A Konoha Prankster in Queen Tsunade's Court - Chapter 11 - My_private_tsukuyomi (2024)

Chapter Text

Morning. Iruka hated mornings. They were so bright, so cold, so…full of obnoxiously cheerful bed companions.

“Rise and shine, Iruka!” Kakashi called to him in a sing-song voice, shaking his shoulder with such vigor it was as if he’d suddenly decided to try a new career path as one of those vibrating sorting machines employed by factories.

“Nuh uh. There will be no shining. No rising either. None whatsoever. You’ve got the wrong guy,” Iruka grumbled into his pillow.

Kakashi only laughed and resumed the shaking. How he managed to sound so musical even while mocking him, he would never know and would forever resent. The slime.

Eventually, he got tired of the constant gyration and roused himself with an impressive scowl that had none of the intended effect on its recipient. Kakashi ruffled his hair, causing his long tresses to resemble a porcupine’s quills even more closely. Add that to the growing tally of things to resent.

“Oh, trying to make my hair look more like yours, mister I cut my hair with a blender?” he quipped.

“How does one cut their hair with an artist's tool for mixing paints?” Kakashi asked, tilting his head in confusion. Iruka groaned. It was too early to catch Kakashi up on twenty-first-century technological improvements. And idioms. And sarcasm.

“Just… never mind,” he growled. Kakashi simply shrugged his shoulders and turned to finish packing their things now that his mission to wrench Iruka from the blessed land of sleep was at last successful. After rolling into his breeches and shirt, he checked to make sure that the pilfered book was carefully concealed in his satchel, wrapped up in clothing to avoid notice. Hopefully, they’d be able to slip it out of the monastery without anyone even noticing it was gone. Fingers crossed. And toes.

Well, here goes nothing, he thought to himself. With a last decisive nod that said yup we’re doing this, the pair grabbed their things and made for the exit. Go team monastic thievery.

“Not staying to break your fast with us, good sirs?” A voice stopped them in their attempt not to sprint for the exit. They were sauntering, thank you. It was a good saunter if Iruka did say so himself. Leisurely. Nothing to see here. Nothing at all.

Kakashi turned around at the voice, disarming charm already turned up to eleven. How he managed to turn it on like a switch, going from zero to sixty in no time at all, Iruka would forever be in awe. And awkwardly turned on. Which he wouldn’t admit to on pain of death. Ever. Kakashi had a big enough ego already.

(The following conversation took place in French and, therefore, was explained to Iruka later, much to his eternal frustration. He made a mental note to devote himself better to language lessons in the future if only to determine in real time exactly how people were insulting him to his face)

“Ah Abbot, always a blessing and absolute pleasure to see you,” Kakashi replied smoothly, like silk. “I’m afraid we cannot delay. Word has reached us that our ship departs upon the morrow and thus we must make haste to Calais to meet it else we become stranded in your fine realm.”

The Abbot turned his attention to Iruka, his eyes narrowing as the man in question tried not to shift suspiciously at the scrutiny. Iruka bit his lip, hoping that he wouldn’t remark on the fact that they actually hadn’t had any messengers come around last night or this morning and would therefore know their story was complete and total bullsh*t. Finally, the Abbot spoke again.

“Of course, Sir Raido. Such things do happen. Such a pity to cut your stay short. We have been pleased to offer you our hospitality, such humble accommodations as they are.”

Yeah, this guy was fishing for a payout. Not that the place needed it. It was damn near as impressive in size and luxury as Queen Tsunade’s palace and the Abbot f*cking knew it, too. Greedy little bastard.

“Let me have some provisions wrapped for you for the journey,” the Abbot continued with an oily smile that only hinted at deference to Kakashi but let him know that he was the real power player in this game. Of course, the guy thought he was speaking with a knight diplomat and not the heir to the English throne, so fair. Iruka would let him have his little power trip if it would get them out of there faster. The Abbot waved his arm and, like magic, a monk appeared by his side. He quickly directed the underling to grab some victuals for the travelers. The monk hustled off to do his bidding. How he was able to hustle like that in those long-ass robes was impressive, Iruka had to say. He must get a lot of practice. Or maybe monks had to take a special class in robe hustling as part of their training. He wouldn’t put it past them. The thought of a bunch of monks seriously studying the fine art of robe hustling nearly sent him into hysterics. At the first snort, however, Kakashi stomped on his foot, breaking the mental picture quite effectively. He would pay for that one. His poor toes. They’d never be the same.

The Abbot accompanied them out to the courtyard, where their driver was working diligently at hitching the horses to the carriage. Kakashi must have been up and about earlier than Iruka had thought to have been able to arrange all this. Well, he wouldn’t complain about the man being an early riser if running away more efficiently was the result. Okay, he wouldn’t complain as much. The man was still far too smug about waking him. As they approached, the driver turned from the horses and offered a terse bow. Seeing the bags in their hands, he moved forward to take them, but Iruka sidestepped the offer, clutching his bag tighter around him for reasons he knew and was telling no one. He liked to keep his head attached to his pretty neck.

