"Tired"

Author: Carcinya (Isolde1 on fanfiction(dot)net)
Author E-mail:
Category: Humor/Romance
Keywords: Naruto Iruka Kakashi Birthday pointless fluff
Rating: PG
Spoilers: None.
Summary: Kakashi is very, so very tired ... Birthday fic, beware the WAFF attack. Light KakaIru
Disclaimer: This story is based on situations and characters created and owned by Masashi Kishimoto, various publishers including but not limited to TV Tokyo. No money is being made and no copyright infringement intended.

Now, now, people. If Naruto was mine, do you really think I'd be sitting at my computer, sipping bad coffee, and writing bad fanfiction? Honestly.

Author's notes: I apologize in advance for any spelling or grammar mistake there might be in this story. I am French, and still only learning the beautiful language that is English. Any comments are welcome, but obviously flames will be used to roast marshmallows. Or flamers. Yummy.

Warnings: Absolutely no plot whatsoever, enough sap to kill a diabetic, lame attempt at humor ... Written as a present of sorts for Kakashi's birthday.

I still can't believe I'm actually posting this! XDXD

This story is dedicated to the KakaIru community on LJ. I 3 you guys!

Edited version - Thanks Tatsumaki!


Itadakimasu: A typically Japanese phrase, used as an expression of gratitude before a meal. The English translation doesn't quite convey the right feeling, which is why I kept the Japanese word.

§§§

Kakashi is tired.

Like, can-I-drop-dead-please tired. The sort of tiredness which makes you want to stop caring and go to sleep right where you are standing, be it in the middle of the street, across a railroad track, or hanging upside down from a tree branch.

So Kakashi is tired - but he does none of these things, because however disastrous his reputation as an eccentric is, a man's got his pride to reckon with. Kakashi's pride, like his morale, is rather tattered and battered - but still, he's not that far gone.

No, really!

Besides, Gai would never let him live that down.

Kakashi is tired. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that he has just completed a rather insane S-class mission, only narrowly avoided being slashed to bits by an enraged psycho - maybe he was constipated? -, escaped from a crumbling building, and incidentally lost his left sandal.

Maybe it had something to do with the fact that he has just turned twenty-seven today.

Or maybe, just maybe - it has something to do with the fact that yesterday he had a stinging row with a certain pony-tailed, infuriating, adorable Chuunin. A particularly inane fight, as stupid quarrels go - but then between Iruka's oversensitive pride and Kakashi's own macho, tougher-than-thou attitude, it really can't be helped.

But it isn't Kakashi's fault, this time.

Well, maybe a little.

Iruka reproached him his attitude toward Team 7, balefully muttering something along the lines of "worst habits ... the moral sense of a duck on crack ... pernicious effect on innocent minds" and so on! Kakashi's ears are still ringing.

He was only three hours late, that morning.

Honestly! Can you believe the nerve of that man?

Kakashi would not have minded that much - he is used to Naruto's temper, after all, which the brat seems to have inherited from his hot-tempered former teacher. But then Iruka insisted that he had been right all along about the whole Chuunin exam debacle. To which Kakashi, he admits it now, probably overreacted. He told him off, callous and cold as he can be when he wants to - going as far as to remind him of the hierarchy between them. Jounin glowered down at Chuunin. Iruka looked betrayed and pained and humiliated. He bowed stiffly and turned away.

Kakashi felt guilt creeping up his heart, but the damage was already done.

How appropriate, in a twisted sort of way, that he should have to lose Iruka to realize how precious their fleeting, tentative friendship has become to him, he muses darkly.

The night is calm, the cool breeze a phantom caress against his mud-stained cheek. Kakashi makes his way to his small apartment, staggers up the stairs, struggles with the key ...

And stops dead in his tracks.

He's positive he turned the light off before leaving to the mission.

And since he's pretty certain his flat isn't haunted, that leaves only one option.

Someone is inside.

Waiting for him!

Crouching in the dark, a weapon gleaming in his hand!

Kakashi cuts off the melodrama, and reminds himself that real life is not quite like "Icha Icha Violence". He scans the living room warily, and detects an all too familiar chakra signature. His eyes - well, eye, really - widen.

Curled up on the tiny, cheap sofa, Iruka lies fast asleep, his breathing light and even. There's a book on the ground next to him, Kakashi notes idly.

The Jounin stands in the doorway for a long minute, his hand lingering on the brass handle. Under his mask, the corners of his mouth curve upwards in a small, grateful, deliriously happy smile.

He closes the door behind him, careful no to awaken the slumbering Chuunin - he's a lot less dangerous that way, Kakashi reasons. He shrugs off his flak jacket, removes his remaining shoe in perfect silence.

As he pads through the room noiselessly, he notices food on the kitchen counter - salmon sushi, he realizes with a jolt. His stomach growls. The cut is too uneven to have been made by a professional, he notes, faintly surprised.

A little note is pinned on the fridge, under the "Icha Icha Paradise" Official Sexy Magnet ®. It is not signed, but Kakashi immediately recognizes Iruka's teacherish, assured strokes. It reads:

"I don't know why I am writing this. You've hurt me, but I doubt you even care, so I won't elaborate on that. I can't decide between calling you an "insensitive jerk" (old-fashioned but to the point, as insults go) or "a nincompoopery son of a schmuck" (note the creativity), so I think I'll settle for both, if you don't mind. You're a bastard, and YES, I am still mad at you - I wouldn't put it past you not to have noticed. But today's your birthday, and ... (Here the next few words have been furiously scribbled over) I know you like sushi, and I happened to pass by a sushi bar, so ... Enjoy your meal. I guess. (Added obviously as an afterthought) You twit."

