“If the world were going to come to an end tomorrow? Who would you like to spend your last day with?” Those were the words that kept replaying in Iruka’s mind as he observed his students, some busied themselves by writing their parents’ names, and some just looked plainly bored.
He had asked that question multiple times to different classes each year, and every answer never failed to amuse him. Well, they were kids, their answers mostly consist of their parents, or their dog, or even their crush. It was a silly question, really, he only got this idea from a co-teacher, and she said it’s about knowing whether the child is communicative, but for Iruka, it’s more than that. He got to know more of them, acknowledge the fact that they’re mature enough to think about what they wanted.
And as years continued, the question lives on.
Until Konohamaru, the ever so loving grandson of the late third Hokage, glanced up at him with a bored expression, hands playing with the blank paper. “Do we have to answer this?”
“Yes you have to, it’s the last question I have to ask all of you. You’re all going to graduate soon and—”
“This is boring, Iruka-sensei…” Konohamaru whined while Moegi tried to keep him down by saying words to him that Iruka couldn’t hear. “It’s an easy answer, Konohamaru. You can either write one person or two, or maybe your team,”
“Hmm…” Konohamaru hummed, irritation printed on his face and Iruka chose this moment of silence to take a seat behind his desk. After a while, he instructed his students to pass the papers in front, at the same time, the bell also rang. They started to gather themselves after, Iruka reminding them about their quiz tomorrow. When it was only Konohamaru and his two friends, Iruka gently laid the stack of papers down on his desk.
“Iruka-sensei, are you going to share our answers in class?”
“Hm? No, no I won’t,” He gave him a reassuring smile, saw how Konohamaru and Udon nodded while Moegi gave out a sigh of relief. Iruka chuckled, whatever these kids were hiding, they made it more exciting to see what they’ve written. Once they started to bid their goodbyes, Moegi turned to look at him, “Sensei…”
“How about you? If the world is ending, who do you want to spend it with?”
And as Iruka went to an empty home, he briefly wondered, who would he want to spend his last day with? He doesn’t really have any clue about who to spend it with. Naruto? Could be. But if the world really is coming to an end, he would let Naruto decide who he wanted to spend it with.
His friends? Maybe. He doesn’t have a lot, but he could call them real friends.
Iruka sighed, he never knew a simple question would fire back at him eventually. He had asked that to his students multiple times, thought it was the easiest question he had ever asked, but now…
No wonder some of the papers he checked that night had lots of erasures in them.
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The moment Iruka met Kakashi, it wasn’t pleasant. He had known who the famous Copy-Nin was, but never once in his life would he have thought that he, an ordinary chunin who Kakashi Hatake could probably kill silently, got to have an argument with him. In public. And in front of the Hokage.
Everyone around him was intrigued, some had bashed him, and some just wished him luck. And to be honest, Iruka tried his best to push away all those whispers because he had done it for Naruto. For his students.
But Kakashi was right. They weren't his students anymore.
However, as Iruka walked back towards his apartment, heavy papers in hand and dreading at the thought of him having to grade them later, Kakashi appeared in front of him. The jounin, in all his glory, offered to help Iruka.
Stunned and amazed, the chunin-sensei agreed, resumed walking towards his apartment silently with Kakashi—and then the jounin was at his kotatsu, drinking tea while he watched him grade papers silently.
Kakashi had apologized after. Said that he didn’t mean to cause a scene and that he truly understood what Iruka felt. The chunin also apologized, reasoned out that they weren’t under his care anymore and that at some point, Naruto, Sakura, and Sasuke needed to grow up.
And before the jounin leaves, he asked Iruka out.
Stunned and amazed once more, the chunin-sensei agreed and both men left with red cheeks.
Weeks turned to months, and then a year later. His relationship with Kakashi grew further and further to the point where he greeted his new class, as usual, and ordered them to take out their pencil and paper.
“Now, class, this question is easy,” He glanced around the room full of future heroes, smiling at each pre-genin who looked bored and dazed. “If the world were going to come to an end tomorrow, who would you want to spend it with?” And as his little hellions wrote away, Iruka couldn’t help but think of a certain silver-haired jounin as he wrote his question on the blackboard.
Months have passed and as their relationship progressed to something more, Iruka couldn’t help but to smile when Kakashi took hold of his hand and walked silently towards his apartment. And that night, as they said their goodbyes hesitantly, it was the first time Iruka asked him to stay for the night.
