Finding Peace

Chapter 3- The Price of Knowing a Ninja

Asami was washing dishes, looking out the window over the sink. It was pouring rain outside but she still found herself watching hopefully for Kakashi's figure sauntering down the lane. It had been a week since he and his squad had helped her home with her bags and a week and a half since his surprise visit. She hadn't really expected that he would visit again but she had hoped he would.

It surprised her how much she looked forward to seeing him. In school she had had a crush on him but she had been younger than him and very shy which had resulted in his laughing at her. But the Kakashi she had visited with the other night had been very different from the Kakashi that had tried to cut her hair off. He had been friendly and sweet, it had been nice to laugh with him. Hadn't Anko said she should get out and meet someone? Now that Kichirou was older and off training and working, Anko had said, it's time for you get your own life. Meet someone, fall in love, maybe even get married. Well, actually Anko's words had been a little cruder than that but that was Anko, and Asami wasn't going to repeat that, even in her mind.

The dishes were done. The kitchen was ready for another day of onigiri making tomorrow so Asami packed up her things and got ready to go home. She lived above the shop, in the same home she had been born in. When her parents had died she had simply taken over. She'd dropped out of the chunin exam in order to take over the shop and care for Kichirou but she had never been that interested in being a ninja anyway.

As she locked the door and turned to climb the stairs to her apartment upstairs she heard a rustle behind her. She turned and there was Kakashi grinning at her with his one eye.

"Oh hi Kakashi" she said. It unnerved her that he could sneak up on her like that but she supposed that was the price of knowing a ninja. "Have you been waiting out here? You could have just popped in the kitchen, I would have given you some onigiri."

Kakashi wondered if she had seen him. The truth was that he had been standing outside in the shadows for almost 30 minutes watching her clean up the kitchen and get it ready for the next day. He hadn't intended to stay and talk to her but just as she had come outside the bushes behind him had rustled and she had noticed him. "Oh, no, I just got here. I wasn't sure if you were busy. And I was hoping for an onigiri but I think I am too late for that."

Kakashi silently cursed whatever it was in the bushes that had given away his position. He hadn't meant to visit with her, he had only come by to watch. He wondered idly if that made him a stalker but dismissed the thought by telling himself that he was a ninja and he was simply ensuring her safety.

"Well, I don't have any onigiri left from today but I could make you something upstairs. One can not live on onigiri alone you know." Asami quipped, she hoped that she didn't seem too desperate to have him visit but was disappointed with his reply.

"Oh. I was really hoping for onigiri. Ah well! Maybe tomorrow then!" As he wandered off into the rain Kakashi waved goodbye to her.

Asami made her way up the stairs to her apartment above her shop and let herself in. She was sorry that he hadn't come upstairs. Maybe she was reading more into his visits than she should. Maybe he just came by out of boredom and for the free food.

As he walked away Kakashi wondered why he hadn't taken her up on the offer of a meal. He hadn't come over with the intention of visiting but it wouldn't have hurt to visit and he was hungry. He wasn't really sure why he had come over in the first place. He had been thinking of her all day and had thought perhaps just seeing her would relieve that a bit. As it was he had spent 30 minutes in the pouring rain watching her like a stalker and he would have slipped away unnoticed if it hadn't been for whatever had rustled the bush.

At that moment Anko appeared out of the dark. "Why hello there Kakashi! Fancy meeting you here! Aren't we right by Asami's shop?"

Anko's playful smile told Kakashi everything he needed to know. It had been Anko that had given away his hiding place. More and more Anko brought her up in conversation. He wondered if Anko was playing matchmaker. That was unlike her but he knew that she had a soft spot for Asami.

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