Edited: 12/04/2011 fixed some minor mistakes, changed the end a bit, added some stuff for flow and such.

StarsOfYaoi: after reading chapter 321 of the manga and a neat doujinshi, I just had to write this one–shot. It's KakaNaru, and it's both lightly angsty and fluffy, and absolutely random too.

Inspired by Unnamed doujinshi, it doesn't have a set place in the canon continuity. You are free to find one yourself?


Rating: T

Warnings: shota, yaoi, WAFF, SAPPINESS! Run for your life! I warned you!

Disclaimer: meaning not claim. Why is it here? To state I don't own Naruto. I wouldn't be writing here otherwise. I would be living in Japan, reading yaoi…



Flashbacks, dream, memories–




When did this start?

Kakashi didn't know, really.

Ever since he was little, Kakashi had been around many people; there were some he respected, some he befriended, some he hated and some that ended up as his enemies. It was normal, he was a ninja.

But after two painful experiences, he'd secretly decided to simply give up on caring. He was a shinobi… he would end up being hurt. He would end up hurting others.

It worked; for years he managed to live without a second thought on his decision, simply living and fighting and moving on.

So what was different this time?

He was older, yes, and stronger, and some things had changed in ways that sometimes he didn't like… but his life had continued in the same way.

At least until he noticed.

"Sakura–chan! Good morning!"

His eyes shifted to his right, seeing a blond ball dressed in orange run towards his two teammates with a grin; unconsciously, Kakashi's right eye observed Naruto as he reached his two friends, smiling brightly at them, blue eyes sparkling with energy.

Just like every day, Team met on the bridge, waiting for Kakashi to arrive and give them their daily mission.

It was something familiar, something usual, and it felt comfortable in a way none of them could understand.

Naruto commented something under his breath –probably against Sasuke– and promptly received a slap from Sakura, who then started fussing and cooing around the Uchiha heir like a bird in love, receiving nothing back but a glare and a growl.

They were waiting for him, Kakashi knew this; but he would not move from his spot on the tree, at least not for a while.

It was mildly entertaining to watch as their expressions turned from ecstatic to annoyed and enraged as time passed by, and Kakashi could not deny he had fun; he liked to come in early and observe his students gather on the bridge, watching them interact without an adult around.

In fact, Kakashi was not as late as everyone deemed him to be; every morning he would wake up and pay a visit to the Memorial Stone, where some of his friends' names were carved on the smooth surface, and offer his respects to them.

The fact that a hour or two would pass by from the moment he visited the Stone to his actually going to meet his students was simply his private joke, bringing him some entertainment.

Besides, there were a lot of things that he wasn't supposed to see that he did while 'he wasn't there yet'; to keep up his careless act with his students he kept his porn book open at all times, reading it as he walked, while instead he was perfectly aware of what was going on around him… but sometimes, watching from afar was even better –things that his sole presence forbidden from happening would then happen instead if he wasn't there at all.

His covered lips turned into a small smile as he watched Naruto drop himself down on the bridge, pointedly ignoring Sasuke –who on the other end was pointedly ignoring the blonde, too– and instead started polishing his weapons, in a rare attempt to do something useful for once.

Kakashi was fond of Naruto.

He had noticed this after many useless missions, after the Chuunin exams, after everything his blond student had been through; he liked Naruto.

He liked him for what he was, taking in everything, from his endless determination to his huge optimism. He'd seen him fight, endure and train, managing feats no one else had before; and despite his own previous disinterest for him, Naruto had still blossomed further in the shinobi's path.

Kakashi liked Naruto. Not as in, a teacher with a student. He liked him… romantically, for how silly that word sounded in such a situation.

To explain it further, he simply wanted to see Naruto smile at him, for him, and then he wanted to hold him close and kiss him.

Maybe it was because he reminded him of Obito, Kakashi didn't know; but Naruto was Naruto, and Kakashi didn't see anything in him that he wouldn't accept.

Even his stubborn side, even his childish acting… he liked all of this.

When did this start? Kakashi did not know.

When had Naruto's rants suddenly turned from annoying to amusing? When had his smiles caused Kakashi's heart to warm up in such a way? When did Kakashi start to look out for the blond teen as more than just a teacher?

Everything had probably happened during a long amount of time, slowly, and Kakashi couldn't remember exactly when it had started.

All he knew was the present… And he knew he liked Naruto.

It satisfied him as it was, and he wanted nothing more; he could settle down with just watching his student smiling, watching him be happy –because if he ever were to ask for more… it would be wrong.

It would be wrong to touch him –he had never touched Naruto before, unless to ruffle his hair affectionately.

It would be wrong to kiss him –even though Kakashi's mind had often dared wondering about it.

It would be wrong to want more.

Kakashi knew that his mind was ticking the wrong way; to have such feelings for another male, let alone a boy, his own student… it wasn't right.

What would others think if they were to find out… oh, Kakashi knew that too. They would call him sick, mentally unstable, they would call him names and insult him, and then bring forth his father's name and use that against him too.

To harbour such twisted, abnormal desires…

Kakashi was a grown up man. He could control his instincts and desires, and watching Naruto from afar would be enough –that was what he thought. He was sure that the teen's smile would be enough for him.

Disappearing in a puff of smoke and reappearing in front of his students, he let out one of his usual smiles, waving at them. "Yo!"

'I would never do anything to hurt you…'

And just like every other morning, the day started.


"Sakura–chan, will you go out with me?" Naruto stared at the pink haired girl with hope clear in his eyes, only to have his hopes quickly crushed seconds later.

"No! Why would I want to go out with you of all people?" Sakura raised her nose in the air and sniffed before her attention was driven again to the silent Uchiha boy. "Sasuke–kun, will you go out with me?"

"No," was the curt reply. He didn't need to be as verbal as she had been towards Naruto.

Sasuke walked away, hands in his pockets.

Naruto sighed as he stared at his crush since before the academy, Sakura, as she followed Sasuke and fussed over him; once again, he'd been rejected. Oh, what a bummer.

'If only I could…' he stopped dead in his thoughts and shook his head, knowing that if he were to continue down that path he would end up thinking about something wrong that he shouldn't even consider thinking about. He liked Sakura. He…

"Naruto, you know… you should try showing Sakura that you are worth of her attentions as well, but without exaggerating…" Naruto turned around, yelping as he noticed Kakashi hovering over his right shoulder.

"Kakashi–sensei! Don't scare me like this!" Naruto accusingly pointed a finger towards his teacher.

