Sukea

BY : MisatosPenPen
Category: Naruto > Yaoi - Male/Male > Kakashi/Sasuke
Dragon prints: 2687
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto, nor the characters from it. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

Kakashi wasn’t very late this morning, but Sasuke was, nevertheless, abnormally grumpy.

“Rested up, Naruto?” Kakashi asked.

Naruto hardly looked awake. “Barely. I could sleep for another week.”

Sasuke narrowed his eyes and didn’t engage with his teammates.  

“Who killed your puppy?” Kakashi asked, as callous as he could pretend to be.

Sasuke glared and Kakashi shut the hell up and turned to the other two. “I wasn’t briefed on this mission yet; Tsunade wanted to explain it to all of us in the security of her office.”

That got Sasuke’s attention.

Kakashi led his team to the Hokage tower. They were admitted immediately.

“I apologize for the last-minute information,” Tsunade said, “but I couldn’t let this information leak out. I also understand this mission might be problematic for all of you, but you have skills and experience we need for this assignment.”

Kakashi could feel Sasuke stiffen. Kakashi was certainly concerned; there weren’t a lot of things that their team was specialized in, especially since they hadn’t done a lot of missions together. Bijuu and demigods from space were the only things he could think of.

“A group of about a dozen shinobi have been gathering near the Land of Waterfalls. They are stylizing themselves as a new Akatsuki.”

The aura coming off Sasuke was cold. Naruto was angry. Sakura was determined, not acting scared or meek like when these three were mere genin.

“In what way are the imitating Akatsuki?” Sasuke asked.

“Powerful, warmongering mercenaries looking for powerful people and creatures. We’re pretty sure they haven’t captured a Bijuu and we doubt they have ability, but we can’t take that chance. You four have the most experience fighting the Akatsuki and their ilk.”

Sasuke scoffed. “A bunch of idiots. Kill or capture?”

Tsunade was aware of Sasuke’s aversion to killing—Naruto and Sakura weren’t exactly murderers either. “I want you and Kakashi to interrogate who you can. I think it’s best to kill them.”

Kakashi was prepared to deliver the finishing blow as he often did with this team. He may not be ANBU anymore or as coldblooded as he once was, but eliminating the enemy was always his job. Nor did he want these kids to get as used to killing as he was. He smiled. Kids. They were all sixteen and considered adults.

“The Akatsuki destroyed the village and sparked a war, I don’t want people to find out about this and panic. We may not think they have the ability to collect Bijuu, but they are very powerful S rank criminals. Do anything you feel necessary.”

“Understood,” Kakashi said.

Tsunade eyed Sasuke. “Go.”

-----

They hadn’t gone five miles when Sasuke jumped to the lead of their formation and gave a signal that they were being followed. Then he signaled that he would deal with them. The team continued while Sasuke dropped to the ground and split off to the side. After a few minutes, Kakashi led the others to double back toward Sasuke. They found Sasuke pinning a man to a tree, staring into his eyes with the Sharingan.

Kakashi landed several meters away so he wouldn’t startle or disturb him. It wasn’t long before the man collapsed to the ground. Sasuke ignored the unconscious man and turned toward his team.

“Well?” Kakashi asked.

“They figured Konoha would send a powerful team,” Sasuke said. “They hoped I would be one of the shinobi sent.”

“Why in the world would they want Konoha to send you?” Naruto demanded.

“They wanted to recruit me,” Sasuke scoffed.

“What? For real?” Naruto exclaimed.

“They knew I was a member of the real Akatsuki for a short time and thought I’d like to join their new group. Like I would want to join a stupid Akatsuki fan club. Fools. All shinobi are mercenaries. Should I kill this one?”

“I’ll do it for you,” Kakashi said. He killed the unconscious man. “I’m glad you weren’t tempted.”

“I have reasons to be loyal now.”

Kakashi felt a flutter in his stomach.

-----

They hunted down four members of this new group before hitting their base. Twenty-four members including their leader were inside the base. It was a harrowing fight, even for the incredibly powerful team. They laid waste to the base and the forest around it.

