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Confidence
sashimilover wrote in red_moon_comm
Who: Anko, Iruka
When: Right after Kakashi and Iruka's first date
Where: Iruka's livingroom
Summary: Anko being protective and Iruka talking about Kakashi
Rating: PG-13 (for mention stuff but not actual stuff)
Warnings: mentions yaoi


Iruka shut his door then leaned against it. His stomach was unbelievably knotted up and he actually wasn’t sure how he felt right then. He pushed himself away from the door, kicked his shoes off and headed into the livingroom and stopped. Anko was sitting on his couch with a beer in one hand and the remote in the other. He’d been so lost in his own head he hadn’t even noticed the noise of the TV. Walking over he grabbed her half full beer and plopped down on the floor in front of her. “Waiting with a beer for me, you’re so nice.”

Waiting had been excessively boring. Less boring had been making a mess of Iruka's DVD collection. Not that forcing someone's door (politely, of course; she hadn't kicked the thing down or smashed the hinges off, just convinced the lock that it wanted to open for her despite her lack of a key) and then turning on a movie full of explosions was particularly subtle. But Anko had never really gone for subtle before, and certainly saw no reason to do so now. After a night like she was sure he'd just had? The poor thing needed her, noisy explosions and all.

"Only the best for my baby," she replied with a chirp. Her fingers managed to hit the mute button on the remote before she dropped it onto the couch lazily and scooted forward to the edge of her seat. Now holding nothing, she was free to tug out Iruka's hair tie, instantly tangling her fingers in her old friend's hair as she settled calmly into leaning over him, half-curling, faintly protective and not unlike a snake beginning to settle around its prey. "I warmed it up and everything. You're lucky I'm such a perfect friend, you know."

“And drank half of it too I see.” He laughed and leaned back into her hands. Her being there didn’t really surprise him and if he’d had any idea how the night would go he’d probably have asked her to come over anyway. “Come in through the kitchen door?” It was the easiest to pick and she always lost her key whenever he gave her one so he’d stopped bothering.

The laughter is a good sign. It is, in fact, the first good sign on a long checklist of Signs Iruka Is Comfortable. His laugh wasn't hasty or forced, and his body was leaning comfortably into the protective shell hers was creating. Anko tallied this to be somewhere in the range of 'he's glad I'm here,' although left her uncertain as to whether he was glad because things hadn't gone well or because he wanted to babble on about how fantastic it had been. There was a bit of a pool running on the topic. So she hummed absently, planting a firm kiss on the top of Iruka's head before resuming her absent petting of his hair. "Don't be ridiculous, Iru. I'm much classier than that. And buying you a deadbolt, because it's getting really easy to kick open."

Iruka took a big gulp of the beer and shook his head. “Then how would you get in?” He smiled then leaned his head back and looked up at her and let out a breath. His nerves still felt on end and it was impossible for him to figure out how he felt right then. Part of the time he’d felt amazingly happy and then on the otherside of that he’d screwed up so bad that he’d felt like banging his head against the wall of the cave or worse. The smile was winning at the moment because he had a second date, Kakashi had kissed him, and right then that seemed to outweigh all the horrible, stupid, idiotic things he’d done to screw up. “I screwed up. Bad.”

Another teasing jibe--this time about breaking windows--faltered on Anko's tongue as he leaned back and looked properly up at her. Iruka was smiling, yes, but he was also sighing. And, what's more, now that she could properly see his face, she discovered he was smiling in that weird kicked-puppy sort of way that he had since they were children when things were awkward.

"Oh?" She kept the word light, just a little airy, both brows quirked in anticipation as if the single syllable implied that Iruka was now going to explain everything in detail to her.

“It was fine, great actually at first. I took him to the caves and showed him how to make a wish and it was nice then I open my big stupid mouth.” That moment was probably going to haunt him forever. “How do I manage to do that, screw things up so badly?” Iruka reached up and rubbed at the scar on his nose. “I thought he knew it wasn’t real and then I realized he didn’t. I felt like such a fucking ass.” His gaze shifted so he was staring off at nothing. “Damn he looked good though...” It hadn’t hit him exactly how nice of a body Kakashi had until he’d gone to pick him up.

Iruka rubbed his eyes then focused again on Anko. “Up until that point though and well even certain parts after if you could ignore the bad parts, because those were really bad... but if you could ignore those it was amazing.” Even the ‘fake parts’ were which was the really stupid part he thought, because they could have had those moments for real if he hadn’t screwed up. “I kept trying to fix things, I even took him up to the cave and that was obviously the wrong move. I think that made things worse actually.” Kakashi had acted like he either wanted to get as far away from him as possible or like he just didn’t care about the cave at all which had made him feel worse.

