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Don't pull those strings like that
You're moving a little fast
And I'm out of practice

- You Got Me Down by Lorien -

ooO { 67 days before the Fourth Shinobi War } Ooo

Kakashi sits on a stool at the far left of the tall countertop. Sure, there are several booths scattered around the small shop, few of which are currently occupied, and they have cushioned benches with high, supporting backs. Not anything elaborate, mind you, but definitely more comfortable than the hard, tipsy seat that he has chosen to park his ass on. He looks to one side and then the other, contemplating for a moment. The cooktop in the middle of each table mocks him. Nope, a booth is not worth it. Besides, he's not old enough yet to let the promise of physical comfort sway his decisions.

He lets his innate laziness do that instead.

So he turns back around, gives the man behind the counter his order – a double of whatever the hell you want to put on it; really, sir, I'm not picky – and opens his book. The sharp sizzle of batter on the hot surface rises to join the rest of the ambient sound, accompanied by the smells of savory vegetables, grilled seafood, and a liberal amount of oil. It's a little warm inside due to the large ratio of heated surfaces to air, but not enough to stifle or make him break out in a sheen of perspiration. In its own small way, it's soothing – the familiar sounds and smells, the atmosphere and laid-back patrons. The shop is located off of one of the backstreets of Konoha, in an area of town that straddles the line between the affluent and seedier parts of town, and it rarely gets traffic from outsiders. It's quiet in contrast to the bustle of Ichiraku's and that makes it prime real estate in Kakashi's mind. It doesn't hurt that they make the best okonomiyaki in all of the Land of Fire.

Kakashi holds that secret close to his vest though. His mental peace – and his ability to give certain acquaintances the slip – counts on it.

After a few minutes and several pages of blissfully uninterrupted reading, the cook plops a plate under Kakashi's nose. The meal is served with just a brief nod and half smile, the only customer service the man has time for, before he turns back to the grill to work on the next set of orders. Kakashi breathes in the delicious steam wafting up to greet his nose. His fingers curl around the top of his mask in anticipation and he is about to tug it down to enjoy his meal when a conversation somewhere to his right has him rethinking the action.

"Seriously?" A feminine voice asks, her green eyes wide with incredulous wonder, triggering a chorus similar exclamations from others at the table. "That's terrible, Pig! What did you do?"

A blonde kunoichi flips her hair and her mouth twists into a devilish smirk. "What do you think? I kicked him in the balls. Twice."

"Oh, poor Kiba!"

"Don't feel sorry for him, Hinata," a dark haired girl – he's pretty sure the kunoichi is Gai's student – asserts with an edge to her warm voice. "He's lucky that she didn't neuter him. Stupid mutt."

The four girls giggle at her silly play on words and continue on. It's obvious that they are too involved with their own little world to bother him.

Kakashi shakes his head, an amused expression playing with his lips under his mask. It's good to see Sakura smiling and happy and acting like a normal teenager for once. Granted, he hasn't been around her much lately – his missions have been different than Team Kakashi's and Yamato has by and large taken over Kakashi's position on his own team – but over the years he has seen too many circumstances eat away at her, weigh her down.

The fast approaching war is a concern too. Kakashi knows all too well how much a person can lose and how that can make a person change. She's only sixteen, far too young to become all serious and jaded like him. He frowns and glances back at the girl. Her face is bright with mirth as she sharply digs her elbow into Ino's side, laughing at her friend's disgruntled expression. He briefly hopes that she can keep it, whatever it is exactly that allows her face to light up like that. Then for a second time, he shakes his head, this time to expel his thoughts.

It's too early in the day – never mind that it's well into the afternoon – to let his mind travel down that road.

With a shrug, he turns back to his plate and makes a mental note to speak to Sakura about keeping this little dive to herself. The last thing he needs is her dragging Naruto here to pollute the place with his noise and undiscerning taste buds and his snooping ways.

