Sakura opened the door to her refrigerator and reached into a drawer for an egg, pausing for the relief of cold air. One moment, maybe two, she tapped her feet on the linoleum anxiously as she let out all the air. She returned to the hot pan that had been unattended long enough to fully heat, and cracked the egg into it. She could already feel herself sweating, and it was at that moment that she realized how a bow of cereal would have been a much more appropriate choice. She tried to distance herself from the heat, but really, it was no use. These days she noticed that her apartment wasn't very good at keeping a steady temperature, and regardless of the temperature outside, frying a simple egg would prove too warm.

Earlier that morning she'd gone to speak with Tsunade, and she didn't think it had gone very well. Anyone with a mind wouldn't, if they knew what had happened the night before. Perhaps if she had reacted differently, or not have such poor luck when she chose to visit Kakashi at all. If she had been a different person with different habits, she may have missed Tsunade completely and arrived under the cover of night. But she hadn't.

35 minutes earlier...

Her clothes were wrinkled and she smelled of dirt, or of whatever the concrete outside Kakashi's apartment smelt like. This was a moment of eerie contemplation for her, almost like the way she felt at odd hours of the night in strange places. Her head was somewhere in the clouds, playing with the idea of how she might have enough confidence to look anyone in the eye.

"Good morning Sakura-chan!" A woman chimed, whisking by.

Nearly down the hall, it took a moment for Sakura to process the words coming from outside her mind, and belatedly waved with a slow hand.

It's like walking to my execution.

She decided to take the emergency stairs, thinking that they could delay her arrival. She pushed the door in and grasped the paint-chipped railing, glaring up at the florescent-tinted steps. In the opposite direction, a small set led to the basement of the building, a black door with a chain around the handle. She stared at it for a moment. Suddenly, she could imagine Kakashi standing behind her and saying, "you're stalling". To herself, she snorted and nodded, "of course I'm stalling". Her lone voice echoed a bit.

Above the stairs she fit her palms on the door and began to push it, trying to let herself in to the floor where the dragon waited. However, the door didn't budge. Locked. She groaned and quickly fled down the steps, ramming the first door open. She tripped out, screaming a bit as her shoes didn't stop her.

"Oh, Sakura."

She was nearly on the floor, cursing as her hair fell out of her make-shift hair style. She looked trough the pink veil and saw only the black sandals she herself wore. Her throat tightened.

"Tsunade-sama, I-"

"I'm surprised to see you here," Tsunade chimed, though, aggressively. Sakura knew this tone.

"I don't see why I wouldn't," Sakura said, securing hair and pulling up a charade of confidence. The posture was easy enough, but could she withstand both the eye contact and a strong voice?

"Like I said last night, I gave your mission away; if you want another-"

"-yes, I do," Sakura urged. "I need to get out of town for a little while."

Tsunade's sigh was almost another entity of it's own.

What did I say that's so irritating?

"I'll send someone to drop off a folder later this afternoon."

Sakura stepped to the side as she was blown off, almost wishing that she could have the gall to grab her mentor's arm and demand a real conversation. Dammit, why wasn't she like that? But-something strange happened, almost like an uplifting feeling in her stomach, I am like that.

Her hand apologetically took the hokage's shoulder and intervened with her steps, causing a disturbing reaction of utter disablement from Tsunade. There was no motion.

Say it, Sakura. Tell her that you're not going to stop fucking him.

Her voice cracked, "Tsuande."

Her ex-mentor's hand lightly pat the underside of Sakura's chin, looking at her as if she were a child, "I'll send you somewhere nice."

35 minutes later...

Sakura leaned over her plate and popped the yolk of her egg, feeling nauseous by the sight of it. She didn't even really like eggs.

Her phone rang.

"Haruno residence."

"It's Ino."

Sakura pushed her plate away, "I know, I can smell the perfume through the phone."

"Ha-ha, Sakura, you're so funny," Ino said, "Can you listen?"

Sakura nodded to herself, "Mm."

"Naruto's here."

"If he needs his leg set, give him to one of the interns," Sakura groaned. "I'm tired of him hurting himself and expect me to run over and fix him."

The line was silent.


"Well, he brought Hinata with him," Ino said.

Sakura could hear note of excitement, but didn't want to outright ask, "I'm sure he brings her lots of places."

"Are you kidding?" Ino sputtered, "It wasn't that long ago that he was completely ignoring her, Sakura. Can you see the significance of him actually taking her, like, anywhere?"

"I know," Sakura said.

"You don't sound interested".

"Why should I?" Sakura asked. "It's none of my business what they do, and I doubt Hinata would thank you for gossiping about her."

Something on Ino's end made a loud noise, "This is hardly gossip."

"It's gossip calling up your friend to talk about other people, and it always will be."

"And you claim not to be interested?"

"I am, of course I am, but shouldn't we just leave them alone?" She asked. "Everything about them is so fragile; he could wake up tomorrow and think they're back to some awkward friendship, as if he can't see that he clearly means everything to her."

"Does that really happen?" Ino said.

"I don't know," Sakura said. "We've tried talking to him about her before, but he acts like he doesn't hear us."

"Who's we?"

"Kakashi," She said, "And me."


"It's obviously good that he'll go places with her, but if we pry this open, even just a little, something good can't come from it."

"Fine, fine," Ino said. "So, then, what's going on with you?"

"Me?" Sakura paused, "I'm actually going to take a mission."

"Didn't you mention one a while ago?"

"Tsunade gave it away."

Ino laughed, "Oh my god, what did you do to piss her off?"

"We both know it's all too easy to do that."

"True, but she's never taken a mission from me," Ino said.

"Technically, she took it away before i pissed her off, Sakura said.

"What's the new mission for?"

"I don't know yet."

More laughing came from the other side, "Just wait, she's probably going to send you off with comical justice."

Spelling, grammatical errors galore?