Because the Gai/Kakashi relationship doesn't get explored nearly enough.

Title: Routine
Author: desbutterfly
Genre: Gen, touch of Angst
Pairings: Gai/Kakashi friendship, slight hint of Obito/Kakashi
Rating: PG
Summary: After the children leave, Kakashi plans to sleep through his empty nest syndrome. Only Gai won't allow it.

The morning light warmed the sheet covering Kakashi's face and he groaned, turning over on his side to escape the annoyance it caused. His non-Sharingan eye opened blearily and stared at the clock at his beside. It blinked '12:30 PM' in big red numbers at him, and Kakashi sighed and closed his eye again.

On some days, Kakashi didn't feel like getting out of bed.

It was easier, these days, with no genin team waiting for him at the bridge with adorable pissed off faces, to just slide back into the sheets and let the light peeking through the slots of the blinds creep up his body.

Naruto and Sasuke had their own missions to complete, while Sakura was always busy at the clinic now that Tsunade had decided to cut her own hours, and Kakashi wasn't one to keep up connections. If he saw one of them he'd wave and talk a bit and maybe scam some lunch from one of them (this worked best on Sakura), but he wouldn't purposely seek them out.

They had their own busy lives now, and that was a good thing. The fact that he wasn't needed now—to reassure Sakura, to guide Naruto, to coax Sasuke—actually relieved Kakashi, in a way. It meant he hadn't failed in this one very important aspect of his life. It meant his task was over and he could rest.

Or, he could, if Gai would stop barging into his house every time he decided he wasn't going to leave the bedroom.

"Kakashi, my eternal rival!" came a booming voice from the front entrance, as Gai let himself in to the kitchen area. Kakashi had begun leaving his door unlocked, in order to stave off Gai breaking his windows or having to repair the ceiling slats like that one time.

A shiny bowl-cut attached to a tanned, grinning face suddenly poked through Kakashi's bedroom door, and Kakashi groaned again and ducked under the covers.

"Time to get up," Gai said, whipping the sheets off the grey-haired man, who was curled around his pillow. "We have a challenge to complete, or have you forgotten?"

"I forfeit," Kakashi muttered, groping back with one hand for the covers. He met Gai's hand instead, and the other man quickly clasped his wrist and yanked him up out of bed before Kakashi could blink the sand from his eyes.

"No forfeits allowed," Gai lectured, leading the still half-asleep Kakashi over to the dresser before enthusiastically piling clothes on his shoulders. "You know the rules, Kakashi."

Kakashi yawned and swayed on his feet, putting an elbow on the dresser so he could lean against it. His eyes closed again.

"Okay, how about this," he mumbled. "I challenge you to see who can stay in bed the longest. Go!"

Gai was grinning smugly at him again. Kakashi knew this because he could see the shine coming off his teeth even through his closed eyelids.

"Nice try, Kakashi," he boomed, chuckling. "But we did that challenge last week. You won, and now you must compete with me in a rubber match so that I may even the score!"

"I must?"

"Yes, you must!"

"Weren't you supposed to be training with Lee today?"

"My precious student has decided to spend the day helping Sakura-san move some medical supplies from Tsunade's old office, and therefore will not have time to train as we planned," Gai declared, arms spreading dramatically.

Kakashi hummed his acknowledgement and slid his cheek into his hand, bracing himself on the dresser. If he could just get into the right position, he could probably fall asleep standing up. Long missions in tight spaces sometimes bred unusual skills.

"And what about Neji and TenTen?" he inquired.

"Mission to Rock Country."


Sighing, Kakashi cracked open his eyes and looked at Gai's hopeful face. He glanced down at the clothes decorating his shoulders—at least he didn't try and pick out a green jumpsuit for me this time—and shook his head in defeat.

"Alright, alright," the jounin grumbled. "Give me a few minutes to shower and change and we'll go out to the training field. What is it this week anyway?"

"Weapons handling!" Gai crowed, triumphantly. "Whoever hits the most targets in a single throw shall be declared the winner. I've given myself a penalty of five thousand one-finger push-ups while balancing a fish bowl on my head if I lose."


Kakashi slunk his way into the bathroom and turned on the shower, shedding the light cotton pants he wore to bed. He caught sight of himself in the mirror, all scars and wiry muscle, and to a moment to examine his eyes.

As bloodshot as his normal eye was, it almost appeared as if he was a true Uchiha, with the Sharingan activated. He stroked a hesitant finger along the white scar tissue that striped across his eyelid all the way down to the top of his cheek and thought about what Obito might say if he could see Kakashi now.

Would he be resentful, that his eye was used to kill so many people? Would he be proud? Would he cry?

A sharp and persistent knocking on the door broke Kakashi from his thoughts.

"Kakashi," Gai cried through the barrier, "You better not have fallen asleep in there!"

"I'll be out in a minute," Kakashi called, and stepped into the shower, feeling the sweat of the day and a half spent laid out between the sheets rinse from his skin. As he lifted a bar of soap to rub against his chest, Kakashi smiled to himself.

'Maybe after Gai's finished I can go visit the monument for a bit. Beats staying in bed all day, right?'

"And remember to brush your teeth," Gai was shouting from just outside the bathroom door. "The battle against gingivitis and plaque is a war constantly fought only with regular brushing and floss—"


The bathroom door was pushed open and the wet, masked form of Kakashi was suddenly leaning into the other man's personal space. To his credit, Gai only cocked his head at him.

"Yes, my eternal rival?"


On some days Kakashi didn't feel like getting out of bed. He did anyway, because Gai just couldn't learn to let things go.

And that was kind of reassuring.

Not that Kakashi needed reassurance or anything.



Commentary is appreciated.