When the alarm went off, he ignored it. He stayed where he'd been for the last hour, lying in the same place, looking up at the same spot on the ceiling. He let his hand wander to the empty space on the bed next to him. The blankets and sheet were still in place, still tucked in. The pillow hadn't been disturbed so much as an inch. He sighed. One more day. That was all.
Finally annoyed with the shrieking, he reached his other hand out and slapped at the offending clock. It took three tries, but it finally fell silent. In the process, he managed to knock it off the table. He couldn't summon the energy to care. He was greeting this day with mixed feelings.
It was the first day of the new school year. That was something, at least. He always loved the first day, loved the chance to get to know his new students. It was something of a game to him to see if he could tell who the clowns would be versus who the studious ones were. And he always was surprised by one or two of them. Then there were the inevitable questions for him, too, and this year would be worse. But he didn't really mind those, either.
Taking a deep breath, he sat up. He rubbed his hands over his face hard, then scratched at the scar on his nose. When he did, the one on his back started itching and he huffed. He usually had help scratching that one. He stood and grumbled on his way across the room, stopping in the doorway to rub his back against the jamb. Sighing in relief, he turned into the bathroom, stripped his clothes off and fought with the faucet.
When he found a temperature he could live with, he stepped into the shower and stood under the hot spray, letting it wash the fatigue away. He hadn't slept, not much, anyway. He rarely did when he was alone, and last night had been no exception.
Frustrated with his train of thought, he concentrated on shampooing and scrubbing, then climbed out of the shower and wrapped the towel around himself. He stepped up to the sink, wiped the steam away from the mirror, and frowned.
He looked like hell. That was not the impression he liked to make for his first day of school. He grabbed the hairbrush and dragged it through his hair, trying to ignore the circles under his eyes. After brushing his teeth, he turned away from his reflection and headed back into the bedroom.
Pointedly ignoring the bed, he headed to the closet for his uniform. He didn't pay enough attention to the shirt he pulled out so when it was too big for him, he had to stop himself. He closed his eyes and counted to ten and managed, just barely to keep from making things worse, because the damned thing still smelled like him.
Instead of changing shirts, he rolled the sleeves a little extra, folded the hidden mask down and wore the shirt anyway. He paid more attention when he pulled his pants out and, finally dressed, headed into the kitchen. He'd need coffee this morning. Tea just wasn't going to cut it.
He set the machine to brew his cup after fighting with it for a minute, since he wasn't usually the one that started it. Frustrated, he opened the refrigerator, then frowned when he remembered he should have shopped yesterday and didn't. So he closed it again and gave up on breakfast. Instead, he went out to his desk and gathered the files he had on his new students and shoved them into his bag. He left it by the front door, then went back into the kitchen to pour his liquid energy.
Thankful he could drink it black and save that hassle, he capped the travel cup and headed back to the living room. He tied his headband on, pulled his sandals and vest on and turned toward the door. And sighed yet again. He always forgot his keys. If he hadn't hung them on the door, he would have again. He usually was handed them on his way out, along with a good-bye kiss. Thoroughly annoyed with himself, he threw his bag over his shoulder, picked up his coffee and slammed out of the apartment.
He'd managed to cool his annoyance a bit on the way to the academy building. As he walked through the village streets, he greeted and smiled at a number of shopkeepers and restaurant owners as they prepared to open for the day. Many of them had children that he'd taught over the years and there were always comments about what his former students were doing now. Some asked him if he was looking forward to the new school year or when he'd be by to shop or for dinner.
So by the time he got to his classroom, his mood had lifted quite a bit. He paused outside the door, when he heard the voices.
"When did Kakashi-sensei start teaching at the academy?" One voice, a boy's, asked.
"He didn't, stupid. It's not Kakashi-sensei." That would be his know-it-all girl.
"But...there's only one Hatake." The puzzled boy said.
"Not anymore." Miss Know-it-all replied.
"So, who is she?" Another boy asked.
"Can you believe it? It's not a she!" A different girl said.
"Not a she?" The first boy asked.
He could picture Miss Know-it-all shaking her head. "No. It's Iruka-sensei." She said his name like she'd just told the secret of the century. When there was only silence in response, he figured he'd heard enough. He opened the door and stepped into his classroom.
"Good morning class!" He greeted them cheerfully.
Several heads turned and he spotted his talkers immediately. There were two girls in the front row and behind them, two boys. Miss Know-it-all was the first one on the end. He could tell by the look on her face. Hina, he thought, going through his files mentally. Top of her class last year and all around brat. She was the daughter of a restaurant owner in the more affluent district of the village.
