Inhaling deeply, Iruka blew off some dust that ran across his vision as soon as he opened the door. At this point, he wondered if cleaning the Hatake manor alone was a great idea.
They had just moved in the manor about four days ago- after all the renovations were complete. Not much had changed, to be honest, they only replaced some old threads of the stairs, threw out unusable furniture, changed the old window panes, and of course, hired a professional team to tend the garden at the back and front.
And after a month of waiting, the Hatake manor was finally ready for them.
At first, Iruka was hesitant to move in, given that he knew Kakashi had lived his whole life, after his father’s death, away from the house and in the jounin’s quarters. However, Kakashi insisted, told him that he had forgiven his father long ago and that he wanted to create new memories with him in the house.
Iruka huffed, cheeks heating up as he remembered the day Kakashi told him he’s ready to spend the rest of his life with him at the manor. It’s still unbelievable, really. Before the war, his relationship with Kakashi was just the normal- not yet thinking about the future type. As long as they have one another everything would be fine. Then the war happened, Iruka realized that their life was short, and he really loved Kakashi- the idiot who died and then somehow came back to him.
After that, he was surprised when Kakashi, the newly appointed Hokage, went down on one knee and asked his hand for marriage.
He couldn’t forget the day he said yes to him.
A year full of love and happiness later, Kakashi once again made him speechless when he told him he wanted to move in at the old estate.
And that’s how Iruka found himself face to face with a dusty room that Kakashi apparently made no one touch from the renovation team. Iruka contemplated for a while, questioning himself whether he should delve through it or not.
Kakashi wasn’t really that type of guy that hides stuff, well from him he doesn’t. Plus, they’re married and Kakashi has not said a thing regarding this room.
After a few seconds of thinking, he decided it won’t hurt to clean the room that’s located in their home, right?
Iruka nodded to himself as he brought up Kakashi’s mask over his nose. Yes, he had grabbed one of Kakashi’s mask, the one that’s detached, from their closet before he started cleaning. Apparently, not only does Kakashi have shirts with masks attached to it, he also has extra masks inside that weren’t part of his shirts—that weird but awfully handsome jounin, good thing Iruka loves him dearly.
Glancing around, the room was a little smaller than their main room. There were three bookshelves that lined up side by side against the wall— filled with books Iruka couldn’t wait to read. A lone wooden desk in the middle, and lots of boxes on the floor. Basically a plain room that’s covered in dust from the windows to the chairs.
One last look around, Iruka gripped his broom before walking inside. He started by dusting off the bookshelves, amazed when he saw some books dating back during the first war, he also dusted the unlabeled boxes that scattered the floor. After that, he resorted to wiping the desk and windows, before proceeding to mop the floor clean.
All in all, morning quickly turned to afternoon and the chunin-sensei found himself moving the boxes to the side in order to create more walking space.
“Hmm, Kakashi?” Iruka said once his eyes caught a medium-sized box under the desk with ‘Kakashi’ written on it. He gently picked it up, taking note of how heavy it felt.
All the boxes inside the room were unlabeled, only this one wasn’t. And of course, curiosity would always be in Iruka’s system- he’s a teacher, learning would continue outside of school.
With a little hesitation and excitement, he grabbed for the kunai laying somewhere on the desk, and ripped the tape open in one go, found it surprising for there weren’t any wards on it. As he carefully opened it, he was immediately greeted by lots of scrolls and other stuff he didn’t expect.
Various sizes of scrolls littered the box along with some used shurikens, envelopes, pictures, and other items he couldn’t distinguish. He pulled out one picture that laid upside down and smiled. It’s a picture of Kakashi and his team, Obito, Rin, and the Yondaime. However, instead of the usual team photo that Kakashi has on a frame, this one was different.
They were all seated on the grass, and by the looks of it, they’re in some sort of picnic. Obito and Rin were talking while Kakashi sat under the tree reading a book with the Yondaime offering him sandwiches.
Still with a smile on his face, Iruka gently laid the photo on the side, planned to ask Kakashi later if he could put it up in a frame. He then continued to rummage through.
Iruka found a broken tanto. It looked so used that Iruka deemed it might be important to Kakashi for he also found a broken ANBU mask- Kakashi’s Hound mask to be exact.
If Iruka remembered correctly, in case that an ANBU broke their mask, it needs to be replaced immediately while the other should be burned after, but Iruka guessed Kakashi wanted to keep a remembrance of how—how brave Kakashi has been.
