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 vaguely mentioned his fucked up trust issues in the past. Kakashi casually mentioning that he trusted Qrow...which was pretty damn early on, always knocked him off balance. And was probably pretty fucking telling, even before Qrow had added some vague explanation behind it. So...honestly his words weren't new, or significant. Just flatly stating shit that was really only implied before.
He wasn't sure what he expected. Probably Kakashi to look sort of like he was gonna throw up, or something. Then...he actually looked at Kakashi's face. He was on the verge of laughing? Qrow felt a pang of annoyance, before the asshole actually explained and---
Did he seriously just...
Qrow scrunched up his nose, before he just fell into it. He hadn't meant to quote that damned book, but apparently he subconsciously had. There wasn't much else left to do but laugh at himself about it. That was then mixed in with the laughter from a lack of bird fucking.
It had been a long fucking time since he had laughed this hard for this long. Actual tears started to form in his damned eyes by the time things had finally quieted down. He wiped them away with his thumbs, as Kakashi did the same.
He moved his arms as Kakashi laid himself back down on top of him - fingers automatically returning to the guy's hair.
"Eh, I'm going to make you laugh more. It's a damn good laugh," he smiled, kissing whatever part of Kakashi's head was closest to his mouth, "I'll try to hide more emotional confessions in book quotes, in the future," he laughed again quietly - mostly to himself, before idly squeezing the guy on top of him.
Laughing felt good, even if it threw a wrench into the original plan. Kakashi wheezed a few more tired chuckles out, nudging his head into Qrow's hand. "Joke's on you if you think I'll accept anything but book quotes as confessions anymore." He retorted smoothly. Outside, the wind whistled, but it was muffled by what Kakashi assumed was a decent padding of snow against the window. He pushed himself upright slightly, squinting across the room to get a better look at the situation outside.
"I'm starting to question if we'll even be out of here by tomorrow." He admitted, a slight focus on the mission seeping back into his tone, even as he laid back down on Qrow. The fire was crackling and there was plenty of wood to feed it, as well as the fully stocked kitchen of the inn... he just felt the first prickling of restlessness already at the invasive thought that they might be stuck for longer than one night.
His fingertips dug into Qrow's shoulders unconsciously as Kakashi thought about it, and he had to force himself to focus. Not on the storm and the logistics of getting out of here, but on... anything but. "Sorry." He dropped his head down onto Qrow's chest and rubbed the spots where his fingers had sunk into his flesh. "I thought I remembered to turn my brain off, but I guess I didn't." Kakashi laughed, sounding more bitter than he intended.
"There's nothing to be done about the weather." He was reminding himself more than Qrow, but it felt a bit better to put the thought into words.
Qrow smiled at the idea of only phrasing deep and meaningful confessions in quotes from shit that Kakashi got him to read. Sounded like a fun game, honestly. One that would appeal to Kakashi's love of those damn books, and maybe let Qrow say deeper shit without the guy puking. Not that he was dying to confess anything else, honestly. Just...good to know.
This time it was Kakashi that got distracted by the weather. Qrow's gaze shifted to the window - a small frown finding his features, as he drew circles on Kakashi's back. Really was a shit-show outside. But Qrow's focus slipped back to the guy who tried to resettle on top of him; fingers digging hard into his shoulder. Which was followed by a quiet apology. Qrow's fingers returning to Kakashi's hair with a soft hum.
"It is a shit situation," his gaze shifted back to the window, bluntly acknowledging it, "At least we got enough food and resources to keep us comfortable for awhile. Fact is the assholes we're here to track down, are also being hit with this shit. There's no way they're getting away or finding a way to slip through our fingers, in this mess," he continued to play with Kakashi's hair, "In fact, it'll probably slow them the fuck down, even when it stops. And when it comes to us not going batshit from boredom..." he hummed in thought, "We could fuck with Aura and Chakra at the same time, or some new techniques that don't burn the place down. We got cards and shit. Books. Get weird and make a secret language," he smirked, still finding himself relaxed even with the distinct possibility of the storm locking them in for a good while.
It really did fucking suck, but not being alone - and his life not being in any real danger, really helped. He'd still naturally be more on edge than if they were home - but hey. He'd take half relaxed, instead of stressed as shit.
Qrow was right, obviously, but Kakashi couldn't help the low growl of frustration that crawled out of his chest at the suggestion that their targets could slip away in any other circumstance. He knew that Qrow didn't mean it like that, but his immediate, knee-jerk desire was to plunge out into the blizzard and hunt them down. He looked at the window for another few seconds before setting himself down, forcing his head against Qrow's chest and breathing in deeply.
"You're right." He agreed at last, voice low and toneless. His mood plummeted, but then...
