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“Relax,” Iruka murmurs into the crook of Kakashi’s neck, voice heavy with sleep, toned chest pressed up against Kakashi’s back, fingers lightly caressing the bare skin of his thigh, up and down and back up again like a silent lullaby.

Kakashi can feel the ghost of his lover’s smile in the brush of soft lips against the line of his shoulders before the other man slowly begins to drift off to sleep.

He closes his eyes and, with considerable effort, forces his mind to go almost completely blank, his senses zeroing in on the calming rhythm of Iruka’s breathing.

Sleep had never come easily to Kakashi.

It’s when he lies awake into the early hours that barely repressed paranoia gives way to racing thoughts, the peaceful silence of his bedroom becoming oppressive, his empty walls beginning to close in on him until his throat tightens up and he feels the strain in his every shallow breath. 

At times it’s only the constant, low hum of his wards, covering every wall and crevice of his apartment, that keeps him grounded. 

At times not even the kunai hidden down his sleeves will stop the tremors in his hands as he wills himself to rest up for his departure by sunrise, another mission to take him far away from a barren home that he may never return to.

When Iruka had pushed him up against his bedroom door for the very first time, all nails and teeth and feverish kisses, Kakashi hadn’t expected him to come back for more.

Surely, a man like Iruka wouldn’t settle for damaged goods.

Yet, over six months later, Iruka’s presence has become a wondrous constant in Kakashi’s life and in his bed. 

Iruka’s once scolding expression had softened into something that Kakashi likes to imagine is relief when he slouches into the mission room to turn in his reports, battered and bruised, but alive, his lover’s words of welcome a silent promise of kisses and caresses in the privacy of Kakashi’s home, a hot bath and tangled limbs, nimble fingers absently carding through damp, silvery hair, massaging his scalp in all the right places.

If Kakashi returns days late from a particularly precarious S-Rank, Iruka will take him right there in the steaming hot water, hard and so deep it has Kakashi choking on his own screams, then fuck him gently between the sheets.

Those nights Kakashi will tell himself it’s water dripping down from Iruka’s loosened ponytail when the first scattered droplets hit his back and slowly trickle down his spine, the alternative unthinkable. Dangerous.

He’ll keep his head bowed, eyes fixated on a small tear in his bedding when he’ll ask Iruka to leave too soon after they finish, tone carefully neutral, betraying none of the growing turmoil raging in his heart.

Tonight, Kakashi had known the moment Iruka had stepped through the front door and straight into his personal space, bags of fresh groceries dropping to the ground with a dull thud as Iruka had thrown his arms loosely around Kakashi’s neck, he had finally run out of excuses.

Sometimes he can’t shake the suspicion that Iruka had seen through his lies from the start.

White lies, harmless, but lies nonetheless.

Not once had Iruka questioned or argued his points, as far of a stretch as some of them had been. 

All because he must have known that sooner or later Kakashi would be faced with exactly two options: to open up about his demons or quietly brave them head on.

For all Kakashi knows, Iruka has always understood that it’s never been a matter of whether Kakashi wants him to stay the night or not. 

Sly bastard , Kakashi thinks to himself with a small huff, the corners of his mouth curving up into a smile, wary but fond.

Eyes cracked open by the barest fraction, he stares at the wall across from what he figures may become his side of the bed and eventually exhaustion begins to come over him like a heavy blanket in the warmth of Iruka’s embrace.



One moment Kakashi is surrounded by the gentle rustling of leaves and the chirping of birds high up in the trees, the smell of grass, scattered rays of light breaking through the forest canopy and falling down on Iruka’s sun-kissed face. 

Iruka’s chest is rumbling with carefree laughter, his head turned slightly to the side, mouth nipping at Kakashi’s left wrist where it’s pinning him to the ground like it’s nothing.

They’d been at it for hours, sparring that is.

He wonders if Iruka won’t ever get tired of being hurled across their small clearing, trapped between the forest floor and Kakashi’s body looming over him, mismatched eyes drinking up the glow of his skin and the contrast of long chestnut hair against clusters of tiny white flowers that are sprinkled in between the grass.

Kakashi knows with a frightening certainty that he never will.

One moment, he is sound asleep for the first time in longer than he cares to remember. 

Everything seems strangely light, as if he was floating, his mind at ease—

The next, Kakashi feels every last muscle in his body tense up with alarm, like steel ropes pulled too tight, ready to snap.

He pushes himself off the mattress with a force and speed normally reserved for combat, feet skidding back across the wooden bedroom floor towards the far wall, one outstretched hand slightly cushioning the impact.

