Loko: There was a period of time during which Kaka-sensei had free rein over my mind, and this is one of the products. (He still has free rein for the most part, but my control is improving, barely in time for NaNoWriMo. Alas, Kaka-sensei …)
Summary: So Kakashi doesn't really get presents on his birthday. This may be because no one knows his birthday. His records are top-secret, and he makes sure they stay that way, even out of ANBU.
Disclaimer: Kishimoto-san is not so kind as to give us such scenes, but the characters and world and so forth found herein nonetheless belong to him.
-(kakashi; nothing gained or lost)-
Kakashi can't remember receiving presents on his birthday. It figures that his father probably gave him things, but he can't remember, because that would have been -- well, that would have been years ago even before his father had died. Depression generally does not make for good shopping habits.
He's got presents from turning jounin, though, and he treasures those. The Fourth's jagged knife he keeps at home -- it's troublesome to determine its appropriate use in battle; moreover, regular kunai must be replaced almost monthly, and Kakashi isn't about to wreck the Fourth's blade.
He's long since had to replace the various parts of his old medical kit, and there are more mends than cloth, but he keeps it together religiously.
He knows which present has been the most useful.
So Kakashi doesn't really get presents on his birthday. This may be because no one knows his birthday. His records are top-secret, and he makes sure they stay that way, even out of ANBU.
So Kakashi gives presents on his birthday.
Of course, because he's a ninja, and thus sneaky like that -- well, really, 'deceptive and intelligent; capable of careful planning to outwit enemy combatants' -- he gives out presents no one can identify as presents.
And of course, when he leaves ANBU and finds out that he's going to be a teacher, he makes a point to give beneficial presents.
(Asuma ends up with Kurenai's undergarments one day, and Kakashi makes sure to be far, far away when this is discovered. Nonetheless, he hears about the destruction even in Bird Country. Not that he had anything to do with that.)
-(... gai; what's unavoidable)-
Gai's present has been the same for years.
"My eternal rival!" Gai crows at Kakashi on Monday, the beginning of Kakashi's birthday week. (He finds it expedient to spread out his attacks -- er, gifts.)
Kakashi smiles at him, for once.
Not that Gai will notice. That's what the mask is for, after all.
-(plans; facing ninja)-
Since Team Seven is special for Kakashi -- being the only team he's ever passed, after all, they're more his brats than the other brats -- Kakashi figures they deserve special gifts.
He makes a point to spend three hours on Tuesday of his birthday week writing meticulous notes regarding what will do them the most good and how he can make presenting it most irritating.
Then he tells them that it was absolutely imperative to save Godaime from a vicious onslaught of slugs; women and their strange fears, really, you'd think a Hokage --
"LIES!" Screams Naruto.
"SENSEI!" Screams Sakura, and Kakashi can almost hear another voice echoing the sentiment with more obscenity.
Together, now: "THE HOKAGE'S KUCHIYOSE IS A GIANT FREAKING SLUG!"
Sasuke rolls his eyes, and Kakashi smiles. Ah, mornings with the team.
They're the freshest vegetables he can find, and he's paid a pretty penny for them -- especially the day before Konoha's Thursday market. So there is absolutely no reason for Naruto to eye them with such suspicion.
"Really, Naruto," Kakashi says, mildly exasperated over the first sentence of his page. Asuko-chan is pushing the line in a most interesting way, and Naruto's slow edging away from the basket is preventing him from fully appreciating the scene. "They're not going to poison you."
"Really?" Naruto says.
"Green plants are good for you," Kakashi says, although from the decor in Naruto's apartment and the state of his two houseplants, it wouldn't be surprising if the boy has never had a green object in his house for more than a day. Lee should move in.
"Really," Naruto says.
"They go well with instant ramen," Kakashi offers by way of compromise. "Add flavour."
"Ah!" Naruto says, and brightens up like dawn.
Now, Asuko-chan's situation, on the other hand ...
"What are you implying, sensei?"
Kakashi deplores the fact that his students are so suspicious of him. Has he ever done wrong by them? Has he ever betrayed them? He's never hurt them, that much is certain, and by now he's almost positive that the reason they bother to arrive to their meetings on time is only 75 fear that he might be early to spite them, and 25 to bicker amongst themselves.
"Nothing at all, Sakura," He says.
"Then why are you giving me anatomical charts?" Sakura says, holding the scrolls as if they will explode or give her a deadly and debilitating disease, like chronic acne.
"I noticed in a few of your earlier sparring matches that you were unwilling to inflict pain," Kakashi says. "These are charts that will permit you to identify which fatal points are least painful for the subject."
"... ah," Sakura says, and stares alternately at him and the scrolls.
Also, Kakashi muses, word has gotten out that Tsunade-sama is looking for potential students; the official announcement is supposed to be on Sunday, but he figures there's nothing wrong with being prepared two days early.
"No," Sasuke says.
"Why ever not, Sasuke?" Kakashi says mildly, and internally decides that it's Sasuke's fault. Clearly the naturally suspicious nature of the Uchiha clan has rubbed off on his team-mates.
"I'm training tomorrow."
