By the hands of the Gods, you have been plucked from your time and from your world, dropped into the box.
Only the box is a world of its own.
We are a mass crossover based on the concept of Pandora's Box. Characters from nearly any fandom can be played here. Because of the endless character possibilities, we are canon only here at Pandora. Take a peek at our rules and plot information before starting your new life in Pandora.
Qrow had been keepin' an eye on the weather forecast...pretty much since he first got the idea to bring Kakashi out in one. There had been a few random bouts of rain and shit, but not an actual storm. He just...really felt like the guy would get a kick out of it. Or maybe he'd hate the sound of the rain on the metal roof, and it'd be a mess. Who fuckin' knew? But it was worth a shot. Just felt like a good idea, for whatever reason. Qrow not really able to shove the idea out of his head, since he first thought of it.
But the storm he had seen comin' on the forecast a few days before, had managed to actually stay where it was supposed to. Qrow making a point to touch-base with Kakashi earlier in the day to see if he still actually could make time. Wouldn't hold it against the guy if he couldn't. Asshole worked a bunch'a jobs. Even if he said he'd make time, Qrow knew how life was just kinda a bitch sometimes. But apparently he could actually make it. With the promise of seeing Kakashi in a fucking puppy onesie, which...he still felt like he was being bullshitted over, Qrow drove over to his place awhile after the sun had crashed below the horizon. Might as well pair it with the late night drive, too.
It had started raining awhile ago. Heavy, but not stupid. Threats of thunder were already starting to brew - but it was really supposed to kick into gear soon.
And Qrow was looking forward to it.
He parked in front of Kakashi's bookstore, sipping at a thermos of coffee he brought to keep his ass awake. There was a second coffee in the other cupholder too, if Kakashi wanted it. Sorta defeated the purpose of him passing out in Qrow's car but...eh. Felt rude to not bring him some too.
Kakashi didn't have a whole lot that he prided himself on. He didn't see himself as much of a hero type, he had been known to kill people for money (no matter how you argued it, that was the bottom line), he wasn't as friendly as he could be all the time, and...
Yeah. Kakashi had a lot more bad than good to say about himself.
But, he did hold himself to a certain standard. In particular, if Kakashi said he was going to do something, he followed through no matter what it took. He didn't make promises or guarantees flippantly when they really mattered, no matter how lazy he made himself out to be. He had told Qrow any time, and he meant it.
The shop was the easy bit. It ran on pretty normal hours, so it was already closed by the time Qrow wanted to leave. It took some finagling, but Kakashi also managed to rearrange what jobs he already had lined up on the freelance side of things. DI was already a part-time deal, so no sweat with that one.
As for ARMOUR, he'd really outdone himself by fake coughing into his phone and telling them he was sick.
Sitting at the window the shop, Kakashi watched the rain steadily pouring. Even inside the building, he could feel the invisible charge of a brewing storm. It put an implacable kind of energy in him, but that might have had more to do with the company he was expecting.
On the bright side, he didn't feel stomach sick (yet). That might have been because Qrow wasn't actually there making things difficult to ignore, but Kakashi hoped it had more to do with his own focus on getting over that annoying biological response. He hadn't told the man to quit the sometimes-uncomfortable flirting via text, mostly because it gave Kakashi good practice in dealing with the swooping sensation in his stomach. He had compounded that by deliberately imagining stupid, innocuous things Qrow might say in passing.
He wasn't fantasizing.
He was training.
He noticed immediately when the truck rolled up, but Kakashi didn't immediately move from where he was sitting. Though he didn't expect to make himself sick again, he didn't want to give Qrow a reason to rag on him any more than he did already, so Kakashi was determined not to rush out into the rain like a fool. Instead, he moved slowly, stretching as he stood up. The pajamas were large enough that, even outstretched, he had plenty of breathing space. The hood was, true to his word, shaped like a ridiculous dog head, complete with flopsy ears. The ass even had a tail.
Heading to the door, Kakashi reassured himself that the actual dogs were all accounted for, then slipped outside and locked the door behind him, tucking himself beneath the awning. Staring up at the sky, he timed the stream of water coming off the gutter before ducking out into the rain, skipping around puddles and launching himself into the truck.
He was a little damp, but not as bad as he could have been.
