A/N: Um, yeah. So. This is SerenitySoul's giftfic. She specified GaaNeji, another first for me, but one I was surprisingly comfortable with. She said she liked the way their personalities were in Bonded, so I used that as a jumping point, but the plot has nothing to do with any of my fics. Soley SerentySoul's fic, with its own storyline.

*sweat drops* Hope I did ok... :S

The Bet

Neji stood tall and straight before the Fifth Hokage, trying hard not to grin openly with pride. He maintained his customary self-possessed exterior with an effort.

"You've passed the Jounin exam with flying colors," Tsunade was saying. "The first among your graduating class to do so. In honor of that and in recognition of your excellent record for completing missions successfully, I have a task for you."

"A task, Hokage-sama?" Neji kept his voice even. Inside he was throbbing with excitement.

"Yes. A mission, really. I need you to set up a partnership regarding a certain matter with Sunagakure's new Kazekage. I believe you've met him?"

"I've seen him before, when he was here for the Chuunin exams. I've never actually met him."

"Yes. Well. You will be perfect for this mission. You're diplomatic and calm-natured, just as he is. I expect you back in less than a fortnight."

Perhaps some of Neji's true feelings showed. Tsunade narrowed her eyes at him as she tilted her head. "You've never had a mission quite like this. A lot rests on the outcome. Do you anticipate failure?"

Neji rushed to reassure her. "No, Hokage-sama. I'm confident I will complete the mission successfully."

The Fifth seemed unconvinced for a moment as she swiveled in her chair idly. Then her expression cleared. "All right. I'll trust you. Dismissed."

Neji took the documents she handed him, bowed and left in a dignified manner.

He walked just as demurely back to the Hyuuga estate where he lived with his cousins and their father and a good many other Hyuugas. The estate was mostly deserted as he strode calmly to his room. He shut the door softly, locked it.

Alone at last, Neji whooped, jumped, twirled with one leg in the air in an ungainly arabesque. His first mission as a Jounin! He took the documents out of an inner pocket of his loose shirt and examined them. He was to leave in the morning. Excellent. He had time to savor the moment.

Neji flopped backward on his bed and stared contentedly up at the ceiling. He really had no reason to be so stupidly happy, but he was. Ever since his fight with Naruto, Neji was a much livelier person, more open and accepting of life. He discovered a passion for clothes, fashion and personal grooming as well as a good many other things. This side of himself he kept well hidden from all accept Hinata. She and Neji had grown closer since the Chuunin exams. They shared a lot. She was the only one who knew Neji wasn't a cold-hearted prick.

At any rate, Neji responded to most developments in his life now with cheerful enthusiasm. And when you thought about it, this was something to be happy about. The Hokage herself had just acknowledged him by handing him a solo mission of some import. I can't fuck this up, Neji thought.

He got up to pack his bag for tomorrow. He took care to include his particular brand of conditioner (the desert sun would wreak havoc on his precious hair otherwise) and his favorite hair brush. As an afterthought he tucked in a bottle of extra-moisturizing body lotion.

Gaara stood before his council quietly seething with rage. His face remained blank. He'd been made Kazekage only last week and so far the council did nothing but doubt him and second guess his decisions. Oh, they were content to let him rule, all right, so long as one of the council members was present for every form he signed and every meeting he tried to conduct. He realized it would take time for them to have complete faith in him, but this was ridiculous.

Like right now, for example.

"Kazekage, you should not have initiated proceedings for this partnership with Konoha without consulting us. We-"

"Consult you?" Gaara hissed. "I must consult you before attempting to do my job? You are here to advise me. I do not need to consult you to do anything. I rule Sunagakure, not you."

The one doing the speaking, the eldest male, pursed his lips in annoyance. Had it been left to the council Sabaku no Gaara would not have been made Kazekage at all. It was the Jounins who'd overpowered the council and voted the boy into office. Kankurou and Temari had led that piece of business. Now all the council could do was try and mitigate the situation after the fact.

"You do not need our permission, no," the eldest council member conceded now. "But you need our guidance. Until you know more about running a village you will need us to show you the ropes or you may bring us to ruin."

Gaara couldn't quite keep the frown from darkening his face. Pompous ass! "You're wrong. I would never hurt the village. And I don't need you guiding me. If I require guidance I will seek it. Until such a time arrives, I'll thank you all to leave me alone to do this job to the best of my abilities."

Another council member, this one a crotchety female, spoke up with a certain amount of pleasure. "As a matter of fact, Kazekage, you do need us. This representative from Konoha most likely has orders not to proceed without the full consent of Sunagakure's council and our seal on the documents. Unless they see our seal the partnership cannot go through. The only way would be if they were willing to put their seal first. Such an action would force our hand or we'd risk losing face before Konoha."

