Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

"Yo, Iruka!"

Iruka looked up at the sound of his name, as slow smile spreading on his face at the sight of his friend. Kakashi was ambling down the street, that indolent posture of his concealing the power contained in his body. He always made himself look harmless when walking down the civilian part of the Konoha, a fact Iruka respected greatly.

Iruka stopped to wait for him. "Hey Kakashi, I thought you were out in a mission," he said, passing one of the bags in his hands to Kakashi and resuming his walk back home.

"Nah, it's an easy one, Tenzou can manage without me," Kakashi replied, slinging the bag behind his shoulder as they walked. "I heard it was your day off."

It was, and not a day too soon. Iruka had not realized the drain it was going to be in his energy when he offered to help with the restoration of the school on top of his teaching and mission room duties. It felt as if he hadn't had a minute to himself since the war.

"I didn't know you were around or I'd have invited you for dinner. I just bought the ingredients for hot pot."

Kakashi's eye brightened at the mention of food. Iruka knew he was a good cook, and Kakashi loved eating. He sucked at cooking, though, so he took any chance he got at mooching off Iruka.

"But I am invited anyway, am I not?" Kakashi said, not even trying to conceal the pleading in his tone. Iruka's smile widened.

"You don't need an invitation, you idiot. You're always welcome in my house, as long as you bring the alcohol," Iruka repeated with a smile for the umpteenth time.

The reached Iruka's house in the middle of their usual banter, Kakashi dropping the food on the kitchen counter before jumping out of the window and on to the street.

"What do you want tonight, sake or plum wine?" he called from the street.

Iruka stuck his head out of the window, a grin so wide it felt like it was going to split his face affixed to it. "Plum wine! The good one!" He shouted. Kakashi nodded and disappeared from view.

It had been an unexpected, though not entirely unfortunate affair, that Iruka had been assigned to Kakashi's platoon during the war. They had turned from nodding acquaintances to fast friends, and realized they worked well together and had many more things in common than their students. Iruka was nowhere close to Kakashi's skill, but he had quite a few tricks up his sleeve and knew how to follow orders. And he had the authority to guide the young ones with minimal bloodshed.

They had taken turns saving each other's skin during the worst skirmishes, a fact which improved Iruka's standing in his student's eyes, though it had been only a couple of times on his part compared with Kakashi's. And at night they kept each other sane with intelligent conversations and insane plans. And all the liquor they managed to smuggle.

Falling in love with Kakashi had not been planned, but it had also been unavoidable. Kakashi was a force of nature: strong willed, funny and caring. Iruka could no more help wanting him than he could stop needing air.

They were friends, though, and it was enough for Iruka. It had to be, he wasn't willing to risk their perfect camaraderie for a few minutes of stolen pleasure. Lately it was getting harder and harder to convince himself of this.

He had all the ingredients arranged neatly on the counter and was deftly slicing the vegetables when Kakashi's head appeared at the window. "I got it!" he said before climbing inside the kitchen.

"One of these days you'll learn how to use doors," Iruka scolded half-heartedly, taking a step to the side to allow Kakashi to walk past the counter and deposit the bottles on the table.

"Why when there are so many windows?"

Kakashi grabbed two glasses from the shelf and poured the wine, handing one to Iruka, who took a small sip and hummed appreciatively. "Nicely chilled. Thanks Kakashi," he flashed a quick smile over his shoulder. "Your stuff's on the usual place."

Kakashi disappeared for a couple of minutes and returned without his mask and hitai-ate. He was wearing a black handkerchief and an eye patch Iruka had purchased exclusively for that purpose since Kakashi started coming for dinner.

"I heard the school is almost finished," Kakashi said, approaching him and trying to steal a bit of sliced carrot from the chopping board. Iruka batted his hand away, shooting him a glare.

"Yes, in a couple of weeks we'll be able to resume our normal schedule," he replied, putting all the ingredients on the fire and turning to look at his friend. He took a sip of the wine and sighed. "And about bloody time, I think I'll die if we keep at this rate. How's Naruto doing?"

Kakashi leaned back against the doorframe, sipping from his own glass. "Not bad, at least now he's going to be sent to Suna," he said with a long-suffering sigh. "I hope Gaara manages to beat some sense into him. He's a handful."

Iruka smiled, turning to stir the pot. "You're not going to take more students, are you?"

"Not in this lifetime."

Iruka checked the fire and the time and grabbed the bottle of wine. "Let's go to the living room, it will take a while for dinner to be ready."

They polished off the first bottle of wine amid trivial conversation about people they knew and anecdotes from their past days, both of them sprawled lazily on the couch as the sweet wine warmed them.

The second bottle disappeared during dinner, Kakashi's appreciative noises while he wolfed down his food more than enough reward for Iruka. He was having a great time, like he couldn't remember having since forever. He didn't mind cooking every single night if that meant having Kakashi there with him, like this.

They carried the third bottle back to the living room. Iruka was feeling slightly unsteady on his feet, but was loath to stop drinking and chatting. He wasn't drunk, just pleasantly dizzy, and Kakashi was also swaying lightly as he walked. They collapsed together on the couch, their sides touching, and Iruka was feeling warm all over.

He leaned closer to Kakashi as he passed the bottle, the glasses forgotten in the kitchen.

"And then, Sakura said to Sai she couldn't go out with a man who was prettier than she," Kakashi said, his voice thick with amusement and slightly slurred. Iruka was laughing so hard his sides hurt. "And Lee started crying Manly Tears of Joy, which he learned from Gai, and declared he was her man then."

