Title: The Right Way
Spoilers: This story will contain spoilers till manga volume 20/chapter 172 or somewhere around episode 100 of the anime. Most of them will be only slight.
Status: Chapter 1 of 18
Disclaimer: Don't own, don't make money.
Warnings: This story contains shonen ai (love between men) and yaoi (physical love between men). If you don't like these subjects, please don't read any further and refrain from flaming me because of it.
This story is already finished on my hard disk, so despite its length I will definitely not abandon it, don't worry. The only things keeping me from posting all 18 chapters at once are my final exams at the university coming up and this site's liking to devour my layout and drive me crazy with it. I will still try to get at least one or two chapters per week up for you whenever I feel mentally stable enough and have enough time to tag the html. (I'm a perfectionist, that's why I do it myself. I'm crazy, I know, but I can't change it.)
This story will be about Kakashi and Iruka coming together and the development of their relationship. The rating is for later chapters, the fic will develop in a unhurried and tender way and loosely follow the storyline of the series which I will work in from time to time.
Kakashi will be a little OOC from time to time. If you don't like that… tough cookies. I like him the way he is in this and it's my story, so there.
But enough blabbing. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it.
The Right Way
Chapter 1 –Dog Logic
"You know, boss… what you're doing… that's not healthy."
"Shut up", Kakashi growled but kept looking. I know.
"I mean, it was okay, boss, at least kinda, when it was just once a day, only for a short look and all, but… Don't you think this is getting… Let's say, it's not really a sign for a perfect mental condition to-"
"Shut. Up." I. Know.
"But boss, he's-"
"Do I have to repeat myself?", Kakashi hissed, annoyed.
"One more word about it and there'll be no fresh meat for a whole week. You know what that means: Seven days of can food…"
"Got it, boss."
Silence stretched while the Copy-nin kept looking, waiting for the object of his… special mission to appear. And wondering when-
"I take it you don't like fresh meat, hu, Pakkun?" I take it you're really worried this time, aren't you?
"I do, boss." The pug shrugged. "But, well, who'll give it to me once you've totally snapped over this?"
"Smart-ass dog. But don't worry, I'm perfectly sane."
"Sure. Perfectly sane. No doubt about it, boss." Pakkun shrugged again, and Kakashi thought he almost could taste the sarcasm in this but didn't comment.
"And it's not a sign for a mental disease to… to…" The Copy-nin gesticulated vaguely with his hand, trying to indicate a 'to do this… stuff, you know'.
"For a dog, maybe. But you humans… I always thought you were so good at talking about… things, you know."
"I talk to him all the time, yesterday for example, and the day before and always in the mission room and also when he picks up-"
"You tease him, boss. And then he gets angry and yells at you and you get scared and run away."
"I don't get scared", Kakashi murmured. "And I don't run away either, I just… give him more personal space and-"
"And then you run away because you're scared, boss." Pakkun shook his head and snorted. "And I didn't mean talking about the stuff you talk about with him, missions and the kids and such… I mean why don't you talk to him about…" The pug frowned. "…about this stuff you're doing, whatever it is."
"I will definitely talk to him soon and-"
"When time's right and-"
Pakkun snorted again. "I know that, boss. Let me translate: 'Never, because I don't have the guts to do it.'"
"Pakkun…", Kakashi growled and finally moved his uncovered eye from the entrance of the building right on the other side of the street, then turned on the roof they were presently perched upon to glare down at his nin-dog.
"Relax, boss." Pakkun held up his front paws in a placating manner. "And we both know that it's true."
"Is not." Shut up, I know it is true, but I can't change it.
Pakkun gave his master a long look that clearly said, 'I can't believe we're doing this', his picture of annoyance completed by sighing, shaking his head and rolling his eyes. "Is too, boss. We both know it."
"Hrn." Kakashi glared a little longer, then turned to watch the entrance to the Hokage Tower again. I can't talk to him. Whenever I try, I manage to be nice and sometimes even funny at first, but then he smiles or frowns or something, and I can't help but get nervous and don't know what to do or say anymore. And then those words come out of my mouth and he blushes and then gets angry and yells at me for saying such things, and I can't even remember what I said before he blushed because he blushed… The Jounin sighed. It's not fair. I always know what to do or say, no matter when… It's only with him that I feel so… insecure. I don't understand that…
"Why don't you go and sniff his backside?", Pakkun asked after a while.
