Summary: A moonlit night, a game of shogi, and a conversation that changes everything. ShikaNaru, Slight SasuNaru, mentions of ShikaChouji

Warnings: Yaoi, obviously. Manga spoilers. Oh yes, and Lemons!

Disclaimer: Is Naruto with any of the hot guys from the series? No? Then I don't own Naruto.

Letting Go and Living On

*Revised 3/13/09*

Naruto signed his last piece of paperwork and sat back in his chair with a sigh. It had been a long day of meetings and paperwork for the twenty-four year old Rokudaime Hokage. But it had been worth it. At least the treaty with Cloud was finally approved by both sides.

He stood up to his full height and stretched his stiff limbs. He'd been sitting for too long. At one time, he'd been the shortest of all the rookies. However, after his seventeenth birthday, he seemed to finally shoot up until he reached a height of just under six feet. He attributed it to being a late bloomer.

Everyone else said it was due to him finally eating normal food instead of living on ramen.

He ignored them all.

Ok, fine...he'd finally figured out that ramen, as tasty as it was, wasn't exactly the healthiest food in the world. Nor was it all that filling. The amount he had to eat to fill him up was insane compared with the fact that two helpings of a normal breakfast, lunch and dinner was enough to satisfy him. So, ramen had turned into a guilty pleasure instead of a staple, much to the chagrin of old man Ichiraku.

Tossing his robe on the back of his chair he turned toward the window and looked out at the moonlit village. The moon was high in the sky and it shed it's luminescent beauty all over Konoha. He really had no desire to go home to an empty least not yet. Walking outside onto the balcony, he watched the silently sleeping Konoha. He saw a few lights dotted here and there, but most were already tucked in their beds without worry. Turning his gaze up to the full moon, he wondered if there was anything that could rival it's pale splendor.

Well, maybe one thing...or one person.

Pale milky white skin that, at night, seemed to glow. Dark onyx eyes that glittered in the light when they focused on him.


It had been almost five years since he'd seen his rival and best friend. Yes, the Uchiha had finally come home, but not in the way Naruto imagined.


All of Akatsuki surrounded the village. It had finally come to this. Naruto was the last jinchuuriki and if it took every single member of the organization to make sure the Kyuubi would fall into their hands, then so be it. Every single shinobi, Leaf and Sand alike, stood ready to defend the village, Naruto included. He was not afraid of them, not anymore. He'd faced many of them and had come out on top. There was no way he would let them take him now.

And then he saw him...

The dark figure stood right next to the man with the orange mask who he now knew to be Uchiha Madara. Naruto's eyes narrowed and he and Kyuubi growled in sync. How the hell could he join up with them?

"SASUKE!" he growled.

The ex-teammate stared at him coldly as if he was just another every day obstacle. It made him shiver.

"What the hell are you doing?"

"Hn...Dobe. It seems we will fight once more. This will be the last time."

Naruto felt a stab of pain through his heart at seeing his best friend as a true enemy. The words Itachi spoke to him before he died came true after all.

"You want to bring Sasuke back don't you? But what if he doesn't want to go?...I'm asking you what you would do if Sasuke were to attack Konoha....If that should happen would you be able to stop him, even if it meant killing him? Can you choose between Sasuke and Konoha?"

Would he really have to choose? No...he couldn't kill Sasuke. Just the thought of it hurt. Besides, he swore to Itachi that he would find a way to save them both. And he was going to do it. But how?

He'd accidentally learned the truth of the Uchiha Massacre six months ago. Tsunade had officially named him as her successor. And while the council balked and argued her choice, she refused to back down. So as her trainee, she had him work in her office when he wasn't on missions. That day she made him organize all the files. But she didn't know that buried in the piles that desperately needed to be organized were confidential files, including those on the Uchiha Massacre. What he read had shocked him to the core and he suddenly understood things much more clearly. He even pushed Tsunade to take action. He had no idea how to bring this up to Sasuke, though, without making him even angrier.

The battle began and it was complete chaos all around. But Naruto only saw Sasuke. They moved fast but neither could get a hit in, not even Sasuke with his sharingan could put a wound on the blond. Taijutsu was abandoned in favor of powerful jutsus that destroyed the landscape. But still they remained on equal ground. Both of them stepped back to catch their breath and observe the other. Naruto glared at the other male.

"Why are you doing this?" he shouted.

"Because I have to!" Sasuke growled back. "I will avenge my family."

"By destroying everything Itachi fought for?" Sasuke glared and then he was suddenly standing in Naruto's space.

"Don't you dare speak like you know anything about him!"

Naruto didn't back down. "Oh, but I do know...everything. He was a double agent. What happened was a mission. And he made the Sandaime and the council swear that the truth would never be told to you."

Sasuke faltered just slightly. "H-how...How could you know?"

"Because I found the files by accident and read the truth."

