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30 July 2006 @ 08:49 am
Naruto Fic: An Evening in Spring  
First off, and completely off topic, but somebody named Bella sent me an email entitled Kindred. It landed in my spambox for some reason *kicks Yahoo Mail* and I hit Empty Bulk just as the title registered ;_; Now, assuming this was an email regarding the fic, and not some lucky spambot who hit the right word in the randomizer, you might want to resend it, sorry.

Now, onto the fic. This is not a LeeGaara *waits for everyone to expire from shock and then come back to life* It's the second part to the very first piece of Naruto I wrote, a KakaIru entitled Spring Fever. I put a link to it below, because you have to read that one first. It's short and it's pure humor with no attempt at being serious, so it shouldn't take long. The sequel is also more humor-driven than not, but it has some serious streaks; that's the way it came out. Please enjoy ^_^

Spring Fever (prequel)

Disclaimer: Naruto is the brainchild of Kishimoto-sama, and I am not worthy. I merely borrow the manga's characters and situations, and make no money off of them.

Rating: PG15, to really be on the safe side, for language and an honest suggestion.

Pairing: KakaIru


An Evening in Spring

It was seven forty four PM, not that Iruka was watching the clock at all. He'd be an idiot to watch the time and expect Hatake Kakashi to show up for a date at eight o'clock.

For a few minutes after Kakashi had popped into his classroom to insult him and ask him out, Iruka had not known what to think. But he’d rapidly concluded that it was just some stupid joke at his expense, even though he was damned if he could see the punch line. He'd finished his day's work with rigorous exactitude and gone home at the same time as every other day. It was shortly before seven.

He spent a few minutes cleaning his place. This was not something Iruka did very often; the advantages of being a bachelor and male was that no-one, including himself, cared how long that dirty sock lived in the corner near the couch. He tended to clean up on a monthly basis, if that, and then he'd go pester Naruto to do the same. But when something really annoyed him, he found menial tasks to be a good distraction.

A few spiders got a nasty shock at being suddenly shooed out of the house, and a mouse that had established itself in the pantry found itself evicted. The kitchen was thoroughly bleached, up to and including that grimy bit between the faucet and the wall, which hadn't seen the light of day since he'd started renting the place. Iruka even cleaned the bathroom, which was something he normally paid old Mrs Kamara to do once every other week. The grout found itself encircled and relentlessly attacked. The soap scum was unable to form an alliance with it, and fell in its turn. The dust bunnies only put up a token resistance and the lint surrendered without a fuss.

Unfortunately, what with the speed and stamina of any decent ninja, it was only seven thirty eight by the time Iruka had cleaned everything in the tiny apartment. Not that he was watching the clock. No, he was just killing time. Waiting for eight o'clock to come around, so that when Kakashi didn't show up, Iruka could be decently mad.

Iruka tried to relax and read a book. It took him one minute and six seconds to realize he'd opened it upside down.


The problem was, Iruka could have gotten mad right away and then forgotten all about it if there wasn’t a slim possibility that Kakashi might actually show up.

Iruka put down the book on the couch, using a kunai as a placeholder, and reluctantly trudged to the bathroom, where he spent a couple of seconds blinking at all the clean tiles and wondering what had happened here.

He took a quick shower. He took one before going to bed anyway, so he was just saving time later. Then he brushed his teeth, because after all that cleaning, his mouth felt gritty. He combed and dried his hair, otherwise it'd be a mess, and he put on a set of clean clothes, because he felt like it and there was nobody around to comment about that, not even the mouse (who'd decided to wait until the human returned to sanity before trying to sneak back in).

It was two minutes and a few seconds to eight. Iruka gave up all pretence and just stared at the clock as the hands crept forward.

Eight o' clock. Kakashi hadn't shown up.

I knew he wouldn't, Iruka thought with a sniff.

He wasn't angry, though. Not very much. Oh, there was some swearing going on in the top levels of his mind, but below that, two other emotions were kicking each other around trying to take control of the rest of the evening.

One was disappointment. Because the reason Iruka hadn't said 'no' when Kakashi had asked him out was...well...the guy was hot. Really hot. Extremely hot. It was true that Iruka had yet to see his face, but a year ago, back when Iruka had decided Kakashi was damn hot, it wasn’t the man’s face he’d been looking at.

Fighting with the disappointment though, was something like relief. Iruka was a healthy young male whose busy schedule didn't allow him to get out as often as he wanted, but Hatake Kakashi was not an easy fling. The man was a Jounin, and tough and cutting as steel beneath that easy-going exterior, as Iruka remembered all too well from that episode before the Chuunin exam years ago. And that was only the start of it. Iruka and Kakashi knew the same people, they met occasionally around Naruto, they worked for the same administration, but Iruka was no fool; he knew next to nothing about Kakashi, and he was ready to bet that that was already more than most people in the village did. Iruka wasn't sure he wanted to take on the task of getting to know him, either. The man went everywhere with a mask, for crying out loud, and even torture couldn't get anything personal out of him (according to Naruto, whom Iruka had discreetly questioned on the subject).

