Summary: Kakashi becomes curious about Iruka. And then they begin to play a few games. Along the way, Kakashi learns about what type of person Iruka really is.
Author's Note: My first try at a fanfic, I hope it's good. Constructive criticism accepted and any mistakes, I'll try to remedy. Try to be open-minded and give it a chance.
Please? Onegai? Anyway, on to the story.By the way, I don't own Naruto!
-------------------------------------Chapt 1 Almost Too Close
Kakashi was bored. His team was having a rest day after a particularly difficult mission (those damn feral cats again!), so he had nothing to do. His lone drooping eye watched the clouds as he walked along the streets of Konoha Village. A moment later, he began to notice an annoying sound next to his ear and turned his head to see swat the annoying thing. He spotted Gai standing next to him. It seemed that he had just finished speaking to him.
"Hmm? Did you say something?"
Iruka had a free day. His work was sorted; his house clean and restocked and the children were all somewhere else because it was the weekend. It was also a beautiful day.
The day is so peaceful. I think I'll go practice and meditate and then have a picnic in the glade. With that thought in mind, Iruka filled up a picnic basket and set off. He had been slightly disappointed to find that Naruto was too busy recovering from a recent mission to come. After a while, he got to the quiet glade and set down the basket, wiping his brow.
This basket is heavy, perhaps I brought too much?
"I must be too used to having Naruto around," he said out loud, a fond smile on his face.
He shook himself out of his memories and began his exercise stretches. Once done, he began practicing moves he had seen his father do a long time ago. When Iruka had been small, he had always watched his parents when they practicing. Every move was imprinted in his mind and he made himself practice all of them, but there were a few moves that he could never do. Whenever he failed again, it left him feeling slightly bitter, as if he had let his parents down. Today was no exception, but he refused to let himself feel depressed.
After he was finished, he sat down to meditate. He organised his thoughts, sorted out his chakra and relaxed his tense muscles one by one. When he was done, he began his chakra exercises, easy ones first, and than gradually working up to the harder, and more dangerous, ones.
Finally, to finish off, he did the Chakra Release exercise. This was the most dangerous exercise because you had to let out all of your chakra around you, but if you lost control, you could lose all your chakra, leaving you empty, and die. The sudden increase of chakra to the environment could also cause an energy explosion. But done successfully, would increase your understanding of your chakra and expand your ability with it.
Iruka relaxed and began to let his chakra flow out.
It poured out, like mist fountains, from Iruka and spread, tumbling and curling along the grass of the glade. Each blade was enveloped, each root, each speck of dirt and flower and rock became one with Iruka and his chakra. When he reached his limit, he began pulling his chakra back in, which covered the ground 200 meters all around him. Each tendril was carefully collected back inside himself. Iruka repeated this exercise two more times, each just as slowly, and just as carefully.
On his last, he tiredly began to collect his chakra back in again. Because he was exhausted, he had to concentrate even harder.
Suddenly, something collided with the back of his head forcefully.
Control! Control! Iruka thought frantically, as his chakra went wild around him and he desperately tried to gather it back in. It was rapidly bundled in and collected, safe inside his body.
Furious at the very nearly deadly interruption, his formidable temper erupted and he closed his eyes and yelled.
"What the hell do you think you're doing?"
In his anger, and some fear at the near disaster, he lashed out with a punch that connected satisfyingly with someone's jaw and gave a roundhouse kick, which collided with someone else's head. Two bodies dropped to the floor.
Then, his anger spent, and realising what he had done, Iruka opened his eyes to look at his unfortunate 'victims'. A sweat drop trickled down his head. /\/\/
Lying in front of him, swirly eyed and unconscious x , X were Kakashi and Gai.
It turned out later that Gai and Kakashi had been having another battle. Gai had missed Kakashi and had accidentally delivered a flying kick to Iruka's head, which now had a large lump on it. /\/\/D
u u )
Realising that he had hit the wrong person, and seeing Iruka's fist come flying at him; he did what he considered only logical and fairly clever.
He dragged Kakashi in front of him. Which meant Kakashi received a very sore jaw.
What Gai hadn't seen coming (mainly because he was gloating over the fact that Kakashi had been knocked out), was the kick, which sent his head ringing and left a bruise on his face.
"I'm so sorry!" Iruka bowed and apologised for the fifth time since they woke up.
"Don't mention it," Kakashi winced as he moved his jaw. Man, that chuunin can pack a punch! And that thing we interrupted before…
"You wrecked my beautiful face!"
Iruka winced and flushed a deep red of embarrassment. Half of Gai's face had already turned purple, yellow and red. Tears were forming rivers down the man's face. …...( )
"Shut up Gai. I don't see any difference," Kakashi slurred in an uninterested tone.
"Hah! You are one to talk! You are so ugly you wear a mask to cover your face! I, however, am the green beast of Konoha! My very presence brightens up the room and everybody swoons at my smile!"
Kakashi's thoughts had already wandered. "Hmm? Did you say something?"
Kkkkkk! My cool rival and his cool answers! Gai's eyes were flaming with passion and injustice as he posed with his fist in the air and the other pointed at Kakashi. "Ah! Your cool modern answer pierces my righteous shield of youth! I cannot compete!"
