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The Lady Scarecrow and His Dolphin- Part 6 (The End)
The Lady Scarecrow and his Dolphin
The Beginning
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

They were late.

Kakashi had been bugging the mission desk for the past two weeks about any mission that would take him anywhere near where Iruka, Naruto, and Shino had been sent, until Tsunade had banned him from the room and threatened to take him completely off the active duty roster. So the jounin had taken to wandering around the village aimlessly, making numerous stops at the front gate to question any teams coming in or going out.

The prolonged absence of Iruka and Naruto had made Kakashi seek out Neji more and more often, until it was more uncommon not to see the two together. He couldn’t stand the lack of any sort of news coming in about Iruka’s team, and didn’t let his thoughts wander about what could have happened… and he had been in ANBU and could imagine a great many things. The dog tags never left his possession; either he kept them in his pocket or wore them, but they were always with him no matter what.

But now, Kakashi sat on his couch, trying and failing to focus on his book. It was the first gift he’d gotten from his secret admirer… from Iruka. His dogs lay around the couch, keeping him company until Neji was supposed to arrive. But even with the light snoring of the snoozing canines around him, Kakashi was still antsy and fidgety.

Neji walked to Kakashi’s apartment deep in thought. It wasn’t like Naruto to not have sent him word of anything. Toads would occasionally pop up when Naruto was away on long missions to let him know it was taking longer but there had never been this long without word. Refusing not to trust in Naruto and his teammates ability to stay alive, Neji arrived at Kakashi’s and knocked on the door. Wondering where they are now.

As he walked into Kakashi’s home Neji sighed. “You would think I was an emo brat from the way I have been acting.” Gracefully sitting on the couch, Neji rubbed the bridge of his nose. “I should be use to the waiting. Naruto has to become Hokage soon. Him being out of the village for long periods is driving me up the wall.”

Kakashi nodded sympathetically, setting down his book and pulling out the dog tags again, just to hold them, as though holding them meant bringing Iruka and his team back sooner. He leaned forward, resting his arms on his knees and running his thumb over the words.

“From what I can gather, Iruka rarely leaves the village on missions unless it demands his specific skills. But after this, I don’t know if I could handle him going off again, not knowing where he is, what’s taking him so long, if he’s even safe.” He sighed heavily. “Oh, I’m sure they’re perfectly fine, because if anybody had the balls to lay a hand on either of them, the other would rip them apart. And they’ve got Shino.” Even though he spoke firmly, his hands tightened around the dog tags almost painfully.

“Did you know that Shino and Ino are an item?” Neji inquired. “She apparently has been driving the T&I department spare. None of them have ever been late before. The Hokage is being particularly quiet about whatever their mission was, and handed it out directly.”

“I don’t know if that means I should be relieved or annoyed.” Rubbing his nose bridge again, Neji wondered where they were. Pulling dog tags out of his shirt with a ring that hung with the dog tags. The ring was silver and gold twisted together. “Uzumaki and I have plans so he better hurry. I have a week long mission coming up. If he isn’t back by then...No they’ll be back by then.” Smiling at Kakashi he sighed. “Oh how I have fallen.” Shaking his head he leaned back on the couch.

Another week passed. Kakashi was slowly going insane, spending hours just pacing in either his apartment or Neji’s. He wasn’t eating well, was training far too much, and it had gotten so bad that Gai had finally refused to train with him at all, and his other friends had taken to keeping an eye on him so he wouldn’t just make a clone and train.

So he stopped trying to sneak off to train, and just spent his time with either Neji, Genma, or Sakura, just trying to distract himself from the thoughts plaguing his mind.

“If this goes on for much longer, I’m going to lose my mind,” he commented dryly, glaring at the ground under his feet as he stood in front of the memorial stone.

“You weren’t even official and you care this much? I hate to see what you are like when you do become official.” Ino scoffed strolling out of the treeline followed by Neji.

“So any word from anyone?” Ino looked at both men expectantly. “Nothing huh?”

With a sigh, Ino collapsed to the ground in front of the memorial stone. “Being realistic...”

“Shut up, Ino. Don’t even go there if you don’t intend to die right now.” Neji’s voice was strained. “Statistically we all know so just don’t even mention it to make yourself feel better.”

“Like we all aren’t thinking about what we’ll do if...” Ino started but stopped herself. “You are right. I should have more faith. They would go to war over each other in a heartbeat. That is what I am afraid of.”

Kakashi didn’t even bother looking up. “They’re fine,” he said hollowly, not moving from his position at all. “They’re just late. If I can be late, why not them? They’re fine, they’re alive, and they’re going to come home. Just late…”

Even in his head, he didn’t believe it. It had been a long time… Naruto would always hurry back to Neji, and Shino to Ino. But Iruka… Iruka didn’t know if he had someone to hurry back to or not. That’s what got Kakashi. Iruka had gone off on that mission and didn’t even know just how deeply Kakashi had come to care for him.

Iruka was never taking another mission for at least a year. How a two week maximum mission became a three month mission was largely up for debate. The fact that the B rank mission had been completed successfully and then turned into a S- rank complete with one of the remaining living Seven swordsmen of the mist. A run in with a half black, half white monstrosity that was a cannibal and then getting captured by Iwa... The mission had been the level of hell few lived to tell about.

