Other World Wednesday – What Is, Chapter Four

Hey there! I have not forgotten you, I promise! I’ve been a wee bit busy with school, which is tough this semester. I’m starting a new language—Korean—and it’s a challenge! Not entirely different from Japanese but some things, while they sound the same, are NOT and that can be really confusing! But I’m getting there, it’s just taking up time, which means writing has been, well, really slow.

That said, I *have* done some editing! This is an older story I started a while back and found on my hard drive. I found myself reading it (though some of it made me cringe!) and decided to edit and, eventually, finish it! It’s part of the Naruto fandom, so if you’re not familiar, you might want to skip this because some of it is very necessary to understand what’s going on. If you do, well… I hope you enjoy my Yamato/Iruka story!

A few things:

1. I do not own Naruto, any of it’s spinoffs, sequels, characters, world, etc., etc., etc.

2. I started this ages ago on AFF and Y!Gal. I’ve edited heavily and am posting it here. (If you’ve seen it on AFF or Y!Gal, this IS better. I promise!) I’ll be updating AFF but Y!Gal is, of course, gone.

3. I refuse to recognize canon after a certain point in the Naruto story (~ch. 614/ep. 364). 😛 This story doesn’t really deal with anything different. It’s after the war, before most things have changed, and they’re still rebuilding. Still, maybe consider this to be an alternative timeline.

4. I make no guarantees about finishing this. :/ I want to, but writing has been a challenge, at best. I’m in school again and it’s… not easy… to find the mental energy to write anything, including fanfic. (I have original, paid works I should be doing…) BUT! I have 10 chapters written, 6 fully edited, so there’s plenty of story to get started with. 🙂

 

Without further ado, What Is:

Waking up after a night of drinking in bed naked with a strange person wasn’t all that common to begin with. But when Yamato wakes up naked in bed with a man… Umino Iruka… he’s forced to face a whole lot of possibilities he never imagined. Iruka had never even considered he might be gay–or bi–and waking up naked in bed with Yamato was the last thing he’d ever expected. Now the two of them must decide if there’s more to this than a drunken mistake. If they can get past the embarrassment and their own hangups, they might just find something they’d never expected–and that could be the best thing they could ever want.

 


 

He’d been gone a week. They’d spent a full week hunting down a missing nin before finally finding him. It had taken every bit of his skill as a ninja to take the damned rogue out. He and his two teammates had managed to get out of it without too much injury, but he’d gotten banged up in the melee. To add insult to injury, he’d lost his mask during the fight too.

He had more than a few bruised ribs for his trouble, and that annoyed him more than anything. Because when he’d gotten back to Konoha, instead of looking for a particular teacher like he wanted to, he had to go to the hospital. He’d finally gotten a nurse to agree to pass a message to Iruka after she’d forced him into the hospital bed.

While he had the bandages around his chest hid the worst of the black and blue marks, a few very ugly bruises were too prominent on his face. So he was not exactly in the best mood or looking his best when the knock came a short while later.

“Come in!” he called, simultaneously hoping it was Iruka and hoping it wasn’t.

With Iruka the only one on his mind, it was with surprise that he greeted Kakashi when he came in. “Sempai!”

“Yo!” Kakashi gave his negligent wave. “I heard you and a tree didn’t get along.”

Yamato snorted. “Hardly. More like the back end of a lightning bolt.”

“Ah. Yeah, they don’t like wood, do they?” Kakashi asked.

Yamato shook his head. “No, no, they don’t. What are you doing here?”

“What? I can’t visit a teammate in the hospital?” Kakashi asked, eye wide in obviously fake innocence.

“It is a well-known fact that you hate hospitals.” Yamato raised an eyebrow. “What do you want?”

“I was just worried about you.”

“Bullshit.” Yamato laughed, then groaned, holding his bruised ribs. “Ouch. That sucks.”

“You going to be okay?” Kakashi asked, fake innocence dropping, and real concern taking its place.

“Yeah, just a few bruised ribs. Nothing to worry about.” He leaned back on the bed and considered his friend. “Yes.”

“Yes? Yes what?” Kakashi’s visible eyebrow went up.

