The life and times of Hatake Kakashi, the long-suffering jōnin-sensei
Belated birthday present for @cywscross. I thought this would cheer you up and also maybe shake you out of your funk since it’s not steter ^^U. On that note tho, my original b-day fic was steter but that will probably never see the light of day XD.
Kakashi is being trolled. He doesn’t know how that can be, but he knows with utmost certainty that he’s being trolled somehow.
It started when he went to pick his hopefully (not) future team on a beautiful Monday morning -Er… afternoon? He was really late after all… Oops?- and he got greeted by an eraser to the head and his three blank faced (not) cute future mini baby ninja.
““How sad,” duck-butt hair, Uchiha Sasuke, says.
“Maybe he’s hurt or something?” pinky, Haruno Sakura, says with wide open baby deer eyes. “So sorry, sensei!”
(Kakashi is pretty sure she’s not.)
“Still sad,” Sasuke sneers.
“See why I told you no kunai?” She frowns at blondie… whom is completely out of it and actually snoring face down in his desk.
“Wha-” said blondie, Uzumaki Naruto, blurts out as he startles awake when she slaps him on the back of his head. “Oh, it… worked? How sad.”
“Naruto!” she scolds him horrified, shooting a worried look at Kakashi.
(Again, Kakashi is pretty sure she’s neither horrified nor worried.)
“Exactly,” Sasuke agrees, ignoring her.
“My first impression of you…” Kakashi finally speaks, earning their full attention. “How should I put this?” He feigns thinking about it for a second. “I hate you. I’ll meet you at the rooftop in a minute.”
“I think my heart just broke,” he hears Sasuke deadpan he hears Sasuke deadpan as his shunshin carries him away in a whirl of leaves.
They take forever to get to the rooftop. So much so, in fact, that Kakashi considers looking for them, but they show up before he makes up his mind.
“Ah, sorry sensei,” Sakura apologizes demurely. “We got waylaid on our way.”
“Secret mission for the good of Konoha! That cockroach couldn’t go on living!” Naruto exclaims boisterously.
“A really big one,” Sakura explains earnestly.
Sasuke, who has remained blank faced and silent since they reached the rooftop, simply nods.
“Right,” Kakashi says, inwardly questioning how the hell did these idiots pass the initial cut. Then he remembers that nowadays they only have to pass a couple of exams and moves on. It’s not like he will have to bear much more with them anyways, because after tomorrow’s test they will be toast. “Ok, why don’t you introduce yourselves?”
“An introduction?” Sakura inquires unsure. “What should we say?”
“Your likes, dislikes, dreams and hobbies,” Kakashi explains. “Mah, something like that.”
“Ano sa, ano sa,” Naruto intervenes. “Why don’t you go first, sensei?”
“Me?” Both Naruto and Sakura nod in unison while Sasuke remains silent and seemingly uninterested. For a second Kakashi has the strong feeling that he’s being teased somehow but he can’t quite put the finger on why he does. “My name is Hatake Kakashi. I have no intentions of telling you my likes and dislikes. As for my dream… I have few hobbies.”
They share a grin. Well, Sasuke smirks, but still, color Kakashi confused.
“My name is Uzumaki Naruto,” the blond plunges in before he can dwell on it. “I love ramen and…” He blushes and grins. Sakura giggles and Sasuke looks heavenward as if asking for patience. “I hate the three minutes that it takes the cup of ramen to be ready and cockroaches. My hobby is eating, training and experimenting.” Both Sakura and Sasuke visibly shudder at the last one. Interesting. “My dream is to become Ho-” Sakura coughs something that sounds suspiciously like council and Kakashi would swear that Sasuke murmurs paperwork. Naruto pales dramatically. “-nored and respected in this village and someone that can protect his precious people.”
“Next?” Kakashi motions smoothly as if he hasn’t noticed anything.
“I’m Haruno Sakura,” she chirps sweeter than candy. Kakashi can already feel the cavities forming. “I love relaxing with a cup of tea and some sweets, training and …” She blushes and fidgets. Naruto giggles and Sasuke looks heavenward again. “I hate idiots and cockroaches. My hobby is baking and cooking in general.” Both boys shudder dramatically, becoming pale as chalk, and she rolls her eyes. “My dream is to protect my precious people.”
