Summary: Team 7 has reached an age where it is time for The Talk. The 'how's have already been covered at the academy – now it is time to get into the 'why's. (Despite the humor, a serious fic)

Rating: M (nothing graphical and no bad language except for a few cuss words, but a very open-minded attitude towards sex and other sensitive topics like rape)

WARNING (READ PLEASE): For shinobi, sex is a tool. They are going to treat it like that in their discussion. And they are going to talk about rape from the victim's perspective. If you don't like that, don't read the story. There's a reason it's rated Mature and I've selected 'angst' as primary genre.

Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto (not only the character, but the whole fandom) and I don't make any money from it.

A/N: I like exploring the darker sides of the shinobi world. Beware of sensitive topics! Also, this is a bit of an experiment with a new writing style, so tell me if you liked it.


The Talk – Shinobi Version

It was a very nice morning, sunny and clear, the birds chirping, with nary a cloud showing on a deep blue sky.

Well, morning might be a bit of an exaggeration, as it was only morning in the sense that it wasn't quite noon yet, and the temperature had already risen to a comfortable 25°C. It would get hotter still during the early afternoon hours.

Hatake Kakashi strolled lazily into the isolated, out-of-the-way training ground where he had told his team to meet him, oh, about two hours ago. Or had it been three? There had been that black cat that had crossed his path, and he'd had to take a detour to make sure that the bad luck didn't affect him, and then he'd had to help a little girl rescue her parakeet out of a tree, and of course the parakeet had led him on a merry chase through town before it had…

The unanimous 'Liar!' from both Naruto and Sakura was reassuringly familiar. And Sasuke's disapproving glare, too.

Kakashi smiled lazily at them, not telling them that he had spent the better part of this morning – and of last evening and the last few days, too, come to think of it – trying to figure out how to properly talk about such a sensitive topic with them. Yesterday, he had finally decided to go through with it because the chuunin exams were getting closer, and they needed that information in the improbable case that they should participate and, heavens forbid, pass.

Because of that, he had told them yesterday to meet at this hidden and out-of-the-way training ground; that, and he really didn't need any interruptions outside of what Team Seven's usual antics would produce.

Kakashi looked down seriously at the three faces staring at him with varying degrees of expectance because training ground 15 wasn't the bridge they normally met at. Well, at least nowadays, he didn't have to look down that far anymore to meet their eyes. Both Sasuke and Naruto had hit growth spurts recently, and Sakura wasn't faring too badly in that respect, either.

But they were still so young, twelve, barely thirteen.

Then again, Kakashi had been younger when he had been told what he was going to tell his students now.

He sighed. It shouldn't be necessary, but it was.

He settled himself against the base of a tree, motioning for the three to sit down in front of him. "Alright, you three, today we're going to have the Talk."

The reactions he got were about the ones he had expected. Sasuke was glowering, Naruto was grinning like a loon, and Sakura was blushing to the tip of her roots.

"A-ano, sensei, we… we already learned about – that – in the academy…" She blushed even harder. "We covered it in our kunoichi classes, and… I think Iruka-sensei made sure the guys covered it, too…"

Kakashi raised an eyebrow. He would be very surprised if such a sensitive topic had been discussed in front of a whole classroom. Especially in front of a classroom of academy students who, despite all their teachings, had no idea yet of the realities of shinobi life. "You did?"

Sakura nodded emphatically. "Y-yes! Ayako-sensei was very thorough. She told us all about how it worked, and she even showed us…" She trailed off for a moment, and Kakashi was starting to wonder what exactly the kunoichi had shown them. Probably only a life-sized, realistically shaped reproduction of the organs involved, but with the way Sakura had said it… Kakashi had to suppress a smile. Satou Ayako certainly had few enough inhibitions, and she just might have managed to rope one of the other chuunins, or even a jounin, into becoming part of a live demonstration. On the other hand, Sakura probably would be blushing a lot more if that was the case, and it certainly would have hit the jounin grapevine if Satou had really managed to traumatize an entire kunoichi class like that.

The boys looked very intrigued, even though Sasuke was trying to hide it.

Then Sakura shook herself and continued, as composed as she was capable of. "Well, she explained the mechanics to us, and how to use… protection."

"She did? Iruka-sensei did, too," Naruto crowed, finally unable to keep silent anymore. "I even tried to help out with my sexy-no-jutsu, to show the guys who didn't want to believe that girls really looked like that down there! But then Iruka-sensei got mad and hit me on the head and dispelled my awesome technique." The boy actually pouted.

