A/N: This story was done for a contest at Advanced Anime. The prompt was "after school activities".

As much as I would have loved to make it dirty, it had to be PG-13.

So, yeah, no boinking on top of a desk. Unfortunately.

This story portrays the relationship between a 31 year old man and a 17 year old girl. If you have a problem with that, then don't read it. Thanks.

Oh, Sensei

At Konoha High School, students had the opportunity to serve as Teachers' Assistants. They weren't paid anything, and their duties were usually limited to correcting papers, straightening up, running copies, and other things of that mindlessly methodic nature. But the work counted as volunteer work, and was the kind of thing that made future employers raise their eyebrows approvingly. Many ambitious students gravitated toward the program.

Haruno Sakura had TA'ed each year for Tsunade, the loud-mouthed biology teacher and head of the science department. An ex-doctor and local legend, Tsunade was a valued resource for post-graduate job recommendation. And while Tsuande wasn't exactly the friendliest person, Sakura looked up to her as a mentor.

It was a Tuesday evening when Sakura walked into Kakashi's classroom to find him dead asleep. The room was very neat and tidy, certainly better than the hovel that it had been before Sakura was unleashed upon it. The man behind the desk, however, was as untidy as ever. Not that he'd ever let her try, but no amount of Sakura could completely clean him up.

She impatiently crossed her arms, and tapped her foot. She eyed him closely. A sneaky grin spread across Sakura's face. She prodded the sleeping man in the shoulder. He snored. Feeling assured that he was deep asleep; Sakura carefully leaned in, and delicately began to lift the string behind his ear that held his mask up. His hand shot out so fast that she screamed.

"Trying to take advantage of me?" He asked.
Sakura blushed. "What? No. No. Of course not."
"Sakura-chan, what's under this mask is private," He said, "It would be like me trying to take your top off."
Sakura rolled her eyes. "You would say that, you perv."
He looked away mournfully. "What is this lack of respect for your sensei?" He lamented.
Sakura laughed. She loved the natural way she could talk to Kakashi. She'd missed that with Tsuanade.

True, she'd initially been horrified when Tsunade summoned her into her office during the first week of classes and explained rather bluntly that, due to an filing error, her TA position had already been filled by another student and because it was so late, there was only one teacher left available for Sakura: Hatake Kakashi. Sakura had been, to put it mildly, reluctant to be trapped in a room with him for several hours a day. She had heard the rumors. Kakashi was infamous for his eccentric habits and ability to repel students who were unwise enough to get close enough to him. However, as it was either the psycho or tarnish her impeccable transcript, she put on her brave face and decided to confront the challenge.

And after three months working as his effective slave, things had managed to fall into a comfortable rhythm. Sakura had learned very quickly that Kakashi's main problem was an unhealthy desire for dominance. The mad reasoning behind all his outrageous demands and practices was simply an ill-executed attempt at control. Well…it probably was, anyway. The thought that there was at least some sort of method to the madness appeased Sakura. She liked reasons. So she slapped one on him.

"What's on the agenda today, sir?" She said, adding an unnecessary emphasis on the last word.

He scratched his face absentmindedly. "Let's see…"

"I've already taken care of everything and what you really want is for me to just relax for a while?" Sakura asked hopefully.

"Oh no Sakura-chan. I care too much about you to let you loaf around all day and get fat." Kakashi replied evenly.

She snorted. "I thought that was because you like to watch me suffer."

"Well, that too."

Sakura shrugged, "I'm psychic."

Kakashi's eye surveyed the room, clearly looking for a task to invent. He settled on one. "The bookshelf needs to be cleaned."

Sakura looked around, puzzled. "What bookshelf?"

It was hard to tell with his mask on, but she swore he was grinning. "That one over there." He pointed to what she had originally assumed was a closet. She wandered over to inspect it. Now that she looked at it, she found that it was actually more or less a wardrobe. Aware that he was watching her expectantly, she cupped the handle and pulled it open.

Immediately she wished she hadn't. A mountain of books, magazines, suspicious solids, and yellow papers loomed over her. At their sudden release, some tumbled out. Sakura leapt out of the way, narrowly avoiding a concussion.

"What? Oh, Kakashi-sensei!" She turned around with her hands on her hips. "When was the last time you cleaned this?" She demanded.

