Here it is! My entry for the Shakespeare contest at kakasaku. It's incredibly late, and rushed toward the end because it was about four in the morning and I was sick of working on this. Also, I hope you can still see where the inspiration for this came from - Antony and Cleopatra. It kind of ends up more like a star-crossed-lovers story than one of war, but I don't get the intricacies of running (and therefore of destroying) a company. I kind of forgot the rules of the contest, as well, but since this isn't even an entry, I don't think it matters too much. I might come back and smooth it out someday, but for now, enjoy.
A pink bob was all that could be seen above the chair facing the window. The desk behind it sat proudly, scattered with papers around the sleek desktop computer and compact laptop. A pen's nib had broken as she signed one of her newest contracts, the ink spreading in a black pool across the page, but she hadn't bothered to clean up the mess yet.
Sakura had had a bad feeling since she'd woken up to an empty bed. No – even before, for the past two weeks, a fear had been leaden in her belly, growing steadily heavier each time Kakashi had diverted her questions. As much as it worried her, it angered her, as well, because some had been completely legitimate business questions.
Her life had been going so smoothly too. Jonin Enterprises had been looking for a medical center with which to ally itself and had sent Kakashi to negotiate a deal with her company, Konoha Hospitals, Inc. Tsunade had put her in charge of that, working in conjunction with Ino, a girl in the legal department. They'd gotten very close during the past few months.
Kakashi had a brilliant head for business, but what had really struck her was his social awkwardness. It was adorable to her, watching his cheeks pink as he stuttered for a way to respond to her light flirtations. Sakura had charmed him out of shell, and then he'd charmed her out of her panties. He didn't date, but he could handle sex very well. Her own cheeks pinked, remembering.
Her phone beeped, drawing her out of her contemplation. Izumo, her receptionist, told her she had a call on line two.
"Thank you, Izumo," she said, picking up the receiver. A deep breath and a moment to gather her wits later, she pressed the blinking button.
"Konoha Hospitals, Haruno Sakura speaking," she droned.
"Haruno-san, before I relay my message, I must warn you – you will not like it. Please do not be angry with the messenger."
Already irritated with this smooth voice, she growled, "Just spit it out." Her temper wasn't usually so frayed, but she hadn't heard from Kakashi all day, and the last kiss they had shared, as he had rushed out the door, tucking his shirt into his pants and clutching his belt, tie, and jacket in one hand, had been entirely too brief. She missed him.
"Forgive this messenger his blunt demeanor; I don't wish to upset or offend," the voice told her. "Kakashi-san has become engaged to Sarutobi Shizune. Do you know of her?"
Sakura's breath caught in her throat as her heart thudded to the floor. She gave no indication, however, as she answered, "Sarutobi-sama's niece? Yes, I know of her."
As anger began to fill her, some masochistic part of her demanded she be hurt more, so she asked, "What does she look like, this Sarutobi woman? She has been well-kept from the public eye."
There was a pause, as if the messenger were trying to decide what to say. Sakura heard a short sigh before the voice told her, with what seemed to be a note of longing, "She is a very beautiful woman, tall, with ebony eyes and black silk for hair, Haruno-san. But Hatake-san doesn't love her, and he will not consent to stay with her while the woman he does love lives."
The anger was rudely shoved aside by shock. Sakura sat, struck dumb for a moment. Kakashi had never uttered the words 'I love you' to her. How could this stranger claim to know his feelings? Pondering, she very nearly missed the next words of her mystery caller.
"I'll be honest, Haruno-san. The men in charge of Jonin Enterprises are threatened by your influence over one of their best and most brilliant minds, and seek to sway his allegiance back to their company alone. Sarutobi-sama is one of the few Hatake-san respects and fears."
"Thank you for your call," Sakura muttered, a touch of sarcasm in her voice.
"Thank you for your time, Haruno-san," he said. The voice lost its former formality. "One last thing, before I go – a bit of hope, if you will. He'll be closely monitored, but Kakashi is a sneaky bastard when he needs to be. It may take some time, but he will come back to you." The line went dead.
"Huh," Sakura grunted, bewildered by the whole conversation now that it was over. She shook her head, slowly replacing the receiver in the cradle. "I'd pay that man if I could."
