If Kakashi were being particularly honest, he'd admit that the first impression he had of Umino Iruka was "whoah, check out those hips!" He blamed it on the fact that the first time he saw her, Iruka was bending over to give a kid a hand up, and even her thoroughly practical blacks couldn't conceal the fact that she had the kind of curves that very few kunoichi kept.
And if Kakashi happened to walk past the school a little more often after that, well, the school was pretty central, after all. He got into the habit of waving at Iruka, and collared Naruto for her once or twice as the boy tried to make a break for it. Kakashi didn't envy whoever got the kid after he graduated - if Naruto graduated at all. After that, it was easy enough to draw her into conversation, if they happened to be walking the same direction.
So when he found out that she'd passed the exams and had been made a full Academy teacher he arranged to run into her after school.
"Iruka-sensei," he said, "congratulations." She blinked at him.
"Thank you, Kakashi-san," she said. She sounded a little bit confused. "I didn't know the news had spread so fast." There was the hint of a question there, How on earth did you find out? which Kakashi chose to ignore.
"Well, now," he said, "I think you deserve dinner out, to celebrate, don't you?" He smiled at her, and held out a hand.
"Kakashi-" Iruka said, sounding like she was putting pieces together, or trying to find her way through a verbal minefield, "are you asking me out on a date?"
"Mmm," he said, cocking his head to one side, "yes, I think I am." She stared at him.
"All right," she said, after a moment, "when did you have in mind?"
"Anything wrong with now?" Kakashi hazarded, then added, when Iruka looked surprised, "I'm heading out tomorrow morning."
"Huh," she said, then, "all right."
She was about to take his outstretched hand when an orange blur streaked out of the Academy's gates. Kakashi reached out to snag Naruto, but Iruka got there before him: Kakashi was impressed.
"Uzumaki Naruto!" she yelled, "Get back in that building and finish cleaning off the walls this instant."
"But I'm done!" he cried, "I used different paint this time, so it's easier to get off!" Iruka looked like she was trying not to smile; Kakashi had no such compunction.
"At least he's learned something, he said, under his breath. When Iruka looked at him, Kakashi tipped his head toward Naruto and raised an eyebrow.
"You said I could get ramen when I finished, Iruka-sensei!" he whined. Iruka sighed.
"Yes," she said, "I did." Her eyes flicked to Kakashi, and she said, "how about tomorrow?" Naruto looked at her, making a theatrically betrayed face.
"But Iruka-sensei, you promised!"
"Kakashi-san," she started, "I'm sorry, but -"
Temporary insanity was really the only explanation for Kakashi said next.
"Bring him along," Kakashi suggested. Iruka stared at him.
"A promise is a promise, Iruka-sensei," he said, lips quirking up at the nearly-identical expressions of flummoxed surprise on their faces. Dinner ended up being tremendously entertaining.
And when he walked her home after dinner (yes, completely unnecessarily, he admitted), and leaned in to kiss her goodnight, he settled his hands a lightly on her waist, and felt the flare of her hips under his palms.
“A kiss on the first date, Kakashi-san?” she asked lightly, smiling at him, “what kind of a girl do you take me for?” He grinned, and pulled her toward him oh-so-lightly.
“The kind who’s perfectly willing to tell me off,” he said, “or slap me, if she’s so inclined.” And it was true: he was sure Iruka would have no qualms whatsoever about slapping him across the face, or yelling at him until half of Konoha knew what he'd done.
He tightened his fingers just a tiny bit around her waist, in invitation. Iruka stepped closer, wrapping her arms around his neck and pulling down his mask on the way, her eyes already closed. Her lips were warm against his, and Kakashi closed his eye as well.
It was a chaste enough kiss. But when Kakashi dared to open his mouth, to run his tongue along the seam of her lips, she made a soft noise and returned the favor. Then she pulled back, a little breathless, eyes still closed and dropped a kiss on his bare cheek before fumbling for his mask, tugging it back up before opening her eyes again.
“Thank you for dinner,” Iruka said softly. Kakashi fought the urge to pull her back in again. He stepped back, and mimed kissing the back of her hand. Then he turned and walked away, hearing her unlock her door and close it behind her.
Kakashi left the next morning, a masked and hooded guard for the journey to Sand, protecting the daimyo’s diplomats. He had no particularly high hopes for the peace treaty, but he wasn’t charged with its accomplishment, only the delivery of the diplomats, and a swift return to Konoha.
