Shacking Up

Holy Smokes!

Kakashi sat on his bed and hugged Pakkun to his chest. The loud ruckus outside the door seemed to halt for a moment before it started up again even louder! He felt himself shake a little harder. People in his house, having fun with his roommate… and after all that bullshit that the others had said…

Seriously, he and Iruka were NOT sleeping together! Having a bed in the living room proved that! Why have a bed in the living room with a curtain for privacy if both people were sleeping together? They'd be in the same room, and the couch would still be in its spot!

"Boss, you need to loosen up," Pakkun said in his gruff voice. "This is starting to hurt."

"Oh…. Sorry," Kakashi said as he let Pakkun jump to the floor.

"If you didn't want to have this party, then why did you let Iruka-kun throw it?" the dog asked in irritation. He shook himself and then looked askance up at his human.

Kakashi shrugged. "I can't keep him from having his life," he said.

"You could tell him to have this party somewhere else," Pakkun said. "They didn't have to come here."

"Yes they did," Kakashi said with the saddest tone he could muster. "He lives here, and they wanted to see where he lives."

"Oh, Boss, you're so naïve," Pakkun grumbled. "They wanted to see you with Iruka-kun. You're pretty famous, you know."

"That's what they keep telling me," Kakashi mumbled. "I get that I'm famous, but where do you come up with me being naïve?"

"They could have picked Iruka-kun up and then gone to a bar or something," Pakkun said as he waddled toward the door. "They would have seen you and him together and then left you alone."

Kakashi quickly thought about the evening he'd had so far. A lot of gay jokes had been flung between Kotetsu and Izumo, and then they'd started interrogating Kakashi about his sexual habits and his intentions toward Iruka. It probably would have been better had they left the apartment. He also wouldn't be so terrified that they would burn his Icha Icha if he ever hurt their little Iruka-chan.

Seriously! They had threatened his precious Icha Icha! Not cool!

And his intentions toward Iruka were pure. Well… innocent. Honest. Pure? It was possible, he supposed. He wasn't trying to get into Iruka's pants.

Although…. Why wasn't he? Guy or girl, he normally tried to get them in bed. With busy, tired people that was usually a little harder, but he normally enjoyed the challenge. Yet he wasn't trying with Iruka. To the contrary, he enjoyed spending time with him; talking or goofing off with the nin-ken. Or watching Iruka grade tests. Or eating dinner together.

Wait… were they married? They acted as if they were.

"Okay, I think we scared him off," Kotetsu said as he shot a look at Kakashi's bedroom door. They were sitting around the table drinking hot beverages. "I'll bet he isn't listening at the door."

"Guys, I don't like this," Iruka said. "Why did you have to scare him out of the room? Didn't you want to come here to get to know him or something?"

"Nooooo, we just wanted to see what your life was like now," Izumo said. "We saw that when we saw the bed."

"Yeah, the bed," Kotetsu parroted in a very white gansta style. "Awesome bed, man!"

"Seeeriously!" Izumo said. "I think he likes you!"

"I hope so," Iruka said. "I've hardly been home. I hope he doesn't kick me out for not contributing or something."

"Dude!" Izumo said. "The bathroom sparkles. Either Gai was here or you cleaned it, and I know which one is the truth."

"Well, Gai could have been here," Kotetsu stated seriously. "He is Kakashi's best friend."

"Yeah, but I'll bet its Iruka cleaning," Izumo said in that way he did with Kotetsu only – annoyed and amused at the same time. "I'll also bet that you cook for him every night."

"Well, he took me out for dinner on Monday," Iruka said, irritated. "My life isn't for you guys to amuse yourselves with!"

"This isn't amusing!" Kotetsu protested. Both Iruka and Izumo glared at him in that way. "Well, it is a shit ton of fun," he admitted, "but we're really here to make sure you're okay."

"I'm okay!" Iruka said, his voice going high in defense.

"Are you sure?" Izumo asked.

"Yes!" Iruka said.