His boss's niece was glaring at him from the sofa, her dark eyes trying to bore holes through the back of his fluffy silver head. Her hands were laced tightly over her belly. There was no sign of a wedding ring anywhere on them, in spite of the fact that their wedding party and guests were waiting for them at the reception hall. He tried determinedly to ignore it, but eventually the weight of her stares got the better of him.
"I didn't want this, you know," he finally said, turning away from the window and dropping the tumbler of scotch he was holding from his jaw to the table at his side. "I didn't want you and Genma to have to separate, Shizune. I'm sorry."
"I'm sure you are, Kakashi," she said bitingly. "I'm even sure you're trying to find a way to fix this, but I don't care. I can't even tell him…" Shizune's glare switched to the floor. "He just thinks I don't love him anymore."
Kakashi had never been the type of person to tolerate watching those around him wallow in self-pity, especially those he considered friends, and most believed him incapable of empathy because of that. Those closer to him knew the truth, but he usually wasn't the one giving the inspiring speeches and offering shoulders. There was almost always someone else around to do that. But now he was stuck in this office with his brand-spankin'-new wife until his brand-spankin'-new uncle-in-law felt that they'd worked out their differences sufficiently enough to attend the celebration.
The combination of claustrophobia, anger, fear, and wanting Sakura was enough to erase any notions of tact from his brain, sharpening his temper into harshness.
"Shizune," he snapped. "Stop that. Genma knows you, and he knows me, and there is no reason to have to explain it to him. He understands. So stop moping and help me plan for us to get out of this."
Shizune's voice was heavily sarcastic when she said, "Should I pray for my husband's success and in the same breath for my family's? I won't go against my uncle's wishes. We're married now, anyway – this company has close ties with the courts in this city. We can't be divorced, not without my uncle knowing right away. There is not a way out of this unless you want to start a war."
Kakashi's gaze was distant. "Wars have been started for less," he stated darkly.
Karma hated Sakura. She didn't know what she'd done in a past life to piss her off so much, but she would love dearly to find out, so she could avoid repeating the error.
It was Kakashi's wedding day. She was currently at a small table in the reception hall, holding a glass of champagne and trying to keep an ugly frown from her lips. She had just borne witness to the ceremony – Jonin Enterprises had invited Tsunade, who had insisted on Sakura's and Ino's presences.
The ceremony had been gorgeous. Even in a state of total rage, disbelief, and agony, Sakura could see that. And now she was at the reception, awaiting, along with the rest of the guests, the arrival of the bride and groom. Ino was at her side, doing her best to mingle while still offering Sakura her support. A dark-haired young man whom Ino had snagged the moment she walked in sat on her other side. He was listening to her chatter with a vague, distant look.
Sakura stayed quiet and mostly still – if she spoke or moved she was liable to break. The only exception was to lift her arm to sip her alcohol. Enough time passed that mutterings started in the crowd, wondering where the newlyweds were. Some of the murmurs suggested that perhaps the happy couple couldn't wait for the wedding night and had stepped out of time for a while. In response, some wondered whether they hadn't been able to wait, and if that was the reason for the haste of the wedding.
Sakura's shoulders stiffened, her teeth clenching; her emotions skyrocketed, and she began to radiate homicidal rage. It was enough that Ino fully turned away from her flirting to lay a hand on her arm.
"Sakura, ignore them," she urged. "They don't know the truth, and they're idiots anyway."
Her jaw unclenched and she forced herself to take a breath, but her fists refused to uncurl. Ino's sharp blue eyes saw that, so she ignored her companion and began to make comments in Sakura's ear about the other guests. The catty side of Sakura greatly enjoyed these barbs, and soon she was making her own, laughing.
"—looks like he's wearing a skinned cat on his head!" Ino declared triumphantly. Sakura's eyes began to follow the line of Ino's discreetly pointed finger, and instead saw a heartbreakingly familiar mop of silver that was coming through the door. Her breath caught in her throat, her laughter dead on her tongue.
