A/N: This is a short story about from Mizuki's point of view. For those who don't remember/don't know, Mizuki is the dude in episode 1 who tries to trick Naruto into stealing a scroll, and shows up during the filler episodes to reveal that he and Iruka were best friends as kids, but that the friendship was based solely on Mizuki's desire to watch Iruka cry about his dead parents.

After screaming at my computer for a while, I decided I shipped it, and I decided to write fic. So this is Iruka/Mizuki. Here, they've been dating a while, and they're waiting to get their teacher candidate IDs processed.

I had to make some guesses about how one goes about becoming a teacher in the Narutoverse. I'm in a teaching education program myself, so this was a bit awkward to write, since certain things just felt inaccurate, but I tried to base it on canon as much as I could.

This story is about an abusive relationship. There isn't any blatant violence, but it's abusive. Please proceed accordingly.

Go to the Grief

by SunMoonAndSpoon

Iruka is sitting in a folding chair with his head thrown back and his mouth wide open. His hands are folded neatly across his chest. The skin on his knuckles is peeling and dry. I like that. He was scratching it earlier, so I know that it's itchy. He put moisturizer on, but it was the moisturizer that I mixed with lemon juice, so it only made it sting. He's sleeping now, so he doesn't notice it. When he wakes, he'll probably scratch it some more. He'll keep scratching it and it won't heal and it might get infected. The infection might be superficial, with only a few breadcrumbs worth of pus, but it might get into his blood and make him sick. I would like that.

We're waiting to get our teacher candidate IDs processed. We've been sitting outside of the processing office for over an hour. Our forms are filled out, and our alternative IDs have been photocopied, but it's going to be at least another half an hour before they can give us our IDs.

It's 6 AM, and neither of us want to be awake right now, especially with missions to report to in the afternoon. I knew we'd be going in early, so I kept Iruka awake as long as I could with sex and conversation, and once he kicked me out at 2 AM, I opened up a caffeine capsule and dissolved the powder into the Valerian-Chamomile tea that he drinks because he thinks he's an insomniac, but he's actually just constantly dosed with caffeine. I don't think he slept last night. I grab his shoulder and shake him awake.

"Iruka." His eyelids flutter, and he shifts in his uncomfortable seat. He clutches his forehead, winces and groans, and asks me why I had to wake him up.

"I didn't sleep at all last night," he says. I drag my chair toward his, perch behind him like a vulture, and offer him a shoulder massage. He doesn't accept, but his shoulders slump and he doesn't stop me, so I knead his bones anyway. Well, I imagine doing that. In reality, I'm rolling his flesh, but in my head my nails are piercing through to the skeleton. He groans, and tells me that it's too hard, that it hurts him. I tell him that he just needs to loosen up, and once I pound out all the tension he'll feel great. Making him feel great is not my intention, but Iruka is too much of a dumbshit to realize that. He thinks I suck at giving massages, but the truth is, I'm an expert. The point is to hit the spots that make it hurt.

I ask him if I kept him up too late, and when he shakes his head I ask if he had trouble sleeping again. "You should see a doctor," I coo, nuzzling his cheek. "You've been having so much trouble sleeping lately. I'm worried about you. And you should be worried about you." My fingers drag through his tree bark hair. "It could be something serious. Certain kinds of brain cancer can cause insomnia. Or maybe your new antidepressant is having side effects..." Perhaps I should have mentioned the medication first, and the cancer second. I want Iruka to be afraid of cancer, but I also want him to feel inferior because all the happiness drained out of him when his parents died. I want him to remember it, and feel terrible. I want him to cry.

But Iruka doesn't cry. He says, "I've been to a doctor about the insomnia, and also the heart palpitations. She asked me if I drank a lot of coffee...so, that might be it. But, I only started drinking so much coffee because I couldn't sleep in the first place." He shrugs. "I don't know what's going on. Maybe I'm just stressed out. What we're doing here is kind of a big step, you know?"

"I guess." It isn't, really. The IDs are just a formality. We've already worked at the Academy as young chuunin, and we've already been accepted into the teacher training program. We're going to start taking classes soon, but I see it as in imposition. When I worked at the academy I was constantly given different missions. Starting now, we'll be off the mission list unless there's an emergency. Life is about to get very, very boring. I only entered the field because of Iruka. I hate bratty, screaming children almost as much as I hate watching Iruka smile.