Naruto was currently in a chakra restraint collar that no amount of blows had been able to get off him. As such he was feeling every broken rib with every step he took. Shino had both arms broken and would be lucky if he could see out of his left eye ever again. Iruka himself was sure that he didn’t have a part of him not covered in lacerations or bruises. One of his legs had been broken and even now showed swelling even though it was mostly healed. Being poisoned was maybe the worst of it. Though honestly he was sure that when he saw the Konoha gates again he almost burst into tears.

When Kotetsu and Izumo saw them it appeared they almost cried themselves in relief.

“Oh thank god!” Izumo yelled.

“Get us to the hospital. Well no get that damn collar off Naruto and then get us to the hospital please.” Iruka requested feeling slightly woozy. Adrenaline will only take you so far it seemed. Before he passed out, Iruka saw an ANBU descend out of nowhere grabbing him and Shino. Naruto was taken by Kotetsu.

“Kakashi-san! Kakashi-san!”

Kakashi turned around, looking surprised… or so Lee assumed, due to the majority of his face being covered. In a flash, the green-clad chuunin was beside him, grabbing his arm and dragging him along, jabbering the whole way, worried and excited all at the same time.

“Lee. Lee!” Kakashi ripped his arm away and held the boy by his shoulders. “What’s going on? What happened?”

“Iruka-san, Naruto, and Shino have returned, Kakashi-san! They are at the hospital right now! I stopped by to meet Sakura-chan for lunch, but the whole place is very busy!”

“Iruka’s… back?” He couldn’t believe his ears. Iruka was back! Naruto! Shino! Alive and home! “Lee, do Neji and Ino know? No, don’t even open your mouth, just shake your head!”

Lee nodded furiously. “Neji knows, but I am not sure about Ino, Kakashi-san!”

“Well, go run and tell her! Don’t waste time dragging me to the hospital!”

He formed a hand seal and poofed out of the market, reappearing in the admittedly very busy hospital. There were too many people… “I’m sorry, can you tell me where Umino Iruka’s room is? Doctor? Please, doctor, I need to see Umino Iruka...” After about a minute, an irritated medic sprouted out what room he was going to be in after they made sure nothing was broken and the poison was fully out of his system. At the mention of poison, Kakashi made a break for it, shoving his way through the halls.

“Damn those Iwa bastards to hell!” Iruka swore sitting up and wincing. “I hate having to heal things the natural way.”

“You will heal.” Shino remarked. “Life will move on.”

“Rehab isn’t so bad.” Immediately feeling guilty, Iruka tried not to cry out when he shifted the wrong way and agitated his bruised skin.

“All things considered we were damn lucky.” Naruto grunted having a little trouble sitting up. Finally he gave up. “So Shino can’t write the damn report.”

“Remember due to the severity we all have to write our own personal reports. Luckily I gave the unabridged version earlier when I was being healed and given hell over worrying everyone.” Rubbing his forehead Iruka sighed. “I imagine we are going to be descended on soon.

“Uzumaki Naruto if you ever in your life...” From the moment Neji stepped in the room he was berating Naruto, arms waving, Byakugan active and demanding.

Iruka and Shino shared a look. “I’ll leave you two alone.” Shuffling slowly Iruka left the room followed by Shino. They both made their way down the hallway wondering how far they would make it in their escape attempt.

Kakashi slid around the corner, freezing when he saw Iruka and Shino in the hallway, both looking like hell… though from what Kakashi could see, Shino was far worse with those arms and that eye - Yikes, Ino was going to be so pissed at whoever did that… But it was Iruka, standing up, bruised but alive.


He wanted to just run up and hug the chuunin fiercely, demand that he never go on a mission without Kakashi ever again, swear to never let anyone ever hurt him… And he would have done just that, if not for the exhausted look on Iruka’s face.

“Ruka…” he breathed, leaning heavily on the nearby wall. “It’s really you…”

“Hey Kakashi kun.” Smiling softly, Iruka stiffly shuffled over to him before kissing him on the cheek. “I would hug you but currently the bruising is too bad for more than a kiss.”


Iruka jumped turning to see Ino with an apron on and a plant still in hand, dirt trailing behind her. As she ran up to him, Iruka felt himself beginning to feel wistful before looking at Kakashi again.

“Personally I think if I am observed at home I’ll be just fine after being poisoned. So would you mind observing me so I can go home? You haven’t been to my place yet.” Iruka smiled softly again. “Unless you are mad at me....?” Tilting his head in question, Iruka waited.

“I could never be mad at you, Ruka.” Again, Kakashi had to shove down the urge to wrap his arms around the poor man, and instead shoved his hands into his pockets. His fingers instantly brushed against the dog tags, and he smiled beneath the mask and extended the other hand to Iruka, taking his hand gently and stepping closer.

“I know this is probably going to hurt like hell, but you’re gonna have to hold on so I can jutsu us to your place.” Without waiting for an answer, Kakashi moved closer still and put his arms around Iruka’s waist, forming the head seals quickly. The duo disappeared right as Sakura turned the corner facing them, and Kakashi saw the irritated but resigned expression on her face right before they reappeared in front of Iruka’s apartment door.

