Hello. I haven't written a NarutoxIruka story in a while. I love this pairing so I started this one a while back, but never really finished it. I've been doing a lot of sasunaru lately, so I took a slight break today to finish this one. I hope you all enjoy it. It's a little sad perhaps, but I love it. I hope you all do too.


Naruto groaned as he fell to the ground. The older boys laughed at him, but ran away as soon as one of the academy teachers started heading their way. His eyes were full of concern until he spotted blonde, wild hair. In an instant the teacher's eyes set themselves hard as diamonds. He was just as harsh when he spoke.

"Get up." He ordered. As soon as Naruto was up the teacher turned away and left to watch the other students. Naruto rubbed at his sore elbow and skinned knee. He hissed as his fingers passed over the peeled skin, but stood up as straight as he could and headed towards the single swing that was out by the school yard's edge. He crossed his leg over the board and sat while resting his head on the swing's rope.

Naruto didn't know why most of the kids hated him. He wasn't the only one with different colored hair or eyes and yet the boys always pushed him down while playing games. He was always left out and the only way to get them to laugh with him was to get them to laugh at him. He didn't even have the hope to be invited to somebody's house. All the parents had something against him. He could tell by the way their eyes changed when he was around. He was all alone and not only alone, but hated as well.

Naruto didn't cry. He was beyond that. He was angry, but one day he'd make them all see! One day, when he became Hokage they'd have no choice, but to acknowledge him. Naruto comforted himself with those thoughts until it was time to head back to class.

When Iruka started teaching he promised himself he'd be fair with everybody. He told himself he'd have no favorites. He wanted to be impartial to all of his students. He'd treat them all the same. Even as he repeated those words to himself he found himself smiling at the young blonde at his side. He was slurping as much ramen as he could get away with while his teacher was paying.

"This will get better." Iruka said to his student.

Iruka rubbed his hand through Naruto's hair and ordered him another bowl. This time it would be the last one or so he told himself before ordering him a 3rd.

"I know, sensei." Naruto replied after a loud slurp.

Naruto worked hard to get ahead. He proved himself during the chunin exams and again during missions. He had what he'd wished for long before. He had his peers' respect. He had Sasuke and he had Sakura who, regardless of how they acted or what they said, had his back. Slowly like a wildflower, love came out of nowhere and bloomed for Sakura. He longed for her as much as she longed for Sasuke.

He tried again and again for her attention.

"Sakura, will you go out with me?" He finally got the nerve to ask. He was grinning nervously and rubbing the back of his head with his hand. He had saved up some money to treat her right for the night and he had plans to do everything he could to convince her that he wasn't just a prank playing kid anymore. He was growing up. He was getting older and he was ready to be even better than Sasuke.

He was wearing subtle dark jeans and a nice black t-shirt he'd actually washed. His hair had been neatly done, up until he ran his hand through it. He'd tried to be quiet most of the day and kept his outbursts to a minimum. All of this was for her.

"Gross. Of course not." Sakura said and laughed at Naruto. She wasn't being mean. She didn't mean to be. She was just used to Naruto's attempts and turning him down. It was almost routine. She wasn't interested enough to notice how he'd dressed up this time and fixed his hair. She shrugged. "I'll never go out with you, Naruto. You should forget about me. I'll only ever love Sasuke." She sighed and walked away without another word.

Naruto stood where he'd been for the last five minutes, unmoving. He was used to rejection and yet this time it hurt much more. He finally moved when others started staring at him. He walked toward the swing that had held him before when he'd had no one.

"Aren't you cold?" Iruka asked as he walked into the playground and saw a familiar person leaning on the lone swing.

Naruto sniffled and shrugged.

Iruka removed his jacked and placed it over Naruto's shoulders. He kept his hand on Naruto's shaking shoulders the whole time. They stood in silence until Naruto stopped his crying.

"I just got paid." Iruka said and pulled his hand away.

Naruto looked up with red rimmed eyes and blinked away some tears. "Can I get pork miso?" He asked with a pout that was bordering on a smile.

