|chibirisuchan (chibirisuchan) wrote,|
@ 2005-07-13 20:56:00
Side Effects, Chapter 11
The last three weeks of school before summer vacation passed
far too quickly for Iruka; he felt that he was still behind in trying to make
up for the missed time, no matter how often Megumi-chan reminded him that she
could write 'dandelion' perfectly. And a tangled snarl of other worries kept
him awake later than he ought to be up. On midsummer's eve, after saying gentle
farewells to his schoolchildren for a few weeks, Iruka found himself completely
unable to sleep for worrying.
With a voiceless, internal sigh, he slipped out of bed as
quietly as he could manage, hoping not to disturb his tranquilly snoring lover.
A couple of weeks earlier, of course, there would have been
no way he could have managed quietly slipping out of bed. He'd been quite
serious about his intention of practicing holding sexy-no-jutsu through
anything, in preparation for labor... except that Kakashi had promptly taken it
upon himself to make sure that Iruka really, really meant anything.
And Kakashi was, as ever, the world's most cheerfully
When he was awake, Iruka could deal with the random gropes
and squeezes and fondlings by learning to keep kunai stashed in every possible
hiding place; the looseness and draping of maternity clothing was actually a
distinct asset in that area. And when the kunai didn't work, he resorted in
exasperation to redecorating the walls with craters shaped like the back of
Kakashi's skull, thanks to a previously somewhat rusty left hook that was
suddenly getting a lot of fresh practice.
But Iruka simply hadn't learned the reflex of knocking his
lover into next week while he was still asleep... and Kakashi slept as late as
he liked, which meant that he also stayed up as late as he liked, waiting for
Iruka to nod off so that he could pounce.
Iruka hadn't previously realized how tender and sensitive a
woman's breasts became when milk was beginning to develop for the baby.
Kakashi, on the other hand, thought that breasts were an
irresistable squeeze toy, and that breasts belonging to his lover had his name
written on whatever gift wrapping they came presented in. The rationale seemed
to go something along the lines of "But they're there."
Iruka had tried pleading with him, reasoning with him,
threatening him, and finally the left hook -- and after a certain number of
craters in the walls, Kakashi had finally begun to keep his hands to himself
through the day. Except, of course, for the occasions when he decided it was
"time to make sure Iruka wasn't letting his guard drop."
At night, Kakashi knew quite well that Iruka hadn't mastered
the art of unconscious-left-hook-no-jutsu, despite the weeks of motivational encouragement that he'd so
helpfully offered toward the development of such a technique. So Kakashi took
shameless advantage of its absence. Iruka had lost track of the number of times
he'd woken in the middle of the night to find a sleeping Kakashi with both
hands groping an unbelievably sensitive area, wearing a dreamily smug
There really was no way to get the proper angle of impact
needed to leave a Kakashi-crater in the wall when both participants were
starting the process lying down; and when Iruka had just woken up to a groping,
he was usually feeling too sore, exasperated, and wanting-to-go-back-to-sleep
to try to summon the energy to leave a Kakashi-crater in the ceiling.
So, a week ago, Iruka had locked himself in the attic and
practiced until he perfected a certain variation on Naruto's sexy-no-jutsu that
he could sleep with.
After some consideration, he'd named it
"pervert-counteraction-no-jutsu." It involved only being pregnant
from the middle of the ribcage down, and leaving the top half to the socks.
Kakashi had protested vigorously, of course -- both the name
and the implementation. But Iruka found it much easier to sleep when the only
things keeping him awake were his own worries; so he slept in his
pervert-counteraction-no-jutsu no matter how Kakashi whined. It had become as
much a part of the nightly routine as the brushing the teeth and the pair of
...Although he was going to need a new pair of pajamas soon;
he'd let out the drawstring waist as much as he could, and then nestled the
waistband under the growing curve of his belly, but the top wasn't quite long enough
when part of it was being filled out by the same growing bulge. And Kakashi had
decided that since Iruka was being so mean as to deny him the squeeze toy, the
little crescent of tummy that peeked out between top and bottom was clearly
meant for his tickle toy. And there was nothing at all Iruka could think to do
about that, except to buy new pajamas...
...except that there was also the matter of a repair bill
for the kitchen which added up to about four months' paychecks, compounded by
the fact that since school wasn't in session for several weeks, he wouldn't have
any paychecks for quite some time...