"Oh!" Kakashi sat up abruptly, perched on Qrow's hips as he stared down at him with one wide eye. "I can teach you Konoha sign. If you want to learn it." Technically, that should have gone against all the training Kakashi had ever received, but by now he was so at ease with Qrow that it wasn't unlike being around a comrade from the village. Kakashi had to remind himself more often than Qrow wasn't a shinobi.
Case and point, it had not occurred to him to teach Qrow the modified sign language of Konoha until now only because Kakashi had assumed, without ever consciously thinking it, that Qrow already knew. "It's handy for communicating across short distances. Longer, if you're trying to talk to me." He tapped the lid of the Sharingan. "We might need to adjust some of the signs to better fit Pandora, but it would give us a bit more distance on a mission without sacrificing communication, and without the need for cell phones."
Qrow could feel the mood drop like a rock into a fucking puddle. A small frown on his lips as he just continued to run his fingers through Kakashi's hair - other hand patting the guy's back slightly. Being on a mission with a storm like this was just gonna fuck with both of them, for different reasons.
"It happens," he snorted mostly to himself, nuzzling the top of Kakashi's head slightly.
At least they were safe, and warm. That was...a lot in this situation. It would be too damn easy for them to be caught in this mess. If they had chosen to do anything else first, they would have been fucked. Even an hour later, and they would have been stuck elsewhere. Qrow's gaze was on the storm as he rolled the thoughts around in the back of his head.
Kakashi shot up, half jump-scaring Qrow more than he would have liked.
"Konha sign?" he tilted his head to the side slightly, curious - before Kakashi filled him in.
"So...it's like a sign language right? That...honestly would be really fucking handy to know," a smirk found his lips - as the possibilities and applications instantly hit him.
Silent communication - especially if they were going to be routinely sent on missions together - would make shit just function better than usual. Plus it'd let them silently make fun of people - like James - right in front of him without him knowing.
For once, they had broached a subject that Kakashi was good at teaching. Using the secret signs of the village had been a practice that had largely fallen out of practice between the generation of his father and Kakashi's own peers. He'd been one of the people to bring it back to the forefront of missions, starting with ANBU, where he had spent hours teaching teams the fundamental need-to-know signs, then the alphabet, then the more obscure signs that were less commonly used.
Kakashi had taught dozens of people Konoha Sign over the years. Teaching Qrow would not only be easy - it would be fun.
"It's a form of sign language, yeah. We can mix it up to better suit our needs - some signs have meanings that won't mean much in Pandora, like the signs for the different nations of my world." He explain rapidly, fingertips twitching against Qrow's biceps as he leaned over him, eyes alight with pleasure. "Originally, it was secret signs that were exclusively for use on missions, but over the last twenty years or so, it's become a go-to for a lot of deaf and mute people in the village. So, we should be able to have pretty normal conversations at a distance." He grinned cheekily, mouth slightly slanted.
It was always nice to see Kakashi excited about shit - especially with both of them kinda off-kilter at the moment. Yeah, Qrow was interested to learn the sign language - but he was more pleased that it seemed to be distracting the guy on top of him from pretty much everything else going on. They both needed a distraction anyway, so this was kinda perfect.
"A secret language," he echoed back with a smirk - gaze dropping as he considered all the countless possibilities. There were limited hand-signals that were pretty common-place on his old team. But that was just their piss-poor attempt to communicate when they couldn't be heard. Worked well enough, but it wasn't a language.
"Alright, count me as interested. How do we start?"
"Secret enough." Kakashi countered with a quirk of his lips. "Anyone from my village would understand it, but they're few and far between. Naruto is gone, and I don't know how long it's been since Sasuke or Sakura used it. They don't even live in Pandopolis anyway." He heaved his shoulders in a mild-mannered shrug. Kakashi could have dwelt on the Naruto thing, but if he had learned anything from Pandora so far, it was that people tended to come and go rapidly. Forming attachments was an unnecessary hazard.
He looked down at Qrow, feeling a sudden twist in his gut that caught him by surprise as that stark reality unexpectedly sunk in deeper and deeper. Without a mask hiding most of his face, Kakashi's expression was an open book as it shifted from mischievous pleasure to subdued, but poignant worry. Absently, and without a great deal of thought behind it, he smoothed his hands over Qrow's shoulders and along his biceps, eyes following the trail of his fingertips.
"If one of us disappeared, the other would be fine." He said suddenly, sounding rattled. "No matter what's happened between us, it's hard to have a sense of permanence here, isn't it?" Kakashi was definitely being a maudlin shit, but it felt like he had pulled a cork out of a tub, and the water was pouring out. "Feelings are great, but it's hard to even think three months ahead - let alone a year, or ten years, or a lifetime." His lips quirked down in a genuinely sad frown.