“My name is Uchiha Sasuke. I like some things,” the peanut gallery giggles and Sasuke looks heavenward for the third time, “and dislike a lot more, especially cockroaches. My hobby is…” He rolls his eyes and the other two giggle again. “My dream is to restore my clan’s honor and to fulfill my duty to my family.”
Kakashi was supposed to get the bookworm fangirl, the prankster hokage-wannabe and the acerbic avenger and he feels cheated because he only got one half of the deal. Either the academy instructors are shit at information gathering or he’s being trolled by three kids.
“Well, you three have very different personalities. I like it!” Kakashi announces after a second of awkward silence. “Tomorrow we go on a mission.” No reaction. “But before that we will do some survival training, because out of the twenty-seven academy graduates, only nine will remain.” Still no reaction besides a nod. Kakashi gives it up as a loss and pouts inwardly because they have taken the only fun this whole situation has. “We’ll meet at 5 A.M. Come prepared and don’t have breakfast or you’ll regret it.”
So it started this morning (afternoon) and it continues now. Normally one of the beauties of being forced to evaluate hopeful genins is to scare them the day before. But not only they didn’t even react to his announcement of their genin title still being pending, but they are sleeping like rocks.
Kakashi is really confused.
Then he remembers he didn’t actually tell them where they would be meeting tomorrow and he shrugs. It will be as good a time as any other to test their tracking skills… and perseverance, of course, because he isn’t planning to get there until several hours later.
(Serves the cheeky brats right.)
They are waiting for him at the correct training ground and for a moment Kakashi thinks that maybe he did tell them where to meet? But no, he has a pretty good memory and he’s sure he didn’t. But then again, he always does this test here, with the memorial stone right at hand in case the impossible happens and he passes a team so…
He sighs. They really are taking all the fun from this, dammit, and for a moment he considers going to a different ground, but in the end he decides against it.
He observes them for a moment before showing himself, though. Sakura is talking to Sasuke, voice soft and relaxed, and he occasionally answers back, equally soft. No sight of fawning or fangirlsm on her part at all or of higher-than-thou attitude on his part. Naruto is dozing between them and neither of them seems to mind. For a moment Kakashi thinks that it may be because they want some peace that they can’t have when the hyperactive blond is up and running, but then Naruto slides down and his head comes to rest upon Sasuke’s shoulder and neither the Uchiha or Sakura bat an eye.
All right, that’s it. Either the information gathering of the academy is shit or they have been acting up until now. Kakashi is inclined towards the former after the Mizuki incident, because those kids aren’t being subtle at all and they have to know that he’s bound to show up eventually and he’ll see them. He decides here and now to forget about the reports he has about them and to start from zero in his assessment.
“Good morning, everyone!” he chirps finally deciding to show himself and eager to get this farce over so he can get on with his life. He doesn’t care if it’s the last Uchiha or not, he won’t pass them if they don’t deserve it. The Council can go hang themselves for all he cares. “Ready to start?”
“If after three hours we aren’t ready to start we deserve to be killed,” Sasuke deadpans. Then he looks towards Naruto. “Oi, dobe, time to wake up.”
“Wait, Sasuke-kun,” Sakura interjects softly before looking at Kakashi. “Are we actually going to start, sensei? I’d hate to wake him just for the sake of it.”
Ouch, Kakashi thinks, that was even sharper than Sasuke’s indirect comeback and she said it with such an angelic face that for a moment Kakashi had doubts of it being an intentional jab at all.
(Who is he kidding? It is. It totally is.)
“We’re going to actually start indeed, Sakura-chan,” he tells her plastering a fake smile in his face.
“Ah, ok,” she smiles at him unperturbed. “Ramen.”
“WHERE,” Naruto exclaims jerking awake and then tears up when there’s no ramen in sight. “That was so cruel, Sakura-chan!”
“Effective,” Kakashi mutters.
“Always,” she nods flashing a victory sign at him and Sasuke snorts. Naruto continues wailing in the background.
“Let’s get moving, shall we?” Kakashi motions to them towards a clearing. “Here are the rules,” he starts dangling the two bells in front of them before tying them up to his waist. “You have to get these from me before this alarm sounds. If you fail, you go back to the Academy, if you get them, you pass. Simple, right?”
“Sensei, you forgot one bell. There’s only two,” Sakura points out helpfully.
(Sasuke blinks and Naruto fidgets. Kakashi is pretty sure he’s missing something.)
