I have no idea how long I've left this along for, but I suspect it's the best part of a year.
And then, last night, at 3am, being older, not much wiser and very out of writing practice, I revisited this and finally managed to get it finished.
Now, I do now have to apologise sincerely for it taking so long. At first it was because I sincerely wanted to do a good job on it, but then slowly other reasons crept in and it was pushed to the very back of my mind.
The person you have to thank for its emergence back into the light is gaarasgirl44, who sent me a message at least once a month, to make sure I didn't completely forget about it. Needless to say, without her this would probably never have been finished. And I need to thank her too, even if it is my birthday tomorrow and I am guaranteed to be completely exhausted XD It means so much to me that someone likes my crappy writing enough to bug me about getting a chapter out 3
But this is all holding you up from reading the final chapter, so please, read away, as and if you will.
Disclaimer: If I owned Naruto, this would be the content of most of the chapters. And as it isn't...well, you work it out =)
Warning: Contains strong language and scenes of a sexual nature :D
The word – barely more than a whisper – permeated the silence of a restful afternoon in a room where soft kisses were being delivered to a generous expanse of tanned skin. The owner of these kisses was obviously too wrapped up in the circumstances to pay any attention.
"Hey, I'm talking to you," Kiba said with a little more gusto, gently pushing the Suna nin away from his neck.
"What is it?" the other asked, propping himself up on his elbows. The eyes observing the chunin were slightly glazed, his voice slightly husky and lower than normal, clothes rumpled and hair suitably mussed. He looked so damn beautiful that for a moment Kiba's mind went blank and he completely forgot why the hell he'd chosen to interrupt.
"Sasuke and Naruto will be back soon," he said eventually, finally managing to drag his eyes away from the breathtaking sight above him.
Gaara checked the clock before turning back to the other boy and raising an eyebrow. "Not for almost two hours yet. We've got plenty of time."
"Yeah, but..." Kiba fidgeted uncomfortably, trying to think of a way to word how he was feeling without causing any offence. They'd been dating for almost three months now and, thanks to Gaara's duties to his village and the fact that Tsunade was a total slave driver, they didn't get time alone that often. And lately, when they did, there seemed to be this growing tension between them – the fact that they hadn't actually slept together becoming more of an issue than it should have been; at least in Kiba's mind.
It wasn't like he didn't want to. But sometimes it just felt like maybe they were just doing this for the sake of it. Rushing things along when they were alone, so they could finally get that final milestone under their respective belts.
And that was not the way he wanted this to be.
Up until now, Gaara hadn't mentioned Kiba's fairly obvious reluctance. But apparently his boyfriend's unwillingness was getting to him, because he sighed deeply and rolled over, so that they were lying side by side.
"What's wrong?" The question was non-accusatory, full of genuine concern. "Is it me? Because you know I'm just making it up as I go along, don't you? Before you, I hardly had a flourishing love life."
"No, that's not it," Kiba assured him, anxious to stress this point. "It's not you. It's me."
"Would you like to be any more of a cliché?" came the dry reply, accompanied with a rolling of jade-green eyes. "Seriously though. It's not the fact that I'm Kazekage, is it?"
"No," the shinobi snorted. "I couldn't care less about that."
Not entirely true – but he only felt a little intimidated. If he was honest, the knowledge of how powerful Gaara was turned him on more than making him envious. He'd never admit that of course – it conjured up the worrying comparison of a secretary sleeping with the boss.
"Oh, thank you. Nice to know that my effort's appreciated." Rolling over again, the sand ninja fixed him with an intense stare. "Kiba, seriously, you know that you can tell me anything, don't you?"
But could he, though? That was the problem. Any way his mind tried to phrase the problem, it sounded like a rejection. But that wasn't it. Not at all. It would be all too easy to just forget this niggling doubt and just fuck until the cows (or rather, Sasuke and Naruto) came home. But...
"I'm scared," Kiba admitted, watching the other's face closely to see what kind of reaction this profession would invoke. And the result was...almost none at all.
"I know," Gaara said, everything about his tone and his expression indicating that he'd been totally expecting this, and had also been planning his response. "I know it seems like a really big step and it stands to reason that you'd be nervous–"
"I'm not worried about that," Kiba cut in, and this time the Kazekage looked shocked, with a trace of fear lingering around the edges. "I'm worried because...it doesn't feel right, you know? All this rushing whenever our free time coincides...our fucking to be scheduled."
