Please post your SFW doodles & drabbles for the July 2023’s DDN here!
Iruka was standing in the backyard when Kakashi arrived home. Kakashi narrowed his eyes… something had set off his paranoia…
There was nothing unusual about Iruka working in the yard, or even being out of his usual shinobi blacks, but…
A moment too late Kakashi realised what had set off his nerves—Iruka wasn’t filling that container at his feet with water!—and now there were dozens of brightly coloured projectiles headed his way.
Instinctively, Kakashi pulled out a kunai to deflect them, and, again, realised too late this was the wrong move—the balloons burst on contact and soaked him through!
Iruka squinted into the distance. The horizon over the desert sands of Suna looked foreboding. Unusual.
“Does that look like a sandstorm to you?” asked the official he was escorting. “Sandstorms are bad, right?”
“Not to worry,” Iruka smiled. It wouldn’t do to panic the man unnecessarily. “We’ll take shelter until it passes.”
With a burst of speed, he hustled himself and Nakamura-san towards a stone outcropping, then protected the entrance with his strongest barrier seal.
From their high vantage point, they could see the storm racing across the desert floor towards their position. But something about it looked off.
“Are those --? What on earth is that?”
Both men stared, stunned, at the raging storm, which was made up not of sand, but of trillions of tiny scorpions, in all colors of the rainbow and beyond. Their size ranged from a grain of rice all the way up to the size of Iruka’s thumb. The scorpions hit the ground and immediately swarmed, climbing over their brethren in a kaleidoscopic maelstrom of clicking chelicerae.
Iruka’s eyes widened. “Well, that’s something I’ve certainly never seen before.” He flinched, wondering about the other Leaf ninjas who were caught out in this unnatural phenomenon.
Bursts of red, yellow, and green lit up the night sky. Streaks of white followed.
Despite how long Iruka knew they had been around in civilian communities, fireworks had never been popular in Konoha until recently. It was nice, though, to be able to invite these specialists into the hidden village to demonstrate what was possible without chakra—and add a spectacular touch to the day’s celebrations.
The late evening was cool, and Iruka snuggled even deeper into the circle of Kakashi’s arms. Really there was no better place to be to sit and enjoy the show.
A huge boom sounded from several hills away. Extending his senses, Iruka could make out the telltale flares of chakra as a battle raged.
“Oh me, oh my,” Nakamura-san was saying, wringing his hands. “This is not at all the sort of thing I expected on a simple diplomatic mission. I wonder --”
“Nakamura-san, may I please request your silence for a moment,” Iruka gritted out between clenched teeth. He needed to extend his chakra sensing capabilities to the very edge of their potential in order to tell, but he needed to know –
Yes. No doubt about it; Kakashi was fighting.
Iruka sprinted through the trees of the training ground—that explosive tag had gone off way before it was supposed to—and now he worried some of his students had followed him onto the training ground, despite these ones being strictly off limits for anyone below chūnin.
He began to pick up the scent of smoke and added a burst of chakra to increase his speed.
Something hit him mid-leap and smashed him right into another tree. Before he could process what had happened, there was a weight, and a perverted giggle in his ear, “Gotcha, sensei. Time to claim my prize.”
Iruka really, really didn’t want to go out there. But from the size of those explosions… Kakashi might need backup.
“Stay here,” he told the dithering official. “This seal I put up will keep them out, as long as you stay inside. Got it?”
Without waiting for an answer, he drew his hood down as far as possible. Shielding his mouth with a hand fisted in the fabric of his traveling cloak, he stepped through the seal and ensured it still held.
Tiny scorpions were pelting him like a summer thunderstorm, only this thunderstorm would, quite literally, eat him alive.
A boom rattled the whole house, including the desk where Iruka was writing.
The contrite sounding, “Sorry, Iruka-sensei!” rang almost as loudly as the explosion.
Iruka laid his head down on the desk and sighed. He wasn’t going to get anything else done. Giving in to the inevitable, he sealed the papers into a scroll and tucked it into his vest. Another boom, though, had him bolting from the room yelling “Naruto!” so loudly he was sure Kakashi could hear it in the Hokage’s office.
He really should have been expecting to see a soot-covered Kakashi in the doorway.
