After a long day of endless rainfall, the forest was coated in a tapestry of shimmering moisture, thick with mist and a layer of cold that penetrated every twig and leaf. The ground was so sodden and muddy it made traveling by foot nearly impossible, so Kakashi and Sakura had resorted to bounding through the treetops—they had been for days. They were starting to catch up to their target, but it had taken some effort; the weather certainly wasn't ideal for scouting missions, let alone any other type of mission, but given that Kakashi was one of the best trackers in Konoha, Sakura had little doubt they would be closing in on the enemy soon. Or at least she hoped they would; she wasn't really sure how much longer her feet could carry her.
Seeing Kakashi gesture from up ahead, Sakura jumped to the nearest branch and stopped as he quietly surveyed the area.
Sakura's heart thudded a little faster. Not from fear, but excitement. It wasn't often that she went on missions like this, especially not as of late, and she was grateful Kakashi had let her tag along. Given his solitary nature, she figured it was somewhat of a compromise for him, but even he seemed to appreciate her desire to broaden her experience. Truth be told, she had practically lived at the hospital for the past two years, and although she had made great strides as a medic, her basic ninja skills had kind of fallen to the wayside. She found that the missions Kakashi took were especially challenging, and that was precisely why she had thought to accompany him. She had learned a lot from watching the copy-nin over the last few months—honestly, more so than she ever had when he'd actually been her sensei. It was a fact far too ironic, and perhaps offensive, to tell him, but he seemed to understand the benefit. Maybe a part of him even enjoyed her company, to some small extent. After all, no human being truly enjoyed being alone all the time…at least she figured so.
A small burst of wind drew Sakura from her thoughts as Pakkun appeared on the branch beside Kakashi. They exchanged short, muffled words and then the dog disappeared in a puff of smoke. The copy-nin stood.
"Just a few yards ahead. The target is making camp for the evening."
Sakura nodded. "What's the plan?"
"I want to take him by surprise, but I'm not sure whether he knows we're tracking him or not. Just stay on guard."
With that, the pair bounded off through the trees, silent and swift, as Sakura mentally prepared herself for the confrontation. She was almost looking forward to it.
They reached an area where the ground sloped and the shadows thickened. Sakura caught up with Kakashi, but before she could go any further, he barred her with his arm.
"What is it?" she asked.
Kakashi nodded vaguely. "Looks like he cast a protection jutsu around the site."
Sakura paused, and sure enough she detected a dense cluster of chakra up ahead. "Makes sense," she said. "What do we do now?"
"We'll have to wait until he takes it down—probably around dawn whenever he decides to pack up."
Sakura frowned. "That's quite a while from now."
Kakashi smirked. "Better get comfortable then."
Sighing, Sakura followed him a little further away until they settled among the boughs of a large oak tree. Almost as soon as Kakashi sat down, he pulled an Icha Icha book from his vest and began silently reading, leaving Sakura to tend to the weapons and check inventory. It was a common ritual they fell into when things slowed down, and she found she didn't mind the silence as much as she once had. It gave her time to think about the mission, and honestly, she kind of preferred it to Naruto's incessant, tactless chatter and Sasuke's constant moodiness.
They sat for some time, the quiet turning of pages and the rough shirk of stone on metal filling the silence between them. After awhile, when the sun began to sink below the treetops, Kakashi put away his book and helped Sakura with her task. The quiet went on for a bit longer until Kakashi suddenly stilled.
Sakura looked at him. "What?"
Before he could answer, there was a sharp whirl of metal and the clank of a heavy object. With a yelp, Sakura was slammed back against the tree and pinned down by what she quickly realized was an iron chain. Kakashi had narrowly evaded the assault, but before he could break Sakura loose, a kunai hurtled toward his head and he was forced to jump away. Abruptly, a shadowy figure darted through the branches and Kakashi went after it. Gritting her teeth, Sakura squirmed under the chain as she heard Kakashi catch up to their assailant. There was a heavy grunt as if the stranger had been knocked off his feet, and then ensued the telltale sounds of battle.
