Title: Reunion of Shadows
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto, I'm making no money from writing this
A big thank you to Nijiirochan who became Reunion's new Beta.
Author's note: English is not my first language, so please forgive my mistakes.
Reunion of Shadows 22
He was at the top of a roof, crouched, silent, deadly, his eyes surveying the surrounding area intently. Shadows were around him, a coat of darkness that fitted him more than anyone else, hiding him. His stillness, his white mask, made him seem like one of those gargoyles adorning churches. And currently he truly was one, a terrific protector.
Through his Hedgehog mask eyes, Sasuke made sure no one escaped or interfered in a bad way. He wasn't listening to the trial, trusting Kakashi to act on his behalf, trusting his friends to side with him and make sure punishment was met. He didn't react when he crossed another Anbu's gaze, they were all focused. As he inspected the rank of spectators he felt a pang of sympathy for the families, he didn't feel guilty, not one bit, but he understood what they were going through. He understood all too well. The shame, the anger, the sadness, the betrayal, the denial, the feeling of being lost...
And all that was the fault of the people currently kneeling on the floor, chained, chakra suppressed. He had been the one to bring them here and he was going to make sure they didn't escape justice. He had been here not long ago too, accused of the exact same thing many times: act of treachery against Konoha. It had been their fault from the beginning, from the moment they had started to act in the shadows and force Itachi to kill his own clan for a so called peace.
His gaze burned as he took in Raiz, the one who had killed Juugo. Finally, finally he would avenge his faithful friend. Then he would catch Alraune and everything would end. And then... then he wouldn't have any revenge to extract. Kakashi's words from what seemed so long ago resounded in his head, "Even if you are successful in your revenge, all you'll be left with is emptiness".
Until now it had been revenge that kept him together. It prevented him from being too concentrated on his self-hatred for not seeing Itachi go mad, for not stopping him from killing his clan and then for not understanding it had all been a mask. For not saving him, for not protecting Juugo and Karin... Revenge saved him from hating himself, from facing his pain. If he was angry, hating, he didn't pay attention to that little knot in his chest... and as long as he didn't look at it, it wouldn't grow and engulf everything, breaking him totally. Hate was his driving force, it prevented the remains of his being from crumbling. He needed it to keep himself together until something else could take its place and help him mend his wounds.
He smirked as he caught Naruto looking at him, Sakura was next to him as well as Hinata and Iruka. The smirk turned into a half-smile as he felt Suigetsu and Karin near him, as anbu, as well as all their friends that had helped into capturing those they were judging today. He wasn't alone, because some stubborn annoying people had always made sure he kept a link to them. Finally his eyes fell on Kakashi, looking so damn bored in his Hokage dress, Icha Icha Paradise in his lap, barely hidden by a table. He flinched as a grey pupil stared right at his dark ones. Ah... that something that would help him mend his wounds... he had started to find it, hadn't he?
He saw the grey eye arc in an unnerving smile , and even if he knew Kakashi couldn't read his thoughts he had a feeling the man knew exactly what he had been thinking... and that gave him the urge to simultaneously beat him to a pulp and kiss the living daylights out of him.
His head snapped back to the coliseum main entry as Neji informed him, via their necklace radio, that Alraune was coming with his two guards. Sasuke itched to grab the man and drag him to face justice, they had proof of his ties to ROOT. But he felt the burning gaze of his former sensei on his nape and kept still.
"This is scandalous!" thundered Alraune as he slammed the doors open.
All eyes zoomed in on him and he dusted his clothes as he stomped in, coming to stand right in front of Kakashi's podium, looking righteous in his anger.
"How dare you attack a council member like myself at dawn? And organize a raid in Konoha? Because that's what it was! A raid!"
Kakashi opened his mouth to answer but Alraune shut him up imperiously, bringing his hand up. Kakashi's visible eyebrow shot up and his eye curved with amusement.
"I heard Hyuuga-sama said he was the instigator, but I do not believe that! Either you knew and that shouldn't be forgiven, or you didn't and then I have little belief in your so called power over that Uchiha traitor! He's running free organizing raids!"
Raiz smiled triumphantly at that and Sasuke had the sudden urge to cut a smile in his throat. His fingers were digging into the stone turning his knuckles white, he was ready to push on his legs and launch at whoever pulled out a weapon. His eyes had certainly bled Sharingan by now. He couldn't help but snort however when he saw Kakashi turn a page of his horrid book before lifting his head up, as if only now noticing the angered man.
