Paperwork Ninja: a Day in the Life by Golden Kizamu
Summary: The Paperwork Ninja survive a typical Wednesday. Which are better than Tuesdays. Best not to ask about Tuesdays. Various Jounin start an avalanche without realizing whose wrath they have incurred. [Complete]
Categories: Characters: None
Genres: None
Warnings: None
Challenges: None
Series: Paperwork Ninja, Trials and Exploits
Chapters: 6 Completed: No Word count: 8580 Read: 7843 Published: 18/01/07 Updated: 28/03/07

1. No Need for Alarm by Golden Kizamu

2. Reflexes, Caffeine, Basements by Golden Kizamu

3. This is Desk Work by Golden Kizamu

4. Crazy Is... by Golden Kizamu

5. Situation Normal by Golden Kizamu

6. Strange and Stranger by Golden Kizamu

No Need for Alarm by Golden Kizamu
Author's Notes:
The Wednesday clock's real name is Expletive-deleted. Just go with it. More forthcoming.
Paperwork Ninja: A Day in the Life

Part One:
It is now 4:30 a.m. No Cause for Alarm

--------------------

Dee-dee-deet Dee-dee-deet BIING BIING BIING BAAAAAAIIIING! dee-dee-deet-

A well tanned arm rose from the heap of blankets on the broad, low-slung bed, seeking to destroy the source of annoying beeping. Down it came, moving from snooze button to snooze button amidst the strange collection of alarm clocks saturating the bedside table, seeking silence. No effect, the beeping continued.

"Damn it!"

Iruka laid in bed a moment longer before untangling himself from the sheets and rolling upright. He walked over to the dresser where the seventh alarm clock sat, still singing its cruel song of pre-dawn awakenings. It was an old beat-up alarm clock, yet it still functioned perfectly. Someone with a Dyna-labeler and to much time on his hands had given it a name: "Wednesday *&@#^$!!".

It has six siblings on the bedside table, each with a colored name label and different alarm time. "Monday: I'm okay." was a kindly clock, which did not go off until 7:30. He had classes to teach at 8:15, but always made it with time to spare. Despite the fact that it was relatively merciful with a 6:30 wake up time, "Tuesday: I Don't Wanna." showed signs of abuse similar to what had once been heaped on Wednesday, before Genma had suggested the most hated of the alarms be moved out of easy bedside reach. He'd been forced to place a thick piece of wood behind the dresser to catch the kunai he sometimes threw at the 4:30 am. slave-driving clock.

"Thursday: Doubts." and "Friday: Faith." where a matched set, timed to go off at 6 and 5:30 respectively, they showed few scars for their trouble. "Saturday: Rewards(10:00)" and "Sunday: Ignored(8:30)" lived up to their names. Weekends were nearly sacred to Iruka, and they were disturbed only by the brave. And the Hokage, who was of course, brave, also. Foolishly so, at times.

Now, it seemed, was one of those times. Another sound filled the apartment, this one much like the chime from a large bell, but much softer. It was followed by the 'bamph' and smoke cloud that was a teleporting Shinobi's polite way of informing those in his target location that he was arriving. In combat neither were used, for obvious reasons. In fact, it had been theorized by Raidou that the 'bamph' was a way of avoiding the impromptu combats that usually resulted when Ninja are startled. Discussions of special effects having practical origins aside, Iruka's bedroom was now doubly occupied.

"Ah, Iruka. Good morning." Sarutobi, the third Hokage of Konohagakure, smiled brightly at the younger man. He looked far to chipper for 4:32 in the morning, his signature robe freshly pressed and his hat sitting atop his head at a angle that could only be described as jaunty. Yes, the Hokage was very brave, to show up in the bedroom of a sleep-deprived undressed Iruka looking so insufferably alert.

"Hokage-sama." the growl of hungry animals was less confrontational.

"You're finally awake. Good. I just wanted to let you know that I would like to see you sometime this afternoon, after classes but before you completely lose hold of consciousness. About four, maybe?"

"Hnn." was the only reply he got. Not that Iruka couldn't think of other things to say, but none of them were appropriate for hurling at the Hokage without more provocation than had been given.

"Very good." Sarutobi smiled, pulling his pipe from a pocket. "I see you've been learning some things from your newest private student. Hopefully you've been returning the favor?"

"Sasuke-kun is progressing well, Hokage-sama." Iruka let his facial muscles pull themselves into a smile. It was easier than fighting the urge that accompanied the mention of his newest turn-a-genius-into-a-person project. "Just this past Monday he managed to smile twice and laugh in the same half-hour. And I saw Neji-kun yesterday in the mission room. He's annoyed with his team-mates, but learning to appreciate that they aren't completely useless. He says that 'Lee is taking his lessons from Gai-sensei in the art of being a loud, annoying decoy seriously.' Apparently, Neji-kun thinks Lee-kun has a great talent in this one area, and will soon surpass the Green Beast."

Sarutobi had to laugh at that, and since Iruka was also amused, it was a safe thing to do. "Does he? I'm glad to see that the Hyuuga have not become completely lost to the world of humor."

"Just nearly." Iruka agreed, "And never say that to their faces."

"Of course not. In any case, I'll expect you around four this afternoon, Iruka-sensei."

"Till then, Hokage-sama."

Another cloud of tobacco-scented chakra-smoke swirled through the room, and Iruka was once again alone with his seven alarm clocks. 4:37 "*&@#^$!!" read cheerfully, reminding Iruka to get going. He would have to eat on the way in today.

Five minutes to shower, two to brush his teeth and hair, another three to dress and pull his hair back properly. Eleven minutes in the living room doing the slow, meditative Chi Gung exercises that energized him in place of coffee or other stimulants. He'd sworn off caffeine several years ago, after a painful withdrawal episode that Genma, Kotetsu, and Ibiki still remembered with shudders. He found the exercises a good substitute.