Gaara grit his teeth until his jaws ached, but kept a calm expression on his face. "May I assume the council will refuse to grant their seal?"

"You may," the hag chuckled.

"Very well. What is to prevent the representative from giving Konoha's seal anyway?"

"That won't happen. As Konoha is asking us for this boon, they must wait for us to make the first move. They will not give their seal without ours. Protocol, my dear boy, which you would know if you were older and more experienced." The woman sipped from her water flask, her eyes crinkled in satisfaction.

"And if I managed to obtain their seal without yours?" Gaara's light green eyes shimmered with the challenge.

"If you managed to accomplish that," the eldest member said, "it would be unprecedented. It will not happen."

"But it would demonstrate that I'm not some inept child playing at Kage duties. If I obtain that seal you all will swear, in writing, to stay out of my way in all future Kage matters."

The council members exchanged glances. Then they smiled smugly. Gaara would never obtain that seal. They nodded at him in agreement to his proposal.

Gaara bowed stiffly, turned and left the council hall. Once in his office, he slammed the door with all the force he could manage. It didn't alleviate his anger, but it helped a little.

Neji arrived in Suna two days later. He was escorted with some ceremony to the Kazekage's office and left there to wait. He was told, apologetically, that the Kazekage was occupied at the moment and would be with him shortly. Neji nodded in understanding. The door shut behind the bowing guard and Neji was alone in the plush office suite.

He stood facing the door, in front of the Hokage's desk. He was calm and alert, content to remain in the same position as he waited. He was determined to present himself as a solid, dependable and trustworthy individual committed to excellence. Neji let his eyes rove over the brightly lit space as the minutes stretched to half an hour, then longer.

Gaara hurried up the hall to his office, just barely holding himself back from cursing or running. He was sure the council had delayed informing him the Konoha representative had arrived on purpose. No doubt they hoped to piss the rep off and sour the negotiations. Damn them! He slowed down when he reached his door, resting his hand on the handle as he took a few calming breaths. He made sure his face was free of sweat, his hair neat, his clothes un-rumpled. He was not in the habit of hurrying anywhere. Another small win for the council; they were succeeding in getting under his skin. He closed his eyes briefly, settling his nerves. He had to get that seal from Konoha and end the council's meddling. He'd never know peace otherwise.

He opened the door to his office.

Neji stopped gazing at an oil painting on the wall when the handle on the door depressed and the door opened. He unconsciously straightened his already ramrod straight spine and lifted his chin. He pasted a look of open neutrality on his features. He'd never really seen Gaara up close. He took his time looking now as the Kazekage ran his eyes up and down Neji's body in an odd way.

For someone who lives in the desert his hair is shockingly well-maintained, Neji thought approvingly. His opinion of the Kazekage went up several notches just from this observation. He definitely conditions regularly. Then he noticed how smooth the skin was. Keeping soft skin in this arid climate probably wasn't easy. That the Kazekage paid such attention to personal grooming told Neji that this was someone who was meticulous about his body, in short, someone Neji would be able to do business with quite easily.

Neji next took in the attire. The garment the redhead wore was pure silk, extravagant and elegant. Neji coveted it immediately. It suited the Kazekage's slightly golden complexion perfectly. The Hyuuga didn't think this was an accident; the man obviously knew how to dress. Neji's mind was made up. Gaara of the Desert was a kindred soul. Neji intended to secure a friendship out of this mission. For now, he bowed deeply as the red-haired youth closed the door slowly behind himself.

Gaara had never in his life seen such physical beauty and perfection. His eyes nearly came from his head to dangle by their stalks as he stared at the representative. By the eyes he knew the man to be a Hyuuga. My God, Gaara thought. He leaned on the door weakly, feeling his skin crawl in blatant, staggering attraction. The hair…the body…that face.

Long hair was rare in the desert. It was too hot to really cultivate lengthy locks. Gaara's eyes were drawn to Neji's waist-length tresses again and again. The body was long, lean, sculpted. The face was that of a god, made for tempting lesser mortals. Gaara felt his heart hammering as the eyes looked at him in turn. Then the Hyuuga was bowing deeply and Gaara was recalled to the fact that he was supposed to be conducting business in a refined manner not drooling like some idiot. Christ!

Gaara murmured for Neji to be at ease as he pushed away from the door and moved to sit behind his desk. The old formalities, drilled into his skull, spilled from his numb lips without him thinking about them. He made a show of shuffling already neat papers on his desk as he savagely admonished himself to get a grip. When he had his breathing under control and his heart had settled into a reasonably steady rhythm, Gaara at last raised his eyes to the Hyuuga's.

