Konpeitou: By request, this is a gift of smut for a friend of mine, who demanded "Naruto, Gaara, and the Kazekage hat" Spoilers after chapter 245 but kinda ignores what happens around 248+ (I had already started writing this before the plot went that way.. >>;;) or just.. puts it off a while. Standard disclaimer applies: if I owned it I wouldn't have to write fanfiction!

Enjoy 33

I'm going to get her for this, he thought silently, crossing his arms over his chest and scuffing at the floor with his sandal as he had been doing for the last four hours. Well, maybe it wasn't four hours – more like forty minutes, give or take – but it sure felt like it and that was enough. He couldn't hold back the slight smirk at the thought that he was probably wearing a spot away at the polishing on the floor – served them right for making him wait so long! He was an important person on an important mission – but the expression quickly fell again to the same irritated scowl he had been sporting throughout his whole residence on the stiff wooden chair. I'm going to go back, get all the paint I can find, and paint all over the hag's face up on the mountain so everyone can see it. I swear I will! Ooh, and I wonder if I can get Gamakichi and Gamatatsu to pull some pranks while she's "working" – oh I just know she's always sleeping in there!

An irritated clearing of the throat interrupted his musings and Naruto looked up at the receptionist glaring at him. He really wanted to stick his tongue out at her and do some other not-so-nice things, but he was technically on an assignment from the Godaime, goddamn hag, and so forced himself to settle for a snide grin instead, which stated all too clearly that he was less than pleased.

"Oi! When are you going to let me in?" Naruto yelled across the room at the prissy woman, in volumes in far excess of necessary just to be more annoying. Hey, it gave him a modicum amount of amusement to upset the woman.

"I told you," she stated, in very unpleasant tones that weren't at all as sugared as she probably thought they were, as she pushed her glasses up higher on her nose, "The Kazekage is busy in a meeting right now and can't see you."

He's not too busy to see me! Naruto wanted to snap, but just ground his teeth and gave in to the urge to flip her off when she wasn't looking. Heartily annoyed, the blonde turned his attention to thinking up any possible ways to leave damage that would be difficult to fix without the domineering wench noticing him doing it. Allies and quasi-friends be damned, he was bored!

He spent a good while thinking up and discarding ideas, which kept him distracted enough to ignore the receptionist and actually stop scuffing the floor, so the next 20-odd minutes passed by with relative ease for the impatient blonde. Naruto was even about to implement one of his better vandalizing ideas when a voice calling his name – his first name, no less – brought his attention back to reality.

"Naruto?" The voice was quiet and kind of bland, with only a barely noticeable tone of surprise that could just as easily been curious pitch to raise his name into a kind of question. Naruto knew that voice – sort of, it wasn't really what he remembered and he didn't have the best of memories, but it sounded nice and familiar nonetheless – so he quickly abandoned his entertainment and looked up at the owner of the voice, noting that even though the voice fit the owner was somehow a great contrast to it. Wow… was his first actual thought as he scrambled up off the chair. Pale, unblinking green eyes followed his as he moved and it was a moment before he could manage another thought.

Aha! I'm taller than the Kazekage! All right, so it was a childish thought but it was a very happy one anyway and Naruto flashed a broad grin and a quick wave at the redhead. "Yo Gaara! What took you so long? I've been waiting out here forever!" he purposely rolled his head to the side to stare at the receptionist as he said the last bit. Gaara's eyes followed his and settled on the woman, making her stiffen nervously and Naruto stifled a snicker as he turned to look back at the slightly shorter village leader. A few people standing behind the teen – councilors maybe? – wore plainly shocked expressions as they shot curious and worried glances at each other. Naruto shifted casually and decided to let them wonder.

Gaara, though, paid them no mind and walked towards the receptionist, stopping about halfway to her desk and staring at her for a few moments. Those who knew Gaara well enough would recognize the slight narrowing of his eyes as displeasure, but Naruto really wasn't that attentive and the woman seemed to just freeze and blink owlishly. "Why was I not informed of his arrival?"

"You… were in a meeting, Kazekage-sama…" the girl answered, after a few more blinks and some nervous shifting that was somehow loud in the silence that seemed to have fallen; silence that stretched as the redhead did not immediately reply.

"From now on," he said coolly, in a voice that almost bordered on frosty but didn't quite make it, "I am to be informed immediately of his arrival in this village." The woman nodded and Gaara leaned forward just a touch. "Immediately, understood?"

