The sky dropped snow like lifetimes, each flurry a collection of different strokes, slowly spiraling downward with gravity at the helm. Despite their differences, they all fell, Yamato reflected somberly, blinking as snowflakes landed gently by his eyes. Some drifted, destined to perpetuate the symptoms of winter, but in the end, they melted as they were meant to. Reagents of the atmosphere that had birthed them, and products of the efforts that had, for a while, made them unique.
He wondered how his own path was faring; if his decisions would affect change, if he could preserve some measure of good before he touched the ground. Or if, like so many others, he was ambling on some foreign, overpowering wind, helpless to alter fate when he was being pushed at every turn.
He thought about Madara’s story and wondered if Itachi had ever felt the same way. It was disconcerting, to say the least.
The temperature was dropping. Dredges of a passing storm tugged at the corners of Yamato’s cloak, and with a modest shiver, he turned to seek warmth. The wood style technique was still fresh, some part of the jutsu resonating in his cells like a constant reminder that his DNA was not entirely his own; he had repaired the inn that had been warped to counteract Madara’s appearance, and the structure sang to him, his signature echoing in its plain walls. Up above, somewhere on the roof, another signature pulsated-–a tide, an undertow, something dangerous but natural. Inside rested a third.
Yamato was always quiet when he moved, but hesitancy marked his steps when he entered the lodging and saw Kakashi sitting by the window. Something like a maelstrom was reflected in his posture, the chakra channels in his left hand still faintly charged from chidori, a body of pathways that sang of power and potential and survival. Yamato slid the door shut behind him, trapping the heat, and sat down on a large, plain zabuton where he could watch both window and exit.
Kakashi spared him a glance and a nod, hiding his mood behind a well-read Icha Icha novel the same way he hid behind his mask.
“Naruto’s practicing his Sage Mode on the roof,” Yamato said, tone light but neutral. Then, a beat later into the silence, “We probably shouldn’t let him stay out in this weather for too long.”
“Ah,” Kakashi agreed absently.
Silence pervaded, and Yamato caught himself staring at the way Kakashi was silhouetted by the window, how the gray sweep of the sky and the idling snowflakes matched the jounin’s hair. They sat amongst a palette of muted connections. A page was flipped. “What Madara said, about ‘becoming complete’…” He paused to consider his words and noted that Kakashi was focusing on him, his single visible eye watchful and considering. “It’s made me wonder if he has a personal connection with the bijuu. Or maybe disconnection would be a better word for it, like the Kazekage’s case.”
When it was clear he had nothing to add to that, no reasoning beyond simple theory, Kakashi’s attention snapped back to his book. Fleeting as it had been, the blatant lack thereof made the room feel cooler.
Yamato wanted to sigh, had to clench his teeth to keep the sound from becoming more than an urge. He shifted on the cushion until he realized he was fidgeting, then stilled his hands on his knees. Kakashi’s unmoving form (always balanced, always deft, even if his posture was haphazard) kept drawing his gaze, but without conversation, without some substance to his curiosity, it was rude to keep tracing Kakashi’s outline. Impressionistic as it was.
Shinobi, for all that they often instigated upheaval, were fond of their privacy, and Yamato began to feel like an intruder. With smooth, inoffensive movements, he stood. “I’m going to get Naruto. That cloak won’t be enough to keep him warm.”
His name was breathed quietly, composedly. It sounded like an introduction, and Yamato turned toward him with some concern. “Kakashi-senpai?”
The book was snapped shut and put away. Kakashi remained where he was, but he turned, swiveled on the window seat, and the light was left to cling to his back, dousing his face in shadow. “I apologize,” he began, and Yamato wondered whether Kakashi knew that his features were so obscured. “I wasn’t trying to ignore you.”
Yamato strung the two sentences together for what they were. “It’s… a stressful time for all of us. I understand, senpai.” And he did, because he had his own share of nightmares, and lately they were getting worse; black skies and thick, far-reaching clouds that bled, Konoha leveled under the destructive iris of the Rinnegan, and everywhere, throughout it all, fallen comrades. He understood all too well.
“Maa,” Kakashi mumbled, barely giving the syllable a real breath, lest volume somehow heighten its credibility. “Thank you.”
Yamato smiled, and the expression was sincere even if it was small. He hesitated, searching the shadows of Kakashi’s face with quick eyes and a doubtful mind, then he shook his head and closed the gap between them. Reminded himself, personal space, respectful distance, before their knees could touch, planted his feet to a spot just a step away. And although Kakashi was still silhouetted, chin tilted as he glanced up, Yamato thought he looked surprised. “You’re tired,” he murmured, like the observation was a secret. Perhaps it was supposed to be, when weakness was a thing that could get you killed. But he said it, and he was sure.
