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There was a very good reason that Iruka rarely, if ever, opened his kitchen window. First of all, there wasn't much to be seen out said window – the next apartment block had sprung up less than three feet away – but Iruka's reluctance owed largely to one Shiranui Genma, whose kitchen window was directly across the way, so close in fact, that Iruka could lean out and bang on it if he chose.

And he had, on several occasions.

It wasn't that Iruka had anything against Genma; the Special Jonin worked the mission desk occasionally – usually as punishment for some hair-brained expedition he had undertaken in his spare time – and he was quite a lot of fun to talk to. He had been a weapons instructor during Iruka's years at the academy, and during Iruka's wild teenage streak, the only adult Iruka and his fellow delinquents had been able to find who would pull beer or smokes or whatever else they felt they needed to occupy their time; that and he had thrown some of the village's wildest parties.

The problem with Genma was that even at thirty-years-old he had yet to grow up in any noticeable way. He was still very much the lazy teenage Chunin who taught his classes while so hung-over that he could barely stand upright without puking on his sandals.

But even this wasn't Iruka's main issue with his neighbour. The thing that bothered Iruka – really bothered him – was that Genma never seemed to remember to close his window, and that Genma and Raidou were fans of very loud sex.

Which Iruka, in turn, was forced to listen to.

This became much less of an issue, Iruka discovered, when he could simply roll over and molest Kakashi – who, for the record, was fully open to being molested and had secretly asked Genma and Raidou to spend more time at Genma's apartment just so that it would happen more often – but still, other people's orgasmic screams tend to be disruptive to one's peace of mind.

Why the neighbours in Genma's building – or on the entire street for that matter – didn't complain always made Iruka curious; but how it came to be that one night the whole thing dissolved into some bizarre, perverted 'I can make my lover howl louder than yours' contest between them was completely beyond anyone's comprehension.


Iruka was normally an early riser. So, for that matter, was Kakashi – the difference between them being that while Iruka felt that being awake meant he should get out of bed and begin his day, Kakashi seldom agreed. The Jonin could lie in bed for hours, and was often quite good at convincing Iruka to join him.

Not that it required much persuasion.

Iruka awoke on Sunday morning just after nine o'clock, with his head resting on Kakashi's warm, firm stomach. His body was actually open, at this point, to going back to sleep for another hour or so, but his mind insisted otherwise.

Getting out of bed, when that bed was also home to a certain silver-haired Jonin, was always a tricky proposition, best done in stages, because if Kakashi awoke during the process, Iruka would not be able to escape. Iruka began by lifting his head very carefully from its place on Kakashi's stomach, and placing it properly on the pillow. From this new angle – as Kakashi murmured sleepily and repositioned himself – Iruka could tell how deeply his lover was sleeping.

Quite deeply, if the tiny stream of drool running down his cheek was any indication.

Knowing that Hatake Kakashi, legendary copy-ninja and master of a thousand jutsu, drooled in his sleep was a little like knowing that Uchiha Itachi had once been a sweet, helpless little baby – unless you saw it with your own eyes, you would never believe it was true.

Feeling moderately safe, Iruka took a deep breath and made a stealthy escape from the bed, rolling off the mattress directly on to his feet. Kakashi rolled towards Iruka's retreating body heat, whimpering sleepily – which was almost enough to make Iruka change his mind – then went back to sleep. Iruka located a pair of sweatpants, combed his fingers through his hair, and padded into the kitchen.

The coffee had just started to brew when a hand gripping a mug was thrust through the curtained window.

"Yo, Iruka – some coffee?"

Iruka scowled at the hand briefly before tugging back the curtain to scowl at the man attached to it.

"Don't you have your own coffee maker?"

"Broken," Genma waggled the mug entreatingly, "c'mon, you don't want to see me without caffeine."

Iruka was reasonably sure that it couldn't be any worse than Genma in nothing but boxer-briefs and a bandanna.

"I'll trade you two cups of coffee for two eggs," Iruka surrendered finally when it became obvious that Genma wasn't about to give up without a fight.

Genma hopped off the windowsill, padded over to the fridge, and promptly threw two eggs out through the open window. Iruka caught them, and the two mugs that followed, passing them back to the Special Jonin full of steaming back coffee.

"Rai!" Genma shouted, "Coffee's done!"

"I thought your machine was broken," Raidou walked into the kitchen dressed in loose black silk pyjamas – in Iruka's experience the older man never walked around even in relative private with his shirt off, he was so self-conscious of his burn scars.

"It is," Genma handed over one of the mugs, "I traded Iruka two eggs for this."

"Thanks Iruka," Raidou gave a casual wave out the window, "Don't let this guy mooch off you too much okay?"

"Wouldn't dream of it," Iruka cracked the eggs into a hot pan to fry – supplemented with the last two from his fridge – and tried to ignore the fact that Kakashi was 'sneaking' up on him from across the room.

"Mornin' Kakashi," Genma barely suppressed a snicker as Kakashi slid up behind Iruka – dressed only in happy-face-patterned boxers and a mask – and plastered himself merrily to the brunette's back. Kakashi replied to the greeting with a curt grunt and promptly set about nibbling at Iruka's neck through his mask.

