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The Scarlet Fog

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Iruka didn’t sense his rut had started until he snapped a pencil in half while he was grading student papers. He stared at the broken wood far, far too long. After several minutes, he leaned back in his chair to study the ceiling, curious what thoughts might drift through him.

He instantly thought of Kakashi.

His hands on the other man’s hips, squeezing sharp bones under wet-slick skin, as he pounded into Kakashi’s body, over and over and over again; his mouth running wild against Kakashi’s sweetly bared neck, the silver-haired man shaking out of control underneath him; his tongue tasting every possible part of Kakashi – from the long curve of his feet to his pretty scarred thighs to his beautiful panting lips to his cum filling Iruka’s waiting wanting mouth.

Iruka dropped his gaze down to his groin, which happily declared what he was realizing was far too obvious: he had begun his rut earlier than expected.

He tried to stand, but he felt the immediate and most regrettable part of his rut finally catch up with him, and Iruka sunk back down into the chair, pressing his face into his hands to try and keep the stirrings of violence in check. He waited there for some impossible time, long enough that the sun slanted differently into his window, bathing him in new warm light. When he finally forced himself under control, Iruka quickly completed a courier bird jutsu and wrote on the back of a student paper, shoving the note into the summon’s little beak and sending it outside.

Iruka tried not to look around as he turned away from the window, but he suddenly caught sight of a passing alpha jounin – a overly scarred man whose poor attitude was notorious among the chuunin at the mission desk – and he went completely still.

He stared, fixated on the man, with one thought repeating loudly, horribly, furiously over and over in his head: Has he ever fucked Kakashi?

Iruka realized that both his hands were gripping the window sill at the very same moment that he had started to shout down at the other alpha, and he threw himself backwards in alarm. He rushed through his ward jutsus, feeling simultaneously pale and burning, and he slammed his head down his knees, trying to coax himself down from murdering a passing Konoha alpha.

He couldn’t smell his alpha scent very well, but he imagined it must be in terrible form. As Iruka rubbed his face against his legs, his hands clenched and unclenched rhythmically on his shins, nearly hard enough to leave bruises. He tried working through his usual mantras, but –

Kakashi’s eyes – both of them – the black right one – the red-and-black spinning Sharingan – swept into Iruka’s imagination, unwanted, totally out of his control. He could tell that he was already losing himself, far more quickly than usual, but he felt dumb and weak thinking about Hatake Kakashi. The uninvited image of Kakashi covered in enemy nin blood, reeking from the lust of another alpha, his face flushed from battle and his heat, sitting beside him and his favorite stream – it all swam straight into Iruka’s vision. He shook his head, forcing his eyes closed even tighter, but then there was the vision of Kakashi struggling to stand, fingers clutching at his Sharingan, so painfully and obviously aroused, the deadly jounin struck low by Iruka’s alpha scent, and Iruka could feel Kakashi’s clad throat under his fingers and could taste his precious ear and could hear himself making awful, unexpected promises that only caused Kakashi’s heat-heightened omega scent to shake and dominate every single damn one of Iruka’s senses to the point that Iruka had to leave now now now – or else – or else –

Iruka blindly forced himself into the shower, ignoring how heavy his teaching shinobi gear became when drenched with water. He had no sense of time: it was all Kakashi, all the times he had been with the other man, all the times that he wanted to be with him. He stripped himself sporadically, whenever he found the energy, never really able to think anything through. He only realized he was entirely naked when he struggled to open his eyes and glanced over his body. The hot water felt so pointless and distant and unreal that he barely understood where he was.

His cock was hard and weeping pre-cum, but Iruka only winced. He did not want to touch himself; he would not touch himself. He couldn’t manage to find a towel in his haze and groped unsuccessfully at the clothing hung behind the bathroom door. He knew the silky feel of the fabric when he finally grabbed the ridiculous cherry blossom themed yukata that Izumo and Kotetsu had given him for his last birthday – the pink and white compliments your pretty brown skin, Iruka! – and he stumbled into the loose garment while avoiding his painful erection.

He was standing in the corridor, consumed by confusion and want and homicidal impulse, when he felt the wards around his apartment shifting just slightly.

Iruka made it down the hallway without injuring himself in his recklessness, and he managed just in time to see Hatake Kakashi slide easily through his window. Not turning around, the jounin omega fixed his ward jutsus with perfect precision. Iruka felt a twisting relief run through him: his note had been clear enough on how to get into his apartment that Kakashi had figured out how to put the wards back up as well.

But his relief vanished completely as he breathed in Kakashi’s unbridled omega scent.

Iruka knew his own alpha scent must have gone wild because Kakashi turned rapidly to look at him, his metal hitai-ate down over his Sharingan, his black eye locking on Iruka. He was impossibly gorgeous, as he always was: sweat from sparring clung to the very few bare spots of skin, and his body had swung taut with tension, and his full shinobi gear seemed so suited to him it felt obscene to try and rip it off of him. His black eye had widened upon seeing Iruka, and he seemed unable to move, but Iruka didn’t care, because he was across the living room and had Kakashi shoved against the closed ward-protected front door within seconds.

His hands were shaking, clenched, white against Kakashi’s flak jacket, and then Iruka was biting down on Kakashi’s collarbone, the actual bone, wanting to taste him and break him at the same time, and Kakashi’s lean gloved hands clamped down on his shoulders, unable to move him away, unsure what to do. He could hear Kakashi hiss in pain above him, and then Iruka was at the side of his neck, breathing in deep, taking in the haphazard mess of Kakashi’s omega scent as it scattered in response to seeing and feeling him in rut.

His left hand grabbed Kakashi’s silver hair, and he forced Kakashi’s head aside before he knew what he was doing. Iruka was suddenly staring into Kakashi’s tumultuous single black eye, barely able to contain everything tearing apart his insides, unable to fully restrain himself. He heard himself asking the other man in a voice that pained him in its familiarity – it was a dark near-growl from somewhere deep in his throat – “Do you know what you smell like? Do you?”

Kakashi responded immediately in his usual careless bored tone, but Iruka could hear bright panic rising to the surface behind each of his words: “Like the woods.”

Iruka dropped his hair only to grab Kakashi’s jacket again, determined not to tear out the jounin omega’s hair or break his bones. He realized that he was scolding the other man, nearly shouting at him, when Kakashi brought his head away, hitting the closed door behind him, but Iruka couldn’t stop himself. He could feel long-standing fury and desire tumbling out of him as he declared sharply, “You smell like the forest outside Konoha in the rain. You smell like new growth. You smell so fucking good.” Iruka knew that his eyes were smoldering, his expression turned violent and dark, but he seethed just inches from Kakashi’s stunned and nearly entirely hidden face, “And it makes me want to burn you to ash.”

Kakashi was out of his grip before he finished the sentence. Iruka spun and found the jounin standing in the soft light of the hallway. His black silhouette showed he was tightly holding his tanto in his right hand. His entire stance was defensive, and Iruka suddenly realized that he was staring into both of Kakashi’s eyes, the Sharingan wicked and moving and set on him.

Iruka felt unreasonable, horrifying pleasure course through him. He knew he was smiling, sinister and wide, as he saw that Hatake Kakashi – the Copy Nin, the Master of a Thousand Jutsus – was truly surprised at how Iruka could be, how he was, when in the horror of rut.

“Are you scared?” Iruka found himself asking, sick amusement in his tone and question.

But Kakashi unsettled him by replying instantaneously, utterly unmoving, still staring at him: “Yes.”

He felt physically taken aback, and he jerked his gaze to the floor, trying to understand what had motivated him to come out in the living room, to force Kakashi against the door, to say such awful things. His hands came to his face, and he was sitting back down in the chair before he knew it. Iruka forced his knees up towards his face, and he used the pressure to distract himself from the lurching confusion rolling over him. He could just barely remember taking a shower, and he could tell now that he was wearing a totally open yukata, and he could feel his teeth on Kakashi’s collarbone, and –

“Iruka,” Kakashi’s voice came from in front of him, and Iruka dragged his hands off his face and was flabbergasted to find the other man crouched at his feet. Both of Kakashi’s eyes were focused on Iruka, the Sharingan moving much more rapidly than normal, but his face had lost the terrified edge of a moment ago as he looked over Iruka’s expression.

“Kakashi, I –” Iruka managed to get out before he flinched and tried to cover his face again. But Kakashi’s hands suddenly grabbed him before he could even move, and then his masked mouth descended on Iruka’s, somehow both deadly forceful and so thoroughly reassuring that Iruka was falling forward into Kakashi’s arms before he could even recognize what was happening.

His fingers forced aside Kakashi’s jacket and tore through his shirt and raked across Kakashi’s scarred chest and abdomen at the same speed and intensity that Kakashi’s hands grabbed Iruka’s bare ass under the yukata. As Kakashi brought them together with ruthless force, Iruka relished the terrible, wonderful feel of the jounin omega beneath him unapologetically thrusting up against him. His hands were fumbling at Kakashi’s belt and pants, and he heard himself cursing wildly, and then his face was down against Kakashi’s torn-open shirt and his scarred chest as Kakashi forced his own hips up, shoving his pants down, his erect cock meeting Iruka’s with delicious merciless zeal.

Iruka found he couldn’t think at all, and he didn’t want to try, because Kakashi was relentless and fast and perfect in ways that he had never imagined.

His hard cock was suddenly deep inside Kakashi, and Iruka was gasping above him, only getting snatches of the delirious and exquisite vision beneath him. Kakashi had taken total control: Iruka’s stumbling incoherent want to fuck the other man was only realized by Kakashi’s legs and hands forcefully gripping Iruka’s waist and ass, directing him in and out with insane accuracy. He couldn’t hear the other man, not really, just the occasional throaty groan that sent pleasure jolting like lightning over his skin. Iruka’s fingernails were scratching madly at the wooden floor, and he only realized that he was near tears from relief and joy when Kakashi’s palm slid across his cheek, catching the moisture hanging on his lower eyelashes.

Iruka opened his eyes to see Kakashi underneath him, and he felt his orgasm crash over him as he saw that the man had moved so quickly that his mask was still on. Yet his high cheeks were flushed deep red, and, locking eyes with him, Kakashi whispered in reverent awe, “Amazing.”

Reeling from his climax, he could only bow over Kakashi gasping, but then he was suddenly on his back, looking wide-eyed up at the silver-haired man. As some of the scarlet fog faded from his thoughts, Iruka noticed how quickly that he had ruined the other man’s clothing: Kakashi’s flak jacket was hanging by threads on one shoulder, his blue shinobi shirt was ripped up the middle starting from the bottom, his hitai-ate had gone missing, and his mask had become damp from wet panting during sex.

Iruka felt cowed, made small and bewildered, as he recognized fire overtaking Kakashi’s mismatched eyes. He felt a sudden and surprising flash of embarrassment as Kakashi reached down and grabbed his own wickedly hard cock with his gloved hand and began to stroke himself at a frightful pace over Iruka’s naked chest. Iruka’s face flushed with red heat, and his lips parted of their own volition, and he was mumbling, whispering, over and over again, “Yes, yes, yes…” as his eyes moved back and forth between Kakashi’s blazing eyes and his gloved hand tightly gripping his cock.

He couldn’t breathe. A maddeningly significant part of him wanted to take Kakashi’s cock into his mouth, down his throat, but he kept as still as he could, which he couldn’t do at all. Instead, Iruka found himself terribly restless, writhing on his back on the wood floor, the cherry blossom yukata spread around him, his dark hair damp and clinging to his face. His right hand dared to feel Kakashi’s muscular scarred thigh straddling his waist, and he took fluttering wild pleasure seeing Kakashi’s concentration stutter, his intense expression mostly hidden behind by his mask.

Iruka’s fingers dug into Kakashi’s thigh on instinct, and he was suddenly breathing in anguished worship, staring up at the glorious silver-haired omega, “Please, Kakashi, cum on me.”

Kakashi’s eyes slammed shut, and he groaned as his hand tightened just so on his cock. As he began to come, Kakashi clearly forced his eyes back open so he could watch his white cum mark the bare muscles of Iruka’s tan-hued chest. His dual gaze flickered up towards Iruka’s as he rode the end of his orgasm, his blue mask still impeccably covering most of his face.

But Iruka was so dangerously pleased with everything, he could barely fathom the alien nature of fucking a disheveled masked omega, let alone being covered with his cum. He realized he was sighing in relief and pleasure, and his hand touched Kakashi’s cum, and he had put his fingers in his mouth, all without thinking. He only truly understood what he had done when Kakashi practically choked above him, unexpectedly muttering, “Fuck, Iruka –”

Then Kakashi was kissing him, and Iruka had never felt anything like it in his life.

He couldn’t find the right spot for his hands, so he was touching Kakashi everywhere, and everywhere felt so good that he couldn’t stop himself from searching every inch of the man. He could feel some of the hard horror of his rut dissipating, and he sighed, sinking back to the floor. Kakashi continued to kiss him, but he must have sensed the change, and so his kisses shifted too, turning gentle and comforting.

With his eyes loosely closed, Iruka pressed a soft kiss against Kakashi’s scarred cheek. His hands felt weighted; he dropped them to the floor after catching Kakashi’s torn shirt one last time. He could feel his breath returning to normal but then it was going even further, becoming low and steady. Kakashi was still straddling his waist, but he had moved slightly upwards and seemed to be considering Iruka laying underneath him.

Iruka found himself weakly reaching up to him, and he felt absurd delight as Kakashi caught his hand, running his gloved fingers reassuringly over Iruka’s palm.

Even as he could feel himself slipping unconscious, Iruka pulled at the little last bit of energy he had left, and he mumbled faintly to Kakashi, “I’m sorry...”

Kakashi’s fingers tightened on his hand, and he said something in response, but sleep remorselessly swept over him and Iruka heard nothing at all.

Chapter Text

Iruka’s world was a muddled blur, mostly a dull crimson with minor bursts of white at the margins. He woke up groggy, his body protesting every movement; he struggled to rub his eyes. Unwilling to face what would inevitably happen next, Iruka found himself curling up in a contorted ball, drawing his knees into his chest.

He could tell that he was in rut by the strange red tint of his vision which persisted even when his eyes were closed. He didn’t want to be in rut, not again, not so soon. Iruka recalled his last rut all too well: the beta who had volunteered had left early, bruised, bloodied, and unable to look at him in the face.

Iruka worried about the man who was with him this time, but he couldn’t remember who –

He shot upright and stared directly at Hatake Kakashi.

For a second, Iruka couldn’t actually see Kakashi – he could only smell him – though he could definitely sense the other man sitting on the bed beside him. The silver-haired jounin’s omega scent hung heavily about his frame. It was the wondrous smell of Konoha’s woods that had haunted Iruka for years as he had walked through the village hiding his own awful scent.

Iruka had recognized the slow slight change in the omega’s scent since the two of them had been together during Kakashi’s heat. The smell seemed softer now, sweetly unfurling like new spring growth after the rain…

A hint of his past horror tore through his mind: And it makes me want to burn you to ash.

He forced his vision to sharpen, willing Kakashi to become clearer, as uncontrolled panic lurched through him. Finally, Iruka could see that the omega jounin was watching him, unspeaking, expression blank, from less than three feet away. He was wearing the remains of his ruined clothing, which Iruka faintly realized he must have torn. Kakashi’s blue mask was up over his mouth and nose, but his hitai-ate was gone.

His Sharingan was open, red, spinning, and locked on Iruka.

Unbearably mortified with himself, Iruka covered his mouth with his hand; he could actually feel ashamed heat radiating off his face. He didn’t know what to say – he could barely remember anything that had happened – but he knew from years of terrible experience that he must have –

“Are you always like that?” Kakashi suddenly asked, his tone lacking all inflection.

Iruka’s eyes widened. He felt like he was collapsing in on himself. But the jagged edge of his shame soon sliced through his cowardice, and he forced himself to reply.

“No,” Iruka heard his voice, sadly recognizing how dark and gravely it had gone, as it always did in rut. He winced as he spread his fingers up and over his cheek, half-covering his face. “No, it’s much worse this time.”

Iruka was pained to realize that he was sweating again. His vision was already darkening in hue, turning the room a surreal scarlet. He stared through his fingers at Kakashi, who stayed absolutely motionless and continued to scrutinize him with the most thoroughly unreadable expression that Iruka had ever seen in his life.

He was violently unprepared for Kakashi’s next question.

“Are you going to try and kill me again?” The words fell easily from Kakashi’s lips, spoken simply and without accusation. Yet his mismatched eyes were so focused on Iruka’s face it felt as if Kakashi was piercing Iruka straight down to his very soul.

Iruka’s blood ran cold in his veins. He recoiled away from the omega, staring down at the small space between them, his gaze madly memorizing the look of his sweat-stained sheets. “I didn’t –” he started to assert, his voice flush with panic and denial.

Kakashi interjected sharply, “I know killing intent, Iruka.”

Even as he admitted that he knew Iruka had wanted to kill him, Kakashi maintained a shockingly level tone. He was so painfully dispassionate and composed that it made Iruka feel like an absolute madman in comparison, unfit to be remotely near him, not now in his rut, not ever.

Burying his face in his hands, Iruka worked to explain himself, but he could feel the prickly confusion of his rut covering him once more. He pushed at his cheekbones, running his fingers up to his temples, making hard circles against his skull. Even as the room was rolling back out of focus, Iruka forced himself to speak, firmly closing his eyes, “It all bleeds together. I want to do everything to you. I want to – I want –”

Iruka ended up holding his sweating forehead with one hand as he gripped the bedsheets with his other hand. He could vaguely, messily, remember grabbing Kakashi’s flak jacket, shoving him against the door, and then there was the wild feel of tearing the same fabric with Kakashi laid out underneath him on the living room floor, and Iruka looked up hazily at Kakashi, just now realizing that he wasn’t wearing his flak jacket because Iruka had destroyed it.

As Iruka’s gaze returned to Kakashi, their eyes met in an impossibly heated moment.

Suddenly unable to catch his breath, Iruka revealed, his voice raw, “I want to devour you.”

To his infinite shock, Kakashi instantly responded, utterly unfazed, “Okay.”

Iruka only knew he was on his feet when the room spun wickedly, and he stumbled against the wall that his bed’s headboard was pressed against. He angrily flicked sweat off his brow as he stumbled out a furious protesting exclamation, “No, it’s not okay!”

As he pushed off the wall and tried to stand on his own, Iruka realized that he was still wearing the cherry blossom yukata – except Kakashi had cleaned him after sex and dressed him in loose boxers. They were horribly frustrating, clinging to his suddenly emergent erection. Iruka would have torn them off himself to get rid of the awful restrictive sensation, but he was too distracted making his point to Kakashi. He couldn’t stand to look at the jounin omega as he seethed, full of spiraling rage, “I can barely recognize myself! I can’t believe I said that to you – you shouldn’t be near me right now!”

Suddenly both of Kakashi’s hands wrapped around Iruka’s bare waist underneath the silky yukata, and Iruka was caught so badly by surprise that he nearly slammed his fist into Kakashi’s throat. He managed to restrain himself, but his trigger-happy violent reaction only seemed to prove his point. He tried to pull away from Kakashi’s hold, but the jounin omega was infinitely stronger than him and forcefully kept Iruka from escaping his grasp.

“I won’t let you hurt me,” Kakashi’s voice came from in front of him, and Iruka tried to visualize him more clearly. He finally got the image right: so close to him, so obviously unafraid, the silver-haired man was achingly handsome with barely-exposed pale skin, that deeply-hued cloth, those magnificent mismatched eyes. Kakashi’s mouth moved under his mask as he stared back at Iruka, his gaze softening with unexpected concern. “I want to be here for you.”

Iruka realized his hands were gripping Kakashi’s clothed biceps, his fingers shaking with force. He was blinking rapidly, searching Kakashi’s half-hidden expression, disbelieving what he was hearing. A pained whine threaded through his words as he warned Kakashi, his voice weak and dark, wanting and terrified… “You know I’m not safe like this.”

Kakashi surprised him again by moving forward far too quickly to catch. His lips were abruptly pressed against Iruka’s bare throat, and Iruka could only shudder in his tight embrace, repressing a frenzied moan. But Kakashi did him no kindness: the jounin omega’s mouth pressed a hard kiss down on Iruka’s exposed shoulder before he whispered, unbelievably hot and breathy, “I don’t want to be safe.”

Iruka’s cock was all stars and wonder at that statement, but he tried to cut in, admonishing, ceaselessly apprehensive, “Kakashi –”

But Kakashi only exhaled against Iruka’s neck in frustration before he leaned back and gave Iruka a remarkably resolute stare. “Do you remember what you said about my scent?”

Iruka’s face flushed with shame again. Although he was already heated from arousal, he recognized the difference between lust and humiliation, and it made him feel deeply sick on top of everything else. Unable to look at Kakashi’s dissimilar eyes, Iruka could only manage to whisper, feeling wounded beyond reason, “I shouldn’t have said –”

Kakashi interrupted again, “That you want to burn me?”

Iruka went stiff all over. His muscles were roaring in distress: he wanted to get away from Kakashi, he wanted to plunge Kakashi’s tanto sword deep in his stomach, he wanted to murder every single man in Konoha that had ever even looked at Kakashi –

He must have appeared as sweaty, conflicted, and disoriented as he felt, because Kakashi didn’t wait around for a coherent response. Instead the impossible jounin omega took the opportunity to grab Iruka’s cock through his boxers, wrapping his long fingers around Iruka’s painful erection, causing Iruka to gasp and practically smash his head into Kakashi’s shoulder, suddenly barely able to keep himself standing.

And then Kakashi’s voice was hot and unrepentant close to his ear: “Then use me. Burn me and make me yours.”

Even if he had been out of rut, Iruka knew he would have been unable to handle Kakashi’s words. But he was so very deeply, viscerally, in the throes of his rut that hearing Kakashi’s sweet absolute submission set him in motion in ways that he couldn’t have dreamed.