The chain was clearly charged with chakra, as even with her strength, Sakura struggled against it. Every muscle in her body tensed as she felt the cold metal links dig into her skin. It was only after exerting her chakra to near-full capacity that she finally heard a loud snap and the chain broke away.
"Piece of cake," she murmured with a smirk.
Swiftly, she leapt through the forest until she reached Kakashi and the newcomer, who were matched toe-to-toe in a frenzy of fists and slashing kunai. The assailant was swaddled in dark robes with only a sliver of his face peeking through. Given the description in his file, she knew instantly that he was their guy.
As soon as Sakura arrived, she landed a punch and a kick while the man had his back turned, but within seconds, he grabbed her by the ankle and flung her back. The air was sucked out of her as she hit the nearest tree with a thud.
"Sakura!" Kakashi shouted.
As she shook the stars from her vision, she heard a massive blast hurtle through the forest. The rogue nin certainly did live up to his reputation. He was strong. But from years of experience, Sakura knew strong didn't mean unbeatable.
Shakily, she stood to her feet and headed toward the noise. A few yards away, she found Kakashi striking and dodging the rogue nin so swiftly Sakura could barely follow him. After some time, the man finally landed a blow that sent Kakashi skidding backwards, and she took that as her chance to intervene. In a flash, Sakura launched herself at the man and nailed a series of punches that were just enough to wind him. But he was dazed only for a moment before he sent her flying back with a kick to the ribs.
Kakashi appeared behind her to brace her fall, and after Sakura steadied herself, they charged the nin together.
As expected, he evaded Sakura and went straight for Kakashi, leaving an opening for Sakura to swipe his legs out from under him.
With a series of loud crunches, the rogue nin fell through the canopy and landed on the forest floor with a hard thud. Kakashi flashed down after him, and when Sakura joined them, she found the man pinned beneath Kakashi's knee.
Sakura smiled. "You too."
"Bastard," the rogue nin hissed, his voice muffled by the muddy ground.
Roughly, Kakashi jerked the man's head up.
"What was that?" the copy-nin leered. "You were so busy eating dirt I couldn't hear you."
The rogue nin scoffed.
Curious, Sakura knelt down by the man. After a moment, she reached out to touch the fabric on his face, and he flinched as if her skin was made of ice.
"I wonder what you look like under there," she mused.
He squirmed. "None of your business."
"That ugly, huh." In one motion, she ripped the material from his face and frowned.
The nin looked pretty average for the most part. Brown eyes, long brown hair in a ponytail, slender face. He didn't have as many marks or scars as she would have imagined. However, when he looked up at her she saw a strange flash in his gaze that made her shiver. There was something very strange about it.
She looked at Kakashi. "What now?"
"Well," —he dug into his jonin vest and retrieved a pair of chakra cuffs, which he then snapped onto the man's wrists— "we send word back to Tsunade, and then we take this guy to the daimyo."
Sakura nodded as Kakashi stood and yanked the rogue nin to his feet.
"You two don't know what you're getting yourselves into," he growled. "Let me go before—"
"Not gonna happen," Kakashi cut him off. He turned to Sakura and nodded toward the trees. "If you wanna get the supplies, I'll wait here."
Sakura started to turn away when she heard the rogue nin let out a sharp groan. She looked back in time to get blasted by a blinding pink light that sent her flying back.
She heard Kakashi grunt in surprise, and before she knew it, they were both laying on the ground.
Dazed, Sakura lifted her head only to feel a swimming sensation ripple through her. It was as if she had been thrust underwater. The trees and foliage around her danced and wiggled, and she found that she couldn't stand.
"K-Kakashi?" she choked.
She felt a hand on her shoulder, and then she was gently pulled across the ground. The pair reached a nearby tree trunk and Sakura fell limp against Kakashi. His breath came out in ragged gasps.
"What…what happened?" Sakura managed.