Wide-eyed, Kakashi scans the room for the hidden intruder, ignores the stabbing pain where their elbow had connected harshly with his ribcage and abruptly startled him out of his dreams.

Time slows down to a crawl.

He feels each fine hair at the back of his neck stand on end, his heartbeat pulsing in his ears, adrenaline zapping through his veins like high voltage. 

At this point, his body is operating purely on instinct and before his brain, still drowsy with how thoroughly he’d been passed out, can hope to catch up with his own rapid movements his right hand releases a wave of shuriken in the general direction of the bed.

There’s the faint sound of a body colliding with the floor as his opponent ducks down to dodge his attack, followed by an exasperated, muffled ow.

Then silence.

Kakashi, however, won’t be deceived that easily. 

The Sharingan’s deadly gaze, piercing through wood, fabric and flesh alike, detects the steady flicker of his enemy’s chakra — the feel of it strangely familiar, Kakashi notes, but quickly dismisses the thought.

He knows that this is not the time to hesitate, unless he’s looking to present the other shinobi an opening to strike at him from the shadows.

Within a split of a second his feet are off the floor, propelling him forward, his body nearly weightless until his knees crash into the wooden planks of his bedroom floor on both sides of the intruder’s hips. Kakashi’s left hand is supporting him as he hovers dangerously above his prey, his right closing around the other man’s throat in an iron grip, pale as a ghost compared to the soft, tan skin underneath his fingertips.

Despite the way his face has twisted into a vicious snarl, despite the raw power, the killing intent emanating from his every pore, Kakashi doesn’t smell a trace of panic, nor fear. 

Looking back on the events of the night a few hours later, he’ll think that maybe, just maybe it had been Iruka’s misplaced trust that had shocked him out of his raging madness.

As things stand right now, Kakashi isn’t quite sure what it is that finally stops him in his tracks, his wrist trembling with the deeply ingrained urge to twist and snap those fragile bones like twigs, and makes him really look at the man below him.


The thick veil that had been clouding his senses ever since he’d jolted awake from his sleep slowly begins to lift, his head painfully clear as he stares down at Iruka’s face, confusion written all over those soft, beloved features that are, at times, the only thing to hold him together when he feels like he’s coming apart at the seams.

“Kakashi?” Iruka repeats, tone calm and gentle, as if he was trying to soothe a spooked animal.

It’s alright, it’s just me.”

Nothing is alright.

Nothing should have made Kakashi believe that he could have this, the bliss of falling back into the warmth of Iruka's arms after letting himself be claimed, the sight of the man he loves — quietly so, but he knows that it’s love nonetheless — the first thing he sees in the morning, all sleepy smiles and tousled brown hair tickling his bare chest.

And yet, he had allowed himself to become greedy.

Just for a second.

It had almost cost him everything.

When his right hand releases Iruka’s throat from his grasp to form the Seal of the Tiger, disappearing in a cloud of smoke and regret, he silently asks Iruka for forgiveness.



White porcelain shatters against the living room wall in a flurry of delicate shards.

The silence that follows is deafening, only interrupted by Kakashi’s breathing that comes in quick, hard bursts. 

Hand still hovering in mid-air, he stares at the remnants of the teapot he’d flung across the room in a fit of blind anger, glittering innocently in the warm glow of the late afternoon sun.

Slowly, steaming hot water spreads between the fragments as Kakashi’s temper cools as fast as it had flared up less than a minute ago.

He numbly sinks down onto one of the cushions scattered around the dinner table, face buried in his gloved palms, eyes screwed shut in frustration.

Frustration with himself.

Frustration with Iruka, who simply doesn’t seem to know when to quit.

Avoiding Iruka proved far more difficult than Kakashi had expected. 

Upon returning to his apartment the morning after he’d given Iruka a glimpse of the madness lurking beneath the surface, he hardly trusted his own senses when they picked up on the soft hum of the other man’s chakra, awaiting him inside. There was a hint of impatience to it, or maybe he was just imagining things.

Kakashi turned on his heel, didn’t dare to come back to this part of the village until hours later, hoping that Iruka would have to have left by then if he didn’t want to risk running late for his first block of lessons at the Academy.

He knew that he was acting like a cowardly child, nothing like the kind of man Iruka deserved.

Still, he’d rather be a coward than have to see the disappointment in Iruka’s eyes, the revulsion, the fear after the initial shock had worn off and the events of the previous night had finally sunk in.

However to Kakashi’s genuine surprise it didn’t end there.

The very next day he warily looked up from the worn pages of his book at a series of sharp knocks against his front door. He hadn’t been turning them in what must have been about an hour, too lost in the maze of his own derailing thoughts to keep pretending, even if it was only to himself. 

