(I don't own any characters etc etc)
“Not bad so far,” Kakashi said as the group sat to eat lunch. “We’ll pick back up in half an hour or so.”
The others nodded and began to eat in silence at first, soon making small talk.
“It’s the end of March!” Naruto cheered. “Almost a new month!”
Sai nodded. “A quarter of the year already gone. I have more art to work on, and some more jutsu as well…”
Sakura sighed. “I just wish it wasn’t April soon!”
“What? Why?” Yamato asked, surprised. “Springtime in Konoha is nice.”
“Sure, the weather and everything is,” she agreed. “But you know what tomorrow is!”
Sai, Kakashi, and Yamato exchanged a confused look, but Naruto groaned.
“I forgot! This is terrible!” he wailed.
“What’s tomorrow?” Sai ventured.
“April fool’s!” Sakura and Naruto said in unison.
“The hospital is waging a full out prank war,” she told them, shaking her head and poking her food angrily. “There’s teams, and no one trusts anyone. I mean, sure, it’ll be fun, I hope, but you just never know. And Lady Tsunade pulled in a top person to help her this year.”
“Who?” Yamato asked.
“Iruka-sensei,” Sakura grumbled.
“No!” Naruto shouted, hiding his face in his hands. “That’s terrible!”
“I know, right?” she sighed.
“Iruka-sensei?” Sai asked. “Isn’t he always friendly?”
“Sure, mostly,” Sakura agreed.
“When you’re not being a terror at the missions office,” Yamato laughed as he looked at Kakashi, who shrugged.
“Iruka is a well known prankster in the village,” the copy nin told Sai.
“He’s been hired by the Hokage as a prank consultant,” Sakura informed them.
“I mean, that’s a good idea, but everyone better watch out!” Naruto agreed. “The pranks he’s told me he’s done, and the ones others have told me about…” He paused and shook his head. “Peanut butter all over the Inuzuka compound. Wind jutsu gone crazy.”
“Traps and tricks like you wouldn’t believe,” Sakura agreed. “And we were never out of bounds for him when we were students either!”
“And he’s definitely got something planned for me, he always does,” Naruto groaned again. “Kakashi-sensei, can we take a mission out of the village tonight?”
Kakashi shook his head. “We’re already committed to one in the village tomorrow,” he reminded the group.
“I wonder if that’s all part of his plan,” Naruto wondered. “Iruka-sensei would do something like that, keep us in the village so I’d definitely be there for whatever he’s going to do to me…”
“Surely you’re making this into a bigger deal than it is,” Sai countered. “I doubt a shinobi like Iruka-sensei would plan so meticulously.”
“You don’t know him like that,” Naruto told him. “Just you wait, you’ll see!”
“I’m sure lots of people will be playing pranks tomorrow,” Yamato posed. “After all, Sakura said the whole hospital is, Iruka’s just probably a small part of it there.”
“Hopefully,” Sakura sighed. “Let’s get back to training so we can finish a bit early, I need all the rest I can get before tomorrow!”
“You’re lucky that you’ll be at the hospital and not on our mission,” Naruto said. “Want to trade?”
“And miss the pranks there? Not on your life,” she said, grinning. “I may have to watch my back all day, but I can’t wait!”
The group finished eating and cleaned up, beginning to move back to their main training area, with the jonin in the back of the group.
“I guess you’d better watch out tomorrow,” Yamato said to Kakashi, who looked at him.
“Iruka may set his sights on you.”
Kakashi shrugged. “Why?” he repeated.
Yamato raised an eyebrow. “Didn’t you get his missions office desk all muddy a few weeks ago? Not to mention you got him all muddy too?”
The copy nin shrugged again. “That was an honest mistake! I genuinely forgot I sealed a muddy uniform in that scroll when I thought I was turning in my report.”
It was the other jonin’s turn to shrug. “I’m just saying, I’d be on guard tomorrow. Big time.”
Kakashi paused as the group continued, soon catching up with them. However, Yamato’s words ran through his mind for the rest of the afternoon, and when training ended, he headed elsewhere in the village, needing to put a plan into place.
