This is yet another slightly revised version. Most spelling errors have now been taken care of. :D

This is CHAPTER ONE and TWO

Stuck in the Darkness
Written by: Jazzy

Pairing(s): Iruka/Kakashi and Naruto/Sasuke

Rating: Mature
Sequel: No

Summary: Brutally attacked, Iruka's life is changed forever. Shattering Naruto. Can they rebuild their lives? Will Kakashi stay with him forever? Will Naruto recover?

Warnings: YAOI, Slash, M/M Coupling, Perversion Alert!
If you don't like fics like this please do not read or flame me. Thank you.

Other warnings: AU, Non-Con, torture, permanent disability (no, Iruka is not going to be miraculously cured! I'm being cruel and putting my foot down right now. No begging will change my mind!) um lets see, what else to warn about, well Romance, possible humor, uh, Hurt/Comfort, Sasuke is 18, Naruto 17, Sasuke has not yet betrayed his team.



PART ONE

He wasn't paying attention to his surroundings but than again why should he? The village was a safe place to be. Anbu and patrolling ninja safeguarded this village even from its fellow villagers. Perhaps not as secure as when the Uchiha clan patrolled the streets but safer still than most other villages out there.

Iruka was tired from his grueling hours in the missions' desk and from his work at the Academy. The students had been particularly obnoxious and rowdy earlier in the day. Konohamaru the ring leader was as spastic as Naruto had been back in his days as a pre-genin. Konohamaru like his sensei was waiting for Naruto's return. They were both anxious and excited that their friend was coming back into town very soon and his mission over for the time being which meant Naruto would be around for a week or two to rest up for his next mission.

Iruka had forgotten the other reason for his kids' antsy behavior.

The festival.

Iruka felt very lonely going by himself even though he had run into his students and their families he managed to smile and pretend he was having a good time but the truth of the matter was he was very lonely and very sad. He didn't have anyone to share the festivities with, well no one special that is.

Iruka couldn't be gladder when the festival finally came to a close. Already his mind was hard at work thinking ahead to the morrow's class as well as the arrival of team seven.

He missed Naruto. It had been three weeks since team seven had been deployed on a C rank mission. Iruka was excited that they would be arriving back on time. He'd received word from one of Naruto's frog buddies.

He smiled at the picture that popped into his head. The frog was about the size of a cat and it hopped onto his desk and looked him straight in the eye.

"Iruka-Sensei, it is a distinct and awesome honor to finally meet you! It is also my pleasure to inform you that my little brother, Naruto-kun, his blonde brash and loudness will be home shortly and looks forward to an evening at Ichiraku's with you, his treat!" rib--bit. Said GamaKichi, very verbose, almost suck up like.

Iruka had blinked then smiled. "Thank you, frog-san, I mean GamaKichi-san."

"No prob., enjoy. Bye now." Then the frog disappeared in a puff of smoke. The kids laughed. Iruka let them go early for the day as a special treat. He was happy to have team seven finally coming home at last from such a long mission.

He pictured the last time he'd spent time with Naruto just a week before he and his team went off on their three week long mission. Naruto was growing taller, his shaggy blonde hair, his wide grin, and sparkling blue eyes, the dance of joy that would take place as he would offer Naruto ramen. No matter how old Naruto seemed to get he could never restrain his joy for Ramen.


Iruka couldn't help grinning. He would be treating Naruto to their usual at Ichiraku's. He loved making Naruto happy. Naruto was like a son or baby brother to him. He loved the child so much. Naruto was finally coming home.

His head in the clouds busy making plans for tomorrow he failed to notice his danger.

Someone growled at him he turned around blinking with surprise pulling a kunai instinctively as he turned to face his assailant but his head didn't quite get to turn instead it hit his doorframe solidly with a hard "thunk".

Iruka fell through the doorway, his door opening widely for his falling body. It had been unlocked. Iruka fell on to the floor of his home with a heavy weight on top of him. He struggled even as he saw black spots in his eyes and couldn't quite focus on the weight on his chest. It was so difficult to breathe. He was being suffocated.

He was under attack and it was brutal.


