Based off the kinkmeme prompt: What if Kakashi led Iruka's life and vice-versa?
I ran across this fic in my hard-drive while searching for notes on another upcoming role reversal fic. (I'm sensing a theme here.) I thought it would be fun to post. If I remember right, I have other parts to this story hand-written somewhere. Those may go up someday, too. :)
Iruka gave a very long sigh as he walked into the missions office and found a long line of shinobi, all waiting to pick up or drop-off mission scrolls.
Having come straight off of an A-ranked mission turned S by another intelligence screw-up, Iruka was tired, footsore, and – as he suspected from the way others moved a half-step away – still smelly from swamp country.
He was half-tempted to pull rank and cut to the head of the line, but that, too, would have been an effort. He was so very, very weary…
So Iruka took his place at the end of the line and closed his visible eye – the only concession he would give to exhaustion. It didn't matter. Even with his natural eye closed, and the other covered with a black eye-patch, he still had a nearly 360 degree view of the room. He saw everything.
How chuunin and fellow jounin alike glanced in his direction and quickly away again. How people naturally moved to gave him space – beyond the smell of sweat, blood and swamp muck – they always made sure to keep a minimum distance. The same way they'd defer to any ANBU, although Iruka had been mostly retired from that group for several years now.
Respect sheathed over a core of fear.
He had been waiting for a good fifteen minutes and the long line had hardly advanced beyond a few steps. The two desk chuunin in the front were clearly overworked; their apologies murmured over and over again, still audible in the crowded room.
There was a movement at the office door, and a lanky figure strode in: silver hair flopping over the side of his hitai-ate, and skintight mask concealing the lower half of his face.
Immediately, the two chuunin manning the desk shot to their feet, tumbling a few scrolls off the table. "You're late!" they yelled, with enough force to silence the room.
"Saa," the silver haired chuunin drawled, and ambled to the desk, completely impervious to every glare aimed at his back. Fully eighty-percent of the crowd. Iruka counted. "I somehow lost one of my students between lunch and afternoon classes. It took a few hours, but I eventually found him working at the ramen stand—"
"Liar!" one of his companions snapped. An Uchiha that Iruka didn't know, but who wore orange-tinted goggles over his eyes. "Because of you, we've been backlogged all day."
The silver haired man merely smiled in reply – a curious crescenting of two steel-blue eyes above the mask – and took seat.
Iruka shifted to the left, joining the new line that formed. With the new addition to the desk, the lines at a normal pace. Or at least the other two lines did. The one in front of the new arrival was still agonizingly slow, and the reason was soon clear.
The silver haired chuunin was lounging back in his seat, reading casually from a blue and grey book – some ridiculous biography of the life and times of the Lightning Country Daimyo. He took the scrolls from the waiting shinobi without even looking, remarking, "Thank you for your work," in a clearly bored sigh.
Iruka snapped open his visible eye and did his best to glare a hole in the man from three people away. He could feel a headache starting – a combination of chakra depletion and irritation. And by the time he reached the head of the line, he could practically feel the vein somewhere in his right temple bulging. He suspected it probably matched the left by now.
When Iruka's turn finally came, the chuunin didn't even look up at him; just held out a flat hand. Iruka instead slammed his scroll upon the desk – a cracking sound so loud he could feel and see every gaze upon them. Even the bored chuunin finally looked up from his book.
"Problem, Umino-san?" he remarked, eyes cool even though Iruka could feel himself emitting no small amount of dangerous intent.
Some part of his mind still untouched by the situation, felt a little grudging respect come for the paper-pusher. If the rumors around the village were to be believed, Byakugan no Iruka could kill with a look, or read the depth of a man's mind from a mile away. Not many dared to meet his gaze, or hold it for very long.
Or screw with him when he was angry.
Iruka considered himself to be a professional at what he did, but he hated both inefficiency and sloth. And this desk chuunin seemed to be the epitome of both.
"What's your name?" Iruka growled, leaning down, nearly looming over him.
The other shinobi didn't react – just stared at the jounin as if stunned. Iruka could see his lips, slightly parted, behind the skin tight mask.
The moment lengthened and finally the Uchiha next to the chuunin gave his friend a not-so-subtle elbow to the side, hissing, "Kakashi!" and glancing at Iruka with a worried expression.
The chuunin – Kakashi, apparently – startled, grabbing a random scroll before it rolled off the desk completely. "Hatake Kakashi."
"Make sure this scroll reaches the Sandaime's desk. There is valuable information within," Iruka said, his voice a low growl. He slapped his scroll into Kakashi's still open palm."And I expect it to be on time, chuunin."
Their fingers brushed, and Iruka didn't need his byakugan to see the other man swallow. Hard.
Those blue eyes, however, remained half lidded. Cool and unworried even as Iruka saw his heart rate double.
"I will," Kakashi murmured, only adding as Iruka turned to go, "Thank you for your hard work, jounin-san."
Iruka didn't elect to reply, deciding to instead teleport back to his apartment right then and there. A swirl of leaves, and he was gone.
O O O O
It was silent in the room for a few seconds after Byakugan no Iruka's departure. Obito leaned back in his seat and let out a long breath, glancing at Kakashi. "You must have some sort of death wish, antagonizing a guy like that."
"I assure you, it wasn't on purpose," Kakashi replied, easily. He looked unruffled as ever on the outside, but Obito saw a little color on the exposed skin of Kakashi's cheeks.
Further conversation stalled between them as they worked steadily through the line of waiting ninja. Kakashi, Obito realized, a few hours later after evening had fallen and they were packing up the missions desk to go home, hadn't picked up his book again after Umino Iruka had left.
Odd. Normally not even the Hokage himself could chastise Kakashi out of his laziness.