As if on cue, Kakashi's head snapped up, looking around as the people fell silent and parted as he and the woman at his side began to pick their way to the head table. Shizune's head never moved as she walked, though Sakura watched her eyes rove the crowd like she was looking for something – or someone. They dimmed, eventually, when she didn't seem to see what- or whomever she sought.
Voices started up again, soft and scattered, as the couple took their seats. Sarutobi-sama tapped a spoon lightly against his glass and silence reigned once more.
"Beloved family and dear friends," he began. "You have witnessed the union of these two wonderful people. Now it is time to celebrate it!" He might have said more, but Sakura's ears were muffled. She had locked her eyes on Kakashi. He was staring blankly at the far wall.
Sakura watched, several moments later, as Shizune nudged him and they went to the dance floor. The musicians struck up a formal tune, and the newlyweds started their first dance. The rest of the guests watched in happy silence.
Sick to her stomach and dizzy with jealousy, Sakura lurched to her feet and all but ran for the door at the back of the hall. She found herself in the staging area, on the receiving end of strange looks from the caterers.
She could feel tears pricking her eyes.
A rotund young man came up to her. The patch on his shirt told her he was Choji from Akimichi Catering Service. "Lookin' for a place to cry?" he asked quietly.
"No," came the instant, instinctive denial, followed right away by, "Maybe. How'd you know?"
The man shrugged. "Happens a lot at weddings. Down that hallway there's a kitchen. We aren't using it. And here," he added, pulling a packet of tissues out of his pocket. "You'll need these."
The tears began to spill over. "Thank you," she whispered, and then ran to the kitchen.
Before the last note had even been struck, Kakashi pulled away from Shizune and hurried from the dance floor. He was being inexcusably rude – he heard and ignored the whispers – but he didn't care. It would be a matter of seconds before Genma found his way to Shizune, and that shock of pink hair he so adored disappearing through a doorway had him terror-struck.
He was determined to find her – come hell or high water. Until a boy planted himself in Kakashi's path and demanded to know why he should let him find her.
Completely deadpan, Kakashi looked him in the eye and said, "I am divorcing my wife on our wedding night for her."
Impressed, the boy pointed. "Kitchen. Be gentle."
Kakashi scrambled away. The sounds of messy sobbing could be heard before he'd made it three steps into the corridor. He turned into the door from which the sounds emanated.
His Sakura had never been a pretty crier. Invariably, her eyes puffed up and her nose turned red and her cheeks got splotchy. The lip-trembling had always been endearing, though. And as he looked at her now, her tears hadn't done her any favors. But she was still the most amazingly beautiful creature on the planet to him at that moment, simply because she was within arm's reach. He would be able to hold her in just a few seconds.
Her arms were coming up—
He tasted blood before the blow even registered in his vision; his jaw went numb quickly. Damn, that woman could throw a punch. He stumbled backwards, cradling his face.
"How dare you," she hissed.
"I'm sorry?" Kakashi slurred.
Sakura's gaze threw sparks at him. "Did you know they invited me here?" she demanded.
"What?" he said dumbly.
Sakura's eyes narrowed. At least the tears had stopped. She started to repeat her question, carefully enunciating each word. "Did you know—"
"No," he cut in quickly. "No, I didn't know, but I am glad they did. I missed you, my love." He tried to make his voice warm. She didn't appear to tolerate it, her expression cynical.
He advanced slowly, hands up. She would have continued to back away, but for the island counter behind her that pressed into the middle of her back.
"Please," he breathed. "Please, just hold me."
He was desperate for her – for the texture of her skin beneath his fingers, for the smell of her hair wafting up from under his chin, for the pressure of her mouth beneath his – and his heart could have exploded in joy when she allowed his hand to cup her cheek. She didn't turn into his touch, but neither did she turn from it.
Tentatively, his other hand drifted to her waist.
Blood dripped from his chin, onto his shirt; he ignored it.
Sakura had started crying again. Her shoulders shook.
"Hey," Kakashi said, gently. "Don't do that."
He tried to lift her face so he could kiss her, but she dove forward and hid in his chest. He found himself stroking her hair and her back, kissing the top of her head and burying his nose in her hair. Sakura's arms had been pinned between them, but she wriggled them out, and then they were around him, clutching his jacket for dear life.
