Iruka opened the door on the second knock. He stared in surprise at the man standing on the other side – none other than Hatake Kakashi, the legendary Copy-Nin.

"Yo!" Kakashi greeted, his one visible eye half-closed in an approximation of a smile.

He smiled back and hid his nervousness. "Ah... hello. Can I help you, Hatake-san?"

The white-haired jounin held up a folded piece of paper between two fingers. "Letter for you."

Iruka blinked. He glanced at his mail box, less than a foot away from his door. He looked back at the paper. There didn't seem to be any of the normal post marks on it.

"From Naruto," Kakashi added.

"Oh!" Iruka's eyes widened. He stepped back quickly. "Thank you! Please, come in."

Kakashi smiled at him and stepped inside, toeing his shoes off by the door. Iruka headed towards the kitchen.

"Can I get you anything? Tea? Cookies?"

The jounin waved off his concern. Kakashi paused in Iruka's living room, eyes scanning the room, taking in the myriad photos on the walls and the messy sprawl of papers across the coffee table, before dropping gracefully to the floor. Iruka changed directions and resumed his seat on the other side of the table. He quickly straightened up his pile of papers, smoothing them into two stacks.

"Grading?"

Iruka nodded, a faint blush stealing across his face though he had no idea why. There wasn't anything particularly embarrassing about doing his job, but he always got a bit unnerved in Kakashi's presence. He blamed it on the Chuunin Exams. He knew now that he shouldn't have said anything, that his students had been fine, had been ready, but he couldn't help his desire to protect his students, Naruto especially. Part of him would always associate Kakashi with his outburst over the exams and the residual embarrassment that still lingered because of it.

He doubted Kakashi even remembered the incident, or gave it much thought, but that didn't help the butterflies in his stomach subside any sooner.

"Here."

Iruka blinked as the paper was handed across the table. He unfolded it, noting absently that the seal had already been broken. He glanced over at the jounin. Kakashi was staring at one of the photos on the wall, his attention focused on it as if Iruka wasn't even in the room. He resisted the urged to look over to see which photo had Kakashi so enthralled. Two names stood out at the top of the paper. Belatedly, he realized the letter wasn't addressed only to him.

"You've read this already?"

Kakashi nodded absently, but didn't say anything.

He started to read.

Dear Kakashi-sensei and Iruka-sensei,

Jiraiya's making me write to you both at the same time. He says he can't spare much paper, and that I shouldn't bother writing at all since it could give away where we are and it's supposed to be a secret, but he writes all the time, working on those pervy novels that Kakashi-sensei likes so much, so I think he just doesn't want to give me more than a few sheets at a time. Such a stingy guy! And, a big pervert too. He tries to tell me about his books but then I throw things at him and he stops. You'd be proud, Iruka-sensei, he's as much a stickler for making sure I eat vegetables as you are, so don't worry. I know you are anyways, but he's taking care of me.

I'm getting a lot stronger, and learning a lot, most of which Jiraiya won't let me talk about. We can spar when I get back, and then I can show you both all the cool things I learned.

There are a lot of really neat animals where we are. Lots of frogs and toads, though Jiraiya gets mad when I start hopping around like they do. I think it's fun! I chased one through the woods the other day and then it blew up. Not my fault, I swear.

It's warm here, and we sleep in the trees most nights. It reminds me a lot of home, but the trees aren't the same kinds of trees and there are things that keep reminding me how different everything is. We went into one of the local villages the other day and Jiraiya bought me ramen. It didn't taste the same. Jiraiya said it was because they used different spices but I think they just don't know how to cook right. A lot of the food is different here. Most of it involves this spicy brown stuff and they do weird things with their rice.

I hope you two are doing well. Don't give the kids too much homework, Iruka-sensei, and try not to be too much of a pervert, Kakashi-sensei.

I miss you, and want to come home, but I've got a long way to go until I'm strong enough.

Naruto

P.S. Also, Kakashi-sensei, you should totally take Iruka-sensei out for ramen for me since he probably misses going, though I know it's not the same without me, but say hi to the old guy at Ichiraku for me.

Iruka read the letter a second time before he put it down. He couldn't seem to stop grinning. Even miles away, Naruto still knew how to make him smile. He held out the letter towards Kakashi.

"Did you want this back?"

Kakashi shook his head and turned to watch Iruka with a lazy smile. He was slightly curious why Kakashi had sat around watching Iruka read. "Then, why..."

