Much love to you all who've reviewed and all who had the guts to read it. I hope you've enjoyed this fic.

Y' know, this is the first thing I've ever completed. Just a little interesting fact for you all.

Disclaimer: Naruto isn't mine. The leather things, candles and oil are.

When Sand Meets Snow – IV

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Neji groaned sleepily and flung his arm over his eyes. The sun was an evil bastard, shining cheerily at him like that. What the hell was it so happy about? That was no way to behave when a guy was extremely hung over.

He grumbled as his other hand groped for the sheets, intending to use them as a more effective shield. He found none. This lack of cooperation was really pissing him off. It was too damn early in the morning to be pissed off.

He reached out again, trying to get a hold of something, anything, to put over his eyes. He faltered a bit when his fingertips brushed against something hard and warm, but continued touching along it. It felt nice and big, and appropriate cover. At last.

However, when he tried to pull it closer, he just ended up pulling himself toward it. Not that he minded in the least. It was delightfully warm, unlike the blankets that were mysteriously not there, and a welcome respite from the cool of the room. Eyes still closed, he moved closer and rubbed his nose against it. It smelled good, clean and a little familiar. He nearly purred as he put his arm around it, and he couldn't stop the possessive thought.


He nosed it again, inordinately pleased. It was a body, he knew it was a body now, but he didn't know who it belonged to, and that didn't really matter because it was his right now, and it felt comfortable and he liked it.

He heard a muffled grumble above him and he realized he'd been stroking at the soft skin. He mumbled an apology and pushed his nose against the slender throat, seeking a comfier position to appease the grumbler. It didn't work. His leg slid between muscled thighs and he made a million other micro-adjustments, moving so much that the sleepy grumbling started again. He yawned lazily, knowing that a nuzzle wasn't going to get him out of this one, and needing more oxygen in his brain to figure out what he could do to placate the body so it wouldn't move away. He didn't want it to move away. He'd just gotten comfortable!

There were two small, flat circles on his partner's chest. As his warm breath puffed over them, they began to rise, but not much. He gazed blearily at one out of the corner of his eye, wondering what its function was. He lowered his head and nosed at it, making little questioning noises in his throat. They stiffened even more until they became two velvety, hard peaks, and he still didn't know what they were for.

Well, if smell and touch wouldn't work, then maybe taste would. He flicked the point of his tongue over one, and was rewarded by a soft groan. Compelled by a hidden desire to make that sexily husky voice moan even louder, he planted his mouth over the nub, tugging very gently with his teeth. To his growing pleasure, he felt a hand fist involuntarily in his hair and the heat of a growing erection against his thigh.

"This is a helluva way to say good morning, Hyuuga." murmured a deep voice.

He looked up, letting go after a long lick. "Gaara." Now he remembered. Last night. Drinking too much. Incredible sex. No wonder he couldn't get his brain to function. It had gotten blown right out of his head. Repeatedly.

He could return the favor. "It doesn't seem like you mind." purred the brunette, one hand making itself known around the thick member.

Gaara moaned again. "How could I?"

His lover merely smiled against his skin, sucking slowly and with every ounce of satisfaction, around his prize, while stroking the throbbing arousal.

"You are insatiable, you know that?" The Sand-nin ran his fingers over the silky skin within his reach. "I've hardly gotten any sleep because of you."

"You're complaining?" Neji pulled back a bit to blow over the wet nipple, eliciting an appreciative groan.

"Mmm…no, not really."

Their languid antics had changed the initial flare of heated desire into a mere simmer, and the brunette kept it alive merely by touching Gaara. It felt…amazing.

It was safe in his arms, and it seemed like the whole world could be held at bay for a while. He was struck with a need to keep it this way, to not think about what the outside world had in store for them. He didn't want to break this haven that they had created, but as the older of the two, he had a responsibility. And, his heart whispered, you have to know how far it'll go, how long this will last.

"Gaara…" he said hesitantly.


He schooled his voice into one of nonchalance. "When are you going back?"

The body next to his stilled as jade-green eyes tried to see into his mind. It seemed like an eternity before he answered.

"I'm not going back."

He looked up, startled. "What?"

"I was chosen to become the Sand Ambassador. Temari is going to the Hidden Mist Village, and I'm her replacement."

"Oh." He couldn't help the relief in his tone. Gaara was staying.

They stayed quiet for a while, the redhead's finger combing through dark locks as Neji rested his head on his chest and just…stayed there, for no reason at all other than to hear the slow thump of his lover's heartbeat. He couldn't believe how calm he felt, in this hotel room that was too lovey-dovey for his taste, while the morning got on with him still in a bed with silk sheets, and while he was filled with the knowledge that this dangerous, gorgeous creature beside him was going to stay here, in his town, right here. He couldn't get over how utterly good it felt.

He felt so unthreatened and so untroubled, a feeling he had lost when his father died, that he had almost dropped back off to sleep when a question wormed into his mind. "Do you have a place to stay?"

Gaara's voice was drowsy too. "I thought I'd stay in the hotel until I got an apartment."

Silence again, but this time the brunette's mind was working overtime, connecting the dots and coming up with dazzling possibilities.

"Do you want to stay at my house?

His lover growled at him for waking him up again, but answered anyway. "Are you inviting me to?"

Neji found the nipple again and teased it into hardness. "Yes."

"Insatiable." He repeated, half-smiling at the ministrations.

"You know you like it." The brunette said smugly, bending his head to capture the other nub. "Will you stay with me?"

The way he said it had so many implications, and it echoed in his ears long after he'd said it. It even seemed to him that the heart under his lips beat a little faster at his words.

And then he was flipped over onto his stomach and pressed under a hard body, a raging erection between his cheeks. He turned his head to ask why, and his lips were captured in a tumultuous kiss, heady with passion and longing.

They stayed in that room longer than expected, but the sounds coming from behind the closed doors left nothing to the imagination. Gaara drove him through the bed again and again, and he welcomed it, always begging, pleading for more. They were barely over the threshold of the Hyuuga house before they were at it again, the redhead taking him forcefully against the door.

Love wasn't mentioned once during their trysts, and they knew why. It was a luxury they couldn't afford. Emotions were still running high between villages, and S-class rogue ninjas had doubled in number. In this time of instability, an instant of weakness would be exploited to the fullest by an enemy. They could not indulge in love. It was merely about sex. Just the sex.

But perhaps, in time, there could be more.

The End