A/N: A little ficlet- one of those ones that just write themselves. Slightly yaoi, and kind of playing off the fact that there are no implications whatsoever of Irukaka in canon (which of course prevents none of its rabid fangirls from being so).

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"An Affectionate Couple"

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This is Kakashi. His eyes don't match because something bad happened to him.

This is Iruka. He had a shitty childhood in which a lot of bad somethings happened to him.

They get along okay. Kakashi acts a bit flaky, and Iruka can be a bit of a mother hen, but they don't really hate each other or anything. Sometimes they talk. Sometimes they don't even seem to remember the other exists. It really depends on what's been going on.

Today has been quiet so far. They are sitting at separate picnic tables, but face away from those tables and towards each other instead. Iruka is eating an apple. Kakashi is reading his usual book (does he read anything else?). They aren't looking at each other, but they are of course both aware of the other's presence. You don't need to be an elite ninja to know that someone is sitting in your reading light.

They aren't friends, per se. That implies a certain level of affection that they have never shared. They are not enemies either- they have never disliked each other that much. Supposedly, for lack of a better term, they might be considered simply allies. They have no real reason to be so, but no real reason not to be so either. So they are.

It makes sense, if you think about it.

Sometimes people have a way of complicating things too much. With these two, everything is always very simple. Take care of your kids. Nine Tails sucks, but Naruto is okay. Sasuke needs to get laid (they're starting to wonder if he isn't gay). Sakura needs to get a life (or at least get Sasuke, which would probably solve both of their problems).

Believe it or not, life is pretty simple. You do the right thing, and you'll be okay (even if it technically kills you). Don't do bad things, because that's like selling out, and nothing's worse than that. And keep track of the KIDS, for God's sake! They're stupid and naïve and if you let them, they'll get themselves gutted.

Of course, Iruka and Kakashi are pretty good at getting themselves gutted also (it's a living). Maybe it's just a ninja thing.

Iruka finishes his apple, eating everything from seed to stem to core. It's not like any of it is inedible, after all. Kakashi rereads the last page of his book for the fourth time, and finally closes it.

There's really nothing else to do at the moment, so they don't get up. Iruka reaches out a hand half-heartedly, and Kakashi briefly grasps it and squeezes tightly. A half-second, and then they release each other. Iruka finally gets to his feet- he has a class in a little while- and Kakashi lazily stretches out, propping his feet up on the other's vacated seat- he is supposed to be training Team 7 today, but . . .

Well, he IS Kakashi. And it's good for them to learn patience.

Plus it's funny to watch them scream.

Iruka waves slightly, and Kakashi returns the gesture disinterestedly.

They are not an affectionate couple. They are comfortable together, and that is enough.

Sometimes, that's all that love is anyway.

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. : scarecrows riding dolphins bareback : .