Theme #23 Flight

Never had he ever been on an airplane. He had been on trains, subways and even had hang-glided before. Never had he ever been on a plane. So, today was both exciting and nerve-racking. Lee, however, was another story.

He was a ball of energy. He kept shouting, "This is so youthful!" or "I can't wait." It got so annoying, but yet, he couldn't help but feel comforted by the young man's energy. It helped so he wouldn't lose his head or his lunch.

Gaara was from Suna. The place was all a desert, so when he found out that he would be going to Konoha for his sister's wedding he was excited. However, when he found out he had to take an airplane there, he was less than thrilled. Luckily, his boyfriend had come earlier in the week to visit him, by bus, he was glad that he wouldn't be alone. Even if he had his brother with him, it was so much more of a comfort to fly with Lee than with Kankuro.

Lee had also never been on a plane, but that didn't stop him from being excited. Gaara's family was nice enough to pay for his ticket back to Konoha so he could fly with the red head. He couldn't wait to tell Gai-sensei about this.

They were all flying out for Temari's wedding. Shikamaru had proposed a some months prior, and now the two were finally going to make the relationship public. For the ambassadors from both Konoha and Suna to get married was a huge deal. Not many believed it, but the few that did just smirked knowingly as if they knew it was inevitable. Neji had even stated, "It was destiny."

Now, the three men consisting of a two 21 year-olds and a 19 year old were about to get onto the plane. They were waiting for all the pre-boarders to all get in so they could as well. Baki, Gaara and Kankuro's uncle, had told them to walk with a pronounced limb to get them in with the pre-boarders, but Lee with his sense of justice stated (loudly might I add) that that was un-youthful and they shouldn't do it. Gaara being his clueless self went along with his boyfriend.

The line to get on began to move and Gaara started to feel nervous butterflies flutter in his stomach. What if they crash? What if their luggage doesn't make it? What if they got on the wrong plane? All these questions went through his mind, but as Lee placed a reassuring hand on his shoulder, he felt those worries disappear. All that mattered was getting the flight over with.

Handing their tickets to the man scanning them, the men walked into the 'tunnel' (as Lee had dubbed it) and toward the plane. Lee was looking around curiously, while Gaara was as close to the man as his carry-on allowed him to be. The warm air of Suna slipped through the few cracks in it. It may be the beginning of spring, but it was still extremely warm.

Getting on the plane, the trio decided to stay as close to the front as possible without actually being in the front. They took the three seats in the second row on the left side. Kankuro had the window seat, Gaara was in the middle, and Lee was in the aisle seat, nearly bouncing in anticipation.

The nerves came back. Gaara grabbed ahold of Lee's hand and still it did not help to calm him. As more and more people passed them to get in the seats farther back, he felt the nerves grow. He was nearly having a panic attack when Lee pulled him into a comforting one-handed embrace.

"It will be alright. My friend Neji has flown on an airplane before. It should be alright," he whispered into the red head's ear. Gaara relaxed but only a little. The thought of being thousands of feet in the air was still terrifying. No one could blame him though; they themselves hadn't been that far up either.

As the remainder of the boarders entered the plane, Gaara looked past his brother and out the window. He could see the terminal as well as the runway. Both seemed huge compared to his house.

The flight attendants came over and went through the safety procedures. He felt slightly better about that, but it did nothing to calm him. As the plane began to back away from the terminal, Gaara snuggled closer to Lee. The plane soon began to move forward and turned to get to the runway.

The plane took off down the runway, gaining more and more speed until they neared the end of it. He shut his eyes as if they were going to crash. Suddenly, he felt the plane leave the ground, and he opened his eyes. He breathed a slight sigh of relief. They were in the air and were not going to crash.

The plane began to rise into the air, and Gaara began to feel very light-headed. So, he rested his head on Lee's shoulder. For once in his life, Lee wasn't talking or bouncing. He was a bit nervous himself.

Lee took his hand. "Are you alright?" he asked. Gaara nodded into his shoulder. "Neji said he was nervous his first flight," he reassured. He gently squeezed Gaara's hand to help him. As the plane reached cruising altitude, Gaara slowly felt the headache disappear. Thankfully it dissipated because they still had 3 hours left until they reached Konoha.

