Obito let out an exasperated groan, as his scarred hand failed to block out the sunlight filtering in through the open window. His attempts to avoid the piercing light were fruitless, and accepting defeat he slowly pushed himself upright into a sitting position. The rigid couch he had been using as a makeshift bed had done his recovering body no justice - his normally limber body felt stiff and uncomfortable. He rested his head against the couch as he stretched his arms out above him, cracking his knuckles in the process. Obito had fallen asleep before Kakashi made his way into the apartment last night and he couldn't sense him inside this morning either. Obito had expected that Kakashi would leave early today, and the lack of his presence around him was satisfying. It was his inauguration as the Sixth Hokage of the Hidden Leaf Village after all, a thought that still caused Obito some resentment and ill-feeling towards his old teammate. Obito knew that everyone in the village would be attending 'such an auspicious occasion', however in his current mindset, he felt little desire to do so himself. He could quite happily let the whole day pass him by, if it meant he had no interactions with the villagers that bored him and irritated him in equal measure. As for the event itself, Obito knew Kakashi chose only to become Hokage through obligation and a sense of duty – the very notion of such an idea, which would have appealed to his better sensibilities as a child, caused him nothing but nausea now. He would be leader of a village, whose elders had been willing to leave him to die just twenty-four hours ago. Obito sighed audibly. There was one benefit to his attendance though, he mused; being able to witness personally, the calm and collected Kakashi Hatake, completely out of his comfort zone.
He made his way into the bathroom and noticed that the shower floor was still wet. Kakashi must have only recently left the apartment. His attention turned to a neatly folded pile of clothes on the side of the bath with a note attached to them.
These are new clothes. They should fit comfortably, however I was not sure of your exact sizing. Next time come into the shop.'
He picked up the first item off the pile. Loose fitting black pants. He tossed them carelessly back over the side of the bath and picked up the other item - a dark blue shirt with the Uchiha crest sewn onto the back. A benefit to both himself and Sasuke Uchiha living in the village was that the tailors had begun to create clothing with the Uchiha crest on it once more – the stigma that had been associated with the logo had been somewhat lifted with the families' redemption. Still, Obito chucked the shirt back with the pants, hardly paying it any attention. He had no doubt that Kakashi was responsible for the clothing and it frustrated him that he had to rely on other people for the basic necessities. Depending on others wasn't in his heavily modified DNA. Obito thought of himself as a survivor, strong and self-sufficient and here Kakashi was buying him an outfit to wear. He despised feeling so weakened. Having clothes retrieved for him was borderline insulting.
Obito's thoughts began to drift back to how unusual Kakashi had acted the night before. Even with his face covered by his signature mask, it was obvious that he'd managed to get under the Hokage-elect's skin. At the beginning of the night Obito hadn't given much thought into Kakashi mourning the loss of his teammates, he had just wanted to rile up his old normally emotionless teammate. It was only when Kakashi expressed embarrassment that Obito really began to be intrigued, and by his own admission, a little fascinated by the situation. Obito had always been treated like he was worthless by Kakashi and after a while he had begun to feel that way himself. The only reason Obito could come up with as to why Kakashi had mourned his death was with the bestowing of the gift of the Sharingan.
Obito scoured his face and body. Living as a missing-nin for many years had impacted heavily upon his way of life and habits. Once he had washed and dried himself he dressed in his new garments. Despite the lack of measurements, they were a comfortable fit. He gazed at his reflection in the mirror for a brief moment, roughly fashioned his hair into a basic style and made his way out of the apartment.
Much to Obito's disdain, the town was brimming and bustling with excited villagers ready for the Hokage Inauguration Ceremony. Children were running in and out of the crowds yelling excitedly, shopkeepers were selling Hidden Leaf flags, banners and other novelties and many villagers continued to flood the streets as they made their way towards the Ninja Academy. Instinctively Obito reached up and covered his face with his hands. It was times like this that he wished he still had his mask in his possession. He had spent so many years pretending to be someone else that it had become natural, and he felt naked without it. He had found it hard to leave his 'Madara' persona behind, even now.
When he could wait no longer he stepped out into the crowd and immediately felt the unease of some of the villagers on the street – a perception that something, or perhaps someone out of place was in their midst. The village leaders had done their best to keep his identity a secret but it was only a matter of time before people started talking. Obito took a deep breath as a palpable anger washed over his body, upon hearing the muffled whispers about himself. The villagers had begun to move away from him, leaving a very visible space between the crowd and himself. How he would give anything to live in the Kamui dimension, away from the derision and scorn. He clenched his fists in an attempt to stop them from shaking and closed his eyes trying to focus on something else – anything else. His nails dug into his palms. The Uchiha that had almost brought the ninja world to its knees not one month before would have slaughtered these people in a heartbeat. The Uchiha standing before them now, still struggled to see why that would be such a bad idea. Vulnerable as he was, he still carried immense strength and abilities.