As far as he could tell, it was only a second later, and he was suddenly straddling Kakashi’s nude scarred body on the bed while rushing through the complicated jutsu that he had learned during his second heat – the one that would bind himself in chakra wire and restrain him from hurting others. He wasn’t sure why he was using it – on myself? why? didn’t Kakashi just say – when he realized he was shifting the last two hand formations, varying them slightly and changing the self-focused jutsu.

Iruka’s blue chakra tore into existence and wrapped around Kakashi’s wrists, jerking them up towards the headboard of the bed, before replicating the act with Kakashi’s bare feet, tying them tight together. Before he knew it, Iruka was staring down at a fully restrained and very naked jounin omega. Kakashi was breathing hard, his lips visible and parted, as he gazed up at Iruka, his glazed-over black eye and swirling red Sharingan wide in awed worship.

Iruka glanced wildly around, trying to understand where Kakashi’s clothes went, and found them thrown in several different places across the bedroom. He was still in the yukata, but he’d gotten rid of the boxers, leaving his cock deliriously erect and uncovered.

When Iruka spun his gaze back towards Kakashi, he realized that he’d torn the man’s mask again, just as he had done during Kakashi’s heat. The ripped blue cloth was hanging about Kakashi’s black-bruised collarbone – and it was the only thing that Kakashi was still wearing except his endless diverse scars.

He tried to understand his thought process, but right away he became impulsively obsessed with Kakashi’s scars. Iruka had loved the look of them – all of them – when he first saw Kakashi naked in his bedroom and then again in the bathroom. Out of his heavy shinobi gear, Kakashi displayed a long, lean, pale white body with countless thin pink scars and darker deeper scars from his many years of service to Konoha. Scars drenched Kakashi, starting from the one crossing his cheekbone through his eyesocket all the way down to his roughly calloused feet where frostbite and exertion had laid waste to his skin.

Iruka loved Kakashi’s scars.

His tongue was running along the jagged edges of a surface-level scar on Kakashi’s thigh before he knew what he was doing. Iruka’s cheek was nearly brushing Kakashi’s half-hard cock as he tasted the omega’s old injury. He could feel Kakashi trembling under his tongue, under his hand which firmly grasped the man’s waist, against his thigh which forced Kakashi’s legs further together.

He glanced up, knowing his eyes were smoldering and dark. When Iruka made eye contact with Kakashi again, he was cruelly delighted to see that the jounin omega had already begun blushing.

“Tell me about your scars,” Iruka requested, his voice low.

“That one?” Kakashi replied too quickly. The level tone that he had adopted earlier – the one he usually used around the village and often even when with Iruka – had dissolved into a breathy, hopeful, hopeless tenor.

Iruka loved that, too. His eyes narrowed, staring back at Kakashi. He smiled with sinister promise at his precious and lovingly restrained omega.

“No, all of them.”

He had no way of telling how much time passed: the sun had already set before he woke up in bed with Kakashi by his side, and he prohibited clocks in the bedroom. But Iruka could discern an immense of time was indeed passing, if only because Kakashi was getting progressively weaker and more restless with every story, and every story needed significant explanation...

Iruka’s tongue, mouth, fingers never tired. He was so terribly pleased with what he was doing: he relished every terrible war story, every training accident, as he licked and kissed and touched each of Kakashi’s scars. Iruka couldn’t fathom being exhausted with Kakashi, not now, not ever.

He deeply felt the jounin omega’s experiences – the time Kakashi had been impaled with a sword through the stomach, leaving a small circular scar – the time Kakashi hadn’t moved quick enough and caught a kunai deep in his bicep, the one with the ANBU tattoo, and had left it in too long, the infection twisting the residual scar – the time Kakashi snapped his right ankle slamming his foot into the face of a missing nin and the surgery had went just slightly wrong, causing him to need stitches where the bone had exploded out of his skin.

Kakashi managed the first forty scars just fine, even though he was shuddering the whole time. But by the sixty-second scar, Kakashi’s cock had become steel-hard, absolutely and deliberately untouched by Iruka as he journeyed across Kakashi’s fascinating body. The omega’s answers now came in gasps and twisting hips and muscles straining against Iruka’s jutsu.

By eighty, Iruka found himself demanding responses in a playful but sharp tone, and Kakashi had closed his eyes so tightly that the scar running through his Sharingan looked tortured.

Iruka was on Kakashi’s right side, his cherry blossom yukata swept over Kakashi’s thigh, licking his second favorite scar on Kakashi’s body – the long white one between his ribs – when Kakashi finally begged in a fierce but broken whisper – “Iruka, please…”

Iruka was between Kakashi’s legs, deeply and fully inside him, only a moment later.

Kakashi made a wild strangled sound, his body arching up at the sudden penetration. His face was profoundly flushed; his lips were bruised from chewing and biting them during Iruka’s delicious onslaught. Iruka found that the relief of his cock finally entering Kakashi was nothing compared to the sheer fucking glory of seeing Kakashi’s own relieved expression – he was so aroused that he looked wondrously anguished.

Iruka’s hand tightened around Kakashi’s terribly neglected cock, slick with dripping precum, as he thrust once, twice into the other man –

And then Kakashi flung his head backwards, muscles straining all over, resisting the jutsu, the restraints forcing his wrists and ankles tighter together, and he came hard without making a sound.

Iruka fixated on Kakashi’s cum as it crossed over the beautiful scarred span of Kakashi’s muscular stomach. He immediately ended the chakra wire jutsu, wanting Kakashi liberated and in his arms, well before he found his own peak.

Kakashi unexpectedly flew forward, grabbing Iruka by both sides of his head, and yanked him downwards into a messy, truly depraved kiss. Iruka found himself instantly, fully, totally lost in the deep kiss of his impossible omega. Unable to keep his position, Iruka realized his cock had come out of Kakashi, but he suddenly could not have cared less, his hands delving deep into Kakashi’s silver hair as they kissed each other madly, endlessly.

It must have been only seconds later when Iruka realized that his insanely painful erection was sliding wet against Kakashi’s chiseled abdomen and the sharp cut of his pelvis. He couldn’t understand why it was so slick – but then he understood it was the mess of his saliva from licking and lapping at Kakashi’s scars – and Kakashi’s cum – and their mingled sweat from Iruka in the midst of rut and Kakashi straining against the jutsu –

He found himself bowing over Kakashi, his face plastered against the omega jounin’s neck, his fingers pouring down into the mattress like he feared he’d fall through the floor. His orgasm was relentless and long; he shook at each astounding wave of pleasure. Kakashi was breathing hard against his ear, sounding dangerously thrilled at Iruka’s brutal climax.

Iruka could tell that he was already passing out with his face shoved into Kakashi’s shoulder. He pulled away, managing to fall to the man’s side. His vision was clearer for the next few seconds, even as he fell unconscious. Iruka mustered out what was written on his heart, what he wanted desperately to tell the other man, the truth of it made so much better and worse after memorizing Kakashi’s scars: “I don’t deserve you…”

Kakashi leaned over him, sweat-slick silver hair crowding his face. Kakashi’s expression was so sincerely sated and his small smile so genuine that it was difficult for Iruka not to smile back at him, even though his own face felt weak and numb.

Kissing the scar slicing through Iruka’s nose and cheeks, Kakashi softly replied, “Funny – I was thinking the same thing.”

Iruka jerked upright, his heart pounding.

It was dawn: the faintest bit of light peeked through the heavy curtains covering his bedroom window.

He instantly knew something was wrong, but it was frustratingly difficult to determine the reason for the ill feeling twisting in his gut. Something had caused him to wake so intensely; he never woke up during a rut this rapidly or fully. It was always a long fumbling struggle.

Worse, Iruka’s vision was clear and sharp, even with the light scarlet filter.

He was standing before he knew it, looking around his bedroom to find what had changed. Iruka glanced down at himself, discovering yet again that he was clean and in boxers. There were no new wounds that might explain the grotesque feeling of danger overwhelming his senses. He sought out Kakashi’s clothing where he remembered throwing them –

And found they were gone. Kakashi’s clothing had vanished.

Now fearfully surveying his room, Iruka’s eyes finally locked on Kakashi’s tanto sword knocked under his bed. He could feel his heart clamoring to burst out of his chest. Sweat blurred his vision for a second before he dragged his hand over his face. He breathed in and realized –

Kakashi wasn’t in Iruka’s apartment anymore.

Iruka went very still.

He could smell Kakashi… but it was only the aftermath of their sex.

After focusing more deeply, Iruka could finally sense Kakashi’s sweet forest scent outside of his apartment beyond his wards. He mindlessly collected Kakashi’s tanto before he turned back to the window and pushed the thick curtains aside.

Kakashi never went anywhere without his sword; he hadn’t explained what the blade meant, but he didn’t need to, not to Iruka. Whatever Kakashi cherished, Iruka respected.

The forsaken sword felt sure in Iruka’s steady hand.

He held the unsheathed tanto between his yukata-clad arm and side as he instinctively performed the familiar set of jutsus.

Iruka was three hand gestures into disabling his wards when he realized what he was doing – but he found he didn’t care about the consequences, not at all, not even a little.

He was going to find Kakashi.

Chapter Text

Iruka hadn’t left his house during a rut since four years ago – and that had only happened because a mission had gone on too long outside the village. He could just barely recall the other chuunin’s stunned facial expression when Iruka had suddenly stopped in the road, turned behind them, and declared shortly, “We’re about to get ambushed.” He also could only faintly remember the aftermath of that battle, where he was blinking away blood and he found his chuunin friend staring up at him with that brittle kind of fear that had nearly broken both of them.

Standing outside his apartment, Iruka knew he was wearing only a yukata and boxers. He knew he was holding Kakashi’s unsheathed tanto in one hand. He knew he wasn’t wearing shoes.

But he also knew one more thing – Kakashi was in the woods outside Konoha.

Iruka was standing on his roof, staring directly at where Kakashi’s sweet forest scent was heaviest. He could practically see the trail from where Kakashi had rushed through the village: it started at Iruka’s window, and it was quick and efficient, consisting of huge leaps and bounds, seemingly ending not too far outside Konoha.

There wasn’t any blood on the roof, no signs of fighting or distress. It was impossible to tell why Kakashi had left – except for the dead certainty that he had, and that he was now in the thick of old trees growing outside Konoha.

Iruka started moving. He felt strange during the first jump; it took him a moment to realize that he hadn’t done much real non-sexual activity during a rut since four years ago. He was surprised to find how easy it was – but, then again, Iruka also felt disastrously sick to his stomach. He hadn’t eaten since his rut started yesterday, although he couldn’t possibly imagine eating or drinking anything right now.

As he unthinkingly ran to the perimeter wall, Iruka could discern the faintest of protests from his body – right before it was brutally suffocated by his alpha instinct that demanded first and foremost he find Kakashi as soon as possible and then keep him close by forever.

He was nearly at the village wall when he realized that his alpha scent was mostly uncontrolled and emanating from him like thick dense fog rising off a deep body of water. Iruka thought briefly about doing something about it – glancing unsteadily down at the street below, he noticed a mother and child stagger to the side, the woman grabbing her face, the boy breaking into sniveling tears – but then –

Suddenly, Iruka felt the most peculiar series of spikes slam up and down his spine like small shuriken were striking each and every vertebra.

He slowed his run towards the village wall, trying to understand just what was happening. He had never felt such a sensation before; he hadn’t heard of a thing, either, and he taught all the fundamentals at the Academy, including the medical material on alphas and omegas. The repeated sharp stabs of fear seemed a bit like when he had sensed the other alphas seeking to kill him and his chuunin mission partner.

But, then again, it wasn’t that feeling, either... no, not at all.

It wasn’t even… his fear.

Iruka only realized he’d narrowed his eyes to slits when he suddenly widened them, turning his head towards the woods where he was still sensing Kakashi’s lovely omega scent.

This had something to do with what Kakashi said to him – when he said that they were mates.

Kakashi had tried to explain that they were bonded now…

That must be it.

Iruka felt fear because Kakashi was in danger.

Mortal danger.

Iruka stopped himself from jumping right over the Konoha wall to the ground below, a reckless move that would have killed him. His bare feet were so terribly numb to pain that he didn’t even worry when his toes smashed at an odd angle into the stone. As he had neared the wall, he had just vaguely made out two figures standing below the perimeter wall at the entrance gate.

Now on top of the fortification, readying to take the final last leap in his blind desperate pursuit of Kakashi, Iruka realized he knew the two figures: it was Izumo and Kotetsu. His two closest friends. The ones who gave him the New Year’s yukata that he was now wearing.

Before Iruka could jump down, he realized that Izumo had used a Body Flicker jutsu to meet him on the perimeter wall. He was saying something rapidly to Iruka and looking at him in wild concern. But he was only a blurry crimson mess in Iruka’s eyes, and Iruka shook his head, not wanting to deal with him, not able to talk to him, not when Kakashi was –

But then Izumo put his hand on Iruka’s left forearm.

And suddenly Iruka understood far too sharply that the man – both men – both of his friends – were going to try and stop him from leaving Konoha and finding Kakashi.

Iruka twisted his right hand, bringing the hilt of the tanto facing outwards, and he swung his arm back away from Izumo, only to slam the black metal hilt directly into Izumo’s temple. He could distantly see his friend collapse – and then he heard Kotetsu exclaim something nearby – and Iruka swept into a defensive taijutsu stance that he hadn’t used since before he made chuunin – and Kotetsu was backing away, hands up in truce – but he was definitely going to turn on Iruka the moment his guard was down –

And so Iruka feinted once, twice, Kotetsu not buying either movement and keeping up with him, until Iruka felt aggravation literally leaking out of his bones, and he dragged Kotetsu into a chokehold, feeling his friend struggle futilely against his mostly nude body. Kotetsu’s flak jacket was all coarse fabric and cruel edges, pockets filled with kunai and explosive tags, but Iruka was determined to send the man straight into bleak unconsciousness.

He had done the whole thing with Kakashi’s unsheathed tanto in hand, unwilling to part with it, leaving the blade frighteningly close to Kotetsu’s face.

But he wasn’t going to hurt his friends – not any more than this – because Kakashi’s alluring and pleading scent was still doing all sorts of strange aching things to Iruka, and he was suddenly so done with Kotetsu that he dropped the near-unconscious man from the chokehold.

His only thought was of Kakashi.

Iruka was down on the ground outside of Konoha a moment later.

He made it only a few steps before a white-masked Konoha ANBU appeared in front of him.

Iruka felt his lips curling into a snarl, and he slammed the tanto sword furiously into the dirt.

Before the ANBU could say a word, almost certainly to demand that he return into the village, Iruka was running through the hand formations to create clones. He only barely dodged the first grab of the elite shinobi when the other man tried to restrain him. He was dizzy, sick, sweating: he felt flushed and confused, but he was also so utterly filled with fury and frustration that he could tell his very senses were all directing singularly to one thing.

Get rid of the ANBU.

Find Kakashi.

Only a second later, Iruka found the ANBU far too close to his face. The elite figure was all white porcelain and blood-red painted lines, and he was trying to twist Iruka into a taijutsu hold to force him down to the ground.

But – no – no, he had to find Kakashi – that delicate sweet omega scent was dissolving into fine flickering ash – he was so close by – but so far away – and –

Iruka’s clone finished the chakra wire restraint jutsu the very same moment that Iruka himself turned his head and recklessly made eye contact with the ANBU. He could feel his alpha scent – which he kept partially restrained on pure instinct even now – writhing out of his control, and so he let it all go in one horrific burst.

Meeting the elite shinobi’s gaze, Iruka found that the ANBU’s eyes were a shocking aquamarine color. He knew that the man must have been an alpha and a jounin, accustomed to brawling on the bloody battlefield with other alphas. Very few of them would have been such lowly chuunin, and not one would have been an Academy teacher.

He had truly bad luck to fight Iruka now.

As the ANBU was struck by the sheer force and the hot rolling bloodbath of Iruka’s scent, his aquamarine eyes went wide and became disturbed under his porcelain mask. His grip loosened in his shock, and then he was sent staggering even more as Iruka clone’s chakra wire slid brutally over his right arm, yanking him backwards off of Iruka. He dispelled the clone before it could do any more damage with a rapid flick of a kunai, but Iruka’s second clone was there to finish the drill. The rest of the chakra wire collapsed the ANBU’s arms together behind his back, crunching together his gloved fingers, bundling them into a bloodlessly tight ball.

Iruka’s right hand was on the ANBU’s throat before he knew what he was doing.

He was near blind in his scarlet fury: he could not believe he was being stopped from protecting his person – from protecting Kakashi – his impossible omega – he was needed, didn’t the ANBU understand that, didn’t he know that, couldn’t he feel it down to his very bones like Iruka could?

The ANBU’s astonishingly bright blue eyes were locked on Iruka’s. He was breathing heavily; Iruka could easily sense his fear, so badly mingled with such great confusion and surprise. The shinobi swallowed once, the muscles of his throat shifting under Iruka’s bare hand.

It took Iruka a slow dazed moment to realize that he was exuding killing intent.

He was considering killing the ANBU.

After a heavy pause, Iruka pulled himself back from the brink, remembering the sight of Kakashi’s tense shadowy silhouette in his apartment after he had attacked the man. Somewhere, distant and dark in his brain, he could hear Kakashi admit, simply and sincerely, that he was afraid of Iruka in such an unrestrained state.

But he kept his hand on the ANBU’s throat, stretching out his fingers contemplatively, and Iruka found himself saying in a low voice, “You have pretty eyes.”

The ANBU froze so totally that his eyes seemed to ice over with cold morning frost.

After a moment, Iruka added thoughtlessly, his mind in rolling black-red turmoil, his gaze both piercing and unchanging, “Your throat feels good under my hand.”

Even out of his rut, Iruka would have been able to hear the soft, pained gasp that fell from the ANBU’s lips behind his porcelain mask. But, during his rut, Iruka understood the most primal origin of that surprising sound: the other alpha was straining against the early starting signs of want, even while – or perhaps because – he was restrained by chakra wire, being choked, being forced to look Iruka in the eyes.

That primitive reaction from another alpha hadn’t happened in some time to Iruka – because he had stayed inside during his ruts for so long. Still, Iruka couldn’t easily forget his abnormal effect on other alphas when he was in the worst of his rut. He didn’t mean to do it, and it unfolded naturally every time, but it was never expected, by either himself or the other alpha.

Clearly nothing had changed in four years.

Iruka was instinctively demanding deference and submission from the other alpha – again.

And he was getting it – again.

As his clone trapped the ANBU in a vicious headlock, drawing the elite shinobi down into darkness, Iruka released the man and went back for Kakashi’s sword. After he adjusted the blade in his hand for a few moments, he looked back over the now fallen ANBU and found him laying prone in the dirt with his mask flat against the ground.

Trying to gather some of himself – his real self, who he was out of rut – back into existence, Iruka forced his mouth down from a scowl into a more neutral frown.

It had been less than a minute since he’d taken out Izumo and Kotetsu, and they would be awake in short order, and so would the ANBU, and reinforcements would come soon, so –

He followed Kakashi’s trail into the woods.

Kakashi’s enticing omega scent was stronger every step he took into the forest. Iruka felt himself impulsively picking up his pace, even as he worked to confine his alpha scent back inside himself as best he could. He didn’t understand the thickening thread of fear in Kakashi’s scent – it seemed like the anguished crying of something being slowly skinned alive – but it was driving him even more mad than his rut normally did.

Even as he moved deeper into the woods, Iruka angrily wrestled his emotions into place, directing himself not to destroy the possibility of a subtle approach because he was hasty and reckless in his determined hunt. Willing himself to stay in control, he stuffed all the terrible bloodiness of his alpha scent deep inside himself, like he did daily when out of rut.

Kakashi was so close now… and Iruka jumped into the trees, wanting a better vantage point. So very distantly, Iruka could feel his feet complain of unwanted visceral pain, but he had no concerns about his physical form, not a single frayed nerve or the slow scream of his torn muscles. He wasn’t even listening to the throbbing manic insistence that he needed to find Kakashi so he could embrace him, put him down on the ground, fuck him raw, and hear him cry out over and over again.

No, no, no, Iruka wasn’t going to be controlled by any of that. Some of that – most of that – had gotten him here, allowed him to move through Konoha, take down his friends, take out an ANBU, but it wasn’t going to help him through whatever was happening that was causing Kakashi to be so deathly afraid that he was radiating it through his very scent.

He didn’t have that kind of skill – not as a chuunin and Academy teacher.

Iruka was moving quieter now, deadly purpose filling his deepest bone marrow. He could sense Kakashi’s omega scent still doing that keen wail of anguish; it felt like Iruka himself was getting the skin methodically pulled off his fingers one by one. He refused to wince at the sensation. He would not let it distract him. He would not let it make him go mad and turn afraid and become careless and get them both killed.

It was only a few minutes later when Iruka found them.

He saw Kakashi first – because he loved the man.

Silently hiding high up in the tree, Iruka stilled at the unexpected epiphany. The realization brushed through his brain like a ghost sweeping down the hallway, drifting a delicate hand over the wall.

I… actually love…?

But it was all cut short as Iruka noticed the full scene below his distant spot in the tree.

His omega was being held by the collar of – by the collar of one of Iruka’s shirts. Since Iruka had destroyed Kakashi’s shirt, the man was having to wear some of Iruka’s clothing to be dressed at all. The sight was such sweet pain that Iruka could barely handling assessing it further – he loved to his very core the visual of Kakashi in his too-loose shirt – but Iruka forced himself to look further. A massive, over-muscled Mist nin was clutching Kakashi with enormous hands. The other man so disgustingly close to Kakashi’s face that Iruka’s skin was instantly aflame, his face burning hot, far beyond the normal hideous flush of his rut.

The enemy was an alpha, because of course he was: the man emitted a repulsive alpha scent of apples and cinnamon, something that Iruka had thought about very little until this moment. He decided abruptly that he would burn entire apple orchards whenever he had the next opportunity.