Kankuro had his head rested against the side of the plane with his earphones stuck in his ear. The second they landed in Konoha, he would run out of this god damn flying death trap. The only reason he was on it because it took 3 hours to get to Konoha instead of 3 days, and the wedding was that weekend.

Besides, Kiba had gone on one of these. He had a hard time with it, so Kankuro was determined to have a better time with it then Kiba. Unfortunately, the take off wasn't exactly enjoyable. Truth be told, he thought Gaara was having a better time then he was. Gaara had pulled out his book to read. Lee had fallen asleep on his shoulder. He pulled one of his earphones out.

"Hey Gaara, do you remember what Temari said her first flight was like? She was with Shikamaru right?" Kankuro asked. Gaara thought about it for a second.

"She said it was the most amazing thing she had ever experienced. She told me that the takeoff was the worst part but everything slowly cleared up. Shikamaru was with her, and he told me that the second they were at cruising altitude, she was talking like a maniac, and that she just rambled on and on. He even told me she was rambling for so long, he couldn't take a nap the whole flight," Gaara said as he recollected the memories. He almost began laughing as he said this.

"Then we better not wake your beast," Kankuro joked.

"Shukaku is back home with Baki. My pet raccoon has nothing to do with this," Gaara said not really getting the joke.

"I meant the one sleeping on your shoulder, baka," Kankuro justified purposely avoiding saying Lee's name just in case it would wake him up or not. Gaara fought his chuckling so as to not wake the sleeping 'green beast'.

Gaara calmed his laughing and looked over at his sleeping boyfriend. "How long do you think we've been flying?" he asked. Kankuro checked his watch.

"According to my watch, we've got about an hour and a half until we're due to arrive in Konoha. Time sure flies when you're having fun," Kankuro said. Both of them burst out laughing at the comment. Kankuro and his puns were at it even in the air. Lee slowly awoke from his slumber.

The two of them quickly shut up when they saw him wake up. With Lee awake, an idea came to Kankuro. He pulled out a piece of paper and an ink pen. Lee leant back in his seat, placing a hand on his forehead. He had such a headache. "What are you doing Kankuro?" he asked closing his eyes again.

"Remember how we used to pretend we were characters in Harry Potter?" Kankuro asked.

The other two nodded, remembering well. Lee would come with Neji to Suna to keep him company when Hiashi had meetings with the Kazekage. The four of them would get together and they would call who they wanted to be. Gaara always was Ron while Neji was stuck as Hermione. Lee and Kankuro fought over who'd be Harry. Usually it was Kankuro and Lee would be Neville.

"Let's see how many characters we can remember," Kankuro said writing a name down. The three took turns, but soon they had made it into a contest. If you didn't start writing the name within a minute of getting the paper, you were out. Gaara was the first one out. He hadn't read the books or seen the movies in a few years.

There had to be at least 50 names on the list by now, but still the two kept on writing names down. It was quite amazing really, but it was also quite pathetic that the two knew so many characters. Finally, Kankuro lost.

"Yosh! I am the most youthful!" Lee exclaimed. Gaara saw a few people on the plane look at them. However, most of the people were from Suna and were used to the loud spandex-wearing beast.

"I'm bored again!" Kankuro cried. Suddenly, something dinged above their heads, telling them to fasten their seatbelts. As quickly as they could, the three of them secured the belts around there waists. Instantly, Gaara's hand was in Lee's.

"We will be landing shortly. If you are staying in Konoha, we hope you enjoy your stay. If you are going to Kiri, please wait at terminal B. I repeat; if you're going to Kiri, wait at terminal B. Have a nice day and fly Suna airlines the next time you visit," an overly cheery flight attendant said over the speakers.

Slowly, Gaara felt the plane shifted into a light dive. It began to make Gaara slightly nauseas and he felt his ears were ready to pop. Somehow, everything began to get louder to the young redhead. His head began to pound and he decided something at that moment. He did not like flying. Sure, it was just the takeoff and the landing, but it was enough to convince him to take a bus home.

