Kakashi stared forlornly into the window behind his desk. After three years of being a hokage he had enough experience to be able to finish his paperwork on time (and delegate most of the actual work on his assistants, heh), so right now he just stared into the sunset. His mind was completely blank for once. If Kakashi was anyone else than himself that might have been a good thing. But as it was it just meant that he was really, very, honestly and completely bored. And that was never a good thing. A bored kage can get dangerous.
In the previous years he always turned back to his beloved books from the infamous series by the equally infamous Jiraya of the Sannin, the Icha Icha. With his previously busy high-ranking shinobi life, he didn’t have the time to finish them as many times as others might have thought, and the story was so ingenious he found new parts to marvel at every single time. Unfortunately that came to an end recently.
The series wasn’t short by any means, it counted on fifteen books from Jiraya’s own pen and two other books published according to his unfinished work and notes,that Naruto found and was willing to go through. Three years ago he became the Rokudaime Hokage, two and half years ago he hired enough paperwork shinobi to take care of most of the bureaucracy, and by now he knew all of the seventeen books by heart.
The shock came this noon, when he opened the first page of the Icha Icha Tournament and found out with terror that he could recite all of the lines before he even read them. Sometimes he really cursed his genius brain.
When he became Hokage, he had quite a few worries. He remembered the bad days, when Minato-sensei would come home to Kushina late at night with the weight of the world on his shoulders, and the smile he would send to the ANBU guard of his wife would be weary and tired. And Kakashi worried, that he wouldn’t have the mental fortitude to withstand the agony of sending his ninjas to their deaths. He was still very much worried about that. Fortunately for him times were peaceful. So peaceful that it made the time of his sensei's short reign seem like a cold war, really. The one time he sent somebody to their death it was a traitor to the village. After even Naruto gave up on them. Two years ago. Figures.
He also remembers Tsunade’s never ending battle with paperwork. And sure at the beginning it seemed like it was multiplying on his desk on its own while he wasn’t looking. But he quite quickly worked out a system of secretaries and aides with different levels of clearance. One of the top tiers of these was, believe it or not (Believe it!) Naruto. Who unexpectedly volunteered himself. Apparently, he really took the part of preparing for the position of hokage seriously. And in the last few months, Kakashi didn’t even have to double check his work, so… That was also an unexpected upside.
The last thing that also always came to his mind was the bitter twist of Asuma’s mouth, when he talked about how much time his father, the Sandaime, spent in his office and how little at home with his family. Except with the help of the secretary system and the peace firmly in place and Iruka running with an iron fist the office with lower tier missions, Kakashi was at home every night around five. With how little sleep he needed that mostly left him almost seven hours of free time to kill.
He didn’t have a family to spent the time with (not that he needed or wanted one… His team was more than enough). He normally spent a lot of his free time with Gai, who was slowly recovering from his war injuries (slowly, too slowly). And while Gai was more than willing to spent every free second of every minute with Kakashi… It really wasn’t healthy. For either of them. Gai was his closest friend, confidant and brother in all but DNA (with Kakashi having the universal donor blood type, he couldn’t even say they didn’t share blood anymore…). But Kakashi tended to get snappy, if not given his time in silence, which Gai made a valiant effort to give him, but seemed to be physically incapable of. And even they after a few evenings of nonstop company ran out of topics to talk about and games to play.
Kakashi sighed and ran his hand over his masked face and hair. He was getting old. There was no denying that. Somewhere in his head an insistent voice remarked that he was just thirty-five and by civilian terms still a young man but by shinobi terms? He was damn old. And he wanted his Icha Icha!
There were of course a few omage books published by Jiraya’s faithful fans, but if Kakashi had to be honest it wasn’t nearly as good as the original. They got very repetitive and seemed to miss something vital. The story took second fiddle to the soft porn, the girl-characters turned vapid and stupid and the guys were all well-endowed studs… And while some of it was true for the originals, in them there was also something… more. The vapid girls made decisions impacting other characters and proved to be strong characters in their own right, while the studs opened up to show character depth… The story was deep and engaging and full of twists and turns that were subtly foreshadowed but not telegraphed. There was a reason he lost a fight with his students when Naruto started shouting spoilers. The story was that good.
Suddenly Kakashi straightened. Of course! How could he be so blind? Naruto! He was Jiraya-sama’s disciple, complained several times about having to beta for the white-haired sannin on their journey, and then finished his teacher’s two incomplete books according to his notes… Maybe he will write another! He had to have learned something on his journey, aside from a bigger version of a jutsu he already knew before leaving, right? RIGHT?
„No, absolutely not, sensei.“
“Oh, come now my cute little student. Surely you see the severity of my plight, don’t you? Surely, you must understand the depth of my suffering!”
