Genre: Definitely Not Smut.
Summary: Kakashi orders Sasuke around. Sasuke resents it.
Notes: Takes place after the Wave Country arc and before the chuunin exam, somehow. (Behold! A magically elongated timeline! And for my next trick, I will attempt to write in-character KakaSasu, aided by the amazing power of retrospective insight.)
It wasn’t until the strawberries that he began to become suspicious.
“Sasuke, would you mind picking those? For breakfast tommorrow.” Kakashi-sensei pointed to a small patch by the side of the road. His visible eye crinkled.
Sasuke ignored Naruto -- that idiot naturally understood the request as chance to expound on the inadequacy of Konoha’s standard field rations, at least until Sakura hit him and told him to shut up. Instead he turned away and, just out of Kakashi-sensei's view, grimaced. Moving to crouch by the roadside, he swung his pack off his shoulders, dropped it in front of him where he could rummage through it for a cloth wrapper, and thought: “I was going to pick these anyway.”
This had been happening a lot lately. First it had been cleaning the shiruken, then stowing the mission scroll at the bottom of his bag, then checking the forest around their camp last night for traps, then avoiding poisonous berries, then a thousand other things. Things he would have done, was going to do, without having to be told. Frankly he was getting sick of it.
The greatest of all ninja skills is endurance, Sasuke thought grimly, and tried not to let his un-ninjalike expression show when Kakashi-sensei casually ordered him to refill the canteens while he was at it.
“Sasuke, would you mind boiling some water? We want to be careful with the water in this area, there have been reports of sickness in the villages nearby.”
Sasuke froze in the middle of his fourth step, which to be fair could have been either toward the small campfire in the middle of the clearing or the collapsible waterproof tent he was reluctantly sharing with Naruto on the edge (only because it rained a lot in the Wave Country, otherwise he'd have slept out in the open). Then he looked down at his right fist, which was clenched around the handle of small stainless steel kettle. His knuckles were turning white. He put his foot down, carefully. Nodded once, briskly. Couldn’t help stomping a little as he made his way toward the fire.
Did Kakashi-sensei think he was as bad as Naruto? His teammate had to be told to do everything, but Sasuke had initiative. He had this ninja survival thing down. It wasn’t that he minded the water or the strawberries or any of it, really. But he didn't enjoy being constantly ordered around. He especially didn't like being told to do things he already knew to do. If he didn't know any better he'd swear that Kakashi-sensei was baiting him on purpose, the polite, insufferable, mind-reading bastard.
“Oh, you’re finished already? Would you mind covering the fire? We wouldn’t want to give away our position.”
Sasuke ground his teeth.
Naruto and Sakura hadn’t noticed what Kakashi-sensei was doing, of course. It was deviously subtle. He didn't think he'd be able to put it into words--at least, not without appearing paranoid or neurotic or (worst of all) foolish. He'd need definite proof first.
Scratch that, rewind. He’d need proof period, not to show his teammates that he wasn’t imagining things but for his own peace of mind. Bonus: if he could figure out exactly what was happening, maybe he could figure out why, and then he could get it to stop, and then he could stop thinking about how annoying Kakashi-sensei was. Sasuke nodded to himself in the dark.
He started to slip noiselessly out of his tent. Then he snorted and moved normally--Naruto was snoring so loudly Sasuke could have sharpened his shriruken an inch from his ear and still remained unheard. He made his way to Kakashi’s tent by memory and whatever faint moonlight managed to filter through the heavy fog. His footsteps, the forest, even Naruto’s snoring, everything was muffled. He hesitated at the entrance to Kakashi's tent--how do you knock on a tent, anyway?--before pushing his way inside unannounced, with a mental shrug.
It was quieter inside the tent, if that was possible. He couldn’t hear Kakashi breathing. Which meant the other ninja was already…
“Is there something you wanted to ask me, Sasuke?”
Sasuke started, jerking backwards reflexively.
“Vchs,” he said, and cleared his throat. “I mean, yes. There is something.”
The silence was probably an indication to continue. Sasuke folded his legs underneath him as far away as space would allow. Unlike his own tent, Kakashi-sensei’s was only meant for one person. He resoultely ignored the rest of that thought.
Cleared his throat again. “This trick you’ve been pulling. I want you to stop.”
He could see the smile in the dark, the way he could see Kakashi smile even with his mask covering his mouth.
“What do you mean, Sasuke?”
“You know what I mean. Did you think I wouldn’t notice?”
“No. You were supposed to notice.” That slight eddy of air probably meant that Kakashi had brought his right hand up to his face, possibly to scratch thoughtfully against his jaw. “I suppose you want to know why I’ve been doing it?”
It was Sasuke’s turn to let the silence speak for him. Unconsciously, he moved closer to the door of the tent--cutting off Kakashi’s escape route or ensuring his own, he couldn't be sure which. He was starting to regret coming.
“I wanted to teach you to be more patient,” Kakashi said.
Sasuke examined that statement from all angles, just to be sure. No, it still didn’t make sense. “Shouldn’t you be giving Naruto this lesson?” he asked. “I am patient.”
“No, you aren’t. You are patient when it suits you, patient when things are going well. You have no patience for trivialities or inconveniences, and you will find that life as a ninja includes a good deal of both. It is important that you overcome this weakness, because you become predictable when you are impatient.”
It was one of the longest speeches he'd ever heard Kakashi give, and one of very few that didn’t shield meaning behind an easy politeness. It had to be important. Sasuke fumed.
Predictable? He wasn’t predictable. He was smart and cool and he kept his head and dispassionately observed a situation waiting for openings, which was what you were supposed to do if you were a ninja. He’d seen through Kakashi’s ploy--except that Kakashi had apparently wanted him to see through that. And hadn’t he been predicting exactly what Sasuke was about to do every day for the last week?
No. It had to be Sharingan. Sasuke was not predictable, he wasn’t, and it was equally impossible that Kakashi knew him well enough to know the way his mind worked. No one should know someone else’s mind that well, it was indecent. Sasuke shifted uncomfortably.
He wasn’t predictable. He’d prove it.
Sasuke leaned forward to kiss Kakashi in the dark. He got the placement right, but noted with annoyance that Kakashi even wore his mask to bed. He kept kissing, though, and moved forward approximately two inches to sit in Kakashi’s lap, because he didn’t want to hear whether this was something else his teacher had known about him.
(It wasn’t. But Kakashi didn’t push him away.)
OKAY SO THAT WAS MASSIVELY ABRUPT.