edellin: (road among the trees)
[personal profile] edellin
Title: Following You
Author: Edellin
Rating/Warning: M for violence
Summary: Written for the AU challenge of the KakaSaku LJ community. My theme was witchcraft/wizardry.  Witch Hunting. People say you can love someone that doesn't love you back, go to the deepest depth of hell for that someone. But can one love the man that captured her and decided she was going to be burnt alive? Can that man, who so easily labeled her as a lesser being, love her too?

They spent the day together and the night, pretending, and now they had simply resumed their way, only that she wasn't tied. She wondered about that day-break they had. Although she had enjoyed that day, feeling really nice with Kakashi on his arms, talking and spending time together, nearly dreaming of a future together, now she found herself regretting it. What did it mean to her? To him?

Was that day a reward for spending a night with him? Was that her payment for her services?

The idea that this may be the truth disgusted her; she didn't want to be a whore and she certainly didn't want to be treated as one. She had been with him because she chose to, in need to feel close to someone before the end. It wasn't true love, not even close to that but she had understood, had thought that he was feeling something for her, other than lust at least. She had believed that he was different from the previous men she had met.

But his actions were telling her differently. He was cold, distant and uncaring. He had woken up, gotten dressed and packed before she woke up and when she did awake, he just ordered her to get dressed so they could continue on their way.

She didn't expect him to be affectionate but either for him to pretend that day and two nights hadn't taken place in his life. It angered her that he was so deceitful. She had honestly believed that he would be more subtle at least. He would consider her feelings especially since she was so close to dying. But no, he had just taken what he wanted, made it look like it was important to him, made her think that it was her choice or at least something mutual and then when he had got it, enjoyed it as much as he wanted, tossed her aside like a broken doll that was no more use to him, held no interest because he had already played with her.

Like a spoiled child, that how he treated her. She was angry at him and yet so sad because she had enjoyed that day so much; his body, his smell, his touches, the way he had treated her body while making love, like it was important and worthy of respect, like he was blessed to touch her, all that was a fraud. She felt blood rush hotter in her veins as she watched him walk indifferently.

He was going to laugh. He was going to celebrate her death, see it as a festival. He would enjoy her screams and her pain, or maybe he won't just care. It didn't matter to her. If he laughed when the time came, if he looked into her eyes and smiled, she would hate him. Now she was sad and frustrated by the way he treated her, but that was just proof of how poorly he thought of women but if he laughed, it would be proof of how disrespectful he was to life itself.

And that was the greatest sin, because it meant that he didn't appreciate that he was alive. Maybe he didn't. After all, he couldn't accept his father because of being a wizard and he couldn't accept himself as the son of a wizard.

XXX

The tension between them was stiff and so strong. He felt her anger and disappointment at him for his behavior and he didn't blame her. He was cold. He was distant. He hadn't talked to her for anything else but to tell her she should get dressed so they could continue. It was like he dismissed the moments they had spent together when in reality it was exactly the opposite.

He wanted even more than that, than spending time in a forest, hidden. But he knew that she would go, once he told her that he would not kill her, she would leave and return to her village. He had thought of going there too but didn't really like the idea because he would always be reminded that he had been her hunter. He wanted to go to a new land that no one knew anything about them and make a new start.

It was irrational on his part to want to go through all this with someone he barely knew, one that could so easily hate him for everything he had done to her but his mind could not think any other way; he wanted her completely. It was irrational and illogical and scary because he was at his most vulnerable against her; whatever happened, whatever she did, he would always let go of it. He wouldn't ever hurt her.

But he wouldn't let her go either. He found it impossible and the only way for him managing to balance out these two desires of his was to make her want him, love him, make her be with him willingly. But how?

How would he make her accept him? What was there for him to do? He didn't have time to pursue her and it seemed that without the luxury of time nothing of the things he wanted could come true. How could he make her ran away with him and not go back to her village, her friends, her family, that boy?

Was there something he could do? Or was all this fruitless, desperate thoughts of a man infatuated with a woman?

