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Thicker Than Water (The Vampire Remix)

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A tiny hand pulled on Iruka's sleeve. He paused mid-letter and glanced down at Akemi. The rest of the class had already rushed out the door for lunch, and he was surprised Akemi wasn't with them. She frowned up at him. "What's that, Iruka-sensei?"

Iruka set the chalk carefully back in its holder and turned on his sweetest sensei voice. "What's what, Akemi-chan?"

Her tiny finger lifted, pointing straight at his neck. "That." Iruka froze, his smile fading. His stomach twisted and for a brief, panicked minute he thought she knew. "You have an owie on your neck."

He slapped a hand over his neck, right over the spot where Kakashi had bit him last night. His fingers pressed against the skin, exploring, expecting to feel blood or a pair of circular scars. There was nothing there. The spot still burned with the heat of Kakashi's lips. There was a small hand mirror in the top drawer of his desk, useful for when he needed to write a long lesson plan and the class was being unruly. He moved his hand away from his neck slowly, afraid of what the mirror might show him. Purpled skin peeked from beneath his fingers. He distinctly remembered feeling Kakashi's teeth on him, in him, but all that was left was a faint bruise.

Rain came down in sheets, drenching everything in its path. Puddles splashed beneath his feet as he ran home. His tiny umbrella only partially shielded him from the rain. He'd stopped at the edge of the Academy grounds. A white figure huddled in the bushes, skin unhealthily pale. Iruka slowed. "Kakashi?" The streetlamps made Kakashi's uncovered eye seem red and hungry.

He snapped the mirror shut and shoved it back in the desk. The drawer slammed home. He'd used more force than he'd intended. Akemi was staring at him. "Um..." He tried to think of a suitable excuse and failed. How could he explain hickies to a seven-year-old?

"A vampire bit him."

Iruka jumped and whirled, a kunai sliding into his palm, ready to be hurled. His fingers tightened around the kunai, barely stopping it before it flew from his hand. A confusing swirl of emotion washed through him - trepidation, fear, relief, arousal. Then the words ran through his head a second time and he glared. Kakashi perched on the windowsill, a wide smile dimpling his mask. As Iruka looked closer, he thought maybe, just maybe, he could see the tips of fangs pressing against the fabric.

Kakashi's skin felt cold to the touch. He'd taken it as a sign of illness. "You need to get out of the rain." He shifted his umbrella so that it covered Kakashi. Cold rain ran down Iruka's neck, making him shiver.

Kakashi stared up at him and there was something wrong with his gaze, something off. "You should leave."

He shook his head. Kakashi had been on a mission. He knew what that could do to a person's head, the kind of self-destructive tendencies it could bring out. He couldn't leave Kakashi. He couldn't leave anyone there, but especially not Kakashi. His mind wandered, just for a moment, and he imagined taking Kakashi home with him, drying his clothes, feeding him warm soup, making him understand just how much Iruka cared for him. "Let me help you," he said instead.

"You have no idea what you're offering." It was a warning. Iruka should have listened.

Akemi turned her wide eyes towards Kakashi, oblivious to Iruka's inner conflict. "A vampire?" She sounded doubtful, like Kakashi was mocking her. Ah, to be young and naïve. Iruka almost envied her.

Kakashi's uncovered eye wrinkled with amusement. He nodded. "I was there. I saw the whole thing."

Iruka bit his lip to keep from screaming. Kakashi glanced at him and Iruka knew his eyes carried his frustration, plain for Kakashi to read. If anything it only seemed to increase Kakashi's amusement. Akemi's eyes widened and she turned back to Iruka. "Does that mean you're going to turn into a vampire, sensei?"

Kakashi was playing a sick, sick game. "No." He bit the word out. Akemi didn't look at all reassured. He closed his eyes and counted to three, forcing himself to relax and breathe deeply. "No, Akemi-chan," he tried again, his voice as close to soothing as he could make it. "He's lying. Don't listen to him. I... I burned myself while setting a trap. It's nothing to worry about." Kakashi's eyes bored into him from across the room and he felt more than saw the shift in Kakashi's temperament, from amused to displeased. It hurt to smile but he did so anyways.

"Oh." Akemi glanced between Iruka and Kakashi and slowly started backing away. Even if she did believe him, which was doubtful, she sensed enough of the tension in the room to know something was wrong. He felt both guilty and proud. Those instincts would serve her well in the field. "Okay..." As soon as she was within a few feet of the door, she bolted.

Iruka kept his gaze forward as he calmly walked over and shut the door behind her. He could feel Kakashi's eyes following his every step. As soon as the door was closed, Iruka whirled towards the window. "What the hell was that? You scared my-"

Kakashi wasn't there. Iruka frowned and started to turn. He caught a white blur out of the corner of his eye a second before unnaturally strong hands grabbed him by the shoulders and lifted him off the floor. Fear mixed with surprise and desire as he was shoved against the wall hard enough to knock his breath out. His hands curled around Kakashi's wrists but he knew there was no way he was going to break Kakashi's grip.

He'd led Kakashi to his home and hadn't shielded his hands as he deactivated the wards because he'd trusted Kakashi. Mistake number one. He'd invited Kakashi in. Mistake number two. Kakashi had warned him. Iruka had been insistent. He'd wanted to help. He'd thought that meant a change of clothes and warm food. Kakashi had declined both.

"What is it?" He'd demanded finally. "What do I need to do to make you better?"

Kakashi's eyes were sad, his expression hungry. He hesitated. "More than I can accept."

"Please. Let me help you."

Kakashi caved. The shift in his demeanor was both instantaneous and frightening.

