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Crumbling Masks

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Kakashi felt odd every time he looked at his fellow sensei; he didn't know what it was but whenever he caught a glimpse of his long brown hair or heard he voice, whether it was him laughing at something his friends said or yelling at his students, he was captivated and could barely force himself to look away before he was caught in the act. He didn't think the teacher would find it amusing to have Kakashi staring at him all day long... so he hid it away behind a mask of mere acquaintanceship and indifference whenever they spoke; to stay the mysterious sensei of his former students and let nothing of himself slip. It hurt to see Iruka withdrawal into himself as they spoke; even though he knew it was for the best logically to keep this surface-level friendship instead of asking for more and ruining what was already more than he deserved so he said nothing and hoped that he could continue with what they had...

Walking down the street Kakashi trudged forward at a steady pace dodging those in his path when he had to but otherwise marching straight along; it was late in the evening already but he didn't have any missions with his team right now and was taking his time to relax and finish some errands he had been putting off. lifting his head a bit to make sure he didn't pass the store he needed to visit something caught his eye, turning to look directly at it he stopped in his tracks, his uncovered eye widened at what he saw... Iruka with his hair down, pink flush along his cheeks, and a smile on his face; sucking in some air it was all he could do not to whine. The teacher looked so at ease and happy among his fellow chunin as they continued to walk down the street and away from the bar they just exited. Taking a breath Kakashi resumed walking, he knew he would pass them but it would be fine... it would be fine as long as he didn't get caught up in Iruka's pull; one step at a time and he would be able to walk passed the group with ease. He could hear his heart beating loud in his ears and his hands shake but he continued to move toward them just as they didn't change their pace as they moved closer to him trying to keep his heart close to his chest and keep being a mystery that no one could solve. finally, they started to cross paths but before he could finish escaping he felt someone grab his hand

"Kakashi-sensei did you want to join us? We're heading to another bar just a street or so over." turning toward the deep and rich voice that infiltrated his ears he was met with glossy eyes and a small smile making his heart jump into his throat and his cheeks feel hot, once again he felt glad he wore a mask all the time, he hands felt warm but rough on his exposed fingers due to all the calluses on them. Swallowing even though his mouth and throat were so dry he felt as if he had eaten sand, he opened his mouth to respond but Iruka cut him off before he could even make a sound "I don't think we've ever drunk together, it'll be a nice chance to get to know each other more!" his smile widened and his pink cheeks darkened. He felt his resolve crumble below his feet, his mask of indifference and mysteriousness fade away and his face is overtaken by blushing cheeks and a real smile still hidden by his actual face mask, and his need to be closer to the teacher, the need to bare his heart and everything he is, eat him whole.

"sure sensei" he agreed, squeezing the hand in his and giving an eye smile "lead the way, I don't go out very often so you'll have to take care of me afterward" the group laugh at his joke, he had almost forgotten about the other two with him but they seemed all right as they were all smiles with a faint smell of alcohol wafting from them as Iruka tugged on his hand to lead him along. Even though he wished that it was just him and Iruka alone he couldn't help but be grateful the two other chunin from the mission desk were also here to help keep the atmosphere light-hearted and fun.

As Kakashi walked with them toward the bar he felt like his vision was taken over by a purple haze, blocking out everything that wasn't part of this moment between them... between him and the one he wanted to hold close... the one who still hasn't let go of his hand and seems content to let him stay close by his side for now with their shoulders brushing against one another. It felt as if his heart was flying high above him... He didn't try to stop it or to get rid of the royal purple fog obscuring his vision because for once in his life he felt as if nothing could ruin this moment or anything that came from this night. He laughed at the jokes everyone made and he finally let go of the mask that kept him safe from the hurt of this kind; finally let others see this side of himself without fearing the repercussions. Because without knowing it Iruka broke down the walls that had enveloped him for so long, that trapped him within himself behind the need to keep everything about him a mystery... to keep himself safe and he did it with nothing but a smile and an outstretched hand.