Neji saw the Kazekage's hands shaking very slightly. He wondered about it briefly before Gaara was speaking again and distracting him.

"I'm sorry, I remember seeing you fight Uzumaki Naruto, but your name escapes me."

"Hyuuga Neji," Neji bowed again.

"A pleasure," Gaara stated. "Please sit down."

Neji sat.

Gaara wondered how to begin. He remembered the council and their cursed interference and that cooled his attraction somewhat, helping him think. "I have the documents prepared and ready for your seal, if you'd care to have a look at them?"

This was a bit more abrupt than Neji had expected, but he nodded. Gaara selected a folder on his desk and pushed it across the wooden surface with his fingertips. Neji took it, opened it and proceeded to examine the documents therein. Gaara took the time to inhale the smell coming from Neji, something he'd noticed as soon as he sat at his desk. It was a light, fresh scent, something like pine trees. Woodsy.

"I think there's a problem," Neji said at length. A small frown wrinkled the skin of his brow as he looked at the documents. "I was given to understand this arrangement needed Sunagakure's council approval. I see your seal but I don't see theirs here." Neji looked up at the Kazekage questioningly.

Gaara spread his hands in a would-be helpless gesture. "The council wants your seal first. I'm afraid I can't get theirs without yours."


Gaara didn't feel telling the truth would present him in a good light. On the contrary, it would make him seem like a weak puppet. However, no other reason would hold water. His mind searched for an answer as Neji spoke again.

"Konoha would lose face if they gave their seal first," the Hyuuga said carefully. "I'm afraid I'm under orders to obtain your council's approval before continuing with this partnership."

Gaara's lips thinned. "I'm sorry, but it won't be forthcoming."

Neji was shocked. "I little expected Suna to behave so dishonorably, especially after the alliance we struck up after the Sasuke incident. And especially not from someone like yourself." Neji stood up.

Gaara did as well. "Wait. Please." He stopped, not knowing what else to say. Damn the council!

Neji did stop. He could not fail on this mission, he just couldn't. He hoped the Kazekage had a solution that didn't involve Neji shaming his village.

Gaara didn't have a solution, but he couldn't let Neji leave without getting that seal. He thought frantically. "Where are you staying?" he asked the Hyuuga.

"At an inn."

"I see," Gaara said, thinking as he spoke. "Cancel your reservations. I'd like you to be a guest in my palace. Perhaps we can come to some kind of mutually acceptable arrangement."

Neji hesitated only a moment. "All right. Thank you."

Gaara personally escorted Neji to an opulent suite of rooms. The Hyuuga was given a servant to serve him exclusively during his stay before the redhead asked if Neji would dine with him. Neji agreed.

Neji prowled around his room in stunned disbelief before the appointed dinner hour. Such luxury! His feet sank nearly to the ankle in the plush carpet. Incense burned, scenting the room with spicy fragrance. He pulled back the cashmere blanket to reveal satiny sheets. Neji ran his palm across it and wanted to moan at the thought of laying his naked body against such decadence.

He changed his clothes, brushed his hair and otherwise freshened up before his servant arrived to take him to wherever Gaara was dining.

The terrace Neji was led to was redolent of desert blooms. He spotted night-blooming jasmine and inhaled deeply. Gaara was waiting for him at a low table. He gestured for Neji to take the cushion opposite him.

The partnership and lack of seals from either party wasn't mentioned until the desserts were being consumed. They spoke of other things, how Gaara came to be Kazekage, etc. Neji was curling his lips around a spoonful of melon-flavored ice-cream when Gaara brought up the point of contention between them.

"I'm afraid if you don't consent to give Konoha's seal it would cause a lot of problems for me," the redhead said delicately. "You could do worse than to be personally indebted to the Kazekage."

Neji considered it carefully. In truth, no one besides him and Gaara would really know who gave whose seal first once the documents were signed and presented to the Hokage. Sometime during the meal, when the issue had hovered between them like a silent trembling membrane stretched taut, it had become a battle of wills to see who would give in first. Neji sensed there was more to the issue from the Kazekage's side but didn't ask.

It rankled. His first mission as a Jounin, the trust Tsunade had put in him…he didn't want to give in. Personal debts aside, he might unwittingly taint Konoha as weak by capitulating. Neji raised his eyes to Gaara's.

The Kazekage read the expression correctly: I'll give in if you will. He sighed. Then he had an idea. "Perhaps I could perform some favor for you before you give your seal?"

"I will not be bought." Neji's voice was a touch cool, but Gaara ignored it.

"What can I say to make you reconsider?"

