Jounin exam hell! Well it would be if your tutor was Kakashi.
Disclaimer: Ore wa na Kishimoto Masashi desu!
By Saoirse The Irish Colleen
The Sandaime filed her application for the Jounin exam firmly denying her request to stay Chuunin. They needed the bodies out on the field, whether or not it was a time of war. The higher ups beneath the Hokage were bitching about not having enough well-rounded ninja with at the very least half-assed Genjutsu talent in the ranks. The ANBU captains were coming in with complaints of the same frequently. They needed new blood to show off some prime illusionary skill and stealth or Konohagure would be pathetic compared to the devils in Sunagure after all. Sarutobi made himself crystal clear on the terms she would also be getting a tutor to compensate for her Ninjutsu and Taijutsu deficiencies. Iruka smiled bravely to perk her spirits up.
"It won't be that bad. At least you'll be getting a bigger paycheck than me!" She shrugged her slim shoulders.
"Like I would really know what to do in a crisis out there. I'd end up getting my team slaughtered!" Umino stuck his chopsticks into his limp ramen frustrated. If anything she would risk the safety of others with such a morose attitude.
"Look, not for nothing, but if you failed the other seven times you went for Jounin because of lack of confidence, not experience! Morino said that right to your face. You told me so! And he doesn't admit anything like that unless you're something!" Iruka stuffed strips of pork and egg into his mouth refusing to meet his friend's teeming eyes. "You're giving yourself the short end of the stick, if you ask me." She ordered more odangos.
"They're sticking me with a tutor." Iruka took a short draught of Plushy and looked at her pointedly.
"They say who?"
She shifted on the swivel stool feeling the cracked plastic cool then heat up beneath her thighs. "Hatake Kakashi." The Chuunin instructor scoffed and rubbed at the chevron scar across his nose bridge.
"What's wrong with him? His head too big from the celebrity status?" She tipped the plastic bottle of soy sauce into square saucer and dipped her odango. Iruka was irked by his fellow instructor's flippancy. Did she know anything about Hatake? Guess Hyuuga Hiroshi's accusations of "that coven on the hill" weren't too far off. She was always somewhat demure and isolated, but what can you expect coming from such a rare bloodline? And her grandmother was Konoha's revered poison expert... not to mention Mah Jong addict.
"All I'm saying is with Kakashi, you'll have to look underneath the underneath." She signaled the cook for a second of the super spicy Kimchee bowl.
"Aren't we philosophical today? I always did peg you for a closet romantic." She nudged him with a playful shot to the ribs with her elbow and drew her arms back as her steaming meal was set before her on the antiseptic white counter, the china rattling dryly. A cloud of white steam wafted their way drying their eyes and a shrieking hiss from a huge wok over the blue-white gas flame caused them to press their fingers to their ears from the close proximity. No one in their right mind ever complained, Ichiraku was Konoha's finest dive and would stay that way. The two customers were so consumed with their meal they did not see a third joining them at the counter.
"One beef pot special and a large lemonade- to go."
"Must be payday!" The cook said taking the ninja's money. Iruka unwrapped the rice balls he packed for lunch and split them with her waiting for his second pork and vegetable.
"Think you'll try again tomorrow?" She chewed the proffered ball savoring each individual grain feeling them cleave to her palate.
"Sarutobi'll give in one way or another. Besides that moron tutor he set me up with is running a mission so it'll be a while 'till he shows his face... no harm no foul."
"You should never count your chickens before they hatch." The third customer cut in before Iruka could respond. Iruka slammed his open palms on the counter standing up looking over his friend's shocked figure. Lazily Hatake Kakashi scrubbed the back of his neck threading a hand through his shock of unruly silver spiked hair. "And training begins promptly at 5:30 A.M., Yuuhi Kurenai." A bag with Kakashi's order was set before him.
"Yosh! One beef pot special and lemonade to go!" Kakashi met Iruka's glare with an unfazed eye.
"Kurenai, I suggest you bring a book with you. He'll be late."
Iruka was right. Not that Kakashi didn't bring reading material of his own, highly questionable that is. She passed the Jounin exam without trepidation but her celebration was damped by guilt, for Kurenai scrutinized her ethics repeatedly for what has been nearly a decade. A copy of /Icha Icha Tactics /spread open suspended in the air under the wan yellow light of the single bedroom lamp she scanned with faint interest. The pink tongue springing around her nipples bothered her only slightly as she offered up a red tipped finger.
"You really live up to your name you know," Kakashi said skinning up the red satin sheets. Kurenai lopsidedly smirked then looked up to finfish her sentence. Kakashi seized the book and tossed it on his lasciviously tangled uniform on the floor.
"Did you have to do that?" Kurenai roped her downy white arms about his slender neck.
"Did you read chapter eight?" He kissed her pressing his tongue between her sultry painted lips.
"You have way too much time on your hands." He reached over an pulled the chain on the lamp dousing the room in darkness.
"Think you need some tutoring."