AN: So... I'm not dead... This story has been abandoned since 2009 (Holy Crap, has it been that long?!). Honestly, I just found the beginnings of this chapter on my laptop today, and I knew that I had to finish it. I have NO IDEA how I originally planned for this to go. So it's pretty awful, but hey it's done. I can be happy that it's finally finished. I'm really sorry it's taken me this long. I really hate it when people don't finish their fan fictions (especially when I'm so engrossed in them). I will try to finish my other fic "The Prince & His Dolphin" but that honestly depends if I can find the inspiration to write it the way I want it written. Again, I apologize for the wait and hope you can enjoy this passable end to "Slumber Party".

Thank you,



"Hokage-sama, when will Kakashi be back?" He fidgeted with his hands, plucking the imaginary dirt from underneath his nails in nervous habit as the Godaime looked at him.

Under her heavy gaze, the little sensei fidgeted even more, but then Tsunade's eyes softened.

"He'll be back when he's finished his mission, Iruka-sensei." A manicured hand pulled out a hidden flask of sake and the sake cups. Pouring three, two for herself and only one for Iruka, she gestured for her chuunin to sit.

Iruka sighed, going to the stiff wooden chair in front of Tsunade's desk.

"Not that chair. Grab the one from the corner." Painted nails pointed to the fluffy armchair positioned in the corner of the room. After dragging the chair back to the desk, the little sensei accepted a brimming sake cup from the Hokage.

"How long do you expect him to be, Lady Tsunade?" A sip of the sake sent a burning sensation down his throat, warming all the way to his stomach.

Golden eyes swept over the teacher's melancholy features, melting just a little.

"You know I can't disclose information of a mission to you, Iruka-sensei." The brunette's head lowered, blankly staring into his sake cup. "However, with this mission I'm sure Kakashi will finish in no time at all."

Iruka sighed in relief. He relaxed further into the fluffy chair. Tsunade watched him carefully. She knew the relationship between the two shinobi had recently blossomed into a very intimate bond, but now more than ever, Iruka seemed less at ease. Downing the first cup of sake in a single gulp, she made up her mind.

"Iruka, what's wrong? You're not one to normally fret like this. You know, Kakashi is a very capable shinobi. I've never seen you this anxious about a simple mission."

Another sip from his sake gave the sensei and moment to gather his thoughts.

"You're right." Iruka replied. "Kakashi is a very capable shinobi. I do worry about him whenever he goes off on a mission, but this time it's different. I feel like there was something left unresolved between us before he left; something that weighs on my mind." A slight frown crinkled his brow. "He didn't even tell me he was leaving. Instead, he sent Pakkun."

Tsunade shook her head. That brat. You'd think he would know by now to at least say goodbye before he goes. "That sounds like a typical Kakashi move. I don't think he meant anything by it, Iruka-sensei. Sometimes he just gets caught up in his mission."

Brown eyes dropped to stare at his sake. "Oh, that I know…but I thought things might have been different now that we've…" He trailed off, realizing that was not something he should share with the Hokage.

"What? Now that the two of you have finally played 'hide the salami'?" Tsunade smirked.

Iruka felt his face burn red and his insides shrivel. "How… how did you…"

"Please, Iruka-sensei, I'm the Hokage. I know everything that goes on in Konoha." It was absolutely adorable to see the little sensei squirm in his fluffy armchair. Sandaled feet scuffed at the floor while his tan hands clenched tightly around the sake cup.

"Plus Anko mentioned it when we were planning next month's Slumber Party. I was really surprised to hear you kept Kakashi celibate for nearly two years." The red flush of embarrassment on Iruka's face made it seem as if the poor guy had busted some blood vessel.

"I…. I didn't really mean to… I just wasn't ready." He stuttered to explain.

"Iruka, you don't have to explain to me. I already know. It was obvious. But if you have made that huge commitment to Kakashi and your relationship, why are you so troubled now?"

