Luminous

Marriage of Hard Work and Genius Chapter 2

Title: Marriage of Hard Work and Genius
Author Notes: Thank you for the reviews and your thoughts. For this chapter and all the following ones I worked on a smoother transition between the characters to make this easier to read.

To start from the beginning

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Gai allowed himself time to sit at the bar and think before he went to a brothel. He didn’t purchase anyone for the night for sex but he did enjoy the lap dance and the subsequent flirting conversations. Though his night wasn’t much to talk about his morning had been something else entirely.


It had taken some digging but Gai had finally found his formal black hakama. It had taken more digging but he had finally found his family’s wedding montsuki kimono. The clan symbol made Gai smile happily in memory of the day he had been given it for his own use. Then remembering the circumstances, Gai had lost any enthusiasm he had previously held. Wrapping his forehead protector in a black obi, Gai tied it around his waist and jutsued himself to the Hokage’s office a few minutes early if only to calm his nerves.

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After Kakashi had left the bar, he thought about what Gai had said, initially he himself would have given no thought about the sex, but apparently Gai did, and Gai, knowing Kakashi the way he did, knew that Kakashi was going to treat the -entire- aspect as a mission.


As he walked around the village, thinking about the mission, he began to contemplate what he should do during his remaining time alone, and eventually found himself standing before the memorial stone. He stood there for a while, he wasn't sure how long, staring at Obito's name, thinking about how much Obito would have loved to get married (how funny Obito would have found it that he was going to marry Gai), and how it was his fault Obito could never get married.


Kakashi eventually returned home, and slept fretfully. He awoke as the sun was rising, and watched it from his window. Thinking of Obito,he went to his closet, and looked up at the top shelf where a box sat, covered by a layer of dust. After several moments Kakashi took the box down from the shelf and placed it on his bed. He removed the lid slowly, and stood staring down at the black montsuki his father had been married in, for several moments.


Eventually he replaced the lid, and put the box back in the closet, and decided he would just go buy a new one. He hadn't yet forgiven Sakumo, and therefore wouldn't be married (even like this) in the men's montsuki.


When Kakashi showed up (somewhere around ten minutes late) he was wearing a navy blue hakama, with a black montuski over it, however Kakashi's montsuki bore no family symbol. Kakashi seemed to be uncomfortable, as he waved slightly at Gai, before turning his attention back to Tsunade.


“Let’s get this over and done with if you please.” Gai tried to be businesslike but he knew he wasn’t doing too well. “You look nicely put together.” Complementing Kakashi, Gai looked back at the Hokage.

When it was called for he sliced his palm and dribbled the blood on the scroll. He was happy to note that he would be viewed as the ‘husband’ of this marriage. Kakashi would be entering his home but Gai would be taking Kakashi’s name.


“I solemnly swear that I will honor....” Gai finished his vows and watched his chakra morph on the scroll coiling as it waited for Kakashi’s chakra to join and complete the cycle to end the ceremony.


Kakashi was slightly surprised when Gai complimented him, but he wasn't sure how to respond, so he chose not to. Standing silently he watched Gai carefully, as if expecting him to back out at the last second, however when Gai went through with it Kakashi suddenly felt painfully awkward.


Taking the blade in his hand slowly, he remembered Gai's words from the day before as he looked at the palm of his hand, and suddenly he was very glad he hadn't worn Sakumo's montuski. “I solemnly swear,” Kakashi started after a slight hesitation, hoping neither of them had noticed.


Drawing the blade across his palm slowly, as if he had to know this was really happening, carefully setting the blade on the table Kakashi held his hand over the scroll and allowed the blood to dribble onto it. As he studied the scroll Kakashi felt a slight twinge of annoyance over the fact that Gai was going to be the 'husband', feeling sufficiently more awkward now Kakashi drew his hand back and looked at the streak of red across his palm.


When it was all said and done Gai found himself married and more than awkward. “So it looks like we have forty eight hours to complete the initial marriage acts.” Gai sighed and rubbed his forehead. “Oh and here.” Handing Kakashi a ring box, Gai shuffled his feet nervously. “We can either move into my compound or your apartment.”


Kakashi scowled as he looked at the ring box in his hand, and then back up to Gai. It had been a kind gesture, if a little embarrassing. He almost felt bad for not bringing Gai a ring, but then he had to pause and wonder how Gai even knew what size of ring he wore, or if Gai knew.