Iruka chuckled. "Of course." He said and helped Naruto off of the swing and towards Ichiraku's.

"Some day you'll find the one." Iruka said when Naruto stopped sniffling.

"I know." Naruto's grin was almost as bright as always when he looked up at his ex-teacher.

Naruto was back. He was grinning as he looked over Konoha. It was a little different than he'd left it, but it still felt like home. Naruto rushed back to his old apartment and left his things. He had a few people to see.

Iruka was taken completely by surprise when there was a knock at his door. He had a handkerchief tied on his head to keep his hair from the mess he was cleaning up. He was in an old worn cotton shirt and cargo shorts he used for cleaning. He came up to the door with a rag in hand. His eyes went wide when he saw Naruto waiting for him.

"Sensei!" He said before launching himself into Iruka's arms. Dust flew as Iruka was patted roughly. He was lifted off of the ground and turned around a few times.

"N-naruto!" Iruka finally managed to say as he was put down. "What are you doing here? Are you back for good?" He asked excitedly. He looked over his student. He was definitely not a kid anymore. He was taller, his face was thinner and he'd obviously filled out a bit since he'd last seen his grinning prankster face.

"I'm back for good." Naruto confirmed. He shut the door behind himself and finally looked over Iruka. "You cleaning?" He asked even though the answer was obvious.

Suddenly Iruka felt a little under dressed. He chuckled nervously and pulled off the handkerchief from his head and tried to dust himself down. His shirt had holes and his shorts were paint stained from the time he'd redone his kitchen.

"Yeah. I-i should change." Iruka said with red blooming on his face. He nervously scratched at his scar where his blush was most obvious. He didn't know why, but now looking at Naruto he wanted to change very badly and look good for his once student.

"We can go to Ichiraku's." Naruto said. "My treat!" He offered while Iruka walked to his room.

Sasuke stood very close. Naruto wanted to take a step back, but that would be akin to losing, so he held his ground. Sasuke smirked at Naruto as his eyes set in determination. Sasuke took another small step towards Naruto until their chests were touching and Naruto was pressed against the tree.

Naruto's breath caught and he swallowed hard. He was almost sure Sasuke wasn't trying to start a fight. He was certain of it only when Sasuke's cold hands went around his wrists and pulled his hands over his head and he felt at the same time both the rough bark on the back of his hands and Sasuke's soft lips on his.

Naruto couldn't keep the smile off his face all night. Iruka had to wonder what had put it there.

"Are you feeling alright?" Iruka asked when Naruto turned down a third bowl.

"I'm good." Naruto said a little distractedly then turned to face Iruka with a wide smile. "I'm perfect" He added and chuckled.

Iruka smiled back at Naruto. He liked seeing him so happy. "Want to tell me about it over a movie?" Iruka asked as he paid and they got up to leave.

"I wish I could, but I have a date." Naruto said and winked at Iruka.

"Ah, so that's why you're so happy..." Iruka trialed off and felt a spark of jealousy rise. "Sakura finally said yes?" He asked and hoped it wasn't her. He remembered well how she'd broken his heart and how it had been he, Iruka, who had to piece him back together. If it was her he swore he'd -

"Sasuke." Naruto said and blushed.

Iruka's thoughts all came to a halting stop. "S-sasuke?" He asked and in an instant he felt excited about Naruto sharing his preferences, but that was instantly crushed when he thought of how different he and Sasuke were. White pale skin, and dark ink black eyes were nothing like Iruka's warm brown eyes and tanned skin. It wasn't just in the physical where their traits differed. Iruka bit his lip and released it. "That's great, Naruto." He said and smiled a little tightly.

Naruto noticed the change. He wondered if his teacher had a problem with Naruto's choice. "He's really not a bastard, at least not as much as he wants people to think he is." Naruto explained.

Iruka shook his head a little sadly. "It's not that. I'm happy for you. Have fun, okay?" Iruka said and awkwardly patted Naruto's shoulder before walking away.

Naruto was left alone on the dirt path.

