Author's Notice:

Yet another spin-off one-shot of my story, "Sasuke the Homicidal Maniac" … I just wanted to have some closure on why Iruka acted how he acted in front of Kakashi, why he really jumped at the chance to take Naruto to the hospital. Iruka and Kakashi probably won't show up in the other story again, most likely anyway, so I thought they deserved to have this little blurb about them.

Anyway! Enjoy!

"Paper Cuts"

'One-Shot'

By: Emo Fox

Iruka found himself in the hospital yet again; he always seemed to find himself here on Fridays. Almost always, like clock-work he'd figure a way to injure himself. Not lethally, obviously, but enough so he could get into the hospital and see the man of his dreams.

This was really starting to wear on him.

He needed to find some courage soon before he had too many scars.

Ugh.

He knew he was pathetic; he didn't need to mull over this again.

"Iruka?"

It didn't help that the nurses knew him by name.

"Yes," Iruka said quickly, going to the counter, his hand was cradled against his chest, wrapped in a towel; blood was evident against the cloth. "I cut my hand; I was wondering if I could see Dr. Hatake?"

Sakura frowned just slightly, her green eyes looking to Iruka's hand then to the man's slightly sweaty face. Iruka didn't like the sight of blood; he almost passed out on more than one occasion from it. "He's busy," She started, "I could get another doctor for you?"

"No, no." Iruka swallowed thickly, trying to hold his smile, "I'll wait, it's not really bad, I'll wait until he's not bust."

Sakura gave him a look; but Iruka tried to ignore it as he sat in the waiting room.

He knew she knew what was going on and tried to avoid her eyes. It was a miracle she hadn't said anything about his farce just yet.

Today.

Today he would ask Kakashi out.

Today would be the day and he wouldn't have to hurt himself anymore.

--

It had been twenty minutes and finally Kakashi had came through the doors; Sakura had briefed him on the situation and his dark eye lazily fell on Iruka whom was still cradling his hand.

"Iruka?"

Iruka almost instantly melted to that deep voice as it called his name. It made the pain in his hand non-existent as well as the light-headed-ness he was beginning to feel. "Ah, yes." He quickly got out of his seat, blood rushing to his face as he stared at his feet a little awkwardly, "I just cut my hand, nothing too bad, I hope I'm not bothering you?"

Kakashi laughed, "Bothering me? This is my job. Now come inside." He gestured for Iruka to walk through the doors.

Iruka walked in front of Kakashi, guided to his office, he knew which one it was by now. He took a seat on the examining table, shifting so he was pressed close to the wall, his legs dangling.

Kakashi sat in the moving chair, pulling himself close to Iruka, his height allowing him to be more or less eye level with the other man if he tilted his head up. "So," Kakashi reached for Iruka's hand, starting to un-fold the towel. "How did this happen?"

Iruka couldn't look Kakashi in the eye, he never could, especially not when he was holding his hand like he was. "I'm just prone to accidents." He said quickly, "I was cutting paper in the office."

"Paper?" Kakashi quirked a brow, "Don't you have a paper cutter? What were you cutting it with?"

"Scissors."

He had to admit, this wasn't his shining moment.

He hadn't thought of a scheme all day and when he had been sent to the back room to cut some files to shape he had taken the opportunity and just gouged his hand with the scissors.

Yes, he knew this was un-healthy.

"Scissors?" Kakashi said, rolling the word over on his tongue before he peered down at Iruka's wound. He grabbed some disinfectant, some cotton balls, began to dab at the wound. "It's nearly deep enough for stitches, how on earth did you manage?"

"I fell."

"Fell?"

"On the scissors."

"On your hand?"

Iruka flushed, "Yes."

Kakashi was silent a moment, cleaning the wound. It wasn't bleeding so bad as it had been before; but then again, Iruka had been waiting for over twenty minutes, it had started to heal. "Why didn't you see another doctor? How long has this been bleeding?"

"A while," Iruka fidgeted, "I didn't think it was so bad."

"Mm." Kakashi reached for the medical tape and bandages, beginning to dress the wound as tenderly as he could.

All Iruka could focus on was Kakashi's fingers against his hand; feeling the rough pads of his digits along his flesh and thinking less than pure thoughts on where else he'd like those hands to roam.

Kakashi got out of his chair, his single eye crinkled merrily, "There, all done."

Iruka panicked, having been lost in his day dreams he forgot the whole point of this. "Eh, Kakashi!"

Kakashi looked down to the other man, his brow quirked in usual question, "Yes?"

Iruka just realized he used Kakashi's first name and ducked his head in a embarrassed bow, "Eh, thank you." He said awkwardly.

Kakashi laughed softly, "Your welcome. Try to be more careful next time." He found himself saying this almost every Friday.

"I will." Iruka said as he got off the table, walking to the door, his heart beating a mile a minute.

He needed to turn around.

He needed to just ask him.

It wouldn't be too hard.

Just a simple question.

Besides, if he got rejected he didn't have to hurt himself anymore.

No, no, no, he couldn't.

Not today.

He already messed up.

Before Kakashi could say anything else Iruka was out the door, out of the hospital, on his way back home.

Next Friday.

He'd ask next Friday.