-1Authoress: Okay…I'm back again with my second Naruto ficlet…even though my first is nowhere near done…/smiles sheepishly/ aight…now…this is a YAOI FIC!…don't like…well…you just suck then…but, as a warning, this is a Kakashi and Iruka pairing…because they're meant for each other…y'know it!


Authoress: one other thing…this story is actually (somewhat) following the whole Naruto story…yep…/goes in search of her Naruto eppies/ this one'll take some research here…/begins humming the Naruto theme songs (all, like, twenty, of them…)/ I will try my hardest to keep to the actual Chuunin Exam story line here…I really will…even down to watching every episode…but there will be things I add and/or subtract…just because I am GOD in this story! BWAHAHAHAH

Disclaimer: …wah…okay…just don't rub it in anymore…I wasn't born Japanese…or blessed with the ability to draw amazingly well…you're lucky to get a chibi out of me!…and if I did own Naruto…/sighs/ oh, Kakashi would be quite different…in the mask and clothing department…and Sakura would never exist…/growls/ I don't know why…but I just plain don't like her…

Chapter One

(Iruka's POV)

'Right now they are my soldiers'!…who the hell does he think he is! They are only children!…They can't possibly be ready for the Chuunin exam. Naruto needs much more discipline…Sakura will get hurt…and Sasuke is too self-centered and has too much of an attitude…they'll never survive the exam. Against my usual calm way of thinking, I inwardly began cursing. I knew the other two rookie teams would have a bit of a chance, but Team 7? Never…their teamwork is nonexistent… I growled softy under my breath as I remembered what that monster had said to me. Fun to crush them! What kind of sadist did Hokage-sama put them under?

"Oi, Iruka-sensei…" I couldn't help but cringe when I heard his voice. Turning around slowly, I glared at the smiling jounin. He rubbed the back of his head as he walked closer to me. "Hokage-sama wants you to test the three rookie genin teams in the special preliminary exam…but I already know they will pass. They have improved greatly from when they were your students."

What a egotistical bastard…from what Naruto's told me, he doesn't do much at all to train their team…I glared at the Copy-cat Ninja for another moment before using a teleportation jutsu before I lost the little bit of control I still had left and attacked the smug shinobi.

(Kakashi's POV)

"Maa…he didn't have to be so cold…" I mumbled to myself as I watched the last bit of smoke vanish, leaving me alone on the bridge. I took a deep breath and let it out slowly, knowing that Iruka was mad at me. Why? I wasn't exactly sure, but from the glares from Kurenai and Asuma, along with the scolding I got from Gai, I guessed it had to be something I said to him. I didn't see the problem with speaking the bare truth to an obviously outdated inferior shinobi. He still sees them as the students he once had…I thought as I pulled out my Icha Icha Paradise, smiling underneath my mask as Junto finally proclaimed his love. Oo…my favorite part… All thoughts of a certain scarred chuunin fled my mind as I walked along the bridge's side, humming to myself.

(Iruka's POV)

Kuso…he was right…they all have improved greatly…I sighed as I sat down on my bed and stared at my hands. Especially Sasuke, Sakura, and Naruto…they easily defeated my clones…I probably should have made it harder for them…just to see Kakashi proven wrong. My eyes widened as I shook my head. I would never deliberately put any of my former students in harm's way in order to prove a point to a jounin. And a lazy, sadistic, emotionless, bastard of a jounin at that…I grumbled inwardly as I laid down and looked up at the ceiling of my bedroom. Tomorrow…they'll begin taking the first test…I hope they do as well as Kakashi thinks they will…as much as I want him to be wrong…

Onegai…Kami-sama…don't let them fail…like my team did…

(Kakashi's POV)

I smiled to myself as I walked down the Ninja Academy's long hallways. And to think I was worrying about those three for a moment… Naruto's proud-and stupid-declaration still was ringing in my ears, which caused my eye to curve upwards. I should have known he'd say something like that…'I'm not going to lose to any of you'? I'm sure with his unique abilities…and stubbornness…he might just succeed in that…or die trying…I added morbidly. I sighed, remembering that Asuma had told me who the first examiner was. That sadist…a pro at torture and interrogation…Naruto has no chance of standing up against that…I wonder what the outcome will be. I couldn't stop my eye from twitching at the thought of Naruto actually passing whatever torturous test Ibiki thought of. I took a deep breath and glanced up when I felt a certain chakra. It's him… I studied the chuunin for a moment, knowing that he probably didn't realize I was mere feet behind him. Yet today must have been 'surprise Kakashi' day.

