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Training Day

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The sun was high in the sky, so bright that it nearly bleached all of the color out of their surroundings. It was the height of summer, with a scorching temperature to match. In ordinary circumstances Kakashi would spend his day off lounging in a tree, enjoying the small respite from the heat that the shade provided, and re-reading his favorite passages in Icha Icha Paradise (the original, and still the best). In ordinary circumstances he would never have chosen to be on an open training field, utterly without shade, taking part in an impromptu sparring match while the sun beat down and all but roasted him alive inside the layers of his uniform.

And he definitely would not have chosen to be exhausted, beaten down by the unassuming chuunin who stood just a few feet away, a wide grin on his face.

On second thought he probably would have chosen that. Well, maybe not the exhaustion and the having been beaten in a sparring match parts, but Umino Iruka as his companion? Yes, please! He'd take that almost any day.

Then he heard a loud exhale and suddenly a tanned hand was before his face, and when he took it Iruka tugged him to his feet. Kakashi was about to make a comment about how impressed he was by the chuunin's skill when he felt his mouth drop open in shock.

Iruka had bent forward for a moment, resting his hands on his knees, and when he straightened up he had removed his hitai-ate and his flack vest was unfastened. Nothing surprising in that on such a hot day. But when Iruka, without a hint of self-consciousness, raised the hem of his uniform shirt and used it to wipe the sweat from his face. . . Well, was it any wonder that Kakashi felt his jaw go slack and his mouth dry?

It wasn't just the broad expanse of tan skin over deliciously defined abs. Now that Kakashi really looked there was plenty to grab and hold his attention. The way Iruka's face all but glowed from the heat and exertion. The way his sweat-soaked sleeves clung to, and highlighted, the broadness of his shoulders and the muscles of his arms. The delighted little smile that made his lips oh-so-kissable, and the -

“Thanks for training with me, Kakashi-san. I would have really hated to lose a day.”

Kakashi just stared, unable to get his brain to compose any sort of response.

Iruka's brow furrowed in consternation, which made the scar across his nose almost twitch. “Kakashi-san, are you all right?”

Kakashi's mental faculties finally kicked in. Unfortunately the only thing they spit out was probably the single most banal response, ever. “Huh? Yeah, the weather's been pretty nice, yeah.” Then he mentally kicked himself. Hard.

Iruka smiled. “Hmmm, if you say so,” he said, glancing up at the bleached blue sky and the blazing sun. “I'm hungry. How about some lunch? My place isn't far, and I'll even cook.”

Kakashi looked down at himself, at his sweaty and dirt-caked uniform. “In this condition, sensei? You should at least give me a chance to clean up.”

Iruka's smile broadened into a grin, and Kakashi felt his mouth go dry all over again at the slightly lascivious tinge to the expression. “I never said you couldn't use my shower,” the chuunin replied, one eyebrow raised.

“I thought you'd never ask.”