Kakashi and Asuma had always got along swimmingly. They had frequent nights out to drink as well as pleasant conversations about troublesome charges. Kakashi would never wish Asuma harm, but he was about to change that belief. In fact, he wanted to do the other jounin harm himself—but this was Asuma after all.

"What did you say, Asuma-san?"

"Iruka-sensei, the chuunin is a bit of an egghead." The other jounin shifted the cigarette that jutted from his lips.

Blood flooded hotly around Kakashi's temples. His single eye looked benignly half lidded to the outside world. "He is supposed to be smart, he's a teacher."

"No, no. I mean he's a nerd."

Violent thoughts and disproving information came to Kakashi's mind. Sadly, the disproving information was classified. He himself would be angry if anyone knew of the terribly sensual way that teacher went about his routine coming home. From a visual point of view of….oh say… a tree branch outside one could easily see that Iruka-sensei was far more than that.

"Asuma-kun! Iruka-sensei is just fine. You don't like the same things as he, that's all," Kurenai quipped. "A man with brains is admirable."

"Brains…right…" Asuma muttered waving off the comment. "Call it what you like. I just feel like he's been spreading his braininess to Shikamaru, it's definitely taking some time to get him out of the habit of calculating kunai ballistics."

"You really are so stubborn sometimes," the female nin sighed as she took a sip of her tea. "It isn't a bad thing.'

Kakashi wondered if a person could die if they swallowed a lit cigarette. He didn't exactly know what calculating and a kunai had to do with one another. Kakashi also didn't know why anyone would ever in a million years think to insult Iruka-sensei. But he did know that the only reason was Asuma was still calmly enjoying his lunch was because Kakashi was a forgiving soul. "Well, I must be going." He stood and took out his share of the bill and placed it on the table, "Ja ne."

Nerd? Egghead? Umino Iruka, a nerd? He had heard that the long haired chuunin had been a prankster back in academy but where on earth was this nerd theory coming from? Kakashi had to investigate.

The target was at home, it being a Saturday gave the chuunin free time. There he was at home, exercising. "Not nerdy at all," Kakashi mused to himself as he watched the other man move through standard taijutsu motions with skilled finesse. When finished, Iruka got himself some water and towel dried the sweat upon his skin. Much to Kakashi's torment, the other man headed for the shower.

Hatake Kakashi believed in personal space, but in this scenario it needed to be put aside. The objects in the small house were familiar. Just as they had seemed from far away, table and chairs common place things. Scattered over the table were would-be ninja homework graded and neatly stacked. The book case had…

Kakashi stopped dead. What was all this science fiction doing here? Math books? Joke books? Where was the orange looking book he had seen the sensei holding? Not Icha Icha? What kind of a world was this? Could the ninja he had been infatuated over truly be an egghead?

The door to the bathroom opened and the jounin was gone.


The silver haired man cringed at the voice he recognized instantly; it had been one week exactly. It was agonizing. Kakashi some how managed to only spy twice—just to make sure that the chuunin got home the days he worked overtime. And now in the sanctity of a bookstore he would meet up again with the object of his affections. "Ah, Iruka-sensei, Hello."

Iruka held a stack of books in his arms, "How are you? I haven't seen you in a while."

"Oh…I'm doing alright." Kakashi eyed the books, yes it was pretty apparent. More math, more science fiction…how could he have missed it before. "You actually read those?"

"Of course!" the chuunin smiled, taking one off of the bottom. "This one is great I heard. It's about a young wizard with a scar."

The jounin didn't stand a chance, not being so close. Wizard book or not, the chuunin had him defenseless. Scars were irresistibly cute and Iruka was talking about them? How could he refuse? Eggheaded brain or not…cute. "Like yours?"

"Naw…its like…like a…" Iruka placed the stack of books down. Tracing the design in the air with a finger, "goodness I can't think of the word."

Kakashi reached out, mimicking the formation over the other's forehead just below fabric and metal. "Lightening bolt?"

"Yes! That's it!" Iruka grinned wide. "His scar is lucky. I really thing you should read it, Kakashi-sensei. It's very enjoyable."

Oh my dear sensei why must you be so charming and yet so… his finger lingered against the tan skin. If he moved away contact would be lost, would Iruka mind if he just stayed where he was? Perhaps if he just touched his palm to the side of his face and…

"Kakashi, my eternal rival! Are you discussing my favorite book series?"

Iruka flinched back, away from Kakashi and the Green Beast that loomed behind him. "Gai-sensei! You read Harry Potter?"

"Of course! It is a shining example of the spring time of youth overcoming the darkness! Such strength and enduring love!" Gai was in tears just thinking about it. Kakashi too now flinched and stepped back, lamenting over what would have been a perfect moment to steal a kiss. Boy could they make the space between book shelves any smaller?

"Uh…sure…" He said, scratching the back of his silvery bushy head. "I'm sure…"

"What? The cool Kakashi has not read Harry Potter?" Gai was taken aback.

"Naw. Only a nerd would read that." The words hit the air before Kakashi could stop them. The world around him began to crackle into pieces. Instead of harming Asuma he wanted to hit his head against a wall.

Iruka turned to grab his stack of books, his face was not the even shade of cinnamon brown but brick red. "I… need to be going."

"Ooooh! Kakashi! You are just too cool! Too cool for the likes of Maito Gai!"

"And me," Iruka spat as he turned away and stomped down the aisle.

"Iruka-san, wait up!" Kakashi called after him but the chuunin didn't slow. He stood there bewildered at how swiftly he changed from being quite close to so very, very far away from his goal.

A finger tapped on his shoulder three times. "Hmm…I think you may have insulted him, Kakashi-sensei."

If Gai wasn't there, Kakashi would have hung his head and slumped but brushed off the comment to try and make amends. Gai sighed and tossed his head, "Just too cool!"

"Iruka! Slow down, you must be the fastest walker I have known. That must come from all of that exercising you do." Kakashi wasn't given so much as a glance. "It was a mistake to say something like that. I wasn't talking about you. No I was—"

The chuunin whirled around, books in his arms remaining in perfect order, "some person you are, Kakashi. Just so easy to judge who is and isn't cool."

"I don't do that…" Kakashi put his hands in his pockets, leaning back a bit in his lazy way. Form not at all giving a hint of tension that coiled thick in his stomach.

"You insulted Gai and you insulted me. I bet you were baiting me to make fun of me farther!" Iruka growled, Kakashi idly wondered if those books would soon become weapons.

"Not you, sensei, I would not make fun of you. I respect you very much."

This comment earned Kakashi a sharp side glance. "Respect?"

The jounin nodded.

Iruka squinted at him. "If I'm a nerd, you are a pervert Hatake Kakashi."

No one, no one at all calls Kakashi a pervert to his face. But… Iruka was not a no one. He was Umino Iruka and Hatake Kakashi loved him. So if Iruka was to be a nerd, Kakashi would be a pervert. "I'm sorry. I won't call you names…. Can I help you with your books?"

A slow smile stretched across the chuunin's face, parallel to his scar. "Sure."

"Um…Maybe can you loan me that book? The one with the kid and the scar?"