"Yes sir, my apologies!" the silly woman replied instantly, shifting her glasses on her nose, and Gaara nodded in approval and walked back to where he had been before. The others were still standing on the other side, rooted, but quickly discharged themselves with a quick look from their leader. Without another word he walked away down the hall. Naruto paused enough to shoot the receptionist an "I told you so" smirk before following, moving to walk beside him rather than behind.

"So, really, long time no see," Naruto began, crossing his arms behind his head and looking around the halls as they walked. "What've you been up to? Man, you've really done it for yourself, haven't you? You already managed to be Kazekage! Che', I couldn't get them to make me Hokage… they had to go and get that old hag instead… did you know she didn't even want to be Hokage? We practically had to drag her back! Man she pisses me off sometimes…

"So where are we going anyway? Talkative as ever, huh? Are you ever going to reply to me or am I going to continue having a one-sided conversation with the walls?" Gaara flicked his eyes towards the blonde for a moment and Naruto took that as a good sign. At least it was some kind of acknowledgement. He opened his mouth to say something else, but Gaara suddenly turned into a room and gestured the blonde in behind him… by gestured, meaning he continued walking and assumed that Naruto would follow, which he did, so it all went very smoothly and he closed the door again behind them both.

"Have a seat." Gaara suggested mildly, walking into the room and past a set of chairs towards a desk set on the opposite side of the room. It was a nice room, at least Naruto figured it was, he wasn't really looking at the furniture; if you've seen one 'kage's office you've seen 'em all, right? Well, not really, since this room was made seemingly entirely of rough stone or sand, with big oval windows that didn't let in any light due to the fact that the sun had set at least an hour before, and it was rather more spartan than the Hokage's office, but he actually had something more interesting to look at than some furniture. Unfortunately that something kept moving, which made it a little more difficult to watch even though it did provide more angles to look at. Aside from the thought that he was indeed taller than Gaara popping into his head again, Naruto noticed some other things about the other teen. Like the fact that his hair was a tad longer, just enough to make him look a touch less feral without wholly taking away from the wild look, and it seemed a little more red than he last remembered. Was it more red? Naruto couldn't tell, but he was curious and wished Gaara would stand still in a well-lit spot for a moment so he could check. It almost looked like blood spilled over bricks; some stark red amidst something darker that made for some really interesting highlights. For a moment the blonde was jealous… all he had was yellow and very slightly different shades of yellow.

But that wasn't all that Naruto noticed; no, he also noticed the way Gaara was dressed a little more swarthy than he used to be, and the way he moved… still as confident as ever, but somehow he just felt more relaxed, even though the leaf ninja couldn't say how Gaara's movements felt relaxed to him, they just did and it made Naruto, in turn, relax as well.

Most of all, though, Naruto noticed the eyes. The eyes were what really seemed to change the most. Gaara no longer seemed to wear a perpetual frown that clearly stated in no uncertain terms that he considered your very existence a waste of time and space. Nor did he seem like he was going to show his "I'm going to kill you for fun and profit" grin at any given moment – right before shattering your body into tiny little bits of mush. Nope, his expression actually looked rather normal, and that was certainly a welcome change. Plus, those clear sea-green eyes looked more… sane than Naruto last remembered, and he couldn't help but think that the clarity in them made them that much more striking. In all honestly, his contrasted demon-holder of this village had grown quite attractive over the past couple years, if you could ignore the whole permanent-raccoon eyes thing. Naruto felt a slight pang and chalked it up to a bit of jealousy again; would he have better luck with girls if he looked more like Gaara? The blonde hair and whiskers sure weren't doing much for him right now…

"Stop staring at me or I'll rip out your eyes, Naruto," Ah! There was the Gaara he remembered scowling at him. Naruto just flashed a grin and shrugged, wondering if the other teen's cheeks were actually pink or if it was just the lighting. A moment passed and Gaara decided to change the subject. "So, what are you doing here?"

