Iruka knelt in front of the memorial stone and set two white candles at the base of the stone, wedging them in around the melted wax left behind by previous visitors. It was a popular time of year for visits, not quite the anniversary of the Kyuubi attack but close. He liked to come earlier, before crowds surrounded the stone in remembrance. Besides, the actual anniversary was Naruto's birthday and he liked to think happier thoughts on that day, for Naruto's sake.

Naruto wouldn't be home for his birthday this year. In a way, Iruka was almost glad. It had to be hard for him, trying to celebrate while the rest of the village was in mourning.

A quick flash of hand symbols brought the candles to life, two twin flames sparking awake in front of him. He sat back on his knees and stared up at the stone. His eyes found his parents' names immediately. The air was unseasonably cold for this early in October, but not quite cold enough yet for him to see his own breath as he let out a deep sigh.

His eyes wandered over the stone. There were too many names that he recognized there. More conspicuous were the names not on the stone. He tried not to think too much about those names or the betrayal attached to them.

The candle flames winked out. Iruka jerked his head down and stared at the candles. He hadn't felt a breeze and the few fall leaves scattered in the clearing hadn't even rustled. He turned, half rising as he scanned the area. He was alone still but there was a faint niggling at the back of his mind, an unease that crept up on him, growing stronger as the light from the setting sun slipped away into darkness. His eyes told him he was alone but he couldn't quite shake the feeling that he wasn't.

He lit the candles a second time, cupping his hands around them to protect them from the breeze. A second later, they winked out. He jerked his hands back. He hadn't felt anything, not even the faintest stir of wind.

Iruka shot to his feet and turned away from the stone. His fingernails dug into his palms but he didn't even remember clenching his hands. "Who's there?"

There was no answer.

He stretched his senses, opening himself up to the chakra in the area. If there was someone hiding, he'd find them. He'd caught numerous children mid-prank that way and whoever was doing this wouldn't escape either.

There was no one there. He turned a full circle, peering into the trees and straining his senses to catch even the faintest whiff of chakra. He was alone.

He hesitantly knelt down in front of the candles, his senses still open to the flow of chakra. He watched as it gathered in his hands, jumping from him to the candles and materializing in the form of a flame. Then it was gone, winked out of existence without even the faintest trace it had ever been there.

Iruka slowly backed away from the stone. A chill ran down his spine like a lover's caress and he shivered, hunching in on himself as he instinctively pulled away. Fear filled him, strange and irrational terror and suddenly he wanted to be away from the stone as fast as possible.

He didn't consider himself a coward. Some might, considering he'd given up active duty for a teaching job, but he knew it wasn't because of cowardice. Still, he considered himself a prudent man and right now his prudence was telling himself to get the hell away from there. He didn't run but he did walk away with a bit more haste than was seemly, not slowing down until the dim glow of the street lights surrounded him and even then he only slowed a fraction. He didn't stop until he was home, the door securely bolted and sealed behind him.

Even then, he didn't feel safe.


He couldn't hide the instinctive cringe as his name was called. Iruka turned slowly, already knowing what Kakashi's reaction was going to be. He was right. In the space of a second, Kakashi was across the room. Warm fingers hesitantly brushed against the massive bruise on his cheek and Iruka forced himself to not flinch away.

"What happened?"

He turned his face away from Kakashi's hand with a tinge of regret. He couldn't meet Kakashi's eyes. "It's nothing. I tripped." He'd been telling the same lie all day but it was harder to lie to Kakashi.

In a way it was almost true. He had fallen, and then smacked his face against the corner of the kitchen table but he distinctly remembered feeling someone push him. He'd been alone in his kitchen at the time.

"Are you okay?" Kakashi asked. "We can skip dinner if you'd rather go home and rest."

"No." The word came out too quickly, causing Kakashi to raise his only visible eyebrow. "No," Iruka repeated, much slower this time. "It's fine. Really. I'd love dinner." He left unspoken the 'with you' part. His life was weird enough without having the whole 'I have a crush on you' conversation with Kakashi. He wasn't sure he could deal with the disappointment, not on top of everything else.

Kakashi smiled. "Okay. As long as you're sure." He grabbed Iruka's satchel off the desk before Iruka even had a chance to reach for it and slung it over his shoulder with a faintly mischievous smile. "Shall we?"

