Fiction Meets Reality

Chapter One

Kakashi was nose-deep in one of Jiraiya's new volumes of Icha Icha, walking down the street past trendy cafes and little shops, on his way back from the book store. He'd bought the volume brand new, like he always did, the same week it came out. As soon as he'd had a pay day. He liked his first purchase with his new paycheck to be Jiraiya's new volume. It was like a show of loyalty. Although he knew Jiraiya would never notice, it wasn't the same if he didn't. He was already secretly blushing under his mask. Ten pages in, and a sex scene had already started between one of Kakashi's favorite couples in the series.

He identified with one of the characters, had ever since the first story arc, when the big reveal had been that Satoshi had seen his father kill himself when he was eight. Satoshi had accidentally walked into the house at the exact moment, since his after school club had been canceled unexpectedly. It had affected Satoshi forever, and during the climactic battles he fought for the lives of his friends, he flashed back to that horrible sight. Never again, Jiraiya had written in the thought bubble. I'll never lose someone I love ever again. Kakashi could see how Jiraiya's own trauma was reflected in that character, but he also saw himself and the way he still struggled to cope with his father's suicide. Such a character seemed to him to be a sort of homage to him, especially since Satoshi talked very little, and secretly he wanted a peaceful life. The wish for a peaceful life was a secret Kakashi had confided to Jiraiya when he was fourteen. Two months before a mysterious stranger came to Konoha and unleashed the Kyuubi.

At the very least, it was a fond wish of Kakashi's that he was somehow still in Jiraiya's mind, that Jiraiya did care about him and was thinking about him sometimes. The same way that he often thought about Jiraiya and wished Jiraiya were in Konoha with him.

Satoshi was making love to Yuna gently, in painstakingly drawn detail. Kakashi was, as usual, effortlessly turned on by the romance of mutual consent and the blatant sexiness. He rounded a corner, barely glimpsing with his peripheral vision, and saw a blur coming at him a second too late to avoid clipping someone.

He stumbled, disconcerted. Everyone in Konoha knew the path he took from the bookstore to his apartment, knew he'd be buying the new volume of Icha Icha today, and knew to stay out of his way while he was reading.

Kakashi lowered the book instinctively, his concentration broken, and stared in disbelief at the tall expanse of man in front of him, taking in red and green clothes and long white hair growing in wild waves. The pieces of what he saw wouldn't fit together into a whole. He was frozen in shock.

Then the book fell from his hand. He heard the odd hollow ker-thump of his new book falling onto the sidewalk spine first, shutting itself under gravity. Detachedly Kakashi predicted the cover was scratched. Kakashi's jaw dropped. Underneath the mask, he was gaping.

Jiraiya took in Kakashi's frozen posture, the book on the sidewalk, Kakashi's expression…and burst out laughing. "Oh my god!" Then he threw his arms around Kakashi and squeezed in a bone-groaning hug, picking Kakashi two inches off the ground in the process.

Kakashi hugged back, weak with amazement. He felt warmed through and through. After Jiraiya kept hugging him, Kakashi closed his eyes and clung on, not caring what anyone thought of him.

At last, after they both had reassured themselves this was really going on, Jiraiya let go, stooped, and picked up Kakashi's book. He grinned ruefully. "I didn't mean to make you drop your book." He started to hold it out, then stopped, catching a glimpse of the title page inside the nondescript cover. He opened the book to the title page and stared. "This is my book. The volume I just finished."

Kakashi nodded, unsure what to say.

Jiraiya looked amazed. "You read this stuff?"

Kakashi nodded again, smiled, and then shrugged, looking away.

"Why?" Jiraiya's mouth hung open.

"Because you wrote it," Kakashi mumbled.

Jiraiya was still wide-eyed. A smile started to spread across his face. "Really?"

Kakashi nodded and started walking, taking his book back as he passed Jiraiya. "Follow me."

Jiraiya followed.

Kakashi could tell that Jiraiya was curious, but he'd see where Kakashi was going soon enough. Kakashi followed his route back to his apartment complex, let Jiraiya in the front door, and led Jiraiya through the hall and up the stairs to the second floor. Around the corner, down the hall. Kakashi fished out his key, unlocked the door to his apartment, and let Jiraiya in. He let Jiraiya past to slip off his sandals and closed the door behind them, locking it – as was his custom. Then he slipped off his own sandals.

Jiraiya looked around with wide eyes. "This is where you live now?"

