Chapter 21- In Each Others Arms
Kakashi was standing at her kitchen door drenched to the skin, water dripping from his hair which had flopped over and was unceremoniously covering most of the side of his face. "Kakashi!" She wrapped her arms around him effectively soaking herself in the process and realized that his clothes were as wet as the rest of him. "Oh! Your soaked!" She turned to Hikari "you'll be ok if I leave?"
Hikari smiled, "of course I will. It's your day off anyway! Now go!" She shooed them out the door and shut it.
Asami and Kakashi raced up the stairs to her apartment and went inside. Once in the door she turned back to him, tugged his mask down, and welcomed him back with a kiss. When she was done she returned the mask to its rightful place, although the fact that it was wet made that difficult, and said "you should warm up in the shower, I'll get Kichirou's clothes and a towel. And while you shower I'll make some tea for us."
Kakashi wondered if he was going to get a chance to say anything at all as he watched Asami welcome him home and take charge. He decided he kind of liked her like this, she was usually so quiet and acquiescent. She was standing in front of him now holding a change of clothes and a towel, waiting for him to comply with her suggestions, no orders they were definitely orders, so he took the clothes and towel and turned towards the bathroom. He looked over his shoulder and said "hello by the way. I'm see your glad I'm home"
Asami realized that she hadn't given him a chance to talk at all and wondered if he'd minded. He hadn't seemed upset at her show of affection, either downstairs or here, and he was soaked and cold, a hot shower and dry clothes would feel good. She wondered if she was assuming that he would want her to take care of those things for him and if he wouldn't just rather be left to take care of himself. She worried that she was expecting more than he was willing to give. With that thought she headed to the kitchen to make tea.
When Kakashi appeared at the kitchen door he noted that not only had Asami made tea she was making miso and somen as well. Well, he reflected, it had been a while since he'd enjoyed her cooking. He watched her while she worked admiring her beauty and thinking just how much he'd missed her. He'd thought a lot about their relationship while he was away and had come to the conclusion that he wanted her to be a part of his life, permanently. He didn't know how that would work, or look, but he knew he couldn't give her up. In the short time since they had become reacquainted he had come to rely on her peaceful home, good cooking and companionship.
He cleared his throat to let her know he was there and sauntered into the kitchen. "I see you're already prepared to feed me." The teasing chuckle in voice was clear.
Asami looked up and smiled. "Of course!" She served them both tea and miso and came to the table to sit with him. "How was your mission? Did anything interesting happen?"
Kakashi told her about the mission he'd been on, and asked her about what she'd done while he was away while they ate and cleaned up. When they were done they moved into the living room and sat close to each other.
"I missed you a lot." Kakashi whispered in her ear. "And not just your food, it was you I missed the most."
Asami smiled "I missed you too, good looking." She tilted her head up so they could kiss.
"I was going to suggest that I come back after the shop closed and take you out to dinner but you didn't really give me a chance to say much when I got here."
Asami smiled ruefully, "I'm sorry. I'd wondered how you felt about being bossed around like that. I shouldn't have done it."
"Don't worry about it. It shows how much you love me. I kind of liked it actually. But we could still go out to eat tonight. I could stop at home and change on the way."
"That would be fun!"
They spent the remainder of the afternoon cuddling in the living room alternately listening to the storm and talking. When she knew it was about time for the shop to close Asami went downstairs to check on Hikari and see her off.
When she returned Kakashi was not in the living room where she'd left him. "Kakashi?" She heard a noise in the kitchen and went that way. He was making tea. "Oh. I could do that if you want."
"I don't mind. I hope you don't mind that I just helped myself." Kakashi wondered if he had taken a liberty he shouldn't have and was reassured with her response.
"Not at all. Help yourself to anything!" After all, she finished in her head, I'm hoping that you'll move in anyway. Her thought made her blush and she turned away so he wouldn't see.
"Why are you blushing, Asami?" Too late.
"Ummm" Think quick. You can't exactly say it's because you were thinking about him living here with you, now can you? "I was just admiring you, good looking." She said this over her shoulder as she was leaving the kitchen. "I'm going to go change for dinner. I think the rain has finally let up so we won't get soaked on our way." And she exited quickly hoping he wouldn't follow.
