It was a cold night. One perfect for snuggling under thick covers. Iruka couldn’t be happier. Curled up in the soft bed, basking in the warm arms of the man he’d fallen for. It wasn’t long ago they had started dating, but looking back it felt like years.
Shifting he leaned closer and kissed the head of silver hair currently sleeping soundly next to him. If only he had the power, he would make this moment last forever.
A loud thump at the window caused the chuunin to snap from his thoughts. Forever never lasted long in his world unfortunately.
He looked up towards the window that thankfully was still covered from prying eyes. But with the thought of a possible threat, Iruka had to find out what caused the noise.
Shifting the curtains aside he was met with a long nosed shadow smashed against the glass. Glittering eyes stared directly back at him.
“Kakashi.” Iruka hissed out the corner of his mouth without looking away. “Kakashi there’s a voyeur in your window. Have anything to throw at it?”
When all he got was an inelegant grunt, the chuunin jabbed the man with an elbow to wake him up.
“Oof! What the-” Kakashi wrapped his arms around his chest to protect it from further assault.
“Where the hell do you keep kunai?” Iruka hissed out as his hand fished around under the pillows as discreetly as he could.
Casually Kakashi reached under the mattress and slipped out a single kunai. “Didn’t know you were into that kind of kink sensei.”
“I’m not!” Iruka leapt on the jounin, grabbing for the kunai and letting it fly towards the window.
Kakashi blinked sleepily confused at the newly formed hole in the glass.
The shadow was gone.
“I told you I’m not being paranoid.” Iruka bristled and frowned as he followed hesitantly towards the junin’s apartment.
Kakashi glanced back at him. “Then what is this about you suddenly wanting us to go to your place? I thought you were worried about Naruto barging in on us?”
“I am but…”
“But?” Kakashi paused outside his door, hand on the knob. “What’s got you all flustered? You’re not having regrets are you?”
“It’s not that!” Iruka quickly looked up, a blush covering his nose, only to find the other grinning at him. “Idiot! Stop teasing me!” The chuunin punched him hard in the arm only earning a snicker for his effort.
“You got to admit the idea of a voyeur looking in the window of my apartment is a little out there. Especially since I didn’t feel anyone around.” Pushing open the door, Kakashi stepped in and moved to allow Iruka to follow. “But if it’ll make you feel better let me just grab a few things and we'll head to your place. Alright?”
Pushing the door closed behind him, Iruka slipped his sandals off. “No. Just forget it.”
Kakashi watched the teacher in confusion. Something was obviously bothering the brunet and he didn’t want it to get in between the two of them. Especially after they were finally seeing eye to eye on more subjects than just sex. "No. I won’t. How about a compromise then? We'll go out."
"Well we both haven't had a lot of off time recently. Let’s go to that hot springs you talked about." Kakashi reasoned.
Iruka’s eyes widened. "Are you sure? That’s a little pricey for just accommodating what you said is my paranoia."
Kakashi held up his hands. "I didn’t mean it like that. Just figured it'd be a place we could both relax in and I've been wanting to check it out."
Thinking it over Iruka quickly put his sandals back on. "Fine. But no funny business in public."
"I wouldn’t dream of it, Sen~sei." Kakashi chuckled as he quickly grabbed the few things he needed and ducked out of the apartment with Iruka trying to land a hit for the teasing.
Once the apartment grew quiet again a small nose stuck out from under the bed. "Time to start plan B, boys."
It was late the next day by the time Kakashi came home. In a very good mood it took him a moment to notice the state of the place. Broken wood and ripped cloth laid about all over the floor. Papers from his desk were dripping with slobber. About the only thing left untouched were the two frames on the window sill. They knew he would have murdered if those had been touched.
Stepping over a pile of debris, he narrowed his eye at the tip of a tail poking out from under what was left of the bed. "Urushi."
"Urushi!" The jounin snapped.
"Boss." Pakkun stepped out from under the rubble of a desk. "Where have you been?"
"That’s none of your concern. What happened here?"
Pakkun ignored the question and instead stepped up to the jounin's leg taking a few sniffs. "You were with him again weren’t you?"
"Pakkun." Kakashi sounded out in warning.
Stubborn as ever, Pakkun refused to heed the warning. "It's not going to end well."
"We are not discussing that till you tell me what happened here."
