Iruka sighed as he stared at the empty seat across from him. He had no idea how he let Genma talk him into this blind date with his coworker. Genma had assured him that Kakashi was really handsome and funny if a bit quirky. He said Kakashi loved dogs and keeping plants and Iruka liked dogs and plants, so they should get on really well. A tiny tack-on statement at the end seemed to be the sticky point though. Genma said that sometimes Kakashi was late, so Iruka had purposely shown up a bit late to the restaurant they were supposed to meet at. He thought fifteen minutes should have given the man ample time to arrive before him, but apparently, he underestimated just how late a person could be. He’d opted to sit down at a table to wait. That had been a mistake. He’d been seated in a cozy booth for two with two menus and the hostess assuring that she’d direct his date his way as soon as he arrived. After a few minutes of sitting in silence, his waiter arrived.
“Hello. My name’s Yamato and I’ll be your server today.” He set down two glasses of water and a bread basket. “Are you waiting for the other party to arrive?” He looked at the empty place.
Iruka smiled nervously. “Yes. He’s running a little late.”
Yamato nodded. “Will you need anything else for now?”
“No thank you. This will be good for now.”
Yamato nodded again. “Just flag me down if you need anything else while you wait.”
“Thank you,” Iruka said. He took a slice of bread and began pulling off small chunks nervously and looking around. The restaurant was rather slow as they’d agreed to a late lunch on a Sunday afternoon. At least Iruka didn’t have to worry about taking up prime real estate in a busy place while waiting for Kakashi. Still, he hoped the man would arrive soon because sitting there by himself while other people around him were ordering and receiving food and chatting with their friends made him uncomfortable.
After fifteen minutes of waiting at a table alone, he’d become worried. He texted Genma, telling him that his date was over a half hour late. Genma had just assured him that that was typical Kakashi. He suggested Iruka order a drink and wait a little longer. Iruka sighed and looked up as Yamato approached for the third time since he’d been seated.
“Still waiting?” He asked sympathetically.
Iruka sighed. “Yes. Apparently, this is his modus operandi, which my friend helpfully did not mention before this date.”
“Can I get you anything while you wait?”
Iruka nodded. “I think a good stiff drink is what I need so I don’t throttle this guy when he gets here.” He frowned. “If he gets here.”
Yamato chuckled. “What would you like?”
“I’ll have a margarita, top shelf, sugared rim please. And do you recommend an appetizer? I haven’t eaten in hours and I’m hungry.”
“Well, the potato skins and mozzarella sticks are always popular, but if you want something a little different, I’m a fan of the fried green beans with the horseradish dipping sauce myself.”
“Oh, that sounds nice, I’ll try that please.” Iruka smiled.
Yamato smiled back, “I’ll have that right out for you. Maybe even before your date gets here.”
“You probably will,” Iruka said mournfully as his waiter smiled and went to put his order in.
His drink showed up quickly and it was nice and strong. The appetizer was only a few minutes behind and still, there was no sign of Kakashi. Iruka was annoyed and sent another angry message to Genma before he set his phone down and picked up a hot green bean. It was crispy on the outside but had a nice juicy green flavor on the inside. It was even better when the dip got involved with it’s cool and creamy kick.
“How are they?” Yamato asked, popping in to check on him.
“Delicious. Thanks for the recommendation.” Iruka smiled up at him.
“You’re welcome. Let me know if you need anything else. I’ll stop by if I see anyone sit down with you. And then I’ll give him the dead-eyed stare of shame ok?” Yamato demonstrated his dead-eyed stare and Iruka chuckled.
“Thanks so much. I’ll try not to cause a scene when I chew him out for his tardiness. The teacher in me might make an appearance.”
“Alright Sensei. I’ll turn a blind eye.” His waiter winked and headed off.
Iruka flushed. The man was very attractive and attentive, unlike this dead-end blind date he was on, or would be on if Kakashi ever showed up! With a huff of frustration, he continued to work on his appetizer and sip his drink. He was trying not to look at his phone for the time. It only irritated him more. But he had gotten tired of staring around the restaurant. The decor wasn’t that interesting and it was awkward to catch people glimpsing at him with pity, obviously understanding the situation. He wanted to melt into the seat. Instead, he quickly finished off his margarita and glanced at the time on his phone. Over an hour late. Who does that?! At this point, even if the guy did show up, there was no guarantee that Iruka would stay no matter what his excuse was.
Yamato showed up with a second margarita. “On the house,” he said with a smile.
“Oh no, I couldn’t. It’s not your fault this guy didn’t show up,” Iruka said, blushing.
“Don’t worry about it,” Yamato said, collecting Iruka’s empty plate. “It’s my pleasure.”
“You’re too kind,” Iruka said.
“I have to step in and take care of my customers when their blind dates won’t, right? And if it makes you smile instead of glaring bloody murder at your phone, I think it's worth it.” Yamato smiled at Iruka. It was a nice smile.