Kakashi made a noise of agreement. They stood in a short hallway of blue carpet, with one step up to an expanse of golden maple wood floor. The kitchen to the right was separated from the living room by a partial wall.

The kitchen was clean, with white tile floor, light wood counter tops, and white cabinetry. The stove was small but new, clean chrome with black burners. The refrigerator was the typical small Konoha model, white as well.

The living room had a few pieces of comfortable furniture – a kotatsu table, a chair to sit in, and a light blue sofa opposite a TV set.

Jiraiya looked impressed. Kakashi could see it sinking in that Kakashi was an adult now and had been for quite some time.

Kakashi smiled at Jiraiya under his mask and nonchalantly padded through his home, leading Jiraiya through the living room and to the right, around the corner to a narrow hallway with white carpet. Two doors to the right, one door to the left, and one door straight ahead. The two doors on the right led to the bathroom and the laundry room. The door straight ahead was the master bedroom. Kakashi opened the single door to the left without explanation and walked inside.

Jiraiya followed.

He stopped in the doorway, stared, and then took a single step inside.

Kakashi stood by the bookshelves, watching Jiraiya expectantly.

Jiraiya took in a deep breath and exhaled in a soft noise of surprise. "This is…"

Kakashi nodded. "Yes."

They were in a room the size of a small bedroom. Kakashi stood in front of two bookshelves, both full and neatly organized, spines all sticking out at exactly the same length, uniform rows of shiny titles. The display was a feat of symmetry. The titles that popped out at eye level read the same thing: Icha Icha, followed by a number. All of them, running up to number 72.

Volume 73 was in Kakashi's hand.

Once he was sure Jiraiya had taken in the sight, Kakashi gently slid his new volume into the space he'd left for it, the third shelf up from the bottom of the bookcase.

"These are all the things I've ever written," Jiraiya said. His eyes scanned the different titles. Everything from Icha Icha to his most serious novels, historical action adventure.

Kakashi indicated the chair in the corner, sitting beside a tall lamp and behind a low round table. "This is where I read them."

Jiraiya's eyes widened again. "You read…"

"All of them." Kakashi looked up, into Jiraiya's eyes. "Every one of them. I have sat here and read every single thing you have written. I have reread them in public. I'm not ashamed to be reading them in public. I don't want to be ashamed of what you've written. So I'm not." He shrugged. "I don't care what people think of me."

Jiraiya's mouth opened and then closed again.

Kakashi walked over to the bookcase nearest him and pulled out volume 52 of Icha Icha. He turned expertly to a page about a third of the way through the volume. The spine was well-cracked by now. Kakashi held the book open and read, making sure Jiraiya could see the pictures. "No, don't, Tsugi. Don't stop. Don't be ashamed. What Yama-san said is a lie. It's not dirty to be in love. Love is never dirty. Let me show you how sweet love can be."

Jiraiya's cheeks reddened.

Kakashi read the opposing character's lines. "Oh, Michiro. I love you. I won't leave you. Mother and Father will have to understand. I love you."

The page depicted a series of panels. Two men engaged in sexual things.

He closed the book, held it in one hand, pinned Jiraiya with an intense gaze. "Do you believe that love should be rewarded?"

Jiraiya was startled. "I…ah…"

"Do you believe that after fourteen years, someone can still have a love in their heart that burns as brightly as before their beloved person left?" Kakashi asked.

"Of course," Jiraiya said. "Time doesn't have anything to do with…" His brow furrowed.

"Does age have anything to do with love?" Kakashi demanded.

"Not much," Jiraiya said, still off balance. "I mean, it can affect the expression of love, but age can't – I mean, one is never not capable of love, only showing it…"

Kakashi took a step closer. "Do you think other people should have the right to judge a person's love?"

"No." Jiraiya was decisive. "Never."

Kakashi set down the book on the reading table and took three steps, closing the gap between them. Jiraiya stood a full head taller than him. Their chests were inches apart. Kakashi looked up into Jiraiya's eyes. "Did you miss me?" His voice was low.

Jiraiya's expression softened. "Yes. Of course I did." He reached out to gently touch Kakashi's masked cheek.

Kakashi pulled his mask down.

Jiraiya hesitated, then touched Kakashi's bare cheek with his fingertips.

Kakashi closed his eyes, his lips parted slightly. Jiraiya's fingertips were callused and warm.

Jiraiya stroked Kakashi's cheek gently, caressing, learning the adult curve of Kakashi's face.

"Tell me," Kakashi breathed, his voice husky.

