The Greatest Thing You'll Ever Learn – Chapter 86: Rest

A/N: Don't forget to go all the way down to the bottom for a special treat! I promise you'll laugh! Do it! I'm currently typing one-handed due to the bag of frozen peas I'm holding to my face. There is also a similar bag of frozen mixed vegetables shoved up my shirt. Why? Because I have a huge bruise on my nose, cheek, and ribs. Why? Because my sparring partner was apparently fucking drunk when she decided it was a good idea not to hold back at all and try to fucking murder me during our bloody martial arts red belt grading! Yay! Ow it hurts to laugh…So the lesson I learned from this is that control is very important because I like my nose the shape it is, I like having a mouth full of (slightly wonky, but very British!) teeth, I like my skin its normal colour rather than purple, and I like not having any broken bones. I did, however, pass. I need to get my black belt before I go to university, which is in a year and a bit, so it's unlikely but I'd like to try anyway! Hehe, maybe next grading I actually will get broken ribs and a broken nose…then I'd have some real badges of toughness and honour! Hell no, I want a Heidelberg duelling scar! (If you don't know what that is, it's a visible scar to the face from fencing…I probably shouldn't want to damage my face like that, but what the hell xD I don't like myself very much) Anyway, I'm sorry for not updating faster. I know you want to know what's going on, but I'm so busy right now. Rather than give you my lame excuses, I'll just give you the chapter. So, the song of the chapter is 'Wake Me Up When September Ends' by Green Day.

This is thinking/dreaming.

"Anything in italics and quotes is written stuff…kukuku…"

This is regular story.

This is author's note.

This is title.

Warnings: No Hidan this chapter, so the ridiculous, over the top swearing isn't present. But I still love writing it xD fuck yeah. Hehe. That was so gratuitous. Instead, we're back to our usual lack of warnings but for British spelling on account of me being British and all. I even have the accent. Tea and crumpets and whatnot!

Disclaimer: Would the manga really be PG rated if I wrote it? Seriously? It would be so full of sex it would be illegal! Hehe, you'd have to have proof of age and stuff to buy it, and there would be much less REVENGE IS BAD and much more SEX IS GOOD content xD

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Summer has come and passed

The innocent can never last

Wake me up when September ends

Ring out the bells again

Like we did when spring began

Wake me up when September ends

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It was the longest break I had ever experienced in my entire career. I wasn't a physical addition of minutes, but it felt like hours crawled by in the time I spent sat at my desk, head resting on my upturned palm. Normally, I would have welcomed an extra couple of minutes to rest and prepare for the next lesson, but I couldn't focus on the papers in front of me. I should have been reading over whatever it was I was supposed to be teaching the upper sixth next, but my mind was elsewhere.

I flipped the paper over with my free hand, hoping something on the back would be able to hold my attention. There, in the top left hand corner of the page, was a tiny doodle. Above the immaculately drawn boxes and short pen strokes of my handwriting, completely out of place on my normally very neat lesson plan.

I smiled, and then frowned. It was certainly distracting.

It wasn't the tiny picture itself that was distracting; it was more what it symbolised. A few months ago, the margins of my lesson plans were untouched, clear from doodles, and completely blank save for when I needed extra space. Letting my mind wander enough for my hand to move on its own to draw of its own accord didn't happen frequently enough. But there it was, marring my otherwise perfect page. Was that it? Some kind of bizarre cosmic metaphor for what the last couple of months had been? It certainly didn't feel like months. It felt like days, hours, sometimes. Too quick, too sudden, too out of place.

I seized a pen; nib poised to scribble the offending doodle out of my lesson plan for the rest of eternity, and then paused. It wasn't a bad thing to doodle. In fact, some people did it all the time. They got really attached to their little drawings, and even had one they liked to go back to over and over again.

Okay, I was going way over the top with ridiculous metaphors.

I flipped the plan over, specifically not looking for anything out of place. If I could manage the first two hours of pseudo-interrogation and torture, then I could manage another two. Then it would be lunch time, and I could casually go to the staff room and just casually happen to casually bump into Kakashi in a completely casual and unromantic way. Or not. It was probably better not to be seen together all day or indefinitely until the investigators left.

The investigator who had been creepily sitting in my room for the last two hours had mentioned his partner. Would they have some kind of good cop-bad cop routine going on? If so, I really, really hoped I had gotten the bad cop. How much worse could it get?

Worse still, the other inspector had been inflicted upon Kakashi. If either of had done something – I had no idea logically what – that could be written into some kind of report, then we were doomed. More specifically, Kakashi was doomed and I was doomed by association. I could only be grateful that this whole thing hadn't gotten out to the press. I could already imagine the headlines, and none of them were good. Shameless Teachers Shock School. Uncreative tabloids would love another excuse to wreck lives while making quick cash.

