Lesson Fifteen: Discipline.
"I don't care if I have to starve to pay for it, but I'm so buying you soundproofing for your walls."
Iruka juggled with the vase in his hands, blushing furiously and muttering a few choice swearwords. He turned to glare darkly at the Chuunin currently eating apple pie in his kitchen. From her perch on the counter, Midori shrugged.
"Seriously, you two are wild," she shuddered a little, "I'd not be surprised if you turned half this building gay just by the sound of it. Lord knows I wanted in by the third time."
"And from friend to friend, 'Ruka, I wouldn't mind in your pants after a round or two of sake, but considering who's the other half of the equation…" She screwed her mouth into a grimace. "That's just ew. You've taken a shower already, right? 'Cause I don't want to catch his germs."
She caught the kunai sent halfheartedly in her direction and grinned. Teasing Iruka to an aneurism was the best thing ever, really. She was just glad 'the other half of the equation' had already vacated the apartment by them time she deemed it safe to check on her best friend, because she wasn't entirely sure what she'd have done then.
Probably throw a handful of sharp, pointy objects in Kakashi's general direction.
"How old are you?" The teacher grumbled in annoyance, heaving a bit as he moved the couch to the opposite wall, between the kitchen door and the bathroom door, so that it faced the window directly. "You don't like him, fine, I get it. He doesn't like you either, but he doesn't bitch about you when we're alone!"
"No, because he's too busy screwing your brains out to do it," pause, "because he is the one doing the screwing, right? That's as much as I could guess through sound alone. Anyway, I can't exactly use that tactic either, you're not my type. Though you do have a nice ass," Iruka slipped and slammed himself nose first against the wooden floor, face blazing, "at least I give the idiot that much credit, he's got good taste."
Iruka scrambled back to his feet and stalked to the kitchen, hands clenching on the doorway so he could contain the impulse to choke her to death.
Midori weighted his glare and realized easily the flush was due to sheer mortification and not true anger. Thus, she raised her plate, grinned and then took another mouthful of it.
"When I'm done with my pie, honey."
"That's my pie, for starters!" Iruka's fingers twitched, but whether it was because he wanted to rip his hair off a bit or throttle her a little was unknown.
"Sharing is caring," Midori said wisely, nodding to herself, "and we all know you love me."
"The only time I'll love you is when you're a stinking corpse!" He stormed into the room, eyes nearly glowing with annoyance and a deep blush set over his features that wasn't leaving them any time soon.
"Aw, shit, Iruka," Midori gagged a little, "that's necrophilia!" Iruka spluttered. "I'm trying to eat here."
He lounged at her; she slithered out of the way smoothly. Iruka ended up sprawled over the counter. Midori ended up leaning against the doorway, plate of pie and fork still in hand.
"Although if he is into it, lemme know, I'll be glad to help with the whole dead thing."
Iruka gave a little frustrated sound and slammed his head against the wall a bit.
"Could you please take the food and leave?" He twisted around to give her a pathetic, half begging look, "please."
"You're no fun," she pouted a bit. "Anyway, I've got work to do, even if it's Sunday… bah, see you later, jackass, thanks for the pie!"
A kunai embedded itself on the wood behind the spot where her head had been before she disappeared into a puff. Iruka considered the therapeutic value of a nice, long scream.
Lee was hurt again.
Gaara hadn't asked about him, but when he'd gone to see how his siblings had done in the forest, Kankuro mentioned it. He kept looking nervously at him, half expecting him to go into one of his pre-Naruto rages against the world at large, though Gaara couldn't hope to fathom why. Temari had excused herself rather quickly as well, although she looked distracted, rather than afraid of him. Gaara knew his sister trusted him. Not why or how, but he was sure of it. Regardless, Kankuro had told him it would probably be right of him to go and see how Lee was.
Thus, he found himself contemplating a rather bizarre scene from the doorway of the infirmary where Lee was being treated for the wounds he acquired during the forest trial.
"A shinobi's body is his best weapon!" Midori scolded Lee darkly, fastening the bandages around his chest. "You're pretty darn lucky that hit only bruised you, it could have broken your ribs and done a number on your internal organs."
