A silly little Christmas present to all my readers. Hope you have a wonderful holiday.
On the fifth day of Christmas, My true love gave to me: FIVE GOLDEN RINGS!!
Naruto stared at the 5 small boxes before him. He looked up at his boyfriend who was squirming slightly in his seat, back at the boxes and then back at his boyfriend.
"Uhm.. Kakashi? What's all this?"
Sure the "NarutoWillYouMarryMe." That had been blurted out at top speed had come as a shocking, yet pleasant, surprise (once he had completely deciphered just what his boyfriend was saying). The surprise had quickly turned into confusion though when the silver haired man had proceeded to pull up not one but 5 ring-boxes from his pocket, all of them containing differently modeled golden rings.
"You do know you only need one ring not one for each finger." Naruto pointed out helpfully.
"I know, I know." His boyfriend whined as he began to pull his hair in frustration."I just couldn't decide and no one seemed to know what you would like! Kiba said this one, Sakura said that one, Iruka chose this one here, I thought you'd like this one and the jeweler recommended that one!"
"So you got them all?"
"I got them all." Kakashi said as he hung his head. Naruto looked at the rings again before he picked up the fourth one.
"Well since this is the one that you picked I'll take this one." He said with a fond smile.
Kakashi's head snapped up. "So it's a yes?" He asked eagerly.
"It's a yes." Naruto told his fiancé lovingly. "Now come on." He added excitedly. "Give me my ring." He commanded as he held out his hand.
Kakashi grinned as he took Naruto's hand in both of his and started sliding the ring on his lovers finger.
After a while Naruto got bored of looking at his fiancé's face go from confusion to panic, to frustration and to panic again.
"Is there a problem." He asked sweetly.
"Uhm, well.. you see... TheRingDoesn'tFit." Kakashi mumbled, again at top speed.
Naruto stared at him for a good long while before he looked at the rest of them. "They're all the same size aren't they." It wasn't so much of a question rather than a statement that clearly said 'As much as I'm going to laugh and mock you with this later it's completely not funny right now damn it!'
This was answered by the bowing of Kakashi's head as he tried unsuccessfully to get the ground to swallow him whole. A meager "Yes." almost went unheard.
And so Naruto walked around town with no ring on his finger like always. He didn't much care though, the five dangling from the chain around his neck were more than enough. And besides, it's the thought that counts right?
The secret Santa disaster of 2008
There are certain things that should never be done around ninjas. Simple ordinary and innocent things that civilians hardly even notice but would be very dangerous, if not deadly, if done to a ninja. The obvious first choice would be shouting BOO at an unsuspecting shinobi, not that it would be easy to actually find and unsuspecting one, ninjas tended to react quite violently to this method. Close to that one would be throwing a surprise party for a shinobi. First of all you would actually have to get into their apartment alive, even an innocently open window could be loaded with unseen traps or poisons, then you would have to cover your tracks completely as ninjas were usually very observant and would know if their coffee table was now 2 millimeters further from the couch than it had been when they left and lastly you would actually have to jump out and surprise the star of the hour at the risk of your, and everyone else's, lives. And chances were the shinobi in question had already found out about the whole thing weeks before, it was kind of hard to keep secrets in a village full of ninjas.
Other things included not using phrases like: "You'll find out eventually." "It's a secret." "I don't really want to tell you." " It doesn't matter." "It doesn't concern you." or anything similar to that. Shinobi tended to be a curious lot and highly suspicious of almost everyone around them and, let's face it, those phrases never worked anyway because the one they were said to tended to use any means necessary to find out just what you were hiding.
It was therefor quite a wonder how the fifth Hokage of the leaf had gotten the brilliant idea to try to boost up moral and friendship by ordering everyone to participate in the secret Santa tradition that was often done at civilian work places. Shizune suspected later on that the Hokage had most likely been drunk of her feet and was just thankful that she had at least had enough sense to separate everyone into two groups. One for Anbu and another one for regular shinobi. The rules were simple enough. Everyone drew a name out of a hat and were then required to find an appropriate gift for him or her. Due to the anonymity of Anbu the members drew pictures of Anbu masks instead of names.
"Secret Santa?" Raidou asked no one in particular at the Jounin break room.
"Somehow I'm not very fond of the idea." Kakashi remarked.