There were also some other pictures that consist of young Kakashi with Gai, Asuma, and Kurenai. More pictures of team Minato. Kakashi with Genma and Raidou.
Iruka’s eyes widen when he picked up one photo hidden underneath the heavy scrolls. It’s a toddler Kakashi with Sakumo!
Excitement suddenly ran through him as he stared at the portrait, realizing that this would be the first time he got to look at Sakumo’s face closer and that Kakashi was right. He looked so much like his father- so strong, kind, tall and proud.
Iruka’s heart melted at the sight of toddler Kakashi holding onto Sakumo’s hand while his other held—Iruka laughed, almost falling on the floor.
Kakashi Hatake, a very dangerous ninja, an ex-ANBU captain, and now, Konohagakure’s Rokudaime, owned a dolphin plushie.
Iruka would have so much fun with this information.
Quickly putting it aside, he searched the box further and found some of Kakashi’s report cards at the Academy, mission reports that Iruka believed to be D-ranks from when Kakashi was still a chunin, and some other stuff that Iruka didn’t bother checking.
As he finished gathering all the photos he found, he’s about to call it a night when something caught his attention. It’s a scroll, same as the others, but this one looked like it had been opened a lot of time. He picked it up, sensed a ward on it but was able to undo it after.
Iruka blinked once he saw a ‘Kakashi’ written on top. He exposed the scroll more and was taken aback by its contents.
It’s a recipe. Three recipes to be exact. One was salt-broiled saury, Kakashi’s favorite, and the other two were miso soups. The one with the eggplant he knew of, but the last one was miso soup with shrimp and green tea soba. Was this another favorite of Kakashi?
Iruka’s eyes perked up in excitement.
He read over the ingredients and procedure, getting more thrilled by the second. Iruka knew Kakashi was still the best cook between the two of them, hands down. Iruka couldn’t do those complicated shit where Kakashi could flame up the pan without actually burning the contents. However, Iruka has made Kakashi miso soup a lot of times, and most of them were edible enough – but for Kakashi, he said it’s delicious – and so, Iruka was confident enough that he could pull this off.
Iruka couldn’t stop smiling as he closed the box and put aside all the stuff he had pulled out. He cleaned a little bit more until dinner time rolled in.
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Iruka, unfortunately, miscalculated his time and ended up finishing a little too late. Since Kakashi wouldn’t be able to join him for dinner, he decided to just eat outside and unexpectedly ran into Hinata. He saw her walking, greeted, and asked about each other until Iruka took the courtesy to invite Naruto’s girlfriend for dinner, which his former student accepted gladly.
Dinner went well. They talked about their work, any missions she had done recently, and Iruka asked her how Naruto was doing and if he ever did something ungrateful, told her not to hesitate in letting him beat Naruto’s ass himself for her.
A few more small talks and such, he bid goodbye to Hinata when Naruto arrived at the ramen shop.
“Get her home safely, okay?”
“Of course, Iruka-sensei! I’ll protect Hinata with all my life,” Hinata’s pale cheeks suddenly turned red while Naruto just grinned at him widely. Iruka shook his head, smiled at the young couple before ruffling Naruto’s blond locks playfully.
He became a fine man and Iruka couldn’t be any happier.
Later that night, as the moonlight peeked through the window, spilling across the floor and bed. Iruka’s eyes fluttered open as he felt someone push themselves closer to him. When a kiss landed on the side of his neck, he smiled.
“Welcome home…” He whispered hoarsely, pulling Kakashi closer to his chest.
“Hmm… good to be home,”
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“You’re leaving early?” Iruka asked groggily as he blinked away the sleepiness so he could take a better look at Kakashi, who was busy putting on his Hokage robe. He peeked at the clock beside him and saw it wasn’t even five o'clock yet.
“Early meeting with the health department and I needed to look over tons of proposals today,” Kakashi sighed tiredly, glancing at him with a pout. Iruka smiled, raised one arm up and Kakashi took it as a sign to dive in not so gently. Chuckling at the sudden childish action, Iruka reprimanded the other, informing him that he’s already in his uniform and it might get all crinkly after, however, it seemed like Kakashi has other plans because instead of letting go, the Rokudaime crashed his lips against his.
Iruka instantly wrapped his arms around his neck, tilted his head to the right, and opening his mouth to let their tongues dance with one another. Kakashi tasted like mint and coffee, Iruka’s favorite.
Kakashi pulled away after, pouting at him as his hold around Iruka’s waist tightened.
“I’m gonna have a long day.”
“Well, of course, you will. You’re our Hokage.”
