A/N: I am so sorry you guys! Because of Thanksgiving I didn't have much time to write and then I moved so I didn't have internet for a while and couldn't post anything. But better late than never right?!

There were sooo maaannyyy reviews! I love them all and thank each and every one of you for reading this story. Especially if you faved or follow it! Something that a lot of you are probably wondering is why Kakashi is so set on coming on to Iruka even after all that stuff happened. Well, because of his skills and resources, paired with Iruka's, he doesn't feel threatened at all. So, he's just trying to help Iruka to relax so he can rest and have a clear head. He might seem like he just wants in Iruka's pants, but it's for a good reason! (other than a certain fangirl wanting smut in every chapter… *cough Miracchi cough cough* xD) Almost nothing that happens in this story is random. Remember that!

Special shout out to Miracchi, shadow visor, and SlytherinPrincess19 for sticking with this story every step of the way!

Disclaimer: how many different ways can I say that I own nothing in this story other than the semi-non-existent plot? (I just type as I think of stuffs because I gave up trying to have a set plot. No one ever does what I think they will anyways. There is an end in mind, but how long it takes to get there is waaayyyy up in the air…)

Warnings: Gets kinda dark here guys… I seriously had no idea most of this would happen until I wrote it… I mean, I knew we'd see into Iruka's past… but damn…. Oh and there's some citrusy goodness as well!

. . . . . .

Sasuke was not asleep. He would not have been able to sleep after the events of the evening even if he tried, particularly because of his conversations with Iruka. The teen had always been able to put up a frosty front whenever his parents or Orochimaru were mentioned, but knowing that the brothers had possibly gone through the same shit he did made him… softer towards them. Not that they ever needed to know that.

Hours passed with him simply lying on the borrowed air mattress as Sasuke carefully analyzed every feeling and emotion that flitted through him while he listened to the sounds of the night. After his few years with Orochimaru, coupled with the abilities he was born with, Sasuke's senses were acute enough to know exactly who was where in the compact home even though his mind was otherwise occupied. So, he knew the exact moment his silver haired guardian decided to join the pacing teacher out in the living room.

Kakashi got up from the bed and stopped at the doorway to whisper, "You may or may not want to be here when I get back."

The onyx eyed teen kept the grimace from his face as he figured out what that could mean. Not that he was opposed to Kakashi having a partner of the same gender, as the man never really cared about Sasuke's own preferences –the man had gone so far as to tell him so his first night staying with him, even though Sasuke made it clear he had no interest in anyone–, but the thought of his teacher being the object of Kakashi's attentions made him want to scowl. Usually, the one eyed man would have his pleasures and his partners would be gone before sunrise, most leaving of their own accord with only a few needing to be smoothly talked out of the house. Sasuke found himself hoping that he would not do the same to Iruka and silently pondered why he would think that way. Moments after Kakashi's supposedly silent footsteps receded down the hallway, Sasuke considered his options of relocating for the night.

The bathroom was out of the question since it was right next to where he needed to escape and he had no desire whatsoever to spend the night in the loo. The kitchen was also a no go for the same reason. He supposed he could wait in the kitchen until the living room was vacated, but the living room was so open, sounds would travel much easier. Sasuke was contemplating sneaking out to sleep in the car when a loud snore reminded him of the other room in the house.

Tch, that dobe probably wouldn't even keep his room clean enough to walk in, Sasuke thought mockingly. Though, Naruto's room was across and down the hall, so there would be the least chance of accidentally overhearing Kakashi and Iruka's… activities. Mind made up before he could change it, Sasuke slipped out of the room and saw his guardian slash mentor watching the scarred male from the shadows, before he silently crept into his rival's open bedroom door and closed it behind him.

What he found actually surprised Sasuke. There were clothes hanging from the drawers of the dresser and a few littered near the dirty clothes basket, but other than that the room was clean and quite spacious. A few posters decorated the walls along with a bulletin board that had pictures tacked to it with other miscellaneous memorabilia. With a little spur of curiosity, Sasuke wandered over to the bulletin board to observe the pictures.

Something that Sasuke had not noticed from the pictures he had seen in the kitchen was a few pictures of Naruto from when he was very young. When these pictures were taken, Naruto did not have the whisker-like scars fanning his cheeks. When he found one without them, charcoal eyes examined it as well as they could in the dark and took a good long look. Iruka was standing next to Naruto at the beach, both of them only wearing swim trunks. They looked to be around 3 and 9 years old and neither had a scar on their body other than the one crossing Iruka's nose and a banged up knee on Naruto's part. A moment's searching found a picture taken a couple years later with Naruto's scars present and Iruka in his usual long sleeved shirt. Sasuke vaguely wondered if there was a connection and glanced at the blond head of hair that was peeking from under the covers. What was their story?