Besides, one of the reasons he'd been given the long shift was to increase his stamina. All of his fellow paperwork ninja had the morning to sleep after their Tuesday night training sessions. Iruka had gone to sleep around 2 am, only to rise at 4:30. More a nap than actual sleep, but good training for the periods when he could not afford real sleep. His body had adapted, though his temper never would. He finished the pattern with a round of Swooping Quail Pecks Grain, which stretched his back and legs into shapes normal people would consider extreme, but to ninja were normal. Even if he was mostly a school teacher and desk-jockey these days, he couldn't afford to get out of shape. His combat-missions always came up without warning.

The toaster-oven had warmed his breakfast to perfection by the time his exercises were complete, and he ate his breakfast rolls on the way to the Hokage tower, arriving just as the clock swung to five am.
Reflexes, Caffeine, Basements by Golden Kizamu
Author's Notes:
Mentions of yaoi, blah blah. None of my other pages will let me log in, so TONFA gets first swipe. rejoice.
More action next part...
Paperwork Ninja: a Day in the Life

Part two:
Reflexes, Caffeine, and Basements

--------

Kotetsu Hagane swam slowly out of his dreams towards wakefulness, secure in the knowledge that he was not in danger and his lover would be curled against his side when he awoke. All was good with the world. He reached out to the warm lump next to him, snuggling closer.

"Oi. 'Tetsu, I appreciate the thought, but I just don't love you that way." the lump drawled. The voice was familiar, but not nearly familiar enough.

"Genma?" Kotetsu was confused. Where is Izumo? Izumo is gone. Izumo has transformed into Genma. Don't want Genma, Want Izumo! Kill Genma, Izumo come back. Something was wrong with that, but he couldn't place what... The problem with waking up slowly is that the mind also wakes up slowly, rather than jumping from zero to sixty in moments. While the brain is still fuzzy the body will often react on instinct, with unfortunate consequences. This is why most ninja don't allow themselves the luxury.

Fortunately, the mind and the instincts of Genma Shiranui were fully operational that morning, or the kunai Kotetsu had produced would have done more than graze the senbon-junkie's arm. He launched himself out of the warm bed with a grace he wasn't really feeling, landing next to the dresser in a defensive crouch, senbon in one hand while the other was already applying pressure to the cut. "Damn it, Ko. I know I'm not your one true love, but that's a little harsh."

"Where's Izumo?!" Kotetsu hissed, kunai still raised threateningly.

"Here. Breakfast is served." Izumo Kamizuki strolled into the room, a well-worn bathrobe tied around his waist, damp hair sticking to his face, a steaming cup of coffee in one hand and tray with a plate of jelly doughnuts and a coffee pot balanced on the other. He ignored the combative stances and the blood slowly dripping down Genma's arm, focused solely on coaxing the coffee to a drinkable temperature.

Kotetsu and Genma shared a look. Until Izumo had consumed at least two more cups of coffee, they could stage a mass murder and Karaoke contest featuring Gai-sensei in the living room and he wouldn't care. Notice, maybe; care, no.

"What is he doing here?" Kotetsu demanded.

"My apartment flooded. Izumo said I could crash here." Genma answered for himself, allowing the coffee-fiend to swallow the scalding caffeine slowly.

"I had to." Izumo stuck his tongue out and blew to cool it a bit, "He said that if I didn't let him, he'd go crawl in bed with Iruka. So I had to."

"See? It was the lesser of two evils." Genma defended himself. He'd decided that the cut wasn't bad and could air out a bit before he did anything more about it.

"So you crawled in bed with us?!"

"No, Kotetsu, I was on the couch." Genma's smile was far too innocent. Realizing he was still crouched defensively, he stood and put the senbon to his lips, settling it into place with the ease of long practice. "I only woke up when you started moving around."

"He looked so cold out on the couch by himself." Izumo shrugged with the ambivalent good cheer of a saint, "And you looked so lonely in bed when I got up to take a shower, I moved him in with you. I thought he'd keep you warm. Doughnut?" he extended the plate towards his exasperated lover, who had to take one.

-----------

A little later, the coffee and doughnut-stuffed trio headed towards the Hokage tower together. Kotetsu had the early shift at the mission desk with the Hokage while Genma and Izumo worked in the file room to implement the decisions reached in last night's meeting.

"Genin siblings, water jutsu, and old pipes. Add exploding tag. Result: destroyed laundry room, sewage completely covering basement floor to depth of three inches." the utterly deadpan tone of Genma's voice, combined with the bullet-statement way of describing the event that was typical of mission reports was by now an old joke for the Paperwork Ninja, but still got a laugh if used properly.

"Eew." Kotetsu wrinkled him nose in sympathy.

"It gets worse." Izumo shushed him, allowing Genma to continue his tale of woe.

"Older of Genin siblings attempts to fix problem with another water jutsu. Result: thinned sewage now flooding basement to depth of three feet. Apartment manager throws a fit, collapses and is carted off to hospital. Poor Genma stupidly teleports himself home, with predictable results. Finds Manager's brother, gets a shower, retreats to nearest friends' apartment."

"You're not serious? Your entire apartment?" Kotetsu whistled, impressed.

"Yeah, it's gonna take weeks to get the stink out." Genma shrugged, "Guess I'll just have to freeload until it's fixed."

"Poor Iruka, he's the only one with a spare room anymore."

"Yep."

----------
This is Desk Work by Golden Kizamu
Author's Notes:
Sorry about taking such a long time to update, but this chapter didn't go as well as hoped. Hayate and Raidou are not big talkers in general. I should never have put them together without someone else to interact with. Lesson learned! Next section contains: Kotetsu, Gai-sensei, and something like a plot. Love!
Paperwork Ninja: A Day in the life

Part 3: 10 am... Desk Work, My Ass!
-----------------------------------

The halls under the Hokage building contain many interesting things, including a small medical clinic, storage rooms, meeting rooms, and the Archives, a massive collection of Shinobi lore that was actually forbidden. The scrolls the Hokage kept in his private residence were mostly forbidden, containing Jutsu that shouldn't be used lightly, but weren't so dangerous to be truly forbidden to those skilled enough to steal the scrolls and return them without being noticed. Those scrolls were a subtle test, protected by excellent but nonlethal traps.

