Gahh! hits self in head with a frying pan I just keep getting worse and worse at this updating thing. With drama club, and work, and school, and mid terms coming up, it's been forever since I've done anything with my account. Thank you so much for putting up with my slow pace, everyone! But thank you even more for all your reads! I've never had this many favorites, comments, and alerts on a story before, and everytime I come on here and see this, it totally makes my day! Thanks so much, everybody:)
"You did WHAT?!"
"Iruka, please, just let me see Sandaime."
The usually timid school-teacher was now furious, "Kakashi, you can't qualify a stolen Takara as a Genin! Now she'll be going on missions and she'll be acknowledged by ninja all across the country! Did you forget that her existence is supposed to be a secret?!"
"I'll discuss it with The Third," Kakashi sighed, motioning for Iruka to move away from the door, "Please."
"You can't go in there! Not after what you've done!"
"Ahem," The guardian of the Hokage's office, who had been a witness to the argument for a good ten minutes now, decided it was time to intervene, "With all due respect, Iruka-san, it's my duty to permit anyone into this room who so pleases."
"Of course, of course," Iruka shook his head, "I'm sorry, I don't know what came over me." Reluctantly, he stepped aside, giving Kakashi one last glance before allowing him to open the door.
The room was small, lit only by candles and a few open windows. Intricate scrolls for some jutsus even he had never even seen before lined the walls and almost appeared to glow in the candlelight. The room smelled of tea and incense. In the center of the room, at a small desk sat the legendary Hokage. Physically, he appeared frail and worn, but Kakashi knew that he was much more powerful than his old body gave him credit for.
"Hatake Kakashi," The Third didn't even have to look up, "You spent a lot longer in the Northern Konoha Forest than I expected. Must have been some beautiful weather."
Kakashi wasn't here for small talk, he was going to get straight to the point.
"Sir, I believe Kira should be accepted as a Genin."
The Third took a large swig on his pipe and sat back in his seat, looking Kakashi over to make sure he was serious.
"Do you understand the consequences of allowing her to become an official ninja?"
"I do, and trust me sir, I've put a lot of thought into this," He stared The Third in the eyes, "She already knows she a Takara – the secret is out."
"Her identity has been revealed to her many times in the past, but thanks to memory-erasing jutsus, we've been able to keep her from retaining such knowledge," Sandaime blew smoke out of his nostrils, "We can do the same in this situation."
"Continuing to erase her memory will only further her disadvantage, especially now that other villages know."
The wizened Hokage raised an eyebrow, "Other villages know?"
"Yes," Although he hated admitting his mistakes, the Copy-nin maintained composure, "One man from the Sand Village and Kabuto of the Leaf Village attempted to abduct Kira during my Genin exam. We stopped the perpetrators before they got too far, but, unfortunately, Kabuto escaped."
"Kabuto? A traitor?" The old man stared at his desk, letting the news sink in, "I'll send for retrieval team at once."
"I'm afraid that won't be enough. There's no telling who else the Sand Village has told. Other villages will be coming for her soon. She must be taught how to protect herself," He paused, "We have the most powerful weapon, and everyone knows it – even you. We don't have to hide her anymore."
The Third, who was usually quick and decisive, was quiet for a long time.
"I knew this day would come eventually," He spoke slowly, as if still thinking the entire situation over in his head, "You leave me no other choice. Kira will be allowed to accept the duties of a Genin-ranked ninja."
Kakashi sighed with relief. Now the girl would be safe and so would his career, "Thank you, sir." He turned to leave, but Sandaime stopped him.
"Wait, Kakashi, you're not out of this mess yet," He motioned for Kakashi to return, "A Takara needs a guardian and you are the only Jounin who currently knows of Kira's status."
No, no, no, no…
"If Kira is to accept the duties of a Genin, she'll need a guardian, and it's only fitting that her guardian is her sensei. That means you never let her out of your sight."
Kakashi winced as he saw his entire life go down the drain. There was only one thing the Copy-nin was worse at than teaching, and that was babysitting. He had to find some way out of this.
"But Sandaime-san, she lives on the street," Kakashi tried to find something that would change his mind, "How am I to guard her if she's homeless?"
