It didn't make any sense no matter how he looked at it.
From a strictly logical point this is completely senseless. A jigsaw whose pieces never belonged together. What sort of picture does this make?
He's annoying - loud, obtuse, flashy and meddling. He's foolish - green spandex, nerdish hair, a goofy grin and naivetÃ©. Still, he feels right beneath me all muscles and heat and confused reaction. I can't see the trembling, but I can feel them. "Gai? What's wrong?" He never replies, but something about this complex sets him on edge. It's not surprising, even as a Hyuuga myself I find the complex unnerving. "Gai, I'm here...Shh, I'm here." It never ceases to amaze him how Gai doesn't trust reassurances despite his own profusion of banality - doesn't quite believe the comfort of words, but can always be calmed through the honesty of skin and touch if-when he allows himself to be touched. "Shh, come here."
Neji is surprised, but not to shocked to see Hiashi at the training ground, he's become a fixture in recent months. Apparently his interest in Gai - team Gai has been piqued. True, Hiashi has always taken special interest in his training and development, but something about this seems wrong. From this distance he can't hear a thing although it's most likely another teacher/guardian discussion about proper training regiments, but the body language is off and it's setting his teeth on edge. Interestingly enough Lee seems to be sharing his - well not unease or resentment, but... mistrust, dislike? Dislike of this situation. "This is wrong." He agrees as they stand together watching like sentinels while somewhere behind them Tenten continues to train.
Hiashi's hand is on Gai's elbow, he leans forward too earnestly though not quite aggressively. His hand is possessive, but his stance is pleading. Gai's head is cocked queerly neither dismissive nor submissive though implying elements of both. He says something it's hard to read lips from here. Hiashi frowns as his hand tightens minutely - desperately. Gai shakes his head once - disgusted? Or perhaps disgruntled - and begins to pull away. Hiashi tightens his grip refusing to be shaken off - abruptly he snaps his focus to Neji. Gai follows his gaze straight to his student - students and all the fight goes out of him; he physically deflects. An almost visually pleased Hiashi begins to lead him away slowly - it is apparent they aren't to be followed.
He focuses on the embroidery of his coverlet despite the water trailing down his face. it's easier to focus on the hypnotic patterns then listen to Kakashi banging about his flat trying to calm down. A calloused finger twice broken traces something that looks like an elephant and tries to ignore the hands and the glares and the incoming questions. From beneath his bedewed eyelashes he watches a dozen Kakashi march across the ceiling toward him hands on hips. "What happened this time?" It's not even a conscious decision not to answer more of a feeling cutesy of his present oh, so elegant bruises. "Which one?"
He smiles something Kakashi is going to consider a positive sign, even if it is as small and bitter as winter berries. Kakashi's nonchalance has always amused Gai. 'Which one?' he asks as though he were asking the time even as the killing intent roils off him like ten-foot breakers. From his tone of voice he might just as well be asking which fast food joint to hit tonight as which one he pissed off this time. Or maybe he's referring to the harsher training spars that are becoming the norm as Lee tries to beat sense into his wayward sensei and Tenten takes her confusion out on it's focal point. Not that it really matters since Gai's not talking just picking morosely at the embroidery as he waits for the warm hands on his back to finish rubbing in another of Hinata's concoctions. Soon enough the massage moves from almost platonic to definitely erotic and Kakashi has as much of Gai's attention as he's going to get.
As he'll later remember it he went to get breakfast, because that was part of the ritual. With his hands full he flares his chakra and waits with admittedly poor patience. Later he will be grateful for his impatience. With a slight sense of giddy trespass he teleports into the silent flat. Dropping his bags in the middle of a nearly clutter less living room he knows something is wrong. Moving with exaggerated caution he hopes to warn off the fear and along with it the possibility it might be justified. The kitchen, guest room, and hallway are empty. Gently he brushes open the bedroom- empty covers strewn across the floor. Bathroom? Locked, no blocked from inside.
