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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 Eighteen: The Worth of Words

Kakashi had watched impassively as his teammate was dragged back to their living space by the medic, bottling up anything he felt while the man worked on her injuries. There was nothing more that he wanted but to bolt from here, to hell with the mission. Yet, he knew his friend would never allow it. Neither would he have, had he been in her position. When he had been in her position. The safety of all their friends and the population of Konoha came before their own. Before even their sanity.

"Sakura?" He called softly once they were finally alone, leaning his body forward away from the rough wall, waiting for any indication that she was awake. No movement had come from her ever since she'd been back. With the severity of her wounds, it wouldn't be unexpected if she had passed out. Even after being treated, so much of her skin was still black and blue. It made his heart clench painfully whenever he looked at her, but he couldn't tear his eyes from her. From the woman he had just admitted to being in love with the previous day.

With still no response from her, he got to his knees to cross the few feet that seperated them until he was sitting by her, a hand on her shoulder. Her eyes were closed, her breathing too labored for someone who would be asleep. His fingers slid up to her hair, caressing the knotted pink locks carefully. He didn't know why he had confessed to her, he wasn't even certain of what he really felt for her. There was no doubt he felt very strongly about her, but to love her? That was completely different. She hadn't even responded, not that he blamed her. Seeing her break down had been too intense for him, he had said it in the heat of the moment because it seemed to describe perfectly the overwhelming distress that struck him and the desire to comfort her.

"Sakura." He repeated, his free other giving a soft squeeze to her shoulder. A tired groan sounded from her throat as she slowly turned to lay on her back, her eyes sliding open to look up at his face, hovering above hers. Those beautiful emerald orbs that locked with his lacked their usual shine, almost dull and empty instead. The urge to kiss her was back again, to do anything to return their sparkle and life to her eyes. His heart was hammering his chest, nausea making his stomach tighten.

The lack of action on his part was driving him insane.

The deep breath she exhaled broke him from his thoughts, returning his full attention to the girl. Her hand dragged up her body to her collarbone, where her fingers stretched out towards his. His own moved down from her shoulder to grab hers in a tight hold, a little excitement rising in his chest.

"Hey there." He mumbled in greeting as he cupped one of her cheeks when her head lolled to the side to keep her steady.

"Hey." Her voice was hoarse, almost too low to understand. It was a relief to hear it at all for the silver-haired man.

"How are you feeling?" He inquired quietly as he resumed petting her hair now that she was conscious enough to control her neck by herself.

"I'm guessing the same as I look." She replied flatly, a small chuckle erupting from her at the end of her sentence. A small smile tugged at the corner of his lips, a little warmth brewing in him. This girl was tougher than he'd ever imagined. If only she'd never had to show this side to him...

"I've got some news." She breathed out as her eyes shut closed. The kunoichi moved to sit up with his help, mumbling something incoherent about comfort. Once she was well settled in his lap, she leaned her full weight against him, sighing in satisfaction at the warmth that surrounded her.

The jonin kept his ears sharp as she shared with him the details of the conversations she'd had with Koroku over the last three days. About his sickness, the identity of the buyer and even his apparent obsession with her. There were a few words uttered about a date being written on a paper hung to the wall, but it was too little for her to mention much about for the moment. His heart swelled with pride for his ex-student, impressed by all she had learned in so little time. The only core information they were missing was where and and how the trade would take place.

He was well aware that this knowledge wouldn't be obtained as easily, but the fact that they were nonetheless inching closer and closer to their liberation every day helped the couple cope with the current situation. His arms wrapped aroud her lithe form as she drifted to sleep, keeping her body against his for his own selfish reasons. Her presence was necessary to the man, the only source of courage he had for the time being. Just a little more and they could leave. Just a little more...

Chapter Nineteen: Click Here

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