[naruto] white wedding
Hidden Sand and Leaf had been unofficial allies for near a decade already when a courier from the Kazekage came, bearing an ornate scroll asking for a more binding, official treaty of cooperation. Most everyone agreed it was a good move, and long overdue, and Tsunade made the three-day journey to Sand with an entourage of ten ANBU and five jounin escorts, a small bureaucracy of chuunin negotiatorsâ€”and Naruto, who had been requested as a special guest of the Kazekage.
â€œDonâ€™t shame the name of Konoha, Naruto,â€ Iruka said.
â€œI know,â€ Naruto whined, shoving another wadded-up ball of underwear into his bags.
â€œAnd that means staying awake during official functions, andâ€”â€
â€œI know!â€ Naruto whined again, and flushing, he said, â€œThatâ€™s not why I said I needed your help!â€
Blinking, Iruka asked, â€œWhat did you need my help with then?â€
Kakashi dragged into the house covered in leaves and mud and dirt and some questionable organic matter, missing one sleeve. He also had a hickey.
â€œYo,â€ he said, and limped toward the bathroom.
Iruka maintained his prostrate position on the living room floor, staring at the slowly-ambulating blades of the ceiling fan. â€œHey,â€ he said, disconnected.
He heard the sound of water running in the bathroom, and over it, Kakashi yelled, â€œYou know, I have a hickey. On my neck.â€
â€œI saw,â€ Iruka shouted back. Naruto will have hickies soon, he thought, fighting off an instinctive desire to curl up into the fetal position.
Kakashi came back into the room and stood over himâ€”hitai-ate and mask and all his clothing abandoned. He also had a hickey on his shoulder. Iruka raised an eyebrow at him. â€œYouâ€™re dripping on the floor,â€ he said.
Scowling, Kakashi demanded, â€œDo you not care that I have hickies? Bruises? From others sucking on me?â€
Iruka smirked. â€œPakkun brought your mission report to me.â€
Kakashi looked mortified.
Schooling his face, Iruka said, voice solemn, â€œI petitioned on your behalf to receive hazard pay for nearly being sexually assaulted by your particularly amorous client, jounin-sama, but I was voted down on account of your attacker being a 17-year-old boy.â€
â€œThe honeymoon is over,â€ Kakashi told him darkly, and stalked off for some pants.
That night, after dinner, when Kakashi demanded compensatory sexâ€”â€œOf the very filthy kind,â€ he said resolutelyâ€”for wrongs against his person, Iruka shrugged miserably and said, â€œI canâ€™t. I had to explain safe sex to Naruto today.â€
Kakashi clawed at both his eyesâ€”but particularly at Obitoâ€™s. â€œGah, argh,â€ he said.
â€œI know,â€ Iruka agreed, shoulders slumped.
Tsunade was gone for two weeks, during which Kakashi and Iruka spent a lot of time pausing at random intervals to say inane things like, â€œHeâ€™s not a kid anymore,â€ and â€œAt least he knows how to use a condom.â€ There was silent agreement that Narutoâ€™s apparent sexual preference would keep Iruka from spiraling into catatonic schizophrenia worrying about him getting some girl in a family way.
â€œYes,â€ Iruka said, voice acidic, â€œthis is much betterâ€”now I only worry about him having sex with the Kazekage.â€
â€œPlease,â€ Kakashi begged. â€œI was hoping it was anybody but him.â€
Pillowing his head on Kakashiâ€™s shoulder, Iruka sighed. â€œNow I know how Sandaime felt when he found out we were dating.â€
Pausing, Kakashi glared down at him. â€œAm I Naruto or Gaara in this scenario?â€
Iruka pulled up the sheets and went to sleep.
At dawn, on the first day of the third week, Iruka stumbled out of bed to get the door.
Still tugging a robe over his t-shirt and pajama pants, he pulled open the door, asking, â€œWhat the hell?â€
Gaara stared at him from the front doorstep, face intensely blankâ€”wearing the full ceremonial robes of Hidden Sand and holding a fruit basket. He extended it toward Iruka.
â€œI am told you are my future in-law,â€ he said, bland.
An hour later, Iruka was serving the Kazekage tea in a chipped Totoro mug and wondering if there was anything in the refrigerator other than those erotic ice cube trays Kakashi had won in an Icha Icha write-in contest. Kakashiâ€”that cowardâ€”had only appeared briefly before making up an excuse about going to hunt missing nin and escaping, but Gaara had nodded approvingly and said to Iruka:
â€œIt is good that Narutoâ€™s father and mother are a teacher and the great Copy Nin; I would be honored to join with your family.â€
Iruka sincerely hoped that the â€˜thudâ€™ heâ€™d heard was Kakashi falling off the bedroom windowsillâ€”painfully.
