"Come on, darling, Tsunade-hime is not likely to be pleased with you coming late yet again."
The whisper was soft and warm against his ear; not really encouraging him to move just yet.
Hence, the answer was nothing like an approval to leave his comfortable nest just yet, but a deep hum emanating from his chest.
He hugged his pillow, tight, before he noticed that it was moving.
The voice was back, still soft, but a little hoarse, as if biting back a low chuckle.
"I mean it. You have to get out of bed, now. To pin me down with you won't make things any better, you know."
His grip held on to the pillow that was now slightly shaking, realizing that what he hugged so closely had never been part of the bedroom furniture to begin with.
Slowly, one lid slid up to reveal a stormy grey iris that carefully eyed the fake pillow beneath, before his quiet mutter broke the silence.
"You're so warm..." he announced softly, fingers burying into the dark cloth he lay upon.
An affectionate ripple of laughter shook the chest he had deliberately snuggled down upon, followed by fingers that buried themselves in the silver shock of hair and ruffled them gently. He hummed in satisfaction. Why get up if there were yet so many more touches for him to claim?
He was lolling about; enjoying himself to the fullest as the self-appointed pillow owner suddenly sank down upon nothing but his bare mattress, the warmth underneath dissolving into thin air.
A frustrated huff escaped his lips as he slowly lifted himself up onto his elbows and looked about, finding that he was all alone in the dimly lit bedroom.
"Damn you..." he muttered in quiet irritation, before sitting up and casting a short glance towards the tightly drawn curtains. Bright rays of sunshine spread through from the other side of the window, obviously lighting up the dark red fabric. He must be more than overdue.
Despite the rude gestures he signed towards the remaining puff of smoke that hung in mid-air where the shadow clone had just disappeared, Kakashi was rather grateful for his lover's consideration.
Hadn't there been those gentle hands and tender fingers to wake him from his sleep, he would have spent half the day fast asleep and probably oblivious to a rather livid Hokage waiting for his arrival at her office.
As things were, however, he felt half amused about his own drowsiness and half betrayed by his lover who had - again! - felt the need to mother him just so he would make it to the Hokage tower on time. Admittedly, he wouldn't have gotten up in the near future otherwise, but still.... bastard! To lure him into the illusion of being loved just to leave him shivering from the chilly air in the room and all on his own... the jounin really hated Iruka's early shifts at the mission desk with all his heart.
Kakashi shook his head in aggravation, while he set his feet onto the ground and made his way over to the closet to retrieve his uniform. He would shower now, and then see what was next.
The next surprise waited for the still disgruntled jounin when he entered the kitchen and found himself surrounded by almost a dozen slips of paper, spread all around the small room to accompany his way to the fridge, over to the coffee machine and, last but not least, to the beloved old toaster he fondly called 'Henry' whenever feeling the need to.
'Good morning, love!' they read, and 'Able to read already?'. Kakashi quirked his eyebrows in silent wonder, retrieving what he felt necessary for his everyday breakfast routine. Henry got a gentle pat on the rusty edges of his power switch, while the jounin's lips nipped on his all too hot coffee.
Iruka hated the jounin's coffee, Kakashi knew. It was too strong for his taste; too black and all in all far too bitter. Kakashi liked it this way. Iruka's lips were sweet enough to make up for anything.
On his way around the apartment, Kakashi discovered even more of the snippets, reading 'Forgot to comb your hair yet again?' or 'More fruits, less caffeine, love'.
Some of them made the jounin stare in disbelief, others had him biting back a bark of laughter for their silliness, but all of the notes clearly resembled the way Iruka would have talked to him, had he been around.
Kakashi's mood had started to brighten as he progressed through the living room and down the hall, a cup of coffee still in hand, and found notes that read 'Can't wait to kiss you' and 'Must have been lonely in bed, ne?'. Unconsciously, Kakashi licked his lips before he shuffled on.
When the jounin reached his sandals next to the front door, he found himself cheerfully whistling and bit back a groan. So his lover had- yet again- managed to force him up against and all the way past his weaker self.
