Series: Monoshizukanohi//Naruto AU
Rating: Mature. BDSM, mild bondage, m/m sex, rimming, horror elements
Pairing: Iruka & Kakashi
Word Count: Total is ~12,500 words, posted in two parts.
Warnings/Notes: D/s relationships, set in Monoshizukanohi AU, language, references to abuse, m/m sex
Spoilers: None whatsoever.
Summary: When Kakashi has to go get proof of a haunted mansion, he negotiates with Iruka to get the professor to come along for the ride. But they both get far more than they bargained for when they reenact the ritual to invoke the evil dead.
"I think you missed the turn," Hatake Kakashi said, carefully folding the highway map along the appropriate seam.
A sigh filled the interior of the Tesla, and Kakashi looked up from his map to watch Professor Umino Iruka lift the edge to glance at the electronic screen above the gearshift.
"Not according to the GPS," Iruka replied.
"Technology lies," Kakashi calmly stated. Stretching his neck, he thought about calling Heather at Glow to check in, but quickly dismissed that as she'd probably fuss. Tell him that she could handle Kakashi's bar just fine, thank you very much, and would he please leave her alone and enjoy himself.
Smiling, Kakashi studied squiggling road lines and then squinted out the window at a sign covered by mossy vines. Big help that was; so good of road maintenance to make driving more challenging. As if the windy back roads with blind curves weren't enough.
"And people misread maps," Iruka pointed out.
Kakashi gasped in mock outrage. "Are you implying that I cannot navigate?"
Iruka smirked, and it showed his dimple, which made Kakashi grin. "Do you remember the time we had that picnic up in New Hampshire?"
Kakashi's grin grew wider. "On the side of the road. In the fall."
"Is that all you remember?" Iruka glanced at him, chocolate eyes warm.
"Hm…now that you mention it, I do seem to recall you tying me to a tree and fucking me 'til I begged for mercy."
Iruka shifted in the seat. "Mmm…and?"
"Hm…lying over you lap for the hour following the fuck while you picked bark out of my ass?"
Iruka laughed, and a blush tinged the dusky skin of his cheeks. Kakashi leaned back, head turned to study the other man. The aftercare of the tree incident had been oddly enjoyable, really: the professor said the sweetest things when caught up in a mixture of chagrin and pride.
"But then the highway patrol showed up and ruined that game," Kakashi said, smirking.
"Oh God…" Iruka took a hand off the wheel to smooth it over his hair, forehead to ponytail.
Kakashi chuckled. "It all worked out."
"You and your silver tongue."
"I am good with my mouth," Kakashi said humbly, returning to his study of the map.
"You are. And then the officers were good enough to get us back on the main road." Iruka looked pointedly at Kakashi.
"Are you suggesting I got us lost on purpose?"
"Not suggesting. Stating."
"Fine, fine," Kakashi answered. "You caught me. But I swear that's not the case this time, and I really do think we should have turned back at the old, dead tree stump."
"…did you really just say that?"
Kakashi whistled a short funeral march. "Left onto MacIntosh, few miles more into the middle of nowhere, then a right onto Lucifer Way."
Iruka snapped his head to stare incredulously at Kakashi for the half a second it took him to figure out Kakashi was joking. "Lucifer Way, hm?" the professor said. "Is that off Beelzebub Pike?"
"And runs smack into That Bitch With An Apple Me Do It Lane."
Iruka snorted, slowed down, and did a sweeping turn in the middle of the road. It was four in the afternoon on a Sunday, and Kakashi hadn't seen another car in an hour. He took that as a good omen.
"We're really doing this," Iruka muttered, smoothly shifting gears.
Iruka's lips tilted up in a smile at the sound of the title. Kakashi looked down at the map else his lover catch the expression of unmasked affection on the gray-haired bartender's face.
"Can you run me through the legend one more time?" Iruka asked.
"Of course," Kakashi said amiably. "Anything to aid you in your assimilation of facts."
"Just the legend, Kakashi. Hold the sarcasm."
"That's more impossible than the legend, and you know it." Kakashi folded the map to a smaller surface area, and Iruka turned dutifully next to the dead tree stump. It was scorched black across the top, and that made Kakashi swallow.
"Right." He cleared his throat and then spoke in his best bartender story-telling voice. "Once upon a time, the Devil lived in them thar hills."