Iruka sighed deeply, and looked into the refrigerator, and
started to make himself a peanut butter and strawberry sandwich.
Kakashi teased him mercilessly about the sandwiches, of
course. Iruka replied that the only difference between a peanut butter and
strawberry-jam sandwich and a peanut butter and strawberry sandwich was that
the jam contained a lot of extra sugar that the baby didn't need.
Kakashi always replied with some quip to the effect of
"and I can see how well your weight loss plan has been working, too."
Iruka usually replied to that with the left hook, since his right hand was busy
with the peanut butter jar.
The kitchen was going to need another remodeling before the
first one was even paid off, too... there had to be a limit to how many
skull-shaped craters drywall could contain before it started becoming
Iruka sighed, and licked the peanut butter off the spoon,
and poured a glass of milk, and walked outside.
The back porch had been repaired as well; the railing the
carpenters had put in was sturdier than its predecessor had been. They'd added
more supporting slats so that a wandering child couldn't slip through and fall
off the edge of the porch. Another stove impact was beyond reasonable
construction specifications, of course, but Iruka appreciated their
thoughtfulness for the children's sake. The top rail was sanded smooth to
prevent splinters, and the corners had been planed off to prevent a cut if a
child tripped and fell against it. With both hands full, Iruka set a bare foot
against the rail, feeling the satin-smooth texture of the wood's varnish; then
on impulse he stepped up onto it.
When Iruka looked straight down, he could see the tips of
his toes, but that wasn't going to last much longer... still, it had been a
long, long time since he'd needed to worry about seeing his feet.
And somehow, it was comforting to remind himself that he hadn't forgotten all
his skills despite a reshaped and still-changing body. Walking practice was
--All right. It wasn't 'walking practice.' It was pacing a
worried line back and forth along the porch rail. But it gave his body
something to do while his mind fretted at the knotted tangle of his life.
Iruka knew he loved that lecherous, irresponsible walking
disaster area of a man sleeping up in their bed. He couldn't imagine life
without that constant unpredictable spark of exuberance that made every single
day an adventure. But somehow, every single worry in his life left a trail that
led straight back to Kakashi's feet.
Iruka found it both embarrassing and deeply disquieting to
be in debt for four months of salary that he hadn't yet earned, in a town where
they were only visiting for a year, and where no one knew Iruka's sense of
responsibility well enough to offer him a grace period on the repayment. And
anyone who spent more than a week around Kakashi knew better than to offer him
any kind of grace period for anything. Even if he'd had a job to help pay for
his mess. Which he didn't. And Iruka couldn't see anyone in their right mind
actually hiring Kakashi for a job, either... or at least not without
firing him within a week for his chronic tardiness, general lackadaisical
irresponsibility, and fast and loose approach to anything resembling rules of
If Iruka had known in advance that their rented house was
going to need such an expensive remodeling at such an inconvenient time, he
would have been looking for a summer job or a second job months earlier. But,
of course, emergencies never happened on schedule. And the baby was getting big
enough that it would be awkward trying to conceal his condition for job
interviews at this point.
The thought of working two jobs this fall, teaching and a
part-time job through his last trimester, was exhausting just to contemplate.
And of course, that itself was Kakashi's responsibility as
well... beginning with Kakashi's refusal to even attempt to learn sexy-no-jutsu
properly and ending with, well, a snugly rounded pair of pajamas and a cool
breeze tickling the small bared crescent of Iruka's belly on midsummer's eve,
poised at the halfway point of a completely unexpected pregnancy.
The porch railing was twelve and a half steps from one end
to the other, around each corner and over the gap of the steps; Iruka sighed
again, and turned on the ball of one foot, and then started back along the
railing setting each foot directly in front of the other, heel to toes. ...Thirty-eight
foot-lengths. Probably four for the step-space...
...the milk glass was empty; he knelt on the rail to set it
down on the porch, then stood again, looking dispiritedly at the last few bites
of his sandwich. Somehow, milk glasses were never the right shape to last as
long as a peanut butter sandwich, so the last few bites of sandwich always got
peanut-butter-glued to the back of his throat; one of these days he was going
to think of a solution to that, but tonight he had bigger things to worry about.
...step, step, step...
