Notes: 'Forfeit' wasn't intended to have a follow-up. This is available should the angst be too much to bear.

Iruka tossed and turned, hands pushing at the air. "Stop it," he mumbled. "Go away." He woke with his hands in the air.

"Stop what?"

Iruka sat up, eyes wide, hands pulling in to form a seal. He found himself staring at Kakashi, who hung on the windowsill. The tension dropped from his body, his mouth hanging open.

Kakashi's mask was up as usual, but so was his forehead protector and both eyes shone in the moonlight.

Iruka stared.

"Where is he?"

A frown creased Iruka's forehead. "Who?"

"Did he go on a mission? He warned you, right? Didn't steal away in the middle of the night, whether he wanted to or not?"

"What? Who?" Iruka continued to look perplexed.

Kakashi slipped out of the window with a small scratch of sound and made his way toward the bed. His gaze was intent.

Iruka shivered and leaned back restlessly. He would not admit to being scared. Only a little.

"Who?" he whispered as he approached. "Your new love. The great one who never leaves you unless he has to. Where is he?"

Oh. Iruka looked up at Kakashi, trying to speak. "Uh…"

"It's only been a month and a half. He can't have dropped you already." Kakashi dropped a knee on the bed.

"N-noo… he's… on a mission. I don't know much about it." Iruka could feel his pulse quickening as he panicked.

"Is that so?" Kakashi's voice was soft as he leaned forward.

"Uh huh," Iruka said as he nodded, trying to scoot back, knowing there wasn't much bed left.

"But he told you before he left?"


"Because he cares."

"M-hmm." Iruka was nodding non-stop at this point.

"And I never did."

"Mmhmm—No, no Kakashi, I, it just, uh," Iruka's nodding turned to shaking and then he just looked confused as Kakashi reached him, straddling him and holding his wrists. He stared curiously at Iruka, hands warm and firm around his wrists. "Wh-what are you doing?"

"Why are you lying?"

Iruka tried to look away, but Kakashi moved a hand on his chin, forcing his face forward. Iruka squeezed his eyes shut. "I'm not."

Kakashi let go of Iruka's wrist and reached into his vest. "What's this?"

Iruka opened his eyes to see Kakashi waving a scroll in front of him. Iruka shrugged. "A scroll?"

"Read it." He dropped it between them.

The scroll fluttered to the side of the bed and Iruka caught the phrase 'Be proud' followed by Tsunade's official signature. Iruka took a deep breath and looked away. "I … that's official. I shouldn't be reading that." He struggled. "Let me go."

Kakashi leaned forward, moving his hands to Iruka's face, fingertips resting on his eyebrows and stroking gently. "Iruka."

Iruka stopped moving and looked at him, breathing hard.

"You can lie to them. You don't have to lie to me."

Iruka stared at him for a moment, silent before finally answering. "I… have a job, a duty. You do too."

"I also have a heart and a soul. I have a stomach and a liver too."

Iruka laughed and realised he had tears in his eyes. "Damn it."

Kakashi looked at him, carefully, both eyes clear in the low light. "Tell me the truth."

Iruka's smile faded. "I can't…" He raised a hand to Kakashi's face.

"I'm already here. The mission is over. And I know you're lying. Tell me."

Iruka looked at Kakashi for a long moment and then pulled Kakashi close, hands sliding up his neck as he whispered, "The truth is you can always come home to me, no matter what I tell you. Or what I'm told to tell you."

Kakashi pulled back and smiled, pulling his mask down as he moved toward Iruka's mouth.

As he kissed Kakashi, Iruka's arms wound his neck and he shifted pushing Kakashi down on the bed and falling over him.

The kiss broke for a moment and Kakashi breathed out "I knew that," before Iruka was kissing him again.

That's why I'm here, he thought, wrapping arms and legs around Iruka.