The monsters didn't let him die. They had a plan. They wanted him alive to suffer through it. He fought, he struggled, he tried to escape to sound an alarm but jutsu was cast and silence was all that could be heard in the outside world.

Iruka screamed and screamed as his body was besieged. Blood splattered the inside of his home. The walls were soaked in blood.

A sneering leering laughing face covered his own face and forced a thick tongue down his throat. Iruka gagged and tried even harder to escape.

"Protector of the fox demon, it's long past time you paid for your hypocrisy."

His bones were broken. His skin was torn and shredded. His hair was loose and allowed to fall to cover his features. The ring leader grabbed him by his hair and smiled as a kunai slashed his face.

"So pretty," he murmured in a tone of voice that made Iruka fear for much more than his life. "But more pretty when you bleed." Said the perpetrator, happily humming as he continued to slice Iruka's face.

This was insane and painful. Iruka tried to understand what was happening to him but his mind refused to work. He was shutting down. His fingers were snapped one by one so that he couldn't perform any kind of jutsu or genjutsu. Iruka choked on yet one more scream. Tears burned his eyes, blood and tears mingled on his cheeks. The knife reopened his old scar across the bridge of his nose, slicing from cheek to cheek and adding more marks. It got harder to breathe, blood and air mingled and he choked, coughed swallowed blood and air, he tried not puke.

When he didn't think it was possible for his torture to get any worse, worse came.

The large body that covered his own spread his legs and angled him to the perfect position and Iruka blacked out as a new kind of pain battered his tender body. He woke up some time later to more laughter and more pain as the second and third assailants took their turn and their time with Iruka sensei.

His house was quiet.

They had left him to die.

Foot steps came back to him. The leader's face smiled and kissed him.

"This is the last sight you're ever going to see." He beamed demented. Iruka thought he meant it was time to die not what it actually came to mean. Iruka's eyes dilated in horror as the blade stabbed first one eye and then the other. Iruka screamed his final screams of agony.

He felt something wet and strong lick at the blood from his cheeks, a tongue toying with his wounds and a last obscene kiss that made Iruka want to die.

"Give my regards to Naruto when you see him next. Please let him know this is but only a taste of what we're going to do to that little freak of nature, hmn? Heh heh."

At last the last member of his assaulters left him alone to whimper and finally stay unconscious. He hoped he died. He wasn't looking forward to the healing that so many injuries would require; painful hours upon painful hours of healing torture. The healing would be just as much torture as the actual torture had been. He knew that from experience.

Hours went by. The night was so still. His door slightly ajar letting in the morning sun as it made its slow route through the night sky making it day. But Iruka could not see it, not the blue sky or the rays of heated sun. All was dark and painful.

He trembled afraid they would come back afraid to move because he knew they had killed him and if he moved maybe he would die and yet he wished he had died.

He wanted so much to see Naruto again. But he didn't want Naruto to see him like this. Clothes torn, body marked by all the obscene things they had done to him. He needed to warn Naruto, though. He needed…. He needed Kakashi to save him. He needed Kakashi to keep Naruto safe.

They would be back.

They were going to come back.

Naruto would be next.

Iruka whimpered, choked, gurgled in the air bubbles and froth of blood in his air ways. He didn't have much time. Not much time left.


Students were aimlessly sitting on the swings or up in trees waiting for their sensei to come start the new school day. They were afraid.

Fellow chunin teachers began to worry. Where was Iruka? It was unlike him to be so late without calling or making arrangements for a substitute to cover for him.


Iruka was nearer to death by the time he was found.

Naruto had been disappointed that his favorite chunin had not been able to make it to their dinner date but he understood that perhaps the message hadn't been very clear. So he thought he might take Iruka out for breakfast instead. Iruka had always been a busy man but always in the past Iruka had always found time for him and for Raman. With the festival last night and with the possible mix of signals, that Team seven would be back today rather than last night.

He was hurt that Iruka had not come to Ichiraku's but he was also worried because it was not like Iruka not to at least send a message by summons to let the boy know he would not be able to make it to dinner with him. However mixed messages could also attribute to the uncustomary way the night had gone, and the festival of course. He grinned as he let a mask twirl on his finger, it was a panda.