"Damn you, Iruka" he muttered under his breath while pulling the shoes on - attached was a slip of paper that had a very familiar fingerprint printed in its center, surrounded by small notes like 'Love you' and 'I miss your touch' - and finally slipped out the door.
The sunlight surrounding him when he stepped out onto the street was yet another sign of how late he really was, and Kakashi's whistle grew even more innocent.
So Iruka had somehow manipulated him to get out of bed before lunchtime, although he had not even been around; and Kakashi still didn't like the feeling of defeat gnawing on his inwards. However, he had no intentions whatsoever to arrive at the Hokage tower on time or even close.
The sun had risen high into the sky already, and Kakashi was positive about Tsunade's wrath that would be awaiting him by now. Not all too obvious, maybe, for she was a shinobi after all; composed and calm on the outside.
Kakashi, however, loved to see her composure breaking, the anger flaring in her brown eyes; he was absolutely mortified by the prospect and eager to see her reaction all the same. It was that attitude of his that had driven Iruka over the edge of fury far more often than the chuunin liked to admit, and Kakashi half loved, half feared the man every single time it happened.
The low whistle the jounin kept up under his breath, hanging his head in faked disinterest, went unnoticed by passing civilians and shinobi alike, and Kakashi's lips were curled up into a small smile by the time he reached the Hokage tower.
Whatever missions were to be assigned to him, he could be sure that this would become an interesting visit.
Tsunade was awaiting the jounin in her office, pacing up and down the room, and when the door finally opened, she scowled at the entrant with all her deathly authority.
"You're late, brat!" she spat, brow twitching.
Kakashi slouched comfortably against the back wall of her office, apparently oblivious of her irritation. He was not planning on letting her bother him. The nonchalant attitude the jounin was radiating, however, seemed to be enough to drive Tsunade over the thin line she must have drawn before he had arrived. Kakashi barely found time to take a deep breath, before a small but pretty deadly hand caught his collar in a firm grip, pushing him up against the wall he had been leaning against. Blinking furiously up at him, Tsunade hissed lowly under her breath before lowering her subordinate just enough to let his feet touch the ground again.
"Explain yourself. It's not like we needed our most skilled forces, no, why would we. Still, it would be rather interesting to hear the excuses you come up with this time." she grit out between her teeth, and Kakashi raised a hand apologetically.
He had intended to keep her waiting, yes, but it had not been in his interest to drive her up against the walls. The former casual look from his uncovered eye turned serious.
"I overslept, Tsunade-sama. It's not like I did it on purpose, or anything. And then there was that horribly fragile-looking woman who had trouble carrying her shopping bags. Should I just have walked past, leaving her to herself with nothing but-"
Tsunade's tone was venomous, although Kakashi felt her fingers retreating from his neck.
With honest mystification, he noticed that the look in her deep brown eyes softened considerably as she turned away from him to gaze out the window.
"You're not really aware of what day it is, are you, Kakashi?"
The jounin's right eye widened ever so slightly as his mind processed that question and the upcoming flood of thoughts and reflections. It was Thursday, late summer, the chuunin examinations were not yet coming up and the jounin nominations had been performed just two weeks ago. Kakashi's mind was whirling, yet the man was totally clueless as to what could have been special about this day in comparison to the other days of the week.
His bewilderment must have been obvious in the uncovered part of his face for Tsunade came to a stand right in front of him after a few quick steps, one of her hands that held so much power pressed up against Kakashi's chest surprisingly softly. The jounin heaved a sigh, scratching his neck in so much as frustration. What else had he not noticed this morning?
When Tsunade rose to speak again, her eyes were like liquid caramel, carefully searching his face.
"You've been serving this village for too long if you really haven't noticed, jounin" she softly spoke up, her second hand pressing into Kakashi's. The man quirked an eyebrow in utter confusion as he found a note pushed into his fist. Tsunade stepped back to let him move freely then, and he looked at her for a long moment before unfolding the piece of paper she had given him.