"Ya gonna stand there all night or lie down?" Naruto's voice broke through the Uchiha's reverie and made him glad the blond had his back to him as his body gave an instinctual start. Naruto lifted the blanket next to him in an open invitation, but Sasuke made no move towards the bed. He contemplated the other teen's question for a few minutes and decided Naruto most likely thought Sasuke was actually Iruka. He was about to inform him otherwise, but was cut off. "Suit yourself, teme," Naruto continued with a shrug of his shoulder, dropping the blanket back to the bed. "I don't have any extra bedding and I doubt you're gonna wanna leave at this point to get some. Just thought you'd wanna be comfortable."

Hearing the blond's self-proclaimed nickname for him being mumbled into a pillow, Sasuke had to hide his smirk in the dark. The blond was more perceptive than he had given him credit for, even when feigning sleep. Still, Naruto did have a point… Hearing things he could not help, but he could –and would at all costs– avoid any situation that might cause him to see things. One last glance at the door had Sasuke slowly, almost hesitatingly, sinking onto his rival's bed.

To say things felt awkward for Sasuke would be an understatement. The last time he had had to share a bed with someone was when he first started training and had to bunk with one of the others. He ignored the surfacing memories studiously and turned on his side, putting his back to Naruto's and staying near the edge of the bed. Even at that distance, Sasuke could feel the heat that radiated off of the other's body on his back. It made his front feel almost doubly cold, and being in shorts and a t-shirt on top of the covers did not help matters either. Sasuke's body shivered before he could stop it, causing his temporary roommate to scoff and sigh disapprovingly behind him.

He felt the blond shift on the bed, and the next thing Sasuke knew, he was bracing a hand and foot against the floor to keep from falling off of the bed completely after Naruto had yanked the covers out from under him. Annoyance bubbled up inside him, causing the black haired teen to roll back onto the bed and come face to face with the infuriating blond sitting up next to him. "What the hell was that for, baka?!" he hissed quietly.

"Who the hell're you calling 'baka'? You're the baka who didn't get under the blanket! They're made to keep you warm ya know!" Naruto hissed in return.

Both boys glared at each other, daring the other to speak. Finally, Naruto huffed in frustration and broke the eye contact. "Just…" he began, letting out another sigh, "just cover up and go to sleep, would ya?" With a tired jerk of his wrists, the blanket was laid over both of them as Naruto snuggled back underneath them.

Taking one more second to just glare at the exasperating teen, Sasuke settled under the blankets to lie on his back and resumed staring at the ceiling in thought. He had to admit that he was much more comfortable underneath the covers, especially with Naruto's extra body heat creating a soothing cocoon of warmth. Sasuke instinctively opened his senses to confirm the whereabouts of the other people in the house, but found he was having a little bit of trouble hearing much of anything. He wondered if they were just being quiet or if they had left. Come to think of it, as soon as the raven haired teen had shut the door, the sounds of Iruka's pacing feet had ceased. Sasuke had thought he had merely stopped, but now he could hear nothing but the steady sound of Naruto's breathing.

"Hey," Naruto whispered suddenly. "You wanted to know about the scars, right?"

The question was so unexpected, that Sasuke could only turn his head in bewilderment at the blond's words. Admittedly, he was really curious as to how Iruka got them, but after the way his teacher had snapped at him, Sasuke had resigned himself to not knowing. When nothing but silence met his question, Naruto rolled over to face the other male and propped himself up on his elbow.

"Do you still wanna know?" he asked.

Sasuke rolled over in a mirror of Naruto's posture and said in return, "I thought he didn't want anyone to know."

"Nah, it's just that he hates to tell the story himself," Naruto replied nonchalantly.

"And he would be all right with you telling the story?" Sasuke asked, a single eyebrow rose in disbelief.

"It's not just his story alone to tell," the blond said cryptically, running his fingers down the whisker-scars on his face.

A spark of understanding lit in Sasuke's mind as his earlier suspicion was confirmed, and he found himself nodding. "So, what's the story?"

As the tale was told, Sasuke had to visibly keep himself from glaring the blackest glare he could manage, instead opting to fist his hands on the blanket in pure rage on the brothers' behalf.

. . . . . .

Iruka felt the couch hit the backs of his legs, giving him a reason to break the kiss in order to sit down. That was what he thought would happen, anyway. What actually happened was, Kakashi followed him and was now hovering right above his body, kiss unbroken. If anything, the movement deepened the kiss and further scrambled any and all thoughts left in the little teacher's mind. Kakashi's lips were just so damn soft and coaxing…

This is a bad idea.

Kakashi's lips molded themselves around his own, moving in a sinuous dance that had Iruka's body responding all on its own. The pain in Iruka's injured palm helped clear his head a little as he clutched at the material of Kakashi's nightshirt. Whether he was trying to push the man away or crush him closer was still a mystery.

Mizuki could crash in at any moment.

A warm tongue flicked across Iruka's bottom lip, asking for permission. With the battle raging in the tanned man's mind, he did not part his lips. Kakashi was completely undeterred, instead he patiently lapped and nibbled teasingly until a stray hand slid its way up Iruka's side and made him gasp. The touch was light enough to be teasing, but firm enough not to tickle. It was all completely maddening and heavenly.

I need to be ready for anything.