"Check please, Mr. Yamada!" Sakura's voice, lilting with cheer and contentment, raises to attract the shopkeeper's attention. She slides onto the stool next to his while she waits, nudging Kakashi with her elbow. "Hey, Sensei."

"Sakura," he drawls.

"It's been a while."

"It has."

"Well, I just wanted you to– oh, wait a minute," she pauses to rummage in the pocket of her vest for her money. After she's paid for her meal, the girl turns back to him. A pink blush dusts her cheeks, but she's grinning widely. "I miss you, you know. Well, we miss you. The team's not the same without you."

The man isn't sure what to say to that. He has failed them – failed her – so much over the years that he had been positive they would welcome his absence. Eventually he settles for a non-committal, "I'll see what I can do."

"Good," she answers. She starts to walk away, but she looks over her shoulder before she gets too far. "And don't worry, Sensei. I won't tell Naruto about this place."

Then she's gone, leaving him to wonder how the hell she had known what he was thinking.

Just a coincidence, he decides after just a couple seconds. It's Naruto, after all.

With a growling stomach, he turns back to his meal. Kakashi shoves his chopsticks in his mouth, no longer concerned about dropping the mask, and chews on the too-large bite he has scooped up.


He let his food get cold.

ooO { 1826 days after the Fourth Shinobi War } Ooo

The door opens abruptly, his only warning a quick precursory knock. Kakashi raises his head slightly from his reclined position to identify the visitor while keeping his face firmly behind his reading material. What he sees leaves his mouth slightly agape under the cover of his mask.

This, he thinks to himself, is unexpected.

The same medic, a wiry old woman who no longer cared about following protocol, has been performing his physicals for the past… well, he's not quite sure, but he knows it's been a long time. Kakashi doesn't know if she has been the only one willing to put up with his crap or if Tsunade has forced the job on her, but he supposes it doesn't really matter. She is the reason why he has been willing to keep these appointments in the first place – her half-assed examinations suited his I-don't-want-a-check-up agenda nicely; a win-win situation, really – but now she is not here.

In the old hag's place is a much younger medic. He knows this newcomer well, but Kakashi finds himself suddenly lost because the image he has of her in his head does not match what his eye is registering. Maturity has filled in and softened her curves, taking what was once a girl's body and transforming it to that of a woman. The jaunty skirt and top uniform of yesteryear are gone. A simple crimson dress takes its place, just shy of knee-length and made of supple fabric, and it clings to her silhouette before flaring gently at her hips.

Has it really been that long since I've seen her?

He is taken more than a little off-balance by the changes he sees. She should not be that grown-up or that old or that developed. She is supposed to be a little girl, not some attractive, sexy, more-than-of-age woman. She is not supposed to–

His gaze, which has been travelling down her body, finally lands on her feet and he grins in relief.

The black, heavily worn boots are still the same.

Kakashi doesn't know why that fact comforts him. Maybe it's because in them he can still see the student she once was, rather than the woman now making his pulse race. Perhaps it's because they remind him that not all that much has really changed – she's still her and he's still himself. Of course, it could just be that he remembers her kicking the hell out of Naruto with them – really, the blond deserved it for not keeping his perversion safely in his own head – and that image never fails to make him smile. Regardless of the reason, seeing them makes him feel at home amidst the strangeness of the situation.

A not-so-subtle clearing of a feminine throat halts his thoughts and diverts his attention from those wonderful little boots back up to her face. The medic narrows her gaze at his clothed form where he is casually lounged across the exam table. She cracks the thick spine of his medical file open on the countertop of the small supply cabinet and gestures at him with pointed disapproval.

"Take them off," Sakura speaks, her tone professional and unwavering. Then she turns away from him.

Most people would probably believe that the action was one of courtesy. And maybe it is. But he has a feeling it has much more to do with her need to be efficient. Sakura seems the type to want to get a problematic patient out the door as quickly as possible so she can help others that are more open to her assistance. So why take the time to watch him strip, especially under this context, when she could be getting the exam materials ready? He decides to test that theory – after all, he has a reputation to uphold; he's practically obligated to make this difficult for her – by removing his clothing as slowly as he possibly can. If he can get her frustrated enough, maybe she'll just send him on his way.