“Yes, I left the bar with him that night.” Yamato sighed. “No, we didn’t do anything, I left him at his door. But yes, we’re going out. When I can get out of here.”

“I didn’t ask anything.” Kakashi tried to look innocent again.

Yamato simply snorted. “You were thinking it. I could see the smoke.”

“I’m hurt you think so little of me,” Kakashi said, attempting to look hurt and failing miserably—again. “That you’d think all I’d be here for was to confirm a rumor.”

“Speaking of the bar. How are Genma and Raidou?” Yamato’s eyebrows went up when Kakashi blushed.

“Um, they’re…” he paused, scratching the back of his head. “They’re fine.”

“When did that happen?”

“Uh, a few months ago. I…hadn’t really meant to be quite so, erm, outward with them at the bar that night. I’d had a bit too much to drink.”

“No, really?” Yamato asked, fighting the urge to laugh. It was kind of funny to see the great Hatake Kakashi flustered.

Kakashi glared at him. “Yes. How’s Iruka?”

Yamato frowned. “I haven’t seen him yet. I just got back a short while ago and was forced in here. How did you know I was here, anyway?”

“Oh, I was in a tree reading when I saw you come in.” He pointed through the window.

“Ah.” He was about to say something when another knock sounded. “Come in.”

Iruka opened the door and peeked around it. His eyes widened when he glanced at Kakashi. “If this is a bad time…?”

Yamato shook his head. “No, Sempai was just leaving.” Yamato sent a pointed glance at his teammate. “Thanks for stopping by.” You’re not staying to watch this.

“Right. No problem. I’ll, um, see you later.” Kakashi waved and poofed into thin air.

Iruka chuckled, shaking his head, then he turned to Yamato and they both stared at each other. “Are you okay?” Iruka finally asked.

Yamato blinked. He’d been thinking about that hair again, about the kisses they’d had before he left. “Hm? Oh! I’ll be fine. I’m stuck here for a day or two. Bruised ribs.” He pointed at his chest when Iruka scrunched his eyebrows. Yamato refused to get distracted by how cute that was. “But nothing I won’t get over. I got knocked back by a lightning bolt.” He shook his head at himself. “I’m more annoyed that I managed to get hit in the first place.”

“I can understand that. I would be too.” Iruka smiled. “Well, I’m glad you’re okay. If you need anything, I’d be happy to get it for you.”

Yamato hesitated. “Actually, I need something to do. Could you… if I gave you my key would you get me a book or something?”

Iruka’s eyes widened and he blushed. “Oh, um, sure.”

“If you have time. I mean, I don’t want to impose or anything. I’m sure you have other things to do,” Yamato said, quickly.

“No, no! I don’t mind.” His cheeks darkened; then he sighed and rolled his eyes. “I was remembering the last time I was at your place.”

“Oh. Right.” Yamato swallowed and try as he might, he couldn’t stop himself from thinking about it. Oh fuck, Iruka, you taste good. His cheeks burned. Now was so not the time for those memories.

“So, um, what did you want?” Iruka asked into silence, drawing his attention back to them.

“Oh.” He blushed even brighter at getting caught daydreaming. “Um, Icha Icha Adventures?”

“Is that all? Do you—” He gulped. “—need clean clothes or… anything?”

Yamato sighed. Normally, family would do this kind of thing for him, but since he didn’t have any, he usually went without. But the image of Iruka digging through his underwear drawer made him want to die of embarrassment. “Actually I’m, um, okay there. Just the book, if you don’t mind.”

“Sure. Okay.” He nodded, looking a little relieved and Yamato had the feeling that Iruka didn’t want to go through his clothes any more than he wanted Iruka to. If things went well with them, if they dated more than once, then that would likely change. But until then, he didn’t want to put Iruka through that. “In fact, I have a copy and my apartment is closer. Why don’t I go get that now?”

“Oh, okay, if you’re sure. Like I said—” Yamato started, but Iruka interrupted him.

“Really, I don’t mind. And…” he sighed, closing his eyes briefly. “I know you don’t have any family. If you need something else, I’ll help. I… I know the feeling.”

