Title: Just …Stuff: The Conclusion by Meleth78
Genre: Romance/Angst
Characters: Iruka, Kakashi and Sandaime
Rating: R. Edited slightly to make it viewable on For the NC-17 version please take a look at my livejounal. The link is below :)
Status: Concluded. I think.
Comments: Back to Iruka. I'm sorry if the lemon bit is clumsy. It's my blush first time.
Disclaimer: Why are they not mine? It's not fair.

www(dot)livejournal(dot)com(slash)users(slash)meleth78(slash)1936(dot)html for NC17 version.

Note: Sorry, the program kept erasing my html link. The (dot) means er full-stop and the (slash) means er backslash. Any problems just let me know in the review sections! And thank you thank you thank you all very VERY much for taking the time to read this and even more for taking the time to review it. I truly appreciate it. sniff Really. It means a lot. I'll try and do even better next time around! Happy reading!

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Iruka thought he knew his place in the world. He believed that he was done with the days when conflicting emotions tore at him, pushing and pulling him in too many directions, tearing him apart. He thought he had left behind the anger that gnawed at his gut every time he chose a path he was unable, or just not ready to take. He thought he was well trained, careful with his life, with his actions, with his emotions. At least he thought he was until Kakashi came along and wrecked it all. Iruka wondered what the Sandaime would have thought the whole matter. After all it had been the old ji-ji who had chosen to burden himself with watching over the young orphaned Umino Iruka.

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'Ahh Iruka-kun, why are you always in a hurry to be where you're not ready to go?'

'Hokage-sama, I am ready, if you'd just let me…'

'And why are you always choosing a path you were not yet meant to walk on?' the wizened old man continued, as if Iruka had not spoken.

'I know what I'm doing! Why don't you trust me?' shouted the boy, fists clenched, delicate young body coiled taut with repressed emotion, ready to lash out at the slightest provocation.

'Remaining a chuunin doesn't mean you have failed Iruka. It just means that you have to learn to accept your limitations. For now at least.'

'You think I'm not good enough…'

The look for unadulterated anguish in the young boy's dark eyes ripped though the older man. He remembered the impatience of youth, the anger against the body's inability to catch up with the spirit. But for the young man before him, the impatience and the anger was also tinged with the need for revenge. Not against the child that held the spirit of the kyubi, no, it was to Iruka's credit that he had never once thought of hurting Naruto, but vengeance against the world itself. For the unfairness that he perceived to permeate his life.

'It's not a matter of being good enough, it's a matter of admitting to yourself that there are certain directions that you cannot go. At least not yet.'

The white-haired Hokage had replied, reaching out and to grab the boy's chin and force angry dark eyes to meet his.

'And once you do that, once you admit that you have your limitations, you'll learn to work with them and around them. Then you'll find that there are endless paths for you to choose. Paths that will allow you to go as far as you want. You'll never have to look back Iruka, you won't want to.' The hand on the boy's face gentled.

Iruka jerked his face away, brushing the slender hand off, refusing to look any longer into the old man's knowledgeable eyes. But the fight had gone out of him, his body was sagging, leaving only dejection and a vague hurt he couldn't quite explain. The Sandaime exhaled softly, the boy was so sensitive and so very kind, it was difficult to watch him struggle and not give in to his demands. Reaching out again, this time more gently, the old man rested his hand on the dark head.

'Be patient just for now Iruka. Learn more about who you are first. And one day, when the time is right, you'll go further than you can ever imagine.'

'When?' Soft. And broken. The sound gutted the older man. If left alone, he knew that the child would let it fester, eat at him, diminish his spirit. No, this boy was too precious, he would not let that happen.

'When you're ready you brat, haven't you been listening to me at all?' The gentle hand on Iruka's head had turned into a fist and slammed down on the dark head.

'Oww! Hokage-sama! Itai!' yelped the boy, jumping away, his spunk already returning, a gleam of mischief entered his eyes. 'I just meant when will I know I'm ready, ji-ji!'

'You'll know. I trust you. If you don't, well…. too bad then. You can languish in your mediocrity.' Laughing uproariously at his own humor, the Sandaime made his way back to the mission room for his afternoon duties.

'Hokage-saaamaaa!' wailed the young boy, racing after him.

And then years later,

'Ahh Iruka-kun, why are you still so stubborn?'

'I'm not being stubborn Hokage-sama, I just think that my place is here. With the children. For now at least. Naruto…'

'Naruto is already wearing your hitai-ate. He is ready to move on. So should you. The jounin trials…'

'And there's still Konohamaru…' Iruka interrupted and then trailed off, turning his head so the older man wouldn't see his slight smile. Let's see you harden you heart against your own grandson ji-ji.

The older man huffed. He would have liked nothing more than for Iruka to take charge of Konohamaru's education. There was no other teacher he trusted more. But somewhere along the way, Iruka had picked up the habit of living his life for those around him, the Sandaime was worried that the young man had forgotten how to live for himself.