It was too late for Iruka to be at the academy, so Kakashi headed to the missions office at nearly eight o’clock.
To his delight, there sat the chuunin, the lone worker. The jonin got into his line, hoping that no one would get behind him.
It worked out that way, and Kakashi let out a small exhale - not a bad start to things, for now, at least.
When he got to the desk, Iruka gave him a smile.
“Evening, Kakashi-sensei, what can I do for you?”
“Sensei,” Kakashi greeted with a nod. “I wanted to turn in a team report,” he said, passing over a scroll.
Iruka nodded and accepted it, unrolling it to reveal…an empty scroll.
“Um…I don’t understand?” Iruka said, holding the scroll up as he looked first at it, then at Kakashi.
“Oh, there’s something just there,” Kakashi said, leaning towards him. “Let me show you.”
And then, quick as could be, he snapped a cuff onto Iruka’s left wrist.
“What the?!” Iruka yelled, dropping the scroll and jumping out of his chair, eyes wide and focused on his wrist. “What is that?”
“A chakra cuff,” Kakashi told him, sounding bored by it all.
“So I can see,” Iruka said, blinking. “This is ANBU level, why is it on me?”
“How do you know it’s ANBU level?” Kakashi asked, peering at him.
“I…it’s…never mind,” Iruka said, frowning as he looked at the jonin. “Why is this on me?”
Kakashi silently held up his own left wrist, showing a matching cuff. “To monitor you.”
“You’re crazy! This is crazy! You’re crazy!" Iruka repeated, crossing his arms. “What are you even doing, needing to monitor me?”
“I’m keeping an eye on you,” Kakashi informed him, sticking his hands in his pockets. “I know what tomorrow is, and I don’t trust you one bit.”
“What’s tomorrow?” Iruka said, shaking his head.
“April fool’s day.”
“So, I’ve got a feeling that I’m going to be on the receiving end of one of your infamous activities, and that’s a big no thank you from me. I had to take precautions, act rather than react. You know how it goes.”
Iruka closed his eyes and took a long inhale, with a longer exhale before opening his eyes again. “You’re trapping me because you’re afraid of a prank?”
“It’s monitoring, not trapping, thank you very much,” Kakashi cheerfully told him. “And yes.”
“You’re ridiculous,” Iruka said, shaking his head again but sitting back down. “So, what, you’ll track me around the village?”
“That, and you can’t go far from me,” the jonin said.
“Sure, it’s a high level type of chakra monitoring. ANBU level, you said yourself,” Kakashi commented. “We’ll need to be near-ish each other.”
“Uh…that’s a good point. I’m not sure?” Kakashi admitted.
“Kakashi-sensei!” Iruka hissed.
“Fine, geez, hold on,” Kakashi sighed, running through hand seals.
Iruka looked on as an ANBU wearing a cat mask suddenly appeared.
“Maybe you can take him to T&I for a night or two?” Iruka asked. “An evaluation, at the very least.”
“What did he do now?” the ANBU asked the teacher.
“I’m right here,” Kakashi reminded them, but was ignored.
Iruka held up his wrist, showing the chakra cuff. “He’s got one too. ‘Monitoring’ me because he’s worried I’ll prank him.”
The ANBU sighed and looked at Kakashi, who shrugged.
“It’s part of my genius plan,” he told the ANBU. “But, hey, I forgot what the range is on these?”
The ANBU held out its hand and Kakashi held out his cuffed wrist as it was turned this way and that.
“The closer the better, same room, etc,” the ANBU advised them. “Five blocks here max, I’d say, before the cuff starts to become…less comfortable.”
“ANBU are masochists,” Iruka muttered.
“You’re not wrong,” Kakashi and the ANBU said in unison before looking at each other.
“It’s to help keep tabs on the person and their use of chakra, and made for short distance work, not long distance,” the ANBU told Iruka.
“Well, can you take it off?” Iruka asked, but the ANBU shook its head.
