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embrace the day

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Kakashi curled around his book on the couch, slouching heartily against the armrest. His threshold for social interaction was already fairly low, and the number of other people in Naruto’s apartment was too many at four. He rapidly considered and dismissed the idea of leaving. Naruto would be disappointed, though not necessarily upset if he did. And it would be rude. He didn’t like his former student being disappointed. He couldn’t leave. He brought the book a little closer to his face with a tiny hum.

“I had the wildest experience at the shop today,” Naruto said brightly from the kitchen. He and Sakura were moving around each other in an intricate dance as they prepared dinner. One washed a pan, the other opened the oven. One stirred a pot, the other gathered dishes. Kakashi felt more than a little useless from his position on the couch, but would only be getting in the way if he tried to help. It was comforting that there was no expectation for him to assist.

Shikamaru snorted at the blond's words. The two young men ran their hobby shop, and while Kakashi would dubiously point out that it wasn’t profitable, neither seemed inclined to care. It made them happy. It wasn’t his place to try and derail that.

“Yeah so like. This guy came in and he started chatting with me, asking like what kind of stuff we sell. So like I was showing him around the shop and he was asking about different cards and stuff, you know. And he kept asking what the strangest thing we had in the shop was, and I didn’t really get what he was trying to get at? So like, he asked me if he could show me his collection and if I could let him know what it was worth. I was like fine, and then he said it was out in his car, and asked if I would come out to check it out.” Kakashi was torn between listening to Naruto’s inane story and trying valiantly to keep reading. His book really was interesting. The blond was just so erratic and loud that it was hard to concentrate. “I gave Shika this look cause, you know, I assumed I was going to get mugged in the parking lot.”

That’s what that look was?” Shikamaru shook his head, a troublesome muttered under his breath.

“Ah well yeah?” Naruto ran a hand through his hair, his smile dazzling. “I mean, I’m exaggerating but this guy was kind of weird. So we went out and we were just kind of talking about cards and how much they’re worth and all that, and he finally popped the trunk on his car and handed me this binder, and I was like really hesitant cause he just kept giving me this look. And like I opened it up and it took me a minute, you know? Cause it was like. I mean. It was a complete collection of vintage porn star cards. And like, I didn’t know that was a thing? And also what the fuck?”

"Oh, what year?" The distracted question had bubbled from Kakashi’s lips without filter. He looked up from his book at the echoing silence that answered him and felt a blush immediately warm his cheeks.

"Um," Naruto stammered. "I didn't ask?"

"I knew he was a pervert," Sakura muttered. It didn't sound particularly venomous, but it was enough that Kakashi itched to pull his mask back in place, or at the very least bury his nose in his book to hide. Honestly, he didn’t know how he’d let any of them convince him to take it off. He needed it.

"It's not-I just—" Stuttering through a sentence didn't help and only cemented his wish to hide his face. The dogged part of his mind wished he could just articulate for once. “I used to live by a little indie theatre. They did weekly films. One summer they did a series of biopics on vintage porn stars and their lives.” His stilted speech still bothered him, but at least he’d gotten the words out. 

“Of course you went.” There didn’t seem to be a question to Sakura’s words. He narrowed his uncovered eye at her.

“I...teach cinema classes?” It wasn’t really meant to be an exasperated question. It was fine. “I wondered if I would recognize any of them.”

“Ah. I didn’t take them,” Naruto said apologetically. “I mean, I can’t really sell that kind of stuff at the shop. My clientbase is a little too...young for that.”

Kakashi gave the blond a small half shrug and buried his nose back in his book. That was far more than enough social interaction for the time being.