Kakashi was very hard pressed not to start snickering uncontrollably. He could just imagine the chaos that kind of interruption had created. He'd have to get that story out of Umino some day. On a more serious note, if Naruto's changes really went down to intimate detail, Kakashi should probably arrange for the hyperactive boy to hear the other side of the Umino's Talk, too. Just to make sure that there were no… unexpected accidents. That, and maybe sit the boy down and tell him about such things like feminine modesty. Or modesty in general. Or while he was already at it, pound some common sense and manners into the brat and hope they stuck.

He might just as well wish for Anko to give up her dango and Asuma to stop smoking, that would be equally likely to happen.

With long months of practice, he blocked out Sasuke's expected response of "Dobe, no one asked you to," and Sakura's even more predictable fist to Naruto's skull for degrading women like that. However, before things could devolve into a three-way-brawl, Kakashi decided to step in. He had quite a lot of very serious information to cover, after all.

"Alright the three of you, quit it. I get it that you are adequately familiar with the mechanics of sex and how to prevent unwanted pregnancies, but have you already had the shinobi version of the Talk?"

It was almost cute how his three students froze in mid-motion, Sakura's hand fisted in Naruto's hair, Naruto's fist well on its way towards Sasuke's face, and Sasuke's face ducking down to sweep Naruto off his legs. Three wide pairs of eyes stared up at him with an equal mixture of horror, confusion, and curiosity.

After they sorted each other out, which limbs belonged to who, it was Naruto who first dared to ask what they were all thinking. "Shinobi version, sensei? Like in the books you like to read?"

Kakashi stopped for a moment and cocked his head to the side. Well, although Naruto certainly hadn't intended his comment that way, there actually was some truth to it. Jiraiya, with his long years of ninja experience, had inevitably included some quite shinobi-like attitudes towards sex in his books. Not so much for the main character, who inevitably was some doe-eyed virgin getting introduced to the joys of intimacy by an experienced, handsome lover, but the side pairings and the story around them? Hell yes. Some of Jiraiya's hottest scenes happened outside the main couple.

But, back to his three little genin. Naruto was once again ducking a fist, and Sasuke was frowning with crossed arms. "Actually," Kakashi interrupted them, "that wasn't completely wrong. Have any of you begun to experiment with your body and its responses yet?"

Blank stares that rapidly turned into horror and disgust. "Eeewww! Like, you mean, touching myself like Iruka said boys liked to do? Pervert!" As expected from Naruto. Sasuke looked similarly put off. Keh, children. Sakura though was turning an interesting shade of red. Was that simply embarrassment from such an intimate question, or was she recalling memories? Girls generally tended to mature faster than boys in that respect. Kakashi certainly hadn't had any idea what Minato-sensei was talking about when he had received the same talk. But then, Kakashi had been nine.

He sighed. He had known this was going to be awkward. "Alright, a different question. Do you know why people have sex?"

Blushes receded, to be replaced with curious confusion. General silence. "To make babies?" Sakura tentatively asked after an awkwardly long pause.

Kakashi nodded towards her, glad that he had gotten any response. "That's right, procreation is one reason. The human sex drive is one of the strongest responses we have, just below the need for self-preservation. Especially after life-threatening situation, it is normal for the sex-drive to assert itself to ensure the continuation of the human race. It is a very basic urge that everyone has, and nobody has to be ashamed of it."

He sighed at the number of blank stares he received. That seemed to be the general motto for today. Apparently he had been too vague in his word choice.

"Translation: If you get the urge to fuck after fighting, that's normal. Just see to it that you get it out of your system so that it won't distract you during the rest of your mission, but take care that no enemy catches you with your pants down. That's an embarrassing way to die." There, that should be suitably blunt.

Apparently a bit too blunt. Oh, how innocent his little genin still were…

Sakura was once again the first one to recover. "Senseiiii," she whined, her red color returning full force. As if that was a sign for the other two to awake from their stunned freeze, Naruto bellowed something about never doing something that perverty, and Sasuke scowled. With his cheeks burning.

Kakashi smiled.

"Alright," he giggled, but quickly returned to a somber mood. This conversation really wasn't anything to laugh at, especially now that he had already discussed the least difficult point. "Who can give me another reason to have sex?"

"Besides getting off on missions?" Wonder over wonders, taciturn Sasuke had melted long enough to apply some of his much-vaunted sarcasm.

Kakashi rolled his eyes. "Besides creating the next generation of annoying little genin. Do people always have sex just for procreation? Think of the Floating World (1)."

"Floating world?" Naruto's stare was blank. Kakashi barely restrained himself from sighing. One more gap in the boy's already sketchy education. And those blank looks really were getting old fast.