Iruka rolled his eyes at Kakashi's heinous accent. Kakashi licked his lips and continued. "The so-called 'Devil's Mansion' housed not only the fallen angel, himself, but also his mistress. A lovely woman, I'm sure, but not altogether bright."
"You don't say," Iruka muttered.
"For she decided it'd be a good idea to take a lover while the Devil was out doing whatever the hell he did during the week. Apparently, the Devil was only home on Sundays, and the little woman got bored roaming around a massive house with only her knitting and thoughts of eternal damnation to keep her company."
Iruka shook his head in mock sympathy.
"I know, tragic, yes?" Kakashi sighed. "Anyway, the idiot takes a lover, the Devil figures it out, and dear Lucy catches the poor bastard as he's leaving on his walk of shame back to the farm. The Devil tells the guy that he can have the woman, but they must forever be known as Mr. and Mrs. L. Oh -- turn here."
Obeying, Iruka smoothly navigated the car onto another side road. A pasture rolled by the driver's side of the vehicle, and dense woods obscured the view to the right. A rickety wooden fence closed in the wheat-colored grasses, and leaves the color of fire and sunset dipped low over the unlined road. There were no cattle in the field, no houses, no sign of life whatsoever. Kakashi went quiet as the road swept around to the left and they passed by a dead orchard.
The trees were scorched black.
Kakashi suppressed a shiver, told himself he was being an idiot -- this was his idea, after all. He couldn't very well back out now.
"Go on," Iruka prodded.
"So the guy returns the next night to tell the lucky lady the good news," Kakashi continued, voice quieter. "She seems to take it pretty well, they have a nice dinner, and they head up to the bedroom. But instead of making with the love, the woman makes with the violence and kills her lover."
"Theories as to why?" Iruka asked.
"The escape was no real escape," Kakashi explained. "They'd forever be branded as Mr. and Mrs. Lucifer, and I guess that didn't sit well with her."
"Ah," Iruka said, nodding.
"She kills him, and the Devil shows up."
"He grabs them both, hauls their asses up to the roof and proceeds to eat them from the inside out, leaving only their skins." Kakashi paused for effect. "Then he feeds the skins to the birds and housecats, and takes off once he's satisfied he's exacted his vengeance."
Iruka shuddered. "And I ask, what are we doing here?"
"We're going to go have dinner and sex in the haunted house to see if we can conjure up the ghosts. Supposedly, every Sunday in October the old manor comes to life with this little slice of macabre theater."
"I repeat: why are we doing this?"
"Because I'm curious. Because it sounds insane even to me." Kakashi paused. "And because I lost a bet to Neji and told him I'd bring back proof."
Iruka shook his head. "You have got to stop playing poker with that kid. You're going to lose your ass -- and, for the record? That belongs to me."
Kakashi grinned, some of the nerves the story inspired fading with Iruka's banter. "I would never gamble away something you hold so dear, Professor."
With an unimpressed noise, Iruka glanced down at the GPS and slowed for a turn. "Now let's go over what I get for accompanying you as a witness on this idiot quest."
Spine straightening, Kakashi watched the trees crowd in on both sides of the road, branches thick enough to block out the sunlight. "I'm doing dishes for a month."
"Cooking dinner every Saturday for two months." Kakashi kept the smile off his face as he felt the familiar tide of love and hate that he had with Iruka's ability to drive an incredibly hard bargain.
Kakashi sighed, put-upon. "And I'm going on the family retreat in December."
"Yes. You are."
"With all of your family. Packed in a cabin. With no escape."
Iruka grinned, eyes on the road, which was getting worse by the minute, tires dipping into potholes and foliage creeping in on both sides of the blacktop.
"That which does not kill you…" Iruka quipped.
"Makes me want to drink heavily."
Iruka's smile turned wicked, and Kakashi watched the transformation from mild-mannered literature professor at Monoshizukanohi University to sadistic top. It took two seconds and stole Kakashi's breath; made his heart pound harder than the idea of a ghostly romantic dinner for four.
"What else did you promise me, Kashi?"
The nickname made Kakashi shiver. "Dunno what you mean, boss."
"Innocent and ignorant does not become you. Try again."