At the end, Kakashi was exhausted, pulling himself up onto the top of a pile of rubble. Sasuke was standing nearby sucking in air with his head back. The fight had even put a strain on the young powerful Uchiha. Few drove him to use the Susanno, but he’d been forced to resort to it when squaring off with the leader and his most trusted members. Naruto threw himself on a flat area to rest. He’d made full use of Kurama and Senjutsu. Sakura was sitting with her head down and shoulders slumped. She’d been the one to shatter the ground and the base.

Kakashi went over to Sasuke and sat down. Sasuke practically collapsed next to him.

“You okay?” Kakashi asked.

“Took a sword to the arm, but it’s just a flesh wound. You?”

“I’m fine. Just going to drop dead from exhaustion.”

“Oh, don’t do that,” Sasuke sighed. “Then I would have to write up the report for this mission.”

Kakashi gave a weak laugh.

Sakura staggered over. “Let me see your arm,” she said to Sasuke. Kakashi watched distractedly as Sasuke stripped his shirt and let Sakura heal the long cut along his right arm.

“Naruto, you alive?”

“Yeah.”

“Are there any more?” Kakashi asked.

“Give me a minute.” Laying on the ground, Naruto was able to meditate and use his Senjutsu to scout for any more powerful jutsu in the area. “No, we got them all.”

“There’s a town a few miles north of here. Let’s head there and get a pair of rooms for the night. We can rest up before heading home. Sasuke, can you summon a hawk to send a message home?”

“Give me a little time to recover.”

“Take all the time you need. I don’t want any of us to keel over from chakra exhaustion. A fight like that, makes me want to retire and become Hokage.”

Sasuke actually laughed. “Not since the war have I felt this tired. Twenty-nine fucking nuke-nin. Tsunade needs to get better intel.”

“Five minutes rest. I don’t want to wait any longer than that; we might not be able to move if we don’t get moving soon.”

-----

They rented two rooms at an inn, one for Sakura, one for the males. Kakashi summoned Bisuke to stay with Sakura to keep watch while she slept. The other room had only two beds.

“Who gets the floor?” Sasuke asked. “I’m not sharing a bed with Naruto; I’ve already had the shit kicked out of me today.”

Kakashi was too tired to laugh, only a meager chuckle. “I don’t toss and turn; you can share my bed.” He was also too tired to be embarrassed by that idea. “The floor would be too much for any of us in this state.”

Kakashi stripped off his shoes, vest, and pouches and eased himself down onto the bed, trying to stay as close to the edge as he could. Naruto threw himself on his bed. Sasuke was hesitant to even remove his sword from his back.

“We sleep next to each other on the ground all the time,” Sasuke said, “why can’t one of us sleep in Sakura’s room?”

“I don’t suppose Sakura would object to staying alone with you. In fact, I think she’d be thrilled.”

Sasuke’s throat vibrated with a nearly silent growl. He removed his sword and started to peel off his other equipment. Kakashi closed his eyes. Sasuke lay next to him.

Kakashi grew very aware of Sasuke’s proximity. He hoped he wouldn’t turn in his sleep and cuddle with his subordinate.

-----

They slept for nearly seventeen hours, not even Naruto’s snores woke them. Luckily, Kakashi and Sasuke were too exhausted to move in the slightest while they slept. Kakashi woke up and looked at the clock. Ten in the morning.

Kakashi looked over at Naruto. He was sprawled over the entire bed, his mouth open and mumbling. Sasuke hadn’t moved next to him, his mouth was hanging open and breathing deep and slow. He should have looked as ridiculous as Naruto, but he wasn’t.

It took Kakashi over a minute to realize he was staring at Sasuke. Well, he wasn’t fully awake. It was good that he was out of it; if he were any more capable, he would have been tempted to touch Sasuke. He thought about the last time they were together, the feel of his warm, bare chest.

He was starving. They hadn’t eaten since before they attacked the enemy base. Kakashi dressed and went out to find food for them all. He wasn’t surprised to find that the two boys were still asleep. Of course, the moment Naruto smelled food, he woke up.