Flustered, Iruka said, â€œAhâ€”Naruto and I arenâ€™t actually related.â€
Gaara gave him a flat, penetrating stare, utterly unaffected, and then turned back to his Totoro mug, studying it curiously as he said, â€œNaruto thinks of you as family.â€ He looked back at Iruka. â€œI shall as well.â€
And then, â€œOh,â€ was all Iruka could say, struck-silent and pleased.
â€œIt is traditional to ask permission of your intendedâ€™s family,â€ Gaara said, rote, and Iruka tried very hard not to have some kind of seizure when the Kazekage arranged himself in a traditional kneeling position, hands on his knees, â€œI seek Narutoâ€™s hand in marriage, if youâ€™ll allow it.â€
â€œUh,â€ Iruka choked.
â€œI promise to provide for him,â€ Gaara continued, voice the same monotone as always.
â€œIâ€™m sure you will,â€ Iruka agreed, feeling faint.
â€œThen you agree?â€ Gaara pressed, voice intense.
â€œSure,â€ Iruka said, strained. â€œWhy not.â€
Looking almost happy, Gaara said, â€œI am proud to call you mother.â€
The reciprocal signing in Konoha was an enormously complex and politic affairâ€”most of which Iruka missed since dawn of the second day of the third week, one of Gaaraâ€™s ANBU arrived at their doorstep.
Irukaâ€™s instinctive draw for a kunai was distracted when Kakashi blurred into the room, stepping neatly and firmly in front of Iruka, looking casual as ever but radiating death as he said, â€œItâ€™s still early for social calls, isnâ€™t it?â€
It was hard to see through the pressed-sand mask, just a gleam of eyes behind it, but Iruka thought that the ANBU looked deeply, deeply unamused, as wronged as any 6-year-old in time-out, actually.
â€œYes,â€ he ground out, and reached to give Kakashi a small, ornamental scroll. â€œThe Kazekage had me deliver this at first light.â€
Looking around Kakashi, the ANBU told Iruka, â€œAnd I have instructions to extend an invitation to you for breakfast at the guest house with Kazekage-sama.â€
â€œOh,â€ Iruka said, voice distant, â€œI seeâ€”thank you.â€
The ANBU nodded. â€œHeâ€™ll expect you in an hour,â€ he said, and disappeared in a choking dust-up of sand that had Iruka sending Kakashi for the kitchen broom.
â€œI recognize this is ultimately irrelevant,â€ Kakashi grumbled, dumping out the dustpan, â€œbut I definitely think a storm of leaves are preferable to a sandstorm.â€
â€œIâ€™m glad you said it so I didnâ€™t have to,â€ Iruka sighed, and went off to find something acceptable to wear.
Iruka chose to believe that Naruto squirmed all through milk-and-lemon tea due to an advanced case of engagement jitters, because the alternatives were far too appalling to consider. He suffered a brief moment of inspired insanity and considered pitching a fit at Naruto about premarital sex and talking about cows and milkâ€”but thankfully a furiously-embarrassed Sand jounin shuffled in at that exact moment with a dish of Madelines and to refresh the cream pitcher.
Gaara offered them to Iruka, who took one woodenly.
Despite Irukaâ€™s best efforts to convince him otherwise, Kakashi maintained that since Gaaraâ€™s invitation had named Iruka specifically, it freed Kakashi from all obligation to attend. Although, Iruka admitted, it was probably for the best Kakashi wasnâ€™t in attendance to cause some sort of international incidentâ€”there was no way heâ€™d allow Naruto to escape from the meeting unscathed.
When Naruto had met Iruka at the door of the guest house, heâ€™d practically glowed with contentmentâ€”and the shock of it had carried Iruka through the corridors and into the formal tatami room, where he and Naruto and the Kazekage and about six dozen carefully hidden ANBU were now staring at one another uncomfortably.
â€œIâ€™m glad youâ€™re looking well,â€ Iruka said finally to Naruto, rolling his shoulders to try and ease the rising tension.
