Summary: He's been gone only four days and she's already aching for him, counting down the hours until he's back in her bed. For KakaSaku week 2016, Day 4: Countdown. AKA, in which two adorable dorks miss each other a lot and talk on the phone. I keep asking myself, when did I become so fluffy? This calls for angst and smut - a lot of it. Gotta keep these things balanced.


Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

...

Sakura stares at the untouched pillow and rumpled covers next to her, wondering what Kakashi is doing. It's almost midnight where she is, around 9 for him, but she finds it hard to sleep without him at her side; it's in the quiet of evening that she misses him most. At least they have cellphones now - she finally cajoled him into buying one so he could talk to her on the road.

Four days ago, he was delegated by the Council to hold a goodwill meeting in Yukigakure after word got out that the the village might withdraw from the Alliance of Shinobi Nations. Sakura thinks of traveling through Snow country with him as a Genin and struggling against the bone chilling cold, and she shivers for him in sympathy. She only hopes that he's been able to keep warm.

Suddenly, her phone lights up. Her heart pounds with excitement when she sees Kakashi's name on her caller ID. He finally has service after yesterday's storm knocked him off the grid, and the first thing he thinks of is to call Sakura.

"Hey," Sakura says, not even trying to hide the excited quiver in her voice.

"I'm glad you're still awake," Kakashi says. He's exhausted, but talking to her lifts his spirits. Though he's only just arrived in Yukigakure, he already feels burnt out from the brutal chill; the thought that he's getting too old to brave the elements is a little depressing.

"I tried to stay up in case you could call," Sakura says. "I've missed talking to you." She has work early, but it's worth it.

"Hold on one second," Kakashi says. She wonders what he could possibly be doing; then, her phone vibrates twice. She opens two new texts from Kakashi - a wall of tiny hearts and little puppy dogs.

"I tried to send that about 10 times yesterday," he says. "I hope it finally worked."

"Look at you, learning how to text already! Never would've thought you had it in you, old man," Sakura teases.

"Ha-ha," Kakashi drawls. "You underestimate me, Sakura."

"I guess I am, considering you already figured out how to use emojis," she says. "They're so cute. I love it." A comfortable silence follows as she hears the rustling of fabric and what sounds like a mattress squeaking. He must be getting into bed.

"Know what?" she asks. "I've been counting down the days until I get to see you again," she says, speaking in half-whispers. "The hours, too."

"That's very sweet of you," Kakashi remarks. He isn't used to having someone special await his return, and it's a good feeling.

"Sweet, huh?" Sakura grumbles. "I take it you're content to be sleeping on a block of ice in Snow, then?" He's never been one to be overtly romantic, but a simple 'I miss you, too' would have sufficed.

"Of course not," he says, feigning virtuosity. "You know I'd rather be by your side." It's true - he's missed them having lunch together, the sweet sound of her laughter (not to mention her moans), falling asleep with her arms around him.

"Well...why's that?" Sakura probes. She just wants to hear him say it - I need you. I hate not being with you.

She hears Kakashi exhale loudly. "Body heat, of course. It's freezing over here-"

"Hanging up now," Sakura replies cheerfully, thumb hovering over the END button.

"Wait, wait - now, just wait a second," Kakashi says, choking down a laugh. "I'm sorry. I won't tease you anymore, I promise." Really, it's always been far too easy to pull her leg, and he couldn't resist taking a jab at her after she called him old.

Sakura pauses, lets him sweat it out. "Fine. Whatever," she mumbles, feeling a little sorry for herself.

"I have missed you. Quite a bit, actually."

"Well, I'm glad," Sakura replies, trying to hide that her heart just skipped a beat. "You know, I really wasn't kidding when I said I'm counting down the days until you're home - I think I've worn my vibrator out," she jokes, lightening up. "Poor Pochi. I hope we can find him a good replacement." (Ironically, it feels even better when he uses it on her - it's one of the perks of having a boyfriend obsessed with porn.)

"I'm sure we can do without. We have a lot of catching up to do when I get back," Kakashi says, and she can practically hear the wink in his voice. He's such a dork and she can't believe how much she actually likes it.

"Yeah, I don't think either of us will be getting a lot of sleep that first night," Sakura laughs, feeling a little antsy at the thought of just how far away he is and how much she's wanted him these past few days. (Honestly, she's only half-kidding about the whole vibrator thing.)

"Hey..."

"Hmm?" He sounds extremely tired and she only wishes she were there to comfort him, to rally him on.

"I'll make saba shioyaki for you when you get home. To surprise you." She back tracks, cheeks turning pink. "Well, I guess it's not really a surprise now, but, yeah. You deserve it after all this hard work." She's never made saba shioyaki in her life, but she hopes her determination will make up for it.

"That does sound good," Kakashi says, smiling. "Thank you."

"Try to get some rest, okay?"

"All right. I'll try."

"Yeah. Same here." There's a beat of silence as Sakura bites her lip, hopes she won't lose her nerve. "I'll be dreaming of you tonight," she says, blushing even harder.

A surge of tenderness for her swells in Kakashi's chest. "I'm sure you'll pay me a visit in my dreams, too," he murmurs. He pictures himself smoothing back her hair and kissing the soft skin of her neck, tries to burn the images into his mind in the hopes of finding them in sleep. Only a few days left until she's back in his arms.

"I will - it's a promise." Sakura smiles, turns off the lights and settles down beneath the covers. "Night, Kakashi."

"Sleep well, Sakura-chan." When he hangs up the phone, he dozes off and feels warmer than he has all day.