"Yo." Immediately, Kakashi pulled off his boots and pulled up his feet on the bench seat, proving that, as reported, the pajamas did, in fact, cover his toes as well. The bottom of the feet had puppy paw prints, which he thought was a nice touch. "Is that for me?" Kakashi was already going for the coffee waiting in the cupholder.
He tugged down the mask to take a sip, humming. "If you're going to laugh, do it now. No need to crash just yet." Kakashi mused.
He was really was doing it.
He really was fucking wearing a dog onesie.
Qrow watched him out of the corner of his eye as he continued to sip at his coffee - realizing he probably should have brought a fucking umbrella or something. Too late now. Still the guy didn't seem to get too soaked as he ran out to the truck. Qrow lowering his coffee from his mouth as Kakashi climbed in - immediately taking off his boots to show of...motherfuck it really did have feet.
"...Hey," his greeting delayed by a sec, due to the fact he really wasn't fucking expecting those PJs. Qrow was normally better at figuring out when people were fucking with him, but Kakashi seemed way too fucking good at catching his ass off-guard.
"Yeah. Home-brewed shit, so probably both better and worse than what you've had before," he shrugged, not sure which direction it would go. He never got too fancy with coffee. Just sort of cycled through different brands from the store. He knew he could grind his own beans and actually give a fuck. But he just was casually working his way through the 'dark roast' selection, seeing if anything didn't suck complete shit. This one wasn't half bad. Pretty damned bitter, and smelled really nice in the morning.
Or in this case, evening.
"I can't really laugh or talk shit, cuz that looks comfortable as fuck. Hood's a nice touch," he smirked, reaching over, giving it a gentle tug - before he threw the truck back into drive and pulled away from the curb, "May have looked into this storm too much, but it's mostly gonna be outside of city limits. Figured we'd leave the city and drive around for awhile," the rain already picking up - causing Qrow's posture to naturally relax.
There was something else about the sound of rain on a truck's roof and windshield. Sounded pretty fucking stupid and sentimental, but fuck it. He liked it. Put his over-active mind at ease.
It was gonna be a good night.
He could just feel it.
And for once, he wasn't dreading how he'd ruin it.
"It tastes fine to me." Kakashi demurred, already making himself comfortable against the window, appreciating the cool glass against the back of his head as he regarded Qrow. He set the coffee back in the cupholder and pulled up his mask, nodding once. He let Qrow tug on the lip of his hood with a mild expression. Part of Kakashi wanted to read into it too much, but the rain was already having a relaxing effect on him - worse than any sedative he knew of - so he satisfied himself by chalking it up to innocent, friendly teasing. "It is comfortable. Knowing what usually happens when I'm in your truck, I had to come prepared." Kakashi folded his legs just enough to keep them out of Qrow's way, turning his head just enough to watch the windshield.
The rain was starting to hammer down already, and the noise reminded Kakashi of being under a tin roof. "Whatever you want, Qrow. You're the driver." He shrugged his shoulders, well aware that he normally (with anyone else) would all but demand to know what route they were going to take. With anyone else, Kakashi probably would have demanded that before he even agreed to get in the truck.
With Qrow, he was content to put the decision-making in someone else's hands. Kakashi was just here to be a passenger. "Hope you're not expecting me to cut any lightning tonight, by the way." He added softly, already feeling mildly entranced by the movement of the truck and the steady downpour of rain - just like Qrow had expected. He glanced over, smiling beneath the mask. "That was a one-off, once-in-a-lifetime thing... and not something I expect to replicate in puppy pajamas. Blah blah cool ninja rep blah." If they saw any lightning tonight, Kakashi had every intention of admiring it like a nice, normal person.
Qrow leaned his arm next to the window, but left it rolled up - not wanting to drown either one of them. He laughed under his breath at Kakashi talking about his usual habit in his truck. The phrasing almost sounded like something else that would make more sense with most other people. But he was alright with this. There was just something...fucking nice about being able to do something for someone else that was so damned relaxing that they passed out. Especially when the asshole in question didn't exactly get a ton of sleep. It was honestly one of the most trusting things Qrow had seen in a long ass time. Letting your guard down enough to just...sleep around someone else? That wasn't fucking small.
...Or maybe Qrow was putting too much thought into it, and Kakashi would just sleep in the right circumstances, no matter who was driving.
Yeah, probably that one.
"You can stretch your legs out to get more comfortable, I don't mind," his eyes on the road, as he made the windshield wipers go to a faster setting.
Honestly, Qrow hadn't even thought about the lightning thing until Kakashi mentioned it.