Naruto frowned at him in a way that clearly stated he had no idea what half of the words used mean. Kakashi sighed. Right. Easier vocabulary.
“Just… Please, Naruto. I am so. Incredibly. Bored. Will you please write me an Icha Icha sequel? You saw Jiraya’s writing process. I need another book!”
Naruto crossed his arms across his chest. Crap. Wrong move. “You are bored, in my dream job, and you are asking me to write you porn? Seriously?”
Kakashi sighed. Yeah. He should have expected that. “You know I didn’t mean it like that. Please, Naruto. Just a short story. And you know it’s not about the porn! I don’t care about that.”
Naruto almost shook his fist this way, right before remembering the bouquet of purple flowers in his hand and carefully lowered his arm in a way that said Ino threatened his life and health, if he does anything to the flowers. “Sure, it’s not about the porn. That’s why I caught you a week ago giggling in your office about Aika-chan loosing her bra. I wrote that bit. Never again.”
Kakashi went to his last resort. The puppy eyes. He let his eyes go big and watery, clasped his hands beneath his chin and jutted his lower lip, so it was visible beneath his mask. He didn’t have to use his secret weapon often. Actually, the last time he did it was on Minato-sensei… And it worked like a charm. Naruto can’t be that different… Can he?
He can. His blond student got a slightly horrified look on his face and took a step back. He stuttered something along the lines of already being late, and then took off in the direction of Ichiraku Ramen.
Kakashi stopped emoting and frowned behind his fleeing student. What the hell? Why didn’t that work? Eh…
That being said… With Naruto buying flowers for Hinata, that actually sounded a lot like one of the subplots of Icha Icha Courtship, where the main hero character got his love a strange flower of unknown origin and of heavenly smell, and when the well-endowed Noe-chan scented the flower she became so hot and bothered, she actually… Oooh, there’s an idea.
Could he actually orchestrate some of the scenes from his favourite novel to happen in real life? Sure, he would have to choose his targets carefully, but for example, Naruto was right there! And Hinata actually looked a lot like Tsuki-chan from Icha Icha Patience, now that he thought about it… Also, Sasuke is set to arrive back to Konoha any day, now! This is perfect! Time to plan!
The dinner was going very well, if Naruto was any judge. The restaurant was awesome, the food was good, his fans (he actually had fans now! And he finally understood Sasuke, when he said he hated them with passion) left him and Hinata alone for once, and while his sensei for some reason sat at a table not far from them with Gai-sensei of all people, they just nodded at one another in greeting and then left the other to their companions.
And what a pleasant companion it was… Hinata looked stunning. Sure, now that he finally noticed her (oh, the pain of the years they could have been together already, he’s such an idiot!), she always looked stunning to him but tonight? Her long silky hair was held back slightly from her porcelain face and her beautiful eyes seemed to reflect all of the light in the room. Her dress that reminded him of a modern version of a kimono, and accentuated all of her… assets, helped in all of those respects as well. Oh, come on, stop looking at him like that! He’s smitten alright, but he’s also a healthy still-teenaged boy!
His wallet was safely in his trousers (ha! He didn’t forget it this time!), and tea and desserts were on the way to end the already great evening on an even sweeter note. He smiled slightly. Hinata was soft spoken and didn’t talk that much but seemed content to listen to him babble on about anything and everything, seeming to always pay attenttion and ask all the right questions. He asked her several times, about her day, and after a few tries, even got a short story out of her about her younger sister.
Since Naruto was in the middle of telling his date about his morning training with the frogs and making her giggle cutely with his imitations of Gamatatsu’s whining, he didn’t notice Kakashi calling his server to him, whispering in his ear for a few minutes and then slipping him some money and a small object.
And so when Hinata sipped her black tea with milk for the first time and stopped suddenly, Naruto didn’t expect anything untoward. He just continued in his story and halted only when Hinata made a strange startled sound.
Naruto finally looked her way and inhaled loudly and suddenly. There, in Hinata’s finger, still wet and dripping with milky tea, was a ring.
Not just any ring either. A gold one. With a shiny stone at the top, and fancy engraving at the sides and a writing on the inside, that Naruto couldn’t make out from his position. He could feel the night suddenly getting cold.
“N-Naruto-kun, I… I am honoured, but… but… Don’t you think… We should… We should… Wait? I mean…” Hinata wasn’t looking at him, as Naruto was wildly shaking his head. No! What the hell!
“This… This is only our third date, and…”
Naruto finally found his voice. And since he’s Naruto, and loudness has never been a problem for him, his outrage was heard and felt by not only that particular restaurant but also the night club and the convenience store on either side of it.