Now, any self-respecting ninja could easily pick a lock and dispel any wards another shinobi had to prevent intruders, but Kakashi merely stepped back and offered a hand to support the other man. He wasn’t going to baby Iruka any more than was necessary, no matter how badly he wanted to.

It took everything in Iruka not to take a knee in pain. He didn’t think he was hurt that badly but the residual effects of the poison still existed in his body. Realizing that the sooner he got in his house the sooner he could relax, Iruka took out his key. Turning the lock he also pulsed his chakra and waited for his wards to disengage before allowing them both in. The apartment smelled slightly musty and Iruka could feel himself going into clean mode where he stood. Shaking his head Iruka walked into his living room and sat on the sectional. Propping up his feet Iruka sighed.

“Excuse the mess.” Iruka wave his arm before slowly laying on the couch. “My bruises have bruises. That mission, to steal a term from my current class, sucked.”

Kakashi glanced around the apartment as he followed Iruka inside, noting that Iruka instantly went to sprawl on the couch. He frowned slightly, but wandering into the kitchen to see if there was any tea he could fix… or food, if Iruka was so inclined. “Any reason the healers didn’t do away with some of the bruising? Also, I’m making tea… you hungry or anything while I’m in here?”

Already, he’d discovered the location of the tea, the pot, and two cups, and set about messing with the stove, trying to get a feel for the unfamiliar appliance that was certainly not his own. “And then I can run you a hot bath, got some stuff that’ll make you feel like your old self again at my place, Pakkun can bring it over or something.”

“It was either stayed poisoned or stay bruised. I took bruising. The poison was nasty and the residual side effects are still there. If I am lucky I will have naturally healed most of them in a day or two. After that I can see if it is possible to heal the others. I would really like some tea please. Second cabinet on the left.” Iruka called and began to work off the pants he had received at the hospital. When that was complete and he was only in the yukata, Iruka slowly eased himself to his side.

“I don’t need a bath at the moment. I assure you when they were draining the poison I was thoroughly bathed. Now I actually wish I could cuddle with you and talk to you. Sleep would be nice but I am awake.” Finishing his words with a pout Iruka sighed. “Do anything interesting while I was gone?”

Kakashi hummed thoughtfully, putting on the tea and leaning back on a counter. “If by interesting you mean torment the mission desk about a retrieval mission, sulk around with Neji and Ino, be rejected for training with Gai, and be put on a training ban… then yes. I did many interesting things.”

He fell into silence, not meaning to admit that he’d been worried sick. Not that they weren’t there yet, but it was just so strange for him to even be entertaining the thoughts. The cuddle remark had been noted and filed away, because with those bruises, it would be more painful than anything. Oh sure, he could exercise his small knowledge of healing jutsu and do away with most of them… maybe he’d bring it up when he got back to the couch.

It was then that he took the tea off of the stove and fixed two cups, wandering back into the living room and setting one cup carefully on the coffee table before sinking onto the couch next to Iruka’s head, tugging down his mask and taking a careful sip of the steamy liquid.

Wincing Iruka sat up and looked at Kakashi with a frown. “I’m sorry ‘kashi.” Kissing Kakashi on the cheek, Iruka sat up and turned to face Kakashi giving him his full attention. “Things went to hell after going so well.” Murmurring Iruka took the tea and held it in his hands, staring into the depths of the cup. For a moment, Iruka wasn’t quite sure if he was talking about the mission or him and Kakashi. “If it is any consolation I won’t be going on missions for the rest of the year.”

“I’m glad to hear that…” Kakashi said quietly, nodding. “But it’s only a consolation if you don’t want missions for the rest of the year.” He knew he’d be angry beyond anything if they’d told him no missions for any amount of time, because he’d always been going on missions nearly back to back before getting his genin team, and was slowly working his way back up to that point now that his ‘kids’ were older.

He turned his gaze toward Iruka, and smiled lightly. “I’m not going to ask you to stay in the village just because one mission went badly.” With a shrug, he took another sip of the tea. “It’s not my place to do so. But I will support you whichever way you want to go, be it more missions or more time at the academy.”

“Kakashi, honestly I only have to do so many missions a year to keep my spot as an elite teacher. Depending on their ranking depends on how many missions. This one put me out of having to do missions for the rest of the year with plenty of extra. The hell we just went through has put Naruto off of missions for a while too.” Iruka smiled faintly.

Kakashi thought about how Naruto had usually been so excited to get missions… well, if nothing else, Neji would be pleased about Naruto not having to take a lot more. And of course, Kakashi was glad he didn’t have to go through the hell of waiting on Iruka to return… and that Iruka didn’t have to go through anything like that again anytime soon. “I couldn’t imagine doing that, going only on a few missions a year,” he admitted after a brief silence. “I like the adrenaline rush far too much.”
“To each their own I guess. If you were getting the adrenaline rush from something else than I imagine it wouldn’t be the same. I wonder if it is adrenaline for danger or excitement.” Iruka mused shifting to get more comfortable and sipping the tea. “Honestly missions have always been a way for me to make sure I still have what it takes to make sure my students are taught well enough to survive.” Tapping his fingers lightly on the cup he sighed.