"Geh!" Iruka wiggled in an attempt to dislodge the happy Jonin, succeeding only in making said Jonin happier, "Kakashi, we have an audience!"

"Oh don't mind us," Genma leaned his elbows on the windowsill and gazed at the pair with undisguised fascination. Kakashi yanked the curtain shut with one hand and plunged the other down the back of Iruka's sweatpants to squeeze his ass. Iruka issued a noise that was half startled yelp – because Kakashi's fingers were honestly a little cold – and half aroused purr.

"Oooh, this is even kinky without the visual," Genma quipped – this was followed by a sound that was very likely Genma being clubbed with something, and the window being quickly shut.

"Someone's sleeping on the couch…" Kakashi chuckled, tugging down his mask and refreshing a particularly fantastic hickey on Iruka's shoulder.

"Stop that," Iruka shivered, laughing, "I'm sick of eating burnt breakfasts."

Kakashi nibbled at his ear – which never failed to turn the Chunin to putty, "No morning quickie?"

"How about an afternoon one?" Iruka offered, making a strange, toe-balancing sideways reach for the toaster.

"Well…alright. Is there sausage?"

Iruka turned his head to scowl at Kakashi, "Is that supposed to be some kind of crude joke?"

Kakashi chuckled and finally released Iruka from his lecherous clutches, moving to the fridge and retrieving the orange juice and a package of pre-cooked sausage, "It didn't start out that way, but it could be now," he waggled his eyebrows suggestively and Iruka swatted him with the spatula, just out of principle.


Iruka was just finishing his cursory reading of the daily paper and the last of his cup of coffee, thinking how nice it was going to be to join Kakashi in the shower when he was done, when there was a knock at the door. Before he could even get up from the table to answer it, someone slid an envelope through the space beneath the door. It had Iruka's name and apartment number printed on it in very precise strokes, was sealed with wax, and looked faintly ominous.

Iruka split the seal with a knife from the kitchen drawer, read the letter inside, staggered dumbly into the bathroom and collapsed on the toilet seat.

"Iruka?" Kakashi poked his head out from behind the hideous blue shower curtain, looking delightfully wet, hot water-pinked and faintly concerned because he had developed a sort of 'imminent emotional breakdown' radar in the seven months he had been with Iruka, "Something wrong?"

Iruka buried his face in his hands and moaned dramatically, "I can't believe it…"

Kakashi plucked the slightly crumpled piece of paper from Iruka's trembling hands with a soapy thumb and forefinger, giving it a curious once-over.

"You're being evicted," he announced nonchalantly, "Over a noise complaint."

"Several!" Iruka yelped, then caught himself, dropping his voice down to a rasping whisper, "Several noise complaints – last night – this is so – so embarrassing! This is all your fault!"
Kakashi gave him a warning glare that seemed to remind Iruka instantly of why exactly the Jonin had been making so much noise the night before – and that he hadn't been the only one so vocal.

"No this – this is Genma's fault!" the Chunin jumped from his seat, "Genma!"

He winced at the sound of his own voice, clamping a hand over his mouth. He wanted to yell desperately – if only to blow off some steam – but he was suddenly very aware of how loud he could actually be – and oh gods everyone in the building had heard him.

"Why do these things always happen to me?" he moaned, clutching his head, "This is so embarrassing – and why am I being evicted? Genma's been doing it for years and nobody says anything! Why me?!"

"Iruka," Kakashi said in his most calm, patient and friendly 'excuse me but…' tone of voice, "if you're going to have a nervous breakdown right this minute could you possibly do it in the shower? I'm still a bit soapy."

And possibly because he was badly frazzled and so thoroughly mortified at the prospect that he would never be able to look any of his neighbours in the eye ever again, Iruka thought this was a reasonable request, kicked off his sweatpants and stepped under the stream of hot water. He only realized his strategic miscalculation when Kakashi's soap-slicked hands began roaming across his skin.

"Oh no," Iruka tried desperately to twist away from the Jonin's hands, but had very little room to manoeuvre, "I can't have a nervous breakdown while you're groping me!"

"Sort of the point," Kakashi pinned him against the wall, fingers finding a pressure point that turned Iruka's arms and legs to near-rubber.

"Cheater…" Iruka growled, "Get off…"

"Sush," Kakashi scolded, pecking him on the cheek, "there's no reason to be so upset. I have a solution."

"And what's that?" Iruka was still trying to sound as grumpy as possible despite the fact that his body was quickly rebelling against him.

"Just move in with me."

Iruka rolled his eyes and snorted, "Kakashi, your apartment is even smaller than mine."

Kakashi fixed him with a patiently loving expression, a combination of his usual lop-sided smile and a look in his eye along the lines of 'it's a good thing you're so cute because sometimes you can be so stupid', then kissed him lightly.

"Well maybe we should rent a house."

Iruka actually gaped for a moment before snapping his jaw closed quickly – because surely Kakashi couldn't really understand the deeper implications of what he had just said.