Suddenly, he tensed and felt danger, immense danger coming from behind them. He turned and waited to feel again the source of the danger. Sakura looked at him curiously and stopped walking too. She eyed him suspiciously and then looked back where the hunter was looking.

"What happened?" she asked him and he slowly turned his head to her.

He looked at her wordlessly and then shook his head slowly, never leaving from his eyes. "Nothing" he murmured and started walking again, looking back once more and then grabbing her from the elbow, started walking faster.

"Hey!" the witch told him and pulled her arm back. "That hurts." she accused him and suddenly his eyes softened but immediately he hid it.

XXX

They stopped again for the night and this time the witch fell to sleep immediately without eating. Kakashi watched her and once her breathing became even he got up and cast a spell around the female, not allowing her to go beyond a certain territory. His look lingered at her sleeping face and he knelt next to her. He softly removed her hair so he could clearly see her face and kissed her on the cheek.

He felt once again a sting of possessiveness as he watched her sleep peacefully. It wasn't normal or healthy to feel so strong for someone he knew so little. Maybe it was the result of the emotional distress she brought him along with the complete isolation; for nearly three weeks he had interacted with her and only her, without even seeing another human being. Was that the reason of his immense interest in her?

Mine

He thought of her in another man's arms and he suddenly wanted to break something, hurt someone; hurt the man that was holding her. It was wrong to feel like that. It was dangerous and yet, he couldn't help it.

He got up and left to find the source of the danger he felt earlier. He ran quickly through the trees, silent and invisible, fast as the wind and soon he was hiding behind some trees, unseen beneath their shadows, watching some men who were obviously wizards sitting around a fire.

One, a blond one, got up and impatiently walked to a dark haired, pale man and grabbed him by the shirt. "Why aren't we searching for them now?" he asked through hissed teeth. "Now, they'd have stopped so we could find them and rescue Sakura."

The dark haired slowly took the blond's hands away from him and removed them from his shirt. "It's not the right time." he answered calmly without explaining further.

The blond glared at him and then looked at the rest of the men sitting around the fire. "He could be hurting her." he said loudly. "What are we waiting for? To see her at the pyre, burned like all the others that this man has captured?"

"No, Naruto." another man said. He had brown hair that were tied in a ponytail. "We won't even let her get into the church, but from what she said in her message, the man is dangerous." he lay down and looked at the stars lazily. "It's not wise to sacrifice ourselves in an attempt to save her and then just be captured with her and get burned. This hunter, Naruto, is a wizard and a strong one."

The blond guy, Naruto, made a weird sound that sounded like he chucked and sat down. "Hypocrites." he murmured.

"Indeed." the brown haired man confirmed. "They are the worst and most dangerous kind."

That was enough for him to hear. The danger was not for them but for him. He slowly walked away and returned to the clearing where she was still sleeping. He watched her as she slept and removed the spell he had cast earlier. What was he going to do now that her people were so close to her?

After she contacted them. When did she manage to do that? It must have been some days ago, before they slept together, for them to be here. But he was sure that he hadn't let her use her magic until they slept together two nights ago. Or so he though at least. Maybe, he had underestimated her and she was just faking all this time.

This concept that seemed so realistic the more he thought about it was awful; she had used him, ridiculed him, mocked him. But worse than all that, she had affected him and made herself necessary. Maybe everything she did from the very beginning was orchestrated so he would fail this capture.

It was fake, a fraud, a treachery. Everything. All her words, her smiles, her sadness... could they all be fake? Were they an attempt for her to escape? Or, buy time until her friends come. Did she sleep with him for that? Was her distress and moodiness today not because of his weird behavior but because they hadn't come to her aid yet.

He looked at the sleeping female again and clenched his teeth as the familiar feeling of anger rushed inside him. He wanted to break her, that moment, hurt her in as many ways as possible. Maybe even taker her. He didn't care if she'd resist or if she would protest; if he was going to lose her, then he could at least have one final taste of what she was honestly willing to offer.

Nothing. She is willing to offer nothing.

And that was the most painful fact of this situation. She wanted to offer nothing. And as much as he wanted to hurt her at the moment, the more he wanted her to love him, need him. But it was futile.

