Total Pageviews

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

When The Dark Clouds Up

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


Phase Two

To heal, you must admit.


The inn was the spitting image of the town itself. Ordinary, maybe a tad run down. On the upside, even an uncomfortable bed was better than the ground. Happiness had to be found in the small gifts, Kakashi liked to believe. Finding this establishment before the night became too dark was another event he could rejoice in. Not that it really lightened the Copy Nin's mood.

"A room for two, seperate beds." Kakashi asked as he reached the counter. The clerk barely spared them a glance since their entrance, so he returned the courtesy. No need to greet someone who was so impolite.

"No, only one bed." Sakura quickly corrected as she stepped besides him and threw him a strange look.

"As she says." He shrugged when the owner lifted his eyebrow in annoyance.

The room was just what they had paid for. Little. At least, the sheets and blanket looked clean; the scent of fresh laundry still hung in the air. The lack of window could be considered a plus considering their occupation. No need to worry about anyone sneaking in while the night to slit their throat. Though, that might have been a welcome surprise on such a boring mission.

Kakashi dropped his belongings in a corner before shrugging out of his flak jacket. From the corner of his eye, he could see Sakura doing the same and observing the bed. So much for finding happiness in not sleeping on the floor tonight.

"Why did you insist on a single bed?" He asked as he pulled his oversized shirt over his head.

"It's what was planned in the mission budget." Sakura replied bluntly. "It's what we always take anyway."

True, though it still made little sense to him. Certainly, she wouldn't accept to sleep in the same bed as him. Maybe it was only to keep up appearances once more, so no clue was left in their expenses report.

"I'll sleep on the floor." Kakashi let out as he fetched his sleeping bag.

"I don't mind-" He shook his head, cutting her off immediately.

"Sakura, it's okay." He reassured as he unrolled it by the bed, taking up almost all the free space in the room. "I'm fine with it."

His teammate pursed her lips, mostly likely unconsciously from the distant expression she wore. After a second of thought, she moved to sit on the bed and fidgeted with her bag. Sitting on his bedroll, he sighed inwardly. The Sakura he knew seemed so far away.

"Don't fret over this so much." Kakashi let out when she still didn't relax a few minutes later. "I understand."

"I shouldn't have told you..." Sakura mumbled as she laid down on the bed, facing him.

"You didn't need to." He whispered as he gazed into her troubled viridian orbs. The haze of turmoil that clouded them sent a twinge of sadness in his chest. "I already knew. I guess I chose to ignore it."

The girl rolled onto her stomach, hands fisting in the blanket at the sides of her head.

"I didn't want you to know." She mumbled in the mattress, barely audible.

"It's better if I know." Kakashi muttered as he lowered himself to the floor to get ready to sleep.

"How?" Sakura asked as she stood up to switch the lights off, hiding the tears he hadn't yet seen but had already caught the scent of.

"Because you're not alone in this, unless you choose to be."

His partner remained silent. He heard the shifting of the bed as she climbed on it and assumed she preferred to sleep than continue with this conversation. Closing his eyes, he hoped she would open up to him with time. In the end, he came to the conclusion that Tsunade had deliberately sent them on this easy mission to help her apprentice to overcome her new fear. It was impossible that the woman had missed such a detail; he could see the worry in her eyes whenever they'd spoken of the younger woman.

Maybe one of the goals was even to give him an opportunity to mend their relationship, considering how close they had been prior to this mess. The Hokage trusted him entirely, he was certain. That was why he'd been her only partner in the last six months. Whether or not it was better that the Fifth knew of his feelings for Sakura was a blur. This assignment would be tough for the Copy Nin, to say the least. To be so close to her, yet still kept at a safe distance was disheartening.


Their source had said they would find the gang of bandits who had stolen the item they were after would be hanging out at this bar. They had been right; the group could be found causing a ruckus in the back. From the booth Kakashi and Sakura shared, they had a clear view of the men, as well of the jewel that they were after. The idiots were showing it off, gloating about their latest raid. A glance in the owner's way showed Kakashi an old man, surely in his sixties, who appeared more than uncomfortable. The patrons that frequented his business were most likely not to his tastes.

"Hey, Pinkie!" One of the thieves called out as he made his way to their table.

The Copy Nin didn't how to interpret Sakura's narrowed eyes and tightened grip on her glass. From what he was used to, the girl wouldn't hesitate to shatter the glass and reduce the table to rubble if a man hit on her the wrong way, but now he had no idea what to expect.

"What is it?" Sakura spat as he leaned on the table, visibly ogling her.

