Of Dogs and Men
Author: remthedogsitter
Rating: R (to be safe)
Summary: (AU-ish kakairu) Going home from a mission Iruka suddenly finds himself responsible for a litter of seven puppies surrounded by mysterious circumstances, will he be able to find out where they came from in time before their real owner comes looking for them?
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto or their characters in any shape or form

Epilogue: the Unknown

"Come on now Ran hold still." Kakashi said gently as he finished wrapping a bandage around the dog's wrist. They were leaving today, all the pups and the love of his life. He looked around the room, the pups he helped raise weren't exactly in high spirits to be leaving but he could see their determination.

"You'll wait for me?" Iruka whispered in his ear snaking his arms around his waistfrom behind.

"Only if you'll come back." The jounin smiled. "So hurry and get your butt back ok? I'm going to miss it." He gave said ass a good grope.

"Iruka-sensei, we have reason to believe that other failed experiments like the beast you faced last year are responsible for this list of 'plagues' that's been occurring around the smaller villages."

"Hokage-sama, with all due respect, I know." He said quietly. "I've seen it in my dream, Shinjiru's been telling me I think."

"And what reason do you have for withholding that kind of information?"

"Because they were dreams. But I'm taking responsibility, like Shinjiru the other's could be saved." He recalled the pained look the pup left behind used to have.

She merely nodded putting the information together. Iruka had gotten through that beast somehow with the same magic he had with people like Naruto or Kakashi. "Should I trust you as the only person capable of accomplishing this mission?"

"Yes Hokage-sama." He bowed in resignation, there were more important things right now as much as he wished it all away. "However, I want to go alone. Just me and the pups, anyone else would be a liability." His throat was dry as Shinjiru's warning resounded in he head again, he would have to do it alone or not at all.

Iruka walked around the house, trying to commit this new home he shared with Kakashi to memory. He was alone, Kakashi took the dogs to Tsunade one last time but he knew the man had felt that he needed this small window of thinking time, if only for a last second decision. He ran his hand over the surface of the walls, throught the sheets of the bed they shared together as he remembered the smells that has become so familiar now.

He did not know how long this mission would take, too many variables were still unknown like how many experiments were on the loose or if they were even experiments at all. His fingers reached up to the ring hanging from a silver chain around his neck, their engagement ring, Kakashi's mother's ring. Something inside him knew he couldn't bring himself to marry the man right away with the weight of this mission hanging between them, heaven forbid if he doesn't return the jounin's heart wouldn't be able to take another heart ache.

There was unrest in his pack he could feel through their chakra bond and maybe even the feel of Kakashi's hushed argument with Tsunade. He could feel the resignation, then the determination the pups were trying to make Kakakshi feel as well. They weren't the small pups they were before but they've grown and they could protect their sun with their lives if need be.

Shinjiru had been sharing dreams of the past as well, clues to the mystery of the plagues in the smaller villages. The wolf pack they share blood with was hunted by Orochimaru for their ability that seemed to also exist in the woods and valley of their ancestral land. The dreams he's been having were sometimes odd to say the least, seeing himself through the point of view of a wolf even though it was just fragments of memory and he picked up some of the culture and shared it with the pups. They called him their sun and Kakashi their moon was the titled one would give to the pack's mating pair. There were also clues in the form of landmarks he's never seen before amongst other things.

How old was he now? Late twenties was already considered old for a ninja. This was more than a mission now but a soul searching journey and the 'pups' he was going to find were extensions of his responsibility. He walked back to the Konoha gate slowly, savoring the smell of freshly cut grass, such a simple thing to miss.

Kakashi was waiting for him at the gate, solemn with the pups and ninken scattered around him and they were all watching him. The pups needed his resolve and he decided that finally he wouldn't hold back. They were leaving.

He hugged the man tight. "I'll miss you."

"Don't say goodbye as if you were never coming back." Kakashi whispered in his ear, there was a plea somewhere in there almost sounding like don't leave but if you are cant I come with you.

"When I come back I'll marry you remember? That's why I'll make sure to come back." He tightened the embrace. "Wait for me."

"If you take too long I'll come get you."

Little did Iruka know as he walked away from Konoha that might be the last time he'll see his lover again.


The Shepherd's Dog

Summary: its been five years since Iruka left the village on an important mission and Kakashi has been searching for him ever since. Kakashi's journey leads him deep into iron country where he is later rescued by a shepherd (Iruka) and his eight dogs. Will Kakashi manage to solve the mystery and save Iruka in time?

*sequel to Of Dogs and Men but not necessary to understand this story

"WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED TO THE MAN I FELL IN LOVE WITH?" Kakashi sank to his knees exasperated as the other merely stared at him with a confused expression.

"A ninja in the village? What does he want?"

"He said he's passing through but I doubt that."

"Trail him then, if he looks suspicious leave him to the judgement of the gods of the mountain"

Kakashi's eyes widened as he stared into the opening of the cavern that held rows of what seemed to be hundreds of animal heads in different stages of decomposition with lighted candles scattered about giving the place an eerie glow.

"It is said that the spirit of every living thing resides in its skull or a valuable object at death." The shepherd explained laying another head to the collection. "Here it is offered back to the gods of the mountain."

"Shinjiru what do I have to do to break the curse seal?" Kakashi's voice was stiff as he felt something close to anger whirl up in the pit of his stomach.

A/N: Ok my computer is still busted but thankfully this story is done, I'm just so pissed because the prologue to Shepherd's Dog is there. Thank you for all the love and reviews :D I'm promising SD will be great, it'll have a lot of spiritual elements and mystery and the homeland of the pups. Don't forget to follow me to know when the prologue will be up! -rem