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A Rose By Any Other Name by Yumi

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Chapter notes: HIIIIIIIIIIIII!!!!!!!! ^___^

Well, I've been kinda working on this piece for a while, and I think that it's time that posted it ^^. . . I know I have other crap to finish, but I really want to post this one!! I'm answering that challenge that's been up about a Mizuki/Iruka pairing!!

So yeah, first off, this was inspired by two separate roses I received from my boyfriend, thus we will encounter at least two roses in this fic. It'll make sense, trust me.

Second, I didn't know what Mizuki's last name was (if he even had one), so for the purpose of this fic, his last name is Niseno. I looked up several words, and I decided that "nise" (fake) was good. The dictionary had "no" at the end of the work to be used as a particle, so we have a "fake Mizuki". . . fitting, no?

Anyway, enjoy! And PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE REVIEW!!! >
One: Study Hall?




“Umino!” a man shouted behind Iruka, causing the brunette to turn around and search for the familiar face he had come to trust. (1)

“Hey!” Iruka said, waving at Mizuki. “How’d your exam go?”

“Tough as hell!” the white haired man said, sighing. “I passed with a 498, though. Two wrong. You?”

“492, I passed.” the brunette said, smirking. “What day’s your combat exam?”

“Two weeks from Saturday.” Mizuki said. “Yours is too.” Iruka blinked in confusion. How did he know that?

“We’re in the same group? Did I miss that list? I could have sworn the only one posted was a bunch of ID numbers and scores.”

“I have an inside connection.” Mizuki said, winking. Iruka shrugged, not knowing what else to do, really. Something was wrong with his friend, though he wasn’t quite sure what it was. Iruka just knew he didn’t want to be around Mizuki much longer. “Hey, did you want to train tomorrow? I know it’s short notice, but I think we’d balance each other out perfectly.”

“Sure, that’d be nice.” the dolphin said, smiling. “I’ll see you tomorrow then?”

“Well, actually. . .” the other man said, thinking. “Were you going to that TGIF the other guys were having at Pomi’s Bar? Everyone who passed the written exam was going to have a drink there tonight.”

“I have some house cleaning to do, actually.” Iruka admitted. “I’ve been putting it off until the end of the exam. . .”

“What’s a little partying going to do?” Mizuki asked, smiling . “It’ll be fun!”

“I’m not really into alcohol. You know that.”

“Then get some ocha!”

“As lovely as it probably would be, I can’t.” Iruka said, his tone a little more forceful than before. However, that didn’t seem to deter this friend.

“I bet you’re such a light weight, you’d get drunk off anything but water.” Mizuki challenged, smirking triumphantly after seeing Iruka’s expression.

“Fine, I’ll come for a while.” the brunette promised.

“Good! See you at six, Umino!!” the other man said, waving good bye and bound for home. Iruka sighed once the white haired man disappeared. Sure, Mizuki was pushy and domineering, but this time something felt off. . . like the way he smirked. . . and that wink? Since when did Mizuki wink?? Iruka decided that he wasn’t going to go to the bar that night. THAT could only lead to disaster. . .


Unfortunately it did anyway.


Mizuki was nearly passed out on Iruka’s doorstep at almost 11:30 that night, and it looked like he had gotten into a fight with someone. The brunette pulled his friend’s body inside and put Mizuki on the couch, planning to tend to his injuries, how ever minor they were.

“What did you do?” Iruka asked, shaking his head as he brought out a bowl of warm water and bandages.

“’Mino?” Mizuki mumbled, opening his drunken eyes. “’z it you?”

“Yeah,” the other man replied, putting the damp cloth to Mizuki’s scraped cheek. “I hope you can hold your liquor. I just cleaned out the bathroom this afternoon.” Mizuki grabbed Iruka’s wrist and looked at the brunette. Iruka blinked. “Something wrong?”

“Yer. . . pretty with your har dwn.”

“Huh??” Iruka had been asleep for a while before he heard the thump of a body at his door, and he didn’t bother to pull his hair back.

