Title: Rhythm & Smoke
Author: Killaurey (written under the alias of 'Iris')
Rating: T
Pairing: KakaSaku
Summary: It's a little spark of passion wrapped in a paper and meant to burn.
Disclaimer: Naruto isn't mine. Kishi owns it. Written for the kakasaku LJ comm: Underneath the Underneath Anonymous Challenge. Beta'd by the fabulous puffinmuffin.

It starts with a bang.

The music is a pulsating, living thing. High notes shimmer like crystal through the air while the very ground seems to shift with the beat. Everywhere he looks there's movement. Turning, twirling, swaying.

It's a sea of humanity caught up in the music. No one is in their right heads-all higher thinking given over to the movement, the pulse, the need to dance. To let the music string through their bodies and play them like a harp.

A sharp descant and he watches with easy amusement as the dances on the floor take up the challenge. Meeting it, matching it-that's the game here.

He's not dancing.

At the bar, leaning against the counter, he's quite content to just watch the madness and indulge in the fact that here and now his senses are dulled, over-loaded. It's a peculiar thrill; he's too good a ninja to give himself over to this often.

But now and then, at home, he's as safe as he can be. There's another reason he's here of course, but he hasn't spotted it for the night yet. Their schedules don't always match. C'est la vie. But when it works...

It works.

The lights change. Flickering, vibrantly shifting, grazing the crowds and painting them in all colors of the rainbow. Rendering them surreal pictures of life captured in memory for a second before, no longer something more than human, they're back to their usual existence.

And the sounds. Vibrate in his ears, he's effectively deaf to threats in this scenario and that's not something to be worried about either. He's not. Worried, that is. He watches as the music takes their hearing, takes their distance, removes the barriers of prudence, of their inhibitions and frees them to exist. To be.

He closes his eyes and lets his nose tell him the next steps. Scents—more than he can name, even now. Perfumes, colognes, the slick heady taste of desire rising from everyone, anyone, there's no one untouched. Everyone is hot, everyone is expecting something. Tension is on the rise, brought out by the music.

Another reason to dance. Complicates, tangles, entwines—lends strength to the whims of the dancers. Directs the emotional eddies and leaves the music as the grand conductor. Orchestrates madness. Amplifies. A true natural aphrodisiac.

A flash of pink catches his eyes and he lets his gaze track it-lose it-and he's distracted by a new song, this one with a wail to it that sounds utterly bereft and turns to triumphant in the four minutes the music was written to fill.

Another drink and Kakashi is almost ready to go back to his one bedroom apartment and sleep. A headache is forming and pushing himself too long in here leaves him over-sensitized for days. The price of being effective in the field.

That flash catches his gaze again. Smooth pale arms raised over her head. Pink hair left loose, mussed beyond anything she'd ever show on the job, cheeks flushed. One of his eyebrows raise at the sight of her in a slinky red dress that leaves absolutely nothing to imagination.

Well, that's reason enough to stay a while longer.

The long line of her legs as they flash in complicated steps that only those who spend hours on the dance floor, devoting themselves to their craft, can master truly. He could copy them; he prefers to leave the knowledge to the lithe and slender form he's watching.

What would he do with the ability to dance to this crazed shattering love song that's playing?

Better by far to indulge in his watching-her breasts, not bound, cupped by fabric that makes the most out of them. Hips that flare out modestly and an ass that's worth a long stare or five.

The smile on her lips is worth more.

They don't really talk about it. They're a long way from where they started and acknowledging it is more than either of them is willing to do. Better to stick to their established patterns-is it love, is it comfort, is it simply physical compatibility?

He never answers those questions and she never asks. All the same they've got their routine.

She's here and that means the rest of his night is set. His headache will be worth it. No doubt by now she's spotted him. (Has probably spotted him long ago-he's a stationary target. She moves, slipping through the crowd on light feet like the music has turned her from human into something more precious, more graceful.)

When he judges the time is right he orders a daiquiri. Strawberry. It's not for him. It's for the green eyes watching him, sparkling with good humor as she wends her way out of the crowd to perch on the stool he's kept for her all evening.

"You're getting better," he compliments, like he hasn't been spellbound watching her under the flickering lights.

She looks amused, sipping her drink. "Faint praise from you."

Her voice rolls down his spine and he smiles, the motion just visible through his mask. "Wouldn't want you to get ahead of yourself."

"I'm sure that's it," Sakura replies, pushing her hair back and stretching seemingly absently.

He knows better than to be fooled. Nonetheless it's an effective ploy and he just laughs, matching her idle banter with his own as she finishes her drink and he pretends to pay more attention to the dancers than the girl-no, woman-at his side.

"I'm going out for a smoke," she says, brushing by him so deliberately that he laughs as he follows.

This is worth the headache. Everything has its own pattern. The skitter beats and moans and twisted melodies of music do. A dance does. What is this but another dance?

One, admittedly, that he is far more interested in.

For this, he'll dance. Oh, will he dance. He's a master at these moves.

She's smoking by the time he's wound his way through the crowds and ducked down the alley she takes when this is their game. He catches her in-between puffs and kisses her, mask suddenly down, and she's meeting him, not giving way. No shrinking violet, this girl. No polite wallflower to be walked over.

It's a kiss he always wants more of.

Sakura's laughing in his ears as she breaks the kiss, taking another puff. Only time she smokes and he finds it absolutely irresistible and doesn't know why. Maybe because it's her? It should deaden his nose, ruin his ability to scent danger-and somehow that's enticing.

At least, he thinks, as he spins her in an easy circle and watches the way she watches him, it's a mutual thing. It's got to be, he'll take nothing else.

She's the one that kisses him this time. Smoke and alcohol and the shimmering scent of her perfume wraps around him, smothers him, only it's a smothering he's more than willing to put up with.

His hands slide down over her curves and she smiles with those green eyes up at him and then they're gone. Leaves, puffy fluffy smoke stay behind in the wake of their translocation, drifting aimlessly to the ground. Dissipating. They'll land in his apartment. Not nearly so lonely with company, her company.

Reservations gone, inhibitions lowered, they'll roll in their desire for the night before picking up their usual relationship. As always. They're good at this game, good at kissing, good at touching, good at closing their eyes to everything else.

Maybe the angels are in music truly, considering they're going up in flames, caught up in passion, burning, adrenaline pumping, veins on fire. It's a time to live before it has to go out. Come down.

Start from the top all over again. Crisp, clean and new. Untouched.

At least, as far as anybody knows.

The alley is empty except for the gleaming ember of Sakura's dropped smoke. Tiny wisps drift up from the ground. Not enough to start a fire. Like a dream left behind. Dropped. Left untied. Glowing in the darkness, a little spark of passion wrapped in a paper and meant to burn.

It ends with a cigarette.

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