Kakashi stood, half-turned towards Iruka, and waited. He looked good in moonlight, Iruka decided, and smiled at the whimsical turn his thoughts had taken. He didn't know how Hatake Kakashi, Konoha's famed Copy Nin, would take to being thought of as ethereal.
Iruka fell into step beside Kakashi. He hoped the other man hadn't noticed how bright Iruka's cheeks were. That Kakashi might think him out of shape was only slightly more mortifying than Kakashi suspecting what Iruka had being thinking moments earlier. When Iruka risked a glance at him, he found Kakashi's eye curved in amusement. Iruka fumbled with the scrolls tucked under his arm, giving himself an excuse to look away.
"It's a beautiful night, isn't it, Kakashi-san?" Iruka said.
Kakashi hummed in agreement.
A companionable silence descended between them. Iruka matched his steps to Kakashi's. It was a child's game--one that felt unexpectedly intimate. Kakashi was a steady presence at his side. They did not touch, but the air shifted between them when Kakashi moved. Iruka's entire body prickled with awareness.
Kakashi stilled when Iruka lightly touched his elbow. Silence was no longer an option. Iruka breathed steadily, trying to calm his nerves. Kakashi waited silently. Only the inquisitive arch of his brow gave any indication that he was moved by Iruka's curious behaviour. Iruka huffed more than laughed; he was being too dramatic. He had decided on this course of action days ago. Turning back now was to give into cowardice and regret.
"Kakashi-san, would you allow me the honour of courting you?"
Kakashi's eye widened. "You want," Kakashi said, sounding incredulous, "to court me?"
He had not said no. Iruka squared his jaw and nodded once, decisively. "Very much so, Kakashi-san." He faltered momentarily. "There isn't already someone. . . precious to you, is there?"
"No, Iruka-sensei, there is not," Kakashi said.
Relief bloomed in Iruka's chest. He had planned carefully for this moment, but there was only so much that observation and friendly interrogation could unearth. Iruka bit his lower lip, considering. "Do you find me unappealing?"
Kakashi exhaled. "I find you very appealing, sensei."
Iruka blushed. He had suspected, but receiving confirmation from Kakashi's own lips was more than he had hoped. "Then you have no objections? I have you permission to--"
"Court me?" Kakashi finished. Laughter trembled in Kakashi's voice. And below that--underneath the underneath--Iruka heard something softer, hesitant. "No one has ever attempted to woo me before. Your proposal is--intriguing."
"Ah," Iruka said. Flustered by his own success, Iruka bowed. "Thank you for your consideration, Kakashi-san."
Kakashi's eye gleamed with amusement. Iruka was too pleased to be embarrassed. The embarrassment came with the feel of Kakashi's finger beneath his chin, tilting Iruka's face up. Kakashi was not much taller than Iruka, and he stood very close. Iruka could see the swell of Kakashi's lips beneath the fabric of his mask. "Should we seal our deal with a kiss?"
Iruka hastily stepped backwards. "Kakashi-san," Iruka said sternly, "I am serious. I intend to treat you with the utmost care and respect until I win your heart."
"And after that?" Kakashi asked.
Iruka blinked in confusion.
"You said until you win my heart. Am I to assume that you'll turn into a savage beast afterwards?"
He had amused Kakashi again. Perhaps Kakashi wasn't taking Iruka's request as seriously as he had hoped. "I'll do absolutely unspeakable things to you, Kakashi-san," Iruka promised. He touched Kakashi's masked cheek, very softly. "But only when you're ready. If I wanted sex, I would have said so. You promised me a chance at your heart."
Kakashi was no longer laughing. "You should have aimed lower, Iruka-sensei."
"While that is quite an appealing target, I've already made up my mind," Iruka said. "I've had enough of meaningless relationships. I want something more. I thought that, perhaps, you did too."
"You were mistaken," Kakashi said.
"I hope not," Iruka said truthfully. "Please understand, Kakashi-san, I plan to wage war on your heart."
"Then you shouldn't have given me so much time to fortify my defences," Kakashi said. "It appears that your battlefield tactics need some work, sensei."
Iruka grinned suddenly. "Not at all," he said. Iruka leaned forward, and brushed a chaste kiss across Kakashi's masked lips. "I've given you plenty of time to think about that, and to wonder what I'll do next."
Kakashi distanced himself from Iruka. The comfortable warmth from earlier dissipated as Kakashi withdrew into himself. He nodded at Iruka, "goodnight, sensei."
Iruka licked his lips. "A very good night," he agreed. "And Kakashi? Has anyone ever told you that you're beautiful under moonlight?"