Kakashi teleported into his bedroom and froze. Iruka stared back at him, a look of abject horror stuck on his face as the smoke from Kakashi's jutsu slowly dispersed. It was dark, but not dark enough that he couldn't tell that Iruka was not wearing his normal clothes. Too much black, which Iruka hated, and too much mesh, which Iruka never wore. It was almost club gear but not. Iruka hated clubs - too much loud music. There was something familiar about the cut of his clothes, something that niggled at his memory. He'd seen that outfit before, but what really caught Kakashi's attention, what made him lose all conscious train of thought and voided him of emotion, was the tattoo on Iruka's arm. The ANBU tattoo on Iruka's arm.

Iruka reacted first. He'd paused in the midst of pulling off his shirt and now completed the action, scrunching it up and burying it deep in the laundry bag. His pants followed. Now he knew why Iruka sometimes insisted on doing the laundry, why he could be so damn stubborn about it when Kakashi just wanted to do something nice. He'd been hoping it was just a case of embarrassing underwear.

"I wanted to tell you." Iruka didn't look at him as he quickly pulled on a pair of plain pajama pants. "I begged Sandaime to let me tell you."

Iruka's hair was pulled back in a complex braid that plastered his hair to his head. It was ideal for combat, Kakashi noted absently, keeping all of it out of the way without leaving a good handhold. He watched in detached fascination as Iruka pulled a good dozen hairpins out, allowing his hair to slowly fall free. It wasn't the same. The braid made Iruka's hair wavy, almost curly.

Kakashi wasn't sure if he liked it or not. He wasn't sure if that sentiment was restricted to Iruka's hair.

It took him a few minutes to find his voice.

"I understand." And he did. He'd been ANBU. He still could be at any time. War was brewing. Sasuke was gone. He didn't have students anymore, which made him ideal. He was a little surprised they hadn't reactivated him, and he tried not to let that feeling shift into jealousy.

"You're back early." It wasn't an accusation, just a statement of fact. Usually Iruka was happy when he came back early, happy that he came back at all. Some of that was still there, hidden in Iruka's tone but it was subdued, almost buried by a dangerous mix of emotion. It was all there, plain and open in Iruka's voice and on Iruka's face. Fear. Guilt. Anxiety. Helplessness. Hope. Despair. For a brief, nasty moment Kakashi wondered how someone like Iruka had become ANBU, someone this open and honest and caring and beautiful. It didn't seem right.

A thousand questions filled his head. Questions he knew better than to ask.

"We got lucky," he said instead.

They'd reached the meeting point early, as had their contact. They had the advantage of surprise. They'd caught their target without his guards. They'd been gone long before anyone even thought of pursuit. Stars aligned, things went right, he'd gotten home early. He still hadn't reported in yet, but he never reported early. If he did, they'd give him another assignment and he had a reason to want to stay in the village.

Had. Maybe not anymore.

That was a lie. He knew where he stood.

"Are you mad?" For the first time since Kakashi had teleported in, Iruka looked at him. Iruka was afraid, afraid that Kakashi would leave him, that they'd break up over this. Over a tattoo and a change of clothes. It was more than that, but not really. Iruka was Iruka.

Other people would be mad. Other couples had broken up because of this. It wasn't something Kakashi had ever experienced. He tried to stay away from the kind of people where secrets were an issue. He'd never really expected to face it from the other side.

"No," he answered, his voice calm and even. He let his shoulders relax a little, slumped a bit and let out some of the rigidity that had held him in place. "I'm not."

"Okay." Iruka nodded, brushed a hand through his hair, and looked away. "Okay," he said again, though it didn't really need repeated. His hands were shaking. He kept fidgeting with his hair. Iruka did that when he was nervous or upset. In this case it was probably a mix of both. Iruka started at the laundry bag, likely thinking about the clothes that were buried in there. "I would understand if you were. I mean, I-"

"Stop." He already knew what Iruka wanted to say and they didn't need to go there. He took a step forward. Iruka flinched but didn't back away. Kakashi took another step forward, then another, his feet carrying him the short distance across the room to Iruka. It wasn't that far, only a few steps, but it felt like crossing an ocean. His fingers brushed over the black mark marring Iruka's smooth skin. He'd seen Iruka shirtless hundreds of times but he'd never seen this. "It's okay."

"Can I...?" Iruka gestured towards the tattoo.

Kakashi's thumb stroked over the mark again. "No. Not yet."

He leaned forward, not really sure what he was doing until his lips connected with the skin. It was just a kiss, a brief press of lips to skin, but it felt like more than that. Iruka shivered and rested a hand on Kakashi's hip. His lips moved up, over the length of the tattoo, up Iruka's arm and over his shoulder. Iruka's fingers curled in the fabric of Kakashi's shirt. He could hear the change in Iruka's breathing. He kissed up Iruka's neck, pressed a brief kiss to his earlobe, then turned and moved along his cheek. Iruka shuddered against him.