Eventually, the noise subsided, his visitor having grown tired of hanging around outside Kakashi’s seemingly deserted home, or so Kakashi had believed until he carefully crept into the small genkan, just to make sure.

Iruka’s short, bushy ponytail stuck up from where the other man had settled down on the floor below Kakashi’s window sill, a couple of loose strands prettily swaying in the wind. Affection welled up in his chest and almost instinctively Kakashi reached out to catch them between his fingers, gently tug them behind Iruka’s ear.

“I know you’re there,” Iruka broke the quiet without bothering to turn around, or maybe it was to give Kakashi a chance to retreat back into the shadows.

Kakashi froze then, fingertips tensely pressed against the glass.

“You’re not as good at this as you may think, running away, hiding... I can hear you brooding from all the way out here, Kakashi.”

Iruka’s voice was soft, but confident, not a trace of accusation to be found in his tone.

“If you’d only let me speak,” he continued mildy, “you’d know that I don’t blame you for what happened. I startled you in your sleep, that’s all.”

Something about those words, about the lightness with which they were said sent Kakashi into a panic.

When he’d asked for Iruka’s forgiveness that night, he’d prayed that somehow the other man would find it in him to understand that while at times Kakashi was unstable at best, he’d never meant to do him any harm. He’d hoped against all odds that even if Iruka wouldn’t deem it safe to come near him again, and rightfully so, he wouldn’t despise him either.

He certainly hadn’t been prepared for the possibility of having his insanity brushed aside as if it hadn’t recently turned both of their lives upside down in the span of a minute.

When he hopped onto the railing of his balcony and off into the trees beyond, there was a war waging in his mind. 

Kakashi realized that if Iruka refused to keep a safe distance from him, it would be his responsibility to do so in Iruka’s stead. Another small, treacherous part of him wondered bitterly how long it would take for Iruka to give up on him like everyone else had. It made his whole body ache, branching from his chest into the very tips of his toes like a fast-spreading disease.

The days that followed were a blur.

Shutting himself away in his apartment had proven ineffective, so he began to wander the village at random, the parts of his face that weren’t covered by his mask a picture of indifference as he felt himself drawn to the places that reminded him of warm smiles and the occasional brush of Iruka’s feet against his ankle underneath the table.

The tempting smell of food wafting through the air made his stomach growl in protest, the laughter carrying into the streets from inside the many huddled restaurants kept him on the move.

Without Iruka ordering him around the kitchen, having him chop vegetables while the other man was busy preparing fish and rice for their dinner at Kakashi’s otherwise sparsely used stove, he couldn’t seem to find the energy to take care of himself properly.

He’d allowed himself to get comfortable around Iruka.

Too comfortable, it appeared.

No matter where his feet chose to carry him over the past week, Iruka was one step ahead and knew to arrive there first, forcing Kakashi to retreat until eventually there was but one place left for him to go.

This is how, earlier this day, Kakashi ended up wandering the vast forest surrounding the village. He absently trod on paths that he knew like the back of his hands after having walked them a hundred times in years past, trusting his feet to lead him to his destination as his mind was drifting elsewhere.

He’d been resting in the shade of an old tree, its large trunk specked with a handful of stray kunai that had been used during one or another sparring session, when his ears picked up the sound of approaching footsteps, too obvious to be meant for an ambush.

“Care to let me keep you company?” Iruka announced his arrival from somewhere close behind Kakashi’s back, voice low and sweet. Tempting.

Something in Kakashi’s chest twisted violently.

He kept his visible eye fixed on the forest floor stretching out infinitely in front of him, gnarled roots breaking through the ground and the fresh green grass this close to the edge of the clearing. 

This place had been his haven for longer than he cared to remember, a place of quiet and solitude, until he’d chosen to let Iruka in and make it theirs.

He wished he could have dreamed on a little longer.

Kakashi crushed the thought as swiftly as the tiny white petals he’d been holding between his fingertips.

“I’ll request a mission from the desk first thing tomorrow morning. I’ll be gone by noon. You should—“

Iruka, as per usual, didn’t care to hear what Kakashi thought he should be doing.

Crouching close enough behind him for Kakashi to feel the other man’s warmth seep through his clothes and into his skin, Iruka tipped back Kakashi’s head until it was lightly resting against his shoulder, then sealed his lips with a kiss that strangely felt like a promise.

Of what, Kakashi couldn’t have been so sure.

