Hey all! I know I have some Bleach stuff still in the works, and it's coming along! But, since I've had this idea on my mind, it's been hard to shake, so I figured I'd write it down. Plus, it's Thanksgiving here in the States, so I wanted to give you all something to read and let you know how thankful I am for your readership. Your encouragement has done so much for me over the years, and I genuinely appreciate it.

This fic is a little like a dark re-imagining of the premise of Flow: a Kaka-Iru get-together story with some rough turns. Some people had let me know that they felt the Iruka of Flow was a bit too submissive and passive, and I do pay attention to your criticism, so that is a little bit different here. I hope it's an enjoyable read!

Warnings: anal, dubcon, noncon.

Disclaimer: don't own.

Thanks for reading; please review! Also, for my US readers: happy Thanksgiving!

It began when Kakashi was caught up in the doldrums of his early twenties, a period in which he possessed neither the ebullience of childhood nor the sound judgment of adulthood. The resulting listless, aimless boredom gave rise to the development of some of his finest techniques as well as the execution of some of his poorest decisions.

Now, turning an earthenware cup of steaming tea as snow settles on the bare branches of trees outside, he remembers the sum of his harm and healing with some measure of regret.

He often submits this way to memory when it snows, always in silence, always over bitter tea.

"One more, that's it. I'm totally broke," Iruka laughed, and snapped the cap off the bottle with the flat edge of a kunai. Genma nodded resolutely and did the same.

"I'll drink to that," he grinned, smacking their bottles together before downing half of his.

"To being broke," Iruka agreed, and tipped his head back to drink.

The pleasant buzz of conversation carried on around them, and perhaps there was also music, though it was drowned out by the hum of voices. In bars catering to shinobi, missions were rarely discussed, and conversations were always punctuated strangely by topics better left outside. They spoke around the names of the dead and the failures of the past. They talked instead of gossip and city goings-on, personal projects and plans for the future.

Iruka was relatively dry in all preferred categories. Having recently withdrawn from missions and taken up his position at the academy, his news was primarily of the pre-genin sort, uninteresting to him and the men who had formerly been his colleagues. He leaned against the bar and felt his bottle lighten in his hand as Genma gazed blankly about.

"Fuckin' cold out," Genma muttered, "too cold for November."

"Right," Iruka sighed, "seems like it's going to be a long winter."

"Got that right."

A gust of icy air punctuated Genma's thought, and conversation dropped a pitch for a moment as a new patron entered the bar. Iruka squinted against the breath of cold before recognizing Kakashi, still in his ANBU gear, his mask slung around his hip.

"Oi, Shiranui," he greeted, nodding at the man, "oi, Umino."

"Ah, shit Kakashi, just tonight, you can call me Genma," the jounin smiled crookedly, "if you buy me a drink, anyway."

"Why not?" Kakashi shrugged, "better make it worth my while."

Kakashi ordered a round and Iruka found a fourth beer awaiting him sooner than he had expected. Genma caught his old friend in conversation that seemed to exclude Iruka at every turn, which he found just as well. These days he had less to say to Kakashi than he ever, which had admittedly always been very little. The gulf between their natural ability grew progressively broader over the years, and Iruka could almost sense its tangible presence as he stood inches from Kakashi, long-time acquaintances though they were.

Still he felt guilty for drinking on the other man's dime without saying so much as a word to him. When Genma disappeared momentarily to relieve himself, Iruka cleared his throat and glanced at Kakashi's profile, sharply outlined by the dark mask.

"How'd it go?" he asked absently, having nothing better to offer up in terms of conversation.

"Fine," Kakashi replied blankly. Iruka calmed his nerves with another deep swig of beer and glanced the man's armor over. It appeared spotless save for a little dirt.

"Just fine?"

"You want my mission report?" Kakashi turned and regarded him with the full, singular force of that dark eye. Iruka immediately brought his gaze to the floor.

"Not – not now, I mean, you know. Later."

"Yeah?" Kakashi's pitch changed enough to garner the other man's drifting attention, or else he may never have heard the addition that followed, soft and low as it was: "later tonight?"

"Ah, okay," was the best he could manage. Genma returned and resumed the story he had been relating to Kakashi when he departed, leaving Iruka with the spinning uncertainty of what had just transpired between himself and the jounin.

