Ninja Omake Theater!

1 Iruka-sensei vs Icha Icha Paradisu!

Fandom: Naruto

Characters: Kakashi Iruka, Naruto

Rating: PG-13

Date: 10/21/04

Notes: Manga continuity, if you please (for minor differences). Just for fun.

Disclaimer: Belongs to Masahi Kishimoto, Shueisha, and VIZ. I just make people love them more and want to buy stuff to show it.

Iruka strode along the forest trail toward the next check point, chin held high, narrowed gaze fixed on the comfortable middle distance and tried with all his training and skill to ignore the chuckling shadow what was pacing him in the trees above.

Not just chuckling. Chortling. Sniggering. Outright laughing even.

Fury wasn't an emotion Iruka indulged in often, but he was getting steadily closer to that elusive point as the minutes passed. At least Cell 7 itself wasn't there at the moment to witness his humiliation. The genin were somewhere else in the forest participating rather resentfully in an obstacle-course-like training exercise for the Academy students, much to Naruto and Sakura's rather vocal dismay over such a 'kiddie' job. Sasuke had remained grimly silent when given his orders, even though he clearly felt the task beneath him as well. But they were genin. They listened to him. Unlike their ramshackle sensei.

Another sharp burst of laughter from above made his shoulders tense nearly to the point of pain and his teeth grind together loudly. There might be a kunai with a certain cocky jounin sensei's name on it if the bastard didn't quit laughing at him soon, he vowed to himself.

All because he'd snatched the latest copy of "Make-Out Paradise" out of the other man's hands, demanding to know what was so damn fascinating about it that kept the jounin's nose buried in its pages for hours at a time and had idly glanced down at the book to skim a sample paragraph.

It wasn't his fault he blushed easily.

Damn it.

You'd think having olive-toned skin would help. But no his cheeks lit up like a freshly-laid fire when he was embarrassed. They always had. And this time... what he'd read...

Even thinking about it made his face flame again.

"It's not even anatomically possible!" he shouted abruptly, then came to a sharp stop in the middle of the path. The sniggering above him turned to howls and he sent three shuriken into the canopy of the trees toward the source without another thought. There was a miniscule flare of chakra and the other man was gone with nary a rustle of leaves. There weren't even any thunking sounds from his shuriken striking wood beyond. Only silence.

Blessed silence. He heaved a sigh rubbing two fingers hard up the bridge of his nose. Took another deep breath, let it out slowly and felt that dreaded line that marked a total loss of self-control slip back a notch or two.

Control. Think of it as training. Breathe. Don't think about it anymore. Maybe the other would stop laughing soon... or at least sometime before tomorrow.

He sighed as he considered just how unlikely a mercy that would be.

He jumped when he felt fingers slipping the three metal stars back into the case strapped to his thigh. "Not bad for a chuunin," an amused voice said in his ear. "One of them almost got me... in the book."

At the soft snicker, Iruka slammed his elbow back sharply toward the other man's gut, trying his hardest not to flash chakra or telegraph his move in advance with physical tension. But the jounin was already gone, like a swirl of wind. With nothing to strike, he staggered back - for less than a fraction of a fraction of a second off balance - but a hand was already catching his chin and tilting his face up even as he recovered. He simply wasn't fast enough, he knew. He never would be, no matter how hard he trained.

A thumb slid across his lower lip in a rough caress, catching on the slightly swollen part from where he'd been chewing it in his annoyance. His breathing caught; he brought his stiffened hand up in a blade-slice toward the offending touch, but the other danced out of reach before he even got close.

Iruka fell into a resting crouch, kunai ready in one hand, the other spread defensively, and glared at the man who stood hip-shot and scratching the top of his ear lazily with the spine of a book, all the way across the clearing from him. Kakashi.

"Better," he was told, with an amused crinkle followed by a wink from the visible eye.

"Don't patronize me!"

"I'm not." The book vanished under an elbow as arms were folded over the lean chest. "You are better." Of course he had to spoil it. "Just not better enough." The smirking grin was plain for all to see even under the mask. If there was anyone else but Iruka around to see, that was. It was bad enough that he could see it. His blood boiled.

"That book is repulsive and unrealistic," he snapped, not willing to be distracted from his indignation by faint praise. "A woman can't take that many..." He cut himself off sharply. Eyes going wide as the words he'd read painted vivid pictures in his mind again. His cheeks flushed crimson again, and he closed his eyes with a groan.