Kakashi crumples the paper in his fist and lets out a weary sigh. He tiptoes to Iruka's side and kneels in front of him. He stares at the younger man in earnest, disoriented puzzlement.

"Why don't you just give up on me?" he murmurs, hand reaching out to stroke the dark, unbound hair with bemused reverence.

"Why?" he repeats, a little louder this time.

Kakashi curses inwardly when Iruka's eyes flutter open. The Chuunin goes from adorably rumpled and sleepy to downright freaked out in two seconds straight - quite the amazing sight! He lunges at Kakashi, who promptly grabs his wrists and pushes him back against the plush, navy blue fabric of the couch.

"I know you're mad," says Kakashi, unruffled, "But perhaps you could refrain from killing me on my birthday..."

Iruka blinks.

"That would look funny on my tombstone," the Jounin adds, as if that actually explained everything. Which it doesn't, Iruka's face clearly indicates.

"Kakashi-san ..." Iruka says, looking adorable and confused and mortified. His hair sticks out a little on ends.

He does not look like he will go on a rampage anytime soon, Kakashi reasons, and releases him.

"I care," Kakashi begins, and then words rush out of his mouth before he can stop them, "I know you think I don't, but the thing is, I do - I just did not know I did, but now I do."

Iruka blinks again.

"Eh?" he says, weakly.

The Jounin belatedly realizes how confusing that sounds. But then, he is very tired, remember?

He opens his mouth to try and clear things up. Then closes it with an audible snap.

"I am sorry," he says instead, feeling unusually honest - that has to be the Terrific Tiredness Of Doom kicking him, he thinks.

Iruka is still staring at him blankly.

"You're sorry," he echoes, slowly.

Kakashi nods.

"Hatake Kakashi, Copy Ninja Extraordinaire, is sorry."

Kakashi nods again, eyebrow twitching.

Iruka's mouth contorts as he struggles to contain his amusement. He gives in after a few seconds and falls back against the couch, howling with laughter.

Kakashi wonders if he ought to feel insulted.

"Who are you ... and what ... have you done ... with Kakashi-san?" Iruka asks, hiccuping a little, vainly trying to wipe off the tears off his face.

Kakashi definitely feels insulted now.

But Iruka's eyes are bright and warm, and he does not look furious anymore.

"Oh," Kakashi replies, only half-jokingly," I have done nothing to him. You, on the other hand ..." His hand reaches out once again to brush a few stray tears off Iruka's cheeks, and lingers there. He watches in fascination as the Chuunin's features colors almost instantly.

"Kakashi-san ..."

"I know," he continues, "I am the worst." He caresses Iruka's cheek with a thumb, thoughtfully. "A nincompoopery son of a schmuck, indeed ..."

Iruka blanches and stares at him, shocked into silence.

"You've read the note," he squeaks weakly. "Oh, my god."

"Well, obviously," Kakashi frowns, "Why did you pin it on the fridge if you didn't want me to read it?"

The chuunin bows his head.

"You were meant to read it after I had left," he mutters, "So embarrassing ..."

"Then why are you still here?" Kakashi asks, frighteningly coherent for someone so tired. "I was bound to come back at some point, you know ..."

Iruka looks up, faintly startled.

"I did not leave because ..." he whispers, obviously struggling to pull his memory together. "Because I had to ... I had to what? Ah, yes - WATCH OVER THE CAKE!"

Iruka springs to his feet and runs to the kitchen in a flurry of wild, panicked motions. He pulls open the oven's door and takes out what Kakashi supposes should technically have been a cake at some point.

The Chuunin pokes at the charred remnants morosely.

"So much for a birthday cake ..." he says in a monotone.

Kakashi is very, so very tired - but Iruka looks completely miserable ...

Puppy-dog eyes that cute should definitely be outlawed.

"Well, we'll just have to bake another, then," he chirps good-naturedly.

A polka-doted, bowler-hatted alien flying through the window to tap-dance on the kitchen counter could not have surprised Iruka more.

At least, that's what Kakashi can decipher of his expression.

"But... but..." the Chuunin sputters, in utter bafflement.

Kakashi cocks his head to the side - a perfect picture of innocence. "What?"

"You can't bake a cake in the middle of the night!" Iruka manages at last.

"Why the hell not?" asks the older man, "There isn't a law against that, now, is there?"

Iruka seems vaguely deterred. His brow furrows adorably.

"Well, no, there isn't," he admits regretfully, "But normal people simply don't go around baking birthday cakes at night!"

Kakashi looks far too smug for Iruka's liking.

"Ah," he says, beaming under the mask, "But when have I ever been considered as normal, pray tell?"

"Never mind," sighs Iruka, but he can't help smiling as well.

A few hours later, Kakashi is still tired.

Iruka is snuggled under the heavy, shuriken-pattern blankets. He fell asleep mid-sentence on the couch next to Kakashi some forty minutes ago, and Kakashi left him the bed, because he is too tired to sleep anyway.

Kakashi watches the sun rises.

Really, he could not have wished for a better birthday.

Or a better present ...

He turns around and gazes at Iruka's prone form as a sudden thought strikes him. He raises an eyebrow, his grin a little too evil as he nears the bed stealthily.

After all, he has yet to unwrap his present!

And he means that quite literally.

Way to go, me! Kakashi thinks, happily, before he lunges at the oblivious Chuunin.

"Itadakimasu!"


I never learn, now, do I? facepalms Please review, if you're feeling brave enough ... XDXD