"I'm not entirely sure," Naruto replied honestly, reaching into the pouch on the back of his left hip and pulling out a scroll. He tossed it carelessly at Gaara, who caught it easily and broke the seal to read it. Naruto watched, curious, as the green eyes scanned the unknown words quickly, looking for any expression that might tell him what was in it, but the redhead remained completely stone-faced until he finished reading and set it aside on the desk. Those pale eyes just stared at him speculatively and Naruto fidgeted as he burned with curiosity to know just what was on that scroll. "Aw c'mon, are you going to tell me what's in there or what?" he finally blurted out, when the suspense got to be too much and it didn't seem like the sand ninja was going to be forthcoming with his new knowledge.

"You really don't know?" Naruto shook his head and Gaara smirked, ever so slightly. The redhead walked around the desk and approached his visitor, still staring with clear pale eyes. Naruto blinked as Gaara got within a good couple feet before stopping. "That's… interesting."

"What's interesting? It's not funny, Gaara! Tell me why that hag sent me here. I barely got home and she sent me off here without even telling me why, so why dontcha tell me what's in that scroll over there, huh? What d'ya say?"


"Whaaaat? Why not? Gaara!" The blonde whined plaintively, shifting from foot to foot and practically bouncing from the bristling need to know. Gaara simply crossed his arms over his chest and took another step forward, keeping their eyes locked with each movement. It was somehow enough to calm the blonde and Naruto stopped fidgeting. Since when does Gaara not care about personal space? he wondered, staring fixedly at the pale eyes, I think I can tell what he last had to drink… oolong tea? Then he just stopped thinking. Why is it so hard to think when someone is only a few inches away?

"You really shouldn't disrespect your leader, you know…" Gaara was smiling, though Naruto could only tell through the eyes because he somehow couldn't bring himself to look anywhere else.

His brain stuttered and choked into sluggish motion. Leader? Disrespect…? Oh, the hag. "Huh? Why should I?" Gaara paused and blinked once, like he hadn't expected that reply.

"She's your Hokage."

"She didn't even want to be!" he grumbled back, though it was rather halfhearted as Gaara was still in his personal space with those hawk-like eyes focused on him. Which reminds me that Gaara is the Kazekage. He still didn't tell me how he managed that! I still have to take the Chuunin exam and he's already Kazekage! At which point his thoughts took on a whole other turn. "Hey Gaara, where's you hat?"

That, needless to say, was not what the redhead was expecting. He pulled away a little, blinking in obvious lack of comprehension; that wasn't where his mind was and he struggled to figure out how Naruto's had gotten there. "What?"

"Your Kazekage hat," he clarified with an expression like it should have been very obvious – after all, when had Gaara ever had another hat for him to be asking about? "Where is it?"

Pale eyes blinked owlishly for a moment before rising to look just past the blonde's shoulder with a strange and unidentifiable look tingeing his expression. Naruto twisted at the waist to follow the gaze and chirped happily as he caught sight of the headwear in question. Without another word he turned completely and bounded over to the shelves set against the far wall, picking up the dark blue hat and examining it from different angles. Gaara simply shifted his weight and crossed his arms over his chest as he watched the blonde thoughtfully.

"Sugoi! Man, this hat is awesome. I'd rather have the red one, if you know what I mean, but the 'kage hats themselves…!" Naruto moved to put it on his head, resting on the short blonde spikes and moving his head a little to feel the strange new feeling of the fabric moving against his shoulders. He laughed in childish delight even as Gaara refrained from twitching by an effort of will alone, not that he noticed or anything.

"But you," the redhead pointed out as he once more closed the distance between them, catching the blue-eyed gaze for a moment before deliberately reaching out and grasping the front brim of the hat and pulling it off slowly, "are not the Kazekage, Naruto."

Naruto simply snorted and rolled his eyes as he crossed his arms behind his head. He eyed Gaara, but there was a rather good-natured smirk on his face. "Yeah yeah, rub it in why don't you. And you won't even tell me how you pulled it off, either. No fair! I mean, you could at least tell me how you did it so, you know, I can maybe do it too and become the Hokage. Wouldn't that be cool if we were both 'kages, Gaara? I can just imagine what people would say about that, having two of the ninja villages run by demon-carriers and whatnot, but they wouldn't really –"



"Shut up."

"Hey! Why is it that everyone always tells me to shut up?" Naruto griped in annoyance, glowering darkly at nothing in particular as he didn't really want to do it at Gaara. "Besides, you can't tell me what to do, Gaara, I'm not a part of your village and I don't have to do anything you say." It was an effort to resist the urge to stick out his tongue, but somehow he managed. He was very proud of himself for that, in fact.