Kakashi paused, trying to imagine Gai in his small apartment with all of his dogs, he was sure that would drive the man insane, and despite himself Kakashi smiled. It would actually be interesting to see how Gai got along with his dogs. Kakashi was sure Gai wouldn't like them.


“Yeah,” Kakashi said as he turned the box over in his hand, watching as the blood spread across the velvet on the box, “I think your home would be more appropriate.” Kakashi said slowly, not adding what he knew to be true; Gai would be too uncomfortable in this situation anywhere else.


Not even bothering to hide his relief Gai exhaled. “Good, that’s good. I’ll open the wards for you. Did you need help moving anything?” Tilting his head Gai realized that Kakashi had never been to his compound before.


“I should probably start off by showing you where it is first.” Gai felt a bit sheepish. “Shall we be off before the rest of the village decides to make an appearance and notices us in our finery. I imagine though it will be over the village by the afternoon. So are we going to use the rivals was a cover up excuse?” Gai was referring to the cover story the Hokage had suggested.


Kakashi glanced up at Gai when he began to speak, wondering if perhaps he was starting to feel a little more enthusiastic about all of this. Gai was right, Kakashi realized belatedly, he had no idea where the other man actually lived.


“That would be ideal, Gai.” Kakashi responded slowly, after a moments consideration. And without really understanding why he found himself grateful that Naruto hadn't been here to hear this, for if he had been in the village Kakashi was sure this information would be all over the village by now.


“I won't need help with anything,” Kakashi added, almost as an after thought, “I'll just get the necessities.” Kakashi wasn't sure how this whole thing worked, blood marriages, but he was sure that at some point he might be able to go back to his home. So for now he was sure just having his clothes, and weapons would be enough.


“Alright then follow me.” Gai walked out of the tower. Walking smoothly along Gai got to a less populated area of the village before hopping up on a building and beginning the quick leaps to the clan portion of the village, Gai only hopped down once he had reached the area where homes were spaced further apart. Traveling slightly out of the village bounds, Gai stopped in front of a massive tree.


“Put your hand right there for me if you would.” Gai gestured for Kakashi to put his hand down on a particular knot in the tree. As Gai began to fiddle with the wards what had appeared to be forest began to emerge as a small estate was the genjutsu on the property shifted. Once Gai was finished adjusting the wards he nodded to Kakashi to follow him in.


Gai was proud of his home. It wasn’t as big as the older clan homes but it was definitely suitable for him. The single story dwelling featured a large main area that included his kitchen and living room in the center with the the master bedroom and bath situated to the right. There were guest quarters behind the main area. On the left side of the house was Gai’s training area and dojo.


Surrounding the home was loads of open space and gardens. Gai even had managed to get a sand garden and koi pond put in at one point. Going down the walkway.


Kakashi followed Gai silently, expecting a small and humble home, but when they continued on past the clan compounds, and the regular homes, toward the woods, Kakashi had cause to raise a speculative eyebrow. Once Gai adjusted his genjutsu so that Kakashi could see the home Kakashi followed behind him slowly, casually (or at least he was pretending to be casual).


He rather liked Gai's house he realized as he looked around the area, it was classy, and at the same time it seemed like a home. Kakashi paused when they reached the door, seeming slightly awkward, almost as if he didn't feel right entering Gai's home. “Gai?” Kakashi said after a moment, as he tucked the ring box into his obi.


“About the living arrangements,” he said softly, as if it were a delicate situation, “How do you want to handle that?” Kakashi was surprised to find himself hoping Gai responded that they would sleep in separate bedrooms, but he almost found himself believing Gai to be too traditional for that.


Feeling himself blush, Gai tried to figure out how to explain his thoughts on their sleeping arrangements. “Well to be honest because of the type of marriage we have and the fact that we have to maintain some closeness to make sure we don’t suffer any of the negative effects of the blood bond. So we will have to sleep in the same room.
Luckily I have a big bed so other than the initial consummation you won’t have to worry about me touching you, if you don’t want me to.” Realizing he was babbling Gai popped open his door counting silently in his head, Gai waited for his traps to deactivate before entering.


Taking off his sandals, Gai entered his living area. Placing the slippers on, he motioned for Kakashi to do the same. Stepping onto the hardwood floor Gai began to disrobe and remove his formal attire. Once he was down to the hakama Gai waved around him.


“This is the living area and kitchen.” Gai glanced around and wondered what Kakashi was thinking so far. The room’s color palette was a mix of greens, blues and greys. The woods were all a ebony or oak. There were whites and creams intermixed but their was this casual comfortableness that Gai enjoyed. He had plants and flowers in different parts of the space to add life.


