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Unity Without Sin

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Chapter 1

"Kakashi, we have to get going. The meeting starts soon. We cannot be late for this."

He ignored the pleas of the man behind him. He had been standing in front of his fireplace for the last hour, staring at the urn sitting on his mantel. His eyes flickering over to the framed photo sitting next to the container of ashes every so often.

It had been a little over two months since his father's untimely death. He had been assassinated. Taken out. Murdered. Whatever you want to call it. All Kakashi knew was that he wasn't there anymore. Images of his father dying in his arms plagued his mind day and night. Haunting his dreams, turning them into nightmares. Their last conversation had almost been ironic when he thought back to it.

-flashback-

"You know, Kakashi, one day this will all be yours."

"I know, but take your time, dad. You've got a lot of life left to live." Kakashi replied as he turned to look at his father from his view out the car window, "You still have so much to show me after all."

A small chuckle left his father before he started speaking again.

"There's not much left to show you. You've proven yourself many times over that you are more than capable of running this all on your own. You're too smart for your own good at times."

Shifting in his seat, he turned and faced the man more. The subject of this conversation brought many questions to his mind.

"You're making it sound like you're considering an early retirement?"

Another chuckled left Sakumo again.

"Maybe I am. It'd be nice to kick back and relax for once instead of going constant business trips. Don't you think? Maybe go on a year long vacation. Ahh, that sounds so nice."

Kakashi rolled his eyes at his father with a small smirk playing on his lips.

"Ah, but don't worry, son." he added on, "It won't be anytime soon. Maybe within the next five years or so? Like you said, I still have a couple words of wisdom I'd like to bestow onto you… and other matters to settle before I hand it over to you. I figured I'd give you a heads up."

They sat in a comfortable silence for a little while after their little talk as the SUV soared along the interstate as they drove towards their intended destination for yet another meeting.

The sound of glass shattering and the vehicle violently jerking to the left brought both men to attention.

"Toshi, what's going on!?" Sakumo shouted, as the SUV started veering off the road.

The car suddenly struck something and sent them flying forward.

Everything suddenly went blank.

The painful throbbing coming from his head woke Kakashi up. Grabbing the side of his head, he felt something hot and wet cover his trembling hand. Struggling to open his eyes, he realized he couldn't see anything out his left side and what he saw with his right was tinged with red.

'Fuck, my eye! Why can't I see!?'

There was red everywhere. His hand was dripping with his own blood he realized.

'Dad!'

Panicking, he looked to his right to where his father was supposed to be sitting next to him and found he wasn't there. Glancing up he saw that the car door had been opened.

"Dad!" he shouted, "Dad! Are you alright!?"

Despite the pain shooting throughout his entire body and the continuous dripping of blood coming from his face, he scooted his way towards the door. Looking down, Kakashi saw a crumpled body just outside the door on the ground.

"Dad!" he shouted again.

Getting out of the SUV, he attempted to step over Sakumo and lost his balance and hit the ground on his way out. Gasping for air as the intense pain shot through him again, he willed himself to sit up and crawled over to his father's side.

"Dad!" he called out as he grabbed ahold of him and rolled him over, "Please, answer me!"

Kakashi gasped in horror as he saw the entirety of the front of his fathers shirt soaked in blood.

"Can you hear me!? Dad, please say something!"

Something of a cough or maybe a gurgle came from the man in his arms.

"Kashi…"

"Oh, you're alive!"

"No… They shot me… They thought you were dead already. They said they wanted us both dead. Thank god you're alive." he whispered as he placed a hand over his heart.

Kakashi felt himself freeze at the words that left his father's mouth. Shot? What? Who shot him?

"Dad, what are you saying!? Who thought I was dead? Who shot you!?"

Another cough left Sakumo as his breathing began more and more labored.

"Kakashi… My son. Please stay safe. I'm sorry."

"Please tell me what's going on!"

Panic set in as he felt the bloodied man in his arms start to relax. Watching his father's face switch from the pained expression to an almost peaceful look sent Kakashi over the edge.

"No, no, no, no! You cannot die right now! Oh god, please wake up! Please!"

No reply came from his father. Moments later, the sound of sirens approaching signalled that help was arriving soon. But that help had arrived too late. Clutching onto the now lifeless body of his father, he started to feel faint until the world faded back to black.

-end flashback-

Taking a slow deep breath, he opened his eyes back up and turned to face the man standing by the door.

"Okay, we can go now." he breathed out calmly.

The ponytailed man didn't say anything and just turned and walked out of the front door. Kakashi followed suite behind him, but stopped to glance at himself in the mirror that hung by the door before exiting. His eyes lingered momentarily on the fresh raised pink scar that marred the left side of his face then at the new eye he was sporting, it was a unique brown that almost looks red under certain lighting. It contrasted heavily against his charcoal gray right eye.

Sighing, he closed his eyes and lightly shook his head and stepped out the door to his apartment before Shikamaru came back to yell at him again for dragging his feet.

Twenty minutes later he found himself sitting in his office waiting for the meeting to start.

"I'm very happy you agreed to finally getting a bodyguard, Mr. Hatake." the brown haired man to his left said as he sat a glass of water down in front of him, "It makes the rest of us feel a lot better knowing you'll be in safe hands."

"Thank you, Tenzo." he mumbled as he took a drink of the cold liquid, "Hmmm. It's more like getting a babysitter."

Looking up to his advisor, Kakashi found a flatline on the mans face.

"Mr. Hatake, we just want to make sure you're properly protected. The person assigned to you is the best out there they say. We do not want to have a repeat of the tragedy from a couple months ago." Tenzo gently chided him.

Kakashi remained silent instead of replying to the man. He knew they were justified in their reasoning. They didn't want to lose their new CEO of Hatake Inc. the same way they lost their old CEO, his father.

He glanced over to the computer screen sitting on his desk and noted that the meeting was suppose to start five minutes ago. Shikamaru had left nearly thirty minutes prior to fetch the arrival.

He had no idea who his bodyguard would be and this would be their first meeting to get acquainted and to go over their safety briefing. This person would be glued to his side nearly 24/7 for the foreseeable future, so he hoped it was someone he could get along with.

All he knew was they were coming from Senju Security and they were the best of the best.

A soft knock at the door signalled the return of Shikamaru and his new bodyguard. The door opened and in walked Shikamaru and a pink haired woman. Confused, Kakashi leaned to look past them into the hallway, but before he could get a clear look the door was closed.

His eyes flickered between his advisor and the petite woman standing in front of his desk for a few seconds before a frown came to his face.

"Where's my bodyguard?" he asked when he looked back to Shikamaru.

The young advisor looked back at him with a confused look of his own before he nodded and shifted uncomfortably in his spot. He pointed to the woman to his left a second later.

"Uh, this is Sakura Haruno. She's your bodyguard."

He whipped his head back to the woman standing in front of him. She had striking green eyes and long pink hair that fell around her shoulders freely. He noted her small, petite frame and realized she probably didn't even reach his chin in height. She was wearing a typical outfit you'd find any woman wearing in a professional business setting.

Looking back to Shikamaru, he simply just shook his head as if to disagree with what the man had said earlier.

"You've gotta be pulling some sort of joke here. There's no way she's my bodyguard."

Shikamaru shifted again in his place, but it was Sakura who spoke up.

"He's serious, Mr. Hatake. I'll be your bodyguard starting today. It's nice to meet you finally." she said with a warm smile, "I've heard many things about you."

Kakashi was speechless in that moment as she spoke.

"No, no, no. This has to be wrong!" he disagreed again as she stood up and walked around the desk to standing next to the young woman, "There is no way in hell that she can protect or guard me or whatever she has to do!"

Turning face Shikamaru, he saw the man take a deep breath to prepare for his ass chewing.

"Shikamaru, do you not understand the severity of this situation? I'm not getting a bodyguard for the hell of it, my life is at stake here! She barely stands up past my shoulders for pete's sake! How can she protect my ass when she has to hop to touch the top of my head!?"

The young man sighed before looking him dead in the eye.

"She's the best they have. When we put out the request and the required qualifications, this is what they gave us. They one hundred percent stand behind her."

Sakura stepped into his line of view and caught his attention. For the first time since walking in, she was holding a different expression other than the passive smile from before. She had furrowed her brows at him and a small frown was on her face.

"Do not let my small size fool you, Mr. Hatake. I am very capable in what I do. I've had a one hundred percent success rate in every job I've ever held as a bodyguard. I can take down grown men much, much larger than me."

They stood there glaring at each other for what felt like minutes.

"I don't believe that for one minute." he spat out.

"Okay. Punch me then." she shot back.

Kakashi took a step back at her response. He shot her a baffled look and found she was just staring back at him with slightly raised brows, waiting for a reply from him, silently egging him on.

"What!? No way! I'm not punching a woman!"

Sakura crossed her arms and shifted her weight to one hip while she gave him an unimpressed look.

"Is that your reasoning? Because I'm a woman? I'm told you train regularly for boxing, so you're obviously in shape. So, are you afraid you won't be able to hold your own against me or because you know I'll win?"

Kakashi was speechless. Sakura just smirked at him before she rolled her eyes and began to turn away.

"Look, I don't have to waste my time here. I've got other-"

Kakashi didn't give her a chance to finish as he swung his right fist at her with all the power he could muster in that moment. Sakura seemed to have easily caught on to the tactic he was using and quickly stuck her arm out and took the blow directly.

Before he could counter, she took a side step around him as she grabbed a hold of his wrist with the arm that took the punch and twisted. Hard. Wincing in pain, he felt his knee give way from her kicking the back of his leg.

Dropping down to one knee, his right arm had been twisted and pinned against his back. He felt her push her weight down onto his back so he couldn't easily move in the position she had put him in.

The sound of a gun cocking behind him and the cool sensation of it pressing against his head caused him to halt his struggling and felt a chill run down his spine.

"Where'd the fucking gun come from!?" he asked frantically.

The sound of her humming happily right by his left ear caused another shiver to run down his spine.

"Wouldn't you like to know?" she whispered quietly.

Closing his eyes, he took a slow and even deep breath. He couldn't believe he was in this situation right now, pinned down in his own office by, as he concluded, an absolutely insane woman.

"Okay. You're hired."

Chapter Text

Chapter 2

 

“Okay. You’re hired.”

 

He immediately felt her remove the gun from his head and his arm loosen and fall freely back down to his side as she released him. He made to stand up and gingerly rubbed his now sore arm as he slowly turned to face the woman. He was taken aback to find she was smiling brightly up to him.

 

“I was already hired, remember?” she teased back.

 

“You’re absolutely insane, you know that right?” he said.

 

Her large smile only seemed to grow in size.

 

“I got my point across, didn’t I? I like to call that job dedication.”

 

Letting the hand that was massaging his arm drop back into place, he shot her an unimpressed look.

 

“I’m still uneasy about this, but I’m going to trust you. You understand the importance of this?”

 

“I absolutely do.” Sakura quickly replied as her smile fell and her earlier serious expression return.

 

Nodding, he walked back around to sit in his chair and motioned for everyone else to take a seat in the provided chairs.

 

“Good. So let’s get this debriefing done and over with. Shikamaru?”

 

Shikamaru opened and started going over the file he had been holding since he returned with Sakura.

 

“Now that we have, uh, introduction’s over with, let’s go over everything just so we're all on the same page.” the man spoke lazily.

 

Everyone nodded in agreement and he continued. Nodding over to Sakura, Kakashi watched her straighten up in her chair.

 

“As you all know, this is Sakura Haruno. She is the top tier security detail officer, or bodyguard, from Senju Security. Which is also a company we have rather large and profitable investments in, that’s why we were able to secure this assignment so quickly.” the ponytailed man droned on, “Starting Monday and until the foreseeable future, she will be assigned to protect you, Kakashi, on a daily basis.”

 

Kakashi nodded in agreement when the young man looked up to him. Glancing over to Sakura, he found her staring back at him, her expression blank and unreadable. After a moment, she turned her attention back to Shikamaru.

 

‘Good. It seems she’s taking this seriously.’

 

“To make life easier for all involved, it has been arranged that Ms. Haruno will be moving into your residence. She’ll be staying in the spare guest room, so that even when you’re home for the night, you’ll be safe in case someone decides to attack you, Kakashi. Even when she’s off duty, she never really is.”

 

Kakashi smirked over at the pinkette.

 

“Sorry for ruining your personal and social life.” he lightly joked.

 

She turned to face him again and he found a slightly smug look on her face.

 

“Sadly, my job never really gives me the chance to have either to begin with. So, it doesn’t really matter to me.”

 

Kakashi just raised his brows at her reply.

 

“Anyways, as I was saying.” Shikamaru spoke up and cleared his throat to get their attention back, “Because of the looming threat of you being killed, Sakura will be accompanying you everywhere you go outside of your apartment and work.”

 

“So, a babysitter.” he deadpanned, his eyebrow raised.

 

This caused Sakura to start laughing which in turn startled him slightly. He turned and shot her a stern glare and found she was already calming herself back down.

 

“Sorry, that was wrong of me to do. It was just really funny. I’ve been called a lot of things before in this job, but never a babysitter. ” she quickly explained.

 

Kakashi relaxed and felt a small smile play on his lips after she finished explaining her outburst.

 

“That’s essentially what you are now. You’re an over glorified and highly over paid babysitter.” he smirked as he watched her bite her lip to stifle another laugh.

 

The sound of Shikamaru clearing his throat again made his expression drop. Nodding towards the constantly annoyed advisor, he quickly apologized for yet another interruption.

 

‘Get it together, you idiot. This is a serious situation and a serious meeting.’

 

“And because of her now constant presence next to you, we know this will raise questions. To combat against all of them, we are hiring her under the guise that she will be your personal assistant. The only people who know her real job title are sitting in this room right now, the various heads of security here, and the CEO of Senju Security. The less people who know, the better and safer you both will be.”

 

Instead of making another sarcastic remark, Kakashi decided it wasn’t in his best interest. So he nodded in understanding once again.

 

“We all know the reason for these drastic steps. With the sudden loss your father, Sakumo Hatake, there has been a full investigation launched. It’s been over two months and there has been zero developments as why you two were targeted and by who. All we know is what you’ve told us what your father said about being shot and that they wanted you both dead. Since you survived Kakashi, there’s still an obvious target on your back.

 

Kakashi took a deep breath and let out a quiet sigh at the reminder that there’s chance he could be killed at any moment and of his father's death. It was something he doesn’t think he’ll ever get over. Not with how suddenly and violently his father lost his life.

 

“So, we here at Hatake International, have taken every precaution there is. Security has been ramped up to over full throttle. We’ve nearly doubled security cameras in this building, so every single point is covered. Every person who even enters this building, no matter what, gets searched. That even includes the residents that live in the apartments upstairs. Even their apartments were searched to be safe. There are only four people who have full clearance in any building and that is everyone sitting in this room.”

 

The newly appointed CEO sat in stunned silence at this information. He knew he authorized a revamp, but he didn’t realize that it was to this extent. He was impressed with how seriously Tenzo and Shikamaru had taken this.

 

“We have two guards stationed at every possible entry point, even have men up on the roof, all 24/7. Every piece of mail is cleared at a separate facility before being delivered here. We’ve even done extensive background checks on every single person employed within this building and at other buildings you frequent often. We’ve even installed filters and monitor every action on our company computers and anything connected to our network. When you go to meetings, Kakashi, Sakura will be present in every single one for obvious safety measures.”

 

Pausing to take a needed breath, Shikamaru snapped the file shut and signalled the end of his constant talking.

 

“Any questions?” he asked.

 

Kakashi glanced around the room and everyone seemed content with how the meeting went. Tenzo never made a peep once he noted.

 

“I have one question.” Sakura spoke up.

 

“Yes?” Kakashi replied.

 

She glanced at him briefly before looking over to Shikamaru. He felt his brow furrow at the small slight.

 

“Since I’m responsible for all of Mr. Hatake’s security measures and safety, this does mean I do have full access to all the security systems in this building?”

 

“Yes, you will have full clearance to access those systems. We have a laptop and phone arranged and ready for you for that specific purpose. We have a file detailing everything you need to know and obviously, if you have any other questions, you can always ask me or Tenzo.”

 

“Awesome, that’s good to know! Thank you!” she replied with a smile.

 

“Okay, any other questions?”

 

Kakashi sat there silently mulling over this meeting. He had no particular worries, so to say, but he was surprised with how relaxed Sakura was with this.

 

“If there are none then we can go back to the apartment to get Ms. Haruno settled in.” Tenzo finally spoke up.

 

“You guys can all just call me Sakura. No need for formalities since we’re gonna be around each other a lot.” she piped in as they all stood up to get ready to leave.

 

Walking around his desk again to stand by his now bodyguard, he silently sized her up. He still couldn’t believe that this tiny woman was able to take him down and ready a gun in mere seconds.

 

“Okay, but only if you call me Kakashi instead of Mr. Hatake.” he countered with when he made eye contact with her.

 

She smiled big up to him and nodded once.

 


 

 

They eventually made their way out of Kakashi’s office and to the elevator to go up to his apartment. Stepping in, she noticed Shikamaru type a code into a keypad connected to the control panel before pressing a floor number.

 

Turning to face her he gave a curt nod before he started explaining.

 

“Kakashi’s apartment is an entire floor, therefore you must type in a special code to even select his floor number. The code used to change every two weeks, but now we do it every week. You’ll obviously have access to that information. It’s explained in the file waiting for you in your room.”

 

“Okay, good to know. That makes “accidental” arrivals more rare and suspicious. I like that.” she replied with another smile.

 

‘Man, it’s like I’m working in a high security prison. The guy has more security than the damn Hokage it seems, so why am I needed?’ she thought to herself, ‘Don’t complain, Sakura, this job is paying you nearly five times your normal wages! Just smile and wave. The guy doesn’t seem that bad to deal with anyways.’

 

The ding signaled their arrival to their designated floor and pulled her out of her thoughts. When the doors opened, she was greeted to a large foyer that held just one set of double doors and one door to the far left. Obviously access to the stairwell in case of a fire she thought. She quickly saw the security key pad attached to the door as well and made mental notes. Standing by those double doors were two men dressed in black suits, obviously an extra layer of security she thought.

 

The four people walked through the foyer and the two guards turned and opened the doors for them. Sakura’s eyes went wide when she walked in and got an initial look into her new home.

 

“Damn, this is nice.” she couldn’t help but say to herself.

 

“Thank you.” Kakashi replied from her side, “I don’t feel the need to have much, but to enjoy what I do have.”

 

Looking around more, she understood what he meant by not having much. The apartment, if you could call it that, was only decorated with mainly basics. But the basics were extremely high end.

 

‘Not too much, but obviously not too little. Very modern.’

 

The living area was set up in an open layout so she got a clear view of her surroundings. There was only one hallway that must have lead to the other parts of the apartment.

 

To the right of the entrance was a dining room. The table was large and counting the seats, showed that he could host a dinner for up to twelve people. Right next to and leading further into the place was a connected kitchen that would made any world class chef weep tears of joy.

 

To the left was fully decked out living room, complete with a huge sectional couch that looked like it could easily seat fifteen to twenty people. There was a huge flat screen TV mounted on the wall with various devices underneath it. To the left of the TV was a large fireplace. She quickly noted the urn and framed photo of Sakumo Hatake sitting in the center of the mantle. The entire wall adjacent to the entrance was floor to ceiling with windows and she was filled with concern at the sight.

 

“The windows.” she spoke up, “They pose a risk for snipers. How thick are they?”

 

She noticed Kakashi’s head and body jerk to face her, but ignored his reaction.

 

“Nearly 4 inches.” Shikamaru quickly replied.

 

“Bullet proof?” she asked, turning to face the man.

 

“Yes.” he added confidently.

 

Nodding with a impressed smile, she continued looking around the home. It was tastefully decorated and painted in warm neutral colors that complimented each other nicely.

 

“You obviously see this is the main living area, pretty self explanatory. You can freely use anything in here.” Tenzo spoke up, “Down this hallway you’ll find Kakashi’s home office, the library, rec room, bathroom, and the bedrooms.”

 

Turning face the brown haired man, she gave him a puzzled look.

 

“Rec room?”

 

“I guess personal gym would be a more suiting name for it since workout equipment takes up most of the space. You’re free to use it whenever you’d like. Same with the library.” he explained.

 

She nodded in understanding as they walked down the hall.

 

The first door on her left she was told was the rec room, while the one of the right was to her room. The second left door was to the library, while the right door was the bathroom that she would be using. The last door on the left was to his office, Tenzo pointed out that the office and library were connected by an archway. Lastly the last door on the right was the master bedroom and obviously Kakashi’s.

 

“Do you have any questions, Ms. Har-, uh, Sakura?” Tenzo asked as they walked back into the living room.

 

Turning to face the man she shook her head.

 

“No, I think you covered everything. It’s a nice and basic layout. I like it. Shikamaru, you mentioned at all my belongings should’ve been brought up to my room after I arrived?”

 

“Yes, your belongings and the items we’ve given for you to study and look over should be in there for you.” the man quickly answered again.

 

“Then I have no other concerns or questions.”

 

“Alright, well then Shikamaru and I will get out of your hair and let you settle in. Since it’s Friday, you’ll have the weekend to adjust to this new role. We know it’s a lot to take on at once, but we know you can handle it. Have a nice weekend, Sakura. You as well, Kakashi. See you both Monday morning.”

 

With a smile and small nod, both advisors dismissed themselves and left out the front door. Watching the door close, she moved to take in her new surroundings. Letting her eyes wander around, she found Kakashi silently standing next to the couch watching her closely with his mismatch eyes.

 

“So, what’s up, roomie?” she smirked as she plopped down onto the couch and looked up to him with a goofy grin.

 

He rolled his eyes and smiled back down to her before replying.

 

“Not much. You hungry?”

 

Chapter Text

Chapter 3

 

“May I ask what you’re doing?”

 

Kakashi watched as Sakura looked up to him from the file she was reading from her spot on the large couch. It was Sunday evening and two days since they started living together. Sakura had mainly been occupied with unpacking the few belongings she possessed and going over the large pile of files that Shikamaru had left for her before Monday, so they never really got much of a chance to talk beyond the couple of meals they managed to share together.

 

“I’m just going over your schedule for this week.” she simply replied.

 

Taking a seat near her, he leaned slightly to peek at the spreadsheet in her hands.

 

“It’s weird that you practically have control over my entire life now.” he said as he glanced up to meet her bright green eyes.

 

“Well, I hope I don’t become too much of a bother to you. I don’t control unless there is a risk of danger. You can still do whatever you want to do as long as you let me know in advance. Just know that I’ll be close by.”

 

Kakashi shifted again and reached out to grab the remote from the coffee table before settling the rest of the way back onto the couch.

 

“I don’t do much to begin with anyways. Usually just go to work and stay home most days.”

 

“Nothing else?” she asked, obviously curious to why he said that.

 

Turning to look at the woman sitting a few feet away from him, he just shrugged as he slouched further into the couch.

 

“I mean I go to meetings, work events, and parties when needed. Make my public appearances and such at the various companies we have invested in to make sure we’re still in good standing with the public.”

 

He saw Sakura’s face scrunch up slightly as he gave her this new information.

 

“You don’t do anything for yourself? Travel? Leisure? Social life ?” she asked more questions.

 

Kakashi let a half sigh come out.

 

“I travelled all the time when I was a younger, so I burnt myself on that. Only time I travel these days are for work reasons is seems. I keep to myself most days, especially since the accident. It’s hard having true friends when most only care about my money and gaining social status. So, when I’m not working, I’m probably up here reading, watching TV, or working some more. ” he explained as he shrugged lightly.

 

“Then why am I here!?” Sakura exasperated, “The security setup you have now is more than enough to protect you. So why did you hire me?”

 

He shrugged again.

 

“It wasn’t my idea. Shikamaru and Tenzo pushed for it. I said no at first, but caved when they would not shut up. If they had it their way, you would’ve been hired months ago.”

 


 

 

Sakura just huffed and crossed her arms at this information. She felt a small pang of sadness at his mention of lack of true friends due to greed and selflessness.

 

‘I’m essentially useless!’

 

“Maybe I am a babysitter then after all.” she groaned as she leaned back into the couch herself, “I’m babysitting a hermit!”

 

Kakashi just chuckled to himself as she watched him continue to flick through the various channels for something to watch.

 

“Well, our goal is to have me be as safe possible. If I don’t get attacked or killed, then your job is pretty easy, huh?”

 

She glared at him as he spoke.

 

“I’m not going to let any of those things happen to you on my watch. This job is never easy. Even with a Hokage level security around you, I still have to be vigilant to our surroundings and be able to take action the moment something happens.”

 

He didn’t reply to her as he continued channel surfing. She knew her words got through to him because his expression became unreadable at that point.

 

“Plus, we still have the issue of we have no clue who put out this hit.” Sakura added as she glanced over to the urn sitting on the mantle, “Without that knowledge, anyone could be targeting you. No one can be trusted in my book. It’s my job to make sure you stay safe. I’m not going anywhere until this threat is found and eliminated.”

 

“I’m still unsure about that.”

 

Looking back at him she gave him a puzzled look until she finally realized what he meant and sighed.

 

“You still don’t think I can protect you, do you?” she asked, slightly annoyed.

 

“I do not.” he deadpanned.

 

Sakura let another sigh escape her as she shifted to sit up straight and turned to look at him more clearly.

 

“I don’t know what to do to prove it to you, but I really need you to believe me, Kakashi.” she spoke softly, “This job is my life and I don’t take it lightly. Don’t judge a book on it’s cover, okay?”

 

The silver haired man turned to look at her after what she said. He was silent for a few moments as he studied her.

 

“Okay. I’m still skeptical, but we’ve only just met. We’re still strangers to each other still. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt.”

 

Sakura bit the inside of her cheek to stop any unfiltered comments from slipping out. She turned and grabbed the files she had sat to the side when her and Kakashi began talking and made to get up.

 

“I’m gonna go turn in for the night. It is my first day as your assistant in the morning after all .” she said with a cheeky wink.

 

A half snort and laugh came out of him. Looking up to her, he gave her a small half smile.

 

“Alright. Goodnight, Sakura.”

 

“Goodnight, Kakashi.” she replied with her own smile, “If you need anything, you know where to find me.”

 

She turned away and padded her way out of the living room to the hall and into her room moments later. Closing the door, she tossed the files onto the desk that was to the right of the door. Looking around the room, she took in the surroundings of her little oasis.

 

It was a large room, the largest she’s ever lived in at least. The walls were painted a soft yellow and had complimenting light gray furnishings. She had a queen sized bed that she determined was the softest thing in existence. Slightly ahead and to the left of the her was a door to a walk in closet that dwarfed her already small wardrobe. She made a mental note to she should probably go out and buy a few more outfits now that she had to put up the front of a personal assistant and not a bodyguard.

 

‘I wonder if Senju Security will reimburse me for that… It is a work related purchase after all.’

 

The far wall was another floor to ceiling window set up that took up half the wall. She had a beautiful view of downtown Konoha and it was especially breathtaking at night. Hell, the entire apartment had amazing views from any window she thought.

 

Shikamaru and Tenzo were even nice enough when setting up things and had put in a nice sized desk for Sakura to work at. It was already an organized mess of all the papers and files Shikamaru gave her. Walking over to it, she switched on the laptop to do a quick check before actually calling it a night. Scanning the screen, she flicked through the countless surveillance channels and found nothing suspicious and concluded that things were safe for the night.

 

She made her way into the walk in closet and stripped down to just her panties. Rifling through the dresser drawer, she pulled out a pair of shorts and a tank top and slipped them on. Sakura walked back out of her room to the bathroom to use it and brush her teeth before bed. She glanced back into the living room to find that it was dark.

 

‘He must’ve gone to bed too.’

 

Finishing up her little bedtime routine, she returned to her room and shut off her lights and crawled into the large bed. Staring up into the complete darkness, she willed herself to fall asleep with no luck.

 

‘Great…’

 


 

 

“So… who is this pretty lady that seems to be joining us today?” Jiraiya hummed as he eyed Sakura.

 

Kakashi turned to face the older man with an unimpressed look before glancing over to Sakura and found that she was shooting daggers at the old fart with those fierce green eyes of hers. Smirking to himself, he turned to face the rest of the table of men.

 

“Everyone, this is Sakura Haruno. She is my new personal assistant. You guys will be seeing her a lot in meetings and other various work events and day to day stuff.” he explained.

 

He saw out of the corner of his eye as the pinkette looked away from Jiraiya and smiled and quietly greeted each of the other board members present.

 

“So you finally got yourself one! Good to hear, Kakashi. They make life much easier.” Jiraiya piped back up as he continued checking out the woman.

 

Kakashi just nodded at the man before looking over to Sakura again. He gave her a reassuring smile when their eyes met.

 

“Any questions or comments, Sakura?” he asked her.

 

She gave him warm smile in return before facing the other men.

 

“Just that I’m happy to be here. I look to working alongside such esteemed businessmen.”

 

Kakashi watched as nearly every man straightened up and looked smug at her words. He internally rolled his eyes at how easy they were to manipulate.

 

‘She’s a sweet talker, that’s for sure.’

 

Clearing his throat to get the attention of his board members, they all stiffened and looked towards him.

 

“Shall we get this meeting started then?”

 

Over the course of the next several hours, Kakashi and Sakura sat through two board meetings and various appointments with other company heads. By the time it was ready to go home for the day, the CEO felt a wave of relief wash over him as they stepped into the elevator to go up to his home. It wasn’t a hard day by any means, but for some reason he was extra tired today.

 

“Is everything okay?”

 

He looked over to the petite woman and shook his head with a small smile.

 

“Nah, just tired and glad the day is over.”

 

“Do you feel sick or anything?” was the next thing she asked, “Would you like to go to the hospital?”

 

He smiled again at the worry she displayed. He knew she was just doing her job, but appreciated it nonetheless. He shook his head again and smiled at her.

 

“No, nothing a hot shower can’t fix. Just need to relax and unwind.”

 

She nodded as she accepted his reasoning.

 

“I don’t blame you. I was getting a little stir crazy sitting through all those meetings to be honest.” she revealed.

 

He started laughing at the innocent confession.

 

“I can relate to that. I was the same way when I started up there years ago. It’s something you adjust to over time. So what did you think of your first day?”

 

Sakura brought a hand up to her chin and hummed thoughtfully as she recalled her first day as a bodyguard disguised as a personal assistant. Kakashi couldn’t help but noticed how attractive she actually was in that moment. He knew she was pretty from the moment she walked into his office last week, but after she took him down, he never really circled back around to that train of thought until now.

 

She had worn a simple outfit, black dress pants and flats and a long sleeve white blouse. She had braided her long pink hair and had it wrapped into a bun that at sat low on her head. It was simple, but it suited her very well he noted. She wore just enough makeup to say that she was wearing it, but could easily tell she was a natural beauty without it.

 

‘Now I see why Jiraiya wouldn’t stop bothering her this morning. Old perv…’

 

The sound of Sakura beginning to speak pulled him back from his wandering thoughts.

 

“I actually thought it was interesting! I didn’t know that your company had so many investments into other companies.”

 

Kakashi felt a smile tug at his lips at her compliment.

 

“Well, Hatake International is an investment company after all. I have well over a hundred investments out there right now. My father was a smart man when he started up this company thirty five years ago. He started with nothing and worked hard for what we have now.”

 

“He sounds like an admirable man.” she replied quietly.

 

Kakashi stared down to a spot on the elevator floor. The talk of his fathers years of dedicated hard work brought a new set of emotions he didn’t want to experience at that moment. He remained silent as they soared up to his place.

 

“You would’ve like him.” he mumbled as his eyes shifted up to stare blankly at the control panel.

 

“You think so?”

 

He looked over to her and found her watching him with careful eyes, her brows knitted upwards in concern. Forcing a smile, he nodded at her before replying.

 

“I know so. He was a fun and friendly guy to be around. You guys would’ve gotten along well. Sucks you never got a chance to meet him.”

 

Before Sakura got a chance to reply, the elevator dinged signalling their arrival home. Giving Sakura a curt nod, she quickly understood that the conversation had ended. He made a gesture for her to step out first and she gave him a big smile in return as she did.

 

“Did you have anything planned for dinner?” he asked as they walked into the house and he removed his jacket and tie, throwing them both onto the chair that sat near the door.

 

“Not really, I was just going to find something simple like usual and call it good.” she admitted as she walked over to the kitchen area and sat down her work bag onto the large island.

 

“I could make us something, if you’d like?” he asked at that point.

 

Sakura turned to face him, her eyes wide and brows raised.

 

“You can cook?”

 

“Is that hard to believe?” he shot back.

 

He watched as she looked off to the side as she thought up a reply. Looking back to him after a second, she gave him a amused smile.

 

“Kinda. Figured you had some sort of private cook prepare all your meals, given what you had for lunch today.”

 

Kakashi rolled his eyes and shook his head in defeat. Rolling up the sleeves of his shirt, he walked into the kitchen and began pulling out various pots and pans before going to the fridge and pulling out a variety of ingredients.

 

“I do have someone come in twice a week and prepare my lunches for me, yes. You’ll actually see him tomorrow.” he said as he stood straight and turned to face her, kicking the fridge door shut in the process, “But all my other meals and snacks, I prepare myself. That’s unless I go out to eat or order in.”

 

He sat all the food items he grabbed onto the counter. Moving to the sink he began washing his hands before he started prepping the food he grabbed.

 

“So what are you going to make?” he heard heard ask from behind him.

 

Drying his hands off, he turned to face the petite woman who had propped herself up on a stool at the island and was watching him closely.

 

“Do fajitas sound good?”

 

He watched as her eyes lit up and shined at his offer. A dazzling smile soon followed.

 

“They sound delicious .”

 

Smirking at her excitement, he turned back to the counter and pulled a knife from the block and began chopping an onion.

Chapter Text

Chapter 4

 

The rest of the week brought on the same routine for Sakura.

 

She’d wake up at six in the morning and go run a mile or two on the treadmill before taking a shower and getting ready for the day. By the time she made it to the kitchen, it would be eight and she always found Kakashi making himself breakfast. The last couple of days, he started making her a portion as well when he noticed all she would eat was a bowl of cereal or a bagel and cream cheese.

 

They would spend the next forty five minutes talking about the upcoming day and would leave and arrive down to his office by nine o’clock sharp.

 

Their evenings were usually spent relaxing and doing their own thing. Tuesdays and Thursdays, Kakashi had a personal trainer come in and they would train in his in home gym. The other nights, he cooked them dinner and they would chat before he would go off to his office or to the living room to watch TV.

 

Sakura usually spent her nights going over the files Shikamaru gave her and reviewing other safety debriefings for his upcoming meetings and appointments throughout the week. Daily reports of their activities had to be reported to her company as well. It was tedious work, but she enjoyed the feeling of stability it gave her. She usually would longue on the couch with some show on for background noise and if she needed to focus, she would go to her room and work at her desk.

 

“I’m so glad it’s Friday.” he groaned as the elevator slid shut as they started their descent down to his office.

 

Sakura looked up to study him for a quick second before replying. She noticed he was looking extra tired these days and it worried her. The two times she brought it up, he brushed it off as nothing and that it’s just how he always looks. His poor excuses didn’t work on her though and she figured that in time, he might open up and actually explain why he was looking so haggard.

 

“Any fun plans this weekend?” she asked to keep the mood light. It was a good excuse to get any information and plan ahead if he did plan on going out.

 

“Not really,” he revealed, “I was thinking of maybe going to my favorite book store tomorrow to see if anything catches my eye. Besides that, I was going to enjoy a nice weekend in. You?”

 

Sakura remembered then that she needed to go shopping for a few new outfits for this “new” job.

 

“I gotta pick up some new clothes. I realized my usual wardrobe and style is a bit lacking with this new position.”

 

“If you’d like, we can stop and do that while we’re out for me tomorrow? Two birds. I can even recommend a nice shop that I get my suits from.”

 

Turning to look at him, she gave him a warm smile and got one back.

 

“Thank you. Sounds like a plan. I’ll start preparing for it when we get in.”

 

They rode the last few seconds down in a comfortable silence.

 

Once they arrived in to his office, they discovered that his first appointment of the day had been cancelled last minute. Sakura took this opportunity to start working on their arrangements to go out tomorrow.

 

The rest of the day was spent in the usual flow of meetings and appointments. At one point, Shikamaru had visited them and checked in on how things were going and was glad when both said that everything was perfectly fine.

 

Once the evening rolled around and they made their way upstairs, Sakura was thankful of the idea of getting to sleep in tomorrow morning. She started to head to her room to change into something more comfortable when they entered the house, but the sound of Kakashi’s voice stopped her before she entered the hallway.

 

“I don’t feel like cooking tonight. I was going to order some take out, want anything?”

 

She turned to face him and smiled.

 

“I’m good, you don’t have to get me anything. I can find something here.”

 

She watched as he shifted his weight to one hip and shot her an unamused look. He had removed his jacket and rolled up his sleeve and was now undoing his tie as he replied.

 

“Come on, don’t worry. I’m getting Chinese food. It’s my treat.”

 

Sakura felt herself become speechless momentarily at the sight of him. She knew he was a good looking man, even with the large facial scar and mismatched eyes. For a CEO of a multimillion dollar investment company, he had a disheveled look when he wasn’t in business mode and it made him look quite handsome.

 

‘Oh, my…’

 

“If you insist. Surprise me.” she replied with a smug smile and a slight blush.

 

“Okay. It’ll only take about thirty minutes for it to get here.”

 

She turned and walked away into the hall towards her room, raising a hand and waving lazily back to him.

 

“No problem. Make sure you let the front desk know so they don’t give the delivery person trouble and have a member of security bring it up and to knock. I’m going to change, but I’ll be the one to answer the door when it arrives.”

 

“Whatever you say, bossypants.” she heard him reply as she reached her door.

 

She couldn’t help but laugh at the nickname he gave her.

 

“Make sure to get dumplings!” she suddenly called back.

 



Rolling out of bed, Kakashi let out a low groan as he stood up and rubbed his bare chest. It had been another restless night. Looking at the alarm clock on his nightstand he noted that it was a little after eight in the morning.

 

‘Can’t even sleep in on my days off anymore… Not that I ever even slept much to begin with.’

 

He made his way over and into the walk in closet and pulled out a pair of basketball shorts and a white t-shirt. Taking off the sweat pants he was wearing, he pulled the shorts on and then the shirt before exiting out of the closet and his room.

 

As he walked to the rec room to he glanced at the door that held Sakura’s room.

 

‘I wonder if she’s up yet? She said last night she as excited to sleep in today.’

 

Opening the door to the little home gym, he answered his own question. He found Sakura facing away from him, sitting on the floor next to the treadmills and stretching out.

 

“I see you’re up early.”

 

She didn’t react to his words and he stopped walking and studied her closely. He quickly noted the pair of earbuds in her ears and smirked as an idea popped into his head. Tiptoeing his way over to her, she still didn’t noticed him as he leaned over and reached out.

 

“Good morning, sunshine.” he said as he tapped her shoulder a few times.

 

“Oh!” she yelped.

 

Jumping back as she sprang up, he couldn’t help but laugh as she whirl around to face him with her arm cocked back and ready to fight.

 

“Why’d you scare me like that!?” she yelled.

 

At this point, he was leaning back as he continued to laugh. He didn’t care that she was glaring at him.

 

“You didn’t hear me when I came in or when I first spoke to you, so I decided to have a little fun!”

 

Kakashi finally caught his breath and stood up to fully face the wrath of the tiny bodyguard.

 

“I could’ve hurt you, you know!” she scolded.

 

“Okay, okay. I’m sorry. I just couldn’t help myself.” he raised his hands in front of him in defeat, before smirking again.

 

He watched as she huffed before turning away and walked onto one of the treadmills.

 

“What are you even doing up so early?” she questioned as she turned on the machine and began walking.

 

“I always run on the weekends when I wake up.” he told her as he did a quick stretch before getting on the neighboring treadmill, “I could say the same to you, didn’t you want to sleep in?”

 

A small groan left her as he started up his own treadmill into a brisk walk.

 

“I tried to and couldn’t. I maybe slept in an hour before I laid there for another hour before finally crawling out and coming here.”

 

They silently continued their own workouts. Sakura eventually worked her way up to a steady jog and Kakashi wasn’t far behind. Glancing over to her treadmill, he noticed she had set a higher pace than he did. Reaching up to his own controls, he hit the button a couple times and eventually was jogging slightly faster than her.

 

“Are you really trying to outrun me right now?” he heard her speak up from from his right.

 

Looking at her, he smirked again.

 

“What? No… I always run at this pace!”

 

“Alright then, let’s both hold this pace for, let’s say… four miles? That’s a good workout!” she said confidently.

 

He studied her face to see if she was joking or not. When he saw nothing hinting at a bluff, he silently regretted his decision to impress her. But he wasn’t going to let her know that this was in fact not his usual pace or that he only ever ran a single mile at a time.

 

'What have I gotten myself into…?’

 

“Okay, let’s do this.” he replied.

 

Over the course of the next twenty five minutes they chatted about their upcoming day and trip into the city to the bookstore and the boutique to get Sakura a few new outfits. Looking down to his treadmill, he saw that they had ran close to two and half miles and he was feeling himself get winded. He refused to give up though, not when they were barely half way through the run.

 

“Getting tired?” she asked as if she read his mind.

 

“Nope. Not one bit. You?”

 

“Just getting started.” she grinned.

 

Kakashi groaned internally at her answer. He couldn’t tell if she was being serious or being stubborn. He felt his legs start to cramp up as they slowly approached the three mile mark.

 

‘Jesus, I don’t know how much I can take. She doesn’t look like she’s breaking a sweat!’

 

Glancing back down to the treadmill, he watched as the mile marker hit three and he quickly reached over and hit the emergency stop button.

 

“Okay, you win!” he groaned loudly as he all but fell off the treadmill.

 

“I knew it!” she laughed loudly as she hit her own emergency stop and turned to look at him.

 

Kakashi walked a couple feet away and laid out onto the floor with another groan.

 

“I feel like I’m gonna die.” he whined as he stared up a the ceiling as he tried to get his breath back.

 

At this point Sakura was bent over in her own fit of laughter as she clutched her sides.

 

“I knew it! I knew you were bluffing when you started this!”

 

Kakashi draped and arm over his head as continued to lay there on the floor panting. His entire body was sore from overworking himself.

 

'This is what I get for trying to impress her. She's a damn bodyguard!’

 

“How are you not tired!?” he whined again as he peeked out from under his arm, “I started dying after a mile and half!”

 

He watched as she smirked and got off the treadmill and stood next to him. She placed her hands on her hips and cock her head down to look at him more clearly.

 

“My job requires it. I can run to up three miles easy peasy. I’m glad you stopped then, I was starting to get winded because I don’t usually run at that pace. Thanks for the challenge though!”

 

Kakashi just closed his eyes and groaned again. Suddenly he felt a small hand pull on the arm draped over his face. Opening his eyes, he found that Sakura had kneeled down next to him and was smiling down to him. He couldn’t help but stare in awe. Even when sweaty from working out, she was glowing.

 

‘Holy shit, she’s really beautiful.’

 

His eye flickered down to her lips then. He noted how lush and kissable they were.

 

“Come on, we need to stretch out. Especially you or you’re going to regret it in the morning.”

 

Screwing his eyes shut to push the sudden thought out of his head, he let out a small huff.

 

“I already regret it now.”

 

Her laugh caused him to open his eyes again and he couldn’t help but smile at the sight of her laughing. He watched her eyes crease at the corners and he nose scrunch up. Sitting up finally, Sakura made to sit next to him and together they did set of stretches before standing back up and walking out to the hallway.

 

“I’m gonna go shower and get ready. You should take a couple aspirin just in case you get sore while we’re out. Make sure to be ready by eleven.”

 

Looking down to her, he just nodded a couple times before turning and walking down the hall to his room.

 

“If you don’t hear from me before then, I may have passed out in the shower.”

 

When he heard her laugh again, he smiled to himself as he opened the door and made his way over to the connected bathroom.

Chapter Text

Chapter 5

 

Eleven arrived and Kakashi and Sakura found themselves riding the elevator down to the parking garage to head into downtown Konoha. The pink haired woman looked up to the man beside her and smirked when she saw that he looked slightly uncomfortable.

 

‘Let’s see you try to best me again, pretty boy.’

 

“Okay, so let’s have a quick run down since this is literally our first time outside the building since I started working for you.” she spoke as she faced forward again.

 

“Alright, shoot.”

 

“I will be doing that if it comes down to it, yes.” she deadpanned with another smirk.

 

A chuckle came from her right at the comment.

 

“But seriously,” she added in a more stern tone as she looked back up to him, “You are being targeted . So if anything does happen, if I see any signs that you could be in danger, you need to follow every single one of my instructions. Okay?”

 

She watched as Kakashi switched from his current laid back and goofy demeanor to a much more serious version of himself. He gave her a stern single nod back before replying.

 

“Okay.”

 

The elevator dinged and opened in that moment. Switching from her own serious expression to a large grin, she winked at Kakashi.

 

“Alright! Let’s go have a wonderful day!” she sang as she basically skipped out of the elevator towards the SUV waiting for them, leaving a now stunned CEO behind.

 

“How can you do that so easily!?” she heard him call from behind her.

 

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” she replied with a shit eating grin as they settled into the back of the SUV.