Iruka raised an eyebrow, grinning up at Kakashi teasingly, “What?” He continued to act innocently while trying to ignore Kakashi’s wandering hand on his hips.
“I want you…”
“Oh my, is the Hokage asking for a quickie?”
“Just like when we were in our twenties…”
Iruka laughed out loud as he tried to get away from Kakashi, but the other was quick enough to pin him flat on the bed, press his lips against his once more, all the while taking off their clothes one by one with their breath becoming heavier by the second.
Who knew a half-dressed Kakashi with the Hokage robe on would look so hot in between his legs?
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Iruka hummed happily as he dropped all the chopped vegetables in the saucepan, smiling lazily as he mixed them all together, along with the dissolved miso he had poured before.
As Kakashi was about to leave, he asked him about the spare room. Kakashi said it was his dad’s old office and his storage room. Iruka then requested if it’s alright for him to organize it as a mini-study room with the promise of not throwing anything away, and of course, Kakashi only smiled at him and told him that this was their home, he need not to ask him for permission.
And so, Iruka spent the whole morning organizing the room, cleaning everything that he missed, and pulling out everything that looked useful, like the pens he found in the drawers that worked just perfectly. Around mid-afternoon, he went out to buy the said ingredients of the miso soup with shrimp and green tea soba, and also some frames for the pictures he found.
It was now eight in the evening, the miso soup had just finished cooking, and since Kakashi promised to come home by nine, he still has enough time to set up the frames.
Half an hour later, Iruka stepped back as he admired the fireplace in the living room. The pictures up in display, making the room look like a real home. He hoped Kakashi would like it. Iruka thought it would be healthier for Kakashi’s heart, mind, and soul if he got to glimpse at these happy memories more often.
As he started to clean up, he felt the front door wards waver and Iruka walked out of the living room towards the genkan just in time to see Kakashi push off his sandals tiredly.
“I’m home,” Kakashi looked up at him and smiled, his mask already down.
“Welcome home, Kakashi-koi,”
“I made you something!” Iruka happily skipped towards the stove and began pouring the said soup in two separate bowls. Kakashi, who’s now dressed comfortably, sat by the dining table patiently, smiling as his eyes followed every movement his husband made.
He’s delighted actually. Iruka said he had cooked something for him, and of course, Kakashi would accept everything that was from Iruka. He then sets down the dishes on the table and took a seat in front of Kakashi who suddenly looked stunned once he saw the food.
Nervousness quickly entered Iruka’s insides, his stomach churning a little.
He couldn’t really pinpoint what Kakashi’s expression meant. He’s just there, staring at his food like it’s his first time seeing a miso soup. Iruka almost wanted to take it back out of embarrassment, but he was confident enough that it wouldn’t be too salty.
He’s sure he had tasted it before.
“Well, uhm…” Iruka started, felt all squeamish because the silence his husband gave off was a little unsettling. Iruka smiled crookedly as he cleared his throat, “This is miso soup with green tea soba. It supposed to have shrimps in it, but since you told me you weren’t fond of them, I…” Iruka gently tapped the small plate in the middle that contained the cooked shrimps, “I separated them.”
“How do you know this… dish?” Kakashi finally spoke but his eyes still remained on the food.
Iruka pouted, not knowing whether he did something or not to receive this kind of reaction from Kakashi, because honestly, he expected the other to be excited.
“I—I found it in your dad’s office,” Iruka’s voice was trembling a little, “In a box labeled with your name on it, and I assumed this is also one of your faves, so I tried to make it for…” Iruka’s voice died down immediately, blinked a few more times to make sure what he was seeing was real.
His husband, who wasn’t as enthusiastic as Naruto, suddenly lifted the bowl and took a long sip. Iruka waited, watched with keen eyes as Kakashi puts the ceramic down after- his lips trembling.
At this point, Iruka concluded that he might’ve been too confident about his cooking.
And as he saw a single tear dropped down Kakashi’s eyes, Iruka became worried.
He knew he was capable of burning water, but was the soup really that bad?
Iruka opened his mouth, ready to complain but stopped as more tears poured down. It was concerning, and Iruka’s heart panged. He called out once more, hand reaching up to wipe away the tears—but then again, Kakashi was really full of surprises—even after years of being together.
Kakashi smiled at him.
A genuine one at that. Like the one he gave to him the first time Iruka told him he loved him, or like that time he said ‘yes’ to Kakashi while accepting the ring on his finger.
And that same genuine, happy smile Kakashi gave to him when they exchanged vows.