Fortunately, Sasuke seemed to catch on this time. Of course, he did it in his usual gruff manner. Although his cheeks were still a bit colored. "Brothels and prostitution, idiot. The river district."

"Oh, like what Akane-neesan and Suzuka-neesan from Willow Street(2) do? They say that their work's lots of fun!" With his foxily closed, smiling eyes, Naruto didn't see the disbelieving stares he received from all present.

Even Kakashi.

Well, maybe the boy's education wasn't as sketchy as he had thought. At least Willow Street was one of the more respectable areas in the river district, with plenty of upscale tea houses and security and restaurants and well-educated courtesans that took pride in their work and would never sink as low as preying on an innocent boy. Two streets further down though, the true misery of the river district emerged in full force with hookers lining the streets, an astronomically high crime rate, very active drug trade, and people desperate enough to try nearly anything to get money. Even shinobi were wary when they had to go there. The sheer amount of poverty and bleakness got to Kakashi every time. Especially the fact that it was right within the borders of Konoha.

Kakashi cleared his throat, pushing back memories of missions better left forgotten. "And dare I ask how you met 'Akane-neesan' and 'Suzuka-neesan'?"

Naruto put a hand behind his head, like he always did when he was slightly uncomfortable, but his grin grew even wider. "Well, when I was about six, I managed to break my keys in my door lock, and they let me stay with them for the night 'cause it was winter and real cold out there! And they were real nice about it, too! Fed me and even let me watch them dance for a while! They're really awesome with those fans!"

Really. That still didn't explain just how Naruto had gotten from his apartment near the hokage tower all the way down to the river district, and even less of how he had met the two… maiko or geisha (3), Kakashi assumed, but that was a topic for another time. Preferably after Kakashi had asked the Sandaime whether he was aware of Naruto's connections to the Floating World, and whether Akane and Suzuka checked out clean. The last thing Konoha needed was an agent from another village making nice with Konoha's jinchuuriki right under their noses.

He made a mental note to visit the Hokage after this talk was over.

But, a return to the topic on hand was necessary. "They probably have trained with those fans from childhood on. But back to what you said before, that they enjoyed their work? That was what I was trying to get at. Many people don't have sex to make babies, but because it's fun."

Ah, and there was Sakura's reaction that he had been waiting for. Outrage. Rose-tinted outrage, at that. "That's not true! They make love because they really like each other!"

To both Naruto's and Sasuke's visible surprise, Kakashi agreed with her, which stole the wind right out of her sails. "And that's the third reason. But let's cover the fun aspect first. What do you think this has to do with shinobi life?"

"… That shinobi missions are supposed to be fun because they get horny from the fighting and then get to have sex?"

… Kakashi should have seen that one coming. Delivered in Sasuke's deadpan, it was even funnier. Especially when Sakura looked like she couldn't quite decide whether to hit her crush like she would have done with Naruto. Naruto was just standing there, mouth gaping open as if he couldn't understand how everyone around him was turning into perverts.

Shrugging his shoulders, Kakashi nonchalantly shoved his hands into his pockets. "If you want to see it that way. I thought I had already implied that on the last point though. What I wanted to say was that there's the option to use sex to achieve your mission goal. Not so much fun for you, but fun to whoever you're trying to seduce."

This time, it was Naruto who started sputtering. "B-but, why do we have to do something like that when we can just beat them up?"

"So you'd try and beat up someone you know is stronger than you, even if you just need to get to some information he might have?" Kakashi didn't quite know whether to laugh or cry. Beating up anything that moved certainly seemed Naruto's standard number 1 response.

"Hell yeah!" Naruto nodded emphatically, and received a bop on the head for that.

"And if it's an important dignitary?"

The blond boy hesitated for a bit. "Well, I might try to catch them in one of my super-awesome traps first, and then dangle them out of the window, and I bet they'll talk real quick 'cause they're afraid of my awesome ninjaness!"

Kakashi groaned lightly. This was a political disaster waiting to happen. "And if you don't even know where the information is?"

"Then I'm gonna make a thousand clones and have them search for it! I bet I can find it before Sasuke-teme that way!"

Scratch that. Beating up people seemed to be all that Naruto knew. Hadn't anyone ever taught the boy that subtlety might be the way to go? That subtlety might even get better results than bashing his head against the next obstacle until one or the other gave way?

Fortunately Sasuke and Sakura looked a bit more capable of grasping that concept. Sakura especially looked thoughtful and a bit queasy. "So… so, is that what Ayako-sensei meant with kunoichi going on seduction missions? That- that they'd have to… you know?"