"Nothing. You know I'm right in this."

"I do know it, just as I know that I'm regrettably unable to observe custom in this instance."

Neji felt Gaara had skated across the reason behind his actions just now. When no further information was forthcoming, Neji set his spoon down near his empty plate, touched his linen napkin to the corners of his mouth and made to get up.

Gaara stood as well. "I'm sorry you feel as you do. Perhaps you'll change your mind during your stay with us." Gaara moved to open the terrace doors for Neji, a courtesy that wasn't lost on the Hyuuga. The action brought Gaara's head right beneath Neji's nose and he caught a whiff of a scent he recognized as the most expensive shampoo on the market. It was also the best. He paused in the doorway.

"That's Rainforest's Eucalyptus."

Gaara looked up, puzzled. "I beg your pardon?"

"Your shampoo. It's Eucalyptus from the Rainforest product line."

Gaara put a hand to his hair. "Yes. I always use Rainforest's products. They're the best."

"Unquestionably. Their new conditioner has been sold out for months. I only managed to obtain one bottle and the cost nearly drained my savings."

Gaara let the door swing shut. "You seem knowledgeable about beauty products."

"So do you. I've been meaning to ask you what skin moisturizer you use. Is it their Rose Milk or their Green Tea Body Cream?"

"Neither," Gaara said. "The air here is exceedingly dry so I use their Spearmint and Sage Revitalizing Body Oil. Right after my daily massage I-"

"Daily massage? That works wonders for circulation and stress," Neji said. His eyes were glowing, the topic being discussed obviously highly interesting to him.

Gaara noticed. The rudiments of a plan came to him. "Don't I know it. In fact, I was about to go down and have one now…if you'd care to join me?"

Neji felt it would be churlish for him to refuse. He accepted graciously.

Gaara led the way to his personal suite of rooms where his own masseuse was already setting up in the large room adjoining the bathroom. An extra masseuse was called up for Neji. The Hyuuga took a moment to acknowledge that it was highly irregular for a representative to receive a massage (no doubt given nude) in a Kage's room. Then he shrugged. Gaara turned to him.

"I normally bathe before a massage. Do you mind?"

Neji didn't see why he should mind. Unless…"Ah. Should I…bathe, too?"

"It's better if you do" Gaara said calmly. He'd been able to put his attraction to the Hyuuga firmly in the back of his mind during dinner, focused as he was on finding a solution to their dilemma. Now, though, the thought of seeing this beautiful young man naked had his attraction raging high again. He turned away before Neji could see him blush.

"Well…I suppose that would be all right," Neji said as he saw a servant pouring handfuls of Rainforest's bath beads into the large sunken tub. He'd do almost anything to sit in that water now. Stripping was a small price to pay for a chance to experience those costly bath beads.

"Great," Gaara said. He did notice how Neji's eyes skipped to the servants and masseuses as he began unlacing his loose shirt. Gaara understood and dismissed them. When they were alone he took off his own clothes and slipped into the large tub. There were thick blue-tinged suds covering the surface of the hot water. Steam billowed up, making the room hazy.

Not too hazy to see Neji. The Hyuuga's hair swung around a body that would put Greek statues to shame. It was long, lean, muscled, but not overly so. The skin was an even, pale peach all over. Gaara was pleased to note that Neji followed his own practice of removing any and all body hair. He studied Neji's package as the Hyuuga stepped carefully into the water with a hiss followed by a groan.

"Too hot?" Gaara asked. He shifted in the water, placing a hand over his sudden erection, squeezing it. That groan had been almost sexual.

"Heavenly. Sweet Jesus, this is just what the doctor ordered." Neji leaned back with his eyes closed, letting his hair trail in the water.

Gaara could feel his entire ribcage vibrating with the force of his heartbeats. That organ slammed itself repeatedly against his chest, as if trying to commit suicide. Gaara was actually panting. He edged closer to Neji. "So," he said in a shaking voice. "Tell me your beauty regimen?"

Neji was happy to oblige. He hadn't yet met a man with knowledge and appreciation of personal grooming to equal his. Gaara was like a breath of fresh air.

As Neji spoke, Gaara listened and responded in the appropriate places. He talked of his own regimen, pointing out areas in Neji's that could use improvement. Neji accepted his advice willingly. And all the while, Gaara was helpless not to move closer and closer to the Hyuuga. The man's body was like a siren call to Gaara, drawing him though he reprimanded himself to resist.

At last the time came to wash and rinse off. Gaara, still operating under his sketchy outline of a plan, offered to wash Neji's glorious hair with the eucalyptus shampoo. Neji demurred at first, feeling this was too intimate. Then he agreed.

