Warnings: vague lemon scene, shounen-ai, MAD spoilers for Arc 2 (if you're not up to and past the chuunin exam, beware!), incomplete-ness.

Disclaimer: if they were my charries it wouldn't be fan fiction, now would it? No OCs, or original settings, so it's all pretty much Kishimoto's toys, I just borrowed them...

asterisk licks beautiful Gaara-sama asterisk

And, by the way, reviews are very apreciated, I always reply back if it is at all possible, so please review, even just to say "Hi. Your story doesn't suck."

Gaara couldn't help but whimper – he'd known it was coming, had talked with Naruto about it and agreed and submitted but… But there was only so much mental preparation he could do…

Naruto paused, easing forward with a wince to run his fingers through Gaara's sandy hair… "Are you sure…" he asked again, sweating and hot and wanting it so bad, but knowing so well the kind of sacrifice Gaara was making, the kind of trust Gaara had in him… He refused to be another memory of broken trust.

Gaara nodded rapidly, biting his lip for a moment. When Naruto still didn't move, he spoke slowly… "I'm sure… Naruto… you… you are the only one who can ever do this to me… for me… Take what you are given freely, Naruto!"

Naruto let his fingers slide down Gaara's neck and spine, smiling as the Kazekage shuddered at the sensation. "All right…" he murmured, pushing in steadily, his hands at Gaara's waist.

Gaara's hands clenched the covers; his sand hissed over the floor like it was confused. It wasn't all good, but it wasn't at all entirely bad either… Such was the way of all bonds, Gaara had learned.

Gaara's awareness of the act became fuzzy and disjointed – an occasional wince at some special shock, a moan, a sudden hitch in his breath and then laboring to catch up again… A blur. The dominant feeling was one of pleasure, relief. For Naruto the ending was abrupt but for Gaara time stretched out for eternities, all one senseless awareness - distant but surrounding him: warm, and he imagined he was a child in the womb, the womb of a mother who loved him and couldn't wait for the birth of her precious child…

He found his eyes refocused slowly and now he was laying down and Naruto was stretched out at his side, staring at him intently with that faint, almost drunken smile that Gaara would later come to realize was his post-climax face. Slowly, because no matter how much he tried it was still not second-nature to him to physically reach for others, he lifted his hand and brushed Naruto's cheek.

"Yeah…?" Naruto said dreamily.

"I want to be like you… Just like you…" Gaara said slowly, his eyes serious but not intense, simply honest and entirely open. Gaara realized abruptly that before Naruto he was naked in every way imaginable – physically, yes, but emotionally, mentally. He rarely opened up so much – he could count on one hand the amount of times he'd done so since the incident. Like those few times before, he suddenly felt awkward, like he'd shared something too precious, like he was afraid to be judged and shunned and alone again… alone… His eyes flicked away nervously. Perhaps he could not give himself as freely as he'd hoped.

Naruto scooted over and wrapped his arms around Gaara, kissing him gingerly. "Don't say that, Kazekage-sama… We have to find our own paths… We can find them together, walk them together… But in the end it's our choice, right?" Naruto smiled lazily.

"Besides… You're not half loud enough, or unpredictable enough…" He snickered.

Gaara smiled and brushed a kiss on Naruto's face in return. "No, I'm not…" He felt reassured again, and safe and warm again like before. Naruto shifted and wrapped himself around Gaara and the Kazekage snuggled into him, breathing in deeply the heady scent Naruto carried – thick with leaves and sweat and something wild and powerful and bestial – the Kyuubi. He wondered if Naruto could smell the remnants of his tanuki. "Walk with me, then…"

"Of course…" Naruto muttered, his fingers sliding up and down through Gaara's hair. "As long as I can…" Gaara shivered slightly at the contact, so sweet and rare and loving. Naruto's hand was infused with warmth, his breath rolled across Gaara's skin like a refreshing breeze and his body was firm and reassuring against Gaara's… All was right with the world, because he finally had people to walk with.

"You have to leave tomorrow, don't you…?" Gaara murmured, clutching him protectively.

Naruto sighed, snuggling in tighter. "Yeah… I can stay into the afternoon but I'll have to leave eventually… But I'll find ways back here soon. I'll talk with Granny Tsunade, maybe she'll give me a job like Temari-chan has…"

"That would be good… I have Kankurou here, but except for him and Temari…" Gaara sighed, and Naruto nodded. The Kazekage had new support in Suna gakure since he'd protected it and sacrificed himself for it against Akatsuki, but even so, there were few who were close to him…

"You should make friends with the other kids our age… Just because you're Kazekage doesn't mean you always have to be busy…" Naruto said. "I'd like to see you find some more friends, so I don't have to worry about leaving you so much… Course, I'll always hurry back… but it would be nice to know you don't always have to be alone if I'm gone…"

"It's not as easy for me… but… I'll try… I'd like to have others, too… I planned a break for after you leave tomorrow… I'll try to join the others more then…" His eyes were downcast. He wanted more friends, and he'd like them to be around his age… But most of the people in that group were the children he'd terrified when he was younger. They were nice enough to him these days, but he worried that they would not be able to accept him as a friend, but only a Kazekage, because of those memories…

"You should do that… Just smile and be sure of your self. Don't be afraid of what they'll think, because if they don't like you, you still have a whole village of others to meet…" Naruto smiled as he felt Gaara relax. "Hey… Normally I'd stay up with you, but…"

"You need your rest – I understand that… I may yet go to sleep later… Now that the tanuki won't get me…" Naruto nodded. At least Akatsuki's attack had yielded that much profit – since Gaara had been revived, Shukaku no longer inhabited him…