Death and Taxes
Disclaimer: These characters belong to Kishimoto-sensei ©. The fanfiction belongs to me.
Warning: Yaoi, if this isn't your cup of tea, please by all means, turn back. Flamers are retards, encompassing a really low IQ equivalent that that of a glass of water… less, in fact. The back button exists because Microsoft happened to realize the need for it for specific people.
Fandom: Naruto (manga-verse)
Pairing: Kakashi x Iruka, Gai x Iruka
Summary: Like death and taxes, some things are unavoidable, and the consequences can be surprisingly funny. Gai challenges Kakashi to a duel – over Iruka-sensei.
Note: My first time dabbling in the Naruto series. Knowing me, it's probably something humorous or just plain pointless.
Life was indeed beautiful that day. He felt breathless; excited – so much that it was uncharacteristic of him, as he had been rushing half a mile that early in the morning. As it was, a man should somehow always be fashionably late. Fashionable being a great term and cover up for one to be staring at some memorial for half a day and reminiscing, but today called for drastic measures.
Icha-Icha Paradise: Volume 5: Passion of the Wild was out.
When porn was concerned, Kakashi did not believe in the contemporary, more convenient way of obtaining it by mail. No, a man had to get his porn the hard way, to make it more… what was that word… more… fulfilling. Yes, that was the word. Kakashi believed that porn obtained the hard way such as racing through rooftops on a dewy morning where you could fall and break your neck made the contents more fulfilling, more invigorating, more intoxicating, more—
A loud voice boomed from below and a beam of light nearly blinded the stunned Jounin as somebody with fashionable, thick eyebrows struck a Nice-Guy pose and grinned at him, pointing dramatically, his head turned at one angle to make it look all the more stunning to behold.
As he was both stunned and blinded at the same time, Kakashi slipped on one broken tile, slid sideways and fell off his trail on the roof. However, determined not to look like an idiot in front of the fashionable other, he landed the best he could, on his feet and stood up slightly slouched and relaxed, his eyes taking on a lazy look as he shoved his hands into his pockets.
"Ah, but for the beauty of springtime! 'Tis but full of youth and splendor, flowers and exuberant energy! Don't you feel it, Kakashi-sensei?"
"Yeah, I guess," Kakashi stared at Gai, feeling slightly annoyed because the green-clad man was distracting him and keeping him away from the fifth volume of his favorite book. "What do you want?"
"I, Maito Gai, challenge you to a duel!"
"Sure, sure. Can I go now?" Kakashi had to get to the bookstore before it was too late. Mentally he kicked himself for not camping overnight in front of said bookstore so he could be the first to buy that beautiful, orange paperback one-heck of a book.
"You haven't heard my challenge yet!" Gai swung one hand up dramatically. "If you did, you would but balk! Because this time, it would be a gamble! If you lose, which I think you will this time, as I have prepared myself a long hard way months ago, you will be at a rather tragic loss!"
"Nothing can be a greater loss than what I'll lose today if I don't go on my way now, if you please," Kakashi countered in his cool, casual way. "I'll discuss this with you later."
Gai's jaw hung open. Was Kakashi running away? "Kakashi-sensei! I thought you were better than that!"
"Well, you thought wrong," Kakashi lifted his hand to scratch the back of his head at an imaginary itch. "See ya."
As he hopped up onto the roof once more, he was caught unaware by an "I challenge you to a manly duel over Iruka-sensei! I shall proceed to his house now and tell him so, so that he can choose what duel it would be between us!"
"Can't this wait?" Kakashi furrowed his brows. Even his mask couldn't hide his annoyance over having to make a tough, cruel decision – his morning porn-fix, or disallowing Gai to turn up at Iruka's doorstep, two of them, alone… NGAH.
But then again… today was Tuesday, and Tuesday meant school at 8 a.m. in the morning. Well, heh heh.
"You know… I'll be along my merry way now, and guess what; you can go to Iruka's. I'll join you later." With that, Kakashi hopped to the next roof, and to the next, and the next, until he was completely out of sight. The stunned Gai didn't bother chasing him. He was too shocked to do so anyway. After a good ten minutes of bug-catching with his mouth, Gai finally snapped it shut and went off in the general direction of Iruka-sensei's house.
And realized, when he got there, that it was empty. Iruka-sensei was out!
"Such a man of genius and foresight! Surely, he makes a very great rival!"
You see, Maito Gai and Hatake Kakashi were rivals in many ways – they were both honorable people in the village, have a great reputation to keep, were basically strong enough to accept well-wrought out challenges, honed their skills together… and also, they were both sexy beasts; Kakashi with his cool, masked-and-mysterious good-looks, collected personality and fashionable silver hair; and Gai with his Nice-Guy good-looks, sexy teeth that challenged the gleam of the sun, his awesome fashionable haircut, thick brows and sexy, sexy under-eyelashes and his charming, youthful-exuberant-full-of-energy personality. Yes, they both matched well, like the sun and the moon.