The tongue that had been seeking entry had barely touched the inside of Iruka's lips before the ex-assassin tried to push him away firmly. Failing this, he quickly turned his head to the side to break the kiss while he was still in the frame of mind to actually do so. "W-wait," he stuttered, gasping for air and trying to string together some semblance of thought and fight the attraction that was vying heavily for his attention. "We… we can't do this."

The sexy businessman looked down at him with that one eyed gaze calmly and moved his ministrations down a cinnamon jaw to his ear. Not even out of breath, he asked, "Why?"

"Because Mizuki could attack at any moment and I need to be ready for anything," he recited the words his mind had been chanting at him. Iruka was still having trouble calming his heartbeat with Kakashi so close. The oddly familiar heat that radiated between them was making it extremely difficult to think.

"Iruka," Kakashi murmured gently, attempting to reason with him. "The only thing you need is to relax and get a decent night's sleep. Besides, I think between the three of us, we won't have to worry."

"'Three of us'?" the scarred teacher inquired, completely confused. Could he be referring to Naruto or Sasuke?

"I called in some back up earlier, to help keep everyone safe. My own personal head of security," he replied in that same, soothing tone. "You have nothing to worry about with him outside, Iruka. Trust me."

'I think he's earned a little bit of trust.'

Naruto's words rang in Iruka's head again and again. Had this been any other situation, perhaps the little teacher would trust the other male… but they were talking about the safety of his family and student against a specially trained, psychopathic, jealous assassin. Iruka could not help but worry, no matter the reassurances. The only person that could even possibly stand a chance against Mizuki was Iruka himself, and that was only because he knew his moves already from training with him. Physically, Mizuki had always been the stronger, but Iruka had speed and cunning on his side, both of which would be severely limited if he were distracted by a certain sexy businessman that could turn his brain to complete mush with a single kiss.

A low chuckle broke the dark haired man from his reverie. "You know, getting underestimated like this twice in one night is starting to hurt my ego."

Feeling a little guilty, Iruka ran his un-bandaged hand through silver hair to make Kakashi look at him and said gently, "It's not that I'm underestimating you. It's just that you don't know Mizuki like I do. You don't know what he's capable of."

"Let me ask you this, then. Do you know what I'm capable of?"

The light, easy tone paired with the twinkle of amusement in Kakashi's eye as he said that caught Iruka off guard and made him think. He really did not know much about Kakashi other than his profession and his taste in coffee. In his moment of hesitation, Iruka felt a hand on his wrist and there was a blur of motion with the sound of rushing air. He let out a surprised gasp as his back hit the chair across from the couch and made it skid back a good foot and a half. Suddenly, the light from the living room window was cut off and there was a weight resting on his collar bone.

"If I'd had a knife, you'd be dead right about now," Kakashi whispered teasingly in his ear. He could almost feel the other man's grin against his cheek.

Thoughts swirled through Iruka's mind as he tried to think against the fog of surprise and lingering arousal. The worried part of him was temporarily put on hold as it processed information and possible scenarios. The indignant and competitive part of Iruka had him analyzing the businessman from head to toe. The image that met him was an arrogant smile and almost lazy posture as he leaned over the smaller man that had tendrils of a memory tickling his mind.

Iruka's eye twitched in annoyance and challenge. Fine, if Kakashi thought he could take on an ex-master assassin, let him try. The smaller man hooked his leg behind Kakashi's knee and shoved hard at his shoulders to make him lose his balance and back off. It worked well enough to give Iruka the barest amount of room to stand up and twist away nimbly. His mind automatically fell into fight mode from years of use. The ex-assassin still had the presence of mind to hold back from actually killing the man, but he made no promises about injuries if Kakashi had some sort of ace up his sleeve. The businessman's seemingly natural strength was definitely not earned through doing paperwork.

"You're almost serious," Kakashi observed. "Good."

In a lightning fast motion, Kakashi's hand lashed out to get a hold of Iruka again. It was effectively blocked and caught in return. Another agile spin of Iruka's body had him pinning the taller man's arm behind his back, but before he could get it properly locked in place, the broad shouldered man in front of him spun and dropped down to kick Iruka's legs out from under him. A couple of rolls, punches, kicks, and grunts later, the smaller male had a body hovering over him and Kakashi's hand was once more at his collar bone with his fingers fanning up the length of his throat teasingly. "That's twice, now, I could've killed you."

A growl of frustration escaped Iruka's throat as he expertly swatted the hand away and maneuvered himself out from under the larger man's body. Something told him that Kakashi had let him get back up, and that only frustrated him further. Iruka was only holding back from killing the man, and yet he had the gall to stand there and smirk like that?

Wait… why would he be able to feel confident enough to be that aloof? Think, Iruka, think!

Needing a final confirmation, Iruka made the first move and went completely on the offensive. That was when he realized, Kakashi was fast. Even when Iruka was using his full abilities with killing intent, through the flurry of blows he was aiming at the man, Kakashi could dodge them. He was not even blocking, just moving out of the way with swift movements. Iruka had to force himself to calm down so his competitive side would not over shadow his mind and distract him. A stroke of luck hit and Iruka was finally able to land a solid kick that earned a grunt from his opponent. He seized the opportunity to once more pin the businessman's arm behind his back and bend him over the arm of the couch to immobilize him.