He dreamed about Iruka. In one dream, they walked from the Academy to the memorial stone, talking quietly. Partway there, she put her arm around his waist and leaned against him. Another night, he dreamed of her chasing Naruto out of the Academy’s gates, yelling loud enough to wake the dead, and barreling straight into Kakashi, nearly knocking him over.
Little snippets of his new habits peppered themselves through his dreams: walking through Konoha with Iruka, sitting in a tree near the Academy schoolyard and listening to her berate students who took practice less than seriously. And then little snippets of things that had not yet happened invaded his sleep. The night he dreamed about following her into her bedroom and running his hands across her bare skin, he woke hard and on-edge like he hadn’t since he was a teenager. It took only the thought of Iruka’s lips against his and a handful of rough strokes to bring him over the edge.
* * *
When Iruka finally did let him in, inviting him to join her after dinner one evening, she served tea, not sake: she had to teach tomorrow, she said. They sat in conversation for hours before she leaned across the table and kissed him. Then she got up and put the dishes in the sink. When Kakashi looked at the time, he was surprised, then disappointed: it was just over seven hours before Iruka had to be at the Academy in the morning, awake enough to teach. And while he enjoyed just talking with Iruka, tonight he’d gotten his hopes up for more.
“Shit!” Iruka said, coming back from the kitchen, “that’s really the time?”
Kakashi stood and moved to stand behind her. He put his hands on her waist, now familiar under his hands, and rested his chin on her shoulder.
“Am I going home now, Iruka?” he asked softly, fully expecting the answer to be yes. Instead she turned in his arms, and kissed him soundly, arms wrapping around his waist in turn.
“That depends.” she said, “Will you make me as late for school as you always are wherever you go? Because if you will, I’m kicking you out right now.”
“That’s hardly incentive for honesty, Iruka-sensei,” he replied, voice light and teasing.
She looked at him. “I mean it,” she said, “I can’t be late in the morning, Kakashi.” It was the voice she used when her students were pushing too hard, when Kakashi didn’t take things seriously enough.
“Well, I’ll have to make sure you’re on time, then,” he said.
She looked at him seriously, and he wondered, for a moment, what she saw in his face, to look at him so intently, to nod, smiling slowly.
“Good,” she said, “I really wasn’t looking forward to throwing you out.” He shivered a little at the heat in her voice, and she leaned in and kissed him again, pulling him close and tightening her arms around his waist, leaning into the kiss.
He let his hands wander a little, sweeping down the curve of her hips, letting his fingers brush low before stroking back up to the dip of her waist, up her sides. She hummed into the kiss and shifted closer, brushed against him chest to chest and opened her mouth into the kiss. He let his hands clutch at her waist, holding her there against him before he stroked down over her ass, pulled her hips closer to his. She let out a soft gasp at that and he smiled, pulling back.
“Has anyone ever told you,” he said, sliding his hands back to the curve of her hips, “that you have really, really amazing hips, Iruka?”
“You might have mentioned it,” she said, and tipped her face for another kiss, muffling any reply he might have made. She pulled him into her bedroom, and when she stood before him, nude, he had to close his eye for a moment to keep from making a fool of himself before he’d even touched her, as if he were a teenager again.
“That bad?” she asked, teasing, but there was a hint of uncertainty beneath it.
“That good.” Kakashi replied, voice thick. “Iruka.” He held his hands out to her and she took them, stepping toward him. He swallowed, and then pulled her to sit on the edge of the bed, kneeling on the floor between her feet, still mostly dressed, achingly hard beneath his uniform pants. She blinked when he ran his hands up her thighs, tugged her a little forward, cupping her hips in his hands. When he traced his fingers down between her legs and leaned in, she flushed, and one hand raised to her mouth in surprise.
“Yes?” he asked, leaning closer, and she nodded, flushed and visibly surprised. She was as responsive as he might have hoped, and he brought her over the edge twice before letting her draw him up onto the bed beside her, pulling off his remaining clothes and letting her touch in return.
Iruka didn’t get much sleep, but she was at the Academy five minutes early the next morning, with a full mug of coffee and the promise of company during lunch.
Iruka dressed practically for work: blacks and a vest were sturdy enough to stand up to whatever the kids might throw at her (figuratively, or in some cases, literally) and didn't take thought in the morning, which was definitely an advantage, particularly now that Kakashi had taken to staying the night once in a while and rather disrupting her sleep schedule. Coffee only kicked in so fast, and she didn't always feel completely awake while she was dragging clothes out of the closet in the mornings these days.
