Pairings: KakaIru (the sweetest pairing eva!)

Time Period: 1 year after the chuunin exam

Rating: M (for all you guys who complained that my stories need more smut, just you wait! wink wink

Spoilers- The Chuunin Exams and slightly after

Summary- A rash of pranks has broken out in Konoha in the aftermath of the Chuunin Exams, and Kakashi is determined to discover the ninja behind them. Just who will be outwitting who, though? KxI


Chapter 1: The Beginning


Generations after it had ended and the actual participants had been long forgotten, stories about Konoha's Great Prank War were still being told at the sleep-overs and gathering of ninja youths. Although the finer details hadn't survived the ages and the story itself had taken on the qualities of an urban legend, the fantastical tales of pranks played and mischief made still inspired well-intended mayhem all over the village. The new generations of pranksters didn't know the name Umino Iruka as anything other than a faded name on the village's Memorial Stone, but if the grand prankster had still been alive, he would have smiled to have known the spirit of the Prank War survived.


The Great War started, ironically enough, with a nondescript package, delivered to one Hatake Kakashi on a Tuesday afternoon in the Mission Room. When the Courier Ninja appeared, shoved the box into the copy ninja's gloved hands, and left, the entire room gathered around to see what was inside. The irony of the situation was that the innocence of the box (a brown cardboard package tied with ordinary white string) was what drew the crowd. Had the box been covered in warning labels or carried a death threat with it, Kakashi would have opened it without ado and life in the Mission Room would have continued as normal. However, ninja, especially the elite jounin, carried a deeply ingrained and well-justified mistrust of 'ordinary' objects.

An hour after its delivery, the package remained unopened. The brown cardboard box had been subjected to five different types of chakra tests, to determine if the contents were flammable, combustible, poisonous, or otherwise dangerous. An Inuzuka had offered the use of her dog, which hadn't detected any dangerous scents, and a Nara had rattled off the statistics of the box still holding any threat (73 to 5, for all the sense the numbers made to any of the other ninja). The package had been poked, prodded, shaken, and otherwise accosted, but nothing was discovered about its contents.

By this time, the more sensible chuunins had received their missions and left, having seen after the first twenty minutes that nothing exciting was going to happen for at least another half hour. Only the jounin remained in the room, as well as the two chuunin on Mission Board Duty. The first, Kotetsu, yawned and rolled his eyes at the antics of the 'elite' shinobi; the second, Iruka, chuckled as he watched the highest level ninja of his village poke mercilessly at the cardboard sides of the box with a katana.

"Have you checked it for listening devices?" he asked, his amusement clear in his voice. The shinobi gasped; they hadn't! The enemy could have been listening to their strategies the entire time!

Kakashi called his fellow jounin to silence with a finger to his masked lips, and carefully placed his ear against the box, listening for the tell-tale electrical hum of a bugging device. A tense stillness filled the room. Finally, the man lifted his perpetually cow-licked head.

"I don't hear anything." Kakashi proclaimed. The other jounin let out a sigh of relief.

"Should we dust if for fingerprints?" Someone asked.

"What sort of ninja would leave fingerprints?" Another protested. "It's pointless to check."

The jounin continued 'strategizing' (they were too elite to 'argue') about what to do with the box, until a voice that had up until now been silent spoke up.

"The box is perfectly safe. You can open it, Kakashi-san." Hyuuga Neji said. Although with his white eyes made the gesture of rolling his eyes useless, the implications that he was doing so was in his voice. He'd been inducted to the rank of jounin only a week before, and was still shadowing older jounin as training. He'd enjoyed a silent revenge for the rigorous and sometimes sadistic training they'd put him through by watching them toil over the harmless object for over an hour, but it was just getting ridiculous now. These people were supposed to be his superiors!

