Believe it or not, I wanted to write something more serious. Well, this is the result. X)

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Disclaimer: To whom it may concern Naruto doesn't belong to me. It's the property of Masashi Kishimoto (if my sources are correct). And I don't make money out of writing this story.

Warnings: NO BETA. German's my first language and this won't change as long as I live. Basta.

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Mythical Creatures or The Beginning of a Never Ending Story

by Black Kitten's Dream

.-. .-. .-. .-. .-. .-.

„There're no such things like vampires, Anko-chan."

"You sure, Iruka-kun?"

"Yes."

"Really, Iruka-sensei?"

"Of course, Genma-san. Everyone knows vampires are nothing but mythical creatures."

"You've got any proof for your assumption, sensei?"

"That wasn't an assumption, Genma-san. Vampires don't exist."

"Says who?"

"Who? I don't know. It's a matter of common knowledge."

"So you've got no proof."

"... No, but--"

"AHA!"

"For God's sake just think about it, Genma-san. There can't be any proof because vampires just don't exist. You cannot prove something that isn't here. That's impossible!"

"Well, Iruka-san, but on the other hand there isn't any proof that they don't exist either."

"Nooo, please, not you too, Raidou-san!"

"Exactly what I say, Raidou-chan! Iruka-sensei doesn't have one itsy-bitsy proof that--"

"VAMPIRES. AREN'T. REAL."

Iruka was so shocked about his own sudden outburst that he leaned back into his seat with a stunned look on his face. The raised eye-browns he got for his loss of self-control and rudeness brought a soft blush on his cheeks, and with a helpless, almost pleading look, the young teacher turned to the last remaining person on the table who had preferred to stay silent during the whole conversation.

"Please, Kakashi-sensei, put a stop to this... idiocy..." Iruka trailed off uncertainly the moment his eyes fell on the Jounin.

Kakashi was smirking at him mockingly, and his eye was narrowed in such a way that it brought shivers down Iruka's spine and made him tense at the same time.

Something was wrong with Kakashi, very wrong.

Slowly, as if he wanted to make sure that Iruka saw every motion, the Jounin's hands reached up, took hold of the mask, and pulled it down. And while Kakashi's normally carefully hidden skin was slowly being freed millimetre for millimetre, Iruka suddenly knew what was making him tense as if he was an animal ready to flee its attacker. It was the Jounin's chakra, and it was coming at him in one big wave, making his nerves scream in danger.

And then Kakashi's mouth was exposed, and he parted his lips into a cruel, sadistic smirk. And with deadly speed he jumped over the table right in front of Iruka, mouth wide open, giving a bloodcurdling roar right into the younger man's face.

And for a few previous seconds Iruka's defences refused to kick in, because, added to the murderous chakra wave and the hair-rising roar, he saw something on Kakashi that let his brain freeze and his heartbeat stop for a moment.

Unnaturally long and very sharp looking canines.

.-. .-. .-. .-. .-. .-.

24 minutes later, Tsunade was massaging her forehead frantically. It could almost be considered as funny if it wasn't so damn serious that she just couldn't find the pressure points to send the incredibly pounding headache to hell even though she had pressed every single centimetre of the skin on her head for the last minutes.

Hissing in frustration and with her fingers still tightly pressed against her temples, Tsunade lifted her eyes to send a killing glance at the five ninja in front of her desk.

Oddly enough they didn't die on the spot.

Damn those too-well trained Konoha ninja.

Eyes narrowing in disappointment about their toughness, Tsunade let out a low growl. "Okay. Start explaining."

"Iruka hith me thith thimth, Thunathe-thama!"

"Genma, do you really believe I can understand a single word when even an earnest attempt to read your lips would be downright ridiculous because your lips are split open and swollen in such a way that they actually resemble burst sausages? I do hope I wasn't too subtle and you did notice my sarcasm dripping voice."

Ignoring Genma's mortally offended look, Tsunade turned to the next ninja. "Try to humour me, Raidou."

