Warnings: Bad language, ridiculousness, snark, social awkwardness, environmental justice rants, mentions of crime, crack, etc.
Word Count: ~3600 (complete)
Pairings: Kakashi/Obito, Sasuke/Naruto, various others hinted at but not specified.
Summary: snatches up the abandoned bottle, jogs three steps, and hurls it with all the force he can manage at the back of the white-haired litterer's head, snarling, "Hey, asshole! It's called recycling!"
Notes: For a "Why didn't you recycle that" AU prompt I stumbled over on Tumblr, since I'm determined to keep writing regularly even though Stormborn is done. This way, instead of stressing about RL situations, I can stress over fictional characters and their ridiculousness. o/
(Also, the Obito & Sasuke relationship just…sort of happened. As with most things, I should possibly regret it, but I don't.)
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Obito is willing to admit that he has…issues. Anger issues, specifically, though arguments for several other types could probably be made as well. Still, he doesn't think it's such a stretch to expect a little common fucking courtesy from the rest of humanity. And it's not like he's some renegade Earth warrior staking out a trash can to make sure no one tosses a soda can in the wrong bin. He's just…conscious. Aware. And if a vaguely reformed ex-con can pay attention to his environmental impact, surely it's not ridiculous to expect the same from other people, right? Especially the people in a snazzy upper-class neighborhood like the one his extended family lives in.
"Are you listening to me?" Sasuke demands sharply, tugging his backpack higher up on his shoulder with an offended jerk.
"Honestly? No." Obito rolls his eye, pushing his bike around a crack in the sidewalk and only resisting the urge to bail right now by thinking of what Mikoto will do to him if Sasuke shows up at the house alone—or worse, doesn't show up at all. But the kid is in the throes of angsty teenagerdom, and Obito suspects that it would benefit the world in general if he just drowned him in a lake. The global angst level would certainly take a huge drop. "And stop glaring at me. This is your fault."
Sasuke gives him the pissy look he does so well, eyes narrowing. "I thought you would be on my side!" he hisses. "I know you're gay, too—"
"Bi," Obito corrects with a sigh. "Technically. Rin and I dated for six weeks in my junior year. I just prefer men most of the time. And I could give a fuck about your boyfriend, Sasuke, but screwing on the living room couch when you know your mothers are best friends and are going to be home for tea? That's just tacky."
It's also a rather depressing reminder that his sixteen-year-old cousin is getting more action than he's had in the last year. Which is probably to be expected, but it's still…sad. Really, really sad.
"She didn't have to put me under freaking house arrest," Sasuke mutters sulkily, but the tips of his ears are crimson, even if he's otherwise holding the standard Uchiha poker face admirably. Apparently, getting caught with his boyfriend's knees around his ears wasn't what he'd been aiming for. Not that Obito can really blame him for his libido. If Naruto were ten years older…
That's a creepy thought. Obito grimaces and shakes it off, telling himself very firmly that he needs to get laid. It's been too long since Nagato left him after dramatically finding out that he and his childhood crush had been mutually pining for each other for years. Not that Obito misses the overdramatic bastard, but…it was comfortable, what they had. Easy, especially because of shared pasts and having no need to dance around the incredibly awkward so-I-have-a-rap-sheet-longer-than-my-arm-and-the-FBI-is-keeping-tabs-on-me-how's-your-steak conversation.
"You think I want to walk you to and from school every day, kid?" Obito retorts, reaching over to scrub his knuckles against Sasuke's skull. Sasuke yelps in protest, ducking away, but not quickly enough. Maybe it's shallow, but Obito takes great pleasure in the fact that his meticulously messy hair now looks more like super bedhead than anything deliberate. "I do have a life, you know."
"News to me," Sasuke mutters, because he's a total brat.
Being the unrepentant asshole that he is, Obito gives him his sweetest smile—not that sweet, admittedly, but good enough—and answers, "Well, more than you, at least. And I don't have Uncle Madara trying to slip safe-sex talks into every conversation with me."
Sasuke blanches, clearly remembering the horror that was dinner last night, and subsides with a growl that says the argument isn't over. Still, this round goes to Obito, and he's petty enough to take some glee in that. Humming in satisfaction, he turns his eyes forward again, checking the streets. They're almost wide enough for him to use his bike again without getting screamed at for endangering pedestrians, since Koharu Utatane is still the same crotchety old menace he remembers from his own teen years, which is distressingly nostalgic. And Sasuke will have to ride bitch, which makes it even better.
