JULY 18, Y110The last ten miles of his walk home were as Kakashi had come to expect after a long mission over the course of his career. He allowed himself to think about going home at last - thoughts Kakashi usually kept at arm's length for the duration of a mission, to keep himself focused. He felt himself smiling now and then, excitedly alternating between strolling and running, feeling a thrill of happiness each time he found a familiar landmark that screamed home.
He stretched explosively as he walked, hooking his arms behind his head while he stared up at the canopy of leaves above his head, catching glimpses of the brilliantly blue sky. Kakashi grinned again, biting his lip behind his mask with anticipation. He could have sent Qrow a heads-up, but he preferred the idea of just showing up. If he was lucky, the huntsman would be home, but if not... that was fine as well. Kakashi was just happy to finally be heading back. He felt road weariness finally sinking into his bones after... however many weeks he'd been away. Kakashi had stopped keeping track around the same time he'd chosen to stop chatting with Qrow, finding that it only made his work sloppy and his mind distracted.
At his side, a great, lumbering dog padded with a quiet, peaceful energy that Kakashi enjoyed. Every now and then, it looked up at him and leaned against his side, and he couldn't help but compare it to Bull, with the way its head easily reached halfway up to his chest. He ran his fingers through the dog's thick mane now and then, and passed the time by chatting at her about Qrow and what she could expect from her new home... which only served to get him even more excited to just get there already.
The sun was high in the sky when Kakashi finally broke through the last layer of trees and saw the cottage at last. Determined not to look as intensely homesick as he felt, he slowed his pace and meandered very slowly across the last field, shading his eye now and then to scan for any sign of Qrow. The massive dog woofed softly and jogged past him, forcing Kakashi to pick up his pace to keep up with her as she made a beeline past the cottage and straight into the lake, drinking and paddling in the shallows all at the same time.
Kakashi hooked his hands behind his head again and heaved a luxuriant sigh of pleasure, eye shut as he leaned back on his heels and actually enjoyed the sunshine for the first time in weeks.