A/N: Okay, so I didn’t lie down and I didn’t get much rest. But, I’m full of food now and I just finished watching August Rush (BEST movie ever!). I’m very pumped! Can you be in a daze and feel pumped at the same time….? Nevermind. Enjoy.
Chapter FourHokage Tsunade,
I was surprised to receive your letter, though the revelation of Buffy’s deviation from the planned holiday does not surprise me knowing her character. I assure you, despite my wariness concerning the situation, I will not interfere. However, there are still certain matters that you need to be aware of if you must continue. I am sending my associates as I am currently unable to leave. Expect them within hours of the arrival of this letter to your person. They will fill you in on the situation and arrange the payments for your service.
“You’re skills with Taijutsu are above average and you react quickly with good instinct, but it’s obvious that you haven’t had many opponents with particularly honed skills.” Buffy blew the strands of hair clinging to her face from sweat. She’d like to say that they’d been there all day, working on that sweat but the truth was they were only about two hours into the training session. The Slayer was sweating and it was all because this was hard. As a breeze passed by Buffy shivered.
She watched as it played with Kakashi’s silver hair (natural silver hair apparently) and then scurried across the training area’s trees to chase the loose leaves away. Her eyes went back to her new “sensei”, examining him carefully. He hadn’t broken a sweat at all. Perhaps it was because of some uber-ninja mind trick or he was just really, really in shape. She wound up staring at his green vest clad chest and her mind was going very bad places when she heard a shout from the trail.
“Kakashi-sensei!” Buffy shook herself out of the thoughts, reminding herself that she needed to stop hanging around Faith and Anko and maybe consider her convent options again. She turned to see two teens running towards them, one with long blonde hair and the other with bubblegum pink. If Kakashi’s hair was any indication, the pink tresses were natural too. The pink haired girl was waving as she approached. Kakashi had pulled out his orange book during his evaluation of her skills after the past two hours. He finally looked up from the words on the page with lazy eyes.
“Ah, Sakura, Ino. How are you?”
“Tsunade-sama told me you’d be here. We haven’t seen you since you got back from your last mission,” the pink haired girl said.
“Yeah, Kakashi-sensei, you promised us some barbecue when you got back,” said the other girl, leaning in and pouting. Kakashi rubbed the back of his neck looking nervous.
“About that. Sorry, but I’m a little short on money right now,” he glanced over at Buffy and she felt herself blush as she remembered the other night and her eating binge. The two girls looked her way, eyes curious.
“Kakashi-sensei, who’s this?”
“Buffy Summers, nice to meet you,” Buffy said, sticking out her hand. Both girls shook her hand, smiling happily. She could tell through those happy squinted eyes they were looking her over carefully though. They gave each other looks through the corner of their eyes, something much like Willow would do with her when they had come to the same conclusion about something.
“It’s nice to meet you too. I’m Sakura and this is Ino.” Sakura gestured to the blonde, Ino.
“Sakura used to be one of my students. She is now training under Tsunade-sama to become a medic-nin.” Buffy nodded in understanding, watching as Sakura seemed to puff her chest up in pride while gesturing to her friend with her thumb.
“I’m teaching Ino everything I know,” she said and then laughed. The blue eyed blonde sniffed and crossed her arms haughtily.
“Yeah right, Forehead. Like you know enough to teach.”
“What did you say, Ino-Pig!” The gentle voice had turned into a growl. Ino answered with her own low growl and bared her teeth as the girls got right into their fight, leaving their audience to move to one side to watch them nervously. They threw around insults and came to blows a few times, even hair pulling, while Kakashi and Buffy to stare in mild surprise.
“Do they do that a lot?” Kakashi sighed.
“Unfortunately, yes. You learn after a while not to intervene, otherwise their punches connect with you instead of each other.” He whispered it low and into her ear, probably to keep the angry girls from over hearing. She could barely feel his breath through the mask and Buffy’s thoughts began to wander as she imagined how it would feel with nothing in the way. It would probably tickle in that good way that brushed through your nerves making you shiver…
“I think we can finish your training for now. I mostly wanted to see what you were capable of before continuing,” Kakashi said. Her mind was pulled out of its little daydream, enough that she was aware of what he was saying and that Sakura and Ino’s fighting was trickling to a stop.