"It's not nice to lie to children," Kakashi purred. The tip of his unmasked nose brushed against Iruka's cheek. Iruka shivered as Kakashi smiled, revealing two sharply pointed canines nestled in a row of otherwise normal teeth.

"They can't know." Iruka's voice came out a bare wheeze. It was hard to breathe. He could feel the beginnings of lightheadedness settle in. The hands holding him in place relaxed, allowing Iruka's feet to touch the floor again. He sucked in a deep breath of air.

Kakashi's expression softened with regret. Iruka flinched as Kakashi's right hand moved towards his neck and instantly regretted it as Kakashi's expression darkened. "Was last night so bad?"

Last night seemed like such a long time ago. Memories of it came in bits and pieces, like he was watching someone else's life. It felt disconnected, like it'd happened to someone else.

He remembered Kakashi's hands. They were stronger than he'd imagined, gripping like iron one minute, then soft as a feather's touch the next. He didn't remember how they got to the floor, only that he'd ended up there with Kakashi's mouth on him. He'd never been kissed like that. It had made him feel needed, wanted, like he was the core of Kakashi's being. He'd been in to it. Really in to it. He'd spread his legs, let his heat warm Kakashi's skin. Kakashi hesitated and every time he did, Iruka kept dragging him back down for more.

It was his own fault. He'd practically forced Kakashi to do it. He hadn't realized what was happening until it was over.

Kakashi's touch burned his skin. His hands were everywhere. They opened his thighs, pressed between them. They made way for Kakashi to fill him. God, it had felt so good. He'd wanted it, wanted Kakashi for so long. And now he knew. He'd cried out when Kakashi pressed inside of him. Wet lips trailed up his neck and he'd tilted his head back in primal offering.

He couldn't blame Kakashi for taking what was freely offered. He shouldn't blame him, but he did.

His life as he knew it was over. It was only a matter of time until people found out, until the Academy found out. He didn't know what they'd say - it'd never come up before, no one had ever been quite as stupid as he'd managed - but he expected the worst. No matter how much either of them regretted it, there was no going back now. Kakashi had bit him, bit him while in him, and even though Iruka was relatively ignorant of vampire culture, he knew enough to know how binding the bite was. He was trapped, but in a way, so was Kakashi. They were in this together and at the time, last night hadn't been bad at all.

He wanted to tell Kakashi to go to hell. He wanted to melt against him and ask him to whisk Iruka away from the village and all of his duties and responsibilities. He said neither. "I feel weird." He'd felt off all morning, like the beginnings of a cold that hadn't quite hit yet.

Kakashi's thumb traced the line of his pulse, caressing his neck with the softest of touch. "It will pass. Your body's adjusting."

It would be so easy to close his eyes and let Kakashi's touch lull him to sleep. He caught himself as his eyes started to close. "Adjusting to what?"

His eyes closed. He could feel Kakashi's presence, like the pounding of his own heart but outside. He wanted to bring it closer, to pull it into him. Kakashi leaned closer and Iruka breathed in his scent - weapon oil and pine trees, ash and blood.

"To me," Kakashi whispered, breath hot against his ear.

Iruka shivered and knew he was done for. He'd heard rumors about the bond. He'd heard what it could make someone do. It was a link between vampire and bonded, master and slave. It subsumed free will. It took over the recipient completely.

He didn't want to give in. Even if resistance was ultimately useless. Even if he was out-powered, out-classed, and out-willed. He couldn't go down without a fight.

Iruka turned his face away. He steeled the last of his rapidly shrinking nerve and forced the words out. "Don't you dare ever say anything about this to my students. They can never know." He was proud that he kept his voice from shaking.

Kakashi's fingers pressed against his chin, turning his face back towards Kakashi. There was a red cast to his eyes, making his normal eye seem even in shade to the Sharingan. Silence drew out between them and he could feel Kakashi weighing Iruka's future. There was no mistaking which of them held all of the power. Iruka thought he felt a ripple of emotion that was not his, a vague sense of other, but he chalked that up to his imagination. After a long silence, Kakashi nodded once and stepped back putting physical distance between them for the first time in what felt like ages. Iruka breathed deeply.

"Accepted." Kakashi's hand twitched forward. He stopped himself and curled his hands into fists at his sides. "I will allow you your position at the Academy. Our relationship shall cease inside these walls."

Iruka opened his mouth but no words came out. That wasn't what he'd meant, not quite what he'd intended but it was more than he'd hoped for. He'd be an idiot to challenge it. Part of him wanted to be an idiot. That same part of him also wanted to kneel at Kakashi's feet and let Kakashi take over his life for him. He didn't listen to that part.

"Thank you," he said instead.

Kakashi nodded once. He gave Iruka a long considering look then stepped forward. Once more Iruka was pressed against the wall. Once more he had his breath knocked out of him, though this time the lack of air come from the tongue down his throat instead of the force of impact. He moaned and melted into the kiss. Then he realized where they were and put his hands up, intending to push Kakashi away but his hands buried themselves in Kakashi's shirt instead.

They separated slowly. Iruka leaned against the wall, grateful for its presence as he would have been on the floor without it. Kakashi pulled his mask back up to cover the fangs and resettled his hitae. "I had your things moved to the Hatake compound. I expect you there by the dinner hour. Don't be late."

Kakashi disappeared before Iruka could respond. He stared at the blank walls of his classroom. They seemed so small, so thin and fragile. They reminded him of himself - seemingly strong but so easily breakable when the right force was applied. He now knew what that force was and its name was Kakashi.

God help him, because no one else could.