Kakashi nodded gently. "Yes. Sometimes, there's no other way to get close enough to the target when you want to get information or eliminate them. There's a special division in ANBU that focuses on such missions. And Sasuke, Naruto, there's no reason for you to laugh, because there's men who do that, too. Not all targets are male, and not all of them are straight." And he was so not getting into the joys of gay sex, when they didn't even properly comprehend the hetero part yet.

"Konoha tries to make sure that all such missions go to ANBU, but that doesn't mean there won't ever be a mission where you have to at least pretend to be interested in a target. Right now, you're still a bit young for that, but that will change in a few years."

This new silence was a mixture of awkward and thoughtful as the three tried to come to grips with what Kakashi had just revealed to them. He let them think quietly, because it really was hell of a thing to spring on such young children. But better tell them now and let them get used to such thoughts than half an hour before they had to go on exactly such a mission.

Kakashi's own reaction had been quite different; at that age, he had still been the cold, rule-bound bastard he had turned into after his father's death. He had merely taken in the information as fact, that there was the possibility that one day, he'd have to spread his legs for Konoha, and not thought any more about it because it was Konoha and shinobi did what they were told to. Even if they didn't want to or thought it was disgusting. Minato certainly had been surprised by that attitude and not known how to deal with that.

"K-Kakashi-sensei?" Sakura looked honestly frightened.

He tried to smile at her reassuringly. "Hm?"

"Do- do genin also have to go on missions like that?" She hopefully glanced up at him, trusting him to say 'no'. Sadly, he couldn't reassure her like that.

He scratched his head. "Well, as I already said, missions where it's already clear from the beginning that seduction is involved, those immediately go to ANBU. There's only chuunin and jounin there. But there have been other, regular missions where it's been a field decision to send in a seduction attempt because it was the only way to get out of there alive and with all limbs attached." Or to get out at all. Most of the time, there had already been heavy losses before such a thing was even considered. "And, yes, I can recall a mission where a genin had to step up." One cluster-fuck of a mission that had happened during the war. Sensei dead, wounded team-mates about to be discovered, and playing the lost-little-girl card the only chance to get close enough to kill. Rin had told him about that after she had heard it from the kunoichi involved, one of her friends from the academy.

"Oh…"

Kakashi didn't know what had become of her; he'd had too much trouble getting adjusted to Obito's eye and the radical change of personality he had been forcing himself through. Now he almost regretted not having asked again. On the other hand, maybe it was better that he didn't know. Such things had a tendency to leave deep psychological scars.

Fortunately, the boys had enough tact not to bother her while she was working through this new revelation. Naruto was fidgety and uncomfortable, looking at Sakura with concern, and more than once he reached out for her but drew back before he could touch her. Sasuke, too, was throwing her small, almost unnoticeable glances before quickly looking away again.

"Have you?" Her voice was even smaller, her hands wringing when she didn't quite dare meet his eyes. The two boys though didn't have the same problem, staring at him with a new look in their eyes, as if they had never considered their sensei eligible for such missions. Kakashi couldn't quite decide whether he should feel amused, or simply old.

He shook his head. "Not as a genin."

Which really didn't say much. He had been genin for only about a year, before he had been promoted to chuunin. At six. At their age, when the normal seduction missions cropped up, he had already been a jounin. But there always were sick pedophiles around who enjoyed molesting children. The younger the better.

But he didn't tell them any of that. He had given them enough to chew on already without involving any human depravities.

Finally, Sakura drew in a deep breath, counted to three, and released it slowly. Then she looked back up at Kakashi. "Alright. You said there was a third reason? Making love?"

Brave little girl. He could see it in her eyes that she was bracing herself for a bad revelation again, and Kakashi was sad he couldn't disappoint her.

"Yes," he nodded, deciding to take it slow to give them time to get over their last shock. "Making love. What's the difference between that and what we have covered so far?"

The stares weren't quite so blank this time, rather preoccupied.

"Well, you make love with someone you really like," Sakura finally volunteered.

Sasuke summed it up more concisely, looking reluctant to be seen contributing constructively to the discussion. "Emotions."

Yes, his little genin were catching on to where this was going. Just a little hint, and they'd have it. Or at least part of it. "And how can that be used against a ninja?"

Interestingly enough, it was Naruto who made the connection. The normally healthy-looking boy paled under his tan and clenched his fists. "Traitors. Spies," he ground out surprisingly viciously.

Well, maybe not so surprisingly after his experience with Mizuki. Had anyone sat the boy down and talked with him about the event? That, although Mizuki had hated him and had used him to get to the forbidden scroll, it probably wasn't anything personal? That, if Naruto hadn't been there, Mizuki would have found another way to defect? Probably a bit more successfully, too.