"They are taking the first exam…with Ibiki-sensei, ne?" Iruka asked softly as he turned around to look at me. I couldn't help but smile at the small chuunin in attempts to hide my amazement. I had my chakra completely masked, an old instinct that I still couldn't get rid of, and didn't make a single sound as I walked towards him. How did he know I was there? I wondered to myself as I watched Iruka shifted his weight onto one leg, a hint of a smile tugging at his lips. There was something about him that was different from the other shinobi I knew. Perhaps it was that unhidden attempt at a smile that had aroused my sudden curiosity.

"I guess…" I studied the tan man for a moment, then realized what it was that was different about Iruka. He wasn't worrying about anything. And people call me carefree…he's not the least bit worried that Ibiki's the examiner…and he was so worried about Naruto and the others before? "I wonder if they'll pass…"

"Of course they will…" Iruka's lips turned fully upwards as he looked away. "If there's anything I've learned about those three is that they're all too stubborn to give up…to give into mental torture…" He turned back to look at me with a complete smile on his scarred face. "…they may not become chuunin this time…but they will do their best…and make their sensei proud…"

If I wasn't wearing a mask, Iruka would have seen my mouth gaping open. The young man, the one who treated me as if I had a plague only a few days before, actually had (in a roundabout way) complemented me. Heh…I wonder what made him change his mind about me…

"You were right, Kakashi-sensei…I should have given those three more credit…I guess I should apologize for arguing against your decision…" Iruka said softly. "If you don't mind…can I be the one who tells them they passed the second exam?"

Usually that job is picked randomly between the Chuunins…but he has so much faith in them… "Un…but you might have to ask Anko too…" I scratched the back of my head, trying to think of something to say to the, now, grinning shinobi. I felt my cheeks warm up as I watched him for a moment. He's…beautiful…

I lowered my gaze to the ground, which was actually hard considering my eyes had begun to have a mind of their own. Iruka's lower body had caught my attention for so many perverted reasons. I so wanted to study Iruka-his face, his body…every aspect that my natural eye could catch a glimpse of in that moment-but forced my rebellious eye to gaze at the tiles on the floor. I waited until I heard the soft tapping of his sandals on the floor, becoming fainter as he walked away from me. I glanced up quickly, catching Iruka turning his head for a moment. There was something…inviting in his eyes that made me wonder if the teacher was actually flirting with me. I inwardly shook my head. I had heard many things about the chuunin and being gay wasn't one of them. Too bad…I thought to myself as I smiled and waved at the brunette, smiling when I noticed a pink tint to his cheeks as he turned his head back and all but sprinted down the rest of the corridor.

(Iruka's POV)

"Iruka-sensei, it's unusual for you to have a change of heart," the Hokage commented as he glanced towards me. I sighed as I looked over at the smiling old man. It continued to amaze me that this old man was the greatest ninja (alive) in our village and I couldn't stop myself from snicker when I remembered all the times I, and Naruto, got the better of him.

"What are you talking about, Hokage-sama?" I asked before I covered my mouth to stop from snickering. The old man was always like a father to me-even before my parents were killed by the Kyuubi-and, even now that I was an adult, he still treated me like a son. I reminded myself that the Hokage treated all people of the village like his children, but more so with the shinobi.

"Kakashi…I heard from someone that you were talking to him a few days ago…" the old man stated, his tone suggesting that he knew more than just that. I glanced over at him and shook my head at the grin I got in return. "Iruka…it's about time you made some friends outside of the academy. As much as I hate to say it, Kakashi would be good for you."

"Hate to say it?" I repeated curiously, instantly regretting my question when I saw the noticeable twitch of the old man's eye. From the huff he let out, I knew that Kakashi must live up to his lazy reputation. "Is that why you gave him Naruto?"

"Hai…I would have rather had you take those three…" the Hokage said simply with a knowing look in his eyes. "Iruka…my offer still stands. Just say 'yes' and you'll be promoted to jounin."

"I don't want to be a jounin, Hokage-sama. Gomen…demo…I prefer teaching to S-rank missions…" I replied truthfully. It had been over three years since I had first been offered the honored position of jounin, but I always used that sole excuse. I love teaching more…but that's not the entire reason…I retorted inwardly. The other part of my reasoning was that I knew I would never survive an upper-ranked mission. I had abilities that were passed down through my family-ones I was ashamed to say I had yet to perfect-that could aid me in a mission, but I also had the one thing no true shinobi should…emotions. It had always hurt me to know that, no matter how hard I trained, I could never remove my emotions, that I could never be strong enough to endure a life of killing. Every year, when I went to pray at my parents' graves, I nearly break down all over again. They died when using their Bloodline Limits…in order to protect the village, but in doing that, they left a child alone to meddle with his own abilities, but to never know his full potential, let alone reach it. I glanced over at the old man and sighed when I saw his disapproving expression. "What do you want me to say, Hokage-sama?"