"I can carry that myself, you know." His frown was ruined by the smile that kept trying to break through.

"I know." Kakashi's smile widened.

Not too long ago, Iruka would have prickled at Kakashi carrying his bag for him. He was still tempted to fuss about it but the way Kakashi was smiling – not like he was making fun of Iruka, but like he actually wanted to help, just a little – kept the argument trapped behind Iruka's lip. It was a nice gesture. Unnecessary, but still nice, and just this once he'd leave it at that, let Kakashi do something nice, and try not to read too much into it.

As they left the empty classroom, Iruka couldn't shake the feeling that he was being watched.

"Are you alright?" Kakashi asked, days later.

Iruka had to bite his lip to keep from telling Kakashi the truth. The bruise on his cheek had faded but more had taken its place, thankfully in spots easier to hide. He had a rather impressive bruise on his hip, two on his thigh, and one that looked strangely like a handprint on his arm.

It reminded him far too much of the time he used to live with Mizuki, especially considering his apartment furniture had rearranged itself to the way it'd been years ago, but the rational part of his mind kept insisting that Mizuki was dead. He still had the letter the prison had sent, informing him of Mizuki's death. The letter had been lacking in details, and he wasn't sure whether he really wanted to know what had happened.

"I'm fine," he lied. He could tell Kakashi didn't believe him. Iruka didn't blame him.

Kakashi leaned closer, his arms resting on the bar. Iruka felt his face flush at the closeness. He wanted to close the distance between them, to feel Kakashi's warmth against his skin. "I can help you. Whatever it is."

He wanted to believe that. He really did. There was a part of him that wanted to let Kakashi save him, but how was Kakashi supposed to save him from himself? He was going insane. That was the only explanation he could come up with. He'd tripled the wards on his apartment. Not even a fly could get in without his knowing it and yet he felt like he was being stalked around his empty apartment.

"I'm just being clumsy." Iruka forced a smile. "Not enough sleep, I guess, or I need more vitamins. This new generation of kids is just wearing me out."

Kakashi stared at him. This close Iruka could make out the line of his lips beneath the fabric of his mask. Eventually, he pulled away, nodding. "You should take better care of yourself, sensei. Let me know if I can help."

Iruka felt something inside his chest melt. He smiled, an honest smile this time. "You're helping enough."

He raised his hand to order them another round of beers. Being around Kakashi made him feel safe. He wanted to follow Kakashi home and crawl in bed with him, but so far Kakashi had shown no sign of anything beyond friendship. He'd take what he could get, especially if it meant time away from his apartment.

Iruka was more than a little drunk when he got home. Kakashi's arm was a solid weight around his waist, far more comforting than it should be. He may have leaned a little too much on Kakashi but he couldn't really fault his inebriated self from taking advantage of the situation. Kakashi didn't seem to mind, judging by the soft smile that wrinkled the fabric of his mask and made the skin around his visible eye crinkle slightly.

"Your apartment," Kakashi announced as they finished climbing the stairs to Iruka's front door.

"Thank you." He may have slurred a little. It took him two tries to fish his keys out of his pocket. Kakashi's hand closed over his, helping him get the key into the lock. Iruka knew that he was blushing but he couldn't bring himself to care. Kakashi politely looked away as Iruka disabled the wards with a complicated twist of fingers.

He pushed the door open, shuddering a little as the ominously dark interior was revealed.

"Cold?" Kakashi's arm was still around his waist and he shifted closer, as if to block Iruka from the non-existent wind.

Iruka turned to look up at Kakashi. His lips parted, ready to invite Kakashi in. Judging by the way Kakashi hadn't let go, Kakashi might even join him. There was something he was forgetting though, something about his apartment that made him reluctant to bring anyone inside. It was hard to think about anything but Kakashi right now, not when he was so close. Kakashi was staring down at Iruka's lips, his gaze strangely intense.

"I..." Whatever Iruka was going to say was lost as Kakashi lifted a hand to pull down his mask. Kakashi leaned closer. Iruka shivered. His eyes drifted closed.

Something grabbed him by the collar and yanked hard, sending Iruka flying into the house. The door slammed shut, plunging the apartment into darkness. His shoulder collided against a bookshelf, rattling the contents and sending something tumbling off to smash on the floor.

