Not Like Before


Summary: Sauske is perfectly satisfied with the nightly routine he and Neji have fallen into, but one night things take an unexpected turn, and Sasuke is forced to question what be believes. nejisasu lemon

Notes: This fic is completely different from my others in that it's very angsty, and it's a good, solid R, so don't read if it's going to cause you serious perminent mental damage. ; )


"What the hell do you want?"

"Just open the damn door."

"Why don't you go to your own house? You DO have one, don't you?"

"Fuck you."

This was how it always started.

Neji came by in the early evening, just before the street lights hummed to life, often still sweaty from training. He knocked loudly and then waited. Sasuke wondered at times what would happen if he didn't answer, but he'd never truly considered following through on the thought.

After he and Neji had exchanged the requisite insults, the Hyuuga stalked in, sometimes walking through the kitchen and eating a few bites or drinking a glass of water. It was impossible to tell exactly what he'd do. Once he'd actually sat and watched television for over an hour before even acknowledging Sasuke's presence.

But Sasuke always knew when to start.

It was a kind of instinct, like timing your jutsus while sparring, or reading your enemy's moves in his eyes.

Closing the door, Sasuke gave a little smirk as the older boy toed off his sandals, leaving them in a messy, muddy heap in the center of the walkway.

No, there would be no television this time.

"Hurry up, you're so damn slow," his guest shot over his shoulder as he strode past Sasuke.

"Kiss my ass, Hyuuga."

Tonight was going to be a good night, Sasuke decided as he followed Neji up the stairs, taking them two at a time. He thought idly about how nicely the other boy's calves flexed in front of him.

Down the hall twelve steps was Sasuke's room, and the Uchiha quickened his pace. They never bothered to close the door. Who would see?

Stepping out of the hall, Sasuke felt strong hands suddenly tugging at his shirt, and he raised his arms above his head to rid himself of the now useless garment.

It was best to start this way.

Neji's fingers dug into the small of Sasuke's back as the other boy drew him in closer.

For a moment they stood again in that position, the one Sasuke didn't know why he liked so much. Guided by Neji's hands, their bare chests rolled together, from the bottom up, until they were flush. Neji's shoulders just above Sasuke's, his breathing was deep and steady, and his skin was warm and strangely soft.

The younger boy never looked at Neji's face when they were like this, always looked down at that juncture where their flesh seemed to meld. If Sasuke hadn't been hard before, this always did the trick.

As the ritual dictated, Sasuke heard Neji's headband hit the hardwood floor metal-side down with a muted metallic thud. Taking a deep breath as Neji's arms encircled his shoulders, Sasuke felt his own headband fall, the cool air against his uncovered forehead making him feel strangely vulnerable.

When he was leaving once, Neji had grabbed the wrong one in the darkness, and Sasuke had been forced to wear the other boy's the next day. By that evening, he'd had a solid red line across his forehead where it had dug in wrong, being bent in for a narrower brow.

Thinking about it now sent a little thrill through him, and he pressed in closer.

Before he realized it was happening, Neji's lips were pressing in hot against his, tongue forcing entry, and Sasuke opened his mouth in tacit acceptance. At first, this had seemed wrong, but Sasuke had long since realized that that idea had no place here. For a ninja, no aspect of a mission was any less important than another; teammates must work in harmony to accomplish their goal.

That was what he always told himself as Neji maneuvered him toward the bed.

And really, it had only hurt the first few times, before they'd perfected the angles. And besides, it never dulled the pleasure.

So that was why he allowed the other boy to unzip his pants, sliding them down over his hips so that Sasuke could step out of them. That's why, when he heard Neji's own zipper lowering, he allowed the action, letting strong hands push him back on the bed.

It was also why Neji was sliding in between his thighs, hooking Sasuke's legs behind the knee and pressing them up toward his chest.

After some time, Sasuke had found that softly stroking the back of the Hyuuga's neck would calm him in the moments after he'd entered. Sasuke now did it every time until he felt ready, body stretched adequately to accommodate the unfamiliar pressure.

And then Sasuke dropped his hands and rolled his head back, and it began.

In and out, flesh to flesh, panting and gasping in that now-familiar rhythm, the one that had been so shocking, yet surprisingly simple to master. As if he'd been born to do it.

And if he twisted just so, Neji touched that spot that made him moan. This way, his hands were free to slide up Neji's elbow-locked arms. Feeling those hard, solid muscles tremble made Sasuke shiver in a way he'd never admit.

His face flushed and heart racing, he wondered now what time it was when they began. He'd forgotten to check, so he'd have no idea how long it lasted. Head feeling hazy as his body rocked, he couldn't remember why it mattered so much, but he knew it would bother him afterward.