“I’m sorry, Hinata! That wasn’t me! I mean! I wouldn’t mind marrying you but really! It is too early, I mean, this was the first date that I didn’t mess up, and now this and! I’m so sorry Hinata! Hey! You! What the hell? Who the hell puts random rings in people’s drinks! You!”
At that point, a small crowd (of Naruto’s fangirls) gathered in front of the restaurant, all of the people inside the restaurant paid full attention to the table of their blond hero and his date. As Naruto started to get up from his seat to give the poor server a piece of his mind, said poor man looked like he is soon going to shake himself apart with fear and fall through the floor.
“It-It wasn’t me! I swear!” he squeaked, as Naruto started to make his way to him. “The man gave it to me, said you wanted that! I’m innocent! P-please!”
Luckily for everyone, Hinata managed to catch her date’s arm and stopped him. “N-Naruto-kun, it’s alright. I-I’m sure it was an honest mistake. Right?”
The blank slightly frightening eyes turned to the server, who started to nod frantically. When the blond turned to his date, the poor man turned tail and ran. And cursed the day he listened to a whitehaired man (he couldn’t possibly be the rokudaime, their hero wouldn’t possibly do anything so petty) and thought that a proposal like that is a romantic and a wonderful idea.
As Naruto paid, his fury slowly ebbed away to disappointment. Another date ruined. He took Hinata to Ichiraku Ramen for their first date (which he then got scolded by Sakura for) but forgot his wallet and Hinata actually had to pay for everything. Naruto ate ten bowls, because he just got paid for a B-rank mission. Hinata herself didn’t seem to mind that much but still. Jiraya-sensei told him quite clearly, that it was the man who should pay for the date.
The second one he didn’t mess up that bad but still. He bought them ice-cream and took Hinata for a walk behind the village, showed her his favourite spot on the Yondaime’s head, and then spent a lovely afternoon walking around the village. Where they were promptly spotted by his fairly new fanclub (there was one girl who was like ten, what the heck?), were stalked all across the village and finally confronted at the village square. There some of the girls started crying and hysterically screaming that Naruto was taken (whatever the hell that meant) and that their life was ruined. Naruto was forced to actually leave Hinata then and there and use his clones to escape his rabid fanclub as they attempted to… He didn’t know what they tried to do. And he really didn’t want to find out. When he finally managed to get away, it was close to midnight and Hinata was sleeping soundly.
And now this. This was supposed to go perfectly. Chouji helped him choose the restaurant. Ino and Sakura advised him on what to do during the dinner, how to dress, and Ino even helped him choose the perfect flowers to give to Hinata as an apology and invitation to the date. And now this. Everything is ruined. Again. Hinata is never going to go on another date with him.
As he forlornly returned to his date and offered her his arm in the way that Ino and Sakura beat into him, Hinata smiled slowly.
“N-Naruto-kun, would you mind if I kept the ring? I… I know it’s not from you, but it has our names inside and…”
Naruto blinked several times stupidly and then looked at the ring Hinata showed him. And really, their names were written inside the ring with simple hiragana. Well, that is one elaborate prank. Konohamaru, maybe? He will have to ask him. And then, if it was really him, beat the snot out of the little brat for ruining his date.
When he realized Hinata is anxiously waiting for his response, he smiled. “Sure, Hinata. It’s a really pretty ring. I just… I’m sorry about tonight. I really wanted it to be perfect.” The last part was murmured to the ground.
Hinata laughed quietly. “But Naruto-kun. It was perfect.”
The day Sasuke arrived to Konoha was a dark one. The clouds were covering the sky, shivering with the promise of rain, the wind picked up several times and ominously blew stray leaves around the street. The dark silhouette getting closer and closer to the village only seemed to add to the general dread the weather seemed to create.
Granted the moment was somewhat broken, when two figures, one in red and with bright pink hair the other with bright blond hair and eye-searingly orange pants, ran up to the dark one and glomped him so hard all of them fell to the ground.
The grey-haired sensei made a more leisurely way towards to pile of his students. When he was about a meter away, they finally managed to get back to their feet. Sasuke seemed a bit winded, but a small rare smile graced his normally frowning lips. And if he seemed to grasp at Sakura’s hand a bit longer and harder than Naruto’s, who was Kakashi to make a comment. He did make a giddy mental note, though.
“So, Sasuke. First part of sentence behind you. How long are you staying?”
Sasuke cleared his throat and straightened his back. “About a month. I… Have a lead I have to follow after.” The almost shy glance he sent to Sakura was telling. Very telling.
“Very good then.” Nodded Kakashi, laid a hand on his former student’s shoulder and turned to lead them back to the village proper. Behind him, Naruto started to explain in his usual volume the things Sasuke missed during his exile with Sakura adding things here and there and Sasuke hn-ing at appropriate moments.