 

She watched as the silver haired man rolled his eyes are her while shaking his head.

 

Thirty minutes later they found themselves inside the local bookstore that Kakashi loved shopping at. Sakura followed alongside him as they browsed the expanse of shelves in a comfortable silence.

 

“Do you read much?” he asked after a while, breaking their comfortable silence.

 

Still focused on the books, she replied.

 

“I use to read a lot , but the last few years I don’t really get much time. I’m actually quite jealous of your personal library. It’s looks like heaven. It’s obviously a passion for you, right?”

 

She looked over to find him pulling a book off the shelf and begin reading the back cover.

 

“It is. After my mother died when I was five, I spent a lot of time alone. See, my father was gone a lot on work trips and company business. So to fill the time, I would read.”

 

Sakura suddenly felt a deep sadness consume her at the thought that he had to spend so much time alone. And that he lost his mother at such a young age too.

 

‘That could explain why he’s so introverted.’

 

“I’m sorry to hear about your mother. If you don’t mind me asking, what happened?” she asked tentatively.

 

Kakashi put the book back and looked down to her, his face unreadable.

 

“Stage IV lung cancer. When they found it, it was already too late. She died three days after Christmas that year.”

 

Sakura bit her lip to stop herself from crying then. It was a horrible way to die and she couldn’t imagine what Kakashi must have experience since he was only four when she was diagnosed and barely five when she passed.

 

Before giving her a chance to reply, he shot her an eye crinkling smile and spoke again.

 

“It’s okay though. I’ve accepted it. It's been almost 25 years after all. What about you? Are your folks still in your life?”

 

Sakura stiffened at the mention of her own parents. Looking away and back at a random book on the shelf, she frowned slightly.

 

“No. They’re both gone too. Plane crash shortly after I started college. My dad was an amatuar pilot. The plane they rented malfunctioned and it crashed, killing both him and my mom.”

 

There was silence between them that felt like minutes, but probably was only a few seconds. Kakashi was the first to break their silence as he spoke.

 

“Sounds like we’ve both know what it’s like to be alone.”

 

'We've both been alone for a long time.’

 

Nodding and forcing a small smile on her face, Sakura turned and faced Kakashi.

 

“I’m sorry to hear that they had to die so suddenly like that.” he added softly and she felt her forced smile waver momentarily.

 

“Like you said, it’s okay now. I’ve accepted it. It’s been over eight years for me. They passed right after I graduated high school.”

 

Kakashi just studied her for a few more moments and then nodded back. Turning away, he continued his search for a new book.

 


 

“So what’d you study in college then?” he asked in attempt to lighten their moods.

 

“Medicine.”

 

This caused Kakashi to stop and turn to look at her. He wasn’t expecting that answer to come out of a bodyguard. Raising a brow at her, he asked his next question.

 

“Medicine? But you’re a bod-, uh, I mean, a personal assistant? What field of medicine did you study?”

 

“Toxicology major and psychology minor.”

 

He stood there baffled by her nonchalant replies.

 

“Did you finish your degree?”

 

“I did.” she nodded.

 

He noticed that she was avoiding eye contact.

 

“So… you’re a doctor?”

 

“Technically speaking, yes, I am.”

 

Now he was curious at how being a doctor transferred to becoming a top rank bodyguard.

 

“Why’d you stop to become a body-, to become an assistant?”

 

He watched as she visibly stiffen up at his question. Her usually bright eyes seemed to have dimmed and her expression dropping to something he couldn’t register to an emotion. Maybe fear? What could have possible trigger this response from her he thought.

 

“Personal reasons.” she stated flatly.

 

Kakashi didn’t reply right away as he continued to watch her closely. He knew she wasn’t giving him the full truth, but he didn’t dare try and push it. It wasn’t his right anyways to ask such questions. Maybe she'd tell him one day, but right now this was fine.

 

“So how long have you been, uh, in your current position?” he asked, to begin diverting the serious environment they accidentally found themselves in to something more positive.

 

He watched as a small sigh left her lips and her appearance relax some right before his eyes.

 

“It’ll be four years here soon.” Sakura said as she turned to look up at him.

 

He felt relief flood him when he said the spark had returned to her bright green eyes.

 

“Really? Only four years? And you’re already at the top?”

 

A smirk came to her lips and he felt another wave of relief hit him knowing that she was in a far better mood now. He didn’t want to upset her after all. She was responsible for his life and he’d rather have her on his good side.

 

“What can I say? I’m good at what I do.”

 

He chuckled at her bold statement.

 

“I’m gonna believe you on that.” he replied, “I’m not seeing anything worth buying, so we can go do your thing now. It’s just a couple blocks away from here.”

 

Nodding in reply, the two of them exited the bookstore and walked the few blocks to the clothing boutique Kakashi recommended. He noticed that even though she was calm on the outside, that she was very observant with their surroundings. She never once looked at him when they spoke, but to the world around them.

 

‘I guess she is good at what she does.’

 


 

The moment she walked into the store, Sakura's eyes went wide at the sheer size of the place. Before getting a chance to even to reply a worker swooped down onto them.

 

“Hello there, Mr. Hatake! We haven’t seen you here in awhile. Can we help you find anything? We just had a new line of suits come in a few weeks ago! Right from Kumo too!”

 

She watched the girl closely to make sure she wasn’t a threat. Glancing up to Kakashi, she found he actually looked bored and maybe annoyed? She chuckled to herself at the sight.

 

“No, I’m fine. We’re actually here for her.” he replied as he pointed over to her, “She’s my new assistant and I recommended this place to her.”

 

The blonde woman finally turned to face her for the first time since she launched at them. Sakura instantly knew she was faking a smile at her.

 

'She knows I'm not made of money.’

 

“Well, that’s wonderful you felt good enough about our products to bring others here! What are we looking for?”

 

Sakura sent back her own fake smile to the woman.

 

“I’m not sure. I’d like to look around on my own for now. I’ll call you over if I need anything.”

 

The sales associates smile fell for barely a second before she caught herself and continued to smile. Giving Sakura a small nod, she turned and face Kakashi again and all but kissed the floor he was standing on. The bodyguard rolled her eyes as she turned away to begin browsing. Kakashi was next to her a few seconds later.

 

“You were a bit… vicious.” he teased lightly.

 

“She’s obviously paid on commission. So, when you walked in, all she saw were dollar signs. She wants to kiss our asses and convince us to spend more money on things we don’t need.” she reasoned as she continued looking at the racks of clothes.

 

Kakashi just hummed in agreement.

 

“You’re right. I only come in here like twice a year, so I think you’re right in guessing that was her goal.”

 

“Plus, you’re stupid rich.” she added when she stopped at a rack of dress pants and began sorting through them to find a pair she liked, “I’m sure everywhere you go, people kiss your ass in hopes for an extra large tip.”

 

His hum turned into a quiet laugh. Finally looking up to him, she found him smiling warmly down to her. She felt a shiver run down her spine at the sight. It was the same goofy grin he was giving her the other night when he got them Chinese food.

 

“You're very blunt, you know that right? Now you understand why I don’t go out often. I don’t enjoy being served hand and foot like that. I actually enjoyed watching you dismiss her like that. Such a power move.”

 

Sakura felt her face start to get warm, so she turned back to the rack of pants and pulled out a pair to examine. They were beautifully tailored and the pair she grabbed were her size too! Grabbing the tag, she flipped it over and started choking on a cough when she saw the number

 

“Kakashi!” she said in a low whisper as she whipped around to look at him, “These pants are nearly two hundred dollars!”

 

She watched as his face twisted up in confusion.

 

“Yeah, and?”

 

“I can’t afford these! Or anything in here for that matter!” she cried in an even lower whisper.

 

Kakashi just shrugged and shot her a lopsided smile.

 

“Well, I can. I’ll just buy your clothes then.”

 

A small gasp left her as she gawked up at the CEO.

 

“Absolutely not!” she snapped at him.

 

He twisted his face back into its earlier confused expression.

 

“Why not?”

 

“Because you’re my boss, not my sugar daddy!” Sakura shot back immediately.

 

She stood there horrified when Kakashi busted out in a loud and hearty laugh to the point that tears came to his eyes. She felt the eyes of every other person in the store move to look at them. The urge to hide in the rack of clothes seemed better than this embarrassment she felt now. It took a lot to embarrass her and Kakashi somehow figured it out in seconds.

 

“What are you laughing at!?” she asked with a huff.

 

Still wiping the tears from his eyes and laughing, more quietly thankfully, he looked at her and smiled big.

 

“That was just really funny. I’ve been called a lot of things over the years, but never have I been called a sugar daddy before. You just caught me off guard with that.”

 

Now she was just plain annoyed. The urge to put him in a headlock briefly passed through her, but she restrained herself.

 

“Well, I’m serious! I’m not going to let you buy me these. We can just go somewhere else that’s cheaper.”

 

Kakashi suddenly stopped laughing and shifted his weight back to standing up straight, his expression more serious as a small frown come to his lips.

 

“Well, I’m serious too. Let me buy whatever you need. I’m the one who recommended this place to begin with knowing what their stuff runs at. You need it for work after all.”

 

“You’ll end up spending well over a couple thousand dollars on what I need! I can’t let you do that, Kakashi. It isn’t ethical given our relationship. Do I have to remind you that you’re my boss. ” she tried reasoning with him.

 

He scoffed and shook his head.

 

“Screw ethics. I’ve got the money and nothing to spend it on. Stop being stubborn and let me do this for you. Call it a work expense or whatever you'd like.”

 

“Kakashi…”

 

“We can stand here all day arguing, but I’m not going to relent until you say yes. I’m just as stubborn as you, bossypants.”

 

Sakura glared at him for a few moments, before groaning quietly as she looked back down to the pair of pants in her hands.

 

‘He is so infuriating!’ she screamed in her head.

 

“Fine… But I’m only going to get a couple things.”

 

“Nope, you’re getting everything you need here.” Kakashi quickly shot back.

 

Another groan escaped her as she pouted and managed to frown at the same time at him.

 

“I can see how you’re a successful businessman…”

 

Kakashi just snorted in reply.

 

Over the next hour, and with the help of a very excited sales associated, Sakura picked out seven new outfits and five pairs of shoes. This was much to her annoyance when she tried arguing that she only wanted to get five outfits and a single pair of shoe to begin with, but Kakashi wouldn’t listen to her.

 

Once they reached checkout and the cashier told them their final charge, Sakura nearly fainted standing there.

 

“I cannot believe you just spent that much money. I need to pay you back for it.” she finally spoke up as they walked together towards the car.

 

“I won’t accept it. Seriously, don’t worry.” he shot back.

 

She sighed as the trunk of the SUV opened up and they deposited the bags inside. Walking to the car door she noticed Kakashi was still standing on the sidewalk.

 

“Let’s get going.” she spoke as she opened the door.

 

“Let’s go get something to eat. There’s a nice Italian place ten or so blocks from here.”

 

She stood next to the open door and stared at him dumbfounded.

 

“What? No. We didn’t plan for that.”

 

“Come on, it’s just dinner. We can walk there from here.”

 

Glaring at him, she was going to put her foot down to this.

 

“No, it’s not safe. We need to go home. We can order in if you want food from there so bad.” she reasoned.

 

Before she knew it, Kakashi turned and walked away down the street. Slamming the door of the SUV, she practically had to jog to catch up with him.

 

“Kakashi! Do not walk away from me like that!” she scolded him harshly, “Are you trying to get yourself killed!? We could've just driven there if you were so adamant!”

 

He didn’t look down to her as they continued walking along the sidewalk. She frantically began scanning the crowds of people and quickly noticed a face she had seen a couple hours early when they left the bookstore to walk to the clothing boutique and instantly went on high alert.

 

“No, I’m just hungry.” he replied lazily, “Plus, it's a beautiful day out.”

 

Deciding not to worry him or argue the point further, she quickened her pace and replied.

 

“Alright, let's get going then if you’re that bent on getting food from there.”

 

They walked the last few minutes to the restaurant in silence. When they rounded a corner, she glanced back and noticed the same man was still following them.

 

‘This is no good…’

 

Sakura instinctively pressed her arm against her side as they walked inside the restaurant to reassure herself that her gun was still holstered safely inside her jacket.

 

The next hour and half was spent in anxiety for the pink haired bodyguard, but she refused to let Kakashi know of the situation. He didn’t need the unnecessary stress. She constantly glanced over to the entrance to make sure the man didn’t walk in and prepared a mental plan of escape for her and Kakashi if he did.

 


 

Once their bill was settled, they made their way out back onto the street. Grabbing Kakashi’s arm, Sakura yanked him in the opposite direction and did everything but run and drag him along.

 

“Hey! What are you doing!? The car is the other way.” he complained as he pulled his arm from her hold and tried to keep up with her brisk pace.

 

Pulling out her cellphone, he watched as she quickly dialed a number and looked at Kakashi with a serious expression.

 

“Do not react, but we’re being followed.”

 

He quickly composed himself from his earlier irritation and shot her a worried look.

 

“How do you know? We just stepped out of the restaurant.” he asked with urgency.

 

“He’s been following us since the bookstore. Now please, please , just do as I say. Okay? I’m going to get us out of here without an incident.”

 

Kakashi just nodded as she started talking on the phone. He watched in awe as she suddenly transformed into another person in front of him. Pocketing the phone back into her jacket, she turned to face him with a smile.

 

“Okay, they’re bringing a car towards us. But it’s going to take a few minutes because of this traffic, so I need you to act completely natural. Like you have no idea that we’re being followed, okay?” she explained.

 

“Okay…”

 

“I’ll guide you along. Smile with me like we’re talking about something pleasant. Say like how I kicked your ass on the treadmill this morning!”

 

As they quickly walked and zigzagged through the streets and side alleys of downtown Konoha. Sakura guided and helped him along through the motions. He was in shock with how relaxed and attuned she was with the situation.

 

“Are we still being followed?” he timidly asked as they rounded another corner.

 

He watched as Sakura glanced behind them and then nodded slightly before smiling back up to him.

 

“We are, but the car is right over there. When we get in I want you to duck and keep you head covered. I can’t tell if he has a gun on him or not.”

 

Kakashi felt breathless at the mention of a gun.

 

“Okay.” he whispered.

 

When they rounded another corner and left the alley they took a shortcut through, he saw the SUV and they nearly ran to the vehicle. The moment Sakura closed the door, the SUV literally zoomed into traffic and began speeding away.

 

“Okay, you can sit up now.” she spoke after a minute.

 

A loud sigh of relief escaped him as he sat up and saw that Sakura was looking out the window and closely studying the street behind them.

 

“Thank you.” he spoke quietly as he watched her.

 

Turning to look back to him, he watched her eyes soften as a small smile graced her lush lips.

 

“No problem. Now do you understand why I said no at first? I don’t want to ruin your fun, but sadly that type of spontaneity just can’t be done right now.”

 

He just nodded quietly in understanding as he sank into the seat. He was suddenly exhausted after the whole ordeal. It lasted only about ten minutes, but the situation felt like it had lasted hours. He looked back over to Sakura and found she was furiously typing away on her phone, probably reporting what happened.

 

‘I don’t know how she makes is seem so effortless, but damn… I guess she really is good at what she does.’

 

The rest of the ride home was spent in a tense silence.

Chapter Text

Chapter 6

 

When Kakashi and Sakura arrived home, she instructed the security team to set up additional watch points in a five block radius around the building. They were able to pull a fuzzy image of the man from the CCTV cameras and issued every officer employed a copy to keep an eye out for the possible threat and instructions to arrest on site if spotted for questioning.

 

Sakura even had them change the access code in the elevator for Kakashi’s floor for an added measure. She didn’t reach the top ranks of being a bodyguard by being lazy and not taking extra measures of safety for her clients. She’d be damned if anything could get by her with her process.

 

“Aren’t you going just a little overboard with all this?” she heard him speak as he entered into the dining room.

 

It was Sunday morning now and Sakura had woken up extra early to begin her own process of investigating. She had the laptop Shikamaru and Tenzo had given her to access the security systems and had been doing an extensive review of all the footage from the last few days to see if this man had appeared anywhere in or near the building.

 

She had set up shop at the large dining room table and had stacks of papers and files surrounding her and the computer. She was waiting to hear back from the police department on identifying this man at the moment. Once they obtained that information, figuring out what his motive was and getting clearer answers might make this situation resolve easier and faster.

 

Sakura looked up from the laptop and found that Kakashi was in a pair of grey sweatpants and a white t-shirt. He must have just gotten up she thought as she noted the slight stubble on his jaw and the way his silver hair seemed more untamed and unruly than usual.

 

Sakura felt her cheeks warm up at the sight and forced herself to look back down at the computer screen of surveillance footage.

 

‘Focus, Haruno.’

 

“We were being followed yesterday, I think that it’s justified to be going overboard like this. We were in a shopping district, so I dismissed him at first as just a shopper who was going to store to store like we were. But when he followed us all the way to the restaurant, which was fifteen blocks away from the boutique, that’s when I knew something was up. He wouldn’t stop staring at you either.”

 

She looked back up to Kakashi to gauge his reaction and found he was staring intently at her.

 

“And when we left there, he was obviously waiting for you. So I had to take action.”

 

“Why didn’t you tell me sooner that we we’re being followed?” he asked.

 

Sakura took a deep breath and let out a quiet sigh. She knew he was eventually going to start asking these types of questions.

 

“Because I didn’t want to alarm you. Like I said, I gave the guy the benefit of doubt and the moment I knew it wasn’t what I hoped, I informed you and got us to safety.”

 

The silver haired man was quiet for a few moments as her words sunk in. Kakashi suddenly moved and walked into the kitchen and she watched as he silently pulled out a pan and various food items and began making himself breakfast. She watched him for a few more seconds before she decided to return to her own work.

 

‘I just don’t want to worry him, but it looks like this is going to be more complicated than I originally thought. We’re obviously extremely safe here in the building, but I can’t force him into essentially being under house arrest. It’s not possible given his job and position… But if it’s like this everytime we leave and we get followed, or worse, attacked…’

 

Sakura sighed as she rubbed her temples with her fingers to ebb away the oncoming headache. The smell of the food Kakashi was cooking made her stomach growl and she realized she hadn’t eaten since she got up, only drank a few cups of coffee.

 

Suddenly a plate and glass was placed in front of her and she looked up to find that Kakashi was holding a plate of his own as he sat down in the chair next to her.

 

“You looked pale, you should eat something before you pass out.” he mumbled as he began eating his own food.

 

She furrowed her brows and frowned at him for a second before looking down to the plate of food. Kakashi had just made a simple omelette for both of them with mushrooms and spinach mixed in. He had even went out of his way and poured them both a small glass of orange juice.

 

She smiled warmly at the simple gesture before picking up her own fork and cutting into the piping hot food.

 

She realized he wasn’t all that bad to be around and work for. She’d experienced some class act assholes over the years being a female in a male dominated position after all. So, she was nervous that he’d be some typical arrogant jerk given his extreme wealth and being a newly appointed CEO. But soon learned he was actually a very down to earth man.

 

“Thank you.” she replied after a few minutes of silence, “You know you don’t need to make me any food. I can make myself something to eat.”

 

“You’re very stubborn, you know that right?”

 

She shot him a dirty look and found he was giving her a half teasing look as he chewed more of his breakfast.

 

“I know I don’t need to do or am required to do anything, but I do. I’m not greedy, if I make food or buy something, I make sure everyone is covered and there’s enough to go around. Like me buying your clothes yesterday or all the meals I’ve cooked for us so far.”

 

“I still want to pay you back for those clothes by the way. You spent nearly a month of my regular wages!” she quickly added, “I can’t let you waste money like that.”

 

She was still not over how much he spent yesterday on her. She didn’t need to be spoiled or given handouts. She was more than capable of taking care of herself and Kakashi’s insistent need to help out drove her slightly crazy. She was thankful that he was very caring, but she wasn’t used to it at all.

 

It was now his turn to give her a dirty look.

 

Don’t worry. Please?”

 

Rather than continuing a pointless argument, Sakura just shoved a forkful of food into her mouth and angrily chewed at him. Shaking his head head at her childlike behavior, he returned to his own food.

 


 

“You mentioned that you didn’t know if he had a gun or not on him.” he asked when they had finished eating.

 

Grabbing their plates and cups, he sat them off to the side so they could continue talking.

 

“He stayed far enough back that I couldn’t tell. He was wearing very loose fitting clothes too, that’s what tipped me off. You don’t wear sizes too big unless you’re doing it for fashion or you’re trying to hide something and he obviously wasn’t going for fashion.” she explained as she returned to working.

 

He smiled at her sort of joke. She was trying to make light of the seriousness of the situation for his benefit. Looking over, he finally got a clear look at her for the first time since sitting down to eat. She was still in her pajamas like he was, wearing a dark green tank top and black shorts. Her long pink hair was pulled up into a messy bun that held a scary amount of flyaway hairs.

 

‘How long has she been up? It was just before nine when I got up… and it has to be nearly ten now…’

 

Kakashi didn’t realize just how small she actually was as she sat crossed legged on the dining table chair. He thought back to the first day they met and how she was easily able to bring him down in less than five seconds. He noted that he had to have at least fifty to sixty pounds on her and the fact that her small size caused people to doubt her only seemed to give her an upper hand. He was still wary of her though, even he doubted that someone that short and petite could effectively protect him. He knew he shouldn’t, but he did.

 

“Can I help you?” her voice ripped him out of his thoughts.

 

“Huh?” he glanced up and found she had her eyes narrowed at him in suspicion.

 

“You were staring at me for a while. Is something wrong?”

 

‘I wasn’t staring at her that long was I?’

 

“No, I just didn’t realize how small you actually are.” he replied, deciding to be honest, “Sorry for staring.”

 

She looked unconvinced with his reason.

 

“I don’t know if that’s a compliment or an insult.”

 

“Neither, just an observation.” he shot back quickly.

 

Sakura just rolled her eyes at him before returning back to her work once again. He smirked at her bold reaction. Not many people sassed him or gave him grief like she seemed too. It was nice change of pace, he thought. Like he mentioned to her yesterday, he hated his ass being kissed constantly and the fact that she didn’t treat him differently was a breath of fresh air. She was blunt and said what was on her mind, no beating around the bush.

 

The sudden sound of a defeated groan coming from Sakura caused him to return to reality once again.

 

“What’s wrong?” he quickly asked as she continued reading what was on the screen of the computer.

 

“We sent in a photo of the guy to the police to see if maybe they knew who he was or if he had any priors and they got nothing. For added measure, they forwarded it to the DMV to see and they don’t any records of him on file either.”

 

Kakashi’s eyes widened at the news. There was no trace of this guy that was following them yesterday? He felt odd suddenly.

 

“So what does that mean now?”

 

Sakura turned and gave him a defeated look and he felt his stomach feel a little uneasy.

 

“It means we’ve hit yet another dead end. I’ve gone through hours and hours of footage from the cameras around here myself and there’s not a trace of him, we only have the couple CCTV clips from yesterday. I even read through a month's worth of security logs to see if anything stuck out.” she explained as she pointed at the stacks of files and papers around her laptop.

 

Kakashi leaned back into the chair with a huff and scowled down at the table as he crossed his arms across his chest.

 

“What do they even want from me? Why do they want me dead so bad? I don’t understand why this is happening…”

 

Suddenly Sakura’s hand came into his field of vision as she rested it on his left forearm. Kakashi glanced back up and found the softest expression he’s ever seen on her before as she started speaking in a comforting tone.

 

“I know and that’s why I’m here. This is just a slight bump in the road, but I’m going to figure this out and make sure you stay safe and sound in the process.”

 

All the worry and anxiety he felt seconds earlier disappeared within a few seconds from her comforting words. He was surprised with how easily she was able to reassure him and calm him down.

 

“Thank you.” was all he was able to get out, giving her a small smile in the process.

 

Kakashi looked back down and saw that the small hand was still on his arm and it suddenly felt like her touch was fire against his skin. Taking a deep breath to steady himself, he forced himself to look back up to her. He saw she was watching him closely with those bright green eyes of hers that seemed to see right through him.

 

“So what’s the next step then? Where do we go from here?” he asked as a distraction from his thoughts.

 

Sakura pursed her lips and shifted in her seat causing her to remove her hand from his arm as she faced back to the laptop. He suddenly wanted to tell her to put her hand back as the cool air replaced her warm touch, but stopped himself before he made things weird.

 

“Well, for you, nothing. You can continue on doing as you wish. For me? I’ll continue to investigate in my spare time and prepare slightly more for when we go out. We don’t know if he’ll be back again or not and I’ll be damned if I let them win.”

 

Kakashi felt his lip twitch up in a smile.

 

“You sound a little competitive now.” he joked.

 

The sound of her laughing made him grin bigger. He enjoyed her laugh, it always oddly soothing and managed to make him smile whenever he was able to get one out of her. Kakashi purposely made bad jokes around her now for the sheer fact that he knew she’d laugh at every single one of them. Her sense of humor seemed to be as twisted as his he quickly realized.

 

“It’s true, I am. It’s a bad habit as you can tell. How are your legs by the way? You’re not too sore are you?”

 

“Oh, I’m sore. I couldn’t run today because of it.” he replied as he shot her an amused look.

 

Sakura brought her hand up to cover her mouth as he watched her stifle another laugh.

 

“I’m sorry!” she practically giggled which only cause him to chuckle at her attempt of an apology.

 

They spent the next hour chatting as Sakura showed him the various security programs his company was using to cover every square inch of the sixty five floor skyscraper. Kakashi couldn’t help glancing over to her and smiling every so often when she’d go into detailed explanation after he’d ask a question.

 

He silently thanked her for her company since she didn’t really have to be around him unless necessary. She had a desk in her room and could’ve easily done all her work in privacy, but chose to stay out in the open where he could easily access her. He didn’t realize how comforting it was to have someone around constantly and he was glad she seemed to enjoy being around him too.

Chapter Text

Chapter 7

 

A little over a month passed without a single repeat of what happened the day Kakashi and Sakura had gone into downtown Konoha. They had even taken several trips into the area since then, both for work and for pleasure, and there was not a single sign of the mystery man that had followed them.

 

Sakura knew not to allow herself to fall into a false sense of security now that the supposed threat had just vanished from their lives.

 

‘That’s what they wanted you to think,’ she thought. ‘Trick you into thinking that everything was fine and dandy and when you were vulnerable again, that’s always when they struck again. When you were at your weakest state of being.’

 

It was now November and with the weather beginning to go south, Sakura began taking even more extra measures to ensure their safety. Namely, she always made sure that wherever they were had clear and open paths for them to escape now that the fresh snowfall often blocked a lot of the alleys and held dangerous footing.

 

They wouldn’t be able to escape as quickly as they had before and she’d be damned if she wasn’t fully prepared to take whatever threat head on in order to protect Kakashi.

 

Over the course and events of the last month had also caused Sakura to inadvertently get closer with Kakashi as well. Since they lived together and spent nearly every waking moment together, they often found themselves chatting about anything and everything and got to know each other on a more personal level.

 

They had fallen into something of routine outside their dynamic of client and bodyguard and it made Sakura oddly happy.

 

They were friends. Good friends.

 

She had never gotten the chance to establish any type of routine given what her job was. Most of her assignments never lasted more than a month. So, with this assignment being indefinite until they caught whoever was responsible for Sakumo’s death and continued targeting of Kakashi, it was an oddity she got to experience.

 

And she realized she enjoyed it.

 

She enjoyed the stability of staying in one place. She enjoyed the fact that she was comfortable and often found herself relaxing with Kakashi when they were home from work for the night. Usually they’d do their own thing, but lately they had fallen into the habit of vegging out on the huge couch together, binging TV shows they both found out they liked.

 

She kept noticing Kakashi too. She kept noticing all the little things he was doing for her.

 

She had mentioned one day a couple weeks ago that peaches were her favorite fruit and now there was always a few fresh peaches in the kitchen. She even noticed her favorite flavor of tea was there and even her favorite brand of chocolate and sweets were in the little snack drawer he had.

 

She never imagined that he was actually listening to what she said, most of her clients only pretended to listen and care, so this was new.

 

Kakashi even had his personal cook, Choji, that came in twice a week start making her, her own lunches for their work week when he noticed that she often only ate a granola bar or a measly sandwich. He even began curating their dinners to things she enjoyed a lot and she couldn’t believe how accommodating he was being.

 

She often commented telling him he didn’t need to do any of what he’s done and she always got the same exact reply from him.

 

“Don’t worry, I want to make sure you’re happy and comfortable.”

 

The happy part of his reasoning always threw her for a loop. Why did he care about her happiness?

 

She even started noticing just how attractive he was as well.

 

Even with the fresh pink scar and new eye, she felt he was more handsome now than before. He had this perfect mixture of a sleepy and ruffled presence while also being extremely well kept and professional when needed that just made her appreciate him on a whole new level.

 

Sakura often scolded herself when she caught herself ogling him. She constantly reminded herself that Kakashi was her boss. That it was extremely unprofessional and not to mention unethical to develop any type of feelings for her clients other than friendly and professional ones. She was already dancing on a fine line in developing a friendship with the man.

 

Plus, she reasoned, that he would never hold such feelings to begin with. He was the CEO of a multimillion dollar company and could have anyone he wanted and she was obviously not a candidate in that area. She was just a bodyguard and doing a service for him. That the only reason he was being this nice and accommodating to her was because his life was literally in her hands. So of course he’d be extra nice, right?

 

Once her job was done and her services were no longer needed, she would leave. He would probably easily forget about her and move on with his own life and do whatever he did before all this drama began.

 

She refused to allow herself to think of it beyond that point. If anything, it caused her to invest herself more into her work to distract herself from the wandering thoughts.

 

Turning off the water to the shower, Sakura stepped out and grabbed a towel and wrapped it around herself as she hummed along to a song she heard on the radio while she worked out earlier. She walked over to and stood in front of the giant mirror that hung above the sink and gave herself a once over.

 

There was nothing special to look at, she always thought, she wasn’t curvy, curvy like a lot of women and didn’t have the biggest breasts. She felt herself to be very average and she was content with that. The only things she thought were unique about herself were her bright green eyes and pink hair.

 

She silently noted that her hair was getting a little long as she twirled a strand of the damp locks between her fingers and she should go get it trimmed up next weekend. Giving herself a cheeky wink and blowing a kiss at the mirror, she turned to exit the bathroom to get to her room to get dressed for the day.

 

Opening the door and stepping out, she suddenly crashed into something hard and barely managed to catch herself from falling backwards onto her ass. Opening her eyes to see what caused this, she shriek in terror when she found Kakashi staring down at her stunned and wide eyed.

 

“Kakashi! What are you doing here!?” she yelled as she clutched the towel tighter around herself, “Stop staring!”

 

She watched as a bright red blush came to him as he jerked his head to the side and away from her.

 

“I was walking down the hall to the kitchen when you suddenly opened the door and walked into me!” he replied as he continued intently staring off away from her.

 

Sakura felt mortified at his reply. After they both completed their morning runs on the treadmills, they had both gone to take showers and get dressed for the day. Shaking her head furiously, she stormed passed him down the hall toward her room.

 

“Well, I’m sorry! I’ll be ready in a little while!” she shouted back as she slammed the door to her room shut.

 

Pressing her back against the door, she threw her hands into her face and let out a quiet groan.

 

‘How embarrassing!’

 


 

Kakashi stood speechless in the hall for a moment after she ran into her room. He wasn’t expecting to run into Sakura in that moment, let alone run in to her practically naked and dripping wet from the shower.

 

He felt his face get hot again at the thought of her being naked and shook his head to try and get rid of the image.

 

‘Don’t do be stupid! You’ll only make things weird if you go thinking about her being naked! She’s got a killer body though… She’s fit as hell. I wonder what she does look like under that towel… No! Stop it, Kakashi! She’d snap my neck if she knew what I was thinking right now!’

 

Letting out a low groan, he rushed into the kitchen and began making them breakfast and to distract himself from thinking any further about Sakura standing in front of him in just a towel that he wished had conveniently fallen open.

 

‘Dude, stop it!’ he silently berated himself.

 

Thirty minutes later, he heard the door to Sakura’s room open and close. Seconds later he heard her quietly pad her way into the kitchen and grab the plate of food he just finished making and immediately go to the large island and begin eating.

 

Kakashi grabbed his plate made his way over to the island and took a seat at the island, making sure to leave a seat in between them. Taking a few bites of the breakfast burrito he made, he finally mustered up the energy to speak once the air between them became too awkward for his liking.

 

“Are you okay?” he asked as he turned to look at the bodyguard.

 

He watched her freeze up momentarily, her fork of the breakfast burrito pausing at her lips.

 

“I’m fine.” she replied quickly before returning to her food.

 

‘No, you’re not…’

 

“I’m sorry for staring earlier… I just didn’t expect to run into you like, uh, like that. I’m sorry if I offended you in any way.”

 

Sakura stood up abruptly from her stool and turned to face him with a smile he knew she was forcing.

 

“It’s okay, you don’t need to apologize. It was an accident and accidents happen. I should’ve been more aware of my surroundings too.”

 

Before getting a chance to even think up a reply, Sakura grabbed her empty plate and walked over to the sink to rinse it off before putting it in the dishwasher.

 

“I’m ready whenever you are. I’ll be in my room taking care of a couple things before we leave. Come get me when you’re ready to go.” she added quickly, before turning and leaving him alone in the kitchen.

 

Kakashi stared intently down at the remaining plate of food. He felt more confused now then he did before he opened his mouth. Why was Sakura acting so odd? He apologized the best he could and she basically accepted it, yet she was still acting weird. Closing his eyes, he let out a sigh before finishing up the last of his food and fetching Sakura so they could leave for the day.

 

Two hours later, the pair found themselves walking around the bookstore he frequented often. Sakura was quieter than usual and Kakashi knew it had to have been from their little collision this morning. He tried to keep up small talk, but it was proving difficult when he would only get simple replies from her.

 

“You’ve visited this place four times in the last month alone.” she suddenly pointed out.

 

Looking up from the book he was holding, he studied her for a second before nodding in agreement.

 

“I have, yes.”

 

Sakura continued staring aimlessly at the books next to her as she spoke.

 

“Do you have an investment in this store or something?”

 

“No, I don’t. I just read a lot.” he quickly replied, “Why do you ask?”

 

He watched her half shrug at his own question back.

 

“I was just wondering. You seem to really enjoy this place and reading in general. It’s surprising you don’t already have investments in some bookstores or publishing companies.”

 

Kakashi was left dumbfounded for a moment at her statement.

 

‘She’s absolutely right… Why didn’t I think of this sooner?’

 

“I guess the thought never really crossed my mind before. I’ll look into it and if it proves beneficial, maybe I’ll work something out.” he replied confidently.

 

“Plus, you could invest or donate money to reading programs. Spread your love for books and reading to help promote young readers and maybe even revive dying libraries in Konoha.” she added on.

 

Kakashi watched on in silent awe as Sakura silently went along with her business like what she just said wasn’t an absolute genius idea. It would not only benefit him financially, but it would give him amazing PR if he did those program investments and donations. He silently slapped himself for not thinking of this sooner and wondered how his advisors and board members missed something so obvious too.

 

A little while later after they browsed around some more, the duo left the bookstore with a bag full of books.

 

“I’d say that was a successf-”

 

“Kakashi! Get down!” Sakura yelled, interrupting him.

 

The next thing Kakashi knew was the sensation of being shoved down. He heard someone shout and then Sakura yell some more as he hit the cold snow covered ground and the sound of a scuffle taking place next to him.

 

The sudden sound of a single gunshot rang in his ears and then heard nothing but a deafening silence.

Chapter Text

Chapter 8

 

The moment they stepped outside the store, Sakura sensed something was wrong. Turning around to look behind them as they started walking down the street, her eyes went wide when she saw the mystery man from last month sprinting at them with a gun in his hand.

 

“I’d say that was a successf-”

 

“Kakashi! Get down!” she yelled, interrupting him and shoving him down and away.

 

Stepping to obstruct the man's view of Kakashi, she saw he was a lot closer than before. She didn’t have time to pull out her own gun she realized, so she readied herself for a physical fight.

 

“Move!” he shouted at her.

 

“Like hell I will!” she shouted back as she lunged at the gunman, “Drop the weapon!”

 

She missed grabbing the arm that held the hand gun, but was able to get a firm grasp of his left arm as he tried to use it to shove her to the side. Using her full body weight, she threw herself to her right and yanked his arm to the side and pushed back, causing the man to jerk to the side and face away from Kakashi.

 

“I said move, you bitch!” he grunted as he swung his free arm down at her.

 

Sakura instantly felt something cold and hard strike her left cheek with such force it caused her head to snap to the right. Refusing to let the overbearing pain get to her, she continued her plan of bringing down and disarm the wannabe assassin.

 

'I can't let him get hurt!’

 

With her arms still firmly holding onto his left arm, she turned again and pressed her back against his chest. Using the momentum of her turn, Sakura braced herself as she leaned forward and used everything in her to pull the hefty man over her shoulder and flip him onto his back.

 

The sudden sound of a gunshot by her head caused her to move even faster. An image of Kakashi popped into her head in that moment and panic consumed her as her ears rang so loud it drowned out everything else. She was running on pure adrenaline at this point.

 

Sakura opened her eyes and found the gunman on his back gasping for air from having the wind knocked out of him. She kept her grip on his wrist and quickly moved before he could and stepped on his right wrist with such force that he released the gun he was holding with a cry. Kicking the gun away from his reach, she quickly twisted the arm she held and forced him to roll onto his stomach as she snatched up his other arm.

 

“Sakura!” she heard Kakashi shout out.

 

She felt a wave of relief flood into he hearing his voice and knowing that the stray bullet didn’t hit him, but she couldn’t focus on that right now. With her knee pressed into the man's neck, she held his wrists as she quickly reached into her jacket and pulled out a pair of handcuffs and subdued him for good.

 

“You good for nothing bitch!” the man grunted beneath her, “You're ruining everything!”

 

Sakura just rolled her eyes at the insults hurled at her.

 

The sound of sirens and bystanders shouting, pulled her out of the adrenaline rush she had been experiencing. With a tired sigh, she stood up as two police officers ran to her side.

 

“Ma’am, we can take it from here. Thank you for stopping him. Was there a weapon?” one of them spoke up and asked.

 

Sakura pointed to the handgun sitting a few feet away.

 

“He fired one shot, I don't know where it went though.” she informed them.

 

“Sakura!” she heard Kakashi shout again.

 

Turning around to finally face him, he quickly moved towards her with fear clearly written on his face.

 


 

“Are you okay? Are you hurt? He fired a shot, it didn’t hit you, did it!?” she frantically asked as he stopped barely a foot away from her.

 

“I’m fine!” he quickly replied.

 

“Oh, thank goodness!” she sighed happily as he watched her shoulders relax.

 

“Are you insane, by the way!? He had a gun and you threw yourself at him!” he scolded loudly.

 

She knew he wasn't angry with her. He was just concerned about her well being.

 

'She could have died! That stray bullet could've hit her!’

 

“Insanity gets the job done.” she shot back with a cheeky smile and wink, “Plus, I didn’t have time to get my gun out, so hand to hand combat is the next thing to do”

 

He stared at her baffled for a moment before he finally started to look her over and felt his heart drop at the sight of a bloody gash on her face

 

“You’re bleeding!” he gasped.

 

“I am?”

 

Kakashi reached up then and tenderly cupped her left cheek to get a better look and assess her wound. He watched her flinch slightly at the motion and contact and he felt dread invade him.

 

‘She threw herself in harm's way to protect me… She didn’t even know she got hurt! She could’ve gotten killed…’

 

He watched as she brought her hand up and touched her face and winced again at the pain it brought her. Looking at her now red fingers, he watched her frown at the sight. She looked down then to her shirt and jacket and the frown she was sporting only deepened.

 

“Great, now I’ve ruined this coat and shirt!” she grumped quietly to herself, “I just got this shirt too! I really liked this one!”

 

Kakashi watched her with wide eyes as she stood there grumbling about ruined clothes when she was bleeding rather profusely from her face. He glanced down to where she was looking, he saw the cream colored tartan coat she was wearing had soaked up a lot of her blood and the white blouse under it was also assisting in the task.

 

“We need to get you to a hospital!” he interjected, interrupting her from her tangent of ruined clothes, “I think Konoha Sacred Heart is nearby. Come on, let’s go.”

 

He felt Sakura immediately stiffened under his hold. Her hand shot up to where he was holding her cheek and gripped it to prevent either of them from moving. She looked up to him with her own wide eyes and he found a genuine fear registering in those bright green eyes for the first time ever.

 

“No! Absolutely not!” she practically shouted at him.

 

Kakashi’s face twisted up in confusion at her outburst.

 

“You need to be checked out! You got cut pretty good and your face is starting to swell. I don’t want you to get an infection or something, Sakura!” he tried arguing, but the pinkette began shaking her head frantically in his hand as her hold on his hand tightened even more so.

 

“No! I will not go to that hospital!” she cried softly.

 

Kakashi froze at the tone she replied in. She sounded like she was on the verge of tears. He didn’t miss the emphasis she had placed on the word “that.” Instinctively, he let his thumb swipe across her cheek in attempt to bring comfort. She looked up to him again and he had been correct on his assumption. There were tears threatening to spill over and she was working desperately to hold them back.

 

‘Why doesn’t she want to go to that hospital?’

 

“Okay, we don’t have to go to that hospital. Can we at least go to another one?” he bargained lightly with her in a comforting tone, “You need to be seen, Sakura.”

 

Sakura looked away from him for a moment as she contemplated her answer and to get her emotions back under control. Her near death grip loosened some.

 

“Okay.” she finally said as she looked back to him, “But we need to finish up here first. The police are going to need our initial statements before we can leave.”

 

Kakashi stifled an annoyed sigh. He didn’t want to argue any further with her right now. He was able to convince her to at least go to a hospital to get checked out, so he guessed he could wait just a little while longer before going.

 

When she released his hand, he let go of her and watched as she turned to go speak to the police. He looked down at his now blood covered hand and felt a cold shiver run down his spine as it registered inside him that, that was her blood and not his.

 

His mind flickered back to four months prior. The day his father was killed and he lost his eye. His hands were covered in a mixture of his and his father's blood. The urge to throw up washed over him, but he was able to stop himself in time and swallowed hard.

 

'I can't have anymore blood on my hands. I can't let her get hurt again…’

 

It took twenty minutes before they could give their statements to the police and were told that there would be follow up interviews before they finally were able to leave. Kakashi all but carried Sakura to the waiting SUV and quickly instructed his driver to take them to Konoha General, a hospital near his house.

 

“Kakashi, I’m fine. You really don’t need to go to these lengths. It’s just a simple cut. I’ve been hurt before in the line of duty and this is nothing.” she spoke up, breaking the anxious silence that filled the treatment room they were sitting in, “ You definitely don’t need to be here either, you can go home.”

 

Kakashi shot her a stern look as he sat in the provided chair with his arms crossed over his chest.

 

“I’m not leaving your side right now.” he said flatly.

 

Sakura just rolled her eyes at him as she brought the ice pack the admitting nurse gave her up to her injured cheek. He felt some of his irritation leave at the reassuring sight of her acting normally again. He was also thankful that the bleeding had slowed down and pretty much stopped shortly after they arrived at the hospital.

 

He felt his hand twitch at the memory of her blood covering it. He had washed his hands when they got to the treatment room, but it felt like they still weren't clean enough and had washed them two more times since.

 

The smells of the hospital brought him back to night that he was admitted after the accident. One eye patched and blinded. His hands stained with the dried blood of his dead father.

 

Kakashi couldn’t stop thinking about what happened since the moment he laid eyes on her injury. And, the fear and pain it brought to his core.

 

He shifted his eyes to the young woman on the small bed in front of him.

 

She had selflessly thrown herself in harm's way to protect him and took a grown man over double her size down in less than a minute. He felt like a complete idiot for ever doubting her skills and abilities. She had told him multiple times over the last month that she was more than capable and he was ignorant and didn’t listen.

 

He suddenly felt exhausted. The events of the last couple hours finally sinking in. Glancing down to the wristwatch he was wearing, he noted it also slowly approaching three in the afternoon. The urge to be in the safety and comfort of his home was at an all time high. He just wanted to take Sakura and leave to make sure she was safe too.

 

He was sick and tired of hospitals.

 

Kakashi looked back up to Sakura and watched her for a moment. She was madly typing away onto her phone, working no doubt since she’s mentioned a few times that she has no personal or social life.

 

Shortly after arriving to the emergency room, a nurse had given Sakura a scrub top so she could change of the blood soaked blouse and coat. She looked odd sitting there wearing the hospital blue top while also wearing black leggings and a pair of dark brown knee high boots. The nurse was even kind enough to give her a bag to put the ruined clothing in to take home with them.

 

“Thank you.” he spoke up again, calmer than the moment earlier.

 

Sakura looked up from her phone and gave him a puzzled look.

 

“Why are you thanking me?”

 

“I’m thanking you for saving me. Saving my life .” he explained, “I’m sorry for ever doubting you.”

 

A small smile came to her lips at his words of appreciation.

 

“You’re welcome. It’s my job after all to protect you. I’ll always make sure I do my job to the best of my abilities.” she replied softly.

 

Kakashi pursed his lips at her statement and nodded. He knew she was being professional and courteous to him. However, he didn’t want that professionalism from her in this moment. He thought back to the weak moment she showed him earlier and how quickly she managed to reel herself in.

