Finding Peace

Chapter 2- Walking Back Home

Asami was struggling through town with several bags of supplies for the shop. They were heavier than she had expected them to be when she started out that morning and now she wished she had brought help. She still had quite a walk before she got there and she wasn't sure she was going to manage. She stepped to the side of the path with the intention of rearranging her bags when Kakashi appeared beside her with three young genin following him.

"Hello again Asami, how are you?"

Asami smiled at Kakashi and the genin, "I'm good. How are you? Are these your students Kakashi?"

"I'm good, thanks. Yes, they are. This is Sasuke, Naruto, and Sakura. This is Asami, we went to school together."

The genin all greeted her pleasantly and then began bickering amongst themselves. Oh my, thought Asami, Kakashi must love that!

"You have quite a load of stuff there, Asami. Can we help you get it to the shop?"

"Oh! That would be amazing! Do you have time? I didn't realize how much I needed for the shop or I would have had someone come with me. I'll pay you all with onigiri when we get there. I have a fresh batch I just made this morning."

She watched as the genin took her bags between themselves which left her with nothing to carry. They ran ahead of them and she and Kakashi chatted as they walked.

"Well you pulled a vanishing act the other night. One minute you were there and the next you were gone. Maybe you did just come by for free food." Her tone was teasing as she walked along.

Kakashi glanced at her sideways, she was smiling so she must not be angry. He wasn't sure why he had just taken off the other night. He had suddenly felt uncomfortable there, as if he didn't belong. Still, it had been rude of him to leave without even a thank you or a good bye.

"I'm sorry. I was rude. I should have thanked you and said goodbye but I realized it had gotten later than I thought it had and I had to be somewhere." He was lying but for some reason he didn't want to hurt her feelings.

"Oh no. Don't worry about it." Asami wondered if he had gotten tired of visiting with her for some reason. Damn, she never would have said she still liked Kakashi but she had to admit that she might. She had enjoyed their brief visit the other night and had been sad when he had vanished without a word. She had to be honest, she was glad for the chance to chat with him again today. And not just because his genin where carrying her things for her.

"So how are your students doing? That is Sakura Haruno, isn't it? Her mother comes by the shop quite frequently, she's very nice."

"They're doing well. We just returned from a mission that was a little more than expected and they performed admirably. And yes, it is Sakura Haruno."

"That's wonderful! I'm so glad to hear they're doing well. Well, here we are!" They had arrived at the shop and she opened the back door to let them in. The genin squad put her bags down on the counter as she grabbed several boxes off the shelf and filled them with onigiri.

"Thank you so much for carrying my bags for me. I hope you enjoy these onigiri." She handed them to the youngsters who thanked her and went outside to wait for their Sensei. "And here's one for you Kakashi, although you didn't carry any bags I'm sure it was a disruption to your day."

Kakashi took the box from her, "thank you. It was nothing, we were headed this way anyway. But I'll still accept your delicious onigiri. They are too good to turn down." He smiled at her and wondered what in the hell he was saying. Was he flirting with her? Nah, he was just being his usual self. "Goodbye and thank you for lunch, now I can train them twice as hard!"

Asami laughed "goodbye, come by again!" What are you saying, Asami thought to herself. This is the guy who used to send you home in tears and now you are inviting him to drop by anytime? She watched him walk off with his students and wondered if and how much he had changed. Then she turned to go back in her shop and put away her purchases. She had a lot of onigiri to make and they wouldn't make themselves, besides she wanted to have plenty if Kakashi happened to stop by again.

As Kakashi walked away he wondered if his mouth had been taken over by somebody else. He had been flirting with her, albeit mildly. It wasn't that he didn't like girls, he loved them but he didn't feel that having a girlfriend or wife was right given the dangerous nature of his job. He didn't ever want to have a weak spot like that, something that could be used against him. But as he thought of Asami; her smile, her pale lavender eyes that seemed to shine whenever she looked at you, and her laughing, teasing, sarcastic way of talking back to him, he thought, yeah I'll be stopping by again.

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