"Um," He hummed, "1994?"

She threw her hands in the air. "Useless!" She sighed, turning back around. Without another glance at Kakashi, she began to work. First, she kicked away the items littering the floor with disgust. She decided to worry about those later. She set her sights instead on removing all the loose garbage that she could. She bit her lip, and dove in.

Feeling reasonably assured that Sakura's mind was elsewhere, Kakashi covertly reached under his desk. He pulled up a bright orange book, and, with one more glance at the growling pink blob in the corner, began to read with fervor.

Uncomfortably soon, he became aware of a presence on the other side of his desk.

"Kakashi-sensei!" Sakura shrieked.

He looked up at her, as though surprised. "Yes, Sakura-chan?" He lowered his hands with lightning speed.

"Is that that book that I specifically told you not to bring to school anymore?"

He hummed innocently and stared at the ceiling.

"It is, isn't it?" She demanded. "Kakashi-sensei, I'm serious, you can't have that smut here!"

"Icha Icha is not smut. It's a poetic tale of romance with lots of adult messages and other things that you wouldn't appreciate." He said, a little harshly.

Sakura scoffed. "Right. 'Adult messages'. Yeah," She rolled her eyes and then sighed. "Kakashi-sensei, I'm worried about you. If you get caught reading that…you could get in serious trouble. More than even you can get out of." Like getting fired, she thought.

Kakashi leaned forward. "You don't have to worry about me. I'm the teacher, remember?"

Sakura crossed her arms over her chest and turned away defiantly. "You could afford to learn something." She grumbled. Suddenly her eyes lit up with a maniacal gleam. "Give it here," She demanded, marching around the desk with her arm thrust out in front of her.

One step ahead, Kakashi held the book behind his back. Sakura puffed out her cheeks and actually stomped her foot on the ground. She stretched around him, but he expertly kept it out of her reach. "Kakashi-sensei!" She scolded, but a small giggle betrayed her. The anger was evaporating as quick as it had come, and now she was more focused on the game than the conquest. She leaned across him with one hand bracing against his knee. The sensation of feeling him breathe drove her wild. Some part of her mind was aware the recklessness of carrying on, but the pleas to turn back fell on unwilling ears. Besides, Kakashi didn't seem to mind. He liked teasing her. He could be as immature of any of her male peers. Although most of the time Sakura had no idea where his thoughts were, she was pretty sure right now that they rested somewhere between the hand on his leg and her stretched skirt.

Feeling increasingly more giddy, she repeated, "Kakashi-sensei!". She sprawled across him in a way that was very unladylike, under the guise that she really wanted that book. If he'd pushed her away, she would've shrunk back mortified. But that was exactly the problem-he never told her to stop, even though this was clearly an inappropriate way for a teacher and a technically underage student to interact. Somewhere in all their teasing, his breathing had become quite deep. A little too late, Sakura realized that her breasts were hovering dangerously close to his face, and that his eye had picked up on that fact.

Kakashi seemed to come to himself. He gently stood up. "Alright, you win." He said. Sakura could've been imagining it, but his voice sounded slightly higher-pitched than normal. He walked over to his satchel and deposited the book. He then returned to his seat. And that was all it took to kill the mood. Unsure of what to say, Sakura simply mumbled, "Well, good then." Turning on her heel and making a face that Kakashi couldn't see, she returned to the bookshelf to resume her work.

An overwhelming awkward silence filled the room, aside from Sakura's movements. More to prevent himself from going mad than anything else, Kakashi began to correct the rather small stack of papers on his desk. He had initially been horrified at the prospect of having a pest hovering around him everyday after school, but he had to admit that Sakura had turned out to be quite the asset. Almost unfortunately, she was so good at her work that Kakashi had little to do now. He normally didn't mind idleness as long as he had Icha Icha. But he didn't dare pull it out again.

Sakura spent several minutes obsessing over what had just happened. It was only a moment of slightly sexual teasing, but this had just been another domino in a series of events that probably shouldn't have happened. Like that time that Sakura spilled water over her front and he helped her towel it up, or that time that she'd mistakenly hugged him while sobbing about all the stress she was under, or that time that she sat on his lap, or when they'd almost kissed and then someone had walked by, and all the times that they'd been on the verge of saying something too profound and unprofessional.