So it was probably for the best. Right. Iruka clapped his hands firmly. What to do now? Since he was on a cleaning binge, why not do the laundry? He was now wearing one of his last clean outfits; the laundry was another chore he tried to put off until it was either that or walk around naked.

But if he went down to the building's communal laundry room and Kakashi was only a bit late, then Iruka wouldn’t be in when the Jounin showed up.

Iruka refused to admit he'd even thought that, but the nagging doubt persisted...Naruto's List of Complaints, Item number two (right behind everything concerning Sasuke), was the fact that Kakashi was always late...

With some self-recrimination, Iruka decided to go work on an upcoming course for his fourth-year class instead of doing the laundry. After twenty minutes of sitting at his small desk, studiously working and forgetting all about his annoyance and frustration, the lesson plan slowly taking shape would have frightened any student it was applied to, and many a full-fledged Shinobi as well.

At eight twenty seven and a few seconds - but Iruka was not watching the damned clock - there was a sharp rap on the door. Iruka’s suddenly tense grip pulverized his pencil.

He stared at the door as if it had leapt into the middle of the room. Then he dusted pencil shards from his fingers, stood up and walked over, his mind on neutral. He was just going to see who it was. Might be a door-to-door salesman, in which case Iruka was going to forget that he was a pleasant, much respected schoolteacher and do something primitive.

It was Kakashi, slouching against the far wall of the corridor. "Hi. Sorry I’m a bit late, I got lost inside a particularly deep and gripping thought about spring."

"Good evening, Kakashi-sensei," Iruka said, covering with knee-jerk politeness his bewilderment at the lameness of that bizarre excuse.

Kakashi immediately made a cut-off gesture with his hand. "Can we omit the titles? I get 'Kakashi-sensei' all day long in a context that's hardly relaxing."


Iruka knew he should add a rejoinder, but his mind was blank. He felt strangely unprepared; despite showering and everything, he'd never thought beyond the single moment of Kakashi showing up. Well, Kakashi had showed up. Iruka...had a date...with Kakashi. The whole evening spread before the teacher like Terra Incognita. What did Kakashi have in mind exactly? Where were they going? Should Iruka have dressed for the occasion?

The sheer amount of 'stupid' in that last thought snapped him out of his mental tailspin. Like many busy Shinobi, Iruka didn't have much in the way of civilian clothes. The only outfit he had that was dressier than his uniform was the ceremonial black slacks and tunic worn at funerals, and though he didn't know where Kakashi was going to take him tonight, it was certainly to be hoped that that would not be appropriate attire. Kakashi was dressed in his regular uniform, with the jacket zipped halfway down as the only sign of informality. If it was good enough for Kakashi, it would be good enough for Iruka as well.

"You ready?"

"Sure." Iruka grabbed his keys and weapon holster from the side table. He put the latter down again, trying not to be too conspicuous about it. Kakashi wasn't visibly armed, and anyway, this was a date, not a mission. Iruka only needed his wallet, the small emergency dagger strapped to his wrist beneath his sleeve, his keys and a bit of level-headedness.

They walked down Iruka's street side by side in silence. There were still people out and about at this time; nobody gave them a second glance. Iruka tried to lose the feeling he had a three-foot neon panel with 'ON A DATE' floating above his head. Damn it, he'd been out on dates before. Though they'd never started quite like this. They'd never been with somebody like Hatake Kakashi either.

"So, how was your day?" Kakashi asked, as if he'd once read a book on the art of conversation and this was chapter one.

"...It was fine until somebody showed up in my classroom and called me a pansy."

Iruka was rather pleased to be able to get this one out in the open before they'd gone more than two blocks.

Kakashi scratched the back of his head; the eyelid of his visible eye drooped as if in effort at remembering what he’d said three hours prior. "I said you weren't a pansy. Didn’t I?"

"You said I wasn't quite the pansy you thought I was."

"Oh yeah, that's what I said."

They walked on side by side for a few more steps. Then Kakashi cocked his head towards Iruka. "Just how mad are you?"

Probably not half as mad as I should be, Iruka thought, honest with himself at least. But he didn’t say it out loud. Instead, he fixed Kakashi with his sternest gaze, the kind reserved for unruly classrooms on the edge of a riot; he had the satisfaction of seeing the man take a casual yet prudent step out of strike range as they walked.

"Fairly angry. I guess you’ll just have to find a way of making it up to me," Iruka said tartly. . He had no intention of letting another man pay for his meal, but he didn’t mind trying to squeeze a couple of free drinks out of the nonchalant bastard.

Kakashi stopped walking. Iruka’s own steps faltered as he turned back to find himself scrutinized carefully. The gaze was measuring. Then the single eye creased up into a pleasant crescent.

