Title: Sleep
Author: iniq
Characters: Kakashi, Genma
Rating: PG
Category: gen
Challenge: #27 (injury)
Warnings: unhappiness, not very blanket fic-y… but a bit! it's cold and there's only one (1) blanket!
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by Masashi Kishimoto. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.



I heard you got injured. I came immediately. You don't look so good, lying on a hospital bed. A little pale around the nose, are we - as Hayate used to say. What are you even doing here? You used to hop out again after treatment, chasing the nurses out of the room to get dressed, remember? Damnit, your hair's a mess, too. What did you do to get it in such a sorry state; did you roll around in the underbrush with your opponent?

We're too old for this now, I know. 'Rest.' There was a time when we used to misspell the word on our mission reports to show our contempt. I remember the one time we put 'The doctor ordered us an S-rank mission to recuperate' and laughed when we got our wish, only to land in the hospital for good that time. You were older and supposed to be the responsible one.

They degraded you, and you just took the exam again until they had no choice but to promote you again. No one could imagine you to be a chuunin anyway - you teaching, or doing guard duty. What a joke.

You should wake up, you know? We're going for dinner tonight, and it's Asuma's turn to pay. Ibiki is back from his mission. He asked about you, but I couldn't tell him anything. He'll probably visit later. Might torture you awake by reading you some poetry.

What's wrong with you, anyway? You don't look too bad. Your chakra is a bit off, but it's also off when you're drunk, so that doesn't say too much. Hey, is that a gray hair? Damnit, you're really getting old. I probably shouldn't call the kettle black, but you and gray hair is odd. You're not getting old before me, you hear me? We'll do that together, like we did everything else. Like we got out of Rain Country that one time when I couldn't walk anymore and you couldn't see anything.

Took a kunai to the gut? You idiot. I told you not to deflect kunai like that – that one day you'd slip and get a kunai in your face. I can only imagine what happened, because the rescue team found you both unconscious. Raido is still out, too. Seems they had some genjutsu wrapped around you, that's why you're still out. Raido's a little better off. He has a broken leg and a torn shoulder. 'Nin' is the magic word – you should try it sometimes.

It's no fun when you're not here to grumble back, when there's no unintelligible mumbling behind a senbon. Remember when we used hand signs to communicate and I 'translated' your mumbling and they all stared? Yeah, I figure that by now, I could probably translate for real, without sign language.

You know what? I'll just wait here until you wake up - because you'll have to wake up some time. You can't hide in sleep forever, hear me? I'll just wait and hope I don't get called away. And don't wait too long – we're getting older. We don't have that much time left.

Two for you, two for me, another three. Three. I figure you'll want that one exchanged. And that one, too.


Well, looks like you only got 3 of a Kind. See, that's Two Pair. Okay, I'll take that one. Did I hear some mumbling there? Well, you're not awake, so that round's mine.

It's annoying that you beat me even unconscious.


His shoulders hunched. It had been an hour already and still there was no movement. He pulled out the cards again.

i "Kakashi, wait up!" Raido yelled and started hopping after him, down the stairs leading to the headquarters.

"Hm?" Kakashi murmured, and took his book down a scant inch. He glanced at Raido over the rim and pursed his lips.

"Someone asked after you - woke up and was surprised he'd won five bucks from you without even trying," Raido teased him and pulled the book from his stiffening fingers. "So go on and visit him, all right?" /i

He pulled the pair toward his own pile, and was about to reach for Genma's cards, when a raspy voice interrupted him with, "You're cheating." Startled him a bit, too.

Kakashi looked up. Genma had one eye pried open, and his hand was slowly inching toward his own pile of cards.

"I was just checking if you're paying attention," Kakashi replied and pulled all cards together to start a new game.

"I was," Genma replied. "I'm very alert, you know? They used to call me Genma the Sharp in my teens. You just cheated." He picked up his cards, or rather tilted them until he could see them from his prone position.

Kakashi plucked a senbon from the nightstand and put it in its usual place between Genma's lips. "Don't talk so much. Play."

For a moment, Genma let him sort his cards in peace - then he mumbled something that sounded to Kakashi like, "Fluff my pillow a bit, will you?"