"If I'm not mistaken, there's a room somewhere in the Jounin dorm that has been unoccupied for quite some time now," The Third began flipping through some papers on his desk, "Ah yes, here it is. Second floor, room 12. She can live there for now, that way she'll be surrounded by experienced Jounin at all times."
Kakashi's eyes went wide with fear. He had lived in the dorms on the edge of town ever since he lost his own family. Asuma and Genma had a room there, but so did…Jiraiya. In short, it was no place for a young teenage girl.
But that wasn't the worst of his worries. Kira was his student and was supposed to think of him as an honorable man. This meant no more stumbling home drunk into the apartment, no more parties with the beautiful kunochi from the women's dorm, and, worst of all, no more open discussions of Ichi Ichi Paradise at the dinner table. But what really had him worried was the fact that the empty room Sandaime was referring was the room right next to his.
"That's all I ask, Kakashi," He stood up from his desk and opened the door, "Just remember, if anything goes wrong, we erase her memory again and start from scratch."
"Yes sir, it won't be a problem."
It's going to be a disaster.
Kakashi left before Sandaime give him another task. Or death sentence. Whichever came first.
Kakashi winced. It was the second time today that response had been emitted dangerously close to his ear drums.
"What Sandaime says goes," He sighed, "Unfortunately, you have no other choice."
"You have GOT to be kidding me! Who the hell does Sandaime think he is?! Would he sleep in the same house with fifty horny old men!"
Kakashi winced, "Not fifty, only four. And just because Asuma has facial hair, Jiraiya is overweight, and my hair is silver is doesn't mean we're old."
"Yeah, but you can't deny the horny part," She nodded towards the well-used copy of Ichi Ichi Paradise jutting out of his pocket.
Kakashi hung in his in defeat.
"Look, I'm sorry," Kira kept forgetting that this was her sensei she was talking to, "It's just that…I don't think this is such a good idea."
"I couldn't agree with you more."
"Then let's do something about it!" Her anger was immediately replaced with sheer determination - determination to get them out of this mess.
"Let's see," She stroked her chin, staring at the ground beneath her feet, "Did you try talking to Sandaime?"
Kakashi nodded, "When he makes a decision, there's no convincing him otherwise."
"Right…How about a bribe? I don't have much, but I'm sure if you and I combined our savings and-
Kakashi cut her off before she could go any further, "Let's go over all of our legal options first."
"Heh…Of course," Kira rubbed the back of her neck nervously. She had forgotten she was in the midst of a morally sound citizen. Well, if you could call a hentai addict trained in the art of killing people 'morally sound.'
"How about the women's dorm? They must have an empty room or two!"
"Nope, already checked," Well, actually he hadn't. But as his first step towards an honorable guardian, Kakashi decided not to let Kira know that he had memorized the women's dorm layout, "All the rooms are occupied."
"Damn it," Kira stared at the ground, kicking at a pebble in frustration "The Third has really put some thought into this one."
"Hmm," Kakashi was also staring at his feet, not because he was dismayed at the fact that they would be trapped in an incredibly awkward partnership for the rest of their lives, but rather because of what she had just said.
Sandaime's plan does seem a bit more …'unconventional' than usual. He thought to himself, It's also pretty foolproof for something that he conjured up in five minutes. Kakashi stroked his chin. He hated to doubt the integrity of his own Hokage, but the situation was very unlike Sandaime. It was almost a bit…suspicious.
Taking advantage of the silence, Kira stole a quick glance at her silver-haired sensei and tried to read his thoughts. It was a bit difficult, considering that mysterious mask covered half his face, but one look in the eyes and she knew exactly what he was thinking. Something was bothering him – something big. The only question was what.
Kira didn't know how to look on the bright side of a mortal damnation, but the least she could do was try.
"Maybe it won't be so bad," She gave him a sideways grin, "At least we both agree on something! That's a good start, right?"
"Yeah," Kakashi paused his thinking for a moment to look at her. He was surprised to see that her smile wasn't just for consolation - it was genuine.
"I mean, it'll definitely be better than before. Well, at least for me," She paused, suddenly realizing how selfish she had been for thinking that this situation would only effect her. She rubbed the back of her neck, ashamed at her own selfishness, "Sorry I got you into this mess, sensei."
