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Snowfall, Fairy Lights, and a Ring

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A light breeze ran through the open windows of the Hokage office, rustling the many piles of paper neatly stacked on the side tables near the main desk. Metallic paperweights glinted in the sunlight, their ornate carvings moving and twisting in the shadows cast by the occasional passing cloud, as they fought the wind’s pull on the important documents below them.


A stray paper threatened to take flight from the main desk, fluttering upwards only to be slapped back to the smooth wood with a loud thump

Without bothering to even glance up from the magazine he was holding, Kakashi scooted his battered copy of Icha Icha over and placed it on top of the offending page.  


He sighed dramatically. 

It had been a rather long, boring day. 

As the vast majority of his responsibilities had already been passed to Naruto, Kakashi suddenly had found himself with too much time. He’d been the Hokage for just over a decade, a term filled with frantic all-nighters, long hours of paperwork, and more meetings than he could count, so the very concept of it all being over seemed positively foreign

Two weeks ago, he’d never even had a minute to himself… and now… 


Spinning himself lazily with one foot, Kakashi drew a large, messy circle across a patch of words in the magazine, and leaned forward in order to scribble  something in the margins.

Vacation sites.  

He, Kakashi Hatake, the Rokudaime of Konoha, was looking at vacation sites. 

In many respects, the strange absence of chaos had only convinced Kakashi that he was more than ready to embrace the idea of never having to shoulder the burden again. 

Without thinking, Kakashi’s hand drifted to the inner pocket of his flak jacket—the one usually reserved for hidden weapons. This time, however, when he slipped his fingers inside the folds of the dark fabric, Kakashi could only feel his skin brush against the soft, velvet box contained in its midst. 

He’d been carrying it with him for some time now, waiting for a moment that felt… right. 


Even the very thought of proposing caused heat to rush into Kakashi’s face. He still had no idea what he’d say, despite having imagined the moment over and over in his head. 

Closing his eyes, Kakashi took a deep breath, feeling his stomach flutter nervously. He’d wanted it for a long, long time, and he knew Iruka did as well… 

But that didn’t stop the unnamed fears and anxieties from flying through his mind like a small storm. 


He hurriedly withdrew his hand and returned to the magazine, heart drumming frantically against his ribs. 




All sense of calm was soon chased from the quiet Hokage office as the double doors banged open, revealing a set of broad shoulders, a long blue coat hanging from a well-muscled arm, a high ponytail, and Umino Iruka’s very fine-looking ass. 

The chunin Headmaster backed into the room, nearly dropping his heavy burden as he abruptly made a beeline for the nearest table. 


Kakashi felt a smile creep up his face as he watched the Headmaster heave the massive stack of Academy files onto one of the side tables. 

Straightening his white-collared shirt, Iruka tossed the blue jacket on top of the papers before glancing around, the scar on his nose scrunching slightly as he caught Kakashi staring. 

Brown eyes travelled from the Rokudaime’s face down to the magazine. 


Eyes crinkling, Kakashi smiled back at the man and sat forward in his seat, gently putting the magazine he'd been reading back on the desk. 

For a moment, Iruka glared, hands on his hips, but the expression soon changed to mild exasperation. “Alright, fine—that’s not Icha Icha, so I’m assuming vacation spots?”

Kakashi nodded, grinning beneath the mask, and wordlessly pushed the magazine forward on the desk. 


Iruka leaned in, and Kakashi felt his heart rate climb just a touch as he realized that the Headmaster’s white shirt was slightly unbuttoned. From where he sat, Kakashi had a perfect view of the smooth, tanned skin of the chunin Headmaster’s neck and collarbones. 

Entranced, Kakashi allowed himself to reach across the desk and place a hand gently on the man’s waist, fingers playing with fabric of the white-collared shirt. 


Iruka’s mouth was moving, clearly saying something , a finger tracing the location in the magazine that had been circled, but Kakashi’s mind no longer had the capacity or inclination to listen. All he could do was stare. 

Kakashi’s hand migrated down to Iruka’s waistband where he absently hooked his fingers into a belt loop and gave it a playful, light tug. 

