|[Jul. 9th, 2017|10:10 pm]|
‘That part’ being the section around a large, contractor-shaped hole. Other than that small detail, it was fine craftsmanship. |
“It’s got potential,” Raidou said, shading his eyes when lightning blazed through the sky. Thunder rattled the world. He raised his voice. “S’there a reason you’re taking on more projects, instead of, say, something fully furnished? Do you have gambling debts we don’t know about?”
Genma tilted his chin up, looking at the rain sleeting over Kakashi’s jutsu shield. “Asuma needed something to focus on, to give his mind a break, after Hikouto. We were going to fix this place up together.” He shrugged one lean shoulder. “But he decided he couldn’t stand being around other ninja, being in Konoha. His sister didn’t help matters. Anyway, I’d already had a hard enough time finding a place. I figured I’d just… make it work. You know?”
Asuma had left the village? But— Genma hadn’t said a word.
How many other little hurts didn’t they know about?
Raidou said, carefully, “There are always officer apartments at HQ.”
“I know,” Genma said. “I thought about it. And my dad offered I could move back home. Of the two, officer appartments was definitely my choice. But then I got to thinking about the ghosts of ninja who must have lived in them before me…”
Raidou had wondered that about his own apartment occasionally. He was holding out hope that the previous occupants had retired gracefully, gotten married, and gone on to raise kids or chickens, depending on their personal preferences. It was a nicer thought.
“Anyway,” Genma said, more brightly, “you can’t really invite people over for a hot threesome in either of those places, can you?”
Raidou didn’t trip over thin air, but only because he wasn’t actually moving. “You bring anyone back here,” he said, after a beat, “all they’re going to get right now is tetanus.”
“Good thing I’m a medic,” Genma said, mouth curling in a way Raidou decided not to read into.
Above them, Ryouma shouted, “We’re not getting any drier!”
Raidou grabbed that distraction with grateful hands and made his way up to the roof. He took the shortcut through the ceiling-hole, while Genma went around outside to use the contractor’s ladder. They found Kakashi sitting Buddha-like on the apex, keeping up the rain-shield. Ryouma crouched by the hole with a collection of tools on one side, building materials on the other, and the expression of a man who was pretty sure he needed to hammer something, but hadn’t decided what.
Genma wiped rain out of his eyes. “Have either of you ever done any construction before?”
“You put things down and nail ‘em, right?” Ryouma said.
That would be a ‘no’.
“I’ve built things,” Kakashi said.
“Houses?” Raidou asked.
“No,” Kakashi said.
Raidou rubbed the back of his head. Construction projects were supposed to be a staple of genin D-rank missions, but Kakashi had been a genin for about a minute before he’d made chuunin and joined the war effort. And Ryouma’s early shinobi career had been a trainwreck; Raidou doubted he’d spent any of it studying the pictures in construction manuals.
“Okay,” Raidou said. “Roof 101.”
He gave them a rapid breakdown of trusses, battens, the necessity of a good underlayer, cleating, and how to measure the proper distance for laying down ceramic tiles. (“Starting by not dropping them on your teammates.”) The contractor tools were clearly old and well-used, but equally well-cared for. Ryouma, unleashed with the hammer, made short work of replacing the shattered battens and cleating the underlayer in place. Kakashi slunk down to take command of the measure-stick and tile placement, which seemed to please some meticulous little corner of his soul. Genma, who had done minor construction during his genin days, crouched down at Raidou’s side, asked more pertinent questions about tile structure than Raidou was actually capable of answering, and liberated the hammer from Ryouma to nail in the final row.
The result was a tidy patch job of lighter new tiles among the older, weathered ones.
“Keep holding that jutsu,” Raidou told Kakashi.