"Fine," Izumo said as he set his cup of lukewarm tea down on Kakashi's dinner table. "I believe you are fine, but if anything changes you need to let me know, okay?"

Iruka sighed. Finally! "You guys are always my first call."

"Good. So… what prompted Kakashi to get you a bed?" Kotetsu asked.

"You're still fixated on the bed?" Izumo asked incredulously. "No matter how many years I've known you you've never ceased to amaze me."

"Well, it's kind of an odd gift," Kotetsu mumbled into his cup as he took a sip of coffee.

"He did it randomly," Iruka said. "It just showed up when I came home yesterday."

"Have you been limping or something?" Izumo asked. At Iruka's confused stare he said, "You've got a bad back and your leg was injured the day your apartment burned bad enough for you to go to the hospital. Not to mention having Genma's senbon stuck in one ass cheek probably has some lingering effects…."

"You remember that?" Iruka asked, surprised. "We were pretty drunk when I said that."

"I do listen, you know!" Izumo said with faked pride. "But getting back to what I was saying, I just figured that between your injuries and sleeping on a couch you may have started limping."

"The couch was comfortable," Iruka said with a shrug. "So, have you told Kotetsu that you have the hots for him?"

"What?" Kotetsu asked, his eyes snapping over to his roommate in shock.

"That's a non-sequitur," Izumo said, ignoring his roommate's stare. "Don't do that."

"What, am I opening up a topic you don't want discussed?" Iruka teased. "I'm only guessing you like Kotetsu since you said that the person you like doesn't know you exist."

"When did I say that?" Izumo asked, looking puzzled.

"Remember the night we got drunk?" Iruka teased. "You said something to that effect."

"Huh," Izumo said, scratching his head. "I remember talking about your butt and Ko's loneliness, but I don't…"

Apparently it didn't matter if Izumo recalled saying the ambiguous line or not since Kotetsu grabbed Izumo's arm and started hauling him out of the apartment. Of course Izumo tried to get away – flailing his arms and legs to get purchase on anything he could reach – but Kotetsu had him firmly in a headlock. It wasn't until the door slammed behind Iruka's two Chunin friends that Iruka realized that they had left their shoes in the entryway.

Kakashi heard a scuffle and the door slam shut after a few minutes of quiet murmuring he couldn't hear through the door. Then, after another minute he heard the door open, there was a scuffle, and the door slammed shut again. Tentatively, he poked his head out his door to see if there was any damage to his apartment.

Well, the place seemed fine. There were some dirty cups on the table and some scuff marks on the floor, but other than that everything seemed in its place. Iruka peaked around the half wall of the kitchen to make eye contact with Kakashi as he said, "Don't worry, they're gone."

"What happened?" Kakashi asked as he stepped out of his room to go sit with Iruka at the table. "I heard a lot of noise."

"Well, we were talking and the subject got a little uncomfortable for me, so I put Izumo in the hot seat," Iruka said smugly as he took a sip of his tea.

What subject could make Iruka uncomfortable? He couldn't ask that, though, so he said, "What did you say?"

"I asked him about him and Ko. You know, they've had this huge crush on each other for a long time, but I don't think either one's realized it. At least, I didn't until last week when we were drunk Izumo mentioned liking someone and not having his feelings returned. So… even if that isn't what he meant, I asked him about it. Kotetsu dragged him out. Then they had to come back to get their shoes, and Izumo didn't want to leave so Ko dragged him out again."

Kakashi chuckled before he said, "You have some very enthusiastic friends, Sensei."

The corner of Iruka's mouth quirked up in amusement. "So says the guy who claims Gai-sensei as his best friend and eternal rival."

"I said no such thing," Kakashi defended. "Even if he is my best friend, I never said it!"

Iruka chuckled. "Maybe you should, if it'll get him to stop following you around and challenging you all the time. You know… validate his feelings or something."

