Summary: It is not enough for a man to know how to ride; he must know how to fall.

Authors: Disgruntled Minion and Imperial Mint.


Know How to Fall

Epilogue: Part Two


The sun was hidden behind thick gray clouds as Naruto stood outside the barn. His hands were shoved into the pockets of his jacket and he opened his mouth, puffing out air. He grinned as his breath came out in a cloud of smoke and tilted his head back to do it again.

It was something that always amused him, even though he hated the cold. He grinned and curled his tongue, trying to see if he could somehow make a smoke ring. He wasn't sure if it was possible, but he always tried anyway.

His head dropped back down as hooves sounded on the ground and he turned around to face Itachi as the Uchiha led the horses out.

"Susanoo's only on light exercise so I'm afraid it'll have to be a new horse for you. Luckily he's a bit cobbish and practically unspookable. A slow and steady ride is what you'll have." Itachi pulled a chestnut horse slightly ahead of the dun thoroughbred cross he was going to ride.

Naruto looked scared and Itachi couldn't blame him. He'd been terrified the first time he'd ridden Western, but he wanted Naruto to have a proper go.

"He's called Arthur. My one's called Jerry. I'm just going to tie him up for a moment while I help you."

Itachi left Naruto in the company of Arthur while he took the dun horse to the edge of the school, hooking the reins over the horse's head and onto the fence, tying them in a loose knot. Not exactly safe, but he'd only be a moment.

"I'll give you a leg up," he said, returning to a fidgety Naruto. Itachi wasn't sure if it was because he'd forced a hard hat and body protector onto him (much to Naruto's displeasure) or if it was the whole experience.

He helped position Naruto once he was on, pushing his hips back a little and deeper in the seat. He straightened his legs, bending them back at the correct place, before slipping Naruto's feet into the stirrups.

"There, now I'll be back in a moment. Why don't you try walking around?"

Naruto nodded and urged Arthur forward into an easy walk. He kept wanting to switch the reins over into one hand and guide him through neck reining but that wasn't the proper way this time.

Instead, he used both hands and gently directed the horse. He tried a circle, pulling the rein back to his knee as he had seen Itachi do before. A grin crossed his face when Arthur's body started to curve into a circle and he guided the chestnut over to Itachi.

"I made him turn!" he said happily and resisted the urge to bounce in the saddle. Steady horse or not, it wasn't something he wanted to put Arthur through. A light blush crept across his face when he realized how childish he sounded and he glanced towards Itachi, waiting for him to explain what they were doing next.

Itachi smiled at Naruto, loosening Jerry's reins as he sat deeply in the saddle. He threaded his feet through the stirrups and moved his leg a fraction, sending Jerry to a walk. He moved his horse to walk beside Naruto's, looping his reins and tying them so that he could let go of them fully and not have them slip down.

"You just need to adjust your hold a little," Itachi reached over, pushing Naruto's hips forward a little, causing him to sit deeper. "It's different to Western, but it's also the same." Itachi frowned. "That wasn't a very good sentence was it?"

He chuckled, pulling away from Naruto. "You can control a horse by your seat alone."

Itachi raised his hands above his head and clenched his muscles slightly. Jerry stopped a few seconds later and Itachi shifted his position slightly again. Jerry walked on, turning as Itachi moved in little motions.

"And that's what you do in Western too. More than you think. So don't be scared by what I'm about to do."

Itachi was back next to Naruto and he urged Jerry to trot, clicking his tongue. As predicted, Naruto's horse picked his pace up, transitioning into a rocky trot.

Naruto stiffened slightly before letting his body relax again. Nothing good ever came out of riding when your body was tense. His hips moved forward with the gait as he had seen Itachi do whenever he rode the trot.

It helped to smooth out the rockiness of the trot and he figured it wasn't too bad. He had ridden worse before.

His eyes darted over to Itachi and he smiled widely. His nervousness was slowly fading away as the minutes passed and he trotted back to Itachi. Arther slowed down to a walk at his asking and he looked at Itachi.

"Not quite Olympic riding but I'm not on the ground," he said with a laugh.

Itachi steered his horse next to Naruto and smiled. They walked next to each other for a while, talking casually and enjoying the pace. The horses were content to walk next to each other calmly as their riders discussed the upcoming visit.

