Author: desolate butterfly
Genre: Angst, Gen
Pairing: light KakaSasu
Rating: PG - 13
Summary: Sasuke is injured, Kakashi is univited.
After the fifth attempt at opening his bedroom door with his elbow, Sasuke silently admitted to himself that it might not have been the greatest idea to leave the hospital before the medic nins had a chance to heal his hands.
Still, they were taking a long time to get to him (what with all the influx of injuries still filing as a result of the first part of the Chuunin Exam) and Sasuke suspected that he would have to be healed the next morning at the earliest. And he was not going to spend the night in the hospital. Not after the last time, when he'd had that virus going around and his fevered nightmares woke the entire floor. He'd broken a nurse's jaw when she'd tried to wake him. And the way they all stared...No, he would be just fine at home until the morning, when he'd go back to the hospital and get things fixed.
That is, if he could ever get his stupid door open.
Sasuke gave a desperate push and twist with his side and the door finally creaked open, showing him the only object he was concerned with getting to: his bed. Sasuke collapsed gratefully on the sheets and closed his eyes, hoping he'd be able to sleep in the unusual position of being on his back. He usually slept curled on his side, one hand fisted around the kunai beneath his mattress. The chakra burns on his right hand, and his dislocated left shoulder would make that difficult tonight.
It didn't matter. His house was secure and all the wards were in place.
Now if he could only ignore the itch of the sling around his neck and the way his shoulder was throbbing…
A pounding filled his ears, and Sasuke had to take a few seconds before he realized that the noise was someone knocking persistently at his front door instead of just his headache coming back. He groaned and turned his face into the sheets.
"Go away!" he yelled, knowing that if it was Naruto, he wouldn't, and Sasuke would just have to ignore the pounding and hope that the idiot didn't try something stupid like blasting a hole in the wall.
Not that Sasuke was worried about the condition of his house, as the wards would stop that kind of thing from happening. He just didn't want to hear Naruto whine the next day about his singed eyebrows when the protective jutsus of the building kicked in. Sasuke's house was secure.
Which was why Sasuke nearly jumped ten feet when Kakahsi's head poked through his bedroom door and said, "Now that's no way to talk to your beloved sensei, is it?"
"You…how did you get in?"
"Window," Kakashi admitted, stepping into the room.
Sasuke's eyes narrowed in suspicion. "How did you get past the ward on the windows?"
"Ward?" Kakashi scratched his chin through his mask and tilted his head. "I didn't see any wards. Although I think I might have stepped on this when I went through, sorry."
He held up an exploding tag torn in two with a big muddy footprint in the middle of it. Sasuke gritted his teeth and turned his head to the side. Fine. Kakashi could get in his house. But he wasn't Naruto, so maybe if Sasuke just ignored him, he would go away.
The jounin strode up to Sasuke's bed and sat down, taking a look at Sasuke's burnt hand. Sasuke twitched but didn't try to stop him. He stared stubbornly at the ceiling while Kakashi grasped him carefully by the elbow and turned his hand this way and that. After a while, Kakashi sighed and released him.
"It's a nasty chakra burn. And that shoulder doesn't look any better. Must hurt like a bitch….Why didn't you stay in the hospital, Sasuke? You can't be comfortable like this," he said.
Sasuke would have shrugged except it was impossible to do with a dislocated shoulder. Instead he made a noncommittal sound and shifted a bit so that he was only lying on the tensed right side of his back, letting his hand dangle off the side of the bed.
"I'm fine here," he muttered.
"Yes. I can see that." Kakashi's tone was so jovial; Sasuke knew he was utterly furious. "Sit up."
Sasuke thought for a while about disobeying the order. This was his home, after all, and Kakashi had just barged in—in the middle of the night—and broke one of his wards, and now he thought he could tell Sasuke what to do?
Then again, Kakashi was looking at him with that dangerous no-nonsense glint in his eye, and Sasuke didn't really want extra laps at the next team training session. He sat up and glared. Kakashi ignore him and reached for his hand again, pulling a set of bandages and a tube of something that looked like lotion out of his vest pocket.
"What's that?" Sasuke asked before he could help himself.
"Silver cream. Chakra burns and regular burns are similar. If you don't cover them and treat them, they'll get infected. I'm not sure I can teach the chidori to a one armed student, so you'd better take care of this tomorrow."
"A technique you might get to learn if you behave yourself," was all he would say to explain.
Kakashi quickly spread the lotion over Sasuke's burn, leaving it thick like a paste, before wrapping the entire thing in the soft, clean, bandages. Sasuke watched silently, eyes following the sure movements of Kakashi's fingers. He'd never known Kakashi to be adept at first-aid, but then…he supposed that you couldn't get to a jounin level without having at least a basic knowledge of how to treat wounds in the field.
"You know," Kakashi said gently, as he taped the bandage in place, "everyone has nightmares. You don't have to be ashamed of them."
Sasuke bristled. "Oh? And what are your nightmares about then?" he practically shouted, jerking his hand away.
Kakashi shrugged and began gathering up his scattered first aid equipment to stow in his vest again.
"The usual things," he said. "Spiders. Falling from a high building. The Icha Icha franchise going out of business."