Naruto hadn't expected to see what he did. Naruto was the unlucky one to find Iruka and to find the message written in blood on Iruka-Sensei's walls.

Naruto's screams had drowned out the village and had been heard all the way to the forest of death. Anbu and shinobi were running towards the screams. Sasuke managed to get their first with Kakashi coming second.

Sasuke crushed Naruto's face into his shoulder. "Don't look dobe." he gasped "Don't look." But it was too late for Naruto not to look. Sasuke's own mind flooded with memories of his own tragedy years before, as he tried to keep the big blue eyes from taking in the horror of Iruka's state.

Kakashi had never been known for his sanity but on seeing Iruka what sanity he seemed to possess just sort of shriveled up and died as he clutched at Iruka.

"What has happened to the little Chunin? Chunin, my little chunin, what has happened here?" his voice kept steadily rising and rising, as blood and tears soaked through his mask, as he buried his face into his sometime lover's neck. His voice as well as his body shook, "Ruka?! RUKA."

Like a wounded animal he hugged Iruka to him sniffing him in, unable to give him over to anyone else.

It took 23 shinobi and three Anbu to get him to release Iruka to the medic nins and even then it still took Tsunade to bash him in the head and hit him with a sedation jutsu to send him off to dream land and out of their hair so they could work on Iruka's depleted chakra and depleted life force. The blood and bruises and injuries were too numerous to count. Tsunade did not have high hopes for Iruka-sensei's survival.

Some time later after nearly twenty hours of intense surgery and many medical procedures Iruka's eyes opened once and looked at them through shattered brown orbs. His life seemed to stabilize for a little bit. Tsunade gasped and bit down on a cry of grief.

"Naruto." he whispered. "Where is Naruto? Keep him safe. Have to warn… have to …. Naruto, Naruto. I can't see you. Can't… find… him… Kashi…. Kakashi-sama, help me, please. Someone… help me, please." He whimpered brokenly.

Tsunade soothed him back into a deep sleep near the state of a coma and continued to work on him for another few hours more, continuing her efforts to save his life.


Tom and Tommy, cat summons stayed perched on the windowsills or else they paced on the floor back and forth mirroring Kakashi and Pakkun.

Kakashi was not much better. He was a wreck and did not dare leave Iruka's side for a single moment.

When Tsunade at last left surgery she did not look hopeful. She looked long and steadily into Kakashi's eyes and her compassionate gaze rested for a moment on the rest of team seven.

"He's been blinded and he's been raped and I don't think he's quite sane any more. Do you understand me, Kakashi?" asked Tsunade. "Do you hear what it is I am saying? Whoever tortured Iruka-Sensei did a good job of destroying him. He needs support and someone to take care of him for the rest of his days. So he needs you to pull yourself together brat and help him. Got me?"

Kakashi nodded.

"Revenge and the hunt will have to wait. He calls for you and… for Naruto. He's very worried Kakashi, and he's afraid."

Kakashi nodded again.

"Do not upset him or else you will be banned."

Kakashi nodded again.

She led him into the private room and left him to be with his Iruka in privacy. Kakashi held Iruka's bandaged hand between his own and rested his head against the covers next to Iruka's side.


Some hours later.

"Kakashi." Whispered the distraught chunin. He was restless in his hospital bed. Kakashi came awake between one intake of breath and the next.

"Kakashi-sama?"

"I am here Ruka." Said Kakashi, bending down to kiss one of the bandaged hands he held so tightly in his own. "I am here now, my little chunin. Right here. No one can hurt you now. I'm here, love. I'm here."

"Naruto? Where is Naruto? Did they hurt him?"

"No, Naruto's fine. Everything's going to be alright"

"Kakashi?"

"I'm here, Iruka-koi, I'm here."

"Kashi, oh god, Kashi, oh god, oh god, they hurt me." Gasped Iruka his voice coming out high and panicky. He could only see the blackness but in his mind's eyes the last thing he'd seen in his vision was the hate-filled faces of his assailants and the one who had blinded him. "Oh god, they hurt me. Please, please, make them stop. Kashi-sama, make them stop!"