"Maa, maa," Kakashi smiled and his visible eye curved. "You have so much energy left even after today's missions!"

Naruto glared and pouted.

"What do you mean with that?" he pouted some more, attention shifting back to his teacher's previous statement. "I do anything I can to prove Sakura–chan that I am better than Sasuke!"

Naruto allowed himself to meet Kakashi's eyes for a second, then forced himself to look elsewhere.

Kakashi's mischievous smile never faltered. On the inside, though, his smile had a more serene and sad undertone; he would never be able to show his own care for Naruto, but he would help him smile.

It was enough…

'I can't touch you… my deviation is wrong and I don't want to taint you…' Kakashi looked down, Naruto's cute face innocently looking up at him, expecting him to explain like any good sensei would. 'But even if I'm going to suffer through all of this, you'll be happy…'


Naruto's eyes brightened as he stood up from the grass, holding in his hands a small golden trinket with a shining gem carved into it; he looked up eagerly, stepping towards the rest of the group. Lifting his hand to show it to…

He faltered in his steps, taking one deep breath. To Sakura. Yes, he had to show it to Sakura–chan.

"Sakura–chan! Look! I found the missing earring!"

Kakashi stared as Naruto waved at the pink haired girl, proud to be the one who completed their newest mission; the Hokage wasn't going to allow his team to have any dangerous mission as of late, because of the latest happenings, so they had to settle with boring D–class missions once again.

Oh, the joys of going back to the origins…

"Naruto!" Sakura was enraged. "Why did you kick Sasuke–kun away? He was the one who got there first!"

Sasuke stood on the side, his face unreadable as he stared at his teammates bickering. He cared nothing about who found what; after all, the mission was finished and they could finally go home.

"But Sakura–chan…" Naruto's shoulders drooped low, depressed because he had failed to woo her once again; his eyes looked upwards to meet Kakashi's gaze, and for a moment Naruto hoped Kakashi would tell him he had done a good work… hoped that…

Kakashi turned away.

"Ok group, bring this to its owner and you're done for the day!" he said rather cheerfully, before transporting himself away.

Naruto bit his lip and looked down at the earring. He felt a bit sad by his teacher's nonchalance, he'd expected something else…

Shaking his head violently, Naruto bit his lip. He would not think about it. Not at all. It was wrong. He'd already confirmed it in his mind, and he would not allow himself a slip.

Sasuke grunted; he would not waste his time with the report and the business stuff… with a wave he walked away.

"Naruto, can you bring that to the Hokage tower? I need to go now, my mom asked me to help her clean the house," Sakura adopted her nice voice, knowing she could get everything out of the blonde just by acting sweetly with him. "Thank you, bye~!"

She skipped away happily. Of course it had been a lie, her mom never asked her to clean up… but that way she wouldn't have to write the report and waste an hour on it. Besides, Sasuke was gone too, and she didn't want to stay back with Naruto more than she had to.

Naruto stared at his two teammates' backs as they walked away, and felt utterly alone. No matter what he did, it looked like they still preferred going away to his company.

Shaking his head again, he resumed his walk to the Hokage tower, knowing he had to complete the mission by himself and only then he could go home.

'It's not fair that Kakashi–sensei didn't care it was me who found that earring… had it been Sasuke, he would have surely been all cheerful and praising him…' Naruto huffed.

He was so deep in thought that he didn't notice the small child that was walking in front of him, until the little girl bumped into him and fell on the ground, her green eyes wide as she stared up at him.

She was cute, and Naruto had always liked small children; she had blond hair curling around her face and deep green eyes. Naruto thought she looked a bit like Ino, but cuter.

Naruto blinked, and was about to kneel at her side and ask the little girl if she was ok, when…

"Stay away from my daughter, you demon!"

He was suddenly roughly pushed away, falling on the ground on his ass; blinking up in shock, eyes wide, he saw a woman cradle the small girl to her chest, cooing at her with soft words before turning towards him again, her expression twisting into a grimace.

"You demon, what did you think you were doing, touching my daughter like that? The village is better when you're not around, so just go away and drop dead!"

Naruto's lips stretched into a smile out of habit; he was so used to people yelling at him, or insulting him, that his automatic reaction was to smile –not that it was a smile that reached his eyes, though.

The woman hurried away from him as fast as she could and he stood up again, brushing dirt away from his pants; he didn't need to look around to realise that he had attracted a small crowd of people, and that they were glaring at him with darkened expressions.

It didn't take a genius to know they were probably ready to start insulting him, too.

"Monster… who does he think he is? He doesn't belong here!" a man whispered, loud enough that Naruto could hear him perfectly.

"If he were to die during one of his missions, I surely wouldn't cry for him," another man replied with an evil smile.

Naruto tensed up and lowered his eyes to the ground, walking away and trying to ignore their words. He knew better than to respond to their goading.

"Hey, monster!" a man growled out to him, his voice loud enough for Naruto to hear him but not so that it would attract unwanted ninja attention. "I bet you had fun killing people, huh? I bet you enjoy the blood… well, you will be destroyed, and in the end we will be the one rejoicing!"

Naruto breathed deeply, refusing to take the bait. Those words hurt, but he had to ignore them and continue walking away. They were simply in pain, they couldn't see that Naruto wasn't the demon, he was simply its vessel. They had lost so many friends, brothers, families… he couldn't just get angry at them.

"Do you think you can leave just like this? You have no right to do so! Hey, demon, I am talking with you!"

The man moved forwards, his hand darting towards the teen in an attempt to grab him, but his own wrist was grabbed a second before he could touch Naruto.

"So… what's happening here?"

Naruto twisted his head around, eyes wide; Kakashi was standing there, visible eye curved upwards and smiling, but his grip on the man's wrist was firm and steely, and his posture said everything about just how dangerous he could be if given a reason to.

"N… nothing, I swear!" the villager cowered, and freeing himself from the Jounin's hold he dashed away, followed by all the crowd who had been watching.

Kakashi glared at them, eye cold and filled with anger.

How dared they…

"Thank you, Kakashi–sensei," Naruto's unsteady voice brought his attention back to the teen, and the silver haired shinobi realised Naruto was looking relieved.

The teen looked like he was trying his best to look untouched by the man's words, but it was clear they had hurt him a lot, and Kakashi quickly looked away in order to offer the younger shinobi some time to collect himself again.

"Um… I need to go and return the earring to the commissioner," Naruto's cheeks were covered with a light red dust as he backed away from his sensei and scratched the back of his head.

