Team 7 is sent to The Hidden Village of the Sand. However traditions to do with the Rainy Season distract them from politics, and Naruto dub himself Gaara's teacher of feeling good. A GaaNaru f...
Sometimes Gaara of the Sand missed the protective armor that was once like a second skin about his body. Sometimes he missed the sand that would throw itself in the way of almost anything that tried to touch him. Without the Shukaku to feed chakra from, he did not have enough to use the techniques as he did before and was left open to any element, any sensation. Sometimes he felt naked against the world without the protective shell of hatred that once encased his life.
During those times either Temari or Kankuro, occasionally both, would come to him sensing his ill ease. They would talk to him about many things, distract him from his frightened thoughts, and sooth his fears of pain. They were always there for him, they...cared for him, his...siblings; his family. And then, he didn't miss the shell of his old life. Physical pain, while felt with alarming frequency, fades, but the pain he had once felt in his heart had never eased.
When those bouts of nervous wishing were not upon him, Gaara marvelled at the people around him. How they could take pain so well, so easily? A pulled muscle was given nothing more then a sharp curse and cuts deep enough to spill blood were laughed at! He simply could not understand; blood wasn't something to laugh at. He didn't blanch at the sight of other people's blood. He never would, nor would scenes of death and carnage frighten him like it did others. But the sight of his own blood was almost more then he could stand. The second time he'd even seen his own blood he panicked. It was a paper cut and the blood was nothing more then a thin red line across his finger. There was a certain feeling of immortality Gaara was used to feeling and every time he saw his own red life he was reminded that he could die. At that time Temari had soothed his fears, washed the line of blood away and wrapped his poor abused digit in a glorious little thing called a 'band-aid'.
Gaara likes to think he's come along way since then. He's no longer seized by the icy grip of fear when he feels the still foreign sensation of pain, though even a stubbed toe or cramped limb will have his eye shining with the tears he refused to shed. It wouldn't do for a Kazekage to cry like a child every time his comfort was shattered by some offending table leg or renegade corner of paper. And he was Kazekage. There has been a council about whether or not he should remain the Sand's leader. Most of the council men and women had made up there minds before the date of meeting. It was up to Gaara to sway the minds of the few unsure to retain his title. They had debated quite thoroughly: he was considerably weakened; enemy villages would certainly make use of his state! No one had put so much effort into creating allies not only around the Sand, but in other countries as well. He wasn't as strong, knowledgeable or experienced as other village leaders. His rule had seen more prosper then his father's. On it went, Gaara sat by quietly, letting them have at each other, until finally it came to the point that they requested (demanded) a show of power from him. He'd been expecting it and had trained as much as possible. So with an effort greater then he let on --one that left him exhausted beyond belief-- he summoned enough sand to be dangerous to swirl about his body.
A few minutes later he left the council fatigued, but satisfied, if he without Shukaku could still summon and control the sands, then he without Shukaku could be Kazekage. With his title intact, his pride intact, his life intact, he began an arduous journey home to his bed. His bed in which he could sleep (glorious sleep!) without fear of losing his soul, trusting that his family would protect him. It was worth any pain, any discomfort, this life he had made for himself, this existence of more then just self-love.
It wasn't long after the council ended that Kankuro found his little brother passed out on the stairs leading to the parliament building's exit, a small but happy smile on the teen's sleeping face.
If it was his sibling's unofficial job to teach Gaara about the true nature of pain (that it was a tool human beings used to gauge the state of their bodies and help them avoid situations that could lead to death) then it was too another that he looked to teach him the true nature of pleasure. For pain and pleasure were inseparable twins of sensation; while he felt not one, the other would avoid him, but now that he was naked to pain, he was too to pleasure. Perhaps it was the Gods' way of making amends for the unpleasantness of pain that they granted pleasure; there certainly was no practical use for it that he could see.