"I love you, you idiot," she whimpered.
"I know," he said. "I love you, too." With that, he lifted her head between his hands, forcing her to look at him before he leaned down and captured her lips in a kiss.
The stickiness of her lip gloss was a bit off-putting at first, but he forgot it the moment her lips parted for him, naturally accepting his kiss. Her taste erupted on his tongue as it entered her mouth.
Even now, just kissing her, holding her tightly against him, he was entirely content. Kakashi would have quite happily continued kissing her without the need to go farther, except that Sakura began to stroke the inside of his elbows. It was a strange erogenous zone, and she'd laughed uncontrollably when she'd first discovered it, but now she was using it to its fullest advantage.
Kakashi's blood began to heat. Sakura's hands left him long enough to lift herself onto the counter behind her. She settled and set her fingers to twine in the hair over his ears – another sensitive area. He felt his cock begin to stir in his pants.
Their mouths hadn't parted since the moment Kakashi initiated the kiss, but now he broke away to gaze over his gorgeous lover. Her face was already rosy, eyes glassy and unfocused. Her petal-pink lips stayed partially open, panting breaths falling from them.
Just from a kiss.
Just from his kiss.
The notion thrilled him. He stepped into the space between her legs, pulling her flush against him and he dipped his head to her neck, nipping at the softness of her throat. He already knew, from his fingers exploring her back, that the zipper on her chartreuse dress wasn't there. It had to be on the side.
The side he could do. Starting at her ear, he roamed down to her breasts, teasing them through the material. His other hand slipped under the skirt and just smoothed over her thigh, keeping well away from her panty line. He wasn't simply teasing—
Oh, wait. She was at his elbows again. And her breath was blowing hot in his ear, tickling him.
"I won't tolerate being toyed with, Kakashi," she whispered.
His hand shot up to her underwear, yanking the waistband down. Obligingly, she raised her hips and kicked them off.
Kakashi's mouth returned to hers, claiming it fiercely, as the hand under her skirt plunged into her core.
Sakura gave a sharp cry, swallowed by Kakashi. His hips ground awkwardly against her thigh. Well that wouldn't do. His hand left her, searching in earnest for her zipper now.
"Just take your pants off," Sakura ordered breathlessly. "Leave my dress alone."
"If that's what her majesty wants," responded Kakashi, glib as ever. He reached for the fly of his tuxedo pants and undid it and shoved them down as fast as his eager, trembling hands could.
A fleeting thought for protection passed through his head, but then Sakura had wrapped a petite hand around his dick and was guiding it impatiently toward her opening. He gasped when his tip met with wetness and heat. She was that aroused, just from a kiss?
Sakura's hips bucked against him, taking in more and releasing a soft mewl.
"You could help, you know," she grumbled.
One arm went around her shoulders, his other hand on her hip as he slid more of himself into her. She let out a throaty moan. Smirking, Kakashi pushed until he was completely in. Sakura's hips shifted restlessly against him, telling him rather blatantly that she would like more, but he paused before pulling out and angled his head for another kiss.
"I love you so much, Sakura," he murmured, disengaging from her lips after a moment and beginning to move inside her.
To the symphony of her sounds, Kakashi set a luxurious pace, and laved her throat and shoulders with kisses and love-bites and licks. On every thrust, her fingers tightened on his shoulders just as surely as her walls tightened on his cock. The light bite of pain was a counterpoint to the exquisite pleasure of Sakura wrapped around him, helping the pressure inside him build. Her head was thrown back and she was moaning his name every time brushed her nipple, or stroked her cheek, or caressed her ear.
He would have loved it to go on forever, that simple, primal movement with her, but the rhythm of Sakura's inner walls clutching and releasing him peaked, and she shrilled her orgasm, crashing her teeth into his collarbone to muffle the cry, much louder than those prior.
One thrust, two, three, and the pressure released. Kakashi buried his face in her hair, gritting his own teeth against a shout.
Sakura had fisted his shirt in her hands, still leaning heavily against him in her post-orgasmic haze. One of Kakashi's hands held her hip with what had to be near bruising force, the other wrapped around her in a firm embrace.
"I love you, Kakashi," she muttered. "I love you. Don't leave me."