There was only one thing he needed to decide; how was he going to let her go? Wait until they come and take her by fighting or release her and let her return to them on her own? Was he going to let her go? He lay down again and sleep took over his tired mind.

XXX

The next morning, when Sakura woke up, she found the hunter still asleep, something unusual since all the previous days he was awake before her. She got up and stretched, feeling a deep pain on her back. Sleeping on the ground was getting to her.

Even while sleeping he was wearing his mask, afraid of the world seeing him. It seemed so uncomfortable, she wondered how he lived like that. How was he breathing beneath that mask? Then she looked at the trees; all she was seeing from the day she was captured was trees, rocks, small lakes and small rivers. Her eyes stayed at the trees and then went back to the hunter.

She quickly ran at one particularly tall tree and started climbing. She managed to reach a level around the middle of the tree and turned to look at the world from that height. The sight was intoxicating, indescribable. The beauty of the world as it seemed so small in the far distance. She suddenly felt like she was so far away from everything and everyone. Nothing could hurt her as long as she was up that tree.

Slowly she turned and looked at the other direction, where Kakashi was leading her too and her happiness was slowly replaced with a feeling very familiar to her now. The church, her pyre, her death was so close to where they were. In two days they would be there and in three, she would be burnt. The illusion of happiness and nearly god-like power disappeared. The illusion of freedom and safety was crushed because of that sight.

The church was like a big castle. And it was impressive with its long walls that seemed to be protecting and hiding so many things within them. It was reddish and she imagined it inside. The yard, the pyre, the corridors, the prisons, the rooms, the faces of her enemies.

Again that awful image of her screaming, feeling the pain of the fire and her skin melting while she heard men, faceless men laugh. And among those empty faces, she saw one that had details, that was someone. And he was laughing too, looking at her with those dark eyes that had looked at her with so much care and kindness, now looking at her with mockery, shouting at her how he had mislead her. How he never cared and just wanted to fuck her.

She was a victim. One, in the line of many.

She took a big breath and jumped from branch to branch down as fast as she could. After finally her feet were touching the ground, she ran to the man and started shaking him to wake him up. He opened his eyes and before he could sat up, she took of his mask and crushed her lips to his. Taken aback, the man didn't respond immediately but after a moment he started kissing back. Her hands went to his pants and she unbuttoned them while sucking his neck. He grabbed her arms and she suddenly stopped.

He looked at her with a cold expression and pinned her on the ground. 'What are you doing?"

She didn't answer, just took big breaths and then arched her body to feel him and reached to kiss him. Kakashi grabbed her hands and kept them together above her head, not allowing her to move.

"Tell me." he insisted. Again she didn't speak, didn't react at all. Slowly her eyes watered and tears ran down her face and a sob escaped. He didn't move, just let her cry beneath him.

After some painful moments, she calmed down and looked at him again. "I..." she started and a sob escaped again. "I have two or three days."

He slowly let go of her and got up, off her. "I am afraid." she continued and got up as well. "I want a favor."

"What kind of favor?"

Sh bit her lip and his eyes darkened while looking at her do that. "When it happens," she looked down, not wanting to meet his eyes. "when I am burned, I want you to be there."

This seemed to shock him. "Why?" he asked and turned his back at her.

"I don't want to be alone." she slowly approached him and kept a small, a few inches, distance between their bodies. "But I want something more than just your presence. I want you not to laugh." he turned and looked at her with shocked eyes. "I don't want you to be happy that I am dying."

He looked at her and she cried even more because of his silence. "Maybe it's going to be difficulty for you, but please pretend for the beginning of the burning at least." she pressed her head on his chest. "Don't laugh. Don't celebrate it."

"What does that have to do with your behavior?" he asked, referring to her kissing him like that earlier.

She took a big breath and looked into his eyes. "As payment." she answered.

"For what?"

"For pretending for me." she told him. "You should gain something out of it."

He just stared at her. She stared back with a look of acceptance and resignation. She had totally given up on escaping and living, with him or without him. She smiled softly at the older man and went a step forward and hugged him, burying her face on his chest.