“Ramen . . .”

“Sorry, no ramen.”

That exchange woke Sasuke.

“I’m going to get Sakura,” Kakashi said. He went to the next door and knocked loudly. “Sakura, food. For you too, Bisuke.”

Naruto was staring at the food when Kakashi returned. He realized Sasuke was protecting the food from the vacuum. He saw a red mark on Naruto’s arm where Sasuke had smacked it away.

The team almost never ate together like this at a table, not at all since Sasuke had called out to Sukea. Kakashi felt awkward sitting next to Sasuke with Naruto across to him, Sakura on his other side and Bisuke right at his hip. He was supremely aware of Sasuke at his side. The same side he sat at when they ate in Sasuke’s apartment.

Bisuke ate next to him but kept looking up at his master. He was aware that Kakashi was feeling off.

They were all recovering and half asleep, so their meal was silent. Kakashi had grown used to conversation in these circumstances and felt awkward in the silence.

Kakashi noticed Sasuke stealing a glance at him, struck as well by the familiarity of the situation. He had an older man he respected just to his right around the corner of the low table.

“Are you all well enough to head back home?” Kakashi asked.

“Yeah,” Sasuke said.

Sakura nodded and Naruto nodded as well because his mouth was full.

“Up to running or are we walking?” Kakashi asked them.

“I’d like to run,” Sasuke said, “but we should probably walk to start.”

“Eager to get home?” Kakashi asked.

“Hn.”

-----

Once they walked out the soreness in their muscles, they were back to jumping through the trees. It still took two days to get home.

“Good job. Dismissed,” Kakashi announced when they entered the village gates with his usual amount of enthusiasm. None.

Naruto and Sakura ventured off, but Sasuke loitered.

“I thought you were eager to get home,” Kakashi said.

“I just wanted to thank you for trusting me.”

“Huh?”

“You didn’t think I would betray you after I admitted they wanted me to join them.”

“Why would I think you’d betray us? I mean, you told us what they wanted and you let me kill the guy.”

“Just accept my thanks.”

“I don’t want you to think I would even doubt you like that.”

“I’ve heard people talk: I’m a compulsive traitor.”

Kakashi scoffed. “That’s not true; I’ve always known that. I understand why you made the choices you did. I might not agree with them, but I know why.”

“It just means a lot that you have faith in me.”

“You’re welcome. I’ve only once really lost any faith in you, but that was because you tried to kill Sakura and attacked the Kage conference. That was the only time I doubted you.”

“I wasn’t completely in my right mind. Thank you, Kakashi.”

“Good work, Sasuke.” He mused the younger man’s hair. For a moment, it caught Kakashi off guard that he was so much taller. He’d mused Sasuke’s hair since he came home, but he was usually sitting when he did. Sasuke was truly an adult now.

“Go home and rest. Even I can tell your chakra hasn’t replenished.”

“You need to rest too. Old man.”

He said it with affection, so Kakashi wasn’t offended. “I will.”

He went off to make his report. After what Sasuke just said, he was hesitant to report that this would-be Akatsuki wanted to recruit Sasuke. He did turn them down, killing his share at their base. He couldn’t in good conscious not mention it. So, he gave a full report to Tsunade who was eager to hear the result of the mission herself. He made sure to praise Sasuke highly.

“I would think Akatsuki would give Sasuke bad memories of his brother,” Tsunade said. “Foolish to try to recruit him.”

“I think it did bring a few memories up, but he channeled it into killing the enemy.”

“Thank you. I know this was probably hard on the entire team.”

“Mostly just angered them. We were all pushed to our limits but survived.”

“Sasuke killed some of them?”

“They were all forced to. There were far more shinobi than we anticipated; it was a kill or be killed situation; he didn’t have a choice.”

“Did it bother him?”

“Not really. I didn’t see any remorse or anything. Why?”

“He would make a fine ANBU if he wasn’t so averse to killing.”

“No. Sasuke should never join ANBU. I will never recommend him and I would advise him against it.”

“You know him best and know what ANBU is like. Alright. You’ll be the next Hokage so I will leave any such decisions to you. Good work. Dismissed.”

