Don't forget that most chapters have been edited and slightly changed as per editing requests. You may want to reread them if you read them before.
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Kakashi and Shibi found it vastly amusing to watch Gai watch Neji. When Neji rolled over, Gai stuck his face right in there waiting for him to wake up. Any second now, he would be hit in the head, they were sure of it. Neji did roll over again, very unninja like. Gai switched sides.
Neji rolled over again tucking his knees in. Gai switched sides. "Gai you have terrible morning breath, get out of my face." Effective with a pillow punch on the head.
"Good morning my youthful student! It pleases me that you have had a-guh" Neji smirked into his pillow. He had not expected that hit to make it in. Listening to his teacher gasp for breath and the quiet chuckling of the other two ninja Neji fell back asleep.
Gai pouted to himself, pulled out his book and silently challenged himself to outread Kakashi. Yes, that's right, he was going to outread Kakashi, or do a thousand sit ups.
Kakashi seemed to sense the challenge as he switched one book to another all without stopping. Early afternoon, Gai found out he really was a slow reader when he looked up and saw Kakashi switching books yet again. The lunch nurse came in and changed the breakfast plate for a lunch plate.
"Not hungry," Neji told her before she could properly wake him. Watching the nurse stomp away, and Kakashi run out of things to read (for now), Gai put his book away and krept closer to his student. He wasn't quite sure if he had won or not. He did manage to read for a longer time though, and that had to count for something.
His hand was mere inches from Neji's neck, he used his other hand to prepare for the thrashing that was sure to come. Quickly, he brushed Neji's hair aside and plunged in for the kill. It took a few seconds before Gai realized his student was not ticklish at all when sleeping. He didn't even move.
Gai stopped crossing, his arms and tapping his foot expectantly. His student sighed a little, still fast asleep.
"How terribly unyouthful this is. I feel as though I have failed as a teacher!"
Shibi and Kakashi watched on greatly amused. They would have just let him pout for a while, but Kakashi cracked. After fifteen minutes of Gai sighing and coughing and sneezing all while waiting for his student to awaken, Kakashi stepped in.
"It doesn't mean you failed as a teacher, that he is still asleep. It means that he trusts you, and he knows he can sleep soundly with you around. Besides, he's tired and needs his rest." Gai tried to see if his lifelong rival was trying to pacify him or not, but Kakashi was abruptly lost once again in his novel.
Claiming his seat again, Gai tossed his legs onto the hospital bed and fell asleep.
"Works every time," Kakashi muttered to Shibi.
"I usually use that technique on children or chunnin though," Shibi muttered back.
Two days later Neji was walking out the front door, nearly a free 15 year child-teen. The sun was shining brightly, and Gai had left Tenten and Lee with a large workout regime while he took care of his ill student. Neji glared down the street; he still had a headache and the people were too loud, his teacher too enthusiastic and the sun too bright.
Wanting to just get to a room and lay down, Neji started off through the crowd. Gai right behind him with a hand on his tense shoulder as he guided, turning him left and right here and there. Having never been to his teacher's house, Neji had to follow his directions and just look for a faster way next time.
They were nearly out of the main market when Gai recognized Hiashi by a fruit stand. Under his hand, he felt Neji sigh a second later as he recognized him too.
"Just great," Neji muttered.
"Lord Hiashi," Gai and Neji greeted simultaneously, stopping in front of him.
"Mighty Gai, Neji. I am picking out funeral garments. It is a shame you will not be attending."
"Yes Lord Hiashi."
"When you come back Neji, you will no longer be expected to do morning chores."
"Yes Lord Hiashi."
"Heal well Neji. Take care Mighty Gai." A sideways glance told Gai exactly what he should take care of. They nodded to one another and continued on their ways.
"Lady Tsunade was most strict when she said you could do blood training for the next week," Gai started back up.
"Very strict," Neji muttered.
Gai suddenly took in a deep breath, smelling the early afternoon air. "Ahhh," he sighed with satisfaction. "Do you know what that is?"