Kakashi smiled humorlessly. "That's right. Spies. Deep cover agents. Just like Konoha runs seduction missions, other countries make use of the same technique to get agents into Konoha. After all, what better way to get to state secrets than being the favored and trusted lover of a high-ranking shinobi?"

He gave them a bit of time to digest that before he continued. "But emotions are a lot more far-reaching. Do you remember the day of the bell-test? When Naruto was tied to the post and Sasuke charged at me?"

Three grimaces told him that they remembered the day very well indeed. "Sakura, what did I ask you when I had Sasuke on the ground?"

Her eyes widened, and her already pale face became ghost-like when she made the connection. "You- you asked me to kill – N-Naruto, or you'd kill Sasuke-kun-"

"And what if I hadn't asked you to kill Naruto, but to bring me some measly papers that just couldn't be worth a life? Or tell me some information? Or just don't sound an alarm when you see something suspicious?" Or just about a dozen of other small, almost unnoticeable things that didn't look important at first glance, but which could make or break an enemy invasion.

They fell quiet, each a very disturbed look on their face. "But," Naruto reluctantly asked, "doesn't that go for teammates, too? Or friends? Didn't you tell us that those who abandon their teammates are lower than trash?"

Kakashi sighed. Although he had expected the question and had prepared himself for it, it didn't change the fact that there was no standard all-purpose answer. "I did tell you that, didn't I? Did I also tell you about my father? Hatake Sakumo?"

He had spent long enough with the knowledge of what had happened that it didn't hurt anymore to think about it. Well, almost didn't hurt anymore.

Sakura's brain obviously was searching that enormous library she had stored up there, trying to find where she had heard that name before. Kakashi wouldn't be surprised if she knew the story in exhausting detail. She was gifted like that. When her eyes lit up, Kakashi knew she had found it.

"Hatake Sakumo, Konoha's White Fang? One of the greatest ninjas, said to be even better than the sannin?" She continued in her exuberance without waiting for him to confirm her guess. "He was considered one of Konoha's strongest fighters, but about two years before his death, he fell into disgrace because he failed a mission, and in the end he killed… himself…"

She trailed off, apparently realizing only then that she was talking not about some anonymous historical personality, but about Kakashi's father. Who had killed himself.

The pain was so old and familiar that Kakashi ignored it automatically. That way, he was able to smile at her with up-turned eyes. "That's right. And do you also know the story of how he fell into disgrace?"

She drew here brows together in a cute frown. Naruto and Sasuke looked at her expectantly, but every now and then they shot uncertain glances at Kakashi. It was clear that they were either worrying about Kakashi's reaction (Naruto) or pondering that new fact about their teacher (Sasuke).

"Well," she began slowly, "it was about a year before the beginning of the Third Shinobi War, when Sakumo-sama and his team ran into trouble somewhere along the borders of Stone, I think. Sakumo-sama chose to save his teammates instead of completing the mission, and that got a lot of people killed. It's said that he's the one responsible for the outbreak of the war…"

With a tiny grimace that was hidden behind his mask, Kakashi interrupted her, not really wanting to hear the rest of the story. Especially since it wasn't important to the lesson at hand. "Well, that's not quite true. There were many other factors, too, that played into that. But what is important is that many more people died than he saved that night. And all because he chose his teammates over his mission."

Naruto's betrayed looks hurt almost more than the thought of Sakura retelling the rest of the story to its gory end twenty years ago when Kakashi had come home to find his father in a pool of his own blood.

"So you're saying you've been telling us crap all this time?" the blond demanded furiously. "Why say all that stuff about not abandoning your teammates when you don't even believe it?"

Kakashi shrugged, more flippant than he felt. "Well, I tried the other extreme for about six years after my father's death. Live only by the rules, do everything for the mission, and teammates come last. Didn't work out that well, either." Only Sasuke caught his aborted twitch towards the Sharingan. Then Kakashi grew utterly serious again. "Listen, Naruto, there will be times when you can't save everyone. And then you'll have to choose. I've shown you the two extremes of how people deal with this; you will just have to find a middle way."

Naruto's mulish expression wasn't very promising. And indeed –"I'll save everyone, Kakashi-sensei, you'll see, and then I won't have to choose between teammates and my mission. That's my new way of the ninja! Believe it!"

At least Kakashi wasn't the only one who saw the glaringly obvious flaws with that statement. It was cute and childishly naïve to think one could protect everyone from harm, but that wasn't an attitude that went well with being shinobi. There would inevitably come the day where one couldn't protect everyone, and Kakashi needed Naruto capable of making a clear-headed decision in such a case instead of tearing himself up trying to make the impossible possible. Ninja had broken because of less.