"Well then you should understand-"

"No! No, I don't understand! You're going to punish everyone for the sins of a few? How stupid is that?"

"Fuck you Naruto! You don't know anything!" Sasuke followed the words up with a punch he wasn't expecting and Naruto's head flew to the side, the momentum of the punch spinning him around. He spat the blood from his mouth and stared at his tortured friend. Meanwhile, he wiped the blood from his lips with a thumb and swiped it over a seal on the inside of his wrist. It was to summon his sage clones when they were needed. Within seconds he felt a rush of natural power flow through him and he looked at a now alarmed Sasuke, who watched the transformation to sage mode.

"Sasuke, I know that this isn't what Itachi wanted. He hoped you wouldn't allow Madara to persuade you to join Akatsuki. He asked me if I would be able to choose between you and Konoha. But I've always been an all or nothing kind of guy. I told him I would not choose. I would find a way to save Konoha and help you. He even gave me some of his chakra to help me." Naruto tried to reason.

"Liar!" Sasuke yelled and a chidori easily flared to life in his hand. Naruto responded with a rasenshuriken. He'd finally learned to create one without clones and one that would not destroy his arm. Sasuke ran toward him. Naruto spun away just before impact and tripped him while throwing his own jutsu in the direction of Pein's bodies that he saw from the corner of his eye were trying to get near him. The ensuing blast knocked both he and Sasuke off their feet. It was only at that point that Naruto really had a moment to see what was happening. Konoha was losing.

"No..." he whispered. He scrambled up and looked toward the village and the shinobi fighting valiantly, then back at Sasuke. He was torn. But he couldn't back down now. He held out his hand and prayed to every god he knew that his rival would listen to him. "I can give you what you want without involving everyone. But you have to trust me."

Sasuke stared first at the hand then up into the toad-like gaze that practically willed him to see warmth and sincerity.

"Most of these people are innocent. They knew nothing of what happened between the Uchiha Clan and the council. Don't take your hatred out on them. Save it for the ones that deserve it." Naruto swallowed the nervous lump in his throat and waited though the sounds of battle behind him had him almost twitching. Sasuke stared unblinkingly for so long, Naruto stopped breathing. But finally pale fingers wrapped around the tan hand.

"I'm holding you to it dobe. If you were lying to me just to make me do what you wanted, I'll kill you."


That day he and Sasuke joined forces and took down Akatsuki. Sasuke ordered his team to follow his lead so they switched sides, which immediately dwindled the number of members to four. The fighting shinobi were able to take care of the other two. Sasuke succeeded in killing Madara. Naruto finally destroyed all of the Peins and then the man behind the clones, Nagato.

Afterward, while the village was still in chaos, he snuck Sasuke into the village and took him to an underground prison cell that held one man. Danzou.


Sasuke glanced at the steel door that imprisoned the man who had destroyed his family. "Why?"

"I not only found the truth about the Uchiha clan. I found out about my parents. The council screwed up my life just as much as yours. They hid everything about me, made me think I was abandoned and hated, made all these rules so I couldn't defend myself against the village who took every opportunity to do whatever they wanted, turned a blind eye every time I got assaulted, beaten, stabbed, left for dead. With baa-chan's help, I poisoned them while they were asleep. But him...I figured I'd leave him for you. Which side was right or wrong back then, who knows. I do know that it isn't right for him to play with people's lives. Not just yours and mine, but Sai's, and so many others who never had a chance to live as normal people. It's only right that you be the one to end the life of the bastard. Maybe then, you'll finally be able to move on."


He'd walked away after that and left the avenger to do whatever he needed to. He'd seen and felt chidori enough to know what the slight charge in the air meant.

That night ended up being the last time he ever saw Sasuke.


Naruto looked around the abandoned ghost town better known as the Uchiha compound. Sasuke brought him here. It was the only place no one ever ventured into.

He watched the raven silently as they walked around his old property. He'd always been able to read his teammate. And he had a bad feeling he knew what was coming.

"You're leaving again...aren't you?" He watched the tension grow in Sasuke's back before he turned to him.


"But why?" Naruto asked, his voice cracking. He knew he sounded pathetic, but he didn't care. "You've had your revenge. This is your home."

"No, Konoha is your home. Not mine. It hasn't been home for me in a long time." He gestured toward the entire compound. "I can't stay here. Too many memories..." he whispered the last words. Naruto swallowed the lump in his throat and refused to let the gathering tears fall. He turned away and took a deep breath. A hand caught his wrist before he could walk away. He didn't move.

"I...I'm sorry...Naruto." A hard fought tear slipped out of the corner of his eye and down the whiskered cheek. He knew it was more than just an apology for not staying. It was for joining Akatsuki, for trying to kill him, for sticking a chidori through his chest, for leaving him before, for preparing to leave him again. He looked down, hiding his face with his hair, not wanting Sasuke to see the tears in his eyes.