“Ok, but only this one. Thank you very much, Yamato.” Iruka smiled shyly in return.
“My pleasure.” Yamato winked and walked off with his plate.
Iruka told himself not to check out his cute waiter’s butt, but he couldn’t help it. If only he wasn’t stuck waiting for some other guy! Some guy that he was definitely going to empty a glass of water on if he ever arrived! He was definitely leaving after this second drink. He sent a quick text to Genma telling him as much, ignoring Genma’s apologies. That man was going to owe him one after this. He had just finished his drink when someone slid into the seat across from him. He looked up, ready to yell, but blinked in confusion instead. Yamato had settled in the seat across from him, but his apron was gone and the top two buttons of his dress shirt were unbuttoned.
Yamato smiled a bit bashfully. “My boss said if I was going to keep coming over here and flirting with you, I might as well just clock out and ask you on a date.”
Iruka blushed while simultaneously fighting back a smile. “Well, as long as you don’t keep me waiting, it seems that I’m free.”
Yamato grinned. “Great. There’s a nice little bistro down the street. I think it would be tacky for our first date to start here.”
“That sounds really nice, but I have to pay my bill first.”
Yamato shook his head and slid out of the booth. “Don’t worry, we took care of it.” He offered Iruka a hand.
“Really, you didn’t have to,” Iruka said, once again surprised by how nice this guy was. He placed his hand in Yamato’s and let the man help him out of the booth.
“But I wanted to.” He gave Iruka’s hand a squeeze and didn’t let it go as he led him out of the restaurant.
Kakashi let himself into the backyard of Genma and Raidou’s house. The party was just starting to get in full swing. He hated showing up for parties when they were still in that awkward phase where people didn’t know what to do with themselves. But now, the food was on the tables and people were a few drinks in, some dancing to the loud music playing. He spotted Raidou manning the grill and headed over to greet him.
“Yo,” he said, raising a hand.
“Hey,” Raidou called. “Late, as usual, I see.” He saluted him with his tongs.
“Well, you see, my dog ran away to help an old lady across the street and I had to go carry her groceries and sit and eat her cookies for an hour while she told me stories about the good old days and fed my dog treats.”
Raidou snorted. “And just as full of shit as usual. Genma is still pretty mad at you for that blind date stunt. Speaking of which, Iruka is around here somewhere. You should definitely avoid him at all costs. With his temper, he might dump the punch bowl on your head.”
“Oh, a firecracker?”
“Kakashi, no,” Raidou said flatly.
But Kakashi had already turned away to grab a beer from the ice chest and headed onto the deck, looking around for Genma. He stopped when he saw an unfamiliar face standing against the deck’s railing. The man had light brown skin and a very prominent scar across his nose. His brown hair was pulled up into a high ponytail and his soft brown eyes looked off into space as he nodded his head along with the music. Kakashi took a sip of his beer and headed over. He leaned on the railing a few inches from the man.
“Hi,” he said to the brunette.
The man blinked and turned to look at him. “Hi,” he said looking him over quickly.
“Are you a friend of Genma or Raidou’s?” Kakashi asked curiously.
“Both,” the man said. “I’ve been here all day helping them set up. Genma might be ok chopping the vegetables for a veggie tray, but for anything requiring cooking he needs all the help he can get.”
Kakashi chuckled. “Yeah, that sounds like him. Luckily, he has Raidou around to cook for him or else he’d probably starve since even cup-of-noodles are beyond his abilities. He set them on fire so much at work, he’s banned from bringing them in anymore.”
“Oh, so you work with Genma?” the man asked.
Kakashi nodded. “Yeah. The name’s Kakashi by the way.” He held out his hand and watched as the smile on the other man’s lips was completely erased. He blinked. What had he said?
The man’s eyes narrowed and he opened his mouth to say something when another man stepped towards them, giving Kakashi a dead-eyed stare that sent shivers down his spine.
“Is this guy bothering you Iruka?” the man asked in a flat, cold tone.
Kakashi frowned. Why did that name sound so familiar?
Iruka took the glass that was in the other man’s hand and threw the contents right in Kakashi’s face.
Kakashi’s reflexes weren’t fast enough to keep the stinging alcoholic concoction out of his eyes and he stumbled back as fruity rum punch dripped down his front. What the hell?!
“That’s for standing me up,” Iruka said in a poisonously sweet tone.
Kakashi was sure he had a smile to match, but he was blinking through the tears, unable to see much of anything. Suddenly, another cold drink was being dumped over his head, causing him to yelp.
“That’s for hitting on my boyfriend after having the nerve to stand him up,” the other guy said.
Shit. It was the guy he stood up. Raidou even fucking warned him not five minutes ago! He hadn’t thought much at the time that he’d stood him up. Hell, he’d forgotten about the date and then when Genma had called him and bitched him out, he’d just been too lazy to actually go. It didn’t seem like a big deal, but considering how pissed Genma had been with him after that, he’d come to realize that Genma was fairly close to the guy.