'And then there'll be Naruto's son, and then Konohamaru's daughter…so will you remain a chuunin forever? What happened to that angry young boy would was so adamant in taking the jounin trials?'

'You killed him.'

'Iruka!' A fist had reached up to slam on the academy teacher's head.

'Oww! Itai, Hokage-sama!' winced the younger man, rubbing his bruised head. He had grown much taller than his childhood self and towered over the elderly man but still the village leader managed to bash his head in whenever he chose. Hokage indeed. Iruka was pretty sure he would have been at least an inch taller if the old man hadn't slammed his fist on Iruka's head so often over the past years.

'I was just kidding!' He moved a little to put some distance between himself and that offending fist. 'Anyway, you told me I'll know when I'm ready. And I don't feel ready. Not yet. My place is here for now. Trust me. You always have.'

'What do you know? Always thinking you're so clever.' muttered the Hokage. But he let it go for the time being. He recognized the look in Iruka's dark eyes and knew he wouldn't have been able to sway the younger man. It was a look he took pride in because he believed he had helped put it there. Confidence. Self assurance. A look of a grown man. A good shinobi. A great teacher. A wonderful friend and…son. There are so many paths waiting for you, you'll never have to look back. Don't be afraid.

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Iruka missed the old man badly. There was once Kakashi had teasingly rested his elbow on the younger man's head as Iruka was grading scrolls and the jounin was standing impatiently above him waiting for him to finish. The older man had started slightly, then grabbed Iruka's head and in spite of the chuunin's squawking, proceeded to feel up the top of the younger teacher head.

'What the hell?' yelped Iruka. 'Kakashi!'

'You have a,' the jounin paused as he continued pressing down on the top of the dark head with his palm splayed open, flat. 'A slight… a slight depression. Right in the center of your head!'

'Stop that!' Iruka finally grabbed on to Kakashi's hands and yanked them away from his head. His neatly tied hair was all messed up now, strands were sticking up from where Kakashi had prodded. 'I know my head is dented. It's all the Hokage's fault!'

'Tsunade gave you a dent?' asked the older jounin, surprised and more than a little angry. It was after all HIS Ruka's head. He thought the woman was fond of Iruka, even heard her telling Shizune how adorable he was and how easily the young man blushed.

'Not Godaime-sama, Sandaime-sama.' Answered Iruka softly. 'He used to…he used to…' The young teacher suddenly found that he couldn't continue. He breathed deeply, trying to center himself, not daring to speak. It had already been weeks since…but it only hit him just then. The old man was no longer around. There was no longer the offending fist to jolt his thoughts into order. There was no longer the soft yet strong voice to remind him that someone had faith in him. There was no longer…and right at that moment he felt a smack to the back of his head. Not a slam but a hard smack.

'Oww! Itai! The hell!' Iruka yelped, grabbing the back of his head, shocked out of his reverie. Kakashi then reached out and roughly pulled the younger man to him. The jounin smoothed the errant dark strands of hair back into place and softly pressed his lips to the top of Iruka's head, gently nuzzling. Iruka bit back a smile and thought, silly man, not quite sure if he was referring to Kakashi or himself. He rubbed at his eyes before slipping his own arms around the jounin's lean waist. That's right. I'll never have to look back, He wouldn't want me to. I'm not afraid.

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Ruka,

I can't promise you what you want. But I'll love you forever regardless.

Kakashi. drawing of a small perfect heart

What would you have thought of this then ji-ji? Iruka thought as he re-read the note yet again. Just then he sensed movement from the bed behind him as the pale form encased in blankets shifted its position. Kakashi. The older man had come over a few hours ago, claiming that he had been quote, 'a very good boy' and had waited till Iruka had finished his classes then his duty in the mission room. The jounin claimed that he could have just justu-ed himself into the empty classroom during lunch break and taken the younger chuunin.

'You could have…just taken me?' said the aforementioned chuunin softly, eyebrow twitching slightly.

'You bet!' snarled the agitated jounin.

'Is that so?' Twitch twitch.

Kakashi paused in the middle of his loud rant and turned to face the glaring younger man. Seeing the look on the teacher's face, the jounin balked and held his hands up in a placating manner,

'Er…I er…meant I would have er…asked you if you …you know, before taking you. Yes.'

The twitch didn't go away, in fact it seemed to pulse at a more rapid pace.

'Ruuuuuu-kaaaaaaaaaa' whined the silver-haired man.

Iruka turned away, set on ignoring the idiot of a shinobi.

'Ruka' Softer this time. A pale hand reached out to take his, tugging softly. 'Ruka' the voice repeated, just as softly, 'Please.'

I'll love you forever regardless.

Iruka sighed, the jounin was lucky he was such a wordsmith. He allowed himself to be pulled against a warm chest as arms enfolded him from behind.