With a small hop, Pakkun sat on top of what was left of the bed. "How else were we going to get your attention?"
"Like normal." Kakashi pushed a ripped pillow with his foot. "Do you know how long this will take to clean up?"
"None. We’ll do it if you hear us out."
"Then start talking cause I'm really considering throwing you out the window." The jounin folded his arms and glared down at the pug.
Pakkun held his paws up. "Fine fine. We all think you shouldn't be dating that teacher."
There was a pause before Kakashi let out a sigh and slumped his shoulders. "Not this again."
"To start he's way too young. And emotional. Have you seen him angry?" The pug cringed.
"Pakkun, every time I date someone new it's the same argument."
"But I was right. They were only interested in your status. Not who you really are." Pakkun gave a toothy grin.
"Iruka’s different." Kakashi shot back.
"How? Do you have proof?"
Kakashi’s eye narrowed. "I don’t need proof for you to give me permission to see him." The threat of their ranking was left unspoken cause they both knew it well.
Giving a small frown Pakkun backed off. "Look, I'm just worried about you. I don’t want it to end with you miserable and then getting hurt because you can't focus."
"Do you really think I'm that stupid?"
"Yes. Right now you're blinded by him and your emotions for him. As a third party I can tell you this will end in disaster. Even if he does like you for you, is he good enough to defend himself against your enemies? What if something happens to him? We all know what you were like the last time that happened. Do you really want to put yourself through that again?"
Running a hand through his hair, Kakashi sighed. "You do realize he's not a kid right? He can take care of himself."
"So could Minato."
"That situation was out of everyone's hands." Kakashi narrowed his eye.
Pakkun backed off again some. "I'm just saying it could happen again. Is it worth it?"
"It won’t happen again. Iruka can take care of himself. He's safe inside the village. He also sees me for myself and not my rank or abilities." Kakashi stated making it clear this was the end of the conversation.
Pakkun however wasn’t finished. "How about a deal?"
"What kind of deal?"
"The chuunin teacher proves he can take care of himself and that he truly cares for you no matter what happens, and I will accept him. However, till then we will not except him in this home." Pakkun huffed.
Kakashi hated the idea of course but he understood the pack needed to accept him as well. It couldn’t be forced. "Fine. But I'm going to continue seeing him in the meantime."
"Outside the house. Deal." Pakkun and Kakashi shook on it. "Now where's our portion of that steak I smell on you?"
Dating did continue outside the house. Iruka even agreed to meet up at his own place a few times. Though curious why they no longer went to Kakashi's, the jounin brushed it off with various reasons. The most prominent being renovations.
Then work began to pile up. Kakashi was gone for long amounts of time due to missions that sent him far away. He hated them but it was a fact of life. In some back part of his mind he did worry about what Pakkun said. Would Iruka be there when he got back every time?
The last mission had kept him away for two weeks with the reward of getting a few days off on his return. With its success, Kakashi felt like he could finally relax as he dropped his gear on the floor and sat down to try and work on his report.
The knock on his door came unexpected. He'd only checked in at the gate half an hour ago. How many people could know he was back already? Placing the empty report down, Kakashi walked over and opened the door to find a pissed Iruka who looked like hell.
"Thank kami you're finally home." Iruka exclaimed in relief as he pushed his way inside.
"Missed me that much?" Kakashi couldn't help but grin. "What happened? Did your students plant explosive tags in your classroom again?"
"Haha very funny." The chuunin tried to smooth his frazzled hair back in place. "For your information it was your dogs that caused this mess."
Kakashi raised a brow at that. "My ninken?"
"Yes! They're out to kill me!" Iruka pointed to a series of burn holes in his uniform.
Kakashi couldn’t help but chuckle at that. "I'm sure they were just playing."
"Trapping my room and digging holes for me to fall and break my neck on is playing?"
"Well. You are a shinobi. A few ditches and traps shouldn't be that bad.
"Ditches? They were fifteen feet deep in the middle of the market! A civilian could have fallen in one! And even Naruto never destroyed the classroom to this extent. It’s going to take days to repair if not over a week!"
"How are you sure it was my ninken? There is an Inuzuka in your class again." Kakashi pointed out.
"Having a pug sitting there gloating at you as you're cleaning up someone else's laundry from your apartment is a pretty good hint."