"I guess I will. This way."

Iruka fell into step again, once more a bit uncertain about events. Kakashi was strolling along, hands in pocket, as if he hadn't a care in the world.

"So where are we going?" Iruka asked, after a few blocks. They were heading the opposite way they should take if they were going to the centre of the village and its public places.

"This little restaurant I know."

The silence settled again, and lasted for quite some time. Iruka tried to examine his companion as discreetly as possible, but the streetlights were further apart out here, away from the main streets. That, and the mask and the headband and the attitude made it rather difficult to figure out what the man was thinking. Iruka tried to come up with something to say.

"How was your day?" he finally asked. After all, Kakashi had enquired.

"I spent the morning up a tree. It was very instructive."

"I’m sure it was," said Iruka, who refused to admit to being completely lost in this conversation.

"I spent the afternoon badgering my team. Then I went and badgered a schoolteacher. We'll see what's in store for the evening. Here we are." Kakashi turned and headed down some concrete stairs to a set of iron doors. Iruka followed, perplexed but unwilling to show it.

They were in the large basement of a warehouse. Someone had had the eccentric idea of turning into a diner. Of sorts. The walls were unpainted concrete. The tables were set in booths with high metal partitions, so at first Iruka couldn't even tell if there was anybody there. The lighting was good; a bit too good, in fact, as it did nothing to hide the stains and scratches on the plastic tables and the sheer unloveliness of the walls. The air was heavy with the smell of grease and onions. Kakashi walked confidently through the rows of tables and Iruka followed, wondering where the hell he'd ended up.

Moving past the booths revealed their occupants. They were all sitting alone. Iruka recognized the first two people he saw; Jounin he’d met in the mission’s room. He didn't know the third, but there was an air of danger about him that spoke of upper ranks; that and the sword propped up like a dinner companion on the other side of the table. The fourth man was Morino Ibiki; he was reading a scroll and sipping tea. His eyes barely twitched up as Kakashi passed, but Iruka nonetheless felt that some form of silent greeting had been exchanged. His own polite nod was completely ignored, though he could swear he felt Ibiki's curious stare on his back as he walked on.

Iruka, still examining the place, slipped into the next booth. He turned to ask one of a series of questions, and realized he'd sat down at the wrong table.

"I'm sorry," he murmured to the Shinobi already seated there. He stood up and looked around. Where had Kakashi gone? The booths were high enough where it was hard to see. He could have sworn he was following the Jounin. Iruka took a step forward, trying to see above the chest-high partitions to find that familiar masked face and grey hair, while a strange observation was tapping urgently at the doors to his mind and gesturing wildly.

"...If you're looking for the bathrooms, they're to your right," came a familiar drawl behind him.

Iruka stared at the opposite wall. It had a calendar on it. It was dated three years ago, it was opened to the month of March and it had a pair of ugly puppies above the days.

"Sit down, sensei."

Iruka turned slowly and sat down.

"It's hard to eat with a mask on." It was jarring, that familiar voice coming from the bare face of a stranger. "I never wear it in here."

"Oh." Iruka felt like apologizing for intruding, or thanking Kakashi for the trust, or, well, something a bit more eloquent and on-the-ball than 'oh'. What was he supposed to do now? Presumably there was a reason Kakashi wore that mask. Did he expect the teacher to look away? Did he expect Iruka to not look at him during the entire meal?

Iruka stared at the scratched surface of the table and made a decision.

Kakashi, it seemed, enjoyed seeing Iruka off-balance; or maybe it wasn't even conscious, just a by-product of his training and years of service. Shinobi really hated feeling confused; it went against the grain. Iruka had been trying to keep up with Kakashi in this bizarre sort of game that wasn't one, because...he really wanted to get to know this guy, against his better judgement. But it was time Kakashi got to know him, too. No more games unless Iruka also had a hand in the rules. If Kakashi didn't like that, fine. Iruka could always wait for the next interesting Jounin with a seriously hot ass to come along.

He lifted his eyes and stared openly at Kakashi's revealed features. Kakashi's lips twitched upwards at the corners; he didn't seem to mind.

The stranger in front of him had nice lips; expressive. Iruka wondered if that was why Kakashi wore a mask. As someone who also had a hard time controlling his facial expressions as a good Shinobi should, Iruka could sympathise. The rest of the face was okay. Long straight nose, clean-shaven cheeks, firm jaw. He had two scars, faded with time, one almost entirely covered by the headband over his left eye, the other on the corner of his chin. There were faint lines around the mouth; it looked like Kakashi smiled often.

Kakashi put his chin in his palm, elbow on the table, and returned the favour of Iruka’s scrutiny. Iruka didn't mind either.

Just as it was turning into a staring match, there was a noise from the far side of the room: a series of regular thumps. Iruka leaned out of the booth to see what it was.