In any case, his body chose this particular moment to disobey him, both of his hands reaching up to cup Iruka’s face and pull him closer of their own accord, draw him in deeper, anything but push against that strong, hard chest the way he knew he was supposed to do.

Merely a heartbeat later Kakashi’s eye flew open in confusion, darting up to where Iruka’s mouth had been just a heartbeat ago, warm and wet and enticing, when his fingers grasped at nothing but thin air.

Even now, back in the solitude of his own home, the ghost of Iruka’s touch is haunting, the way it renders Kakashi defenseless with gentle persistence, the way it stirs up memories of sensual lips running down his neck, his spine as his body bends to his lover’s will.

His nails dig into his cheeks through the thin fabric of his mask. He tries not to imagine Iruka sitting right across from him at the small dinner table, entertaining him with anecdotes about his unexpectedly rowdy past, how even Naruto couldn’t have hoped to hold a candle to him, or the feeling of Iruka’s hands in his hair every time Kakashi would wheedle him into reading to him from those tasteless books, Kakashi’s head comfortably resting in the other man’s lap. 

“It’s better when you read it out loud,” Kakashi would argue, his eye curving into an innocent smile that would be met by raised eyebrows and an indulgent crinkle in the corners of Iruka’s eyes.

One misstep, one minor slip-up during tomorrow’s mission and he’ll never get the chance to feel that warmth again, push up into that idle caress, bury his nose into Iruka’s shirt and breathe in his soothing scent.

He forces himself not to think about it.

Maybe , Kakashi wonders bitterly, gaze roaming across the clutter of jagged shards spread out across his living room floor, glinting back at him mockingly, it would be better that way.



Kakashi warily glances up at the clock above the mission room door, his visible eye following the second hand as it completes another full circle, ticks away another minute.

Six more until closing , he counts, prepared for the withering looks his late arrival will indubitably earn him from whoever is unfortunate enough to have to deal with him tonight.

While Iruka, loathe as he is to admit it, has developed something akin to a soft spot for Kakashi’s tardiness after more than a year’s worth of notoriously late mission reports in varying states of destruction and enduring Kakashi’s other equally outrageous attempts at catching the chuunin sensei’s attention, Kakashi doesn’t delude himself into believing that anyone else will be charmed by his eccentricities.

Well, I’m afraid it can’t be helped.

With Iruka expecting him to collect his new assignment at the crack of dawn and the other man’s usual Saturday desk shift starting around midday, Kakashi’s had to push back his visit to the very last second if he hoped to dodge both, the possibility of Iruka adjusting his schedule to line up with Kakashi’s or coming in at his regular time, knowing Kakashi for the poor liar he becomes more often than not when he finds himself faced with emotions that he isn’t quite ready to unpack.

Iruka likes to tell him that he was brave.

He’s never felt like a greater coward.

When he finally pushes open the door, expression freezing over with practiced ease, he pretends that seeing his lover behind the desk at the other end of the room was expected. Pretends that his heart wasn’t hammering against his ribcage, adrenaline flooding his system like a tidal wave as Iruka assesses him calmly, gaze sharp and intelligent. Knowing.

It has Kakashi’s blood rushing South.

Out of all the things that make Kakashi feel drawn to Iruka, his patience and kindness, his temperament, his stubborn determination, the way his muscles ripple under Kakashi’s fingers when Iruka moves on top of him and how his smile feels like a caress, but he doesn’t fear to stand up to Kakashi either, it has to be Iruka’s near effortless understanding of the workings of his mind that has turned out to be Kakashi’s undoing.

The mission room is deserted at this time of the night. Nothing about Kakashi’s demeanor betrays his urge to throw all caution to the wind, close the distance between them in a few swift strides and climb into Iruka’s lap like a spoiled cat when he approaches with carefully feigned casualness.

He watches Iruka reach for a scroll sitting on the table next to a tall stack of neatly organized papers. From the look of it, it seems safe to assume that it had been picked out for Kakashi specifically.

“Got lost on the path of life?” Iruka comments mildly, head tilted slightly to the side.

There’s no snark in his tone, just a hint of teasing paired with that familiar glint in Iruka’s eyes.

“So it appears.”

Kakashi accepts the scroll quietly, ignoring the way his skin tingles under his glove where Iruka’s hand brushes against his own. 

The confrontation he’d braced himself for never comes.

After a long pause, he decides to turn his back and leave, frustrated with his unbidden reluctance. 

He’d spent the better part of the week running from Iruka. Now that the other man finally appears to have given up on chasing after him, he can barely bring himself to accept how easily Iruka had been convinced that Kakashi was too dangerous, too difficult to keep around.

“I expect this mission will pose no challenge for you, Kakashi-taichou .”

