Author Notes: Written back in October for LJ's kakasaku community's Underneath the Underneath contest. We were given the first and last line and not allowed to alter them, and this is what I came up with. The other entries were fabulous and more dramatic than mine, but we all know I'm better at the derpy humor stuff rather than the in-depth, epic-length fics. XD Didn't remember to post this after reveals went up, so here it is months later.
Pairings or Characters: Kakashi/Sakura, assorted others
Word Count: 3736
Summary: Kakashi is quickly growing tired of the question, "What did you do?"
I Should've Known Better
(With a Girl Like You)
It started with a bang.
The door was practically falling off its now-broken hinges as Sakura stormed out, leaving a de-masked, half-stripped Kakashi staring after her with his pants undone and his face starting to swell where she'd smacked him.
"What the hell," he asked no one in particular, though the maid passing by took one look in the room and shrugged in answer.
"What'd you do?"
"I didn't do anything."
"Obviously that's a lie, or else we wouldn't be having this conversation, would we?"
Kakashi let out a very put-upon sigh and folded his arms across his chest.
"I may have..."
"May have what?"
"I may have - accidentally, totally unintentionally, mind you - put our one lead on the weapon-smuggling case into a coma."
Tsunade stared at him for all of five seconds before leaping out of her chair in an attempt to strangle him, and if she hadn't stopped to catch the bottle of alcohol she nearly knocked over, he probably wouldn't have been able to escape. As it was, he took several steps closer to the door while she glared furiously at him and slumped back into her seat.
"You did what."
"It was an accident."
"Like hell it was, why the hell did you do that? How bad is the coma, anyway?"
"How should I know, I'm not a medic," Kakashi shrugged, which earned him a paperweight tossed at his head. He leaned out of the way just in time to barely avoid getting a broken nose.
"I've had enough of this, you're suspended."
Kakashi said nothing, but his expression - which she could only see about a sixth of, but women were tricky like that - gave away his irritation.
"No, don't give me that, you've been out of control for a month now, and I'm sick of dealing with it. I don't know what happened, but it's getting in the way of your job, and until you calm the hell down, you are no longer on the active register. Now get out of my office."
Kakashi left her office quickly and ignored all the looks he got from the people who'd been waiting outside and probably heard everything. He walked down the stairs, several office workers and visitors giving him a wide berth as he made his way towards the exit. If even strangers could tell he was irritable, maybe he did need to tone it down a bit.
As soon as he stepped out of the Hokage Tower, he headed in the direct opposite direction of his apartment, and made a beeline for the market district. The first thing he needed was some cigarettes.
On his way to the small liquor store where he usually bought his porn and his cigarettes, he'd been spotted by Naruto, who promptly kidnapped him for some lunch. Apparently, news had spread quickly, because as soon as Naruto had finished inhaling his ramen, he started pestering him about it.
"What did you do!"
Kakashi grit his teeth a little, already having heard that question today, but continued slurping up his ramen. Naruto didn't notice his annoyance and continued staring in a mix of awe and concern.
"I mean, with the way things are now, I thought it was impossible to be suspended!"
"You know me, I always find a way around the rules."
"Yeah, but sensei, we're practically at war. There's no way she'd take you off duty unless you really messed up."
"I didn't do it on purpose," Kakashi insisted, staring into his noodles before glancing back up and narrowing his one visible eye at Naruto. "You aren't exactly on active duty, either. What did you do?"
Naruto's face exploded in a deep flush as he quickly swung his stool around so he was back to staring at his own empty bowl. He started scratching at the back of his head and laughing overly loud.
"Haha, Kakashi-sensei, looks like I'm done with my ramen soI'llseeyoulaterbye!" Naruto blabbered before sprinting away into the crowds. It was the middle of the afternoon, and his bright orange jumpsuit was easy to track, but Kakashi wasn't feeling up to chasing him down to make him pay for his meal - he'd get him later for that. Instead, he turned back to his noodles and sighed, pushing them away, no longer hungry.
It was common knowledge that Naruto had been caught in a very incriminating position with one Sasuke Uchiha on the Hokage's desk. Whether anything was going on or not, Tsunade hadn't been pleased, and had demoted them both to D-rank missions until further notice. That was better than being off active duty completely, though. They at least still had something to distract them with.
Kakashi fished out his wallet and placed some money on the counter while standing up from his seat. He still hadn't gotten those cigarettes, he remembered, and so set off once again to find some.