"Being a puppy nerfs ya, got it," he smiled, "I still want to see you do some actual ninja moves in that thing someday. I feel like I'd pass out from laughing," Qrow laughed a bit just at the thought, "But nah, no lightning splitting tonight. I'm honestly expecting you to pass out and be gone for most of it," he admitted, making another turn, "Kinda rude to ask you to do that shit while you're knocked out," he reached over to grab his coffee - thunder grumbling in the distance as a streak of lightning lit up an angry knot of clouds nearby, "Damn."
Sleep was a complex thing for Kakashi. While he could nap just about anywhere, those periods of rest were light, and usually fraught with hyperawareness of his surroundings. They really couldn't be called sleep at all, though for a long time those catnaps had been the only rest Kakashi had been capable of if he wasn't in his own bed, with all entry points locked and warded against intruders. Even among his peers, there were a very small handful of people Kakashi could comfortably lower his guard around.
So... yeah. This whole truck thing was exceptional. The level of ease he had around Qrow after such a short period of time was stupid, and dangerous, but Kakashi figured it wasn't so bad in Pandora. They'd both already admitted than this world was less dangerous than either of theirs. Maybe that made it reasonable to feel more comfortable with people he barely knew.
"Nah, this is fine." Kakashi was comfortable with his legs half-folded, one propped against the back of the sea while the other laid flat. He watched Qrow with an eye that was at half-mast already. He hummed softly, leaning his head back a bit harder against the window. "Somehow, puppy jammies don't really bring out my inner warrior." He drawled sarcastically, declining to remark that Kakashi would like to show Qrow more of what he was capable of eventually. He didn't know what the point of showing off would be - did he want to prove something to Qrow? Did he just want to feel like he was impressing him?
His eye twitched open when lightning flashed in front of them, but not for long. Qrow had been onto something when he described this whole experience. The rain, the engine, the darkness, and even the distant rumble of thunder was doing nothing but putting Kakashi to sleep rapidly. "Wake me up if we're about to get electrocuted. I'll save your ass, free of charge." He murmured, dipping off almost immediately, head sliding down the window until it nestled between the glass and the back of the seat. Bit by bit, his legs relaxed and stretched, eventually nudging against Qrow.
Qrow watched Kakashi out of the corner of his eye - an easy smile on his lips. The tank of the truck had been topped off before he headed over, having a feeling this would be a long night of driving. Not that he minded. Honestly, entire thing was pretty damned relaxing for him too. It was...kinda nice to actually be trusted by someone for once. Entire scene undoing the knots that just living life left in his back and shoulders.
Pandora had sort of been...he didn't know. Lots and ups and downs for not even being here for a year yet. Dropped in and literally broke his arm. Got in a fist fight with Oz just a few hours later. Found out about his evil doppelganger a few days after that. Shit got worse, then it got better. Then it got worse, then better. Once his shit got together enough to get a job and home, he actually ended up with...friends. A pathetic thought, probably. He knew pretty much all these fucks back home, they just didn't have fucking...parties and shit. Getting drunk, watching movies, eating weed-filled brownies. I was fucking weird, but honestly he enjoyed it. Couldn't even remember the last time he lived such a fucking normal human life. Shit that people normally did, instead of disappearing for months at a time, just to come back for ten minutes to report to Oz, and kick Yang's and Ruby's asses at video games.
Then shit got rough again.
So fucking rough.
But that's just kinda how it went. Nothing was forever or consistent. Just how life worked. Taking any one negative thing happening in his life too seriously, would have ended it a long fucking time ago. So Qrow was just trying to take it one day at a time. The good, the bad, the whatever. He was still in Pandora, and going to live through whatever shit it felt like throwing at him next.
The truck left city limits, causing darkness to swallow up the car. No more street lights to fuck it all up.
His smile grew a bit wider - curious gaze wandering over to Kakashi to make sure the guy was still...yep. Knocked the fuck out.
Feet that weren't stretched over Qrow's legs, had wandered over anyway. Not quite on him, just against him.
His eyes lifted back up to the darkest part of the sky, where the storm was brewing. Lightning strikes that didn't even leave the clouds, lighting up its depths. Thunder so low and loud, it almost sounded like a fucking Grimm. The rain still thick, but not fucking annoying. Medium setting on the windshield wipers was more than enough. Headlights just showing the next piece of the road ahead, as it rolled under-tire. Nobody else seemed to be driving around this area, around this hour.