“It’s using Hatake-san’s chakra, so he’s in control. Unfortunately.”
Iruka sighed. “Fine, thanks anyway.”
The ANBU nodded and left, seemingly eager to get away from the scene unfolding.
“So less comfortable means…?” Iruka asked Kakashi, who tilted his head as he thought about it.
“Bordering painful, at first at least. The more distance probably the more pain.”
“And you live well over five blocks from me,” Iruka said, thinking out loud. “So…that’s great, just great. Tomorrow is Friday and the kids are already going to be nightmares, and now I’ll barely get sleep. Thanks a lot. Some genius plan this is,” he said, frowning at the copy nin.
“Ah…well….this is just part of it. Guess I’ll be keeping a closer eye on you tonight.”
“And what exactly do you mean by that?” Iruka asked, raising an eyebrow.
“We’ll sleep at one of our places.”
“I admit I may not have thought about that aspect of this, but I had to place it on you tonight in case you got an early start tomorrow,” Kakashi told him. “So we’ll just crash at your place or mine, and sleep won’t be a problem. Then I’ll definitely know your plans for tomorrow.”
“Again, ridiculous,” Iruka snapped, just as another missions desk worker came in.
“What is?” they asked.
“Nothing,” Iruka said, eyes not leaving Kakashi’s. He lowered his voice. “I’ll see you in an hour outside, don’t be late.”
“I wouldn’t dream of it,” Kakashi assured him. “After all, I can tell how serious you are about it,” he said, holding up his own cuffed wrist before turning and leaving, ignoring the glares from Iruka.
An hour later, and Kakashi was as comfortable with his plan as ever, and Iruka was as furious about it.
“Okay hotshot, where are we sleeping?”
“That’s awfully forward of you, Iruka,” Kakashi commented.
“Look, I’m tired, I’ve got some grading to do, and I want to be home, so let’s just figure this out,” Iruka sighed.
“I think you just did.”
Kakashi shrugged. “To your place we go.”
“Mine?” Iruka sputtered. “Why?”
“You said it yourself. You want to be comfortable, and I assume you want to sleep in your own bed. So let’s go.”
Iruka opened his mouth as if to argue but closed it, and shook his head. “Fine. I’m too tired to argue more.”
He started to walk and Kakashi followed, heading home in silence, save for the occasional yawn from Iruka.
At his front door, the chuunin paused. “I…my place might be a bit messy,” he shyly admitted. “I wasn’t expecting company.”
“I’m sure it’s fine,” Kakashi assured him. “And if it’s not, I’ll just have blackmail material to help me avoid future pranks from you.”
Iruka rolled his eyes. “You have to get over this idea of me pranking you.”
“We’ll see,” Kakashi said, shrugging.
Iruka sighed but let them in, and gave Kakashi a brief tour of his apartment before making them tea and sitting to do some schoolwork.
Kakashi wandered a bit and peered at this and that, noting that the other man’s apartment was actually quite tidy, not to mention comfortable and welcoming.
Not for the first time, Kakashi was grateful that they had not gone to his own apartment, where is was fairly straightforward, less inviting, and probably had a far less stocked fridge.
After another large yawn, and nearing ten thirty, Iruka looked at him.
“Should we have gone to your place first for anything? Pajamas, toothbrush, that sort of thing? I didn’t even think about it!”
Kakashi shook his head. “I keep extras on me at all times to be prepared. So I’m good.”
Iruka nodded and stood. “Well, I’m beat so I’m going to get ready for bed and go to sleep. Maybe you’ll feel charitable in the morning and will end this?”
“Probably not,” Kakashi told him, and Iruka sighed.
“It was worth a shot,” Iruka said as he brought out a new pillow and blanket for the jonin. “I want to say I still can’t believe this is happening, but I’m also too tired to care that much right now. I’ll see you tomorrow,” he said, leaving the room.
“Have a good night,” Kakashi called out, as Iruka went into the bathroom.
And as the teacher looked at his wrist as he brushed his teeth, he shook his head.
“What am I even going to do about this?”