An elderly man dressed in a long apron came out of the doorway behind the bar at the end of the room. He was walking with a rolling gait that spoke of a prosthetic beneath his obi, and a mechanical clamp stuck out from the right sleeve of his tunic. Scars ran up the right side of his face to his high bald pate, making his head look like a cracked egg. His right eye was missing. The socket, without an eye patch, was pink and empty and seemed to be staring straight at the Chuunin. The old man didn't look impressed.

"Bring a little friend, Hatake?" He gave their table a perfunctory wipe with a greasy rag.

"Yes, his name is Umino Iruka. What's tonight's special?"

"Squid, soup n' rice."

"I can think of cleaner ways to die. What do you want to eat, Iruka? I warn you, none of it is very good."

Iruka gave Kakashi an uncertain look. There were no menus on the table.

The waiter - or possibly the cook - was giving Kakashi a baleful glare. "Screw you, Hatake. Why do you come here if you don't like the food?"

"I come for your charming personality, didn't you know that?"

The old man extended the prosthetic arm with slow deliberation. One of the three articulated digits flicked upwards in Kakashi's face in a gesture that was pretty explicit even without actual fingers. "Charm this, brat."

"Don't wave anything at me that you can't afford to lose, old man."

"I could take you down in my sleep, Junior."

The two men stared at each other, neither blinking, until suddenly the old man started to wheeze. Iruka realized he was laughing.

"What do you want to eat?" the cook asked, after coughing. He was speaking perfectly normally, and Kakashi answered as if nothing had happened.

"The usual. How about you, Iruka? Egg, vegetables and soba good for you?"

"Sure," Iruka answered a bit weakly.

"Come on, now, Kakashi," the old man said. "It's not my business to tell you how to treat a nice guy like this, but you better get him something better if you expect him to put out."

Iruka blinked and almost glanced at Kakashi- but he didn't like to be seen taking a cue from the Jounin. So he stared right back into the old man's filmy eye. "The soba sounds good to me," he answered, voice neutral. Then he added, quite honestly: "I doubt there's anything in this joint that would make it worth my while to put out."

The old man chortled and punched Kakashi in the shoulder with his good hand. Iruka had the feeling he'd just passed some kind of test.

"I'll be right back with your orders and some beer," the cook said, and limped off to the next booth. "Ibiki, you want some more tea? How fucking pathetic are you, to sit here drinking alone, anyway? Why don't you go out and get a girlfriend? Kakashi managed, and you're not that much uglier than he is."

Iruka, bristling at the word 'girlfriend', barely made out the murmur of Ibiki's response. "More tea, less comments about my love life."

"Yeah, can't talk about what don't exist."

"I manage. You have to poison them with your food to stop them from running away."

The wheezy chuckle echoed again, and the old man limped off to insult a few more customers presumably.

Iruka leaned towards Kakashi. "Retired Shinobi?"

"Yes. A Jounin of the old school, though now the deadliest thing about him are his wits and his cooking." But there was a warm tone to Kakashi's voice. Iruka wondered what kind of fight had finished that old man's career. It must have been quite spectacular, and Iruka was willing to bet the enemies who'd attacked him had not had the luxury of retiring and setting up a diner afterwards; not if the man had the strength, drive and determination to keep an entire restaurant running as cook, waiter and manager, as was apparently the case, despite missing nearly half his body. Iruka was willing to bet the worst thing he could do to this beaten-up old warrior was to feel sorry for him, and the crotchety bastard made sure the idea would never cross anyone's mind.

"Only high level Jounin come here, I'm thinking," Iruka said slowly.

"Yes, pretty much."

"That would be why everybody in here is weird."

"I come here all the time."

"I rest my case."

Kakashi smiled like a cat with cream on its whiskers.

Iruka glanced around. Apart from the calendar, the only other decoration in the room was a dartboard up against one wall. It was probably a dartboard, though it would require forensic evidence to be certain. The cork in its centre had been annihilated, probably by having dozens of Jounin taking aim at it over time. The rest of the dartboard was pitted and torn, and the wall around it indicated that if the Jounin ran out of darts, they tended to use kunai and possibly small axes while drunk enough to miss the board one times out of two.

From where he sat, Iruka could see that the bar counter, unattended at the moment, had been scratched and marked. Dozens of different names, Iruka realized as he craned his neck. He could make out the ones nearest if he squinted a bit, and he knew those names; people he met when he was assisting the Hokage in handing out A-rank missions. Some of the names were scratched out.

Iruka finally turned his gaze back to Kakashi, who'd been openly staring at him all the while. "Why did you ask me out?"

Kakashi shrugged easily. "It's spring."

Iruka felt a vein twitch in his forehead.

"And I need some adult conversation," Kakashi added with a lazy wave of his hand, forestalling an explosion. "Anybody who wishes they were teenagers again should spend some time with three of them armed to the teeth. I'd like to hang out with someone my age from time to time, between missions."