“Oh, I see you’ve finally met Iruka,” Genma drawled, amusement thick in his voice. “And his new boyfriend, Yamato.”
“A pleasure to finally meet you,” Iruka said, his voice as sweet and sharp as a samurai sword.
Kakashi winced and wiped at his eyes, looking up at the man he’d stood up. “Ah, likewise. Sorry about last time,” he said lamely.
“I should probably thank you,” the boyfriend said. “Since you never showed up, I was able to snatch him up.” He slid an arm around Iruka’s waist and gave him a tender look before turning that creepy stare back on Kakashi.
“You’re welcome?” He said awkwardly.
“Yes, thank you for your complete lack of common courtesy and human decency,” Yamato continued flatly.
Kakashi wasn’t really sure how to respond to that and just continued standing there dripping all over the deck as everyone around him watched the scene. He could hear the whispers even over the music.
“Awkward!” Raidou called from across the yard.
Genma snorted and grabbed Kakashi’s shoulder. “Come on, let’s get you cleaned up Cassanova.”
“Thanks,” Kakashi said.
“Yeah, this is gonna cost you,” Genma muttered as he dragged Kakashi into the house.
“Are you okay?” Yamato asked softly, giving Iruka a squeeze as they watched Genma and Kakashi head into the house. Iruka seemed to be shaking and Yamato looked at him worriedly.
Iruka looked at him, laughing. “That felt so fucking good,” he said.
Yamato grinned back, pulling him closer. “That did feel pretty good. I’ve never gotten to dump a drink on someone’s head before.”
“I might have, a time or two,” Iruka admitted.
“He’s got a temper. Better watch it with that one Yamato,” Raidou said as he walked onto the deck and put a fresh batch of burgers on the table.
“I like him like that,” Yamato said happily as he leaned down to give Iruka a quick kiss.
Iruka wasn’t having it and tugged Yamato down by his collar to deepen the kiss. He was happy that being stood up by that other idiot lead him to find a real stand up guy. Yamato was calm and level-headed, to balance out Iruka’s own temper, but he had a sense of humor. He was smart and nice and just what Iruka wanted in a boyfriend. Not some idiot who couldn’t even be bothered to show up for a blind date.
“I like you too,” Iruka said, slowly releasing Yamato from the kiss.
Yamato gave him a dazed smile and leaned down for another, ignoring Raidou’s whistle.
“Need a room?” Raidou teased.
“You offering yours?” Iruka asked with a smirk.
“No. I don’t feel like washing the sheets,” Raidou said. “Genma’s as bad at laundry as he is at cooking.”
“Maybe he just pretends to be bad at it so you’ll do it,” Yamato suggested.
“I wish,” Raidou said with a sigh. “I’ve seen him set the washing machine on fire by touching it. That was a pretty expensive lesson to learn.”
Iruka laughed. “Well, if your room’s not on offer, maybe we’ll duck out early to hit mine,” he said, giving Yamato a flirty look.
“Feel free. You’ve been here almost all day, so obligation fulfilled. Now you can go home and get laid.”
“I like this plan,” Yamato said.
“All right, let’s do it. Let me just go tell Genma we’re going.” Iruka left Yamato on the deck as he popped into the house yelling for Genma.
Yamato watched him fondly.
“You’ve got it pretty bad,” Raidou said, amused.
“I beg to differ. I think I’ve got it pretty good,” Yamato commented.
Raidou chuckled. “I guess you’re right. Well, I’m glad you guys are happy. I can only imagine the mess that might have happened if Kakashi had actually shown up for that date.”
“Thankfully, that didn’t happen,” Yamato said.
Iruka emerged holding a plastic container. “I got a doggy bag for later,” he said. “See ya Raidou. Thanks for inviting us.” He walked over and took Yamato’s hand.
“No problem. Thanks for helping with the food.”
“As if I’d subject myself to the horrors of Genma’s food preparation. See ya later.” Iruka waved as he practically dragged Yamato off to the car.
Raidou chuckled and ducked inside to find Genma standing in the kitchen. “All good in here?” He asked, sliding a hand up Genma’s back.
“Mmm,” Genma agreed around the toothpick in his mouth. He leaned back into Raidou’s touch. “I set up the idiot in the shower and cleaned up the trail of punch.”
“You don’t seem too put out,” Raidou said, nuzzling Genma’s neck.
“Of course not, that was fucking hilarious. Kakashi deserves that and more. Iruka could have been really good for him, but he really fucked that up.”
“Yeah, but I think things turned out better for Iruka. You know he has a short fuse and Yamato seems responsible enough to not set it off all the time. There might have been fireworks between him and Kakashi, but now he’s found a nice steady slow burn.”
“True, and those are pretty nice,” he said taking the toothpick out of his mouth and turning to his partner of forever to deliver a nice slow kiss. Fireworks were all well and good, but what he really liked was the steady sureness of a solid stand up guy.