Four months of paychecks just for the repairs, leaving
nothing over for food and rent. He had saved some money in Konoha, but the
entire purpose of being undercover was to eliminate all traces connecting the
two of them to the legendary Sharingan Kakashi and a fairly anonymous
instructor from a too-well-known ninja training academy. He couldn't write to
the Hokage, he couldn't leave such a direct trail between the two places...
they were here alone because they were two adult and highly trained shinobi
trusted to accomplish their deep-cover mission without any support from Konoha.
And Iruka didn't want to face the thought that he'd already
let the situation slip into a potentially irretrievable failure.
The baby stirred inside, a little nudge soft as a kitten's
paw; Iruka paused in his pacing, and cupped a hand to the gently but inexorably
ripening curve. The other hand went to rub the small of his back, which ached
almost constantly of late.
If I hadn't gotten pregnant, none of this would have
happened. He would never have blown up the kitchen because he would have let me
...no, I take that back; nobody can ever say
'never' anywhere within ten miles of Kakashi. But even if he'd still blown up
the kitchen somehow, I could have gotten a second job this fall. I could have
been a takeout delivery runner; I'm fast -- at least, I used to be -- and I'm
still punctual, and this isn't that big a town. But that's completely out of
the question now...
It took two to tango, he always tells me, but I'm the one
who's incapable of pulling my own weight now. I'm the one who can't make up the
lack, even if the kitchen was his fault. He is who he is. He's a warrior, not a
carpenter, and not a frighteningly bad excuse for a househusband. He lives his
life poised between absolute sloth and the perpetual vigilance that never lets
him truly rest.
He is himself, and no one can change that in him, and I
wouldn't want to try. I was the one sent to make the cover story plausible, to
teach the village children, to be the one who let us survive here. It was my
responsibility to build our cover, to build our life, no matter what. The
Hokage trusted us to handle this completely on our own. But we're failing the
mission inch by inch, every day I can't think of something to do to fix this...
And there still hasn't been any sign of trouble -- other
than the exploding kitchen he created, there's been no sign of ninja or
demons; the Hokage said to be prepared for anything, to expect the unexpected.
But I never expected this. And now the mission may fail because I can't work
hard enough to make up for it... if we leave too soon, I don't know what could
I don't know why we were to wait all year. I don't know
what the Hokage might have foreseen coming to this place. But if I can't think
of some way to make up for what's happened, we'll have to abort the mission and
leave early, and I can't bear not knowing what might be out there waiting for
us to leave before it attacks.
They're so completely defenseless here -- and at my best
I was only half the fighter Kakashi is, and I'm far less than my best now, and
I'll only get worse as the months pass...
"What the hell are you DOING?!"
Iruka spun on the ball of one foot, pulling a kunai out of
the pocket of the pajamas, scanning for the source of that voice -- just as a
black blur tipped in silver dropped out of the upstairs window and swept him
off the railing on the way down. He never hit the ground; Kakashi had caught
him up in his arms somehow, and he'd landed kneeling in the dew-wet grass
without letting even Iruka's toes touch the ground, and he was shaking all
"What are you doing? I heard you get into the
refrigerator for one of those ridiculous sandwiches but it was taking you too
long to come back; I looked out the window and-- my God, what were you thinking?
If you fell -- if you--"
...If I fell off a railing three feet off the ground?! How
pathetic does he think I am? Like THAT'S the biggest problem I've been fighting
Somehow, it was the last straw. Something inside Iruka
"You reckless, arrogant bastard -- don't you dare
lecture me on responsibility! You're the one who shouted at me
out of nowhere; you're the one who knocked me off the rail; you're
the one who got me into this ludicrous condition in the first place -- I taught
at the academy, I could walk that rail blindfolded, drunk, and with both hands
tied behind my back, and I don't care if you're the top jounin in Konoha, don't
you dare treat me like an untrained cripple!"
"You're nearly crippled; you're pregnant," Kakashi
"'Pregnant' does not mean 'incapacitated'! Are
you going to drag the bed downstairs so I don't endanger myself with walking up
a staircase next?"
"I'm worried about you, moron."
"If you're that intent on worrying about every single
step I take, why don't you spare some of that attention for your own
asinine stunts?" Iruka shot back. "I'm doing my damnedest to pull my
weight, but even if my best isn't good enough -- why do you have to make it so
bloody hard for my best to be worth anything? How are we going to eat
this fall when every paycheck I'm getting until October has got to go to paying
off the repair work from the hole in these people's schoolhouse?"
