|chibirisuchan (chibirisuchan) wrote,|
@ 2005-07-13 20:41:00
Side Effects, Chapter 3
The next morning, when Iruka woke, the place beside him in
the bed was empty and cool; Kakashi must have been gone for some time. Iruka
couldn't spare the concentration to wonder where, because he was too busy
trying not to throw up the dinner he hadn't eaten.
Teeth ground together, Iruka thought desperately, Clouds.
Sunshine. Birds. Damn it, I've lost fifteen pounds already; if I keep doing
this, Kakashi's going to kill me even if whatever this is doesn't kill me
first. --No. Never mind. Fluffy peaceful settled-down things. Grass.
The thought of the smell of sheep, unfortunately, pushed the
wave of nausea over the edge of his control; he staggered to his feet and ran
for the bathroom, then dropped to his knees to worship at the shrine of the
When he could breathe without gagging and had caught his
breath enough to think again, his first semicoherent thought was, Thank God
Kakashi's out wandering somewhere, I don't think I could look him in the face.
Pathetic, weak, worthless fool -- can't even regulate my
own body well enough to get over the aftereffects of a child's
ridiculous-prank jutsu; Naruto never went through this, he just popped back and
forth into whichever forms he wanted...
Naruto didn't spend three months in one alternate form,
Stop making excuses for yourself. You're pathetic;
Kakashi's been taking care of you like you were one of the children. It's a
damn good thing you never went on any serious field missions, you'd have gotten
your whole team killed.
Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach...
"You done?" Kakashi's voice asked from behind him,
and Iruka stiffened.
Damn it, you useless fool, you are NOT going to cry. Not
even you are that pathetic. "Leave me alone," he muttered.
Instead, Kakashi walked over to kneel beside him; something
in his hands smelled tartly of lemon. He held out a mug of water -- there was a
crushed twist of lemon floating in it, and Iruka stared at it fixedly, watching
the water ripple as it drifted around the mug.
"Rinse your mouth," Kakashi said, "and spit
it out; you don't want the acid on your stomach right now."
Because screaming and lashing out was the only other option
that presented itself to his half-numb mind, and he knew better than to take on
a jounin over something this stupid, Iruka silently obeyed. The lemon helped
kill the worst of the lingering taste of sickness, anyway.
Kakashi took the mug back, and flushed the contents, and
then picked up a wet washcloth and began to gently wash his face for him. The
silent tenderness in it was what finally broke him; his tears felt hot enough
"Damn it," he choked. "Damn it, I can't
be this pathetic... you need a partner, not a puking brat to clean up
"Do you honestly think I think that?" Kakashi
demanded; it shocked Iruka's eyes up to meet his. "Is that really
why you've been driving yourself like this? This whole time? What do you think
that does to me? What kind of leader pushes his team past their strength and then
despises them for his own failure...?"
Shivering, Iruka looked away, and whispered, "It's not
your fault I'm... sick."
"Actually," Kakashi said in a husky voice,
"yes, it is."
Iruka shoved his bangs back from his face and stared up at
his lover, then managed a short, sharp bark of laughter. "Don't tell me
you've given me some kind of mutant Hatake-brand sex-transmitted disease? --Did
you collect up a dozen Icha Icha Paradise stickers and send off for it through
Kakashi stared back at him, and then his knees gave out; he
landed with a thump on the floor, laughing himself light-headed.
With a groan, Iruka leaned back against the tub, still
hating that he was trembling with exhaustion. "...It wasn't that
Shaking his head, still helpless in the grip of shaking
hilarity, Kakashi wagged a finger at him and somehow managed to get his feet
under himself again; then he picked Iruka up too, carrying him in his arms like
a child, and took them both carefully downstairs.
"Please," Iruka said, a little hoarse. "No
food. Not just yet."
"Not yet," Kakashi agreed, instead carrying him
into the quiet tatami-floored room where the students had their lessons. He'd
already gathered up several of the sitting-pillows and made an improvised futon
of it, and there was a brazier warming a vial of oil atop one of the desks. As
he lay Iruka onto the pillows, he said, "Just trust me on this one."
Kakashi loosened his lover's nightclothes, tipping some of
the oil into his palm; he dipped his fingertips into it and touched each of the
primary chakra-points in turn, lingering longest at the navel. Embarrassed for
a reason he couldn't even begin to name, Iruka looked away.
"I am pathetic," he murmured, staring
fixedly at a child's carefully-drawn kanji hanging from the wall. "I know
I'm out of balance and I can't seem to correct it..."