"Don't worry about it – it's not your fault," Kakashi sighed, realizing yet another thing he couldn't tell her - the fact that all this was all due to his screw ups.
"There must be some way," Kira thought outloud, "I mean, some way we can make the best of it."
She was quiet for a moment, and Kakashi glanced over at her. Her eyes were focused on the ground, like she was elsewhere. The poor kid must've seen this as a blessing compared to what she usually had to go through everyday. For the first time, the Copy-nin actually felt sorry for her. It may have been the first time he felt sorry for anybody.
Suddenly, Kira had an epiphany.
"Hey sensei, can Naruto come?"
Within seconds, Kakashi's expression of sympathy was replaced by one of pure shock. But no matter how much this girl continued to put his nonchalant attitude in jeopardy, his façade would never fail.
"Sorry," He blinked, "Did you say Naruto?" I thought you wanted to make things better.
"Yeah – he could use a good home," She stopped Kakashi before he could say no, "Naruto and I are good friends – I'd feel a lot more comfortable with him there. Besides, if Naruto and I are always hanging out, we won't get in your way."
Kakashi was about to shake his head, but then he stopped. It sounded crazy at first, but she did have a point.
"You promise you won't get in our way? Either of you?"
Kakashi grinned, "It's a deal."
Maybe this mortal damnation thing wouldn't be so bad after all.
Genma gnawed on the stick between his teeth, smirking, "How'd you convince Sandaime to let a fine young woman like Miss Miyoko live in the all-men's dorm?"
"For the last time," Kakashi rubbed his temples with impatience, "I didn't invite her to stay with us – Sandaime is forcing her to live here. And she is not a woman. She's my student."
Jiraiya grinned, "But she's young, none the less."
"You two have obviously never had a female student," Asuma was leaning up against the wall, his hands in his pockets, "Trust me, it's not what you think. All they can talk about is makeup and diets and boys."
Genma shrugged, "Talking or not, Ino still has one fine ass."
Jiraiya raised his hand, "I second that!"
"You two are perverts," Asuma was off the wall, fists curled and ready, "I swear, someday I'll-
"We don't have time for this," Kakashi stepped between them, "My point is, there will be a young woma-…girl staying with us for quite some time, so we need try and act like proper gentlemen.".
"First, lets lay down some ground rules - starting with you," He pointed to the brown-haired ANBU officer on the other side of the room, "Don't you dare try to seduce her, Genma - there are plenty of other women for that."
"True, true," At the mere mention of 'women,' Genma grinned and stared off into space. Kakashi wasn't sure what he was thinking about, but he had a pretty good idea that it looked a lot like a page in Makeout Paradise.
Ignoring him, the Copy-nin turned around to face his next target, "Asuma - make sure you don't mention any of this to Kurenai. She's very protective of you, and if she sees you associating with any member of the opposite sex, student or not, the safety of you and our new guest could be in jeopardy."
"I don't know why you keep bringing her up – there's nothing going on between us," Asuma protested, although his face began to turn a slight shade of pink, "We're just good friends! I swear!"
"Right," Kakashi moved on, "As for you, Jiraiya, please, no goggling. If you're going to stare at her chest, do it at quick, random intervals to ensure she doesn't notice."
"Fine by me!"
"And if I find her listed in any of your 'research' citations, I'll never read your novels again."
"Alright," The Copy-nin scanned the room with his one visible eye, "I think that just about covers everyone."
"Not everyone," Genma crossed his hands over his chest, "From what I've heard, this kid is a blonde. Am I right?"
Three pairs of eyes suddenly glanced at him, anticipating the answer. Kakashi looked at the ground, "…Yeah."
"Ohhh, a blonde," Genma teased, "So what's your rule gonna be, sensei? No getting hard when she runs her hands through her hair?"
"How many times do I have to tell you - she's my student," Kakashi restrained an urge to punch out his teeth. He had to remember that Genma was only being an asshole because he had a hangover.
"I don't know, Kakashi," Asuma gave him a wary looking, "Remember what happened to that blonde waitress at the bar last week?"
"I was drunk," Kakashi sighed, "Besides, she was twenty-something - Kira isn't even seventeen."
