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To Come Back To You

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Kakashi opened his eyes to a blurry scene before him. He first noticed Guy staring out the window, but for some reason he looked older, like a lot older. Then, he saw Tsunade. She looked the same as she always had, but that wasn’t surprising considering who she was. But he had no idea why she was there, she hadn’t been in the village in years. Next, he saw two people he didn’t recognize. One was a blond guy with a jounin uniform, which was strange since Kakashi had no idea who he was.

The other was a pink haired woman in a doctor’s coat. He assumed she must be his medic, but he hadn’t seen her around before. Kakashi reasoned that it was probably because he avoided the hospital like the plague. She was the first to notice he was awake and she walked over to him with a relieved smile, “Kakashi, you’re awake! Thank kami, I was beginning to worry.”

She sat on the edge of his bed and Kakashi pulled away from her when she reached towards his arm. Why was she acting so familiar with him? But she didn’t seem to mind or notice and continued, “You know, you’ve been out for days since Guy and Naruto brought you back.”

Kakashi looked at her confused, “Naruto?” Who the hell was Naruto?

She gave him an odd look and glanced at the blond guy, “Yeah, Naruto. Remember he went on your mission with you and Guy?”

Kakashi thought back to his mission and shook his head at the medic, “Um, no, I don’t. It was just me and Guy. I don’t even know him.”

The blond guy, Naruto apparently, stepped towards the bed, “Oh come on, Kakashi. I know you got your ass handed to you and I had to save you, but that’s no reason to pretend I don’t exist.”

Kakashi narrowed his eyes at him, “But I don’t know you. And I didn’t get my ass handed to me. Guy and I just had a little trouble with the bandits that attacked us on our way back from the Land of Lightning.”

Guy was walking over to him now, too. His bushy eyebrows pulled together, “Land of Lightning? Kakashi, we were returning from the Sand.”

Kakashi chuckled and tried to get up from the bed, “Very funny, Guy. Don’t try and confuse me. I know what mission I was just on.”

Kakashi was pulling the sheets off of himself when the medic put them back and pushed him back towards his pillows. He glared at her annoyed and she looked back at him surprised. She set her jaw and asked him, “Kakashi, what mission do you think you were just on?”

Kakashi glanced at Guy before telling her, “I can’t disclose that.”

She huffed, “Yeah? Well, who can you disclose that to?”

“The Hokage,” He answered in a bored tone. What was with this medic?

“Who is?”

“Sandaime,” Kakashi answered confused. Why was she asking him who the Hokage was?

Her eyes widened and she looked to Tsunade. Everyone was looking at him strangely now with a panic in their eyes. It annoyed Kakashi. What was going on? They all stared at him for a second, but then all their eyes seemed to land on the medic who was still looking at him with a shocked expression.

“What’s going on?” Kakashi asked, looking to Guy since he was the only person he really knew.

Tsunade took charge then, speaking in an authoritative voice, “Alright, Guy, you and Kakashi go over your mission details. Then, we’ll decide where to go from there.” She rose an eyebrow at Kakashi, “Is that alright? You can talk to Guy about it, can’t you? Since he was on the mission with you?”

Kakashi nodded respectfully, remembering Tsunade’s fierce reputation as a sanin. The room cleared, except for Guy. Kakashi noticed out of the corner of his eye that the medic looked back at him with a broken expression before someone tugged her through the door. Why did she look so scared?

 

Sakura pounced on Tsunade as soon as she stepped into her office where her and Naruto were waiting for her. After Kakashi talked with Guy, Tsunade asked Guy to explain what all he had said. But she hadn’t wanted Sakura to hear, because the mission was classified after all and she didn’t have the clearance.

“What did Guy say?” Sakura stood up from her chair. She had a small hope in her chest that Kakashi was just a little confused, but a part of her was telling her that there was more to it.

Looking at Tsunade’s worried expression, she knew she had feared right and she confirmed, “Kakashi has amnesia.”

“What’s the last thing he remembers?”

Tsunade looked at her sadly and answered, “A mission with Guy from…sixteen years ago.”

Sakura felt the strength of her knees give out and she would’ve fell to the floor if Naruto hadn’t reached out and caught her. Everything felt fuzzy and there was a sharp pain in her chest, but she tried to keep her mind clear.

“Sakura-chan, it’s going to be okay,” Naruto told her softly, helping her back into her chair. He turned to Tsunade, “Right, baa-chan?”

Tsunade closed the door to the office as she replied in a somber voice, “It might be. The mind’s a very tricky thing, Naruto. Kakashi could remember in the next five minutes. Or it could take weeks, months, years. Or…”

Sakura finished, staring off into the distance with her hand over her mouth in case she started sobbing, “He could never remember.”

Naruto looked back in forth between them, “What? No, that can’t be! He needs to at least remember Sakura!”

Sakura put a hand on his shoulder, “He doesn’t have any control over it, Naruto.”

Tsunade’s heart broke at the sight of her apprentice. Sakura must be going through so much, but she was still trying to put on a brave face and she couldn’t be more proud of her. Tsunade cleared her throat, “Well, I suggest you go look over him yourself. Unless you would rather me –“

Sakura stood up, “No, it’s fine. I want to do it myself.” She took a deep breath before walking out of her office with Tsunade and Naruto following behind.

“Did you tell him he has amnesia?” Sakura asked Tsunade.

Tsunade shook her head, “No, but I think it would be best if Guy told him.”

Sakura swallowed with a nod, “I do, too. Since Guy’s all he has right now.”

They stepped into Kakashi’s room with Guy, who had been waiting by the door for them. Kakashi looked up at them, looking both confused and on edge, “Will somebody tell me what’s going on? Did something happen with the mission after I got knocked unconscious?”

Sakura shook her head and stepped towards the bed. She went to sit next to him, but decided against it and stopped at the foot of his bed. “Nothing went wrong with the mission, Kakashi. But Guy’s going to explain something to you and I need you to stay calm.”

Kakashi gave her a strange look, but nodded. Sakura looked away from him as Guy started talking to him. She couldn’t stand having him looking at her like he had no idea who she was, like she was just some random medic. It was making her stomach twist painfully.

It took some convincing to get Kakashi to believe sixteen years had passed. But when Guy had told him to open his left eye and Kakashi found out his sharringan was gone, he was more convinced. Kakashi was overwhelmed and they were all wondering how much to tell him and how slowly to do it. Guy had only told him another war had passed and that Tsunade was the Hokage now.

Sakura’s hands were hovering over Kakashi’s head and her chakra was examining his brain. If there were any obvious injuries, then healing them might fix the problem. But Sakura had already healed him to the best of her abilities when he was brought in and she found nothing new. Kakashi looked up at her when she was finished and asked, “So, who are you? We must be friends, right? You act so familiar with me.”

Sakura didn’t meet his eyes as she answered with a smile, “Oh, we are friends. My name’s Haruno Sakura. Naruto and I used to be students of yours. About fourteen years ago.”

Kakashi nodded, leaning back against his pillow, “I guess that makes sense. But I really had students?”

Sakura forced a chuckle, “Yup, your first and last students. You almost didn’t pass us.”

“My bell test is very hard to pass,” Kakashi replied and she could see a small smile beneath his mask. But it was nothing like the ones he usually had.

Naruto cleared his throat behind them, “Sakura, can I speak to you outside?”

Sakura stepped away from Kakashi reluctantly, knowing exactly what Naruto wanted to talk to her about. She smiled at Kakashi, “I’ll be right back.”

After she closed the door, Naruto grabbed her hand and pulled her down the small corridor. A few paces away and he stopped. He gave her an incredulous look, “Friends? You used to be his student? Sakura, what the hell?”

Sakura met his eyes with determination, “And you’re not going to tell him anything different. Got it, Naruto? No one is.”

Naruto’s face fell, “Sakura, you’re married. How can you not tell him?”

“Naruto,” Sakura looked down at her feet, a few tears escaping her eyes, “Look, Kakashi may never remember me. And I’m not going to force him into something that he doesn’t even remembering choosing. The Kakashi now is very different from how he used to be sixteen years ago.”

Naruto still tried to argue and he grabbed her shoulders, “But Sakura, Kakashi loves you.”

She looked up at him, more tears streaming down her face, “I know he does, Naruto. And I love him back. But the Kakashi in that room didn’t fall in love with me, okay? He needs to adjust to the way his life is now and I’m not going to throw in a wife he doesn’t even know in to the mix. If he somehow finds out, then great. But I’m not going to tell him until I think he’s ready and that may be never.”

Naruto looked away from her and she could tell that his eyes were glossed over. He cleared his throat after a minute, “Okay, Sakura. I understand, I guess. This is your decision.” He looked back to her with a grin, “Is there anything I can do?”

Sakura wiped at her face and nodded, “Yes, Kakashi still has his old apartment for his own reasons that I don’t have the time to explain. I need you to go over there and hide anything that’s related to me. Pictures, clothes, and whatever else. There shouldn’t be much. And then, go to our house and grab all of his things. His clothes and his weapons.”

Naruto nodded and ran off to do as she told him after giving her a quick hug. Sakura took a deep breath and wiped away any remaining tears. When she walked back into Kakashi’s room, he looked up at her expectantly. His eyebrows pulled together when he saw her appearance, “Is everything alright?”

Sakura smiled at him, “Yeah, everything’s fine.” She wondered exactly what to do with Kakashi. She didn’t want to overwhelm him with a lot of new information, but he did need to know some things. He would just get very confused otherwise.

She leaned against his bed, “Well, Kakashi, I think it’s best if you slowly learn about the past. If you try and absorb it all at once, it’ll overwhelm you.”

Kakashi shook his head, crinkling his eyes with a smile, “No, I’ll be fine. I can take it.”

Sakura met his eyes searching for a warmth that used to be there when he looked at her. She bit her lip and looked away when she didn’t find it. His expression was so emotionless, hiding his honest feelings away. His smile was fake. It made Sakura sick to see him acting like that around her. He was always so open with her, even before they got together when they were just friends after the war ended.

Sakura looked back at him after a second with a frown, “As your medic and your friend, I’m telling you, you can’t. And we’ll give you information in chunks.”

Kakashi met her eyes, obviously annoyed at her telling him how it was going to be. But he sighed, looking out the small window, “Fine.”

Sakura wondered how long she could keep him here, before he tried to leave. She was sure his hatred for hospitals was still there, it didn’t seem like he was ever going to grow out of it, even today. Even with all of Naruto’s shadow clones, he still needed at least an hour to get Kakashi’s apartment ready for him.

“I’m going to keep you here for a couple more hours, run a few more tests, then I’ll walk you home,” She told him, knowing there wasn’t any more test for her to run.

Kakashi scoffed, “I don’t need you to walk me home. I may have amnesia, but I’m a grown man.”

Sakura rolled her eyes, “Yeah? Well, big macho man, during the war, most of the village was destroyed, including your old apartment building. You live somewhere else now.”

“Oh,” Kakashi replied, looking away from her.

“Yeah, oh,” Sakura chuckled. She stepped forward to ruffle his hair, like she always did when she thought he was adorable. But she stopped herself with her hand awkwardly in midair. Kakashi gave her an odd look, raising his eyebrow in question.

Before she could come up with an excuse, Tsunade saved her, “Well, Sakura, let’s go over some details about Kakashi’s case and run those tests. I’m sure Guy won’t mind keeping him company for a while.”

Guy grinned with a nod, “Of course, my lady Hokage! I will stay by my dear rival’s side in his time of need!” He shot her an award-winning smile and a thumbs up.

Sakura laughed lightly and looked at Kakashi, “At least some things never change.”

Kakashi chuckled, giving her a more genuine smile than before, “Guess not.”

Sakura stepped out of the room with Tsunade and they walked back to her office. When they got there, Tsunade went over to her desk and opened the bottom drawer. Before Sakura could ask her what she was looking for as she rummaged around, Tsunade pulled out a bottle of liquor with a grin, “Ha, I knew this was still here from when I was the head medic!”

Sakura rolled her eyes as Tsunade looked around for some cups. After pouring Sakura some sake in one of those triangular shaped paper cups, she met her eyes with a sad smile, “So, you’re not going to tell him, huh?”

Sakura took a long drink, emptying the small cup and held out her hand for more, “No, and I don’t want anyone else to either.”

Tsunade nodded, “Got it. I’ll make sure everyone knows not to.”

“Thank you,” Sakura told her, taking a smaller sip this time.

“What if he never remembers?” Tsunade asked her, leaning back against the desk.