Feeling the pressure building within him, Sasuke arched and pressed his fingers into Neji's hips to urge the other boy on, drive them closer to the edge. Closer to release. Closer to the whole point of this encounter.

It was different every time of course, but Sasuke had recently taken to categorizing his orgasms.

Here now, with Neji's sweat pooling in his navel, Sasuke contemplated distractedly between pants which type it would be this time.

This was all going too fast to be the kind that barely touched him, tugging weakly at his insides like a stitch at healing skin, leaving him unsatisfied and aching for more.

And it had been building too long to be one that hit him by surprise, like a cleverly-thrown shuriken, widening his eyes and parting his lips into a startled little "oh!" of wonder.

Neji's frenzied pleasure echoing in his own body, Sasuke was fairly sure he knew how it would be.

An intense, nearly violent surge coiling from deep within, it would jolt through his body like lightening, leaving him breathless and drained, his body and mind deadened. It left no room for thought, be it regret or relief, neither of which had any true place in an avenger's heart.

This was his one small reward.

So when Neji tensed above him, driving in hard once, twice, three times, Sasuke braced himself for the upsurge, the hard jerk of physical release.

But instead, he felt something entirely different.

A gentle wave, warm like onsen water, cascaded over him, its welcomingly relaxing swell leaving his body and mind feeling eerily calm and restful. Sliding gently back against his mattress, Neji's warm, heavy body atop him made him feel inexplicably comforted.

Eyes blinking vacantly, he tried to place the strangely serene sensation pulsing gently within him.

Of course there were the times that defied categorization. Like that one time, thoughts of revenge twisting ever-so-sweetly in the back of his mind, he'd screamed his brother's name in his ecstasy.

But this was something different. Something more.

It felt like...

Trying to regain his center, solidify his thoughts, and thrust aside this strange, unwelcome tranquility, Sasuke moved his hands to push Neji off of him. Often so gripped by the effort that the Hyuuga collapsed flat out, Sasuke was perfectly accustomed to this routine.

Neji would leave when he had the strength, and he would be back, when circumstances permitted, to repeat the process.

But as Sasuke's hands touched Neji's softly flushed skin, that feeling inside him told him it wouldn't happen this time. Instead, he pulled Neji in closer and more comfortably against him, tucking the Hyuuga's head under his own, thighs sliding down to hang loosely about the taller boy's waist.

Sasuke frowned at the sensation of the other boy against him.

This was not how it happened. He didn't feel any connection to Neji. He sought the physical release, and that was all. It could have been with anyone; Neij's presence was entirely incidental.

So Sasuke simply couldn't explain why he wanted so desperately to run his fingers through Neji's long, silky hair, feel the steady rise and fall of the boy's chest against his own, or turn drowsy, half-lidded eyes toward Neji's passion-flushed cheeks.

Because if he did, if being here with this boy meant something, then...

"What's wrong?" Neji's soft voice whispered against his neck, strange silver eyes not needing to look in order to see.

Sasuke watched his fingers press into the strong muscles of Neji's back. If he pushed hard enough, it left little white circles when he moved them away. Maybe he liked this.

Or maybe...

"Nothing," Sasuke lied, willing that strange feeling to go away. He couldn't deal with this now. This warm, fluttery feeling in his chest.

"Don't be like that," Neji mumbled, sticky fingers running across the Uchiha's stomach, making him tremble.

Sasuke swallowed hard. When it was over, it was over. They never talked about it. Ever.

Not even that one time.

The time when Sasuke had felt so comfortable and sated wrapped in his thick, warm blankets that he'd gazed lazily over the covers to watch Neji dress, only to be invaded by a searing sense of shame when the moonlight had glinted across Neji's tear-stained cheeks.

It had seemed best for Sasuke to keep his eyes shut after that.

But as Neji tilted his head and their gazes met, Sasuke wondered if he'd somehow been wrong.

Unable to stop himself but still unsure why, Sasuke pulled the band from Neji's hair and watched the auburn strands slip between his fingers as he stroked them. That odd feeling still twisting inside of him, Sasuke brought the soft strands to his own lips.

"What is it?" Neji asked, taking Sasuke's hand in his. Sasuke's eyes widened as Neji brought Sasuke's palm to his mouth, pressing his lips softly against it.

"This time, it..." Sasuke swallowed, feeling an unaccustomed exhilaration as Neji's lips trailed up the inside of his wrist, slowly making their way up his arm toward his neck.

"It's not like before," Sasuke whispered, jaw trembling as Neji's mouth reached his.

"Sasuke..." Neji whispered, breath warm against Sasuke's lips and fingers ghosting across his cheek, "It never really was."

And as their lips met, Sasuke felt that inescapable and no longer unknown feeling rise in him, and he felt so full with it he thought he might overflow.

And he knew Neji was right.


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