It wasn't planned, nor expected, but as it would turn out, Gaara's tutor in the nature of pleasure would be the same force that had given him his new life. The same creature that had ripped down his shields and brutalized his heart with determination, steadfast defenses and words of full of emotion and hurt (hurt for him) and left him as helpless as a babe in a great sand storm. The creature that was Leaf's team seven. The force that was Uzumaki Naruto.
He came with the rainy season gale, thunder and lightning announcing his arrival fiercely. It only fit; Naruto was a force of nature not unlike the wild and uncontrollable winds, rains that turned the desert from sand to muck and brought life-giving water to the ever thirsty people of the Sand. The woman, Haruno Sakura, was to be Leaf's representative for a certain contract, the terms of which they were still debating. The older man, Hakate Kakashi and Naruto himself were her escorts. A small party; a dangerous one but not one the Sand was upset to see, after all who was it that saved the Kazekage's very life?
Although he didn't altogether understand, Gaara favoured the timing the Leaf nin arrived with. The beginning of the rainy season marked a festival during which no business would be undertaken. Water was so valuable to the Sand that every year they celebrated it for a week without pause. Wine skins were empty of their sweet contents no matter the vintage and clear pure water was drunk as if it were the most expensive aged palm or date wines. Great feasts were held each night during those light-hearted seven days, endless supplies of flat breads, dates and olives, apples grown in a large near-by oasis. Wild ducks hunted from the orchards, live stock carefully herded in small numbers and butchered only for these days, even Sake traded from outside the country as it was impossible to grow rice even in an oasis, was presented. Though most ignored the potent drinks for water. It was during one such feast that Naruto inadvertently gave Gaara his first lesson in pleasure.
The teen's team mates who had arrived promptly, were indulging in some date wine (as they did not often get to drink it in their Village) and Kankuro had even engaged the female in a conversation about poisons, but Naruto was nowhere to be seen. During the feast, when many people were content to sit, talk and sip from their cups lethargically, Gaara had developed a habit of glancing towards the entrance of the great hall. He had hoped to speak with the blond, about what he'd no idea, but the teen did seem to have little difficulty directing the topics conversation, so he hadn't worried over it. The Kazekage wasn't nearly as patient as he pretended to be and added to that a childhood wherein he got what he wanted immediately if not sooner, he decided he would simply have to hunt down the absentminded boy and scold him for being so very late (for making him wait).
The scene he found Naruto in was one he'd not expected. There was a group of children, four or five or so, frolicking in a particularly deep mud puddle, their nervous mother near by watching hawk-like over her brood, occasionally calling out warnings. At the very center of the chaos of little limbs and shrieking giggles was Naruto, his somewhat baggy pant legs rolled up to his thighs, his calves covered in sticky mud. Gaara couldn't think of any way to introduce himself to the situation and in the end he didn't have to. The children paused in their game as if caught doing something they weren't suppose to, nervously bowed, and in unison chanted a greeting.
"Good evening, Kazekage-sama!"
They were still enough (finally) for their mothers to collect them and presumably, take them to get cleaned up for their suppers. That left only Naruto, guilelessly muddy, in the puddle as if grown men (or nearly) always played in puddles.
It wasn't a request, but Gaara wasn't going to accept either way. He explained that he did not fool around in filth -never had. The blond recoiled as if stung. Never? Never? He found the other's exaggerated arm movements almost hypnotic as he was lectured about the benefits of filth, that it was natural to play in puddles. That it felt really good.
"You must, you absolutely must!"
"Gaara, you have a choice: take off your shoes and dive in or get pulled in!"
The blond advanced, his eyes dancing with mischief, as if to prove he'd been good on his word and Gaara found he really didn't have much choice (if he absolutely must, then...). Removing his footwear and rolling up his trousers much like Naruto had done, he stepped forward. The mush around the puddle instantly got itself between his toes, he would frown at it, but the other teen had his hand and was pulling him forward. The cool water was such a contrast to the hot, humid air that his body shook with a shiver that closed his eyes and parted his lips.
"You see, you see, really good, right?"
