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Just a Substitute

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There was a damn good reason Genin started off only taking D-rank missions within the walls of their home village. One of the major things they had to learn had nothing to do with team work. It had nothing to do with getting a dose of humbleness. Tamping down over eager, over enthusiastic energy wasn't even the major thing. Most Genin didn't even know what the lesson was despite learning the answer.

Kakashi was glad Naruto had learned this lesson fast. He was used to knowing when to duck and cover, even wearing that horrid color. Figuring this out wasn't too hard for him.

It took Sasuke some time to understand what was happening. He never could quite cover up all the traces, and thus kept Sakura's interest piqued more often than he should have.

Sakura learned from the boys first. She didn't experience it until later, which was odd considering girls usually had to deal with it before boys. Still, she learned, and Naruto backed off.
Right now, he wondered what in the hell Sakura was thinking. Why hadn't she packed supplies? Why had she even taken this mission with him? She knew her heat would trigger his rut. It was biology.

All men went into rut once they were sexually mature, always triggered by a woman in heat. All women experienced a heat about once every three to five months depending on their system. After five or six years, a woman's body leveled out into a predictable pattern; covering up the scent change and knowing when to start symptom suppression took some time to learn, but was achieved through any number of means. Soaps, deoderants, perfumes, pills, and injections were all available means to both men and women to suppress the signs and symptoms of heats and ruts, allowing them to function as normal as possible. The use of these items was a must for shinobi like them. They were produced and priced in such a way as so even the most poor could afford them or even pick them up for free from a donation center.

So why the hell was Sakura smelling so good right now? Why did he feel the need to go hold her close in bed for a while? Did she really just forget?

For the second time that day, he tore his eyes away from her, ignoring the urge, and kept walking forward.

Taking the actual road was her idea. She said she was too worn out after jogging every day this past week to keep up with the caravan they had been protecting. She just needed to walk for a bit, then she'd be alright again.

Instead, they had been walking for five hours. At this point, even he was getting tired of walking. It was probably time they stopped to eat something.

I want to eat her...

Kakashi stopped and took a breath, looking away over the countryside to the right. That was not an appropriate thought. Sakura had a daughter waiting on her back home, a daughter whose father wasn't really around... ever.

Yet, Sakura still claimed to love Sasuke. Maybe it was because he was her main crush as a kid, then her first mate. Sasuke did take good enough care of her while she was pregnant, always making sure she had a bed to sleep on, food when he and Naruto didn't, and a clean place with another medic around to give birth. He was a good mate to her, but a bad father. It wasn't uncommon for such things to happen. What was odd was that she chose to keep the baby instead of aborting. Unless they were married to their mate, kunoichi rarely kept the children they conceived in heat.

Would she keep mine, too?

Ignoring these thoughts that kept intruding, he looked back to her where she had stopped some distance ahead, staring back at him. "I think we should rest for a bit."

"Good idea," Sakura replied, walking back a little to find a good shade tree to sit under. "We have enough water for another day, but we need to find a source before then."

"There's a stream another hour's walk ahead," Kakashi informed. They were taking a different rout home than they had on the way out. She wasn't familiar with this area, but he had been through here enough times to memorize the water ways and major towns. "We don't have to worry. There will be plenty more spots."

"Actually, can we just get up to the stream?" she questioned hopefully. "We both need to clean up."

"Sure," he nodded, reaching out to help her back to her feet.

Sakura didn't miss the way his hand lingered on hers, but said nothing of it. Instead, she took a long drag off her primary water bottle and started walking again.
They kept on in silence, both grateful that the wind had changed direction. Her scent wasn't being blown straight into his nose any longer. As long as they didn't walk side-by-side, he could keep that lechrous little voice out of his mind a bit easier. But it was too late already. There was a tightness in his chest, his heart beat was already faster, he was sweatting and feeling like her touch was the only thing that could calm all of this.

He needed a minute alone. He would just go wash a little ways down stream of her, jerk one off, then take a suppression tab. It woulsn't stop him from scenting her, or even the little voice in his head telling him to just rush up and take what he wanted, but it would ease his blood pressure, help him keep from tenting his pants, and stop his rut sweat. She wouldn't smell his response, wouldn't see his pupils dialate beyond what was reasonable for the daylight when he looked at her, wouldn't have to act like she didn't see the change in his pants as they walked along. They'd make it home and she could go find an acceptable mate.

He didn't know who she chose these days since Sasuke left again. Relief mates were not quite friends-with-benefits, but more like a friend or acquaintance that could be relied upon when that time came around. Relief mates expected to get laid a few times during the two weeks the woman was in heat, and to never have a child with that woman. They didn't seek a romantic relationship, were around the same age, and sometimes even had a steady relationship that had nothing to do with the partner they were helping. Kakashi had been there for Kurenai when Asuma wasn't around. Of course, Asuma had to approve him first, as was customary.
Kakashi wondered if Sakura had gotten Sasuke's approval of her relief mate. They weren't married, so it wasn't an obligation.