God, that voice. Kakashi twisted and leaned over to kiss his Sir's shoulder, the confines of the electric car making it an easy reach. "I may have agreed to you setting my ass on fire. Again."
Iruka glanced at Kakashi, delight in his eyes. "You did. And you're doing what for me?"
Kakashi chuckled and put a hand on Iruka's arm. "Shaving everything from the neck down?"
"No blindfold, so I have to watch. And I'm letting you have your fun in public at Break."
Now Iruka shivered with a tiny sound, and Kakashi blew on the professor's neck.
"And in exchange we get to go to a haunted house to have a creepy dinner followed by a nice fuck in a haunted, moldy bed and then, if we're lucky, we get to see someone get murdered!" Kakashi sat back in his seat.
Iruka made an affirmative noise. "All the more reason why you had to agree to come with me and my family on a weekend vacation."
"I don't think you want me to draw the parallels there, Sir."
"Draw them all you like in your own head."
Kakashi laughed and then jerked forward as Iruka hit the brakes. "Is that a driveway?"
It took Kakashi a second to see the break in the undergrowth that looked vaguely like a path. A pillar of stone stood next to it, moss and weeds obscuring the marker.
"Could be," Kakashi answered. "First one I've seen, so…"
Iruka nodded once and turned the wheel, easing over a ditch and onto dry leaves. At the worst, they'd have to turn around in someone's front yard with a wave of apology. But this felt right; inasmuch as the cold chill running up and down Kakashi's spine could feel anything but unnerving. Kakashi sneered at himself: between Break, Neji, and the military one would think something like Satan's vacation home wouldn't affect him so much.
Branches reached in like claws, and Kakashi winced for the Tesla's paint job as Iruka crept forward in first gear. The path veered to the right, and a rock wall grew from the earth, blocking the view momentarily until the car swept around and entered a clearing. Iruka hummed a note of apprehension and stopped.
The house wasn't nearly as large as Kakashi expected, but what it lacked in imposing size it made up for in atmosphere. A square structure made of brick and stone, the house rose tall into the branches of the trees, which had grown up and around the manor in what should have been a lovely canopy. But the trees directly around the house were dead, the branches twisted, gnarled, twigs and sticks, and a thick carpet of brown moss and lichen covered the ground. The glass in the tall windows was broken, vines dug into the brick like probing fingers, and the three chimneys had crumbled away, rock fallen to the forest floor.
Strangely, the front door was in tact: large, heavy, with ring knocker and rusted handle. Above the door, some enterprising kid had spray-painted a "666," though that was the only graffiti that Kakashi saw. A pike weathervane stood tall on the roof, and what looked like a hornet's nest wrapped around the base. Off to the side of the house was an old wrought-iron gate encircling a small patch of land: garden or cemetery, Kakashi didn't know.
Wind rustled the trees, the branches scraped against the house with loud scratches of dead wood on shingles, and the hair on the back of Kakashi's neck stood on end.
"Oh. That's not so bad, then," Iruka said softly and climbed out of the car. Kakashi sputtered and flailed for the door handle.
"Well, I'm sure we could move right in," Kakashi said, closing the door and watching Iruka go to the tiny trunk. He opened it, removed a canvas bag, and slammed the lid shut.
"Who does own the property?" Iruka asked. He stopped next to the car, head tilted. His short, leather jacket was unzipped to show the brown shirt he wore beneath it, ends tucked into his jeans. His hair, pulled away from his face while it was still wet, curled in its tail, and another breeze rustled soft strands along his hairline.
Wrapping his arms over his chest, Kakashi was glad he opted for the heavy blue sweater, though he wasn't sure it would do a damned bit of good for the kind of chill that plagued him. "Private company," Kakashi answered. "Someone who enjoys owning useless property."
Iruka thought about that, shrugging one shoulder as he walked past Kakashi. "Maybe going to fix it up? Sell?"
Kakashi shook his head, following the professor to the front door and pulling his cell phone from his pants' pocket. "Not happening. Several families have tried to live here over the years, but none of them made it through the month of October." Kakashi grinned, more a grit and gleam of teeth than a real smile. "The dinner show was too much." Kakashi snapped pictures of the front of the house, gathering Neji's proof.
"Well…that and the screaming," Iruka said mildly. "Put anyone off their dinner." He reached for the handle, found the door ajar, and pushed it open on utterly silent hinges.
