Title: Perfect Theology – Chapter 7
Rating: PG-13 for now
Summary: Because no one has a perfectly foolproof method to approach love and life. Including Konoha’s famed Copy Nin.
A/N: Lot of flashbacks, so please note the bolded time indications so as to avoid confusion! 3
The minute he’d stepped foot into the brightly lit store, Iruka distantly wished he was still outside in the afternoon sunshine. Now that he was actually in the bookstore, the Chuunin realized something: he had absolutely no idea where the Icha Icha books were kept. He’d been here a number of times to purchase school texts, extra pens and pencils, and the occasional novel that had piqued his interest. There was even a small cooler of chilled soft drinks in one corner, accompanied by the usual shelf of sugary candies and snacks. But in all previous visits to the quaint shop, he’d never been aware of the presence of any literature of the…lewder nature. He tried to scan aisles as surreptitiously as possible, wincing slightly when he recognized a few faces. The bookstore wasn’t too crowded at this time of the day, but he still could pick out a few familiar figures. Two were colleagues he knew by name from the Academy, and one (to his dismay) was a parent to one of his students. Iruka shuddered to think what they would think of him purchasing one of Jiraiya’s novels.
He glanced to his side and rolled his eyes for the umpteenth time that hour. Kakashi was doing little to help the situation, as usual. The silver-haired man had paused beside the window display of monthly calendars, and was flipping unashamedly through a swimsuit edition, no less.
The Jounin caught his exasperated glance and replaced the racy calendar with a mischievous (as far as Iruka could tell anyways. That mask was beginning to get on his already frayed nerves) smirk, commenting idly, “The Icha Icha calendars are much better.” He started to flip though a dog-themed one. “But only long-time subscribers receive one.” The scandalized look on Iruka’s face only seemed to amuse him further. “Well, sensei? The book isn’t going to buy itself, you know.”
The Chuunin wasn’t sure whether to scowl, flush, or run out the door in hysterics. Truth be told, the third option was sounding extremely appealing at the moment. Against his better judgment, Iruka gathered up his nerves and asked as composedly and quietly as he could manage, “Umm..where exactly are the…books…?”
Iruka thought he’d asked the question with admirable calmness, but the Copy Ninja still chuckled, causing him to frown. “What?”
“I’m surprised, Iruka-sensei.” Kakashi pushed calmly past the increasingly irate Chuunin, making for the cash register. “I’d have thought a person such as yourself would know about this store’s… special selections.” The dark material over his face barely concealed the wide smirk stretching his lips.
Iruka felt his face heat, turning to reluctantly follow the taller man. “And what is that supposed to mean,” he hissed, incensed.
Kakashi didn’t reply, opting instead to smile at the teenaged girl behind the counter. “Hi. The usual.”
She seemed to be familiar with the Jounin s ways, grinning at his request and brushing back light blue locks of hair. Her bright eyes spotted Iruka standing nervously beside Kakashi, and she inquired, “Both of you, Hatake-san?”
At this, the Jounin s grin widened. “Oh yes, thank you.”
Iruka felt shame color further his already flaming cheeks. It only deepened when the cashier gave him a cheeky wink. He glanced at her name tag. ‘Yuki’. Great. He was surrounded by perverts.
The Chuunin glanced helplessly towards the door. He was never, ever, going to shop here again. He caught a flicker of motion, and watched as Yuki pressed a switch beneath the wooden counter. He heard a faint click from the door behind her, and almost fled from the evil store right then and there when she leaned forward momentarily to whisper, “Enjoy, sirs.”
Now Iruka shifted slightly, tucking an arm under his head and letting out a quiet sigh. He could sense Kakashi still lurking, waiting on his doorstep, and he wasn’t sure how to react. He found it almost ironic that in many ways, this had all started with (and still involved…) the notorious Icha Icha book series. In hindsight, the Chuunin thought it was funny how in so many characteristics, Kakashi was just like Jiraiya’s prized books. To everyone, his exterior was obvious and single-faceted: infamous shinobi, deadly in battle; the silver-haired man was also one of the village’s most recognized perverts. While certainly not on par with Jiraiya s level of perversion, he wasn t exactly hiding it either. Kakashi externally was simple and unassuming, just like his favorite novel’s bright orange covers.
