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Writing again. Sort of.

The weekend was all-around annoying, so there was no chance to relax enough to draw anything. But I've started to write a Kakashi/Ayame story where I'm actually trying to flesh Ayame out a little. I have around nine thousand words, which isn't much, and while I do have a villain I'm not sure whether I want him to make an appearance or not.

Random Kakashi/Genma bit.

"Oi, Kakashi-sensei! Whatcha doing here?"

Genma couldn't suppress a faint grin at Kakashi's heartfelt sigh.

"Hello Naruto," he said mildly.

Genma raised two fingers to his forehead in salute, causing Naruto to blush at receiving the courtesy of a greeting from a Jounin who was not his sensei.

"Ano sa, ano sa... Say, sensei, are you going to eat?" Naruto demanded, a sly light in his eyes.

Not if I can help it. "I ate already," Kakashi said, amused to see a pout form on the little boy's face. If he says mou, I'll make him wear pigtails. When no such expression was forthcoming, Kakashi leaned back in his chair.

"You should hurry and get your ramen, Naruto," Genma said pleasantly. "I hear they're almost out for today."

"What? Ichiraku's out? But--" With a near-wail, Naruto bounded to the counter.

"That was nasty, Shiranui," Kakashi remarked.

Genma cocked an eyebrow. "What, did you want him to stare at your face all the time in the hopes that you get something else to stuff it with?"

"You have a point."

"Why don't you let them see and get it over with anyway?"

"That would defeat the whole purpose of the mask, don't you think?"

Genma shrugged. "Not sure if the mask hasn't outlived its usefulness. It's not as if your hair weren't a dead giveaway anyway. Not to mention the eye."

Kakashi's visible eye narrowed. "Habit. Personal preference. Take your pick."

"You forgot ward against screaming teenagers and sexual advances," grinned Genma. "Honestly, you used to be harder to tease."

"As long as I can still get Gai to spontaneously combust without a word..." Kakashi said smugly.

Genma snickered. "There is that."

The table settled into comfortable silence.

At the counter Naruto was balancing precariously on his stool, clicking his chopsticks together in feverish anticipation.

Ayame smiled brilliantly as she ladled an extra helping unto Naruto's plate, unaware of the lazy gaze following her, or the brows that suddenly slanted over dark eyes in a frown of concentration.

Naruto blushed and rubbed his neck in a familiar gesture. Kakashi noted how the girl's slender fingers clenched against the fabric of her apron, doubtlessly suppressing an impulse to ruffle the little boy's hair. He smiled faintly. Naruto's haphazard locks seemed to invite naughty fingers, particularly when he was looking as vulnerable as he did now at the unexpected show of kindness.

The girl cocked her head at him and the smile turned up a few notches, radiating warmth. Blushing even more furiously Naruto grinned back and then dug into his food with an embarrassed noise.

Sato Ayame. Once Kakashi had summoned up the half-forgotten name from the recesses of his mind, the accompanying information followed in a lazy trickle. Beneath the mask, his lips pursed in thought.

She'd been taken prisoner relatively early -- as a Genin, if he wasn't mistaken, and there hadn't been a rescue operation until significantly later. He didn't remember the particulars, but months of captivity were enough to break just about anyone. He had enough of an idea of Ibiki's interrogation methods to be certain of that, and his own ANBU training in information extraction had left even more of an impression.

It struck him as odd that someone so damaged should be so capable of casual affection. Even stranger that she was able to mingle with people on a daily basis. The few others who had survived similar experiences had turned into veritable hermits, confined into small, dark spaces in the safest regions of the village, receiving regular gifts of food and clothing from a special fund.

Having noticed the sudden intensity of Kakashi's usually bored gaze Genma leaned back, crossing his arms over his chest. "So you remember her too," he said quietly.

The other Jounin's one-eyed gaze turned lazy again. "Aa."

"It's strange for her to be here. Too many people. I wonder how she stands it."

"I'm sure Ibiki would have an answer to that," Kakashi said with distaste. His intense dislike of Konoha's head interrogator wasn't something he bothered to hide.

"I was on the extraction team," Genma said. "What I saw... The leader of that nest of rats must have been one sick son of a bitch."

Kakashi frowned. "You didn't get him?"

"No. He was gone without much of a trace and the mission goal was extraction, not pursuit. I would have killed him anyway if he'd been anywhere near."

It was Kakashi's turn to lean back. "That bad?"

Genma frowned. "Worse. I thought you read the reports."

"I did. But at that time..."

"Yes, I know."


And now a tentative relationshippy bit...

She straightened. "Hatake-sama! What can I get you?"

"One portion of onigiri? To take away? And temaki if you've still got some."

She beamed at him. "Right away!"

"Oh and if you don't mind..."

She turned to see his eye crinkling close in an innocent smile. "Please call me Kakashi. Everyone else does."