Someone was clearly opposed to Kakashi getting any nicotine in him that day, because almost immediately after leaving Ichiraku's, he came across Sasuke rescuing a ferret from a tree. Sasuke hadn't called him over or kidnapped him and started peppering him with questions like Naruto had, but Kakashi wasn't about to pass up a chance to tease him.
"Wow, that tree's pretty high. You sure you can do this by yourself?" Kakashi called up into the branches. Sasuke visibly flinched, arm outstretched towards the frightened animal, before grabbing it by the belly and leaping down to the ground. He ignored Kakashi and handed the ferret to the crying little girl and received a pat on the shoulder from her grandma as a reward. After they had wandered away, he turned his head towards Kakashi and gave him a very irritated glare, but said nothing.
"I'll never doubt your tree-climbing skills again, Sasuke, I swear it."
"Don't you have someone else to bother?"
"Well, Naruto ditched me after lunch, so no."
Sasuke flinched again at the sound of Naruto's name, and Kakashi had to bite back a laugh. He was pretty sure there was nothing going on between his two ex-students, but both were extremely uncomfortable about the rumors currently going around, and rubbing it in their faces was hilarious and he couldn't help himself.
"I heard you got suspended," Sasuke said, changing the subject. Kakashi's mood quickly dipped again as he let out a sigh.
"This is much bigger news than I thought it'd be. So who told you?"
"Sakura, when I came by to get my mission for the day."
This time it was Kakashi's turn to flinch. Sasuke gave him a curious look but said nothing as Kakashi quickly tried to cover it with a casual shrug.
"Did she?" he asked in his best 'not-at-all-interested' voice. By the smirk on Sasuke's face, it wasn't very effective.
"She did. So what did you do?"
"I'm getting pretty sick of that question."
"Not about the suspension, with Sakura."
Sasuke rolled his eyes and started walking away, but Kakashi wasn't about to let this go. He strolled after him and grabbed him by the elbow.
"She told you about that, too?"
"No, but it was obvious something happened with the way she was talking about you."
Kakashi hadn't seen her since she'd walked out on him in that hotel, and no one had seemed to notice that there was suddenly something wrong between the two of them until now. Sasuke pushed at his arm until he let go and wandered off, probably to go get his next mission for the day, leaving Kakashi standing alone in the middle of the road.
After a month of definitely not thinking about Sakura, at all, now he couldn't get her out of his head. He completely forgot about his want for cigarettes as he trekked home as fast as he could to lock himself in his room and sleep away the rest of his suspension.
There were only so many days a person could go without showering before people started to think they were hiding a dead animal in their clothes. For Kakashi, it was seven.
"Seriously, Kakashi, I think you're growing mold."
Kurenai was over, her son held carefully against her side as she made sure not to let him get too close to anything in the apartment for fear it was infected. With what, Kakashi didn't know, since he wasn't ill, he was just dirty, but he didn't say anything about it.
"Why are you here?" Kakashi asked, face still smashed against his pillow.
"Because I'm off duty until Shun is old enough to attend the academy, and I'm the only one they could get to make sure your lazy butt isn't actually dead this week."
"Lovely," he grumbled.
"Look, I don't know what's happened, but it's obvious to me that you're depressed. And filthy. So you need to shower and then talk to someone about your issues before you rot in bed," Kurenai sighed. She tugged at Shun's hand to keep him from touching one of Kakashi's Icha Icha books that was lying on the floor.
"I don't want to shower. And I don't want to talk."
"You don't have to talk to me, but I'm not giving you a choice about the showering. Get out of bed before I drag you out."
Kakashi tugged the blankets over his head, daring in a muffled voice, "Make me."
He was pulled out of bed and tossed across the apartment in seconds. He'd collided with the far wall of his living room and as he sat up and rubbed his head, Kurenai and Shun stood in his bedroom doorway. She was smirking while he was laughing.
"Okay, fine. You win."
Kakashi was not depressed. Kurenai could kick his ass and bully him into proper hygiene, but there was no way she was convincing him that he was depressed.
What was there to be depressed about? He was on an indefinite vacation, for crying out loud. He could train at his leisure or read Icha Icha all day, he didn't have to deal with bratty subordinates or sopping wet clothing in foreign countries with unpredictable weather, he could smoke whenever he wanted - having finally gone down to the market and bought himself some - and he didn't have to think about Sakura. He didn't have to wonder what she was doing, if she thought about him, why she talked to Sasuke and not him, or what he'd said or done that upset her that night almost a month and a half ago.
