Disclaimer: I do not own, nor do I make any money from Naruto. Naruto belongs to Masashi Kishimoto.


Summery: It's been six years since they were home.

This is PART 02 of a two part series. Part 01 is called Please Don't. This is a request-fic for the lovely dark_kaomi, who wanted to know if I could end Please Don't on a happier note. Ask and ye shall receive.

"Quotation marks..." means talking.
Italics means thinking.


Six Years
Angst. Romance. PG.

kakashi x iruka / Naruto x Sakura

It's been... six years.

Six years since either of them had seen those solid red gates. Six years since they'd seen them parting to reveal a hidden village, shinobi, civilians, homes… their home. Six years and nothing had changed.

The gates towered over all immigrants, just as red and just as intimidating.

Shinobi still wondered the shadowed paths; civilians still happily bristled amongst market stalls; houses and apartments remained tall and vigilant. Flesh, metal, wood, brick, cement and mud. Everything where it had always been. Nothing had changed.

Chakra.

Both men paused mid step, Iruka's hand already holding his makeshift kuni. He flinched. He hadn't meant to, the chakra signature was so familiar it was almost comforting. But six years of self-training, of only having himself and his lover to trust, his body reacted without thought.

Kakashi understood his dolphins reaction better then any shinobi ever could. After six years of having nothing but each other as comfort, after having spent six years running, hiding, expecting attacks and prosecution from the Copy-Nin's enemies… six years had done nothing to quell their already substantial paranoia.

Flaring his own chakra to alert his lover, Kakashi slipped a hand into the chuu - Iruka's hand.

Now that they were here, he really had reign in the urge to call Iruka his 'little chuunin'. He hadn't done it in years, but the thought was still there. Of course, whenever he slipped up, said man was willing to gently remind him that he was no more a chuunin then Kakashi a jounin. They'd been stripped of their ranks.

A small price gladly given for the chance of happiness. Of love.

A gift from Tsunade-sama.

Their Hokage had fought tooth and claw for them. She'd played politics hard and dirty, arguing with every member of the Council, just to give the men a chance. It was the least she could do, she'd say brushing off their continued thanks. After all, they were her two best shinobi. They'd both served and lost. It was the least she could do to help them gain. And she had literally spent months in a political standoff, until the Council, grudgingly, agreed to her terms. Then both men were stripped of their ranks, and banished from the village for six years.

Unlike the Council, they'd both accepted their Hokage's terms smiling, laughing, loving.

Kakashi squeezed tan fingers, thumb rubbing circles over Iruka's wedding band. He had an identical band hanging on a chain around his neck. Iruka squeezed back, his body visibly relaxing into the touch, his other hand returning the stone kuni to its holster.

Using a form of touch-code they'd devised years ago, a second language to them now, Iruka fingered his partners palm. Kakashi replying in turn.

Love you.

Love porn.

Resisting the urge to rub his scar, Iruka pinched the snowy skin between his tan fingers. Kakashi hid his smile well, knowing the fear of dolphin ire. He'd had a hard few years learning to hide the smiles and smirks that so often accompanied actions and comments, but he managed. It had been four years since he'd worn that mask and there were no intentions of returning to the habit any time soon. Kakashi tried another response.

Love you, Ru.

Much better.

As one - one person, one weapon, one defense - the couple turned. It was a motion ingrained into their bodies from years of living and hiding outside village gates. Always move together, always stay together, don't think, just move. If you have to face the enemy, face them together. Always together. They'd survived this long with those shared thoughts, so it was natural to continue it into their current situation.

--

Wide cerulean eyes watched them, glistening with raw emotion. His sinewy muscles trembled beneath white and orange garments. Yellow bangs drooping about his face. His whole body seemed to quake with the want, the need to do something. But fear and delicate pale fingers held him still. The young woman attached to his arm stared equally silent, turquoise eyes shimmering wet.

The crowd watched on as each of the four stood ignorant of anything else. Waiting for something no one else could understand.

Slipping his hand free of his husbands, Kakashi instead snaked an arm around the mans waist. They were each others support, each others downfall, each others light, each others darkness. The extra contact became their reassurance. Everything was okay, they were safe. And if not… well they had each other.

An audible pop seemed to break the silence, the blond no longer able to keep it inside.

"Iruka-sensei?"

Iruka flinched at the honorific. He hadn't been Iruka-sensei for so long now the title almost hurt to hear. It wasn't all that unexpected, but not even Kakashi called him sensei anymore. Not after Iruka had asked him to stop. Sensei was more then just a title, just a word. It was a memory of great happiness and great sadness. He'd prefer to leave well alone - those years were gone.

Pulling Kakashi down with him, Iruka bowed. "Rokudaime-sama."

"P-please," the blonds words trembled. His breath ragged. "Please don't Otousan."

There was a small gasp from the crowd. Kakashi pushed his lover gently forward.

"N-Naruto-kun," Iruka whispered the name he'd long ago forbade himself from speaking. There were so many words he and Kakashi had had to leave behind.