"I'm hoping Susanoo can be covered in a few days and then all we have to do is wait for the vet to confirm conception... and then we'll take her home. Did you have anything you wanted to do while we're in England?" Itachi half turned in the saddle, smiling at Naruto.

Naruto's eyebrows furrowed as he thought before he finally nodded. "Can we go to the pubs that you're always talking about?" he asked. He had never been to a proper pub before and was curious to see one that Itachi had mentioned it.

He had always been under the impression that they were the same things as a bar, but Itachi had been quick to fix his mistake.

"Sure," he said, turning his horse into the centre and preparing to dismount. "I suppose we should go for a shower now and pick up some shopping and then we can go to one of the local pubs."

Itachi dismounted and brought the rein's over Jerry's head, waiting for Naruto before he led them out. They walked to the line of stables and let the horses loose, untacking them.

The moved up the small hill to the house and Naruto glanced at Itachi, a small grin stretching across his face. "You know, I think you should come shower with me. That way, if the water gets cold, I'll have a warm body to keep me from getting cold."

Itachi raised an eyebrow. "Really now? Well, that does sound promising... but it's a small shower." Itachi smirked, "We'd be awfully close."

Naruto chuckled and Itachi drew him close, walking together in a one-armed embrace each.

"I think I'd be fine with that," Naruto commented as they entered their room. He turned his head to give Itachi a quick kiss before grabbing some new clothes. Without another word, he slipped into the empty hallway and made his way to the bathroom. He paused outside the bathroom door and glanced at Itachi. "Will you wash my back?" he asked, voice low and husky.

Itachi raised an eyebrow, cocking a smirk.

"Well," he began. "I didn't agree to anything of the sort, but I suppose..."

He gave a huff of laugh as Naruto pushed against his side. Itachi opened the door, stepping inside and pulling Naruto in, not stopping him before their chests bumped. Itachi kissed Naruto, leaning down slightly and pressing his lips against Naruto's heart, warming at the familiar sensation.

They broke apart a moment later and Itachi pulled the shower curtain across the tub, switching the clunking water system on and pulling at Naruto's clothes, trying to get him out of them as quickly as possible.

Naruto chuckled at Itachi's attempts and his hands joined in, making things harder as their fingers battled to undo buttons and push away the pieces of clothes. In the end, Naruto abandoned his own clothes in favor of getting Itachi out of his shirt, shivering slightly as his pants were pushed to the floor.

He leaned forward, lips pressing against Itachi's as he worked to get Itachi's pants off. They were the only thing keeping them from getting into the warm shower and the faster they came off, the quicker they could enjoy the shower together.

At Naruto's eagerness, Itachi smirked, kicking his own trousers off and throwing them across the small room. They might have landed halfway down the toilet for all Itachi could care, but that wasn't right there and then, and he focused instead on climbing into the shower.

"Look at you," Itachi said, mouth warm as he brought Naruto under the spray, resting his chest against Naruto's back. "How did I end up with someone as gorgeous as you?"

Naruto flushed slightly and pressed back into Itachi. Such simple words and they never failed to make his heart race and feel as though he was falling for Itachi all over again. He turned his head to the side and let his lips brush against Itachi's in a heated kiss. A small sigh left his mouth as Itachi's hand rested on his hip, keeping him close as their tongues curled and wrapped around each other.

"You spoil me," Naruto murmured when they broke apart.

Water was free flowing and warm and Itachi closed his eyes for a moment, completely relaxed. Naruto pressed against him and he smiled, opening his eyes and ducking his head out of the water, kissing a line down Naruto's nose and smoothing his hands over his hips, slipping down until his fingers rested against Naruto's thighs, temptingly.

"Perhaps," he muttered, voice low as he reached for the shower gel at the side of the tub. He squeezed some onto his palm, bringing his hand up and running it across Naruto's collar. He massaged the gel over Naruto's shoulders, gently and lovingly, before moving back around and down Naruto's chest.

A small purr left Naruto's throat and he watched as the teasing hand trailed down his chest, his breath hitching as fingers brushed over his nipples. It was an innocent touch, but it still sent sparks racing through his body. The fingers were gone the next moment and Naruto watched as they continued to move down his body, tracing every dip and curve on his torso.