Kakashi bit down on a sob. He grabbed the controls and forced morphine into Iruka to help deaden the pain he was in.

"I know. I know." He whispered. "It's going to be okay. It's over now, love. Everything is going to be okay. I'm here now and I won't leave you. I won't ever leave you."

Iruka was weeping clutching at Kakashi even as the morphine promised him a deep and painless sleep.


Naruto was weeping still into Sasuke's shoulder, three days and still Naruto seemed broken, fragile, unable to stop crying. The Uchiha brat looked pained and was amazingly gentle with his team mate. Naruto was helplessly incapable of getting his act together he kept whimpering and weeping and begging in that broken little boy's voice.

"Iruka-sensei, Ruka-nii-chan, wakey, wakey, Ruka, Ruka." It seemed as if he could say nothing else.

He seemed to have regressed to some traumatized child wraith of himself. He now seemed incapable of figuring out how this could have happened let alone why was Iruka sensei on the floor in all that red paint. He seemed unable to even conceptualize the kind of hate that it would take to totally destroy such a good and kind and decent person like Iruka Umino. Naruto the seventeen year old had left the building and it didn't seem he was going to be making his way back in any time soon.

Sasuke brushed shaking fingers through blonde spiky shaggy locks and whispered words of comfort in to his friend's ear. His voice was hoarse from the constant use. Naruto huddled, grew smaller, tinier and burrowed into Sasuke's arms.

Sasuke rocked him gently. "It's all right now, dobe, everything's going to be all right. I'm here. We'll get Iruka's assailants. We'll make them pay. I promise."

Revenge was Sasuke's specialty it was one of his reasons for existing.

They were in the corner of Iruka's hospital room. Sasuke's cold eyes burned with vengeful intent. He watched over all three shattered individuals. But his full attention was for Naruto.


Sakura sat quietly helplessly watching them all. Flowers were inadequate. Words seemed useless. Nothing she could do seemed to help anyone at all.

She was floundering for something to do or say. She fussed with Iruka's bed linens. She made sure to give her teammates beverages and snacks which they left alone. She sighed feeling more useless

Flowers filled the room along with cards and get well gifts like stuffed animals and fruit baskets. Iruka slept on. He seemed at peace with Kakashi at his side. When he was awake he was always so upset he called for Kakashi and only the jounin seemed able to comfort him. Naruto was as much in a state as Iruka was and Sasuke did not leave Naruto's side not even for a bathroom break.

Sakura felt useless.

Two cat summonses, both calicos, in hues of gold and browns and grays, tortoise shell calicos made their lazy way to the bed, each purring a soothing yet loud sound. They looked worried over their chunin summoner. Each was wearing a chunin flack jacket that matched Iruka's and little blue hataiets with the leaf symbol sat jauntily at a rakish angle on their heads. They were obviously tom cats and Iruka had named them simply; Tom and Tommy.

It was something expected of Naruto that kind of simplicity but perhaps it was also a learned trait since Iruka seemed to be that simple too at times.

Sakura sighed. The cats were very persistent. They curled up on the bed next to their chunin friend. Not master because cats called no man master. They owned you not the other way around. Sakura knew this for a fact because the two toms had told her so in their most arrogant of tones.

She sighed. Why cats, Iruka-sensei? What good were cats?

Ino and Rock Lee came in and took Sakura away. They wanted to help their friend in her time of grief. Sakura could not deny their aid.


It was a long and painful convalescence for Iruka. He was lost in a world of darkness. He could not see and what he could see was only in his memory. A memory tainted by terror and pain and faces he didn't care to think on. He tried to concentrate on the faces he loved but nothing was coming to him. He despaired.

But Kakashi was always there. Kakashi soothed him and gave him the medicines that helped with the pain. Kakashi held his hand and kissed his tears away. Kakashi promised him that this time he was going to stay. Maybe he was fool for believing in Kakashi. His heart though felt secure. He felt safe. Kakashi made a promise. He always kept his promises.


Unknown to the Hokage or Sasuke, Kakashi's summons were sent out in search of Iruka's assailants while Pakkun and one other dog had stayed behind with Kakashi and Iruka. Kakashi stared the second one in the eyes.