Yamato frowned. “I actually forgot about that. I’m sorry. It’s okay, really. I had my pack with me, so I’ll be okay on clothes. Only thing of mine I’m allowed to wear is my boxers, anyway.” Iruka laughed, making Yamato smile. “The book is the biggest thing. Doing nothing will make me insane, especially since I can’t have my whittling knife in here.”

“Whittling?” Iruka raised his eyebrows.

“Yeah.” Yamato released a small piece of wood and held it up. “I like to carve stuff. But they kind of frown on weaponry of any kind in the hospital. Even if a whittling knife hardly counts.”

Iruka chuckled. “I guess I can understand why. I’d love to see the stuff you make sometime.”

Yamato considered Iruka and was caught again by how attractive he was. His face really lit up when he laughed. Yamato let his gaze move down over Iruka’s body. Even in his uniform, he was damned good looking. Yamato shook himself mentally. He was stuck in the hospital for at least a couple of days and couldn’t do anything if he got himself worked up. He forcibly shifted his thoughts. “I’ll be happy to show it to you.”

The silence turned awkward for a moment. “Anyway, if there isn’t anything else, I’ll go get that book for you,” Iruka said with a smile.

“Thanks, I’d really appreciate it.”

“No problem. I’ll only be a few minutes,” Iruka said. He hesitated, then laid his hand over Yamato’s and squeezed it once before leaving.

Yamato watched him go and when the door was closed, he lifted his hand and squeezed it. One little touch… One small touch went through him and the only time he’d felt that before… was with Iruka. Yamato sighed.

This was going to be the longest two days of his life.

 

 

Iruka was true to his word and only a few minutes later, he was back. He’d brought the requested book, along with a couple of magazines, and a newspaper. Yamato thanked him profusely, earning himself bright red cheeks and a stuttered welcome from Iruka. When he took the bag, it seemed a little heavy but Iruka wouldn’t let Yamato look in it until he’d left, with a promise to visit again as soon as he could.

So as soon as Iruka was out of the room, Yamato dumped the contents onto the bed and there, between the newspaper and magazine, was a whittling knife. Yamato’s heart thudded and he thought he might have fallen a little in love right in that moment.

Even though he wanted to whittle, he set everything else aside and picked up the book. It was no coincidence that he’d chosen that one. It was the very Icha Icha novel that he’d almost started to read the morning after he and Iruka had been together. He gave up trying to ignore the reasons for reading it. He knew Jiraiya’s penchant for description and he was hoping for a clue on what the hell to do with Iruka if they ended up in bed at the end of their date.

He shook his head at himself, hid the knife under his pillow, stacked the magazines and newspaper on his table, and opened the book.

 

 

Iruka wiped his sweaty palms on his pants as he approached the hospital room door. He felt a little silly worrying about this since he’d just been there a few hours before. But he’d known that one would be a short visit. He’d come by during the lunch break and had to get back to his students.

This one had the potential to last quite a bit longer.

It wasn’t a date. He kept reminding himself of that and visiting a man in the hospital didn’t need to be such a big deal. Except it was, more than it probably should have been. He’d spent the entire week Yamato had been gone thinking about the way he’d kissed, the way he’d buried his face in Iruka’s hair, and they feel of those arms around him. He’d jacked off more than once—okay, maybe even more than once a day—with nothing more than the memory of that kiss and the hazy ones from the night they’d been together.

He shook his head at himself, then pulled the hair tie out of his hair, ran his fingers through it and stuffed the tie in his pocket. With a deep breath, he finally knocked.

When Yamato called the “Come in!” Iruka pushed open the door, peering around the frame.

Sakura sat in the chair next to Yamato’s bed. She waved and smiled at Iruka, who waved back. He tried not to blush when she looked from Yamato to him then back again.

He forced himself to address Yamato. “If this is a bad time…”

Before Yamato could speak, Sakura jumped up waving and grinning—a little too widely for Iruka’s peace of mind. “Nope. I have to get back anyway. I’ve got a few patients to check on. I’ll see you tomorrow, Yamato-taichou!” With a wave she was gone. Iruka wasn’t sure if she actually transported or just walked that fast. He wasn’t sure if he wanted to know.