Iruka found himself laughing nervously despite his best efforts, "That's very funny Kakashi."

The older man gave him a blank look, "I wasn't saying it to be funny."

Iruka hesitated. It was becoming gradually harder to concentrate as Kakashi's fingers roamed up and down his hip and thigh.

"Are you sure – I mean that's a big…"

"Only if you want to," Kakashi released the pressure point and leaned in to suck on Iruka's earlobe, "I'm not going to hold you hostage or anything – but apparently you're going to need a new place to live anyway – and honestly I do spend quite a bit of time here."

"So in other words you'll be upset if you lose your crash pad?" Iruka was quickly giving up on his 'be grumpy at the world' battle, but still managed to sound miffed.

"I've become far too accustomed to waking up in a warm bed," Kakashi slid his hands down Iruka's thighs and gave him a helpful little tug, lapping at his neck, "I'm loathe to give it up."

"So I'm a bed-warmer?" Iruka dug his fingernails into Kakashi's rear, leaving little dents.

"An incredibly sweet, beautiful, sexy bed-warmer," Kakashi offered, bucking his hips in a way that made Iruka suck air through his teeth, "if that makes any difference."

"It does…but don't – aaah – do that. The neighbours are mad enough already."

"Well then you're just going to have to hold it in pretty baby," Kakashi slid to his knees, leaving a trail of soap suds and kisses down Iruka's chest and stomach, nuzzling the smooth hollow of his fine hip bones, "because you promised me…"

Iruka bit down on the ball of his thumb to stifle a groan, tangling his other hand in silver hair as Kakashi's dexterous tongue went to work. A moment later he decided that it wasn't worth having to go to the hospital for stitches in his hand – the neighbours were just going to have to put up with his noise.

After all, he was being evicted anyway.


The first week of June was always stressful. Graduation exams were only days away and Iruka was nearly overwhelmed with work, trying to do preliminary sketch-ups for Genin teams while at the same time struggling to cram every bit of useful information into impressionable young minds that were far too occupied with thoughts of summer weather and hopes for the future. To top everything off, this was going to be the first year that Iruka's fellow examiner was one of his former students, and he had honestly no idea what kind of standards Shikamaru was going to have for the kids (if any), so the added stress of having two weeks to find himself a new apartment was the last thing Iruka really needed.

During a lull in activity of the mission desk Iruka busied himself flipping through the Konoha real-estate review. He quickly discovered that there weren't many apartments to be had – at least not many good ones, he had lived in enough rats' nests as a teenager to know the difference – and he inevitably found himself looking at houses and wondering if Kakashi had meant what he said.

A house – together – the two of them. Iruka allowed himself a small smile at the thought.

But before he could get carried away with happy little fantasies, the room was filled with a powerful gust of wind, accompanied by a pop of chakra and a swirl of bright green leaves, and Genma appeared in the middle of the mission room floor.

Bloody Jonin and their flashy entrances.

"You look happy," Genma grinned.

"I was until you got here," Iruka crumpled up the magazine and stuffed it between his knees under the desk before Genma could see it and make some smart-assed comment.

"Oh come now sensei," Genma laughed, "Don't be sour just because I won our little bet…"

"Obviously I won," Iruka growled, "seeing as I'm the one being evicted."

He realized almost as soon as he said it how embarrassing that sounded, and turned red.

"I dunno," Genma snickered, "I think that should count as a disqualification."

Iruka glared silently. Genma slid a piece of folded paper, sealed with a familiar charka signature, across the table to him, "Kakashi asked me to give you this."

"He's gone on a mission?"

Genma nodded, "Just a short one. Says he'll be back to help you move. Aren't you going to open it?"

"Not while you're here," Iruka made a shooing gesture.

Genma shrugged dejectedly and slouched towards the door, "Fine…just shoot the messenger next time why don't you?"

"Take those leaves with you," Iruka called after him, "I'm not cleaning up your mess!"

Genma cast a small wind jutsu and the leaves chased him out the door and down the hall like eager puppies.

Once he was gone, Iruka cracked the chakra seal on the paper and found a page torn from the real-estate review. One ad had been circled in red ink: a small two-bedroom house in a newer area of the village advertised as 'rent to own'. Scribbled at the bottom of the page in Kakashi's chicken-scratch was a message:

Tour 7:30 pm tonight. I like this one. Let me know what you think pretty baby.

It was signed with a small henohenomoheji.

Iruka tucked the note into his pocket, smiling. Kakashi – that crafty bastard – was probably thinking of the whole eviction fiasco as a sign from providence if he had already picked out a house from last week's review.


"It's not much to look at," Iruka appraised. The house was small, non-descript, painted clinical white and largely hidden from view of the street by a high garden wall.

"I confess I haven't had much interest yet," the agent, a middle-aged woman in a sleek power suit, sighed, "but this market is going to explode soon. The houses are designed to be very classic-chic, incorporating the traditional open-air feel of an older house into a smaller space. People – young people especially – are starting to find the traditional manor-houses too stuffy and old-fashioned."