It was while Gaara was pouring the pink liquid into his palm that he began to have ideas about fucking Neji. Up to now he'd been content to suffer his potent attraction in silence. As he ran his hands through Neji's long, thick hair, however, that changed.

Neji groaned again as Gaara's strong fingers rubbed his scalp, massaged his temples and combed through the faint snarls the water had caused in his hair. Gaara's cock gave a single hard pulse at that groan and he felt precum leaking from him.

"You're good at that," Neji murmured.

"Thank you. I'm good at a lot of things. May I wash your back?"

Neji opened his eyes at last. Gaara was behind him. The strangeness of the situation struck him again and he hesitated, wondering if he should go to his room. He decided that to give up this divine bath would insult the Kazekage and perhaps further complicate negotiations. "All right."

Gaara got a cotton cloth, poured body gel into it and soaped Neji's back in long, sure strokes. He had to pause as desire pooled sudden and hot in his loins. He moved a bit closer to Neji.

Neji froze, his back stiff. He'd felt something touch his lower back just now that felt suspiciously like- "What are you doing?" he queried in alarm.

What Gaara was doing was quite simply giving in to his body's demands to taste the creamy flesh so like his own. His lips halted in their exploration of Neji's shoulder. He sighed. Then he came around to face Neji's wide eyes. "Do you like men, Neji?"

"Men? What, sexually?"


Neji backed up until he was pressed to the tub wall. The water came to his chest. "No. Of course not. I'm str-uh!"

Gaara had followed him and reached out a hand beneath the water to close it around Neji's flaccid cock. He squeezed gently, rhythmically, until it began swelling in his palm. "Stop it," Neji hissed in dismay.

"Why don't you stop me yourself," Gaara whispered. Now he was right next to Neji, his lips against the Hyuuga's throat. Neji shuddered. "See, I think maybe you do like men, you just don't know it. I'm sort of experienced in these kinds of things; I can tell your true nature is like mine."

"You're crazy," Neji said in a strained voice. Had his cock ever been this hard?? God, that hand…why was he allowing this?!?!

"Am I? Seems you haven't made a move to stop me yet…" Gaara began to withdraw his hand. Neji's own hand shot out and held Gaara's wrist. Gaara lifted a brow. Neji said nothing, only panted through his nose. After a few seconds, Gaara resumed his earlier actions. He timed his movements to Neji's breathing, increasing the speed as Neji quickly lost control. The Hyuuga came silently, his brows coming together in a frown as his lips pulled back from his white teeth. He jerked forward a bit, his hair obscuring his face.

Gaara did withdraw his hand then. He tucked Neji's hair behind his ear, waiting for the Hyuuga to speak. At last he did in a faint, gasping voice.

"I don't like men," he said. "That was just my body reacting to what you were doing."

Gaara wisely chose not to point out that Neji had consciously stopped him from pulling his hand away. "I disagree. Are you saying I could touch you wherever I wanted on your body and you wouldn't enjoy it?"

"Precisely." Neji moved to stand. Gaara lightly grasped his balls. Neji sat back down slowly, closing eyes as he swallowed hard. "Move your hand."

"I find your protests weak," Gaara said easily. He rolled the orbs gently in his palm. "Tell you what, why don't we put it to the test?"

"What-what do you mean?" Neji gasped sharply as Gaara gave an extra little squeeze.

"If you can truly withstand my, uh, ministrations and remain unmoved, I'll consider that you really don't like men. If not…"

"If not?" Neji grit his teeth against the hot hand between his legs, but met those sea green eyes.

"If not," Gaara said as the plan finally came together in his mind, "you must agree to give me Konoha's seal."

Neji tried to speak, but that hand was scattering his thoughts. His mouth opened and closed soundlessly. Gaara's hand shifted, pressed just beneath his balls and Neji's head fell back as his eyes began closing. He felt Gaara moving closer to him. Why couldn't he resist??? What was wrong with him?

"Let me seduce you, Neji," Gaara whispered into his ear. "I'm good. You'll enjoy it, I promise. And you are of course free to stop me at any time."

Neji slit his eyes open, found Gaara's face hovering a scant two inches above his own. He said nothing. Gaara moved in.

Neji concluded two things very quickly: 1. Kissing a man was a helluva lot better than kissing a girl. 2. He was going to lose this little bet in short order.

Still, he figured he could save some of his pride by not letting it show just yet. For now, he focused on the lips that coaxed his apart. He checked a moan at the last possible instant as Gaara's tongue made contact with his own. Such pleasure was beyond the range of his expertise. Especially since that hand was creeping up his shaft again even as they slid under the surface of the water.