However, Hatake Kakashi was much, much more than what met the eyes. Like a book, like a good story, he was convoluted, intriguing. Kakashi was non-linear and could not be understood all at once. And like Icha Icha Paradise- as Iruka learned on that memorable day- Hatake Kakashi was not a man that could be judged by his cover.
The one good thing about this hellish day, Iruka thought, was the blessed emptiness of the room: they were the only customers inside. Well, as far as he could see anyways. The room they entered was fairly small, with just enough space for a few rows of shelves. The walls had been papered with a pattern-less, dark blue wallpaper, accompanied by a carpeting of identical color. In fact, if he hadn’t already known what the shelves contained, he might have thought he was entering a small, dimly lit library. The shelves were about a foot taller than him; he could reach easily to the topmost books. Made of a dark, polished wood, they stretched along three-quarters of the wall space. Two free-standing ones rested in the middle of the room, parallel to one another.
A soft click behind him caused him to whirl around, startled. Kakashi arched an eyebrow at him, his hand resting on the doorknob. “Just closing the door, sensei.” The cloth over his face twitched, accommodating a sudden smirk. “Wouldn’t want anyone walking in on us.”
The Chuunin stood uneasily, watching Kakashi make his way calmly to the nearest bookshelf. “Walk in on what, exactly?” The older man had selected a random book off the shelf, and seemed to be skimming its contents. He’d assumed that they would walk in, the Jounin would pick the book, Iruka would pay for it, and they’d leave, never to speak about the incident again. However, by the looks of things, Kakashi had every intention of staying and reading every single book that enticed his lewd interest.
“You seem impatient, Iruka-sensei.” The brown-haired nin frowned, but Kakashi seemed to have guessed what was on his mind. “Picking a good book takes time, much like choosing the right move in battle. Too little deliberation and you may regret your move. Too much, however, and you might deliberate away the better option.” He put the book he’d been perusing back in its spot on the shelf. After a few moments of contemplation, he picked another one a few inches away and began skimming this as well.
The Chuunin snorted. “With all due respect, Kakashi-sensei, I don’t see how much ‘deliberation’ is needed to select a…” He paused. Would the Jounin be offended at him being so blunt?
Fortunately, the Copy Ninja seemed merely amused. “Have you ever read the Icha Icha series, sensei?”
Iruka gaped, dumbfounded at what the other nin was asking. That moment of hesitation proved to be his undoing. Mentally, anyways.
Before he could utter a word of protest, Kakashi had moved to his side. The Chuunin stiffened, shocked as the Copy Nin wound his left arm around his shoulders, gripping a book in hand. Effectively, Iruka was trapped, and Icha Icha Paradise was staring him in the face.
Again, Now…Now Kakashi glared at the items in his hands, his battle-sharp intellect calculating. He had to admit, he hadn’t expected sabotage when planning this date. But they had much to learn. His glance shifted to focus on the envelope, and the silver-haired man snorted. Honestly. How many times had Kakashi seen Sasuke’s handwriting as a result of just their latest assignment? He’d instantly recognized that cramped and brisk writing.
Shifting his stare, the Jounin rolled his eyes at the condom. Clearly, Sasuke had been unwilling to procure the condom; he doubted he’d be caught dead with a ramen-flavored one of all things. Only Naruto would be so food-minded in his schemes. A lesser instructor would have been embarrassed by such sloppiness exhibited by their two students, but Hatake Kakashi knew better. After all, Kakashi tenet #5 stated clearly to let no opportunities pass you by. When given lemons, would Konoha’s legendary Copy Ninja make lemonade? No sir, he preferred orange juice. But that was beside the point. The point was Sasuke and Naruto weren’t going to be given just a run-of-the-mill D-rank mission as punishment. No sir. They’d rightfully earned a Kakashi-style torture ride.
He jumped nimbly to his feet, crumpling the envelope and the condom in his fist. “Damn right.”