“And what are we learning at our next session? How to become one with the force sort of stuff or am I going to have a bit of fun?” She turned to smirk at him and noticed that she was close enough to see the mask shift as his lips formed a smile. His eyes looked a little confused, probably because of her jedi reference, but the rest of his expression was one of amusement.
“We’ll see when we get to that,” he said. Meanwhile, the two girls had stopped fighting entirely as they found something else more interesting. They stood watching Kakashi and Buffy and leaning into each other to whisper. If they had been gossiping about anyone else, they probably would have been safe. But, this was Buffy the girl with ears like a bat and Kakashi that second most surprising ninja in Konoha.
“What do you think, is she his girlfriend?”
“I don’t know. He hasn’t mentioned anyone. Then again, he doesn’t really talk about his personal life that much.”
“He’s been spending money on her though, probably bought her some expensive jewelry and that’s why he’s short on money. Oh my gosh, you don’t think it was a ring, do you?!” Buffy didn’t know whether to laugh or start to curse her Slayer hearing for picking their conversation up at that moment. She turned to give Kakashi a look, only to find that he was no longer next to her. Her head snapped back to the two whispering kunoichi when Kakashi’s cheery voice came from that direction.
“I hope you’re not talking about me,” he said from right behind them, fake cheerfulness dripping off his words as he gave them his trademark upside down U-eyed smile. The two girls jumped. Buffy could practically see their skin crawl with the surprise of being caught. Buffy’s feelings finally settled and she started laughing. Sakura and Ino both blushed bright red and jumped away from Kakashi.
“N-N-N-no Kakashi-sensei, why would we be talking about you?”
“Y-yeah, that’s silly. We were just talking about….shopping! We’re going shopping! And we want Buffy to come with us!” Ino elbowed Sakura, jolting her out of the scare enough to get her to go along with what she was saying.
“Yes, if she has the time that is…” They all looked in Buffy’s direction. She was still calming herself down from her outburst but at the word “Shopping” her eyes lit up.
“I’m game. Same time tomorrow, Kakashi?” Kakashi nodded.
“We should cover more tomorrow.” Buffy nodded in return and quickly linked arms with the two kunoichi who now looked excited rather than embarrassed. They walked back in the direction they had come from. It was amazing to Kakashi to see how something like shopping could bring together three girls as if they had been friends for a lifetime. He watched as Buffy laughed at something the two girls said and then replied with an enthusiasm shining in her eyes. Kakashi suddenly felt left out, but quickly reminded himself it would have been a bad idea for him to accompany them on their shopping trip. He knew what Sakura and Ino were capable of, and had a feeling that Buffy wasn’t much different when it came to shopping. Yes, he was definitely safer here.
“Kakashi!” Or maybe not. The copy-ninja turned around with a caution that he only reserved for situations like these. Anko swung down from a tree nearby, a bundle slung over her shoulder.
“Anko, what a pleasant surprise,” he said. His hand came up to scratch his mask and he smiled as best he could while Anko was giving him that smirk that only meant trouble. She dropped the items she had with her on the ground and Kakashi’s eyes immediately went to the pile of familiar books.
“You get half now, and the rest when I see that you’ve really treated her to a good time.” Kakashi sweat dropped, waving his hand at the dark haired woman.
“W-wait, Anko. I’m sure we can come to some reasonable arrangement. If we just -.”
“No deal. See you tomorrow!” Anko disappeared and Kakashi slumped over to the pile of his precious books. He sighed as he untied the strings holding them together and then stiffened as he caught sight of the first book cover. His visible eye widened before his senses came back to him and he quickly clamped it shut. Anko had left him some of her own personal stash instead, much to his dismay, and the covers were very graphic. Very graphic. Kakashi tried to close his eyes tighter as he heard Anko’s laughter echo across the training area.