Kakashi looks up sharply at that, narrows his visible eye in suspicion.

Just when he tells himself that he must have misheard, forcing his hand to relax around the scroll finger by finger, opening it just enough to peer at the first few lines of the assignment — not a solo mission but one to be conducted by a four-man cell under his lead, none of the names sounding familiar but one, he realizes that he should have known better than to underestimate Iruka’s cunning.

He feels Iruka’s expectant stare boring into his back and spins around in a whirl of rustling leaves, just in time to watch Iruka’s shadow clone disappear into thin air with a small puff.



Iruka’s bedroom looks as if a storm had just rolled through, the foliage scattered across the small space making it resemble a forest floor more than anything else. Kakashi is almost certain that his feet have left cracks in the aged wooden boards upon his tumultuous entrance and frankly feels some sort of petty satisfaction at the thought.

If anything, he muses darkly, it will teach the man a lesson about leaving his wards down while keeping Kakashi around of all people.

Unperturbed as ever, Iruka — the real Iruka this time, Kakashi is sure of it — looks up at him from where he’s perched on the edge of the bed as he finishes up the wrappings around his right leg a little too serenely for Kakashi’s taste.

He wants to smack that innocent expression off Iruka’s face.

Instead, Kakashi finds himself pushing forward and up against the other man’s chest, harshly slamming his back into the headboard, Iruka’s lips pliant under a barrage of bruising kisses.

A mere few seconds later, Kakashi flinches back as if he’d been burned, arms still boxing Iruka in, shaking ever so slightly.

His teeth sink down into his bottom lip in a feeble attempt to rein himself in. He closes his eye and imagines the the scrunch of cracking wood and rubble if he were to put his fist straight through the thin wall, swallows down the snarl that’s been building up in his throat and his mind spins with anger, frustration, the need to roll over and take it until every ounce of his being is thrumming with Iruka’s warmth.

For Iruka’s sake, however, he can’t afford to slip up like this.

Immediately taking advantage of Kakashi’s momentary distraction, Iruka’s hands firmly grab him by the waist and flip him onto his back, Iruka’s knee impatiently pushing in between his own, rubbing against the outline of Kakashi’s painfully throbbing hard-on in his pants. He nearly comes right there, shivering under Iruka’s stare.

“You look upset. Don’t like the mission I picked out for you?” Iruka suggests with a tight smile, lacking all of its usual  tenderness, “Or do you not find your team to be… up to your standards?

Exasperated, Kakashi barely stops himself from letting out a torrent of angry curses.

It’s not the goddamn mission, Iruka, it’s your refusal to keep yourself out of danger even after nearly getting your throat torn out in your sleep, he doesn’t say.

Apparently doesn’t need to.

“I’m not afraid of you, Hatake Kakashi” Iruka whispers against the sharp line of Kakashi’s jaw, voice infuriatingly calm as he hooks one finger under the hem of Kakashi’s mask and tugs it down to his chin with such complete nonchalance, it rips a low growl from Kakashi’s throat. “Get over it.”

Fool,” he hisses back furiously, pressing his mouth into a thin line. 

At that, dark, gentle eyes glance up from Kakashi’s newly exposed lips in search for his own. Iruka’s expression remains unmoved, his body relaxing into the touch where Kakashi’s left hand had rapidly shot out to curl around Iruka’s wrist in silent warning.

Although the room around them is plunged into shadows, Kakashi knows with a chilling certainty that his knuckles are turning white with tension.

He hadn’t been prepared for this, hadn’t expected to ever be the focus of Iruka’s single-minded attention again, skin prickling under the intensity of it. 

Not after what he’d done. 

Now, having been forced to draw up his defenses in a haste, all he can hope to do is pray that by some kind of miracle Iruka doesn’t notice the way they’re cracked and worn around the edges, doesn’t see straight through his facade to find raw pain coiling underneath the very surface.

Run, Kakashi quietly urges Iruka to understand, jaw set hard, his visible eye narrowed to a slit. The Sharingan is glowing dangerously through strands of thick, silvery hair that had fallen into his face the instance he had pushed up his Hitai-ate.

“I may be foolish, and yet...” Iruka trails off, momentarily distracted by the way Kakashi’s left eye had begun to spin idly. “You could have snapped my neck within a fraction of a second, blindly, one quick flick of your wrist.”

After a beat of silence, so loud and heavy Kakashi can feel his blood pounding in his ears, Iruka finally adds, softly, “You didn’t.”

