Author's Note: Done for a drabble request on LiveJournal.


"Kakashi-sensei?"

The sun was a harsh mistress that day; glaring down on all who dared to step out into her fiery rage. Blades of grass shrivelled under that unforgiving stare, paling and wilting until they were crushed underneath shoes and socks alike. It seemed to have taken a shine to the civilians of Konoha more than anyone else. Picnic tables were claimed and protected with suspicion as summer snacks and junk food galore were consumed, and fat blobs of sun-screen were applied liberally.

For the ninja, however, the oppressive heat meant sweat, sun burn and severe dehydration. As he shifted his foot across the dead grass slightly, Kakashi felt the uncomfortable drag of his shirt on damp skin. If he had had to unleash the manipulative powers of his Sharingan now, he would surely be left with spots of colour burned into both his eyes.

Honestly, the extreme sensitivity was both a blessing and a curse.

"...Kakashi-sensei!"

Half lidded eyes paused in drifting over the pages of his novel, and Kakashi casually peered his nose over the pages. In front of him, stood a flushed and agitated Sakura. At 12 years old, she was naturally quite a bit shorter than himself. Unfortunately, this meant that the majority of his view consisted of the top of her bright pink head. A melted halo of light streaked across her bubble-gum locks, sizzling his cornea.

He was going to be blind before she became a Chunin. He could sense it.

"Hmm? What is it, Sakura-chan?" Kakashi asked leisurely, his visible eye upturning in the corner slightly. Whether it was a genuine smile, or just him squinting, she couldn't tell. Sakura herself had a fierce scowl upon her face, trying to limit the light that her eyes took in. It somehow served to make her look even more agitated.

"Sensei," she began again steadily. The metal of her headband caught the sun suddenly, and Kakashi took an extended blink. "Is that a kunai in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?"

...The silver haired ninja prolonged his blink further. The churp of birds met her tentative, unsure question, and an otherwise awkward silence reigned supreme across the training field.

"...I may have misheard you there, Sakura."

The pink-haired genin twisted her mouth to one side of her face as a bead of sweat rolled down her temple.

"Is that a kunai in your pants," She jabbed a finger towards the upper region of his trousers. "Or are you just 'happy to see me'...whatever the hell that even means, Naruto!" Sakura whipped her head in the direction of the shade-providing trees to where her orange clad team mate looked just about ready to have a seizure.

As Kakashi's gaze coordinated itself with the direction of Sakura's pointed finger, a mammoth howl of laughter broke out from several feet away. It was like a sudden clap in a library full of unsuspecting scholars.

"Bwahahahahahaa! Oh my god, Sasuke, did you see the look on his face? Classic!"

Unfortunately, the dark, thundering cloud of misery continued to rain buckets over the only surviving Uchiha, and he huffed in annoyance.

"His face is covered you idiot."

"Hey, who're you calling idiot?"

"You."

As the squabble broke out like mice squeaking over the last piece of cheese, Kakashi zoned in on the area he was being speculated for. Luck had apparently not been on his side today, as upon calling a break for Team-7s training and eager to read his book, the copy-ninja had absentmindedly shoved his Kunai not in his pouch, but in his pocket instead. At a strange, blunt angle.

He'd been squinting too much for just a distracted glance to cover the whereabouts of his weapon pouch.

The sun truly was a harsh mistress to one Hatake Kakashi, it seemed.

He let out a breath from behind his mask.

"I'm sorry to say Sakura-chan, but that really is a kunai."

"Right," his female student clicked her tongue, as if covered in a shroud of frustrated confusion whilst everyone else present was 'in the loop'. "Well go tell Naruto that then! He's the one who wanted to know whether or not you were happy."

In moments like this, Kakashi rarely expressed sympathy for those who received what they had given, which was why he turned a blind eye to the fact that Sasuke used a fire jutsu on Naruto just a few seconds prior.

Ignoring the wails of shock and general agony, the silver-haired ninja forced a smile onto his lips. Realising belatedly that Sakura couldn't see it, he reached out a hand to pat her head gently. An awkward chuckle escaped his mouth.

"You'll understand when you're older, Sakura-chan."


Several years later, when the pink haired kunoichi had indeed reached the ranks of Chunin (and Kakashi appreciated the fact that his eye-sight, for the most part, was still intact), a plethora of unforgiving summer days later had led them to a one-to-one sparring session.

As Kakashi waited leisurely in the same field, squinting fruitlessly against the sun on the glaringly white pages of his book, Sakura approached him with a sly look on her face. For once, he was early - either that or the pink haired nin was just extremely late herself.

Bad teachers did indeed pass on bad habits to their students, it seemed.

"Kakashi-sensei," the 17 year old started with a mischievous glint in her eyes. "Is that a kunai in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?"

The said ninja snapped his book shut abruptly.

"Sakura-chan," he started lightly. His visible eye creased in the corner. "I'm always happy to see you."


The End.