It's none of my damn business.

Finally, his thoughts were taking the right shape.

They made their way off the road a ways down stream, following the stream down a rocky path to a small set of stepped water falls. Of course, going this way meant that one of them had to be down wind of the other again. Kakashi chose to lead. He reasoned that it was because he already knew this spot and where the good parts were to get rinsed off.
He took her to the second spot then turned around to go back up stream to where he wanted to be, which was up wind. The less chance he had of scenting her, the easier he would get this out of his system and keep it out. He had just taken his suppression tab and pulled his mask back up when she came back up the hill. She was cleaner, but she still looked irritated. He let her lead the way back up to the road, then realized what she hadn't done.

She had bathed, used scentless soaps, changed her clothes, refilled her water stores... But she had done nothing to suppress her heat. He knew because he could smell it again by the time they got back to the road.

Sighing, Kakashi put his pack down and dug out his own soap. He didn't have anything to help her with her symptoms, but he could at least keep her from turning on every guy along the way, himself included. He offered her the small pouch of liquid with a question.

"Why didn't you pack anything for this?"

"I've developed an allergy to the oral and injected suppressors since having Sarada," she sighed, thankfully taking the offered soap. "And I ran out of scent blocking soaps and lotions yesterday."

"Why didn't you get any at the last town?"

"I was saving my money to buy Yamato-taichou a birthday gift. We were supposed to be home two days ago. If that jerk didn't decide to make the detour this wouldn't have happened."

"You should have said something to me. I have enough soap for both of us at least. Go wash again."

Sakura nodded, then took off back down the water way. Kakashi couldn't believe she had agreed to take a mission with a man and not pack extra supplies for this scenario. She and Tenten could have worked together on a differend mission while he went with a male partner for this one instead. What she had done was careless.

By the time she returned again, Kakashi had a small fire going and some water heating beside it. He pulled out a package of dried vanilla pudding and poured it in, knowing she'd appreciate the treat more than he would. He always gave the sweets in his pre-packed meals to the women he worked with, taking their more spicy ones in return. He stirred it and set it off to the side while she dug out a package of cinnimon candies to toss at him, keeping the trade even.

They sat in silence, eating and resting, the heat of the afternoon sun and the small fire bringing them to sweat again pretty quickly. Even in the shade of the tree, the humidity by the stream made things uncomfortable.

"We should find someplace cooler to camp for the night," Sakura suggested.

"Good luck with that," Kakashi looked down the road. "It turns into wetlands not far up. Unless you plan on sleeping in a tree, this is going to be our best spot. We should stay here and get a fresh start in the morning."

"How much farther until we get to another town?"

"Three hours at a dead run."


"Yeah. You're going to have to stay down wind."

"I planned on it. Sorry about earlier. I wasn't thinking."

"No. You weren't." He pinned her with a glare. "Now, we're both compromised. The soap only works if you don't sweat off all the scent blockers. It can't help now."

"But you have your tablets, right?"

"They only do so much."

Sakura sighed, upset with herself. Her appetite backed off. She eyed the pudding he'd set asside for her. She wanted it, but she couldn't stomach it right this moment. She had betrayed his trust and hadn't confided in him. If he had known, he would have picked a different rout home, a less diret, but less humid way.

"Eat it, you need the calories," he ordered.



Kakashi had summoned his ninkin to guard them for the night, intending on having them both get as much rest as possible. They were going to push for the next town so that she could get everything she could to tone down her heat. Alternatives to the most common heat suppressant were readily available in ninja villages and large cities, but hard to come by in the rural areas. They had only been on the market for about six years.

Kakashi still woke up well before dawn.

Sakura was trying to hide it, but it was obvious what she was doing. She needed her relief mate, her heat coming into full swing now. She was trying to take care of things herself despite knowing it wouldn't work. She needed the enzymes from seamen to give her any sort of extended rest.

With the wind no longer blowing over them, he could smell her arousal easily from the few feet of distance between them. He was upset with her for waking him up like this. He was upset with her for not packing enough of her own supplies. He was upset at her for not telling him what the situation was when she knew it was going to happen.

His own suppressor tab had worn off, and now he was upset that she hadn't just come to him to get what she needed. That very thought made him angry with himself, too. He wasn't an appropriate relief mate for her. Who else did she have, though?

This wasn't a well traveled road. It could be a couple days before anyone else came to this spot. They couldn't wait around to see if anyone acceptable would. She'd sit in misery, and they'd be more than a week late in getting home.

He felt the tightness in his pants, ready to go, and he loathed speaking his next words. If anyone found out, they'd both be harassed. Despite the situation, she would be blamed for bringing him down.

It would be said that she had done this on purpose. He would have to deal with comments about how young he liked his women even though she was an adult, a mother even.

