Fanfiction: Getting Lost on the Roads of Life - Chapter 2 (A KakaSaku Story)

credit to the owner/creator

 Chapter 2 - Genjutsu

written by kakashi

“Sakura,” Tsunade smiled sweetly behind her large desk. Too sweetly. She wanted something from her and was anticipating she would say no.

“Yes, Hokage-sama?” Sakura smiled just as sweetly.

“Are you very busy at the hospital?”

Well, that was obvious, wasn’t it, they were always busy because there was not enough staff. Besides, Lady Tsunade was the one overseeing the rosters, so she most certainly knew Sakura was working much more than she had to. For not enough pay. But now was not the time to complain.

“Yes, very busy, Hokage-sama,” Sakura replied politely.

“How is your… family life?”

Seriously? Sakura scowled. Tsunade had to know Sasuke was still not back from wherever he went to for months and months.

“Any plans for… children?”

Was the Hokage drunk again? Sakura sniffed the air inconspicuously. No, not more than usual.

“I am thinking to pass a law that every able bodied couple has to have at least three children,” Tsunade mused.

“Excuse me?” Sakura exclaimed in disbelief.

Tsunade sighed. “Not enough? Should I make it four?”

“Hokage-sama!” Sakura scolder her, “you cannot force Konoha’s citizens to have children if they don’t want to!”

“Says who!” the Sannin said angrily. “I’m the Hokage! And I am thinking to put an aphrodisiac into the water supply for a start. It’s spring. Nobody will notice.”

Sakura gasped for air. She was not seriously having such a conversation, was she? She had better things to do.

“If you do that, with all due respect, Tsunade-sama, I will make sure the council stops you.”

Tsunade scowled at her angrily. “Haruno, you are just too… rule-abiding.”

Since when was that a bad thing?

“Hokage-sama,” Sakura said, “I do understand your worries. The death toll during the war was horrific. Our numbers took a severe hit and the population is continuing to drop instead of going up. And yet…,” Sakura took a deep breath. Who would want to bring children into a world as insecure as theirs? She knew from Naruto how many holes there were in their defences. The outside world seemed quiet enough at the moment, but it was a very uneasy peace. “...people will become more hopeful again with time,” she said, trying to sound more confident than she felt.

“How much more time?” Tsunade sighed. “It’s been almost a decade.”

“Another… decade?” Sakura ventured to guess.

“I am worried, Sakura-san,” Tsunade admitted and for a moment, she sounded as old as she was. “I need more Shinobi.”

“Is there something I can do to alleviate your worries, Hokage-sama?” Sakura asked. Except conjure up well trained Shinobi from thin air.

“Yes,” the Hokage nodded and her hand snuck over to the bottle on her desk, only to hesitate in the air. The hand sunk down and Tsunade sighed again, more heavily.

“I have a problem,” she said, her face darkening, “but I trust you are discreet enough to handle it well.”

“Yes, Hokage-sama,” Sakura replied, standing straight, “you can trust me.”

“What is your relationship with Hatake Kakashi?”


“My Sensei?” Sakura asked dumbfounded, though she had never heard of anyone else with that name.

Tsunade nodded.

“He is my Sensei,” Sakura said, feeling rather confused. What other relationship should she have? He was her Teacher.

That she thought about often.

That she had wanted to see for a long time, because she felt he would be able to help her understand… the Uchihas.

That she had worried about a lot because it could only mean one thing if a Jonin was never home.

“Has something happened to him?” she suddenly exclaimed, feeling cold dread flood her senses.

“Well…,” Tsunade squirmed. “Yes. No, he’s fine, he’s fine, don’t freak out. It’s only…,” she sighed again. “You can see for yourself!”

Sakura held out her hand towards the file that Tsunade had picked up from her desk. A patient? Kakashi Sensei was a patient at the hospital? Why did she not know about it. Feeling an awful lot of trepidation, Sakura opened the file and began to read.

“How many missions have you sent him on since the end of the war?” she asked quietly when she was halfway through.

“That information is classified,” Tsunade replied curtly. “And I do not have to send him. He volunteers.”

Classified. Half of the information in this file was blacked out. Of course, Sakura knew about some of Kakashi Sensei’s past, well or at least guessed, and she knew about Konoha’s secret military branch. A Jonin as capable as him would most naturally be used for the most difficult and sensitive missions there were. Undercover missions. Assassination. Infiltration.