Gaze flickering down to where his hand had been wrapped around Iruka’s neck, cold fingers placed with deadly precision, Kakashi imagines a world in which the sight of the shell-shocked expression on Iruka’s face hadn’t snapped him out of his panicked frenzy. With his senses clouded by sleep, there had been no fear in Iruka’s eyes, but a haunting, vulnerable sort of confusion, the memory of which won’t let Kakashi sleep at night.

“You’re lethal, Sharingan no Kakashi . Surviving you is no lucky accident,” Iruka eventually breaks him out of his thoughts and Kakashi feels something deep inside of him snap.

This time, however, he allows himself to lash out.

Oh, is it not now? ” he shouts, wide-eyed, blind with shame and aimless rage. 

Faced with his own inaptness at this , whatever it is that Iruka considers them to be, let alone at protecting the ones closest to his heart from himself, it’s all he can do to dig his nails into the sheets and stop his hands from forming the signs for the teleportation jutsu his mind is already racing through at a dizzying speed, desperate to escape his apartment in Iruka’s stead.  

I was out of my mind, Iruka!

He drags in a shaky breath, then another, stomach churning, body trembling underneath the other man’s familiar weight. 

Patiently, Iruka gives him time to compose himself — Iruka, who’s been waiting for months, waiting for him to catch up with his own muddled emotions, to struggle and process, never once complaining. 

Still coming down from his uncontrolled outburst, Kakashi watches, paralyzed, as skilled fingers slowly, yet confidently start unzipping his flak vest, then push his black sweater up and out of the way, carefully so as to avoid startling him with any sudden movements. 

He wonders what he must look like to Iruka in that moment. 

Strung up, unpredictable, insane.

Kakashi knows that he needs to put an end to this and fast, needs reason to finally outweigh Iruka’s perplexing, misguided stubbornness.

He realizes, in horror, that he doesn’t want to.

Coward , sneers the voice in the back of his head, a constant reminder of just what kind of man he really is. You’ve been pretending to push him away for as long as some treacherous part of you was sure he’d fight tooth and nail to prove you wrong. But the moment you think he might finally give up on you… You’re acting so chivalrous when all you really are is a twisted, selfish—

“You’re much stronger than you give yourself credit for — not there,” Iruka says softly before Kakashi gets the chance to part his lips in further protest, calloused hands running up his bare arms in both admiration and wonder, “but here,” Iruka’s fingertips brush over Kakashi’s forehead with a tenderness that he can’t hope to comprehend, “and here ...”

It feels like the wind is being knocked out of his lungs the moment Iruka’s palm settles heavily over his heart, his lips over Kakashi’s in a hard kiss after ghosting across the birthmark below the left corner of his mouth. 

The way Iruka spreads his lips and demandingly licks into his mouth allows for no backtalk, so Kakashi, albeit hesitantly, lets his anxieties cave and crumble under the familiar intimacy of Iruka’s ministrations.

He knows beyond question that the other man would back off in less than a heartbeat at the smallest sign of his touch being unwelcome, but with his lover’s fingers hungrily roaming down his sides, making quick work of his pants to claw at his hips and thighs, leaving his marks where older ones have already begun to fade, Kakashi no longer has the strength to pretend that he doesn’t want Iruka to have faith in him, in them.

With both hands firmly cupping Iruka’s face he pulls the other man down and flush against his body, crashing his mouth into Iruka’s with more force than he had intended. He wants those lips on his own, on his chest, his stomach, stretched around his cock as Iruka fondles his balls and fingers him loose. 

He wants them everywhere at once.

It’s the quiet rustling of fabric somewhere above him that finally brings him back down to Earth, his brain fumbling for words he barely remembers how to string together coherently.

“Leave your clothes on,” he manages to rasp out between breathless groans and pants, acutely aware of every inch of his bare skin rubbing up against the rough material of Iruka’s shinobi gear.

 “When you—”

When I fuck you? ” Iruka murmurs hotly against the pulse point between Kakashi’s shoulder and neck, bites down on the tender skin with enough force to bruise.

Kakashi’s cock twitches against his stomach in unchecked arousal.

“Give it to you deep and slow until you’re shaking apart underneath me?”

There’s a new expression seeping into Iruka’s warm brown eyes, something hungry, almost predatory that’s sending shivers down Kakashi’s spine, immediately followed by Iruka’s hand that comes to a rest above his ass.

Kakashi’s gaze never leaves Iruka’s and he watches the other man’s breath catch in his throat as he obediently arches his lower back into the touch and pulls up his legs, opening himself up for Iruka. 

Iruka is on top of him so fast it has Kakashi reeling with pleasure.

