AN: Written for the KakaIru Remix Round over at kakairufest on Livejournal. The fic I chose to remix was "Seven Minutes in Heaven" by AvocadoLove/avocado_love.


(four kisses Kakashi dreamed about:)

i.

When Kakashi was four years old, he was already well known in Konoha's Ninja Academy. At first, it was mostly because he was the White Fang's only son, and that on its own made him a Pretty Big Deal. People spoke to him in a different manner than the other children, and they gave him just a little more of themselves; he didn't have to ask for it or throw a tantrum like some of the babies. Then, as his own talents developed with a kind of speed that was as awesome as it was kind of terrifying, people looked in his direction even harder, and began to use words like 'prodigy' and 'genius'. Kakashi knew what 'genius' meant, but when he asked his father what a 'prodigy' was, his father had gained a self-satisfied expression, and had ruffled Kakashi's spiky hair with a grin.

"It means someone who is fulfilling his destiny," he'd said, still with that proud smile on his face. Kakashi, who had looked up the word for himself before he had gone to Sakumo (he had really wanted to just talk with his father) was a little confused, but he loved his father too much to contradict him.

Nearly all the teachers at the Academy treated him like a little Hokage, except for one: his own level-teacher, and her name was Eiko-sensei. Kakashi had already made up his mind that he was going to marry her when he grew up...probably around the time he was twelve or so. For some reason, she didn't act as if he was a walking miracle. She gave him his juice at break, just like she did with the babies, ignoring his half-hearted protests that he could do it himself. She put him in order of his family name when she wanted the class to walk in a line, and she taught him the same baby-lessons as she taught the rest of the class, no matter that Kakashi was already proficient in advanced techniques that his father taught him. When he finished hours before everyone else, Eiko-sensei sent him to help the slower babies, and he liked that. It was her only concession to how special he was, and even then she didn't make it into a grand production.

When Kakashi asked his father why he was still in Eiko-sensei's class, Sakumo shrugged and said, "Apparently, you are to learn how to 'be a child'." Sakumo seemed slightly disgruntled at the idea. Kakashi, who had spent the day gazing out at the rest of the class as they ran around shrieking and chasing butterflies (stoutly shaking his head when his sensei tried to coax him into the game), thought the idea had some merit.

Eiko-sensei patiently sat with him as he laboured over his writing; the hand that was already deadly accurate with a kunai was still very clumsy with forming words on paper. On top of that, there were times that Kakashi saw individual characters the wrong way, and then the whole word ended up completely wrong. Eiko-sensei had gone to his father, a tiny, mild chuunin kneeling with the great White Fang. She had explained to him that she had done some research, and a special technique existed that would help Kakashi see the words properly. It required a great deal of power and even more control, because it had to be a long-lasting jutsu which constantly and correctly adjusted the signals between his eyes and his brain. Sakumo had simply stared at her for a very long time while Kakashi had fretted as he knelt on his special little mat beside his father.

"Tell me what to do, Eiko-sensei." His father had murmured suddenly. "Anything for Kakashi."

Kakashi practically had his heart in his eyes at that point, and as Eiko-sensei outlined the jutsu, he daydreamed about how he could return the favour and rescue her one day, from...from pirates, and when he was riding away with her on a powerful white dragon, she would turn to him and say, "Oh Kakashi-kun, let me kiss you, on the lips," and Kakashi would say, "Okay."

He was so deeply buried in that daydream that when his father said, "Are you ready?", Kakashi had mumbled, "Just on the lips."

"Kakashi," Sakumo said, sounding torn between amusement and stern reproach for Kakashi's lack of attention. Kakashi had snapped to attention, and remained as still as he could as Sakumo formed a tiny ball of chakra in the space between his hands. The White Fang folded his long, dangerous fingers over the shimmering blue ball of energy, and the chakra seeped over the skin of his hands like a glove. Sakumo reached out, and placed his palms over Kakashi's eyes; it didn't hurt, it just felt tingly and warm. When the procedure was finished, Eiko-sensei wrote a short phrase on a scrap of paper to test him, and those words were the first ones Kakashi had ever read without trouble. He would always have disastrous handwriting, but the memory of Eiko's sentence was something he kept very close: Kakashi, I think you will be a very great warrior.

