Disclaimer – If I owned Naruto, Iruka Izumo and Kotetsu would get A LOT more screen time.

Spoilers – This contains spoilers for the anime and manga. Spoilers up to MANGA chapter 238

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Flashbacks are in italics

Water Runs Red - The Epilogue

For the past six months, Kakashi had been working Iruka to exhaustion getting him prepared to take his jônin test. While Kakashi was worried that the chuunin might not pass it, Iruka has no doubts. He had several tricks up his sleeve that he had never shown the copy-nin.

His taijutsu training with Gai-sensei (whenever Kakashi was away on a mission) was one of his secrets. Gai didn't even know that he was training Iruka. He only knew that Ibiki had requested he train a member of MABU who always showed up in complete uniform. The second was the chakra control exercises with Izumo when the mission desk was slow. The mind games he learned from Anko were his third secret, and he knew he'd be using all three for his testing.

Iruka was walking down the main street of Konoha with Kakashi as they made their way to one of the administrative buildings. He knew walking like this bothered him much more than Kakashi. His lover could live a lie his entire life and not be phased by it. Iruka on the other hand was being torn apart by the separate apartments and treating each other like nothing but acquaintances when they saw each other on the street.

While relationships between two men were not unknown amongst the ninja ranks, to people who knew all too well their own mortality, gender was irrelevant. However, the majority of the village was not as accepting; especially the older villagers who had pull on the council. With the differences in rank and status between the two men, the council's opinions became even more difficult. Once you added in the fact that Iruka was a covert operative for the MABU force, prudence was definitely the wisest course. However, Iruka's heart couldn't handle that.

Pass or fail the jônin testing, this was the last day of the lie. In a few short hours, the secret would be out. Not that the secret was that well kept in the first place, all of their close friends knew, but all of their close friends could be trusted and it never reached the gossip network. It was amazing that so many people could keep such a juicy secret for over a year.

As they walked down the hallway to the room the testing would take place in, Iruka briefly grabbed Kakashi's left hand and squeezed it. He could feel the firm piece of metal under the other man's glove and smiled.

Tsunade-sama had given them two weeks of vacation to prepare for the test. They had done something much different than training though. They had trudged halfway across Fire country to an out of the way shrine on a mountaintop. Kakashi had saved the life of the priest there years ago.

It was the hottest part of the summer, and few, if any, would be stupid enough to be climbing this mountain in the outskirts of fire country, but the priest was indebted to Kakashi.

Finally a little after noon they reached the top. The temperature was in the high 90s and the humidity was so high that the sweat was not evaporating off either of their bodies. Iruka glanced at his lover, giving him a smile.

They walked together into the shrine as Kakashi looked for the priest. When he found him, the man looked up, "Hatake-san, it is a rare honor for you to visit this humble shrine."

Kakashi bowed with a formality he rarely used. The ever-present orange book was nowhere in sight either. "Yoshida-sama, I have come to ask a favor."

The priest looked up, "My life was saved by you. My companions were saved by you. If it is in my power to grant, I gladly will."

Kakashi glanced at Iruka who walked up to stand beside him.

"Yoshida-sama, this is Umino Iruka, the most important person in the world to me." He took a deep breath, "In our village, due to our ranks and positions in service, our relationship has been forced to be kept in the shadows."

The priests lips narrowed, evidently he had a good idea of what Kakashi was about to ask.

"We wish to prove that this is not some passing fancy, and the passage of time does not seem to convince the people making us remain in secret. I don't care what they do to me for this, but I want to marry this man."

When Kakashi had suggested getting married, Iruka hadn't believed the man could be serious. He should have known better, his lover never joked about those things.

When they had returned to Konoha, they both were wearing identical black gloves. Only two people in town knew the true reason for the gloves. They had told Ibiki as soon as they returned. With Iruka being in MABU, it was not optional, and neither was willing to commit a true crime just to keep a secret for an extra five days.

After dropping off their things at Iruka's apartment and complaining about how annoying it was to have two separate apartments, but Tsunade had all but forbidden them from moving in together, they made their way towards the administrative building.