 

'She's human like the rest of us. But she hides it so well.’

 

“I feel awful that you got hurt.” he mumbled as he dropped his head and stared down at his lap.

 

“I would do it all over again if it meant that you’d be safe, Kakashi.” she spoke again in that same soft tone.

 

‘You could’ve died…’

 

“You could've died.” he repeated the distressing thought out loud as he looked up and locked eyes with her.

 

They held an intense stare down for a few moments before Sakura broke contact and looked away into the room. He could tell she was struggling with what she wanted to say.

 

“But I didn’t.” she said in a serious tone, trying to mask the whirlpool of emotions he saw in her eyes moments earlier, “All that matters is that you’re safe and that guy was taken down and arrested. Hopefully this will give us some answers and we can finally settle all of this.”

 

Kakashi felt something pull at his heart at the mention of this possibly finally being resolved. He was thankful at the possibility of being able to go about his life in a normal way again. But once this was done and over with, he wouldn’t need her as a bodyguard anymore and she would leave.

 

‘I don’t want her to leave… Not yet.’

 

Before getting a chance to reply, a knock came from the door and the doctor walked in and greeted Sakura with a warm smile. He was thankful for the distraction. This meant that they would get to go home soon.

 

It also stopped him from saying something he might regret later. But would he regret saying that he didn’t want her to leave just yet? Not really, but he didn’t know how she would react. She could be itching to leave for all he knew. To go to her next assignment and protect someone else. Sakura had mentioned that she was essentially a nomad and never got the chance to settle down into one place for long before she had to up and move to her next assignment.

 

Did she want to settle down in one place? He recalled the fact that she was a doctor and could probably fall back into that career whenever she pleased. Or did she want to continue on with this nomadic career? Why was she even a bodyguard to begin with?

 

Kakashi silently watched as the doctor assessed her cut cheek before she started to clean the wound. He made eye contact with her again as the woman gently tilted her head to the right to get a better look at the cleaned up damaged flesh. She shot him a dazzling smile and he felt himself go breathless at the sight. Even when injured and donning a half swollen face that was beginning to bruise, she looked completely beautiful he realized.

 

An hour later, Kakashi and Sakura finally walked back into his place and both sang a sigh of relief at the welcome comfort it brought.

 

“I’m gonna go work some more on my reports.” she said as she started making her way towards the hallway.

 

Kakashi reached out and caught her wrist in his hand before she got to far away. Sakura froze for a second before turning to face him.

 

“That can wait, you need to relax right now.” he said quietly, not letting go of his gentle hold of her, “Go rest on the couch and watch something. I’ll make us something to eat and join you in a little bit.”

 

Sakura’s earlier confusion was replaced with an astounded look before it changed into a dirty look.

 

“I’m fine, Kakashi. You’re my boss , you don’t need to be doing this. I don’t need to be pitied. I’m perfectly capable of taking care of myself.”

 

Yet Sakura made no move to pull herself free from him, so Kakashi tightened his hold on her wrist ever so slightly to add emphasis on what he said next.

 

“I’m not pitying you, Sakura. I just want to make sure you’re okay, alright?” he replied, trying to keep the annoyance from entering his voice, “And I don’t care that I’m technically your boss either, that doesn’t matter to me. You know it doesn’t. I just want you to relax and get some rest. It’s been a stressful day.”

 

Sakura looked down to where he was holding onto her for a minute before he watched her shoulders slump in defeat.

 

“Fine, but I get to pick what we’re having for dinner.” she countered with as she looked back up to him with a half smirk.

 

A small laugh escaped him at the sight and negotiation.

 

“Alright, what do you have in mind?”

 

“BLT’s.” she quickly replied.

 

His laugh grew louder at the simple dinner of choice. They stood there for a few moments grinning at each other, before Kakashi reluctantly released her wrist and took a half step towards her.

 

“Okay, I can do that. Now go relax, missy.” he said as he shooed her towards the living room, “I’ll bring it to you.”

 

“Now look at the who the bossypants is?” she giggled quietly as she walked away from him to the couch.

 

Closing his eyes while still quietly laughing, he shook his head as he turned and made his way into the kitchen to begin making their dinner.

Chapter Text

Chapter 9

 

After eating, Kakashi and Sakura changed into their pajamas and decided to watch a movie since it was still early and neither one really didn’t want to do much else. However, Sakura fell asleep about thirty minutes into the film much to his amusement. Looking over to the sleeping woman who had managed to sprawl out on her end of the couch. He smiled to himself as he remembered how she tried arguing, rather passionately, that she didn’t need to rest.

 

‘You shouldn’t have to work yourself so hard…’

 

Getting up, he walked over to the basket of blankets he kept at the other end of the large sectional couch near the fireplace and grabbed two. Kakashi turned back and noted just how small she was laying here in comparison to the huge piece of furniture around her.

 

‘I still don’t know how she took down a guy who was bigger than me…’

 

He walked back over to Sakura and sat down the extra blanket and tucked the other one around her so she could stay warm while she continued sleeping. He noted just how exhausted she looked while he tucked a loose piece of hair behind her ear.

 

He froze in place when she began to stir at his touch. Worry flooded him that she might get the wrong idea with him being this close if she woke up, but he was stuck where he was kneeling out of fear. Sakura let out a soft sigh a second later before she shifted and cozied herself further under the blanket.

 

He watched as a small smile came to her plump lips and he couldn't help his own smile in response.

 

Turning back around, he grabbed the two empty dinner plates from the coffee table and brought them to the kitchen before running to use the bathroom. On his way out, he stepped across the hall into his personal library and grabbed the book he had been reading that week.

 

His eyes lingered on the paper bag full of books that sat on the table in the center of the little library. Kakashi reasoned with himself that if they would’ve never left the house today, she would have never gotten hurt.

 

His mind went back to the conversation he and Sakura shared earlier that day about investments and donations as he exited the room.

 

'I still can't believe I didn't think of that. She's absolutely brilliant. I'll need to tell Shikamaru about this tomorrow if I get the chance.’

 

Kakashi walked around the house and turned off all the lights except for one side table light next to the couch. Finally settling back down few feet from the sleeping bodyguard, he turned the TV down and back to a random show and leaned back into the couch and covered himself with the second blanket he had grabbed earlier.

 

He just couldn’t bring himself to leave Sakura’s side right now. Even if she was sleeping, he felt reassured knowing that she was safe next to him. He knew she was capable of protecting herself, especially so after watching her in action today, but he still had this odd instinctive urge to protect her himself.

 

‘There’s no way I could’ve taken that guy down myself that quickly… I may have boxing training, but I don’t have any training to disarm a gunman like she does. Maybe I should ask her to show me a couple of moves?’

 

He watched her sleep for a while instead of reading like he planned to do. Everytime he started reading, he’d end up glancing over to check on her and never returned the book in his lap.

 

He watched as her chest rose and fell in deep even breaths. She looked so peaceful lying there.

 

He knew she was naturally beautiful, but this was the first time he actually got to look at her without worry that she was going to call him out. She had faint freckles peppered over her cheeks and nose. He noticed just how pink her hair was in the messy bun she had it pulled up into. His eyes fell onto a thin and straight white scar on the left side of the back of her neck.

 

‘I wonder if that’s another work related injury…’ he thought with a slight frown.

 

He glanced over at the large bandage that covered her left cheek. He was so thankful when the emergency room doctor said she didn’t need stitches and just used some weird tape to seal the cut after cleaning it up.

 

With proper care, she said that she probably wouldn’t have a scar. Not that he cared, she would still be beautiful either way in his opinion. Plus, he had a huge scar across his own face as well and a new eye, so he couldn’t compare or complain.

 

Deciding to give up on reading since he grew more and more tired as the time passed, he closed and tossed the book onto the coffee table. Leaning back, he scooted himself down and laid down onto the couch with his head a few few away from Sakura’s.

 

“Goodnight, Sakura.” he whispered as he dozed off himself.

 


 

Sakura woke up with a start from the sound of her phone ringing and found she was still on the couch from the night before. She stared down at the blanket covering her with confusion. She never remembered grabbing one for herself, let alone sleeping on the couch in general. Quickly jumping up and grabbing her phone off the coffee table to answer, she turned and realized that Kakashi was sleeping just a few feet away.

 

“Sakura speaking.” she said into the receiver as she quickly walked away into the kitchen so she wouldn’t wake him.

 

“It’s Shikamaru. Tenzo and I are going to be there in about thirty minutes to discuss the events of yesterday.” he informed her.

 

Confusion flooded her then at his matter of fact tone.

 

“Wait, what? Thirty minutes? It’s so early, why are you guys coming up now?” she asked frantically.

 

There was an awkward pause from the other end of the phone for a moment.

 

“Sakura, it’s ten in the morning. It’s not early at all.”

 

Whipping around, she looked at the clock on the stove and confirmed that was indeed ten. She was thankful she was only talking on the phone then, since she felt an embarrassed blush come to her.

 

‘Oh my god, I slept that long?! How irresponsible of me!’

 

“Oh my, I’m sorry. I must’ve slept in later than I thought. Kakashi is still sleeping right now too, I’ll need to go wake him.”

 

There was another half pause from the advisor before he replied.

 

“That’s perfectly fine, Sakura.” he spoke in a more reassuring tone this time, “We understand that you guys had a very long and stressful day yesterday and you got injured on top of it. We’ll come up in about an hour then and let you guys wake up a little bit. The detectives will be there sometime between noon and one o’clock too.”

 

“Alright, thank you very much. We should be ready by then.” she replied.

 

Saying their goodbyes, she threw her phone down onto the kitchen counter and rushed back out to the living room. Approaching the sleeping CEO, she knelt down next to him and reached out and nudged his arm lightly.

 

“Kakashi, wake up.” she whispered.

 

Kakashi’s eyes snapped open as he seemed to quickly register that it was her waking him. Sitting up, he turned and looked at her with worried eyes.

 

“What’s wrong? Are you okay?” he asked as he reached out to touch her bandaged cheek tenderly, “You’re not in any pain are you?”

 

Sakura couldn’t help but smile as a faint blush came to her cheeks at the worried nature he was suddenly displaying towards her. Reaching up, she laid her small hand on top of his much larger one and gave it a light squeeze.

 

“I’m fine, don’t worry.” she spoke softly, “But Shikamaru just called. He and Tenzo are going to be here in less than an hour.”

 

She watched as Kakashi’s face twisted up in confusion like hers had earlier.

 

“It’s ten in the morning.” she added quickly to answer the question she knew he’d ask next.

 

“Holy shit, we slept that long?” he asked as he made to stand up.

 

Letting go of her hold of his hand, she stood back up with him and nodded at his statement as a small laugh left her. He was doing a slight stretch as she spoke to him.

 

“Yes, we did. I can’t believe it either, but we need to go get ready. The detectives are going to be here for their follow up too shortly after the guys get here.”

 

Nodding at her, they both made their way to their respective bathrooms and rushed to get ready. Sakura took a quick shower and rushed to her room, silently thankful that she didn’t run into Kakashi again like yesterday, and threw on the first things she could pull off the hangers.

 

Rushing back into the bathroom, she brushed out and dried her hair and braided it before wrapping it into a low bun. She then quickly brushed her teeth and put on a clean bandage before making her way back out to the kitchen.

 

She found Kakashi already cooking them breakfast much to her surprise. His own hair still damp from the shower and dressed in his usual work attire minus the suit jacket and tie, his sleeves rolled up to his elbows.

 

'How can he look so attractive so easily?’

 

“You clean up quick.” she teased as she walked by him to the fridge and pulled out the orange juice to pour them each a small glass, “We still have twenty minutes to spare.”

 

He only chuckled as he plated the french toast he made and carried them over to the kitchen island. Turning around, he brushed by her as he reached next to her and grabbed the syrup and silverware. The smell of his cologne invaded her nostrils and she felt a warm shiver run of her spine at the captivating earthy scent.

 

‘Oh my.’

 

“You look nice too.” he hummed next to her ear before he turned away back to the waiting food.

 

Sakura halted her actions as the words registered in her.

 

‘Did he just say I look nice?’

 

She quickly regained control of herself with a quick shake if her head and grabbed the glasses and made her way over to him. Sakura watched as he silently went about his business and eat his french toast while she mulled over his possible compliment.  

 

“Thank you.” Kakashi mumbled as she sat one of the glasses next to him.

 

“No problem.” she quickly replied as she busied herself with her own food.

 

‘Did he mean that as a compliment or…?’ she silently thought to herself as they sat there together eating their rushed breakfast.