He jerked as Itachi's nails scrapped lightly over his sides, the action making him shiver as a sensitive spot was touched. There wasn't a spot on his body that Itachi didn't know about and the older male knew how to play him like an instrument. Touching him in such a way that Naruto was brought to the highest peaks of pleasure and leaving him trembling under those talented fingers.

With a wicked grin, Itachi pulled Naruto under the water's stream, smoothing over his skin once more as he washed the gel off. All the time he made sure he was aligned with Naruto, making sure that Naruto could feel his arousal, could feel how much he wanted this and how much he ached for it.

His hand still had some soap suds as he reached down, past the curve of Naruto's cheeks and past his perineum, cupping Naruto's balls gently, massaging them to feel their weight. He felt Naruto start, push back into him, and smiled wider. His thumb hovered just over the skin between ball sac and cleft, just above the small pleasure spot he knew would drive Naruto wild.

Not yet though, Itachi thought, ever so slightly pushing down on the heated skin, kissing Naruto's neck as he gasped, wanting more. Itachi would give him more, but not just yet.

"Tease," Naruto panted and he pushed his hips back against Itachi's erection. He groaned as he felt it slide against his ass. He shuddered as the fingers continued to stroke and press against the spot and Naruto's hands quickly reached up to press against the shower wall. He arched his back and pressed back further, wanting more. More Itachi and more of that sinful touch that made him tremble with need.

His hand left the wall and trailed down his body until fingers brushed against Itachi's. Naruto paused and glanced over his shoulder slightly before grasping Itachi's hand, giving it a small push towards the place where he wanted Itachi's fingers the most.

The combination of suds and water made it easier for Itachi to slid a finger into Naruto, adjusting their positions so he could take the slight addition of weight as Naruto leant into him. The shower was slippery, but they'd had enough practice by now to manoeuver in small spaces at home.

As he slid his finger in, deeper and searching for the spot he'd teased previously, Itachi's other hand lazily brought their cocks together, rubbing his hand up and down, distracting Naruto as he pushed a second finger in. He was slow, keeping the edge on the pleasure yet not letting it draw further in. He wanted this to be good, last as long as it could, and his thumb ran over the head of Naruto's cock slowly, teasing and distracting as he stretched Naruto.

As the fingers made a scissoring motion, Naruto bucked into Itachi's hand, moaning as his cock rubbed against Itachi's even more. The water made the motion easier and Naruto leaned forward, capturing Itachi's lips. Even with Itachi's hand on his cock, it still wasn't enough contact and Naruto wanted more. He always wanted more of Itachi.

Tongues curled around each other and lazily battled for dominance before pulling away slightly. Naruto hummed as his mouth moved away from Itachi's, his lips trailing down the pale neck and nipping lightly at the skin until red marks formed under his touch. He paused over Itachi's pulse, feeling it racing just under the skin and Naruto's lips descended on the spot, sucking on it harshly.

Itachi's eyes rolled back as Naruto sucked his skin, teeth teasing him. They'd had years to perfect techniques, but it never lost its fun.

He groaned, shifting under the water and removing his fingers, slipping his hand to Naruto's waist instead. Itachi turned Naruto slowly, kissing his neck and cupping his arse, his own dick twitching in anticipation of what was to come.

"Ready?" Itachi whispered, letting Naruto shudder under him. He had to pause a moment, catching his breath to stop himself coming simply from entering Naruto. It had to be good for the both of them, always.

Naruto nodded. "Yes," he breathed and pushed back against Itachi. He wanted to feel that pleasurable feeling of Itachi stretching him again; the sense of being full and being so close to his lover. It was an intimate feeling and one that Naruto would never get tired of feeling.

A long moan left his mouth as the head of Itachi's cock pushed past his stretched entrance and he felt Itachi's nails dig into his skin as a soft gasp left the older male's mouth. Itachi pushed in slowly and Naruto whined as he felt Itachi's hips press against his ass, making him tremble slightly.

"Move," he said lowly after a few seconds of standing still under the spray.

Itachi did as commanded, grunting as Naruto pushed back and down. Pleasure sparked a fire in Itachi's belly, down into his groin and over his cock as he moved, trying to keep his breathing regular and controlled.