"Iruka?" Kakashi's voice was muffled through the door.

"I'm-" His words cut off as something closed around his neck, tight enough that he couldn't breathe. It felt like fingers but when he kicked upward, his foot passed through empty air. He tried to grab at whatever was around his neck but his fingers found nothing there.

Jutsu. It had to be some kind of jutsu, one he'd never encountered before. His lungs burned. He needed air. It was hard to think. He was rapidly sobering but the lack of oxygen made his thoughts run sluggish. There was a loud pounding. For a minute he thought it was his head, hitting against the shelves, and that was part of it, but there was a louder, more insistent pounding.

The front door exploded inward, banging against the wall and sending a splinter grazing across his cheek. He turned his face away from the sudden light flooding into his apartment, not just the light from the streetlamps but light from Kakashi's glowing fists. The pressure around his neck eased. Iruka gasped for breath. He was vaguely aware of Kakashi calling his name.

Kakashi's shadow fell over him. His hands brushed over Iruka's neck and he was saying something that Iruka couldn't hear over the ringing in his ears.

"Out." He pushed at Kakashi's chest. Kakashi frowned at him, his frown deepening as Iruka tried and failed to stand. He needed Kakashi's help to get off the floor but that didn't stop him from pushing Kakashi towards the door. He stumbled outside, shivering in Kakashi's grip even though it wasn't too cold. He didn't stop pushing until they were out on the stairs.

"Iruka, what's-" The door slammed shut, interrupting Kakashi. He stared over his shoulder at it and Iruka knew then that he wasn't crazy, not if Kakashi was seeing it too. The sound of shattering glass echoed through the door. Iruka flinched, curling in towards Kakashi and covering his ears as the kitchen window three feet away from them exploded outward. Kakashi's arms tightened around him. "What the hell?"

Iruka looked up at Kakashi, who stared back at him with disbelief. It was time to admit he had a problem.

Kakashi's apartment was bright and warm. It was smaller than Iruka's, but in a comfortable way. Kakashi seemed to fill the space with his presence, and yet despite that Iruka couldn't seem to stop shivering. There'd been no one in his apartment when Kakashi had gone in to check it out, thankfully returning with Iruka's work bag so that Iruka didn't have to go in himself. He never wanted to go back to his apartment again.


He turned to meet Kakashi's gaze. Judging by the way Kakashi was looking at him, a concerned frown on his bare lips – it was a testament to Iruka's shock that he'd barely reacted to Kakashi lowering his mask once they were in his apartment – he'd tried calling Iruka's name a few times before.

"How long has this been going on?"

Kakashi's fingers were gentle as they spread salve over his neck. He'd yet to look at the bruises he could feel forming there. He was pretty sure he didn't want to, certain that he'd find two handprints marked on his skin.

He hesitated before answering. "A few weeks."

"And those other bruises?"

He nodded.

Kakashi's frown darkened. "Why didn't you tell anyone?" Iruka distinctly heard the implicit 'why didn't you tell me?'

He licked his lips. His fingers clenched on the fabric around his knees. "I thought I was going insane."

"You couldn't have done this." Kakashi's fingers brushed over his neck. He sat back after a second to pull a roll of gauze from his first aid kit. "Can you think of anyone who would want to hurt you?"

He shook his head as best he could while Kakashi wrapped the gauze around his neck. "I wasn't active long enough to build up any enemies."

Kakashi pinned off the tail end of the gauze. His fingers lingered against Iruka's neck. "Former student?"

Iruka shook his head. His students wouldn't do something like this.

"Angry parent?"

He shook his head again. As far as he knew, his students' parents liked him well enough.

"Any ideas at all who could have done this?"

He hesitated. There was one idea that came to mind but it was insane.

Kakashi looked at him. "What?"

He shook his head. "It's stupid."

Kakashi took both of Iruka's hands in his and squeezed. "You can tell me." The earnest way Kakashi was looking at him gave him faint hope.

Iruka hesitated a moment before forcing the words out. He stared down at their joined hands. "Do you remember Mizuki?"

"The guy who tried to steal the scrolls and blame it on Naruto? I thought they put him back in jail after he escaped."

Iruka nodded.

