Kakashi did not love the men he was with. He did not think of them much at all. His mind was filled with another.

But of course, Kakashi was not in love with that man either.

Kakashi was not in love with Minato…

Perish the thought!

Obito was late.

Obito was always late.

Kakashi blames Obito for his tardiness.

(Though Obito being tardy was Kakashi's fault in this case.)

Had Obito not always been late, Kakashi would never have had the time to think on it; it would never have occurred to him otherwise.

But in his heart of hearts, Kakashi knows this is not true.

He would have asked the question of himself eventually.

All ninja of his kind did, eventually. That was part of the reason why Kakashi was always late. And when Kakashi showed up to interrupt when Sasuke turned to Sakura and Naruto to ask... that was why.

Minato had left very specific instructions. Be there at eight o'clock. Kakashi was there at 7:45. Rin cut it close, arriving at 7:52. When they had been waiting for Obito for over an hour, Minato sighed and looked up at the sun for a moment, seemingly deciding something.

"Kakashi-kun, Rin-chan…" both his students turned their full attention to him, Rin registering surprise, Kakashi simply waiting. "I am going to go find Obito. Wait for me here."

"Hai sensei!" Both students responded, a smile brightening Rin's features as the prospect of some alone time with her crush was imminent. Kakashi's answer however, was sharply military. Minato disappeared with the trademark Yellow Flash jutsu. Rin tried to make conversation between herself and the stoic, silver-haired chunin, but faced with his barrage of one word answers and semi-grunts, the river of words became only the drip from a leaky roof, falling at uneven intervals to Kakashi's ear, the sound more of a nuisance to the pail that received it. Finally, he turned to Rin and opened his mouth to speak.

It was once, and it did not mean a thing. Everyone needs to release stress.

That bitch Kushina.

That bitch /Kushina./

/That bitch Kushina!/

Kakashi tracked the last unfortunate member of the family. It was a task- a regrettable incident where ANBU had not been as cautious as they needed to be, and Kakashi was cleanup crew. She tripped and fell, and Kakashi followed her scrabbling form. She could not have been a day over ten. Red hair framed the wide blue disks of her eyes, open so wide they were the most prominent feature she owned.

"Please! Please, you don't have to!" She yelled, scrambling away from him. "I didn't do anything, I promise!" Her blue eyes filled with tears. Kakashi stared. You weren't supposed to make eye contact with the victim, and he never had, before. She couldn't see his eyes; see the way they filled with a hatred that was terrifying in its emotional detachment. "You don't have to!" she repeats, and he has the strange urge to mock her, to repeat the words she repeated in a childish way. Her hair is the same shade of crimson as that bitch Kushina, her eyes the hue as Minato's. She looked like any child they might have together. Kakashi instead lifted his mask, revealing his bare face to her eyes. She tried to run again. She knew she would have to die now. /"At what price does someone make you who you are?!"/ She screamed, trying to draw attention, to draw someone to save her, but she had run so far from help, that when her scream ended on Kakashi's blade, his mind refused to let it out.

Kakashi had already wondered about that himself.

It was more than once, and it didn't mean a thing. Everyone needs to release stress.

Obito didn't know the name of the ANBU that visited him at night. But he knew who he wanted it to be, and that's who he pretended it was.

Kakashi washed the black gel vigorously out of his hair. It had the advantage of changing his distinctive hair color and its style. It was surprising how many of the people he knew could distinguish a person by their silhouette. How ever, considering they were all ninja, the point was moot.

When he wanted submissiveness, he went to Obito.

Kakashi secretly loved the Sharingan eyes Obito possessed.

"Shut up." The black-haired ANBU snarled at the Uchiha staring him down in the mirror, Sharingan at full blast. The ANBU had caught him coming out of the shower. A slick body needed less lubrication, not that the other Shinobi cared. He slicked him with two fingers expertly; prodding his prostate and making him see stars. With his cock, he was no less an expert, making his moans grow louder. Hands fisted in the brunette's hair, yanking him back enough for him to whisper without a voice, the way the mask was built, it lost all identifying traces other than cadence, giving the other ninja no clue as to his identity. "I'm not Kakashi."

"Obviously." Obito drawled, somehow smirking infuriatingly into the mirror, even as the other Shinobi's relentless movements made his body arch up into the caress. Though he could have been in the utmost danger, he did not treat it that way, instead only talking to the ANBU as though he were his lover. Though the words were strange ones to give a lover. "But until I have your name, you can't stop me from saying it." He paused and managed a reckless grin somehow. "As long as you want me willing, that is."

It was like looking into the eyes of a demon.

When Kakashi wanted Domination, he went to Gai. This did not occur to him until a long time later, when the challenges had become a regular thing. Half of Gai's wins were just that.

Gai usually took a little coaxing. Some subtle prodding and a mention of his name usually did the trick. Some small mention of this being Kakashi's challenge would have Gai fired up and ready to go.

Sasuke was not usually impatient, but lately he had been more and more so. Sakura's full attention was on him the moment that he opened his mouth to speak, giving Naruto a brief reprieve from the Kunoichi's overbearing behavior. He shifted, almost uncomfortably.

"You guys…?" Naruto glanced his way now too, giving him that squinty-eyed look.

"Ehhh? What is it, teme?" Naruto asked semi-impatiently when Sasuke did not continue.

"We've got forever, but that doesn't mean you should take that long…" Sakura readied a punch that would have sent Naruto sprawling if Sasuke had not stopped her with his voice.

"You guys." This time his voice was a little firmer and a little irritated as well. "I have a question." Naruto blinked, for once his eyes wide open, the impossibly blue depths locked onto the ebon of Sasuke's own, who had split his attention between him and the viridian tones of Sakura's eyes.

"What is it, Sasuke-kun-" Sasuke cut across her, his voice starting before hers really finished.

"When someone else makes you who you are…" He looked back at his teammates, his friends, and continued, "What do you lose in the process?" The question was not as Kakashi remembered, but the meaning behind it was the same. Just as Naruto blinked and gave a cocky grin, his arms coming up to lace behind his head and said,

"That's easy-" Kakashi jumped down in the midst of them and started training without a word.

When Minato died, Kakashi decided to be everything he could have been. Not for Minato's sake, but for his own.

/Though/ he thought to himself, /he would probably be proud./

Kakashi was not in love with minato. Perish the thought.