"...two steps back, mm?"

Anko was, of course, less than pleased to find (from a skillful parsing of her friend's disjointed words and wandering attention) that she'd been correct in her assessment of kicked-puppy-nature. The hands that had been resting idly in her friend's hair shifted as Iruka leaned back to look at her again, this time gently smoothing his cheeks with her thumbs in a quietly familiar gesture.

As much as she wanted to dissect the implications of the misadventure being amazing and Kakashi looking good, the story was drastically lacking in coherency. "Start where things are great and go from there. Use little words so 'neesan can understand."

His cheeks flushed a bright red and Iruka closed his eyes. He knew he sounded scattered because it echoed how he felt right then. Very carefully he explained about showing Kakashi the view and how he’d tried to explain why it wasn’t later. “After that he started asking questions about dating and just the thought of him going out with somebody else really bothered me. What right do I have to get jealous anyway?”

He half sighed, half laughed at how stupid it was. “I think the worst part is that he seemed to think it was his fault that things were so messed up. Anyways like I said I tried to take him up to our cave because I’d wanted to show it to him anyway but he was dressed really nice. He kept asking questions which only made it more obvious how much I’d screwed things up so that didn’t really do anything except make it worse.” Honestly he didn’t know what he’d expected except that he’d wanted to share that with Kakashi and he was desperate to make things go back to being like that had been. “I think he kept trying to make it okay that it wasn’t okay. By the time we actually got out of the caves I honestly thought I was going to fall apart and then...” Iruka blushed all over again.

There was a lot to be concerned about... and mildly concerned about, if Anko was reading the situation right. She couldn't stop a rather dubious frown from settling over her lips, brows furrowed and teeth digging absently into the inside of her cheek while Iruka rambled. Even the less scattered version of the story was a little sketchy at best, like he'd had his emotional screen down and the night had simply run over him with a vengeance. Not, she noted with a sigh, that Iruka had the best emotional defense system to begin with.

"...and then?" The trailing off was more than mildly concerning. It was a cause of legitimate concern. Lips pursed, Anko poked the flushed cheeks beneath her hands with a little jab of her index finger. "Full disclosure."

The blush got darker and he laughed a little. “I planned it so when we got out of the caves it’d be right by that little cafe and we could have dinner there and I actually panicked a little about it. He offered me an out, said we didn’t have to but I guess my stubborn streak won out and I grabbed his hand and dragged him inside.” He had the hardest time giving up even when he knew logically he should, maybe it wasn’t an entirely bad thing though. “I’d been doing that up until it got weird and I think that actually helped more than anything. It calmed me down a little anyway.” There really was something about holding Kakashi’s hand or just touching him that made Iruka feel better.

“I got us bentos and we sat outside and watched the sunset and...” He laughed a little thinking about the dinner. “Two of the girls made everything into cutesy little shapes and then stood by the door watching us. It was really sweet, one of those things that would have been perfect for a real date.” His voice pitched a little and he looked off to the side. “It was supposed to be pretend right then but he kind of suggest it because of the girls watching and well... he kissed me.” Iruka looked straight up at Anko right then, very seriously wanting her to understand how much that kiss had affected him. “Nobody’s ever kissed me like that. Not even Ibiki. I couldn’t think straight, it was like everything else just melted away.”

"...fuck, Iruka." Not Anko's most eloquent statement, but perhaps one of the most on point she'd made in some time. It wasn't just the fact that they'd kissed, after all--although that was certainly a bad enough idea in and of itself, one she could have written volumes and volumes on if she'd particularly been inclined to discuss her undercover work with anyone at all.

What was nevertheless ultimately concerning was the distinct shade he was blushing.

Anko wasn't a genius. She was, however, a Very Smart Girl, particularly when it came to things like keeping an eye on people who were important to her. Iruka was important to her. And he was looking her dead in the eyes, with a completely unabashed flush, and telling her about a kiss like it was from The One (if such a person existed)... and came on a fake date with a man she had in no way vetted for the position of dating her best friend and who had perhaps one of the worst reputations of any candidate she'd ever met. So, eruditely and with deep meaning, she managed another attempt at expression. "...are you serious?"