Their love interest too, was one and the same. It was none other than the kind, smiling, polite, dedicated, docile teacher of the village children, Iruka-sensei.
They discovered this five months ago too, and at the same time as well. Both Gai and Kakashi had been dueling near the school, in full view of the awestruck children, each and every one of them wishing they could be as cool as Kakashi-sensei or as fashionably strong as Gai-sensei, before Iruka-sensei suddenly appeared, and in a most polite, kind tone told them to "PLEASE go away before you get any of the students hurt."
Cue in the lecture about violence being taken somewhere else and not distracting the students when they should well be indoors and listening to his lesson instead of gaping at two grown men struggling to better each other in view of their ego, all in the cheerful, sweet-tempered spirit of the pleasant teacher.
As expected, neither man listened to their lower-ranked counterpart, shrugging once and then flying at each others' necks again. Here and there a stray kunai or shuriken flew and embedded themselves into random poles that held the school's fence up. They were so engrossed in their duel that they'd failed to notice Iruka-sensei walking towards them, a large red umbrella in hand, before he smacked both of them with it on their heads. That threw them off-balance and into a pond nearby.
The children were awestruck by their seemingly docile but really superior teacher, now each and every one of them wanting to be as powerful as Iruka-sensei. Quietly they filed into the classroom, sat on their benches and awaited the arrival of the man who would teach them to be super ninjas one day, just like him. He shook his head at the two, sheepishly smiling and apologizing, before he alighted from the area and into the classroom of waiting students. Gai and Kakashi stared at each other.
The rest of the days after that were spent by stalking the Chuunin teacher.
Neither of them could understand why, but it had been very pleasant for them to meet Iruka. He was usually so very well-mannered, smiling and shy, even, but when it came to his students and protecting them, he seemed to change from that tame being that he was into an impulsive, fierce, rampaging monster. In fact, it was enough to pique their sense of adventure – what would it be like to be in the arms of one so tenderly gentle, and yet so fiercely protective?
Like death and taxes, the attraction was unavoidable.
There were, however, also many perils in trying to ask Iruka out. One was flying kitchen knives and/or chopsticks. Another was a bucket of water in the dead of the night. There was also the danger of crashing into a hastily shut window, hit by a bar of soap when peeking into a bathroom seemingly undetected; the list could go on.
It was also challenging in terms of speed. Often Iruka would dash from his home to the safety of the school in record time, where nobody in the world could get at him and into his pants, in his beloved classroom full of shuriken and kunai wielding little ninja children who would gleefully attack at any given command from their loving teacher. It was his turf. He was safe. Even Gai and Kakashi knew better than to present themselves in his classroom.
But however powerful the lovely teacher was, Gai and Kakashi both knew that joining forces to obtain his heart was out of the question. It was one or the other. Only one of them could lie in the arms of the monogamous, most probably virgin Iruka-sensei, whispering sweet-nothings into his listening ear.
And so it came to this.
It was later that afternoon that Gai and Kakashi met up again, this time Kakashi a notch happier than he was when they first exchanged their hellos. Gai struck one more Nice-Guy pose, and dramatically tossed his hair to one side as both men stood by the doorstep of Iruka-sensei's humble little home. "Kakashi-sensei! I see you are late as usual! What flailing beast stalled you this time?"
"It was no beast, Gai-sensei," Kakashi smiled, his one visible eye crinkling up good-naturedly. "I was walking by the small road by the side of the bookstore when an old lady was mugged in broad daylight, and I decided to rescue her, and then I offered to take her baskets to her home which was out of the way."
"Ah, truly that was a good deed that deserved a good turn!" Gai stated, clapping his companion's shoulder. Yes, his rival was perfect. Noble and strong, just like he was! "However, that does not mean I'll be going easy on you!"
"I know," Kakashi said. "Anyway, what's your plan for the duel this time?"
"As I explained this morning, we'll be dueling in a means that Iruka-sensei will decide for us. He will decide the time, venue and event-type. Ah, look! Here he comes, the one beautiful flower of Konoha! GREETINGS, IRUKA-SENSEI!"
"Yo," Kakashi lifted his hand in a salute.
"Good… good afternoon," Iruka stammered. He knew that he should have stayed back to help grade those extra papers… or taken more time to do his share. OH GOD NO, NO, IRUKA! WHY DIDN'T YOU LISTEN TO YOURSELF? WHY—
"We need your input, Iruka-sensei."
He couldn't run away now.