Kakashi picked up some instant food on the way home but was too tired to make it when he got home. He just stared at it before sitting on his bed. He fantasied about Sasuke coming to his door right now with take out in hand. He would love him for it. The boy was probably asleep already. The sun was just setting.

Despite the growl of his stomach, Kakashi took off his vest and pouches and laid down, not bothering with a sheet or blanket, just laying on top of the bedding and falling asleep.

-----

Kakashi woke up to a soft rapping on his door. It was dark out. He slid a hand over his mask to ensure it was in place and staggered to the door. His eyes widened at seeing Sasuke there.

“What is it?” he asked with a concerned voice.

“Did you sleep in your uniform?” Sasuke asked.

“Yeah, was too tired to change. What are you doing here?”

Sasuke looked nervous. He hesitated, choosing his words. “I didn’t mean to wake you. I knocked as softly as I could.” He paused. “Were you just teasing that you didn’t know anything about Sukea or do you actually know where he lives?”

“Huh?”

“I just haven’t seen him in a while, and I’m concerned.”

Kakashi rubbed his hair and blew out a breath. “I’m sure he’s fine, but no, I can’t say where he lives. Has it been a long time since you saw him?” Kakashi knew it wasn’t unusually long; a day before they left and not even a day after.

“Not really.”

“Are you just lonely?”

Sasuke glared at him. It turned amused when Kakashi’s stomach growled.

“Did you not eat when we got home?”

“Too tired.”

“There’s an all-night market. I could eat.”

Kakashi was a moment realizing Sasuke was asking him to have a meal with him. Once that fact slipped into his groggy mind, he turned to gather his wallet and key, then followed Sasuke.

They didn’t speak as they walked the deserted streets. The market had a variety of Bentos. The only freshly cooked things they had were deep fried, something Kakashi was not a fan of, and sweeter offerings that didn’t appeal to either man. They went with the prepackaged Bentos.

“I’ll pay,” Sasuke offered. “I woke you up.”

Kakashi allowed his subordinate to treat him and they sat on a retaining wall nearby to eat, the lights of market giving them enough to see their meals.

At first, Kakashi thought this would be a silent meal; he was so hungry that he was more focused on eating than his companion. Sasuke was eating more slowly.

“What’s it like in ANBU?” Sasuke suddenly asked.

“Huh?”

“Tell me what being in ANBU is like.”

“Why? You’re not thinking of joining, are you?”

“No, but I’m curious.”

Kakashi ate a bit of rice before answering. “Dark. It’s a lot of killing. I think I probably killed five hundred people during my time in ANBU. Maybe more. There was a time, albeit a short one, where I killed about seven enemy shinobi a day. I killed Konoha shinobi as well. Traitors. I was even part of Root for a time.”

Sasuke looked at him with shock.

“Danzo convinced me that Saratobi was partially responsible for Minato’s death. Luckily, I quickly realized that I was being manipulated and turned on him.

“I shouldn’t tell you about it, but there was a mission were my partner and I were sent to shadow another team. Their mission was to exchange information with another village, hopefully the beginning of good diplomatic relations with that village. Danzo and Saratobi believed it might be a trap, so we were sent to protect the team and wipe out the enemy, when more likely than if, they betrayed us. Of course, they attacked the team. We were to kill everyone. If they were wounded, we finished them; if they ran, we killed them. Their bodies were left in the open to find: a message not to fuck with Konoha.

“The members of that team were horrified by what we did, that we’d killed the injured and those who ran and no longer posed a threat. I couldn’t understand why. It was our mission; these were the enemy. Now, I can understand it, even if I don’t feel it. Murder is one thing, killing on a mission is far different. Perhaps it’s because it’s the Hokage who chooses to kill, I was just the instrument, the kunai. Still am.” Thinking back on it, brought back the fatigue he felt back then. His voice grew deep and rough as he spoke.

“Minato wanted to keep me near him, but I know he regretted putting me in ANBU. I think he’d admit he was being selfish, didn’t consider just what that life would do a fourteen-year-old already dealing with trauma. I don’t blame him though. I don’t really regret that time in my life; I don’t know how my life would have been different.”

