Kakashi and Sakura are captured on a mission and kept hostage, powerless to their situation and at the mercy of their enemy until they can find a way out. What will it take to break the famous Copy Nin? Love blooms in the strangest of places...

Day One: A Lovely Day

The sun shone brightly, illuminating the sky in this perfect summer day that Konoha was blessed with. Two ninja sat back to back, each supporting the other as their attention was fully focused to the book each held. Not a single word was exchanged between them for a long time, both of them preferring to enjoy this beautiful day in peace with their favorite novels. The company of the other was thoroughly enjoyed in mutual, quiet silence. Words were always few and far between for Konoha's famous Cherry Blossom and Copy Ninja. Sometimes, whispers of rumours reached their attentive ears, the wind carrying the words they didn't need to hear, but took pleasure in mocking when they revelled in the other's presence in private.

"Happy birthday." The birthday wish was simple and unceremonious. The silver-haired jonin had only said it for his own benefit, presuming that if he didn't say it before midnight, a few broken bones were to be expected.

"Thank you!" His chuunin friend beamed, leaning her back harder against his in an attempt to look up at his wild tuft of hair. By the way she didn't remove the pressure on his back, he knew she was expecting more. Darn it. He just wanted to read. The girl talked too much.

"How old are you turning already? Thirteen?" His joke wasn't appreciated one bit, or so the elbow jab to his ribs told him. The angry growl she emitted was a clue, too.

"Kakashi-sensei! I'm turning twenty-four." He could pratically hear the pout in her voice, it made him smile. She was so easy to fluster,with her temper so volatile. What a wonderful ceature she could be when she wasn't splitting the ground appart and swinging trees around.

"I know you're lying, sensei." Hm, how clever she had become. She knew him so well now. Too well. It was still beyond him how she had figured out so much about him. They barely spoke when they met, but her sense of observation was so keen she missed nothing about the underlying meaning of his actions. She would make a great jonin, one day.

"That's not what your flat chest tells me. When will you hit puberty?" His teasing was light and sarcastic, but it never failed to annoy her. Truth be told, he believed she was somewhat of a living piece of art. Her pink hair was a beautiful hue that was as flashy and gentle as she was. She always painted her plump, full lips red, just like her shishou. That was her sexiest feature, he had to admit. They called and begged for your attention, reminding you that the tomboy who was in front of you was really a woman behind the rambunctions facade. He loved when she would forego the make up. They were a pale pink that he thought fit her more, brought out her gentle and playful side instead of the feisty, furious side she was so quick to revert to.

"Kakashi-sensei!" His body tensed when his eye refocused, pulled away from the images his head had been flashing in front of it. She was pratically sitting in his lap, leaning on her hands which were planted firmly in the ground beside his hips. How had he not felt her move? The weight that still pressed against his back confirmed that she had summoned a clone. That witch. He blew a breath he'd been holding to her face, barely inches away from his.

"You were on another planet." She complained as she flinched away from him. She wrinkled her nose cutely, as if he had bad breath. He was well aware that he smelled like the oranges he loved snacking on whenever he got his hands on one. It was also one of her favorite aromas, he had learned over the years. She proceeded to ungracefully drop her derriere on the top of his thighs, sitting her full weight on him. It was definitely uncomfortable for more than one reason.

"You should have left me there a bit longer, I might have been able to bring back a gift for you." The way she shivered when he placed his hands below the hem of her shorts, on the exposed skin of her thighs piqued his interest. The minx was well aware of his attraction to her. He knew she often tested the waters with him, in a way only a teen or unexperienced young woman did to figure out what reaction she could get out of a man. What she thought of him was well guarded though. He dared to assume she didn't find him unattractive. He had the average ninja body, so he knew that he was not lacking there. She had never voiced or given any hint of what she thought of his face. What she could see of it.

"You're the best gift I can ask for." He knew she was teasing. He knew that her wink and the tongue sticking out were completely innocent. Yet he couldn't stop himself from seeing his ex-student as a little more than that right then. The thought was quickly forgotten though. He moved his attention to his favorite teammate, adding onto their little fantasy world where he had visited another planet instead.

"Oh, I see. Then I'm your birthday gift. What will you do with me?" The book that laid against her flat stomach was quickly closed and lay forgotten in the grass. His arms were stuck straight away from hid body, hanging in the air as he waited for her next move.

"I want a kiss." There it was. It bothered him to no end. It wasn't hard to feel the occasional sexual tension between them. It had all started when she had caught him checking her out while their vacation last summer. She had been prancing around a bikini every day. In that sky blue bikini he had come to appreciate a little too much. Fine. She wanted to play like this? He'd show her she was no match for the great Copy Ninja. His hands moved to tangle in her hair after a second's hesitation, giving her no time to reaction before he pulled her to him until their lips crashed together. He heard her gasp of surprise and then the loud 'poof' of her clone evaporating into smoke. Her real body tensed considerably against his back.

"Happy?" His question was so simple but she refused to answer him. The sound of her book snapping shut reached his ears. He had really gotten to her this time. Maybe this would get her to stop experimenting her feminity on him. If she hadn't been his ex-student and fourteen years his junior, he might have returned her flirting. Scratch that, if she hadn't been his ex-student and close friend, he would've pounced on the opportunity. On her. Hm, did the temperature just climb a few degrees?

"Sorry." She mumbled, fidgeting with something he couldn't see. He chuckled, his back rumbling against hers.

"No problem, Sakura." His reply was honest. As long as she didn't try to take it further and nothing happened, the tension between them was easy to forget. It only wasn't when she was sitting in his lap. It was the first time she had been so forward but it should teach her a lesson not to mess with him. He was no saint. If she threw herself in his arms, he wouldn't turn her down. As long as he was sure it wouldn't impact their friendship. She was too close to him to bear losing her to something so worthless as a roll in the hay. She thouht the same, without a doubt.

Their close friendship had developped throughout the years, but more importantly after the war in which the Juubi had been summoned. He had barely come out of that one alive. If she hadn't been there, desperately shouting for him to stay alive while she tended to his wounds, he would be a goner. They spent more and more time together ever since, until they saw each other nearly every day if they weren't on mission. Then again, many of their missions were spent together. Their two-man team made one of the best in Konoha. He woul never have believed it if someone had foretold this when she was twelve. Their fighting personalities just fit perfectly together. No words were needed for them to coordinate the perfect attack.

Talking about the war. Sasuke had finally come back to them. It had been so unexpected. Naruto had finally reasonned the boy, cramming into his thick skull that the decimation of his plan wasn't the fault of Konoha, but rather on the shoulders of a blood-thirtsty man and civilisation. Naruto's optimism was contagious. Just as with Pein, he had brought him out of his shadowed world and out into the hope-filled reality of the jinchuriki. It was great, really. Things were good now. The five nations were mostly in peace, a strong alliance had been formed between Sunagakure and Konohagakure. Tsunade had somehow managed to come out alive. That woman was resilient, to say the least.

Life was good for now. Peace, a beautiful kunoichi who wouldn't leave him alone, and his whole team still alive. What more could he ask?



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