Ravenous lips claim his own in a searing, almost brutal kiss, Kakashi’s ears only barely registering the distant sound of a bottle cap being popped open as he lets Iruka shove his tongue down his throat.

And then Iruka’s hands are on him, his fingers in him, sheathed down to the knuckles, tips pressed mercilessly into his prostate after just a couple of searching thrusts, and Kakashi sinks his teeth into the fabric of Iruka’s flak vest and allows himself to scream.

“Maybe it’s you who should be afraid…” Iruka suggests, tone light and sweet when he breaks the kiss to take in the sight of Kakashi’s trembling body, chest heaving, cock rock hard and dripping against his stomach.

There’s the hint of a smile tugging on Iruka’s lips before he increases the pressure on that maddening spot deep inside of him.

Kakashi shudders and squirms with overstimulation, bucks his hips wildly until Iruka’s free hand calmly slips down to hold him still. He feels Iruka’s thumb warningly dig into the soft flesh of his inner thigh, praying that it will leave another bruise.

He isn’t afraid, will never be afraid of Iruka’s quiet dominance, rough, yet loving all the same.

He trusts Iruka.

He knows, he just knows

It’s then that it hits him with the force of a landslide, his own hypocrisy in deciding that Iruka’s trust, born out of his intimate knowledge of Kakashi’s heart, was somehow unfounded, and worse, naive.

For a moment Kakashi’s mind spins with the gravity of the realization as down between his parted legs Iruka works a third finger into him, his body quickly relaxing around their girth, allowing his lover to fuck him loose at a leisurely pace.

Finally, finally , Iruka is moving , his lips carefully closed around the tip of Kakashi’s length, driving him mad with gentle licks and thrusts so hard and slow Kakashi throws an arm across his face, hiding, muffling his breathless groans.

Unsurprisingly, this doesn’t escape Iruka’s attention, who’s climbing back up to nip at Kakashi’s long, pale neck, pries away his cover with his free hand, eyes gleaming with the sort of fierce determination that Kakashi so adores about him.

“Don’t you dare doubting yourself like that again.” 

Another bite, this time to his ear.

“Doubting my judgement when in some aspects, apparently, I know you better than you know yourself.”

Iruka laces their fingers together tightly, pins Kakashi’s hand to the mattress near his head, holds his blood-red gaze without ever lowering his eyes.

Considering the other man for a long moment, Kakashi’s lips part, hesitantly, weighing his words with caution.

“Why does it mean so much to you?”

Iruka huffs as he throws Kakashi’s legs over his shoulders.

The wet slide of his pulsing cock between Kakashi’s cheeks is intoxicating.

“You know damn well why.”

Kakashi’s chest suddenly feels too tight.

He’s not going to say it, Kakashi thinks, quickly averting his gaze so Iruka won’t see the poorly concealed disappointment in his eyes.

“Have you ever loved someone?” Iruka suddenly asks into the silence, voice warm and soft like a summer breeze, “So deeply, you can’t allow their self-imposed loneliness to eat away at them for even another minute? I’m not going to leave you Kakashi, I’m not going to run away from you. I have enough faith in you for the both of us and for now that will do.”

A gentle kiss, brushed against his forehead, has Kakashi releasing a breath he hadn’t realized he’d been holding.

Love .

He hadn’t known just how much he’d needed Iruka to say it.

“We’ll start working on yours from tonight forward,” Iruka continues with calm finality, the grip around Kakashi’s thighs tightening, a quiet warning, large, steady hands holding him in place.

Kakashi’s mouth falls open in a silent moan as the blunt head of Iruka’s cock sinks into him.

It’s only been a week, yet he’d been aching for the pleasant burn, the weight of Iruka’s thick length sliding hot and heavy inside of him, the way Iruka’s eyes roll back into his head at the sensation of Kakashi’s body immediately clamping down on him.

Despite his overwhelming arousal, he knows better than to needily roll up his hips and fuck himself on Iruka’s cock.

He knows that Iruka wants him to lay back and let Iruka take care of him, feels it in Iruka’s soothing rhythm and the featherlight kisses pressed to his trembling knees that Iruka’s keeping firmly hooked over his broad shoulders.

I’ve got you , they whisper without words.

So Kakashi loses himself in the sound of Iruka’s low moans, blurring into his own louder cries, the wet slap of skin against skin. Heat begins to pool low in his stomach, his leaking erection rubbing against Iruka’s muscular chest with every slow, deliberate thrust.

He watches a bead of sweat run down Iruka’s forehead through half-lidded eyes while reaching out to rake his fingers through Iruka’s hair, arms sliding down to his back, grasping for anything to hold on to.