"Iruka…I want you to start training again…and accept the jounin position. I will never send you on a mission unless you agree to go on it…and if this period of peace lasts, you can keep your teaching position in the academy. Nothing would please this village more than to know our children are being taught by a jounin who proved his was worthy of that title when he was still a teen." I sighed, but bit my tongue at the retort I was about to let out. The Hokage nodded his head in understanding of my unspoken thought. "Iruka, I have already arranged training sessions for you with Gai-sensei. I couldn't help but notice you taijutsu is quite rusty…"

I couldn't stop my mouth from gaping open. Not only had the old man decided what I would do from now on…he had decided my new fate was with Gai. Not that I had a thing against the overzealous man…but it was just that. He was overzealous to the point of being frightening to almost everyone. I plastered a smile on my face as I nodded my head. Gai was a taijutsu master and I had been hoping to work on my taijutsu since that battle with Mizuki, but never got around to it. I had been procrastinating for months, but inwardly was glad that the Hokage finally made the decision for me.

"Arigatou, Hokage-sama."

"I guess Kakashi was right…those three were ready for the Chuunin Exams," the Hokage commented as he glanced at a nearby screen. His smile was nothing in comparison to the grin I had on as I swelled with pride. Naruto…Sasuke…Sakura…you've passed. I guess I shouldn't have judged Kakashi-san so harshly…


(Kakashi's POV)


"Maa?" I turned around to look for the person calling my name. The voice sounded familiar, but, oddly enough, I couldn't immediately put a face to it. Seeing the tan Chuunin waving to me, I smiled knowing that Iruka couldn't see it. Kawaii…I thought to myself as I studied the shorter shinobi standing a few feet away from me as he tried picking up bags from a stall's counter. After watching his attempt at balancing the three heavy looking bags, I sighed and walked over to him. "Yo, Iruka-sensei."

"Hello…" Iruka before he huffed and tried again to carry all three bags in one arm. I looked at his other hand and noticed it was tightly wrapped in white bandages. Injured? But he doesn't go on missions…I thought to myself, but banished the idea of missions being the culprit when I saw how tired the chuunin looked. If it was a mission that did this to him, the Hokage would have had a medical team treat him and he'd still be in their care right now. Doing something that went against my twisted mind, I put away my Icha Icha Paradise and picked up two of the bags. Iruka made a odd squeak, which I guessed could be considered a protest, but I silenced him with the upturn of my eye.

"Where to, Iruka-sensei?" I asked as I took a glance at the almost unnoticeable blush on Iruka's scarred cheeks as he picked up the third bag. I was dying to ask about his arm, but from the way he hid it behind his back as we started walking, I guessed he didn't want to talk about it. We walked in an awkward silence for a few minutes, the sounds of a bustling village filling in the void where there should have been conversation. As soon as we exited the busier part of Konoha, I took quick glances at Iruka while trying to think of something to say to the young man.

As if he heard my thoughts, Iruka coughed and glanced over at me. "H-How is Sasuke-kun's training going?" he asked softly as his eyes shifted to the ground. I smiled at the chuunin, trying to think of something to say.

"…he's learning a new jutsu…and can use the Sharingan much more efficiently now…" I replied coolly as I watched for a reaction from the scarred chuunin. A pleased expression crossed his face before he looked away again and sighed.

"And Ebisu's training with Naruto is going nowhere…they hate each other…" he said sadly as he shifted the bag's weight on his hip. I nodded my head. It's training for both of them…Ebisu needs to learn that he has to deal with Naruto's existence…and Naruto just needs to learn…I stated inwardly as I curved my eye upwards and snickered. "Nani?"

My smile faltered when I heard a poof and, being the always cautious type, went in search of the noise that sounded like a henge no jutsu. I froze when I found something far more interesting than a simple henge no jutsu. Chuckling, I rested my head against a wooden fence and peeked through the space between two boards. I could hear Iruka sighing heavily as we heard the sound of someone screaming, which was quickly followed by something falling in water. My eyes remained fixated on the cute girl standing in front of an old man, completely nude. I couldn't help myself as I let out a perverted snicker. Iruka merely cursed quietly as he turned away from the old man who was, literally, set aflame by the girl's beauty.