"Why is that creepier than a rusty squeak?" Kakashi whispered, trying to ignore Iruka's comment about vocal spirits.
Pausing, Iruka looked at the bartender. "We can leave." Dark eyes searched Kakashi's mismatched set, studying.
"Already here," Kakashi said. The combination of adrenaline and Iruka's focused gaze was doing strange things to Kakashi. He didn't know if he wanted to run or slam Iruka into a wall and kiss the professor senseless.
Not so shocking that Kakashi liked fear; he'd seen what Iruka could do with a whip, after all. But liking this kind of anxiety intrigued him. Terrified the fuck out of him, too, but Kakashi thought he could handle that. He took a deep breath.
A gentle smile played over Iruka's lips. "You need a safeword for the haunted house game, Kashi?"
Kakashi snorted, rolled his eyes and walked into the foyer like an idiot hell bent on self destruction. At least it was good to be on familiar turf.
"Hi, honey, we're home!" Kakashi called, unable to help himself. Nothing answered him, and relief dumped into Kakashi's veins. Behind him, Iruka shut the door, coming to stand next to him, looking around while Kakashi's phone clicked and stored images.
A wide staircase led to the upper floor, the risers and banister still solid. Debris of all sorts -- beer bottles, trash, leaves, cigarette butts -- covered the wooden floor and the tattered rugs over it. To Kakashi's surprise, furniture still stood around the entry room: a small table, an empty cabinet, a grandfather clock with the glass facing cracked. Everything was covered in grime and dust, but it was easy to imagine the room in its prime: lit up by the chandelier above their heads.
"Standard floor plan," Iruka said, voice quiet in the gloom.
Kakashi nodded. "Yeah, seems to be. Parlors to the left and right…" Kakashi looked and saw the doorways, which were lower than spec height in this day and age. Together, Iruka and Kakashi wandered into the room to the left.
"Kitchen back there?" Iruka pointed at a pocket door that stood partially open in front of them. A bricked-up fireplace was to their right, cloudy windows filtering in evening light on the left. The room was empty except for an ancient, broken-down recliner. Definitely not vintage.
"Yeah…servant's quarters beyond it." Kakashi turned, walking back into the entry. A hallway ran next to the staircase leading toward the back of the house. The room off to the right of the foyer had glass doors: one of them was off its hinges, panels broken and pieces of glass crunching underneath Kakashi's boots.
"Library," Iruka whispered, making Kakashi jump.
"Sorry," the professor said.
Kakashi grunted, eyes narrowing as he walked closer to the room lined in shelves. Two old winged back chairs covered in fabric long gone to decay stood in the room. There were still books covered in dirt, but there was a bong in one corner.
"Kids," Kakashi muttered.
"Yeah. Brats. Breaking into private haunted property." Iruka tsked.
"Hooligans. Infidels." Kakashi winked at Iruka, making the man shake his head.
"Where's the dining room?"
"Back toward the kitchen, probably," Kakashi said. "Flashlights?"
Nodding, Iruka grabbed two Maglites from the canvas bag, handing one over to Kakashi. Twin beams scanned over the walls that dripped with peeling paper and smelled like mildew. Kakashi led the way down the hallway, trying not to notice the defaced portrait he passed of a woman missing her head. Best to ignore that and the fact that it looked like the paint had been burned off as opposed to scratched with a knife. Cigarette burns, probably…
The house opened up into a wide room with windows along the back. A narrow staircase led to the upper floors -- for servant access. A hallway led off to the left toward the kitchen. A door stood next to it -- probably down to the basement, a place Kakashi definitely didn't care to explore. Flashlight beams played over the ceiling, and Kakashi hissed a noise to the asshole who'd written, "Help Me" in the muck on the windows.
"That looks promising," Iruka said, sounding entirely too damned calm. Kakashi was ready to come out of his skin, and he solemnly swore to himself that next time he'd just bet his porn collection against Neji's raise as opposed to a damned dare. How childish was that? He quickly swore another oath to himself: he was going to stop mixing alcohol, poker, and Neji into the same evening.
Kakashi scowled and walked over to Iruka, who stood in front of a pair of closed doors that looked far cleaner than the rest of the house.