Kakashi chuckled lightly, one hand found the bowl again, while his other held the chopsticks and ate away like he hadn’t eaten anything since morning. He also went for the shrimps and chomped it down like nothing, which stunned the sensei to no end.
Kakashi had made it clear a long time ago that he disliked them. He wasn’t allergic, he said he just doesn’t like the taste of it, but now—Kakashi was literally eating his words.
“Kakashi,” Iruka’s heart twisted because as much as he wanted to see Kakashi eating happily, there were still tears running down his eyes. He’s hurting, Iruka knew, and he needed to know why. He knew it wasn’t from his cooking, there must’ve been something about that recipe Iruka found.
With gentle movement, Iruka stood up and sat beside him. He cupped his husband’s tear-stained cheeks, stopping him from swallowing more food. He pushed the bowl a few inches away before pulling the Rokudaime in his embrace.
Kakashi buried his face on the crook of his neck, warm tears soaking up his shirt but Iruka couldn’t care less.
They stayed there for a moment, basked in one another’s presence with Iruka’s hand rubbing soothing circles on his back. He has no clue why Kakashi acted that way, doesn’t have any idea if it’s his fault or not. For whatever reason it was, he hope he’d be able to help him somehow.
Minutes passed by before Kakashi finally sat up straight, puffy eyes looking at him with traces of dried tears still evident. Iruka swiped a thumb under Kakashi’s eye, “What’s wrong? Are you okay?”
Iruka took note on how Kakashi’s lips trembled as he nodded, looking like a child that was caught doing something naughty. Smiling softly, Iruka gently pried him to talk by pressing his nose against his cheeks.
“I love you,”
Iruka smiled weakly, heart pounding against his chest.
“I love you, too…” He answered as sincerely as Kakashi did, which earned him another beautiful smile from him. Iruka then proceeded to wipe away more of the unshed tears, all the while, peppering small kisses on Kakashi’s cheeks, nose, and scar.
“Kakashi, care to tell me what’s wrong?”
His husband was clearly hurting, and it pained him to know he has no idea why.
“Is my cooking that bad?” Iruka joked, which earned him a chuckle.
“It’s not that,” Kakashi cleared his throat, one hand coming up to hold Iruka’s hand on his face, “I love this, really…”
“I believe you,” Iruka said, “Do you want water?” Kakashi nodded and Iruka reluctantly lets go of Kakashi and came back second later with a glass of water. He waited patiently as Kakashi gulped down its contents, glad that he was now somehow calm and collected.
“You okay now?” He asked and grabbed the empty cup away from Kakashi.
“Yes, thank you… I was just, uhm, overwhelmed,”
Iruka’s hand once again found purchase on Kakashi’s pale cheek while the other held his hand, squeezing it lightly. “Care to tell me?” Kakashi closed his eyes and leaned on Iruka’s warm hand, softly rubbing the side of his face on his palm like a cat.
“I don’t really hate shrimps,” Kakashi started, eyes still closed, “I just don’t want to eat them ever since… my father died,”
The Rokudaime’s lashes fluttered open, gray orbs meeting brown ones. “The dish you made is actually my most favorite. My father used to make it for me every time he comes home from a long mission. He’ll cook it for us and then I’ll ask for extra shrimps,”
Iruka’s heart drummed against his rib cage, the information given to him was heart-breaking, but he stopped himself from crying in front of Kakashi and just resorted to holding onto his hand tighter.
“And then when he… died, I was left alone and I tried to remake the dish but I couldn’t…” Kakashi’s eyes were once again filled with tears, “I just can’t. I – it hurts too much,” He whispered the last part as tears started to drip from his eyes again.
Iruka’s immediately pulled Kakashi towards him, cupping his face while occasionally running his thumb over his scar.
Iruka kind of felt stupid. If only he had asked about it then maybe Kakashi won’t be hurting right now, that maybe they’d be having a peaceful dinner. “I’m sorry, Kashi, I didn’t know…”
“No, please don’t apologize,” Kakashi took hold of Iruka’s hand on his face, dropping a kiss, “In fact, I wanted to thank you because now it doesn’t hurt. You replaced the hurt in me, Iruka.” Kakashi said.
“You replaced bitter memories and I’m happy because I get to taste what my dad used to make without hurting anymore, so thank you…”
Kakashi decreased the space between them and dropped a small kiss on Iruka’s lips. “Thank you Iruka-koi, I love you…”
They savored each other’s presence in silence once more, with Iruka wiping away his tears and whispering soft words. They were only interrupted minutes later when Iruka’s stomach complained loudly, causing them to let go of one another while giggling.