Raidou, tentatively fingering the painfully looking skin around one of his two black eyes, shrugged and pointed with his head to the person standing next to Kakashi. "Ask the fury over there."

With a completely unnatural smile, Tsunade turned overly slowly and with exaggeratedly lifted brows to the accused man.

And Iruka stared back.

The eyes of a freaked out baby dear were nothing compared to his.

Tsunade almost felt pity.

But only almost.

"So, Fury, would you be so kind as to explain to me why my favourite pub won't be open for the next couple of weeks, which means no sensationally well-tasting sake for a very long time, not that this would be of ANY PROPLEM FOR ME, and all of this because the pub's furnishings except one lucky little plastic ashtray was being smashed beyond repair?"

"Not to forget that he almost staked Kakashi with a table-leg!"

Anko's more or less constructive interjection let Tsunade's eyebrows rise to new highs while she was still waiting for Iruka's answer. And she got one. But it was an utterly unexpected one.

"Vampires."

Iruka's meek voice had been so low that she actually had the urge to play parrot to make sure that she'd heard right, because she was a little bit caught off guard by the content of the teacher's reply.

"Vampires? You mean vampires as in blood sucking, garlic hating, coffin sleeping, allergic to sun… Vampires?"

"… Yes, Tsunade-sama."

Iruka's ashamed look confirmed that even if she asked again and again for another hundred times, his answer would always be the same. Thoroughly bewildered but certain that she wouldn't get more out of the visibly embarrassed teacher, Tsunade turned back to the only person of the little group that stood out like a sore thumb. "Why are you the only one who isn't injured, Anko?"

"Yeah," Raidou shot sourly into the young Special Jounin's direction. "Where the hell were you when Fury went berserk?"

Anko threw him an incredulous look. "Do you really expect me to step into Iruka's path when he's in his little-Chuunin-morphes-into-ANBU-because-he's-fighting-teeth-and-nail attacking ninja mode? Oh please, I'm not that crazy. Besides, it's Kakashi's fault that the whole thing got out of control. Raising his chakra as if he was about to go on a killing-spree nearly gave me a heart-attack. This was supposed to be a prank."

"Damn right!" Instantly, Raidou turned to direct his glare to the man beside him. "You totally overdid it, Kakashi! Jumping over the table like you were going to attack him was never part of our agreement! You looked like a psychopath!"

"It had to look real or Iruka wouldn't have been scared," Kakashi defended himself with folded arms, slightly peeved about the criticism of his more than perfect performance. "What's your problem anyway, Raidou? You wanted a vampire and you got one."

"My problem?! Your stupid stunt cost me two black eyes! Look at Genma's lips and tongue! He won't be able to suck on my--… his senbon for weeks!"

"Hey! You two aren't the only one who got beaten up by Iruka! I almost choked on the fake teeth while he was trying to stake me!"

"YOU SACRIFIED THE BEST SAKE PUB IN KONOHA FOR A PRANK?!" Tsunade's shrill, hysterical shout interrupted the heated discussion between both men at once, and four ninja turned to look at her sheepishly. Iruka was the only one who refused to meet her glare of death, continuing to stare down at the floor with a red face.

When Kakashi lifted his arm to rub the back of his neck with his eye curved up, Tsunade knew that her suspicion was confirmed. It was the last straw. She exploded.

"THAT'S IT! AS OF TODAY, YOU'RE ALL GENIN AGAIN! AND NOW GET OUT BEFORE I SIC ALL OF KONOHA'S HUNTER-NIN AFTER YOU!"

.-. .-. .-. .-. .-. .-.

The next morning…

"Please, let me be a Missing-nin. Please, please."

"It's not that bad, Iruka-sensei."

"Leave the poor man alone, Kakashi."

"Yeah, Raithou'th rigth. Thuth up, Kakathi."

"Did you see that brat?! He's just stuck his tongue out at me!"

"Iruka-sensei?"

