Continuation of my story Boom and Bust. A mission gone wrong ends Shikamaru in the hospital with a restless blond lover trying to find ways to entertain himself and put his worries to rest.
"Did you know that 'the Gastric flu can produce projectile vomiting?'"
The other occupant of the room hummed in acknowledgement. He was laying in a hospital bed, his eyes closed, trying to tune out the noises of both the blond, the machinery, and the light trickling in through closed curtains.
Said blond sat just a few feet away from the bed, his bare feet propped up against the soft material of the woven, blue blanket. His toes squirmed and occasionally prodded the bedridden man. He continued to read from the book he had carried into the room. "Oh, here's another one: did you know that 'eating dandelions can make you urinate more?'"
Shikamaru's eyes opened and he looked over to the blond. "Why would anyone eat dandelions?"
Naruto shrugged. "I don't know."
"What are you reading?"
"/A Thousand Useless Facts./ Baachan gave it to me the other day. It's pretty amusing."
The brunette sighed and closed his eyes again. "Is there any reason why you're reading me these facts? I'm supposed to be resting, you know."
Naruto smiled softly. "Thought you'd might like the company."
/'In other words, you just wanted the company.' /Shikamaru decoded. "Go ahead then, read on."
The blond smiled, poking the other's thigh with his big toe in a silent thanks. "Ah, okay. 'Children who are breast fed tend to have an IQ seven points higher than children who are not.' Were you breast fed?"
"You must have been. Okay, here's another. 'The act of stretching and yawning is referred to as pandiculation.'"
"I knew that one," the brunette mused.
Naruto chuckled. "Definitely breast fed."
As much as he'd like to try to hide his amusement, he definitely couldn't help but smile. He avoided looking directly at Naruto, whose answering smile seemed as radiant as the sun outside.
"Here's another one."
He stood from his seat and cautiously made his way to lie next to the other man. Shikamaru scooted over as much as he could to allow room.
"'The average person spends two weeks of their life kissing,'" he said, low and sultry.
"Seems like a lot."
Naruto nodded, leaning up on his right elbow. Shikamaru leaned down as much as he could and met the lips in a quick, chaste kiss. He withheld a groan from the pain that shot down his back at the awkward movement.
"Oh, also, 'kissing can aid in reducing tooth decay; because the extra saliva helps in keeping the mouth clean.'"
Again the blond moved to meet the other's lips. He shifted for better leverage and took control of the kiss, paying attention to first the top then bottom lip, worrying them with his teeth, before further deepening the kiss. His tongue swept inside, searching out its companion muscle and encouraging it to play. Shikamaru welcomed the intrusion.
"There seems to be a theme," the brunette whispered when they separated for air.
"Mmm," Naruto said, his grin widening. "Wanna hear another one?"
Shikamaru nodded his head slowly; his eyes focused on pink, swollen lips as they closed in again. Naruto stopped just so their lips were ghosting each other without any pressure to the touch.
"Did you know," Naruto whispered, his lips still tantalizing close. "'That every day.'"
"'The average person.'"
"'Swallows about a quart of snot?'"
Shikamaru groaned and pushed the blond away from him. "Naruto, you're an ass."
Said ninja just laughed in turn, sitting up and letting his shoulders relax with his mirth. It didn't escape the lazy nin's attention that the blond was allowing some of his faÃ§ade down. Shikamaru reached out, his arms a bit shaky from overexertion, and took the other's hand.
Naruto's laughter faded and he allowed the worry to show in blue eyes and the slight wrinkles that had gradually appeared underneath them. He squeezed the hand back. "You're a dumbass sometimes, you know that?"
Shikamaru smiled. "That in your book too?"
The blond attempted a smile of his own. He moved to lie down again, curling himself into the other's form. "For a genius, you're really stupid sometimes."
"It was supposed to be a C mission, how did /you /get hurt on a C mission?"
The brunette shrugged the best he could with a lumbering blond resting against him. He crooked his neck oddly down to place a lingering kiss on Naruto's forehead. It was a silent apology. The mission had gone from C to A quickly and the details had to be classified until the Hokage deemed it otherwise. Naruto knew this. He was just worried.
"Got anymore interesting facts?" Shikamaru prodded, not liking the silent aura coming from the usually exuberant blond.
"Read them to me."
Naruto smiled. "Okay. Well, 'ninety percent of the population has an innie belly button.'"
He moved slightly and lifted up his own black shirt. He smiled, showing off his own innie. Shikamaru rolled his eyes. The two had been a couple long enough to know that they were both innies. Naruto smile widened as he reached under the blanket for the hem of the hospital gown. He slowly brought it up Shikamaru's body, clearing the blanket, and dropping it around his waist. The blanket remained at his hips just under his navel.