The boy behind her reminded him a bit of Naruto. He looked like he was distracted by everything and, in fact, he was currently looking around the room, instead of at him, like the other students were. He'd bet that was the one who asked initially.
He set his coffee cup on the desk, pulled the files out and piled them on a corner, then shoved his bag into the bottom drawer and kicked it closed. He looked over the students, cataloging them in his mind as he compared them to the information he'd mostly memorized. He played with the ring on his left hand as he walked around the desk. He leaned back against it, pushed the ring back onto his finger and stuffed his hands into his pocket.
"Welcome to the first day of school." He started. "I'm sure there are plenty of you who would rather be back outside playing." He smiled at the nods and continued. "But you'll learn a lot and if you want to be strong shinobi someday, it's important that you learn as much as you can now."
Miss Know-it-all shot her hand up. "Yes, Hina?"
Her eyes widened. "How did you know my name?"
He just grinned. "Was that all you wanted to know?"
She swallowed and shook her head. "Um, why do you have a scar?"
He nodded. "I figured there'd be questions. Why don't I tell you a little about me and then we can take care of your questions." He picked up his cup and took a sip. He managed to get through the abridged explanation of his scar that he told students, as well as some of his background as a teacher before Miss Know-it-all raised her hand again. "Yes, Hina?" He asked again.
"Were you Naruto Uzamaki's teacher?" She asked.
He nodded, grinning. "Yes, I was. Why?"
"I heard he was a brat." She said, smugly. There was a growl heard from the other side of the room and a blonde-haired little girl with pale lavender eyes glared at Hina.
"He just had a lot of energy." Iruka answered and winked at the blonde. He was glad Kushina was in his class, though he expected her to be a lot like her father.
"So, you're old, then, aren't you?" The curious boy behind her asked.
He paused and ran through his mental files again. "That would depend on what you consider old, Shinjo." Shinjo blushed and closed his mouth quickly.
He steered the conversation back to discussion on being a ninja when the other little girl in the front row raised her hand. "Iruka-sensei?"
Her eyes widened. He really did love this part of school. She cleared her throat. "I thought ninja weren't supposed to wear jewelry and stuff."
He raised an eyebrow. "You wouldn't want to wear too much, that's true. It could cause problems. Why?"
"You have a ring on." She pointed out.
He nodded. "First off, I almost never go on missions anymore. As a teacher, I spend my time here with you guys. And secondly, they don't have a problem with wedding rings, though they're rare for the most part anyway."
"Why?" This was from a dark-haired Hyuuga on the other side of the room.
He paused. "A lot of ninja never marry."
"But..why?" Hina asked.
"Because sometimes they go on a mission that ends up being very, very dangerous and they're killed in the line of duty. So, instead of losing someone, they don't marry in the first place."
Most of them didn't seem to know what to do with that. "But you're wearing one." This from Aoi.
He nodded. "Yes, because I'm married." Here it comes, he thought.
"Are you married to another ninja?" Hina asked.
He strove for patience. Hina was going to be a real treat. He suppressed the sigh and said, "Yes. I am. And I think you know that, don't you?"
She had the grace to blush and nodded. "Kakashi-sensei?" She ventured and he nodded.
"Yes, I'm married to Kakashi-sensei. Now, how about we talk about Konoha's history?" He gave them a tight smile, trying hard to ignore the pang at the question.
"Aren't you worried about him not coming back?" Hina asked, instead.
He swallowed, hard. He stared at his sandals for a minute, buying himself time. Finally, realizing that he wouldn't help them by lying, he looked up and let his eyes touch on each of them briefly, ending with Hina. "Every time he leaves, Hina."
He could have heard a pin drop in the classroom, then. Every pair of eyes was trained on him except Hina's who'd dropped hers to her desk. He took a deep breath. "Being a ninja isn't easy. It's very hard, for a lot of reasons. Every time they go on a mission, they know it could be their last. They could lose a friend or team mate. They could die, leaving loved ones behind to mourn them. It's exhausting, you spend a lot of time away from home. But it's an honor to be one, an honor to help protect the people that matter to you."
He turned away and bought himself another minute by sipping on his coffee. He got a firm hold on his emotions and turned back to the class. "Our village's history is rich with strong shinobi like Kakashi-sensei, Naruto Uzumaki," he said, smiling at Kushina, "and all of our past Hokages." The students settled in as he started in on the lesson, and he sent up a prayer of thanks for managing to shift their attention.
He really did love the first day of school, but he was grateful when it was over. They'd left him alone about Kakashi after that, so he was able to concentrate on school and that helped. But even so, by the time lunch came around, he happily spent it in the locked classroom, giving in to need to mope a little.