Then the man walking in front of them, all of his attention on the mobile pressed to his ear, casually drops a plastic bottle and ignores the way it bounces loudly across the sidewalk.
"Oh please god no," Sasuke groans, slapping a hand over his face.
Obito ignores him, eye narrowing sharply, and straightens. "Hold this," he orders, shoving his bike into Sasuke's side and earning an offended wheeze, which is also summarily ignored. Picking up his pace, Obito snatches up the bottle, jogs three steps, and hurls it with all the force he can manage at the back of the litterer's head, snarling, "Hey, asshole! It's called recycling!"
Obito's still used to chucking grenades. A half-full plastic bottle is nothing.
The improvised projectile flies in a perfect arc and at impressive speeds, and slams into the back of the man's skull with a dull thud that makes Obito smirk in satisfaction. The litterer yelps and drops his phone, staggering a few steps forward and clutching at his head. Then he spins around, and Obito is momentarily blinded by sheer attractiveness.
Oh. Okay, wow. He just beaned someone who's more than likely a male model.
Still, being pretty is no excuse for being a neglectful, inattentive jerkass, so Obito meets the guy's startled stare with a glare of his own and mercilessly snags Sasuke by the collar when the kid attempts to slink past in mortification.
"I'm sorry?" the man asks after a moment, blinking. Even his eyelashes are white, and he's just sort of ridiculously gorgeous.
Fuck, Obito really needs to get laid.
Okay. Focus on the jerkass part. "You dropped something," he says acidly, tipping his chin at the very dented bottle lying at the man's feet. "If you're going to pollute the environment by drinking out of a damned plastic bottle in the first place, at least have the fucking decency to recycle it. God damn it, people in this country alone use twenty-nine million water bottles a year, and only one in six gets recycled. Do you know how much crude oil they need to make that many bottles? Seventeen million barrels. That's enough to power a million cars for twelve months. So stick it in your damned pocket, find a bin, and don't be a littering asshole."
Sasuke makes an incoherent sort of oh-god-why-me noise, and Obito rolls his eye and gives him a shake, because this is important, damn it, and he doesn't get why more people don't care about it. It's not like living on this planet is optional. Better safe than sorry, and all that shit. Personally, Obito would rather just make the effort to toss a few things into a separate bin than end up slogging through seawater in a decade or two when the oceans keep rising and no one's done anything to stop it.
The man just stares at him for another long moment—not blankly, because those dark grey eyes are intent and considering and fuck, Obito has always had a thing for smart people. Then he hums thoughtfully, bends down, and picks up his mobile. "Hey, Asuma," he says casually into it, still watching Obito. "Sorry about that. I'll call you back. Something came up." Snapping it shut, he drops it into his satchel, scoops up the battered bottle, and meanders over to them with a lazy smile that Obito can only just see under his scarf. "You're right," he says cheerfully, offering Obito his hand as his eyes do an appreciative up-and-down sweep of his body. "That was careless of me. Kakashi Hatake. Thanks for catching my mistake. Can I apologize with coffee?"
He's clearly waiting for a name in response, but Obito has been around the block enough times to recognize the interested look on his face, and no matter how easy on the eyes he is, Hatake is clearly an opportunistic asshole. Not that Obito hasn't dated assholes in the past, but last time he did he ended up as an undercover arms dealer in the Middle East with sand in unspeakable places and several bounties on his head. It's not exactly an experience he's eager to repeat.
Besides, Obito just assaulted him with a water bottle. What kind of brain-damaged moron uses that as an opening to ask their environmentally-motivated assailant out on a date?
Thankfully, if there's one thing that can break through Sasuke's pique at the world in general, it's people flirting with his family. Giving Hatake a glare, he pushes Obito's bike back into his hands before he can take shake Hatake's, and says pointedly, "Weren't we going home? I've got six hours of homework that you promised to help me with, and Mr. Sarutobi wants that essay Monday."
"Yeah, yeah." Obito rolls his eye, swings a leg over his bike, and steals one more glance at Hatake—who is definitely pretty, and damn it, because he makes Obito want to do something stupid—before looking back at his cousin. No assholes, he reminds himself. It was his New Year's resolution. "You're lucky I never put my English degree to better use. Show a little appreciation, brat."
"What better use?" Sasuke retorts, grabbing his shoulder and preparing to hop on behind him. "It's an English degree. You're lucky you're not scrubbing out toilets somewhere."