Obito opened his eyes to see Sakura Haruno standing in front of him, concerned. He furrowed his brow, and watched her with interest as she turned around to face the villagers, anger flashing in her eyes. Slowly she made a fist which was enough for the villagers to scurry on their way. Sakura was rather strong – after all, and not to mention well-respected.
"Obito..." Sakura hesitated before continuing. "I apologise, but it's going to take some time. I am sure that the villagers will come around... Eventually. You have the Sixth Hokage and Naruto on your side after all.. You're lucky to have the support of maybe the two most important members of the Hidden Leaf."
Obito scoffed, the derision all too apparent. "You call my existence lucky? Should I believe myself fortunate, as you proclaim? I'm an orphan!" he hissed.
"The only one who cared for me is dead. Half of my body was excruciatingly crushed resulting in the shambles of a body you see before you. I gave my Sharingan eye – an eye with powers far beyond any living ninja - away to someone who ultimately used it against me. I was manipulated by Madara Uchiha into committing crimes you couldn't even imagine and you know what the worst part is – I enjoyed them. I'm back in the Hidden Leaf, a village I sought to destroy on so many occasions, as its most infamous prisoner. Please, tell me again how I am lucky?" The tone was sarcastic, biting.
The Sakura that had ridden on the coattails of her more talented teammates had died a long time ago. This was a confident young woman, with comparable powers of her own, and her refusal to be intimidated was to her credit.
"You're wrong about one thing. Kakashi-sensei cares for you. You are beyond stupid if you can't see that. Look at where you are, look at what you're wearing, where you're living." Sakura made a fist and punched the palm of her opposite hand.
Obito found Sakura annoying, especially as he knew that she was right. It was apparent that his teammate still cared enough to keep him alive. He nodded in her direction in appeasement and continued to make his way through the bustling village towards the Ninja Academy. The area in the front of the building was already filled with villagers eager to catch a glimpse of Kakashi dressed as the Hokage for the first time. He rolled his eyes as he heard them chant Kakashi's name. There was no chance of Obito getting a decent spot on the ground so he climbed up onto the roof of a nearby building and sat on the ledge. He swung his legs over the edge and leant backwards waiting for the ceremony to begin.
It wasn't long until Tsunade caught his eye on the balcony of the Academy. He propped himself up as she began to address the crowd. Fortunately she was too far away for him to hear her. He had no interest in the formalities of the Hidden Leaf after all. He hadn't seen a Hokage ceremony since his deceased sensei Minato Namikaze, the Fourth, was inaugurated many years ago. Obito's apathy continued unabated, as the Fifth's speech carried on for what seemed like an eternity.
The crowd cheering rose to a crescendo, signalling to Obito that Tsunade was finished and it was time for the inauguration proceedings to commence. His Sharingan allowed him to clearly see the events from a distance. Tsunade beckoned towards the door and slowly Kakashi made his way out and stood beside her. Although expected, Kakashi's appearance caused Obito to feel nervous – catching him off guard. The feelings were uncomfortable – not entirely unpleasant, but foreign to him. The experience was unnerving. To Obito's dismay, Kakashi looked composed – something Obito was sure he was not. Tsunade presented him with the signature Hokage hat, which he graciously accepted to the cheer of the crowd. Kakashi scanned the crowd as he made his acceptance speech. Obito could only imagine what petty, trivial things he was telling them but the cheering crowd soaked up every single word of it. Obito shook his head in mock disbelief and stood up. Suddenly he felt Kakashi's gaze looking directly at him. His sudden movement must have drawn Kakashi to his whereabouts. The crowd followed their Hokage's gaze which was now firmly fixed on Obito. Without a second thought, and almost entirely on instinct he activated his Sharingan and retreated to his safe, personal dimension.
Obito knew it was late as he materialised before the Memorial Stone. His senses were immediately dulled by the falling rain as he arrived. He had no idea how long he had stayed in his Kamui dimension for, but however long it was didn't feel like it was long enough. He had toyed with the idea of staying there indefinitely, a feat possible due to his Zetsu surrogate body ridding him of the need to eat and sustain himself physically. Eventually he had decided that it would be in the best interest of Kakashi for him to come back. The villain disappearing on his first day as Hokage would surely not be a good start to the role, and although he barely showed him any respect in public, in private he didn't despise him as much as he let on. Obito stood at the stone and wondered how many names were engraved into it because of him. He had done so many horrible things throughout his adult life and he had no idea how to get past it, how to function as a normal person. He wasn't even sure if he wanted to. Remorse was something he was unaccustomed to.
"I knew I would find you here."
Obito could think of nothing worse than turning around and facing the newly appointed Hokage. He didn't want to stomach seeing him in his newly acquired robes looking happy with himself. Bitterness welled within.