“Hn,” Sasuke hummed in understanding.

“Honestly, when I become Hokage, I will want to keep you by my side, but I will not put you in ANBU. I would never do that to you. I don’t want that kind of fate for you. I care about you too much.”

Sasuke stared into the darkness. “Thank you.”

“Don’t trust that ANBU,” Kakashi said, his voice still rough.

“Why? What do you know about him?”

Everything. “He was quick to blame you three when you infiltrated the archives. He’s an adept liar and he’s killed just as many people as me. Don’t trust him.”

“He’s one of the only friends I have. I do trust him.”

“Be very careful. Trust that man and you will get hurt.”

Sasuke hesitated, taking that warning seriously. “I’m willing to take that chance.”

Kakashi struggled with his conscious. “Thank you for meal. We should both get some sleep.”

“Thank you for answering my question.”

-----

If Sasuke was willing to come to Kakashi’s apartment to ask after Sukea, Kakashi knew that he would worry Sasuke if he didn’t visit tonight.

Sasuke opened the door before Kakashi could even knock, obviously waiting and listening for him to arrive. Sasuke greeted him with a wide, relieved smile and hugged him right there on his doorstep. “I was afraid you wouldn’t come back.”

“Huh?”

Sasuke pulled him inside. “You didn’t come back the night before I left.”

“I wanted you to get rest before your mission.”

“I was afraid I put you off.”

“Put me off?” Kakashi was honestly confused.

“Pouring my burdens on you.”

“No. I wouldn’t . . . I wouldn’t leave you for opening up.” He wanted to say that he would never abandon him, but he had once; not on purpose, but he had. “I love you more for it.”

Sasuke kissed him. It wasn’t erotic. They didn’t open their mouths or anything like that. Just a closed mouth kiss. Somehow, that made Kakashi feel even worse about this deception. It was an innocent kiss.

“Let’s go out tonight,” Sasuke suggested.

Kakashi agreed. He didn’t really want to be alone with Sasuke now, uncomfortable with how relieved Sasuke was, how happy he was.

They went to the restaurant where they met.

“I’d still like to train against you,” Sasuke said.

Kakashi waved him off. “I’m afraid you’d wipe the floor with me. I’m not nearly as strong as an Uchiha.”

“I know how to hold back.”

Kakashi mimed scratching the back of his head. “I doubt you could lower your power that low.”

“I like your self-deprecation, but I think it’s unwarranted, ANBU.” Sasuke let his personae fail; he looked lovingly at his dinner companion. In public. Kakashi was stunned by it. He giggled weakly in embarrassment.

Sasuke was more self-aware than Kakashi thought. He shut his emotions away before the waiter could see them. They were fortunate that their booth was in the back and it was slow night so no one could have seen Sasuke’s slip.

“I’m out of practice,” Kakashi said once the waiter left them again. “I would just embarrass myself. Um, how was your mission? You said it was S rank, right?”

“Harder than we thought it’d be. Bad intelligence. It was an actual challenge. The Hokage wants it kept quiet, so I can’t talk about it.” He hesitated. “But I want to talk about it.”

Sasuke sighed and glanced around to make sure they wouldn’t be overheard. “I confessed to you how this village makes me feel—isolated, alien, detached. While I was on that mission . . . I was offered so much more. They offered me a life I understand and even love, a life of battle and challenge. It was a stupid little mercenary group, but they asked me to join and even lead them. It was hard to find reasons to say no. I spent years living as an outcast, a criminal, in hideouts we changed often. Almost nomadic. Free. I could leave practically when I willed. Here, I have to ask, let someone know. I would just tell Orochimaru I was going and he couldn’t really stop me. I feel more like a prisoner here. It might be fun, being a rogue again. But they were idiots and there are people here I really don’t want to disappoint. And yet, I was almost tempted.”

“I’m glad you decided against it. I understand wanting that kind of freedom, but I’ve always found some comfort in orders and duty. But to go on challenging missions until you tire of it, that does sound nice. I probably am reaching that point.”

