A/N: A fun little one shot inspired by Kiterie's drabble "Words". I wanted to play with the chaos too. I'm getting really good at imitating things I like.
001 Beginnings (also known as The Best Laid Plans)
This was the perfect moment. Kakashi was sure of it. He'd been planning for weeks every word, every detail. He'd observed and analyzed, made mental charts of the habits of the room occupants, plotted every outcome from every angle. This moment, this exact instant, was the perfect time to make his move.
Izumo and Kotetsu had taken their break—together, as always. He had this period of fifteen minutes when there would only be himself and his target in the room. Ideal.
He sauntered into the room, every movement deliberately calculated. Hands in pockets, shoulders sloped—make yourself appear unaware and unready, it makes your enemy careless—his visible eye wandering around the room seemingly at random—but always with the target in view so that no movement could go unanticipated. Kakashi smiled with only his hidden mouth as he approached the desk, never faltering. "Working here all alone today, Iruka-sensei?"
The chuunin didn't look from the paper on the desk, but Kakashi saw Iruka's mouth twitch into an almost hesitant smile. "Good afternoon, Kakashi-san. No, my coworkers needed a coffee break, and it's usually slow during this time. They'll be back soon." Iruka finally looked up and grinned at the Jounin directly. "Do you have a mission report for me, Kakashi-san?"
"As always." The paper was removed from his pocket and put soundlessly on the desk. He'd taken this ridiculous C-ranked mission specifically so he could hand this report in at this time on this day.
Iruka pulled it closer and inspected it with a half grin on his face. "Yes, everything seems to be in order here. Excellent work, Kakashi-san."
Kakashi rubbed the knot of his forehead protector in a sheepish manner, to make himself seem more approachable. "Thank you, Iruka-sensei. Maa, I was wondering…"
Kakashi found himself roughly shoved aside by an enthusiastic Inuzuka, the Jounin's carefully planned sentence now horribly interrupted.
The Inuzuka—Kakashi recognized him after a moment as one of Kurenai's students—slammed the paper on the desk forcefully. "We redid it right for sure this time, Iruka-sensei!"
Iruka looked at the paper, thoroughly unimpressed. "That's what you said the last two times, Kiba."
"Yeah, but this time it's for sure! Hinata looked over it for me, and she knows this stuff." Kiba leaned against the desk, arms folded across his chest. "Better than stupid Shino, anyway."
"You will never learn if I do it for you," the other boy muttered as he came in the room, the two females of Team 8 in tow.
Kakashi suppressed a twitch, and sighed slightly as he moved back towards the desk, standing beside Kurenai. "You let your students do the mission reports?" Kakashi wasn't sure Team 7 even knew what mission reports were.
"They need to learn somehow." Kurenai sounded miserable, her eyes rolling up to the ceiling in obvious exasperation. "I didn't think it would take all day to get one done. You'd think that following instructions would be simple."
Iruka pushed the paper back towards the young genin who was half leaning on the desk. "You forgot your names, Kiba."
"What?" The genin jumped, snatching the paper right out of the chuunin's hands.
There was an almost wicked grin on Iruka's face as he watched Kiba scan the paper frantically, before he turned back to Kakashi with a softer expression. "You were saying something, Kakashi-san?"
Yes, he had been. And this wasn't perfect, because now there were people listening. Kakashi weighted his options in a matter of seconds. He could wait for yet another week, and risk more unknown variables, or he could adjust the plan for what he already knew.
"I just wanted to ask you about Dinner," Kakashi said brightly, smiling with his whole face this time so that it couldn't be missed.
Iruka looked surprised, "dinner? What about it?"
"What you were having for it." Deliberately vague, giving just a little, letting the target meet you halfway.
"Nothing that I…" whatever else he'd been going to say was cut off as Kiba slammed the paper on the desk at the same moment the original Ino-Shika-Cho group entered the room, making no effort to keep their entrance a secret from anyone.
"That was the easiest mission we've had in a while," Inochi crowed, leaning over Kiba—the boy was scribbling across sections of the mission report furiously—to hand the report in.