“Do you know what drives me? I have taught almost 200 students in my years as a teacher. Over 170 are alive still. 85% of my students are alive and I have been teaching for six years. Out of those 170 only 100 are active ninja the rest are working in various jobs throughout the village. Most teachers that take that same six years only typically have half as many survivors. They also only take the bare minimum of missions. To be an elite teacher at the academy and meet qualifications you have to have taken the previous year at 1 S-ranked mission, 3 A-ranked missions, 8 B- ranked missions, 24 C-ranked missions or 50 D-ranked missions.” Taking a shaky breath Iruka continued. “This was my first mission of the year and I have made my requirements. I now know why you only need one. It is terrifying and I have never been more scared in my life.” Putting the cup down, Iruka realized he was shaking. Reaching out he put his hands on Kakashi’s leg to ground himself and took deep breaths.

Kakashi also sat his cup down, and took Iruka’s hands in his own carefully. “It’s all right to be scared, Ruka,” he said softly. “I don’t know what you went through, but think about this; you brought Naruto, Shino, and yourself back home alive. Sure, a little worse for wear, but alive.” He leaned forward and kissed Iruka’s forehead softly. “And you’re safe now.”

He knew that look in the chuunin’s eyes, had once worn it himself on his first S-rank mission. It was all he could do to keep that small amount of distance between them for fear of causing Iruka more pain, but Kakashi really wanted to just pamper the poor man and make him relax, make him forget about whatever it was he’d seen on that mission, what he’d done or been done to him.

Nodding softly, Iruka realized that his eyes were tearing up so he took a deep breath.. “Sorry but when things go bad...” Shaking his head and taking a shaky breath, Iruka gave another sigh. “The only good thing well actually there were two good things to come out of this were that the Land of Waterfalls has a new education structure and the Kage building in a certain country is no longer standing.” Slightly hysterical, Iruka started to laugh before he laid his head on Kakashi’s lap and sighed. Snuggling down and ignoring the pain, Iruka contemplated his life. Thinking about if he should ask if Kakashi thought they could be an official couple but didn’t think it was the time. He knew he couldn’t handle bad news.

Kakashi ran his fingers through Iruka’s hair slowly, thinking back to the past month and the hell he’d thought he was going through because the very man in his lap right now had been off on a mission… while Iruka had been through far worse. It made Kakashi feel very… well, it made him feel horrible. He chuckled lightly as Iruka spoke, smiling down at him. “That’s my Ruka,” he muttered fondly. He hadn’t meant to say it, but it just fit the situation, and really, had there even been any doubt about it? The dog tags were still in his pocket, though he’d meant to put them on before he’d gone to see Iruka, but the thought of seeing the chuunin alive had made him forget all about them.

Stilling, Iruka looked up at Kakashi searchingly. Worry his bottom lip and trying to read something from Kakashi’s expression, Iruka stopped. Taking a deep breath he studied his finger tips. “When I left...did you think about us being official at all...?” Taking a quick look at Kakashi’s face Iruka looked down again preparing for bad news.

“I did. Every day.” Aw, the chuunin was so cute when he looked worried. “In fact, I couldn’t get it, or you, off my mind the entire time.” Kakashi reached into his pocket and pulled out the dog tags, staring at them for a long moment. “I never went anywhere without these. Hell, I even slept in them… and waited for you to get back so I could tell you my decision.” He smiled again and tilted Iruka’s head back up to meet his eyes. “Which is a very firm yes.”

At that moment Iruka felt himself light up like a Christmas tree. “Really?!” Suddenly brimming with energy Iruka felt the urge to jump up and down and cheer with happiness. Forgetting his injuries, Iruka pulled Kakashi into a quick hug before hissing and releasing him. “Damnit this is not the way I thought this would play out. I thought I would be in good enough condition to celebrate!” Growling in frustration, Iruka pouted dramatically before, kissing Kakashi on the lips.

“You just wait until I am not one big bruise and then I will show you how excited I am. Now no more Kakashi lechers and I can knock the hell out of the head of your fanclub!” Lifting his fist and shaking it in the air in excitement Iruka smiled happily.

Kakashi laughed. “Well, I wasn’t sure I had a whole fanclub, but thanks for informing me. Now, is there anything you need? Besides rest, I mean, because we both know you’re gonna pass out when you feel like it.” Even as he spoke, he pulled Iruka’s hand back into his own and laced their fingers together, sighing contentedly.

Yes, with that out of the way and the two of them being officially official, Kakashi could likewise scare off Iruka’s admirers and threaten anyone who tried to infringe upon his territory. That even meant that his friends who had done a bit of harmless flirting with the chuunin would get a venomous glare if Kakashi felt particularly possessive.

“Of course you have a fan club! They even have buttons and a secret handshake.” Shivering with horror, Iruka leaned close and whispered conspiringly. “They also take pictures...lots of pictures.” Nodding Iruka sighed. “First class assignment in stealth is going to be search and destroy for their little mock missions.” Cackling slightly, Iruka gave Kakashi another quick kiss. “I’m not really...tired.” yawning in the middle of the statement ruined the effect of Iruka’s objection. “Nevermind. Sleep it is. Now you get to see my bed. I should warn you that it was an investment.”