And he didn't want Naruto to break.

"Dobe! You think you're better than the sannin? How can an idiot like you succeed where even Konoha's best have failed?" The sneer on Sasuke's face was a sight to see.

But when talking with a stubborn knuckle-head like Naruto, that was clearly the wrong thing to say. Kakashi could practically hear Naruto's new conviction snapping into place. The blond glared at Sasuke, automatically ducking the bop to his head. "I'll show you, you'll see! Naruto Uzumaki always keeps his promises!"

It was once again time for Kakashi to step in before the fists really started flying. "Ahem, that is a very admirable nindo, Naruto, but you have to realize that other people might choose a different way." A less idealistic way that wasn't going to fail them that easily. "Well, back to lovers and emotions – what you just discussed for teammates, that obviously also goes for lovers. The situation might be slightly different; for one, Konoha tries to ensure that no couples are deployed on the same mission and so you might never need to make a choice like that; but on the other hand, lovers are more at risk of being targeted to get at you specifically. It would be a good idea to decide for yourself beforehand how much your love is worth to you, and how much Konoha is. How much other people's lives are."

He stared them down mercilessly when Naruto tried to bring up his nindo again and Sakura looked ready to argue for True Love. "No, don't say anything. A good ninja should be aware of what the people and things around him are worth to him. What the mission is worth. And what he himself is worth. As genin, it is highly unlikely that you will get a mission more important than your life, but the higher you rise in the ranks, the more likely that becomes. When the Fourth went to kill the Kyuubi, he decided that the continued existence of Konoha and her shinobi is more important than his own life. Think about that."

And sometimes, Kakashi still cursed his teacher for that, that it had been so easy for him to sacrifice himself when Kakashi had still needed him. But that was shinobi life. People died every day for much more insignificant reasons. Why, one and a half years ago, a chuunin managed to kill himself in a training accident when he had failed to take into account that practicing lightening jutsu in a wet environment was akin to suicide. Now that was just a stupid way to die.

No, Minato-sensei had had the right idea. When it was Kakashi's time to go, he wanted to do it in a way that he could join Obito and Rin and Minato and all the other countless names on the stone.

This time, it was Kakashi who took the longest to come back to the present. His genin had started losing focus; Naruto was scuffing his sandals on the ground, Sakura was looking anywhere but Kakashi, and Sasuke was glowering at nothing in particular. They were a lot more subdued than normal, but Kakashi couldn't quite let them go yet. There was one last point to cover in this lesson.

He didn't even sigh anymore although he was starting to feel every single one of his years. Kakashi had grown up in war-time, and as such had practically inhaled the dirty realities of shinobi life together with the scent of blood and gore on the battle-fields. For Kakashi's talk, Minato-sensei hadn't had to say but one word, and Kakashi had made all the necessary connections on his own. For his naïve little students, Kakashi would have to be a bit more eloquent.

"Alright, we're almost done. You know that lovers can use you and that your emotions for your lovers can be used against you, but that's not all. The emotions themselves that are involved with intimate actions can also be turned against you, and that is especially effective because they run so deep."

He steeled himself for the reactions he was going to get. "I'm talking about torture; more specifically rape. What makes rape so devastating is not the physical pain, there are ways to rape people without causing any pain at all, but the fact that it turns something that should be pleasant and emotionally intimate into something disgusting and unwanted."

Sakura looked sick to her stomach, and Sasuke was glaring even harder off into nothingness, his fingers twitching occasionally. Only Naruto didn't seem to get his meaning beyond the words. Was the boy that emotionally stunted by his unloved upbringing that he couldn't imagine ever being that affected by physical advances, or was he simply too innocent?

Kakashi frowned. "Naruto. You like Sakura, don't you?"

The boy nodded, visibly wary of where Kakashi was taking this. The other two paid close attention, too, even though Sasuke tried to look unaffected.

"And you would like it if she kissed you, wouldn't you?" Another nod from him, a more horrified look from Sakura. Kakashi dropped the bombshell. "What if I tried to kiss you?"

The deer-in-headlights expression was amusing, but there was still too much of a 'Pervert!' undertone in it for Naruto to have caught the complete meaning. Kakashi tried again. "What if Zabuza had tied you up so that you couldn't move, and then started kissing you and taking your clothes off? What if he doesn't stop, no matter how much you plead?"

Yes, that seemed to have sunk in. Not only in Naruto, but Sasuke and Sakura, too, because they could easily substitute themselves into Kakashi's hypothetical situation.

Kakashi went on. "Rape isn't just restricted to women, although their percentage in the rape victims tends to be a lot higher than the men's. A situation doesn't have to proceed all the way to physical intercourse to be called rape. As long as someone forces you to endure unwanted sexual advances, it is called rape.