Still standing off to the side, Hatake clears his throat, and when they both look at him he offers up a charming smile. It might even have been effective if they could see most of it past the vaguely hipster-ish scarf. "If you're in a hurry," he suggests, "my car is right up ahead. I could give you a lift." That sharp gaze lingers on Obito for a moment longer before he adds casually, with a nod at the bike, "Unless you don't believe in using cars?"
What Obito said about Hatake looking intelligent? Yeah, no. He grits his teeth on the extremely rude answer that's his first response, and can feel Sasuke's fingers tightening like claws as the teenager glares daggers at the man over his shoulder. Obito glances back, and his cousin's expression definitely promises bloody retribution. It's…a little flattering, honestly. Sasuke used to always say that Obito was his favorite relative after his brother, but since he hit thirteen he's hated the world in general enough that Obito hasn't been able to tell if it was still true.
"I believe in cars," he growls, jerking the bike around. "But when you're missing an eye, it makes driving a little difficult. Thanks for the offer, but I think we're good." Asshole.
Sasuke might flip Hatake the bird as Obito pushes off, but Obito pretends not to see it. And he's definitely not mentioning this little incident to Mikoto.
"Oh my god, why do you let me talk?" Kakashi groans, face-down on Asuma's coffee table. There's a drink in his hand, but it isn't nearly big enough to make him forget the humiliating mortification of three hours ago. "Oh my god, why do you let me out in public?"
"Ten years since high school and I'm still trying to work that out," Genma says amusedly from where he's lounging on the couch, because he's unrepentantly a bastard and definitely not one of Kakashi's friends in any way, shape, or form. "So, were they hot?"
Kakashi thinks of sharp-edged black eyes full of life, shaggy black hair against pale skin, a leanly muscular body, an angular face filled with righteous indignation and then familial fondness in turns, and glumly agrees, "The hottest."
"And they hate you now?" Genma wants to know. (He's merciless, and Kakashi can't remember why he even vaguely likes him.)
Kakashi moans his agreement, not having the strength to so much as lift his head. Damn it, the guy was amazing. Gorgeous, passionate, funny, clever…and Kakashi, of course, had to open his big fat mouth and shove his foot all the way in. Fuck.
"What are we talking about?" Asuma takes a seat in the recliner, dropping a platter of chips and dip on the table to the left of Kakashi's ear.
Genma, of course, grins. "Kakashi's complete inability to interact with the rest of the population," he says without an ounce of remorse, passing Asuma the bottle of scotch.
Asuma gives a long-suffering sigh that says more clearly than words that he's going to regret this, then asks, "What was it this time?"
"He yelled at me for littering," Kakashi says dreamily. "It was amazing. He threw a bottle probably thirty feet and hit me in the head. That's supposed to be difficult, right? And then he just knew so much about recycling, and he was hot, and…" He winces, because yeah, even for him, this was a little much. "He, uh, was wearing an eye patch. I might have possibly pointed that out insensitively by offering him a ride and asking if he believed in using cars."
Genma, being an asshole, dissolves into wild whoops of laughter, nearly crying from mirth as he clutches at his stomach. With a growl, Kakashi chucks a potato chip at him and pointedly doesn't look at where Asuma is covering up a grin. "You both suck," he grouches, and—
And the teenager earlier had said Mr. Sarutobi wants that essay on Monday while talking about homework. The only high school English teacher named Sarutobi that Kakashi knows is sitting right across from him, snickering into his drink. And Sarutobi isn't a common name, so it's safe to bet, given the proximity to the local school, that the kid meant Asuma.
Kakashi sits bolt-upright and turns nearly desperate eyes on his friend, who stops giggling to regard him warily.
"Yes?" he asks suspiciously.
"Do you have a kid in one of your classes?" Kakashi demands. "About sixteen, tall, pale like an anemic vampire with black hair and eyes, hair sticks up in the back like a duck's ass?"
Asuma stares at him for a long moment, then carefully sets his drink down on the table. "I'm going to give you the benefit of a doubt, Kakashi," he says seriously, "and assume that this guy you're infatuated with isn't an underage student. But you're going to have to explain this one to me in small words."
"What?" Kakashi blinks, processes that, and gives his friend a wounded look. "No! But the guy was taking his…brother or something home, and the kid mentioned you."