Shifting up Iruka shuffled into his bedroom, Shifting out of the yukata, Iruka made his way to his king size bed. Pulling back the covers, Iruka slid in only wincing slightly as the sheets grazed his bruised flesh. His desk in the corner was currently holding a project he had been working on before he left. The stool at the foot of the bed still had some clothes he had neglected to pack. The bed itself was comfortably made up for whenever he managed to drag himself home. All he had to do was lay down and that was it. Pictures of his friends and surrogate family lined the different surfaces. A picture of Kakashi sleeping was on the side table, a sheet just cover his face. Every time Iruka saw it he imagined what it would be like to wake up next to Kakashi.

Kakashi had followed him, really only there to make sure Iruka didn’t stumble and fall. Not because he was interested in seeing the chuunin’s bedroom, not at all… okay, maybe a little. But what he saw when he entered the room was nothing like he’d imagined. After all, the village provided apartments for all of their shinobi, and barely anyone fixed theirs up. Mostly because if they had the money to fix it up, they had the money to go out and get a bigger place… or because they liked their little bland living quarters. Kakashi himself just didn’t care about what his place looked like, because it got the job done and there was enough room for his beauty products.

But Iruka’s bedroom… wow. A king sized bed? He walked over to the side table and noticed his picture, picking it up and raising a brow at it. “As much as it unnerves me that there are sleeping pictures of me in your room, I’m glad my face is at least covered,” he commented lightly, setting it back down and glancing down at Iruka. He wasn’t sure what to do here. He wanted to hop in the bed with Iruka and just hold him, but those bruises stopped him, and he didn’t want to leave, either.

“Well considering Naruto still doesn’t know what your face looks like and he and now you are the only ones that have ever been allowed in here.” Patting the bed beside him, Iruka pouted. “Lay with me. Even if it is only until I go to sleep and we can’t cuddle.” Laying down, Iruka didn’t fully realize if Kakashi did as he requested because he was asleep before he felt the bed shifting.


One week had passed since their return and Iruka was slowly getting back into his routines. Bit by bit he had started doing his morning workout until he had it down. He also spent a lot of his time reviewing lesson plans and doing proposals of curriculum changes. An even larger part of his time was spent trying to figure out the best way to determine Kakashi’s cuddle threshold.

Finally not being in pain from laying in bed and having sheets touch his skin, Iruka was ready to cuddle and lightly molest his boyfriend. He was a bit stumped on how to go about it though. In the past he had been very aggressive but this time he felt a different tactic was needed. Something more individualized for Kakashi’s personality. At the moment though Iruka was drawing a blank. Kakashi had been almost ridiculously good to him throughout his recovery period and Iruka didn’t know if he should just jump the man in an underneath the underneath way or put it in a report.

Kakashi was clueless to his boyfriend’s cuddling and molesting plans, having been particularly busy convincing Gai and the rest of his friends that he was all right to train again. It had taken a few days of hiding out in training fields and ambushing his fellow jounin before they’d begun to realize that he was doing far better than he had been in Iruka’s absence. Gai still went easy on him but there was nothing Kakashi could do about that just yet… not that he didn’t try.

And, of course, spending a lot of time with Iruka whenever the chuunin wasn’t busy was a large part of Kakashi’s time, as well. Helping his boyfriend recover had been at the top of his list of things to do, and he had spoiled and pampered the man. He was even starting to spend more time at Iruka’s apartment rather than his own, though he still made time to go hang out with Sakura and Neji and sometimes Genma. Today, however, he was lounging on Iruka’s couch, flipping idly through a book

Studying his boyfriend intently, Iruka decided that the subtle approach combined with an invasion of personal space should be a good two step tactic. Moving from his space on the chair, Iruka sat next to Kakashi. Putting his arm around the other man, Iruka feinted interest in Kakashi’s book. All in all he tried make it seem as natural as possible.

“Whatcha reading?” Tilting his head as he let his eyes scan the pages, Iruka kissed Kakashi on the cheek while waiting patiently for his answer.

“Icha Icha,” Kakashi said after a moment, barely blinking at the sudden invasion of personal space. Had it been anyone but Iruka, he was sure he’d feel a little weirded out, but as it happened, he just accepted it and even tilted the book up so Iruka could see better. “The one you gave me, actually. I went back and read the het version again, and you were right, the yaoi one is much better.”

He glanced over at Iruka and raised a brow. “Which means you have read them, sensei,” he teased lightly. “I wonder what your little students would think if they ever knew you read stuff like this.” He shook the book in question. “What else don’t I know about you?”

“I doubt they would be surprised.” Iruka couldn’t help but rub noses with Kakashi before pulling back a bit. “At this point most have cottoned on to the fact that I tend to give the benefit of the doubt unless evidence proves otherwise. So when I say that the series hardly has any redeeming qualities except for the yaoi edition I should be humored at least. It still doesn’t change my opinion on the books being read in public.” Crossing his legs, Iruka tapped his chin lightly.

“Honestly I always hoped that you used the Icha Icha as a cover to some other book you were reading but then that my be too far underneath.” Grinning at Kakashi’s final words, Iruka batted his eyelashes. “What would you like to know about Kakashi kun?”

“For one, I do do that sometimes, but you did catch me on a reread this time.” Kakashi laughed and flipped the book closed, deciding he liked the string of conversation. After all, it wasn’t everyday he had the chance to find out anything he wanted from Iruka… so he wasn’t going to waste it. It was the perfect opportunity to get to know the Iruka beneath the teacher persona, besides what he knew already… which admittedly wasn’t much.