Classified. She did not like the sound of it.

“Partial amnesia?” she asked and pressed her lips together. “Why?”

“That we are not sure about,” Tsunade said, but it seemed to Sakura like she was lying.

“And you want me to…?”

“Look at him. Have him look at you.”

“Why me?”

“He needs to see a familiar face.”

“Are there no other familiar faces?”

“No,” Tsunade said resolutely. “At least not familiar faces he will like to see and who are skilled in medical jutsu.”

Sakura nodded slowly. “You want me to find out what’s wrong with him?”

Tsunade nodded.

“And you want him restored as quickly as possible?”

“I need him,” Tsunade said. “Desperately. And I need you to ascertain that he… he is no threat.”

Sakura could not believe her ears. “You know as well as me that he would rather kill himself than bring harm to Konoha!”

Tsunade nodded, her lips a tight line. “Yes, normally, he would. But…”


Tsunade sighed. “Just do what I told you. I understand you have worked on your Genjutsu skills in the last few years?”

“I am not going to use Genj…”

“Yes, you are, Sakura-san,” Tsunade snapped. “It’s an order. You use anything you have on this man. He is my most important asset and I want him out in the field at the end of this week at the latest. Do you understand?”

Well, she did. And she did not. And she did not like this one bit. But the prospect of finally seeing Kakashi Sensei again and maybe, just maybe, be able to help him… she would do it.


He looked… just as she remembered him, and then again, not at all. Was it because he had changed or was it because she no longer saw things with the eyes of a clueless Genin? Apart from him looking at her with two dark eyes instead of just one, everything was there. The unruly silver hair, the crinkly smile that lit up his eyes, the mask that hid the rest… but also a very muscular, lean body, only barely hidden by a sleeveless shirt, his long fingers not half-concealed by gloves. And… a red tattoo, shimmering in the artificial light like it was alive.

Sakura racked her brain, trying to remember whether she had ever seen him sleeveless before, wouldn’t she have had to, in so many years and on so many missions? It looked new though. She was old enough to know what these kind of marks meant on a Shinobi’s body. And this one, it looked like a seal, not just a tattoo.

She was also old enough to know he would not answer a single question about it. And she was certain Tsunade was deliberately rubbing this in her face. Her most important asset. Special operations. S-ranked missions or who knew, something even more demanding. No wonder she had not been able to find him. Was he even still living in his small apartment in the West of Konoha? Or in some military facility she knew for a fact existed, in the underground.

Seeing him was… exhilarating. To see his smile made her heart jump in joy. In her imagination, she had seen him crippled or dead, or, when she had forced herself to think happy thoughts, so in love with a woman he had forgotten his previous life and everybody in it. But here he was, a most capable Jonin, doing what too few were still capable of doing. Defending Konoha so that she, that all of them and their families could feel safe.

Sakura, who would have described herself as confident woman, felt awkward around him because of it. Would he not begrudge them this? People wanting comfortable lives while he put his life on the line every day?

It did not seem the case. Kakashi Sensei praised her, making her blush like a girl. He smiled at her, congratulated her on her horrible marriage. There was a certain sadness in him, hidden right behind his smiles, but that was it. All else was… normal. They even talked like normal people. Had they ever done that before?

At one stage she was tempted to try and catch a glimpse of his face underneath the mask like during their Team 7 days, but she knew how much it meant to him to hide it for whatever strange reasons, so she turned her head away to let him eat in private. It pleased her immensely that he liked her food. She hadn’t cooked for anyone in very long and she had felt self-conscious about the meagerness of it, but he seemed content, looking at her from the bed with a languid expression that was so him.

“Would you like to sleep?” she asked him, like she would ask any patient.

He shook his head, still looking.

“Tsunade sent you?” he asked.

Sakura nodded.

“She is a very smart woman,” Kakashi murmured, looking at his hands, flexing his fingers again.

Do not in any case let him perform any jutsu, Tsunade had repeated more than once. The Hokage had tied Kakashi Sensei with strong chakra suppressing chains just to make extra sure he could not unleash his powers. Sakura suddenly felt very nervous, watching him move his fingers like this. He was incredibly fast, she remembered very well. She moved closer to the bed, as if that would help at all to prevent him.

Kakashi looked up. “I understand,” he said, “you have nothing to fear from me, I assure you.”

Sakura nodded. There was not another person in the world she felt safer with.