 

~~~

 

“We’ll also be taking the upcoming week off.” Kakashi said once they finished giving Shikamaru and Tenzo the rundown of yesterday's incident, “I’ll be doing all my work from home, so please cancel any meetings and appointments I had for the week. They should obviously understand given the circumstances. I’d like for Sakura to be able to rest and heal up.”

 

Sakura turned and looked at him with a bewildered expression. This was something that they had not discussed beforehand and she wasn’t about to let him decide this for her.

 

“What? No! I’m fine , Kakashi. A stupid cut like this isn’t going to prevent me from doing my job!” she quickly shot out.

 

Shikamaru watched with wide eyes as the bodyguard berated their boss. Tenzo remained expressionless as the scene unfolded further.

 

“I’ve already made up my mind. There’s no point in arguing.” he stated flatly.

 

“You do not need to take time off of work for me to heal!”

 

Kakashi shot her a pointed look before he replied in a deep and serious tone.

 

“It’s already been decided. End of discussion.”

 

It took everything in her not let out the annoyed groan that had been building up inside her. She needed to remain professional instead of wringing his neck in frustration.

 

‘Completely infuriating! He’s treating me like I’m some fragile doll!’

 

Shooting the CEO a dirty look, she let out a quiet huff and crossed her arms as they all sat there in his office. The sudden sound of the doorbell caused her to immediately switch back into a more professional mindset.

 

“That must be the detectives.” Tenzo piped up when Sakura stood to leave.

 

Going to the front door, she opened it to find two men dressed in rather nice suits. One brown and one navy blue.

 

“Hello, you two must be Obito and Madara?” she asked as she studied the two dark haired men.

 

“Yes,” the one in the brown suit said, “I’m Madara and this is my partner, Obito. You must be Mr. Hatake’s bodyguard? Sakura Haruno?”

 

Sakura just nodded once to confirm her true position.

 

“Alright, if you two will follow me. Kakashi is in his home office with his advisors, Shikamaru and Tenzo at the moment.”

 

She quickly guided the men through the house and down the hallway to Kakashi’s office. Once everyone settled into the provided seats and pleasantries were had, the two detectives cut right to the chase.

 

“Thanks to Ms. Haruno’s bravery the other day, we were able to arrest the man that had been following you the other month.” Obito spoke first as he nodded and gave Sakura a warm smile in acknowledgement in which she returned.

 

“Did you get any answers as to why he did this?” Kakashi asked, not wasting any time himself.

 

“While processing him, we quickly figured out that he was not from the Fire Nation. That’s why we were unable to find him in any of our systems. He’s from way out west, from the Land of Vegetables.” Madara was the one to reveal this.

 

“The Land of Vegetables?” Tenzo spoke for the first time since the meeting started, “We have no connections or business there though.”

 

Sakura glanced over at the usually quiet businessman as he spoke and quietly noted he was right. She had been given a list of their investments and companies they were involved with and Land of Vegetables was not on any list she had seen. It was small country with no major industry besides farming and some mining.

 

“We’ve done three sit down interviews and interrogations with him since yesterday afternoon. He’s been one hundred percent cooperative so far.” Madara added.

 

“The man said he found an unmarked package on his doorstep one day nearly two months ago. When he opened it there was ten thousand dollars cash and an additional five thousand with instructions attached with it to use that chunk to come to Konoha and kill Kakashi. If he succeeded and was not caught, there would be an additional twenty thousand waiting for him at home.” Obito continued to explain.

 

Sakura’s mind was sorting through all this information at a rapid pace to figure out the next steps she would need to take.

 

‘So the guy wasn’t a trained professional… That explains why I was able to take him down so quickly. Whoever is after Kakashi is obviously impulsive then, they’re probably desperate to get rid of him at this point since they failed to kill him back in July. That means there might be more random attacks like this… This isn't good…’

 

“So he knows nothing else? He hasn’t spoken to anyone about this? No cellphone logs, texts, or paper trails? Partners ?” Sakura asked her set of questions.

 

Both men shook their heads and frowns marred their stoic faces they had been displaying so far in this meeting. Sakura silently cursed to herself since this meant they didn’t have the answers she was probably looking for. Her next worry was Kakashi because she knew he really wasn’t going to like what they had to say.

 

“Nothing to point that he had any extra help. The package was unmarked so it wasn’t sent through the mail. We already dispatched someone to his home to collect the package and check it for fingerprints. He said he used that five thousand cash to pay for his travel and lodging. Even his gun was paid for with cash. He’s told us everything in hopes that we’ll reduce his charges, which we aren’t.” Marada explained further.

 

There was a tense pause before Kakashi broke the silence.

 

“So you’re telling me we’ve got nothing? Nothing at all? We’re back at square one again?!” Kakashi interjected, his voice getting louder with every question, “We still don’t know who is responsible for all this bullshit?!”

 

Sakura stared at him with wide eyes. She had never heard him get that loud before, let alone that angry sounding.

 

“Sadly, that’s what it’s looking like. But, what’s good is we’ve taken out a threat and you’re still safe.” Obito spoke up in confident reply.

 

Kakashi stood up suddenly from his chair, the motion causing it to slide and skid across the hardwood floor, and slapped his hands hard down onto the desk in front of him before he pointed a finger at her. She flinched every so slightly at the action.

 

Sakura was the one who took out the threat, this man! Not you! There is no “we” in this! I’m still safe and alive because of her !” he shouted at the two law enforcement officials, “She could’ve died and all you can say is “good” ?! All you guys have done is sit around on your asses and figure out nothing!”

 

“Kakashi!” Sakura shouted as she stood from her own chair, “Calm down! They’re doing their jobs the best they can! This isn’t an easy process for anyone by any means!”

 

The two of them stared hard at each other as the other men in the room quietly watched on in horror as the CEO and bodyguard shouted at each other. She didn’t know what overcame her then to have her own sudden outburst, but she couldn’t stop herself once she set herself in motion.

 

“I’m not going to sit here and twiddle my thumbs! There’s still a target on my back! Next time we get attacked, I could lose you! You already got hurt because of me, next time you might die!” he shouted back at her.

 

Sakura jerked back and froze at his words and was left speechless. Opening and closing her mouth a couple times, she struggled to get any words to come out. She watched something flicker through his mismatch eyes before he finally broke eye contact as he looked back down to his desk.

 

‘Lose me…? Why is he saying that?’

 

She glanced down and away from his face and noticed his focus was on his hands then and that they had began to tremble ever so slightly. He must have noticed that she noticed and clenched them tightly.

 

“Mr. Hatake, please understand that we are trying our hardest. We’ve got a team working full-time on this investigation.” Madara spoke up when the tension in the air was becoming too thick to handle, “We’re just as frustrated as you are that we are getting no headway. But, we need to be thankful for the little progress we have made. Without Ms. Haruno, we wouldn't even have these answers for you now.”

 

Kakashi just moved out from behind his desk and stormed out of the office and slammed the door closed behind him in the process.

 

“I’m so sorry for how he’s acting.” Sakura finally spoke as she turned to face the other men and bowed deeply, “I don’t know what’s gotten into him. He’s been acting odd since this all happened yesterday.”

 

She didn’t understand why she was apologizing for his behavior, she had never apologized for any of her clients before. If anything, this whole interaction today has left her even more confused than ever before. Obito and Madara both stood then and gave her reassuring smiles and bows themselves.

 

“It’s okay, Ms. Haruno. He’s obviously still in some shock from the ordeal and definitely feels guilty that you got hurt in the process.” Obito said, “So of course emotions are going to be running high.”

 

“I still want to apologize for his behavior.” she replied.

 

“Well, I’m guessing this interview is done since he left, so we’ll be heading out.” Madara spoke up, “We'll let you know if anything else comes up.”

 

“Same for us,” Shikamaru added as he and Tenzo both stood up, “We’ll leave Kakashi in your hands. He’s obviously not in the mood to deal with anyone at the moment.”

 

Within a few minutes, Sakura saw all four men out and once the door was shut she let out a tired sigh. She looked back to the hallway and contemplated whether she should try to deal with Kakashi now or let him cool off some.

 

Her mind went back to what he shouted in the office about losing her.

 

‘Why is he suddenly so worried about losing me?’

Chapter Text

Chapter 10

 

‘Damn it, gotta pee.’

 

Sakura whined silently to herself as she crawled out of the warmth and comfort of her oversized bed. She recoiled and her toes curled instinctively when her bare feet hit the cool wooden floor and quickly made her way out of the room and to her bathroom.

 

The sudden sound of a mixed mumble and low groan stopped her in her tracks before she reached the bathroom door.

 

The sounds were coming from Kakashi's room.

 

Sakura tiptoed her way over to the closed bedroom door to listen, half for curiosity's sake and half to see if there was an actual cause for concern. After a few more seconds of listening to the combination of sounds and mumbles, none that made any sense to her, she concluded that he must just be dreaming and talking in his sleep.

 

'That's kinda cute. I wonder what exactly he's dreaming about?’ she thought to herself with a smile as she made her way back to the bathroom to quickly attend to her business and retreat back to her room and into warm bed.

 

It had been three days since his outburst in his office and he had since been kind of sullen and withdrawn. It was nice to know he seemed okay, even if was just him mumbling in his sleep.

 

“Please, no! Don't! You can't!”

 

Sakura froze the moment she stepped out of the bathroom. The shouts were coming from Kakashi's room sent the bodyguard into autopilot as she turned and ran down the hall. All but kicking in the door, she continued to hear Kakashi shout out in distress as she scanned the room for a threat or enemy.

 

But there was no danger in sight.

 

‘What the hell?!’

 

She turned her attention to her left to the king sized bed and found Kakashi thrashing around half under his comforter. Sakura ran to the edge of the bed and realized instantly that he was still asleep.

 

'He's having a nightmare!’

 

“Kakashi! Wake up!” she called out as she reached out to grab his flailing arm, “Please wake up! You're not in any danger! You’re safe with me!”

 

Her words had no effect as she had to practically crawl onto the huge bed to pull him towards her in attempt to stop his violent jerking and to stop him incase he hurt himself.

 

“Please, don't die!” he shouted again, “You can’t die!”

 

Sakura stared down with wide eyes at his unconscious pleas. His voice sounded so broken and it struck a chord within her.

 

“Kakashi! I'm here! It's me, Sakura! I'm here! Please wake up! No one is dying!” she called out again, concern beginning to find its way into her voice.

 

'What's got him so scared?!’

 

Suddenly Kakashi reached out with his free hand and grasped her upper arm tightly and yanked her down on top of him in a crushing embrace.

 

“Kakashi?!” she gasped as she tried to wiggle out of his crushing hold to no avail.

 

'Damn, he's scary strong. Please let go, please let me go!’

 

“Sakura?!” his voice alert and clear as he spoke her name.

 

Sakura felt him immediately release her from his hold. She quickly sat up and crawled off of him. She looked down at him in the dim light of the room to find he was staring wide eye back up to her.

 

“It’s me, Kakashi… You’re safe.” she breathed as she reached out and touched his shoulder, “Are you okay?”

 

He didn't reply right away as he continued to lay there looking up at her like he had seen some type of ghost.

 

“What are you doing in here?” he asked, clearly confused.

 

‘Does he not remember that he was just having a violent nightmare?!

 

“I woke up to go to the bathroom and I heard you practically screaming! I thought you were in danger, Kakashi… I ran in here to find you flailing about in your sleep. You must have been having a nightmare, right?” she explained as she drew her hand back.

 

She suddenly realized that Kakashi wasn't wearing a shirt as he sat up in bed next to her. She was suddenly thankful for the near darkness as she felt her cheek heat up at the sight of his toned chest and abs.

 

'Oh my…’

 

She silently scolded herself for admiring him in a obviously inappropriate moment.

 

‘Get. It. Together.’

 


 

“I'm sorry I scared you like that.” he whispered quietly as he looked down at his trembling hands before he clenched them tightly.

 

“Do you have nightmares like this regularly?” she asked as she shifted to sit cross legged next him on the large bed.

 

Kakashi continued to stare at his hands in the dim light for a moment before he looked up to find those fierce green eyes studying him closely.

 

“Yeah.” he admitted with a small, almost ashamed nod.

 

Sakura’s face scrunched up slightly as if the answer hurt her and he felt guilty for some odd reason then.

 

“This is the reason you’ve been looking like hell lately, right?” she asked next, “You're not sleeping because of the nightmares?”

 

He only nodded again in acknowledgment to her question as he looked away from her and out to the floor to ceiling windows to his left. He heard a quiet sigh leave the woman. In that moment he knew why he felt guilty.

 

“Just how long has this been going on for, Kakashi?” she whispered, “Why didn't you tell me?”

 

Kakashi just let out a low groan as he rubbed his face. He was exhausted and knew he wasn’t going to be able to get back to sleep anytime soon. Not because Sakura was currently sitting next to him questioning him, but because he couldn’t get the images of this new nightmare he’s been experiencing lately out of his head.

 

-flash back to the nightmare-

 

“Kakashi! Get down!” Sakura yelled at him as she shoved him down and behind her.

 

The sound of bullets firing back and forth deafened his shouts back to the pinkette.

 

“Sakura! No!”

 

The next thing he saw when he opened his eyes was Sakura crumbled in front of him and the sounds of gunfire suddenly gone. He crawled to her side and found a pool of blood coming out from under her. He started violently shaking as he turned her over to check on her and gasped when he saw her entire front drenched in blood as well as her face bleeding from a deep cut on her cheek.

 

“Oh god, Sakura!” he cried out.

 

“It’s okay, Kakashi…” Sakura suddenly whispered as he held her, “I did my job. I’ll die knowing I was able to protect you.”

 

“Please, no! Don't! You can't!”

 

Sakura coughed violently a couple of times as he watched blood leak from the corners of her lips. He reached up and swiped always the trail of blood with his thumb.

 

“You’re safe now.” she breathed as she closed her eyes.

 

Panic set in as watched a smile graced her bloodied lips.

 

“Please, don’t die!” he shouted as he clutched her to his chest, “You can’t die! I can’t lose you too! Sakura, please! I love you!”

 

-end flashback to the nightmare-

 

Kakashi cringed to himself at the memory of him confessing he loved her. Did he?

 

‘I can’t let her know the nightmares have been about her recently.’

 

“They started shortly after my dad died. They’ve been increasing in frequency over the last couple of months though.” he revealed that much to her.

 

He wasn’t lying after all, just leaving out a couple details.

 

“Why didn’t you tell me sooner? We can get you some help or som-”

 

“I don’t want that kind of help.” he quickly cut her off as he turned back to look at her, “I’m fine. Besides the nightmares. I didn’t want to bother you, or anyone else for that matter, with this. That’s why I didn’t say anything. You don’t need to worry about me, you have enough on your plate already.”

 

Another quiet sigh escaped the petite bodyguard at his mild outburst. He glanced at the small band aid that was on her cheek, his mind instantly remembering the bloody gash that was in his dreams.

 

Kakashi felt his hands begin to tingle. The same exact tingling he felt after he washed Sakura's blood off at the emergency room. He looked down and was shocked to see that they were stained with blood again, but kept his face passive as he threw comforter to the side and scooted past Sakura and walked around his bed to his bathroom.

 

“I need to wash my hands.” he mumbled more so to himself than to her.

 

“Why?” she asked nonetheless.

 

“They're covered in blood.”

 

“What?! Are you hurt?” Sakura's suddenly voice cut through the room an octave higher than a second ago.

 

The same second he flipped on the light in his bathroom, she was next to him. The bodyguard grabbed his hands began to examine them before shifting her gaze over his bare chest. After a few seconds, she looked up to him with worried eyes.

 

“What blood, Kakashi?” she whispered quietly.

 

Pulling his hands from hers, he stepped up to the sink and began the process of washing his hands.

 

“I know you can't see it.” he stated flatly as he finished up and dried his hands, “I realize it's in my head, but it's there.”

 

'I can't let her know it's her blood I'm seeing either.’

 

He turned back and found Sakura regarding him cautiously. The strife in her eyes was loud and clear under the fluorescent lights.

 

He had been dealing with this since the incident earlier that week. He was washing his hands multiple times a day to get rid of the blood. He knew it was in his head, purely a result of trauma, but he couldn’t stop himself no matter how hard he tried to ignore the imaginary blood.

 

“You need to be seen, Kakashi. There is something wrong. If you're seeing things that aren't there, you most likely have some form of PT-”

 

“Don't.” he cut her off in a harsher than necessary tone, “I'm okay. Don't worry.

 

“Kakashi, it’s my job to worry about you. Even when I’m not working, I’m still… I'm still really worried about you.” she spoke quietly to him as they walked back into the dark bedroom and he sat down on the edge of his bed, “You don't have to go through this alone.”

 

Kakashi struggled to read her face in the darkness as she said this while she stood in front of him.

 

‘She’s worried about me even when she’s not working? What does that mean? Why does she even care this much?’

 

“At least let me help you.” she added softly.

 

The CEO grew even more frustrated with himself. Sakura had managed to invade every part of his being lately. The words she spoke to him now were not helping in the slightest either. Ever since the incident, he couldn’t stop thinking about her or her wellbeing. Granted, he thought about them before then, but now they were bordering on obsessive it felt like. He had been shouting he loves her in his dreams for heaven's sake and prayed that he wasn’t saying it out loud since Sakura revealed he had when shouting. If he did, she made no indication to it.

 

‘Do I really love her? Or is this some weird infatuation? I've never felt like this before.’

 

“Do you want to talk about it? The nightmares?” she spoke up again as she made to sit next to him on the edge of the bed.

 

Kakashi glanced over to her, not realizing he had lost himself in his thoughts.

 

“Not really.” he replied as he ran his hand through his messy hair.

 

'I don't think she'd like to hear that she keeps dying over and over in my dreams. Or that it’s her blood I’m seeing. She might blame herself… or think I’m completely psychotic.’

 

He watched her nod a couple times in understanding. They both turned face forward again and sat like that for a few minutes as they stared out the window into the pitch black darkness outside. It was yet another cloudy night and living in a skyscraper only made that more obvious.

 

“That’s okay. Just know you can talk to me whenever, okay? Night or day.” Sakura gently informed him as she broke their silence, “Like I said, let me at least help you if you don't want to seek outside help.”

 

“Okay.” he whispered.

 

“I’ll let you go back to bed then.” she said as she stood and turned towards the door.

 

“Sakura, wait.” he called out and started to reach out for her but stopped himself before he could grab her hand.

 

He didn’t want her to leave yet.

 

“Yeah?” she stopped at the edge of the bed and turned to look at him with a raised brow.

 

Now he was stuck holding the bag.

 

‘Could I even ask her to stay a little while longer or would that be too weird?’

 

Swallowing his pride, Kakashi looked at her more clearly. What little light that was streaming in from the windows, lit up her face enough for him to read her expression more clearly now. He bit his bottom lip as he took in just how beautiful Sakura looked at this moment.

 

She had pulled her long pink hair into a messy bun that had only been made messier from sleeping. She was wearing an old blue t-shirt that had faded letters reading ‘Konoha University’ on it and a pair of white fuzzy pajama pants that had little pink hearts on them.

 

'She looks like the epitome of cozy.’

 

Kakashi realized he hadn’t replied yet and glanced back down at the hand that had tried reaching out for her a few moments earlier and clenched it gently before dropping it back onto his lap.

 

“Would it be weird if I asked if you could stay for a little while longer?” he asked timidly as he glanced back to the woman he realized he had developed feelings for.

 

There was no use in ignoring that thought anymore. He had feelings. He even realized those feelings had somehow manifested in love at some point. He just needed to keep himself in check now. He couldn’t ruin what they had in this moment. He doubted she even viewed him in that same light that he viewed her in.

 

He felt weird. Feeling so vulnerable around people in general was something he wasn't used too. He had always remained fixed and focused, even after his father died. He couldn't waste time feeling bad for himself or crying in a corner when business needed to be taken care of.

 

But with her, with Sakura, it felt weird. But in a good way. He didn't mind opening up around her. She didn't care that he was vulnerable right now. She treated him no differently.

 

Sakura’s face registered surprise at his request for a few seconds. Kakashi immediately regretted asking such an obviously dumb question and opened his mouth to tell her not to worry and to go back to bed herself when she suddenly smiled sweetly at him.

 

“I think we’re beyond the realm of weird at this point. Don't you think? But, yes, I can stay as long as you’d like me to stay. I can stay for as long as you need me too.” Sakura spoke so softly he felt himself become breathless.

 

The pinkette walked around to the other side of the bed and scooted herself onto it and made to lean against his headboard a few feet away from his right side. The king sized bed was wide enough for them to comfortably occupy it without it becoming any weirder than it was already.

 

Kakashi let out a sigh of relief that she was being so nonchalant about this. She was right, they were probably way beyond the realm of weird at this point. He didn’t mind it though. He’d never really gotten this close to someone on such a level like they have and he found out that he enjoyed this odd friendship they shared. But now he was slowly coming to terms with his own feelings and he wasn’t sure how to deal with them.

 

‘I have feelings for her. But I can’t do that to her… She’s only here to protect me. Nothing else. If I go off declaring that I love her, she’ll probably think I’m creepy and quit.’

 

Glancing over to Sakura, he saw she looked completely relaxed as she sat near him. Making the conscious effort, he scooted himself back onto the bed as well and stayed bit to the left before he laid back down. Grabbing the comforter as he did so.

 

“Thank you.” he mumbled after a few minutes of silence, “You really don’t have to stay if you don’t want to. I know you probably want to get back to sleep yourself.”

 


 

“I don’t mind really. I wanna be here for you, Kakashi.” Sakura answered honestly.

 

‘Granted, this is a bit weird. But I don’t mind. I do wanna be here for him. I care for him. He’s been so distant lately, so this is nice. Plus, he’s being respectful and keeping his distance, so he’s obviously not trying to make a move on me…’

 

She felt the bed to her left shift and looked down to see that he moved onto his side and was facing her.

 

“How’s your cheek?” he asked.

 

Sakura reached up and touched the small bandaid on her face. It no longer stung when you she touched it or if she smiled.

 

“It’s fine. It’s healing nicely.” she told him.

 

“That's great. I'm glad.” he whispered.

 

They stayed like that for a little while longer. They chatted lightly over various things until she watched Kakashi slowly doze back off to sleep. She didn’t know how long she sat there watching him to confirm that he was indeed sound asleep and that no nightmares were starting back up, but she didn’t mind.

 

'He looks so peaceful.’ she thought as she studied his sleeping face, ‘I’m glad he said he needed me here.’

 

She didn’t know what overtook her in that moment, but she reached over a brushed back the unruly hair before letting her fingers trail down the pink scar on his left cheek. She blushed when she felt his hot breath on her wrist as she did so and pulled back immediately.

 

Being as gentle and quiet as she could, she slipped off the bed and tiptoed to the door to go back to bed herself.

 

“Goodnight, Kakashi.” she whispered with a smile as she closed the door to his room behind her.

Chapter Text

Chapter 11

 

The following weeks after Kakashi’s blow up during the follow up meeting and then Sakura's discovery of his recurring nightmares last week were quiet and tense. They didn’t leave the apartment once during the first week and the second week only consisted of going to work and going straight home the moment five o’clock hit.

 

Kakashi had refused to leave the building because he didn’t want to deal with the chance of getting targeted and thus increasing Sakura’s chance of getting hurt as a result.

 

Whenever she tried to argue and reason with him about not needing to worry about her, he would just snap at her and tell her to deal with it. He wouldn’t even argue with her anymore and it frustrated her beyond belief that he was acting so out of sorts.

 

So, she often stayed in her room and worked on her daily reports, not that there was anything to report. She started the process of planning out future safety procedures for them since there was nothing else for her to do now.

 

She always kept her door wide open to watch for Kakashi since he always remained holed up in his office or bedroom. So if he left either, he'd have to walk right past her door and she always used that as her chance to check in on him.

 

Over the course of those couple of weeks, the air between the two was also very different. It felt different than it did before they were attacked. He was more quiet and frustrated, mainly with himself it seemed. Sakura could understand why he was feeling that way, but couldn’t understand why he was behaving so oddly around her. Like he no longer wanted to be around her. Whenever she tried to speak to him about it, he’d just brush her off and blame work stress.

 

But she knew there was no work stress. She began to fear the worst. That he would want to remove her as his bodyguard. She immediately dismissed the thoughts when they became too painful to bear.

 

She didn’t want to leave him.

 

Kakashi experienced his nightmares nearly every other night since her discovery. She managed to convince him to keep his door open and hers as well so she could hear him and come to his side when needed. The nights he didn’t have nightmares, she still would check in on him and often found him tossing and turning in his bed.

 

Some nights, she heavily considered just laying down next him to guarantee that he’d remain safe from those terrible dreams, but Sakura never allowed herself to follow through. They were already pushing boundaries she’s never pushed before with a client and she didn’t want Kakashi to think she was some weirdo either. So she continued to remain seated next to him like she had been since the first night. She often stayed much longer than needed after he fell asleep. Not that she was worried about his nightmares coming back after she left, she just couldn’t bring herself to leave. Sakura found comfort in watching him sleep, knowing that he was safe and sound next to her gave a sense of peace she couldn’t describe.

 

It broke Sakura's heart to see him continuously be plagued with such bad dreams. He only talked a little bit with her about what the dreams were even about. He would just say people kept dying and that their blood would be on his hands. Kakashi would never say who though, but it didn't take a rocket scientist to figure that it was most likely his father who was dying over and over. He probably felt guilty that he had survived while his father died.

 

It was nearly compulsive for him now to wash his hands multiple times a day. It seemed the accident had triggered this new symptom. There was no set schedule and was completely random when it happened. She tried to talk to him about the blood, but that was one thing he always remained tight lipped about. He did mention once that his hands always tingled before he sees the blood because he had abruptly left dinner to go wash them earlier that week.

 

So Sakura studied his hands and quickly picked up when he began to clench and fidget in a specific way that it indicated he was feeling that tingling sensation. It happened randomly like she knew. Work meetings, dinner, and their morning runs together where some of the times when the compulsion took over.

 

Instead of trying to get him to stop, she decided to help him.

 

-flashback to last night-

 

“Here, make sure you're putting some lotion on your hands a couple times a day since you need to wash them so often now.” the bodyguard spoke passively as she sat a bottle of lotion on his desk that she had ordered for him.

 

Kakashi looked at her with a strange look as he eyed the bottle.

 

“Why?” he asked.

 

Sakura shot him an unamused look at that point.

 

“No one likes to shake hands with a CEO who has dry and cracked hands. I noticed all the washing is drying out your skin and this,” she pointed to the lotion, “will help prevent that.”

 

A few moments passed in silence before he spoke again, his voice barely above a whisper as he looked up to her.

 

“I thought you wanted to me stop washing my hands all the time?”

 

“I'm not going to nor can I force you to stop doing something you can't help but do. I'm trying to help you cope with it and deal with it in a healthy manner.” she replied as she regarded him warmly, “You mentioned you'll stop once the blood is gone, right?

 

She watched him nod slightly in agreement and she smiled at him more.

 

“Okay, so I'll be there to help you with it until it's all washed away You're not alone, Kakashi. You have me.”

 

-end flashback-

 

The only times she ever really saw him now was when they ate together or went into work and even then he was quiet and irritable. He still ran with her most mornings, a habit he picked up after their fun race those two weeks ago, but he was silent and never indulged in the conversations they once had. They had fallen out of the comfortable routine they established and she missed it she realized.

 

Sakura realized she missed him terribly.

 

This wasn't the Kakashi she had learned to know and like.

 

It was Friday night and Sakura had been sitting on the couch for the last few hours trying to read the book she pulled from Kakashi’s library earlier in the week, but kept finding herself getting distracted with her thoughts.

 

‘Why is he acting so weird? Especially when it’s just him and I… He’s not even acting differently with Shikamaru and Tenzo! It’s driving me crazy! This isn’t like him, something else has to be up. He knows he can open up to me!’

 

Snapping the book shut, she threw it next to her and got up and marched to his office were she knew he was working right now. She didn’t knock before she threw open the door, she watched as he jerked up from being hunched over his desk as he read whatever was on his computer screen.

 

“What the hell is this about?” he snapped as she marched to stand in front of his desk.

 

“Get up, we’re leaving.” she replied, purposely ignoring his question.

 

Kakashi stiffened at her words as he sat up straight.

 

“Is something wrong?” his tone edging with concern.

 

Sakura just shook her head and crossed her arms over her chest.

 

“Everything is fine, but you’re obviously not. I don’t know what’s gotten to you to make you hide away like this and to feel like you can’t talk to me. You need to pull that stick out of your ass or something. Come on, we’re going out. Let’s go grab a bite to eat or something.”

 

His expression went from concerned to one of utter disbelief.

 

“Absolutely not!” he shot back, giving her a dirty look.

 

Sakura groaned at his refusal. She didn’t really come prepared when the idea spang into her a few moments ago. She half regretted her impulsiveness at the moment.

 

“Then I at least demand an explanation.” she told him as she dropped her arms back down to her side and raised a pink brow.

 

Kakashi’s own silver brow rose at her sudden turn of direction as he continued to sit there.

 

“Explanation about what exactly?” he asked with a hint of sarcasm.

 

“Why are you acting like this? Why are you hiding away? You’re refusing to do anything you normally would do. It feels like you're avoiding me now too. You can’t even be in the same room as me for any period of time now! What did I do wrong? Is this because I know about your nightmares?”

 

“It’s none of your business.” he bit out at her as he formed a small frown and furrowed his brow, “And, I'm not avoiding you. The nightmares have nothing to do with this either.”

 

Sakura bit back another irritated groan. He was being curt and elusive again and it drove her insane. Where had the laid back and open Kakashi she had gotten to know over the last two months? He had always spoke his mind with her.

 

“Sadly, your business is my business. You are obviously avoiding me. Now, fess up. Please? I’m not asking you this as your bodyguard, but as someone who cares. What’s causing you to act this way? You've always been honest and open with me. What's different now for you to stop being this way with me? I want to fix whatever it is that has come between us.” she spoke more sternly as she took another step towards his desk.

 

She watched as Kakashi’s shoulders suddenly slumped and a long sigh leave him after she finished talking, surprised that he seemed to have relented so quickly to her questioning. He reached up and pinched the bridge of his nose before he slowly turned and stood up and walked around his desk to stand next to her. She looked up and found his mismatch eyes were filled with a deep sadness.

 

“Okay. I'm acting differently because I’m scared.” he admitted softly.

 

“Wh-what? What are you scared of?” Sakura asked next, completely perplexed at his sudden change of behavior.

 

‘Just how frightened could he be to completely shut himself off like this? What happened during the attack that triggered such a response from him?’

 

Kakashi closed his eyes then and took a deep breath as it seemed he was struggling to find the right words to say to her. She felt herself grow anxious as he finally opened up.

 

“I’m scared of getting hurt… again .”

 

Sakura felt her heart squeeze at the pain that registered in his voice. The amount of pain he had most definitely felt, both physically and mentally, from his accident back in July had obviously left a deep cut in him.

 

“But that’s wh-”

 

But I’m more scared of the idea of you getting hurt.” he quickly added as he interrupted her. When he reopened his eyes, the sadness had been replaced with an unwavering determination, “I can’t fathom the idea of losing you now, Sakura. Seeing how you got hurt protecting me, I can't have that. I don’t think I could deal with losing you in the same way I lost my father.”

 

A small gasp left the bodyguard at this information. Sakura felt a thousand questions hit her at once and suddenly felt light headed. Why is he saying this? Why is he suddenly this concerned about her? It was a simple cut to her cheek, it’s not like she had been shot. Is this why he’s being hiding? Because she got hurt?

 

“Kakashi… It-it’s… it’s my job to protect you . You know that! If I get hurt, or whatever, that’s just something we both have to deal with.” she spoke quietly as she internally fought the blush that was coming to her cheeks.

 

Kakashi closed his eyes and shook his head lightly at her before he opened them again.

 

“I know it’s your job, but it’s something I’m not willing to deal with anymore.”

 

She felt another wave of lightheadedness wash over her before she shook her head as if it would help sort her scrambled thoughts. She needed to remain focused and sure footed right now. She had to get to the bottom of this.

 

“Why are you suddenly saying this? Aren’t you more concerned about yourself?! It's you they're after, not me. I’m just a bodyguard, Kakashi! I knew what I was getting myself into when I entered into this assignment. I knew of the dangers and so did you before you hired me!” she desperately tried to reason with him.

 

Kakashi suddenly turned away from her and began a slow pace back and forth in front of his desk, running his fingers roughly through the unruly silver hair before he shoved them into his pockets. He was visibly struggling with whatever was bothering him and it only made her more concern. What wasn’t he saying?

 

“If me getting hurt is bothering you this much, why not just replace me? Find another bodyg-”

 

“No! Absolutely not. I'm not going to replace you, Sakura.” he shot out before she could finish her sentence, “I could never replace you.”

 

Sakura instinctively took a half a step back at how loud he had gotten with her. She grew irrationally angry with how he was handling the situation then.

 

“Why not?! Obviously I'm causing you more trouble than what I'm worth. You’ve been avoiding me! It seems quite obvious that you just don’t want to be around me! Wouldn't it be easier for you to just replace me?” she yelled.

 

“I do want to be around you! I want to be around you all the damn time, Sakura!” he yelled back as he faced her again.

 

“Then tell me why!” she shouted before she switched and spoke more quietly, nearly pleading to him at this point, “Please… Just tell me, Kakashi.”

 

“That was before I got to know you, Sakura. I can't do that now, I can't replace you.” he finally spoke after a few tense minutes, “Not after I finally realized…”

 

He trailed off before finishing whatever he was going to say. He pulled his hands back out of his pockets and rubbed his face in frustration. Sakura felt dizzy. Confused. She didn’t prepare herself to be dealing with this kind of situation right now. She couldn't move an inch, frozen in her spot, as she watched him pace for a few more seconds before stopping right in front of her again.

 

“Not after you realized what?” she finally whispered, unsure of what he was going to say next.

 

Kakashi looked down at her and sighed. He looked utterly exhausted now.

 

“Before I realized I had feelings for you.” he whispered back.

 

Sakura felt a shaky breath leave her then.

 

‘Oh, god. This can’t be happening right now.’

 




Kakashi watched cautiously as Sakura fully processed what he had said. He felt every bit anxious that any man could possibly feel in a moment like this. He couldn’t understand why he was as mad as he was until it dawned on him that it was all because he cared about Sakura and her well being. He was desperately in love with her, but she didn’t need to know the extent of his feelings right now. There were much bigger fish to fry currently.

 

Since that realization, he had tried like hell to keep a distance from her in hopes that, that might help with this this problem and it only proved more difficult. It got even worse when she discovered his recurring nightmares and often sat with him on his bed while he dozed back off.

 

He wanted to be near her at all times. He wanted to hold her, touch her, and kiss her. But he forced himself to stay in his office or in his room whenever possible. The only relief he got was when they shared meals or their runs, but even then, he forced himself to stay quiet and leave the moment they were done.

 

He felt like a damn child with how he had treated this.

 

“You have… feelings ? Romantic feelings ?” she asked when she seemed to have finally found her voice again.

 

Kakashi looked back up to her and struggled to pinpoint whatever emotions she was experiencing. Was it anger? Fear? Disbelief? Happiness? Did she feel the same back by chance? All he could manage to do in that moment was give her a simple nod to say yes.

 

“Kakashi… This, this is a dangerous game you’re playing.” she spoke quietly as she stood rooted in place as she began to fidget with her hands.

 

He felt awful that he was causing her to react so nervously.

 

“Do you think I don’t know that? I didn’t plan on this happening, you know. You’re my bodyguard for fucks’ sake yet here I am, throwing a wrench into this and making your life harder!”

 

Sakura looked away from him for a moment, her face scrunched up in thought.

 

“How are you making my life harder by admitting this?” she asked when she looked back up to him, breaking the deafening silence that had briefly fallen between them.

 

Kakashi looked at her, confused by the question. He figured the answer was quite obvious.

 

“Don’t you think this is weird? I just told you I have feelings. Romantic feelings towards you . You probably think I’m some weird pervert now. Aren’t you mad? Doesn’t this complicate things?”

 

She looked completely unamused with him at this point as she shot him a dirty look and now he was worried that he actually did manage to piss her off.

 

“I’m not mad. It only makes my life harder if you let it, which by the way, only makes your life harder as a direct result.” she deadpanned.

 

‘She’s taking this way better than I thought. I figured she’d bite my head off the moment I even hinted at having feelings for her…’

 

“Why are you taking this so lightly?” he asked while he furrowed his brow.

 

Sakura just shrugged with a half smile. Her face flushed with a blush that nearly matched her hair color at that point.

 

“Who said I didn’t feel the same back?” she mumbled as she avoided eye contact.

 

Kakashi felt like he had just been slapped across the face at her words. He cocked his head to the side as he looked at her more clearly.

 

‘She didn’t just say that, did she?’

 

“W-wait, what? You have…? Sakura? Do you feel the same?” he struggled to get the words out in a semi-coherent way.

 

Sakura shifted her weight to one side and looked off to the side, suddenly looking shy with her own admission. The blush on her cheeks only deepened as she chewed her bottom lip. He was so taken aback by her admission to admire how beautiful she looked then. She was wearing a fitted white long sleeve and a pair of black leggings, her long pink hair pulled into a ponytail and what little make up she wore had been removed.

 

“I wouldn’t be lying if I said I’ve missed you these last two weeks… I kept quiet because I didn't want you to think I was some weirdo either.” she said before she suddenly pointed at him, “Plus, didn't you think it was weird that I was so willing to remain by your side when you had your nightmares? I didn't do that because I was trying to be a good bodyguard, Kakashi. I did it because I care for you and I want to make sure your safe and that you don't suffer in silence!”

 

“You do care… You, you have feelings for me.” he whispered in disbelief.

 

He had not expected this when he realized he wanted her. He never fathomed the thought that she could possibly feel the same towards him. He dismissed it instantly. It all made perfect sense though. The comments that confused him were her thinly veiled attempts to tell him that she cared . They were beyond the realm of weird she had told him the first night she discovered his nightmares.

 

That was her telling him that her staying was her own choice, not a work related choice. Her trying to talk to him and get him to open up about his dreams and need to wash away blood that wasn't her doing her job. That was purely Sakura and her need to comfort and be an actual support system for him.

 

He suddenly felt stupid for how blinded and oblivious he had been.

 

“That’s why I barged in here just now! I couldn’t stand you distancing yourself from me any longer. Life's not the same without you anymore, Kakashi! I need you in it!” she suddenly blurted out.

 

Kakashi’s body moved before he realized what he was even doing. He took the couple steps that separated Sakura from him and reached up, cupping her face in his hands and leaned down and captured her into a deep kiss.

 

Sakura tensed up under his hold briefly before relaxing and returning the kiss with equal energy as he felt her small hands slide up his chest and rest on his shoulders. He felt a soft sigh leave them both as they indulged in the intensity of it all. He felt all the pent up stress and anxiety he had been experiencing these last few weeks melt away instantly.

 

The next second Kakashi felt Sakura push him back, forcing him to break away from the kiss and let go of his hold of her. As he opened his eyes, he instantly saw the incoming hand and the sound it made when her hand connected with his left cheek. The sting of the slap shot through his head as he quickly reached up to try and soothe the burning sensation it left behind.

 

Kakashi opened his eyes back up for a second time and saw Sakura looking at him with surprise clearly written on her face and suddenly he realized his mistake.

 

“I’m so sorry . ” he quickly began apologizing as he ran his hands over his face in both embarrassment and to continue soothing the cheek she had slapped, “That was a mistake!”

 

But it wasn't a mistake in his eyes. It didn't feel like a mistake. It felt right. Kissing her felt so natural. He had kissed enough women in his life to know that this was different.

 

“Who the hell gave you permission to kiss me?!” she yelled at him, “Because I sure as hell didn’t!”

 

Taking a half a step towards her, he was relieved when she didn’t try to move away. He lifted his arm to reach out for her, but second guessed himself and clenched his hand lightly before he dropped it back to his side.

 

“I’m so sorry , Sakura. I, I… I didn’t mean to… I was just… I, I don’t know. I’m sorry.” he tried to relay just how much he regretted acting without thinking.

 

Sakura threw her hands up in the air and made an exasperated sound. He cringed then as it was quite clear he pissed her off this time.

 

“You have some nerve, you know that? You can’t just assume I wanted to kiss you just because I said I wanted you too!” she shouted again, “Boundaries, Kakashi! Boundaries!

 

“But you did want to kiss me, right?” he dared asking with a slight smug smile, hoping to lighten the mood with his playful comment.

 

“Yes, but that's not the point!” she shot back, “A little warning could've been nice!”

 

Before getting a chance to reply, Sakura turned and stormed out of his office as fast as she entered it.

 

“No! Sakura, wait!” he called out to her and tried following after her, “Come back! Let me explain myself!”

 

“Leave me alone! I need to think right now!” he heard her yell before the sound of her door closing echoed in the hallway.

 

Kakashi stood in the doorway of his office staring down at her door for a moment before he turned and walked back to his desk and sat down in his chair with a loud groan.

 

‘What were you thinking, you damn idiot! Now she for sure thinks you’re a pervert!’

 

Reaching up, he continued to soothe the spot where she slapped him. He noted to never piss ed her off like that again. She definitely had a good arm.

 

‘But she said she had feelings too… But she slapped me? That was most definitely due to the kiss. Jesus, this is a huge mess.’ he internally groaned as he dropped his head against the hardwood of his desk.

 




Sakura paced all around her room lost in her racing thoughts. She did not think that impulsively storming into Kakashi's office would result in them both revealing they had feelings for the other. It did answer every single one of her questions, but man, was it unexpected.

 

‘Oh my god, he said he had feelings for me! Then I tell him I have feelings too!? What the hell is wrong with you, Sakura!? This is bad, this is so bad! You’re his bodyguard! He’s your boss !’

 

She had never admitted to herself until then that what she felt could possibly be romantic towards him. She knew he was a good looking, no, a down right gorgeous man, but to say she wanted him romantically? It completely flew over her head.

 

It was obvious though. She scolded herself for not noticing her own feelings sooner, let alone his. All their playful banter, dinners, and talks. They bonded, but somewhere along the line that bond crossed a line into romance. She had never enjoyed being around a client more than she did with Kakashi.

 

What had she done to even make him develop feelings? Her gut dropped as memories of the past flooded her.

 

'Please don't tell me this is a repeat of what happened at Sacred Heart. I can't… I can't go through that again. Please tell me he’s different.’

 

She walked into her closet and grabbed some pajamas and hastily ripped off her clothes and threw on the sleepwear. Making her way to her bed, Sakura literally threw herself down onto the soft surface with a huff. Eventually she crawled under the blankets and reached over and turned off the nightstand light and let the darkness consume the room. She stared up into the darkness and let her thoughts over take her.

 

She knew she wouldn’t sleep anytime soon.

 

‘What am I going to do… I don’t want to leave this assignment, but can I really let this happen? Is he only saying this to get in my pants? Can I really trust him? I can’t let myself get taken advantage of again… I’m just so damned confused.’

Chapter Text

Chapter 12

 

Kakashi looked up to the hallway for probably the hundredth time in the last hour as he sat at the kitchen island. It was well after ten in the morning and he had been up for a while now and Sakura still hadn’t left her room which was highly unusual for her.

 

She hadn’t joined him for their usual morning run together in his personal gym. He even lingered around for a while when he was done in hopes that she had just slept in late. It was something she often talked about doing, but never managed to follow through with. As the time slowly passed, he realized that she wasn’t going to show, so he reluctantly left and made his way back to his room to shower and get dressed for the day.

 

He didn’t like how much her lack of presence had bothered him now that he had admitted his feelings and wanted to be with her. The CEO reasoned that this was definitely a taste of his own medicine. He missed her and now he could understand clearly what Sakura meant when she said that him distancing himself from her had cut her deeply. He felt extremely guilty for forcing her through weeks of his selfish behavior and never once considered her feelings in the matter.

 

'You say you care, yet you ignored her! She was scared you hated her or something, you damned idiot!'

 

Kakashi eventually sulked his way into the kitchen and began making them breakfast and now he sat there at the kitchen island with one empty plate and one plate of now cold blueberry pancakes. His anxiety began to eat at him as the time passed and Sakura still refused to show herself.

 

‘Oh god, I really really fucked this up. She’s probably in there packing her bags and is gonna tell me she’s leaving. I feel like such an idiot. Why did I have to go and kiss her?! Wasn’t telling her you had feelings enough, you dipshit?!’

 

The sound of a door opening in the hall jerked him back to reality. Kakashi sat up straight as a board and watched the entrance of the hallway to see if she’d walk in. The next second he heard another door open and close and he slumped back down on the stool he was sitting on.

 

‘She went into the bathroom…’

 

Suddenly an idea popped into Kakashi’s head. Jumping up, he grabbed her plate of food and ran it to the microwave to reheat it. Turning away from that, he quickly rummaged around the cabinets and pulled out a mug and the box of specialty tea he had gotten Sakura last month.

 

‘I need to show her how truly sorry I am for overstepping like that last night. Maybe this will help.’

 

He hadn’t connected the dots at the time, but he realized he must’ve held some type of feelings for her for a while then since he went out of his way to make sure that he had some of her favorites things around the house.

 

He had spent two days searching everywhere online in his free time to find the specific tea shop in Konoha that sold the exact flavor and brand of tea she told him she loved the most and ordered her a couple of large boxes. He even structured dinners around some of her favorite dishes and recipes and had asked Choji to get her favorite chocolate and a couple of peaches whenever he went grocery shopping for him.

 

This was something he had never done before for a woman. He never made them breakfast. He never went out of his way to pay attention to their interests and actually get them things like this. Hell, he never even let any of them live with him. At most they stayed for weekends and that was that.

 

But with Sakura it was different. She came into his life with neither one of them having any intentions of developing feelings. She was hired by his company to protect him. She had to live with him. And, because of that, Kakashi believes that's how he fell in love with her. Kakashi figures that it was how he fell in love with her so fast. Maybe even at all. He saw her everyday habits and her changing moods. He saw more than just the bodyguard in her.

 

He saw the real Sakura.

 

The happy and silly Sakura who loved to read and watch reruns of the same sitcoms he loved. The sleepy weekend Sakura who exercised with him as they challenged each other with over the top scenarios then pigged out on chocolate and drank what seemed like gallons of her tea.

 

This is why him making this tea was his best and only possible attempt to show her he really did care.

 

Filling the kettle, he turned on the burner of the stove and busied himself with prepping the tea leaves while he waited for the water to boil. He had always just used the basic tea bags whenever he made himself tea, so he wasn’t used to steeping loose leaf tea like this. He had ordered all the accessories so Sakura could make it easily and whenever she wanted and now he stood there unsure of exactly what he was doing.

 

He hoped he didn’t mess up and it end up tasting bad. He had read and reread the extremely vague instructions on the box about twenty times at this point. He had even watched her make it a handful of times and it didn’t seem that complicated.

 

“What are you doing?” the soft voice of Sakura spoke up from behind him.

 

Kakashi jumped slightly at the sudden presence of the bodyguard. He never heard her leave the bathroom and enter the kitchen. Just how long had she been there watching him? Turning around to face her, he saw that she was dressed in loungewear and her hair pulled up into a messy bun. It was a positive sign since it didn’t look like she was preparing to leave like he had feared. He released the breath he didn't realize he was holding. She was half peeking around him to see what he had been doing.

 

“Sakura! I didn’t hear you come in. H-how are you?”

 

The sudden ding of the microwave signalled her food had finished reheating, causing Kakashi to jump once more.

 

“That’s your breakfast in there, by the way. I reheated it for you.” he added quickly as she watched him curiously, a barely there smile playing on her lips.

 

He didn’t know why he was so nervous suddenly, but he was. Sakura stepped past him and walked to the microwave to get the food.

 

“Thank you.” she said quietly as she made her way to the island to begin eating, “And I’m fine too, thank you for asking. Sorry for missing our run and breakfast, I lost track of time.”

 

Kakashi stood there in a stunned silence at how normal she was acting.

 

‘Lost track of time? What does that mean exactly? Is she just going to ignore what happened?’

 

The sound of the kettle starting to whistle distracted him then. Pulling it off the burner, he poured the boiling hot water over the ball of tea leaves and let it steep. Kakashi kept his gaze fixed on the mug of tea brewing as he thought out his next steps carefully.

 

‘I can’t tell if she’s still mad at me or not. She told me, well more like yelled at me, that she needed time to think. Has she made a choice or…? She said she lost track of time this morning, so that means she’s been up for a while and didn’t sleep in like I thought. I hope she’s not nervous to be around me now. If that’s the case, I’ll never forgive myself.’

 

Pulling the strainer containing the leaves out, he grabbed a spoon and scooped two large spoonfuls of sugar into the mug and stirred it.

 

‘I hope I got this right…’ Kakashi thought to himself as he brought the hot drink over to where the pinkette, who had been silent for the last few minutes, was sitting.

 

“Here.” he said softly as he sat the hot mug in front of her.

 

Sakura looked up from her half empty plate of pancakes and studied the mug for a second before glancing up to him.

 

“You made tea? You’ve never made me tea before. Why?” she asked while she quirked a pink brow at him and continued to eat.

 

“Peace offering.” he shrugged in an attempt to play it cool.

 

Kakashi watched as she narrowed her eyes at him for a second and his anxiety of the situation skyrocketed then.

 

“Peace offering for what exactly?” she asked next as she popped another piece of the syrup soaked food into her mouth.

 

‘She is ignoring this!’

 

The CEO sighed as he frowned slightly at her. He decided then that he wasn’t going to beat around the bush anymore. He’d done enough of that and now it was time to properly deal with this.

 

“Sakura… about last night…”

 

“What about last night?” she spoke up before he could continue speaking.

 

Sakura suddenly stood and grabbed both plates that sat on the island and made her way over to the sink. Kakashi turned slowly and watched her as she rinsed the plates off before putting them into the empty dishwasher.

 

“I want to apologize for my actions.”

 

“You already apologized though, so there’s no need to apologize again.” she deadpanned as she returned to the stool and took a tentative sip of the tea he just made her and smiled, “Oh, this is delicious!”

 

Kakashi stood there dumbfounded at how nonchalant she was acting. This was not the angry and loud Sakura that slapped him across the face last night for suddenly kissing her without permission. She just sat there nursing the beverage he made he like the conversation they were having was completely normal. He didn’t know where he stood with her currently and he couldn't help but fear the worst.

 

“I just don’t want anything to be weird between us. Well, any weirder than it already is. I mean if you don’t feel th-” he started saying, but she cut him off with a raised hand before he could finish.

 

“Nothing has to be weird between us. It won’t be weird if you don’t let it.”

 

Kakashi just stood there even more confused by her words.

 

“I don’t know what you mean by that exactly…”

 

Sakura suddenly sat down the mug of tea and straightened up and face him head on. The sudden shift of demeanor put him on edge.

 

“What I mean is that I do in fact feel the same, I told you that last night. So there’s nothing to be worried about. I just wasn’t prepared to be kissed like that, that’s why I reacted in that way. But you’re going to have to work with me on this, okay?”

 

Kakashi’s eyes widened as the weight of her words began sinking in.

 

“Wait, so you’re saying…?”

 



A small smile came to the womans face as she watched him slowly work through what she said so far.

 

“I’m saying that you’re going to have to be patient with me. Really, really patient . There’s a lot of factors at play in this. I just need to make some things clear first, okay? I have some questions too.”

 

“I can be patient, so no worries there. Have I told you how sorry I am already? I’m making that clear for myself. What do you need to make clear though? Ask anything.” he said confidently as he nodded to her.

 

Sakura smiled bigger at his determination. So far it looked like he was being truly serious about all this.

 

‘I really hope he can be as patient as I’m hoping for…’

 

“First and foremost, I’m your bodyguard. That trumps everything else right now. Everything. Do I make myself clear? I’m still responsible for your life, so you need to understand that, that is my job. I don’t want you to put yourself in unnecessary danger if something were to happen again. You’re still technically my boss too, so there’s lots of questions of ethics in all this. But we’ll get to all that later when we have too.” she began explaining.

 

Kakashi just continued to nod along to what she’d said so far. His expression was a cute mixture of seriousness and excitement. It was a nice confidence boost since Sakura had been antsy all morning about coming to this conclusion. It was the main reason she didn’t join him for their run or for breakfast like usual.

 

“Second is that I told you that you’re going to have to be very patient with me, okay? I’m not used to things like this and I’m nervous. I’m really nervous, Kakashi.”

 

“I’m nervous too.” he replied softly.

 

Sakura bit her lip and looked back down to the cup of tea sitting between them. Kakashi hadn’t moved an inch from where he stood next to the island and she remain fixed on the stool next to him.

 

‘Oh, trust me, I’m sure I’m much, much more nervous…’

 

Sakura continued to stare at the swirling steam coming from the tea for a moment before she found her voice again.

 

“I’m not very comfortable with romance or all the things that come with it, it seems. I have my reasons why and I’ll explain them as we progress together.” she quietly revealed, “I still feel bad for slapping you last night, I hope I didn’t hurt you too much. But, if you’ll let me… Let me take the lead in this? I promise that if you’re patient with me, that this can work.”

 