"You can give instruction and speak human tongue, like Pakkun can, right?"

The large dog nodded her head.

"My Iruka has finally gained some strength and is leaving the hospital today. He will need a guide dog for the rest of his life. Therefore, I am ordering you to obey Iruka and to take care of him whenever I am absent. Your soul duty, your life's mission, is to protect, guide, and guard over Iruka-sensei."

The dog was not pleased with the mission; she was not a Seeing Eye dog. She was a ninja. But she was also Kakashi's summons and she had no choice but to obey Kakashi's wishes. "Yes master, as you command."


Cat summons polluted the air around the hospital room. Kodachi scowled. Cats! Grr!

Iruka was Kakashi's mate. It was only natural he would want his mate protected. Kodachi understood this and would do her best to guard Iruka but she wasn't exactly sure on the whole helper thing. She had never been trained. She didn't know what she needed to do for a blind man.

And cats were only going to complicate things.

Useless things cats always taunting always a hindrance and never a help.

In her more cynical moods she could only shrug and tell herself it made sense that Kakashi would fall for a mate who smelled like a cat. Though Kakashi was as loyal as his dogs, he liked the roof tops far more than he liked solid ground. Kakashi had to be half cat half dog. He was more a cat than a dog, so it made sense he would mate with a cat human.

The chunin was a kind man easily taken advantage of, easy pray for cats to use. Enslaved to cats and willingly so!

It was terrible. She wanted to pull out her hair or else make some cat stew. Cats were better dead then alive making trouble for her.

Iruka's voice had risen in fear and confusion he was calling for Kakashi again. Kakashi left Kodachi to reflect and think alone on what her new duties would be. His mate was summoning him and was in need of comforting. It was only natural that Kakashi should do as his mate bid. Kodachi understood this.


PART TWO

Kakashi watched over Iruka like a guardian angel and as a lover should. Iruka had terrible nightmares as well as day-mares. Because he was blind he couldn't always tell night from day or awake from being asleep.

He couldn't see.

His house was the only thing he knew blindfolded but even then with the dogs and cats and Kakashi around things ended up out of place and Iruka stumbled, humiliatingly around his house, bumping into things damaging his knees, falling on his face or else on his butt. Freaking out when Kakashi would touch him and forget to speak as if Iruka could see him as if Iruka were not blind. Any unidentifiable noise would set Iruka off and send his mind tail spinning to that terrible night of torture.

Weeks of this behavior and weeks of transition and it still felt like it had happened just yesterday.

When he thought he heard their laughs or felt their touches all he could see in his mind was the blade and his assailants. He couldn't see or hear Kakashi trying to calm him down trying to touch him.

Kakashi would restrain him and it only made things worse, yet what else could Kakashi do?

Iruka could be dangerous, surprisingly dangerous for a chunin. Kakashi could easily believe now why there had been more than one assailant. Iruka was strong, really strong, like the earth or like the dangerous undertow of the oceans.

Iruka's emotions were mercurial, those quick silver emotions rapidly changed from one moment to the next.

Kakashi was helpless to ease Iruka's suffering.

It wasn't easy to be blind. And worse was the pain. It seemed Iruka was in a constant state of pain. His eyes hurt. His muscles hurt. His chest hurt. It felt like his body was on fire from all of the wounds he'd sustained.

Iruka had taken the last pill of his last refill on his prescription pain killers and now he needed more.

It was a familiar argument.

Iruka says, "I'm in unbearable pain."

Kakashi replies. "You don't need any more pills."

Iruka throws a fit and ends up causing himself more pain. Kakashi is defeated in that moment when Iruka kneels on the hard wood floor and sobs. "Where were you when I needed you? How can you deny me the only thing that makes the pain less?"

Kakashi hears those words like a knife blade through his heart.

Kakashi heard Tsunade in his memory telling him, "Under no circumstances would there be another refill. Iruka should have already healed enough not to need any more pain pills."

Kakashi sighed in defeat as his love's tears wreak havoc on his heart.

"Please Kashi, I need it. Please. I'm not an addict. I'm in real pain."