(A/N: that lil' thing Kakashi's looking at was in episode 53, when Jiraiya discovers the 'Sexy no jutsu'….that screaming/falling in water sound was Ebisu…flying through the air and falling in a well from his nosebleed…yeaaa…I have a lot of time to do research…)

"I LIKE YOU! You pass!" the old man screamed as he held up '100 points' signs. I felt something against my back, but didn't turn around to look at what it was until I noticed the girl and old man were getting smaller…as was my peeping hole. I turned around to find Iruka dragging me by the back of my jacket with his injured hand. I tried to hear what he was mumbling, but all I got out of it was 'Naruto' and 'worthless.'

Naruto's worthless? What would that have to do with that cute girl? I wondered as I studied Iruka as he continued to pull me away from the fence. I made a sad attempt to free myself and return to my peeping, but couldn't do much considering my movements were being constricted by the two bags. "Maa…Iruka-sensei!" I pleaded as I tried to dig my feet into the ground, but discovered that Iruka had actually lifted me a few inches into the air and no amount of stretching would allow my feet to touch the ground. Such strength…with an injured arm? And he was able to restrict my movements…he isn't an ordinary chuunin, I thought to myself as I studied the teacher and noticed the vein popping out of his forehead.

"All of you…perverts…" he said quietly as he turned a corner and, sadly, the fence was out of my sight. I sniffled as people began to stare in our direction. If Asuma or Kurenai sees me now…not to mention Gai…I wriggled again, hoping Iruka would let me go now that we were no longer near the girl. He did let me go, but his fingers reluctantly unwrapped themselves from my jacket as soon as I felt solid ground underneath my feet. Amazing…he is able to restrain a person with a single hand…teaching children must be harder than I thought…I thought to myself, but then remembered when I first met my Genin team. I smiled and watched Iruka stomp a few feet away from me, but then stopped and waited until I caught up with him. By then, the vein on his forehead was gone and his usual calm expression was in place.

"Iruka-sensei…I'm not a pervert…" I protested as I fell into step with the, still, stomping chuunin. His strides were almost as long as mine usually were, which was surprising considering his shorter legs. He glared at me, a look of obvious disbelief in his eyes. Who was that girl…and why was she talking to Jiraiya-sama…

"I'm a super pervert!" a male voice (A/N: Ah, the wonders of Jiraiya) cried from the direction of that lovely fence and I couldn't help but agree with the man. Not that I would admit it to Iruka, or anyone else for that matter, but ninety-nine percent of what went through my mind, at any moment, had to deal with sex or something close to it. That other single percent went towards my breathing and other life-functions.

"Iruka-sensei…do you know who that cute girl was?" I asked curiously and noticed Iruka's shoulders tensed as soon as I said 'girl.' Wanting to know why he had such a reaction, I took a few quick steps so I could see his face clearly. "Who was she?"

"…" Seeing Iruka's face now, I could tell his shoulders hadn't tensed up in anger, but from laughter. He covered his mouth with his injured hand as he continued walking, keeping his eyes to the ground. What is he laughing about? I wondered as I studied him.

"Who was she?" I asked again, noticing that this time, Iruka couldn't hold back a snicker as he looked up at me for an instant. For that moment when my eye met his brown ones, a strange feeling began in my stomach as my face warmed up. From the change in his attitude, from slight snickering to outright chuckling, he somehow knew I was blushing furiously underneath my mask.

"Na…ruto," he replied between his fits of, what was to me, addictive laughter. I smiled underneath my mask as I furrowed my eyebrows. Naruto? I could see Iruka smiled under his bandaged hand, which led me to assume he knew I was confused. "That girl…was a jutsu of Naruto's…the Sexy no Jutsu…is what he's named it…" He took his hand away from his mouth long enough for me to see his beautiful smile and discover that I wanted to see it again. "Even Hokage-sama couldn't beat that…"

"And what about you?" I asked as soon as the thought of the Hokage being defeating by anything, let alone a trick of Naruto's, sunk in. Iruka's eyes widened and he looked away, his blush rivaling my hidden one. "Ah…so Iruka-sensei is a pervert too…" I commented, feigning seriousness, but dropped my act when I heard Iruka giggling.

"Iie…he caught me off-guard!" Iruka retorted, his blush turning violently red as he looked away from me and turned into a deserted street. I studied a few of the buildings, noticing that they were apartments, and that they weren't something that I would have expected from the academy teacher. Teaching paid very well in Konoha (mostly because no one wanted to deal with a bunch of energetic children throwing shuriken everywhere), but here I was, standing in front of a large, shabby apartment complex. The fact that the sun was going down right now, creating eerie shadows didn't help matters much.