It was embarrassing... it was humiliating...it was fun. Naruto danced around him as the children had done and Gaara stomped awkwardly once to satisfy the other, but else didn't much move. Only when the red-brown paste on his ankles and calves began to itch and even Naruto began to scratch his legs was it decided they should go in and clean up. And that too felt good. The blond insisted they go back to Gaara's home to do so, even though it was farther away.
"But I want to see where you live! Please!"
And Gaara was swept up in the whirlwind of movement that was Naruto. The teen had drawn a bath in his tub and signaled for the redhead to sit on the edge of it with him. Naruto set to wash his legs right away and Gaara couldn't help but watch. The teen was methodical in his washing, going even so far as to clean the dirt from under his toe nails. The clean, clear water of their lukewarm bath was swiftly turning an opaque reddish that reminded his vaguely of blood, with tiny whirling/spinning/twirling whirlpool movements caused by the boy beside him.
"You'll get a rash if you don't wash up."
With careful circular movements Naruto was washing him, and Gaara tried to protest, but the soft friction on the wash cloth felt good too, and no one had washed him since...(since uncle..) so long. If the Leaf nin had meant to make him feel like a child he didn't show it, not even when he pulled the plug to let the water drain, (swirling, whirling, twirling, like Naruto), or when he dried both their legs at the same time, cloth and skin and strange tingling sensation, keeping him from even trying to protest. And then it was over, the strange moment they had shared, because Naruto was hungry ("Oh man! I skipped dinner! Do you think they have ramen down there?"), and Gaara went to bed, because he couldn't really think of anything better to do then lay on his soft down mattress and not think about the way his legs where still tingling.
He didn't talk to Naruto for a full day after that, in fact he made a point of it. He wouldn't know what to say, except perhaps more. Only he didn't know of what he wanted more. More mud? More baths? More what? Sensation. His mind was a jumble of thoughts, and half formed ideas, and he was glad that he wouldn't have to think of politics for the rest of the week because he'd be humiliated if he pulled up his legs in the middle of a meeting, and rubbed them through his trousers to try and recreate the feeling that had faded in the night. As he was doing now.
Naruto found him the day after that. It was raining steadily, and the streets were nearly overflowing, but Gaara had nearly gone mad trying to figure out the feeling from before, and eventually had wandered into a nearby puddle to see if it was the mud that made the difference. He stomped in it, once, twice, nothing, a sigh.
"Hey, hey..." Naruto's voice behind him, and only the strict training of a ninja had kept him from jumping into the air with fright. Calmly he turned towards the other.
"Did I make you mad?" The blond was sort of timid, like a child waiting to be scolded, it didn't really look right on him.
"You were avoiding me!" A pout too exaggerated to be taken seriously (that's better).
"What did you do?"
What was it that he did? With mud, and water, and rolling laughter, what was it?
"Did I hurt you?"
Not at all. Gaara explained, or tried to, that it didn't hurt, it felt more then contentment, but it didn't hurt.
"Not everything is supposed to hurt!"
Again, as if struck, the boy recoiled. Of course not everything was supposed to hurt, what kind of life would we live if everything hurt and there was no pleasure? How awful!
"You, you don't really live like that do you?" Did he? He didn't hurt all the time, just when it was appropriate, it's not as if he hadn't heard of pleasure, he'd just thought that it was the absence of pain, not something else entirely. And, just as suddenly as Naruto decided everything, he became the boy's project. Again with hypnotic arm movements he was told that the other teen would teach him about feeling good and of having fun ("Because, because, a person can't really live without feeling good!")
So Gaara's lessons began. Swept along in the gale force of Naruto's will he spent the next two weeks -the rest of the festival and the time they needed to debate the contract- indulging in every experience the blond could think of. He was blindfolded and made to eat sweet things slowly, to savor the flavors. "Guess what this is, Gaara" A date, a slice of apple, cinnamon spiced meats, glazed honey cakes, and licorice candies. Some foods fresh from near-by, others preserved and bought from far away places. His sense of taste was enthralled, and then the greatest pleasure; a drink of clear fresh water, to cleanse the pallet, readying it for yet more treats he'd never appreciated before.
