Tiebreaker
Vyctori

A/N: This rather odd one-shot came about while I was discussing plans for "Passing the Time" with a friend of mine, Tetra Seleno. I hadn't actually had a good central idea for the one-shot at that point, and so Tetra suggested that I write about a smut-reading contest between Gai and Kakashi. This is the result.

Written for Gai-sensei's birthday on January 1. ::sparkly white smile:: Happy birthday, O Favourite Sensei of Mine!

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto or its delightful characters—that's the domain of Masashi Kishimoto.

Warnings: No pairings! Gasp! Mentions of smut and where it is bought, heh heh.

O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O

"Ah ha! At last you are here, my Eternal Rival!" was the first thing Kakashi was greeted with as he arrived outside of Konoha's gates.

"Hello, Gai." Kakashi leaned against the village's exterior wall and waited. He knew it would take a while before Gai got all the Eternal Rivalry business out of his system.

Gai struck a manly pose, one hand fingering his chin. "Now that you are finally here, we can commence our tie-breaking contest! Since you won the last one, causing a tie of fifty to fifty, it is your turn to pick what we shall do!"

Kakashi thought for a moment, trying to decide on something that would be quick and relatively painless. "All right. How about—"

"Not Janken!" Gai interrupted. "You have chosen that the last four times in a row! I demand a different challenge!"

Kakashi sighed. "Give me a minute to think, all right?"

"Of course!" Gai nodded and then looked at Kakashi with an expectant expression.

Kakashi appeared as if he were considering things for a moment. Then he reached into his pocket and brought out his current novel. Opening it to the correct page, he began to read.

Gai straightened. "Ah, I see! A smut-reading contest, is it? Very well, O Eternal Rival! I shall return with a dirtier book than yours and I shall defeat you by reading it from cover to cover without stopping, making the score fifty-one wins to fifty!"

With that loud declaration, Gai bolted inside the gates of Konoha.

"Wait, Gai—that wasn't what I. . . ." Watching Gai's back distance itself from him, Kakashi shrugged. A contest was a contest, after all.

Settling himself on the ground, Kakashi continued to read while waiting for his supposed rival to return.

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Gai didn't stop running until he reached the front door of one of the only adult shops in Konoha. With the same energy he devoted to everything, he yanked the door open and bounded inside.

As soon as he got a good look at what was inside, though, even Gai's enthusiasm flagged somewhat. The store he had chosen didn't just sell erotic reading material. There was a little bit of everything for anything Gai could possibly imagine—and a few things he had never even dreamt of. Or particularly wanted to dream of, for that matter.

However, Gai was willing to do absolutely anything to defeat his Eternal Rival, even if it meant braving the depths of a sex shop. Standing taller, Gai strode inside in search of the reading material section.

"Can I help you?" a pretty young woman dressed in fishnet stockings and an alarmingly red feather boa asked.

"I would like to buy the dirtiest, smuttiest novel you have in stock!" Gai answered, keeping his eyes on her face. The store attendant had a rather impressive cleavage, and she wasn't overly shy about showing it off. Gai didn't know whether it was for advertising purposes or if she just liked giving customers the full benefit of her body. He decided against asking.

The woman grinned. "I see. A rather desperate situation, is it?"

Gai nodded. "Most certainly it is. If I do not find a book smuttier than the one my Eternal Rival is reading, I shall lose the contest."

She stared at him for a moment, then laughed. "Oh, of course. So, something smuttier than the Make Out series? Hmm, that'll be tricky, but I may have something in stock for you. It just came in recently, and all our regulars have been giving it rave reviews. Let me go get it."

The clerk walked off, hips swaying slightly. As he was waiting, Gai automatically started to examine the other merchandise, but after a few glances, decided that his sandals were far safer to look at instead.

Returning a few moments later with a book in hand, the clerk couldn't help but giggle as she found Maito Gai, the bravest man in all of Konoha, fixing his sandals with one of the most intense gazes she had ever come across.

"What's the matter? Embarrassed?" she asked him as she came closer.

Gai raised his eyes to her face again. "Not at all! Sexuality is a perfectly healthy and natural part of one's life, but it's something I've always considered to be a little more . . . private than this."

The woman's smile broadened. "I see. Well, here you are." She thrust the book into his hands. "This is actually by the rival of the author of the Make Out series, so I thought it was particularly appropriate, given the situation. Best of luck!"