"I can com-"

"No." Sasuke interrupted the blonde before he could finish. He knew what the dobe would say and he wouldn't allow it. Naruto was always the one making sacrifices. Not this time. "You'll make a great hokage dobe." Naruto raised his head at the unexpected praise and gasped at what he saw. He never thought he would ever see Sasuke so open. Even his eyes revealed his emotions. Slightly late, he remembered the familiar insult that no longer sounded like one and responded in kind.

"Teme..." Sasuke chuckled. The normally flattened lips shifted into a slight smile.

"Promise me something Naruto..." Naruto stood silently while Sasuke moved even closer. "Promise me you'll find someone who will make you happy. And live a long and happy life." Naruto blinked in confusion.

"But...I already found someone..." he whispered slowly, almost as if the answer had just become clear to him. Sasuke sighed and leaned his forehead against the tan one.

"Promise me."

Naruto slowly shook his head, stubbornly defiant. The teme knew him too well. He knew he would never break a promise.


His blue eyes closed as he swallowed hard. No matter how much he wanted to, he couldn't deny Sasuke. So slowly, ever so slowly, he nodded.

That wasn't enough. "Say it." Naruto sighed and gave Sasuke what he wanted.

"I...I promise." he whispered.

Sasuke took the tanned face in his hands and angled his own head just so and leaned forward that final inch that separated them.

This time there was no accident. It was deliberate. Their lips met softly. Naruto's slightly trembled until Sasuke applied more pressure and their lips seemed to mold against each other's perfectly. With a light flick of a tongue, Naruto's lips parted and the avenger dived in and explored every single part of the hot mouth knowing this would be the only time in this life that he would do so. He needed to remember this for the rest of his life.

Their tongues met and twisted together in a duel and it was hot, needy, erotic, passionate.

Sasuke finally broke away only when his head became hazy from lack of air. Moments later, his forehead was back against the blond's. He forcefully whispered as he clutched Naruto's shirt in his hand, "In the next're mine, understand? No one else's. I will find you. And I won't leave. I won't run. I'll never leave you alone Naruto."

Naruto stopped breathing at the words. He felt lips on his again, this time just a simple gentle caress. A solitary tear fell at its simplicity. Who knew the teme's lips could be so soft? He felt a slight breeze.

And he knew, even without opening his eyes...he was gone.


It was only after that one moment in time that he truly understood...

Sasuke had been saying goodbye.

"Figures I'd find you here." A voice drawled from behind him, interrupting his wandering mind. His eyes popped open and he turned to see Shikamaru step out onto the balcony and walk up to stand next to him and lean forward against the banister.

"Yeah, well, it's a nice night."

"You should be home in bed by now."

"Yeah yeah, I know. I swear, you sound like my babysitter or something."

"Maybe because I am."

"Oh shut up! I just finished signing my life away on one last piece of paper. And I'm not all that tired."

"Hmm. Well then, how about a game of shogi?"

"Now?" Shikamaru rolled his eyes.

"Yes, you troublesome idiot. Now." He grabbed an arm and disappeared with him. They reappeared in the Nara compound. "I'll be right back."

Naruto nodded and looked out at the peaceful setting. He really did love the Nara property nestled right on the edge of the forest. Shikamaru built a small house of his own not long after he had become hokage. He remembered laughing at him when he heard him say it was 'too troublesome to stay with his nagging mother any longer'. As missions went by and money was saved up, the property slowly grew beautiful with the addition of a koi pond, and various planted wildflowers - courtesy of Ino. It had become one of his favorite hangouts.

It was after Jiraiya's death that he and Shikamaru became closer friends. It seemed like every time he was down, Shikamaru showed up out of nowhere to cheer him up or tell him exactly what he needed to hear. Sometimes, when he felt like he needed a silent but solid presence, he would seek out Shikamaru and watch the clouds with him and sometimes Chouji.

But it was after Chouji died during the battle with Akatsuki and Sasuke was gone that they slowly grew to be sort of best friends. Naruto was the only one who knew just how close Shikamaru and Chouji actually were. Maybe because it was the same way he felt about Sasuke, even if he had been slow to understand the fact. And Shikamaru was devastated at the death of his best friend. Every day he could, he tried to cheer him up. Because when he could make him smile, it would make him smile too. At least for a while, he could keep his own heart from breaking. Neither wanted to talk about their most precious person. But just being there to keep one another from falling apart was enough.

When he was officially appointed as the Rokudaime, his first task was to appoint Shikamaru as his right hand man. He knew the lazy ninja would love the cushy desk job but at the same time he would keep him on his toes.

And goodness, did he ever....

For the first few months, Shikamaru was on top of everything - made sure he ate right, did all the paperwork, assigned missions correctly, etc, etc. Eventually though, things settled into a routine in which they both worked together like a well oiled machine. They were usually able to get everything done by nightfall. It was then that Shikamaru would bring out the shogi board and they would play. In the beginning, he was abysmal. Obviously, by no stretch of the imagination was he a genius. But once he finally got the hang of the game, he was able to hold his own. More often than not, he would lose. But there were moments that he actually surprised the shadow nin.

