A/N: The final part, just to satisfy everyone. I hope. This one is different from the other two as it's not almost completely an internal monologue. There are actual words and actions here.

Love Him

By: Reggie

Kakashi rolled his eye up from his page to Genma. The special Jounin had been standing there, staring at him in such a dumbfounded way, for a good twenty minutes now and it was really starting to annoy. He was starting to wonder if he'd forgotten to put on his mask this morning, or something. "Can I help you, Genma?"

The senbon wielder opened and shut his mouth a few times, swallowed, and then pointed one accusatory finger at the exposed section of Kakashi's face. "It's not blue!"

He had known Genma for several years now, but that ranked among the top ten weirdest things Kakashi had ever heard the other man say. He raised his eyebrow in obvious confusion, hoping the other man would get the message.

He did, and Kakashi could almost see him mentally backpedaling. "Raidou and I had a bet going about what color your eye was, we couldn't remember. You were out on a mission, so we asked Iruka and HE said that your eye was blue! I had to buy Raidou lunch for a week for that, but it's not blue or grey, it's brown."

Kakashi closed his book, mask obviously crinkling into a frown. Iruka knew what color his eyes were. They had even once pestered Ayame to tell them which of them had the brownest eyes until the poor girl had nearly died of embarrassment.

He knew that Iruka lied, sometimes. He'd confessed to telling Naruto his 'birthday', and telling Sakura that Kakashi had a sister somewhere to comfort the girl. And while he'd been a little angry about the latter, it had amused him that the Chuunin had felt the need to shield her still, he could even understand it a little, and he'd let it go.

But why lie to Genma and Raidou about something so ridiculous as his eye color?

Genma pulled the senbon out of his mouth so he could scowl properly. "Iruka owes me a week of lunches for this!"

Kakashi silently agreed.

The Jounin waited patiently outside the academy until it was nearing dusk, and fell into step beside Iruka as the other man started walking home. The Chuunin didn't look up from the book on the newest theory for henge teaching in his hand.

"What color are my eyes?" Kakashi asked, keeping his own book raised as though reading it, but really eyeing the other man closely.

Iruka didn't so much as twitch. "One is brown and the other red. Why? Did you forget?"

"Genma told me today that you told him and Raidou that my eye was blue."

Iruka stopped in his tracks, eyes ridiculously round. Kakashi continued a few paces as though he hadn't noticed before he turned to look at the Chuunin. Iruka looked away, a little color dusting his cheeks. He looked impossibly guilty.

Kakashi shut his book and dropped it down to his side. "Why?"

"I don't know." Iruka seemed honest, but Kakashi found himself suddenly questioning whether or not it was. If Iruka had lied about something that stupid, how often had he lied before?

Was this how people felt about him, when they asked Kakashi something? The idea bothered him, a little.

"I don't know," the chuunin repeated, staring down at his toes. "They couldn't tell me why they wanted to know besides some stupid bet, and I just…didn't want them to know. If they were being stupid, they didn't have the right."

Kakashi laughed, and was surprised how genuine it was. "Didn't have the right?"

Iruka made some indistinguishable noise that might have been an affirmative, and started walking again. "I never claimed to make sense."

This was true.

Kakashi fell in to step with the Chuunin again, but left didn't raise his book. "That's some of the oddest logic I've ever heard, though. How can someone have the right to know the color of someone's eyes?"

"It…I…" Iruka gestured helplessly at nothing. "They just seemed so ridiculous, I was insulted for you. Why should what color your eyes are be regular conversation? Why can't they just leave you alone?"

"I'm not sure whether to laugh at you or be grateful," Kakashi chuckled, mentally cursing again that open honesty that came so easily with Iruka.

"Maybe neither," the chuunin muttered miserably, turning the corner toward his apartment.

The sat in companionable silence again for a few blocks before Kakashi decided to speak again. "Do you lie for me often?"

Iruka's fingers and eyes twitched in an interesting way and he swallowed, hard. "No, not often. Just sometimes. I think you're wearing off on me."

"I never lie to you." Kakashi wasn't sure why he was so insulted, he just was. Everyone knew the Copy-ninja was a notorious liar, so he didn't even necessarily have to lie to Iruka for it to wear off. But if the Chuunin hadn't noticed that he'd never once told a lie in his presence…

"You're just so damn secretive all the time!" The younger man's scowl darkened considerably. "Even if you're not lying you don't volunteer what you're thinking! Even I can't figure out…what you think about some things."

Iruka was upset, but Kakashi could not figure out why. Shouldn't he be the one upset at Iruka for…for what? For not telling his secrets? None of this made sense. But Kakashi was upset about all of this, because he hadn't lied to Iruka and it hurt to think the Chuunin just might lie to him.

"You'd only have to ask me, you know." Icha Icha had been put away now, and Kakashi's fists were stuffed in his pockets. Why was he volunteering this weakness? "You could ask me anything, and I'd tell you the truth. You're important to me."

"How important?" They'd stopped walking again, and suddenly Iruka was all angry-but-frightened eyes and trembling hands that nearly dropped his book. "I need to know just how important, Kakashi."

He'd set himself up for this, Kakashi though ruefully. He'd been dreading it for so long that he'd walked right in to it. As usual when Iruka phrased anything as a question, his mouth worked on its own. "You are my most important person, Iruka-sensei. When I imagine coming home from a mission, it's you I picture, and you I want to reach safely."

This seemed to have floored the Chuunin, as he gaped open-mouthed for a little while. After a pause he closed it, and swallowed. The book was now clutched tight against his chest, almost a shield from whatever might come next. "Kakashi do you…do you love…"

"You." Kakashi closed his eye, not sure he had the courage to see how Iruka would react to that. "I love you. I'm not sure when it started but I…"

As it turned out, he didn't have to see, because all of the sudden Iruka was right. There. And the chuunin's arms were around his neck, pulling him down, and Iruka's lips were kissing him as best he could through the mask.

Kakashi wasn't sure whether he should keep breathing or just suffocate and die the happiest death available to him.

Iruka didn't seem to care that Kakashi hadn't attempted to kiss him back, and he clung to the Jounin's neck as he shook with laughter. "We're idiots. We're both such idiots. I lied because I loved you, and I couldn't help wanting to pretend you were mine to keep. And you told the truth to give yourself to me, didn't you?"

It had never been a conscious thought, no, but when Iruka said it that way it seemed true. Kakashi managed to work his arms around the smaller man and hug him tight. "I've heard that love makes everyone idiots."

The Chuunin snorted into Kakashi's chest, resting his warm forehead against the cool zipper. "I think it's the one thing that makes being an idiot seem not so bad."