Sakura eyed the sprig of green and white that Naruto held above his head with a grin, her body leaning back as she did so even with the arm’s length of distance between them. “So how exactly is -that- going to help?”

The blond’s grin stretched wider and he leaned forward, causing his teammate to shift back more. “Don’t you get it? It’s a-”

“Mistletoe.” Sasuke’s dry voice held volumes of distaste. He himself was even further back than Sakura, his arms crossed and a dark brow arched cynically. “Anyone could see that, moron.”

Scowling over at the other Naruto thrust the sprig out, nearly smacking Sakura in the nose. “Well then it should be obvious how the plan will work!” The grin was back a second later, mistletoe held high. “Everyone who’s not on duty is going to be at the Christmas Bash tomorrow! And it just so happens that I got in on the decorating committee!”

Both teens blinked at that, brows crawling up into their hairlines. Naruto felt his grin waver, looking from one teammate to the other. “What?”

“Who in the world would allow you to decorate ANYTHING that anyone would ever see?”

Just before the blond could launch himself at the smirking Uchiha Sakura punched her fist into an open palm. “Ah-ha, I get it! So you’re going to put mistletoe in strategic locations to try and catch Kakashi-sensei under.”

“Exactly!” It was obvious that under her approval Naruto couldn’t hold on to his anger long, hand waving the mistletoe around. “No one can turn down a kiss under the mistletoe! And then we’ll FINALLY get to see what he has under that mask!” /And maybe, just maybe I can get a kiss from Sakura!/

His teammates were looking at him with a new light to their eyes; appreciation. Naruto stood up a little straighter, chest puffing out. “I never thought I would say this,” Sakura said, clasping her hands together. “But Naruto, you are a -genius-!”


“Naruto, you are an -idiot-!”

The entire stretch of the main road had been strung up with garland, poinsettias and holly. The result was a near blanket of green and red with the occasional glimpse of sky and stars above. Torches burned before each shop front to leave plenty of light for those roaming about, going either to the food shops still open, game booths set up or one of the tables set out with free punch and snacks.

And then there was mistletoe.

Or rather, an -army- of mistletoe, shoved into every space where there wasn’t holly or bright white, pink and red flowers and berries. Some were even tucked in with the white flowers, making them nearly impossible to spot.

“Well I had to make them difficult to avoid,” Naruto pointed out, backing away from his scowling teammates with a sheepish grin. “I even took the liberty of spiking the punch to loosen morals.”

Sasuke, who had been taking another swallow of his own cup of punch, promptly spewed it onto a passing woman and child.

“You did WHAT!?”

The old Naruto might have stuck around to try and defend himself. However the new and improved, totally-going-to-be-Hokage Naruto, knew when to pick his battles, especially when Sakura sounded like she swallowed a canary.

He ran.


“I guess he isn’t coming, anyway.”

Taking another swallow of punch Naruto watched the festivities while leaning against his favorite ramen stand, the space darker than most. Many people were taking advantage of the army of mistletoe. He’d seen Choji with multiple colors of lip-shaped marks on chubby cheeks and Ino chasing after a few boys. There had been no sight nor sound from the elusive teacher all night and Naruto was beginning to lose hope.

“This was a big-huge failure,” the blond muttered, draining the rest of his punch. At least he hadn’t run into Sakura again though he had gotten a glimpse of pink hair. Maybe she had calmed down enough to be in a forgiving, kiss-giving mood?

“Looks pretty successful, if you ask me.”

Leaping nearly to the roof in shock Naruto spun to see grinning face- or rather, the single visible eye crinkled at the corners in a way that read amusement. “Kakashi-sensei! I didn’t think you were coming!”

Stepping forward the older male shrugged. “I got busy,” he said, tone holding its usual casualness. “I hear you did the decorating this year. What did you threaten the committee with?”

The blond huffed, crossing his arms. “Why is everyone so suspicious of me helping out? What, you don’t think that they could have ASKED for my expertise?” And so what if he promised not to blow anything up or cause a ruckus in exchange? It wasn’t like he planned on doing so, anyway!

…The punch didn’t count.


“Eh?” Blinking at his teacher Naruto followed his pointing finger straight up. On the edge of the shop, right under where they stood was a single sprig of mistletoe. /Oh, great./ the blond thought, huffing. /He finally shows up and there’s not even a girl to-/

The thought was cut off as shockingly warm, firm lips pressed against his own. Blue eyes widening in shock Naruto could only see the blur of a single dark eye, one he would swear was tilted in amusement if he could move back enough to see. The strong fingers gripping the back of his head prevented him from doing much else but feeling, though, Naruto’s eyes nearly rolling to the back of his head as blunt nail scratched his scalp.

Then the touch was gone from both before and behind him, blue eyes dazed as he blinked at his teacher. Those lips were covered once again and Naruto would have doubted what had happened were it not for the warm tingle left behind in his own lips and gliding over his skin.

“Merry Christmas,” Kakashi said with a wave before turning and walking away, his hands shoved into his pockets.

Naruto stood there, watching the other until he disappeared around a corner. The blond hovered for a few moments longer before deciding to head home. He needed time to think as well as come up with a second plan.

One that involved him actually -seeing- those amazing lips and perhaps getting more than one teasing kiss.

~Happy Holidays!