A/N: Okay, so my plan of finishing chapter 13 of 'All the Broken Pieces' didn't quite work, but I made a good start. So instead, you guys get another collab between Karuka Ikashi and myself. It was an RPG, actually, so anything for Iruka is written by me and Kakashi by her- thus the alternating viewpoints. The prompt I came up with went something like this: Iruka is walking home with his arms full of paperwork when it starts to down pour. Kakashi, who was walking the other way and happens to have an umbrella, sees him. I hope you enjoy it because we sure did!
Title: More Than Words
By: Reggie and Kakashi Iruka
Iruka sighed, trying to use his body to protect his precious papers from the freezing rain. This tactic wasn't working particularly well, but his students would just have to deal with it as it was the best he had.
Somewhere down the road, Kakashi was heading home after an exhausting day of vigorous training with Team Seven. It had been vigorous for his students, anyway. He had been reading Icha Icha Paradise the whole time. His precious book was safely stowed in his weapons pouch, protected further from the rain by the large umbrella the silver-haired Jounin held over his head.
Iruka looked up as he saw the Jounin approaching. He shivered, but forced a smile onto his face anyway. "Konban wa, Kakashi-san."
Kakashi stopped at looked at the drenched Chuunin standing before him. "Konban wa, Iruka-san," he replied, "Where are you headed to? Hopefully, not far."
Iruka shivered again, but kept his smile firmly in place. "I'm going home to finish up correcting this homework. It's still several blocks from here, closer to the town center."
Kakashi raised an eyebrow. "Oh? I'm headed that way as well." He leaned a bit closer to the Chuunin so that his umbrella shielded him from the rain. "Would you like to walk with me? At least you'll stay dry."
Iruka nodded and blushed slightly, forcing himself to ignore that the Jounin had in fact been walking the other direction. "Arigato gozaimasu, Kakashi-san."
Kakashi gave a nod and flashed his one-eyed smile. "Of course." They walked together in silence, hearing only the thumping above their heads on the umbrella and the splash at their feet. Kakashi watched the shivering academy teacher out of the corner of his eye. "You look cold, Iruka-san."
Iruka kept his eyes focused on the ground, doing his best to stop his shivering. "N-no. It's not bad."
Kakashi gave him a sideways look, not at all fooled. He slowly reached over and took the chuunin's free hand in his gloved one. "Your hands are like ice."
Iruka jumped, his face burning at the sudden contact. "It's nothing, Kakashi-san, really. Besides, your hands are covered so you're not a fair judge."
"I can feel you through my glove," Kakashi said and squeezed Iruka's hand tighter in an attempt to warm it.
Iruka momentarily thought about pulling his hand away, but decided that would be pointless. If Kakashi wanted to keep his hand, then Iruka was sure he would find a way to do. "Well...maybe I am a little bit cold..."
Kakashi seemed to take this as an invitation to lean closer to Iruka so that they were pressed shoulder-to-shoulder. "We can't have you getting sick, Iruka-san," the Jounin laughed, "What would your students do?"
"Suffer through a substitute?" Iruka offered weakly, looking up for the first time to smile a little at Kakashi as a thank you for his concern.
Kakashi blushed slightly beneath his mask when he saw Iruka smile at him. "I'm sure they'd miss you," he told the Chuunin.
"Well," Iruka said, shifting the weight of his papers, "if Tsunade-sama has her way, they may have to get used to it. She says we'll all be needed on missions shortly, and Academy teachers will have to take bigger classes and rotate shifts."
"Ah, really?" Kakashi asked, "That's too bad. You seem overworked enough as it is. Your job must be tiring." He gave Iruka a sympathetic look but suddenly grimaced with his next step. The Jounin dropped Iruka's hand to clutch his side.
Iruka couldn't help but blink in surprise, nearly dropping his papers. "Kakashi-san! Are you alright?"