Kakashi, as always, stepped in to bridge Iruka’s lack of French conversation to explain himself, even though he wouldn’t even if he could. He wasn’t the words guy in this partnership. That much was painfully obvious. “Sir Iruka prefers to keep his travel diversions nearby to alleviate the oppressive nature of the idle hours ahead,” Kakashi explained. The driver, not paid enough to give a sh*t, merely shrugged and moved off to finish getting ready for the journey. The Abbot’s scowl got a little more pronounced, however.

As it always has a tendency to do, especially amongst the upper echelons of Renaissance Church society, money smoothed over all potential bumps in the road. Knowing this, Kakashi offered the Abbot a bow, pressing a sizable purse of coins into his bejeweled hands. Iruka could almost hear the joyful squeal the ecclesiastic was likely trying so hard to contain.

“A donation to your noble monastery in gratitude for your very generous hospitality,” he explained. As expected, the Abbot’s face lit up at the size of the “donation” (cough bribe cough), nodding his head imperiously.

“Go with God and our blessings, Sir Raido, Sir Iruka,” he replied, all trace of suspicion now gone from his smiling face. Iruka tried not to roll his eyes. The hustling monk chose that moment to reappear with a bundle of bread and cheese, offering it to Iruka with puffing breath. Iruka smiled, trying to emulate the arched brow of the high noble with mixed success.

“Merci and stuff,” Iruka replied, causing Kakashi to snort audibly at his butchering of the French language. Whoops. To avoid Iruka attempting another insult of the local tongue, Kakashi shepherded (read shoved) his companion into the carriage. Offering a final bow to the Abbot, he followed suit, knocking on the carriage ceiling as soon as he was seated and the door was shut.

Then with a crack of the driver’s whip, they were off. One step closer to the probable end of this rather interesting romp through time. For the first time, Iruka was almost inspired to pray for a smooth, uneventful journey, but thought better of it.

He probably should have.

***

Ugh, how many blasted hours had they been in this miserable box they had the nerve to call a carriage? Orochimaru was suffering here. Couldn’t they make this contraption go any faster? It was loud, it was smelly, and God knows what the humidity was probably doing to his hair. Fully corporeal or not, he would have to do so many deep conditioning treatments to get his shiny black locks back to their typical state of excellence. No wonder Kabuto always looked and smelled like he’d just stepped out of a barn. Some smells never come out and well, add that to his garish taste and general unremarkable features, the man didn’t have much going for him.

When I get home, he vowed to himself, I am going to soak in lavender scented milk baths for a solid week. Don’t judge. He’d earned this. He’s worth it. I mean, just look at him. Fabulousness like this doesn’t come without a little werk, amiright?

After the fifteenth Orochimaru signature hair flip that hour, Kabuto had the audacity to level a glare in his direction. Orochimaru simply arched one perfectly manicured brow at him, considering the sorry excuse of a man seated across from him. Would the pathetic man finally grow a pair and stand up to him? Orochimaru hoped so. He was itching for a cat fight and bitch, his claws were ready. Seeing a challenge, Kabuto crossed his arms with a petulant huff, opting instead to stare out the window. Yes, that’s right. There’s no way he would win in that matchup. Good of him to figure that out for himself. Maybe he wasn’t a complete lost cause.

Something must have caught his eye, because Kabuto sat straighter, then began to lean out the window to see better. “It appears we aren’t the only travelers this morn,” he said. “Someone comes from the direction of the monastery.”

“Oh? Let me see,” Orochimaru replied, using one of his large hands to press Kabuto’s head down to keep it from obstructing his view. Indeed, a carriage was in sight, approaching them from the opposite direction. Their carriage driver directed them to the side of the road to allow them to pass. In moments, both carriages were lined up, parallel to each other as they prepared to pull away. The passengers of the other carriage looked up. Orochimaru’s face lit up into his most wicked grin as he locked eyes with them, causing the brown-haired passenger’s face to lose all trace of color, his mouth gaping open in complete shock.

“Got you,” he whispered.

Iruka might not have been able to hear the other man, who was visible by virtue of his death grip on Kabuto’s head, but the look on Orochimaru’s face was unmistakable. He was, pardon his French, f*cked.

“Kakashi,” he whispered violently as the other carriage passed. “Uh, you remember how I said that I stole the stone that sent me here?”

Kakashi leveled a look at him, confused but patiently waiting for him to get to the point. “Yes?”

“Well, the owner was in that carriage and I’m pretty sure he’s not too happy with me right now.”

Kakashi groaned, rolling his eyes to the sky, or ceiling because that was obstructing his view of the heavens at that precise moment.

“Of course,” he said through gritted teeth. “The excitement never ends with you, does it Iruka?”

“Oh, you know me, just full of surprises,” Iruka laughed nervously. “At least you’ll never be bored?”

