Okay then guys, I think that I'm going to take on a new challenge. I plan to write fanfics for all the Naruto pairings (oh hell that's a lot...) just for the fun of it! So here's the one for Ayame and Kakashi!

Enjoy! In this case...bon appetit!

Midori Fujiwara


Ayame watched the passer-bys from behind the ramen shop counter. She studied every walk, gait, and clothes of each person's lower leg. She had grown up working behind the table her whole life, and it had already gotten to the point where she knew practically everyone in Konoha by their lower leg and feet. That, and their usuals.

She put her elbows on the counter and chin on her hand, bored. She didn't like to be in charge of the counter, preferring to knead the noodle dough or prepare the vegetables. She preferred to be getting the orders, rather than asking for them.

But mainly she didn't really want to interact with people, afraid that she might not act right or say the right words to them. She'd force a nervous smile, and sometimes that was really all she did do well.

Of course there were always the old timers who came every day, if not, every other day. She was familiar to them, but there were other times when a visitor from outside Konoha would come in. They'd have a different attitude and a different culture that emphasized different things. Sometimes Ayame had trouble figuring out whether the shinobi from the Village Hidden in the Mist wanted their chopsticks served broken apart and stuck in the noodles, or whether the civilians from the Village Hidden in the Sand wished to have their chopsticks unbroken and laid across the soup bowl. Then, what if one of the higher officials, like one of the Kages, wanted to be served ramen?

Her father, with all his experience, knew what to do all the time. And he insisted that Ayame learn by being at the counter.

So here she was stuck behind the counter, dreading the next visit.

She noticed another pair of feet. After watching the walking rhythm for a few moments, she instantly recognized who it was. This pair of feet stopped and Ayame suddenly realized that this pair of feet would be coming in to stop for soup.

Ayame's heart skipped a beat when he appeared from behind the cloth sign, arm making way for his body and back stooped down to allow his height in.

"G-Good morning, Hatake," she greeted with a quick nervous smile. The first thing she thought of him was his usual was miso with eggplant along with a side of saury.

"Hello," he replied and looked past her at the special menu. But she already knew that he wasn't too fond of the tempura or the sweet beef ramen or anything much else on the menu today.

He looked back at her, sighing and uninterested in the offers listed on the menu, "Well I think you know what I want by now."

She nodded and quickly disappeared into the back kitchen to tell her father the order.

Her father looked up after fetching the eggplant and knife. "Hatake?" her father asked, very well knowing everyone's favorites in Konoha as well.

"None other than," she answered.

"And what does Naruto want?"

Ayame laughed, "Oh no, Naruto wasn't with him today."

Her father looked surprised. "Well I guess Naruto will come later. I wanted him to try a new type of noodle…one with more egg than flour." Her father shrugged. "Well okay then, it won't be too long…maybe five minutes at most."

Ayame nodded and stepped back out into the counter.

This part of the ramen ordering she dreaded even more than serving the customer: the wait for the soup. Sometimes the ramen took too long and the customers got angry and other times the wait was just long enough for an awkward conversation.

Ayame braced herself and wished Naruto was there, since it was always easier with him.

Fortunately for her, Hatake didn't seem to be interested in talking, rather just shifted his gaze from one corner of the shop to the other.

So she just waited quietly until she heard the distinct sound of an empty ramen bowl being put down. She went to fetch it, and swiftly put the exact serving of noodle (Father was cheap at times, but she was more generous), and poured three cups of miso broth over the noodles. Following that, she scooped the cooked eggplant from the pan and mixed it into the noodles. Finally she added the extra garnishes artfully and put the bowl down in front of Hatake emphatically as she was trained to do. With her other hand, she slide the side saury next to the bowl and handed him an unbroken set of chopsticks.

It had gotten to the point where making and serving ramen was an art.

This part of ramen serving she didn't like either: waiting for the customer to finish. She didn't want to just stare at her customer and make them feel uncomfortable, and she especially didn't want to hear complaints about the food.

She knew Hatake ate his ramen—all of it—in three seconds flat, so she felt that she could just stand there and wait.

She watched him snap apart his chopsticks, mutter a soft 'thank you', and pull down his mask to enjoy the ramen.

