Summary: Originally for the KakaSaku Lyrics Competition but it didn't finish in time then.
Sakura didn't have a heart that could hold grudges against the people she loved, even if they hurt her.... but she also didn't have a mind that could forget the pain these people caused her. Unfortunately though.... you can't take a sponge and wipe out love...
Kakashi was walking down the street to reach the main gate where his team was waiting when he suddenly saw his ex-girlfriend, with whom he had broken up a few months ago because of a certain incident, laugh and joyfully eat dinner with Hyuuga Neji. The silver haired man suspected that the Hyuuga genius fancied Sakura at the beginning of his relationship with her but he didn't ever think that Sakura would be interested in the younger man.
Yet, it seemed she was.
It had been three months. Just three months since they broke up and she was already going out with another guy.
The sight of her laughing slightly with the pale-eyed genius, who caressed her hand while she was talking to him, agitated him, made him want to run at the couple and somehow get Sakura back.
...but it wouldn't happen.
It was his fault that their relationship ended; he had been stupid, so very stupid and cheated on her for a whole month with a woman whose only appeal was that she was young and something new in his life. He and Sakura had been together for four years, four wonderful years, full of passion and love but somehow they had fallen into a routine.
That woman was the escape of that routine.
He never expected his girlfriend to find out. He never intended to leave his girlfriend or his life. He just found himself, without understanding how or why, drawn to that woman, who now he didn't want to see or touch again.
It was his fault but that didn't make the pain go away.
The fact that he missed her body's warmth.
It seemed though that Sakura had replaced him, or was beginning to replace him with Neji. Kakashi had heard that she was in pain when they broke up and had felt so guilty for causing her pain that he tried to disappear from her life so he wouldn't her more. But it seemed that by doing so, he left the road open to other men...
… and one of them was Neji, who did his move fast... faster than any other guy, unlike some years ago.
He slowly walked away, without taking his eyes away from the couple. He bit his tongue when Sakura started giggling and Neji took her hand and kissed it while looking into her eyes. He tightened his fist when he saw the pink haired medic blush at something the pale eyed shinobi muttered that made her then smile and lean closer to him with an alluring look.
How long were they seeing each other? How far had they gone?
Kakashi desperately wanted an answer but he knew that no matter what the answer was, even if still they were just friends and Neji was still just flirting with Sakura, it wouldn't change anything. He wouldn't be with Sakura again. The medic was very proud and she wouldn't want to be with him again because he had lost her respect and trust.
He had become someone who hurt her and after her story with Sasuke, Sakura had vowed she'd never be with someone who hurt her.
And the one who made her come to this decision had been him, Kakashi, in his attempt to help her move on and claim her as his own.
And now this decision of hers, his words to her, backfired at him.
The man shook his head and turned his back at the cafe where they were seating and started walking quickly towards the gate, trying to put as much distance as possible between him and them.
He arrived at the gate where he found his three teammates waiting him. He simply nodded at them and put his ANBU mast on. It would be easier if he could just for that mission stop being Kakashi.
Stop feeling like Kakashi did and just become ANBU, a shinobi with a mission.
He had to do that because, in his current psychological state, he would be unable to complete the mission if the image of Sakura and Neji didn't get out of his mind.
Sakura smiled one more time at Neji and started walking towards the hospital. It was a nice morning. Neji had been very nice and supporting to her after her breakup with Kakashi and she was grateful for that. He helped her to stop thinking of how drastically her life had changed after her breakup; she had changed a house, a bed, furniture, neighborhood and nearly every small thing that she had been doing the past four years changed.
But what hurt the most was that she was alone. Without him and his touch.
It hurt that he had turned out to be a liar, that he had stopped loving her the way he did at the beginning of their relationship.
And the idea that it was her fault. That she had once again not been enough to keep her boyfriend interested, it was tearing her apart.
It made her cry during the lonely nights and it made it so difficult to not get up and ran at Kakashi's apartment to ask him what she had done wrong and how could she not repeat that mistake.
To get him back in her life. To become the centerpiece of his once again.
But every time she thought of this, she also reminded herself what Kakashi had taught her while she was trying to overcome the breakup of her previous relationship; she'd never be with someone who had hurt her.