He settled the empty bottle down on the bar and closed his tab, sheepishly omitting the round Kakashi had picked up.

"Heading out?" Genma was already halfway through another beer. Iruka nodded and knotted his scarf around his neck.

"I'm manning mission control tomorrow, so. See you around?"

"Later," Genma gave him a nod of farewell, and Kakashi glanced over his shoulder at him.

"Later," he added, and the word tightened something in Iruka's chest that he could not give words to.

Iruka's apartment was dark from street level, but Kakashi gave no thought to whether or not their agreement had been what he presumed. He had known by the stiffness of the other man's posture as he made his exit that he had been understood. In another set of circumstances, he knew he would have given more thought to this, but he had been abroad on missions for what felt like weeks, and had grown tired of the bruisingly rough anonymous encounters between him and other shinobi.

He scaled the tree closest to Iruka's window, and then carefully crept along an outstretched branch until he could slip a kunai under the sash and twist the lock open. The window slid upward with ease, and he angled his shoulders to slide into the apartment.

Kakashi's full height cast a long shadow over the bed where Iruka lay. The chuunin had heard, of course, and presently he sat up clutching the kunai normally stowed under his pillow, but his grip loosened when Kakashi began to shed his armor.

"Shut the window," Iruka muttered. Kakashi reached behind himself wordlessly and did so. The silence that followed was interrupted only by the piling of his pale colored armor near the foot of the bed.

"Here?" he asked, having stripped to only his dark pants. Iruka shrugged and leaned against the headboard.

"Where else?"

"Just asking."

This sort of thing was hardly unheard of among shinobi. It was understood that, especially among the elite, families were an unwise option; the lovers who offered release without expecting regular phone calls were seen as providing an important social function, however unspoken. Some of those girls even went on, at the conclusion of their paramours' illustrious careers, to become wives. Iruka hadn't any idea what became of the men.

"Do you have anything?" Kakashi was stroking himself through his pants. Iruka nodded dumbly and leaned over to open the nightstand drawer. As he rifled through its contents for his lubricant, Kakashi tugged the blankets off the bed in a single smooth motion.

He knelt on the edge of the bed and leaned forward to hook his thumbs under the waistband of Iruka's pants, jerking them downward; Iruka arched his hips clumsily and felt a flush spread over his chest and neck as the cool air met his skin.

"Spread your legs," Kakashi's voice must have dropped an octave. Iruka swallowed thickly and reclined into his pillows, trying to summon back the sensation of pleasant drunkenness that seemed to be rapidly fading.

He spread his thighs as he had been instructed, and Kakashi moved between them, supporting himself with a hand planted near Iruka's neck. He reached up for the lubricant and set it aside, within close reach. Very little of it had been used; he suspected that what was gone had been spent in solitude.

Kakashi's fingertips traced along the scar running from the crest of one cheekbone to the other, and Iruka flinched, drew away. The skin there felt tender and raw, smoother than the flesh surrounding it, as though it had never fully healed. A slight dent in the bridge of Iruka's nose spoke of a fracture never correctly set.

"Stop it," he murmured, without much conviction. Kakashi seemed not to hear. Iruka brought his hand up to swat the other man's away.

That was a mistake. Kakashi caught his wrist in a sudden, bruising grip and pinned it above him, twisting slightly. Despite himself Iruka cried out sharply, having forgotten, momentarily, how fatally quick shinobi reflexes could be.

"Don't," Kakashi warned. He dropped his hand between them to open his fly; Iruka did not look down as the cap was removed from the tube of lubricant.

Kakashi's middle finger, slick and searching, pressed inside of Iruka, followed by his index. The chuunin gave only modest signals of discomfort, his breath halting and eyes tightly shut. Nonetheless he groaned when Kakashi began stroking that sensitive gland buried inside of him.

After long moments of deeper and deeper probing, knuckles spread far apart, Kakashi withdrew his fingers and replaced them with the tip of his cock, also thickly coated with slick fluid.