Fair enough, but if Kakashi just wanted to chat with a colleague, he would have met up with Iruka in one of Konoha's tea-houses or eateries. He wouldn’t have taken the teacher to this place, revealing a little bit of himself like the bar counter revealed a list of names living and dead. No, Iruka felt pretty sure Kakashi wanted something a bit more than adult conversation, so his real question was 'why me?'

Kakashi upheld the stare that followed, until he crossed his arms over his chest and glanced lazily at the calendar.

"Truth is, you just happened to be there, looking kinda nice at the right place and time," Kakashi said with all the tact of a double-headed axe. "I didn't think I'd have a chance with you to start with, but since then I've re-evaluated that. I think we both got a chance. I think you’re tough enough where I won’t eat you alive, but not so hard-ass that we’ll end up killing each other. I think you’re a good enough Shinobi to figure out when I need some alone time, but you’ve still got a lot of warmth and heart left. I find myself wondering what you felt when those kids first hit the targets this morning-"


"- how you cope when one of your graduates doesn’t make it back from a mission, and I'd like to hear you tell me what it's like to take care of twenty kids in an only mildly risky situation that shouldn’t descend into violence at the drop of a hat."


"Though of course, if you feel like having sex with me too, that would be great."

Iruka's jaw hit the greasy table just as the soba arrived.

The old man looked like he wanted to stay and listen in on the conversation, but Kakashi shooed him away. He uncapped his beer, took a swig and then dug into his soba. Iruka was still staring. He'd had to fend off - or encourage - some subtle come-ons in his time; he'd never been clobbered with one quite like this before. He wasn't sure how to react. He wasn't sure how he wanted to react, in this dive, with an unmasked Kakashi looking at him curiously and those words still hanging in the air.

"Kakashi...when they were handing out subtlety, where were you hiding exactly?"

"In the shadows, like a good Shinobi," Kakashi answered promptly. "Where's the problem? If you want something, shouldn't you just ask?"

"You mean, that was your pickup line?"

Kakashi looked at him with a slightly bemused smile. "I never thought of it that way, but yes, I guess."

"...You don't get lucky often, do you..."

Kakashi's eye widened and then creased in amusement, his lips parted in a silent laugh that didn't move any part of his body. Iruka stared in fascination, noting that if Kakashi had been masked, there would only be that ubiquitous eye movement visible, and that was hard to interpret.

"A Shinobi makes his own luck." Kakashi lazily speared a duck egg with his chopsticks. "If you’re the kind of sensitive, bashful guy to run away from a straight proposal, you might as well start hoofing it now. You don’t have to answer right away. You don't actually know me that well."

No, but I guess I'm starting to, Iruka thought as his gaze travelled over the shoddy restaurant, the scarred old veteran, the dartboard, the names...He picked up his sticks, swirled the soba in the broth and sampled it. It wasn’t the best he'd ever had, but it wasn't anywhere as bad as the location had led him to fear.

They discussed Kakashi's team as they ate, and some of the other graduates. They talked about Sandaime and Godaime and a few other acquaintances they had in common. About education techniques and interrogation techniques (Kakashi had this strange habit of blending both subjects, and seemed to think Iruka would do the same). Iruka wasn't surprised to find that they'd finished their soba and beers and Kakashi had yet to mention a single personal detail. But he realized he didn't mind too much. The talk was comfortable and friendly, and Iruka was having a good time. More than that; a relaxing time, always appreciated by schoolteachers everywhere. The short range of conversation and the occasional silence didn't feel like a constraint; it felt like setting the foundation for several evenings to come where they could dig deeper, if they chose to.

The old man - whose name Iruka still didn’t know - casually dropped off two cookies in front of their empty bowls. Fortune cookies, to Iruka's surprise; hardly a common custom in Konoha. Iruka was about to ignore the confectionary when he noticed Kakashi looking at them with curious intensity. The Jounin picked his up, cracked it open, dropped the cookie and read his fortune out loud.

"'Your smile is your best defence'. Yeah, that'll stop a kunai. What does yours say?"

When Iruka blinked at him, Kakashi grinned self-consciously. "Sorry, it's something of a tradition here. Don't worry about it."

If it was a tradition...Iruka picked up his cookie and cracked it open, extracting the small slip of paper.

"'You will’-" he started and choked as he realized what he was reading.

Kakashi cocked his head and snatched the fortune from Iruka's fingers before the spluttering Chuunin could react. His eye flickered over the sentence.

"Oh, one of those. Hey, old man! If I want your help getting laid, I'll be sure to tell you. Now give him a real one."

Something suspiciously like an amused snort came from Ibiki's booth. Then a cookie sailed through the air over the partition. Iruka's hand shot out and caught it automatically.

He unwrapped it, cracked it open and suspiciously read the fortune to himself first. It wasn’t some highly explicit prediction on how he was going to spend the night this time, so he reread it out loud.

"'You never hesitate to tackle the most difficult problems.'"