"I was thinking you'd look nice in my bed." The stranger said, fingers brushing against the dagger that hung from his belt. "So why dont'cha just follow me there?"

Kakashi moved to stand up, but Sakura's hand held him back as she jumped to her feet, one fist down on the table.

"How about we make this more interesting, scumbag?" She replied, a confident smirk on her lips.

"Ooh, brave, aren't ya?" He replied, flashing her a smile. "What d'ya had in mind, sweetheart?"

"Let's down shots until one of us pukes." Sakura challenged, crossing her arms over her chest. "If you win, you get me for the night. I win, you give me that necklace you've been playing with for the last half an hour."

Her opponent burst out laughing as she finished her last sentence, obviously finding the idea that a woman could beat him to a drinking game ridiculous. Kakashi slouched back in his seat, letting the back of his head hit the top of the booth. He didn't know Sakura. Only one time had he made the mistake of taking her on and he still regretted it. Anyone who thought their natural ability to stomach alcohol could match her medic skills was a fool.

And so, the thief and medic sat at a table, surrounded by shooter glasses filled with whiskey and curious people. The female glared, while the male grinned. Kakashi could only watch, exasperated. Snatching the jewelry away would have been so much simpler.

It was only twenty minutes later that the thief had vomitted. Right on the table, too. So classy. Sakura howled victiorously as her intoxicated brain processed the information, pumping her first in the air. Without hesitation, she grabbed the necklace that lay on the table before sticking her tongue out to the band of bandits.

"Time to go." Kakashi chimed in as he locked his around around Sakura's and pulled her towards the exit so they could return to the inn. It was already too late to head back to Konoha right then.


"Are you okay?" Kakashi asked as they walked back towards their shelter. The way her green eyes locked with his for a second let him know she was aware of every underlying meaning of his question, even if she was slightly drunk.

"Of course I am." She replied as glowing hands hovered over her stomach, not doubt helping her liver to filter the alcohol in her system. "No matter how I feel, I won't let these kind of men think they can boss me around if I can help it. I would just rather avoid them."

"I think you traumatized them." He chuckled as he watched her walk ahead of him, a slight sway in her step. While her ability to modify her metabolism without any kind of hand seals was unmatched, the speed at which she had downed the drinks had been impressive. "I don't think they'll be harassing any other woman for a while."

"I wouldn't be surprised if that asshole died of alcohol poisoning." Sakura spat as she removed her hands from her abdomen, finally sober enough. "I know I would have if I wasn't a medic."

Back in their room, Kakashi moved to lay down on his sleeping bag as Sakura plopped down on the bed, slightly drained from the chakra she had used to return to a normal state.

"You should sleep on the bed tonight." He heard his partner's timid voice offer, encouraging him to sit up and lay an arm on the bed so he could lean on it.

"I don't mind the floor, Sakura." The Copy Nin repeated with a quiet smile.

"No." His teammate reiterated as she climbed higher up the bed. "Sleep with me."

The latter sentence caused his heart to miss a beat, until the odd look she was giving him assured him that she only wanted to share the bed.

"You don't have to." He replied when he pulled away from the mattress, only to be stopped by her grip on his arm.

"Just do it." Sakura mumbled as she tugged at his arm, expression soft and hesitant.

Obeying her, Kakashi hauled himself on top of the comfy furniture. It appeared comfy when compared to the floor, at least. After pulling the blanket over his shoulders, he turned his back to her, taking up as little space as he could. The temptation to roll over her and pull her into his arms rendered his body stiff, but he refused to give in. What else would he do, if she allowed him to hold her again?

Much to his surprise, the younger woman curled up behind him, shins brushing against the lower part of his back. Slim fingers stroked irregular patterns tenatively between his shoulders blades, pace leisurely and cautious.

"I know why Tsunade-shishou sent you with me on this mission." She stated blandly, breaking the awkward silence that had settled between them. "She's noticed."

Kakashi was mute. Whether it was from the way his heart pounded wildly in his chest or his inability to find words to say, he didn't know. Her digits continued their erratic dance, drawing swirls on his skin as they reached his shoulders and traced his bicep lazily. Warmth seeped from their tips into his flesh, lulling his hyperactive heart into a calmer, normal pace.

"I'm sorry for dragging you into this." Sakura's soothing voice breathed out into his hair. "I didn't want you to be put in such a postion..."

The Copy Nin sucked on his lower lip as her hot breath fanned against his neck, raising the small hairs there. Sighing, she inched closer to him and wrapped an arm around his torso as she pressed her nose to the base of his spine. When her body pressed firmly to his, she released a trembling breath into his shirt, fingernails digging into the material of it on is chest.