He didn't really want to linger around his sensei too much, but he was grateful he had dispelled the crowd before the man had started a riot or something…

Turning around to walk towards the Hokage Tower again, Naruto stopped when he felt a hand fall on the top of his head.

"Well done with the mission, Naruto," Kakashi stated, still not looking at him.

The blond Jinchuuriki stood there, frozen, as his teacher disappeared again, leaving him alone in the middle of the street, smiling like an idiot.


Kakashi stared at his hand, remembering just how soft Naruto's hair had felt under his fingers; it was wrong to dwell on the feeling, so very wrong, but he couldn't help himself.

Every small gesture he could get from this kid, even if he didn't know what Kakashi was doing…

"Oi Kakashi, you seem a bit out of it, what's wrong?"

The silver haired Jounin turned to his left, realizing exactly where he was; he was sitting next to Genma in a bar, sipping some good liquor with his friend. It was an usual occurrence, as they did it at least twice a week if their mission schedules allowed them to.

His fellow Jounin was staring at him, munching on his senbon, eyes scanning Kakashi's face in search of something that could explain his strange attitude as of late.

"Nothing," Kakashi replied, hoping Genma would drop the subject, and sipped his drink slowly, allowing the burning liquid to roll down his throat.

"Yeah, sure, and I am really a lowly Genin," Genma scoffed, gulping down the remains of his own drink in one go. "Is it something about your team?"

Kakashi closed his eye briefly. It wouldn't do; he didn't want to reveal his insane attraction for his own student to another soul, as he felt bad already for feeling what he felt. He definitely didn't need his friend to know just how messed up he was…

A man of his age, lusting over a thirteen years old boy.

He would have laughed soundly had it been another situation, but… this was too serious.

He had to stop this madness, or he would snap.

"Nothing, don't worry," Kakashi turned towards the brown haired man and poked him in the ribs. "What about you, have you finally landed yourself a girl?"

Genma blinked twice, recognizing Kakashi's attempt to change the subject… but he accepted it. He knew Kakashi would tell him everything in due time. They were good friends, after all.

"Well, something like it, really," he replied, moving the senbon out of the way as he spoke, from one side of the mouth to the other, waving at the waitress to pour him another drink.

After all, he had to remind himself that he had his own secrets too, and he couldn't just tell them to Kakashi, so it was only fair for Kakashi to keep secrets from him; the silver haired Jounin would not understand. For sure, he'd think less of him, if he were to know that Genma was…

"Hey guys!"

Both Genma and Kakashi turned around and waved as Raidou swung himself down on the seat next to Genma, who shifted away a bit almost unconsciously. Raidou stared at him with a strange expression on his face before he ordered a drink and joined the other two.

Kakashi sighed as he stared at his two friends, who were now talking amiably with each other; there was no way he could continue down this path without losing his mind.

It was wrong, as simple as that… he had to stop caring for Naruto… or it would be too late.


Naruto stared.

A weird feeling was worming its way up from his stomach to his chest, like a claw clenching around his heart, and the teen flinched in pain.


He had thought he was finally managing to go somewhere. Maybe he was just delusional, maybe he had just imagined everything…

'I shouldn't be thinking that!' as he realised where his mind was going, he backtracked and ignored the growing twinge in his chest.

He should have been used to it, right?

It wasn't like many had ever shown him some care, except maybe Iruka–sensei and old man Sandaime.

Kakashi was patting Sakura on the head, praising her good work during the mission, then he moved towards Sasuke and nodded at him, showing the young Uchiha that he acknowledged his own progresses.

Ignoring Naruto completely.

Ignoring how much hard work Naruto had put during all his missions, ignoring him as if he wasn't there in the first place.

As if he didn't matter at all.

There it was again… Naruto dreaded it. That feeling. It pooled inside him, hungry for praise, hungry for touch and attention, demanding and longing for more, angered at the mistreatment.

He'd tried so hard to suppress that feeling, but it kept returning, bitter and sticky, when Naruto wasn't paying attention; it wasn't mean to be this way… he liked Sakura, right? That's what it was expected of him. Not…

It was wrong, and that was it.

He was supposed to like Sakura. He liked her. He had liked her. Then, at one point along the way, he had stopped feeling that warmth inside when the pink haired kunoichi was in sight, he had stopped considering her worth his attention.

He didn't like the new feeling that was blossoming inside him, nor whom it was directed at… he had to like Sakura, it wasn't an option to allow this new feeling to take control of him.

He was supposed to like her, so he continued on his useless routine of asking her out, getting rejected by her, getting sad and starting it again soon afterwards.

He continued, because otherwise someone else would notice.

Otherwise he would notice.

And it was wrong.

Naruto spun around, not bothering to look back as he left; it didn't matter, it shouldn't matter. He was ignored, so what if he ran away?

His departure was followed by three sets of eyes.

Kakashi sighed and let him go, ignoring him.

'It's better like that… I have to protect him, even from myself,' Kakashi tried to convince himself that this was how it was supposed to be.

Adults shouldn't impose their own selfishness on kids.



The Chuunin looked at his right, where Naruto had been sitting for a long while, playing with his ramen bowl and looking down at it; the sight wasn't normal for him, who would inhale his food the moment it was placed in front of him.

Something was wrong, deeply so, and Iruka somehow missed having Naruto wolf down his noodles like there was no tomorrow –he was growing quite worried.

Now Naruto had uttered his name almost hesitantly, and Iruka gave him his undivided attention, hoping that the teen would finally tell him what the problem was. Surely Naruto knew that he could trust him?

"Naruto, what's wrong?" he asked, begging the younger shinobi to finally spill the beans.

Blue eyes did not look up from his bowl, fingers tightening on the table's surface, knuckles almost white and slouched shoulders, but Naruto apparently was thinking it through.

"What if… what if I liked someone I have no rights to like?"

Iruka blinked, momentarily taken aback by his student's words; anyone who knew Naruto even barely was aware of his crush for his pink haired teammate… and yet, his words were weird, they didn't fit that knowledge.

What did he mean with 'no rights to like'?

"Naruto, you know that you can do it," Iruka smiled warmly at him, trying to reassure him. "I told you more than once that it might take you a while, but I am sure that you will one day win over Sakura's heart".

Naruto froze.

"Uh…? S–Sakura–chan…?" he blinked, still not looking up, but his shoulders were suddenly tense now. "Yes, obviously, I like Sakura–chan a lot…"

His voice was so low that Iruka leaned over a bit in order to understand what Naruto was saying; it was unsettling to see him so calm, so subdued. There really was something deeply wrong with him…

"That's what everybody expects, after all," he was murmuring, almost as if confirming something with himself. "It's right to like her".