"I'm sorry, Medic-Nin-sama," Lee bowed so sharply and with so much energy that he upset his bandages and caused Midori to narrow her eyes in annoyance.
"My name's Midori. Flat. Simple. Common. Uncomplicated." She grabbed him by the neck and kept him still while she tried to savage her work. "If I needed a suffix attached to it, I'd run for Hokage. I'm not. Now shut up and stay still. And for anything that's sacred, stop trying to give the current Hokage a coronary. I swear she was livid when she saw how you came out."
"I am sorry," Lee said as he hung his neck, "but I could not not win! But I will train hard today and tomorrow and on Wednesday, I will come out unscathered from the confrontation! If I don't, I will run three hundred laps around—"
Midori stuffed a roll of bandages in his mouth.
"You know what, shut up. You're making my head hurt, just by listening to it," she glared darkly when all he did was shrug, "get off my bench and get out of my office. And remember what I said, or else."
"Yes, Midori-sama!" Lee bowed again, arms tight against his sides, the impromptu gag held tightly in his right hand. Then he noticed Gaara giving him a calculative look from the sideways and dropped the bandages as he all but ran to the redhead. "Gaara! Where have you been?!"
Midori rolled her eyes skywards and started packing up her supplies as the bouncing boy dragged the subdued redhead away in a rather undignified way. Why the redhead wasn't killing him yet she couldn't know, but she brushed them off her mind with ease. Irritably, she stuffed everything back into cabinets and drawers. It wasn't fair, damnit! It was Sunday, her day off. She had hoped to spend the whole day teasing Iruka until he either spilled the whole story or burst a blood vessel. Stupid Chuunin exams and stupid Genin getting half-killed in it.
"That was very ironic, you realize."
Midori turned to find Ibiki giving her a risen eyebrow. The scarred man had probably been standing there the whole time, cloaking his presence as per his goddamn habit.
"What," she asked dryly, "the fact I just lectured someone on self-control or the fact Rock Lee had his ass kicked by a Rock Nin?"
"Both, actually." He was laughing at her, she just knew it. Ibiki's face remained hard and impassive. "Don't pack yet, there's one of them you have to fix as well. It'd be… suspicious if you didn't."
"So you're here to tell me I'm supposed to be nice to them?" Midori snorted. "That's discrimination! I'm equally snide to everyone!"
"Equally obnoxious, too, so kindly shut up and do your work."
Miffed and properly chastised by the icy tone, Midori nodded resignedly.
It was going to be a long evening.
Kakashi flipped a page of his book ceremoniously, ignoring the bewildered, openly curious stares he was being subjected to. Some times, having a preference for a roof in which to sunbathe and read Come Come Paradise had its disadvantages. Like the fact his friends had, eventually, picked up on it and dubbed it unofficially "Kakashi's favorite spot for sunbathing and reading porn". It meant they knew where to find him most of the time, even when he wasn't feeling particularly willing to be found and even when the sun was waxing in the distance already, so not much sunbathing could be done. He concentrated on the lines, forcing the mental image because if he didn't acknowledge them, they would leave. Eventually. And it probably wasn't anything terribly urgent, since they hadn't come waving scrolls with the Hokage's seal on them and neither had Ibiki come to pester him about it.
Genma chewed around the senbon, moving it from left to right, giving him a piercing, calculative stare. He'd been the last to arrive, dragged by an obnoxiously loud Anko with a cry of "here, look!"
Kakashi continued reading – …her tiny, delicate hands clenching on the wild mane of white hair with a shrill cry that announced the world her pleasure… – and reminded himself that he really couldn't murder any of them without a legitimate reason.
He was in a good mood, anyways, what with the fact he'd managed to get laid again this morning before leaving Iruka's apartment and a cluster of nosy Jounin were not enough to shatter his mood. Put a dent on it, maybe, but nothing else.
"Yeah, you're right," Genma said after a long moment, looking both pleased with himself and disturbed beyond words, "he did got lucky."
