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Kakashi was home early, and let himself quietly into the house. It was morning, though the sun had been up for only a few hours. Walking silently through the house, he deposited his weather-worn clothes on the floor of the bedroom and changed, noticing that Iruka wasn’t in bed. Frowning to himself, he tugged on a clean shirt and pants, foregoing a fresh mask in his own home. Scrubbing a hand along his face as if trying to rub away the memories of his particularly nasty mission, he padded down the hall, peeking into rooms as he passed them, looking for any sign of his lover.

He made it into the kitchen and his stomach growled plaintively, reminding him that he hadn’t eaten in a day or two. Smiling ruefully, he placed a hand over it and let it rest there, closing his eyes for a moment, reliving exactly why he hadn’t had time to eat. Shaking his head to clear it of his recall of those last, harrowing hours, he lifted his gaze to the living room, and his breath caught.

Sleeping curled up on one end of the couch, his feet tucked underneath his body and a book lying open across his lap, was Iruka. His hair was down and fell across his shoulders, catching the rays of the early morning sun. Eyes closed in peaceful repose, chest rising and falling with each separate breath, he slept on; unaware that he was no longer alone.

As Kakashi watched, he stirred, his nose scrunching up slightly, shoulders slowly stretching awake. He blinked open his beautiful brown eyes and yawned, arms coming up over the top of the couch to stretch out the kinks from sleeping in such a position. Iruka blinked a couple of times and looked at Kakashi, who was leaning in the doorway to the kitchen, arms crossed and a fond smile on his face.

Upon seeing his lover, Iruka’s face lit up, a large smile stretching across his handsome, scarred face. Kakashi’s heart skipped a beat, and he strode across the room, sliding down next to the other man and falling easily into his open arms. He pulled Iruka to him, breathing in his scent and enjoying the feel of him, warm and sleep-heavy in his arms. Iruka made a happy noise in his throat, settling down against Kakashi, practically in his lap.

Nuzzling their faces together, Iruka smiled again, leaning in to kiss Kakashi. He returned the kiss easily, holding Iruka closer still, reveling in his presence.

Iruka pulled away only to cuddle against him again, tucking his head under Kakashi’s chin. Kakashi tilted his head so his cheek was pressed into Iruka’s brown locks, Iruka’s arms tightening around him. Against his neck, he heard the sleepy voice of his other half.

“Welcome home, love.”