At least he wasn't spurting blood out of his nose like the first time he'd seen Naruto's infamous 'Ninja Centerfold'. Though it was a near thing. He was almost red enough. He cringed in anticipation. This reaction would start the laughter up again for sure. He winced and braced himself for another onslaught of relentless humiliation, Kakashi-style.

"Eh? Is it?" Kakashi just said mildly. Iruka blinked. Opened his eyes to see the other man looking down at the book thoughtfully. "I always thought it was just good training. Or a jutsu."

"A jutsu?" Iruka said weakly, mind still reeling from the lurid images only a paragraph had put there. Surely Kakashi didn't think something like that was actually possible? He thought his face was about to burst into actual flames he blushed so hard. Whimpering slightly, he was foolish enough to squeeze his eyes shut in an attempt to banish the thought, taking his attention off the other man for a precious instant.

"Aa." There was a swirl of leaves and a puff of air and suddenly his knife-hand was jerked up, caught in an iron grip and an arm was firm around his waist and drawing him close to the other man. Inside his guard. Inside his aura. "Yes, a relaxation technique." The single eye was watching him intently again, but from far too near.

His pulse jerked, raced harder. "K-Kakashi-sensei! W-what are you...?" At some point his wrist had been released, but he made no attempt to use the kunai he still held. The hand had been drawn over the other man's shoulder too. Voluntarily. So his knife was well within reach of the other's throat. Iruka shuddered, breath stalling. He should have been irritated, annoyed, mortified, but they were pressed chest to chest, legs nearly tangled. Everything else seemed to fade from his senses. The masked face was close, the single eye glittering at him for a moment before being shrouded by a heavy lid.

"What's unrealistic? Don't you think she could enjoy it that way?" Kakashi said softly. His mouth beneath the blue mask had finally stopped that infernal grinning, Iruka noted vaguely. "How many was it? Two?"

"T-three," Iruka found himself correcting the other automatically despite the wash of heat it brought to his face, most of his attention caught by the way the stretchy fabric clung to the other man's nose and jaw so completely, obscuring his view. "B-but where would they put their legs...?"

"You have to use your imagination, sensei." Then Kakashi laughed again - while his other arm joined the first by sliding around Iruka's waist. He began to feel hot, but not just in his face. The laugh was a low, throaty one this time and not the mocking snigger he'd been hearing forever. "Do you have an active imagination, Iruka-sensei?"

"Er... uh... not really..." Iruka said, and damned himself for the lie. His imagination was quite active right at that moment, wondering what Kakashi would do if he slid the tip of his kunai under that mask and cut it free. He wondered if the mouth beneath would be soft or hard. Would open to his or stay closed until he coaxed it open with his tongue...

There was another low chuckle. Deep and knowing. One of the hands on his back slid up, angling him gently forward as the other man's head bent slightly. He turned his own head, mouth parting. His own hand was moving around, knife reversed, his fingers already itching to touch that sleek fabric, catch it, pull it away...

"IRUKA-SENSEIIIIIII! We're done!" came a familiar high-pitched, drawn-out shout from somewhere high in the trees. There was a loud rustling up there too. Naruto. Iruka blinked, and Kakashi was gone. He staggered slightly forward, eyes wide, mouth open on a gasp, kunai slipping from suddenly nerveless fingers to land point-first in the dirt next to his boot... thankfully, not on his toes. Already well practiced at recovering his poise, he managed to lift a calm face to the sky, letting only a wry twist linger on his lips.

So close... maybe next time...

A tousled head of straw-bright hair poked through the canopy above. The boy grinned down at him gleefully, the expression like to split his face.

"We caught them all but two, Iruka-sensei!" the boy said excitedly, flipping out of the tree to land hard by Iruka's feet. No grace, but plenty of power. "They need more work... babies!" Naruto snorted the last, and rolled his eyes dramatically. But the wide, honest grin on his face more than made up for the arrogance. From the corner of his eye, Iruka thought he caught a flash of silver hair in the shadows beneath the trees. There, and then gone again.

"Oh, you missed two of them, did you? My teaching methods haven't slipped then..." Iruka said, turning his full attention to the boy in front of him and smiling brightly even as deep inside he made himself a promise.

Next time.

-- end --