Ok, yes, last chapter. I expect REVIEWS, and MANY OF THEM. In fact, I DEMAND REVIEWS… yea, here.

Chapter 7: Mornings are Troublesome

Usually Mondays were terrible. The first in a string of workdays, long and tedious, was also the furthest from the next weekend. This Monday morning was different. White puffs swam by in the distant blue out the window in clear early sunlight. The alarm clock was lying on the floor in pieces, upset the previous night by some lively motion. Sleeping peacefully in the bed was a pale body, chest rising and falling with each slow breath, next to a Chuunin watching the form in silent introspection as he lay beside. Sunday morning he had thought his bed too big, his room too empty, and something out of place. Now amidst the dirty sheets, the broken clock, the clothes scattered over the floor, the loss of virginity, and the sand Genin in his bed: amidst all of that chaos, life had reached perfection. He didn't know how, but it had. Maybe he should try chaos more often. Watching Gaara sleep soundly was enough for Shikamaru to drown any anonymous doubts that could have surfaced.

Softly, Shikamaru pressed his lips to the tattoo under the red bangs that portrayed the phenomena that now made blood rush through his body. Gaara licked his lips and rolled into Shikamaru's arms, nuzzling his chest instinctively. Only two days before, Shikamaru wanted to flee any place Gaara would go, scared of being tortured or devoured by the monster. Impossible, it had seemed, that such a demon would ever be liked, let alone loved. Funny how such impossibilities are proved wrong by accident. "You've had a troublesome life, haven't you Gaara?" Shikamaru wondered aloud, tracing the sensitive lower spin with light fingers. "No one has ever loved you except me."

"Shut up, it's too early," was whispered into Shikamaru's shoulder. He smiled as Gaara let out a tired sigh, obviously not a morning person. Still, he looked beautiful, and a lot more interesting than the empty bed that used to be in his stead. In the dazed morning light, Shikamaru held Gaara close, the red lovebites covering Gaara's neck making the Chuunin smile triumphantly – maybe he was pretty good at the whole making love thing. A loud ring interrupted the morning tranquility.

Darkly wondering why the phone couldn't have been the thing to break, Shikamaru grabbed the phone. "Hello? …Mom, it's alright, I'm not sick… yes… yes…" With all the nagging in his ear he hoped it would fall off. His mother was so troublesome, completely unlike Gaara, whose pale skin draped with sheets looked particularly inviting. Gently, Shikamaru moved his fingers over Gaara's side, from the slim shoulder down the lither flank and soft dip before the hip bone stuck out, and to the higher thigh. The black marks parted with jade marbles now staring thoughtfully at the Chuunin. Right in the middle of his mother's rant, Shikamaru let his hand wander between the pale thighs and a loud groan echoed from the walls.

As the phone erupted in high-pitched static and yelling, Gaara shut his mouth and stared. Shikamaru had to fight to get a single syllable in. "Mom- justa- I'm not- don't- it's- I never- not that- don't be- I'm not making girls pregnant! Mom it was a cat in heat outside!" Sleepily closing his eyes, Gaara faintly smirked at the analogy, rubbing his thighs back against the hand. Magenta conquered Shikamaru's cheeks. "Mom, I'm not doing anyone! Yea, I am still a virgin!" How troublesome to lie to a mother… but the red haired ninja was worth a lot more lies if it meant he could stay. "Yea, I know, Goodbye." The receiver settled on the stand and the green eyes met brown.

"You're going to get me into a lot of troublesome situations," the Chuunin whispered into the dry lips.

"It's too early for it to matter," Gaara muttered back before their lips were shut together with magnetic attraction. So maybe going along with the stars wasn't that bad. Bandaged feet rubbed against Shikamaru's shins. Yeah, the stars were great where they were.

"Gaara," Shikamaru said curiously. "Why did you nail your feet to the floor?"

The sand Genin shifted his head back against the pillow, red hair flung across bold white. Filled with wonder, the Chuunin watched Gaara think, the Gaara in his room, in his bed, in his arms, nuzzling the pillow he had slept on for years. "I don't know," sandy lips rustled against the soft lips above. "I actually can't remember… you're distracting me."

Tender silence from the morning sun broke over the two. Their eyes were locked, lazily blinking, and their bodies touched and caressed, but they didn't speak. Neither had felt so deeply moved before. Waking up to someone who loved him with everything he knew how, was perfection to a degree of heaven. It felt liquid but light as air and bung over them like a cloud while coursing through their bodies. Shikamaru kissed Gaara's lips again, unable to stand parting from them. The chess game was over between he and Gaara - last night had been the checkmate, but the winner was hard to distinguish, because through Shikamaru had been defeated, he still wondered if he had lost.