"Ramen?"

A blush spread across Iruka's face and he looked away hastily. "You shouldn't take Naruto so seriously. You don't have to take me for ramen. I can go later."

"I know," Kakashi said, his gaze never leaving Iruka. He didn't move.

"Oh." Iruka could feel his blush getting worse. He looked at the clock. It was late for lunch, early for dinner. Ichiraku's would be mostly empty. "Did you want to...?"

"Sure." Kakashi hopped to his feet and extended a hand down. Iruka looked at the hand and flushed before accepting it.

Kakashi's hand lingered for a moment longer than strictly necessary before pulling away. Iruka had a feeling that his blush would be stuck on his face for a long while.

*****

The second letter came three months after the first. Kakashi was waiting perched on the wall outside of the mission room when Iruka's shift ended. Iruka smiled as he noticed the jounin, his grin widening as he saw the familiar-looking paper held at the jounin's side. Kakashi's eyes followed him as he approached, the usual one-eyed grin on his face.

"Another letter?"

Kakashi nodded and pushed off from the wall. "Ramen?"

Iruka smiled. Dinner with the jounin was starting to become a regular occurrence. They'd been out together a few times since Naruto's first letter, their dinners together growing in frequency until it was a nearly weekly event.

"I'd love to."

Kakashi fell in stride next to him and handed over the paper. Iruka hesitated briefly, torn between reading the letter immediately and actually paying attention to where he was going. The letter won. He trusted Kakashi to keep him from walking into anything.

Dear Kakashi-sensei and Iruka-sensei,

Did you have ramen? I did! We finally found a place that makes the real stuff, without any of that crappy brown stuff. I still want more. Jiraiya would only let me have five bowls.

I ran into Gaara a few weeks ago. We fought a little, until the old pervert made us stop, but it was a friendly fight not a trying to kill each other fight. I think I won, but Gaara wouldn't agree with me. His brother and sister were there too. I don't think his brother likes me, but his sister's alright in a scary kind of way. She reminds me of Sakura. Speaking of which, say hi to her for me.

I think Jiraiya was over-reacting about the fighting thing. He said that we shouldn't draw too much attention to ourselves, but he and I fight all the time while we're training. He says it's just a difference of location – when I spar with the old pervert it's usually in the woods or out away from the villages, but I wouldn't have run into Gaara there so we couldn't really help it. None of the villagers got hurt and we didn't destroy anything. Much. Nothing important at least.

Kakashi-sensei, do me a favor and make sure Iruka-sensei doesn't get too lonely. He's my only family, and I'm his, so I'm sure he's not used to his house being so quiet for so long.

Sometimes I wake up and think I'm still in Konoha. I imagine I'm sleeping on Iruka-sensei's couch again, and breakfast is almost ready. I think that's one of the things I miss most about Konoha – having Iruka-sensei waking me up in the morning with a smile and telling me food is ready.

Iruka-sensei, you should totally have Kakashi-sensei over some time and cook breakfast for him, though considering how late he usually is, you should say it's breakfast and then expect him for lunch. Make the beef pot that I like so much. I know he's a total pervert, but he can't cook at all, so he really likes it when he's around people who know how to cook. Ask him about that time with the old lady in the village and the chickens. He'll know. He burnt toast. Toast. Even I can do that. Sometimes. I've gotten better.

Naruto

Iruka turned to the jounin with a wide grin. "Chickens?"

"Well..." Kakashi stared up at the sky, watching the clouds pass. "It's not as interesting as he makes it sound."

Iruka grinned and tried very hard not to laugh. "Of course, Kakashi-sensei. I'm sure it's all very respectable."

Kakashi gave him a look. They both started laughing, and didn't stop until they ordered their ramen.

*****

The sixth letter was delivered late at night.

It'd been a long day for Iruka. One of his kids had nearly blown up the Academy by trying out an advanced jutsu his older brother had taught him, improperly taught nonetheless. Parents had been called and Iruka had had to play the placating game. Then he'd been late to his shift in the mission room, and it seemed a group of jounin had gotten their panties twisted today.