"You think he blames you?"

Iruka kept his gaze locked on their joined hands. "It's more than that. Yes, I helped stop him, but..." He swallowed hard. "We dated. Lived together. It... it wasn't pleasant."

Kakashi's grip tightened on Iruka's hands. "You think he escaped again?"

Iruka squeezed his eyes shut and shook his head. "No. No, that's impossible. He... he died. About a month ago. The prison sent me a letter. He's dead."

He heard Kakashi shift. Kakashi had yet to move from where he'd been kneeling in front of Iruka. "But you think he's responsible?"

It sounded stupid to say it out loud. "It's the only thing that makes sense."

Kakashi's hands pulled away after one last squeeze. Iruka looked up as Kakashi sat back, his hand flat on the floor. He looked thoughtful. "It's possible I suppose."

Iruka frowned. "But he's dead."

"Could be his ghost." Kakashi said it in such a matter-of-fact way that Iruka almost believe it was possible.

"But ghosts-"

Kakashi looked straight at him. "They do exist. They're rare, but they exist."

Iruka shivered. Kakashi was up from the floor in a second. The bed dipped as Kakashi sat beside him, his arm curling warm and welcome around Iruka's back. He leaned into the embrace.

"I know someone who can help. We'll get it sorted out. Until then, you're welcome to stay here." Iruka's face flushed with heat at the idea. "I'll take the floor and-"

"No." Iruka clutched lightly at Kakashi's vest. He looked up at him, trepidation and doubt coiling in his stomach. "We can share. I mean... I'm still a little cold, so if you don't mind..."

Kakashi grinned. "I don't mind at all."

It was far past Iruka's usual bedtime when they finally settled down to sleep. Kakashi lent Iruka a pair of pajama pants that clung too tight to his hips and made Kakashi's eyes follow Iruka's body with obvious interest. Kakashi's chest was warm against Iruka's back.

For the first time in weeks, he had no trouble sleeping.

The tiny old woman Kakashi had hired took one step into Iruka's apartment and squinted. "You've angered a very powerful spirit."

Iruka's stomach lurched. He hadn't expected her to confirm his fears. Kakashi said nothing but hovered close to Iruka as they followed the old lady in. Glass crunched under their shoes. His apartment was wrecked. Books littered the floor far away from the knocked-over shelves that had housed them. Anything possibly breakable was broken. It reminded him far too much of the aftermath of the Kyuubi attack and Orochimaru's invasion.

She peered around the apartment for a few minutes, peeking under fallen bookshelves and into different rooms. "The spirit has left for now." She gestured at the mess on the floor. "You clean this up and I'll ward the house."

Iruka glanced at Kakashi as the old lady pulled a pouch from her sleeves and started sprinkling a powder around the living room while chanting.

"Where's your broom?" Kakashi asked.

Iruka pointed to the kitchen and followed Kakashi to fetch it.

"I'm sorry about your apartment."

Iruka shrugged. "I was thinking about moving closer to the school anyways." He opened a cabinet and frowned as shards of pottery poured out. "Good thing I didn't like those dishes."

The woman's chanting faded to the background as she moved through the house. Kakashi retrieved the broom from beside the fridge and started to sweep the floor while Iruka emptied his cabinets. The only things still intact were his cast iron pots. He set them aside in a small pile and started filling garbage bags with the rest.

They worked in silence, moving from room to room following the old lady's chanting. She finally stopped as the sun began to sink towards the horizon. "You use this." She pulled another bag from her robes and handed it to Kakashi. "Fire and water both good. Cleanse the spirit." She pierced Iruka with a look. "Make your peace with it and it will be gone."

Iruka stared at Kakashi. "What?"

Kakashi waved a hand. "Don't worry. I've done this before." He bowed towards the old lady. "Thank you, Baa-san."

She offered a small smile and bowed back. Iruka stared after her as she left and then turned back to Kakashi. "So what now?"

Kakashi hefted the pouch the woman had given him. "Now we wait for Mizuki's ghost to come back."

The apartment was freezing cold as night fell, the shattered windows letting every bit of heat escape. Iruka shivered and rubbed his hands on his arms. He didn't want to be here, but at the same time he couldn't leave, not until this was over. He should have been rid of Mizuki when he went to prison the first time. It felt like he'd never be free of Mizuki's influence.