"Ha!" Anko cried triumphantly, "Pay the girl, losers, pay the girl."
It was getting to be a really, really big dent on his mood, though.
There was a bit of grumbling while a Asuma paid his and Kurenai's debt – not because they were, god forbid, together, of course, but because she didn't have her wallet with her at the moment and he was nothing if not a gentleman; but it wasn't like they were dating or they liked each other. No, of course not. Raidou paid without even looking at what he was doing, deeply engrossed in the task of staring at the silent Jounin.
He continued reading, unperturbed.
"Ne, Kakashi," Kurenai tilted her head to the side, poking his forehead protector with a sharp, long nail, "who topped?"
"Oh hell, not this again!" Genma groaned loudly, but was ignored when Asuma snorted loudly.
"He did," the chain smoker affirmed confidently, "just look at him, that's the pose of a stud. Besides, I don't think Iruka could top anyone. Even if he tried."
"Dunno," Raidou commented off handily, eyes never leaving the top of Kakashi's bowed head. "He's pretty rough when situation calls for it." Suddenly, all eyes turned to him, narrowed in speculation, or, in Kakashi's case, deadly intent. "In missions!" The scarred man choked a bit nervously, his voice taking a squeaky, high pitched tone, "Missions! I mean he's rough in missions! I've never slept with him, I wouldn't know in the bedroom!"
"It's always the quiet ones, you know," Anko finished counting her money and slipped it into her coat, "the more proper and quiet they look, the kinkier they are in bed."
Kakashi. Continued. Reading.
Genma muttered something about her being a prude in bed if that was true and got an elbow lodged between his ribs for his efforts.
"C'mon, Kakashi," Kurenai crouched to be eye-level with him, "we need details, how are we gonna stop Anko from ripping us off if you don't help?"
"Though please tell me he was awake, at least," Asuma smirked around his cigarette, "'cause man, those were five hundred and my respect I put on your self-control."
Kakashi slammed his book shut loudly, standing up with deadly grace. He gave them all a flat, unamused glare and opened his mouth to deliver them their due, when a smokescreen and a handful of multicolored flashes stopped him.
"Kakashi! My one and greatest Rival! I have come to challenge you! With the—"
He'd honestly never been happier to see Gai's green-spandex-clad ass in his life.
"Training ground," Kakashi grabbed Gai's wrist and dragged the bewildered man down with him as he jumped off the roof, "Taijutsu match, now."
Sharingan Kakashi and Konoha's Beautiful Green Beast disappeared in the distance, leaving behind a group of curious, speculating Jounin that entertained themselves watching them.
"So," Anko asked deviously, "who wants to bet Iruka's too sore to go to work tomorrow?"
Genma whimpered a bit against the raging mental images and asked why to no one in particular.
Asuma lost another forty to Anko, though, because Monday morning, Iruka woke up bright and early. He showered, dressed, bumped into his couch when he forgot he'd rearranged his living quarters – again – and then ate a tasty breakfast from the various leftovers that his students had seen fit to leave for him while he was unconscious. According to what Kakashi had said, the Genin had been allowed to leave the forest the day before some time during the afternoon, so he'd had to go and check on Sakura even if she was currently fostered to Asuma's care. Iruka was glad, though, because he knew Asuma was punctual at least, and he cared very much for his students, thus Sakura hadn't been left standing outside the gates for hours just because her Jounin sensei happened to be a lazy, porn-addicted idiot.
And a biter, Iruka thought a bit irked as he looked at his neck in the distorted reflection of his spoon. A rather large, violent, impossible-to-miss hickey was adorning the spot where his jaw met his neck. That seemed to be a favorite spot for Kakashi to bite on. With a sigh, he rubbed the bridge of his nose to try and dispel the furious blush that had sized him and grabbed his vest. As he zipped it up, Iruka swore he could see the myriad of scratches, bites and bruises under his clothes, and worried a bit that someone else, like his students, could see it too.
He thanked the gods above that there were no Hyuuga's in his class this year, because he wasn't sure he'd be able to stand in front of class and attempt to teach them something if he knew one of them could to see the blatant bite-mark on his right hip.
