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Paperwork Ninja: Greatest Story Never Told by Golden Kizamu

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Chapter notes: written to develop the proper voice of the characters, and because this situation cracks me up. Takes place something like two years after Memories of Caffeine.

For those unfamiliar with the Paperwork Ninja, the 'perfect henge' is an extremely advanced technique Iruka developed along with his father that works much as described.

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Paperwork Memories : The Greatest Story Never Told

The Story

----------

"Keep it down. We shouldn't even be telling you this, but..." Izumo began.

"You're one of us now, and it's only right that we should get this into the open." Kotetsu continued.

"We've never told anyone else. The Hokage and Ibiki know, but only them."

"You can't ever tell anyone else. Cause if word gets back to him, we'll all wish we were dead."

"Just trust us, you don't want him mad at you." Raidou agreed.

"Ever." Izumo put in.

"Even a little." Hayate nodded, a bit exasperated at the excessive warnings. It wasn't as if he didn't know Iruka's reputation for temper tantrums and tricks. "I know. I've seen him prank people before."

"And don't tell Genma, either. At least not directly." Izumo said, "He knows, but he'll tell Iruka, and than the carnage will begin."

"Understood. Genma is infatuated, Iruka is clueless. I know, I know."

"It's more complicated than that, you see-"

Iruka's long-time friend was cut off. "Some other time, Kotetsu. Right now we have to tell him about the Lightning Mission." Raidou brought them back to the point.

"Yes, the mission to Lightning country you've been whispering about all night." Hayate took another sip of tea. He, Raidou, Kotetsu and Izumo sat around a large round table in the center of the archives under the Hokage's tower. The remains of a poker game and several rounds of beer and sake lay on the table like the victims of a sneak attack, with a large pot of herbal anti-hangover tea presiding victoriously over the field of battle.

"You know that Iruka is the Hokage's body-double now, don't you?" Kotetsu asked, stirring the tea in his cup with his thumb.

"Of course. I was informed when the decision was made." Hayate looked annoyed.

"Ever wonder how he does it?"

Two eyes rolled roof-ward. "I assume he uses a Henge to transform himself into the Hokage, acts the part, and his bodyguards are in on the deception so they don't become suspicious by discrepancies."

"They didn't tell you, did they?" Kotetsu whistled, "That is some powerful need-to-know. Should we even be telling him?"

"Probably just another of the Hokage's pranks, to see how long it takes him to figure it out." Izumo took another sip of his coffee, having disdained all alcohol and tea in favor of his chosen addiction.

"Should we interfere with that?" Raidou asked.

"Hokage's not so touchy about his pranks being revealed as Iruka. Should be safe so long as Hayate doesn't visibly catch on too quick." the caffeine addict reassured the bigger man.

Two coughs reminded them the subject of their discussion was still present, "What are you three going on about?" Hayate demanded, looking from one to the next suspiciously.

"Well, your basic theory is ok, but the bodyguards don't always know." Kotetsu explained, "Iruka's Henge is perfect. Even the Hokage's bodyguards can't tell them apart once he's changed."

"But the Henge chakra traces would give-"

"There are no chakra traces. Once he Henges, he stays that way until he choses to switch back, and there are no traces of a jutsu, illusion, or anything." Kotetsu continued.

"But his chakra signature would-"

"Appear exactly as the Hokage's does." Izumo smiled. "Not even Kage level ninja can detect the alterations, despite..." he paused for effect, "long, thorough, and personal examinations of the results."

"How-"

"Was that a Genma line? That sure sounds like a Genma line." Raidou interrupted, surprising Izumo, who smiled.

"Yeah. But it's a line worth stealing, don't you think?"

"Sure. But I knew that wasn't you."

"How does he do it?!" Hayate was tired of being ignored.

"Damned if we know." Kotetsu poured another cup of tea. "Izumo has gone through the jutsu scrolls, but he says it takes a level of chakra manipulation he doesn't have. Which means the rest of us don't have a chance in hell of replicating it. I have seen it though. Takes half an hour to set up the runes, then he goes through a bunch of special seals and shifts. No smoke or anything, he shrinks down slow, like his bones are reshaping themselves. And it hurts a lot while he's shifting, you can tell be the look on his face, but only for a moment. 'Cause then you've got two Hokages standing next to each other, pleased as punch. Then the Hokage turns into Iruka and it's merry hell keeping up for the rest of the day."

"There's a rejuvenation jutsu included in the scrolls." Izumo added helpfully, "The same one he uses on us sometimes when we have to play with Ibiki."

"That is a useful jutsu." Raidou dropped his hand to the table to emphasize his words.

"What does this have to do with Lightning country?" Hayate growled.

"The other Kage, of course." Kotetsu grinned.

"Iruka replaced the Raikage??!"

"No, of course not. How hard would that be, considering the amount of background he didn't have? Don't be silly."

"He was the Raikage-in-training's lady love." Izumo giggled.

Tea spurted from Hayate's mouth towards Raidou, who blocked with the empty beer case, "What?"