He could see that Kakashi wasn’t moving at all.

Iruka finally noticed just why that was: a second alpha was standing directly underneath the tree that Iruka was crouching in, and the man must have had a similar ability to the Nara clan’s Shadow Imitation Technique, because he had caught Kakashi in some sort of paralysis jutsu. A fine glittering line of white chakra strung tight between the second alpha and Kakashi. The man’s hands were held tense in front of him, the diamond-studded line strung between his two index fingers, crossing through the air and catching Kakashi’s wrists first then spreading over his gloved hands. His gloves’ dark fabric and metal Konoha symbol were barely visible under the cobweb of white sparkling chakra. Kakashi’s trapped hands were shoved hard against his own chest by the first alpha, who was further preventing Kakashi from moving by trapping him in a brutal taijutsu hold.

The obscuring scarlet blur of Iruka’s rut was swiftly clearing as if his alpha instincts were newly dedicated to the task ahead of him. He had felt that before, the most recent time being four years ago on the road when he had felt the terrible fog fade away. It was almost like his body had wanted him to fight hard and survive it all so he could go and find relief.

Or was the violence itself a relief? He wasn’t sure. He was never sure.

Iruka shifted Kakashi’s sword in his right hand, bringing the blade in front of him. He carefully put both of his hands on the hilt and turned the weapon upside down.

And then Iruka dropped off the side of the tree – and let go of his chakra control, allowing his blood-soaked alpha scent to swamp the woods below him.

The second alpha instinctively flinched full-body in response. His head whipped up to see Iruka’s descent, his dark eyes going wide in repulsion and shock at the same time. His fingers jerked, the line of white glittering chakra drawing Kakashi forward far away, but the second Mist nin couldn’t release the jutsu in time to protect himself from an aerial assault from such an abnormal-smelling alpha.

Instead, Iruka sunk Kakashi’s tanto deep into the Mist alpha’s right shoulder, pressing the blade into him hard at a diagonal angle, purposefully directing the sword through both of the man’s lungs as well as his heart. His weight and the force of his fall sent the Mist nin sprawling across the ground. Iruka was on top of the man just long enough that he decided to take no chances, forcing Kakashi’s tanto out through the meat and organs of the shinobi, and then back down, twisting the blade terribly right through the man and into the dirt below.

He looked up to find that Kakashi, freed from the mysterious sparkling Mist jutsu, had broken out of the first alpha’s taijutsu hold and had already completed the hand signals for his famous lightning jutsu. The bright blue-white of the Chidori flooded the forest with flashing electric light as Kakashi’s hand and forearm shoved through the Mist nin all the way up to his elbow.

Kakashi was saying something to the other man, but Iruka suddenly fixated on the wet red blood and shreds of flesh hanging onto the tanto sword that he was still holding. He crouched down, using the back of the second alpha’s rough-spun grey shirt to clean the blade. He was so deeply disgusted at the idea of Kakashi’s sword being tainted by Mist blood, and he abruptly found himself obsessed with the need to get the steel clean of any stain of the enemy.

Iruka only glanced up when he realized that Kakashi was approaching him at a too-rapid pace.

They had barely interacted around the village after Kakashi’s heat ended four weeks ago. Even when they had encountered each other about a half-dozen times in public over the last month, Iruka had always been the one to conclude their unexpected meetings. He simply felt far too embarrassed to allow Kakashi the shame of having a low-ranked chuunin lover, especially since nearly everyone – except the Hokage and some of the ANBU – believed, in their heart of hearts, that Iruka was also an omega.

There was one thing more shameful than an alpha who wanted to stay inside the village and teach children for a living, and that was an omega jounin in love with an omega chuunin.

Every time that they had met out in the streets of Konoha over the last month, Iruka had been impressed – and secretly rather saddened – to see that Kakashi maintained his unreadable expression and lazy slouch throughout their conversations. Even though Kakashi’s laid-back and mysterious mannerisms were his life-long norm around the village and everyone else, it was so violently and unbelievably unlike how he had been during his heat with Iruka.

It was certainly not how he had been in Iruka’s apartment last night, all moans and gasps, shaking and shuddering, kissing and writhing...

It had made Iruka feel distant from him, alienated even… even though Iruka knew he was doing the man no favors by ending their encounters every time in such haste.

Ultimately, Iruka imagined that they would seek each other out during heats and ruts, being the strange pair that they were, and that Kakashi’s romantic notion of mates would fade in time, and he would go back to his unusual jounin omega ways, finding one-time lovers with enemy nin and running through all kinds of Konoha alphas.

But – now that Kakashi was out in the woods with him, walking quickly towards Iruka – it was very obvious that Kakashi was not planning on keeping up the façade much longer.

He was wearing Iruka’s white-and-blue dolphin-patterned kitchen dishcloth over half his face, for one.

Kakashi also had on Iruka’s discarded blue shirt from earlier in the week, the one that Iruka had soaked through with sweat during his barrier ward training; Kakashi must have taken it out of the dirty clothes bin in Iruka’s apartment. But Kakashi didn’t have on a flak jacket – because Iruka had destroyed that, too, along with his shirt – but he did have his hitai-ate shoved high into his silver hair. He had the sheath of his tanto on his side, although Iruka was holding onto the forgotten blade itself.

Shaking trying to stand, Iruka was surprised he had actually found Kakashi… and that Kakashi was wearing his old sweaty shirt and last year’s birthday present from his pre-genin class.

He was also unprepared for his eternally unpredictable omega’s response to seeing him again.

Closing in on him with obscene speed, Kakashi grabbed Iruka’s shoulder and the back of his neck, roughly wrenching them together. Suddenly the kitchen dish-cloth was gone, and Kakashi’s mouth was so anxiously and thrillingly on his own that Iruka felt like he was a doe-eyed omega being swept away by a big beautiful alpha coming home from battle.

Kakashi was indecently forceful: his tongue was deep inside of Iruka’s mouth as if he wanted to memorize the man from the inside out. His hand dropped from Iruka’s yukata-clad shoulder to grab Iruka’s barely-clad ass, forcing their bodies together, and Kakashi was unrepentant about grinding himself around Iruka’s swiftly responding arousal. He said absolutely nothing, barely seemed to be breathing, and chased Iruka through the bloody mess of his rut and alpha scent like he was something rare and lovely and divine.

Feeling confusingly overwhelmed, Iruka had to use physical force to get away from Kakashi, but he could only manage to get their mouths apart. Kakashi was soon ducking his head down, kissing the long slope of Iruka’s neck with real frenzied attention, acting as if he hadn’t recognized Iruka was trying to detach from him. The achingly pleasant feel of their bodies together again – and Kakashi’s sweet devoted kisses on his skin – distracted Iruka for a few more seconds before he finally could muster out his hoarse, desperate question, “Why did you leave?”

Kakashi pulled back, his Sharingan shut and his black eye fixed on Iruka’s gaze. His expression was nothing like it was around the village; there was not a shred of bored indifference to be seen. Instead, he looked conflicted, like he’d had to decide to amputate an arm to survive close combat and was now regretting everything that had led him to this point in his life.

Stilling his frightfully ardent body against Iruka’s, Kakashi sounded pained, even as he visibly appeared remarkably unafraid. “Gai’s missing,” he explained, unable to look away from Iruka. “ANBU came to the house to see if he was with me, and we realized he’s missing.”

Iruka could feel dangerous tension returning to Kakashi’s form with their bodies still flush against each other. He dropped his free hand – the other was still holding Kakashi’s tanto rather far from its owner, so as to not hurt him – and grabbed Kakashi’s shoulder, instinctively moving to comfort the omega. But Iruka realized that he was stroking his own sweat-scented shirt over Kakashi’s ANBU tattoo, and his world went a little tilted, like he’d had too much fine sake and the street seemed an ideal place to sleep it off until sunrise.

His head swimming dizzily, Iruka heard himself say, “Gai’s over there. Northwest of here.”

He could see Kakashi’s single dark eye trying to understand Iruka’s muddled gaze, and then the omega jounin was turning around slightly, trying to sense out his friend’s scent in the forest.

As always, Kakashi’s breath was fearfully controlled, but his omega scent was still doing the small-animal-being-skinned-alive silent scream, and it felt so much worse being close to him while it continued to writhe and shriek.

Before he knew what he was doing, Iruka found his left hand gripping Kakashi far too hard on the man’s bicep, and then he was saying in a rough, mindless way, “He’s alone, he’s alive.” Falling forward, he breathed hard against Kakashi’s collarbone, trying to keep himself from taking in huge gasping swallows of air. He found himself begging aloud in a low shaking voice, “Please stop panicking. He’s fine. He’s going to be fine.”

Kakashi startled. It was an exceptionally strange thing to feel him startle – but what was even more unsettling was how very rapidly the fear dominating his omega scent vanished entirely.

Iruka felt himself going limp against Kakashi out of pure relief, and the other man’s arms were soon holding up upright, taking all of his weight and the burden of his hurried hunt. Kakashi gave a small, breathy laugh against Iruka’s neck, and he pressed a soft kiss against the sweat-slick skin there. After a moment of Iruka further relaxing in his arms, Kakashi murmured, both amused and apologetic, “I didn’t think it showed.”

“What showed?” Iruka asked as he pulled himself back, moving his hand and rubbing the tension out of his tormented face. He squinted through his fingers at Kakashi, who gave him a little lop-sided smile before he returned the dolphin dish-cloth over his face to cover his expression.

“How scared I am for Gai,” Kakashi explained easily. He glanced down at his sword still clutched in Iruka’s hand. His voice turned warm and fond, even though he was speaking at a quick clip, obviously intending on moving soon. But he was all sorts of affection and satisfaction as he said quietly, “Thank you for bringing my father’s tanto.”

Already turning the blade over to present to Kakashi in a formal manner, the sword flat across both his hands, Iruka ducked his head a little, feeling inexplicably embarrassed. “Of course,” he said under his breath, and he was surprised by the new flush of heat that flew to his cheeks as Kakashi took his tanto back with gentle hands. Iruka watched him give a cursory look over the blade before he sheathed it properly; he felt strangely caught when Kakashi’s single-eyed gaze flicked back to his face, and the man obviously smiled under his dolphin dishcloth mask.

“You amaze me,” Kakashi admitted with a strength and clarity far out of Iruka’s reach. Not letting Iruka respond, not that he thought he really could, not to that, not to such a fascinating and confusing omega, Kakashi grabbed Iruka’s newly free hand and pulled them northwest in the direction where Iruka could sense Maito Gai’s diminished alpha scent.

He knew Gai’s scent even out of rut. The taijutsu master was thick incense smoke trapped inside an indoor training arena: he smelled so theatrically masculine that Iruka had pinned him long ago as the ideal alpha in both scent and behavior. Since he and Gai were perfectly dissimilar, Iruka had always felt that Gai showed that he was quite lacking in comparison.

It was all the worse that Gai had taken the village’s only omega jounin into his protective embrace – well, as best he could, because Kakashi was never going to be contained.

Iruka had heard the rumors for years, that Kakashi got fucked by enemy nin and then killed them, and that Gai kept things from going too wild. Many in Konoha privately thought that some truly powerful alpha should put Kakashi in his proper place as an omega; Iruka had certainly never been one of them. He worried about Kakashi’s safety, perhaps a little bit more than he did for the alphas who left in defense of Konoha, but his concern was more due to the dreadful loneliness of such Kakashi’s existence. The man’s life seemed that of a maligned yet exploited jounin omega – someone used for his elite shinobi skills but excluded and disrespected for his natural state of being.

He himself hated going through betas during his ruts: throughout Iruka’s life, there had been a long series of beta men and women who he couldn’t focus on and could never care about, especially not during the horror of his hormonal turmoil.

Iruka had always felt empty after his ruts… relieved but empty.

He had always secretly imagined that Kakashi might feel the same… the singular strange omega jounin who smelled like the Konoha woods after the rain.

After a few hundred yards, Iruka had to redirect Kakashi to where he could smell Gai, and he did so wordlessly. He had Kakashi trailing slightly behind him as he moved forward with sudden determination to reunite the omega – his omega – with his old friend. They didn’t have to go too terribly far before Kakashi slipped his hand from Iruka’s fingers and flitted ahead with what must have been a truly remarkable Body Flicker Jutsu had Iruka been able to catch it.

He came upon them about a minute later: Kakashi was easily spotted, of course, but so was Gai, wearing his usual vibrant green attire with a duller flak jacket but bright orange calf leggings. The man stood out frightfully in the dark Konoha forest. He was laying prone on his back; he wasn’t moving. By the time that Iruka came to a stop by the pair, he realized that Kakashi had already thoroughly progressed through a genjutsu-countering jutsu – because that’s what had happened to Maito Gai, Konoha’s Green Beast.

He had been laid low by genjutsu.

Iruka lowered himself by Gai’s left side, parallel to Kakashi, and looked towards the other man who was still wearing his kitchen dishcloth. The omega jounin was running through hand formations with such exquisite skill that Iruka considered inviting him to be a guest speaker at the Academy to show his little pre-genin just how graceful and effortless it could be done. But Iruka’s gaze soon drifted back to Gai, studying the other alpha, trying to remember that the two of them were the same in the ridiculous hierarchy of things. He felt tremendously unlike Maito Gai in all kinds of ways, but deep compassion flowed through him seeing the fallen alpha so totally trapped by genjutsu.

He leaned over and gently touched Gai’s hair, picking a stray twig from the dark shiny locks. Iruka found himself fixing Gai’s silly but admirable bowl-cut from its new terrible messy condition. He was smiling before he knew it: he felt just a little soft and fond for the other alpha. It was difficult thing to be born so strange, but Gai did it with excessive pride and energy, even if he had the perfect alpha scent to lord over the others… though he never did, Iruka suddenly realized.

What a good… guy.

And then there was a sword at Iruka’s throat.

He slanted a slow look over his shoulder, but Kakashi had already caught the weapon and was holding it perfectly still, not letting the blade go any further into Iruka’s skin. The silver-haired man was halfway standing; his attention wasn’t on Iruka but on the Konoha ANBU holding the sword itself. Kakashi’s voice was calm but dark as he spoke in a slow, dry drawl, “Now, now, kouhai. The Academy needs Iruka-sensei.”

The ANBU just barely looked at Kakashi, his dark eyes flickering over to Kakashi’s half-covered expression. Iruka saw the very second that the elite shinobi noticed the absurd thing that Kakashi was using to conceal his face: the man’s right eye twitched almost imperceptibly. He seemed profoundly confused, but he seemed to acquiesce in some silent way, because Kakashi released the sword hilt and the ANBU returned the weapon to its sheath on his back.

Iruka shifted his stance while remaining kneeling by Gai as he took stock of the new ANBU beside him. He had the distant realization he must look utterly unfamiliar to his fellow Konoha shinobi. His dark brown hair was down to his shoulders, loosely framing his scarred face, when he perpetually kept it up in a pony-tail in the village. He was also not wearing a shred of shinobi clothing, still very much in his open untied New Year’s cherry blossom yukata and a pair of dark blue boxers, even though the fabric of both were now bloodied and dirt-stained. Although Iruka’s gaze never left the new ANBU, he finally noticed that he had broken three toes on his left foot from his jump to the perimeter wall – and the other ANBU had partially ripped off the sleeve of his yukata when trying to get him into the taijutsu hold.

Kakashi was speaking with the ANBU, but Iruka wasn’t hearing a word.

He was noticing other things now. Kakashi’s sweet omega scent was back under full control, no longer showing the faintest sign of fear for Gai. It was impossible to tell if he actually felt reassured upon finding his friend or if he was just restraining himself better. As Kakashi continued his light but rapid dialogue with the other man, Iruka was realizing that the ANBU had his own unusual scent, one that suddenly attracted literally every last bit of Iruka’s attention.

The other man was also an alpha, that much was obvious. He smelled like wood. Not like the woods, not like Konoha forest, not like Kakashi did, but like freshly cut lumber ready to be burned in the fireplace. Iruka couldn’t place the exact tree: it seemed to change by the very second, sometimes being pine, sometimes maple, sometimes oak. He didn’t care so much about that, though, because there was another peculiar challenge resting deep within the ANBU’s alpha scent. It was something that Iruka hadn’t experienced in all the long tedious days since he had first presented as an alpha years ago.

There was a distinct warping of the ANBU’s alpha scent as he spoke in a near soundless tone to Kakashi. His body was angled towards the omega jounin; his face and voice were fully directed towards Kakashi. He was holding himself tense, evidently displeased with the Mist ambush and finding Gai unconscious within the genjutsu, but there was another slight serrated edge to the man that was tugging on Iruka’s very core.

Finally, after a few moments, Iruka understood what he was sensing.

But, instead of acting on his discovery, he announced, keeping still, “The third Mist nin is about a hundred yards northeast.”

Kakashi and the other ANBU both looked at him. Sinister pleasure filled Kakashi’s face for only a second before he went deliberately expressionless again. He nodded his head in appreciation towards Iruka before he gestured more sharply towards the ANBU. “Let’s go, Tenzou, he’s a sensor during rut,” Kakashi explained with effortless ease and precision before he launched himself in the direction that Iruka was detecting the final Mist shinobi.

The other ANBU – apparently named Tenzou – hesitated only a moment, but Iruka stayed trained on him and had since the other alpha had put the sword to his throat. They nearly made eye contact, but then Tenzou suddenly disappeared, following Kakashi with surreal silence and skill.

Iruka found himself very curious as to what he ought to do about his newfound knowledge, but then he heard Maito Gai make a rather garbled sound of struggle. Quickly looking back at him, Iruka realized that whatever counter-jutsu that Kakashi had attempted was working – just incredibly slowly. Gai’s eyes were screwed up tight, and his hands were now fists shaking at his sides. He crunched his teeth together, his mouth twisting in fierce resistance to the jutsu.

Gai shook his head after a few moments, growing increasingly aggravated. Then, chasing all the dark thoughts right out of Iruka’s head, out of nowhere Gai half-groaned, half-shouted, “I will not accept death this day!” He slammed his right hand back down on the ground, sending a small spray of soil into the air. He declared loudly as he fought to open his eyes, “I may bleed from a thousand wounds, but I will not die, not this way, not today!”

It was instantly clear what was happening: Iruka’s alpha scent had invaded the genjutsu.

He felt slight embarrassment – and a strange pride – that his bloody nonsense of an alpha scent had enough strength and power during his rut to force its way into the fading genjutsu.

After all, he did smell like death incarnate.

Fresh blood and funeral lilies.

“It’s going to be fine, Gai,” Iruka tried to say comfortingly. He placed an unsteady hand on Gai’s forearm as he kneeled beside the enormous man. He internally fought off the scarlet fog so he could reassure his omega’s injured best friend; he didn’t want to fight Gai, but he did truly want to chase after Kakashi again and pull him back to keep him nearby.

But he knew that wasn’t what Kakashi needed. No, his omega needed Iruka to stay with his genjutsu-trapped friend. And so that’s what he would do.

Upon hearing Iruka’s voice, Gai became immensely more alert. He moved his right hand to his face, using calloused fingers to physically force open one eye so he could see Iruka. His black eye dilated upon discovering Iruka hovering beside him, and his expression crinkled with such sorrow that Iruka wondered just what he’d thought he had seen.

Gai slapped his hand over his face and released a wailing moan, “Oh no! You’re here, too, Iruka-sensei!” He shook his head dramatically, and Iruka was rather alarmed to discover that the other man had started weeping uncontrollably.

“Kakashi will be so devastated! His rival and his mate – dead on the same day!” Gai sighed heavily through his exclamation, sounding broken. He struggled to bring up his other hand, which Iruka let go in awkward surprise, and then he covered his entire face with both hands, unable to hold himself back from convulsing full-body sobs.

Before Iruka could manage to say a thing, ridiculously flustered during his already confusing rut, Gai suddenly sat upwards and grabbed both of Iruka’s shoulders. Keeping his eyes tightly closed, the huge man jerked Iruka back and forth like he was a weak little kitten. Bursting into a fresh tirade of tears, Gai cried out near Iruka’s shocked face, “And he just loves you so much!”

Iruka’s face immediately flushed. He could feel heat spread across his scar; he began blinking in surprise. He went limp from shock in Gai’s grip, which accidentally gave the other alpha permission to wrench Iruka into the most bone-crushing embrace of his life. He could simply not handle the smoky sweet hell of Gai’s alpha scent with his face shoved into Gai’s sweaty spandex. Unfortunately, however, Iruka did not remotely have the strength or ability to get out of what amounted to a passionate taijutsu grapping hold.

He felt his alpha scent responding instinctively to his discomfort, and he couldn’t manage to control it. The bloodshed of his smell thickened, causing Gai to become motionless before he promptly dropped Iruka from his arms and started physically checking himself for new wounds.

Watching the other alpha struggle under the genjutsu, Iruka wondered faintly why he didn’t feel jealous and possessive of Kakashi around Gai. The two men had a remarkably intense, even intimate relationship. Even in death, Gai was undeniably concerned for Kakashi’s well-being, right after being sorry that he himself had died. Similarly, while Iruka had previously thought that Kakashi’s omega scent was wavering in fear because Kakashi was afraid for his own life, it was actually Kakashi’s overwhelming concern for his missing friend.

As Gai suddenly surrendered to his imaginary wounds by falling back down flat to the ground, Iruka couldn’t help but smile wistfully to himself. He was realizing that he didn’t feel jealous of Gai now, not anymore. He certainly had for years… but, now, having taken Kakashi a dozen times and having held the wondrous omega jounin in his arms, he instead felt overwhelming gratitude towards Gai for his life-long friendship with Kakashi.

He could not say the same about the ANBU Tenzou.