All in all, the little brats knew there was something off with their teacher, because they tested his patience and good will a bit too much. Even if they had spent three days under Grandma Asuka's tutelage. Her influence in them was always disastrous and they always seemed to take off their frustration on him afterwards, but this was ridiculous.
"Silence!" Iruka roared angrily, eyes narrowed dangerously until the class quickly scrambled to their seats.
He gave them one last Look of Doom and, huffing, opened the scroll to start role call. His eyes threatened to pop out of his sockets, his jaw fell and his nose began trickling blood. Iruka rolled up the paper with a barely contained hitch in his breathing and forcefully held the nosebleed in check.
Kakashi was dead.
"Everyone's present!" He announced in a squeaky voice, smiling widely and crushing the scroll between his fingers.
Kakashi. Was. So. Dead.
"But sensei, you didn't—"
"I said everyone is present, Moegi," Iruka glared at the solicitous girl darkly and viciously, the smile never wavering, "that's disrespect to your teacher, if you were on a mission, that would be mutiny!" He let the words sink and ruthlessly ignored the need to wince as the girl's face fell.
Kakashi was so fucking dead! Because who, if not the annoying, know-it-all lazy ass of a Jounin would switch Iruka's usual role call scroll with a obscene illustration from the Come Come Paradise series in full color and with close up to the 'good' bits in each corner? One had been enough, it had been at home and no one had seen him. But here? At school? In front of the bloodsucking, opportunist brats he had to teach?
Screw killing him, Iruka thought furiously as he started writing on the blackboard, see if he ever gets to lay a finger on me again!
It was a good thing his students didn't find out about the scroll – oh, he had to buy something nice for the head of the Hyuuga clan to thank them for being such a tight-knit, scarce clan – and that they didn't get to see his absolutely murderous expression, because that would have proven to be disastrous. Still, he gave out fourteen detentions – six of them to Konohamaru – and was glad to see them go for the day.
He still had a Jounin to skin alive before he reported to Ibiki and got back to work in the Administrative building.
"This brings complications."
Gaara stared through the windows in Tsunade's office, gourd off his back in a sign of acknowledgement to his fellow Kage. The blonde snorted loudly.
"'Complications' does not even begin to describe it," she swallowed the 'kid' that was threatening to spill out of her mouth, but only because she was too well versed in the complexities of politics and because she wasn't really in the mood to start a fight with a known psychopath over something so trivial. So she groused to herself and continued with the strict protocol. "What is the opinion of the Sand's Kazekage?"
"It is Leaf where the Chuunin exams are being held, the Leaf's Hokage should take the decision on her own."
Tsunade clenched her teeth and felt a vein throbbing in her temple. The bored monotone was irking and the lack of inflection made it impossible to judge the redhead's mood or if he was receptive for her to talk right back at him. Really, it had taken an ungodly amount of paperwork and diplomatic chit-chat to establish a firmer alliance with the Sand; she couldn't risk it all just because their chosen Kazekage was an ill-mannered brat.
"It is Sand's Kazekage they are threatening as well."
Gaara snorted and turned to give Tsunade a blank look with the barest hint of amusement. His eyes slid to the gourd in a not so subtle motion. She sighed again.
"The point is not if they can kill the Sand's Kazekage," the Fifth wondered for the umpteenth time why she had accepted the job in the first place, "the point is they said they would try."
"Would the Leaf's Hokage prefer the Sand's Kazekage to deal with this minor detail?" His eyes were eerie, an unnaturally bright color and the fact they were rimmed by the sign of the beast within him only made it worse.
"The Leaf's Hokage would prefer the Sand's Kazekage to stop playing with riddles and help her solve this major inconvenience," Tsunade rested her fists over her desk, leaning forward a bit to glare at him. "She's much too old and much too pretty to be stressing herself like this."
Gaara gave her a tiny smirk. It was barely a twitch.
Ibiki was a bastard.