"Why was someone else's clothes in your apartment?"
"I don’t know! Ask them!" Iruka threw his hands up into the air before resting his face in them and groaning. "What did I ever do to them? You are going to talk to them about this right? Put a stop to it?" The brunet glared from between his fingers.
Hesitating for only a moment Kakashi came over and gripped Iruka’s wrists to move them out of the way. "Of course I will. I'm sure they were just taking their game too far."
"You better." Iruka threatened, but his anger was quickly dissipating. "Welcome home."
"Glad to be back."
Iruka couldn’t remember who pinned who up against the wall first but he could easily drown in the kiss they were currently sharing.
He did his best at kicking his shoes off without breaking contact and quickly steered them towards the bed before pushing Kakashi down onto it. "New bed?" He asked as he climbed over him.
"Told you I was renovating." Kakashi purred back while working on taking Iruka’s shirt off.
Hands ran over heated skin as tongues clashed. Both were so wrapped up in their emotions neither noticed they were no longer alone.
A low growl sounded from the end of the bed. Iruka had only a moment to register it before sharp pain ran up his leg. "Gah!"
"What the-" Kakashi quickly rolled out from under Iruka who was doing his best not to move and make the damage worse. "Akino! Off!"
Akino let go of the leg he was currently clamping his jaws around long enough to give a snarl and run off.
"Iruka, you ok?" Kakashi came over to look at the bite.
Shifting, Iruka silently stood up and limped towards the door as he straightened his clothes.
"Iruka?" Kakashi questioned.
The chuunin continued his silence as he slipped one shoe on and picked up the other before turning towards the door.
"Iruka." Kakashi tried to block the way with one arm. "Let me take care of it."
"There's nothing to take care of." Came the muttered reply.
Miffed that the man wouldn’t even look up at him, Kakashi gripped his shoulders and tried to steer him away from the door. "What's wrong? Why leave?"
Cold brown eyes glared back at him. "It's me or them, Kakashi. Which do you choose?"
Kakashi stood there silently unable to think of how to even begin to answer that question.
"That’s what I thought." Iruka jerked out of his grip and pushed past to leave. "It's over."
It was all he could do to stand there and watch the other leave. Minutes stretched into a half hour before something cold pressed against his palm drawing his eye from the closed door down to sunglasses perched on a fuzzy snout. "This is all your fault, you know."
Akino sat down on the floor and continued to hold eye contact. "Boss broke the promise."
With a defeated sigh, Kakashi sat down on the floor as well. He just couldn’t get mad at them. They'd been together for so long and through so much. "I did, didn’t I." Things fell silent for a while. The sounds of rain starting up outside began to get louder. "Sorry about that."
Refusing to take the rest of his break, Kakashi immersed himself in work. He never once sought out Iruka’s attention and even avoided the mission room altogether, taking his reports directly to and from the Hokage. The ninken quickly became happier at having their old boss back. Everything seemed to be going back to normal. But as time went by it was becoming obvious something wasn’t right and it worried the ninken. This wasn’t how it was supposed to be.
"Boss, I don't think you should go on this one." Pakkun sat in the way of getting out of the apartment.
Kakashi readjusted his gear one more time before turning to the pug. "It's my mission. I have no choice."
"You've been moping around for the last week. You’re in no mental shape for going out there." Pakkun barked.
"Thanks. Make sure to tell the hokage that next time my medical evaluation is being updated." Kakashi stepped over him and left the apartment. Pakkun watched for a moment before chasing after.
It was four days past the time the team was scheduled to return. The worry was apparent in friends and colleagues alike. Even Iruka felt the tension. All thoughts of their dispute long gone, he had actually made an attempt to apologize only to learn about the mission.
When word came to the academy that the squad had returned, Iruka dismissed class partway through the lecture and ran off tracking them down at the hospital.
He smiled and bowed kindly to the nurse who showed him to the room he was looking for. Though he was a little concerned why she left in a hurry as if trying to get away from what lay inside before it woke.
Sliding the door to the side, the chuunin was met by a pile of banged up dogs all between him and the man sleeping on the only bed in the room.
Ears perked and snouts turned towards him as teeth bared in silent warning.
Iruka studied the situation and took a deep breath before stepping in and shutting the door behind him. "Look, he needs someone to look after him. If not the doctors then at least let me check him? He has let me see him naked before." He tried to reason.