Iruka's victory was very short lived. Seconds after Kakashi's chest had touched the furniture, he reached back to grab the back of Iruka's head with his free hand and sprang up and forward with his powerful legs. The force of the jump had them somersaulting onto the couch with the silver haired man rolling the length of Iruka, squishing the breath out of him. In the blink of an eye, Kakashi's impossible quickness had him pinning the little teacher's entire body to the couch with one hand at his throat for a final time.

"And that makes three." The lips that whispered the words at Iruka's ear tickled his sensitive skin. Iruka's mind was whirring, factoring in their chances of survival with his newfound knowledge of Kakashi's abilities. He had to admit, they looked much better than before. He felt the man above him move his nose along his cheek lightly until they came eye to eye. "Do you believe me now?"

Iruka only managed a nod of his head before Kakashi was pressing his lips against his own. He almost let the kiss happen, but had to be sure of something. "How good is your security guy?"

"Heh, let me put it to you this way. Out of all the times I have sparred with him, I only win a little over half the time," Kakashi answered with a chuckle. "Now please, allow me to help you relax, Iruka."

As usual, the sound of his name from the silver haired man's lips had shivers running down his spine. He could swear Kakashi knew exactly what it did to him. Iruka's halfhearted protests were cut off by a pair of lips attaching to his once again. Even though he truly could not understand why Kakashi wanted to kiss him so badly, the heavenly pressure the other man applied with his lips was hard not to melt into. With his worries temporarily shoved to the side, attraction and arousal became the most dominant in Iruka's scrambled mind.

Later, Iruka would realize that it had been on Kakashi's mind the entire time they were fighting, which would make him wonder how he had done so well even with the distraction of arousal weighing down his mind.

Finally giving in to the kiss, Iruka allowed his arms to wind themselves around Kakashi's shoulders. There was an approving growl coming from the silver haired man's throat that had tingles shooting through Iruka's body, and entrance was finally granted to the questing tongue. It slid slickly into the welcoming cavern and brushed against the smaller man's shy tongue, charming it to respond. Iruka lost himself within the twining of tongues in seconds. This was nothing like when he was with Mizuki. Where he had been possessive and almost violent with his kisses, Kakashi was soft and patient, slow and languid. It was breathtaking.

Kakashi's hand once more slid down the teacher's side and made him gasp at the feeling. He broke the kiss to get some much needed oxygen, but that did not stop Kakashi from trailing his sinuous lips down his jaw, creating the same spine tingling sensations as before. Those sensations were completely intensified when Iruka felt teeth grazing and nipping at the sensitive skin right under his earlobe. He had to release a shaky breath before he hissed in pain, causing the silver head to come up to look at him, concern shining in his black eye. "What is it?" he breathed.

Iruka gulped so he could use his voice. "My hand. I, uh… clenched it too tight, I guess," he said sheepishly, feeling a little embarrassed that Kakashi could cause such a reaction with something so simple.

Kakashi fixed him with an odd look and cocked his head to the side. "Iruka, have you ever…" he trailed off, gesturing between them.

The unfinished question was most definitely understood and made the little teacher blush heavily. Mizuki and he had fooled around on more than one occasion, they had even had sex once, but none of it had felt like what Kakashi was doing to him. Kakashi made him feel like he had all of the sexy man's attention, unlike Mizuki where he simply took what he wanted from Iruka after a long night of training or a difficult mission.

Kakashi must have taken his silence as a 'no' because he suddenly rolled off of the smaller man and helped him off of the couch. Iruka had begun to ask what he was doing, but was effectively silenced by Kakashi's lips. While his mind was thoroughly reduced to nothingness again, the shorter male felt hands at his hips pressing him closer. He let out a small moan of appreciation at the feeling of their bodies molding together and gasped when Kakashi's hands were suddenly at the backs of his thighs, lifting him easily to his own height. Automatically, Iruka's ankles locked together over the businessman's behind and pressed them ever tighter together.

There was an answering growl from both males as their awakening groins were pressed against each other. Iruka could feel himself bouncing slightly as Kakashi carried him to his bedroom and kicked the door closed behind them. A distant thought had him wondering where his younger guest had disappeared to, but the next round of mind blowing kisses had every thought scattering from his mind as he was laid on his bed. There was a new sense of mutual urgency behind the kisses, making them become harder and deeper as Iruka opened his mouth in an invitation that was immediately taken. Kakashi mapped out every bit of Iruka's wet cavern and he loved every second of it. More than once, his breath hitched at the new and tantalizing sensations the older male was introducing him to. Lips were once more moved to his neck, nipping, kissing, and sucking. Then, a pair of hands had snuck their way up Iruka's borrowed night shirt and before he knew what was happening, Kakashi had hiked it up as far as it would go.