She's been messing with his head since she walked in anyway. Turnabout is only fair.

When Sakura turns back to face him, he's only just shrugged out of his flak vest, leaving it in a pile by his shoes and thigh holster. A frown tugs downwards at her lips and she crosses her arms over her chest. But she doesn't say anything. Instead, she leans back against the cabinet and watches as he rolls his shirt lazily up and then over his head. Next comes his mesh undershirt and, with some reluctance on his part, his ever-present mask. He removes both at the same languid pace as the other pieces. Keeping his eyes on her face, Kakashi moves his fingers to the button of his trousers. He is disappointed by her reaction, or lack thereof; honestly, he had expected something. But her face and body language gives away nothing – no blush or soft gasp, no avoidance in her eyes – just boredom. He pauses, hesitating for a moment before he pulls down the zipper, millimeter by slow millimeter. Then she smirks and shakes her head.

"Are you done with the show yet, Kakashi?" she asks, the green of her eyes twinkling with humor. "I'm the hospital's head medic. Have been for two years, you know. Trust me when I say that you don't have anything I haven't seen before. It's going to take a lot more than that to effect me."

Kakashi lets his pants drop unceremoniously and kicks them to the side, giving up the gambit. Then he decides on another course of action. "You know, Doctor Haruno, I'd really feel more comfortable with my regular medic."

"Oh, I'm sure you would. But unfortunately, Miyako retired seven months ago. And none of the other medics could be persuaded to take you as a patient. Apparently, you've been quite… troublesome."

"Yeah, I have," he rubs the back of his neck, feigning a sheepishness that he doesn't feel, "and I don't want to trouble my favorite former student, so I'll just be–"

"Oh no, you won't," Sakura counters, sharp and demanding. "You haven't had a proper exam in at least five years. I've read your file, so don't even try to argue. Now park your ass on the exam table, Kakashi, or I will be forced to use restraints."

He sighs loudly, dramatically, and then does as he's told. Sakura always has been particularly stubborn. And bossy. The argument that would inevitably ensue is just not worth it.

Her hand grasps his wrist and her thumb pushes into the pulse point while she counts the seconds on the clock by the pounding of his blood through his veins. Sakura's skin is dry and chapped, no doubt due the frequent washings associated with her line of work, and the friction of it on his skin sends tingles up his arm. But if she notices, she doesn't say anything. After sixty seconds, she abruptly drops his arm and turns away to fill in the results on the top-most page of his chart.

Sakura returns with a lighted tool, a small cone-shaped flashlight, and proceeds to poke and prod at his face. Nothing is safe from her investigation – his ears and nose and mouth – and while he hates it on principle, he has to admit that there is something about her touch that makes it almost tolerable.

Not to mention she smells familiar and vaguely… delicious?

Kakashi shakes his head, a rough and jerky movement meant to rid his head of the unwanted thoughts. With an irritated cluck of her tongue, Sakura grabs his chin firmly. Then she goes on to thoroughly check both of his eyes. When he complains about being blinded, she chides him as if he was a child – don't be such a baby, it's not that bad – and lightly slaps his shoulder. Again, she writes down all her findings.

"Alright, you need to lie down now."

Kakashi thinks about refusing, or at least putting up a little resistance, but the look on her face quickly crushes his plans before they are even properly thought through. He's seen what happens when people – Naruto, Sai, Sasuke… Naruto – challenge her. A stay in the emergency room is not worth his pride.

"Don't even think about it." She interrupts his not-quite scheming as if she knows exactly what was going on inside his head.

I'm getting too transparent in my old age, he thinks.

"Don't you trust your old sensei?" he asks instead.

Sakura snorts and pushes him roughly in the chest, forcing him to recline. "Not likely."