Kakashi opened the box with the flourish of a showman, cutting the strings that bound it one by one to build suspense. He opened the cardboard flaps reverently, and reached inside to pull out the long-anticipated cargo. A folded up cloth occupied the package. Kakashi held it up and gave it a shake in the air to unfold it.

It was a tee-shirt.


The tee-shirts like the one Kakashi held in the Mission Room had been a fad in the village two months before. This being said, for about two weeks, any young ninja who was anyone had one; now, the much sought shirts lay at the bottom of drawers on in the back of closets, only worn by a few socially-defiant rebels or out-of-the-loop preteens.

They were normal enough, as far as shirts go: solid color prints with three picture boxes on the front. The first box contained a circle plate with a fork icon and a spoon icon on either side- "Eat." The second box had a simplistic symbol of a bed- "Sleep." The third box was the only variance of the shirts, besides the color. This box would contain a symbol representing the activity of choice of the wearer. Some had soccer balls or lacrosse sticks or goggles. A special print went out when they first gained popularity in the village, with a little kunai in the third box for the life of a ninja.

The tee-shirt that Kakashi held up for the entire Mission Room to behold had a different third box, one that had never been printed in Konoha or anywhere else. The shirt had been altered with flawless craftsmanship.

The first two boxes were still the same. The third box, however, exacted gut-wrenching laughter from all who could see it (even Hyuuga Neji smiled and chuckled quietly, a testament to the hilarity). Expertly sewn on so that it seemed like the original message was a symbol of a book, with a big circle with a slash on it. "Eat. Sleep. Porn." The message read.

Kakashi blinked his visible eye as his companions rolled on the floor laughing. He turned the shirt around so he could see the front, and stared blankly at it.

"I don't get what's so funny." He said. The others looked on him with disbelief.

"It fits you like a glove, Kakashi!" Asuma said. The others sounded their agreement.

"Does not! I don't even read my novels that often." Kakashi's protest, though voiced firmly, was belied by the fact that his nose was buried in Icha Icha Paradise at that very moment.

The other ninja just continued laughing at him, urging him to put on the shirt.

"Who do you think sent it?" They asked him. A search revealed no card, nor any evidence of the sender's identity.

"I don't know. It's not a special occasion or anything." Kakashi shrugged. "It doesn't matter, though." He lied. The need to know who sent the mysterious package was eating him up. He had to find the culprit and set them straight about his favorite past time. It wouldn't do for people to go around thinking all he did was read those masterfully written pieces of literary genius. He was a mysterious and complex ninja, and he would make sure the sender knew it!


The mysterious happenings in Konoha didn't stop there. The day after the Tee-Shirt Incident, every teacher at the Konoha Ninja Academy came in to their classroom with hair dyed bright, impossible colors. None of them could testify to having seen or heard anything mysterious or detected any presence in their homes, yet every one of them had woken up with locks of electric blue or forest green, or a rainbow of other magnificent shades. The students were delighted. The second their teachers' eyes left them, they would break out into peals of laughter.

At first, the pranks were limited to the Academy. To the absolute elation of the Iruka's students, later in the day, as the now blue-haired sensei stepped out of the room to speak with the sensei next door about a strange noise he'd heard, a man in a dog suit and mask transported himself into the classroom and gestured to the children to keep quiet. They'd watched in fascination as he'd picked up the stack of a grueling hard homework they'd just turned in (and most likely failed), rolled it into a tight cylinder, and slid it into his mouth like a sword-swallower. As the papers disappeared, the dog-man saluted the children and transported away. Iruka came back into the room.

"Children, where'd your homework go?" He asked sternly.

Every child, even the most honest and trustworthy, chorused simultaneously, "A dog ate out homework, sensei!" They had erupted into laughter once more.

Their good moods spread to everyone they came into contact with.

After the battle with the ninja of Sound during the chuunin exam, the village of Konoha had been filled with an aura of gloom. The combined blows of the numerous deaths, especially of the Third, the disappearance of Uchiha Sasuke, and the absence of Uzumaki Naruto (who, despite being hated by the majority of the village, always managed to infect others with his cheerfulness), had left the citizens of Konoha in despair.