It didn't make sense to Tsunade. If the two were committed to one another, and Iruka had finally given up his virginity, which he had guarded violently against all other suitors over the years (there was still a huge person-shaped dent in the floor of the Bath House where Ebisu-sensei made a few unwanted overtures), why this anxiety?

The frown lines that crinkled the tan forehead deepened. "I'm not sure." He placed his sake cup on the Hokage's desk, and then wrapped his arms around himself. "Everyone says that Kakashi loves me, and I do love him, but how can I be sure? Immediately after I shared myself with him, he didn't seem to savor the moment. He whipped out his books to find more positions for us to try. I haven't seen him at all since… since then. Maybe I was naïve to think that the occasion deserved a little more sentiment from him? The more I think about it, the more I unearth insecurities from the depths of my heart."

Finally he looked Tsunade in the eyes, brown meeting powerful gold. "I feel like he might not really love me. At least not the way I thought he did."

With that he fell silent, breaking his glaze with the Hokage to sink back even further into the chair. For a moment, nothing was said. Then the Godaime sighed. "I cannot speak for Kakashi, however I will say this." Getting up from behind her desk, she moved to stand directly before the schoolteacher and knelt down. "I have never seen Kakashi so devoted. Yes, he's still the mission-oriented masked brat that we all know and love, but since the two of you have been together, he's been a different person. He spends less time at the Memorial Stone, grieving over friends who died nearly twenty years ago. He smiles more and has become better adjusted (by shinobi standards). Do you know that in all his years on active duty, he's received less near fatal injuries during the two years he's dated you? It's like he's taking care to come home in one piece. None of his prior affairs had any emotional attachment for him, but with you he has opened up in ways that I haven't seen since Minato Namikaze was alive."

At that Iruka's eyes widen a little. "Kakashi might not be completely sensitive to feelings when it comes to a relationship, but I wholeheartedly believe that he cares for you. I would say that, yes, he does love you. In his own crazy Jounin way."

Her hands reached out to take one of the tanned hands in her own. Iruka raised his head a little higher and looked directly into the eyes of his Hokage.

"But Lady Tsunade… he's never actually said it."

Her face read shock. Pink lips formed a perfect 'oh' in understanding.

That night as Iruka walked back to his apartment, he pondered what Lady Tsunade had said.

I do believe he cares for me. I should believe that he loves me… but it's difficult to believe it when he hasn't even actually said it yet. I should have waited until he said those words before jumping into bed with him. Maybe if I had done it that way, I wouldn't feel this doubt.

The air was calm and warm as he trudged along. A peaceful glow from the streetlamps lit the road and people could be heard chattering through their open windows. The village atmosphere completely contradicted the schoolteacher's mood. Should I feel foolish that so many of my insecurities with Kakashi stands on the basis that he's never said "I love you"?

When he reached his apartment, Iruka entered, slowly settling in for the night. Dishes were washed and placed in the drainer; graded papers were stuffed into his teaching satchel as the sensei tidied up the small, cozy apartment. With Naruto and Kakashi away, the apartment seemed colder like its energy had been sapped. Iruka pulled on a pair of well-worn sweatpants and warm socks to battle the chill of the apartment, and settled into bed.

Staring at the ceiling, his eyes traced the familiar texture of the wood. Once Kakashi gets home, I will sit him down and talk. It's that simple. We're both adults; adults talk about their problems, right?

In his mind's eye, he could see the scene playing out. Kakashi return, Iruka would confront him about his feelings and then…somehow… Kakashi would turn what was supposed to be a heartfelt occasion into one of the scenes from his favorite Icha Icha novels. Iruka shuddered. There's no way in hell I'm going to let Kakashi turn this around before I can get him to admit that he loves me. If he wants to continue to …have sex with me… I need to hear those words. He needs to mean those words.

His eyelids fluttered heavily with sleep. The anxious thoughts of today were taxing his physical being and his body demanded rest. The dreams that came did little to refresh Iruka's anxious mind.