Harder,” Kakashi moans when Iruka finally begins to fuck him in earnest, pound his prostate relentlessly, over and over, nearly bending him in half with the force of it.

It only takes a few more of the other man’s increasingly staggering thrusts until Kakashi hears his own voice break on a hoarse groan of Iruka’s name and his vision whites out as he spills all over their heaving chests, fully impaled on Iruka’s cock.

Above him, Iruka momentarily stills, face scrunched up in concentration. Kakashi can tell it’s taking him every last ounce of his willpower to hold off his orgasm at the sensation of Kakashi’s walls tightening around him.

Sore and overly sensitive, Kakashi whines and bites at the soft skin of Iruka’s neck when Iruka fucks him through his high in a series of rough, uncontrolled thrusts. He watches Iruka’s eyebrows furrow, bottom lip trembling where it’s been pulled in between Iruka’s teeth, and wraps both arms around the other man’s neck, just in time for Iruka to ram into him one last time, shooting his load deep inside.

Kakashi’s breath hitches in his throat at the familiar sensation of Iruka’s hot seed coating his inner walls, slowly dripping from his ass as Iruka begins to pull out of him so much more carefully than Kakashi thinks he can handle.

He feels his whole body shiver, fucked open, vulnerable, no mask to hide behind.

Wrapping his legs tightly around Iruka’s middle, Kakashi silently asks him to stay, just a little longer, clenches around Iruka’s softening cock, milking him dry.

Iruka indulges him. Gives him the time he needs to calm the storm and put himself back together, piece by jagged piece.

“Say it again,” Kakashi rasps out after several minutes of hushed silence.

It’s a struggle, keeping his voice steady.

“Say that you lo—“

Iruka chooses this moment to bring his hands up behind Kakashi’s back and flip them over in one quick, fluid motion. Startled by the sensation of Iruka’s cock slipping out of him, Kakashi groans unhappily, but Iruka swiftly appeases him with a warm smile and soft fingertips dancing across his cheek.

“I love you,” the other man whispers, his confidence unwavering, as if he’d said the words a hundred times over.

“I’ve dreamed about you long before you’d even spare me a second glance.”

“Or maybe…” Kakashi murmurs against Iruka’s lips, suppressing the overwhelming rush of relief that’s flooding his mind like a torrent, the urge to let out a burst of hysterical laughter that’s bubbling up in his chest by curving his lips into a smug smile.

“Maybe your observation skills aren’t quite on par with my talent of delusion.”

That earns him a mild kick in the shin, followed by disarming kiss.

He moans into Iruka’s open mouth, instinctively grinding down into the first brush of Iruka’s half-hard length against his inner thigh.

When Iruka grabs him by the hips and fervently thrusts up into his willing body once more, Kakashi feels like he can breathe freely at last.



Over the next two months Kakashi spends his nights at peace, the curve of Iruka’s back fitting against his chest just right, his hand spread out over Iruka’s stomach, one leg loosely thrown over his thigh. 

Kakashi likes to think of it as protective; Iruka fondly calls it possessive.

He knows better than to deny it.

It happens on a quiet Sunday morning, hours before dawn. 

Still a notoriously light sleeper, Kakashi’s startled awake in an instant as a heavy weight settles on top of his chest, firmly pinning him to the mattress, strong arms circling around his waist in a tight grip.

While his eyes take a few seconds to adjust to the semi-darkness, only illuminated by the soft glow of a nightlight to his left, the rest of his body had immediately gone into a state of high alert, all taut muscles and fingers twitching with the impulse to reach for anything that could be used as a weapon, now that Iruka had gently coaxed him into leaving his weapon pouch with the rest of his shinobi gear every night before they get ready to fall into bed together after a long day—


Of course.

Within less than a moment Kakashi’s breathing evens out into a familiar rhythm. The sudden rush of claustrophobia he’d felt, being held down in his sleep, evaporates as fast as it had hit him and he lets himself sink back into the sheets, lets the tension drain from his body wave after wave.

He lightly nuzzles his cheek against Iruka’s, fingers tangled into silky brown strands. Around them the layers of extra wards Iruka had set up to intertwine with Kakashi’s own give off a low, steady buzz as the shadows thrown by the small bedside lamp idly dance on the walls. 

Kakashi remembers the day that Iruka had quietly placed it there as if it had been yesterday. 

The other man hadn’t said a word, hadn’t needed to, just given him a slow smile and pulled Kakashi down onto the bed into a careful embrace.

If Kakashi’s demons came out in the dead of the night, Iruka had figured, he’d simply have to be the light to chase away the darkness.