"You alright?" Kakashi asked. He was on full alert, waiting for Mizuki to reappear. Iruka had no idea what he would have done without Kakashi's help.

He nodded. "Just cold."

Kakashi took a step towards him and then quickly dodged as a broken board from a bookshelf went sailing through the air where his head had just been.

Iruka whirled towards where the board had come from but there was nothing there. "Mizuki?"

The remains of a vase flew at his head. Iruka ducked just in time.

"Mizuki, stop this. I have no quarrel with you."

That was apparently the wrong thing to say as a barrage of debris flew towards him. He dodged around the corner into the kitchen and winced as he felt it thud against the wall. He couldn't see Kakashi, but he could feel chakra being gathered.

"Please, Mizuki. I'm sorry that you died. I'm sorry Orochimaru tricked you. I'm sorry I couldn't have been a better friend to you."

He'd been a good friend. He'd given Mizuki everything, let him do anything he wanted, even if it hurt. When they'd been together, it'd seemed like the things that hurt were the things Mizuki liked best. He hadn't found out about the girl Mizuki had been dating at the same time as he'd been with Iruka until Mizuki had gone to jail. He knew he hadn't been in the wrong – it'd taken him a while to see that, but he'd done nothing wrong – but that wasn't what Mizuki wanted to hear.

A drawer pulled free of the counter. He ducked back into the living room just in time to see Kakashi open the pouch and spin in a circle, spreading red powder through the air.

"Get down," Kakashi ordered and Iruka dropped to the floor.

There was a flash of light from Kakashi's hands. The powder ignited, sending a wave of burning power over his head. He felt something in the air twist, followed by a strange sound, too low pitched to be a scream, barely audible at all. There was a burst of power and then nothing.

Iruka twisted to look back towards the kitchen. Nothing flew at him. He tentatively rose to his feet. Kakashi met him halfway up and lent Iruka a hand. It was unnecessary but right now, Iruka wasn't going to reject Kakashi's touch.

The apartment stayed still and silent.

"Was that it?" Iruka asked.

Kakashi looked around. "Seems so."

The tension Iruka had been carrying around for weeks slowly started to release. He laughed, not really sure why he was laughing but glad for the sound of it. He felt like he hadn't laughed in years.

He was going to have to look for a new apartment. There was no way in hell we was going to get his security deposit back from this one and he was going to have to replace a lot of things. It was going to be a long process but he found that he didn't mind. He was just glad it was over.

Kakashi was watching him with a small smile. Iruka looked up at him with a grin. "Do you think I could stay at your place again? It's a little chilly here."

Kakashi's arm slid around his waist, warm and comforting. "Any time."

After the chill of Iruka's apartment, Kakashi's place was blissfully warm. Iruka shucked his vest once they were inside and draped it over the back of a chair. He turned to find Kakashi watching him intently. Iruka blushed and fingered the hem of his turtleneck, debating whether to take that off as well. Kakashi's uncovered eye was riveted on Iruka's fingers, and that was all the encouragement Iruka needed to strip off his turtleneck.

He was being way too forward, at least for him, but Kakashi didn't seem to mind. He'd yet to say anything but unless Iruka was reading the entire situation wrong, Kakashi was as much into him as Iruka was into Kakashi. Or at least he hoped so.

When he pulled free of his shirt, Kakashi was suddenly there, right in front of him, a hungry look on his face. "Let me know if I'm being too forward," Kakashi said, an echo of Iruka's own thoughts, and then there were lips on his skin, cool and wet against his neck, just above the bandages covering the bruises Mizuki had left.

Iruka made a strangled sound. He wasn't aware of dropping his shirt, only of it hitting the ground as his hands found Kakashi, worming their way under the hem of Kakashi's vest and shirt to press against skin. Kakashi pushed him back until Iruka hit the wall, a bit hard, but he didn't mind because Kakashi was pressed flush against him.

His hands shook as he reached for the zipper on Kakashi's vest, arching his back to give him just enough room to get his hands between them and open the vest. Kakashi shrugged it off and tossed it aside, his mouth never leaving the spot he'd attached himself to on Iruka's neck. He'd have a rather impressive hickey in the morning. Hopefully his turtleneck could hide it, otherwise he was going to have to wear his hair down.

