Carnal Attraction

Author: Mask of Mirage

Rating: M

Comments: This is the last and final chapter of Carnal Attraction. It's been fun, that's all I can say. There were many times during the writing of this that I seriously considered abandoning it, but never voiced my own concerns. I'm glad I stuck with it in the end, quite satisfied with the outcome. It was one of my New Year's Resolutions to not abandon a fic once in progress and I hope to stick by that.

In the meantime, now that this is out, I was hit with yet another plot idea and yet another chapter fic. :face palms: There really is no end to the madness, is there? So, you're all welcome to follow me that-a-way, granted that I get the first chapter of the new one up.

Quick little summary: It's Yondaime-centric and though it will be somewhat of a romance (with Sasuke) it's going to be more of a drama. It's not a pedophile fic and it's set in a parallel universe, one where Minato doesn't die. I know, I know, could that plot be any more over-used? A more detailed summary will be put in my profile when it comes to me.

Mood Song: Relax (Take it Easy) by Mika. Such a fun song to type to!

Chapter 18: Beating Hearts Grow but Never Die

Naruto ignored the sharp branch that cut deep into his leg as he raced past, his body screaming in exhaustion but he hurried nonetheless. He knew, deep in his gut, it was a bad idea to train so early in the morning, knowing he would be so wiped out he would end up falling asleep at the training grounds. Now, because of his "short" nap, he was late to see Gaara off.

He gathered chakra in his feet and pushed himself harder, desperate to get to the Konoha gates before the Suna party set out for the journey back to their own village. Gaara had told him that morning as they lay side by side in bed, well Naruto was more laying diagonal but I digress, that they were leaving around noon in case he wanted to say goodbye.

At the time, Naruto didn't feel the need to say anything, not really wanting to have to say goodbye to his lover. But after the night before, he was sure it wasn't going to be goodbye for long.

He felt his stomach grumble as his acute sense of smell, thanks to Kyuubi, caught whiff of food cooking. He was nearing the village. Turning a sharp left, he raced parallel to the rooftops he could make out in between the trees, heading in the direction of the gates.

Hurtling from the foliage, right before he crashed into a tree, he hopped across the rooftops, ignoring the startled complaints from the occupants inside. He could make out the gates from here and….woah, that was a lot of people. It seemed most the majority of the village had shown up, including most of the shinobi, to see off the Kazekage.

A flash of red at the front of the group told Naruto exactly where Gaara was. Sweeping along to the outside of the group, he hopped from a tree, the branches shaking from impact, hit the ground with a light thump and in the same movement, pulled Gaara to him and crushed their lips together.

The redhead emitted a startled gasp and his sand rustled impatiently but upon realizing who was kissing him, fell into him, parting their mouths. Naruto could hear the murmurs sweep through the crowd, rumors already forming of how their demon container was making out with the Kazekage.

He broke away after a moment, laughing breathlessly. "You said you wanted me to come tell you goodbye before you left."

The corner of Gaara's mouth quirked upwards and he leaned forward to capture Naruto's lips once more, once again stirring up the crowd. Naruto waved over Gaara's shoulder at the group; a catcall sounding from somewhere and Naruto would bet his last bowl of ramen it was Kiba goofing off.

He brought Gaara up into a sweeping, back-breaking hug and was almost ready to carry him back to his apartment and lock him up somewhere, but Tsunade intercepted them, calmly prying the clingy blond shinobi from the other.

Naruto shot her a sheepish smile and she shook her head disapprovingly before admitting defeat and letting her own smile cover her face. Nevertheless, she held him back by the wrist as Naruto stared longingly at the object of his affection, who was flanked by his bodyguard and his brother, Kankuro

He watched in mild amusement as the latter huffed in impatience at being stopped once again as his younger brother nearly tripped over his own feet to latch back onto Naruto's already swollen mouth, panting fast.

"You'll be here when I come again." Naruto could tell it was meant more of a general statement than a question and he grinned cheekily.

"Yeah, that is if I'm not killed on a mission or something but you know me, that's not going to happen anytime in the near future."

Gaara allowed a small smile to flit over his face, for only Naruto to see, and pressed his lips gently to the corner of his mouth. "I love you." Naruto whispered it back into his ear, giving it a small sensual lick.

"Hell Gaara, why don't you just stay here? It doesn't seem like we're going to get to leave anytime soon," Kankuro berated from in front of them.

"I'm coming," Gaara deadpanned, setting his jaw and pivoting on his heel, long Kage robes swishing around his feet. Naruto turned also, pushing back through the crowd before clenching his fists at his side.

"I love you Sabaku no Gaara!" he yelled none-too-softly. The crowd murmured and parted as their notorious prankster of the village passed through, a shit-eating grin plastered on his face. He was pretty sure a small wave of sand whacked him upside the head but he ignored it, not wanting to delay the redhead once more.

Sakura was waiting off to the side, her jaw dropped in a nice resemblance of a fish. He grinned at her sheepishly, running a hand through her hair. Sasuke was to her side, looking a bit put-out that it was now that he was finding out about Naruto's new…significant other.

"So…Naruto, anything you would like to say to us?" Sakura trailed off menacingly, placing her hands on her hips. Sasuke said nothing but still looked just as menacing standing there. Naruto threw an arm over each of their shoulders and propelled the three of them in the direction of town.

"I'm hungry for ramen," he stated simply. He let his head fall back and mouth part in silent happiness and his two companions rolled their eyes at his childish behavior.

"So….how was sex, Naruto?" Sasuke questioned tongue in cheek, ignoring Sakura who was making a cutting motion across her throat with a finger. Naruto's head snapped up and his eyes began to take on a look of insanity.

"It was ah-mazing!" he exclaimed, obviously not embarrassed about sharing his newfound sex-life with his two best friends. Sakura sighed loudly and hung her head, already beginning to tune his loud voice out and Sasuke started to regret even asking.

Naruto didn't seem to notice. Fingertips twitched but in this moment, it was out of unimaginable joy. Evolving into a slow-growing disease of galaxies on fire.

Author's Note: Not entirely sure where that last line came from. Just kind of felt like waxing poetic. Well, this is the end of Carnal Attraction, I hope you've enjoyed the ride.

I would like to thank all you reviewers and readers for being so faithful and patient for my updates. You guys are truly the best. If I had cookies, I would share them with all of you.

I'll be taking a small break from posting until I get the plot worked out for my fic-in-progress. But upon my return, I'm sure you'll know I'm back.


On a separate note: Happy Birthday Minato-Papa otherwise known as Mr. Yondaime Hokage!

Love, hugs, and shizzit.