“How about you tell me something that nobody else knows about you.” He grinned mischievously. “That not even Naruto knows about. What deep dark secrets does little innocent Iruka-sensei keep hidden, hm?”

For a moment, Iruka blushed so spectacularly that his regular blushes were put to shame. He didn’t have many deep dark secrets but there was the one that he may as well get out of the way. It was more a hobby that turned into the passions of a single school teacher.

Removing his arm from around Kakashi and poking his fingers together, Iruka gulped.
“Keep in mind that other than dreaming about you I didn’t have a lot of interest in pursuing others.” Shifting around a bit because he suddenly felt a little hot in the collar. Exactly how did one divulge something that could shatter the way someone viewed you. He didn’t know why he even brought it up. Oh yes, Iruka knew. His boyfriend was a jounin and nosy to boot. There was no way Iruka could successfully hide his dirty little hobby. Wanting an honest relationship was going to be his downfall he knew it. “Now I know it is going to seem a little...odd but...” His voice failing Iruka’s shoulders slumped, he couldn’t do it.

Oh, that piqued his interest. Kakashi tilted his head and gave Iruka a strange look, prompting him with a “But what?” Surely Iruka couldn’t have such a secret that he was actually nervous about telling Kakashi. It couldn’t be an issue of trust, could it? He felt a cold sliver of fear in his chest, and frowned worriedly. “Ruka, you can tell me.” His voice was soft, and he reached over and took one of Iruka’s hands in his. “What are you so scared of?”

“I....well....I never have told anyone. No one has a clue and I don’t want you to laugh at me.” Blushing so much he was sure he was on fire, Iruka put his free hand on his flaming cheek. “Trusting you so much makes me want to tell you but its hard when I don’t even admit it outloud.” Looking at his knees, Iruka took a deep breath turned to Kakashi and just said it. “I write yaoi, professionally in my spare time.” Then unable to look at Kakashi’s face Iruka addressed the floor again.

Wait. What? “You write… yaoi?” How could he have ever found a more perfect man? “You were worried I would laugh about you writing yaoi? Ruka!” He chuckled and lifted Iruka’s chin so he could meet the man’s eyes. “Ruka, come on. I read porn in public, on a daily basis… including yaoi. Why on earth would you think I wouldn’t accept that?” He picked the book back up with a flourish and gestured to it. “So, in your professional opinion, how was this Icha Icha Yaoi Edition?”

“Better than the het ones but not by much. It doesn’t really do fantasy or realistic sex very well.” Iruka felt comfortable giving a critique now that he had Kakashi’s approval so apparently. “The book doesn’t do fantasy sex well enough to fit in the fantasy category nor does it do realistic sex in a way that is well realistic. I give six stars out of ten.” Finishing his rating, Iruka realised that he may have said too much again. “I know it sounds snobby but I feel if you are going to write fantasy roleplaying sex there should be some magical element that makes it well...fantastical.”

“Six stars out of ten, huh?” Kakashi glanced back at his book, considering it. “Well, got any ten stars? Maybe…” He looked back at his boyfriend, smirking. “Something you wrote?” After all, if the literary genius that was Jiraiya was only a six out of ten in Iruka’s eyes… how amazing was his own writing? Kakashi was going to find out if it was the last thing he did. He leaned closer, narrowing his eye in challenge. “What do you say, sensei? Surely you won’t deny me reading anything of yours?” If Iruka’s yaoi was better than Icha Icha, Kakashi had to admit that it would be a difficult feat not to jump him then and there… after demanding where he got his inspiration from, of course.

Stammering slightly Iruka nodded. “I won a best in show award for my first book, The Shinobi Sex Chronicles. The judges unanimously gave it 10 of 10. It isn’t sold in Fire Country because I don’t want it to be connected back to me. If I did more promotion it would likely rocket me up the charts but I like being a relative unknown, its more freeing. The rest of my books haven’t lived up to that. I usually only get a 8 or 9.”

Tapping his fingers on his thighs Iruka spoke thoughtfully. “When I first heard Jiraya was coming out with the yaoi edition I was worried but I realized that for him writing yaoi is business not pleasure. You can tell when someone who has never fantasized about a man or enjoyed a man’s touch is writing about it. The perspective feels off. Male sexual encounters with other men read differently. It isn’t a black and white case of who is uke and who is seme. There aren’t set rules. Some gay couples never have anal sex. There is a whole world of sensation and other things to do. The Icha Icha yaoi edition had so many chances to explore but it kept returning to anal sex and different positions rather than other options that may fit the situation better.”

“Kakashi if I am rambling tell me to shut up. I have some yaoi books on the bookshelf in the corner hidden behind instruction manuals, under a light genjutsu.” Smiling lightly at Kakashi, Iruka leaned over and kissed the man. “Thank you for understanding.”

“Wait. Wait, wait, wait. You wrote the Shinobi Sex Chronicles? You’re the genius behind the most amazing yaoi I’ve ever read?” Indeed, Kakashi had picked up the book once while on an out-of-country mission, and Genma had given him hell about it all the way home. Now that he thought back, to that book, Kakashi could see what Iruka had been saying. Yes, the plot was good in Icha Icha Yaoi, but the sex had left a lot to be desired. And that was saying something, considering how immensely loyal Kakashi was to the Icha Icha franchise.