Jiraiya stroked upwards, brushing his fingers through Kakashi's soft, silvery hair. He stroked Kakashi's brow, then ran his fingers down Kakashi's temple to cup Kakashi's narrow chin.

Kakashi let out a soft noise. "Tell me, Jiraiya-sensei."

Jiraiya gently ran his thumb over Kakashi's lower lip and then replaced his thumb with his lips, feeling Kakashi's mouth with his own. He pulled away with a small exhale of breath. "I love you."

Kakashi let out a moan and kissed Jiraiya, unable to hold himself back any longer, pulling handfuls of Jiraiya's red vest into fists. He pressed their bodies together gently, shifting, feeling his slenderness against Jiraiya's bulkier, more muscular frame. His skin tingled and buzzed, and he could feel the tension of arousal in his stomach. "Love me. I love you." The pleading and yearning of all these years spilled out.

Jiraiya wrapped his arms around Kakashi tightly, burying his face against the side of Kakashi's neck, rocked them both gently.

Kakashi let out a gasping breath, tears clouding his vision. This was what he wanted. He wanted this. Needed this. He wrapped his arms around Jiraiya in return, clinging. He could feel himself growing hard at this position. "Didn't you notice?"

"I noticed," Jiraiya said softly, breathing out against Kakashi's neck.

"Didn't you care?"

"I cared." Jiraiya ran one hand through Kakashi's silky hair, slowly petting.

"Then why…" Kakashi swallowed. "Did Minato's death devastate you that much…that you couldn't love me anymore…" He promised himself he'd never ask Jiraiya why he left, never question Jiraiya's decision to guard the village from afar. Just as long as Jiraiya came back, it would be enough. But now Jiraiya was back and it wasn't enough, it wasn't enough, and Kakashi needed to know.

"No!" Jiraiya sounded like he was ready to cry. "Of course not! I just – I…"

"I need you," Kakashi said, leveling the declaration. His voice was steely.

Jiraiya hugged him tightly. "I'm not going anywhere now. I've come back. I'm going to set things right. We'll be okay. I've come back for good."

"You better." Kakashi looked at him for a moment, then kissed him firmly, molding their lips together.

Jiraiya moaned into the kiss, taken by surprise.

"I have missed you too much to let you go." Kakashi cupped Jiraiya's face in both hands and kissed him again, this time gently, deliberately working his tongue into Jiraiya's mouth. This kiss was one of his fantasies. He slowly kissed Jiraiya, their tongues caressing, learning the feel of Jiraiya's mouth. He moaned. The vibration went all the way through him, making himself hard and aching.

He slipped his hands between them, pressing his palms against Jiraiya's chest, feeling the warm body underneath the green yukata and black mesh shirt.

Jiraiya stroked Kakashi's back. He slid one hand slowly down to Kakashi's rear end and cupped it.

Kakashi let out a surprised whimper of arousal that broke the kiss. He sucked on Jiraiya's upper lip for a moment, then licked it. "Jiraiya-sensei…" His spine was melting at that touch.

Jiraiya gave him a soft smile and cupped his bottom with both hands, gently rubbing.

Kakashi let out a moan and collapsed against Jiraiya, arching into the touches almost imperceptibly. "Keep rubbing," he managed to mumble. Jiraiya's warm hands through the soft spandex felt so good he was soon leaking on his underwear.

"Oh, I will." Jiraiya's voice was low and playful. He caressed Kakashi's bottom with both hands, rubbing and lightly squeezing, until Kakashi was panting. Then he dipped his head down and nuzzled Kakashi's neck.

Kakashi let out a whimpering moan. His neck was sensitive, and he'd told Jiraiya that once. They'd been discussing erogenous zones when he was fourteen, embarrassed to have sexual urges, and uncontrollably curious at the same time.

Jiraiya took the blue spandex collar in his teeth and tugged it down, grinning.

Kakashi watched out of the corner of his vision with wide eyes, turned on.

Jiraiya licked his neck and began teasing it with his tongue, lapping and massaging.

Kakashi felt a sharp surge of arousal at the stimulation to his bottom and his neck at the same time. For a moment, he was beyond noise. Then a low, long moan emerged. "Jiraiya…"

Jiraiya kissed the mid-point of Kakashi's neck, below Kakashi's ear, and gently sucked there.

Kakashi felt a rolling wave of arousal that made him dizzy. His eyelids fluttered. "I can't…stay standing," he whispered.

Jiraiya scooped him up and carried him out of the room, unerringly choosing the door straight ahead and throwing it open, walking into Kakashi's bedroom.