Title: Perfect Theology: Epilogue
Rating: PG-13 for Chapters 1-14; NC-17 for Epilogue
Summary: Because no one has a perfectly foolproof method to approach love and life. Including Konoha’s famed Copy Ninja.
THIS POST CONTAINS MATERIAL OF A SEXUALLY EXPLICIT NATURE.
Not suitable for individuals under the age of 17.
You have been warned!
A/N: This took a while to write, so my apologies! I was seriously writer blocked for this last part, until I happened to look at the pages of prompts over at the KakaIru_Kink LJ community. I really liked this one. Set during and after the Invasion of Pain arc. This takes place a significant amount of time after the last chapter; haven’t decided exactly how long. Doesn’t matter though! XD
The air was filled with the sound of explosions, the very ground quaking as buildings fell into disarrayed piles of rubble. The streets were clouded with dust and debris, lining Iruka’s skin with a fine grit as he raced through. Parents and their children screamed in terror as he and other Chuunin hurriedly directed them away from the battle. Heat rose as many of the destroyed homes caught fire, sending plumes of dark smoke furling into the sky.
It was hard to imagine that just a short while ago, the sun had risen over another peaceful day in Konoha. Iruka himself had been just getting ready to start another usual day when ominous rumblings had shook the earth. He’d seen several monstrous summons wreaking havoc starting on one part of the village, quickly spreading chaos through the entire town. Who was attacking them?
“C’mon, Iruka!” A voice screamed behind him, muffled by the maelstrom of noise all around them. The other shinobi pushed the civilians on, craning his neck to see where the other teacher had gone.
“There’s still a few left!” He yelled back, weaving quickly through the maze of ruined homes and buildings. The brown-haired man could detect several chakra signatures weakly pulsing in the area, obviously injured. He found the first man collapsed on the roadside, clutching a heavily bleeding leg. “Are you okay?” Iruka carefully started to lift him by the shoulders, attempting to help him up.
“Ah…” The ninja hissed in agony, trying to put weight on the injured limb. Suddenly he froze, fearing lighting his eyes as he looked over Iruka’s shoulder. The Chuunin instinctively felt the shadow loom over him, and movement flickered on the edge of his vision. He turned his head and looked up into a ghoulish mien.
The man was very tall, his body shrouded by black robes bearing the distinctive red cloud emblem of the Akatsuki. Black piercings dotted his face, bright red hair held in place by a scarred hitai-ate. Pain gazed down at the two Konoha ninjas dispassionately, his strange, rippled eyes cold. “Where is the Nine-Tailed Beast’s host? Spit it out.” His tone was low yet frosty, the killing intent emanating palpably over them both. “Tell me or I’ll kill you.”
Iruka stiffened, shifting slightly to put his body between the enemy and the injured shinobi. So this was Akatsuki. His thoughts raced worriedly to Naruto, who thankfully was away from the village. But he had to be warned, and he couldn’t let this mysterious adversary know where his student was. Glaring back determinedly, Iruka slowly reached a hand towards his weapon pouch. He was at a distinct disadvantage: he had to protect both himself and the disabled ninja behind him. “I won’t tell you anything.”
Expression unchanging, Pain straightened to his full height. His eyes narrowed slightly, assessing Iruka for a split second. “I see…”
Faster than his eyes could follow, the man withdrew a long black blade from within his cloak, stabbing the sharp point towards Iruka. His hands clenched as Iruka moved to block, but he already knew it was too late, his opponent too quick-
Just as abruptly, the tip stopped mere centimeters away from his face, quivering in mid-motion. It took a few seconds for Iruka realized with a start that another shinobi had leapt timely between them, his gloved hand firmly stopping the weapon from striking its intended target. He looked up at his savior, heart skipping a beat as his eyes fell on a familiar shock of spiky silver hair. Kakashi.
“So all this was just a distraction, so you could search without being noticed…” The Jounin glared evenly at the strange man, the blood-red Sharingan eye already revealed.
“Kakashi-” Iruka started to rise to his feet, all other worries momentarily shelved as his concern for Kakashi flared. He should help him fight, or at least-
But it seemed his boyfriend knew him too well, because Kakashi cut him off curtly. “Take that injured man and get out of here.” He gave Iruka a quick, stern look that clearly allowed no argument. “Leave this to me.”