Here Gaara's lip curled a little at the other's turn of phrase, but that alarm was still shrouding his eyes and when he laughed, it sounded nervous and broken. "Look Kiba, I don't really like the rushing either, but the point is that neither of us have a lot of time and–"
"That's not the only thing."
And if his earlier interruption had made the sand nin nervous, this one seemed to have terrified him to the core. Gaara's face went slack, all traces of humour – however forced – completely disappeared as he sat up. Kiba realised the conclusion he'd jumped to the second before the redhead opened his mouth.
"You...you don't want to?"
And oh God, the panic in that voice was heartrending, the look of hurt in his eyes even more so, but it was the underlying recognition that was the worst. It made Kiba comprehend with a shock that a part of Gaara had anticipated that something like that would happen.
"No! No!" The words couldn't come out of his mouth quickly enough – he had to do something to sooth the pain in those eyes. "No, sweetheart, not at all." (Gaara hated pet names, but he seemed to let this one slide.) "I just don't want us to have sex for the sake of doing it. There seems to be this big expectancy around it, like we've been dating long enough so hey, let's go for it. But I don't want it to be like that. I want us to sleep together because we want to, not because it's required of us."
The sand nin stared at him for a moment, before looking down at his hairs, twisting together in his lap. Unable to bear the distress in the movement, Kiba reached out his hand, entwining his own fingers around the other's long, pale ones. Gaara smiled faintly, but didn't look up as he spoke.
"Kiba, I love you. You know that even if I don't find it easy to say it. I want to be as close to you as I can, in as many ways as I can. That's what I'm doing this. Not because it's expected, not because I want to get it over and done with so it's not an issue between us anymore. But because it's something that I genuinely want to do." Here, the redhead paused, but the Konoha nin sensed there was more and waited patiently for him to continue. "I'm scared." And these words were so shocking that Kiba almost fell off the bed. Because Gaara would almost never outwardly admit to a weakness, and here he was doing exactly that. "The idea of sleeping with you terrifies me. And I know it sounds ridiculous that I can face death and not flinch at all, but that something that seems perfectly reasonable scares the shit out of me. But that's how I feel."
Gaara fell silent again, and this time Kiba did speak up. Because the uncharacteristic swearing had unnerved him, and he had to ask. Had to know.
This question finally make the Kazekage's head snap up, emerald eyes wide with disbelief. "Why? Are you serious? Because, Kiba, in case you didn't know, I've never done anything like this before. I've never made myself this vulnerable, or opened up to someone nearly this much. Any rejection from you would destroy me. And you don't seem to realise how frightening that knowledge is."
"But..." the chunin was genuinely confused. "I'm not going to reject you."
Gaara sighed. "I don't know that. I want to believe it, but all the betrayal...I just...can you see why I might be a little nervous about exposing myself fully to somebody? This isn't just about sex, you know. It's more emotional than that, far more and I'm so, so scared that I won't be able to deal with it. And that you won't be able to deal with me. But I'm willing to risk all of that because I'm hoping that you'll prove me wrong. OK?"
The silence that followed this admission was deafening. Kiba could see that Gaara's anxiety was rising with every second he kept quiet, but none of the responses he could think of came close to expressing what he wanted to say.
So in the end, the chunin's response was to lean in and kiss him.
It started off as gentle and reassuring, but the emotion of the past fifteen minutes quickly flooded into it and it became a wild, uncontrollable kiss, both of them digging fingers desperately into clothing in an effort to make the other understand that this was what they wanted, this thing that conveyed everything a thousand times better than any sentence.
And then Kiba pulled away suddenly, needing to say something, although the sight of the breathless, tousled and indignant person beneath him nearly got the better of him.
"I love you too, more than anything, and I'm sorry I'm being such a fricking idiot about this. But I'm just...I just...I didn't want to–"
Whatever inane babble he was about to come out with next was brought to a very firm halt as a hand crept to the back of his neck and mercilessly pulled him back down again, their lips meeting with an intensity that made his head spin. And any train of coherent thought was cut short by a warm body covering his own, fingers lacing deep in his hair as their lower bodies met, causing him to gasp and tense involuntarily.
That was it. There was no going back now, as Kiba's fingers struggled with the fastenings on the other's shirt, finally undoing and removing the garment to reveal a chest and stomach as pale and smooth as alabaster. The white T-shirt that the leaf nin was wearing also found itself removed and slid to the floor in defeat.
