|[May. 22nd, 2014|05:01 am]|
He set the steaming curry bowl down on the earthen platform beside him and peeled the blankets back from Kakashi's shoulder. Kakashi was still in bandage mask, black trunks, and bandages, but there were new little dots of tape scattered across his torso and arms, some overlapping bandages and some cluttering up the only bare skin that wasn't white-swathed after Iebara's attack. The new bits of tape all had numbers written on them in a tiny, careful hand. |
Shaking him awake was likely to be a bad idea, even if there was an undamaged spot to grab. Kakashi's chakra-spark and ice-freeze in Hayama deserved retaliation, but he'd probably electrocute before he punched. Anyway, even if Kakashi had no compunctions against straining someone with stressed chakra coils, Ryouma could be a slightly better person.
Or, at least, less of a bastard.
He dipped the spoon in curry, scraped the drips off on the rim of the bowl, and twitched aside the line of bandage that wrapped under Kakashi's nose. Strong scent was usually a decent way to wake even a deep sleeper up, and curry was nearly as good as coffee, but Kakashi didn't twitch. Snapping fingers next to his ear produced no effect, either.
"He woke up when I screamed," Katsuko put in helpfully. She had nearly finished her bowl of curry, and was eyeing Genma's.
"Or you could try something that doesn't put the lieutenant's fingers at risk again," Raidou said dryly.
"Let him sleep," Genma said. "If he's that out, he'll recover chakra faster sleeping than he would trying to digest a belly full of food, if you could even get it into him."
"Bet that's not what you said when he froze me," Ryouma muttered. He pulled the blankets up to Kakashi's chin again and rocked back on his heels. "Guess we can keep something by for when he wakes up."
He contemplated the bowl of curry, the half-cooked rice and the sheen of grease on top. His stomach turned. Maybe in the war he'd have gulped it down, but it wasn't wartime anymore, and he didn't need a full belly just so he could fight in the morning. There were still energy bars in his belt pouch. He'd pull one out later, when he was hungry again.
"Taichou, you want this?"
Raidou glanced down at Katsuko, who twisted around to gaze pleadingly up at him. Wordlessly, he reached across Kakashi's body for the bowl and handed it to her. She settled it into the empty shell of her first bowl and dug gleefully in.
"You should eat something too, Tousaki," Genma said quietly. "Or at least drink some more."
Raidou peeled himself back from Katsuko and swung his legs over the side of the platform. "Everyone should. I know there was more tea in the kitchen; the clones might even've managed to not set it on fire. Can you stay upright for another five minutes, Lieutenant? I'd like your eyes on that Kiri-nin." His voice shaded wry. "And also on me, if you have it in you."
Genma swallowed a last bite and set his curry down, half-finished, at Katsuko's feet. He pushed himself stiffly up.
"Tousaki, Ueno, reckon you can keep Hatake warm between you?" Raidou picked up the med-kit, stepped off the platform, and presented his broad shoulder to Genma just before the lieutenant's bad leg tried to buckle. Genma grabbed his armor shoulder-strap. They paced a careful doubled stride out of the room. Raidou paused just before they reached the door. "Try not to induce him to bite anyone, for preference."
"Wow," Ryouma said, in the silence of their passing. "Now I really want to snuggle Kakashi even more. Way to be motivating, taichou."
Katsuko took a fantastically large bite of beef and potato, chewed briefly, and then came to a decision. She set her doubled bowls down, rolled up to her knees, and crawled around Kakashi and his blanket nest to tug at Ryouma's arm. "It's okay," she said gravely. "I'll protect you." She lifted the nearest edge of blanket and tried to shove him under it.
"My hero," Ryouma said, mostly to see her smile, and let her pull him down.
Kakashi was still shivering. At least he could think of this as one more job to do.