Chapter 12

Sakura stepped out of the small classroom, shaking her head slightly as Tsunade took her place within. The two women were there to oversee and teach in the new medical program at the hospital: any and all medical-nin who were qualified could take classes. These classes were designed to show how a medical-nin could temporarily tend to possibly fatal wounds sustained by their comrades during missions. The wounds could be attended to and, once the mission was complete and the shinobi came back to the village.

The program would be going well… if it weren't for the squeamish and immature in the class. Sakura had been trying to show the students how to remove shrapnel from explosives from near the base of the spine, without damaging the spine itself and risking partial or complete body paralysis. Unfortunately, Sakura had several squeamish students, who had difficulty looking at the cadaver, and had a couple of kids who were making childish and tasteless jokes. Sakura tried to talk to the jokers and they had quieted down some (she planned on talking to their team leaders, just to make sure they understood that the class was not a laughing matter), but the squeamish students were a little harder to work with, so she decided to call in Tsunade, knowing the Hokage would be able to speak from experience regarding the problem of squeamishness and needing to still carry out one's medical duties.

While Sakura always had difficulty with seeing her comrades and loved ones injured, she rarely felt faint or sick at the sight of a wound, and she felt she did not have the proper experience to help those students, so she called in Tsunade. She knew Tsunade would more than likely be a while, if not take the rest of the classes' time to discuss the issue, so she wrote the homework and readings she wanted the students to complete for the next class and left the room. She stayed outside, in case Tsunade finished early, and decided to take the time and eat her lunch while she looked at a couple of magazines and ads for local women's shops. Kakashi had sent a message on Wednesday and told her that on Friday, he would be taking her out to a nice restaurant. She got so excited that she immediately decided to take Friday afternoon off, so she had plenty of time to get ready. Still, Sakura wanted to shop for something new, a dress she knew she would look good in and that Kakashi had not seen her in before.

Sakura idly flipped through the ads for the new shops, having found nothing in the magazines that peaked her interest. She sighed after a moment, folding the ads and magazines up and putting them into her bag. Nothing really sparked her interest, but it was always hard to tell how a dress would fit on a girl when looking at flat images. She would have to get out and shop for it. She closed her bag and resumed eating her sandwich. Sakura debated briefly on whether she should take Ino or one of her other girlfriends along. While a friend made shopping more fun, she didn't always like the way most of her girlfriends looked at her when she was trying a new garment on, like they were seeing a flaw and trying to be nice about it. Then there was Ino: Sakura loved her best friends' forwardness, except when it came to assessing her body or how a dress looked on Sakura. Ino was a little too honest, and had no problem telling Sakura like it was… sometimes hurting Sakura's feelings in the process.

Sakura thought hard, playing with her chopsticks idly. "Bring Ino or anther girlfriend, or go alone?" she said to herself, flipping the chopsticks in the air a couple of times.

"What was that, Sakura?" Tsunade suddenly said to her, making Sakura jump in her seat.

"Oh, Tsunade-sama! I didn't realize it was time for class to end. I'm sorry."

"Its fine. The brats know what they need to do for their next class. Now, what did you say?"

"Oh, I was talking to myself. I have this date tonight, and I am trying to decide on whether I should get a new dress or go with something I already have."

"Hmm. Interesting." Tsunade said vaguely. Sakura smiled up at her.

"I know, Tsunade-sama. This kind of thing doesn't interest you, not really. It's just that… I want to make a good impression on someone who already knows me well, an impression that I can be sexy and romantic, but not slutty or desperate."

Tsunade rolled her eyes. "Sakura, if this person already knows you, you probably don't need to impress them that much. Wear something comfortable. If you want to be sexy, wear fancy underwear underneath and get them into your bed later. Who is this guy, anyway? You're not dating some lazy bum, are you?"

"Um… well, he's a good person, and has strong beliefs and loves the village," Sakura told her, trying not to tell her current mentor that she was dating her first teacher outside of the academy. She wasn't too concerned regarding Tsunade's reaction to the news, but her new, romantic relationship with Kakashi, but she felt the relationship was too new for everyone to know all about it, just yet.

"Hm. Well, don't let him make you change or act like you're his mother, okay?" Tsunade told her, staring into Sakura's face with the same intensity as when she first told her about the pros and cons of the Strength of a Hundred Seal. "You deserve to be spoiled and respected just as much as he does."

"Yes, ma'am." Sakura kept her face serious, and tried not to blush. She always felt a little on-the-spot when Tsunade got serious like this. The nervous side of her wanted to laugh it off or make a joke, but she knew that would land her in some very hot water with her mentor. Tsunade understood nervousness, but liked to be taken seriously, and Sakura did not want to hurt her feelings or piss her off. She was a loving woman, but could be harsh when hurt.

"Good. You have a good time, and don't stress too much about how you look. You're a beautiful, smart woman, Sakura," Tsunade told her, with a deep and sincere gentle tone to her voice. She lifted one hand, and gently ran her hand through Sakura's hair and then down her cheek, pushing the pink locks back slightly, as though a mother would her child. Sakura smiled and leaned into Tsunade, giving her a brief hug.

"I will. Thank you."

Tsunade nodded against Sakura's shoulder, then moved away from her, nodding.

"Very good. See you later, and be safe."

Without saying goodbye, Tsunade walked away from Sakura. Sakura smiled at her mentor's back, and went home to get ready for her date with Kakashi.

Okay, I realize this is very late and a bit short, but I got writer's block over most of Christmas, and then school started up again and… I'm just a mess sometimes. XD

Anyway, I plan on getting more done with this story, and I plan on writing more in general in this new year. Hope you all had good holidays, and have a happy Valentine's Day (for like, fifteen more minutes here…)