Title: Perfect Theology – Chapter 13
Summary: Because no one has a perfectly foolproof method to approach love and life. Including Konoha’s famed Copy Ninja.
“You’re going to be late.” He was in the living room, hurriedly stuffing books and papers into his school bag.
“If I leave now, I’ll get there hours earlier than they expect me to be,” Kakashi replied easily, sipping his tea at the kitchen table. He’d spent the night (on the couch) as a result of last night’s torrential rainstorm, and they’d just finished enjoying a quick breakfast together.
Iruka smirked, toeing on his sandals and dropping his keys into the bag as well. “Some role model you are.” He repeatedly stole glances at the other man; he couldn’t help it. Kakashi, having recently woken up, looked slightly rumpled and more approachable. Iruka thought the look was rather becoming.
“Why thank you, sensei.” The Jounin got to his feet smoothly, striding into the living room and picking up a book the younger man had forgotten on the table. He held it out with a smile.
“Oh, thanks I-” The book was jerked back from his grasp. “Wha-” He fell silent as Kakashi dipped his head to drop onto his lips a quick, goodbye kiss. It lasted only a few seconds, but the warmth and the taste of green tea lingered and brought a slightly embarrassed smile to Iruka’s face.
“Let’s meet for lunch today?” The Copy Ninja slid the last book into Iruka’s limp hand.
“Sounds good.” He turned towards the door before his face became any redder, stopping at the closet briefly. He’d hung both of their flak vest there last night to dry, and he was glad to see it had dried completely from last night’s shower. His spare vests were still waiting in a laundry pile that had yet to be done.
Raising his hand in a final wave as he shrugged on his uniform, the Chuunin stepped out into the sunny, still somewhat damp morning. “Lock the door on your way out?” Kakashi nodded, and Iruka closed the door and walked briskly towards the Academy.
The Jounin watched him for another minute, until he turned a corner and disappeared from sight. He had to admit, it had been a very pleasant morning all together. Normally at this time, Kakashi would be playing spy or digging through Iruka’s apartment. However, the need to do so was gone, and he was quite satisfied with the result. Sitting back down at the kitchen table, Kakashi looked slowly around the room. He’d been in this apartment so many times over the past week (illicitly) that almost every nook and cranny was familiar to him; it was beginning to feel almost like a second home.
Consequently, that was a word he now associated with Iruka. Iruka was as constant as the sea: though not always smooth and calm, he was dependable. He’d discovered a lot about the man through observation, but it was another thing all together to experience it first hand, as he did last night.
Smiling slightly to himself, he put his empty cup into the sink. There was a few more hours until lunch, so in his good mood, Kakashi decided to be on time for once. His students would certainly be surprised.
At the door, he tugged the flak vest off the hanger, and shrugged it on. It was a little tight, but that didn’t surprise him. It’d gotten completely soaked in last night’s rain. Fortunately though, all the pockets and interior were lined with waterproof material, keeping his books and scrolls dry.
Closing the door behind him, Kakashi looked briefly in the direction of the Academy as he pulled up his mask. Noon couldn’t come fast enough.
“All right class, today we’ll be reviewing the twelve basic hand seals.” Iruka walked up and down the rows, passing out sheets of paper. “I want you to partner up with your neighbor and fill out this worksheet. Label each picture and write a few sentences about how it shapes chakra.” He pointed up at the clock. “Take about twenty minutes to do that. After that, we’ll go over the sheet as a class and I’ll show you a couple simple jutsus.”
Around him, the children started chatting excitedly, eager to finish so they could see some real jutsus. Satisfied that they were all working, Iruka walked back to his desk and sat down. He found that he was noticeably happier today, almost giddy. And he constantly kept looking at the clock, mentally ticking off the hours until lunch. Iruka felt sort of like a lovestruck schoolgirl, but the thought didn’t embarrass him very much at all. And even if it did, his thoughts would inevitably wander back to Kakashi and his smirks and soft lips-
Okay, not the time to be thinking about that. Shaking his head, Iruka turned his attention back to the papers on his desk. It was the usual stack of rather dry day-to-day issues: a reminder for a teacher’s meeting this week, memos confirming this and that, and a few tests he’d almost finished grading. Reaching into his desk, he rummaged around for a pen in vain. This didn’t surprise him in the slightest; he was constantly loaning out writing utensils to the many students who either forgot them or broke them. And the latter happened quite frequently in a school for ninjas.
No matter, he usually had a couple squirreled away in one of his vest pockets. He opened the right hand one, expecting to feel the usual assortment of paper clips, hair ties, chewing gum, and hopefully a pen or pencil. Instead, his fingers touched the unmistakable edge of a book. Frowning, he pulled it out, only to immediately shove the orange colored volume back inside. Why was Icha Icha Paradise in his pocket?!
On the outskirts of town, Kakashi frowned at the mission assignment they’d just received. Tora the cat? Again? Honestly, he was starting to wonder if it would be more merciful for the feline if they just dumped it in another country far away from Konoha.
“What?!” Naruto crossed his arms indignantly. “We have to catch that stupid cat again?!”
The silver-haired man sighed, folding up the scroll as Sakura bashed her teammate over the head and told him to shut up. Well, at least he had lunch to look forward to. Naruto, Sakura, and Sasuke dejectedly started to split up, putting on the communicators their sensei handed them. They knew from experience where to start looking, but the cat was getting better at eluding capture every time.
