Epilogue - Not Just This

Iruka entered his home and dumped the stack of scrolls he was carrying unceremoniously on the table, going straight to the kitchen to fix himself a strong cup of coffee.

It has been a bad day. If he was honest with himself, all his days had been bad lately. Since the last time he had been with Kakashi, actually.

He sighed, taking a long drink from his mug. He might have overestimated his ability at getting over Kakashi. If things carried on the way they were, it wasn't just a couple of rough weeks what he was facing, more like a couple of months. If he managed to get over the prick.

Who would have imagined that just one week with someone was going to have such disastrous effect on his self control? Well, Iruka had to admit that Kakashi wasn't just someone, and that he had known this was going to happen.

He had not taken into account the severity of the situation, but it wasn't an unexpected one. He just needed to clear his head, get his arse into gear and make himself believe he was happy with just Kakashi's friendship. It would take a bit, but Iruka was sure he'd end up believing it.

At least Kakashi had kept his word and was giving him the space he needed.

Or had been, Iruka realized with a frown feeling the other's presence on the other side of his door.

He waited for the knock for a few seconds, feeling irritated at Kakashi's lack of consideration and hopeful at what his presence there might mean.

Irritation finally won when the knock failed to sound and Kakashi just didn't leave.

With a put upon sigh, Iruka got up and opened the door.

Kakashi stared at the door of Iruka's apartment, hand poised to knock before his mind had even made the conscious decision to do so.

This was so many kinds of wrong he didn't have enough words to describe it. Why was he there? And what in seven hells was he doing? He had made the decision, five days ago when he had left, of forgetting about Iruka and the delicious week he had spent with him.

They both needed time and distance to cool their heads if they wanted that potential friendship to survive.

What had he done instead? Think about Iruka every single moment he was awake, and dream of him when he wasn't.

Honestly, one didn't need to be a genius to figure that one out.

The door opened before he could knock, an annoyed Iruka staring at him from the other side.

"Do you want to come in, Kakashi? Or are you going to just stare at my door?" He said moving aside to let him in.

Kakashi entered the apartment, immediately feeling uncomfortable and wishing he was anywhere else. Iruka's bedroom, for example, with as little clothes on as possible. Why couldn't things be as simple out of bed as they were in it? Everything had been perfect before their feelings got in the way.

Actually, if he was completely sincere with himself, it were his feelings what got in the way. Iruka seemed to be able to control his own perfectly well.

"Is there any reason for you to be here, or did you come just to annoy me? I thought you were going to give me some time," Iruka asked, crossing his arms over is chest in a clearly defensive posture.

"I--" he began, stopping when he realized he didn't know what else to say. I've been thinking of you. I want us to give this--whatever the hell it is--a try. I want to fuck you against this door. No, definitely not that last one.

"Kakashi." A warning if he had ever heard one. He was overstaying his welcome, and his silence was not helping matters.

"I don't love you Iruka," he blurted out, and then cursed himself for a fool when he saw Iruka's eyes narrowing menacingly.

"Yes, I know," Iruka spat venomously, his anger barely managing to conceal his hurt. Kakashi could have kicked himself. "You made that sufficiently clear last time you were here." Iruka moved to the door and opened it, looking pointedly at Kakashi. "Now, if you excuse me, Hatake-san, I'd like some privacy to lick my wounds."

Kakashi moved fast, slamming the door shut at trapping Iruka against it.

"No, you don't get it," he said, using his whole body to hold the struggling Iruka and knowing he had only a few seconds to explain before the other threw him off. And the consequences would be dire if he didn't make himself clear enough, Iruka had quite the temper. "I don't love you today. Tomorrow--I don't know about tomorrow."

Iruka froze then, "Continue."

"I can't get you out of my head, and this is new and scary," he said, admitting to a weakness for the first time since--well, forever. "I know I'm not in love with you, yet. But I'm hanging there by a thread only by sheer stubbornness; it would be so easy to let myself fall. I've spent all my life avoiding this kind of emotions and attachments, if I give myself time things will be normal again." He took a deep breath, this was what he had come here to do and he was going to do it. "But I don't want that, not anymore. I want to try it with you. I want to fall."

The look Iruka was giving him was sceptical and not a little suspicious but there was also hope in there.

"You want to try it?" Iruka asked slowly, as if the words tasted funny in is mouth.

"Yes." He was sure of that.

"You want to try a real relationship, not just sex friends?" He could hear the reticence in Iruka's voice and remembered their last conversation.

Ouch. That must have hurt.


"But you don't love me," Iruka said, his look assessing.

"Not today, no," Kakashi replied not wanting to lie. He would not begin a relationship with a lie.

"Good," Iruka said smiling for the first time. "I'll ask you again tomorrow, and you better not lie to me either. I can wait for a while."

Kakashi breathed a sigh of relief, not realizing until that moment how much he had wanted the response to be that. He had the feeling Iruka wasn't going to be waiting long.

It would be a miracle if he managed to hold out for another week.

"And now what?" he asked after a few seconds when Iruka showed no signs of moving from where he was, trapped between Kakashi's body and the door and radiating heat in waves.

"Now, you take that fucking mask off and kiss me. And then we'll see who gets screwed against this door," Iruka said, leaning forward and breathing the words against his neck.

With a smile, Kakashi did exactly that.