When no reply came from him after a few deafening seconds passed, Sakura looked back up and found he was watching her closely. His brow was furrowed slightly as a small frown marred his handsome face.

 

‘Oh god, he doesn’t want me now after revealing all that. Who would?’

 

The same feeling of anxiety she felt last night began to work its way back into her then. She felt foolish to think that a man of his standing would want someone obviously as damaged as she was.

 

“Okay.” he suddenly spoke up after another minute, “I want to make this work, so yes, please take the lead. You’re in complete control. I have complete faith in trust in you.”

 

The pinkette sucked in a deep breath then. When had she stopped breathing? A wave of relief washed over Sakura the next moment and she couldn’t stop the grin that came to her.

 

“Really? You’re fine that I’m asking so much from you?” she asked, unable to comprehend that he had agreed to her requests so easily.

 

Kakashi smiled big back at her and nodded a couple of times in agreement.

 

“On the contrary, I think you’re actually asking very little of me. You’re just asking me to be respectful to you and let you decide when you’re ready to move forward with things. I don’t think that’s too much to ask for if it means I get to be with you. I’ll agree a hundred more times if that’s the case.” he explained.

 

Sakura couldn’t help the goofy grin that she shifted into. She had stayed up nearly all night worrying about this. She had laid in bed for hours after she woke up questioning whether she was making the correct choice or not. She had so many worries and fears about this that she figured he wouldn’t want to deal with such trivial things.

 

She thought she wouldn’t be worth his time. He obviously had the pick of the crop if his dating history had anything to show for.

 

“So you’re perfectly fine with going slower than a snail's pace?” she asked again because she was still stunned with how well he was taking all of this.

 

Kakashi continued to nod at her as a small laugh came to him at her silly way of phrasing going slow.

 

“They say patience is virtue, right? Good things come to those who wait.” he said as they continued to smile at each other.

 

Her smile fell for a moment when she realized she still had a couple more questions and concerns. Kakashi must have seen the brief change and his own expression changed into one of concern.

 

“What’s wrong?” he asked.

 

Sakura chewed at her bottom lip for a moment as she worked up the courage to ask the question that bothered her the most. She dropped her gaze back down to the tea that sat next to her.

 

“Are you going to treat me the same way you treated all the others?” she whispered.

 

There was a tense pause before he replied.

 

“What do you mean like the others?”

 

Sakura bit her lip then to control her flaring irritation.

 

“I know about your dating history, Kakashi.” she stated firmly as she looked back up to him with a half dirty look, “I’ve read the interview transcripts of every woman you’ve been with in the last ten years as part of the investigation.”

 

Kakashi’s brows shot up at this revelation and he looked truly stunned for a moment before it twisted in something that resembled discomfort. This was obviously something he didn’t know about with the investigation. Any person who he associated with within the last ten years was interviewed and questioned to help shorten the list of possible suspects. This included all twelve women he dated since he turned twenty years old. No one was overlooked.

 

“I’m assuming they didn’t have anything nice to say, huh?”

 

Sakura just shook her head to answer his question. A long sigh left him then as he reached up and scratched the side of his head. It was clear he was nervous about being called out in such a way.

 

“I can’t excuse or ever forgive myself for how I acted then, but I want you to know that I’m not that man anymore. I used to be an ass to everyone in my life, ask Shikamaru or Tenzo or anyone at the company if you want. I’m sure many still view me as one and I don’t blame them…” he explained, “I decided to change, hopefully for the better, after the accident. I needed to change and I figured not being a prick should be one of those changes. I don’t want anymore regrets. It was a wake up call for me. Being selfish doesn’t get me anywhere.”

 

The pinkette sat there for a moment processing everything he said.

 

“That doesn’t really answer my question though.” she pointed out.

 

He could say he’s changed all he wanted, but actions always spoke louder than words. Her past had confirmed that.

 

“I have zero intention of treating this like my past relationships. It’s cliche to say, but this is different for me. What I feel for you now is nothing like how I felt then for them.”

 

Sakura couldn’t help the small smile that came to her then. It was extremely cliche to say, but she was thankful he was at least trying.

 

“I’ll never forgive you if you’re lying to me.” she said quietly.

 

“Then let me prove to you how serious I am.” Kakashi spoke confidently, “I want to be a better man for you, Sakura. This isn’t about me anymore.”

 

Sakura reached out then and grabbed the hand by his side and tugged him over to where she was seated.

 

“Okay,” she whispered to him, “Prove to me how serious you are.”

 

Straightening up more in her seat, she let go of his hand as she reached to snake her hands up and around his neck. Kakashi quickly caught on and dipped his head down and captured her into another kiss and let his hands rest on her hips as he moved to stand between her legs.

 

Sakura felt like she would float away if she let go of him as she relished in how gentle he was being with her. She smiled into the kiss as she pulled him in closer and felt that one of his hands had slid around and rested onto the small of her back.

 

She couldn’t believe that this was actually happening. This was the first, well second now, kiss she’d experienced in well over four years. It felt so right to be kissing him.

 

She had only planned for the bad and worst case scenario in this situation, so she had never fathomed that he would have wanted this as much as she did. She felt silly, because all the signs pointed to it. He really did care.

 

After a moment, they pulled back for air and Sakura felt him give her a quick peck on the corner of her mouth before he rested his forehead on hers. She never wanted this moment to end.

 

“I could definitely get used to this.” he mumbled quietly as she stared up into the mismatched eyes he donned.

 

Sakura couldn’t stop the small giggle that left her. She felt like a giddy school girl with how she was behaving, but she couldn’t help herself. She hadn't felt that happy or comfortable in an extremely long time. She hadn’t let anyone get this close in years.

 

They stayed like that for a long while. Neither one moving more than they had to.

 

Sakura let her fingers lazily play with the ends of his silver locks while he peppered her lips and cheeks with more kisses. Eventually she let her arms drop back down into her lap and Kakashi released his hold of her too and took a half step back and stood straight again.

 

“I definitely agree.” she finally replied as she felt a blush come to her cheeks.

 

Sakura looked back down to the mug of tea and smiled bigger. Picking it up, she took a welcomed drink before smirking up to Kakashi.

 

“You made this perfectly by the way.”

 

She laughed when he gave a surprised look.

 

“Really? That was the first time I’ve ever made tea like that. I remembered you had said “two generous scoops of sugar” too. It’s not too sweet or bitter?” he quickly asked for more critique.

 

“Like I said, it’s perfect.” she reassured him.

 

“Like you.” he shot back with a smirk and raised brow.

 

Sakura just continued laughing at his poor attempt of a compliment.

 

He was definitely starting to prove himself.

Chapter Text

Chapter 13

"Kakashi, I'll be right back. I'm going to run to the bathroom."

The silver haired man just nodded absentmindedly from his desk as he continued reading over whatever work document was in his hand. Sakura smiled as she stood up from her chair and walked out and down the hall towards the ladies room. Whenever they were working he was usually so absorbed in the work that he barely noticed his surroundings.

It had been a little less than two weeks since the two of them had entered into their relationship. Next to nothing really changed in their everyday lives besides the fact they shared kisses and hugs when they were in the privacy of his home. Most evenings they would just snuggle up on the couch and watch mindless television while she did her daily reports for work.

Sakura had made him promise for the time being that there was strictly no PDA while they worked or went out in public and he was perfectly fine with it. He revealed he wasn't one to be overly affectionate in public to begin with. And she was silently thankful he was sticking to his promise of "going slower than a snail's pace" with her. She knew it was a lot to ask from him. But, she also knew that if he really cared for her like he claimed, he would respect her wishes.

"I don't care, I need that money back!" she heard the muffled shout of a man echo from the service stairwell that was just off to the side of the elevators.

"Lower your voice!" the voice a woman hissed then.

Sakura stopped walking and edged closer to the closed metal door. There was no window on the door so she strained her hearing to continue eavesdropping.

'Why are they in the service stairs?'

"What do you mean you don't know where it's at?" she heard him shout again, "I swear to god if you don't find it soon, I'll have your head! That was twenty thousand dollars!"

Sakura tried desperately to connect the voices to faces, but struggled before she heard them fade away as they walked further down the stairs. Sakura stood there contemplating if she should follow them, but decided to dismiss the thought since it seemed they were only arguing over money.

This was a multimillion dollar investment company after all, so arguments like that were regular.

She still thought it was a lot of money, even if it was just a drop in the bucket to some. Kakashi had informed her last week that investments failed quite often if you didn't pay close enough attention. There was no single way to succeed in the industry, you just had to be smart and analytical. He mentioned how he kept a diverse portfolio of investments and never kept all his eggs in one basket, so if one failed he could easily fall back onto one of his other investments. She found all this information interesting as she watched in awe as he could decipher charts and charts of financial information like it was simple math. And how people were needed to help keep the ship afloat with all the investments him and his late father had made over the companies over thirty year history.

Sakura looked around the halls to see if anyone else had been around and found that there wasn't a soul nearby. Deciding the weird stairwell shouting match wasn't worth her worry, she walked away and made her way to the bathroom.

"You were gone a while." Kakashi pointed out casually when she settled herself back into her seat at her desk that was adjacent from the CEO's.

Sakura shot him an unamused look.

"Are you timing how long it takes me to pee?"


Kakashi snorted in laughter as he finally looked up from the documents for the first time since she had returned. A playful pout clear on his face.

"Mah, Sakura. You never let me have any fun. Of course I'm timing your bathroom breaks! I'm not paying you to slack off!" he said with a cheeky wink.

He barely had time to duck as she whipped a pencil at him. Sitting back up, he got a clearer look at her to find she was shooting daggers at him with those bright green eyes he loved so much.

"You could've taken my eye out! I've lost one already, I don't feel like losing another one!" He stated in a monotone voice, despite the shit eating grin he showed her.

Sakura suddenly gasped at his statement and clamped her hands over her mouth as she realized what she had done.

"Oh my, I'm sorry! I wasn't thinking!" she quickly apologized.

Kakashi couldn't hold it in any longer as he burst out in laughter at the look of pure panic on her face. He watched as her hands dropped from her face and watched him with utter confusion written all over her small face.

"I'm just joking! I couldn't help myself. You're way too easy to tease!" he got out as he let his head fall into his arms on the desk.

The next moment he felt another what could only be a pencil bounce off of his head and fall to the floor somewhere beside him. Looking back up again, he found she had returned to her earlier dirty look.

"You were aiming that time!" he whined as he nursed the spot the pencil tip has hit him.

"Damn right, I was! You're so infuriating!" she snapped back as she returned to her own work.

Kakashi just hummed happily as he turned and picked up the two pencils off the floor. Sitting back up, he glanced back over to Sakura and found she no longer looked as grumpy as she did a moment ago.

A small smile played on her lips as she grabbed her pen and started her work up again.

With a smile of his own, Kakashi returned to his own work as well.

It had been a little less than two weeks since Sakura told him she wanted this too and he couldn't have been more happy with how things were going. They had immediately fallen back into their old habits and routines, but with a more comfortable familiarity between them.

He didn't push it when she said she need time and his patience for her to come around. She never really indulged romance before, she told him, and that only confused him. How could someone as beautiful and friendly as Sakura not experience love on a consistent basis?

He could excuse the last near four years she'd been a bodyguard, but before that? Kakashi wondered why she chose not to date when she so easily could have the pick of the crops. He saw how other men looked at her whenever they went downtown. Anyone with a half decent pair of eyes could see the natural beauty she radiated.

He wondered if something happened in her past that made her actively choose to remain single.

Kakashi wasn't going to argue her deciding he was worth it though. He knew she wasn't into him because of his position or wealth, something he often ran into with his exes. She had made that clear hundred of times whenever she threatened to kick his ass or put him in his place before either revealed their feelings.

What he felt for Sakura, for him, was on a more intimate and deeper level than anyone else had ever been before. He promised to prove himself to her and show he how serious he was and he was damned determined to give her the world.

'She said she was nervous so maybe she's stepping outside her comfort zone?'


An hour passed as the two continued doing their own work when a sudden knock came to the office door. Sakura sat up and looked at Kakashi with a confused look and found he was giving one back. Neither was expecting any visitors or had any meetings planned at this time.

"Enter." Kakashi quickly spoke up.

When the door opened, it revealed that it was Shikamaru on the other side and Sakura relaxed back into her chair.

Her and the slightly older advisor had developed a friendly work relationship. She found out he was married to his high school sweetheart and had a thirteen year old son. Sakumo had hired him straight out of university a few years before Kakashi started with the company himself. Shikamaru was a rather lazy and laid back man, but he worked hard for Kakashi and the company.

"Ah, Shikamaru, what can I help you with?" Kakashi asked as he put down the file he was holding.

"I came by to see if you've seen Tenzo? He got a call during our meeting earlier and left and never returned. He looked pretty pissed."

Sakura stiffened in her seat as she listened to the two talk. It dawned on her then that one of the voices she heard in the stairwell earlier had been Tenzo's. Who was the woman then? She couldn't recall any women she had met so far at work that matched that woman's. It was obviously someone Tenzo knew then. Shikamaru was right, he did seem extremely pissed. Deciding to keep her mouth shut, she continued to work as she listened in on the two businessmen.

"No, I haven't seen or heard from him since this morning when you guys were here then."

"Hmm, maybe something came up at home and he have to leave. He told me his mother has been sick a couple weeks back, hope it doesn't have anything to do with that." Shikamaru sighed, "Said she's got alzheimers pretty bad."

Sakura felt a slight sadness come to her at the possibility that Tenzo's mother could be sick or hurt. But it quickly passed when she remembered that he was yelling about money and there was zero mention of his mother. Plus who was the woman? Maybe someone connected to his mother? Maybe something with her insurance? A caretaker?

'It could be about money for her treatment? She must be with a facility or something. Maybe that woman was a caretaker or a representative? Maybe a lawyer?'

"I didn't know that. If he needs time off to be with her, I'll gladly give it to him. Especially with the holidays coming up. I don't want him to stress himself out." Kakashi replied with, concern evident on his voice.

Sakura couldn't help the smile that came to her and she stared down at the papers on her desk.

Kakashi was such a caring person through and through and he obviously cared about the well being of his employees and their families. He really was putting forth the effort of being a better man after all.

He wasn't some heartless CEO like many she's encountered over the years in her job. He was a rare breed of boss that put others before themselves. This was probably why the business was as successful as it was now. He said profits have been skyrocketing in that last couple months, not that it wasn't successful to begin with.

Kakashi treated everyone as equals and never flexed or flaunted his wealth.

Shikamaru and Kakashi spoke for a few more minutes before the advisor departed.

"So you ready to go home?" he spoke up after a short period of comfortable silence passed.

His voice pulled her out of her head and she looked up to him with a confused look after checking the clock on her computer.

"We still have thirty minutes left before it's time to go though?"

Standing up from his desk, he shrugged lightly as he stepped around to where she was sitting and stretched his arms over his head.

"Finished up my work a little early and figured we could just head out instead of sitting around." he explained and she looked up to him, "That is if your not working on something important?"

"No, I'm not." she quickly replied as she turned and stuffed the files on her desk into her work bag, "We can go home a little earlier if you want. Besides, my feet are killing me in these heels."

"You're definitely not one of those frilly girls, that's for sure." he playfully teased.

Sakura only rolled her eyes at him as she stood and pushed in her chair.

"No, I'm not. It's quite inconvenient in my line of work, plus I never was when I was younger. Give me flats, sneakers, or boots and I can do anything. Heels? Not so much. I like them more for show, not everyday use."

Together they walked out of the office and towards the elevators.

"Then why wear them if your feet hurt?" he asked as they walked along.

"I have to look the part as your assistant. Plus, you insisted I get all the heels I was looking at when we went shopping a couple months ago!"

Kakashi just hummed for a moment.

"I just wanted to make sure you had everything you wanted and needed. You looked like you wanted them after all!" he sassed back.

A playful scoff left her at his statement.

"I did want them! It's just working in them for eight hours a day makes my feet and calves so sore. You spoil me way too much, you know that right?"

"Oh, I haven't even begun to spoil you yet." Kakashi deadpanned.

Sakura stopped as they approached the elevators and turned and studied her boyfriend for a moment.

"What?" he asked after a second.

"Did you have a crush on me then? When we went out that day?"

Kakashi's face scrunched up in thought as he recalled the memories of that day.

"Nope, but it wasn't long after then that I think I started too. I didn't realize it until the day you got hurt though."

Sakura blinked and looked away then. She knew he was still struggling with the results of that day. His nightmares were consistent still and he was still seeing the blood on his hands. Thankfully the lotion she got him was doing it's job and hiding the evidence from the world. Sakura knew he wanted to keep that issue between only them. She didn't know that, that incident was what made him realize that he held feelings though. She felt slightly guilty for bringing up this subject.

She reached up instinctively and touched the spot that once had a gash. It was completely healed now and left only a faint scar that was barely noticeable unless you knew where it was.

"I'm sorry." she whispered.

"Don't be." he replied instantly, "I'm thankful I came to terms with my growing feelings."

She felt his fingers brush over hers then as he traced over where she had been hurt. Sakura glanced back up and found him regarding her with a content expression.

"I wouldn't have you like this now if the chain events that took place then never happened." he added quietly.

Sakura smiled as she silently nodded up to him.

"You're right. Let's be thankful for what we have." she replied as she let her finger intertwine with his for a moment.

They stood like that for a moment before they both realized that they were still standing in front of the elevator and out in the open. Dropping their hands to their sides, they shot goofy smiles to each other.

The second Sakura reached out to hit the button to call the elevator to them, the doors dinged and opened and revealed Tenzo standing alone in the elevator.

"Oh, Tenzo! What a pleasure to see you!" Kakashi exclaimed happily, "Is everything alright with you? Shikamaru came to me and said that you got a phone call and left a meeting in a hurry earlier."

Sakura watched closely as the usually quiet man's eyes widened in surprise that fact that Kakashi knew of his earlier disappearance.

"Oh, yes! Everything is fine! I'm sorry for causing any concern. My mother hasn't been feeling well these days and the live in nurse called me and said she had fallen, so I rushed home to make sure everything was alright." the advisor explained as he rubbed the back of his head in embarrassment.

'He's lying.' she quickly thought to herself as she studied him closely and noticed his barely there fidgeting and small sweat beading at his temple, 'Why is he lying about something like that?'

He or the mystery woman must have not heard her and Sakura decided to keep her mouth shut again. No reason to raise any unneeded suspicion. She still didn't have all the facts to make a sound choice or judgment to begin with.

Tenzo stepped out of the elevator then and glanced at her and she immediately gave him a worried look as if she was reacting to his story.

"Is she alright?" she asked for added measure.

Tenzo nodded a couple times and gave her a reassuring smile.

"Yes, she's perfectly fine thankfully. Just a sore bum." he said as he rubbed the side of his head.

It took everything in the bodyguard to not roll her eyes at the fake information he was providing.

"Tenzo, you know if you need any time off to be with her, I'll gladly allow that." Kakashi said next.

Both Sakura and Tenzo looked over to the silver haired man at that and she smiled warmly again at his generosity, but didn't fail to notice how Tenzo barely reacted to such an offer.

"Thank you, Kakashi. But right now, I'm fine. I'll take it into consideration though. But I do need to get going, I sadly have some work to finish up here since I left so abruptly. You two have a nice evening." he replied.

Before either could get in a proper reply to say goodbye, the advisor stepped by them and down the hall to where his own office was located. Sakura watched him closely as he walked out of their view before looking back up to Kakashi with a smile. It was obvious that Kakashi had no clue what was going on inside her head and she was thankful for it. She didn't want to him to worry just in case she was wrong. She was an overly cautious woman, so she noticed things underneath the underneath.

She wouldn't allow herself to get taken advantage of ever again.

Plus, she didn't have enough information to form any opinions other than more questions which she couldn't get answered at the moment.

"Well, you got your answer on that. Ready to go home?" she said in hopes to quickly change the subject.

Kakashi smiled back down to her and nodded once in reply.

"More than ready. I'm itching to get outta this suit."

Sakura just shook her head with a smile as she pressed the button to call the elevator again and together the rode up to Kakashi's place.

Walking into the house, she immediately felt as Kakashi intertwined his fingers with hers the moment the door closed behind them. Sakura turned to her right and looked up to him with a smug smile.

"Just couldn't wait to get home, huh?" she lightly teased.

"I'm a simple man, what can I say?" he teased back as he smiled down to her.

Sakura smiled brightly back up to Kakashi for a few seconds.

"You really want to kiss me right now, don't you?"

"Maybe. Who wouldn't?" he replied honestly.

Sakura stepped around to stand in front of him.

"Alright, since you asked so nicely, I guess I can let you do that." she agreed to his subtle request.

She didn't know how his smirk could grow any bigger, but it did. With his free hand, he reached up and cupped her face before he leaned down and placed a gentle kiss on her left cheek.

"You know I'm so happy that, that healed up so well." he whispered as he placed another kiss on the corner of her mouth.

Sakura could only hum a reply as he moved and finally captured her into an actual kiss. She always swooned in just how tender he was when it came to these small moments. She had spoken of her nervousness when it came to intimacy and he replied with being so gentle and sweet with her whenever they were remotely intimate. Sakura was forever grateful for him and for being so understanding.

There had only been a couple of times they had gotten a bit carried away, but he always stopped and reeled them in before she could even think of stopping them herself. She was nervous, but those moments made her excited for what was to eventually come.

She was human and so was Kakashi. They both had needs they sought to satisfy, but he always made sure to stick with the promises they made. It would happen the moment she felt she was ready and he was willing to wait until then.

Eventually pulling back, she watched as Kakashi undid the buttons on his suit jacket and shrug it off.

"Have I told you sometimes I hate that you're my bodyguard?"

Sakura shot him a confused look, wondering why he would say such a thing after sharing such a tender moment seconds ago.

"No, you haven't? Why are you bringing this up suddenly?" she asked back as she walked into the living room and tossed her work bag onto the couch.

"Because I realized that I never get to surprise you." he revealed.

She faced him again and saw that he had removed his tie already and was currently unbuttoning the red dress shirt to reveal the white undershirt beneath.

"I'm still not following?" she replied as she undid the bun she wore and made to remove her heels.

"You're my bodyguard. So, let's say, if I wanted to surprise you and take you out like to dinner or anywhere outside of this building, you need to be notified." she watched him drape the jacket, shirt, and tie over his arm as he spoke.

Sakura couldn't help but laugh at the realization. Walking back up to him, she wrapped her arms loosely around his midsection and smiled up the silver haired man.

"Well, I'm sorry for ruining your fun. You'll just have to surprise me from inside the building then." she offered in hopes to appease the pouting CEO.

"And how am I supposed to do that when you monitor all the surveillance in the building?" he countered quickly, "I lose no matter what. I can't do anything romantic."

Turning her head, Sakura rested her head on his toned chest and continued laughing at his misery as she hugged him tighter. Strong arms wrapped around her and hugged her back.

"I don't know how to help you then, darling."

Sakura felt a small groan rumble through him and she looked back up to find him smiling down to her. Reaching up on her tiptoes, she gave him a quick peck before letting go of him.

"I'm going to go put on some pajamas." she revealed.

"I'm ordering Chinese for dinner." she heard him call back to her as she reached the door to her room, "Same order as usual right? Extra dumplings and soy sauce?"

"You know me so well!" she called back as she reached her door.

She smiled to herself as she walked into her closet and changed out of her work clothes and into her pajamas. Kakashi ordering Chinese food meant that they would snuggle up on the couch and binge their favorite shows together, so now she was giddy with excitement at their plans for the evening.

She didn't need surprises, she thought, she just craved the simple things in life and relaxing on the couch with take out with someone she cared deeply for was as simple and as wonderful as it could get.

Chapter Text

Chapter 14

A knock came to his closed office door and Kakashi called out to whoever it was to enter. Tenzo and Shikamaru stepped inside large room and the CEO smiled warmly to the two men.

"Kakashi, can we speak with you for a moment?" Shikamaru asked before he had a chance to properly greet them.

"Sure, what's up?" Kakashi raised a silver brow.

The two men suddenly looked uncomfortable as they shifted on their feet.

"We wish to speak with you… privately." Tenzo added as his dark eyes glanced briefly over to Sakura.

Turning to look over at his bodyguard, Kakashi found that Sakura was already standing up with some papers and heading to the door.

"I need to go speak with Minato at security anyways, so this is perfect timing. I'll be back within the hour!" she quickly explained as she walked out the door.

Kakashi glanced back over to the two men who had taken seats in the chairs that sat in front of his desk.

"Okay, what do you want to talk about that you don't want Sakura to hear?" he asked as he eyed them, "You know she's probably going to ask about this."

"Sakura is actually what we wanted to discuss with you." Tenzo was the first to speak, not holding back.

Kakashi half gawked at the man at the sudden directness he displayed.

"And, what about Sakura?" he asked.

Tenzo cleared his throat before replying.

"We've noticed that you two seem much… closer lately. Is there something going on between you two?"

Kakashi paused for a moment at the question. He felt himself get slightly irritated at the slight accusing tone Tenzo was giving him. As if being with Sakura was a bad thing. Or that he was being judged by the men for his choice of girlfriend.

'Great, here we go.'

"And what if something is going on between us?" he asked back as he leaned back into the leather chair.

Shikamaru and Tenzo looked surprised at the bold question. Kakashi smiled to himself at the reactions.

"Kakashi we're just worried about you in this." Shikamaru finally spoke, his usually lazy voice sounding genuine and kind. The voice of a friend.

"We're paying her to protect you, not to be your girlfriend. This is clearly a conflict of interest when it comes down to it. If you two are seeing each other, we'd like to see to it that a new company be hired on and assign you a new bodyguard then. And, as soon as possible. There can be no connections." Tenzo added.

It felt like he got slapped in that moment. The audacity of such a thing gave him mixed emotions. What suddenly brought on such a urgent need for change?

"You mean I'm the one paying her, this is my company after all. Let's not forget I'm the one paying your two salaries too. My investments are in the company that she works for. And, my answer is simple, absolutely not." Kakashi snapped back as he leaned forward onto his elbows and stared down the advisors.

Shikamaru let out a sigh and Tenzo frowned intently at their bosses response.

'It seems they've forgotten how much of an ass I can be when I'm trying to be manipulated out of my own choices. I refuse to be controlled.'

"What if you are attacked again? Her judgement could falter." Shikamaru pointed out.

Kakashi took a deep breath and leaned back once more to help slow down his already thinning patience from snapping.

"Don't you think she would become more vigilant instead?" Kakashi argued, "She has a subjective involvement now instead of being strictly objective. Would she not want to protect someone she actually cares about more than versus just another client?"

He couldn't believe he was having this conversation right now. It had been well over five years since he'd been lectured about who he was dating and it was his own father that had lectured him. Not his advisors.

"Your judgement could falter, Mr. Hatake. You could put yourself in more danger. And that is what we're really trying to say." Tenzo spoke up next, "It's very obvious that you don't want to see her to get hurt, so if you were attacked, we don't want you acting rash and trying to protect her when it's supposed to be the other way around. It is your life and your actions due to your feelings that we are concerned about. We're looking out for your best interest."

Kakashi drew both hands into tight fists on his lap to help hold back his anger. They had made great points, but he knew he had already made a promise to Sakura about this. And he would keep good on that promise.

"I see what you're trying to say, but my answer is still no. Sakura will remain as my bodyguard for the remainder of this investigation."

There was a long silence that followed as the three businessmen stewed in the results of the conversation.

"Don't you think you're being a little bit irritational, Kakashi?" Shikamaru finally spoke, breaking the tense silence between the trio.

"You're not seeing this objectively." Tenzo huffed, taking it a step further, "You're already letting you feelings blind you."

A loud sigh came from the CEO at that point as he slumped back into his arm and swiveled it to face towards Sakura's chaotically organized desk.

"Probably, but you two fail to realize that I'm also looking out for her best interest. This is not all about me anymore. All I know is Sakura has already gone above and beyond in performing her duties protecting me so far." Kakashi spoke quietly as he glanced back over to the advisors, "Yes, her and I are involved with each other. But, she has made it very clear that she places her job before us. She even has threatened to end things, and physical harm towards me too, if I try stopping her from completing her duties or get in the way if things do go south."

"And are you sure she's not only with you because of your status?" Tenzo bit out.

Kakashi shot the young man a scary look that caused a physical reaction from both advisors.

"Absolutely not!" he bordered on yelling, but quickly reeled himself in, "It's insulting to me and towards her to assume such a thing, Tenzo. Sakura has zero interest towards my status or wealth! She won't even let me buy her nice clothes without trying to pay me back. Do not dare of thinking so lowly of her. She is not some shallow woman."

He loved Sakura. He wasn't about to let these two tell him to rid himself of the only source of happiness in his life. He wasn't about to let them insult her or her intentions in such a way.

They don't know the details. They don't know the bond they've created. He knew Sakura didn't care about his position in the social hierarchy or how many millions he had in his accounts.

Her intentions were as pure as they came and for that he was so thankful. In that moment he decided he was going to tell Sakura about something he did for her when she got back. He needed to see that dazzling smile of hers after dealing with this.

This was the first relationship that he felt would last. He wasn't going to let her go that easy. He was willing to fight for her until the end.

"Well, I guess I can't argue with that." Shikamaru replied with instantly as he slouched back into his own chair with a sigh, "She does seem to take her job very seriously."

Kakashi smirked to himself at the admission of defeat.

"So if neither of you have anything else left to say, you're dismissed. We all have lots of work to do since the holidays are coming up. You both should know first hand that I don't like things being delayed." Kakashi said in a serious tone to force the subject to be dropped, switching into a more professional attitude.

Without another word, Tenzo and Shikamaru both stood and bowed to Kakashi before exiting the office.

Kakashi shagged his shoulders the second the door closed. Reaching up he roughly ran his hands through his hair and let out a tired groan.

'I need a damn nap.'


"Ahhh, Minato, you're such a life saver! What would I do without you?" Sakura sang as the blonde haired man smiled warmly back to her.

"Anytime, Sakura. I'm glad everything seems to be in good working order for you."

Sakura closed up the file in her lap that Minato had given her. Every Friday she came down to the Head of Securities office for a weekly meeting to discuss everything security related when it came to the building and Kakashi's safety.

"Everything always is in working order with the Hokage level security that's stationed here." she teased lightly, "Since Kakashi rarely leaves the building these days, it's making our jobs so easy that these meetings are becoming more of gossip and chat sessions."

Minato just laughed at her light hearted joke.

"By the way, how's your family doing? You said your son was trying to get into Konoha University? Any news?"

"Yes!" Minato perked up, "Naruto got his letter of acceptance last week! Thank you so much for sending in that letter of recommendation! Kushina and I are extremely proud of him. He'll be studying criminal justice like his old man did, so your word as a top official of Senju Securities worked wonders on his behalf."

Sakura grinned at the proud and doting father. She loved hearing about his family whenever they had meetings. It gave her a sense of belonging. She briefly wondered if she'd ever experience having a family of her own one day. They talked for a few more minutes before Sakura finally dismissed herself to return back upstairs to Kakashi.

As Sakura walked into the office five minutes later, she immediately felt the atmosphere had changed from when she had left just over an hour ago. She looked over and found Kakashi brooding at his desk and she wondered what caused him to be in such a foul mood.

'Oh goodness, what happened. I've never seen him look this put out before.'

"Did everything go alright with your meeting with Tenzo and Shikamaru? Did something happen?" she asked as she made her way over to her desk and sat down the file she was holding.

Kakashi just glanced up to her before a tired sigh left him and he stood up. He looked completely exhausted for a brief moment and it only caused more concern for the pinkette.

"They wanted to discuss replacing you as my bodyguard because they figured out we had something going on." he spoke quietly as he stared out the huge floor to ceiling window behind his desk, "Not that we were really hiding anything."

Sakura jerked up to look at him more clearly at the surprising news.

"They wanted to remove me?" was all she was able to get out.

A million questions flooded her mind then.

"Said it was a conflict of interest." he muttered as he continued to look out to the city below, "That it would affect our abilities to perform in crisis."

'Why is this coming up suddenly? We haven't been in any danger and our relationship hasn't gotten in the way of either of our duties. If anything, him and I are more productive so we don't have any distractions when we do want to spend time together…'

Sakura stepped around her desk and made her way over to stand next to him.

"And what did you say when they said all of that?"

She was curious to see how Kakashi spoke about her without her around. Did he defend her? Did he lie and say they're not together?

Kakashi looked down to her and smiled warmly.

"Of course I said no and dismissed them immediately! Told them that you've done nothing wrong and, if anything, your work performance has improved since you've placed emphasis on the fact that your job comes before us." he explained.

Sakura couldn't help give him a big smile in reply. Her earlier questions being answered that second. Of course he would defend her honor and name. He was determined to prove himself with how serious he was in this relationship.

"You're right. I will never let myself slip up when it comes to your safety." she whispered quietly.

Kakashi reached up then and caressed her cheek softly and Sakura let herself sigh and lean into the gentle touch.

'Definitely proving himself.' she thought as she relished in the affection.

"I know. I have absolute faith in you." he whispered back.

They stood there like that for a moment before Sakura made to stand up straight again, causing Kakashi to drop his hand back down to his side. Giving the man a curious look, she silently began her interrogation.

"Who was the one to suggest it? Shikamaru or Tenzo?" she asked.

Kakashi looked off to the side to recall his discussion from earlier. The exhaustion was showing up more and more in his eyes, she noticed.

'His lack of sleep from the nightmares is getting to him. He's working too much on top of it. He needs proper rest.' she worried.

"They both talked about it, but if I remember correctly, Tenzo was the one to actually bring it up? Or was it Shikamaru? I know Shikamaru called me irrational at one point towards the end, but quickly admitted defeat when I argued your case."

'That sounds very much like Shikamaru, but he doesn't seem like the type of person to induce sudden change… He's lazy by nature, so this has to be Tenzo's idea.'

Sakura shifted her weight to one hip and crossed her arms across her chest as her and Kakashi both turned to look out the window.

"Do you know which one said "conflict of interest"?" she asked next even though it was probably Tenzo who said it.

Kakashi hummed for a few seconds as they watched a flock of birds fly around below.

"Tenzo definitely said that. He's the lawyer of the two, so that's very much like him to say that. He was, now that I am thinking about it, the one that brought up replacing you. More like spat it out actually."

'Figures. So Direct. Such a lawyer thing to do and say. He thinks I'm a liability now and wants to lower Kakashi's chances of getting hurt or dying.'

Another question suddenly popped up in her head.

"If I can ask, what's Shikamaru's main position other than your advisor?"

"He does a little in finance negotiations with me, but mainly works and interacts with the other companies and such. Like setting up meetings and appointments. He even helps out a lot when I have to do PR for the company. He's just universally useful. A 'jack of all trades' if I may say."

Sakura just nodded along as she mentally took notes on everything he said.

"I forgot to tell you, but Shikamaru loved the idea of investing in some bookstores and publishing companies." he added randomly, "We're already in contact with a handful."

The sudden topic change ripped her out of the work mode she had entered into earlier.

"Wait, what?" she looked up to find him still starting ahead and smiling.

"He's even already started the process of setting up and funding a handful of reading programs in various libraries, schools, even a couple of community centers."

Sakura gaped up at the CEO as she listened to him list off the various things he had recently started up.

"You were actually listening to me then?" she whispered in disbelief.

Kakashi looked down to her at that point and frowned slightly with a furrowed brow.

"Of course I was listening! I always do. You had a genius idea and so I enlisted Shikamaru to begin working on it on the side."

The bodyguard felt a blush begin to creep up on her and glanced away to hide her red face and compose herself before replying.

"That's amazing, Kakashi!" she said as she turned and looked back up to him with a cheshire grin, "I'm so excited to see the results!"

Kakashi reached up and rubbed the back of his head gingerly as he gave her an eye crinkling smile.

"I was gonna wait until Christmas to tell you this since I was thinking of presenting it as a gift, but I also made a donation to the five libraries we picked for the reading programs. I listed your name next to mine as one of the donors."

Sakura clamped her hands over her mouth as a loud gasp left her.

"You what!? Who else donated?" She nearly yelled.

"No one, just you and I." he deadpanned and shrugged his shoulders.

She gasped again. Sakura couldn't believe her ears. She had to be dreaming, she reasoned.

"How much?" she asked next as she eyed the CEO carefully as she felt herself grow breathless.

"Two hundred and fifty thousand each."

Sakura, with wide eyes, took a step back away from the silver haired when he said the amount.

"I think I'm gonna faint. I really feel like I'm gonna faint right now." she spoke out loud as she stumbled and grabbed the side of Kakashi's desk to catch her balance.

Kakashi really just told her that he donated over a million dollars of his own money with her name attached to the donation with his! Is he insane? He has to be! Her mind began racing at the selfless act he said he did. And acted like it was nothing!

Kakashi was next to her side within seconds and helping her over and sitting her in his chair so she really wouldn't collapse onto the floor if she did faint.

"Are you okay?!" he asked as he squatted in front of her and grabbed one of her hands between his, "Did I do or say something wrong?"

Sakura started at him with a bewildered look.

"You didn't do anything wrong! But Kakashi! That's such a large amount of money! You don't need to do that! Wait, what I mean is, you don't need to add my name to that! You need to remove my name!"

Kakashi shot her a confused look at this.

"But it was your idea, Sakura, so I'm going to add your name as one of the donors."

"I didn't think you were listening to me! Plus, it's your money, not mine!" she cried out, "It'll take me like fifteen years to barely even earn that amount of money!"

Kakashi's expression changed into a familiar one at that point. The unimpressed look he always gave her when she argued with him about things he thought were trivial.

"And it was your idea, so I'm not going to claim it was mine. I'm just funding it. What's the point of earning vast amounts of money and not do good with it? Kind of selfish, don't you think? I'm not gonna remove your name because I can't now anyways. The checks have already been sent out."

Sakura just slumped into the chair with a loud sigh and gave Kakashi a dumbfounded look.

"Merry early Christmas." he sang quietly as he gave her an apologetic smile and rubbed her hand in between his.

'He's going to be the death of me, I swear!'

Chapter Text

Chapter 15

"Yes! Don't stop." she moaned.

Kakashi gritted his teeth as he thrusted faster into her. Sakura laid beneath him panting heavily. He watched as she reached up and began massaging her breasts.

"I love you, Sakura." he groaned as he screwed his eyes shut as he felt himself begin to tighten, his climax quickly approaching.

He grabbed her knees and pushed them up and apart more, gaining more access and a deeper thrust.

"I love you too, darling!" she cried out as he felt her climax around him.

"Sak-!" he started to call out, but the sound of his alarm interrupted him.

Kakashi opened his eyes and found himself laying on his back in bed. He jerked up and looked around frantically and found he was alone in his bedroom.

"Jesus…" he groaned in frustration as he turned off his alarm and reached up and rubbed his sweaty face.

Throwing his blanket to the side he groaned again when he found the obvious bulge in his sweatpants.

"She would kill me if she knew I was dreaming of us having sex!" he whispered harshly to himself as he rushed into his bathroom.

Reaching into the huge walk in shower, he turned on the cold water and quickly stripped out of his clothes and stepped under the freezing spray. Kakashi instinctively shuddered and recoiled as the water hit his heated skin.

'Why today of all days for me to have my first hot sex dream about her?' he thought as he reached with his arm out and leaned against the tiled wall so the icy water could drench him.

Kakashi and Sakura were going to spend the morning in his gym so she could teach him some basic self-defense and combat skills. It would require constant contact and he wasn't sure how long he could survive that without breaking. Not after the intensity of the dream he just had.

He made a promise to Sakura when they got together to take things slow. He had zero issue with this, but he was curious ever since. Why did she want to take this path? What happened in her past relationships that made her so reserved and nervous? He knew his past track record didn't reassure her at all, but he was determined to show her that he cared.

Which he did. He loved her.

He felt himself begin to shiver as he managed to calm himself down. Turning off the water he stepped out and grabbed a towel and roughly dried his hair before wrapping the towel around his waist.

'I'm already late, I hope she won't be too upset.'

A couple of minutes later, he walked out of his room and down the hall to the rec room. He saw the door was partially open indicating that Sakura was already inside.

"Good mor-" Kakashi started to say but found himself at a loss of words at the sight in front of him and halted midstep.

Sakura was off to the right side moving some extra floor mats around where he usually did his boxing exercises with his trainer. But it wasn't what she was doing, it was what she was wearing.

'You have got to be fucking kidding me.' the CEO internally cried out.

Her long haired had been pulled back in one of her signature messy buns, fly away hairs going every which direction. The bodyguard was wearing a red sports bra and a pair of extremely short black shorts with her usually running shoes. There was very little left for his imagination at this point.

There was more creamy skin exposed than clothing on her petite frame. He had the urge to walk over and let his hands roam all over the soft flesh, but quickly reeled himself back in.

'Stop being a pervert! Yes, your girlfriend is drop dead gorgeous and extremely fit, but that doesn't mean you get to touch her willy nilly. Hands to yourself, Hatake.'

Sakura finally acknowledged him as she stood straight and faced him with a dazzling smile.

"Morning, darling." Sakura said as she walked over to him and stood on her tiptoes to place a kiss on his left cheek, "Did you shower?"

"I love you too, darling!"

Images of the dream he experienced not even an hour ago came to mind as she spoke to him and the panic set in.

"Morning." he said as he came back to reality, "Uh, my hair was doing something weird so I just hopped in to wet it down."

Green eyes just narrowed at him in suspicion.

"Your hair is always weird."

"Weirder than usual." he lied.

Sakura just stared at him oddly for another second before he found the confidence to speak. She had totally called his bluff but it seemed that she wasn't going to question him further on it.

"Daring choice of attire, I see."

Sakura gave him a confused look as she stepped back. She looked down at herself briefly before looking back up to him.

"Does it bother you? I can go change if you want."

Silver brows shot up as he raised his hands in defense.

"No! Not at all! I'm just not used to seeing you wear, uh, so little clothing. Can't complain and not say that I don't hate what I see though." he dared saying with a cheeky wink.

'I don't think I'm going to be able to survive this…'


Sakura felt a devilish grin come to her then.

"I need my full range of motion for this." she easily reasoned.

However, Sakura knew that she didn't need to wear so little. She could have easily wore a tank top and leggings, but for some reason when she woke up this morning she was feeling feistier than usual and decided to be a little daring with her choice of attire. She actually had never worn such an outfit before around anyone, so she was nervous that he might've had a bad reaction.

Her and Kakashi had been together for a couple of weeks now and he had stayed true to the vow of "going slower than a snail's pace" and Sakura couldn't be more thankful. They hadn't done anything too daring so far in their relationship. They continued to sleep in separate bedrooms per her request and all of their intimacy had been very tamed so far. Except for a couple of times that they had gotten carried away, but Kakashi always reeled them in before she could even think too.

Sakura knew he desired her and she desired him, but she felt she wasn't ready yet. She wasn't sure when she would be either. Sakura decided to use today as an opportunity to see how he'd react to her and silently test his limits. Hers as well.

She knew she was being overly cautious and doing things like this was her way of overcoming those fears that she ingrained into herself over the past four years.

So far she proved that he was indeed affected by her outfit choice, but respected her nonetheless.

'Now let's see if he can keep his hands to himself besides what's required from training.'

"Okay! Let's get going then. We can start with stretches and a warm up run." she quickly said before he could reply.

Kakashi simply nodded at her and gestured for her to lead the way. Over the next twenty minutes they ran through the various warm up exercises and eventually found themselves on the mats again.

"Okay, so basic self-defense is pretty easy." Sakura began to explain, "Grab my arm here and I'll show you the first move. Super basic."

"You make me feel like some child with your tone, Sakura-sensei." he sassed as he reached out and grabbed her arm where she instructed him.

She just rolled her eyes at his words.

"Take this seriously or I'll make this experience a lot harder than it needs to be." Sakura said in a stern voice.

Kakashi must have caught the hint since she got no reply back.

"So if you find yourself in a situation where you and I are separated and someone comes at you and grabs your arm or tries to stop you from getting away, use the heel of your palm and use the momentum of your body weight and strike them in the nose. Like this."

Sakura slowly moved her body through the motions as she guided her hand towards his face and stopped right at his nose.

"Okay, now you try, but I'm gonna come at you a little faster. Don't hit me though." she said absent mindedly.

"I'd never hit you." he shot back quickly as they readied themselves, "I already feel awful that you got hit the other month."

Sakura pursed her lips and gave him a single nod at that. She felt a little silly with herself at that point. She knew he cared about her well being immensely and she in a sense questioned it with her off handed comment.

Taking a deep breath she cleared her mind and looked at him to find he looked equally prepared. Taking it as her signal, she charged at him and he followed through perfectly.

"I have a feeling you'll be able to pick this up easy." she smiled as they broke away.

Kakashi shrugged as he smiled at her.

"I've got the best person to teach me, so I hope I can make you proud."

Sakura couldn't help the grin that came to her at that point. He always knew the right words to say to make her instantly feel better.

Over the next hour she showed him various self-defense moves and a couple of combat moves in case he ever needed to be the one to attack. He was very attentive and listened and watched her closely as she guided him through each stage. His execution of the moves was nearly perfect every single time.

Sakura was pleasantly surprised with how well he was actually picking up all of it.

He was a natural fighter.

They eventually worked up a hard sweat once they started doing combination sets. Kakashi stepped away as she stopped to get a drink from her water bottle. She watched as he peeled the sweat soaked t-shirt off and she felt her jaw slack at the sight.

'Oh my…'

She had yet to see him go shirtless except when he was in bed and felt herself become very distracted at the sight. He was facing away from her, so she allowed herself to eye him as much as possible. She felt a blush come to her as she watched the muscles in his shoulders and back flex as he reached up to stretch out.

'Jesus, I'm getting a taste of my own medicine…'

She knew he was in shape, but to see the results of his constant workout routines was nearly mouth watering. He was the perfect proportion of lean and muscular that she loved in a man, not too bulky but not skin and bones either. He just looked flat out strong.

'Great now I have to worry about keeping my hands to myself…'

"Like what you see?"

Sakura jumped slightly as she registered his voice. When had she drifted off? Blinking a couple of times, she focused back onto him and found he was just a few feet away from her now. A mad blush had worked its way up to her cheeks and spread.

"Obviously." she said in a sassy voice.

'My goodness, he's even better looking from the front.' she cried to herself as she let her eyes linger down from his pecs to the very subtle six pack he donned.

"Hope this isn't a distraction then." he teased back, clearly amused.

Sakura sucked in a silent breath as she forced herself to send him a dirty look.

"It's going to take a lot more than a sweaty, shirtless man to distract me."

"A good looking sweaty, shirtless man." he added.

All she could do was roll her eyes at that point with a barely there smile. Tossing her water bottle back onto the floor, she pointed where she wanted him to stand.

"Don't flatter yourself too much, darling. You're only pretty okay looking after all." she finally decided to play his little game before switching back into a serious tone, "Now let's continue with doing sets, same as before."

"Roger that, sensei."

The bodyguard furrowed her brow as she charged at him and grabbed his arm right arm. Like planned, he pulled his arm back to strike however she had other plans.

Self defense was never strictly textbook and she wanted to give him that information first hand that anything can happen when you're attacked head on.

As his hand raced towards her face, she used her free right arm and quickly snatch his wrist and yanked it down. Kakashi's face registered surprise, but his expression dropped when she felt the arm she grabbed initially twist and pull free.

'What the…?! How?'

Kakashi twisted his body away as he allowed her to continue to pull his left hand down to her left side. He spun quickly and threw her off balance as she accidentally leaned too far to the left as her body twisted and suddenly felt her knee give way as he managed to hit the back with his heel.

She released her hold of his wrist as she attempted to roll away to compose herself. Kakashi had other plans as he turned and managed to wedge his foot in the crook of the knee he struck earlier and effectively immobilized her.

Sakura swung her left hand behind her aiming directly for his groin as anxiety flooded her. She wasn't expecting this level of resistance when she decided to take things a step further. She hadn't prepared herself to take him on fully and let her guard down and now was seeing the error of her ways.

'Does he have combat training?! Why the hell didn't he mention anything about this?! This is way more advanced than what I've shown him so far.'

Kakashi clearly saw the course of action she planned on taking and quickly removed his foot and snatched her wrist and yanked her to his right. Sakura winced slightly in discomfort as she felt her body twist and get pushed against the mat as he dropped and straddled her.

She attempted to lunge forward as she used her free right arm to strike him, but he easily blocked it by taking the blow with his left forearm before snatching up her wrist.

"Draw!" she called then and he released his hold of her pinned arm instantly.

It was a dirty trick, but Sakura used this as her opportunity to get an upper hand. Kakashi began to stand up, but she lunged forward and used the momentum of her weight and shoved both of her hands into his chest and knocked him off balance.

"What the…!" he called out as she used this chance to crawl on top of him and pin his arms down.

'Why did he lie to me?!'

"You called draw!" he argued as his furrowed his brow.

'What else has he lied about?!'

"You never said you had any damned combat training!" she yelled, "Why did you lie to me?!"


Kakashi froze when he heard the fear, clear as day, in her voice.

"I never lied!" he quickly replied as he immediately stopped resisting and just laid there, "You know I've have training in boxing! He makes me do some MMA exercises once in a while to keep things interesting. I've told you all this! I didn't lie about anything, Sakura!"

He felt her tight grip on his wrists loosen as it seemed she began to calm down slightly. Her face registered a mix of panic and embarrassment then.

"I'm sorry." she whispered, as realization started to set in, "I'm so sorry."

Kakashi used this as his chance to sit up. With her still straddling his lap, he twisted his hands and gently took hold of her hands when she released his.

"Don't be sorry." he spoke quietly back while he squeezed her hands once.

She refused to make eye contact with him. He dropped a hand and reached up to cup her cheek, using his thumb to stroke it gently.

"I completely disregarded and didn't take it that seriously." she mumbled so quietly he had to strain his ears to hear her, "I didn't realize how much and how long you've actually been training for."

Kakashi felt awful then. There was still so much they didn't know about each other. So much they hadn't gotten to discuss yet now that they're together. She knew that a personal trainer comes twice a week and they boxed, but she never really knew that he was doing more than just exercising.

"You didn't know and I failed to tell you. It's all my fault. I knew the exercises he used were MMA-styled, but I didn't think they'd actually be useful in this. I feel stupid for not telling you sooner when we planned this day out."

The bodyguards face scrunched up then.

"Don't blame yourself. I over reacted. I shou-"

"And you had every right to overreact!" he interrupted her from talking, "I sprung it onto you. I need to be the one apologizing, not you. I'm sorry, Sakura. I'm sorry I sprung that on you."

He tucked one of many pieces of pink hair behind her ear that managed to come free from her bun when she didn't reply. She instinctively leaned into his touch then. She still hadn't looked up to him and he was worried.

"Sakura, please look at me." he asked lightly.

Bright green eyes looked up then and he saw the whirlwind of emotion in her gaze when he dropped his hand back down. He leaned forward and placed a barely there kiss on her lips.

"Thank you for training me today. I really did learn a lot." he said as he pulled back.

He watched as the confliction left her expression as a small smile came to her then.

"Really?" Sakura asked tentatively when she found her voice.

Kakashi playfully scoffed at the audacity of her questioning her abilities.