He turned his attention back to his—what was Yamato? He couldn’t begin to put that together in his head yet, so he pushed the thought off. “How are you?”

Yamato made a face. “I could heal just as well at home, but Tsunade-sama won’t release me until I’m better healed because I don’t have anyone to take care of me.”

It was on the tip of Iruka’s tongue to argue—or, at least, offer—but realized they weren’t really in that kind of relationship. At least, not yet, and he wasn’t sure if Yamato would even feel comfortable with that. Iruka wasn’t sure he was comfortable with it.

“Well, I can understand that. I don’t do well with people taking care of me and I am even less patient being in the hospital. I’ve been fairly lucky and haven’t had to be here too much, but the few times I have…” He gave an over-dramatic shudder.

Yamato laughed. “Well, it could be worse. My chest and face hurt, but I’ve been in much worse pain before—including once waking up with Naruto trying to shove a rasengan into me.”

Iruka winced. “That couldn’t have been fun.”

“Oh no.” Yamato shook his head. “I now sleep with a wood wall around me.”

Iruka chuckled. “Better safe than sorry.”

Yamato smiled. “He doesn’t do that anymore. Well, we haven’t been on missions much since the war, either, but…”

“Yeah.” Iruka had trouble looking away. Even with bruises covering Yamato’s left cheek and forehead, even with his hair drooping, he still looked as good as ever. Iruka wasn’t sure what made him move closer, but he took the few steps to the bed and reached out, brushing a little bit of hair away from the bruised cheek. “I’m…” He swallowed. “I’m really glad you’re okay.”

Yamato didn’t answer right away. Instead, he closed his eyes and rested his bruised cheek in Iruka’s palm. Iruka brushed his thumb over the black and blue spots, a little stunned at the action. He moved up and perched on the edge of the bed, not sure how to handle it.

He wondered if it wasn’t an extension of what they’d said earlier. Yamato didn’t have any family—something Iruka was well familiar with—and while he had friends and teammates, it wasn’t quite the same. Maybe, even though they hadn’t actually dated yet, it was more about the fact that Iruka wanted Yamato to come back because he cared in a way the team and Yamato’s friends didn’t.

It certainly felt different. Every time Iruka’s friends left on a mission, he worried about them and hoped they came back safely. This… Yamato… had been harder. He’d been up early, watching the sunrise from his room the morning Yamato left, trying not to think about him leaving. Trying not to worry. As he stood to go back inside, he’d just caught the glimpse of a team leaving the ANBU headquarters. His vision wasn’t good enough to pick out which had been Yamato, but he had no doubt one of them was.

He’d watched until there hadn’t even been a speck of black or gray. Then he’d stood a little longer, saying a prayer for them. It’d taken too long for him to get back inside to get ready for the day.

Iruka didn’t let himself think, didn’t give himself the chance to second-guess, he simply leaned in and brushed his lips over Yamato’s. Yamato came alive under him, mouth opening, tongue touching Iruka’s lips and in seconds, he was lost to the feel and taste of the kiss, of Yamato.

Yamato wrapped one arm around Iruka and with the other hand, cupped his head, holding him close. Iruka concentrated on remembering how to breathe as he returned the kiss. He didn’t want to admit how much he’d missed Yamato, wasn’t quite ready to admit it to himself, but there, with their tongues touching, their arms around each other, he could at least let some of the tangle of emotion inside him out into the kiss.

They broke apart a moment later and Yamato ran his fingers through Iruka’s hair. Neither of them seemed to be able to breathe well and though Iruka was dying to know what Yamato was thinking, he kept his silence and let Yamato go at his own pace… even if that pace was going to kill them both.

But only a moment later, Yamato swallowed and smiled. It was a little shaky and not very wide, but the warmth of it filled Iruka. “That was definitely worth making sure I got home in one piece.”

That surprised a laugh out of Iruka. “I’m glad you think so.”

Yamato nodded. “I do.”

“Um… I’m not sure we’re quite ready for that yet.”

Yamato blinked at him for a long moment, then started laughing only to cut it off with a groan, nearly bending over. “Ugh. Laughing is definitely not something I should do much of.”