An odd thought struck Gai before he could continue the tour.


“You did do some reading into blood marriages didn’t you?”


Kakashi listened to Gai passively as he followed his lead and slipped his sandals off at the door, before slipping a guest pair of slippers on, and standing by the doorway while he watched Gai. The other mans comment about not touching him struck him as odd, but knew he couldn't blame Gai for that. Gai probably thought he wouldn't want to have anything to do with the sexual aspect of the... relationship.


No one ever thought that he gave much thought to sex, or anything sexual, romantic, or otherwise. But he knew that was all due to his personality, and the way he regarded everything, or technically, disregarded.


Gai's question took him by surprise, Kakashi blushed slightly, embarrassed, raising a hand he scratched his cheek as he was known to do when nervous and shook his head,
“Actually,” Kakashi said slowly, trying to think up a reasonable lie for this excuse, before answering, “I didn't really have time.” he finally said, which wasn't the truth, but at the same time wasn't a lie.


Blinking slowly, Gai tried to process the fact that Kakashi was really unprepared for everything. “Okay so you have no idea what you signed up for...at all.” Rubbing his brow Gai went over to his couch and flopped down. For a moment Gai tried to figure out how to begin and then he realized he was just going to have to give the basic information and fill Kakashi in as they went along.


“Well I guess the basics are that within a forty eight hour period we have to consummate our relationship. Share chakra through intimate contact and set up our household together because for a week or two we won’t be able to be away from each other for long. With a blood marriage neither of us will ever be able to have sex with anyone else and marry so I guess we are going to have to make the best of it. In time we will be able to be a part for longer periods of time.”


Kakashi nodded after a moment, taking in what Gai had just told him. It was strange, especially the part about not being far apart from each other. “Sounds like this is going to interfere with work.” Kakashi said after a moment, obviously disappointed, but that appeared to be all that had bothered him. Kakashi realized after a moment that perhaps meant that he wouldn't, eventually, be able to move back into his apartment.


“What do you,” Kakashi paused, obviously trying to think of a way to word this, or perhaps just out of sheer embarrassment, “That is, how do you want to go about the, uh, consummation?” Kakashi asked slowly, awkwardly, a tinge of blush crossing his cheeks.


Kakashi had a strange feeling inside, as soon as he finished speaking, and he wondered what it was, but he wasn't sure he liked it. He decided, quickly, that he would have to stop procrastinating, and do some research on blood marriages; but how to get the books if he couldn't leave Gai?


His dogs would do it, he decided.


“Well there is a reason we have a two week period for this mission allowance to settle.” Gai chuckled. “We are going to temporarily be playing retirees while we wait for our marital bond to calm down. Just quick missions around the village.”


Gai studied Kakashi’s blushing face when he talked about consummating their bond and Gai felt a brief stirring in his belly. Shaking his head Gai thought about the consummation seriously.


“I’m flexible for however you want to play it.” Gai sighed willing to take the proverbial bullet on that one. “I am a bit of a romantic and I like to kiss so you will have to humor me.”


Though he didn't like the idea of being out of real work for long, even two weeks, Kakashi accepted it with a nod, just having to remind himself that this was work too.


Kakashi had expected nothing less of Gai, and found it slightly amusing that the other man said it so bluntly. Kakashi, noticing Gai's slight discomfort with the subject, smiled “Okay.” he agreed, though slightly hesitant.


“I'm comfortable with... bottoming.” Kakashi blushed slightly again, before clearing his throat. He enjoyed either way, but he thought it would be wise to allow Gai this first time, for the other man seemed more concerned with his masculinity then he himself did. “This time.” Kakashi added suddenly, as if he felt the need to be clear that he wouldn't want to be expected to bottom every time, or perhaps to let Gai know that there would be more times.


“We only have to do it once. I promise to make it really good since you are manning up and agreeing to bottom.” Gai breathed a sigh, nodding before he blinked a bit as he process what Kakashi had said. “Wait this time?” Sitting up Gai tilted his head at
Kakashi, “As in more than...I mean not that I am complaining but are you sure? I mean I know I can’t be your usual type so you don’t have to force yourself more than the one time.” Gai was pretty sure that his entire face was on fire.


“Anyway.” Gai cleared his throat and then completely lost his thought blushing even deeper.


