Aesthetic Pleasantry

Disclaimer: This is a purely non-profit story written for entertainment purposes only. The characters of Naruto belong to their respective owners.

Author's Notes: Ok, because we all just can't get enough of this couple, I had to write another one! (Or so is my excuse). Yet another scenario where Kakashi and Sasuke live together; it's totally random and causes a lot of embarrassment for Sasuke (which is amazingly fun). Ah, the power of gossip.

Happy New Year!


Aesthetic Pleasantry

No matter how much Kakashi tried to convince him, he could not see the value of curtains – something he had always labelled as an aesthetic pleasantry.

"They're useless," he had argued when Kakashi had suggested buying them, and blatantly refused to co-operate. In the end, Kakashi bought some anyway – a hideously lurid shade of blue that made him wish he'd been the one to pick some out.

"They're disgusting."

"You didn't want to choose, Sasuke, so we go with what I've chosen."

There was nothing aesthetic about these yards of fabric, and Sasuke's only saving grace had been the fact that Kakashi was too busy to put them up. He had been able to get by for almost two months before disaster struck – holidays, which meant that Kakashi would finally have time to fix these "domestic chores" (as he called them) to his liking.

"You're being stubborn," Kakashi had chided when Sasuke remained planted on the couch, flippantly studying a book. "At least help me put them up."

"No."

"Sasuke…"

"No."

"You don't want everyone to know that you've read my Icha Icha series, do you?"

Sasuke's hand, in the middle of turning a page, paused. "You're such a jerk." He glared, taking his sweet time getting up.

"Grab that end, will you?"

While Kakashi had no trouble reaching the top of the window, Sasuke needed to grab a stool – a fact that did not make him any more cheerful. Scowling all the way, he stood on his tiptoes and carefully lifted the rod up, edging it onto the catch of the hook. He almost had it fitted when his left foot slipped and he lost his balance, his hands losing grip of the rod and gripping onto the hook for dear life. He ripped out a good chunk of drywall with the hook still gripped firmly in his hand, and was well on his way to landing on his rump on the hard floor. Thankfully, Kakashi had been quick enough to act and caught him before he fell, but the rod had fallen heavily on Sasuke's collarbone before smashing a nearby lamp.

"Are you ok?" Kakashi asked once all the noise had died away.

"Damn it!" He rubbed his skin, already feeling the bruise. "Sorry, I told you this was a bad idea…"

Kakashi's eye smiled. "What, ripping out a piece of the wall and breaking our only light? Don't be ridiculous!"

Sasuke glared at his teacher. "You made me—"

"Why don't you put something on that bruise and I'll finish doing this myself?"

As he walked away, Sasuke couldn't help muttering, "You could've done it yourself in the first place…"

---

They hung like a badly dressed drag queen, wig crooked and lipstick smeared. The neon green stitches peering through the sea of blue made him think of dead, rotten fish, floating belly-up on the surface of the water and bobbing with the waves. He couldn't look at them too long lest he lost his appetite.

"Where are all my clothes?"

He emptied all his drawers, trying to find a clean shirt. When the search proved futile, he had gone into his pile of dirty clothes to find any shirt, and still to no avail.

"Where the hell are all my shirts?" he demanded of Kakashi, scowl present on his face.

"Well, good morning to you too," his sensei replied merrily, stirring the contents of a steaming pot. "I took your shirts to be washed. They should be done by this afternoon."

"This afternoon? What the hell am I supposed to wear this morning?"

"I can lend you one of mine, if you'd like. Unless, of course, you prefer to go shirtless."

Sasuke humph-ed and made a nod of acknowledgement. "Thanks."

"You're welcome. By the way, that bruise looks really nasty."

Sasuke followed Kakashi's eyes to the left side of his neck, where a festering concoction of purple shades was residing. He had almost forgotten all about it.

He didn't want to admit that it did look pretty… icky. A multi-coloured oval disease. "Yeah, whatever. Just leave the shirt at my door."

---

Training had been especially gratifying that day. He took all his frustration out on Naruto, who – being the insensible idiot that he was – didn't mind a bit.

"Man, I'm hungry!" the aforementioned blond exclaimed. "I need some ramen."

Sakura had a look of disgust on her face, while Sasuke rolled his eyes.

"How about I treat today?" Kakashi offered.

"Wow, really? You rock, Kakashi-sensei!" Naruto beamed and ran ahead. "Let's hurry it up, then!"

He had had reservations since the beginning about Kakashi's 'generous' offer, since the jounin wasn't prone to seemingly random acts of kindness – especially where money was concerned. But after a relatively pleasant lunch was practically over, he was starting to think he'd been too paranoid.

"Ahhhh, that was delicious! I feel like I could train for a whole week!"