Iruka nodded understandingly, although he honestly felt that at least the older houses had some personality to them; and he wasn't sure that he wanted to live in any house that was considered 'chic'.

"I know it doesn't look like much from the outside," she waved him forward encouragingly, "but once you see the inside…"

From the moment he stepped through the door, came out of the entryway and looked into the split-level living-room which had one wall that was nothing but floor to ceiling windows letting in golden early evening light to spread in great swaths across the tatami floor, Iruka was utterly in love. The fact that the bathroom had an enormous tub with whirl jets that was big enough for two was just icing on the cake.

He knew when he told the agent that he would 'think about it', she already knew he was sold because she gave him the rental agreement papers 'just in case', and when he got home he was grinning from ear to ear like a fool.

Until he saw the price.


Kakashi sat very calmly on the bed and gave Iruka that look – the 'it's a good thing you're cute because sometimes you can be so stupid' look. He had been giving Iruka that very same look for nearly twenty minutes while the Chunin prattled on about exams for Monday and how he was only going to have three weeks at most to get settled in his new place because he had promised to teach a summer class twice a week in July and August, and about all the different places he had looked, at when there was only one that Kakashi really wanted to hear about.

And the look didn't seem to be having any effect at all.

"Iruka…" he interrupted finally, drawing the man's attention with a wave of his hand, "What about the place I suggested?"

"Oh," Iruka attempted to look very busy recopying the exam schedule into something legible, "Well it's really great and I have some money saved up – but it's too much."

He clipped his words at the end in a way that usually implied he didn't want to talk about it anymore.
Kakashi frowned. He'd thought the house was actually quite affordable, especially with the rent to own arrangement.

"Well," he ventured, "I don't see a problem, we should be able to afford it easily, don't you think?"

Iruka's pen hand actually faltered at the word 'we' and the Chunin looked over at him in that adorably uncomprehending way that made Kakashi want to kiss and shake him at the same time.

"You didn't seriously think you'd be paying for it all yourself did you?" Kakashi gave him back a look of vaguely amused incredulity that he had previously reserved only for Naruto.

"Well – that is – I..." Iruka blushed deep crimson and buried his face in his work once again, "I guess I didn't really think about it."

"Well when I said 'we should get a house', what part of 'we' did you not understand as opposed to 'you' which is usually singular…"

"Don't tease me alright!" Iruka bristled suddenly, "I'm just used to being by myself – that's all!"

Kakashi paused, momentarily caught off guard by Iruka's outburst, then he rose from the bed and deposited himself on the floor, drawing Iruka into his lap despite the younger man's growls of protest.

"I get it," he purred, pulling the tie out of Iruka's hair and kissing the edge of his jaw, "You have domestic anxiety."

"I do not," Iruka grumbled, trying to worm his way back to the papers he had spread out across the floor, but Kakashi held him fast with an arm around his waist until he stopped resisting.

"Well it's just…" Iruka began, reluctantly leaning against Kakashi's chest, "This might sound stupid but…the hardest part of my parents' dying wasn't being alone it was…it was having to sell the house where we lived together."

"It doesn't sound stupid," Kakashi promised him, working his hands in comforting circles around Iruka's belly, "I understand completely."

"Right…of course you do…" Iruka at least had the good sense to sound sheepish, "It's just that buying a house together is so permanent…"

"And you don't want this to be permanent?" Kakashi didn't have to feign the hurt in his voice, but he tried not to think about what that said about his peace of mind.

"That's not it," Iruka stroked his wrist with feather-light fingers, "it's just that we're ninja…we can't really talk about permanent things."

Talking, Kakashi knew, was actually quite easy. It was living up to that talk which often proved difficult. One could talk about things day and night for years and it would not make them a reality. Then again, giving one's word was sometimes enough, at least, to give one the strength to press on into an uncertain future.

"I don't think it's so hard pretty baby," he slid Iruka's headband off and placed it carefully on the floor, kissing his temple, "we could start with love…"

Iruka finally relaxed against him, leaning heavily against his chest, "I thought we already talked about that."

"Ah," Kakashi smiled, nuzzling Iruka's shoulder until he had pushed the collar of the old t-shirt aside and could touch his lips to skin, "so we did. Well then, should we talk about babies?"

Iruka laughed, "I think that's off limits."

"Unless I'm keeping a secret…"

Iruka thumped him on the kneecap, "I think I would have noticed something like that."

Kakashi laughed against Iruka's warm skin and the Chunin shivered in a most intriguing fashion, "We could talk about marriage then."

"Kakashi be serious!"

He had been serious, actually – but maybe it was a little soon for that, "I guess a house is all we really have left then, isn't it?"

"I guess so…"


Iruka twisted to look up at him, "I didn't say 'but'."

"You were thinking it," he nipped at Iruka's earlobe then kissed the tender spot on his jaw just beneath it, "listen Iruka, I already said I wasn't going to force you into anything – if you want to get your own place…"

"But you practically live here anyway, right?" Iruka interjected.