As Sakura excused herself for a shift at the hospital, Kakashi allowed himself to smile. His first attempt at one of his favourite scenes from Icha Icha Romance didn’t work out as well as he had hoped, but this time it will work much better. He will make sure of it.
It wasn’t hard to convince Naruto to go to a bar to celebrate Sasuke’s temporary return. And once Naruto was determined to go, Sasuke didn’t really stand a chance.
From there it was only the matter to get those two into a drinking competition, which… That was a matter of three sentences. Naruto was naturally competitive and even after all these years Kakashi knew Sasuke too well to fail at this.
Considering who he had to work with Kakashi’s chosen victim was clear. Where Sasuke had very little experience with alcohol, Naruto travelled with Jiraya AND had the Kyuubi. Add that to him being a Uzumaki, and he not only knew when to stop (even though his taste in alcohol was appalling) but had almost unlimited stamina. If Kakashi wanted to get him drunk, that would be far too expensive.
Sasuke on the other hand? Too easy. The poor boy had trouble walking to the toilet after measly three cups, but stubbornly continued to drink more and more. By the time Kakashi deemed him drunk enough for his plan to work, he was just mumbling something incoherently, cried twice and almost picked a fight with a pillar. Naruto left on slightly wobly legs just minutes before (paying for both him and Sasuke, jackpot!), after Kakashi sincerely promised to take Sasuke home. Considering he drank about twice the amount Sasuke did, that was quite a feat.
Kakashi hoisted Sasuke on his shoulder and made his way outside. Where he promptly signalled for one of his ANBU guards and asked him to fetch Sakura from her shift with an emergency.
He didn’t have to wait long. Sakura came running his way with a frantic look on her face. Huh, the ANBU really must have just told her, it was a Sasuke emergency… Damn it. Now she’s going to hit him.
Luckily for the white-haired man, the medic immediately focused on her childhood crush and the way his head lolled on Kakashi’s shoulder.
“What the hell happened?” She asked frightened as she took Sasuke from Kakashi’s arms and started checking his vitals.
“Maa, maa, it’s not so bad, Sakura…” He talked as if he was much more drunk than he actually felt. Hopefully, that will explain why Sakura is the one who has to take the Uchiha home. Yes, take him home, take care of him, caress his hair softly, and then maybe Sasuke will make an unexpected drunken confession… It will be perfect! “We just got a little merry… You know, with Sasuke back…”
Sakura sent him a look that said to shut up or else. Kakashi wisely decided to listen to her. Without another word, the pink-haired medic hoisted the Uchiha over her shoulder and started to walk carefully away from them.
Kakashi gleefully rubbed his hands and then (much to the exasperation of his ANBU guards) he took to the rooftops to tail them.
But of course, it went all wrong. About halfway to the Uchiha complex (“No! You’re supposed to take him to your bed and take care of him!”) Sasuke made a gurgling sound and then promptly threw up all over the pavement, Sakura’s shoes and half of his new cool cloak. After that he seemed to lose consciousness and if Sakura wasn’t as ready as she was, the dark-haired youth would end up face first in his own vomit. Lovely, Sasuke, just lovely.
But if Sakura now decides to stay the night with him, the depth of her love and devotion will shine through, and there might be no drunken confessions like there were in Icha Icha Tactics, but there still might be the lovelorn gratefulness and morning makeouts like there were in Icha Icha Fire… Damn, he did promise Naruto it’s not about the porn. Damn it.
Unfortunately, Sakura did none of those things. The moment Sasuke fainted she dragged him away from the mess, laid him down on the street and checked him over. The she hoisted him up in her arms like a bride and turned her way toward the hospital.
And Kakashi could only watch helplessly, as his student got admitted on his first night back in Konoha for alcohol poisoning. Poor Sasuke got scolded first thing after waking up by Sakura, then by Iruka. He spent the day glaring and recovering from the mother of all hangovers in the impersonal white room, while Sakura glared at all three of them. And Naruto (when not hiding from Sakura’s wrath) laughed at all of them, as he was the only one without a migraine the following morning.
Kakashi sulked. That was really the only way to call that. Gai tried everything he could think of but nothing worked. Ever since Kakashi came crying to him (not that Kakashi would call it that but there were definitely tears and some anguished sobbing involved) that he can’t read the Icha Icha anymore, Kakashi just wasn’t the same. He was muttering to himself, looked forlorn and seemed to listen to Gai even less than usual. Then suddenly Kakashi took him to dinner to one of the best restaurants and asked him about bars around Konoha (not that Gai knew anything about such an unyouthful thing as drinking. Eh) and actually talked to him…
And then yesterday Kakashi went to greet his old student (such youthful scene! Ah!) and returned… Sulking. Which was the only thing he did since. When Gai tried to find out what by the eternal meadows happened, Kakashi just murmured something about a ruined Fire Tactics and hid his face deeper in Gai’s couch.