"Actually," the redhead replied with a satisfied smirk, "you do."

"Say what?" the leaf ninja asked blankly, blinking in surprise and trying to figure out where he missed something. That can't be right… it really wasn't helping his confusion or state of mind any when the smirk grew just the tiniest bit more.

"I said," Gaara replied slowly, as though explaining slowly and carefully to a child with ADD. In a way, he kind of was. "that yes, you do have to do what I say."

"Oh yeah? Says who?" he broke in before the redhead could continue, fidgeting slightly. He just felt so damn confused! Like there's a joke running right over his head and he couldn't see the punch line – or worse, that he was the punch line.

Gaara took another step forward and raised his arm so that the hat came plainly into view just above shoulder level, off to the side a little so it didn't cover his face or the infuriating know-it-all smirk. "Says this. You know, Naruto, now that I'm Kazekage, I'm entitled to have whatever I want." Gaara's smile changed minutely as he dropped the hat to his side and turned to walk towards the desk, still speaking – something a corner of Naruto's brain wondered at; he had never heard the insomniac speak so much before! "And while it may normally be true that foreign ninjas aren't subject to this," and here he paused in his words as he grasped the scroll from Tsunade-baba, turning and carrying it back to where the blonde still stood rooted in dumb shock and confusion. "This here puts you right within my realm of command for the duration of your stay. So, consider yourself under me, you're going to be there for a while."

And oh, the image that put in his was almost enough to make him blush and shiver slightly at the – probably unintentional – innuendo. Naruto stood frozen for a moment, caught up in his imagination before hauling his attention back to reality with a firm pull and snatching the scroll out of Gaara's pale hand. With a sound that was almost a low growl he unrolled it and scanned over the rather lazy script, his jaw clenching tighter with ever word he read.

To the Kazekage of the Suna Gakure no Sato, Subaku no Gaara:

Due to our continued friendly relations between our two villages, I felt inclined to send one of our ninjas to assist in anything you may have need for. I chose Naruto since you have some prior acquaintance with each other and maybe you'd like to do some catching up.

To be frank, Gaara-san, I'm quite busy with the Exams coming up again and don't have time for him since his return. Plus, I really do figure that you can use him somehow… and I do consider it a sign of faith, because be assured that I will not tolerate any harm to come to him. At any rate, if you please then consider him on loan for as long you require, or until he must return for the Chuunin Exam, and under your command as any other of your ranking ninjas.

Best Regards,

Godaime Hokage, Tsunade

Naruto's jaw ached by the time he finished reading the short message, and although he warmed at the bit of protectiveness coming from her, the rest of him raged at what he read. He was sent to another Village, in another country because she felt too busy to deal with him? He was going to kill her for this! How dare she send him all the way out here for something so… so stupid! With a snarl, Naruto hurled the scroll across the room again. Gaara didn't even blink as it soared past him to impact against the wall behind his desk.

"Calm down, Naruto," Gaara told him after several long moment of silence, broken only by the blonde's ragged breathing. Fabric rustled quietly as he uncrossed his arms and stepped closer with a minute sigh that could have been annoyance or frustration. Naruto didn't pay much attention and instead continued to rant within the confines of his own mind. "I'm not going to be sending you on any missions like my other ninjas, no matter what your Hokage intended with your visit here. You can stay here for an ambassador for a few days, at the least, and then you're free to return whenever you like. But the fact is that you're here right now and you won't be going anywhere at least until tomorrow so just calm down and accept it before –"

"Before what?" he snapped, interrupting. "Before you send me away again, too, because I'm too much to deal with? Of all the goddamn reasons to send me here, that was it!" He would have said more, much more, but suddenly it was just hard to speak and articulate all the frustration raging in his skull; plus, a small part of him must have realized that practically screaming at a foreign 'kage – quasi-friend or not – was hardly a good idea. And then… and then all his brain functions just stopped as Gaara was once more invading his personal space, closer than before. Naruto was quite sure he was blushing a little bit and idly hoped it would be attributed to his prior anger instead. "Gaara…?"

"You don't have to stay here," he repeated again, voice calm and cool but seeming to have some light overtones to it that were just too hard to identify, "But if you stay here then you'll make your Hokage happy by staying out of her way, you can train here as much as you like until you have to take the exam and…" he hesitated until Naruto cautiously prompted him to continue, "and I would also like you to stay."

