Author's Note: This is a look at how the KakashixIruka thing started. I hope you enjoy. And please leave a review, thank you!

Italics signify thought, or flash back to the past.

Crashing noise of books falling to the floor

Konohamaru stood by the classroom door, staring wide-eyed at the passionately embraced figures that were in a tangled lip lock.


Rumors circulated through the village like dropping a lit cigarette in the middle of the dry grass field. Wherever he went, people whispered under their breath about the incident. Even Utada-sama, his friendly landlady of five years, a respectable woman with great grand children, couldn't help but study him with a questionable eye. That's the problem with enclosed communities; make one move and within minutes, everyone knows your goddamn business, he brooded as he perched atop of the 4th Hokage's sculptured head. The top of the steep cliff was his secret thinking spot, to get away from all the jeering eyes and hushed whispers.

The silver-haired jounin was a fiercely private man. He didn't cover his face for fun, or to put up a mysterious persona in order to excite the population of Konoha. He REALLY didn't want people to know his business. Perhaps that's why he was a loner. Secretly, he suffered from social anxiety attacks; big crowds made him nervous and he thought his attempts at humor were always a bit clumsy. When people chuckled out of politeness, and, perhaps, pity, his mask hid his embarrassment. His lazy, devil-may-care attitude was another layer of his defense mechanism, in addition to the mask. If one appears not to care, others won't care either. His act was quite brilliant, actually. Over the years, he'd successfully fended off overly eager females and males who wanted to be his friend, or more. However, no matter how well he'd insulated himself, it doesn't stop the villagers from speculating on his private life. Everyone had a theory about him; according to rumors, he was gay, a womanizer, an a-sexual, and sometimes, a peeping tom who favored watching old women bathe in the hot springs. The truth was, he could careless what the gender or age of whomever he was with at the moment was. He was attracted to whomever he was attracted to; there was no preset requirement. Shit just happens.

Irritated, he ran his hand through his silky silvery mane; it's a nervous habit that he couldn't rid himself of. Next thing they'll be saying is that the whole ANBU headquarters use me as a sex slave. Indeed, he was more annoyed with his momentarily lapse of guard rather than the villagers; after all, gossip is a part of humor nature, like lust and passion--two emotions that he felt for a particular chuunin.

He couldn't quite remember when his fascination with Iruka had started. The only poignant memory that came to mind was when he first noticed that they had mirror scars running across the face. Scars were the mark of a true shinobi. Doesn't hurt that it can be deliciously sexy. During his younger days, at the tender age of sixteen, he'd first become obsessed with scars because of an older woman. It was an extraordinary experience of which he would never forget.

The jounin had a long scar running straight down her taut belly, and he had lustfully moved his lips over the thin, slightly textured scar over and over again during the course of the night. You don't find it…repulsive? She had timidly asked. No, I find it beautiful. I find you all the more beautiful for it. He murmured his reassurance as he lost himself in her soft eyes and silky skin.

Previously, he was slightly ashamed of his own hideous scar that ran straight from his brow down to his cheekbone, slicing through his eye, for it signified his incompetence at protecting those who mattered. But that night, he shared an incredible ecstasy with her as they shared their pain. Those scars are the reminders, not of failure, but of what they fought for and who they'd loved. He emerged, as a man who had had a moment of profound epiphany, and the world became all the more clear because of it.

Since then, he'd only been with those who had scars, hidden or visible. He'd pry his lover for the story behind the scar and listen with somber passion as he caressed the mark with tenderness.

Kakashi first noticed Iruka's scar during the chuunin exam selection. The normally soft-spoken, well-mannered Iruka had voiced his outrage over sending team 7 into the trial. His protective-nature had brimmed to the surface and erupted as he yelled at Kakashi and the Hokage for their "vain attempt at dominance over other nin-villages." The incident left a lasting mark in Kakashi's memory. Little attention was paid to the actual exchange, for his energy focused on the distinctive scar that ran across the bridge of the chuunin-sensei's nose. The scar created a stark balance between femininity and masculinity, as Iruka's features were soft and delicate, whereas the scar was abrupt and rough. He noticed that, because the scar spanned across to both cheeks, it moved vivaciously along with its owner's expressions. It was as if it had a personality of its own. At the moment, it emanated an angry energy. And it was irresistibly sexy.