A choked groan signaled Iruka's body yielding to the intrusion. For a brief moment, Iruka's glance flickered upward, and he caught sight of the brilliant redness of the Sharingan eye, its iris reflective and bright in the semidarkness. Even with his cock buried inside a near stranger, half-drunk and exhausted, Kakashi looked lethal. Iruka shuddered and let his eyes drift shut as sweat began to form at his temples. Kakashi's pace was as brutal and brisk as his courtship, and neither left much time for thought.

Still, the jounin was, above all else, a man of profoundly developed technique in all arenas of life. Each stroke was deep, forceful, and perfectly placed; Iruka's thighs jerked open on bare instinct, and he arched up against Kakashi without hesitation.

Iruka encircled his cock with his hand, stroking in time with Kakashi's thrusts.

There were murmurs, whispers in his ear, short and husky suggestions of things to come, and they sent searing heat rushing through him. His fingers tangled in the pillowcase and captured errant strands of hair; teeth ground together, he came, seed spilling out over his taut stomach.

Kakashi finished too, but by that time Iruka was mostly unaware.

For once, Genma was not hung over. He leaned against the railing of the lowest level of stadium seating as the ring was set up for the chuunin exams to occur later that day.

"Makes sense to hold these at different times of year," he observed, "but fuck me if it isn't freezing out here."

Kakashi buried his hands in his pockets and nodded stiffly.

"Are there shifts, or are we judging this whole thing?"

"Shifts every two hours," Genma answered, "Raidou will be in to relieve us at four."


"Guess so."


"On a mission."



"Same mission?"

"Umino doesn't take missions anymore."

It was the simplest, most sensible answer any informed person could possibly have given, but it disrupted the easy flow of Kakashi's banter. He turned the thought over in his mind.

"Oh yeah? Why?" he finally offered, though the question piqued his curiosity and tested the limits of his utter nonchalance. Genma merely shrugged.

"Not really sure," he said with a noncommittal gesture of his hands, "guess he just does other things now. Mission control, and all that."

Implicit in his unreserved acceptance of the situation was Genma's appraisal that Iruka had never been a particularly talented shinobi, and that nothing was much lost by his early retirement. It was, Kakashi knew, a rather broadly shared opinion.

It was the right day for the richly salted, thickly spiced ramen Kakashi preferred. He stood under the cloth awning as it fluttered in the icy wind and related his order to the rosy-cheeked clerk.

"Will that be all?"

"That's it," he drew up closer to escape the onslaught of the cold.

The clerk disappeared into the back of the stall and reemerged in short order with a neatly packed parcel of food. Kakashi paid and accepted the bundle, finding its searing heat pleasant against his skin.

For some time it had been bitterly cold, with no suggestion of either sunshine or snow. The sky was broad and slate grey, and the last leaves of autumn, now colorless and dry, littered the gutters. Kakashi tugged his mask higher on his cheekbones to save his skin from chapping.

Still, every inch of exposed flesh felt raw for long moments after he stepped through his door into the dark hall of his apartment. It hadn't seen much use: his lease began only a few months prior, when he had the income for it, and he had not slept here more than a week of nights consecutively since then.

He was still lacking some very basic home amenities: there was next to nothing in the cupboards, and he had yet to invest in pots or pans. He settled in on the sofa near his bookshelf and tugged down a couple of volumes for light dinnertime reading.

In any given volume, Kakashi knew the plot by heart. Icha Icha wasn't among the most literarily valuable works of all time, and this he knew: he didn't read it for edification, after all.

"How can you ask me a thing like that?" she cried, "you don't know any of the secrets of my heart!"

Kakashi absentmindedly skipped a few lines as he gathered a tangle of noodles with the tips of his chopsticks.

"What secrets? I know that if I touch you like this…"

Kakashi continued to read along though his mind wandered back to the hours and days behind him. He was a practical man, and rarely gave into the temptation to rehash his decisions, but what had transpired between himself and Iruka was uncharacteristic – for the chuunin more so than for himself.

Or, he had thought that it was uncharacteristic. He had also thought that Iruka, like most other shinobi with decent skills and industrious dispositions, still took missions from time to time.

As he slurped down a healthy swig of broth, Kakashi began to realize that he could count on one hand the things he knew to be true about Iruka: his parents were deceased; he was a chuunin; he was generally well-liked for his mild personality, though his skill as a shinobi was thought little of.