"Gai?" No response, fuck the consequences he'd pay for the door later. Bracing himself he rips the door from it's hinges. "Gai." Exasperated-tinged worry because Gai is never this still by choice or nature. Gai himself is on cloud seventy-nine and getting higher every second and he couldn't be better. If there were room he'd feel bad for using Hinata like this. She's a really great sweet, really great girl, but the things she grows in her garden among the flowers... Maybe it never crossed her mind that anyone would notice her passion much less investigate it.
'Fuck.' It's hard to tell if he's fallen asleep and dreamed the clouds or if this the first often forgotten stage of Hell - hang over station, either way he's pretty sure he's fucked. "Fuuuccck..." Maybe it's be a good idea to close his eyes back. "Gai-san." Judging by his pinging self-preservation senses it'd be a really good idea to keep them closed. "Gai-san." Jeez, that sounds like... Hinata only really, really pissed. "Gai!" Jesus, he's fucked unless he can fall into an immediate coma. "Fine then." There is a scuffling and then a sickly sweet voice chirps right into his ear, "it's time to get up now Gai-san!" From his new vantage point on the cold, hard floor he's sorry the fall didn't kill him only to become sorrier still as his eyes meet a cool pair of opals. "Heh, well met Hinata-chan." Huh, he's seen that look before, but where? "How...dare you?"
At that moment he decides she looks just like here mother. It's like a flashback so real he waits for the sound of rain - instead slipping unconscious with the first warm drops upon his face. He wakes from static dreams of perky elves with power drills aimed at his head with dry, salty lips and the headache from hell. "Yo." That's it for conversation, they take turns picking at his faded blanket and glaring at his i.v. He watches a vindicated Kakashi saunter out, the fine shape of his ass especially magnificent from his renewed vantage point on the floor. Awkwardly bent with a pounding headache Gai can only hope this doesn't become routine.
This is decidedly awkward. 'This being a page out of dysfunctional families monthly. Kurenai is the overbearing mother, Asuma the henpecked slacker husband, Kakashi the perverted uncle and himself the brat who just can't get it together. Kakashi signs him out, Asuma promises to get him to all his 'obligations', and Kurenai gleefully promises to 'keep an eye on him' - a campaign she's already began with a haircut and a beat down he couldn't soon forget. Unconsciously he rubs his face. "Get over it you've gotten off easy - so far." Which reminds him rather (as always) that his team is gonna have his ass if he doesn't watch - oh. Team Gai is standing right across the street. If he weren't being held right now he'd have broken the sound barrier trying to escape.
Okay, he's a grown man and their superior and a well-experienced ninja - he can totally bullshit his way through this right? 'Gai-sensei." Maybe not. "Ah, Lee-kun, Neji, Tenten-chan." 'Please don't kill me.' "How youthful of you to meet your sensei as he makes his triumph (if unwilling) re-entry to the ever bountiful outside world." Holding as big a grin on his face as he can bare he prays they fall for it hook, line, and sinker. "We need to talk." 'Fine, Kakashi's right there is no god.' Speak or in this case think of the devil and - "Sorry kids, but Gai has a strict bedtime right now, so bye-bye." At that moment teleportation is the greatest thing ever, if only he could have seen the looks on his former student's faces. Perhaps they would have been as priceless as his own upon discovering his position. "Ka-mmmph!"
They don't love each other, hell he doubts they even really like each other. The silver hair he combs is soft and thick with a sent like snow frosted fur. "Kashi? Exactly what are you gonna tell my mom if she comes in...again?" All he gets in reply is muttered into his underdeveloped chest, but it's enough for him to drop-kick the pervert outta his bed with a blush and a muttered "asshole". Despite the fact it's summer he pulls the thin blanket over his head. Thankfully the night breeze is cool and constant. He feels the mattress dip behind him. The longer, harder body is feverish and welcomed against the breeze. "Whadda ya want for breakfast?" Nose to nose he keeps his eyes closed and waits for his mind to be read. "Fine I'll guess, but first things first."
