It was a perfectly ordinary day in Umino Iruka's life. He had woken up early, taken a shower, eaten breakfast and wandered to the Academy to keep his lessons. A bright, warm sun was shining from between white, cottony-looking clouds. The day had passed rather quickly, with nothing remarkable happening, and the children had just a moment ago rushed out of the classroom to...do whatever kids did in their freetime. Nothing unusual. Still the chuunin sensei felt rather disturbed, without being able to point out the reason as to exactly why.

"You seem upset today, Iruka-sensei. Something wrong?" The young man startled at the voice coming from the door of the classroom, and raising his eyes from the table that he had been staring for quite a long while now, saw a man with spiky white hair and a dark blue mask that was covering half of his face lean against the wall. Iruka blushed, feeling rather irritated of himself for that, which caused him to blush even more. Soon the poor teacher's face was bright red, and the amused gaze the other man was regarding him with didn't help the least bit. "I... N-nothing's wrong, Kakashi-sensei, I'm just...a bit tired, th-that's all," he managed to stutter, the words tumbling over each other. The white-haired jounin just raised his one visible eyebrow, it being quite evident that he didn't believe the younger man's explanation.

Great, Iruka thought, blushing even more, which he hadn't thought possible. He was now so embarrassed that he would've wanted to disappear right then and there. What bothered him the most in this situation was that he didn't have the slightest idea why one Hatake Kakashi made him so nervous. He sighed, his shoulders slumping and his face descending wearily to rest on his palms. "I don't know, actually," he admitted, muttering barely audibly. "I guess I'm just worried, what with the Chuunin Exams coming up and all that. After all, Naruto is just a rookie and..." He tensed momentarily when a strong hand landed on his shoulder, but then just sighed again and raised his gaze to meet Kakashi's. The older man held an understanding in his eye, for once being serious. He squeezed Iruka's shoulder gently without saying a word, and the chuunin let a tiny smile curl his lips upwards. There was a short silence, not at all inconvenient, and then Kakashi had his usual happy look on his face again.

"What say you about a bowl of ramen at Ichiraku with me and my charming team?" he offered. Iruka considered this for a moment. He was tired and longing for his soft bed, but the chance to see Naruto - and Sasuke and Sakura, of course - was too tempting to pass. He smiled at the jounin, blushing a bit from the realization that the other was still holding his hand on his shoulder and looking down at him with an oddly soft look on his face, and nodded in agreement. "That would be a great idea, thanks, Kakashi-sensei."

-----

Naruto, being his usual hyperactive self, was nearly bouncing with joy when they got to Ichiraku. Sasuke showed a sour face but didn't object. Sakura, on the other hand, had had to leave home since she had promised to her mother. Giving their orders to the chef, they sat down. Iruka couldn't help noticing, with a slight blush, that Kakashi quite deliberately placed himself next to the chuunin. When the older man then turned his face towards Iruka to start chattering about the day's events, the Academy teacher felt the most peculiar tingle on the bottom of his stomach. He was now even more disturbed than before, being quite unable to concentrate on what the other man was saying. He was only brought back to reality when he noticed he'd been staring at the movement of Kakashi's lips under the mask. Iruka blushed fiercely. Damn, he thought, what is it with me today?

Kakashi had quieted, looking at his junior with a slightly curious expression in his visible eye. Inwardly, he smiled, a wide, victorious smile. Iruka was at a loss of words, and thanked every god possible when their orders arrived just at that moment. He concetrated wholly on his ramen, although unable to avoid hearing Naruto's delighted shout before the boy began to wolf down his portion. Sasuke muttered something about his teammate being 'intolerable' and 'exceedingly annoying' but he, too, disposed of his food quite fast as he was as hungry as the rest of them.