There was a soft growl that was quickly silenced as the largest of them all stood up and ambled out of the way much to the others' surprise. Iruka gave a small nod of thanks and carefully walked through the tangled mess as if it was a minefield.
Coming to the bedside, he took a moment to look the man over making sure nothing looked too out of place.
"What do you think sensei?"
Iruka blinked at the small pug that jumped up onto the bed and sat beside a still hand. "I think he's going to be alright. I'm no medic but all I'm seeing are cuts and bruises. Probably some chakra exhaustion. What happened?"
Pakkun nudged a pale hand gently. "The team got split up. We were scouting when the others went missing. As we doubled back we were ambushed by two separate groups one after the other. That’s all I'm allowed to say."
Giving a nod, Iruka placed a hand on the dog's head. "You did good. Has anyone looked at your wounds?"
Pakkun tilted his head to the side in confusion. "Don't you hate us?"
"Why would I?"
"For what we did before."
Iruka softly smiled. "Of course I did. But that was then. This is now." Moving over to the cabinets he opened them to shuffle around and pull out gauze along with some cream. "Alright. Line up! Take count of your injuries and how deep you think they run. There should be enough gauze here for a platoon but we don't need to waste it."
When no one moved Iruka began to worry the possibility of being harmed was still there, only to have Pakkun step over to him. "Get up boys. We need to be in our best shape if we're going to protect the boss while he recovers."
Reluctantly the others followed suit and allowed the chuunin to bandage them up. All except Akino.
"Are you not hurt?" Iruka moved over towards him and knelt down.
Akino stared at him defiantly, a look Iruka gave right back. They really were like kids.
"Let me see." Iruka held one hand out waiting for the ninken to follow by example.
The dog growl in warning but when Iruka still didn’t back down, he gave a huff and offered his hurt paw.
Iruka continued to look after them and their boss for three days straight. The few times he actually slept were when he took short naps sitting in the chair while resting his head on the bedside.
He was in the middle of one of those when fingers running through his hair woke him back up. Raising his head slightly he found Kakashi looking at him and glancing towards the dogs in question.
"Had to take care of you somehow."
Kakashi gave a smirk in reply only to quickly grow worried when Iruka glared down at him.
"I forgive you this time."
“You do?” the jounin asked in confusion.
“I forgive you for worrying me sick! You were only supposed to be out for a day! Do you know how much comp time I had to use up?!”
Kakashi scratched at the back of his head. “Ma. Guess that stuff Sakura gave me was a bit more potent than I thought.”
“A bit? That wasn’t just a bit! They were supposed to just give you a few bruises and then you drink the stuff! You realize it gets stronger the more chakra you used up right? Where did these wounds come from?” Iruka ranted on.
"Eh? Well you see, after Genma left another group showed up."
"What? Why did Genma leave? You could have been killed! That was not part of the plan!"
Kakashi gave him a sheepish grin. "Well if it's any consolation, your plan caused them to think I was weak so they underestimated my fighting ability greatly. I'm sure it would have been worse if it wasn’t for that."
By this point Pakkun had both ears standing at attention and large eyes looking back and forth between the squabbling couple. "Wait. What do you two...? What does Sakura-chan have to do with this.
"She provided the sleep drug." Kakashi stated as if it were obvious.
Iruka huffed and folded his arms. "Which was only supposed to put you out for one day."
"You mean all this was a-?" Pakkun stopped mid sentence.
"I tried to warn you." Kakashi pointed out as he crinkled his eye to reflect his smile.
With a reluctant sigh the pug padded forward and sat before them, head bowed. “I adm...” The words disappeared into a murmur.
“What was that?” Iruka leaned towards him and cupped an ear.
“I admit defeat!”
Iruka looked pleased with the claim. "Apology accepted."
"So now you'll accept that Iruka actually cares for us?" Kakashi asked. "Cause I'd rather not have to go through all this again."
“No. I have come to the conclusion that this man is vital. Vital in the efforts of keeping you from this establishment and away from all the harpies. Thus allowing us to bask in relaxation while you get over your self-induced comas.” Pakkun stated as the rest of the ninken nodded their heads.
“Eh? They’re not all self-induced...” Kakashi tried to correct.
Iruka just laughed. He could live with those excuses.