Kakashi chuckled, shaking his head slightly, it was amusing to see Gai so flustered, “I don't have a preference.” Kakashi admitted, having never been one to buy into the whole 'type' thing, he'd usually just slept with anyone who'd caught his fancy, which unsurprisingly, wasn't that many people.


'Force' was a rather strong word in that context Kakashi thought, “It won't be a problem for me, Gai.” he assured the other man, idly wondering if Gai didn't remember that he too was a man (a man that, surprising most, actually enjoyed sex, when with a competent partner).


After a moments thought Kakashi realized that he could grow to enjoy this agreement, it it weren't for the distance restrictions, he'd think it an incredibly wise move


“Well then uhmm...” Gai stood up and hopped over to the couch back until he was standing in front of Kakashi again.


“This way is the master bedroom and bath.” Gai walked over to the double doors leading to his bedroom and popped it open. “Feel free to make changes if you want. I hope you can be comfortable here.” Waving at one of the dressers Gai continued, “You can put your stuff there. The other side of the house is a training area. If you want to get your stuff I’ll make lunch.”


Kakashi nodded as he looked over the bedroom, Gai had said he had a big bed, but Kakashi hadn't expected it to be that big. “Alright, I won't take long.” he said as he quickly put his hands together and jutsued out of the house, and back to his own apartment.


As he began to undress Kakashi felt a little strange, and wondered if it had anything to do with the blood ritual. Folding his hakama, and montsuki slowly, and carefully, before placing them into their perspective boxes. As he dressed Kakashi looked around his room slowly, wondering what he should take (not that it'd be hard to decide, he had so little).


Getting a bag out Kakashi gathered clothes, scrolls and weapons, if one were observing him they'd assume he was merely going on a mission. As Kakashi closed the bag he caught sight of the small velvet box which had fallen out of his obi. Hesitantly picking the bloodstained box up, Kakashi opened it, and took the ring out. Setting the box on his dresser he slipped the ring on before wrapping his hand in bandages, and then finally he pulled his gloves on.


Grabbing his plant, Mr. Uki, from the windowsill Kakashi went into the living room, which also doubled as the kitchen, and gathered his dogs. Reaching up he adjusted his forehead protector slightly as he looked over his apartment, not knowing just how long it would be before he was here again. Here, where he'd lived through all of the major changes in his life, lived through ANBU, and Minato's death. Kakashi frowned, wondering why he was feeling so strange suddenly.


After a moments reflection Kakashi exited, and locked the apartment, and he and his dogs made their way to Gai's house (tactfully using the woods). Once he approached the door Kakashi noticed the strange tension he'd been feeling seemed to disappear. Slipping his sandals off, beside the pair he'd left there earlier, Kakashi opened the door and stepped inside, reaching into his backpack he removed the slippers of Gai's he'd worn, and placed them in their initial spot, before pulling his own slippers out, and slipping them on.


Closing the door he went to put his bag in the bedroom, before walking into the kitchen, “Yo, Gai.” he said nonchalantly, as if this were a social visit. He didn't seem to have any intention of doing anything about his dogs who'd come into the house and were now sitting in the living room, except for Pakkun, who'd followed him into the kitchen.


“Welcome back.” Gai smiled as he continued to cut up the vegetables for a salad. Rice was cooking away in the cooker. Gai had changed into some comfortable karate pants and a tee shirt. At this point Gai had shed his slipper and was moving around on bare feet.


“Do you want steak or chicken?” Gai enquired looking Kakashi up and down before he continued working.


Kakashi slipped his hands into his pockets as he watched Gai working on the vegetables, “Chicken.” he said softly before moving to sit up to the table. Usually he ate light in case he had a sudden mission, but he assumed that it wouldn't matter how he ate for the next two weeks (as long as it was healthy).


“You know,” Kakashi said conversationally, “I didn't even know you could cook.” he wasn't sure why he was surprised, maybe it was because he himself didn't know how to cook, but he thought it slightly impressive that Gai could.


“It is self defense really.” Gai chuckled. “No one in my household could cook when I was younger so I had an appreciation for hot sauce and curry on anything because it would cover the taste of the disasters that regularly made their way onto my plate.” Taking the chicken and cutting it into strips, Gai put them into a wok and tossed edamame, carrots and spring onions in.


“I can’t cook anything fancy. Can you cook at all or are you more the I can order takeaway type?” Gai asked, glancing at Kakashi as he worked. Then noticing Pakkun Gai tilted his head thoughtfully, “Do your dogs need anything or are they okay? I haven’t ever had pets really so I am not sure how feedings and such works.”