"I've been wanting to do this for ages." Kakashi's breath was warm against his skin.

Iruka laughed, suddenly giddy, and dipped his head down to catch Kakashi's lips in a kiss. It was like electric flowing through his mouth, warmth and tingling heat sweeping through him. Then Kakashi's tongue pressed in, sweeping through his mouth to tease against Iruka's tongue and he was suddenly glad for the wall behind him as his knees went weak. He clutched a bit too tight to Kakashi's shoulders, but Kakashi seemed okay with that judging by the way his fingers dug into Iruka's hips, pulling him up into Kakashi's hips.

Their bodies ground together and Iruka moaned, the sound muffled by Kakashi's mouth but only a bit, not enough that Kakashi didn't hear it and then repeat the action, wringing another strangled moan from Iruka. It'd been far too long since he'd done something like this. He'd been too focused on taking care of Naruto and his students and then the death of Sandaime and all the chaos that followed after. Still, he was picking it back up easily enough. Like riding a bike, only a lot more pleasurable.

Iruka pulled his head back when the need for breath became too much. He was panting. It should be embarrassing but the ravenous look on Kakashi's face took all the embarrassment away.

"Kakashi." He gripped Kakashi's shirt and tugged, hoping that that was enough to give Kakashi the hint. It was. Kakashi stripped off his shirt, leaving them both bare-chested.

"I want you," Kakashi said as he pressed back against Iruka, his lips brushing against Iruka's cheek as he spoke. "I want you so much." Iruka shivered. "I wasn't sure you..." Kakashi sucked on the lobe of Iruka's ear and he nearly screamed with need. How was it they were both so stupid as to not realized they were attracted to each other? "You seemed distant..." Kakashi pressed a kiss next to Iruka's eye. "And then you came home with me..." His nose brushed against Iruka's as he bypassed Iruka's lips to kiss his opposite cheek. "And you were in bed with me..." Kakashi rolled his hips, pressing his obvious hardness against Iruka. "And you fell asleep." Iruka flushed. He could imagine how awkward that must have been for Kakashi and he hadn't even noticed. "I want you," Kakashi repeated.

"You can have me." His voice came out high and breathless. Kakashi's hands were on his waist in seconds, peeling off Iruka's pants and underwear to leave him bare.

"I want you." Kakashi's hand closed around Iruka's erection, making him gasp and moan. His hips jerked into Kakashi's touch and it was all he could do at first to just hold on and revel in the way Kakashi touched him.

His forehead pressed against Kakashi's shoulder. It took effort to push his hands away from where he'd been gripping Kakashi's arms to unfasten Kakashi's pants. He had to try twice before he got them down. Kakashi's erection sprang free, hot and thick, and Iruka wanted so much. He wanted everything, right now.

"You can have me," Iruka said and dropped to his knees, regretting the chill as Kakashi's hand fell away but it was worth it when he leaned forward and took Kakashi in his mouth.

Kakashi's fingers curled in his hair, his grip tight to the point of pain. Iruka liked it, liked the way Kakashi filled his mouth and the light tug on his hair as Kakashi directed his movements, encouraging him faster and deeper. He tried taking too much too fast and gagged a little, pulling his mouth away for a moment to swallow and then diving back in. He dared a quick glance up at Kakashi and then quickly looked away before he was undone. Kakashi was staring down at him with a mix of joy and want that went straight to Iruka's cock, curling like molten lead in his belly.

He could have sucked on Kakashi for hours, but Kakashi had other ideas. He pulled away from Iruka's mouth with a strangled groan and then tugged lightly on Iruka's hair. Iruka made a show of licking his lips, earning him another strangled groan, before standing and kicking his pants all the way off.

"Bed." Kakashi suited word to action and sat down on the edge of the bed to divest himself of the last of his clothing. Iruka quickly pulled off his socks, tossing them in a pile with his pants. He followed as Kakashi scooted back on the bed, twin smiles on their faces. Once Kakashi was seated with his back against the headboard, he caught Iruka in a deep kiss. Iruka knelt on all fours over Kakashi. Hands rubbed down his back and over his hips to squeeze his ass. Kakashi's hands kneaded Iruka's flesh for a brief moment before pulling his ass open to brush his fingers over Iruka's entrance.

