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Iruka stares at the report Kakashi has just handed him and tries not to twitch. It's textbook perfect, all neat handwriting and precise details. Each section is complete and correctly filled out. He'd be willing to show it to his students as an example of how a report should look. Iruka's own reports don't even look as good as this does.

He feels Kakashi watching him and imagines that he is smirking behind his mask, waiting for Iruka's reaction. Kakashi has to know that this is going to irritate Iruka, has to know the knowledge that he is capable of a report like this will make an even bigger mockery of every single one of the countless illegible, crumpled messes he's tried to turn in before.

All the other shinobi in the room are waiting as well, expecting Iruka to find something wrong with the report, and he wants to for appearance's sake at least. He has never taken one of Kakashi's reports without some kind of warning, even if it's just a reminder to watch his handwriting or a reprimand for tardiness. But there's nothing obvious he can comment on. It's not late, there's no skipped sections, no illegible writing, no ink smudges, no mud, no doodles in the margins. Not even an errant 5 that looks a little too much like an S.

He gives it another once over and his eyes catch on the left-hand margin of the final section, the generally unimportant Additional Notes at the bottom.

Additional Notes: Although the leader of the enemies signaled a
red alert, we were able to keep back-up from arriving. The reason
is because we had surrounded the building in order to keep it from
becoming overrun by enemy shinobi until the situation was controlled.
On further review, this proved to be a good, sound strategy though
you can never full control a situation like this.

Iruka blinks then shakes his head, chalking it up to a bizarre coincidence. Something he is only noticing because the last time he took one of Kakashi's reports, Kakashi had commented on the shade of red he had turned at a particularly lewd doodle, and the fact that he's just started teaching a unit on coded messages in his class. Acrostics are about as subtle as an earth jutsu to the head, but they help students understand the general concept of hidden messages and he always covers them in the first lesson.

Kakashi's phrasing might be awkward, but it's a masterpiece compared to some of the other things he's turned in. Iruka is mostly definitely sure that Kakashi has not just written that part of his report in a way that lines up the sentences to read red is becoming on you.

But staring at that section for a minute does give him an idea. He looks up at Kakashi and smiles.

"Your Additional Notes are a little short for a mission this long. If possible, please add more detail."

He hands the report back to Kakashi, fully expecting him to protest. It's the least important part of the report after all. He's reaching here, it's far from a reason for rejection. He knows it, Kakashi knows it, but Kakashi looks disturbingly happy at the request.

"Whatever you want, sensei," Kakashi says in a low, warm voice that gives Iruka all kinds of inappropriate ideas.

He has a brief moment to wonder if he should be nervous before Kakashi saunters away with his report in hand. Iruka quickly distracts himself with the next shinobi in line.

Not much later he notices Kakashi is back in his line, shock of gray hair sticking up over the heads of the two chuunin between them. When he gets to the front, he hands his report over again. His visible eye curves into a happy little arch.

Iruka reopens the scroll, skimming down to the last section again.

Additional Notes: Although the leader of the enemies signaled a
red alert, we were able to keep back-up from arriving. The reason
is because we had surrounded the building in order to keep it from
becoming overrun by enemy shinobi until the situation was controlled.
On further review, this proved to be a good, sound strategy though
you can never full control a situation like this.

But other than that, the main take away from the mission is that
if you find yourself in a situation similar to the one we were in,
I would recommend creative use of available resources. There
were several resources that our team was able to effectively use
on this mission. First and foremost, the landscape, which as
you know, is forested in the target area, much like Konoha's.
I'd say this allowed us to use our native jutsu to their fullest and
be on equal footing with our enemies. In unfamiliar landscapes,
coming up with jutsu that appropriately use the surrounds can
too easily become a disadvantage to some team members.

Iruka tries not to choke, feeling his face start to go red. He definitely isn't imagining it this time. He glances up at Kakashi who is waiting expectantly. Iruka feels like the entire room is watching again, waiting for another one of his blow ups but he just grabs for the approval stamp like it's a lifeline. Just before he stamps the report, he hesitates. It feels wrong to stamp a giant, red APPROVED on a report with the not so subtly hidden message of Red is becoming on you. But if I were on you, I'd be coming too.

He stamps it anyway, right at the top, as far from the Additional Notes as possible and thanks Kakashi for his hard work, face burning brighter than it has for quite a while. Kakashi grins at him but then walks away and Iruka lets out a sigh of relief. Whatever that was, he just hopes it doesn't happen again. Kakashi is distracting enough without the idea of what he might do if he were on Iruka, and Iruka has a job to do.

It turns out hoping doesn't do a whole lot of good though. The next time it's just a quick day mission, but Kakashi's Additional Notes are longer than most shinobi write for week-long missions.