Meanwhile, Iruka had been rummaging around in his pockets and finally produced a jar of something green and pasty.
"Ano…I have this healing cream that we can use. It's good for bruises, lumps, cuts, cramps, sprains, and sore or tense muscles." He recited this as he opened the jar and scooped some out with his fingers. The pungent smell of strong herbs reached the noses of the other shinobi.
He began applying the salve to Gai's bruised face, who gasped and recoiled from the coldness and the pain.
"Stop moving!" Iruka scolded absentmindedly with a frown. Gai instantly stopped at the stern voice and held still. Iruka then treated Gai's various other cuts and bruises from his battle with Kakashi. Once done, Iruka moved on to the other jounin.
Gai tentatively poked at his face after the coldness began fading and gasped again. "This cream is really good! The bruise does not even hurt anymore!" Gai looked at his reflection in his polished forehead protector. "It is also fading!" He announced.
"I use it to treat the children sometimes, especially Naruto. He gets into scrapes so often that I have a pile of jars just for him." Iruka smiled affectionately at the memories of injured Naruto's that that statement brought up. He absentmindedly rubbed some salve into a cut on top of Kakashi's hand. Iruka shook himself out of his daydreaming and continued smearing the green stuff onto Kakashi's wounds. The two jounins watched, fascinated and fairly surprised, at the number of injuries found. More than half of them were hidden under clothing and some were even old injuries.
Iruka deftly pulled up Kakashi's sleeve to deal with a bruise on his upper arm, concentrating fully on his task, and didn't notice the jounin's look of surprise that he had found it. Kakashi's face was quickly schooled back into an expression of boredom when Iruka was done.
Iruka finally looked up into Kakashi's face and reached out with a salve-covered hand.
Startled, Kakashi jerked back and grabbed the hand.
"What do you think you're doing?" he slurred, still somehow managing a detached tone.
Iruka frowned. "I'm going to treat your jaw. I'm not going to take your mask off. I don't need to."
Kakashi tilted his head in puzzlement but released the hand.
Iruka shuffled closer and placed his clean hand on Kakashi's head to hold him still; while the salve covered hand hovered above the other man's mask. Iruka closed his eyes and breathed in deeply. The two jounins sensed chakra released into the hand with the salve and gather in the chuunin's lungs.
Abruptly, Iruka bent forward toward Kakashi's face. Kakashi would have jerked back again but Iruka's other hand was keeping him in place. Kakashi's heart beat wildly as the other man's face got closer, but then Iruka stopped about two centimetres away and gently blew on his hand. Kakashi's one, visible eye widened as he noticed the salve turn into little green particles and travel on Iruka's warm breath towards his mask. When it reached the cloth mask, it seemed to melt through and Kakashi felt the now familiar coldness of the healing cream on his face.
Kakashi stared at the other man's face in wonder. Once all the particles were gone, Iruka stopped blowing and smiled.
"All done," he announced softly.
"All done making out?" came Gai's voice. "Look, if you really wanted some time alone, you could have just told me. Hah ha ha ha ha!"
Startled, Iruka opened his eyes and saw Kakashi's face less than an inch in front of his. And with one hand resting on the other man's head and the other one nearly so on his face and his face so near… Iruka blushed a deep red at what it must look like and quickly jerked back. And then Iruka realised that during his ministrations, he had placed his legs on either side of Kakashi's hips in order to get that close and flushed a deeper scarlet. u//u
Seeing Iruka flush so many colours, Kakashi laughed. He's so cute! …Wait a minute. Did I just think that Iruka was cute? Oh well...
Kakashi stopped laughing and felt his jaw.
"Hey, it stopped hurting!"
Gai looked at his reflection again.
"And my bruise is gone!"
"That's some really good cream," Kakashi said. "Better than what the ANBU have. It could really come in handy. Do you know where I can get some, Iruka?"
Iruka looked away in embarrassment but pride filled his voice. "I made it."
Iruka looked up defensively at the two jounins. "I made it. I noticed how bad the ninja medicines were and learnt all about herbs and their properties on one of my missions, so I created my own salve with a bit of my chakra. I never gave it in because whenever I spoke of it, everybody else talked of how a ninja must learn to work through pain."
Both jounins blinked, and then Kakashi, being the observant one despite using only one eye, noticed that Iruka was still covered with scrapes and a lump.
"You're still hurt. Is there any of that cream left?"
He received a negative response and both the older ninjas shot guilty glances at each other.
Iruka noticed and laughed. He waved them off and said, "Don't worry about me. Nothing I can't handle. You two were the ones fighting."
The two ninjas continued to have guilty, or in Gai's case, guiltier faces.
Then Iruka spotted his picnic basket and grinned at the other two.
"Look, if you really want to make it up to me, join me for my picnic. I think I made too much and I don't want to have to carry back a heavy basket." /\/
Gai looked doubtful but Kakashi's one visible eye curved in happiness. /\/ \\
A free meal should never be passed up. (\\\/)
Yay! Finished the first chappie! Tell me what you think please!
Second chapter will be coming soon!