Disclaimer: I do NOT own Naruto!
Author's Note: Please, enjoy.
Sasuke was never one for having company or hanging out. In fact, many would probably call him a loner – a very popular loner that is. However, some days he would find himself walking down the streets among the hustle and bustle of Konoha in search of someone to hang around with. Today was one of those days.
Sasuke sighed, wiping away tiny beads of perspiration with the palm of his hand. It was so fucking hot. Too hot. Of course, the day when he actually did feel like paying a visit to a comrade's home would the day that broke record temperatures. The back of his neck felt like it was on fire and he had to stiffen his shoulders to try and keep his cotton t-shirt from clinging to the sensitive area. Little by little, as the heat continued to swelter on, the crowds began to thin out. The elderly were the first to admit defeat to the ridiculous temperatures. Then eventually the children were forced inside, leaving their balls, plastic shuriken and other toys scattered along the dirt roads leaving only the adults. Most of which were ninja. A few times he had honestly considered calling it quits and turning around so he could lie next to his air conditioner. But each time the thought passed, Sasuke frowned and kept trekking, growing more and more determined to reach his objective than before. After all, what did he have at home? Even he gets tired of being his only company eventually.
Soon, the road turned from smooth dirt to gravel and Sasuke followed the worn path that led to a smaller home safely tucked away behind all the others. He shifted his feet awkwardly and inhaled before rapping on the Oakwood door and shoving his hands back his pockets. This, the Uchiha had decided a long time ago, was always the worst part of visiting. It wasn't that he was afraid or had some type of stupid anxiety. Not at all. The uncomfortable feeling he had managed to get when visiting someone's home stemmed from the fact that whenever a friend invited him over just to hang out, he would make a big deal about it, acting as if he would never do something so pointless and dumb. So naturally, whenever Sasuke did decide to show his face for just that, a moment of surprise would fall over the home owner which was usually followed by light chuckles and a bout of friendly teasing. Especially from Naruto and Kakashi.
When the door opened, Sasuke relaxed his features and crossed his arms. He didn't want to give away how uneasy he really was.
The Uchiha frowned and fixed his eyes on the older male's neck, a habit he had recently aquired when he didn't particularly feel up to looking someone directly in the face. He almost, almost squirmed under the relaxed gaze but managed to save himself the embarrassment by shrugging his shoulders instead.
"I need to talk to you in private." Sasuke answered. Well, it wasn't really a lie but the way he said it did make it seem as if it was something important. And in truth, it wasn't.
Kakashi laughed, his eye seemed to smile as well as he opened the door and stepped back. "You don't have to lie Sasuke-kun. It would be easier to just admit that you want me to be in your company, am I right? Even though," He continued as Sasuke flushed and stiffly padded inside after taking off his shoes. "Just yesterday I believe I can recall you making it perfectly clear that you didn't participate in such nonsense."
And there it was. The teasing. Sasuke glared at the jonin at the door before plopping down on Kakashi's sofa. "I'm not coming over just for the hell of it." Now that was definitely a lie because he actually was just coming over for the hell of it but he couldn't afford to let his former sensei know that.
Kakashi's eyes were playful but challenging however as he strode in the kitchen to make tea. "Oh, is that so?" When he got no reply, he pressed on not because he was just so interested but because it was funny making his normally composed former student so uncomfortable. "What is it you needed to talk about?"
"My training." Sasuke blurted out and allowed himself to lie down on the sofa. It was a lame, completely untrue excuse and they both knew it. He wanted to bury his face in the pillow from humiliation but unfortunately, he couldn't do that. Not unless he wanted something else for the man to poke fun at him over. He couldn't stop now though. "I'll wait until you come back in here."
He could practically feel Kakashi smirking in the kitchen. It really pissed him off. Sasuke decided he'd be better off not saying anything else until he absolutely had to. That was fine with him. He'd never been one for lengthy conversations anyway. Sasuke rolled over on his side, facing the back of the couch and allowed his body to relax against the soft fabric. His neck and shoulders were stiff he realized as he let his shoulders fall and used the crook of his elbow as a makeshift pillow.