Kakashi knew she wasn't being completely honest with him about her blush but he decided to let it rest. It amused him that she blushed so easily but he knew it embarrassed her and he didn't want to make her uncomfortable.
When she came out she was wearing dark slacks that accented her curves just perfectly and a simple silk top with a scoop neck. Kakashi wondered if he would ever get tired of just looking at her. He offered his arm to her and said "next stop, my place."
They'd had dinner together and then, while they were walking around town reminiscing, they'd met up with a few of his friends who were surprised to see him back. They'd decided to join them for a few drinks and visit. Now Kakashi was walking her home. The rain had stopped and the clouds had cleared revealing a crisp night sky and they were admiring it together.
"Asami," Kakashi started. Damn, why did he feel so nervous? He'd faced down s-class criminals and yet telling the woman he loved that he wanted to see things get more serious made his palms sweat and his knees knock. "I want to tell you something." He'd stopped walking and turned her around so that they were facing each other.
Asami looked up at him. She wondered what he was going to say. "OK. Shoot."
"I realized just how much a part of my life you've become while I was gone. I'm glad Anko put it in my head to visit you when she did. In the short time we've been together you've really made a difference for me."
Asami was grinning from ear to ear. He loved her! She could hear it in his words even though he didn't come right out and say it. "I feel the same Kakashi. You've made a difference for me too. I really enjoy the time we spend together. I'd gotten lonely after Kichirou moved out and I missed my family a lot but when you're there I don't feel that way. Even the time I was alone while you were gone, I missed you but I knew you'd be back and that was comforting somehow."
"It won't be easy, with me I mean, I have regular and long missions. Sometimes very dangerous missions." He watched her to see her reaction, he didn't want to scare her but he wanted her to understand the risks that came with a relationship with him.
"I know. Remember, I lost both my parents to that reality. I love you, and I'm willing to share my life with you no matter the cost. Remember, it was my father who refused to even acknowledge us outside of home. At least you'll be seen in public with me."
"Speaking of that. I have a story that I think you might like to hear." Kakashi wondered if this was the best time for this story, it was sure to upset her but it had impacted his decision to move forward with her. He felt that now was as good a time as ever. "One of the ninja I spent time with on this last mission had served with your father. He and I got to talking one night and he found out that you are and I are, umm, together." Actually the man had figured it out when he'd asked Kakashi if he had anyone special back home but he didn't want to admit that he'd initially been embarrassed to share his relationship with Asami. It hadn't been her he was embarrassed by, his awkwardness had stemmed from his discomfort with relationship in general. He still worried that his job would be the cause of more pain for her.
"He remembered you, although he said you probably wouldn't remember him. He and I talked about how your father wouldn't acknowledge his family in public. But he shared something I think you'd like to hear."
Asami felt as if the world was spinning around her, memories of her parents swirled in her mind and threatened to drown out Kakashi's voice. She struggled to stay in the present no matter how painful it might be.
Kakashi noticed she looked upset and led her over to a bench, he sat down and pulled her down next to him, holding her closely and giving her a chance to settle her mind. He knew that she still felt a lot of pain from the loss of her parents but he believed that this was something she would want to know besides it had been a big turning point for him in deciding that he was willing to risk a relationship with her.
"I know this is hard Asami. But I think you'll want to know this. He was there when your parents died, he saw how it happened."
Asami's ears were ringing and she was straining to stay focused on Kakashi. She knew she needed a moment so she reached up and wrapped her arms around his neck. He understood her silent plea, shifted his mask and leaned down to kiss her, acting as the anchor that kept her from drifting away. When he sensed that she had calmed down he pulled back, slipping his mask back in place.
"Asami, your father died trying to protect your mother. In the end his love for her won out over any of his principles. They died in each others arms."
Asami was floored. She had never thought about how they'd died but knowing that her father's love had won and that they had died just as they had lived, together, brought her a little peace." Tears stung at her eyes and Kakashi pulled her close.
"I will be the first to admit that I'm no good at relationships but hearing that story made me realize that I don't want to hide how much I love you from the world. It may be a rocky road but if you don't mind I'd like to give it a try."
Asami felt as if there was a huge lump in her throat that she couldn't swallow and when she tried she failed miserably and ended up crying on Kakashi's shoulder instead. He loved her, that was all she needed to know right now.