Kakashi folded the corner of an oft-turned page and inserted the volume back into its place on the shelf. He had eaten much faster than he had expected to: it occurred to him that he hadn't really had a meal since his return the night previous, though his binge at the bar had done little for his appetite.

Wind shrieked against the windowpanes, and Kakashi was lightly surprised to find that there was no precipitation, only driving gales. The night was black and the streets appeared empty, but then again, so was the apartment. Kakashi regarded the bare walls and freshly unpacked furniture in its bleak stillness, and shrugged his flak jacket over his shoulders.

The events of the previous night notwithstanding, it was unacceptable to be more than a day late with a mission report.

Unsurprisingly, there was no line in the mission control room, only a lone shinobi on his way out. Kakashi nodded to him briefly and shouldered through the door, accompanied by a breath of frozen air.

"Damn cold out there, eh?" he slid the completed report across the desk with one hand. Iruka immediately began scanning it for accuracy.

"It's cold," he agreed absently. Kakashi could not discern whether his remoteness was intentional or not. He slid both hands into his pockets and waited for nothing in particular.

"You need to date and initial this," Iruka said matter-of-factly. He turned the report to face Kakashi, and pushed a pen across the surface of the desk.


"Each section."

"Ah, so I do," Kakashi took up the pen and began adding dates and initials.

Once finished, Kakashi leaned over the desk with both palms flat on its surface. Iruka busied himself with organizing Kakashi's report with its directive dossier.

"So, I have a question," the jounin began.

"Does it have to do with mission reports?" Iruka stood and turned his back to the man, carrying the report to a tall, nondescript filing cabinet.

"Not exactly," Kakashi admitted.

"Then it'll have to wait. I've got half an hour before my shift ends, and I need to file."

Kakashi shrugged and stood upright, rolling his shoulders.

"Anything planned for later?" he probed.

"Just going home," said Iruka, without turning around.

Kakashi eased out of Iruka with a shaky, sated sigh. A couple of moments passed before he sat up languidly and reached over the edge of the bed to find his flak jacket.

"Do you smoke?" he glanced over his shoulder at Iruka, who had turned away.

Iruka swung his legs over the edge of the bed and searched the nightstand for a hair elastic.

"Not anymore."

Kakashi shook a cigarette from the pack in the pocket of his flak jacket anyhow.

"You don't go on missions anymore, either," he pointed out simply. Iruka paused for a moment, then continued pulling his hair up.


Kakashi watched his naked back.

"Why's that?"

"The academy money is good," Iruka shrugged, and then stood, not without effort.

"It's not what I make," Kakashi countered. He heard the other man scoff.

"Yeah, well. I didn't make what you make when I was going on missions, so."

"That's true, but – and I hate to press this –"

"Then don't," Iruka cut in, to no avail.

"—but plenty of people do missions and teach. So mathematically speaking –"

"I wasn't good at it. Don't you have somewhere to be? A mission, maybe?"

Iruka disappeared into the bathroom and shut the door behind him pointedly. A thin sliver of light appeared underneath the door, but Kakashi concluded shortly that the other man would not emerge until his guest had departed, and so he did.

Chuunin exams continued the next morning; this time, Kakashi slated to proctor with Raidou. The man greeted him with an open-palmed wave as he descended the stairs into the arena.

"Oi, Kakashi, hope you don't mind if I cut out a little early," he greeted sheepishly, taking his place beside the other.

"Not at all. What's the occasion?"

Raidou glanced upward at the broad expanse of dark colored clouds.

"There's supposed to be a snowstorm, so mission control is closing up early today. I figure I'll get my report in just under the wire."

"Good call," Kakashi agreed genially, "when did you say it's closing?"

"Right at six, I think," Raidou replied, rubbing his hands together for the friction.

"Aa," Kakashi nodded and waved the first pair of combatants into the arena.

The two of them nervously entered, hands locked together. Bundled against the cold as they were, Kakashi could not tell their sexes, and had not thought to recall their names.

They parted with clear reluctance, and took up their positions on opposite sides of the arena to imitate the motions of killing each other.

Thanks for the read, folks! Part two will be up very shortly. Please let me know what you think!