“You want to examine me?” Kakashi asked.

Sakura nodded again.

Kakashi sighed a little. “What do you want me to do?”

“Nothing,” she replied quickly. “But I will have to… touch you.”

A look of amusement came into his eyes. “If it’s only that…”

It won’t be only that, Sakura thought, but she was sure he knew this. She had lessened the force of Tsunade’s chains for Kakashi to be able to move, at least if he did it slowly. He was currently peeling himself out of his blanket, swinging his long legs over the side of the bed in order to sit there.

“Will this do?”

Sakura swallowed. He was tall. Logically, he had always been, but she had never quite realized how much taller and stronger he was than her. Even with chakra suppressing chains around his limbs, he exuded an awe inspiring presence.

And he was damn handsome, mask or not.

Blame spring or her extended husband-less stage for noticing it, but whatever the reason, it would not do. He was a patient and as a doctor, she knew better than to be distracted by the bodies of her patients. She put her mind in the right mood easily and stepped closer. His eyes were of a very dark grey, so dark they almost appeared black. Dealing with only one of his eyes had been easier, she thought, but that thought was snuffed out deliberately when she lifted her hands to place them on his temples.

His skin was very warm, maybe a bit too warm. Was he running a fever? She made a mental note to check later.

“Will you trust me?” she asked a bit breathless.

He nodded.

“I will have to use Genjutsu,” she explained though she was certain he already knew that.

“I trust you, Sakura,” he said and for inexplicable reasons, the way he said it made her heart contract painfully for a moment.

“Look at me,” she demanded. He complied, though she saw the minuscule tightening of his mouth the small twitch of his eyelids. Had he ever before let anyone do Genjutsu on him willingly like this? His dark eyes settled on hers. She recognized the fear in them, though he was trying to hide it skillfully.

Eyes were the door into the mind. Someone who had wielded a Sharingan for so long would know even better than her what it meant to use it to suggest thoughts and actions to a target, forcing them to divulge information or act in a particular way.

“The less you resist, the quicker it is over,” she whispered. She really did not want to force herself into his mind.

A small nod. He probably did not know what a Jonin at his level could do to a doctor like her if he chose to resist. Or maybe he did.

“I want to get out of here,” he whispered, “I hate hospitals.”

Yes, indeed. There was several nicknames for this man. Copy Ninja. Hero of the Sharingan. Cold-blooded Kakashi. Even more ugly ones. But also: Konoha’s most difficult patient. For someone who hated them so much, he sure spent a lot of time in hospitals.



Now Sakura could smell it. The Hokage had indulged with little restraint. It was not even 4 o’clock yet, but her speech was slurred and her skin flushed and the entire office reeked of her favorite sake.

“Did he resist?”

“Only a little,” Sakura replied, suppressing a shudder. She would refuse to do it again. It was horrifying to use these kind of techniques on a friend and what she had seen.... She had been veritably happy to be stopped by sealed walls almost as soon as she had entered her Sensei’s mind.

“Then you need to break the seals next.”


Tsunade nodded. “It’s not good,” she added gravely.

It wasn’t, Sakura had to admit it too. Either Kakashi Sensei had sealed his own mind and had forgotten about it or somebody else had, which could mean all kinds of sinister things. For example, enemy Shinobis had hidden special commands in his mind to unleash him on Konoha when the time came.

“I cannot do that.”

“Cannot? Or do not want to,” Tsunade observed with slitted eyes.

It was a bit of both. “He is very strong,” Sakura began to explain. “I’m afraid that when I prod him too much, he might… lash out.”

“I bound him.”

“You cannot keep him this way for long,” Sakura said, “and you know it. You could damage his chakra permanently.”

“Dammit,” Tsunade swore and shook one of the bottles on her desk.

“You need to free him. You cannot keep him down there either, it’s very unhealthy to live underground like this.”

“Free him!” Tsunade shouted, making Sakura jump. “Are you out of your mind! He could be a frigging time bomb ready to destroy us all!”

“I promise to watch him closely,” Sakura said, feeling a bit desperate.

“How is that going to help us,” Tsunade growled, “he will just kill you first.”

“No,” Sakura said, shaking her head slowly, “I know he would never do that.”

“You have a lot of faith in that man,” Tsunade scoffed, though Sakura saw that she was thinking about her proposal.

“How are you going to watch him?” she then asked. “And what are we going to do about the seals?”

