Meditations on the act of Not-Failing
AN: NaruKakaNaru. Naruto's various ages, but the relationship happens when he's like 16.5.
So there was this challenge in the KakaNaru LJ comm...And it was only supposed to be one sentence per prompt. But I failed at it... BECAUSE I WROTE TOO MUCH. And I repost because I think they turned out rather well, and 'cause they worked out into a single universe. The prompts were: sunshine, regret, desire, death, white, road.
Warnings: NC-17, hops around time-wise, a lot of story between the cracks.
"Yo." He gave a lazy wave towards Asuma, not taking his eye from the training field.
"Shouldn't you be like, training them?"
"They're on a gardening D-rank, I left a shadow clone with them." Asuma tilted his head at the trio by the bridge, pointedly, "They look bored. Again, shouldn't you be training them?"
Kakashi wanted to sigh, but he just slouched further. Muttered, "Sasuke's pretty much chunin level already. Sakura has chunin level chakra control and essentially can't take advantage of it until she decides to stop starving herself and realizes that Sasuke doesn't like weakness."
The other jounin raised an eyebrow at him, "And Naruto?"
"Naruto's a very short road," he admitted, internally cringing but hoping that saying it outloud might help. Or at least provoke Asuma into properly smacking him upside the head since clearly smacking *himself* hadn't been helping.
"A very short, orange, underage road... to hell."
"Kakashi, you can't be saying-"
"Hmm. He is, unfortunately, your type," Gai butted in, from a quiet Dynamic Entry, his face a grand parody of pondersome thoughts. "And while your flames of youth burn brightly, his is decidedly and uncomfortably more youthful still."
"I know," he replied, uneasy but not even twitching, though unable to stop his nails from digging into his palm.
"You," Gai paused, with a slight concerned grimace, "shouldn't smother his springtime."
"I *know*," he insisted. "And your genin?" Kakashi asked roughly with an eyebrow raised.
"Doing laps," Gai smiled, and wagged his finger, "And don't insinuate or change the topic, you know that Lee is like a son to me."
He did, but he couldn't help trying. Kakashi held back a sigh and glanced at Asuma who'd been oddly silent. The man was staring at the blond.
"...you know, I'd never taken a close look, but he really does take after the best parts of his parents doesn't he?"
"His mother was very pretty," Gai opinioned.
"And to hear the women say it, so was his father, if that's your type," Asuma added, then smacked Kakashi across the shoulder, "Buck up, you poor sod. Wait a couple years and see where it goes."
"And in the meantime?" Kakashi asked petulantly, they watched as Naruto yell at Sasuke only to get brushed off, and talk at Sakura only to get ignored or hit, and watched his face fall, and then watched his face firm up and smile again. And Kakashi can't help but let out a little sigh; and it was utterly, completely, stupid-sounding.
Like he was some girl.
With a crush.
He would be mortified but he was too busy being appalled at himself for perving over his cute little student.
"In the meantime," Gai said slowly, "I think, my Rival, that you should make good friends with your hands." Pause. Ping! Thumbs up! "Nay! Eternal Friends."
Asuma had to stifle his laughter into a series of quiet coughs.
Only the fact that he did not want to alert his genin (and his crush) to their presence kept Kakashi from shoving both the other jounin right off the tree.
"Um. Hinata-chan. About what you said, like, in front of Pain-"
"N-naruto." She began, then took a deep breath, and said steadily, chin as high and as firm as she could hold it, "I meant every word."
"But. But why? I mean, thank you and you were awesome but." The blond looked a little lost, a little confused. "I could've taken the hit. You didn't need to, Hinata-chan."
"I would have regretted it if you died and I could've prevented it." She said, softly, "You showed me how to try to live bravely, without regret."
"I... showed you? How to live without regret."
"Yes." Hinata smiled, warm, "I love you for it." Then she found herself surprised by how distant Naruto looked, at the way he shifted his eyes and looked nervous, at how his sigh sounded disgusted at himself. It. It was the first time that. That she actually felt that Naruto wasn't taller than he actually was. She blinked.
And then Naruto threw his shoulders back. "Okay! Okay." He sucked in a breath like he was preparing to shout, his chest expanding with it, "I need to tell... well but later... soon." Then he smiled, bright, "Thanks Hinata-chan, for, well, pointing that out. Um, but, sorry?" The blond scratched his head sheepishly, "I kinda, already, um, likesomeoneelsesorry."
Hinata could barely make out the last bit, but it didn't entirely surprise her, "Um, I," she clenches her teeth briefly, then lets it go, blinks fast away the wetness, "I wish you well with Sakura then."
"AHhahaHEH," the nervous laughter was horribly inconsistent and not helped at all by the fact that Naruto's voice broke in the middle of it. He coughed. "Um, yeah, not her. Though I kinda wish it was." And he kind of just looked at his feet, but then his eyes were drawn towards the tree line. Towards a particular training ground. Towards a particular stone.
Towards...Kakashi-san? Hinata blinked again.
But that's... kind of... dirty, she can't help but think.
"May I watch?" she asked.
"KAKASHI!" Iruka roars.
The guy blanches, bone pale, but holds steady. "Mmmm?"
"I *cannot* for the life of me read your reports! This is UNACCEPTABLE." Iruka shakes the papers disgustedly at Kakashi's face, which slowly regains color with every word.
Naruto tries not to snort, and butts in, "Hey Iruka! Ramen?" He bounces in what people tell him is an adorable way, which always makes him frown alittle, but hey he'll use what works, "My treat!"