Iruka began walking up a flight of stairs and waited until I followed him up the rickety steps before pulling a small key out of his chuunin vest and opening one of the doors. I watched the chuunin walk into a small, unlit room and place the bag onto a table near the door. "You can come in, Kakashi-sensei," Iruka commented as he turned around to look at me, the blush gone from his cheeks. My first impression of the apartment was negative, but as I walked into the small room, my eye widened. The small room I was standing in had two separate corridors leading from it along with several doors. Iruka closed the door behind me and I almost jumped at the loud bang that created. He didn't notice my jumpy movements as he picked up his bag and led me down the first corridor, which ended in one of the largest rooms I had ever seen in an apartment. Unlike the outside of the apartment, this room was very pleasant looking--like it had been lived in. A long table separated the room into two halves, a tidy kitchen and a living room. The kitchen didn't catch my attention-probably since I had no idea how to cook-but I was quick to begin studying the other half of the room, surprised to see that there wasn't a single book or scroll in sight. I couldn't even see any weapon in the room, which was very unusual for a shinobi's home. Even in my own apartment, I had several pouches of kunai and shuriken, scrolls, and various traps in each room, and I hardly even was there except to find a change of clothing when my own was torn enough for it to be called 'indecent exposure' if I was to go out in public.

I set down the two bags on a table in the kitchen and waited for Iruka to start putting them away before turning away from him long enough to uncover my Sharingan. Using both eyes, I studied the rooms a second time, but after a minute, came to the same conclusion. Iruka was completely unprotected in the apartment. I readjusted my hitai-ate so that it covered my eye again before turning back to look at Iruka, who was placing a few boxes into a cabinet above his head. I studied him for a moment, noticing that he wasn't worried in the least. He was being so careless, it was almost cute. I smiled underneath my mask, realizing how different we were. In fact, we were complete opposites. Iruka was so trusting of everyone and went about the room without any noticeable caution while I, on the other hand, jumped at the sound of his door closing before and, even now, felt as if an enemy may attack at any moment. At that thought, a wave of worry for the chuunin flooded over me and I was amazed at the intensity of my own feelings. I had always cared for another shinobi's well-being, but seeing how calm Iruka was, I had the sudden urge to protect him. No shinobi should be that relaxed when he was unprotected and open to any attack.

"Kakashi-sensei…you can stop worrying about the house's defenses. I'm completely safe here…" Iruka commented without even turning to look at me. My mouth dropped open as I wondered how he knew what was going through my head at that exact moment. A Bloodline Limit? Iie… "I could feel you activated your Sharingan…"

He is no ordinary chuunin…very few jounin can tell when I'm using the Sharingan unless they're watching me use it…I studied Iruka for a moment, wondering how he could have known when he still had his back to me. I was about to ask how he knew, but the thought slipped from my mind when I saw Iruka grab a nearby counter and clutch it while his knuckles turned white and he lowered his head. I knew exactly what was happening to the small chuunin when I recognized the symptoms, having gone through a few dizzy spells myself. I took a step towards the paling man but increased my speed when I saw him loosen his grip on the counter. I caught him before his legs gave out completely and held him against my chest for a moment before lifting up his limp body in my arms and carrying him to one of the couches in the living room.

I was careful to lay him down gently on the cushion before I mentally flipped out. His chakra levels are normal…I would have noticed if he was loosing too much blood…why did he pass out? I wondered as I studied the chuunin's face. He was covered in sweat, but as I felt the alarmingly pale skin of his cheeks and neck, I discovered his temperature was normal. People don't pass out without reason…could his injury be that bad? I wondered as I studied his bandaged arm. The bandages were still immaculately white, so I tried thinking of another reason as to why Iruka was unconscious on his couch. I gently lifted his head and untied his hiai-ate. I removed the metal plate and set it down on a small table next to the couch, then looked back down at Iruka. His eyes fluttered for a moment, then opened. His brown eyes shifted around as his eyebrows furrowed and his gaze finally landed on me.

"Ka…kasha-sensei?" He asked curiously as he sat up, but I gently pushed him back down when I saw his face pale again. He looked up at me and sighed. "Gomen…"

"What are you apologizing for, Iruka-sensei?" I asked, smiling as I readjusted a pillow under his head. He frowned and I couldn't stop myself from inwardly smirking. He looks so cute when he frowns…I thought to myself as I slowly stood up. Cold compress…I reminded myself as I strengthened my resolve. Iruka isn't cute…he's a shinobi…who's ill right now!

"I didn't mean to pass out on you, Kakashi-sensei," Iruka replied softly as I felt his eyes follow me as I went in search of a towel, which happened to be neatly folded in a drawer under the sink. I turned on the cold water and began soaking the soft white material as I looked at the back of the couch, wondering if Iruka was blushing on the other side of it right now.

"Maa…you almost gave me a heart attack, Iruka-sensei," I stated truthfully as I turned off the water and rung out the towel, then walked back towards the man. As soon as I got close enough to see the chuunin's face over the couch's high back, I could see he was smirking.

