[[ Of Downtime And Dreaming ]]

Author: K. Koumori

Category: Implied romance (eh, it's there.)

Pairing: 1+4

Standard Disclaimer: If I owned Codename: Kids Next Door, would I be writing fanfiction? Nope. I'd be working my own little ideas right into the show. ::evil grin:: Belongs to Curious Pictures and Cartoon Network. Go worship them.

Rating: G. Thar ain't anythin' real offendin' har, folks.

Warning: Slash. KND slash. Once upon a time, a boy liked another boy romantically. The end.

Spoiler: Um... reference to one episode, maybe?

Feedback: is loved. Flame if you really must. Watch me care. I warned you.

Notes: I noticed that there are a number of 3+4 and 1+5 pairings. I like both of these a lot, trust me, but I'm waltzing out on a limb and hucking another coupling atcha. I'm being poked for a sequel (and given really good ideas, too), buuuut Idunno yet. We'll see.

-

Boredom reared its ugly head in the headquarters. A rarity, but every once in a while, the Kids Next Door would find themselves in what Numbuh One referred to as "downtime". It was quickly learned through the members that downtime meant "boring". Most of the time, they would try to ward off this new enemy, but sometimes, it snuck by them, and they found themselves sucked into the laziness of it all.

Numbuhs Two and Five were absent in this round's tsunami of down time. They each had family as their excuses, and that was something Numbuh One could easily understand. There was a time when he, himself, was dragged out with his own family to shlep along in whatever nonsense they had planned. That was ALSO when Numbuh Four went on a power trip he didn't NEED, but that was beside the point.

Numbuh Three was curled up in the middle of her vast stuffed animal fort, asleep for a change. Every human being, no matter how continuously hyperactive, needed a rest every once in a while.

Numbuh Four was pacing. He didn't like it when he did that, but he couldn't help it. It was BORING. He'd already spent two and a half hours on his physical training, and surprisingly, it got boring pretty damn fast. He resorted to pacing. And he found that pacing didn't help with the situation at all.

His mind wandered, and he wondered who was around to share the boredom with. Two? No. Even if Two didn't have a family ... thing to attend to, he probably wouldn't last long hanging out with him. They were friends, obviously, but being driven crazy was not a good remedy to this ... downtime.

Five? Five also had family business. Three? He paused in his pacing, then started up again. Nope, sleeping. He wasn't about to dare ruin that, either. She needed it.

He paused again. What was One doing? He didn't have any family obligations, and he most likely wasn't sleeping. He didn't make it a habit to sleep at such an hour. Numbuh Four had grown to make One into somewhat of a... study. Perhaps it was the admiration. Well, yeah, of course it was. One was a good leader, with a tendency to make a few mistakes, but who didn't?

But was it just admiration, or was it becoming some sort of mild obsession?

The thoughts followed him as he turned tail and made his way to the main section of the headquarters.

Numbuh One had homework. Quite an amount of it, too. He was being the perfect model student, a star in any teacher's eyes, and ... sleeping. He was sprawled out on the sofa, one arm over the edge, dangling to the floor, the other thrown over his eyes. A textbook sat, open and face-down, on his chest, rising and falling rhythmically as he breathed. He was like that when Four found him.

The Australian leaned against the armrest that wasn't occupied by One's head, and watched his leader procrastinate. What a role model. He shook his head. What did he care? He'd have done the same exact thing anyway.

He gave a hard nudge with his knee, right below the armrest, and the sofa jerked. One twitched, snorted, and moved to roll over, only succeeding in sending himself rolling right over the edge of the sofa, landing with a very loud thud. An "oof" followed.

Four leapt over the armrest and settled himself into the newly unoccupied cushions, lounging. He crossed his arms and grinned as the other boy sat up and blinked rapidly, groggily. "Workin' hard, or hardly workin', Numbuh One?" he asked as the British leader fought off a yawn.

"Homework is homework," he managed to squeeze out as the yawn won him over. He shifted and reached into a pocket, snagging his trademark sunglasses and sliding them on. He slowly dragged himself to his feet and indulged in a long stretch. He ended up losing another battle, talking through another yawn. "What is it you need, Numbuh Four?"

Four felt himself shrug. "I'm bored. There's nothin' ta do 'round here."

"So, you decided to come and wake me up from a perfectly nice nap?" One grabbed his textbook off of the floor and tossed it onto one of the nearby chairs.

Four watched One take a seat at the other end of the sofa. "The opportunity was there!" he replied defensively. One grunted and rubbed his eyes underneath his sunglasses.

Four's attention was drawn on the textbook, for no particular reason. A silence lifted between the two, and Four suddenly found himself uncomfortable in it. He also suddenly found himself at a complete loss of words to keep the silence away. Think, think, think. "When ya think we're gonna get somethin' ta do?" he blurted.