"Well practically…"

Iruka shifted his weight backwards and Kakashi wilfully unbalanced himself, falling onto his back and pulling Iruka with him. Iruka laid his head on Kakashi's shoulder and cast a leg over Kakashi's thighs.

"I really like it," he said finally, his voice a little mumbling and misty, "the house I mean…It's a nice house."

Kakashi hummed to himself, stretching his feet out until they hit the edge of the couch, looking underneath the underneath of that statement. Silence settled in on them, warm and heavy. Someone had their TV on too loud in the apartment next door.

"Don't you still have work to do?" Kakashi said finally – not that he minded having Iruka's warm weight spread across his chest, but the man tended to get a little panicky if he fell too far behind schedule.
Iruka sighed contentedly in response and nuzzled his collarbone, "Yeah…but I want to lie here a little longer, 'kay?"

"Sure," Kakashi chuckled gently, running his fingers through silky brown hair, "I don't have a problem with that."


They had finally, blessedly, passed out the very last headband to the very last graduate – only two failures and neither of them had burst out in tears thank goodness – and Iruka could hear the change of address papers for him and Kakashi crinkling in his vest pocket with every move he made.

"Man that was a pain, how do you do that every year?" Shikamaru was slouched in his chair, looking far too world-weary for the thirteen-year-old boy. At least he had taken the whole things seriously and hadn't fallen asleep.

"Those were some of the better ones," Iruka laughed, slinging his bag over his shoulder, "It could be worse, trust me."

"Sure, sure," Shikamaru stood and stretched lazily, slouching towards the door, "I'm not cut out for this teaching stuff."

Iruka laughed, trailing after him and shutting the door. Outside in the yard the graduates were happily showing off their new headbands to friends and family. Iruka knew that he would see all but nine of them again in a few weeks, in the refresher class he had agreed to teach; they wouldn't be so happy then.

"Maybe you'll warm up to teaching," Iruka suggested, turning in the direction of the records office. Shikamaru seemed to be going that way too, though whether he was going home, following Iruka, or simply wandering, Iruka couldn't tell.

"Doubt it," Shikamaru yawned, "too troublesome."

"Well, when I was your age I didn't want to be a teacher either."

Iruka slid his hand into his pocket and closed it around the papers self-consciously; he kept having strange thoughts that he had misplaced them or left them at home. They had signed and submitted the rental agreement on Saturday, and now all Iruka had to do was submit the change of address forms and they could move. It seemed somehow like a massively important responsibility – not that the world would end if Iruka lost the papers, they could always get others – but somehow it struck him as a matter of destiny if he were to lose them, like a sign from the gods that he and Kakashi were not supposed to be together.

It was a foolish reservation and he knew it, but he couldn't shake the thought.

"Something wrong sensei?" Shikamaru drawled, eyeing him lazily, "You've been touching that pocket all day."

"Oh," Iruka suppressed a nervous laugh, "I just have some important papers to deliver to the records office, that's all."

"Then you might want to go back that way."

Iruka looked back over his shoulder and yelped in surprise. He'd been so absorbed in his own thoughts that he'd walked right past the records office. Shikamaru mumbled something about 'troublesome grownups' as Iruka thanked him hastily and scrambled to backtrack.

The records office was dark, cavernous warehouse that smelled so strongly of dry ink and old parchment that Iruka's sinuses burned and his eyes watered. He covered his nose and coughed dramatically into the echoing silence as he weaved through the mountainous stacks of old books, scrolls and boxes of every size and shape sealed with chakra traps and nasty little jutsu. Iruka had always felt that it would make more sense to put the administration desk at the front of the warehouse rather than at the very back so that people would not be forced to wade through the forest of sagging shelves and teetering filing cabinets – but it was probably meant to be some offhanded attempt at testing visitors' skills as shinobi, seeing if they could avoid all the perils and pitfalls of the poorly-lit warehouse. There were always stories circulating (urban legends about so-and -so the hapless Genin, friend of an uncle's cousin's half-sister's nephew-in-law) who had ventured into the shadows between the stacks, never to be seen again. Iruka, for his part, had once, in his first year as a Chunin, had a harrowing experience with a rather large crate that had growled at him.

There was a young Chunin woman whose name Iruka could not recall, although he was certain that he knew it, at the desk, looking utterly bored with her attention absorbed in a hairstyle magazine.

"Good afternoon," Iruka ventured, crinkling the papers a little in his hands. She glanced at him disinterestedly, "I'm – ah – here to submit some change of address forms."

She held out one perfectly manicured hand, complete with bright pink nails – clearly she hadn't seen much time in the field lately – and Iruka reluctantly handed over the forms. She looked slightly irritated by their sorry state, smoothing them out on the desk before scanning them for completeness. She made no comment at all about Iruka's own forms, but as she moved on to Kakashi's her eyes widened gradually until, by the time she looked up at Iruka with an expression of frank amazement on her face, he was honestly worried that she might injure herself.

"Is this like – the Hatake Kakashi?"