"Maa, Sensei, do you want him to kill me with his enthusiasm?" Kakashi asked with mock horror in his voice. Then he dropped the humor and said, "He and I do have calm talks sometimes, and he really is a good friend. It's just when we're in public he puts on that other persona as a defense mechanism to keep people away, like most Jounin."

"Hmm, I hadn't thought of that," Iruka said. "It would certainly explain Anko's brashness and Genma's sexual harassment."

"Yep." Then, because he couldn't keep his curiosity in check… "So… what was the topic that you didn't want to discuss with the others?" Kakashi asked.

"Oh, I'd received some injuries last week before we went drinking that made me go to the hospital to get some stitches. You know how pre-Genin are – throw a Kunai anywhere regardless of who's on the receiving end. I also got one of Genma's senbon in the butt, which made me go to the hospital to get it unstuck…"

"Maa, when you say you had a bad day, you really mean it!" Kakashi interrupted. Iruka huffed out a laugh and continued speaking.

"Well, yeah. The day I passed Naruto out of the Academy I got a giant shuriken to the back. Because of that I have some spinal and nerve issues, and they were worried that I had started limping because of the couch. They were just trying to figure out why you bought me a bed."

"That was uncomfortable for you?" Kakashi asked, incredulous. "Are you embarrassed that I bought you a bed?"

"What?" Iruka asked, confusion clear on his face. "No, I just didn't think you wanted your reputation ruined. You use it as a shield, so I figured you wouldn't want them to know. And they were bringing up some ideas that were hard to respond to, so before they went there I changed the subject."

"What a topic to change it to!" Kakashi said with a smile.

Iruka's cheeks tinted pink as he said, "Well, I didn't expect such a violent reaction."

"So… what now?" Kakashi asked.

"Well, now I get to wash the dishes. Between dinner and tea I really let them stack up," Iruka said. He stood up and finished off his drink before grabbing Izumo's and Kotetsu's abandoned mugs and heading into the kitchen.

"Actually, Sensei, what I was thinking about was the bed. Was it really so disruptive that I gave it to you?" Kakashi asked, following Iruka with the leftover plates covered in cookie crumbs.

Iruka started the water and watched it flow into the sink. Was it really disruptive? It could be, if everyone heard about it, which was possible with how big of a blabbermouth Kotetsu tended to be. Would it really matter if everyone found out, though? After a moment Iruka started rinsing off the dishes as he said, "You know, you bought a guy who has nothing a bed and a dresser. You gave him some spare clothes and a dry place to sleep. If anyone gives me any guff, I'll tell them that."

"How about this, then: why don't you move in with me?" Kakashi asked.

Iruka glanced at him over his shoulder. "Kakashi-sensei, I already have."

"No, I didn't mean like this. You're just here until you can get your own place, but I was thinking it would be pretty nice to have you around afterwards."

"Aren't you jumping a little too far ahead?" Iruka asked. "I've only lived here a week, and the Chunin exams can take up to two months. That's a bit of a commitment."

Kakashi shrugged. "I guess it is," he admitted. "I just think it nice having a roommate, and you deserve your own room."

Iruka shot a look at Kakashi over his shoulder. "Were you really that lonely that you like having me here?" he asked.

"Well, you do stuff, too, like cleaning and cooking. You're also intelligent, and we've had some nice conversations. I'd like to keep you around," Kakashi said mildly with a dismissive wave of his hand.

Iruka glanced over at Kakashi again for a moment before he turned his attention back to the dishes before him. "Let's not make any permanent decisions until we need to make them, okay? That way we won't be stuck if things fell apart."

"Do you think things will fall apart?" Kakashi asked.

"I don't know. It's too soon to tell," Iruka said through tight lips.

Oh, holy crap! He couldn't be hearing this right – Kakashi wanted him to move in. Forever. Get a place together. He admitted he was lonely. He liked that Iruka cleaned and cooked, and he even liked talking with Iruka.

He liked Iruka. Romantically.

Iruka almost swooned into the sink when he realized Kakashi's feelings for him.

What was he supposed to do now?

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