Disclaimer/Notes: Same timeline as all my other Naruto fics (meaning Naruto brought Sasuke back to Konoha), and not intended as KakaSasu although you're free to read into it. And I'm pretty sure this isn't that dream where I actually own Naruto or anything else here. (If it were, there'd be rum.)


Wheel of Fortune

Sasuke rarely got sick, and Kakashi supposed that this was a good thing, because between the curse seal and the Uchiha bloodline, his student had enough medical question marks to make a paranoid Konoha medic go insane. Unfortunately, the result of this was that when Sasuke came down with a fever, nausea and various body pains bad enough for even him to admit to not feeling well, it took the medics almost two days to finally admit that it wasn't some horrible side effect from the curse seal or the Sharingan, but merely the flu.

By then, Sasuke had had enough of being poked and prodded, and so he did what he usually did when he felt suffocated by something. Fortunately, Kakashi coincidentally ran into him not too far from the hospital, having known Sasuke more than long enough to predict this sort of thing from a mile away.

Sasuke refused to go back, and Kakashi had expected this as well, so instead of taking him home, Kakashi brought him to his own apartment instead. The unspoken agreement was that since Kakashi didn't push the hospital issue, Sasuke would not complain about remaining under Kakashi's supervision either. He didn't, but Kakashi had a feeling it was more out of weariness and lack of will to argue on the other's part than from actual consent. Still, he wasn't one to fuss about the little things.

"Get some rest," he told Sasuke as soon as they arrived, and knew he'd made the right choice in bringing him here when the best the boy could manage was an obligatory sulky glare. After only a moment of silent protest, Sasuke disappeared into Kakashi's bedroom, closing the door behind him.

Kakashi scrounged together a plate of old leftovers, threw it in the microwave, and put a kettle to boil. A few minutes later he settled down on the couch with a cup of tea and something that qualified as food if not quite an actual meal. He paused to listen for a few moments, and after determining that Sasuke was either asleep or doing a very good job of pretending (which he had no real reason to), turned on the TV.

Three prime-time medical dramas, two variety shows, one made-for-TV biopic and an infomercial later, Kakashi had finished eating, composed his latest mission report in his head, and successfully reminded himself why he so rarely watched TV to begin with. He was wondering what time it was—definitely late—and had just changed the channel to Jeopardy when his senses noted the other person entering the room. Idly, he thought with amused pride that after what couldn't have been more than one or two short prior visits to his apartment, Sasuke was almost too good at moving around undetected.

He figured Sasuke already knew he was aware of his presence, so after a second of deliberation he simply continued to watch the show. It was late, and he wasn't going to push; if something was wrong Sasuke would eventually speak or act on his own. Either way, the best way to deal with him was usually to wait and let him establish things on his own terms.

Sure enough, a few moments later, the boy rounded the couch and sat down at the far end, at which point Kakashi finally glanced over. Sasuke did look like he had slept a little, but apparently not much and not particularly well—his hair was disheveled and a tinge of residual sweat still clung to him. The dark circles under his eyes hadn't reduced at all either.

As Sasuke moved one of Kakashi's couch pillows to the side to make more room, Kakashi remarked, "You know, I'll probably get in trouble if you don't rest more before they inevitably send someone else to check on you."

Sasuke only narrowed his eyes and shrugged, drawing his knees up and glaring at Alex Trebek. After a moment, he finally answered, "I can't sleep."

"Hmm," Kakashi said mildly, and Sasuke did look back at him then, his eyes tiredly pleading. After a moment, Kakashi sighed and relented, turning back to the television.

For a little while they just sat there and watched the show, occasionally venturing the answers they thought they knew. Kakashi was a little impressed at Sasuke's knowledge that it was the Second Mizukage who had introduced the little-used firefly code to the Water Country and its neighboring nations 60 years ago, but he'd already known that sumo wrestling had instigated the infamous Shuriken Riot during the 17th annual summer chuunin exam. And they both noted the contestant's foolishness in guessing that flamingos were the least-summoned bird in the shinobi world (the correct answer was actually pigeons).

When Wheel of Fortune came on twenty minutes later and Sasuke barely concealed an exhausted yawn, Kakashi excused himself to the kitchen and put another pot to boil. When he returned five minutes later with two more cups of tea, he found Sasuke lying down on his side, having apparently commandeered Kakashi's half of the sofa as his own.

Kakashi waited, then finally said, "I know my couch is comfortable, Sasuke, but if you don't mind…"

"You got up," was Sasuke's indifferent response.

Kakashi shrugged, then walked over and sat down once more. After barely getting his head out of the way in time, Sasuke rewarded Kakashi with a glare much more spirited than his recent efforts.

Kakashi just shrugged again and offered the second mug. "Tea?"

Still glaring, Sasuke took it, sniffing it automatically. He made a face, but nonetheless took a few sips before placing the mug on the coffee table.

Then, so abruptly that Kakashi was sure it was on impulse, he lay back down again. In the exact same position and place he had before.

In other words, on Kakashi's lap.

Kakashi very nearly gave a start, and barely stopped himself from spilling tea on the both of them. It took him a moment to recover, and he supposed that was a moment longer than he should have needed, but damn it, expecting the unexpected could only get you so far. He was used to surprises like this—well, not quite like this—from Naruto, and sometimes even Sakura, but Sasuke was usually more predictable, and less…

Well, less on his lap. For one.

He finally cast an awkward glance down to find his student once again glowering at the TV, where Vanna White was now highlighting all the panels containing the letter f. It was hard to tell with only the television glow for light, but Kakashi thought the boy's cheeks seemed a little more flushed than usual, and not just from the slight fever he still had.

Still, he seemed determined to act like nothing at all unusual had just taken place, so Kakashi decided to just go with the flow. Taking another sip of his tea, he let Sasuke lie there while they watched contestants go bankrupt and listened to the hypnotic pings every time a letter was correctly guessed from the puzzle.

Ten minutes later, Sasuke was asleep again, and Kakashi resigned himself to the fact that he was going to be late for duty tomorrow, and that he was going to spend the night a bit warmer than usual.

But then, it wasn't like the former was anything new. As for the latter… well, after all, he wasn't one to fuss about the little things.

-owari-