Iruka bucked back against the touch and moaned. His hands fisted in Kakashi's sheets. One of Kakashi's hands left him. He heard Kakashi grope at his bedside table. A drawer opened. Contents shifted. The drawer closed and then Kakashi's other hand pulled away for a brief second only to return cool and slick and press inside. Iruka gasped and clenched his hands in the sheets.

Kakashi's fingers burned inside of him but it was the good kind of burn. He'd almost forgotten how good it felt to have someone inside him, opening him up slowly. The fact that it was Kakashi stretching him, making room so that eventually Kakashi's cock could fit inside of him, only made it that much better.

"Kakashi." Iruka's head fell onto Kakashi's shoulder. He pressed back into Kakashi's fingers, groaning each time his fingers pushed in, and then again as Kakashi spread his fingers wide as he pulled them out. It was not enough, not when he knew how good Kakashi's cock had felt in his mouth, could only imagine how good it would feel inside of him. "Kakashi, please. Please."

His begging didn't help. Kakashi's fingers never altered from their maddening rhythm. He whimpered. He felt painfully hard and he needed Kakashi, needed him more than he needed air right now. Kakashi's hand slid down from where it gripped Iruka's hip to close around him and Iruka nearly came right then. He shouted into Kakashi's shoulder and shivered. His hips twitched indecisively. He couldn't decide whether to push into Kakashi's hand or to shove back against Kakashi's fingers.

It didn't matter. He came seconds later, gasping and writhing in Kakashi's hands. The hand on his cock didn't pull away until he was loose and pliant under Kakashi's touch, fully spent and yet still twitching every time Kakashi's fingers pressed inside.

Kakashi wiped his hand on the covers and then finally pulled his fingers out of Iruka's ass. Iruka whimpered at the absence, and then changed his mind as Kakashi guided his hips forward until the head of Kakashi's cock pressed against Iruka's entrance.

"You still up for this?"

Iruka lifted his head to look at Kakashi. He grinned back, his lips twisted in a smug smile that dared Iruka to keep going. Iruka's legs felt like jelly but he nodded anyways. Kakashi's hands tightened on his hips and he pushed, forcing Iruka down onto Kakashi's cock.

If he hadn't already come, he would have then, just from the feel of Kakashi sliding into him and filling him, as relentless as a rockslide. He moaned and dug his fingernails into Kakashi's shoulder. Kakashi's visible eye glazed over as Iruka sank onto him. Iruka's hips pressed against Kakashi's legs and Kakashi let out a long, shaky breath.

"You still up for this?" Iruka joked, pressing a kiss to the corner of Kakashi's mouth. Kakashi turned his head, catching Iruka in a lurid kiss just as he bucked his hips up, jolting into Iruka and making him groan.

Iruka held on tight to Kakashi as he raised his hips, moving slowly as he figured out how best to balance himself, and then sliding down. He quickened his pace as he settled into a good rhythm. Up and down, in and out, the slick slide of flesh into flesh that left them both trembling. Kakashi's fingers were a tight brand on his hips. He'd have more marks tomorrow but he didn't mind these marks, not when they'd remind him of the way Kakashi felt filling him and the intensity of Kakashi's stare as he watched Iruka. The way Kakashi looked at him made Iruka feel like he was the whole of Kakashi's world, that nothing existed beyond the bedroom and the way Kakashi moved inside of him.

It ended too soon. Kakashi gasped and jerked his hips up hard, making Iruka sway into him as Kakashi came. They stayed like that for minutes. Iruka could feel a burning ache building in his legs, one that would make standing all day tomorrow to teach awkward. His ass would be sore, but the soreness would only remind him of Kakashi. He could live with that.

Iruka wasn't aware of falling asleep on Kakashi. He came partially awake as Kakashi lifted his hips, hissing slightly as he pulled free of Iruka's body. Kakashi murmured something quiet against Iruka's ear – something that sounded vaguely like 'I love you' – as he shifted them, sliding behind Iruka to pull them both down under the sheets. Kakashi was warm against Iruka's back.

He felt safe and sated and happier than he'd been in months. Iruka fell asleep with a smile on his face. Kakashi wasn't far behind.