“Only two of you will pass, Sakura-chan,” Kakashi explains, voice milder than milk, and then waits for the sweet outburst.
It never comes and he doesn’t even know why he’s even surprised at this point. They frown, they look at each other, they tilt their heads consideringly and then go back to looking at him. Then Sakura holds up her hand.
“Um, sensei,” she fidgets. “Can I ask a question?”
“How do these numbers work? It doesn’t really make sense… Because you said yesterday that only nine out of the twenty-seven would pass? And that means that two people of each team should fail? And I mean, what if only one person gets the bell? And-”
“Mah, for starters, they accidentally broke the clock because Naruto’s accuracy under duress is… well, not very good. Sakura seized the opportunity and pointed out that since the alarm wouldn’t sound, they had all the time in the world to complete the mission.”
“Hmm,” Kakashi nods. “That good impression was lost afterwards, though. If it wasn’t ridiculous, I would have bet that they were competing for the honor of being tied to the pole.” Or more like Sakura and Naruto were and Sasuke had to join in because he hated losing at anything and couldn’t help himself. “Naruto won.”
“Yare, yare,” Sarutobi groans rubbing his face exasperated.
“I was going to fail them right then and there, because neither Sakura or Sasuke made a move to feed him after I forbid them to do so, but when I was about to, I noticed that Naruto had a rice grain near his mouth. I don’t know how or when, but they fed him.” Kakashi had been near the whole time and he hadn’t seen a thing. Sure, he had been reading the whole time and having his own lunch, but… “In any case, I let them try again and they finally worked together so I let Sakura get the bells. When I told them to choose…”
Sakura blinks and looks at the bells in her hands. They look at each other, they look at Kakashi. Then she comes to him, extends the hand with both bells and when he takes them, she goes back to her teammates. The three of them bow down in unison.
“Thank you for today, Hatake-san,” they chorus before turning to leave.
“I’m still hungry.”
“You’re always hungry, Naruto.”
“I’m a growing boy, Sakura-chan! Ramen?”
“We had ramen yesterday, dobe.”
“So what? Ramen is a complete meal. It has protein, carbohydrates…”
“Dobe, it’s my turn.”
“Ok, ok! Yakiniku-Q, dammit. But tomorrow-”
“It’s my turn and I want to try Shushuya.”
“Oi, you three.”
“Huh,” Sarutobi manages to get out.
“Huh, indeed,” Kakashi agrees and wonders if it’s too late to become a missing nin.
For two weeks, everything is relatively normal. They meet at training ground 3, Kakashi is really late and his cheeky little genin are sassy in return. They train for a while before taking on a D-Rank mission, they file the report and then go home. Rinse and repeat.
They have very interesting dynamics, Kakashi comes to find out. Sakura plays the cute innocent little girl, Naruto the boisterous idiot and Sasuke the haughty genius, and all of them do it masterfully. In reality all of them are manipulative and devious little shits to some degree or another and really protective of each other. If something happens to one of them, the other two will subtly (and/or creatively) intervene while the offended one rolls their eyes exasperatedly but fondly at the same time.
Kami help him, but he’s starting to like them, Kakashi thinks as he eyes them over the rim of his book. Just as he does so, Naruto grins deviously at Sasuke, whom just blinks in response which an equally devious glint in his eyes. Their employer’s kid appears again to ogle at Sakura where she’s bent over to reach a particularly stubborn weed that just refuses to be plucked. Before Kakashi can do anything to make the little twerp scamper, his face falls into frown and he starts absently scratching himself. He starts softly and then it evolves into a frantic scratching before he disappears inside the house again calling for his dad. Naruto and Sasuke smirk subtly and Sakura is none the wiser. After a little bit, when she apparently notices her stalker hasn’t showed up again, she looks at the boys suspiciously (both look at her as if butter won’t melt in their mouths) and then rolls her eyes.
Yes, Kakashi’s starting to like them all right.
Much later, after finishing their mission and on their way to the Hokage Tower to submit their report, a hawk flies over them a few times in circles and then leaves towards the commercial district. Kakashi frowns and edges the kids into a faster pace. He leaves them submitting their report (they have proved their capacity to do so unsupervised) and takes the stairs towards the Hokage’s office.
Turns out elder Shimura Danzō is dead.