I carefully put the paper back on the desk, smoothed it over one, and then let my head fall forward with a thump. This close, I couldn't see what the hell was written on it. It was all out of focus.

There was probably a way out of all of this. If I broke our relationship off now, I might be able to escape unharmed.

Thump.

I shouldn't be thinking like that. It was cruel and unfair. I couldn't do that to another human being, especially Kakashi. That would be unbelievably hurtful

Thump.

I shouldn't even be able to think like that. If I loved him, surely I wouldn't even consider leaving him to save my own skin.

Thump.

Maybe I was just a horrible, horrible person. Or maybe I was normal. Or maybe I just didn't-

Thump.

No, I wasn't even going to consider the possibility that I didn't love him. Sure, I couldn't say it out loud. It still made me feel kind of shaky to think it, but at least I could think it. And he knew I loved him. Probably. Just because I couldn't express it with words, despite being an English literature teacher, didn't mean I didn't.

Thump.

Throughout all my worrying, I hadn't bothered to really look at the doodle. Sure, it was still there, but it was a picture after all. I flipped the paper over again, fixing my eyes on the splodges and lines of ink that somehow conglomerated into the shape of an eye. It wasn't just any old eye, it was a specific, familiar eye, and it stared back out of the page with a distant expression. Yet, despite the distance, I could see everything in it; sadness and joy and hope and fear.

I rubbed a hand over my own eyes. Of all the things I could have drawn, I had to draw that. I had to draw something that would serve as a constant reminder that I wasn't alone in all of this for better and for worse. My actions had consequences, and most of them would directly affect the owner of the eye I had drawn. Everything I could prompt from that eye was drawn out in front of me; I could cause every one of those emotions and more. To know I had that kind of power was almost frightening.

Then again, Kakashi had exactly the same kind of power over me. If he left me over this, I would be devastated. If we made it through this, I would be overjoyed. Every time I saw him, I hoped for the best, and every time I walked away I was afraid. It was terrifying.

Thump.

I let my head fall back to the table, full of silly thoughts of sitting on imaginary porch swings in imaginary houses with imaginary dogs around our ankles, holding hands and being boring old men together. No, I'd be a boring old man and Kakashi could be the interesting one with all the cool stories and-

Thump.

I wasn't supposed to think like that, not when the future was so up in the air. Would he even want me after all this was over, after all the trouble I caused? I would still want him, but that wouldn't be enough for him to stay. He had to want me, too. Going back to being alone after all is said and done would be horrible and lonely.

Thump.

Now I was just being ridiculous, digging up abandonment issues I had buried after my parents died. I lifted my head and let it fall again and again, pain building up into what would hopefully be a nice, distracting headache.

I only stopped when someone nearby cleared their throat. I shot up guiltily; embarrassed that someone had caught me doing something so stupid.

"Iruka Umino," A voice spoke from somewhere above my head. I stared forward into their chest; another equally well-tailored suit and immaculate shirt greeted me, signifying the arrival of another unknown.

"Y-yes?" I replied, trying not to sound like an idiot. I already clearly looked like one. I probably had a huge red mark on my forehead from where I had been hitting it on the table.

"I knocked. You didn't hear, since you were so busy," Not a hint of a laughter seeped into his voice. That alone was kind of unsettling. "I'm the second investigator. My partner, Hidan, may have mentioned me. I am Kakuzu, and I will be sitting in on these next two lessons,"

"Alright. Please, take a seat at the back," I said as formally as I could, struck by how tall this guy was. Taller than the last one, but with the same kind of disturbing aura. He walked with the same kind of power but a different kind of self-assurance to the first man, a strange contrast if they were partners. I didn't know much about law, but I thought people working together had to be somewhat compatible.

It was probably too much to judge based on walks alone.

"I hope my partner acted completely – appropriately. Anything he did or said should be ignored. He is a complete imbecile at times," A hint of apology laced Kakuzu's voice, though anger and even weariness were present. They were definitely colleagues, then.

"Oh, I understand. We can all get a little-"

"Let's not make this personal. It's just business, after all," He said quickly, taking Hidan's former seat. A notebook and pen appeared from nowhere, attentive eyes fixed on me, waiting for the students to arrive and the lesson to begin.

"Okay," I said, my voice drowned out by the bell. It was going to be another long two hours.

