"Come on inside and I'll show you how it's done."
Kakashi opened his front door, fingers disarming the trap on the lock without any conscious input from his brain. Most of his attention was on the silence behind him; he normally knew how Gai would react down to the slightest twitch, but they were both heading straight out into uncharted waters here.
Before he could start to worry, Kakashi heard the thump of a backpack landing on the porch behind him. By the time he'd kicked off his sandals, Gai had followed him inside, murmuring the traditional apology for entering.
Gai got rid of his own shoes, looked up and asked brightly: "What are you going to show me? Those books you mentioned?"
Kakashi rolled his eyes. "No. It might have been a good place to start at a few years ago, but I think we need something a bit more down-to-earth at this point."
"So what are you going-"
Gai's voice rattled to a stop and his eyes bugged out. Kakashi had pulled down his mask, an ingrained habit once he'd crossed his threshold and checked out the room. The reflex had felt strangely natural despite Gai's presence.
A thick silence settled.
"Oh," Gai said quietly.
"If that's not okay with you, we can go through those books. It's no big deal."
Gai was staring at him. The very few other people who'd seen him without his mask had spent the first few minutes scrutinizing his face more or less discreetly, and Gai hadn't seen it for nigh on fourteen years; Kakashi had changed. But the only thing Gai was looking at was Kakashi's visible eye, gauging his rival and the unspoken proposal that had been tossed down between them.
"I thought you didn't want this," Gai said, speaking slowly.
"I'm not going to sleep with you because of a stupid challenge." Kakashi moved into the main room. "And I don't want this to change things between us. This is just in the interest of your education."
"Like Anko had suggested?"
"Better me than Anko, buddy, better me than Anko."
Why? Damn, there were a lot of reasons, and some of them sounded arrogant, and some of them condescending, and some of them sounded just plain weird.
But one of them popped out without much of a warning.
"You're my rival. I don't like the idea of having a field where you can't rival me, even if we never compete over it. All these challenge things...they keep me on my toes."
For an instant, Gai looked touched. Then he just looked confused.
"But if we're not going to compete-"
"Just get your ass over here if you're up for it."
Kakashi dropped off his vest as he entered the bedroom. It was as soberly clean as the rest of the house, except for stacks of books piled here and there, and a few homey touches he'd brought from his one-room apartment. The bed had once again been placed beneath a wide window-sill bearing photographs, an attempt to recreate the environment Kakashi had carved around himself over the years, one more routine he felt comfortable with. Kakashi essentially lived in this room and hardly ever ventured into the rest of the house.
He threw open the window, letting in some sunshine and clean air; the nearest neighbours were some distance away, and they had long since learned to ignore any kind of noise, alarming, embarrassing or otherwise, coming from the Hatake residence. Kakashi grabbed the photographs off the sill and put them face down on a shelf; didn't want the kiddies to see this.
Gai didn't do 'uncertain' very well. And he probably didn't know what 'shy' or 'nervous' even meant. When Kakashi turned around, Gai was in the doorway to his bedroom in a pose Kakashi recognized: fists on hips, shoulders back, chest out, face firm. It was the same pose he'd struck before trying to master the Lotus Gate technique, and succeeding. It echoed same kind of determination, inner strength, clarity of mind and spirit with which he'd mastered a technique which most Shinobi, even the Sennin, wouldn't think to attempt. Really, Kakashi thought dryly, next to that, learning how to get laid was going to be a doddle.
"I see you're up for it. Okay, let's get a few things straight." He slipped off his headband and tossed it at a pile of books near the bed; the pile went sliding heedlessly across the floor. "First off, this is not a competition. It's just two buddies having a good time. Try to relax and enjoy yourself or this is going to end rather quickly and unamusingly."
Gai nodded seriously.
"Next, this is so you learn how to do it correctly and know what to expect next time you get curious. That means that now is the time to ask questions, even the stupid ones, and you have to tell me if I'm going too fast. Or if you're getting bored. Hell, you never clammed up on me before; I'd hate to think you'd start now."