Hesitating for a pause, Iruka bit his lip and crouched quickly to sling the wounded man’s arm over his shoulder. “R-Right.” The Chuunin knew that chances were, he was no match for the Akatsuki member standing there. He’d only distract Kakashi and be a burden. There were things on the tip of his tongue that he was bursting to tell the older man, now that they were separating on the battlefield. However, he knew that this was no time to be giving him any more distractions. Good luck, Kakashi. As Iruka heaved the unconscious man up and sped away, he allowed himself a swift look back at the Jounin. Fear curled in his belly with a sickening sensation, but he forced himself to shake off the doubt. After all, he thought to himself reassuringly, he was Sharingan Kakashi. He could take care of himself.
For a long few minutes, the world seemed to have collapsed on them all. His limbs felt bone-wearyingly heavy, as if weighed down by an enormous burden. His senses felt as though wet cotton had been pressed over them, smothering awareness and darkening everything. Gradually though, Iruka became aware of the weight lifting off his body, sunlight reaching his eyes. Sound filtered slowly back to his attention; it was deathly still and quiet. “Ugh…” The ground was hard and gritty beneath his face, rough as sandpaper.
“Iruka! Are you okay?”
The voice seemed to come from far off, echoing oddly in his ears. A hand was shaking his shoulder, urgently pulling him back to full awareness. Feeling flooded back into his form: the ache of his feet, the bruises all along his back, a dull throbbing in his head. Cautiously, he opened his eyes, the brightness stinging his pupils. Blurry shapes around him came into focus bit by bit. A semi-familiar face gazed down at his own, examining him quickly for injuries. Before Iruka could ask him a question, the man said a few words to someone next to them, then raced off to help other more grievously injured. Lifting his head, Iruka took his first look around.
A gigantic slug lay beside him, carefully detaching itself from his back, where she had thrown herself. He vaguely recognized it as Katsuyu, Tsunade’s personal summon. “…So…rry…It was all I could do…to surround everyone…” She said groggily, evidently just as shaken from the attack as the rest of them were.
Wincing, Iruka pushed himself upright into a sitting position. “Thank you, Katsuyu-sama.” He reflexively started to inquire about her well-being, but the scene before them finally came into sharp relief.
All around them, rubble and chunks of concrete filled a huge canyon. It looked as if a giant had scooped an enormous spoonful of land from the very earth. Chills ran down his spine as he realized he was looking at what remained of Konoha: a crater of destruction. “Oh god-” What happened to his students? To his fellow shinobi? To Kakashi?
“Katsuyu-sama,” he turned urgently towards the great slug. “Is everyone all right?”
She didn’t move, bulbous eyes looking from side to side. “I was able to cover everyone before the attack hit.”
“But-” Movement caught his eye, and Iruka looked down towards the center of the crater. He gasped, seeing a telltale head of blond hair.
With a pained grunt, Iruka struggled to his feet. He tried to take a few steps forward, but Katsuyu instantly slithered into his path. “Iruka-san, you mustn’t interfere with this fight. You’re in no shape to be battling anyone, and would only distract Naruto.”
Her words cut into his heart painfully. He knew it was the truth, but that didn’t stop the resultant rush of helplessness and frustration. He lowered himself back onto the ground unsteadily, hands clenched. The Chuunin felt completely overwhelmed; it crushed Iruka on so many levels to know he wasn’t strong enough to help his student, couldn’t prevent Akatsuki from devastating his village, and had to be saved by Kakashi from-
Wait, what about Kakashi?
Tensing, Iruka turned again to the slug. “Katsuyu-sama, do you know if Kakashi-sensei is all right?”
He’d never thought that a slug could have an expressive face, but he was wrong. Katsuyu sat there silently, her antennae-eyes drooping morosely. “Iruka-san…” She said no more, nor did she have to.
He tore his gaze away, burying his face in the sleeve of his dirt-strewn shirt. His eyes burned with unshed tears, but the brown-haired man forced them back. Any other person might have broken down and wept bitterly, but Iruka knew better. He was a shinobi of Konoha, and there was still much to be done. He did not have the luxury of grieving now. There were many civilians and ninja alike who were lying injured or trapped, and needed any help they could get.
Stiffly, he rose back to his feet, and picked his way carefully through the ruins of his home.
All was quiet, save for the occasional murmur of voices, or the quick chirp of a cricket. Iruka fidgeted slightly on his bedroll, staring forlornly up at the top of his tent as he lay there, thinking. On reflection, he figured he should have been a little cheerier: Pain had been defeated, Naruto was all right, and the fallen shinobi had been miraculously brought back. Though their village was still a pile of shattered rubble and most of the population huddled under makeshift shelters and tents, they were all slowly rebuilding.