Iruka doubted that that particular group was ever going to make the mistake of calling Iruka 'lowly' again, at least not with that many other jounin around. Jounin who, as it turned out, were remarkably fond of Iruka. It might have had something to do with his yearly Christmas cookies. As it was, he'd barely restrained Genma from stabbing one in the eye with his senbon, and he still wasn't sure where all of Anko's snake summons had ended up. Of course, Tsunade had just laughed about the whole thing, but when the troublemaking group had left her office – her very quiet office, so she hadn't yelled – they'd been very, very pale and very, very quiet.

He was a little pleased that he hadn't even had to raise his own voice, but he still had a feeling that some of them might find their clothing patched with interesting slogans if they ever tried to belittle him again. Or if he was bored. The night was young.

But, instead of plotting revenge, he found a smiling jounin knocking on his door well past the hour when Iruka should have been going to bed.

It was a Friday and Kakashi had a bottle of sake with him. Iruka let him in with a growing smile. His smile widened as he caught sight of the tell-tale paper.

"I'll get cups," he said as he left Kakashi to remove his shoes in the entrance way.

Iruka's sake set was up on the top shelf of one of his cabinets. He dragged it out with a smile, thinking with fondness of the last time he'd used it, with Anko a few weeks ago.

"I hear you've had a busy day?"

Iruka groaned and turned to give Kakashi a reproachful look as the jounin leaned in the kitchen doorway. "Please. Don't remind me. I've had enough jounin brawls and explosions to last me for a good long while."

Somehow he could tell Kakashi's grin was devilish, even with the mask covering his face. "Really? Are you sure? I was just thinking about starting one tomorrow, but if you don't want me to..."

"No," he said as sternly as he could muster, which wasn't very stern since he was also trying not to laugh at the same time. "I'll pass on that, thank you."

"Suit yourself. The offer still stands."

Iruka chuckled and carrying the sake set to the table. Kakashi took it away from him with a grin and handed him the letter.

"You want to read that."

Iruka raised an eyebrow but settled down to read while Kakashi poured them sake.

Dear Kakashi-sensei and Iruka-sensei,

I'm totally going to kick Kakashi-sensei's ass when I get home. Just saying. I've gotten that good, though Jiraiya won't admit it. He's been teaching me more things that my dad used to be able to do. It's gonna be so awesome! Konohamaru will not want to miss it!

So I was telling Jiraiya about you two the other day. Well, he knows Kakashi-sensei, since Kakashi-sensei is like the biggest fan of his novels and all that, but he didn't know Iruka-sensei. I totally told him all the awesome things we used to do together, and he thinks you're super-cool, Iruka-sensei, 'cause I told him you were. Anyways, I was telling him about how I told you both to have dinner, and he said that I was totally right in that, though he used different words like 'alone time' and 'establishing a casual dynamic'. He's weird. But he said he was going to write a book about you two. It'll be super cool. And it's not going to be part of that pervy series he writes. He said that it wouldn't fit that kind of demo-something. It'll be for a whole new audience, he said. Some guys, but he said there'd be a lot of chicks who'd want to read about you two as well. Isn't that cool?

The way he talks makes it sound like it's going to be really awesome. I thought briefly that I might want him to write about me someday but I know he'd totally get it all wrong. My sheer awesomeness can't be caught on paper. I don't think it'd come out right. He says I'm named after one of his characters, but I don't believe him. I bet him ramen when we get back to Konoha. It's gonna be tasty when I win.

So, Iruka-sensei, did you cook for Kakashi-sensei like I told you to? If you haven't, get on it. I told Jiraiya about that part too, but he was more interested in stories about how you're a teacher, though he kept asking all sorts of weird questions. He says it's 'reference' so that he can 'know the whole character', but does he really need to know what kind of underwear you wear to write a book? I think that's just totally weird, but then he's weird and a perv so it fits that he thinks about non-pervy things in a pervy way, like his mind's wired that way or something.

Don't worry, Iruka-sensei, I'm not going to turn into a perv like him. I've had practice training with Kakashi-sensei. I'm starting to wonder which of them is the bigger perv – the one who reads porn all day or the one who writes it. No offense, Kakashi-sensei.

Have you been using the sake set I got you for your birthday, Iruka-sensei? If not, you totally should. Have people over. You don't do that often enough, and you need to spend more time with your friends to make up for the fact that I'm not there to keep you company all the time.

Tell Konohamaru how awesome I'm getting. And don't mention the new book. Jiraiya said that it was a secret.

Naruto

Iruka stared at the letter for a long time before he very carefully put it down, resisting the urge to tear it to shreds in fury.

