Disclaimer: So not mine.
Notes: Rush job for Kakashi's birthday, originally posted in LJ communityfourbyfour! Thanks for the kind comments and crit I've already recieve for this fic! Hope you like! XD
"I'm a Chuunin!" said Obito, thumbs digging into the fabric of his shirt as he puffed out his chest, proud as any ten year old could be.
His team-mate, however, trudging through the village a few steps in front, wasn't as impressed as he could've been. "You've said."
Kakashi's usually quick pace was a little more stumbling than normal – which was probably entirely the Uchiha's fault - but Obito refused to let a little thing like gratitude, admiration or embarrassment get in the way of his good mood today! Not today, when he was finally on par with Hatake Kakashi (current body count notwithstanding). Finally a Chuunin. Finally a ninja worth the Uchiha name!
One day, Obito would prove to everyone the kind of man he was. The kind of ninja he was. He decided it was a resolution that needed to be shared!
"Next, I'm gonna become Jounin," exclaimed Obito, following excitedly at Kakashi's heels, not letting up. "And then I'll save your sorry butt from certain death and then become Hokage!" Obito stopped in the street; arms flung wide in a most dramatic finish – but Kakashi didn't even sniff in response, just continued in his small steps to his apartment block.
"It'll be awesome!" continued the Uchiha, adjusting the goggles that covered so much of his upper face. "And when I'm the Hokage, you'll be on mission room duty for the rest of your life!"
"If you put me on mission room duty, I'd be close enough to kill you in your sleeping quarters. I could do it in the early morning, just before my shift started; you're so lazy you'd probably snore right through it!" Kakashi pondered the idea solemnly, looking back through amused eyes at his team-mate's utterly horrified expression. "Uchihas don't become the Hokage. And Cry-Babies definitely don't!"
"I AM NOT A CR- "
"You weren't exactly dry-eyed today though were you?" Kakashi cut him off with vicious calm, arms folded and chin raised to give some impression of greater height. Obito's eyes danced with fury as he recalled the mission they had completed that morning. They'd encountered another team – an enemy Jounin-Sensei and his young team – and the students had been ordered to fight each other. On seeing the skill of his opponents, though, the enemy Jounin had decided to personally step in.
Snapping out of his recollection, Obito was gutted to hear Kakashi's lecturing tone still mocking him. "…and a shinobi should be aware of his surroundings at all times. You shouldn't have frozen just because that Jounin started to move."
"Well if you hadn't distracted me!" yelled Obito – all the emotion in the world just painted across his expressive face.
"Distracted?" Kakashi's voice was increasingly quiet, a sign that meant he was as furious as Obito - a sign the other boy, as usual, failed to pick up on. "I was keeping you alive!"
"HA!" Obito scoffed, crossing his arms across his chest and turning his nose up at Kakashi's narrow-eyed disbelief. Kakashi couldn't stand it when Obito lied about silly little things, but he could stand it even less when Obito denied the obvious truth – a point that the Uchiha just adored to pressure.
Kakashi would never understand Obito's need to prove himself – but then, the Hatake Prodigy was already becoming known outside of Konoha's walls. Obito longed for that kind of glory, craved it. He'd made Chuunin, sure; but what was the point if every time an adult got near him he just froze? There was something about taking on someone bigger, stronger and more experienced than himself that made Obito want to just curl up and hide…
And yet Kakashi was standing right in front of Obito, tiny crusts of blood flaking in his hair from where he'd barrelled into a Jounin three times his age and three times his height – he'd just scratched at the enemy's face until he could find some footing, plunged a kunai into the Jounin's throat. Obito had just watched wide eyed as Kakashi defeated a grown Jounin with no real strategy, no real skill; and left Obito wondering how any kid could ever become that fearless.
Sensei hadn't even moved from where he stood watching the fight – though Obito hadn't doubted for a second that he could have - and when he finally did it was to check that Rin hadn't been injured while so distracted by her team-mates' drama. The kind way Sensei had consoled Obito had shamed the boy somehow. The gentle way he'd commended Kakashi's quick action had made his blood boil.
"We were supposed to take on the students!" Obito yelled, pointing a still chubby finger at Kakashi's cloth covered face. "Not show off!"
"Oh, sorry." Kakashi's easy drawl mocked Obito in a hundred different ways. "Next time I'll just let you die."
By the time Kakashi reached his apartment, Obito – who couldn't find a way to leave Kakashi's presence without it looking like an escape – was still following petulantly. Exchanging insults, they climbed the long staircase to Kakashi's apartment.
The grey, cramped building was a far cry from the sprawling Uchiha estates where Obito lived, and he wondered what could drive a ninja family to choose such a poor part of town as a place to make their home!
Reaching his flat, Kakashi stopped suddenly – Hissing for quiet and pressing himself flat against the door. Obito noticed the rapid twitching of Kakashi's nose as he extended his senses – a trick that Obito had never really understood the reason for – and backed obediently towards the stairs, blocking any potential escape.