Kakashi nodded his approval, as if Iruka had found that piece of wisdom in his soul instead of in a cookie. "That gotta be true. If turning that hot-head Naruto into a Genin doesn’t qualify as the most difficult problem, I don’t know what does."

Iruka kept one possible answer to that statement to himself.


Iruka unlocked his door and glanced around prudently. At this time of night, the other apartments were quiet and the hallway deserted. He turned towards his dining companion who'd walked him back, hands in his pocket, after agreeably letting Iruka pay for half the meal. Kakashi had pulled up the mask again before exiting the diner, but it looked completely different now that Iruka knew the face beneath it.

"Do you want to come in for a cup of tea?" Iruka asked as casually as he could.

"I’ll pass. It's getting a bit too late at night for caffeine."

"Oh." Iruka tried to not feel too put down. Probably for the best-

"Er..." Kakashi suddenly looked a bit unsettled. "Was that some kind of allusion? I haven’t actually been out with anybody in ages."

Iruka looked at him carefully, but Kakashi didn’t seem to be pulling his leg.

"Did you expect me to rip off my shirt and throw myself at you?" he asked tartly (and in a very low voice).

"It seems to work that way in the books."

"We don’t all have your notorious taste in literature."

"...Is it too late to say yes? I’ll even drink tea first-"

"Let’s get one thing straight," Iruka said, crossing his arms over his chest. "I rather like you. In as much as I know you, which is-..." more than he had at the start of the evening, Iruka privately conceded. "Which is not all that much, all told. I have the feeling I could really get to like you, and that you could drive me absolutely crazy. I think you’re serious about us getting, let's say, acquainted, but I also think you’re not used to letting people get that close to you, and you have-..." Iruka struggled a second between honesty and ingrained courtesy, "let’s just say you have your own very special way of saying and doing things. All told, the conservative estimate for the duration of a relationship between us is two weeks and we’ll hope it doesn’t end in homicide."

Kakashi nodded. "Yes, let’s stay optimistic. For starters, I rarely kill anyone outside of the job."

"Convention says that I should wait those two weeks to see if we might actually have a chance of getting somewhere before we fall into bed. But the way I see it is, in two weeks we’ll either still be together or we’ll have split up, and I don’t think sleeping with you will change that. So the real question is, do I want to get laid at least once during those two weeks or not? Are you coming in to get the bloody cup of tea or aren’t you?"

"Tea sounds great," Kakashi said, stepping into the doorway.

"On second thought, we’ll skip the tea. I don’t think I want to see you on caffeine. That would be unsettling."

"Fine by me."

The door closed with a firm click behind Kakashi, startling the mouse which had been creeping back in through its own private entrance in the wall nearby. It paused and suddenly decided to sleep peacefully in the hedge outside tonight and to make its way back into the pantry tomorrow, which turned out to be a remarkably astute decision for a rodent.


Though maybe I might write the third part to this, which would, of course, be the lemon :P I've got other stuff to work on first, mind you.

I'm going to take a small break from weekly posting. I've been doing it for...hell, almost a year now *collapses at the thought* That's a lotta ficcage. I need a bit of R&R. But I am working on several things: that Sand Sib gen fic, which I poke occasionally, a long GaaraLee one-shot that came out of left field at me and knocked me over a few days ago (first time in a long time I wrote 8000 words in one day...), and another lil' GaaraLee thingie which may or may not see the light of day. And of course, ANBU is bubbling around at the back of my head, and I occasionally poke Source of All Things with the Correction stick. This, ladies and gents, is my hobby. Hear it roar ^^;

__tk__ on July 30th, 2006 04:07 pm (UTC)

I'm sad to hear that you're taking a break from regular Sunday posting, but your list of on-going projects makes me very happy. :)

Take some time and relax (writing is very relaxing) and I'll be here waiting for you in a completely normal, non-stalkery way.

I really enjoyed DR and Kindred. GaaraLee is love and KakashiIruka is laughter (code for sex).
lynnmonsterlynnmonster on July 30th, 2006 04:14 pm (UTC)
Utter. Love.

I'm so glad you wrote this! (And, of course, I do hope for the eventual part 3 one day, but this is a delicious morsel all on its own.)

I'll happily consume your hobby at whatever rate you choose to dish it out!
turtlepie (or something)kaneko_chan on July 30th, 2006 04:33 pm (UTC)
I HEART your work!!!!!!!

Your Iruka and Kakashi are absolutely brillig, and I adore the way you have them interact. They're both so quirky, it's real.

And Damn, but you can write.
dynamite with a laser beam: robbieoberstein on July 30th, 2006 04:39 pm (UTC)
So the real question is, do I want to get laid at least once during those two weeks or not?

I love your characterization of Iruka. He's nice-guy-without-being-Gai (no offense to Gai) yet still "terror of the pre-genin classroom"; he's not acting like a "woman" yet he's still got a personality.