Then another thought struck him, and Kakashi’s excitement faded a bit. “So… who inspired you to write it? Who could have possibly corrupted little innocent Ruka into writing this stuff, into being so amazing at it?” Please, please, let it all have been fantasizing, Kakashi prayed. He wasn’t sure how he would take anyone touching his Ruka like in that book.

“I am glad you enjoyed it. The book took forever for me to get just right. It was just about everything I could imagine and some things I hadn’t.” Tilting his head Iruka studied Kakashi for a minute before smiling softly. “Kakashi I have been hung up on you for years. Most of the book was fantasization with some assistance from other couples to explore some sexual positionings that I didn’t know were possible. The liberal use of chakra had to be studied in certain actions and positions. I didn’t physically participate but I watched.” Shrugging Iruka sighed, “It was like watching porn but not getting involved physically into the scene.”

“That’s it. You’re perfect.” Kakashi pulled Iruka into a fierce hug. “You write porn, amazing yaoi porn I might add, and I don’t even have to kill anyone for touching you! Besides that, you are an amazing baker, adorable and sexy at the same time, and you like me for me! Where have you been all my life and why are we just recently getting together?!” There was no possible way there was a more perfect man in the world than the one in his arms right at that second, and Kakashi was lucky beyond belief to have gotten his attention and affection.

“Here I think you are the perfect one for me. You read porn, appreciate it would tell me if I suck at it and most importantly...” Trailing off slightly, Iruka blushed scarlet realizing that Kakashi had his arms around him. “You may be willing to be my practical applications test dummy for my books occasionally?” Pulling back slightly Iruka looked at Kakashi hopefully. “Of course that is only if you want to.”

“And you’re asking me to test your porn with you before you write it!” He froze, his eyes staring down at Iruka blankly. “Wait. You want me to test your porn? Not even kidding?” Dear Kami his dreams had come true. “I would love to, Ruka! Are you kidding, this is the best thing anyone’s offered me. The genius behind the most amazing yaoi books wants me to be his test dummy. The genius that so happens to be my very own Ruka.”

Coughing lightly, “You may regret that. I have a lot of data to go over. There is also the fact that some of it is a bit...kinky.” Feeling it was only fair to warn Kakashi about this after all. Iruka wasn’t a yaoi writer for nothing. Pulling away from Kakashi, Iruka stood up. Biting his thumb, Iruka walked over to a wall and brushed his finger against it. Suddenly a door opened.

“This is my inspiration workshop and storage room for tools. In it is equipment from all my books, outfits and an assortment of other items. I guess you could call it a fantasy room or what have you. So if you want to go pick something to try. None of it has been used because well...If I couldn’t use it on the person I wanted, I just wouldn’t use it. But I am hopeful.”

“Well, as amazing as it is that you have an entire secret room for this sort of stuff…” Kakashi inched over to Iruka and wound his arms around the chuunin’s waist, tugging him backwards against Kakashi’s chest. “How about we get to know each other a little better first? Explore a bit… you know?” It was very difficult not to just jump Iruka then and there, but he did want to learn what made the younger man tick. “How about it, Ruka? Leave the kinks for another day?” If need be, Kakashi could be very convincing, but he didn’t want to manipulate Iruka into anything. Kakashi could honestly say that he’d follow the chuunin wherever he wanted to go, but going at a slower pace just felt better than jumping directly into something like the things in that room.

“I can live with that.” Snapping his fingers and pushing chakra back into the seal it disappeared. Turning in Kakashi’s arms, Iruka leaned forward and nuzzled Kakashi’s chin. Leaning forward he kissed Kakashi’s adam’s apple lightly. “Molesting you horribly was completely on my to do list right next to extreme cuddling.” Nuzzling under Kakashi’s chin Iruka gave a happy sigh. “Any places that you don’t like to be touched before we get started? Or do I have free reign to follow my fingers?”

“I was unaware cuddling could be extreme… but it sounds interesting all the same.” Kakashi momentarily tightened his arms around Iruka, feeling a strange warm and fuzzy feeling in his chest at the soft sigh that the chuunin let out. Surely it was illegal to be this happy. He smiled, though it turned into a smirk when he heard the question. “Oh, go ahead, do whatever you like… as long as I can return the favor.”

“Why of course.” Iruka began the happy task of walking Kakashi to his bed. Then with slow strokes, Iruka began to slowly undress Kakashi, kissing and licking each bit of skin that came into view. Hands making a map of Kakashi’s skin as he went along.

Finding out that Kakashi’s feet were sensitive was quite surprising. Lovingly licking each arch and sucking each toe, Iruka then nosed of the back of Kakashi’s leg, leaving hickey’s here and there. Getting to know Kakashi’s body was making Iruka heady with desire. Then Kakashi’s smell was one part fresh grass, dog and rain with just a crackle of something other that Iruka couldn’t quite name. Given time Iruka knew that he could lavish hours attention on Kakashi and it still wouldn’t be enough.