“Do you want to continue eating, or do you want to rest for a while?” Iruka asked.
“I—I would like us to eat together…”
“Okay, okay… we will,” Iruka kissed Kakashi on the lips one last time before ushering him to sit up straight. Kakashi followed obediently, watched as Iruka grabbed their bowls to reheat the food. He then glanced down at the plate containing shrimps, took note that it only had three pieces left in it.
“Hm?” Iruka asked back as he turned his attention back to Kakashi.
Kakashi looked up at him through wet lashes, eyes pleading subtly. “Can you cook more shrimps?” Iruka bit his lips, trying so hard not to squeal at how cute Kakashi was, so he just nodded. Who was he to deny Kakashi that request?
“Of course, Kakashi-koi…”
And as he stood by the stove, waiting for the shrimps to cook, he didn’t mind the arms snaking their way around his waist, and the stubborn lips on his nape after.
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“Obito looked so cute,” Iruka giggled and received a snort from Kakashi in return.
“I’m way cuter,” Iruka rolled his eyes and proceeded to wrap his arms around Kakashi’s waist, snuggling in further in to his side.
After dinner, Iruka decided that the dishes could wait and that Kakashi needed to see the photos he had put out in their living room. Same reaction as what he had gotten, Kakashi was surprised once he saw them, but then smiled as he viewed them one by one, at the same time, telling the story behind every picture.
Iruka loved it. There was still so much to learn about Kakashi, though he’s a little upset that he got to know about these precious memories just now, but then again, baby steps—Iruka had accepted Kakashi the day he told him he loved him, so he’ll also accept every new information Kakashi was willing to share.
“Who took the picture?
“Kushina-san, she insisted the picnic so I just went along,”
“You secretly loved the picnic, huh?”
Kakashi just shrugged but Iruka didn’t fail to notice the faint blush on his cheeks. Kakashi then puts down the frame on the side before showing Iruka the next picture. It was him and his father, smiling side-by-side, looking proud and happy. Kakashi’s height barely reached his hips and for a moment, Kakashi couldn’t believe that he had been this small for some time.
“Iruka, meet my dad,”
“Hello, dad!” Iruka grinned and waved which erupted a laughter from Kakashi. He dropped a kiss on top of Iruka’s head. “I think this was when I was four? Or three? I… I don’t really remember why we took a picture together,”
“It’s okay, you look so adorable here though.”
Kakashi smiled and pulled Iruka closer to him, he really couldn’t tell any more stories regarding his father because, in all honesty, Kakashi was still very young to remember every bits of pieces he had spent with him. He was gone before Kakashi could even show him that he became a jounin. That he had graduated. That he had found friends.
After a while of Iruka pointing out how Kakashi got his wild hair from his father, the Rokudaime turned Iruka’s face up at him, and gave a light peck in return.
“I also wanted to say sorry, Iruka. I didn’t have the strength to talk about all of this and… and as time passed by, it somehow left my mind. I didn’t meant for you to learn about this just now,”
“It’s fine Kakashi, I understand. I know how difficult this is for you. I’m just glad you’re telling me all of these now so if you have more, I’m all ears and ready to accept more of you,”
“Have I told you today how much I love you?”
“Yes, but you may say it again…” Iruka grinned, glancing up at him only to bump his nose against his, “…and again, and again.” They kissed once more, lips moving languidly against each other as Kakashi’s hand on his waist started to move up and down his back, going lower until it stopped on his thigh.
They broke apart after, panting heavily, their eyes glued on one another.
Iruka suddenly grinned, “You know, I can’t believe the Rokudaime owned a stuffed dolphin! So cute. Wait ‘till Naruto and Sakura hears about this,”
“Mmm, yes, you can tell them, but I’ll let them know that the dolphin I have right now with me is way cuter, and I’m the one stuffing it—”
“That’s it!” Iruka unwrapped himself around Kakashi, who could only watch while laughing as Iruka quickly stood up, throwing a pillow towards him, “Come on, all I said is now I’m the one who’s filling you up.”
“I’m filing a divorce- Kakashi!” Kakashi had unexpectedly lifted him up, dropping him on the couch before laying on top of him.
Laughter echoed through the living room as the couple continued to fight playfully, switching between tickling one another to peppering kisses here and there until both settled down, cuddling one another.
“Would you let me cook that dish for you again?”
Iruka felt him smile against his chest, nodding a little bit, “Of course,”