Warnings: Subtle shounen-ai, some shota, light violence, some blood, lots of weirdness, possible OoC.
Notes: Takes place after Gaara's fight and the Third's funeral but before Itachi's visit.
Kakashi's body moved quickly and lithely and dodged the first three shuriken. His legs pressed into the ground, knees bent before pushing himself forward. He dodged the three that proceeded. One simple twist, he dodged another one. One tilt of his head and the last one struck the tree so close to his ear that it almost knicked his flesh.
He fought hard not to wince as the shuriken went whizzing by his ear faster than he would have liked. He'd been expecting it, body tense, fingers clenched, ready to dodge. He watched it come towards him every step of the way, felt the breath stolen from his lungs, the sweat on his palms, and the hair on his neck prickling up. He wasn't afraid. He was ready.
His student stood hunched over, panting loudly, his black hair drenched with sweat. The pale skin glistened strangely in the sunlight, and Kakashi could detect the barest flush on slightly sunken cheeks.
It was good to note that the boy was just as worn out as he. They'd been playing the game of 'Try to hit the teacher with the sharp, pointy weapons' for hours. Each throw had been fruitless. Sasuke always missed, and Sasuke always berated himself for missing.
Sasuke's pale lips twitched a little as his long, thin arm brushed across his own damp forehead. He almost got Kakashi with that last one. The boy's legs were aching. He'd been running after the jounin the entire time, and now the trembling limbs were barely capable of holding his body up. He so badly wanted to drop to the ground and not move for a good hour, but that seemed impossible now. Not with his prey so close.
Reaching into his pack, he pulled out the last shuriken. He'd been saving it just in case he was ever in this situation when he'd be too tired to attempt to recycle already used shuriken. They all seemed so distant from his current position, and he had not the speed nor stamina to grab them and chuck them at his weary teacher.
Fingertips brushed over the sharp edges, feeling the cold steel, barely suppressing a shiver at the sensation. He was so familiar with the weight and feel of the small shuriken, could picture the shape in his head, could visualize the length and curve of every angle, could know automatically how far and in what direction to throw it. It would take one casual flick of his arm to send the sharp blades sailing through the air, towards unsuspecting flesh. He imagined the kind of cut it'd create, a tiny sliver of red right at the side of his teacher's long, thin neck. His fingers twitched, fantasizing about the thin trickle of blood that would seep from the wound and into the dark blue collar, disappearing somewhere in the depths of Kakashi's shirt.
Sasuke started breathing harder, his mind grasping the image of red lines oozing over light skin, streaming down in long rivulets. He licked his lips and tasted the salt of his own sweat. A foreign heat rushed through him, and he suddenly felt more alive and powerful than he had in a long time.
The heart in his chest pounded furiously, threatening to rip through his soiled skin. The blood in his body boiled and rushed through all sorts of places at once, making him dizzy and excited at the same time. Knees slightly bent, fingers tightening around the shuriken, he felt so ready that nothing seemed to matter but the steel piercing his flesh and the man that was staring at him strangely.
Kakashi didn't want to admit it to himself, tried to push it to the back of his mind, tried to ignore the sensation creeping down his spine, but he was worried. With Sasuke's eyes bright red from the sharingan and his face twisted in a dark, almost evil sneer, Kakashi found every reason to worry. He'd seen that expression before, though failed to recall where. Something strange was overtaking his young student, something he had no name for and could hardly describe. It scared him and maybe excited him a little, too, and at once, Gaara's words had fled through his mind in a strange flurry that made him stiffen in realization.
Sasuke reeked of murderous intent.
"That's enough for now, Sasuke."
Sasuke blinked in confusion. What had just happened? He hadn't been aware of himself or how demented he looked mere seconds ago. All he could register at the moment was how tired he was, how hungry he was, how his legs ached, how dizzy and light-headed he was, and how much he wanted to bathe. Finding it hard to stand, Sasuke let his body fall to the ground, ass meeting the dirt a little too quickly for his liking.
His right hand was stinging. Releasing his grip on the shuriken and slowly extracting the hand from his pack, eyes that turned black again widened slightly. He hadn't felt the pain till now and hadn't even registered the cold blades piercing into his skin. For a long time that wasn't really long at all, Sasuke stared at the blood that coated his fingers. He watched a single drop slide from his index finger down the plains of his palm, brushing sensually down his wrist and along his pale arm, dripping from his elbow to catch on the tip of a single blade of grass.
Kakashi stopped in front of his young student, covering him in a shadow with a distorted outline of his own body. It was a small cut and not much reason for concern. Sasuke had suffered greater wounds. What bothered Kakashi was the look of utter obsession that misted over otherwise emotionless black eyes. A silence fell between them that unnerved the jounin as he watched the younger ninja, waiting for some semblance of normalcy to come out of him.
What he got instead was an image that would burn the back of his eyelids for many years to come. Sasuke raised the hand as if possessed, fingers quivering slightly, and shaken breaths spilled forth from slightly parted lips. A pink tongue darted out, making Kakashi tense up, though he had no idea why. Sasuke ignored him, ignored everything around him, seemed focus on only one thing. Before either of them could process it, Sasuke had tentatively licked his hand. It was a simple stroke of the tongue that led to many small other strokes. Small strokes, became long strokes that dragged across the entire length of his hand and over thin, trembling fingers.
Seconds later, Sasuke was lapping almost madly at the blood, filling his mouth with a coppery taste that made him wince at the bitterness. He had utterly despised the taste the moment it touched his tongue, but like everything else in his life, he was addicted to the things he hated the most. He sucked on the cut, made it redder, dabbed blood all over his own lips and across his chin.
Mutely staring down at his student, Kakashi felt his stomach turn and was slightly ashamed at the heat that coiled in lower areas, something he didn't want to acknowledge. His eyes focused on his student's tongue, watched it dance across the expanse of his dirty, bloody skin, imagined it running over other areas of the body then hated himself for thinking these things. His own hand reached out and grabbed the delicate, almost tender wrist of the young boy, stopping him quickly. He pretended not to notice Sasuke's confused expression or the way his lips seemed so puffy and delectable with blood smeared across them.
With one free hand, Kakashi pulled out a roll of bandage neatly tucked away in his vest and set to work, very carefully wrapping up the wound, knowing he should probably clean it but really just wanting Sasuke to stop. The boy's hand was limp as he tightened the bandage around it. Sasuke's face held no emotion anymore, no curiosity, no wonder, no fear. Kakashi uncharacteristically stroked the hand very gently and watched the lids of eerie dark eyes droop a little before forcing himself to move away, letting the hand fall on Sasuke's lap.
"I'll get us something to eat," the jounin announced calmly.
Sasuke didn't move or even blink, so Kakashi left him alone.
Hours from now, days from now, even weeks from now, Kakashi would recall this day with a strange, bitter taste in his mouth and a bothersome heat creeping across the pit of his stomach. He'd try and pretend it didn't happen, shove the visuals in the back of his mind, and continue whatever he was doing. He'd pretend his eyes weren't fixed on a soft pink tongue running across pale skin, streaked with ribbons of blood. He'd pretend he wasn't unnerved by the purity of hatred and darkness that flicked across menacing red eyes. He'd pretend that he didn't notice the way Sasuke's body responded to his own bleeding-sitting helpless on the ground, breathing hard, face flushed, and the almost unnoticeable bulge in his shorts.
Kakashi would try hard to forget because his student was only twelve and clinging desperately to the tattered shreds of his innocence. He wouldn't be the one to take that away from him.
...and only days later would Sasuke meet Itachi.