A/N: Whoa, hey, look, an update! I had inspiration between another fic I read and a couple of boy I watched playing in the rain today. This is short, but I like the feeling of it. Hope you do too.
Title: The Simplest Things
Warnings: KakaIru shonen-ai, and naked chibis
Word Count: 802
It was amazing how dealing in death could make one really see life. Being so close to destruction some how called for a balance of seeing things you wouldn't normally notice as particularly beautiful.
For a long time, Kakashi had ignored this phenomenon. He dealt in death because he longed for it, and that was all he wanted to see.
Coming home from missions to an empty apartment were his foot falls would echo and the dead eyes would follow him nearly destroyed him in a way he bother feared and relished. He never felt more alive nor closer to death than those moments. He hated and loved it.
Until he discovered something better. He'd gone on his first long mission about a month after Sarutobi had forced him and the other three biggest orphans of Konoha in to cohabitation. It had been a particularly bloody and difficult mission, and he wanted nothing more than to lock himself in his room and crash.
But the he'd walked in to the house to the most amusing domestic scene he could remember. There was mud splattered nearly everywhere around the room, two sets of muddy clothes piled by the door, and muddy hand and foot prints leading toward the stairs.
The moment he opened the door Naruto had come running by him, dripping wet, covered in soap, and completely naked. Right behind him was Iruka. The chuunin was stripped to the waist, his hair undone, and drenched with water and soap suds trailing behind him. He was growling as he ran, trying to catch the soap-covered eight-year-old boy and failing as the soap allowed Naruto to slid- laughing- out of his grip.
Best of all, Kakashi thought, was Sasuke. He was sitting on the stairs, wrapped in a towel and laughing. Since Kakashi had fetched him from the Uchiha compound, the boy had been almost totally unresponsive to the care he was given. He barely spoke, didn't smile, and certainly never laughed. Yet there he sat, laughing like everything he'd been hiding was trying to escape all at once.
As Iruka finally got a hold of Naruto and flung him on the couch so hard the child bounced, laughing with delight, before pouncing on him and tickling him with a great deal of enthusiasm, Kakashi had one thought cross his mind.
This is why I do it. So moments like this can happen.
More surprising than the thought was the emotion he felt behind it. Even though he'd just gotten back, he didn't want the scene to stop, but wanted to be part of it. So, he'd immediately gone and 'captured' Sasuke, holding him ransom for information on what was going on.
After that, it was as if Kakashi's mind was trying to make up for all the things he had missed before. He started to notice how Naruto would immediately brighten when praised, even for the smallest thing. The way Sasuke could seem so sullen and distant sometimes, but respond to the littlest things- like a pat on the head to show understanding, or when he was single out to know the answer.
Most of all, he noticed Iruka. Noticed how laughter and tears were so close in the chuunin that sometimes the got tangled up- and he would laugh at something he should have cried for or the other way around. He noticed how Iruka would take such delight in the things either boy accomplished, no matter how small a thing it was.
He noticed how Iruka clung to the world so tightly it was almost as if he was afraid that if he missed any of it, even for a second, everything would cease to exist.
That was how Kakashi had fallen in love with him, little noticed thing by little noticed thing.
Now, years later, as he climbed in to bed after just coming back with his genin team from their first big mission, he noticed how Iruka clutched his pillow tightly. How the moonlight played with maple-syrup strands of hair, giving it a ghostly shine. How that same moonlight caught a tear sliding down Iruka's cheek even his sleep, probably from whatever one of the many nightmares that constantly plagued the chuunin he was currently experiencing.
He noticed how Iruka instantly relaxed when Kakashi pulled him in his arms, holding him close to his chest and whispered that everything was alright. He noticed the breath even out, and the smallest trace of a smile tug at the lips as he kissed the other man awake.
He noticed the way Iruka's eyes shone as he whispered, "welcome back. I missed you."
And he noticed, again, that this was why he did what he did. Why he would do it all again. So little moments like this could keep happening, forever.