The Archives were an entirely different matter. Only those with the proper clearances could access the different sections, and the traps and other security measures were decisively more lethal, and updated periodically to keep any traitors or simple complacency from making them ineffective. The updating process was very systematic, with two trap-setters and several rounds of quality control testing by various teams picked by the Hokage.

One fine Wednesday, at and around ten o'clock in the morning, a one such team of testers set to work with the wariness and meticulousness of experienced quality control testers...


"Hayate!"

"Rai..dou?" the sickly jounin looked over at his mission partner quizzically. "How did that happen?"

"Didn't even see it. Must be Iruka's new toy. Sure isn't Genma's." the suspended bodyguard sighed, wriggling uselessly against the chakra-infused cord trapping him upside down and immobile.

"Hmm." Hayate examined the cord and the faint strings of chakra connecting it to the trigger. "Remember that simple fire trap you disarmed on our way in here?"

Raidou grimaced "Of course. I thought it was too easy."

"And so we spent the time until we found the secondary water trap." Hayate sighed, "It seems that disarming the second trap properly engages this one."

"Clever."

"Un."

"Clever being another word for diabolic." Raidou watched as Hayate inspected the trap and unraveled the structure enough to free him. After several minutes of careful chakra manipulation Raidou felt the rope loosen around him and prepared to catch himself before he hit the floor. "Much bet-" he was cut off as the rope whipped him around suddenly, slamming him into something soft and then into something solid faster than he could follow.

"-!!!" Hayate's cry wasn't soundless, but no recognizable words came out as the air from forced from his lungs by Raidou's impact. The closest approximation might have been 'uhmmmffk!' but even that isn't quite right.

Hayate regained his balance immediately, dodging the wildly swinging bludgeon that Raidou had become, wincing slightly as the taller man slammed into the opposite wall with great force. Using his katana against the unpredictable movements of the rope would likely do more damage to Raidou than the trap, so he pulled out a kunai and dodged, waiting for a chance to cut the rope.

Raidou anticipated the third spine-jarring impact and reached out with his chakra, connecting to the wall and trying to stop or slow his swinging. For a long moment that was likely no more than a few seconds yet seemed so much longer, it seemed to work. His momentum was broken, slowed by his counter, and he was able to free one of his arms.

But only for a moment. Then he felt a singular sort of reversed free-fall similar to teleporting, but without the deceleration at the end. Raidou slammed full force into the ceiling, then fell free to the floor, the cord abandoning the stunned carcass for the one that was still moving.

Hayate managed to dodge the rope's first attack, but set off a blast of lightning in the process that sent him rolling away, into the path of a small explosion of paint that would be contact poison in the finished version. He was blinking when the rope made its second attempt.

"Aa-!"

~A little later~

"Raidou?"

"Hmm...?" the bodyguard's head was throbbing and he couldn't remember why. Can't be a hangover, my stomach is fine, so...?

"Have you pissed off Genma or Iruka lately?" it was Hayate's voice, and it seemed very serious as usual, but very strained, which was not. Hayate was the coolest head in the group aside from his own.

"No, I knew it was their turn to update the traps, so I've been good." the past came rushing back to Raidou, and he realized why his head hurt so much: it had been slammed into the wall repeatedly, and was full of blood since he was hanging upside down once again, this time in company with Hayate, who was not taking it calmly.

"The pass phrase isn't working."

"Oh shit." that was very bad news. Even though the traps were in non-lethal mode during testing, without the pass phrase the traps would hold them in place until they found a way out or someone disarmed them from outside. The pass phrase was a safety measure, a way for the testers to say 'uncle' and try again without the trap setters hanging out all day during the testing process, laughing at the testers until they made themselves sick. "Not even 'Cretins'?"

"Try for yourself."

"Jounin are all overpaid cretins." Raidou declared to the waiting hallway. It was Iruka's favorite escape line, and nearly always worked.

Nothing happened.

"We are so screwed."

"Yeah."

~Later still~

"I apologize for sneaking up on Izumo last month and making him spill hot coffee on Genma in the process."

"Hey, Hayate."

"Raidou?"

"I don't think confessing all our sins against Genma and Iruka is working. Have you pissed of Yugao, maybe? Remember, last year you forgot her birthday and she got Izumo to give you that fish-flavored Latte."

"No! Our anniversary is next week, and I have a nice dinner planned."

The rope loosened upon the word 'anniversary', flexing until they were upright before releasing them from its iron grip. There were popping sounds as the other traps they'd set off fighting the rope reset themselves. A sourceless blue light flashed on and off. they had until the light stopped, about two minutes, to get out of range before the traps reset themselves.

They moved quickly, but Raidou was not about to let this one go so easily. "Anniversary?"

"Yeah, but it's not till next week!"

"You sure?"

"Yes!"

"You know, you've lost nagging rights-"

"-For at least a month." Hayate finished for him.

"Until I say so. That was a long time to hang upside down over a forgotten anniversary."

"I didn't forget!"

"Sure..."

A sigh followed by several coughs, "Let's just get back to work, ok?"

"Oh yes, let's get back to work!" Raidou pulled out a kunai, intent on defending himself from the rope this time. "Our nice safe desk work. My ass!"

--------------------------------
Crazy Is... by Golden Kizamu
Author's Notes:
I don't think this really counts as a cliff hanger.
Paperwork Ninja A day in the life

Part 4: Crazy is as Crazy does... or not.
----------------------

It is good to be me. Kotetsu smiled as he surveyed his lunch. It was a tradition that on trap updating day, the losers bought lunch. And since Kotetsu was very rarely a setter or a springer, he just reaped the benefits without the hours of tedious trap-setting minutia or the bruises of even successful trap-testing runs. Today Raidou and Hayate had sprung for eight courses of Thai food, delivered and currently being spread over the break room table buffet style by the restraunt girls. He grabbed a paper plate and chopsticks from the pile provided and waited for the pre-paid and tipped servers to move out of the way.