Iruka turned his head to look where Kakashi and Tenzou had headed after the third Mist nin. As if on cue, he was rewarded with the excruciatingly pleasing sight of his silver-haired lover emerging from the woods. Unable to restrain himself even further, Iruka met him halfway; he was so terribly relieved when Kakashi ditched the dishcloth again, and they crashed together into a powerful kiss. Seemingly wanting to match Iruka’s rut-enhanced alpha scent, Kakashi himself reeked of blood with a new clumsy spray of crimson across Iruka’s training shirt, but neither of them really noticed the sight or smell.

Instead, Iruka was suddenly pressing Kakashi against the nearest tree, dragging the other man’s right leg upwards towards his hip, pushing against him with all his strength. He was impossibly pleased to hear Kakashi’s breathless panting by his right ear, to feel Kakashi moving against him in careless desire. He instinctively abandoned Kakashi’s lips to trace the line of his throat with kisses before he started sucking on the sensitive skin always covered by Kakashi’s high-necked shirts, now fully exposed while wearing Iruka’s clothing.

He paused his admiration of Kakashi’s bare neck when the omega jounin breathily said to him, “Tenzou will take care of the bodies and get Gai to the hospital.” Upon hearing the other alpha’s name, Iruka found himself suddenly biting hard down on the crook of Kakashi’s neck and shoulder, causing the man to shudder in pained delight against him. Kakashi’s voice went darker and more desperate as he made his promise. “We’ll be home soon.”

Iruka stepped away, allowing Kakashi a moment of respite. He took keen malicious pleasure in seeing his effect on his omega: Kakashi was already disheveled, dirtied, and bloodied, but now he had the dreamy half-satisfied look of a man willing and waiting to get fucked. He had pulled down his hitai-ate before seeing Iruka again, but with the dishcloth gone, Iruka could see a loose smile slide across Kakashi’s kiss-bruised mouth.

Gesturing back towards Gai, Iruka carefully watched Kakashi as he remarked, “He thinks he’s dead, and that I am, too… he’s worried that you’re going to be sad with both of us gone.”

He was pleasantly surprised to see Kakashi’s expression – which had looked dazed from their sudden kissing – transform into one of distant embarrassment. The omega jounin replaced his dishcloth mask, passed Iruka with little more than a pat on his shoulder, and dropped down beside his friend. He immediately started up his genjutsu-countering again, his facial features settling back into his usual visage of serious contemplation and detached indifference all at once.

Kakashi was quite occupied as he tended to Gai, which suited Iruka just fine.

Because he was already walking away towards the northeast where he could detect Tenzou’s mutated alpha scent of shifting wood.

He wanted to have a word with the other man.

Because he knew that both of them had fucked Kakashi – and Iruka had just decided he was never going to share his omega with anyone ever again.

Chapter Text

He smelled Tenzou long before he saw the other man. Iruka’s vision was sharpening by the second, the scarlet fog vanishing, replaced with crystal clarity. While walking through Konoha’s forest, he ripped off more of his torn sleeve and pressed his fingers through the dead Mist’s blood saturating the bottom of his yukata. He wrote out kanji letters with exceptional ease on the slip of fabric, his diligence to his cause making him utterly unbothered that he was using blood to make an improvised seal. Iruka had completed the task before him more than a few times, and even once or twice with his own blood, but he had never used enemy nin blood.

While rolling the strip of pink-and-white cloth in his hand, Iruka lifted his gaze to seek out Tenzou visually, not just by smell. The ANBU’s alpha scent was still shifting and changing by the second, speeding through different wood types at an increasing pace. He could tell the man hadn’t moved since Kakashi had left him and returned to Iruka. Tenzou was not imagining that he needed keep his guard up with the three-man Mist team so thoroughly taken out.

After passing through the forest for some time, Iruka found the masked ANBU standing over a dead Mist nin, clearly in deep contemplation about the corpse.

The dead man himself smelled like fresh rosemary, but Iruka’s concentration was fully fixed on the living man from his own village.

Knowing he had to contain himself, Iruka had trapped his alpha scent behind fierce but shaking walls. He walked forward with a confident stormy stride, one that was more stalking than anything else. Just as he instructed his pre-genin students, just as he did during his chuunin trials, Iruka took in everything before him. Although still very much an ANBU in a white-and-crimson mask and elite shinobi gear, Tenzou was undeniably distracted. He was wounded on the left shoulder with blood still oozing from the clean cut, but his hands were down at his sides, apparently unconcerned by the fresh injury. Unlike when Iruka had first met him moments ago, Tenzou now smelled more like burning wood, the consequence of raging through a battle.

As Iruka further neared him, he absorbed everything on the other alpha. More awful fascinating details poured out, all stumbling to the surface, crying out their confessions one by one. Tenzou was not only an alpha but a strong one; he had presented long ago, and he had no trouble with the hormonal part of his existence. His rut was only weeks away; he was itching for more than a fight, but he didn’t really know that, not consciously. Tenzou was breathing easily, but his skin was covered in a fine sheen of drying sweat. He had an ache from an earlier mission in his left leg that was bothering him again. And Tenzou felt uncomfortable and confused by –

Well, by Iruka, most certainly.

Tenzou looked up suddenly when he finally noticed Iruka standing in the clearing with him. Behind his sleek porcelain ANBU mask, his dark eyes widened incrementally, and Iruka watched him his cool demeanor start to shift. He was instinctively pulling back into a defensive stance even as he inquired, perplexed and surprised, “Iruka-sensei?”

Iruka could feel fire in his veins. He was all too willing to unleash it on the other alpha, but Tenzou was a skilled ANBU, a fast-moving and remarkably strong elite shinobi. Iruka wasn’t as dazedly maddened as he had been a half-hour ago when he used clone jutsus and chakra wire on the first ANBU, but he still felt an overwhelming fury fighting inside him, struggling viciously to the surface. He didn’t like the feeling, not at all, but he violently agreed with its intent.

He wasn’t going to share Kakashi anymore.

Iruka made his slow approach to the increasingly wary Tenzou, who, like any good Konoha shinobi seeing a comrade, showed no desire to strike his fellow first. The ANBU appeared well aware that Iruka’s bewildering arrival was not meant to be a pleasant one for him, but he couldn’t seem to identify Iruka’s motivations, so he stood quite still and watched Iruka walk towards him. Having imagined that Tenzou would do exactly what he was now doing, Iruka kept his brutally aching body under harsh restraint. He needed to be as calm and composed as possible… which was nearly impossible under the roiling conditions of his rut.

Still, Iruka demanded the severest control over himself… like he had to do every day around the village as he hid himself as an alpha in the crowd.

He could pretend here, too.

Tenzou stiffened and turned his head to track him as Iruka stepped by his side and looked down at the dead Mist genjutsu-user at their feet. The ANBU kept both his gaze and attention fastened on Iruka like fine metal hooks dug deeply into his flesh. Tenzou was beyond tense: even his alpha scent had picked up, shifting even more oddly, which only accelerated Iruka’s unease and irritation with the other man.

But he wouldn’t be tricked into acting rashly.

Iruka knew he looked even more disheveled now than he had before. His lips were red from kissing, his scarred cheeks flushed from his rough handling of Kakashi against the tree. He had torn his right pink-and-white yukata sleeve off almost entirely, exposing the sharp muscles of his tan-skinned shoulder and bicep. He could feel the slow cool of the fading sunlight comforting the rut-heated skin of his bare chest and abdomen, his legs and feet, his neck and face.

Without warning, Iruka slapped the cherry blossom yukata seal on Tenzou’s neck.

As Tenzou jerked away from him, instantly reaching to claw off the seal from his skin, Iruka was already sweeping his legs out from under him. The ANBU tried to right himself, but Iruka slammed a clenched fist into his armored stomach, knocking the breath out of the other man. Tenzou went to snatch Iruka’s shoulder – or maybe his neck – but the seal was sweeping into effect at the very same moment, sending bright red kanji letters all across his skin.

Iruka watched with vague satisfaction as Tenzou hastily changed strategies when he landed hard on his back. He was breaking the sound barrier moving through a jutsu to counter the seal – but he didn’t notice it wasn’t an ordinary seal – and Iruka was already flying the motions of his specialized jutsu. He could see Tenzou’s dark eyes go terribly wide as the blood seal blocked Tenzou’s predicted counter-jutsu; he could see the realization dawn on Tenzou that his movement had been perfectly anticipated, which Iruka exploited to his own advantage.

The seal did its job: it stopped the chakra flow for a single jutsu. The kanji vanished, expended.

The seal had stopped Tenzou for just a moment.

The chakra wire was the real love of Iruka’s life. His blue chakra was emitting unexpected electric sparks as if inspired by Kakashi’s Chidori. The bright threads lashed up and across Tenzou’s hands, crashing them together, then continued upwards, racing over his armored arms. The wire went wilder than Iruka had intended, forcing Tenzou’s elbows hard together in front of his chest, smashing his forearms together, and keeping his hands stuck in the middle of jutsu formation.

Before Tenzou could launch himself to his feet, Iruka precisely jammed his fingers into several pressure points low on the man’s body. He wasn’t even relieved when he witnessed Tenzou’s legs go numb and then lifeless. He had expected the reaction, he needed it to do what he wanted.

Iruka dropped down on top of the other man, straddling his thighs with his bare legs, and shoved Tenzou further into the ground using the chakra-wire thickly trapping Tenzou’s hands and arms. He moved his face over the other alpha’s ANBU mask, making sure that their eyes were locked on each other like he had wanted to do before. With one hand, Iruka thrust Tenzou’s bound arms over the man’s shoulder, holding them there. He kept his other hand flat on the ground by Tenzou’s masked face and held their chests apart by a few inches.

“You’ve fucked Kakashi,” Iruka announced, hearing the dark displeasure in his voice and not remotely minding its existence. He watched Tenzou’s eyes flicker between his own for a second before his gaze narrowed almost imperceptibly. It was a silent confirmation of what he sensed in the other alpha’s scent when he had stood beside and spoken to Kakashi minutes earlier.

He closed some of the limited distance between them, determined to be heard and stare deep into Tenzou’s dark eyes as he spoke to him. Iruka found he was almost snarling as he stressed down upon the other man who he was straddling, “You will never touch him again.” He yanked Tenzou up by the chakra wire, nearly causing them to collide foreheads, an unexpected maneuver that made the other alpha flinch in surprise.

Iruka allowed himself to be more generous for a moment, knowing it wasn’t Tenzou’s fault that Iruka had recently fallen for Kakashi. So he said more evenly, controlling the unsettled furious tone of his voice, “I accept that you had him before me…” Iruka’s voice turned into cold steel as he promised without pause, “But I will kill you if you touch him again.”

He observed a drowned look of understanding saturate Tenzou’s dark eyes through his red-lined white-porcelain ANBU mask. Keeping his own legs pressed tightly to either side of the man’s thighs, Iruka hovered bodily over the other alpha. He waited with great impatience for Tenzou to agree that he would stay away from Kakashi… but he soon faced the gradual recognition that the ANBU was not going to reply to him.

Iruka was not going to permit a silent surrender, not when his life with Kakashi was at stake. He could feel his rut making him reckless, and he glowered mostly at himself. He felt agonizingly hot and bothered, even with his yukata open and so much of his skin bare. Iruka wanted badly to wipe his forehead where he could feel sweat forming, but instead he let his aggravation get the best of him, and he snapped down at Tenzou with a rough edge to his voice, “Where are your manners? You should answer me.

And yet – Tenzou only stared up at him through his mask.

Iruka found himself suddenly, sharply, impossibly incredulous. He moved his hand rapidly and wrenched the ANBU mask off of Tenzou’s face, flinging it aside into the forest. He poured his furious gaze down on the other man…

… and noticed a soft blush filling Tenzou’s face.

They stared at each other far longer than they should have, but Iruka was caught terribly off-guard, and Tenzou, still very much restrained, was in a distinct state of arousal and shock.

The man had remarkably almond-shaped black eyes and thin brown eyebrows. He had a similar shade of skin to most shinobi and civilians in Konoha, but his cheeks were flushed a faint pink. Now that Iruka was concentrating down on him more fully, he realized that Tenzou’s strange alpha scent had gone unnervingly stagnant and was no longer shifting and swirling about. Furthermore, the man’s whole body had gone still. His gaze was set unchanging on Iruka.

Iruka had already understood that Tenzou was a truly serious man, someone not easily disturbed.

He had naively not considered what he in his rut might to do the other man…

Before he even followed what he was doing, Iruka leaned down to slot his face by Tenzou’s neck and shoulder. Still straddling the other alpha, he breathed deeply at Tenzou’s newly exposed jawline, taking in an insanely detailed impression of his alpha scent. He hummed low in his throat as he considered the truly peculiar smell of the man.

Finally, Iruka remarked, dark and contemplative, “Your scent is so interesting.”

Tenzou only whimpered in response… a very soft sound of desire.

Slowly moving backwards, Iruka glanced down at the ANBU’s fully revealed expression. He was fascinated to find that Tenzou’s blush had deepened steadily, and he was now closely watching Iruka with a lost, captivated look.

Iruka slid his fingers from Tenzou’s bound arms to catch the edge of the alpha’s chin. He was truly impressed with the man’s pitch-black eyes: his own were much lighter in hue. He found he rather liked the shape of Tenzou’s eyes… very unusual, nearly perfect ovals.

He lowered himself down to stare at them even closer.

As he did so, Tenzou’s eyes were widening fantastically as a dark pink blush covered his face.

Tenzou was breathing soundlessly but so very hard that Iruka found their chests just barely joining together, his own sweaty bare skin brushing against Tenzou’s coarse ANBU flak jacket.

Iruka only realized their lips were nearly touching when he heard something by his side.

Slowly glancing up, he found Kakashi staring at him with a dark but unreadable expression only about fifteen feet away. The silver-haired man was standing still, and his gaze was stationary, secured on Iruka’s turned face. Kakashi’s Konoha hitai-ate was up in his hair with both his black eye and the Sharingan exposed: he was blatantly absorbing what he was seeing, memorizing it for all time. His stance was rather loose, but Iruka could tell that it was all a clever deception.

Kakashi was unsettled. He was upset. He was angry.

Iruka stepped away from Tenzou and ended the chakra restraint jutsu as he stood. He was just now catching that it had happened again – he had slipped into his disorienting daze of demanding deference from another alpha. He had trapped Tenzou in the reeling lust of his rut-enhanced scent. Iruka didn’t dare look down at the other alpha; he imagined the ANBU was still flushed and pitifully bewildered by what had just occurred between them.

Kakashi presented absolutely no omega scent; his chakra control was immaculate.

Iruka knew that Kakashi never concealed his omega scent – ever.

Not around Iruka, not strolling through the village, not on missions.

The absence was dizzying, skin-crawling, stomach-churning.

Iruka could feel hot shame running through him. He dropped his gaze away from Kakashi’s too-compelling eyes, and he worked his tongue in his frightfully dry mouth. He finally managed to declare “I’m going home” before he started walking forward, knowing all too well that he would have to pass the jounin omega to get back to Konoha.

Without even looking up, Iruka could feel Kakashi’s piercing stare tearing into him. Each step was a mystifying sort of hell that he’d never encountered before – it was so much worse than his oblivious run into the woods when chasing Kakashi. He found himself cringing as he became parallel with the other man. For some inexplicable reason, he paused there, running a shaking hand through his irritatingly loose hair.

Iruka forced himself to glance at Kakashi – and he realized the omega was staring straight at him with an impossibly intense but utterly unreadable expression.

He felt his scarred cheeks flush as he endured eye contact with Kakashi and his Sharingan. Without thinking, Iruka muttered under his breath, “You don’t have to come back with me.” Then he turned away rapidly, unable to handle the lack of response from Kakashi – or the very real possibility of Kakashi answering him.

It felt like only a second later, but Iruka realized sharply that he had been moving for a while.

He slowed down, more than mystified, as he reconceived his surroundings. Without even the slightest awareness, he had returned to Konoha through both the forest and the perimeter wall. Iruka couldn’t remember if he had passed Gai – or the first ANBU – or Kotetsu and Izumo. He crouched down on a red-slated roof-top, both of his hands covering his face, his fingers tightly gripping the start of his hairline. He was reeling, spiraling, falling through his thoughts. He couldn’t keep track of what had happened – had he walked here? run? sprinted? used a Body Flicker jutsu?

What seemed like a moment later, Iruka pulled his hands aside.

The four white-masked ANBU around him did not shift at his movement.

Iruka instantly located the leader of the four-man team: he wasn’t any larger than the others or acting any differently, but the empty space of his chakra-controlled alpha scent was massive. Although all four were staring at Iruka through their masks, the captain of the team had a penetrating gaze that was pitiless in its strength. Iruka sustained eye contact without the slightest bit of feeling left in him. He was still partially back in the woods, his heart stabbed through by Kakashi’s unknowable stare and his exposed Sharingan.

He didn’t move when the ANBU captain said in a level tone, “We’re here to escort you back to your apartment, Iruka-sensei.”

Iruka blinked. New sweat had formed on his brow, and he pushed it away. He just barely caught sight of his torn yukata sleeve, and he fixated on it for a bit too long, recalling how he’d torn it further to make a blood seal to threaten his rival. He felt himself wincing at the recent memory, and he turned his gaze downwards, inspecting his badly broken toes of his left foot. Three were visibly crushed and reddened. He was missing the nail of his pinkie toe.

He really couldn’t feel a thing, though.

The ANBU on his left moved an inch forward.

Iruka was standing on instinct, staring down at the other man. The ANBU was an alpha, but his scent was fanatically chakra-controlled, as if he expected even the slightest whiff would send Iruka into a fantastic rage. But Iruka could tell the ANBU was young, young, young: his inexperience was showing in the sweat on his exposed skin, the slight shake of his chest as he breathed, the subtle but screaming distress in his defensive stance.

Iruka thought briefly about kicking him in the face.

To his right, the ANBU captain warned in a low voice, “Iruka-sensei...”

Still staring at the young shinobi, Iruka announced, as clearly as he could, “I am going home.”

He felt his lips desperately trying to curl into a snarl, but he forced himself to stay calm, which was such a practical impossibility it seemed hysterically laughable.

But he finally reined himself in.

Iruka turned back to the ANBU captain and added quietly, “Get away from me.”

The lead ANBU seemed to stay just as still as before, but he was certainly contemplating their next move. A single stray second passed, and then he nodded curtly, only once, and the four-man ANBU team vanished straight away, like they had never been there at all.

Iruka returned to his apartment with barely a thought in his mind. He reconstructed his ward jutsu at full force, winding in a few new slick barriers that would keep him inside for another night. He couldn’t make out much of his apartment with the blinds and curtains closed and the prominent lack of lights on in his home, so he wandered through the space on muscle memory alone.

The shower was dead black inside as Iruka slid his ruined yukata off his shoulders and stripped himself of his bloodied boxers. He stepped inside the shower before it was on, not feeling the cold strike him nor the subsequent scalding heat. He stood for a while, looking at nothing, before he slipped down the back of the shower and sat down against the wall.

Unaware of the passage of time, Iruka only knew that he had drawn up his legs to his naked chest and had pressed his head into his knees, utilizing his riotous body for stability as best he could.

He could very distantly feel the pounding water crashing against his head, his shoulders. He rubbed his scarred cheek against his kneecaps, trying to revive sensation in his numb skin, but he couldn’t find a single shredded nerve wanting to return to life. Instead, Iruka felt strangely carved and hollowed out like he’d left half his soul in the forest outside Konoha. He barely understood the emotional anguish crossing his face – or that he was actually crying – but he finally noticed both things after a while.

Iruka thought for a moment that he’d moved his fingers to touch his forehead – but he realized with insane and terrifying suddenness that Kakashi was in the shower with him.

He lurched his gaze up to meet Kakashi’s, but the other man was focused on Iruka’s unkempt hair soaked through with hot water. Kakashi had shut his Sharingan; his single black eye was doing the visual caressing of Iruka’s dark hair, following where his long lean fingers were working through various tangles. He was mysteriously nude: his beautiful scars were all on fine display, the little light pink ones and the deep cut crevices. He had a few new scratches from rushing through the forest. His chest wore an unbecoming blossoming bruise of gold, brown, and black where the Mist nin had crushed his fists into Kakashi’s sternum.

And he was still not revealing his omega scent, his chakra control impeccable.

Kakashi spoke effortlessly in a slow thoughtful way as he continued to look above Iruka’s panicked but frozen gaze, “I’ve never seen Tenzou like that.”

Iruka stiffened all over when Kakashi leaned forward into him, his bare bruised chest meeting Iruka’s knees. Kakashi’s lips found Iruka’s right ear as his fingers rolled down Iruka’s left arm like keen-edged knives promising to kill. His voice was dark but terribly soft as he murmured, “He wanted you to fuck him.”

Kakashi’s wet tongue slowly traced the curve of Iruka’s ear before he whispered, his curiosity sounding horrifyingly dangerous, “Did you want to fuck him, Iruka?”

Iruka stared, wide-eyed and filled with irrepressible fear, at the visible part of Kakashi’s expertly blank expression, the rest of the omega’s face in the thick of his water-drenched hair. He was shaking against the other man, and he only barely managed to stretch out his arms to weakly grip both of Kakashi’s sides. He couldn’t catch his breath at all as he confessed in a harsh, clumsy rush, “I told him that I would kill him if he touched you ever again.”

Kakashi stopped moving, a real and painful obvious change with Iruka shuddering against him. The omega’s breath was steady and soft against Iruka’s ear, but his hand stopped drifting down Iruka’s arm and was now lingering spectrally over Iruka’s wet skin. He finally tilted his head to kiss so fatally gently on the side of Iruka’s throat that it felt like a final promise whispered beside someone’s deathbed.

“Did you really?”

Iruka dropped his forehead back down to his knees, unable to keep himself steady. He closed his eyes and admitted in wild hurry without stopping to breathe: “I hurt Kotetsu and Izumo when they got in my way, and I knocked out an ANBU, and I threatened an entire ANBU team.” He ground his scarred face into the bones of his knees, desperate to feel something beyond the twisting turmoil inside him.