"I have the best of the best showing me the ropes. You're amazing, Sakura. Don't ever question that. I only had training in the form of exercises, if you could even call it "training." I never knew how to properly use those routines until you showed me."

The pinkettes smile only grew as he spoke. He was relieved that he was able to make her feel better, even if it may only be slightly.


He leaned forward and kissed her again, only this time more deeply. She could feel the sincerity of his apology behind the kiss.

Sakura felt so relieved that he didn't react too badly to her over reaction. She had let her emotions get the better of her and just assumed the worst.

'I definitely need to learn to trust better. He's done nothing but prove himself to me, so why am I doubting him? I need to stop jumping to conclusions with him so much. He's different… he's not like him.'

She let herself enjoy this moment as she kissed back and snaked her arms up and around his neck. She got a welcomed hum from him in return as she felt large hands rest on her hips. She realized suddenly that he was still shirtless and she was wearing barely anything at all.

Anxiety flared up, but suddenly receded as excitement replaced it. The pinkette was surprised with how quickly her body reacted and adapted in those few seconds.

Sakura trailed her tongue across his bottom lip and immediately was granted permission as they battled for dominance. She tightened her hold around him as she felt him draw slow circles on her skin with his thumbs.

Kakashi pulled back for air and immediately began peppering kisses along her jaw and down her neck. She felt her heartbeat race faster and faster as he softly kissed across her bare shoulder and couldn't help the sigh of pleasure that left her.

"Kakashi…" she whispered breathlessly.

She felt amazing. She was scared and nervous, but she felt safe. It was okay to be vulnerable right now, she reasoned. Warmth started to spread throughout her whole body as he followed his path back across her shoulder.

Kakashi's grip on her hips tightened as she said his name and he moved to recapture her lips. Only this time there was more heat behind it. Sakura ran her fingers through his hair as she urged him impossibly closer.

Breaking away, she gasped when he grabbed and pulled her flush against him and immediately felt the hard bulge through his basketball shorts rub against her core. His hands roamed across her bare back and she felt shiver after shiver run up her spine, both a mixture of good and bad. But mainly bad.

The anxiety returned tenfold and overtook everything else in that second.

His lips found their place on her neck as he trailed wet kisses along as panic set in.

'Please, don't…' she began to think.

"Stop…" she softly cried.

Kakashi stilled his movements then and before she knew what happened he all but shoved her off his lap as he scrambled to stand up.


He turned and looked down at the stunned woman sitting on the floor once he had placed some distance between them. Sakura was staring up to him with wide eyes and kiss-swollen lips.

'You fucking idiot! You promised her!'

"I'm so sorry." he finally said as he ran his hands through his hair, "Please forgive me."

Memories of Sakura running her own fingers through his hair just moments ago came to his mind against his better judgement.

'Stop it!' he scolded himself as he screwed his eyes shut to rid himself of the memory.

This was not how he planned their morning to be like. They were supposed to have a nice start of their weekend. Self defense training and then Kakashi was going to make them a nice lunch before they relaxed the rest of the day watching a couple of movies before ordering in some food for dinner.

But, he fucked it all up. He let himself get carried away. He made her feel uncomfortable. Barely two weeks and he had already broken his promise to her.

'It's that damn dream's fault! Why did it have to happen today?!'

"Kakashi… it's okay." Sakura replied as she made to stand up and stepped towards him.

"No, it's not! I broke the one promise you asked for." he countered, "I feel awful. I'm so sorry."

Sakura walked over and stopped right in front of him and forced him to make eye contact. Her earlier surprised expression had been replaced with grumpy one.

"You didn't break any promise." she told him as pink brows furrowed at him, "When I asked you to stop, you stopped. Everything up until then, I was fine with! You respected my request, so it's okay."

Kakashi looked down to her with a face filled with mixed emotions.

"But I went far enough to make you need to say stop. I don't want you thinking I'm trying force myself onto you." he reasoned.

He wouldn't forgive himself anytime soon. Sakura was the one who was in control, not him. He allowed himself to get carried away and scared her. He pushed her over the edge of her comfort zone.

'I can never do this to her again. I can't keep slipping up like this. I need, no, I have to show her how serious I am.'

Sakura took the final step separating them and snaked her arms around his midsection and hugged herself tightly to him.

"You worry too much, darling." she mumbled quietly as he felt her rest her head against his bare chest, "I know you're trying your hardest to prove yourself and for that, I'm so grateful. But, please, don't beat yourself up over this. I'm not expecting you to be perfect. No one is."

Kakashi wrapped his arms around her shoulders then and placed a chaste kiss on the top of her head before letting out a tired sigh.

"I just want to be a better man for you."

'I don't deserve her.'

"You are. You're one of the most kind and caring men out there. Don't let one thing ruin everything." she said confidently as she stepped back and smiled big up to him, "And, plus, all can be forgiven when you make me lunch."

He quirked a brow at her sudden change of topic.

"Really?"

"And give me a shoulder massage afterwards." Sakura added with a smug smile, "I haven't worked out this hard in a few months and I'm really sore."

Kakashi let his shoulders slump as the pent up stress was released then and nodded as he smiled back.

"I think I can work with that."

'No more. I can't lose her. There's no more time to be selfish. Her happiness comes before mine.'

Chapter Text

Chapter 16

"I know you said you kept to yourself, but I didn't know you were an actual hermit, darling." Sakura groaned as she plopped down onto the couch to lay next to a sitting Kakashi, "You're making me feel very useless."

She rolled over to lay on her back and laid her head on his lap. Kakashi looked down to her from the book in his hand and rose a single brow at her.

"Don't say things like that. You're not useless."

"I sure feel like it!" she whined as she shot him an annoyed pout, "You're making my life way too easy! I'm gonna get soft! Top bodyguard and I spend most of my days lounging."

Closing and setting down the book he was reading, he reached over and poked Sakura's stomach.

"I like soft though. Don't you think it's a nice break? Not having to deal with so much stress on the job?"

Sakura quickly reached down and grasped his large hand in her own smaller ones. Bringing his hand up, she lazily played with his fingers for a second before she slid her fingers in between his and hugged it against her chest for a moment.

"I don't like being soft though. Being soft only gets you hurt and taken advantage of." she mumbled quietly as she traced circles on the back of his hand with her finger.

She glanced up to see he was quietly watching her as she lay there next to him.

"It's a nice break, but the stress never goes away. I double worry about your safety now that we're together." she added.

Kakashi simply hummed in a reply.

'I don't wanna talk about this anymore.'

"I have an idea." she suddenly said as she made to get up and kneeled next to him on the couch.

"And what's that?" he asked.

"Let's sneak out."

Sakura couldn't help the giggle that left her as she watched his face twisted into an unreadable expression.

"Are you fifteen years old? We can't sneak out!" he shot back in disbelief.

Sakura crawled off the couch and reached over and tugged Kakashi's arm to get him to stand up.

"Oh, come on! You need to live a little! You're thirty years old and you live like you're sixty!" she pleaded lightly, "Let's enjoy our youth while we still have it!"

Once Kakashi was on his feet, he stared down at her with a skeptical look. She took a moment to appreciate him as she smiled back at him.

"We can't sneak out. It's not safe!" he continued to argue with her.

Sakura put her hands on her hips and shot him a sassy look.

"Are you dense? You're safe as long as you're with me. I'm your bodyguard, Kakashi."

Kakashi just slumped his shoulders in defeat and the bodyguard felt her grin grow.

"What would we even do?" he asked, "I've turned down all the events I've been invited too this weekend anyway."

Sakura stuck her arms out then and twirled in place.

"Anything we want! It's Saturday night, I'm sure we can find something to do. There's more to life than fancy gala's and rich people parties, darling."

Her boyfriend shot her an unamused look then. As much as he said he didn't let his wealth decide things for him, Kakashi seemed to forget quite often that there are plenty of things to do outside his social class.

"Alright, then how are we gonna sneak out without informing security?" he asked next.

The young woman just smirked at his question and jerked her thumb into her chest.

"I'm head of your security and I have been informed since it's my plan, so we can walk out of this building whenever we want as long as I'm next to you. No one can stop us."

Kakashi just gawked down to her and she relished in the smug feeling she got from this. It seems the thought had flew over his head.

"Then what was all the talk about needing to arrange things before we leave!?"

"I like to go the extra mile, what can I say?" she shrugged before she grabbed his hand and dragged him towards their rooms, "Plus that was for things that didn't involve me! Since we're together, we can do as we please! Now come on, let's go! We gotta go get ready! Don't dress like you're a millionaire though!"


Thirty minutes later, Kakashi and Sakura stood by his front door putting on their jackets and other winter gear. It was mid-December and bitter outside now with snow falling at a constant rate these days it seemed.

Kakashi just opted to wear a blue jeans and an old green sweater he had in the back of his closet and a pair of tennis shoes. Sakura on the other hand had caused him to give her a low whistle when she stepped out of her room.

She opted for a pair of black skinny jeans and black t-shirt with an oversized crimson red cardigan and a pair of black combat boots. She had brushed out her long pink hair and let it hang loose besides keeping it pulled back with red headband.

Kakashi had never really seen her in street clothes before. She only wore professional work clothes, her loungewear, or pajamas around him. So, this was a nice change. It was a change he liked a lot actually.

'I definitely need to take her shopping more if she's going to look this good.'

He couldn't help himself as he pulled her in for a kiss when she walked over to him. It only got him a light slap on the arm and a slight dirty look in response, but she smiled nonetheless with a subtle blush.

"Okay, do you have cash on you? I'm sure the moment anyone saw the credit card you use would definitely figure out how rich you are." she asked as he pulled his beanie on.

"Yes, I left my card in my room to be safe and kept my I.D. and cash in my wallet. You're so damn bossy, you know that?" he teased as she rolled her eyes at him in reply.

"Let's get going then!" she sang as she opened the door.

The two guards who stood outside suddenly jumped to attention as they stepped out into the foyer.

"Leaving, Mr. Hatake?" the one on his right asked after clearing his throat.

"Yes, I'll be home later tonight." he replied simply, "Sakura will message you when we're on our way home. I'm sure you two can hold down the fort?"

Both guards just nodded adamantly in response as Sakura and him stepped into the elevator. He watched as his girlfriend shot one of the guards a big smile as the doors slid shut.

"See? It's that easy." she giggled as they soared downwards towards his private parking garage, "You need to do that again when we get to the car. No driver needed, I'll drive."

Kakashi just nodded and smirked down to her.

'So assertive. I love it.'

"Should I be afraid of your driving?"

He only got another slap in the arm in reply. He rubbed the spot she struck seconds ago and pouted at her.

"You know I'm your boss still! You can't go beating on me willy nilly!"

"Client, not boss. I'll do as I please, thank you very much." she quipped back.

"I'm technically your bosses boss. Let's not forget I own sixty percent of Senju Securities." he replied back instantly.

"Maybe so, but you don't sign my checks at the end of the day. Plus, boyfriend out ranks the client and boss status any day anyway." she smiled with a wink at him.

Kakashi just let out a small huff at her sass as they rode the last couple seconds in a comfortable silence. Once they arrived and stepped into the garage the next set of guards jumped up at the sight of their boss.

"Mr. Hatake! What can we do for you at this time of night!?" one of the three asked quickly.

They obviously weren't prepared for such an unexpected visit from him or Sakura. They had all been sitting around a small table playing cards when they stepped out of the elevator.

"Ms. Haruno and I are just gonna go out for a little while. Where are the keys to my SUV? The gray one?" he asked with ease.

One of the men quickly went to the rack of keys nearby and grabbed the specific set of keys.

"Where would you like to go, sir?" the guard who grabbed the keys asked as he began to make his way to the vehicle.

Kakashi held up a hand to stop the guard from proceeding any further before he moved it to point at his girlfriend.

"Oh, don't worry. Ms. Haruno is going to drive. You can just hand the keys over to her. You guys can just relax tonight."

The three guards just stared in surprise at his request and permission to "relax".

"Are you sure? We have no problem with unplanned trips, Mr. Hatake." the guard holding the keys quickly replied.

Kakashi just smiled at them and nodded a couple times.

"I'm sure, don't worry guys. Sakura is the best after all, let's have some faith in her. She'll make sure I don't go crazy. Plus, we won't be out too late." he reassured the three obviously wary men.

The man reluctantly handed the keys over to Sakura and together the two climb into the front seats of the gray SUV and Sakura drove them out of the private garage.

"I can't believe it's been that easy for me to just leave the building. You made it sound like it was a hassle to leave." he grumbled quietly after a few minutes as they drove along the darkening streets.

Kakashi sagged into his seat as he lazily looked out the window.

"I never once said that you couldn't leave whenever you wanted. I said that shortly after we met, you're free to do as you wish as long as I was informed and able to prepare myself in a timely matter. Remember the lunch incident? That's what I mean about being prepared."

Kakashi glanced over to the pink haired woman and shot her a sly smile.

"Seems I forgot that bit since we're dating now and around each other all the time."

Sakura just snorted a slight laugh as she drove along. He continued to watch her for a while and couldn't help but let his sly smile change as it turned into a smile of appreciation. He still couldn't get over how beautiful she looked tonight.

'God, I love her so much.'

He looked ahead after another moment and began to silently think about their future together.

She eventually turned into a secured parking lot. Shutting off the vehicle, she pulled the key out of the ignition and turned and smiled at him.

"Time to go have fun!" she said excitedly.

Getting out of the car, Sakura locked the doors as they made their way out onto the sidewalk.

"Where are we and what are we going to do?" he asked, curiosity clear in his voice as he watched her stuff the keys into her purse.

Sakura laced her arms with his and placed her head on his shoulder. He felt his ever present smile grow once again at the simple form of affection.

"We're in downtown Konoha obviously and we're going to have a date night." she replied simply.

Kakashi stopped walking which caused Sakura to stop and look up to him. He studied her with a surprised grin of his own.

"Date night?"

Sakura just shot him a dazzling smile in reply and nodded once.

"Yep, surprise! You were complaining last week that we never get to do anything romantic and the idea came to me earlier when I suggested we "sneak out"." she explained.

Kakashi just leaned down and gave her a soft kiss to which she eagerly returned.

"It was supposed to be me surprising you though." he playfully argued back as they started walking down the busy street hand in hand.

"Ah, see that's what you still get to do!" she quickly countered with a wink and a slight squeeze of his hand, "You can pick whatever we do tonight! It'll be a wonderful surprise for me."

Kakashi just let out a quiet chuckle at her reasoning.

"I think I can work with that." he replied and brought up his free hand and grabbed his chin to think over his options, "Oh, how about this. We've technically never been on a first date before and it's super cliche, but why not do something simple? Movie and dinner?"

Sakura's eyes lit up at the idea as yet another dazzling smile graced her lush lips.

"That sounds so romantic! That's perfect! It's so simple, I never would've thought of that!"

"I've got a few tricks up my sleeve. I'm not all rich guy stereotypes, you know." he teased with eye crinkling smile.

The two of them wandered around downtown Konoha as they made their way to the nearby cinema to catch a movie. They chatted and window shopped along the way since they were in a shopping district. He saw Sakura point at a beautiful notebook that was displayed in the window of a stationery store. It was a pale green leather bound journal with various shades of pink and red cherry blossoms printed on the cover.

'Perfect. I can get that for her for Christmas.' he thought to himself as he looked up to note the name of the store so he could order it in the morning.

Soon after that, they arrived at the tiny hole in the wall cinema.

"Hmmmm, the only two movies playing in the next twenty minutes are that kids movie about frogs or that paranormal movie about a demon haunting a shrine." Kakashi muttered as the couple looked over the showtime board outside the cinema, "Which do you wanna see? Animated frogs or haunted shrines?"

Sakura just giggled at the options.

"I think I can handle demons? I think we'd get bored of frogs really quick."

"You're so right." he said as they stepped up to the ticket booth.


A little over two hours later, Sakura and Kakashi found themselves walking down the sidewalk after leaving the cinema.

"I don't think I'm going to be able to step near a shrine ever again." she playfully cried as she clung to Kakashi's arm, "I know for sure I won't be sleeping tonight either!"

"I didn't think it was that scary actually." he deadpanned.

Sakura gawked up to him in disbelief.

"Then you're responsible for all my nightmares!" she shot back.

Kakashi just laughed at her misery as they walked along.

"No problem, love, I can work with that." he replied, "There's a twenty four hour diner nearby, we can grab a quick bite there to end our night before going home?"

Sakura hugged Kakashi's arm a little tighter as she nodded up to him with a smile.

The entire night had been perfect so far. She kept watch and on guard, but let herself fully enjoy the moment with him. She repeatedly thanked the heavens above for letting her find someone that brought her so much joy as Kakashi did.

It was like she was truly living the life of a fairytale. She had found her prince charming who cared for her truly and deeply.

She loved this side of their relationship. Everything had been so professional between them so far besides the few moments they shared behind closed doors. This was a literal breath of fresh air for them.

Sakura quietly thought about their future and how they would be able to continue this after her assignment was done and the investigation concluded when they caught the perpetrator. She would have to leave and go to another assignment and she wouldn't be able to see Kakashi as often as she'd like.

The sudden thought of leaving her job as a bodyguard came to mind but she quickly dismissed it and all the worrying thoughts that slowly began to plague her in that moment.

She wouldn't worry right now. She just wanted to enjoy the moment. Wanted to enjoy the night with this amazing man she was falling for more and more everyday.

Fifteen minutes later, Sakura sat across from the CEO in a corner booth as a waitress poured them each a cup of coffee and took their orders.

"I never expected you to come to such a place." she noted as she quirked a pink brow up at him, "It falls outside your usual frequented places. How'd you know this was here?

Kakashi shot her a smirk as he gave her a simple shrug in reply. The sudden sadness in his eyes didn't go unnoticed by her.

"I was sort of a brat growing up and gave my dad hell by sneaking out a lot to go hang out with my high school buddies downtown. We'd often end up here since this was the only place that was ever open late at night."

Sakura was surprised to hear this story from him since he always seemed so down to earth and relaxed. But she suddenly remembered that this Kakashi she knew now was not the same from when he was younger. He said he was a class act asshole for most of his life. She would've never taken him as a rebellious teenager growing up, she only figured adult Kakashi was the asshole.

But she had to remember he didn't have the perfect childhood either. He lost his mother when he needed her the most and his father was always gone away on business. He was alone and as a result he acted out.

"Oh, I never would have suspected you had fallen under the snobby rich kid stereotype at one point." she teased lightly as she sipped at the stale lukewarm coffee in hopes to help raise the mood.

A soft sigh left Kakashi and she looked up to find his mood had fallen even more. She instantly regretted her choice of words.

"Yeah, I gave my dad a lot of unnecessary trouble growing up. He didn't deserve that stress I gave him. Kind of feel bad about it now…" he trailed off as he stared down into his own cup of coffee.

Sakura reached across the table and grabbed his hand and gave it a hard squeeze.

"Don't feel bad. You were just a silly kid then and look at the respectable man you are now! From the stories you've told me over the last two and half months about you and your father proves that, that man loved and cared about you very much. Even if you did piss him off a lot."

Kakashi was quiet for a few seconds as he let her words sink in. Finally looking up to meet her gaze, he gave her a weak smile and she gave him and even bigger one back as she squeezed his hand again.

They chatted for a few more minutes about Kakashi being a rebellious teenager before their food arrived.

Sakura stared down at the giant waffle in front of her and drooled over the pile of strawberries and whipped cream that sat on top of it.

"Oh my gosh, this looks so delicious!" she sang happily as she readied her fork and knife and began cutting up her meal.

Kakashi just laughed quietly at her excitement as he bit into his own burger and chewed. They sat there for a few minutes in silence and savored each bite of the greasy oversized diner food.

"Say, do you have any plans for Christmas?" Sakura asked as she used a napkin to wipe her mouth.

She was only able to eat half the waffle before feeling stuffed while Kakashi downed his entire burger and half his fries before calling it quits. They had to ask the waitress for to-go containers and were just waiting for her to return.

"No, not really. I'll probably just stay home this year." he mumbled as he looked out the window to his left.

"Oh, did you travel before?"

"My father and I always went up to our cabin in Sugi for Christmas and the New Year, but now that he's gone…" he explained as he trailed off again.

Sakura felt bad for bringing up the topic to begin with. It was the second time she bummed him out in such a short amount of time. She mentally slapped herself for forgetting that his father only passed away barely six months ago, so Kakashi was probably struggling with it more now that the holidays were approaching.

"If you'd like, we can still go up there?" she offered softly.

"It wouldn't be the same." he replied as he looked back to her.

Sakura bit her bottom lip as she contemplated how to go about such a touchy subject.

"I'm sure he'd still want you to go up there, Kakashi. From the sounds of it, he wasn't the type of man that sat around moping when he was sad. He always pushed forward and endured. You said so yourself. Follow his lead."

She watched as Kakashi's unreadable expression slowly transformed into a more warm and thankful one.

"You're right, he wouldn't want me to be like this." he said as he reached across the table and grabbed her hand, "Plus, I'll have you up there with me, so I won't truly be alone. We can celebrate together. It's our first Christmas together after all."

Sakura shot him a loving smile at his agreement to go to the cabin.

"I'll start planning it out tomorrow. How long do you usually stay up there?" she said as he brain went on autopilot.

"Two weeks, give or take a day or two depending how the holidays fall."

Nodding at the answer, she started making mental checklists for the trip.

"Any special requests? We'll have to go shopping for a few things. I need to buy me some more wintery clothes."

Kakashi shot her a devilish smirk at her question and she felt her cheeks start to burn at the heated look and her anxiety begin to slightly shoot through the roof.

"Only that it's just you and I up there. I can finally get some proper alone time with you then."

'Oh my…'

Sakura forced herself to take an even and deep breath then.

"Um, I'm not sure if I can promise that given the safety issues. But, I can work hard at figuring it out where we won't bump into many people?" she gave a counter offered as she tried to keep her nerves down.

"I can work with that." he smiled back at her and she felt a weight be lifted from her shoulders as he continued speaking, "We should get going soon. It's getting pretty late."

With a silent nod, Sakura watched as Kakashi called for the check and she let her thoughts wander for a moment.

'Sakura, calm down… You can trust him.'

Chapter Text

Chapter 17

"You've got the list, right?"

"Yes, I didn't forget it." Sakura replied as they walked into the boutique.

It was the same boutique they went to before they got together.

Kakashi watched as she pulled a piece of paper out that she wrote out the night before. They were out and about getting a few things for their trip up to Sugi later that week and some warmer winter apparel was top on the list.

She had already tried arguing that she would pay for her own stuff, but he quickly won that battle. He reasoned her need to remain financially independent for the most part. They were still only dating, so he understood her reasoning.

But certain things he would argue against and have to basically tell her to let him spoil her from time to time. Clothes was an easy win since he knew she loved clothes and he loved spoiling her. He only wanted her to have the best if I could be provided.

"Welcome back, Mr. Hatake! You're back so soon! How can I help you this morning?"

It was the same exact blonde sales woman who had helped them last time they were there. He quickly glanced to Sakura and was pleased to see the eye roll that came from her as she easily ignored the woman and walked past her. Not like the sales woman was paying any mind to her to begin with.

"Just browsing the winter clothes for us." he quickly replied with a smile as he faced her again, "We already have a list made and will let you know if we need anything."

Before the woman could reply as she stood there stunned, he smiled again and dismissed himself and walked over to where his girlfriend was currently at.

"You know it's quite a turn on watching you do that." he spoke quietly to the pinkette when he got to her side.

Sakura paused looking at the winter coats and eyed him curiously.

"Do what?"

"Ignoring her like that. Rolling your eyes." he explained.

Sakura scoffed playfully and looked thoroughly amused at his answer.

"Rolling my eyes turns you on?" she teased.

He reached up and scratched the back of his head then as he realized he didn't explain enough and now sounded creepier.

"No, no. I mean your presence. You can spot a fake person a mile away and refuse to let them deter you. The eye roll and way you brushed her off are just added benefits. What did I say last time? Oh, yeah, a total "power move.""

She just shook her head with a smile then as she pulled out a dark brown bubble jacket and held it out to examine it.

"It's just history repeating itself. She tried kissing your ass again, Mr. Money Bags. Do you like this?" she said before turning and holding the jacket up to her chest.

Kakashi eyed the dark brown bubble jacket for a moment.

"I like it. And "Mr. Money Bags"?"

Sakura smiled as he watched as she checked the price tag and visibly cringe.

"This jacket is way too expensive…"

"Get it." he shot back immediately.

Green eyes looked up then in disbelief and she opened her mouth to argue, but he beat her to the punch.

"Get. It." Kakashi stressed again, "And anything else you want or need. Don't argue it further either, you know I don't care when it comes to you. We've had this argument already. Multiple times may I add."

Sakura just pursed her lips and handed the jacket over to him then. She pouted at him for a second as he smiled in triumph. She walked around to the other side of the rack and rifled through the men's section before pulling out an identical styled jacket but only in black and held it up to him.

"For you?"

Kakashi just nodded and smiled back to her.

"Looks good."

He smiled even bigger when she regarded him warmly.

"Okay. I'll take these up to the counter and then we can go look at some sweaters and then boots." she spoke softly as she stepped up to him to get her jacket and gave him a quick peck on the cheek.

The couple spent the next hour wandering around the boutique as he watched Sakura shop and pick out various things for them and their trip up to Sugi in a few days.

It was nice being able to go out and spend time with her outside of his place and work. Ever since their little date night, Kakashi had been yearning to take her out again and again after that. He didn't particularly like shopping, but with her next to him to keep him company, he would go shopping with her everyday if she wanted.

Every aspect about them felt so normal and right, like it was always supposed to be like this.

He wanted nothing more than to show off the woman he loved to the world.


"What about this?" she heard her boyfriend say to her right.

Looking up from the list in her hands, she found Kakashi holding up a gaudy green adult footie pajamas that were patterned in christmas lights. She half snorted and smiled big at his over excited expression.

"Absolutely not." she finally got out in between giggles she tried to stifle with a hand.

The CEO pouted big then and gently shook the footie pajamas again.

"Mah, Sakuraaa. You never let me have any fun. They have your size too, we could match!"

Sakura furiously shook her head then as she waved her hands in front of her.

"Nope, double nope."

Kakashi finally gave up and sighed as he hung up the article of clothing and sulked back over to her.

"We're definitely getting them next year and we'll do a christmas card in them."

Sakura gawked up at him then as they slowly made their way to the counter to pay for everything. She was silently preparing to hear the ungodly high number he would be charged for. She understood his need to provide for and spoil her, but it baffled her when she saw how much certain things cost.

"A christmas card in those? Hell no!"

Kakashi simply hummed in amusement and she smiled to herself.

'Is he really thinking that far out? Next Christmas? I'd like that…'

Before she could continue her thought, a woman's voice called out Kakashi's name and jerked her back to reality.

"Kakashi? What a pleasure to see you here of all places. Oh, you're leaving? I just got here… Who is this woman?"

Sakura's eyes located her immediately and she nearly gasped at the sight in front of her. The woman looked like she just freshly walked out of a high end photoshoot.

"It's nice to see you too, Ino." Kakashi bit out, "This is Sakura. My girlfriend."

The pinkette jerked her head over and found his earlier smile was gone and replaced with a look of pure irritation. She didn't have time to enjoy the fact that he was publically calling her his girlfriend with her present, she needed to figure out who this woman was and her connection to Kakashi.

'Ino? Does he know her? Wait… Ino. Oh god, this is his ex.'

Sakura looked back over to Ino and couldn't comprehend just how beautiful the woman was. She had never seen a photo of the woman before, only have read the interview transcripts from when Sakumo died and the investigation began. This was really his most recent ex-girlfriend?

'He went from her to me?'

She had long platinum blonde hair that was styled simply yet suited her so well. She had a large bang that swooped to the right. The large diamond rings and earrings didn't go unnoticed. Sakura couldn't tell exactly what she was wearing under the oversized white fur coat, but judging by that and her dress pants and heels, it had to be expensive as hell.

'She's beautiful, my goodness. He definitely dropped his standards to be with me… She's a damn heiress for pete's sake!'

"Girlfriend? That's… nice." Ino replied with a half laugh before her tone changed, almost purring,, "I was just thinking about you the other day actually. You're getting ready to go up to Sugi for the holidays, right? I would've loved to have gone with you then. We would've had so much fun together, you and I."

It took everything in Sakura not to reach out and snatch the woman up in that second.

Her and Kakashi were obviously together, they did nothing to hide the fact as he kissed her a couple times as they shopped today. The piles of clothes and shoes at the register only proved further that Sakura would be accompanying him to Sugi too. Him literally saying that she was his girlfriend was the cherry on top, so these comments were obviously targeted at her.

Ino knew all this, but still had the balls to play dirty.

"Enough." Kakashi snapped before Sakura could say something back herself, "If you'll excuse us, Sakura and I are leaving. Now."

Before she knew it again, Kakashi had put his hand on her back and ushered her forward as they quickly walked past Ino and towards the counter.

"Oh, and I'm sorry to hear about your father. How unfortunate it was to lose a man of his status. He was taken away too soon." Ino added, "I'm sure you're doing a good job."

In that moment, the bodyguard side of Sakura flipped back on and she jerked her head around and looked back at Ino.

'Her voice. I've heard it before… Why would she say something like that?'

Sakura watched as the platinum blonde smiled sweetly back at her and a shiver ran up her spine.


After checking out and Sakura nearly fainting from the total yet again, Kakashi suggested they go out to lunch at a local sushi bar before going home.

He wasn't going to let running into Ino affect his mood or day. He was still irritated from her blatant comments towards Sakura about their old relationship.

'The nerve. How dare she be so vulgar. I can't believe I even dated her to begin with. Was I seriously that big of an asshole then?'

Lunch seemed to have went quite well, but the CEO noticed immediately that Sakura was quieter than usual. She seemed stuck in her head and thought and he prayed that the comments his ex made weren't getting to her.

It had been a few hours since they returned home and everything seemed to return to normal. Sakura had excitedly went off to her room to begin packing her bags for Sugi and he went in to his office to do some work before getting up to make them dinner.

Kakashi walked out of his office content with the work he had done and headed towards the kitchen to begin dinner, but stopped in his tracks at the end of the hall when he saw Sakura standing across the way in front of the floor length mirror that was next to his front door.

He opened his mouth to say her name but clamped it shut when he saw her suddenly frown at her reflection. He felt his heart break when he realized she was checking herself out and frowning more as she twisted around in front of the mirror.

'Why is she doing this? Is there something wrong.'

He stood rooted in place as he watched her lean forward and examine her face and puff out her cheeks with a sigh before bringing a finger up and poking around her eye. She stood up and he watched her raise her tank top to expose her stomach and cringed to himself when her frown deepened even at her reflection when she pinched some of her skin.

"Sakura." he finally called out as he finally stepped out of the hall and towards her.

He couldn't continue watching that scene unfold.

The pinkette jumped and yanked her top back into place and smiled at him. It hurt knowing that she had put that fake smile on for him.

"Hi, darling. Starting dinner?" she spoke as if she wasn't just picking herself apart seconds ago.

"What were you doing just now?" he asked without hesitation as he stood in front of her.

Surprise registered clearly on her face then before he shot him an apologetic smile.

"You saw that, huh?"

He only nodded before he replied.

"Why were you frowning at yourself like that? Is something wrong?"

Sakura looked away in embarrassment then, a small blush worked its way to her cheeks.

"No point in lying I guess… I was… I was comparing myself to Ino."

Now it was his turn to be surprised.

"What? Why?" he shot out before his brain caught up with him.

Sakura shot him a half dirty look then, as if the answer was obvious. Why would Sakura compare herself to his ex?

"How can you not?!" she replied, pain seeping its way into her voice, "Did you not see her today? She's gorgeous! The fact that you went from that to this is a major downgrade."

Kakashi was thoroughly confused at this point as he watched her sweep her arms around dramatically.

"What do you mean that to this?"

Sakura took a deep breath and blew it through her nose before she turned and faced the mirror again. He grew more upset when he watched her stare at herself with such a hateful look before she started speaking and pointing at various parts of her body.

"She's tall. I'm not. She's soft and thin. I'm hard and puggy. Her skin is radiant and clear. I still get zits. Don't even get me started on her makeup in comparison to mind. She's a literal goddess and I'm… I'm not. It's obvious she's made of money while I stood there in my old winter coat."

Kakashi stood there in disbelief as his girlfriend tore herself apart. This wasn't the strong willed woman he had fallen in love with.

"I offered to buy you a new coat after the other one got covered in blood."

"That's not the point." she bit out and made him purse his lips, "It comes down to money. She has it, I don't."

It was his turn to frown slightly. He knew Sakura didn't care about money like he did, but he knew her adjustment to a lifestyle she never experienced was causing some issues.

"Her boobs and ass are bigger than mine by a lot. She's curvy and I've barely got hips to show. Her hair was shiny and styled amazingly while min-"

"Stop." he demanded loudly and stepped around to block her from seeing her reflection.

Sakura jerked up to look at him then obviously not used to hearing him speak to her in such a tone.

"Stop." he repeated again in a much softer tone, "Don't you dare compare yourself to her. You and her are nothing alike and that's how I want it."

He couldn't tell what emotion she was feeling then as he looked into her eyes.

"It just feels like I'm such a downgrade in comparison. I have nothing she has, Kakashi. I feel very plain and boring." Sakura whispered back.

"I don't want anything she has, Sakura. You already have everything I want that she never had to begin with. She only wants to flaunt her wealth and we both know you don't want to be like that."

The pinkettes face twisted up in confusion then at his words. He needed to tell her exactly everything she had that his ex didn't. Stepping back around Sakura, he stood behind her as he made them face the mirror head on. He smiled warmly at her reflection since she looked so confused at his actions.

"Let me show you." he started as he rose a hand and reached around and poked the center of her chest, "You have soul, unlike her. You don't crave and constantly demand material things like she did. You appreciate the little things in life. I have investments in her family's business, so she has an idea of how much money I have. She always told me to buy things for her, but you, you try to pay me back for things. You two are so different in that aspect alone."

He moved his hand a few inches to her left and poked lightly again.

"You have a heart, unlike her. You care about others. You put others before yourself. You're selfless and will help those who need help. She thought charities were useless. You? You wanted to help and reach out. That's why we did those donations. It made me so happy to see the excitement in your eyes when I told you."

He smiled bigger when he saw the sadness begin to leave her as her blush returned and a small smile made its way to her lips. He moved hand up and lightly poked the side of he head and looked thoroughly amused when she looked confused again by this moment.

"You have a brain, unlike her." he explained, "You're so smart and quick witted. You keep me on my toes and I never know what's going to come out that mouth of yours. You went to college and have a medical degree. She had no degree because her goal is to only marry into another rich family and have an easy life. You read because you want too, she thinks books and articles are a waste of time. See what I mean about you two being different in all the best ways possible?"

The blush that came from her warmed his soul. He dropped his arm and snaked them around her waist. Sakura leaned back against him then and he felt her relax.

"Please don't ever compare yourself to others. I told you, you weren't like the others and it's still true. I want this. You have made me want to be the best version of myself because I see how you work. I love every single thing about you, Sakura."

Sakura perked up and twisted in his arms to face him.

"You love everything about me?" she asked half breathlessly.

Realization set in on him as he realized the weight of his choice of words. He nodded as she started smiling.

"I love everything about you. I love your eyes. I love your bed head when you wake up in the morning. I love your smile. I love how strong you are. I love your laugh." he continued listing as he brought a hand up and poked her nose which she scrunched up, "And I love the way your nose scrunches up dramatically sometimes."

A small laugh left her then as she trailed her arms up and around his neck.

"You love me?"

"I love you." he confirmed.

The bright eyes he fell in love with widen as he easily confirmed his love for her.

"You're not just saying it because I was dogging on myself, are you? Please don't blow smoke."

The CEO shook his head furiously then and shot her a half dirty look.

"I would never lie about something like that. I love you! If it makes you feel any better, you're the first woman I've ever said it too." he replied.

Her eye's only grew wider at this piece of information. It was true. Out of all the women he's ever dated since he even started dating as a teenager, he never once told him he loved them. He never did love them or reached the point where he felt he could possibly love them. However, with Sakura, he knew instantly. It hit him like a freight train when he realized it. Everything about her and their relationship was different that anything he ever experienced before.

She reached on her tiptoes and kissed him deeply then. He savored the moment as she pulled herself closer to him. He's mind went blank when he felt her tongue trail across his bottom lip and he quickly answered as they battled for dominance.

After a few heated moments, they pulled back for air and she smiled big up to him.

"You love me." she stated happily as she kissed his cheek.

"I love you. So much." he hummed as she peppered his face with a hurricane of kisses.

Sakura stilled suddenly and he pulled back enough to look down to her.

"Are you okay?"

"I realized I can't say it back yet. I'm… not ready." she mumbled looking away from him.

Kakashi looked at her confused before it dawned on him what she actually meant by not being ready.

"Oh, oh! No, don't worry!" he quickly reassured her as he leaned down and kissed her cheek, "Don't say it if you're not ready. Don't rush it. I promised to be patient and patient I will remain. Please take your time."

Sakura looked up to him with a warm smile and nodded a couple times. He leaned back down and captured her lips into a brief kiss.

"I love you." he whispered before he kissed her again, "God, it feels good to finally say it out loud. I'm going to annoy you with me repeating it over and over."

Sakura hummed a happy laugh as she let her hands fall down along his chest. Kakashi couldn't feel more content than he did then. He had finally admitted his love for her and she replied better than he could ever have expected.

He didn't care that she wasn't ready to say it yet. Her knew she needed time to adjust to things and he was more than willing to give her as much time as she needed. Kakashi loved her and knew that she cared deeply for him, so he didn't need to worry. She would tell him when the time is right.

He felt small hands slide under his shirt then as they trailed over his stomach towards his sides, causing him to half crash back down to reality. He groaned lightly as he deepened the kiss before he pulled her a little closer. Another happy hum escaped her as he felt his t-shirt ride up more as Sakura let her hands wander up his back. Kakashi relished in the pleasant shivers that ran up his spine from her nails trailing lightly over his skin.

The sound of his stomach loudly growling then caused them to pull away suddenly. Kakashi internally cried from the interruption as a small giggle left his girlfriend. He immediately missed the feeling of her hands on his heated skin and wanted so desperately to have them back there.

"I take it you're hungry?" she playfully teased.

He faked a pained groan for both hunger and being interrupted from loving on her as he half pouted at her.

"Means I got to stop playing around with you to go cook." he whined.

Sakura just laughed as she reached out and laced their fingers together and tugged them towards the kitchen.

"We can play more after dinner, how about that?"

A brilliant idea came to him then as he pulled his hand away from her. Sakura turned to see why he did that and squealed happily when he scooped her up bridal style and started walking towards the kitchen again.

"I love the sound of that. Now come, be my taste tester while I make tonight's dinner." he smiled at her.

Sakura had wrapped her arm around his shoulder to help balance herself and was smiling big back at him.

"What are we having tonight?" she asked, voice teeming with excitement.

"Chicken curry with rice."

He laughed when she did a half happy dance when he sat her on the counter so he could go wash his hands before starting the prep.

"I'll gladly be a taste tester for that!" she exclaimed.

Kakashi simply replied with a kiss before he started chopping up the vegetables.

Chapter Text

Chapter 18

It had been two days since Sakura and Kakashi arrived at his cabin up in Sugi.

They had to drive for nearly thirty minutes down a two lane private dirt drive after being on the highway for another two hours and taking a couple of side roads before they rolled up to the mini-mansion of a cabin and Sakura quietly whispered and how secluded they were going to be.

"I knew you said it was large, but damn, Kakashi!" she said as they stepped out of the SUV and began walking up towards their home for the next two weeks, "It's bigger than your place back in Konoha!"

Kakashi just hummed humorously as he listened to the pinkette marvel at the size of the residence. It was one of the few things his father had splurged on when it came to their wealth.

They had spent the first two days adjusting to the new surroundings. Well, actually, Sakura spent their first day exploring the place and made notes of all the nooks and crannies the cabin had.

She was his bodyguard first, he quietly reminded himself, and she would put her duties before their fun. Kakashi wondered if this was how it was always going to be. Sakura was a bodyguard and this was her livelihood. Once they caught whoever was targeting him, her job would be done. She would have to move onto her next assignment then. He silently pondered if he should ask her to stay? Would she?

He obviously could provide for her and she'd never have to work another day in her life, but he knew that would never happen. Sakura was the type of woman who loved to work and lived to work. She was a workaholic to sum it up. Maybe he could convince her leave her career as a bodyguard and become a doctor again? Maybe even work within his own company?

Kakashi shook his head to dismiss the now insistent recurring thoughts.

He knew he couldn't force Sakura to give up her career and aspirations just because he was selfish and would like her with him at all times. He wasn't the type of man to do that to begin with. He loved how independent she was and never wanted to stop her from her dreams and aspirations. But how could he not? He was in love with the woman and they had spent nearly every waking moment together for nearly three months now. The idea that one day in the future she would leave to another assignment made him feel all sorts of emotions he didn't know he held.

He didn't want to be alone again.

He was sure they would be able to remain together if they chose, but with her job, he couldn't stay in contact with her or see her but only a few times a year. He knew he could be patient and wait for her, but he didn't know if she felt the same.

She seemed just as devoted as he was. She asked for patience, so she could adjust. She was obviously invested in them to work so hard to be with him. Sure they had something between them, but would she end it the moment her job was done? He refused to think about her in such a negative light and shoved the worry to the side. Of course Sakura wouldn't end it. She wasn't that type of woman. Right?

It was their third day and Sakura suggested they go hiking instead of staying cooped up inside the cabin the entire vacation and he quickly agreed.

Walking out onto the porch shortly after, he found Sakura already waiting for him.

"You look lovely." he said sincerely as the bodyguard turned to look at him.

Sakura was wearing the dark brown bubble jacket he had bought her, a pair of dark blue skinny jeans, and hiking boots. She had pulled her long pink hair into a long braid that stuck out from under a dark red knitted hat with a black fuzzy pom pom on top.

He had worn the black bubble jacket she had picked out for him and a pair of blue jeans himself with his hiking boots and the same beanie he worn when they had snuck out for a date night earlier in the month.

"I'm serious." he added quickly when the woman seemed to not believe him.

Walking over to her, he bent over and gave her a quick kiss to seal the deal. He was happy to see the smile on her face when he stood up straight again.

"You always look so nice when I see you wearing stuff that's not work clothes or pajamas. Don't get me wrong, you look good in everything you wear. But, there's just something about you in everyday clothes that makes me feel like a very, very lucky man. I love it."

Sakura just blushed before rolling her eyes and shoving her gloved hands into her pockets and stepping off the porch.

"Talk about flattery. You've already got me, so why go the extra mile?" she teased as she continued walking away towards the edge of the woods.

Kakashi had to do a light jog to catch up with her before replying.

"What? I can't compliment you? I'll always go the extra mile. I like seeing you smiling and I love seeing you blush. Gotta please my lady somehow." he sassed back.

He was only greeted with a playful backhanded slap on his chest which only made him laugh and reach up and lace his own gloved fingers with hers as they walked along the messy sort of trail they found.

Kakashi and Sakura spent the next thirty minutes wandering around as they chatted about everything and anything. Kakashi was silently impressed with her seemingly flawless knowledge of everything around them.

"You seem to know a lot about nature." he pointed out offhand as he helped her climb over a fallen tree.

He watched as she paused and looked at him slightly surprised for pointing that out.

"My dad was an ecologist." she replied as they continued walking hand in hand.

Now it was his turn to be surprised.

"Really? You never told me that." he said.

He suddenly realized that Sakura really never talked about her life growing up. He was curious as to what kind of child she was like. Was she as level headed and calm like she is now? Or was she a bit of brat like he was when he was growing up?

"I guess it slipped my mind, I'm sorry." she mumbled, "I don't really talk about my parents much, so I never even think to tell anyone."

Kakashi squeezed the smaller hand he was holding.

"It's fine. Can you tell me more about him? That is only if you want." he tentatively asked.

Sakura remained quiet for a few moments while they walked along, pondering if she did want to talk about him or not. He would understand if she didn't want too. Her parents death was sudden and unexpected. He wondered briefly if their death had affected her more than she let on.

"He was a silly man." she started as he watched as a small smile came to her, "He was a fun dad. Had so many bad puns though. Every time I was being grumpy growing up, he'd grab the salt shaker and find me and say, "Stop being so salty!" It always made me laugh. Even if I was trying really hard to be mad still, it was like some weakness."

Kakashi couldn't help the laugh that came from the story.

"Sounds like he loved you a lot."

Sakura looked back up him as they walked along and gave him a warm smile.

"He did."

He relished in how happy his girlfriend looked in that moment.

"So how did you come to know all these facts and tidbits about nature and ecosystems?" he asked next.

Sakura looked forward and scanned the area around them for a minute like she was assessing the terrain.

"During my summer vacations and when I was off of school, my dad would often have to go on long research trips, basically camping, and I would go with him a lot. Sometimes we'd spend up to two weeks roughing it out in the wilderness like this as he studied whatever it was he was assigned to do. It was a lot of fun and I picked up a lot of stuff from him, especially when he needed help with experiments."

The CEO gawked down at her at the mention of roughing it.

'Two weeks in the forest!? Man, she is tough.'

Kakashi felt a new wave of appreciation towards the woman walking with him.

"So this is all like second nature, so to speak? Camping, wilderness, all that stuff?"

Sakura just nodded in agreement.

"When my mom would come along, she was a middle school teacher by the way, so she could only come in the summer like me, it was also so much fun. We turned it into a family tradition to go on a big camping trip or two. He wouldn't work during those trips, so we'd spend a week camping at a time. We'd fish and hunt small game, hike around the woods all day, swim in the lake that was nearby, and a couple times we jumped off the small waterfall that drained into the lake." she revealed.

Kakashi stopped walking to look at Sakura when she said she had jumped off a waterfall before.

"You've jumped off a waterfall before?! No wonder you're completely fearless!" he exclaimed as he watched a grin come to her rosy cheeks.

"It was safe to do! My mother was scared shitless when I first jumped. It's so much fun, Kakashi, I'd love for you to try it with me one day." she sighed wistfully.

Kakashi just watched as the look of bliss overcame her as she recalled all the fond memories of her family growing up. He loved that she even asked him to become a part of the tradition her family started.

"I'd love to, but you'll have to jump with me though." he countered with as he smirked down to her.

She met his smirk with a devilish one of her own.

"Okay, but," she agreed and began her own counter, "You'll have to go camping with me, my style, in order to do so."

"Your style?" he laughed.

"Yep! You'll have to rough it with me in the wilderness. No rich boy luxuries, so that means no giant cabin with all the fixings. Just you and I and anything we can carry on our backs."

Kakashi just smiled as he watched her bright green eyes glint with mischief and a goofy grin cross her usually soft features.

"Alright, I can work with that. But once it gets warm though. I don't think I'm ready for winter camping yet, if it doesn't include a warm cabin to return too."

Sakura just laughed at his subtle hint. He would fully admit his life of luxury had pampered him a bit too much to do something like that. But, he was one hundred percent willing to explore that area with her. Sakura provided him with a new outlook and perspective on life that he was beyond thankful for.

"Alright, we can head back. But, I'm gonna give you a challenge first." she lightly teased.

"A challenge…?" he barely got out before Sakura let go of his hand and began running ahead of him.

"You have to beat me back to the cabin or catch me first!" she shouted back to him.

Kakashi stood there dumbfounded before it registered that he should be running after her. He quickly started sprinting after her and shouting to her to wait and he only got happy squeals in reply as she only started running faster.

"You're cheating, you got a head start!" he yelled as he jumped over a log they had passed earlier, "Plus, you're acquainted to this terrain!"

"Is that the talk of a sore loser? Come on, pretty boy, you gotta adapt!" she laughed back as she quickly jumped through two large trees that he couldn't squeeze through, so he had to stop and run around them.

"They say that cheaters never prosper!"

He slightly cursed at just how small and nimble she was in comparison to him.

He watched as Sakura ran through a thicket and past a large boulder. He wasn't far behind and when he whipped around the corner, but found she was nowhere in sight. Kakashi stopped to catch his breath and looked around his surroundings. He wasn't used to running on such uneven footing and let alone in clothing that wasn't workout attire so he was slightly out of breath. He quickly realized that he couldn't locate Sakura in the dense woods and worry began making it way into him.

'Where'd she go? Did she slip and fall? I can't see her anywhere…'

"Boo!"

The sudden noise from above him caused him to jump back and away from the boulder that was to his left. Jerking to look up, he found Sakura squatting on top of the large boulder with her gloved hands clamped tightly over her mouth and trying desperately to stifle a laugh. He stood there in astonishment at the sight.

"How the hell did you get up there?" he asked in between breaths of air.

Sakura let her hands fall and settle on top of her knees and she continued to stay squatted. He was mesmerised by her brilliant smile that slowly turned into a smug filled one.

"Wouldn't you like to know?" she teased down to him.

Kakashi let a goofy grin of his own come to his lips at her statement.

"I believe the first time you said that to me, you had a gun pressed against my head."

Sakura erupted into laughter at the reminder of the first time they met. She leaned back too far fell onto her butt as she grabbed her sides while continuing to laugh. Kakashi just watched on as the woman he loved attempted to reign herself in.

He smiled big to himself as he recalled how much had changed between them since that day. He thought that having her as his bodyguard would be a waste of time, resources, and money. He never thought that this woman would become so important to him.

Kakashi never thought that he would fall in love with her.

So much had changed in a little less than three months and he was so happy to see that it was all positive. Even with his current situation, Kakashi could say that he was happier than he ever had been at any point in his life. Sakura made him want to be better than every aspect.

He no longer only worried about himself. Even the simplest things, he considered Sakura and her thoughts and opinions. Even his work choices and investments were shifting to be less cut throat and more logical and beneficial in the long run.

After another minute, Sakura was able to calm herself down enough and stood up onto the rock and smiled down to him.

"That was really fun. I scared you good!" she teased.

"You did for sure." he admitted reluctantly.

Sakura stood up on the boulder and brushed off the pine needles and leaves from her body.

"Catch me." she said next.

Kakashi felt his eyes nearly bug out of his head at her request.

"What!? No! You're way up there, I could drop you!" he quickly argued.

"It's barely six feet! Have a little faith in yourself, I do! Consider it a trust fall!" she pouted down to him, "I can do it myself if I wanted too."

Kakashi bit his tongue and swallowed his pride.

"Okay, but if you get hurt because of me, I'm going to feel really bad."

Before he had a chance to even ready himself, Sakura hopped down from atop the boulder and positioned herself for him to catch her bridal style. Kakashi jerked forward and barely had time to grab her as she landed in his arms and against his chest with a thump.

Stumbling back a couple feet, he managed to catch his footing as he held her close to him. After a second, he opened his eyes and found a pair of bright green eyes shining brightly back at him.

"See! I told you you could do it!"

"You didn't even give me any warning before jumping! Are you insane?!" he scolded Sakura as he turned and began walking back to the cabin while still carrying her.

Sakura wrapped an arm around his neck and leaned over and gave his cheek a lingering kiss before smiling at him when she pulled back.

"Maybe."

Kakashi just shook his head in disbelief as she rested her head against his shoulder was they stepped out of the woods and towards the cabin to clean up and get warm before he made them dinner.

'I could get used to this being a nice tradition. If she'll stay with me. If only she will stay with me.'

Chapter Text

Chapter 19

The next week was one of pure bliss for Sakura. Her and Kakashi went hiking every other day and she opened up and told him more about her childhood and her parents. He was curious about her past and asked all sorts of questions which she answered every single one.

She had never felt so comfortable around someone before and she felt her bond with Kakashi deepen as she opened more and more of herself up to him.