She would protect herself and not fall back into the hands and mercy of a man that had crashed her into pieces.
She did know that Kakashi was not Sasuke. Her and Kakashi's relationship had been very different and much deeper, much more honest and true than the one she had with Sasuke but it didn't change the fact that she couldn't make her mind stop imagining him with that other woman. It was really fortunate she didn't actually see them and just found out somehow when he came back drunk one night, didn't wash and smelled like he had come out of a brothel and, while nearly crying, he confessed to her that he was unfaithful and didn't deserve her.
“Haruno-san!” called a nurse. “They need you at room 245”.
Sakura sighed and looked herself in the mirror.
She didn't have the time to fall into self-pity and sorrow. This was the hospital where she had a duty to do and lives to take care of and save.
Kakashi was jumping from branch to branch in a quick and steady rhythm while he lead his team at the borders of Fire Country. He had to make sure the plan would work out, without fail.
It was such an important mission that if it went wrong, there would serious and major political ramifications.
They couldn't fail.
And yet, no matter how much he tried, somehow the image of Sakura with Neji popped into his mind whenever he didn't have anything else to think of.
It was very dangerous, he had to stop thinking of her. He had to concentrate solely on the mission for the next two weeks.
He looked at his teammates, all wearing ANBU uniforms and masks, who silently followed him, like the trained weapons they were. Like he had been and was supposed to be at the moment, a trained soldier who thought only about the mission he had to accomplish.
And he would somehow do it. He would force himself to concentrate on the mission ahead of him like the elite shinobi he was, the only thing in his life that he hadn't screwed up. If he lost his job, then he would have absolutely nothing in his life.
He looked ahead and took a big breath to empty his mind.
The mission. The mission. All that matters is the mission.
Sakura was returning to the hospital after the half an hour break she had during which she spent with Neji drinking a coffee and eating a light lunch. As she walked towards the west wing of the hospital, her folder with some of her patients profiles slipped her hand and she knelt to pick it up.
After that everything happened so fast and yet it seemed so slow.
She rose and looked straight head when the door opened and some medic rushed in with a patient on a hospital bed. At the beginning she couldn't see who was the patient and just walked back to make enough room for the medics to pass.
And then, the moment the medics passed before her, she saw silver hair.
The patient had silver hair.
The folder fell and she slowly fell on her knees without even realizing that her legs had given in and couldn't support her anymore.
She weakly turned at the door behind which the medics had disappeared with the patient, the patient with the silver hair.
Was it him?
He wasn't the only silver-haired person in the village, she reasoned with herself and yet, her instincts told her that it was him.
Even if it was him, she shouldn't let it affect her so much, she tried to convince herself. Shinobi die and get injured all the time; it came along with their chosen profession.
...But she couldn't get it outside of her head that he was past these doors and he was badly injured. And even though she had seen many people she knew and loved get injured – it was part of her job as a medic after all - , she had never been so paralyzed by it.
She suddenly felt the need for oxygen and she understood that she had forgotten to breath and harshly inhaled as much oxygen her lungs could stand.
And it was like waking.... like diving inside the water and suddenly feeling how cold it was.
She was coming back to her senses; she immediately got up and ran towards the emergency room where the silver-haired patient was lead to by the medics.
She didn't think why she did that. It didn't matter at all.
All that mattered was that she needed to know if Kakashi, her Kakashi, was inside that room fighting for his life.
She didn't want to think – she couldn't think – the moment and its meaning were beyond all thoughts.
It didn't matter that Kakashi had hurt her, that she was trying to get over him so desperately, that she shouldn't get involved with him until she was over him. The only thing that was important was that if he was inside there – if he was the patient – she'd never get to see him again and the dreams she didn't dare to admit even to herself about them being together again, would never come true, if he died.
If he lost that battle.
Kakashi was floating in space with no substance and materials.
He didn't have a body anymore and yet, he knew that there was a body that was his somewhere, somewhere far away from that sea-like place in which he was floating. Somehow the best way to describe it was that it felt like how floating across the clouds would feel, if they could be touched.
It didn't make sense...
and meanwhile it did.
