A/N: Apparently, writing Sakura bores me because I couldn't focus on writing part 6 of 'All The Broken Pieces' very well. So, Karuka Ikashi and I did this cute little fluffy collab! Complete and total plot what plot fluff that'll rot your teeth if you read too much, but I like it anyway.
Title: Can I Keep It?
By: Reggie and Karuka Ikashi
Iruka peeked his head in the door of the apartment he shared with Kakashi. Seeing no one around, he carefully snuck inside. His clothing was completely soaked; clinging to him like it was made of small children. He had his umbrella with him, for all the good it had done him, as it had been put away in favor of something else: a small yellow fluff ball that was cradled in Iruka's arms. He smiled down as the puppy licked his chin. "There now, all safe and sound. Just like I promised."
The puppy whimpered at him, and Iruka set it down on the floor. It scampered after him as he walked into the kitchen and began shuffling through the pantry and fridge. "What do puppies eat?" he wondered out loud. It was then that he heard footsteps coming to the door.
Iruka bent down and picked up the still wet creature and quickly set it down on the bathroom floor. "Sorry," he apologized to it even as he heard the front door starting to open, "but you'll just have to be a good boy, Naruto (he'd named the puppy after his favorite student), and stay here for a minute okay?"
He shut the door quickly and turned around just as he saw Kakashi heading down the hall. He walked towards Iruka and greeting him with a kiss. Then, he attempted to squeeze past him to push open the bathroom door, but Iruka reached out and caught his hand to stop him. "Don't go in there!"
Kakashi blinked at the chuunin and folded his arms across his chest. "May I ask why I'm not allowed in my own bathroom, Iruka-kun?"
"I...err...clogged the toilet! REALLY bad- trust me, you do NOT want to go in there!" Just then, Kakashi heard a yip echoing behind the door.
"What was that?" he asked the chuunin suspiciously.
"The neighbors just got a new puppy," Iruka replied with an easy grin, grabbing Kakashi's wrist and tugging him toward the kitchen. "Really cute little thing. I love puppies, don't you?"
"Well, I guess I am a dog person...though they're only cute for so long," Kakashi mumbled, thinking of Pakkun.
Iruka succeeded in getting him to the kitchen and pulled out a chair offering it to Kakashi. "How about some dinner?"
"Dinner would be great."
Iruka walked over the fridge, pretending to look at the contents. "Since you are such a dog person, maybe you could help me. They asked me what I thought puppies ate and I realized I had no idea…"
Kakashi blinked and thought to himself. "I suppose it depends how young it is. They only drink milk up to about 8 weeks or so if I remember, and after that...small portions of something like chicken or cheese. Though store-bought puppy food is better than anything, of course...I thought our neighbors were allergic to dogs?"
Iruka nearly dropped the dish of left overs he'd been holding. He'd forgotten about that. "No, no, the other neighbors. The Mizuki's are allergic, not the ones on the other side." He grabbed the milk out of the fridge, setting it aside along with a bowl, some chicken, and some bread. "What would like for dinner, anyway?"
"It doesn't matter," Kakashi replied, " Whatever's there. I'm starving." A few muffled yips could be heard down the hall. Kakashi turned his head towards them curiously while Iruka nervously prepared the leftovers and poured two cups of milk.
"I was thinking," Iruka said, summoning up his courage as he placed the reheated chicken and rice in front of Kakashi, "that this place is sort of empty. Seeing that puppy…I sort of thought…maybe we should get a pet?"
Kakashi pulled down his mask to eat and looked up at Iruka. "You want a pet? Puppies aren't that easy to take care of, Iruka. You and I are both busy for most of the day. I'm not sure it would work out."
"We're not busy all the time," Iruka said, assuming his best pouty look. "We could feed it, and play with it…it's not so very hard. It'd be like having a baby, only better because it would never learn to talk!"
Kakashi smiled slightly. " Well, if that's how you feel Iruka...then I suppose it wouldn't be much of a problem. Though there is someone else you should ask." He pushed his chair out slightly and summoned Pakkun. The pug gave him a lazy stare.
"What is it now?" he yawned.
Kakashi looked amused, "How do you feel about puppy-sitting, Pakkun? Iruka will need all the help he can get."
Iruka blinked at Pakkun. He and the dog had never gotten along particularly well…but if he could keep his new puppy if Pakkun approved then he would just have be civil and seek the dog's favor. Iruka folded his hands in front of his face and smiled. "Please, Pakkun?"
The small dog turned his wrinkled face towards the chuunin, wearing the usual frown. "Puppy-sitting? Why should I? That's hardly a ninja assignment."
Iruka was starting to lose his patience, "I'm sure you've helped Kakashi-kun with smaller missions that that. This would fall in the lines of a D-rank mission I suppose..." He looked to Kakashi for support, but the Jounin had his eyes fixed on Pakkun.
"I don't do D-rank," Pakkun said, giving Iruka a clearly indignant look. "I'm better than that."
"I'll feed you," Iruka offered. "Real food."
The pug scoffed. "Real food? Kakashi gives me enough of that." Iruka looked accusingly at the Jounin, who shrugged. The chuunin thought to himself for a moment before looking down at Pakkun again.
"How about BBQ pork?" he offered and added slyly, "As much as you want."
Pakkun considered this for a moment. "How big a puppy are we talking here?"
Iruka answered immediately, maybe a little too fast, "Just a small one. No trouble at all. Tiny and yellow...very docile." Iruka almost clamped a hand over his mouth when he saw the way Kakashi was staring at him.
"You've thought this through," the Jounin commented.
"Well," Iruka said, a little unsteadily, "I saw one today that I really wanted. He's very sweet, and playful, and certainly well behaved."
