Title: Strawberry Contemplations

Author: Bitter Eloquence

Pairings: Kakashi/Iruka and Sasu/Naru if you squint

Note: This is a companion piece to my early fic "They're Meant to be Broken, Right?" It came about when telosphilos fed the rabid Crack Bunny and this little jewel was born.

Reviews: Craved, fawned upon and eventually handed down to my aforementioned Plot Bunnies for food so I can continue to write.

"Ne...Kakashi-sensei..." The silver-haired jounin looked up at the slightly uncertain and worried tone in Naruto's voice as he eyed his teacher askance. "What are you doing here?" A better question would have been, what was he doing outside Iruka's apartment with lock-picks out and ready. Then again, Naruto wasn't known for his sharp observation skills either.

Kakashi froze like the proverbial thief who'd gotten his hand caught in the cookie jar and he laughed nervously for a moment. His laughter didn't seem to impress either Naruto or the other two members of Team Seven however and the jounin idly wondered how he'd talk his way out of this mess. Blue eyes narrowed dangerously as Naruto's protective streak for his favorite teacher reared it's ugly head and the garishly dressed youth planted his hands on his hips in a manner very similar to one he'd seen Iruka do countless times. That authoritarian stance never failed to intimidate him but Naruto it would seem didn't quite have the level of intimidation Iruka could garner because Kakashi just rubbed the back of his head, that one visible eye curling upwards in a cheerful smile.

Sasuke snorted in disgust as he stood behind Naruto, the sneer that curled those pale lips visible as he tossed a disgusted look to his often too dense teammate. "He's breaking in, obviously, dobe. I think a better question would be why."

"Kakashi-sensei? Is that whipped cream?" Sakura piped up then as she peeked around the two boys to eye their teacher warily. The three gennin were shocked to see the skin just above Kakashi's mask turn a light pink color. He only blushed when he was reading his beloved Icha Icha Paradice series after all and that blush could only mean things
were going to end in tears. Or at the very least lots of outraged shouting and screams of disgust from Sakura. Eh, whichever came first.

"Eh heh...well see..." Kakashi's normally lightning quick mind was struggling to come up with a believable lie unfortunately and he just blurted out the truth. "I was going to cook dinner for Iruka-sensei and then try and seduce him with whipped-cream and strawberries for desert?"

"Liar!" Came that familiar twin shout of denial from Sakura and Naruto. Kakashi's one visible eye grew wide with shock and his mask thankfully hid the fact that his mouth had dropped open as well. They didn't believe him! Hey...wait...if they didn't believe him when he told the truth…..he really was doing good with his training! Go him! Kakashi did a little victory dance in his head and grinned brightly.

"Ah, caught again. Actually I just came by to give Iruka-sensei his birthday gift since we missed it in this last month." Sasuke continued to eye his teacher with narrow and dark eyes. He didn't bother getting excited like his two other team-mates and just gave the silver-haired man the hairy eyeball. Sasuke's intense stare had Kakashi staring back
with open wariness. "What?"

"Strawberries?" A dark brow rose as the Uchiha heir slouched with his usual cold grace before shoving his hands into his pockets. Those dark ravens wing black strands of hair fell in inky fangs into the boy's pale features and into those empty dark obsidian eyes. The icy beauty of his face was chilling with its arrogance as he watched the mysteriously smiling Kakashi move the bags he'd been carrying behind his back.

"Ne, ne, Kakashi-sensei what else do you have here. Ah! Ramen!" That immediately had the boy perking up at the sight of his favorite food and he all but danced in place. "Are you going to make dinner for Iruka-sensei? Is he here? Can I help? Can I have some?" The boy shot off those questions back to back with little chance for breath. If possible, Kakashi's impassive face took on a pained look as he watched his hyperactive student dance around like an excited kit.

"I'm pretty sure Iruka-sensei won't appreciate all of us invading his house so why don't we all go to Ichiraku for dinner?" He knew the chuunin wasn't due back from the mission room for a while so he probably had time to get the kids out of his hair and still have time
to get...ready.

"Yay." What was the old saying about simple minds and simple pleasures? Kakashi shook his head in wry chagrin before opening the door to Iruka's apartment long enough to shove the bags inside.

"They'll spoil." Was that a glint of sharp amusement in those otherwise dark eyes? Surely there wasn't a shred of humor in the angst-pot of Konoha's soul after all? Surely not!

"Eh?" A confused blink of that single visible eye then; Kakashi was somewhat cute when he was baffled and Sasuke allowed another smirk to curve the edges of his lips.

"Your birthday gift to Iruka-sensei." The fact that the boy not only believed Kakashi's 'lie' but also seemed to know what it entailed was vaguely disturbing to be honest and Naruto blinked in innocent confusion.

"Whatcha get him, Kakashi-sensei? Eh? Eh?" Kakashi sweat dropped and rubbed the back of his head once more, a grimace threatening to cross his face. While a part of him was cackling with glee at the possibility of furthering his Way of the Pervert ™ another part of his mind, the sane part, pointed out that he probably wouldn't get sex for at least a week if Iruka learned he was corrupting his favorite blonde. Alas, his hormones won out over his perverted inclinations and Kakashi grinned in that innocent 'I'm oh so harmless' manner of his and patted Naruto on the head.

"I'll tell you when you're older." He might have to reign in his perverted side but that didn't mean he couldn't drive the excitable blonde bat-shit crazy with the mysterious and half-answers that he hated so much.

"Kakashi-sensei!" As predicted, Naruto flailed about and batted at the silver-haired man's hand with a dismayed yelp. "I'm not a kid! I'm gonna be the next Hokage so ya gotta tell me!"

"Uh huh…uh huh….we'll talk about it over dinner." Kakashi grinned to himself and started down the road leading to Ichiraku. Sakura sighed and rolled her eyes heavenward as annoyance crossed that pretty face. Listening to Naruto's obnoxious proclamations all day long had left her with very little in the way of patience and she whapped the loud-mouthed blonde upside the head in passing.

"Hurry up, I'm hungry!" At having the object of his affection turn those cold words on him once again, Naruto's eyes welled up with shiny tears and he simpered after the pink-haired girl

"Sakura-chaaaaan. Why'd you hit me."

"You're annoying." Sakura snorted and a small curl of guilt prodded her into looking over her shoulder at Naruto with a faint twitching of her lips. "Come on, let's go get some ramen, Naruto. Sasuke-kun! Are you coming too?"

The dark-haired boy had watched the interaction of his teammates with his typical icy composure and jerked one shoulder in what could have passed as a shrug before ambling along behind them.

'I wonder if Naruto likes strawberries……' The Uchiha heir thought to himself and in the shadows of the falling night, those thin lips might have quirked up just a bit in a smirk. Or it could have been a trick of the light.