Mask


Time passed and Konoha slowly started to feel a bit more like home. It was, at least, a more comfortable and interesting place for her to live than the village she had left behind when she decided to accompany the shinobi to his home.

Kakashi's presence slowly petered off a bit, and she wondered if the man had finally grown bored of his strange, somewhat disturbing hobby of watching her.

Then, out of the blue, he was right there in front of her, with an offer to treat her to lunch.

He had shown up with a pink-haired girl, who was abruptly introduced to her as Sakura, his student. While she was still bowing her greeting at Sakura-san, Kakashi started herding them to the ramen stand, not bothering to wait for her to actually accept (or refuse).

From the bewildered expression on the other girl's face, Kagome could come to the conclusion that the older ninja had somehow roped her into this too, instead of just asking her.

Kagome, by now used to Kakashi's odd, sometimes manipulative ways, went along with it happily enough. And when they were waiting for their orders, she quietly thanked him for the lunch, even if she was sure that there was more to it than simple kindness.

Lunch was lunch, after all. And Kakashi may be strange, but she didn't believe him to be purposely cruel. So Kagome wasn't too worried about the man's motives.

Sakura, at least, was nice enough, though she seemed somewhat off-balance by their sudden introduction. The younger girl recovered quickly though, and started a light, polite conversation.

Kagome gladly responded in kind, glad to have gained another acquaintance in this large village. She ignored the occasional strange looks Sakura-san kept shooting the quiet porn-reading shinobi. You would think that as his student she would have been accustomed to her teacher's particular branch of strange behaviour by now.

Despite what seemed to be an odd undercurrent between teacher and student, Kagome thought their lunch together was very comfortable. Though ramen had never been her favourite food, she enjoyed the familiar taste and the fond memories of Inuyasha they brought to mind.

And this ramen stand was a nice, welcoming place with well-prepared food. She noticed it had a nice assortment of customers of different ages, some of them where obviously civilians, but there were a few who might have been shinobi.

Most of the time, the ninja were easily recognized by their clothing, but not all of them displayed their village's symbol on their forehead, and the green vest that she had seen on many of them was also not worn by all. From a distance, Sakura didn't look like a shinobi, but it was obvious that she was one of them.

The only other person in this ramen stand that she was sure was one of the ninja was a well-composed man a few seats over.

Lunch was pleasant enough, even if Kakashi scarfed down his own bowl of ramen as quickly as possible, while the two of them were distracted by their own conversation. The man had also barely exchanged a few words with them. Maybe his motive behind this lunch was to introduce her to Sakura? That was a nice thought at least, so Kagome decided to go with that reasoning.

With a little wave of his hand and a one-eyed smile, the masked ninja left.

And the young woman next to her gave a soft groan in defeat.

The miko frowned, looking at her pink-haired companion with a hint of worry and a question in her eyes.

"I wanted to try and see under his mask." Sakura explained.

Kagome blinked at that rather strange explanation. "Oh."

Then she put a finger to her lips and thought it over. Maybe it was one of those girly, teenager things? She had noticed that the man was pretty good-looking when she had tended to him. Kagome was used to seeing very beautiful men, well youkai. But for Sakura, seeing someone like Kakashi without his mask might be more special?

There was, of course, also the simple explanation that the girl had a small crush on her teacher. "Ah. Well. He is rather handsome underneath that strange mask of his, isn't he?" she asked her new friend thoughtfully.

The pink-haired girl stared at her dumbly and Kagome wondered if she had surmised wrong.

She didn't notice the ninja further down from them, whom she earlier thought well-composed, choke on his food.


A.N. A pretty short one, but meh.