“Poisoned,” the ANBU commander explains to the whole room. All former ANBU operatives have been recalled. There are people in this room whose face Kakashi is seeing for the first time despite having worked with them more than once. “There are no leads on that front, but there are more pressing matters to attend at this point.”
Kakashi has a feeling that he’s not going to like what comes out of the man’s mouth next.
It’s dark when he finally leaves the Hokage Tower. Despite having been released from service not long ago, Kakashi is sporting his mask once again because the truth is that one never stops being an ANBU (not even after retirement).
He’s been given half an hour to settle his things before undertaking a month (possibly two) long S-Rank mission with an entire platoon and as much as he’d love to have the cheeky little brats thinking he’s testing their tracking skills again (ahhhh, those were a fun couple of days) it may be pushing it a little too far in this case, so he has to inform them and at least set some kind of schedule so they don’t fall behind. It may be cruel, but the best he can do with so little forewarning is to give them a letter for Gai so that they can train at least two or three days a week with a proper sensei.
(If he comes back to see his cute little monsters clad in green spandex he will kill Gai.)
But to actually give them that letter he has to find them first. Sakura wasn’t at home and when he tried Naruto’s apartment he found it completely empty. That only leaves Sasuke and if he’s missing too, he’s going to have to leave Pakkun with both the explanation and the letter and leave.
He finally gets to the Uchiha district and to the house Sasuke is inhabiting. Last time he was here was before he tested them to become genin and it hasn’t changed much. From the rooftop of the house he wonders if he should go through the front door or just knock on the window. Before he can make up his mind, the window just below opens and Naruto’s sleepy voice comes out.
“Senseiii,” he lets out through a yawn, “stop being a creep and get inside already so I can go back to bed.”
“Mah, Naruto-kun,” Kakashi croons after letting himself fall to the windowsill, “you shouldn’t be so careless, I could have been an enemy.”
“Ehhh? But, sensei, I knew it was you,” Naruto whines rubbing his eyes.
“Mmhm,” Kakashi hums. He looks inside briefly and he spots a big futon. Sasuke is curled like a kitten around Sakura, both of them deep asleep. Well, at least that answers the question about where both Naruto and Sakura went, and if what he sees is any indication, this is a regular occurrence, so next time he’ll come here directly. “I’ll be gone on a mission for at least a month, Naruto-kun. Maybe two if things get complicated. In the meantime, you won’t be able to take missions since you don’t have a jōnin with you, but I expect you to keep training, understood?” He smiles threateningly for good measure and Naruto nods grimacing. “If you need any guidance, look in training ground 10 for Maito Gai and give him this.” He hands him the hastily scribbled letter and Naruto takes it hesitantly. If the shudder that shakes him is any indication, the blond already knows who Gai is. Kakashi’s lips twitch in amusement. “Ja ne, then. Be good or don’t get caught.”
“Wait, sensei!” Kakashi turns again to look at his student, only to see him leave the room running.
While he was talking to Naruto, both Sakura and Sasuke have woken up and are staring blearily from the futon. She disentangles from Sasuke and crawls to grab something from her backpack. She crawls towards Kakashi and without even getting from the floor she hands him a box. After he takes it, she lets herself fall to the floor and just curls there, dozing. Sasuke rolls his eyes and gets up with a sigh. He grabs a tantō and gives it to Kakashi before bending to pick up Sakura with a grunt and carrying her back to the futon.
Kakashi studies the tantō curiously. It looks like a conductive blade, which is good to start with, but it also has seals carved on the handle. Nice. As for the box, he opens it to find what looks to be homemade soldier pills. Also nice… if they actually work. He hears Naruto come back just as he closes the lid and he looks up.
“Here,” the blond says passing him a box that smells heavenly. Kakashi’s belly chooses that moment to remind him that he hasn’t had anything substantial since lunch and Naruto grins. “Don’t worry, Sasuke made them.” An aggravated grumble comes from the futon and Kakashi smiles amusedly. “Take care, sensei, and kick some ass.”
Kakashi really, really likes his cheeky little brats.
It’s a horrible month and seventeen days. Out of all the missions Kakashi has taken in his entire shinobi career, this ranks high on his top ten of the let’s-not-repeat-this-again list and his whole platoon agrees. It’s a shame that for the sake of appearances Danzō’s deeds will be forever kept secret, because more than one of them would like to cut his body into tiny little pieces just for the pleasure of seeing his blood run (now that he’s already dead and his screams can’t be heard).