Sakura collapsed into her chair, looking down at the wedding ring that sat happily on her left hand, “I don’t know. But right now Kakashi doesn’t even know me and if I were to tell him, he would just push me away and we won’t be like we were before anyway. I know him pretty well to know how he’ll react.”

Tsunade frowned and looked down at her cup before looking back to Sakura, “I’m sorry that this happened, Sakura.”

Sakura tried to give her a smile, “There’s not anything you can do, shishou.”

“I wish there was,” Tsunade told her seriously, “But even if we were to try, the brain is so delicate, anything could happen.”

Sakura sighed, “I know.”

Chapter Text

Kakashi glanced to his right for probably the tenth time since they left the hospital. He didn’t know why he kept looking at her, but he couldn’t stop. There was just something about her and it was like it was on the tip of his tongue, but he couldn’t remember what it was. He just knew it was important, something in his gut told him it was.

He couldn’t believe he had amnesia, that sixteen years of his life was just missing. It was hard to believe, but since he could see with both eyes and Guy had obviously aged, he knew they were telling him the truth. Even now as they walked through the village, he could tell it was different. Everything looked almost newer. Sakura told him that they had an attack that had desiccated most of the village and that nearly everything had to be rebuilt.

It didn’t take long for them to reach his apartment, since it was actually pretty close to the hospital. The building wasn’t much different from the one he remembered and he didn’t think his apartment would be much different either. Kakashi followed after Sakura up the stairs she seemed to know perfectly.

When they finally reached his door, Sakura didn’t hesitate before opening it for him. He looked at her confused and didn’t go inside, “This is my apartment?”

Sakura looked at him oddly, “Yes?”

“Why is your chakra signature added to the locks?” Kakashi asked her. Kakashi didn’t have anyone else’s chakra signature on his locks, not even Guy’s. Why was this woman on them?

Sakura stared at him for a minute, before laughing, “Kakashi, I told you, we’re friends. That’s why you have me on your locks. Naruto’s also on there and so is Guy’s and Yamato’s.”

Sakura walked into the apartment and Kakashi stepped in after her. He took his shoes off with her and asked, “Yamato? Who is Yamato?”

Sakura pursed her lips as she shrugged off her doctor’s coat and hung it up, “Um, I don’t think Yamato is his real name. But it’s what he goes by now. I think I heard you call him Tenzou one time? You knew him from…when you were younger.”

Sakura gave him a heavy look and Kakashi understood whom she meant. Even so, he still couldn’t imagine having that many people on his locks. Sakura showed him around his small apartment. Kakashi was surprised to find how much bigger it was than his last apartment. It also looked more welcoming and none of his homes had ever looked like that. It set him off.

He was also surprised to see how well Sakura knew his apartment as she got them mugs down from his cabinet. She had apparently decided all on her own that she was going to make them tea.

Kakashi leaned against the doorway to his kitchen with his arms crossed over his chest. He watched her curiously as she prepared the tea, “You seem to know your way around here pretty well.”

Sakura didn’t look at him as she looked inside of his cabinets to see what kind of food he had, “I’ve been here a few times.”

Kakashi felt like it was more than a few times, but he didn’t say anything. After the tea was done, she led him to his small living room. Kakashi felt out of place sitting on the couch drinking tea with a woman who was both a stranger and an apparently good friend. But she looked at home on his couch, maybe a little nervous, but still comfortable. It made Kakashi wonder how well he really did know her.

“So,” Kakashi cleared his throat and she looked over at him in question, “genin teams usually come in threes, so who was my third student?”

Sakura looked away from him with a frown. When she didn’t answer right away, he assumed the worst. He instantly felt that same old guilt and loss he always did when someone close to him had died. And it was strange considering he couldn’t even remember this person.

“He didn’t die,” Sakura answered finally, guessing what he was thinking, “He’s in prison.”

“Prison?”

Sakura nodded, setting her tea mug on the coffee table, “He became a traitor.”

One of Kakashi’s students had become a traitor? What kind of sensei had he been for one of them to end up like that?

Suddenly, Kakashi felt a warmth on his leg and looked down to see that it was Sakura’s hand. He looked back up at her and she told him, “It wasn’t your fault, Kakashi. It was none of ours. We tried to help him, he just didn’t want to be helped.”

Kakashi wanted to move away from her, but it wasn’t like she was hurting anyone. It actually felt kind of nice. Before he could think of something else to ask her, Sakura pulled out a small book from the back of her pants. It reminded him of always having Icha Icha on him and then he wondered if he still read the series. He hoped so, if not, the world really had gone crazy.

She handed him the little black book and Kakashi realized it was a diary before she told him, “It’s my diary from when I was younger.”

Kakashi looked at her confused, “Why are you showing me this?”

“Kakashi, I’ve known you most of my life. You were my sensei and when I got promoted to chunnin, you were my team leader. We fought in a war together and are still good friends.”

Kakashi glanced at her diary in his hands, seeing where she was going with this. She continued, “I didn’t write in it every day, just every month and it ends at the end of the war. And it starts when I joined your team, so it’s perfect. But hopefully reading that will help answer some questions you might have about the past.”

Kakashi looked up at her with a smile and a raised eyebrow, “Isn’t this kind of personal, though? Are you sure you want me reading it?”

Sakura shrugged with a smile, reaching for her tea, “You already know all of it, so it’s not really that embarrassing.”

Kakashi nodded, flipping through the pages seeing that every single page was filled.

“I don’t want you to read it all at once, though,” Sakura told him seriously.

Kakashi’s thumb flipped through the pages, “Mah, I could probably read this in a night.”

“No,” Sakura plucked the book out of his hands, “I don’t want you to. I know you can, but don’t read more than a few pages at a time. You need to remember this is your life, too. It’s not a story like Icha Icha.”

Kakashi sighed, slightly annoyed like he was in the hospital. He didn’t like it when he lost arguments, especially with a medic. But he had to remember that Sakura was more than a medic. She was a good friend from what she had told him. So, he tried to be more agreeable, “Alright, Sakura-chan.”

Sakura smiled at him and then stood up from the couch, “Well, I’m going to go make you dinner.”

Kakashi stood up and followed her to the kitchen, “No, you don’t have to do that.”

“My best friend is sick. The least I can do is make him dinner,” Sakura told him as she got things out of his fridge. He watched her in slight shock, he had food in the fridge?

“I’m not sick, I just have amnesia,” Kakashi argued, leaning against the counter beside her.

Sakura rolled her eyes at him, “Amnesia is a form of illness, Kakashi.”

Kakashi looked over the ingredients, realizing what it was, “Miso soup?”

“With eggplant,” she smiled as she started chopping up vegetables.

“That’s my favorite,” Kakashi told her, wondering if she knew that.

And she did, “I know.”

Kakashi smiled under his mask, not knowing what had suddenly made him feel so happy. He found that he didn’t really care that much, though. “So, best friends, huh?”

Sakura looked up at him to see him coyly smiling at her and she grinned back. So, maybe her Kakashi wasn’t so far off from the one standing next to her. “Yeah, pretty much. I beat Guy out a few years back.”

She winked at him and he chuckled, “You beat Guy? I feel like he would be very possessive over his spot as my designated best friend.”

Sakura shrugged, pouring things into a large pot on the stove, “He was, I still won. I did surpass my teacher a long time ago.”

That caught his attention. Kakashi cocked a skeptical eyebrow at her, “You surpassed me?”

She nodded nonchalantly, “Oh, well, yeah, but I was referring to Tsunade. I was her apprentice when I was younger.”

Kakashi looked at the small diamond that was on her forehead, “I had been wondering if that was what that was. But did you really surpass her?”

Sakura shrugged, “That’s what she tells me, though sometimes I have trouble believing it myself.”

Kakashi took a drink of his tea in thought, “You must be terrifying.”

Sakura laughed beside him, but didn’t deny or confirm it. Kakashi had a feeling he wasn’t far off the mark. He helped Sakura cook where she would let him. Apparently, he had done something in the past to deserve her barely allowing him to touch the food. He didn’t think he was that bad of a cook, but he’d believe her if she told him he had given them food poisoning at some point.

Sakura had turned out to be a lot more than what Kakashi had initially thought. He was mostly surprised about how well she knew him and how comfortable she was with him. Kakashi had friends, but he couldn’t remember a time he had ever invited them over to his apartment. Or invited them out for drinks. No, if Kakashi was out socializing it was probably because he had been dragged out.

But Sakura knew him. He could tell without her even saying anything to prove it. She didn’t hold anything back with him, telling him what she thought and not caring if it annoyed him. She wasn’t scared of him, but seeing as who she was apprenticed to he couldn’t see why she would. But it was more than that. He felt like she knew all his past, but she didn’t judge him for any of it. She also seemed to always know what he was thinking.

It wasn’t until their dinner was almost done cooking, that Kakashi had a theory. Sakura had been reaching for bowls from the top of one of his cabinets, when her shirt rose up, revealing tanned skin. It caught Kakashi’s eye and he only looked away when she had got the bowls. Then, Kakashi looked back to her and actually looked at her.

Sakura was beautiful. She was slightly small in body size, but her muscles were lean and feminine. At first, he had thought her bubble gum pink hair was odd for a ninja, but now looking at her, he found it suited her. Her eyes were jade green and matched well with her purple diamond.

Sakura must have caught him staring, because she asked, “What’s wrong?”

“How old are you?” Kakashi asked her, something turning in his mind.

“Twenty-six,” Sakura answered as she poured them soup.

Not too young. The thought rolled around in Kakashi’s head and he felt like something was biting at him. He had to have noticed how beautiful she was. Had he ever made a move on her? Had he ever slept with her? Kakashi didn’t have much of a sex life and he didn’t think he’d ever sleep with his student, but it kept nagging at him in the back of his head. It wasn’t like he could ask her. Once he noticed how beautiful she was, though, he couldn’t stop.

“You’ve gotten quiet,” Sakura commented as they ate, “Is something wrong?”

“I’m just…” Kakashi looked down at his food, “thinking over some things.”

Sakura nodded, “I know everything can be a lot to take in. Just let me know if you ever get overwhelmed.”

Kakashi nodded back and that was then that he noticed Sakura’s left hand. Sakura followed his gaze and put her hands in her lap.

“So, you’re, uh, married?” Kakashi asked her as casually as he could manage when he had just been thinking about whether they had sex or not.

“I am,” Sakura told him with a soft chuckle and for some reason she looked sad.

Kakashi didn’t know why the question had made her so upset, but he decided to drop it. For all he knew, her husband could have died on a mission recently and she just couldn’t let go yet. So, he asked something that he had been thinking about, “Naruto’s last name is Uzumaki, right?”

Sakura looked up at him with a small smile, “Yes, he’s the Namikaze’s son.”

Kakashi’s eyes widened, “How do you know that?”

Sakura shrugged, “It’s all in the diary, Kakashi.”

Kakashi nodded, remembering Sakura’s plan for teaching him about the past. After dinner, Kakashi walked Sakura to the door and told her, “I’ll walk you home.”

“You don’t have to do that,” Sakura shook her head, pulling her coat back on, “You may not be able to get back here.”

Kakashi met her eyes, “Sakura, I can remember where I live.”

Sakura’s smile fell and Kakashi realized his choice of words, “Well, I was paying attention earlier when we were walking here. I remember the route.”

Sakura tried to give him a smile and shook her head again, “No, it’s okay, Kakashi. Some other time, okay? I’ll stop by tomorrow to see how you’re doing.”

Before Kakashi could reply, she had left the apartment.

---

When Sakura finally stepped inside her house, she let go of all the tears she had been holding back throughout the day. Her hands shook as she took off her coat and hung it next to one of Kakashi’s that Naruto must have missed. She stuck close to the wall a she walked to her bedroom, in case she lost her balance.

She walked into her room and headed straight for Kakashi’s dresser. It was barren except for a gold wedding band that sat innocently atop it. The note that she had read a dozen times was still under it. She grabbed it trying to read it again through her blurry vision.

Sakura, I’ll be back as soon as I can. Please don’t spoil the ninken, they’re getting too used to your home cooking. And don’t worry, it’s a simple mission and both Naruto and Guy are going with me. I can’t make any promises, besides that I will always try and come back to you, to this ring, and to our life together. I love you. – Kakashi

More tears rolled down Sakura’s face and she dropped to the floor, the note crinkling in one hand and his ring in the other. Kakashi never wore his wedding ring on missions. He always worried that he might lose it or that if they were attacked it might get stolen. So, he made a habit of leaving it on top of his dresser with a note to her.