Taking one more picture, Kakashi shoved the phone back in his pocket. "That's one way of looking at it," he said, tucking the heavy flashlight under his arm as he tried the doorknob. The door opened -- soundlessly -- and the other one swung with it.
"Indeed," Iruka said as the walked into the dining room. A long table took up most of the space. There was another bricked-up fireplace to the left, a massive chandelier dangling crystal fingers was fixed into the ceiling above, and chairs with high backs lined the walls and offered seating. A clock covered in cobweb and two inches of dust stood on the stone mantel, and a sideboard stood sentry along the right wall.
Every surface was clear; not clean, but not covered in pizza boxes or ashtrays or any other evidence of humanity.
"Looks a little better for the lack of use," Iruka said.
"Strange people; not eating at the table."
A hand slipped into Kakashi's, squeezed, and let go. "So, what do we do?"
If Kakashi didn't know better, he'd say Iruka was enjoying himself. He gestured to the bag, and Iruka held it out and open. Kakashi retrieved a folder with his notes on the house.
"So organized," Iruka praised, trying not to laugh.
"Hush," Kakashi replied without venom or command. "Old habits." He flipped a page while Iruka walked over to the fireplace, inspecting the clock.
"Here we go…I knew we had to make an offering, just couldn't remember where the devil to put it."
A thump from above their heads made Kakashi's neck snap up and heart beat hard against his breastbone.
"Trees," Iruka said, sure and firm as he shined his light over the ceiling before letting it fall to rest by Kakashi's feet. "But I'd watch the diction."
"Duly noted, boss," Kakashi deadpanned.
Iruka set the bag on the table, got out an electric lantern and light lit up the room a second later. It made Kakashi feel better; made him feel less like someone pulled at his spine as though trying to rend it from his body.
"We put the offering on the table, and then eat our own food."
"I assume the Tupperware container labeled, 'I Feed Dead People' is the appropriate one?" Iruka asked, utterly bemused.
"Didn't want you to get hungry and snack on the wrong thing," Kakashi explained, coming over to join Iruka at the table.
"What is it?" Iruka asked, laughing and holding up the plastic dish.
Kakashi's mouth twisted in a smirk. "Devil's Food Cake."
Both men paused and then sighed when the house was silent.
"Right," Iruka said, opening the container and setting it down at the head of the table. He pulled out another dish -- "For the Living" read the label -- and began preparing the makeshift meal. "Granola and cold leftovers." Iruka snorted. "Next time I plan the haunted picnic's menu."
"Anything you say, Professor," Kakashi said, smiling and impulsively kissing the other man's cheek. Containers open and ready, Kakashi pulled back two of the chairs and winced at the scrape of wood on wood. It shrieked through the room, and made Kakashi's breathing pick up a notch.
"Easy," Iruka said softly, grabbing bottled water and plastic silverware. "Eat something. You'll feel better."
Kakashi paused, touched and humbled that Iruka worried for Kakashi despite being in a dilapidated mansion trying to call up ghosts and Satan, and the bartender held the back of Iruka's chair. "There you are, Sir."
"Thank you," Iruka said politely, taking his seat. Kakashi gingerly rested in the chair beside him, glad they'd both thought to face the dining room doors. He shoved his folder back into the canvas bag, spooned up some granola and crunched, thoughtful.
After long moments of silence, Iruka uncapped his water and drank. "When do our hosts arrive?"
"Not sure," Kakashi answered. "Legend's a little hazy on the timeframe. The literature about invoking the spirits just said, 'dinner time.'" Kakashi looked at the clock and saw it had stopped at five minutes to six. He glanced at his watch just in time to see it tick over to 5:55.
"Make a wish," Kakashi whispered.
"Hm?" Iruka asked.
Kakashi didn't answer, and when a steady noise started to intone through the room, he thought at first it was merely his pulse. Iruka's head slowly turned to observe at the clock on the mantel, and both men sat in the shattered silence of a suddenly ticking timepiece.
"Do you actually believe in ghosts?" Kakashi whispered.
"No," Iruka answered, voice quiet.
"Me, either." The lie felt heavy on Kakashi's tongue, and every hair on his body stood up when he heard the faintest hint of a woman's laugh. He glanced at Iruka, saw the professor frowning and staring at the doors to the dining room, which were still open.
"But I'm willing to negotiate my disbelief," Kakashi muttered.