Automatically, Kakashi reached up and snapped open his right-hand vest pocket. The kids were already looking, and well, with such an easy mission, he probably had time to catch up on some reading and-
Blinking, Kakashi looked down at his hand in surprise. Instead of his beloved orange novel, he found the pocket crammed with pencil stubs, elastic hair ties, paper clips, and scraps of paper. The black hair ties immediately clued him in to what had happened; he only knew one person who wore them.”Shit!”
He should have been more careful; it was uncharacteristic of him to allow something like this to happen. Obviously, Iruka had been distracted as he was leaving the apartment, and had grabbed the wrong vest. As Kakashi turned and made his way quickly back into town with a distinct air of panic, he prayed Iruka wouldn’t find the notebook.
Slightly mortified, Iruka sat nervously at his desk. Though the book was out of sight, the very knowledge that Icha Icha Paradise of all things was on his person was enough to derail his good mood. He groaned, remembering his rush to get to work, and the distraction that was Kakashi. Clearly, he’d grabbed the wrong vest. He grinned slightly at the small tear on the shoulder, left by his kunai yesterday. Well, noon wasn’t too far off, and all he had to do was keep the book out of sight…but he still needed a pen.
Hopefully, Kakashi didn’t have any other items of a lewder nature stored in his vest pockets. Carefully opening the left front vest pocket, he peered in anxiously. A small black notebook. Crap. Iruka was about to close the pocket again when he noticed a pen sticking out from between the notebook’s pages. Bingo.
Iruka wasn’t a prying kind of person. Kakashi was a Jounin and ex-ANBU; he probably had many secrets that weren’t for anyone else’s eyes. So while he was curious as to what was written in the notebook, the moral side of him told him to just take the pen out, close the pocket, and forget about it. And if he and Kakashi were going to be starting a relationship, it was important to respect the older man’s privacy. At least, that was what he’d planned on doing.
But that all fell apart as he started tugging the pen out. The page it was wedged between lifted slightly, and the Chuunin was surprised to see his own name written on it.
Curiosity getting the better of him, Iruka lifted the entire book out of the pocket, flipping to the first page. His jaw fell open in shock. “What…the hell…” He murmured in disbelief. The Iruka Files? What the hell was this? As his eyes scanned down the page, his confusion and anger started to rise precipitously. Some of the observations about him were casual and commonplace, but the majority of it was downright embarrassing. He flipped past the next few pages, utterly dumbfounded. It went on and on! How long had Kakashi been spying on him?
Slightly winded, Kakashi skidded on the tiled hallway floor. Several teachers gawked at him, but immediately jumped out of his way as the renowned Jounin tore past them. After all, it was Hatake Kakashi. He was probably on a mission or something.
God please please please let him be busy teaching or something…
It seemed to take forever for him to finally reach the wing where Iruka’s classroom, having took several wrong turns in his haste. But he turned the correct corner at last, stopping dead.
The classroom door was closed, and he could hear the children chattering inside. But Iruka stood out in the hall, back to him, apparently engrossed in something.
“Ah, Iruka-sensei, I-” He froze, feeling a sudden chill in the air. It seemed to be emanating from Iruka, who was slowly turning around.
Dark brown eyes, usually friendly and warm, were now absolutely sub-zero in temperature and glaring daggers at him. In his hand, Kakashi noticed with a start, was the small black notebook. “So.” His voice was low and quiet, but layered with subdued anger.
In a different circumstance, Kakashi thought that voice could be considered sensual. But at the moment, it made him wonder if he should be defending himself. “Iruka, you don’t understand-”
“Oh, I understand all right, Hatake-san.” With a flick of his wrist, he threw the notebook like a shuriken at the other man’s head. “I understand that you think I’m dorky. I understand that you question my intelligence as a teacher.” He was far from quiet now, voice quickly rising to a shout, but he couldn’t control the pure rage bubbling up. “I understand that you’ve been spying on me all week, invading my privacy and my home! And for what? For your own amusement? To see if I was worth knowing?”
“You’ve got it wrong, I-” Kakashi jerked his head to the left, barely dodging the pen that abruptly shot past his ear.
“Shut up. Just shut up!” Iruka bit his lip, his body shaking with pent up emotion. “What the hell is wrong with you? I’m a person. I’m not a mission, you ass! I’m not something you analyze objectively and complete and turn in, Hatake.”
Cautiously, the silver-haired man took a few steps closer. “I know, I’m sorry that I-”
“Shut up. Don’t say you know when you filled a damn notebook up with your spying and insulting observations about me.” He slapped away the hand that reached toward him soothingly. “Don’t touch me.” Quicker than Kakashi expected, Iruka pulled out a kunai. “Get away from me.”
“Just let me explain-” He didn’t want to fight the man, but if he could just get a word in…
But Iruka pointed resolutely with the kunai towards the end of the hall. “Get out.” When Kakashi didn’t move, he scowled even deeper. “Don’t try me, Hatake-san. You might outrank me, but I promise I won’t hold back.”
And Kakashi believed him. Slowly, he backed off, his eyes wary. He wanted to just kiss Iruka and apologize and explain it all, but the younger man wasn’t having it. His ninja instinct told him to just back off and try again later, when the man was calmer. After all, that was one of the first things they taught to Genins on missions: if the first plan of attack doesn’t work, rethink, regroup and-
I’m not a mission, you ass. I’m not something you analyze objectively and complete and turn in, Hatake
He paused, staring down at the grass outside the front door. Was that where he’d erred? Had he approached this whole thing incorrectly?