On their way there, they detoured into the ANBU building which held the headquarters for Torture and Interrogation. Both men walked towards Ibiki's office. Iruka knocked on the door. While they might have 30 days to report any changes to Tsunade, well 16 days now, Iruka only had twenty-four hours from arrival back in the village to inform Ibiki. The leash on MABU and ANBU was that much tighter than for regular shinobi. If Kakashi was still ANBU, they would have had to tell Tsunade in the same time period. Not for the first time, Kakashi was very glad he was no longer active ANBU.

They walked in to the interrogator's office together when they heard the man call out from behind the door. Ibiki looked up, "What do you two want?"

Iruka walked over to him and reached a gloved hand into the messenger bag he was carrying, "I believe according to the rules, as a MABU member I have to give you a copy of this within twenty-four hours of returning to the village. I want to assure you no one else knows and we are planning on informing Tsunade-sama after my jônin testing on Friday."

Ibiki looked up, suddenly very suspicious. Few things required the twenty-four hour notice. As Iruka pulled out an envelope with Ibiki's name written on it in Iruka's neat writing and handed it over, the man eyed the envelope as if it was going to explode.

Kakashi walked up beside Iruka and placed a hand on the younger man's back as a show of reassurance. No one would notice that Kakashi was pressing his ring finger against Iruka's shoulder blade in such a way that the chuunin could feel the ring underneath layers of fabric.

Ibiki opened up the envelope and pulled the paperwork out. Neatly paper clipped together was a form for addition of family member for covert operatives, a form for change of name of covert operative, and a form indicating an operative was preparing to relocate their residence. Ibiki's eyes widened as he noticed how all the forms were filled out. Hatake (Umino) Iruka. The final page was on a more decorative paper and was an official copy of a marriage certificate. Ibiki stared at the paper for a moment before looking up at the two men standing before him.

Then the man smiled, honestly smiled. Then he laughed, "So I take it the party after you pass your jônin exam is going to be multi purpose?"

Iruka grinned and Kakashi nodded. Iruka blushed slightly, "I was hoping Tsunade would make a little less of a big deal out of it if Kashi and I were both jônin."

Ibiki shook his head, "She's going to … hell, I don't know what she is going to do, but I want to see it. My price for keeping this quiet for the week is that I want to be there when you tell her." He placed the paperwork in his top drawer, "In return I will hold onto the paperwork for the two weeks I am allowed to sit on such things."

The only other person they had told was Anko. Even Izumo and Kotetsu were in the dark on this one. They needed the help of someone to arrange the party, and the requests for a cake and such were just a little too weird for a jônin testing party to not necessitate telling her.

"Anko, we need you to keep a secret until after my testing."

She smiled, "I've been keeping the two of you shacking up together a secret for months, so what's another secret?"

Iruka smirked, "This is a little bigger." When he definitely had Anko's attention, he started to pull off his gloves, the right hand first. "You know Kashi and I went on a well deserved vacation." He carefully pulled off the glove from his left hand, holding up the hand so the white gold band glittered.

Her eyes widened as she looked at Iruka's hand, then she looked at Kakashi, who was also holding up a bare hand with a matching white gold band. "You two got married?"

Iruka meekly smiled, "Yeah."

Kakashi nodded, "I know a priest who owed me a favor."

She looked back at Iruka who was pulling out photos and placing them on the table in front of Anko. She picked them up and looked at them, "Oh my. You both look… You really … Wow." She shut up, for once at a loss for words. She looked through the pictures, flipping from one to the next. Finally, she looked up at Iruka and threw herself at him in a hug, "I am so happy for you." When she let go of the chuunin she looked over to Kakashi, "Who woulda thought you could clean up so well."

He smirked, "Well, I had to. I couldn't ruin it for Iruka. We're going to tell everyone at Iruka's 'congratulations you survived your jônin test' party."

Iruka got himself out of the hug, "That's why we needed to tell you early. We need someone to make sure the party is appropriate and everything."