Most traffic at night was stuck to the heart of the city - people coming and going from jobs with weird hours. But outside the city? Fucking nobody was out here.
Qrow didn't know how much time passed as he drove around. The clock on the radio before he even bought the damned thing, was stuck on 12:00, and he sorta enjoyed that. Driving around almost existed outside of time in a way. He knew that was bullshit, but in moments like this, he was thankful for it.
It was the perfect disconnect from all the other bullshit in his life. Shit he hadn't really processed, dealt with, or shit he felt like was coming for his throat and he wasn't actively looking in the eye.
But out here, none of that shit mattered.
It was just him, Kakashi, his old truck, and a storm that was pushing everything else away.
To say Kakashi dreamed would be a lie, but that wasn't a bad thing. His sleep was deep, restful, and beautifully empty, filled with nothing but the sound of the rain and thunder while the motion of the truck rocked him deeper and deeper into a profound rest. Now and then, Kakashi stirred just as he had every other time they drove anywhere, raising his head slightly to take in his surroundings before dozing off again. His head gradually lolled from one side to the other, pressed against his shoulder and window.
Eventually, it wasn't Qrow that stirred him but the storm itself. The electricity in the air had been exhilarating even back in the city, but out in the open country, the intensity of the energy had been steadily building. Even asleep, Kakashi had started to feel it a while back, and had gradually become restless in his slumber, twitching and mumbling in turn.
Finally, his eye blinked open and he sat up in the semi-dark of the cab. Rubbing the sleep from his eyes, flipping up the eyepatch to do so, Kakashi briefly turned both on Qrow. The Sharingan cut through the darkness with ease, and Kakashi could make out every facet of Qrow's face. He relaxed against the seat and craned his neck to look out the window at the storm. It looked like they were about the drive into the worst of it, and the rain was starting to follow suit, growing heavier and heavier.
"Hey, pull over." Kakashi murmured, feeling oddly like it would be wrong to raise his voice in the quiet of the truck. He shifted on the bench, pulling his legs back from Qrow. Lightning flashed not too far away. "Looks like the rain's about to get pretty intense. Might be better to wait it out for a bit." He explained softly. He trusted Qrow's driving (more than he had expected to), but as the rain really started to pour, even Kakashi's eyes - both of them - were straining to make out the road through the deluge.
He reached for his coffee, tugging down his mask while flipping the eyepatch back in place. "Come on. I won't deny it'd also be nice to actually talk to you without feeling like I'm about to pass out." Kakashi teased lightly. "Plus, I'd like to watch the storm. Call it a hobby of mine." He shrugged easily. "You never know when you might see a nice bolt of lightning to split. Wouldn't want to miss one."
Qrow caught movement out of the corner of his eye - raising a brow at the request to pull over. He hadn't even said anything; hopefully it wasn't Kakashi about to lose a dinner the guy hopefully ate. Already pulling the truck over onto a dirt shoulder, he noticed Kakashi's other eye was actually visible. Probably saw something Qrow didn't.
Legs were pulled away from him, as Kakashi explained the rain was gonna get worse. Qrow silently and surprisingly missing the warmth next to his legs, as he threw the truck into park, flipped off the headlights, and killed the engine. The ran came down in sheets; making it impossible to see out of the windshield.
"Shit. Good call," he studied the rain for a moment, before slouching in his seat - propping one leg up on the dash, as he slouched.
"Now you can trade passing out with throwing up," he teased, glancing over at Kakashi with a smirk, "And yeah...same. I've always liked watchin storms," his voice hushed - almost finding himself going on again about a piece of his past - but Kakashi distracted him with talking about splitting lightning again.
"And here I thought you promised to take it easy tonight. Guess you can't help but show off for me," he smirked with a quiet laugh, before actually looking away from the storm, "Get some good rest, at least?"
"There's something to be said for seeing things before they happen." That was, of course, a very... inaccurate explanation of the Sharingan, but it was less of a mouthful than trying to explain how the eye could read movement so rapidly that it created the illusion of precognition. He'd rather Qrow just assumed he could see the future with his Freak Eye.
He watched Qrow slouch out of the corner of his eye, and Kakashi subconsciously mirrored his position on the opposite side of the cab, though his head remained against the window as he alternated between staring at Qrow and gazing out into the storm. Lightning flashed between two clouds, illuminating them in ominous shades of purple. The thunder seemed to shake the ground.