"Breathe, Kashi," Iruka said.
"I am breathing," Kakashi hissed. "It's the crazy party guests who don't dig oxygen that worry me." There was another faint tinkling of laughter, and Kakashi peered around the room trying to understand why his eyes told him something had changed in the last fifteen seconds.
"The light," Iruka said. Kakashi looked first at the lamp on the table, saw no difference, and then looked up. He watched in a mix of fascination and fear as the chandelier's bulbs bloomed to brilliance. The clock ticked, the room glowed, the places where their fingers scrubbed away dust on the table gleamed, and Kakashi shivered with chill. Iruka deliberately blew breath and both men watched it fog.
"Marcel…" The word wrapped around a high-pitched gale of giggles, swirled through the open doors like an invisible, icy breeze, and a rustle of fabric and soft thud of low heel made Kakashi twist to the left. He expected to see a woman in a gown and curls holding a silk handkerchief to her smiling mouth. Maybe a grand gentleman bowing low over a pale, long-fingered hand to drop lips to knuckles in a way that suggested sex and subservience all at once.
But there was nothing there but rotted wall paper cast in sickly yellow light.
"We should leave," Kakashi said. "I've got all the proof I can stand, I think."
Iruka was silent, and Kakashi whipped his head to look at the other man. Iruka's eyes tracked something, and Kakashi shifted to watch with the professor as dainty footprints appeared on the floor beyond the dining room, turned to enter, and then vanished from Kakashi's line of sight.
"This is fascinating," the professor said. Kakashi watched the crazy man get up, walk around the table, and kneel to touch the formed print of a woman's shoe. He breathed through his mouth, fogging the air, and Kakashi shivered.
Getting a grip on himself and soundly ignoring the maddening ticking of the clock, Kakashi stood, packed up the food, and shoved it into the bag. It was insane to be here, even more nuts to stay, and he needed to get Iruka out of the godforsaken place before something bad happened. It'd be all his fault, after all, and Kakashi couldn't live with that. He muttered unkind things about laughing ghosts and lost bets, and Iruka walked back around the table to stand next to him.
"Kashi…" Iruka whispered, and the tone made Kakashi's breath catch. A hand reached sideways across his body to hug him closer, another one slid over the back of his neck, and Kakashi stared at the wooden surface of the table while his cock stirred.
"What happens after dinner?" the professor asked, and Kakashi leaned toward the other man, movement almost imperceptible. Iruka didn't miss it: he hummed and squeezed fingers and thumbs in light massage. It occurred to Kakashi that without the creepy ass house and fancy ghost lighting, this was much like his Sir gently talking Kakashi into getting on the bench or bed or other sturdy surface to begin a Scene. Iruka's patience was saint-like, his careful nature too often Kakashi's undoing, and the voice in his ears and hand on his neck did what they always did: steadied him.
Kakashi met dark eyes that glimmered in the illumination of old chandelier and modern lamp. "She leads her lover upstairs to her bedroom and kills him."
"And we're to manage little deaths instead?" Iruka asked calmly, unblinking gaze watching Kakashi closely.
"Yeah," Kakashi answered, nodding.
Iruka grinned, toothy and deviant, and his eyelids lowered as he leaned closer to speak against the corner of Kakashi's mouth. "Maybe we should take this upstairs?"
Kakashi made a quiet sound at the echo of the words Iruka used to signal when he wanted to take their make-out session in front of the TV and incorporate leather, wood, and chain into the mix. The light in the room flickered, the temperature began to warm, the clock's ticking grew softer, and the hand at Kakashi's neck squeezed.
The word, "No" got buried beneath the fear of the forbidden.
"Probably," Kakashi answered. He brushed his lips against Iruka's. "Need to get one good shot of the murder scene, after all."
Iruka chuckled. "It'd be prudent," he said solemnly, letting go of Kakashi to pick up the lantern, bag, and flashlight. He shoved the Maglite into the tote and slung it onto his shoulder.
"And we all know I am the very essence of sensible," Kakashi quipped, grabbing the other light and following Iruka out of the room.
"Obviously," Iruka agreed, walking back down the hallway. Kakashi paused this time to see the portrait of the woman: her head and face were back, blond curls spilling over bare shoulders, smile wide and pretty.