"I'm fine," Kakashi lied, letting go and instead waving the hand embarrassedly, though the motion was painful. He tried to give Iruka a reassuring smile, but failed.
Iruka frowned. "You can't lie to me, Kakashi-san. I'm a teacher, I know these things. What's wrong? Were you injured on a mission?"
"Yesterday's mission was a bit difficult," Kakashi admitted reluctantly, "I only let my guard down for a second; it's not that serious." He averted his eyes, his fingertips growing cold. Why did I have to go ruin the moment?
Iruka pondered this for a moment. "My house is closer than the hospital. Lets go there, and I'll do what I can to bandage you up."
Kakashi's face flushed red underneath his mask, and he bumped the umbrella forward a little, almost letting the rain streaming off the top splash onto Iruka. "N-no, you don't have to do that," he stammered.
Iruka moved with the umbrella to avoid the water. "Careful, Kakashi-san. Someone might think you were embarrassed."
Kakashi cleared his throat and tried to compose himself. "Of course not. What reason do I have to be?"
"I certainly wouldn't know," Iruka said seriously. "That's why I thought I would warn you."
Kakashi laughed slightly. "I don't think I have anything to worry about." Above their heads, the rain began pouring down harder, and thunder roared in the distance.
"Then there is no reason not to come over," Iruka finished firmly, though he shivered slightly at the cold. "Lets hurry. It's freezing."
Kakashi suppressed a shiver as well and let out a sigh, though in truth, he was still smiling. Iruka seemed persistent. It wouldn't be polite to turn down such a kind offer, now would it? Just imagining the warmth of Iruka's home and especially the joy in sharing company with the chuunin was enough...and Kakashi knew he wanted nothing more than to get out of this weather. He had gotten a bit drenched before he had opened up his umbrella, and wet masks were not comfortable. "Alright," he agreed finally and quickened his pace.
Iruka smiled to himself, clutching the papers close as he lead the way slightly. When the reached his house, he unlocked the door quickly and flipped on the light as he kicked off his sandals. "It's not much..."
Kakashi took a glance around. It was as clean and tidy as he had expected. Small, yes, but still very welcoming. Kakashi almost felt more at home here than at his own apartment. He took off his shoes and followed Iruka further into the house.
Iruka set his papers down on the coffee table and smiled up at the Jounin. "Make yourself comfortable, Kakashi-san. I'm going to get the first aid kit and be right back."
Kakashi gave a nod and took a seat as he watched Iruka leave the room. He glanced around him, noticing the small decorations and the photos on the walls. He couldn't remember the last time he had come over to anyone's home like this. It seemed like so long ago...
Iruka went to his bathroom and dug out his well-stocked first aid kit (you never knew what Naruto might need after all) before returning to the main room. "Okay, Kakashi-san let me see."
Kakashi snapped out of his trance and looked towards Iruka, slightly panicked. "Ehh...Iruka. Is this really necessary?" he asked, trying to laugh, but he only ended up choking on his words. He slid down the couch slightly, trying to put a few more inches of distance between them. He knew he was acting like a child, but this was just so awkward for him.
Iruka blinked. A part of him was loving watching the great Sharingun Kakashi look so...flustered. The rest of him felt like he was an evil person for upsetting something so, well, cute. "Kakashi-san, I can't help you if you don't let me see. And no, you can't tell me you don't need help. You were in pain for a reason."
Kakashi felt the sweat running down his neck and a knot of nervousness growing tighter in his stomach as he realized there was no way out of this. He looks determined, the Copy Nin thought as he watched Iruka through one lazy eye. With a sigh, the Jounin slowly unzipped his vest and placed it on the couch, next to him. He then pulled his shirt up and carefully slid it over his head, exposing the wound that stretched across his side. His headband came off as well, but the wet, itchy mask stayed in place.
Iruka noticed the mask remained, but he honestly hadn't expected anything different. He reached out a slightly trembling hand and traced ghost-touches along the wound. "That looks painful, Kakashi-san."
