Welcome to my story. This is Kakashi/Iruka romance. There will be smut! Just not for a while yet.

I own nothing but the plot bunny obviously.

Kakashi had never put much thought into people who didn't matter; and there were very very few people who actually mattered to him. He had no use for small talk or pointless chatter. He was a ninja, every day could be his last day, and relationships with people were just too tiresome for the aging man. He didn't need any feelings tethering him to anyone. He wasn't afraid of being hurt, no his heart had long ago been hardened into some sort of unbreakable substance.

Kakashi, the Mighty Copy Cat Nin, was absolutely terrified of leaving, or hurting another person. He took on missions veteran ANBU couldn't even handle. Kakashi knew what it felt like to lose someone he loved, and no matter how numb his heart had become, he could not in good conscience leave someone like he was left. Socializing was for people who had time to live.

It wasn't that he lacked the proper social skills, as many people assumed, they might have been a tad rusty, but he did posses them. However, his current team of brats was changing his personal and social habits at, what Kakashi felt, an alarmingly fast pace. He found himself noticing more people, feeling the need to socialize, but what he found most disturbing was the loneliness and need for-something … when he rolled over in his bed in the morning.

Hiding behind his orange novel, he lazily walked the streets heading to his favorite bar for a good long drink to quell the strange feelings in his mind. He sat at a bar stool in the back corner; it was dark and secluded, perfect for occasionally slipping off his mask for a good chin scratch, or for … drunken mishaps.

He nodded to the bartender for his usual, and looked around. It was just slightly after the dinner rush, so most of the customers had changed from families out for a nice meal, to young people out for a good time.

He hunkered down for what he thought was going to be a long night, his book up in front further masking himself as he observed the bar. Kakashi thoroughly enjoyed people watching. Observing the day to day lives of the people around him, who were hardly paying any attention to their surroundings, not knowing they were being watched. He spotted an older wonderful looking woman who was … well endowed, a few young boys enjoying a drink after their day of work, and Naruto with … who was that?

The academy teacher hmm, although Kakashi had never personally been friends, or even an acquaintance with the school teacher, Naruto spoke often of Iruka. It was always with respect and admiration, how the man was a wonderful teacher and an amazing person. How he was kind and generous and forgiving, but had a wicked temper when properly provoked. He also knew how to handle twenty small children who had no skill, learning to use sharp weapons, and new and potentially dangerous techniques, but most importantly their small underdeveloped brains.

Obviously the last fact was not one that Naruto had come to notice yet, but the man had quite a bit of Kakashi's respect just for being able to handle those brats. He could hardly handle the three older, slightly more knowledgeable brats he had now. He let his gaze follow the two friends a bit longer. Kakashi knew just from listening to Naruto, and the few times he had seen the two together how close the pair was.

He observed how Iruka would say something and Naruto's face would light up and that childish laugh of his would erupt from his mouth, it made Kakashi just a little less depressed watching the Young Kyuubi Container so happy and light. The child had seen such sights; even Kakashi was baffled at how he managed. Iruka obviously felt the same way. Kakashi, even from the other side of the bar, could see the happiness in Iruka's expressions. They had obviously been here a while, a few drinks cluttered the bar around them, and Naruto broke out into another fit of laughter. Kakashi was unaware that Iruka was such a comedian. Naruto slapped Iruka on the shoulder and spoke something that made Iruka's cheeks flush red, and the scar on the bridge even more so.

Kakashi found himself watching Iruka more closely. The man was quite attractive, his face sculpted in just the right places, his eyes were a beautiful brown that occasionally sparkled in the strong spotlights of the bar. He wasn't particularly built, or tall; not overly masculine, but not effeminate either. Just right. He pulled his thoughts back to the real world where Iruka was presently giving Naruto a warm hug of encouragement. Kakashi guessed that if he were to sit down and actually socialize with Iruka, the Academy teacher would probably speak the same way about Naruto as the boy spoke about the Chunnin.

Iruka ordered another drink for Naruto, and the boy said something. It was at that moment that Kakashi saw Iruka's smile, that amazing, kind, warm smile. The way his eyes wrinkled just a little, and how one corner inched up just a little farther than the other. Kakashi felt something in him that moment that he thought he had lost. The long years of terrible sights, miserable missions, and scarring memories, had beaten any feeling out him. That smile, awakened so many different feelings in him that for a split second, Kakashi almost couldn't breath for a moment. It was at this moment that Kakashi realized that Iruka was that something he had been blindly grasping for.

The beginning of a beautiful Kakashi Iruka romance story.

Beta'ed by the wonderful xXxXxRoxasFanGirlxXxXx (www. fanfiction. net/u/2483916/)

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