Sasuke scowled and sunk deeper into the pillows. If Kakashi wasn't going to share anything about himself, why should he? There was a moment of silence, and then Kakashi sighed and said, "Let me see your shoulder now."
Still scowling, Sasuke bent forward so that Kakashi could untie the sling. The feel of fingers tickling the back of his neck was strange and it made Sasuke shudder. He wasn't used to casual touching.
Kakashi examined the shoulder and made a decision.
"Brace yourself," he said, dryly, "'Cause this is going to hurt really really bad."
"Wha—" Sasuke's eyes widened and he choked on a howl of pain before he could get the rest of the word out. Kakashi had pressed a hand onto his chest, gripped his arm by the wrist, and swiftly tugged the joint back into place in one smooth motion.
The sharp agony of the bone sliding back into the socket made Sasuke feel dizzy and nauseous, and his back was suddenly damp with cold sweat. He gagged and fell forward, onto Kakashi's chest. The grey-haired ninja swiped the hair from his eyes and peered into them with concern.
"Do you need a bucket?" he asked, rather urgently.
Sasuke took some shallow breaths and waited for the roiling of his stomach to calm before he shook his head, carefully. He didn't realize how close he was to his teacher until he felt his head rise and fall with the timing of Kakashi's breathing. When he finally did notice, he pushed away and fell back onto the pillows, blushing faintly.
Kakashi's vest had smelt like old blood, metal, and dog-hair. It wasn't a pleasant scent at all…so why did it make Sasuke feel so safe? It made no sense.
"You should keep it in the sling for now," Kakashi said, tying Sasuke's shoulder back into position. "Just in case."
"Whatever." Sasuke watched the ceiling again, as Kakashi's fingers moved over his skin, around his neck, brushing against the nape to tie the knot.
Kakashi's hand lingered there for a moment, just cupping the back of Sasuke's head. Sasuke frowned at him, confused, but the other man didn't seem to notice what he was doing. He wasn't even looking at Sasuke!
He was about to ask how long Kakashi was going to impose on his privacy when Kakashi began to speak in a hushed voice.
"…I dream about my father mostly. About his dead body."
Sasuke's eyes widened. "Your father died?" he asked, but Kakashi was already speaking again.
"And sometimes I dream about the people I loved, and their deaths. Sometimes I even dream about Naruto, Sakura, and you," he continued, voice flat and very very soft. "I dream about what might happen because I was too slow, or too late, or too weak to save you."
"…we can take care of ourselves," Sasuke mumbled, because he didn't know what else to say. Was he supposed to be reassuring? What did Kakashi expect from him?
Kakashi's hand passed briefly through Sasuke's hair, fingernails scratching lightly at his scalp. "You think so?" he mused. "It's kind of strange, isn't it Sasuke. How one day you're not enough for someone to live for, and then the next you're enough for someone to die for?"
Sasuke stared at him, lips pressed together in a flat line.
"I don't know what you're talking about," he finally whispered, turning his face away into the pillows.
Kakashi made a non-committal noise of assent that made Sasuke grit his teeth in annoyance and stood up. His hands fished around in his pockets once more, until he pulled out a small capsule and put it on the bedside table.
Sasuke looked over, reluctantly. "What's that?"
"It's a sleeping pill. Guaranteed eight full hours of uninterrupted sleep. No dreams. No nightmares."
Sasuke glared at the pill. Kakashi couldn't really expect him to take it. For all he knew, it could be poison, or some weird drug, or…or anything.
He jerked to attention as Kakashi moved towards the window, opening the sash and sliding a leg out.
"Aren't you going to make sure I swallow it?" he blurted, before Kakashi could get his other leg out.
Kakashi looked back at him, fingers lightly gripping the window sill.
"Nope," he said. "You make your own choices Sasuke, whether you want to trust someone to help you or not. I'm not going to force you."
"Go to the hospital tomorrow to get that burn looked at. Then meet me at the quarry outside the forest and I'll teach you something neat to beat Gaara with," Kakashi chirped back, and then he was gone, only a slight breeze drifting in through the open window marking his presence.
Sasuke stared after him for a few minutes, and then looked at the capsule. He took it in his hand and examine its colour, uncapped one end and brought it to his nose to sniff the contents. It didn't look or smell like poison, but then again, Kakashi was a ninja and would know exactly how to manufacture poison that couldn't be identified by smell or appearance at all.
Sasuke sighed and brought his bandaged hand to his pounding head. He needed to sleep and recuperate as soon as possible so he could be in top shape for the second round of the Chuunin exams. It wouldn't do for Naruto to get ahead of him. The bruise on the back of Sasuke's neck throbbed and he winced at the reminder that the blond had already shown him up in the forest. The sharingan alone wasn't going to cut against these kind of nins...not with Sasuke only just getting the hang of tapping into his bloodline's power.
'And besides which, Kakashi doesn't have much of a reason to poison me.'
With those justifications in mind, Sasuke fitted the ends of the capsule back together and placed it in his mouth, swallowing it dry.
He was asleep before his head hit the pillow.
So deeply asleep, in fact, that he didn't even wake when Kakashi poked back through his window again and tucked him in underneath the sheets, and brushed his fingers over the curse seal marks on Sasuke's neck.
When Kakashi whispered a muffled something to the walls of Sasuke's bedroom, no one heard it.
It was probably better that way.