Words spill out of Iruka's mouth like drool. He is talking about how he isn't sure he wants to be a teacher, about how he might not be any good at it, and how it might not be emotionally fulfilling. I don't give a shit about his emotional fulfillment. I have heard this speech a million times, and while he frequently mentions his parents during it, it's hard to keep him on track.

He says, "I don't know if people will respect me as much if I'm not doing as many missions. Maybe they'll think I'm afraid to. Most people don't understand how hard teaching is. All anybody in this town cares about are missions." He rubs the back of his neck, and sighs. "I mean, my parents cared about missions too. They died for Konoha, it's not like there's anything wrong with being a real ninja who does missions all the time, but we need other jobs too, right?"

He looks at me with his stupid cow eyes. I shrug, and say that most full-time ninja will see him as a dropout. I know that this isn't true. The full-time ninja live to protect the rest of us, and they're grateful to the teachers for educating their children while they're off doing missions. Iruka is overthinking things, but I tell him that he isn't. "People will probably lose respect for you. And you won't get paid as much. But you've already decided to do it, right? I'm sure you have a reason." He nods. I don't ask him what it is because I don't care. I don't think he even has one. He's turned this over in his mind so many times that he probably has no idea why he's here.

"Do you think my parents would..." I stop listening at the word parents, not because I'm not interested but because I'm too interested. My heart thumps in my ears, and my penis stiffens. He probably took his medication this morning. I forgot to hide it from him when I left last night, and I didn't spend enough time berating him for it post-sex. The drugs don't fix everything, but they'll probably help stop this line of thought if I don't do something. He looks at me, expecting warmth, and kindness. He leans in for a comforting kiss. "Don't!" I yelp, elbowing him back into his folding chair. "Someone could walk in at any moment. Wait until we get home."

"Okay..." he whispers. His neck droops, and he digs his chin into his palm. He looks at his feet, trying to ignore me. I grind my teeth, and tense my spine, and stare at the wall. We don't talk for almost five minutes, and then Iruka mutters an apology. I don't think he even knows why he's apologizing, but it doesn't matter. He feels guilty, and that's what I need from him. I need all his negative emotions churning inside him until he cries. When he touches my arm in desperation, I snap, "get the fuck off of me!" Knowing that this hurts him. Knowing that no one is likely to show up and see us, and knowing that five minutes ago I couldn't keep my hands off of him. Still want to wring the guilt from him, and drink up his delicious sadness. I tell him that he's making me feel like shit.

He bites his lip and keeps looking at his feet, and then he apologizes, again. For nothing. My arms are crossed, my head thrown back. I say, "you know, just because you don't have to worry about your parents finding out about your relationship doesn't mean that I don't. If my father found out I was fucking a man, he'd disown me. Which would mean saying goodbye to my inheritance, never getting to see my baby nephew again, never getting to see my mother...it would ruin my life." The first thing is true. My father would disown me. But I'd find a way to get the money anyway, and fuck the rest of it. Still, Iruka needs to think I'm human, or he'll leave me. Normal men don't want sadistic voids like me.

"I'm sorry..." he says, voice cracking. I lean toward him, absorbing the quiver of his bottom lip, and the heave of his chest. He's going to cry. Fucking finally. I haven't been able to reduce him to tears for a week. I bite my lip, waiting. He says, "I don't want to ruin your life or anything, I just thought that...no one's here, you know? I didn't think it would matter if I just kissed you once. I wasn't trying to...I'm sorry." No, no, don't focus on that, focus on what I said about your parents, go to the grief!

He doesn't talk about his parents, but he wouldn't cry because I rebuffed him. As salty tears stream down his cheeks, and snot pools on his upper lip, I know what he's thinking. He's thinking that his parents were wonderful, that they would never reject him for falling in love. His devastated mind is remaking them as saints. Probably, they would be just as cruel as anybody else in Konoha. Probably, they would be just as cruel as me. To Iruka, they are perfect, and so he weeps into his hands.

I shift in my uncomfortable folding chair, and say nothing and do nothing except for joyfully watching him hurt.