"SNIFF HIS BACKSIDE?!", his master shouted incredulously and stared at his dog in utter disbelief.
"Yes. You know, show him you're interested."
"I will definitely NOT sniff his backside!"
"Why not? He'll know then." Pakkun shook his head. "Or is this another 'I'm a human, we don't do that'-thing?"
"YES." I'll definitely not do that. Or… well… in case he wants me to sn-
"Well, then…" The nin-dog scratched his head with one of his paws, thinking. "Then bring him a steak?", he finally suggested.
"No." No steaks. I'm almost definitely sure that's not right.
"Then bring him theses nasty, sour green apples he likes so much. Or some of this disgusting, weird-smelling, black coffee-stuff he's drinking when he's at work. Or no!" Pakkun grinned and nodded. "Better bring him the sweet, yummy brown stuff! You know, the… the… the hot chocolate stuff! I think he likes that better because he always smiles and sighs when he takes a sip of it!"
Oh Kami! How he smiles then! And those sighs! Kakashi sighed. I'd like to hear them again and again, best when he's with me and also blushes and maybe even moa- No! Bad idea! Better not think about that!
"Shall we go buy that hot chocolate stuff now?"
"I can't just bring him food or drinks."
"Because he… he…" Kakashi sighed. "You know, that… It's… It's just not the right way, you know."
"Oh, it's not the right way?" Pakkun snorted. "Not the right way? But you want to tell me it's the right way to sit on this freaking roof every freaking day at the same freaking time, waiting for him to finish his work and come out, and then stalk him through the whole town without talking to him or letting him notice us at all, before he goes home and you can spy on him through his window?"
"I don't stalk him." It's… observing… or stealth training. Yes, stealth training. I'm a Jounin, I need to do stealth training. Have to stay in shape now I only do D-rank missions with those little brats.
"You do stalk him. That word was invented just for what you're doing. I'm actually surprised you didn't memorize him with your Sharingan yet."
Silence answered, clearly guilty and embarrassed, while Kakashi tried his hardest not to blush under his mask.
"You really did that?!", Pakkun exclaimed. "Boss, you're so… so… I don't know what, but lots of it."
"Oh no! I so don't want to know what he is! I've heard everything about him a thousand times round and round, boss!" The dog's voice became shrill. "'Oh, look at him, Pakkun, he's sooo handsome that he's almost beautiful, and he's sooo sexy when he blushes! And look how he smiles! Isn't that the most perfect and beautiful smile you've ever seen? And you should see him when he's angry! He's sooo sexy then! And then, that one time when I was outside his window, stalking him and spying on him again, he got totally naked and he was sooo beautiful, even his-'"
"Hey!", his master shouted indignantly. "I never said that last part! And I never saw him naked!"
"But you wish you did!"
"Yes. No, I mean- I mean…"
"I know that, boss." Pakkun sighed. "You're hopeless."
"Am not." I know…
"You are. And I don't know why you do this stuff. Why don't you just talk to him and tell him you want to mate with him?"
"I can't just- Wait! I don't want to mate with him!"
"Yeah. Sure." Pakkun snorted. "I'm a dog, you know. I can smell things." He made a face that clearly told his master, 'Believe me, sometimes I wish I couldn't'.
"No, I-" Kakashi sighed. "I don't want to only mate with him." He frowned. "I mean I don't only want to be with him like that. Not just the physical."
"What's there else?"
"There's… there's…" The Copy-nin waved his hands in the air, desperately searching for the right words to explain his intentions to his dog but failing. "Everything", he finished lamely. "I want everything from him."
"Sounds kinda greedy, boss."
"I know. It's him." Kakashi shrugged. It's always him. With him, it's the first time I want this 'everything' I never wanted before. The first time I want more than just a one-night-stand. And the first time I don't know what to do to get what I want.
"That's another of those 'I'm human'-things", Pakkun stated.
"Then you should know what to do about it. For all I know, boss, you're a human." The dog frowned. "Granted, you're a really weird one, but I guess that doesn't matter for that kind of stuff."
"Thanks a lot", the Copy-nin mumbled sourly.
"You're welcome. And- Wait… Is this this 'dating'-stuff you humans do? You know, asking out and holding hands and doing these things with the lips."