"We just challenged each other to a duel! Whoever wins gets a date with you!"
He stared at the pair, one hand clutching a scroll and the other fisting tightly by his side to keep his knees from buckling. "D-Don't I get any say in this?"
"Of course you do!" Gai took a step forward, and Iruka in turn inched back. "Say what is on your mind, Iruka-sensei! For you're so cute you should be cuddled and not denied anything in this world!"
Iruka felt his gag-mechanism springing to action.
He also felt Kakashi scrutinizing him with his one sparkling blue eye.
"I—err… I… well… umm…" he decided finally that he would give in just once to humor the two ridiculously serious seniors of his. "You'll have to take me to a good place to eat."
"Nothing short of spectacular, all for you!" Gai beamed, and Iruka fought the urge to reflexively shield his eyes.
"Right… that's true," Kakashi said coolly. His one eye however, never stopped looking at Iruka, causing his face to warm.
"Well?" he coughed. "Shouldn't you be dueling now?"
"No, no! Iruka-sensei, you must choose what we are to duel about! And we will either accept or reject accordingly, if we are not confident of fulfilling it!" Gai waggled his finger in a dramatic fashion.
Bolts of brilliance often strike a man when things are at its most terrifying peak, in this case, Iruka got this magnificent idea – he would give them a duel so ridiculous and embarrassing, so that they would both reject it, and then nobody would win, and he, Iruka, will be free on Saturday to grade yet more papers! Stupendous! Fantastic! Nail his toes to the ground and paint his nails blue; he, Iruka, was a genius that sunny, bright afternoon!
Iruka nodded and flashed them a sweet, melting, kind smile that could turn anyone into a puddle of goo. "Very well. Since it's a duel that shouldn't be something too normal, I suggest one in favor of romance, and really challenging, both mentally and physically."
Gai nodded enthusiastically while Kakashi crinkled up his eye in a smile of approval. Nothing short of a good challenge was a bad thing to him.
His smile never faltering, Iruka voiced out his suggestion. He was merciless and spared no detail as he wanted it to be embarrassingly specific. "This duel would be a fan-dance duel. You will both fight, but you need to be geared up in a kimono, tied with a butterfly obi, wearing getas, and your face has to be painted with white foundation, and red lipstick, and you need to wear a ribbon and a chopstick with a bell tied to it. Your weapon shall be a pink fan, each. Your only battle taunts must be sweet and palatable haiku, phrases or poems and you are only allowed to giggle to express laughter. The duel shall begin in the morning in an open field by the school on Friday. Whoever fights most gracefully and knocks the other out, or if the other fumbles and is less graceful, he shall be the winner. Do you accept?"
Gai didn't look so enthusiastic anymore. Kakashi's eye went wide and his skin paled a notch.
Iruka clapped his hands together, and took a step towards his home. "Oh well, since you won't accept I suppose I should be going on my way now. Good day, Gai-sensei, Kakashi-sensei." As he took another step a pair of hands grabbed on to his shoulders and successfully stemmed his procession to the door.
Friday morning dawned with the sun shining warmly. Iruka had made it a point to cancel his class and reach the field before Gai and Kakashi did. Most of all he told the whole school about the duel, so that upon seeing a great crowd there, both Gai and Kakashi would chicken out and not turn up as they were dressed like women, and the duel would never happen, and Iruka could go home, drink tea, take a bath, take Naruto out for dinner and exchange some idle banter with his favorite ex-student.
To his shock, there was Gai, dressed in a green kimono with a pink obi, with the sash tied so lovingly by his adorable team into a Chou Chou ribbon for luck and his obi-jime a lime green. His face painted white and his lips red, and his short hair donned in a pink and green matching ribbon, with a pink chopstick with little green bird motifs on it, matching his kimono's pattern, the bell golden and sparkling in the morning sun. His getas were the front-high type, and they were remarkably shiny.
Upon catching sight of Iruka, he grinned, flashing his supremely bright smile to match the morning. "GOOD MORNING MY LOVELY IRUKA-SENSEI!"
"Good morning, Gai-sensei," he choked, torn between laughing and fleeing for his life before his eyes took anymore damage.
The whole village had turned up, eager to see both Gai and Kakashi on their epic duel for love. They'd guessed that Gai would probably humble himself to accept, but Kakashi accepting such a humiliating duel was beyond imagination, let alone comprehension. They had to see it… or see Kakashi not turn up and for once chicken out on something.
To their utter shock, Kakashi did turn up.
He had a flowery mask on, blue and purplish in color, his kimono was that of a deep blue with traces of indigo, and an obi of violet with a large Chou Chou ribbon on his back and the obi-jime upon it was lavender. As opposed to a bird pattern his kimono suited the obi tie, a motif of butterflies a lavender color contrasting with the darker background. He too, had his face made-up traditionally, and wore a blue ribbon and an indigo chopstick with a silver bell.