“It was actually incredibly sweet as stupid as that probably sounds given everything.” It was probably really dumb of him and he knew it. “We were kind of joking around and flirting but it was supposed to be pretend. I kind of...” Iruka closed his eyes really tight for a moment. “...did this really stupid cheesy thing with the sausage from the bento. It sounds so lame right now.” He covered his eyes with his hand, not even sure why he’d told her that part. “Kakashi acted like he thought it was hot but I think he was just... we were just having fun. I uhm kind of offered to sleep with him though, like... seriously.” Iruka couldn’t look at her, it was actually more than a little embarrassing and it sounded so desperate now that he thought about it.

This was why Iruka needed to get laid more. It was painfully apparent now. If she'd been able to, Anko would have jumped on the phone and ordered Iwashi over to stage some sort of intervention--but it sounded like it might be too late. Her fingers tightened just a bit on the sides of Iruka's face, frown more pronounced than before.

"Tell me you're kidding. Please. Or that he thought you were kidding, at least."

Iruka sighed and dropped his hand. “Of course he did, though I think that makes it more pathetic.” That moment had probably been where it sank in what he was missing out on. “He actually thanked me for the stupid fake date because up until I screwed it up he said he felt special though he didn’t say I screwed it up.” Talking about it all, explaining it all was really making him wonder why Kakashi had agreed to a second date. “I explained that, that was what I’d wanted in the first place and he actually wanted to walk back with me through the caves and he was really nice.” Iruka sniffed a little and rubbed his eyes. He still didn’t get it, why Kakashi had tried to cheer him up. “He’s really sweet and he wasn’t mad at me. I honestly don’t know why apparently nobody’s seen that before. He’s hot and he’s nice and wow he can kiss, how he’s never been on a date before is a mystery.”

"Is it because more than half the time he's an unmitigated ass?" Anko supplied helpfully. True, he wasn't quite Mizuki; the idea of anyone else reaching that level of detestable was terrifying indeed. But Kakashi's reputation was hardly encouraging... and Iruka's ability to understand when someone wasn't worth his time was hardly reliable. Mizuki, sadly, being a perfect case in point. "It was just a kiss, Iruka. He's just a guy. A guy who makes nice people--people like you--go a little crazy. You slaughtered a whole innocent family of vegetables over his sorry idiocy. Brutally." She managed to clip the dramatic reminder short, leaving out that the screams of the poor things haunted her dreams--after all, she was meant to be making a point. "Even if he is some sort of sweet dumpling wrapped in the shell of a cranky monster, you need to take a deep breath before you keep talking like that."

The reminder made Iruka laugh and blush at the same time. “I think Iwashi might be right on that though. I think I let my temper get the better of me and well he didn’t know about Mizuki until after and you know he was really nice about it.” When Iruka had told her about the date, he’d kind of glazed over that. “You know he actually agrees with you about Mizuki and it’s really not that I think he’s perfect but I probably murdered those poor vegetables for the wrong reasons.” He grabbed her hands and twined their fingers. “I might have possibly been unfairly comparing him to Mizuki.” Iruka had thought about it after the breakroom incident. “Besides it’s not like he thinks he’s perfect, he’s actually really hard on himself. He doesn’t think anyone would ever want to date him. This being a fake one didn’t really help that.”

Her fingers twined easily with Iruka's, more from habit than in acceptance of what he was saying. After all, she had yet to meet with a conversation involving Iruka where Mizuki was discussed where the two of them actually properly agreed on everything being said. It was just their fate as friends.

"I don't know, Iruka..."

“I like him... it’s crazy but he kisses me and I can’t see straight... even the second time..” He wasn’t arguing with her just stating a fact. “Anyways I convinced him to go on a real date with me.” He was worried it wouldn’t go any better than the first time but there were just moments that made it impossible for him to give up on the idea.

Anko was stubborn. Iruka had conviction. It was always a hard match. For the moment, however, she seemed to be relenting just a hair, still frowning but gnawing on her lip with thoughtful determination. Her fingers drummed absently against the hands they were holding, and she shook her head despite the firmness with which he continued to explain himself. "Seems like you're pushing your luck, is all."

“Probably...” Iruka shrugged because there wasn’t really anything he could do about it. “He wouldn’t sleep with me even though I kind of suggested it again. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to either cuz I really think he did.” He might have been fooling himself on that one but he wanted to think Kakashi wanted him at least a little bit as much as he wanted Kakashi. “He said no because I’d said I didn’t want to sleep with somebody I wasn’t in a relationship with the other day when we were talking and I asked him out all of that.” It had surprised him a little since Kakashi had said himself he didn’t usually turn down sex. “I would have too.”