"What is it? What's there?" Obito whispered, instinctively pulling out a kunai as he tried to imitate Kakashi's attentive footing.
"It's Gai!" Kakashi groaned, and Obito cringed in sympathy. "He's gonna get me in so much trouble! Quick, back down the stairs!"
"Are you kidding?" Obito exclaimed, ignoring Kakashi's almost desperate shushing. "You're running from Gai?"
"AHA! MY RIVAL!" Gai erupted through the door, the heavy wood crashing against the outside wall as it flung open. "I LEARN THE TRUTH! THAT MAKES US 3-2 IN MY FAVOUR AS YOU TRIED TO RUN!"
"Keep your voice down!" Kakashi ordered, a pleading note creeping into his voice that Obito had never heard before. "My landlord is not my biggest fan!"
"Nonsense! All of Konoha loves the mighty shinobi that protect the village!" Gai's voice, though expansive, was quieter at least – despite the indignant yelp he let slip as Kakashi dragged him down into the street. Obito followed after them, catching up as the two boys began circling one another threateningly. Kakashi glared furiously at them both as Obito stepped closer, grinning to diffuse the situation.
"We just got back from a mission." Obito offered to Gai, noticing the twitching of curtains from Kakashi's neighbours and desperate for once to stop drawing quite as much attention as they normally did. "You know how he gets!"
As Kakashi bodily leapt at Obito, the stress of the day finally catching up to him, Gai learnt very quickly exactly how Kakashi got.
The ensuing wrestling match was impossible to break up, and when a kindly neighbour attempted to help by way of a well aimed flowerpot crashing on the pavement, Gai decided that keeping off his rival's property was a safer option all round.
The Yellow Flash perched on the edge of his student's bed, looking on sympathetically as Kakashi paced his little room in frustration. He had lectured both his students on fighting each other, lectured Maito Gai on the issues that went with what the law interestingly referred to as Breaking and Entering, and forced all three boys to apologise to each other in a convincing manner.
He'd taken each of the brats home, hopefully calmed Kakashi's landlord into avoiding another penalty for what Kakashi could not essentially be blamed for – though of course, where the Hatake name was concerned, people often forgot about logic in favour of spite – and given Kakashi another lecture on dealing with unwanted guests.
Now though, the blonde Jounin got to do his favourite part of the job.
"Why won't they just leave me alone!?" Kakashi sulked, trying to look like he was relaxed in his home, but failing to hide the abnormal quiet of his steps and voice. The Yellow Flash considered threatening Kakashi's neighbours, and made a mental note to mention it to Sandaime-sama.
"Because they're your friends, Kakashi-kun." His student's brow furrowed childishly, and Jounin ruffled Kakashi's erratic hair with a large hand, forcing him to stop in his pacing. "They're sent to try us."
"I don't have friends," he pouted, folding small arms across his chest and refusing to meet his teacher's eyes.
The Yellow Flash allowed his hand to drop to Kakashi's shoulder, maintaining contact for as long as possible without making his student uncomfortable. He tried to hide his grin as he addressed the boy, keeping his voice down as if sharing a secret. "Then why did you take on that Jounin for Obito-kun today?"
The silence drifted in and set up camp, and the Jounin's conspiratorial smile became a fully fledged grin as Kakashi shrugged noncommittally, throwing off his Sensei's hand.
"Would you like some dinner?" offered the teacher, teasing quota met for the night. "My treat?"
"No thank you, Sensei."
The Jounin frowned at Kakashi's telling quiet, the polite response. "You wouldn't have to come back here late, Kakashi. You wouldn't get in trouble. We could kidnap Obito-kun and Rin-chan and take them camping, what do you say?"
Kakashi shook his head morosely, childishly, and the Yellow Flash – seeing the losing battle for what it was – decided to do just that anyway. His three students liked camping. And Kakashi seemed the type to like surprises…
He rose slowly from the bed, dropping a sloppily wrapped parcel discreetly on the quilt as he stood to leave, ruffling the kid's hair again just to annoy him a little.
"Alright, brat. You know where I am if you need me." He watched Kakashi's eyes slide over to the bed automatically to study his former position, eyes widening as he noticed the present there. The Yellow Flash smirked internally – Kakashi was far too attentive, far too good a ninja. But learning, at least.
Eighteen months ago Kakashi probably would've left Obito to die without an order not to. His student was learning about people, and that deserved a gift.
"Happy Birthday, Kakashi." The Yellow Flash waved gleefully as he stepped out of the door, holding it shut as the timer counted down on the jutsu'd scroll he'd left on the bed. He heard the distinctive sound of a body slumping as the Sleeping Jutsu went off, and stole inside the room to kidnap his student for the camping trip of a lifetime.
Eleven was definitely an age to be celebrated, after all.