When he made chuunin, he bought a little glass trinket with his first missions' wages, and went to Eiko-sensei's house. He had long graduated from her class, but he still thought of her a lot.

A man opened the door, and looked down at Kakashi with some surprise. He was very tall, and rather skinny, with a narrow, but kind face.

"I am Hatake Kakashi," Kakashi said with stiff coolness, disappointment curling in his chest. "Please give this to Eiko-sensei, with my deepest thanks. She is...was my favourite teacher."

"Do you want to come in?" The man asked. He bent and took the trinket from Kakashi's outstretched hand, and held it very carefully. "I'm sure Eiko would like to see you. She has spoken about you many times, Kakashi-kun."

Kakashi swallowed hard and then shook his head. He walked quickly away from the cramped front door, and then jumped for the trees as soon as he could.

ii.

For about a month after Rin implanted Obito's eye into Kakashi's damaged left socket, Kakashi suffered through headaches so monstrous that all he could do was lie in bed in his darkened apartment and try not to breathe too hard; just the action of inhaling and exhaling felt as if Minato-sensei was doing his fancy Flying Thunder God technique right between Kakashi's ears. The medi-nin, thoroughly impressed with Rin's work, had sent him home after a few days' stay in the hospital. They'd given him painkillers, but those didn't help. The pain from Obito's eye reached down into his chakra. It ate into his soul.

The Sharingan showed him things he wasn't sure he was interested in seeing at first... like Rin. Kakashi had never focused on her much before; she was always just there, in the back of his consciousness, as familiar and as constant as his own arm. The eye, saturated with the fading ghosts of Obito's memories, showed him the Rin he never noticed. It showed him Rin's slow, soft smile, the way she blushed when she looked at him, at Kakashi. The eye showed him how capable she was (well, he knew that for himself now, didn't he?), and how brave she could be. Rin was an excellent kunoichi. Kakashi was glad to have her as a friend.

Or...maybe she could be more. Obito's memories snuck into Kakashi's dreams, like insidious weeds into well-kept garden. When he woke up, the headaches would almost obliterate the intense flashes of Rin's wide mouth. One memory wasn't even really a memory at all, but a careful hope.

When the headaches began to get a bit more manageable, Kakashi ventured out in the village, mostly in the late evenings when the sun was setting. He went to his sensei's house one dream-like dusk; when Kakashi asked, off-handedly, about Rin's whereabouts Minato's bright gaze skewered him.

"She may be by the Memorial Stone," Minato-sensei said, still gazing at Kakashi intently. Kakashi wanted to tell him to stop looking, but one did not speak to one's jounin-sensei in such a manner, even when one's jounin-sensei was as easy-going as Minato. "She goes there a lot."

"Oh." Kakashi had nodded and walked off, sure that his sensei was staring at him with those eyes that saw everything; they would have to see everything, if Minato had to move so fast and plant his handy little sigils at the same time. Kakashi made his way to the Memorial Stone, stopping some distance away. He could see Rin kneeling in front of the massive slab of stone, her hands folded in her lap and her head bowed.

Kakashi didn't move, just stood there. After a few breaths, she raised her head and looked directly at him. She smiled, a little, and Kakashi went towards her.

When he got close, she didn't say 'hello'.

She said, "They've already put his name here," and her voice had a tremulous smile in it. "His parents say they are very proud and honoured."

Shit. Kakashi hadn't even been over to the Uchiha compound to speak with them. Yet, from the narrow glares he'd gotten from a few Uchiha he'd passed on his way here, that probably wasn't a good idea.

"Rin," he said, not sure if he wanted to ask her to go eat or drink something, or even it was the right time to ask. She looked up at him with those lovely eyes of hers. He'd never noticed how beautiful they were.