Iruka frowned even more.


The teen suddenly looked up, and the display of emotions in his eyes made Iruka feel a tug in his chest. "What's right hurts, though," he continued.

Then, Naruto smiled.

It was his usual beaming smile, mischievous and bright –but his eyes were not smiling, and Iruka could see it even too clearly.

"Yes. I like Sakura–chan," he stated, voice a bit stronger than before. Almost as if trying to reassure himself. "Everything will be alright, and this… this will disappear. The pain. It's wrong, and I just have to wait".

Iruka couldn't but feel that he had somehow failed his favourite student.


"Kakashi… you don't look any better than last week, and if I can say it, you actually look worse," Genma munched on his senbon, waiting for the waitress to come back with his drink.

It was just the two of them this week, as Raidou was gone from the village on a mission and couldn't be there in time.

"There is still nothing wrong," Kakashi grumbled, pulling down his mask to down his drink in one go, barely stopping to pour himself another one before gulping it down too.

It was working.

If he ignored Naruto enough, he was sure that it would help, that his deviated feelings would disappear and that maybe everything would turn right again. Maybe he would be able to forget and move on.

It did help.

Focusing more on Sakura and Sasuke was easy, easier than he first thought… not looking at him, not praising him, knowing he was there but nothing more than that. Just like before.

"I'm slowly allowing him to live his own life. I'm letting him go…" he whispered, lips pressed against the edge of his glass. "I'm doing this for him. his smiles are enough".

Genma frowned at him, the last part lost to his ears.


Kakashi shook his head.

Yes, it was the right decision. He couldn't burden Naruto down with his feelings –an old man of his age lusting over a teenager? It was wrong, it was demented, it was disgusting… but everything would go back to normal. It would be ok.

He would keep staring at him from afar, and Naruto would move onwards with his life, and he would grow strong, and he would continue smiling.

And even though he would not smile at Kakashi, it was still enough, and even though Kakashi still had feelings for him, it was enough, because by pushing him away he was giving him a chance to run and have a normal life.

Just… this pain in his chest… he would bear it for him, and if he could just see him smile… it would be worth it.

Kakashi stopped, the glass now inches away from his still uncovered lips, as he tried to recall the last few weeks.

When had he last seen Naruto smile?

His smile was what made Kakashi be able to bear another day without touching him, without giving in to his deviant desires. He could go through day after day without kissing him, without holding him close in his arms.

Just for one of Naruto's smiles that said that everything was alright, that could win over anybody and warm up even the coldest of hearts, as cheesy as it seemed… it was something purely Naruto.

A smile…

Naruto smiling…

He couldn't remember.


"Ok guys, today we have a nice, exciting D–rank mission! Yuuki–san's dogs need to take a bath, and your team is the lucky one who will do it!"

Kakashi smiled under his mask, eyes twinkling, just as it was expected of him, and then waited for the usual complaints that would follow his announcement.

It was normal.

"Kakashi–sensei! You can't force us to do this! Not again! It's the second time this month! Please, we need a higher mission! Any will do!" Sakura whined, shifting her weight from one foot to the other.

"Hn. What a bother," even Sasuke was getting upset, and that was saying it all. The last four weeks had been nothing but D–rank mission after D–rank mission, and he knew they had the capabilities to do more.

Both turned towards Naruto, expecting him to complain with them, but the blond was looking down, as if deep in thought. He was ignoring them, as if it didn't matter to him that they had to clean dirty stupid dogs again.

"Oi, dobe," Sasuke sneered, trying to snap his friend out of his trance.

"Don't call me dobe!" Naruto bristled. "Sasuke–teme…"

Sakura and Sasuke's shoulders relaxed slightly. If Naruto had still enough fight into him to react to Sasuke's words, then he was ok…?

Yet the complaints they were expecting did not come; it was like Naruto was ignoring Kakashi, the same way Kakashi had been ignoring Naruto for the last few weeks.

Sakura and Sasuke were not idiots, after all –even a blind, deaf idiot would have realised something was off between their Jounin instructor and their teammate.

A chakra surge from their left made the whole team turn around; standing there, looking ruffled, was Izumo, a Chuunin that usually worked under the direct orders of the Hokage.

"Kakashi–san, there is something you should know… Raidou–san returned a bit ago from his mission severely hurt, and is currently in the hospital for treatment," he stated with a firm tone.

The man knew that the copy–nin was friends with Raidou, and he would want to be informed of the other Jounin's situation.

Tense and with his lips turned into a thin line, Kakashi nodded, signalling the other shinobi that he had understood his words.

Izumo flashed away, and the silver haired Jounin turned his attention to his team, appositely ignoring Naruto as he addressed the other two teens.

"You will have to do your mission on your own today. I have to leave. Complete the mission and report to the Hokage when you're done".

With that, he disappeared in a cloud of smoke.

Naruto, who had been trying to give back as much as he had received, couldn't truly hide his disappointment at Kakashi's attitude towards him, though mixed with worry for Kakashi's friend.

Forcing a smile, he looked at his teammates. "Come on guys, let's do it and finish quickly!"

Sakura and Sasuke glanced at him before sharing a mildly worried look.

'What's happening to Naruto and Kakashi–sensei?' both wondered as they followed their usually cheerful teammate down the street.

After all, despite how they acted, they still considered themselves Naruto's friends, not just his teammates, and even if neither knew how to properly show it, they were indeed worried.


"How is he?"

Kakashi leaned against the wall at Genma's side, inches away from the door that led to Raidou's room, refusing to look at either it or his friend.

On his part, the other Jounin looked like shit; he was biting viciously on his senbon as it twirled from one side of his mouth to the other, and his fingers were twitching as he grabbed the edges of his shirt, wringing it around as if wanting to close them around someone's neck instead.

He was clearly worried and anxious.

"He's… he's fine, now," Genma muttered. "He was hit in the stomach and on his left shoulder, but he completed the mission as required of him, and then was brought back here".

Kakashi nodded slowly, frowning in worry for both of his friends, one under surgery and the other about to have a nervous breakdown right at his side. Genma had never looked this close to Raidou, and his reaction was unusually big. Yes, Genma and Raidou had been friends since childhood, closer than Genma and Kakashi had ever been, but… it was still surprising to see Genma this distraught.

He was worried, nervous, almost close to crying, and that was saying enough.