The new, questioning voice let Iruka press his face further into his hands and a heart-rending whimper escaped his lips. Their punishment for destroying Tsunade's favourite sake pub was far worse than he had imaged it would be. Maybe he could secretly draw a sketch of himself into the Bingo Book. Konoha's Hunter-nin were supposed to work fast and efficiently, so all of this would find a quick and hopefully painless end. But he would be a coward for taking the easy way out, and not to forget that this idea was nothing but a daydream of a desperate man. Iruka knew that he had to face this punishment for disgruntling the Hokage, and he had to meet his fate calmly and bravely like a real man.

Taking in a shuddering breath to brace himself for what was waiting for him behind the shield of his hands, Iruka spread his fingers and peered through them.

Turned around and kneeling on their seats, Moegi, Udon, and Konohamaru were looking back at him with big, wide, disbelieving eyes.

Iruka buried his face back into his hands; his whimper was now even more heart-rending than before. Embarrassed about the mortifying situation, he let the voices wash over him in a state of helplessness.

"Er, I swear it's really not that bad, Iruka-sensei."

"I said leave him alone, Kakashi. It's your fault that he's in this mess."

"Thamn righth!"

"If that brat sticks his tongue out at me one more time, I'm going to strangle him."

"I don't really know what you're all so upset about. I believe even if I'm a genius, you don't need one to realize that the Hokage obviously had made a mistake. Tsunade demoted us to Genin, thus we'll be out of here in no time."

"You don't say, you self-proclaimed genius! And why the hell are we still sitting here, Kakashi?!"

"Yeah! Thell uth, Kakathi!"

"Look! That brat did it again! That's it! I'm SO going to strangle him!"

"Chill, Anko. That boy's just a kid. He can't help but be childish. Believe me, after having Team 7 under my wings I know that it's better to stay calm and rational instead of threaten kids with instant murder if you want them to respect--"

"Konohamaru-kun, Moegi-chan, Undo-kun. Please, turn around and sit as you're supposed to do. And if our new students would be quiet and pay attention, I can finally start class. And I do believe that our new students are very eager to learn about the exciting world of the Transformation Technique, after we've recapitulated every single chakra point and their effects on the human body. Am I right, Kakashi-kun, Raidou-kun, Genma-kun, and Anko-chan?"

Silence.

Broken by a disbelieving voice.

"Did that little shadow-playing, barely making Chuunin Nara brat called Shikamaru just show his disrespect toward a higher-ranking, former ANBU captain and master of over one thousand jutsu by using the suffix kun behind my name?!"

"Yep."

"Yeth."

"Yup."

Iruka had been sitting stock-still till now, listening to the voices beside and in front of him prick-eared and more than a little spellbound. When the second silence definitely got too long, Iruka decided to sound out the situation. Not that he was curious, far from it. It was just for the sake of clarity, really. Cautiously, he turned his face from the cover of his hands and looked at the man beside him.

The seat was empty. Kakashi wasn't there anymore. In fact, Kakashi was already three rows further down, jumping over the fourth straight into Shikamaru's direction while gathering something in his hands that looked like a small ball of blue... chakra… Shit!

"NOOO, KAKASHI! DON'T!"

.-. .-. .-. .-. .-. .-.

One minute later...

"You saved my life, Iruka-sensei."

Uncomfortable about the gratefully spoken words, Iruka waved them off with a smile and a little blush across his nose. "I wouldn't put it so dramatically, Kakashi-sensei. I believe Shikamaru was in more danger than you. There wasn't much sun in the classroom for him to work with, after all."

"So you didn't just save my life but Shikamaru's too. You're a hero, Iruka-sensei."

Kakashi's comment intensified the blush on Iruka's face. "Not really. It was pure luck that I got to you before you could reach him."

"Don't be so shy about it. Your reflexes were great, and your speed was definitely high-level. You got to me and transported me out of the room in no time. I don't think the kids saw enough to brag about it."

"Hopefully. Anyway, it was more dumb luck than anything else. I'm just glad nothing happened."

Kakashi tilted his head, frowning. "You've got great abilities and you're a good ninja. Don't put yourself down every time someone's praising you."

"I'm not putting myself down," Iruka reassured quickly, fearing that the older ninja was starting to take offence at his constant objections. "I'm just being rational. I'm a Chuunin who's aware of the differences between our ranks."

