While I was working on 'How was school today?' an idea came to my mind. This idea had been swimming around in my head for quite a long time, and one nice day, I sat down and decided to finally get it down. Unfortunately, as I am now a freshman, and back in school. My time on the net is LIMITED. I'll still try to produce chapters and new stories as much as I can, but bear with my slow progress. You can throw watermelons at me if you really want to. That's ok. I like watermelons.


The Game

No one remembered exactly how it started. But, everyone knew that in the beginning, it had become a game. Only a game. Harmless… fun… And an innocent way to exploit each other. To get to have a good reason for hanging around together. Nothing serious.

It was a fresh dawn in Konoha, and two men stood a little ways away from each other, leaning on the wall of the building.

"Tsunade-sama's late. I can't believe they locked us out." Iruka rubbed his nose casually, looking around for any sign of a person who could possibly be in the possession of the keys. "I gotta get in there and work. This is stupid."

The silver-haired Jounin next to him didn't respond. His nose was in a little orange book, and anyone could see that he was engrossed. Iruka knew that Kakashi was here for a mission that he was told he'd be assigned to do today. And so here they were, waiting in vain for someone to show up and start their day. A long silence passed. It was Iruka that spoke again.


"Hn?" Hatake's single dark eye moved off of the pages slightly, staring in the Chuunin's general direction.

"May I ask a question?"

Kakashi nodded curtly, returning to his story. He knew what the man would ask. How is Naruto? Is he working himself too hard? Are YOU working him too hard? The answer formed on his lips.

"Why do you wear that mask?"

"Eh?" Kakashi turned his head fully to stare now, at the serious expression of Umino Iruka. He wasn't kidding at all. Of all the questions… But before anyone could realize that Kakashi, the CopyCat Nin was staring openmouthed, he shot back, "Why do you wear your hair up in a ponytail?"

"Uh… Because otherwise, my hair gets in my face? I can't have that while I work." He responded, trying not to laugh. What else could it be?

"Yes well, I wear this mask because I dislike showing my face. Do you have a problem with that?"

Iruka scowled slightly. The older man's taunting voice was making him mad. The only ones who spoke to him in that manner were rude students. Not other adults. "I'm just saying, it would be better if you took it off once in a while. To show your face. People get curious sometimes."

Kakashi didn't respond, seeming to study Iruka with great detail. As if trying to grasp his inner being and understand every little part of it. At last, he shrugged, turning back to his book. "And maybe you'd look more your age if you let your ponytail down once in a while."

"What's that supposed to mean?" a flare sparked to life in the Chuunin's eye.

"Oh nothing." Kakashi said, waving it off, but Iruka knew that this argument was still on.

"Listen, you might think you're some hotshot, but you really have no right to do that! Fine, then if you're trying to make me annoyed, I'll just take a look myself!" his hand shot out, reaching for the dark-blue material, but with matching speed, Kakashi caught it by the wrist and twisted it. Iruka winced lightly, more with surprise than pain.

"I don't think that's a good idea. Judging by our ranks, anyways, I'd much faster have your hair band than you would have my mask."

Iruka stared up into his single seen eye with bravery. "Oh, is that so?"

"It is." Kakashi's eye was trained on his own, but a swish of air gave away the movement of his left hand, and Iruka's own arm shot up, deflecting it.

"Or maybe not."

They stood there, both at ready for another assault, or even a battle.

"Well then." Kakashi slowly relaxed, putting away his book. "I see that there is no other way to go. This is a bet."

Iruka didn't let down his guard. "A bet?"

"That's right. If I get your hair band first, I win. If you pull off my mask first… you win." He looked away, not seeming concerned at all, but Iruka knew better. Kakashi was not to be taken lightly.

"What are we betting on?"

Kakashi smiled behind his mask. "I don't know. Nothing, I suppose. Just the simple thought of proving one right. And the other wrong."

Iruka straightened up, blinking. "Alright… I suppose…"

"Shake on it." Kakashi's hand came out of his pocket. Iruka studied it with suspicion before shaking. Somewhere from their left, Genma appeared, playing with the keys as he came towards them. But neither cared.

The Game was on.


