Chapter 12- I think I'm in love
Asami was relaxing. It was the day of the tournament and practically everyone in the village was at the arena to watch it. She had closed her shop for the day and spent the morning catching up on some paperwork and now she was going to sit on the porch and read her book.
She put down her book when she heard a disturbance coming down the road and started down the stairs to investigate. She was greeted with the sight of Anko leading a group of women and children down the street. Anko indicated that she should come over so she approached the group with a questioning glance.
"No time to explain Asami. The village is under attack. Iruka and I are evacuating everyone to the shelters. Grab your crutches and catch up to us. You may need them once we get there." Anko knew that Asami had broken her ankle but not the details on how it had happened. Well, they'd have something to talk about in the shelter anyway.
Asami nodded her understanding and then felt a shiver run through her. The last time she had been to the shelters was during the kyuubi attack. She held back the panic that was rising inside her. She remembered grabbing Kichirou and leaving for the shelter, she had looked back to see her parents take off towards the fight. That was the last time she had ever seen them. Get a hold of yourself Asami. Panicking will do you no good, this time is different. Except it wasn't. There were still ninja very dear to her turning out to defend the village. She hoped they would be careful but accurate in their attacks and hurried back out to join Anko and the group she was leading.
By the time they made it into the shelter Asami's ankle was beginning to ache, she was glad Anko had told her to grab the crutches. The climb up the hill and the long flights of stairs had taken their toll. Anko had settled everyone down and from the sounds of it Iruka had his hands full with the kids down the hall. Asami tipped her head in that direction "Should we offer to help him?" she inquired.
Anko laughed, in that rough but playful Anko way, "Nah. Iruka can handle them just fine. You should sit in on one of his classes some time. You'd be impressed." She looked at her friend leaning against the wall of the shelter, she looked different somehow. "So I heard you broke your ankle but I didn't hear how. Wanna fill me in?"
Asami wondered how Anko had heard about her ankle, she knew she'd been busy since the start of the chunin exam, in fact she'd hardly seen the dark haired kunoichi that she called friend. Then she remembered seeing her at the hospital the night she'd been treated. "It's a rather embarrassing story but since I know you won't take no for an answer here goes." The two women laughed together as Asami related her attempt to climb a tree, her resulting fall and the three hour wait for someone to find her. But when Anko found out that it had been Kakashi who had found her she stopped the story.
"Hey wait a minute. Didn't you say that you were in your spot? The one you and your mother always went to for quiet? The one no one knows how to find but you?" Anko had been there with her only once and she knew it was off the beaten path. "How did he find you there?"
"Well, umm, we had kind of been there the week before." Asami knew she was in for it now but she wasn't prepared for what came next.
"So Asami Kimura is going out with Kakashi Hatake, huh?" Anko said this with her usual loud brash tone causing a few people to stop their own conversations and look over.
"Anko, I don't know, lets just not say anything just now." Asami's heart sank, the last thing she wanted were rumors.
Anko knew how private Kakashi was and that Asami also preferred her privacy so she relented from teasing her almost lifelong friend until they were alone. "I understand. I remember seeing him walk you home that night but I hadn't realized he had been with you the whole time. So I was right after all, you two are a good match."
Asami ignored that last statement, for the moment, and finished her story. "So the end result is that I'm not allowed to climb trees for a while." Asami laughed but her gaze became serious when she remembered where they were and why. "So what's going on Anko? Is there anything you can tell me?"
In answer the world around Asami started to become watery and she realized that Anko was casting a genjutsu. It was a trick they'd used many times when they were young in order to make their stories match. Of course they'd never used it in front of Asami's father, he would have recognized the genjutsu immediately and dispelled it. When the genjutsu settled Anko flashed a series of images for Asami. They showed Orochimaru in the forest of death, the death of Hayate, and then the little she'd seen of the tournament arena just as the attack had started. Anko was careful to not show her an image with Kakashi or Kichirou in it. Then, still in the genjutsu, she said "That's all I know. I left to help Iruka evacuate the village right away."
Anko dispelled the genjutsu which left Asami feeling the shock of what she'd just seen. She hoped that this attack would not end like the last one had. She wasn't sure she could start over again. She reminded herself for the second time that day that panicking would solve nothing. Hikari and Kayo came to mind. "Anko do you know if Hikari and Kayo are here? Or did they go to the Tanaka compound shelter?"
"I don't know, we could walk around in a bit and see, if you like."
"Nah, I don't want to cause a stir."
"So, since I have you captive why don't you fill me in on the news. What have you been up to lately? Other than climbing trees and breaking your ankle. Why were you and Kakashi hanging out in the Kimura secret spot?"
"I don't really know how it's happened but I won't say I'm sorry it has." She filled Anko in on how Kakashi had been visiting more and more. How he'd happened by on her day off when she was by the river and sat and talked with her. Which had resulted in him knowing where to look for her when she went missing for three hours.
Anko thought back to the night she had caught Kakashi watching Asami from the hedge. She had rustled the hedge and given away his position so he would have to talk to her. Sometimes things just needed a nudge. "So that's at least three visits since I last saw you and I'm sure there are a few you haven't mentioned. Kakashi has become quite a regular visitor, hasn't he?"
Asami blushed slightly and wondered if she should tell Anko about his last visit. She decided she could trust her best friend with it. She was, after all, the only person in Konoha, other than Asami who knew why there had been tea cups painted all over the hokage tower one morning when everyone got up.
"He's been by a lot Anko." She quieted her voice so they wouldn't be overheard. "He took really good care of me when I first broke my ankle, he even made me dinner one night"
Anko almost choked "And you lived?" She had been on missions with Kakashi and knew his cooking, they usually fasted when it was his turn to cook.
Asami laughed, "just miso and somen. He's not that bad. And he's a good kisser." She knew that last part would get her friends attention and it did.
Anko had just recovered from learning that her friend had survived Kakashi's cooking when she dropped the next bomb. "And just how do you know that?"
"Well, I think that would be obvious but if I need to spell it out for you I'm sure Iruka wouldn't mind a demonstration. I think he's always been a little sweet on you anyway. I'll tell him you want to know if he's a good kisser. Be right back" Asami winked and made like she would get up but Anko stopped her.
"OK. OK. I don't need to be told. I'm just surprised. How did it get to that?" Anko had thought they would be good for each other but she never expected them to realize it so quickly. She was glad she had put the wheels in motion.
"I don't know. He kept stopping by. I kept flirting. It felt so natural to have him show up. Like when my father used to just show up after a mission. We never knew when it would be but it always felt right when he did. It's the same when Kakashi is over. He just belongs. I think I may be in love with him Anko." Asami said this last part very quietly so no one else had heard. She wished they had thought to have this conversation in a genjutsu but oh well, no one was paying attention them anyway.
They spent the rest of the day visiting and chatting with the other women in the shelter. Although they were there because the village had been invaded they had made the best of it and caught up with friends they hadn't seen in a long time. When the all clear was sounded they went home to take in the destruction and begin the recovery. This wasn't the first time Konoha had been attacked and it wouldn't be the last. Their strength was in their community not their buildings.