"And even so, you as a Chuunin managed to beat up Jounin, remember?"

The blush deepened. "Please, Kakashi-sensei, don't. I'm neither blind nor delusional. I know that all of you were holding back, that you were trying not to hurt me while defending yourselves. I wouldn't have had any chance against three Special Jounin and a former ANBU captain if you had seriously fought back."

"Ah, but there weren't three Special Jounin you were fighting with. Anko, that coward, chickened out."

"That's right," Iruka chuckled softly before turning a mock-serious look at his counterpart. "But that doesn't change the fact that I wouldn't have a single chance against one of you. Even if your hands and feet are in bonds, I suppose."

"Maybe," Kakashi's eye curved up into a pleasant smile. "But for a Chuunin you know some kick-ass moves. I was seriously impressed by you. It was hard not to hurt you, you know?"

Embarrassed, Iruka shifted from one foot to the other. "I'm sorry I reacted so stupidly. For a moment, those teeth looked so real."

"Yeah, my performance was not bad, was it?"

"Undeniably good. Tsunade-sama is really angry, though. To make us Genin again is bad enough, but to send us back to the academy is even worse. Sitting between children I should teach and getting taught by one of my former student is terribly embarrassing. I don't know what to do."

"She'll cool down, eventually. Shizune has taken measures a long time ago. There's an emergency reserve of excellent sake hidden in her private rooms, so you don't need to worry too much about it. By tomorrow, you'll be in your old position again, teacher and all."

"I hope you're right."

"Don't look so glum, look at the bright side! At least, you got a good look at my face. Did you like it?"

"Um, I hadn't had the time to take a look at your face. All I've seen were those long canins and then... you know."

"And then there was chaos and destruction, I know. It was kinda fun, wasn't it? By the way, I'm sorry for kicking you in the rips, Iruka-sensei."

"And I'm sorry for the upper-cut, Kakashi-sensei."

"Well, and I'm sorry for also pulling your hair."

"And I'm sorry for almost staking you."

"And I'm sorry for frightening you."

"Oh, and I'm sorry for--"

"THAT'S TOO MUCH EVEN FOR ME!" came an irritated and slightly disgusted shout from behind, and Anko, followed by Genma and Raidou who were frantically trying to grab her from behind, stormed glaring around the corner. "What the hell are you two?! Broken records?! I've been forced to listen to you for the last five minutes, and now I've a really hard time deciding whether you're both mentally retarded or not! Just cut the crap! Iruka, Kakashi has a crush on you. Kakashi, kiss him. And now get home, jump each other bones, make out and have steamy, hot gay sex!... HEY!"

Iruka watched wide-eyed and open-mouthed as Raidou and Genma dragged the loudly protesting woman back to their former place behind the corner, sheepishly grinning and smirking at the same time. When the noises finally died down, Iruka turned with a deep blush back to Kakashi.

"Is that true, Kakashi-sensei?"

"Well, I wouldn't say that I'm mentally retarded."

"... Not that."

"... No?"

"... No."

"..."

"..."

"..."

"..."

"THEY'RE DRIVING ME CRAZY! LET GO, RAIDOU! I CAN'T BEAR ANOTHER SECOND OF THOSE IMBECI--HMMMPF!"

Frozen into stillness, Iruka and Kakashi stared at each other until two poophs announced the leaving of their friends. They waited for another couple of seconds, listening cautiously for any suspicious noises, before they could relax again. Sighing, Iruka voiced his lingering scepticism warily.

"Are we finally alone?"

"Considering the fact that we're in a school packed with little wannabe ninja and their gossiping instructors... No."

"..."

"..."

"Your bed--… I mean your room or mine, Kakashi...-san?"

"Why, so forwarded, Iruka-kun?"

"I'm so sorr--!"

"Mine!"

- Pooph -

.-. .-. .-. .-. .-. .-.

A reasonable period of time later...

"Phew."

"Oh yes."

"That was great."

"You were great, Iruka-chan."

