"I'm going to be a father."

Iruka lowered his teacup back to the saucer. A bit of tea sloshed over the side and onto his fingers as the cup rattled against the plate, hitting harder than he'd intended. He wiped his hand on his pants and shoved the saucer to the side, out of easy reach. "Pardon?"

Kakashi shifted on his feet in the entranceway. He hadn't lowered his mask, hadn't even taken off his shoes. He hovered just inside the door, which he had thankfully shut behind him. "I'm going to be a father."

'I'. Not you. Not we. Iruka's hands clenched underneath the table. He looked down at the polished surface of the table. The reflection staring back at him belonged to a stranger. He wanted to laugh or cry or scream. He didn't. "Who's the lucky lady?"

Kakashi took a step forward, his foot perched on the step up into the house. "Iruka, I... It's not like that. I don't know. I mean, I... she just..."

Iruka's stomach twisted. Kakashi continued talking. Iruka calculated which garbage can was closest.

"I don't know her. Didn't. I... It's something Tsunade-"

"Kakashi." The babble of excuses stopped. "Either come in or get out."

Kakashi froze. It was hard to tell his expression through the mask but he guessed it was somewhere between shocked and concerned. Kakashi stepped back and for a moment Iruka thought that was it. Kakashi was going to leave him, go off with the woman who was having his child, and have a family. Iruka couldn't really blame him. It's what Iruka would have wanted, if he hadn't fallen in love with Kakashi.

A minute passed in silence before Kakashi made a decision. He bent at the waist and unfastened his sandals, leaving them in a neat line near the door, before proceeding into the room. With one hand, he tugged down his mask, revealing a face that was twisted with remorse. Kakashi stepped quietly across the room to hover on the other side of the table.

"Do you want more?" He gestured towards Iruka's cup.

"No. Sit." Kakashi dropped to the floor, mirroring Iruka's position. "From the beginning."

Kakashi breathed deeply and started over in a much calmer tone. His visible eye was fixed on Iruka, watching for the slightest break in Iruka's mask. "Tsunade has been getting pressure from the Council about certain bloodlines dying out, a possible repeat of what happened to the Uchiha clan."

"Sasuke's not dead," Iruka corrected automatically.

A pained look crossed Kakashi's face. "He might as well be." Iruka couldn't find an argument for that. They both saw it as a failure in themselves as teachers, but the root of the problem went back before either had ever met the boy.

"The Council," Kakashi continued, "wants assurance that certain bloodlines, such as mine, will be continued. As I fall into one of the few who are not likely to produce an heir through normal methods due to..." His cheeks tinged slightly and he offered Iruka a very faint smile. "...orientation issues..." His smile faded, replaced by a dark grimace. "... the Council deemed it necessary that I be compelled to make alternative arrangements."

Iruka nodded. He felt outrage warring with betrayal inside of him, leaving him feeling numb. He didn't know what to say so he said nothing. Part of him had always expected it to come to this. Every person in the village knew how important the bloodlines were, and why they had to be maintained. He wished there was some way he could have fulfilled that need for Kakashi but it simply wasn't physically possible. They were both men. A relationship like theirs was never meant to last.

Kakashi's face fell. He leaned forward across the table. "I didn't want to. I only did it because I was ordered to. It was a mission. Just a mission, though an S rank one. I couldn't disobey."

"I understand." Iruka's voice cracked on the words. They were a sign of acceptance, but not forgiveness, and they both knew that. "Who is it?"

Kakashi's mouth flapped wordlessly for a moment as he searched for answers Iruka knew he couldn't give. Kakashi shook his head. "No one you know. No one I knew. I promise you, you'll never see her. As far as I'm concerned, she doesn't exist. They've taken her away from the village, hidden her somewhere. Only Tsunade knows where."

Rationally, he knew that was the best option, but part of him wanted to meet the woman, just once, just to see what kind of woman dared bare the child of his lover. "When did this happen?"

Kakashi finally looked away. "A month ago. Maybe less. I didn't know whether it took until today."

Iruka was quite glad he'd pushed the teacup away, otherwise it would have ended up in Kakashi's face. "A month?"

"I'm sorry."

"You've known for a month and you didn't tell me... you didn't even mention it." He felt rage building, finally overtaking the calm. "What, did you think I would say no?"

There was no remorse left in Kakashi's expression when he turned back, only steely certainty. "No. But I knew that if you had, I wouldn't have gone through with it, and I couldn't allow that."

Iruka's rage died in seconds as the full weight of Kakashi's words settled around him. They had been dating, off and on, for two years and only now did the measure of Kakashi's devotion finally settle on him. Iruka unclenched his hands and pressed them flat against the tabletop. There was nothing he could say in response to that, so instead he pushed himself up from the table and picked up his teacup.

"Can I get you something to drink?"

The tension drained from Kakashi's posture and he smiled faintly. "Thank you."

Iruka smiled back and he knew then that they were going to be okay.