It was hilarious.
But nobody laughed because they were utterly taken aback. Including Naruto, who for once didn't have any stupid comment to add salt to the wound. Sasuke too lost his expressionless countenance and openly gaped at the two Jounin-senseis.
"Yo." Kakashi managed, his eye taking in the crowd. But no way was he going to back down now.
Gai lifted his fan and pointed it steadily at his rival. "Kakashi!"
Kakashi nodded, lifting up his pink fan. He went into fan-dance stance, and the battle began.
"Kakashi, fall upon your knee,
For you are no match for me!"
Gai swiped at Kakashi with his pink fan, using a leaf calling jutsu as he gracefully fanned at the other Jounin. In turn Kakashi leapt backwards, also gracefully, flapping his hands gently like a butterfly.
"I shall not,
It is you who should be shot."
He flapped his fan on the underside of Gai's skirt with a great gust of wind, causing it to float upwards rather violently. Iruka turned his head away when he saw that Gai was wearing a fashionable green thong underneath. As if on cue, Kakashi… giggled to taunt his opponent.
Naruto choked on his instant ramen. It flew and dribbled on Sasuke's shirt. Enraged, the dark-haired boy shoved the blond, glaring daggers at Kakashi for causing this miserable mess.
However his shove and glare was nowhere near its prime today. Sasuke had taken a good dose of green thong and he looked about as green as the grass in the field. "How can you still be eating?" he hissed.
A vengeful Gai swiped at Kakashi with an equally strong gust, earning everyone a spectacular view of his blue g-string.
By then, Naruto had completely stopped eating, and Sasuke ran off to a nearby ditch to gag his breakfast.
"That that," Gai giggled, fanning himself gracefully, crossing his legs in a girlish manner. "Tee hee."
"Ughgug!" It was Sasuke. Iruka stood immobilized. His plan had gone horribly wrong! He had caused Sasuke to get sick! He was a horrible, horrible teacher! What would his mother say were she alive?
Not sensing that his right geta had gotten caught in a small pit in the grass under a rock, Kakashi took a turn and promptly fell face-first onto the ground. The crowd went deathly silent.
Kakashi had just tripped.
"I WON! I WON! IT'S THE POWER OF LOVE! THE YOUTHFUL BURST OF ENERGY AT THE CALL OF LOVE!" He flashed his victory smile at his cute little Genin team and then at the cute Iruka-sensei. He turned to look at Kakashi… who had disappeared into thin air!
About time he got ready for tomorrow. Iruka stood up, and left the field, his shoulders sagging.
Kakashi had quickly changed out of the kimono and sadly made his way to Iruka's home, hoping to just catch a glimpse of the schoolteacher before leaving the village, perhaps for a few months until everything died down and everyone forgot about his humiliation that morning. As he sat perched on the shady tree, his thoughts went back to the duel. He had been so sure that he could win. However, things happened. Mistakes, like death and taxes, were unavoidable constants in life. It was dangerous for a Jounin in missions, but things did happen.
What he didn't expect was for Iruka to catch sight of him, waving at him to come down with an understanding smile.
"Hey." Kakashi scratched the back of his head as if it was a habit.
"Good afternoon, Kakashi-sensei. I'm sorry you lost."
"It's okay. I guess," he was still sore from embarrassment.
"It's only a date, right?"
"Well… you know, the only thing you two asked for if you won was a date, wasn't it? After that, it was up to me to allow a second or third, or date someone else."
"Yeah," Kakashi seemed confused. What was Iruka trying to say?
"I must date Gai-sensei once since he won," Iruka explained as he would to his students in the academy. "But I can… you know, casually date you after that. I'm really sorry for embarrassing you, Kakashi-sensei. You… in front of everyone. They wouldn't have been there if I hadn't told them about the duel."
"I accepted the duel at my own cost," Kakashi said simply. He wasn't one to beat around the bush when it came to talk like this. "It's not your fault, Iruka-sensei. After all, I suppose you'd been forced into this on Tuesday." He grinned. "It's your revenge, huh? It's hilarious, now that I think about it. You've got a great sense of humor."
That's what I like about you."
Iruka looked up, smiling back. A blush hung around his scarred face, but it did nothing to mar that beauty that shone forth – the kindness and responsibility that was uniquely Iruka-sensei of the Konoha.
Kakashi may have lost the battle, but he knew that he hadn't lost the war.
Friday, May 27, 2005, 12:42 AM
Hoshi: You know; I found writing that duel part hard. I just… can't get those images off my mind… Gai… in a kimono. Horrible, horrible image. FFnet kinda ate my formatting too.