"Kissing." Kakashi sighed dreamily. "I wish I could kiss him. Only once." I bet his lips are perfectly soft…
"So that's what this is all about?", Pakkun asked. "It's this 'dating'-stuff?"
"M-hm", his master answered absent-mindedly. And feeling his lips against mine… That must be bliss…
"And what do you humans do on a date?"
"There's no rule, I guess. Just… something together." Spending time with him… Only me and him… No Naruto, no Gai… Bliss.
"No matter what?"
"I… guess…" Kakashi frowned. "Why do you ask? You never seemed to care about these things before."
"Just curious." The nin-dog smiled innocently. "Just something together? Like… let's say, going shopping together?"
"I never heard somebody did that on a date…"
"But you could do it? Just hypothetically?"
"I guess… Pakkun, why-"
"Never mind, boss. Look, he's coming."
"Really?" Kakashi's head immediately snapped towards the Hokage Tower's entrance where the object of his affection had just appeared on the street and was bidding his goodbyes to Genma and Raidou. He looks perfect today. Just as he does always.
"Great", Pakkun told his master. "It's Thursday. On Thursdays he goes to the market and buys food. Now you can go on a date." He grinned cheekily.
"What?", Kakashi shouted, surprised. "What do you-" His eye widened when realisation sank in. "You won't…" No no no no no!
"Wanna bet on it?" Pakkun grinned even wider and winked. Then he leaped down the roof onto a balcony and further down to the street before his master could get a hold on him. "Iruka-sensei!", he shouted at the top of his lungs. "Iruka-sensei!"
"No! Pakkun!", Kakashi hissed, then quickly jumped after him to catch and stop him, but the small dog had already run after the Academy sensei. I'll kill that damn pug, I'll kill him so dead, and then-
"Yes?" Iruka turned around to where the dog's voice came from, and Kakashi saw him frown when he didn't see anybody there at eyelevel.
Oh Kami, he's so adorable when he frowns.
"Down here", Pakkun told him cheerily.
"Oh. Hello." Iruka smiled. "You're Pakkun, right? One of Kakashi-sensei's nin-dogs?"
Oh Kami, he's so adorable when he smiles, Kakashi thought and stopped in his chase after his soon-to-be ex-dog to stare at the Chuunin.
"Yes." The pug grinned. "And I have to ask you something, Iruka-sensei."
"Really? What is it?"
"It's actually a favour I have to ask of you, sensei. It's because of my master, you know…"
"Kakashi-sensei? What's with him?", Iruka asked, sounding concerned.
Oh Kami, he's so adorable when he's worried. And he's worried about me.
"The boss is fine, but he's got a problem."
"Pakkun!", Kakashi managed finally, forcing his mind away from his Iruka-induced stupor. "Pakkun, don't bother Iruka-sensei." He threw a stern look at his dog and approached the duo in front of him in his usual slouch, desperately trying not to appear nervous. Left foot… and now the right foot… perfect… you'll just talk with him… no need to be nervous… left foot… and no stumbling… right foot… and no teasing… left foot… just be nice… right foot… don't make him angry… right- no, left foot, almost there… Oh Kami, he's so adorable when he's angry…
"Kakashi-sensei", Iruka greeted him, smiling brightly. "How can I help you?"
Always smile at me like that. Kakashi shook his head. "Maa, it's nothing, Iruka-sensei. Pakkun exaggerated it." He smiled back, only visible in his eye, and scratched his head. "I can handle it, thank you."
"Oh." Iruka's smile faltered a little, and the Copy-nin wondered if maybe the Chuunin could have been disappointed.
"He can't handle it, Iruka-sensei", Pakkun threw in.
"I can", Kakashi hissed. I'll definitely kill that dog! This is so embarrassing…
"You can't", Pakkun contradicted. "You don't get the right ones."
"I do-" Kakashi frowned. "What?"
"The right ones of what, Pakkun?", Iruka asked, not noticing the Copy-nin's confusion.
"The right ones of everything, Iruka-sensei", Pakkun told him, sighed and shook his head. "He's not very skilled at it."
"I'm sorry, but I don't understand at all what you're talking about", the Chuunin told him, frowning in confusion.
Me neither, Kakashi thought. What's that dog up to?