Even though he’d given Iruka the go-ahead for anything the chuunin wanted to do, Kakashi was still very nervous about the whole thing. After all, he’d only managed to remove Iruka’s shirt while the younger man had taken off every piece of Kakashi’s clothing, and he’d certainly taken the term ‘exploration’ to heart. Watching Iruka start at his feet and work his way up Kakashi’s body, feeling the warm mouth sucking, licking, nipping at his bare skin… he was starting to regret suggesting they take it slow, with his hands twisted in the sheets and his breathing getting a little heavy with the desire pounding in his brain.

Feeling the roaring in his ears intensify, Iruka took one of Kakashi’s hands and put the fingers in his mouth. Each long finger received a thorough tongue bath before being sucked into Iruka’s mouth. While he nibbled on Kakashi’s thumb Iruka pushed his pants down enough to grab his erection. Then with some shifting he managed to take both his and Kakashi’s erections in hand. Shivering slightly from the feel of the hot flesh rubbing against his, Iruka released Kakashi’s hand from his mouth. Leaning over Iruka peppered Kakashi’s face with kisses as he stroked them off together.

Kakashi moaned softly, letting his head fall back onto the mattress at the feel of Iruka’s hand and erection against his own. It had been far too long since anyone had touched him like this, and Kakashi nearly whimpered as he tried to keep himself from pushing his hips upward. He distracted himself instead by mapping out Iruka’s bare skin with his hands, raking his short nails lightly across the expanse of skin. Kakashi did however catch Iruka’s lips with his own, bringing one hand up to tangle in the chuunin’s hair as he kissed Iruka demandingly.

Twisting his wrists just so, Iruka stroked them his fingers dancing over the heads of their erections. Letting Kakashi control the kiss while Iruka worked them both to completion. Moaning, Iruka silently cheered and worshipped at the feet of whatever god had made this possible.

Kakashi took his sweet time exploring Iruka’s mouth with his tongue, but he really wasn’t sure how much more he could take of the sweet torture of Iruka stroking them both. He pulled back from the kiss, panting and groaning Iruka’s name.

“I’m not gonna last much longer.” Iruka panted in Kakashi’s ear before biting down on the place where Kakashi’s neck and shoulder met as heat started to flood his body. His hand motions speeding up accordingly until his vision went white as he came.

Kakashi came soon after with a low moan, his breathing harsh as white danced across his vision. The bite throbbed, but he was beyond caring about anything but the chuunin still wrapped in his arms. He buried his face in Iruka’s hair, trying to catch his breath and enjoying the scent that was just Iruka.

Shifting just so, Iruka moved his hand up to his face and lightly licked his hand clean before sighing. Kicking off his pants he snuggled with Kakashi. Nuzzling his nose under Kakashi’s chin Iruka smiled. Almost deliriously happy he laughed. “I do believe that is the fastest I have come in my life. Not to mention one of the best moments.”

“I aim to please.” Kakashi tightened his hold around the younger man, sighing contentedly. Honestly, he’d been lucky he’d lasted that long, listening to Iruka’s breathy moans in his ear. “Aren’t you glad I suggested it?” He laughed softly, fingers stroking idly through Iruka’s hair as he just enjoyed the feel of Iruka’s skin against his own.

“Mmmhhhmmmm.” Iruka mumbled lightly feeling sleepy. Sucking lightly on Kakashi’s adam’s apple, Iruka blinked lazily. Then he zeroed in on the marks he had left on Kakashi’s body. Suddenly wide awake he sat up. “I am so sorry!” Iruka shrieked staring at Kakashi’s pale body that was covered with red and purple marks ranging in size. There seemed to be no end to where Iruka had managed to suck a hickey. Even the insides of Kakashi’s thighs hadn’t been spared.

Kakashi pouted at the sudden lack of contact, and then had to fight to hide a smile as Iruka suddenly apologized. He dragged Iruka back down and kissed him lightly, chuckling. “It’s fine. No need to be sorry.” It wasn’t like anyone else was going to see them, except for Sakura and perhaps Genma, since Kakashi didn’t even pull his mask down around many other people and only went without a shirt in the comfort of his own apartment or Iruka’s.

“You show marks so well.” Mumbling a bit and pouting, Iruka thought about all the implications of that remark and slowly started to count down in his head to get himself under control. He had the sudden urge to see what other marks on Kakashi’s body would look like. Maybe if he was bad Iruka would have to punish him and...Throwing that thought out the window, Iruka went back to snuggling. Snuggling was a lot safer.

“It’s what happens when you’re very pale.” Normally, Kakashi
would have just written off the remark like any other random thing that people
said, but after finding out about Iruka’s dirty little secret and seeing that room…
Kakashi couldn’t help but wonder what was going through Iruka’s mind. Something
not very innocent, he’d bet on it. Either way, Iruka was a wonderful snuggle
buddy, so Kakashi tucked him back under his chin and felt sleep tug at him,
though Kakashi wasn’t willing to go just quite yet.

“Good to know.” Iruka nuzzled under Kakashi’s chin thoughtfully. “Though admittedly it give me alot of naughty ideas. It makes me think I should apologize in advance or something.” Finding himself lightly running his fingers over Kakashi’s stomach he tapped lightly. Gaze slightly drowsy Iruka felt the ticklings of arousal again beginning to stir.

The End

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