|[Jul. 9th, 2017|09:58 pm]|
The air tasted of salt. |
Kakashi held still while Genma touched him, waiting for a cue, but Genma just ruffled him once, carefully, and let his hand rest on Kakashi’s head. Kin stretched out, draping over Genma and Ryouma like they were her personal mattress. There was laughter. Kin’s tail thumped against worn leather.
Genma hadn’t been suspended. That was good.
Kakashi’s chest was full of splinters and blood on the living room floor. That was stupid.
You just display your vulnerabilities.
This was not his moment. It was Genma’s. He breathed out and settled himself. Pakkun’s paws kneaded against his thigh, blunt claws, and Genma was laughing. Pay attention to that, Hatake, god.
Genma’s hand dropped to Kakashi’s shoulder and tugged gently. “Join us?”
It took Kakashi a second to realize that Genma meant on the sofa, and Kakashi thought no. He didn’t need comfort. He needed a moment. Genma needed comfort. Kakashi needed people to stop chipping at his edges. It wasn’t like Sagara had even said anything about his father, she’d just said Kakashi should know better...
Which was true.
Ryouma’s hand curled over Kakashi’s other shoulder. He knew the story. Kakashi had told him. It all happened a long time ago. You don’t need to make me feel better about it.
Mostly because there wasn’t better. There was just dead.
Kakashi slipped out from under their hands, carefully shedding Pakkun. There was a quarter of sofa left behind Ryouma, another quarter next to Genma, and Raidou looking worried in his own chair. Genma’s bruised face was tear-streaked. Ryouma’s eyes were shadowed.
Kakashi sat down behind Ryouma, pulled his legs up, and rested his forehead between Ryouma’s shoulder blades. It wasn’t a hug. It was a lot more like hiding. Ryouma was solid, his shoulders were broad. Like any shinobi, he wasn’t entirely comfortable with someone right against his spine, but he only tensed a little. After a moment, he settled and tilted his head back, just enough that the back of his skull brushed against the top of Kakashi’s head.
Kakashi exhaled. Breathed in sweat and blood and Genma, that goddamned soap, something like stormclouds and thunder.
Pakkun leapt lightly onto the sofa, and curled up in the scant space between Kakashi and Ryouma, not quite touching either of them. Leather creaked and dipped when Raidou sat down on the other end.
It was just the four of them and two dogs, in a windowless office that felt gutted around Katsuko’s abandoned desk.