And thus it began. From time to time, it was impossible to tell whether either really tried to make a physical effort. Most of the time, it was simple and playful bickering. They never once missed a chance to talk about something. Never once missed a chance to bug each other.

"That scar on your nose goes all funny when you pout."

"I don't pout. At least I don't try to hide my scar."

"Who said I'm hiding it?"


"Do you always have to read that stupid little perverted book?"

"Do you always have to be the mother hen?"


"You're always worried about everything. Lighten up."

"You're the one who's too lazy to even lift a finger!"

"Are you a good cook?"

"Don't change the subject! Wait… why?"

"Oh, I dunno. I just suddenly thought about how natural you'd look in an apron… Ouch! Don't hit me!"

"Idiot. Why were you even imagining me in an apron?"

"………………No reason."

And so on and so forth.


Iruka sighed, rubbing his wrist. Before him was a stack of To-be-graded homework. He looked outside at the darkening sky tiredly. This was more than usual. And usual was a lot.

I'd much rather be out somewhere, arguing with Kakashi.

As soon as the thought popped up in his head, Iruka began panicking and dissecting it.

What? No… Why? With him? Who would want…? And since when has it been Kakashi? I should be calling him Kakashi-sensei! It's not like we're even friends or anything! I…

He groaned, hiding his face behind his hands and rubbing his eyes. Lately, the silver-haired Jounin had become his stress-reliever. He didn't know when it happened. But for some reason, talking with Kakashi always made him forget about work. Made him let go. Break the chain of endless workaholic thoughts.

Workaholic… That's what Kakashi had called him. Iruka was angry for that, because it wasn't true, but somehow, he wasn't as angry as he thought he would be. It seemed to be impossible to stay mad at Kakashi. He wondered about that one time, when he'd first thought the Copy Cat Nin was crazy for sending first years to the Chuunin exam. But then, the thought evaporated the next time they crossed paths. Maybe it was because Kakashi himself didn't linger on one thought for too long. He always seemed to be brooding.

Under the faint and unimportant thoughts, Iruka's lids began to heavy. He folded his hands on the desk and rested his head on the pillow. A few moments of rest wouldn't hurt. But the next thing he knew, someone was softly nudging him awake.

"You shouldn't fall asleep in school."

Umino started up, recognizing the silver hair-defying-gravity. Next, he looked at the clock.

"Ack! An hour! I've been asleep for an hour!"

"I found you here, taking a nap. I'm guessing you should be doing your work, so…"

"Thanks, uh…" Iruka looked over the papers in front of him, trying to appear busy, but his channel of thought wasn't there.

Why did he wake me up? It shouldn't be any of his business. Why was he even here? Shouldn't he be at home? It's late now. And…

Iruka stopped suddenly, and slowly lifted his gaze to the bored, half-closed eye of the person next to him.

And why didn't he take advantage of my sleep and win our bet?

His brain went into overdrive.

No, somehow… somehow, I knew that he wouldn't do that. Kakashi wouldn't take advantage of me. He isn't the kind of person to do that, Kakashi's different, he's…

Iruka's mouth opened slightly. He wanted to say something, but couldn't. Kakashi didn't move.

"Is there something you need to tell me?" the Jounin questioned innocently.

I wonder when this happened. Suddenly, without me even realizing it… In my eyes, you became a completely different person. Somehow, I now see you in a whole different light. I wonder how this could be possible.

"N-nothing." Iruka blushed, frowned, and turned back to his work. Endless letters, scribbles… He used to like doing homework. Now… why did it suddenly become so boring compared to the time he spent with Kakashi?

He took out his pen and began to correct mistakes, causing another long silence to fall. Kakashi didn't move. He simply stood there, watching. After a while, however, Iruka set down his writing utensil and rubbed the bridge of his nose.

"So why are you here?"

He knew that from his angle of view, Kakashi wouldn't be able to see his slightly turned face. He wouldn't be able to see the soft blush. And that was good.

"Oh, I just wanted to see if you had any other arguments to start up today."

Iruka laughed at the casualty in his voice. "That's all? No, I'm sort of busy now, but maybe later we could go get some ramen and--"

"Well, then maybe we should finish our bet."