"Here." Naruto turned just in time to see a can headed toward his face. He reached up and grabbed it just before impact.


Shikamaru smirked. "Anytime." He plopped down lazily, opposite of Naruto, and watched as the blonde made the first move. He countered. Soon a slow rhythm of shifting pieces began and it became all about strategy.

Most would never know, but Naruto enjoyed battling the Nara. Whether it was a physical battle or a cerebral one, it was always tougher than it looked. It made him have to think. It became a challenge to find a way to outwit the lazy genius. And Shikamaru enjoyed seeing what crazy ways the blond would find to outwit him.

"So, how's Ino?" Naruto asked.

"She's good. Fat. Happy." Naruto chuckled at that.

Time slowly moved on and peace finally settled on Konoha. And Naruto watched as, one by one, his friends moved on with their lives and paired up, got married, had children. Yet, despite things changing around him, he still felt like he was standing in place.

The biggest shock of all had been Ino ending up with Genma. He was quite a bit older than her, after all. Her family and friends were against it at first, because of the age difference. But she loved him and Inoichi couldn't deny his baby girl. It was a good match though because he was one of the few people able to easily deal with her high strung and high maintenance nature. Good thing, because she was even more high strung now that she was pregnant.

"And how's Genma?" He asked with a sly grin.

"He's stressed...and happy." Shikamaru swiped one of Naruto's pieces replacing it with his own. "And Sakura?"

"Busy of course. I'm making her go on leave soon, though. If I didn't do it, she'd keep working all the way up until she went into labor." Naruto smiled at the thought of his 'older sister'. Everyone had always thought she'd end up with Lee. He only chased after her persistently since the day they met. However, she caught the eye of Neji, of all people. Naruto once told her she dated him because she had a thing for bastards, which had earned him a large bump on the head. Next thing he knew, she was in his office slapping a wedding invitation on his desk. The next day Neji had come in and asked him to stand with him at the ceremony. He wondered why Neji didn't ask Lee since they were teammates. He found out the reason why when Gaara showed up with Lee in tow at the wedding. He was still trying to resolve those two together in his head. Now, three years later Neji and Sakura already had a little girl with brown hair and pale green Hyuuga-like eyes. And now they had a boy on the way.

"Troublesome. Though I'm sure Neji will thank you."

"Oh yeah." He grinned and swiped up a piece of his own. "Oh, Kiba and Hinata are begging me to come to dinner tomorrow night."

"You going? Check." Naruto glared at Shikamaru, then the board, like it was the board's fault.

"I don't know." He shrugged, then took a sip of his soda before shifting another piece to the side.

"You should go. It'll be a drag to deal with Hinata if you don't."

"Yeah, I know."

Kiba and Hinata were easily the most predictable couple. It was no secret how Kiba felt about his teammate. And once Hinata finally figured out that Naruto would never feel the same way she felt, she moved on. It wasn't long before Kiba made his move and after that they were inseperable.

"Check. Heard from the Kazekage lately?" Naruto glared and Shikamaru winked at the sudden predicament he had put the Rokudaime into.

"Not since last week. Lee must be keeping him...busy. I hear Tenten's keeping Kankuro in line. Damn, you've got me don't you." He said glaring down at the board in dismay. He looked up into a lazy smug grin.

"Yep. I do." His friend drawled.

"Damn you Shika!"

The shadow nin chuckled. "Better luck next time." He said as he brought the game to an end with a final move.

"Yeah, whatever."

Shikamaru pushed the board to the side and leaned back against the wall. Naruto shifted as well. Neither of them moved much after that. Both stared ahead. Their thoughts unknowingly mirrored each other.

They both watched every single one of their friends find happiness with someone. Neither of them had really given much thought to their own. Ino tended to remind Shikamaru of it constantly, which he found to be a drag. Naruto had the same problem, having to always deal with Sakura either trying to set him up with one of the medics or seeing her green eyes full of sadness every time she brought up finding a companion. He hated that sad look on Sakura's face.

Naruto sighed and looked out at the moon that had shifted into a new position as the hour grew later. It was really late now and he should go home, but he just didn't feel like it. He closed his eyes. Sasuke made him promise to live and find happiness. How was he supposed to do that when most of his happiness had always revolved around him?

"Something on your mind Naruto?"

"Huh?" he asked, his eyes still closed.

"Troublesome...I can hear the wheels turning in your head clear as day."



"Are you happy?" He blurted out before his brain could catch up with his mouth. His eyes went wide.

Shikamaru stopped and turned his head to stare at him blankly. "What kind of question is that?"

"What? It's just a question." Naruto mumbled as he looked away in embarrassment and ran his hand through his blond spikes. Shikamaru sighed and answered truthfully.