"That's because you're going at it from the wrong
angle," Kakashi replied.
"That's the problem," Iruka said. "What right
do I have to teach when I can't manage something so basic as--"
"This isn't basic," Kakashi said. "Not for
Iruka stiffened again, and shut his eyes tight. Dammit.
Not basic for me, but there he is calm as anything, just dealing with it
for me bacause I can't--
"Will you stop that?" Kakashi growled. "This
sure as hell isn't basic for me either. Not when it comes to you. --Damn. I
don't know where to start explaining... look, just lay there and shut up and
let me make you feel better, all right? Because I'm trying to make you feel
better, not worse!"
Despite himself, the corner of Iruka's mouth quirked.
"Magnificent bedside manner you have there, doc."
"Yeah, yeah, whatever."
Iruka sighed a little, and closed his eyes, and tasked
himself with trying to follow what Kakashi was doing, studying where Kakashi
thought he'd made his mistakes. Both of Kakashi's hands were poised over his
abdomen -- no surprise there; he'd felt the imbalance at the core of himself,
too much slanted toward earth and water, not enough of the lighter, more active
energies. Kakashi touched him then, his hands startlingly warm, and traced a
symbol against his skin, and Iruka felt the almost-fevered influx of power...
...influx? He's not draining off the excess; he's...
adding to it...?
The power built and warmed within him, but it all settled
into his abdomen, and Kakashi's hands traced new patterns for his chakra to
flow through, all of them leading to and from his heart and his abdomen. Iruka
could have laughed, if he hadn't been too busy enjoying the feel of Kakashi's
Heart, I can see; he always tells me I think too much; but
my navel too...?Halfway between your desire for food and your desire for
pleasure, and influencing both; I knew he was a lecher, but honestly...
For the first time in recent memory, Iruka felt truly hungry,
rather than just empty and sick. In a bit of dismay, he thought, You know,
my idiot scarecrow, I'm going to have to strangle you if you've decided to
double my appetite without actually letting me keep any of it down.
Finally, though, Kakashi sat back on his heels with a sigh,
his fingertips still lingering against Iruka's skin. "...At least tell me
you don't want to go throw up again. Tsunade's going to slap me into next week
if I've messed this up."
"I never wanted to," Iruka retorted,
opening his eyes enough to glare. "And I assume she would have slapped me
into next week a long time ago, so don't blame yourself."
Kakashi looked away, and dug a hand through the unruly
silver mess of his hair. "I told you," he said, "this is my
fault. I wasn't thinking... I mean... well, hell, neither of us would
have been thinking... um... --ah, shit, time to start over..."
Iruka's stomach growled at him, and not in a way that said
it wanted to empty itself again. "Breakfast first?" he said.
The way Kakashi's entire face lit up at that was really
unfair. Is this why you wear that mask all the time? Because you're so damn cute
when you smile like that, and you'd never live down the teasing?...Yep, gotta
Kakashi more than half carried him into the kitchen, despite
Iruka's protests that he wasn't crippled, and then turned himself into a human
whirlwind of flying ingredients and half-scrambled thoughts.
"Orange juice... lots of vitamins... except there's the
acid too... uh... milk. Milk sounds better. Okay, pancakes.... they need...
what, flour? Yeah... flour... oh hell, all of these are white, which one's the
flour... um... pancakes... gotta stick them together with something... okay,
flour and water, and strawberries of course -- that should do it--"
"Wait, wait, wait," Iruka said, fighting
hard not to laugh at him. "You need milk and eggs in there too. Here, let
me show you..."
Looking up from the counter with a wild streak of something
white across his face from his mad scavenging through the containers, Kakashi
said, "You just got done throwing up a lung or two. I can handle
"I'm sure you can," Iruka said, and hoped his face
was somewhere near straight enough. "I'll rest if you like. I'll sit right
here. Just let me mix the pancake batter, all right?" He patted the
tabletop as though trying to coax a puppy onto it. Kakashi scratched his head,
then nodded and set the bowl of flour and water paste in front of him.
"Okay, what else?"
"Eggs, milk, sugar, salt, a little cinnamon and
"Uh..." Kakashi came up with the eggs and milk,
then looked around the kitchen a little helplessly, then said, "Can you
point at 'em or something?"
Biting his lip hard enough to wince, Iruka started pointing
with a hand that almost didn't shake with the effort he was putting into
not laughing. Kakashi still bristled at his expression, though.