Am very much looking forward to the lemon, of course. :D

Your weekly postings have been a heavensent, and you do deserve a break (just don't leave us for-evar? red_rahl's chibis will cry.)

WinterOfOurDiscontentwinter_hermit on July 30th, 2006 05:02 pm (UTC)
Thank you. With the strange dearth of good KakaIru fic I've been suffering from lately, it's wonderful to see a reminder of why I like the pairing.

Really enjoyable story, kept them in character, great handling of the various difficulties and oddities of high level ninja attempting non-violent human contact.
The Hoydenthehoyden on July 30th, 2006 05:08 pm (UTC)
Oh, I'm so happy to see this! I love how Kakashi is not at all well socialized, and Iruka is strong enough to give back as good as he gets.

And it's summer - a perfect time for taking a break. But of course I'll be happy to see fic from you again, be it GaaraLee or a sequel to this (god, I can't even tell which one I want more).
mehla_seraphimmehla_seraphim on July 30th, 2006 05:14 pm (UTC)
Lol. Man...Blunt doesn't even begin to describe Kakashi. I wish I could just say stuff like that. Maybe I should dye my hair silver or white lol.

I really liked that fic.

And omg yay! More LeeGaa and Sandfics.
joisbishmyogajoisbishmyoga on July 30th, 2006 06:25 pm (UTC)
Then he added, quite honestly: "I doubt there's anything in this joint that would make it worth my while to put out."

That line KILLED me. I LOVE your Iruka.

(And I'm picturing the reaction if the ninja knew you have to add "in bed" to fortune cookies... Iruka's is even more amazingly accurate with it.)
tingeltingel on July 30th, 2006 07:17 pm (UTC)
Mmmmh, you're spoiling us! xD
Lenaredalmond on July 30th, 2006 07:53 pm (UTC)
I love how you can make up your own places and characters and make them fit in perfectly in the Naruto universe XD

Your Kakashi and Iruka are hilarious, and I'm looking forward to anything you write, whenever you decide to post them :D
inomuiro: ShikaLeeLove2inomuiro on July 30th, 2006 07:54 pm (UTC)
This was so very enjoyable and well-written... actually I'm not a big fan of KakaIruka, but you just make them the perfection, like everything else you write!

so... thank you so much for everything you wrote till now!!! I'll be waiting (stalker? what stalker? ^^;) for your fics, anytime you'll decide to post!!
dragon_tearzdragon_tearz on August 4th, 2006 01:55 am (UTC)
ZOMG, your icon is total love! (I thought I was the only person weird enough to like the Shikamaru/Lee pairing!
(no subject) - inomuiro on August 4th, 2006 09:38 pm (UTC) (Expand)
honordemandoren on July 30th, 2006 09:03 pm (UTC)
Sequels are marvelous things
I'm glad you wrote the sequel to this. It's even close to what I had envisioned for it, which is a rare event. You handled the balancing of their personalities quite well.
And even though you deserve a break...don't take long! It's the weekly updates that keep some of us sane.
|<4ti3: phoenix wright O RLY4ti3k4t35 on July 30th, 2006 09:30 pm (UTC)
This is wonderful! I just found Spring Fever for the first time last month and loved it and when this popped up on kakairu I was thrilled! Thank you for some cute and fun fic. =D ♥
Occasional Renaissance: books glasses heartsregonym on July 30th, 2006 09:34 pm (UTC)
Bwah. I remember loving 'Spring Fever' to pieces when I first read it, so I'm really happy that you continued this. I adore KakaIru in general, but your stuff is more quality than most.

Did find one little error in the space-time continuum:
The fic starts out with "It was seven forty four PM", but four paragraphs later the line "it was only seven thirty eight by the time Iruka had cleaned everything in the tiny apartment" pops up. Made me blink a bit.

Maldorormaldoror_gw on August 14th, 2006 11:32 pm (UTC)
Ah yeah, that wasn't actually a time-blip, it was my pitiful handling of flashbacks, which isn't my strong point ^^; The story starts with Iruka watching the time at 7:44, but then proceeds to say how he spent his time before then, from the moment he got home. The cleaning was finished by 7:38 and then he glares at the clock and mumbles to himself, and that 'catches up' with the story where it started, at 7:44 where he decides to go shower etc. Muy apologies for the confusion ^_^
cathedral_junkicathedral_junki on July 30th, 2006 11:28 pm (UTC)
we found you!
Hiya! It's erin and the id. yes just when you though that you'd gotten away. Ma ha ha ha hah *shut up id* ahem, anyhoo, i've got no freakin' clue what the hell i just read but it was fun, you're still a fantastic writer and it made me laugh, so what the hell who cares. I'll pick it up as a i go. Ok, now give :) where is the rest of it, all of this new stuff. Is it all on the journal? or is there a page some where? oh i friended you by the by (i started a journal which for me is huge b/c computers and i hate each other) Any way great to be back, the id's arm has just about fallen off from waving.