And he especially didn't have to think about how miserable and angry he'd been since she'd stormed out on him and the two began avoiding each other completely.
Except he did. All the time.
"Shit. I really am depressed."
Kakashi didn't really remember much of that night.
He and Sakura had both been throwing back drinks with a few of the other team members to celebrate a job well done, having captured eight of the highest profile spies Iwa had. They'd be going home the next day, finally, and they'd spoiled themselves by spending the last of their rations money on rooms at an inn. The captives would be watched all night by the more sober members of the team, while Kakashi and Sakura piled into their own room together.
They'd always been flirty, but he'd never thought much of it. She was an adult, a young woman, and she knew how to use her charms, but he'd always figured himself immune. She was his old student, nothing more, but she'd gotten much prettier since her days as a Sasuke-obsessed preteen, and the alcohol was doing nothing for his judgment.
He did remember kissing her for the first time, after pulling his mask down and letting her see his face. It was soft and she tasted a lot like beer, but a little like flowers, too, and her hair felt like silk as he ran his fingers through it. She'd grabbed him by the vest, as if to hold on while he kissed her, before getting aggressive and quickly pulling off whatever she could get her hands on.
He hadn't touched her anywhere but her face or her hair, and she was fully clothed when she left, so he must've said something. He knows it, because the next thing he knew she looked angry and hurt, and she'd stormed out and booked another room to stay in before he could so much as pull his pants back up.
Kakashi really wished he could remember what he said, because he wanted to apologize, but he was pretty sure it was important to know what you were apologizing for.
Two weeks into his forced vacation, Kakashi decided to bite the bullet and just go find Sakura. Much to his surprise, she'd apparently thought the same thing, because as he opened the door to head out and find her, he found her standing on his doorstep, hand up like she was about to knock.
"Um," he said.
"Uh," she replied.
They stared at each other for a few minutes before Kakashi slowly blinked and decided he wasn't hallucinating.
"Do you, um. Want to come in?"
"No, I'm fine here."
"Okay, well, why are you here?"
Her eyes widened, as if she didn't actually know herself, and she fumbled for something to say.
"I just- Naruto said- and Kurenai was all- and I wanted to-" She stopped and frowned at her shoes, shaking her head and starting over. "I heard you're depressed."
"I am not," Kakashi said defensively, but he immediately regretted it and quickly shook his head, "No, wait. Maybe I am, but that's not important-"
"Of course it's important," she interrupted, looking back up at him, "Especially if it's the reason why you got kicked off active register."
Oh, Kakashi realized, That's all she's here for. And suddenly the anger, which he'd spent a month taking out on enemy shinobi to the point of killing far more than he had to and putting his life and his job on the line, was back in full force.
"Kurenai didn't want to come this week?"
"What?" she blinked, confused.
"Do you guys have a raffle to pick a weekly rotation, or did you just rock-paper-scissors who gets the job?"
"Kakashi, what are you talking about?"
"You're just here to check up on me, right? Sent by whoever sent Kurenai last time."
"No one sent me," she frowned, eyebrows knitting together.
"Of course they didn't. Because you've been so eager to see me on your own."
"Wait a damn second, Kakashi, you've been avoiding me!"
"No I haven't! I had a job to do, so I went and did it. I may not have gone out of my way to track you down, but you were the one who disappeared whenever I had to check in to the hospital," Kakashi snarled.
"Because the one time I didn't, you threw a damn gurney at me!" she hissed back, cheeks turning red in anger. Kakashi paused and blinked at her, because he didn't remember that.
"I did what?"
Sakura took a breath and looked back down at her feet. "I was visiting you after you came back torn up really bad, the first mission after ours in Iwa. You'd lost a lot of blood and they'd drugged you up and you were a mess and... You were angry at me, so you tossed the nearest thing you could grab, which was a gurney."
"Shit, I'm sorry," he said, not really sure what else he could say.
"No, it's okay, your aim was terrible, anyway, and I kinda knocked you back out with a little more force than I should have. Ripped out some of your stitches," she laughed awkwardly.
"You fixed 'em, though, right?"
"What kind of hospital director would I be if I didn't?" She gave him a weak half-smile before looking back down at her feet. "But I guess you're still angry, so I'll just-"
He grabbed her by the arm and tugged her into his apartment, shutting the door and leaning against it. Her shoulders tensed and she looked decidedly uncomfortable, but it wasn't like she couldn't shove her way past him, and both of them knew she had no trouble with doors. She stayed where she was with his hand still on her arm, meeting his one-eyed gaze.