In that place away where his body was, there was also immense pain but that pain was to him so faint.
Here... here he just was. He didn't have to be burdened with labels of who he was and why he was who these labels forced him to be.
He didn't have to be someone.
And he didn't want to leave this place; it was an exquisite place – if a place could be described like that.
But still... something was missing in this place... but he didn't want to open his eyes to see what it was.
He didn't want to notice any flaws and imperfections at that moment and place.
He finally was serene and could listen to silence. It was beautiful to have no yesterday, and no to-morrow. To forget time, to forgive life, to be at peace.
But still... something was missing and it was unbearably painful that he knew that.
Kakashi slowly started being aware of the world around him. He felt the mattress below him, the shits on him, his lungs that wanted oxygen, his hands that felt unable to move – or in too much pain to be moved -, his legs that were in a similar position.... it was like waking up from a very deep and long sleep.
And he slowly opened his mouth along with his eyes as he eyed the world around him, forcing as less muscles as possible to move for whatever he did.
He was in the hospital, he had guessed so when he felt so sore and tired. But he didn't remember why he was here.
What was he doing before he ended up here? He tried hard to remember but somehow the only thing that his mind could process was that he was in a hospital and in pain.
No other thought could pass from his mind.
Then he dimly noted people, people he knew bit couldn't recognize, fret over him, around him, about him and he just fell into a hole of oblivion called sleep.
“Kakashi?” asked a female voice with a tone of authority and command in it.
He didn't want to react to that voice but an annoying voice, an instinct like power inside him, forced him to react. This voice, whomever it was, was a very important voice, one that he couldn't disobey.
He opened his eyes slowly and saw a pair of blue eyes staring at him, very close to his face. Slowly he felt a pair of hands too on his right side and the familiar face suddenly had a name and an identity.
“Tsunade-sama.” he croaked and he suddenly realized his throat was dry and he couldn't even speak, that even letting air come down it was painful.
The fifth Hokage straightened up and turned at some nurses. “Bring the water!” The two females immediately obeyed and after a few minutes brought her a glass and a bottle full of water. The blond-haired woman filled the glass and carefully brought the glass at the silver-haired ninja's mouth, who greedily and desperately reach for it. “Slow down.” she instructed him as he went to drink more water than he could and some of it was spilled.
After satisfying his thirst, the male lay down again and turned his head towards the Sannin, ready to hear everything she had to tell him.
Tsunade sat on a chair next to the bed and crossed her legs as she smiled slightly at the man. “How do you feel?”
“Tired.” he muttered at her. “How long have I been here?”
“A few weeks” She grinned at him. “You were sleeping for so long and yet feel tired Kakashi.” The silver-haired man smiled faintly at the woman's remark and turned to watch the ceiling. “You were hurt very badly, Kakashi.”
Suddenly images came to him and he instinctively got up, only to grind in pain because of his sudden movement. “The mission?” he asked, nearly panicked.
The woman made a sign with her hand and looked outside of the window. “Everything somehow worked out. We were fortunate that your sudden injury and inability to act as a team leader didn't lead to a disastrous event.” She turned her attention to him and massages absent-mindlessly her wrist. “Well... to be honest, you had finished actually your mission. You were just waiting to make sure everything ended alright so it wasn't so much a matter of luck.”
Kakashi relaxed and closed his eyes. “So the mission was a success?”
“It was successful.” the female affirmed and got up. “You have been in a coma-like state for three weeks Kakashi. You've woken up slightly twice but you couldn't communicate with the world around you during none of these times.” she told him and leaned closer to him. “Rest. You have to rest.” she warned him sternly.
The man nodded to the woman and suddenly felt sleepy and dizzy again and without thinking or resisting, he let himself sleep more.
Sakura waited for her master outside of her ex-sensei's room holding her breath. The past few days that she didn't know what was going to happen to Kakashi, if he was ever going to wake up were horrific to her.
They were a nightmare, worse than their breakup because they had annulled immediately all her hard work to get over him. His state of weakness made her realize that she loved him, that she wanted to be with him more than anything else in the world and she didn't care about the past because it was gone and it could never change.