His shoulders sagged a bit, but after a few seconds, Kakashi pulled a bit of a face and uttered a sheepish laugh. "Sorry. Morbid train of thought. Usually we'd start with basic words and phrases for efficiency's sake."
Qrow hadn't heard anything about that hyper little shit in awhile, but Kakashi hadn't mentioned the kid had been thrown out of the world. Probably...meant it kinda hit hard, and this was him finally letting Qrow know the kid was gone. He got it. He really did. Just casually dropping some shit in the middle of talking about something else. Or maybe he was kinda numb to how Pandora functioned, and wasn't bothered.
"Secret with most groups," he corrected - the smirk on his lips failing as he watched Kakashi's own kinda just...drop.
He thought the guy was going to talk about Naruto disappearing, but instead was confronted with a fact that he made a point to not really think about. It was possible either one of them could disappear at any moment. Shit had happened to Oz, and he essentially snapped. It...hit different, when you fell for someone who wasn't from your world. It wasn't a look into a possible future back home, but something that was just kinda...fleeting. Not with the potency, just with the knowledge that it could be over at literally any minute, and it didn't even require Qrow to fuck up.
It was a nice little reminder that Qrow had built a life for himself here - an actual stable life - but he hadn't really fixed anything back home. This was all basically a break. A vacation. A fever dream, that would all be wiped away the second Pandora got bored of him, and he'd wake up in a jail cell wanting to rip Ironwood apart at the seams.
Fun thing to remember.
Honestly, Qrow didn't really know how to handle this hypothetical situation, nor the lock onto the lack of permanence that was Pandora. With anyone else he'd assume he was about to be dumped. Instead, he just knew Kakashi was just kinda lost in his own head.
So Qrow rolled himself on top of Kakashi about as awkwardly as physically possible, before putting hands on either side of his head to stare down at him. He'd pin him just to get a reaction out of him, but horny wasn't the right emotion at the moment.
"You're right. Either one of us wouldn't cease to function if Pandora told the other to fuck off. Still would suck absolute dick, though," he smirked, "I know everything in this fucked up place seems temporary - and fuck, it is. Just..." his gaze fell trying to find a way to phrase it right. But instead he just shook his head, feeling a bit uneasy himself.
"Guess I'm enjoying this fleeting world, or some shit," he glanced back at Kakashi, offering him a warm smile, "Alright, enough of the shit. Show me some damn signs."
Honestly, maybe Kakashi should have been more bothered by the Naruto thing, but the nature of Pandora was so fluid that his feelings had been comprised of a momentary pang of intense sorrow, followed by acceptance within the same fleeting second. Likewise, perhaps it would have been more... relationship-y to have turned to Qrow about it, but Kakashi hadn't even seen the need to inform him.
This, on the other hand, was plaguing him more. Unaware that their thoughts were following a similar thread, Kakashi reflected on the impossibility of the two of them ever even existing in each other's world, when their time in Pandora came to a close. What homesickness he felt for Konoha mingled with the gut-deep dread of losing what he had with Qrow, and Kakashi was left feeling nauseous and unhappy.
Like he was never going to have everything he felt like he needed.
He made a soft sound of protest when Qrow rolled on top of him, shirking away automatically, averting his eye with an expression of consternation and glaring at Qrow's forearm. Gradually, his frustration relented and he sank lower into the mattress, actually listening to Qrow as opposed to letting him talk at him while Kakashi wallowed in his own misery.
"You're not the only one enjoying it. It feels like I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place, because I miss home... but I'd miss you, too. Can't imagine why." He offered a tentative smile, then gave an awkward laugh. "Sorry." Kakashi said sheepishly, stretching as well as he could with Qrow above him, physically working some of the amassed tension out of his body.
He hummed, and wriggled a bit. "You sure you want to learn sign?" He suggested, tone lewd as he raised a brow. "Because this isn't exactly the optimal teaching position."
Qrow watched as Kakashi grew tenser, before finally actually listening to what the fuck he was saying. There was a pang in jealousy at missing home, but it was short lived, and replaced with something else entirely. A relaxed smirk spread across his lips, as he studied the magical ninja asshole under him.
"Honestly, I'm happy you have that," he admitted, "No matter what happens next, you're exactly where you want to be, and that's pretty fucking fantastic. Ya don't have to choose wanting one more, cuz it doesn't mean dick in the end," he gave a quick peck to Kakashi's lips.
Qrow laughed a low, rough laugh under his breath, before he just sort of stopped propping himself up, and laid himself fully on top of Kakashi.
"I don't know what you're talking about, this seems like the only way to learn sign," he smiled a wicked smile down at Kakashi, purposefully making his weight as dead as possible.