He grabbed her wrists and closed his eyes. "Go." he said and let her go. She looked at him surprised. His mask was no longer there and she saw pain in his features.

"What?" she asked weakly, not able to believe what he said.

"Go" he repeated. "I didn't want to kill you, wasn't planning to give you to the church some days now."

She looked at her hands and then at him. "You?"

He shook his head and looked away from her face. "Do not trouble yourself with minor issues. Go. Your friends are near. They came here to save you after they received your message."

She looked at the forest around her and smiled. She laughed and tried to process everything that had happened to her in the last few minutes. How luck was on her side again, life had a meaning again. She turned to leave but stopped after a few steps.

His heart stopped when she didn't walk away. She stopped like she was thinking of not going. Then she turned and ran at him. She jumped, up tied her legs around his waist and kissed him on the lips, hard and passionately. A moan escaped his mouth as he kissed back and suddenly she was pinned against a tree and Kakashi kissed her neck hungrily. She hugged him and placed her head on the crook of his neck and then we lips were near his ear.

"Thank you." she whispered and let him go. She fell on her legs and he backed away to let her pass. She looked for a long painful minute at him and then ran away.

He stood there and watched her retreating back. In the end what he was afraid of happened; she left. He wasn't enough to convince her to stay with him. Tears rolled down his face this time.

He had fallen for her without even understanding how or when or why. But he did, anyway, and he had fallen hard and deeply. But it was over.

Over.

She would never come back and he would never reach his hand to her. He would never do anything that could hurt her and after all the pain and emotional torment and exhaustion she went through because of him, she'd hate to see him and be reminded of the past. She didn't want to see him again. If she did, she would have told him somehow to find him. She would have left a clue.

It was over. And along with it, Hunter Hatake was over, finished too.

End Flashback

"I found Naruto and the others soon and we returned home." Sakura said to her friend.

Ino nodded in understanding and hugged her friend. "But why didn't you start this sooner?" the blond witch asked. "Didn't you miss him? What were you waiting for all these months?"

She raised her shoulders and shook her head. "I don't know." she honestly replied. "I tried to get over him, to move on. I dated another guy, who was very nice to me and treated me well but...there was something missing." she sighed and held her friend's hand again. "While we made love, Kakashi and I, I felt important, needed, significant. He touched me like I was a rare creature in the world that had come from another world and he was the blessed one, the only one in this world who had the privilege to touch me."

"But with the other guy.."

"This didn't exist." she affirmed. "I guess I was waiting for him to come."

Ino sighed and squeezed her friend's hand. "It's a little your fault too, Sakura." she said. "You didn't give him an opening to do something. You didn't do anything to show you were feeling something for him. You just said "thank you" and he must have perceived that thank you as a goodbye, a way of showing gratitude for sparing you, when in reality the fact that he didn't plan to kill you and let you go, was his way of saying I love you."

"I didn't know what I felt for him at the moment" Sakura confessed. "I honestly believed and wanted to end our story then but... as time passed I couldn't stop thinking of him and when the dream came, I finally realized that I wanted to find him."

"What do you want to tell him, Sakura? To be together? One more night? An answer?"

The pink-haired woman ran a hand through her hair and looked at the sky. "I wan to try." she finally said. "Because despite how much our meeting affected me, I didn't try, it wasn't a relationship, it was just attraction, but not only physical." she clarified. "We were drawn to each others' personality and character. To each others' psyche."

"If he rejects you?"

She raised her shoulders again and smiled faintly. "I'll give up. I'll accept that it wasn't meant to be, but it will have ended. The cycle will have finally ended and I will try again to move on." she looked down and then at the blond girl. "But to do all that, I need to find him as soon as possible."

"And you need my help." Ino concluded. Sakura nodded. Ino got up and extended her hand to the other girl. "Come on, let's find your ex hunter"

XXX

She stared longingly at his back as she watched him from afar. He had changed, not so much outside but inside. She felt his more mature aura that was the outcome of his solitude this year.

He was sad.