Take care,
the id kids :)
Maldorormaldoror_gw on July 31st, 2006 12:31 am (UTC)
Re: we found you!
Hi Erin! Hi id! (I know that anybody reading this is going to think we're barking mad, but everybody needs a slice of insanity in their lives). So LJ dragged you in? Well, welcome to the madness, and welcome to my LJ ^_^ All of my new stuff is in these pages, if you look in the memories (the little heart symbol at the top of my user page, with my bio and all that) you can find most of it. Of course, most of it is Naruto...Good to see you again!
(Anonymous) on July 31st, 2006 12:55 am (UTC)
First time reading a kakairu, and I loved it ^__^. Perfect characterization as always.

Yay, and I'm glad you're working on more LeeGaa ^_____^.

sinestratedsinestrated on July 31st, 2006 12:57 am (UTC)
Marvelous. I don't know what to say; it flowed so well, and they all seemed so in-character. It was overall a very relaxing read. ^^
chrstphrlchrstphrl on July 31st, 2006 01:34 am (UTC)
I loved this and the prequel. They're both so in character and the scene in the restaraunt made me laugh. Awesome job. I look forward to the next part, when you write it.
You Who Never Knew My Heart...: Kakashi n Iruka - Kakairu Lovepugsley on July 31st, 2006 01:54 am (UTC)
I absolutely loved your story. It was wonderful to see Kakashi go through his screening process with Iruka, to decide whether to date him or not. I also loved how straight forward Kakashi was in telling Iruka what he wanted from him.

I absolutely loved the diner they went to. What a wonderful character you made as the cook, waiter and manager of the restaurant. I warmed up to him immediately. The diner was very unique in that only high-level Jounin go there and to me they were all like old sailor's very "salty dogs".

The bar with the names carved in it, was a very touching aspect. So was Iruka's reaction to the owner and the bar itself.

I liked the line Iruka said when he and Kakashi was walking down the street:
Iruka tried to lose the feeling he had a three-foot neon panel with 'ON A DATE' floating above his head. Damn it, he'd been out on dates before.
That was so cute.

Thanks for sharing you story and I would definitely like to read more, but I hear you are taking a break. Hopefully it won't interfere with this wonderful story!! If it does for awhile, just know you have a new fan waiting for a new story.
Maldorormaldoror_gw on August 14th, 2006 11:29 pm (UTC)
to me they were all like old sailor's very "salty dogs".

That was what I was aiming for ^_^ The sort of 'killer's club' where only the meanest or craziest Jounin go out to hang.

I'm sorta taking a break - as much as I can when the plot bunnies won't stop talking to me in strange voices in my head...I have a few lines written for that next part, but lemons are always harder to write than other scenes in my experience, so we'll see if it emerges.
one hundred scalpsgiacona on July 31st, 2006 02:06 am (UTC)
i LOVE it. i don't know what else to say, because it's already all been said! :D
green_is_lovelygreen_is_lovely on July 31st, 2006 02:49 am (UTC)
i'm pretty much convinced that there isn't any pairing or situation that you can't write! just further proof of your sheer talent and hardwork. :)

thanks for sharing and i can't wait to read more of your fantastic stories!
euoieuoi on July 31st, 2006 03:54 am (UTC)
Ooh more Kakairu! Now that's a shinobi first date, going to some grotesquely scarred ex jounin's dive, what could be more romantic? It's great how Iruka stands up for himself. Now all we need is the lemon, hee. : )
I'm a bit sad that there won't be fic every Sunday, but that is a very punishing schedule, posting every week. I guess you've spoilt us. Am glad ANBU is still alive and kicking, will wait patiently for it.
Doewiebele: Bunny_banana by nacchan_nanodadoewiebele on July 31st, 2006 07:11 am (UTC)
*Is still in shock*
(Anonymous) on July 31st, 2006 07:32 pm (UTC)
And Roar it does, woman!
Gods, you really draw me into each of your fics with teh way you characterise every character (well... almost evryone :P), the way you describe the places, actions and thoughts, and your story lines. I'm sure I've told you this before, but you have a gift.
Thanks for sharing, and if some R&R will lead to more great fics, please take it and enjoy (and if not, STILL take them and enjoy, please).
mija711: KakaIruEATUmija711 on July 31st, 2006 08:20 pm (UTC)
ooh man you just gotta love that, love the interaction between the two, soo funneh, I mean I liked the way you didnt make Iruka all shy and girly but held his own and wasn't too shy about letting himself have what he wanted, which apperantly was to get laid by Kakashi lol, loved the detail and the old man very good, liked the whole cleaning binge as well, but whaaa no lemon?? awwwwww I wanted to see if Kakashi was any good, lol, he seems to have been ummm outta circulation for some time so I wanted to know if he forgot how to do it, lol, anyhow would be great to read a third part, but if not this stand great alone, ty for the wonderful read, huggles and smiles Mija...:-)