"You would never take unnecessary risks," Iruka continued, pausing in front of the stairs and startling Kakashi out of his dry-mouthed observation of crappy art. "Special Ops, organized crime management…"
"Crazy talk," Kakashi absently answered. The chandelier over the entryway started to glow, the air went from seasonable to freezing in two heartbeats, and Kakashi made a very unmanly noise as something brushed by him at the mouth of the narrow hallway -- the sound of fabric and smell of perfume making his knees weak.
"Shit," Kakashi gasped.
"You okay?" Iruka asked, coming over to him.
"Sure, sure…just got run over by a horny, murderous ghost. No big deal." Kakashi's heart slammed in his chest; made him feel dizzy. God but he regretting the damned poker game, and wondered why in the hell he'd bargained so hard with Iruka to get the professor to agree to all this.
Kakashi really needed to learn to listen to that quiet voice in the back of his mind that told him Iruka would always come out on the winning side of negotiations and truly, by now, it should stop being such a challenge to see if Kakashi could bloody gain any ground.
"The clock over here is repaired and ticking," Iruka said, and Kakashi got his feet working to follow the professor into the entryway and watched the pendulum in the grandfather clock swing back and forth.
Iruka turned and gave Kakashi a look that made the bartender's knees weak for entirely different reasons. "Come on," Iruka encouraged, one foot on the bottom stair. "We should--"
A breeze blew through the house. Kakashi really wanted to blame it on the broken windows next to the front door, and he rubbed his arm against his side to calm the goose bumps. The chandelier above their heads creaked, making both men look up to watch it sway. The crystals clinked like chimes, the sound slithering down Kakashi's spine. The hinged door into the library swung open, silent, and banged against the wall.
"Marcel…Nous n'avons pas beaucoup de temps!"
The words were loud in the room, made Iruka flinch and fall back against the wall next to the stairs with a sharp exhale. The breeze shifted and dust stirred on the risers as two sets of footsteps made Kakashi's eardrums ache and want to deny they heard anything that his eyes couldn't see.
"How's your French?" Kakashi asked after a second, voice dull.
"Passing," Iruka answered, hand trembling as he shifted the bag higher on his shoulder. "She said something about not having time…"
"So you did hear that?"
"Of course," Iruka answered.
Kakashi dearly loved how the professor said that like it was the most obvious and logical thing in the world. "Still don't believe in ghosts?"
"I may need to revise my theory."
Kakashi snorted and shook his head.
"Well? Come on." Iruka started up the stairs, but Kakashi didn't follow. The bartender stubbornly planted his feet, and Iruka looked back at him, pausing mid-stride.
"Fireplay, your rules, but I take your ass in our room afterward," Kakashi said.
Iruka pretended to consider that for less than half a second. "Done. Now get up here."
"Anyone ever tell you flexible tops are annoying as fuck?" Kakashi grumbled, trotting to catch up.
"You may have mentioned it," Iruka said.
"So good of me."
Iruka held up the lantern while Kakashi's flashlight searched the second floor landing. A rug with frayed edges covered the middle of an open room that was outlined in doors and a banister railing. At the far end was a bank of windows letting in almost no light, and a door leading onto a balcony was set among them. Kakashi saw where the servant stairs came up against the back wall in a nook with another flight of steps going to the third floor. To their right was a hallway blacker than pitch and to their left was a seating area. A French lounge with stains Kakashi didn't want to contemplate stood next to a stack of milk crates.
A door slammed against a wall like a gunshot, light spilled down the hallway, and Kakashi jumped a mile.
Iruka grunted. "I think that's a sign."
"Always nice to know when the nervous breakdowns are coming." Kakashi breathed hard and fast, and he despised the fact that Iruka didn't even hesitate before heading toward the ghostly glow coming from the room at the end of the darkened tunnel.
"Going toward the light is generally not a good idea," Kakashi pointed out.
"Are you going to complain like this when I've got my cock up your ass?" Iruka asked.
Kakashi almost tripped and didn't know whether to laugh, moan, or bodily carry Iruka out of the house while he explained they could figure out a way to fuck in the damned car. If it'd been anyone else, he would have opted for the third choice, but Iruka seemed intent on seeing this through. Kakashi would tell him that was stupid beyond compare, but he could see the professor's patient look that would remind Kakashi who wanted to come here in the first place and then linger until Kakashi finally caved to what the other man wanted.