"It's here? 'scuse me, 'Tetsu!" Genma entered in a rush and slipped right past Kotetsu to the table, filling several take-out boxes with food with Ninja speed.

"Hey! No seconds until I've had firsts!"

"Not just for me." Genma explained around his Senbon and collecting some extra rice, "I'm taking Iruka his share."

"Oh, I see." Kotetsu's eyes curled into happy arcs above his nose-bandage. "That's so sweet."

"Is not." he shot back.

"Sure. You just want Iruka to get his share while it's hot, since he did all the work anyway."

"Exac- Hey! I helped!"

"Yes, I'm sure you did exactly what he told you."

"I'm his muse."

"Yeah, you and his twenty-four other bratty children."

"I bet you're Izumo's evil trap-master muse, and he's worse than Iruka." Genma pointed out as he prepared to leave.

"No, he says he gets ideas by visualizing tormented Jounin, especially those with senbon fetishes."

"I knew he dreamed of me." Genma's fingers flashed through the sequence for teleportation and he was gone before Kotetsu could reply.

Typical Genma. Kotetsu hmphed, then set to work on the buffet.

Several minutes and two-thirds of a plate later, Kotetsu heard the beginning of a commotion in the mission room proper. He didn't concern himself with it despite being the senior paperwork ninja present: his subordinates should be able to take care of anything that came up. It actually sounded vaguely like Maito Gai, who was certainly loud or 'boistrous' as the Hokage put it, but never caused actual trouble in the mission room.

"Hagane!" that would be Owashi calling, sounding panicky.

Sadly normal for him. Kotetsu sighed, stalking over to the door. "What is it?"

"Um.." Owashi didn't continue, but he didn't need to. Kotetsu understood.

Standing atop the mission room sideboard, a ninja Kotetsu didn't recognise had ensured that he would never be forgotten by anyone who saw him. Ever. Despite their most fervent wishes, bouts of drinking and attempts at hypnotic suggestion.

Never again would the paperwork ninja joke about Gai's spandex suit in Kotetsu's presence: at least it was green (orange leg-warmers aside). It would be days before Kakashi's mask was mentioned, Asuma would get away with smoking in the mission room for nearly a month, Anko discovered a gift certificate to her favorite Dango stand in her next mission scroll, Aoba woke to find his sunglasses replaced by a pair that actually looked good on him, and Ibiki got a new trenchcoat.

Because, while Jounin are bat-shit crazy, at least they specialize in their insanity.

For the faint of heart, just be aware that pink spandex, yellow sunglasses, and three flaming Dango were involved, and skip to the next paragraph. For those with more fortitude, the dango were on a stick that stuck out of a mutilated halloween cat mask's mouth, the sunglasses had sequin and rhinestone-studded earpeices, and there was also a trenchcoat in relatively subdued blue preventing the eyes from burning out of their sockets before the entire scene could be taken in. His hair was an unremarkable brown, but was spiked in a manner even Kotetsu found distasteful. A pair of plain wooden geta completed the ensemble, though no one noticed or cared.

The unknown ninja was ranting about mystical powers. Kotetsu came in mid-speech and was glad he hadn't heard the beginning, "Once we realize that our limits are mere mental barriers imposed by the preconception that most people cannot perform the amazing feats of those considered talented; once we realize that we are all talented, if we allow our minds to let go of our preconceptions we are all powerful. I will prove that even someone with no history of talent can overcome the barriers of preconception and conformity and perform amazing, even lengendary deeds."

Apparently this one had let go of his preconceptions of reality, Kotetsu thought, as the unknown man ended his rant with a demand for an A-ranked mission scroll.

"No." Kotetsu handed Owashi a note, and a few moments later a genin on messenger duty was running for reinforcements.

"But how will I prove that I have mastered the secrets of the Jounin's powers if you will not give me a high ranking mission?"

"By providing proof of identity and rank." Kotetsu smiled in that manner of service workers everywhere. It was cheerful and friendly, but promised nothing.

"But.."

"I am afraid that in the case of an unrecognised ninja, we are forced to ask for ID before issueing any mission scroll. And I beleive by interupting my lunch you have also invoked the Seventh Decree."

'Invoking the Seventh Decree' was paperwork ninja code for 'pissing me off enough that I'm going to file a V-A1 Vengence Approval form'. Yes, there is such a form, though only a very small number of people knew it, and fewer filled it out more than once, since getting verbal permission from the Hokage was usually easier. But the small stack of Form V-A1 in the pencil drawer was a great comfort to the mission desk workers in their day-to-day struggled with the feckless masses.

"Seventh Decree?" the confusion had spread from the clothes to the voice of the color-blind ninja.

Kotetsu prepared himself for the rambling verbal small print Izumo had used in the official version of the decree, inwardly smiling at the spin one could put on the simple order they'd been given several years ago. "The third Hokage's seventh decree in reguards to the mission room workers' conduct and responsibilities, pursuant to the Unfortunate May Twelth Incident(1), states that: Reguardless of the amount of whining, bullying, and/or arrogant posing inflicted upon you by the ninja in question, you are not to issue missions of inappropriately high difficulty; nor to issue missions that would lead to excessive mental harm or bodily injury to the ninja attempting to carry them out in retaliation for such attacks without prior approval. Missions deamed unpleasant but relatively non-dangerous may be issued to offensive ninja as a punitive measure at the discretion of the mission desk manager on duty or the Hokage, but are to be commesurate to the inappropriateness of the offensive ninja's behavior and should not consititute overkill or pure vindictiveness for offenses committed outside of the mission room.(2)"

Kotetsu took a breath to continue, "Nor should the mission desk workers consider themselves authorized to use A-rank missions as a method for putting offensive and/or insane ninja in their place, as this is the proper function of the Torture and Interogation squad and they get testy when their perogatives are slighted. In the case of a ninja showing signs of insanity that would impede completion of the mission, mission desk workers are required to use proper judgement in assigning missions and call in professional help if neccesdary; in cases of insanity not impeding the completion of the mission, workers are to use their best judgement and crisis intervention skills as in the Handbook.(3)"

"Huh?" the strangely dressed wanna-be jounin had lost his erect pose, his shoulders slumped in defeat as the beauraucratic jargon washed over him. Like most good verbal tranquilizers, it had rendered the target confused without resort to drugs or jutsu.