He wasn't sure when they'd moved this close but it felt right. He found Iruka's lips. They melted into each other. Iruka opened for him and finally, finally, Kakashi got the homecoming he'd been waiting for. This was why he came back. Perfect moments like this, with their bodies close, mouths together, and Iruka open to him. This was what he wanted. This was what he stayed for.

He wasn't going to give it up for anything.

Kakashi shifted, shuffling slowly backwards. Iruka followed him. They worked together, like they'd been doing for months, years almost, stripping clothing away while never straying far from each other. Their bed was cold. Iruka had been gone but that was okay. They could warm it up together. Kakashi pressed Iruka down onto the bed and slid backwards slightly, enough that he could press a kiss to Iruka's collarbone. He kept going, blazing a line of kisses down Iruka's chest.

"You can ask," Iruka gasped. His hands gripped at Kakashi, squeezing his shoulder, tangling in his hair. He could feel Iruka trembling beneath him. It was rare that he got Iruka this worked up.

Kakashi pressed his lips to Iruka's naval and looked up. Their eyes met and held. "You're not supposed to talk about it." He knew the rules of ANBU. He'd been in it, but previous service wasn't active service and that pulled him out of the very short list of people who were supposed to know.

Iruka's hands tightened and released almost immediately. "Are you going to turn me in if I do?"


"Then I want to. Please. I don't want to keep secrets from you."

Kakashi ran his hands over Iruka's bare hips. He shouldn't. Secrets were part of the ninja life. Kakashi had secrets, some he hadn't even told Iruka. Maybe someday, when they were old and grey, he'd tell them to Iruka. Today wasn't that day.

He shouldn't ask, but he wanted to.

He kissed a line from Iruka's navel to his hip. Iruka moaned and shifted his legs wider, making room for Kakashi between them.

"How long?" Kakashi said into Iruka's hipbone.

"Five years." After he became a teacher. Before Naruto. Before Kakashi.

He kissed a trail across to Iruka's other hip. "What rank are you really?"

Iruka let out a little noise of pleasure, halfway between a moan and a plea. Kakashi hid his smile against Iruka's skin. They didn't let chuunin join ANBU, but they didn't always publicize promotions either.

"Tokubetsu jounin with a specialty in traps and explosions."

"I always knew you were clever."

He could tell Iruka was blushing without looking. His thumbs brushed over the ridge of Iruka's hips, sliding against bone covered by a thin layer of flesh. There was more he could ask - where Iruka had been, what kind of missions he was sent on, whether they'd ever worked together without Kakashi realizing it. None of that mattered. There was only one other thing he wanted to know.

He kissed his way down Iruka's thigh, making Iruka shiver and moan beneath him. "What's your codename?"

"Raven," Iruka gasped. "Raven."

Kakashi let his smile show this time and gave in to Iruka's silent demands. He shifted, moving over slightly so that he could take Iruka into his mouth. The cry Iruka let out went straight to Kakashi's groin. Iruka spread his legs, opening them wide to give Kakashi room. He could hear Iruka thrashing against the pillows. He closed his eyes and pictured what Iruka would look like - head rolled back, mouth open, eyes unfocused.

Iruka twisted, shifting against the pillows and then pressing a tube into Kakashi's hand. Kakashi took the hint. He pulled back slightly, toying with Iruka's head, giving it a few idle licks and kisses while he slicked up his fingers. He pressed two in at once and was rewarded with a strangled moan. It didn't take much to get Iruka loosened up. He was already wound up and Kakashi knew exactly which buttons to push to get him on the edge. He twisted his fingers, curling and spinning inside of Iruka with a deft flick of the wrist. Iruka nearly came apart.

Their bodies slid together. It was so familiar. They'd done this countless times in a wide variety of positions. This wasn't any different. He stared down at Iruka, his Iruka, the same open, honest, loving, caring Iruka that he'd left a week ago. Nothing had changed. His fingers traced the lines of the ANBU tattoo, the same as the one on Kakashi's arm.

He shifted, lifting his hips slightly, changing his angle just enough that he was hitting Iruka right where he wanted it. Iruka's head rolled back. His hands clenched on Kakashi's arms, one hand right over Kakashi's ANBU tattoo. Iruka's body tightened and he screamed as he came. Kakashi didn't stop. He kept going, exactly how Iruka liked it, riding Iruka's orgasm out with hard, steady thrusts. Iruka's hands relaxed. He sighed and Kakashi let go, spending himself inside Iruka and relaxing.

All the tension from his mission, from this evening, from Iruka poured out of him, leaving him boneless and lightheaded. It felt good. Better than good actually. Anything where Iruka was involved felt wonderful and this was no different. He felt a smile creep across his lips and he pushed back, holding himself up on his forearms so he could stare down at Iruka.

Iruka smiled back at him and all was right with the world.

"Nothing's changed," he whispered against Iruka's lips. "I love you, and always will." He sealed his words with a kiss.