Sakura didn’t how long she sat there crying, but eventually little feet padded across the floor and through the open door to her room. She looked up and saw the ninken staring at her worriedly before running over to her and looking over her for injuries. They nuzzled against her, trying to comfort her without even knowing what was wrong. They must have heard her from the other side of the house where they slept and came to see what was wrong.

After a few seconds, Pakkun asked her, “Sakura, what’s wrong?”

Sakura took a few deep breaths so she could calm down enough to tell them what had happened. After she had finished, they looked almost as sad as her. Biscuit climbed into her lap and she hugged him to her chest.

Uhei looked at her sadly, “You’re not going to tell him?”

“Maybe someday, but not right now,” Sakura answered.

Bull spoke up, “Well, we won’t tell him if you don’t want us to.”

Sakura looked at them all and they nodded their heads at her. She offered them a thankful smile, “Thank you, guys.”

They all tried to climb on top of her and she wrapped her arms around them the best she could. After a couple of minutes, she pulled back reluctantly, “You should probably go to Kakashi’s apartment. He might be wondering where you are.”

Pakkun shook his head, “No, we’ll stay here with you tonight. We’ll go see him tomorrow and if he asks, we’ll say we were playing with the Inuzuka.”

Sakura nodded and she got up on shaky legs. She looked down at them, “Did you all have enough food for today?”

They nodded at her and she walked over to her dresser. She dug around until she found a silver chain. She slipped Kakashi’s wedding ring on to it and latched the chain around her neck. Naruto had left some of Kakashi’s clothes, but not enough that he would notice. She grabbed one of his shirts and tugged it on before climbing into her bed. She only had a few second to think about how empty it felt without Kakashi, before all the ninken climbed on top of the covers. They surrounded her, keeping her warm and making her feel not as empty.

They probably didn’t know how grateful she was for them. She didn’t know how she would have got by that first night without them. She promised them a big breakfast in the morning and they cuddled her closer.

Chapter Text

Kakashi woke to a splitting headache and grabbed at his head as the pain intensified. Suddenly, images were flashing through his mind so fast he could only catch small details. There was a man with facial piercings and orange hair. And there was a puppet? And a long blade. Kakashi grabbed at his chest with one hand as his other still clutched at his head.

Then, there was suddenly pink hair and someone calling his name, “Kakashi!” When he felt someone grab his arms, he opened his eyes to see Sakura in front of him. “Kakashi, what’s wrong?”

Kakashi gasped at the pain in his head, looking at her and trying to determine whether she was real or not, “Sakura?”

Sakura’s hands went to his head and his headache dulled slightly, “Kashi, what happened?”

“My head,” he closed his eyes again, “It suddenly hurt so bad it woke me up and there was all these images.”

“Do you still see the images?” Sakura asked.

“No.”

Then, Sakura’s chakra took full effect and in a matter of seconds, the pain was gone. He sighed in relief and opened his eyes to see Sakura inches away from him. Her hands fell to his cheeks and she asked him with a small smile, “Better?”

He nodded, feeling a strange urge to pull her closer as she was almost on top of him and in his bed. It took her a second, but Sakura had a realization of how close she was to him and she let go of him and moved to where she was sitting next to him.

She turned to him with what Kakashi thought was hope in her eyes, “What did you remember?”

Kakashi looked away from her, trying to make sense of all the colors he’d seen before, “There was, uh, a man with orange hair and piercings. I think he had purple eyes. And he was controlling a puppet that had this blade…”

Sakura didn’t say anything and Kakashi looked over at her. She looked sad again and didn’t meet his eyes. Kakashi had an odd feeling about the memory and asked her, “Did I…did I die?”

Sakura nodded and finally looked at him, “But you were brought back to life…obviously.”

Kakashi’s hand went to his chest again, but he didn’t feel a scar underneath the fabric where he felt there should be one. Sakura told him, “There’s no scar.”

Kakashi rose an eyebrow at her and she looked away from him. He could see a faint blush on her cheeks as she explained, “His name was Pain. He’s the one who destroyed the village. Naruto defeated him and before he died, he returned everyone he had killed back to life.”

Kakashi nodded along, taking a deep breath, “Okay, knowing I’ve been resurrected is probably the most overwhelming thing I’ve felt so far.”

Sakura chuckled beside him, “I think that’s understandable.”

Kakashi looked at her with a smile and then realized, “Hey, what’re you doing here, anyway?”

Sakura got out of the bed, “I told you I would come check on you. And good thing I did, too.”

Kakashi pulled the covers back over himself, “Yeah, well, I was sleeping. So, make yourself at home or whatever.”

Sakura tugged the covers back off him, “Kakashi, it’s almost noon. You’ve had enough sleep.”

Kakashi groaned, “But, Sakura-chan –“

Sakura shook her head with a hand on her hip and Kakashi found the image very familiar, “I’ll make you breakfast?”

Kakashi mumbled to himself, but got out of the bed. He followed Sakura to the kitchen and found his ninken already eating food out of their bowls. First, he was relieved they were all still around. Second, he was confused as to what exactly they were eating. “Sakura, did you feed my ninken?”

At his voice, the dogs looked up and ran over to him with their tails wagging. Pakkun spoke first, “Hey, Boss, Sakura told us what happened. How you feeling?”

“Alright. I’ll live,” he answered as he tried to give each dog the same amount of attention. Sakura chuckled watching them as she moved around in the kitchen.

Kakashi looked over in one of the dog’s bowls, “Eggs? And bacon and sausage? And is that a mini pancake?”

Sakura winked at him, “I’ll make you some, too. You don’t have to get jealous.”

“Sakura,” Kakashi stepped towards her as the ninken went happily back to their meals, “You can’t feed my ninken food like that. They’re ninken.”

“You eat that food, don’t you?” Sakura asked him.

“Yes, but –“

“And you’re a ninja, aren’t you?”

“Yes, but –“

“A well capable ninja?”

Kakashi frowned at her, “Sakura.”

She chuckled, turning back to the stove, “Oh, come on, Kakashi. They’re still perfectly in shape. Trust me. We’ve had this argument before and I always win.”

Kakashi rolled his eyes as he took a seat at the kitchen table, “Probably because I just give up.”

She didn’t turn around, but held up a fist, “Still a win.”

When Sakura laid their food out on the table, Kakashi reached to tug his mask down and suddenly realized it wasn’t there, “My mask!”

Sakura looked up at him startled as Kakashi stood up to go back to his room for it. She called after him, “Kakashi, I’ve already seen your face. You don’t have to put it back on.”

Kakashi walked back into the kitchen with his mask around his neck. He gave her a confused look, “You have? I’ve never shown anyone my face.”

Sakura looked down at her plate and told him, “Medical emergency. I had to cut it off.”

Kakashi sat back down in his chair, still looking at her strangely, “But you had acted like it was so normal this morning? You didn’t even comment on it.”

Sakura shrugged, “After the first time, if we were alone, you wouldn’t wear it. I had already seen it so what was the point?”

Kakashi continued to stare at her, feeling like he was missing something, but she wouldn’t meet his eyes. “And that’s it?”

Sakura nodded and looked up at him, “Yup. That’s it.”

Kakashi decided to let it go, seeing as Sakura wasn’t going to say anything more than she had. She changed the subject in any case, “So, did you read any of my diary last night?”

Kakashi nodded with a lopsided grin, “Yes, oh the woes of teenage youth.”

Sakura rolled her eyes, taking a drink of her tea, “Whatever, just don’t start spouting off nonsense about the wonders of youth. We all hear enough about that from Guy and Lee.”

Kakashi chuckled, taking a bite out of his food, “I’m assuming Lee is one of Guy’s students.”

Sakura nodded, “Yup and he’s a mini-Guy.”

Kakashi eyed her suspiciously, “No way.’

She laughed, “Yes way. He even wears the green jumpsuit and has bushy eyebrows.”

“Wow.”

Sakura giggled at his scared expression and asked, “Well, besides all the stupid gooey stuff I wrote about Sasuke, did you read anything else?”

“I read through the fight with Zabuzaw,” Kakashi smiled, raising his mug to his lips.

Sakura rose an eyebrow at him, “Why are you smiling about that?”

Kakashi shrugged, “Oh, no reason. It was just nice to read about my favorite student calling her sensei so cool and handsome. I think you also used the word badass, too?”

Sakura blushed lightly and glanced away from him. He held back a laugh and wanted nothing more than to make her blush again. It was a strange feeling, but he was enjoying himself and there was something about the way Sakura’s cheeks tinted pink that made him smile.

A couple seconds passed and Sakura looked back at him, shrugging, “Oh, whatever, Kakashi. I was like twelve. Don’t let your head get too big, it might fall off.”

Kakashi put his hand to his heart in mock offense, “Sakura, are you saying you don’t think I’m cool and handsome anymore? Am I nothing but an old man to you?”

Sakura giggled and shrugged, “It’s debatable.” She winked at him and he fought back a smile.

After they finished eating, they went to the living room and Sakura checked Kakashi’s head again for any trauma. Her hands glowed green and were nestled in the mess of silver that was Kakashi’s hair. Chakra healing was amazing and he usually didn’t pass it up with the alternative being waiting for bones to mend and heal on their own. But that’s not saying he liked it. Someone else’s chakra going through his body always felt like an invasion and it made him uncomfortable. Some medics’ chakras were rough and painful, others were gentle but overwhelming. But Sakura’s? Sakura’s was different. Hers felt warm and comforting, a feeling like home. And it almost freaked Kakashi out with how intimate it felt, but he tried to ignore it and just let her chakra rush over him.

He was almost reluctant when her hands pulled away. He looked up at her from where he sat on the couch. She was standing in front of him, staring at him like he was a difficult puzzle with a frown. Almost on instinct, he reached out and grabbed her hand, “Something wrong?”

She looked down at his hand wrapped around hers and slowly pulled away from him. She sat on the couch beside him and put her feet on the coffee table, crossing her arms over her chest and staring off distractedly. “No, there’s not. And that’s the problem.”

“You want there to be something wrong with me?” Kakashi joked, trying to not think about how she had recoiled from his touch.

Her frowned deepened, becoming more sad than annoyed, “At least then I could fix it.”

He copied her position, putting his feet up on the coffee table and leaning back, “I’m sorry, Sakura.”

She shook her head, “No, don’t say that. You shouldn’t be. I’m not the one with amnesia, you are. So, I’m sorry about making this about me.”

“Mah,” he sighed, “I can tell you’re just worried about me. Don’t apologize.”

Sakura smiled at him and Kakashi reached into his back pocket, pulling out a small book. But Sakura snatched it out of his hands. She looked at him with raised eyebrows, “How far did you read last night?”

“Just through that mission.”

Sakura continued staring at him and he sighed, “Fine, I read a few more missions after that. Can you blame me? It was just getting good.”

Sakura pinched the bridge of her nose, “Kashi, I told you that this wasn’t a story. It’s my life and it’s a glimpse into your life.”

Kakashi rolled his eyes, “I know.”

But Sakura just slipped her diary into her pouch that she had strapped to her side, “Well, I’m going to keep it for the rest of the day, so you don’t give yourself a mental breakdown.”

Kakashi met her eyes exasperated, “I’m not going to give myself a mental breakdown.”

She just shrugged, though, and smiled at him. Then, she hopped up from the couch, “Well, you’re still on leave from missions and I don’t want you wandering around the village by yourself –“

“Not a child,” Kakashi mumbled annoyed, but he went unheard.

“- But we can walk around the village together. It’ll be good for your health and maybe it’ll spark some memories.”

Kakashi almost wanted to tell her he’d rather stay in his apartment, but the look of hope in her eyes when she talked about his memories stopped him. He could tell Sakura really cared about him and he couldn’t imagine what it felt like for someone important to you to forget you existed. She kept it hidden, but he was sure that this was affecting her more than it was him.

So, he stood up with a sigh and put his hands in his pockets, “Alright, if you say so.”

As they walked through the village Kakashi was surprised to see how many people smiled at him. People had always noticed him when he walked by, but not many had ever smiled at him, just because. They still stared, but they didn’t turn away and whisper or look away quickly when he met their eyes. Really, it was nice, like really nice. But it still made him agitated for some reason.

He also noticed how many people smiled and said hello to Sakura, they village loved her. More than a few times, they were stopped by someone thanking her somehow, whether it be for saving someone’s husband or curing an ill child.