Sasuke was every bit the bastard Naruto had always accused him of being.

Naruto found himself sitting on his swing. He wasn't only sitting this time. He was swinging as high as he could go on the old rope swing. He was crying and laughing all at the same time. He was an idiot. He knew it now. He told himself over and over again as his feet reached past the moon and he came back down to earth only to swing back up high again.

Iruka could hear the laughter from his apartment window. He picked up a jacket and headed out to meet with Naruto. It was the first time the blonde wouldn't be crying at his swing. The closer Iruka got the easier it was to see that Naruto was swinging too high.

"I'm guessing your 6 month anniversary dinner went well." Iruka said happily as he walked into the school yard.

Naruto spoke. "Nope!" He yelled back still between bitter chuckles. "It was horrible." He said and scrapped his feet along the dirt to stop himself. He raised a cloud of dust and leaned his head back. "He broke up with me." He said and laughed again.

Iruka was worried. He approached Naruto. There under the moonlight and with his face turned up he could see the puffy red eyes and tear stains down Naruto's cheeks. "I'm sorry Naruto." Iruka said and this time didn't know what kind of comfort the 17 year old would need. Ramen might not be enough.

"And on the night I was gonna-" Naruto blushed and looked away. "He's a bastard." He said instead.

Iruka took another step towards Naruto. He raised his hand and laid it on Naruto's shoulder as he usually did. "It'll be okay." He said and smiled reassuringly at Naruto.

Naruto looked up into Iruka's eyes. He smiled back in a more subdued way. "I know." Naruto said sadly and laid his head down against Iruka's hand.

"N-naruto..." Iruka laid next to Naruto. He was supposed to be sleeping over after a long movie marathon. He was kept awake by Naruto's soft breathing against his neck.

"Mmm." Naruto hummed and moved closer to Iruka's warmth.

"Naruto." Iruka said a little more firmly.

"Ruka." Naruto murmured and flipped over to the other side and stopped talking.

Iruka laid on his back with his heart pounding so hard he could hear the blood rushing loudly in his ears. He looked over at Naruto. The blanket was low on his hips. He could see Naruto's strong back. His every muscle was well defined and flexed with the smallest of movements.

Naruto definitely wasn't a child anymore. His 18th birthday was in a few minutes, but Iruka wasn't about to wake him. He would rather spend the midnight hour looking at Naruto. He knew he never should have given in to his thoughts, but falling in love wasn't a matter of choice.

Iruka reached for Naruto's blanket and pulled it up over the younger man's shoulders before turning on his side, facing away from Naruto, and going to sleep.

Naruto smiled to himself as he felt Iruka cover him. He took a deep breath and tried to go back to sleep.

Iruka sat in a far corner. He was sipping a drink and avoiding Anko and Kakashi. They seemed to have paired up to embarrass him that night.

Naruto was on the floor. He was in a circle of his friends and teachers. There was a bottle being spun at the center of them. Iruka had to roll his eyes at the predictability of Kakashi using chakra strings to kiss Naruto. The bottle stopped on Naruto and the 21 year old birthday boy only blushed.

"Again?" He yelled out as if he minded, but he was already on his hands and knees, his lips reaching forward across the circle where Kakashi had adopted the same position.

The group yelled out cat calls as the two kissed. Iruka only ordered another drink after gulping down the one in his hand.

Kakashi stumbled forward and bumped into Iruka. "Why aren't you playing?" He asked sounding a little inebriated as Iruka assumed they all were to submit to such childish games. Kakashi ordered two drinks and waited for them to be served up.

"I'm not drunk enough." Iruka said none too politely.

"I could help you cheat." Kakashi said and lifted an inviting brow at Iruka.

Iruka's eyebrows came close in question. "What?"

Kakashi's head motioned towards the floor where Sasuke was leaning forward to kiss Naruto.

"Why is it always me!" Naruto yelled before Sasuke's hand reached forward and steadied Naruto's face by his chin. He gently angled Naruto's head and kissed him deeply and for a longer time than was strictly needed. In the silence of the room everybody heard Naruto moan into the open mouth kiss. Sasuke moved forward and pushed the bottle out of the way until he was very obviously grinding on Naruto's lap.