"You're the one running free organizing murders on Konoha citizens. Please do notice no one died or was incapacitated for life," Kakashi flipped a page "You are going against what was ordered and agreed by the Council, thinking your own little ideas are worth more than what the village decided, and so you took the head of an un-recognized organisation that is ready to kill to force their point of view," he lifted his head from his book and his visible eye curved into an amused smile, "That is called treachery," shooing Alraune again he ended with; "Please take a seat with the accused, I'm all ready to hear you out and judge you."
"How dare you!" hollered Alraune, "what proof do you have against me?"
Kakashi motioned to Sai, sitting at the witness bench, close to Ino's father in case another mental trap was inside him. Sai was all they needed, especially since Alraune had been the one to trigger the suicide-jutsu, it was a formal proof none could counter.
"This isn't the issue here! You knew about that Uchiha –"
Kakashi clapped his book shut, rising from his seat to lean toward Alraune. His face had a seriousness you didn't see often, and that sent shivers down Sasuke's spine.
"Sasuke organized the arrest of people trying to kill him and his former team Taka, Juugo already having been killed and Karin having been so badly injured she lost speech. No one was killed and he asked for the help of well known and respected Konoha members, who were also targeted by ROOT. They only arrested high suspected ROOT members, after a careful investigation I was aware of. He asked Hyuuga-sama's support and was given it, then he warned me when he felt the need arise because things were getting dangerous," Kakashi marked a break, waiting for Alraune's reaction that was sure to come.
"He acted on his own, without the council or the Hokage order, that's treachery too, like you accuse ROOT of!" replied Alraune, looking triumphant.
Kakashi smiled, he had obviously been expecting that answer.
"ROOT is killing people. Sasuke protected life without killing anyone and brought his enemies to face Konoha's judgment."
"He still acted on his own, breaking the rules!" countered Alraune.
Sasuke smirked at that. He knew what Kakashi was going to say... he had told that to team 7 too, it was his first teaching to them. And the sadness suddenly oozing from him was just proof...
"Those who break the rules and codes of the Ninja world are called trash, but you know what? Those who don't care about their comrades are lower than trash."
For a moment Sasuke thought Kakashi's words had reached Alraune but the man, after standing still for a moment, simply started to laugh.
"Danzou-sama was right! This village is just pitiful and going straight in the wall with its eye-tearing philosophy! ROOT will make it strong!"
It was obviously the war call many had waited for. In seconds Anbu were clashing with ROOT members. Sasuke, after checking Kakashi had evaded Alraune's sneak attack, launched into the battle.
"They did just what Kakashi had planned," chortled Naruto has he joined him, back to back, grinning like an idiot despise the situation.
By making the trial public, Kakashi had forced ROOT, already on its knees by Sasuke's action, in its last entrenched. Now all they had to do to be rid of them, was win this coup d'état.
Kakashi woke up to Sasuke's looming and angry presence, which was the teens way of being worried. Not that Kakashi could blame him, after all he was currently in the hospital. Chuckling to himself, Kakashi slid his gloved hand up Sasuke's wrist, making sure to rub with his coarse fingertips and his leather clad palm. He laughed as his hand was slapped away.
"Maaah Sasuke-kun, aren't you going to throw yourself at me yelling my name?" teased Kakashi, his eye twinkling in mischief.
He had the satisfaction of seeing Sasuke turn his head, trying to hide the slight blush reddening his cheeks. Kakashi wrapped a still wobbly arm around his lover's waist and pulled, making him fall onto the bed. He wouldn't have been able to hadn't Sasuke allowed it, hence why he wasn't surprised to have the proud young man nestle in his embrace. His face hidden against his neck, arm on his stomach and legs entangled with his while Kakashi wrapped his arms tightly around the slender waist.
Kakashi had known Alraune would be a good opponent, he hadn't waited before lifting his head-protector. He had never believed he would loose, he didn't think like that, he wasn't sure he would win of course, but he would do anything to win... mostly... because for once he knew he couldn't offer to die. He wouldn't leave friends, students etc behind... he would be leaving Sasuke behind. And he could under no circumstances do that to him. Especially when the young man was fighting nearby... fighting as much for revenge as for his future, for once.
That's why Kakashi cursed when he brought Alraune to his knees and saw the man spit at him as he composed forbidden seals. A suicide jutsu that would catch Kakashi in it.