"Would Jiraiya really...." He didn't want to know. He didn't want to know, or he'd storm out of Konoha and make a very big mess of things. He didn't know where the old pervert even was, which was probably a really, really good thing.

Kakashi sipped at his sake and shrugged. "He'll change the names at least. He'd make you Shiruka or something."

Iruka twitched slightly.

"Should be a good book. I'll buy you a copy."

Two things were not adding up in Iruka's mind, and with his fury over Jiraiya's new novel, it was taking them a moment to connect. Kakashi was sipping from his sake cup, had been for most of the time that Iruka had been reading. There was another cup of sake in front of Iruka, which he grabbed and downed in one gulp, hoping the alcohol would calm his outrage a little. It made his cheeks flush as it burned a line down his chest. Kakashi was drinking but not moving to lower his mask. He didn't need to.

Iruka froze and stared. Kakashi's mask was down, left hanging loose around his throat. His first thought was that there was nothing remarkable about the lower half of Kakashi's face that warranted hiding it behind a mask. His second was that Kakashi's face was actually quite attractive. His third, which might be slightly influenced by the sake hitting his stomach and expanding out to leave his entire body tingling, was that Kakashi's lips seemed even more kissable, more desirable, because they were hidden so often.

"Oh," he said, as everything slowly clicked into place.

Kakashi refilled both of their cups. His smile seemed so much brighter without the mask in the way. Iruka turned his gaze down before his face started flushing again, and took a long drink of sake. He had a feeling about the inevitable outcome of their conversation, but he wasn't sure what he should say or do to help move things forward. His brain was still stuck on the fact that Kakashi's mask was down.

Suddenly Kakashi was standing. Iruka's mouth opened in surprise. Had he done something wrong? "Kakashi...?"

The jounin circled the table and flopped down next to Iruka. His thigh brushed against Iruka's, causing the chuunin to blush further. "Relax."

One of Kakashi's arms landed around Iruka's shoulders. The contact tingled all the way down Iruka's back. He forced himself to relax as Kakashi leaned in. His eyes drifted closed.

The kiss was better than he would have expected. Kakashi's lips pressed against his own, softly at first, then deepening as Iruka leaned into the kiss. He shifted, turning slightly so that he could wind his arms around Kakashi's shoulders. Kakashi's tongue slid against his. There were hands toying with the hem of his shirt. He moaned into the kiss. Blunt nails scraped across his sides.

Iruka leaned back, pulling Kakashi to lie on top of him in the narrow space between the couch and the coffee table. He could feel Kakashi's smirk against his lips. The jounin made a small, approving sound as he settled on top of Iruka. A leg slid between Iruka's and he let it, pulling his legs apart so that Kakashi could settle between them.

Their hips met, sending a jolt of pleasure up Iruka's spine. He broke the kiss to gasp, arching up into Kakashi. The jounin chuckled slightly and nuzzled his nose against Iruka's neck.

"You know, there might be some things in Jiraiya's books that you aren't familiar with." Kakashi's lips brushed teasingly against Iruka's neck as he spoke.

Iruka let his hands twist into Kakashi's hair, holding the jounin against him. Slowly, he lifted his legs to hook around Kakashi's waist. He pushed up. "I think I've got a good grasp on the material."

His shirt was pushed up to his armpits. "Are you sure? There might be a bit of... advanced material. Kinky stuff."

He could only watch in fascination as Kakashi's head moved down, leaving a wet trail of kisses across Iruka's stomach.

"I... I think I can manage."

One of Kakashi's hands slid under the hem of Iruka's pants. He jumped as slightly cold fingers found his erection. A low moan fell from his lips and he felt his hips start to move, writhing up in time with Kakashi's hand.

"Like that?"

He nodded mutely.

Kakashi's hand pulled away. Iruka almost protested the loss but it didn't go far, just to the edge of Iruka's pants, pushing the fabric down until his erection was free. He gasped as cool air hit over-sensitized flesh. Then Kakashi slid down. He grinned up at Iruka for a brief moment before licking his lips and dropping his head, engulfing Iruka in one swift swallow.