Topping the next dune, Iruka finally caught sight of the battle. Kakashi was wielding his Chidori against a truly mammoth scorpion the size of several houses together. From the way the smaller scorpions were clinging to it, Iruka figured it was their mother.
“Kakashi!” he yelled, but the violence of the storm and the hissing of the small scorpions muffled his voice.
A bright flash lit up the nightmarish landscape, boiling with arachnids, as Kakashi’s Chidori technique connected. Only, Iruka was surprised to see that he wasn’t attacking the scorpion queen. His attack bypassed her and hit a shadowy figure.
Kakashi put his head in his hands and groaned. Iruka chose the better part of valour and ignored him. In vain. Kakashi groaned again, louder and more dramatically. Iruka didn’t put his book down, but put enough Intent into his gaze for Kakashi to feel it.
“How did you deal with them for so many years?” Kakashi whined.
“Deal with who?” his reply nonchalant.
“All these kids! How did they even make chūnin, much less jōnin?!?”
Iruka snickered. If Kakashi was reviewing mission reports, Iruka wished him the joy of it, but couldn’t resist, “You’re the one who promoted them.”
Iruka circled behind the scorpion queen to better figure out the situation. Charging in blindly would probably just get him killed.
Kakashi’s Chidori had blown a massive hole in the figure, but it was still circling, keeping low to the ground. It seemed to have an iron tail that was lashing back and forth across the scorpion-infested dunes.
“Hatake!” an unearthly voice howled. “Your accursed father Sakumo, the White Fang, killed my parents. Do you have any idea what he did? He caused me pain, unending pain! A festival of never ending pain!”
Kakashi blinked. “Sorry, do I know you?”
The lights! The colours! The action!
Iruka felt the hand grab the collar of his yukata the split second before he would have bolted away into the crowd.
“Not until we meet up with the Hatakes, Iruka!” his mother laughed. “Then you and Kakashi can go explore together.”
Iruka huffed. He didn’t want to hang out with that stuffy kid. He wanted to go explore and have fun! He was halfway to taking off anyway…
“None of that young man,” his father chided.
Iruka huffed again—how did he always know?!? Dads must have some kind of superpower. lruka wanted it.
With a howl of rage, the tailed figure launched itself at Kakashi like a rocket. Kakashi moved to dodge, but the swarming mounds of tiny arachnids concealed a deceptive stone ledge. He moved gracefully to recover, but the tailed enemy was already on him.
Over and over they went, fighting and rolling across the dunes. The tiny scorpions skittered to hide in crevices of the earth so as not to be crushed.
Iruka considered his options. Joining the brawl would just make him a target; Kakashi would fight better if Iruka stayed back. So what could he do to help?
Iruka tromped through the trees, muttering to himself.
“Stupid ANBU. Stupid Hound. Who does he think he is anyway? He’s not the boss of me!”
“I think,” the voice came from a tree just ahead, “that I’m the one who is keeping you out of trouble with Sandaime-sama… unless you don’t clean up your mess…”
“I didn’t even do anything wrong! Sensei gave us all rockets to experiment with!”
“I’m guessing they didn’t tell you to set them off next to Nara lands, though. You’re lucky I’m the one who found you.”
That was truer than lruka wanted to acknowledge.
Iruka whipped some talisman papers out of his inner pocket. He rifled through them frantically, looking for the ones he had stored towards the bottom. Where –
There! A sheaf of pest repellant talisman papers that he’d prepared to ensure their nights in Suna would stay scorpion-free.
Now all he needed –
The mammoth sized scorpion queen was slowly turning towards him, lumbering on her giant spiny legs. Iruka frantically hoped he could get this done in time. Her stinger was dripping with venom that could probably fell an ox. Or several.
Biting his thumb, Iruka wrote as quickly as he dared.
Iruka stood up from his desk—he needed to move around the room to stay awake. Student assessment was a necessary evil, but even worse at report card time. He would much rather be at home, curled up with a book—and Kakashi—than be here writing comments that both students and parents would ignore before coming to him to complain about their kid’s marks.
He grimaced and sat down again. The sooner he was done, the sooner he could go home!
There was a shift in the air behind him. He turned. Nothing there. Back around—and found a mug of steaming chocolate.