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[personal profile] midnightdiddle
Kakashi/Iruka, and their not-so-charmed life.


"I hate kids," Iruka says, when Kakashi stretches out next to him, toes digging into the rumpled blankets. "They die so
easily--"

The Dead List


He is a storm on exam days. He roars through the apartment, dull and heavy and a thrum in the chest.

"The fuck," he yells into the cupboards as he looks for a clean cup, "do they think kids can do? They're fucking babies--"

When he spies Kakashi-- If he spies Kakashi-- To Kakashi, he's a more than a thrum in the chest. He slams his hand against Kakashi's chest, shoves him back against the wall, and says, sharply and bitterly, "it's because of people like you--"

Kakashi makes himself scarce on exam days, because those are the days Iruka slams through the apartment, a storm in the body of a man. Exam days, Kakashi leaves a new box of tea on the corner of the counter, and washes as many dishes as he can before he goes to linger on Asuma's rooftop. Exam days, Kakashi waits til evening to come home, because by then, Iruka, like all storms, runs out of energy, slows his mad spinning. Lies down on the bed, his arm over his eyes.

"I hate kids," Iruka says, when Kakashi stretches out next to him, toes digging into the rumpled blankets. "They die so easily--"

x

"Fours, whores, suicide kings," Iruka says as he snaps the card deck. Kakashi stretches out his legs, nods as he readjusts his mask.

"We're playing for?" he asks as Iruka snaps the deck again, then begins to deal out the cards.

"Laundry. Dishes, if you want."

Kakashi can see the cards faster than Iruka, but he's pretty sure Iruka's counting cards, and within a few minutes, the game has degenerated into a tussle over the cards, which rip and flutter, easy as stopping breath.

Iruka hits his hand one last time, but it's more like a punch than anything else, and Kakashi grabs his arm, tugs him closer. Kisses him, the corner of his mouth. Iruka squirms against him, laughs.

They fall asleep there, on the floor. Iruka sleeps on his side, arms curled around his head like a shield, and Kakashi sleeps on his back, arms pillowing his head. When he wakes up, his heart pounding and his bladder full, the clock on the wall glows a series of twos. He staggers to the bathroom, pieces of the playing cards sticking to the bottoms of his feet. When he comes back, hands still cold from the sink's water, Iruka's still sleeping on his side.

Kakashi spreads himself on the floor next to Iruka, turned to face him. The floor bruises his ribs, is cold and hard. There are circles beneath Iruka's eyes, like eye sockets melting down his cheek, and his mouth looks pale. There's a sliver of paper on the corner of Iruka's mouth, a diamond's ink bleeding against his lip.

"Don't," Iruka says sleepily when Kakashi pulls him closer, turns him against his body, and Kakashi kisses the ink in the corner of his mouth.

x

Iruka fills in grades to the beat of the radio, commentators discussing weather and politics and the newest records released. He hums when it's a song he knows, and he taps out a rudimentary beat when it's something new, something he can't hum.

Kakashi sits with him on grade-nights, reading and rereading favorite books. He lies on the floor, feet pressed against the wall, and when Iruka taps his pen against his mouth, Kakashi blinks up at him, pulls down his mask so he can press his mouth against Iruka's knee.

"What?" Iruka asks, and Kakashi folds his book back, hums with the radio.

Iruka doesn't like contact as much as Kakashi. When Kakashi drapes himself too close, Iruka complains that it's hot, that Kakashi's breathing is too loud. He's ticklish behind the knees, and he shies away from fingers waved in his face.

When Kakashi leans too close, Iruka closes his grade-book with a shuffle of papers, looking frustrated and pleased.

"What?" he asks, and Kakashi shrugs. "You're impossible," Iruka says, and it sounds almost fond.

"Why do some of them have stars?" Kakashi asks, and the voice on the radio laughs, loud and abrasive.

"What?"

"The names." Kakashi twists his arms through Iruka's, leans his head on Iruka's shoulder. It's a good day, three weeks before the next exam, and so Iruka's warm, patient and almost affectionate. "Some of them have stars," he says, while he flips open the grade-book and drags a finger down the list of names. He taps a star in black ink, next to a name. "Here."

"Hmm," Iruka hums. He follows Kakashi's finger, taps the star Kakashi tapped. "These ones, they're the special kids. The ones we have to keep alive."

