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Saturday, January 26, 2013

One Day at a Time

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

Day Fifty-Five: Crappy One-Room Place

Being back in his own home was plenty to warrant his placid mood. Sakura spending the evening with him was just the cherry on top. Ten days stuck in the hospital was enough to drive any ninja crazy, lazy or not. The crutches would remain his loyal companions for the next few weeks, but at least he was free to move around of his own will. As soon as they received their leave from the hospital, Kakashi had decided to invite his teammate to his apartment for dinner as a private celebration.

The meal had been rather uneventful. The duo was back to its usual routine, though with some added tension. How to return to normal after such a traumatizing mission wasn't explained step by step in the perfect ninja handbook, it was a solution they had to figure out for themselves. Neither dared to speak of the past two months, preferring silence to dramatic conversation. All that was needed then was relaxation. Time to cope.

"It's getting late." The Copy Nin remarked as he peeked out his window, sitting on the floor. "It's past midnight already."

"You're right." The Fifth's apprentice let out as her gaze followed his. "I can't believe we lost track of time like this."

The girl snapped her book shut and stood up, kicking the cushion she'd been using back to its original spot on the bed. With a exasperated groan, she stretched her limbs, causing a few joints to pop loudly as she forced the stiffness out of them. Hatake watched, amused, as she gathered the few belongings she had dragged with her, pratically stumbling around either from exhaustion or lack of strength.

"You could spend the night here." He offered, lifting his body only enough to sit on the bed next to him. "If you're too tired to go back home."

The young kunoichi turned to him, eyebrows raised high and lips slightly parted. She thumbed the novel that she held, weighing her options. To the older man, it felt natural to ask her to stay the night. Except for their time at the boring medical building, almost all their shut eye had been together, leaned against one another for support and warmth.

"I guess I could do that." She replied, lips twitching in a playful smile.

The silver-haired man returned the small display of emotion, not waiting any longer before he rid himself of any unnecessary clothing. There was little to remove, in truth. His flak jacket, shirt and hitai-ate. His companion followed suit before joining him in his bed, keeping only her undies and t-shirt on.

The jonin laid under the blanket, keeping it high enough for his partner to settle next to him. Figuring out how to act around the girl was no easy task. She agreed to sleep in his bed, but made no move to close the distance between them. Whilst he wouldn't mind wrapping an arm around her and pull her close, he couldn't tell whether or not that would bother her.

"It's almost been strange, not to have you close to me at night." The now unmasked ninja admitted. There was no reason to hide from her anymore.

"I know." The pinkette agreed. "There's a few times where I woke up, wondering where you were."

Tentatively, encouraged by her words, he raised a hand to her shoulder. His eyes remained locked with hers, searching for any sign that he should remove his palm from her. When he felt neither tension or hesitation from his ex-student, his fingers slid down her arm, continuing on their path until they stopped at her hip. Although it was dark, he could see her emerald eyes perfectly. There was little hidden in the depths of her green orbs, they were quiet and empty.

His digits tugged at her hip carefully. A calm heartbeat turned to pounding when the girl gave in to his silent demand, closing the distance between them. Her palms pressed to his chest, spreading a welcomed warmth on his covered skin, while her nose nudged his neck and his arms wrapped around her delicate frame. There was no doubt that under her palms, she could feel the strong thumping of his heart. The knowledge terrified the Copy Nin for a moment, though it soon dissipated. As long as his cherished pinkette didn't refuse his feelings, he wouldn't mind exposing them, no matter how much he feared her rejection.

Maybe, just maybe, if she realized how much she meant to him, Sakura would accept those feelings.

Chapter Fifty-Six: Click Here

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