It's sunny and drier then Ibiki's sense of humor. He's dying out here. "I'll train your brats for a month." He'd really rather be somewhere air-conditioned and dark and shrink-free. Of all the times for Asuma to suddenly become scrupulous - freakin' meddlesome genjustsu master. "They'd never forgive me." 'I'll never forgive you... Kurenai.' "I'll feed Chouji, wake Shikamaru, and serve as Ino's personal slave for a solid month - seriously." 'Just roll over already man!' "That's...okay. They need to toughen up anyway. I mean, uh they're too spoiled anyway." There's no way it's just Kurenai behind this, although that's a pretty good motivation in it's self. Nodding sagely he nearly misses Asuma's next statement, "Besides you have more important things to worry about."
"Shit!" A six-foot three man, correction six-foot five heavily muscled man wearing an oversized black t-shirt and red-striped biking shorts successfully hiding behind a telephone pole might seem impossible. However, Gai is a ninja and ninja's are definitely capable of hiding successfully behind telephone poles... usually. "They've already seen you." 'So what, outta sight outta mind.' "Well gee don't sound so gleeful about it!" A pause as Asuma reflectively puffs away. "Ah-ha, interesting: Neji's activated his bloodline, Tenten's pulled out a very large scroll, and Lee...actually looks pissed." All said in a perfect imitation of the wide Third. 'All hell.' Quickly he jumped out and with a smile a mile wide declared that he had a mandatory meeting to attend to before sprinting off to his counseling session.
Somewhere behind him choking on dust Team 10 drops their hedges. "Aw, I wanted a personal slave." Shikamaru shrugs, "Just as well I already catch enough flake off my mom anyway. Tsk, like I need more of the same." Affably Chouji opins that he'd have appreciated the free meals around a mouth being rapidly stuffed with barbeque chips. Their long-suffering teacher just sighs and begins to walk away. Unshed tears glisten in his suddenly soulful eyes, "Stupid ungrateful kids always rubbing stuff in."
"I'm sorry." And he is. What kind of loser spaces out in the middle of therapy. Oh, right - the kind on meds, duh! It's a nice day - from the inside at least - except of course for the three pissed looking genin on the roof across the street. Unless there are a remarkably vivid side effect of his medication. "Gai, do you know those rather disgruntled looking children?" Not a side effect then. "Yeah, I would guess so - they used to be my team."
Jounin don't panic, but... 'He had to be on my team.' Not that is should matter ,after all the child is surely too young to remember him besides which he's a mature adult who can deal with this ... right? Till those eyes are entirely too intense, the more so when he's staring up at them from underneath the boy. It's all he can do not to faint because those eyes say loud and clear - 'I know you.'
"Gai, are you really committed to this?" This being biweekly therapy, this being him staring out of a window drugged half out of his mind and bored out of the rest. This isn't working, but this is his only viable option because the life of a ninja is the only one he knows. No shrink-talk, no missions. Of course, he doesn't say that instead he says - "It rained, rained like the sky was hemorrhaging already the rotten gray of corpses. That's when they came."
Like ninjas, like shin obi, like kage - they came outta nowhere and they were gone just as quick. They left nothing, but blood and the bodies of his teammates one a boy barely out of the academy. He and Hizashi huddled in the lee of a twisted tree. 'They're dead. They're dead and sensei was suppose to prevent this and we're all alone and they're gonna come back and gut us. They're gonna gut us like fish and we're just genin and sensei is dead. We'll never get home and it doesn't matter anyway. It's all so fucking pointless!" They were both losing it, but he was coming completely apart and then he tasted blood. A line was about to be crossed one he never - they leaped over it brazenly, joyfully, urgently.
Sometime later covered in mud they began to run home the bodies somewhere beneath the trees. They ran and they ran and they ran all the way home and he remembered the rain fell like the would never be another tomorrow. "And that's how it began?" Sordid curiosity barely concealed behind professional scrutiny. And that's how it began she asks to which the answer is of course not, but he doesn't say that. Instead he says, "I don't know, but the rain still sets my blood humming and that's when I visit the compound." Voluntarily is left unsaid."
"Sensei, we need to talk." Maybe he should have chose better words or at least planned on how to prevent Gai's getaway. Elsewhere however, Neji couldn't be more grateful having finally gotten the infuriating man alone and trapped. "Gai - sensei, what is going on?" Somewhere beneath a glacier-thick layer of medicinal stability Gai is more pissed then freaked. All that shows however is a small frown of confusion. "Why?"