His heart missed a beat at Sasuke's scream, when he saw him ditch his opponent, Naruto stepping in seconds later, and dash to him. His sharingan-eye had already launched its special jutsu. Fear gripping his insides he saw Sasuke interpose himself, trying to push Kakashi away from the threat, to take his place. He had barely time to grip his waist and pull him out of his time jutsu.
Alraune swore as he saw both of them were going to make it, and tried to stab Sasuke, Kakashi's hand that wasn't tightly wrapped around Sasuke, stopped the hit from the back of his gloved hand, glaring at the condemned man.
As Alraune disappeared to nothingness, he saw Sasuke's reaction at his gesture... both of them remembered the time Kakashi had been trapped in water jutsu and his genin team had saved him, then Kakashi had saved Naruto from Zabusa's hit. He had the same look as then. A look that told that no-one was to steal anyone precious to him.
Kakashi smiled at Sasuke's lifted eyes and promptly collapsed against his back, his hand finally letting go of it's bruising grip on Sasuke's side. He had barely heard Sasuke calling him, barely felt him taking him on his back...
Later, when he had first emerged, Sakura checking him, he had been told Sasuke had fought teeth and nails to protect him. He had also forbid his mask from being taken off, simply cutting the lips open to allow any medical intervention being done. Kakashi remembered hoping Konoha's people had seen that, seen that Sasuke wasn't a threat but truly devoted to well... if not Konoha, the people he loved that were a part of Konoha.
"..m...rry" mumbled Sasuke.
And Kakashi chuckled, rubbing Sasuke's side gently, noticing the slight cringe as he brushed where he had caught him during the fight. Sasuke was sorry for not trusting Kakashi's ability to deal with Alraune's last attack, for putting himself in danger to save Kakashi when he wouldn't have wanted Kakashi to do the same for him. Sorry for taking the risk of leaving him behind, to let him live with the burden of someone dying for him again... for nearly doing like Obito and adding a profound scar to a person scarred enough already.
Truthfully Kakashi should be pissed, but he couldn't help this bubbling feeling in his chest to have had Sasuke yelling his name, throwing himself in mortal danger for him. That was so romantic. And he was so going to tease him till the end of his days with that one.
Sasuke was more than used to people staring, but he had to admit this time it kinda unnerved him. True, it wasn't everyday you saw the Hokage being given a piggy ride by his former student, and known lover, back home.
"Stop it," growled Sasuke between clenched teeth.
Kakashi merely turned another page from his dirty book, book he was reading despise his situation, book that was inches from Sasuke's face, a book Sasuke could catch glimpses of the sentences held within.
"Kakashi," he warned, ready to drop the pervert.
With a sigh that said more than any words could, Kakashi closed and tucked it in, clearly conveying how mean Sasuke was to deprive a poor sick man from his only distraction. Then gloved hands started to move around, as if looking for a better grip, brushing neck, collarbone... Kakashi sighed, puffing his hot breath through his mask right on Sasuke's ear, on his nape... when he finally gave a tentative nip on one delicate ear-shell, Sasuke's eyebrows skyrocketed and a vein began to throb on his temple.
"Keep your hands to yourself," hissed Sasuke, ready to snap any minute now even as he saw Kakashi's house not too far away.
"But I'm bored~~" protested Kakashi.
"Just read your damn fucking book!" raved Sasuke, harshly securing Kakashi on his back, too pissed to be mindful.
Kakashi chuckled, Sasuke being able to feel it reverberating against his back. He growled low in his throat at how it affected his body, especially as Kakashi puffed in his ear again, before asking sweetly, in a purring teasing voice:
"Wasn't I forbidden from doing so Sasuke-kun?"
Sasuke was on the verge of dropping Kakashi just there, but that would have been conceding defeat, even more than allowing the insufferable man to read his porn. Not to mention the house was very close. Walking briskly, kicking the front door open, as well as any other door in his path, Sasuke hurried to the bedroom, dropped Kakashi on his bed, tucked him in, put some pillows behind his back, thumped him with his dirty book and went to the kitchen before he strangled the man.
"What do you want to eat?" he asked, already starting to gather kitchen utensils.
"Tomato soup," requested Kakashi.
At that Sasuke poked his head back into the room, lifting one dark eyebrow. Kakashi seemed engrossed in his porn and ignored Sasuke who just shrugged and went to cook for his recovering lover.
"So my kisses will taste better~~" singsonged Kakashi the minute he heard Sasuke open the fridge.