Kakashi made a soft noise of frustration. "That's a pretty optimistic way to look at it..." He groused, dodging Qrow's kiss as well as he could because Kakashi was now officially in what was professionally known as a mood. "If you ask me, it means that no matter what happens, I lose." He said finally, deflating a bit. He breathed in a deeply as he could, because the whole damn room smelled like Qrow, and somehow that was enough to keep his heart from beating too fast.
Nevertheless, Kakashi made an squawk of exasperation when Qrow laid on him. He caught his shoulders and, for a split second, Kakashi debated just deadlifting the bastard off his chest just to prove a point. Instead, he curled his toes and made a vague wiggle in the direction of freedom. "Qrow, you piece of shit." Kakashi flapped his arms, oddly content to make out like he couldn't just throw Qrow across the room if he wanted.
Possessed by a sudden mischievous rush, Kakashi wriggled himself just a bit further to the right and leaned up as much as he could. Then, with no warning whatsoever, he thrust his tongue as far into Qrow's ear canal as it would go.
Qrow being accused of optimism was a sign of the apocalypse. But it was kinda true. For once in his damn life, he actually saw the positive before the negative. Probably meant that he was due for six months of nothing but dark thoughts - but hey, he'd take it. Kakashi on the other hand, was determined to see the loss in it. Which was true. Either way, he lost something. Either Qrow, or home. Wasn't a way to have both, and that really was shit.
So he fixed it, by dead-weighting on the asshole - smiling proudly when he was called a piece of shit. Qrow knew Kakashi could just throw him off if he wanted to, but instead he just wiggled under him...before shoving his entire fucking tongue in Qrow's ear. He recoiled, making an annoyed grunt as he backed off - shooting Kakashi a glare.
Kakashi grinned at Qrow's disgusted glare and stuck his tongue out at him. Honestly, it had been a gross move that he regretted already (earwax was not a taste Kakashi had ever wanted to experience), but the glare made it worth it.
At least, until Qrow retaliated.
"You--!" Kakashi instinctively curled when Qrow decided to be an actual child back at him. Glaring with open hostility that probably was a bit of a lot for the current situation, Kakashi jabbed his fingers rapidly against every conceivable ticklish spot on Qrow's body that he could reach. Of course, this carried the risk that Qrow would be one of those few assholes who wasn't ticklish at all, which meant that he would be free to turn the tables on Kakashi, who was, unfortunately, not one of those select few assholes.
Five seconds before, they were talking about the shitty nature of Pandora. Which...somehow turned into whatever the fuck this was. Kakashi jabbed fingers at him, probably trying to find a damn ticklish spot. If Qrow was a stronger person, maybe he could have ignored it. Or just...not been ticklish.
He had met a few people who had somehow figured out the secret of life, and didn't feel anything when people tried to pull this shit. Qrow, however, was not one of those people, and had really fucking ticklish sides. Something that was probably unknown in Pandora as a whole, until Kakashi hit the right spot, and he jerked away - the motion not even controlled by his head. Body just leaving on its own accord.
Which of course meant there was no logic behind it. Just a rough movement away from the hand that was making him feel that shit. Unfortunately that motion was not in the direction of anywhere off the bed.
Qrow could have probably saved himself, since his balance was pretty damn good - but he left himself fall off the bed to escape the tickling shit, that Kakashi was pulling. He landed on the ground, flat on his back - long legs still over the edge of the bed, like a foot rest. The wind was knocked out of him for a second, but he didn't really mind. Better fate than being fucking tickled.
Yet he started laughing anyway. The sound low and raspy as he regained his breath - losing his shit at how weird this entire damn thing was.
Kakashi sensed Qrow's weakness and went in for the kill, targeting his sides even as Qrow flinched backwards, grinning deviously until he realized, at the last second, that Qrow was going right over the side of the bed. "Oh shit--" Kakashi lurched forward, hoping to catch his hand, but for once, his aim was off, and he cringed when he heard Qrow's back smack off the floor.
Kakashi crawled to the edge of the bed and peeked over, staring at Qrow with open guilt, though there was still a hint of mischievous glee lurking behind his eye. "You okay?" He held out his hand, wiggling his fingers. "No more tickling. I promise." Kakashi managed to keep a straight face for a few seconds before Qrow's laughter infected him and he lost his cool, starting with a few awkward start-and-stop giggles (why did he have to fucking giggle) that built into a deep, loud, barking laughter.
He folded in on himself, chest against his knees as he laughed, feeling wetness on his cheeks. Kakashi wiped his palms against his face and looked over the edge of the bed, with every intention of offering Qrow a hand up again... but one glance at him sent him back into hysterics, and he collapsed for a second time. "Id-" He hiccuped, wiping his eyes. "Idiot."
Hey broskis. Sorry I've been borderline AWOL for the better part of a year. Things have been a little meh and I feel like I'm stretched so damn thin right now. I wanna come back and write with you guys again, but idk when that's gonna be. Hope you're all doing well. <3