prompt: Sakura and Naruto slowly falling into being physically comfortable with each other
Kakashi could never enjoy a quiet meal at a cheap ramen stand, not when Naruto was in town. Naruto seemed to have a sixth sense that allowed him to know when there was someone at the ramen stand willing to buy him a bowl or dozen. The kid had only returned to the village a few weeks ago, but Kakashi was already forgetting what it was like when he wasn't there.
"Hello, Kaka-sensei!" he greeted brightly. The blonde pulled back the curtain to reveal Sakura right behind him, a pleasant smile on her face as she greeted him as well. They sat down, Naruto in the middle.
In a matter of minutes, Naruto was already on his second bowl of ramen, and Kakashi well into the second chapter of his favorite book. "Slow down!" he heard Sakura admonish with a laugh, and Naruto made some sort of muttered reply. "You're going to choke," she warned. He gave half a smile beneath his mask. Some things never changed.
It wasn't until a few moments later when Kakashi hear choking sounds did he finally look up from his book. He was a ninja with quick reflexes, and he was ready to help in an instant, but Sakura was a trained medic, and by the time his book hit the gritty counter Sakura already had Naruto pressed against her front as she delivered the Heimlich.
With her strength it only took half a dozen compresses before a chunk of chicken came flying out of Naruto's constantly running mouth and wacked Kakashi over one of the few parts of his exposed face. Damn his luck.
"Are you okay?" Sakura asked loudly. When Naruto nodded, the concern was immediately replaced with annoyance, and she shoved him a bit roughly into the counter, enough to send Kakashi's book to the floor, and his unfinished food onto his jacket. "Idiot!" she barked, fists balled in rage. The owner of the stand noticed and quickly started to hide some of his more breakable equipment in case Sakura chose to throw the poor lad straight into the stand. "I told you to slow down!"
Naruto coughed pathetically, patting and rubbing along his chest. "Ne, Sakura-chan, I think you broke a few ribs…." He moaned.
She didn't seem to care. "That's the thanks I get? You're unbelievable!" Kakashi knew this lecture and retrieved his book from the floor with every intent to pick up where he left off and ignore Sakura's rant. It was always the same thing. "I should have broken a few more ribs, if you ask me! One day, Naruto, one day you'll—"
She stopped cold.
Curious, Kakashi looked over. Sakura was staring at Naruto, whose hair was almost deflated in defeat and shame. Her anger was gone, replaced with something much softer. Kakashi watched as she sighed, reaching behind his head to tug at the long ribbons of his headband—she gave them a good tug. "One day you'll learn to be more careful, right?" she asked evenly, and Naruto nodded enthusiastically, a grin about to split his face in two.
"Aye, aye, captain!" he beamed, giving her a mock salute, to which she rolled her eyes. She pressed glowing fingers to his abdomen and he winced. "I didn't break your ribs," she said quietly. "What do you think I've been learning while you've been gone? I know enough medical skills not to break your ribs," she grumbled, but her fingers were still lit on his chest.
"I know," Naruto said simply, his smile soft, a smile Kakashi found was reserved just for Sakura.
"…But you might have a bruise in the morning." She admitted.
"I know," he repeated, grin widening.
She turned him around and lightly kicked his backside towards his stool. "Finish your ramen."
"Don't have to tell me twice!" and he went back to eating.
Sakura laughed, a noise that didn't quite leave her throat, before he eyes slid over to Kakashi, who was wiping some broth off his jacket. With a guilty look, Sakura came to the conclusion that she had made the slight mess when she pushed Naruto into the counter. "Sorry, Sensei," she apologized.
"Ah, no worries, Sakura-chan." He smiled, tossing the used napkins on the counter. Sticking his hand into his pocket, he tried to find a few spare bills to cover his meal, as well as his students' but Sakura stopped him.
"No, don't, I'll—" she paused, looking at Naruto, who was in an animated conversation with Iruka, who had just arrived. "I'll pay for his. And yours."
"Oh really?" he reached over and pat her head a few times before he reached down and tugged on one of her earlobes "Crummy first date. You didn't even pick me up."
The mention of "date" had Naruto spinning in his barstool. "Oi! What's going on?"
They ignored him, for as long as someone could ignore Naruto. "Crummy first date for a crummy old man," Sakura teased, sticking her tongue out.
"You wound me, Sakura-chan. I remember when you used to look up to me."
"Really? I don't."
"Date?" Naruto repeated. "Sakura-chan, we're on a date?" Sakura rolled her eyes.