At some point someone yelled out, “Hatake!” and both Kakashi and Sakura turned around. It was Genma, Kakashi was relieved to see. He didn’t want to have to disappoint another person for not remembering who they were. But he knew Genma and he was sure not much had changed between them.

“Genma,” Kakashi nodded to him when he jogged over to them.

Genma rose an eyebrow at him with a smirk, “So, still remember this handsome devil, huh?”

“He just forgot the last sixteen years, Genma, not his whole life,” Sakura told him with a shake of her head and a small laugh.

Genma frowned slightly around his senbon and he glanced at Sakura, “Sixteen, huh? How lucky.”

Sakura glanced away from them and Kakashi tried to change the subject, “Did you need something, Genma?”

Genma looked back to him and grinned, slapping a hand down on Kakashi’s shoulder, “Just wanted to see how you were doing, man.”

Kakashi shrugged, stuffing his hands back in his pockets, “I’m fine. I remembered when I died this morning, so that was nice.”

“Shit, man, yeah, good times,” Genma sighed, looking up nostalgically and fighting back a smile. Kakashi chuckled, despite himself, when he saw Sakura bite her lips to keep from laughing.

Genma looked back at them with a small chuckle and asked, “Well, hey, a few of us were going to the bar tonight, if you wanted to come? If you remember up until sixteen years ago, you should know all of them. So, no pressure.”

“I don’t know, Genma –“ Sakura started with a frown and Kakashi interrupted her.

“It’ll be fine, Sakura. I’ll still be safely in the village,” Kakashi pointed out, vaguely wondering why he was trying to get permission from Sakura.

Genma joined in, “Yeah, look, Sakura-chan, I’ll take good care of him. I promise. No topless bars and no easy women.”

Genma and Sakura shared a look that Kakashi had no idea what was about and then, she sighed, “Well, I guess.”

“It might spark some memories,” Kakashi nudged her with his arm, smiling at her and trying to get her to cheer up. He felt a warm relief when he won a smile back.

Genma began to step away from them, telling Kakashi he’d drop by his place later to pick him up and make sure he went, like he always did regardless of whether Kakashi had amnesia or not. Then, Sakura called him back, “Genma, don’t tell him too much. I don’t want him to get overwhelmed.”

Kakashi rolled his eyes, biting his tongue from saying for the dozenth time that he won’t get overwhelmed. But Genma saluted at her with a charming grin, “You got it, Boss.”

“I mean it!” she yelled after him as he began to walk away.

Kakashi wished some of his memories were sparked as they walked, just to get that hopeful look back on Sakura’s face, but he didn’t remember anything. Kakashi was about to offer up going by the training grounds, when someone else yelled out for him, “Hatake-san!”

They turned around this time to see a young panting medic running over to them. He stopped short in front of them and stared wide eyed at Kakashi. Kakashi rose a bored eyebrow back at him, wondering why the kid had yelled out for him and then stared at him in shock. He felt a malicious intent next to him and looked over at Sakura to see her glaring at the young medic.

When the boy caught her eyes he bowed hurriedly to her, “Sakura-sama, I’m sorry. I didn’t –“

She cut him off, “What’s wrong, Shiro? My shift isn’t for another couple hours.”

Shiro gulped and glanced at Kakashi and back to Sakura. Kakashi almost laughed at how terrified the medic seemed to be of Sakura.

“Um, a shinobi just came in and he was hit by a poisoned blade and we can’t find the antidote,” Shiro tripped over his words as they rushed out of his mouth.

“What do you mean you can’t find it?” Sakura all but snarled at him, placing her hands on her hips angrily.

“I don’t know, um, but it’s not there. We would’ve synthesized more, but when we got to –“

Sakura’s abrupt and frustrated sigh interrupted him and his mouth closed shut. She pinched the bridge of her nose and looked at Kakashi with a huff, “I have to go. Do you remember the way back to your apartment?”

He nodded and she walked away from him with Shiro trying in vain to keep up with her pace. Kakashi watched them go, laughing to himself when he saw Sakura smack Shiro upside the head. Kakashi turned around and continued his walk through the village, when something occurred to him. Why had Shiro call out for him when he had needed Sakura?

---

“So,” Genma spoke as he handed another beer to Kakashi, “Is there anything bugging you that you want to know?”

Kakashi looked around the table and all the guys nodded at him, telling them they’ll answer whatever asked. The evening hadn’t been too bad, Kakashi still would have preferred to be at home, but he was having a good time. He was incredibly disappointed and hurt to find out Asuma had died, but tried to be thankful that most of his friends were still alive. Kurenai had even joined them for the night. The shinobi around him had always been people he would consider friends, but he noticed the slightest change in their demeanor. It was almost like they were friendlier with him. Why was that?

Kakashi thought about it, not too many questions really popping up, as he took a drink of his beer through his mask. Then, he asked Genma as casually as he could imagine, “What’s Sakura’s husband like? Like do I know him? Is he a shinobi or a medic or a civilian or what?”

The guys looked at him with their eyes slightly widened and then they glanced at each other. Kakashi didn’t know what had been so shocking about the question, but Genma was the first to recover. He hit Kakashi on the shoulder and smirked at him, “Why’re you so interested? Hm?”

Kakashi looked away from him, rolling his eyes and didn’t notice Kurenai glaring at Genma. He told him, “Well, she had told me that my third student was in prison for treason, and I’ve been learning about how in love she used to be with him, so I was just wondering –“

Kurenai interrupted him with a soft smile and shake of her head, “She didn’t marry Sasuke.”

Kakashi was relieved at the news, but tried not to show it, keeping his face expressionless. He rose an eyebrow at Kurenai, “So, who did she marry?”

Kurenai opened her mouth to say something and glanced at Genma. He took a drink of his beer and looked at Kakashi with a careless grin, “Man, it doesn’t even matter. He’s not around for you to meet him, so…”

“He’s dead?” Kakashi asked confused.

Raidou joined the conversation on the other side of him, hitting his arm to get his attention, “Hey, Genma said you remembered when you died?”

Kakashi turned to him, looking back at Genma and Kurenai who seemed to be conveniently looking away from him. He narrowed his eyes at them and turned back to Raidou, “Uh, yeah, I did.”

Raidou smiled happily at him, “That’s awesome! You’ll probably get your memories back in no time.”

Kakashi looked back to his drink and shrugged, “Yeah, I hope so.”

Chapter Text

Weeks passed and Kakashi still didn’t have any more sparks of memories like he did that one day. Sakura didn’t give up hope, though, telling him it could even happen all at once. He felt bad every time she asked if he’d remembered anything. He hated the disappointment on her face and at some point she stopped asking, knowing if he had she would be the first he’d tell.

He was surprised at how often she came around to see him. After the first two weeks, Tsunade cleared him active for duty, which he was grateful for. He was getting restless stuck in his apartment. But it was with a condition, though, that Sakura had demanded. That she go with him. She explained that if he was to have that fierce headache in the middle of battle due to his amnesia, then it could get him killed. So, she wanted to go with him. Tsunade had obliged her without hesitation and Kakashi could tell there was a great deal of respect the two women had for one another.

Kakashi was getting to the end of Sakura’s diary. He was at the war right now and was starting to understand what Sakura warned about being overwhelmed. It was just reading about his old sensei being resurrected and forced to battle against Konoha was a big pill to swallow. When he told Sakura about it, she suggested they go spar to get his mind off of it. Considering she was going to be going on missions with him, he thought it was a good idea.

Whatever he had heard about Sakura’s strength had been a serious understatement if there ever was one. She was amazing and absolutely terrifying at times. She fought hard, which Kakashi had suspected from her personality, and to the point. Her moves were always calculated and she never held anything back. Kakashi wasn’t faring well against her and he didn’t know if it was due to him not used to being without his sharringan or just that Sakura was a much better shinobi. He decided it was a little bit of both.

Sakura had obviously won as Kakashi’s arms were pinned under her knees and she was straddling his chest. Not that Kakashi cared much at the moment, considering how entrancing she looked in the position she was in. She leaned over him, slightly panting with a smirk. Her hair was a mess and she was covered in sweat, but Kakashi had never thought someone looked so beautiful.

He had come to terms with the fact that he probably had what schoolgirls would call a crush on her. And it had become increasingly difficult over the last few weeks of getting to know her, to not act on it. He could see why they were so close. She really was an amazing woman. She was brilliant, funny, and caring. But he also like how hotheaded she could get.

“Guess you win, Haruno,” he told her, still breathing hard from the fight.

She grinned, “Aw, don’t feel bad, Kakashi. You’re just not used to not having a sharringan.”

Kakashi rolled his eyes, “Yeah, and the fact that you’re terrifying.”

Sakura chuckled and moved her knees off of him, but stayed hovering over him. She looked at his face and frowned. She reached for his mask and looked at his eyes in question. He nodded and she tugged the fabric away. Her fingers stroked gently against the purpling bruise she’d left on his chest. She leaned forward and Kakashi caught his breath. Her frowned deepened, thinking his gasp was from the pain, “Did I really hit you that hard? I wasn’t using my full strength.”

He shook his head, “No, it’s fine, Sakura.”

Her hand cupped his cheek and she smiled, “Well, I’ll heal it anyway. Wouldn’t want to mess up your pretty face, not that anyone sees it.”

Her chakra glowed under her hand and Kakashi corrected her, “Except you.”

Sakura met his eyes and he noticed her cheeks were red. He didn’t know if it was from the heat or what is was, but he thought it looked like she was blushing. His hands moved to where they rested on her waist. Her hand left his face and she looked down at him with an expression Kakashi couldn’t decipher.

“Kakashi,” she spoke, almost in a warning voice and her hands wrapped around his. He grabbed one of her hands and pulled her towards him. She looked at him surprised when she was only a few inches from his face.

“Sakura,” his voice came out sounding almost foreign to him, it was too deep, too thick. She leaned towards him and he thought she was going to kiss him when she suddenly pulled away.

Her eyes were closed as she told him breathless, “Kakashi, I can’t.”

Kakashi’s mind cleared and he sat up, causing her to move to his lap. He held on to her hand and told her, “I’m sorry, Sakura. You’re right. I don’t know what I was thinking. You’re married and –“

Sakura shaking her head cut him off and she smiled at him, but it looked a little sad, “No, Kakashi, it’s okay.”

She met his eyes for a second like she was searching for something. And then, she looked away, biting her lip. She stood up and told him, “I’ll see you around, Kakashi. I won, so next time, dinner’s on you.”

Then, she was gone, leaving Kakashi alone in the field. He fell back to the ground with a frustrated sigh. What was he thinking? He shouldn’t have done anything. Should’ve made a joke and tell her to leave him his dignity and get off of him. But he hadn’t.

He laid there on the ground for a while longer, wondering if he had just managed to make his entire relationship with Sakura awkward. He hoped he hadn’t. He felt like she was the best thing that had happened to him since he woke up in the hospital.

Later, he finally left the training ground, remembering how Sakura looked when she’d left. Kakashi felt like an asshole. Why had she looked like she wanted to cry?

 

Kakashi had expected Sakura to avoid him after what happened, or for at least her to feel awkward. But everything was normal as could be. She had showed up at his door the next day like nothing had happened, telling him he owed her dinner.

Wanting to keep her as his friend, he followed her example and pretended it never happened. She lead them to a restaurant at the edge of the village. It was small, but charming, and Sakura told him it was her favorite restaurant. Which was further proven by their waitress.

She grinned widely at them and even hugged Sakura, “Oh, this is great! I’m so happy to see you two!” She glanced at Kakashi, “It’s been too long. Kakashi, I heard about what happened. Do you remember me?”

He apologized and told her no, but she shook her head waving a foldable fan at him, “No, no, don’t apologize! I’m Mei.”

“Kakashi,” he told her and she laughed. She was such an exuberant person.

She took their orders and after she walked away, Kakashi rose an eyebrow at Sakura, “We come here often?”

Sakura nodded as she took a drink of her tea and then she smirked at him, “Every time I beat you in a sparring match.”

Kakashi chuckled, “Must be often.”

Sakura laughed, “I’m just kidding, Kakashi. I just happen to really like this place and you bring me here a lot.”

Kakashi smiled, noticing how Sakura blushed lightly when she looked down at her mug like she was remembering something from the past. Kakashi could imagine him doing that if it got her to smile like that, whatever the check was was worth it.

Kakashi reached for his own mug and then knocked it over as a splitting headache came over him. He clutched at his head as images flashed behind his eyes. He could faintly hear Sakura scrambling over to his side. But her voice was muffled as a memory hit him.