"You know what…? I… I don't care anymore," Genma was now talking mostly to himself, but Kakashi politely listened, wondering what the other man was talking about. "We worked so hard to hide it from everyone else, so much that we started seeing each other less and less, trying to deny it and move on. We almost… but now I don't fucking care anymore".

He ripped the senbon from his mouth and held it tightly into one hand, eyes blazing with unsuppressed rage, and then slammed it right into the wall at his side. This shocked Kakashi to the core, though he did not show it, and made him step back from the other man.

The senbon remained stuck into the wall, cracks surrounding the spot where it had penetrated into the bricks.

"I'm tired of staying away from him simply because everybody would think we're sick. I don't… I don't fucking care anymore what the world thinks, you know? Maybe what I feel is wrong for them, but I can't let him go…" Genma started pacing, biting down on his lips enough that it cut through the skin and started to bleed. "I can't just say 'forget it', and move on. It's not fair for the both of us. I don't think that we're wrong. The rest of the world can go to hell. All of them –I won't let them control me anymore. I will stop running away!"

His fingers were trembling as Genma wiped the sweat away from his forehead.

He suddenly looked at Kakashi, almost desperate.

"Kakashi… don't let those you care for get hurt for being honest with their feelings. Don't let society tell you what to think. No matter what, the most important thing is to follow through your feelings and not hide them".

Genma took a shuddering breath.

He was going to take a step into a long, dark tunnel where he wouldn't be able to see –any turn would be dangerous and could possibly ruin his life, his pride and his standing as a ninja, but he was finally realising he had stopped caring about it.

It had taken something so drastic and painful to make him see his priorities, and he was not going to allow people or society or anyone to mess with his mind.

He'd spent too much time away from the only person that mattered the most to him, and their distance had grown so much they had been almost close to losing each other, and now…

"I'm in love with Raidou, Kakashi," he stated, his voice loud and proud, and everybody in the corridor of the hospital could hear him.

The words hung in the air, vibrant and enormous and unavoidable, and they took Kakashi's breath away.

With that finally out, Genma smiled determinedly and pushed the door of Raidou open, leaving behind a shocked Kakashi, unable to believe what his friend had just revealed him.


"Naruto, please… sit down, will you?" Iruka only glanced at the blond teen, expecting him to comply with his request.

He had always dealt with whatever Naruto threw at him because he felt as though it was his duty to protect him forever, act like the father Naruto never had… but there were things he could not protect him from –things that he couldn't prevent.

Naruto was growing up and he had to understand things.

He prided himself to be Naruto's adoptive father, then he had to act like a parental figure and talk with the teen in order to not allow any doubt to linger in his mind.

Thus why he had invited Naruto over with the promise of free ramen. He would not let him go without having had all the answers he wanted.

Things had to change.

"What, Iruka–sensei?" Naruto smiled at him, and for once Iruka was relieved to see that it was a genuine smile, not an empty one.

"I need to talk with you about… last time. I am worried, Naruto, but if you keep evading your problems and not tell me what troubles you, I will never be able to help".

Naruto's smile wavered a bit, lips trembling.

"Nothing happened," he mumbled in reply, glancing away. "Everything is ok".

"Do not lie to me, Naruto," Iruka scolded him. "I can see it when you lie, and I'm not the only one who's noticed something is wrong".

Naruto's eyes snapped back to him, surprised at his words. "Who…?"

"Your teammates came to me. They were just as worried as I am, and they thought I would be the best person they could ask for help. Naruto, something is obviously wrong, and I think I might know what… but I need you to admit it out to me".

Naruto stood there speechless, unable to believe what Iruka had just said; Sasuke and Sakura had gone to Iruka because they had been worried… for him?

Ah, that was the icing on the cake… once again he'd made his precious people worry over him… so much for getting stronger in order to protect them… though he was inwardly pleased that Sakura and Sasuke had cared enough for him to go as far as to talk with their once academy teacher, he hadn't meant to worry them.


Iruka sighed, rubbing the bridge of his nose.

"Naruto, you are a shinobi, right? And you want to become the Hokage, am I wrong?"

Naruto blinked but eagerly nodded, wondering where this whole thing was going. "Of course I want to!"

"Then you should also know that you have a long way to go. And when you finally become our Hokage, many in this village will not accept it, and will try to go against you".

Staring at his sensei, puzzled, Naruto didn't really know what to do with that; a part of him wanted to hug Iruka because the man had used a 'when' instead of an 'if', while the other was paying the outmost attention to what he was saying.

Yes, he was aware of that.

He was still considered a demon, many still despised him, or didn't wish to know who he was…

"… I know that. Because I am the vessel of Kyuubi, and the demon attacked Konoha and killed a lot of people here…" he murmured, dropping his smiles.

Iruka nodded gravely.

"yes. Not everyone in the village will agree with your choices, because they will see them wrong without even wanting to give you a chance. Are you just going to nod and resign simply because people don't like you?"

"O–of course not!" Naruto bristled, waving his arms around. "I just have to show them that I can be the best choice they have for a Hokage… that I am not the demon, and I will never be!"

"Then you will have to take decisions all by yourself, and you will have to ignore those who oppose you. Everything in your life will be yours to decide, and your position will require you to make decisions every single day".

Iruka kneeled at Naruto's side, looking at him in the eyes.

"Some decisions will be important, some will be silly… but everything you do will be looked upon by others, they will try to attack your every decision, from the shirt you wear to a treaty with another hidden village. There will be no decision left alone, and that's what will shape your future reign as Hokage… the skill you show when taking decisions, the determination you will have to do what you think is right despite having others oppose you".

He remembered Naruto back during his academy days. The way he would keep away from other kids, left alone without a family, without friends. He remembered how Naruto had seemed to call for him, asking for attention, asking for love.

Iruka had responded, taking the role of a father figure even though they were not related by blood… they were still family. He had taken his decision and had never regretted it, not even when other shinobi had opposed him, calling him a traitor for caring for the 'demon'.

His smile did not wavered as Iruka gently caressed Naruto's cheek. "I decided long ago that I would take care of you, even if at times it is hard to stand at your side against the rest of the village… but I would never go back to how it was before, because coming to know you has changed my life for the best, Naruto… you are like a son to me, and I want nothing more than see you happy".

Naruto felt hot tears trail down his cheeks and he hastily wiped them away, embarrassed at his lack of control over his own emotions. It had been a long time since someone had used such kind words with him, and his heart craved for that warmth dearly.