"He was very good, wasn't he?" Her voice was very firm now, and preternaturally calm. Kakashi had the feeling that 'very good' wasn't quite the phrase Rin wanted to use. "Very good. Why didn't I notice how good he was? He was...right there in front of me."

"He was very good," Kakashi said quietly. He loves you, Kakashi thought, and a small patch of pain pulsed over his left temple. Loved you. He dreamed of kissing you.

"Very. Very good," Rin said, still in that mild, toneless manner. He stood there with her, both of them silent.

iii.

Kakashi told himself that developing a crush on Minato-sensei was probably the most futile action he would ever take in his entire life. However, he was riding an impatient wave of adolescent hormones at the time, and no logical self-argument could convince his heated loins otherwise.

Minato was as straight as a shinobi could be; on top of that, he was completely oblivious, nay, impervious to any kind of suggestive talk. As a matter of fact, Kakashi had seen Kushina fire a few coy remarks at him from time to time, and they'd flown right over his sun-bright head.

As brilliant as he was, Minato could be dense like that. Even if Kakashi felt he had a chance in approaching him in such a manner, Kakashi's idea of flirting would probably be as successful as a lead balloon.

So Kakashi dreamed about him. They were, for the most part, not very sexual dreams. They were oddly domestic, like sharpening kunai or sparring together. That was domestic in Kakashi's mind, in any case. A few of the sparring dreams ended up in touches and kisses, light presses of lips while Kakashi put his hand in Minato's yellow hair and felt the soft strands against his palm.

"You're avoiding me," Minato said, cornering Kakashi after a mission. "Or, so Kushina says."

"Pregnant people are crazy," Kakashi told him, trying to twist his wrist out of Minato's strong rip. The mission had been located near the outskirts of Suna, and Kakashi could feel the annoying grains of sand shifting in the corners of his ears, and scratching his skin even under his mask.

"She doesn't know what she's talking about," he went on, not looking into his sensei's face. "I have to go home, Hokage-sama."

"Oh please." Minato waved away the title as if it was an annoying fly in his face. "She says you're to come to dinner," he said, releasing Kakashi, who fought hard not to rub where Minato's fingers had touched his skin. "Kushina will not take no for an answer, you know." His expression seemed as if it couldn't decide between annoyance and fondness, so it settled between the two, tending more towards the fond side. Kakashi, who was the focus of Kushina's overwhelming attention quite often, decided not to take his life into his own hands and just say yes.

"Look at you, Kakashi. You've gotten taller!" Kushina said when they were sitting at the short table in her cluttered house. Minato had given up his bachelor's flat and moved in with her when they'd found out about the baby. He completely disregarded the pleas of the old coots who insisted he should reside in the Hokage's living quarters. Kushina's belly was still just a bare curve, and her long red hair was caught up in a braid which she coiled around the top of her head. She glowed with joy, and the power of the Nine Tailed Fox flowed from her in controlled waves.

When Minato smiled at her, Kakashi saw how happy he was. Kakashi carefully put all his domestic and kissing dreams to the back of his mind.

"Eat!" Kushina urged happily. She was quite conversant in Exclamation. This habit of hers used to annoy him until he saw her pummel a few raiding shinobi in an ill-informed attack, (and then throw them against the walls of buildings with grim glee). After that, she rose in his esteem by a few thousand places and he found her habit of general shoutiness far less annoying. She had been Minato's best friend when they were children, and they were still best friends as far as Kakashi saw, because they argued with each other and gossiped about the meddling old coots of the village. They were awful gossips, too, they did it all the time, and ignored Kakashi's disapproving stares. Kakashi figured he was never going to have something like that...he didn't have a best friend, anyway.

"These are the most awful noodles I have ever tasted," Minato said with deep wonder, and Kushina smacked him in the back of the head with one hand. As they laughed together, Kakashi ducked his head to hide his wry smile, and ate his noodles.

There were really awful.

iv.

