As troublesome as Christmas was for Shikamaru, he wished he were able to stay home for the holidays with his family and friends. He was one of the few unlucky ninja to be selected to accomplish one of the several imperative missions to be taken care of around the holidays. The mission: deliver a special ivory sculpture created by Konohagakure's sculptor to the land of fire's Daimyo, who had commissioned it. Shikamaru had no idea what the sculpture depicted; only that it was big and heavy. Thankfully he was provided with a horse to traverse the thickening snow in and haul the precious cargo.

"Troublesome weather," Shikamaru murmured to himself as he shielded his eyes from the bite of winter air and blinding snowflakes.

As he left the village, it had started to snow gently and steadily, but as he reached the halfway point, the weather turned into a blizzard. His mount would stop every few feet, letting out grunts and whinnies in protest.

"I know old girl, I don't like it either, but the sooner we get this over with, the sooner we can get back home." Hopefully before Christmas,he added mentally.

Shikamaru gently, yet firmly kicked the horse in her side, urging her on again. The action proved fruitless, the mare wouldn't budge. Clucking softly to her, he applied more force with his heels in hopes it would get her going.

"C'mon, old girl," he coaxed, frustration seeping into his voice.

Finally he gave her a good willful kick, and she went, only not in the way had intended. The mare took off like lightning at a full gallop.

"Whoa, whoa!" Shikamaru shouted, trying to rein her under control, but the horse had reached the limit beyond obeying; she wanted out of this blizzard now.

The mare took off into the thickness of the forest, forcing Shikamaru to duck to avoid low tree branches. Dodging them was perilous because the wind and snow nearly blinded him, but somehow he managed to miss them all. Then things took another change.

His mount suddenly came to a jarring halt. It happened so fast that Shikamaru had no time to dig his heels down into the stirrups to keep him seated. The mare lowered her head and bucked her hind legs high, launching the unsteady ninja from her back like a missile.

The side of Shikamaru's face hit the snow first, followed by his left arm and leg, and he tumbled in the now seemingly hard snow before coming to a stop, motionless.

Rearing up on her hind legs with a terrified cry, the mare turned and bolted toward the way they came, back to the village; leaving her rider to die in the blizzard.


When Shikamaru next awoke blearily, he could still feel the cold of the winter storm, but he no longer lay in the snow. He could feel his body was pressed against something warm and he hoarded his body closer, seeking more warmth. The feeling of arms around him, told him that he was being carried. By who, Shikamaru did not know, nor did his body care, as long as he was being saved. Shikamaru nuzzled his head back into the warmth as his strength faded once again, letting unconsciousness come.


A stronger warmth invaded Shikamaru's senses, causing him to stir again. Warmth was still pressed tightly to his body, sharing its heat. Shikamaru guessed it was a person, his savior. This time Shikamaru felt a little stronger, so he slowly opened his eyes to survey his surroundings. His eyes were met with a dimness that told him nothing of where he was or the person sharing their body heat.

He could feel however, so he slowly let his hands wander. Soft skin wrapping hard muscle underneath was the first thing Shikamaru's fingers met. The more he searched, and then the male grunt that issued from the neighboring body told Shikamaru that he was nuzzled up against a man.

Shikamaru's cheeks bloomed with warmth as a blush spread across his face. He found the suddenly feelings of shyness strange because he had been around males in varying degrees of dress most of his life while in Konohagakure's bathhouse.

This feels too intimate,he thought, and tried to pull away.

The two arms that had carried him to safety were now holding him fast to their body, and Shikamaru's face was pressed against the bare skin of a chest. The leaf ninja struggled against the man before an intoxicating smell wafted into his nostrils.

He smells like fresh pine and earth…and something else…

Shikamaru's blush grew and he struggled harder.

"Oi, settle yourself, damnit, you're still weak," his rescuer finally spoke.