His fingers trembled on Kakashi’s bare muscular abdomen. Iruka tried to find steadiness and strength from the jounin omega, but his worries continued to spill out of him out of his control. “God, I – I said such terrible things to – to the ANBU – and Tenzou – I can never control my effect on –” he cut himself off, biting down hard on his tongue, filling with uncontested embarrassment and shame.

Unable to stop his brain from looping back through the events of the day, Iruka dreadfully revisited the first ANBU’s stunning aquamarine eyes shimmering with want… and Tenzou’s almond-shaped black eyes widening in amazement and desire…

Kakashi’s voice was a much-needed intervention on Iruka’s thoughts. “You don’t mean to seduce other alphas?” he asked with a dry amused tilt to his question. He spoke a little more distant than he had earlier, no longer lingering by Iruka’s ear but now waiting in front of him.

Iruka could hear his own voice – tortured, depressed, embarrassed – as he replied miserably, “No, I don’t mean to seduce alphas. I don’t want any of them.” Squeezing his eyes tight and clutching hard at Kakashi’s waist, Iruka bit out wretchedly, “Why can’t I control myself?

Suddenly Kakashi’s hand slid across Iruka’s scarred right cheek and drew his whole head upwards so they could make eye contact for the first time since their confrontation in the forest. His single black eye seemed truly fond of what he was seeing before him, even more so when Iruka’s expression went watery and despondent. Kakashi’s sly gentle smile broke Iruka a little, and he found himself desperately holding onto the other man, shoving his face in the water-slick slope of Kakashi’s neck. He was astonished to discover that he was crying into Kakashi’s skin, but he was even more surprised that he hadn’t even thought about – about –

“You haven’t tried to fuck me,” Kakashi remarked quietly into Iruka’s wet hair, almost inaudible. He sounded extremely hurt by the truth of his own statement: Iruka could hear Kakashi’s wounded pride so very keenly and clearly that he felt his heart do a wild little flutter in his chest. He tried to pull back to glance at Kakashi, but the jounin omega held him firmly in place, keeping them close together under the hot spray of water.

Iruka blinked away tears and glanced down Kakashi’s pale throat to his newly bruised chest. Sniffling slightly, he lowered his head to press a reassuring kiss against Kakashi’s wet shoulder, feeling unbelievably astonished with himself that he really hadn’t been obsessed with brutally taking Kakashi… not since leaving his apartment, anyway.

He noticed the ugly black bite mark on Kakashi’s collarbone that he had left when they first met at the very start of his rut. His fingers drifted over to touch the terrible bruise on their own accord. After a moment, Kakashi brought his own hand to cover Iruka’s over the injury.

“I only want you,” Iruka whispered.

Kakashi shivered, seeming surprisingly fragile.

And then he asked, shy but hopeful, “You promise?”

Iruka lifted his head and found himself staring into both of Kakashi’s eyes. The jounin omega had opened his Sharingan out of his own self-interest, choosing and wanting to study Iruka at a close distance. He looked unpredictably pitiful, possibly on purpose, but Iruka knew that he himself looked a total absolute mess, so he didn’t judge the omega at all.

Instead he leaned forward and kissed Kakashi with all the soft innocence that he could draw out of his exhausted, rut-ravaged body and soul.

He found more than he thought he had left in him.

Kakashi went weak and wondrous in his arms, and Iruka felt a lovely flush rise through him. He had Kakashi clinging to him before he knew it, so very desperate and sweet. He nuzzled his omega’s ear, relishing Kakashi’s silent forgiveness for his awful hormonal actions. Iruka was relieved beyond belief to have Kakashi back with him and being so exceptionally expressive, like how he had been during his own heat and how he had been earlier the last few days with Iruka.

After giving the jounin omega a deliberately dizzying kiss, Iruka glanced up to meet Kakashi’s dazed eyes and then slowly mused aloud, “I wonder, Kakashi… have you ever used… clones in the bedroom?”

Iruka was not prepared for the sinister grin that swept over Kakashi’s expression, nor was he ready for the terrifically efficient Body Flicker Jutsu that Kakashi completed over his shoulders, instantly bringing both of them into Iruka’s bedroom and on his unmade bed.

He only realized that he was staring up at two distinct, very nude, beautiful, scarred Kakashis when the clone Kakashi on the right excitedly picked up the torn remains of the original’s mask off the mattress and slipped it around its neck. The second Kakashi framed its scarred pale face with lean hands and exaggeratedly fluttered its eyelids, showing off its black eye and faux-red-Sharingan. “So you can tell the difference between us, Iruka-sensei,” the clone purred, utterly unashamed about its theatrical nature.

Iruka’s Kakashi – the original one – turned to his clone, looking both amused and irritated all at once. Giving the clone an overly friendly ruffle of its identical silver hair, he carefully warned it, “You better tone it down, he’s tired from teasing all the alphas in the village.”

Totally disoriented by the speed of the situation and the intensity of two Kakashis, Iruka could barely handle the sheer insanity of his rut and his life as Kakashi’s clone announced far too lewdly and sadly, “You didn’t get to see Iruka-sensei fuck any of them, did you? Terrible!”

And then the clone leaned into the original Kakashi, licking the long line of his throat and making the man shiver, and murmured very appreciatively, “At least you can enjoy watching him fuck me, right? And maybe I can suck your cock? Or he can suck mine? But definitely at the same time, don’t you think?”

Iruka could not contain himself from becoming dumb and dizzy with want, his rut suddenly rolling back to life in unadulterated delight.

“Why is he so talkative?” he managed to choke out, staring at the preening clone as it adjusted its dry hair in visible contrast to the real Kakashi’s unchecked soaked silver locks.

Entirely nude and slowly drying off, Kakashi sat backwards on the mattress, studying his clone with a mild but reflective expression. He shrugged after a moment and glanced back at Iruka, remarking simply, “He’s all my worst instincts.”

The Kakashi clone turned back to look at its original, appearing peculiarly serious for a beat. But then it broke out into the sort of grin that Iruka had never seen on the real Kakashi’s face. The clone corrected its creator with real zealous pleasure, “You mean I’m your best instincts!”

Before Iruka could even move, the other Kakashi was on top of him, their nude bodies pressed together, wet and luscious and inspiring Iruka to peak arousal right away. Kakashi’s clone worsened – or elevated – the wonderful sensation by catching Iruka’s face in both its calloused, scarred hands and declaring with truly dark adoration, “He could make you come in twenty seconds… or keep you on edge all night long until you begged him for release.”

Iruka’s heart nearly burst out of his chest. He was staring at the clone – so insanely exact to his jounin omega – unable to blink or look away from the intense worship so evident in its gaze. The false Sharingan did not replicate the same mesmerizing effect, but the clone’s dangerous words enthralled him, terrified him, aroused him. The Kakashi clone leaned in slightly and kissed Iruka so feather-light that it barely seemed like anything more than a delicate brush of their lips.

Yet the clone’s terrible honesty was the thing of nightmare as it kissed Iruka’s scarred cheek before it remarked with elegant ease, “He could kill the four ANBU watching your apartment now in under ten minutes using only seven – no… six jutsu.” The clone Kakashi’s eyes flickered upwards to meet Iruka’s, and its smile was low and lethal. “He would do whatever you want.”

Iruka stopped breathing.

Brushing stray wet hair from Iruka’s face, Kakashi’s clone’s expression melted into tenderness before it disclosed in a soft serene voice, “He loves you. He would die for you.”

Chapter Text

Seconds after the clone’s confession, Kakashi grabbed a handful of its silver hair and pulled it off of Iruka with jounin strength. He wrapped his arm around the clone’s unbruised collarbone and easily put it into an efficient headlock. He kept his Sharingan shut, his single black eye staring down at his clone. Much to Iruka’s pleasant surprise, Kakashi was blushing profoundly as he muttered into his copy’s ear, “You’re terrible at pillow talk.”

“That only means you’re terrible at pillow talk,” the clone pointed out, but it still looked remarkably hurt by its creator’s comment. In contrast to the real Kakashi, the copy had its artificial Sharingan eye open, apparently unable to use the bloodline jutsu.

Iruka propped himself up on his elbows, studying the two different Kakashis in continued astonishment. He was also trying to absorb that the clone was the second entity in the last few hours to tell him that Kakashi loved him – Maito Gai being the first. He tried to appraise the real Kakashi’s feeling towards him, but the jounin omega mysteriously turned his attentions towards his clone instead.

Kakashi ran a slender calloused hand down his clone’s chiseled abdomen, making his copy squirm against him and blush tremendously. Iruka found himself flushing in shocked excitement, unable to tear his eyes away from the bewildering but marvelous sight. He went to sit up entirely to do something, anything, but then Kakashi coolly stated into his clone’s ear, “Iruka-sensei has had a long day. You’re not here to play around. You’re here to make him feel better.”

Before Iruka could do much more than blink in surprise, Kakashi’s replica fluttered both of its eyes shut and nodded obediently. “Of course…” it murmured in response, leaning backwards into its creator, clearly wanting more bare-skinned contact between them. “I’ll do whatever you want… whatever he wants. Just tell me what to do.”

“Kiss him,” was Kakashi’s dark swift command. He released his clone, who glanced backwards at him with a sliding over-generous smile. Kakashi rose both his silver brows at his copy with his single eye open and crossed his arms over his massively bruised chest, unmistakably expectant.

Iruka tried to make eye contact with Kakashi, but he was suddenly overwhelmed by the omega’s clone, who rapidly appeared in front of Iruka with breathtaking speed. Before he could track the motion, Iruka was flat on his back, the clone’s hands deep in his wet dark hair, its lips pushing against Iruka’s with lewd insistence. Kakashi’s copy licked at Iruka’s mouth only a moment later, and Iruka found he could put up no resistance – either as a shinobi or an alpha in rut. He was gasping and panting before he knew it; the clone didn’t need to breathe and wasn’t stopping a second to let Iruka have his chance at oxygen, either. Iruka was soon gripping far too hard at the clone’s shoulders, but he could tell that the jutsu-created being didn’t mind his escalating intensity at all.

He nearly startled out of his skin when the real Kakashi took Iruka’s hard cock into his warm eager mouth without giving any warning.

Kakashi had to push his clone a bit aside to achieve his goal, but Iruka couldn’t concentrate a single damn thing with the dual attention to his mouth and erection at the same time. He wasn’t able to focus, let alone really see or do anything. Yet Kakashi’s clone didn’t seem to notice, taking complete control over their kissing and ignoring the desperate way Iruka panted into its mouth.

Iruka knew he was thrusting his cock into the real Kakashi’s mouth with far more force than he would have used normally with him. But Kakashi was indecently skilled at handling Iruka’s jerky insistent rhythm, not making the slightest sound of protest while holding onto Iruka’s shuddering bare thighs. Iruka finally tossed his head to the side to gasp aloud desperately at the combined attention of both Kakashi and his jutsued creation, but the clone took advantage of that, too, dropping down its head to kiss all over Iruka’s sensitive neck, chest, and shoulders.

“You’re so pretty, Iruka-sensei,” Kakashi’s copy whispered into his drying skin.

Far below the clone, the real Kakashi was making absolutely obscene sounds as he sucked and licked and lapped at Iruka’s perfectly thrilled cock. They hadn’t made eye contact with each other since the clone happily and obliviously announced its creator’s undying love to Iruka. Somewhere very vague in the back of Iruka’s mind, he could tell that Kakashi was rather embarrassed that it had been found out he cared about Iruka…

Moreover, the jounin omega had seemed jealous of the alphas who fell under Iruka’s spell.

But he wasn’t saying a thing, and he hadn’t admitted anything, either.

Instead, Kakashi was pushing Iruka to his breaking point, clearly having turned his embarrassment over his brief vulnerability into pure sexual devotion.

Kakashi’s copy was no better, spending way too much time memorizing Iruka’s reactions to having his nipples relentlessly caressed, pinched, and licked. Eventually, after giving prolonged attention to Iruka’s body, the clone looked upwards to see Iruka’s exceedingly flushed expression and smiled in satisfaction.

“Such an erotic face…” Kakashi’s clone observed in shameless wonder.

Then, abruptly, the replica reached down, snatched the real Kakashi’s wet hair, and wrenched its creator upwards with the sort of power that Iruka had only seen during invasions of Konoha.

“You’ve got to see this!” the clone declared, absolutely remorseless.

The actual Kakashi looked somewhat horrified for a fleeting moment, apparently not having experienced violence from his own clone before, but then he suddenly met Iruka’s delirious, half-lidded eyes and witnessed the dazed, contented flush shamelessly saturating Iruka’s face from having two men servicing him at the same time.

“Ah…”

The rest of Kakashi’s words audibly caught in his throat.

Surprisingly Iruka felt himself blushing in response. He couldn’t imagine how or why he would feel so flustered! He had fucked Kakashi incredibly hard a dozen times over. He bitten him and bruised him, licked him and kissed him across his entire body. He had swallowed the jounin omega’s cum on several occasions with real joy in his heart. He had even cried in relief while fucking the man just the day before – and yet – and yet –

Scalding hot embarrassment bathed Iruka as he met Kakashi’s stunned gaze.

He averted his eyes almost immediately, unable to endure the omega’s reverent look.

Then suddenly – softly but so, so swiftly –

“Can I fuck you, Iruka?”

Iruka inhaled so sharply that he ended up coughing loudly, scaring Kakashi’s clone away from hovering halfway over him. He pulled himself up into a sitting position and brought his hand to his mouth in an attempt to contain his fit as well as his shock at the unexpected request.

He barely managed to glance up to look at Kakashi before the man’s clone heartily slapped his back and laughed low in its throat. “Oh, Iruka-sensei!” the copy proclaimed with excessive cheer. “You made him a promise, don’t you remember? In the shower when you fucked him for the first time? He’s been thinking about it every night for the last six weeks. About fucking you with his fingers, seeing your scarred cheeks flood scarlet, hearing you moan his –”

Iruka watched, flabbergasted, as the real Kakashi reached over and snagged his clone’s ANBU-tattooed bicep, harshly digging his fingernails into the false skin. “You should be quiet,” the jounin omega hissed at his own jutsu creation.

“Why?” the clone pouted, looking piteously at his maker, who was outright glowering at his creation in turn. “Iruka-sensei loves you. I’m sure you’d be his first. I know you think that would be nice. Why don’t you –”

More than aware Kakashi was becoming incensed, Iruka intervened without thinking.

He caught Kakashi’s clone’s chin with strong fingers and redirected the being’s mismatched gaze towards him. He smiled gently at his omega’s copy, which looked at him in surprise.

“You’re so honest,” Iruka noted, his voice warm and fond, even though he was praising a jutsu-created temporary clone. “It’s refreshing – there are too many silent shinobi.” He moved his hand to brush over the copy’s identical scar through its Sharingan in a slow, overtly sweet way. He heard his voice as he continued to speak: it had lowered, become dark, soft, thoughtful. “You really are his best instincts.”

Kakashi’s clone had begun to blush. Without its mask, the unreal man’s whole face was revealed, showing the full unrestrained pink flush that Iruka remembered from Kakashi’s heat. The clone’s dissimilar eyes softened as they looked at each other. After a moment, Kakashi’s jutsued copy tilted its head towards Iruka’s hand, evidently wanting Iruka to hold its scarred cheek, which Iruka did without being asked.

In many ways, Iruka found the whole experience immeasurably strange: Kakashi had been nude and expressive with him before, but that had been only during the four or so days of Kakashi’s heat and Iruka’s rut. He was much more accustomed to seeing Kakashi in the excessive weight and coverage of his shinobi gear, his blue mask over his face and his Konoha hitai-ate covering even more.

Seeing Kakashi’s clone so innocently bared and obviously loving Iruka’s attention made Iruka feel so truly nice and warm inside, he felt almost totally removed from his rut.

“So it works on clones, too.”

Iruka turned his head sharply to see that Kakashi was sitting backwards on the mattress, his arms behind him, his legs crossed before him. His single black eye was focused with cold logic on his own clone. Kakashi’s erection had certainly died down some; Iruka realized with embarrassment that his had definitely not changed at all, still dumbly erect and proud even as he caressed and complimented the omega’s clone.

“What do you mean?” Iruka nearly stammered out, drawing his hand back from the man’s copy.

Kakashi slanted an unreadable look towards him. “Your influence over people.”

“My… what?”

Iruka felt suddenly ridiculously embarrassed. He hadn’t imagined that Kakashi would interrupt their sexual affairs to discuss what he had seen before with Iruka and Tenzou, and yet the jounin omega continued to defy all normal expectations. To make matters worse, Iruka had the strange thought that he should cover his erection, as if it was really the most inappropriate thing out of the moment. It absolutely was not: Kakashi’s clone was sitting immediately to his right, still looking quite dazed and pleased with its fleeting existence now that Iruka had been so incredibly compassionate to it.

“What you did to Tenzou,” Kakashi clarified easily. But his tone was level, detached, and made Iruka’s skin prickle uncomfortably. He could tell that the other man was considering Iruka differently, actively assessing who and what Iruka was in the scheme of things. Kakashi’s gaze was unremorsefully heavy and stayed on Iruka as he amended himself after a moment, “I assume you used it on the other ANBU today, too.”

All of a sudden, Iruka found his mouth terribly dry, his skin cold. “I… I didn’t mean to –”

“How would I know if you’ve used it on me?”

Kakashi didn’t move at all as he uttered the heart-wrenching question, but his clone stiffened and started to touch Iruka’s bare thigh to reassure him. However, before it could do so, Kakashi gave it a swift glare that was obviously a silent command to stay still. The clone obeyed, but, out of the corner of his eye, Iruka saw the copy wilt considerably, looking both pained and distressed.

“It only happens during rut,” Iruka explained hurriedly. He knew he was in the dying embers of his rut; there was less scarlet filter to everything, his feet had started to burn and hurt, he was more articulate and less sex-driven. But he was also beginning to feel exhausted, the strain of not eating or drinking anything catching up with him, combining poorly with the moderate chakra depletion from his actions during rut and the long hard run into and out of the Konoha woods.

Still, Iruka found himself charging through his explanation, newly energized in his attempt to explain who he was and what happened to him during rut to the jounin omega sitting on his bed.

“I would never –” Suddenly overwhelmed from being accused of such under-handed manipulation, Iruka began stammering as he discovered he was unable to form his words or sentences correctly. He had to force himself to keep speaking as he blushed deeply in embarrassment. “I would never seduce you! I respect you, I don’t want to – to influence you like that. I want you – to want me for – me – not –”

But Kakashi was completely cruel in his cold-blooded observation as Iruka stumbled through his confession. He kept his Sharingan shut and his expression closed off. His stance was that sadly familiar lazy indolent slouch he used around the village, even as he held himself sitting upwards but leaning backwards on Iruka’s mattress.

Iruka only stopped himself from blathering more when Kakashi finally moved his head, showing more of his scarred cheek and turning his single-eyed gaze down towards the crumpled bedsheets between them. He felt frozen watching the jounin omega: he was beginning to realize that Kakashi had been truly confused this whole time but had mostly contained himself until now.

Swallowing down his own discomfort, he approached Kakashi over the bed, nearly crawling on his hands and knees. He ignored the feeling of furious humiliation of the movement and instead stopped right before the jounin omega, knowing his own expression was miserable and sorry.

“Kakashi, I don’t mean to do it,” Iruka promised. He felt wounded and misunderstood; he hadn’t expected Kakashi not to trust him, but he was rapidly reinterpreting the past few hours as his rut was dissipating and leaving him tired but clearer-headed. Trying to pull Kakashi’s single-eyed stare off the mattress, Iruka insisted, earnest and solemn, “I hate affecting alphas that way – it’s unfair to them and it’s wrong. I didn’t even mean to do it to your clone just now. I can’t control it, it just happens, and it only happens in rut.”

Shaking his head, frustration overtaking him, Iruka pushed back unruly hair from clinging to his face. “I don’t want to make jounin or join ANBU. I want to teach at the Academy, I want to help children become shinobi.” Then he admitted harshly, unpleasantly: “Of course I know I could weaponize my scent and how I affect alphas, but I am so much more than who I am during rut. I am not just this terrifying – forceful – cruel –” Iruka cut himself off, feeling ugly and diseased from the inside, and instead stated sharply, “I won’t allowed myself to be reduced to who I am when my hormones take over.”

Iruka realized he was grimacing as he swallowed roughly and pulled his gaze off of Kakashi. He glanced behind him to see the omega’s clone watching him in concern even while it remained unmoving from where it had been told to wait. Iruka found he couldn’t even endure looking at the clone. Instead he quietly muttered, studying his open hands, “I thought you’d understand that.”

There was a long painful pause that overwhelmed the space between them.

Before the real Kakashi could act, however, his clone slid a lean, calloused hand over Iruka’s and murmured consolingly, “You are more than who you are in rut. He knows that. He’s just worried that he’s being used.”

“You are a brat,” Kakashi warned his clone, abruptly unreasonably close beside Iruka, his body radiating terrible heat. His hand stretched into Iruka’s vision and peeled off his copy’s fingers from Iruka’s, dropping its hand to the side like a dirty blood-stained piece of fabric.

His clone retorted immediately, “And you’re an idiot. You fell in love after your heat when you saw him pick up that mangy dog and bring it to the vet when no one was looking, so you can’t even act like your hormones have gotten you all confused.”

Iruka gazed upwards at Kakashi’s clone, extremely surprised. He definitely remembered helping out a skinny sick dog a few weeks ago, but the jutsu creation was right: he hadn’t thought anyone had noticed. Certainly no one else in the village had stopped to take care of the poor thing. He had done what he thought should be done for the little pup… pick her up, pet her, bring her for treatment, visit her at the vet clinic, see her adopted. He didn’t mind the ravages of the disease, the massive hair loss and the pus-filled bloody scabs, but he had felt a bit wrecked knowing she had been alone so long… in Konoha’s busy streets… a good girl… but so very unloved…

Secretly, Iruka thought the poor pup had seemed a bit like Kakashi.