"I'm not going to throw up." Kakashi wrinkled his nose at Qrow, forgetting for a moment that his whole face was visible. "I've been working on it. I'll be fine, so do your worst." He sipped his coffee as the rain thundered down around them.
Kakashi shot him a lopsided smile. "Ahh, I'm weak against the temptation to show off, I guess. I've always wondered if that one time was just a freak coincidence anyway." He stared into the storm, looking thoughtful, then shook his head. There was no sense dwelling on the past. He was more interested in his present, for once.
"Like a baby. I hate to admit it, but you told me so." Kakashi drawled lightly, eye half-lidded. "What about you? Do you really just... like driving around like this? Or was that just a line to get me in your truck?"
"We'll work ya up to my worst," a lop-sided smirk pulled at his lips - for once not going somewhere dark with the thought. Mind actually thinking of the most nice and flattering shit he could say to the guy next to him, that would probably ruin the interior of Qrow's truck. Nah, he wouldn't ruin the moment with that. If something slipped out later, so be it. But it wouldn't be for the sole purpose to the make the guy barf. As funny as it was, puking was generally a fucking uncomfortable and awful experience.
And the night didn't need that shit.
"Considering how powerful you seem...wouldn't surprise me if it wasn't a freak thing. Though...eh. Let's not tempt it tonight," he shook his head with a slight shrug, noticing Kakashi mirroring his pose.
Qrow watched Kakashi instead of the storm, as he went on about how he slept - smile growing warmer, "Knew it," Qrow clearly pleased with being right, as he slouched a bit further.
"Yeah I do just like driving around like this," his eyes returned to the storm, catching a pretty fucking big bolt of lightning - a soft oh shit whispered under his breath, "And hey it worked, didn't it? You're in my truck," his gaze broke from the storm to wink at Kakashi, before a content sigh slipped from his lips, "Honestly I'm relaxed as shit right now. I might not be passing out like you but...same idea. Just getting away from the city helps. Driving helps. Storm helps. And honestly so do you," face still pointed towards the storm, yet his eyes slid over to watch Kakashi.
Kakashi dipped his head at Qrow's words. "Tonight's not the night for it. You're right." Even if he could split lightning with Chidori... Kakashi didn't want to. Not right now. Not when the alternative was sitting in the comfort of Qrow's stupid truck, warm and sleepy and full of ridiculously light feelings that gurgled around in his guts, just on the right side of nausea. He wanted this more than he wanted to prove a nonexistent point with his jutsu right now.
Kakashi caught sight of the same bolt of lightning as Qrow, and reached out to urgently nudge him, as if the guy had possibly missed it. His expression was excited and full of fervor, anxiously tracking the sky for any sign of lightning.
He glanced at Qrow after a moment, studying him for several seconds. Kakashi went back to surveying the sky, punching Qrow's shoulder gently when another massive bolt split the clouds. "I don't like the city, but it's a necessary evil. The villages where I'm from are pretty small in comparison. Guess that's what I'm used to. I don't know how you can all deal with the smells." Gasoline, people, food, drugs, and worse, depending on where one went in Pandopolis. Kakashi found it maddening, especially when he was on the job.
He hesitated, words on the tip of his tongue. Some sort of back at you quip that sounded flat even without saying it. Kakashi wilted a bit. "Look, you know how I feel, but uh... I'm shit at expressing myself, so I hope you don't expect me to match you word for word here. You're a good fighter and you smell good, and I like your bony knees. That's all I've got, Qrow. Oh! Did you see that one?" It seemed impossible to miss, with the way the whole sky was illuminated by the lightning. A split second later, Kakashi gave a feral grin as the thunder tore through the air between them.
Qrow was more than a little aware that heading out in a fucking lightning storm in a metal box, while his Aura literally created unlikely odds was...not his best call. Which was why Qrow actually put the effort in to lower his Aura once he pulled his truck over to the side of the road. Probably should have done it sooner but...eh. Kinda slipped his mind how fucking dangerous this 'relaxing night' was, until he watched the lightning creep across the sky - and realized he was sorta tempting fate a bit too much for his taste.
Took a bit of effort, but he wasn't doing much of anything else. He had practiced doing similar shit on occasion, when he used to hang out with his partner before the asshole left Pandora. Just didn't want any shit to go wrong when they took his kid out for dinner or something simple like that. Not the safest thing but...both he and Kakashi had said it. Pandora wasn't as dangerous as back home. It was alright to turn off his bad luck on occasion.