Iruka glared at the man as he sat down behind the desk in the mission room. The bastard probably considered it fair payback for his broken nose. Iruka didn't care; he was pissed with the new arrangements. He'd liked selecting Genin teams in the comfort of an office, surrounded by scrolls and away from mentally unstable shinobi that just made his work harder. But now he had to deal with them and approve their mission reports. Ibiki had said that it was because of Iruka's notably high intelligence clearing and the fact he wouldn't get intimidated by Jounin. Iruka knew it was because Ibiki was a sadistic bastard that extracted perverse pleasure from the knowledge he was making others suffer.
Iruka blinked in bewilderment when a napkin was dropped in front of him, crumpled, stained with god knew what and filled with an unintelligible scrawl. He looked up at the Jounin who was glaring challengingly at him, waiting for it to be approved. The teacher's eyes narrowed.
"What the hell is this supposed to be?" He picked up the 'report' with thumb and forefinger, half expecting it to fall apart as he did.
Oh, his first report to approve and he was already feeling an ulcer growing.
"Mission report," the Jounin replied with a considerable amount of condescending spite, glaring disdainfully at Iruka's Chuunin vest.
Iruka's free hand opened the drawer at his side and rumbled a bit until he found his lighter and not taking his eyes off the man, set the ridiculous piece of paper on fire.
"The fuck you're doing!" The man had the gall to look angry. "Fucking shit, the fact you've got a cock up your ass doesn't mean others have to pay for it, fag."
News traveled fast in Konoha, it seemed, but it was a ninja village, so it was to be expected. The vicious proclamation also caused silence to fall over the room as Iruka's face colored brightly. Raidou and Genma were at the very back of the line of Jounin waiting to hand in their reports, and they tensed visibly as a vein began to throb on the Chuunin's temple.
"Well, you see," Iruka smiled, still flushed with fury and shaking from the strength of it, "I'd rather have a cock up my ass than a kunai down my throat," he suddenly let his deadly intent flood the room; it was so strong and vicious a few choked on it. "Which is what will happen if you do not go wash your hands, find a clean piece of paper and write a proper report." The Jounin stared at him, shivering under the strength of Iruka's most potent glare. "Now!" He snapped, baring his teeth in warning.
The man was gone in a puff, proverbial tail lodged well between his legs.
A few of the present began edging away from the still glaring Chuunin, eyeing their own pathetic attempts and deciding that maybe they should take a few minutes to redo it according to the proper regulations.
"Now," Iruka said brightly, smiling chirpily and leashing his annoyance to a dull throbbing, "who's next?"
Ibiki, who had been standing outside the door and had heard the whole exchange, grinned a bit before he walked back to his office.
"Oh, not you."
Kakashi blinked in bewilderment as Iruka groaned, hanging his head in defeat. He looked tired, although it was barely seven. The last rays of the sun still colored the sky a cheerful orange that reminded the Jounin acutely of a certain Kyubi-brat. Kakashi frowned. He wasn't expecting that greeting at all; he was even on time! Well, five minutes after Iruka's shift was over, but considering he was usually late by the scope of three hours, five minutes was nothing. Still, Iruka glared at him.
"I don't even get a 'hello' kiss?" The Copy Nin asked hopefully, looking at his lover with a mildly mocking voice.
"Would you settle for a 'fuck you' punch?" The Chuunin groused darkly, starting to walk back home.
"Kinky," Kakashi said as he fell into step with him easily, dodging the fist gracefully. "Seriously, Ichiraku's? My treat, since you look like shit."
Iruka sighed at the mildly sympathetic look he was given. Through the mask, he could guess Kakashi's thin lips pursed in faint concern.
"Oh, alright," he gave the Jounin a sideway look, "but only if you promise to not leave any more… gifts in my stuff. I'm still angry about that one."
Kakashi shrugged, clearly not sorry at all. They walked perhaps three streets before Iruka turned and punched the Jounin, whose hands had migrated to his ass. The Copy Nin moaned pitifully as he rubbed his abused jaw.
"In your dreams," Iruka said, brimming with rightful indignation. Kakashi thought he looked edible. "It's a school night."
"You're no fun, Iruka," Kakashi pouted and reassumed their way to the ramen stand, "no fun at all."