Christmas had went by without a hitch and she loved spending the day with him lazing around the cabin watching Christmas movies and ending the night with a nice dinner they made together. They had exchanged simple gifts too. She got him a collectors edition of his favorite book and he had gotten her a beautiful leather bound notebook.

It was now New Year's Eve and Sakura was busy in the kitchen making a dip for them to enjoy later that night. She had woken up about an hour ago and left her room to immediately to start it before she changed and showered for the day and before Kakashi got up for the day himself.

"Good morning, sunshine." she heard him mumble as he walked into the kitchen from upstairs.

"I see you decided to finally roll out of bed." she teased as she put the bowl of fresh dip into the fridge and walked over to the sink to begin washing her hands.

She felt Kakashi step up behind her and circle his arms around her waist and pull her back against him slightly. An unpleasant shiver ran up her spine at that motion.

"Kakashi, stop…" she muttered quietly as she tried to keep her nerves under control.

He either ignored her or didn't hear her as he tightened his hold around her and leaned down and started placing lazy kisses across her bare shoulder. She regretted wearing a tank top suddenly.

"Please, stop…" she repeated again, but louder as she turned off the water and tried to wiggle out of his hold to no avail.

"What? I can't love on you?" he murmured as his kisses made their way up her neck to the back of her ear.

Sakura felt herself begin to panic as horrible and terrifying memories began to flood her mind. The heat of his breath causing her emotions to flare up even more.

"No… It's not that… It's just-" she tried to say, but couldn't finish when a gasp left her when Kakashi lightly bit down on her neck.

"Then what?" he questioned in a deep voice.

"I said stop!" she suddenly shouted, "You're doing exactly what he did!"

The next thing she knew her body went into autopilot as she lifted and stomped her right foot down onto Kakashi's foot and rammed her right elbow into his ribs. The sudden pain she inflicted caused him to gasp and groan as he quickly let go of her. She used her back and body weight to push him further away as she herself took a handful of steps away from him.


Kakashi immediately put his hands over his ribs were Sakura struck him, the stinging pain run up his side. He opened his eyes up and he gave her a dazed and shocked look and found a look of pure terror on her face.

"What the hell?" was all he said.

Sakura clamped her hands over her mouth to stifle the sob that escaped her as he watched tears began streaming down her. He went on high alert then. He had never seen Sakura cry before. He had seen her tear up, but never cry, especially as hard as she was crying now.

"I'm so sorry, Kakashi!" she cried out from behind her hands, "I didn't mean to hurt you. I said stop… I-I tried warning you…"

Kakashi just stood frozen in place as she began to tremble in front of him as more sobs tore through her body.

'What the hell is going on?!'

His mind flew back to the last thing she said before she jammed her elbow into him.

"You're doing exactly what he did!"

Who was this man that triggered such a violent response from Sakura?

Kakashi took a couple tentative steps towards her with his hands raised partially to show he meant no harm.

"Sakura… what's going on? Please tell me what I did wrong." he pleaded softly with her as he continued to slowly approach her.

Sakura just continued to stand there trembling and trying to stop her loud crying. When he finally approached her, he placed a single hand on her shoulder and she immediately slammed herself against his chest. He wrapped his arms tightly around her and let her silently sob into his chest for a while.

He did not expect for his day to start how like this at all. He felt awful that he caused her to react the way she did. He had been so respectful towards her and always stopped when she asked him to, so why did he not listen today? Why did he try to argue the point? He wouldn't begin to forgive himself for a while because of this. If ever.

'What the fuck is wrong with me… I can't do this to her. I can't hurt her anymore. Oh god, please let me fix this…'

"I'm so sorry. I tried so hard to forget. To leave it behind me. I thought that it would be different now, but it just won't go away it seems." she spoke in between her ragged breaths and sobs.

Kakashi only hugged her tighter as he used a hand to rub soothing circles into her shoulders.

"Sakura, please tell me what's going on." he pleaded again, "What did he do?"

He felt Sakura flinch in his hold at his last question. Her trembling suddenly stopped and he even felt her suck in a deep breath. He forced himself to pull away from her and used his hand to tilt her chin up so he could get a better look at her.

Kakashi couldn't help but feel the urge to cry himself as he felt his heart shatter from the sight of the state she was in. She looked absolutely terrified. Her eyes held no light and were bloodshot from her tears. Her face was twisted up like she was experiencing great pain.

"Sakura…"

"I tried so hard…" she whispered as she looked away and tried to rub away the remaining tears with the back of her hand, "I tried so hard to not let it affect me, but I guess it still does."

Kakashi didn't really know what to do at this point. He knew Sakura was in great emotional distress, but he couldn't get her to talk. So he knew he needed to be there for her right now.

"Let's go sit down, okay?" he spoke softly as he guided her out of the kitchen and down the hall to the living room.

Sitting her down on the couch, he took a seat right next to her and grabbed both of her small hands and held them tenderly.

"Please tell me what I did wrong, Sakura." he asked yet again.

"You did nothing wrong!" she quickly replied as she stared wide eyed at him.

Kakashi just frowned slightly at her. He knew he had indeed done something wrong to cause her to lash out like that.

"Then can you tell me what happened? Who was this man? Did he hurt you?"

Sakura jerked her hands away from his hold then and began fidgeting with them in her lap as she looked away from him and at the fire that was roaring in the fireplace a few feet away.

He was baffled to see this side of her. Sakura had always been blunt and forward, never reserved and afraid. She had never shown any signs of ever being weak, only strong, so this saddened yet intrigued him.

"I've never told anyone the whole truth before…" she whispered quietly as she trailed off into thought. Suddenly she looked back to him and he was surprised to see the look of determination in her eyes, "But if we're as serious as I hope we're are, I guess I should tell you now rather than later. It will probably clear up some questions you have as to why I've asked you to be patient with me. It'll probably help me with moving forward… I thought that I had already, but it seems…"

Kakashi was suddenly speechless at her sudden switch in demeanor. He just nodded at her to encourage her to continue speaking.

Sakura understood the cue to continue and she took a deep breath as he watched her work through a thousand emotions at once as she struggled to say what she wanted to say. She suddenly looked back down to her hands and let out a shaky breath.

"I was raped when I was twenty two by my boss from when I was a doctor."

Kakashi felt the world get ripped out from underneath him as he registered her words.

'Rape!? She was raped!? By her boss no less! Oh god, this explains everything…'

His mind flickered back to countless conversations they had over the last few months. Everything she explained to him about wanting to go slow made sense. Her wanting to be in control made sense. She was attempting to prevent any possible chances of her getting taken advantage of again. It explained why she hadn't dated in the last four years.

It all clicked together in the most heartbreaking way. It was all trauma. Horrible trauma that she had kept locked away for years.

'Oh god, that's why she quit her old job… She worked at Konoha Sacred Heart… I'll fucking kill him.'

He felt like the biggest asshole in the world in that moment. This was horrific news and he felt ashamed for causing her to relive some of the worst moments of her life.

"Oh god, Sakura…" he whispered in disbelief.

Sakura suddenly looked back up to him with her brows furrowed and an angry look in her eyes.

"Don't pity me." she suddenly bit out, "That's exactly why I haven't told anyone. I don't want to be pitied or be treated differently."

Kakashi immediately held up his hands in defeat.

'She hasn't told anyone?!'

"I'm sorry, I'm not trying to pity you. I'm just… Sakura…" he struggled to find his own words for this.

Then he started to feel angry at the fact that she was taken advantage of.

"How could he do that to you?!" he felt his anger grow, "Please tell me he's in prison!"

Sakura's angry expression dropped back into an unreadable one.

"Yes, he's in prison." she muttered as she glanced back down to her fisted hands, "He's gonna be there for a while, don't worry."

Kakashi felt a flare of irritation and anger and the sudden urge to wrap Sakura up and protect her from the world.

"Can you tell me what happened? Or is that too much?" he timidly asked next, "I don't want you to feel forced to talk about this. I want to be there for you. I-I'm… I'm just speechless."


Sakura glanced back up to him and considered the option.

'Can I even bring myself to tell him what happened in the first place?'

Could she really relive that moment over? She had worked so hard to store away any thoughts and feelings from that day. She didn't want to ever experience that level of helplessness again. She didn't want to remember how weak she used to be.

She was strong now though. She wasn't helpless anymore. She promised to never let herself show any weakness ever again. Being weak only got you hurt. Only got you taken advantage of. That's why she became a bodyguard when Tsunade scouted her. It was a job that never allowed for weakness, only strength.

She was able to ignore the world and her issues. Sakura had figured that after over four years, she had successfully put it past her. That was until she met and fell in love with Kakashi. Her boss. It had come rushing back so fast that she didn't have time to adjust or prepare for it.

Before she realized what she did, she nodded at him.

"I can tell you." she breathed out.

"Okay."

"But you can't interrupt me or say anything until I'm done."

"Okay."

'I can do this… I can trust him. Kakashi would never hurt me.' she internally reasoned as she tried to find every scrap of willpower to get through telling the man she loved her biggest secret.

"It happened five months after I got hired at Konoha Sacred Heart…" she began but stopped to take a deep breath as the memories she had worked so hard to store away came rushing back.

She reasoned that this was okay. It wasn't good to keep this all internalized like she had done. That telling Kakashi would help her finally begin to move forward. Move forward towards a happier life that she could share with this amazing man by her side. This was the first step towards a healthy recovery.

"His name was Sasori. He was my boss and head of toxicology there. He was the best boss I ever had at the time, if I'm going to be honest. He was an absolute genius in the field and he was only thirty two at the time! I was able to intern under him during my final year of college and that's how I was able to get hired in so quickly after graduation. We had gotten along so well…" she explained as she felt another set of tears come to her.

Sakura glanced over to see if Kakashi was still listening and he was. He was stark still and she saw that his fists were clenched so tightly that his knuckles had turned sheet white. She knew he was angry, but knew that anger wasn't directed at her. Taking another deep breath, she willed herself to continue.

"Those five months were some of the best of my life. I was working in my dream field and making amazing money. I had some friends and a life. Sasori was literally my work best friend! Everything was perfect." she sighed at the fleeting memory of what her life used to be.

"Then one day Sasori asked me out on a date and I told him no, that I didn't feel that way towards him. I told him that I saw him only as a really good friend, my best friend. He started acting really different after that. He was moody and a lot more critical of my work. He even gave me extra work to do all the time, which I didn't mind. I was able to do it easily."

Sakura quickly wiped away the tears that kept coming out. She glanced back to Kakashi to gauge his reaction so far and found that his face was unreadable other than deep frown marring his handsome face.

'I'm so nervous…'

The pinkette closed her eyes clenched her fists as she began recalling the next part. The part where her life fell apart.

"One night I was working really late because of a huge case he assigned me…"

-flashback-

Standing up from her desk, Sakura walked into the lab to grab some papers she just printed off of results from her lab tests. Before getting a chance to turn around, she felt something strike the back of her head and the front of her body get slammed onto the table, pinned down hard next to the printer and her arms get yanked behind her.

"Hey! Get off me!" she yelled as she struggled to break free only to be met with another blow to the back of the head.

Sakura hissed in pain as her forehead bounced off the table below her. She instantly felt dizzy from how hard she'd been hit. She felt the wet of what she assumed was blood roll down her temple.

'What the hell?!'

"Stop! St-" she tried crying out but stopped with she felt something cold press against her throat.

"Stop struggling or you'll get hurt." came the low voice from behind her and she let out a gasp.

"Sa-sasori!? What are you doing? Let me go! This isn't funny!" she started struggling against him again, "This isn't a joke!"

The sudden sting of pain coming from the back of her neck caused her to stop and freeze. She felt something warm trickle down from the back of her neck and realized he had cut her and she was now bleeding.

'He's hurting me!'

"I said stop moving or you're going to get hurt. Really hurt." he repeated, but his voice was right next to her ear then, "Do as I say and that won't happen. If you struggle, it'll only cause you more pain. I will only cause you more pain."

Panic set in then. She felt herself grow dizzy as her heart raced faster. What was he trying to do? What point was he trying to make?

"Please, stop…" she begged as she felt tears prick at her eyes, "Why are you doing this?!"

A low chuckle vibrated against her back as she felt the hand that wasn't holding the scalpel to her throat begin to roam her body. Blunt fingers dug into her skin and she tried desperately to pull away from the unwelcome touch. Her mind kept screaming for her to run, but she was frozen in fear. She felt as more blood trickled down her next and a small pool form as it hit her cheek that was pressed against the table.

"I'm doing this to get what I deserve. And, since you won't give it to me willingly, I'm going to take it from you."

Sakura felt a shiver of fear run down her spine when she felt him move and her hands get tied together.

'Oh my god, I'm going to die…' she cried to herself.

"What do you mean?!" she cried out as she felt him hike up her skirt.

"You led me on for nearly a year and a half!" he growled as he roughly grabbed her thigh when she tried to wiggle away again, "You flirted with me and teased me with chances! Made me fall for you and then when I ask you to be mine, you turn me down?! What kind of whore are you?!"

A sob escaped her then. He had misread her signs of friendship.

"I never led you on! You're my friend, Sasori!" she reasoned as his hand slid under her panties and began tugging them down. She attempted to kick him as he did so.

"Liar!" he snapped and she felt him strike her in the back of the head again with his fist.

Sakura cried out in pain from the blow and felt as her vision got blurry for a second. The sound of a belt buckle being undone and a zipper being pulled down pulled her back to reality. Dread invaded every part of her.

"You can't deny me what should be mine any longer!" he whispered darkly next to ear and she flinched at the feeling of his hot breath against her skin, "I deserve this!"

She felt his hot tongue against her neck as he began trailing it over her exposed flesh. Causing her to begin to tremble uncontrollably.

"I'm not yours…" she cried softly, "You can't take what's not yours!"

The next second she felt him bit down on her neck and press himself against her and she started sobbing uncontrollably.

"Shut up, you little whore." he growled as he pressed the sharp blade against her throat again and pushed her entire body flush down against the table, "And, quit moving around! Or I'll make you bleed a lot more. The faster you let me do this, the faster I'll be happy."

Sakura sobbed as she felt the sting of a smack against her thighs and rough hands grip her bare hips.

"I said shut up!" He yelled as he slammed her thighs apart on the table. More pain shooting through her body. She heard a maniacal giggle escape him.

Sakura couldn't say anything as she continued crying against the table and then she felt the sudden excruciating pain as he entered her dry and her mind went blank as she realized he had stolen her safety and security. He had just stolen everything from her.

"Not as good as I hoped." she heard him groan as he finished, "But enough to get through for a little while. Until you realize what you're missing. You'll learn to love me, Sakura. This is only the beginning. Oh, and if you tell anyone about what happened here…"

-end flashback-


Kakashi sat there speechless as Sakura finished up retelling the brutal attack she experienced. He didn't know exactly what he was feeling. Anger? Sadness? Fury? Hurt?

He glanced up and found that Sakura looked absolutely exhausted and void of any emotion.

He reached over and wrapped both arms around her and pulled her onto his lap and settled them both back into the couch. He felt her tense up and then immediately relax in his hold as she curled into herself and buried her face into the crook of his neck.

"He told me after he was done that if I told anyone, he'd kill me. But I didn't care, I already felt dead. I ran and screamed for help shortly after he left me lying there in the lab."

Kakashi just held her closer as he felt more of her tears against his neck. He was on the brink of tears himself. For her to experience something as violating and painful as this, it was indescribable. He had never wished death upon a person or believed in the death penalty until now.

Now he wanted nothing more than for this man's life to end. He wanted nothing more than to make him suffer endlessly before offing him. He never thought of killing a man until now. He wanted to be the one who ended this man's life.

"He denied it when they arrested him and questioned him, but he was foolish. The fucking idiot didn't wear a condom." she bit out.

"Were you afraid of… you know?" he stammered as he looked to the floor.

Sakura scoffed as she wiped the tears away.

"Oh my god. Yes, I was. When they took me to the hospital, the doctors asked me so many questions. I remember barely getting out that he didn't use a condom. So, they tested me for STD's and they came back negative, thank god. I asked and they gave me a preventative to be extra safe. They may have washed away most of the physical evidence, but the emotional evidence is still fresh, I guess. Even after all this time."

Kakashi just screwed his eyes shut at the terrible images that came to him. He couldn't comprehend how she was able to go through this alone and how she managed to keep it to herself for over four years.

"He was also foolish and forgot that they had installed security cameras in all the labs at the beginning of the year, so the whole thing was caught on tape too. It was a quick and painful case for him. He got thirty five years to life and all his licenses taken away. The hospital gave me a settlement too, for "mental damages," but I couldn't go back there ever again."

"That's why you left your field?" he spoke for the first time since had asked his only question earlier.

He felt Sakura nod against him to say yes and he felt another wave of anger towards that man. He ruined her life because he got turned down and couldn't take no for an answer. He caused her to shell up and never get close to another person for fear of getting hurt again. He stole her sense of security because he felt entitled to her. She shut everyone and everything off and tried to forget her past and entered into a career where she wasn't allowed to be an individual, only a protector.

"Is that why you became a bodyguard?" he asked again.

He felt her nod again.

"I started taking all the self defense classes I could using the settlement money. I began going to the gym to get stronger so that no one could ever make me feel defenseless like that again. I got my concealed carry license and went to the shooting range every week to train my marksmanship." she explained her process of becoming the woman he knew today.

"I got scouted by Senju Security when they noticed me at the range a few times and Tsunade approached me. Offered me a job at the company as a bodyguard when I told her a very simplified version of what I just told you. I agreed and started right before my twenty third birthday."

He felt a sigh of relief leave Sakura as she approached the end of this emotional ride.

"And here you are today." he quietly spoke.

"And here I am today." she parroted back, "I continued to train hard as I worked and I quickly rose through the ranks for my ruthless and methodical tactics of getting the job done. I will admit, I think my anger towards Sasori and these people who wanted my clients dead fueled a lot of my wrath."

They sat there in silence for a few minutes as they both soaked in the comfort the other brought.

"I hate to say this, but if none of that had happened, I would've never met you." he whispered.

"My past is my past. It doesn't and shouldn't define my present or my future. I'm tired of letting this dictate what I do and how I lead my life. I'm so tired. Only I get to do that now. I'll no longer allow this to hold me back. All that matters is now and that my past just happened to lead me to you." she whispered back as she raised her left hand up and caressed his cheek softly.

Kakashi looked down to her and found her staring up to him with puffy eyes that were filled with warmth. Leaning down, he placed a soft kiss on her forehead.

"You're right." he said as he hugged her closer, "But I want you to know that I will never ever hurt you in such a way, Sakura. It breaks me to know that you have suffered alone all these years. I know I'm your boss technically and I can totally see why you were so nervous when I told you about my feelings and why you still are. But, just know that I would never hurt you like that. I love you too much. I love you so damn much."

He felt Sakura kiss the edge of his jaw softly and a soft sigh leave him at the tender touch in response.

"I know. I'm so thankful for you. I love you." she whispered again, "That's why I tried so hard to put this behind me because I don't want to define my relationship with you. That's why I asked you to be patient with me."

"And I'll always be patient with you. You get to lead this relationship and you have total control. I'll gladly stick by your side as long as you'll let me. I'll always be there to take care of you, to hold you, and to protect you."

A small giggle left Sakura then and he looked down to her in confusion.

"Even though I'm the one protecting you right now." she teased, "But I get what you mean, darling."

Kakashi couldn't help but groan and roll his eyes at her and it only caused another giggle to leave her. He felt warmth invade him as Sakura slowly returned back to her usual normal self again.

They had grown so close over the last couple months, but he felt this brought them to another, deeper, level. She had never told another soul about this horrible time of her life and she trusted him enough to bare her deepest and darkest secret. He would never take that for granted.

He would never take her for granted.

Pulling back enough so he could lean down and pepper her cheek with kisses, he hummed in amusement as she started squirming and giggling even more at the affection.

"How about we be extra lazy today to bring in the New Year? Leave all this negative junk in this year?" he suggested when he finally pulled back from the loving assault.

"That sounds perfect." she replied.

"You're perfect." he shot back with a smirk.

It was her turn to groan and roll her eyes at him.

Chapter Text

Chapter 20

"I don't wanna go home." Kakashi grumbled as they threw the last of their bags into the trunk of the SUV and crawled into the backseat.

Sakura started laughing and he looked over and gave her a dirty look. It was Friday and they decided to return home a couple days early to settle back in, in preparation for the upcoming work week.

"Don't you find that at least kind of ironic?" she asked him as she calmed down.

Confused, Kakashi just gave her a puzzled look and a raised brow in reply.

"You didn't want to come here to begin with! It took me convincing you to come and now that we're leaving you don't want to leave!" she added.

The silver haired man just shrugged and leaned back into his seat as they drove away from the cabin and began heading home.

"Well, I didn't know I was going to have such a wonderful time and with such a lovely person too." he explained as he shot her a cheeky grin.

"Kiss ass." Sakura shot back as she rolled her eyes and began working with her phone.

"I have yet to kiss your ass, thank you very much."

Kakashi didn't even flinch when he received the expected slap to his arm from her. Catching the small hand that hit him, he gently brought it up and kissed her knuckles. He glanced up to her after letting go and found that the bodyguards face was as pink as her hair.

"I love you, silly." he teased, which only got him a happy smile from Sakura as her blush deepened in color.

Satisfied with his results, he grabbed the book he brought along to read for the long car ride home. After a few more moments, he noticed Sakura had regained her composure and pulled out her laptop and continued doing her own work. The next couple of hours passed in a comfortable silence as the SUV soared along the freeway back to Konoha and home.

"We'll need to stop for gas before we enter into Konoha, Mr. Hatake. Ms. Haruno."

Kakashi looked up from his book and nodded to the man looking at him in the rearview mirror. He marked his page and sat it on the seat as he did a half stretch in the cramped back seat.

"Fine with me, I'd love to stretch my legs out right about now."

A couple minutes later, the couple found themselves wandering around the tiny gas station while they waited for the driver to finish getting gas. Sakura mentioned she'd like to grab a soda before getting back on the road.

"Oh my god." he heard her breath out.

Turning quickly to see what evoked her, he found her staring at a magazine rack of tabloids.

"What is it?" he asked as he moved over to stand next to her.

The pinkette shoved the bottle of diet soda into his hands before she quickly reached out and snatched a magazine off the rack.

"It's me!" Sakura said in disbelief.

"Huh?" Kakashi replied as he looked as the cover and realized what she meant.

He rolled his eyes as he sighed before looking back down to see what it said.

""More than just an assistant? CEO of Hatake Int. brings the woman he says is his assistant along with him on his yearly trip to the family cabin in Sugi. A first for the young bachelor!"" Sakura read the attention grabber out loud.

"We haven't hidden our relationship, so this is a lame rumor." he pointed out.

Sakura turned and looked at him and for the first time he goes to see the look of surprise on her face.

"Maybe so, but they have my photo on the cover! When did they take this photo?! I never noticed it! This is from when we went shopping for the trip! Oh god, am I slipping up and getting rusty?! I never even saw the photographer!" she whined as she basically crumbled the tabloid in her hands.

Kakashi put a hand on her shoulder to get her attention. When she looked back up to him he gave her a reassuring smile.

"You're not slipping up, don't worry. The photo was obviously taken from a cell phone. It looks like a shopper or one of the workers took it and sold the image and "story" to a tabloid for quick cash." he explained.

She gave him a look like she didn't fully believe and he squeezed her shoulder and continued.

"Trust me, this is not the first tabloid article about me and it's definitely not going to be the last. Sadly, you're an indirect target of my wealth. For some reason, people want to know every detail about you when you're rich. This includes everyone who associates with me, even the pretty pink haired girl who happens to be my "assistant" and girlfriend."

Sakura pursed her lips and nodded as she seemed to accept his reasoning.

"They could've at least taken a better photo…" she pouted.

"Mah, Sakura! You look beautiful at every angle!"

Bright green eyes just rolled at his loving tease as she shoved the now crumbled tabloid into his hands as she took her soda back.

"You know I have to pay for this now!" he continued to tease her as he playfully waved the magazine in his hand and followed her to the counter to check out.

'God, I love her. So much.'


"We'll be home soon." Kakashi spoke up from her left side.

"I'm glad to be home and in my bed again!" she sighed happily, "Are you excited to go back to work?"

"It'll be nice to go back, yes. Only thing I'm not looking forward too is all the New Year meetings. Now those are a snooze fest that you'll learn to hate very quickly." he said as they took the exit and entered into downtown Konoha, "All talk and goals for the upcoming year. Can we please just turn around and go back to the cabin and cut our losses?"

Sakura just shot him an amused look at his displeasure for meetings.

"You just don't like meetings, darling, so of course yo-" she started to reply, but the sudden sound of a ton of car horns blaring interrupted her.

Looking past Kakashi, she saw another black SUV swerving through traffic as it sped directly towards them.

"Kakashi, get down!"

Sakura reached out and grabbed the collar of his shirt and yanked him towards her right as the SUV collided with his side of the vehicle. The next moments were a blur as the impact shoved them back against her side of the car and pain shot up her right side and the back of her head hit the window behind her as the car nearly rolled over onto its side. She felt the spray of shattered glass rain over them as she kept a near death grip on Kakashi and tried to cover him from any other flying debris.

They were jerked forward again as the SUV landed violently back on all four tires. After a few more seconds had passed and the ensuing silence continued, she felt Kakashi move within her hold.

"Sakura, are you okay!?" he spoke up as he sat up and looked at her with wide eyes.

"You damned idiot, stay down!" she scolded harshly as she pulled his head back down against her side. Another shock of pain ran up her side as she pressed him against her.

'Fucking damn it, did I seriously hurt myself?!'

"I'm as fine as I can be in this situation." she eventually replied, "Please stay down and follow my directions. Are you hurt?"

She reached into her coat and pulled out her hand gun she kept strapped against her side at all times.

"I'm fine." he told her, "You obviously saved me again."

Sakura gave a sigh of relief at the news of his safety. That relief was short lived when two gunshots ricocheting off the car alerted her that they were still in danger.

"You've got to be fucking kidding me!" she bit out as she reached behind them and tried to open the car door and sang a silent praise when it gave way. The force of the impact didn't trap them inside and rendering them helpless.

Stepping out she all but dragged Kakashi onto the ground when another gunshot whizzed by them.

"Oh god." she heard him breath out.

"Please stay down. I'll take care of this." she warned him.

Sakura stood up and stepped around towards the front of the SUV before he could reply and immediately pinpointed the gunman and fired off four shots directly at them. One of the four shots struck the guy in his right arm, near his elbow, and caused him to drop his gun. He immediately screamed out in pain and turned to start running away.

"I got him, but he's running! Damn it!" she shouted as she moved to start running after him, but before she could take two steps she felt a hand grasp her upper arm and stop her.

Sakura whipped around to find that it was Kakashi who was holding her back. She tried to pull her arm away to no avail.

"Kakashi! Let go! I need to stop him before he gets away!" she shouted, but his grip only tightened.

"Sakura… I can't… I-I can't risk losing you." he whispered to her.

The bodyguard couldn't believe what she was hearing right now.

"Kakashi! He's disarmed! This comes before anything! You promised! I need to protect you!" she shouted at him as she finally freed herself from him and turned and finally got around the SUV to run after the guy. But she soon realized that the gunman was long gone, lost in a crowd of people gathering around the accident, "No! He got away!"

Sakura felt herself get furious at the results of this. The sounds of sirens and shouts from witnesses and police filled the air around them. Turning back around, she quick holstered the gun and marched towards her boyfriend.

"Damn it, Kakashi! You promised!" she screamed at him, the threat of tears suddenly rushing in as she pointed an accusing finger at him, "You promised me when we got together, Kakashi, that you wouldn't stop me from trying to protect you! You told me that you understood that my job comes first! Why did you do this!?"

She watched the CEO recoil at her wrath.

"Sakura… I can-"

"No! You're going to fucking listen to me right now! The guy who was trying to kill you got away because you stopped me! I could've stopped him, Kakashi! I was able to disarm him! I could've taken him down in seconds! Now he's out there pissed because I shot him! And there's going to be another threat towards you now! He's going to try and kill you again!" she continued lashing out at him, "Because you held me back!"

Before either of them could reply or continue, a handful of police officers ran up to them.

"Mr. Hatake! Ms. Haruno! Are you two okay?" an officer frantically asked.

Coming down from the adrenaline rush she had been experiencing, she felt the earlier pain return at full force and her head began to throb. The current fury she felt towards Kakashi suddenly shot down to the bottom of her list of worries.

"I need to go to the E.R." she revealed, "I think I may have broken a rib or two and I hit my head pretty hard on the window."

She watched out of the corner of her eye as Kakashi turned to her frantically.

"Why didn't you say anything until now?! You said you were fine!"

"Because I needed to do my job first!" she snapped back at him viciously, "But they got away, so now I get to deal with this!"

The bodyguard saw the pained frown come to him. He clearly knew his mistake and she knew she shouldn't be as harsh as she was, but she couldn't contain her anger.


The next thirty minutes were tense and quiet as Sakura and Kakashi gave their initial statements and then got into an ambulance and went to Konoha General for her to get checked out.

The nurses separated them shortly after they arrived as Sakura went back for x-rays and a CT scan while they brought him to a private room and checked him out and cleared him. He was unscathed thanks to Sakura's quick thinking. Rushing to the room they assigned to her, he found her propped up in her hospital bed with her eyes closed and a slight pained expression on her face. She wasn't in her clothes that they had came in and she in hospital gown with a blanket covering her lap.

"Oh god, Sakura." he breathed out as he rushed to her bedside.

Sakura opened her eyes and just stared blankly back at him.

"I don't wanna argue right now. I'm too sore and tired."

Dread washed over him at her reply.

'I've fucked this all up.'

"Have they given you any answers?" he asked tentatively as he grabbed a chair and pulled it up next to her.

"X-ray results should be back anytime now, but they know that at least two of my ribs are broken on my right side from their initial exam. I'm a little bruised up. CT scan looks like I may have a mild concussion too. It'll be confirmed or not soon as well."

Kakashi felt every negative emotion known to man hit him like a tidal wave as she relayed him all the stuff that's wrong or possibly wrong with her. He leaned forward and propped his elbows onto her bed and let his head fall into his hands.

"I'm so sorry."

He felt awful. Devastated that the woman he loved was so beat up from protecting him. He thought that her getting a cut on her cheek was the worst thing ever. He didn't know how he should be feeling right now.

He knew he fucked up by stopping her from running after the guy. He promised her, yet his body betrayed him. He was so afraid that this shattered the trust she held in him.

"Why are you sorry?" she asked.

Kakashi finally lifted his head up and looked at her to find her giving him a curious look.

"Because look at you! You're here because of me!" he explained in a strained voice.

"No. I'm here because some idiot smash his SUV into ours and tried to kill you. I got hurt as a result. That wasn't your fault at all. Now letting the guy get away? That was one hundred percent your fault." she stated flatly.

Kakashi just flinched slightly at the blunt answer she gave him. She was obviously still peeved about that and he fully understood her anger. Looking back down to the his clenched fists, he let out a soft sigh.

"I don't know what I can do to make up for that. I broke a promise to you and to myself. Not only did I put both our lives in danger, I let the guy get away because I let my fear of losing you take over."

He watched as she placed a warm hand over his cold ones. Kakashi felt as a small smile tugged at his lips at the minor affection. It showed that he hadn't completely screwed up their relationship. The CEO looked up to find a small smile at her lips as well.

"I'm not going to lie, I will probably be quite pissed about this for a while, but I do forgive you. I get to use the excuse the letting my feelings take over for me to protect you. And, it is slightly, and I do place extra emphasis on slightly, unfair that you don't get to do that too. However, my job allows me that advantage unlike yours."

Kakashi just nodded along as she spoke.

"He's going to come after you again, whoever he is. That's just a fact at this point. It's only a matter of time now. When that time comes, that's when you can redeem yourself. Just let me do my thing no matter what, darling. Okay?"

"Okay." he whispered with a single nod of his head.

Sakura moved her hand then and made to intertwine her fingers with his. Lifting their hands up, he placed a couple kisses on her knuckles. He looked back to her and found a slight blush on her cheeks.

"I love you." he whispered.

"I don't know how you still do. I tore into you pretty bad earlier."

Kakashi let out a half laugh then.

"I will always love you. No matter how angry you get with me." he replied.

After a couple more minutes, a soft knock pulled them both back to reality when the doctor came in with her results.

"You have three broken ribs on your right side. You're already bruising, so you're going to be quite sore for a while. So, I'm advising that you need to take at least three to four weeks off to rest up and let yourself heal. As for the concussion we were worried about, there was no signs of one like we thought initially. You did hit your head pretty bad though, so you'll probably have a headache for about a week." the man explained in a monotone voice.

Kakashi felt a wave a relief hit him at the news that she didn't actually have a concussion. Looking over to her once the doctor informed them that she could be discharged now, he found a deep frown marring her usual delicate features.

"What's wrong?" he asked her the moment they were left alone.

"I can't take time off!" she whined quietly.

"Yes, you can and you are. We're just not going to return to work now."

Sakura turned and shot him a dirty look.

"You can't keep taking so much time off of work either!" she reasoned.

"I can too. It's my company, Sakura. I can come and go as I see fit. I just go into work because it's something to do. Plus, I can easily do all my work from my home office."

Sakura opened her mouth to try and argue further, but he shot her the usual "end of discussion" look and she clamped her mouth shut and pouted instead.

"No more arguing today. We need to get home and get you settled in." he added on.

The woman he loved just groaned in response to his matter of fact statement and he just gave her a warm smile in reply.

'I love her so much. I can't let her get hurt like this again.'

Chapter Text

Chapter 21

Kakashi and Sakura returned home a few hours later and Kakashi immediately notified Shikamaru and Tenzo on what had happened. It was noted that Tenzo was not happy that the CEO was not returning to work and would not be at the various New Year meetings. Shikamaru just told him to take as much time as needed and would be in contact with him if he needed his opinion on anything.

While he was occupied doing that, Sakura was in desperate need of a shower. She wanted the grime of the day, dried tears, and the stench of the hospital off of her as soon as possible.

She quickly realized that she couldn't get her shirt off without writhing in pain due to the broken ribs and intense bruising. Not even the pain killers she was on were helping. She stood there in the bathroom trying countless ways to get it off in the least painful way to zero success.

'Damn it. Nurses had helped me out of my clothes and back into them that I didn't notice my lack of range of motion. How the hell am I supposed to get undressed and dressed again if I can barely lift my arms?!'

Then it dawned on her that the only way she could get changed without bursting into tears was to ask Kakashi to assist her.

'Oh god… We haven't even had sex yet, let alone share a bed together and I have to ask him to help me strip down?!'

Intense anxiety overtook every other emotion she was feeling then.

Sakura knew she was being slightly irrational with her worry. She had told Kakashi about her traumatic past and he had accepted her still. He vowed with his life that he'd never do anything remotely like that. He knew her reasoning behind her behavior. Quirks and all and still loved her dearly.

Was it time that she began taking the steps towards having an even more intimate relationship with him? More than just hugs, kisses, and cuddles? She worried that she may be going too slow and he'd grow frustrated and end things. However, it was like he seemed to be able to read her mind at those times and would randomly reassure her that good things take time and that he wanted their relationship to be more than just physical.

Their emotional bond was unbreakable at this point, so moving forward was only logical.

It's not like she hasn't thought of him in those ways. She's even fantasized a bit about their eventual encounters when she grew frustrated with herself or during some of her showers. She had seen him in next to nothing and got excited every time. He was fit and good looking in every sense of the word.

Even with his occasional nightmares, she would sit with him until he fell back asleep. Often staying longer than necessary. Sakura always considered just laying down with him, but everytime she began the motions? She'd chicken out and retreat back to her room in defeat.

Sakura turned around and exited the bathroom and walked slowly towards his office. Standing outside the door, she strained her ears to figure out if he was still busy or not. When she heard no sounds of him talking on the phone she figured she was safe. Raising her small fist, she knocked a couple times as she opened the door and poked her head inside.


Kakashi had been occupied typing up a couple of work emails explaining his sudden continued absence before making Sakura and himself dinner when he heard a couple soft knocks on his office door. He looked up to find the head of his girlfriend poking into his office looking quite nervous.

"Sakura? Is everything alright?" he quickly asked as he made to stand up as she walked in the rest of the way, "Didn't you say you were going to take a shower a while ago?"

The pinkette blushed at his mention of her showering.

"That's sort of the reason I'm here." she spoke quietly.

Perplexed by her statement, he cocked his head to the side slightly and shot her a curious look to explain further.

"I need your help." she added, the obvious blush became darker.

Kakashi felt both of his brows nearly shoot up into his hairline at what she just said.

'She couldn't mean that…' his brain immediately went to that thought.

"Help…? With what exactly?" he asked cautiously.

Sakura fidgeted with her hands for a moment. She refused to look at him directly as she did so.

"I can't lift my arms up…" she slowly explained as she held her arms out barely, "The nurses had helped me earlier at the hospital, so I didn't notice until now. I can't get undressed without a little help right now because it hurts so much."

Kakashi was speechless for a fraction of a second before he physically shook his head and took the last couple steps separating him from Sakura.

'I knew it. Cool it, Hatake…'

"I can help you with that no problem!"

He reached out and with his finger, tilted her chin so he could at her more clearly. All he found was large, nervous eyes staring back at him.

"I know you have no problem. It's just that-" she started to say, but he cut her off by placing his thumb over her lips before she could complete that thought.

"I'm well aware of why you're so concerned. But I made a promise to you, didn't I? I wouldn't do anything to ever hurt you."

Sakura mulled over his response before pursing her lips briefly to only give him a small smile and a nod.

"You're right. Thank you." she whispered her thanks before she quickly kissed his thumb.

Kakashi dropped his hand back down to his side with his own smile and together they made their way out of his office and down the short distance to her bathroom.

"Alright! Let's get your stinky butt washed!" he boldly teased as they entered the spacious bathroom.

Sakura whipped around to scold and slap his arm on instinct, but stopped and hissed in pain instead. She had temporarily forgotten her injury and had twisted her torso too much. A small cry escaped her then.

"Oh, shit! Ah, I'm sorry!" Kakashi reached out to her as he spoke.

He gently cupped her cheek as she turned and fully straightened out again. He leaned down and gave her a quick apologetic kiss.

"It seems I'm free from your violent outbursts for a while, eh?" he dared teasing again and got an icy stare back.

"I'll smother you in your sleep." she bit out the thinly veiled threat.

"Bit counterproductive, don't you think?" he smirked back, raising a single brow.

She only groaned in frustration as she turned and faced away from him again.

"Are you going to help me or not? I'm pretty sure I can get my pants and panties off, I just need help with my shirt and bra."

Kakashi stifled a cough at her sudden subject change. Taking a step forward he gently reached out and grasped the hem of her shirt.

"Alright." he spoke softly, signaling he was going to start helping her.

Slowly he lifted the shirt up and with some help from her, then got her left arm out first since it was the least injured and pained side. He kept his eyes steadily fixed in the back of her head and made a conscious effort to not let his hands trail along or linger on her skin. Sakura was trusting him with every fiber of her being to do this and he wasn't going to let even a sliver of that trust to falter.

He may have seen her in next to nothing in her work out attire, but this was a completely and much more intimate situation.

Still moving slowly, he helped quickly pull the shirt over her head and let it drop as it slid off her right arm to the tiled floor.

Something caught his attention out of the corner of his eye and he quickly glanced down and loudly gasped at the sight.

It was Sakura's right side.

He knew it was bruised from what both her and the doctor had said, but nothing had prepared him for this much bruising. He doesn't even think he was this bruised from his own accident this past summer. He didn't remember much of his healing process though, but that's besides the point. Her entire right shoulder down to her hip was various sickening shades of blue, purple, and red. And, it would only continue to bruise more over the next couple of days.

'Just how hard did she hit the side of car?!'

His mind flickered back to the accident. Sakura had yanked him towards her as the SUV collided into the car and threw them both to the side. Sakura had taken nearly the entire blow to her body as a combination of both her weight and his weight on top had slammed into the door.

'I'm partially to blame since I basically body slammed her into the door…'

"Oh, Sakura…" he breathed out as he reached out and gently trailed a finger over the discolored skin.

She flinched slightly at the sudden contact. He saw that her head turned towards the right and he followed her gaze and found that she was looking into the huge mirror hanging on the wall above the vanity. He looked up from where his hand was resting on her bruised hip and met her eyes in the mirror.

"It's not that bad." she whispered.

Looking back down to her broken body he felt angry suddenly. Not at her, but at the situation. She only got this hurt because of him. Because someone wanted him dead so badly that they didn't care who they hurt along the way.

"No, because it's worse. Way worse than I thought…"

"It's just bruising. It'll go away eventually." she reasoned.

'But what about your ribs? What if you break a leg next time? What if you get shot? What if you die…'

Kakashi bit his lip to avoid making any other comments. He knew it would just spiral into an argument. He didn't want to do that right now. He had to focus on helping her in her time of need.

"Let's just get you showered right now, okay?" he told her.

With a silent nod from her, Kakashi reached up and unclasped the hook of her bra and she quickly raised her hands to hold the front in place lest she expose herself to him.

"Can you hand me that towel right there? Then turn around please and don't look. Just stay right there in case I still need you."

He obediently grabbed the gray towel from the rack and handed it to her and promptly turned to face away. He even decided to go the extra mile and closed his eyes and put his hands in his pockets for extra reassurance to her.

Seconds later he heard the bra drop to the floor and the sound of a zipper being pulled down and Sakura shimmying out if her jeans and panties. The sound of her bare feet on the tile signaled she had walked away from him and the shower curtain being pulled back next meant she was stepping into the shower.

"Okay, I think I'm good. Thank you, darling." he heard her quietly say from inside the shower.

"Just holler if you need anything, okay? I'll leave the door cracked and my office door too."

He just heard her hum from her spot as the sound of the shower head turning on signaled he could now leave. Opening his eyes, he couldn't help but glance down at the heap of laundry on the floor. He's eyes lingered on the red lace covered bra sitting beside her discarded jeans and shirt.

'She has good tastes. Lace is my absolute favorite.'

Kakashi just closed his eyes and smirked to himself as he exited the bathroom and wandered back to his office. He plopped down into his chair and let out a long sigh as he hung his head low as he rested his elbows on the desk and ruffled his hair.

'She's hurt a lot more than she let on… Those bruises! Either she has an insanely high pain tolerance or she's hiding that pain from me.'

He glanced over to the framed photo sitting by his monitor. Kakashi never kept any personal items like knick knacks or photos on either desk, home or office, until just a few weeks ago.

When him and Sakura had essentially "snuck out" of the building and went in their date, she had insisted they take a photo together. Kakashi tried to get out of it, but in the end she had won. They took the selfie after they finished up at the diner and headed back to the car to go home. Sakura reasoned it needed to be done to commemorate their first official date.

In the end, he was thankful for the photo. It was a simple selfie with both of them giving the camera big goofy grins. He loved it if he was honest, he loved the way the corner of her eyes crinkled and how her nose scrunched up in response to her over the top smile.

Sakura had two copies of it made and framed. One for both his home and work offices.

Whenever he got frustrated with work, he'd just glance over to the photo and instantly felt better. He silently noted that maybe he should arrange for them to get professional photos taken. Maybe even for her birthday in a few months. He hated getting his photo taken to begin with, but he was willing to put up with it if it meant that he'd get have those memories with her.

"Kakashi!" the sound of Sakura calling out to him ripped him away from his thoughts. He was surprised that he was able to lose himself in this thoughts that long.

Without a second thought he bolted out of his chair and out his office to her. He managed to stop himself before he barged into the bathroom and took a quick deep breath.

"Are you alright?" he spoke through the opening he left, trying to sound as relaxed as possible.

"Yes, I just need help with my shirt. I was able to get my pajama pants and panties on. You can come in." she spoke from the other side of the door.

Kakashi walked in to find Sakura standing in a pair of pink flannel pajama pants and the gray towel wrapped around her chest. Her pajama shirt in hand.

"How do you feel?" he asked next as he took the shirt from her and began helping her slip her right arm into the appropriate sleeve.

"A thousand times better." she revealed.

Kakashi just hummed happily at the response as he smiled down to her.

"Once we're done getting you dressed, I'll make us dinner and we can just relax. Sound good?"

"Sounds delightful. I'm due to take my pain meds anyway, and I have to take it with food." she said as he gently tugged the shirt down over her chest and she let the towel fall now that she was safely covered, "Can I ask one last thing of you?"

Taking a half step back to admire his handy work, he gave a single nod yes.

"I can do it, but I know I won't do a good job since I can't lift my arms all the way up… But could you help me brush my hair out? If not that's fine." she explained tentatively.

Kakashi couldn't help but laugh out loud. Sakura looked horrified for a few seconds before her expression changed into an angry frown. Before she could tell at him nevermind and to leave her alone, he had reached out and grabbed her brush off the counter and gestured for her to come stand in front of the mirror.


The next ten minutes were spent with Kakashi carefully brushing out her long pink hair. Many giggles, laughs, and smiles were traded as they looked at each other in the mirror before them. Kakashi even somehow managed to convince her to let him braid her hair even though he actually had no idea what he was doing and she had to guide him through it. By the end she had a half decent braid and overly smug boyfriend.

He made them a simple dinner of chicken and veggie stir fry and as promised they relaxed for the rest of the night.

Sakura had settled herself between Kakashi's legs and leaned back into his chest as he wrapped them in a oversized quilt to stay warm as they flipped through the channels for something to find. Once they settled on a reality show about extreme hoarders, Sakura cozied up further into his comforting warmth as he carefully wrapped his arms around her. For the first time since the accident earlier, she finally felt content and safe.

After watching an episode, she felt herself start to get sleepy as the pain meds started to fully kick in and decided to close her eyes for a few minutes.

"Sakura." Kakashi whispered quietly, eliciting a grumble from her, "Sakura, wake up."

"I am up. I've been up." she replied, yawning big.

She felt the rumble resonate from Kakashi's chest as he chuckled.

"I beg to differ, darling, you've been sleeping for almost two hours now. I've watched nearly four episodes without you. Plus, you just started snoring. Maybe we should get you to your bed?" he told her.

Internally cursing herself for falling asleep, she let out a defeated sigh.

"But I wanna stay with you…" she bargained as she nestled herself against him more, ignoring the dull ache from her side.

"Then why not just come to bed with me?" he bargained back.

Sakura instantly woke the rest of the way up as she turned her head to look up at Kakashi more clearly. He looked so nonchalant with his proposal.

"Kakashi… I don't think that's a good idea." she whispered.

His brow quirked up partially.

"Why not? I'd say my bed is quite a bit softer and more comfortable than this couch. We're basically half asleep out here, so what's the difference if we stay here instead of laying down in a proper bed?"

She couldn't argue with his logic there. What was the big difference between staying here or going to his bed? She knew the answer came down to the fact that the bed was infinity more intimate than a couch.

Her mind quickly flickered back to her earlier train of thoughts that evening. Should she begin to take the steps to a more intimate level of their relationship? Sharing a bed was a step in the right direction for sure. Kakashi had promised, multiple times, that his intentions were not purely physical. He had promised her that he would never make a move on her without consent.

"Sakura. You just have to say no and we can drop the subject. I can even help you to your be-" he started but she interjected him as she shifted to look at him more clearly.

"Yes."

"Yes?" he parroted back, not sure exactly what part she was confirming.

"Yes, I'll go to bed with you."

Sakura watched has his eyes grew big, he looked slightly stunned at how quickly she agreed.

"Really?" he asked, obviously wanting to make sure that she wanted to do this.

She just nodded with a smile at him before she shot him a serious look.

"But no funny business, you hear? Or I'll go through with that threat of smothering you with your pillow."

Kakashi just smiled and brought his hands up to signal his submission.

"You know I'd never lay a hand on you in any way you don't consent to." he spoke softly.

Her smile returned and only grew at his statement. Together they got up and off the couch, tossing the quilt off to the side and turning off the TV as they made their way down the hall.

It felt odd walking by her room with zero intention of going in to sleep. She silently wondered if she'd ever sleep in there again after tonight. If everything worked out, she'd love to go to bed with him every night. She wanted to experience a proper and somewhat normal relationship with Kakashi after all.

They entered his room and she felt her anxiety soar through the roof. Kakashi must have sensed it because the next thing she knew he had reached out and took her slightly trembling hand in his and gave it a comforting squeeze.

"So… which side of the bed do you want?" he asked cooly.

"Uh…" she started as she stared at the king sized bed.

Releasing his hand she stepped up to the bed and turned to face him with a look of concentration as she half simulated laying down on the bed.

"Hmmm, left side." she revealed she met his gaze and raised her left hand.

Another smile graced his handsome features.

"Alright then, left side is yours." he lightly teased as he turned and walked over to the right side as he took off his shirt and tossed it on the nearby chair.

"Do you always sleep without a shirt?" she asked as she walked over to her side and pulled the comforter back.

Kakashi looked up to her with a silly expression as he reached up to scratched the back of his neck.

"I always have I guess. Does it bother you? I can put it back on if-"

"No, you're fine." she interjected again as she felt a blush creep up, "I like it actually…"

If it wasn't for the three broken ribs and awful bruising, Sakura would have dove into the bed and hid under the covers after saying that. Since she couldn't dive in, she took the easier route of just easing in and scooting towards the center of the massive bed and played off what she just admitted.


The look on Kakashi's face probably said it all he thought. He was sure his face was mixed with surprise, amusement, and though subtly, something darker. Thankfully after Sakura said that and go into bed, she kept her focus on her hands that were sitting on her lap and didn't notice his whirlwind of emotions.

"I'll keep that in mind." he teased yet again as he gave the bodyguard a devilish grin when she glanced up at him.

Sakura just let out a small huff in response. She wiggled and laid down on her left side away from him as he settled in next to her. Kakashi reached over and turned off the light before rolling over to her and carefully wrapped an arm around her waist. He was rewarded with a soft sigh and her scooting back to lay more against his chest.

"Goodnight, Sakura." he whispered to her as he placed a warm kiss against her shoulder.

"Night, darling." she whispered back.

Chapter Text

Chapter 22

A dull ache in Sakura's right side forced her to roll over onto her back to relieve the pressure.

'I slept on my right side, damn. I'll regret this later. Ouch…'

Sakura felt the bed dip and shift to her right, instantly sending her on high alert. Cracking open a single eye, she peered over to the movement and saw a mop of silver hair and a bare back. She released the breath she didn't know she had been holding that second.

Memories of last night slowly came back to her as she lay there next to Kakashi.

'I went to bed last night with him. I'm in his bed right now, not mine. He didn't do anything like he promised…'

Moving her head to look at him more clearly, she studied the man sleeping a couple feet away from her. She felt a wave of emotions warm her up as a smile grew slowly on her.

'I love him. I really do love him. I can't believe I was so scared of being vulnerable around him. He's proven himself so much… I feel so stupid.'

A couple of scars caught her eye and she studied them closer. Realization set in when she connected the clues that those were some of the scars from his car accident judging on how fresh they looked. Sakura hadn't been around him shirtless enough to see any of his scars this up close before.

'I wonder how many other scars there are…? He hasn't really talked about his views about the accident with me yet.'

The sound of a loud snore erupting from him caused her to pull away from her thoughts and smile even bigger. She watched as Kakashi rolled back over onto his back. He raised his left hand and rubbed his bare chest as a low yawn came out.

"Morning, darling." she whisper quietly.

Kakashi visibly froze and stiffened at the sound of her voice.

