Author: Lily Kalanoa

Story: Hints (Title may change)

Genre: Naruto – Action/Drama

Rating: M / R

Disclaimer: I own nothing but my laptop, which put me into significant debt. All characters and series belong to their respective creators, I just like to torture them, heh heh.

Warnings: Yaoi, some explicit – reference to NCS but none in this fic (not really anyway) Also rather bloody at points.

Pairings: Kakashi/Iruka

Spoilers: None yet for the anime or manga (haven't finished, this may change) Several for the rest of the 'Reputation Arc'

Author Notes: I am so evil. You know, 'Reputation' is easily my most successful fic and one of my proudest acheivments to date, I think. I really do like having a little universe all my own . . . though I wish I could get it hosted elsewhere, for those that don't like ff . net and for sheer bragging rights. Oh well, no matter – the latest plot bunny for the Reputation story arc! I hope you all like it XD. An extremely short first chapter, but that's mostly 'cause I want some reactions, especially from people that have read the rest of this arc. Oh, this is not NEARLY as dark as those, by the way, though still mature audiences only. And on an only slightly related topic, I have ideas for two more 'big' stories and one little one (I don't remember who wanted to see Shino teaching Iruka's class, but I AM working on it). I hope I can get those out for you all, but since I'm starting to post this, it takes priority. Anyway, do enjoy, please review!


Kakashi paused in a high tree, looking around at the snow-bleached scenery. Well, they didn't call it Snow Country for nothing, he supposed. It had a sort of dead beauty to it, but the jounin wasn't admiring the view. He cast a quick jutsu, juggling a flame briefly between his hands to warm them, and tried to spot the people following him. He knew they were there, several of them, but he hadn't been able to spot them yet.

His mission was fairly routine; Konoha had been hired by a large company to protect them in the little war they'd started with another company. It had escalated to the point that Kakashi had needed to use his skills and even been ambushed by the ninja the other company had hired. He'd won, of course, and his client had defeated their rival in the field, putting an end to the fighting. Kakashi was glad, thrilled at the chance to be going home.

These people weren't from the mission, though, they weren't even from Snow Country. Kakashi jerked back, willingly falling from his perch as the trap was suddenly sprung. A kunai buried itself in the barren tree where his head had been; Kakashi threw his dying fireball towards the source, knowing the attacker had already moved. Shadows appeared all around him, five of them, moving fast and blocking his escape routes. Kakashi was already casting another jutsu, releasing the final seal as he hit the packed snow.

Three of the shadows were caught by surprise as the ground disintegrated, reverting to slush under their feet. A second hastily cast jutsu had it frozen again around them, trapping them as Kakashi dashed past. More appeared and Kakashi scowled, consciously uncovering the sharingan. They were clones, the actual ninja nowhere in sight, but that didn't make them any less dangerous. At least four different men, dressed in white, their headbands hidden beneath a combination of thick goggles and big hoods. At least three clones of each.

Deciding to change tactics, Kakashi leapt into the air, propelling himself up into the trees once more. The clones followed without pause, but Kakashi was a Leaf Ninja, he knew better how to fight up here. Several of the clones tried to get in front of him and Kakashi paused as if to decide what to do. When he leapt straight up a second later, the clones seemed startled. Kakashi rather wished he could see their expressions when the tag he left behind leveled that tree and three around it; he heard several soft pops as the clones failed.

Kakashi's eyes widened and he caught at a branch to stop his momentum much faster than his shoulder was happy about. Stretched between the trees was a grid of thin wires, crossing and criss-crossing again and again. They'd been expecting him and had set their trap well. Checking below him that the way to the ground was clear, Kakashi dropped off the branch again, quickly casting an earth jutsu to tunnel beneath the snow. Mind working frantically, he took stock of the situation. There were five of them at least, the three he'd frozen would be free by now and he had no guarantee they weren't shadow clones as well. His snow tunnel would only buy him a few seconds before they did something to force him above ground again and he didn't know where his actual enemies were. All and all a very bad situation.

The Copy Nin burst from the ground before they could figure a way to force him out. His hands flew through seals, sending little snow bullets at his attackers in a hastily modified attack of Gaara's. The last of the clones dealt with, he whirled in a tight circle, sharp eyes searching for the real opponents.


Iruka stretched beneath his warm blanket, something trying to drag him from sleep. After a moment, a slightly calloused hand brushed against the nape of his neck and the teacher was instantly awake. His mind tallied his apartment in seconds – bedroom window open, silence outside, no lights on, door shut and locked, Kakashi's rich scent. "You're back from your mission?"

The hand paused and Kakashi's voice chuckled slightly in the darkness. "I didn't mean to wake you."

Iruka shifted, turning around to look at his lover. "Well you did. How'd it go?" Kakashi had been gone for more than a week on a mission somewhere in Snow Country. He was expected back the day before, but no one was surprised when he didn't show up on time. Even for big missions, punctuality was not something the masked ninja held very dear.

Kakashi huffed slightly and slipped onto the mattress, sliding behind the drowsy teacher. "I came to see you first thing, just got back." He bent slightly, nibbling at the brunette's neck through his mask. "It was long and cold and boring. I missed you."

Iruka giggled. "I'm not helping you with your report. If you don't turn it in before noon tomorrow, I'm volunteering you for the next time Jenny-hime decides to visit." The man behind him gave a little moan and Iruka tried to stifle a giggle. "I'm glad you're back, love."

"You have no idea how glad I am to be with you." The silver haired man nuzzled the neck in front of him. "You have class tomorrow?"

"Ka-kun, it's the middle of the week, of course I have class. I have to be up in-" he twisted to look at the alarm clock and groaned loudly "-barely three hours."

"Then you should get back to sleep. I'll put off my welcome party until tomorrow." With a small tug, Kakashi pulled back so the two of them fell onto the bed again, Iruka still pressed to his chest. "Goodnight, 'Ruka."

The teacher sighed happily; he'd missed the feel of these arms around him at night. "Goodnight, love."