As the ground came closer and closer, Gaara's grip slowly tightened. What if they landed wrong? The flight wasn't over. He could still die. Oh man, he was too young to die. "Just closer your eyes, my little sandman. I'll protect you," Lee said just loud enough so Gaara could hear him over the drone of the engines. Since Gaara could hear him, so could Kankuro.

"That makes you sound like his mother or something," Kankuro said looking thoroughly freaked out.

"Shut up, I like it," Gaara protested entirely forgetting the landing process they were going through. Suddenly, the plane suddenly downed on the run way with a thump. They rocked a bit, but other than that, it only scared them to death.

The plane slowed, and Gaara breathed an audible sigh of relief. The flight attendant wished them a good day one more time and they were allowed to leave. They gathered their carry-ons and sat up ready to get out at the next opening. They got out of the plane and Lee put an arm around Gaara who hugged him.

"Thanks for coming with us, Lee. It means a lot," Gaara spoke up to him. Lee looked down at him and placed a light kiss on his lips.

"I wouldn't have missed it in the world, Gaara-kun," Lee replied looking him straight in the eyes. The romantic moment was shattered as Lee ran into the line of wheelchairs that weren't being used. Gaara held back his laugh as he helped him up. Kankuro, however, just burst out laughing anyway. He was laughing so hard; tears were forming in the corners of his eyes.

The trio then made their way to the luggage drop to gather theirs.

They were making their way out of it to the parking garage where Temari said they'd meet them, when suddenly a flash of brown was upon them. Kankuro nearly fell back at the force Kiba had hit him with as the two were enlaced in their embrace. As soon as he had regained his balance, a soft pair of lips was on his own. He could help but smile.

Shortly trailing behind was the bride and groom to be. Gaara placed his bags down as he embraced his sister. Oh man, she was beaming. As the two pulled apart, Temari began to show him her engagement ring. It had a decent sized diamond on it, since Temari wasn't one for jewelry, and the band was engraved. Shikamaru had engraved it with: My One and Only Soul Mate. Gaara nearly 'awed' at it.

"C'mon, I bet you're all jet-lagged from the flight. Let's get to the car and get you to your homes," Shikamaru said running a hand through his hair. He led them through the parking lot to where he had the car parked.

The six of them piled into Shikamaru and Temari's mini van to head home. They dropped Kankuro and Kiba off at the Inuzuka compound. Gaara saw Akamaru as well as a few other dogs ran out to meet him. He waved to his brother one more time. "Remember, you're having dinner with me today!" Temari yelled after him. He heard a faint "yeah, yeah" from the crowd of dogs.

Shikamaru and Temari then dropped Gaara and Lee off at Lee's apartment. "We'll call and tell you when and where dinner is, alright?" Temari hugged the two of them and the couple drove off. In the meantime, the two crashed on Lee's bed for a nap.

A few hours later, the ringing of the phone pulled them out of their slumber. Gaara reached over and grabbed it. "I figured you guys would be asleep so I'm calling to give you a hour and a half to get ready and meet us down at the Aokakesu (Blue Jay) restaurant," Shikamaru said. "And please wear something nice. My parents will be there."

They quickly showered and met them at the restaurant. Lee was in black dress pants and a nice green polo shirt. Gaara had on tan khakis with a red polo. Everyone was there including Ino and Chouji as well as Shikamaru's parents.

"So, how was the flight?" Yoshino asked after they had ordered. The three exchanged a glance.

"It wasn't bad, but that is definitely not something I would want to do again unless I have to," Kankuro replied speaking what's on all of their minds.

The wedding a few days later was amazing. Temari looked beautiful in her gorgeous strapless wedding dress, and happy beyond belief. For the first time, Gaara saw Shikamaru beam ear-to-ear. He was happy for his sister. She was with the man of her dreams, and he loved her more than anything in the world.

He was also happy that he would be taking a bus back to Suna. That flight was scary. But, he knew it would happen again whether he liked it or not.

Here's the 23rd theme of my 100 themes. I'm nearly a quarter of the way there.

Pairings: LeeGaa, ShikaTema, KankuKiba

This is actually based off of my second plane ride (but the 7 years before and I didn't remember it). I absolutely hate planes. The scare the shit out of me. We actually did those things on the plane except I was with my fellow triplet siblings and my grandparents on my way to my cousin's wedding.