Iruka hated hospitals. He had a lot of bad associations with hospitals but the enforced idleness was the worst. He wanted to be up and doing things, or in the current case, up and beating his beloved senseless, but the nurse was being rather slow in discharging him. She kept talking, saying something about chakra depletion and broken ribs and resting but Iruka was too busy glaring over her shoulder to pay attention.

Kakashi smiled wanly and hid behind the admissions desk. Tsunade sighed, rolled her eyes, and kept talking at Kakashi. From the tone of her voice, she'd already taken care of part of the yelling Iruka wanted to do. He'd repeat it anyways, just to make sure it sank through Kakashi's thick skull.

He wasn't sure how long they'd been back in the village. He'd woken up about an hour ago. Kakashi had been hovering in the vicinity the entire time, apparently in the midst of a debriefing from Tsunade who looked about as put out as Iruka felt. At least that meant she had been as much in the dark as he'd been. He wasn't sure what he'd done if Tsunade had known and not told him. Other ninja kept coming by to verify Kakashi's return, but most took one look at Iruka and quickly disappeared.

"You're free to go."

Iruka hopped off the bed. The movement hurt, particularly in his chest, but he was angry enough that he could ignore the pain. There was a whimper from behind the desk. Tsunade and the crowd of gawking ninja took one look at Iruka and backed away.

"I'm borrowing this." His fingers closed around Kakashi's jacket. He kept walking.

Tsunade waved Iruka on with a ruthless grin.

He ignored the brief chocking noises from behind him. Kakashi quickly scrambled to his feet. People stared as they passed. Dead silence filled the streets. He was glad Manami was still with Kurenai. One less thing to worry about right now. He slammed open the door to his apartment and shoved Kakashi against the wall as he kicked the door shut.

"What. The. Hell."

Kakashi raised his hands defensively in front of him. His grin was shaky. He shrank against the wall. "Iruka, love..."

"Details." He bit the word out between clenched teeth.

Kakashi straightened slightly and scratched the back of his head. "You were in danger." Iruka arched an eyebrow. His fists clenched in the fabric of Kakashi's jacket. "It's a long story."

He let go of Kakashi and pointed towards the living room. "Sit."

Kakashi slid along the wall past Iruka and obediently sat on the couch. He shifted nervously and patted the cushion next to him. Iruka stayed standing and crossed his arms. His head hurt. It was slightly hard to breath. He compromised by leaning against a large plush chair.

"Dega – that's the big oaf from the woods – he broke in and stole our personal records. He was after me, and you since you're connected to me. Tsunade didn't have enough information to go on. She sent our team out to track down whoever had stolen the information, but she wanted to call us back in too soon. So I devised a plan to make him drop his guard so I could get to him."

"Ten months."

Kakashi looked at the floor. "He was hiding." His voice was petulant like Iruka's youngest students.

"Took me under two hours."

Kakashi shifted. "He was waiting for you."

"Ten months."

Kakashi pouted at him. "I'm sorry. You can punch me again if it makes you feel better. But I did what I thought was best to protect you. I couldn't stay in Konoha. It would only put you in danger and I wouldn't have had the freedom to take out all the threats. But you're safe now."

"You realize that you were technically a missing nin?"

Kakashi didn't hesitate. "I did it for you."

The anger drained out of Iruka, leaving him feeling exhausted. He crossed the room and dropped onto the couch. His head fell on Kakashi's shoulder.

"I missed you."

Strong arms wrapped around him as he started to shake. All of the tears that he'd held in for the past ten months came pouring out, turning him into a sobbing wreck. Kakashi stroked Iruka's hair. He kept apologizing, over and over again, his voice low and soothing. Iruka didn't move, even when the tears ran out.

"I won't do that to you ever again. I promise."

"Liar." One day Kakashi would die for real. He wouldn't get another second chance. Iruka sat up and forced a smile. He took Kakashi's hand. His body protested as he stood. "We should go."

Kakashi looked up at him. "Go?"

Iruka smiled, and this time there was no sadness in it. "To get your daughter."