Kakashi barked out a laugh at that, his eyes glittering despite his deadpan tone. “Indeed. I will never, ever be bored.”

At that moment, a loud clattering sounded behind them. Kakashi stuck his head out the window to see the other carriage attempting to turn around quickly with limited success. The amount of cursing from inside the carriage indicated the current level of happiness with that particular point.

Kakashi looked at Iruka, grabbing his hands tightly in his own and subjecting him to the full extent of his grey-eyed gaze. “Do you trust me?”

Iruka nodded. “With my life.” He spared himself a split second of reflection on that instantaneous answer. Huh. When had that ever been true? Only now, apparently. But he found that he meant it, completely and wholeheartedly. Wow.

If that wasn’t love, he didn’t know what was.

Best put a pin in that one and come back to it when they weren’t busy trying not to die at the hands of a dude who should be pitching a fit somewhere in the twenty-first century right now and not here. But when did anything ever make sense? Not today, apparently.

Kakashi’s order to stop the carriage and subsequent pulling him out of the cabin ended that reflective moment quite effectively.

Quickly, Kakashi unhitched one of the horses, cutting it from the harness with his dagger. When the carriage driver started to protest, Kakashi tossed him a bag of coins but didn’t stop until he was seated astride the horse.

“For your silence, and, uh, the horse I guess, too,” he called to the driver before grabbing Iruka’s hand and pulling him up behind him on the horse. “Hold on tight,” he ordered. Iruka didn’t even have time to offer his agreement before Kakashi kicked the horse’s sides, launching it into a mad gallop. Any words besides the frantic screaming that he hoped was only in his mind were swallowed up by the sound of the horse’s hooves crashing against the packed dirt of the road. The whole time Iruka clutched Kakashi for dear life, feeling the satchel thump reassuringly against his hip with every stride.

Well, Orochimaru learned something new today. Carriages couldn’t corner for sh*t. No amount of cursing from him or Kabuto could get this godforsaken heap of wood around in any kind of timely fashion. They finally turned just in time to see the silver-haired man cut a horse loose from their own carriage, grab the thief he’d suffered all this blemish-inducing stress to find, and take off at a full gallop. He grit his teeth menacingly. He would catch that boy, or he would give up his Dead Sea mud masks forever!

Okay, for a week.

Maybe.

Not the point. They’re getting away!

“Well, Kabuto? Get out of the carriage and get onto that horse! We need to catch them!” he screeched.

Kabuto looked at him like he had just purchased tickets to Oppenheimer instead of the Barbie movie, which for the uninitiated was a mixture of perplexed and horrified.

“You actually think I know how to ride? I’m rich! And a man of the cloth! We don’t lower ourselves to riding.” Kabuto retorted in full splutter, flailing hands and all.

Orochimaru looked at him archly. Yeah, he was right. It was painfully obvious that this man hadn’t ridden a single thing in his whole cloistered little life. And no one with a shred of self-respect would lower themselves to riding that, either. That was for damn sure. Probably good that he took a vow of celibacy then. Saves the embarrassment.

That presented a bit of a problem. Rolling his eyes, he ordered the carriage to pursue at the fastest speed it was able, which, given the weight of what they were carrying, wasn’t much. Despite their best efforts, the man he’d traveled through time to find had once again eluded him and was likely on his merry way back to the safety and insulation of Queen Tsunade’s court.

Well, crap. Now what?

f*ck if he knew. Like the Hollywood movie scene during the writer’s strike, he was out of ideas.

**

Once they were a safe distance away, Kakashi pulled the horse out of his gallop and looked behind them. Seeing no sign of pursuit, he guided the horse into a slower canter and continued their journey to the docks. Not having to lug around a carriage meant that they made excellent time, and as the sun began to sink below the horizon they saw the first signs of Calais. Kakashi, needing the anonymity that only a big port city could provide, hastened the horse’s stride and pressed ahead. In an hour, they had reached the city gates.

Kakashi sold the horse to the first available buyer, a group of hostlers always looking to take advantage of those needing a few coins to afford sea passage and to flip the horses they bought to sell to those getting out of town. They asked no questions, and Iruka and Kakashi provided no answers. Perfect.

Once the transaction was complete, Kakashi led Iruka to the docks, looking for a ship that appeared on its way out upon first light. The Sea Shanty was a cheerful little frigate and, luckily enough, was bound for Dover the following day. Using almost all of his remaining coin, Kakashi booked passage for the both of them with a cabin that they took immediate advantage of. With a sigh, Iruka collapsed into the firm bed, still clutching his satchel.

“Well, that was interesting,” he mumbled into the pillow. Kakashi hummed and moved to sit next to him, examining the sword he always kept at his side to ensure readiness for any additional interesting events to come. He looked down at Iruka, already drifting off to sleep, with a fond smile.

“I will keep you safe, my love,” he whispered. “I do so solemnly vow.”

A Konoha Prankster in Queen Tsunade's Court - Chapter 11 - My_private_tsukuyomi (2024)
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