"Am I dreaming? This has got to be a dream. Are you really in bed with me right now, Sakura?"

Sakura couldn't help the small giggle that escaped. She nodded even though he hadn't opened his eyes yet.

"I promise you're not dreaming." she continued speaking softly to him as she sat up and looked down at him.

Kakashi finally opened his eyes and studied her for a few seconds with a warm expression.

"How are you feeling? How'd you sleep?" he asked next, concern evident.

Sakura reached over and ran her fingers through his extra messy hair. She noted she could get used to waking up like this everyday. He let out a soft sigh at the gentle affection.

"Not gonna lie, I'm really sore. Which is to be expected, but I think I rolled over and slept on my right side for a while. But I slept good. Really good. I think I can thank you for that. It was so comforting having you next to me all night."

Kakashi reached up then and lightly grasped her hand that was running through his hair and pulled it back and gave the back of it a soft kiss.

"I can say the same for you too."

"No nightmares?" she asked, half raising a brow.

Kakashi just nodded in agreement as he gave her a small smile.

"No nightmares. Best sleep I've had in months."

"I love you." she said suddenly without thinking.

As her brain caught up with what she had just said, she watched as her boyfriends jaw slacked and his sleepy gaze evaporate into complete surprise.

"Y-you do?"

She nodded quickly, looking away as she instinctively squeezed his hand.

"Yeah, I do." she said quietly before she took a deep breath and found more confidence and met his gaze, "I love you so much. I'm so mad at myself for waiting so long to tell you. For making you wait and deal with all my insane requests. I've loved you since you told me, but I couldn't bring myself to say it…"

Kakashi sat up and shook his head at her with a slight frown.

"Don't dog on yourself over that." he lightly chided her, "You had your reasons and I respect those reasons. I obviously was okay with our arrangement, Sakura or I wouldn't have agreed to it."

Sakura didn't know what overtook her, but she shifted despite the discomfort from her side telling her to stop and leaned over and kissed Kakashi. She was rewarded with a low hum as he released her hand and cupped her face to deepen the kiss.

All rhyme or reason left her then as her body betrayed her and she shifted again as she swung a leg over him and straddled his hips.

"Sakura…" he breathed out, pulling away just enough to break the heated kiss, "What are you doing?"

"Be quiet before I chicken out." Sakura quickly told him before she captured him into another heated and more passionate kiss.

Kakashi didn't try to talk after that and Sakura could feel his hesitation leave as she trailed her hands up his toned arms. She felt two large hands slide up her thighs and slow snake under her shirt and rest on the bare skin of her hips. She felt as he drew lazy circles on the hot skin with his thumb. Sakura prepared herself for the unnerving shiver to run up her spine at the sensation, but it never came.

It felt good.

She couldn't believe she was really doing this right now.

But it was okay.

This was happening with Kakashi. The man she loved.

He wasn't pushing her or urging her to do more. He was letting her take the lead in this as she sat on his lap. Sakura felt the fire in the pit of her stomach light, catch, and roar to life in seconds and pleasurable shivers run up her spine.

Grinding her hips down against him, the hold on her hips suddenly tightened as they both gasped and moaned at the pleasurable friction she created for them. Sakura moaned a second time as she felt as the hardness of him rubbed against her core.

"Kakashi…"


Kakashi felt like he had died and gone to heaven in that moment.

Here he was with the love of his life straddling his lap, grinding and kissing him like her life depended on it. Daring to be a bit bold, he trailed his tongue along her plump bottom lip and she eagerly allowed him entrance with yet another soft moan.

Before either could push things further than they already have, the sound of Sakura's cell ringing loudly sent them crashing back down to reality.

Sakura pulled back with a start and he saw her flinch in pain from the jerking moment. She looked wide eyed at him to find him staring back at her just the same. She suddenly frowned as a frustrated groan escaped her.

"You have got to be kidding me right now!" she nearly yelled as she crawled off of his lap and over to the night stand.

A frustrated sigh left him as well as be brought his hands up and pressed them against his face as he fell back against the bed.

'We were so damn close! Would she have even let it go that far? She told me to be quiet before she chickened out… Who knows when she might feel comfortable enough to do this again. Who the hell is calling so early on a fucking Saturday anyways?!'

"Shishou?! Why are you calling so early? Is everything alright? You never call!" he heard Sakura squeak into the device, answering his internal question.

Kakashi dropped his hands as he passively listened in on the conversation taking place.

'Shishou? She never told me about being an apprentice before.'

"Yes, I'm fine. I just need to rest. No, you don't need to worry. I'm serious! I know, I know. I planned on sending the official report today. I've only just woken up, you know!"

The CEO was growing more and more curious to what was being talked about for Sakura to suddenly become so uptight in her answers.

'Report? Is this work related?'

"W-what?! No, absolutely not! Things are under control! Of course I'm taking this assignment seriously! I've told you a hundred times that our relationship doesn't affect anything. Please just let me send in the official report later today and it will fully explain everything."

Sakura peeked over at him as she spoke the last part. When their eyes met, a deep blush graced her cheeks and she jerked away.

Kakashi sat up once again and watched her closely as she sat on the edge of the bed.

'Is she talking about our relationship?'

After a few more seconds of short talking, the phone conversation had ended. Sakura tossed her phone onto the bed next to her with a huff and dropped her head into her hands with a frustrated sigh. This sent Kakashi into high alert.

"Sakura? Is everything alright? Who was that?"

A few seconds passed before she dropped her hands and moved to lay back down next to him. She pulled the covers back up over her and partially him in the motion.

"That was my boss, Tsunade."

Kakashi froze momentarily at the mention of her bosses name.

"Tsunade as in Tsunade Senju? Your boss is the CEO of Senju Securities?" he asked in disbelief, "Why is the CEO your direct boss?"

He watched as Sakura chewed her bottom lip for a moment.

"She's the one who scouted me all those years ago. Remember? At the gun range? When I told her my story, granted not all the gruesome details I've told you, she took me under her wing. Made me her apprentice and trained me herself. I report directly to her, especially so with this assignment given your hefty investments."

It took him a moment to absorb all the new information she revealed to him. He laid back down as well and rolled onto his left side as he propped his head up with an elbow and studied the sullen pinkette next to him.

"I heard you mention our relationship? Did she say something?"

Green eyes peered up to him and she nodded a couple times as she twisted her lips like she tasted something sour. He suddenly felt nervous. Did Tsunade want to remove her as his bodyguard? Did she think that this assignment was too dangerous?

"I told her about our relationship the moment it happened. She doesn't care since we agreed that my job comes first. She was actually quite happy for us. When I sent in my rough report yesterday while we were stuck at the hospital, I had mentioned you had grabbed my arm and stopped me from performing my duties. That's why she called."

Dread washed over him.

"She wants to remove you as my bodyguard, doesn't she?" he whispered, "I'm so sorry, Sakura. I don't-"

A small finger came up and pressed against his lips, effectively shutting him up.

"I'm not being removed from the assignment. I did get an earful though. I only sent in a quick rundown of what happened yesterday, not an official report. She was calling mainly because she was worried about my injuries and wanted more answers. This is the worst I've ever been hurt on the job before."

Kakashi felt his jaw slack at that piece of information. She said she's been injured on the job before, but this was the worst?!

"Jesus, Sakura… Why didn't you tell me that sooner?!" he spoke quietly as he dropped his head back down and rolled back onto his back. Rubbing his face roughly again with a low groan, "I feel terrible. I'm shitty for letting this happen."

He felt his girlfriend shift next to him as she rolled on her side and snuggled up to him. A warm hand pressed against his chest causing him to drop his hands again and peer over to her.

"Please don't beat yourself up over this."

"How am I not supposed to?" he said as he placed a large hand over her smaller one, "Because of me, you have three broken ribs! You look a damn bruised banana right now!"

A pink brow quirked up and a half smile came to her lush lips suddenly.

"Did you really just compare me to a banana?"

Kakashi shot her an unamused look.

"Don't try to change the subject." he chided her again.

"There's nothing left to talk about on the subject." Sakura shot back, "Let's not ruin this wonderful morning we've been having, okay?"

Kakashi just stared blankly at her for a moment before closing his eyes and letting out a sigh. He suddenly remembered what they were doing moments before she got that damned phone that stopped it all.

"So…," he spoke in amused tone as he looked back to her with a cocky smirk, "Care to explain what overcame you to suddenly want to do what we were doing before Tsunade called?"

Sakura's face managed to pale and turn beat red in a fraction of a second before she ripped her hand from his chest and sat up and looked the opposite direction out the window.

"I, I don't know. I was just… curious to see if I could actually bring myself to do it." she mumbled, obviously flustered, "I'm sorry I came onto you so strongly."

Kakashi couldn't help but smile warmly at the fidgeting women. She was just too cute when she got so worked up over silly things, he thought. He reached over and rubbed her lower back soothingly which caused her to stiffen briefly as she turned and peeked down at him.

"Don't be sorry, I was just surprised is all. Didn't expect it to be honest. I'm not gonna lie either and say that it wasn't a major turn on, because it was and you were." he informed her.

He watched as her eyes nearly bugged out of her skull at the honest confession. He continued to rub her lower back as he switched from his cocky expression to a more reassuring one.

"But don't worry, okay? Take your time. The fact that you're even here in bed with me right now is a huge step. Don't feel like you have to jump the gun to please me."

Sakura looked back down to her knotted hands after he finished speaking and didn't speak for a long time.

"Thank you." she said after a while as she looked back down at him with a big grin, "But, I can say one thing for sure now."

Kakashi made to sit up and looked at her with a quirked up brow.

"And what's that?"

"I'm not worried about not being able to please you anymore." she teased with a cheeky wink before leaning over and kissing him deeply.

He couldn't help the chest rumbling laugh that left him as she pulled back and scooted over to the edge of the bed. He watched with a goofy grin as she walked away and go into the bathroom.

"I love you." he called out to her.

"I love you too!" he heard a happy shout back from her from the other room.

Kakashi crossed his arms behind his head as he lay back down and reflected on the morning he has had so far.

So much had happened in the last twenty four hours between them.

The accident. Him stopping her from doing her job. Sakura's wrath after the fact. Him discovering her injuries. Then everything else.. Her trusting him to help her shower. Her agreeing and wanting to take their relationship to another level and finally sharing a bed. And her saying she loved him.

'She loves me… I'll do whatever it takes to give her the world.'

Chapter Text

Chapter 23

"So what do you guys think? Ever since I gave those donations last month, the company PR and image has improved drastically as a direct result of my personal choice. Our stocks have shown growth as well. Should I continue? My donations seem to be benefiting the company." Kakashi spoke confidently.

He was currently in an advisor meeting with Tenzo and Shikamaru in his home office.

It had been five weeks since the car accident and Sakura's injuries were healing properly. Most of the bruising was gone and just some yellow discoloration was left. Her check up the day before went great and her doctor gave her the all clear to return to work at her normal pace next week.

The man who had rammed into and shot at them had yet to be located. He didn't go to any hospitals in a twenty mile radius for his gunshot wound, so he had become a ghost at this point. They couldn't even find him on any of the CCTV's throughout the city.

The next time they would probably see him, the bodyguard figured, would be when they attack Kakashi again. Sakura didn't let it get to her, but she was frustrated beyond belief at how that day had turned out. Kakashi had been working extra hard himself to make up for the fact too.

Sakura looked up from her work to see her boyfriend in work mode. His presence and the way he held himself so high when he was fully devoted to his work always made her smile.

Kakashi loved what he did and what he did, he did it well. She wouldn't go as far to say that he was a different man at work than he was at home. It was more like he could easily flip a switch and become this powerful CEO who could easily sway others and operate a multimillion dollar company. However, once he turned off the switch, she was greeted with the goofy and laid back man she had fallen in love with.

If you asked her which version of him she loved most, Sakura would tell you that she loved both parts equally. That you couldn't have one side of him without having the other there as well. Each side leaked into his overall personality and that's what she loved the most about him.

"You should continue. It'll only make you and, indirectly, the company look better to the public and to other companies too. A selfless CEO is a good CEO." she said replied instinctively.

Kakashi looked up from the paper in his hand and grinned big at her.

"No one asked for your opinion. You have no part in this meeting, Ms. Haruno." Tenzo shot out at her suddenly.

The bodyguard jerked her head away from looking at Kakashi and found Tenzo half looking back at her, giving her a dirty look. She furrowed her brow and frowned back at him before hitting him with her own comeback.

"He asked what we thought, so I gave my opinion. I'll give my opinion whenever I feel like it, thank you very much."

The dirty look he was giving her turned into a near death glare that took her by surprise.

"Watch your mouth. Just because you're his new toy on top of being his bodyguard doesn't mean you get to have any say or sway in this meeting. You work for us, not with us. I can and will get rid of you whenever I please." Tenzo threatened.

Sakura clamped her mouth shut in disbelief at the vicious reply. Before she could reply or even get her thoughts together, she heard Kakashi's commanding voice ring through the office.

"Tenzo! Watch your mouth, that was extremely rude to say. We are not removing her from her position, we've discussed this already. Don't you dare refer to her as my 'new toy' again either. Or it will be you that is removed."

Sakura watched as Tenzo stared hard at her for another second before he switched to a blank expression and turned back to face Kakashi.

"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to snap like that." Tenzo's tone suddenly apologetic, "Been extra tired lately. My mother's health has been rocky."

The pinkette continued to stare wide eyed at the back of the lawyers head as he spoke.

'What the hell was all that about?'

"Is everything alright? Tenzo, you know you can take time off to be with her and focus on those things." Kakashi suddenly voiced his concern.

Sakura pried her eyes away from Tenzo to look at Kakashi. He seemed to not have heard what she heard. She quickly glanced at Shikamaru to gauge his reaction and found him sitting tense and awkwardly staring down at the file in his lap.

'He heard it too. This isn't good.'

The bodyguard stood then, ignoring the conversation Kakashi and Tenzo were sharing and gathered up all her work and headed out of the office.

"Sakura? Where are you going?" Kakashi suddenly spoke to her, "You don't have to leave if you don't want too."

She turned around and shot him a convincing smile.

"I'm just gonna go finish my work in my room. Tenzo made me realize that I'm getting too distracted focusing on what you guys are doing instead of focusing on my work, so it'd be best if I let you guys be for now."

Kakashi pursed his lips for a moment, then nodded at her in agreement. With that, she quickly departed. Walking down the hall, she walked right past her room where her desk was located and into the kitchen. Throwing down her stack of papers and laptop, she quickly studied the pile of work as she crossed her arms in front of her.

She had lied to them.

Sakura had completed all her required work for that day over an hour ago and was just reviewing it when all that stuff went down. Sakura just needed to make a believable excuse to leave abruptly like that without raising too many questions.

'I need to figure out how to go about this without them knowing what I'm about to do… I have a sneaking suspicion I'm being monitored somehow.'

Sakura's eyes glanced over to her laptop and cell phone as the thought came to her.

'I can't use these anymore for the investigation. They're company issued and obviously bugged.'

An idea popped into her head then and Sakura quickly made her way to her old room and began rifling through her desk drawers. Now that she stayed with Kakashi every night and all of her stuff had been moved into his closets, her old room basically became her office with a bed. After a couple seconds, she found the item she had been searching for.

"Yes! Perfect!" she quietly whispered to herself excitedly as she studied the unused notebook.

It was a small journal with cherry blossoms printed all over the pale green leather cover. Kakashi had gotten it for her for Christmas and she loved it. She didn't have a use for it until now.

'Who knew that this would be used for this… Maybe I can get another one to use for happier reasons?'

Squashing the thought for the time being, Sakura all but ran back to the kitchen to begin furiously writing in it. She needed to be quick as possible if this was going to work out like she hoped.

Three hours had passed since she left the office when the sound of a door opening and closing down the hall, ripped her from her thoughts. Sakura snapped the journal shut and quickly hid it under a file as she stared at the hallway entrance to see who exactly was coming. She hadn't stopped writing in that notebook once that entire three hours.

She set out a sigh of relief when she watched as Shikamaru walked into the kitchen.

'The gods have answered my prayers!'

"Oh, hey, Sakura." he smiled at her as he went to the cabinet and pulled out a glass and filled it with water, "I needed to step out and stretch my legs for a second. Was getting a little stir crazy sitting there."

"No, this is actually perfect! I need to speak with you about something. Something important." she smiled back at him as she grabbed the journal and hopped off the stool she was on and made her way over to the advisor and spoke in a hushed whisper, "I need your help. You heard it too, didn't you?"


"You guys have a good evening. Thanks for sticking it out all day." Kakashi spoke with a tired smile.

Both advisors just nodded with their own tired smiles and made their way out of his office to leave. After a few more minutes of gathering his bearings, he stood and made his way out of the office to go find his girlfriend. It had been about six hours since Sakura abruptly left his office after that little verbal spat she had with Tenzo.

'Hopefully the two weeks off I gave him will put him into a better mood. He's been overworking himself it seems. He looks so stressed out because of his mother.'

Walking into the kitchen, he saw her piles of work but no Sakura next to them. He looked up from there and scanned the rest of the open living space and didn't see her in the dining room or living room either.

"Sakura?" he called out to the open air.

'Where is she? It's only six. Could she be in bed?' he thought when no response came.

The tired CEO made his way back down the hall in search for the pinkette. Opening the door to their bedroom, he found Sakura snuggled up in the center of their bed watching TV half asleep. The sound of him coming had stirred her back awake. He smiled back at her when she turned to smile at him.

This was something he could get used to he suddenly thought. Coming home from a long day at work to crawl into a warm bed with the love of his life.

"You look cozy. Mind if I come join you?" he asked as he started to remove his suit jacket and tie.

"Hmmm, I guess." he heard her reply lazily while he was inside of his walk in closet changing.

Kakashi walked out once he had his sweats and an old t-shirt on and gave her a curious look.

""I guess?"?" he pouted playfully as he kneeled onto the bed and leaned over her to give her a soft kiss.

He leaned back after a second and made his way under the blankets to join her. Sakura wiggled herself into his arms in seconds and he basked in the warmth she was giving him.

'Seems like she's been in here for a while now.'

"How was work?" she asked while nestling her head into the crook of his neck.

Kakashi let out a soft sigh as she traced lazy circles onto his chest with a single finger.

"Long, but we got everything I wanted done, done. We're actually ahead of schedule now." he said as he pulled her flush against his side and placed a chaste kiss on the top of her head, "Oh, by the way, I gotta ask you something."

He felt Sakura shift in his arms and prop up herself on an elbow. She looked down to him with a quirked pink brow.

"And that is?"

"Would you be my date to a party this Saturday?" he asked with a devilish smile.

Her other brow shot up at the question so she looked completely surprised then.

"A party? What kind of party?" she asked back.

"Semi-formal black tie if you want specifics. It's a Valentine's event hosted by one of the companies I'm invested in. They asked me to make an appearance and I couldn't say no. It's a grand opening party at an art gallery. Theme is romance, ironically." he easily explained.

He usually just went alone to these events, made his social rounds and took the necessary photos for the reporters and paparazzi and then made his exit home. But, this time around, he wanted to make it a proper night out now that he was dating Sakura. Whenever he was with a woman before, he never brought them to these types of events because he knew that the relationship wouldn't last. They never did because he didn't want them too. They were simply flings to him.

However, Sakura was different. He loved her unlike those other girls. She was not a fling to him. She was the real deal. He wanted to show her off to the world. Show her that he was serious about them and the life they had been sort of creating together these last couple months. When he got the call earlier after she had left the office, he didn't groan at the invitation, but eagerly accepted and said yes as Sakura came to mind.

"I don't have a dress though."

"We can easily get you one, darling, you know that."

He watched the confliction in her eyes as she looked away at nothing.

"I don't know… I've never been an actual guest at an event like that before. I've always been on the side as security. I don't want to embarrass you or the company." she reasoned.

It hurt him slightly, hearing the lack of confidence that came from someone as strong as Sakura.

"Hey," he replied in a soft tone as he gave her a reassuring squeeze with the arm loosely wrapped around her waist, "Don't think so little of yourself. I want you there with me that's why I'm asking. You won't embarrass me or the company, I do that plenty well on my own. Think of it as, uh, our public debut as a couple."

The bright green eyes he loved so much, flickered up to meet his gaze then and she pouted.

"That makes it even more nerve wracking for me! That's a big deal, Kakashi! I just don't want to disappoint you… We are technically from two different worlds after all. I'm nervous that all those other snooty people won't accept me when they learn I'm not some heiress or from a known family."

He pursed his lips at the statement, the annoyance ebbed its way into him. That was the true reason why she was so apprehensive about this invite he was offering. Sakura felt like she wasn't good enough for him.

"Fuck them then." he bit out as he furrowed his brow.

Sakura gasped at his sudden foul mouth.

"If they have anything to say about you, or me, or our relationship, they can all kiss my ass. I'll even pull my investments out if I do have any with those people. I'm not going to support a company that's classist in any shape or form. I have a zero tolerance for that bullshit."

"Kakashi!" she cried out quietly, clamping a hand over her mouth, "You do not have to go to those lengths for me! You can't just pull out million dollar investments over a relationship!"

"But I will. I'm not going to let anyone disrespect you, Sakura. I love you too much to allow that type of behavior to occur."

The earlier conflict she had in her eyes was replaced with warmth as she laid back down next to him. Kakashi half rolled onto his side and used his free arm to wrap around Sakura and pull her into his chest more to comfort her. She tucked her head under his chin and he felt her take a deep breath as she inhaled his scent and release a content sigh.

"Okay. I'll go to that party with you." she spoke, voice muffled by his shirt, "I'll obviously need to get the security details though in advance."

Kakashi pulled back enough as she looked up to him and he smiled warmly at her.

"Thank you." he replied as he leaned down to kiss her.

They lay cuddled like that for a little while longer.

"I'm sorry for Tenzo snapping at you like that. I gave him another earful after you left and told him to take two weeks off." he informed her.

He felt Sakura stiffen in his hold for a brief second before she shifted and sat up.

"It's fine. He's probably just stressed." she replied with a shrug.

He sat up as she spoke and placed a chaste kiss on her shoulder.

"Maybe so, but that's no reason to snap at someone like that. He said he'll apologize next time he sees you."

"I'm hungry." Sakura suddenly said.

Kakashi gave her an odd look at the random subject change before he smiled and nodded.

"Do you want to order in or cook something here?" he asked her.

Sakura brought her hand up to her chin and pretended to think hard before she smiled at him.

"We haven't had Chinese in a while and I'm craving something salty and with soy sauce." she explained.

He nodded again with a smile.

"Chinese it is!"

"Can we get an extra order of dumplings too? Oh, and crab rangoons. Oh, and egg drop soup!"

Kakashi started laughing as he nodded to agreed to all her requests.

"I'll buy out the whole restaurant for you if you want." he teased as he leaned over and gave her a quick kiss.

He laughed more when she rolled her eyes dramatically at him.

'I love her so much.'

Chapter Text

Chapter 24

Pulling her loosely curled hair over her right shoulder, Sakura examined her work in the floor length mirror Kakashi had in their bathroom.

'I hope I look okay…'

Sakura had basically locked herself in the bathroom a couple of hours earlier and even banned Kakashi from being in their room once he was ready himself. Which wasn't much, he just wore a nice black dress suit with a deep red tie that matched the color of her dress.

She only had a couple days to pick out a dress for the semi-formal event and she quickly realized it was a grueling endeavor.

Kakashi had graciously arranged for a seamstress from the boutique they visited often to come to the apartment with a couple of racks full of dresses for her to go through and try on. When the woman arrived, she barred Kakashi from their room while they sorted out and tried on various dresses and made adjustments so it could fit her perfectly.

The whole ordeal took about five hours as she tried on nearly twenty dresses. It was stressful and tiring having so many options. She wondered briefly if it would always be like this when they went to formal events.

She couldn't explain to the woman why she couldn't wear a skin tight dress because she needed to be able to hide a gun somewhere on her. Or that she couldn't wear a floor length dress either because if she needed to fight someone, she needed her full range of motion.

That was the first time ever that she hated being a bodyguard. But, she forced herself to power through her frustrations as the seamstress was more than understanding and accommodating in her crazy requests.

'She's only tolerating me because she knows Kakashi is going to tip her well…'

She eventually settled on a lovely deep red knee length dress. It was made of lace and gave her the feminine touch she was seeking without hindering her from fully performing her duties as Kakashi's bodyguard. It held a loose skirt and the top half was more snug and fitted and had full sleeves to her wrists and a collar that came up around her neck. It brought out the slight curves of her body and she loved it.

She complimented the dress with a simple pair if black stilettos that gave her nearly an additional four inches of height. She couldn't avoid the heels and just figured she'd ditch them and go barefoot if it came to that point. She'd look odd wearing flats or any other shoes anyways and that the last thing she needed to worry about tonight.

Sakura kept her makeup light and simple overall. She decided to do a little extra with her eyes this time and was proud of the smoky eyes she managed to create. She decided to be daring and apply the classic deep red lipstick instead of the more subtle pink she originally intended to use.

'I think he'll like it. He's never seen me this done up before.'

She was proud of her results. She couldn't remember the last time she got this dressed up for anything. Maybe her college graduation? But she knew it wasn't this formal.

Taking a deep breath she flashed herself a big smile before exiting out of the bathroom.

This night was important for both of them.

They were not only treating this night as their first official Valentine's together and treating it as a date. They would publicly announce their relationship as well. Even though they'd never hid their relationship and nearly everyone they had encountered could easily tell they were together, Kakashi said it was important to "officially announce" their relationship given his wealth.

Sakura didn't notice it until the day they drove back from his cabin, but when they had stopped for gas before they entered into Konoha and they were inside getting a soda, she saw her photo on the cover a tabloid magazine.

She quickly learned one of the harsh realities of dating one of the richest men in Konoha and then understood his reasoning on being a hermit. The tabloids couldn't make sensational stories if he never went out unless he absolutely needed to or if he did, he would do the simplest of tasks or activities.

However, the sudden appearance of her had apparently giving them so much fuel that nearly a hundred articles had been posted in various tabloids since the moment she got hired. Now with their relationship, the tabloids and the public had been eating it up and begging for more.

This proved to be a very scary thought to Sakura as she realized that the tabloid and media didn't really know the true depth of the investigation taking place behind the scenes. They didn't know that she was actually a bodyguard and that their articles only put Kakashi and herself in more danger.

They were indirectly magnifying the target on his back.

Now they were going to publicly confirm that they were together. This was a huge story in the making.

And, that's what made her nervous.

Kakashi had never taken a woman to any event before or announced them as his significant other. This alone was proof that he was proving how serious he was about them.

This was her first real relationship in years and she's dating a CEO of a multimillion dollar investment company.

'The paparazzi is going to eat this up.' she huffed, '"A woman of zero status is dating the most eligible bachelor in Konoha. What is he thinking?!"'

They came from two different worlds and she prayed she would do this right. She wanted to prove to Kakashi that she was worth it. That she could handle this sudden status bestowed upon her.

Walking into the bedroom she was relieved to see that Kakashi had kept his promise and stayed out. She quickly made her way over to her nightstand and pulled out the thigh holster and her handgun and fastened it securely to her upper right thigh. She grabbed the extra clip and tucked it into the small black clutch she would carry that night.

'Never hurts to be over prepared…' she idly thought to herself as she stood and flattened the skirt of her dress to see if the gun was noticeable, which it wasn't. 'Perfect! I knew this dress was the perfect choice.'

Sakura made her way to the door and cracked it open enough to poke her head out and called out to her boyfriend.

"Kakashi, where are you?"

"Kitchen!" he quickly replied, "You ready?"

"Yes, I'm coming. Stay where you are though!" she called back.

Sakura opened the door the rest of the way and made her way out of the room and down the hall to Kakashi. Sakura was giddy with excitement to see him suddenly. When she picked out her dress, she wouldn't let him see it until the night of the event. The only thing he knew was the color since his tie matched it.

She quickly fidgeted with the loose curls that hung over her shoulder and straighten the already straight dress as she stepped into the kitchen.

She found Kakashi leaning against the large island scrolling through his phone. He immediately pocketed the device as he heard her enter and looked up.

His eyes went wide and mouth dropped open when he took in the sight of her.

"Wow…" he said in a low whisper as he brought a hand up to cover his open mouth.

Sakura couldn't stop the deep blush she felt creep up. That was exactly the reaction she was hoping for.

"Does it looks bad?" she worriedly asked, "I didn't want to go over the top or be too simple either with my hair and makeup…"

Kakashi pushed himself away from the island and quickly made his way over to.

"No, quite the opposite!" he spoke as an infectious grin came to his lips and he reached for her hand, "You're beautiful! Oh my god, Sakura! I knew you were gorgeous, but damn, my heart feels like it's gonna leap out of my chest now! I'm so glad you made me wait to see the dress. Wow, just, you're breathtaking!"

Sakura couldn't stop her own large grin from forming at his words. The blush she had only deepened as he stood before her admiring every inch of her.

"Thank you. I'm glad you like it." she managed to get out as he lifted her arm and had her do a slow twirl.

"Can I please take a photo of you? I don't ever want to forget how beautiful you look right now, especially with that blush you can't get rid of now." he asked in a slight tease as he fished his phone back out of his pocket.

Sakura felt speechless at the request.

"You wanna take a photo of me?!" she asked, dumbfounded.

"Do you not know just how good you look right now?! You look like a goddess sent from the heavens!"

The bodyguard just quirked up a manicured brow at the comparison and gave him an amused smile.

"Okay, kiss ass, you can take your picture now." she sassed.

Sakura quickly fixed her hair and tossed her clutch onto the counter behind her. She stood back and grinned towards Kakashi as he held his phone up to take her picture.

"By the way, I've still yet to kiss your ass." he smirked with a wink as she heard him take a couple photos as she laughed out loud.


Kakashi still couldn't believe how breathtakingly beautiful Sakura was right now. He knew he'd love whatever she decided to wear tonight, but the moment she stepped into the kitchen he couldn't help the rush of emotions he felt in that instant. It was like he had been slapped across the face and punched in the gut simultaneously.

He realized then that it was true love he was feeling. It was something he had never felt before. He was honest when he said he thought she looked breathtaking in anything. He knew Sakura preferred to have a more relaxed look and style, but to know that she could transform herself into this just took his breath away.

"How do I look? Let me see!" Sakura's voice pulled him back to reality yet again as he stared down at the photos he took.

She was pressed against him as she peeked at his phone screen. He couldn't stop smiling as he looked at them with her. His quick plan of using the kiss ass joke worked since he was able to capture her before, during, and after her laugh. He couldn't pick which was his favorite of the three photos.

"Ahh, my nose is too scrunched up in that one! Delete it!" she whined.

He knew which photo was his favorite.

"Nope, they're all beautiful. I'm going to rent a billboard by the downtown overpass and post all three photos with 'LOOK AT HOW BEAUTIFUL MY GIRLFRIEND IS!' printed in all caps along the bottom so the world can know." he continued his tease.

Sakura jerked up to look at him in disbelief, her eyes nearly bugging out of her head.

"You wouldn't… I can't tell if you're joking or not and that's what scares me." she replied, worry clear in her voice.

Pocketing his phone, he turned and grabbed her clutch and handed it to her as he leaned down to give her a deep kiss. He pulled back after a second and held his arm out for her to take.

"Or I could use the photo I took of you sleeping a couple days ago."

Sakura stopped walking which caused him to stop as well.

"You took a photo of me sleeping?"

Shooting her a cheeky grin, he explained his actions as they started walking again. They exited the apartment and got into the elevator to leave to the event.

"I had woken up before you that morning and when I looked over to you, I couldn't help it. First time doing that, I promise." he reassured her by gently squeezed her hand, "You just looked so cute with your face mushed against the pillow with your mouth open snoring and dried up drool on your chin. Your hair was doing something freaky too, but you looked so at peace that I wanted to take a photo."

Kakashi watched as Sakura's face paled as he spoke.

"Oh god, Kakashi. That's so embarrassing! Drool?!" she cried out as she slumped against him as they soared down to the parking garage, bringing her fingers up to the corner of her mouth as if to check for any sudden dried up drool, "Now I'm scared to look at that photo!"

He couldn't help but chuckle as he leaned over and placed a chaste kiss on the side of her head. She stood nearly as tall as him now since she was wearing stilettos tonight he mentally noted.

'I still can't get over how beautiful she is right now. I'm the luckiest man in the world.'

"Don't worry, darling, I wouldn't be that mean. I'll keep all the photos to myself… for now."

"I have photos against you too, you know!" she suddenly spoke up confidently.

The elevator dinged and slid open at that moment and together they walked out arm in arm towards the awaiting SUV.

"You do?" he questioned playfully while he helped her into the vehicle first and eventually made himself comfortable next to her.

He found Sakura reaching into her clutch and pulling out her own phone.

"Yep, I have a bad habit of taking extremely zoomed in photos of your face when we're laying in bed or on the couch. I even have a couple from work too. It's super amusing." she giggled as she leaned over and showed him the countless extreme close ups of his face and even a couple surprise selfies she took when he wasn't paying attention.

He smiled down at the photos, especially the selfies since she looked so smug and overjoyed in every single one. His favorite was one she took in their bathroom one evening. It was a few days after their car accident and he was so concentrated on braiding her hair that he didn't notice that she took the photo.

"Okay, I think you have more on me than I do on you." he laughed as she huffed happily and put her phone away.

"I love you." she teased with a smile.

"I love you too." he replied.

They rode in a comfortable silence for a while until the car slowed and queued behind a line of other luxury vehicles. He watched as Sakura craned her neck and gasped when she saw the paparazzi lining the entrance.

"Kakashi! You didn't say there would be that many! Oh gosh… It's a small horde!"

He reached over and took her hand. The CEO gave it a reassuring squeeze before he spoke.

"It'll be fine. Just follow my lead, alright? They're definitely gonna be shouting a lot a questions once they see us. Just ignore them. They're just fishing for easy articles to write."

Sakura just nodded a couple times as she took a deep breath. He knew after years of being behind the scenes and off to the side, it was daunting being thrown out into the open like this for her. It was completely against the instincts she had developed and trained over the years. But, she could do this she reasoned to him. She would do this for him, for them. She wanted to show him she was just as serious and it made him so happy. After a couple more minutes, their SUV pulled up and a man came and opened their door.

Kakashi stepped out and she immediately heard the uproar and various shouts for his attention. He ignored every single call as he turned around and helped Sakura out of the car. The moment she stepped into view, the shouts silenced then suddenly became louder and more clear.

"Kakashi! Who is this woman? Is she your girlfriend? What is your name ma'am?! Mr. Hatake! That's his assistant! Why are you bringing your assistant to a black tie event? The rumors are true, aren't they?!" they all shouted a mixed variation of those questions.

He looked down and found Sakura looking up to him, slight worry showing in her eyes. He gave her a reassuring eye crinkling smile as they stepped towards the entrance of the gallery. He decided to cut to the chase and please the reporters and quickly stirred them towards the right side.

"I'll answer three questions." he stated flatly to the group. He felt as Sakura tightly squeezed his bicep in response, obviously just as surprised at the crowd of cameras and recorders were.

"What's your relationship with this beautiful woman?" one man shouted.

Kakashi looked down again to find Sakura blushing at the compliment.

"She's my girlfriend." he declared proudly as he smiled at her.

They were suddenly overcome by blinding light as hundreds of cameras went off at the confession. They all wanted to capture the moment of his official announcement of being in a relationship.

"What's your name, ma'am?" a woman shouted this time.

The CEO opened his open to reply, but he was cut off before he could continue.

"My name is Sakura Haruno." Sakura stated with confidence.

He smiled down at her for being brave enough to speak to this growing group of reporters and paparazzi.

"How long have you two been together?" Three people shouted in unison.

"Since November." he replied before he started guiding them away.

"Wait! You haven't answered three questions yet!" the reporter who asked for her name called out to them.

Kakashi turned and shot a confused look to the reporter.

"Three questions were asked and answered."

"But you only answered two, not three. Ms. Haruno answered one. You said you'd answer three questions." she quickly pointed out.

Kakashi smirked at the quick witted reporter.

"Alright, you got me there. What do you want me to answer?"

The woman looked like she had flown to the moon when he gave her his undivided attention.

"This is actually about your company. You donated a rather large sum of money to some local libraries and community centers for reading programs and the such right before Christmas. You or the company has never made any selfless donations like this before. So, why did you suddenly donate over a million dollars of your own money? You also attached Sakura's name to that donation as well. Why?"

Kakashi was momentarily taken aback at the loaded question of his reasons for donating money to those places. He felt as Sakura squeezed his bicep again and it brought him back down to earth.

"Well, I have a passion for reading and so does Sakura. She was the one who actually came up with the idea to do a donation to promote and spread our passion for reading and literacy. She deserved to be credited for the idea and that's why I attached her name." he spoke confidently, "It was a genius idea and it's already been reported that our donations have helped these places immensely. We actually just came to a decision earlier this week that we will hopefully be doing another donation to more public institutions in the coming months."

"Thank you so much!" the reporter sang once he finished speaking.

Nodding towards the woman, he guided Sakura and himself away and into the gallery. The moment they were alone, he felt Sakura let out a sigh of relief.

"That was intense…" she whispered quietly as they walked down the corridor to the main gallery.

"Reporters are sneaky. She weaseled out that last question well. It was a good question, but damn it was loaded." he replied with his own tired sigh.

"Well," the pinkette began as they arrived to the set of double doors, "you did an amazing job as always. Good way to announce your newest donation too."

"Our donation." he corrected her with a smile.

They stood there and stared into each others eyes for a moment before a host scurried up to them and walked them through the doors to their seats at one of the many dining tables set up. The gallery was decorated beautifully and definitely stuck with the theme of romance he noted.

The center of the room held a spacious dance floor and that was surrounded by at least twenty large tables that held high end dish sets and countless vases of red, white, and pink roses.

They settled into their seats and a waiter came by and quickly filled their glasses with champagne and told them that the food would be served within the next twenty minutes once all guests arrived. Kakashi lifted his flute of champagne and Sakura mimicked his action and together they clinked them in a toast.

"To our first Valentine's together, darling." he spoke quietly to her.

He felt himself start to melt from her warming gaze and smile.

"And hopefully many more to come." she added.

Together they took a drink of the bubbly alcohol. Kakashi sat down his glass before he turned to face Sakura again.

"Yes, many, many more."

Chapter Text

Chapter 25

Towards the end of the delicious meal, Kakashi leaned over and whispered into her ear as he laid a hand on her right knee.

"Have I told you just how beautiful you look tonight?"

"Just a couple times." she smiled back at him in a sultry whisper as she leaned in herself, "You're not very subtle with your peeking after all."

A low chuckle came from him as Sakura felt the large hand travel further up her thigh and under the skirt of her dress. She felt a warm shiver run up her spine at the tantalizing touch. Over the last month from sharing a bed with him every night, she grew more and more comfortable with these touches from him as they slowly opened up more to each other.

She knew she could fully trust him.

Kakashi's chuckling abruptly stopped when his fingers came into contact with warm metal. She watched as his face twisted in confusion towards her.

"What's this?" he asked quietly when he pulled back a bit.

Sakura decided to tease him a bit.

"Take a guess."

A silver brow shot up as he connected the dots.

"Is that your gun?" he asked next even more quietly, nearly mouthing the words.

"Maybe." the bodyguard replied with a slight smirk, "I gotta stay prepared at all times."

The next second she felt him grip her bare thigh tightly as she watched Kakashi close his eyes and pursed his lips tightly. A low groan came from him as he leaned back more closely towards her.

"Beautiful and dangerous?" his tone so dark that she felt breathless, "You have no idea how turned on I am right now."

Before she could even begin to think of a reply, he removed his hand from her thigh and suddenly stood up and held out the same hand for her to take.

"Come on. Let's go dance."

Sakura just stared wide eyed up to him for a second before her senses came back partially. She stood and took his hand and let him lead them out onto the crowded dance floor. He guided her to stand in front of him and together they took their places as the next song began playing.

It was yet another slow paced love song as Kakashi began to sway about with her. She relished in the feeling of his hand sliding across her lower back as he pulled her nearly flush against him. She felt like she was on cloud nine as she stared up into his mismatched eyes.

"How do you do that?" she asked after a few seconds.

"Do what?" Kakashi asked back, after he guided her to twirl once.

As she placed her hand back on his shoulder, she explained herself further.

"How can you flip that switch so easily? One second you're a goof, the next you're serious, then you suddenly take my breath away."

The CEO just smiled warmly down to her and hummed for a few seconds.

"That's an easy answer. There's no switch. I'm all of those all the time. It just happens that you get to experience every part of me. I'm not privy to opening up to just anyone, as I'm sure you've noticed, so in reality no one knows me as well as you do." he revealed, "When I'm with you, I don't feel like I have to play a specific part."

The pinkette was left speechless at Kakashi's words. He just told her something so heartfelt that her love she held for him only deepened. She smiled up to him for a second before opening her mouth to speak.

"Kakashi, I l-"

"Kakashi! I'm so glad to see you made it!" a woman's voice interrupted her.

Sakura clamped her mouth shut and turned to look and see who stopped her from telling him that she loved him. He knew she did, but she needed to tell him just how much she did in that moment. How blessed she was to have him. It was a woman with purple hair cut into a bob with striking orange eyes. Next to her was a man who stood a couple of inches taller, who had orange spiky hair and brown eyes.

She felt Kakashi release his hold of her and she felt disappointed slightly that his attention was pulled from her.

'Am I jealous? Oh goodness, Sakura… Get it together!'

"Konan! Yahiko! It's nice to see you two. The grand opening of the gallery seems to have been successful. I'll admit, I was a bit nervous when you guys suggested to expand beyond the banquet halls you usually run. You guys have definitely proved yourselves." Kakashi spoke in his confident work tone.

'These are the gallery owners, duh! I saw their photos in the security files. I was so distracted that I forgot… I can't be slipping up like this!"

Sakura quietly listened as the three business partners spoke a little bit more. Suddenly Kakashi faced her with a large grin and pulled her out of her thoughts.

"This wonderful woman is my girlfriend, Sakura Haruno." he said, "Sakura, this is Yahiko and Konan. After they got married they opened a couple of high end banquet halls from investments from the company and this is their next adventure. This was actually the first thing I did and approved after I took over the last summer."

"It's lovely to meet you, Sakura." Yahiko said with a warm smile and a slight bow.

"Your dress is gorgeous!" Konan added.

Sakura smiled brightly at the couple.

"Thank you! It's nice to meet you both too. Kakashi has spoken nothing but good about you! The gallery is beautiful. You guys did an amazing job." she replied as she turned to Kakashi, "If you don't mind, I'd like to actually go look at some more of the paintings and such. I'll let you three continue with your business discussions."

Kakashi just smiled down to her and took a step and kissed her cheek.

"Sounds like a plan, I'll join you in a little bit."

Sakura quickly said her goodbyes to them and made her way to the outer walls where the paintings where located. She did want to look at the art, but she also used this as an excuse to be able to take a proper scope of the room.

It was jammed packed full of hundreds of people who were here for the purpose of this grand opening. She moved far enough away to enjoy the paintings and to keep Kakashi in her line of sight. She was technically still working even though they were treating this as a date and their proper announcement of their relationship.

The gallery event may have succeeded, but all she could see was everything that could go wrong. It was a security nightmare for her as she saw the scarce security set up and the hordes of people quickly getting drunk off the complimentary champagne. This was all a disaster waiting to happen, she thought as she glanced at all the faces to make sure everyone checked out and no one was acting suspicious.

'I had Kakashi put in a direct order for more guards in the main room and I only see three stationed. Is this their definition of "more"? I knew we should've used Senju guards and not let this other company use their own…'

Over the next twenty minutes, Sakura enjoyed herself as she browsed the paintings and would look over to Kakashi every so often to find him talking with various people.

"Ah, so he brought his new toy here too." a shrill voice to her left spoke up.

Sakura whipped her head away from the painting she was looking at, to the woman standing near her. She felt weird as her anxiety shot through the roof when she realized who it was.

'Ino…'

"Excuse me?"

"You'll end up like the rest of us soon enough. You fit the mold perfectly. Well, nearly perfectly." she said next as she flipped a lock of platinum blonde hair over her shoulder, "You may be pretty, but it's quite obvious you don't come from money. Did you do your own makeup? How cute. Couldn't sweet talk him into getting you a stylist?"

Sakura just stared at the woman baffled at how she was being spoken too. Her words dug deep as she searched her memories from where she's heard something like this before.

'I've heard this before. Her voice too…'

"Why are you saying this to me?" the bodyguard bit back, "Have a heart."

Ino giggled then and the sound made the bodyguards bones shiver as her nerves flared more.

"I'm actually quite surprised he brought you here tonight, he's never taken any of us to events before. I was shocked to see in the tabloids that he brought you up to Sugi too. What's different with you that he suddenly wants the play a proper boyfriend?"

Sakura took a couple of steps towards the woman and gave her a dirty look.

"Everything's different." Sakura shot back, "He's always been like this, but you were too selfish to notice it."

Sakura went on high alert as she both felt and witnessed a change come to the platinum blonde.

"He was blessed to have me!" her voice grew vicious as she spoke, "Leaving me was his biggest mistake! Now some low class hussie is trying to tell that she's better than me?!"

Sakura stood there speechless as Ino tore into her.

"Kakashi is a playboy. He doesn't get into relationships in hopes that it'll be long term. He just hops from one woman to the next. We are simply toys he plays with. You are just another toy, nothing more. Once he gets bored of you, he'll drop you and move on. And, it will be me he comes running back too if it's the last thing I do."

The urge to slap Ino overtook her then and she quickly gripped her clutch to prevent her from taking that exact action.

"That is extremely insulting, not only to me, but to Kakashi as well." Sakura said as calmly as she could, "You have no clue who he is now! He has told me what he used to be and he's eons ahead of where he was. He will never leave me and he would never bat an eye at you again if he did."

Ino just raised a manicured brow at her as a sly smile.

"You make it sound like a challenge."

Now it was Sakura's turn to grow angry. She had tried desperately to keep her cool, but had allowed Ino to crawl under her skin. Standing straight and squaring her shoulders, she shot Ino the hardest look she could muster.

"I love him and he loves me. Don't go butting into others' private matters just because you're jealous and petty. He wants a real woman, not some shallow gold-digger."

Another maniacal laugh left the woman's lips.

"He loves you?! Oh, how precious! He's told all of us that he was truly in love with us. Makes us drop our panties faster."

Sakura showed no outward reaction, but felt her heart drop and shatter at this.

'She's lying. She has to be lying. Kakashi isn't like that.'

"You know nothing of our private life. You don't get to say things like that to me. Now if you'll excuse me, I have better things to do than be insulted." the bodyguard snapped out as she began to turn and walk away.

"Oh, this is only just the beginning, sweetie."

Sakura bit her lip and continued to walk away. She refused to acknowledge this infuriating woman any longer. It took only minutes and this woman had managed to ruin her mood and night. She wanted to leave.

'What does she mean by that? Don't tell me she's going to try and cause problems between him and I…'

She quickly made her way up to Kakashi and he immediately turned to look at her with a smile, but suddenly dropped his smile when he saw the strife in her eyes. He turned back to the person he had been speaking to and dismissed himself and guided them away to a spot they could speak quietly.


"What's wrong?" Kakashi asked the moment he knew they were out of earshot of others, "Is everything alright?"

"I'd like to go home, please." she replied quietly.

The CEO stepped in front of her and placed both hands onto her shoulders. The night had been blissfully perfect and the moment they stepped away from each other something changed and she wanted to leave?

"What happened? Tell me Sakura, is everything alright?" he asked next, trying to figure out the exact reason for her sudden urge to leave.

A small blush came to her cheeks at his concern.

"Nothing happened, I-I just don't feel very well right now. I think it was what we ate plus the champagne. I can't properly protect you if I get sick." she explained.

'That's not true… What really happened?'

"Is there a threat?" he asked next.

"No, I scoped the entire place. It's pretty, uh, well protected." she quickly replied.

He just nodded a couple times and just reasoned he would ask her what was really wrong when they got home. It was probably something she didn't want to deal with publicly.

"Okay, just stay right here. I'll go ask a host to have our car pulled up and we can head out. I'll be right back."

Sakura just smiled weakly up to him when he leaned down and pecked her cheek quickly before turning away to find a host. Kakashi stepped out of the main gallery and into the corridor that they entered from earlier. He quickly located a host standing not far away from the door.

"Could you call for my car and driver to pull up front? Ms. Haruno and I would like to head out a little early." he calmly requested.

"Y-yes! Just one moment, Mr. Hatake!" the surprised man sputtered as he quickly turned and all but ran down the corridor to where the cars were parked.

The CEO let out a loud sigh as he reached into his pocket and fished out his phone to check the time. It was only half past nine in the evening. They had been out barely over two hours at this point.

'What happened from the time she walked away from me to when she returned that made her want to leave so suddenly?'

"Hi, there handsome." a sultry voice came from his left.

Kakashi looked up from his phone to find the last person he wanted to see right now approach him.

"What do you want, Ino." he bit out.

'Why the hell is she here? Oh… The flowers… Damn it. I think I need to reconsider that investment. We don't even make that much from them anyways.'

"Is that any way to talk to your favorite ex?" she playfully replied as she stopped in front of him, "What are you doing out here? Where's your new toy?"

'Where have I heard that before?'

The silver haired man just furrowed his brow at the blue eyed woman and frowned deeply.

"Don't call her that. She's no toy. We're leaving and now I'm glad we are."

Ino shot him an unamused look then before a sly smile overtook her expression.

"Then what is she? She's just like the rest of us, right? Just a fling? Is she half as good in bed as I was? Don't you miss me? Us? We always had a good time together." she whispered as she brought her hand up and laid it on his chest.

Kakashi quickly snatched her wrist and pulled her hand away from him and bit out at the woman.

"Do not speak so poorly of her. She's no fling to me. She's the real deal. Unlike you, I love her. Don't go meddling because you're jealous. You don't get to know what happens in our relationship."

Ino stared at the hand that was holding her wrist as a small giggle left her. She looked up to him and he was taken aback by the dark look in her eyes. It was a look of pure rage.

"Jealous? Maybe. What does she have that I don't?"

Kakashi released her hand then.

"She has everything you don't. She doesn't care that I have money or status. You only wanted me so you can have an easy life and more money. I'd never stay with someone with such shallow intentions. She actually cares about me."

Ino didn't reply, but just lunged at him. Wrapping her arms securely around his neck, she crashed her lips against his. Kakashi grabbed her hips and tried desperately to push her away from him, but the damn woman clung to him like her life depended on it. The next second he heard a loud gasp echoed in the corridor.

"Kakashi?!"

Dread filled him.

It was Sakura's voice.

Using all his force at this point, not caring if he hurt her, he shoved Ino off of him and watched as she stumbled a couple steps back before composing herself. She looked at him with a satisfied smile. He turned to face Sakura and found angry tears starting to stream down her face.

"Sakura, it's not what it looks like…" he called out as he took a couple steps towards her and reached out.

Sakura jerked away from him and just walked past him and exited the building to their awaiting car. Anger filled him then as he whipped around and faced Ino, who had remained silent during that interaction.

"You did this on purpose, you fucking homewrecker! You heard her coming and lunged! Stay away from us!" he shouted at the woman before he turned and stormed out after Sakura.

'I'm removing all investments and ties with her family's company…'

"Sakura!" he called out to her as he watched her storm along the path.

Suddenly he was blinded by light as voices and shouts filled the air as the clicking of camera sounded.

'Fucking paparazzi!'

"Mr. Hatake! Why is Sakura crying? Ms. Haruno, is everything okay? Did you two fight? Mr. Hatake, what did you do?!"

"Fuck off." Kakashi bit out as he stormed by in pursuit of the woman he loved.

'I can't let Ino ruin this. I can't lose her.'