Asuma pinches the bridge of his nose and breathes out slowly. "I'm not going to help you stalk a relative of one of my students," he informs Kakashi bluntly, and then bulldozes straight over Kakashi's sounds of offended protest. "No, don't even start. It's admirable that you want to apologize, but I'm not going to help. You're going to be lecturing at the school for the next two days, and if you meet him or the kid then, it's fine. Under no circumstances are you to use your police privileges to track him down, all right?"
"I would never," Kakashi says, lying through his teeth. From the disbelieving looks both Asuma and Genma shoot him, they aren't fooled. The perils of suffering through high school with these assholes, Kakashi thinks, and glares right back.
"You know, I really would like to buy you a coffee to make up for the other day."
Obito twitches where he's leaning against the gate of the school, barely stopping himself from spinning around. Instead, he makes himself turn slowly, raising a pointed eyebrow at a sheepish-looking Hatake in a police uniform. "Oh?" he asks dryly. "Which part?"
If anything, Hatake just looks more hangdog, and drags a hand over his hair with an exaggerated wince. "The bottle," he says, giving Obito a sideways, hopeful look from slate-grey eyes that is ridiculously cute. Obito forces himself to think of Madara pining over that one picture of his boss so that he won't instantly melt in the face of it. "I could…treat you to dinner to make up for the other comment? If you'd be interested. Just in dinner, I mean! Unless you wanted it to maybe be a date?"
Obito studies him for a moment, warring with himself. On the one hand, asshole.
On the other…god, he's adorable.
Obito's never been good at resisting that. And…the apology is nice.
"These are never going to go away," he says bluntly, jabbing a finger at mangled right side of his face.
Hatake looks at him like he's surprised, with an added edge of puzzlement on top of that. "I…didn't assume they would?" he says, raising a brow. Then he shrugs. "You're handsome," he says, as though it's a given. As though it's obvious. "I'd think so without the scars, but you have them, and I already think that. It's not about to change, right?"
Blowing out a short sigh, Obito resigns himself to doing something stupid. Because—because sometimes stupid is the best option.
Especially when stupid walks and talks and acts like one Kakashi Hatake.
"I'm going to regret this," he informs Kakashi bluntly, but can't quite manage to hide the grin that's pulling at his lips. "Fine. Let's see how coffee goes. If you're free now, I just have to dump my punk cousin back home and then we can go."
Kakashi smiles at him, warm and pleased enough to steal all of Obito's higher brain functions, and nods, checking his watch. "I was doing a safety seminar here, so I'm off duty," he affirms. "Now is good. Now is great. And I really am sorry about—"
Obito rolls his eye, reaches up—and damn it, he was always the tallest one in his class as a kid, but now everybody and their cousin is taller—and snags Kakashi by that stupid scarf, pulling him down into a kiss just to get him to stop talking.
It's…good. Amazing. Like fireworks down his spine, and when they pull apart they're both smiling.
"So," Kakashi says with studied casualness, tucking his hands into his pockets and rocking back on his heels. "Got a name, Mr. Earth Warrior?"
"I'll hit you with another water bottle," Obito threatens, only half-joking. "Just see if I won't. And it's Obito. Obito Uchiha."
Kakashi's face does something…odd. "Uchiha?" he repeats. "As in…?"
"Police Chief Fugaku Uchiha?" Sasuke puts in, gleefully bloodthirsty as he stalks up behind them. "Yes. His uncle. My father."
As far as threats go, that one's beautiful. Subtle but pointed, easy enough to overlook in a regular conversation aside from the tone. Obito is so proud of his baby cousin. With a smirk, he reaches out to ruffle Sasuke's hair and orders, "Go find your boyfriend. I'll tell Mikoto you're studying at my place. Now get lost before I change my mind."
Sasuke is gone so fast he might as well have teleported himself to Naruto's side, and Obito turns back to his…date. Fuck. This will either end gloriously or in tears, he can feel it.
"It seems my schedule just cleared up," he says, arching a brow.
Kakashi beams and offers Obito his arm, because clearly he's a massive dork. Obito tries very, very hard not to find it adorable, and fails. Miserably. "What do you know," he answers cheerfully, "my afternoon is completely free. Come on. You can regale me with tales of saving the planet over organic cappuccinos."
"That's classified," Obito parries, trying not to grin. "But I can tell you all the ways you're fucking up the environment, if you'd prefer."
"Maa." Kakashi smiles at him, eyes warm. "I think we can work something out."