Kakashi looked completely poleaxed. "...Until October?"
"How much did you think structural damage to a rented
house costs to repair anyway? The landlords are used to ninja damage insurance
writeoffs in Konoha, but there's no Acts-of-God-or-Ninja escape clause in the
lease here; I checked! Twice!"
Looking even more bemused, Kakashi echoed, "Ninja
damage insurance writeoffs...?"
"There's no other way a property owner could afford to
keep up enough repairs to stay in business around there, you know," Iruka
muttered, rubbing his temples. "Or didn't you ever read your lease before
you signed it? Either way -- we can't
get help from Konoha; we can't even communicate or we'll be trackable. We're on
our own here, sink or swim, and we're doing a lot more sinking than swimming. I
don't know if I'm the one who's failed, or if you are, or if we've just screwed
everything up together, but I can't think of a way to salvage this mess--"
Somehow, it all came pouring out -- the fear of aborting the
mission halfway, the guilt at being unable to act as a fully equal partner, the
worries about needing a second job for their debt when his pregnancy would be
at its most tiring, the resentment at being coddled and groped and teased when
he needed help solving their problems rather than gleefully condescending
harassment, the anxiety of half a year of waiting for a disaster that never
came, except for the ones they'd created themselves...
The tears burning their way down his face were nothing but
the final humiliation atop an unbearable flood of shame and frustration and
anxiety. "I love you," Iruka choked. "I love you, but I don't
know if I even like you right now. I know I was never a jounin. I know I was
never a warrior. I know I was always the weak link in this mission, even before
this happened. You don't have to rub it in. You don't have to treat me
like I'm more useless than a child. --I wasn't walking on phone wires thirty
feet up. I was walking on a two-by-four three feet off the ground. Even I'm
not that worthless as a shinobi, not even now."
"I've been doing my damnedest to try to make up
for everything I can't be, but somehow you keep making it harder," Iruka
whispered, his voice worn hoarse. "I don't know what to do. It's my place
to be the one who thinks ahead, but no matter how I think, I can't see a way
out of this when I'm the only one responsible enough to hold a job. And these
people have children I care about. And a forest with God knows what in it,
something that could just be waiting for you to leave -- I may be too pathetic
to bother with, but anything with any power would recognize you. I'm sure we're
here for a year for a reason. We need to stay. I just can't think of a way to
make it possible anymore..."
"I can get a job," Kakashi murmured.
Iruka laughed a little, exhausted. "And keep it for
three days? I know you, love. You're a snow-leopard in a man's skin.
Lethal and beautiful, and completely uncivilized. And you laze around sixteen
hours a day and decorate the world the rest, except for the hour or two when you're
pure death on the prowl... I'm a farm-dog, I understand that. I'm dull and slow
and mundane and predictable. But I'm the one who has to earn our keep. I know
you. You'd take a job with the best intentions in the world. But no one outside
Konoha would let you keep one."
Then Iruka streaked a hand across his cheeks to try to erase
the lingering tear-tracks, and added sourly, "And if you tell me this is
just a pregnancy-induced hormonal mood swing, I swear to God I'm going to
castrate you with a rusty pen knife."
Kakashi said nothing at all for a long, long moment, just
holding him close, and resting his cheek against the dark crown of Iruka's
hair. Finally, so low-pitched that Iruka wasn't entirely sure he'd spoken at
all, he said, "That's what's been keeping you awake at nights? All this
"That or you groping me, one of the two," Iruka
replied tartly, scrubbing at his face again. "I'm supposed to be the one
of us who's responsible and dependable. But this time we've finally gotten into
a predicament I can't think our way out of, no matter how hard I work and no
matter how much I try to be responsible enough for both of us. So I hope you
have some wonderful, brilliant, completely off-the-wall brainstorm that I've
overlooked. You're good at being brilliant. I'm not brilliant; I know that. I
just work hard. And I'm just... I'm worn out. I can't work hard enough or be
responsible enough to fix this, not anymore..."
"Why didn't you mention this a month ago?"
Iruka ducked his head. "...I was... terrified. I'm not
used to things like this. You're the warrior, I'm the strategist, and I
couldn't find a strategy that was even worth the mentioning... and it hurts
that I can't even uphold my half of the balance now. Even if I can't fight like
this, at least I could think our way out of anything, right? Except this one I
just can't... I'm... I'm sorry, I'm failing you again--"
"Like hell you are," Kakashi growled; he lifted
Iruka into his arms, and carried him back indoors. "None of this is your
"We're a team," Iruka murmured, eyes closed.