He endured questioning stares from both Kakashi and Pakkun. Iruka laughed nervously and then proceeded to give Kakashi a pleading look.
Kakashi's eyes widened. "Not...the LOOK." Oh yes, Iruka knew the jounin's weakness.
Pakkun only scoffed again. "Huh, won't work on me," he growled.
"Food works on you," Iruka muttered, without breaking eye contact with his lover. "Kakashi-kun…please…I promise I'll take really good care of him…"
The Jounin sighed, "I suppose...it's alright," he said a little reluctantly. Iruka jumped down at Kakashi and wrapped his arms around him tightly in delight. Kakashi smiled and hugged him back. Both men were too absorbed with each other to notice Pakkun sniffing along the kitchen floor, following a scent that lead down the hall.
Naruto the puppy whined and scratched at the door, wondering why his new friend had left him alone. He whimpered some more, and barked softly.
Pakkun's ears perked up, and he padded towards the bathroom door. Iruka was now engaged in a deep kiss with Kakashi, and it wasn't until after he had pulled away that he noticed that Pakkun wasn't there.
"Kakashi…" Iruka asked, glancing around. "Where did Pakkun go exactly?"
Smelling the other dog, Naruto Puppy yipped excitedly, his small tail wagging as his whole body trembled with delight. Finally, someone to play with!
Kakashi looked at Iruka and then down at the floor, puzzled. Iruka's jaw dropped in realization, and he leapt away quickly to race down the hall.
Naruto puppy barked again as he smelt Iruka coming back.
Pakkun looked at Iruka skeptically. "Saw one you liked, huh?"
"Shh!" Iruka hissed, but it was too late- Kakashi was already following him down the hall.
"Iruka?" the Copy-nin asked, "Are you okay?"
Naruto the puppy yipped in response from behind the bathroom door.
Kakashi raised an eyebrow. "Is there something you want to tell me?"
"Something I want to tell you or that I should tell you?" Iruka asked sheepishly, scratching the back of his head in a manner he'd picked up from Kakashi. "That's really a big difference you know."
"The choice is yours," Kakashi replied calmly, " Though what you choose will make the difference of whether or not I know to trust you."
Iruka didn't think that playing the trust card was very fair when Kakashi himself was a chronic liar. Still, he couldn't very well come up with another story now. He opened the door and picked up the wiggling ball of yellow fluff that was Naruto puppy. "He was starving and freezing in an alley on my way home. He was all shivering and sad…I couldn't just leave him there!"
The puppy squirmed in Iruka's hands and the chuunin held him closer until Naruto was licking him all over his tanned face. Iruka laughed, but tried to put on a serious face when he asked Kakashi, "So...Can we keep him?"
Kakashi felt his heart melt as he watched Iruka laugh at the puppy, but there were a few things he wanted to clear up before he inevitably gave in and let Iruka have his way like he always did. "Why did you feel the need to hide him from me?"
Iruka looked down at the ground sheepishly as he spoke. "I guess...I was afraid of what you'd say. I didn't want you to say no and then not be able to keep him." Iruka clutched the puppy tightly to his chest.
" 'Ruka…have I ever said no to something you really wanted before?" Kakashi asked, stretching out a hand to scratch behind the dog's ears.
Iruka smiled and a small blush ran across the scar on his face. "No...I guess not," he laughed slightly.
"Then there's no need to hide him, is there?" Kakashi said, hoping he'd made his point. "What are you going to name him?"
"I've already thought of a name!" Iruka said so happily that it surprised Kakashi, "Naruto!"
Kakashi stared at Iruka for a moment and then started laughing.
"You do realize," the Jounin said once he'd gotten control of himself again, "that you're jinxing us, don't you? Naming that thing Naruto is just asking for trouble!"
Iruka frowned slightly, but a sly smile crept over his face. "That's why...I'll leave it to you to train him!" he said, holding the puppy out to Kakashi, " After all, you have more experience."
"Oh no you don't," Kakashi said, holding up his hands. "You already promised you'd take care of him, remember? I'm sure Pakkun does. Naruto is your dog and your responsibility."
Iruka pouted slightly, "Yeah...You're right. I guess I'll need to get a book or something- as well as some puppy food."
"And a puppy bed," Kakashi said, starting to count things off on his fingers. "And a collar, a leash, some dog biscuits, chew toys, puppy shampoo…What am I forgetting, Pakkun?"
"A flea comb," the pug answered, "I don't want to catch any!"
Iruka panicked and looked over the puppy, "He doesn't have fleas, does he!"
"Maybe," Kakashi said cheerily, grinning as he did so. "Do you want me to write the list for you? There's a great market down the street for this stuff. If you hurry, they may still be open."
"Okay!" Iruka said happily, slinging his free arm into Kakashi's, "Will you come with me?"
Kakashi groaned, knowing full well he was trapped. "Of course."
Iruka grinned and pulled Kakashi towards the door, still holding Naruto in the other hand. Pakkun watched them from the floor, clearly forgotten. "Humans," he growled. Just then,
Kakashi looked over his shoulder. "Aren't you coming too?" he asked the dog.
"Not a mission," Pakkun responded lazily, regarding Kakashi with half lidded eyes. "Besides, don't you want quality time with your new baby?"
Kakashi smiled and leaned closer to Iruka. "Maybe," he said quietly as he kissed the chuunin's cheek. "You can go relax, Pakkun."
Pakkun muttered something about Kakashi going soft before disappearing in much the same manner he'd appeared, as Iruka grinned at Kakashi and blushed.
Kakashi kissed his lover again, and after grabbing some paper and a pen to write down their shopping list, he, Iruka, and Naruto headed out the door, Naruto puppy's tail wagging happily.