Arousal was quickly overridden by shock and mortification as Iruka tried to cover his marred flesh and hide it from Kakashi's view. This only led to the teacher's wrists being pinned above his head, rendering them useless. "Don't hide from me," Kakashi said.

He struggled futilely for a few moments and then finally gave up when Kakashi's strength once more proved to be much greater than his own. Iruka sighed in defeat and resigned himself to monitoring his companion's reaction to the swirling designs that matched the ones that had been shown earlier that night. The slightly marbled scars spanned all the way down the front of his chest and disappeared below his boxers and around his sides. Slashes and carved designed mixed on his flesh, leaving little empty space in between markings.

The businessman's face was unreadable, but his single, grey eye had a hard edge to it as he mentally catalogued every line that had been engraved into his skin. Iruka knew exactly what was going through his mind, so he was unsurprised to hear, "How did it happen?"

The tanned man sighed again. He really hated talking about his scars and would really just rather forget they ever existed, but Naruto had been right. Kakashi would have seen them eventually, which means, Iruka will eventually be telling him how they happened. Iruka would have rather not have had this conversation brought up in the middle of what they were currently doing, but the determined look on Kakashi's face told him he would not be convinced to drop the subject like Sasuke had been. Because his mind was still addled with lust, he did not have the courage to just jump into the story and ruin the already dimming mood. He tried the same words he spoke to Sasuke only hours before. "Trust me, it's not a story you want to hear…"

Kakashi must have heard the lack of conviction in the young teacher's voice because he pressed with his oh-so-hypnotizing voice, "Tell me."

Iruka let out a mirthless chuckle. "Who was it that said it was wrong to push the issue?"

Kakashi leveled him with an unreadable expression. "I'm different," he said.

"Oh, really?" Iruka tried to hide the automatic disdain he felt for the cliché line.

"Yes, really. Unlike Sasuke, I recognize these markings and have no choice but to wonder how you were able to survive." When Iruka could only manage to look shocked and hesitant, the silver haired man said, "I swear to you, it will never affect the way I think about you." Doubt swam in the little teacher's mind as he gazed at the man above. Kakashi bent down until their foreheads were touching, making sure he had Iruka's full attention. "Nor will it change how much I want you right at this very moment."

The husky tone made Iruka's body shudder and gave him an odd sense of peace and encouragement underneath the predominant arousal and confusion. He recognizes the marks? How is that possible? He thought about the situation and his curiosity for the mysterious man escalated along with his suspicion that had been hiding in some corner of his mind.

Finally, Iruka came to a decision. "Kakashi, if I start telling this story, I won't be able to stop. You're not going to like what you hear," he warned. The calm look Kakashi fixed him with convinced him that there was no way out of it now. "The first incident happened the night I lost my parents…" He had to swallow the sudden lump that had formed in his throat as it always did when he thought of that night. He looked away from Kakashi, unable to look at him as he delved deep inside himself for some form of dignity in which he could tell the man what had happened. He himself could not believe what he was about to reveal. Even an ex-assassin that had been trained to kill his emotions had his limits to what he could hide away. "Someone… someone had broken into our house. My parents had me hide inside one of the heating vents in my room. I was five at the time, so I was just barely able to fit. Th-there were screams coming from my parents in another part of the house, but they had told me to stay hidden, so I couldn't go to them. Not that my fear would have let me move anyway…" he was talking really fast, but he did not seem to be able to help it. As seconds passed, Iruka's breathing quickened and fine tremors made their way through Iruka's thin frame as he heard his parents' pain filled screams in his memories.

A calming hand ran through his dark locks and came to rest on the side of his face, soothing circles being traced with a slightly calloused thumb. Iruka leaned into the hand and covered it with his own before hesitatingly continuing. The horrors of his past were not something he liked to think about, let alone talk about. "When the screams finally stopped a long while later, I heard him go through the other rooms of the house, looking for me. It didn't take him long to find me and when he did… I don't remember exactly what he looked like because it was so dark in the house. The next thing I knew, he had taken his knife across my nose." His finger ran over the lingering mark from that night. It had all happened so fast for his young mind to comprehend; his memories were blurred from time and trauma. "The police came right about then and I'll never forget the words he said to me. 'I'm not finished with you yet.'"

Iruka had to swallow the bile rising in his throat. When it refused to go down, he fisted his hands in his sheets and tried to force himself to calm down. Mental reminders that it was all over with and that the beast was dead and never going to hurt him or his brother ever again seemed to have no affect on his rebelling body. The shaking grew more and more visible until Iruka could not take it anymore. He had to move. The tanned teacher gently pushed Kakashi aside and climbed out of the bed to begin pacing to relieve some of the anxious energy that surfaced with the memories. The other male seemed to understand his need and stayed silent, waiting patiently for him to calm himself.