“Hey, no making it worse,” Iruka said, glaring. “We can’t go on our date if you’re still stuck here.”

With obvious effort, Yamato pulled himself together and sat up again. “Right. Um… perhaps we should do something a little safer, then, instead of making me laugh.”

Iruka chuckled. “I’m not sure we should do that in here, either.”

Yamato held up a hand, clearly struggling to not laugh again. When he seemed like he’d beaten the urge, he said, “You know, if you hadn’t just kissed me like you did, I’d think you were trying to get out of the date.”

Iruka raised an eyebrow. “You’re not getting out of it that easily.”

“I’m not sure I’d consider several bruised ribs ‘easily.’ Would you?”

Iruka laughed and shook his head. “No, no I wouldn’t. Um, how about some cards, then? That might be safer.”

Yamato smiled and nodded. “Yeah, that might.”

 

 

Yamato wasn’t sure where the evening went. He’d thought they’d end up awkwardly sitting next to each other, with him trying to avoid thinking about their first night together—or the kiss before he left or the one when Iruka came in earlier—but they hadn’t. Iruka had produced a deck of cards from his bag and set up the table between them. They’d spent a good deal of time playing Two-Ten-Jack and though Yamato hadn’t avoided laughing as much as he should have, he wouldn’t have traded the time for anything. He’d loved hearing about Iruka’s students and the fellow teachers. And he’d spent plenty of time telling stories about Kakashi and Naruto and the rest of his team.

After Iruka packed the cards up, he stood next to the bed. “I’m afraid I’ve got to go.”

It did good things to Yamato to hear the genuine disappointment in Iruka’s voice. He smiled and reached out to touch Iruka’s hand. “It’s okay. It is a school night.”

Iruka turned his hand and took Yamato’s. “Yes. And it wouldn’t do if the teacher is the one falling asleep in class.”

Yamato chuckled. “I’m sure that’s generally frowned on, yes.”

“I’ll come back tomorrow, if you’d like.” Iruka wouldn’t look at him, so Yamato squeezed his hand.

When Iruka’s gaze was back on Yamato’s face, he smiled. “I’d like that.”

Iruka opened his mouth, then apparently changed his mind about what he was going to say. He gave a wry smile. “I need to stop making you laugh. So, I’ll just say okay. Um… I’ll be by after classes. Try not to be too bored during the day.”

Yamato smiled. “I… think I can find something to do.”

Red spread over Iruka’s cheeks and he cleared his throat. “Well, there’s the book to read.” He nodded.

“Right. That’s what I was talking about and not the other thing in the bag. Thank you.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” He smirked. “But you’re welcome.”

Iruka surprised Yamato again by leaning in and kissing him softly. Before Yamato could do more, he straightened and stepped away from the bed. “Tomorrow then.”

Yamato nodded. “Bye.” He waved when Iruka did, and couldn’t seem to look away until the door was closed completely.

 

 

Yamato discovered it was really difficult to hide wood shavings and a whittling knife from the nurses. At home–or on missions–it wasn’t something he paid attention to. But despite being careful, the nurses still found them. He swore they had a sixth sense or something. At least, the morning nurse did. He smiled as sweetly as he could, then grew a flower for her and sufficiently distracted her from asking about them. He was careful from then on to clean them up.

It was the only thing that kept him from going completely batshit crazy. He’d had to start over twice, unhappy with what had been coming through. Finally, he gave in and worked the figure that wanted to come out and, of course, it looked much better than his first two attempts.

The dolphin sat, now, on the little moving table. He’d need to sand and finish it later, but he had a feeling Iruka would like it. He hoped, anyway.

Yamato blew out a breath. He’d learned more about Iruka the night before, but the whole idea of being involved with a man still messed with him. It just wasn’t something he’d ever considered before waking up with Iruka in his arms. Even if he acknowledged the fact that he might have been attracted to Kakashi or another guy once or twice, it wasn’t the same, in his mind. What’s more, he’d never had a lot of friendships before, so he couldn’t even draw much on that either.