Kakashi dreamed of kissing Gai once. It was the one time, but it was still enough to mentally scar Kakashi for life. It had been just like sparring, only there had been lips involved and lots of shouting.

Kakashi had flailed awake, clutching the thin covers to his chest as if he was afraid for his virtue. When he'd forced his heart to stop beating so hard, he'd glared at Mr. Ukki, like he'd put the plant in charge of his dreams and Mr. Ukki had let him down.

Mr. Ukki, whose leaves were limned with silvery moonlight, wisely did not try to defend himself.

Kakashi curled back under the covers, and went back to a dreamless sleep. When Gai challenged him to a duel the next morning, Kakashi had defeated him in four minutes and without touching him overly much, just out of principle. He'd had to endure Gai's loud exhortations for an hour, but at least when he looked at Gai's happy, sweaty face as they sat under a tree in the corner of the training-field, he didn't think of kissing his friend.

His friend. That was...nice.

He could never tell that to Gai, though. However, he said yes when Gai demanded a rematch.

(and one kiss he actually got)

vi.

Kakashi was aware of Iruka's existence long before Iruka knew who he was.

When the Sandaime reluctantly took back the mantle of Hokage, Kakashi was assigned as one of his ANBU guard. Kakashi was at the Sandaime's side constantly, watching from the shadows as the man moved through Konoha with graceful calm, speaking with the surviving villagers. The Sandaime reassured his shinobi, and attended memorial services of those who had perished in the attack of the Fox. Minato's and Kushina's funerals were particularly heart-rending, but Kakashi remained stoic behind his mask, while the weeping and sniffling of the villagers rose into the hot, dry morning.

The Sandaime had so much to give, and just kept on giving. Kakashi knew then that he could never willingly be Hokage. He wasn't sure how much he had in his heart to distribute to those who really needed it. He just wasn't built that way, he told himself. Not in the way that mattered.

A lot of the Hokage's attention was focused on a kid named Umino Iruka, one of the many orphans now living within the confines of the village. The orphans were being watched over by volunteer civilians and shinobi, and most of them were fairly well-adjusted, except for this brat.

Boy, was he ever a brat. Iruka was sent to the Head Teacher of the Academy nearly every day. The Head Teacher sent Iruka to the Hokage every other day, for the child was completely unrepentant.

"Iruka," the Sandaime sighed heavily one day when the kid had to be brought in by jounin-level shinobi. The Head Tracher had put out an Alert, as if Iruka had become a missing-nin."Why do you do these things?"

"Do what things?" Iruka sullenly kicked his heels back at the rungs of the chair to which he was tied. Kakashi himself had roped him down with thick chakra wires that wouldn't cut too much into the flesh on Iruka's arms. As soon as the other shinobi had brought him in and released him, Iruka had scrambled away between their legs, escaping back out through the open door and down the corridor. At a quick pointed signal from the Hokage, Kakashi had streaked after the echoes of Iruka's gleeful cackling, catching up with the kid as he clambered up the high ledge of a balcony. Kakashi snagged Iruka around the waist before the boy could launch himself into a nearby tree, and transported them back to the Sandaime's office in a flurry of displaced air and a whirl of leaves.

He'd strapped Iruka down before the kid could blink, and went to stand in his normal position behind the Hokage. Iruka had hollered indignantly and struggled, but Kakashi's complex knots held firm.

"I'm speaking of the pranks and traps, Iruka," the Sandaime said with loving patience. "You shouldn't have stinkbombed the workers on the Hokage Rock."

"Who said I did that?" Iruka's eyes were large with feigned innocence. They were kind of pretty eyes, Kakashi thought, big and brown and fringed with thick, dark lashes.

"Iruka," the Hokage said, warningly. "The lead workman saw you throw the bombs. And you yelled, 'Fuck the Yondaime!'"

Kakashi was deeply shocked; he felt something hot and almost uncontrollable build in his chest. How dare this idiot boy talk about his sensei like that? Minato had saved the entire village from total destruction, gave his life for it, just so that this little brat could insult his name like this? He took a quiet breath and let out the unnecessary emotions on the exhale.

