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Dinner Request

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"Kakashiii!" a voice sang along the street.

Kakashi stopped walking, and turned around to see Iruka rushing over to him. He could tell at a quick glance that it wasn't anything important; but his expression said he had something in mind, and his eyes were sparkling excitedly, almost puppy-like; and that meant only one thing. Iruka had a favour to ask.

"Yo!" Kakashi greeted with a wave, hoping he'd assumed wrong.

It wasn't that he didn't like helping Iruka - it was just... Well, the things he needed help with were very random and completely unexpected, and put him in all kinds of strange situations. Everyone thought Iruka lived a simple, ordinary life, because he had a way of making everything he did seem so logical it couldn't be anything but normal; but Kakashi knew that wasn't the case.

In fact, last time he helped Iruka, he and Iruka ended up in T&I because they'd broken into the Forest of Death to find a rare flower that only bloomed in moonlight, because he needed it for an even rarer medicine that he'd been preparing, because one of his neighbours who was having a hard time recovering from an illness. And then it turned out Iruka had grabbed the wrong plant, because it was the middle of the night and they couldn't see the smaller details, that the centre of the flower was a pale yellow instead of white; and the ones that they'd actually picked were endangered, and there was a ban against taking them. The ANBU officers who arrested them found it hilarious, but Ibiki wasn't very impressed seeing them at T&I again because of their shenanigans; and the few nights they'd spent locked up had been agonisingly boring - they hadn't even been put in the same cell, and hadn't really been able to talk to each other.

So now, he was just slightly concerned about what Iruka wanted.

"Are you free tonight?"

"Depends. What's the occasion?"

"Go on a date with me."

"Uh, w-what…?" Kakashi asked, staring at him dumbly.

"Go on a date with me tonight." Iruka repeated. "Please. I need you to pretend to be my boyfriend."

"I don't know..."

"Please?" Iruka asked, grabbing Kakashi's hand. "I promise we won't end up in T&I again - it's just a dinner date!"

"I'm not sure I believe that." Kakashi teased.

"Come on, please!" Iruka begged, his eyes sparkling even brighter than before, like they held an entire galaxy inside. "I was just given two vouchers to a really fancy restaurant, and they expire after today. I don't want to waste them!"

"Are you sure you want to go with me? Why not go on a date with someone you're actually interested in?"

"Because there isn't anyone." He sighed. "Besides I still haven't repaid you for all the times you've helped me out, so you deserve to come with me and enjoy a night out."

"I appreciate that." Kakashi said. "But why do I have to pretend to be your boyfriend? What's wrong with going as friends?"

"Well, that's, uh… I suppose we don't have to pretend to be dating, but I heard that one of my exes from a bad relationship works there," Iruka explained hesitantly, "and I don't want him to know I'm single, because he, uh, has a habit of harassing me, trying to pick me up again. So I was hoping that if I made it clear that I'm seeing someone, he'll leave me alone."

"Alright, I'll do it." Kakashi said. "I'll go on a date with you."

"Really?!" Iruka grinned.

"Of course." Kakashi said. "But if I have to pretend to be your boyfriend, we're going to do it right."

"So that means you'll have to kiss me on the date." He teased.

"Only if you earn it." Iruka smirked, releasing Kakashi's hand to cross his arms.

"I'll make sure I do." Kakashi winked.

Iruka opened his mouth to reply, but he was lost for words; and Kakashi chuckled to himself as he watched Iruka's eyes grow wide in surprise and his face turn a deep shade of red as he processed what had been said, that one of his closest friends had just flirted with him. And when Iruka still didn't respond, Kakashi reached out and ruffled his hair affectionately, smiling warmly.

"I'll see you tonight." He said. "Shall we meet at yours around six?"

"Y-Yeah, that works."

As Iruka watched Kakashi walk off, the promise of a kiss still on his mind, a strange giddiness vibrated through his body.

He and Kakashi always spent time together, but Kakashi had never shared any dating experiences before; and even though it was a pretend date, he was looking forward to seeing a side to Kakashi that most people would never know about.

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Iruka was fixing up his hair when he sensed Kakashi's chakra signature at the ground floor of his apartment building. He smiled to himself, mentally calculating that he'd be there in another couple of minutes; and after he was satisfied with his hairstyle, and had neatened his shirt collar and put cologne on, he left the bathroom to grab his wallet, which still had the restaurant vouchers inside.