Gaara kept an arm around Neji as they tumbled in a slowly revolving circle. He pushed off against the wall toward the deeper part of the large tub that was like a small pool. When they came up for air Neji was gasping. Gaara assessed the defiant look in those white eyes before grasping Neji's hips and drawing them flush against his own. Neji's jaws were clamped shut around the cry that nearly escaped him. Their chests and groins slid against each other soapily. Then Gaara was kissing him again and Neji hung on tight as they were submerged a second time.

This time Gaara guided Neji's legs around his waist. A tremor passed through Neji at how vulnerable that made him feel. Gaara's cock was a hard exclamation point against his own. Neji's hair floated around their heads as they sank slowly to the bottom. Gaara's mouth was firm and insistent, his hands strong as they kneaded Neji's shoulders. A minute later Gaara propelled them both toward the wide shallow steps that led down into the pool. He encouraged a panting Neji to recline there.

Gaara got serious.

He left Neji's mouth to taste the cord standing out along his throat. He nipped it gently, noting that Neji was sensitive behind his ear and at the hollow of his throat. Gaara sucked this hollow for long minutes. When Neji's breathing was ragged, he moved lower.

Neji grabbed Gaara's silky red hair at feeling the rough surface of his tongue drag across one nipple. Still he uttered no sound, did not quite give in. Gaara began a tight suction on the other nipple and Neji squeezed his eyes shut, feeling his cock jump. He tried to take deep steadying breaths, tried to regain control of his body.

Why bother, a voice said in his head. You already know you're going to lose. You may not like men, but you definitely like Gaara touching you. Are you stupid enough to believe he doesn't know he's already won? Pathetic.


A moot point anyway; Neji was thrown beyond speech when Gaara's mouth lowered over his aching erection. Neji's hips cleared the inch or two of water on the steps as he bucked. Gaara shifted, held him down, sucked harder.


Gaara paused at hearing this from Neji. Then he resumed sucking. He didn't move his head yet, didn't take it beyond the moderate suction he was giving. He waited patiently as Neji's arousal twisted tighter…tighter…he was close to coming again, Gaara could tell. Another few seconds…

Gaara left off the sucking as he released Neji's cock just before he could come. He grabbed it quickly in his hand, held it in his fist to prevent Neji from climaxing.

Neji let out a bellow at the acute pleasure/pain. He snatched at Gaara's hand. "What…why…you…"

"If you want me to continue," Gaara said quietly, "I'm afraid you're going to have to tell me what I want to hear."

Neji was seeing stars behind his lids. If he didn't come soon…"What-"

"I think you know what, Neji." Gaara leaned down and licked the slit just visible over the top of his fist. Neji let out a thin scream between his teeth.

"All right!" Neji bit out. "I…like...I like men. God!"

"And you'll give me Konoha's seal?"

"Yes! Yes, whatever you want just-"

Gaara wasted no time. This time he bobbed his head as he sucked and Neji came hard, sliding down the steps a bit, grabbing for the silver railing above his head. His legs shuddered around Gaara's shoulders as the Kazekage swallowed repeatedly.

When it was over Gaara came and reclined next to Neji, waiting until the Hyuuga caught his breath. When he had, he asked, "Do you want to continue? We don't have to of course, since you've already agreed to-"

Neji turned to Gaara and dragged his head towards him, kissing him hotly. Gaara was caught off guard, but yielded. He rolled so that he was braced on his palms above Neji, slanting his head to give himself greater access to Neji's greedy mouth. Neji's leg came up to cradle Gaara's hip. His hands, capable of such destruction, ran slowly down Gaara's back. Gaara's torso was surprisingly strong, made muscular by years of carrying his heavy gourd of sand. His clothes hid his physique well, Neji realized. The muscles were lean, but rock hard. Neji explored this strength as Gaara lowered his body to Neji's until they were pressed skin to skin. Now Neji moaned.

"Sit up," Gaara whispered.

Neji complied. Gaara moved to the lowest step, one about a foot under the water. He sat and guided Neji until he was sitting in Gaara's lap, facing away from him. Neji stiffened at feeling Gaara's cock pressed to his lower back, but Gaara only held him thus, kissing his shoulder blades. Neji relaxed.

Gaara took his time. He ran his hands over the long muscles of Neji's back, ran two fingertips down the valley of his spine. He moved Neji's hair aside to kiss the nape of his neck. His hands came around Neji's waist. One arm he left wrapped around that waist, but the other he angled up over Neji's chest until Gaara's right hand rested near Neji's left shoulder. He pressed, silently telling the Hyuuga to lean back against him. Neji did, exposing his throat to Gaara's mouth. Gaara closed his lips on Neji's neck, sucking softly as he rubbed Neji's cock with languid strokes. Every time the Hyuuga involuntarily bucked away from him, Gaara brought him back with that arm angled across his chest. He shifted his hand from Neji's hard cock.