"Fuck the Yondaime," Iruka hissed, and Kakashi managed to keep calm enough to notice that even with his eyes narrowed, they were still very pretty. "If it wasn't for him, my mother and father would still be alive."

"If it wasn't for him, you'd be dead," the Sandaime lectured. "The Yondaime is an excellent example of bravery and sacrifice. You should endeavour to be more like him!"

"I don't want to be like some stupid Hokage!" Iruka yelled and twisted against the chakra-rope. "I'm gonna be a thief! And steal things!"

That wasn't such a good idea, Kakashi thought, talking about your nefarious lifestyle before you embarked on it. The Hokage didn't seem to consider that pertinent bit of logic, but spoke to the brat as if his insane declarations made the least bit of sense.

"A thief?" Sandaime hummed and stroked his beard, thoughtfully. "What would you steal?"

"Nice things." Iruka, to Kakashi's vague concern, was actually halfway to shimmying out of the knots. He had managed to contort himself in a way which worked with the ropes and not against them. "Things that people love, and they'll cry when they miss them."

The Hokage's voice was very soft: "So that they'll feel the way you do?"

Iruka stopped struggling and went so still that it appeared that he had passed out. He said nothing in response, and a solemn silence dominated the space for a long time.

"You're not the only one who's lost everything, Iruka," Sandaime told him with a sigh. "You are not alone. Inu, please bring Iruka-kun back to the Academy, and make sure he gets to Shiro-sensei's class."

"Yes, Hokage-sama." Kakashi approached the now-quiet boy and undid the ropes. He found he had to carry the kid out bodily, for the brat had gone all limp, his sandaled feet dragging on the ground as Kakashi hauled him down the stairs and across the road to the Academy. He could have transported them both quite easily, but there was something satisfying about carrying Iruka like that, like a bag of potatoes.

"Here you are," Kakashi said, propping Iruka on the wall beside the door to Shiro-sensei's class. "Try not to be such a big pain tomorrow."

"What do you care?" Iruka retorted, his gaze flickering all over the place as if he was gauging all avenues of escape. Kakashi readied himself to grab him in case Iruka made a break for it. "Stupid asshole ANBU."

"You've got a filthy mouth," Kakashi told him with no little surprise, because he could tell that Iruka was a little afraid of him. Yet, he continued to be so mouthy. Kakashi found that a little bit admirable.

Iruka sniffed at him, and turned away to push open the classroom door. Kakashi waited on the hubbub to die down (most of the class roared when Iruka stepped in, and the teacher yelled that they should all shut up and would Iruka just take his seat?), before he transported himself back to the Hokage's office, nodding at the other ANBU on duty.

"What do you think, Inu?" The Sandaime asked as he signed a pile of papers.

"Think of what, Hokage-sama?" Kakashi asked, his tone mild. He knew what the Hokage was asking about.

"The boy. Iruka." Sandaime's pen made quick, scratching sounds. Kakashi glanced at the other ANBU on duty, but they kept staring straight ahead.

"He's very rude," Kakashi said, weighing each word. "He curses too much."

The Hokage laughed, a dry sound. "He talks like that all the time. He does it to shock people, and it works quite well, apparently." He stopped signing, and looked up, staring blankly into the distance. "But what else? What else do you see, underneath all the cursing and the bad manners?"

Kakashi thought for a few beats.

"He is good with ropes, and bombs." Kakashi spoke slowly. "He's quick, and fearless." The image of the imp preparing to jump into the tree swam up in Kakashi's mind: scrawny limbs spread-eagled, silhouetted against the hot blue sky. "His classmates seem to like him."

"He's not a very good student because he doesn't do any work," the Hokage said. "But his sensei says that he grasps most concepts very well, enough to explain to other students. He helps them when he thinks the teachers aren't watching, of course." A fond smile was playing at the corners of the Sandaime's mouth, deepening the furrows which were already there. "He tries so hard to be a terrifying little menace, doesn't he?"