But then she had forgotten all about it. Or at least, she pretended to.

"Kakashi-sensei?" Purred Sakura.

He replied with a low growl.

"Just checking to make sure that you hadn't died," She said.

"Don't sound hopeful. You'll hurt my feelings Sakura-chan." He didn't look up from the paper that he was pretending to grade.

Sakura chuckled.

The next day, Sakura was on her way to Kakashi's room after school when she ran into Naruto.

Actually, he smacked into her so hard that she fell over.

"I'm sorry Sakura!" He moaned, helping her back to her feet.

"Idiot!" She scolded, conking him on the head, "And move your hands! I told you before, you're not allowed to touch me anymore."

"That was an accident!" He insisted.

Sakura had her doubts. She remembered all too well the incident at the end of her second year when she had tripped down the stairs. Naruto, standing nearby, had gallantly picked her up to rush her to the nurse's office. His hands had also wormed their way across her breasts and rear, which he vehemently claimed that he hadn't meant do.

"Why were you running, anyway?" She asked, brushing her skirt.

He looked rather embarrassed. "I, err, need to talk to Sasuke."

"You two didn't have another fight, did you?" She asked.

Naruto shifted his weight. "Not exactly."

"Hmmm," She said, suspicious, "Well, try to keep the damage to a minimum this time."

Whenever Sasuke and Naruto fought, which was about once a week, Naruto ended up crawling to Sakura's house in a bloody mess. His crippling phobia of hospitals kept him away for anything short of life-threatening. Sakura also had the feeling that he liked to visit her. And despite what she told him, she didn't really mind having him around.

He scratched the back of his head guiltily. "See you later, Sakura." He strode off past her.

"And try not to come back covered in hickeys either," She said, but too quietly for him to hear.

Sakura resumed her walk, and a very short time later arrived in Kakashi's room.

"Good afternoon, Kakashi-sensei," She said loudly.

He lifted his head off the desk. "Good morning, Sakura-chan," He replied groggily. He sat up and rubbed his eyes.

Sakura made for the bookshelf and resumed yesterday's work. Kakashi sat silently at his desk. Sakura knew that if he wasn't distracted, he'd head straight for that book again. Even despite their encounter the previous day, she had the sinking suspicion that Icha Icha was still in his satchel. So she started to talk.

"Kakashi-sensei," Said Sakura evenly, "How did you get that scar over your eye?"

"Hmm? I have a scar? Where?"

"Oh har har," Sakura rolled her eyes.

Kakashi leaned back in his chair, balancing on two legs. "I'll tell you how I got this scar if you tell me why you dye your hair pink."

Sakura made an indignant noise. "It's not dyed," She scoffed, "I was born with it!"

"What a coincidence! I was born with the scar."

Sakura stood up, annoyed. She crossed her arms firmly. "I'm not lying." Catching his disbelieving gaze, she repeated incredulously, "I'm not!"

"I didn't say you were, Sakura-chan." He said softly.

Sakura felt herself growing steadily angrier and angrier by the second. She knew that he was only teasing her, but lately everything that he did pissed her off. He liked to run her around in circles, and Sakura was tired of being dizzy. Besides, she had the pressing feeling that this was more than a simple disagreement about her beauty practices. She strode over to his desk and slammed her hands down. He didn't even look mildly startled. "Look," she said, pointing to arms, "my hair is pink."

He leaned forward on the chair, bringing it back on all fours with a resounding clunk. "Calm down," He said, patting her hand. She couldn't help but to relax, even though it was only a little bit. His hand lingered a bit too long on hers, but she didn't' have any desire to tell him to remove it. Gently, she stroked his thumb with hers. She almost wanted to say something, but she couldn't figure out how to put it into words. He put his other hand on her shoulder. Looking down into the eye unhidden by hair, Sakura tried to understand what was going on in his mind. Cautiously, she reached out a hand to the side of his face, without taking her gaze off his. She plucked at the string behind his ear that held his mask up. But then she had gone too far. Kakashi retracted his hands as fast as if she'd suddenly burst into flame. She lowered hers in embarrassment.

There was an awkward silence as she stared mournfully at his lonely hand and he closed his eyes in furrowed self-reprimand. Sakura straightened up and walked back to the bookshelf wordlessly. A crackling of pages told her that Icha Icha had also reappeared.