All she thought about while waiting for news about him the past three weeks was the future, a future that without him was colorless and void of all emotions other than sadness and loneliness.
The fifth Hokage came out of the room and smiled softly at the pink-haired woman. “He awoke fully but he fell asleep again.”
Sakura nodded and happily entered the room to see him, knowing this time that he was back inside this world, not lost in a middle like space with few moments of slight awareness of what was happening around him.
He was back. Hurt but back.
She paced silently towards him and softly caressed him as she leaned towards him and lightly kissed his lips. They were harsh and still with some injuries thus they didn't feel as enjoyable as they usually did but to Sakura kissing him – even like that – was pure heaven.
It was the essence of joy.
“I love you baby.” she whispered against his skin and lay close to him as she ran her hands all over his body. “I missed you so much and was so scared that you would be gone and I'd have to spend the rest of my life in an empty bed without you.”
He moaned in his sleep and she smiled as some tears rolled down her face. He reacted to her touch, like he usually did. Like all the mornings she woke up before him and just admired his beautiful body while softly kissing and caressing it.
She really loved that man and she didn't want to try and hide from her heart anymore.
It didn't matter that he had hurt her - that he could hurt her, if he wanted to – she had taken that risk every time she loved someone in any kind of love.
Love was not all about sunshine and rainbows. It was about a constant fear that the one you've chosen to give your heart to could give it back and ask his back to continue on his life, free of you.
Love hurt because it made people so happy that the moment they lost love, they'd lose happiness along with it.
Ten days had passed since Kakashi had awoken and been fully conscious about the world around him. He slept mostly during the first three days and then just enjoyed the presence of all the people that came to visit him. It was touching how many had came to wish him well and see how he was doing....
But she didn't come.
She didn't care enough to come and see him after nearly dying. The thought irritated the man because it was unfair and cruel.
He had wronged Sakura, he knew that but he had been part of her life since she was twelve years old, for more that than fourteen years he had been part of her life as a teacher, friend and later on lover. Their breakup wasn't an adequate excuse for not coming to see him.
She should have come.
Kakashi was sure that if Sasuke was in the position he was, she would have come.
It was infuriating the more he thought about it that maybe Sakura didn't love him as much as she had said she did. And recent events showed that.
Firstly, she probably was going out with Neji so soon after their breakup. While when she had broken up with Sasuke, it had taken her a whole year to start dating him. And secondly, she didn't care enough for him to come and see how he was doing.
The only explanation he could give to her behavior was that she didn't care and that scared him.
The idea that she would never be anything but a dream to him, that she would never love him as desperately as he loved her was scary. It meant that the most treasured and important and deep relationship he ever had in his life had not been what he thought it was.
It was somehow now of less meaning.
It meant that he hadn't really been loved the way he had loved.
That fear was why he had rose off the bed and went to Hokage's office, without informing anyone and just sat on a chair waiting for the blond-haired Sannin to come inside the room.
The door suddenly opened and an angry Tsunade came into the room with an even angrier Shizune following her.
“I am telling you Shizune! I didn't go to that place last night.”
“Tsunade-sama... don't..” but she never finished her sentence because both women noticed suddenly that they weren't alone in the room. They turned to Kakashi and their eyes widened so much like their eyeballs were ready to fall down.
“WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?!” Tsunade yelled at him.
“YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE GOTTEN UP!” Shizune added exasperatedly as the two women marched towards him.
He didn't speak for a moment and then he slowly took of his hitai- ate. “I came to resign from being a shinobi.”
Sakura stood in front of the closed door, gathering her courage to enter and say and do everything she had so carefully planned inside her head. She raised her hand and touched the doorknob with a trembling hand. She hadn't felt so nervous since she was a teenager... so many years ago.
She slowly opened the door and walked with closed eyes into the room. She slowly opened them, preparing mentally to look into Kakashi's eyes...
… Only to find that she staring at an empty bed. She paced quickly at the bed and touched the covers.
They were warm.
She looked around and saw the hospital window was open. She ran at it and looked around, trying to locate him from afar but she didn't see anything that could be him. She sighed and then kicked the wall in anger.