"You too, Kakashi-kun." Iruka didn't fight the blush, he was too happy for it due to the fact that the steamy, hot gay sex had been more a wonderful, tender love-making. Delighted, he snuggled further into his lover's embrace, enjoying the fingers gently stroking through his hair. There was a question lying on the tip of his tongue, and he voiced it with a soft smile on his lips.

"Why did Anko know?"

"Well," Kakashi twirled a strand of brown hair around his forefinger. "I had a chat with Anko and accidentally called her by your name."

"Oh."

"Yeah, you should have seen her. It was like one of Ibiki's infamous interrogations. Good Ibiki, bad Ibiki, only scarier. At some point I crumbled, I couldn't really deny my attraction towards you anyway. And then Anko went all mother hen on me. The vampire act was Raidou's idea, a plot for me to get your attention. I was supposed to be a cute blood-sucker, though."

"Aww."

"Exactly."

"But you abandoned the plan. Why?"

"Well, the plan sounded good at first, after all the beer and sake, but sober again and listening to your discussion about mythical creatures and their non-existence with my mouth full of fake vampire teeth, I suddenly realized that it was a pretty childish idea. Consequently, I made the best out of the silly situation by deciding to act like a real vampire. I rather wanted to impress you, you know, from man to man."

"I see. The adorable vampire image doesn't go well with the reputation and not-so-small ego of Konoha's famous and most feared ninja."

"… Who's supposed to be the genius here, eh?"

"No one else but you, my master."

"Oh... RAAAAWR!"

"EEEEP!"

.-. .-. .-. .-. .-. .-.

In a tavern just around the corner of Kakashi's home...

"Cough up the money, guys."

"No, I refuse. That's totally fishy, Anko!"

"Exthacthly!"

"A bet's a bet, guys."

"Where the hell did you know that Iruka would jump into Kakashi's bed on their first date, huh? Iruka's supposed to be shy, timid, and decent!"

"Yeah, thath'th thothally thrangth, Anko!"

"Please, after all those weeks of Anko! Did you see Kakashi's smile? Did you hear him chuckle? Did you see his curved-up eye while he was giving me his mission report where his signature had a little doodle-like mark at the end that could be a spot of ink, but, if you squint your eyes just so, you can actually see a tiny heart? Kakashi-sensei is sooo cute! I wish I were his Teddy bear... I swear I'm damaged for years."

"You cheater! You had background information! That's irregular, Anko!"

"Thothally irregular!"

"You wish. Give me the money, guys."

"You won't see a single ryo from me!"

"Me neither!"

"The money!"

"NEVER!"

"NOTH ATH LONG ATH I LIVE!"

"GIVE ME MY CAAAAAAASHHHHH!"

.-. .-. .-. .-. .-. .-.

Three men were standing on the top of a roof as silent as death himself. The white animal masks were hiding their true identity, but the katana strapped on their back were a clear sign for what they were. One was turned towards east, while the other two were looking into the opposite direction. Each one of them was staring at the objects of their mission, and, after some time of silent observing, one of them started to speak.

"We're elite, aren't we?"

"Aa."

"Oh yeah."

"We're ANBU."

"Aa."

"Oh yeah."

"So why the fuck are we watching two men having sex and three Jounin quarrelling over 5000 ryo?!"

"Well, it's a mission, sort of, I think. Anyway, Tsunade made us."

"Ohh yeahh."

"Stop your disgusting moaning, Rabbit! And stop beeping on those two! Turn around!"

"But right now Iruka's licking Kakashi's--!"

"I don't care, Rabbit! The mission to watch those two was completed the moment they stuck their tongue into each others mouth! Now we have to concentrate on the other three idiots! I'll say it one last time, turn around at once! That's an order!"

"... Iruka's really licking Kakashi's--?"

"DON'T YOU DARE TURN AROUND TOO, DOG! AND SHUT THE FUCK UP! BOTH OF YOU!"

"Great. Now the whole village knows we're here. Real smooth, Ibiki. You get two thumps up from me."

"... Guys."