She smiled, "Well, you know you both will need to get dressed up again." She was practically bouncing, "I can't wait to see you both dressed up."

Iruka smiled, "Remember, this is a secret. Not even Izumo or Kotetsu know." He looked at Anko, "We'll be telling Tsunade-sama at the party, less chance of her doing something horrible in public. The only person that knows besides you is Ibiki."

They reached a small room off the main testing area. Jônin testing was usually done underground. While chuunin testing was for showing off, there was no point in letting other countries know the capabilities of your jônin.

Tsunade walked in "I got the invitation to your 'I survived my jônin testing party' the show up pass or fail was a cute touch."

Iruka smiled, "It'd be a shame to waste the food and alcohol. Anko kind of went all out on it, you'll be there right?"

Tsunade shook her head as she laughed, "Anko made sure to point out the open bar aspect of the party. Does Ibiki know about the potential for that many drunken ninja?"

"Anko has recruited him to help he set it up."

Tsunade blinked. "I see." She walked over to him and took his hands into hers, "Now I know Kakashi wouldn't say you're ready for this unless he honestly thought you were, but remember a lot of shinobi don't pass the first time. I'll be here incase anyone gets seriously injured, but please be careful."

He nodded, "I'm ready for this, Tsunade-sama. I don't plan on being killed or maimed until the party."

She nodded with a smile, "You will have thirty seconds to get into position once the door opens. After thirty seconds, a whistle will blow and then your opponents and you will be cleared to start fighting. No moves except positioning before that. There are three jônin there. You will have a maximum of thirty minutes. I have ANBU in the observation area that will remove anyone considered incapacitated. No attacking the ANBU. No fatal poisons and no attacking an enemy after I have declared them incapacitated."

Iruka nodded, "As you command, Hokage-sama."

She leaned forwards and kissed the top of Iruka's head when he bowed. "Keep yourself safe."

With that, she led Kakashi off to wherever the observation area was, leaving Iruka to watch the door. He knew there would be three jônin. If he took out one, he had a chance of being promoted. If he took out two, it was almost a guarantee. If he could take out all three, he was in.

He took a deep breath; Kakashi had only seen him really fight once on their mission to Sound. He had even held back in all the practices. Before he could think more about the man he loved, the door opened. Iruka was off. He sized up the room without pausing. It looked like a forest clearing. Trees along all four walls. A stream flowing through the center. It was one of the intricate fake rooms. The three jônin were on the far side hidden in the trees and underbrush, Iruka ran the other way and threw himself up into the trees.

As soon as the whistle sounded, he sent out a barrage of shuriken. But they missed their targets. He paused behind a tree as he felt for where the others were. He felt them. He knew two of them. He was in trouble. He wouldn't be able to take out all three. Typically, he knew the testing involved a ninjutsu expert, a taijutsu expert and a genjutsu expert. The ninjutsu would be his easiest opponent -- it was Natsumi. He hadn't really seen her since that mission to Rock, but he knew he could take her out easy enough. The genjutsu he didn't know, but the Taijutsu expert was going to be hard -- it was Gai. Even after all his secret training with Gai, he knew even holding off the man would be difficult.

He felt something in the air change. The genjutsu one had started something. He set out a string of kunai and listened to them hit tree trunks on the other side of the clearing. Not al of them hit though, three of them went right through their trees. Sure they looked like they stuck into trees, but he could feel them continue on their trajectory. That was where the attack would come from.

With a quick use of chakra, he created two clones. One illusionary, muddy and dirty with leaves in the hair, the other perfectly clean looking and deadly solid. He set them out towards the right, trying to get close to Natsumi. While he sent them off on their mission, he kept an eye on Gai. The man was holding back for some reason. He knew it was traditional for the opposing forces to attack individually before attacking all at once. Iruka however was not limited to anything like that.

He started to circle. The Genjutsu user was in the center, Natsumi to the far side and Gai was closest to him. With his two clones going one way, and himself going the other, he was leaving the genjutsu user uncovered. In a coordinated move, he went for it. He threw four explosive tags at Gai and charged forward kicking at the man and letting himself get thrown off into the air as the green clad man brought up an arm.