Iruka was furious. "I don't think Naruto would like his teacher to join in games like those." Iruka said sounding every bit as bitter as he felt. He'd obviously drank more than he'd been prepared to.

Kakashi left without another word. "Okay boys and boys enough of that." He said loudly and parted the two kissing with his knee. He sat down next to Naruto and handed him his drink. "You go away." He said to Sasuke with an innocent smile.

Sasuke smirked at the obvious red blush on Naruto's face and winked at him. "I have a present for you Naruto, if you still want it." Sasuke offered and moved back to his place in the circle.

Naruto picked up the drink Kakashi brought him and tipped it all into his mouth. He didn't reply to Sasuke's offer.

Iruka sat by his window. He was ready just in case. He kept his eyes open for blonde hair on the lonely swing. Iruka sighed. He was a lost cause. Iruka shrugged on his jacket and thought it was time he gave the swing a try. Perhaps somebody would come and console him this time.

Iruka sat on the swing in Naruto's usual position. He scoffed as he thought of Naruto. He was probably being ridden to high heaven by that Uchiha. Iruka remembered how good the two had looked together. Like fire and ice, like water and oil, never meant to mix, but always together. Iruka shook his head. He must have been drunker than he thought.

He'd seen Naruto leave with Sasuke when the party had ended. He had been left alone at the bar with Anko, who he later had to walk home, tuck in to bed and set an alarm for. He shook his head. He should have been the one leaving with Naruto.

Naruto walked up slowly. Iruka looked like he'd fallen asleep on the swing. Naruto chuckled quietly to himself. He wondered what kind of prank he could play on his old teacher. He snuck up quietly ready to yell and startle the other. It wasn't his best prank, but it would be funny.

"Don't even think about it." Iruka mumbled sleepily.

"Aw, how did you know?" Naruto complained and came to stand next to Iruka.

"I have eyes on the back of my head." Iruka recited the old school teacher line.

"Liar." Naruto said and pouted.

"What are you doing here?" Iruka asked as he finally sat up straight and wiped at his sleepy eyes.

"I was coming for a swing." Naruto said and looked at the small swing.

"Oh," Iruka said and moved forward on the swing as much as he could.

Naruto crossed a leg over one side of the wooden swing until he was straddling it. He sat and felt his front and thighs brush up against Iruka's. He knew they were too close. It was a position for lovers, for boyfriends and girlfriends and maybe those easy girls who liked being taken advantage of; it wasn't a position for best friends, teacher and student or for the two who awkwardly sat there trying to pretend there wasn't something more between them.

Naruto brought his hands around Iruka's waist and laid his head on his back. Iruka shivered at the touch and resisted the urge to rub back against Naruto's hot thighs.

"What did the bastard do now?" Iruka asked as he relaxed in Naruto's hold.

"Sensei," Naruto said in a surprised voice.

"What? He's not my student anymore. I can call him whatever I want." Iruka mumbled against the rope of the swing.

Naruto chuckled and the small movements from his chest shook Iruka. Iruka held back a moan when Naruto's fingers went under his shirt.

"It's cold." Naruto excused. "The bastard didn't do anything." Naruto said after a few minutes of silence.

"Why did he ask you to leave with him then? Why did you agree?" Iruka asked sounding every bit as jealous as he felt.

"He said he had a present for me." Naruto said and Iruka remembered. He almost slapped his forehead. Naruto couldn't have really believed that he had an actual present for him.

"Naruto..." Iruka said and snorted when he tried to keep back a laugh.

"Shut up. I know. It wasn't a present." Naruto said and chuckled. "He said it was at his place. So, I went. He turned on some music. I didn't know why then he pulled out his thing and I laughed then left." Naruto said.

"You laughed?" Iruka asked and shut his eyes to enjoy the feeling of having Naruto against him.

"I wanted to get back at him for what he did to me." Naruto said as if the break up had just happened a few days ago and not years back.