"For shinobi, it is especially important to know that there is no shame in having been raped. Just like there is no shame in having being tortured. In fact, everyone who makes it out sane and alive from such an ordeal should be proud of themselves. There might be shame in having been captured or having spilled secrets or having done something stupid that got you into that situation in the first place, but there is no shame in something so out of your control like rape." Not even when the rapist was depraved enough to provoke physical responses that gave the impression of willingness on the victim's part. But Kakashi wasn't going to open that bag of cats until the tree of them were old enough to know about how sexual arousal could be purely physical and unwanted.

This would be especially hard to swallow for Sakura, the girl without shinobi heritage, because it was quite common amongst civilians to place the blame with the victim. 'If you hadn't encouraged him like that…' 'If you had struggled more…' 'If you hadn't dressed so skimpily like a ho…'. Yes, there might be blame to place for those circumstances, but not for the act itself. Not even if the victim had been 'willing' to spare themselves from more physical pain.

Sakura twisted her fingers in her lap to the point that Kakashi almost thought she was trying to dislocate her joints. "S-sensei, how… what…" She trailed off with a helpless expression on her face, not even knowing what she wanted to ask. Or what she could, should, had to ask.

Fortunately for her, Sasuke came to her rescue, his voice cold as if he hadn't been affected. "We are genin. Why tell us this now? How does this concern us?" The small, almost unnoticeable tremor though belied him. He was just as shaken as the others, merely better at hiding it.

Yes, all of them were still children inexperienced in the truths of shinobi life. Kakashi had never had to ask the 'why'; he had seen it daily on the battle-fields of the Third Great Shinobi War.

Smiling at them slightly, he tried to gently break the news to them. "You aren't planning on staying genin forever, are you? And it can always happen that a mission goes south and you're captured. You're right, you're still a bit young for this. That's why I only informed you of the basics. But you're shinobi now, and you deserve to know what you're getting yourself into. Also, should something happen despite all odds, you'll at least have a guideline of how to deal with it. You might not agree with me right now, but facing the unknown is always scarier than facing the known evil."

Except for those times when it wasn't. It wasn't easier knowing exactly how much pain an interrogator would inflict on you if you didn't talk. It wasn't easier knowing how much it was going to hurt setting your own bones and limping back to Konoha on broken bones. It wasn't easier knowing just how far it still was when you had a comrade bleeding out on your back and you knew he wouldn't make it. Yes, the realm of not-knowing was fear, but it was hope just as well. With precise numbers to show you your fate, there was very little space left for hope.

Kakashi banished those shadows back to where they belonged to and leaned against the tree trunk more heavily. At least the boys seemed to have taken heart at his speech, and Naruto seemed resolved that he'd conquer that aspect of being shinobi as well. Not quite what Kakashi had intended, but for once Naruto was still thinking instead of proclaiming his resolutions out loud. In that respect, the blond knuckle-head reminded him a bit too much of a certain Green Beast and his genin shadow. The two of them could never go for more than a minute without coming to some new resolve in the name of Youth and Springtime.

Sakura though seemed to have stopped listening half-way in, hung up on something. "The basics?" she continued whispering, like a broken record.

Kakashi frowned. Was she going into shock?

"Sakura," he demanded. "Sakura, look at me." Her face was ghostly pale, her lips bloodless, and she was trembling. Damn. That apparently had been too much information for her. He should have known that women reacted differently to a sensitive topic like rape. Especially when it seemed that they had already been very afraid of something like that before.

"Sakura, calm down. The odds of you encountering anything like rape on a mission are about the same odds as finding it walking down the streets of Konoha." Kakashi deliberately didn't specify which streets he meant. There were some in the river district where it was a daily occurrence that women got raped. In broad daylight in the middle of the street, too, and nobody did anything.

She still looked shocky as hell, but at least her face showed she was listening, and she had stopped mumbling her litany.

"Listen," he continued in as reassuring a tone as he could, his face friendly, his body-language open and helpful. He was pulling out all tricks of the trade to put her at ease. "You have already seen that being a shinobi is a dangerous job. I think we all remember the wave country mission very well. I just told you of another danger that, when compared to the danger of getting hurt or having to fight on a mission, is really miniscule. It's a danger that I think you should be aware of now that you grow older, but there's no need to blow it out of proportion. Just something to help you prepare for all eventualities. And I wouldn't have told you of it if I didn't think you could handle it, alright?"

Kakashi was making it up as he went, always checking the results from Sakura's expression. That didn't mean that what he said was a complete lie, just not the whole truth, either. But when did a shinobi ever tell the complete and unfettered truth?