The sound of Iruka clearing his throat made Kakashi freeze on the spot. Slowly, he raised his eyes to meet the pair of large brown ones that stared back at him. The mixture of exasperation and amusement on the Headmaster’s face made Kakashi smile. 


“Could you repeat that?” Kakashi scrunched up his nose at Iruka. “I didn’t catch...” 

Kakashi’s voice wavered as he found the magazine being roughly shoved in front of his nose, the Headmaster,’s finger poised right over the picture of a snowy mountain village. Kakashi’s sloppy scrawl was all over the white spaces around the photograph, listing pros and cons—a tribute to his quiet enthusiasm at the prospect of a vacation with his partner.  

“It’s out in the country, has an onsen, and good food.” A smile crept up onto Iruka’s face and he let the magazine fall back to the desk. 

Kakashi blinked, “ I thought you’d much rather stay within a day’s travel of the village. That’s the farthest one from us in the entire—” 

Iruka shook his head and silenced Kakashi with a finger to the lips. 

“But, I know it’s where you want to go. As long as there’s a bed, food, and a hot spring, I don’t care how far it is.” 


Kakashi stared up into Iruka’s face and slowly began to lean forward, bent on landing a quick kiss on his partner’s cheek—

Only to have Iruka shove a stack of forms under his nose, eyes glittering with mirth as he removed the hand from his waist and slapped a pen into Kakashi’s palm. 

“No—not until you get these done.” 

Kakashi groaned  the Headmaster’s voice. 

“Maa—sensei, how could you be so cruel?” 

Iruka retreated from the desk and grabbed his coat, winking over his shoulder as he made an exit. 

“See you at dinner.” 

Grumbling, Kakashi shook his head, and pulled the papers toward him.




Two weeks passed in a blink of an eye, and sooner than Iruka could’ve ever thought possible, he was already packing his travel bag, a small stack of fresh civilian clothes neatly folded beside the set of formal attire that Kakashi had insisted he bring along. 

As for the man himself, Kakashi hovered nearby, nose-down in the orange-bound smut as he slouched against the wall, having already gathered his things inside the usual brown duffle bag he always carried for leisure trips. 


Taking a moment to adjust the creases of the suit jacket he was attempting to re-fold, Iruka couldn’t help but smile at the thought of them going on an actual date for once. Between Iruka’s own schedule, and Kakashi’s monstrous responsibilities, finding time together had been quite difficult over the last few years. 

But things had changed. 

Naruto’s inauguration had come and gone, as had the exchange of power behind the scenes that formally cemented the younger ninja’s status as Konoha’s new leader—a process that had only come to a close a matter of days ago. 


Iruka shot a smile in the direction of his partner, and watched as Kakashi’s gray eyes flicked up to meet his. Slowly, the book came down, and Kakashi gave him a full smile, mask pooling around his neck. 


Iruka shook his head, and returned his attention to the luggage, the smile moving growing wider as Kakashi’s strong arms wrapped around him, gently pulling him closer. Grumbling softly at the odd angle that the other shinobi had chosen to embrace him, Iruka twisted in Kakashi’s arms until they were comfortably face to face. 

For a moment, they stood there in easy silence. 


And then Iruka bopped his partner on the nose and returned to packing. 



The next time Iruka had Kakashi’s arms around him, they were surrounded by people, paired off and swaying gently, the twinkle of fairy lights flickering high above their heads. 

Around them, the small diner was warm and cozy, standing strong against the mountain’s howling wind outside. In one corner, a roaring fire blazed in its hearth,  filling the entire space with a reddish-orange glow, its crackling sound an accompaniment to the  soft, yet seductive jazz that spilled through old-style speakers. The calm melody gently guided the dancers onward. It was in control now. 


Iruka rested his forehead against Kakashi’s shoulder, feeling muscles move beneath his touch as they gently followed the flow of the music. 

The hand which rested on Iruka’s waist shifted slightly, drawing him closer. Readjusting himself in the other man’s arms, he looked up into Kakashi’s eyes. Dark gray stared back, filled with warmth, smiling above the mask.  