Gai gave her a wide, gleaming grin as he handed over the appropriate amount of money. "Thank you very much for aiding me on my quest to defeat my Eternal Rival!"

"With . . . smut." The woman's voice sounded rather odd to Gai, but he paid no attention to it. He was used to getting unusual reactions with his words and deeds.

"Yes, that's exactly right! And now I must be off—thank you again!" Gai dashed out the door just as the attendant lost her self-control and half-collapsed, giggling all the while.

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Kakashi heard Gai approach almost before he could see him; the man sounded very excited, as usual. However, Kakashi didn't bother to look up from his book until Gai was squatting next to him.

"Take a good look at this, Kakashi!" Gai brandished the book. "With this, I shall defeat you!"

Kakashi raised an eyebrow at the extremely lurid cover. "Uh-huh. Well, enjoy it, Gai."

"I will!" Gai sat next to Kakashi against the wall and got his first good look at the cover of the book.

The front of the novel he had purchased featured a couple writhing in a bed with what looked like silk sheets. Only a few conveniently-draped bits of sheets prevented the cover from being outright pornographic instead of very nearly pornographic. It didn't stop the artist from portraying both the man and the woman as very well endowed—almost ridiculously so.

Gai did his best to suppress a gulp. Not even in the flower of his youth had he seen art so explicit as what he now held in his hand. But if it meant defeating his Eternal Rival, then so be it!

Steeling himself, Gai opened the cover with a flourish, flipped past the extra title pages in the front of the book, and started to read.

At first, things didn't seem so bad. The author spent a decent amount of time introducing and describing the characters, and if size was mentioned a little more than usual, then it was nothing that Gai couldn't handle.

Except things didn't stay so peaceful and unexciting for very long. Soon, Gai learned very well why this was the dirtiest book in shop. However, despite the pages and pages and pages of description of various unusual acts, Gai read on.

Every now and again, Kakashi glanced at Gai. The black-haired jounin seemed to be losing more and more colour the further he got into the novel. Kakashi had trouble suppressing a smile or two when he saw Gai wince at what obviously were some of the more interesting parts of the novel.

"All right there, Gai?" Kakashi asked when it seemed his rival was at about the midway point of the book.

"Of course!" Gai barely looked up from the pages. After all, the sooner he finished it, the better. "Never fear, for I shall not give up until I have finished this book!"

"You've said that." Kakashi went back to finishing the last chapter in his novel.

Once that was done, he closed the book, satisfied, and took another look at Gai. He was reading on with determination, refusing to even skim; instead he was making sure to fully absorb every word. His lips were compressed and a fearsome scowl was set upon his features.

"Sure you're all right?" Kakashi couldn't help asking.

"I'm perfectly fine! Now do not distract me, for I am at one of the most important parts of this novel!" Gai said, sounding distracted. "You shall not make me lose my concentration, and thus the contest!"

"Right."

Kakashi picked up his novel and read the back cover again. Then he flipped to the reviews of it and Jiraiya's previous works. He was tempted to just leave, but then Gai would follow him home and wind up staying at his apartment for far longer than he really wanted.

About fifteen minutes later, Gai snapped the book shut with a triumphant "whump." "Aha! I have defeated you! Now I am winning again, fifty-one wins to fifty!"

"Congratulations." Kakashi sounded bored, but inwardly he was attempting not to smile. This had to have been one of their more interesting contests.

"Now . . . uh, would you like this?" Gai held out the book by his fingertips.

Clearly, despite having read the whole book from start to finish, reading smut was not going to be one of Gai's new hobbies, Kakashi thought.

"That's okay." This time, Kakashi really did smile. "You can keep it."

"Thanks, O Eternal Rival," Gai muttered, rolling up the book and jamming it in his shuriken holster.

His grumpiness didn't last for long, however. "Kakashi, soon we should schedule another contest! When shall it be?"

Kakashi looked to the sky and pretended to consider for a moment. "How about . . . never?"

"That's what you always say! You must choose!" Gai urged him.

Kakashi sighed and wondered if they would still be doing this when they were both half-senile with age. He wouldn't be surprised. But oddly enough, the thought wasn't that unattractive. Not that he would ever let Gai know that.

With a half-shrug, Kakashi turned his attention to satisfying Gai with an answer to his question.