And if the pockets of her usual vest didn't contain quite as many traditional weapons as some shinobi's might (she was absolutely certain, thanks to a particularly amusing sleepy morning screw-up, that Kakashi's vest had at least two traditionally lethal items in every pocket and many non-traditional ones as well), well, shoelaces and plasters and small candies were useful when you were teaching eight-year-olds.
Most of the other Academy teachers dressed similarly, though some of the other kunoichi (especially those who taught the girls' lessons) went for more individual outfits. Iruka had considered emulating some of them when she'd first started teaching, but she'd been too tired at first to go clothes shopping in her meager free time, and then too convinced of the usefulness of long sleeves and pants and a variety of pockets to try to change anything, once she'd gotten her feet as an assistant teacher and would have had the time to go out trying on outfits. When spring or summer arrived, she'd switch to the lighter fabrics, short sleeves, but that didn't make much of a difference.
So she threw on blacks every morning, and a standard vest, and Kakashi made dramatic noises about her outfits being a travesty and a crime and like putting sacking cloth on a goddess (Iruka had cracked up laughing at that one, at which point he'd simultaneously looked rather hurt and a little amused), and she focused on not getting chewing gum in her hair, and not letting Naruto try to paint the roofs of the Academy's model of Konoha bright blue, and on making sure that the other kids in her class didn't get up to anything while she was yelling at Naruto. (Sometimes she suspected them of working in league with each other, united in the face of teacherly wrath.)
* * *
Finally, the summer arrived. With the hotter weather came a short break in classes: some of the older families traditionally took children out to estates farther from town in the dead heat of summer, when the roads were all dust and all you could do in Konoha was choke on the clouds of it any passing vehicle tossed up and hope your apartment was on a high enough floor to catch something of a breeze.
And it meant Iruka didn't have to be at school every day. The first morning of break, she woke up, pulled on clothes on auto-pilot, and went to the fridge for cold tea, drinking it fast and turning to the door to grab her vest and go before remembering that she didn't have school today. So Iruka brought a glass of tea back into her bedroom for Kakashi, who'd gotten back from a mission the day before and was just skirting the edge of being drained enough to be in the hospital.
"Mmmm," he said in response, draining the glass quickly. Then he put it down and pulled her back in bed with him. Iruka squawked in protest, but it was just for show: she'd discovered that Kakashi really enjoyed just touching, even when he was so exhausted that there wasn't any chance of it going anywhere, and she couldn't say she objected.
"It's hot," he protested, and than, pulling at her shirt, "long sleeves? Iruka!"
"The rest are in the laundry!" she replied indignantly, "and I would roll them up, you know that." He just shook his head, pulled her shirt off, and wrapped her up in his arms.
"Much better," he hummed contentedly, and promptly fell asleep again. After a bit, Iruka extricated herself, though she gave up her shirt as a lost cause: Kakashi was sleeping on top of half of it. Instead she dug through her closet for another, coming across a number of things she'd almost forgotten she owned.
When Kakashi woke up, Iruka was curled up next to him in a pair of red gym shorts and a white short-sleeved shirt. He blinked, looked her over from head to toe, and then grinned.
"And even better!" Kakashi said, smiling widely. Iruka sat up and dropped a kiss on the tip of his nose.
"I'm sure you say that to all the girls," she teased, before getting up. If she let her hips swing a bit more than usual, well. Maybe you just couldn't tell under the blacks.
* * *
The next morning Iruka let herself sleep in, turning off her alarm clock and determinedly rolling over to go back to sleep when she usually would have woken up. When the sunlight finally did creep around her room far enough to shine in her eyes, she got up, took a leisurely bath, and got dressed very carefully. Then she pulled on a pair of sandals (still perfectly practical, but not the ones she wore most days) and set off for Kakashi's apartment, only iron self-control keeping her from sweeping her hair back up into a ponytail instead of leaving it loose around her shoulders.
A few blocks away, Iruka grinned, and ducked into a corner store. She couldn't even imagine the look on his face when she showed up on Kakashi's doorstep in a white sundress. Adding a popsicle to the outfit was probably going overboard, but she just couldn't resist.
The look on Kakashi's face when he opened his door was definitely worth it, even if the popsicle did end up staining her dress.