Shaking his head slightly, Iruka allowed himself to become lost in the moment, grounded by the touch of his fingers against Kakashi’s smooth suit jacket. 


Slowly, Iruka’s eyes moved across the diner, gently taking in the many shadowed silhouettes nearby and the warm glow of the fire. From the back wall, he could see the snow falling, partially veiled by a slightly-misted windowpane, and the neat, crystalline row of icicles that hung low just beneath the awning. 

The view was oddly mesmerizing, the snow falling in great big flakes from the darkened sky… 


Kakashi shifted slightly, one hand coming up to push a strand of hair back from Iruka’s face, drawing the chunin back to himself. The former-Hokage’s silver hair reflected gold in the light from above. Age had deepened the lines on his face, but, if anything, it enhanced the beauty in the man’s features, and in the half-light of the dance floor… 

Iruka’s heart fluttered. 

Kakashi smiled, eyes crinkling, and gave his hand a gentle squeeze, leaning forward to touch foreheads with Iruka. 




They danced for a while in silence, rocking gently to the steady beat of the music. Songs began and ended in a hypnotic ebb and flow of sound that slowly guided Iruka into a dreamlike state of light euphoria. 

At some point, Iruka found himself drifting towards a nearby set of tables, and allowed Kakashi to gently lead him to an open seat. Only then realizing the aching fatigue that ate at every bone in his body, with a quiet huff, Iruka half-collapsed into the wooden chair, thankful to be off his feet. 

He expected Kakashi to take the  seat across from him, and looked up with curiosity when the man remained standing.


Kakashi had a faint flush about his cheeks, and Iruka felt puzzlement enter his mind as he took in the slight stiffness that had taken over the former-Hokage’s posture. 

Leaning forward, Iruka propped an elbow on the glazed, wood table, a smile playing at his lips. He was about to open his mouth to ask if everything was alright, when Kakashi’s expression immediately jumped back into a full smile—one that Iruka knew to be fake.

To his amazement, the man hastily excused himself from the room, mumbling something about using the bathroom. 

Iruka shook his head for a second time that night, and let himself fall back into the chair, this time slightly mystified at his partner’s odd behavior. 


Fingers gently playing with the natural grooves of the table, Iruka settled to wait for Kakashi to return, once again finding himself lulled into a happy daze by the pleasant atmosphere. 

Compared to the daily stress, and the constant, frantic need to keep pace with the Academy… this was a dream; a very real, yet unbelievably happy, dream. 

At some point, a waiter passed by, and Iruka waved the man over, requesting a glass of water before returning looking around again. Brow furrowing, Iruka adjusted his collar and began to  absently drum his fingers against the table surface.

Another ten minutes passed, the water came, and still no Kakashi. 

A thread of irrational nervousness began to weave its way into Iruka’s thoughts. 

Kakashi was all right, he had to be. And Iruka hadn’t done anything wrong that he could think of…

No—they were long past that phase. Kakashi would not just leave him here, not at a time like this.


Iruka was about to rise from the table when the telltale popping sound filled the air nearby, causing Iruka to fumble the  glass in his hand, sloshing water onto the table.

“Good god, Kakashi—what—”

But Iruka’s voice died in his throat as soon as he caught sight of the silver-haired shinobi. 

Kakashi had gone to red, the deep, scarlet blush visible above his nose and blossoming across his cheeks. 

“Iruka, I—if you’ll have me—


Iruka’s eyes went wide.

This time, the water glass fell from his fingers, and rocked violently as it landed on the table’s surface, miraculously not breaking on impact or tipping over.


Kakashi’s hand was reaching inside his suit pocket, even as he fell to one knee. 

Iruka gaped, unsteadily rising from where he’d been seated at the table. 

Everyone was staring, and although the speakers continued to play music, the dancers had all paused in order to fix their gaze on the former-Hokage—who was clearly, actively struggling for words.


“Kakashi…” Iruka felt tears beginning to blur his vision. 

The gray eyes, a bright mix of love, anxiety, and pure nervousness, slowly looked up into Iruka’s brown ones. 


And then Iruka launched himself at the man in an unconventional, but definitive yes

Cheers filled the room as Iruka crushed his partner in an embrace.