Ayame remembered the very first time she had seen his face. She had been just walking out to drink a glass of water and escape from the steamy kitchen when she caught a glance at Hatake.

He was attractive. Ayame didn't quite know to explain it. His face wasn't sexy or cute or any of the other words that sometimes her friends liked to describe their crushes.

Hatake was simply attractive.

So she enjoyed the view for a while, counting down the seconds that he would finish all his meal and raise his mask to cover his lower face once again. She had always also wondered why he kept a mask around his face when there wasn't too much to be ashamed of. Perhaps it was the shinobi culture.

But this time, only one second had passed when he looked up, three quarters of the way done with the noodles and halfway through the saury side.

Ayame's heart stopped. If a customer looked up in the middle of eating, that probably meant something was wrong with the order. His face directly looked up at her own, fully revealed with only his left eye hidden under a droopy hitai-ate. She wasn't sure if she was more paralyzed by the fact that he might not have liked the soup or by the fact that his uncovered face was focused and looking at her.

She had never seen his face turned up towards her. It was always down at the soup.

"Is there something wrong with the ramen? Too salty?" Ayame quickly asked to be able to tend to her apparently unsatisfied customer's needs.

"No, no, nothing's wrong," Hatake smiled. "I just stopped eating for a moment that's all."

"I-I…no, it's just that I'm used to you eating very quickly and…" she faded off, realizing that she had just said 'and' for no real reason other than to make it seem like she had another reason.

Hatake gave a small shrug. "How's business going these days? There isn't too many visitors now…just the same villagers again and again."

Ayame felt very awkward that she had nothing to do other than to talk to him. She couldn't be cleaning his bowl and dish or wiping the countertop because he was in the middle of eating.

"Um…well it's not that bad… personally I haven't noticed a difference," Ayame answered, fingering the edge of her apron for comfort.

"Usually busy, huh?"

"Pretty much," she answered.

"You don't feel bored or anything just working all day?" Hatake asked, seeming to admire the effort that she put into ramen constantly and consistently.

"Well…ramen…I was born living a ramen-centered life…I…have never felt the need to do anything else," Ayame said quickly. "I guess I like my job. It isn't that bad."

Hatake considered for a second. "That's good to hear."

Ayame just smiled in response. She had never been good at conversation with any of her customers, and it was even worse in this case. She shifted her feet and looked down, hoping that he wouldn't continue conversing.

Hatake looked at the countertop distantly for a few seconds, and then went back to his eating.

In the remaining two seconds, he had finished the saury, and chugged down the rest of the soup. Finished and satiated, Hatake lay his ramen bowl down and placed his chopsticks across the bowl. She quickly scooped up the empty dishes and tossed them into the sink, turning back to wait for the payment.

She noticed that his mask was tucked back into place already.

He stood up as he handed her the bill and she mentally counted the money.

She nodded, since Hatake had given her the right amount, and he walked out of the shop.

Ayame took a deep breath and exhaled. One customer done and the rest of the day to—

But Hatake turned back around after taking a step, seeming to have forgotten something.

Ayame's body tensed up as he walked up to the counter to confront her.

"Oh, by the way, you gave me the wrong order," Hatake said.

That statement was a curse in ramen language.

She was about to apologize and freak out but Hatake hadn't finished talking.

"See, what I really wanted…" he started before stopping to recall.

But he never finished his sentence, instead tucking down his mask and leaning over the counter to kiss Ayame on the lips, his hand supporting her jaw.

He left before she even realized what had just happened. She was so in shock that she didn't even blush for a few moments. She touched her lips lightly and felt the burn in her cheeks.

Her father walked out of the kitchen, wiping his hands on a small towel and looking over in her direction.

"Ayame, your face is all red. You should stay away from the boiling noodles. They don't need as much attention as the customer," her father scolded her.

Ayame nodded.

"Did Hatake like the ramen? He didn't mention anything strange about the eggplant, did he? Because I think I used an eggplant that wasn't quite ripe enough yet," her father explained.

Ayame, tasting remnants of her father's cooking on her lips, replied, "I think he enjoyed his order."


So what did you think? Do I deserve a review? :)

Well in any case, I need an idea of all the pairings, even the weird awkward ones, so I'm taking all requests. Stay tuned!

Later then!

Midori Fujiwara