Qrow smiled as Kakashi kept nudging and punching his shoulder over the lightning - surprised the guy hadn't been sick. The words had just sorta slipped out, but seemed to be handling it just fine.
"I fucking hate cities too," he admitted, "Grew up in a tribe, unlike most people from my world so...yeah. Definitely prefer not being in a fucking city," his eyes on the storm as he spoke - though his gaze shifted over to Kakashi when he called himself shit at expressing himself.
"Glad I smell better than a city," his voice low, "And I think you're doing just fine at expressing yourself. I might not be throwing up like some unnamed people, but..." he set his coffee back in the cup holder, and threaded his fingers back behind his head - thought interrupted by Kakashi pointing out a giant lightning bolt that nearly made it look like day for a second.
The thunder that came right after - a wide crooked smile settling on Qrow's features, as he quietly shook his head. Fucking incredible.
"Hey, like I said, they're a necessary evil so I don't hate them. It's just a lot of sensory input compared to a small village that doesn't even have a paved street." Kakashi waved a hand dismissively, though he got what Qrow meant. Tribes, clans... it all meant something similar. The only real difference being that most of the clans in Kakashi's world still stayed within the village itself, though they were usually cordoned off in their own family compounds.
Shit, Kakashi wasn't sure if he'd met half the Hyuga clan's kids, and the Uchiha had been even more closed off. From what he could remember, which wasn't a lot, even his own family had been pretty isolated back in the day.
Of course, he was the only one of them left.
Refusing to dwell on miserable thoughts, Kakashi focused on Qrow instead, watching the easy way he moved around. He knew from experience that there was a lot more to that kind of fluidity than it seemed at first glance. People weren't just born moving as elegantly as that.
"Ch..." Kakashi scoffed with a touch of annoyance. He didn't mind Qrow making fun of the whole vomiting thing, of even the feelings thing, but he didn't abide by the man acting like it was reciprocated. He opened his mouth to say as much, but the flash of lightning cut him off, as did the ensuing thunder.
He cast Qrow one last sullen glance before pulling off his eyepatch to reveal the Sharingan. It was a drain, yes, but the storm was getting close enough that Kakashi wanted to give them every possible advanced warning if they were about to get electrocuted.
He looked at Qrow, doing his best not to look as moody as he had a few moments before. "So if we both die because we get ourselves struck by lightning, I propose we save money and do a joint funeral." He teased lowly, tossing the eyepatch aside as he took a sip of coffee. "Here lay two idiots: Taken at just about the right time."
"Eh, I kinda hate them. It all feels too...artificial. Parks weren't put there, and it feels like it," he shrugged. It had been forever since he first was sent away from his tribe to go get an education or whatever, but it was still what he was used to; even if it wasn't all that common anymore. He really didn't mind cities. They just sometimes...were annoying. Plus he was used to groups of people meaning 'threat to the tribe' rather than 'oh safety'. But that was so long ago, it was sort of like a shadow of a feeling, more than anything else.
There was a spike of...something, after Qrow poked fun at him puking - idly hinting at that he got it. Felt something similar. Something like that. But lightning cut him off for whatever he was about to say; which caused the guy to actually pull off his eyepatch.
Qrow was used to at least one part of Kakashi's face being covered at any one time. Be it his mouth, eye, typically both. But the entire damned thing was just laid bare next to him, without any fanfare. Just suddenly exposed.
Shit, he was staring.
Qrow's eyes moved back to the storm - trying to not make it a rushed movement, as Kakashi proposed a joint funeral. He laughed softly, shaking his head.
"They deserved it probably," he added, stretching a bit, and shifting his other leg to be propped up on the dash, and dropping the other, "But eh...realized that would be a risk, so my Aura is actually down...which ya probably noticed with that magic eye. If lightning does fuck with us, it won't be because of me," his tone light, despite his words - a smile still on his lips, "Though I guess my Aura being up would stop my ass from being fucking killed but. Prefer to not play that game tonight," he admitted with a bit of a sigh, grabbing his coffee again to sip at it.
"I get it." Kakashi said easily, watching the sky. He was glad that Qrow had voiced that sentiment, because he'd felt something similar during his time in Pandopolis City. It was a nice place, sure, but it felt too artificial to feel much like a home. Konoha felt like it had just naturally happened. Maybe it wasn't as advanced, but it felt organic, at least.