“’Nd yer cute wen you blush.” Mizuki said, smirking and then falling off the couch, passed out completely this time. The brunette sighed and put his friend back up on the couch so that he could tend to Mizuki’s wounds. Once the dolphin had finished his task, it almost seemed a waste to spare the energy to go back into the bedroom. Thus, Iruka slumped on the floor with a pillow and slept beside Mizuki, who was now covered in bandages.




“Okay, what happened?” Iruka asked, helping Mizuki sit up to eat breakfast. “And don’t tell me it wasn’t anything you couldn’t handle by yourself.” Mizuki smirked at the comment.

“I got drunk and was a loud mouth. Kotetsu thoroughly kicked my ass for insulting Izumo.”

“Kotetsu? Why would he get offended when the insult wasn’t directed at him?” Mizuki almost died of shock after hearing Iruka’s question.

“Haven’t you heard?! They’re together!”

“Wait, together as in. . .?”

“Lovers! Didn’t you know that?”

“Obviously not.” Iruka answered.

“Geez, I’m surprised Anko didn’t gossip to you about it!” Mizuki said, hissing as he sat back against an injury. “Itai!!”

“When did they get together?”

“About a month ago.” Mizuki said, taking a bite of oat meal. “This is horrible, by the way.”

“It’s what I’ve been living off of for the last month.”

“Sheesh, no WONDER you hardly hear a word anyone says! We need to buy you REAL food!!”

“I would, but I’m on a tight budget.” Iruka said. “I haven’t been on many missions lately because of the Teachers’ Exams.”

“I know, but I’ve been in the same boat and I’m not eating crappy oat meal three times a day!” Mizuki took another (regretful) bite. “Hey, why don’t we cut down our living costs and just live together!”

“WHAT?!?”

“I mean, you OWN this place, right? I’m still renting an apartment. If I didn’t have to rent that old piece of crap and lived here, we’d BOTH be well fed, rested, and we could train and study together!”

“You. . . honestly want to live. . . HERE??”

“Yeah, why not? We’ve been friends for how long?”

“A long time, but that’s not the point!” Iruka said. “I mean, I know I own the house, but it’s not a lot of space. It’s a few rooms, the kitchen, and a bathroom.”

“So?”

“So. . . there’s not a lot of room.”

“Don’t you have a guest room or something?” Mizuki asked, raising an eyebrow. “Or is that room stockpiled with porn or something?”

“NISENO!!!” Iruka shouted, glaring and appalled that he’d say such a thing. “And that’s not it. It’s just. . . I don’t have an extra bed.” Mizuki blinked, confused.

“Come again?”

“The only bed in the entire house is located in my bedroom. I didn’t have a use for them, so I sold them years ago when I was having financial problems. Anko bought my old bed, and Genma took the guest bed.”

“So, you have your parents’ bed?”

“Yeah, I couldn’t bring myself to sell that piece.” Iruka said. “Besides, it’s really nice.”

“I’ll just sleep here then.” Mizuki said, patting the couch. “Or we could share the bed. It’s not like we’re strangers or anything.”

“Well. . .”

“What? Are you afraid I’ll find some perverted, kinky side of you?” Mizuki asked, smirking suggestively. Iruka paled.

“No.” he said, deadpan. “I just haven’t lived with anyone in over 10 years.”

“So, can I move in?” the man asked, hopefully. Iruka sighed.

“As soon as you can get up without crying out in pain or bleeding through your bandages I’ll help you move in.” Iruka promised. Mizuki smiled and went back to his muck called oat meal. Iruka, however, was not entirely sure that he wanted Mizuki moving in with him. Granted, he would be eating better than he was, and he could train and study with Mizuki at almost any time, but it still didn’t seem quite right. Then again, Mizuki didn’t seem to be right. Something was gnawing at Iruka, but the brunette couldn’t place it. . .

Maybe it was nothing.



TBC...



**-**-**

Notes:

(1): Even though Mizuki and Iruka are friends here, they still use their last names to address the one another. This is a common practice between male friends, though the closer they get the less and less they will use the last name and start using first names.

Itai: “Ouch!” or “It hurts!”
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