Yet again, Sakura found herself wrapped up in thoughts about her complicated relationship with her teacher. She imagined a universe where instead of passively patting her hand, Kakashi leapt across the desk and engulfed her in a frenzy of hot, passionate love.

Hmmm. Yeah. If only. She thought.

If anything, Kakashi was likely to try kissing her, then back out halfway to scamper away with his tail between his legs.

And then go back to treating her like nothing had ever happened.

Sakura had her back to him, so she felt safe in shutting her eyes and biting her lip in place of an aggravated scream. She didn't know what she wanted to do. She wanted to slap him, to shake him, to scream at him, to force him to just acknowledge something. If he had such an aversion to a relationship with her, then why did he let such things happen between them? It was infuriating.

She thought about just telling him how she felt, but Sakura knew enough to know that it wouldn't exactly unfold like it did in the romance novels Kakashi read. Besides, Sakura wasn't exactly adept at expressing herself verbally when it came to that sort of thing. Besides her little exchanges with Kakashi, the last time that anything vaguely romantic had happened to her was when she got a little too drunk on Naruto's birthday and spent seven awkward minutes in heaven with the birthday boy. The only other person that Sakura had ever been in love with was Sasuke, and she hadn't done exactly a stellar job at informing him of that, either.

But she was going to explode if she didn't get some of the things rattling around inside her head out. As her diary attested to, she liked to vent by writing out her feelings. So Sakura pulled a piece of scrap paper from the massive pile in the garbage bin, clicked the end of her pencil, and began to write furiously:

I love you.

I love you



I wish I could just tell you, but I'm too much of a coward to face hearing you say I can't.

"Sakura-chan," Kakashi announced suddenly, knocking her out of her stupor. She slid the paper into the pocket of her backpack guiltily.

"Yes?" She tried to sound nonchalant.

He stood near the door, satchel in one hand and jacket draped over his shoulder. "I'm heading out," He said.

"Ok. I'm going to stay a big longer, I just need to finish up."

"Don't stay too late. And try not to get eaten by the monster I keep in the drawer."

"Mmm," She replied.

He stopped with one hand on the frame of door, looking worried. "Sakura-chan, are you alright? Maybe you should head home-"

She forced a smile and then a laugh. If she left now, that would mean having to walk with Kakashi to at least the parking lot. "No, really, Kakashi-sensei, I'm fine. Please, just go."

He eyed her suspiciously. "Alright then. Take care," He offered her a small wave as he left the room.

Sakura waited until she could no longer hear his footsteps. Grumbling, she quickly stuffed everything haphazardly into her backpack and scurried away. As she left, she didn't notice the half-protruding piece of paper slip out of her backpack and flutter to the floor.

The following day, Sakura had a rubbish at school. She'd nearly had a heart attack in the morning when she couldn't find the embarrassingly sporadic note that she'd written to Kakashi. That scrap of paper had never been meant to be seen by another human's eyes, let alone (and she shuddered to consider the possibility of this) Kakashi's. She assured herself that she must've thrown it away, and besides, the janitor would've surely swept it up if it had been left lying out. Yet she couldn't stop fixating, and subsequently had trouble concentrating. This led to an embarrassing incident in Math where she blurted out the completely wrong answer and the entire class had laughed while she slithered under the desk, face as pink as her hair. Afterwards, she excused herself to the bathroom in search of a distraction.

Which she found. Unfortunately, it was exactly the kind of distraction that she'd been dreading.

Leaving the restroom, she decided to take the long way back. As she strolled idly past busy classrooms, she was startled to hear someone calling her name.

"Hey, Sakura-chan." It was Kakashi, of course. Sakura was taken aback. It was odd to see him outside the classroom. Actually, usually he went out of his way to avoid leaving it. He ate all his lunches at his desk and had even attempted to pee in bottles to avoid getting up to use the restroom, but the school had caught wind of it and quickly intervened. Sakura wasn't sure if he was simply very lazy, or just liked messing with people.

"Kakashi-sensei?" She replied. She decided not to be a bitch, and bit back the sarcastic comment she had been about to utter.

"Did you see anyone else come into the room after I left last night?" He asked.