Shikamaru closed his eyes and leaned his head down on the pillow, breathing against the sandy shoulder. He smiled to himself as he watched Gaara drift back to sleep. The demon-holder was quite irresistible when he was tired, even if Mrs. Nara now thought her son was living in sin. Troublesome, but as long as Gaara didn't glare anymore, it was fine.

"I love you, Gaara."

Sleepily, Gaara muttered, "Love is troublesome." The Chuunin smiled, kissing the pale skin again before he fell back into sleep.

"So basically, everyone screwed you over when you were little because no one cared about you, yet expected you to know what kindness was and that you could never have it given to you. Tch. People are so troublesome." Shikamaru stroked Gaara's shoulder, his arm wrapped securely around the Genin. "By calling you a monster at such a young age, they denied you any hope of being human. It's their fault, not yours." Usually Shikamaru would blame the person with the problem, not the people around, but this was different.

Gaara stared blankly at Shikamaru's chest breathing in and out. His hand rested on the pattering heart inside, while his fingers twirled the born hair finally let down from a ponytail. Bent in concentration, he nodded absently, nuzzling the chest with his nose. In all honesty, Gaara wasn't hearing, he was just listening to the voice, and feeling it reverberate in the skin.

Birds sat on a branch outside, chirping happily in the late morning sunshine. Supposedly, Shikamaru owed Choji and Ino a favor, because he could blame them for making him bother with Gaara in the first place. "Does your chest hurt anymore? Or your feet?"

Shaking his head, Gaara closed his eyes blissfully. He liked the look of his gourd in the corner, his clothes flung on the ground with Shikamaru's, and the soft brown hair in his fingers. The peachy skin on the chest complimented his very pale arms. Beneath the sheets, their legs entwined, a complicated knot in a simple situation. His wound was gone, vanished completely, and the only pain in his body was a dull ache in the base of his spine. "… I love you." Gaara's voice was barely his own anymore, void of all hatred, resentment, and murderous intentions. It was now small and delicate, the words slurred against the chest.

Shikamaru planted another kiss on the red hair to further his point. Suddenly, he felt the emptiness in his stomach. "Do you want some breakfast?" He was surprised when the Genin took on a serious countenance.

"…Do you have to leave to get it?"

Ineffable adoration hit Shikamaru upside the head. He smiled and bent down to kiss Gaara's lips. There was nothing better than just being there with Gaara, but rice sounded good. "I'll just be in the kitchen." Shikamaru pried himself away from the sand Genin and stood on the ground, stretching his back out. Despite all the exploration and penetration last night, Gaara blushed and averted his eyes, apprehensively waiting for Shikamaru to finish putting his pants on.

Soon there was clanging and pouring in the kitchen. Even though they were just a room apart, neither could stop thinking about the other. Gaara smelled the pillow he was on, catching the smell of Shikamaru. The Chuunin licked his lips repeatedly, still tasting sand, and he failed to realize he was already missing training, and Gaara neglected to acknowledge that he didn't go home last night and Kankuro didn't know where he was. But it didn't really matter.

Only a few minutes later, they were eating fishcakes on rice, in bed again. It was so phenomenal that the Chuunin couldn't stop thinking about it – he was in love with the scariest fighter he had ever met, had lost his virginity, and could not avoid how beautiful Gaara was in the morning. There was a need to always wake up beside him. Love really did make people do a lot of dumb things, but the part that people often leave out is just how wonderful those things are.

"You don't really think love is troublesome, do you?"

Black flashed across the green eyes when he blinked. Gaara looked at his rice attentively. "… I'm not completely sure what it is, but… I know I love you… if that's alright… so I guess I don't think it's troublesome…It's confusing… like knowing who you want to be with for the rest of your life from a kiss…"

Silence followed Gaara's last word, which resounded and swam through Shikamaru's brain. The cogs and gears ceased their turning, the nerves stopped deducing and solving; only the words were heard. Shikamaru slowly leaned over and kissed Gaara, their lips touched softly and leisurely, so slightly that it almost tickled. Pulling away, the sand Genin admitted, "…it has to be you…"

The dishes were blissfully dropped on the ground as both ninjas lied back down on the bed. Gaara let his fingers grips the brown hair again, staring up at the face that was anything but bored. Shikamaru smiled into Gaara's mouth and muttered, "I'll stay." They fell asleep together again, unaware that it would become a habit that would last a lifetime.

-The End-