Kakashi winced slightly as he felt Iruka's fingertips brush against his skin, but he managed to shake his head in negation. "It's not that bad...I've had worse."
"Just because you've had worse doesn't negate the pain of this one, Kakashi-san."
Kakashi gave a half shrug. "I'm used to it." What he was not used to was letting someone treat him - outside of a hospital.
Iruka shook his head, pulling out a bottle of disinfectant healing cream. "Well...this might sting a little at first, but it helps in the long run."
Kakashi wasn't afraid of the pain, but he tried to shove his discomfort aside long enough to let Iruka treat him. The sooner this is over, the better, he thought, though part of him was touched by Iruka's concern for him.
Iruka finished rubbing the crème on, and then loosely bandaged the other up. He sneezed, and then grinned at the Jounin. "There. All done."
"Thank you, Iruka-san," Kakashi said, blushing a bit beneath his damp mask. He sniffed and shivered slightly. His shirt was still a bit wet, but he knew it wouldn't take long to dry.
Iruka shivered too, and scrambled to his feet. "I'm going to make hot chocolate," he announced. "Would you like any, Kakashi-san?"
Kakashi stared at him for a moment. When had he last had hot chocolate? He couldn't even remember if he had liked it or not...but he felt it would be rude to turn down the offer, and something about the kind way Iruka was looking at him made him say, "Yes, please."
Iruka smiled, turning and walking into the kitchen. He dug out his teapot and started some water on to boil. "Would you like anything to eat? I don't have much..."
Kakashi watched Iruka from the couch and shook his head. "No thank you, I'm fine." Iruka had already done enough for him.
Iruka pulled down two mugs and filled them with powdered chocolate before pouring the water in. He stirred them slowly, three turns left and four turns right each, and added a little bit of milk before bringing them out. He set one in front of Kakashi before walking around to the other side of the table and pulling his stack of work toward him.
"Thank you very much for walking me home, Kakashi-sensei. My students will really appreciate that their essays are still legible."
Kakashi scratched the bridge of his nose with one finger. "I should be thanking you. You've been very kind, Iruka-san." He looked down at the mug in front of him warily, knowing that he'd have to take off his mask in order to take a sip from it.
Iruka pulled a pen from his pocket, chewing the end of it thoughtfully as he started to grade. "I couldn't just let you wander around injured, Kakashi-san. You mean to much to me for that."
Realizing what he'd said, Iruka blushed and took a sip of his hot drink to hide it.
Kakashi's eyes widened, and he stared at Iruka, unsure of how to respond. His hand reached absently for his mug, and he curled his fingers around it, letting it warm his hand through the glove. "Thank you, Iruka-san," he said finally.
Iruka felt his face getting even redder, but decided he could always blame it on the steam from his cup. "You're welcome, Kakashi-san. I hope you enjoy the hot cocoa."
Kakashi gave a nod and clenched the mug tightly. He glanced back at Iruka, watching for any sign that the brown-haired man wasn't paying attention. He noticed the Chuunin's blushing face and felt his own turn a little hotter. He seems distracted enough.
Iruka continued staring at the paper he was trying to grade. Yes, he did want to see what was under Kakashi's mask...but not until the other was willing to show him voluntarily. If he wanted privacy, then privacy he would get.
Kakashi, being the master of the lightening-fast consumption of food and beverages (years of practice), took the opportunity to yank down his mask and attempted to chug the entire mug of hot chocolate as quickly as he could. However, being distracted himself by the blushing Chuunin, he overlooked one very important thing- the temperature of the drink. He hissed in pain as the hot liquid burned his tongue and throat and spit what was still in his mouth onto Iruka's coffee table.
Iruka rescued his papers and glanced up at Kakashi. He blinked, trying to process what it was he was seeing. "There's a reason it's called hot chocolate, Kakashi-san."
