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An April Fool For Love

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Iruka didn't hate April Fool's Day. No one who had been a world champion prankster in his youth possibly could. But as an adult he did insist on certain rules for the insanity of the day. It was, after all, only proper. And professional.

Academy Rules

  1. No pranks allowed during outside training lessons. No exceptions.

  2. The first child brought to tears over a joke ends the fun. Period.

Mission Desk Rules

  1. Absolutely no weapons, potentially lethal or otherwise. Staff reserves the right to define “weapon”.

  2. Pranks involving paint, glitter, confetti, or anything else that might stain, stick, or otherwise be semi-permanent are to be confined to the jounin lounge area. No exceptions.

  3. Do not attempt to prank Umino Iruka. You will not win that battle.

Rule #3 was not one that Iruka had come up with himself. It had been added to the list four years ago, after Genma had tried. The jutsu that caused any senbon he put in his mouth to dissolve into hot pink lipstick had not worn off until mid-August. Anko still laughed about it whenever anyone asked about Rule #3.

But Rule #3 had yet to make it's way through the entire village, and each year since it's inception someone, or multiple someones, would try and pull one over on Iruka. With limited success. But what most people didn't understand was that in Iruka's mind any day of the year was potentially April Fool's Day. So the counter strike could come at any time. Usually when least expected.

So it was with some surprise that he made his way home after his mission desk shift ended completely un-pranked. Not a single attempt had been made against him all day, and that was a little disappointing. And worrisome, if he was honest with himself. It made him wonder what had escaped his notice during the day.

Feeling some trepidation he arrived at his apartment, released the wards and unlocked the door. He reached out with all his senses, looking for anything unusual, but found nothing. No strange chakra signatures, no weird smells, nothing. Everything was perfectly (disturbingly?) normal, including Haineko rubbing against his ankles as he removed his sandals.

And that was when he noticed. Haineko was normally very talkative when he first arrived home, bursting with a full day's worth of news (the feline equivalent of, at least) that had to be imparted. Immediately. But that evening she silently rubbed against, and twined about his legs. That usually only happened when. . .

“Kakashi?” he called out, straightening up and taking a step out of his tiny foyer. He couldn't sense his lover anywhere in the apartment, but that didn't mean much when dealing with a jounin of Kakashi's caliber. And this was the first April Fool's Day since their relationship had begun; he wouldn't put it past the other man to make an (ill-fated) attempt to catch him off guard. But there were only so many places someone could hide in a studio apartment and they were all empty. Still puzzled by the cat's behavior Iruka sank onto the sofa with a sigh.

And immediately sprang to his feet when his backside came into contact, not with the squashy cushions, but with the hard, muscled legs of one Hatake Kakashi. Who had appeared in a puff of purple smoke and swirl of orange leaves the moment Iruka's body had touched his until-then invisible form. And Iruka had to fight an almost insane desire to laugh. Instead he composed his face into what Kakashi had often described as “sensei stern”.

“If this is your attempt to April Fool me I think something has gone horribly wrong.”

That was the understatement of the year. Wrists and ankles bound together with chakra-reinforced wire, hands muffled in special chakra suppressing mittens, and a seal placed to prevent speech, Kakashi was certainly a pitiful sight. But the glare in his visible eye made one fact unmistakable. This was not his attempt at a prank. It was someone else's.

Okay, so the note pinned to his flak jacket was also a clue. Iruka sat on the sofa beside his irate boyfriend and carefully read the missive.

Water and lightning

Opposites that attract

The air and the earth

Separate but equal

The secret heart that lies hidden

Underneath the underneath

Tell me something only you know

His brow furrowed as he re-read the words, laying a hand on Kakashi's thigh to still his frustrated twitching. The poem was clearly the key to unlocking whatever had been done to Kakashi, and Iruka felt his lips twitch in a derisive smile. Whoever had thought up this one was strictly amateur, prank-wise; the solution to the first four lines was so obvious he thought it might have been done by a student, or maybe by Kakashi's own Team Seven. Water and lightning was a clear reference to the elemental natures of the pair of them, and the air and the earth meant Gemini and Virgo, his and Kakashi's zodiac signs, respectively. He stood and crossed the room to his desk, grabbing a pot of ink and a calligraphy brush. He quickly wrote his and Kakashi's birthdays on the seal that covered the jounin's mouth, watching as it disappeared.

But Kakashi shook his head, still unable to speak, so Iruka turned his thoughts to the rest of the puzzle.

Tell me something only you know

Something only he knew about Kakashi? That was kind of a long list. The ticklish spot on his right butt cheek? The slightly crooked lower teeth? The scar on his left leg where Bisuke had bit him when they were first introduced as children (puppies?)? The heno-heno-moheji tattoo on his lower back, barely an inch above the crack of his ass? The fact that Hatake Kakashi, famed Sharingan no Kakashi, Man of a Thousand Jutsus, etc., etc., etc. was scared spitless of spiders? The list only got longer with each passing day they were together.

The secret heart that lies hidden

Underneath the underneath

Okay, that made a few things clearer. And caused a flush to race up Iruka's face and burn the tips of his ears because he knew, with an unerring instinct, what that was referring to. Something that he felt strongly, and showed on a daily basis, but hadn't managed to say. Not yet. He glanced at Kakashi and saw his visible eye widen; apparently he had also caught on to the meaning of the poems final three lines.

Iruka felt himself smile; slightly sultry and a lot mischievous. It was time to throw caution to the wind and see where all of this between the two of them could take him. He lifted Kakashi's bound hands and ducked between his outstretched arms, sighing when Kakashi immediately started to play with the wisps of hair at the nape of his neck. He shifted his position until he was straddling the jounin's lap, tugged down the mask and kissed him.

Thank heaven the jutsu that was keeping Kakashi from speaking didn't prevent his mouth from opening, otherwise that kiss would have been over a lot quicker. It started out gentle, but as with many things between them it rapidly degenerated into a heated clash of lips, tongues, and teeth. When Iruka bit down lightly on Kakashi's lower lip he felt a shudder run through the other man's body; a shudder that normally would have been accompanied by a heartfelt moan. As it was Kakashi's hips jerked up and pushed against Iruka's, hard and urgent, and Iruka had to break the kiss in an effort to catch his breath.

“I may have to keep you like this for the night,” he whispered against the other man's mouth. “Bound, gagged, and at my mercy. But I want to feel your hands on me, and hear every delicious, sexy sound you can possibly make, so. . .” He slid his lips across Kakashi's cheek towards his ear, licking around the shell before nipping at the lobe. “I love you,” he breathed.

He felt Kakashi stiffen for a moment, then his arms relaxed and moved, his hands splayed on Iruka's back. “Finally,” he growled, his voice husky from being silent for so long.

“Finally what?” Iruka asked, pulling off both of their hitai-ates at the same time and plunging his fingers into the other's hair. “Finally you're free or I finally admitted what you've known for months?”

“Either. Both. I don't care which.” Kakashi pulled the tie out of Iruka's hair and buried his hands in the dark mass. “I'm going to kill those two,” he said as he peppered kisses down the chuunin's neck. At Iruka's questioning noise he replied “Izumo and Kotetsu. So, so, soooooo dead.”.

Iruka shook his head, not even bothering to ask how those two could have taken Kakashi by surprise. He suspected clones were involved. “Death is too good for them. I have a better idea.” And he leaned in close to whisper in his lover's ear.

**********

It was nearly two weeks before the soap bubble hearts stopped appearing around Kotetsu and Izumo whenever one touched the other.