And then Gaara was licking and sucking at his neck again, dipping his tongue into the hollow of Kiba's throat, causing the leaf nin to bite his lip in an effort to stop himself from crying out. It felt amazing – so much so that he was mentally kicking himself for waiting this long, he was stupid, it was stupid, they should have just thought screw it because this was...
At this point Gaara's mouth moved lower, Kiba's heels dug into the mattress and he forgot everything, including his own name.
From that point onwards, it didn't take long before he was positioned over Gaara, foil packet in hand, and it was only at this moment that the enormity of what they were about to do loomed threateningly in his mind. That thought was quickly erased when the body beneath him suddenly jerked, thrusting upwards against his own.
"If you dare tell me to stop now," Gaara said, through a series of breathless gasps, "I swear I will fucking sand-coffin you..."
The chunin's only response was a long, drawn out moan that he managed to stifle vaguely by burying his face into the other's neck. And then everything was moving again, the world was moving, spinning around them and it only slowed down at the crucial second when Kiba was finally – finally – pushing inside and it felt...oh God it felt...
"Stop," Gaara said, and it was like a bullet to the chest because the pain in his voice was something he'd never wanted to cause, but at the same time he wasn't sure he could stop.
Somehow he managed to do as the redhead asked, gazing downwards with a mixture of sympathy and frustration.
"Are you OK?" he asked with some difficulty, the words coming out as a hoarse whisper.
"It hurts..." the other whimpered and this was the vulnerable Kiba had ever seen him, and even if it felt like he'd die if they couldn't carry on, he said, "Do you want me to stop?" and waited with a growing dread for the sand nin's answer.
"...No," Gaara said eventually, and that word was infinitely better than any other he'd ever heard in his life. "I want to do this. Keep going, I'll get used to it."
"Are you sure? Because if you wanted me to–"
"Seriously, don't worry, it's OK."
"Kiba." Furious green eyes blazed up at him. "I've been as clear as I possibly can. Now will you please just fucking do as you're told?"
Oh, he could never resist a direct command in that voice.
Sometime in the minutes that followed, neither of them could have pinpointed exactly where, the gasps of pain turned to gasps of an entirely different nature, until they were moved together, over and over and over and yet when Kiba reached breaking point it still wasn't nearly enough.
"I'm–" he started to say, but he couldn't finish, and Gaara simply said "I know," before he was there and seeing stars and saying things that made absolutely no sense and oh FUCK, before collapsing, elated and exhausted, on top of the shinobi underneath him.
It was a little while before either of them could speak, but even when talking was physically possible again, neither of them really wanted to. The silence lay around them, but this was a good silence, maybe the best of silences and they had no desire to break it. Gaara simply moved his hand up to Kiba's cheek and the chunin covered it with his own, and that was enough.
The afternoon sun streaming through the gaps in the blinds was beginning to dim before a voice sounded in the quiet.
"Remind me what we were worried about?" Gaara asked, lazily grinning at the leaf nin next to him.
"I have no idea," came the response.
"We should do this again sometime," the redhead teased, and the other had to laugh.
"I miss you," Kiba said, wrapping his arms around the other's neck and pulling him as close as he could. "I hate that we barely ever get any time together."
It seemed like the intimate situation made it easier to voice difficult subjects. This had always been an issue, felt but never vocalised. Now it felt like maybe they could find an answer.
"Well, you could always come and live with me," Gaara replied after a minute's thought, and Kiba knew him well enough to tell that if he declined then the invitation would have been meant as a joke. But if he said yes...
He'd miss his friends, of course. And his family. But he'd get to see Gaara every day.
"Sure," he said lightly. "That'd be good."
Gaara frowned slightly, searching his face for any trace of mockery. Finding none, disbelief crossed his face briefly, before his expression changed to a wide and delighted grin.
And there we have it. This story is officially over. Cheesy in places, angsty in others, but we have finally come to the end of the ride. At least for the moment, I am saying farewell to this, my favourite and possibly most ridiculous Naruto pairing. So thank you very much to everyone who read and reviewed this (your kind and wonderful comments meant the world to me), and I hope you will continue to support this pairing and my terrible, terrible writing. The quality was ESPECIALLY bad in this one, because I was so out of practice. Plus I didn't proof-read it properly (it was 4:40am when I eventually finished :D) so it's probably riddled with mistakes. But nevertheless, I sincerely hope that you enjoyed it, and that it lived up to any expectations you may have had.
And I'm very happy that I can finally stamp a big old "COMPLETE" status on it ;)
Until we meet again.