Of course Iruka had to stop and help him - … her.

Snapping back to the present, he refocused on Kakashi’s clone, but it wasn’t looking back at Iruka: instead it was furiously scrutinizing Kakashi, making a truly cross face at its creator.

“Maa…” Kakashi murmured, sounding like he’d been seen through and left totally exposed to the elements.

Iruka couldn’t find the courage to look at the other man, even though he could feel Kakashi lean closer to his side, their warm nude bodies nearly touching. Yet even this close, Iruka couldn’t even remotely detect Kakashi’s omega scent. The man was still perfectly in control of himself ever since he had discovered Iruka on top of Tenzou over an hour earlier.

It made Iruka feel cold and sick in all the worst places.

He missed Kakashi’s sweet forest scent.

He truly wanted Kakashi to be comfortable with him.

Seemingly unaware of Iruka’s thoughts and concerns, Kakashi wondered softly, scolding his clone, “Why do you have to keep mentioning how much I love him?” He hovered his own flesh-and-blood hand over Iruka’s on the bed but didn’t drop down any further to allow their actual skin to touch. “Iruka hasn’t said a thing about love.”

Oh…

“Of course I love you,” Iruka whispered instantly in response while staring down at their nearly joined hands. He slowly turned over his hand and slid his fingers through Kakashi’s loose, willing ones. Then he finally summoned the bravery to look up at the real Kakashi who –

- who was staring at him with both eyes open, including his scarlet-and-black Sharingan which was spinning rapidly and swept Iruka into an enchanted trance straightaway.

Less than a second later, he was being tilted backwards almost even with the mattress, Kakashi’s indecently strong arms keeping him upright effortlessly.

Leaning over him and holding him as well, Kakashi kissed him, close-lipped and chaste, a honeyed promise of life together forever, like something out of a sweet strange fairy tale.

It became more exceptionally odd when Kakashi’s clone audibly swooned, apparently having moved off the mattress to the floor so it could look up to better view them.

“Oh, wow! What a kiss!” the clone breathed, sounding as overjoyed and dazzled as Iruka felt.

At the effusive comment Kakashi relinquished his brutal grip on Iruka, as if just noticing he was using too much of his strength. He apologetically righted the man, giving a sheepish smile as he did. Before he could say anything – or Iruka could, either – his clone continued his impressively oblivious commentary by exclaiming, “We should celebrate by fucking Kakashi together, Iruka-sensei!”

Iruka couldn’t help but fall into laughter, his hand sweeping across his scarred face. “Oh, uh,” he halfway got out before descending into even more laughter, so very surprised by Kakashi’s clone’s unabashed honesty and excitement. He glanced up towards the real jounin omega, who still had the decency left in him to look mortified, which only made Iruka laugh even harder, the sight was so unexpected and delicious in its unusually sincere nature.

He found himself wiping away an entertained tear before he looked back at Kakashi’s clone, who smiled widely at him, looking quite pleased that he had delighted Iruka after such a heavy conversation. Iruka shrugged, deliberately only watching the clone as he suggested slyly, “I was actually thinking you two could have me tonight. You know, because he’s been thinking about it so much.”

Iruka hadn’t really imagined what reaction his words might provoke – but he was beginning to realize that he was never, ever going to properly guess what Kakashi’s responses would be.

Because, after barely finishing speaking, he was fully flat on his back on the bed, the breath knocked out of him from the force and speed of being shoved down so quick. Both Kakashis – real and clone – were looking down at him, each sitting by either of his shoulders. He could tell the clone was on the right because of the mask around its neck, its dry hair, and its unbruised collarbone, but also because it was grinning wildly down at Iruka, something Kakashi had never done in his life. On his left, the actual Kakashi was partially repressing a full smile, but his Sharingan was still open – either because he was distracted or, more likely, because he wanted to memorize the entirety of their upcoming adventure.

The clone was the first to speak, his question making Iruka fill with a rut-wild blush, “Am I right, Iruka-sensei? Would he be your first?”

Kakashi glanced at his own clone, both surprised and impressed with its bold instinct, but then he turned his face back to observe Iruka with distinctive interest.

Iruka felt very peculiarly like a blushing maiden as he ducked his head in embarrassment and cast his gaze down the matching stunning bodies of Kakashi and his clone. “Ah, well,” he started but then went absurdly breathless, leaving him blinking and staring widely at the Kakashis’ too-beautiful scarred chests. “No one has… ever…” he tried again but failed just the same, totally losing track of just how to admit the truth.

Kakashi’s clone was again quick to reassure him by burying its face in Iruka’s dark still-wet hair. The jutsu creation was immediately kissing up and down Iruka’s neck and murmuring sweet nothings into his sensitive skin. Its hand was swift to stroke the fine muscles of Iruka’s bare abdomen, but it didn’t go much lower, much to Iruka’s surprise – until he realized that the real Kakashi had returned to where he had left off several minutes earlier, providing renewed love to Iruka’s happily persistent hard cock.

“You know,” Kakashi said slowly, taking a moment to breathe and peering upwards through his drying silver hair at Iruka, his Sharingan delightedly taking in everything. “I could fuck you after you fuck him… if you preferred.”

Iruka threw his head to the side even further, Kakashi’s clone seemingly licking every known kanji on his neck. He shuddered through a particularly inventive roll of the copy’s too-real-feeling tongue and panted out, barely attempting to be coherent and sounding far more vulgar than he meant to be, “I want his cock in my mouth when you fuck me.”

Suddenly Kakashi’s clone stopped moving, and Iruka was so surprised that he looked in desperate confusion down at the unreal man. But then he realized that Kakashi himself had frozen as well. He tried to peer down at the actual jounin omega that he’d fallen in love with, wanting to understand what had gone wrong, if he had said something wrong, but then –

“I think I’m going to pass out,” came Kakashi’s clone’s dizzy, drunk-sounding declaration by his throat.

And then the copy did just that, solidly collapsing across Iruka’s chest.

With the clone pressed further against him, Iruka could finally see the real Kakashi, who he now saw was staring at him in total disbelief.

“You don’t want to fuck me?” he asked faintly, his real eye and Sharingan both open wide.

“No, of course I do!” Iruka exclaimed immediately, struggling to sit up and still look at Kakashi while the clone was unconscious and draped over half his nude body. He began stumbling again through his explanation of what he meant: “I just – you just seemed really into – and I thought you – I mean, he’s here, too – and won’t you get his memories when he disappears? So shouldn’t we –”

Although he was clearly hearing Iruka, Kakashi blinked several times, looking rather mystified by Iruka’s rambling. The flashing of his Sharingan was a stunning thing to behold and tremendously distracting. But Kakashi finally sat backwards, trying to absorb what Iruka was messily acknowledging, and tilted his head back some, too, as if he was striving to get the astonishing enormity that was Iruka into his full vision.

“You are an alpha in rut, but you’re not trying to fuck me like I’m some convenient sex object that you’re going to leave in the street when you’re done…” Kakashi slowly announced aloud, obviously trying to understand who he was interacting with. Iruka badly winced at the omega’s self-assessment, wanting to intervene and reject the comment, but Kakashi continued onwards, sounding both wistful and appreciative, evidently unperturbed by his own critical commentary, “And you smell like my favorite things…”

Shedding blood while defending Konoha and the funeral lilies outside the village, that’s what he told me my scent is like...

“You haven’t left your apartment during rut in years, but you did today, for me. And you helped me out of a bad spot and used my father’s sword to stab a Mist jounin in the heart.”

Oh… I did do that. I killed a man today for Kakashi! I did it without thinking, without a bit of worry… Iruka blinked in surprise: he’d killed again because Kakashi had needed him to do so, even though the man hadn’t demanded that he do it at all. He hadn’t even thought about it, back then or until now. Iruka hadn’t killed another shinobi in four years – since the last time he was out of his apartment during a rut on the mission that had run too long. He had hated it then… but not this time.

But Kakashi was nowhere near done as he pronounced more of Iruka’s many deeds in a slow meditative manner: “You didn’t try to kill Gai to have me to yourself… Instead, you fixed his hair and looked at him like you did that street dog, like he needed love and you were truly happy to give it to him.”

The jounin omega leaned forward some, staring more intently at Iruka, who was beginning to flush with embarrassment under such intense scrutiny. “You threatened my kouhai with death – and then told him he smells good – which omegas do not tell him. They are terrified of how his scent is always changing, the dumb skittish things that they are.”

Iruka was surprised that he suddenly felt quite insulted on Tenzou’s behalf: he had personally had very little interactions with omegas partially due to his own intense alpha scent, but he hadn’t believed that Tenzou’s scent was offensive at all, especially not in comparison to his own. He too easily remembered the pink blush on the other alpha’s face – and his interesting almond-shaped eyes – and he was so very sorry that omegas had been cruel to the man.

In front of him, however, Kakashi was strangely kind to his own unconscious clone as he leaned forward, running his fingers through the jutsu’s thick silver hair. He glanced back up with both eyes at Iruka, seemingly softer and more reflective, which caused Iruka to give the jounin omega his full attention. “You suggested clones, which you must know is every pervert shinobi’s wildest dream, and then you treat him like he’s some sweet version of me who deserves every bit of your attention and love.”

Iruka experienced the same damnable thing as he had minutes earlier when he lost his breath at the clone’s reckless honesty, but this time it was because Kakashi had moved to sit beside him and had drawn up his chin to stare deeply into his eyes. He refused to shut the Sharingan, and Iruka felt a little dazed by it. Yet he only became truly weak when Kakashi leaned down to kiss him, gently holding onto him like he was a precious pretty thing to be treasured for all eternity.

Just before they kissed, Kakashi marveled against Iruka’s lips, “How did I get so lucky?”

Chapter Text

Iruka felt his rut rage back over him.

His hands scrambled against Kakashi’s bare shoulders as hot strength poured through him. He didn’t want to stop the kiss, but he was being leaned over again with Kakashi holding him off the mattress, and he suddenly didn’t want that anymore, he wanted to be on top, pressing down on his lovely omega, and before he knew it, Iruka was doing just that, having completed some taijutsu flip of the other man without thinking a second about it.

All of a sudden, Kakashi was underneath him, flushed, staring up at him with his single dark eye.

Iruka moved his hands to hover over the jounin omega’s horribly bruised chest – where the Mist alpha had battered him in the forest – and he was emptying his chakra into Kakashi’s broken blood vessels without saying a word.

But Kakashi caught onto what he was doing instantly.

“Iruka, you don’t have to –”

“I want to,” Iruka interrupted him, using gentle force to push him back down.

He noticed the different faint blush on Kakashi’s cheeks, and he loved the look of it. Iruka could feel his body protesting the awful wear and tear of the last two days and all of his abnormal adventures. He could tell when his healing jutsu started to stammer that he needed to cease his caretaking or he would face real consequences. He continuously felt the ferocious wonder of his rut running through his system, even as it was fading further every second.

Still, he recognized the dying gasp of his rut for what it was: a final hormonal push to mark his omega, make Kakashi his and only his, and seal their bond, now and forever.

Iruka kissed Kakashi’s long neck, newly healed of the bruises Iruka had given him in the woods. His hands roamed downwards, spreading over the wondrous tapestry of scars decorating Kakashi’s lean body. He wasn’t saying anything, not that he could really form coherent thoughts at the moment, but fortunately Kakashi wasn’t pushing him to speak aloud.

After a few moments, Iruka found himself murmuring near Kakashi’s ear on the side of his scar and Sharingan, “I love you, I love you so much,” relishing the way that the omega underneath him twisted his hips in response and panted ever so softly into Iruka’s shower-slick hair.

He was still providing endless praise into Kakashi’s skin, into Kakashi’s wet silver locks, when Iruka’s hand rediscovered Kakashi’s erection, which he found had returned full force.

Iruka’s whole body seized in appreciation as he felt the soft skin, the hard length.

He was so much more delighted when Kakashi apparently couldn’t restrain himself any more and breathed brokenly against Iruka’s shoulder, “God… Iruka…”

Suddenly feeling remarkably dizzy, disoriented, hot, heated, Iruka bit damnably hard down on Kakashi’s bare neck, and his eyes were rolling into the back of his head as Kakashi writhed against him, huffing out pained pleased pants, and he was feeling like how he did, wait, no, actually so much worse when it was Kakashi’s heat and they were in the shower together, and Kakashi had asked him, begged him to fuck him, bite him, he’d demanded it from Iruka, and the feel of Kakashi – tight, warm, wondrous – was unbelievable, and Iruka had realized in the shower that he was confessing all of his darkest, deepest desires when Kakashi had violently, desperately agreed with him, taking himself in hand while Iruka first finally fucked him.

He was doing it again, Iruka suddenly realized. He was confessing things.

Iruka heard his words rush out of him, dance across Kakashi’s bruised neck.

“I would have done anything to get you back. I would kill a thousand men, I would become jounin, ANBU, whatever you needed, whatever was needed, to get you back, to have you with me again.”

Kakashi was going surreally still, straining to hear Iruka, but the action only amplified Iruka’s desperate obsession with telling him the truth. He was pushing his nose against the taut muscles of Kakashi’s throat, he was licking below there without thinking, taking a nip, biting down. Iruka was suddenly breathing roughly, his body beginning to shake; his rut was stirring back into full effect, determined violence rolling through his weary bones, his aching muscles.

Iruka could feel his lips tracing the soft curve of Kakashi’s ear as he whispered in his final dark, dangerous confession, meaning it with every last bit of himself, “I would become a missing nin for you.”

Instantly, Kakashi shivered all over, his hands clenching down on Iruka’s bare waist with bruising force. Iruka could physically feel Kakashi’s face heat out of control, hear Kakashi’s soundless hiss slide over his shoulder, in crazed response to his own insane admission.

He could have sunk into Kakashi right then, taken him with easy brutality, but –

But there was the clone complicating things.

Iruka tried to remove himself with more force than he would normally use, but Kakashi was dedicated to keeping him close – until he realized just where Iruka was heading. He released Iruka with a dark smoldering gaze that reminded Iruka of orange-red wildfire consuming woodlands, destroying everything in its way.

Kakashi’s clone was still sprawled, unconscious, on the edge of the mattress. The duplicated figure looked more like Kakashi now that Iruka had healed the original’s terribly-won bruises, but the little torn mask hanging limp around its neck remained a peculiar sign of difference. The copy wasn’t breathing, but, then again, it didn’t need to do so. For a moment, Iruka wondered if the clone was only pretending so to allow its creator and Iruka a much-needed moment alone.

But, as he leaned across the clone and kissed it on the lips, Iruka realized that, no, the clone really was unconscious. It had been so overwhelmed by Iruka’s generosity a few minutes earlier that it had slipped straight into dreamland.

Surprised by how out of it the jutsu creation was, Iruka laughed just a little, brushing back the clone’s hair and petting its scarred cheek. He pressed another kiss near the copy’s mouth as he said in quiet voice, “I’d love for you to wake up now.”

But the poor clone would not become conscious.

The strange situation left Iruka feeling disoriented, worsened by his rut and now his confusion on how to properly wake a clone. He was now realizing the Academy did not talk nearly enough about how to make clones work again – and, good God, how strong was Kakashi that his clones could be knocked out – apparently they didn’t just vanish when falling unconscious?

Even as he was increasingly thrown by the moment, Iruka could tell that the original Kakashi was sitting up, intent on joining him. The jounin omega finally sat beside him, gazing down at his clone.

“You want to wake him up?” Kakashi asked in a slow, sly tone.

Iruka glanced at him, feeling flushed. He was embarrassed that he wanted what he’d promised Kakashi in the shower during his heat, that he wanted the threesome, he wanted to be the bottom. But he nodded anyway, already certain that Kakashi knew his intentions, his desires, and that he didn’t need to confess all of that as well.

The original gave him a sliding, sinister smile. “Alright,” he said easily.

Kakashi reached over and snapped two long fingers in front of his replica’s face. When that didn’t do the trick, Iruka went to look at the omega in confusion, but then Kakashi said in an incredibly sharp tone, sounding like a shinobi general shouting swift orders on the battlefield, “Iruka is in rut!”

The clone sprang to life before Kakashi could finish speaking; it swung its frantic gaze from its creator to Iruka, and it was suddenly kneeling in front of both of them, hands on its thighs.

“What do you need? How can I help?” the clone asked urgently, sounding like it was deeply sorry that it hadn’t been there the very instant that Iruka had realized he was in rut.

When Kakashi only smiled at his copy while Iruka stared wide-eyed at it, stunned into silence at its willing obedience, the clone glanced back and forth Kakashi between Iruka a few times.

“How long was I out?” it wondered in concern. Getting no instant response, the clone snagged Iruka’s hands with its own, giving him a piteous look. “I’m so sorry, Iruka-sensei. Kakashi tried so hard to be here when your rut started, but he was out on patrol with Gai, and he ran here as quick as he could, but now I’ve failed you, too, you must be so disappointed –”

Iruka squeezed down tightly on the clone’s hands, staring incredulously at the near-exact replica of his jounin omega.

“I’m sorry, what?” he said, sounding strangled. His rut was rolling rough over him; he was having a hard time following what the clone was confessing. He repeated some of the apology back to the clone, struggling to understand what it had just said: “You were on village defense patrol with Gai when I sent you my note?”

Suddenly, beside him, Kakashi kissed Iruka’s bare shoulder, the same spot where Kakashi’s ANBU tattoo was on his own body. He said, unstressed and serene, “Your bird found me, and Gai and I agreed that I should go to you. We thought he could handle the patrol alone.”

“You were wrong,” Iruka said in response, feeling spectral and out of body. He stared over at the real Kakashi, who studied him in return with simple peace in his single eye.

“Yes, I was,” Kakashi replied immediately. While he seemed cool and composed, Kakashi had not moved his gaze from Iruka’s alarmed eyes. He looked deadly in his steely silence.

Saving them yet again, the clone intervened, clutching back on Iruka’s hands. “You were so kind to Gai in the forest, Iruka-sensei! You know he means the world to Kakashi. Gai has never, ever judged him! He’s been supportive even when Kakashi did the most self-destructive –”

Just as Iruka was becoming embarrassed for Kakashi’s sake, he realized that the original omega was done letting his clone tell all his secrets, because –

Kakashi moved with such a fearful speed that Iruka didn’t even see him lean forward.

Suddenly Kakashi had caught the clone by the shoulders, causing his copy to drop Iruka’s hands, and then he was kissing the clone so desperately hard, with such shuddering abandon, that Iruka felt his own face fill with lustful fire.

He had never in his life created a clone just to kiss it, but it was perfectly clear that Kakashi had an obscene amount of experience employing clones for all sorts of illicit things.

Iruka felt frozen as he watched Kakashi literally subdue his clone through truly lewd kissing. His lean hands were in the copy’s fine silver hair and holding its scarred cheek, keeping it close. Kakashi was just as hard as he had been with Iruka, but now the clone was also impressively aroused. Amusing Iruka and breaking him out of his daze, the clone snuck a hand between its own thighs and gave its erection a long, firm stroke as it was being kissed wildly by its creator.

Shifting down on his hands and knees, Iruka pushed the clone’s hand aside and decided to see just how perfect Kakashi’s jutsus were.

It turned out that they were pretty damn spectacular.

Having already spent a few hours worshipping Kakashi’s cock, Iruka was deeply pleased to find that the clone was an exact replica down to every last respect. He was fascinated by Kakashi’s skill as a shinobi in duplicating his own explicit taste; he was loving it down to his hormonally shameless core. Iruka was strangely relieved to find his rut returning to him once again, the complicated confusion of Kakashi’s abandoned patrol having disrupted his natural instincts.

Blissfully hot, body singing, Iruka enjoyed the feel of Kakashi’s clone’s cock filling his mouth, moving into him, sliding out of him. He was privately very amused at the copy’s polite manners: although the clone was clearly getting harder, and the taste of pre-cum was on the tip of his tongue, Kakashi’s clone was restraining himself and not thrusting up into Iruka’s mouth. So, in response, Iruka found himself grabbing the copy’s hips, then grabbing it from behind, physically pushing the clone’s cock much further into his mouth.

Iruka heard Kakashi’s clone make a terribly wanton moan between kisses above him. Before he could feel more than a bit of satisfaction at the response, Iruka felt the real Kakashi’s hand run down his spine in eager interest. The clone mumbled something against its creator’s lips, and then Kakashi was stepping away from his jutsu creation and easing himself behind Iruka with ridiculous grace.

Abruptly realizing what was about to happen, Iruka began to feel flustered, slowing down his attentions to Kakashi’s clone’s arousal. He pulled his head back, almost wanting to say something, maybe admit aloud to being nervous, but the clone of his dear omega cupped his cheeks and directed his attention upwards.

The lean, lovely jutsu creation was blushing sweetly, his black eye and the faux-Sharingan lustfully half-lidden. “We won’t hurt you, Iruka-sensei,” it purred, brushing its fingers through Iruka’s loose, drying hair before adding softly, “Like you said when we first met...”

Behind him, the real Kakashi placed his hands on Iruka’s waist and finished his clone’s comment effortlessly, “… Trust me.”

Iruka remembered perfectly well when he had said that: he had asked Kakashi, a virtual stranger, to trust him while standing behind him, having kissed his neck and badly bitten him, the two of them together in the hot shower during Kakashi’s blush-inducing unbridled heat. Although Kakashi had finally relaxed, letting himself be embraced from behind, the jounin omega had then been maddeningly persistent a moment later as he tried to understand why he had acquiesced to Iruka’s request.

But, today, Iruka had no questions or concerns for Kakashi as he confronted the same statement.

He did trust Kakashi.

Wholeheartedly.