Slowly he was getting through to her, and him having confidence in her seemed to finally tip the balance. Whew, one crisis averted.

She swallowed harshly, but color was returning to her cheeks. She glanced at him timidly from beneath her eyelashes, wrapping her arms around herself. "H-have you…?"

And there was the next crisis. Kakashi knew exactly what she was asking; had he been forced into sexual intercourse before. The question was, which way should he answer? Would a "yes" send her over the edge again, or would it actually help to know that something like that wasn't the end of the world?

For that matter, was such a strong response to the subject normal for girls her age? Or was there something more behind it? Had she had a bad experience in her past, that his words were triggering again? Maybe it would be worth investigating that later on.

Finally he nodded slowly, not seeing how a "no" would be more beneficial in the long-term.

He deliberately kept his body language open and accepting despite the stares he got from three young faces. Fortunately, both Naruto and Sasuke kept silent, letting him deal with Sakura first. If they still had questions afterwards, he could answer them then. One thing at a time only.

It was obvious that all three of them were struggling to combine the image of their all-powerful-seeming teacher with someone who had been raped. Ironically, Sakura seemed to have the least trouble with it. After a very short period of time, she nodded just as slowly as Kakashi had and looked down at her fiddling fingers again, but her shoulders and her back were a lot more relaxed.

Kakashi didn't quite know what to make of that. Was that an indication of "Thank you for sharing something so private" or a "Yes, that would explain some of your strange behavior"? Or, worst case, a "Yes, I know what that's like"?

Damn it, he really would have to do some investigating now. If the boys hadn't been there, he would have just asked her outright, because it was very hard to fake an honest response when one was already that troubled emotionally. On the other hand, it might not have been the best decision for him, an adult male, to corner a pre-teen girl in such a manner. But the point was moot, anyway, because Naruto and Sasuke were there, and Kakashi would have to do his digging the hard way.

So. "Any questions?"

Apparently not. They were still too stunned to ask. "Alright, I think that's enough for today. I'll give you the rest of the afternoon off, so that you can think some more about what we just discussed. Tomorrow, we'll be meeting at the bridge again as usual. If you find you have thought of more questions, you can ask then."

They didn't even have the energy to respond verbally, they just nodded and got up. Kakashi watched them walk away, each in their own little world and pondering all those revelations.

He sighed and eyed a sparrow hopping closer in the hopes of finding something interesting now that the disturbances had left. That was one of the reasons he absolutely hated being a teacher. It was just so incredibly exhausting, especially with a naive knuckle-head, a maybe traumatized fan-girl and a brooding emo ice-berg as audience.

Had Minato-sensei been similarly tired after talking to him? Probably. It couldn't have been any easier trying to get through Kakashi's own thick skull and armor of ice.

He chuckled. Was that fate's way of revenge for what he had put Minato-sensei through?

Well, before he went to investigate Sakura's and Naruto's issues, he had earned himself a nap now. At least he already knew what Sasuke's issues were, what with them being so incredibly similar to his own. And yet, not similar at all at the same time.

Almost of their own accord, his eyes – eye – slid shut, and he dozed peacefully until he heard a boisterous group of chuunin and maybe a genin or two, from the feel of their chakra, coming closer. He didn't stick around to find out whether they were heading for Training Ground 15 or not.


1.)Floating World: Japanese expression for the pleasure-seeking life-style during the Edo-period (~1600-1860). The Floating World culture was developed in Edo's licensed red-light district, but isn't just restricted to prostitution. Fine Arts like tea making, kabuki acting, and sumo wrestling also belong into that category. Geishas and all of their arts (dancing, playing music, conversation, company) are also part of the Floating World.

2.)Willow Street: The Flower and Willow World is a synonym for the world of geishas – apprentice geishas, maikos, are called 'flowers' whereas geishas are called 'willows'.

3.) Maiko, geisha: Extremely well-paid courtesans that provide intelligent and sophisticated company for the erudite man. Their main purpose is to entertain through wit, conversation, music, poetry, dancing, serving. Sleeping together is only a very small part. Maiko is an apprentice geisha, usually around the age of 18. Geisha's are ranked depending on the customers they serve – from kings and emperors to common men and office workers. Those on the highest end of the spectrum refuse to consider themselves prostitutes because they are infinitely more than that; those on the lowest end are barely more than that.


A/N: What did you think? Good, bad? Did I made any glaring errors realism-wise? Any OOC-ness? There's going to be a second chapter that deals with Kakashi investigating those open questions still around, but I think that's going to be about it.

Sakiku