What the hell was he thinking? How could he decided to leave when he had just woken up from a coma and was still so weak?
How could he leave the day she was going to forgive him?! The day they could be together again?!
Sakura wanted to scream! She wanted to scream so hard that he would hear her, even if he was at the other end of the world.
She didn't. She chewed her lip madly... tasting her blood. She ran a hand through her hair and then ran outside of the room, across the hall, down the stars and then towards the Hospital entrance.
She had to find him! She had to tell him that she was willing to forgive him or else she was never going to do it. It was now or never!
She looked around at the sky and at the building surrounding her. Where could he be?
His home perhaps?
No. He knew that this was the first place they would search for him.
The training grounds?
Perhaps but it was too noisy at this time of day for him. Especially since he was not feeling well.
Where could he be?
She never had to search for him before... He always came to her. Always told her where he was until that woman and their breakup. She suddenly felt the world pressing her down on the floor and she fell on her knees. She touched her head with her hands on her ears, pressing them hard.
She had been with him for four years... FOUR whole years and she suddenly felt that she knew nothing of him, nothing about him. What did he think when he left? Why did he leave so early? Where did he want to go? Who did he need right now?
Her mind searched frantically for answers but there was no answer she could be sure of.
The Memorial stone? To talk to Obito and Rin?
Maybe... yes that was very possible, she decided and before she understood it, she found herself running as fast as she could.
Time had vanished... she didn't know how long it took her to reach the memorial stone...
The only thing she knew as she was watching the empty place was that she was either too late or wrong.
He was not there.
Kakashi looked at the blond-haired Hokage in front of him with a calm expression. Tsunade looked at the papers on her desk and sighed.
“Are you sure, Kakashi?” she asked one more time the silver-haired shinobi. “This is too sudden and too rushed. You just woke up from a coma, after a very difficult mission...”
“I am sure, Hokage-sama.” he interrupted her firmly. “I want to stop.”
“And what will you do?”
Kakashi took a big breath and then let it out as he closed his eyes. “Leave. My mother left me a small cottage house, close to the borders of Fire Country and the Land of Rivers. You see... my mother was from a merchant family from the Land of Rivers until she met my father and came here... She decided to buy a house close to the land of Rivers because she wished to spend her last years there... she believed that my father wouldn't be able to live a long life because of his profession and if he was dead and I was old enough to take care of myself, then she wouldn't have a reason to stay all the time at village. She missed the country life... However... things turned out differently.” he paused for a moment and ran a hand through his hair. “Anyway the house is mine since her death. I've never been there but I want to go now.”
Tsunade looked at him and then opened a drawer and took a bottle of sake out of it. She took a sip and then looked at Kakashi again. “I still believe this is a way too big decision for you to make so suddenly. You didn't want to resign before that mission, right?”
Kakashi nodded his head. “This coma I was in... it was different than anything I've even experienced.” he looked at his hands. “I feel... tired... and” he looked outside of the window. “Something is missing from my life. And I want to find what.”
“So you want to distance yourself from everything and everyone... to see things perhaps in a different way?”
“I know that feeling Kakashi.” she told him and the man looked at her with a slight more emotional face. He had hoped that she would be able to understand. “I did leave the village because I wanted to see things in a different way, escape from that void the loss of Dan caused me.”
“Did you manage to do it?” he questioned her.
Tsunade half smiled. “I don't know... I did manage to live quite happily after some time... but meanwhile... there is a wound inside me. It's more like... I got so used to the pain that it stopped affecting me so much... but it will never go away.”
Kakashi didn't say anything, didn't move.
“Listen what we'll do.” Tsunade suddenly said and took a new piece of paper. “I'll give you an unlimited amount of time that you will be off duty but still a ninja of the village. You go to your mother's house and rest all you like for a couple of months and then tell me if you want to prolong your time off duty or completely resign or come back to active duty.”
Kakashi opened his mouth, ready to insist that he knew what he wanted and that was to let go of everything that was holding him here but no sound came out of it. He closed it and looked at the floor again for a moment. Maybe... what the Hokage was suggesting was the best choice... it didn't force him to remain a ninja... it just gave him more time to decide.