"We're a team precisely because our strengths are opposites. If I can't
balance you well enough for both of us to make it through, then I've
"And if I screw up so much of the mission that nobody could
'balance' it, what then?"
Iruka ran a hand down his face, shaking with exhaustion and
the aftermath of releasing that much pent-up frustration and fear.
"...You didn't mean to destroy the kitchen.
And... what you were saying... it was unbelievably sweet. --Up to the point
where you pulled out the daibakufu no jutsu, it wasn't going all that
Kakashi flopped down on the couch with an enormous sigh,
still cradling Iruka close. "...Next time, tell me this kind of
Iruka rolled his eyes heavenward. "What do you mean, tell
you? You were there! I thought it was obvious when the wall blew out that there
were going to be expensive consequenses. Haven't you ever had someone chase you
down demanding you pay for the collateral damage that seems to collect around
Group Seven like a homing beacon? I know you've been in on some of it. I know
you've been responsible for some of it."
Kakashi gave a short, dry chuckle. "I specialize in
avoiding both bills and responsibility like the sadistic plague they are. I
thought you'd noticed that part, too."
"...Yeah." Iruka sniffled a little, because his
sinuses were protesting the crying bout, and he let his head rest against
Kakashi's shoulder. "I meant it. You're so quick with those I'm-late
excuses and such, you come up with the most amazing ideas sometimes; do you
have any brilliant ideas for this...? Some kind of well-paying job that didn't
involve too much running around... I mean, I could be a clerk or a copyist or
something; that type of work doesn't pay very well, but I could work more hours
if the job wasn't physically tiring..."
"You're not working two jobs, you twit."
Iruka stiffened. "I'm not, am I? Just like that, just
because you declare it so? Just like I'm not walking around without a leash to
make sure I don't fall down and bump my knee? Kakashi, I've never seen you
patronize anyone like this. It's like me getting pregnant turned you
into such a condescending--"
"Ah, dammit, I'm not trying to pick another
fight..." Kakashi dug a hand through his hair, and said, "Listen,
just hear me out for a minute. Promise me that you'll just listen for a little
Warily, Iruka nodded. "You've got five minutes before I
try to rip your head off and scream some sense into the echoing cavity of your
skull. And I'm counting."
Kakashi took a deep breath, opened his mouth to say
something, thought better of it, sighed hugely, and dropped his head back to
stare at the ceiling. "...Why is it I'm so much better at lying than at
telling the truth?"
"More practice?" Iruka guessed darkly, and Kakashi
gave a small snort that could have been meant for a laugh.
"Yeah, that would be it." With another sigh, he
nestled his cheek against the soft rumpled mess of Iruka's ponytail, and tried
"Let's make a deal," he murmured. "I'll try
to stop worrying so much. I'm new at this father stuff. But I'll work on not
panicking when you want to pace on the railings or practice kata or something.
I didn't mean to be condescending, and I promise I'll trust your judgement. I
know you've always been the more careful one of us, and I know there's no
reason that would change now. So I'll try to stop overprotecting you. But in
return, here's your part of the deal: You'll work on pretending you think I'm
good for anything at all."
Iruka froze rigid in his arms, shocked, and then frantic.
"I never said--"
Kakashi set a finger to his lips gently. "Five minutes,
remember? You promised."
"But I didn't say th--"
Kakashi replaced his finger with his palm, smiling ruefully.
"You've been worrying yourself sick about how you could
singlehandedly earn enough to repay my screwup, and you keep refusing to
consider the fact that I'm sitting around the house doing nothing while you're
already working a full-time job. You never gave me the chance to get myself
fired; you just assume I will."
Completely miserable, Iruka mumbled into his palm,
"I'm not saying you don't have the evidence to back you
up," he said, still rueful. "I'm just asking you to give me the chance
to help fix this." Then, with his best rogue's grin, he added,
"Besides, I'm a copy-nin! I'm sure I can learn how to pretend to
pass for a responsible and dependable adult. Let me use Sharingan on you for
responsibility-no-jutsu, and I'll bet I could fool the mayor in a week or so!
"So what do you think? Have we got a deal? I try to stop mollycoddling you, and you try relying on me, once in a while?"