Sasuke scoffed. “You’re in your thirties, right? You have at least a decade left, if not two. As the next generation turn away from the shinobi life, we older ninja will be needed.”

“I guess I haven’t really begun feeling my age.”

Food arrived. They’d ordered à la carte.

“I spoke to Kakashi about you.”

“Huh?” Kakashi of course knew what Sasuke meant, but he was still thrown by the topic.

“He really doesn’t trust you. Do you have history with him?”

“Nothing negative.”

“Hn. He does think it was pretty low that you blamed us for that archive mission.”

Kakashi shrugged. “If you have a patsy, use it. I knew you three wouldn’t get into trouble, but as you pointed out, I might have gotten into trouble being former ANBU. But what we did wasn’t that bad. I didn’t take anything else, though it would have been great cover.” Kakashi took a bite. “But he is right: I’m not to be trusted.”

“Neither am I. I’ve been called a compulsive traitor and I was imprisoned when I first returned home.”

Kakashi had very mixed feelings about Sasuke’s imprisonment and the methods used. He hated seeing Sasuke like that. “I heard about that,” Kakashi said. “I thought you’d be more resentful.”

Sasuke sighed. “I deserved it. I was only in that cell for a short time and then pardoned.”

“It was a shitty way to treat you. Imprisonment is one thing. Seals and . . . I don’t even want to think about it.”

“You must have been high up in ANBU to know about that.”

Kakashi scoffed. “I didn’t need high clearance to know about it. Rumors did enough. Konoha’s done a lot bad by you.”

“Thank you. It feels good to have someone acknowledge it.”

“I don’t want to pity you, but you have suffered greatly at the hands of this village.”

“Normally, I would hate pity, but it’s a degree to love.”

Kakashi was shocked Sasuke would use that word in public. Granted no one could probably hear them, but it scared him. If they had been alone in Sasuke’s apartment, Kakashi might have reached out to him to touch him. He wasn’t horny, he just wanted to touch him, be closer to him. Talk of the way he was imprisoned made Kakashi want to hold him, even if in retrospect holding him might make him remember what it was like to be completely bound the way he was.

“I suppose it is.” He was so rapt with Sasuke in that moment, thinking about how much he wanted to touch him, that his voice was almost Kakashi’s rather than Sukea’s. “Sympathy doesn’t sound as condescending.”

“Sounds better,” Sasuke agreed. “I’ll accept it. From you.”

“I’m glad that despite it all, you chose to come home.”

“Sometimes I wonder if I made the right choice, but right now, I’m glad I did too. I’m trying to believe in what Konoha stands for, trying to believe in Naruto’s point of view.”

Kakashi didn’t like that word, ‘trying’. That meant Sasuke didn’t truly believe in either. At least, not yet.

“Well, I think the most solid way of putting the past behind us all is for one of your kids to become Hokage after Naruto.”

“Maybe. That’s another thing I fear, becoming a father. I will do it—I have a duty to my clan and brother, even Konoha. But not yet. I want to make sure this village is a safe place to raise an Uchiha first.”

“How do you mean?”

“Two of my clansmen were behind this last war. I joined Akatsuki. Itachi was a pariah for years. My clan was slaughtered because they were planning a coup. I suspect there are plenty of people in this village who believe they would be better off with no Uchiha.”

“Hmm. I didn’t think of that. Kakashi will protect you and your family, of that I’m sure.”

“I don’t want him to have to.”

“I understand.”

Their talk turned to mundane things as they got deep into their meal. Sasuke insisted on paying.

“Come over?” Sasuke asked when they were outside.

“Yeah.” Kakashi knew it was a horrible decision. Just Sasuke’s presence was like alcohol in his brain. Not only was his reason slipping, he was craving another shot, craving Sasuke’s lips and his touch. He was an addict. Even when he knew nothing good could come of this, he followed Sasuke home.

----------

I intended at least one more scene in this chapter, but it's proving very hard to write. I think you understand why.

I have a poll on my Facebook about what and when I publish; I'd appreciate the feedback.



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