Before he could work himself up too badly, Iruka knocked. He might have only been there a couple of times before, but Yamato recognized the sound and felt quite a bit better when he did. “Come in!”

Iruka peeked around the door before stepping into the room. “Hi.”

Yamato let the smile spread across his face. “Hi. Um…” He nudged the table closer to Iruka, but found himself suddenly with red cheeks and unable to look up. He wasn’t sure if the play on Iruka’s name was the best idea after all. He swallowed hard.

“Oh! That’s beautiful.”

Yamato looked up, raising his eyebrows. “You like it?”

Iruka nodded several times, smile spreading. “Very much. Is it for me?”

“Yes. I mean, if you want it.”

“Of course I do. Why wouldn’t I?” He looked genuinely puzzled.

“Uh, well…” Yamato cleared his throat. “I didn’t know if the play on your name was… uh… okay or not.”

Iruka blinked, then shook his head. “I don’t mind at all. You might be surprised how many dolphins I have, thanks to gifts from my students.” He chuckled. “Really, I like it. Thank you.” Iruka leaned in and kissed Yamato, but it was too short for him to do much in response.

Yamato breathed a sigh of relief. “So, uh… more cards or something?”

“Yes. Actually, I brought the Hanafuda deck tonight, if you’d like to play some of that.”

“Oh, one of my favorites.”

“Good. Mine too.”

Yamato smiled when Iruka carefully set the dolphin on the side table before digging into his bag. He sat up and pulled out the cards then started shuffling. “So, can you tell me about the mission?”

 

Iruka thought Friday would never get there. He hadn’t seen Yamato since he’d left the hospital Tuesday night. Tsunade had released Yamato late Wednesday morning but according the message Yamato sent Iruka, he’d still been tired and out of sorts. He’d apologized profusely for not seeing Iruka in person—which Iruka thought was nuts since Yamato was still recovering—then finished by making Iruka’s heart thud with a “I look forward to our date.” Iruka had sent a note back, giving his own apology since he had to fill in on the mission desk the next two nights because Izumo and Kotetsu had been sent on a mission. Yamato’s reply had made Iruka’s heart melt even more. Can’t wait until Friday. He couldn’t remember two days ever taking so long to pass.

It was probably best, anyway, so he wouldn’t have to worry about getting up early the next day. But he was damned anxious, even so.

He couldn’t remember the last time he’d looked forward to a date this much. The visits with Yamato at the hospital both evenings had eased a lot of their initial awkwardness with each other. So it’s not like he was nervous or anything, really.

Bullshit. He was. He’d never in his life been on a date with a man before. Even recognizing that he was attracted to the man and possibly bisexual in general didn’t change the fact that this was nerve wracking. He may have been more comfortable with Yamato, but that didn’t do anything to alleviate his worries about what to do on a date with the man.

For one thing, he knew what he usually thought when he took a woman out. Most of the time, even though he’d never push, he wondered if they’d end up in bed.

So his mind was firmly on the possibility of whether or not they’d end up in bed. And that had led to questions about how the hell all that worked. He had vague ideas, both with his hazy memories of the night he and Yamato had already been together, as well as having read references to it in Jiraiya’s books. He was convinced the old Pervy Sage must have been bi himself. But even he hadn’t been very descriptive, much to Iruka’s disappointment when he went back and reread the books. Which he’d done right after that monumental night two weeks ago.

He knew some of what would obviously be involved. He did have a few memories. But even so, it was still somewhat of a mystery to him. So his mind was firmly on sex most of the week, much to his chagrin. He’d finally broken down on his day off and spent some time hiding in the back shelves of the bookstore, reading the few books that he could find that had talked about being gay. The thought of actually buying them had made him want to crawl under a rock, so he spent the time next to the shelves looking through them, hoping for a clue or two. He knew being embarrassed about that was ridiculous—there was absolutely nothing wrong with being gay—but he hadn’t gotten his brain to accept that for himself, yet. Even if he was only bi.

By the time Friday got there, his nerves were shot and he was seriously considering canceling the date just because he was freaking out so much. But he couldn’t bring himself to do it, no matter how nuts he was. He really didn’t want to, and he also wasn’t going to do that to Yamato, not over his nerves.

