A/N: I'm supposed to do a collage piece for my Creative Writing class. Since I'm not comfortable with the form yet, I'm going to do a fan fic version first (maybe even turn it in, if I can get away with it). Let me know what you think!

Song that goes with this one "Picture of You" by The Last Goodnight.

Disclaimer: I own nothing and no one. How sad for me.

Summary: Our lives are made of fragment moments. Pieces, really. KakaIru collage piece.

How We'll Always Be
By: Reggie


What Kakashi liked best about Iruka spending the night was the sex.

But what he liked second best was being able to make breakfast for his lover. After the first couple of one night stands, that weren't so one night as they happened regularly, when Iruka left before dawn, Kakashi had start almost fantasizing about how the younger man might like his eggs in the morning.

It was the oddest thing to find himself fixated on, but as each time together passed he'd found himself wondering. Did he like them fried or scrambled? Over-easy? Hard-boiled? Maybe he didn't like eggs at all. Just how many ways were there to cook eggs, anyway? If he started trying different ways, waking before the Chuunin did, would he stay?

Kakashi hummed a little to himself as he flipped over the egg whites sitting happily in the black of his frying pan. There had turned out to be easily 100 ways of cooking an egg—he'd looked it up—but this one hadn't occurred to him. Iruka didn't like the yolk. So, you cracked the egg in half and tossed the insides back and forth until you had the egg whites in a bowl and the yolks in the shell. Dump the egg whites into an already warmed pan, cook, serve with toast and fried apples.


Sort: darks, whites, colors.

It shouldn't be this difficult to understand, Kakashi was sure of it. He'd been sorting laundry since he'd been big enough to see over the top of the basket.

So why was it that every time Iruka did his laundry the blacks came back grey and the whites came back pink?


The salt water wasn't good for it, but that hardly mattered at the time.


Iruka never wrote on the blackboard, and the Jounin had a betting pool going as to why. Genma said it was because Iruka didn't trust the little brats enough to turn his back on them. Many of the older shinobi, who could barely remember their own academy days, agreed with this. They'd forgotten that you learned quickly that directly attacking your teacher was unwise, a good lesson about taking on stronger opponents that would serve the young ninja for years to come.

Ebisu maintained that it was because it trained the next generation of ninja to listen the first time, and remember things verbally. A few others could see the wisdom in this approach, but few were they who believe this was the only reason.

Only Kakashi and Anko knew the truth. Iruka didn't write on the board with his chalk because he couldn't. While he could read kanji with little difficulty, whenever he tried to write them they would usually end up backwards and illegible. He couldn't write his own name, or even simple words like stop, with kanji, never mind some of the more complicated ninja arts.


Iruka was certain about one thing in the life of a ninja: there was always a lot of blood.

He was focusing on this fact, clinging to it, as he struggled to bandage his lover's wounds. There was always more blood then you thought there should be, it wasn't anything serious. It didn't mean anything was life threateningly wrong. Blood on silver hair, on white bandages, on black uniforms, it was all normal. It was part of ninja life. And as long as he was breathing, if he was breathing, it was all right.


Rice, seaweed, pink fleshy fish. Small bento box. Note on bright orange sticky note, always the same thing. "Don't forget your lunch next time". Signed with a scarecrow face.


There were all sorts of missions in his life. Assassination missions, retrieval missions, escort missions, rescue missions, guard-duty missions. Boring missions, difficult missions, standard missions, missions that sounded easy but turned out to be hard. Missions that went the other way, which had sounded impossible but turned out to be simple. Missions to learn skills. Missions to help others with their missions. Missions that were clean. Missions with death. Missions without it. Missions to kill enemies. Missions to kill friends. There were missions that meant saving the village, saving a child, saving nobody. Daytime missions, nighttime missions.

No mission, Kakashi decided, as he looked through bolts of black, blue, green, red, white, yellow, burgundy cloth, had ever been more important than finding the perfect color for the matching kimonos he wanted made for himself and his lover.


Iruka's flat was decorated in sea colors, and Kakashi found this funny. Kakashi's apartment was decorated in sky colors, and Iruka didn't think it was funny, he thought it was sad.

Iruka's bed had plain white sheets, which Kakashi thought was odd. They reminded him of a hospital. Kakashi had a green comforter with shuriken on it, which Iruka thought was odd until the Jounin explained that his sensei had given it to him as a tenth birthday present.

Kakashi didn't have many possessions, though he had money enough. He knew to well that who ever he left behind would just have to pack them up when he died, and how much that would hurt them. Iruka knew this too, but when a student gave him a plastic apple, or little plastic chalk board magnet with white paint, that said 'World's Best Teacher' on it, he couldn't bare to throw it out. It would hurt them too much.

Kakashi felt that his apartment was empty all the time. Iruka felt his flat was empty when Kakashi wasn't there.


Iruka always forgot, because it meant that Kakashi would bring one for him.


The one thing Iruka didn't have was pictures. Not of the camera kind anyway. What Iruka had were crayon drawings done by his youngest students. Some feature blue and green blobs that are probably meant to be ninja. The more sophisticated students had black and green blobs, meaning they'd probably seen the difference between the Chuunin and Jounin uniforms.

There was one, though, that Iruka had attached to the fridge with a magnet and never took down. There was a brown, blue, and green blob holding squiggles with a blob that might have been orange if the red and yellow had been properly mixed. In squiggly blue letters at the top it simply said 'me and sensei'.


Often, they ate alone. Iruka would work late at the mission room, or Kakashi would be out. Even when they were home and not busy, dinner was alone time. And if Iruka sometimes set the table with the black and red dishes for three, or if Kakashi occasionally poured tea into four extra white cups that no one would ever drink, then nobody had to know.


When Kakashi was gone, Iruka watered Mr. Ukki every day. He would water it until the soil was black, and move it to the spot with the best sunshine. He talked to the plant, and carefully trim each little red and white flower as it appeared, just as instructed. And when the plant would go through a bad spell, seeming to try and die in spite the Chuunin's best efforts, the soil would turn black from the young man's tears.


Food was the vehicle of romance. Kakashi was sure that love was sweet and sour chicken served on black Styrofoam plates with cheap chopsticks.


They both hated to sleep, but for very different reasons. Iruka's dreams were filled with dark nights and red foxes trying to eat young boys dressed in orange that he couldn't hear. He hated to sleep, knowing he was as helpless to save that boy from those teeth as he had been his parents.

Kakashi hated to sleep because he was afraid of never waking up.

Most nights, neither of them slept. They just lay there in the dark, listening to the other breathe, and reminded themselves that they were not alone.