"Oh, Naruto, yeah sure, I just have to go set these down." Iruka turns toward the mission office, "Give me a moment."
He peers at Kakashi when they were alone, "You know, we really should tell him."
The guy just sweats a little, and tries to be all sneaky at locating all the exits, "Umm."
"And I know it's not like you're *ashamed* of me, right?" Naruto might feel a little bad with how much he knows this is not true, what with the way Kakashi kept groping him in front of their peers, but the guy's being all twitchy around Iruka and for the life of him he doesn't understand why. 'Cause like underneath all the yelling and the being red-in-the-face was... hmm, well a little more yelling and nagging, but, well, alot of concern! Really, Iruka's just nice, and yeah just a little overprotective, but that's nothing to be afraid of right? Right.
"Naruto, you know I'm not." Kakashi's eye slides towards him in a way that looked only a little concerned, but the way that his eye slides away again as he blushes a little totally gives away how much he's invested, and how much the nin feels he's leaving himself open with that statement. And doing it anyway.
"Glad we're on the same page," Naruto grins and gropes his ass.
And of course Iruka totally has awesome timing. "NARUTO," he hisses, head growing large, and shoving them apart. He points a pointy finger at Kakashi, "YOU DON'T KNOW WHERE THAT'S BEEN."
Kakashi's all trying to do that thing where he tries to blend with the scenery, and totally fails because he's Sharingan no Kakashi so people automatically watch him, and Iruka just levels a stare at Naruto while watching the guy from the corner of his eye.
"Yes I totally do," he stares down Iruka and Iruka all does that 'silently asking a question thing' and Naruto tries hard to say, 'Fucking hell yes, I'm sure,' right back.
And Iruka narrows his eyes, but nods finally, and claps a hand to his shoulder. "Well then! Ramen?"
"Yup!" And they turn to walk towards Ichiraku's, but Kakashi's all drifting slightly behind as if unsure of his welcome so Naruto grabs his vest and drags the guy forward.
"So Kakashi," Iruka begins, giving the gray-haired shinobi the hairy eyeball. "I'm assuming that you're aware that White Day is coming up?"
"Yes, and the present is all ready," Kakashi promptly answers, standing very straight, like he was giving a report or something.
Naruto blinks, then flails at Iruka. "HEY. Why are you all assuming that I'm the girl?"
Iruka just blinks back, "I'm wrong?"
"Well... it's not 100% of the time!"
"But you gave Kakashi chocolate on Valentine's Day, I'm guessing."
"It's not like he's gonna give it!"
Iruka just smiles.
"What are you doing?" Kakashi says, peeking down once he's caught his breath, the afternoon sun through the trees dappling everything in a peek-a-boo of shadow and of light.
"Tasting the sunlight," Naruto replies cheekily, tongue darting out here and there against the Copy Nin's chest.
Kakashi chuckles, "You're insatiable."
"Oh like you mind," Naruto snorts.
"I suppose I don't," he murmurs in reply, his eye closing with this force of his leer, his leg hooking up comfortably around the blond's hips again.
(It was really too nice an afternoon to spend indoors in bed. The grass served just as well.)
"Kakashi~i~i, come onnnnnn."
"No." Squirmy, shifty.
"But it'd be fun!"
"Naruto, I'm not going to let you eat hot ramen off my naked body." Disconcerted.
"But whyyyy?" Pouting.
"...I'm pretty sure I'd be scalded by the soup."
"Lies. You asked for the hot wax." Wheedling.
"They're not the same temperature." The blush was audible in his tone.
"Hmmph. Hey Sakura, are they the same temperature?"
She raised her face from her hands and glared at him. "I've never wanted to punch you in the face so badly as I do Right This Moment." You could hear a pin drop in the restaurant. Everyone was staring at their table.
Well everyone usually stared because that's what you get when your teammate is Hokage and you yourself is famous throughout the ninja world for being able to punch their Hokage Monument in a fit of rage, and win.
But they're all staring right now for another reason entirely and when she glanced at Kakashi-sensei, his face was nearly purple from how much he was flushed, eye huge.
"It's not like you're chained to the dobe," Sasuke finally piped up, disgustedly, and shook his manacled right hand a little at her, meaningfully.
"Oh you shut up." Sakura snorted, "Security reasons and you're entirely responsible for it."
"But they didn't stop." He gritted out.
"I know entirely too much about what he meant with 'hot wax'."
Which was when Sakura keeled right over. (They tried to make her pay for the cleanup needed from the blood splatter; she just threw the bill onto Naruto's desk.)
"You," Naruto gasped, "Absolutely suck."
"Mou, I don't have the control for that," Kakashi corrected, "Yet." He sped up the hand he'd had around the blond's cock. "But I remember how to make you come in less than 5 minutes like this. Let's go with that."
Kakashi watched as those strong tanned thighs shook with the effort of staying still, and played lightly around the slit of Naruto's dick just the way the man liked it. It was much easier now that he can see through his hand.
"You know," he mentioned softly into his Hokage's ear; Kakashi'd curled himself, insubstantial, around the blond and through the blond's bed, "With enough practice I may still be able to fuck you. That would look interesting though, wouldn't it?"
"Nnngh!" Naruto arched, eyes wild, and came.
The new lines that grief etched onto his face didn't make him any less beautiful, Kakashi thought. And, its kind of convenient that he'd never have to deal with the cleanup.
There was not many perks to being a ghost, but he'll take what he could get.
AN: I figure it stands alone, I'll make proper note of it if I end up writing more in this universe.