The brats’ presents were more handy than he’ll ever be able to let them know. The soldier pills Sakura gave him tasted, by popular consensus, like something that crawled out of a rat’s arse to roll around pig’s shit before being peed on by a dog, but they were incredibly effective (the best he’s ever had and with none of the aftereffects) after you managed to stomach them down and he doesn’t have even one left. As for the tantō, that thing is magnificent. It conducts lightning inclined chakra like a dream and the seals on the handle make it so that the chakra escapes the blade slower than any other conductive weapon he’s ever had. It took a while to get used to the potency (he nearly fried Genma and Raidō… twice) but once he had it down? It was amazing and useful in a life-saving way.
He never thought he’d say this, but he missed his cheeky little brats and is looking forward to seeing them again.
Hopefully not clad in green spandex.
Kakashi is going to kill his brats.
Gai hasn’t heard of them, they are nowhere to be found and he has to learn from Anko of all people that apparently they took his order to train or else way too seriously because they have been doing survival training since he left in training ground 44.
“Damn, Hatake,” Anko crows admiringly. “I knew I liked you for a reason!”
“Mmmm?” Kakashi simply hums because he doesn’t know what the hell she’s talking about.
“You’re growing them up to be little monsters, aren’t you?” Anko continues. “I’ve never seen fresh genins survive the Forest of Death! What the hell are you feeding them?”
“WHAT? THAT WASN’T VERY YOUTHFUL OF YOU, MY ETERNAL RIVAL!” Gai shouts horrified.
“Mah, some hardship is good for the spirit, Gai.”
“Exactly!” Anko laughs maniacally. “They were still alive a week ago, by the way.”
He’s going to kill them.
If they aren’t already dead, he’s going to kill them.
“Do you think it’s edible?” Naruto is asking just as he finds them, pointing at a spider that’s bigger than Kakashi that he assumes they have just taken down. The three of them are filthy and covered in scratches and half-healed wounds.
“Ugh, so gross, Naruto!”
“What, teme! I’m hungry!”
“You’re always hungry!”
“Why are we doing this again?”
“Because we want to make Kakashi-sensei proud?”
They totally know Kakashi is here.
“Ah, my cute little genin!” he exclaims showing himself and the three of them turn, feigning surprise. “How should I put this…”
“Kakashi-sensei, you’re back!” They exclaim happily.
“… I’m going to kill you.”
They look at each other, they look at Kakashi and they look at each other again.
Jiraiya-sama and Tsunade-sama appear and close themselves with the Hokage in the man’s office for three hours straight. Sandaime-sama is seen smoking furiously at all hours after that meeting.
Kakashi wonders about it but knows better than to ask.
Over the next month he trains them until they drop in exhaustion and they also take two D-Rank missions a day until they catch up with what they would have done if Kakashi hadn’t been sent out on a mission. Secretly he’s pretty proud with how they take their punishment for their Forest of Death escapade, but he doesn’t actually say it directly. Instead, he lets them take a C-Rank.
A C-Rank that turns into a A-Rank halfway through.
“Report,’ Sarutobi says frowning.
“We encountered Kiri missing nins Gōzu and Meizu on our way to the land of waves. Team 7 performed admirably but the demon brothers fled the scene before we could take them down,” Kakashi reports dutifully. “Then we encountered another Kiri missing nin, Momochi Zabuza, and we engaged in a fight. Again, Team 7 worked together to defeat him. Before we could take him down, though, what we thought to be a hunter-nin did it and took the body away. I was suffering chakra exhaustion and lost consciousness then.” Kakashi needs to restart his serious training again, dammit, because that was embarrassing. “When I woke up I realized that the false hunter-nin had hit non-vital points and that Momochi was most probably alive.”
“So you were attacked again.”
“No. Momochi refused to engage, as well as the other missing nins. He claimed that Gatō (his employer) was dead so their contract was null and void and they left.”
“Huh, indeed,” Kakashi agrees. “We did get attacked by the rest of Gatō’s mercenaries, but between Naruto and my kage bunshins we drew them off.”
“And they named the bridge The Great Naruto Bridge?”
“Well,” Kakashi sighs, “apart from driving the mercenaries off, he did use the clones to help them finish the bridge faster.”