Kakashi's exposed cheeks flushed red as hot chocolate dribbled down his chin. He brought his hand up to cover his nose and mouth, but what did it matter? Iruka had already seen his face. "I'm sorry," he mumbled beneath his palm, casting his eyes away embarrassedly.
"Don't be," Iruka smiled, amused by Kakashi's blush (which was adorable- though he certainly wasn't THINKING that) and his attempt to cover his face. "I'll just go get something to clean this up."
"No, let me," Kakashi said, suddenly standing up. His hand slipped slightly from his face. "This was my fault."
"But you're a guest," Iruka insisted, deliberately trying to not look at the Jounin's face directly. He still didn't want to see it until Kakashi let him. "I'll clean it up."
Kakashi froze and dropped his hand completely. Then, he smiled and reached over to Iruka, placing his hand lightly on his shoulder. "It's okay. I've got it," he said softly.
Iruka felt the color return to his face at the light touch, and he couldn't find it in him to tell the other man no when he was so close to him. "...the towels are under the sink..."
"Thanks," the Jounin said, letting his hand slide off Iruka's shoulder. He turned around and walked quickly towards the kitchen. His wet mask was nothing more than an itchy ring around his neck; he reached up and pulled it off. Kakashi was surprised the find that he wasn't too embarrassed that Iruka had seen his face, even though it had been a long time since anyone had. In fact, we were almost relieved, as if the mask had been some kind of barrier between them that had now been broken down. I just wish that it could have gone a little more smoothly, he thought as he stepped into the kitchen and walked over to the sink to find the towels.
Iruka continued to stare at his coffee table as the hot chocolate began to dribble toward the edges. 'What was that about? Isn't he going to pull the mask back up? And why couldn't I tell him no? It's awfully rude of me to let him just clean it up but...the way he said it...I just couldn't...'
Iruka sighed, placing the flat of one palm against his forehead. Why did everything involving Kakashi always have to be so confusing for him?
As Kakashi reentered the living room, he fought to keep his hand from coming up to cover his face. In one hand, he held the towel to clean up the mess he had made, in the other; he tightly clenched his black mask. He walked over to the coffee table and started mopping up the hot chocolate. Despite feeling a bit less awkward than he knew he should have felt, Kakashi still couldn't bring his eyes up to meet Iruka's.
Iruka glanced up, and saw that the mask had been completely removed. Once he noticed this, he allowed his gaze to slip up. It took him several long moments to regain control of his brain as he gazed at the handsome face he saw there. He looked away, blushing furiously, once he'd regained that control.
"Thank you, Kakashi-san," he muttered, not even sure himself if he was thanking the Jounin for trusting him enough to see his face or for cleaning up the mess.
Kakashi said nothing, but gave a nod as he finished cleaning up the mess. He then took to the hot chocolate-soaked towel back to the kitchen to wash it off. He could feel his face burning the entire time and wondered if Iruka felt half as awkward as he did. Kakashi had sensed something odd about the chuunin- almost as if his chakra had gotten slightly jumbled inside of him.
Iruka went back to correcting his papers, or at least attempting too. He couldn't seem to focus very well, and stuck the pen back in his mouth as he tried for the third time to make sense of the sentence he was reading.
Kakashi took off his gloves and turned on the faucet, letting the water warm his fingers as the brown liquid was washed down the sink. He thought to himself for a while, wondering what was going on in Iruka's own head. Does he really care about me that much? "I couldn't just let you wander around injured, Kakashi-san. You mean too much to me for that." Did he mean it? The Copy-Nin zoned out until he felt his fingers burning. He hadn't been paying attention to how hot the water was getting. He snapped his fingers back and growled. It's really not my day.
Hearing Kakashi's growl, Iruka looked up toward his kitchen. "Kakashi-san, are you okay in there?"
"I'm fine," he mumbled, cursing his luck and shaking out his burnt fingers. He reached up with the other hand to lower the temperature of the water until it was icy cold. Much better, he thought, though they still stung.