A faint smile twisted Gai's lips; it was slightly sardonic. He never talked too much, as he'd already informed Kakashi repeatedly over the years. Gai never said a word more or a word less than what was absolutely perfect for every occasion.
"And finally...the most important."
Gai became all attentive again. He looked like he was about to salute.
"Listen up, because I'm serious about this one," Kakashi said as he approached. "If you let loose one- and I mean it, just one single motherlovin' proclamation on Youth or Prowess or Vigour while we're in the sack, I'll gag you. Got it?"
At this point, Kakashi was in arm's reach; he grabbed Gai by the top of the vest and shoved him gently against the door jamb. He'd see in a minute if Gai was really up for this, or if he was about to stomp out after socking Kakashi in the jaw.
The one inch height difference between them meant that it was easier to deal with noses and other practicalities. Kakashi held Gai's jaw between his fingers and let the other hand trail down Gai's arm while he simply touched lips to lips. Start it off slowly; Gai was so ready to beat this and master it that he was getting a bit twitchy, and a twitchy Jounin had to be handled carefully.
The lips against his became a breath less stiff after initial resistance. Kakashi took it as a sign to continue. He didn't think Gai would run off now - or rather, punch Kakashi through the wall and then run off. He inched his body closer, making sure to telegraph each movement well in advance and to move slowly. As an afterthought, he fished around, grabbed Gai's hand and put it on his hip. Gai immediately relaxed a bit; the fingers on Kakashi's hip flexed slightly, as if curious yet cautious about testing the extent of their involvement, and the lips finally shivered beneath his. Yeah, much better.
Next step. Kakashi tilted his head and opened his mouth. His hand drifted from Gai's arm to his hip, where he started kneading a slow pattern with his thumb. After a few seconds, Gai was feeling at Kakashi's skin through his shirt with his fingertips. He was catching on.
Kakashi let his tongue slowly come into play, first against Gai's lips. The muscles beneath his fingers clenched in surprise, but Gai didn't pull away. So Kakashi went further, slowly but surely, nudging Gai's lips apart and taking a quick swipe inside. A hint of apple, Gai must have eaten one for lunch...he wasn't really responding...
Kakashi broke away to change the angle of the kiss. He slid his hand further up Gai's jaw, fingers nudging the black hair. As an afterthought, he twisted forward slightly so that Gai's hand was on his ass and their bodies glued together. Gai was warm through the shirt and opened vest. Kakashi leaned into a chest like a wall, his fingers appreciating the sheer solidity of Gai's body. Beneath Kakashi's cupped palm, the pulse at Gai's throat was going at a rapid healthy thump. The heat, the closeness, the shiver of power in the muscles against his body, were doing good and exciting things to Kakashi's own cardio-vascular system.
There was a limit to what a normal - or even slightly eccentric - male could be subjected to in such a cosy, friendly situation before his uncertainties gave way to the primal reactions hotwired into the species.
When Gai snapped, it was almost audible - actually, it was audible, it was the creaking of Kakashi's ribs as an arm shot around him and hauled him close, grinding their hips and chests together and tangling their legs. The hand on his ass was finally starting to take the sort of perverted liberties that Kakashi rather expected in these situations, and when their lips met again, Gai's were open. Kakashi promptly took over his rival's mouth and went about proving how fun tongue-tag could be. Gai got the concept in about three seconds and the bout that resulted was as fierce as any match. Tongues thrust, riposted, parried, swiped, there might even have been some other moves in there that were momentarily borrowed from Taijutsu and fencing.
Whoever said Kakashi wasn't a good teacher, huh?