"I'm sorry. For everything. For the throwing things and for whatever I said back in Iwa. And I'm sorry I don't... exactly remember what I said, but I regret it. I wish I'd never said it and made you angry and screwed things up so bad," he said in a rush, his hand sliding down her arm to take her fingers in his as he spoke. She stared at him blankly for a second before bursting out laughing.
Kakashi didn't really know what to do, so he just slouched there against the door, waiting for her to calm down. He didn't think much of this was funny, but he was curious to find out why she apparently did.
When she could breathe again, she asked through her tears, "You seriously don't remember what happened?"
"Well, we made out a little-"
"I remember that. Very well, actually," he interrupted, and her face turned a little pink.
"And then after that, I started to... y'know-"
"Get me half naked, yeah, I remember that, too."
"I'm guessing you don't remember that you stopped me, then."
"I did what?"
Because as inebriated as he was, Kakashi couldn't possibly fathom saying no to someone like Sakura wanting to get him naked. Had he been afraid of getting whiskey dick?
"You told me you didn't want to sleep with me because you wanted to remember it. You wanted it to be more than just a one night stand. And I slapped you."
Kakashi said nothing, just staring at her as she continued.
"I was drunk and I thought you were turning me down, so I slapped you and left. I was going to apologize to you that night in the hospital, but after you started tossing things at me, I figured you didn't want to associate, let alone sleep with someone who'd apparently rejected you."
Kakashi was never going to drink or let those medics put any drugs in him ever again. He really hated this not-remembering-anything crap.
"I was happy about it, though. After I sobered up, I mean. I thought all that flirting was just a joke or something, I didn't know you actually liked me," she smiled, ducking her head shyly.
"Let me get this straight. You were never mad at me, while I was mad at you because I thought you were mad at me, and I could not be on suspension right now and we could've been having sex this whole time?"
"Well, not the whole time. We've got jobs to do, y'know. You used to, anyway," she added, sticking her tongue out.
"Hey, that's your fault," he pointed out, pushing off the door and stepping towards her.
"I'm sorry," she said quietly, but he shook his head.
"No, I was just being a brat. I don't like being rejected."
"The twenty dead Iwa-nin in the morgue and that guy you put in a coma - he's fine now, by the way - can certainly attest to that," she laughed.
"Okay, so I really don't like being rejected," he smiled back, pulling his mask down to let her see it.
"You're in luck, then," she said, pushing up on her toes and pressing a kiss against his mouth, "Because you haven't been."
"I didn't know you were a biter."
"Look at me, it looks like I was mauled by a very angry turtle."
"Hey, roll over."
"Did I screw you into a coma? It won't kill you to use more than one syllable, will it?"
Kakashi smiled and kissed the top of her head before sitting up and looking around the room. Though Sakura had shown up around eleven in the morning, a glance at the clock told him they'd managed to spend the entire afternoon, all of the evening, and a few hours into the night with numerous rounds of enthusiastic sex which, he felt, was far overdue. He wondered where his vest was, because that's where his cigarettes were stashed. He was pretty sure she'd ripped it off him - he remembers hearing something tear as she did - somewhere in the living room, so he pushed off his bed and wandered out of his room.
Sure enough, all of their clothes were tossed haphazardly on the floor or dangling off of furniture, and he found his vest was draped across the coffee table. He rummaged through the pockets until he found the box. He shook it and heard only one left, letting out a sigh. Realizing he was still naked, he looked around until he found his boxers, too, sliding those on before heading towards the veranda.
His lighter and ashtray were waiting for him, but before he could light up, he heard the glass door slide back open as Sakura wandered out, wrapped only in his blanket. He held out his arm and she tucked up against him. He ran his fingers through her hair, and though it was a mess from sweat and exercise, it was still just as soft as it had been a month and a half ago.
"I don't like smokers," she mumbled tiredly into his chest.
"Oh, sure, now you can use more than one syllable."
"I don't like kissing smokers," she amended, and he suddenly found he really didn't care for smoking anymore.
"I needed a reason to kick the habit anyway. This is my last one, I promise."
"Mm," she nodded against his side, and the tickle of her hair on his bare skin was almost enough to make him put down the lighter and take her once more, right there on the veranda. But he supposed his neighbors wouldn't care too much for that, especially nearing one in the morning, so he just massaged her neck with his free hand as he lit up.
It ended with a cigarette.