Iruka frowned, deciding he didn't trust that tone at all. Pen still in his mouth, Iruka walked in to the kitchen. His eyes widened as he looked at Kakashi's injured fingers. "You managed to burn your fingers too?"
Kakashi frowned and immediately hid his reddened fingers behind his back. "Just an accident," he told the academy teacher.
Iruka frowned and put on his best no nonsense teacher face. "Let me see, Kakashi-san."
Kakashi shook his head slightly, but stopped. He tried to picture where this was going to go if he didn't give in and let Iruka have his way. He saw the chuunin grabbing his wrist and yanking his hand back around, the two of them playing tug-of-war with the Jounin's limb while Iruka yelled, "Let me see!" as Kakashi refused over and over again...No, that was silly. At most, Iruka would give him a glare and assertively demand to see the fingers until the proud Jounin finally cringed under his command. He was a teacher - he had to know how to do it. Kakashi mentally shuddered and outwardly sighed. Slowly, he brought his hand back around and held his fingers out for the chuunin to see.
Iruka was surprised by Kakashi giving in so easily, but decided it best not to show it. He took the offered hand and gave the palm a gentle squeeze as he inspected the fingers. "It doesn't look too bad. Do you want me to kiss it better?"
He dropped Kakashi's hand and mentally kicked himself. Dealing with young students all day, it had become a habit to ask then when dealing with injuries that involved minimal amounts of blood. His face was burning, and he decided to concentrate very hard on the tile of his floor. Really, he should clean the gaps between it more often...
Kakashi blinked. Had Iruka really said what he thought he had? He smirked at the chuunin's flushed face; after the hot chocolate incident, it was nice to see Iruka be the more embarrassed one. Why not take him up on his offer? It amused the Jounin greatly and was a good excuse to get the chuunin's lips on his skin. "Yes - please, sensei," Kakashi answered, holding the abandoned fingers close to Iruka's lips.
Iruka's eyes widened, and he wished he could melt into the floor. Did Kakashi REALLY just say that? And why, oh why, did it make Iruka feel like someone was using a spoon to stir up his insides? Unable to think of anything else to do, Iruka took Kakashi's hand with his trembling one, and gently pressed the burnt fingers together. Closing his eyes so he wouldn't have to see Kakashi's face- and his disgust if he was just joking- Iruka shyly kissed the longest finger gently.
Kakashi raised his silver eyebrows in surprise. He wasn't sure if he had expected Iruka to go through with it, but the warm feeling that was spreading throughout his body told him that he was glad he had. Kakashi had to admit that he was a bit disappointed that Iruka had only kissed one of his fingers, however. He pushed them all up to the chuunin's mouth encouragingly. "The other ones hurt too, sensei."
Iruka was sure the metal of his forehead protector was going to melt right off from the heat in his face. He couldn't figure out why on earth Kakashi was encouraging this. Even more confusing was why he wanted to continue.
'I've finally snapped,' he told himself, taking the fingers up and kissing them each one by one- adding a kiss in the center of his palm for good measure.
"There," he whispered. "All better
"Thank you, sensei," Kakashi whispered, sliding his hand down to cup Iruka's jaw once the chuunin had let go of it. He could feel the warmth of Iruka's skin in his palm. The silver-haired ninja smiled and looked lovingly into Iruka's brown eyes through his lone marble grey one, Sharingun tightly shut. He saw that Iruka was blushing furiously now, and he knew his own cheeks must have been red as well. The distance between them became smaller, but neither of them backed away. Don't hate me for this. Kakashi leaned in slowly and softly placed his own lips onto the chuunin's.
At first, Iruka was unsure of what to do. If this was a joke, Kakashi had pushed it WAY too far...but it certainly didn't feel like some sort of game. He allowed his eyes to slowly close, instinct taking over as his brain decided to put all his confused thoughts on hold and simply return the kiss. He was shy about it at first, his body language asking the Jounin if this was okay as he put a hand on the back of the other's neck and drew him slightly closer.
