Disclaimer/Author's Notes: I do not own Naruto, or Kakashi, or Kakashi's mask (though I'd really like to; if he wears it all the time like that, it must be really comfortable). They belong to Masashi Kishimoto.

This was a drabble gift-fic for UzumakiHinata, who requested something humorous. It's no Yondy, but hopefully it delivered well enough, despite this being such a clichéd premise that even the anime has played with it. XD

Enjoy.


Curious Habits

Hatake Kakashi was not a man accustomed to making mistakes. But as he stood there blankly in his bedroom, observing Naruto curiously studying the pictures (or rather, the picture) on his bedside table, he belatedly had to admit that forgetting to hide his old team snapshot before letting Naruto enter his apartment had been one. A particularly dumb mistake, at that. It had just sort of slipped his mind.

He hadn't been thinking, but since it was too late to do anything about it now, he chose to wait as Naruto studied the photograph, idly (he wouldn't admit to nervously) wondering who his student would ask about first when he concluded his examination. The sensei, standing behind the group, who looked suspiciously like Konoha's greatest Hokage? The girl, beautiful even at such a young age, who bore such a startling resemblance to Sakura? Or the boy, wearing his beloved goggles and beaming proudly, his dark eyes shining? Although his appearance didn't completely scream 'Uchiha', considering Kakashi had the eye and there were only so many people he could have received it from, it wasn't all that hard to draw the proper conclusion.

When Naruto, however, finally did look up at Kakashi, he did not inquire as to the identity of anyone else in the photo. Instead, he asked bluntly, "How old are you in this picture?"

Taken more by surprise than any ninja with his experience and status should have any right to be, Kakashi blinked back and answered, "Nine."

Naruto stared at him, then craned his neck upwards, shamelessly invading Kakashi's personal space (and then pretty much doing away with it altogether). When he was as close to face-to-face with his sensei as his height would allow, he stared at him for a few more seconds, blue eyes poring furiously into Kakashi's gray ones. Finally, he burst out, "Just how long have you been wearing that mask?"

Kakashi stared back at him until he could successfully stifle the sudden mad urge to break into a hysterical fit. When he was pretty sure he had composed himself, he calmly met Naruto's intense, curious gaze, and answered, "I was born with it."

Naruto, if it was possible, arched even closer to Kakashi, continuing to scrutinize him. "Really?" he said dryly.

"Yes."

"Why the hell do you wear it, anyway?" Naruto asked.

"I have terrible allergies," Kakashi replied without missing a beat.

Naruto blinked, then raised an incredulous eyebrow at him. "Allergies?"

"Hay fever something dreadful. I don't really like to talk about it."

He somehow managed to maintain a straight face at the expression on Naruto's, and congratulated himself, sure this was no easy feat.

After a moment, Naruto, brow furrowed, asked, "How the hell do you eat?"

"You've seen me eat," Kakashi reminded him.

"Yeah, I've seen you eat, but I've never seen you eat…" Naruto pressed, still eyeing him weirdly.

"I'm not sure what you mean…" Kakashi mused thoughtfully. "I eat the same way as everyone else."

"Yeah, but—" Naruto started, before breaking off with a rather strangled look, as if making a significant effort to reign himself in.

"Yes?" Kakashi asked mildly after watching Naruto wage his little internal war for about 15 seconds or so.

"…How the hell—I mean, how do you—and no one's ever even seen—it's just—agh, never mind!"

Naruto abruptly threw his hands up into the air and walked dramatically out of the room.

Kakashi stood there for a moment, focusing on still keeping a straight face. He was very good at it. The mask did come in handy for that.

A second later, Naruto poked his head back through the doorway. "Why do you really wear it?"

"I'm a vampire and this hides the fangs."

"Liar!"

"Eh heh, you caught me," Kakashi admitted, putting a sheepish hand behind his head. "It helps perpetuate my aura of mystery."

"…Huh?"

Kakashi took advantage of Naruto's momentary confusion to step out of the room and put an all-knowing hand on his shoulder, gently steering the boy toward his door. Naruto recovered just as Kakashi glided him out of the apartment, attempting one last as the man ruffled his hair and bid him farewell.

"But what about when you shower?"

Kakashi smiled secretively as he closed the door. "I take baths."

-owari-