Gai blinked a few times. What can that mean? Kakashi was not the type to sulk about a dire situation, so hopefully it wasn’t anything truly dangerous the village as a whole…
“Rival. Are you very sure you have to lock yourself away from the world? Wouldn’t it be much more youthful and hip to go and face your problems head on?”
In that moment Kakashi shot up from his laying position. “Gai! You’re a genius! Lock them in a room! That is perfect!” In the next moment his white-haired rival was in the wind. Gai blinked the shocked expression from his face and chuckled.
Even after all these years, his Eternal Rival still doesn’t cease to surprise him…
“…And, there! Just like in Icha Icha Siege! Locked room! It will be perfect! And I can even watch them from the Hokage crystal!” Kakashi actually jumped a bit with glee. And then quickly hid behind a corner to await the arrival of his first victim.
The moment Sasuke turned the corner on the way from his check-up the Kakashi clone grabbed his shoulder and showed him into the tiny room behind the reinforced door. Only the sound of a lock sounded and an almost maniacal laughter followed.
The room was much smaller than Sasuke preferred, but it should be alright. There still enough space to stretch his legs, so…
Now, under normal circumstances Sasuke would blast out of there without any trouble whatsoever. The problem? He was still in the hospital building. Sakura made it very clear that whatever happened to him, should any of the mostly new hospital equipment be found broken in his presence, would make his stay with Orochimaru look like a summer camp. In his better days Sasuke acknowledged he still had quite a few problems. Lack of self-preservation wasn’t one of them. At least not anymore. Whatever.
By the time, Sakura was showed inside and the same sound of locking and maniacal laughter came, this time followed with the unmistakable sound of a popping shadow clone, Sasuke attempted to pick the lock, disarm the seals preserving the walls and break the lock in a way that could be later replaced. None of his efforts were unfortunately successful. So by the time Sakura landed inside he just sat by the near wall, determined to wait for at least several more hours. He wasn’t going to incur the wrath of his teammate for nothing. If an intruder tried to take his place, they picked the most watched person in the village and would be found very shortly.
And suddenly he had arms full of the pink-haired medic. The room suddenly seemed much smaller than before.
Sakura immediately threw herself against the door and banged on it a few times, but she too seemed to give up fairly quickly and sat against the wall on the other side of the room. Even though they sat as far from one another as the small room allowed, their folded legs still touched. Sasuke nervously gulped and tightened the grip of his hand on his ankles.
Sakura shyly tucked a strand of her hair behind her ear and smiled slightly at her companion. Sasuke promptly turned his gaze up to the ceiling and took a deep breath.
“You know, Sasuke-kun…” That made Sasuke glance at her quickly. She hasn’t called him that in quite some time. “I really did want to talk to you about something, and really… This is as good an opportunity as any.”
Somewhere in the hokage office the Rokudaime squealed and earned a very freaked out look from one of his aides.
Sasuke took another deep breath, closed his eyes and let his head fall back to lean back against the wall. His fingers were now hidden beneath the cloth of his cloak (washed. Several times), white with how strongly they were gripping the cloth of his trousers.
“I just… I know this is really silly, and you probably don’t want to hear it again, but… I never stopped. Thinking about you. And sure, the last time we talked, really talked, we were thirteen and kinda stupid, but… I meant it. I still mean it. I know you are not in a place you could take this but… If you ever find in yourself, that you want somebody to wait here just for you… I’m here.”
Sakura finally raised her head to look at her companion. She finally said it! She will have to tell Ino, that she finally stopped being a little coward and told Sasuke about her feelings.
And then the sight of his face, whiter then normal, strained features and deep breaths registered. Damn it! Here she is thinking about a chance to have heart to heart and Sasuke seems seriously hurt! Stupid Sakura! Stupid!
She quickly crossed the short length of the room and laid a hand on Sasuke’s forehead. His temperature was normal, but the cold sweat was a worrying sign. The jerk Sasuke made and how he then tried to get farther away was telling on its own. Sakura quickly pressed herself to the other side of the room again and Sasuke seemed to relax a tiny bit.
“Sasuke… Somebody hurt you?” The few moments it took Sasuke to shake his head were probably the longest in Sakura’s life. Or one of the longest.
“No, no… Just the room. It’s too… small.” Sasuke closed his eyes again and tried to inhale deeply again. Unfortunately, it seemed that some kind of line was crossed. His breaths came quicker and quicker, while his face was whiter and whiter.
Sakura did a quick overview of the hospital around her and nearby equipment. Then she squeezed her hand into a tight fist and turned to the wall right next to the reinforced door.