"I guess it depends on how you define happy." It didn't take a genius to understand what he meant.

"You miss him."

"Of course I do. Just like you miss him."


"Troublesome." The dark haired man reached up and pulled out the tie that constantly held his hair in the ever present pineapple looking ponytail. Naruto watched the man shake out his deceptively long hair. He was one of the few who had the privilege to see the dark hair down. It always surprised him that it was longer than it looked. It just barely reached his shoulder blades. He felt like running his fingers through the strands just to see how soft they were. Shikamaru turned his head to watch the blond. "What are you thinking really?"

Naruto suddenly felt like he was being analyzed. "I...I was thinking of something he said to me...that night." The other male nodded.

"Go on. I'm listening."

"He made me promise to find someone to be happy with." Naruto leaned his head back against the wall and closed his eyes again. "I haven't been exactly trying to keep that promise. The thing is, I don't know how."

"Well, you have your choice of females...or even males now."

"Yeah, but you know me..."

"That I do."

"I can't just be with someone without it meaning something, you know?"

"Yeah..." Shikamaru sighed. It was too troublesome to think about. He knew exactly what Naruto meant. He couldn't do that either. Chouji had meant everything to him. And he'd only had one night to show him. The night before Akatsuki appeared...the night before he lost him. Glancing at the blonde, he suddenly wasn't sure what was worse, to have and have lost...or to have never had at all.

Although there were no promises made, he knew Chouji would be pissed at him for not moving on. But what could he move on to? And how could he just let go of his soulmate? It couldn't be that easy. Damn emotions were too troublesome! He stood up with a sigh and walked off the porch. Looking up into the night sky, he wondered if his best friend was looking down on him and calling him a baka for being stuck in his self-absorbed rut. Looking back down, he felt the sudden urge to turn around. He obeyed the silent prodding and turned. In his sights sat the only other person who truly understood him. Naruto had kept him sane at the worst time in his life.

Naruto's eyes were still closed and he was so still that Shikamaru wondered if he'd fallen asleep. He walked a little closer so he could see the face more clearly. To be honest, he found the blond hokage to be just this side of beautiful. He'd inherited great genes from his father. If anyone didn't know his heritage, it only took one glance at him to figure it out. He was the spitting image of the Fourth, after all. So, as the blonde had gotten older, he'd grown taller and the whiskered face grew slightly chiseled. He eventually stopped wearing his hitai-ite on his head and moved it to his arm allowing his spiky locks to fall forward and droop slightly in the front. That and the slightly pouting lips gave the blonde a sensuality that he probably didn't even know he possessed. And the constant training had transformed the Kyuubi holder into a powerhouse of lean muscle. Then, of course, there were those blue eyes that no one in Konoha could ever come close to rivaling. No wonder the girls were so enamored of the so called dead last now.

And then there was that smile. He had a stunningly beautiful smile. Too bad hardly anyone was ever graced with it. Sure, there were teasing grins, smiles of assurance, the smiles to hide the pain and so forth. But very seldom did he ever flash a true smile. Even he had only seen it a couple of times over all the time they'd hung out together. With a slight smile of his own, Shikamaru leaned against the post and continued to watch his friend. He felt something begin to stir in his heart...something he hadn't felt since...then.

Naruto made him smile. He made him happy.

Could he imagine living his life just like this...with Naruto?

At that very moment, the object of his thoughts opened his eyes. The stormy blues met his own and suddenly the answer was very clear.

Yes, he could.

A smirk made it's way onto the shadow user's face and he climbed the single step. Naruto watched him walk closer, his face scrunching in confusion and he shifted into a standing position.


Shikamaru's fingers swiftly shifted into such familiar handsigns, it was practically ingrained. The shadow made by the moonlight swiftly locked in on the blond. Cerulean eyes narrowed into a glare.

"Shika, what are you playing at?"

He didn't answer and stepped forward one step, causing Naruto to do the same. The dark eyes turned serious as he searched the confused gaze for something.

"Shika...what the hell are you doing?" Naruto asked tentatively, puzzled at the strange actions. Shikamaru slowly raised his hand, making Naruto mimic the motion. Then he asked the same question the blonde had asked him.

"Are you happy...Naruto?" The blond wanted to turn away, but he couldnt. So he settled for lowering his gaze. The silence was telling and Shikamaru went on.

"Because, I think, just maybe..." He ever so gradually threaded their fingers together. "Just maybe I could be happy...with you." Naruto looked up wide-eyed.


"I, I know that I could love you for the rest of this life." He released the kage mane but Naruto didn't notice, even when he stepped closer and backed him into the wall. He felt a shiver go through the slightly shorter male. "Tell me Naruto," his voice deepened in a way that stirred something deep inside the blond, "could you be happy with me?" His finger softly trailed over the chiseled jaw. Naruto closed his eyes at the action.

