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Sunday, January 20, 2013

One Day at a Time

Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto or any of its characters and make no money from this.

Day Thirteen: Meant for the Shadows

The light in the room was dim as usual, casting the room in an almost romantic glow. It left soft shadows here and there, illuminating this and that. Kakashi really didn't care about the lighting of the room. It had just been random details that his idle mind had busied itself with before Sakura had been dumped, for lack of a better word, in the room. Her body had been stayed still on the ground where it lied, only her irregular breathing alerting the male to her awake state. For a few seconds, he hesitated to go see her, toying with the idea of never looking at her again. He didn't want to see all the wounds, all the pain he had failed to protect her from.

But duty came first to Kakashi. It wasn't much longer before he was kneeling down by her side, hands hovering above her body as he searched for a safe way to handle her. Blood seemed to cling to most of her exposed skin, old and new bruises covering almost all the rest. It made him wonder if her skin would ever return to the soft, creamy white it usually was.

"Sakura?" He called softly, tilting his head to the side, trying to match the angle of hers.

Her only answer was a weak whimper. She made no move or other sound to acknowledge him. Mismatched eyes scanned her body attentively, wincing every time he came across a fresh wound. Koroku hadn't gone easy on her this time. The most prominent new injuries she sported were puncture wounds. The serrated blade that had dug in her skin left horrible damage on her skin, but the blade seemed to have been thin and short, at the least.

"Can you speak to me?" His question was hesitant, as if he was reluctant to receive an answer.

"B-Barely." She mumbled, still not moving a single muscle.

There were few of these moments in the jonin's life. Moments where he was lost, had no solution, no idea what to do. There was nothing. He couldn't help her, he couldn't help himself. Their mission was probably going to fail. If he didn't spill the beans, then they would end up killing her. At that point, there would be nothing more to wait for than death. If he didn't give them anything, surely they would end his life, no? It shouldn't be too bad a conclusion for him, to die together with his comrade out on a mission. It was the way he was destined to leave this Earth, he was convinced.

As carefully as physically possible, Kakashi picked up his best friend way, clenching his teeth when a long, pained whimper left her lips. If he died here, he would make sure that Koroku would suffer a fate more horrible than Sakura's. Maybe he would use the Tsukuyomi and make this monster die a thousand times over. He would probably lose the sight in his left eye, but it would be worth it, should he have the misfortune of surviving this mission without her.

He sat with his back pressed to the rough wall, placing the battered female comfortably between his legs so she could lean on his chest. His warm skin had to beat the cold, hard floor, or else he might as well be a block of ice to the kunoichi. His lips left soft kisses on her head, apparently the only area that she had yet to receive a blow to.

"I'm so sorry." He muttered against her ear, resisting the urge to wrap her in a crushing embrace.

"Don't... b-be." She managed to reply, coughing up a small amount of blood as soon as she was done.

"I promise you, Sakura, I'll do everything to make this better for you. I'll get you out of here, you'll see. I-" The words left his mouth in a flurry as he desperately tries to reassure her, reassure himself, that things would be better but she cut him off quickly enough.

"Our date... I-It better be one hell of a... date... when we get back home." She whispered, voice coarse and weak as she closed her eyes due to the pain even just talking racked her body with.

"It will be so amazing you'll fall head over heels in love with me." He half-joked, trying to cheer her up but his own words left a bitter taste in his mouth. Who was he kidding? He had nothing to offer her. All he owned was a puny, two room appartment. The amount of money in his account was relatively decent, if they didn't plan on living a life of luxury. What else did he ever have? His Icha Icha books were the next most precious treasures in his life after his friends. He couldn't give her a life that would make her happy.

A short, broken laugh escaped her throat, but it died down fast. She was certainly in a lot of pain right now, it was amazing that she didn't show more evident signs of it. Maybe she would rival his pain tolerance soon enough.

His mind couldn't let go of what he had told her, even as he felt her drifting to sleep against him. He didn't know why he had said them. Possibly out of a selfish desire to want to be happy one day. She was happy, before this. He wanted her to live a good life, more than anything. It made him realize that if it meant that he had to be miserable, to never see her again for her to be okay, then he would gladly do it.

Perhaps his best option was to lead her away from him, following her in the shadow of her footsteps only to make sure life gave his favorite kunoichi nothing but the best. His time in ANBU had taught him that he perfomed exceptionally in the shadows, where his work was never recognized by anyone other than the Hokage. There was always the possibility that the greatest he could do for her was not as a friend or lover, but a guardian that clung to her shadow. His presence improved nothing for her, whilst his absence might have a greater impact. His place had always been in the darkness, after all, where nobody saw him. Behind his the mask he wore daily, behind his ANBU mask. He could never stand being in the light.

Chapter Fourteen: Click Here

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