"Same here." Genma shuddered. "I don't like the idea of the normal Santa.. I mean, how does he just know if you've been bad or good? Is he spying on everyone all year round? And secret Santa? It's bad enough knowing that fat, red and white monstrosity watches you.. Now I have to worry about some unknown dude doing it too!"
Very simple indeed. If you didn't count the fact that, like most people, ninjas wonder what the receiver of their gift would actually want, but unlike most people they didn't go the usual way and asked friends and acquaintances what the person was likely to be happy with. Oh no, why use methods like that when you were trained to stealthily obtain information with various methods like spying, lying, cheating, stalking and other things like that. And since pretty much everyone was using this method they also knew that who ever was giving them a gift would also be using it on them... And ninjas don't like being followed. So needless to say the village was suddenly filled with tension strained shinobi who were all trying to spy without being spied on. To seek information without giving away anything about themselves to anyone else.
"I'm being followed!" Genma said suspiciously after he'd run into the Jounin break room, planting himself firmly with his back against the door. "Someones been following me all day since I left the house."
"Don't be ridiculous." Asuma answered. "You're just getting paranoid." The cigarette smoking Jounin was probably right about that. He'd been the one to pull Genma's name out of that hat and he hadn't been stalking the man all day. Genma was one of the few people who were easy to buy for, just get him a pack of senbon needles and he should be happy. He suspected who ever had to give him a gift would know him well enough to get him a pack of cigarettes... And he was right, Yamato had bought them the same day he'd drawn the name out of the hat.
"No someone's definitely following me." Genma stated.
"Oh I'm sure you'd like to think that." Kakashi droned jokingly as he winked at the bandanna wearing Jounin.
"You don't know that!" Genma snapped. "No one knows what I like! I haven't told anyone and they're not getting anything out of me!" He said before he marched out of the room again.
Kakashi himself had already thoroughly gone through both Iruka's office and home and would be following the teacher around later today when he got off his mission room shift. So far he hadn't found any hint as to what to give the man, he seemed to have a pretty boring life in Kakashi's opinion. Kakashi had felt someone trying to follow him as he left his apartment that morning but he'd lost him right away.
Needless to say a whole lot of incidents occurred during the few days it took for Christmas to arrive. Paranoid ninjas had barricaded their houses with deadly traps. Innocent questions like "How are you?" Were interpreted as a means to gain information and were met with high suspicion and everyone trusted no one. The paranoid ninjas especially but those who had been more relaxed to begin with were moving with increasing speed into that category due to the simple fact that they had to interact with the other ninjas. And it was quite hard to not get paranoid around people when at least half the population snapped or drew kunais at the smallest wrong move you made. The most frightening aspect was that no one had heard from Anbu for quite some time.
When the day finally came for the presents to be handed out the Hokage tower was filled with fidgeting, or even twitching, Shinobi who all stared at the pile of presents like they were a pile of something unpleasant sent over by Rain packed in black wrapping paper with bright red clouds and a huge note saying: From Akatsuki with love.
The Hyugas all used the byakugan to check their packages, the Aburame clan had their bugs inspect their gifts and the Inuzukas carefully sniffed their parcels.
The final decision to never ever again do anything remotely similar to this, and the reason for the events being written off as the secret Santa disaster of 2008 before it was sealed in the records room, came when ninjas started opening their packages.
Genma like so many others who had actually gotten something they liked or could use finally snapped, just knowing that someone out there knew exactly what they liked or needed. Even Asuma who had been quite calm about the whole thing at first and had even been expecting the pack of cigarettes threw a fit, demanding to know how people knew he smoked.
Others who had received gifts that the giver had chosen because he himself would have liked getting it had an identity crises, because surely the giver had seen something in them that would think they would be interested in the gift. It took Iruka 3 weeks of therapy to determine that he was indeed not a closet pervert after getting the whole Itcha Itcha collection... It took considerably more time for the poor soul who received the "1001 effective ways to painfully torture someone without killing them.", That had been given by Ibiki, to get over the nightmares.
There was one person who had escaped most of the incident however. Naruto, who had run into a slight problem when he had to find a gift for his Sensei had finally decided to just buy the man a dog collar, it was sure to come in handy since the man had a lot of, and really liked, dogs.
But when the rest of the village was getting back on their feet and things where slowly getting back to normal Naruto was the only person who was feeling increasingly more paranoid. Kakashi had started to act a bit strangely towards him and as much as he knew the man liked dogs he hadn't expected the man to start wearing the collar himself....