"Ooohh, Gaara….no," Neji whimpered.

"Yes," Gaara hissed. His fingers continued to probe the tight ring of flesh between Neji's lower cheeks until he was able to squeeze one finger in.

"Aiiii," Neji panted.

"Shhh…it gets easier." Gaara worked a second finger in, holding Neji down with his arm.

"Oh, god, don't-"

"I will."

"I can't-"

"You can."


"Hold still, Neji." Gaara eased the three fingers in and out of Neji's sphincter slowly, twisting and spreading the fingers just before he pulled them out. Neji was breathing harshly, his body tensed, his muscles coiled to spring. Gaara lifted Neji's hips, positioned himself at his entrance then released his hold on Neji's waist.

Neji's weight dropped him down on Gaara's solid nine inches before he really knew what was happening. Gaara slid up his tight passage steadily until Neji's torso was arched on him like a drawn bowstring. His quivered there, his mouth frozen open, undecided on whether or not to scream in pain or pleasure. He was dimly aware of his own cock standing at stiff attention, of the fact that he'd stopped breathing and would soon pass out from lack of oxygen.

Then both of Gaara's arms were there, coming around Neji's straining upper body to hold him securely, anchoring him to Gaara's own warm chest. The water lapped at Neji's thighs as he began breathing again in hitching breaths.

Deep. Gaara was in him so deeply! Neji could hardly draw breath, he was so full of Gaara. The Kazekage lifted and lowered Neji's hips slowly, giving him time to adjust, teaching him the rhythm. Neji's head lolled back on Gaara's shoulder and Gaara murmured to him, whispered encouragement along his hairline. The pain became bearable, lessened, was replaced by sharp pleasure. Neji braced his hands behind him on Gaara's waist as he took over the leisurely riding motion. He gasped, had to bite his lip as Gaara brushed past something inside him. Then he was riding with more confidence, Gaara goading him on with sexy words.

"That's it, Neji, ride me. Ride me hard, Hyuuga, I can take it. Faster…just like that…don't stop, Neji, not even if you come."

Neji certainly felt himself close to coming at hearing these hoarse words. He grew weak with the sensation, unable to go on. Gaara displayed his greater physical strength and managed to turn them both around without leaving Neji's body. Neji was now on all fours on the slippery steps, his elbows braced higher than his hips. Gaara knelt behind him.

The cavernous bathroom rang with Neji's bellowing yells as Gaara pumped his ass hard and fast. Their hips made loud, wet slapping sounds. Gaara twined one hand in Neji's dripping hair and pulled his head back as he fucked him as hard as he possibly could. Neji didn't stop yelling once. Gaara stood, angled his thrusts and aimed for Neji's prostate. Neji pounded the stairs with his fist, nearly crying in pleasure. He was screaming now, the vicious thrusts driving him past all sense of pride or reservation.

"You like that, Neji?" Gaara gasped.

"Yes, oh God…"

"Squeeze your ass muscles, Neji. Fight me."

Neji tried and nearly fainted at how good it felt. He dropped his head to his forearms and struggled not to inhale the bathwater as Gaara reached around Neji to grab his cock.

Gaara was a demon, Neji his willing slave and the red-haired young man everyone thought was so conservative used the Hyuuga until they both came explosively.

Even then, Gaara didn't back out of Neji until the Hyuuga was sprawled forward on the steps. Gaara sat on his haunches and spread Neji's cheeks wide. He watched as his fluids oozed out of Neji's hole. Neji stirred weakly, muttering in embarrassment, but Gaara leaned down and sucked Neji's hole clean. That had the Hyuuga shuddering uncontrollably, moaning into his palm. Neji was turned onto his back, his legs lifted as that red head moved expertly between his thighs. Neji shifted, his muscles tensing and releasing as that tongue worked inside him, across his balls, along his stiffening cock.

Gaara climbed over him and entered him again just beneath the rippled surface of the cooling water. His face was stern as he gazed down into Neji's passion-clouded eyes. Neji's back was shoved painfully into the edge of the stairs with each thrust but he lifted his legs higher. Gaara lowered his face to Neji's neck, thrusting harder and harder.

Neji stared blindly up at the ceiling as he felt another orgasm building. "Gaara…"

When the water was cold, Gaara led Neji to the adjoining room that had the massage tables set up. He dried Neji off with a warmed towel, blotted the long mahogany hair dry with another. He made Neji, silent with belated embarrassment, lie face down on one of the tables. Gaara selected the same body oil he'd mentioned after dinner and poured some into his cupped palm. A few drops spilled onto Neji's back and the Hyuuga flinched slightly. Gaara rubbed his hands together and began at Neji's feet.

