Warning: So much fluff, age difference, two boys kissing.
Lee hit the ground with enough force to knock the wind out of any ordinary person, skidding across the forest floor a few feet before finally coming to a stop. His jumpsuit and legwarmers were dotted with grass and dirt stains from the multiple times he had hit the ground already, his body bruised and even bleeding in a few places.
Groaning in pain, he shakily pushed himself up into a sitting position, one hand going back to prop himself up while the other went to his aching chest. Ooh, that was going to be sore... One did not simply take a Dynamic Entry to the chest without feeling it for a week. Or two.
"Lee! Are you all right?!" Guy called out as he hurried up to his fallen student.
The young man shivered before looking up at his teacher and forcing what he hoped was a reassuring smile. "I-I am okay Guy sensei."
The older man frowned as he watched Lee struggle back to his feet, noticing the insincerity in his smile. This was not the first time Lee had taken a hit today - far from it in fact. Guy had almost lost count of how many times Lee had failed to defend himself against an obvious attack. Normally Lee could dodge or block almost everything that was thrown at him. But over the past few days Guy had found himself needing to hold back to prevent landing a blow that could seriously injure his student. He hadn't needed to hold back on Lee in a long time...
"Maybe we should call it quits for today, eh? Turn in early and grab something to eat." he suggested - and immediately saw Lee's body tense.
"N-no Guy sensei! I am fine! I must continue training for the chunin exams!" Lee insisted as he forced himself to his feet with an unsteady sway. His large, dark eyes were wide with something akin to horror. Guy wanted to stop training early? That NEVER happened! Had he truly disappointed him that badly? He had to fix this - he couldn't let his emotions get in the way of his training!
The look in those beautiful, innocent eyes almost made Guy flinch. It was as though he had somehow just betrayed his student. "Lee, you're..." he trailed off, hesitating briefly. He had to consider how he worded this. If Lee gave him another one of those betrayed expressions it would break his heart. "You've been very distracted and unfocused lately... Training won't do you much good if you're not in the right frame of mind for it."
Lee quivered, his shoulders slumping with defeat as shame crept into his features. "I am sorry... I know my performance has been disappointing lately... B-but I promise to do better." he said quietly, sadly.
If you listened closely, you could hear the sound of Guy's heart splitting down the middle and crumbling to pieces. Without even so much as a second's hesitation, he swooped forward to snatch Lee into a tight, comforting embrace - something he had done many times over the years - and squeeze him so close that the young man's feet left the ground. "I wasn't scolding you, Lee! You could never disappoint me." he said quickly with a rather pained tone in his voice.
Lee gave a little squeak at the sudden closeness, a pink flush coming to his cheeks as butterflies danced in his stomach. The feeling of Guy's powerful arms around him made his heart race, and he melted into the feeling of familiar, calloused fingertips stroking slowly up and down the curve of his back. The touch was innocent, Lee knew, but it caused his already frazzled emotions to swirl into an overwhelming whirlwind of bliss and panic. He needed to tell Guy the truth - he HAD to. If he didn't, these feelings would tear him apart.
Guy finally relaxed his hold enough that the boy's feet touched the ground again and tried to look into his eyes. But Lee's face was downcast and shadowed by his glossy black locks. Reaching down, he took Lee's chin between two fingers and lifted until their eyes met. "Lee, I think it's time you told me what's been bothering you. Is it about the chunin exams? You know I'll do whatever it takes to make sure you're ready." he said, grinning that proud, sure grin of his. A grin that said everything would be okay. No matter what.
Lee's heart thundered in his ears as he looked into Guy's ever confident gaze, feeling his cheeks heating as his blush grew to a deeper shade of red. "G-Guy sensei... I-I..." His voice was barely above a whisper and quivering with emotion. Should he say it? Could he? He had always hoped that Guy would return his love, that he hadn't simply imagined the way his sensei's touch lingered a few seconds longer than it needed to, or the way there seemed to be something different in the way the jounin looked at him as apposed to how Guy looked at TenTen and Neji. But what if he was wrong? What if Guy didn't feel the same? What if everything changed between them..?
Hot tears welled in his eyes, his digits clenching into determined fists at his sides even as his body trembled with apprehension. He could see worry creeping into Guy's expression and he hesitated... before shutting his eyes tightly. Sucking in a sharp breath, he blurted it all out in one desperate cry, "I'm in love with you Guy sensei!"