They are young - they are alive - they are alone. Of course they can. He runs his tongue over his lips tasting hard lemonade and something spicy that is wholly his lover. It's so wrong like fucking on graves, but it's raining and they're alive despite everything - they are alive. Back against a tree panting like he's run a three-day marathon with Hizashi's hand down his pants. He wonders if all Hyuuga have hands like this or if this one is unique. He kisses him then and it's so sweet he could cry - maybe is it's so hard to tell.
Seated on the floor he stares up into a pair of angry opals. "Why are you with my brother?" Gai glances down at his scarred brown hands; they are like his father's. "Why do you care? He's only branch family anyway, right?" He didn't know Hyuuga even knew how to punch. There isn't time to wonder at the blood in his mouth as it is invaded by the mirror image of his lover. He keeps his eyes closed and listen though he hears nothing, but the last line - the most important: "You have taken everything else brother, but this is mine - never touch him again.
He touches the bruises he's left on the boy's cheek. He sighs he hadn't meant to hit him that hard. His fingers tremble those eyes are open and staring so deeply into his own. He'd never gotten use to the utter intensity of them - mesmerizing. Almost if not for his reflexes, almost he oversteps a line. Instead he huddles blank-eyed and sweating against a tree on the other side of the clearing while the other boy gently cradles his cheek.
He wakes in the sunny warmth of a large breezy room. Sunlight streams though the open door. There is a small, pale foot holding down the blanket he's draped in. "What are you doing in Neji-kun's room?" As haughty as any other Hyuuga. Somehow he can't find the energy to raise his hackles. "Your cousin actually managed to launch me into next week." Like honey pouring out of a jar he stretches slowly, smoothly beneath the silky sheet. The child above him blushes. "You're naked." He smirks, "how can you tell?" It's a rhetoric question, though barely noticeable her 'eyes' are active.
"I want to see." She tugs once aggressively. "No, besides you've already seen." She tugs again impatiently and as before gets nothing. "If you don't let me see I'll tell you tried to touch me." Clearly she's done this before and just as clearly she expects it to work as well as before. He just smiles, sunny and golden and careless. "Go ahead, they'll know you're lying. See if they want a liar for clan leader." She freezes momentarily at a lost.
"What are you doing in my room?" Deactivating her eyes to turn toward Neji she misses Gai moving to a more ambiguous position eyes downcast, lips faintly curved and blanket wrapped more firmly around himself. She turns back and blushes more fully. "I'm sorry to have disturbed you." He doesn't watch her go - the shadow play before him is more engaging. The hand coming his hair feels familiar - smooth, cool, and somehow hard - like something half alive. "You have your father's hands." He ignores the hand stilled in his hair and the face pressed into the curve of his neck. "We can't -"
The tea cup in his hand is old and very beautiful - he hopes his traitorous hands don't break it. This room is small nearly claustrophobic the more so because of the man sitting across from him. He just buried this man a week ago, but there are the same hands, the same face... with a clear white forehead. The tea cup is eggshell thin. "You aren't him, and neither am I. He's gone." There isn't anything to say to that; he watches the tea spread 'round the pretty fragments on the floor. It is beautiful in a way the tortured face above him isn't. His eyes flutter close saving his sanity as he slowly arches into this doppelganger's touch.
She died the night it rained until the river jumped it's bank. She drowned is what is said, but that's not what happened. She came to him as he sat by the withered willow on the far bank. At first miserable and drenched he thought she was a fairy come to take him away. At least until he noticed that despite how fine her clothes were they were soaked through and through. She sat by him in her waterlogged kimono and didn't say a word - she just looked and looked and then she gathered him to her like a child. "You don't belong to them, you never have." He didn't try to pretend he was confused, he just leaned into her and cried. The next morning he wakes to a stiff and drenched deep in the forest. When he hears of the figure in the water he remembers the hard, heavy kimono she wore.
He never said anything about that incident though he watched from behind the big gate like always hands clenched around the bars. He felt branded where she'd kissed him. He didn't have the nerve to meet the waters like she had so he waited until her child was old enough to save him and then he poisoned himself and waited for the ride to stop.