Kakashi held him tightly, hands roaming all over the tanned teacher's body. A nipple brushed here, a hip caressed there. Unmasked lips swooped down upon Iruka's kissably pink ones.

"Did you miss me, Iruka-sensei?" he teased. His tongue swept through between the teacher's lips, tasting the warm vanilla taste that was Iruka.

"Kakashi—I—I …oh" The jounin's tongue was getting in the way of Iruka's speech.

"Iruka? Everything okay?"

Jolted from his sleep, Iruka's eye snapped open. Kakashi stood over him with a smirking eye showing above the dusty mask. "You really like that pillow, huh sensei?"

Pillow, what? The teacher attempted to reply but there was something in his mouth; something fluffy. Looking down, he quickly spat out the pillow he had been eating in his sleep. Sitting up in the bed, he watched as Kakashi stripped off his mask and vest. "Did you just get back?"

Glancing up from stripping off his pants, Kakashi nodded. "I stopped to report to Godaime first." The pants were folded and set neatly on the dresser. The Copy-nin stood in his underwear and undershirt, smiling at his lover. "I missed you."

Iruka could feel the blush burning across his face. His blush deepened as his lover sat on the side of the bed and brushed a light kiss on the end of his nose. Yeah, you missed me, but will you say that you love me?

Something must have shown through on his face because Kakashi frowned, reaching down to hold Iruka at arm's length. "What's wrong?"

Iruka let out a weary chuckle. "Everyone has been asking me that lately."

The Jounin looked carefully at him. Pale hands gently caressed tan arms, comforting the teacher. "What do you mean?"

Taking a deep breath, Iruka looked directly into his lover's eyes. "When we had sex…what… what did that mean to you?"

Confusion colored Kakashi's face. "What did it mean?" He parroted. Looking into the tan face, his eyes noticed the insecurity peeking through brown eyes and the slight frown line that crinkled the teacher's brow. "It meant that you were finally mine."

Iruka shook his head. "But how do you feel about me?"

Silver eyebrows lifted. "It's it obvious?"

Again the teacher shook his head. Moisture began to build in the corner of his eyes. This has seemed easier in his head. "You've never said it. I feel like you got what you wanted and didn't really acknowledge any deeper feelings for me. I gave you something that I've never given anyone else, and you didn't seem to cherish the moment. Then you disappeared without a word. You sent Pakkun instead!"

"Never acknowledged any deeper feeling? What are you talking about? I don't want anyone but you. I don't know what I'd do without you! I'm sorry I didn't have a chance to say goodbye before I left. And you're wrong, I'm so happy that you shared that special moment with me. I wouldn't have traded it for the world."

Pale lips sought Iruka's, kissing him passionately, tasting the caverns of his warm mouth. Dazed, Iruka broke the kiss, trying to catch his breath as Kakashi leaned toward his ear. "And if you're asking me to say that I love you, I would have thought you already knew that." Tenderly, he pressed a kiss to the tanned ear. "I love you."

Warmth blossomed in Iruka's stomach, melting all insecurities. He wrapped his arms around the Jounin, enjoying the sensation. Kakashi had finally said the words. I love you. Three little words that made the schoolteacher bubble with joy. Closing his eyes, he just nuzzled deeper into the embrace.

"Well, don't you have something to say?"

Brown eyes snapped open. Iruka broke the embrace to stare incredulously at his lover. "What?"

The silver-haired Jounin crossed his arms and looked expectantly at the teacher.

"I've said it. Now, what about you?"

"What do you mean what about me? I've said it before?" Iruka huffed. "Haven't I?"

Those silver eyebrows perked again, nearly disappearing into the spiky hairline. Iruka was dumbfounded. I have said it before, right? I know I have… haven't I? Well, damn.

Smiling at himself, Iruka took the Copy-nin's face between his hands, kissing him soundly and then whispering. "I love you, Kakashi."