Then the warmth of her chakra is running over him in small increments, from head to toe and back again. He watches her concentrate and he can see his old injuries in the different ways she wrinkles her brow and the shifting set of her lips. Kakashi has scars inside and out. It's just the reality of being a shinobi, especially one who has seen as much action as he has.

Especially one that is still alive.

Sakura finishes her scan, but doesn't turn immediately away to his file this time. Her hands drop onto his abdomen, the cool weight of them grounding him, and she looks Kakashi directly in the eye.

"Be more careful out there," she says. "Medic's orders."

"Is there something wrong?"

"No." Shaking her head, she sighs and turns away. He can hear the grey lead further marking up the page. "No, but if you keep this up, I won't be able to say that next time. You've got a lot of scar tissue and most of it is on the inside of your body. In our line of work, it's often what you can't see that's more dangerous." Cocking her head so she can see him over her shoulder, Sakura smirks widely. "You're just showing your age, old man."

"Funny," Kakashi retorts, crossing his arms defensively. He's not that old, after all.

She laughs, amused by his discomfort, "Only because it's true."

He lays back down and the cold pleather of the table bites into his skin without the barrier of his clothing to protect him or her chakra to warm him. The hospital is always a little on the cool side. Supposedly the lower temperature helps to prevent the growth of bacteria and the spread of viruses. Kakashi thinks it's just one more way to make patients miserable, but he does his best to ignore it and opens his book. It's not the most uncomfortable thing he's ever had to deal with, not by a longshot. Barely more than a sentence in and his concentration is disrupted by a small clatter. The sharp click resounds through the small room, reverberating against the stark white walls, and Sakura lets out a frustrated exclamation. "Oh, shit."

He sits up to see what her cursing is about, but regrets it instantly. Sakura is on her hands and knees, ass high in the air, trying to retrieve something from underneath the cabinet. The sight is one that Kakashi knows he should not be indulging, but he cannot turn away. Sakura redoubles her efforts, wiggling and shifting her knees farther apart to lower her base, completely unaware of the image she is creating. Half hard, the man stifles a groan and forces himself to close his eyes, but they don't stay that way for long.

"Sakura," he grinds out between clenched teeth, "what are you doing?"

"I dropped my damn pencil." Her reply is muffled and unsteady, accented by pants of breath from her exertion. "Wait, wait… I got it!"

She rises off the floor in triumph, all fluid muscle and graceful limbs, and brushes at the dust on her knees. Pink has settled into the apples of her cheeks and a light sheen of sweat covers her skin. It sends his mind to terribly inappropriate places like, if she looks like this now just think about how she'd look in the afterglow of…

Fuck, his rational side screams. Does she even know what she is doing?

The crack of latex, stretched thin and then released, rings in his ears, not once but twice. Sakura leans against the countertop and flexes her fingers, driving them fully into a pair sterile medical gloves. Her expression is placid, but there is a glint in her eye that Kakashi fears does not bode well for him. The next words that fall from her lips confirm it.

"Those need to go," she demands and the edges of her lips curl ever so slightly on the last syllable. "I have to check for hernias. Now stand up and drop your drawers."

"And if I refuse?" He's stalling, and probably to no avail, but it's the only play he has left. Sakura's holding all the cards – his health, his livelihood, his suddenly resurging libido – and all he can do is hope she doesn't realize it.

"I have my ways." Sakura asserts, pushing off of the cabinet and stepping towards him. "Stand up."

Kakashi relents, drawn in by the low purr in her voice, which he may or may not have imagined. At this point he's no longer sure of much except that his bare feet are planted on the cold floor and Sakura is standing very, very close. She looks him in the eye one last time, one pink eyebrow rising in challenge. He makes no move to remove his last piece of clothing.

"Fine. You want to play it that way?"

Kakashi says nothing back, just returns her gaze with a steadiness he does not feel.

