Disclaimer: Not mine.
Sorry for the extremely long wait.

Chapter 12

Naruto sat on the couch, curled up as he stared out the window. Iruka sighed and sat beside him, wrapping an arm around the young teen in an effort to comfort him. "Why don't you hate me?" He asked softly and Iruka squeezed gently.

"Because nothing that happened was your fault Naruto. You didn't ask Yondaime to do what he did. You are not the Kyuubi." Iruka told him gently. "For a while…it was hard and while I didn't hate you I guess I didn't really feel anything for you. But then you were in my class and..." Iruka smiled and tickled him, making Naruto laugh. "How could I not care for you Naruto? You have our family now, the others will learn to see you or not." Naruto nodded.

"But they don't know….."

"It's your choice wether to tell or not, the law was to protect you after all."

"Okay." Naruto slipped off the couch and left the room. Iruka watched him go, in some ways it seemed he had taken the news worse this time around despite being told the truth gently.

"Everything okay?" Kakashi asked and Iruka lent back against him, sighing in relief as strong fingers began to massage his scalp.

"Hmmmm." Iruka mumbled and Kakashi chuckled, leaning down to kiss his cheek.

"Headache? Been pushing too much?" He asked gently and Iruka shook his head.

"You heard about Mizuki and the scroll?"

"Just the basics."

"He nearly told Naruto before I took him out but Naruto was so curious…..Sandaime told him the truth. I'm not sure he's taking it too well." Iruka admitted and Kakashi wrapped his arms around him. "Maybe knowing he isn't alone would make it better." He whispered and Kakashi tensed. "Kakashi?"

"You really think that's a good idea? Don't get me wrong Iruka, Naruto is a wonderful kid but…he's still a kid and one with a big mouth. Could he really keep it secret?" Kakashi pointed out as gently as he could and Iruka sagged. "I'm sorry but I just don't want you to get hurt."

Iruka smiled and tipped his head back to kiss him. "You're right. But when he's older I want to tell him."

Kakashi nodded. "It's your choice, just be careful. I…I can't lose you now."

"You won't."


Iruka relaxed as the team assignments finished, fighting a smile as he saw Team 7 reunited. And this time their future would be better, it had to be. Sakura wasn't an obsessed fangirl and Sasuke wasn't an angst ridden avenger. Best of all Naruto wasn't a half trained idiot with too big a heart, though he still had the big heart for which Iruka was thankful. And this time around Kakashi was a far more devoted teacher, and not just because Iruka would banish him to the couch if he slacked off. Iruka shook his head in found annoyance as every other sensei turned up to collect their team…except Team Seven's. But once the room was empty Naruto was up and out of his seat, happily hugging Iruka who hugged him back. "We got Kakashi-sensei didn't we?" The blonde asked and Iruka laughed.

"Good guess. Be good for him but let me know if he falls into bad habits." Both boys grinned at that and he felt a flash of pity for his lover. "Sakura you're invited over this evening for a team dinner."

"Thank you Iruka-sensei."

"I'll see you all later then." Iruka grabbed his things and left them to it, wondering if Naruto would use the eraser prank again or drag the other two into something more complicated.

TBC….

I know it's very short but I've been busy with finishing up TAFE and going for job interviews.