There was something kind of … therapeutic about Kakashi-sensei's home. Maybe it was the scent that lingered throughout the jonin's place. Sasuke yawned and closed his eyes in thought while Kakashi prepared the tea and warmed up what smelled like takeout – probably from last night. That wasn't the smell he was referring to though. It was the house itself. Sasuke inhaled and the distinct smell of sandalwood began to bring back memories of his old house.
It had been years ago but Sasuke still remembered all the little intricate details about his home and the people in it that most kids usually wound up forgetting after reaching a certain age. Listening to the teakettle, Kakashi's quiet footsteps and the faint sounds of dishware clanging against each other and being set gently on the surface of a counter or table reminded him of his mother and father. It was as if they were both in there right now – his wonderful mother making tea and preparing a meal for the family while his father busied himself with the daily newspaper, every once in a while taking a sip from his coffee mug and sitting it back down. Their home smelled like sandalwood back then as well. He could remember himself as a child, waking up in the morning or coming inside and having his nostrils pleasantly filled with the smell after either not noticing it or being away from it for a few hours. The neighbors, whenever his mom or dad had company would always comment on how wonderful it not only looked but smelled inside.
Sasuke's ears perked at the sound of the refrigerator door opening and closing and at that moment he noticed the humming and swishing of a washer and dryer. He missed hearing those small household things that let him know he wasn't by himself. He lived alone once his family was massacred and from then on it was always so quiet. Now, he was the only one initiating the noise at his apartment. It really didn't seem fair that he was alone. He could have had Itachi at least –maybe–but of course that's not the way things ended up. He ended up coming back to the village empty handed physically and emotional. No family. No satisfaction. No sense of completion. The only thing he came back with was regret, anger and grief.
"Sasuke, green tea good enough for you?"
"It doesn't matter to me." The Uchiha replied and rolled on his stomach as a wave of sleepiness took over him. Kakashi's home always managed to do that. He wasn't sure if was the jonin's presence that made him relax or the smell of the house. Maybe it was a little bit of both. He'd never say it to anyone but being in Kakashi's home while the other prepared a meal or grabbed a few juices out of the fridge always made him feel like a little bit of his clan was still around. It gave him a bittersweet feeling. Thankfully, it was more sweet than bitter.
Eventually, he knew he'd had to strike up some kind of a conversation about training before leaving but right know he wanted to stay silent and just enjoy the sounds and the aroma for as long as possible. This was the closet to his family he could get now that they were dead and he didn't want anything to ruin it. That's why when he heard the microwave beep, the kettle whistle and dinnerware clink together, he didn't move or make a sound. Instead, he just absorbed as much of it as humanly possible.
Even when he heard a tray being sat down on the coffee table in front of him – the smells of takeout mixed with green tea filling his nose – and he felt a familiar hand resting in his hair just above his ear, Sasuke didn't protest or even open his eyes to let the other ninja know that he was awake. If he did, it would be over and his family would be gone. Sasuke steadied his breathing and relished the feel of a soothing hand in his hair, smoothing out the stubborn parts and finally resting on his torso to create small, innocent circles. He knew Kakashi knew he was just pretending to be asleep but he also knew that his former sensei wouldn't say anything to disrupt the moment. It was probably because Kakashi figured how much it meant to him to have a type of parental comfort every once in a while. Naruto got it from Iruka and Jiraiya and even Kakashi. And he found himself needing it too. The comfort of having a home with family to go to. It was times like these that Sasuke connected to Kakashi in a more familial sense rather than just comrades, or student and sensei. He'd never admit to this either but because of all of this, Sasuke loved Kakashi's home.
Author's Note: Please review and tell me what you think. I haven't written a fanfic in – officially – a year and I've never written anything containing Kakashi either :/ so feedback would be very much appreciated.