Sakura bounced excitedly in front of him. Her short hair waving around with her movements. Her hands were clasped around his and she looked up at him with a sweet smile, “Please, Kashi?”

Kakashi sighed dramatically, “People will talk, Sakura.”

Sakura pouted at him, “Oh, I don’t care. Let them.”

Kakashi raised an eyebrow at her, “Oh, but you know, Sakura-chan, that when people talk about you, you sneeze. Have you heard that saying? Do you want to be constantly sneezing?”

Sakura laughed and shook her head, “Whatever, Kakashi, stop being ridiculous.”

Kakashi pulled her towards him, “Well, alright, Sakura. Since you insist.”

Sakura smiled at him and -

“Kakashi!” Sakura was shaking him and he opened his eyes to see her above him.

He looked at her confused and realized he was laying on the floor. Sakura had tear stains down her cheeks and she threw herself at him when he sat up. He caught her and held on to her tightly, vaguely aware of a couple of the waitresses in the room.

After a couple of minutes, Sakura pulled away and her hand glowed and went to his head. A soothing sensation went over him and she asked him, “Kakashi, how are you feeling? Are you okay?”

“I’m fine,” he told her and wiped his thumb across her cheeks.

She frowned at him and told him, “You passed out.”

“I did?”

She nodded seriously and asked him, “Do you know where you are?”

“Yeah, we’re at your favorite restaurant. Since you beat me yesterday.”

She sighed both relieved and disappointed. She looked at him curiously, “Did you remember anything?”

Kakashi shrugged, trying to remember, “Just you asking me to take you, I guess here? I don’t know it was really short. I told you that you sneezed when people talked about you.”

Sakura smiled and covered her mouth as more tears ran down her face. Kakashi looked at her worriedly, “Sakura, what’s wrong? Why’re you crying?”

She shook her head and her voice came out a little breathless, “Nothing, nothing’s wrong. That memory, it was from three years ago.”

Kakashi raised an eyebrow at her incredulously, “You can remember that from just what I told you?”

Sakura nodded with a smile, “It was a good day.”

“Alright then,” Kakashi chuckled, still feeling like he was missing out on something, but he guess he would always feel like that. He looked up to see Mei and a few other gather nearby watching them.

When he met her eyes, Mei stepped towards them, “Kakashi, are you okay?”

Kakashi nodded and Sakura got up and moved back to her side of the table. Mei smiled at him, “Well, if you need anything, just let me know. I take care of my customers.”

Kakashi thanked her and she left to come back a few seconds later with their food. Sakura was quiet for most of the dinner and then she said, “Maybe it’d be better if you never get your memories back.”

Kakashi looked at her startled, “What? Why?”

Sakura didn’t meet his eyes, just staring at her food, “Your headaches, they’re getting worse, aren’t they?” When she looked up, she looked sad and Kakashi almost didn’t want to answer her.

But he did, “Yes, they are.”

Sakura sighed, “Maybe I can figure out a way to make your memories stop coming back…”

“No, Sakura,” Kakashi protested, “Look, I can deal with the headaches. They only last a few minutes at most and it seems like I get memories from them. So, they’re a good thing, okay?”

Sakura didn’t smile back at him and she shook her head, “You passed out this time. What if next time you don’t wake up?”

Kakashi got up from his spot and walked over to her. He sat beside her and wrapped an arm around her, “Sakura, don’t think that way. I’m not going to die like that.”

Sakura leaned into him and she spoke softly, “I was so scared when you wouldn’t wake up. I even slapped you, but you didn’t feel a thing.”

Kakashi raised a hand to his face, but Sakura chuckled beside him, “I already healed the mark.”

Kakashi leaned his head on top of hers, “Sakura, don’t worry about me, alright? I’ll be fine.”

Sakura sighed and pulled away to look up at him, “Fine, but if they get any worse, you better tell me.”

“I will,” he promised and Sakura let the subject drop.

He was walking her home, since she had finally let him do that, when he told her, “So, why did you grow your hair out?”

Sakura smiled and looked down at her pink hair that now reached almost to her waist, “I don’t know, I just did.”

Kakashi shrugged and teased her, “There must be a reason.”

Sakura rolled her eyes and told him, “Fine. A friend told me they like it long, so I let it grow out.”

Kakashi nodded with a smile, “I knew it, you liar.”

Sakura shoved him with her shoulder and he laughed. Well, he did like the way it looked long.

Chapter Text

A couple weeks later and Kakashi finally asked her, “Will I ever get to meet your husband?”

Sakura had been making them tea at the stove and her hand paused near a cabinet when he spoke. A couple seconds passed and she got the mugs down. She shrugged with her back still to him, “Probably when he returns. He’s been away for a while.”

Kakashi didn’t want to be nosy, so he didn’t ask what kind of mission he was on that he’d been away for three months. He wasn’t exactly awaiting the guy’s return either. Sakura probably won’t spend as much time with him when he comes home.

Kakashi stood up from the table and stepped towards Sakura, when he fell to the floor grasping at his head.

Sakura turned around startled at the sound of him hitting the ground. She knelt beside him and reached for his head, but Kakashi weekly pushed her hand away. He didn’t want her chakra to heal him yet in case it stopped the memory from coming.

Sakura smiled at him as she hovered above him. Her hair fell around her face as she leaned towards him. Kakashi grinned at her and grabbed the back of her head to pull her closer. When she met his lips, he could taste the chocolatey desert she had ate earlier and smell her strawberry shampoo. Her lips were soft and plump, moving alongside his as natural as they always had.

He tugged on her hair and she moaned into his mouth, making him smirk against her lips. His hands travelled from her hair to her back and under the flimsy shirt she was wearing.

When his hand touched her skin, she gasped against him, “Kakashi.”

And like a mantra with every touch, “Kakashi.” At some point she pulled away and looked down at him dazed with a warm smile and loving eyes. And she whispered to him, “I love you,” before kissing him again.

Kakashi gasped as he came back to the present. He opened his eyes to see Sakura staring at him worriedly. He sighed and her hands came up to his forehead and this time he let her soothing chakra come over him.

After a couple minutes, she asked him, “Was the pain worse that time?”

Kakashi shook his head, looking away from her, “No, it was like the first one.”

Sakura sighed happily, “Well, that’s good and they’re starting to get closer together, so maybe soon all of them will come back.”

He turned back to her to see her smiling, but all he could think about was the woman he had seen earlier. In a way they looked so different, but also the exact same. He knew it was Sakura, but still…

“So, what did you remember this time?” Sakura asked him, standing up and offering a hand to him.

He took it and told her, “It was just something from the war. A fight.”

Sakura frowned and turned back to the mugs, “Oh, that’s disappointing.”

Kakashi couldn’t help but stare at her when she sat down at the table, handing him her tea. He almost felt like he could still taste her on his lips, though he knew that was ridiculous. He knew there was something she was keeping from him. He just didn’t know how much it was. Had they dated? Had they just had sex? Had she been married at the time?

Sakura noticed him staring and raised an eyebrow, “What’s up?”

“Nothing,” Kakashi told her and forced himself to look away from her.

 

Kakashi and Sakura had a mission the next day and Kakashi was grateful. It would at least be a good distraction from everything that had happened. The night before he had finally finished Sakura’s diary. He had read about Obito actually being alive and having betrayed them all. He had turned back to their side in the end, but he still didn’t know how to feel about it all. He was angry and mournful at the same time and it was confusing to say the least.

He’d told Sakura about it, but hadn’t really gone into how he was feeling. Just so she’d know if he started taking it out on her, which he was trying not to do. But he didn’t, he was mainly quiet. But Sakura happily filled the silence, rambling off about whatever. She told him funny stories that had happened to them since the war that he hadn’t got to read about. He appreciated her trying to cheer him up, but it also brought up the fact that there was still so much he didn’t know, didn’t remember.

Kakashi was to say the least, in a foul mood, but the time they had finished the mission and were headed back to Konoha. They had stopped for the night when they were a day away from home. They set their camp nearby a lake and Kakashi had been taking watch when it happened.

He knew it was coming when he felt that throbbing pain in his head and he leaned against a tree before he collapsed to the ground. Sakura was asleep just a couple feet from him, but he didn’t call out to her since it seemed like he wasn’t going to pass out.

”I don’t approve!” Naruto yelled at him.

Kakashi rolled his eyes and retorted back, “Well, I wasn’t telling you to ask for your permission. I was just telling you because you’re our friend, Naruto.”

Naruto glared at him and looked over at Sakura, “Sakura, what the hell! He’s our sensei!”

Sakura glared back at him and gestured at Kakashi, “He hasn’t been our sensei in years, Naruto. And even when he was, how long was that? Maybe six to eight months, not even a whole year.”

“Well, if he’s manipulating you –“ Naruto was cut off with a hard slap to his face from Sakura.

“It’s Kakashi, Naruto! What the hell are you thinking? You know Kakashi!”

Naruto stared at her in shock as he touched the red handprint on his face. He looked over at Kakashi with a frown. After a couple minutes of silence, he spoke quietly, “She’s right. I’m sorry, Kakashi.”

Kakashi shrugged, “Mah, it’s fine, Naruto. Your reaction was actually pretty tame, you should have seen Tsunade.”

Naruto laughed and Kakashi told him, “She went crazy, I swear she was –“

Kakashi opened his eyes and breathed heavily. He looked over at Sakura, who was still sound asleep. He leaned against the tree and dropped to its base. What the hell was going on?

 

Kakashi didn’t speak to Sakura much on the way back. He knew she was starting to worry about him, but he couldn’t help it. He needed to know what was going on. And it didn’t seem like she was going to tell him exactly what he was wondering about. He told her goodbye when they reached the gates and then headed for the Hokage Tower.

He walked through the doors, “Tsunade-sama.”

She rose an eyebrow at him, “So, you used to used doors, huh? That’s…weird.”

Kakashi looked at her confused and realized he usually came into the room through the window, “Oh, I just was –“

She cut him off, pouring herself a glass of sake, “Just cut to the chase, Kakashi, why’re you barging into my office?”

“I want to know about my past,” he told her and she looked up at him bored.

“I thought Sakura was handling that.”

Kakashi shrugged, “But only up until eight years ago.”

Tsunade sighed, “Kakashi, I don’t know exactly what you want me to say.”

Kakashi stepped towards her desk, “I’ve been having flashbacks.”

Tsunade nodded, looking down at the papers on her desk, “I know, Sakura told me.”

“I had a flashback of you going crazy after I told you something,” Kakashi prodded.

He knew he hit the mark when Tsunade paused bring her glass to her lips, “You say a lot of things to make me crazy.”

Kakashi sighed, “Tsunade-sama, I know you know what I’m talking about. It was something about me and Sakura.”

Tsunade looked away from him, “It’s not ringing any bells, Hatake. If you know it involves Sakura, just go ask her.”

Kakashi glared at her, “Tsunade-sama.”

She looked back at him and sighed, “Look, Kakashi, there’s some things we’re putting off telling you.”

Kakashi looked at her incredulously, “It’s my life that you’re keeping from me and I think I deserve to know.”

Tsunade met his eyes and told him, “You told me you were in love with Sakura.”

Kakashi gaped at her in shock. He knew he had expected something along those lines, but to hear it said out loud was still surprising. Tsunade raised an eyebrow at him with a smirk, “You have feelings for her, don’t you? That’s why you’re freaking out, wanting to know what happened.”

Kakashi didn’t know exactly what to say in response, and it turned out that he didn’t have to. Shizune walked in then. She paused when she saw Kakashi, “Oh, Kakashi, I’m sorry. But I have to talk to Tsunade-sama alone.”

Kakashi nodded and stepped towards the window. He glanced at Tsunade and she promised him, “It’ll work out, Kakashi.”

 

Kakashi was walking back to his apartment when it happened again. Less than twenty-four hours since the last flashback. Kakashi had been travelling by the rooftops when the headache hit him. It wasn’t like the last two, this one brought him to his knees, causing him to almost slip off of the rooftop.

He barely had the time to apply chakra to his feet before he fell off the edge. He didn’t know if it was going to be enough, though, when he felt himself start to lose consciousness.

Kakashi was running, running to an apartment building that he had become so familiar with. His stomach was in knots and it was raining, but he didn’t care.

When he finally reached her door, he was panting and it was probably nearing two in the morning. But he could hear her moving around inside of the apartment, so he raised his fist to knock on the red wood. She came to the door seconds later and when she opened it she looked at him in shock, “Kakashi, what’s wrong?”

