on you, you know."
Lee's blush returned. Suddenly, Sakura had an idea. Sakura stood up and walked to the foot of Lee's bed, unclipped his patient chart, and pretended to scan the top page, her eyes narrowing with studiousness. And bad acting.
"Well, Tsunade-shishou, Lee has requested a massage. He has removed his clothing in order for me to do my job better." Sakura looked at Tsunade, completely sure her teacher wouldn't buy the cover-up.
To Sakura's immense surprise, Tsunade raised an eyebrow, dislodged her arms from their folded position, and put one hand on her hips. "Well then, get to it. Don't let me stop you." Sakura's jaw dropped, but she quickly closed it when her shishou glanced over her shoulder back into the room. "Oh, and Sakura? After you're done, please come to my office." Tsunade gave Sakura a quick grin and departed, shutting the door behind her. Sakura and Lee exchanged a bewildered, but relieved, look.
The blonde haired sixty-something walked down the large hallway to her office. Kids. Why did they always try to fool you to get what they wanted?
"Well," Sakura released the breath she'd been holding. "At least we're not in trouble..." But Sakura now knew her shishou had seen right through her. There was no other explanation of Tsunade requesting quite sweetly for Sakura to come to her office right after she finished giving her "massage" to Lee. She thought it had been a good excuse at the time... why wasn't she a good liar?!
Lee chuckled nervously and let his covers down to his the top of his chest. He was now very aware of his state of undress, thanks to the Hokage. Had she really seen his naked form during the operation so long ago on his arm and leg? Did she remember what he looked like? Lee tried not to wince. Not a good thought.
"I guess I will see you around, then, Sakura?" He folded his hands across his stomach, not having anywhere better to put them.
Sakura looked at him. "Well, since Tsunade-shishou thinks I'm giving you a massage right now--" No she doesn't, she knows it was a lie! "--how about it?"
Lee seemed surprised by her offer. Hell, even she was surprised by her offer! But his perplexed face was replaced by a confused and slightly nervous looking one. "R-really? No, that is okay, I mean, I am sure you can go to her now..." He trailed off.
Sakura shrugged. "She knows my massages normally take ten minutes at least, and I know your body is probably still sore. It would do you good. What do you say?" Oh well, she supposed it was good for his body anyway. She'd already performed fifty massages in the past three weeks, and everyone told her she was really good at them. Which, apart from making her ego sky-rocket, made her very competent in improving and administering her massages.
Lee contemplated for a minute, then decided what the heck. He was sore, it was true, and letting Sakura do this would add a new...ahem... fantasy to his collection. Not that he would ever take advantage of her! She was fifteen, and he was sixteen. He knew he could overpower her quite easily if he really wanted to. But he wasn't that type of guy.
"Okay, why not? Go ahead, you have my permission." Lee kept his voice even, though it was kind of difficult to do so.
"Right. Well, I usually start on the back, so get out from under the covers and turn over." Sakura waited while he did. And really, his boxers weren't that immodest. They covered his navel to just above his knee, and were sort of loose. She didn't know how anyone couldn't see them under his tight training suit, but she wasn't interested in the answer.
"Here are the massage rules: I am not allowed in the area between your waist and three inches above your knees. I am not allowed to touch you inappropriately, or with the idea of seducing you, and if anything is hurting you, please do not hesitate to tell me." Sakura rattled off the standard list of massage rules when it came to male patients. She had memorized the lines by now.
"I understand." Lee said quietly.
"Woah..." Sakura muttered, taking in his back. There were numerous light scars, whiter than his skin, running along it. They must've not been healed properly enough to melt into his natural skin tone. She also saw lots of burn circles, pinkish brown in color, and there was a gauze strip taped to what she thought was a new wound.
"I know it is kind of ugly..." Lee said into his pillow, head turned so that he saw Sakura's stomach. He didn't see her shake her head.
"If these wounds, the scars and burns, I mean, were new, I could erase them. As it is... too much time has passed." She heard him sigh, and frowned.
"Would you mind if I tried to erase the wound covered by this gauze strip?" He shifted. She looked at him. Their eyes locked. Lee repressed the urge to shiver.