All he'd have to do is send a note in a month saying exactly what he wanted.
Kakashi nodded his agreement and Tsunade handed him a paper to sign.
“When do you want to leave?” she asked him.
“Tomorrow morning.” he replied... as he was about to go out, he stopped and looked back at the woman. “Don't tell anyone where I'll go please.
Tsunade wasn't surprised at all when he pink-haired apprentice burst into her office trying to catch her breath. The girl looked at her with an alarmed look and opened her mouth to speak.
“Tsunade.. sama.” she said while trying to catch her breath. “Kakashi...”
'Left the hospital.” the older woman finished.
Sakura looked at her with an incredulous expression as her breathing slowed down. “You know?” she asked. Tsunaded nodded and Sakura smiled at her. “I see... so he will be at the hospital now right? You put him into his place...”
“No, Sakura.” the woman interrupted. “He took responsibility for anything that might happen to him and left the hospital.”
“So he'll be at home.” the girl said and got up immediately, ready to get out of the room and find the man.
Before Tsunade could utter another word, the girl was outside of the room, running once again like a maniac. The blond-haired woman sighed and sat down on her desk.
She had a bad feeling about this....
Sakura stopped in front of the door of her once-upon-a-time home. She hadn't been there for so long. She had missed it... a lot.
They had at that house three years ago, a year after they became a couple. She had decorated it, took care of it everyday. They had spent so many moments inside that house... doing so many things together there.
Eating together, sleeping together, bathing together, having sex in all corners of that house...
Until he changed.
Suddenly... she didn't want to knock.
She didn't want to get inside that house that suddenly symbolized again her broken trust in him. That was why she left the house when he offered to leave. Because she couldn't stand being around the ruins of their relationship.
Sakura took a step back slowly, distancing herself from the house, from Kakashi.
She couldn't be with him again.... because even though she loved him to no end and she felt that she would never love someone else as much as she had loved him, she would never forget...
… and wonder. Every moment she would wonder about her. How was she as a lover? How was Kakashi with her?
And what if it happened again in a couple of years?
Or what if she cheated on him? Would he forgive her?
No.... Kakashi wouldn't forgive her. And that was why he hadn't come to her begging for forgiveness because if the roles were reversed, he never would forgive her.
Sakura turned her back on the door and started walking away as fast as she could.
Kakashi looked one more time at the house as he picked up a bag he had prepared with the most necessary he needed.
He was leaving the house Sakura and he had built... it was never going to be the same again...
From the moment he had slept with that woman... from that moment he knew that it was never going to be the same again. As he knew that if Sakura learned about her, she would break their relationship off immediately.
And he couldn't blame her... because he would want to hurt her if she slept with another man at a mission... something she had no control over.
Yes, Kakashi knew that he was insanely possessive and jealous of all the women in his life. He had always been... and that as because it was so difficult for him to find someone to open up enough for them to be a couple...
Salura was not an exception... on the contrary, the intensity of his jealousy and possessiveness over her was the strongest he had ever experienced. From the first time they had slept together he had bit her, sucked her so much to make sure that all other men around her would know, would see she was not to be touched.
She belonged to him.
That was still the way he felt. That was the reason he reacted so badly to her closeness with Neji... why he couldn't get it out of his mind.
He had to leave for more reasons than what he had admitted to the Hokage...
He needed to get away from that place... fly away... as far away as he could.
And that was exactly what he was intending to do; he would go to the one place he had never been to, which was left to him by the one woman he had loved unconditionally as a child and remembered so little of her.
Maybe the trip would give him of an insight of who his mother was...
Maybe the void was not only Sakura's absence or the effect of his near death experience...
Maybe it ran even deeper... to his relationship with his parents.
He went outside of the house and closed the door and for the first time in many years... he wanted to cry and someone to hug him.
Only he knew how much he didn't want to leave that house behind. Only he knew how much he wanted to run at Sakura for one more kiss... one more night, even though he knew that it would never be enough. That every last night would make it even more apparent that he wanted another one.
He missed her. And he wanted to go and beg her to take him back.
Or to come with him at his mother's house...
Only he knew.
All comments are appreciated. Thank you very much