'You're an idiot Kakashi'

'You forgot to add that you'll love me anyway.' murmured the older man pressing his masked face into the chuunin's neck, breathing in deeply. He then reached up and pulled his mask down before gently biting down on Iruka's neck.

'Kashi…' gasped Iruka.

'Shuushh, let me…' the deep voice trailed off as a tongue slipped out and lapped at the bite, sucking gently before trailing upwards, across the younger man's jaw. Kakashi stopped at his earlobe, biting down gently before sucking hard. Iruka stifled a groan and then yelped slightly as he was pushed back onto the chair he had been sitting on before Kakashi summarily burst into his home.

'Kashi, wha?' gasped Iruka again, before Kakashi all but crushed his mouth against the younger chuunin's. Tongues tangled, fought, slid warmly against each other before the jounin pulled back slightly. He was too close to Iruka's face for the younger man to focus. Kakashi murmured,

'Lean back'

He then slid down slowly and pushed Iruka's thighs apart before kneeling between them. The chuunin closed his eyes as he leaned back against the chair.

'It's ok.'

'Hmm?' replied the chuunin, reaching out to push his hand into the soft sliver hair so that he would know the position of Kakashi's head despite his closed eyes.

'It's ok, you can keep them open.' Replied the jounin, in turn reaching up to pull Iruka's hands from his hair and place then on his bare face.

'Kakashi…'

'Open. Don't spoil my plan! You already trashed my old one!'

'What? What are you talking about?' Iruka's eyes shot open. 'What plan?'

'The one where I was going to guilt….never mind' Kakashi realized that the younger man was no longer paying any attention to his words but rather, had focused on the movement of his lips. He licked them, nervous all of a sudden. Calloused, tanned hands reached out and delicately traced his lower lip from right to left. Then they moved up to touch the scar running down his left eye.

'Kashi...' the chuunin's voice was strained as he tried to rise from his seated position.

'Shuush…don't. Let me' repeated the jounin, rearing up to capture the younger man's lips once again. Kakashi pressed the younger man back into the chair, lingering for a moment longer before sliding back down between Iruka's legs.

'Don't move. You've always liked this before. It'll be even better when you can watch. Trust me.' He continued mischievously, licking his lips again, this time in heady anticipation.

By now, Iruka had figured out what Kakashi was intending to do and murmured,

'You don't have to.'

'I want to' came the swift reply, hands already moving to push the younger man's drawstring pants down and slipped oh-so-gently inside Iruka's boxers. 'Please?' He breathed softly.

Iruka nodded and then shifted slightly so that his knees were further apart and his hands were resting on the arms of the chair. This allowed Kakashi to bend his head further forward.

LEMON :)

A while later...

'Kashi…' a happy murmur. Shy.

Kakashi finally raised his head and smiled, mouth reddened and slightly swollen. He touched a finger to his lips, stared at it for a moment before popping his finger back into his mouth and sucking on it. Iruka smiled shyly, his face tinged with pink as he bent down and hugged Kakashi close, hiding his face in the other man's neck. He then nuzzled his way up the smooth bare chin and kissed the jounin, slipping his tongue in boldly to stroke against the other tongue. Tasting himself. He deepened the kiss. Tasting Kakashi.

'Mmmm….' whispered the jounin against the soft lips, 'You taste good.'

'I love you'

'I love you too Ruka. Why did you even have to ask?'

'You never said…'

"I drew hearts'

'Hearts?' asked the perplexed chuunin.

'Always. Next to my name.' came the indignant answer.

'Those were…hearts?' questioned the incredulous younger man.

'Ahh…shut up.' Kakashi said as he lifted the protesting chuunin from the chair and hauled his pretty ass into the bedroom proclaiming that what goes around comes around and that it was his turn. Finally, thank the heavens, it was HIS turn. Iruka stopped protesting after a while. Kakashi was, after all a genius at many things.

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Iruka re-read the note once more before carefully putting in a drawer. He then made his way to the bed where his lover laid, slipping quietly under the covers and spooned himself against the body of the sleeping man.

I can't promise you what you want.

No, he didn't expect Kakashi to. Not really anyway. He had written it in the heat of the moment, perhaps even in a fit of desperation. Love meant a lost of control that scared him. He had forgotten to behave like the man he had worked so hard to become. He wouldn't have believed Kakashi if the jounin had made that promise to him. Fortunately, Kakashi knew better than that. He had learnt, perhaps long before the chuunin had, that there were limitations that couldn't be overcome no matter how much a person wanted it, or how hard a person tried. That was just the way life was. But once you recognize those limitations, you'll learn to work with them, around them and then you'll discover that there are endless paths for you to choose. Paths that would allow you to travel as far as you wanted. And you'll never have to look back because there'll never be a need to. There was nothing to be afraid of because no matter what happened, he would be loved forever, regardless.

THE END.