Shikamaru froze, the blood in his veins running cold. No, how could this be? He thought in terror, And I didn't just think he smelled attractive! As his eyes adjusted to the darkness, he could make out the faint details of smooth silver hair, a straight nose, and two vibrant magenta orbs set inside two lazy eyelids.

"H-Hidan?" came his low whisper.

"Surprised, aren't ya, kid?" asked the familiar voice, in its familiar crudeness.

Shikamaru thrashed wildly.

"Oi, I said you were weak. Keep fighting and you'll just end up weaker," Hidan growled lightly as his arms continued to anchor the young jonin's body against his.

Just like Hidan could speak magic, Shikamaru's body began to lose energy until his fighting turned into weak flailing. Shikamaru stopped moving to let out tired puffs of air. He looked back up at his savior and enemy, not trusting Hidan enough to look away from him.

"W-What are you doing?" Shikamaru panted, "Why are you doing this?"

"Because you opened up my eyes…though you had to put me in a fucking hole to do it," replied the ex Akatsuki.

"You think I believe that, you monster?"

"I guess not, but if I were really lying, I could have already murdered you in your sleep many times over."

"How long have I been asleep?" Shikamaru asked wearily.

"Three days. It was hard giving you water while you slept, ya know? Ya damn dumb kid."

Shikamaru suddenly thrust out with his arms and legs all at once, bursting forth from the grip of Hidan's arms.

I've been out three days?! It's Christmas…that old mare would have made it back to the village by now. Are the others looking for me?

Gaining such a sudden surge of strength allowed for Shikamaru to scramble away from the other man and he dashed for the light of the small cave's mouth. The whiteness of the snow that met him nearly blinded him, but he had enough vision to see the enraged bear loping right for him.

The strength that burst into his body conveniently left him again, bringing him to his knees. The beast rose high above him on its hind legs, letting out a thunderous roar as it extended its massive paw. That paw alone could kill Shikamaru if it struck him from this distance. Shikamaru's fingers dug painfully in the snow, but did nothing else, as if the thoughts of forming hand seals were misfiring from his brain to his extremities. He closed his eyes tight and waited for the intense pain that awaited him before he died.

Clang!

The sound of weapons clashing brought Shikamaru back to his senses and he opened his eyes and looked back up. Hidan was standing between him and the bear, the ex Akatsuki's scythe blocking the bear's paw.

For the first time, Shikamaru was able to see Hidan's body since he'd blown the zealot up and buried him alive. His old clothes were destroyed from the blast, so now he wore a cloak made of animal skins.

As strong as Hidan was, the bear was stronger. Hidan's arms were starting to tremble under the power of the bear. In a daze, all Shikamaru could think was, He saved me?

Looking back at Shikamaru, Hidan growled in annoyance, "Get the fuck back in the cave!"

Shikamaru blinked out of his reverie with a shake of his head, then scrambled back just inside the cave. By then, the bear had all but completely over powered Hidan and pinned him to the ground. The only thing keeping the wild animal from tearing into Hidan's face was his scythe blades pressed into the beast's thick, muscled neck. Hidan slashed and stabbed with all he had, but nothing he could do could pierce the hide deep enough to kill it.

While they jostled for the upper hand, the bear managed to get its powerful mouth around Hidan's bicep. A streak of terror shot through Shikamaru's spine upon hearing the other man scream out in pain, as well as witnessing him being viciously mauled. No longer did he see Hidan as a monster, instead the bear was the monstrosity.

The bear shook its massive head, flinging Hidan from side to side like a rag doll, and then let go. Hidan flew through the air a good few yards before landing hard in the thick snow. The bear huffed out a breath as if it were merely agitated then stalked towards Hidan's prone form. Shikamaru could no longer do nothing.

Kneeling shakily, the young jonin formed his hand signs successfully. His shadow stretched ever so steadily, aiming to capture the shadow of the bear.

"Hidan get up!" he shouted, hoping to at least rouse his former enemy should his shadow not reach its target in time.