"You must have a lot of those with Naruto and Sasuke around each other…" Iruka commented as he gratefully took the wet towel from me and folded it. I watched silently, with a smile on my face, as the chuunin placed it on his forehead.

"Un…too many with those two," I replied before I took a seat on a chair adjacent to the couch. "…maa, daijoubuka, Iruka-sensei?"

"…fine, Kakashi-sensei…I guess I overdid training today…" Iruka said softly as he turned his head to look at me. "Gai-sensei can be quite a slave-driver…when he thinks we're in the 'youth of our lives'…"

I couldn't help but snicker at that, knowing how true it could be. My next thought was: What was Iruka training with Gai for? "Training?" I asked curiously, my visible eye studying Iruka as he sat up again, but this time didn't pale as he shifted so he could look at me.

"Un…I was working on my taijutsu with Gai-sensei…" Iruka sighed as he tilted his head back and looked up at the ceiling before taking a deep breath and looking back at me. "Gai-sensei…before he became a jounin, I actually had a chance when we sparred…"

he…was on the same level as Gai…but Gai's been a jounin for nearly seven years…which would have made Iruka…how old is he? I wondered to myself as I looked at the chuunin. At first glance, I guessed around my age, thirty-four (A/N:…I don't know if that's his exact age (or Iruka's for that matter…)…but I couldn't say later thirties…it would have made him an old pervert…/snickers/) "Before he became a jounin? He was very good at taijutsu even then."

"I know…I wasn't bad either…but it's been a few years since I've actually trained with just taijutsu…and even when I used to spar with Gai…I used more tricks on him than actual skills…" Iruka said softly as he removed the towel from his head and set it down on his thigh. "I don't think that would help me much anymore."


"Un…I was even more ruthless than Naruto when I was young…" Iruka replied, looking away from me quickly, but I could see the faint blush on his cheeks. Worse than Naruto!…is there such a thing? From what I've learned about that brat…he's destroyed the Hokage monument…gotten arrested for a few of his acts…and actually tricked the Hokage…how could someone like Iruka be worse?

"How so?" I couldn't stop myself from asking as I slid off the chair and took a seat on the couch next to Iruka. I was mindful to keep a distance between myself and the chuunin, since I had an odd feeling he would probably beat me to a pulp before I even knew what hit me if I tried anything. Not that I would…but hands had a terrible mind of their own sometimes…

"…do you remember…about ten years ago…there was a riot…" Iruka commented, his tone hinting at something and, for a moment, I could see him as a child-a trickster with a scar across his tiny nose. The image was so cute, I couldn't help but chuckle as I nodded my head to his statement.

"Three ANBU teams, every Genin team in the village, and all other shinobi who weren't already busy were needed to hold back the citizens…and there were a few teams needed to protect some kid…" I looked over at Iruka and my eye widened when I saw him point a finger at himself when I mentioned the child that was put in protective custody. Demo…that kid…wasn't that old…it couldn't have been Iruka… "NANI!"

"That was me…I didn't think everyone would get so mad if I tried this new jutsu of mine…it's now a forbidden jutsu…" The immature side of me couldn't help but chuckle at the impish smile on Iruka's face. "Nani? I thought it was a good prank at the time…"

"What did you do?" I was away on an ANBU mission when that happened, but it was like the Kyuubi incident…no one's supposed to talk about it anymore…I thought to myself, knowing that Iruka would tell me what he did from the little snicker of pride I heard come out of his mouth.

"Every piece of cloth in the village was…altered…" Iruka smiled as he tried to cover his blush with his hands. "I can't believe I found a way to make material invisible…and since I was the only person with clothes left…they knew it was me…"

I bit my lip to stop myself from laughing at the images that statement gave me. No wonder people were annoyed…but wouldn't shinobi been just as annoyed at him as everyone else? As if he was able to read my thoughts, Iruka snickered. "Metal and spandex weren't changed…so Gai was the one in charge of watching me…it took them weeks to figure out a way to reverse my jutsu…"

"Haha…" I let out a deep chuckle, which was soon accompanied by Iruka's higher -pitched laugh. We sat there on the couch and laughed until I was doubled over from the pain a cramp in my abdomen and Iruka was gasping for breath. "I wouldn't have expected a teacher like you to have been suck a prankster."

"When I was young, I didn't think I'd become a teacher of all things," Iruka replied between deep breaths. I nodded my head, most children didn't think of what they wanted to become when they were young. But I was already a jounin when I was Naruto's age…and Iruka still acted like a child ten years ago…we're complete opposites…I thought to myself, then smiled when I realized something. And I act more immature than he does…according to everyone else…

"It's a good thing you grew out of your pranks, Iruka-sensei…" I stated, but froze when I saw the smile on his face. It screamed that he had already done something and was just waiting for me to hear about it. And it was obvious he was proud of whatever he did. "What did you do?"