'Have a look out of the window, you adorable fool.'
Kakashi recognized the elegantly curved script at once. A quick glance at Tsunade made him stare at her openly, as she was leaning against the windowsill, a broad grin spread all over her pretty face.
It took the jounin four long strides to cross the office and stand beside his Hokage just to gape in obvious astonishment once again.
Where the trees grew thick and high behind the Hokage tower, someone had gone to considerable lengths to cut back a large amount of the branches and bushes. Sunlight was flooding the clearing that had arisen from a green hell and shone brightly over long, well-laid tables, covered in large vines and surrounded by a crowd that Kakashi could not believe had gathered in the backyard of Tsunade's personal office without her complaint.
The jounin was still trying hard to understand what exactly he was missing when he spotted a person right below the window that he would have expected anywhere but here.
"You… here? But… what?" was all Kakashi could get out with his confusion painfully obvious in his stammered words.
A bright grin flashed across Iruka's handsome features as he reached up high into the air and held a hand out to his lover. Brown eyes were shining with clear anticipation while the crowd stood still, watching in silence, until Kakashi's hesitation was met with a powerful blow in his back that sent him stumbling and spinning around in midair to land gracefully on the grass below the window. Iruka's hand was in his before the jounin could even turn to face Tsunade with a scowl and Kakashi found himself being dragged towards the waiting mass of people, chuunin and jounin alike, who applauded at their approach.
As Kakashi's eye widened even further, he was pulled down by warm fingers that had forced their way around his neck and sneaked up into his hair by then, and soft lips met his masked mouth with fierce passion. A small voice in the back of his head wondered when exactly half of Konoha had found out about the two of them, but it was effortlessly pushed off into the depths of his mind while Iruka's lips brushed his cheek. Gentle arms wrapped around Kakashi's neck, and the jounin found himself once more oblivious to what was happening.
When Iruka finally pulled back, the taller man looked down at him with a mixture of amusement, confusion and a whiff of pleasure. His lips curled up into a happy smile.
"I still don't really know why Tsunade came at me with hugs instead of further yelling or why you people seem ready to celebrate instead of work, but if you want to repeat what you just did, I'll be fine with anything."
Iruka looked at him as if ready to strangle him instead, then let out a shaky laugh.
"Kakashi…." he seemed at a loss for words.
It was Kakashi's index finger that traced the chuunin's lips with soft pressure that seemed to bring him back to his initial intentions. Fingers slipping through Kakashi's to entangle them, he dragged his lover with him towards the waiting crowd. Kakashi recognized some of his fellow jounin stepping out of the way to let the two men access the banquet table up front. Iruka's fingers were warm in his, Kakashi noticed with a flutter of his heartbeat, while everybody else was watching, and they stepped in front of the table.
It took Kakashi a moment's time to realize what he was staring at, though, and when he did, his breath caught for a moment before he met Iruka's eyes in a questioning glare. The chuunin held his gaze steadily, if blushing a little.
"It's your birthday, you know" Iruka whispered, cheeks flushed red, as he gave Kakashi's hand a soft squeeze.
The jounin's visible eye narrowed once, before finally processing what it was he had been missing all morning. Thursday, mid-September. Right. Although he himself had not bothered to remember, however, his lover seemed to have put a lot of thought into this day.
The huge carrot cake sitting right in the center of the front table was shaped like a dolphin, with straws made of dried carrots sticking out from under a large hat as well as its fins.
Kakashi couldn't help gaping at the impressively large cake.
"Did you… make that?" he asked sheepishly, squeezing Iruka's fingers lightly.
The chuunin's face flushed even brighter, and that was all the answer Kakashi needed.
His lips were on Iruka's before the chuunin could have so much as squawked, and the assembled crowd of Konohagakure's shinobi were blessed with the sight of an utterly embarrassed Iruka in the embrace of an obviously affectionate kiss, only broken by a soft intake of air on Iruka's end as the chuunin pressed his lips against the other man's neck for a moment.
"Happy birthday, love."