"I'm…not sure," Kakashi muttered. "Some kind of genjutsu I think."
They sat in silence as they tried to regain their composure, but the forest continued to swim, and soon Sakura became aware of a hot, stinging sensation slowly crawling through her body. At first, it almost tickled, and then it began to burn.
Kakashi placed a hand on her shoulder and gripped it a little too tightly. He seemed to be experiencing the same thing.
"We need to…get out of here," Sakura panted. She tried to lean forward but found her muscles too weak to cooperate. "I can barely move."
The burning sensation only intensified as the seconds passed, and soon Sakura felt her chakra begin to ripple in waves, crashing over her with a surprising and gut wrenching power. It was definitely one of the most bizarre sensations she had ever felt.
Kakashi let out a sharp breath. "Are you alright?"
"I don't know," Sakura whimpered.
In that moment, the only thing tethering her to reality was the solid weight of Kakashi's chest against her back.
"Don't…don't worry. We'll find a way…to get out of this," Kakashi replied. She could tell he was having a hard time breathing.
She was scared. She didn't want to admit it, but Kakashi already knew.
"It'll be okay. Just…focus on breaking out of this."
She did as he told her, closing her eyes and slowly inhaling and exhaling. They went silent for a long time, trying to piece themselves back together. Soon, the burning sensation began to dull, and Sakura was almost relieved until it was replaced by something new, something even more unnerving. As Kakashi's breath fell in sync with hers, Sakura could feel his heart pounding in his chest. His chakra radiated even more hotly than her own, singeing her like a fire poker, and she lay paralyzed under its touch. As a medic, she had worked extensively with chakra, had melded her own with her patients’ in order to mend bones and heal injuries. She wasn’t ignorant of its effects, but this—this was entirely something else.
"Sakura." Kakashi's voice came out in a quiet groan, and something in it sent a dull ache through her.
As if responding to him, Sakura's chakra flared again and Kakashi swore.
Sakura bit her lip, knowing the difference between a man cursing in pain and a man cursing in pleasure. She knew what Kakashi was feeling. She felt it too. Breathing hard, she rolled her head back against his shoulder, too weak to hold it up on her own, and his breath puffed hot against her neck.
This time it was Kakashi's chakra that flared, and with it came a rush of tingles down Sakura's spine. It was as if his very essence was penetrating her body, filling every cell with a sensation she could not dare to define.
"Ah, mm," she moaned.
His grip on her shoulder tightened, and she felt the fabric of his mask graze the side of her neck. "You feel that?" he murmured, more as a statement than a question.
"I…I don't know if I can control myself." There was a mix of urgency and fear in his voice that she had never heard before.
Another flare of her chakra against his and Kakashi gripped her waist, breath feathering warmly across her skin. She pressed against him and reveled in the hot crackle of his chakra wrapping around her, marking her, owning her. Kakashi's chakra had always had a strong and intimidating quality to it, but now that power seemed to have been unleashed, and she couldn't deny how deeply it jolted her.
"It's okay," she panted. She couldn't control her reactions any more than he could. She wouldn't blame him. She couldn't.
Her chakra rippled again, stronger than the last time, and Kakashi crumpled against her. The hand on her shoulder shifted, and his arm circled her waist.
The sign was clear. He didn't want her to move, didn't want her to shift away. And she didn't want to either.
Kakashi's voice was practically a growl. It sent sweet, warm shivers down Sakura's spine that lapped at her insides like twisting, roaring flames. She could feel something primordial, dark, and masculine coming off him in waves. She found herself powerless to it. Like a mouse caught in a cat's shadow. There was nowhere to go. She couldn't escape it. What before was anxious reluctance had shifted into something more aggressive, more urgent, and she knew Kakashi was quickly succumbing.