An ominous sense of foreboding crept into Sakura. "Um…no. Why do you ask?"

"Well, I found this," He pulled a sheet of paper from his pocket and waved it, "on the floor this morning."

"What is it?" Asked Sakura, leaning closer.

Kakashi handed it over to her. She felt her stomach shrink into her insides. Just as she had feared, it was her note. The thought oh shit! flashed through her mind like wildfire. She didn't need to ask him if he'd already read it.

"Do you know where it came form?" He asked, eyeing her closely.

Sakura had a very strong feeling that he knew already, and just enjoyed the sight of her anguish. She wished that he'd reprimand her instead of humiliating her. However, she didn't feel like giving into his little game. "No, sorry," She said, handing it back to him.

"Are you sure?" He asked.

"Completely. I think I'd remember if I had."

"Hmmm. Well. Thanks, Sakura," He began to leave.

Sakura hesitated. "Um…Kakashi-sensei. You called me 'Sakura'."

"Oh, did I? My mistake. Sorry Sakura-chan," He replied in a manner far too airy. She watched his retreating back with great apprehension.

She turned on her heel and walked away. Once a safe distance away, she crumpled to the floor, her face in her hands. She groaned, reeling in guilt and confusion. . If she had felt bad before, she felt about a hundred times worse now. The bell rang, and she shot back on to her feet. Her head felt light. If Sakura had been a creature of lesser will, she would've slithered away to the nurse's office to feign a fever and collapse at home. But even in her state of distress, Sakura couldn't stomach the thought of blemishing her perfect attendance. So she firmly told herself to hold it together and purposefully strode back towards her classroom.

Sakura managed to make it through most of the day without a psychotic breakdown. Which, considering, she thought was pretty impressive. Eventually it came time for lunch. Not feeling much up to talking, she let her loud-mouthed friends chat to each other while she sat limply nearby. She prodded her pickled cucumbers, lost in her own mind.

Something warm poked her arm. She jumped.

"Well, sooorry!" Said an irate blonde, "I've been calling your name for like 10 minutes and you didn't respond!"

"What?" Replied Sakura, feeling annoyed herself.

Ino rolled her eyes. The two girls had a relationship almost as complex as the one that Sakura had recently developed with Kakashi. Their deep-seeded rivalry over the schizoid Sasuke kept them at each others throats for years. As Sakura had grown up, she had become disillusioned and stopped her relentless pursuit to claim Sasuke, but that wasn't enough for her animosity towards Ino to completely evaporate. Still though, their relations were well enough. Most days.

"I mean, you TA for him, right?" Ino said.

"Who?" Sakura replied stupidly.

Ten-ten answered, "Kakashi-sensei."

"Oh. Him. Yes."

"Well then, do you know who did it?" Ino asked.

Sakura ground her teeth. "What are you talking about?"

"Haven't you been listening to anything?" Ino huffed, nudging Sakura.

"Kakashi-sensei got thi-" Ten-Ten began.

"Someone wrote Kakashi-sensei this really stupid love note," Ino said, interrupting Ten-Ten and carrying on like she hadn't even spoken, "they wrote 'I love you!' in huge letters a bunch of times and then something like 'I love you even though you can't love me'." The table subsided into giggles.

"We're trying to figure out who sent it," Said Ten-Ten. "Umm-Sakura? Are you alright?"

Whatever color had remained in Sakura's face had completely drained out. She was dimly aware that her hands were clutching the table painfully, and that her lips were trembling.

The other girls exchanged curious looks. Ino watched her suspiciously.

"How. Did you. Find out." Ground out Sakura, "I'm curious."

"Shikamaru told me," Answered Ino, "he has Kakashi-sensei."

Sakura stood up so suddenly that her chair fell over. Several of her friends gaped, but she didn't seem to notice. "Excuse me. I have to go do something." She hissed. Without another word, she stormed out of the classroom.

The table in unison stared disbelievingly at the door.

Shaking her head, Ten-Ten said, "What's her problem?"

"Do you think she's ok?" Hinata asked worriedly.

"Oh, she'll be fine," Said Ino.

Ten-Ten leaned towards her, "You don't think that she wrote the note, do you?"

Ino shook her head. "Ew, no. But she's definitely covering for who did," She took a sip of milk, "That bitch. I told you she knew."