"Means that I'm not allowed to give you a mission."

"But.." the voice was forlorn, like a child whose new toy had been broken by a bully, "I have discovered the secrets of the Jounin's powers. I must prove to the world that preconceptions are not reality." he latched onto Kotetsu's arm, "Please?"

"I'm afraid not."

Before the fountain of tears could begin, two medics dressed in the usual white came in and led the psychiatric ward escapee back to the hospital, thanking Kotetsu for finding him for them. Waving off their thanks, Kotetsu retreived his plate from the break room, refilled the portions he'd emptied, propped him feet up on his desk and continued eating his lunch.

Owashi stared at him in awe. "You weren't even phased. Do you deal with insane people a lot?"

"All the time. We call them 'Jounin', but insanity is a side effect, not a cause. Well, except maybe for Gai." Kotetsu licked his fingers clean of sauce, "I forget that you're still new here."

"Yeah. Hey, is that food in the break room for everybody?"

"Everybody except Hayate and Raidou, but make sure you leave plenty for Izumo and the Hokage."

"Nice." Owashi went to get himself some free thai food.

Kotetsu worked on his food, checking the clock. He would be off soon, with Genma and Izumo scheduled to work the afternoon shift. He nodded to a few ninja who came in to fill out their after-action reports, including Maito Gai and Yuuhi Kurenai.

"Kotetsu!!" the shout entered the room long before the ninja who had generated it, rattling the shutters. Iruka came in the window a few moments later, looking very harried.

Kotetsu sat up, "Iruka? Did Genma find you?"

"Yeah, he brought me lunch. That was really sweet, so I agreed to let him stay at my place until his apartment is fixed. He';d always sweet when he wants something, you know?" Iruka spoke in the rapid-fire manner he usually only adopted when caffeinated. Since he had sworn off caffeine a few years ago, Kotetsu found it worrying. "Is Owashi here?"

"Yeah, why? Is there something-"

"Did someone call me?" the goatee'd lackey emerged, plate in hand.

"YOU!" Iruka sprang forward.

Kotetsu moved to intercept, but the Great Green Beast of Konoha got there first, catching Iruka around the waist before he could throttle Owashi. "Iruka-sensei, your youthful enthusiasm is an inspiration to us all, but Owashi cannot answer your questions if he cannot speak because you are strangling him."

The prescence that is Maito Gai brought Iruka up short. "You're right, Gai-sensei." the pony-tailed chuunin took a deeep breath as he shrugged off Gai's arm. "Owashi, did you open a new box of mission reports a few days ago, on friday, maybe?"

"Yeah. Is there a problem?"

Maybe it was the casual tone, but that set the teacher off again, Iruka made to lunge again, but Gai held him back. "You idiot! Didn't you even look at the box before you opened it? It was on my desk for a reason! You've been giving out the wrong mission reports for the past four days! The index won't accept them! They'll burn up and have to be re-done!"

"Huh?"

---------------------------------------

Notes:
(1) the Unfortunate May Twelth Incident is left to your imagination, unless someone has a good idea, in which case, write it and I'll post a link. ^_^.

(2) Roughly translated, this means that the paperwork ninja have to get permission before they can give out hard or unpleasant missions for revenge. The Hokage's actual words were "I don't care what they did to you, if I catch you giving Anko another babysitting mission, I'll let Ibiki punish you. No more sending Gai and Kakashi undercover to nunneries or karaoke bars, and I don't want Hiashi Hyuuga in my office looking like that ever again. Do you three understand me?!"

(3) Handbook of the Paperwork Ninja. There's probably a one shot there, but I refuse to go into it right now.
Situation Normal by Golden Kizamu
Author's Notes:
The characters went on strike, but I got them to come back for a little while. NOw taking suggestions for the toment of Kakashi. ^_^
Paperwork Ninja, a Day in the Life

Part five: Situation Normal...

----------------------------------

-Around 3 pm, the Hokage's office-

"Iruka discovered the problem in time to stop the Wednesday update, so only two reports spontaneously combusted. Fortunately the fire didn't spread to the rest of the files."

"I always felt that was a rather extreme measure."

"We didn't decide to make it that way." Kotetsu said defensively.

"No, I know that. The Second Hokage was rather paranoid about his file system." the third Hokage sighed.

Kotetsu drimaced. "He was the organizer, more than the First, wasn't he?"

A sage nod. "Yes. He said that the only thing that can kill a ninja is ignorance."

"The academy motto."

"Yes. According to the story I was told, Nidaime-sama once lost his eyesbrows to a fire-using Mist jounin. He later found a mission report mentioning that said enemy was a master of fire. He decided that was unacceptable, and commissioned the master file system."

"So we have a file system that makes bogus reports explode thanks to a pair of missing eyebrows?"

"If you beleive the stories."

"And is it true that if it isn't updated regularly it gets cranky and will hypnotize bystanders into filing reports?"

"I'm not sure." the Hokage's crinkly face pulled into a lazy smirk, "It's never been neglected for very long."