Kakashi stiffened slightly, surprised that Iruka was going so far as to return his kiss and pulling him closer as well, as if he actually asking for more. He certainly hadn't expected that - though he wasn't about to let the chance go by, either. He let Iruka bring him in and kissed him more boldly, now that he knew Iruka felt the same way.
After a minute or so of this, Iruka's brain decided that it had taken a long enough time out. He pulled back slowly, looking up to meet Kakashi's eye. "I hope you understand that if you're just joking about this, you crossed the too far line about five minutes ago."
Kakashi flinched slightly, a little hurt. "I wasn't joking, Iruka-san. Not about that." He rubbed the back of his neck worriedly. Was that "too far"? I did kind of do it without thinking. But Kakashi realized, regardless, he didn't regret it.
Iruka put a finger up to Kakashi's lips, and took a moment to study the other's face. He didn't see a lie there, and could sense that even the idea that he was lying had hurt him. Iruka smiled softly. "Its just Iruka, then."
Kakashi returned the smile and took the hand before him, kissing the finger that was on his lips. "Okay...Iruka." He liked the sound of the suffix-less name on his lips and the taste of Iruka's finger.
Feeling bold again, Iruka shifted his weight forward so he could kiss Kakashi's forehead. "Want to help me finish correcting the homework? If you help, I'm sure I could finish faster..." 'And then we could have time to talk about what on earth just happened.'
Kakashi didn't find it hard to read between the lines. "Of course," he replied, loving the feel of Iruka's lips on his forehead. "It's the least I could do after almost drowning them in hot chocolate." He wrapped his arms around Iruka's waist. "And you shouldn't have to suffer through all the work alone." He held him tighter and planted his lips on the chuunin's tan cheek.
Iruka was blushing, he knew he was blushing, but he really enjoyed the attention. It had been so long since someone had held him tight, since he had felt so loved by someone. 'I'm not giving this up,' he decided, unwilling to leave Kakashi's embrace and lead the way back to the living room. 'I know he's not kidding, but I don't know HOW serious he is...I don't know how serious I am...but I like this, and I won't give it up willingly.'
Kakashi nuzzled into Iruka's neck, his silver hair tickling the chuunin's cheek. "So then, Iruka..." the Jounin whispered into the other man's ear, "Shall we get to those papers?" He waited for an answer, but didn't let go.
It took the young man several moments to get his breathing back from erratic to close-enough-to-correct to speak. He smiled slightly, holding on to Kakashi's arm around his waist tightly, as if trying to convey his previous thoughts without speaking. "Y-yes. We should. The sooner we get started, the sooner we finish, ne?"
"Then let's get started!" the Jounin said happily, sliding lower on Iruka's chest until he had hooked his shoulder with the younger man's abdomen. Without warning, Kakashi gathered his strength and lifted Iruka off the ground. He felt a jab of pain in his side, but ignored it. Instead he carried the alarmed chuunin back to the living room where the pile of papers sat waiting for them. The sooner the better, the Copy Nin thought. Then maybe, Iruka, we get back to where we left off.
"Kakashi! Kakashi put me down!" Iruka yelped, even though he was laughing. "You're going to hurt yourself! I'm serious! That's it..." Iruka grinned to himself, coming up with the worst threat he could think of, "You're so sleeping on the couch the first night you sleep over!"
Sleep...over? Kakashi nearly dropped the chuunin right then and there, but decided it was in his (and Iruka's) best interest to lay him down softly on the couch instead. The Jounin grinned, flashing teeth that rarely ever saw the light of day at Iruka as the chuunin smiled back at him, the pile of papers lying silently on the coffee table before them.
The next day, Iruka had to apologize to his class for not having their tests ready to hand back to them on time.