Kakashi took a moment to watch him, finally nodded in a way that dragged the motion out. “Ah,” he admitted lightly, “a bit.” His eyes crinkled, suggesting a smile beneath his mask, but the emotion was dim and difficult to trace.
Yamato opened his mouth to speak and took a breath instead, the cold air going straight to his stomach. That’s what it felt like, anyway, with his nerves rolling around somewhere beneath his chest. “Can I help?” he asked at last, and he felt his cheeks flush because it was all so pathetic and elementary.
Kakashi leaned his head to one side. “Can you stop the war before it happens?” Soft. A little sarcastic. Confused.
Yamato hummed when he wanted to scoff at himself. “I’m not, um…” He paused and shook his head. “Eloquent,” he finished, and even that wasn’t what he had been trying to say.
The crinkle beside those eyes deepened, became a bit more real. “No, you’re not,” Kakashi agreed, ever patient. “But you are very tall right now.”
Yamato knew his blush was obvious by this point. “Oh! Excuse me.” He motioned to the window seat. “May I?”
A nod. A quick seat. Curiosity on one side and jittery consideration on the other.
“Are you alright?” Kakashi asked once they were sharing the space, and the gentle way he spoke the words made Yamato feel young again, back in ANBU and questioning his identity, his purpose more than his value.
“Yes,” he answered, tasting the truth of the answer as it left his tongue. “Just inept, I guess.” He continued before Kakashi’s inquisitive stare could transition to another question, because now they were both on the window seat, and the right side of Kakashi’s face was bathed in the weak sunlight, clear and expressive and beautiful despite his underlying weariness. “Our lives have been exacting. I’m not saying other haven’t seen worse, lived worse, but you and I have both known our share of exhaustion, and of loss. And now the whole damn world is about to go to war against an enemy we can’t grasp metaphorically or even quite literally. And I- I don’t know,” he confessed, babbling when instinct told him to keep quiet, “but I want something else. I want reassurance, and I want to offer rest.”
Kakashi didn’t react at first. Snowflakes were reflected in his eye as they drifted past the window, and he blinked like he could feel them. “I don’t know if I can give you that peace,” he said gently.
Yamato swallowed, focused on the line of Kakashi’s face mask, and slowly placed his fingertips against the jounin’s day-lit cheek. “I don’t either,” he admitted with a shaky smile, keeping his fingers still, his expression honest and open. That cold fluttering in his stomach worsened. He waited, unassuming, careful.
Kakashi didn’t feel love, no sudden surge of attraction or desire. But his fatigue was bone-deep, and the light, questioning touch on his cheek was warm. And more than those things, more than the pernicious wariness of having learned to be reserved in his attachments in case they were taken from him, Yamato was sweetly, soothingly familiar.
He closed his eyes, leaned into that touch, and told himself that there couldn’t be regret in simple comfort.
Breath caught somewhere in his throat, Yamato moved closer. His hands ghosted over Kakashi’s face and shoulders, fingers slow to trace and explore; curiosity led his movements but respect tempered them. Then he was touching the edge of that face mask, and Kakashi was watching him closely, his stare like an expectation. “May I?” Yamato murmured, a mirror of his earlier question, only this time he was asking about so much more, invitations for vulnerability and the trust that could shadow such.
Kakashi nodded, and no sooner had Yamato tugged that mask down-–slowly, smoothly, exposing nose, jaw and slightly chapped lips–-than Kakashi was kissing him.
It was good, Yamato thought. Simple, but with a current of emotion, the suggestion of heat and hope and natural desire, of intimacy for the sake of release. It was good. Because they knew each other, had known each other for years, through hardship and peaceful times, and Kakashi was a piece of home. He smelled like Konoha’s forests and a bit like his ninken, and his hands were kneading Yamato’s hips like he knew every sore spot that had accumulated over the trip to the Land of Iron.
Kakashi leaned back against the wall, pulling Yamato with him so that their bodies were pressed close. Limbs became loosely tangled, and their lips, nipping, sucking and encouraging, turned darker shades of pink. Kakashi dragged his teeth up Yamato’s throat, following each little mark with his tongue until he settled on Yamato’s pulse point, and he kissed that spot–-hot and quickening–-like it was precious.
Yamato’s sudden moan vibrated through both their chests, and the mokuton user blinked in self-surprise before laughing awkwardly.
“I haven’t even touched you yet,” Kakashi remarked breathily, leaning back only enough to see Yamato’s eyes (and he couldn’t help but be inordinately pleased by the lusting gleam there).
“It’s been a long time,” Yamato said with a shrug and a smile, recognizing the promise in that tease.