Her heart ached along with his as she tried her hardest not to run at him and hug him publicly. Their reunion wasn't supposed to be that way, for everyone to see. No, it would be different, for just the two of them.

Everything they had lived after all was private, a deadly secret that none of them wanted to forget and couldn't regret. She inhaled deeply and kept looking at him, afraid that he would disappear suddenly like he did that day. Afraid that this was a dream that felt more real than the previous ones she had saw in her sleep, and she would wake up suddenly in cold sweat.

I love you still, I never stopped. She wanted to believe that so much but until she heard the words come out of his mouth, she couldn't allow herself to delve into the happiness of that statement. She was important but maybe not enough for him to love her, to be in love with her.

She walked towards the hotel he was staying in, preparing herself mentally for their encounter. Without anyone noticing her, she walked inside and swiftly made it to her room. There she undressed herself and looked herself in the mirror; she had neglected herself. Her body had bruises and scars and marks from older scars. Would he still like her?

She touched herself and let the tears fall as she lay down on the floor hugging her knees. She had repeatedly told herself that she would accept his rejection but now at the thought of him saying those dreadful words that would shut her away forever, she couldn't breath. It was her mistake, she knew that but she couldn't help but wonder if she would be allowed another chance, a more healthy chance, to get to know him and experience him.

He was the center of her life, the reason she existed now. It was her fault, for not having the needed defenses to love herself more than him. Or she did have them but he broke them all, crashed her walls that kept her safe from the outside world, without her understanding it, and left her vulnerable to his advances. After some minutes that seemed like hours to her, she got up and put on clothes again. Beautiful clothes that made her body look appealing and desirable. If he denied her tonight, he would do it with her looking as attractive as possible.

After finishing getting dressed, she went outside at the small balcony that was connected to Kakashi's room and she quickly went into his room. He wasn't here yet but she didn't mind; she was going to wait as long as she was supposed to, even hours. He would come in eventually and she had some time to calm herself and prepare mentally for him.

Suddenly the door opened and she froze. She felt his overwhelming presence come inside the room and it took her breath away. His smell suddenly was taking over her and she restrained herself from jumping at him, desperate for contact. They hadn't been so close for so long and that moment Sakura realized how mush she had missed him.

She didn't move, just waited for him to notice her standing at the shadows next the wall. He got in and closed the door while holding his katana in his wands without unsheathing.. yet at least. He placed his katana on the table and started taking out his clothes, Sakura froze. What was going on? He had the keen senses of animals, he felt when someone approached him.

Had he forgotten her to the point that he couldn't even realize she was in the same room? In all the encounters she had dreamed of he first noticed her and then she spoke. Now she had to initiate the reaction too?

Suddenly he turned around and before she could even understand what was going on, she moved slightly from the spot she was standing to see that where a minute ago was her head, now was a knife. She swallowed and took a big breath to calm herself.

At least he was still the same. "Who are you?" his voice sounded distant, uncaring and cold. It reminded her of his voice when they had first met and he had captured her. The fear she had then for him surfaced as she turned to look at him.

There was a moment of silence and the witch contemplated whether she should tell him who she was or show him. Without really reaching a decision, she took a step ahead and her face was now visible to him thanks to the light from the moon.

His eyes widened in shock. He took a step back like he was in fear of her or of something she had brought along with her. She saw his emotionless mask fall down and all the emotions he felt were written on his beautiful face. Or at least what she could see of that face, because he was still wearing that mask.

She let her mask fall as well and showed him without words, without touching what she felt. All her love, her longing for him. How much his absence in her life had cost her and how much his existence in it had offered her. She took one more step closer to him and he tensed but didn't move back at least. Now his eyes were looking all over her and seemed not to be able to get enough of her.

She felt a deep feminine power from understanding that she was still desirable to him. She didn't make another step, just looked at him with pleading eyes, loving eyes full of tenderness and need for everything he had to offer. She felt small compared to him and what he was making her feel.

His eyes never met hers. He looked at every part of her apart from her face.

XXX

Kakashi couldn't believe she was there. Was she real? Or this was a dream? Had his obsession with her created a hallucination?

