Shacking Up

Waking Up

Iruka was floating in the warm, comfortable darkness of sleep. For the first time since… a long time ago… sometime… he was relaxed, and he didn't want to wake up. He was waking up, though. He could tell he was lying on his side. Then it was like a pillow was suddenly there, even though he had been feeling it under his head just a moment before. Suddenly, he felt an arm lying on his waist, and then blankets over his legs. Then, finally, he felt the bed he was lying on as he settled from sleep, and he felt his body laid out behind him. He supposed that he was now officially awake.

Lazily, he turned onto his back and scratched his itchy nose. Last night had been pleasant. He and Kakashi had watched that stupid anime Dragon Ball-Z. After the first episode of that ridiculous show, Kakashi had deemed it necessary to turn the show into a drinking game. Every time a character on the show had cried "Dragon Balls!" – which was quite frequent – they took a drink of sake. Iruka had gotten quite pleasantly drunk. Of course, they only watched a grand total of about four episodes, and they hadn't started the game until the second one.

But then they'd started talking. Since Iruka had moved in, they'd had some very pleasant conversations as well as some that weren't so nice. However, he hadn't realized the difference between those conversations and the one he and Kakashi had shared the night before. Those other conversations weren't very deep, really. From the outside, one would think an in-depth look into the inner workings of Naruto was a deep conversation, but it didn't delve into the darkness of either of their psyches.

And, shit, Kakashi was a fucked up man.

Based on the conversations, Iruka figured that Kakashi had been in ANBU during his teenage years. The other man never said it, but with the tone of some of his stories and the history Iruka already knew, Kakashi had been a terrifying assassin who made quite a name for himself. An ANBU designation never made it into the regular file room since those missions came strictly from the Hokage, so he had to guess about that. He also figured that Kakashi hadn't been active as an ANBU agent since around the time he took on Team 7.

His thought had been confirmed when Kakashi had said, "I was about ready to kill myself, so the Third Hokage took me off my regular duty and forced me on a paid vacation. He also mandated me to see my therapist twice a week…" all Shinobi were assigned a personal therapist to see whenever they needed one, but it was sort of a taboo thing to see one without an order "… and he started saying that it was a good idea to take on a team of three to see what children were like these days."

Iruka had laughed, but he got the feeling that Kakashi had cloaked the true darkness of that statement in a lighthearted tone. But, needless to say, that was several years ago. Kakashi had also said Iruka was the first person he'd ever wanted a real relationship with. And it scared him.

Kakashi had never had a real relationship. He'd had no childhood, had survived his father's suicide had found his father's body, and had become a killing machine in his teens. He was a pro at mission sex and one night stands, but his sole experience in dating let alone anything close to a relationship – of any kind – came from Icha Icha and a little influence from Naruto. Iruka had been in a couple little relationships in the past, and he had immortalized the relationships of his parents, but he was by no means an expert at relationships. Hell, he didn't even know if he would be a good boyfriend. He hadn't really been a good one in the past.

But then, he hadn't really liked those girls in any special way. They were there, and he found them a bit attractive, but they just didn't hold his interest for very long. They'd go on for a lot longer than they should have before the girl wised up and broke it off, usually after cheating on him. Honestly, he couldn't have blamed them, even at the time. The last girl he dated just before Naruto entered his class was the best – and shortest – relationship he'd ever had because he ballzed up and broke up with her before things could get messy.

Still… could he do this? He'd had fun the previous night. Hell, he'd had fun for the whole two weeks he'd lived with Kakashi.

A light tap on the door alerted Iruka to someone outside the apartment. Kakashi was out – completely and totally dead to the world – so he silently slipped from the bed and closed the bedroom door. As he moved past his bed, he grabbed his robe and put it on, just managing to tie the sash before he opened the front door.

An ANBU stood in the entryway with his white mask on prominent display. She held out a scroll that Iruka took and read. "Just let me write my roommate a quick note. I'll meet you right here in five minutes."

The ANBU nodded as the front door closed with Iruka inside. True to his word, Iruka was back outside in five minutes dressed with his hair tied up and ready to go. He locked the door behind him as he left the apartment.

Kakashi woke with a strange empty feeling in his arms. He was clutching a warm pillow that smelled like Iruka, but the wayward Chunin wasn't there. The Jounin slowly got up and rubbed his face, looking around in confusion. Why was his bedroom door closed? It had been open when he'd finally managed to get to sleep.

Iruka had just passed out, clearly tired from his long day and the alcohol, but Kakashi hadn't found rest so easily. He'd lain awake for several hours watching Iruka sleep, amazed that the other man could just knock out like that. Even when he was alone in his apartment with his nin-ken around it took forever for him to find sleep.

He wasn't surprised to see that Iruka wasn't in bed. The Chunin had a habit of rising early, but he expected the door to be open with breakfast-like smells coming from the kitchen, as was Iruka's habit when he woke early. But… the door was closed.

Opening the door, he looked around the living room and noticed Iruka wasn't in the apartment. There was, however, a note on the raised edge of the counter that they had been using as a sort of apartment mailbox between roommates. The note read: "Got called in by the Hokage. Don't forget to go to the third part of the Chunin Exam this afternoon. If you're on time, you'll probably see me there."

Iruka got called in? Kakashi would see Iruka there? But would Iruka see him? Something fishy was going on…

So he got dressed and was out the door in time to be early for the final test of the Chunin Exam.

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