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Shacking Up

By Maxine101

Romance / Humor

Tragedy

"You need to get laid," Kotetsu said. By the way the man's speech was slow and stilted, Iruka figured his friend was pretty well drunk. Considering what he'd had to drink – hell, what they'd allhad to drink – it was amazing that the tall Chunin was still able to sit on his barstool without finding himself face first on the floor.

"I know I need to get laid," Iruka replied, his speech in no better condition that Kotetsu's. "But who do I fuck?"

"Well, that'sh the queshtion, isn't it?" Izumo asked as he swayed. "Who do you want to fuck?"

Iruka shrugged. "I guesh I want shomeone who wantsh to fuck me? Maybe if they could like me?"

"Well, that'sh the trick, isn't it?" Kotetsu asked. "If we knew that, none of us would have been here at the end of a bad day. I'd be shleeping with my... hic… girlfriend and we'd never have come to this divey piece of shit bar."

Izumo swayed a little more on his stool and almost knocked into Iruka. "Why did we shay we didn't want to talk about our shucky days again?" Izumo asked.

"Becaush I didn't want you to know that the misssssssssion room was a disaster," Ko said as he laid his head on the bar before him. "You were right, and I couldn't handle it by myself."

"Becaush the person I like doesn't know it, and they're being particularly densh," Izumo slurred.

"Becaush I didn't want to admit that the rugrats in my class managed to one-up me." When his friends turned blurry eyes on him, Iruka explained, "They started fighting, and when I broke it up another one stabbed me in the thigh with their fake kunai. I had to go to the hospital to get stitched up!"

"Ish that all?" Izumo asked.

"Well, then I went to the mission'sh room and found it in Chaos. I had to hit a couple of Jounin and send them to the hospital before everything calmed down. Then I had to go to the hospital again because Genma's senbon got stuck in my right butt cheek – which he says was an accident, but I don't think so – and now my butt hurts. Then Tsunade summoned me just to tease me about my butt and how I'm having a rough day. She said…" and that's where this got hard. He could feel himself sobering up, but not enough that he could stop the tears from trickling down his cheeks. "She said that if there's one more incident this week, then she's sending me on a mandatory leave. She called it a vacation, but it's basically a suspension with pay!"

"You know," Kotetsu slurred, "most people like it when the Hokage sends them on mandatory vacation time. She usually treats it like a mission and pays for it."

"But who would I go with?" Iruka asked. "I don't like vacations by myself. It's not the same as when I went with my parents. It's not fun! It's…" he couldn't get the word out, "it's… lonely." And boring, but he wasn't going to say that. Compared to lonely, boring wasn't much of a complaint.

"Iruka, you know your parents died…. How many years ago did they die?" Izumo asked. He wasn't swaying as much and his speech was starting to clear. He wasn't sober by any means, but he was starting to head in that direction.

"They died when I was eleven," Iruka clarified. "I'm… I'm…. I'm twenty-five."

"No you're not," Izumo stated with his finger pointing down into the bar for emphasis. "You're twenty-four."

"No, I'm not twenty-four," Iruka argued, his voice growing without his control. "I'm twenty-five. Today is my birthday. Nobody remembered, even me."

"Oh, Ruka, I'm so sorry!" Kotetsu gasped out as he stumbled off his stool and wobbled his way over to Iruka. He half leaned and half fell on the poor tanned Chunin when he tripped on the floor and covered his fall with a hug. "Happy Birthday! Bartender, get this man another drink!"

"It's okay," Iruka said as he waved the bartender off. "I just wanna go home. Guys, take me home."

"Okay," Kotetsu said. He "helped" Iruka up by leaning very heavily on him and dragged Izumo with them toward the doorway. Sort of. They hit the wall a couple times before they managed to find the doorway, but eventually they made it outside where the cool night air had a sobering effect. At least, it sobered them enough that they managed to turn down the right roads in order to find Iruka's apartment.

"Hey, Ruka, look," Izumo said as he pointed to a bright area above the roofs. "It looks like there's a fire. Your apartment's in that direction."

"Yeah…" Iruka mumbled.

They continued on their way, but the bright spot on the horizon kept getting bigger and bigger until they turned onto Iruka's street and they saw the apartment building that was completely covered in flames. Iruka looked from side to side, but the nearby buildings didn't seem to be on fire at all, but it was hard to tell with the mayhem of so many shinobi zipping all around performing jutsu to put the fire out. Then a giant water dragon reared its head and flew its way through the windows and doors of the house, and everything came to a standstill. The fire was out.

Kakashi Hatake jumped off the neighboring roof and landed gracefully next to the three now-sober Chunin. "Hello, Iruka-sensei," he said with his one visible eye arching with a smile. "You seem to be having a good time."

Iruka felt the hairs on the back of his neck rise in agitation at the silent barb Kakashi had just said. The older shinobi had been making snide comments to Iruka ever since the Chunin had called him out at Naruto's first Chunin exam. Even if the words didn't comment on the fact that Iruka hadn't helped put out the blaze, Kakashi's tone certainly did. "I was at a bar, and when we got drunk we decided to come home. I didn't know there was a fire until just a bit ago."

"Well, it's out now. I suppose you can continue on your way," Kakashi said pleasantly, the smiling eye of his never fading for a moment.

"I can't," Iruka said. "That was my apartment building that burned down."

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