Sasuke was going to stomp back in and beat Kakashi into a coma to turn him into the obedient patient he was supposed to be but stopped in his tracks as he saw the fridge content. Half of it was full of Sasuke's favourite foods, all neatly packed. He slammed the door shut for good measure but decided against kicking Kakashi's ass.
Then he grew more perplexed has he noticed all the cupboards in the kitchen were half empty, only a kunai or shuriken left in them, looking pretty abandoned. Had Kakashi decided to drop his habit of hiding weaponry? Checking in the flour packet he found the hidden kunai, as well as all the other ones that hadn't moved. This was odd, but then Kakashi had always been.
Cooking the soup he let it stew gently as he went to take a nice hot shower. As he closed his eyes under the spray he couldn't help but think about recent events. ROOT was finally done for, well at least mostly. Alraune was dead, even if Kakashi regretted it, all the upper members had been arrested, and the last attackers during the trial had been put under arrest too. Sai had stepped into the ROOT leader's shoes, explaining most people were brainwashed totally into serving ROOT and so needed a leader to follow and teach them how to feel and think for themselves. Ibiki and his team had been asked to undo all the seals impeding former ROOT members. Of course some were still trying to murder Sasuke and his loved ones, but they were easily dealt with.
Sasuke stepped out of the shower, looking around for a towel and finding none. Knowing he could, he opened the cupboard under the sink and his eyes narrowed. Half of it was empty save for a kunai and his usual towel. Puzzled he opened the shelf above the mirror and again half of it was empty save for the cleaning products he had brought and his toothbrush and, of course, a shuriken.
Wrapping the towel around his waist, Sasuke started to open everything in the house, all the time finding half of the places empty with a single weapon and sometimes something he had left at Kakashi's. Even the library had space made ready.
Sasuke sat on the couch, racking a hand in his hair before remembering he had left the tomato soup to cook and it was going to burn. As he hurried in the kitchen he found the stove off and the soup gone. That fucking silent ninja.
Going back into the lounge Sasuke pondered the meaning of Kakashi using Sasuke's time in the hospital to reorganise half of his house as to leave half of it empty. If this wasn't a clear way to say he was ready to make room for him... well Sasuke didn't know what was. It was also evident that Kakashi was apprehensive about asking him (and that was an understatement). And to say the truth Sasuke didn't know what to answer. Really. Some people thought love was simple, that once you loved someone everything became easy and just unrolled itself, happened. Well maybe it was true for some, but certainly not for Kakashi and he.
And so Sasuke was sitting on the couch, pondering. He loved Kakashi. He loved having sex with him. Despise how infuriating the man was he loved passing time with him. He loved how complicated things were just accepted. He was ready to die for him. But this wasn't the question here, it truly was: was he ready to live for him?
He didn't even want to think about how Kakashi had over thought about it all. How he had certainly started to make room then stopped and undo it, to redo it later and so on. To commit himself like that was as hard for Kakashi as for Sasuke. He didn't want to imagine how Kakashi was feeling right now either, reading his porn to keep his mind off the fact Sasuke was in his lounge considering his offer.
He remembered Juugo telling him Sasuke had become his home because he could trust him, because in his presence he felt safe, away from his worries because Sasuke was all he needed to be appeased. Kakashi couldn't appease his fears, couldn't stop his nightmares, couldn't keep him safe... but he understood him... he knew what it felt like... and he was something else than vengeance.
Composing himself he strode into Kakashi's room, being greeted by the sound of a page turning. Sasuke dropped his towel on the ground and settled into the bed, back to Kakashi. He heard the latter close his book, switch off the light and sink under the cover. Sasuke cursed mentally as all the willing in the world didn't manage to prevent him from being fucking tense. He stopped breathing all together when Kakashi wrapped an arm around his waist, a body soon pressing to his back... a naked face nuzzling into his neck and a hot, calm breath puffing on his nape.
Sasuke closed his eyes, letting Kakashi's even breathing, even if totally fake, lull him to sleep. This was the first time they were sleeping together without well, sleeping together in the other sense of the word. They had never done it before, excepted when one of them was so injured they couldn't so it didn't count. It felt strange not to have a reason to stay over...
Tomorrow he would bring his belongings and hide the weapons Kakashi had left for him... he smirked as he imagined the future for once not engulfed in darkness. He wondered if Kakashi was going to write his own pervy books... or maybe Sasuke would in secret. Kakashi wasn't Kakashi without his porn after all.
Then he realised he had a reason. He wanted to live for Kakashi. He laced their fingers together and let sleep claim him.
oooooooooooooo End ooooooooooooooo
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