Iruka cried out. One of his hands tightened in Kakashi's hair while the other clenched in the fabric of Kakashi's shirt. He moaned the jounin's name, then repeated it again, louder, as Kakashi started bobbing his head, licking his way up and down Iruka's erection. It'd been a while for Iruka. Long enough that he found his defenses unraveling around a warm, wet mouth, and when Kakashi's fingers started to move, teasing at the flesh around the base of his erection, winding through the short hairs there to tug possessively and then move down, circling his entrance.

He came into Kakashi's mouth as a single, thin finger pushed inside of him.

Kakashi's lips were wet when he pulled back, looking like a very smug cat. He grinned down at Iruka and ran his hands over the insides of Iruka's naked thighs.

"Shall we try the bedroom for the second half?"

Iruka nodded rapidly. That was possibly the best idea he'd ever heard from the jounin's lips. Kakashi pulled him to his feet, his hands wandering down to rub over Iruka's ass with obvious interest.

"If you'd like, you could stay for breakfast in the morning." Iruka smiled. "I believe I owe you one."

The answering grin Kakashi gave him made Iruka's heart flutter. "I believe you've just stumbled on the secret of getting me somewhere early in the morning."

Iruka led the way towards the bedroom. "I'll have to make use of that in the future."

Kakashi's hands stayed on his waist as they moved towards Iruka's bed. "I think it can be arranged."

They fell to the bed laughing.

*****

Iruka was worried. He might have past worried, and moved into panicked, but he didn't count himself objective enough at the moment to differentiation. His students had noticed and were on their best behavior, sitting quietly during class and doing their best to stay out of Iruka's way. The chuunin and jounin that came into the Mission Room had noticed and they'd had a rash of clean, well-written reports.

If he'd known that all it would take to get both halves of his life to behave was to lose his temper and threaten to simultaneously castrate and defenestrate a high-ranking jounin who tried to pick a fight with him, he would have let his temper out of its cage a long time ago.

In retrospect, he might have overreacted just a tiny bit, but he blamed that entirely on his nerves. He couldn't sit still. He paced constantly, in front of his class, or when off duty, roaming through the alleys and side streets of Konoha late into the night. His body was overflowing with nervous energy, leaving him restless and constantly on edge. Genma and Anko had offered to spar with him occasionally, which helped at least to tire him out enough to get some sleep but it didn't do anything to alleviate the cause for his worry.

It'd been six months since his last letter from Naruto, which was two months longer than the largest gap between letters to date. Kakashi was gone, had been gone for approaching a month and a half on some sort of secret mission.

He desperately hoped that they were both safe and fine and not lying dead in a ditch in the middle of nowhere but he couldn't help but worry. Naruto was like a son to him and Kakashi.... He was pretty sure he was in love with Kakashi, which was going to make for a very interesting conversation whenever Naruto got back.

Iruka moved between the rooms of his house mechanically, searching for something to do or clean or fix that he hadn't already taken care of. His house was spotless. His shelves had been rearranged twice, furniture moved, walls repainted, clothing repaired, cabinets restocked.

The knock on his door came as blessed relief. Iruka wrenched the door open, expecting to find Genma or Anko or even Gai there, but instead his jaw dropped as recognition hit him.

"Yo!" Kakashi waved at him and then moved past him towards the living room.

Iruka slammed the door shut and pounced. Kakashi's reflexes took over instantly and Iruka found himself pinned to the floor beneath the jounin, his hands held tightly above his head. The jounin stared down at him, his expression slowly softening.

"Missed me?" He let go of Iruka's hands. Iruka felt a brief pang of disappointment run through him.

He reached up, moving slowly this time so that he didn't trigger any of Kakashi's automatic defenses, and cupped the jounin's face in both of his hands. He slowly peeled down Kakashi's mask. "Like you wouldn't believe."

Iruka leaned up to kiss Kakashi as thoroughly as possible, using his lips and tongue to convey all of the worry and fear and desperation he'd kept trapped inside the last few weeks. His hands moved over Kakashi's body, stripping away his clothing piece by piece.

Hands caught his as he started to undo Kakashi's pants. The jounin pulled away.

"Wait." Iruka was rather pleased with himself at how breathless the jounin sounded. "I have something for you."

His breath caught in his throat. He'd asked at the office just this morning. No one had come in with a letter, but he couldn't stop himself from hoping that maybe Naruto had sent word through a less than conventional channel. Maybe it'd been waiting this whole time, until Kakashi got back.

He couldn't bring himself to ask.

"There's a message from Naruto. No letter this time."