"He is a menace," the other ANBU chimed in, distantly exasperated. "He bit me once."

"However, he has potential." The Hokage set down his pen and gathered the papers together, tapping them into a neat stack. "Quite a horrible child...but so much potential. Like some I could name." His papery voice took on a teasing tone, and Kakashi rolled his eyes behind his mask. He hadn't been as bad as Iruka, that was for sure.

Iruka seemed to stick in Kakashi's awareness after that. Not that Kakashi stalked him, as far as he was concerned, but he knew when Iruka started to actually do his school-work, and began to perform reasonably well. Whether his teacher changed tactics, or the Hokage finally got through to him, or Iruka himself had simply decided to give up his hellion ways, Kakashi wasn't sure, but the number of suspected Umino-pranks diminished by at least ninety-two percent.

Before he knew it, a few years had frittered by: Kakashi left ANBU rotation (kind of), gone back to regular jounin duties; and Iruka had taken and passed the chuunin exams. Kakashi had been on a mission during the examination period, so he had to hear about it from Gai, of all people.

"They're having a party," Gai said to him as Kakashi slouched tiredly around Training-field Four; Gai was jogging circles around him, literally, but Gai hadn't drained himself near dry with a Sharingan eye whilst on a mission.

"Who's having a party?" Kakashi wasn't even sure why he'd agreed to training with Gai; he could barely lift his arm to read Icha Icha. He held the book loosely, by his side, his other hand jammed into his trouser pocket.

"This batch of chuunin," Gai said as he executed a few extravagant flips. "How about we go?"

"How about not." Kakashi really didn't like crowds, especially crowds of young, boisterous shinobi. Particularly young, boisterous shinobi who had just graduated as chuunin. They were around his own age-range, but Kakashi always felt removed from them.

"Your little friend will be there," Gai said, bouncing off the trunks of nearby trees. At Kakashi's confused expression, he clarified: "The Umino kid?"

"He's not my friend," Kakashi muttered, mortified at the way his cheeks felt hot under his mask. "He barely knows me."

It was Gai's turn to appear perplexed. "He doesn't? You talk about him all the time."

Kakashi dredged up enough energy to hold up his Icha Icha in front of his face. "Do I?" He began to make his way off the field.

Gai bellowed, "Look, you're going to go, my antisocial friend! I will make this my personal mission!"

"If I go, will you stop challenging me for an entire month?"

"Two weeks," Gai bargained.

"Deal." Kakashi had to take what he could get, after all. "Wake me when you're ready," he said, and trudged home.

Gai invaded his house fairly late in the night, attempted to spray cologne on him (a brief but violent struggle ensued, which Kakashi grimly won) and then dragged him off to where the party was being held in one of the Academy's larger halls. Kakashi melted into the shadows of one corner with his book held up in front of his face; he catalogued who was in attendance, the targets of their romantic interest and levels of inebriation. He also located Iruka, standing in a tight knot of drunken batch-mates and friends.

Kakashi stared surreptitiously. Iruka was already sporting his forehead protector, and had Anko hanging off one shoulder. Kakashi wondered just how close they were when she brushed the long strands of Iruka's unbound hair from one ear and whispered in it. Anko laughed in her cackling manner when Iruka narrowed his eyes at her. A boy with hair as fair as Kakashi's made some snide remark and Iruka just grinned brilliantly: all bright teeth and those lovely brown eyes, and Kakashi felt an odd clenching somewhere in the vicinity of his chest.

Anko was shouting again, and there seemed to be a consensus to start an activity, for she and Iruka went around asking people to join. 'Spin the Bottle' was the name being thrown around; Kakashi assumed that it was some kind of exhibition of their chuunin training, and when someone insisted in adding in 'Seven Minutes in Heaven', he figured that it was a new technique...genjutsu, probably. Idly, he wondered how he could get to see this Heaven jutsu in action, to record the movements of the hands and the execution of chakra.