The forest suddenly seemed to go maddeningly quiet, the world grinding to a stand-still as it waited for Guy's response - or perhaps it only felt that way to Lee. His heart pounded in his chest, seconds feeling like minutes as he braced himself for rejection.
Guy stood completely still and silent as he stared at his student, watching tears begin to drip down his cheeks from beneath long, dark lashes. "That's all?"
Lee's eyes shot open, looking up at his teacher in bewilderment. "Wh-what?"
A relieved smile spread across the jounin's features. "What a relief - you had me worried that something was wrong." he chuckled as he slid his hand up from Lee's chin to tenderly cup his cheek, wiping a tear away with his thumb.
The genin quivered with surprise before quickly relaxing into the comforting hand on his cheek, needily nuzzling into Guy's palm. "I-I don't understand... You already knew?"
Guy chuckled as his confident grin returned, almost becoming a smirk. "Of course I knew. I can read you like a book, Lee. I just didn't know you were so worried about telling me." His hold on the boy tightened and he pulled him closer, looking deep into those trusting doe-eyes of Lee's. "If I had known that was what had you so out of sorts, I would have confessed first so you wouldn't have had to struggle with it. I'm sorry I didn't realize." he said softly, his smile warm and loving as his thumb caressed over the soft flesh of his student's cheek.
It took Lee a moment to process what Guy was saying, a bright smile slowly finding its way into his features. Guy returned his love! No one had EVER returned his love! He had fully expected Guy to turn him down. This would be his first relationship ever - and the only one he would ever need. Happy tears replaced those of worry and he quickly shook his head in dismissal of his teacher's apology. "I-it is all right! I love you Guy sensei!" he exclaimed joyfully as he threw his arms around Guy's midsection in a bone-crushingly tight embrace.
Guy stumbled back a little from the sheer force of the hug, laughing at Lee's sudden enthusiasm. His hands gripped the lithe, muscled waist and he lifted the boy effortlessly into his arms, setting him on his hip. "I love you too Lee. I love you so much." he breathed in a warm tone of voice that made Lee shiver in delight. Those words had been spoken between them many times, but always under the guise of being platonic. It filled their hearts with joy to be able to proclaim their love so openly, hiding nothing.
Lee blushed and smiled that sweet, innocent smile of his and Guy felt himself falling in love all over again. What had he done to deserve someone this perfect? He smiled warmly at his student, keeping one arm tight around his waist and sliding his free hand to the back of Lee's head where his digits curled gently in the soft, black hair. Tilting Lee's head down until their lips almost touched, warm breath ghosting over his lips, he spoke quietly, "You are precious to me Lee. You mean more to me than anyone else in this world."
Lee blushed and smiled warmly, if not bashfully, shivering to feel his sensei's breath on his lips. "I-I feel the same way sensei. I don't think I could live without you."
Guy smiled lovingly at his student before gently closing the gap and pressing their lips together. There was a second of hesitation before Lee slowly returned the kiss, opening his lips softly. It was inexperienced and clumsy, but none the less determined. The thought that this was Lee's first kiss - that he was his first - made Guy smile against the boy's lips. With that in mind, he didn't push to deepen the kiss, letting the touch remain relatively innocent. He didn't want to take this too quickly.
Pulling back, he gently broke the contact of their lips. "I'll always be here for you. That's a promise."
"And I will always be here for you Guy sensei!" he proclaimed with a bright smile, his usual gusto and vitality returning.
The jounin laughed, glad to have Lee back to his normal self. "That's the spirit Lee! Now, let's go get that ramen. We'll take the rest of the day off to celebrate." he said as he turned to begin marching back to town, Lee still held firmly in his arms.
"Right!" Lee laughed as he gave a curt nod, holding onto his sensei as he was carried. His heart was fluttering in his chest, body quivering with excitement. He couldn't believe this was actually happening! So many times he had imagined this moment, never daring to delve too deeply into his own fantasy for fear that it could never come true. But here they were, finally confessing a mutual love for one another. Lee only wished he had had the courage to speak up sooner.
But, as he was held in Guy's familiar arms and carried all the way back to the village, it almost felt as though they had been in a relationship all along. They had just been too dense to realize it.