As he passed the lounge room, he thought he saw something large dart past his window; and he stopped to investigate, wondering if there was some kind of commotion outside - he was on the third floor, after all. As he stared, debating whether to go on the balcony to check, a tall figure dropped from above and landed smoothly right in front of him; and he yelped, stumbling back in surprise, his heart pounding wildly.

He reflexively reached for a kunai, but only felt jeans instead of his usual kunai pouch; and he took a better look at what had landed on his balcony, adrenaline now rushing through his veins. As a shinobi, he had to be ready for everything; and even without a nearby weapon, he was already thinking of a way to deal with the intruder. But when he saw who was there, relief filled him, and he made his way outside.

"Evening, Ru." Kakashi greeted contently. "I got you something."

"A-Are those flowers?" Iruka stammered, his face growing red as he took the colourful assortment from Kakashi. "They're beautiful; but why did you buy them for me?"

"Maa, I have to make a good first impression for my date, don't I?"

"First impression?" Iruka burst out laughing. "Kakashi, I've known you for years!"

"Yeah, but we've never gone on a date before." Kakashi said. "Even if it's only pretend, I still need to do it right."

"Well, thank you." Iruka replied, beginning to feel nervous as the atmosphere grew intense. "You can, uh, come on in. I've just got to put these in water, and grab a couple of things, then I'll be ready to go."

He hurried off without waiting for a response, and Kakashi followed him in, taking a look around. The apartment hadn't changed much since he'd last been there - mainly, Iruka's indoor plants had grown a bit more, and there was a new throw rug across his lounge; and there was a hint of lavender in the air, mixed with Iruka's scent, making the atmosphere even more soothing. Kakashi was almost tempted to spread across the lounge and read, but there wouldn't be long before they left, so he decided to join Iruka, who was now in the kitchen filling a tall glass for his flowers. 

"I hope you're hungry. I've heard a lot of good reviews about the place I'm taking you."

"Oh? What kind of restaurant is it?"

"I didn't tell you?" Iruka asked in surprise. "We're going to a seafood restaurant - Konoha in the Deep, I think it's called."

"A seafood restaurant sounds nice." Kakashi said. "How did you get a hold of the vouchers?"

"One of my student's parents won them in a raffle, but she's allergic to seafood, so she gave them to me. I tried to say no, but she insisted; and well, you know what people are like..." He laughed sheepishly.

"You've never been able to turn people down, have you?" Kakashi chuckled.

"Neither have you."

"Hn? Me?" Kakashi asked in surprise.

"Yeah. You always end up doing challenges with Gai despite originally saying no; and how many times have Naruto and Sakura dragged you around the village to do something with them, or go for ramen?" Iruka finished putting his flowers in water and turned around.

"And you've never said no to me, either."

"Hn. I've never noticed before."

"You're just as hopeless as me!" Iruka laughed, walking past to grab his wallet. As soon as it was in his pocket, he turned back to Kakashi with an impish grin.

"Are you ready to go... Babe?"

"I... I am." Kakashi replied, his heart fluttering in response to the foreign pet name.

"Let's get our evening started."

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If Iruka was being honest with himself, he wasn't expecting the whole pretending to date thing to go very well. He knew that Kakashi wasn't very affectionate to begin with, and that he usually went out of his way to avoid being touched; and then there was the fact that they were just friends, which added a whole other layer of awkwardness to the situation. But despite his reservations, he thought it would be fun - Kakashi was already trying his best; and they hadn't even reached the restaurant yet.

It was sweet, really, how he'd gone out of his way to buy him flowers; and it was cute how just now, when he'd taken his hand, he'd started blushing, like he was a teenager who'd just made a big move on his crush. Holding hands, especially in public, clearly wasn't something Kakashi was used to; and Iruka was touched that he was doing it for him.

"Kakashi, you know I only needed you to pretend when we were at the restaurant, right?" Iruka confirmed.

"You don't like hand-holding?"

"It's not that - I just don't want you to think that you have to do something you're uncomfortable with."

"Maa, since when did I say I was uncomfortable?"

"You didn’t, but..." Iruka said, looking around as he sensed the other villagers staring at them and gossiping.

"There's no need to worry about me, Ru." Kakashi murmured, squeezing his hand. "I wouldn't be doing this if I didn't want to."

Iruka fell silent, thinking about the implications of what Kakashi had said, and briefly wondered if the reason he'd decided to do this was just to help him out, or whether he was secretly craving some company, too. Kakashi would never tell him, nor anyone else, something like that; but Iruka was good at seeing beneath the underneath, and Kakashi didn't have to say anything for him to figure out the things he kept to himself.