Kakashi, being not an idiot, despite his behavior lately, noticed Qrow looking at him, and he realized immediately why. In the semi-dark of the cab, his face flushed delicately, and he resisted the automatic urge to hide behind the mask... but there was no need of that. He had no reputation about the fucking thing in Pandora. He had no father he wanted nothing to do with. He had no need to hide the emotions that he couldn't keep off his face.
So, he left his face bare and studiously looked away from Qrow, wishing he'd just stop fucking staring.
It was like the guy heard his thoughts, because Qrow looked away almost immediately. Kakashi's shoulders relaxed, and he smiled faintly, returning to enjoying the company and the show. When Qrow spoke, Kakashi looked at him with both eyes, noting that he was telling the truth. No aura tickled his vision, which was... almost disappointing. Kakashi would have liked to see what it would look like in the dark.
"Call me an insurance policy." Kakashi tapped the Sharingan's eyelid "It does a lot of stuff, but the main function is processing movement so rapidly that it practically doubles as precognition. If lightning's going to hit us, I'll see if before that, and I'll react." He shifted his weight, still subconsciously mirroring Qrow. Even worse, now that the Sharingan was in play and telling him exactly how to mirror Qrow.
Kakashi offered him a broad grin that exposed every not-perfectly-straight tooth he had. "You might lose the roof of your truck, but I won't let you get hit by lightning. My morals wouldn't allow it."
An insurance policy. Qrow's gaze broke away to the storm and down to the steering wheel for a moment. The sound of the rain continuing like a static in the background, as he let the thought roll around in his head. With that eye out, it really...did sound like they were in no real danger. He'd be able to see it coming from a mile away - literally.
Qrow's Aura - as much as he hated it - was never naturally off. That shit was all that was keeping him alive most of the time, and he couldn't really let it down for a second. The feeling was a constant - and in a lotta ways, a comfort. If he felt it, he was safe. Actively ruining shit around him, but safe. With his self-imposed isolation and doing the Huntsman thing alone, he didn't have eyes on his back, so he needed that cushion more than most.
So turning it off was...kinda uncomfortable. It was something he was always aware of. Sort of...like an assignment due in the morning that he was actively ignoring. That sort of feeling. He was uneasy, and a bit on edge; even if everything around him was calm as shit.
In the truck, it wasn't as bad as usual. The overkill calming of...literally everything took the main edge of it off. Which was something at least.
But this was Qrow actively not trusting Kakashi, and he knew it. Fucking backwards for most, because an Aura being up would mean he expected to be attacked. But the rest of Qrow's shit was swapped around anyway - why not this one? The guy could take care of himself; fuck, both of them really. And...Qrow wanted to trust him. He did, but there was a natural just sort of...uneasiness that came to Qrow putting faith in other people. They died, they left, or they ignored him in plain view. Or he pushed them away - that was another fun option. Couldn't get rid of him, if he got rid of them first.
Having his Semblance active in that car was a risk.
Yet turning it off honestly took away from his own relaxation.
His gaze went from the steering wheel and back to Kakashi and his naked-ass face.
There was a faint deep breath - barely audible - as Qrow's gaze shifted back to the storm. His Aura kicking back to life - posture relaxing just a bit further.
"Well, I'm holdin' ya to that," his voice low, as he took a fucking chance.
He knew Kakashi would be able to literally see his Aura being put back up, but didn't say anything about it. Instead, he just continued drinking his coffee and enjoying the storm.
Kakashi didn't press about the aura. He knew, just as well as Qrow, that having it off wasn't some show of trust. It was exactly the opposite. Yet, it wasn't for Kakashi to tell a grown man what or who he was supposed to trust. If Kakashi was on that list, he'd be grateful for it. If he wasn't, he understood.
He simply stayed silent and let Qrow make his choice, eyes roving the sky as it roared and flashed in turns. His fingers curled against the fabric of his pajamas, the only visible sign that he was aware of how pregnant the silence between them had become.
Finally, Kakashi saw the glow of Qrow's aura out of the corner of his eye. Quiet, dim, and unbelievably crimson, it was impossible not to look at for a few seconds, marveling the way it encased Qrow from head to foot. Kakashi's eyes drifted to meet Qrow's, and he nodded.