"I'm talking about buying groceries, Iruka-sensei", Pakkun explained.
"Groceries?!", both shinobi asked incredulously.
"Yes. Groceries." The nin-dog shook his head miserably. "The boss is a very good master, you must know, Iruka-sensei. He even makes fresh food for me sometimes, he really cooks for me." He looked up at his master adoringly but Kakashi could see the hidden sly smile underneath.
Cooking for him? My ass.
"Really?", Iruka asked, his eyes wide in surprise, then he turned his head, looked at Kakashi and smiled more warmly than the Copy-nin had ever seen him do to another person than Naruto. "Oh, that's so kind of you, Kakashi-sensei. I never thought… You're a very good master, indeed."
"Well… hehe…" Kakashi scratched his head sheepishly and felt himself blush under his mask. Maybe I'll not kill that dog… at least not much…
"Yes, he really is", Pakkun confirmed. "But he's not good at choosing the ingredients, Iruka-sensei. The fruits, for example, or the vegetables he buys, they're almost always a little over the best, so to say, or not ripe enough yet because he doesn't know how to find the really good ones."
"Oh", Iruka said, still smiling. "But that's really easy, Kakashi-sensei, once you know what to search for."
"And that's why I thought maybe you could teach him how to do it, Iruka-sensei…", Pakkun finished and grinned triumphantly up at his master.
"But sure I can help." The Chuunin nodded eagerly. "If I had known earlier that you care so much about Pakkun, Kakashi-sensei… I'd really love to help you with this problem." He smiled brightly.
"Well, you know, Iruka-sensei…", Kakashi started. I can't do that! What should I talk about with him – groceries? I never really bought groceries before! And when I tease him again and he gets mad at me? I can't help it, whenever I'm nervous around him, I just seem to have to tease him. And I'm always nervous around him.
"Yes?" Iruka still smiled at him.
"I…" How shall I decline when he's looking at me like that? And smiling like that? And it's not that I wouldn't really, really, really-really want it.
"Please, boss", Pakkun threw in, faking a pleading look.
"I…" Kakashi looked at the Chuunin's expectant face and finally sighed. "Maa, Iruka-sensei, I'd be delighted." And I'll really, really, really-really try to behave myself.
"Oh, perfect, Kakashi-sensei!", Iruka said, smiling even brighter. "I think this will be much fun. I always wanted to-" He stopped and blushed.
"Yes, Iruka-sensei?", Kakashi asked, intrigued. "What did you want to say?" Oh Kami, he's so adorable when he's blushing.
"I… I…" Iruka blushed even more. "I always wanted to… to… well, to get to know you a little better, Kakashi-sensei", he admitted finally. "You know… and now that you are Naruto's Jounin instructor and he always tells me so much about you… I wanted to… get to know you better even more…"
"Oh." Kakashi felt himself blush under his mask. "Well, I… hehe… Good opportunity to do that now…"
"Yes." The Chuunin smiled again, the blush fading slowly. "So, when do you have time for the shopping?"
"Anytime after five o'clock, Iruka-sensei", Kakashi answered. "I work with my team over the day and then I'm free." To spend time with Iruka. With Iruka alone. Without Naruto and Gai. Just me and Iruka. Alone.
"Oh, then… what about right now?", Iruka asked. "If you have time, I wanted to go to the market anyway."
"Perfect, sensei", Pakkun answered instead of his master. "We're free."
"Great, let's go then." Iruka smiled, then turned and walked towards the market.
"'We'?", Kakashi hissed and glared at his dog without moving. No 'we' unless the 'we' is Iruka and Kakashi and nobody else!
"Sure." Pakkun shrugged. "I have to come with you to make sure you don't screw up, boss." He grinned.
"Kakashi-sensei? Are you coming?" Iruka was already some steps ahead and had turned to look back at his hesitating companions.
"Sure!" Kakashi smiled and followed. "And behave yourself", he whispered, half to his dog and half to himself.
"Look who's talking", Pakkun gave back. "Mister Good Manners of Konoha, hu? But don't be afraid, boss, I'll be a good boy." He grinned.
This can't be good, Kakashi thought, but then caught up to Iruka and suddenly had other things to focus on. He's so adorable when he's… looking adorable.
Next chapter: Grocery Secrets