Without a single thought spinning through his brain, Iruka grabbed Kakashi’s copy by the face and pulled it forward into a stunning kiss. He was still obsessively kissing the clone when he felt the original Kakashi move his legs further apart and then – and then –

Shock striking him at the new sensation, he made an embarrassing sound into Kakashi’s clone’s mouth, who only deepened their kiss, entirely remorseless and relentless. Deciding to surrender to the control of both his jounin omega and his clone, Iruka allowed himself to be swept away by kissing. He was rapidly realizing that Kakashi licking him open, which he had definitely never experienced in his entire long life. Iruka was blushing heavily, his neck and cheeks and ears aflame with heat. He felt dizzy and woozy, but the clone was keeping him upright, even as his arms wobbled weakly underneath him. Iruka found that he was making all sorts of strange noises, but neither version of Kakashi, real or replica, seemed cruelly entertained at his expense.

In contrast, Iruka abruptly recognized that Kakashi’s clone was becoming increasingly aggressive in direct response to the sounds that Iruka was making, his lust heightened at the end of his rut. He knew he was naturally and shamelessly reacting to the dangerously fascinating feelings spreading across his body, but Iruka was unprepared for the ‘best-worst instincts’ of Kakashi to respond in turn to him…

But he learned that even clones had their breaking point when Kakashi’s copy promptly lost all its manners at once, dropped its hold on Iruka, and then shoved Iruka down between its thighs, saying in a desperate stammer, “Please, you – you’re so damn erotic, I need – please -”

From behind him, Iruka felt Kakashi begin to stop thrusting his fingers deep inside him to scold the hell out of his clone, but Iruka appreciated the change of scenery, plus he was a bit embarrassed by his own noisy reactions. He was more than happy to down the copy’s cock, effectively shutting himself up. He didn’t even feel irritated when Kakashi’s clone threaded its long fingers through his hair, using the leverage to move Iruka’s head up and down with more strength than Kakashi had ever used with him.

Before the real Kakashi could become upset – and Iruka knew he would be angry about the force that his clone was using – Iruka found his disorienting rut directing him to do dirty things that he would otherwise never do.

Like… reach between his legs and start jerking himself off while sucking off a clone and getting deeply finger-fucked by the village’s only jounin omega.

At the exact same time – in front of him and behind him – Iruka heard Kakashi and his jutsu mutter together in aroused disbelief, “Fuck, Iruka –”

The clone had a little laugh at the perfect timing before the laughter became a choked-back moan as Iruka took its cock deeper into his mouth than ever before. His numbed-out senses did not give the slightest protest as he made sure the clone’s hard arousal went down his throat far enough that he felt deliciously full, the act causing the clone to quiver all around him.

Iruka himself gave a dark moan around the clone’s cock, his whole face flushed hot, his hair sticking to his sweaty scarred cheeks.

The real Kakashi was panting loudly behind him, he realized suddenly.

The omega sounded like he was having trouble breathing, which almost concerned Iruka – until Kakashi breathily declared, his hands moving to clench Iruka’s hipbones, “I’m going to enter you now. Let me know if – if I –” He swallowed down the rest of his sentence.

Iruka felt a slight spike of worry slam into his chest, wondering with a start if they should have talked about this more.

But then Iruka’s eyes opened wide, taking the lovely visual of the clone’s clipped silver pubic hair – because Kakashi pressed into him with such impossible care that it had Iruka shivering and shaking, the clone’s cock slipping out of his mouth. He was suddenly pressed against the copy’s scarred thigh, breathing in the hot heady smell of their shared arousal, as Kakashi moved further and further into him, filling him in ways that he had honestly never imagined. His fingers were digging terrifically into the mattress and the clone’s backside; he could feel the skin breaking under his nails, the sheets stretching and tearing.

His rut was throwing his thoughts in all directions: Iruka wanted his own cock deep inside Kakashi, he wanted to hear both Kakashi and himself cry and beg and whine in pleasure, he wanted to be fucked so hard that he couldn’t think of a single damn thing.

Iruka was still flushed, frantic, chaos-filled, when he heard Kakashi close to his shoulder by his ear, asking with sincere concern threading through his words, “Are you okay? Iruka? Should –”

Fuck me.

He immediately felt Kakashi get harder deep inside him, and Iruka moaned.

Less than a second later, Kakashi’s clone huffed out a loud breath and uttered dramatically, “There’s no way we’re going to last long if you keep making sounds like that, Iruka-sensei.”

But the real Kakashi, his beautiful omega, instantly corrected his copy: “Keep making sounds, Iruka. I’ve never heard anything like it in my life.”

Pressed down between the clone’s thighs, embarrassment and pleasure mercilessly merging within him, Iruka started to return his attentions to Kakashi’s replica, but then the jutsu creation surprised him as it announced breathlessly, its tone joyous, “Oh, that’s such a good idea, using the Sharingan.”

And, suddenly, the clone was rambling, its words a total mess, sounding like it was reciting a recurring mantra, seemingly reading aloud Kakashi’s own thoughts for Iruka to hear: “Memorize this for long missions. Memorize this to make sure you always come home. There’s no way you won’t do everything in the world to come back home to this, to him, to Iruka.”

A strange shiver flew over Iruka as he instinctively understood that Kakashi’s clone was so thrilled that it had unthinkingly dropped the sensei honorific – and then Iruka was back to sucking cock like his very life depended on his sexual adoration of Kakashi’s copy.

Although it took a few seconds of panting and moaning, somehow the two Kakashis managed to perfectly coordinate their thrusts – first at different strokes, one entering him as the other pulled out, but then, in the most frightening series of pleasure-soaked sensations that Iruka had ever experienced in his life, the two of them were fucking him at the same time, in the same motion.

Iruka joined in the complex orchestration mindlessly, stroking his own cock with real fervor. He was thoughtlessly thankful that the clone had taken control of the blowjob, turning it from Iruka himself sucking up and down Kakashi’s copy’s cock – to the clone tightly seizing his hair and directing Iruka’s head while also moving its hips and thrusting up into Iruka’s mouth. He imagined that his rut was doing him a thousand different favors of the ruthless insistence of both Kakashis fucking his body. He undoubtedly recognized that, instead of feeling aggravated or pained by the clone’s grip on his hair or its thick cock shoving in and out his mouth – his rut was making him feel so, so good that he was shamelessly relishing the wet desperate sounds he was making from the dual thrusting into his body.

Although he had never, ever been fucked – by himself, his own jutsu creation, or another soul – Iruka was senselessly understanding so much more why Kakashi looked like a deliriously delighted man stuck in a genjutsu whenever Iruka fucked him.

He enjoyed the harsh, hard grip that Kakashi had on his hips; he was deliriously obsessed with the way his body went with the motion of being fucked so mercilessly. Iruka couldn’t, didn’t think about taking control of either way he was being fucked. He was too swept away by the thrilling filled sensation on both ends of his body, the crazy urgent way that both Kakashis were so obviously falling in love with fucking him in every way possible.

Iruka felt his eyelids flutter as Kakashi yet again struck such a nice spot deep within him, and his hand twisted just so finely on his own cock, and then Kakashi’s clone was stiffening under him, above him, and it gasped out, its fingers scratching down roughly into Iruka’s scalp, “Fuck, Iruka – I’m -”

Even though his mind was awash with hot lovely wonder, his skin sparkling all over with shiny diamonds of pleasure, Iruka was very distantly pleased to learn that clones during sex could actually come – and their cum tasted just the same as their creator’s!

He didn’t feel even the slightest embarrassment as Kakashi’s clone held him still as it came down his throat, although he was somewhat startled by the force of its orgasm.

But, then again, Iruka was so violently satisfied by the clone’s climax that when Kakashi’s replica pulled its cock out of Iruka’s mouth, his hips away –

Iruka took his hand off his own cock and reached blindly up, using rut-amplified shinobi instinct and strength to snatch Kakashi’s clone’s silver hair. He yanked the replica down brutally, utterly surprising the jutsu creation; he forced it down even further, kissing the clone with dizzying desire. Instantly back to sighing and panting, as if it had no refractory period at all, the clone took control of their kissing, allowing Iruka to return his hand to greedily stroking his arousal.

The real Kakashi had stuttered to a full stop seeing his clone come in Iruka’s mouth – and then watched Iruka resume kissing with his replica – and then obviously realized that Iruka was still determined to enjoy their sex to their very last gasp and thrust together.

Now feeling so very unashamed, Iruka was feverishly enjoying how Kakashi’s clone didn’t mind the taste of its own cum. Even better, the clone seemed to relish down to its chakra-born bones the opportunity to memorize the inside of Iruka’s mouth as Iruka was moaning, gasping, panting, and getting fucked on his one hand and his knees, stroking himself with ever-increasing desperate need.

Iruka could tell that Kakashi was nearing his own orgasm. Iruka’s eyes suddenly squeezed tight as the pleasure start to build in ways within him that he knew meant he only had seconds left. He halfway shoved Kakashi’s clone away, but only so he could breathe desperately against its long, sweat-slick neck. Iruka gasped out in a blissful rush, his hand tightening around the very tip of his arousal before sliding down the whole length: “Kakashi, Kakashi, yes, fuck me, fuck me hard.”

Rewarding him obscenely, Kakashi did just that, pulling out of him almost entirely before slamming back into him with the sort of mindless strength that Iruka found just so magnificent.

Both of them could only handle a few more thrusts like that before Iruka sunk his teeth deeply into the clone’s shoulder – on the very same spot that he’d bit Kakashi when they were first together, and he’d been jerking the other man off, and he couldn’t control himself, and then he’d bitten the unsuspecting omega. It was a bewildering, instinctive parallel that Kakashi’s clone must have registered, because it made almost precisely the same hiss of pain and pleasure that Kakashi had weeks ago during Kakashi’s heat – and – and –

Iruka felt his cock jerk in his hand, his orgasm suddenly rocking him to his core.

To make it all the more incredible and unbelievable, Kakashi was coming at the exact same time. His hands were tight and awful on Iruka’s hipbones, but it didn’t feel bad, not at all. Instead Iruka found in his rut that his body was interpreting the pain as something to notice, focus on, obsess about. Iruka released the clone from the ferocious bite so he could gasp frantically against the copy’s throat, all as the real Kakashi, his actual omega, poured his hips downward into Iruka, his silver pubic hair flush against Iruka’s skin.

He was shaking as his rut-flooded brain tried to take in all the different sensations. Iruka found suddenly that he was all too aware of his sweat-shimmering skin – the cum dripping down the outside of his throat, spilling down his thighs – Kakashi’s clone’s rough grip on both his shoulders as if Iruka’s trembling body was the only thing keeping the jutsu-created copy on this plane of existence – Kakashi’s strong scarred body pressed unbearably intimately across his backside, so exceedingly different and distinct from anything he’d ever experienced before.

Unexpectedly, Kakashi pulled fully out of him, and Iruka almost lost his balance in shock.

But the clone was there to rescue him, keeping him steady. As Iruka fluttered his eyes open to see his omega’s copy, he was astonished to find that the clone was pink-flushed and sweating in ways that he’d never seen on the real Kakashi.

Yet, before Iruka could say a thing, the clone swept closer to him, gave him the sweetest and most agonizing kiss that he’d ever had in his life, and pulled back just slightly. Staring deep into Iruka’s eyes with its single dark eye and faux Sharingan, Kakashi’s clone whispered to him in a low tone, “Please take care of him.”

And – then –

That was it.

The jutsu ended.

The clone vanished in the smallest, most sorrowful puff of smoke Iruka had ever seen.

Iruka was startled by the profound feeling of loss that instantly followed. He dropped to his side, staring at where Kakashi’s copy had just been, utterly thrown by its rapid disappearance. His hand instinctively went to his throat – and found the clone’s cum had vanished along with its body. The sensations of having his hair pulled, having his mouth fucked, those were all still there, deeply writ into Iruka’s memory, but the jutsu creation itself was totally gone, its existence ephemeral.

He found himself looking in surprise back at the real Kakashi sitting behind him.

But he was flabbergasted to find that the jounin omega was not looking at him in return. Instead, Kakashi all but staring holes into the ceiling with both eyes open, his scarlet Sharingan spinning at impossible speeds. Kakashi’s fingers were shaking on the bedsheets, his palms spread out flat. His bare chest was rising and falling so quickly that Iruka felt a wild fear fly through him, such a terrible feeling that he almost stumbled forward to grab the other man in concern.

Yet, all of a sudden, Iruka realized what had happened, what was happening.

The clone’s memories were flooding back into Kakashi.

Even in the slow fading flush of sex, Iruka found himself freshly blushing as he observed Kakashi’s reaction to his vanished jutsu creation providing its own perspective over the last hour.

In perhaps the most glorious look of the whole night, Kakashi dropped his head back, exposing the long line of his throat, his silver hair fluttering back, as a new pink flush spread back over his body. Once limp against his scarred thigh, Kakashi’s cock attempted to rouse in response to the memories. Iruka found himself fixated on the sight: he wanted desperately to get Kakashi off again, but he knew he would only startle the man if he interrupted him now.

Instead Iruka watched as Kakashi shakily lifted his hand and ran his fingers through his hair…

He looked like he was dangerously close to producing a cigarette and smoking it in dark shivering relief after a truly rough night of sex.

Unmindful of his open Sharingan, Kakashi suddenly noticed that he was under observation, and he glanced back down at Iruka, his face filling with considerable mortification.

“Ah, that was…” the jounin omega started to say, but he only ended up staring pathetically at Iruka with both eyes, visibly indecisive on what he should say about their time together.

“Really good,” Iruka softly finished for him, his own eyes shining. He moved closer to Kakashi, who sat up straighter in response, looking at him with new devoted attention.

Even though he knew that Kakashi had just seen a totally different side of Iruka and now understood that he clearly lustfully enjoyed being fucked, Iruka had nothing but hormonal lust and eternal love within him for his fascinating impossible omega.

He slid up towards Kakashi… and kissed him ever so lightly, brushing his fingers over Kakashi’s heated scarred cheek.

As his bodily strength started to fade, the last of his rut finally dragging him back under, Iruka thought about how Kakashi stayed so sweet and sincere, even during what was surely the kinkiest sex of his entire life. He leaned forward and kissed across Kakashi’s neck, his lips ghosting over the spot where he had once again bit and bruised the omega.

“I want everyone in the world to know I love you,” Iruka whispered, meaning every last word.

And then he passed out, draped in Kakashi’s arms.

Chapter Text

“Whoa, look over there – that omega pervert’s sniffing around our new big, bad alpha!”

“No way! … Oh, wow. You weren’t kidding.”

“You think Iruka-sensei will finally be the one to tame him?”

“Ha! I would’ve said no a week ago, but anything’s possible now. I mean, it’s sort of like up is down, black is white, omega is alpha...”

“Shit, be quiet, I think he heard us.”

“The Copy Nin?!”

“No – uh, Iruka-sensei. C’mon, shit. Let’s go.”

Even without turning his head, Iruka knew who was gossiping in the hallway outside his classroom: the two newest teachers at the Academy, both betas, one man, one woman. They were not being careful in their hushed whispering; they were barely shinobi, at least according to Iruka’s standards. He regretted their promotion to the school now more than ever. He had previously worried about their poor performance lowering the quality of Konoha’s students, but now he was adding ‘would die horribly on a D-rank mission, thus embarrassing all of Konoha’ to the reasons that he thought they both ought to be fired.

He surveyed his empty classroom, feeling tired for all kinds of different reasons. The students were long gone, but he remained behind, catching up on what the substitute had left him. There was plenty of homework and in-class make-up work, most of it done sloppily by the children, but some of it was from the teacher who had stepped in for him on such short notice. There was lots of annotated commentary about the classroom’s dynamics, particularly focusing on his little troublemaker, Naruto Uzumaki. Sighing again, Iruka could only shake his head as he read about how Naruto tormented the substitute and his classmates during his absence. Apparently the boy had even skipped out on class one day, spending his new free time by harassing the village defense patrol, trying to find out where Iruka had gone for the week.

Finally feeling fed up with school, Iruka looked over at the closed classroom window to see Kakashi Hatake lounging, long and pretty, on an outstretched branch. The jounin omega was lazily reading an Icha Icha book, its distinctive orange cover a nice bright flash of color in the recess yard. He was in his full Konoha uniform, having returned to his standard look around the village: his blue mask was in place high on his face, his hitai-ate lowered down over his Sharingan. He wore his flak jacket and leg bandages like he was ready for an invasion of Konoha, even though his neutral expression made him seem completely unworried about such a bleak possible future.

After walking over across the classroom, Iruka opened the window, resting his elbows on the sill and staring out at the other man. He couldn’t help but smile softly and a bit sadly at him.

“Did you hear them?” he asked quietly, already knowing the truth but wanting to see how Kakashi chose to answer the question.

Without otherwise shifting, Kakashi’s dark eye slowly moved over to study Iruka. “Hmm?” he responded, obviously acting like he was much more distracted by his book than he actually was.

Iruka’s smile widened considerably, feeling both pleased and amused by Kakashi’s decision to be nonchalant in the face of such stupid insults. He relaxed more, putting his head against the window-frame, as he gazed out at the jounin.

“I’m supposed to tame you, did you know that?”

“Because you’re so big,” Kakashi drawled with undisguised pleasure as he suddenly put his book away. He crouched on the branch and seemed to be smiling underneath his mask as he added in a low tone, looking directly and only at Iruka, “… and bad.”

Although he couldn’t fight back his own smile, Iruka forced himself to ask a few more important questions before barreling right into flirting with the omega. He asked curiously, still totally unable to tear his eyes from the other man, “Did the ANBU like the sake? I tried to get enough for everyone that I – um, that I met when I went looking for you.”

“Yeah, they’ll be fine,” Kakashi replied with ease. He tilted his head upwards, as if he was indifferently considering the weather, and remarked in a bored tone, “Sky sends his regards.”

Iruka blinked in confusion at hearing an unknown name. He knew practically everyone in the village, but - “Sky…?”

“The ANBU you put into bondage, choked, and then called pretty.”

“Oh, God,” Iruka instantly groaned, burying his head in his hands, feeling his blush overwhelm him. “Don’t tell me that he talked to you about what happened. I’m going to die, I’m literally going to crawl into a hole and die.”

To his surprise, the jounin omega only gave a short laugh, causing Iruka to look back up at him while still hiding most of his face. Still crouched on the branch, Kakashi was now definitely smiling and still staring at Iruka as he added with audible amusement, “Sky also wished me good luck and said I shouldn’t be afraid to use advanced jutsu to defend myself.”

Iruka laughed in response, feeling his embarrassment turn into slight pride. After pulling his head out of his hands, he scratched at his scar and commented with a faint smile, “He thought he could subdue me with taijutsu, but, well… he couldn’t.”

“He was wrong about you. That seems to happen a lot.”

Something in Kakashi’s voice made Iruka refocus on the other man, and he found a dark possessiveness overcoming him as he noticed the omega looked very distantly impressed but still rather unsure about Iruka’s identity and existence. In some way, the continued confusion made sense: he knew that Kakashi had once been bewildered by his status as an alpha, having sincerely believed Iruka was an omega, but now the newfound knowledge of Iruka’s ability to dominate other alphas… that was different and unsettling, too. They had processed it a good deal while Iruka was in the final throes of his rut, but it was still a difficult issue to fully understand, one understudied and exceptional even in their world of elite shinobi.

“People are wrong about you, too,” Iruka murmured, suddenly wanting to fold Kakashi into a strong embrace and protect him from the cruelty of their village. He watched the jounin omega perk up at the comment, which only further made him want to jump out of the window and tackle the man out of the tree to take care of him. But instead he continued, saying seriously, “I don’t care about anyone else: I want you to be wild and free.”

As he spoke, Kakashi’s silver brow slowly rose upward, and surprise flickered across his face. Intent on keeping eye contact with the other man, Iruka insisted as he grew increasingly upset, “I’m yours, and you’re mine, but I want you to live your life however you want to live it. I only want to be there for you. I don’t ever want to hold you down or hold you back.” He was leaning out of the window, unconsciously trying to reach out for the omega, as he declared, heat in his tone, fury riding through his words, “You have worked too hard for me to intervene like – like a bully and keep you from being your true self. You’re simply amazing, Kakashi. I want to support you through everything, anything, whatever is thrown at you. I just… hope you’ll let me do that.”

Although Iruka had seen Kakashi in battle a handful of times during invasions of Konoha, he was still terribly unprepared for the look of pure intensity that swept over the jounin omega’s mostly-hidden face. The sudden dark aura radiating from Kakashi was truthfully utterly terrifying; Iruka felt his shinobi instincts demanding that he back away, escape through the classroom door, get away get away get away. He kept himself motionless, knowing that if Kakashi had wanted to kill him then he would have been able to do so several dozen times over by now.

But still – Kakashi’s slitted-eyed stare looked so dangerously like a destructive glower that Iruka nearly dropped down his gaze out of deference, instinctively wanting to surrender to the higher-ranked and hormonally-different man in front of him.

Before he could act in any way, any way at all, Kakashi disrupted his muddled thoughts using a tone threaded with darkness and deadly promise, “I will die before you, Iruka Umino, because no one will kill you while I live. Whoever hurts you will have to answer to me.”

It was so crazily similar to the promises that Kakashi had made in the bedroom during his rut, but now they were both hormonally at peace, and in public, and suddenly Iruka was in the tree, and he was pushing Kakashi back down across the branch where he’d been reading his Icha Icha book all day, and they were kissing through his mask, making their kisses strangely chaste in some ways but wickedly perverse in others, especially as Iruka bit on Kakashi’s hidden lip through the cloth and Kakashi eagerly pressed his wet tongue against the fabric, seeking out Iruka’s and moaning deep in his throat as Iruka kissed him harder through the thin mask.

They were suddenly forced to stop when a Konoha civilian passing by spotted them high in the branches of the tree and gave a gasp that she could only partially muffle with her hand.