Iruka sighed. "I'm glad he didn't hurt you again." Iruka said sleepily..

"I'm sorry I left you behind with Anko." Naruto said and pulled back. He put his hands on his own knees and leaned back.

"It's alright." Iruka said. He was about to explain that Anko was his long time friend when he heard a distinct creaking noise.

Naruto heard it too. He stayed quiet. "I don't think this swing is made for two." Naruto said after a while.

Iruka nodded. "I think you're right!" Iruka yelled as the seat broke and they both fell on the floor laughing.

Iruka stood up and wiped away at the dust on his clothes. Naruto stood up too and cleaned himself off.

"We should get out of here." Naruto said after a chuckle.

Iruka nodded. "My place is closer." He said and they both took off towards his apartment.

Iruka pulled open his apartment and went straight to the kitchen. He poured a couple of glasses of water and returned to the living room. Naruto wasn't there. Iruka briefly wondered if he'd imagined it all when he heard a flush coming from the bathroom. Iruka took a seat on the couch and downed the water. He knew the only way to avoid a hang over would be to hydrate now.

Naruto came back to the living room and took a seat next to Iruka. "I wish you had played with us." Naruto said after drinking his own glass of water.

Iruka shrugged. "I wasn't really up to kissing a bunch of my co-workers." Iruka said and sat sideways to face Naruto.

"Well, if you didn't notice it was mostly everybody kissing me." Naruto said and chuckled. "They rigged the game." He said and smiled at Iruka.

"You knew?" Iruka asked.

"I didn't make ANBU because I'm cute." Naruto said. "I can figure some things out on my own."

Iruka scratched nervously at his scar. "I know you're smart, Naruto. You still have your moments, but- hey!" Iruka laughed as Naruto hit him over the head with a cushion.

"So, why didn't you play, if you knew it was rigged?" Naruto asked.

"Why did you want me to play, if you knew it was rigged?" Iruka asked right back.

Naruto shrugged. "Do you really have to ask, sensei?"

Iruka was suddenly nervous. "I'm still rather buzzed. I'd rather you tell me, than guess and possibly make a fool out of myself." Iruka said honestly.

Naruto reached for Iruka's hand. "I like you." He said simply.

"Oh," Iruka said and looked down at their hands. He looked back up at Naruto. "That's what I thought." He said.

"You like me too." Naruto said and pulled his hand back to reach for his empty glass as a way to distract himself.

"I'll get more water." Iruka left to the kitchen and came back with a pitcher.

"Thanks." Naruto said quietly as Iruka refilled both of their glasses.

"How did you know?" Iruka asked.

"I didn't. Now I do." Naruto said and grinned.

Iruka wished he had a bottle. He could have gotten his kiss in style then. Instead he leaned forward and gently tugged Naruto's shirt towards him. Naruto easily complied. He turned his head slightly and kissed Iruka softly. He kissed him without desperation and with the slightest hesitation. Naruto's tongue was gentle as it played with Iruka's. They parted and ended the kiss with a soft peck on the lips. It was perfection.

"That's the best kiss I've had all night." Naruto said as he pulled back.

"I was hoping you'd say that." Iruka said and smiled warmly.

The swing still lay broken. It was as broken as his heart and the remains of his life. Naruto stood by the frayed ropes touching the roughness of them against his hands. Nothing was the same. Nobody was coming this time to lay a warm hand upon his shoulder.

Naruto didn't cry. He stared at the remains of the swing and waited for a person that would never show.

"He shouldn't have been out there." A voice he remembered said.

Naruto turned to face Sasuke. "I know." He said.

"He went for you." Sasuke whispered a bit sadly.

"I know." Naruto said with more force.

"I guess he really did love you." Sasuke added and approached Naruto.

"I know he did." Naruto said and looked away. "I know."

Sasuke's extended hand, which he was about to lay on Naruto's shoulder in comfort, fell to his side.

Thanks for reading. Please leave me some feedback. ^_^ Hope you enjoyed it.

Lovely Spell