"That never stopped me," Jiraiya mumbled.
Genma shook his head, "I don't know what's up with you and this crazy obsession with blondes, but you've gotta get over it. Red heads are much more fun."
"But red heads are so hard to find!" Jiraiya argued, "Brunettes are always in abundance!"
"I dunno," Asuma stroked his chin, "I'm a bit partial to women with black hair."
"Kurenai has black hair."
"She does not!"
"Oh yes she does."
"What are you trying to get at?"
"I don't know. But I know what you're trying to get it in."
"That's it! You ass is MINE!"
When Kakashi was confident that they were fully immersed in their exceptionally violent conflict over Asuma's lovelife, he slipped out of the hallway and into the dorm's tiny kitchen. He thought he heard knocking, then realized it was probably just Asuma slamming his fist into something. Sighing, he sat down at the table, stirring some tea that he had left to cool before discussing the Kira situation with his less-than-honorable roommates. The discussion had taken much longer than expected and the tea was cold. Kakashi didn't mind. He didn't feel like pulling his mask down to drink anyways. He couldn't let anyone see the panicked expression on his face.
Kakashi had known a lot of women in the past (and not just in the archaic sense), but there was something strange about this girl. There was something about her – maybe her face, or her attitude, or her name – something that reminded him of a time long ago. Maybe he had just read about it somewhere, or maybe he just had a random hallucination on one of those drunken nights when he and Asuma would lounge around the bar. Or maybe it was just the fact that she was a blonde, like so many other women he had been close to in the past.
Genma is right, The Copy-nin thought to himself, This obsession gets me into too much trouble. How did I even develop it in the first place?
Kakashi glanced around the room – he could've sworn he just heard a voice.
"Ahm gonna do mmit!
He stood up and cupped his ear. He would've been able to recognize where the sound was coming from any other day, but all the screaming he had been exposed to today had left his hearing useless.
Now that he heard. It was coming from the front door. Kakashi bolted forward and reached for the handle.
But he was just a second too late.
The front door came crashing to the floor, carrying the hinges and part of the wall with it. The silver-haired Copy-nin sidestepped the door with only moments to spare. Jiraiya, Asuma, and Genma, alarmed at the noise, came rushing into the room. Together, the four assassin roommates readied their weapons and prepared to punish the perpetrators now immerging from the dust and rubble.
Kakashi lowered his fists and squinted at the figure before him. Blonde hair, green eyes, and ridiculously matured body. There was absolutely no way she could be only sixteen.
"Welcome, Miss Miyoko," He paused, "What the hell did you do to the door?"
"Well…we tried knocking…but there was no answer, so-
"HEY! You better not be taking credit for my awesome kick!" Naruto suddenly appeared between Kakashi and Kira, his face glowing with pride.
"Did you see that sensei?! The whole door went down! In just one kick. That was totally me!"
"Naruto," Kakashi pressed his forehead, for about the fifth time today, only to realize once again that it did nothing to cool the frustration, "There is a time and place for everything, and this is neither."
Genma eyed the boy in the bright orange jumpsuit with disgust, "You never told us he was coming."
"Well, then," The man tapped his thin, pale fingers on the table - the only thing visible in the pale candlelight, "What's the update?"
"It's working out even better than we planned," The officer who had been guarding the Hokage's office before now stood before his true master, smirking, "Her Genin-approval files will be valid as of tomorrow and her new team consists of Uzumaki Naruto and Uchiha Sasuke."
"I couldn't have asked for a better setup," The man grinned, revealing unnaturally sharp teeth, "And what is the status on her housing?"
The traitor unrolled a stolen map of the Jounin dorm on the table, "Room 12 is upstairs, farthest from the other occupants. The only Jounin upstairs is Hatake Kakashi, but, according to our records, he leaves the dorm early every morning."
"Hmm…Kakashi…I've heard of him before. Will he pose a threat?"
"Not if the girl is alone, Orochimaru-san."
"And will she be alone?"
"Our spies indicate that she is with the Uzumaki kid most of the time, but in Room 12, she's always unaccompanied."
"Wonderful," Orochimaru stroked the map rendition of Kira's room with his black, pointed fingernails, "We have the girl. Now all we have to do is get the boy."