Pakkun glared up at Gai suddenly, as if he too had just noticed the man, “Listen mister,” Pakkun snapped “Don't go us as 'your cute dogs', we all have names! I'm Pakkun.” Kakashi scowled looking down at the ill-tempered dog, ignoring the beasts outburst he pushed on his gently with his foot, as if to get the dog to leave.


“Take out.” he said as Pakkun stalked to the doorway and glanced back at Gai, still glaring. Kakashi found the idea that Gai's family hadn't been able to cook quite amusing, though he wasn't sure why. Perhaps his own family could cook, but he couldn't remember.


“No, they're fine. I'll go to the store in the morning and pick up something for them. You don't need to worry about them, they're good dogs.” Kakashi said as he relaxed in his seat still watching Gai, almost curiously, “About them, though.” Kakashi said slowly, “They've only ever lived inside, on account of the apartment. So... they aren't used to living outside.” Kakashi raised a hand to run his fingers nervously through his hair, “But I can put them out if you want me to.”


“Well Pakkun it is a pleasure meeting you. I can respect your summons capabilities but the attitude isn’t necessary.” Gai regarded Pakkun thoughtfully.


“That won’t be necessary, Kakashi. They can have free run of the dojo and training areas. They can pretty much come and go as they please from there.”


Pakkun narrowed his eyes at Gai, obviously thinking of saying something but instead turned and put his tail up as he walked out of the room, obviously not caring for Gai's accusation of an 'attitude'. Kakashi smiled despite himself. Throughout Gai cooking Kakashi made small talk with him, unsure of just why he seemed to be having so much trouble actually talking to Gai, when he hadn't had these problems before.


When Gai served the meal, Kakashi thanked him, before picking his chop sticks up, while he used the other hand to pull his mask down, and began to eat his food, making sure to eat more slowly than he usually did, if only to make sure to taste the food.


Kakashi took a small sip of his tea, before saying, “It's good, Gai.” Why was he still, he wondered, having so much trouble talking to Gai? “Hows your cell doing?” Kakashi asked suddenly, unsure of why, “I haven't seen Lee in a while.”


Wincing Gai put down his utensils. “Lee is sleep training. Neji is training with Hiashi and TenTen is working on the making of her tools. I am a bit at a loose end for the moment and have been working on techniques. Is it just me or is this really awkward?”


Shaking his head Gai put his face in his hands and sighed. “Well these things take time I suppose.” Sitting up again Gai went back to his dinner.


After they finished eating Gai flopped on the couch for a bit rubbing his stomach through his shirt in order to aid his digestion. It was a bit of a calming exercise really and Gai enjoyed the sensation. It was almost as good as getting a head massage. Lazily Gai compiled a to do list for the second half of his day. If he thought about it really Gai could get some writing practice in. Temporarily at least it would get his mind off of what it would be like to kiss Kakashi.


Once they'd finished eating, and Gai was sitting on the couch, Kakashi slipped his book from his back pouch, and sat lazily on the floor, with the large bull mastiff (ironically named Bull), and leaned back onto the animal, reading, or pretending to read, his book.


After some time had passed, and he was sure he could bring up consummating the marriage without giving Gai a stomachache, Kakashi flipped his book shut, and laid it on his stomach, folding his hands over it, before turning his eyes to Gai.


“I think,” Kakashi said as he watched Gai attentively, “The sooner we consummate the marriage, the sooner things can settle.” Kakashi knew better, by now, then to use the phrase; 'the sooner things can return to normal'.


Turning his head, Gai regarded Kakashi for a moment. “I don’t know if I can jump into it like that but maybe if we were to get use to touching and kissing each other a bit it wouldn’t be so awkward when we do get to the making the bed rock.”


Rolling over Gai slid from the couch and crawled over until he was facing Kakashi. Sitting back on his knees, Gai waited to see what Kakashi would do or say. Realizing that he couldn’t just jump in feet first and see how things went from there Gai resolved to be patient and thorough.


End Note: So I was trying to figure out chapter length because I am having a devil of a time figuring out how to section some of this. Some chapters could easily be 10000 words and others only four. Therefore in order for me to get an idea of the length of chapters yall prefer leave me a review. This story is longer than I originally recalled. Also if anyone wants beta duty I am always on the look out while I restructure and edit this behemoth. Until next week….

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