Grinning, Naruto said, â€œIt was a good trip.â€
Iruka was glad to see him happy with someone, anyoneâ€”even if it was the Kazekage, and God help them all. After the successive debacles of Sakura and what Kakashi liked, inappropriately, to call â€œThe worst breakup in Konoha history,â€ of being friends with Sasuke, it was good to see Naruto happy without any strings attached, and Iruka allowed himself a moment of fuzzy-edged affection toward Gaara for putting an unshadowed smile on Narutoâ€™s face.
â€œSand has great ramen,â€ Naruto added.
Iruka bit back a laugh, and Gaara added flatly, â€œI have engaged the proprietor of Narutoâ€™s favorite ramen stand in order to learn myself how to make noodles.â€
â€œI am confident in my ability to master the art,â€ Gaara assured him.
â€œGaaraâ€™s awesome like that,â€ Naruto enthused, reaching for a cookie.
Iruka stuffed another Madeline into his mouth so he wouldnâ€™t do anything foolish like talk or breathe or burst into hysterical laughter.
It was nearly an hour later, when Gaara was finally called away from the brunch for official business, that Iruka finally relaxed, studying Narutoâ€™s faint and constant blush.
â€œYouâ€™re really happy with him, arenâ€™t you,â€ Iruka said.
Naruto ducked his headâ€”plucked at the edges of his cushion.
â€œMost people would say you were making a mistake,â€ Iruka challenged, too casual, â€œtaking on Gaara of the sand, you know.â€
And heâ€™d barely finished his sentence when Narutoâ€™s head snapped back up, eyes fierce as he shot back, â€œAnd most people still say youâ€™re making a mistake, letting Kakashi-pervert take advantage of you all theseâ€”â€ before he stopped himself, face going tomato-red even as Iruka started to laugh.
â€œGood,â€ Iruka said, grinning and reaching over to ruffle Narutoâ€™s hair. â€œGoodâ€”I just needed to know you meant it. Iâ€™m happy for you,â€ he promised, mirroring Narutoâ€™s flush now, â€œI really am.â€
â€œCan you pass me theâ€”thank you,â€ Kakashi said, taking the stack of bills from Irukaâ€™s hand before turning back to their checkbook. â€œWhat were you saying?â€
Iruka finished tallying up Konohamaruâ€™s grade (14 out of 100â€”that kid was doomed to a life of prostitution or highway robbery, Iruka worried) and said again, â€œI was just saying, I think theyâ€™re going to be very happy together.â€
Kakashiâ€™s near-constant tapping at the calculator stopped. â€œExcuse meâ€”are you giving this relationship your blessing?â€
Iruka frowned, tapping his red pen on the next test paper. â€œWhy not?â€
Kakashi stared at him blankly. â€œItâ€™s Gaara.â€
â€œI think heâ€™s a nice boy,â€ Iruka dismissed, turning back to his grading.
â€œGaara is not a nice boy,â€ Kakashi replied, and Iruka looked up to see Kakashi pluck off his reading glasses and slap them down on top of the opened checkbook. â€œYou donâ€™t know him professionallyâ€”heâ€™s vicious.â€
Iruka rolled his eyes. â€œOkay,â€ he agreed.
â€œI wasnâ€™t aware Naruto was serious,â€ Kakashi said, sounding stiff and ominous.
Smirking, Iruka said, â€œI didnâ€™t know you cared. I always thought you felt like Naruto was your annoying stepchild.â€
Kakashi raised his brows. â€œNaruto is my annoying stepchild.â€
â€œAnd now, you can have Gaara as your annoying stepchild-in-law,â€ Iruka teased.
â€œHeâ€™s killed hundreds, you know,â€ Kakashi tried again.
Iruka stared at him for a long time.
â€œAll right, fine,â€ Kakashi sulked, â€œI suppose that was a little bit hypocritical.â€
Four days after Gaara and Narutoâ€™s return to Konoha, Iruka was called to Tsunade-samaâ€™s office so she could ask him if Kakashi was trying to start a war.
â€œItâ€™s generally frowned-upon when ninja stalk leaders of other hidden villages while alliances are being signed,â€ she said, sarcasm dripping from her words.
â€œIf itâ€™s any comfort,â€ Iruka said, â€œfrom what I can tell, Gaara is actually flattered.â€
Tsunade frowned. â€œThat Kakashi views him as a potential threat?â€
Iruka shrugged. â€œThat Kakashi cares enough to bully his potential son-in-law.â€
Tsunade rubbed at her temples. â€œSandaime never had to put up with any of this crap.â€