A/N: Rabid fluff bunnies attacked me at 1:30 AM this morning, and it was either this or my philosophy paper. Of course I picked the more reasonable choice.

No real warnings, other than pure KakaIru shounen-ai fluff. Take it as a sort of apology for "Irony" and "Code." Heh.

Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto. -MeeLee

Of Love and Allergies

BEGIN

Hatake Kakashi was having a good day. Team 7 had been picking apples and oranges from a local farmer's orchard for the better part of the morning, giving him several hours of free time to sit in a nearby tree and enjoy Icha Icha. There were no S- or A-rank missions waiting for him in the mission room, and he had even won his latest match with Gai the previous night.

Yes, good day indeed.

"Kakashi."

Iruka's voice broke into his thoughts, and the jounin looked up, blinking both eyes steadily at his lover. "Hm?"

Seated across the table from him, Umino Iruka sighed, adjusting his glasses slightly on the bridge of his nose and tapping his red grading pen impatiently on the hard wood. "You're not grading."

"Yes, I am." Kakashi lifted the paper so that Iruka could see the huge red X currently drawn across the entire page. "See?"

The young chuunin teacher sighed, massaging his temple as he said in a voice he usually reserved for telling children that yes, it does hurt when you decide to play frisbee with shuriken, "You're not grading. You're X-ing."

"X-ing is grading," Kakashi insisted.

"No, it isn't," Iruka said, voice suggesting extreme patience. "Grading is when you acknowledge that the student did something wrong and write supportive comments to help point him in the right direction. Constructive criticism, positive reinforcement and all that stuff. And what you're doing is not grading. It's X-ing."

Kakashi was just about to point out the fact that Iruka seemed to take sadistic pleasure in "X-ing" his mission reports all the time when something streaked across his foot. Something warm. And soft. And fuzzy.

Kakashi didn't squawk when it happened. Oh no, it was a masculine cry of surprise, that.

Iruka blinked up at the jounin who was now stuck upside-down to his ceiling on reflex. "Eh?"

"What," Kakashi said, pointing an accusing finger at a dark ball of fur currently curled up around the leg of his chair, "the hell is that thing?"

"Hm?" Iruka ducked his head, spotted said ball of fur, and laughed as he got up, walked over to Kakashi's chair, and gently picked it up. The ball of fur uncurled itself, revealing slitted pupils, a pink nose, whiskers, and white paws. "This is Pinky." Pinky purred happily as Iruka stroked his back.

Very carefully, Kakashi detached himself from Iruka's ceiling, flipping as he fell so that he landed smoothly on his feet in the corner farthest away from Iruka and the furball. "Pinky?"

Iruka chuckled. "Naruto brought him in this afternoon," he said. "Said he picked him up on his way back from his mission, but since his landlord doesn't allow pets, he asked me to take care of him till he finds a home." He paused. "As for the Pinky thing, don't blame me. Naruto named him."

Kakashi regarded Pinky warily. "It's a cat," he intelligently observed.

"He's a cat," Iruka corrected. "Can't you tell? Got all his parts and everything—" He flipped Pinky over to show Kakashi but was interrupted by the jounin's voice.

"We're not keeping that thing."

The chuunin blinked. "Why not? And don't call him a thing, Kakashi, call him Pinky."

"I don't care if its name is Morino Ibiki—we're not keeping that cat."

Iruka frowned, and Kakashi felt inner alarm systems begin to go off as he noticed the faintest trace of anger beginning to make its way onto the chuunin's face. "Why not? I promised Naruto we would look after him. I promised, Kakashi."

The jounin sighed, secretly scanning the room for the nearest exit as he said, "I'm not that great with cats."

Iruka narrowed his eyes. "Look, just because you're a dog-lover doesn't mean you have to discriminate. And I already bought him a collar and a leash and cat food and everything, so don't tell me I wasted all my money."

"It's not that," Kakashi protested, now running over his mental list of defensive jutsus in anticipation of a tantrum from a certain chuunin. Unbeknownst to most of the village, facing a pissed-off Umino Iruka was very similar to facing a grouchy Kyuubi. And depending on whether or not Iruka had had his morning coffee, Kakashi would much rather face an army of Uchiha Itachis than his irate lover.

"I don't hate cats," Kakashi said, eyeing the furball—cat—Purply, whatever—warily. "It's just that…well, I have this—" And he sneezed.

There was silence for a few moments as the two shinobi just stared at each other, Iruka blinking in surprise and Kakashi wiping forlornly at his nose. Pinky, tiring of Iruka, jumped out of his arms and stalked over to Kakashi, slowly curling around his legs.

Kakashi sneezed again.

"Kakashi." The look on Iruka's face reminded Kakashi very much of what Naruto's face looked like whenever he finally managed to beat Sasuke in a match. "You're…allergic to cats?"

"Well, it's not exactly allergic…more like, you know, kinda sensitive to—" He sneezed again. "Geh…all right, I'm allergic."

Again there was silence. Pinky, apparently dissatisfied with the way Kakashi was ignoring him, made his way sulkingly out of the room, leaving the two shinobi to themselves.

The quiet lasted for a few moments. Finally, though, Iruka spoke. "Are you telling me," he said, a smile breaking out on his face, "that if someone wanted—" The smile became a snicker. "—to defeat the great Sharingan no Kakashi—" The snicker became a chuckle. "—they'd just have to bring—" The chuckle became a full-blown guffaw. "—a damn kitten—" And Iruka hunched over his chair, laughing so hard that his entire body shook.

"It's not funny!" Kakashi cried, indignant. "It's not like I asked for it or anything—and I'm not the only one either! Asuma's allergic to sawdust, and Ebisu has deathly peanut allergies, and Hayate—well, Hayate's allergic to pretty much everything! It's not my fault!"

Iruka coughed, sucking in deep breaths and pulling his glasses off to wipe the tears from his eyes. "I didn't say it was your fault," he said, still chuckling. "But still—cats…" And he snorted with laughter once again.

Kakashi sighed, hanging his head in defeat. "Okay, so you know," he said. "Now can we get rid of that cat? I don't want the word getting out in the village…" He sneezed again.

Iruka put his glasses back on, still grinning. "All right, fine," he said. "I'll check with Kurenai and see if she'll take him. She's a cat person, I heard." He shook his head. "Hatake Kakashi, allergic to cats."

"It's not—" Kakashi was interrupted by another sneeze. "Oh hell, can we just stop this conversation already?"

"No." At his lover's answering glare, Iruka grinned. "Okay, okay, fine," he said. "But only on one condition."

A single silver eyebrow went up. "What's that?"

"Well." And Iruka's grin suddenly became a lot more predatory as he walked slowly up to his lover, pressing a surprised Kakashi against the wall. "Seeing as I can't use the collar and the leash on Pinky anymore…I guess I'll just have to put them on you."

Instantly Kakashi seized him by the shoulders, pulling him forward and capturing his lips in a heated kiss. When they both finally pulled away, flushed and panting for breath, Kakashi's sinister smile matched Iruka's.

"I'll even purr for you," he said and, grabbing Iruka's hand, pulled him toward the bedroom.

FINI