He looked up. "Finish our…?" in the next three seconds, he had to deflect multiple assaults, all aiming for his ponytail, and jumped from his chair, doing a back flip in midair as Kakashi attempted to attack him by methods of distraction. Clinging to a wall, the Chuunin looked at Kakashi, eyes wide. Then, calming down, he scowled.

"I told you, I'm busy."

"But I'm not. You work too much, anyways. I do not like losing bets."

"With Gai-sensei, you seem to be indifferent."

"He's completely different. You're not Gai-sensei."

"Oh, I'm not? How odd. And here I thought I was." Iruka jumped down onto his own two feet, adjusting his forehead protector. He closed his eyes for a moment as he sighed, but when he opened them again, he found that Kakashi was now barely a foot away from him, one hand on the wall, blocking his escape.

"Eeeeh…!" Iruka flattened himself out, watching Kakashi's movements carefully.

"I told you. I don't like to lose." A hand touched his cheek, and traveled farther, towards his hairline. Iruka shut his eyes.

Stop him, you idiot, catch his hand, shove it away! Why can't you move? Why are you frozen in place? Why is your heart beating so damn fast, and why do you feel like you're burning when his skin touches yours?

He felt his hair band lose grip as it was pulled down softly, making his dark-brown locks spill onto his shoulders. At last, Kakashi pulled his hand away. Iruka still didn't move.

"I won." He whispered. "But you know, I think you can win, too. All you have to do is pull it down."

Iruka's eyes opened wider, and his blush became more pronounced. Slowly, his reached out, catching the tip of the dark material on top of Kakashi's nose. He pulled it down slowly, revealing more of Kakashi's skin every second. At last, gravity took over and it fell away, revealing his face. The lips stretched into a soft smile.

"You won, too…" he leaned foreword slightly, as if questioning, but by this time, Iruka had no doubt about what he wanted. Closing his eyes, he tilted his head sideways slightly, pressing his lips to Kakashi's. The soft kiss of affection quickly turned into hunger, and they opened their mouths wider, accepting each other. Kakashi's hands ran down Iruka's waist, bringing him closer, and the younger man wrapped his hands around Kakashi's neck. Something touched the skin on his belly, under his shirt, and he started as Kakashi's fingers snuck up his torso. The first sensation passed quickly, however, and returned to the old lust. Suddenly, the Jounin pulled away. Iruka could have whimpered, but he held it in.

"Someone's coming." Kakashi said quickly, looking at the door. After about thirty seconds, there was a knock on the door. Iruka cleared his throat.

"Come in."

Genma opened the classroom door and peeked inside, surveying the two ninja, one leaning on a wall, flushed, and the other adjusting his mask casually, not seeming bothered at all. Switching his senbon to the opposite side of his mouth, he talked to Iruka.

"You should go home. It's kinda late."

The teacher nodded quickly. "Yeah, I was going to wrap it up soon, anyways." He mumbled, avoiding Kakashi's mocking gaze. Genma shrugged, and disappeared, shutting the door behind him.

"Damn." Kakashi sat down on the edge of the desk. Iruka looked at him curiously. This was the first time he'd heard Kakashi swear.

"What?" he walked over to the Jounin, also sitting down beside him and busying himself with tying his hair back up. Kakashi watched him.

"Nothing, I was just—sorry." Kakashi avoided the meet of eyes. "I guess that was a bit too rash of me, I just…"

Iruka laughed softly. "Then I'm guilty, too."

Kakashi smiled through his mask. "Do you want to go somewhere tomorrow?"

Iruka shrugged. "I dunno. I can let the kids go without homework, I guess, and we can eat at Ichiraku Ramen."

Kakashi smiled. "And then maybe I can show you my apartment."

Iruka blushed, rubbing his nose, but smiled anyways and said, "Alright."

They stood and exited the building together, walking off into the darkness, following the moonlit road. What had started out as a game, ended up being so much more. But it was still fun. And that's what counts, right?



Yeah, yeah, you all wanna stab me with sporks. But this is a one-shot, and nothing's gonna change it. I have to finish writing 'So how was school today…' and plus, I have another long SasuNaru story idea that I'm planning to put on paper. Perhaps someday, when I'm really bored I'll pull this file out and write some more stuff to it. But not anytime soon. So, hate me.