Kakashi

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This chapter was beta-read by: Sakura's Unicorn

"The Power of Youth emerges victorious again!"

Kakashi shakes his head as Gai manages to strike a dynamic pose even in his wheelchair. The years have done nothing to wear down his erstwhile self-proclaimed rival's exuberance. The only real difference these days is that their competitions are limited to what is physically possible for both of them: rock-paper-scissors, thumb wrestling, toe wrestling, beetle racing (that didn't work out for either of them), tongue-twisters, cherry spitting, and bee-wearing (they both spent a week in the hospital after that one).

Today's competition is relatively tame by their usual standards—a simple race to see who can finish a book of Sudoku faster. To be honest, it ends up being more of a good-natured conversation over number-puzzles than anything else.

I guess we're getting old, Kakashi reflects, leaning back in his chair. Oddly enough, the idea doesn't bother him.

Nor does it ever stop Gai from trying to walk across Konoha on his hands with his wheelchair balanced overhead before Kakashi can head him off.

The taijutsu master has always treated his wheelchair as a mere inconvenience, instead of a handicap. Gai has organised an entire fighting style based on limited mobility. It's popular with a lot of the men and women who survived the Fourth Shinobi War with grave injuries, but even those without handicaps join. Shinobi are always open to learning new skills and being able to continue fighting despite debilitating injury in battle is important.

"Well, what do you say, Kakashi – shall we go another round, or are you intending to call it a day?"

He's not really keen on any more higher-thinking tasks today. After his years as Hokage, he's lost what little patience he had for any work involving paper. Still, as per usual, he avoids admitting this out loud. Instead, he changes the subject.

"How's Metaru doing? I haven't seen him doing any over-the-top training routines lately. Has Tenten been instructing him, too?"

They may not be related to Gai by blood, but Rock Li and his son Metaru are the only family he has in the Hidden Leaf. In some ways, the relationship between master and student has always been beyond kinship.

"The boy takes everything in stride, the same way Li does," Gai brags. "The difference is, Metaru isn't a complete failure at ninjutsu and genjutsu. Once he applies the same rigorous discipline to them as he does with his taijutsu, he'll have no competition in all of Fire Country!"

"Well... I don't know about that," Kakashi muses, thinking about his own sons. At fifteen, his two oldest have completed the greatest number of successful missions among their age group and are known even in other countries as 'The Lightning Twins.' If they ever decided to actually apply themselves, he suspects that they would give even Sasuke or Naruto a challenge.

Well, as much of a challenge as you can give the reincarnations of two demigods.

Luckily, no one will ever need to test that because Kuboshi and Shinzō are far more interested in slacking off and playing practical jokes.

The twins are more like their Inuzuka relatives than their father in terms of demeanour. They get along disturbingly well with their Uncle Kiba, much to Kakashi's dismay. He's pretty sure that they schooled Boruto in the art of mischief-making when he was little and prone to tagging along behind them like a lost pup. That said, Kakashi figures he should be grateful his sons didn't make his life hell when he was Hokage.

One saving grace for him (and the rest of the village) is that the boys live in fear of their grandmother's wrath (as does he, for that matter). Tsume Inuzuka is a force to be reckoned with. While her approach to parenting has historically been of the tough-love variety, she doesn't react well to any Inuzuka embarrassing the clan.

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