On the other side of the building, another couple of ninjas was put into a very similar situation. As Naruto was shoved into the room first (he wasn’t even near the hospital, how the hell?!?), he was already sitting along a wall with the surfaces all around him covered with tell-tale spiral shaped gauges.
Hinata was shoved inside with the same vigour as Sakura was along the same time on the other side of the hospital. She almost flew through the door and ended up fully lying across Naruto’s lap. Her breasts pressed against his chest, their faces just centimetres away from one another, his hands tightly gripping her tiny waist, her palms laying against his firm chest… And so Hinata did what any sane teenage girl would do, if faced with the same situation of suddenly and unexpectedly ending in an intimate position with her crush of the last ten years.
And Naruto predictably did what every teenage boy would do if his girlfriend suddenly fainted in his arms. He freaked out bad.
He started shaking and calling her name, shouting for anyone to come and help.
By this time the training Sakura beat into his skull in the last few years over and over finally kicked in. Naruto could bind his own bandages on a good day, but Sakura made sure he knew first field non-medic aid by heart.
He quickly rolled Hinata into a stable position, checked her heartbeat and pulse and then proceeded to give her breathing from mouth to mouth when he decided her own breathing wasn’t stable enough.
Which was of course the moment Hinata managed to wake up. With Naruto’s lips firmly over hers and forcing a strong breath into her lungs. In the ensuing panic Hinata managed to scream, shove Naruto away, scramble away to the other side of the room.
And the situation caught up to her… Naruto-kun was… Kissing her? And there she went again.
Luckily she was already half sitting against the wall and so her fall wasn’t long.
When Naruto threw himself across the room to get to her slumped form the second time, her face sported a dopey smile.
“Oh, kami, Hinata! I’m sorry! Hinata! Wake up! Come on! I swear I won’t do that again!”
At that moment the hole building shook, dust fell from the ceiling and Naruto quickly shielded his unconscious girlfriend from any potential falling debris. Not that he had to. The building was built to withstand Tsunade’s frequent temper tantrums. Still, it’s the thought that counts… Right?
In the hokage office, the Rokudaime shoved his crystal ball into a drawer and proceeded to once again sulk. And it almost looked like it would work, too! Ok, Hinata fainting wasn’t planned, but really he should have expected that. But Sakura? She actually had to bring down a wall? Seriously. He sighed and cancelled the seal keeping Naruto and Hinata’s door closed. He didn’t bother with the other door. It didn’t really exist anymore anyway.
“Hey, Kakashi-sensei? Why do you wanna hire these guys? For a secret mission? Wouldn’t it be better to send our own ninjas? And what secret mission?”
Kakashi sent his student an angry look. He will have to have a serious talk with his head secretary. Naruto was never supposed to see those!
“No reason, Naruto. And it’s an official hokage business. Secret means I can’t tell you.” The dummy at the end of that sentence went unspoken, but both heard it. It might not be as fond as it usually was, but it was still there. Naruto huffed and put the documents none too gently on Kakashi’s table.
“You sign it then, if it’s so secret. I know better now to sign things when I don’t know what they mean. And I swear to kami, Kakashi-sensei, if it’s another shipment of porn I’m telling Sakura on you.”
Kakashi really wanted to rebuke him. Say that that was nonsense and slander and how could his cute little student spout such dreadful lies about his old teacher… And then he remembered the incident three months ago. How he actually ordered a book that the international reviewer said was a true homage to Jiraya’s great work. And it ended up being a comic of Icha Icha Married Life. A very graphic comic. That Kakashi ordered hundred times by mistake. That arrived straight to the Hokage tower and was delivered to Iruka’s main desk.
Naruto actually took the fall for that one. Kakashi asked him (tricked him) into apologizing to Iruka for it, while Kakashi himself took an unexpected two days holiday… He did take one of the comics with him. It is a marvellous work… Aaanyway. Back to topic.
Kakashi quickly read the hire agreement for the unnamed group for hire and stamped the hokage seal on it with a grin. This is going to be amazing.
The letter in Sakura’s mailbox seemed unimportant at first. The plain white paper and the handwriting was unfamiliar and nondescript. She did notice that the post office stamp was missing. That pickled her interest.
She took the letter inside, opened it and groaned. It was a love note. A very long one, a very well written one. The author didn’t sign his name but asked her to come and meet him at a known spot for romantic couples in a park nearby.
If Sakura was anybody else than the most fearsome female ninja in Konoha, she probably never would have gone. Too dangerous. As it was she was kinda sure she would be able to take anything they throw at her and then make the rest of their very short life a living hell. The possibility that this is real worried her much more. She couldn’t possibly even entertain the thought of another relationship, not with how hung up she still was on Sasuke. It wouldn’t be fair.
She would go to this meeting point. She would sit this secret admirer down and explain the whole situation as clearly and painlessly as possible. It wasn’t in her nature to be cruel to people who didn’t deserve it.