He had one more night to get through. Another twenty four hours, at least, that was going to feel like a year and he had no idea how he was going to get through it. He stared at the top of his desk, not really seeing it. Instead, Kakashi's face danced through his mind and he saw again the image of him walking away as he left for his mission. He'd practically counted the steps the man had taken.
He let his head drop onto his arms and closed his eyes. That only seemed to make things worse, though. His mind went back to the night before Kakashi left and he felt those hands on him, tasted those lips, saw the mismatched eyes as they closed when the pleasure got to be too much and Iruka groaned out loud. He raised his head enough to prop his chin on his folded arms and stared at his ring.
This mission shouldn't have affected him so badly. He couldn't quite understand it. This was certainly not the first time Kakashi had been away since they'd been together, not by a long shot. It wasn't even the first one since they'd been married. He just didn't get it.
When his watched beeped, he sighed and rubbed his face. Shoving his feelings back, he stood up to unlock the door. Before he turned the lock, he closed his eyes and pictured him one more time. He could almost, almost feel the strong arms around him. He swallowed hard, then he pushed the whole thing away so he could get through the afternoon and flipped the lock to open the door.
He'd tried to volunteer for the mission desk, but it was already staffed, and no one wanted to go. Then he'd checked in on the gate roster, but no one there wanted to switch, so he headed to their empty home. On the way, he stopped at Ichiraku's and picked up ramen for his dinner. He wasn't up to shopping and didn't really want to see anyone, anyway. He could do that tomorrow. When he got in the door, he kicked his sandals off, hung up his vest and dropped his keys and bag.
Then he turned around and stopped dead.
"Hi." That sexy mouth spread into a grin. Iruka had to be seeing things. He rubbed at his eyes and blinked several times.
"Did my imagination conjure you up?" He asked.
Kakashi shook his head. "No. I'm home."
He nearly dropped the ramen. He only remembered it at the last second and set it on the floor before launching himself at his husband. The arms he'd been dreaming about earlier came around him and the ball in his chest loosened.
"I missed you, too," the amused voice in his ear said.
He pulled back. He flushed, embarrassed, and it succeeded in pissing him off. "I'm glad it's funny," he snapped. He tried to turn around. He just wanted to get away from the amused smile. He felt foolish enough for damned near tackling him, he didn't want to see that smirk, too.
"Uh uh. Your snits are funny most of the time, but I missed you too much for it tonight." He pulled Iruka back against him and their lips crashed together. Iruka felt the older man's tongue against his and he moaned at the contact. His head tilted and the kissed deepened. He wrapped his arms around Kakshi's neck and held on tight. When they broke apart, it was on the tip of Iruka's tongue to snap something else out.
"Dear God, I missed you," Kakashi sighed. "I'm sorry." He didn't sound quite right and that stopped Iruka, who paused and looked up at him. The other man looked haggard. There were dark circles under his eyes, it looked like he hadn't shaved once in the two weeks he'd been gone and even his hair looked like it was drooping.
"What happened?" His anger and embarrassment was forgotten just as quickly as it had bubbled up.
Kakashi just shook his head. "Nothing in particular. Pretty standard for an escort mission, if there is such a thing." He shrugged one shoulder, "but it felt like I was gone for two years instead of two weeks. And I don't think I slept much at all the whole time."
Iruka gave him a sad half-smile. "I know what you mean." He ran his fingers down Kakashi's face and brushed a bit of the silver hair back. "Well, you're home. Any chance you'll be able to stay for a while?"
He knew it didn't really work like that. They could get something any day. Kakashi could get the mission any day, but since the end of the Fourth War, long missions had been getting rarer and rarer.
"Actually, I have some good news. But I haven't had dinner and from the looks of that bag, neither have you. And I need you." At the heated look in Kakashi's eye, Iruka forgot all about food, forgot his day, forgot everything except the desire he could already feel curling inside him.
"Then perhaps you should do something about that," he whispered. He tossed his headband to the side and pulled his hair tie out. Kakashi pulled him in again, his hands going into the long brown hair he loved and their lips met again. This was no simple welcome home kiss. Desire, need, hit them with the force of a thunderstorm and they tore at each other's clothes.
The left a trail of them from the living room into their bedroom. They stopped twice as the need to touch and kiss became too much. Hands went everywhere, they couldn't get enough. Iruka groaned when he felt Kakashi's arousal against him and he wrapped his hand around it, stroking him.
But Kakashi pulled his hand away, not wanting that part over too soon. Impatient with their progress toward the bedroom, he simply picked Iruka up and carried him into the room. He dropped the younger man on the bed and came down next to him, pinning his arms above his head. Kakashi moved his lips down over the body under him, doing his best to drive the man crazy.