The next morning, Buffy welcomed the training with a scowl. She didn’t care if she had personally requested it. Buffy still thought what they were doing now was as boring as the first time Giles had forced her to do it. The Slayer opened one eye from where she was sitting, then closed that one and opened the other. She continued the motion, watching as Kakashi moved in her vision. He was reading that orange book of his again and didn’t notice that his student was far from her training at that moment until he glanced up to find her blinking her eyes back and forth. The copy-nin let out a sigh and put away his book. Buffy stopped her weird blinking and looked up expectantly at the silver haired ninja.
“Buffy, you need to concentrate.” The blonde pulled a face in reply.
“Oh, please don’t go all Giles on me. It decreases your yum- I mean, coolness factor. Can’t we do something else?” Another sigh escaped Kakashi’s mask clad lips.
“Chakra is an important aspect of jutsu. Without the ability to access it, you will not be able to continue your training. The first step to retrieving your chakra is recognizing it and then knowing how to concentrate it into different areas of your body.”
“Right, concentrate. Focus. Did I mention that I’m more action girl than focus girl?” Kakashi gave her a long look and then “hmmm’d” at her.
“The two go hand in hand, if that helps,” he said. Kakashi looked up at the sky, estimating the time and then took a step forward. “I think it’s a good time for lunch. I’ll head into town and find something for us to eat.” He jumped into the nearest tree and only stalled for a moment when he heard Buffy yell.
“No dango!” Kakashi smiled and then pushed off from the tree and towards the main shopping area of Konoha.
Buffy watched Kakashi disappear with a little disappointment. She stood and let out a loud exhalation of air. The breath she took in was slower and calm. Action girl and focus girl. She could do both, sure. It wasn’t like she hadn’t done it before, right? Buffy closed her eyes and tried to remember the last time both these aspects of her had mingled. It had been a long time since she’d really focused on anything. Even when they’d had their last battle in Sunnydale she didn’t think what happened there had been anything but a blur of her. Another breath brought some instinct back to the surface and she slid into a form she couldn’t remember when she’d stopped using. And image of her and Angel flowing through calm, precise movements came to her mind. Despite the small pangs her old lover still left in her mind every time she remembered something about him, those feelings were pushed aside as she moved a hand forward. With each slow swipe of her arms and legs, turning into the next move with the speed of each slow breath, she wiped away the world and found what she’d forgotten over the last few stressful years.
She was actually enjoying herself, if the thrill going up her spine was any indication. There was something more there though. Buffy slid stepped back on her right leg and pulled deeper into her body. It felt like her spidey sense, but nice. No one was in danger, it was just something that was there, at the center of her and it had nothing to do with being the Slayer. It felt blue. She didn’t know how anything could feel like a color, but she knew she wasn’t seeing whatever power this was flickering inside of her. Buffy tried to grab the feeling, even a string of it but all she could do for the moment was feel it in there. She sighed and started to pull back and out of herself before the outside world came at her in hues of blue and green that overwhelmed her senses. The blue color spiked somewhere to her left, jolting her out of her meditative state. She grabbed a throwing knife and had it flying through the air before she looked in that direction. The world was back to its vivid colors that she could see with her eyes. Her sight took in the trajectory of the knife and her eyes widened for a brief second before she called out.
“Kakashi!” The ninja hadn’t even looked up from his book as he made his way back with a bag hook on one arm, swinging at his side. His eye finally rose from the pages at Buffy’s shout, half lidded and still fogged over enough that the situation didn’t process immediately. In the second it took for him to realize that there was a sharp object heading for his head, said object was now making its way even closer. Kakashi’s eye opened wide and he darted out of the way of the projectile, feeling it pass by his cheek making him fully aware of how close he’d come to having the knife between his eyes. Instead it embedded itself in the tree that had been behind him. Kakashi looked at the knife and then at the petite blonde that stood frozen with her hand still outreached.
A/N: Gah! Why am I continuing this?! And I should be studying! That German test isn’t going to take itself, for goodness sake. I was seriously considering leaving you hanging with the knife, but it’s 2 AM and I didn’t have the motivation to be evil. Please review. And if you know how to review in German, hey, it would kind of be like I’m studying every time I read a new review. Toodles!