Kakashi was stunned by just how much those four words hurt him. That name, although it had not been used to refer to him in years, still haunted him and pained him in ways he didn't disclose to anyone. How was Obito aware of such a moniker, used to refer to Kakashi while he was a new ANBU recruit? A name he was burdened with after the unfortunate, and since proven to be unavoidable death of his teammate.
Kakashi hesitated before closing the door. "No one calls me by that name anymore."
"Oh.." Obito mused. "The Hidden Leaf has always been quick to forget our misdeeds."
"You sacrificed yourself to save me, Obito. Rin sacrificed herself to save the village."
Kakashi folded his arms and lent back against the door. He watched as Obito became increasingly more frustrated by Kakashi's mere presence.
Why do I feel so uncomfortable in my own apartment?
Turning his back, Kakashi made his way towards the bathroom. Even with his back to him, nothing could deter Obito's icy glare as he slunk out of the room, clearly avoiding as much personal contact as possible. As soon as he entered he locked the door behind him, and sighed heavily. He could not cope with being scrutinised by his former teammate. For so many years he had dreamt that Team Minato would be together again. In reality that dream was nothing more than a terrible nightmare - an almost impossible one… But a nightmare nonetheless.
An incredible burst of chakra caught Kakashi off guard. He spun on his heel – immediately on the defensive, and with Kunai knife in hand, instinctively. He was greeted by a familiar spiral as it materialised into Obito's twisted figure.
"Why didn't you let me die, Kakashi of the Sharingan?" The voice was cold, calculating, sinister.
Kakashi's mind was overcome by the memory of his encounter with 'Madara Uchiha' – or should he say Obito? The unfortunate experience took place when Kakashi, along with his fellow colleague and former ANBU operative Tenzo, were given the assignment to guard Naruto on his way to intercept the Raikage, as he made his way to the Five Kage Summit. It was the way that Obito had rolled 'Kakashi of the Sharingan' off his tongue that forced the memory to the forefront of his mind.
Why did he let Obito live?
"You did hear what I just said, didn't you?" Obito sneered.
"You sacrificed yourself for me. You didn't have to, after the way I treated you - but you did. You gave me the gift of the Sharingan. A gift that aided me in becoming a well-respected ninja in our world. You taught me what it meant to be a part of a team – to be a shinobi. But most importantly you taught me that life isn't just about following the rules. I owe everything I am, everything I've accomplished and the role I will undertake as leader of this village to you!" Kakashi's stance altered slightly, displaying the vulnerability he felt within.
"That Obito you hold so dear is gone forever. The shell that stands before you now facilitated the destruction of your dearly beloved village three times over. The tragedy of the Uchiha, the sensei you still mourn, his wife, students and teachers alike – all gone. All orchestrated and conducted by my hand." If Obito was lying for effect, then the lie was sincere. Kakashi appeared troubled, but he stiffened up, appearing focused and resolute.
"I don't believe that Obito, and I know that you don't either. It was you alone that allowed us to pull through and defeat Kaguya. Without you we would have been defeated, and the world as we know it would cease to exist. You selfishly sacrificed yourself again to protect those around you. That's the Obito I know, and the one I hold dear." Obito visibly angered at those words – his countenance was stern, and cracking with every sentence, until all that was left was a half-smile. The kind that terrorised.
"Kakashi, do you remember my heritage? I am an Uchiha – We do not forgive, we do not forget. We hate, and we hate for the sake of hating. As for me, I do not like being made out to be a fool. I aided you to defeat Madara, he deserved retribution for what he did to me – to Rin. In the end I took great delight in finding out that Madara was also a fool, completely and utterly manipulated by Kaguya. I didn't want my dream that I worked so hard for taken away by someone else. So you see, in the end… Everything went according to plan. Everything except living." The last phrase was mournful.
Kakashi sighed and studied Obito. Appearance-wise he was looking at someone his own age, mentally it was like Obito was nothing more than a stubborn child. In a way Kakashi understood Obito wasn't entirely to blame for his misgivings. However reluctant Obito felt about it, Kakashi wanted more than anything to make peace between them. Maybe he was misreading the situation, and Obito felt the same through all the bravado and bluster. Maybe he just needed the proper motivation. If Obito refused to talk about his feelings then Kakashi would just have to take the lead.