But she looked so real, so beautiful, so desirable... so human. His fists clenched to keep him in control and not ran at her. Her body had matured; she was a woman now in the full meaning of that word. He brought his hand at his face and sat down.

"You are not real" he said to himself out loud. Sakura wouldn't have stayed silent for so long, after not seeing him for a year. She was a dreadful witch, a female that took advantage of the people around her, the human version of sin. She was his sin, leading him away from what was right and legal. She made him question everything he thought was right and virtuous. The one that had shaken his world and left him alone in the end.

Why? Why?

He raised his head to see if she was there again and this time he looked straight into her eyes. They were promising something so beautiful, so desirable...

Why was she here? Why now? Why did she look so human?

This question hunted him from the moment he understood his attraction to her. She was unique but also so like all the other people. None of the previous witches he had found and brought to be burned looked so human. At the beginning, he thought it was because she was very young, just seventeen years old. A child that's what she was then but now she was a woman. And he was a man. Why did she have to confuse him so much?

"You are a hallucination, aren't you?" he asked her. He wanted her to be fake, because then he could pretend with her and she wouldn't use him as an escape for her emotional turmoil. She wouldn't crawl under his skin, past his defenses and then disappear, when she had the chance to go.

Suddenly her facial expression changed and she ran at him and hugged him. He felt her hands. They felt so much like then, but they were also harder. She had worked with these hands to make them hard like that. He took both of them and stared at them. "Am I so lost? So mad?"

He felt her lips on his neck or perhaps the cloth that now had the shape of her lips. "I am real" she murmured as she brought her face closer to his, like she did the night they slept together for the first time.

"You are?"

She nodded and he pushed her lightly away so he could get up. She moved and sat next to him but he immediately moved to distance his body from hers. "Why are you here?" his voice was cold and distant and she couldn't see his face because he had turned his back on her.

She didn't want to say long excuses and confessions of love using pretty words. She had decided from the beginning of that search that she would say just the simple truth. "I love you"

He didn't move, he didn't even seem to react to her words. "And you decided that now?" he asked her without allowing her to see his face. "What made you come now? After all these months? Why should I believe you when you left so quickly then."

"I love you" she repeated and she kept her tears from falling down. As she feared, he had questioned her words. At least he wasn't questioning her humanity anymore, or his. But the sight of him was tearing her apart. He was so small and broken inside the solitary life he chose after their parting. She was guilty for not saying what she should back then? For taking so long to understand.

He let a laugh and turned to look at her; his eyes were cold and full of despair and hate. She felt fear take over her; he was dangerous. She had expected apathy but not hate. Why would he hate her? "It's not enough that I am tormented in my sleep because of you? Is it not enough that I have lost everything that mattered in my life because I met you?" he yelled at her and she got up from the bed. "I lost my faith, my job, my ideas! You made me question everything! You stole my serenity!"

She didn't speak; she didn't know what she was supposed to say to the silver haired man. Seeing him like that, hurt, desperate and in pain, made her question the purpose of her journey. Was she really so selfish that she wanted him to herself despite the pain she had caused him? Was she a fool to believe they could find a way to solve their differences?

"I... I had a dream" she started and her voice was shaking "it was a... a warning."

"Warning?"

"It showed me that you were ready to leave me behind. Something or someone would make me just a memory for you."

Kakashi looked at her and then turned his back again. "So that's why you came proclaiming your love for me?" he asked with a cold voice again, all the emotions that were visible on his face while his short outburst were hidden now.

"I understood then that you would never willingly come on your own to find me." she said. "I love you and I did try to get over you but..." he voice broke as she let a choke escape and she cried. All the emotional turmoil she had endured, the doubting and the hesitating took control of her body and she sobbed trembling. "I knew that you would never come, because I didn't say the right words back then." she confessed through her sobs and tears. 'It's my fault. It's me that hesitated, that didn't try at all then."

He looked shocked as he gazed at her holding herself and trembling. The raw pain in her voice made him flinch. Again, he thought, she is so much like a human. A part of him wanted desperately to console her, have her in his arms and calm her down but his ego was stronger. He couldn't trust her again, he couldn't allow her to plain with his sanity once more.

