A/N: I'm doing the Slash 100. Whoo! Be excited all of you. Anyway, this is the first one and I hope you all enjoy it. Note that while these are all going to be under the same fic, they are not related in anyway. They're just a bunch of one-shots for the same challenge.
Special thanks to Karuka Ikashi for beta-ing this for me. 'Ashi-chan is the best!
Disclaimer: And Reggie said "I own them not", and it was so.
Title: While There is Me and You
Theme 55: If
Iruka put down the stack of essays he was grading on his chest, sighing and closing his eyes as he relaxed fully on Kakashi's comfortable couch. He could hear the heavy breathing of Kakashi's largest nin dog not to far away from him; he could smell whatever it was Kakashi had cooking in the kitchen, and he could feel the winter sunshine falling across his face from the open window. All in all, he was quite comfortable relaxing for the weekend in his boyfriend's apartment.
The chuunin sighed again, lingering happily in the place where one almost loses awareness of the world around him except for a few small sensations, but still not quite asleep yet. He was unaware of the Jounin leaning against the doorframe, watching him with a small smile on his face.
It still seemed surreal to Kakashi that Iruka had agreed to go on one date with him, never mind be his only precious one. They'd been dating for a year already, and the Copy-ninja was certain that the day this felt real would be the end of it- because right then he would have started taking Iruka for granted, and he never wanted that to happen.
The Jounin walked over and sat on the end of the couch, spatula still in his hand but forgotten. Iruka's hair was beginning to fall loose from its ponytail, a few wispy strands landing across a smooth scarred cheek. For a moment, Kakashi debating brushing them away, but decided he wanted to imprint the picture as it was in his mind forever and instead lifted his forehead protector.
Lately, missions had become more difficult and darker. They were becoming like the missions from his childhood during the war, where death was who you were and it was so easy to forget everything you had once believed in. Lately, it had been the memories of Iruka that he treasured that had gotten him through the hardest missions. Memories to keep him company, to warm him during the freezing nights. The more he had to draw on, the happier Kakashi would be.
"Mhm, 'Kashi?" Iruka mumbled sleepily, not quite opening his eyes.
Iruka's eyes slowly fluttered halfway open to look at him sleepily. "If I ever had to leave, would you forget me?"
"What?" Kakashi blinked several times in confusion. Where had that come from?
Iruka's eyes were open now, not even looking tired. "If I ever had to leave- if a mission went too long or something- would you forget me?"
"I…" Kakashi had never thought about not having Iruka before, and in truth, didn't want to start now. "Iruka, what's all this about?"
The chuunin looked away from him, to the dog sleeping on the floor. "I don't know. I was just thinking how much I wanted to stay just like this forever, but we never can. Someday, something will happen to one of us, and it will all end. And even if we somehow get impossibly lucky, we'll still get old and drift apart, or die then. It can't be forever, and I want to know if you would forget me."
Kakashi sighed, resting the spatula against his chin without even thinking about it. "I couldn't forget you. I wouldn't want to forget you, ever."
"What if I asked you to?"
"I still couldn't," Kakashi said, adding to himself, 'and it's more than just remembering with my Sharingan. I'll never forget those that leave, no matter how much it hurts, because then they'd truly be gone. I can't lose them all twice.'
"Would you move on?"
"I would still keep living, if that's what you mean."
"Yes." Suicide was a coward's way out, and he refused to be a coward when he had yet to forgive his father for being one.
Iruka closed his eyes once more, letting his head slump against the armrest of the couch.
Kakashi remained sitting, frowning at the low table before him. Iruka was right. Someday, one way or another, this was going to end. If Iruka didn't break up with him- something Kakashi prayed for every night even though he'd lost his belief in God long ago- then eventually one of them was going to die.
If Iruka were to leave him like that…it would be another name on the stone. Someone else to visit everyday, and curse yourself for never telling them sooner all the things you wanted to say but got stuck before you could.
Things like you're my best friend. You matter to me. Thank you. I love you.
He had too many words still stuck in his throat right now. Things he'd always meant to tell Obito, and his sensei, and Rin. Things he wished he'd said to his father. He'd always thought, then, that there would be more time to say them.
Sooner or later, though, time always ran out. It would, sometime, run out here.
But not just yet. Today, there was still time to tell Iruka all the things he couldn't find words for right now. Time enough for the two of them.
"If you die before me," Kakashi looked up again now to see the two curious eyes staring back at him, "promise me you'll save a place for me?"
Iruka smiled at him before sitting up. He leaned forward and kissed the Jounin slowly, pressing their mouths together in warm bliss before pulling back and using his thumb to remove the dough the spatula had left on Kakashi's chin with his thumb. "Only if you'll promise the same for me."
"I'd have to get to heaven, first, and I don't think I can find it without you there to guide me."
The chuunin pushed back Kakashi's bangs and kissed his forehead, "then we'll just have to go together, won't we?"
"If we can, Iruka-kun, I would like that very much."