Gaara had a working knowledge of reflexology and soon had Neji panting in desire again as he stimulated key areas on the soles of his feet. He ran his strong hands up Neji's calves, lingered over the backs of his knees, kneaded the hard muscles behind his thighs. At Neji's ass, Gaara paused to retrieve more oil.

Neji bit his hand to keep from crying out as three fingers slipped easily inside him. They twisted in and out several times, making him arch his ass upward for more. The fingers were withdrawn as Gaara poured more oil, this time directly on Neji's hole. Then he left the room for a few moments. When he came back, he was holding something that Neji couldn't identify. He was almost afraid to ask what it was.

Gaara held the curved prostate vibrator in one hand as he made sure Neji was properly lubed with the other. He inserted the vibrator slowly, carefully, mindful that Neji was still sore. Once it was firmly seated in place, Gaara told Neji to turn over.

Neji was about to comment on the slightly uncomfortable feeling when Gaara's oiled hands began smoothing up and down his semi-erect cock. Neji hissed in pleasure. The strokes were excruciatingly slow, almost torturous. Neji wanted it harder, faster...Gaara reached between his legs to the object in his ass and switched it on.

Gaara had to quickly throw his body across Neji's to keep the Hyuuga from leaping to the ceiling. He grabbed the sides of the table to hold them both in place as Neji's body strained upward powerfully, his legs kicking. He screamed incessantly, the stimulation to his prostate driving him insane.

A few kicks to the face later, Gaara managed to turn the vibrator to its lowest setting. By then Neji had come right in his ear. He lay moaning and shivering on the table as the vibrations simmered down to something slightly more bearable.

"Sorry," Gaara murmured as he wiped at his ear. "That might have been a bit too much..."

Neji was discovering he'd bitten his tongue. He tasted blood. Then Gaara was climbing onto the table. He knelt over Neji's face as the Hyuuga fought not to scream again; the vibrator was still working in him and his body felt extra sensitive.

"I want to fuck your face, Neji," Gaara said with quiet intensity. "Open up for me. Open wide."

Neji was mortified to find this pronouncement elicited a moan of desire from him. The thought alone...

His jaws creaked at being stretched so wide. Gaara's taste flooded his senses. Beneath the faintly soapy flavor, Gaara's skin was a little salty, his precum more so. Neji had to lean up on his elbows as Gaara held his head steady. He fucked Neji's mouth in short jerky thrusts that hit the back of Neji's throat periodically. Neji gagged, but managed to keep his mouth open and receptive.

Gaara reached behind him and turned the vibrator up another notch. Neji's mouth sagged open, releasing the cock to moan sharply. Gaara cupped the back of his neck, guiding himself back in. High buzzing of the vibrator augmented the grunts and moans both young men were giving.

Neither of them lasted long this time. Neji shot his hot load all over Gaara's back as the Kazekage emptied down Neji's throat. The Hyuuga sputtered once, but managed to swallow the rest of the thick liquid without complaint.

Gaara squeezed his body down next to Neji's on the narrow surface of the table. After a few seconds he was able to reach between Neji's limp thighs and removed the vibrator. Neji sighed in relief.

"Kiss me," Gaara said awhile later. "I like tasting myself on you."

They kissed on the thin table until it collapsed under their combined weight. They took a moment to ascertain that they were unhurt. Then Neji said, "Eat my ass again. I liked that."

The council studied Gaara with suspicious eyes as he handed them the documents with Konoha's seal stamped brazenly at the bottom. The eldest member twisted his lips in disgust and he, in turn, handed Gaara the signed promise of the council to cease all interference in Kage affairs unless expressly asked for their opinion. Gaara took it, scrutinized it, and tucked it into an inner pocket of his clothes. He left the council hall without a backward glance or a word.

The council wondered just what it was Gaara was doing in his room all these days. The Kazekage had hardly left his quarters in the past week.

Tsunade read the letter from the Kazekage for a third time. It stated that Neji would be required to remain in Suna for some time past the fortnight she'd allowed him. The Kazekage apologized profusely for this appropriation of her Jounin representative and hoped the enclosed documents, signed and sealed by Suna's council would help ameliorate any displeasure the Hokage might feel towards Hyuuga Neji; he'd completed his mission successfully.

The Fifth Hokage wondered briefly what could be further delaying Neji. She made a mental note to ask him as soon as he returned as she summoned Shizune to file the documents away.