Naruto felt a shiver roll down his spine, as much from the words as from the piercing intensity of the pale green eyes that only now refused to meet his own gaze head-on. He stood silent, blinking dumbly and trying to process the words. He wants me to staySomeone actually wants me to stay around. His belly flipped pleasantly, a sensation he vaguely recognized but didn't really have much experience with. So now he was left with a decision; it was a simple decision, really, and even he had no problem figuring it out – stay where he was wanted or go back where he wasn't? Simple. With an impudent grin, Naruto quickly reached out and snatched the Kazekage hat out of Gaara's loose fingers.

Lips parting slightly as though to protest, the actual 'kage simply grunted and watched as his guest donned his hat once more. "I'm beginning to think you only want to be Hokage so you can get the hat, Naruto," Gaara said dryly. The blonde turned from where he had bounded away and eyed the other teen. Weighing the apparent personality changes and other such things in his mind, he decided to take the risk of teasing the former-psychopath.

"You're just jealous because it looks sexier on me than you," To his great bewilderment, the redhead actually blinked in surprise and his cheeks really did darken a shade and it wasn't just a lighting effect. Naruto stuck his tongue out to cover his confusion and looked away.

"And you're just jealous that it belongs to me and not you," Gaara retorted. If Naruto were clever he'd have realized that he hadn't denied any of his words – but Naruto wasn't known for being clever, he was known for opening his mouth before thinking.

"Well you're the Kazekage, you get everything you want!" he pouted back in reply, crossing his arms over his chest and staring petulantly at the redhead. He kept his eyes on those bloody-brick spikes as Gaara once more walked slowly closer to him, not wanting to get caught in that drowning intensity again. Finally he had no choice but to look the other boy in the eyes when he got so close that he could no longer focus on his hair properly. As it was, he almost felt cross-eyed just meeting the sharp eyes. He backed up a step, Gaara followed. He backed up again and still he followed. "Uhh… what are you doing, Gaara?"

"You're right, Naruto," Gaara murmured, voice soft and amused and completely unfitting of the intensity of the eyes boring into Naruto's own blue. Another step. Two. "I am the Kazekage and like I said before… I'm entitled to have whatever I want." Another step and Naruto almost flinched to find his back against the cool stone wall.

"Oh yeah? Then what else is it you want, Gaara?" The redhead only 'hmm'd and leaned closer. Naruto was pressed against the wall with no where to back up to and his hands pressed palms-flat against the chilly stone; he had some instinctual inkling of what was probably going to happen, but he couldn't seem to bring himself to move away. So as Gaara's breath washed over his cheek he let his eyes slide closed and accepted the lips pressed gently against his own. A small tremor rolled through his body, just below the skin, and it wasn't from the cold. It was soft and sweet, something he somehow hadn't expected from the redhead, but it wasn't unpleasant. But as the moment stretched and several breaths mingled between them, nothing more happened. Gaara simply pulled away and Naruto was left blinking blurrily, fingers clenching against the wall and he focused on the figure slowly stepping away from him. In true Naruto fashion, he spoke the first thing that came to mind.

"That's it!" Really, that's all that was on his mind. He only barely noticed the dark flush staining Gaara's cheeks and nose as he stared incredulously at and the shorter teen. "All that hinting and that's all you do?"

"Well sorry for not meeting your expectations," he grumbled back, crossing his arms over his chest in a classic defensive pose. Somehow feeling very cheated, Naruto growled low and reached out with one arm to snatch that otherwise-useless fabric around his neck and yanked the redhead back towards him. Gaara almost tripped, caught completely off-guard by the action, and fell heavily against the blonde.

Naruto crushed their lips together again, a little harsh at first but lightening up into something softer. Satisfied that he wasn't going to pull away again, Naruto thrust his tongue into the stunned teen's mouth; Gaara had kissed him first, so he figured he didn't really need to wait for permission. Besides, he didn't seem to mind the intrusion at all as the blonde thoroughly explored the inside of his mouth, coyly meeting it with his own and steadily growing bolder. He may not have had much first-hand experience, himself, but no one could have teachers as perverted as his without picking up a few useful things here and there. It didn't seem like Gaara was going to follow through on his invitation, anyway, so he'd just have to take over himself. Naruto stifled a smirk as Gaara moaned involuntarily and buried his free hand in the red spikes. The fox boy felt warm, his belly flipping in ways that weren't at all unpleasant and he only vaguely realized that the sensation of another warm body against his own, willingly – for the most part – in that position , was addicting to someone as attention-starved as himself and almost as intoxicating as the deep kiss that was currently threatening to cut off all higher brain functions. Never had he imagined that something so simple could feel so wonderful, he felt somewhat tipsy and lightheaded.