Could he let go? Could he live on? Be happy like Sasuke asked him to?

Visions of the last five years flashed through his mind in rapid succession. Only one thing was a constant. Shikamaru.

Could he love him even though he wasn't 'The One'? He opened his eyes then and stared into dark eyes that were nothing like the onyx ones he could still see so clearly in his minds eye, yet they still held an intensity all their own. A feeling blossomed in his heart. Maybe he could finally be a long life with someone who loved him and whom he loved in return. Just maybe...

"Yes." He finally answered and yanked the other man forward into a kiss. It started slowly, testing the waters, getting used to the idea. It slowly morphed into much more as tongues invaded and explored, hands roamed and bodies pressed together with a need that they didn't expect to feel so easily. A moan slipped from Naruto's lips as calloused fingers moved under his shirt and danced over his skin. Heat began to pool south and without conscious thought, he began to grind against the brunette while his hands slid into the long dark locks.

"Naruto..." Shikamaru responded with a groan, his lips moving down to the tanned neck kissing and nibbling on the slightly salty skin. He smirked as Naruto released a gasp. Without letting go of the blond in his arms, he maneuvered the both of them into the house and down the hall to his bedroom with a few awkward stumbles along the way. Once they finally got through the doorway, clothes began to disappear at a rapid rate until there was nothing left to reveal. The Nara stared in silent awe at the display before him. He'd seen Naruto without a shirt before, due to their training together, but he never seen anything lower.

Naruto blushed at the silent stare. Shikamaru moved so close there was hardly a hair's breath of space between them. His hands reached out and slowly moved over the bronzed skin and hardened muscle.

"Kami, you really are beautiful." Naruto's blush intensified and he looked away.

" know I've never-"

"I know. Let me show you how good it is." Naruto couldn't help the chuckle that bubbled forth.

"You act like you're such an expert." The lazy ninja was shocked at first. Then he grinned. This was one activity he definitely would not be considered lazy at.

"Troublesome blond. You'll see how much of an expert I am." And then there was silence as lips connected again, this time much hungrier. He pushed Naruto backwards until he fell onto the bed.

Naruto tentatively raised his eyes and gazed at the lithe figure that crawled up his body. Shikamaru leaned on his elbows and stared down into the vulnerable gaze.

"Nervous?" Naruto bit his lip and then nodded. "Don't be...I won't hurt you." And then Naruto surrendered to the genius hands, lips, and tongue that slowly, deliberately mapped out every single inch of his body. Shikamaru was thorough, taking his sweet time starting with his neck marking the tanned skin over and over again, knowing because of Naruto's quick healing the possessive marks would be gone by morning. Moving lower his tongue found a nipple, teasing it into hardness while a fingernail raked over another one. He smirked as another moan was forced from the vocal man. Fingers dipped into the slight curves of Naruto's torso making a giggle burst forth.

Shikamaru raised a brow at the sound. "Ticklish Hokage-sama?" Naruto blushed. But he forgot his embarrassment immediately when the talented tongue began to dance over the seal that once housed the most powerful demon. At the loud gasp that escaped, Shikamaru took his time swirling his tongue around all over the sensitive skin, eliciting the most wonderful delicious sounds from the powerful hokage.

Naruto's fingers gripped and twisted the sheets under him, his stomach quivering, pleasure slowly building inside him. "More Shika." he moaned, his eyes closing as he felt the shadow user's hot breath over his tip.

In response, Shikamaru ran his tongue in slow circles against the tip of Naruto's standing erection. Arching off the bed with a strangled yell, Naruto closed his eyes as the pleasure became too great and his body shook with the need to explode.


"Yes Naruto?" Shikamaru calmly asked with a smirk. He knew Naruto was close. And it didn't take much to figure out how far he could take him to the edge without letting him fall, and he took full advantage, torturing him over and over again until the poor trembling blond could take no more.

"Oh Kami...Shika...please..." He begged in a husky needy voice as such intense pleasure flowed through him.

"Please what Naruto?" Who knew Shikamaru could be so evil? His nimble fingers slowly made fiery trails up and down the swollen shaft.

"I.." Naruto's mind went blank as pleasure shot through his groin again. What was it he wanted again? "Oh Kami...I-I need you." He finally said breathlessly. Shikamaru groaned and reached into the drawer for lube he wasn't sure he still had. The needy voice of the blonde only made him harder and his hand fumbled around groping for anything he could use. Finally he yanked his hand back in triumph as he found a bottle of lotion. It would do. Popping the cap and drenching his fingers in the substance, he sat between strong thighs and slowly circled the puckered entrance with his finger. He felt Naruto shiver beneath him along with the sound of the needy moan associated with it.

