Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto, I do own the plot. Or what passes for the plot.
A/N: Part of a hundred themes challenge I found on DeviantArt. I hope I'm not out of place using these themes because I don't exactly know who came up with them, I just found them. If you know where I should give credit tell me.
Theme #1: Introduction.
Genre: Angst, Hurt/Comfort.
Summary: Sixteen year old Kakashi and fourteen year old Iruka meet at the Memorial Stone one rainy night.
It was raining, but he didn't notice. He hardly ever noticed anything when he sat here, staring at that stone. That stupid, cold, unfeeling hunk of rock that was the only thing he had left of his parents...no, he didn't notice the rain. He didn't notice anything.
Fourteen year old Iruka sat in front of the rock and hugged his knees to his chest and didn't notice how cold he was, how wet the seat of his shorts was getting, how warm the tears felt against the windchapped skin of his dark cheeks. He stared intently at the Memorial Stone, not even seeing his parents names anymore; the driving rain obscured most of his vision beyond a one-foot radius. He didn't even notice when he began to sneeze, to shiver.
Someone else, however, did.
Perched in the treetops nearby, not bothering to mask his chakra nor hide himself in the leaves, sat Hatake Kakashi, just back from a mission. His mask, soaked through by rain, blood and sweat, lay pooled around his neck. He wasn't worried about the Umino kid seeing his face, the rain was too hard for that...but he found that he was beginning to worry about Iruka himself. The kid was only two years younger than he was, but he looked...weak, somehow. The dark-skinned genin had begun to tremble some time ago, and Kakashi had waited for him to get up and sprint away...but he hadn't, and now the boy had started sneezing, too, and still he wouldn't leave.
Kakashi rocked back on his heels, biting his lip and weighing his options. Umino was often here when Kakashi came, but that wasn't what was bothering him; Kakashi could visit the stone another time. No, what was worrying him was, if that kid stayed out in this downpour much longer, he was liable to catch pneumonia or something...and, as a jounin-level ninja about to be inducted into ANBU, wasn't it Kakashi's duty to protect kids like Umino?
Oh come off it, Hatake, Obito's taunting, good-natured voice rose in the back of Kakashi's mind. The kid looks sad and lonely and lost, and he reminds you of yourself. That's why you wanna help him, ya great big softy.
"Ne," Kakashi mumbled. He pulled up his mask, wincing at the stench of it, and dropped out of the tree. His feet hit the wet ground with a sploosh sound, sending little darts of mud to settle on Kakashi's already-filthy clothes. He squelched his way over to the Umino kid, and laid a hand on the boy's shoulder.
Iruka jumped, sneezed, turned around and sneezed again. "Wha...? Who--" He paused to sneeze into his shirtsleeve and continued, "Who are you? I've seen you before..." Another sneeze, this one followed by a small fit of coughing.
Kakashi, young and still not famous enough for everyone in Konoha to know his name, extended a hand. "Get up, kid. You're gonna catch your death out here. I'm Kakashi, by the way."
"Wait...you mean Hatake Kakashi? Wasn't your father the White Fang?" Iruka asked, taking the offered hand and letting the jounin pull him to his feet.
Kakashi winced slightly at the name, but he had the feeling that this kid didn't mean to shame him with his father's memory. He nodded in reply and asked, "That's me. And you're Umino Iruka, right?"
"Yeah...how did you know me?" Iruka asked, cocking his head to one side. The gesture was so adorable that Kakashi had to smile beneath his mask.
"Your parents were heroes, kid," Kakashi replied. "And while I'm sure they appreciate you visiting them at the Memorial Stone, I don't think they'd like you to catch your death out here. You should get home."
At that, a smile broke across Iruka's dark face. The smile was infectious; Kakashi felt his own grin growing bigger.
"Yeah, I will. Thanks, Kakashi-san." Iruka made a quick bow before taking to the trees, and Kakashi, oblivious to the impact that this little genin would one day have on his life, moved to take Iruka's place in front of the stone.