They drank undiluted wine until the world was a swirl of colors, and sounds, and judgment was perilously inhibited. They laughed then over anything, everything, until Gaara's sides ached, but it didn't hurt. When Gaara's cup was empty and the bottle nearest him was too, the only source for the sweet drink was Naruto's own cup, he reached for it. Unsteadily he grasped, his hand wrapped around Naruto's, whose hand was wrapped around the cup itself and brought it to his lips. The blonde didn't say anything, strangely contemplative in his drunken state. Gaara drank greedily, dark wine dribbling from the corner of his mouth, tracing a line of color down his neck, a striking contrast to the pale skin. When the cup was empty it was Naruto who pulled it back. Gaara let the cup go with a sigh and lay back upon the divan on which he sat, quite sure that with the wine gone so to was their pleasure for the night. Not so however, for Naruto had followed him down across the divan to bury his face in the crook of Gaara's neck, and lap at the spilled wine there. A gasp, his skin was fevered from the drink, but the other's mouth was hotter still as it lapped and sucked at his flesh until it reached the start of the wine's journey. Naruto kissed him then and it was a pleasure unlike any he'd been shown. Naruto kissed him and he kissed back with all the same hot, messy vigor, until they both took to groaning from the fire of it.
Of course Gaara new what a kiss was and he new too about sex. Though, he'd never thought much of either, never imagined it was as enjoyable as everyone made it out to be. Only, now that he'd kissed and felt was it was like, Gaara was...curious about the rest.
Sometimes Naruto would claim not to have thought of anything, so they would simply talk instead. The blond perhaps unaware of just how wonderful it made Gaara feel just to do that. They'd talk of nothing sort of things, of what it was like to live in their respective countries. Of life in a desert (the heat, the sand, the winds) and what it was like to live in a heavily wooded area (the wet, the cold, the plants). Sometimes they spoke of dark topics, of what it was like to grow up as they did. Of demons and sorrow and things that only the two of them could possibly understand. They didn't talk of kissing or of touching, but when Gaara had enough of words he'd claim Naruto's mouth like it was something they'd always done and they'd not have any more use for talking.
There was a bathhouse in the Sand, it opened only once a year, during the rainy season when water was in abundance enough for people to pay heaps of money to wash off the desert grit. Naruto had presented it to Gaara as if he'd found one of the ancient treasures his country was famous for. The teen had even got a private room for them to enjoy and for the first time (though he didn't say it was) the Kazekage had a formal bath. First soaking in cool waters, rinsing the sand and the day from his sensitive skin. Next warm and soapy. There wasn't any horseplay at this stage, not like the first where in Naruto had swam around and splashed Gaara, coaxing him to splash back. Here the teen took great care in their washing.
"Here let me wash your back, then you can wash mine, right?" They stayed there until the water was a murky sort of color, and their bodies were pink from friction. Suddenly Naruto was out hopping across the warm marble floors, naked as can be, soap suds clinging to his arms and hips and Gaara had no other option but to follow.
The last room was by far the best. Dimly lit to encourage an ambiance of relaxation, the air was warm from the steam, clean and Spartan, but ultimately superior to the flowery, heavily scented soap chamber or the electric playful first chamber. Sinking into the hot water was glorious, truly, though heat was something that was ever present in life in the desert, this was of a different kind altogether. It soothed rather then scorched; it held you in a protective embrace, rather then beat down upon you cruelly. This was certainly something Gaara would have tried on his own whether or not Naruto suggested it. However seeing the teen's happy expression as Gaara sighed contently, relaxing back into the water, held him from saying so.
Truthfully it was in part for Naruto's own pleasure that Gaara went along with the whole thing. Gaara knew that just as you felt pain in your heart, you felt pleasure too. (Like killing people for mother...no...) Like being loved by his siblings, like becoming Kazekage, like seeing that silly, happy expression on Naruto's face after a successful experimentation. Like now, looking over to the blonde's half lidded eyes, his lazy expression, it made his own heart pause -or so it felt- his stomach clench (need?) and...