He'd dealt with worse. She had, too, when she came home with Sarada.

"Sakura," he cought her attention. "I can give you what you need."

"No, it's okay," she muttered back. "I can deal with this."

"We need to rest so we can travel properly." Kakashi wasn't taking no for an answer. He unbuckled his belt, lifted his hips to pull his pants and underwear down, and settled again. "Come on. I don't want to be walking around like this all day tomorrow. I know you don't want to be clenching all day either."

Sakura stayed right where she was, eyeing him carefully. He turned his head to meet her eyes, silently telling her it would be okay. This wouldn't be the normal relief mating either of them were used to. There would be no kissing, no caressing, no soft words muttered between lovers. This would be more of a mastrubation.

"Fine," she grumbled, kicking her underwear off the rest of the way beside her shorts before coming over to him and straddling his hips.

She lowered herself slowly with a hiss. She was tighter than she normally would have been because she had let this go on so long.

Kakashi felt like he'd had the breath knocked out of him, hips jerking up into her, hands gripping her thighs. He had meant to let her control this, but his resolve was fading. The wet, velvet of her enveloping him was too good. It had been almost two years since he'd had sex of any kind. He nearly got off right then.

Sakura raised up a little, angling forward as she gripped his hands tightly. That had hurt a bit. She was far more sensitive than usual. She couldn't take anything other than gentleness at the moment. Just knowing they were connected physically like this was almost enough to bring her to a full high. Yet, she knew that high, once achieved, would not subside until she got enough of his fuids inside her body. She'd need him to get off at least twice before she could cool off. If she hadn't waited so long, it wouldn't be a problem.

She just couldn't get the words out to warn him. Her mouth fell open when he pulled her down again, filling her completely. He was contoling this now, pushing her up, pulling her back down as he snapped his hips upwards again. She couldn't breathe, the sensations crashing through her whole body. She was Compeltely aware of every speck of his skin on hers, but none more so than where their sexes met.

"You're so damn tight and hot," he breathed out, eyes shut tight as he strained against releasing too soon. He felt her fluids soaking him all the way down to his ass, showing just how much she needed this.

"Cum," she barely hissed. "I need... extra...."


"Need... more than one... tonight."

"Fuck," he cursed, having just enough sense to understand. "Takes time."

"I... I know. Sorry."

If it were possible from this position, he would have thrust faster, but it didn't matter. His balls were already clenching, his release spouting up and out into her body in quick hot bursts. He lost the ability to help her up and down. Instead, she hovered in one spot, allowing him to rock his hips up and down until he was done.

He didn't have time to catch his breath. She let him slip out of her body before settling down again, her weight on his thighs as she pushed up his shirt, pressing hot, open mouthed hisses to his belly and trailing upward. She stopped at his nipples, paying extra attention there as her fingers trailed down his sides lightly. Under normal circumstances, that would have tickled. Right now, though, her touch only served to bring pleasurable shivers as he gasped for breath.

But, with every breath in, he was scenting her again. His arousal was building up again quickly, but his dick wasn't on board yet. Frustrated with the workings of his own body, he rolled them over onto their sides, caressing her hip, ass, and thigh.

"I'm working on it," he told her gently. "Just give me a little more time."

"It's starting to hurt," Sakura whimpered, pushing her crotch against his again, hooking a leg over his waist.

"I know." Kakashi rested his head over hers, wrapping her into a tight hug. He angled his head down, putting his nose right into her neck and taking a deep breath through his nose. Finally, he felt his dick start to respond. He put a hand under her shirt now, too, feeling her breast and rubbing a thumb over her nipple. Her moan sounded so damn good.

"I want to kiss you."

"No kissing," Kakashi put a finger to her lips. "It's too close to bonding. I'm going to help you until we get home, but we can't have a semi-permanent bond or an accidental true bond. You need to find your relief mate as soon as we get home."

"Damn it, Kakashi-"

He shut her up by rubbing a finger on her clit. He was closer again, thrusting lightly so that the tip of his hardening dick replaced his finger quickly. His hand kneaded at her ass again just before he put her on her back and entered her body once more. He wasn't fully hard at that second, but got there quickly.

This time didn't last as long. He reached his high first again. Her channel clamped down as the last few spurts left his body. She was crying, finally able to come back down to earth. He didn't know how long she had been dealing with this, but it was over for now.

He rolled them both back onto their sides, holding her close, cheek pressed to the top of her head. "Better now?"

"Thank you." Sakura nuzzled her face into his mask covered throat, clutching to the front of his shirt for dear life as her recipricating orgasm ebbed away.

He wanted to hold her there, sticky and messy and warm, but it wouldn't be right. "You ready to go back to your blanket now?"

"No." Sakura answered honestly.

"We need to clean up and get some real rest now."

"I know we should. I just want to hold you."

He messed up then. He pulled his blanket over them both and slowly fell asleep.