Hidan shifted only minutely, clearly throttled by the bear's attack, and the bear was quickly lumbering over to finish its job. Shikamaru quickly focused more chakra into his shadow, hoping to speed it up.

Please make it! Please!

As it reached a few paces from Hidan, the bear again stood on its hind legs to lung into a greater attack.

"Hidan!"

The ex Akatsuki jumped to his feet, raising his scythe to block the attack, but the blow did not come. After a moment of staring at the frozen bear in bafflement, Hidan glanced over at Shikamaru and realized the situation.

"T-The blood on your scythe..."Shikamaru panted, already feeling fatigued, "Use it for your ritual! Hurry!"

Hidan did not have to be told twice, knowing just how bad the state Shikamaru was in. He knew the young jonin could not hold the powerful animal very long. He did not arrogantly show off while he prepared this ritual. One error, one mistake, could end in him being torn apart again, and Shikamaru being killed.

Moments later Hidan stood in his ritual circle with his pike impaled through his chest and a giant bear lay prostrate at his feet. He took a minute to catch his breath as the fight had taken its toll on him, and then looked over at the leaf ninja.

Shikamaru had lost all of his strength performing his jutsu. He now lay motionless with his face in the snow.


An almost sweltering heat enveloping his body stirred Shikamaru from his fatigue induced slumber. His first thoughts wandered onto the topics such as, Where am I? and, Why am I sweating?

The more Shikamaru's awareness returned to him, the more he was aware that he was back in the cave and most of his clothes were gone and a equally unclothed body was pressing into the back of his.

A flush sprouted over Shikamaru's face as realization dawned on him.

Oh god, oh god, oh god, oh god…

"Hidan…" Shikamaru said, trying to sound unaffected by the other man's closeness, but his words came out as a whimper.

"Hm?" Hidan grunted mildly in response.

"Y-You…I-I'm….W-We're..."

"Ngh…what is it?"

"W-We're laying…t-together…a-and…."

"Hm…oh yeah, our clothes were soaking wet from the snow, so this was the only way I could keep you warm," Shikamaru could practically see the smirk plastered on Hidan's face, "What's the matter, does it turn ya on?"

A strange yelping sound escaped Shikamaru's lips as he tried to scoot away from feeling of Hidan's bare muscular chest. Again Hidan was able to hold the young jonin to his body easily. This time Shikamaru gave up the struggle quickly, he didn't want to waste any more precious energy.

"Giving up already?" Hidan purred in his ear.

Shikamaru wanted to come back with a witty retort, but his mind was focused solely on the warm expanse of Hidan's skin, the muscles that rippled underneath from the simplest of movements, the earthy, intoxicating scent, and the hot breath breathing down his neck. Shikamaru licked his lips and decided a change of topic was in order.

"Why did you save me? Twice?"

Hidan sighed a little. "Wasn't my explanation from before good enough for your genius mind?"

"No, and I want to know how you got out of your prison to begin with."

Hidan sighed with more exasperation. "Fine, fine, ya damn kid." He then went on to explain that his body could eventually reattach itself when two of the correct body parts were pressed together. He had to start with moving his head (the only part of him that could somewhat move) towards his neck and then waiting for the skin and sinew to slowly mend itself, then moved on to the next body part.

"I don't really know how much time had passed while I was down there, but I eventually fixed my body again and escaped."

"You had to have been in there for over three years," Shikamaru estimated, then added, "Alright, now why in the hell did you save me out there, in the winter and from the bear. You yourself said you could have killed me many times over, so why didn't you help me?"

There was a pregnant pause, and Shikamaru turned in Hidan's embrace to face him. Hidan stared back at him, an indescribable look on his face that seemed to be a mixture of uncertainty and vulnerability. Shikamaru blushed and looked to the side. Seeing Hidan like this made his already strikingly handsome features stand out to Shikamaru. He had to resist the urge to caress Hidan's flawless cheek in a gesture of reassurance.