"Sakura, I…I need—I'm sorry—"
He couldn't finish his sentence. Before Sakura could even utter a reply, he snaked his hand up her shirt and made quick work of ripping away her bindings. She yelped when she felt the hot roughness of his palm against her breast. Her breath quickened when his fingers pinched urgently at her nipple, and she couldn't help the moan that escaped her lips, high-pitched and ragged. Kakashi let out a groan in response and groped her even more fervently.
Sakura squirmed, not knowing whether to fight against him or sink into the powerful thrill that rushed through her. Her breasts tingled under his touch, and with that came an even more intense sensation rushing through her being. Kakashi seemed to sense it, too, as his other hand slid down her pants, and he moaned at the discovery of her sticky, hot arousal. Sakura let out a whimper, legs twitching as Kakashi insistently rubbed the wet spot between her thighs. His touch was like pure fire melting her into oblivion.
"Fuck, fuck, fuck," she gasped.
Every sensation was heightened to an almost unbearable degree. She became too blinded by pleasure to question what was happening. Too desperate to notice that the man doing this to her was her friend, her former sensei, and a man nearly twice her age. All she could focus on was the pleasure. How right it felt. How much she needed it.
While his fingers circled her sensitive heat, Kakashi grabbed Sakura's hand and guided it behind her. Her body thrilled as something hard brushed against her palm, and with little thought, she began massaging it with her hand.
"Ahh," Kakashi groaned, hips bucking softly against her touch. She could feel how turned on he was, how urgently he wanted her. And she realized she wanted him just as badly.
At this point, both of their chakras were flaring madly, battling to gain control of the other. And thus far, neither one of them was winning.
Kakashi lowered his face into her neck, planting hot, wet kisses along her skin that made her body tremble like a tree in a windstorm. It was then that Sakura realized he had pulled his mask down. She only caught a glimpse of his face—smooth and pale and handsome—before he forced his lips against hers, and then his tongue into her mouth. His taste was addictive, sweet, demanding. She responded by flicking her tongue against his like her life depended on it, wanting nothing more than to drown in him, to lose herself in him like a ship caught by the roaring sea. It was all she could focus on, all she could do. In that moment, Kakashi was everything. He was the air in her lungs, the heat on her skin, the energy flowing through her. Everything.
But then, just as quickly as it had materialized, the feeling was shattered—inexplicably—and the pair jolted apart.
Kakashi stilled against her, breath coming out in broken gasps. It took him a moment to find his voice before he managed to choke out a word. "W—what?"
Sakura glanced up at him and they both quickly realized where their hands were. With a low curse, Kakashi jerked away, yanking his mask back over his face as he did so. Sakura followed suit.
"Were—were we just?" she stammered, scrambling to her feet as she smoothed down her clothes and hair.
"There's no way—we couldn't—I wouldn't—" Kakashi stumbled back, eyes alight with confusion and shock. "Sakura, I wouldn't."
"You did," she countered. " We did."
"I don't know." She shook her head and looked away, too embarrassed and ashamed to meet his gaze. "I think that guy put some sort of…weird crazy sex spell over us."
Kakashi ran a hand through his hair. "Why…?"
"To distract us…keep us occupied while he escaped."
Kakashi went silent for a moment, and Sakura swore she could cut the tension between them with a knife.
"I'm sorry, Sakura. I…I didn't mean—"
Another long stretch of silence, and then Kakashi turned away.
"Let's just…forget about this for now, okay? We need to catch that guy."
He didn't wait for her answer before he disappeared into the trees.
All Sakura could do was trail after him, still trying to catch her breath and steady her frazzled nerves. Shock couldn’t even begin to describe the feeling that had taken over her. Had she and Kakashi really…? It was too insane a concept to wrap her head around. She didn't even want to think about how they would deal with this once their mission was over, once they had to return home and face everyone and pretend like everything was business-as-usual. Honestly, she kind of hoped they wouldn't have to deal with it at all.
Just forget about it. Forget.
Sakura repeated those words like a mantra in her head as she followed Kakashi through the forest, as they found and apprehended the rogue nin, and then as they made their long, silent journey home. She just hoped the message would stick.