Kotetsu filed away that information. If ever they needed a vacation or a good laugh, hypnotized jounin-zombies filing reports would be well worth watching. Then he remembered himself, finishing his final report before leaving for the day. "Genma and Izumo are informing the affected ninja of the problem and the need to redo some reports. Owashi is still downstairs making the list of which missions were given on the wrong forms. He'll stay until he finishes. At the rate he's going, Iruka should be come and gone by the time he finishes."

"Hmm?"

"He tends to dive right in and improvise alot. Which works on missions, but not so well in the office. So sometimes he doesn't see the easy answer."

"Is that how it is?" the Hokage tamped down the tobacco in his pipe. "Isn't there a way to cross index the reports according to when the mission was assigned rather than just by when it was completed?"

"Indeed. And Owashi came to ask me how to do that about thirty minutes ago." Kotetsu smiled. "He found about half of them by other means, then realized what he should have done in the first place."

"Heh. I see what you mean."

"He'll learn."

"Indeed. Now if you'll excuse me, I have an appointment."

Kotetsu bowed, "Hokage-sama."

--------------------

-Around 5:30 pm-

The dread tower. our intrepid hero approached the imposing edifice, steeling himself for the assault that would take him to the very top, where he would confront the ruler of the village face to face. He would be victorious over the gathered masses that stood in his way, would prevail over the temptations and obstacles in his path, until he reached his goal and could claim his just reward. And sweet it would be...

"Iruka-sensei! Good afternoon!" a cheerful call interupted our hero's revery.

"Good afternoon, Lee-kun. Neji-kun, Tenten-chan, Gai-sensei." Iruka nodded to this year's graduate genin team and their sensei.

"Iruka-sensei!" Gai flashed a brilliant smile and a quick thumbs up, "You will be greatly pleased to hear that your actions earlier this day prevented a great tragedy and many hours of work! Your fellows are even now implementing the changes you suggested and working with great enthusiasm to ensure the problem does not mar the smooth running of the mission room again!"

"I'm glad to hear that, Gai-sensei."

'A great tragedy?' Neji used the scouting hand-signs to form the thought, his brows lifting over his white eyes.

'Nothing to worry about. I'll tell you on tomorrow.' Iruka signed back without thinking much of it. Using the hand-signs was considered rude if the other people present didn't understand it, but the academy teacher knew that would not apply to this team. Even Lee should be able to interpret his signals.

"Iruka-sensei, that is a wonderful idea! Since we have no further missions to complete this week, we will practice our silent communication while we train!" Gai enthused, then continued in exagerated signs, 'Come my students, we shall train diligently our minds and bodies.'

'Yes, Gai-sensei!' Lee signed back with equal exageration, nearly hitting Neji with the final arm wave of emphasis. The Hyuuga genius leveled his white glare at his oblivious teammate, then turned away in disgust.

'My ears thank you, Iruka-sensei.' Tenten ended her message by tapping her ears and smiling mournfully at her green-clad sensei and teammate, who were walking towards their normal training field, signing 'loudly' enough to be understood from across the village.

'Pure genius.' Neji signed behind his team's backs. 'I owe you a favor?'

'Yes. Now go.' Iruka sent him on his way, feeling much better. He and Neji often used the more complex scout signs to communicate. After Iruka had mentioned that the Hyuuga branch family had originally developed the expanded vocabulary to communicate amoungst themselves through walls, clothing and anything else in the way, Neji had become keenly interested in learning the more complex signs. Those lessons had developed into Iruka's first Genius-into-human project, which hadn't been quite as successful as he might have wished, but overall pleased him.

Iruka continued towards his appointment with the Hokage in his tower in a much better mood. He considered bypassing the mission room by going up the side of the building, but it seemed silly. Sure, a lot of paperwork was going to need fixing, but it shouldn't be that hard. A few ink transfer jutsu lessons and the jounin would have their reports re-done onto the proper forms in no time, they could be filed without causing small explosions, and everything would be fine again. There'd be bitching about having to do the ink transfers themselves, but the jutsu never worked well when you tried it with something you didn't write yourself... the words tended to scramble themselves.

He didn't expect sudden silence when he arrived in the mission room.

He didn't expect half a dozen jounin and chuunin to turn and stare... no glare at him with the same hatred as students in detention.

He didn't expect to find no allies present, as Izumo and Genma had apparently gone off somewhere.

He ignored the glares, moving swiftly into the room to the desk he shared with Raidou and Hayate, opening his locked drawer and searching for the evacuation maps he'd planned to show the Hokage tonight. He found them under a folder he didn't remember. A quick glance proved the mystery packet to be Jounin nomination papers. Iruka growled under his breath before shoving the offending papers into the communal drawer. Raidou would put them away, just like he had the last three times such things had appeared where they should not be. He was too tired to deal with it right now. He slammed his drawer shut and stood, suddenly sensing someone behind him. He sensed something being pulled over his head and spun around, intent on slamming his assailant against the wall.

Too slow; Kakashi fixed the cloth in place and dodged without apparent effort. "There. Now no one will recognize you."

"What the hell?" Iruka pulled the mask down from his face, caught for a moment between anger and nervousness. Kakashi had never stood this close to him before, never seemed to notice him despite the crush Iruka had been harboring for years. "Kakashi?"

"You don't like it?" Kakashi's single visible eye mocked him as he reset the mask back over Iruka's mouth and nose, displacing Iruka's forehead protector to cover one eye at the same time, "You can pretend to be me for a little while, I don't mind."

"Why would I want to do that?" Iruka uncovered his eye by pulling the headband completely off.

"Because it must be hard to fail at the only thing you're good for." another voice cut in, but Kakashi wasn't surprised. Apparently it was a joke.

"Asuma?"

"Hmmm, did you say something, Kakashi?" the bearded jounin asked, flicking the ash from his cigarette casually.

"Hmmm. Maybe my copy did." the copy nin replied.