All the tension that had been built up in Iruka's body, winding him tighter than a spring, left him, all at once. He collapsed bonelessly against the floor. It wasn't a letter, but at least it was something. A message meant that Naruto was still alive, somewhere.

"What is it?"

Kakashi smiled down at him and brushed his hand through Iruka's hair. His fingers found the tie of Iruka's ponytail and pulled it loose.

"I saw him, in person, a few weeks ago. He wanted me to tell you that he's okay and that he's sorry he hasn't written."

Iruka blinked back the tears that threatened to fall. He was so happy that Naruto was alright, so happy that he finally knew. He should have known better than to doubt either of them.

"Thank you." He couldn't help the bit of emotion that crept into his voice. He knew Kakashi would understand. "Thank you for letting me know."

Kakashi smiled at him fondly. "That's not all. He told me to tell you that he's coming back soon, and he wanted me to give you something."

"What's that?"

Kakashi's arms slipped under Iruka's back and lifted him, pulling him into a tight hug. After a moment of confusion, Iruka relaxed into the embrace and let his arms wrap around Kakashi. It felt nice, comforting. He didn't ever want to let go.

"There's something from Jiraiya too."

Iruka pulled back slightly, hanging mid-air, supported by Kakashi's arms. He quirked an eyebrow at the jounin and was almost afraid to ask. "What's that?"

Kakashi pulled him up until he was sitting astride the jounin's lap and kissed him with fervor. Iruka's mind lost all thought and he kissed back, pushing against the jounin until they were chest to chest. Their hands moved in concert, stripping Iruka of his shirt so that they could feel skin against skin. Once the fabric was gone, both of Kakashi's hands moved down to cup Iruka's ass, fondling him roughly and pulling his hips against Kakashi.

He was gasping for breath by the time they parted. "That was from Jiraiya?"

Kakashi leered at him. "Something from his book, apparently."

Iruka felt his face heat. He opened his mouth to complain but a low groan came out instead. Kakashi's hands hadn't moved and they were starting to become a distraction. He fidgeted in Kakashi's lap, hissing slightly as the movement rubbed Kakashi's obvious erection against his hips. Mentally, he cursed the layers of fabric still between them.

"I... I'm not... going to... like it... am I?" It was hard to speak when there was a set of very talented lips against his throat.

"I'd be glad to help you explore the finer points of Jiraiya's literature. You might even come to appreciate it."

He felt his blush creep towards his ears and into his scalp. "I'm not reading that filth." His proclamation might have been a bit more effective if it his breath hadn't hitched in the middle. Kakashi's hands were moving him forward, rubbing their hips together in a very suggestive rhythm.

"I never said anything about reading."

Kakashi's teeth closed over his collarbone, drowning out any retort he might have made with a loud moan. His back hit the floor and then the last of his clothes were peeled away, leaving him naked and exposed, sprawled scant feet away from the front door. Fingers pressed against his entrance. He arched into the touch.

"Kakashi..." He moaned and dug his fingers into Kakashi's shoulders. "Kakashi... lube..."

The jounin cursed slightly and pulled his hands away to fumble with his vest. He grinned triumphantly as he pulled a thin tube of ointment out of one of his pockets. Iruka whimpered in anticipation. As soon as Kakashi came within reach, he grasped for the jounin's pants, undoing the front with shaking fingers.

Kakashi took one of Iruka's hands and squeezed ointment onto his palm. He guided Iruka's hand to his erection, and started stroking, moving their hands together over the jounin's erection, spreading the ointment over Kakashi's erection. After a few strokes, Kakashi let go and spread ointment across his own fingers.

Iruka kept his eyes on Kakashi as he spread his legs, pulling up his knees to give Kakashi more room. He groaned loudly as Kakashi's fingers pressed inside, three at once. It hurt slightly, but the pleasure outweighed the pain. He lost his rhythm on Kakashi's cock, too distracted by the fingers spreading him open to concentrate on what his hand was doing. He wanted Kakashi now. He wanted it to hurt a bit, anything if it got Kakashi inside him sooner.

"Kakashi. Kakashi, I want you in me." The jounin's fingers curled, making Iruka buck. He gasped and grabbed Kakashi by the hair. "Fuck me. Now. Need you."

The jounin grinned down at him. "Your wish is my command."