The brilliance of her own smile intensified to a sunlike flare to hide her confusion. "If you prefer." Kakashi-sempai, you've never been harmless in your life. What game are you playing now?

Hn. I wonder if that hurts, stretching your face like that all the time... Does she ever stop smiling? he wondered as she scurried into the kitchen only to return minutes later with her hands full.

The bento box she handed him was prettily decorated with sakura blossoms. "Please enjoy," she murmured, bowing.

He returned the bow, eyebrow raising when she laid another small package on the counter, this one more garishly decorated and tied with string.

"Ohagi," she explained, "and some other sweets." For once her smile was faint and wistful. "Could you please give this to Naruto? You see him more often than I do."

He watched her intently for a moment, then nodded. "You are very kind, Ayame-san," he observed.

"Not really," she demurred. "If I weren't afraid of intruding I'd do something like this every day. He deserves it, you see."

"I don't think he'd see it as an intrusion," Kakashi murmured. "But he might fall hopelessly in love with you."

She giggled then clamped her hand over her mouth, horrified at the girlish sound. "Food does seem to beat a direct path to his heart, doesn't it?" A sigh escaped her. "He's such a sunny kid, despite everything."

"A sunny idiot kid," Kakashi corrected dryly.

"You like him anyway," she said daringly. "He told me you're a very patient sensei."

The one visible eyebrow lifted. "More likely he told you I'm a hopeless slacker. And always late."

She tried in vain not to grin. "That too."

Kakashi smiled guilessly. "Amazing powers of observation, that kid."

To her horror she giggled again and Kakashi's smile seemed to widen into something a little predatory beneath the mask.

Kami, what am I doing? I can't be flirting, not with him. He reads porn on the street and is as transparent as a slab of rock!

Hell, I can't be flirting. Period.

Anyway, it was such a cliché -- the ninja and the serving girl. The serial novellas featuring that kind of pairing sold stunningly well in the small print shop. As did The Ninja and the Flower Girl, Seducing a Chuunin, Jounin's Baby... most of them by writers with names like 'A Lady', and 'Shinobi Chick'.

Ayame sighed. After all, Icha Icha Paradise was supposedly written by 'Another Lady', and she had a good enough idea of the contents to seriously doubt that.

Kakashi-sama, I don't need a crush, especially not on you. Now scram.

Actually, the very idea of a crush was ludicrous when mentioned in the same sentence with her name. Banshio had seen to that she thought bitterly, but it didn't stop the small excited skip of her heart when she looked at the way the soft cloth of the Copy-Nin's mask molded itself over features that could only be called divine.

She had glimpsed his face only once, months ago, but she still remembered with glee Ichiraku's love-struck blush. Even more so because her boss was strictly into women and rather vocal about it. She preferred not to recall her own blushing, drooling meltdown. Until that point she had completely forgotten she even had hormones.

Banshio had been beautiful too, narcissistically so. The thought of his pale, perfect face still had the ability to make her shudder. With his long platinum locks and sapphire eyes he would have been the very image of an angel if not for the blood staining his mouth as he bent over her, dripping crimson fluid from elongated canines. Her blood.

Banshio-sama likes to bite. The voice of one of her faceless guards, filled with a mixture of pride and horiffied fascination, drifted through her mind. And he did. He liked it almost as much as he liked letting the wounds inflame and fester for weeks afterwards.

Banshio-sama had also liked little boys, and dogs as large as he was. She could probably be thankful for the fact that her being a sixteen-year old female had offered comparatively inferior thrills. And the guards... the guards were satisfied by mere pain. And it hadn't been as if she could feel even more unclean. After a while, numbers ceased to matter.

Sometimes she wondered whether being raped and tortured at sixteen was less horrendous than if the same thing had happened at an earlier age. Some people seemed to think so, including the ones charged with her rehabilitation.

She would have been ashamed of the thoughts if she'd still had the ability to feel shame for anything, but sometimes she hated the Leaf for using her, and the ANBU for leaving her in captivity for what had seemed like aeons at the time.

She knew all about priorities. She hadn't been one.


I've realized that writing a Kakashi who's actually interested in starting a relationship is awfully hard, because he doesn't strike me as the type who'd go to the trouble unless he feels it's really important.

Ayame is a bit easier to write; her character in the series is so peripheral that I can do everything I want with her, and I'm using that quite shamelessly.

I'm not sure if I should continue this since it's bound to get dark and there will have to be rather explicit smut at some point -- this is actually a story where the sex is an integral part of character development and can't be glossed over. But I want to... :sniff:

Anyway, in case anyone actually bothers to read those snippets, I'm thankful for any and all comments. :)


Mar. 18th, 2004 04:30 am (UTC)
Thank you! And of course I won't mind questions since every excuse to ramble on and on and on about the characters is all right with me... :P
Mar. 18th, 2004 07:28 am (UTC)
Besides, that blond ninja guy is hot. And I'm always up for romance/smut with hot blond guys, hence my little "fixation" with elves. Mmmm.