Pein’s attack had left the village devastated, and between repairs and reestablishing security, his body had only known temporary beds. Anxiety was a hard companion to shake, and he hadn’t let himself relax like this around someone else in months. Not with new enemy threats at every turn, not when he could still remember the way his comrades had looked, battered and broken, when they were strewn across the recent battlefield.
So this… this was nice. This was flattering. He let Kakashi know, rubbed their hips together in a heavy, sensual sway, looking confident despite his easy blush. Primal desire let his body roll.
“Damn,” Kakashi muttered. He released a long breath and slowly pushed his hitai-ate away from his Sharingan, wriggling underneath the pressure. “I guess it’s been a long time for me, too.”
They kissed again, mouths meeting in an easy sweep. Kakashi removed Yamato’s headpiece and immediately grabbed a fistful of hair; he yanked on the locks playfully, enjoying the game of control. “This was a good idea,” he purred, and Yamato swallowed the words, accepted Kakashi’s tongue and moaned again despite himself.
Their kisses grew heavier, longer, and soon Yamato was slipping one hand inside Kakashi’s pants. He felt along his half-hard length, almost coy in the way he only offered fleeting touches and a knowing smile. In response, Kakashi groaned, the sound caught between frustration and lust, and he shimmied his hips until Yamato finally took him fully in hand and pushed his pants down.
Kakashi threw his head back and let out throaty, unrestrained gasps as Yamato stroked along his shaft, and when he felt a thumb circle the head of his cock, pressing expertly at the tip, the famous Copy Nin, renowned for his cool, intimidating composure, let out a strangled noise and a quick laugh. “Shit, Yamato. That’s, ah-fuck.”
“I’m glad,” was all Yamato said, and it was pleased and cheerful and even a bit proud.
Even as his hips tensed and rolled, Kakashi twisted around to tug at Yamato’s pants, halting the ministrations. “I got us,” he said quietly, pushing up to his knees and motioning for Yamato to undress.
Yamato wasn’t sure what he meant by that, but he only felt curiosity, trusted Hatake Kakashi too much to really wonder. He slid his pants down as far as they could go, and it took an effort not to roll his eyes at sight of them both, like two teenagers in a fumble, clothes tangled around their weapon pouches and the kunai holders still tied to their legs. It was sloppy, and it was fun.
When he looked up, Kakashi was smirking, and it was like sharing a thought, realizing what a mess they were. Yamato crawled a little closer and didn’t bother hiding his own smile.
“I got us,” Kakashi said again, amusement laced in his voice, and he spat in one hand before wrapping his fingers around both their erections.
The friction and heat had Yamato spluttering, and it didn’t take long before his arms were draped over Kakashi’s shoulders and he was keening and gasping and sighing. His let his head fall forward as they bucked their hips together, rested his forehead on Kakashi’s chest until he heard, “Look at me” like it was a request, quiet and panted and sincere. And Yamato did, trailing his gaze upward until he met that red and gray stare, and he realized he couldn’t quite close his mouth, couldn’t keep his lips together when every stroke had him letting incoherent syllables form and flutter. He kissed Kakashi, pressed sound into that warm, winter-chapped mouth.
It was so damn good.
Yamato came with a short cry, angling his hips for one last thrust into Kakashi’s firm grip, and he shuddered through the aftermath, gaze heavy with satiation as he watched Kakashi continue to work his own cock, his rhythm quickened and slick with some of Yamato’s come until he was gasping through release. His breath was dotted curses, strung apart by little throaty moans. Yamato wanted to taste that, kissed Kakashi one last time while they both tried for some semblance of collection.
“I think I needed that,” Kakashi said after a moment, exhaling against Yamato’s neck, and Yamato chuckled and nodded.
“The window–do you think the entire village saw?”
“Maa, I don’t think I care if they did,” Kakashi answered, a smile clinging faintly to his lips.
Silence returned, dousing the room much as it had when Yamato had first entered. But this time, it was comfortable, Yamato thought. And the sky… “It doesn’t look like the snow is going to let up anytime soon. We should probably get dressed and retrieve Naruto."
“Ah,” Kakashi agreed.
Neither moved right away, though, languid and unwilling to leave the coziness they had generated. Yamato watched as snowflakes continued to spiral on their respective paths. It wasn’t enough to darken his mood, not yet, but it was still distracting, a reflection of somber thoughts. “Hey, Kakashi-senpai?”
“We’re going to be okay.” He tried not to make it sound like a question, tried his best, but his words still carried a lilt, and he couldn’t bring himself to look anywhere but out that window.
“We are,” Kakashi assured him. Voice like steel, all cool and sharp again, a pattern of gray.
But his hand was on Yamato’s shoulder, and it was warm.