Before long, Kakashi and Iruka had reached the river that ran through the village, and began to follow it, heading towards the outskirts; and as the sky darkened and the moon began to rise, the street quietened until it was only them and two other couples also going out for the evening.

As they continued along the path by the river, Kakashi noticed some lanterns up ahead, lined up along a small bridge going across a garden pond, as well as fairy lights in the trees; and as he studied the area, he realised that the building on the other side of the bridge was a restaurant. More specifically, it was Konoha in the Deep - the place Iruka was taking him.

Kakashi let go of Iruka's hand as they approached the bridge, and wrapped his arm around his waist, instead, pulling him closer as they strolled across; and Iruka leaned into him, enjoying the closeness; his chest growing fuzzy as he soaked in his comforting warmth.

As they moved together, Kakashi and Iruka were smiling contently like a couple in love; and it was impossible to tell that their relationship was only pretend.

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The food was absolutely delicious. Iruka had never tasted seafood so fresh before; and even Kakashi seemed impressed with the quality. They had decided to share a cold seafood platter for their appetiser, which came with prawns, mussels, oysters, crab, octopus tentacles, and scallops, as well as a small selection of sauces; and they were completely immersed in their food. Even so, Kakashi was still picking up on everything around him, and he noticed that there was something else that Iruka couldn't stop doing; and he smirked to himself.

"Maa, Iruka, you're staring again." He said in amusement, as their waiter left the table with their empty plates.

"Sorry." Iruka replied, glancing away as a blush crept across his cheeks. "I just haven't seen your whole face in a while, and it's… distracting."

"Oh? I'm that good looking, am I?" Kakashi teased.

"N-No, it's - I mean, yes, you are - quite attractive, but that's…" Iruka fumbled, his face growing even hotter as he realised what he said. "not it."

Iruka sighed, and buried his head in his hands.

"Kakashi, what are you doing to me?" He groaned to himself.

He couldn't understand why he was getting so nervous; why his heart jolted when they made eye contact; why it felt like he was seeing him with new eyes. Surely he wasn't developing a crush now, was he? Not when Kakashi was only flirting with him and sending signals because he was pretending to date him…

"Ru, it looks like our food is coming."

"Already?" Iruka asked in surprise, removing his hands from his face. "That was quick."

The waiter set their plates down - a lemon garlic prawn linguini for Kakashi, and a herb butter poached lobster tail for Iruka; and when they smelled the delicious aromas, they quickly dug in, eager to taste what they'd chosen. Everything was as good as it smelled, and just as fresh as their appetiser; and for the next few minutes, they ate in a comfortable silence, going off into their own little worlds as they savoured the flavours of their food.

Suddenly, Iruka's ears picked up on a deep laugh; and he straightened up, his heart pounding in a panic as he honed in on the sound.

"What's wrong?" Kakashi asked, instantly noticing his alertness.

"My ex… I was hoping he wouldn't be here, but he's working tonight."

"Where?" Kakashi asked, scanning the room. "Which one is he?"

"He just came out of the kitchen - the one with the beard."

"My, my, Iruka." Kakashi murmured playfully when he found him. "I didn't know beefy men were your type. Or is it the rough, tattooed look that you like?"

"Kakashi!" Iruka exclaimed, his face growing hot. "Don't tease me!"

"I'm sorry." He chuckled. "I couldn't help myself."

"Well, please refrain in the future." Iruka huffed. "And if you must know, I don't have a type."

"So I have a chance, then?"

Iruka shot him a curious look, wondering how he could joke about something like that so casually; but when he made eye contact, he saw an entirely different expression, like although it had come out as teasing, he genuinely wanted to know. Iruka didn't really know what to say - even if Kakashi wanted to know if he had a chance, he couldn't tell whether he'd just said that as part of the act, or whether he was actually interested.

"Don't even go there." He finally muttered, the blush on his face becoming much more prominent as the idea of actually dating Kakashi stuck in his mind.

As the moment passed, Kakashi distracted Iruka with stories about Naruto's antics on missions, leaving him in stitches. He had his own stories to add, too; and as the two of them got lost in conversation, time slipped away, and the remainder of their food grew cold, having been long forgotten. It was how a date should have been - engaged in one another, a bit of flirting here and there, gradually shifting closer to one another; but despite how much Iruka was enjoying himself, there was something else that had been distracting him a little.