The blond kitsune's eyes lit up, a grin spreading from ear to ear at hearing his name spoken. After that it would have taken more then the hands of Sakura-chan to hold him back. Hokage robes bristling, body vibrating with excitement, arms itching for contact, Naruto lunged at his former sensei. For his Otousan.

Iruka took the hit with a grunted 'ooff', both bodies tumbling back into Kakashi's ready grip. Timidly, Iruka's hand fell to the boy -mans- head. It had been so long. He had no right, they weren't really family. He was the Hokage now. Granted he was a Hokage clinging to the equivalent of a traitor as a child would cling to his favorite teddy bear after too many nights alone, but still. There was a vast difference between them now.

Sensing his loves hesitation, Kakashi brushed a message across his back. It's okay.

Iruka's eyes softened, those words sinking into his bones as though he'd never really believed them before. Surprisingly, he found his hand ruffling the blond spiky bangs like he always had. Naruto's face beamed, while his own hand went fishing about before gripping it's target. Unceremoniously, Kakashi was dragged into the embrace.

"Thank you," their Hokage whispered. "Thank you Kaka-sensei, thank you for taking care of him."

"I always will." Silver hair bobbed as Kakashi pecked his lovers temple.

Pulling himself back, Naruto turned to the crowd. He grinned, ignoring anyone with a look of disdain until his eyes met shining turquoise. With a bounce and a wave he bellowed. "Oi, Sakura-chan! Get over here already."

Sakura squealed excitedly, her tightly gripped hands and tense shoulders sagging in relief. It took half a second for her body to crash against welcoming arms, a second longer to swat Naruto's wondering fingers from her behind, and a full minute after that before she could finally speak.

"Welcome home Iruka-san, Kakashi-san."

The crowd watched on.

"Oi, Bakashi-sensei!" Naruto launched back as though someone had struck him. "You'd better not have corrupted my Otousan! Six years is a long time-"

Iruka hit the boy upside his head and then froze, cold and fear filled. Dozen of light gasps filtered out around them.

"Hokage-sama," he bowed apologetically.

Sakura shifted. Her concern equally reflected by her former genin-sensei's body. They both flinched when Naruto growled, wrenching the bowing man back to full height. Quite suddenly, Kakashi found his arm encircled by lithe fingers. Sakura's eyes flicking from the two men to meet his. She shook her head, smiled weakly and motioned him to just watch.

"You don't apologize," Naruto growled again. "You never have to apologize."

Iruka nodded. The trembling relief seeming to run like a current from his body to Kakashi's and back again.

"Now," Naruto cleared his voice readying his mock Hokage tone. He paused, looked from one man to the other, then dragged them both together so there was no need to look back and forth. Again he clear his throat - Sakura rolled her eyes expectantly.

"First there will be a formal wedding. It's been planned for two days from now, you just have to show up." Waving off the protests he continued. "Look, we know you pair got married a few years ago, but none of us were invited. It's unacceptable that both my sensei wed and I don't even get to see Kaka-sensei in a dress."

Kakashi, Iruka and Sakura gave synchronized snorts.

"Second," their Hokage ignored them. "We've got you a small cottage just north of the civilian sector. It's sidled beside forest land so it's quiet and there's plenty of space for frolicking nin-dogs."

Eyes wide, Iruka turned to Kakashi. "Please," he begged. "Do not tell Pakkun Naruto just called him a frolicking nin-dog. We don't need the blood on our hands."

Naruto laughed. "Don't worry Iruka-sensei, I wouldn't hurt him."

"It's not him I worry about," Iruka mumbled.

Kakashi grinned, proud. Yes, Pakkun was a lively one.

"Anyway…" Sakura prompted.

"Right!" Naruto clapped his hands together. "Uh third…" his face scrunched up in concentration. "Oh right! You've got two weeks to settle in before your new jobs start. Iruka-sensei will be teaching at the civilian school and Bakashi-sensei will train the older civilians three nights a week in taijutsu. Under ages will only be one night a week."

Kakashi blinked. And then blinked again.

"So, yeah." Naruto scratched the back of his neck nervously. "It's been a rough year and we desperately need to train every available body. I don't want them fighting any wars, but it would be nice to know my townspeople won't be slaughtered while we are. I hope you guys don't mind - Sakura-chan and me organized it all."

At this Sakura cleared her throat. She'd expected Naruto to forget anyway, but it would have been nice if their Hokage could remember at least some of the common curtesies. Like asking, not telling. "Is - is that alright with you Iruka-san, Kakashi-san? If it's not, we won't mind. We were just trying to help, is all."

Without looking to the other, both men nodded their approval. Like their motions, their thoughts were just another extension. Everything they did was in constant flow with each other. Sakura smiled.

"Great!" Naruto punched the air then motioned for them to follow. Guiding his family towards the Hokage tower, he positioned himself between both his sensei, arms draped over shoulders, laughing. "Oh, I almost forgot. Welcome home."

Behind the blonds back, Kakashi and Iruka joined hands. Each scrawling the same sentiments.

Home.

We're home.

.

.

[end]