Anyway, here is a short hopefully humorous piece! Warning for my immature humour.
The Perils of Cabbages
Home was supposed to be a place for rest, a shelter against the unceasing march of the world. Somewhere to rest aching muscles and weary bones, somewhere a quiet respite could be had for as long as one could be taken.
Home, Iruka thought, was supposed to be, well. Not this.
He eyed the empty cupboards, which had been stocked full only yesterday. A reasonable explanation could be that Naruto was currently going through puberty, and was capable of inhaling food at the speed of a whale opening its mouth in front of an explosion of krill in the middle of the ocean. But Naruto had an aversion to vegetables the same way he had an aversion to Iruka’s pop quizzes back in the Academy - it involved a lot of yelling, squirming, and in the more extreme of cases, tying him down and using force.
There was less of that, now that Naruto realised that vegetables could be delicious after being tossed around in a pot or a pan. Now that there was someone to toss them for him.
Anyway. Yesterday the supermarket had its weekly sale on vegetables. Iruka, who had a cupboard empty save for a head of wilting cabbage, clipped out the coupons and did his shopping. He bought enough to last him to next week - tomatoes, potatoes, corn.
Eggplants too, if Iruka was pointing fingers.
“Your cupboard’s empty,” Kakashi offered from where he was slouched against the counter. In his hand was not his usual book, but a piece of bacon.
A piece of bacon that Iruka had fried up for breakfast a few days ago, and was going into Bull’s waiting jowls - and there it went. Gone.
“I couldn’t tell,” Iruka said, as acerbic as the pickled radish he made a month ago. That, too, was missing. “I don’t suppose you can shed some light on this matter, can you?”
Kakashi hummed. “Your cabbage was going bad,” he finally deigned to say. “I took care of it for you.”
“And while you were at it you took care of the rest of the food in the cupboard?”
“Why, Iruka-sensei,” Kakashi said, positively beaming through his mask. “You know me so well! This must be true love.”
A few hours ago, true love looked like a pot, chopped eggplants and miso paste. As of the present it looked like the impending phenomenon of Iruka’s hands wringing the life out of Kakashi’s neck.
“You,” Iruka tried to say, but it came out more of a strangled shout. He tried again. “You! That was an entire week’s worth of food, how…?”
“With some help,” Kakashi admitted all too blithely. He motioned to Bull, whose tail thumped once, loud against the kitchen floor. “Bull was very hungry.”
Iruka stared at Bull. Bull stared, taciturn, back at him.
“Did you,” Iruka choked on the sudden realization of what Kakashi had done. “Did you feed Bull the cabbage?”
“I sure did,” Kakashi said happily.
It was at that point Iruka found that his lungs were working again in its perfect and proper condition. Prime for its usual activity: shouting.
“He - why did you - HE’S GOING TO FART ALL DAY!” As though on cue, there was the sound of gas being released from some location, suspiciously near to Kakashi’s feet. Bull himself looked suspiciously embarrassed. "THAT - WILTED CABBAGE - "
“Someone had to eat it,” Kakashi said very reasonably, far too reasonably for someone Iruka knew was currently sporting a shit-eating grin behind that mask of his. “Bull volunteered. You like cabbage, don’t you, Bull?”
Bull’s favourite food aside - “HE’S GOING TO FART UP MY ENTIRE APARTMENT!”
Iruka was fond of Kakashi’s dogs. But Iruka was also very fond of his sense of smell. His olfactory capabilities were nothing special, and they were unable to withstand the great stench that was Bull after eating cabbage.
“OUT!” He bellowed. "OUT, RIGHT NOW, THE BOTH OF YOU - "
“But, sensei,” Kakashi said, to which Iruka was far too incensed to pay heed to.
“NO BUTS! NO NOTHING!” He began to shove Kakashi out of the kitchen, and with a touch more gentleness, ushered Bull to follow his master. “YOU CAN STAND IN THE HALLWAY NEXT TO HIS GAS!”
“You shouldn’t punish Bull for his normal bodily functions,” Kakashi continued as Iruka manhandled him across his living room. “He can’t control it.”
“ YOU CAN,” Iruka yelled and there was a cruel satisfaction in how Kakashi winced from the volume. “AS IF BULL’S THE ONE WHO OPENED MY CUPBOARDS WHEN HE DOESN’T HAVE OPPOSABLE THUMBS - “
“Bull’s a very capable dog - “
“NOT THIS KIND OF CAPABILITY!” He shoved Kakashi over the threshold of his (still) fart-free apartment and made to slam the door shut in his smug masked face. There was an itemised list of missing groceries to make, to be given in lieu of Kakashi’s mission pay when he went to collect it from the Financial Department. Iruka was fairly sure that jounin pay was released on every last Friday of the month, after the chuunins and genins - with a few strings pulled, he could probably intercept it in time.
The amount was probably exorbitant compared to a measly week’s worth of groceries - but Iruka’s all too happy to put the excess down as olfactory damages and interest.
Before he could close the door, however, a hand shot out and kept it open. Bull, ever so loyal, placed his bulk against the door. Nothing short of violence could make him move then, and Iruka wasn’t so mean as to kick Bull.
Kakashi, however, he had no compunctions about kicking. “Kakashi,” he began dangerously.
“Give me a chance to make it up to you,” he said immediately, perhaps all too aware of Iruka’s tendency to act on his grudges instead of marinating in them. Iruka gave him a stink-eye but allowed him the chance to press on. “Dinner?”
A scoff. “ Just dinner?”
“Two dinners - and I’ll get the groceries tomorrow.” Iruka glowered, mutinous. “You can come with me?”
“If this is a convoluted way of getting me into a date,” he threatened, because he couldn’t put it past Kakashi.
After they came back from Wave, Kakashi suggested that Naruto could do with a post-mission teacher-parent conference. Iruka had been all too ready to agree, unreasonably pleased that Naruto’s jounin instructor was so very enthusiastic and accommodating to what Iruka was hesitant to ask for. It was only until much later that he realised the Harunos weren’t getting such conferences and that a good portion of it had been spent talking about matters outside of Naruto’s progress.
But it had been a pleasant evening, and he had such a pleasant time, so… he didn’t say no to another ‘conference’ the following week.
“Perish the thought.” Kakashi declared. “Business only. No thoughts except for vegetables.” The absurd seriousness of his statements threatened to put a smile, however unwillingly, onto Iruka’s face. “But… dinner tonight?"
Iruka considered. He looked away from this blatant act of cajoling - only notice Bull staring up at him with an expression equally plaintive. It wasn’t as though Iruka was soft to puppy eyes, for all of Bisuke’s attempts to endear his way into Iruka’s good graces.
But he did have a soft spot for Bull. That was probably why Kakashi picked Bull to assist him on this. The prick.
“Fine,” Iruka agreed grudgingly. “Dinner tonight.”
“It’s a date.” Kakashi slid out into the hallway proper, with Bull following suit. “Tonight, I mean. And tomorrow.”
“Yes, yes,” Iruka said, and thought to himself, privately, fondly - and for many days to come. But he also added, only sensibly, “I’ll remember to bring an itemised list of what you ate."
“Of course, sensei,” came the reply, equally fond. “Of course."
The next word: course
Later Kakashi receives his docked pay for the month and comes complaining about double charges. Iruka claims that he’s charging for the interest. And emotional damages.