A/N: I wanted to use this as my Slash 100 'Lies' theme…only to realize that I've done it already! Doh! So, instead, it's a standalone one shot. Enjoy!
Inspired by one of my all time favorite songs, Taylor Swift's "I'd Lie".
Disclaimer: I am not Kishimoto, and that is becoming increasingly a good thing.
Summary: Hanging out with Kakashi, lying has become a second nature for Iruka. KakaIru.
He'd become friends with Kakashi soon after the Jounin had passed Team Seven—Iruka had gone to confront Kakashi about the whole thing only to find the point was now moot. They had pushed and pulled together, falling out and repairing that friendship more times than could possibly be healthy. Somewhere along the way, Iruka noticed, he'd picked up some of the Copy-nin's habits. He read some Icha Icha now, though never in public, he slouched more, and he'd started habitually lying.
He was grading papers out in the sunshine when Genma and Raidou decided to join him. The special jounin had made small talk with him at first before Genma got right to the point. He and Raidou had a bet about what color Kakashi's eyes were, as neither of them could remember, and since Iruka was the adult closest to Kakashi they'd decided to have him settle it. Which were they, grey or blue?
Neither of the men could adequately explain to him why it mattered, how the subject had come up, and Iruka hesitated before answering. After a moment of reflection, he affirmed they were blue.
He could not articulate why, but for whatever reason it mattered a great deal to him that neither of the pair knew that Kakashi's eyes were the brown of a cup of chai tea sitting in the shade.
Some weeks later, Naruto had sent him a letter asking if he could find out when Kakashi-sensei's birthday was. He wanted to send the man a present, to cheer him up and maybe make him feel a little less left behind since he and Sakura had surpassed him.
Iruka had shaken his head at that and, after a moment of contemplation written back that it was September 17th without the slightest hesitation in his hand. Kakashi told this to everyone but Iruka, because his father had died on Kakashi's real birthday on the 15th and he hated to remember that day. So, he'd made up a new one instead.
When Iruka and Sakura left from sitting at Kakashi's hospital bedside after he'd returned, further damaged, from a mission she had asked him sadly if Kakashi-sensei really didn't have any family left to care for him. Iruka had looked away and told her that he had a sister who lived far away, and was not a ninja, so he was not completely alone.
It had cheered her up, so Iruka felt a little justified.
Asuma had once asked him, his voice laden with irony, if Kakashi enjoyed what he did for a living—this business of killing people. Iruka had laughed, and firmly denied it because it felt like 'yes, he enjoys being a ninja, all of it, and he's really good at it' felt so very wrong.
One of the nurses at the hospital asked Iruka once if Kakashi was alright after Sasuke had gone, saying she'd heard him whispering the boy's name when he was unconscious. Iruka put a reassuring hand on her shoulder, and promised her that Kakashi understood that he was not to blame for any of that.
He thought maybe she had seen through that one.
Several people asked him if he knew why Kakashi always wore that mask. It seemed to drive them crazy, having someone so secretive and yet so powerful living in their village. Iruka had smiled easily and told them all it was because Kakashi enjoyed driving them all crazy.
He would never tell the secret entrusted him; that Kakashi was only hiding his face from himself, so he would not have to see his father every time he happened to catch his reflection, and relive all that pain.
Kurenai once asked him if Kakashi had ever mentioned any of his favorite songs. Iruka had told her that Kakashi didn't even like music.
Having her know that Kakashi liked all kinds of music, that he could sing and well, made the chuunin's inside burn with inexplicable rage.
Tsunade had asked him once, off hand, if he happened to know Kakashi's favorite color, as Jiraiya wanted to know. He had told her green, this time because he didn't want to give Jiraiya the satisfaction of knowing that it was florescent orange. Kakashi could barely even see the color green anymore, but only the two of them knew that.
Shizune wanted to know why Kakashi-san was always late for things that were not of the highest priority, with the most bizarre excuses available. It was because Kakashi enjoyed seeing how long people would put up with him. Not because he had to lay his ghosts to rest every morning.
He and Kakashi were sitting at a bar, drinking more than they probably should and recounting the antics of students that Iruka had sent Kakashi's way. When Kakashi stood to go get more alcohol, Anko had slid into his place. She grinned at her childhood friend. "Are you having a good time Iruka? You look like you are. You always have such a good time with Kakashi, I'm starting to wonder if you aren't in love with him!"
Iruka had smiled, reflecting ruefully how easy this had become. "Of course I don't, Anko. What a silly thing to say."