"I do not. Do as you wish."
Sakura ripped off the covering. Lee didn't say anything, though Sakura was sure it stung him a little. Ugh. The wound was definetly new. It had pus in it, and was bluish green. It was about three days old. Lee had come into the hospital three days ago. That fit.
Nonplussed by the sight of the gash, Sakura gently placed her hands on it. It was on the far left side of the middle of his back, so she had to lean over him slightly to reach it. When she touched it, she ignored Lee's soft gasp and shudder. Too bad if her hands were cold. He was going to have to deal with it.
Her hands were warm. Warmer than he'd thought they'd be. Woah...
He felt a light tingle where the wound was... and then a relaxing warmth was spreading through his side and he knew the wound was mending. Her hands left after a minute, and Lee wished for her warmth again. Oh, he was an idiot!
"Okay, now to start. I normally have oils that the patient can chose from, but... um... do you mind if I don't use one? I kinda don't know where they are."
"That is alright. Please begin. I do not want your shishou worrying." His voice sounded kind of gruff.
To his surprise, he heard her giggle. "I don't think she's worried about us. Okay, here goes."
He should have prepared himself to be touched again by her gentle, smooth hands. As it was, he let out an involuntary gasp and felt a shiver run down his spine. Damn it... control yourself, Lee!
"Something wrong?" Oh, he swore he heard a smile in her voice! Did she know...?!
"N-no. Do go on." Damn his stuttering!
"Okay." She hadn't actually stopped, and now proceded to rub soothing circles around his back, smoothing out the muscles' knots and kinks.
"Wow," he heard her murmur. "You've got a lot of deeply strained tissue. You should get massages more often."
"Hah..." he breathed. Then something very bad happened.
"Sorry, but if you really want these knots worked out, I'm going to have to get a better vantage point on them." And she was climbing onto his back, straddling him. She was rather light. He felt her bottom rest on his, and her legs were drawn up against his arms, which he quickly moved and let hang over the bedside. And add that to the fact that he was nearly nude...
Oh shit. A lightning bolt of desire tore down his spine and spiked his loins. He tensed. Was it going to...?
"Lee, please relax. You're making it harder for me." Oh gods, her choice of words was really really bad... then something even worse happened.
Sakura started to bounce up and down on him a little, sliding her hands from the bottom of his hips to the tops of his shoulders. He supposed the bouncing was from her having to stretch to reach his shoulders. It was delicious.
And then... he moaned. Oh noes. It was a tiny, shuddering, involuntary moan that he had desperately tried to hold in. Sakura paused, and if he had to guess her facial features right now, he'd say they would be frowning.
"Lee? Are you sure I'm not hurting you?" Oh, what? She'd mistaken his slip of the throat for a sound of pain? Did she have no sexual experience at all?! Well, that was okay, because neither had he...
He didn't trust himself to talk, but allowed a gravelly "No," past his lips. His voice seemed to be getting rougher. Was that normal when the body was warming up for... something of a sexual nature? He supposed it was.
After seven minutes, during which Lee kept himself in check, Sakura proclaimed she was done with his back, calves, and feet. Lee was ticklish in his feet, and he told Sakura so, but fortunetly Sakura hadn't used this knowledge to her advantage. She was a great massusse, really.
"Flip over, so I can do your front."
"Alright." He did, and she began. She wasn't straddling him this time. Lee knew he wouldn't be able to take it if she did. Almost immediately, she rubbed a spot near his left hip, and it was so unexpected he shivered. She didn't stop, however, and continued her delicious ministrations. Eventually, she frowned at his chest also.
"These muscles are just as bad as your back ones. I hope you don' t mind if I sit on you again?"
"Of course not. Go right ahead," Lee said without thinking. Oh. God. No. What the hell! I can not... I will not be able to take this! Get off, Sakura, if you know what is good for you!