The sheer relief and happiness that had flooded his very being upon seeing Kakashi and Naruto walk out of the forest- worst for wear but alive- had pushed away any restraint left in him. He’d wept openly along with everyone else in joy, the heavy burden of sorrow lifting off his heart.
And yet here he was, hours later, lying sleeplessly in his tent. His mind kept echoing with the same question: what if-
A small sound jerked Iruka out of his contemplation, and he lifted his head. A pale, gloved hand softly brushed aside the tent flaps, and a tall form crawled in beside him. The Chuunin didn’t need light to know it was Kakashi; he felt the familiar warmth of the older man’s chakra wash over him, softly mingling with his own. He sat up instantly, scooting over to make room for the Jounin. “Everything okay?”
“Yeah, we finished fortifying the edge of the encampment.” His voice was slightly hoarse, layered with tiredness. “Should be all right until the construction teams get some buildings up.” Kakashi sighed, lying down stiffly. He tugged on Iruka’s arm, pulling him down on the bedding next to him and curled up close. With his other hand, he jerked down his mask and removed his hitai-ate, setting them in a neat pile near their heads.
Iruka let out a long breath, his muscles relaxing as a strong arm wound around his waist, and warm lips pressed tenderly against the back of his neck. The gentle touches suddenly sparked tears in his eyes. It seemed almost surreal to experience such simple sensations now. Only a few hours ago he’d thought he had lost everything: his home, his comrades, and the man he loved.
“Ruka?” Kakashi opened his eyes, nuzzling against long brown hair. The younger man had stiffened noticeably, and his chakra was circulating in a slightly erratic manner. Usually that indicated distress or alarm. “What’s wrong?” When the Chuunin didn’t answer, he slowly turned Iruka in his arms until they were face to face. He was surprised to see scattered teardrops trailing down his scarred face, wetting his lashes. “Tell me.”
Iruka inhaled shakily, pushing his face into the crook of Kakashi’s neck. “It’s too much.”
“What is? Talk to me, baby.” He ran his soothingly down the curve of his boyfriend’s back, rubbing down on tensed muscle.
“I-” He sighed, reaching a finger up to brush aside a tear. “I thought I’d lost you today. I thought I lost so many people.” The heart beating rapidly in his chest felt painfully heavy, making it difficult to speak. “And I felt so useless, Kakashi.” The other man opened his mouth to protest, but Iruka plowed on. “I couldn’t help Naruto, I couldn’t stop the enemy, and-” He bit his lip, reaching the most agonizing of thoughts. “And you had to save me today. You died because of it.”
“Don’t say that-” Kakashi slid his hands to touch tan cheeks, tilting Iruka’s head up so their gazes met.
“It’s true, Kakashi!” He said fiercely, shaking his head. “And I can’t help but think that it’s too much! Is it worth it, being a shinobi? Because today I realized that I was so powerless against our enemies, so useless to Konoha-”
“Ruka.” The silver-haired man slipped a finger over his lips, silencing him. “You can’t blame yourself for what happened. You did as much as any man could. No one could stop every evil on their own.” Kakashi paused, lowering his voice. “I gladly risked my life to save yours. And I’d do it again if need be.”
Iruka froze, brown eyes widening. “Kakashi-”
The Jounin hushed him, embracing him tightly and tucking Iruka’s head under his chin. He continued on quietly, “It’s worth it because we live to serve the needs of our village, and to protect the people we love. I don’t think anyone is useless who works for that kind of goal.” His fingers combed through Iruka’s hair slowly. “Do you remember a few months ago…when I told you about Obito?”
Iruka nodded, closing his eyes as Kakashi comfortably stroked through his hair. “I remember.”
“For…the longest time afterward, I hated myself. I kept thinking, I could have saved him…I should have saved him. What use is a ninja if he can’t even save his best friend?” Kakashi sighed heavily, closing his left eye briefly. “But then, Minato-sensei told me something I’ve never forgotten. He said…that we can carefully plan and carry out our lives as meticulously as we want, but it doesn’t change the fact that nothing is certain. Suffering will come, whether early or eventually, whether lightly or heavily. And for shinobi, the latter is often true.” He pulled back a bit, giving Iruka a gentle look. “So we cannot run away from pain. A shinobi must come to embrace it, and learn to burn it as fuel for life’s journey.”
With a small sniffle, Iruka felt a smile tug at his lips. “When did you get so wise?”
Kakashi’s chest vibrated as he chuckled. “Maa, so cruel, sensei. Maybe I’ve always been wise, but you weren’t smart enough to recognize it.” He slipped a hand under Iruka’s shirt, slowly tracing his fingers along the warm skin underneath.