Gai made a rumbling sound in his throat. Kakashi's fingers slid upwards, mauling that bowl cut; his other hand grabbed the door jamb to anchor him even more firmly against the body he was pinning. Braced, he moved his legs and managed to press into Gai in all sorts of more interesting ways. Gai's hand on his back convulsed and he nearly bit Kakashi on the lip, but then his whole body started to slowly relax and move in synch - bar the bits that shouldn't relax, or Kakashi would have been offended. Gai eased up a bit on the ribs and started to rub Kakashi's back slowly, a gesture that wasn't simply an imitation of anything Kakashi was doing; it felt strangely warm and comforting.
Kakashi finally broke the kiss and leaned back. He was panting a bit, though he was trying to not be too obvious about it, that and the drool. He had a reputation to maintain here. He wiped his lips discreetly while Gai was still trying to focus. He felt warm; the shirt was going to go very soon. He'd been a bit worried that he might not get it up in these rather peculiar circumstances, but it turned out that wasn't something he needed to have worried about.
Finally Gai shook his head and licked his lips as if he was startled to still find them there. He had a nice flush on his face and his hair was messed up. Kakashi gave the strands a few more tweaks just to be sure. He normally didn't get to see Gai with the mussed-up look unless Kakashi had trashed his ass in some physical match first; might as well enjoy it.
Gai was looking at him uncertainly, a question hovering in his eyes. Kakashi nodded encouragingly.
"Er...is that what's called oral sex?"
Kakashi never lost his temper; he also never burst out into fits of hysterical laughter. In this instance he was glad his nature was rather laconic, as hysterical laughter wouldn't have done much for Gai's slowly budding confidence.
"Oh. Anko mentioned that, and it sounded like-"
"Gai, you've seen people kiss before. There are couples doing it all over the village every Friday night. That's the first step to getting little Shinobi."
"I never saw anybody kiss like that!"
"Then you weren't looking properly, though I grant you, most people keep that for the bedroom."
"And this is related to sex?" Gai was scrutinizing him intently.
"It can be. We're going over the basics, and that was step number one. There's a lot of stuff that can relate to sex; it's like...it's like Taijutsu. You got a lot of different moves. You have your probing attacks to figure out what your opponent's made of, you got preparatory moves to set up your major strikes and you have your deathblows. You pick up favourites and specialties and signature techniques, and you have to figure out which move is most appropriate for a given situation."
Sex for dummies and extreme martial artists, Kakashi thought wearily, not quite believing what he'd just spouted. But as long as it worked...
It was like a light had come on in Gai's eyes, he was nodding eagerly and Kakashi suddenly remembered a very young boy learning martial arts with burning enthusiasm that was infectious, even to a cynical, burnt-out preteen who'd thought he'd seen it all.
"Can you teach me more?"
Kakashi smirked, hooked his fingers over the top of Gai's flack-jacket and tugged him towards the bed.
Kakashi had gotten himself a bit too deeply into 'sensei' mode, the wise teacher showing an eager student the moves. Which was fair enough, but he'd forgotten a small detail. Gai was a Jounin as well as a nearly complete virgin. Which meant he learned quickly and adapted well once you gave him a clue what you expected. He also had a lot of stamina. Quite a lot. And of course, Gai was a Taijutsu specialist, which automatically implied perfect and total muscular control.
Kakashi rolled over onto his back and stared at the ceiling, trying to focus through the wild twitch of pulse shimmying his vision. He wasn't up to anything as complicated and multi-syllabic as perfect and total muscular control at this point in time, his thoughts more along the lines of 'Fuck me!'
There was a groan off to one side. Kakashi felt a prickle of concern and kicked his reluctant brain into higher gear.
"Gai, you okay?"
There was a muffled stutter drowned in the pillow. Gai coughed and moved a bit, and the words became a bit clearer.
"Tha' w's...better th'n th' first time."
Silence. Kakashi waited; he could almost hear the little wheels turning under that bowl cut.
Gai spoke again, more firmly and after due consideration. "That was a lot better than the first time."
Kakashi relaxed and allowed himself to bask a bit under the stroke to his ego.
"Kakashi...I'm sorry, I broke something."
Okay, alarmed again now. "What? Where does it hurt?"