After a few minutes of observation, Kakashi had the sequence down: combatants would be chosen by one individual spinning a sake bottle on a cleared area in the middle of the floor; when the bottle stopped spinning, the mouth of it would be pointing at the potential opponent. The two would go into a closet, which Kakashi thought was an odd place to do battle, but possibly that was the point of the exercise: creativity in small places.

Interesting. Kakashi shrugged and focused most of his attention on his book. He heard pairs of fighters go in and out of the closet, and either the jutsu was a very silent one, or there was a seal on the door, for his sharp hearing picked up nothing but soft noises coming from the closet.

He didn't look up when Anko yelled at Iruka to spin. However, he heard Iruka say, "Um. I guess I should spin again."

Spin again? Kakashi lowered his book so that he could glance over the top of it. The mouth of the bottle was pointing between Iruka's fair-haired friend and Gai...pointing almost accusingly right at Kakashi.

That couldn't count. Kakashi was not a part of the circle of agreed participants; besides, they couldn't see him where he was standing. Kakashi raised his book again and then someone yelled that Iruka had indeed gotten someone.

The room erupted in loud teasing as everyone else began to realize just who the bottle was pointing at.

Iruka exclaimed, "What? No!"

Kakashi clenched his jaw behind his mask. He really didn't want to fight Iruka, but if he had to, he would. He hoped Iruka would do his best. Blinking at his own sappy thoughts, he barely heard the argument now brewing about if Kakashi had been a part of the competition or not.

He was just about to leave and effectively end the argument, and then Anko was at his elbow.

"Come on," Anko said, grinning with sharp drunkenness. "Into the closet with you. And if you try anything stupid with him, I'll rip your balls off."

Kakashi didn't even dignify that with a response; he fought dirty, that was true, but it was an honourable kind of dirty, really. He allowed himself to be dragged out of his nice secluded corner and in a few moments, he was in the closet with Iruka. The door was slammed shut for seven minutes, which was apparently the time component for the whole fight. Kakashi set his mental clock and kept his book up, ready for when Iruka would prepare this Heaven attack. Jutsu with names that nice usually involved a world of pain, and as much as Kakashi liked Iruka, there was no way he was going to get his ass handed to him by a chuunin.

Wait, a contemplative part of his brain murmured. You like Iruka like that?

Kakashi pushed the curious little voice away and tensed, waiting for Iruka to strike first.

"You...you're still reading?" Iruka asked, sounding astonished. His voice was a little deeper, but it was still the same impatient inflection and the same roughened tone.

Kakashi didn't know what to say, so he tried the first thing that came to mind: "I was at a good part."

There was an incredulous silence.

"If you didn't care," Iruka said, starting out low and increasing in annoyance, "then why did you agree to come in here with me?"

Kakashi was going to tell him he didn't agree to anything, then decided that it was a waste of time. Whatever they were supposed to be doing, they'd better get started real soon. He shrugged, and Iruka made an annoyed noise in the back of his throat. He sounded so much like his irritable childish self, that Kakashi half-smiled as he turned a page.

"We have five minutes and forty seconds left," he reminded Iruka. Just in case he forgot.

"You're counting down?" Iruka sounded as if he was going to tear Kakashi's hair from his head. "I'm sorry I'm so boring," he added, each syllable dripping with sarcasm. Kakashi let out a soundless sigh. Iruka was still very temperamental, and that was comforting in its own way, but really, they needed to get this over with.

Iruka stepped up into his space, pushed Kakashi's book to one side and put his mouth against Kakashi's mask.

Kakashi reacted immediately. He dropped his Icha Icha and shoved Iruka back. Grabbing him by the shoulders, Kakashi dug the pads of his thumbs into nearby pressure points. If Iruka initiated this Heaven attack, Kakashi could either choose to observe it or knock Iruka out. He was also confused. He was pretty sure he had been kissed, and he knew only four manoeuvres which began with something so intimate.