"Only if you promise not to choke on your ramen again," Sakura spat back, but despite the harsh tone, Kakashi noticed Sakura was still blushing.
"Seriously!? No way! Iruka, did you hear that? Sakura said we were on a date! She said—ACK!"
Sakura sighed, not bothering to move, as Iruka helped Naruto swallow the chunk of ramen he'd managed to choke on in his excitement.
"Sakura, should you maybe give him the Heimlich again?" The store owner asked, tone begging.
"Nah, I might actually break his ribs this time. And not on accident."
With a chug of water, Naruto managed to swallow his food. "Sakura-chaaaaan!"
She returned to her seat, and Kakashi lingered a little longer, just to watch. He saw her put her hand on Naruto's back, rubbing tenderly. "Maybe next time you'll think about eating a little more carefully, hmm?"
As he pulled back the curtain and left the stand, his two students finished their ramen, arms touching the entire time.
The next time Kakashi saw the two of them together outside of a mission was weeks later after a small festival in the village had the whole town drunk. Or at least Sakura.
He was just leaving the bar, a content buzz warming his body in the autumn chill when he spotted a horrific mash of colors strolling down the street. He stayed and waited for them to catch up, his curiosity getting the best of them.
Upon closer inspection, he found that Naruto was completely sober and was tasked with getting a severely drunk Sakura home. "Hey, Kakashi-sensei." he said, attention split between his sensei and trying to keep Sakura's face out of the dirt.
Naruto grinned. "Maybe a little too much fun." He made an obvious gesture Sakura's way.
"Heeeeeeey!" she whined loudly, trying to shove him away from her. The arm he had draped along her waist only tightened. "I'm not that drunk."
"You're pretty drunk," he laughed. Suddenly, she swayed, knees buckling. "Alright, up we go," and Kakashi watched, more than slightly amused, as Naruto picked up a whining Sakura and threw her over his shoulder.
"Narutooooo!" she said, pounding her fists into his back. "Wrong!"
Naruto shot him a look that was almost pleading, but Kakashi just shrugged. "What's wrong?" Naruto asked, and he was starting to sound rightfully tired.
"I'm not a sack of potatoes."
"You certainly feel like one—OW! Sakura-chan! It was a joke!"
"Hold me correctly, damn it."
Finally, Naruto sighed. In a few quick motions, Naruto managed to swing Sakura around so he had one arm cradled behind her back, the other hooked beneath her knees. The two of them were a drunken picture of newlyweds about to step through the front door, and Kakashi would be forced to admit, if ever asked, that the whole thing was quite suave.
Kakashi felt more than awkward watching his two students stare at each other in such a loving position. Sakura's face was bright red, some of which was probably due to the alcohol, and he couldn't really tell but there might have been a slight dust of pink on Naruto's face as well. "Better?" Naruto asked quietly, and he was looking at Sakura as if Kakashi wasn't even three feet in front of them.
Sakura grumbled something neither of them caught, before she tried wiggling down. "Aw, just let me walk," and while Naruto looked hesitant, he let her stand and start walking on her own.
She fell straight on her bum in three seconds.
Naruto did his best not to laugh. "Come on, froggy hop on my back." He said kneeling in front of her.
"Froggy?" she mumbled, but she complied, hooking her arms around his neck as he reached underneath the bunches of her long dress to find the skin of her thighs and hoist her up. She made no noise of protest, no indication of discomfort. Instead, Kakashi watched with mild surprise as Sakura nuzzled her face into his neck. "Much better."
Naruto chuckled, sparing Kakashi a look. "I should probably get the drunk home." he said as he started walking down the street. Kakashi could still hear Naruto well down the road. "Okay, so your home or mine? OW! You need to learn what a joke is. Hey, hey, don't bite my ear! Sakura-chan!"
Kakashi wasn't one to easily comfort.
He had just come back from a rather boring mission in Tea country, but he and his partner had a little mishap on the way back. Nothing major, just a few rogue ninja, but one of them had managed to break his arm rather nicely. Kakashi wasn't the biggest fan of hospitals, but he figured this was a cause for a visit. He checked in, he checked out, nothing routine medical ninjutsu couldn't fix.
He spotted Sakura in a hallway right outside an operation room, Naruto kneeling before her.
It didn't look too good.
He should have left them be, or at least let his presence be known, but he just stood at the other end of the long hall and watched. Kakashi was sure they knew he was there anyway.
"Hey, hey," Naruto's hands were on her knees. "Look at me." She shook her head lightly, shoulders trembling. He took one hand off her knee and grabbed her chin, tilting her head up. "Hey," whispered, "It's not your fault."