"It is the smell of a beautiful and youthful day-"
"That I'm going to waste sleeping and laying in bed." That's all Neji had been doing these past few days, more sleeping than resting though. If Gai weren't so close to his student, he would not have been able to tell that under that stoic mask, Neji was uncomfortable. Not angry (at this in particular, Neji was just an angry person), just uncomfortable.
Gai slung an arm around his young student, "Ahhh, no. You are going to be meditating and stretching out that beautiful mind of yours."
Gai was surprised when he felt his student relax. He had expected to be shrugged off. Turning a worried glance to the child, Neji smiled up at him. His youthful energy was shining through at last. No one could deny that kind of passion and emotion for ever. Gai laughed, dropping his arm and striking a pose.
Neji couldn't help but grin, only his teacher could turn anything into training. It made things seem normal and it was oddly comforting. Neji didn't like wasting his time-no prodigy ever did. Quietly, he prepared for what he was about to do to himself. Even his Sensei sensed the monumental question that was coming and was for the moment completely quiet.
"How am I going to do that?" Neji watched as like magic, the dam broke and even people passing by seemed to be getting annoyed by the Beautiful Green Beast. Gai was talking loudly a hundred miles an hour while skipping -that's right actually skipping- along side a walking Neji.
Today though, Neji wouldn't trade his teacher for the world. Gai had done what no one else claimed could be done thousands of times, but it was this time that mattered to Neji the most. Today, Neji couldn't even find it within himself to be annoyed as Gai skipped, hooted, yelled and took up an entire sidewalk the whole way home.
A month later, Neji was called into Tsunade's office. Her assistant shut the door behind herself as she left.
"Neji, come here," she ordered softly.
Neji confidently walked up to her desk. He was finally in the clear to begin missions again, and was happy to be so. No one had told him he was in trouble unfortunately, he wished he could have been better prepared.
"I hear you've been meditating a lot these past few weeks. Tell me about that,' Tsunade wore a look of complete concentration.
"I have been meditating on many thoughts, and on no thoughts. It helps with the headaches."
"You still have headaches?" Tsunade pinned him with a look.
"No migraines though?" Tsunade leaned back in her chair, still watching him.
A moment of silence passed.
"I have waited a while to talk to you."
"For me to recover?" Neji was sure there was no other reason either for her to wait.
Tsunade nodded, "I have known for a few weeks now what you did, But first I wanted to talk to you about what we did."
She paused, so Neji nodded.
"Your clan has been warned against attacking my ninjas again." Neji's head snapped up. Gai had ensured that he hadn't heard of this. "And against killing the citizens. Should they step out of line, I want to be notified immediately. If you should need assistance getting to me you will turn to any Jounin you need to. Am I understood?"
"Good, let's talk about what you have done then. I just read over the autopsy of both Hyuuga ladies. It appears that both were fatally wounded before Shibi made it to the scene. It made it impossible for them to avoid being killed. Explain this."
Neji was as honest as possible. "They attacked me-"
"When? Tell this to me as a report."
"I was asleep in room 314 when I sensed an attack. It was early morning. Both Ladies were already in my room, and about to activate my curse mark. We struggled, and I managed to leave the room uninjured. Both Ladies were locked into the room and both had minor injuries-"
"Lady Hana was injured in the shoulder by the heart monitor, Lady Hasuke may have been injured by the bed. I ran and they chased, they cornered me in the hallway. I attacked, striking out Lady Hasuke first and landing the final hit just as the window broke."
"You defeated Lady Hana? Without any assistance?" The Fifth peered closely at him.
"Then congratulations, you have just become a Jounin. You will report to Gai for your mission, you will continue your usual duties for now. He will be waiting by the gate."
Neji wondered on his way out of the tower if Gai knew too. He felt more free for the last month than he hever had. He couldn't be angry now, knowing that he was no longer alone to fight this anymore. Things were great.
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