Gentle-Fist Massage VI: Night of the Dead

Part 4: "The Debt that All Men Pay"

Shikamaru released a long breath; how he missed those hands. They moved swiftly and gently over his flesh, relaxing long over-stressed muscles and soothing his hurt spirit. He was so relaxed that it didn't even bother him anymore that he was naked in the open, alongside a frequented path. A small part of his mind told him that anybody could walk by at any moment, but he found himself not caring; as long as Neji was beside him, continuing to rub oil from who-knows-where all over his body he'd be all right.

The Nara groaned softly as his slowly growing shaft was grasped and stroked. His dark eyes opened to gaze at the shinobi above him, greatly enjoying the wave of lust, which had appeared in his white chocolate eyes. A small smile parting his lips, Shikamaru reached up and carefully wove his fingers in soft, dark tresses and pulled his lover down for a passionate kiss.

He eagerly spread his legs when Neji moved to lie between them, making a small noise as their erections brushed.

Their lips never parted as the Hyuga began stretching him, Shikamaru trying his damnedest to get that feeling burned into his memory. Of course it had been there before, but he had taken the past for granted. The memories had already begun to fade; even after the few short months since his lover had left him and the Nara was worried that Sai might have been covering those memories up.

Now he knew that wasn't true as Neji very slowly penetrated his body and both moaned; lips still fused together. How he missed the feeling of his lover deep within his body. Shikamaru moaned again when the Hyuga began moving in the usual, after-massage pace, mouth and tongue breaking away as he relaxed against the grass beneath him. This was their last night together; Shikamaru was going to let his lover take the lead.

Neji softly panted into the shadow wielder's ear, pale arms wrapping tightly around the Nara's body and holding him close as they continued the slow rhythm. Warmth spread through Shikamaru at the touch, causing a bit of sweat to begin trailing down his forehead as he simply enjoyed the sensations. His body had just gotten a great massage and his lover was currently rubbing his erection along his prostate, causing awesome ripples of pleasure to cascade slowly over his entire body. Shikamaru couldn't recall a time when sex with his lover had been so… exhilarating before. He began to moan quietly as the ripples became stronger and he recognized the signs of his almost never-ending orgasm.

Neji's breath hitched as his body tensed above his lover's and the Nara groaned at feeling incredible heat fill him, scorching his insides and hitting his prostate just right.

Shikamaru sighed shakily as the white euphoria surrounded him, immediately shutting out the world. He wrapped heavy, relaxed arms around the man he loved, smiling softly as a dip of darkness poured over his mind.

It wasn't until the Nara opened his eyes next that he realized he'd fallen asleep. The sky above him had lightened considerably; stars were quickly fading away, the sun bullying them into submission. Shikamaru scowled, arms tightening around the man lying beside him in the grass. He never wanted to let go….

Neji chuckled and kissed his lover's cheek. "Never change, Shikamaru," he whispered.

The shadow wielder nodded as the deceased shinobi slowly pulled them to their feet and began dressing. When they were fully clothed, Shikamaru quickly grabbed his lover, holding him close as the sky continued to brighten. Tears touched his eyes, but he didn't stop them as they fell onto the paler ninja's shoulder.

"It's all right, my love," the Hyuga said softly, gently rubbing the younger man's back. "You know I'll always be with you."

Shikamaru nodded but didn't raise his head, keeping it buried in his lover's neck.

"Shikamaru," Neji whispered, voice tinged with a bit of emotion, "this is the second chance you wanted… the chance to say good-bye. Please… talk to me, love."

Once again the Nara nodded and pulled back enough to gaze at the man he loved so much. Fresh tears were streaked down pale cheeks and more wished to fall from sad, white chocolate eyes. Shikamaru took a deep, steadying breath and swallowed to be sure his voice worked.

"I-I love you, Neji," he began quietly. "I can't tell you how much I've missed you over the past several weeks and I know I will always miss you. My life will never be the same… Neji." He took another deep breath and continued, "I won't shut myself away anymore, but I want one thing from you, love."

A sad smile touched the pale shinobi's face. "What's that?"

"Don't forget about me."

Pale eyes widened a moment before more tears fell free from those perfect eyes as Neji held the younger man tighter. "I will never forget you, Shikamaru. Please do remember to visit me, though; you're not the only one missing somebody around here."

Shikamaru nodded again, a small smirk also coming to his lips. "I'll bring Sai once in a while."

Delicate fingers curled around the shadow wielder's chin as Neji gazed steadily into his dark eyes. "More than that; I want to get to know him, too." Slowly, deliberately, the Hyuga leaned toward his lover and placed a gentle kiss upon his lips.

Shikamaru almost sobbed at the tender motion, knowing their time had been severely limited; Neji probably only had a few seconds left.

Just as slowly as before, Neji pulled back, gently rubbing his lover's face as sunlight began peering over the horizon. Immediately, the Nara's lover began glowing brightly and a strong wind started to blow by them. "I love you, Shikamaru Nara," the dead ninja said, voice sounding far away.

A strangled sob escaped Shikamaru's throat before he replied, "Lo-love you back… Neji Hyuga." The weight and feel from his lover's body pressed against his own began to evaporate as the younger shinobi watched his body blow away, like the cherry blossoms in the spring. Neji's glowing flesh scattered to the wind, extending a bright pattern against the early-morning sky, where it reached so high Shikamaru could no longer trace it.

Neji had left him once more.

He was smiling. Even as he prayed at his lover's headstone, adorning fresh roses from Kyoko's garden, the woman who looked over the graveyard, Shikamaru could not rid himself of the stupid grin on his face.

For the first time since Neji had died, the Nara finally felt at peace.

Just the tiniest bit tired, Shikamaru left the graveyard beside Naruto, who also had a smile on his lips, although this one was a bit different from his usual grins. Both shinobi felt a bit guilty at taking the pay they'd been promised for the job, but Kyoko insisted and told them the Hokage would be in an uproar if they didn't.

As the Nara tucked the money into his vest, he looked over to his blonde comrade. Curiosity got the better of him as he asked, "Who did you meet, Naruto?" Shikamaru knew he had to have hooked up with somebody, seeing as he hadn't seen nor heard the Uzumaki all night.

Naruto chuckled. "I got to see my father."

"That's good. I'm sure he's a good man."

"One of the best!" the blonde almost shouted.

They remained mostly quiet after that; Shikamaru didn't need to ask who his friend's father was. It hadn't been difficult for the Nara to figure out years ago, but knew it hadn't been his place to say anything.

As they walked back to the village, Shikamaru noticed how beautiful the morning was; birds were singing and the sun was extremely warm upon his skin. Somehow, life without his lover wasn't so bad-looking now. He knew he would survive; Neji would always be with him and just maybe his heart was up to having another fill it with comfort and love. That would be interesting to find out as Shikamaru unconsciously doubled his pace. He was looking forward to seeing Sai and to talking with his friends again, and Shikamaru vowed to never, ever, forget the massages his lover had given him, not just the physical but the emotional as well.

Shikamaru Nara vowed to move on.

The End!