Hardly even aware anymore, Naruto continued to plunder the willing mouth as his hand worked at loosening the white swaths from around Gaara's neck. He broke the kiss off for a moment, hardly noticing the tanuki boy's glassy-eyed complacency as he pushed the cloak over the blue-clad shoulders to fall to the floor and promptly lowered his mouth to the slim neck, kissing as the thin skin, biting and sucking in turns and smoothing the attacks away with quick swipes of his tongue. Gaara gasped, mumbled incoherently as though to speak, but failed utterly and instead clutched at the ever-present orange fabric at the blonde's side.

When Naruto chanced to bite down on the thick tendon where the neck met the shoulder, having to push the black collar of his jacket open and down, Gaara keened a sound that was somehow a cross between a whimper and a moan. Finding that sound incredibly sexy, Naruto nibbled on the flesh there until the teen's knees seemed about ready to buckle under him, only then did he drag his mouth back up to once more pillage the moist warmth of Gaara's, and this time the redhead's response was as enthusiastic as he could have hoped. The young Kazekage pressed against him until Naruto was pinned tightly between himself and the wall, kissing back as hungrily as the blonde and even pushing back until the battle between their tongues waged more in his mouth than Gaara's. An involuntary moan somehow escaped his lips between their desperate kisses and Naruto's hands fisted of their own accord, one woven tightly in red spikes of hair and the other clutching the heavy material covering the other boy's back.

Gaara pulled insistently on the orange fabric while pushing forward, trying to bring the blonde closer to him by any means possible. Naruto found it exceptionally endearing; he certainly had no arguments on the subject. Breathing was overrated, after all. Sensations like these were much more important. Naruto was only too ready to comply to the wordless demands. He forced his hands to unfurl, moving them over the slim body against him; one hand down around the neck, over the chest, detoured to the side and across the ribs because their chests were too close to go any farther down that path, following back up around the back and resting palm-flat and fingers-pressed against the shoulder blade that moved with every insistent pull the shorter boy made while the other hand slid up the back to curl his fingers on the narrow shoulder, clutch tightly and release again to slide back down in a heated caress along the waist, hip, rear and up again to the original position, moving over so that his arm was stretched across that narrow back and gripping the waist of the other boy's side.

Naruto vaguely felt himself being pushed away, but there was nowhere to go so really it was just Gaara pushing himself away, but his mind wasn't really coherent enough to register that fact. He might have protested, but the redhead didn't go far enough to keep from occupying the blonde's active mouth. No, he seemed to pull away a scant centimeter or two, just enough to get a hand between their bodies and fumble up the black trail in the orange to the silver zipper tab, groaning in frustration until he had a firm hold and yanked it down and opened the jacket in own quick motion. Only then did Gaara pull away, both boys glassy-eyed and breathing hard. Without the extra pressure against him Naruto had to lean heavily against the wall in order to stay upright as he gasped. He just needed to get enough air to demand why they had stopped…

And then the Kazekage was bent over his neck and giving him the same treatment he had given before, biting and sucking harshly into the tan skin. Naruto could only moan and try desperately to remain standing. He suddenly had much more insight into why Gaara had made such fascinating sounds before. This was simply…

Ooohhh, that's good. Naruto's mind could think of nothing beyond the pleasure he was currently feeling. And in that moment, he wanted more. His brain simply gave over all pretense of control with an incoherent murmur and let instinct take the reins. With a feral grin as he groaned deep in his throat, Naruto wormed his hands between their bodies and fumbled with the buckles on the pale vest until they were free and then moving up to search by feel for the collar he had already loosened. Gaara took a moment to return his attention to Naruto's mouth and once again begin a spar of the slick muscles. Naruto smirked against the other boy's insistent lips as he found his goal and used the edge of the collar as a guide to force the rest of the thick jacket open as far as possible. He slid his hands down from the bare neck and over the shoulders, pushing at the thick material of both the jacket and the loosened vest until they were tangled around Gaara's elbows and subsequently kept the redhead's arms pinned to his side. When he slipped his hands inward across the bottom of the ribcage, Naruto was very pleased to find that there were no more troublesome barriers of clothing to overcome. Even though he hadn't thought it possible, feeling Gaara's soft, pale skin laid completely bare to his touch made the blonde even more aroused than ever before. Using one hand on the bared shoulder and the other pressed against the bunched fabric over the small of his back, Naruto forcefully broke the kiss with a little pressure, making the redhead's back bow slightly as he was pushed back while his waist was still in place. Gaara blink blurrily, panting.