Kakashi couldn't really tell from where he stood, but he was pretty sure Sakura looked angry. "How could you say that? Those two shinobi died on my table!" She screamed. Yep. Definitely angry.
To Naruto's credit, he didn't even flinch. "You're the best medic in the world!" he declared, taking her face in his hands. His thumbs rubbed away the stray tears spilling down her cheeks. "If you couldn't save 'em, then who would?"
"If I was the best medic in the world, I would have been able to save them." She croaked, voice choppy from her sobs.
"No!" he whispered fiercely. Grabbing her shoulders firmly, he continued, "When the worst of the worst come to the village, all bloody and broken, they give them to you, wanna know why? Because if Sakura Haruno can't pull their asses out of the grave, no one can! I say you're the best medic because I know you are," he paused, a guilty look washing over him. He leaned forward, his protected forehead bumping against hers. "I know that puts a lot of pressure on you to save those people, and I know I'm not helping when I'm shouting about you all the time, but I meant what I said. If you couldn't save them, they were as good as dead before the even got here."
"I'll get better," she promised, shutting her eyes tightly. Blindly, she reached out for his hands; he grabbed them and held them to his chest, laying them over where his beating heart rested beneath his ribs.
"I know you will. Every single day, you get better. I see it." Finally, she gave a slight smile, to which Naruto broke out in a larger-than-life grin. "Ah, I made you smile!"
"You seem to be doing that a lot lately," she mumbled, getting to her feet.
"What can I say? I get better at it. Every single day." She laughed, and Naruto threw his arm around her shoulder as they walked toward the elevator, their backs toward Kakashi. "How about some ramen? I could use a few bowls."
They passed an open window, the setting sun casting Naruto's yellow hair and Sakura's pink hair in shades of orange. Kakashi stuffed his hand in his pocket and headed for the stairwell at the other end of the hall, but not before he saw Naruto pull Sakura close to kiss her on the top of her head.
"You guys are completely ridiculous." Kakashi announced.
Naruto, still panting from his training session, couldn't be bothered to get off the grass. He lifted one hand to shield the sun from his eyes as he stared at his teacher, curious. "Huh?"
He gestured to Sakura who was currently taking a dip in the nearby stream to cool off. "You and Sakura. You guys are ridiculous."
"I don't know what you mean."
Kakashi left it at that, too exasperated to go any further. He decided to wait for physical evidence. And low and behold, minutes later Sakura came running over, hair sopping wet, clothes even wetter. She wiggled out of her soaking wet medic skirt and maroon top, leaving her clad in spandex shorts and a sport bra before she, quite literally, lay completely on top of Naruto.
Completely, utterly ridiculous.
"Hmm," Naruto hummed happily, liking the relief her cold hair brought to his hot skin. "You're like a popsicle," he decided, raking his fingers through her wet hair. "A cool, refreshing popsicle."
She snorted at the comparison. "Water feels nice," she told him when she felt herself drifting to sleep; the sensation of Naruto running his fingers through her hair was comforting. "You should go for a swim."
"It's too hot to even move," he moaned pathetically. His hand drifted down from her hair to rest on her back and he begun to drum his fingers on the bumps of her spine. Kakashi awaited a typical "Sakura" reaction, one where she smacked him senseless or tossed him into the Hokage mountain with her sheer strength. Just like the good old days when they were young and cute.
Instead, Sakura reached up and started tracing the whisker marks on his face. "I can't really argue with that," she agreed.
It looked like the good old days were over.
Kakashi couldn't believe this.
"Okay you two, break's over," Kakashi announced, hopping to his feet unusually fast. He stared at his two students, so casually laying on top of each other, and waited for them to move.
"It's too hot for sparring, can we call it a day?" Naruto whined. "My face is gonna melt off."
Sakura pathetically threw up a limp hand in agreement. "Same."
"Are you going to let a little heat stop you from practicing?" Kakashi asked.
They were asleep in seven minutes, and Kakashi had left for a bar in five.
After countless months of hand holding, face touching, finding them asleep together on the couch in Sakura's office, and countless other disgustingly intimate gestures, Kakashi couldn't stand it any longer.
"Forget asking her out and just get married already," Kakashi finally told them. Naruto had blushed as bright as Sakura's hair, and in a turn of events, Sakura choked on ramen for the first time.
When Sakura and Naruto returned from their next A class mission, Kakashi noticed they had rings on both their fingers.