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A/N: Extended metaphor is extended! Oh, some exciting (yet highly irrelevant) news! I'm going to China in October! I doubt TGTYEL will last that long, but if you stick around because you like my writing or if I happen to write a sequel or companion piece, then you might hear more about that…hehe…Also, a note on timing. This has been bothering me for a while: I haven't been giving you any time indicators, pretty much at all. Therefore, you may think the story is going too fast or too slow, or it might just be confusing. TGTYEL has, canonically, been going on for two and a bit months. Not all chapters happen immediately after the others. I don't talk about every single day and I don't cover every single event in all of Iruka's life for two months because that would be boring – I highly doubt it would be that fascinating. This is basically the important bits. These recent chapters have been absolutely chronological – hopefully you can tell. Please, please, please don't be confused.

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Omake!

The second I woke up, I knew something was wrong. For one, I was fairly certain that I hadn't gone to bed without pyjamas on, and I was also fairly certain that I hadn't gone to bed nine months pregnant.

I took a deep breath. There was probably a normal, reasonable, logical explanation for all of this. I took another deep breath. And then I opened my mouth.

"Kakashi!" I screeched. My own voice was horribly grating, several octaves higher than I remembered it being the night before.

The lump in the bedding beside me moved. It shuffled a little, faint mumblings coming from underneath the freshly laundered duvet. That was a good reminder, actually; I needed to get up and make a full breakfast before Kakashi went to work. I, of course, would sit around at home and knit or something. Knitting was suddenly very appealing.

Impatient, I reached over and pulled down the quilt, revealing my stunning, immaculate, Adonis-like, statuesque, perfect husband. I wasn't quite sure when we had gotten married – probably about the same time I had gotten pregnant – but I was fairly certain we were married.

A single dazzling eye peered out from between inexplicably dark lashes. My heart instantly melted. There was something about that look, about that gleam, that made me want to swoon.

"Ohayō," he mumbled. I wasn't quite sure why he was speaking Japanese, but I still understood perfectly.

"Why aren't you awake? You need to be at work in-" I checked the clock. "-half an hour and I still haven't swept the house, cooked breakfast, darned your socks, cleaned the windows, washed the car, tended the garden, fed the dogs, conducted the Bournemouth symphony orchestra, ironed your shirts, polished your shoes, prepared your hand-made home-cooked bento-"

"I let you sleep in, so you could have a rest," He said in a manly yet completely tender and loving way, caressing my stomach. "You're always so isogashī these days, and I think you should put your feet up more before our identical triplets arrive,"

That was a thought. I didn't want to go into premature labour or something – it might actually advance the plot forward somewhat, not to mention the question as to where the babies would actually come out of. The thought sent a shiver down my spine, quickly alleviated by another glance from Kakashi's glorious, hypnotising eye. It probably wasn't important.

"But your work is so important! You shouldn't have to do something like this for little old me!" I protested futilely, yet knowing there was no point in protesting. I was basically woman now, so I might as well fill my role as fifties' house wife as well as possible.

"As much as I love my job, you'll always come first, my love," He planted a loving and sweet yet totally passionate kiss on my full lips, a simple expression of deep emotion. "Besides, I'm not looking forwards to today. Naruto is coming on heat again,"

"What? Again?" I gasped.

"Yep, and Sasuke can't keep his paws off him. Literally. Kami, who thought nekoboys were a good idea in public schools?" Kakashi remarked, once again showing off how incredibly intelligent he was. Who else would have thought of that flaw in public schools? I wasn't entirely sure why he wasn't running the government, being as smart as he was. Since I was just a regular school teacher (currently on maternity leave) I couldn't possibly ever compare. It was a miracle he'd even want me!

"Honey, you know Naruto is a kitsuneboy, not a nekoboy! There's a difference. If Tsunade heard you say that-"

"I'd be up to my neck in enormous cleavage, but there's nothing I can do about that," I grimaced, picturing the enormous globes of flesh than hung from Tsunade's chest. Being one hundred percent gay, I couldn't help but hold a certain distaste for such things, but I couldn't help but notice how huge and wobbly and soft and jiggly they were. Naturally, I didn't want anything to do with them. No boobs for me. I was all about penis.

"But still-" I protested again, before a small, rippling pain passed through my swollen belly. I gasped, clutching both hands to my huge baby bump. "Oh my Kami, the baby is coming!"

"Oh Kami, I'll call an ambulance-"

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I woke up with a gasp, one hand on my thankfully flat stomach, the other reaching for the bedclothes. Still breathing hard, I ripped them back, calming down a little when I didn't feel the need to describe Kakashi with any superfluous adjectives. My finger was also thankfully absent of impossible wedding ring.

"'Ruka?" Kakashi mumbled sleepily. I felt a little guilty for disturbing him, but the relief at reality was overwhelming. "What's the matter?"

"Just…just a weird dream, that's all," I whispered, lying back down. Thank God shit like that didn't actually happen.

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A/N2: End omake. Happy April Fool's Day! I think I covered most of my yaoi (and my TGTYEL) bugbears…sometimes I even annoy myself…hehe…