Iruka felt the blood draining from his face as he listened to the whispers of the other ninja in the room. He cursed his teacher's ears that picked up every word; "...his fault this happened." "Those who can't teach." "Or do paperwork." "Slow and stupid. How did he make Chuunin?" "Hokage's pet." He frowned, pulling the mask from his face and shoving it at Kakashi, who had pulled out his damned orange book. A slender, gloved hand accepted the mask absently, then turned a page. The blue eye never met his, the expression showed no signs of disapproval at the mutterings, nor of sympathy with Iruka at all.

"If you want to talk to the one responsible, I suggest you find Owashi." Iruka said, keeping his voice calm and even despite his inner turmoil.

"Shouldn't you practice what you preach, Sensei, and not tattle on your little friends?" Kakashi leaned on the title of 'Sensei', giving it a higher, childish pitch. Iruka's nervousness fled, replaced with a quiet and dangerous wrath that would simmer for weeks before it was released to find its target.

"He's been working the desk so long he's forgotten how to take care of his teammates." a voice from the whispering crowd spoke up.

"Poor teammates."

*@#%*(^ JOUNIN! They will regret this. Iruka yanked open the top drawer of the desk and pulled out a VA-1, the greatest ally of beleauguered paperwork ninja. Weaving his fingers over the paper, he moved the ink from the inkwell to the paper without destroying an innocent brush.

He didn't notice the stares the floating ink was receiving, or when Kakashi's Sharingan eye peaked out from under its protective cover to copy the simple jutsu. He did notice when the Hokage and Izumo came in, because silence descended like a cloud.

"Iruka-sensei, you're a little late." Sarutobi looked at the suddenly diligent jounin [Except Kakashi, who continued to read his Icha Icha as if nothing had happened] and the VA-1 curiously.

"Sorry." Iruka smiled sheepishly, rubbing the back of his head, "The 'Any questions' at the end of the day ran over nearly an hour. But the questions were good ones, so it was worth it."

"Approved." the Hokage thrust his chin towards the half-filled form.

"Thank you, Hokage-sama." for the first time since he'd arrived, Iruka's smile reached his eyes. If it turned vicious for a split second, none of the gathered ninja noticed. [The fools!]

"I see everything here is under control. Izumo will take your reports when you're done."

A general assent rumbled through the room, and Iruka allowed himself to be led off.

-------------------------

-Around 7 Pm, in Iruka's sewage-free apartment.

"So, Izumo says that after you left, everyone demanded to learn that ink transfer jutsu and the room cleared out pretty rapidly once he'd given them a quick class."

"I can't believe they didn't think to ask. It's not like they've never seen it, right? We use it to make copies all the time. Jounin are overpaid idiots. No common sense at all"

"I could easily take offense to that, you know."

"Sorry."

A comfortable silence fell as Genma split the chicken chow mein onto two plates. It had appeared on Iruka's doorstep 'mysteriously' around seven. The senbon sucker had to admit that the Uchiha heir's stealth techniques were more advanced than most his age; Genma hadn't sensed the boy until he'd been right outside the door despite Iruka's warning that he would be coming.

Sasuke was one of Iruka's project children, along with Neji, the Hyuuga Genius from the year before and the newest Aburame Chuunin from a few years ago. Not because the little geniuses needed extra help with lessons, but because they needed help being human. Apparently Sasuke had melted enough to cook for his teacher on the Day of Exhaustion. Genma decided that he was probably a keeper, once he got over the teenage angst.

"Genma?"

The freeloader pushed the last button on the microwave before he turned, "Iruka?"

"Kakashi said I could pretend to be him for a while. And Saru-sama approved my VA-1."

Genma laughed, "Kakashi has not got an effing clue, does he?"

"Probably not."

"About time he learned, then."

"I'll be the Carbon-Copy Ninja." Iruka giggled, flopping languidly on the dining room couch, "I'll wear a perfect mask and no one will recognise me."

"Have I mentioned lately that I love your evil side?"

"Yesterday, while we were setting the new traps."

"Did I tell you what Raidou said yet?"