"That's why you have to ignore the people who say you are sick or wrong simply for what they think you are… they don't know you, and they don't have the right to judge you. Follow your heart, like you've been doing till now… and you'll never ever do wrong".

Naruto sobbed loudly and threw his arms around Iruka's neck, hugging him tightly as he finally let himself cry openly, accepting all comfort his old teacher offered him and basking in it.

Iruka hugged him back just as much, smiling through the mop of blond hair.

"No matter what, Naruto… the people who truly care for you will always accept you and your decisions…"

Through his tears, Naruto had to smile.

"Thank you, Iruka–sensei…"


Kakashi walked away from the hospital without really knowing where he was going.

His mind was too busy mulling over everything that had happened during the day, so he simply allowed his feet to lead him somewhere, not caring about it.

He didn't even think about pulling his book out from his pouch to read it, like he would have in a more 'normal' situation; he needed to think, but he was having a hard time concentrating. He wanted to deny what he'd seen, Genma's words –they surely didn't apply to him… it was different– but he could not run away forever from that situation.

It wasn't often that Kakashi didn't know what to do, and he didn't quite like this situation either; he had expected… well, he would have expected anything except what Genma had actually said.

"I'm in love with Raidou".

Raidou had almost lost his life in that mission, and the fear of not being able to be with him had caused Genma to stop caring about what others thought, because he didn't want to get this close to losing Raidou ever again.

The two loved each other, and had been forced to keep it a secret because people in Konoha would not take it well…

Kakashi felt suddenly guilty. He hadn't been a good friend if Genma hadn't confided in him before. Not that Kakashi had felt the need to share his own secrets with the other man, either…

He had never noticed, but if Genma had told him, he would have sided with him through and through –not because he was moving down the same path (worse. Worse, because he liked a teenager), but because he was his friend.

Because he was also Raidou's friend.


A formal tone and a serious voice penetrated through Kakashi's confused brain and caused him to take notice of his surroundings again, noticing he had almost bumped against a man while walking.

So much for being a skilled shinobi, he hadn't even been aware of where he was going…

Concentrating his attention on the person in front of him, Kakashi focused on a pair of brown eyes and a scar running on the bridge of his nose –this was… Naruto's academy teacher, Umino Iruka.

Before Naruto's name could start another uproar in Kakashi's mind, pushing him deep into his thoughts again, Iruka spoke up again, tone calm and controlled.

"Kakashi–san, don't hurt him… or else".

That was all the Chuunin said, glaring straight into the Jounin's eyes before walking away.

Quite at loss, Kakashi watched him go, not understanding what the man had been talking about. He seemed not to catch anything that was going on around him as of late…

There again, he didn't know Naruto's former teacher so maybe him not understanding their… conversation (if it could be called such) was expected.

He briskly walked towards his apartment, not wanting to meet anyone else he knew for fear of having to talk, but at the same time Kakashi dreaded the moment he would reach his house; it felt empty and void, with no one waiting for him there, especially late in the evening and during the night.

There was no warmth, no feeling a house should have… it was just a place Kakashi lived in. there were only a few photos of dead people who had once been his loved ones, and they only served as a reminder of what he had lost.

It wasn't worth calling it home, but it was all he had.

Walking up the stairs to the door, Kakashi sighed. He supposed that this was what he deserved for falling for a much younger male shinobi… he wouldn't have a way to rectify his feelings and turn them into something 'normal', and that would mean he'd never have a house worth calling 'home', because the only one who could warm it up was Naruto's smiles, at least currently.

Naruto wasn't smiling anymore, though.


What was going on? He could deal with being unhappy, but Naruto deserved happiness. He had to smile, so why wasn't he smiling?

The last shock of his day was to find Naruto curled up on the floor in front of his door, his back against it, head hidden within his arms; Kakashi suddenly felt awkward.

The moment Naruto felt someone approaching he peered up from his arms, and as he noticed Kakashi standing there, he looked right into his uncovered eye.

"Kakashi–sensei," he murmured.

Kakashi was unable to look away. This teen, who had captured his heart, was right there in front of him, and he was utterly at loss about what to do. He looked sad, but Kakashi didn't know why.

He couldn't ignore him anymore… especially since he was blocking his door.


"What are you doing here, at this hour?" Kakashi masked his concern with a cold edge. He couldn't allow any opening to the blond or all his work would be for naught.

It was wrong, it was disgusting, it was–

"I'm in love with Raidou".

Once again, Genma's words echoed in his mind, loud and noisy, suffocating the words his brain was hissing at him.

The man had sounded so sure of himself… it had felt right on his lips–

"Iruka–sensei gave me your address," Naruto explained, voice quiet but steady. "I need… I think we need to speak, Kakashi–sensei…"

Kakashi's eye was cold as he forced himself to back away from the teen, a weight setting into the pit of his stomach. He could not allow Naruto to get hurt, and getting close to him would hurt him.

"I do not think this is a good idea, Naruto. You should go back home now," he stated, narrowing his visible eye.

"I won't move until you let me in to talk with you, Kakashi–sensei," Naruto's eyes narrowed as well and his tone acquired that determined tinge that Kakashi knew was final; he wouldn't move, not until he got what he wanted. Damn kid.

Kakashi sighed.

Naruto, as if knowing he had just won, shifted away from the entryway and allowed the older man to open the door; the silver haired Jounin stared down at the teen for a moment before motioning him to go inside.

Naruto did so, and Kakashi closed the door behind their backs. The noise sounded sort of final to his brain… but maybe it was just his sanity ticking close to its limits.

"Sorry if it looks a bit empty," he murmured, voice less cold but with a bitter edge to it.

Truth to be told, Kakashi's apartment was just what one would expect from any single man in Konoha –small, with three rooms and a bathroom. There was a kitchen with a small table and two chairs, an oven, a side fridge and some cupboards. Then there was a small living room with a couch, a TV and a bookshelf, and next to it a bedroom with a medium sized bed, a cupboard and a bigger shelf filled with scrolls.

It was small, but there were things in there that were entirely Kakashi, like the collection of 'Icha Icha' books (plus the two movies in double DVD special edition and three posters), some framed photos, the clothes in the cupboard, and yet… it did look kind of bare.

"No, it's not," Naruto fidgeted slightly, not caring in the least about the apartment itself (though his own was smaller and probably emptier than this one…). He was more concerned over how to approach what he wanted to talk with the older man.

When he'd stepped into Kakashi's house, all his bravery had vanished, leaving him unsure of himself.