For the first time since the Third's death, more people in the village were smiling than frowning. But the changes in the village didn't stop there.

The next day, the villagers awoke to a delicate tinkling sound. Throughout Konoha, tied to branches and street signs and anywhere possible, were hundreds of little wind chimes. There was a gentle breeze that day, so everyone listened and moved in time with the music of the wind as they walked. Moral jumped to nearly seventy-five percent. The children were ecstatic, (although their cheer was dimmed slightly when their homework really was collected that day), and their parents were happy to see their children animated and lively once more.

There were only three distinct groups that were not happy with the actions of "The Prankster", as they called the one responsible: one, the traditional and very conservative-minded village elders, who disapproved of anything fun; two, the paranoid veteran ninja, who were threatened by a ninja who could sneak in and out of houses and around the village undetected (even though nothing had been stolen or hurt as far as they knew); and three, the teachers, who were finding their students more and more distracted as they searched for any evidence of the prankster throughout the day.

And evidence they did find. In Ebisu-sensei's class, in which the student's desks faced the window outside, the prankster had appeared in the middle of the lecture on shuriken-throwing techniques. At first, only one or two had seen the mysterious figure at the window, with features obscured by a stylized Mardi Gras mask, but soon, the whole class was stealing covert glances at the window. The prankster held up a cue card that read "APPLAUSE!", and the students began clapping and cheering right in the middle of Ebisu's sentence.

"Quiet down, class!" He yelled at them. He looked around, trying to find the source of the disruption, but the prankster had already disappeared. He continued his lecture.

The prankster popped up once more, this time with a card reading "BOO!" which he held up as Ebisu asked "Does anyone have any questions?" The class booed.

Ebisu looked around frantically, but the prankster was out of sight again. The children refused to reveal the cause of their mysterious behavior, even when threatened with mass detention. Finally, realizing he wasn't going to get them to cooperate, Ebisu continued his lesson. The prankster waved at the students from the window, and held up his final cue-card. The class stood up. Ebisu kept lecturing, increasing his volume angrily. The students put their right feet out. They put their right feet in. They put their right feet in, and shook them all about. Ebisu tore at his hair in frustration. They did the Hokey Pokey and they turned themselves around. Ebisu looked at the window one last time, and saw the sign leaning against the glass panes, no prankster in sight. So, that's what it was all about.

Ebisu opened the window and snatched up the sign. It read, in big block print "DO THE HOKEY POKEY!" Beneath, in handwritten pencil, was the message: "Ebisu-san, you've got to learn to loosen up. Stress causes premature aging and early hair loss. ---Sincerely, The Prankster."


While the students of the academy were dancing and laughing and causing much premature aging and hair loss in their poor senseis, the jounin of the village were gossiping… ahem 'gathering information'… about the recent events.

"Who do you think this Prankster fellow is?" Genma asked.

"Nobody knows. It must be a jounin of higher, to be able to sneak around and not get caught." Asuma replied.

"Yeah." Raido agreed. "Pretty brilliant, only appearing to the kids. They're bragging about how they're the only ones who've managed to catch sight of him, yet they can't give a hair color, eye color, height, weight, age, or any distinguishing features. He makes them think they know what he looks like without having any real information to go by."

"Not that we'd be able to trust any physical description they could give us- they're too young to be able to detect a transformation jutsu, and this guy is too good to use his real form." Genma agreed.

"I think you're over-analyzing this. It's not some brilliant strategy. I think the Prankster just likes children." Kurenai interjected. "Everything he does has been about making people laugh, especially the children."

Kakashi, who had been standing silently in the corner, appearing to read his novel, added a note to the list he'd secretly stowed between the pages of his book. His list now read:



Jounin +

Neat handwriting

Sense of Humor

Pranking experience

Sewing skills

Likes children-connection to academy?