That, of course, got Anko's attention properly. One hand untangled from Iruka's and, once freed, came down in a largely friendly but certainly displeased little swat across the top of his head. It was one thing that Iruka had gotten himself entangled in another date with a man who made him want to murder vegatables--it was another thing entirely to be admitting that a fake date and romanticized kiss might have led to the sort of entanglement that is much harder to extract from. "Then you're damn lucky I'm here," she snorted, half-glaring down at her friend. "You would've needed someone to kick your ass after kicking him out."

Iruka laughed and ducked his head a little. “I don’t think I would’ve made home if he hadn’t said no... his apartment was closer.” It was nice that she was worried about him though he didn’t think it was necessary. “You know his reputation aside he’s really a lot more like Ibiki than Mizuki. Although Ibiki didn’t tell me no when I jumped him.” And that had been his and Ibiki’s first real date since it was the first one that didn’t involve lunch at his dorm room.

"This is seriously not one of your best ideas ever, you know," Anko chided with a little shake of her own head. Still, her fingers went back to the calmer, less aggressive (if slightly more protectively possessive) work of shifting through her friend's hair rather than prodding at him. "Careful that you're not getting your 'I need to get laid' and your 'I can think things out logically' wires crossed, ne?"

“Don’t get me wrong I definitely wouldn’t mind but it’s more that he’s really a good guy. I mean as badly as this could have gone, hell as badly as it did go in some ways... he was really nice about it.” Kakashi wouldn’t let him take the blame for it and the more Iruka thought about that the more he admired Kakashi as a person. “If somebody had done it to me, good intentions or not I think I’d have been pissed.” It would have hurt his pride and Iruka knew himself well enough to know how he’d react to that. “He kept trying to make me feel better about myself and not just today either. When I told him about what happened with Mizuki before in the breakroom he was nice and well he didn’t use it against me even though I’d been kind of mean to him about the dream thing and well his lack of relationships.”

Anko was clearly still not entirely convinced. Her frown remained in place, if perhaps a hint more thoughtful than before. It was... nice, after all, to hear Iruka talking about someone like this. It would have been infinitely nicer if it had been about someone she knew, approved of, and hadn't been fully inundated with rumors about. That still didn't particularly sit right with her. "So maybe he's a good guy. And maybe he's got a hot ass. Still seems like you should think about it before you start throwing around any more offers for sexy relations."

“Mm... yeah probably though you were the one to suggest I fuck him back when I was pissed off at him...” Iruka pointed out, chuckling a little at the reversal of the conversation. “And now that it turns out he’s actually a really nice guy you’re telling me I shouldn’t?” He knew she’d only been teasing him but it was kind of funny. “It’s hard not to flirt with him but you’re probably right and it’s probably a good idea he keeps saying no but that’s actually more of a turn on because I know he’s not the type to say no and well his reasons tend to have to do with me not being the one night stand type anymore anyway and it’s...” It sounded silly to say it but it was the only word Iruka could think of. “...sweet.”

The chuckle, of course, earned another swat, although it's coupled with Anko bending over even more completely to nuzzle briefly against her friend's temple. Damn it if he didn't make it hard to even pretend to be annoyed with him. "Well, now that I've said both, either way things work out, I'm right," she pointed out before offering the slightest bit of a sigh. "If he's really that good of a guy, Iru, really sweet like you say..."

“He is.” It had taken Iruka by surprise but Kakashi was a genuinely good guy. “I’m a little worried I screwed the one real chance I had with him. He said he wanted to know if we could connect and up until it was clear that it wasn’t a real date we were. Now it’s like... I don’t know I think he... it’s like it’s hard for him to believe I would want to date him when I didn’t before.”

"...you know you're a really good catch, right?" Given the doe-eyed way Iruka's currently dealing with the other officer's obviously esteemed image, she doesn't bother to add the rest of the thought that nevertheless sharpens her tone a hair: that anyone would be lucky to be allowed to be close and intimate and loving with her friend, and that she (as always) clearly continues on her determined quest to make damn sure potential applicants for the position of his significant other get more of a vetting than Mizuki did--although that, of course, was a horrible special case all its own. "If he's any sort of smart and worthwhile, it's not worth banging your head against the wall worrying you scared him off. Even when you're being an ass, it's easy to see you're the best. He sees it or he doesn't. And if he doesn't, he's a moron."

“I hope so. He’s all those things even the moron part at times. Not in a bad way though he just doesn’t seem be very socially adept.” Iruka felt better and nowhere near as nervous or agitated about the things that had gone wrong though now that he’d talked to Anko. “That doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll work out but I hope it does.”

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