A/N: Yay, Iruka finally gets a chance to speak! Heh, poor flustered 'Ruka-Ru.

Egad, the problem with writing these is that now I want to write one-shots of some of the events they mention to each other. Gah! Bad plot bunnies! Go away! Go bug someone else.


Even Though
By: Reggie
Chapter 2/2


Kakashi mine,

I want so badly to be angry with you right now. You had time to take a detour to the academy, break in to my classroom, leave a note in my freaking grade book, but you couldn't take a moment while you were here to find me and tell me you're going? I could pound your face in with a ruler right this minute, I really could!

Except…except I can't seem to make myself be angry about it. Why? Because every time I do I can just hear you saying 'this is another one of those stupid small things, Iruka', and I can see your hurt face because it was sweet of you to write a note like that and we promised we'd never say good-bye anyway because we're both sick of good-byes, and then I'm just not angry anymore.

Stupid, stupid, Jounin pointing out the stupid flaws in their stupid lovers who can't ever seem to be good enough for their stupid Jounin but the stupid Jounin don't care which makes the stupid lover even more stupid because they do.

Yes, there are far too many stupids in that sentence, thank you for pointing that out. I'll be sure to expound my vocabulary when I have time between fixing all my faults. And I will be fixing them. You may not want someone perfect now, but you implied you would like him or her to grow that way, didn't you?

Although, to be fair, Hatake "the Mighty" Kakashi, you aren't exactly perfect yourself. For starters, you nag me about my own low self-esteem but you're the first to point out all your own faults and shortcomings. You refuse to see how good you are. So, just to spite you, I'm going to copycat the copy-nin. You're getting your own letter, love, to treasure forever.

Though, if I find you're using it as a bookmark in Icha Icha you won't have any Icha Icha to mark, got it?

There are many things you do wrong, Kakashi. You always forget things. Not just big things like birthdays and anniversaries, although you do. A planner wouldn't hurt you, you know. You could even hide it in Icha Icha if you'd like. You're also terrible at remembering the little things. Like turning off the stove. Like making dinner when you say you will. Like wiping your shoes on the mat outside before stepping into the house, or cleaning up the messes you make while 'cleaning'. Or keeping my slippers away from your dogs- you still owe me a new set, by the way- or how to ask me BEFORE you decide to move in.

Even though realizing you had moved in was kind of cute. Waking up to find your stuff scattered all over my house was very subtle. I still wished you would have asked me first. I'm the one that gave you the key, remember? It's not like I would have said no.

But, 'Kashi, the little things you do remember are so sweet. Like the note. Like bringing me my bento when I forget it, or massaging my neck after a long day of teaching. Like making sure the sheets are warm before I climb in, and taking our relationship slow when I asked you to. I love you because you remember the little things that matter the very most; I love you even though you forget the big ones and small ones- that don't matter as much but still MATTER- equally.

Another terrible fault you have is that you have never mastered the art of listening. Sometimes I know that you hear what I'm saying, but if that genius brain of yours actually understood a word of it I'd be surprised. I suppose this one isn't always your fault. Sometimes your brain is just going too fast to process all the information around you, and my babbling about my day just gets shifted down the priority list.

Sometimes it is your fault. If you pull that covering your ears and repeatedly saying 'I don't have to listen to this, I'm a Jounin' trick again, there will be nasty things in your future. I don't care if you think it's another one of those stupid things to get angry over. I don't appreciate being reminded that you don't have to listen to me because I'm just a Chuunin thanks.

…Now you're feeling guilty, aren't you? You want to find me right this minute and explain that you didn't mean it that way. That you've never, ever, thought of me as below you, or that I'm not worth listening too because I'm just a chuunin. You love the fact that I'm a chuunin, have told me several times that this wouldn't work if I was Jounin because you'd worry about me too much, and you've told me and told me that I have all power over you regardless of ranks so it doesn't matter.

I know all this, 'Kashi, but it still hurts. Hurts to know that, as far as everyone else is concerned, I'm not good enough for you. I'm not powerful, I'm not strong, and I'm not smart like you are. In fact, compared with you I'm a weak clumsy idiot and it hurts to know that that is how everyone else sees me. It hurts more when you tease about it, even when it is just teasing, because if you ever saw me that way I don't know what I'd do.

It doesn't seem so stupid now, does it? You can be so insensitive sometimes, you jerk.

I still love you though. Mustn't forget that part. Because you're awfully sweet when you're making your insensitivities up to me. Like that time you ordered my favorite sweets from Rain Country. Or when you substituted my class- sweet, but never happening again. Some kids are still recovering from the trauma. My personal favorite is when you got all the Jounin to agree that I was the cutest chuunin of the year.

Do you remember that, 'Kashi? How, in the beginning of our relationship, you were nervous about public displays of affection. I'm still not sure why, though I'm sure it makes perfect sense in that twisted head of yours. I was insulted. I thought you were ashamed to be seen with me. To ease my hurt feelings, you got them all to officially decide that. Genma told me that some of the threats you used were particularly creative, and they were all confused as to why it was so important to you until you kissed me in public that first time.

No, I didn't just sigh like a girl.

And now I can't get you to stop kissing/groping/molesting me in public. Kami-sama, what kind of monster did I create?

Although…Kakashi…if you ever kissed anyone else, I think I would die inside. I'm not sure when, or how, or even why you've become the center of my world, but you are. You're my everything. If I ever lost you, I don't know what I would do.

You are mine, and I am yours.

Even though you're late. Even though you're lazy. Even though you're sadistic sometimes. Even though you're a terrible artist. Even though you're broken in many places. Even though you're proud. Even though you're stubborn. Even though you're never going to grasp social subtleties. Even though you have a temper to match mine, and can be ruthless when I manage to set it off. Even though you're not afraid of death. Even though you sometimes smell like wet dog.

Because you're loyal. Because you're sweet. Because you're as much a hopeless romantic as I am, even if you are in the proverbial closet. Because you worry about me. Because you're really a kid at heart. Because you're a thoughtful lover. Because you sucked at kissing at first, but learned to be better because you wanted me to love you. Because you love me even though you're afraid to. Because you were afraid to. Because you always remember the things I like best. Because you have this infuriating way of being yourself even when you're hiding. Because you have adorable puppy dog eyes. Because you can make me beg you for the world. Because you would give me the world if you could.

Because you love me, in spite of me.

You've become so much a part of me by now, that I'm not always sure where I end and you begin. Do you ever have the problem, 'Kashi? Telling the difference between what you want, and what I want? I suppose it doesn't matter, when we really want the same thing. To be together, always.

I think I stopped making sense about three paragraphs ago, so I'm going to stop before you fall asleep. After all, I did leave this under your pillow for you to find as soon as you got home. I'm sure you're fairly comfortable now.

I left you some food in the fridge; go heat it up before you sleep. I'd rather come home to a well fed and just tired Kakashi then one that looks like he needs my attention. Though you'll have it, you always do.

I'll be home at five thirty. Don't stay awake for me. I'll wake you up when I get there, I promise.

All my love, forever,

Iruka