Summary: The sky is as endless as it is beautiful, and it is forever streaked with tangerine dreams.

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.

Note: For the Iruka x Temari challenge, on the Naruto Pairings Challenge forum moderated by fauxPROJECT. Also for Demonic Angel Clone, to celebrate the day of her birth, although late.

Theme: Yearning for the Sun.

Apricot Sky

Yearning for the Sun

Iruka had never seen such a beautiful day.

Children had bright red cheeks, sun kissed to raw perfection and were ignoring their scraped knees. His hands were nearly peeling and sore from the impossible strain of the heat, his scar was becoming even pinker against his already darkly tanned skin and although most people could be comforted by the summer sun like those he was teaching, he felt that gathering any form of joy from the glorious weather would be futile. So far in the sequence of his life events, the most beautiful days had been the most disastrous.

The day he was orphaned, the sun shone high in the sky, beating down on his skin. It had only made the cut more painful when he was in hospital the next week, barely alive, but clinging to something, anything that he could find to keep him sane at the time. The day he met Uzumaki Naruto, the glorious blue sky had held the yellow sun high up, disregarding the later events of that day. On that day, the young blonde ball of joy (or whatever it was, hyperactivity instead perhaps) the boy had succeeded in killing two class pets, setting fire to one of the desks, and getting involved in a fight with an equally as spunky brunette, who he would later find out was none other than Inuzuka Kiba. He had never had a more stressful day.

He was soon snapped out of his train of thought, however. A girl was storming through the children, one of who was emitting a large wail, and steadily continuing without (it seemed) the slightest care. A large steel fan was in her hand, and she was dragging it along behind her in the dirt, tearing up the grass and foliage. Not that it seemed to bother her. It even looked as though she were blocking out the screams of the children, her sharp eyes focused on the academy door with intense anger. If Iruka were more inclined to not protecting the weak, and was unable to defend his young charges, he knew that day would probably go perfectly. But already, he could sense it. This girl was going to be the thing that made this day ugly.

"What do you think you're doing?" He asked her as she walked past, almost wishing he had not when she turned to look at him. Her angry look became fixated on him, clearly searching his features. Slit eyes slid over his scar, clearly noticing that it was an old mark. She laughed.

"A teacher, you haven't seen the world. It's best they learn now." Her quick retort came. He stiffened in immediate indignation. Who did she think she was? First passing judgment on him for his job, and then telling him that his methods were incorrect? She was really a piece of work. Despite all the havoc and mayhem she had created so easily, she thought it fine to say a thing about how to treat others. He never particularly liked the method she seemed to champion, either. Cruelty was never somthing he enjoyed.

"You didn't answer my question." He replied dryly, licking his parched lips. Strange, how the sun could change from something he liked to something he instantly loathed in an instant. She chuckled, a noise that would have been a pleasant if she had not already made him dislike her due to the utter chaos she had created. She could get him if she wanted. She would make him vulnerable, expose him to everything she knew and although she was so young she clearly seemed to think that she was much more intelligent than he was. She could exploit him easily. He could tell that from a glance.

"Finding someone to destroy." She beamed. New assessment: she was not just an intelligent, clearly bloodthirsty and cruel person, she was insane. She was actually insane. Or agitated. One of the two. She looked full of rage and anger, and if taking it out on someone else was the best thing she could do, then she would damn well do it. Right then, it looked as though his students had been the first victims. Brilliant.

"You need to do something about that attitude. Their parents won't like it if I tell them you came through here acting like that. Some are very gifted shinobi." He muttered. He knew the she could tell straight away that he was unamused by her method of reliving stress. Even so, she did not seem slightly fazed by this. Instead, she glanced at the empty seat next to him on the plain wooden bench, then sat down.

"You're not very scary, you know." She noted, then in an instant, leaned forward and crashed her lips on top of his. It was a messy, completely lacking care but full of passion and despite the fact this girl had just created enough chaos for him to get a large amount of paperwork and complaints from parents, somehow he found himself unable to care in the slightest about it. He raised his hand to cling to her, but in an instant she pulled away, a wicked smirk on her face.

"One man down." She stated, before grabbing the huge weapon and running as fast as she could towards the building she had originally been heading to, leaving him sitting and staring at her back. He might start to like the hot weather, these beautiful days.

He might even start to yearn for the sun.

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