Written for the LJ community 101 kisses theme #13, Gravity. Kishimoto Masashi owns the Naruto universe and its characters, not me. But they're an awful lot of fun to play with.
Notes: Originally, the last section was not supposed to be there, but I felt it added good contrast to the first segment (particularly the lines "They call him Konoha's Yellow Flash/ They call him Copy-nin Kakashi"). What do you think? I might change it back, if enough people feel it's a good idea. It's a good device, but a little unnecessary, soooo...
The Way You Move
They call him Konoha's Yellow Flash.
Yondaime-sensei is a blur in the air, and Kakashi watches with wide eyes as for a moment, he seems to fly without wings. I want to move like that, he thinks. Gravity seems not to apply to his sensei.
And then the blur stops, and Kakashi can see that he is more than just yellow and green and blue. Sensei is looking at him, his head cocked to one side and a pleased smile on his face when he sees that his student is enraptured.
"Teach me," says Kakashi, and his voice is quiet with an almost childlike wonder.
The air is thick and hot with sweat, humidity, tension. Kakashi can feel the strength leaking out of him as steadily as the flow of blood from just above his leg guard. The Stone-nin is too strong, and he is too exhausted already. He wants to just let his legs buckle under him and give up.
Yondaime-sensei is who-knows-where in the battle. Without closing his eyes, Kakashi pictures his sensei, the fluid motion and coordinated limbs moving in a deadly blur. The moment is reassuring but a distraction, and the Stone-nin swipes a kunai toward his head.
Suddenly, an arm closes around his waist, and he is weightless. Around him the world is a blur, but he can feel the solidity of sensei's body against his back. There is a wet, slick sound, and a fleck of something – red, it must be blood – lands on his cheek. Most of the Stone-nin's gore spattered against sensei's green cape; he didn't want Kakashi to be the one covered in guilt. But he can't keep the boy innocent and untainted forever.
The world stops being blurred, and the battle is gone. Kakashi feels gravity hit him in the stomach and lets everything come out and Yondaime-sensei whispers gently in his ear.
Air whistles past Kakashi's ear as he speeds up. He thinks he might even be as fast as Yondaime-sensei, and he lets a little ripple of pride run over his skin. I want to move like that, he thought a long time ago. Now he is, and he hopes sensei is watching.
He casts a glance back over his shoulder, at the man behind him. Sensei grins. Kakashi can see it clearly – he's not a blur, not even indistinct – so he must still be slow. He speeds up. He'll defy gravity. He'll be like Yondaime-sensei. If he can just be a little faster, sensei won't have to come save him. Sensei –
His foot catches on something, and he feels the breath leave him as he collapses in a tangle of limbs on the ground.
"There. That should do it."
The cut hardly bled at all, but Yondaime-sensei still took Kakashi back to his apartment to wrap his knee and use so much antiseptic that it could drown three hidden villages. When he was finished, he rocked back on his heels with a smile. Sitting on the bathroom counter, Kakashi ignored the sting of his freshly-scraped right knee.
"And a kiss to make it all better!" Yondaime-sensei added as he tied the bandage off, pressing his lips to the boy's abused knee. "At least, that's what they say."
"Sensei, I'll never be as fast as you, will I?" I'll never move like that. The boy who was a rushed kind of man, who always thought of training.
"Oh, I don't know about that. You were pretty fast!"
"…And then I fell."
"Well, that's gravity for you. No one is immune to it. Not even me, great and brilliant as I am." The man who would be one of Konoha's greatest struck a cheesecake pose, made even worse by the fact that he was kneeling on a fuzzy green shower rug. It was a huge effort for Kakashi to resist rolling his eyes, but he did. "You'll be great without being like me, Kakashi-kun. I know these things," Yondaime smiled, standing to ruffle Kakashi's hair. Affectionately, he pressed the boy to his chest.
Kakashi felt like the ground had dropped away, like he was flying again in the thick, hot air of that battlefield, only sensei's body holding him to this world. His stomach jumped, and gravity was nothing for a few seconds.
Yondaime-sensei…I think we can defy gravity.
They call him Copy-nin Kakashi.
He can see through any jutsu, learn it in seconds. But more than that, people admire what he can do without the sharingan. How he can move, seemingly free from the laws of physics, a smudge of deadly color in the air.
I want to move like that, thinks a boy with straw-yellow hair and the second-bluest eyes Kakashi has ever seen.
:-:I think I'll try defying gravity:-: