Kakashi was doing it again.
He was on duty at the missions desk, just like every other day. The jonins were panicking and writing illegible reports at the last minute, just like every other day. And Hakate Kakashi was reading that stupid orange book, just like every other goddamned day!
At this point, Iruka would usually demand Kakashi rewrite his mission report, maybe tack on a polite request for Hakate-san to please not read that book in public. The jonin would just smile underneath his mask and keep reading as he wandered to a nearby table to redo the report. He opened his mouth to complete the usual routine, but the jonin cut him off with a perverted little giggle. His limp thinned in annoyance.
The jonin glanced up from his book long enough for his eye to form the usual inverted U that represented Kakashi's smile. "Yo!"
Iruka twitched ever so slightly. He glanced down at the sorry excuse for a report the jonin had handed him, glanced at the room full of watching jonins, glanced at the Hokage, and took a deep breath. No. Be polite. Don't attack the jonin in front of witnesses. "Hakate-san, please put down your …book."
Kakashi glanced at the chunin over the top of his bright orange reading material, and smirked. It was fun watching the chunin twitch. "Nah."
And suddenly Iruka wasn't feeling very polite anymore.
What most people in the village of Konoha didn't understand was the fact that Umino Iruka wasn't a jonin not because he lacked the skill, but because the Hokage absolutely refused to promote him. Why? Because then Iruka would join a division.
There wasn't a single division head in all the vast network of command that made up Konoha's military structure that hadn't made a request for his transfer to their division.
The fact was, Iruka was a generalist who specialized. He could do a little bit of just about anything. But the little bit he could do in each and every discipline, he did really, really well.
He was also very good at handling unstable ANBU members, depressed and homicidal jonins, and disappointed genins. That combined with the ease with which he handled the tons of paperwork generated by missions every day, made the Hokage absolutely determined to keep him.
The event described here is one of the very rare occasions in which Umino Iruka truly loses his temper. It is also the catalyst for other divisions to sit up and take notice of him.
Iruka kept his polite smile fixed on his face for a long, silent moment as everyone waited for the chunin to react. To the left, he heard Genma muffle a snicker.
Iruka's hand shot out and he snatched the book from the copy-nin. Kakashi's eyes widened. Iruka raised it to eye level with two fingers, holding it as though it was some thing disgusting, and read aloud. "Oh, Moriko-sama, we can't! It's not proper! She giggled as he slid her beautiful violet kimono off her perfectly formed white shoulders, marveling at the beauty of the dove in his strong arms."
He sent Kakashi a contemptuous look."My god, Hakate-san, you read this flowery crap? My opinion of you has never been particularly high, but you have officially lost all of my respect."
Under the incredulous eyes of all those present, Iruka tossed the orange book in the trash. "Really, if you absolutely refuse to stop reading porn in public, at least read something half-decent. That reads like a harlequin romance, but with less plot."
Beside Iruka, nearly paralyzed with shock, the Hokage wondered vaguely what would happen if Iruka ever met Jiraiya.
"I mean," Iruka continues, taking vicious advantage the copy-nin's shock, "I could probably do better given half an hour."
Behind Kakashi, Anko's eyes narrowed and a gleeful grin lit her face. " Izzat so, scar-nose? You could write better?"
Iruka gave a derisive snort. "Wouldn't exactly be hard, Anko-san."
Her grin widened. "You willing to put your money where your mouth is?"
"Listen up. You write a story that makes either me or Cyclops here blush, we pay for your dinner for a week. You give one of us a nosebleed, and I'll personally see to it that One-eye writes his reports properly the first time, and I'll do the same. You make one of us pass out, and you get both prizes. Deal?"
"Don't I get a say in this?" Kakashi looked from one to the other, but both ignored him.
Iruka's eyes narrowed. "It's a deal, Anko. It'll be done by tomorrow morning."
Ten minutes later, the sudden insanity that had gripped the poor chunin had left him high and dry, panicking, and with the creeping inkling that he'd just doomed himself to a life of ridicule from his peers. Really, it was K – Hakate-san's fault. (And if he ever met the writer of those little orange books, well, there would be hell to pay!)
Iruka took great pride in the fact that none of the jonins noticed his sudden doubt.
When he got home that night, the first thing Iruka did was clear his desk. No tests, no papers, just a little leather-bound journal he had picked up on his way home and a pen.
For a long moment he stared at the blank pages, wondering what on earth had possessed him to agree to this stupid endeavor.
Annoyance. Adrenaline. Free dinners. Properly written reports from the two messiest jonins in Konoha.
Iruka's eyes narrowed in determination. Forget shyness, forget propriety, this was going to be the most sensual, smutty, nosebleed-inducing book the whole of Fire Country had ever seen!
Pen to paper, and Iruka began to write….
Iruka's shift at the missions desk started at eleven o'clock the next afternoon, and by the time he had made himself comfortable behind his desk, every single jonin in Konoha was seated or standing in the room. The Hokage had claimed the seat of honor beside the chunin, chuckling, on a claim of 'old bones'.
Anko and Kakashi stood directly in front of his desk.
Anko radiated a kind of smug satisfaction that set Iruka's teeth on edge. Kakashi, on the other hand, was simply standing there, looking bored, for once without that damned book in hand. Somehow, Kakashi's utter lack of interest was more insulting than Anko's apparent confidence.
Iruka finished neatening the stacks of paper surrounding him, and gave the two the most vicious smile he could muster. Anko's smile wavered for a moment, as did Kakashi's apparent nonchalance. (Teaching arrogant seven year old clan kids how to throw pointed weapons had, over the years, made Iruka's smile into a weapon in and of itself.)
He withdrew the little brown leather book from his bag and held it out, the smile growing ever-so-slightly when Anko reached for it.
She began to read.
At first, she turned the pages quickly, wanting to get through it so she could gloat at Iruka. Gradually, however, the pace slowed. A deep blush began to creep across her cheeks. Her hands began to tremble slightly as she turned the pages, eyes getting wider and wider under the curious gaze of the watching ninja. "H-holy shit…" she whispered.
Blood trickled down her face as the blush intensified, but she made no move to wipe it away. Here eyes were glued to the pages. Iruka glanced at the book, and smirked.
Her eyes nearly popped out of her head as she got to the climax of the book. She was silent for a long moment, jaw hanging loose. Finally, she made a tiny sound in the back of her throat, her eyes rolled back, and Special Jonin Mitarashi Anko…fainted.
Iruka couldn't help the smug smirk that crawled across his face as the room exploded with noise, the jonins talking to their neighbors and making incredulous gestures towards the downed Anko. Oh, yeah. He was good.
Kinosaki Kanna, the head of the Seduction Corps, narrowed her eyes in speculation. Anyone who can knock Anko out with only words has real potential in my line of work…
Iruka stood up and walked calmly over to Anko's prone form and was immediately the center of attention once again. Iruka picked up the little brown book.
Looking straight into Hakate Kakashi's one visible eye, he smiled again, and held out the book. "Your turn, Hakate-san…"
The jonins, Kakashi included, eyed the little book. Finally, Kakashi reached out and took it. As the jonin turned it over in his hands for a moment, Iruka returned to his desk, still smiling his vicious little smile.
Kakashi began to read.
In the beginning, his reaction was much less entertaining. His eyebrows disappeared quickly into his hairline, but that was the only real reaction for several minutes. Iruka continued to smile, confidant in his little book. After all, Kakashi was pretty much the biggest pervert in Konoha, so it was bound to take more time for him to be effected. No, Iruka was confident. Anko hadn't even finished the book before she passed out.
Soon, the Copy Ninja's eye was moving quicker, his hands shaking as they fumbled to turn each page, faster and faster, more than once coming very close to ripping to page. The book and his face seemed drawn together by an invisible, magnetic force, until all anyone could see was Kakashi's spiky gray hair growing from the little brown book.
"Hell…" Genma whispered to Raido, "The bastard is practically salivating."
Raido snickered softly in acknowledgement, and beside them, Kurenai cast an amused glance at the Copy-nin, who was oblivious to everything but the book in his hands. "He's panting like one of the Inuzuka dogs."
Ibiki leaned back in his chair, eyes not on Kakashi but on Iruka. He's already won the bet, the scarred man thought, he's just making Kakashi read it to prove his point and make an impression. He smirked, impressed. No-one here would be forgetting this any time soon. And with an audience, to make sure the story gets out so others think before they challenge him. Smart. Maybe…he might just be useful in Interrogation…
While thoughts circled in Ibiki's head, the effect the book was having on Kakashi was becoming more and more obvious. The man was practically trembling with eagerness as each page turned. He was now past the point where Anko had fainted.
Then abruptly, his head reared back from the page and he stared downwards at it, wide-eyed.
Kurenai gasped softly. "He's using the Sharingan to memorize the book!"
For a long moment, the Copy-nin stared down at the page in front of him, utterly still. Too still, Iruka realized.
"Hatake-san," said he cheerfully, "If you don't breathe soon, you're going
Kakashi's legs crumpled under him, and he passed out cold on the floor, the
front of his mask slowly turning dark from the sudden presence of a nosebleed. Iruka sighed, and rose once again to pick up the little brown book and tuck it back into his bag.
He sent the gathered jonins a polite smile. "If someone wouldn't mind informing Hakate-san and Anko that they owe me dinner and that I want their reports in by Wednesday, it would be much appreciated."
This seemed to wake the group up, and it sent the crowd out the door slowly, in twos and threes, all talking about the spectacle. And Iruka, seemingly oblivious to the chatter, turned back to his paperwork.
He didn't even notice the Hokage rise and leave, still chuckling quietly, to return to his office. I wonder, he thought, how Jiraiya will react when I tell him a chunin has stolen his most avid reader?
This is a three-shot, the second third of which will appear some time within the next month. And things will definitely be…interesting. Jiraiya will be appearing in Konoha to confront the upstart writer, for one thing. Anko and Kakashi will regain consciousness. And Naruto will find out that his beloved Iruka-sensei is writing porn! And all that's before the ANBU start taking an interest in things. Poor, poor Iruka…-Heliotropic