Iruka (who had stepped out of the shower just moments before Kakashi had stepped in and refused to be convinced to return) said something that Kakashi couldn't quite hear with his head under the spray of water. So, Kakashi threw the curtain wide, only to see Iruka's back retreating from the room.
That was when he first heard it, the sound of two painfully familiar voices singing something that might have been "Deck the Halls". Frankly, Kakashi could have cared less what they were singing, not abiding by carollers on general principle – but he did care who the particular voices he could hear belonged to – and he bolted from the bathroom, nearly tripping over the edge of the tub, barely pausing to grab a towel to wrap around his waist.
"No Iruka don't open that…"
But it was far too late, the door was already half open. Kakashi dived for cover behind a living room chair, cursing his bad luck.
Iruka heard Kakashi shouting at him not to open the door, but it was really too late. It would have been rude to slam the door in Gai-sensei and Lee's faces; so he let the door swing the rest of the way open and listened politely to the spandex-clad duo's slightly overzealous rendition of "Deck the Halls" trying to ignore the sting of cold air on his still bare chest and the icicles forming in his wet hair, then applauded good-naturedly.
"That was very nice Gai-sensei, Lee. You have very…uh…unique voices."
"Thank you very much Iruka-sensei!" Lee blushed a little and bowed gratefully.
"Your compliments are much appreciated Iruka-sensei," Gai puffed out his chest, "There is nothing better for a voice of youthful power than to be exercised spreading the joys of the season!" Iruka actually took a step back at this point, because his ears were buzzing faintly, "But my precious student and I have an ulterior motive for coming here, I must admit. I wish to challenge my most esteemed eternal rival to join us in spreading Christmas cheer. If he can spread more cheer than I…"
Iruka quickly cut him short with a wave of his hand, peering over his shoulder into the living room, where one naked, pale foot was waving at him desperately from behind a chair.
"Well you see Gai-sensei…" Iruka offered awkwardly, until he heard the sound of the shower still running in the back of the house, "He's in the shower at the moment. I'll be sure to tell him that you…"
"Oh, that is not a problem Iruka-sensei!" Gai promised heartily, "Lee and I will wait for him. We wouldn't want to interrupt. Cleanliness is, after all, next to godliness. Remember that Lee!"
Lee produced a pencil and notepad from somewhere inside his uni-tard and began dutifully taking notes.
Now, it wasn't as if it was beyond Iruka's capacity to be rude, but it was cold out, and it seemed slightly more than rude to make Gai and Lee wait outside. His further reasoning was that, once they were inside, he could formulate a better plan to get rid of them without being distracted by the fact that he was almost painfully chilled.
Kakashi barely managed to stop himself from cursing aloud as Iruka invited the two spandex-clad singers into the house, and told them to make themselves comfortable in the living room.
Why should they be comfortable when he wasn't?
Kakashi's vision of his morning had not involved contortions – well, okay it had – but of a decidedly more erotic nature. It certainly hadn't involved being pressed into the little space behind his favourite chair, dripping wet with only a towel to cover his nakedness while he slowly lost the feeling in his fingers and toes and his lover made tea for his often idiotic 'eternal rival' and said rival's spookily-dedicated student.
Kakashi was working hard to suppress his chakra, but any false move, any attempt to speed himself back to the still-running shower, would give away his position instantly. He was trapped. He couldn't even begin to think of a mission where he had been caught in such a compromising position.
Dammit, dammit, dammit Gai – You are going to pay for this…
Iruka made pointless small talk with Gai and Lee while Kakashi tried to think of a way he could get out from behind the chair without being seen, sneaking peaks out from his impromptu hiding place – he could see Gai sitting on the sofa across from him, talking and gesturing animatedly, filling the whole room with his booming vocalizations.
Suddenly something caught Gai's eye and he turned towards the hallway, eyes fixed on the floor. Kakashi's mind began to spin.
Shitshitshit – Footprints! He's gonna find me!
The worst part of it all, as Kakashi tried to make himself as small as possible, wishing that the floor would swallow him up, was that he only had a single small towel to cover himself – and if it came right down to it he was going to have to cover his face before his shame because he had a reputation to maintain dammit.
Note to self: Buy bigger bath towels.
He watched Gai stand, and disappear out of his line of sight to examine the footprints he had left on the floor from his sprint from the bathroom. Kakashi braced for an attack, but instead what he got was:
"Iruka-sensei…did you perhaps come running out here to answer the door?"
Of course; Iruka was barefoot, shirtless, still wet…
Say yes Iruka, say yes!
"Well…I couldn't quite hear you over the sound of the water…"
Kakashi had to bite his tongue to keep from cheering aloud. Iruka was playing straight into what was obviously a misunderstanding on Gai's part, and he probably hadn't even realized it yet.
"Lee!" Gai boomed in a voice that was actually a little shaky, "Come, we should go."
"Hurry now Lee," Gai's voice was sharper than usual with sudden urgency, "There are still many in the village who have yet to hear you excellent youthful voice. It is rude to impose of Iruka-sensei when he is obviously busy!"
At this point Kakashi bit back a giggle, able to picture the look of abject horror on Iruka's face as the realization dawned on him.
"Ah – Gai-sensei…" Iruka began, "it isn't…"
"I am very sorry to have disturbed you Iruka-sensei," Gai boomed around the sound of the door being opened dramatically, "please apologize to my esteemed eternal rival as well. Perhaps we can undertake the challenge some other time! Let's go Lee!"
The door slammed, and Kakashi tumbled gratefully out from behind the chair, wincing and trying to rub the feeling back into his legs. When he was able to sit up without his muscles protesting too loudly, he found Iruka standing in the hallway, mouth opening and closing like a fish out of water, face so red as to be dangerously unhealthy.
"Iruka…" Kakashi ventured carefully, and the Chunin rounded on him.
"Oh this is great, just great! Why do you have to be eternal rivals with such a psychopath? Now he thinks he interrupted us having sex in the shower!"
Kakashi couldn't help himself, he laughed.
"It's not funny!" Iruka howled, "It's embarrassing! Don't you have any shame at all? It'll be all over the village by now!"
"It will not," Kakashi soothed from the floor, still unable to stand up without his knees wobbling, "Gai may be a loud-mouth, but he's also a complete prude. He might not even be able to look at me for weeks…" Kakashi paused, considering that for a moment, then smiled.
"Actually, that might not be a bad thing…"