|[Jul. 9th, 2017|09:44 pm]|
From the vicinity of Kakashi’s knee, Pakkun’s gruff voice broke the silence. “Will someone hug him already, or do I have to?”|
“You can join,” Ryouma said. He wrapped an arm around Genma’s shoulder and tugged hesitantly.
Kin clambered into Genma’s lap with considerably more confidence, planting giant forelegs on either side of his waist and nosing at Genma’s jaw until he tipped his head towards her. One betraying tear rolled down his cheek. She swiped it away with a rough lave of her tongue. When that didn’t dissolve him into instant happiness, she plied it again, licking at the side of his face with delicate enthusiasm. She was even careful of his bruises.
Surprisingly, it worked. After a few minutes he ducked his head down, turning towards Ryouma to hide from Kin’s ministrations. “All right, all right,” he said, laughing weakly. “You can hug me. I submit to being hugged.”
Kin huffed delightedly and licked his ear, and then what she could reach of Ryouma for good measure. Raidou unsuccessfully tried to swallow his laughter watching them. His leg, lodged against Genma’s, trembled with it.
Kakashi muttered, “That’s how it starts.”
“Kin is my secret weapon,” Ryouma announced. “We’ll start Kakashi on daily soldier pill doses so he’s got enough chakra to summon her all the time.” He pulled Genma’s head against his chest, and wrapped his other arm around Genma’s shoulder, holding Genma in a solid embrace.
Even through his swollen nose Genma could smell the sweat and dirt of their workout, and under that, the perfume of one of Ryouma’s expensive soaps. Hard muscle and bone that could break a man in half, and hands that could rot flesh with a sickly energy, were a comfort. And that shaking leg pressed against his was safety. Even the sullen grumble rising from the floor was reassuring. Endearing.
This was his team. They’d been his team since day one, of course. But somehow, without Genma knowing quite when, he’d become theirs, too. He clamped one arm around Ryouma’s side, pressed his knee against Raidou’s, and reached a hand down to brush Kakashi’s unruly hair. He didn’t know if his face was damp from laughter or relief, or just Kin’s generous licks. And he didn’t care.