"Nothing…" Iruka replied while his smile widened. He snickered as he slowly stood up and turned around to look at me. He walked into the kitchen and rummaged through one of the bags still there. He pulled out something, but I couldn't see what it was until he walked back towards me with the lumpy green object cradled in his arms. I stared at the material as Iruka unrolled it to reveal a jumpsuit and that is when my eye began to twitch. That looks almost exactly like…

"That isn't?"

"It is…"

"IRUKA-KUUUUN!" My visible eye flew to the door as Gai came crashing though it in nothing but his green vest, hitai-ate, and orange weights. Now that my twitching had become spasms, I was unable to focus on Gai enough to get any images burned into my mind. "So hip and modern in the way you stole my clothes!"

"Konnichiwa, Gai-sensei…" Iruka said as calmly as any human could as he waved the piece of spandex in the air. "That jutsu just wore off?" Jutsu? How did he steal Gai's clothes…and not have Gai notice until now? He didn't knock him unconscious, did he?

"It was so cool that you could put a buushin no jutsu and henge no jutsu together to replicate my youthful clothes and switch them so quickly that not even I noticed!" How the hell did he accomplish that?…without taking off the rest of Gai's clothes and having Gai somehow not feel it? Gai's pose faltered, as did his shining grin, as he looked at Iruka. "How could someone as young as yourself be pale!"

"He passed out only a little while ago," I stated with a monotonous tone as I stood up, ready to catch Iruka in case he started to fall again. As I studied Iruka's body rock back and forth slowly, Gai went through a whole scene change, along with ocean and sunset, as he cried over something I guessed to be 'the wonders of youth.'

"Kakashi…" I heard Iruka whisper my name as I saw his legs buckle and, in a rush to catch him, I tripped on something and landed on my face. Thankfully, Iruka fell backwards this time and his head landed on the back of my plush vest. I glared at Gai for a moment and only stopped when he ended his little scene and noticed Iruka was unconscious on the floor. I slowly sat up as Gai lifted Iruka's head enough for me to do so and, as I stood up, I took Iruka from his arms.

"His room is on the end of the other hallway," Gai stated as he picked up his tiny spandex jumpsuit, thankfully covering himself to prevent any serious brain damage on my part, and began walking out of the room. He turned his head to look at me and smiled, but the usual shine wasn't there. "Kakashi…would you stay with him tonight? I would…but Lee…"

"Go get dressed," I snapped, almost regretting my tone when I saw Gai look away as he continued to walk out of the apartment. Gai's attitude towards me hadn't changed in all the years we were 'eternal rivals,' except for the past few days. If he had been close enough to be a friend to me, I would have actually worried about him. He was seriously depressed over Lee's injuries, but I didn't say anything-it wasn't my place. I shook any further thoughts of the strange shinobi as I shifted Iruka's weight in my arms and followed Gai's directions. I walked back into the small room near the front door, then began walking down a long hallway. At the end of it, there were two door, one to the left, and one to the right. After a quick glimpse in the one to my left, I shook my head. The orange screamed 'Naruto' almost as much as the walrus hat resting on the disgustingly orange bed did.

Iruka mumbled something as he shifted in my arms so that his head was facing my chest. I smiled as I looked down at him and pushed open the door opposite the orange room. I sighed in relief when I saw a normal room. This room, unlike the living room and kitchen, had kunai and shuriken everywhere. I could also sense that there was some kind of jutsu on the windows that allowed a adequate amount of light to filter into the room while the shades were still down. The amount of light in the room was enough for me to walk towards the large bed in the middle of the room without stepping on something or running into anything. I moved Iruka in my arms enough so that I could hold him with one while I pulled down the comforter and sheets with the other.

I bent over as I laid Iruka into the bed and even after I had him underneath the blankets, I remained leaning over him, studying his face. I almost hit myself, remembering the last time I had slept in my uniform--it wasn't comfortable. I pulled the sheets back down and began removing his shinobi gear. When I had finally taken off his vest and shuriken holder, along with his scroll pouch, I looked at his long-sleeved shirt for a lingering moment. It couldn't hurt…I thought to myself, remembering that all shinobi wore mesh or a t-shirt underneath their uniform anyways. My belief was proven wrong as I began sliding the chuunin's arms out of the shirt. That belief was then metaphorically stomped on as I pulled the shirt over Iruka's head and couldn't stop my eyes from taking in the man's tan skin. Unlike my own body, his chest and arms had only a few, tiny scars, but as I leaned him against my shoulder so that I could take out the band holding up his hair, I could see his back was covered in scars. The largest, and obviously most recent, scar was one that stretched from between his shoulder blades down to the dip in his back. Guessing from its size and shape, I categorized it as a shuriken wound, but one that could have been avoided. Any shinobi could have turned slightly so that it wouldn't have embedded itself so close to the spine…he could have been paralyzed from it…so why would he have voluntarily taken a hit?