A few districts away Sasuke opened a very similar letter. As he got to the meeting request, he made a disgusted noise, crumbled the note and threw it to a waste basket behind him. Of course he will not go there. Best case scenario? Someone is looking to prank him (Naruto, that idiot), and he will stand there for a few hours, until whoever did this grows tired of giggling at him and comes out from behind the treeline. Worst case? The letter is actually sincere and Sasuke would have to meet a girl and talk about… Bleh, feelings. He kinda liked what he had going on with Sakura. She understood what he was saying without making him form the actual words, wasn’t an idiot, and got… really pretty in the last few years he spent outside Konoha. No, better to not give this other girl false hopes. If she’s real, she can take one standing up in a well populated park in the middle of Konoha.
The group had a very specific scenario they were supposed to play out. They got detailed descriptions of both targets, their photos, and updated reports on what they are wearing. Tatsuka, the leader, wanted to argue that they weren’t THAT stupid but really, the job paid too well for him to complain.
The timing really was everything. As the couple turned the corner, Tatsuka gave the signal to his second in command Gomo, and then threw himself along with approximately two thirds of his coworkers at the blond guy. Tatsuka himself weighed a good hundred kilos himself and had a good five centimetres on the blond, and the rest of them were of very similar statures. With the bright exception of Tana who looked like a small ogre and really could give some Akimichis a run for their money, when it came to both height and weight. About seven of his people were now lying all across the blond and pretended to beat him up, though (as the instruction explicitly stated) none of their hits more than grazed their target.
As this was going on, Gomo and Kiruma grabbed the girl, their escape with her covered by two others. Tatsuka slowly got up from the pile just as Gomo neared the other corner and prepared to say his part in the dialog he had to memorize. The girl called after her boyfriend desperately. Tatsuka smirked. The scene was perfect.
“Haha, you, a hero? Your damsel shall be ours. By dawn-“
At that moment several things happened. For one, the pile of his men got thrown away. Poor Tana sailed a whole three meters before painfully landing against a wall, where he immediately started to cry. And from behind him a yelp of manly pain sounded. When Tatsuka turned he saw Gomo clutching his… manly parts softly keening in pain, the three others slumped around them in similar states.
Before he could properly feel sorry for their hurt prides, something grabbed him shirt and hoisted him quite a bit above ground. Before him stood a demon of pure light, power and anger. Well, ok the aura around him gave out just light and power. His face? He hadn’t seen anyone so pissed of in a very long time.
“What the hell do you think you were doing?” asked the demon through gritted teeth.
Tatsuka finally seemed to find his voice. “We-we were hired! Please, this… We wouldn’t do anything! We’re… We’re actors! Hokage-sama said we were playing a game! Please!”
He could feel tears coming to his eyes. This was not supposed to happen! Why didn’t he listen to Ueda, when he said they should visit the festival in Tanzaku Gai instead? Why didn’t he listen to his mother, when she told him to stop with this acting business and go work in the rice field like all of his brothers? He could actually see all his life flashing before his eyes.
Then the guy let go. Tatsuka slumped gratefully to the ground, assumed a fetal position and tried very hard not to cry. Since Tana actually outright sobbed in fright just a few meters away, it wasn’t easy.
The blond guy fumed for a few more minutes, took a deep calming breath and then the cloak made of light disappeared.
“N-Naruto-kun?” The girl stuttered. Yeah right! She basically obliterated Gomo and Kiruma! Nobody is buying your shy innocence, you… Ninja!
The guy actually growled and Tatsuka decided, that hiding his head between his knees is the best possible plan. “Sorry about that, Hinata. Would it be alright with you if we… Visited Kakashi-sensei?”
Since Tatsuka wasn’t watching, he couldn’t see the pale eyes of the girl light up in mischievous understanding. “Of course, Naruto-kun. Lead the way.”
As the two left the poor actors to their devices and pain, and disappeared behind a corner, Tatsuka slowly got to his feet and went to check on all of his coworkers. Luckily, beside a few heavily bruised prides, only Yama had any lasting damage in the form of a black left eye. Not that good for an actor, but it will be coverable by make-up by the time they get Takumi. If anyone thinks they are ever showing their faces in Konoha ever again, they are sorely mistaken.
“Kakashi-sensei! What the hell was that?!? Why would hire a bunch of actors to beat us up and kidnap Hinata! Kakashi-sensei! Hey!”
The strong voice from Naruto carried all the way from the entrance hall up to his office. And the voice was also rapidly getting closer. Unfortunately, it also seemed from the chakra signatures that a couple of clones were sitting along the wall of the tower preventing his escape. Damn himself and Shikamaru for teaching Naruto strategy! Double damn!