When the school bell finally rang Friday, he was packed and on his way home within a couple of minutes. He’d blushed but waved at a grinning Maiko before escaping the school. He had a few hours before Yamato was due, but he was determined to get rid of some of his tension before they went out. He didn’t need to spend the entire damned night this insane.

He stopped at the store to pick up a few things and his cheeks downright burned at the look the clerk gave him when he checked out. When she glanced at the enema box and the bottle of lube, he felt like he might as well have had a sign around his neck that said, “I’m planning to have gay sex.” He’d closed his eyes and decided it was his own damned business. When he opened them and glared at her, she at least had the grace to blush.

Of course, finding himself sitting on the toilet, staring at the clear bottle with the long white nozzle brought the embarrassment back full-force. Good grief, am I really thinking about this? Yes, he was. He’d done enough research—yes, research—in those books, to know that it was, if not necessary, definitely a good idea.

He took a deep breath and managed to take care of it without actually dying of embarrassment. The five minutes’ waiting had felt like three hours, but after it was done, he realized that it was all in his head. He was the only one there to see it. Even Yamato didn’t know what he’d done and wouldn’t unless he said something. He sighed at himself while he was getting ready to get into the shower.

Iruka was a grown man, attracted to another man. There wasn’t a damned thing wrong with it and he knew it. There was no reason to be so nervous and worked up. They’d already kissed and touched and that had felt plenty natural. Maybe, just maybe, he was blowing this all out of proportion and anything they did would feel just as natural.

With that thought in his head, he calmed down quite a bit. Of course, after that, his thoughts turned to some of what he’d read—the details— of things they’d probably do and the tension from that started to creep back in. Because he’d liked what he read and found himself seriously aroused.

Enough so, he had to wait to leave the bookstore.

He managed to go back over some of the things he read, looking at it from a more academic point of view. That helped him give some thought to what he might want to try when it came to that. But thinking about that made him think about doing those things with Yamato which reminded him of the last time they were together. It reminded him of the kisses and touches they’d shared already, and in no time flat, he was hard and frustrated. He decided he needed to do something so he could actually maybe enjoy the date itself.

It wasn’t the first time he’d masturbated in the shower before a date. And, since the incident two weeks ago, every time he’d gone to masturbate—which he’d needed to do a ridiculous number of times—he’d been able to think of nothing but Yamato. He let his mind wander back to that night, what he remembered of it, and his imagination filled in the rest.

As he brought back the memory of what it felt like to have Yamato’s cock in his mouth, he started stroking himself. He imagined what it would have been like if they’d been working on each other at the same time and he moved his hand a little faster. He thought about Yamato’s mouth on him, sucking on him, swallowing his cock and before long he called Yamato’s name through his orgasm.

He felt a little better immediately. He scrubbed himself off and climbed out, then stood in front of the mirror, brushing his hair. He nearly pulled it up out of habit, then changed his mind, reminding himself how much Yamato loved it down. The he wondered if he should leave it up for Yamato to take down, then he got annoyed with himself for worrying so damned much about it. He left the tie on the bathroom sink and left the room.

He was still ready way too early. He found himself pacing his apartment, checking the clock every couple of minutes and he stopped mid-stride. Dammit, this is ridiculous! He almost banged his head against the wall. It was just a damned date.

Except it wasn’t, and he knew it. They already felt for each other. Iruka couldn’t even pretend there wasn’t anything between them after the two evenings they’d spent together already. Even if they’d been in a hospital room over cards, the time had only cemented Iruka’s want to learn more, be with Yamato more.

So, while it was “just a damned date,” it was also a first for both of them, and that added a different element to it. How did he handle a date with a man? On top of that, he figured Yamato was probably wondering the same thing he was—what would happen after it was over? Would they go to bed?

He was mid-lap in his living room, his thoughts racing over everything he’d read and researched, nearly working himself back into major tension when the knock came, making him almost jump out of his skin. His hand on his chest to calm his heart, and several deep breaths later, he managed to make it over to the door. He gave himself a second to recognize Yamato’s chakra signature, then let out a breath.

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