A/N: I'm getting rather tired of justifying IruKaka to people. So, now you guys are going to have Kakashi himself tell you. Isn't that kind of him? This one is for all you much-abused IruKaka fans out there, like Karuka Ikashi and myself.
This was also loosely inspired by the song 'Meet me Halfway' by Kenny Loggins. Highly recommended if you can get a copy. And if someone can explain to me why Kakashi insists on talking in short paragraphs I'd love to know.
Disclaimer: If I WERE Kishimoto-sama, I'm sure I would have some animator friends who would do small animations of scenes for me. As I'm not, I don't, which is a pity.
You're too good for me. You know that. You must know that. I know you've heard them whispering; those lousy gossips who hang out in the mission's room. Those who have heard the rumors we are together but refuse to believe them because 'I'm too good for you'.
If people weren't so stupid as to believe things like that, maybe I would consider being more social.
My logic is simple, really.
Before you came into my life, I was existing. Existing is easy, painless. It's getting up everyday and doing the exact same thing because that's just what you do. I hadn't even realized I was doing it. I had promised so many people I would keep living, but I was only doing that in the strictest sense of the word. I was numb inside.
Team seven had started to wake me up, just a little bit. Things that I had thought I'd gotten over long ago started to hurt again. They didn't know my ability, and too them I was a human and not a legend. It was refreshing.
Then you came in, and it was something entirely new. You knew who I was. You were very aware of what I could do to you. You didn't care. You didn't care about what I could do to you if I chose because you did care about your students in a way that I couldn't understand. In a way that painfully reminded me of my own sensei. He hadn't wanted me to take the exam either, but my father had insisted.
I had been capable. I had not been ready. It was a lesson I should have learned, but missed until too late. I'm the only genius I know who can never learn his lessons on time. I suppose it's part of my chronic lateness.
It wasn't pride that made me snap at you like I did. It was a simple want for you to shut up because it hurt to watch you care. It reopened wounds I had thought healed that I was in no way ready to face.
When my team left, I tried to shut myself down again. I didn't want to deal with the wounds on my soul those three had created. I couldn't deal with all those they had reopened.
Somehow, you saw that coming. I don't know how you knew I was shutting myself down, forcing myself to forget by being so exhausted constantly I had no choice. You, only you, saw my actions for what they were.
You had more right than anyone to tell you 'I told you so' about my team. Every step of the way you had watched and questioned me. I almost wanted you to say it. I knew I deserved it, but you wouldn't say it.
In fact, it may have taken me months to realize it, but when you refused to give me any more missions until I got Tsunade to interfere it was an act of simple compassion. You saw my pain, and you saw I was running.
You effectively set up a roadblock. When I came back from the mission I had so desperately wanted, you met me at the gate. Somehow, I still haven't figure out how, you convinced Tsunade that I needed a break. That I was falling apart (I was, but I won't admit it to anyone but you). You had direct orders from Godaime that I was not to do any mission whatsoever until further notice. You invited me to eat dinner, your treat, even as you handed the message to me.
I don't know what made you decide to help me. All of us Jounin are messed up in several ways, emotionally damaged in some way. You could have chose to help any one of them, but for some reason you picked the most messed up of the lot to be your friend. That's probably why Sandaime always placed the troublemakers in your class. Even when you didn't want to, a part of you would reach out to drag them back from the edge.
I wonder how many lives you saved without either party knowing it.
You weren't about to let me destroy myself. No matter how hard I pushed you away, knocked you down, or dragged you through the mud, you would not leave. I looked down on and insulted, mostly out of jealousy, everything you were and everything you stood for while you smiled and invited me to come over for a free meal and some drinks.
I think that's when I first started falling in love with you; when I realized you weren't going away even if I wanted you to. You were constant in spite of everything, knowing when to bend but never breaking. Even when I returned to my missions, you were always the first to meet me after the Hokage to be sure that I was all right. You reminded me then of Obito. You cared too much to ever be a truly good shinobi, but you were a much better human being than I'd ever hoped to be.
I learned a great deal about you, as we started spending nearly all our free time together. I learned that you were dyslexic. You could read things okay on paper, because you had taught yourself how by necessity over the years. You couldn't read them out-loud very well, and it was why you never wrote things on the blackboard for your class. You told everyone else it was because you didn't like to turn your back on the mini-ninja. Only I knew different.
I learned you have a terrible sweet tooth. It its warm, gooey, and covered in caramel you can hardly resist it. I learned this from an apple, and it was very entertaining. We both know that if your students found out you'd be in trouble, so you only showed me and I don't tell anyone.
I learned that you were the most terrible cook in Konoha on my birthday. I got your note on my door telling you to come to your apartment, and when I did it was filled with smoke. I managed to get to the kitchen just in time for the chocolate something you were making to explode all over both of us. I was dumbfounded. You just laughed and told me I didn't really want what you'd hoped was brownies anyway and why didn't you take me out to dinner instead.
It was from these realizations that we had our first kiss. I knew better than to take that piece of caramel filled chocolate from you, but I honestly didn't expect you to go after it. It was with surprise, and some not-so-secret delight, that I found myself pinned beneath you before I could pull my mask back up, and you explored my mouth for any lingering taste of your treat.
I was surprised how little embarrassment you showed afterwards. Apparently, I wasn't the only one with an underneath. Though you were blushing, you simply asked me if it would be all right if you did that again- with more passion and less chocolate-and-caramel-induced addiction. I surprised myself when I realized it was.
Dating, I quickly learned, was not all that different from the friendship we'd had before. There were a few added benefits of stolen kisses and the occasional grope, not all of which came from me. A few civilian parents whose children attended the academy were up in arms about our relationship, but they were ignored.
I know it hurt you deep inside, but you must have seen something in me that made it worth it. I'm not sure what. All I ever did, can ever do because for a genius I'm a damn emotional retard, was follow your lead. But you ignored the snide comments, tried not to look upset when two students were pulled from your class, and forbade me from seeking revenge on those that hurt you. Or having Genma or Asuma do it either.
The first time you called me yours it took my breath away. You didn't know I was stopping by, and I listened outside the teacher's lounge as you argued with some of the other sensei. They told you that you were giving up way too much to be with a stupid idiot Jounin. That getting so attached to someone always on the front lines was risky. You had told them that you knew that, but that I was your idiot Jounin and I always would be.
That was the moment that I realized that you weren't acting on lust…and that my little crush was something much deeper and more frightening. That I wanted to be yours, and yours only. It took several hours of a one sided conversation with my sensei before I was ready to face you that evening. I told you, laughing at my own stuttering fear, that I loved you. You told me that you had known that all along, but it meant a lot to hear it because you loved me too.
I don't know why you love me. I'm a selfish bastard with more blood on my hands than nearly anyone else in Konoha. I'm sadistic and cruel most of the time. I enjoy reading erotic novels just to see the stares I get. I like playing mind games with people, and it doesn't bother me when I kill anymore. I can be cold and ruthless better than I can be human. Before you took the time to teach me how, I didn't know how to love someone.
There is nothing that I don't love about you, Iruka. Even your habits that drive me crazy- like alphabetizing the food in your house, scrubbing everything with bleach, or be so incredibly selfless it borders suicidal- I worship. You are all the warmth and goodness I've given myself to protect. You reminded me without trying what it meant to live again.
Only you could do that, Iruka-kun. Only you could reach me. Could love me like you do. You're the only one who bothered to reach deeply underneath enough to find me and pull me out. You're the only one that can love enough, have patience enough, to try. You're a god for that.
Which is why I could never, ever be worthy of you. You're far too good for me, Iruka. Please, don't ever forget it.