At the same time, his two clones moved in on Natsumi. The kunoichi immediately dispatched the illusionary dirty clone but she took a glancing Kunai blow from the solid clone before also destroying that one. As Iruka was flying through the air towards Gai's foot, he cast a genjutsu on Natsumi. The blade she had been hit by was poisoned, but only a sedative and unfortunately, with the glancing blow it wouldn't knock her out. It should hinder her use of the arm though and it would sting.

He made an illusion of her skin turning red near the blade wound. He tucked in to brace for a kick, Gai kicked him off into the trees. As he hurled through the air, he started to strengthen the illusion to make it seem like he had coated the blade with something much more lethal. He made the sides of the wound look like they were going septic.

As he was propelled by Gai's kick, he altered his trajectory to be towards the genjutsu user's position. As expected, the man was not looking for close-ranged combat and went at high speed towards the other end of the arena. As the man passed over the area where the initial shuriken had imbedded into the ground, Iruka released the chakra hold he had on them and the clear glass balls in the centers of the shuriken exploded, enveloping the man in a cloud of knockout gas.

Iruka smiled as he slipped into the trees, camouflaging his chakra and slipping into the trees. The ANBU came and grabbed the genjutsu user. One down two to go. He heard Natsumi fumbling with a med pack. He concentrated on the genjutsu on her arm and started to make the septic look turn necrotic. Her arm should be mostly numb by now. He was sure she still had use of it, but from the sounds of it, she hadn't realized the appearance of the rotting flesh was actually an illusion.

As he ran through the trees, Gai close on his heals; he added red infected looking veins going through her arm. He burst though the trees and let lose another string of Kunai towards her, trying to keep moving fast enough for Gai to not catch up.

Natsumi screamed as another Kunai hit her and caused the same stinging on her other arm. The panic in her eyes was obvious. Iruka had no idea how she became ANBU. She let out a stream of weapons and unleashed a huge blast of a water jutsu at Iruka. The water Jutsu knocked Iruka back into the trees, but he managed to avoid the majority of the weapons. A few shuriken grazed his shoulder though.

He stood in the clearing between the two stands of trees as the two jônin stood nearer the trees. Gai and Natsumi were standing about twenty-five yard from each other. He moved into a defensive posture, ignoring the blood running down his arm.

Natsumi laughed, although there was a hint of fear to be heard in it, "You aren't the only one to be able to use poisons."

Iruka smirked and ran a finger through the blood on his shoulder before tasting it. He named off the poison she used and shrugged, "I have a resistance to that one, Natsumi. You, however, do not have a resistance to what is eating at your arms. You actually seem unusually susceptible to it."

Gai struck a pose, "You have done well so far Iruka-sensei, but you still have two of us to fight and have used up nearly half of your time already. Come, use the vigor of your youth to prove to your precious one that you are worthy of the title of jônin."

Iruka smirked, "I only have one left to fight, Natsumi there is going to collapse any minute, luckily there is medical help nearby – they should be able to save the arm." He strengthened the illusion again to cause spots to appear before her eyes and make the necrosis appearance of her arms increase. He was running out of time and needed to do something to really get her. He threw a handful of Senbon at Gai, the green clad man easily avoided them and started to proclaim how Iruka would need to do better than that. As he was jumping back, he caused the illusion of one of Natsumi's fingernails to fall off.

As the woman's eye's widened at the sight, one senbon that missed Gai and bounced off a rock behind her was completely unnoticed. Her attention was so focused on her arm that the ricochet throw caught her completely unaware. Before she could get off another attack, she collapsed as the knockout drug laced senbon imbedded into the back of her neck.

Quickly Iruka fled back towards his original hiding spot, Gai on his heals. Unfortunately, Gai was one of the only people who was faster than he was. He was already almost out of chakra. Fighting Gai in this condition would not be good. He'd need to fight as dirty as he could. Jumping into a clearing, he threw a bunch of glass marbles into the thick grass.