"I am leaving" she said and walked towards the door. As she was ready to open the door and looked at him one last final time. "This is goodbye Kakashi. I give you my word you will never see or hear about me again. You can forget our encounter and move on to the woman you are with now." she opened the door and left. She ran to her room and fell on the bed where she cried silently for hours.

She had prepared herself for the rejection but she hadn't anticipated how much it would hurt her. How could she know, when the last time she had been rejected, she always felt not enough. How could she be so foolish to believe and hope that he would be forgiving. It was him who lost everything and had nowhere to go and nothing to live for. She went home and she was happy to do that. She had felt happy when she ran to her friends.

She should have spoken then, tell him to find her again, to do something, but she did nothing, didn't even look back after that thank you and the kiss they shared. The kiss that had made him believe perhaps for that minute that she chose him, over her village.

She woke up the next morning and just rolled tiredly on her side closing her eyes again. She tried to sleep but it was futile. She took a big breath and got up. She felt so tired and emotionally drained. The idea that she had to travel again was unappealing but she had no other choice. She had to leave so she wouldn't be near him like she promised the previous night. She looked outside and noticed it was still early, that way she could leave without anyone noticing.

She quickly got dressed and packed her things. Then grabbing her sack, she ran down the stairs not even daring to look at his door. She quickly payed the employee of the hotel and she left. The town was pretty empty with very few people walking. It gave the creeps how all of them were watching her. She covered her head with the hood of her cloak to hide her pink hair, a trait of hers that always drew attention.

She had money with her thanks to a recent job she did before she came to the town; she had cured a little girl that was the daughter of a rich noble and they had payed her well. She was going to use the train instead of walking again, so she bought a ticket and sat on a bench waiting for the train. Suddenly someone grabbed her shoulder and pulled towards him.

And crashed his lips on hers.

She looked up to see who had kissed her and her eyes watered because of the sight. "You love me?" he asked in an uncertain tone.

She nodded and they kissed again. "I am sorry for everything I told you"

"I am sorry for how our story ended, what happened... It was all my fault, my cowardice"

"No" he said and hugged her "If it wasn't like that, we wouldn't be together now."

They kissed again and she melted in his arms. It was all so perfect and mind-blowing. "Why?" she asked him after they broke apart in need of air.

"Because I decided that I need you in my life way too much to let you walk away again forever." he answered and she placed her head on the crook of his neck, a place on his body that seeped to be made for her to fit in.

"I was following you terrified that I would lose you to another woman because I didn't try and was way too much of a coward to be honest with myself." she murmured against him and he smiled as he let himself relax and enjoy the moment.

She hugged him tightly and took a big breath. "You?"

He looked at her face as he held it in his hands. "What about me?" he asked in a whisper and smirked at her sexily. She blushed feeling how hard and muscular he was. She couldn't wait for when they would be together alone in a room but she had to make sure of something first.

"Do you love me? Do you want to try again? Are you willing to be with me, knowing how I acted? How I could act if I got scared or very hurt? That I am a witch and you are a wizard?" she asked and tears gathered in her eyes.

He didn't speak for a moment and she hid her face in the crook of his neck again caressing his hair. "All my life I was told that people who could use magic were supposed to be burned because they were servants of devil. They didn't believe in the true God. I was half of that devil. " he paused for a moment and squeezed her in his hug and brought his hands below her shirt in need to feel her skin. "I was sure that was the truth and hated myself, my father for cursing me with that heritage but I have been thinking all these months and I've been reading a lot. If you study history you understand that most of the people that have changed the world were against religion or didn't necessarily follow the church. I met many people and I thought of what the messiah taught us, the divine way of living; he said that we should love and accept everyone. He created us and he gave those powers but like the rest of the humans, it's our choice how to use them." He brought his face closer to hers. 'So yes, I accept you as a witch, as the petite female that hides an inner strength that fascinated me then, the little I saw of it at least."

"What about the others?"