He turned towards the lump in the bed. Gai was still on his stomach where he'd fallen, probably right in his own wet spot. But that didn't seem to be what concerned him now. He'd lifted his head and was staring muzzily at the large window sill above the bed. Kakashi followed his glance. The thick wood was fractured, a split running from one side to an area that had been crunched to large splinters under Gai's fingers when he'd gripped it near the end. Come to think of it, Kakashi had heard a loud crack a few minutes back, but he hadn't really been in a position to pay that much attention to details.
"Don't worry about it, it's easy to fix."
"I'll replace it immediately! It is my responsibility...to replace the furnishings...I inconsiderately..." Gai's speech was a good deal weaker than usual and seemed to be going slower and slower, like the tick tock of a clock winding down.
"Don't worry about it, I told you. Just check your hands for splinters."
Kakashi frowned at the ceiling which was finally in focus. Okay, apparently they'd gotten through the Sex Primer. But maybe Kakashi should take this opportunity to ensure there was no emotional fallout here. In all this time, Gai had never really linked sex to love; he didn't read the same books Kakashi did, or any books at all apart from 'Mysteries Of The Taijutsu Masters Of The Secret Lotus Palm'. But this was one point Kakashi wanted to be clear on.
"Okay, Gai, now you know how it's supposed to be done. But-"
Kakashi sighed and glanced over. Gai was still sprawled out on his stomach, his face turned away. Snoring. He never snored when they were catching a quick cat nap on a mission, or even when he collapsed, exhausted, after an intense fight. A Shinobi learned to sleep quietly and lightly except when he knew he was completely safe.
"But maybe I should have taught you about the post-screw cleanup before you nodded off," Kakashi silently mouthed. "You'll figure it out when you try to scrape yourself out of my sheets later. Here endeth the lesson."
His eyes trailed along the sleeping form. Lean, sleek and deadly. Larger in the shoulders and back than Kakashi, a greater mass yet perfectly balanced on the edge between power, stamina and inhuman speed. Scars running here and there, at least one of which bore Kakashi's sloppy field stitches. Gai looked infinitely better sprawled naked with that 'well fucked' looseness about his muscles than he did in that spandex and bloody legwarmers.
But the truth was...Kakashi didn't mind the outfit and the legwarmers, or the speeches, or the way Gai challenged him every few months. These things were...Gai. Something Kakashi had come to rely on, as much as the deadly fists ready to defend his back and the edge of competition that brought out the best in both of them. What he was looking at now was just another facet of the man, one that Kakashi hadn't seen until today; hell, nobody had seen this side of Gai yet. Nice view, by the way.
Kakashi settled back against the pillow, suddenly sleepy himself. The late afternoon sunshine played across their skins as the crab-apple tree outside rustled in a gathering breeze. Gai was a solid, gently snoring presence a few inches away from Kakashi's body, his chakra pattern so familiar it didn't even raise a blip on Kakashi's radar. Warmth seemed to radiate from his skin, and even the unfamiliar dip in the mattress from another man's weight was somehow...soothing. Kakashi knew he should be thinking about all he was going to say when they woke up, but he went to sleep before he could really get around to caring about it.
Kakashi awoke with an agenda: have a talk with Gai.
He didn't want any misunderstanding. Kakashi had shown Gai the basics, but he didn't want to shape Gai into an image of himself, not in this department. Gai...probably wasn't somebody who was made for casual sex and a small list of fuck-buddies. He'd want somebody to hang around. Somebody warm and open, not some frostbitten, cynical old porn-addict.
Above all, Kakashi didn't want to lose his friend and rival. And he had the feeling that that might happen if they got too close. Kakashi had never done very well with 'close'.
He woke Gai up by the simple expedient of pinching his nose shut in mid-snore. After avoiding the instinctive punch, he herded Gai to the bathroom for a much needed shower. Since the old house didn't have much of a heater, he decided that sharing the shower was the smart move. Between the sweat of this morning's short match, Gai's press-ups and various other fluids, the shower took longer than anticipated. In the noise of falling water - and the concentration it took to clean Gai's strong back properly - he didn't have a good opportunity for a chat. Also, his mind kept drifting- but mainly, it was the noise of the water and Gai's enthusiastic speech about hygiene.