Suddenly, he took the length into his mouth and sucked hard. Naruto's eyes rolled back in his head and with a scream he exploded. At the same time, Shikamaru pushed in a finger. So caught up in the pleasure of his orgasm, Naruto never even registered the pain. Even when a second finger was added and torturous teeth and tongue continued to tease the leaking tip, he couldn't distinguish...pain was pleasure and pleasure was pain and he could hardly take either anymore.

Shikamaru sat up and pulled out his fingers, making Naruto whimper in protest at the sudden sense of emptiness. He glanced up at the hazy blue half lidded eyes and smiled.

"You ready?" Naruto's hazy blue eyes focused on Shikamaru.

"Y-Yes." He whispered, not sure he could trust his voice enough to go any higher at the moment. Then he felt the prodding and immediately tensed knowing what was coming. Shikamaru felt Naruto tense and glanced up. He traced a finger up and down his tanned side while leaning over and kissing him, trying to get him to relax.

"I know it's not easy, but relax for me. It makes things easier." Naruto nodded trustingly and tried his best to relax.

Shikamaru trembled above the blond as he slowly pushed his way inside him, moaning loudly as the tight walls quivered around him causing him to squeeze his eyes shut lest he lose control. Naruto squeezed his eyes shut and bit his lip as the pain shot through him. Taking deep breathes, he tried again to relax.

Opening his eyes once he finally felt Naruto relax, Shikamaru looked down to see a canine biting into a plump lower lip. His thumb gently pulled the lip away before it bled. "Don't." he whispered.

Naruto's eyes opened at the words and he shifted slightly. Both men moaned at the jolt of pleasure that shot through both of them.

"Shika...move." The man above needed no more prompting and slowly slid out only to slam back inside. And being the genius that he was, he knew exactly where to aim. "OH YES THERE!" Naruto screamed in pleasure as that special spot was hit. Over and over again the not-so-lazy genius hit that spot, loving the constant sounds of pleasure coming from his lover. Naruto dug his nails into Shikamaru's back as the rhythmic movements became harder and faster and faster until the need for completion destroyed the rhythm and there was only driving need.

Sweat dripped off of his skin as Shikamaru pounded into Naruto, gasping out his name as the pleasure steadily built to a crescendo. Naruto saw white as a hand suddenly wrapped around his forgotten shaft and pumped until he finally lost it and screamed at the top of his lungs. Shikamaru's own pleasured yells followed as he shuddered above him.

The blond was too far gone to even notice the body that, moments later, collapsed on top of his. With a glowing smile, he welcomed oblivion.

And Shikamaru saw it...a true smile. He hoped to see it a lot more often.

Rays of sunlight woke Naruto from the best sleep he could remember having in ages. With a smile he was about to sit up until he noticed the extra weight. An arm was around his waist and a head was comfortably nestled against his neck. He turned his head slightly and saw the dark hair that was tickling his skin and he immediately relaxed and smiled.

'So it wasn't a dream after all.' he thought. He felt...happy. With a grin he turned onto his side and ran a finger down the sleeping face. He knew he was late. But hell, he could care less. In fact...maybe he'd take the day off and make his right hand man take one with him. He had a feeling it wouldn't take much to persuade the lazy nin.

And speaking of...

Shikamaru blinked away the last vestiges of sleep and saw the bright grin.

"It's too early to be that happy." he mumbled.

"You mean late, it's already..." Naruto searched for a clock. "Past ten."

"It's still too early."

Shikamaru hadn't said anything about the night before and Naruto suddenly found himself nervous. Did he regret it?

"Quit frowning. It looks wrong on you. And no...I don't regret it."

Naruto's eyes widened. How could he read him so easily? Shikamaru chuckled and pulled him closer and whispered in his ear letting his lips drag along the appendage. "Because I've been around you too long. Troublesome...maybe that's why I'm finding it so easy to love you."

Well if that didn't just put a look of shock on Naruto's face...

"You...You l-love me?"

Shikamaru felt a wave of protectiveness go through him at how insecure the man, who could be considered the most powerful leader in all the shinobi nations, was sounding.

"Troublesome blond...yes I do. So don't think I'll let you go."

Naruto smiled beautifully. Shikamaru was hoping to make that a habit. It didn't take long for the smile to shift into a smirk though.

"What are you thinking?" The brunette asked.

"I think I'm going to take a day off. And you're," he poked the forehead in front of him, "taking it with me."

"Troublesome...You do know you have duties."


"So, they can't wait."

"Oh well, guess they'll have to." Naruto shrugged, uncaring in the least. He was truly happy for once. Nothing else mattered.

"Naruto..." Shikamaru growled.

"Oh for crying out loud, fine. I swear I should fire you and get Konohamaru. He'd let me do what I want." He sat up and made the familiar ram symbol. A naked clone stood before them. Shikamaru stared silently, blinking at the sight. "Go play hokage. Make sure all the paperwork gets done." The clone grinned and saluted before picking up the discarded clothes and putting them on his body. Then he winked at the staring Shikamaru before leaving. The real Naruto glanced at the shadow nin and started laughing at him struggling to control the sudden nosebleed. "Do I even want to know what perverted thoughts you're having?"