Iruka frowned, a little bewildered, "I'm not sure what you mean…"

"You know," she leaned eagerly across the desk, "Hatake Kakashi, the copy-ninja, master of a thousand jutsu – is this him?"

Iruka processed that for a moment and then smiled slightly, although blushing at the same time, "Well, yes. I mean, there isn't another Hatake Kakashi is there?"

"No…" she still looked a little stunned, "Damn…why are all the hot guys gay or taken?"

Iruka's smile became a brash grin, and he puffed out his chest a little despite himself. It wasn't often that he was so obviously reminded that by being with Kakashi he was the envy of a large portion of Konoha's female population – and a fair chunk of the male population as well.

"Hey," the young woman smiled suggestively as she slipped the completed forms into the inbox, "you wouldn't be willing to share him, would you?"

Iruka bristled suddenly with possessive indignation and growled out, "No."

"Well," she shrugged, leaning back in her chair and examining her gaudy pink nails, "never hurts to ask."

Iruka thought that he could make it hurt, if he was so inclined, but he still managed to bow stiffly and offer a curt "Thank you" before he stalked out.

Back outside in the June sun, the whole situation suddenly stuck him as being incredibly funny – as if Kakashi would ever go for a woman like that! Pink nail polish, honestly! – and he leaned against the sun-heated wall and laughed until tears ran down his face.


"I hate you."

Kakashi looked back over his shoulder at Iruka, who was lounging in the doorway of the apartment with his arms folded across his chest, looking distinctly unimpressed.

"You can fit your whole life into three boxes," Iruka's scowl deepened, "How do you do that?"

Kakashi shrugged casually, knowing that Iruka was only joking, "It helps that I don't have a bunch of knick-knacks from little nose-wipers."

Iruka huffed playfully, "I like my knick-knacks – and my little nose-wipers."

Kakashi laughed, shouldering the last and largest of the boxes, "I know you do. Could you grab Mr. Ukki for me, I wouldn't want to leave him behind."

Iruka chuckled, walking over and picking up the plant form the windowsill, patting it lovingly, "Alright Mr. Ukki, come with me. I'll find you a nice sunny window in the new house."

Kakashi followed him out the door, pausing to look back for just a moment. He experienced a strange near-sorrow at the thought of leaving behind the apartment where he had lived for the better part of fifteen years. Nearly all the furniture in the apartment he was forced to leave behind because it belonged to the owner of the building, and it did seem somewhat…sad that he could fit his entire life into three cardboard boxes.

Well, not his entire life.

"Kakashi, are you coming?"


Kakashi gave the threadbare sofa one last chakra-assisted push with his foot, settling it neatly in the center of the spare bedroom. Iruka had agreed to make the spare room a sort of miniature library, just as long as Kakashi agreed not to fill it with Icha Icha novels (Kakashi reasoned that as long as there was one book that didn't have Icha Icha written on the cover, the room was not full) and the room would be perfect for it, thanks to the large, sun-catching windows that lined the one wall. Kakashi couldn't imagine any sensible ninja wanting to actually sleep in that room – it was far too exposed.

Job done, Kakashi headed out to make sure that Iruka hadn't been accidentally been crushed by the television, and found the man standing in the center of the mostly empty living-room.

He looked agonized and delicious in the early evening sunlight.

"Something wrong?" Kakashi slid up behind the younger man draping arms around his waist.

"This room is empty," Iruka made it sound as if it were the end of the world. Kakashi didn't want to quibble semantics, although with the entertainment center in one corner the room wasn't completely empty, it was big enough that it certainly looked that way.

"We don't have a lot of furniture," Kakashi agreed, laying a warm, masked cheek against Iruka's, "certainly not enough to fill a house."

Iruka sighed, shoulders slumping miserably, "Was this a bad idea?"

"Do you think it was a bad idea?" The Chunin could be such a worrier sometimes.

Iruka sighed again, placing his hands atop Kakashi's where he rubbed soothing circles across his stomach, "Our apartments were too small for the both of us…I want us to have a place."

Kakashi nuzzled Iruka's ear lovingly, adding a flick of tongue just for variety, "So do I."

Iruka sagged against Kakashi, melted by the ear thing, "Thank you."

Kakashi laughed softly, letting his hands slide a little lower, encouraged by the other man's warmth, "Besides, we have the only piece of furniture we really need."

"And let me guess what that might be…" Iruka sounded amused.

Kakashi growled playfully, shifting his hips, rubbing half-formed hardness against Iruka's backside and Iruka laughed, wriggling joyfully as Kakashi's fingers began working at his waistband.

"We have to unpack…"

"We can unpack later," Kakashi breathed anxiously against his ear, "Tomorrow…or maybe the next day…"

"Or the next?" Iruka suggested teasingly.

Kakashi pulled the younger man tight to him, savouring the way their bodies fit together, "You know, it's customary to celebrate moving into a new house with a night of wild sex…"

"Where did you get that idea?" Iruka laughed, grinding against him a little.

Kakashi hummed thoughtfully, pressing his face against the back of Iruka's neck, inhaling the scent of sweat and soap, "I think I must have heard it somewhere."