It was quickly becoming apparent that Iruka was losing his resolve to finish telling his dark tale with every step and turn he took. He had to forget Kakashi was there, and just talk to himself like he had when recalling his past with Mizuki. Easier said than done, in Iruka's opinion. Before he could lose any more of his nerve, he whispered, "He found me again when I was twelve. Sarutobi-sensei had taken me, Naruto, and a couple of the older boys with him on a trip to the store. We passed by a candy shop on the way back to the orphanage, and Naruto wanted to stop and look around inside it. The six year old little tyke just walked in there without a word to anyone. By then, he and I had become practically inseparable, so I followed him to take him back to the group. When we stepped out of the store, we were both grabbed from behind and dragged down an alley before being shoved into the trunk of a car by a masked man. We fought tooth and nail to get away from the kidnapper, but it wasn't enough. A twelve and six year old was no match for who we were up against…"

Iruka had to stop once more; the vibration going through his mind and limbs was becoming overwhelming. It was too much at once. He had never relived this much of his past at one time before, not since the nightmares for the couple of years right after it all happened. The sudden feel of skin wrapping around his wrist had him opening eyes he had not known he had closed to look down at the pale fingers gently encircling his darker skin. An equally gentle tug had the little teacher burying his face into Kakashi's broad chest, taking an unexpected comfort from the other man's presence. With a shuddering breath, he forced himself to continue, knowing things would only get worse from there.

"When we had come to a stop, he knocked us out with chloroform. We woke up in a basement, all of our clothes were removed and our hands were tied with rope to pipes that went from floor to ceiling. We were too far away to be able to make any sort of contact with each other except with our eyes. The bastard had also taped our mouths shut. For days he would come down and toy with us, asking us questions that made no sense, putting food or water just out of our reach, or just touching and petting us, calling us his 'pets.'

"Then one day, he came down with a bag." Iruka began shaking again and his voice cracked oddly, throat going completely dry.

"Hold on," Kakashi whispered, releasing his hold on the smaller man. Iruka could not hold back the whimper that escaped his lips as the comfort and warmth of his arms around him was withdrawn. Part of him scowled at being so vulnerable, but another, stronger, part assured him that he was safe to be so with the businessman. "I'm not going far, Ru," he guaranteed, giving Iruka a small, soothing peck on the cheek.

The silver haired male left the room, leaving Iruka alone with his dark thoughts. What had felt like an eternity passed in the few moments Kakashi was gone. It almost felt magnified when he finally stepped back in the room, holding a glass of water. "I'd have searched for something more potent, but something tells me leaving you alone for long would be a bad idea," Kakashi said, an ironic half grin trying to lighten the appropriately gloomy mood.

Iruka replied with a nervous, almost hysterical, chuckle of his own and took the water gratefully. He only managed a couple of sips to wet his mouth before his stomach rejected even the idea of any more. It had the calming effect Kakashi was likely looking for, though. "I don't know if I can continue the story," he mumbled into the glass honestly. "It's too horrible to have lived through once already. But, at the same time, I feel like I need to finish it."

"No matter what, I'll be here," Kakashi responded gently.

Perhaps it was that honesty that spurred on Iruka's courage, because within the next moment, he found himself reaching for Kakashi's hand and sitting on the edge of the bed. Taking a deep breath, the story continued, "He set the bag down right in front of my pole, completely out of reach as usual. And then… he started setting it all out for me to see: knives, razors, broken pieces of glass, and a dozen other things that had sharp or pointed edges. 'Time to play,' he said. He ripped the tape from my mouth to hear my screams as he used all of those things to make these marks." As he spoke, Iruka stepped into the square of moonlight by his window and removed his shirt, turning to display every line and shape created by that madman so many years ago. The scarring spanned from Iruka's shoulders all the way down to his knees on his front and back, demented designs a psychotic serial killer had called 'art.' "He made sure to keep the wounds shallow enough that I would not pass out, and did them slow enough so I would have no choice but to scream. The worst part was, after every line… he would wait for the bleeding to stop, fill the wound with lighter fluid, and then set it on fire to seal it shut." His voice no longer sounded like his own, just a hollow echo as he recalled the searing pain of his flesh being lit aflame. Numb from reliving a memory, and tongue loosened from already talking, he kept going in that dull, disconnected tone. "He did this for what felt like an eternity, making sure Naruto was watching every moment of it. Whenever he tried to close his eyes or look away, he would be forced to look with promises that he would stop if he watched. Because Naruto was only six, he would believe him every time.

"As soon as he said his work was done, he held the end of a sharpened screw driver right over my heart," Iruka paused to point at the tiniest scar he had, right where the end of the object had pierced his skin. "That was when Naruto started thrashing around, trying to take the attention off of me. And it worked. 'Looks like the little one wants to have some fun.' I had fought and tried to loosen my bonds around my wrists in the beginning, but I never fought harder than when I saw him moving his bag over to Naruto. My brother didn't have those scars on his cheeks until that happened. The monster carved the whiskers into his face, calling him his 'little fox.' I kept pulling and pulling at the ropes, not even noticing when they actually loosened. By the time my hands actually came free, Naruto's cheeks were set on fire.

