Response to the prompt: “there was something not quite right about the window.” nebulous non-massacre AU time period.
There was something not quite right about the window. Kakashi paused as he walked into his apartment and looked around cautiously, but he didn’t sense anyone. He stared at Mr. Ukki, who was looking suspiciously healthy after Kakashi had abandoned him for a quick two month mission to Rain. He had not asked anyone to stop by, so this was clearly a cause for concern. Someone had broken into his apartment, past all his traps and … watered his plant? And then reset all his traps on their way out?
That was problematic.
He wheeled around immediately, not bothering to shower off the grime of his three day return travel. He had a prankster to find.
Kakashi’s first stop was to Ichiraku, where he spotted the eye-searing blonde-orange combination sitting next to Sasuke. He slid into the stool next to Naruto quietly and greeted them with a wave. “Yo.”
“Kakashi-sensei! Back already?”
Sasuke whapped him on the back of the head. “Idiot, he’s been on a mission for nearly nine weeks.”
He sighed mournfully. “My students don’t even notice when I’m gone!”
Sasuke ate his ramen with as much dignity as he could muster. “Former students, Kakashi. You realize that we’re all ANBU now, right?”
“So rude, Sasuke-kun. Did you two water Mr. Ukki while I was gone?” They both looked at him like he had just suddenly whipped off his mask for the first time. “What?”
Naruto slurped up the last of his bowl and said, “Kakashi-sensei, the last time we tried to see you at your apartment, your doorbell "surprise” nearly killed us. No way am I gonna risk my life again for a plant.“ Kakashi didn’t think that a little lightning jolt to the spine was that bad, but his expectations had always been a little screwy.
"Do you know who did?”
They both shrugged and Naruto said, “Maybe Gai-sensei? Part of that Eternal Rivalry thing you keep trying to back out of?”
Kakashi contemplated the possibility of it. Gai was certainly skilled enough to get past his traps if he was determined enough and he always had the strangest reasoning for contests. But of course, now this means he has to go seek Gai out if he ever wanted to know for sure. Was it worth it?
He tried to imagine sleeping in his lonely apartment, not knowing who had broken in and shivered. His paranoia wouldn’t allow it. He had to know.
“Kakashi! Are you here to finally offer me a challenge?”
He slouched over to where Gai was doing one handed push-ups next to Lee, who was shouting his count gleefully.
“No, just wondering if you had broken into my apartment lately.”
His self-proclaimed rival paused while Lee took the opportunity to try and get ahead of his mentor. “I would never violate the sanctity of your privacy, Kakashi! Did something happen?”
“Someone watered my plant while I was gone.”
Gai huffed a loud laugh as he resumed his push-ups. “What about your precious students? Surely they would be the first to take responsibility for it.”
“Naruto and Sasuke both deny it.”
“Ah, but your team was made of three youthful students of Konoha’s finest. What about Sakura-chan?” Lee perked up at her name.
“She wouldn’t …” Kakashi trailed off, wondering why he hadn’t considered her first. Sakura had always been the smartest on his team. If any of them could get through his traps, it would have been her. But why would she bother?
Gai just raised his dramatic eyebrows at him knowingly.
Kakashi wandered through the hospital awkwardly as the medics and nurses gave him a wide berth with surprised eyes. There were few times he had been here while conscious and he had left as soon as he was able to escape out the windows. Still, he was a man on a mission.
He spotted a flash of pink at the end of the hallway and headed that way, determined to get to the bottom of this weird situation. “Sakura-chan!”
She stopped and looked worried when she saw him, all but confirming his suspicions. Her first words, however, gave him pause. “Kakashi-sensei! Are you okay?” Sakura had dropped her clipboard and rushed toward him, patting down his arms and legs as if she were going to see him start gushing blood at any moment.
“Of course I am. Why wouldn’t I be?”
She cocked a hip and withdrew her hands, satisfied that he wasn’t going to die on her shift. “Because I have never seen you enter the hospital voluntarily.”
He laughed and rubbed the back of his head. “Maa, I just had a question for you.”
She raised her eyebrows. “Shoot.”
“Have you been in my apartment lately?”
Sakura smiled at him and laughed behind her hands. “That’s it? That’s why you rushed in here looking like you’ve rolled around in mud?”
“It’s a serious question, Sakura-chan.”
She sighed. “Yes, I know how paranoid you are about your space.” Sakura leaned close and he could smell the faint scent of her shampoo, something cooling and minty that she had switched to suddenly one day, after he had sent her on a mission with Pakkun. She pressed a kiss to his masked cheek and said, “Welcome home, Kakashi. Mr. Ukki missed you.”