Chapter 18- Thinking it Over
Asami was walking into the village. Her ankle was doing much better and she was picking up a few supplies before the shop opened for the day. She was pretty sure even a broken ankle wouldn't have gotten her down today, she had spent the night in Kakashi's arms and it had been heavenly to wake up next to the man you were in love with. She thought she might understand why her mother had lived with the worry and fear of losing her father. If she had loved Takeo as much as Asami loved Kakashi it was worth it.
She was pulled out of her daydreams when she heard her name being called. "Asami!" She turned to see Sakura smiling and running towards her so she stopped and waited for her to catch up. The sun shining through the trees caught Sakura's pink hair and made it glow around her face.
"Hi Sakura! How are you?"
"I'm well, thank you. How are you?"
"I'm good. I'm just running an errand before I open the shop for the day. Want to join me for a bit?"
"Sure! I can help you carry your packages home too. Mom wants some onigiri anyway."
The two girls picked up the supplies that Asami had needed and headed back. Once they were at the shop Sakura helped put things away and they chatted amiably while they did it. Asami wished more than once that she hadn't heard Sakura was going to be trained as a medical nin by Tsunade herself, she would have been a big help in the shop. Sakura sat and watched while she made a batch of onigiri and boxed some up for her to take home.
"Asami, may I ask you a question?"
"You can ask me anything you want."
"Are you and Kakashi-sensei dating?" Sakura knew she was prying but her curiosity had gotten the better of her and she just had to know.
"I'm not sure anyone can date a ninja Sakura. They just aren't home enough but we are in love. Please don't repeat that, I'd rather the news spread naturally than through gossip." Asami wasn't sure why but she felt an affinity for the pinkette who was one of Kakashi's students. "You're turn. Are you still Kakashi's student? I heard a rumor that you were going to start training with Lady Tsunade."
"Well I'm not sure if I'll still train with Kakashi-sensei but yes Lady Tsunade is going to train me to be a medical ninja! She thinks I have a lot of potential." Sakura just glowed with the news.
"That's great news! Congratulations."
"You knew Jiraiya when you were little, right? Did you also know Lady Tsunade?"
"My father was very good friends with Jiraiya and he visited a lot. He knew Tsunade but not as well. I met her when I was little but I wouldn't say I knew her well. She always seemed nice though."
"She is nice. A little strange at times but nice." Sakura replied. She remembered something she had heard. "Asami, I heard you and Anko are best friends?"
Asami smiled at the mention of her dear friend. "Yes, we are. As long as I can remember Anko and I have been friends. She and I used to get into so much trouble."
Sakura looked at Asami in surprise. "I can't imagine you getting into trouble!" Actually she was having trouble putting Anko and Asami together as friends. They couldn't be more different. "How did you meet?"
"I think our mom's used to bring us to the same park to play at when we were little and then we were in school together. Anko went away for training for a few years." She looked at Sakura and wondered what she knew about it. "When she came back she just needed a friend, I was there for her. And when my parents died and I needed a friend, she was there for me. That's the way it's always been."
"That's sweet. I can't believe you two got in trouble though."
"Oh all the time! When we were little we used to sneak up behind the Third Hokage and try to touch his robes without him noticing. I don't think we ever managed. And we would skip school and go swimming in the lake. Anko would cast a light genjutsu that hid us if we heard anyone coming. And then when we got home, if anyone asked where we had been Anko would cast a genjutsu so we could match our stories perfectly but they could be different every time. Only my father ever figured us out. We were careful but he was good."
Sakura laughed at the thought of Anko and Asami skipping school and then using genjutsu to cover their tracks. "Thank you for telling me those stories. They make Anko seem so different."
"You haven't been talking about teacups have you?" Anko's voice came from the doorway.
"Oh hello Anko. No I left that story out." Asami laughed.
Sakura looked from one woman to the other hoping she would hear the rest of the story but they didn't elaborate.
Asami saw her questioning look and said "Maybe next time I'll tell you about it. You're mom must be expecting her onigiri soon, huh?"
Sakura noticed the time. "Oh! You're right! What do I owe you for the onigiri?"
"Don't worry about it. You were a huge help and I've enjoyed your company a lot, they're a gift."
"Thank you Asami! I will come by again." Sakura waved good bye and let her self out.
"Are you hungry Anko?"
"Nah, I just ate. I thought I'd stop by and see what you were up to. Catch you up on some gossip and hear yours." Anko had been missing her friend, things had been busy in the village and they hadn't had much time to visit lately. She sat down on the edge of the table and watched Asami work.