“You don’t regret it then?”
Iruka bit his lip. “Us.” He nodded at the both of them. “This. Don’t you ever worry-” He gulped, feeling a lump in his throat. “That one day…I might…or you might-” Iruka stopped, unable to finish the sentence. It’d haunted his thoughts for a while now, but he never dared say it aloud, afraid of jinxing whatever good they had in their lives.
Kakashi brushed his lips against the younger man’s neck, feeling the fine tremors. He understood well what Iruka was trying to convey; any ninja who let themselves get into any semblance of a relationship probably had it cross their minds: what would happen if one of them didn’t come home safely from a mission? He’d seen some people like Kurenai who persevered on, mourning quietly. Others broke down completely, and never again were the person they used to be. And what about himself? If Iruka were to die in battle tomorrow, could he handle it? He was reluctant to consider such a question deeply, almost afraid of the answer. All he knew was that Iruka had become well ingrained in his life; the sound of his voice, the touch of his hand, the feel of his skin…he was very, very far from ready to part with them.
Iruka groaned as a hand moved over his hips, reaching to stroke him between his legs. “Kakashi…” Despite his protest, he felt himself harden against the Jounin’s ministrations. “I’m being serious.”
“I am too.” Kakashi shifted himself over Iruka, urgently tugging off clothes. Brooding on death and loss made desire rise uncontrollably, the need to feel that they were both still alive and real burning his senses. “Mm, I don’t think I could go on without my naughty sensei.” He caressed firm, tan skin appreciatively, memorizing every curve and scar.
“You’re one to talk.” He tried to sound exasperated, but the tone was somewhat hard to achieve as Kakashi pulled off his pants in one smooth motion and looked at him with dark, sensual eyes.
“I think we both could stand to do a little less talking.” His fingers teasingly pulled at the waistband of Iruka’s boxers.
Chuckling, Iruka threaded his fingers through tousled silver hair, pulling Kakashi’s face to his and crushing their lips together. The kiss was fierce and wet as tongues slid hotly against each other, teeth nipping and biting whatever skin was closest. He tasted the sweat on his heated flesh and an earthy tang that he’d come to associate with Kakashi. Iruka always thought it was amusing how in spite of the Jounin’s dislike of sugary foods, his lips tasted slightly sweet, reminding him of spring flowers and their mild honeys.
The hand stroking his hair pulled backwards, exposing more of his neck to Kakashi. Iruka shivered as teeth and tongue worked their way expertly over sensitive spots, sending arousal shooting straight to his groin. Fingers, gentle in spite of their numerous callouses, kneaded flat nipples, eliciting an approving groan.
He dimly felt his boxers slide off his waist and be discarded off to the side. His fingers tightened, nails digging into Kakashi’s arm as the older man first licked, then slid his mouth over the head of his cock. “Kakashi-” he gasped, hands clutching hard at his muscled shoulders. His hips thrust upwards instinctively, straining against the firm hands holding him in place. He felt the Jounin nuzzle the inside of his thigh, pushing his legs further apart. Each suck, each stroke of Kakashi’s hand sent bursts of heat trailing through his body, pushing Iruka closer and closer to the edge. His teeth bit down on his lips, trying to stifle his moans. After all, there were others sleeping close by in their own tents. “Kashi-” He choked out, so close to completion.
Abruptly, the older man pulled away, swiping his hand across wet lips. Iruka keened in protest, nails digging into sweaty skin. “Not yet,” he whispered, moving to be face to face with Iruka again. He brought two fingers to Iruka’s kiss-swollen mouth, nudging.
Obediently, the brown-haired man’s lips parted to accommodate the fingers, tongue laving out to coat them with saliva. He stared straight at Kakashi as he did so, eyes alight with lust. Iruka was always intrigued by the duality that was Kakashi in bed: he knew that the hands touching him, holding him so tenderly were also deadly weapons. That they could just as easily snap his neck as they could bring him pleasure. That their dexterity in the art of killing was a source of fear for so many. And yet, those hands were also capable of delicate actions, like caressing his face after a long day, or loosening his hair tie as they both tumbled into bed. The knowledge that he alone was allowed to see the gentler side of Sharingan Kakashi never failed to move his heart and make him ache for his touch.
After a few more moments, Kakashi withdrew his wet fingers, sliding them down between his own legs. Iruka watched, entranced, as he started fingering himself, plunging slick digits in and scissoring them. “Kakashi?” He whispered, confused. Normally, Iruka – complacent soul that he was- let Kakashi dominate the intimate part of their relationship happily. The older man was decidedly more adventurous sexually, but knew how to contain it within Iruka’s limits. It’d never occurred to him to switch roles.