Sakura barreled through the hallway like a train, barking at people to move out of way, or else simply shoving them aside with her body. To the students who hastily scampered out of the line of fire, she looked absolutely insane.

Kakashi's room was normally very vacant. Today, however, a cluster of excited students surrounded his desk. As Sakura's blitzkrieg took her into the room, several of them looked up.

"I need to speak with sensei," She spat. "Alone."

She looked so dangerous that a number of students scurried away. A few remained behind, looking incredulously shocked. One brave boy retorted, "We're busy here."

Sakura latched a look on him that made him take a step back. "No you're not," She seethed, danger rolling off her in waves, "Leave."

He seemed to decide that it wasn't worth the risk, and slithered away with the other remaining students. Now it was only Sakura and Kakashi, who looked up at her with passive interest.

"Is it true?" She asked without preamble.

"You're going to have to be more specific," Said Kakashi annoyingly.

Sakura said, "That you've shown that letter to the entire school."

"I wouldn't say the entire school," He scratched his cheek, "Did you come all the way here to just to ask that, Sakura-chan? Why would you care?"

"I wrote it!" She blurted suddenly. Empty silence met her declaration. "But you already knew that." It wasn't a question.

He closed his eyes. "Yes. I know." He said.

"Then why-"

"Because I wanted you to admit it."

"Why?" She demanded.

He offered no explanation.

This to Sakura was the breaking point. She slammed her hands down so hard on the desk that her skin flashed white and then red. "I've put up with a lot of shit on your end," She spat, "but I didn't think that even you would be this horrible." If looks could kill, Kakashi's head would've burst into flame under the penetrating glare of loathing that Sakura now focused up him.

"So that's it, then?" She seethed, "Well, I've admitted it. And what? You're not even going to say anything?"

"What do you want from me, Sakura?" He said finally.

"I want you to respond!" She shouted, "Say something! Do something! I really meant what I wrote," she sputtered, "I know you think I'm some ditz, but I meant it."

She felt her emotions bubbling up, and it took a moment for her to realize that she was actually crying. She brushed the tears away angrily.

"You don't know what I'm thinking," He said harshly.

"Well of course I don't!" She cried, throwing her arms in the air, "You never tell me! You never tell anyone!"

He looked pensive, "You wouldn't understand."

"How do you know?" She asked, leering at him, "You won't even try."

He didn't respond.

"I hate you," She hissed, "and I really mean that as well. Even if you don't like me, you could at least do me the decency of treating me like a human being with feelings."

He looked a little guilty. He said in a soft voice, "Calm down. You're acting like a child."

"Well you're acting like an asshole, but what else is new?" Sakura spat.

Kakashi stood up suddenly. His height leered over Sakura, but she stood her ground. "I'm sorry." He said simply.

"You're sorry?" She laughed mirthlessly, "You made me the laughing stock of the entire school, and you admitted that you hate me."

"I never said that," He replied.

"You didn't need to," She said icily.

He crossed around the desk, and stopped in front of her. He took her hands in his. She writhed, and attempted to free herself, but his grip tightend. "Let go of me," She sobbed angrily.

"It isn't about what I feel," He said.

"Is it some stupid age thing?" She demanded.

He looked away guiltily, "It's more than that."

"Oh really? Because you didn't seem to have any problems with it before."

Kakashi fixed a glare on her that made her tremble. "You don't know what you're talking about."

"Stop treating me like I'm some stupid little girl!" She shrieked, attempting once more to free herself from his clutches, "I understand."

"Then you should know why I can't," He said.

"I thought you fancied yourself a rebel, sensei." She said teasingly.

He glared at her. "Why do you do this to me?"

"I like to watch you suffer."

He let out of a huff of air, and slackened his grip. She yanked her arms away and crossed them protectively over her chest. Sakura looked up at him, and found, to her shock, that he was removing his mask. "What are you-" She began, before she was interrupted by his lips pressing against hers.

Her shock paralyzed her. His warm mouth pushed against her lips, and as they opened in surprise, his tongue moved in a way against her own that it made her toes curl. In her fantasies, Kakashi had often kissed her like this, albeit she usually was crying out in pleasure, not just crying. And she usually had her arms wrapped around his neck, not limply at her sides. And they both usually had just confessed their undying love, not almost murdered each other.