"I'm not really sure what happened next, but I remember pulling out that screwdriver that was meant to kill me out of that monster's back. Then, I was untying an unconscious Naruto and carrying him out of there as fast as I could. I probably reopened a few wounds, but at the time I didn't care. I just knew I had to get him out of there. When we got out of the house, I went door to door until an elderly woman answered and nearly had a heart attack from the sight of us. The cops were called and I told them everything. That was when I found out who had kidnapped us. He called himself 'Kyuubi' and was a national criminal, wanted for several murders and considered a serial killer. Apparently, he gave all of his victims the same treatment he did me."

Iruka's mind barely stopped him from continuing the story. After he had untied Naruto and gotten up the stairs, he had been stopped by a white-haired man named Kabuto. That was when Iruka had first heard the name, 'Orochimaru.' The man had said how interested 'Orochimaru-sama' would be to know his best student had been defeated by a couple of brats. He let them go with a promise to see Iruka again sometime soon. It had not been two days after the tanned boy had come home from the hospital when the white haired man appeared again and kidnapped him to see Orochimaru. The pale skinned man reminded him of a snake because of the purple markings around his eyes and slit pupils.

That was when he was offered to become an assassin or else he and his brother would be killed. Arrangements were made to retrieve the twelve year old boy during the night to be able to train him. Kabuto always praised his quick advancement among the other young assassins, but Iruka had always ignored him. There was no praise to be had in killing, and he was only doing it to keep Naruto safe. Orochimaru did keep to his word to reward his obedience, however. The orphanage received anonymous donations on a monthly basis that were used to fix the old house and pay the bills they had been falling behind in with every new boy that arrived. So, he had become an assassin to take the place of the one he had killed.

Iruka's thoughts were diverted from that train of thought as arms wrapped around him and gentle lips were pressed comfortingly to his temple. He had actually forgotten about the rest of the world in his reverie. "Your strength, even at such a young age, simply astounds me, Iruka. You truly are amazing," Kakashi murmured, hugging him closer.

"Strength…" Iruka whispered dreamily. "If I'd been stronger, these would never have happened, and my skin wouldn't be the mess that it is."

The arms around the tanned man disappeared from his back, and came to rest on his shoulders as Kakashi held him away so they could make eye contact. "Your scars are nothing to be ashamed of, Iruka. Remember that. They are the proof that you survived what so many before you could not. They are proof of how strong you are, not how weak you were, and don't you dare forget that." Kakashi added a little shake to emphasize his words. Then, Iruka's eyes widened against his will as the mysterious man slipped off the black wrap that hid his left eye, revealing a long scar that went from his silver hair line, through the center of a pale eyelid, and down to the middle of his cheek. "We all have our scars."

Iruka could not stop himself from reaching forward tentatively and cupping the side of Kakashi's face. He brushed his thumb down the length of the thin line, taking in the new information as quickly as his sluggish brain could handle. 'We all have our scars… they are proof of how strong you are… Your scars are nothing to be ashamed of…' This man, Iruka decided, was truly something else to be able to sit through such a dark tale and still look at him with such a warm gaze and talk to him so gently. When he had told Mizuki about his scars, he had sneered and laughed at his weakness. Kakashi was truly different than any person he ever knew.

Iruka had no idea what he was going to do until he leaned forward those few inches and closed the distance between the two men's lips. The kiss was nothing like the ones before, but still had that same gentleness. Kakashi allowed Iruka to lead the kiss, absorbing the understanding and gratefulness radiating off of the smaller man. As soon as Iruka felt confident enough that the other male would not spontaneously disappear into thin air, he deepened the kiss by pressing their bodies flush together and twining his hands into the silver strands. The pressure kicked up a notch as Kakashi took the reins, and Iruka was more than happy to oblige. Lips moved and danced together to a symphony of mutual attraction that had wrapped around them since they met.

Not even paying attention to what was going on around him, Iruka suddenly felt the edge of the bed on the backs of his legs and let himself fall backwards, pulling the pale man down with him. One look was exchanged between the two of them, and then they met halfway, lips and tongues clashing together with a new sense of urgency. Every place that had made Iruka's breath hitch before was thoroughly re-explored as his body was given the same treatment. There was a point where he lost track of whose hands were where, and then Iruka noticed that Kakashi was still fully clothed while he was only in his boxers.

He wanted to touch the pale skin that was hidden just behind that night shirt. Iruka growled into the kiss and tugged at the bottom of the offending piece of clothing. Kakashi seemed to get the message and broke the kiss to sit up on the backs of his heels to take off his shirt, baring inch after delicious inch of creamy skin and sculpted muscle. Had this been any other situation, Iruka would likely have been intimidated and jealous to compare the businessman's physique with his own, lean build. At that moment, however, the little teacher could only marvel at the sight before him. Superbly muscled chest and perfectly chiseled abs were grazed by tanned fingertips. Scars were scattered here and there to show the life of their owner. Where Iruka saw his own scars as blemishes and constant reminders of his dark past, Kakashi's seemed to amplify who he was and show off his godlike looks further, especially the scar over his eye.