Iruka's pulse fluttered under Kakashi's hands and he breathed rapidly; Kakashi could smell the sake on his breath.

"What was that for?" Kakashi blurted out, genuinely curious. It was a bloody good technique, because it left Kakashi feeling fairly flustered...not that he'd let it show, though.

"The kiss?" Iruka asked, breathlessly and Kakashi stared at his face in the gloom of the closet. So...it had been a real kiss.

Huh.

"Haven't you ever played Seven Minutes in Heaven before?" Iruka asked. Kakashi could have told him that technically, he had never played anything before, and he had been far too young to have attended any graduation party when he had gotten chuunin status. After that, he hadn't really cared to attend other parties, and no-one had cared to invite him.

"No," he said, because he couldn't bother to go through all that.

Iruka exploded at him, albeit very quietly. "Idiot!" he snapped. "You read porn all day, what did you think was going to happen in here? We'd fight?"

Kakashi said nothing.

"Let go of me!" Iruka's body was trembling under Kakashi's hands, probably from a mixture of anger, sheer annoyance and embarrassment. Kakashi relaxed his grip, but didn't move his hands. That had been a kiss; one that he hadn't dreamed about, and one that he hadn't known he wanted so badly.

He stared down at Iruka's face, at the way some wisps of hair stuck to his sweaty cheek. That was just one kiss; Kakashi figured that he had a lifetime's worth of kisses he could collect from this brash boy with the nice eyes.

He leaned close, ignoring Iruka's startled flinch to whisper, "We have four minutes and seven seconds left," into the whorl of Iruka's ear.

"What?" Iruka sputtered, but Kakashi pushed down his forehead protector over his eyes, so that he wouldn't be distracted by those damned eyes of his. He pressed his mouth to Iruka's in an experimental fashion, copying what Iruka had done. Hmm...not as awesome as he'd heard it could be. He was feeling a bit disappointed, until Iruka's fingers crept up his face slowly, pulling Kakashi's mask to just below his chin.

Then Iruka pressed his mouth to Kakashi's once more, bare lips to lips, and Kakashi froze, wishing there was some way to record the way it felt. Sharingan skin would be pretty awesome right now. Iruka did it again, and again, his lips firm and yet soft.

"It's easier if you breathe through your nose," Iruka whispered and Kakashi tried it, trying not to exhale too hard on Iruka's face. He tried those same soft touches, not sure what to do with the rest of his body, but Iruka seemed to appreciate his attempts thus far: he leaned against Kakashi, hands clutching Kakashi's shoulders as he murmured encouraging nonsense. Iruka parted his lips, so Kakashi did the same; he was wondering what this section was all about, when Iruka tilted his head, slid his tongue into Kakashi's mouth and this was kissing.

"Oh," Kakashi said when Iruka pulled back a little. Iruka huffed out laughter and Kakashi kissed him again, deep and sure. He tasted the sake Iruka had been drinking and Iruka's own flavour beneath that. Iruka kissed with the same kind of heedless abandon he'd shown when younger, ready to fly through the air and land in a tree.

Kakashi's internal clock buzzed a warning and he pulled back, tugging his mask back over his nose.

"Twenty seconds left," he said, exerting every inch of control so that he wouldn't dive for Iruka's mouth again. He felt drunk with sensation, and braced himself against the inevitability of this never happening again.

Iruka fumbled with his hitai-ate, peering at Kakashi. He pursed his lips in a breezy exhale.

"You don't think they'll give us another seven minutes, do you?" He sounded half-joking, half-serious and that made Kakashi smile.

I'll give you years if you want, he thought, but he said, "No, but I have a better idea."

There was a closet just like this one on the other side of the hall. Anko and the others would find them, sooner or later, but he could take them there and get Iruka to teach him more in the meantime. He put his arms around Iruka, who cocked a suspicious glance up at him, but didn't pull away. Kakashi let his fingers form the seals and wondered at how Iruka felt against him: warm, real and good.

And then they were gone.

fin