But Sakura, deaf to Lee's telepathic cries, went and sat on him. She straddled him again, and began working. Lee couldn't seem to get his mouth to open to tell her to get off right this instant. What the hell, body! But his body ignored him and happily endured Sakura's hands. Perhaps a little too happily. He felt heat rise to his face, and he closed his eyes. She wasn't looking at him, anyway. Well, not into his eyes. She was concentrating on his body. On her job. And it felt too good... too damn good. Lee fought to keep his body under his control. He really, really tried. Then his restraint wavered as she touched a sensitive spot, and his body took the reins.
Sakura knew Lee was tensed, but she didn't think she could ask him to let up. He was obviously uncomfortable with her sitting on him, and she knew it wasn't about her weight. Still, she continued her job. He'd given his permission, right? Besides, his body was in serious need of her expertise. His knotted muscles were twisted thickly and deeply together, and it required some amount of pulsing chakra to release and rearrange them.
But maybe, if she knew just how much of an effect she had on his body, she wouldn't have bothered. In fact, she'd have been pissed.
Sakura brought her hand down to knead his narrow waist line, fingertips accidentally brushing over the edge of his six-pack, when she found herself thrown off of him rather rudely to the floor. She landed hard and bumped her tailbone. Ouch.
"You know," Sakura grumped, standing up and rubbing her behind, "You could've told me about that."
Lee gave her a look that was a mixture of alarm, embarrassment, apprehensiveness, and something else that Sakura couldn't name. "I-I am s-sorry," He spluttered. "R-really." His knees and torso looked glued together and he had somehow pulled the covers (they had been on the visiting chair) over and around himself. Sakura thought his posture was odd, especially since he had been lying down not a moment before. She frowned for the umpteenth time since stepping into his room.
"Lee..." Sakura walked the two feet between them. He looked away from her quickly, and she could see embarrassment staining his cheeks. "What's going on?"
He stiffened when she touched his blanket-covered shoulder, and did not relax.
"Sakura," Lee's voice sounded a tad anxious, and she was surprised it held a lot of roughness to it. "Please remove your hand."
She did. He visibly loosened. He shifted. His bangs were covering his eyes.
"Please leave. Now." Lee spoke to the tops of his knees. Sakura's eyes widened. She had done something really wrong.
His head snapped up and he looked her directly in the eyes. There was fierce determination there, as well as... humiliation? And there was that something else she didn't recognize...
"Go. Leave now. Your shishou is waiting for you and I have kept you longer than was necessary."
"Now, please." As he spoke those soft, sharp words, something in her broke. Her throat tightened, and she had the strange feeling she was about to cry. Somehow, he was in pain because of her, and apparently he didn't trust her enough to tell her what it was.
"Okay. I'll come visit again if I have time." He didn't respond. Sakura's lips formed a thin line, and she felt a stinging in her eyes that informed her wet tears were about to slide down her cheeks.
She made her way to the door, picking up her patients' chart as she went. Before she closed the door behind her, she thought she heard a soft groan. When she looked back at him, she could have sworn he was shaking.
However, not wanting to stay when Lee obviously wanted her gone (she had no idea why), she shut the door softly with a tiny click, and made her way to Tsunade's fourth floor office.
Sakura knocked on her shishou's door.
"Come in," Tsunade said from inside. She did.
Sakura stepped quietly over the thresh-hold of the door, and was surprised to see two people already there. Then she did a double-take, rubbed her eyes and was re-astonished by the identity of the people standing calmly inside Tsunade's office.
One person she hadn't really seen in five months. The other she hadn't seen for three years. Both were looking at her. One's eyes narrowed swiftly upon the sight of her. The other person's eyes (or, rather, eye) creased happily, letting her know the man was probably smiling under his mask.
"Come in here, girl. Close the door. For heaven's sake, stand up straight. That's what I taught you. That's better. Now," The fifth Hokage rested her chin upon her joined fingers, smiling. "Have I got the mission for you."
With Kakashi-sensai on her right, and Gaara on her left, both of whom now had their eyes fixed respectfully on Tsunade, Sakura bet it was going to be one hell of a mission.
Whee! Cliff hanger! I'm so bad, right? And cake points to you if you can guess why Lee threw Sakura off him in the middle of his massage!
Review, thank you!