“He can stay with me for a few days. While I work on a solution. Together with him.”

Tsunade began to protest, but Sakura cut her off. “Hokage-sama, listen to me. He is one of our best. Of course he would know a solution. We would be stupid not to ask him. He will be very cooperative.”

Tsunade snorted. “Certainly. He’d do anything to be out of the hospital.”

Sakura nodded excitedly. “Exactly! And he certainly does not want to return. How many days will you give me? It will work, I am certain!”

Tsunade bit her lip. “You would take a strange man home with you?”

“He isn’t a stranger to me at all!” Sakura protested. “He is my Sensei!”

Tsunade looked at her askance. “I can’t argue with that. But Hatake Kakashi is also…”

What? Sakura waited for the Hokage to finish her sentence, but the busty woman did not. Instead, she said: “I need both of you in your positions again as soon as possible. Three days? No, that is probably too little. Five. Five days.”

“Thank you Hokage-sama!” Sakura shouted. How unexpectedly easy!

“Hey! You will check in regularly with me, do you…”

“Yes, Hokage-sama!”

And thus, Sakura ended up walking through the streets of Konoha with Kakashi Sensei in tow. She was so excited, so nervous she thought she’d explode, but nobody seemed to notice anything strange, people hardly even looked their way and when they did, they just greeted them with reverence.

Kakashi had his hands buried in the pockets of his blue trousers and sauntered along leisurely, like they were not on a very tight clock to set that head of his straight. He had insisted on wearing an old Konoha flak jacket, not the “useless new design with no pockets” and Sakura had had to sit on her hands not to start chewing her nails, it would take ages to find one! But no, quite miraculously, Yamato had conjured up such a model within minutes and it even fit her Sensei perfectly. Luckily, Kakashi Sensei had not considered the new boots useless, those he put on without batting an eye. Gloves, headband, he had soon looked just like he always had. A backpack with a change of clothes and other utilities, that, too, Yamato had ready in an almost suspiciously short time.

It did cross Sakura’s mind that it went all a bit too smoothly, but maybe Tsunade was just too eager to get rid of him, before he could destroy his hospital room again.

But the closer they got to her and Sasuke’s apartment, the more nervous Sakura felt. Taking home a possibly lethal ninja suddenly didn’t seem like such a great idea anymore, now that her brain was thinking about the details of this arrangement. What had Tsunade wanted to say? But Hatake Kakashi is also…

“Sensei?” she asked, her voice much higher than normal from nervousness, which greatly annoyed her, “we need to go grocery shopping before going up. There is no food.”

“Oh?” he said and lifted his eyebrows a little, like he could not imagine a more boring piece of information.

His complete disinterest vexed her, but she better get used to his ways again. She had forgotten that he could be very infuriating and she was pretty certain she recalled correctly that he had always become much more infuriating as soon as anyone in Team 7 had shown they were affected by his ways. Five days suddenly didn’t seem short but very long.

Once inside the grocery store however, Kakashi carried the basket for her and even looked at the fruits on display with something that could pass as mildly interested. Sakura bought rice, some fresh udon noodles, vegetables, some apples and a bit of pork belly. Then she went back for milk and yogurt.

“Anything else you want, Sensei?” she asked her ninja shadow, whose drooping eyes made her tired by just looking at them.

“Tabacco,” he said.

“Sensei, you don’t smoke!” she exclaimed in shock.

“I don’t?” he mused, scratching his head. “I think I do. At least occasionally.”

“It’s not good for you,” she scolded him, but bought what he pointed at anyway.

“And would you like some alcohol too while we’re at it?” she scoffed.

“Yes,” he said with a deadpan face, taking her by surprise.

“You can’t drink in your current condition,” she said, “there are quite a few tablets Hokage Tsunade has told me you need to take.”

“Pah,” he scoffed and she was quite sure there was a pout under that mask of his.

“I pay,” he told her at the check-out, which she considered a pleasant surprise, until she realized he did not have to pay anything at all. The woman simply bowed to him and packed the things up much more neatly than she had ever done for Sakura.

“What was that?” Sakura whispered when they were outside.

“Shinobi ways,” Kakashi said mysteriously and smiled.

Maybe the woman owed him something, Sakura thought, watching his smug expression from the side. But how was that possible? She narrowed her eyes. What was he up to?

“Want me to carry it?” he asked.