"He's looking over here again!" He hissed, leaning towards Kakashi as he took an anxious side glance at his ex. "I think he wants to come over; but I really don't want to talk to him. What should I do?!"

"Maa, I have an idea." Kakashi said, pulling one strand of pasta out from his bowl. "You've heard of Lady and the Tramp, haven't you?"

"Huh? You mean... Y-You want to do the spaghetti scene?" Iruka asked, his face growing hot.

"It's the best way to show him you're taken, isn't it?" Kakashi winked.

Iruka nodded as butterflies started fluttering in his chest. If there was anything that was going to prove that he was in a romantic relationship, to tell his ex that he wants to be left alone, that he wasn't interested in getting back with him, this was definitely it. But doing this meant… He studied Kakashi's expression as he found the end of the noodle. He was the one who suggested this, but was he really okay with the kiss that was bound to happen when they reached the middle?

"Are you ready?" Kakashi asked, showing no hint of distress as he gave him his end of the pasta.

Iruka nodded and put it in his mouth, his heart pounding fast; and he started to suck. Recreating the scene was harder than he thought it would be, as some sections refused to slide, but by working his tongue and lips, he got them moving; and he was getting closer and closer to Kakashi, his scent now heavy in the air, leaving him almost breathless.

Finally, they reached the last inch of pasta, their faces closer than they've ever been before; and another suck or two, and they would be kissing. Kakashi's scent was almost overpowering now; and Iruka was intoxicated by it and the way that each time he inhaled it, it sent a tingling warmth across is body as though he was being caressed. He wanted more; and he closed his eyes as he almost too eagerly sucked the remaining length of pasta away, ready to have Kakashi's lips against his.

Sparks shot through his body, electrifying him when he felt that connection; and the longer he held his lips there, the harder it was for him to move, to be able to pull away. Kakashi hadn't moved, either; and Iruka began to wonder whether he was just as shocked as he was. But then he felt him smile against his lips, and then there was a hand on his cheek, holding him in place; and Kakashi kissed him again, this time, more deeply, and more complete.

The passion in the kiss felt so real to Iruka, like he was kissing a real lover, like Kakashi was kissing him because he wanted to, not because he had to; and as his mind went fuzzy, he forgot why Kakashi was kissing him in the first place. He forgot that he was in a restaurant; that he'd been eating just moments ago; and that his ex had been watching him all night. In that moment, Iruka forgot about everything, except Kakashi and the way he kissed him.

All too soon, Kakashi let go of his face and slowly pulled away, his cheeks flushed; and Iruka studied his hungry expression, watching as he swallowed the pasta he'd eaten.

"There." Kakashi murmured when he was done. "Now everyone knows you're mine."

Fuck. Iruka's heart skipped a beat as he gave Kakashi a once over, and he also swallowed. The way he'd spoken had sounded so sexy; and after the way the night had gone so far, Kakashi was on the right track to stealing his heart.

"Do… Do you really mean that?" Iruka finally breathed.

As Kakashi gazed into his eyes, he smiled fondly, and reached out towards his face again, this time tucking a stray lock of hair behind his ear.

"I couldn't be any more serious, Ru."

"Then… Do you want to… leave?"

"Without dessert?" Kakashi questioned with a wink.

"Kakashi," Iruka murmured hotly, "you are the dessert."

Kakashi choked out a noise that sounded a lot like a squeak; and his face quickly heated up, becoming as red as a tomato. He liked to think he was cool and composed, but Iruka had really taken him by surprise; and he was incredibly nervous, completely lost for words, and had no idea how to react to what Iruka had said, what he'd implied.

Iruka chuckled and reached out to grab his hand; and Kakashi looked at him curiously.

"I know you wanted to do things properly tonight, so how about we finish up here with that tiramisu you were looking at earlier, and enjoy the rest of our date." He smiled warmly. "We can sort out the details later."

"I'd like that."

"Good." Iruka said, squeezing his hand. "Now, where were we?"

"I think you were about to tell me how much you liked the pasta."

"No, I think there was something else I liked more than that… Something I'd like to do again."

"The spaghetti scene?"

"Not quite." Iruka giggled. He let go of Kakashi's hand and reached up, putting a finger under his chin.

"Come here. The thing I want to do..." He hummed, guiding Kakashi's face towards him. "is kiss you again."

And Kakashi happily leaned in, wanting to kiss him, too.

They were dating, after all.