She grabbed his hand and pulled him inside, looking over his body, “You just got back, didn’t you? You’re covered in blood! Kakashi –“

Kakashi tugged down his mask in one swift movement and pulled her towards him, kissing her on the lips. She gasped in surprise, but she was soon kissing him back. Her front door was still open and Kakashi could feel the rain hitting his back, but all he could focus on was Sakura.

He wrapped an arm around her waist and pulled her closer against him. Her hands were on his chest and he’d believe her if she told him she could feel his heartbeat through his flask jacket. Sakura eventually broke the kiss, breathless and staring at him with wide eyes.

He pressed his forehead against hers and closed his eyes, “Sakura, I’m in love with you.”

He didn’t wait for her to reply, before opening his eyes to see that beautiful shade of green staring back at him. Her cheeks were flushed and her lips swollen from him kissing her. He brought a hand up to cup her cheek and he told her, “I almost didn’t come back from my mission.”

Sakura tried to look down at his body, but he held her still, “I was in the middle of the forest, alone, and slowly dying from a chest wound I had gotten. And all I could think about was you.”

Sakura was struggling now, trying to pull away from him so she could make sure he was alright. Kakashi let her, his vision beginning to blur and his head becoming dizzy, “I had to tell you. I didn’t want to…without you ever knowing.”

He more watched than felt Sakura ripping his flask jacket open. She pressed her hands against his torso, searching for the wound, but only coming away with blood covered hands. Kakashi couldn’t say for sure, but it looked like she was crying. He reached back out for her and felt the weight of his knees give out and he dropped to the floor.

“Kakashi!” Sakura cried and knelt beside him. Her hands had found the wound and her chakra was glowing a bright green.

Kakashi’s eyelids were getting heavy and he told her in a soft voice again, “I love you.”

Sakura yelled, “Shut up! Don’t tell me that and – don’t die on me, Kakashi!”

Kakashi tried reaching out for her again, barely registering what she was saying. But his hand never reached her and he could feel himself slipping away. All he could hear was her crying, “Kakashi, don’t leave me, please. I-I love you, too. Please.”

Chapter Text

Kakashi woke up, bleary eyed and with a headache. It took him a moment to register that he was in a hospital room again. And then, he saw the pink head that was rested on the edge of his bed. Without even thinking about it, he reached out for her, his fingers gently stroking through her hair. It eventually woke her and she looked up at him confused, before fully waking up.

She shot up from her chair and sat on the bed, her hands coming up to his head. He didn’t say anything and neither did she as her chakra soothed his throbbing headache. After a minute, her hands dropped to her lap and she just stared at him, more worried than he’d seen her since the day she found out he had amnesia.

He watched her swallow thickly and glance down at her lap, playing with her fingers, “What’s the last thing you remember?”

She looked up at him like she was scared of his answer. Kakashi told her, his voice quiet and thick from sleep, “I was going home from the Hokage Tower. We had just gotten back from that mission together.”

Sakura’s shoulders relaxed a little, but she still looked wry, “What mission?”

“Our first mission together since I got amnesia.”

Sakura sighed in relief and she threw her arms around his neck. He held her close to him and he could feel her shoulders shaking. Sakura’s voice was almost a whisper when she told him, “I thought I lost you again.”

Kakashi wished he could tell her she’d never lose him, but they’d both know it was an empty promise, so he just stroked a hand up and down her back to calm her down. Eventually, she pulled away and tried to give him a smile with tears still running down her cheeks.

He gave her one back and she looked down at her lap, “Genma caught you before you hurt yourself, you know. You should take him out for drinks or something.” She glanced at him with a small smile, “And pay the bill.”

Kakashi rolled his eyes, “Now, that would just give the poor guy a heart attack. And what kind of favor would that be?”

Sakura chuckled, but she was soon frowning again looking out of his window. Kakashi reached for her hands to stop her from fidgeting with them. She turned back to him and said, “Kakashi, if Genma hadn’t happened to be walking by…”

Kakashi sighed and followed her eyes to the window, “I know. I won’t walk on the rooftops anymore.”

He saw Sakura shake her head out of the corner of his eye, “That’s not gonna cut it.”

“What do you want me to do?” he asked her, looking back to her.

She met his eyes and asked him, “How far apart was this one from the last one?”

“Less than a day.”

Sakura’s eyebrows pulled together, “But then –“

“I had one when you were sleeping,” he had to look away from her then, remembering the flashback that had almost seemed like a fantasy.

She didn’t ask what it was about this time, just set her jaw like she was preparing herself for something heavy. “Well,” she met his eyes, “this is probably about to end soon then.”

“That’s good then, Sakura. Why do you look so upset?” he tugged on her hand, to pull her closer, but she just pulled away and got up from the bed.

She walked over to the window, “What if at the end you don’t get all your memories back? What if…”

Kakashi could tell where her mind was going and tried to steer her away, “Don’t get caught up in ‘what ifs’, Sakura. It wouldn’t make any sense for anything else to happen. I’m going to get my memories back.”

She looked over at him with a heavy look in her eyes, “Do you promise?”

Kakashi looked down, “Sakura, I don’t make promises I’m not sure I can keep. I’m sure you know that.”

Sakura sighed, turning back to the window. Kakashi saw her hand go inside the pocket of her coat and it sounded like paper crinkled under her hand. A few minutes passed and she let out a deep breath, before walking back over to his bed, “So, how’re you feeling?”

Kakashi shrugged, “Fine.”

Sakura nodded with a sigh, “Well, no matter how much I’d want to, there’s no reason to keep you here any longer.”

Kakashi pulled the sheets off of himself immediately, “Good news to me. I hate this place.”

Sakura chuckled and gestured to the door, “Well, I have a shift to finish so…”

Kakashi leaned against his bed and asked her, “When does your shift finish?”

Sakura glanced at the clock in the room, “About thirty more minutes.”

Kakashi shrugged, “I’ll wait for you to get out. Then, we can grab something to eat?”

Sakura smiled and her cheeks tainted pink. She gave him a small nod, “Alright,” before leaving the room.

Kakashi climbed up to the roof since he had time to kill. He laid on his back and looked up at the sky, watching the clouds float by. He thought back to his last flashback and his hand automatically went to his chest. He unzipped his vest and slipped a hand underneath his shirt.

And there it was. A long scar that stretched across his torso diagonally. It wasn’t raised very much from his skin and was probably really pale since he hadn’t noticed until now. Now, Kakashi had a lot of scars, most of them he could say where they came from, some he couldn’t. But this one had to have been from that night. Something told him it was.

Some things had cleared in his mind, but Kakashi still felt confused about some. He and Sakura had obviously had some kind of relationship before, even if not anymore. Since he had gone as far as to tell the Hokage and he confessed to her with his dying breath. Kakashi still felt odd when he thought about that memory. It had felt like another person in his shoes. He hadn’t ever felt so passionate before, so careless, so…happy.

By the time Sakura was finished with work, he felt a strange sense of determination. He didn’t know exactly what he was going to do, but he was going to do something.

 

Kakashi had taken Sakura to her favorite restaurant and she hoped it wasn’t going to end like the last one. But it didn’t and she was happy to just have Kakashi with her. When Genma had come into the hospital earlier carrying her unconscious husband, she had felt like her heart would stop. She had had so many regrets in that moment. That maybe she should’ve had someone stay with Kakashi when his flashbacks started happening. That maybe she should’ve figured out something to stop his brain from trying to fix itself. Kakashi told her he didn’t think it was going to kill him, but after seeing him lose unconsciousness like that now twice, she didn’t know what to think.

Then, as she had waited for him to wake up, she had the thought that maybe he would wake up and not remember anything. Maybe he’d lose eight more years. Maybe he’d gain some more memories. Or maybe he wouldn’t even know who he was. It was killing her that he didn’t know who she was. He did now and she could tell even the Kakashi now cared about her. But it was still different. She felt like she lost all those years they had together when he lost them too. But for Kakashi to forget himself. She didn’t even want to think about that possibility…

Sakura tried to cheer up as Kakashi walked her home. She could tell he was trying to make her feel better. Even without being in love with her and he was still looking out for her. When Sakura got to her door, she turned around to tell Kakashi goodnight like she always did, but there was something off about him. His feet stayed planted on her porch and his hands in his pockets, something she knew he did when he was nervous.

She rose an eyebrow at him, “Kakashi?”

“I have to talk to you about something,” he cocked his head to her door, “Can I come inside?”

Sakura glanced at the door. She had never invited Kakashi inside since he lost his memories. She had good reason, too. Some of his stuff was still littered everywhere. She didn’t have the heart to put any of it away. But also, she didn’t want to see him in her home, lounging around and not knowing it was their home.

Sakura thought about if there was anything obviously his at the front of his house. She looked back to Kakashi and he gave her a small smile, “It shouldn’t be long.”

Sakura nodded and hoped she wasn’t about to blow the secret she had been keeping. She opened the door and Kakashi followed her inside. But before she could even kick off her shoes, Kakashi had grabbed her arm and spun her towards him. She looked up at him surprised when she was his mask down. He was staring at her, his eyes running over her face and one of his hands came up to cup her face.

“Sakura,” he spoke her name softly and it reminded her of every time he had said her name like that. She closed her eyes and swallowed thickly, trying to gain some self-control.

She stepped away from him, “Kakashi –“

But he had reached out for her arm and pulled her against him. Her hands landed on his chest and his arm wrapped around her waist, reminding her of that first night. She looked up at him to tell him to let go of her, when she felt warm lips pressed against hers. She gasped and Kakashi took advantage of it to kiss her deeper.

Sakura kissed him back, all of her resistance and self-control slipping away into nothing. She could swear she felt tears well up behind her closed eyes. She had just missed this so much. Missed Kakashi. And there he was, just giving himself to her. It was hard to pull away.

She didn’t know what was going through his mind. She didn’t know why he had tried to kiss her weeks ago, why he was kissing her now. She didn’t know if it was because she had just selfishly spent all her time with him and he’d gotten attached to her. She didn’t know if he was just attracted to her. She didn’t know anything, just that he was kissing her. It was like every time he kissed her, but at the same time it was different. It was new in a way, like another first kiss.

One of Kakashi’s hands was buried in her hair and her arms were locked around his neck. He held her close against his body and Sakura felt like she was losing all train of thought. But when she felt her back pressed against the wall, she snapped out of it.

This wasn’t her Kakashi. He hadn’t protected her with his life. He hadn’t battled through a war by her side. He hadn’t been there for her when she’d realized how abusive Sasuke was and finally gave up on him. He hadn’t picked her up from the hospital every day and walk her home when they had just been friends. He hadn’t confessed to her dying on her doorstep that he was in love with her.

He wasn’t the Kakashi that she’d talked to about having kids with. He wasn’t the one that helped her paint the wall that she was currently pressed up against. He wasn’t the one that left her love notes when he left on his missions. He wasn’t the one that the ring on her chain belonged to.

She still loved him, she always would. He was still Kakashi. She would always be his. But he wasn’t hers anymore and it was foolish of her to think he still was.

Sakura pulled away from him and she felt the tears running down her face now. Kakashi looked down at her, a little breathless, and in that moment he looked so much like her husband. But he still wasn’t. There was something missing in his eyes.

“Kakashi, don’t do this, please,” she begged him, avoiding his eyes and looking at his chest.

Kakashi pressed his forehead against hers, “Sakura, don’t act like we haven’t been like this before.”

Sakura bit her lip and shook her head. Kakashi sighed and continued, “I’ve had flashbacks of you. Don’t tell me we aren’t lovers, that we aren’t dating, that we aren’t at least something. I feel something when I look at you. I don’t know what it is, but it’s there and it calls out for you. And these memories, they’re trying to tell me something, remind me of something.”

Sakura bit back a sob. He may not be the Kakashi she’d always known and loved, but she was still hurting him. She could hear it in his voice and it twisted painfully at her heart like a kunai. “Kakashi, I can’t.”

“Sakura, please,” Kakashi’s voice sounded strained and his hand trailed form her hair to her cheek. He tried to meet her eyes, but she wouldn’t look at him. “Just tell me what we are, tell me what’s going on. We’re more than friends, we have to be.”

Sakura looked up at him and her heart broke at how lost he looked. But what he was feeling wasn’t what he was feeling. It was just from his memories and it was confusing him. He didn’t know what he was doing. He was just following his instinct. She remembered all of her reasons from not telling him they were married. She couldn’t force him into this. She couldn’t let him think that he should just do what his memories were telling him.