Shikamaru raised a brow.

"Uh...Shika?" A slow lazy smirk started forming.

"You know, if you create another clone, I might consider taking more than one day off."

Naruto blinked in confusion. "What for?"

The smirk changed to an evil grin. Naruto's eyes went wide in horror and he blushed from head to toe.

"Pervert!" he squeaked.

One Year Later

Naruto smiled at the beautiful view from hokage mountain. The wind blew stiffly as autumn slowly began to set in, turning the leaves into flaming colors. Sitting on his own head, he pulled out a sheet of paper and an ink pen and began to write.

Hey teme.

Yeah, it's me. I bet you never expected to hear from me. Actually, I don't know if this letter will even find you. I have no idea where you are. From the rumors I've heard, it's far beyond the shinobi nations...places I've never even heard or dreamed of. I just decided that I'll stick this into the wind and just maybe it'll find it's way to you someday.

I wanted you to know...I finally made good on my promise. It took a long time and you have no idea how hard it was. But I finally found someone to spend the rest of this life with. Or maybe I should say he found me. Well truthfully, I guess we kind of found each other. And yes, I am happy. So, I guess I'm finally letting go and living on, just like you wanted me to. I bet you'd never guess who. Heh, I wouldn't be surprised if you already know. Knowing you, you're probably somehow keeping tabs on everything going on around here.

Wherever you are, I hope you stay safe. Maybe if you remember, you can tell me about all of your travels when we meet again. Maybe you'll even tell me the truth of why you left. Yeah, I'm not that stupid. I know you had your reasons that you didn't want to share. So don't you dare forget about what you said teme! You better find me or I'll hunt you down!

Hmm...I think that's it. I guess there's nothing else left to say but see you in the next life!

Your Dobe.

He snickered as he doodled a smiley face with a tongue sticking out. He could already hear Sasuke's voice calling him an idiot for doing something so childish. Carefully folding the paper into the shape of wings, he allowed his wind chakra to slowly raise the wings higher and higher until the winds carried it away. With a soft smile, he watched until the paper wings were out of sight. Then he stood and dusted himself off.

Arms suddenly wrapped around him and a voice drawled into his ear. "Should've known you'd be here. Mighty handy trick controlling the wind like that Hokage-sama." Naruto smiled and leaned back against the hard chest.


"Said what you needed to?" Naruto nodded. It still surprised him sometimes that Shikamaru never felt threatened by his lingering feelings. But then, he'd pretty much accepted that Chouji would always be in his lover's heart too.

"Yep. I wonder if he's ok." Shikamaru chuckled at that.

"I'm sure he's fine. The troublesome Uchiha is too stubborn to die. Just like you. Oh, and you're late."

"Yeah I know...sorry."

"Hn." Naruto elbowed his lover.

"Hey! Don't do that. You sound too much like a certain bastard."

"Said bastard you'll be happy to see many years from now."

"Not that happy..." Naruto scowled. Shikamaru smirked.

"You love it."

Naruto leaned his head back and grinned at the man. "I love you."

"I love you too. But that doesn't make you any less late. Good thing it's the Kazekage." The Nara replied with a smile. Naruto shrugged.

"Whatever...He can wait."

"You're turning into another Kakashi."

"Hey!" Naruto turned with a glare and poked Shikamaru in the chest. "Take that back!"

"If the shoe fits..." The lazy ninja shrugged and began to walk away.

"You're one to talk, you lazy ass."

"Heh, you love this lazy ass." Shikamaru turned his head slightly. Just enough for Naruto to see the smirk, making him growl and catch up with him. "Next you'll be using excuses. 'I got lost on the road of life.'" He snickered as he mimicked the copy ninja.

"How bout I just lose you on that road." Naruto mumbled, glaring sideways at the brunette.

"Aww Naru-chan...don't be like that." With a smirk, he threw his arm around the blonde's neck put him into a headlock, and pulled the struggling hokage along.

"Hey! Let me go. Quit manhandling the hokage! Shikaaaaa..."


a/n: There! It's done. My first ShikaNaru! My darn muse wouldn't let me stick this at the bottom of my pile of ideas. It wouldn't leave me alone, so I had to write. Took me a good 8 or 9 hours to write this. I was originally thinking of ending it in the AU-verse, a.k.a. "The next life" but I think I'll leave it like this and let you use your wonderful imaginations. Unless everyone begs me to put the AU part in. I will warn you though, that it wouldn't be ShikaNaru. But why am I even explaining this now? I don't even know what you think of this yet. So what did you think? Good? Bad? Ugly? Send me a review and let me know. :) Maybe if it's good enough, I'll write another one next time I get the itch from my muse. Now, I guess it's back to my usual ItaNaru and SasuNaru work.

Ja! And thanks for reading :)