"You always say that, Naruto, and then you get hungry again the second we start," Sakura was making her 'we-don't-buy-that-crap' face. Naruto looked a bit bummed out, but nothing could really dampen his spirit. Smiling, he took a few steps forward (Kakashi had already walked several steps ahead).

"Come on, you three."

Upon getting up, Sasuke habitually adjusted his weapon holster and not-so-habitually adjusted Kakashi's shirt (which was far too big for him). He shifted his shoulders around until he felt the comfortable fall of fabric – until he was satisfied with how it rested on his body. The shirt smelled like Kakashi, he though vaguely, even though he had never smelt his sensei before. A regular clean smell – detergent and soap, but something about it made him think that Kakashi's skin must smell the same way, too. He rather… liked it.

"Sasuke-kun, what happened to your neck?" Sakura asked worriedly.

"Huh?" he didn't realize what she was talking about, and then noticed her eyes glued to his collarbone. He had adjusted the shirt in such a way that the neckline dipped and revealed his bruise. "Oh… it's nothing."

As luck would have it, Naruto overheard and came back to pester them. "What's this? Sasuke's injured?" He took one look at Sasuke's neck and screamed like his life depended on it. "Holy crap! IS THAT A HICKEY?"

All the people within sight turned to look at them: first at Naruto (whose mouth was still open in shock), then at Sakura (who had had a massive nosebleed and keeled over), and finally at Sasuke.

Sakura had finally stemmed the flow from her nose and stood up. "B-but… you live with Kakashi-sensei. When would you have time to…" Then the implications hit her. "Oh my god." There was no reviving her this time.

Naruto was still gaping. People were still staring. Sasuke felt his temperature rise by 100 degrees.

"It's not what you think!" he exclaimed, but people had already turned to each other and started whispering. "It was an accident!"

"You accidentally got a hickey?" Naruto gaped.

By this time, Kakashi had come back to see what was going on.

"What's all the commotion?" he asked Sasuke, who flushed even further. He prayed that Kakashi had heard nothing, which seemed to be the case.

"Nothing. Naruto was just asking how I got my bruise… from the curtain rod, remember?" Sasuke stressed the last few words, hoping Kakashi would take the hint and elaborate to save him. No such luck.

"What happened to Sakura?"

"Chronic nosebleed," Sasuke replied, glaring daggers at Kakashi. Naruto was still eyeing them nervously.

"Oh. Well, pick her up and bring her along, then."

---

All that afternoon he had tried to make it clear to Naruto that he had a bruise, not a hickey, although the insensitive part of his mind argued that they were different names for the same affliction. Whenever he'd gotten close enough to whisper in his teammate's ear, he had tried to be as clear as possible about what really happened. But every time he opened his mouth to speak, Naruto's cheeks would start to turn red and he would retreat to some spot further away, casting furtive glances at both Sasuke and Kakashi.

He could barely stand the walk home that day. Since he walked with Kakashi, even more whispers spawned about the "mysterious mark" on his neck – but Kakashi was, damn him, blissfully ignorant. He shifted the shirt uncomfortably (the shirt – what kind of message were people picking up from that?), trying as best as he could to conceal the offending mark. Although he couldn't stand the rumours, Sasuke didn't have the guts to ask Kakashi to disprove them; the whole experience was embarrassing enough as it was without Kakashi finding out (although he really did wonder how long it would take the jounin to hear the rumours). Men would cast them strange looks, older women would giggle as they passed, and the girls who were all after Sasuke had crestfallen looks or looks of utter disbelief on their faces. One girl had come right up to him, stared at his neck, then ran off crying.

"Been busy breaking hearts or something, Sasuke?" Kakashi asked casually as the girl disappeared around a corner. Sasuke wondered how the man could not notice all the murmuring that started whenever they walked past.

"No," he replied miserably as an old man winked at him. He had to keep from barfing.

"How's that bruise doing?"

Perhaps he had imagined it, but he could've sworn that Kakashi's voice was a few notches louder as he said that. Nearby, a group of young women tried to stifle their giggles.

"Fine," he said quietly, feeling his face heat up. "I think I'll… uh… go on ahead. I'll meet you at home."

Without waiting for an answer, he darted off.

---

Sasuke decided that staying at home that night was out of the question. He didn't think he could tolerate a whole night of Kakashi… at dinner, just out of the shower, before bed…

'The rumours must really be getting to me,' Sasuke thought miserably. That entire afternoon, he couldn't get the picture of Kakashi's lips glued to his skin out of his mind, couldn't stop wondering what it would feel like to have Kakashi really give him hickeys…

'Stop it!'

He could barely stand to look at his sensei anymore. Even Kakashi's shirt was a source of embarrassment; he pictured what it would be like to wear Kakashi's shirt after sleeping with him – wondered if the older man really did smell that way. He just couldn't take it any more.