Additional Notes: The mission was a success, but
if we had arrived much later it might not have been.
I believe that we would not have found the lady's cat,
said to be an accomplished, cunning escape artist, as
you have probably heard, if we had been slower. We
have worked hard to develop the skills needs to find
a pet that has run away, but still we can improve. The
hot weather that day made it especially hard. One's
body is put to the test in such hot weather, and you
would assume the cat would not want to run, but
you would be very wrong. After catching such a pet,
hold it carefully or it may try to run away again and
it would waste all the effort spent up to that point.
Against all odds, we found this cat, and it made
me very proud of our teamwork.

Iruka blinks repeatedly at the report, trying to make sense of it. Kakashi is flirting with him. Flirting with good penmanship and bad pick-up lines. Iruka doesn't know how good penmanship can feel like flirting, but it does, especially with Kakashi's eye on him, making his skin tingle.

He wavers again before stamping it, but it's a low level mission with no intel value. The chances of anyone besides Iruka even reading this report are slim. Still, he stamps it carefully, keeping the APPROVED as far from the cheesy line as possible. Kakashi hesitates before leaving, like he is expecting something more from him, but Iruka doesn't understand what. It isn't until Kakashi is out the door that Iruka realizes he hadn't even argued with him or tried to make him fix some part of it.

Two weeks later, Iruka is starting to wonder if Kakashi is taking missions that line up with his Mission Desk schedule on purpose. Three days after the hot body comment, he hands Iruka a C-rank messenger mission report with the Additional Notes lined up to read "If being cute is a crime, you are guilty as charged." The report after that states "You're so hot, I thought you were a katon." in between musings on whether or not fire jutsu should be used during drought conditions. A few days later, Iruka can't quite hold back the half horrified, half amused chuckle at a particularly imaginative line asking if he were perhaps a descendant of Hashirama because his ability to create wood must be a bloodline limit.

At this rate, Iruka is pretty sure people are going to start to talk. He isn't yelling at Kakashi about his reports anymore, just blushing and approving them. People are going to think Iruka is willing to accept substandard reports now. If there is a purpose to all of this flirting, Iruka wants to know, but Kakashi seems content to stay in this pattern they've started.

Iruka scans through the report he's just been handed. "If anyone wanted to find the ultimate form of Sexy no Jutsu, all they'd need to do is look at you." it reads. Iruka has to give Kakashi bonus points for casually working sexy into notes about a reconstruction project.

He pauses and considers the situation. Kakashi seems to need a push, and Iruka is willing to give him one.

"There's been too much passive voice in your Additional Notes lately, Kakashi-san," Iruka admonishes, willing Kakashi to get the hint. He stamps the report as approved, then adds, "Using an active voice would be better."

Kakashi stills, studying him, like he is trying to see where Iruka's sentences line up, then he nods and walks away without comment.

After Kakashi leaves, Kotetsu raises an eyebrow at Iruka, clearly asking What was that all about? Iruka is picky about reports, but he isn't that picky. Iruka just shrugs.

The next time Kakashi comes in with a report, there is the tiniest fraction of hesitation before he hands the scroll over. Iruka's eyes jump straight to the end. The report is just as neatly written as the others have been, but it doesn't have a cheesy line hidden in it. Instead it's just a simple question.

Additional Notes: This mission was straightforward and
could have been finished in less time except for the fact that
we came across a Leaf Country civilian who asked us to
meet him the following day and we decided to help him
for it is our duty as Leaf shinobi to help. As thanks, he made
dinner for us. We fixed the roof of his house and other things.
After we were finished, as we started to make our way home,
the journey was pleasant and uneventful. We each took a
shift guarding that night, knowing that as soon as the night
ends we would be home.

Iruka fights back a smile. This isn't exactly what he had meant when he suggested Kakashi should be more active, but what the hell, he decides. Asking normally for a date probably isn't in the jounin handbook. Besides, this can't be the craziest way a jounin has ever asked someone out. He grabs the approval stamp, smiles up at Kakashi and stamps a big, red APPROVED at the bottom of the report, right beside the Additional Notes.

~*~*~

~YEARS LATER~

"Why haven't you asked Iruka-sensei to marry you yet?" Naruto asks out of the blue, eying Kakashi suspiciously.

Iruka is about to tell Naruto that they're fine just the way they are, they don't need to get married to know they love each other, but then he sees the way that question has set gears turning in Kakashi's head. This cannot possibly end well.

"If you ask me to marry you via mission report, I WILL KILL YOU and then reject the report," Iruka says before Kakashi can get any crazy ideas.

"Don't be silly, Iruka. I'm Hokage now. I haven't written a mission report in years."

That would be comforting if it weren't for the fact that Iruka knows exactly the kinds of documents Kakashi deals with now. He imagines the horror that would happen if Gaara received a copy of a newly updated peace treaty only to find a poorly hidden "Will You Marry Me?" in the fine print. Or, knowing Kakashi, the preamble.

That's it, Iruka decides, I'll just have to ask him first. For Konoha's sake.