Disclaimer- Naruto's not mine.

A/N Written on request of Sheo Darren, who asked for Shizune x Iruka. It's less romantic and more platonic than I was going for, but they just wouldn't cooperate with me.

Tsunade wanted a drink. She wanted to give a one fingered salute to all the paperwork piling her desk and hit the bars, and find a few games in which to spend (i.e. waste) money on. Repeatedly.

Unfortunately, she had one very large problem.

"Hokage-sama!" Shizune chided irritably, rolling her eyes as she hefted yet another monstrously massive stack of papers onto the already overloaded desk. "Stop making that face, and get back to work!"

Shizune.

Oh, how Tsunade loathed her at times. She was fond of the girl- thought of her as a favored niece and close confidant- but Shizune's determination to make sure that the Godaime Hokage did actual work was driving her insane.

Seriously, Tsunade thought irritably, that girl needs someone in her life. Or at least needs to loosen up… a lot.

A thought occurred to Tsunade…

And she smiled in a way that was reminiscent of one Uzumaki Naruto's infamous "I have a plan that is both insane and brilliant" looks.

---

Shizune grunted as she held the stack of Academy forms close to her chest, annoyed that Tsunade had literally ordered her to go and deliver those forms.

She decided that she would hurry along as quickly as possible, in order to return before her master could exit the Hokage Tower.

As she walked into the Academy, a small smile crossed her face as she remembered her own days in these hallowed walls.

Of course, Shizune did not remember it being so noisy… but perhaps that was just time and age catching up to her.

Her peaceful reverie was disrupted with, quite literally, a bang.

As smoke filled her vision, Shizune coughed slightly, trying her best not to drop any of the papers. Suddenly, a loud, furious male voice cut over the smoke.

"KONOHAMARU!"

Three small blurs flashed by the medic nin, and Shizune nearly dropped the papers when one collided with her. Once again, trained ninja skills served their purpose in everyday life as she kept hold.

"Sorry lady!" a child's voice rang out, likely the one who ran into her.

"GET BACK HERE!" the voice was extremely loud-

Bam.

Shizune groaned as she lay sprawled out on the floor of the Academy, the paperwork scattering about like a snow storm. What the Heck-

Suddenly, she realized that there was an awfully large amount of shade above her. She looked up, and met the obsidian eyes of one Umino Iruka.

The chuunin stared at her blankly.

Shizune stared back.

"Oi… Iruka-sensei… I don't think you should do that in front of the kids." Nara Shikamaru's slow, drawling voice was filled with amusement. The younger chuunin gestured toward Konohamaru, Moegi, and Udon, all three of whom were staring at the two adults with open shock, rooted to the spot.

Iruka glanced back at Shizune's face… and his eyes suddenly realized that her robes were just a little bit opened by the impact, hinting at the softness that lay beneath-

He sprang away quickly as though burned, face flushed and quickly stuttering, "Shizune-san… Sorry, sorry…" he apologized profusely, bowing his head.

Shizune, her own face burning red, passed off the apology, "It was an accident…"

Shikamaru glanced from one adult to the next and snickered. This would be one hell of a story to tell at the next chuunin meeting. Quickly, he used his Kagemane no Jutsu to grab Konohamaru, Moegi, and Udon, and dragged them back off to class.

After a moment, Shizune gasped, glancing about at the scattered papers. "Oh no! The team assignments!" she scrambled quickly, trying to gather them all up with all haste.

As she reached for one, however, another hand picked it up. Shizune looked up to see Iruka holding the paper with a sheepish smile.

"Let me help." He said, smiling sincerely.

Shizune smiled back. "Sure."

---

Afterward, Iruka insisted on treating her to some ramen, and Shizune simply could not refuse him after he continuously and sincerely kept apologizing and asking.

They sat and ate, at times chatting about some of the new team assignments, whether or not the crop would be as strong as the already famous Rookie Nine, which lead to a conversation about a certain blonde.

"Tsunade-sama is very fond of Naruto," Shizune commented, sipping her tea, "In fact, I'd say he was the main reason why she returned to the Leaf."

Iruka smiled at that. "Yes, well Naruto can have that effect on people." He agreed.

"You're very fond of him?" Shizune asked curiously.

The chuunin instructor nodded. "He's like a little brother, or even a son to me. I'm very happy that the Godaime has taken a liking to him. The Sandaime did as well."

Shizune remembered. She remembered seeing Naruto's body, slumped and pale as death after training for days, slamming his imperfect Rasengan again and again into a single tree.

And she remembered him taking a kunai to the hand, using it as a way to trap his opponent and deliver the final blow.

She smiled. "He's a very determined young man. I think half the reason is that Tsunade-sama believes he's too stubborn to die."

Iruka chuckled, grinning in wry amusement. "I don't doubt that. He's a very strong."

They shared a smile.

The conversation turned away from Naruto, and toward other subjects, idle and yet pleasant.

When it came time to pay, Shizune reached for her wallet, but as she did so, Iruka touched her wrist, smiling.

"I'll pay." He said quietly, sincerely.

The medic nin smiled at the gentlemanly gesture. "Half and half, okay?" Shizune replied softly.

Iruka withdrew his hand, smiling gracefully in response. "I suppose I can't change you're mind," he replied, and, by accident, his fingers brushed gently over hers when she moved.

Iruka chuckled nervously. Shizune smiled slightly, a light pink dusting her cheeks.

She was suddenly very glad Tsunade-sama had sent her out to the Academy-

"Oh no!" Shizune stood ram rod straight out of her stool, looking absolutely horrified.

Iruka looked at her, startled. "Shizune-san, what's-"

Shizune turned towards the chuunin with a panicked look.

"I left Tsunade-sama in the office alone!"

---

In a bar somewhere in Konoha, the legendary medic ninja and Godaime Hokage was drunk and down about a thousand coins after a particularly nasty hand.

However, she was smiling as she exited the bar, dirt poor but happy.

At least one of my bets today paid off... Tsunade thought with satisfaction. Thank God Shikamaru is a genius at more than just battle tactics...

---

And elsewhere, Nara Shikamaru was looking forward to spending the next week off of guard duty, as per his deal with the Godaime.

Bribing Konohamaru and his friends into making that scene when Shizune arrived was well worth more cloud watching time, the chuunin thought, satisfied.