And Kakashi did stay.
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After years had passed, many challenges came their way but the strength of one another didn’t falter. After the tragic incident of the Akatsuki Pein attack, Iruka realized just how important life was.
He saw Kakashi died.
He also saw how he opened his eyes once more.
But at the end of the day, everyone was safe, and Konohagakure slowly built herself up in the next few weeks. It would take a while to get back to normal, but Iruka believed by helping each other out, they’re going to make it.
And now with a newly built Academy, with new furniture and such, Iruka found himself once more asking the same question to his new students. It never failed to amaze him how the world almost came to an end, and of course, no one was ready for it. At first, he contemplated whether he should ask that question again for it might come out a little insensitive to the others, but Iruka concluded, it won’t be.
Because the kids would be able to prioritize themselves more and to listen to themselves on what they want.
And as he dismissed his students, he smiled at all the different answers. Once he was done packing his stuff and was now ready to leave, he was surprised to see Kakashi by the door, adorned in the newly designed jounin flak jacket instead of his usual Hokage robe.
“Can I take you out for a little date?”
Who was Iruka to disagree?
That night, as Iruka checked his students’ papers, he couldn’t help but smile gently at all the silly answers his students have written. Some wrote their parents’ names, their pets, but most of them have written the name of their classmate. It was good to know that somehow, these kids have a normal childhood that consists of crushes and friends—not just violence. But still, they needed to work on their History assignment, they all got their answers wrong on what was the first’s Hokage’s name.
“Wow, interesting question,”
“Kashi!” The chunin gasped, hand over his chest as his lover chuckled lightly. Iruka almost forgot that Kakashi sometimes has a habit of sneaking up in their apartment unnoticed. “You didn’t tell me you’re already home,”
“Sorry,” Kakashi uttered, dropping a kiss on Iruka’s head before taking a seat next to him on the kotatsu. He then dropped a bowl of water cake in the center, beaming at the sensei after.
“Welcome home,” Iruka leaned in to kiss his lips, loving how every time they kissed, it would always feel like their first kiss. Iruka also loved how Kakashi would pull him close, their lips meshing together perfectly, and danced away in a music only the two of them could hear.
And as Iruka pulled back, Kakashi made a grab for the paper Iruka was checking.
“If the world were going to come to an end tomorrow? Who would you like to spend your last day with?” Kakashi read, looking up at Iruka who started chomping away happily on the water cake he bought. “Interesting question for pre-genins, sensei,” Kakashi puts the paper back in front of Iruka and opened his mouth when the sensei offered him a spoonful of the dessert.
“I thought so too, but you know, you could actually see how mature their brains are. And at least they somehow have their own priorities, and that they understood their feelings,”
“Maa, you’re right about that … did Naruto also went through this?”
“Yes, but you know how he was as a kid, he found it boring,” Both adults chuckled, happy to relieve some other memories of their little troublemaker—who was now Konohagakure’s hero, and soon to be Hokage. Naruto had really come a long way and Iruka couldn’t be any more proud of him.
“Typical Naruto, that’s the easiest question ever,”
Iruka rolled his eyes playfully as he puts his spoon down and resumed his checking, “Okay, Mister I-Graduated-By-The-Age-Of-Six,” Kakashi shook his head, loving Iruka’s teasing looks that he couldn’t help but to decrease the space between their faces and land a soft kiss on the sensei’s temple, “Well, if you ask me, my answer would be you…”
Iruka slowly turned his face to Kakashi, brown eyes scanning those gray orbs that held so many emotions. Iruka always loved to stare at Kakashi’s eyes. They were wonderful, expressive, and looked like galaxies when under dim light.
Kakashi’s eyes were so beautiful.
And as he processed what Kakashi had just said, he couldn’t help but remember that day when Moegi asked him who he wanted to spend his last day with.
Well, Iruka now has an answer.
He might’ve not known it sooner, or maybe he did. Maybe he knew the answer even before they moved in together, or maybe even before the attack.
Iruka’s answer has always been Kakashi.
“I would like to spend the rest of my life with you, Iruka…”
Iruka giggled, cheeks pink, and heart so full. They kissed once more before Iruka pulled back, smiling at Kakashi, “I would like to spend the rest of my life with you, also.”