Kakashi slowly reached his hands down to trace a few of the lines in Iruka's skin, finding a few that were sensitive and made him shiver. No one had ever touched him like this before. Every sensation was new, confusing, and wonderful. "Do they hurt?" Kakashi asked softly, touching an especially sensitive mark near his hip.

Iruka could only gasp lightly and shake his head. Words seemed to elude him as the teasing fingers made their way up his body, exploring everything to find the most pleasurable places for the smaller male. With the most playful glint in a single eye that Iruka had ever seen, Kakashi moved his long fingers to tease and tweak dusky nipples. The teacher had to slap a hand over his own mouth to keep the sounds from flying out of his mouth. He knew Naruto's room was basically soundproof, but Iruka had no idea where his other guest was or if he was even still in the house.

Kakashi was having none of that. He removed the tanned hand and claimed the once hidden lips with his own before whispering, "There's no need for that. They won't hear."

How Kakashi could possibly know that, Iruka did not care to figure out at that moment. He only cared about touching as much of that flawless skin as he could. Drawing his hands over finely sculpted shoulders, the little teacher pulled the businessman in for more heart stopping kisses. Noting the way Kakashi was holding himself above Iruka, the ex-assassin decided to wrap his legs around a pale waist and make the arms to either side of his head collapse to feel the full weight of the man above him. Doing that had both of their clothed members pressing against one another with blissful pressure.

Kakashi groaned in approval and ground their hips harder together, pulling pleasured gasps from the smaller male. Lips moved down to nip at a tanned neck and travel down to lave dark, pert buds, earning a moan in response. Kakashi's hand moved to play with the other nipple, making Iruka momentarily lose his composure and clench his fists in his sheets.

A pained curse fell from his lips as Iruka forced his hand to relax against the onslaught of sensations coursing through him. His salvation was brought with a pale hand fitting itself in his own and bringing it up to be kissed over the bandages covering his wound. Kakashi twined their fingers together and squeezed, silently showing him that it would not hurt his injury. Iruka did his own experimental squeeze and nodded in satisfaction.

A kiss was pressed to the corner of Iruka's mouth with the whisper of, "I'm going to make you relax now, Ruka."

He could only manage a confused look before Kakashi's hand touched his straining erection over the fabric of his boxers. How this was going to make Iruka relax was lost on him as his whole body tensed up in anticipation. Pleasure filled shudders wracked his lithe frame as the hand started rubbing in sensual motions, eliciting moans and whimpers to fall from kiss swollen lips. Suddenly, things were moving way too slowly for the little teacher, so he began moving his hips in time with Kakashi's hand, urging him to up the pace.

Kakashi chuckled into Iruka's neck and complied with the unspoken request, abruptly pulling down Iruka's boxers to mid thigh and grasping his manhood firmly. He attached his mouth to the other's to claim the delicious groan for his own. As the pale hand began to stroke him, Iruka stopped all thought and lost himself in the feeling of heat pooling and escalating in his lower belly. His pleasure was building embarrassingly quickly as the hand around him sped up and applied more pressure. Iruka was not going to last long at this rate, but he could not bring himself to make Kakashi stop his heavenly ministrations. Lips, tongue, and teeth made their way down Iruka's body to stop right above his leaking erection, making the tanned teacher freeze. Kakashi looked up and made eye contact with Iruka, making him gasp in utter shock and fascination.

Kakashi had opened his left eye, a crimson orb with strange markings surrounding the pupil. The look would be slightly demented on anyone else, but it looked somehow so right on the silver haired man. The mismatched eyes held him in a trance as pale lips parted around the blushing head of Iruka's member. The gaze was broken as the tanned body bowed in an arch at the unfamiliar sensation. No one had ever done this for him before, and it was even more mind blowing than anything Kakashi had made him experience so far.

When that sinful mouth began to bob up and down, Iruka could not contain the moans that escaped his constricted throat. His grip on Kakashi's hand tightened with the increasing pressure around him as the silver haired man sucked harder, bringing Iruka ever closer to completion. The heat in his abdomen built and built until something inside him finally broke and he came with a hoarse cry of total abandon. Kakashi gladly slurped up every bit of the white substance that pulsed out of him, releasing a groan of his own around the member in his mouth.

Still high on the euphoria of orgasm, Iruka lay in a puddle of boneless satisfaction, panting from the intense release. Belatedly, he realized that he had given no warning beforehand and nearly sat up to apologize when a pale hand on his chest stopped him. Heavy eyelids drooped further as Iruka searched for the mismatched gaze of his partner quizzically. A gentle kiss was pressed to his forehead with a one word command.

"Sleep," Kakashi murmured.

Iruka's body wasted no time in complying, curling up into his usual ball and humming contentedly when he felt a warm chest press against his back as he dropped off into the best night of sleep he had ever had.

. . . . . .

A/N: So, there's our first lime! (For those who don't know the citrus system, limes are anything leading up to sex and lemons are actual penetration.) This was honestly a lot harder to write than it should have been, and I hope I didn't disappoint too many of you!

Make sure you let me know what you thought in a review! Until next time!