Kakashi's arms hooked under Iruka's knees, holding his legs apart as he shifted forward, his hands holding Iruka by the hips. He pulled Kakashi's head down until he could kiss him. He whimpered as Kakashi pressed against him, trembling in anticipation. The feeling of Kakashi pushing inside of him was pure bliss. He'd missed this. He'd missed it almost as much as he missed the letters. Kakashi's mouth moved against his, muffling the loud moan that escaped him as Kakashi seated himself fully.

The floorboards were cool against his back, thankfully providing enough traction that he didn't start sliding across the floor as soon as Kakashi started thrusting. He devoured Kakashi's mouth. Their tongues slid over and around each other. He pulled away to lightly bite Kakashi's lower lip, releasing the flesh when Kakashi pounded into him hard enough to lift his hips. His head feel back and he moaned, voice getting louder and more erratic with every thrust.

He was going to bruise but he didn't care. The bruises would be worth it. They'd be reminders, long after Kakashi had left in the morning, that Kakashi was back and safe and still alive.

Iruka looked up at Kakashi. He was panting with every thrust but that just made Kakashi pound into him harder. Both of the jounin's eyes were open, watching him intently. He was as breathless as Iruka, but he at least controlled it better. Kakashi's breath escaped in quiet pants. Iruka's wanton moans were almost obscenely loud in counterpoint.

Kakashi lifted him, pulling his hips up off the floor and shifting them until he was hitting Iruka at an angle that made the pleasure unbearable. He came hard, spilling his seed across his chest and moaning Kakashi's name. Kakashi thrust into him a few more times and then he followed Iruka, coming inside of Iruka with a smug expression on his face and a soft groan.

His feet were lowered gently to the floor as Kakashi slowly disentangled them.

"Did I make up for my absence?"

It took Iruka a moment to catch his breath long enough to respond. "Yeah. Yeah, I think that'll do." He laughed. It took on a bit of a desperate note towards the end.

Kakashi's fingers brushed against his cheek. His smile softened.

Iruka wrapped his arms around Kakashi's shoulders and pulled him down. The jounin's elbows rested against the floor on either side of Iruka's head. He pressed his face against Iruka's hair, nuzzling against Iruka.

They stayed together like that, silent and wrapped around each other for a long while.

*****

Iruka smiled when he heard the knock on the door and happily put down his pen. Grading could wait a bit longer. He opened the door quickly, not at all surprised to find Kakashi standing on his doorstep. His smile widened as he noticed the piece of paper in Kakashi's hand. Kakashi handed it over before he even took a step into the apartment.

He opened it and then froze.

"This is blank."

Kakashi grinned at him. "I know."

The jounin stepped aside and Iruka's eyes widened as he was suddenly tackled by an enthusiastic orange blob. He tumbled backwards, landing hard on the floor. Kakashi grinned down at them.

"I thought a personal delivery might go a bit better."

Naruto pulled backwards to give Iruka a gigantic, toothy grin. "I'm home! Did you miss me?"

He couldn't seem to stop grinning. "Yes. I missed you a lot."

Naruto pulled back suddenly, dragging Iruka up with him. "Kakashi said we can go to ramen. Can we go? Can we go?"

His eyes moved from Naruto to Kakashi and back again. There was only one possible answer.

"Of course," Iruka said. "My treat."

Naruto's excited cheers could be heard for half a block.

He locked the door as they left and quickly activated his wards. Naruto was already down the road ahead of them, Kakashi stood nearby waiting for him. Even with Kakashi's mask up, he could still picture the exact smile that the jounin was giving him.

"Relieved to have him back?" Kakashi asked softly, his voice pitched low enough that Naruto couldn't hear.

"I'm relieved to have you both home safe."

Kakashi smiled at him fondly and twined their fingers together. They followed Naruto at a more sedate pace.

Naruto turned a short ways ahead of them, his mouth open to say something. He stopped as his eyes landed on their joined hands and a dopey grin broke across his face.

"It's about time."

Iruka leaned slightly against Kakashi, reveling in the feeling of the jounin so close to him. "Yeah. I guess it is."

He knew that Naruto and Kakashi would have to leave eventually. He wasn't sure whether it was good fortune or misfortune that the two people that meant the most to him were both highly active ninja, but for now, for the brief time he had, he felt comforted knowing that they were both here with him. When that changed, he trusted that they were strong enough to keep themselves and each other safe. No matter where they went, eventually Kakashi and Naruto would come back to him.

They were his family.