"Miss Iria Ameno, a young lady of great virtue and strong will, was rescued from vile kidnappers by the Raikage's apprentice, Tenkumo Kota, and his team, then taken back to Lightning with him along with the other kidnapped girls. Alas, she had no family to ransom her, and the Raikage's apprentice was quite taken with her, so she was allowed to stay in the nearby village for several months. Miss Ameno ran away after the Tenkumo proposed marriage, claiming that she couldn't bear the thought of marrying him, knowing that one day he would go on a mission and never come back." Kotetsu spoke the tale in a tone of sadness underlined with suppressed mirth.

Hayate was not amused. He realized that this was yet another one of the groups' many, many jokes at their newest member's expense, "Very funny. Did you get Jiraiya to write that for you? What happened to the sex scenes?"

"Iruka glossed over them. He's still a bit prudish, despite the company he keeps."

"There is no way that a mission like that would be approved. It's too unlikely! How could he have made sure that this Tenkumo took him back to lightning? There's no reason for them to do so, and if he got found out he'd be killed for sure. There is no way the Hokage would have authorized such a mission." Hayate declared

"Of course he didn't. But improvisation was called for."

"Explain. And try to make it more plausible than that... fantasy you just told me."

"Tough crowd tonight." Izumo deadpanned.

"Picky, picky." Kotetsu humphed, "Fine, the whole story. It started out as a fairly straightforward short term mission. A bunch of sand and grass missing-nin had been kidnapping girls and ransoming them for quick cash. Konoha was hired by two of the families to get their daughters back. So Iruka infiltrated a caravan we were expecting them to attack, mostly because Genma said that he couldn't keep the girly act up for more than a day."

Hayate gave the trio a penetrating look. "Another Challenge? Can any of you even resist a bet? You're as bad as Tsunade the Sannin is said to be."

"When you're a teenager, turning down a challenge is impossible. Fortunately, Iruka will be twenty soon." Raidou smiled.

"As I was saying..." Kotetsu continued, "The other merchants ran away like they were told to, and 'Iria' and three other girls were grabbed. The plan was for the rest of Iruka's team to track the kidnappers back to their lair for a daring rescue. But the Cloud ninja attacked while they were in transit, captured the girls and all but one of the missing nin. Genma's team grabbed the one who tried to run, and they got back to the lair first. They rescued the girls from Fire and Grass, let the Cloud ninja have the girls from Lightning and Rice Field Countries, and it was a good day for inter-village cooperation. Except that Iria's cover story had her as a Lightning native, and she'd been knocked unconscious during the ambush on the road. So they took her with them."

"Almost plausible." Hayate allowed, still skeptical.

"When he didn't show up within a few weeks the Hokage got worried. But they'd run into Jiraiya on the road and he passed word that 'Iria' was ok. Iruka re-wrote his mission orders, found a way to make periodic coded reports, and ended up staying for nearly four months before he ran away."

"I still don't believe you."

"You can ask the Hokage, or Jiraiya! He used the basic situation for one of his books. Except that the girl was actually a girl and they got together in the end, after several kidnapping and rescue sequences."

"With lots of reunion sex, of course." Izumo put in before Hayate's inevitable retort.

"That I can believe"

"So we'll start with what you do believe" Kotetsu picked up a pile of chips, placing one on the table in front of Hayate. "Do you believe that the original mission is plausible?"

Hayate took the chip. "Infiltrating the caravan to get close to the kidnappers makes sense, so yes."

Raidou tossed in two chips, "Genma doesn't want to be the one under-cover as a helpless target. He makes the bet with Iruka, who accepts."

Click, click. "Agreed."

A fourth chip was tossed at Hayate; he deflected it back to the table top. Izumo dug it out of the table top as he spoke, "Iruka can maintain his Henge when asleep or unconscious. You'll have to take our word for it, but that much is true, I swear."

Izumo's chip joined the first three, though with obvious reluctance on Hayate's part.

Raidou again, "The ninja from cloud use that sleeping mist they're so fond of to prevent the girls from being hurt. Iruka is hit with a stronger than normal dose, since he was struggling with one of his captors at the time."

Five chips in the stack, and an inarticulate grunt.

"And you believe that Iruka would alter his mission orders?" Kotetsu smiled, spinning his chip between thumb and forefinger.

"I overheard the Hokage telling him that his mission orders were 'not just a starting point, but a full and complete list of [his] assigned tasks.' I assume that there was ample justification for him to say that."

"And he is the specialist in long-term infiltrations, isn't he?" the spike-haired chuunin added another chip to the stack.

"That is what it says on the paperwork nominating him for the rank of Special Jounin."

"Thus proving that piece of paperwork served some purpose other than killing a tree." Izumo sighed into his coffee cup. "Since Iruka will never accept it."

"Hmm?"

"Iruka refuses to become a Jounin for reasons too complicated and weird to go into without him present." Kotetsu shook his head ruefully, "And if he were, this discussion would not be taking place, as we would all be suffering an indignity equal to his. So, what about our story remains implausible?"

"The part where the Raikage's apprentice falls in love with Iruka and proposes in the course of four months, having never realized that Iruka is in fact male."

"What evidence would you accept?" Raidou asked, as ever the voice of reason.

"Nothing you three could come up with."

"How about the ring?" Three confused looks converged upon Izumo, whose smile was very pleased in addition to mischievous.

"Ring?"

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

Next time... the mission to retrieve the ring, Iruka's box of keepsakes, and Genma's life. Another sign that it is two am and the plot bunny is chewing my leg off.
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