Kakashi extended his hand and displayed the Seal of Reconciliation – a traditional way to demonstrate that shinobi are still comrades after a sparring match. He watched as the Uchiha cautiously began to extend his own hand, his confusion clear. Obito smiled. Kakashi reached for a hand and felt his fingers hit his own palm – not the hand he wanted.
Surprised by Obito's sudden intangibility Kakashi was left open as Obito struck him with a instantaneous kick. The unexpected attack sent Kakashi spiralling backwards towards the wall. Kakashi grunted, bracing himself as he landed vertically against the wall before propelling himself back towards Obito without a seconds' thought. He flew straight through Obito's body and landed outside the bathroom. He should have known much better than that.
"You lack the Sharingan and have lost access to my abilities Kakashi. There are no attacks that exist that work against Obito Uchiha." The laughter was maniacal, and stung the Hokage-elect to his core. He was far too trusting. And he would change.
Kakashi, ignoring the remark, picked himself up off of the floor. He silently made his way to the front door and left his apartment. He wouldn't show how this exchange affected him, he decided not to give Obito the satisfaction.
"You've looked better Kakashi. I've never known anyone to be able to crack your defences as well as… Well me before. And that's only because we are eternal rivals!" Guy's jaw was slack as Kakashi hobbled through the door. His tone was mock-serious, he knew Kakashi was hurting in more ways than one.
"Bruised rib. I'll be fine by morning." Kakashi waved him off. "I just need somewhere to sleep for the night." He was in no mood to play along, nor be conciliatory.
"Alarming then, that you choose not your own residence to do so! I knew that it wasn't a good idea to allow him back inside the village. The power of youth had you fighting as comrades but now you are rivals again, and the Hokage only has time for one of those!" Kakashi slowly peered upwards to see the thumb he'd seen a thousand times or more.
"I think he just needs time." Sounding more hopeful than genuine, his head dropped again. Might Guy was a goof, but even he knew when it was time to be serious.
"Kakashi I know you want to believe in your teammate but you need to open your eyes.. Your team is gone, and the teammates you had, they are gone too. "
"When Naruto went to look for Sasuke – I thought the same thing. I watched him repeatedly try and fail to bring Sasuke back to the Hidden Leaf. His determination is something that could never be taught. Never relenting, he continually tried to save Sasuke from himself. He was a missing-nin who was wanted dead by the other villages. An international criminal no less, with a bounty on his head bigger than anyone in the bingo book. Yet Naruto's loyalty to his friend never faltered. I feel that way about Obito." Headstrong and stubborn. Guy had seen this before – in Kakashi's most famous of students. He also knew how pointless it was to interfere.
"Well Kakashi, as your closest friend I trust you, and I respect what you say. You are our leader now, and although I don't particularly like Obito I will accept him in the village at your will. Just know that I am your only rival." The grin returned.
Kakashi nodded, respectfully and graciously as he helped himself to a pot of green tea. Before sitting down opposite Guy he studied a blue wheelchair up against the bright green lounge suite. The war had taken its' toll on those with even the most vitality.
"When is your inauguration?" Guy inquired.
"In a few days. Once I return from my final mission. I am guarding Tobishachimaru on her maiden voyage. The Land of Waves has never sounded so inviting. Leaving the village for a few days might be the break I need from the pressure to be inaugurated as Hokage and Obito too. Everyone is so demanding. I need a break." Guy listened, smiling reassuringly, but his demeanour soon changed.
"I know you don't want to hear this Kakashi but I have overheard a lot of conversations while making my way through the village streets. People are confused. Your face has already been carved into the Hokage Rock and yet Lady Tsunade is still in office. I know your hang-ups all too well my friend. Though we fought many times without your Sharingan and you were still the worthiest of opponents. Sharingan or not you are still Kakashi Hatake, a renowned and respected ninja. A child prodigy. An ANBU legend. And now the Sixth Hokage."
Kakashi picked up his cup of tea and slowly sipped it.
Maybe I can still live up to the title of Hokage.