Iruka flushed red in surprise, hiding his face in his hands, even though he saw Kakashi smile sinisterly under his mask, seeming darkly pleased with the turn of events. He worried that the jounin omega was going to wave down at the woman, but he probably felt a bit undignified having been located by a mere civilian, so hopefully Iruka would get lucky and avoid that additional awkwardness. When he finally dared to look around again, he found Kakashi unmoved underneath him, now with his hands resting behind his head. He appeared quite satisfied with life and rather at peace with himself and the world around him.

“So,” Kakashi said slowly, pleasure soaking each of his words, “You do like me when we aren’t high out of our minds on hormones. That’s good, that’s really good.”

Trying to stand up on the tree branch, Iruka groaned once more, filling again with truly stupid embarrassment. “Of course, you’re irresistible, it’s going to get me fired or murdered or –”

“Or bring you endless joy.”

His gaze cut back down to see Kakashi’s disguised expression: he was greeted with a strangely hopeful half-lidden eye and a slightly cocked head as the other man looked back up at him.

All of a sudden, the words tumbled out of his mouth:

“Can I take you out to dinner?”

Kakashi’s single dark eye seemed to shine as he asked with pointed curiosity, “You want to be seen in public with me, Iruka-sensei?”

The new addition of his honorific was not lost on Iruka. He wordlessly reached down and grabbed Kakashi’s hand, carefully pulling him to his feet in the tree. He took advantage of Kakashi’s rapt interest in him, slipping his hand along the cloth covering the omega’s cheek, tracing over the engraved swirls of the leaf in his Konoha hitai-ate shielding his Sharingan. After kissing Kakashi’s hidden beauty mark, Iruka leaned further into him, saying sweetly into his uncovered ear, “I wasn’t lying during my rut. I want everyone to know I love you.”

There was no wondering what Kakashi thought about Iruka’s statement, because the jounin omega suddenly pulled down his mask and shoved Iruka against the tree and kissed him so thoroughly that Iruka started to feel faint and dizzy from a lack of steady breathing.

He still felt remarkably out of it even after they dropped down out of the tree and Kakashi completed the hand formations for some sort of fire jutsu to dry his salvia-damp mask. They started walking towards one of the fancier establishments in town after Iruka’s quiet suggestion of the restaurant. Barely conscious of how strange they would look walking beside each other, Iruka matched Kakashi’s slow, lazy stride through Konoha. He was primarily focused on his own fluctuating arousal; he had never felt so entranced nor fascinated by another person as he was with Kakashi, neither during his rut nor out of it.

It was very hard not to stare at Kakashi as they walked to the restaurant.

He was so damn beautiful.

And – exceeding any and all expectations – Kakashi seemed uncaring about his fine looks or his extraordinary appeal.

The jounin omega hadn’t pulled out his Icha Icha book: instead he kept his hands deep in his pockets, looking indifferently about the street, taking in their surroundings. The man had never been a fan of idle chatter, and he didn’t fall into the habit now as they walked. Surprising himself, Iruka found that he wasn’t able to start up a conversation he was so captivated by the idea, the image, of them in public, walking the streets of Konoha together. He imagined he was blushing since his scarred cheeks felt unusually hot, but Iruka also knew he was smiling, immeasurably excited that he could be with Kakashi in places beyond his apartment.

However, he would have had to have been stuck in a strong genjutsu not to notice that the shinobi and civilians of the village were far too aware of just who was strolling through the streets nearly shoulder to shoulder with each other.

Even though he still kept his alpha scent furiously contained with chakra and further suppressed by pills, Iruka had already learned that the entirety of Konoha knew he was an alpha after his reckless run through the village and his brief skirmishes with ANBU as well as –

“Oh, Kotetsu, Izumo!”

The pair of chuunin turned around simultaneously, both immediately breaking out into smiles upon seeing Iruka – and Kakashi, too, Iruka realized after a second. He had gotten wasted with them a few days earlier after his rut was firmly finished and apologetically explained everything, including why he had hidden his alpha status for the duration of their entire friendship. Ultimately, neither Kotetsu nor Izumo seemed to particularly mind the secret: they were much more interested in the graphic sexual details of Iruka’s time with Kakashi, something Iruka had refused to tell them... initially, at least.

After the third sake bottle, though – Iruka had admitted that he serially broke betas, and Kakashi was one of his first omega ever, and he was deeply in love with the man, and then he had started drunk-crying about how he was just so sorry to hurt his two best friends and he’d torn the yukata they gave him and he would absolutely make up for lying to them and hurting them and destroying their gift whatever way he could, however he could, if they would only please keep being his friend.

The two beta men had been very drunk by that point, too, but they had still laughingly yanked Iruka into a forceful three-person embrace and reassured him that his dumb hormonal decisions weren’t worth ending their life-long friendship over – but…

But seriously – how was Kakashi in bed?

Now in the street, Kotetsu and Izumo acted with impossible etiquette, not referencing a single thing that Iruka had drunkenly confessed to them. Nevertheless, they were all feline smiles around Kakashi, which the jounin omega must have noticed, but he seemed content to watch the three chuunin talk pleasantly with each other while he remained silent.

After a few minutes, Izumo looked ready to go, but Kotetsu suddenly turned on Kakashi, giving him a truly impressive warning glare. “You take care of our Iruka, you hear me, Copy Nin? He’s a fragile flower no matter what he says. He’ll wilt if you’re not gentle with him.”

Iruka stared in open offended astonishment at his friend. “What? I’m not a – a flower?!”

Before he could say anything more, Kakashi interrupted him, saying with the utmost seriousness, “I promise I will take care of Iruka-sensei. You don’t have to worry about him.”

Izumo shook his head, muttering something under his breath, and had to forcibly tug a noticeably intrigued-looking Kotetsu away from them, waving at them and wishing both a good night.

“Were Gai and Tenzou that bad?” Iruka desperately asked Kakashi, renewed embarrassment and irritation coloring his voice. They were standing still in the street, so he tried to get them to start moving again towards the restaurant. Even though he managed to get Kakashi walking again, the man still hadn’t answered his question, so he tried to clarify, “When you talked to them?”

Kakashi hummed low in his throat, shrugging both of his shoulders, glancing away from Iruka at seemingly nothing in particular. He replied with effortless calm, “Gai’s no problem. He’s happy for me, for us.”

Although it was a bit difficult to navigate without looking ahead, Iruka found himself staring forcefully at Kakashi as he realized the man was not going to follow up about Tenzou.

Clearly Kakashi caught Iruka’s suspicious look and darkening attention because he finally admitted much more quietly while still not looking at Iruka, “I may have been a bit cruel to him in the forest after I saw you two together.”

“… what did you do?”

Iruka wasn’t expecting this particular turn of events, but now that it was happening, he felt totally fixated on the topic of conversation, and he almost pulled Kakashi up to the rooftops to make him tell the story quicker and in extreme detail.

Instead, Kakashi looked slightly uncomfortable as his one eye rolled skyward again and he muttered through his mask, “I said you were only going to be with me, that he and I were over, he doesn’t own me, he and I aren’t mates, you and I are mates, and if he had wanted so much to get fucked by someone, he should have told me earlier, I would have made him beg for it.”

Iruka only realized that he had stopped walking and was staring open-mouthed at Kakashi when the other man turned back around and presented him with a wincing expression that was painfully obvious even with his mask and hitai-ate. The jounin omega ducked his head and admitted, sounding truly contrite, “I was an asshole to him. I never thought I was the jealous type. But it seems I’m an asshole when I get jealous.”

“Have you apologized?” Iruka demanded, looking incredulously at the other man. He closed the distance between them when he noticed a few unsubtle looks being thrown their way. They definitely weren’t fighting, but the village was full of gossips, and he wasn’t about to give them further fuel to fan the already enormous fire of their shared story.

Kakashi had the decency to nod in response, seeming rather pained by his actions and the current conversation. “Yes, excessively.” He glanced back at Iruka as he confessed under his breath, “I may have begged for his forgiveness.”

A myriad of different emotions warred within Iruka, but he finally found himself shaking his head, shoving Kakashi’s shoulder with playful force. “Don’t be an asshole to Tenzou! I’ve still got to send him sake for everything that I did to him.”

“Make it low-grade, don’t give him the good stuff,” Kakashi suggested evenly, appearing remarkably put-out that Iruka was going to contact the other alpha.

As they neared the restaurant, Iruka curved up against the jounin omega, deliberately grinning up at him, delight sparkling in his eyes. “You worried your kouhai will steal me away?”

Kakashi looked at him with an impossibly blank expression and then said simply, “I’m worried you’ll break his heart.”

“Me?” Iruka barely choked out, turning bright red. He was paused in the doorway of the restaurant, which he knew was just rude, but he was so taken aback by Kakashi’s comment that he could only stare at the man in sincere surprise.

“Yes, you,” Kakashi replied, gently pulling him inside the restaurant and taking a table in the far back of the building. He seemed uncomfortable again, this time not with his own past actions, but with Iruka’s alarmed response to his comment. When Iruka didn’t change his expression, staring at him in disbelief, Kakashi leaned forward across the table and explained at length, “You’re the only one to ever give me a chance, a real chance. If you do that with Tenzou, he’ll fall in love, and you’ll break his heart, because I assume you don’t have two mates, so he would end up the side piece, and that would make him feel worthless, and I’m afraid he might kill himself in the ensuing depressive episode. So please only send him cheap sake.”

Iruka looked wildly at the other man: he was surprised, totally and utterly surprised. He hadn’t imagined that he could affect anyone so badly, let alone someone as mysterious and powerful as Tenzou, who was obviously ANBU as well as a high-ranking shinobi. But Iruka also didn’t think that Kakashi was incorrect in his thought process, nor in his strategy with handling his kouhai…

Still – the idea that – that –

“Okay, I’ll have you pick out the brand,” Iruka conceded quietly before turning his gaze down towards the menu. It took a surprisingly long time to get settled again, but soon he was realizing that he really was out in public with Kakashi Hatake, Konoha’s sole jounin omega, the Copy Nin and Master of a Thousand Jutsus… the man who somehow unbelievably was his mate, his one and only mate.

All that made him blush enough that Kakashi noticed.

The man’s lean muscular leg brushed up against Iruka’s, his sandaled foot coming to rest right beside Iruka’s, moving to comfort him and reassure him of their bond.

It was unbearably sweet and caused Iruka to blush even more. He found himself shyly looking up at Kakashi, but the man seemed to still be examining the menu as if he hadn’t noticed or done a single thing. Holding back his laughter, Iruka finally decided on what he wanted and cheerfully ordered when the waiter came their way, with Kakashi seconding everything he asked for.

They fell into an easy conversation about nothing serious at all: the changing seasons, the upcoming class of students at the Academy, the low-ranked missions that Kakashi had recently been sent on. All the while Kakashi kept his leg and foot firm against Iruka’s, even as he seemed markedly nonchalant and laid-back in their discussion. It was nice, really and truly nice. Iruka was a little woozy at the innocent pleasure of it, of having someone so interested in him, another man who cared for him, an omega who was his and his alone.

At some point late in the dinner, Iruka went in search of the bathroom, having barely wandered the hallways during the schoolday for fear of encountering gossipy teachers. He was so pleasantly high on the whole ‘I have a mate, I am with him in public, he loves me, I love him’ that his shinobi skills were down and his mind elsewhere.

But, on his way back to their table, Iruka heard it: someone was talking shit about Kakashi.

He stopped dead in his tracks and zeroed in on who was speaking.

A drunk alpha… a chuunin like him.

A man who took missions outside of the village but couldn’t break into the jounin rank.

And he was drunk, leaning heavily on his long-haired friend, loudly declaring for all around him to hear that he would have fucked Kakashi, but now the man was taken.

Iruka was standing in front of him a moment later, his face saturated with dark fury. He didn’t even look at the chuunin alpha’s friends, although he could tell that they were wide-eyed and staring at him. Their foolish drunk companion was still focused on his almost-finished beer.

“I’m sorry, Watanabe-san, what were you saying?” he asked tightly, his rage getting his voice all worked up, even while he held himself back from exploding on the other alpha.

Koji Watanabe blearily looked up at Iruka, and he grinned all lop-sided, raising his beer up towards Iruka’s face in false acknowledgement and mean celebration.

“Congratulations, Iruka-sensei! You’ve caught yourself a starving bitch!”

Although he was definitely not in rut, Iruka didn’t exactly follow what happened next.

He did realize, belatedly, that he had apparently knocked Koji out cold and grabbed Masakazu Funai, another chuunin, a beta this time, one of Koji’s friends, and he was growling in the man’s stricken face, “When Watanabe-san wakes up, you tell him that I’ll end him if he ever speaks Kakashi-san’s name again. Do you understand, Funai-san? I will end him.

The other man nodded, still trembling in surprise and fear, and Iruka deposited him back in the booth, turning on his heel and returning to the far back of the restaurant. He was still shaking from adrenaline rush, but his emotions became smooth and serene when he suddenly met Kakashi’s single dark eye watching him from across the floor. Iruka was a tiny bit embarrassed by his violent response to the drunk as he sunk down into his chair, but then –

“Do you want dessert, Iruka-sensei?”

The low, luscious tenor of the other man made it all worth it.

Iruka found himself blushing in response, and he shook his head in negative. He soundlessly called over the waiter, who walked over speedily after having seen Iruka both start and end a bar fight. Yet when Iruka began to pay the bill, Kakashi slid over more than enough to cover their meal. Without saying a word, the jounin omega stood gracefully, putting his hands in his pockets, and strolled through the restaurant, looking at no one and nothing. After a respectful nod and smile towards the waiter, Iruka followed in his wake, purposefully avoiding looking back over at the group of drunk chuunin.

But – then - unexpectedly - he actually had to search for Kakashi.

The man had totally disappeared from the streets.

Eventually Iruka located him – sitting on top of a prone ANBU on the roof of the restaurant.

Even as Iruka carefully approached from behind, Kakashi stayed perfectly relaxed and tapped twice on the porcelain nose of the ANBU’s raven-shaped mask. Walking around to the woman’s side, he overheard the jounin omega warn the ANBU with overly pleasant steadiness, “Next time, just let us know the Hokage wants him to visit, and we’ll head there on their own.”

It took less than a second for Iruka to register that the ANBU underneath Kakashi was an alpha controlling her scent - how many alphas are in this village, seriously - but it took another troubled moment before Iruka caught on that Kakashi had intercepted the ANBU from abducting him in front of the restaurant. He felt a little flustered at the sight of his omega on top of another alpha, but he was especially surprised by the surge of envious protectiveness that rushed through his veins. Just as Iruka started to step forward in protest, Kakashi jumped off the woman and slipped his hands back in his pockets, affecting his usual lazy slouch in record time.

“Seems like the Hokage wants to see you, Iruka-sensei.”

The next bit was a blur as he and Kakashi bounded over the rooftops to the Hokage Tower, which they entered cautiously and slowly. As they walked through the corridors, Iruka noticed that Kakashi’s shoulders went slightly stiff several times. Although he didn’t know for sure, he imagined they were passing ANBU that Iruka couldn’t sense in the shadows – but Kakashi could, and he was sending out silent warning signals to back off. In the scheme of things, Iruka wasn’t certain that Kakashi had even been invited to accompany him to see the Hokage, but he also had no idea how to ask about it, let alone ask Kakashi to wait outside for him.

It was a good thing he kept Kakashi with him, because, almost immediately after they stepped into the Hokage’s office, Hiruzen scolded Iruka with a single stern look, shaking his head back and forth in evident disappointment.

“Iruka, I never thought I’d say this, but please stop threatening every shinobi in the village.”

Before he could even think through his response, Iruka bowed humbly and apologized both clearly and loudly. “I don’t mean to upset the balance of Konoha, Hokage-sama, but I cannot tolerate anyone insulting the village’s best shinobi. We can’t afford to lose Kakashi-san because our shinobi are grossly prejudiced against omegas.”

He couldn’t and didn’t look over at Kakashi, he was so embarrassed by his intensely practical defense of the other man. Even when Iruka lifted himself back up and Hiruzen stared at him with a skeptical glint in his eyes, he could also feel the heavy weight of a particular single-eyed gaze on him. He didn’t flinch at the additional concentrated attention on him and instead looked back at the Hokage with unwavering resolve.

Evidently, his tactic worked well enough, because Hiruzen nodded in agreement. “You’re right, Iruka, Konoha’s shinobi should be more tolerant of our most unusual omega. I’m only sorry that you’re the one that has to keep them in line. It’s not your job, after all.”

Iruka nodded once, very slightly, trying not to upset whatever diplomacy he’d managed to use in their favor. Knowing that he might end up blushing, he still added with deliberate care, “Kakashi-san may be my mate, Hokage-sama, but he is also our strongest shinobi. He should be treated well by everyone. I won’t stand by and let him be maligned in his own village.”

For some reason – which Iruka privately suspected was due to the case of his favorite but most aggravating student, Naruto Uzumaki – this line of reasoning especially won over the Hokage, who nodded much more seriously and then commented with some intensity, “Your loyalty to Konoha is commendable as always, Iruka. However, I mean it when I say don’t threaten other shinobi.” Hiruzen paused, thinking about his decision, before he corrected himself in a wry tone, “Or at least, don’t do it so publicly.”

Iruka dropped down into a bow once again, hiding his smile. When he came back up, he abruptly noticed that the Hokage had turned his attention to Kakashi – and he had to forcibly restrain himself from stepping in between the two of them in attempt to protect the other man from a lecture.

“Kakashi,” Hiruzen warned in a lower tone, his threatening eyes barely visible under his wide white-and-red hat, “Stop harassing the other ANBU.”

“That’ll be hard,” Kakashi immediately replied, ridiculously casual for someone being scolded in the Hokage Tower so late at night by the Hokage himself. “They need more training.”

“Do they, now?” the Hokage mused, seeming both cynical and reflective at once.

Just as Iruka dared look over the jounin omega, Kakashi moved faster than his inferior eye could catch, but there was no ignoring the sudden appearance of three ANBU in the Hokage’s office, two in the far corners of the room and one right behind them. It wasn’t immediately clear what had caused their abrupt materialization – until Iruka noticed that each of the ANBU were in varying states of handling sharp-edged kunai unpredictably thrown their way.

He recognized the young panda-masked ANBU behind them: it was the inexperienced alpha on the roof who he almost kicked in the face when returning from the woods during his rut.

That poor young man was now gripping his arm in silent pain, a kunai deeply lodged in his bicep. In contrast, his two companions were holding the new weaponry in gloved hands, looking murderously through their porcelain masks, staring with obvious homicidal intent at Kakashi…

… who was standing still, leaning lazily to his right, looking infinitely bored with the situation.

“Yeah, they do,” Kakashi drawled, never looking away from the Hokage, who seemed only a little irritated with the sudden display.

Without giving any further or final word, Hiruzen gestured for their pair to leave, turning his back to them both. He didn’t look over at his ANBU, either, both of whom pocketed the kunai, their fierce attention stuck on Kakashi – who Iruka observed was looking absurdly unimpressed as he turned around without worry and exited the Hokage Tower.

Iruka followed behind him, not unlike how he had done in the restaurant, except this time he had to pass by the wounded young ANBU who he had earlier threatened.

“It’ll be okay, Panda-san,” Iruka tried to say reassuringly, giving the masked boy an apologetic look.

But the ANBU seemed more than a bit embarrassed for being caught so off-guard again, and he stepped aside, ducking his head, unable and unwilling to endure eye contact with Iruka.

When Iruka finally found his way out into the darkness, Kakashi was waiting outside the Hokage Tower, still seeming easygoing and unconcerned with the entire incident. He was clearly smiling under his mask when he saw Iruka and called out without a shred of remorse, “Iruka-sensei, why don’t you come home with me? I’m the best shinobi in Konoha, after all.”

“God, you’re going to torment me about that forever, aren’t you?” Iruka grumbled, rubbing his tired scarred features with his hand. But he stopped at Kakashi’s side anyway, breaking into a smile and looking at him sincerely. “I believe it, you know, that you’re indispensable to the village. You keep Konoha strong and safe… It should be kinder to you.”

Moving with the same obscene speed that he’d used in the Hokage Tower, Kakashi suddenly had his arms wrapped around Iruka, and he was looking down the small space between them, his mask and hitai-ate covering most of his otherwise visibly thrilled expression.

“You make me believe it, Iruka-sensei,” he purred, undeniably pleased with so very many things all at once. “So let me take you home. I want to treat you to dessert.”

Although he felt quite like an overwhelmed omega in the arms of his powerful alpha, Iruka smiled up at Kakashi, feeling his eyes darken with smoldering fondness for the other man. Iruka could perfectly hear how his voice had lowered, becoming husky, as he remarked idly, “You said something earlier about begging… I was wondering if I could get a taste of that.”

“I also mentioned bondage. Do you think we might include that, too?” Kakashi’s masked mouth was both gentle and familiar along Iruka’s jawline as he nuzzled the soft skin and hard curve of his face.

“I mean…” Iruka turned his scarred cheek slightly and smiled slyly, his eyes lighting up dangerously. “If you beg your big, bad alpha… maybe.”

But Kakashi was completely undaunted and rose to the challenge, answering eagerly, “I’ll beg on my knees with my arms tied behind my back, naked and rock hard, how does that sound?”

“Like I’d love to see the inside of your apartment now, like right now.”

“Done and done.”

Before Iruka could even think to stop him, he watched Kakashi blow an cruel kiss to some chakra-hidden ANBU lingering in the shadows behind them – and then he was taken in a Body Flicker jutsu far across the village not to a bachelor jounin apartment but the massive old Hatake compound, where he’d apparently already been entered into the wards, a sure sign of Kakashi’s devotion to him and his deep belief in their bond as a mated pair.

He couldn’t stop blushing, for hours and hours, he was so smitten and satisfied by it all.

Fortunately, Kakashi was much the same, except his smile was more dazed throughout everything, and he was much more willing to beg on bended knee. He blushed most of all when Iruka pulled him close and cuddled with him at the end of the night, kissing Kakashi all over and whispering his love across Kakashi’s skin and into each and every one of his scars.