The truth of Kakashi's genius was not given enough consideration. Yes, people spoke of him in reverent tones and yes, he had the respect of every ninja in the village.
But people forgot what it meant to be promoted for him to be promoted as a jonin at the age of thirteen. Instead, they focused on the sordid fact that his first mission as team leader resulted in the death of his teammate. They focused on the eye he received and his reputation from it.
He had copied over one thousand jutsu, had his name in the Bingo Book for years and survived ANBU psychologically (mostly) intact. Teaching genin wasn't his strong point, but it was his duty as an elite ninja to show them what he knew.
He never wanted to waste his time with idiots and he took great delight in failing several groups as he waited for the right one. By the time Team Seven had finally passed the bell test, he had several years of easy missions. The fight with Zabuza sent a clear message, warning him that he had become too comfortable. He would have won the fight quickly with he had been fifteen. He was Kakashi, the Copy ninja.
Except that he wasn't.
His summons weren't cats; they were dogs. The pack was loyal and determined, just like him.
Kakashi was given the eye as a present from Obito and he respected it. He used it to his advantage and mastered it better than most Uchiha. And when they were busy calling him a copy cat, they forgot he was smart. Most people didn't realize that the Sharingan was holding him back.
It was the bloodline trait of the Uchiha, and Kakashi was not related to them, even distantly. His grandfather had moved to Fire Country from Lighting and his mother was from Mist. The eye from Obito had no business in his head and it had every reason to reject his body. And it would have, if it weren't for the fact that he was a genius. People didn't speak of his father after that failed mission, so by the time Kakashi left ANBU many they had forgotten about the White Fang's adaptive chakra, which was matched only by his skill and intellect.
The day Rin placed the eye in Kakashi's head was the day that half of his chakra was reserved to keeping the eye from dying. It was difficult adjustment and he was exhausted quickly at first. But Rin showed him some tricks on how to mold small amounts of chakra for maximum impact. And as the years passed, the eye sucked more and more chakra from his body. But it was a gradual process and his body adapted accordingly.
He copied jutsu after jutsu. Sand, wind, water, he took all that he could. But he was talented, and Kakashi was not satisfied with the mimicry of the eye. One day the eye could die, or it would be too much of an inconvenience and he would be useless. So, he memorized them as well, a wealth of fighting techniques hidden in his brain.
Kakashi couldn't stand the Uchiha Clan, and it was not a grand surprise that they were massacred. The premier clan of Konoha had not been very discreet with their plans. Kakashi despised politics, and avoided them whenever possible. And most let him be, because he did not have a family. It was a conscious decision on Kakashi's part, a desire to avoid clan pompousness. While Kakashi believed in love, he had been a shinobi for a long time. He had been asked to fight, assassinate, and seduce for years; sometimes at the same time. He learned to compartmentalize his feelings like most ninja. It wasn't long before people were calling him aloof and anti-social.
But with the Uchiha gone, Kakashi was aware that the village suffered a massive hit to its defenses. And so, Kakashi began to think of raising a family of his own, a loyal one to Konaha, just like his summons. He considered the situation carefully and decided it was acceptable but not necessary. If a situation arose, or if there was a desperate need for future generations he would take the appropriate steps. And so he waited.
Then he could smell war in the air, especially since Akatsuki with their sights on Naruto. He knew that the village would be extremely vulnerable after the war. (Although he was would be astonished by the damage.) Provided that he lived; he needed to have children for the future of the village. His team of genin split for their own adventures and he began to hone his skills once more.
Kakashi would admit that it was a certain amount of elitism that prevented him from settling down. He was not interested in coddling a woman, he wanted someone he could accept his duty to the village. That narrowed down most of his choices to kuniochi. While he wasn't sexist, few matched his expectations. Kurenai had shown potential, but the eyes she made towards Asuma eliminated that possibility. Time passed, and he grew concerned that he only plausible option would be Anko.
Then Sakura opened the ground with her fist.
Five Years Later…
"So the transition went smoothly?" asked Tsunade.
"Yes, all of the tailed beasts have been returned to their respective countries," replied Kakashi tiredly. "Can I go home now?" He frowned. "Do I have a home now?" he mused, wondering what had happened it his long empty apartment.
He had been gone for two long years, traveling to each of the countries as an emissary after the war against the Akatsuki. He traveled with ninja from every village, each country placing one elite member in the team to smooth out the tensions. It could be a dangerous mission for an enemy ninja to travel to another country, and with so many of the countries hurting, no one was very interested in entering a war.
Kakashi was a fairly unflappable man, and his patience made him ideal. He got along with all of the ninja he traveled with and they became odd companions of sorts. The leaders of the country were another matter, so he would often introduce himself with a threat.
"Kill me and the Hokage will release a scroll of your prized jutsu to everyone other village," he had said as he gave them a respectful nod.
Unsurprisingly, he made it home intact.
"Excellent. Now that you are back I can make you Hokage, the relationship that you have established with the other countries will ensure a level of peace. Most of the large problems have passed and I can get out of this damned room."
"Except for Sasuke," replied Kakashi.
Tsunade frowned. "I said most. At any rate, I had little involvement with the Uchiha debacle, and I have no interest in it. If you wish to resolve that on your time, it will be up to you. I'll announce the post in a few months to give you an adjustment period and then it's all yours."
"I will be honored…" Kakashi said respectfully, as he eyed the stack of paperwork "if you didn't leave all of that for me."
Tsunade gave a sharp smile. "Dismissed."
Kakashi walked around the village and said hello to everyone. Well, it was really more of a nod. His things had been put into storage during his mission, but had been unpacked into an apartment with the news of his return. The new place was larger, and more comfortable than his old one, and they even did Kakashi the favor of removing that questionable stain on his couch.
That night he went to the bar to see the familiar faces. Most of them welcomed him back, and were keen to regale him with stories of past missions and free drinks. Gai was halfway done with a story on an enchanted waterfall in Mist Country with Kakashi heard an unexpected voice.
"Kakashi! Is that you?" He turned his head to see Sakura as she walked his direction. "You're back!" Her face was alight with joy as she reached down to give him a hug.
"Sakura, you look lovely," Kakashi replied politely. His nose caught the perfume of her soap even amid the smoke and alcohol in the room. She pulled back from him with a slight blush on her cheeks.
"I'm glad you are here again," she said. "I thought Tsunade was crazy to send you on that mission. I was certain that the other Kages would have killed you because you are so annoying."
"You wound me," he replied in a dry voice. She laughed and waved him a goodbye, disappearing amid the crowd. Kakashi contemplated on her as he took another drink from his glass. He probably should make a move towards her now that she was an adult. Now that he was going to be Hokage, he didn't have to leave the village every week. Children would be a different type of challenge for him to work on. He could see her profile reflected on the bar mirror, and congratulated himself privately on a good choice.
Genma turned to him. "Did you hear the news about Sakura? She's going to marry the daimyo's son." The man shook his head with a mischievous smile on his face. "One has money and a title while the other has beauty and power. That's going be on hell of a family if you ask me."
Kakashi choked on his drink.