"Hey, I know what ramen looks like; that's all I used
to need to know..."
"Ramen sounds fine," Iruka said. Kakashi planted
both hands on his hips.
"No way in hell am I feeding you nothing but ramen for
the rest of the year! You need, like, nuitrition and stuff. Tsunade really
would slap me into next week if I hadn't even picked that up from her
"You were the medical specialist for group seven?"
"They're all kids," Kakashi said. "Of course
I was. And besides, Sakura-kun's getting old enough that Tsunade thought I
might need the background for this." He looked at the drippy substance
Iruka was mixing together, and said, "How do you know that's the right
amount of, er, glop-ness?"
"I just take a guess," Iruka said. "But at
least I know you need more than water and flour. --What particular background
would you need about Sakura-kun and me?"
"...Ah, hell..." Kakashi pulled back a chair,
turned it around, and sat on it backwards, his chin propped on the back of the
chair. "Yeah. Um. Where to start... --You were watching what I was doing,
right? Have you figured out what the problem was?"
"I figured out I was imbalanced a long time ago,"
Iruka said. "I don't understand how augmenting it instead of draining it
is supposed to help, but I am feeling better; I feel like an idiot,
actually, because that's the one thing I never thought to try."
"...Okay." Kakashi took a deep breath, and put on
his instructor face. "You felt out of balance to yourself because you
never completely stopped Naruto's jutsu. --No, wait, I'm not done. Just listen.
You didn't put everything back the way it used to be. Right at the moment, you
can't. It's... it's like... remodeling the bathroom. You can't redo the
plumbing while the facilities are in use..."
"Remodeling the bathroom?" Iruka echoed,
one eyebrow twitching.
"Yeah," Kakashi said, avoiding his eyes.
"With... er... different plumbing."
"And different wallpaper too, I assume," Iruka
said 'helpfully,' too fascinated by the way Kakashi was squirming around the
analogy to keep stirring the pancake batter. "And am I supposed to move
the towel racks?"
"Forget the towel racks," Kakashi said. His cheeks
were actually faintly tinged with pink. It was nice not to be the one who was
blushing, for a change. Maybe that was another reason he wore the mask.
"Just forget the towel racks entirely. This is about... plumbing. Being
"Sexy-no-jutsu and plumbing. Somehow those are two
concepts I just don't normally associate with each other..."
Kakashi dropped his head forward onto his crossed arms with
a groan. "You have one type of plumbing," he muttered. "'Iruko'
has a different type. You've mostly stopped
being Iruko. Except you haven't entirely gotten rid of Iruko's plumbing.
Because the facilities are occupied."
Iruka gave him a half-lidded look. "It sounds like
you're trying to tell me I'm pregnant or something."
Kakashi didn't answer.
"...Kakashi, that's ridiculous. In case you hadn't
noticed, I'm male, and when I was being Iruko we never..."
"It's a plumbing problem," Kakashi said. "Do you
have any clue what sexy-no-jutsu does to scramble your insides when you're
being, for all intents and purposes, female? Neither do I. Neither does
anybody. That's the problem. I'm sure Naruto never gave it a thought. But now
you've spent three months hopping back and forth between yourself and her, and
the upshot is that she's never had her moon-cycle -- trust me, you'd have noticed
that; I'd have noticed that, even..."
Kakashi nodded a little.
Kakashi hunched over a little further, clearly expecting an
assault from anything from a bowl of pancake batter to various lethal
implements at any moment. "...If you don't mind my asking in advance...
how slowly and painfully are you going to kill me?"
Iruka was having a difficult time thinking of a good answer
to that, because the world was going sparkly and tilty. Kakashi was leaning
oddly to one side, and so was the table -- no, that would be because I'm in
the middle of passing out, he thought, and didn't remember hitting the
(author's note: Most mpreg fics kind of overlook one fundamental hardware incompatibility problem. ^^;; I mean, when Duo and Quatre randomly show up pregnant in a Gundam Wing fic, you've kind of got to scratch your head and go "how?" Well, it occurred to me that sexy-no-jutsu might deal with one structural problem anyway... poor Iruka's going to have some misery figuring out how to deal with some other structural problems, though, and if I were him I'd decide it'd be easier to spend the next several months female; not sure yet which way he's going to handle it though. The question is, is he more attached to thinking of himself as male, or to things like having the correct center of gravity to deal with things like, say, walking... ::snerk::)
(that's why I don't know whether or not to label this a mpreg fic or not, since in this case you kind of have to toss a coin...)