"Even if being around you is hard..." Sakura whispered hoarsely. "Your touch is the only one I can manage."

"Why?" Kakashi asked as he rolled onto his other side to gaze into her dull eyes, searching for an answer he was too biased not to find.

"I don't know..." She answered, tipping her chin lower. "Maybe because we were so close before."

Carefully, his hand cupped her cheek, thumb caressing the skin tenderly. His eye observed her attentively, waiting for his cue to stop. Until then, he decided, he could give in; only as long as she allowed him, he would indulge. Sakura remained silent and quiet, showing no sign of fear or nervosity. He ran his fingers through her hair delicately, stealing a glimpse of those plump pink lips he had dreamed of kissing not even two days earlier.

"Can I kiss you?" As long as she gave him permission, his will would crumble.

With a slow nod of her head, the last of his resolve withered, going down with his mask.

His lips pressed against hers gently, their owner intent on enjoying this one kiss fully. After placing a small peck on them, he captured her lower lip between his and locked his fingers in her hair on the back of her head while his other arm wrapped around her hips to pull her flush against him. He released her lip with a small pop before leaning in for another kiss. His mouth slanted against hers as his tongue darted out to drag the tip of it on her lip, coaxing her to grant him further access.

The low whimper she emitted allowed his tongue to explore deeper and find her own, to rub languidly against it. Feminine hands fisted in his shirt when he drew his tongue back, only to thrust back against her own fervently. With their bodies molded against one another, there was no doubt she could feel the evidence of his arousal against her stomach. The hand on her hip tightened its grip as Kakashi pressed his lips harder to hers, turning their slow and sensual kiss into a steamy and demanding exchange. When her hips ground against his, accompanied by a needy moan, he groaned into their kiss, his desire for her flaring up.

"We should stop..." He muttered as he broke the contact between their lips only long enough to speak, then pressing tender kisses against her lips as he waited for her response.

"That would be better." Sakura replied, sounding out of breath although he could hear a hint of relief in her tone.

"Good night, Sakura." The Copy Nin murmured, arms stubborn in their decision to keep her in their embrace.


Once more, Sakura was locked into his arms as they tried to sleep. They were already half way back to Konoha, most likely able to reach it the next day if they hurried their step. The temperature had dipped considerably in the meantime, motivating the pink-haired medic to ask that they share a sleeping to put each other's warmth to good use. She had probably grown tired of shaking from the cold, alone in her own while her ex-sensei seemed fine in his. Truth be told, he was quite cold as well, just not as prone to show it as she was.

"You know, sometimes..." Sakura started, tugging at his shirt to pull him closer. "I can't help but think about all of it again."

Rubbing his gloved hand up and down her arm to warm her up, Kakashi evaluated her words. Without a doubt, she was speaking of the events with Koroku. Most likely the moments she had tried to hide from him. As much as he wanted to hear none of it, he couldn't stop her if she was opening up to him. There was no one else who she could speak to; being selfish was not an option.

"What do you think of?" He inquired reluctantly as he buried his nose into her hair to hide his pained expression.

"Usually, it's the first time he..." She mumbled after a moment of hesitation. "The other times weren't as bad."

His hold on her tightened and he gritted his teeth as he desperately tried to keep his anger in control. Even if he should have known better, Kakashi had assumed it had occured only once; not repeatedly.

"I'm sorry." Sakura blurted out as she felt him tense. "I shouldn't tell you any of this."

"No, you should talk about it." He replied quickly, swallowing the lump that formed in his throat at the bitter encouragement. "It will make you feel better if you let it out."

"I'm just so angry at myself for letting it affect me so much." She whimpered brokenly, reminding him of just how badly the girl strove to be as strong as the rest of the team.

"Sakura, you can't be mad at yourself for such things." Kakashi whispered into her pink locks. "It's only normal to react like that. All you can do is go through it and be strong, like I know you are. You've got to stand up and fight it, even if you just want to cower."

Because if you didn't, the grief consumed you alive, hogged every of your thoughts and drained any life left in you. The Copy NIn knew it all too well. Almost three decades later, old nightmares still resurfaced to remind him of why his soul had been shattered in the first place.

"I'm scared out of my mind to lose anyone else." Kakashi admitted, unable to stop himself from shuddering. "It's a fear that drives me to put your and the team's safety before mine. But it's also why I failed you on that mission. I apologize for that."

"Thank you, Kakashi-sensei." Sakura breathed out as she relaxed his arms.

As long as she was okay, he would be.

No comments:

Post a Comment