There aren't, when Kakashi looks through the grade-book that night, very many stars.

x

Iruka covers his own throat when he comes, digs his fingernails into his own skin. In the morning there are welts, long scratches that the collar of his shirt barely covers. Kakashi likes to lean close to kiss them, press his tongue and lips to the red skin. Iruka hisses, but he doesn't flinch away. It tastes like iron.

When they fuck, Iruka grabs Kakashi's hands, holds them against his throat.

"Squeeze," he says, and his eyes are very brown.

Brown, and his eyelids flutter when he's too high, too faint. Kakashi squeezes, feels Iruka's pulse beat faster, and faster, and all the world gets harder before it gets softer, a cry before a groan. When he lets go, Iruka comes, a hoarse coming like the sound of a river god, breaking through all the dams.

It's like a myth tale, gods breaking through the world, and the water like come. Drench the fertile earth. After he comes, Iruka sounds like he's run half the day, a panting wheeze. It sounds painful, and when he tries to talk afterwards, his voice is rough, broken.

After they throw the tissues into the garbage, or the towels onto the bathroom floor, Iruka throws himself onto his stomach, takes over the right-hand side of the bed, nearest the wall. Kakashi takes the left, near the window, and Iruka snores more than usual.

In the morning, he picks out his shirt with the highest collar, and Kakashi follows him to the kitchen, to have coffee and cereal and the taste of iron on his tongue.

x

"You don't like being a teacher," Kakashi says one weekend, when he's leaning his back against Iruka's. Their beer is warm, condensation slowly running down between their fingers.

"What?" Iruka asks, sounding confused. "I like being a teacher."

"Really," Kakashi says blandly, and Iruka snorts behind him, reaches back to pinch his arm. Kakashi groans, leans back harder, and when Iruka collapses with a whumph, he goes with him.

"The beer's warm," Kakashi says, a peace offering, and Iruka says, "yeah." Then, long minutes later, when Kakashi's bending over Iruka's stomach, "your fingers are wet."

The afternoon takes a long time to pass, slow Saturdays when the village is silent like a tomb. Kakashi doesn't know what to say, doesn't know how to listen. Iruka doesn't, either, Kakashi thinks, and when Iruka kicks an empty can, sends it rolling across the room, Kakashi feels lonely.

"I'm sorry," Kakashi says when Iruka reaches for the dustmotes in the air, sunlight slinking through his fingers.

"Why?" Iruka asks as he closes his hands into fists, then opens them again. Kakashi watches the sunlight drip down Iruka's hands, like the condensation on the beer cans, and tries to think of why.

"I'm sorry," he tries again, "that there aren't more stars." When he reaches out, digging his toes into Iruka's side, Iruka say, "oh."

"I like teaching," Iruka says when the sun has set, when Kakashi's lying on his side, and Iruka's head is on Kakashi's leg. "I just don't like the lists."

x

He is a storm on exam days, rushing through the apartment with a roar of threat. Kakashi sets the new box of tea on the counter, then slinks back to the living room. He can hear the cups in the kitchen shatter when Iruka throws the cupboard door too quickly, and he can hear Iruka's intake of breath.

And, when he lifts his mask from his face and breathes in, he can smell Iruka's salt..

"I broke your cup," Iruka says when he comes into the room. His hands are cupped, held close to his face, and when he squats down, he lays his hands on the floor to tip the pieces of porcelain onto the floor. The pieces sound like windchimes, fall like a landslide. "I--"

Kakashi scoots away from the wall, and squats across from Iruka. He drags a finger through the pieces of the cup, catches the handle of the cup, lifts it and watches it dangle from his fingernail.

"They all die so fucking easily," Iruka says, and Kakashi watches the cup's handle shiver on the edge of his fingernail, watches it fall, a loop. A landslide. "So fucking easily--"

When he wraps his arms around Iruka's shoulders, Iruka feels like a storm, thrumming beneath the skin. Kakashi can feel him in his chest, can feel Iruka in the way his heart thuds against his ribcage, the way Iruka's breath bruises his neck. A landslide.

"I'm sorry," Kakashi says, and when Iruka says, "I hate lists," Kakashi can feel him melt through his fingers.
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