Team Seven had been sent on another out of town mission.
. . . no Kakashi.
. . . not that he missed him.
It was nice not having someone watching over him all the time. . . leaving him gifts. . . looking at him like a man in the desert looks at an oasis. . .
Okay, he might have missed Kakashi a little.
But. . . this was good. This was breathing room, time to sort out what he wanted without being distracted by. . . distracty things. Like Kakashi's ass.
Which, for the record, is terribly distracting.
Like the kiss.
It had been a nice first date goodnight sort of kiss. Gentle, no tongue, and lingering just long enough to let you know he was very politely choosing not to throw you against a wall and ravish you. It had been. . . sweet, which is not a word he ever thought he'd be associating with Sharingan Kakashi.
Ah, to hell with it. When Team Seven gets back to town, Iruka's asking him out.
And having decided that, Iruka hoped very much that he could finally concentrate enough to get those damned tests graded.
He'd better come home soon.
"So is my mission report alright or not? . . .Iruka-sensei? You've been staring at the same page for ten minutes."
Shit. Iruka glanced through the rest of the pages without really seeing them, trying not to turn red and definitely not meeting Raidou's eyes. "Err. . . no, Raidou-san, this report seems to be in order. Thank you."
"You seem a little distracted today, sensei." Kurenai observed, a trace of concern in her voice. They'd worked together enough at the academy prior to her promotion for her to have learned his moods. Please let her not guess why he couldn't concentrate today. . . Please let Asuma show up to distract her. . . or something.
Gai-sensei was definitely an 'or something.'
Pose, check. Thumb, check. Gleam, check. "Has my Eternal Rival yet returned from his valiant mission to defend our noble village from all threats?"
". . .Team Seven's D-rank gardening mission? Err. . . I don't think so. . ." And now Iruka could tell he'd definitely turned red. Feeling a bit defensive, he added, "Kakashi-sensei always takes his time turning in his mission reports, so I wouldn't know right away if he was back."
"Ah, but does he not then hasten to return to your side not out of Duty but out of the Flower of Youthful Romance!"
Iruka was suddenly aware of the intent gaze of a room full of ninja. Which is very intent.
But then, Iruka taught young children. "I'm. Sure. I. Don't. Know. What. You're. Talking. About. Gai-sensei. But. If. I. See. Kakashi-sensei. I'll. Be. Sure. To. Tell. Him. You. Asked. After. Him." And Iruka stared at Gai with all the skill at staring he'd been honing for years.
A few seconds later, Gai felt a strange urge to run a hundred laps around the country. And there was no time like the present.
Once Gai fled the room, Iruka turned his sensei death gaze on anyone else in the room who might even be thinking of saying something to him. And being a teacher meant he could just tell.
The room was silent as everyone attempted to make themselves look as inconspicuous as possible. A few enterprising souls transformed themselves into potted plants and even one very confused looking coat rack.
"Yo," said a familiar voice.
Kakashi stepped hesitantly into the mission room.
It wasn't that he was a little nervous about seeing Iruka again. . . definitely not that the proverbial butterflies in his stomach were jounin-level lepidoptera fighting for their freedom. . .
Though that was definitely part of it.
Mostly, though, it was the aura of DOOM emanating from the mission room. He'd noticed it about ten meters back.
About twenty meters back, he'd been passed by a green blur. But since the only behaviour of Gai's that would surprise Kakashi would be normal behaviour, it hadn't worried him overly.
But as he'd gotten a little closer, his Anbu-trained senses had detected a radius of danger extending out from the room at the end of the hallway. And his Iruka-trained senses, honed over weeks of stalk. . . surveillance, strongly suggested that this particular doom was chuunin-sensei flavoured.
He wondered who was on the receiving end of the sensei death glare this time, besides Gai. Eh, at least it wasn't him.
He stepped into the mission room anyway. This was not because Kakashi was brave, though as it happens, he was. It was not because he wasn't afraid of Iruka. In point of fact, he was terrified of him.
The reason Kakashi could seem immune to the sensei death glare, as it appeared to the startled (yet still visibly averted eyes) following his movements towards the mission desk, was that while Kakashi was terrified of Iruka, he wasn't terrified of Iruka being angry at him.
There were so many things that scared him more. Iruka being hurt. Iruka ignoring him. Iruka being disgusted by or hating him. Iruka just plain not caring about him.
The only danger in Iruka being angry with him was that he might try to injure him, which wasn't a huge threat to an elite jounin, or that he'd withhold sex. And as they weren't currently having sex it wasn't really a threat so much as a continuation of the very regrettable status quo.
And thus, having followed this logic to its obvious conclusion, Kakashi could stride into the room without visibly quailing.
"Evening, Iruka-sensei. I like the new plants. They make the room look more festive."
"Good evening, Kakashi-sensei. Yes, I think so too." And almost faster than Kakashi's normal eye could follow, Iruka had switched off the glare and was smiling politely at him. The temperature in the room went up several degrees, almost back to normal. "Do you have your mission report?"
"Ah. . . yes." Kakashi rifled through one of the inner pockets of his vest to pull out several rather crumpled and bent pieces of paper. He handed it gingerly over to Iruka.
Iruka made a few "hmmm"ing noises as he looked at the pages. "I see you brought back samples of the local flora, too," he noted. Kakashi had tried to scrape all the mud off, but. . .
"Yes, well, there was this kitten trapped. . ."
"Here," Iruka said, scribbing in red pen on an empty margin. "Make these changes and bring it back."
Kakashi took the report back, confused. He'd never been asked to actually rewrite a report before. Especially not for a D-class mission. Why did Iruka. . . He glanced down at the annotated report. There, in small, neat red pen, Iruka had written, 'I get off work in half an hour. Meet me at Ichiraku for dinner?'
He looked back up at Iruka, who looked at him politely.
"I'll get on it right away, sensei," Kakashi replied, laconic. "Later." And he ambled nonchalantly back out of the room.
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