A single slender finger hooks into the waistband of his underwear, pulling it away from his body, just enough to properly expose him. Then her opposite hand slides inside and cups around his balls. The suddenness of her action nearly buckles him, but he tries to play it off by cloaking himself in his customary aloof façade. One look at her face tells him it was unsuccessful; she's wearing a knowing grin.

"Turn your head and cough," Sakura instructs as she bends down, half crouched in front of him.

Kakashi rubs a hand roughly over his face, torn between mortification and arousal, but complies. This has been the most awkward check-up of his entire life and he is ready for it to just be over, preferably without any physical complications. He steels his mind and brings up the most unappealing images he can conjure.

Green spandex…

Gai and Lee in green spandex…

Gai and Lee in green spandex embracing…

It works and he is thankful. The last thing he needs is to give Sakura the wrong impression – that kind of impression. It's not like she knows what she's doing to him. This is all just a job for her.

Besides, there's only so much imaginary green spandex a mind can handle before it breaks.

After a few short moments that feel interminably long, the clinical squeezing and prodding stops. Kakashi is about to breathe a sigh of relief, but it catches in his throat instead. Sakura leans towards him, just a tiny insignificant inch. Yet, it's enough to fill his nostrils with her delectable scent and to feel her body heat radiate. The faint touch of smooth rubber traces the underside of his cock as she very slowly removes her hand and releases his underwear with a snap. He winces, the bite of the elastic painful against the erection that her last bit of touching has coaxed out of him. Then she turns on her heel, pulling off the gloves as she walks away from him.

"Congratulations, Kakashi, you pass. You're healthy enough to work another year." Sakura tosses the used latex in the waste bin and gathers up his medical file and her pencil. She pauses just inside the door, a hand on the chrome curve of the handle, and smiles sweetly. "And I win."

Confused, he forces out a barely audible, "Win?"

"Yep. I got to see you unmasked first."

The door clicks shut behind her and one thought burns through his brain.

Sakura knows exactly what she is doing.

ooO { 1829 days after the Fourth Shinobi War } Ooo

"Come on, Sensei, don't be such a tease," she whispers in his ear. "I know you've got something for me."

He hardens under her fingers, which have slid down, down, down over his stomach to grip his length through the material of his pants. Her body, with her soft breasts and full oh-please-fuck-me hips, presses firmly into his own and he barely holds back his groan. She smells so damn good – the light sweetness of flowers, natural feminine musk, and an underlying bit of something savory that he can't quite place – and all he can think about is how much he'd like to taste her skin. But everything about the situation is so very wrong and his mind knows it. His body doesn't want to listen though.

It doesn't care that she's almost young enough to be his daughter.
("Almost," it screams at him, "makes all the difference.")

It doesn't care that she is his former student.
("It's been years. No one cares anymore.")

And it doesn't care about the possible repercussions of such a tryst.
("She's the one coming on to us. If she doesn't mind, why should we?")

It's taking every bit of willpower he has to maintain control, to keep his hands to himself.

To stop himself from bending her over the table and roughly–

"I know." She sucks his earlobe into her mouth, rolling it over her tongue. With a couple nips of her teeth, she releases it and leans even closer. Her grip on his cock tightens. "Maybe the bad, bad patient wants me to use the restraints?"

He is gone now, his brain retreating to the far dark corners of his consciousness, and his body takes over.

Hands grab the back of her thighs and hoist her up, fingers digging into the smooth, smooth skin under that sexy red dress. She wraps her arms around his neck and her lean legs around his middle to steady herself, to pull herself closer. He closes his eyes to better feel the physical sensations bombarding him, reveling in them. Burying his nose into her neck, he breathes in deeply. The scent muddles his head further, but he's finally at the point that he just doesn't give a damn. He steps forward suddenly, pushing her back into the wall, and shoves a knee between her legs. Shifting her weight to rest on his leg, he removes one of the hands supporting her to tug at his mask. It takes a couple attempts – the adrenaline thrumming through his body makes his fingers clumsy – but the unwanted barrier is flung across the room. Then his mouth is on her neck, his tongue lapping at the flesh over her pulse.