“I want to feel you,” Kakashi murmured, voice rough with want. He prepared himself quickly, spearing fingers in. Iruka looked on, wide-eyed. The sight was hypnotic, arousing in a way he never thought possible. His erection jerked with the thought of burying himself inside Kakashi, pumping until they were both spent.
With a grunt, the silver-haired man pulled his fingers out, legs spreading as he straddled Iruka. His teeth bit down on lips in anticipation as he stroked his lover’s cock eagerly, guiding him into place. Iruka’s hands traced up his shivering thighs, resting timidly on slender hips. “Are you okay?” He got a quick nod in reply, and both of them hissed softly as Kakashi pushed downwards. Iruka pressed kisses to the other man’s neck, whispering reassurances. It was tight, so tight as Kakashi slid wetly over him, squeezing perfectly and setting his lust aflame. He resisted the urge to thrust up into the hot body above him, waiting for the Jounin to be ready.
Kakashi moaned softly as, with a final push, he was seated fully on Iruka’s hard cock. It burned slightly to be stretched so, but the desire to be filled and the look of awed ecstasy on the younger man’s face was worth it. His nerves shuddered deliciously, the smallest movement making his body quiver. His hands gripped Iruka’s shoulders firmly, pushing himself up before coming back down with a shaky groan.
Iruka gasped, grip tightening as Kakashi thrust against him with increasing speed. Every push wound the tension in his groin ever tighter, until he was pounding up desperately. Meaningless sounds spilled from his lips as his awareness narrowed to just wet, hot flesh squeezing him so deliciously. For a brief few minutes, it seemed as though it was just the two of them in the world, and all that mattered was their perspiration-slicked bodies moving in sync against one another.
Each and every one of Kakashi’s senses was replete with Iruka: the scent of his skin, mingled with the tang of excitement. The taste of his kisses, expressing what his words couldn’t with lips and tongue and bites. The push and pull slide of his cock far inside him, splintering his control and overwhelming Kakashi with a singular goal of attainment. And the sound of his voice, moaning out his name like a prayer; it was heady, utterly intoxicating.
With a strained sound halfway between a yelp and a wail, Iruka’s nails clawed frenziedly as he came, his perception shattering from the all-consuming, white hot sensation flooding his entire form. He pushed up hard, grinding Kakashi’s hips against him as tightly as he could. He reached up with his free hand, grasping his lover’s cock and stroking, the friction eased by the streams of pre-come leaking out.
The man straddling him whimpered, thrusting down unsteadily. He forced his eyes open, taking the for a few seconds the perfect picture before him. Iruka’s expression was one completely transported by pleasure, muscles wound so tight and shivering violently with release. His normally placid demeanor was overtaken by rapture, a pleasure caused by Kakashi. And the Copy Ninja realized in that moment, he didn’t think he could go without it, nor did he want to try.
Perhaps it was that thought, or the surging fluid heat filling him, and Kakashi came with a strangled cry. He thrust against Iruka’s hand jerkily as semen spurted out in searing white drops, dotting his belly and dripping over his lover’s fingers. Their bodies moved on their own accord as his mind blanked, any thoughts eclipsed by indescribable, consuming orgasm.
Dimly at first, he became aware of feather-light kisses being pressed to his brow. He lifted his head the barest bit off Iruka’s shoulder, managing a tired smirk. “Hey.”
The Chuunin just smiled back, wiping back several sweat-dampened locks of hair. He reached down and quickly pulled the thin blanket over both of them, settling back more comfortably. As if the day’s trials hadn’t been enough, the sex completely drained the rest of his energy. He felt himself drifting off, Kakashi’s arms circled protectively around him, when lips brushed timidly against his ear.
“Yes?” He murmured sleepily, eyes falling close.
Kakashi took a small breath, resting his head against Iruka. “About what you said earlier.”
“I don’t regret it,” he said softly. “I think… I would rather mourn the loss of you and cherish our memories…than not to have met you at all.”
And just as Iruka fell into a deep slumber, he thought that his heart couldn’t hold an ounce more love. Kakashi had filled it to the brim, and then some.
A/N: I wanted to thank everyone who’s read, reviewed, and enjoyed this story over the years. Special thanks go to those who waited so patiently as I churned this out, taking long breaks in between. You’re awesome, and this wouldn’t have gotten finished without all your support!