Gai landed in the treetops and sent out kunai at each of the marbles. With perfect precision, the poison traps were disarmed in a cloud of smoke that necessitated Iruka jumping away. He threw the last of his poisoned tipped shuriken at Gai, trying to bounce as many off the trees and back at the man as possible. In a fluid motion that looked less like traditional fighting and more like a clan technique of the Hyuuga it was at such a high speed, Gai easily deflected each of the shuriken, even the bounced ones, without even seeming phased.

Before Iruka could get out of the way, he was being thrown back by a punch from Gai. His ears now ringing, he threw his explosive tag lined kunai. As expected Gai easily avoided them, but they landed in the dirt. As Gai nailed Iruka with another kick and propelled him into a tree, the tags went off. Iruka tried to dodge the punch from Gai as he concentrated all his remaining chakra into crating a dust storm with the dust and dirt thrown up by the explosions.

Using the dirt as a screen and camouflage, Iruka tried to dodge and back away. He was almost out of chakra and almost out of time. He was being pounded -- kicks and punches he could barely block. If not for the dirt swirling and decreasing Gai's accuracy, he would have been long unconscious. He was thrown back into another tree as the timer sounded. Iruka collapsed to the ground, breathing heavily as he let the dirt fall down. Suddenly Gai was helping him up and Iruka realized his gloves were gone.

He looked up into Gai's eyes. The man was congratulating him, but Iruka looked panicked. In a painful his he hissed "Gai, I need my gloves, I need my gloves, please help me find them before anyone gets here."

Gai saw the seriousness in Iruka's eyes and quickly helped the man find his gloves. Iruka had barely gotten his left glove back on when Tsunade and Kakashi got there. He could tell Kakashi was smiling from the glint in his eye. Tsunade's smile was obvious. She walked up to Iruka as he pulled on his right glove, "How are you?"

"Bruised up a bit, but nothing that will keep me from the party."

She smiled and started to put her glowing green hands on Iruka, "Wouldn't want you too injured for your party now, would we, Jônin."

Gai clasped a hand on Iruka's shoulder and looked at him, with a very serious look; he smiled at the younger man. "Congratulations."

Iruka let himself smile, "Gai-sensei, you'll be at the party right? I hear Anko got cake."

Gai nodded, "I will be there. I could not miss this announcement." With a very Gai-like pose, he smiled and left, thumping his eternal rival on the shoulder and saying, "Congratulations, It appears you have increased your score by one."

Kakashi quirked an eyebrow and looked at Iruka. The former chuunin just smiled, "I see being jônin sponsor counts as a victory." He fiddled with his glove so that Kakashi would know the truth, "Then again after the bonsai tree challenge nothing surprises me with you two."

Tsunade smiled at Iruka, "Your mother would have been proud. She only took out one of her opponents with weaponry. She did lure another one in though when she was playing injured."

Iruka smiled, "Somehow I don't think I'm Gai's type." He laughed a bit, "And Natsumi hates my guts."

She finished healing his bruises, "You actually didn't get hurt too badly."

"I managed to brace almost everything with chakra, but I was about to run out."

She smiled, "I'll see you guys at the party. I'm sure you want to get cleaned up."

Kakashi helped Iruka out of the arena and into the hallway. The older man looked at Tsunade, "We'll see you at the party."

Kakashi led Iruka to his apartment. His was closest to the building that Anko had reserved for the party. As soon as they were behind the door of the apartment, Kakashi was kissing Iruka. Their arms wrapped around each other. Kakashi looked into Iruka's eyes, "It's almost time."

Iruka nodded, "I told you I'd pass the test, now for the hard part."

"You were amazing."

He smiled as he ran his hands through that silver hair, "I had a great teacher, not to mention a lot of one on one attention."

Kakashi purred, "We should get cleaned up and dressed. I can't believe Anko is making us get dressed up again."

Iruka kissed Kakashi's ear, "It's traditional."

Kakashi purred, "I didn't realize how much you loved tradition."