After the incident, Kakashi took the time to visit the chuunin-sensei whenever he'd had the time. Some excuses were legit ones that concerned the development of Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura's skills. Others were ludicrous ones with a thinly veiled ulterior motive that Iruka saw through immediately.

Iruka wasn't stupid. He disliked the masked jounin, whom he took to be an arrogant prick that was too good for anyone. The recent slew of visits—at school, in his office, at his APARTMENT—was Kakashi's attempt at displaying superiority, in his opinion. It was as if the jounin held no regard for Iruka's time. Simultaneously, they aroused a nagging suspicion that something more was going on. Is he trying to get me fired because I had yelled at him and the Hokage? Iruka thought with dark displeasure. It wasn't uncommon for certain nins to hold petty grudges and play power games. He just never suspected Kakashi to be one of them. Obviously, I'm wrong.

For months, the two men clashed whenever they met—which always happened to be Kakashi's initiative…until that fateful day. Iruka was returning from an exhausting day of work. As he approached his apartment, a dark figure stepped out from the shadows and blocked his way. Alarmed, he instantly had his kunai ready in hand.

"Relax…Iruka-sensei. I'm not here to fight." The figure lazily put him his hands up in mock surrender.

Distaste immediately furrowed Iruka's gentle brows, twisting them into a knotted V-shape, "what do you want?"

"Ano…can I have a moment of your time…?"

"Ugh, make it quick." Was that a slight tinge of uncertainty in Kakashi's voice he had heard? Iruka quickly dismissed it as paranoia.

The two men sat in silence on the rooftop of Iruka's building, watching the sunset. The autumn breeze was slightly chilly. Kakashi's tussled silver hair gently waved as the breeze grazed his mane. Iruka studied the profile of the jounin with a sidelong glance. The lean man seemed incredibly alone.

"How did you get your scar?" Kakashi inquired in his signature slow drawl.

"Why do you want to know?" Iruka demanded defensively. It was a painful story he did not like to tell.

"Ano…because I have one."

So typical Kakashi, giving a pointless answer, thought Iruka.

"I think we are…kindred spirits." Still looking into the setting sun, a lost-looking Kakashi almost murmured to himself, "every scar tells a story, and not always a pleasant one. Mine…marked a day in my life I could, nor would, ever forget."

That's right, he got his scar the day his best friend died. Instinctively, Iruka reached over and clapped the other man on his back in sympathy.

Unexpectedly, the jounin leaned into the crook of Iruka's armpit and rested his head on his shoulder. Iruka's cheeks immediately flared crimson. He stayed awkwardly in the same position, uncertain of what else to do other than to let Kakashi's silver hair tickle his neck. They sat like that deep into the night, each lost in their own thoughts.

As dawn inevitably approached, Kakashi reached up to pull down his mask and brushed his lip against Iruka's jaw, sending the chuunin's heart wildly pounding. With a tender smile, the older jounin brought Iruka face to face with his hand. As gentle as a kitten, he started kissing Iruka's scar, moving across the bridge of his nose and not missing a single inch. With slightly hurried breathing, their foreheads rested against one another and shared a meaningful glance that silently spoke of a thousand words. Then, slowly and cautiously, as if seeking a connection, their lips touched. The kiss intensified into tangled tongues and muffled moans. Kakashi slid his hand up inside of Iruka's shirt, feeling the chuunin's surprisingly sculpted torso. His hand expertly danced across the hard flesh, causing goose bumps to rise with his movement. He pushed the younger man down, straddling him with authority, and lowered his lips to his yet again. The chuunin's right hand held on to Kakashi's neck while the other unzipped his ninja vest and ripped open the thin black shirt underneath, exposing his equally well-defined torso. Iruka let out a sigh of admiration as his hands slowly worked his way down. As their dance of passion rose and fall with the rhythm of their hips, it was then that Iruka had the same epiphany that Kakashi had from many years ago; the one that brought a clarity of the world and this life. That only through love can one's scars truly be healed.