Sakura shook her head again and Kakashi asked her, his voice a little more desperate, “Do you love your husband?”

More tears poured over Sakura’s cheeks and she nodded, “Yes.”

She knew she hurt him by the look in his eyes, but she couldn’t take it back. He asked her, “You’re…sure?”

Sakura closed her eyes, not able to look at him anymore, and she nodded, “I love him. I’ve loved him for years. He’s…it for me. I can’t…with anyone else.”

“But he still hasn’t come back yet,” Kakashi told her and she opened her eyes. Sakura knew he had always been curious where her husband was, when he was coming home. She knew he could tell she was lying when she’d say he should be back soon. She knew he knew something was wrong with this picture.

Sakura raised her hand and held Kakashi’s face. He leaned into her touch and she smiled at him, “He’ll come back to me someday…he’s always promised to try and come back to me…and I believe in him. I’ll wait for him until he does. No matter how long it takes.”

Kakashi pulled her into his arms and Sakura let him hold her. He buried his face into her shoulder and asked her a little brokenly, “What if he doesn’t?”

Sakura held back another sob and whispered back, “He will.”

Kakashi held her tightly for a few seconds and then he let go. And without turning back, he walked out of her house.

Chapter Text

Kakashi walked down the street, not having an actual destination in mind and barely remembering to pull his mask back up. His head was starting to hurt with all these thoughts bouncing around.

He still didn’t have any answers. He didn’t what had actually happened between him and Sakura. It had obviously been serious. And by how she had kissed him back, there were still feelings there. But it wasn’t enough. Maybe it had never been enough and that’s why she was married to someone else. The only question that had been answered was that she didn’t want him, that he wasn’t enough.

Kakashi’s chest was squeezing around his heart painfully and his stomach felt like it was tangled in knots. He wanted to get as far away from that house as he could, but he also wanted to turn around and go back. He wanted to tell her that he’ll let it all go, that he won’t care about his memories, that he’ll pretend like it never happened, just so she would stay by his side.

Kakashi did not beg. Kakashi had never begged before in his life. It wasn’t like him. He didn’t show his emotions to people. He didn’t just have a physical mask, he had a metaphorical mask that he used to hide his feelings, his thoughts. He didn’t let people in. He didn’t open up and he didn’t fall in love either.

So, what was with this woman? This one woman. Haruno Sakura. He had woke up not even knowing she existed and now he felt like she knew every part of him. Seen behind every mask he had ever worn. He felt comfortable with her without even knowing why. He let her into his life, into the spot she had seemingly always held. She loved him. She had loved him. And he had no idea what he had to have done to have lost her completely while still having a part of her.

And he had loved her back. He had felt it through his memories. Felt it through that kiss. Even felt it now as he walked away from her. But how could you love someone you barely knew?

Kakashi turned a corner, barely registering that he was headed towards the memorial stone. Then, he felt a sudden pain in his head. He leaned against a tree, his hand coming up to grab at his head. The pain was the most intense he’d felt yet. A throbbing pain that pounded inside his head, made him feel like his whole consciousness was trying to jump out of his head. His vision blurred in array of colors and he could hear his own voice in his ears.

”Pakkun, watch over Sakura,” he spoke as he laid out food in bowls for the ninken.

Pakkun rolled his eyes the best that a dog could, “It’s not like she’s pregnant yet.”

Kakashi sighed, “Well, no, but she could be in a couple week. While I’m gone. You know we’ve been trying.”

Pakkun nodded his little head, “You got it, Boss.” He then, trotted over to the rest of the boys and ate his breakfast.

Kakashi walked quietly back to their bedroom in the dark house. He paused in the doorway to Sakura still asleep. She was laying on her side, her hair covered across her face messily and snoring lightly. But Kakashi still thought she looked beautiful, especially with how her arms were still reaching out for the space he had just been sleeping.

He reluctantly looked away from her and walked over to his dresser. He pulled out a small piece of parchment and a pen from his dresser. And he wrote:

“Hatake Sakura, I’ll never get tired of writing that. Never get tired of seeing your name tied to mine. To see something so beautiful in the Hatake Clan is something I never thought possible. But there it is I six syllables. I didn’t want to wake you, you look so beautiful laying there and I know you won’t be able to go back to sleep knowing I’m not there. I’ll be careful on my mission like you always tell me to be. Be good to the boys while I’m away and don’t feed them too much. I can’t promise you I’ll come back, but I promise to always try. To come back to you, to this ring, to the life we’ve built together. I love you – Kakashi”

He placed the note on the top of his dresser and tugged off his left glove. He sighed as he pulled of his wedding band and placed it on top of the note. He stared at it for a moment, admiring how the gold shined even in the dark bedroom. He wanted nothing more than to take it with him, to have it as a comfort, as a reminder. But it was too precious to him and he couldn’t risk it getting damaged, lost, or stolen.

Kakashi walked over to Sakura and kissed her softly on her forehead right over her purple diamond. He moved her hair out of her face and regretfully turned away from her. He grabbed his pack from the corner of the room and headed out the window. He climbed over the ledge, trying to not take one last look back and losing.

 

Sakura dropped to the floor, her eyes still glued to the door that Kakashi had just walked out of. She couldn’t control her crying anymore, and tears poured freely down her face. She felt like she had just lost Kakashi all over again. Because she had lost him, hadn’t she? Pushed him away until he left. Hurt him until he gave up on her. Told him she loved her husband and only her husband until she died. All the while never telling him who her husband was. Telling him it was him, the man she’d loved since she was twenty, the man she’d promised herself to for the rest of her days.

And all what for? So, Kakashi felt like he had a choice. So, he felt like he had his own free will. So, he didn’t have to follow the path an older version of himself had picked to follow. She kept telling herself these reasons, repeating them over and over in her head like a mantra. Because she had made the right choice by giving Kakashi a choice.

A part of her screamed at her that Kakashi had had his choice and he had still chosen her. He had never begrudged Sakura for imposing on him. For selfishly sticking to his side. He had trusted her. He had let her in again. He had enjoyed her company. He had tried to kiss her and even when she rejected him, he still stayed by her side. Then, he had kissed her tonight and she had let him.

Sakura knew that this was probably the easiest solution, the one she had secretly hoped for but never voiced out loud. That Kakashi would fall in love with her again. At a different age, a different mindset, a different place in his life. And he would still fall for her. She had wanted this, so why was she fighting it? Why wasn’t she respecting his choice after she had given it to him?

Because even though he was still Kakashi, she missed her Kakashi. And she couldn’t let him go. He meant so much to her and he had become a part of her and her him. They’d built a life together and now it felt like that life was crumbling down and Sakura was trying to fix it with tape. This Kakashi, while she still loved him, felt almost like a different person. And he wasn’t even that much different from the Kakashi she knew. But she could still see the little things. And it had only made her miss the life she had, the one where her and Kakashi were married and trying to start a family together. She was hanging on to it with her bare hands and was trying her damnedest to not let it go. She couldn’t, she had been so happy.

Sakura got up from the floor with shaky knees and dragged her feet to the kitchen to make some tea. When she walked through the doorway, though, she spotted her diary laying on the table. After Kakashi had finished reading it, she had just tossed it there carelessly. She walked over to it and picked it up. She mindlessly flipped through the pages and something caught her eye.

It was the last page. She remembered she had left it blank, but now it was covered in words. And she recognized it as Kakashi’s chicken scratch handwriting.

“Sakura, now this book was no Icha Icha, but it was still pretty good. I’d give it a 9/10 and just because there were no steamy scenes. As I’m sure you know how much I love the steamy scenes. But I really liked the characters. That sensei for instance. He sounds like a handsome devil by the way you describe him and don’t think I didn’t notice how often the heroin thinks of him. You painted him like a hero and it made me wonder if that was really how you saw him? Is he really as badass and sweet as you write him? Then, the heroin, she was a fantastic character. Her character development from the weak love-struck teenager to an independent and powerful woman was amazing. Really, though, it was surprising that not many of the other characters were in love with her and this didn’t turn into a reverse-harem.

The ending while still happy was also bittersweet. So, I was wondering, is there a sequel in motion? Maybe a happier one, where the heroin finally gets what she deserves, a happy ending. Maybe a little romance or a lot. You know, it’s your choice. But I have to say, if you’re being open minded, I feel like the heroin and her sensei had good chemistry. Don’t you think? Who knows, maybe the heroin’s happy ending is right under her nose. But it’s your book, so whatever you choose to write is fine by me. I’ll read whatever you give me.”

Sakura laughed, more tears running down her face. Her fingers going over the little drawing Kakashi did of the heroin and feeling the etches left by the pen. Sakura was smiling, her fingers going over the rough lines on the page. It reminded her of how she felt when Kakashi left her notes on his dresser.

But it’s your book, so whatever you choose… Sakura stared at the line, her heart rate picking up. Sakura dropped the book, not even hearing it fall to the floor as she was already running out the door.

Sakura had wanted Kakashi to fall in love with her again and it seemed like he had, or at least was on the verge of it. But what about her? This Kakashi, while still definitely Kakashi, was different from the man she’d always known. But so much of him was still the same. And hadn’t she said that she’d always love him?

She thought back to falling in love with Kakashi. How it had started out slow, with butterflies and blushes and turned into a whirlwind of emotions and experiences she had never felt before. It had been amazing and intense and exciting. So, why wouldn’t she want to do it all over again? Why couldn’t she fall in love with him all over again?

She had thought she was protecting Kakashi, looking out for his best interest. But look at them. They were both miserable. Him, feeling rejected by the woman he loved, believing she was fully devoted to another man. Her, waiting for a husband to come home that was already there. She may not be happy like she was before, but she could be a different kind of happy. And what was wrong with different anyway? Why had she been so scared?

Sakura’s decision was already made as her feet kicked off of the ground as she sprinted to Kakashi’s apartment. He had to be there. If not, then she’d check the training grounds. If not there, then Hokage mountain. She knew him, she’d find him. She’d tell him, she’d tell him everything.

Sakura spent hours searching all over the village to the point where she was starting to panic. Where was he? Was he okay? What if he had collapsed somewhere?

Sakura bit her thumb and slammed it against the ground. A second later and smoke appeared revealing her favorite pug. “Pakkun!”

“What’s wrong, Sakura?”

“I can’t find Kakashi. Help me track him?” she asked him, thankful that the ninken had become her summons too. She still remembered them all asking her after she got married, if she would add her name to that scroll.

Pakkun barked, “Got it, Sakura!”

Minutes later and Pakkun caught a scent of his master. Sakura sprinted after him, surprised that he was leading her back to her house. Sakura threw herself through the door and ran into the house. She could tell things had been moved around and followed the sound of papers coming from her bedroom. Pakkun trotted silently beside her.

She walked into the room to see Kakashi’s back to her. Her dresser drawers were open and he was shuffling through papers. Sakura didn’t call out to him, she knew he knew she was there. Pakkun glanced at her and walked back to the part of the house where the ninken lived. She leaned against the doorway and waited for Kakashi to say something.

Eventually he turned around, his hands filled with little notes he’d written to her over the years. He looked at her brokenly with wide eyes, “I'm your husband?”

Sakura reached for him and suddenly he dropped to his knees. “Kakashi!” she ran towards him and when she knelt beside him, Kakashi grabbed her arms. Whether it was for support or comfort, she didn’t know. But she held on to him.

“Sakura –“ Kakashi started, but then winced and grabbed at his head. Sakura’s hand hovered above his forehead, ready to stop his pain. But Kakashi’s head fell to her lap and Sakura felt her heart stop.

“Kakashi!” she shook his shoulders, but his eyes didn’t open. “Kakashi!” Still no response.

“Pakkun!” Sakura yelled and the pug was there a second later. Sakura tried to apply chakra to Kakashi’s head, but it seemed to have no effect. “Pakkun, get Tsunade.”

Chapter Text

Sakura waited and waited. It felt like she was waiting forever for Kakashi to wake up. They had taken him to the hospital and ran test after test on him, but there didn’t seem to be anything wrong with him. But it’d been over a day already, and he still hadn’t waken up.

Sakura stayed by his side, only leaving the room if there was an emergency she was needed for. She’d fallen asleep like that. Sitting by his bed, holding his hand in one of hers and his wedding ring on a chain in the other.

She felt someone shake her awake and her eyes immediately went to Kakashi, but he was still fast asleep. She looked up to see Naruto standing beside her, “Naruto?”