"What are you – oohhh!" he began but was interrupted as Naruto suddenly bent forward and lowered his mouth to the redhead's chest, lapping and suckling at a dusky nipple. Once again that sexy whimper-moan keened in the empty room amidst harsh breaths and Naruto smirked in wicked amusement as he redoubled his torturous efforts. "Naruto…. you're… ! Oohh!" Once more he tried to articulate but failed. Naruto's mouth, it seemed, was useful for far more than just being loud.

There was just one problem, though.

"Stop," Gaara gasped, eyelids fluttering and ribs shaking with each shuddering breath. Thankfully, despite the fact that he was still being blissfully distracted by desire in the form of a blonde fox, Gaara regained enough of his wits to realize just how deep into the gutter their minds were going – among other things. Swallowing back a moan, he tried to speak again "Stop…" There, at least he was a little louder that time. For a very brief moment the blonde seemed to comply, but instead he moved to the other nipple and began the treatment again, winning another incoherent moan. "Naruto… Naruto, stop." Still, the fox boy gave no indication that he heard; if anything he seemed to hold tighter and more lustfully. The last remaining rational part of Gaara's mind decided that things needed to stop now – or they never would. "I said STOP!" the redhead growled loudly again, punctuating his demand with thick tendrils of sand reaching up and locking around the blonde's wrists and yanking him back hard until he slammed audibly against the wall, giving Gaara the freedom to take a step back and compose himself while they both stood panting. As the sand receded and a bit of clarity cleared away some of the fog in the blue eyes, Naruto characteristically said the first coherent thought that came to mind.
"Where the hell did that come from!" he demanded, frustration and annoyance clear by the intense frown marring his features as he continued to recline against the wall.

"I told you to stop," Gaara repeated with an irritated glare as he struggled to get his clothing back up over his shoulders.

"I meant the sand!" Naruto yelled back, gesturing wildly at the thin layer of sand now carpeting the stone floor. The redhead stopped in the process of closing his jacket and just looked at his guest, who simply blinked as he waited for an answer.

"You can't really be that dense…" Gaara murmured, seemingly unaware that he was voicing his thoughts as he stared dumbly.

"What?" Naruto whined, crossing his arms over his chest petulantly as he obviously didn't understand. Gaara continued to stare and the blonde shifted his weight restlessly; he really hated when he didn't get something.

"It's sand, Naruto."

"I know that! Where did it come from? You're not wearing your gourd!"

"Think about where you are…"


"Think about what village this is…"

"What about it?"

"We're in the Village of the Hidden Sand."

Naruto continued to blink incomprehensibly. "So?" Gaara wanted to smack himself.

"It's the Village of the Hidden SAND, Naruto! There's sand everywhere, I don't need to carry my gourd!"

Finally, it was like a light went on behind the blue eyes, "…. Oh!"

Gaara decided he really didn't want to continue the matter any further; it really was a wonder how his teachers put up with him sometimes. Instead he turned his attention back to fixing his disheveled clothing. Blue eyes followed the pale hands as they worked to close the jacket and realign the thick vest, a sly smirk growing on his lips as his thoughts circled back around to their previous occupation.

"Ne ne, Gaara!" he took a step away from the wall as the Kazekage looked up suspiciously and 'hmm?'d his attention. He sidled up close and smiled innocently with his hands clasped behind his back. "Why did you stop?" he whispered – barely more than a breath, really – and watched in amusement as another blush rose to stain the pale cheeks a light pink. Gaara averted his gaze and adjusted his vest some more. He was a long, pregnant moment in answering, during which time Naruto's mind birthed many unpleasant possibilities for the redhead's withdrawal. When the young Kazekage sighed and finally spoke, he was almost too afraid to hear what the other boy had to say.