"If we try, I think we'll see if they will affect us in our joint life." he kissed her lightly on the lips. "I will change, you will change, we'll compromise and we see what happens. I can't say that we are going to make it, that our weaknesses are not going to be in our way. I can only say that we will try to make it work." he smirked slightly "I must admit though that you biting that lip of yours is a huge turn on and you act like that when you are scared so I think I can bear that characteristic of yours."

She moved back a little to look at him and smiled. Slowly she placed her forehead against his and he smiled back at her and she could see his face since he was not wearing that mask. "So you accept me as your equal? You love me?"

He nodded slowly and she smiled. "You laugh, you love, you cry, you hurt, you need, you fear, you hope and I do the same things! So we're really not that different." he kissed her lightly again "But I don't love you. I can love you, but first I need to get to know you. What I can say to you now is that I am in love with you."

She laughed at that and looked at him as she brought her hands to caress his face. "I can accept that." she smiled at him. "Together?"

"Together" he confirmed her and they kissed again.

None of them could be sure that they would be forever together but that didn't matter now. They could be together forever if they tried to make this new relationship work. If it didn't, it couldn't be helped. But there would be no regrets concerning each other; they would have tried and they would have enjoyed their love to the fullest.

It was all their choice, they were free.

XXX

Life with him was better than she could ever imagine; they had been staying together for nearly a month and she found herself enjoying his company in many ways, not only physically. They had grown closer; opened up to each other with great difficulty, revealed their thoughts, fears, hesitation. After all that talking, things had finally cleared up between them and they were finally ready for a new beginning.

Or nearly ready, at least. Be cause there was one things Kakashi had to do before he could start anew, something he wanted to do all those months he went into hiding, and torturing emotionally himself. If he didn't do that, he would never be able to accept himself and his past.

That's why they were in that old abandoned cottage like house, to end this circle of unspoken and repressed emotions and finally move on. The couple walked into the house slowly. Sakura held her lover's hand and squeezed it in an attempt to offer him moral and psychological support for what he was going to do, what he had wanted to do, as he'd said, months now, maybe even years. His eyes softened as he looked around and then lead them to the back yard, where along with all the wild plants and flowers were two stones.

He hesitated and just stared at the stones, the ground under which were the remains of his parents. He hadn't come here for years, although this was his home. He resented that place for reminding him his past and how it had affected his future but now, free from the guilt and the despising, free from hunting and holding the hand of his beautiful, tender lover, he was happy to be here and show her this place. However destroyed it was due to him abandoning, it was his house. He had been conceived and born here and maybe in the future he and Sakura would start their own family here.

He moved closer and Sakura followed slightly but keeping some distance to give him the needed privacy for that conversation. He knelt at the graves and touched the stone on which his father name was written. He wasn't allowed to be buried properly so they just put his dust under that stone and years after a teenage Kakashi had brought the tombstone and wrote his name.

He felt tears ran down his face and caressed the cold material slightly.

"Dad?" he called without waiting an answer. "I am here again." he said and looked at Sakura who slowly walked to his side. "Not alone, though, this time." he stayed silent and took a breath. "You're probably wondering why I am here after so many years, or maybe you already know..." Sakura sat down next to him and held his hand again.

"I want to tell you something." he continued. "I..I..love you, dad." he finally said with a crack. "I am proud to call you my father." he added.

Sakura kissed him lightly and hugged him but he lightly pushed her away, not finished yet. "I am in love too. And I am happy." he looked at his mother's grave. "It's not perfect but I've come to believe that it's not possible to have a perfect relationship. You didn't have one with mom either, after all, but you were happy."

"Her name is Sakura and she is here with me." he pulled the female closer to the stones "Isn't she beautiful?" He paused again, clearly emotionally distressed.

"I love you." he repeated. "I hope you can forgive me for betraying you and be proud of me."

Then he got up and holding Sakura's hand left the house and as they were standing outside and looked back with a sad smile, he left his tears roll down his face. Sakura, seeing them, pulled him down a bit and standing on the tip of her toes, kissed them away.

"It's a new beginning." she whispered against his skin. "Our story begins." she went a step back and smiled. "And it's going to be a good one."

END


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