"I don't have much to tell actually. You know the good stuff already. About Kakashi, I mean."
Anko smiled to herself. She was quite satisfied that she had played matchmaker for those two. They were perfect together. "Well the village is quieting down although we are still short jonin. You wouldn't want to take the test would you?"
Asami laughed, "I'd be such a likely candidate!"
Anko laughed too. "I know, it was just a thought. You used to be pretty good. You did use your chakra to climb the tower with me."
Asami smiled over at Anko. "Did you hear that Kichirou was selected for Anbu?"
"I hadn't heard that. I've been so busy on missions. That's great news! I'll have to congratulate him when I see him." Anko caught her up on the other news of the village, whose shop was doing well, who'd had a baby, etc. And when Asami was done closing the kitchen up, and Hikari had come back to say goodbye she walked out the back door with her.
They climbed the stairs to Asami's apartment and found Kakashi sitting on the porch reading his book and waiting.
"Kakashi!" Asami walked over to him and he stood up and gave her a brief hug.
"Hello Kakashi," Anko said.
"Hello ladies. How are you?"
"I'm well, Kakashi. I see you're making yourself at home." Anko teased.
Kakashi ignored her barb but smiled back at her good-naturedly. After all she was right and he had her to thank for it.
"I'm good, thanks Kakashi. Anko, I'm making dinner in a few want to join us?"
Anko noted that Asami acted as if Kakashi always ate there which made her wonder just how much time he spent here. "No. I have somewhere I have to be and a mission in the morning. I've enjoyed visiting with you this afternoon. Kakashi it was nice seeing you." Anko waved goodbye and left while Kakashi and Asami turned to go inside. When Anko turned back to wave once more she noticed that they were just inside the door and Kakashi had his arms around Asami and was kissing her. She smiled to herself, yeah he spends plenty of time there.
Kakashi was glad to have his arms around her again and it showed in his kiss. "Welcome home handsome ninja." Asami wondered if that sounded like she was assuming he had moved in but decided it didn't matter.
"Thank you! You make sound as if I have moved in."
"Well" Asami blushed, to be honest she wouldn't mind it if he did but she thought he might not be ready for that. "It's not that but it seems so normal when you are here, like," she faltered and wondered if she should say what she was thinking, "like you belong here." Asami had admitted to herself that she didn't like living alone. She had always had family around her, even if it had been a small family. Although she hadn't realized it, she had been lonely the last few years since Kichirou had moved out.
Kakashi was surprised but he knew he agreed with her. "I agree but I also think it won't hurt for us to take it slowly. I'll be here whenever I can be." Kakashi wasn't sure he was ready for that. He'd thought about it and he didn't know how to be a family. He'd always just been on his own. To be honest the thought of being a family overwhelmed him a bit. And that was just figuring Asami into the equation, if they had children...he was sure he didn't know how to do that.
Asami smiled, "I agree. Now lets go make dinner!"
Kakashi followed her to the kitchen and watched her make dinner, chatting with her about his day and an upcoming mission that would last a few weeks. When they sat down to eat he said, "When is your next day off?"
"Well, tomorrow is the last full day I'll have before I leave and I thought you might like to spend some time together. We could have lunch at the barbecue place and then maybe shop a little or walk down by the river and the waterfall."
"That sounds like fun!"
When dinner was done and they'd cleaned up and were sitting in the living room Kakashi said "Thank you for holding me last night. You really helped." Even though she had just held him it had felt as if she was healing him from the pain that he'd felt at Sasuke's betrayal of the friendship he'd had with Naruto. It had been nice to be able to lean on her. Again he thought about the complication of family and he decided he was going to have to do a lot of thinking on this next mission.
"I'm glad." Asami wondered if he would stay again but didn't ask. "Kakashi, I want to help you in any way that I can, I want to be there for you." She hoped that didn't sound as if she was trying to box him into a corner and settle down with her. She decided that he was a grown man, a ninja at that, and he could handle it.
Kakashi marveled at how relaxed he was with her and how much her home felt like he belonged. It was the first time that he could remember feeling that way and he didn't want it to end. He held her in his arms and they chatted, he shared his upcoming mission with her because it was just an escort mission. Finally he looked down at her, she was falling asleep on his shoulder. "I should go Asami."
Asami was disappointed that he was leaving but she didn't say so. "I understand Kakashi. Will you come by to get me in the morning?"
Kakashi kissed her good bye and said., "Yeah, I'll be by mid morning."