Angst ahead. It may make you cry, but I doubt it. You'll probably find it bitter. I wanted to make it so much sadder, but I still enjoy the way it turned out.

A smidge of yaoi. You'll see where.

Disclaimer: Nothing.

-Companionship-

Iruka hated guard duty. It usually only happened when the village was short staffed. Just like tonight. The wind picked up. Iruka shivered. The seasons were changing. He could smell it, in the cold air.

The silence was thick, almost tangible. It pressed down on his alert body, but pulled away when he sighed, to relieve the tension. Iruka hated the silence. If he was not careful, it would consume him. Then what would he do, if something were to happen.

Iruka stared into the darkness and wondered if it watched him, as well. The stars were hidden, as the dark clouds of a storm rumbled overhead. Iruka was alone, even though the silence and the darkness kept him company.

Something else decided to join Iruka then. He could hear footsteps approaching. They were frantic, erratic, and stumbling. He pulled out a kunai and waited. The silence retreated, but the storm lingered. There was a disruptive boom, echoing throughout the sky and a flash of light. Yet, there was no rain.

There was only Kakashi.

Iruka saw Kakashi running towards him. He was yelling something, but his words were out of range. Iruka's sight was far better than his hearing. He saw a ninja, close behind and carefully aimed his weapon. It struck his opponent perfectly.

Kakashi was getting closer. Iruka ran up to him. He had to inspect the enemy and his own kin. But this time, when Kakashi yelled, Iruka heard him, all too clearly.

''NO!''

Iruka had parted his lips, to ask why, but instead, blood dribbled down his chin. His eyes closed, as the silence crept back to the scene of the crime. He could still hear Kakashi's ragged breathing and he focused on that. The darkness was not the greatest of companions anyway, and Iruka opened his eyes anew.

He stared into the mismatched marine and crimson depths, as he fell backwards, and onto the solid ground. Kakashi landed on top of him. They would never part. The katana, impaling both of them, forbade the thought.

It was too late.

Iruka had found a companion for his lonely night.

Kakashi was murmuring an apology.

''I'm sorry…''

''I know…''

Iruka felt a sudden patter on his face. Through the haze, and his glazed eyes, he saw droplets of blood. But they were orange, the color of a sunset, he would never again see. Kakashi's tears had diluted the blood. Both the tears and the blood were precious to him, but he was losing both.

Iruka cried, as well.

Kakashi slumped down, as his limbs were giving out and he stopped when he could feel Iruka's fading breaths against his mouth. Iruka barely managed to pull down Kakashi's mask and as their lips touched, they died.

So did the silence and the darkness.

-EndE-