He didn't feel like he needed to offer any reassurances. They both knew the truth of things. Instead, Kakashi turned the Sharingan to the sky, watching lightning arc between clouds in slow motion. After a moment, he kick-started his own aura, wondering if that might help ease Qrow's doubts.
"Just turned on my aura, before you mistake those warm and cuddly feelings for something genuine." Kakashi teased softly. "Yours is being pretty quiet so far. A few pulses, but I doubt those would be big enough to impact a storm like this."
It was a stupid thing but the fact Kakashi didn't actively bring up the fact his Aura was now up, was kinda nice. Sometimes shit didn't have to be discussed. Yes, they both knew it was a thing. Didn't mean he actually wanted to talk about it. Most other people didn't really...get that. They wanted to have him explain it out or pat him on the ass for being a big boy. But Kakashi just gave him a nod.
And he was grateful.
As Qrow relaxed, he felt a familiar wave of something else. Mild smile on his lips warming a bit, as he glanced over at Kakashi.
"Something something, just adding to what was already there," he made a vague motion with his hand, before he stretched again and rolled his neck. It made a faint crack, causing him to grunt softly.
It was kinda strange hearing about his Aura's activity. He was used to his Semblance just sort of...doing whatever, unseen. He had no real control over it, or what it did. Just kinda a static background noise that sometimes got people killed.
"Well, that's good it's behaving for once in its damned life," despite his words being kinda rough, his shoulders relaxed even further - a tension working its way slowly out of him.
Kakashi didn't feel like he owed anyone much with regards to background details about his life before Pandora. He told them enough to get by with casual relationships and distant friendships. That, to Kakashi, was by and large more than enough from his end. No one needed to know the dirty details - even though the details, as Kakashi considered them, were often still broad strokes.
Qrow had, whether he knew it or not, traipsed into a territory that Kakashi was unfamiliar with. He wasn't just a distant acquaintance that Kakashi would smile at if they bumped into each other, or go out with every few weekends if he didn't have anything better to do with his time. Kakashi actively sought out Qrow, and as far as he could tell, Qrow seemed to reciprocate the sentiment.
Though Kakashi had no intention of oversharing in the same way as Qrow, the truck was comfortable, warm, secure, and the situation felt... right. He absently chewed the inside of his lip, then, realizing that Qrow could probably see that without the mask, Kakashi forced himself to stop. His fingers clenched and relaxed on the fabric around his knees.
"I didn't expect to live past fifteen."
Well, that could have come out fucking better.
Kakashi had the decency to look slightly abashed. "Sorry for the drastic topic change. Just... I know I said I don't want to rehash the Greatest Hits of my life, but I figured you might like an explanation of things." He shrugged his shoulders, watching the sky as he spoke. Not to avoid looking at Qrow, but because Kakashi had promised to keep an eye on the storm, and he wasn't going to slack on that, no matter what he was talking about.
He took a break. "But uh... yeah. Never expected to hit fifteen. It's hard to picture a long, fruitful life when your whole job involves running at death with a sign that says 'pick me! pick me!'... so I didn't picture that. I made my peace with it while your kids were probably just starting their training. Anyway, I got past fifteen, but then I figured there was no way I'd see twenty. The statistics alone, even accounting for skill..." Kakashi laughed lightly, unphased by the topic of his own mortality. Just part of being a shinobi. He was a tool of the village, to be used as the Hokage saw fit, come what may. Death was part and parcel.
"But, I made it past twenty. Not exactly whole and intact, but alive. A lot of my peers were dead by then, and the ones who weren't were almost all out of the field. Starting families. The norm." Kakashi leaned back on the seat, still watching the clouds light up. "I didn't follow the trend. I couldn't, even if I wanted to - which I didn't. Besides, I figured even if I got to twenty, twenty-five? No way. I was in every Bingo Book in every nation. Target on the back of my head any time I left the village."
He looked at Qrow then, gaze even and unbothered. His expression wasn't self-pitying, or even unhappy. Kakashi might as well have been discussing the weather. "I've never dated. Never had a relationship. If I have sex, it's for a mission and it doesn't mean much. So... yeah. I thought you'd want to know that, so you can stop making the comments." He smiled mildly.
"No offense, and if you wanna keep making them, far be it from me to stop you. Just... yeah." He finished lamely, finally looking a trifle awkward and glancing away. "Yeah..." He mumbled, more to himself than to Qrow. "It's not my wheelhouse."