He was going to have the talk afterwards, though. They had to set these things straight. This was never going to happen more than once. This had been a break in the routine, and Kakashi didn't regret a minute of it, seeing how relaxed and normal Gai was now compared to earlier this afternoon. But Kakashi relied too much on his habits, his ramparts. Gai's role in this was well-defined, and Kakashi didn't want to lose that. Gai also needed to figure out for himself what he wanted from a future partner, and Kakashi probably wouldn't be it.
Kakashi had had some pretty crummy 'morning afters' in his time. This was one reason he restricted himself to a small handful of friends these days. He'd had people walk out without a word; he'd had guys hang around with stars in their eyes like they expected an invitation to move in the next day; he'd had others talk about feelings and look at him like they expected him to feel something back.
He'd had some good experiences too, with other Jounin; comparing scars, wrestling in bed, or simply a quick 'that was fun, want to go grab a beer now?' That evening with Gai fell into that same category. They ate at the rickety old kitchen table, Kakashi in sweatpants and Gai in a robe Kakashi had scrounged up. They shared an omelette made with just about everything in the fridge. They talked about old matches, old friends and old enemies. The embarrassment factor was zero, probably because Gai wasn't aware there was anything to be embarrassed about, and because Kakashi, who was pretty much unembarrassable by nature, wasn't about to enlighten him.
"Hm?" Kakashi dropped the dishes in the sink with a careless clank.
Kakashi glanced over his shoulder with a half-smile. "My pleasure."
He needed to have that talk.
Because there was a warmth in the air, in Gai's open gaze when he looked at Kakashi. It worried the latter more than an improbable declaration of love would, because this look, this feeling wasn't entirely unfamiliar; it felt akin to what they normally shared, but it was deeper, it went places it had no business going. He wasn't sure how to handle it. He was afraid it was going to be the beginning of the end of something he relied on. He had to make things clear now, while they were still simple. He'd done what he'd promised, he'd showed Gai the ropes-
Though to be fair, since he'd taken on himself to educate Gai, maybe he should make sure Gai knew what to do when it was his turn on top. Just to be thorough- maybe Kakashi was the one who should be running thousands of laps around Konoha; it might do something for his disintegrating mental discipline.
"Hm?" Kakashi grunted, wrestling with soapy glass and his own traitorous mind.
"I challenge you!"
Kakashi dropped a cup which nearly cracked the plates. "Huh?"
"Not in that," Gai said chidingly, wagging his finger in remonstrance, then he resumed his Good Guy pose. "I challenge you! A real match. Our last two were pathetic. We barely got in five minutes of armed combat this afternoon-"
"There was the footrace-"
"You took several hours and crossed the finish line with a bag of books. I challenge you to a proper match! Hmmm, how about Taijutsu? But...tomorrow," Gai added, yawning. He let slip the pose to lean his chin on his fist with a contented, rested air.
"Good. I won't let you default on me! I hope you'll teach me more about sex. I have a feeling there's much to learn, and you are my most respected and well-learned friend. But above all else...you are my Eternal Rival!"
Kakashi examined Gai's open, honest, enthusiastic face.
Gai looked back at him, curiously at first, then with slight concern as Kakashi's scrutiny dragged on for several life-defining, screw-the-routine-and-take-a-chance moments.
"I'll hold you to that," Kakashi finally said.
He ignored Gai's startled expression and turned towards the dishes. After a second, Gai charged over and demanded a dish towel, like Kakashi had known he would.
Later that night they broke the side-beam on Kakashi's bed. Gai apologized again, and promised to repair the frame with his own hands. Kakashi told him not to worry about it; he'd been thinking of getting something sturdier for awhile now, and he had the feeling he was going to need it in the future.
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