"I think you just made it up," Iruka snorted.

"So is that a 'no'?"

There was a moment's pause, then Iruka laughed reproachfully, "Have I ever said 'no' to you?"

Kakashi thought about this for a moment, "Actually you haven't – but you could if you ever wanted to."

Iruka made a frustrated noise and pressed his hips back against Kakashi's, "Just please tell me you didn't put the lube at the bottom of some enormous box."

Kakashi laughed and slid his hands inside Iruka's shirt, grazing nipples, "I already unpacked it."

Iruka reached back and threaded his fingers through Kakashi's soft hair, pulling him in closer, "Did I ever tell you how much I love it when you plan ahead?"

Kakashi purred and flicked his tongue against the rim of Iruka's ear, "Bedroom?"

Iruka, nearly giggling, squirmed free of Kakashi's arms and darted towards the bedroom before Kakashi could stop him, leaving the Jonin to stumble after him, peeling his shirt off as he went. Iruka ambushed him just inside the door, very nearly tugging him off balance by his belt-loops as he latched hungrily onto Kakashi's lips, just long enough to flick a fierce pink tongue against his teeth before releasing him so abruptly that Kakashi nearly fell backwards.

"Too slow…" Iruka growled impatiently, crawling onto the bed so smoothly that he seemed to have extra muscles, stripping as he went.

Kakashi swallowed the sudden thickness in his throat and fumbled his way out of his pants and boxers. It never ceased to amaze him how quickly Iruka could turn him into a fumbling adolescent. Iruka braced his shoulders and feet on the bed, arching his back up off the mattress – Kakashi felt a dangerous pressure building in his sinuses at the sight – then slid his pants and boxers off in one smooth motion.

Kakashi didn't realize he was staring dumbstruck until Iruka fairly leered at him, sprawled naked on the half-made bed, wrapped a hand around his own hardening member and began stroking enticingly.

"Well – do you want this or not?"

"Oh…" Kakashi breathed, tongue flicking out to wet his suddenly dry lips, "Yes…"

"Then come on…" Iruka thumbed his tip, eyelids fluttering, "I'm waiting on you…this was your idea."

"Was it?" Kakashi could no longer remember clearly as all his vital, oxygen-rich blood was now somewhere very far south of his brain.

"Yeees…" Iruka moaned breathlessly, writhing a little under his own attentions, cock twitching, "So tell me what you want to do already!"

Kakashi took an unsteady step towards the bed. He almost wanted to just stand there and watch Iruka jerk himself off – there couldn't be anyone else in the world who looked so sexy while masturbating – if not for the ache in his own groin.

"Can I – take you?" he hadn't meant it to come out that way, but it was hard to concentrate while watching Iruka do that thing with his thumb, knowing how amazing it felt; and suddenly Iruka was laughing at him.

"I don't know…can you?"

That dirty little tease. Kakashi took a deep breath, getting his bearings back, and leaned across the bed to kiss Iruka's thick, moist lips and taste his semi-sweet tongue.

"On your stomach," he growled, nipping at Iruka's neck.

"Oh?" Iruka ran blunted nails down Kakashi's biceps, "Have I been bad?"

"Yes," Kakashi tugged the younger man's hip, trying to urge him to turn over, "very bad."

Iruka complied, smiling lewdly, "Maybe you should punish me."

"Never…" Kakashi pressed a hand into the sweat-dampened small of Iruka's back to hold him in place, dragging open the drawer of the nightstand where he really hoped he had left the lube, "I love how crazy you make me."

He kissed the back of Iruka's neck and tugged free the tie in his hair, sliding a freshly slicked hand down to the crease of Iruka's ass. Iruka gasped at the touch and pushed up on his hands and knees, reaching back to brush his own erection with trembling fingers.

"Eager aren't we?" Kakashi laughed against his shoulder blade, kissing open-mouthed with a flick of tongue against salty skin.

"Well, if you hadn't kept me waiting…"

Kakashi gripped the wayward hand and forced it back to the mattress, sliding a finger in at the same time. Iruka mewled softly at the intrusion, a tremor of pleasure rippling through taught muscles.

"Louder," Kakashi urged, pressing deeper, feeling Iruka's muscles tense a little against the intrusion, drawing a maddened whimper from the back of the younger man's throat, "now that we have these walls all to ourselves, I want to see how loud you can get."

He tugged back the curtain of Iruka's hair so he could get a look at the Chunin's face – he almost regretted taking him from this angle because he couldn't see the younger man's face during the act…and Iruka had such a beautiful face. His tanned cheeks were flushed a deep auburn color, lips wet and parted. With each twist and thrust of Kakashi's fingers, he wrinkled up his nose in a snarl of pure delight, making his distinct facial scar stand out all the more strongly.

"Gods pretty baby you're so – so…" he sucked on Iruka's shoulder, adding a scrape of teeth and Iruka moaned in the deepest part of his chest – a primal sound that sent a concentrated throb of need straight to the base of Kakashi's cock. Kakashi's fingers knew their path expertly, found the spot that drew out that sound, and pressed again unrelentingly until Iruka was all but sobbing with pleasure.

