It's been several months since Iruka came into the Hatakes' lives. Kakashi stopped stalking Iruka after the second week when Iruka found out. The teacher was incredibly sharp when he wanted to be and none of the pups dared to make the man angry. While Iruka was usually sweet and mild-tempered, the wolves quickly learnt that the teacher had an equally scary side to him and tried to avoid those trigger points at all costs.
The first trigger point was offering help in the kitchen for those who had no experience. Kakashi was often on the receiving end of a spatula or chopstick whenever he tried to assist. The werewolf was slightly puzzled as to why he was allowed into Iruka's kitchen back in the teacher's tiny apartment but kicked out of his own kitchen in the mansion.
The second trigger point was mainly for students who did not do their homework and try to cheat. Iruka as a teacher through and through. He didn't allow laziness when it came to studying time even though he was more than willing to give one to one lessons for those who couldn't cope with their studies. Unlike Kakashi who wasn't really bothered about academic results and focussed more on learning life skills, Iruka was very strict about doing well in school. His reason made Kakashi feel slightly bad for not considering his pup's future in the first place. He didn't think that getting a job to pay for bills was related to studying. According to Iruka, not everyone can become a trader and make a living out of it.
The third trigger point was a little bit weird but Iruka doesn't like it when people don't greet each other before leaving or after coming back home. In just three days, the teacher had taught everyone how to say "I'm leaving" and "I'm home". He would always greet them back with "Travel safely" and "Welcome home" which made the clan feel all sorts of warm when they heard that. It didn't take long for this habit to stick and Kakashi wondered how much deeper it was possible to fall for Iruka.
Although it had only been a few months since Iruka started living with them and about half a year since Kakashi met him, it felt as if Iruka had always been there for them. The only thing that disturbed their happy life and relationship was how Iruka refused to talk about quitting his jobs. Kakashi couldn't even bring up the topic without having Iruka ignore him for the rest of the day. He had the money now to set up a daycare centre for his lover and wanted very much to take their relationship to the next level but his lover remained stubbornly adamant about accepting money from him.
The one thing that made things unhappy in their sweet romance was money and pride. Scratch that, make it two. Kakashi didn't know what to do about it. He wanted to provide and care for Iruka but his mate was stubborn. While Kakashi loved how independent Iruka was, he wished that the teacher would stop pushing himself so hard needlessly. He could understand not wanting to depend on others financially but Kakashi didn't think working three part-time jobs on top of what he did for Kakashi's pack was very good for the man's health in the long run.
The bags beneath Iruka's eyes became worse as the weeks went by. Iruka didn't sleep much and Kakashi knew because his pups told him how late the teacher often went to bed after looking through their homework. In the mornings, Iruka also woke up early to prepare breakfast for everyone and lunchboxes for those who needed them. It wouldn't be long before the teacher worked himself sick and Kakashi couldn't stop the trainwreck from happening.
Monday. It was a normal Monday morning when Iruka woke up feeling like he had been hit by a truck and ran over by a train after he was hit by that truck. Kakashi and his family gathered around the bed and stared at the thermometer.
"Ino, call in sick for a week. Kiba, get the car. Sai, arrange for an appointment with the doctor," Kakashi ordered and everyone scrambled into action.
Iruka didn't have the strength to protest as he was carried into the car swaddled in blankets. It was obvious that Iruka had fallen sick and was having a bad fever on top of a terrible case of cold. Kakashi wasn't going to give the teacher a chance to protest. This was the exact opportunity he needed to convince Iruka to let go of all his current jobs.
Iruka didn't expect to be taken to a private hospital and be immediately awarded a private room where he waited for a doctor together with Kakashi. Ino, Sai and Kiba left as soon as he was warded and Kakashi refused to let Iruka do anything, insisting that he rested until the doctor came. The teacher felt uncomfortable about getting first-class treatment for something as common as a cold.
The doctor arrived about ten minutes after Iruka was warded and was very polite. Kakashi claimed that he was a doctor who worked with the Hatakes' for a long time. Iruka trusted the doctor and relaxed while the doctor went through with the regular check-up procedure.
After a while, the doctor announced that Iruka had a cold from exhaustion and prescribed some medicines as well as a few days of bed rest.
"Even without Hatake-san telling me, I can tell that you're a workaholic. Take it easy for the next few days and you'll recover just fine," the doctor said, much to Iruka's embarrassment before he left.
Kakashi didn't say anything but the knowing look pricked Iruka a lot. The chiding looks he received from the doctor was humiliating enough but now Kakashi had to do the same and Iruka wanted to bury himself under the sheets to escape the burning stare from his left side.
Thankfully, after collecting Iruka's medicine, the journey home was silent. Kakashi didn't say a word about it but only insisted that Iruka leaned on his shoulder to rest while they went back home. Once home, the werewolf carefully nursed Iruka back to health. He had food delivered because Iruka didn't trust the trader with the kitchen so Kakashi obliged.
In three days, Iruka was back to normal much to everyone's relief. However, Kakashi wasn't going to let this go and Iruka knew it. Once the kids were out, Kakashi took Iruka back to the tiny Japanese-style house at the back of the mansion that used to be his living quarters before Iruka came around.
Kakashi slid open the rice paper doors and ushered the teacher in.
"This is the original house that my ancestors had since the Edo era. unfortunately, none of them is around anymore so it's just me. The mansion was built later after I built my wealth to start taking in orphans similar to myself. However, the location is a little silly because it's so out of the way and inconvenient. I remember how the kids used to complain all the time about having to travel so far just to get to school. They didn't use to have towns nearby either."
Iruka laughed at that. He could imagine Sai being annoyed at having to travel so far out for something. Then Kakashi became serious.
"Won't you build a home with me where little ones like them can run around freely in somewhere less rural?"
Iruka choked. That sounded like a proposal and his eyes widened.
Kakashi took one hand into his and kissed the back of it. "I know it's very soon for it but I really want to have a family with you even if it isn't I the conventional sense. You've been very good to my family but they will eventually have to leave the mansion to start families of their own. When that happens, I'll become a very lonely old man. So before the day comes, won't you settle down with me? We might have known each other for less than a year but you and I both know this was meant to be."
Iruka stared at the simple gold ring that Kakashi produced and inhaled. never in his wildest dreams did he think that he would get proposed to. When he was with Mizuki, he always thought that he would be the one proposing.
"It's too sudden..." Iruka explained but Kakashi put a finger on his lips.
"Don't. Don't reply me just yet, you can hold into the ring and think about it. Just like with your jobs, you can think about it but don't keep me waiting for too long. The contractors need two months to renovate the house I bought to convert it into a home on the second floor and a daycare on the first."
Iruka gaped and his eyes bulged. Did Kakashi really buy a house predicting what his answer would be? That arrogance... yet Iruka didn't dislike it. The weight of the gold band in his hand didn't feel uncomfortable but Iruka was still hesitant. Wasn't this a little too good to be true?
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