Kakashi shakes his head. Kodachi translated the silent movements to Iruka. Iruka's hysterics climbed another notch.

"Please, you have to help me. If you care you'll find a way to get me another refill. I'm in so much pain. Why do you want me to be in pain?!" he screamed accused. He found something hard and threw it in the direction he felt Kakashi was in.

Kakashi dodged the thrown lamp. Iruka's mood swings were dangerous. It was part of withdrawal and part post traumatic stress, and was to be expected, yet Kakashi felt so helpless to witness it.


He was weak to Iruka's cries of pain. Against his better judgment he went to Tsunade and begged for more pain killers for Iruka.

Tsunade glared. "No. He's turned into an addict. He doesn't need the pain relief pills, Kakashi. He just thinks he does."

"He's in real pain, Tsunade-baa-chan. He's weeping. Iruka would not weep if it weren't real. He's suffering and in pain. Just give him this last bottle of prescription pain meds, I beg you."

Tsunade looked at Kakashi for a long calculating moment. "Fine, but it will only be worse later on."

"Thank you, Tsunade."

"Don't thank me. This goes against my oaths and beliefs. But if the pain is real, if his injuries are not healing as quickly as I believed they would then it would also be a violation of my oaths. I will give you the meds but I will need to examine him again. Keep an eye on his dosage as well Kakashi. Keep careful track of how many of these damned pills he takes. We have to be sure that this is not addiction that Iruka is sliding into."

Kakashi nodded. "Yes, Tsunade sama, I understand."

"By the way Kakashi how are your dogs doing?"

Kakashi tripped over one of his feet. "Uh."

"They are searching for Iruka's assailants still aren't they?"

Kakashi sighed. "How long have you known?"

"I am the Hokage you brat. I know all, I see all; I have a magic crystal ball." She said then thumped him on the head.

Kakashi manfully took the hit and saw stars. The Hokage was not a woman to be messed with. Why did he always forget that little fact?

"So any luck?" she demanded as she accompanied or kind of escorted him to his and Iruka's now shared home.

"No, none." He growled.

Tsunade frowned. "That's not good."


The house was so quiet with Kakashi gone. Iruka was afraid that he had pushed Kakashi too far and made him leave him, permanently.

Iruka was trembling and weeping. He was terrified. Kodachi seemed unable to comfort him. Even the twin calico cats were fretting and unable to sooth their terrified companion.

"Kakashi, where are you?" he asked, calling out fretfully. He waited for any kind of noise to alert him to where Kakashi was but he knew he had been too late to apologize. Kakashi was gone.

"I'm sure he'll be back Ruka-chan." Meowed Tom-tom, sympathetically.

Kakashi had abandoned him. Yet he remembered in the hospital Kakashi told him he would not leave him not ever, not this time.

Iruka was desperately searching the room with slow steps and jerky movements and hands outstretched, fingertips searching, searching for any sign of the missing jounin. He ignored his meddlesome cats and continued to search the room desperate for any sign of Kakashi.

He tried using sound waves to find Kakashi, tap tap, knock knock, stomp stomp, like a bat he could almost sense the width, length, and density of the room.

"Kakashi, I didn't mean to throw the lamp. I'm just in so much pain." He murmured, pitifully knowing he was talking only to himself. "I didn't want him to leave, Kodachi, you have to find him and bring him back to me."

Kodachi licked Iruka's tear-stained wet cheeks, she sighed. "Iruka-sensei, Kakashi had ordered me never to leave your side when he is not here. I cannot bring him back to you. But I would not worry, Kakashi is your mate. He will return to you." She insisted.

"Please Kakashi come back," he begged, "come back. Please Kakashi, talk to me. I'm sorry, truly. I don't mean to cause so much trouble."


-Memory-


There was laughter in his head. The ugly men's sneering faces in his eyes. The knife glinting in the moonlight as it slashed first one eye and then the other.

He screamed in pain, pain that only got worse with every new torture that came next.

Their hands on his flesh, ripping and tearing of his clothes, knives so many Kunai, tearing away cotton from skin, slicing some of the tender bronzed skin uncaringly, making him bleed. His legs forced open, forced wide.