"Obito?" Kakashi seemed concerned.
"Yes, my dear Hokage?" Obito spat.
"I was worried about you Obito. Sakura told me about your interaction with the villagers this morning and then you suddenly disappeared during the Inauguration ceremony. As soon as I could finalise everything I went to the apartment and you weren't there. I figured I would try here next.."
Obito bit his tongue. He wasn't one for emotional talk and the Kakashi he knew wasn't either. Sarcasm was Obito's safety net and he knew how to use it well.
"Well Hokage. I didn't cause an incident so your precious village is safe for another day."
"Obito look at me!"
Obito reluctantly turned around. His eyebrow immediately rose as he took in Kakashi's miserable appearance. His new Hokage cloak soaked and clinging to his muscular figure, his silver hair damp and stuck to his forehead and his eyes full of concern. He looked vulnerable something Obito was surprised to see. There was no attempt to hide behind bravado or pretense – Kakashi was full of worry for his comrade on multiple levels.
"I don't understand." Obito shook his head. "What are you trying to do Kakashi?"
Obito watched as Kakashi let out an inaudible sigh. Obito, unimpressed with his lack of response turned his back on the drenched Hokage as he continued to torture himself by looking for recognisable names on the Memorial Stone. He tried to ignore Kakashi's chakra as it surrounded him. He didn't like how it made him feel. He didn't want to be comfortable in the presence of someone else. It just led to pain when you eventually lost them. He knew that pain only too well, over and over and over again.
Kakashi's voice was unnervingly clear. Obito had never heard it that way. Confused he turned around and was met with Kakashi's face directly in front of his. His mask pushed down around his neck. The shock of seeing his face bare for the first time was instantaneously replaced as Kakashi's lips forcefully met his own. Obito's eyes widened and he instinctively stepped a foot back against the stone which caused Kakashi to recoil full of embarrassment. The action took both men aback.
"I'm sorry Obito." Kakashi murmured as he turned away.
Obito felt like his heart was about to burst through his chest. He couldn't comprehend what had just happened. He ran a finger over his lips, the sensation tingling through them. No one had ever kissed him before. He found it… pleasant. The only person Obito had even fantasised about was Rin many years ago, and ever since he had no time to think about anyone. He studied Kakashi. He would be lying to himself if he said that he didn't think about Kakashi throughout the years. He always thought it was because they were linked due to the Sharingan. He had the opportunity numerous times to kill Kakashi and he could never do it, even allowing Kakashi to have the killing blow in their last battle. Ultimately that led to the seal breaking and him becoming the Ten Tails Jinchuriki, but had it been any other situation he knew the outcome would be the same. When Obito was young he admired Kakashi for his fighting skills, intelligence and popularity with their classmates – especially Rin. Obito on the other hand could think of nothing that Kakashi would admire about him.
"Kakashi?" Obito questioned.
When Kakashi failed to respond, Obito angrily walked up to him and spun him around so that they were face to face.
"What? What was that? Why Kakashi?" Obito questioned.
"I don't know Obito. I'm sorry.."
"Idiot. I am not asking you to apologise. I am asking why you – the Sixth Hokage just… kissed me. Obito Uchiha. You know, the murderer?"
"I didn't kiss Obito Uchiha the murderer. I kissed Obito Uchiha of the Hidden Leaf." Kakashi coolly replied, feigning confidence that both men saw through.
Obito felt his expression soften as Kakashi uttered those words. No matter what the villagers thought of him, no matter what he thought of himself, Kakashi saw something in him. For the first time in his life, Obito felt wanted by somebody else. He had always promised himself that he would never get close to anyone. It would only hurt him later on. This moment with Kakashi had felt too good and Obito selfishly wanted to keep feeling this way.
"Kakashi you idiot! I'm a murderer.." he stated.
"Every ninja in the Hidden Leaf has killed people before." Kakashi calmly replied.
"Killing is one thing, cold blooded murder is another thing entirely and we both know that. What if I kill someone else? Someone you love?"
"I won't let you."
Obito nervously reached out and embraced Kakashi. He wrapped his arms around his waist and nervously looked around. Kakashi gently lifted up his chin and resumed their kiss as he ran his fingers through Obito's wet hair. Obito felt Kakashi's eager tongue press up against his lips and hesitantly allowed him access to his mouth. He carefully followed Kakashi's lead, hoping that Kakashi wouldn't notice how inexperienced he was.
It was Kakashi who broke away from the kiss first.
"What's wrong Kakashi?" Obito asked nervously.
"You didn't notice the rain falling heavier? If we stay out here much longer we will surely get sick. Let's go home."
Obito nodded and began to follow him home. He had no idea what tomorrow would bring but there was no way it would be as surprising as today. His mind wandered. His heart raced. His body shook. Everything had changed.