"Maybe for you," Choza muttered, rubbing at his cheek. "If my wife ever finds out, I won't get to eat for a week!"
Inochi laughed, long and loud, making Kakashi's ears ring. "It isn't your fault the target had a fetish for hefty men, Choza! The way she had you pinned to that table, and then pulled out her tongue…"
"Inochi-san!" Iruka interrupted harshly, directing keen brown eyes first at the Jounin, and then at the three genin who were all listening with curiosity evident on their faces. Inochi had the good sense, in Kakashi's opinion, to look sheepish.
"If you're so concerned about your bothersome wife finding out," Shikaku muttered, studying the ceiling with little interest, "you shouldn't talk about it in such public places, Choza."
"Did she try and seduce you, Choza-san?" Kiba asked excitedly, forgetting completely about his report. "What was that like?"
Choza sputtered indignantly, but was spared trying to come up with an answer as the little Hyuuga girl on Kurenai's team, who had been blushing the whole time, suddenly crashed to the floor. Kiba and the father's in the room where the only ones that seemed the least bit concerned about this, so Kakashi decided it was safe to assume she was alright.
He side stepped the now frantically flailing genin and distracted Inochi so that he was once again the center of Iruka's vision. "Do you have plans for dinner this afternoon, Iruka-sensei?"
"I do, I'm afraid," the chuunin looked up with a sad smile, seemingly genuinely apologetic. "I already promised Naruto I'd take him out to celebrate the anniversary of his graduation."
Kakashi blinked a couple of times, completely floored. He had not run this scenario over. He had come up with all kinds of possible answers ranging from enthusiastically agreeing to go with him to being told that Iruka had no interest in men. He had not expected him to already have plans, with Naruto of all people!
"I have a question for you, Kakashi-san." The sadness was gone, just a regular Iruka smile.
Kakashi thought he should have been prepared for the interruption this time, but still found it infinitely annoying that Izumo and Kotetsu chose that time to come back, followed by Guy and his students.
Banging his head against the wall had never sounded so tempting.
Neji broke away from the group almost as soon as he was in the room, knocking Kiba to the ground. "What did you do to Hinata-sama, you incompetent idiot?"
"I didn't do anything!" Kiba protested, pulling himself up to his elbows. "Why do you always blame me, and she's fine!"
It was probably fortunate for the young Inuzuka that the girl chose that moment to have her white eyes flutter open. Seeing that she was the center of attention, the poor girl's face lit up like neon opening sign. "N-Neji-niisan! What are you doing here?"
"We are here to turn in our mission report, Iruka-sensei," Mini-Guy bounced excitedly, offering up his paper. Kakashi couldn't figure out for the life of him why the green-thing had picked Iruka even though Kotetsu and Izumo where sitting there obviously not doing anything. "You will find that we have, in the eagerness of our youth, completed this mission in record time!"
If anything, Iruka looked just as frustrated as Kakashi felt. "Thank you, Lee. I'm sure everything is in order…"
"My eternal rival!" This time, Kakashi's ears did ring. He'd almost forgotten that where ever mini-Guy went… "What are you doing inside on such a blissfully glorious morning?"
"Failing my first mission in a long time," Kakashi couldn't help but deadpan. The look on Guy's face made it almost worth it.
"Surely, you could use my assistance then! For with both of us in our might…"
"No." The only reason he was still here was because Iruka said he had a question, and he was curious now. It couldn't be asking how Naruto was, if he was going out to dinner with him. They must have seen each other recently. He couldn't think of what else it could be.
Kakashi glanced over at where Iruka was now trying to calm a rapidly bouncing Lee, while glaring Kiba and Neji away from each other. Team Seven was still waiting for him, this was going to have to wait.
He moved towards the door, hoping to slip out before further chaos erupted. He'd managed to make it out into the almost silent hall before he heard a voice coming from behind him.
He turned around, putting on his best smile for the chuunin. "What can I do for you, Iruka-sensei?"
"I'm free tomorrow night. Would you like to have dinner then?"
As fast as his brain was, it still took Kakashi a while to process this. He had in no way anticipated this direction. He couldn't help but smile. "I would like that very much, Iruka-sensei."