One rested his head back against the sofa and sighed loudly. "I'm not sure. Soon, hopefully."

Okay, he was being too quiet, Four decided. "'ey, w'ot's the matter with you?"

One lifted his head back up, and turned to shoot his friend a weird look. "What?"

"Well, usually you'd be rantin' and ravin' 'bout how we should have somethin' to do."

One decided it was time for distraction. The ultimate best friend! He pushed off of the sofa and wandered over to where he tossed the textbook. He took the textbook and seated himself in the chair, idly flipping through it. "I'm not sure," he replied as he read the word 'mathematical' over and over. "I haven't slept much and I have a lot of work to catch up on."

Four raised an eyebrow. Ha. He wasn't convinced. "Who're you tryin' to fool, Numbuh One?"

One's book snapped shut, and the leader's eyes narrowed on his friend. "Nobody," he answered, and Four was surprised to hear a strange, new type of coldness in his voice. "I don't see why I always have to be the one everyone comes to when they have nothing better to do." He slid off the chair, book in hand. "I don't get why I can't keep things to myself without somebody nagging me."

Four's other eyebrow joined its mate. "Maybe 'cause you're our leader."

One all but glowered, and began to stalk toward the exit of the room. As he passed by the sofa, Four's hand shot out and gripped the fabric of his sweatshirt tightly. One halted, and his eyes widened as he was yanked, by his shirt, toward Four. He dropped the book, but his attention was more on the fact that Four's angry eyes were inches from his own.

"Now YOU listen to ME," Four commanded, tightening his grip on the shirt. "The 'ole time we've been a team, you an' I have been friends. An' the 'ole time we've been friends, I don't think you've lied to me once. You're a good leader, an' none of us would settle for anyone else to look up to!" He pulled him in closer, until their noses almost touched. One was still too caught off-guard to do much. "We admire you. I admire you! THAT'S why we in'eract with you so much, an' THAT'S why we nag. We nag, 'cause we're 'llowed to worry. Now stop lyin' and flippin' talk to me!"

One's sweatshirt was released, and he straightened up, taking a few steps back. He'd never seen Four so serious about anything, not even when they were in the middle of a mission. He was irked by the hostile attitude, and it MUST have showed, but the Australian obviously cared very little about it. He was glaring, arms crossed over his chest, blonde hair hiding his eyes, which were most likely still burning. He wanted answers. He wanted them now.

One kept to himself for a minute, then spoke quietly. "I haven't been sleeping well. I'm being kept awake by thinking too much about ... something. Are you happy now, Numbuh Four?"

"About what?" He was prying, and he intended to yank as much out of him as possible. Curiosity had joined in with the concern.

"Something."

"Something bein'...?"

"Just something."

"W'ot did I just get done tellin' you, Numbuh One? Stop playin' around an' te-"

One snapped. "YOU. Okay?"

Four's expression changed abruptly. What was seemingly angry and pushy was transformed into shocked and speechless. His gaze was cast downward, and he suddenly found the fabric of the sofa's armrest very, very interesting. "Me? ...w'ot do you mean by-"

"Exactly what you THINK I mean."

Four shut his mouth. His face felt hot. That silence returned, but this time, it was thicker. One was the first to break it. His defensive streak was back. "So, now you know. I hope you're bleedin' satisfied now. If you tell anyone, I'll never-"

"I won't," Four muttered, eyes still watching the armrest.

"Good. Can I do my homework now?" It was plain to see that he was done on the subject, and felt no need to further discuss it. Wordlessly, Four slid from the sofa and started walking to the exit. He paused halfway, and turned to look back over his shoulder. One had again seated himself on the sofa, and not seeing the book on the floor implied that One was actually serious about getting his work done. Still ... it was worth a shot, right? "'ey, One..."

"What?" came the reply from the sofa.

Four fidgeted. "I really don't mind w'ot you just told me." No response, but the rustling of pages being turned stopped. "An'... well, yeah. I don't care."

"Don't care?"

"Well, I care, but..." He was struggling. "...I'm..." A frustrated growl. "I'm glad."

A bit of silence from One's side of the room. "...glad?"

"Yeah. ...can we talk more 'bout this later?"

"Of course." There was absolutely no hesitation, and the tone was affectionate. It pleased Four, and he felt his face heat up again. If only Numbuh One knew...

He turned back to the exit. "Come an' find me when you're done."

"I planned on it."

Four smiled to himself and left. He didn't smile due to the fact that the situation was going to get resolved. It wasn't due to the fact that he'd gotten through to his leader and friend in a new way.

It was due to the fact that Four always knew by his studies, without even looking at him, when One was genuinely smiling when he talked.

And that's why he smiled, too.