Finally Hidan spoke again, "I spent so long praying and pleading for Jashin to help me from the earthy prison you buried me in. I don't know how long I spent hoping for Jashin to answer my prayers. But he never responded nor fulfilled my wishes…after being his faithful servant for so many years. I started having…doubts then…that Jashin had either been displeased with my loss, or he didn't really fucking exist."

"I then started cursing you for what you'd done to me. I fucking hated you, and I still longed for revenge. But then I started realizing something, something utterly messed up." Hidan paused again and looked Shikamaru in the eyes, "I couldn't get you out of my bloody head. At first I imagined all the deaths I could possibly give you, but in my loneliness, my thoughts took a turn."

Shikamaru shivered, both from hearing that Hidan thought of how he could kill him and by the lustful look Hidan was now giving him. His body hummed in an unfamiliar anticipation as he waited for Hidan to continue.

Hidan shifted so he was looming over Shikamaru's body and the young jonin blushed more when he felt a hardness pressing against his barely clothed thigh. Hidan's large hand came to rest at Shikamaru's cheek, his calloused thumb caressing the smooth, shapely flesh of Shikamaru's lower lip.

"I started thinking of you in other ways," Hidan continued in a near whisper, "I would go through my memories and I would remember how you looked when we last fought, your determination, your wits, your voice…your body. Soon fantasies about your death turned into fantasies of your flesh."

To emphasize his point, Hidan's hand trailed slowly from Shikamaru's face, down his neck and torso, letting the young jonin feel every callous and ridge of his fingertips on the way. Shikamaru automatically arched into the touch, as if his body was reacting on instinct, and he let out a small whine of pleasure.

Hidan went on in his husky whispery voice, "Remember when you said that you were my god? You were right. I've come to venerate you more than Jashin. You're all I can think about and you're all I have now. I've been wanting you for so fucking long and now that I have you here, I want to worship your body; if you'll have me."

Shikamaru did not answer, but instead gripped the back of Hidan's head and pulled him into a kiss. The kiss was closed mouth and innocent, because of Shikamaru's inexperience, but it got Hidan's heart pounding in his chest. It was a sign of acceptance. Hidan sighed into the kiss and pulled the young jonin closer. A small nip to Shikamaru's lip was all it took to get him to open his mouth in a gasp, allowing Hidan to slip in his tongue to dance with Shikamaru's. Both men groaned collectively from the electric sensation.

"M-More, more," the jonin pleaded as his eager body wriggled underneath the weight of the other.

Accepting Shikamaru's wishes, Hidan let his hands wander over virgin territory. The firm strokes left Shikamaru breathing in fevered pants and an unrestrained moan escaped. Watching his "god" writhe in pleasure placated Hidan for a while, but he couldn't stay away from Shikamaru's lips much longer. He dipped his head down, his hand not missing a beat, and kissed the man beneath him.

As the minutes passed, the more their touching escalated, and thus their sighs and moans became more punctuated. Shikamaru's inexperienced hands found moments in between blissful pleasure to caress Hidan's body in reciprocation of the gratification Hidan was giving him, stoking Hidan's loins into an inferno of desire. The ex Akatsuki could not longer endure the teasing petting of his younger counterpart, so he relieved the latter of his undergarments completely. He wanted to sink himself deep into Shikamaru's quivering body.

There was one preparation left to be done before they could be joined as one flesh, and as much as Hidan wanted to skip right into the deed, he didn't want to hurt Shikamaru.

"This might feel a bit…uncomfortable," Hidan warned softly, wetting his fingers liberally with his saliva.

Shikamaru blinked up at Hidan in confusion as lust continued to muddle his mind, but the intrusion of Hidan's fingers had his mind catching up in an instant. The jonin inhaled sharply and grasped his counterpart's shoulders.

"Oi, relax or this won't work."

"Easy for you to say," Shikamaru whimpered.