"Never," he promised. "I have a plan."
It involved finding Genma, usually a risky venture at best, but first he had to disentangle himself from the woman who owned him, body, heart, and soul, and that was something he wasn't exactly willing to do.
If he said Shizune's name with his cock still wedged inside her, she was going to kill him.
Honestly. Sakura had his heart, but Shizune had his name, and the latter would prove to be the stronger bond in a court of law.
"I want to stay here, but we have to go," Kakashi said. "Before someone finds us, and before the courthouse closes." He drew away from her, with great reluctance, she was pleased to note, and straightened his clothing. As soon as he faced the door, Sakura grabbed a handful of the tissues that Choji boy had given her and dabbed at the mix of fluids between her legs. She wouldn't go back into the wedding reception with semen running down her thighs.
He held his hand out for her, pressing a kiss to her knuckles when she accepted it.
"You're going to have to leave," he said, bluntly. "Right away, as soon as you make it out there. Tell whoever you came with that you're leaving, and head for the parking lot. I'll be there as soon as I can."
Bewildered and hurt, Sakura started storming away, forgetting that Kakashi had hold of her arm. "Baby, it's not because I don't want to see you. Just wait outside while I get the other two." He kissed her thoroughly before scooting her through the door. "I'll be out in a few minutes."
Sakura located Tsunade and Ino and told them she had to go, promising Ino she'd get the details later. Tsunade was drunk already, and in a surprisingly tolerant mood.
"Okay, Sakra," she slurred. "See you Mond'y." A broad grin stretched her boss's face as she whirled back to her drink. She hadn't brought a purse, and the light, warm spring air didn't require a jacket, and so Sakura made for the door and then lingered uncertainly near the cars.
Only a few minutes later, a strange man with brown hair and a toothpick in his mouth approached. He didn't say anything, but he did smile pleasantly at her. She turned her back to him, wondering if he was one of the 'other two' Kakashi had mentioned.
When Shizune appeared around the corner of the building, a bit later, and seemed to be walking toward her, Sakura got angry. She gritted her teeth, but then relaxed when the woman wound up in the embrace of the man Sakura didn't know. Shizune glowed, in this man's arms, lit up from the inside. Her eyes shone, her smile was wide and content, and Sakura was happy for her.
"Sakura?" she called.
"Yes?" she called back.
"He'll be out in just a few minutes, and then we can go."
"I don't suppose you'll be able to explain things to me?" Sakura asked.
But Shizune had already returned her attention to her man, and she resigned herself to waiting in silence.
She had drifted into a daydream when she felt arms around her waist and lips at her throat.
"Hello, beautiful," Kakashi's voice husked into her ear. "Shall we go?"
The limo driver didn't seem surprised when the bride and groom shuffled into his car, though he did raise an eyebrow when two extras climbed in.
"Courthouse, please," Kakashi requested.
On the way, he explained the plan. It was very simple.
"Shizune and I get divorced. Sakura and I marry. Genma and Shizune marry. We'll be each others' witnesses."
"What about the three day waiting period for marriage licenses?" Sakura hated to raise the question, but it was legitimate.
"Easy to forge," Genma remarked. He hadn't let go of Shizune yet. His voice seemed a bit familiar…
"Oh," was all she could think of to say.
"Right," he laughed. His grin was bright and infectious as he caught Sakura's eye and said, "I told you he'd come back to you."
The story they would tell their children wouldn't include the un-romantic parts – the parts that came after.
Jonin Enterprises' ties to the courts of Hokage City proved closer than they'd thought. The highest-ups knew the next morning, as soon as the clerks came in and started to file
They dismissed Kakashi and Genma immediately, citing insubordination, and ruined Sakura's reputation in her own company. Shizune was disowned and cast out of the house in shame.
The contract with Konoha Hospitals was cancelled, and without it, they crumbled. Jonin Enterprises had been the last shot for the medical facilities – huge debts had caught up with Tsunade; she couldn't pay when her company collapsed.
Times were hard, for all of them. Regardless of what any job demanded of them, they took great joy in saying:
The strong necessity of time commands our services awhile; but my full heart remains in use with you.