Soon enough, the door to his office was slammed open, almost falling out of its hinges. Naruto stood there in his best hoodie (isn’t that an oxymoron? No matter) and with the face of a man who trashed Uchiha Madara and walked away to continue fighting. Yeah… Maybe pissing him of wasn’t such a good idea.
Kakashi quickly hid beneath his desk. It wouldn’t do anything for him, but at least it gave him a false sense of safety. And a place to summon Pakkun and find something to switch with in an emergency… Well, hopefully it won’t come to that.
“Actors? What in the world could you mean, Naruto-kun?” No, don’t call him Naruto-kun, you only do that when you are trying pull something over him.
“The actors that you hired to mess with me and Hinata! It was you, wasn’t it? I knew you were planning something…”
“Maa, maa,” said the clone as it carefully left the safety of his desk. “why would I hire actors to mess with you, when I can simply do that on my own?” The clone sat in his chair and tried to look innocent and clueless. Which was of course the moment he noticed Hinata glaring suspiciously at him. The girl could actually glare! And it was kinda terrifying! When did that happen?
“Hokage-sama, why would you try to mess up our dates? Don’t you want us to be together?” Asked the girl.
“What in the world could you mean?” The act was getting thin… He will have to think of something fast, or not even the clone will help him.
“You were the one to plant the ring in my teacup, were you not? You knew it would make everything awkward. And you locked us up in that hospital room. I had to help in there for the next two weeks, because of the damage Sakura-chan had to do to get her and Sasuke-kun out… And now this.” He couldn’t say Hinata looked truly angry. More like a disappointed mother. Which in a girl twelve years his junior was perhaps even more terrifying than the pure anger.
“That was you?!” Oh, my dumb cute little student… Now you get it. After your girlfriend spelled it out for you… Minato-sensei would be… Ok, no, he would be proud as hell, that his son is seeking justice. Damn him again.
Kakashi’s clone slumped back into his chair and decided that coming mostly clean is the way to go right now. “Very well then. I confess, I did ruin your dates. Not on purpose though. I wanted to convince Naruto to write me an Icha Icha sequel, but he wouldn’t budge, so… “ The clone shrugged nonchalantly.
For a little while, he really thought Naruto was going to punch him. But then the blond’s shoulders visibly relaxed, as he looked to his girlfriend as if for a counsel. And Hinata just smiled and shrugged. And Naruto seemed to actually know what that meant. Kakashi had to smile a bit.
“You know I won’t write you anything, I’m done with porn. But I do have the rest of Ero-sennins work. It’s mostly unfinished, but there are quite a few short stories and a lot of… ehm, detailed scenes, that didn’t really fit anywhere.” The colour of Naruto’s face was very near the colour of his late mother’s hair. “I can get them for you, if you want.”
Kakashi could feel tears of happiness coming to his eyes. He quickly dispelled the clone, and actually crossed his desk, so that he could grab the coughing Naruto in a fierce hug. “You would really do that for me?”
“Yeah, I… guess. If you let me go, that is…” Awkward. But still, Kakashi felt positively giddy. This is going to be awesome!
Three weeks passed with Kakashi happily digging though the treasure that was Jiraya’s sealing scroll in which he had kept his unfinished work. So far he found three very descriptive waterfall scenes, one bedroom striptease, two accidental bathhouse meetings and one very explicit scene involving three guys and two girls. He wanted to say he threw that away, but… Well.
A knock on the door to the office sounded, and as Kakashi raised his head Sasuke slowly entered the room, careful not to step on any papers. Smart boy. Knows what’s good for his health.
“Sensei, I’m leaving again. Does the plan for me to return in three months still stand?”
Kakashi hummed in agreement and stared at his student intently. Something was different about him.
“Something’s different. What?”
And really, the moment Sasuke went red and started to sputter something about Sakura, Kakashi didn’t really need to know anything else. His boy was a man now!
“Yeah, sure, the plan stands.” Kakashi was very good at keeping his cool while fangirling on the inside. He had to to stay as the respected Hokage after all… “Be sure to send your weekly reports, and we should be fine.”
Sasuke, visibly relieved that Kakashi stopped him, simply nodded and turned to leave. Just by the door he stopped and turned towards his former teacher. “When I come back? Please don’t lock me in tiny rooms again. Didn’t really go over well.” And he was gone.
Kakashi actually giggled. With this material, maybe he will write his own attempt of Icha Icha. About a lonely kage who on his quest to protect everyone found love in his well-endowed friend-turned secretary. He wondered, what Gai would say to his idea. He didn’t really seem to approve of his attempts to manipulate his students and Hinata, but he might like this one better. He would actually read it, if Kakashi was the author. And what would he call it? An alliteration could be nice… Icha Icha Hokage Hijinks?