Sakura's temporary shock evaporated and she pushed him away. She backed up against his desk, panting.

Kakashi's eyes closed in his habitual act of self-loathing repentance.

She managed to find her voice. "Either you can or you can't. It's not both."

He ran a hand across his forehead and through his hair. "I wanted to hear you say it," He said softly, "I wanted to know that you really were the one who wrote it."

"Wha-?" She babbled.

"You asked me why I showed it to everyone," He said.

Sakrua narrowed her eyes. She didn't know how much more she could take. She straightened up. Without another word, she left the room. Kakashi simply watched her go, without reaching out to stop her or opening his mouth. Sakura ignored the gaggle of students feigning innocence who had no doubt heard her shouting. She walked past Naruto, who asked her if she was alright. She marched into the bathroom, shut the stall door behind her, and slammed her head against the wall.

Sakura ended up going home for the rest of the day. Screw her perfect attendance. That wasn't the only thing that she'd ruined in the span of a few hours. She collapsed onto her bed, pushing her face down into the covers as far as it would go.

She felt angry, guilty, and above all confused. Slowly, she drifted into sleep, her head buzzing and Kakashi flitting in and out of her dreams like a ghost.

The shrieking sound of the garage opening woke her. Her body ached all over. She had fallen asleep with her arm under her head, which was now numb. She rubbed it gingerly. Her mind in a haze, she had no idea how long it had been. She became aware that something sharp was poking into her hip painfully. Swearing, she reached down and felt the sharp edge of a folded piece of paper. She sat bolt upright. It had been lodged in the hem of her skirt. She pulled it out.

The words "For Sakura" were written on the outside. After correcting nearly everything that the man had ever written, Sakura could spot Kakashi's handwriting from a mile away. She frowned.

That man is a ninja, she thought. That also meant that sometime during their exchange, his hands had been near her ass and she hadn't noticed. She groaned.

Sakura seriously considered ripping it up, but curiosity got the better of her. She unfolded it and began to read. Her face flushed. She suddenly grabbed the alarm clock by her bed. Then, she stood up and ran out the door.

When Sakura arrived at the school, panting, she was glad to find that Kakashi was indeed still there. If he was surprised to see her standing at his door, hair and outfit disheveled and just generally looking a mess, he didn't show it. He eyed her with mild interest, as though this wasn't highly unusual.

"Hey," Said Sakura.

"Hey," Said Kakashi.

She shifted her weight. "So,"

"Hmm," He laced his fingers in front of his face.

Sakura smiled nervously. "Are we…good?"

"No. We're very bad people," Kakashi said with deadpan earnest.

"I don't mind being bad," Said Sakura with a smile.

Kakashi's eye crinkled, which Sakura had learned meant that he was smiling. "I don't either."

Sakura walked lazily to the front of his desk. She leaned across it on her elbows.

"What can I do for you?" He asked.

"See, I got this note…." Said Sakura.

"A love letter?" Asked Kakashi.

She waved her hand in the air. "More or less. Well, actually, I wrote one first and then this guy kind of showed it to the whole school because he couldn't believe that someone as cool as me would like someone like him."

"Probably," Said Kakashi.

"And then there was this huge fight. Very ugly. But then I found this note that he wrote me," She waved it, "And I decided that maybe he's not such a jerk after all."

"How nice of you."

"It happens."

Kakashi sighed. "This is wrong," He said.

"Yeah." Replied Sakura.

"We'll get caught."


"I'll be fired."

"I'll be expelled."

He rubbed his chin thoughtfully. "Do you care?"


"Funny, neither do I."

And then he was kissing her, and she was kissing back, her lips bumping awkwardly against his. Leaning over the desk was extremely uncomfortable, but she didn't even consider moving. It was almost as if the fight had never happened. All the negative feelings had evaporated, and all that was left was the bubbly feeling she got when she was around him. Everything felt natural again.

She breathed in his scent, warm and masculine and overpowering, and he ran his hands through her hair. The paper fluttered from Sakura's slackened grasp and landed gently on the floor. It read:

I love you

I love you


I LOVE YOU SAKURA! And you're such a pain and I'm IN LOVE WITH YOU

I wish that I could just tell you, but I'm too much of a coward to say I can't.