Kakashi unconsciously removed his mask the moment he entered his apartment, as he was used to, and it was only when he motioned for Naruto to follow him and sit in the living room, only to realise that the teen hadn't moved from the entrance and was staring at him with his mouth hanging open, that he realised what had happened.

"Ah…" Kakashi grimaced when he saw a light blush graze Naruto's cheeks.

The silver haired man scratched his chin suddenly acutely aware that this was the first time someone outside of his small circle of trusted friends had seen him without his mask on… and that person was Naruto. Go figures.

"Uh… I'm the first one to see it… your face…" Naruto muttered under his breath, attracting Kakashi's attention. Then he muttered something about not having buck teeth that Kakashi pretended not to hear.

"Do you… want… something to drink?" the man tried to look casual, but inside he didn't know what to do.

Naruto was standing in his house. Sitting on his couch… wanting to speak with him.


Why was he ruining everything Kakashi had worked so hard to achieve?

Wanting to hold him close and kiss him and beg for his forgiveness…

"N–no, thank you," Naruto replied quietly.

"Naruto, why are you here?" Kakashi didn't need to fake his tired tone.

He was tired. He didn't want to be there, having this conversation with the teen. He didn't want Naruto to be there, either.

Naruto gritted his teeth. Now that he was there, the words just didn't want to come out. He was hurt, hurt because his sensei didn't pay attention to him, hurt because he was distant and Naruto wanted nothing more than be acknowledged.

Especially by Kakashi.

Hurt because as much as he tried, these feelings would not disappear. But Iruka–sensei was right… his decisions were his and his alone. And he wanted to know… wrong or right, it didn't matter. Not anymore.

"Why are you so mean with me?"

Kakashi was taken aback –mean?

"You've been ignoring me, sensei, and you don't speak to me anymore… you act as if I don't exist!" Naruto glared up at him, hurt and angered. "I thought you were different… then I started wondering –do you hate me because of Kyuubi? But then I thought no, because you would have hated me since the beginning, and you did warm up to me after a while… so I thought that maybe it was because I am not as good as Sasuke… but sensei… it hurts to know that the one person I like so much dislikes me…"

He stopped, his voice reduced to a low, broken whisper.

"Naruto…" Kakashi did not know what to say.

He wanted to explain the teen that he wasn't being mean –that this was the only way to protect him from Kakashi's dirty, sick feelings. That if he were to keep him around, he would only end up hurting him.

"I… I like Kakashi–sensei. A lot," Naruto continued as if he hadn't heard his teacher say his name. "I thought… I thought it wasn't normal, because I was supposed to continue liking Sakura–chan… but it was hard…" blue eyes fixed on his dark one. "It didn't work".

Speechless, Kakashi stared at his student, unable to process what he had just heard.

Naruto… liked him?

"You… like… me?"


The teen wouldn't look at him anymore, flushed crimson.

"Naruto, I am sure this is not the same feeling you have for Sakura…" he tried to reason with the blond teen, all the while feeling his heart clench in pain. For how much he wanted it to be true, it was wrong. He couldn't taint Naruto's soul this way.

So young, so gullible…

"It's.. it's not. It's warmer and it's deeper…" Naruto lifted his hand and pressed it against his chest. "And it hurts here when you don't look at me… when you ignore me like I'm just scum… when you only have nice words for Sasuke–teme and Sakura–chan…"

Kakashi shook his head.


It was not possible, he would not allow it.

"I tried to ignore it!" Naruto was yelling now. Kakashi was glad he had no neighbours. "But it didn't work! I know you don't like me, Kakashi–sensei, but it doesn't matter to me! Iruka–sensei said that to be what I want to be I will have to face people who think I am nothing but a monster, that I will have to go against what others think for what I have faith in…"

Kakashi stared at him in shock, Genma's face flashing through his mind.

""He said that those I care for will still be at my side, no matter what," his face was scrunched up, and he looked close to breaking down. But Naruto wasn't one to break down. "I like Kakashi–sensei so much it pains me. I always think of how it would be to be held by you… or how it would feel if you were to… kiss… me…" he growled and turned around, hands clenched into fists. He was angry and confused and hurt all together, and he didn't like being unable to reign control over his emotions like this. "I know this will never happen, and that it's wrong to want it, and that you can't see in me what you see in Sasuke, but… even if you hate me… I still like you a lot… and… and…"

Kakashi had to sit down on the couch in front of Naruto, unable to keep himself straight anymore. His visible eye was wide and unseeing, too lost to process everything Naruto had just revealed him.

"And I don't think about kissing Sakura–chan anymore. I don't want to. And I don't think I want to kiss Sasuke either, or Iruka–sensei. But I think I want to kiss you, and even if it's wrong, it doesn't feel so. Why would it be wrong?"

Desperate to make Kakashi understand, Naruto glared up at him, as if daring to speak up and refuse what he was saying.

"Damn it, I don't care what others think of me… I can stand the hatred from them, but I can't… I can't stand it if it comes from you, sensei, because you're so very important for me… and even if I can't have… even if it's wrong… at least can you treat me like before? Can you still smile at me and acknowledge me…? Because…"

He couldn't speak anymore, his throat so tight he could barely breathe; he was angry and ashamed for having lost control so much, and he curled up on the couch, hiding his face in his hands as he tried hard to stop the tears from coming out.

It fucking hurt.

Kakashi was furious.

Furious with himself, most of all. It was his fault Naruto was crying, it was his fault he had stopped smiling…

He'd been wrong the whole damn time. Thinking he could hide his own feelings and keep Naruto safe, he had never realized that he was hurting him instead of protecting him.

Because, and God forbid him for feeling so happy, Naruto felt the same. Naruto liked him, and it was not… fake.

Naruto could differentiate between loving someone out of familiar bonds and loving someone as something more, and he had clearly stated he liked Kakashi like that.

Kakashi knew he was not perfect. He knew he was no saint… and that he would probably hurt Naruto more. He couldn't change. He also knew everyone would think it was wrong. He knew people would think he was sick… to like a thirteen–year old boy like this… to the point where this 'like' could turn into something deeper, if allowed to blossom…


"Are you sure you like me? I am certainly not perfect. I don't think there is anything in me that you could fall for…" he commented, but his tone was soft, incredulous.

"I like Kakashi–sensei… for being Kakashi–sensei…" Naruto was still hiding his face, but his voice was strong. "Because he is cool and strong, even if he's a pervert and a lazy ass who comes late every day… and I respect you too, and… and it's just there, and I can't stop myself from feeling that way for you…"

This was it. Kakashi couldn't just fight it anymore. He wasn't strong enough to refuse his desires, not if this teen he wanted and cared for admitted so candidly to liking him back too.