"May I just say that I hate you, Sir," Kakashi whispered as they crept down the hallway. The walls were covered in more peeling plaster and drooping paper; an oil painting rested on the floor, canvas ripped; the smell of damp decay and sickly perfume filled the air; the sound of heavy breathing and heavier silence was nearly unbearable.
"That's reasonable enough," Iruka replied and Kakashi followed the professor into a bedroom.
The light had no discernable source that Kakashi could see: the room simply glowed dull yellow. Kakashi observed the room with its broken-down furniture, dark drapes covering windows, and battered floorboards, and then he grabbed Iruka into an embrace as the room swam like tarmac in the desert sun. The professor gasped in Kakashi's arms as the rotting bedclothes became shiny and new. The canopy over the four-poster unfurled with ribbon and peach cloth. Dust disappeared, mirrors remade themselves, drawers shut with soft clicks, a wash basin righted itself and a bowl appeared on top of it, materializing from nothing.
Something moved in Kakashi's peripheral vision, but when he turned to see it, there was nothing to be found, and just as a woman's low laughter filled the air -- seductive, suggestive, sweet -- the vision vanished.
Gone was the luxury leaving only a dark, neglected, abandoned room.
Unable to help himself, Kakashi bent until his forehead rested on Iruka's shoulder. Fingers raked through his thick hair, and sweat started to cool beneath his arms and along his spine.
"Remind me…why we're doing this…again?" Kakashi breathed.
"Because you're an adrenaline junkie, and I love a challenge." The answer was quiet but resolute, and Kakashi hugged Iruka tighter.
"Sometimes I hate that you know me so well," Kakashi muttered.
"You understand me, too, you know," Iruka answered, fingertips rubbing at Kakashi's nape.
"We should go, Sir," Kakashi said, words muffled by Iruka's jacket.
Iruka turned in Kakashi's arms, free hand coming up to cup his cheek. "Say the word and we do."
Kakashi shook his head once, lips firmly pressing together as he frowned. The last time he cried safeword was when Kakashi had been coming down with the flu. In innocence, as the symptoms were mild at that point, he agreed to play, and Iruka restrained him over a bench. The combination of angles and ensuing pain made Kakashi so dizzy that he finally couldn't lift his head, and he managed to rasp, "Scarecrow" right before he passed out. More from fever than anything else - his temperature was 102. To this day, Kakashi wasn't sure if Iruka had been angrier with Kakashi for not saying something sooner or with himself for not noticing Kakashi was sick. The professor had fussed something awful and waited on Kakashi hand and foot for an entire week.
That happened three years ago.
Since then, there'd been plenty of times when Iruka pushed the envelope with Kakashi. He always asked, they always talked about it, Iruka always gave Kakashi plenty of ways out, and Iruka was also pretty damned good at calling limits for both of them. But gentle pushing was part of how he liked to live and play. Kakashi knew this - recognized it as why it made him an excellent professor and amazing person. If Iruka wasn't the type who pushed, the two of them would never be together, because first Iruka pushed Kakashi away and then he pushed to help Kakashi grow; to help them be together.
And, really, it wasn't like Kakashi was passive in the pushing department. He breathed in the smell of haunted house and sighed.
"I want to finish this," Kakashi said.
On to Part II of II
Wrote this in response to the Request Line calls for a little Iruka/Kakashi action. It's also my entry into the Y!Gal club, "Into the Darkness" annual contest. The theme is "Myths, Legends & Folklore."
The story is based on the Southern Legend of the "Devil's Mansion" in New Orleans. I've taken liberties to move the house into the countryside beyond my City's limits. Forgive me. I've also expanded the legend slightly (adding a bedroom scene instead of just death at the dinner table), and I made up how to invoke the spirit(s).
A tame version of the legend can be read by clicking HERE. That one ends differently than the one found in my Treasury of Southern Folklore which is out of print (last run was in 1914...I dig old books). In the version I read, the Devil takes his ex-mistress and her lover, hauls their asses up to the roof, eats them from the inside out and skins them alive. He feeds the skins to the housecats and goes about his merry way. Supposedly, however, on Sunday nights in October, the devil's head appears on a weathervane atop the house.
Audio of this story can be found by clicking right here.