The plan was simple: while Kakashi was in the shower, he would pack a few things to last him the night and go to stay at the old inn a few blocks away, just so he could get away from Kakashi for a night. He'd leave a note, so the jounin wouldn't have to worry ("At a friend's, back tomorrow" – even though Kakashi knew as well as he did that he didn't have any 'friends'). It was perfect. If Kakashi ever asked why he went, he'd just say it was a bet with Naruto… or something. Something stupid like that.

"One room, please."

The old innkeeper gave him such a searching look that for a moment Sasuke thought he wouldn't get a room – or worse yet, that the old man had heard the rumours. But a moment later, he was handed a key, told to sign his name, and pay for the night.

The room wasn't (by any stretch of the imagination) large, but it would serve his purposes. There was a single window, a tiny bathroom, and a small bed jammed into the corner. The bed looked to be extremely uncomfortable – and when he sat on it, he proved that his hunch had been right. Still, he was more than happy that he had acted on his own, and promptly turned in with a slightly lighter conscience.

He had been in a bout of deep sleep when he felt someone else's presence. Instinctively his hand went to his shuriken as he sat up, but someone flicked on the light and momentarily blinded him.

"What do you think you're doing here?"

He opened his eyes to find Kakashi's face a few mere centimetres in front of his own, visible eye angry.

"I—" What had been his excuse again? "I could ask you the same thing." If nothing else, he was good at being haughty. He was an Uchiha, after all.

"If you're going to run away from home, at least don't use your own name when signing out a room," Kakashi said wearily, leaning back to sit on the edge of the bed. "Are you here to meet someone?"

"No." For some reason, now that Kakashi was here, he felt ashamed.

"Then why are you here?"

"I—" Didn't want to see you tonight? "I don't know…"

Kakashi arched his eyebrow sceptically. "That's not like you."

"It's stupid, ok? It doesn't matter."

"If it doesn't matter, then why are you here?"

"I was embarrassed, ok? There, are you happy now?" His face was heating up again. "I just couldn't face you tonight, not after people thought… not after people thought that…"

"Thought that I gave you a hickey?" Kakashi finished helpfully. Sasuke felt the rest of his dignity crumbling.

"You knew? All this time you knew?"

"You didn't think I was deaf, did you?"

"But you—it doesn't bother you at all?"

"Why should it bother me if it's not true?" Kakashi's eye was piercing his.

He was about to retort, then shut his mouth. Kakashi was right; why did it bother him so much, anyway? It was just a rumour; there were rumours all the time, and since they lived together, it was only natural that these rumours started. Logically speaking, it didn't make any sense.

"Figured it out yet?"

Sasuke glared at the older man before pulling off his mask and ardently kissing him. Surprised, Kakashi pulled away a few moments later, breathing heavily.

"I'll take that as a yes?"

"Yeah," Sasuke answered, moving in for another kiss. Kakashi helped him along, pulling the young shinobi onto his lap and wrapping his arms around him, skilfully sliding his tongue into the teenager's mouth. Sasuke moaned softly, goading Kakashi's lips onto his neck. He felt a bulge pushing against his inner thigh, and pressed his body closer, delighted to elicit a soft hiss of pleasure from his sensei. He threaded his hands through silver strands and pulled Kakashi on top of him as he lay down, feeling soft lips suck his skin. Sasuke smiled into the other man's chest, and let his hands roam over unexplored territory.

"I brought you your shirt," Kakashi whispered against Sasuke's navel, causing shivers to run up the genin's spine. He could feel the other's mirth.

"I don't think I'll be needing it just yet."

---

The innkeeper had definitely given them weird looks on their way out the next morning, but Sasuke couldn't really say he blamed him. He was just a little too light-headed from a mixture of sensations to care. The proverbial shining sun and singing birds were all true.

"Nice day," Kakashi commented, casting Sasuke a smile. He couldn't help smiling back.

"Yeah…"

"Sasuke-kun?"

The two men turned to look at the source of the sound and saw Ino standing with her mouth open, blatantly gaping at them. Sasuke realized how it must all look: he and Kakashi emerging from an inn together in the morning, both looking terribly happy. After all the rumours, it must've sent an overload to the poor girl's brain.

"Ino, wait! Don't get the wrong—"

But it was too late. The girl had already run off screaming, nose flowing profusely.

"—idea," Sasuke finished with a sigh.

"Don't get the wrong idea about what?" Kakashi asked, his hand groping Sasuke suggestively.

"K-Kakashi!" Sasuke swatted his hand away, face scarlet. He cast cautious glances in every direction to assure himself that no one was watching.

"I'll see you at home," he said shyly, planting a chaste kiss on his lover's lips before running off. Kakashi watched him leave, grinning from ear to ear.

"Huh… who knew curtains could be so useful?"

END
AN: Hmm… does it feel like they got together too easily for anyone else? Ah well, I had fun writing this.