It was the ultimate betrayal.
It had taken Kakashi much longer than it should have to find his summoning contract. At some point during his Anbu days, likely in the dead of a sleepless night, he must have shoved it to the back of his bookcase. The chaotic mess of the shelves made no sense to him, and he had never bothered to fix it. For that reason alone, he had avoided looking for it amongst the cramped books, and of course the contract would be there.
Kakashi had begun looking for it just after returning from his last mission, where Obito had come a hair too close to catastrophic disaster the second Kakashi turned his back in the midst of an elongated battle. He needed Obito to have more of an edge, something to cover his weaknesses, glaring as they were. A summons was the perfect solution, short of literally never letting his companion leave his sight.
He purposefully left the contract in the center of the kitchen table. Predictably, when Obito came home, he zeroed in on it. He picked it up in deceptively gentle hands, shooting a loaded look across the kitchen as Kakashi made tea.
"What's this?" he asked when his pointed expressions didn't wrest a response from Kakashi. He unrolled the crackling parchment across the surface of the table, studying the flowing words printed upon it. The last signature was Kakashi’s own, a tiny handprint sealing him to the canines that had twined together with his family for generations. It took Obito a moment to register what he was seeing. “Why is this here?” he corrected after the knowledge sank in.
“It was something I was considering,” Kakashi finally said. He held two mugs of tea in his hands and crossed the room. “Close it. I don’t want to get it wet.” Obito did so and set it carefully aside. He dropped gracelessly into a chair, accepting his tea with a small grunt of thanks.
“It’s just that you're...how do I put this.” Kakashi knew how to phrase it, but was mincing words in an effort to not piss Obito off too much. “Lacking in certain skills? On missions.”
“Lacking.” Thinly veiled venom laced Obito’s tone. He sipped his tea angrily, eyes narrowed through the steam gently curling from his mug.
“You know what I mean.” Kakashi waved a nebulous, dismissive hand. “You’ve obviously gotten better with more training, but you’re still—”
“Lacking,” Obito repeated once more over the conclusion of his statement, voice grating.
Perhaps the phrasing had been off. Kakashi was truly awful with the general concept of conversation and Obito was fully aware of this. He usually went to great lengths to help Kakashi avoid conversation with their peers. “You tend to get hurt,” he hedged in cautious explanation, lifting his hands to cradle his tea where he'd placed it on the table. His lips drew together tightly beneath his mask. “I can’t always help you.” And I don’t like that, he was saying between the lines, wistfully hoping Obito understood. Some of the anger smoothed away from Obito’s brow. His mug went to the table with a pronounced thunk.
“So why the summoning contract?” Obito clearly had some idea why Kakashi had dug it out, but wanted to watch him squirm as he tried to explain it. Kakashi refused to play along.
“It’s obvious, isn’t it?”
Obito scoffed. “I don’t need your contract.”
Kakashi thought he had been ready for just about any response, but that one stopped him short. “You don’t? Obito, stop. I’m being serious. Why not?”
“Wouldn’t you like to know.” The eye-roll paired with his words made it that much more juvenile. Kakashi nearly gave in to the temptation to react in kind. Instead, he mentally dismissed it and went through the possible iterations of why Obito could turn him down. The idea that he didn’t want a contract was foreign. Summons were immensely helpful, and to be freely offered the chance to sign a contract, no strings attached...well, suffice to say, that didn’t happen.
“Don’t be stubborn,” he said finally. All the logical solutions had gone out the window and he’d been left with just one. “You can’t just not sign it to spite me.”
Obito heaved an exasperated sigh. “I don’t need your contract,” he repeated. “Because I already have my own.”
Kakashi gave Obito a long, dubious look. Never once in his life had he seen Obito summon anything. "You do?" he asked, and if there was doubt in his voice, Obito didn't acknowledge it at all. Honestly, he was probably immune to being bothered by Kakashi doubting him at this point.
"Well yeah." He quirked an eyebrow at Kakashi, an unspoken duh lost somewhere on his tongue. They were both more mature than that. Mostly. Obito brought his hands together in lazy hand signs, slapping them down on the tabletop as though this was far too tedious for him to explain with words.
The resulting puff of smoke cleared to reveal a small, sleek creature. Its long tail twitched erratically in irritation and its head swiveled owl-like to glare at Kakashi with burnished gold eyes. Cringeworthy words popped out of his mouth before he could filter them. "What is that?"
"It's a cat, Kakashi." Obito's tone was overly patient, and he waited for Kakashi to comment further. He frowned when he did not. "His name is Mau Mau."
The cat's eyes narrowed at him challengingly.
This was suddenly too much. Kakashi stood abruptly and swallowed against the feeling in his throat. He snatched up his canine contract and went for the door, not trusting himself to say anything even vaguely intelligent.
"Oi, Kakashi, you asshole. Don't be rude to Mau Mau!" Obito grumbled muted curses under his breath. To his summon he said, "What was that about?"
Obito was a cat person.
And Kakashi hadn’t known.