The list wasn't as long as he'd hoped it would be when he first started his covert information gathering. Most were just assumptions, and the things like a sense of humor and sewing skills were as commonplace as brown hair in the village, considering the short Carpe Diem attitudes of the villagers and the sheer amount of torn clothing encountered daily.

"What about my tee-shirt, though? That wasn't oriented at children?" Kakashi said finally. The offending article of clothing had grown on him, like some sort of spore-mold. He was wearing it at the moment, though he'd sewn a kunai patch sloppily underneath the three picture boxes, in defiance to the implications that all he did was read porn.

"Kakashi, we've told you before, your shirt and these pranks aren't connected. The motives and means are totally different." Kurenai told him gently. Kakashi shook his head, still convinced that the Prankster was responsible.

"Yeah, it's probably just a gift from a secret admirer with a sense of humor." Raido told him.

"They'd have to have a sense of humor to like Kakashi!" Genma added. Two shuriken whistled through the air and embedded themselves in the wall just above the honey-haired jounin's head.

"I'll go ask Iruka." Kakashi mumbled, lazily ambling off toward the Mission Room.


Shortly after the events of the chuunin exam, Hatake Kakashi and Umino Iruka had become friends. It hadn't happened right away; they both avoided each other directly after the conflict, because they both felt the other was in the wrong over the argument of the Rookie Nine's involvement in the trials. But after Naruto left town with Jiraiya and Sakura began training with Tsunade, they had both been left with three genin-shaped holes inside. Kakashi had been returning from a sake stand one evening and found Iruka sitting alone, slurping miserably at a bowl of miso ramen. Sensing a kindred soul, he'd sat down and the two had spent the better part of the night reminiscing about the wild antics of the former team seven.

The next day, Kakashi had been greeted with a casual "Good afternoon" when he received his day's mission from Iruka, rather than the cold stares he'd come to expect. A few nights and more than a couple bowls of ramen later, they'd become friends of sorts. He and Iruka carried on actual conversations when making mission transactions. They didn't ignore each other when they passed by on the streets.

One month ago, however, Kakashi had taken the tentative friendship to the next level. He invited him to a party Genma and Raido were throwing, firmly cementing the younger man into the role of 'friend'. Kakashi had never invited anyone to anything. And at this party, Kakashi had learned some vital information about Iruka. When a drunken Anko had started making passes at him, Iruka had become flustered and started blushing like a school-girl. Kakashi had been delighted at his discovery. It was so…amusing, watching the chuunin's cheeks redden and his scar go pale, to watch the defiant spark in his eyes grow as he tried to school his emotions away again.

The next day, Kakashi had tried his hand at making Iruka blush. It wasn't hard at all. Light fluttering touches and mild flirting was more than sufficient. Iruka spent an entire day flushing and stuttering, until he'd finally snapped while handing out the evening missions. The ever-polite chuunin had begun to let him down gently, Kakashi-san, you're a wonderful person and I'm flattered that-, when he'd noticed the smirks of the spectating ninja. There had been one last blush, which Kakashi had mentally nicknamed 'The Royal Flush' for its intensity, as Iruka realized that all the flirting had just been a joke. Then the chuunin went right back to normal. He received Kakashi's flirting, which had become a part of their routine, with good natured acceptance. On days when he was in one of his better moods, he'd even flirt back.

Kakashi had come to look forward to the times when he'd see Iruka, even if it meant having to complete on of slave-driver Tsunade's mission or fill out a mission report. And although he'd trust any of his jounin friends with his life on the battlefield, they couldn't be relied upon to provide the sound advice that Iruka seemed to pull out of his sleeves.

So when the copy ninja wanted help compiling the information known about the Prankster (his obsession hadn't dulled any over the past few days), he went to the chuunin. Iruka could be trusted to offer advice, keep their transactions discreet, and he even had connections to the scenes of the crime, the academy and the Mission Board. And if seeking the sensei's help meant he got to spend more time with him and use a few new lines acquired by Genma, so much the better.


