I do not own Naruto. Never will.
LEMON CHAPTER EDITED!
This is a lemon chapter, in which the full version can be found at my profile's page. This has been edited to fit in to rules.
When Iruka awoke the next morning, he found Genma gone from his arms. He had to blink several times as he stood up to his feet slowly, rubbing the side of his aching neck from leaning against the couch armrest for too long. The bones on Iruka's shoulders cricked as he stretched, looking around his living room warily.
"Iruka?" Genma emerged from the small hallway, closing the bathroom door quietly. "Did I wake you?"
Iruka smiled and shook his head. "No. My neck did though."
Without saying another word, Genma was at his side, rubbing the tensed muscles around Iruka's neck and shoulders, easing firm circles with his cool fingers. "I was going to wake you up to shift over to the bed."
"That is useless now." Iruka said, leaning against the fingers some more as he cast a tired glance at the clock. "It's seven in the morning."
"So?" Genma shrugged. "It's the weekend. You're off duty as Hokage-sama ordered and I have night-watch duty with Raidou tonight. I've been told to take it easy."
"You should." Iruka couldn't stop his eyes from drifting close and sighing. His neck was feeling much better.
Genma stopped moving his fingers, ghosting them over Iruka's shoulders and turning him around. Golden eyes reflected concern and genuine sincerity. "So should you." Genma said softly, in a way as if his lips never moved; as if they were but a wind's whisper.
Iruka leaned against Genma's forehead, lightly kissing the corner of his lips. "I am."
"Then why do you look so tensed? Why is it every time I look at your face, it's as if you have the weight of the world on your head? Why is it that I feel that while every one of us is chilling, you're in some boiling pit?" Genma asked, not angrily, but with fear. He moved to pillow his head against Iruka's warm shoulder.
Iruka would have laughed, but he found that he couldn't. Not when he could see the Jounin before him so afraid; so small. "It's not that bad."
"Ever seen a mirror?" Genma snaked his hands around Iruka.
Iruka smiled. "I need it to shave, don't I?"
Genma said nothing but pulled Iruka with him towards the wall mirror in Iruka's bedroom. Iruka allowed Genma to lead him, to do what he wants, hoping that maybe this will somehow ease the other man's mind.
"Look." Genma pointed at the mirror, with what seemed to be a slightly shaking finger. Iruka remained where he was standing, looking at his reflection and smiled. "See?"
Iruka blinked, reaching out behind him to wrap an arm around Genma's head. "I see that you're worrying over some silly little reflection, Genma."
Genma traced the barely visible lines of stress at the corners of Iruka's eyes. "Look harder."
Iruka found himself focusing on his eyes, dark pools of brown that reminded him of just how much he's lost, yet gained at the same time; how much he's seen and could not stop, yet how much he's made happy and safe. Iruka couldn't see any new signs of aging save for the ones he already knew were present like the slight crinkle at the corner of his eyes. If any, it was his eyes that mirrored his age.
"I see too much Genma." Iruka said, sounding like he just got home from an unending war.
Genma's gaze pierced in to his through the mirror. "You see? I don't understand why you have to suffer when there are people around you who'll gladly share the burden."
Iruka knew Genma meant well, but this time, he couldn't look at Genma anymore. Genma didn't know what kind of science his brain worked for him to see his visions. Genma didn't know the amount of headache it caused in the long run. Iruka knew he'd pay the price of having such ability and he had a sinking feeling that when the time of payment comes, he'll never know what hit him.
"There is no burden." Iruka reached up and pulled the hands that were resting on his shoulders, turning to face the Jounin. "There never was. What gave you the idea that I was," Iruka chuckled a bit. "Burdened?" Genma didn't reply but looked away instead. Iruka cupped a cheek with a hand and made Genma face him again. "You're here. If there ever was such a burden, Genma, you being here makes it all easier. Feather weight."
Genma, for all his graces, blushed. "Iruka."
"I am thankful that I have you. Because," Iruka leaned against Genma's chest, eyes closing, listening to his heartbeat, basking in the knowledge that Genma was alive and with him at that very moment. "Because, every time I know that you are alive, that you're breathing, I can rest."
Genma didn't know how deep the words went but he knew sincerity and he couldn't stop himself from claiming the other man's lips and holding him close to his chest. Iruka let himself be claimed, melting in to the man's arms. Genma dragged his lips away from Iruka's towards his jaw line, eyes tightly shut. He was frustrated.
"The way you speak. It's like – I don't know." Genma dropped his head on Iruka's shoulder.
"Like what?" Iruka asked softly, hand coming up to caress Genma's slightly tangled hair.
"It's like you're leaving. Not coming back." Genma mumbled in to Iruka's shoulder, arms around the Chuunin's waist tightening in to a very possessive hold. "Like you're tired of living."
Iruka laughed which later faded. "Sometimes. But I can't give up now, right?"
"Don't even think about it." Genma grabbed Iruka by the arms and looked at him for a long time. "I can't understand you."
Iruka was not disturbed by Genma's grip on his arms. "People say I'm like an open book."
"They say so. I used to think so." Genma led Iruka to the bed, slowly with small steps.
"Then you must be able to read me."
