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Fish Out of Water

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   "You should put it against the ground," Kakashi said.

   "Huh?"

   "I said, you should put it against the ground." Kakashi reached out, one hand around both of Obito's, and shoved the base of the fishing pole against the ground. "Your arms are going to get tired if you hold it up until a fish comes."

   "Oh." Obito squinted at the water in front of them and shifted slightly, his fingers twitching. Kakashi sat back as Obito swiveled the pole slightly, the line drawing a gentle ripple through the water. "We've been sitting here forever, Kakashi."

   "Only because you wanted to catch a fish," Kakashi retorted, pulling his knees up to his chest. "I'm just here to keep you company."

   "You don't have to," Obito reasoned, relaxing his grip. The tip of the pole dipped alarmingly and just touched the surface of the water before Obito pulled it back up, breaking the reflection of the trees around the shallow, slow-moving river in front of them. "It's getting late, anyways. You should probably go home. I bet your family's waiting."

   "I don't have a family."

   "Oh. Right."

   The two of them sat side by side for several more minutes of silence. Kakashi, stuffing his socks into the shoes he had just taken off, scooted forward and dipped his feet into the water. "How about you?" he finally asked. "You've got a big family, being the Uchiha Clan and all. They'll be worried about you if you don't get home by sundown." He glanced at the sky. "And the sun will be setting soon."

   Obito scoffed. "The Uchiha Clan is the worst. Always nagging about training, always nagging about being the best, and if you don't take your shoes off inside the house or hold your kunai with all five fingers they act like it's the biggest sin in the world." He shifted, kicking at the heels of his shoes to take them off. Nudging them hastily to the side, he touched the tips of his toes to the surface, just as Kakashi did. "They're alright, though. I'll get an earful for skipping dinner, but I'd much rather be here anyways."

   Kakashi smiled under his mask. "You seem pretty fond of them."

   "They're my family. I have to be fond of them, and if I'm not, I'll either be disowned or get my teeth knocked out," Obito muttered, "In which case I would rather be disowned." After a glance at Kakashi, he added, "I mean, I, well, I still love them, of course."

   "I don't mind," Kakashi said honestly, kicking one foot. Droplets of water scattered across the river. "You can talk about your family. I like hearing about them."

   "You should come over some time." Obito grinned at Kakashi, knocking his heels against the bank. "My parents would like you. You'd be like the son they never had."

   "Huh. Maybe. As long as you don't leave me alone with them. I don't like talking to adults." Kakashi hooked his own foot around Obito's ankle. "And stop that. You'll scare all the fish away."

   "There's barely any fish in the first place!" Obito complained, flailing the line. It flew into the air before landing again with a depressing plop. "We've been waiting at this stupid river for an hour and nothing's come!"

   "It's because you suck at fishing," Kakashi said flatly. "I've caught plenty of fish before. It's not that hard, you know."

   "This is boring," Obito muttered, yanking his foot away from Kakashi's. "You said there'd be a lot of fish here."

   "Just be quiet, and they'll come," Kakashi assured, reaching out again, more slowly, to put a hand on Obito's wrist, steadying the wavering line. "It's such a slow river, there's no way there aren't fish here. You've just got to be quiet. You're scaring all the fish away."

   "But being quiet is so boring." Obito sighed, seeming to shrink somehow, and settled back down. "Alright, fine. I'll be quiet and I'll catch a dumb fish."

   "Stop acting like it's my fault." Kakashi gripped Obito's arm harder, which was freezing cold. "It's your idea anyways. And why're your hands so cold?"

   "Your hands are just warm," Obito shot back.

   "Whatever."

   Obito finally quieted down, feet barely moving in the water now, the line carving a lazy curved arc over the surface of the river. "Hey, Kakashi," he said. "Did you really mean it when you said you'd come over for dinner some time?"

   "It's better than eating alone. If you'd like me to come over, I wouldn't refuse." Kakashi shrugged. "Besides, I like hanging out with you. It's better than going home straight after Minato-sensei's training sessions."

   Obito let out a laugh and said, "Alright, then. You're coming with me once we catch a fish. If you pretend we were training, my parents won't get mad. And I bet they'd love to meet 'the kid I'm always talking about'."

   "You talk about me?"

   "Yeah!" Obito beamed, his smile growing impossibly wide. "You're my best friend! Plus, my parents are pretty pissed that I wasn't first in my class, so I have to keep explaining that you're a boy genius and you're practically impossible to defeat, so it's not even my fault that Minato-sensei favors you."

   "He doesn't favor me," Kakashi insisted. "He likes you a lot, anyways. You're actually a good student. I'm not really great in teamwork."

   "Teamwork!" Obito snorted. "My family doesn't care about teamwork. What's important is that I land on the balls of my feet and can form hand signs in a split second. If I'm not a prodigy, I might as well walk out the door, right?"

   "I think you're just fine," Kakashi said absentmindedly.

   "Thanks. You're pretty great yourself."

   The line jerked alarmingly, and Obito and Kakashi both lunged for the pole, Obito jerking his arms to fling the line into the air. A fish's silver scales flashed in the dying sunlight before landing on the grass next to them. Kakashi, his wet feet slipping on grass, grabbed it before it could wriggle back into the water. "Told you," he puffed, holding it out to a baffled Obito.

   Obito reached out and grabbed it tentatively with both hands, his hands fumbling on the tail for a moment. "Woah."

   "Yeah." Kakashi wiped his hands on his shirt and hooked the fingers of both hands around his mask, pulling it slightly away from his face in an attempt to cool down. "It's just a fish."

   Obito peered at Kakashi over the top of the fish's tail, which he held close to his face to examine. "Take it off," he suggested. "You must be hot. And it's not like it's anything I haven't seen before. Besides, you look better without it covering your face."

   Kakashi scoffed and pulled his mask down, taking a deep breath of fresh air. "There, happy now?"

   "Very." Obito patted the fish's head before kneeling to let it slide back into the water. "Thanks for coming out with me today. It was fun, even if it was a little boring."

   "No problem," Kakashi said.

   "Anyways, I'm heading home." Obito stood up straight and held out an arm, smiling in that annoyingly charming way of his. "You still want to come for dinner?"

   Kakashi took his hand.