The murmuring alerted Kakashi to the chaos in the Mission Room long before he actually sent foot into room. Inside, chuunin and jounin were shoving each other in the line, trying to get to the front. Several were reading lines from the mission assignments they held, and others were acting out strange parts.

"What's going on here?" He asked, using chakra to enhance the volume of his voice. He saw Iruka's head pop up above the crowd for a moment, and transported himself to that spot in the crowded room. He had to lean his head very close to Iruka's to hear the other man's voice.

"Someone slipped pages to a murder mystery dinner script into some of the mission assignments. Everyone thinks it's the Prankster. I don't know what all the fuss is about. It's not like any of the actual mission pages are missing." Iruka informed him.

The shinobi continued pushing and shouting. The other chuunin at the desk rubbed her temples, willing her headache away.

"EVERYONE CALM DOWN!" someone finally shouted. The crowd turned, and found the Fifth Hokage standing at the door. "All of you, OUT!" The ninja filed out, leaving only the two chuunin at the desk and Kakashi. Tsunade followed the crowd, promising to get everything worked out (which probably meant she was going to send them to Shizune to deal with).

"So, what do you need, Kakashi?" Iruka asked, once he'd gotten a chance to catch his breath in the now-empty room.

"Do I need an excuse to marvel at your beauty?" He asked lamely (it was an ongoing contest to see which would be lamer- Kakashi's excuses, or his pick-up lines. Both caused a large amount of brain-rotting with prolonged exposure). Iruka acted like Kakashi hadn't spoken.

"Do you have a mirror in your pocket?" the silver-haired jounin continued. "'Cause I can see myself in your pants."

"Oh! That reminds me, Kakashi. Kotetsu was telling me this awful line he heard the other day- it made me think of you. 'Did you know that there are 256 bones in your body?'" Iruka asked. Kakashi nodded. " 'Good. Could I show you how to get one more?'"

Kakashi chuckled, and stored that one away for later use.

"So, why are you really here, besides my sparkling eyes and captivating physique?" Iruka inquired.

Kakashi opened his book to the page with the list and shoved it into Iruka's face. He was rewarded with a blush.

"Kakashi! You know how I feel about those books!" He shouted. Kakashi removed the list and handed it to Iruka, making sure that their hands brushed as the paper was passed. Iruka read what Kakashi had written, smiling to himself.

"What do you know about the Prankster?" Kakashi asked. "I've got to figure out who he is." Iruka looked from the list to his friend.

"I don't know how much help I'll be. I haven't seen him, and looking at this list, there are a lot of people it could be. The only thing I can think to do is compile a list of the possible suspects, and keep eliminating who it can't be." Kakashi nodded. It would be time-consuming and tedious, but he was an elite ninja of Konoha. No task was too large! Especially if Iruka was there to help him out. Iruka, with his friendly smile, who seemed to find new amusement every time he looked at Kakashi's list…


I guess this is as good of a stopping point as any right now. Sorry, I don't have any clear divisions of where the chapters should start or end yet. Updates for this fic are probably going to be pretty spontaneous, I'll warn you now, considering AP exams are coming up (and I'm currently playing Suikoden V, which is where my time really goes (-; )

Just a few notes- there will be more Iruka-perspective in the chapters to come, for those of you who like to get into our favorite dolphin's head.

This entire story happened in my head because I saw someone at school wearing an "Eat. Sleep. Lacrosse." Shirt, and just randomly thought 'Kakashi needs one of those'. Wouldn't he be lovely in an "Eat Sleep Porn" shirt, though? If I could draw it, I most definitely would do so. Alas, though. My art inspires laughter, though not because of any wit, or even any effort on my part. I'll just stick to writing, thank you very much.