The back of Iruka's legs hit the side of his bed. He lowered himself, Genma crawling over him and pillowing Iruka's head with his hand. Iruka could feel Genma warm thighs pressed against his sides as the elder man peered down at him, studying him and trying to understand. Iruka remained motionless on the bed, his cheeks coloring slightly in the dim room at Genma's close proximity.
"Sometimes," Genma spoke quietly, pulling a pillow and replacing his hand with it so that Iruka was slightly elevated. "When I look at you, it would seem like you're just being you. The normal you. The Sensei everybody loves and adores." Genma dragged his fingers lightly over Iruka's eyes, feeling the soft folds of the Chuunin's eyelashes before moving on to trace the scar on his nose. "But when I really look at you, at your eyes, it's like staring in to a vast space. A space with so many things."
Iruka had to shut his eyes then. If Genma knew how hard he's hit home, he'd be very surprised.
"You see more than the Sharingan. More than the Byakugan. You understand more." Genma said with undertones of accusation. "Look at me Iruka."
Iruka didn't move.
"Look at me!"
Iruka opened his eyes but his pupils remained looking off to one side, where he can see Genma's arm rather than his face. "Sometimes, I don't want to open my eyes any more. And one day, I will pay for it."
"What do you mean?" Genma blinked.
"I'm not sure." Iruka forced a smile that faded almost as fast as it came. "One day, you'll understand."
"What if I'm already dead then?"
Iruka closed his eyes. "I doubt so."
"How sure can you be?" Genma asked, a hard edge to his voice.
"I just know."
"How can you gamble with death?"
Iruka has been playing with lives for as long as he can remember. Sometimes, he had to make choices. His visions clashed several times with lives on the line and he hated choosing who he had to save and who he had to leave behind. It was the Third that reminded him at times when he felt at the edges of his sanity that he can't save everyone.
"I don't." Iruka lied.
Genma pulled him in a fierce embrace. "Liar!"
Iruka understood Genma's frustration and he let it fly over his head. He ignored the accusations and how hard Genma's fingers dug in to his back that surely it'd leave bruises later. He remained quiet till Genma calmed down, opting to just caress his hair once more. It was like when he held Mizuki back then. Whenever the man was frustrated, he'd caress his head, threading his fingers through his hair. Same went with Naruto during the days when the burden placed on him and village's hatred got the best of him.
Iruka decided that perhaps it would be better to lie just a bit more to cover up for things he can't explain. He was generally an honest person and avoided lies. But seeing Genma now and how his back was starting to ache that it made wince and bite his lower lip, he decided that a little more lying wouldn't kill.
"Things will work out."
"You're speaking that way again!"
"Genma, I'm right here. I'm not going anywhere." Iruka wrapped his arms around Genma's head, slowly reversing their positions so that Genma was lying down. "I don't plan to go anywhere. Never did. Where would I go?"
"You keep too many secrets."
"We all have secrets. I just learned to never ask." Iruka leaned down and kissed Genma's temple. "Because I don't want to ask. And I won't ask for yours. I don't want to know what you stole as a child, what you did years ago and what sins you've committed. I don't want to know of your dark side, because the Genma I like, the Genma that I fell for," Iruka leaned and kissed Genma lightly on the lips. "The Genma I love is right here. What's important is now."
Genma's lips thinned, a sure sign that he was stopping himself from arguing. "And the future?"
"Let it unfold by itself."
Genma kissed Iruka, not letting go.
Truth be told, Genma didn't want to leave the apartment. He didn't want to get out of bed, he didn't want to leave the pillow and he didn't want to be away from Iruka's presence. Iruka had to resort to pulling him out of bed and pushing him in to the bathroom to take a shower and get dressed. Genma's reasoning that since Iruka was the one who dirtied him, Iruka should be the one to clean him didn't work. Iruka merely rolled his eyes and shut the bathroom door.
Genma's eyes twinkled in reminder of the hot sex that took place a few hours ago. He slept like a baby right after that intense orgasm. He was also wondering what Iruka packed in the small dinner box he handed him before he left the apartment.
"So why are you seeing stars?" Raidou asked, amused.
"Because it's night time." Genma sighed, staring blankly ahead, a small smile on his lips.
Raidou rolled his eyes. "No, not those stars, fool."
"Oh." Genma shrugged and stretched his arms. "Nothing. You know, the usual."
Raidou reached out and pulled the collar of Genma's shirt down to reveal a large love mark glowing bright red and purple. "Yup. Seems like it. Finally." Genma pulled his collar back up and blushed. "I'm happy for you."
"Thanks." Genma turned and smiled at his best friend.
"I give you my blessings."
"I'll make you my best man." Genma grinned widely.
"Marriage already?" Raidou laughed, wrapping an arm around Genma's shoulder and tousling his hair. "I'm very glad to see you like this. You're happy."
Genma looked at Raidou sincerely and nodded. "I feel happy."
"That's a good thing. Not a bad thing. Remember that." Raidou waved a finger in front of Genma's face, which he swatted away.
"Let's see what Iruka packed! I'm hungry."
Happy ending. For now. I'm guessing about two more chapters and this will be done. The lemon is kinda' lame for this chapter (to those who've read the full version). I'm not entirely happy with it, but at the same time I'm kinda' glad it took that kind of turn.
Next chapter to be up shortly.