I continued what I had been doing before I had been frozen by that scar. I gently slid the hair tie out of Iruka's hair and watched as it fell gracefully to brush down past his shoulders. I couldn't stop myself as my fingers wove through his silky hair and almost jumped back when Iruka leaned towards my hand. For a moment, I wondered if he was awake, but from his breathing, heart beat and lower chakra levels, Iruka was asleep and had unconsciously responded to my touch. I immediately decided that there was an actual God…and she/he was being merciful tonight.

I laid his head back down on a large pillow and stood up as I pulled the blankets back up to his neck. With an impish grin, I leaned back over him again and tucked the blankets around him tightly. Hehe…see if you can get out of my restraining technique, Iruka-sensei… With that thought in mind, I glanced around the room, but found no chair or anything else I could sit on, so I mumbled a 'goodnight' to the sleeping chuunin before I slipped out of the room and closed the door behind myself.

I knew I shouldn't have gone snooping, but there were several doors that I had yet to see the contents of and they were calling to me. The first one I looked in was a average bathroom covered in immaculately white tiles (what I had been expecting from the clean chuunin), the second a storage room for all kinds of cleaning objects (again, the signs of Iruka's slight obsession with hygiene), but the third I came to was, simply said, amazing. I knew immediately it was Iruka's training room, but what was so amazing about it was that the walls were covered in seals. I knew a bit about seals-that's what happens when your sensei was a master with seals-so I immediately went to work trying to figure out what they were for.

I circled the room two or three times before the characters clicked in my mind. A Four Season Seal? That's used for chakra flow…but there are two extra winter characters…and the character for spring is…unfinished…iie…it's purposely like that…but why? This would do nothing to contain chakra…or block outside chakra… I studied the floor again, wondering why Iruka would have such a powerful seal in his training room, but I then reminded myself that this wasn't an ordinary seal. Could it be a seal used in his family's techniques? …but only the Hyuuga and Uchiha clans have powerful enough abilities that any of these seals are needed in certain areas of training…Naruto is the only person who has a Four Season Seal on him…but his seal is made of two of them…could Iruka really be strong enough to need these seals when training?

But…who is he protecting? The village…or himself?


(A/N:…shall I end?…I think so, for now…eleven pages seems like enough, ne?)

Authoress: YOSH! First chapter, check…and this chapter goes from eppies 21 'til 54ish…YAY!…and, just as a warning…I won't be following episodes as soon as the chuunin exams are over…and what not…yep….just because…/sighs/ the anime makes Iruka out to be such a WUSS after Sasuke leaves…yea…that one mission when Mizuki comes back…/cries/ I think Iruka's like the same level as Kakashi…hence all of those lil' hints about him becoming a jounin and such…and the seals…

Kakashi: maa…what is it for…

Authoress: now, if I told you…there wouldn't be a point for the next few chapters…anyways…you want Iruka to tell you…so your relationship can deepen


Kakashi: do you…like me Iruka?

Iruka: I…/beeeep/ (censored for the Authoress' sanity…and her sole 'job')

Authoress: heheh…you'll have to find out one day…well…you already know how this'll turn out…but it'll have it's twists and turns…yep…THIS IS A MEANDERING STORY!…so if we have a chapter or two on some other pairing that I just had to write about…then…well…you'll just have to deal with it…anyways…it'd probably be Naruto and Sasuke or something to that effect…so you'll all be happy, right…/freezes/ I just thought of a chapter I could put in after Sasuke leaves the village and Shikamaru's team goes after them and what not…then Lee gets in a fight when he's drunk and Gaara soooo saves his lover's ass…yep…that'll have to be at least a one chappie side story…yays!


Lee:…was I drunk…and why does my ass hurt?

Gaara:…I hurt…more…/blushes/

Authoress: oh…that's not for a while…heehee I want to have Gaara uke…and Lee sooo seme…I don't know why…call it a Yaoi-fan's fantasy…./drools/ until next time…when Iruka's not passing out, Kakashi's not groping and snooping (and peeping), and when we finally get to know what Kakashi's hiding under that mask (no promises that's in chapter two, now) …SAYONARA!