"Delicious," he sighs into her ear.

She keens, a small sound somewhere between a moan and a gasp, and rolls her hips. He can feel her through their clothes, already wet and ready, and instinct has him mirroring her movement. A wonderful sensation curls deep in his belly, hot and needy, and sends a trail of pleasure up his spine. His internal switch has been flipped. He wants her so fucking badly now – wants to release his cock, shove her panties to the side, and impale her while they're both still mostly clothed – that it is becoming physically painful. He is about to put that plan into action when she slides her feet back down to the ground and removes her hands from around his neck.

"Oh, don't look so sad, Sensei," she says in response to the conflicted expression he's sure is plastered across his face. Pushing firmly against one shoulder, she rotates them so that his back is the one at the wall. "It's been too long since you've had a thorough exam. You do want a proper check-up, don't you?"

He doesn't know what to say or where this is going, but she's undoing his trousers so he nods and hopes it will be enough of an answer.

"Good," she cheerfully replies.

Her hands work the button and zipper quickly, before sliding his bottoms – pants and underwear together – slowly down. She stops when they reach mid-thigh and looks up at him, a sly grin playing with her mouth. She's on her knees and taking him fully into her mouth before he has time to realize her intentions. He groans loudly and she hums her approval around his cock. His legs go weak and he is thankful that she had the foresight to switch their places. The back of his head rests against the hard surface behind him and he closes his eyes, giving into her ministrations. His hands find their way to her shoulders, trailing up to tangle in her cherry-colored hair. He pulls her head forward and back, again and again, helping her establish a more urgent rhythm.

He is so close.

"Sakura," he growls, "Sakura, I'm going to–"






















Kakashi startles awake, his breath coming out in harsh puffs. It takes him a few seconds to become aware of his surroundings, his mind still lingering on the edges of unconsciousness. He sits up, but it's uncomfortable due to his morning wood. He'll have to take care of that soon.

Must have been some dream, he thinks.

Looking around, he realizes that he has fallen asleep on his sofa. The latest volume of Icha Icha is on the floor where it slid out of his hand in the middle of the night and a mostly eaten container of food – his Friday night regular, okonomiyaki – is still on his coffee table. Despite the general consensus of his peers, Kakashi is not a lazy slob. He just likes to take the path of least resistance. There's no one else to clean up after him around his apartment – no one to trick into service – so he hates to let things pile up. It's the one place where he takes care of issues in a timely fashion. If he left food out, he must have been more tired than he thought.

He leans over to grab the container, but pauses mid-motion when the scent hits his nose.

An underlying bit of something savory that he can't quite place…

And then it all comes back to him, the reasons for this particular erection.


Kakashi droops into the worn cushions at his back. His head drifts backwards and he surveys the ceiling, deep in thought. He should take a cold shower now. He knows he should because jerking off to the images running though his brain right now would definitely be a bad thing. He knows this, but he is still conflicted. Rubbing a hand over his face, rough with day-old stubble, Kakashi contemplates.

Fuck it, he decides. She's the one who came on to me.

He stalks to the bathroom, stripping as he goes. The water is turned on, the temperature as hot as he can stand to have it. The shower beats into his back, reddening his skin more with each passing second. But he doesn't care.

His forehead is pressed against the cool tile of the stall while one hand lays adjacent to help keep him balanced. The other wraps around the stiffness between his legs. Kakashi hisses at the contact, but just squeezes harder, bucking into his hand. His rhythm is rough and demanding, bringing him to the precipice in very little time. All the while, he thinks about her wicked little mouth and of how hot it had felt in his dream, of how her hair had felt so soft in his fingertips.

Of how much he just fucking wanted her.

Kakashi comes hard, imagining that it is her lips around him instead of his hand, and his vision blurs for a moment. He drops to his knees, letting the water run through his hair and into his eyes, and thinks about the mess he just made.