"No..."
Strange and Stranger by Golden Kizamu
Author's Notes:
Please review and leave your suggestions for more ways to be-devil Kakashi, as I plan to have the other Paperwork Ninja make suggestions, even if they aren't all practical. Good ideas will be credited. Feel the love and Kakashi's pain!
Paperwork Ninja, A Day in the Life Part 6 Strange and stranger ---------------------- "While I agree that it is an impressive and unusual bruise, I fail to see how it directly mocks you." Ebisu pushed his glasses up needlessly, studying the marks on the special jounin's arm. "Imagine it upside down." Raidou growled at the education specialist, shooting him a withering look. Ebisu looked thoughtful for a moment. "It's scout signs, isn't it? Something about sleeping chuunin and eating?" "'Can't sleep, the chuunin will eat me.'" Raidou quoted. Ebisu covered his laugh with a belated sniff, "Your friend Genma has a very unusual sense of humor." "I told you, it was Iruka who set the traps." "I know that Iruka-sensei was something of a prankster in his youth, but he is now a solid and reliable member of the academy teaching staff. This prank was obviously the work of the senior member of this trapping crew, which you said was one Genma Shiranui." As usual, Raidou bit back the raging denunciation of Ebisu's blindness that instantly came to mind. It would do no good. Iruka's 'kind but stern' teacher persona was too well established to be overcome by anything short of a direct proclamation of his evilness from the Hokage. Never mind the cleverly disguised words that marched down Raidou's arm, or the set on Hayate's forearm that read 'Don't forget 7-18'. Poor maligned Iruka-sensei couldn't possibly be responsible for such things! he thought sarcastically. Genma may have concurred with the messages, or even suggested what they should say, it was definitely Iruka's traps that had inflicted the marks upon the pair of testers. Fortunately for Raidou, someone who did know about Iruka's evil side interrupted before he could decide which part of Ebisu's anatomy to attack next. The unlooked-for ally was surprised that Raidou was happy to see him. As a general rule people did not smile at his approach. "Ibiki, good to see you." "And you, Namiashi." the head of torture and investigation nodded cordially to his fellow ninja. A moment later he sighed, "Are they very scary chuunin, Raidou?" "The scariest kind, Ibiki: a teacher of small children." "Wretchedly juvenile in style, yet I imagine it was executed with the height of elegance?" "Of course." Raidou smiled ruefully, "Neither of us noticed until after we gave up for the day." "Ah, Iruka has not changed much, has he?" Ibiki smiled obliquely. "No." "You too, Ibiki?" Ebisu sniffed, "Iruka-sensei has surely done nothing to deserve this reputation he seems to have. He is very responsible, a model teacher." Ibiki's smile faded as he looked sharply at Ebisu. "Excuse me?" "I realize Iruka-sensei was something of a prankster in his youth, but this belief that he still is takes things too far." Ebisu had a story, and was sticking to it. "You and Raidou make him sound like some sort of childish monster, which he is not." "No, he is not a childish monster." Ibiki agreed, "He is an experienced chuunin with a twisted sense of humor and far too much patience for details. He is someone who is willing to wait patiently for the situation to be perfect before striking, often lulling his intended victim into perceiving him as non-threatening. In fact, he has lulled most of his fellow ninja into believing him to be harmless. Only those in his inner circle and former victims know the truth. The observations of his students are dismissed as the whining of children, and his friends are accused of making up stories." "An' they're reeeeeeally good stories, too!" this unexpected comment came from the door, which had just opened to reveal a familiar Kunoichi. Anko Mitarashi waved brightly at the trio of men before recognizing them. "Like the time I killed 'im during our second chuunin exam, 'cept he didn't stay dead." "Anko, that didn't really happen." Ebisu had heard the story about Iruka's supposed resurrection before. "It was just a deep sleep he used to restore his chakra levels." he explained to the obviously drunken woman. "No stupid, that sleep thing was during his third exam." Anko explained, waving an unlabeled bottle at him vaguely. "Iruka passed the second time he took the exam, didn't he?" Ebisu looked to Raidou for support. The scarred paperwork ninja nodded. Not because he agreed with Ebisu, but because Ebisu didn't need to know that they were both telling the truth: Iruka had passed his second exam, but taken it three times. Raidou frowned slightly; he liked Iruka, but his life story was riddled with as many forbidden sections and security clearances as the Archives they were tasked to protect. "How about the time 'e made Hiashi's hair turn white an' his eyes turn black.[1] You'd'a thought the whole world had ended, the way Hiashi carried on and on." Anko suddenly remembered something, "You remember, don't you, Ibiki?" She glommed onto the torture specialist's back, overbalancing him and nearly sending both of them crashing into Raidou's desk. "Hiashi never did figure out who did it to him, you remember? He was interrogating everyone in ANBU locker-room for weeks." "Anko!" Ibiki tried to pry Anko's hands apart from where they gripped his shoulders. His efforts to dislodge her were futile, as she simply adjusted her hold to compensate. "What?" Anko let go with one hand long enough to take another drink, but didn't move from her impromptu perch. "Oh, come on, Ibiki, even Ebisu must have figured out that Hiashi was ANBU. Half the village used to be ANBU." Raidou laughed out loud at Ibiki's face as his usual inscrutable expression gave way to helplessness. "Anko, would you please-" "I mean, why do we even pretend that it's an elite group? Why don't we call it what it is? Like 'Hey Raidou, I'm busy next week, will you take my place as a future psych-ward resident? I'll let you borrow my nifty mask. 'Cause that's what it is, really. Training in how to go crazy while you're still young enough to enjoy it." Anko frowned, "Oh, Ebisu! why are you leaving so soon? Got a hot date?" "It's late, and I need to get up early tomorrow." Ebisu's excuse was half-heard, as he delivered it while exiting rapidly through the mission room door. He had no desire to stick around while a drunk Anko was randomly glomping and making up stories. He'd heard the rumors about drunk Anko's victims, and none were pretty. Ibiki meanwhile appeared to have resigned himself to Anko's weight on his back, because he made no further attempts to dislodge her as he waited for Raidou to file the paperwork he'd brought with him. He said something quietly, but Anko nagged him to speak up (read: stabbed him in the back of the neck with her Dango stick[2] until he relented); "ANBU is practice to be a name on the cenotaph." he finally repeated. Anko pecked him again, "You're so morbid!" she slid down from her perch as casually as she had assumed it. "You'd think that you were the one being tortured every day. 'Name on a cenotaph' Huh? You have got to get out more, loosen up, have a little fun!" "I assure you, I have plenty of fun on my own." Ibiki said stiffly. "Yeah, yeah. I don't believe you. Come on, I'll show you how to do it properly." Anko grabbed the torturer's arm in a surprisingly strong and exacting grip. "Bye-bye, Rai-rai!" she waved as she dragged the strangely non-resisting Ibiki towards the exit. Raidou waved back, almost awed by the sheer gall it would take to use a pressure hold like that on Ibiki of all people. The look on the head of T&I's face was priceless, as he recognized the technique but was unable to counter it immediately. Raidou wondered how far Anko would go before Ibiki escaped. Fortunately his shift was just ending; he would satisfy his curiosity as soon as he finished filing Ibiki's papers. This copy to the Hokage's box... and done! Raidou smiled as he hurried towards the sound of Anko's singing. Maybe next Wednesday will be better than this one... -------- [1] What ever happened to Hiashi? Many things... [2] Anko was holding the Dango stick in her mouth, like a woodpecker hammering on the back of Ibiki's neck. ---------- -Paperwork Ninja, Day in the Life: END Story to Be continued in Revenge of the Paperwork Ninja: Carbon Copy Ninja
In which we shall see:
Iruka's interpretation of Kakashi;
the Sensei Advantage (featuring Rookie Neji and Student Sasuke);
Book-napped Icha-Icha Paradise Special Extended Collector's Edition;
and Probably Gai-sensei being himself.
This story archived at http://www.narutofic.org/viewstory.php?sid=3050