But he tried, willing his trembling body to stop being as-tight-as-a-bow. After feeling Shikamaru's body relax, Hidan moved his fingers in a slow, pistoning motion. The initial shock ebbed from Shikamaru, leaving only a tolerable discomfort. Shikamaru started to wonder if this was really going to bring him pleasure like before, but his doubts were put to rest when Hidan's fingers brushed against a sensitive spot inside of him, and he cried out in ecstasy.

"T-There~!" the jonin encouraged, and Hidan obeyed, adding speed and more force behind his actions.

Shikamaru could not suppress the moans bubbling up from his chest with each brush of his lover's fingers, and Hidan did not stop stoking Shikamaru's fires until the jonin was on the brink of seeing white.

"H-Hidan," Shikamaru begged with need expressed in his voice, and that was all Hidan needed to hear to understand his lover's desire.

Moments later their flesh was tentatively joined and the men let their moans flow freely from their lips. The rhythm set first was careful, but as the lust increased, the rhythm rose in friction and intensity. Hidan's lips latched itself to Shikamaru's neck, aggressively sucking at the sensitive skin, leaving his mark. In return, the jonin scratched his blunt fingernails down Hidan's back.

"I…Hidan~" Shikamaru moaned as Hidan angled his hips for deeper access, "I-I'm going to come~" To prove his point, he hooked his legs around Hidan's waist, anchoring the older man in place.

Hidan slammed their hips together and growled possessively in Shikamaru's ear, "Say my name again."

Shikamaru gasped out his lover's name, his body thrumming with each thrust. He felt as though he was teetering towards the edge of oblivion, and he wanted Hidan to take the plunge with him. As he clung his body to Hidan's, Shikamaru thrust his hips to meet Hidan's.

Hidan gripped Shikamaru's hips tighter and uttered a curse. He too felt his body reaching its limit and frantically increased the pace. Feeding off the growing friction heightened the senses of both men, making each movement, touch, and kiss more sensitive.

Finally Shikamaru's body arched like a bow, releasing the pleasure building up inside him with a strangled cry. Hidan followed soon after, muttering Shikamaru's name softly, his hips continuing to move long moments after he had finished. To Shikamaru, feeling Hidan's warm essence as it emptied inside him was almost as blissful as his own peak. It made him feel whole and satisfied.

The lovers spent the rest of the harsh blizzard in the warmth of each other's embrace, sharing lazy kisses and soft words until sleep overtook them.


"Are you sure you have to leave now?" Hidan asked the next morning.

The blizzard had long passed over, and though the snow was still thick, Shikamaru's strength had returned after eating bear meat with Hidan. He could make it back to Konohagakure on his own now.

"Yesterday was Christmas and my horse has probably already made it back home with out me," Shikamaru replied, tightening his cloak against the cold, "I'm sure my friends are already worried too. I should get back."

"And you want to go alone?"

"Hokage-sama might have sent out search parties after me…if they saw us together…it could be bad."

Hidan stared into Shikamaru's dark eyes and could see the reluctance there. He did not want to leave him. Hidan stepped closer and pulled the jonin into a sentimental hug.

"Will you see me again?" came Hidan's eager question.

Shikamaru nuzzles his face into Hidan's neck and breathed in his scent, knowing full well it might be some time before he could see the man that used to be his greatest enemy. He wanted to take in every bit of Hidan and keep it safe and locked inside his memory.

Once satisfied that he had every facet of his lover memorized, Shikamaru looked Hidan in the face. "I will see you, when I can, alright?"

Hidan nodded and released Shikamaru from his embrace, already missing the warmth of Shikamaru's body. Shikamaru tightened his cloak and turned to leave, leaving many more words left unsaid. He didn't know what he and Hidan were to each other now. Did this mean they were a couple? Did Hidan really change his ways? Did Hidan love him? Did he love Hidan?

Shikamaru figured they would both find out during their next encounter.

He could still feel Hidan's eyes staring at his back even as the location of their liaison became a dot in the distance.