Yes, people would consider it wrong, and yes, it was going to take a while to get settled in, and yes, it was also going to be hard, but Kakashi would give it a go, and allow himself to hold Naruto to his chest and cherish him.

After all, wasn't it just like Genma and Naruto had said? Who cared about what others would think, as long as it felt right and as long as they could be honest with themselves and their feelings…

"Naruto… I'm sorry…"

Kakashi leaned forwards, his heart leaping in his chest as he finally –finally– embraced the trembling form of his blond student, hugging him close, feeling the way he suddenly tensed up, feeling his heart racing in his chest, like a wild rabbit running from a hunter.

This was… this was… wrong yet right yet–

"Ka… Kakashi–sensei…?"

With the man's arms wrapped carefully around his shoulders, so close he could smell Kakashi's unique scent, Naruto was at loss for words.

"Naruto, it wasn't my intention to hurt you. I only thought that if I kept you away, you would be safe from my desires…"

A bit lost, Naruto frowned. "What?"

"It is so very wrong to like your own student, you see," Kakashi's voice was almost defeated, yet there was a sparkle of amusement hidden in there that Naruto recognised… before the words of his teacher finally became clear.

"Wait, what?" he moved away from him, staring right into that one eye, almost suspicious. Had Kakashi just admitted that–

"Yes, you stupid brat," Kakashi rolled his eyes, but inwardly he was almost beaming. "I do not prefer Sasuke over you. I don't think you're any less of a ninja than he is, either. I hold you in deep respect, Naruto, and I strongly believe you will become Hokage one day…"

Naruto threw his arms around Kakashi's neck and hugged him close.

This was… much more than he had ever hoped from this conversation.


"Naruto, you have to understand that this is not just… it's not just about being right or wrong. You are underage, and so very young, and I'm much older than you are," Kakashi continued, voice stern and willing the young shinobi to understand. "We wouldn't just be looked upon, were we willing to… try working things out with each other".

Naruto frowned. He didn't really understand, but this was probably one of those things Kakashi knew that he didn't, or something. Like a lot of other things, after all.

"But you like me!" he replied, almost giddy with happiness, butterflies fluttering in his stomach.

"… yes. Yes, I do–"

"Then who cares what they think!"

Kakashi let out a soft, disappointed sigh, but he was smiling all the same.

It would take a while for Naruto to fully grasp the entirety of what he was getting into, but that was fine all the same.

He was going to give this thing a try, and hopefully things would be fine.

Thus why Kakashi did something he'd dreamed of doing ever since admitting his feelings for the blond bundle of sunshine he was holding close –he leaned forwards and pressed his lips against Naruto's ready ones.

He wanted this. He fucking god–damn wanted this, and to hell with the villagers, to hell with anyone else –the feeling of those soft, pliant lips against his own was worth this and more.

It was a chaste kiss, but Kakashi savoured it all the same.

It was just perfect, and that was it.


"Ok boys, today brings you a joyful D–rank mission! You have to… drum rolls… paint the academy walls outside out! Rejoice!" Kakashi stated cheerfully, turning page after page of his orange book, happily devouring it.

It had been a while since the last time he had read it –it only served to remind him the torture he had pulled himself through, going for weeks without this splendid work of art…

"Kakashi–sensei, no! Not another D–ranked mission! Please!" Sakura whined, fisting her hands in front of her face while her inner self went wild inside her, spouting insults at their teacher.

"That's pure crap," Sasuke muttered under his breath, left eye twitching in anger.

Sometimes he wished his pride allowed him to speak more freely his emotions, because really, he wanted nothing more than curse at their Jounin instructor.

But he was an Uchiha. Uchiha don't complain too wordily.

"Kakashi–sensei~ I'm sick of those missions already! We're growing cobwebs, so go lick the Hokage's butt or something, but bring us a mission worth of this name!"

Naruto was, by far, the loudest to complain, waving his arms around to emphasize his point. He was truly aching to do something better with his life, damn it.

"I want a C–rank! I will be a Hokage, one day, and it would look bad in my résumé if only stupid, pathetic C–ranked missions were listed on there! I'm wasting my time here! And I want ramen, too!"

Sasuke and Sakura blinked in surprise at him; Naruto's attitude had returned tenfold since the previous day, leaving them baffled and confused as to why things seemed to be ok already.

Maybe telling Iruka had been the right way to go, for real.

"Hey, Sasuke–teme, don't you just stand there looking like a fish! Don't you agree we're wasting out here?" Naruto poked Sasuke in the ribs.

"Naruto! Be nice!" Sakura slapped him on the back of his head.

"Sakura–chan!" Naruto drawled out, whining.

Sakura couldn't help it –she smiled brightly, her fears finally abated, and shared a relieved look with the Uchiha. Whatever had been bugging Naruto was finally gone.

He was back to normal, and about their teacher…

"Maa, maa, don't get this angry, Naruto, I'll see what I can do for tomorrow, ok?" Kakashi shook his head amusedly, moving forwards to ruffle the blond teen's head affectionately, allowing his hand to linger there for a second more than needed.

Yes, Kakashi was also back to his usual attitude. Iruka had to be a saint or something.

Naruto looked up at Kakashi, his mind returning to the kiss they had shared just the previous day, and his lips stretched into a giant, bright and overflowing smile, receiving a smaller one from Kakashi as a reply.

Just like before, Naruto was the first to move, bouncing on the front, babbling and demanding the others to hurry up, or else –muttering things about ramen and Hokages and empty houses that Sakura and Sasuke didn't quite catch.

Kakashi shook his head again.

This was… ok.

They couldn't act upon anything unless Naruto was at least a bit older, but they were proceeding with slow but sure steps, and it would take a while to sort things through, but it was ok.

And he would be able to protect Naruto's smiles for real now… especially since now Naruto smiled for him.


StarsOfYaoi: holy cow, the sappiness, the fluff… it makes me feel sick…

There again, at times some fluff is good.

I decided to make a more 'realistic' outlook on homosexuality since I usually go with the whole 'it's rather normal to love another guy' explanation for my other fics. Especially since Konoha is, everything considered, a small village ruled by old coots who can't change enough to see that Naruto is not a demon. People would be rather conservative if you get what I mean.

It was a weird change of pace, but not an unwelcome one.

Please consider reviewing, thank you!