Sakura shook her head as she helped Kakashi over her balcony railing and into her living room, settling him down on the sofa-bed. Really, she should have taken him to the hospital, but then she would be muscled out of the procedure and he'd be left to the cold and or grasping hands of whoever claimed him for their patient. Not to mention, they would try and pull his mask down, and she knew he hated hospitals besides all that.

Satisfied that he was as comfortable as he was going to get for now, Sakura left him to fetch a bowl of warm water and a sponge. Her medi-kit, at least, the non-portable one, was a permanent fixture in her living room. It was a wooden box two feet deep, one and a half feet wide, four feet long, and folded out so that she could access everything easily. It had been a sweet sixteen gift from Yamato, one of the few birthday gifts she ever received that she actually used, apart from all the kunai, shuriken and scrolls that Kakashi had given her over the years.

He'd never once forgotten her birthday since she'd been on his team. Never once, even when they weren't assigned together. The only time he had ever missed it, ever not been able to wish her happy birthday himself or get a card to her, he'd been on an extended mission in Wind, and he'd brought her back a beautiful archery set, as well as some more shuriken. She had dedicated herself exclusively to learning how to use the bow for a week, and now took it out to the training field for an hour every third day.

Now though, the four hours of medic training she had every day were what she was putting into practice as she cleaned him and tended to his wounds. They'd been on their way home from an easy escort mission – the minor noble that had paid so highly for their services was unreasonably paranoid – when they had come across the camp of a couple of missing nins from Mist.

It had been a tough fight, particularly with uneven intentions. The missing nins had been aiming to kill, Sakura and Kakashi had been aiming to incapacitate and capture. They'd done it, but while the prisoners hobbled behind Sakura the rest of the day-trip to Konoha, tied up and being pulled along by the rope in her fist, she had been supporting a large proportion of Kakashi's weight for at least half of the remaining journey home.

They would get their mission pay, and their bounty for the captured missing nins, in the mail soon enough. Right now, Sakura just wanted to keep Kakashi alive. The captured nins had snickered that they had been just coating their weapons with poison when they met each other, and Kakashi had taken most of the hits, deliberately, protecting his medic and team mate.

Sakura formed the seals for a small water dragon, but this jutsu was different to the battle jutsu. The water dragon she summoned would go over wounds, eating any foreign substance, cleaning flesh more thoroughly than any other technique Sakura had seen yet. They were also really good when the option of a shower or bath wasn't available, but there was a little water lying around.

"How'm I doin' Sak'ra?" Kakashi asked, his first coherent words since before they had reached Konoha's gate.

"Happy birthday Kakashi, you live again," she answered, smiling. He was conscious again, she breathed a sigh of relief, but kept working. He wasn't out of the woods yet, just considerably improved.

"Good to know. What's the damage report? I hurt all over," Kakashi said, a quiet chuckle in his voice. They both knew that his birthday wasn't for another week. He'd be alive to see another one it seemed.

"It's almost all flesh wounds, nothing deep or too serious, apart from the stabs you took to your left side and the poison that is. I think you may have popped a couple of fingers out of joint as well, so I'll check your hands once I'm sure you're blood is clean again," Sakura said, running her hands over Kakashi's torn up clothes.

"And you?"

"My knuckles hurt from punching guys with bricks where their heads should be, and I have a few small scratches, which I'll be checking for poison as well, but I'm in much better shape than you are."

"Well, you've got the body of a goddess, of course you're in better shape than I am," Kakashi said, and Sakura wondered if the poison and the pain hadn't made him slightly delirious. "And I honestly couldn't bare to let such filthy men touch you. I know I don't deserve your touch. No man, alive or dead, is good enough for you Sakura."

She sighed. Yep, that had to be the poison talking, or the pain... possibly even the mild pain-reliever she'd given him. Kakashi just wouldn't say stuff like this otherwise. It was still sweet though, even if he only ever expressed such sentiments when he was doped up.

"Hey Sakura," Kakashi said softly. "It's your birthday today, isn't it? Heh, happy birthday Sakura. I got your present, it's -"

Sakura shushed the jounin. "It's that you're alive to see it."

"Nah, that's no good, it's behind my books at home, wrapped up in yellow paper. Happy birthday Sakura."

Sakura shook her head at Kakashi, kissed his sweaty silver hair gently and got back to her task. He really was sweet to her all the time, it was just a lot more obvious when he was like this.