He smiled at her, but it was nothing like his usual bright grin, “Hey, Sakura-chan, how you doing?”

Sakura tried to give him a smile and shrugged. He raised an eyebrow at her, “Have you ate?”

When Sakura didn’t reply right away he put his hand on her shoulder, “I’ll go get you something. Ramen? Or whatever you want?”

Sakura chuckled and put her hand over Naruto’s, “Sure, ramen sound good. Thank you.”

“Of course,” he grinned at her and left the room.

By the time Naruto came back with food, Kakashi still hadn’t woken up and Sakura was trying not to worry as Naruto tried to cheer her up. He told her any funny story he could think of that she didn’t hear already. He even talked about his last few dates with Hinata, which he blushed about the whole way through.

But eventually, he had run out of nice things to say. And they just finished lunch in silence until Sakura spoke, “He had found out we were married before he passed out.”

Naruto glanced at Kakashi who was breathing lightly beneath white sheets. He looked back to Sakura and asked, “Is that why he lost consciousness?”

Sakura shrugged, staring at her unconscious husband, “I can’t say for sure. But I think I’ve been a trigger for his memories.”

Naruto punched her lightly on the shoulder and grinned, “Well, hey, that’s good then! He’s remembering you!”

Sakura smiled at him and then she looked down at her lap, “He fell in love with me again.”

She didn’t have to look at Naruto to imagine his shocked face when he spoke, “Really? That’s crazy. That’s got to be like true love or something.”

Sakura chuckled and looked back up at Naruto. He had been smiling, but frowned when he saw tears down her face. She wiped at them and Naruto scooted his chair closer to her and wrapped an arm around her shoulders, “What happened?”

“I pushed him away. I thought that I couldn’t…that he wasn’t the same…not my Kakashi,” Sakura replied, knowing she wasn’t making any sense, but too tired to try to sound intelligible.

But Naruto knew what she meant. He pulled her close to him and she leaned into his side. After a couple of minutes, he asked her, “What about now?”

She sighed, gazing at Kakashi on the bed, “I can fall in love with him over and over again.”

Naruto chuckled and rubbed his hand up and down her arm, “Then, there’s nothing to worry about. Kakashi will wake up soon. It’ll all work out with or without his memories.”

Sakura smiled, feeling a little lighter, “I think so, too.”

 

Kakashi woke with a jolt. He shot up from his bed and blinked around him. He felt breathless, but he didn’t know why. He could feel his heart pounding in his chest and thought he must have had a nightmare while he was asleep. He looked to his left for Sakura and realized he was in a hospital bed. Then, everything came back to him.

He had had amnesia. He had forgotten sixteen years of his life. He had forgotten his first genin team, an entire war, and Obito. But he didn’t care about any of it. Because he had forgotten her. Even now that he could remember everything, the thought of losing her just in memory was terrifying. And the fact that he had scared the hell out of him.

He searched in the dark room for her, because she had to be there, right? Before he could panic, he found her. At the foot of his bed, her head resting on her arms. He sighed in relief and felt his heart clench painfully. How could he have forgotten Sakura? She was only the most important person to him. The reason he’d become so happy in the past six years. The reason he didn’t grieve at the memorial stone everyday anymore. The reason he now dreaded going on missions, because he was away from her. The reason he’d finally thought he could have a family after all these years of thinking it was impossible.

He could still remember everything that had happened these past few months. He thought about Sakura, how she had stayed by his side when he hadn’t even known who she was. He thought about how sad she looked, not even realizing it then. But he did now and it broke his heart. How could he have done that to her?

He reached for her, needing to know she was really there. That this wasn’t all a dream. A memory he was going to forget in the morning. Forget this amazing woman who somehow had still found a way to love him despite it all.

Kakashi had barely touched her hair, when she stirred awake. She looked up at him slightly dazed, then her mind cleared. Her eyes were wide and she spoke in a small voice, “Kakashi?”

She looked so scared. And it was his fault. Kakashi took a shaky breath and told her, “I’m so sorry, Sakura, I –“

But suddenly she was in his arms, hugging him so tightly he knew he’d have bruises. But he didn’t care. She was crying and shaking in his arms. He held her closely, feeling his eyes start to burn. “Sakura, I’m so sorry. I-I can’t believe…I’m so sorry.”

Sakura pulled him closer to her if that was even possible and told him back, “It wasn’t your f-fault.”

Kakashi kissed the top of her head, “That was the worst nightmare I’ve ever had.”

Sakura chuckled humorlessly, turning her head towards him, “Same here.”

He met her eyes, hating that the green was surrounded by a puffy pink, “I’m so sorry.”

Sakura buried her face in his neck, “Stop apologizing.”

“I can’t believe I forgot you,” he whispered, still feeling shaken from almost losing who was in his arms, “You’re the only person I couldn’t stand to forget.”

Sakura pulled back and tugged down his mask. Then, she kissed him on the lips. He kissed her back, tasting the salt from her tears on her lips. The kiss started out slow and then turned more desperate. Sakura’s hands were buried in his hair, tugging on the silver locks. She was kissing him so deeply, he was finding it difficult to breathe. It was likes he was getting all she could from him, like they only had this one kiss. Like he was going to disappear from under her fingers any minute and maybe in a way he could.

When she finally broke away breathless, she stared at him like she was waiting for something. Kakashi leaned forward enough to kiss her on the corner of her mouth and whispered to her, “I love you.”

She was quiet for a moment and then she smiled, tears pouring out of her eyes. She laughed and kissed him all over his face, on his cheeks, his nose, his eyes. She ended with one more sweet kiss to the lips, “I love you, too. Always.”

Kakashi held on to her and she nestled herself into him, now laying completely on top of him in the small hospital bed. Not that either of them cared. Sakura laid her head on his chest and wrapped her arms around his torso, “I’m never letting you go. Even if you start to hate me.”

Kakashi shook his head, his hand coming down to comb through her pink hair, “I could never hate you. Even with only knowing you for a few weeks, I was already falling in love with you.”

Sakura sighed against him and he could practically feel her smiling. They were quiet for a while and Kakashi was sure Sakura was falling back asleep. But he didn’t want to, he was almost scared to.

“What if I don’t remember when I wake up?” he asked her, his voice nearly trembling.

But Sakura just lifted her head off of his chest and smiled at him, “I’ll just make you fall in love with me all over again.”

Kakashi looked into her eyes and felt his heart rate calm down. He raised his hand to cup her cheek and she leaned into his touch. He asked her, “Promise?”

She nodded, smiling at him so warmly he could never imagine letting her go. She dug into her pocket and pulled out a chain and Kakashi recognized his wedding band hanging from it. She gave it to him and he slipped the ring off the chain and on to his finger before giving her the chain back. She told him, “I've worn this everyday since you lost your memory, to keep you close to me. When I had gone back to our house and you collapsed, I was going to tell you that I loved you. I was going to have us start back over.”

Kakashi brought her face to his and kissed her softly, “I promise I’ll always love you. Even if I have to learn how to do it all over again.”

And he fell asleep holding her with an odd sense that everything was going to work out even if it seemed like it wouldn’t.

 

*6 years later*

“Daddy!” a child screamed and little feet padded across the floorboards towards him.

Kakashi swung the giggling little girl up into his arms, “Hey, princess.”

Akiko hugged his neck and he held her to his chest, “Missed you.”

Kakashi squeezed her and kissed the top of her head, “Missed you more.”

Akiko pulled away and met his eyes with her matching charcoal ones. She shook her head, pink locks shaking with the movement, “Impossible.”

Kakashi chuckled and poked her on the nose, “Nope.”

Akiko laughed and poked him back. Sakura came into the room then with a sigh of relief, “Kashi, thank kami. I thought you’d be home days ago.”

Kakashi put Akiko down and went over to his wife. He pulled her into his arms and kissed her on the lips, “Sorry, had some unexpected company.”

Sakura frowned and looked over him. Kakashi kissed her again, “I’m fine. I wouldn’t scare Akiko like that.”

“I know,” Sakura sighed against his lips, “Force of habit.”

Kakashi pulled away with a kiss to her cheek. Then, licked his lips tasting something odd. He looked back to Sakura and saw blue batter on her face. He raised an eyebrow and wiped it away with his thumb, “Blue batter?”

Sakura shrugged with a smile, “It’s what she wanted.”

Akiko ran over to them and tugged on Kakashi’s pants, “Daddy, want to see the cake?”

Kakashi nodded, “Of course.”

Akiko grabbed his hand in her small one and pulled him to the kitchen. She pointed excitedly at the table where a blue dog bone shaped cake sat. Akiko put her hands on her hips proudly, reminding Kakashi of her mother, “Mama and me made it for the new puppies!”

Kakashi laughed, looking at the writing on the cake that was obviously Akiko’s, “It looks great, sweetie.”

Akiko grinned and then ran out of the room, yelling, “I’m going to get the hats!”

Kakashi raised an eyebrow at Sakura, “Hats?”

Sakura laughed and held up her hands, “Hey, I’m letting her do whatever she wants. They’re her ninken. If she wants to have a party for them, then she can.”

Kakashi looked at her slightly nervous, “She is only five, do you think she can summon enough chakra for the contract?”

Sakura nodded, pulling new dog bowls out of a shopping bag, “I think so. We’ve been practicing her chakra control. If not, she can always try again later. The contract’s just a formal thing at this point, I think she’s more excited to meet them.”

Kakashi had retired his own ninken a couple years ago since they had started to age. He didn’t want to lose any of them in battle, so he didn’t summon them anymore. They just lived happily at the Hatake household as pets. But the ninken had always been loyal to the Hatake Clan and they told Kakashi that they had already picked puppies for Akiko to raise as her own ninken.

When Akiko finally told Kakashi she was ready, he summoned Pakkun for her who brought with him eight puppies. Akiko ran over immediately and cooed at them all, introducing herself to each of them. Kakashi and Sakura chuckled, and Pakkun explained to her that they couldn’t exactly talk yet.

But Akiko was still happy and she strapped little party hats on each puppy. Pakkun told her all of their names and she listened to him intently, going over them until she had them memorized. They loved her and licked at her face, jumping on her and almost making her fall down. She giggled and helped Sakura put their specially made doggy cake in bowls and put them in front of them.

As they ate, Akiko looked up at Kakashi excitedly, bouncing on the balls of her feet, “Daddy, can I try and do the contract now?”

Kakashi glanced at Sakura and nodded, “Sure, honey. You remember the seals?”

She nodded and Kakashi summoned the contract and explained to her one more time how it works. She nodded along with him and Pakkun laid down in front of them, overseeing the whole thing. To Kakashi’s relief, Akiko did it perfectly and added her name to the scroll.

Before he tucked her in that night, Akiko told him, “Mama told me a story today.”

Kakashi sat at the edge of her bed, “Oh?”

She smiled, “She told me about when you lost your memory.”

Kakashi frowned. Why had Sakura told her about that? But Akiko just continued smiling, “She told me that you fell in love with her again.”

Kakashi smiled back at her, “Yes, I did.”

“That’s so cute. Like a fairytale,” Akiko told him sleepily and then she asked, “Daddy, have you ever forgot Mama again?”

Kakashi shook his head, “No, after that day that I woke up and remembered everything, I never forgot again.”

Akiko asked him, “What if you forgot again?”

Kakashi ruffled her hair, “Then, Mama and I would get to fall in love all over again.”

Akiko smiled sleepily with a nod, “Uncle Naruto was here too and he told me you guys had true love.”

Kakashi laughed and tucked Akiko into her covers. He kissed her head, “That’s true. Now, go to sleep, Akiko. We can talk in the morning. Goodnight, I love you.”

“Love you.”

Kakashi stepped out of the room quietly, closing the door behind him and found Sakura leaning by the wall outside the door. She grinned when she saw him and pulled him towards her, “Akiko pointed out that I’m living in a fairytale and I’d have to agree.”

Kakashi kissed her with a chuckle, “Well, I have found my one true love.”

Sakura snorted, “Don’t be so cheesy.”

Kakashi wrapped his arm around her waist and led her to their bedroom, “I have a five year old little girl, I’m going to be cheesy.”

Sakura leaned against him, “That’s true. But I’ve learned to love all you cheesy jokes by now.”

Kakashi pulled her towards the bed and whispered the most ridiculous pick-up lines he could think of as he kissed her, just to show her how cheesy he could be. But she just laughed into his lips and Kakashi trusted that Sakura would always love every part of him, cheesy jokes and all.