Iruka spluttered, grabbing the bottle from Kakashi and bringing it to his lips. It was empty and he frowned. "Stop it," he said, trying to climb to his feet and finding it hard. "We're out. Wait a minute."

Iruka managed to stand, the room spinning wildly around him as he did, and stumbled in the direction of the kitchen. He hadn't been drunk a few minutes ago; he couldn't understand why he was now.

He came back with the last bottle held triumphantly in his hand and Kakashi cheered. Iruka blinked from the door, noticing how the handkerchief seemed to have fallen from Kakashi's face to pool around his neck. He stared for a second and then shrugged.

"You're prettier than she is, you can't go out with her either," he said, almost falling on top of Kakashi when he reached the couch. For some reason this struck Kakashi as funny, and he started laughing as he snatched the bottle from Iruka and took a swig.

"She's insane!" he said, almost chocking on the wine. "It would be like going out with the Hokage, who would want that?"

Iruka reached for the bottle, leaning forward and finally losing his balance. He ended up sprawled on top of Kakashi, who was keeping the wine out of his reach.

"You're drunk," Kakashi said, though he didn't sound sober at all.

"You're pretty," Iruka answered, touching his mask-less lips with his hand now the wine was out of reach.

Kakashi's mouth curled in a smirk. "I know." He took the bottle to his lips and drank, snatching it away quickly when Iruka tried to grab it. "You can't drink anymore, you're drunk."

"You too!" Iruka protested, trying to move and get some more alcohol.

"But I don't have class tomorrow," Kakashi sounded incredibly smug and Iruka wanted to hit him. Only, if he moved from his position, sprawled on top of Kakashi's body, he would probably collapse on the floor. He pouted instead.

"I want more wine," he whined like a brat and Kakashi laughed, his entire body shaking under Iruka's.

Kakashi drank again from the bottle and Iruka tried to lunge for it, but failed. He looked at Kakashi's lips, glistening with sweet wine, and ignored all the warning bells going off in his brain.

He leaned forward and licked the remaining wine from Kakashi's lips, enjoying the sweet taste of the liquor and the warmth of his friend's skin. He wanted more. He licked his lips, and emboldened by the alcohol and Kakashi's incredulous but challenging look, Iruka pressed his mouth to Kakashi's and pushed his tongue inside.

The mood changed instantly, the bottle falling from Kakashi's fingers as his hand curled around Iruka's neck. Kakashi kissed him back, all the playfulness gone as he devoured Iruka's mouth.

Some part of his brain tried to tell Iruka he was going to regret this, but he was past caring. He wanted this, he had wanted this for a long time now, and he was too drunk and comfortable and aroused to care about consequences.

The kissed on the couch for what felt like years, their mouths pushing at each other relentlessly, their hands touching every part of the other's body they could reach.

"Kakashi," Iruka moaned when Kakashi's mouth latched on to his neck, the thrum of arousal resonating through his entire body.

"Bed," Kakashi mumbled against his skin, not ceasing in his ministrations.

They stumbled together to Iruka's bed, discarding their clothes as they went and falling on top of it, rutting against each other without finesse or technique. The only thing Iruka knew in that moment was that he finally had Kakashi in his bed, and that he really shouldn't be doing that.

He pushed up as Kakashi's body covered his, grabbing his head and kissing him deeply again, burying his fingers in the dishevelled silver locks. Kakashi moaned his approval against his lips, his hands busy exploring every single inch of Iruka's skin, branding it with his fingers. They finally closed around their members, stroking them together as Iruka felt his pleasure mounting, the air insufficient to fill his lungs and coming out his lips in sharp exhalations.

The room was still spinning around them, though he wasn't sure anymore if it was due to the alcohol or the pleasure, and Iruka finally closed his eyes, letting his orgasm crash against him and feeling Kakashi shudder his own release.

It was too much, was his last thought before darkness took him.

Iruka awoke disoriented and confused. He was too warm, his head was spinning unpleasantly and something had decided to take up residence inside his mouth and die there. There was also a weight crushing him and making it impossible for him to move.

And he had to move, he had not wetted his bed since he was toddler, there was no way in hell he was going to do it as an adult.

He moaned in pain as he slithered from beneath whatever it was pinning him to the bed, his room too dark for him properly see. His head felt about to split in two.

Holding his head to prevent his brain from leaking out of his ears, Iruka shuffled to the bathroom, taking care of moving as little as possible not to aggravate whatever injury had landed him in that condition.

It had to be an injury; he wasn't so stupid as to get drunk off his ass when he had demons to teach in the morning.

He just wished he could remember the previous day's events.

He relieved himself and splashed some water on his face, blinking blearily at his reflexion, before going back to his room.

He stopped at the door, staring at the bed with shock and disbelief plainly written on his face.

On the bed Kakashi was looking at him with the same puzzled expression he had been wearing after waking up, he was completely naked and some traces of dried semen on his stomach left no doubts of what had happened between them. Iruka looked down at his body, not surprised in the slightest to see marks on his skin and dried semen on his torso.

What the fuck had they done?

He remembered everything then, the dinner, the conversation, the way Kakashi had denied him the bottle and how Iruka had initiated everything.

"Shit," he mumbled, not bothering to conceal the despair in his tone. He had tried so hard to keep his feelings under control, to be content with what he had.

And now he had screwed up big time.

He had slept with Kakashi.