When they were all finished eating their meals, Naruto and Sasuke said goodbyes to the two senseis and, arguing with each other as usual, headed away from the Ichiraku. Iruka watched them with a gentle smile on his lips, following them with his eyes until they disappeared from view. He was about to sigh contentedly, but gave a yelp of surprise when a pair of strong hands landed on his shoulders. "Ka-Kakashi-sensei...?" He twisted his head to look at the jounin questioningly, blushing at the odd way the man was gazing down at him. "Wha-what... Is something wrong?" he asked when the older ninja didn't say anything. He could see that the other man's lips had curved into a gentle smile, and suddenly felt quite nervous. Again, there was a bizarre tingling sensation in his stomach. Blushing yet again, he snapped his eyes off the jouning and placed his gaze on the ground at his feet. "You...have something to talk to me about?"

Kakashi squeezed his shoulders, then, feeling the tension in the younger man's muscles, began to massage them lightly but firmly. "Yes, you could say that...Iruka-sensei. Would you care to walk with me for a while?" He felt the smaller man shiver beneath his hands. He had brought his mouth just beside the chuunin's ear, his warm breath gently tickling. The young man's face was the most adorable shade of bright red, which made the scar across his nose become even more distinctive than it already was. Iruka's mouth tried to form a reply, but he had lost his voice. He just nodded, feeling very confused and nervous. "Good," Kakashi said brightly and, returning his hands to their usual place in his pockets, began to walk in a rather random direction.

Iruka felt oddly disappointed at losing the comforting weight from his shoulders, but followed the jounin's lead. He fell into silent contemplation, losing himself in his rather chaotic thoughts. Why was he so nervous near Kakashi-sensei? And why was the other man acting...in the way he was acting? Was it even anything new, or had Iruka only just noticed it? When had they become so intimate with each other? With every train of thought his face became more and more red. He then noticed that Kakashi had stopped, right in front of him, and was again looking at him. Just looking, in a way Iruka couldn't understand, and it made him all the more nervous. Especially when he realized where they were. Without him noticing it, they had wandered outside the village and into the forest. Suddenly, the chuunin found himself wondering what Kakashi's face would look like behind that mask. He didn't want to see the left eye with the Sharingan, though. The thought of it was unnerving.

He was now looking at the jounin, still fiercely blushed, with a questioning look in his eyes, but looking at him. It was as if he was going to drown in that blue eye that looked down at him, the older man's expression one that Iruka still couldn't comprehend. Involuntarily, he raised his hands upwards, as if they had their own will. Slowly they reached the level of the jounin's face, but when Iruka realized what he was doing, he jerked his hands away. He fleetingly noticed that his breathing had grown faster, but he really didn't have time to think about that because he had to try and focus on the fact that Kakashi was talking. To him.

"Why did you stop?" Kakashi inquired softly, and, before Iruka had a chance to answer, lifted his right arm so that it was resting on Iruka's waist. His left arm soon followed, causing the chuunin to gasp. He was inable to avert his gaze from the larger man's face. Feeling quite breathless and not exactly knowing what he was doing, he again raised his hands, this time taking a hold of the mask and pulling it down. He drew a shaky breath, still confused about what the hell was going on here. The jounin was indeed pale, but very, very handsome at that. Iruka's gaze wandered all over the older man's face until he was distracted by one of the hands on his waist slowly sliding to cup his chin. Caressing his cheek with a thumb, Kakashi lowered his face until his lips were but inches away from Iruka's. "Ka-Kakashi-sensei..." the smaller man breathed, "what...?"

He was silenced by an incredibly tender kiss that sent his head spinning. It seemed to last for an eternity, and at the end of it, the chuunin decided that eternity was far too short a time. "This," the other man whispered before involving them into another kiss, deeper and more passionate and absolutely making Iruka's knees all too weak to carry his weight. Kakashi caught the smaller man before he could fall, and, smiling down at him, said, "I don't think you'll object very much to me taking you my apartment and continuing this...discussion...there?"

Iruka nodded, too confused of the events that had just passed to even blush anymore, quite feeling that he could pass out at any given moment. This had proved to be a most extraordinary day indeed.