-end memory-


Iruka started to shake hard. Reality and memory seemed to mesh into

One horrible and terrifying relived nightmare. The cats rubbed against him and tried to purr comfort to ease their friend's growing agitation.

"Kakashi?"

"Kakashi where are you? Where are you? You said you wouldn't leave me."

Kodachi looked out the window hoping Kakashi showed soon. The chunin was in full blown trauma mode.


-Memory-

Legs struggled to kick out at the men holding him open. His hands struggled sluggishly to make seals of summons, a jutsu of some sort. Another punch to his face, his finger was suddenly snapped like a twig. Iruka screamed.

"oh, does that hurt?" asked an amused cruel voice.

"So fucking tight. Such a tight little bitch." He hissed in pleasure. Riding the last of his climax. Blood and cum leaked in a slow sludge down Iruka's thighs.

Iruka whimpered. His last sight ever was his assailant's cruel smile and his pleasure as he released and climaxed inside of his body.

-End memory-


"I need those pills. Make the pain stop!" he screamed. "Please just make it stop!"

"Kashi-sama! Kakashi!"

"Please, come back, please, I didn't mean it. I didn't mean it. It hurts."

"It hurts." He cried hoarsely. Sobbing raggedly. "Come back please"

"Please come back"

He felt so very alone and so very vulnerable and so intolerably abandoned he wept more painfully, more bitterly.

He was so afraid.

So terrified.

"I didn't mean it."

"I don't need those pills. I don't need them. I just need you and only you."

"But I hurt so much and the pills make it better they make the pain less. They make it better. But You make everything worth everything."

He kept muttering to himself now on his knees on the floor, rocking and hugging himself he felt chilled to the bone. He needed a blanket. Kodachi leaned up against his shivering back and gently nuzzled Iruka's neck and hair.

"Everything will be all right Iruka Sensei. Kakashi shall return. He won't abandon his mate." She said.


When Kakashi made his appearance Iruka's bandaged face seemed to light up and without a single miss step the wounded chunin threw himself with perfect aim for Kakashi. Kakashi caught the running and leaping chunin into his arms. Iruka's arms wrapped themselves desperately around his neck and held on for dear life as he sobbed more heart wrenching tears of pain and loss.

"Kakashi, Kakashi." He gasped benediction, prayer, devotion, insanity.

"It's alright Umino. I'm here. I'm here now. I had to get Tsunade-Hokage. Nothing you do will make me leave you. I told you I wasn't going to leave you. I promised. Remember?"

Iruka Umino smiled, hands touching Kakashi's face, constantly caressing and touching Kakashi's face, resting warm hands against curves and sharp bones.

"I love you. I love you so much. I was so afraid I had made you go away or that I was dreaming and I thought I heard them again. Their voices in my head, in my ears, laughing, always laughing. Their filthy hands on me. I can't seem to get clean Kakashi. I scrub and scrub and it never goes away. I was foolish and I couldn't hear Kodachi at all though she yelled at me and barked and my Tom and Tommy cats are so upset to. I upset everyone. I didn't mean to. They kept telling me I wasn't dreaming that you were here or coming back but I didn't believe them I couldn't make myself believe them."

"I'm here, Iruka-koi. I'm here, my Ru-chan. I'm here now. I'm sorry I frightened you so. I didn't mean to do that to you."

"I threw the lamp at you. I hit you. I'm so sorry Kakashi."

"It doesn't matter Ru-love, I'm never leaving you. Throw things at me, beat me, I will never leave you. I love you. I promised you and me forever."

"Yes, yes, yes. My Kakashi, my Kashi-sama. Tell me again; keep telling me so I don't forget again."

"Mine. You and I are forever. I will never leave you, Iruka, not ever. I love you. I love you. And I will never leave you, no matter what you do to me. I will never leave you. I love you." Kakashi repeated over and over holding Iruka close, letting Iruka breath him in and feel him and touch him.

It was at least an hour before Iruka was calm again.

Tsunade closed her eyes and fought the pity that welled up inside of her. She had already known that Iruka was destroyed she just hadn't quite realized how much or how true she had called it.


TBC