"See, Sasuke, this is why you have no social skills," Kakashi notes with characteristic insight. "You never talk to other people."
"I see no need. Unless you want to train me," Sasuke says, and looks as close to 'hopeful' as 'surly' gets.
"Well, no," Kakashi says. "Unless you want go to the Hokage's with me."
"If there's no mission and no problem with the seal, how is this important?" Sasuke demands, and Kakashi wonders vaguely if bright neon signs might help the boy see. So much for Sharingan.
"I'll train you afterwards," Kakashi says, and bids a desolate farewell to his peaceful Sunday afternoon, curled up with classical literature.
Okay, 'Icha Icha' has not quite made the must-read lists yet. Kakashi is waiting; he has faith.
A day later, Icha Icha's no closer to making the lists, but Sasuke is walking next to him as they head toward a certain rich-smelling stand.
"This isn't the Hokage's office," Sasuke says flatly, and glares.
"Why are you so suspicious, Sasuke?" Kakashi says mildly, and ducks under the flap reading "ichi."
"Because this isn't where we're supposed to be?"
"Now, now," Kakashi says. "Would I ever mislead you, Sasuke?"
Sasuke raises one dark eyebrow, and Kakashi is almost impressed with the sheer haughty Do you want the brief or the report? of it.
The effect is ruined just a bit by the fact that Sasuke can walk into the ramen stand without even brushing the dangling "raku" with the bristling tips of his careless hair.
"You're on home turf," Kakashi points out.
Sasuke shrugs and sits, stiff and uncomfortable.
"What," He begins, and then Sakura's lilting voice breaks in --
"What did you want, Kakashi-sensei, Hokage-sama said she had news for me -- Sasuke-kun? What are you doing here?"
Sasuke blinks, face startled into youth. "Sakura?"
"Ah, actually," Kakashi says. "I might have told a little white lie about Hokage-sama's time."
"Eh?" Sakura says.
"I might have given you a time two hours earlier than necessary."
"EH?!" Sakura repeats. -- bellows. Out of the corner of his eye, Kakashi catches Sasuke smirking and relaxing slightly on the stool.
"Well, there's something," Kakashi begins, and then a blinding mass of orange appears, just on cue.
Ah, Kakashi thinks. Sakura's rage and Naruto's harder-than-usual training punches were well-worth-it to work out this particular plan. And -- there, Sasuke's looking distinctly more suspicious than usual, even though he's got both elbows on the counter now; Kakashi's calculations are flawless.
"Uzumaki Naruto arrives!" Naruto announces, bouncing into the stand.
"... Naruto?" Sakura says, looking vaguely stunned.
"Naruto," Sasuke says, blinking again, and then turns to Kakashi.
Okay, Kakashi admits. The boy can glare.
"I'm not paying," Sasuke says, and returns Naruto's frown.
"I don't have any money!" Naruto announces, with the panache of one who might say I have a secret vault of gold!
"So you'll make a lady pay?!" Sakura demands, and the owner of the stand prudently retrieves the bowls and chopsticks. Ninja arguments tend to involve more projectiles than strictly necessary.
"Why doesn't Kakashi pay?" Sasuke says, and Kakashi can see why all the boy's Academy teachers referred to him as 'an outstanding ninja,' which is really just another way to say 'sneaky bastard.'
"Yeah, really!" Naruto says, all blue eyes and accusing pout. "You're the adult!"
"Yeah, sensei!" Sakura says, hands on hips and a little too close to her kunai pouch for comfort. "Teach Naruto what a real gentleman is!"
Kakashi doesn't point out that Sasuke isn't exactly rushing to fork over the cash, either. It would be petty.
... although he's a bit more than tempted when, five minutes later and not 100 certain how (which is bad form, especially for ex-ANBU), Kakashi is paying for fifteen bowls of ramen.
One each for Sasuke and Sakura and Kakashi, and the rest attributed to Naruto.
-(... and kakashi; not left out)-
His team walks him home, even though Kakashi develops a feeling of vague dread upon realizing that they know where he lives.
Just outside his door, he turns to bid goodbye, and finds all three in deep bows.
"... eh?" He says. "I appreciate the respect, but jounin do get paid more than genin."
"Happy birthday, sensei!" Sakura says, all smiles and very pretty with the evening against her face.
Kakashi is grateful for the mask, even though it now stinks of miso ramen. For a sensei to permit his students to see his complete stupefaction is probably against the codebook.
"Ne, Kakashi-sensei, we'd have gifts, but we didn't find out until today," Naruto says. "Why'd you never tell us?"
"... my records are classified," Kakashi says finally. Sakura and Naruto stare, blank, and then Naruto turns accusingly to Sasuke.
Kakashi blinks. So it was Sasuke who -- well, he hadn't seen that coming. So much for Sharingan.
"So are Itachi's."
Kakashi blinks again.
In 1788, the Articles of Confederation were finally falling to pieces, and Paris was on the verge of revolution. But history nerdiness has nothing to do with this fic, and reviews might – especially concrit! (Yes, that's begging. XD;;;) Sankyuuuuuu.