"Shut up, Rabbit. And you, Dog, do you really wanna feel how it is if I lose my patience?!"

"Sure! Come on, Ibiki! I dare you!"

"Guuuys!"

"WHAT DO YOU WANT NOW, RABBIT?!"

"Well, Kakashi's coming."

"... SHIIIT!"

.-. .-. .-. .-. .-. .-.

"... 47 windows are broken, two roofs are gone, a tavern got destroyed, a whole building's dilapidated, and one citizen complains about the destruction of her prized rose tree." Shizune ended the listing with a small cough.

Tsunade stared disbelievingly at the men in front of her desk. And though her mind was kinda blank at the moment, she had the incredible feeling of déjà vu.

"A tavern, Shizune?"

"I'm afraid so, Tsunade-sama."

"... YOU DESTROYED ANOTHER PUB?!"

.-. .-. .-. .-. .-. .-.

Shikamaru had a tremendous time; his smirk couldn't get any broader than it was already, and it never wavered even though the glares he got from the seven ninja promised instant death. And it was interesting, downright fascinating, that the glares he got from the three ANBU were noticeable even through their porcelain masks.

However, with all the fun Shikamaru had, he felt really sorry for Iruka-sensei. His former teacher's distress was painful to watch, and Shikamaru was tempted to send the young man home, to spare him more embarrassment, more mortification, and more suffering.

Or maybe he should just tell the Hunter-nin, one out of three currently watching over the troublemakers and standing directly at Iruka's side, that he should move to the other end of the row, so that the visibly intimidated Chuunin could finally breathe again normally. Said Hunter-nin was practically radiating his annoyance about the task Tsunade had given them, and Iruka actually did look as if he was about to hyperventilate at any moment. But on the other hand it was really funny to watch Kakashi, glaring at the Hunter-nin and daring him with occasional growls to come one millimetre closer to his petrified lover.

Well, what to do?

Decisions, decisions.

How troublesome.

Nah, not really. All he had to do was to collect the money he had won from the bet with Team 8, 10, Gai, Asuma, Kurenai, and, funnily enough, from Anko. After all, those four actually had managed to get into trouble twice with Tsunade, and that within 24 hours. A new record, by the way, and no one except Shikamaru himself had believed that they would be that dumb. Even Anko had made a bet against this possibility; he had to thank her later for the easy money. The involvement of three members of ANBU was an unexpected but not unwelcome bonus.

Smirking, and now entirely pleased that he had been forced to be the substitute for one of the teachers for a whole week, Shikamaru turned to the black board, and, with a sadistic smile, wrote the first word of many others with just the right twist of his wrist holding the chalk.

Cringing at the horribly squealing and suspiciously drawn-out noise, the Hunter-nin at Iruka's side spoke up with a barely contained snarl.

"We're Hunter-nin."

"Aa."

"Hn."

"We're the frigging top of the elite."

"Aa."

"Hn."

"So why the fuck are we suddenly playing kindergarten workers for brainless retards?!"

.-. .-. .-. .-. .-. .-.

Looking out of the window, Shizune watched the smoke as it slowly settled down again until she had a clear view on the large hole that was now decorating the wall of the academy. Sighing softly and shaking her head at the childish actions of Konoha's apparently too bored ninja, she turned to her best friend.

"For Tsunade-sama's and some ninja's sake, I'm afraid we're in need of more high-quality sake. Could you hurry and fetch some from the next village?"

Tonton, the pig, blinked once, tilted its head, and started to squeak with an incredulous look on its face.

"Oi oi oi oi. Oi oi oi oi. Oi OI oi OI oi OI OI OI?!?"

.-. .-. .-. .-. .-. .-.

OWARI (of a seemingly never ending story)

.-. .-. .-. .-. .-. .-.

Hm, I believe there's no need for me to translate Tonton's squeaking. We all know how the story's going to continue, don't we? Well, with the knowledge that I sat down to write a more serious story and seeing how it developed self-dynamics and got silly rather fast makes me wonder if I'm even capable to write something else than humour. I have to find out.

R&R?