"God, don't tease me. I need you inside me now." Iruka fought against the hold on him, but Kakashi wasn't ready to let go.
"Patience, love." He chuckled. He ran his other hand down Iruka's chest, taking the time to feel the muscular stomach, tease his skin, torment him. "There are plenty of other things to do first." He glanced up at the brown eyes, intense and heated, then let go of his hands and started kissing his way over the tanned skin.
Iruka sucked in a breath and gripped the headboard, nearly splintering the wood. The lips moving over him were driving him damned near insane. "Kakashi
" he groaned. "Damn you."
He felt the smile, the air puff out as he chuckled, then Kakashi took him into his mouth and he stopped thinking coherently. He was slow and thorough, determined to draw it out. He ran his tongue slowly along the length, tasting the slightly salty skin. He closed his mouth over him, sucking gently.
Iruka fought hard to hold on, but two weeks was a long time to be without him. He wanted to be mad, wanted to yell at him to stop and take him already. Instead what came out was a low whine. "Please
Kakashi looked up at him and his resolve wavered. In the face of Iruka's plea, he, himself, couldn't wait much more. He paused to fumble into the drawer on the bedside table. When he finally found the bottle, he sent up a prayer of thanks.
He lifted Iruka's legs and held them in place as he positioned himself. Their eyes met and held and he eased himself into the tight passage slowly. He gritted his teeth at the incredible feel, adjusted the angle a bit and pushed further. And was finally buried completely.
He wouldn't last. It felt too damn good, so he concentrated, instead, on the other man. He wrapped his hand around Iruka's length and started stroking him in time with his thrusts. The brown eyes closed and he let out a low moan.
He loved to watch Iruka's face when they made love. Loved the blush that spread around his scar, when his eyes closed. He could see the fight as he tried hard to hold on, and it in itself was damned sexy, to know that he could do that for him.
But he wanted the closeness, too. He pulled out slowly and when Iruka opened his eyes, Kakashi whispered, "turn over."
Iruka did, looking over his shoulder, watching as Kakashi pushed back into him. He leaned over Iruka's back, wrapped his arm around him and took him into his hand again. He kissed the shoulder in front of him as he started moving, grasping the hip below him in his free hand.
Brown hair teased Kakashi's skin as Iruka's head tilted back. Kakashi could just see the fight taking hold again on Iruka's face and the need to give, to see that face twisted in pleasure became too much. He pumped faster, his strokes on Iruka's sex matching his thrusts and he was rewarded with a much louder moan. "Kakahsi
" he warned, "I'm not
I'm going to
GOD!" This last was accompanied by the jerk of Iruka's muscles and the feel of warm fluid as it spilled over his hand.
That was all it took and the last vestiges of Kakashi's control broke. He surged into Iruka and came hard. He nearly shouted with it and managed to muffle it in the shoulder below him at the last second.
Iruka collapsed under him and he rolled them quickly, curling around his love, managing to stay buried inside of him. "You need to shave," Iruka grumbled.
Kakashi chuckled. "I'll do that as soon as we get up." He buried his face in the brown hair and closed his eyes, inhaling the scent of citrus and Iruka.
They lay in silence for a few moments, Kakashi's arms around Iruka and the tan arms wrapped around the pale ones. "What's your good news?" Iruka whispered into the silence.
Kakashi took a deep breath. "I'm up for a new team. And they want me to help proctor the next Chunin exams."
Iruka's head twisted quickly, eyes widening. "Really?"
Kakashi's mouth split into a grin. "Yes."
The brown eyes closed for a moment as he fought his emotions. Relief, and, annoyingly, tears warred for domination and he shoved them both back. His eyes opened and his grin matched Kakashi's.
Then his mouth twisted into a smirk. "Now you'll be underfoot all the time. I'll have to stay late to grade papers, since you never leave me alone to work when I'm home." He sighed. "What a pain in the ass."
Kakashi laughed. "If you want a pain in the ass," he said, rocking his hips toward him, "I can give you one."
Iruka growled. "Please. You wish."
Kakashi raised an eyebrow. "That's not what you said the first few times we were together."
Iruka blushed, then smirked again. "I seem to remember you thinking something similar." He laughed when the pale cheeks stained with color. He sighed and gave in. "I'm glad you'll be home. I miss you too much when you're gone."
Kakashi's smile faded and for once, he didn't tease him for the comment, didn't goad him about his words. It was way too close to the truth. Instead, he dropped a kiss on him and sent up thanks that he'd be able to hear a lot more of them for the foreseeable future.</FONT>