"You know it's a tradition for a newly promoted jônin to have a wild night after the celebration party." Iruka's voice was dropped to a husky whisper, "Does that sound good to you?"

Kakashi run his fingers down Iruka's back, "Oh yes. But you had better go and get cleaned up before we miss your party, or should I say our party?" He gently ran his lips along the other man's neck, "If you stay here, I can guarantee we'll be late"

Iruka disengaged himself from his lover and walked into the bathroom to get cleaned up. It took most of the two hours they had before the party to get dressed. They both had other clothes packed. Even Iruka agreed that staying in formal wear for any longer than needed would be a bad idea.

When they arrived about half an hour after the start of the party, they could hear the sounds of their friends having a good time. They walked in through the backdoor into the room where everything was being stored. Iruka reached out with the slight amount of chakra he had left to find Anko. He felt his tattoo warm in her response.

Moments later she walked into the room, "Tsunade just got here." She stopped, her mouth open. "Look at you two."

She walked up to Kakashi, looking him over. "Look at how you clean up."

He smiled, although it was covered by his mask. He had one of his ANBU tanks with the built in mask under his white hiyoku. On top of that was a black silken Kimono. His hakama pants were also black and very formal. The short black haori coat over everything was emblazoned with the Hatake family crest and had an electric pattern along the bottom and stretching up to the chest on the main part of the coat and to the elbows on the sleeves. The blue was not lightning or flames; it was the unmistakable blue of the Chidori. Across the Sharingan eye, he wore a piece of black silk. There was a simple black katana at his belt with an electric blue ribbon around the hilt.

Anko then turned her attention to Iruka, and kissed him on the cheek. "You're handsome." She hugged him and looked over at Kakashi, "You better realize how damn lucky you are."

Kakashi nodded, "Much more lucky than a guy like me deserves."

Iruka walked over to Kakashi and kissed him, "That's how lucky I feel."

Anko looked at Iruka and helped straighten his full-length haori coat. "This is amazing." She straightened Iruka's hair, brushing a few loose strands behind his ears. His hair was down loose and hung to his shoulders. He didn't have on hakama pants; instead, he was dressed in what would be formal men's wear in Grass country. Except he was wearing something much nicer than Anko had ever seen in Grass -- this was probably a hundred years old from when Grass was much more powerful.

He was wearing a white hiyoku with a light grass green men's cut kimono. While the fabric of the green kimono was exquisite, it did not have any decoration. Nearly all of it was covered by a haori coat which went all the way to Iruka's ankles. The coat was embroidered more than enough to make up for the other unadorned garments. Where the house crest should be, there was an intricate embroidered stylized sparrow in browns and deep greens.

The bottom hem of the coat was decorated in tall grass in darker greens and golds and browns. The sleeves of the coat had artistically stylized winds with leaves flowing through the breezes. Nearly every inch of the coat was covered in intricate embroidery. The coat was held open on one side by the Katana in Iruka's belt. The scabbard was the palest of greens with a bright red ribbon tied around the hilt.

Iruka smiled, "Anko-chan, thank you so much for putting this together."

She smiled, "Whatever happens, I think you two did the right thing. You both finally look happy." She took a deep breath, "You guys ready?"

When they nodded, she walked over to the room that led to where the party was. She walked through to door and stepped up onto a table, "Everyone, you knew at some point Kakashi's lateness would rub off on Iruka, but they are here now. Congratulations." She started applauding and everyone else joined in.

Iruka and Kakashi walked through the door, holding each other's hands and wearing no gloves for the first time since they had returned to Konoha. There was a gasp and surprise on behalf of most people. Ibiki however had a smile on his face as he walked up to both men and hugged them.

Tsunade stalked up to them with Shizune in her wake. Without a word, Kakashi and Iruka both removed the swords at their belts. Only then could a person notice their forehead protectors attached to the swords. They both held the swords to Tsunade in their left hands. Iruka had a clean white envelope with Tsunade's formal name in Iruka's neat handwriting held in his other hand.