Sakura glanced down, realizing she had grabbed all the groceries, leaving him with nothing to carry.

“N… no,” she stammered, not even sure why she felt embarrassed, “we’re already here. It’s on the top floor. A little hot in the summer, but it’s not summer yet and the light is really beautiful especially in the evenings and if you put your head out of the window…” she was babbling. “Sasuke is currently not here,” she blurted out, “I hope you don’t mind.”

“Yes, I know what kind of mission he’s on,” Kakashi replied curtly and put his head back to look up at the roof.

He did?

“Oh,” she said, but did not know what else to say. She did not. She had no clue where her husband was or for how long he would stay away this time and this Jonin who was never in Konoha when she went to look for him knew? Briefly she wondered whether… but Sasuke definitely had no tattoo. She would know that, wouldn’t she?

“The keys are in my bag,” she snapped.

Kakashi turned to look at her but didn’t move.

“Take them out?” she suggested.

“You want me to…” he eyed the bag dangling from her shoulder with apprehension.

“I don’t believe this,” Sakura muttered. “Here!” she said and pressed the two bags into his arms to get the keys out.

“I know better than to venture into unknown territory without proper preparation,” she heard him murmur behind her on the stairs and despite the irritation that she still felt, she had to laugh.

“Do you think my bag is booby-trapped?” she joked.

“It’s possible,” he replied drily.

She was out of breath at the top, he not at all. Was that the Shinobi way too? Be heavily injured and in hospital one day and still race up stairs the next without breaking a sweat?

“You’re out of form,” he observed in that matter-of-fact way of his, briefly sweeping his dark eyes over her body as if to check for excess weight.

“Try working sixteen hour shifts at the hospital and stay in shape,” she muttered, wishing he’d trip and fall, and turned the key in the lock.

“This is it,” she said stepping forward, “it’s not much. But it will do.”

“It’s fine,” he said and, maybe realizing he had pissed her off, he added a polite enough “thank you.”

She put the groceries on the kitchen counter and stowed away what needed to go in the fridge. Checking the clock - almost 2 pm - she filled two glasses of water and stepped out into the living room.

Kakashi was bent over the “Sakura-hime” cushion Sasuke had given her for their third anniversary, studying it closely. Slamming the water on the table, she rushed over to grab it off the sofa in mortification and hide it against her chest.

“Interesting choice of picture,” Kakashi commented with a snicker and turned around to have a look at the view.

One of the reasons she had insisted they take this apartment despite its relative smallness was the view of the Hokage mountain. On nice afternoons like this one, their faces were very clear and it seemed like they were looking straight at them. Sasuke had indulged her, though he had said he hated their stupid faces. To this day, she was often not sure he meant what he said.

“Impressive,” Kakashi said.

They stood there for a while in silence and looked at their previous village leaders, and when Sakura snuck a glimpse at her Sensei’s face, it was entirely still and tranquil. She looked at it a bit longer than was polite, but it fascinated her how despite the mask that covered so much, it revealed sa lot about his state of mind.

“It is a nice apartment,” Kakashi Sensei finally said and turned to her with a crinkly smile.

“We do not have a guest room,” Sakura confessed, “I was thinking you could…” she was about to offer him her bedroom, not that she had thought about it long enough.

“Here will do,” Kakashi said and flopped down on the sofa.

“It’s too small,” Sakura feared.

“Hard grounds, small sofas, large soft beds… it’s all the same to me,” he said, yawned, put his hands underneath his head and closed his eyes. “Do not worry,” he murmured sleepily, “I will be out of your hair in no time.”

“Sensei,” she said, “if you run away before we have fixed what is wrong with your memories, Tsunade will punish me most horribly.”

“Why would I run away,” he said languidly, “it’s not often that I’m invited to sleepovers with old friends.”

Why was her heart starting to beat faster?

“Sensei, please, don’t get the wrong idea, I…”

He opened his eyes to look at her. “No, I’m not getting the wrong idea. But maybe you are, so let me be clear: I am truly very grateful you got me out of there. And I will do anything it takes to not go back.”

She nodded anxiously, but he had already closed his eyes again. Sakura looked at her guest for a while, unsure what to do next. He did not move again. Only his breast rose and fell regularly.

He had fallen asleep. Just like that, like he did not have a care in the world.

But she saw it, the telltale sign of worry between his brows. After the little she had seen inside his mind, she was surprised he was able to sleep at all.

Chapter 3