Kakashi is pretty sure he has missed something and he has the sudden urge to drop his brats in the Forest of Death (this time knowingly) for the next month because he remembers them waving happily at the leaving missing nins.
The chūnin exams come and Kakashi nominates his team. It seems to serve as incentive for Kurenai and Asuma to nominate their teams too but he pays it no mind.
(He’s too busy betting on his team’s favor. He’s going to make a fortune.)
“Keep your head clear and you’ll do great,” he tells them simply. “No torturing the examiners either. Remember they can fail you just because you pissed them off.”
Cheeky little brats.
Kakashi leaves chuckling and joins the peanut gallery in the observation room. Bets are still running and when Anko assures him she bet for his team of little monsters he beams at her.
The first thing Naruto does is to hug the kazekage’s son, to his siblings’ horror. Kakashi inwardly groans and the rest of the shinobi present look at him.
“The promotion of a good relationship with our allies is key,” he says simply and Anko explodes in laughter while Gai starts shouting about the springtime of youth.
It doesn’t get better from there.
In the first exam, instead of trying to copy or answer the questions, they use the time to take out the competition. Meanwhile, Naruto doodles happily (Kakashi spots Ibiki’s caricature), Sakura paints her nails and Sasuke sharpens his kunai. When the time for the last question comes and Ibiki starts playing his mind games, Sasuke is the one to speak out to call out the bullshit in the most sarcastic way he can find. It’s even beautiful, really. Sakura and Naruto seem surprised at first (and knowing them as he does, Kakashi is pretty sure this was another of their stupid competitions like when they fought to see who got tied to the pole) but then they fight to not break out laughing.
In the second exam, they ally themselves to Suna. It’s a little bloodier than Kakashi would have liked but it gets the job done. Sandaime-sama has faced worse political nightmares than two entire teams being annihilated in an exam so Kakashi is sure that he will be able to deal with Otogakure without any problems.
They also pass the preliminaries just fine. As they leave, Naruto convinces the Suna team to go to Ichiraku’s and try their ramen.
He debates what to do for the month before the final exam and then decides to just train them to the best of his abilities. Also, Jiraiya-sama and Tsunade-sama are still in town, so maybe he can convince them somehow to help. He manages and they do help. Kakashi is a little terrified about the results.
Needless to say, after the third exam is done, he finds himself with three newly minted chūnin.
Well, that was fast, Kakashi thinks with a twinge of sadness.
(He needn’t worry, though, because the brats won’t ever leave him alone, just like strange and unexplainable happenings won’t leave him alone either.)
Much time, redemption and a war later, with a world-wide shinobi alliance and as Rokudaime hokage after Tsunade left the post, Kakashi thinks. He reflects about all the unexplainable things that have happened since he became a jōnin-sensei and about their timing and he thinks huh.
“Done for the day, Hokage-sama?” Shikamaru questions when they cross paths.
“Yes, I’m having an early day. You should too, Shikamaru-kun.”
“Mah, I still have some things to finish.”
“Any urgent ones?”
“Not exactly, but-”
“Then you’re done for today. Hokage’s orders.” Kakashi smiles. “Go cloud watching.”
“Hah,” Shikamaru snorts. “I haven’t done that in a while…”
Kakashi leaves and takes the roofs towards the Uchiha district. When he arrives, he doesn’t even bother with the front door and slips through the window.
He finds Naruto lying on in his back on the futon, holding a comic book over his face. Sakura is sitting on his stomach painting her nails black and Sasuke is in front of her with her feet in his lap, painting her toenails. There are various plates of snacks within reach and they occasionally reach to take a bite.
“Hi, Kakashi-sensei,” they chorus happily but not taking their attention off of what they’re doing.
“Question time,” Kakashi chirps. “Have my cheeky little brats been time travelling?”
“Took you long enough,” Naruto grins, his eyes darting minutely towards Kakashi before returning to the page.
“How sad,” Sasuke says without even looking from Sakura’s toenails.
“Naruto, Sasuke!” she reprimands them without looking from her nails either. “So sorry, sensei.”
(No, she’s not.)
Kakashi lets out a long-suffering sigh, comes near to sit on the floor and grabs a plate. Then he unceremoniously pulls down his mask because he figures that since they have never shown any interest in finding what’s underneath, they must have seen his face already.