"Kakashi please – please…" he let loose a soft, keening wail from the back of his throat to punctuate his desperation, "I'm dying…"

Kakashi laughed softly, extracting his fingers and running a soothing hand down Iruka's flank, "I know you have more stamina than that."

"Come on…" he bowed his back and bit his lip, growling softly, "don't you dare stop."

"Stop?" Kakashi positioned himself, rubbing against Iruka's entrance, tickling his back with careful fingers and kissing along his spine, "Oh pretty baby, I have no intention of stopping."

Iruka gasped his name, trembling as Kakashi eased in, and proceeded to make small, half-broken, pleasured noises with every thrust, arms shaking as he struggled to keep himself upright while Kakashi reached around to stroke his shaft and knead his balls, murmuring wordless encouragements. Iruka dropped his head and arched his back so Kakashi could hit that perfect spot with every thrust, rocking back in rhythm to drive him deeper, moaning breathlessly.

This was the part Kakashi wished could last forever – pressed against Iruka's heaving back, tasting the sweat along the nape of his neck, listening to the small, sharp, pleasured noises Iruka made with each thrust, feeling lube-slicked muscles clench around him, Iruka's cock throbbing and quivering in his palm with each matching stroke. It was true bliss, those last shuddering moments before his orgasm, when the world was just skin, gasps for air, mewls of pleasure, the clench of his balls, and Iruka's come dripping through his fingers.

One last stab of pleasure ran all the way up his spine to the base of his brain, firing every nerve in rapid succession, and he ended up plastered blissfully to Iruka's back, one hand wrapped tight around the younger man's waist, dusting kisses across sweaty shoulders. Iruka grunted softly, dropping one shoulder, and tumbled sideways. The two men landed in an awkward heap of tangled, satiated limbs. After a few minutes of trembling and breath catching Iruka drew Kakashi's hand up, kissing, licking and sucking sticky fingers, laughing softly.

"Something funny pretty baby?" Kakashi blew cool air across the damp skin on Iruka's neck to make him squirm.

"No, I'm just…" a sleepy, contented sigh, "Happy."

"Ah…and happy is good, right?"

"Usually," Iruka teased, nuzzling the newly-cleaned hand, "unless you're evil or something – which I know you're not."

Kakashi took a moment to consider that statement, humming softly to himself.

"Want to try out the bathtub?" he asked finally.

"I take it back," Iruka snorted, nipping at the tender spot on his wrist, "you are evil."

Kakashi hummed against the back of his lover's neck, "Is that a 'no'?"


The bedroom window needed curtains – badly, Iruka decided, when he woke up with the early morning sun shining directly in his eyes. He would have rolled over, growling miserably as the situation clearly warranted, if not for the fact that Kakashi was sprawled across him, resolutely pinning him to the mattress. Iruka settled instead for scrunching his eyes tightly closed and groaning in disgust at the world in general, launching silent curses at the sun and its mother. He managed to work his arm free and threw it up to protect his eyes, but the sunspots had already seared into his brain, mockingly preventing him from falling back to sleep.

"Kakashi…" he managed a small wiggle that roused the Jonin enough to earn him a sleepy, blue-eyed glare, "Move?"

"Are you evicting me sensei?"
"Oh shut up," the only thing that prevented Iruka from elbowing the older man was that the rebellious part of Iruka's mind secretly thought it was a little bit funny, "are you going to move?"

"Not even the Hokage herself could get me out of this bed."

Iruka thought otherwise – Tsunade could be damn scary – but he wasn't about to say so.

"C'mon Kakashi, I need to use the bathroom."

"You're such a liar pretty baby," this accompanied by a delighted, sleepy nuzzle.

"I'm not lying – seriously."

With a long-suffering sigh, Kakashi rolled over, taking all the blankets with him, and curled into a ball, pretending to pout.

"You're such a baby," Iruka laughed, slapping him – unintentionally – on the ass.

"Oh sensei!" Kakashi squealed and wiggled happily beneath the blankets, and Iruka retreated to the bathroom before he could be ambushed.

When he returned a few minutes later, the bed was empty, and he found Kakashi, half-dressed in the entryway, holding an open letter in his hand.

"No…" Iruka actually felt himself falter at the sight of that carefully folded piece of paper, and had to brace himself on the wall, "You've got to be kidding me…"

Kakashi looked at him, face slack with apparent dread – and then side-stepped, revealing an enormous fruit basket secreted behind his leg.

"You bastard!" Iruka howled, "You scared the shit out of me! Don't do that!"

Kakashi laughed, pulling him into a loose embrace that Iruka struggled to resist, "It's just so much fun to mess with you."

"I hate you," Iruka grumbled, snatching the letter from Kakashi's hand and turning his head so that the Jonin's penitent kiss fell on his cheek, giving the paper a cursory glance just to be sure.

The fine stationary contained only a single, carefully written sentence:

'Welcome to the neighbourhood'.