Suddenly there was silence. Tsunade took the envelope and the swords, looking at the two shinobi in front of her. She looked down at their hands. She looked back up at them, "But you promised."

Iruka smiled at her, "We did our best for over a year, Tsunade-sama. You have authority over us as long as we are your shinobi."

Kakashi put his arm around Iruka, "Thus, you have a choice. Let us be ourselves and be your shinobi, or we quit."

Tsunade ripped open the envelope. She scanned the papers before sadly smiling. The rest of the party was a blur. Tsunade had made it a point of fastening their forehead protectors back on each of them. Friends had hugged and congratulated. The cake was cut, food was eaten, and Kakashi and Iruka had both changed out of their formal ware.

They were sitting there, comfortable and slightly buzzed. Anko had not skimped on the alcohol. Iruka looked around the room. Gai had arrived a few minutes ago and was blathering on to Kakashi about how his eternal rival had beaten him in the most important contest. Izumo and Kotetsu had snuck off to a dark corner of the room. Tsunade was drinking and loudly proclaiming how she loved her shinobi. Asuma and Kurinai had even been spotted kissing.

It was one of the best parties Iruka had ever been at. Then he noticed something unexpected. He leaned over to get Kakashi's attention, not even carrying that he was interrupting Gai's proclamation about the springtime of youth and how it was meant for capturing the bloom of love.

Kakashi looked to where Iruka was gesturing. Anko was not being her usual outgoing, too loud self. Instead, she was sipping her drink and smiling. The true surprise was that it was Daisuke talking and she seemed to be hanging on every word. Watching the interaction of those two was abruptly ended when a very recognizable chakra presence could be felt behind the three men.

Gai immediately welcomed the woman, and Natsumi smiled at him. Then Natsumi's eyes fell onto Kakashi. Iruka didn't like the look in her eyes one bit as she looked at what was his. Now, sure, Kakashi looked hot in what he was wearing. He hadn't been with Iruka for this long without upgrading his off duty wardrobe, or at least knowing what he could borrow from the former-chuunin's drawers. He was dressed in his black ANBU tank with the built in mask. Over that was a loose dark blue shirt the same color as his forehead protector. The shirt was open, revealing how the ANBU tank clung to Kakashi's muscular chest. The loose fitting black pants he wore moved with his every shift in position.

None of that missed Natsumi's observation as she stepped towards him, placing her hands on his arm. Iruka assumed she had just gotten here, since he had knocked her out. He was giving her the benefit of the doubt that she didn't know she was hitting on a married man.

Iruka cleared his throat as the woman smiled a sickingly sweet smile and tried to get Kakashi to dance with her. Iruka stood up and glared at Natsumi. More than a few people froze to watch what was going to happen.

In an exaggerated formal tone, the insult clear in his overly formal phrasing, "Natsumi-san. I am sure you don't realize this, but you are not his type."

She frowned at him, giving him her best 'better than you' look. "Oh, sorry I didn't see you there. I don't normally notice people who use dirty tricks."

Iruka's mouth moved into a half smile, "A shinobi should take notice of details, and one of those details is that you have your hands on a married man."

She glanced down at Kakashi's hand as if to verify what Iruka was saying. "I think he can talk for himself."

"Let me make myself clear. Get your fucking hands off my husband before I do it for you."

She had the decency to look shocked. She also had the decency to pale and look almost ready to faint when Iruka brushed her aside and launched himself at Kakashi's mouth. It was the closest most people in the room had come to seeing Kakashi without his mask on. Of course, no one actually saw his face since it was quickly covered with his lover's mouth as Iruka wrapped his arms around his husband and kissed him with all his skill.

Leaving behind more than a few surprised people and quite a few people blushing at the intensity of that kiss, Kakashi and Iruka left their party. Iruka was after all a stickler for tradition, and tradition dictated that no one would disturb the two newlyweds for a while. Iruka was happy, the secret was no longer a secret and Kakashi was his. All other problems could wait because for the moment he had everything he needed.


The actual end, the real end, the it's over end.