Wading over his skin prickled with anticipation of sensation, of touching, feeling, experience. He wanted to be held (he wasn't held enough), he wanted to hold. They wouldn't stop this time; they couldn't, not with the negotiations nearly done, not when Naruto was going to leave in just another day. Gaara didn't need to say anything, Naruto met him half way and they tangled together. Neither could say much for technique but they made up for it with eagerness. Gaara supposed that if they ever did discuss these moments Naruto might say something of his enthusiasm or he of the blonde's uncharacteristic submissiveness. Even now the other boy allowed him to dominate, plunging his tongue into his mouth and drinking greedily from him. Let his hand roam across the Leaf nin's vulnerable form. Tasting, touching, feeling, in these instances Naruto willing bowed his head and became a playground in which Gaara could exercise the forbidden pleasures of the adult world. He found that he loved Naruto's body, the strange combination of hard and soft found only during these years of budding manhood. More defined then the boy he once was, prominent muscles twisted in his arms and legs, steel cords wrapped in velvet skin, firm belly, firm back, hard edges softened by the reminisce of childhood.
Gaara didn't dare break their unofficial agreement of silence with his uncertainties. He knew what he wanted, but nothing of Naruto's own desires. Carefully he turned the teen around, pressing their bodies together, back to front, and rested his hands on the other's hips. A silent request (won't you give me this, won't you give me you?). A silent response, Naruto rolling his hips against the hardness pressed against him. A groan, his own voice he realized. Moving against him again, Naruto leaning over the edge of the bath, arms folded under his body for support. At the same time spreading his legs, as if an invitation was needed (come, get lost inside me, inside my world). He was slick with from their baths, they both were, but Gaara prodded the other with inpatient fingers anyway. The blond sighed and mewed so wonderfully, his body responding to every caress.
They had each other again that night, tumbling between the sheets of Gaara's own bed, it was more playful that time, teasing until they were both strung tight with want of release and Naruto had done something so incredible with his mouth that Gaara's body hummed delight for so long after. Again in the morning, when the Kazekage had gone to wash the sticky results from his body he'd become so aroused by the memories the cascading water had invoked within him that he could barely wait for Naruto to have his own turn to wash before he was back inside. Inside, throbbing heat, writhing bodies, groaning, hissing, loving every moment. He didn't know how he was going to let Naruto go in the morning. He didn't think of much however, the teen didn't let him. This was their day; the details of the agreement in question couldn't be finalized until he met personally with The Leaf's Hokage. Gaara was free to spend the last day as he chose. It was perfect or as perfect as Gaara had known anything to be, with wine and food and loving, it was a concentration of their near two weeks, the crescendo to their hedonism.
And then it was gone, slipping through his fingers like sand, or water, both elements mixing to form a tangible memory and impression upon his life, once again changed by the potent storm that was Uzumaki Naruto. The woman Sakura blushed pink about her ears the whole time of their formal farewells, the man Kakashi giving Naruto side long glance. Of course his frequent disappearances would be noted, but the blond wasn't fazed by their suspicions. Nor did he apparently care about his reputation when he leapt upon Gaara with for one final, energetic kiss. One that was just as eagerly returned (he was the Kazekage; no one would dare say anything).
Another storm rolled in just as the first was coming to its end. The month was still just beginning after all and with things returning to normal the dreary grey of the season began to set in filling everyone with a slow lethargy. Almost all, that is, the Kazekage had remained is high spirits, though only his siblings could tell the difference. Just as soon as the rains stopped, when the ground upon which they walked was as dry and cracked as it was before, when the desert was once again itself, he would set out to Leaf. A certain agreement needed finalizing, after all. A small smiled played upon Gaara's mouth as anticipation built inside him and that too was a pleasure he was coming to love, the long wait before satisfaction and Naruto would provide satisfaction worth waiting for.