Curving over Naruto slightly, Itachi kissed Naruto's neck, teeth grazing against the skin, pulling slightly as he pushed in deeper. Under him, Naruto's breathing became erratic and Itachi finally let his own control slip, let his breathing slide and become shortened. He drove his hips slowly, using a free hand to gently, teasingly, curl against Naruto's cock with a smile.

Naruto whined at the slow pace that Itachi had set and pushed his hips back harder against Itachi, wanting the man to speed up. The hand that was on his cock slipped away to hold his hips still as Itachi continued to control the speed, teasing him with soft touches and a slow rhythm that had arousal racing through Naruto's veins.

It made the pleasure build slowly as it swirled throughout his body, every nerve tingling and on fire as Itachi thrust leisurely. "Itachi," Naruto finally moaned, wanting to feel more of the older male; seeking that heady feeling on Itachi could bring in the throes of passion.

As if Naruto calling his name gave him permission, Itachi increased his pace, pushing them forward. He wanted to hear Naruto's voice, let Naruto make him undone and come, let Naruto choose how and why and when. There was one thing that could make Itachi unravel and that was Naruto's small noises of pleasure when they had sex.

Itachi could feel his orgasm approach and groaned, driving deeper and faster into Naruto. He came with fierce intensity, filling Naruto and sliding slickly in and out, soothing his post-orgasm as his hand moved to finish Naruto off.

Naruto shivered as Itachi continued to stroke his length, pushing him closer to the edge. Despite the arousal and heat singing through his veins, he felt a small trickle of pride working through his body, knowing that he was the one to make Itachi come undone in such a way. And he was the only one who could see such a thing.

The thought made him groan lowly as his body stiffened before he came harshly, Itachi's hand milking his cock while his muscles fluttered and clenched around the older male. Their bodies trembled against each other while soft pants fell from their mouths as they worked to suck oxygen back into their lungs, ignoring the cooling water that cascaded over their backs.

It took a moment, but Itachi finally pulled free of Naruto, grabbing a flannel from the floor and making sure to clean them both. He was gentle with Naruto, kissing him while he washed them, until the water was too cold to be comfortable anymore.

Itachi reached around Naruto to shut the water off, leading them out of the bath. He took two towels and they dried each other, smiling in post-orgasmic comfort.

"Not bad for an old shower, eh?" Itachi said, nudging Naruto and sneaking a small kiss.

"Not bad at all," Naruto answered and gave Itachi a kiss of his own. He ran his fingers through the wet locks and smiled at Itachi. "Thank you for the wonderful shower. Washing me, getting me dirty, and then washing me again." He chuckled and grabbed for the sweatpants that were resting on the counter, wanting to feel the warm fabric against his skin after the cool shower.

Once they were both dressed, he reached for Itachi's hand and tugged the older male back to their room. He knew they had plans to go shopping and to the pub, but there was nothing wrong with a quick, hour nap before then.

As they moved back to Itachi's room, Naruto at Itachi's side, Itachi thought about how far they'd come. They climbed into bed, Itachi tucked against Naruto, and he thought about the angry young man who had accused him of poisoning his horse.

"Polos," Itachi muttered, drawing a slight noise of confusion from Naruto. "Never mind," Itachi continued, smiling to himself as he fell asleep.

Naruto grunted softly and wiggled closer to Itachi, stealing the warmth from the older male as he closed his eyes, willing sleep to steal him away. It was hard to believe how far they had come from the first day they met. Their relationship had started funny and rocky before they even knew that it was destined to become one, but Naruto wouldn't have it any other way.

Because despite the bumps along the way, they had continued on and pushed forward, wanting something more. And just like in riding, you have to pick yourself back up after you fall and move forward, learning from the past. You gain nothing from just sitting on the ground, licking your wounds. But before you could pick yourself up from the ground, you had to know one thing first.

You have to know how to fall.


The End


Thank you so so much to EVERYONE who has reviewed, alerted and favourited this story. It's my first collaboration that I've seen through to the finish and Disgruntled Minion has been an amazing person throughout it all. PLEASE go send her a message because here, she was the Naruto to my Itachi.

Again, thank you so so much for your time and praise. We both really enjoyed writing this and I hope you enjoyed reading!