"I… care about you, Naruto. In a way that's maybe a little beyond that of family and friends…"

Naruto snorted, partially in profound relief and partially at the sheer silliness of the response, and lifted his right leg to curl around Gaara's left hip, using his calf to pull the redhead closer against him. He managed to stay silent since he had been expecting it, even though he did shiver at the pleasant sensation coiling up from his groin through his belly, but Gaara was not so quick and emitted a small whimper and his eyelids fluttered prettily. "I can tell that you like me, Gaara. And in case you hadn't noticed before, I rather like you, too." A tan hand raised and rested against a pale cheek gently and Naruto smiled even though the other teen wouldn't meet his gaze. "Hey… I'm sorry, 'kay? I didn't mean to… well, I guess I just got a little too excited from that innuendo and wanted more than a little kiss."

"I do, too," he mumbled, sounding perhaps a tad grudgingly, and looked up to glare lightly at the blonde in what was probably annoyance, "Just… not yet. I refuse to go at it like a pair of rabbits pumped full of aphrodisiacs. And," he continued before Naruto could protest, although that was actually far from his mind because he had stopped to entertain the thoughts that sprang to mind when the redhead mentioned rabbits and aphrodisiacs and had no intention of arguing, "don't try to deny that that's where you were taking this, either."

Snapping his attention back to reality, the blonde at least had the decency to blush. Smiling sheepishly, Naruto gave a small caress with his leg before dropping it from the shorter boy's hip back down to stand on, but he didn't remove his hand, which had fallen down to rest against the pale column of Gaara's neck. He let his thumb brush gently over the strong pulse. "Hey, that's fine. We can take things slow. I'm going to be here for a while, after all, right?" A frown marred his face and his hand stopped its gentle movement as a thought occurred to him, "If you still want me to stay, that is…" his hesitation was clear and when he met Gaara's eyes the redhead's gaze was withering and very clearly stated how inane he thought that question was. Just to be sure he leaned forward and pressed a light, chaste kiss to the blonde's lips.

"You will always be welcome in this Village, Naruto," Gaara said seriously, green eyes locking onto blue as he brushed his fingertips along the whisker-like marks on his cheeks, "and you will always be welcome with me."

Naruto smiled a large foxy smile and felt more affection for the tanuki vessel than simple lust and expressed it the best way he could think of – by throwing his arms around the shorter boy and burying his nose by the slim neck as he enveloped him in a warm hug. "Thank you…"

After a long, slow moment Gaara wrapped his arms awkwardly back around the blonde, trying to mimic the embrace since he had never really allowed himself the luxury before, not that anyone had been particularly willing to come so close to him before, anyway. Slowly the smaller body relaxed and held him gently and Naruto was completely content to stay there being held for a good long time.

Except his leg was starting to cramp and his feet were beginning to protest from standing so long without moving much. Internal dilemma: to move or not to move? Lose the happy hugging feeling or lose all feeling in his legs? Huh…

"Uh… Gaara?"

"Hmm?" the redhead murmured, raising his head a little from where it had come to rest on the black fabric of Naruto's shoulder.

"You don't happen to have anything so common as a room or something, do you?" he asked flippantly. When the redhead pulled back with a guarded and mildly incredulous look, he realized how his question must have come across and hastily clarified before more sand came to knock him against the wall. "It's just that I don't think we want to stand around in your office all night, you know? I thought maybe we could go somewhere more comfortable and relax and maybe…" he degraded into incoherent mumbling as the look did not change and loosened his hold on the other boy, fearing he had once again screwed things up. A quiet sigh and the following words pleasantly surprised him.

"Why yes, actually," Gaara replied with casual sarcasm, "I do have a bedroom of my own somewhere here. Would you like to see it?"

"I would love to!" he returned playfully, grinning as he resisted the temptation to laugh at the sarcastic flippancy of the Kazekage's remarks. "Do lead the way, Kazekage-sama."

Gaara snorted but disentangled himself and headed towards the door, the blonde leaf-nin following obediently with an amused grin. Just before the redhead could open the door and head out of the office, a thought occurred to Naruto and he smirked devilishly as he called out to Gaara, drawing his attention.

"Hey Gaara," he called innocently, "can we bring the hat?"

A deep blush was his only reply as the dark-clad teen strode out of the room and Naruto snatched the hat up and hurried after.