"...Yes, but I never, ever said that you were a good-for-nothing--"
"You didn't need to," Kakashi replied quietly.
"The next time I'm making an ass of myself trying to cheer you up by
teasing you sick and groping you six ways from Sunday, and driving you mad
because you're depressed and pissed off and worrying about something else
entirely -- tell me that, okay? Sometimes I'm dense."
"I'd have thought the left hook would have indicated
some general 'stop that right now you bastard' type of thing, you
know," Iruka said with a sigh. "And if the left hook wasn't
getting it across, I didn't know what else could -- at least not without adding
a hospital bill to the picture."
Kakashi chuckled. "This is the tricky part of being
guys, you know. Nobody's got the
"...Yeah. But... I never said you..."
Kakashi set his fingertips to Iruka's lips again. "You
didn't have to say it," he repeated. "You didn't even have to think
it. The facts just kind of spoke for themselves."
Iruka sighed a little. "And what about the things the
the rest of the facts were speaking? You were groping me trying to 'cheer me
Kakashi's expression was just a little too angelic. "Of
course! I'm sure you're feeling insecure about your body; the pregnancy book
says that women worry that their husbands might find them less attractive as
they begin to gain weight. I thought someone should reassure you that you're always
unbelievably sexy. And you might need frequent reminders. I felt a moral
Iruka's eyebrow was twitching dangerously. "You
felt a moral obligation to grope me."
Kakashi considered for a moment, rubbing his chin, then
nodded brightly. "Yep, sounds about right! Entirely for your own
self-esteem, of course."
"And nothing at all to do with the fact that
you're the most unselfconsciously perverted lecher in a five hundred mile
"Of course not."
Rubbing his temples again, Iruka considered his options. I'm
sitting on him, so I can't knock him into orbit. Damn. I know better than to
try to win a duel of wits with him when the topic is even remotely kinky. He's
got a built-in unfair advantage. I think that just leaves this...
Iruka twisted in Kakashi's arms enough to be able to gaze up
into his eyes. "Morals -- those I have to encourage, don't I..."
Kakashi nodded brightly. "It's required. By law."
Iruka nodded as though that had made any sense whatsoever, and
tilted his head up to brush a gentle kiss against Kakashi's cheek.
"...There. That's your encouragement. Now, let's talk about the rest of
"The rest of the laws...?"
"The ones that call 'repeatedly groping a person's
breasts without invitation' aggravated sexual harassment, you son of a
A noteworthy side benefit of being at the correct angle for
kissing was that Iruka was also at the correct angle for getting both
hands around Kakashi's throat and starting to squeeze.
"Have you got any idea how much those ache? I
tried telling you that along with the left hook approximately the first
three or four dozen times you tried it! If you never listen when I say things,
how the hell else am I supposed to 'talk about our relationship,' honey?"
"You know, you did have a point there, though --
I'm finding this conversation terribly therapeutic--"
"...we've really got to do this more often! Now,
that is your cue to say 'yes, dear'..."
Hacking and wheezing as he gasped for breath around a
half-crushed windpipe, Kakashi managed a feeble, "yes'h dear..."
Author's note: Yikes, rollercoaster chapter. Turned out
twice as long as any of the rest of them too. Glad I've got it out of the road
though; it was something they needed to straighten out sometime, and now I
think the big explosive fireworks are over with... well, except for Kakashi's
next brainstorm on how to fix the repair bill, but that one's for next time.
^_~ I feel kind of guilty about throwing
"ninja damage insurance writeoffs" smack into the middle of an
otherwise serious discussion, but it struck me that there was no other rational
way to explain why there were still any intact buildings standing in Konoha...
About Iruka in chapter 10: I figured it would take either
massive mood-altering drugs or some equivalent to get Iruka in a mood like
that... and it felt like a
nicely ironic twist of fate that the only time Kakashi manages to get him that
whacked out on the ninja equivalent of happy pills, he's got too many broken bones to deal with it at the
time and he doesn't remember a bit of it afterward. I'm so evil... ^_^;;
(Besides, this one IS rated PG-13. Although I've contemplated writing a little
side-story scribble in which Kakashi teaches Iruka about towel racks and what
to do with them... ^___^ and yes, towel racks DO correspond to something, in
his own bizarre lexicon of bathroom fixture analogies...)