The blond took his finger and traced around the orifice. Shikamaru recognized the pattern of the Kyuubi seal as Naruto traced it like it was on his own body. He bit his lip to prevent his laughter from the ticklish ministrations.
"Here's another," Naruto whispered. "'Sex acts like a natural antihistamine; it can, for example, clear up a stuffy nose.'"
The blond looked up, his blue eyes clouded. Shikamaru answered the sly smile with his own as he reached down to pull the other man up to meet him. Their lips closed over each other in a slow, seductive dance. They both groaned as Naruto's body settled lightly over the other's.
The door slammed opened, making both men jump and look at the person standing in the doorway.
"Naruto," Sakura all but growled. "Off the bed! Shikamaru's a recovering patient and needs his rest. You can do that sort of stuff when he's not under my care and safely at home."
"But Sakura-chan," Naruto bemoaned. "Sex acts like a natural antihistamine."
"It can clear a stuffy nose," Shikamaru added.
"That's great, but he doesn't have a cold," she said, pulling Naruto off the bed.
Shikamaru shivered at the loss of the body heat. He jumped when he felt hands on him again. The blond looked apologetically at him as he went about fixing his hospital gown and pulling the blanket back up. Sakura stood at the foot of the bed, reviewing the charts and casting annoyed glances at the blond.
"Is he annoying you with that stupid Useless Facts book? He's been pestering the staff with that book ever since you were brought in."
The blond immediately averted his eyes, refusing to meet Shikamaru's curious glances. In reality, the lazy nin had little doubt that once he was brought back to the village, and immediately admitted to the hospital, that the blond would be by his bedside, whether he was allowed there or not. It was comforting, to have a lover so attentive and caring, and more than just a little flattering.
"It's fine. Occupies my time," Shikamaru answered, sounding tired.
Sakura gauged him. Seeing nothing too worrisome she went about her business. She looked at some of the readouts on the machines he was hooked up to, then wrote somethings down on the charts and signed off on them. She replaced them at the foot of his bed. "Fine, but you tell him to get out if he keeps you from resting."
The brunette nodded, knowing he wouldn't ever do that. He had gotten used to tuning the blond out by now anyway.
Naruto had taken his seat again, his feet on the ground only until Sakura left and he propped them up back up on the bed. "Okay, here's another one," he said, opening up the blue bound book again. "'Studies have shown that the scent of rosemary can help in better mental performance and make individuals feel more alert.'"
He paused, looking over to the curtained windows. "I'm going to go see about getting some rosemary to put around the apartment."
"Whose? Yours or mine?"
The blond looked at the other man with a huge smile. Shikamaru closed his eyes, withholding a groan for what he knew was coming. They didn't call him a genius for nothing.
"Oh, haven't I told you? I'm moving in."
"Are you now?"
"Well, yeah. You'll need someone to take care of you while you're recovering and I'm just the man for the job."
"Yup. I'll be the best nurse. I'll even buy one of those skimpy nurse's outfits for ya," he said with a wink.
A slight blush bloomed over Shikamaru's cheeks and he pushed those thoughts away. "I'd think I'd rather have Kiba's sister as my nurse."
"But she's a vet and, I don't know, kind of scary. Are you trying to tell me something?"
"Wow...I've been committing bestiality all this time?"
Shikamaru chuckled. He pushed back on the foot resting against his leg.
"Okay, so here's another fact. 'It has been medically been proven that laughter is an effective pain killer.'"
"Yup, and," he drawled. "'The lack of sleep can affect your immune system and reduce your ability to fight infections.' So, you know, it's time for you to rest."
"Ah, so you /do /want me better. I figured you would just want me to always be in bed from now on."
Naruto chuckled, knowing the continued jab at his insatiable libido. "It's not fun if you're not feeling well. I need you at one hundred percent."
Shikamaru smiled, drowsiness setting in. He blinked his eyes several time, trying to stay awake. His eyes closed for a longer period of time and when he opened them again he saw Naruto standing over him, a gentle smile playing over his lips.
"Here's another fact," he whispered. "I love you."
The brunette smiled and whispered the same sentiments back. Naruto leaned down and placed a kiss on the other's forehead. Shikamaru faded away into sleep.
The blond picked up the book again and sat down on his chair beside the table. He looked down at the long lists of factoids before him and threw the book over to the unused bed across the room. He reached down to the bag of things he brought with him. It held extra clothes, toiletries, cup ramen, a /shogi /board, and a few various other things.
Within the folds of his extra clothes lay several familiar orange books. He smiled as he extruded the Icha Icha Paradise from the bag. It was the latest volume, first edition. A gift from his former sensei.
"Ah, now this is much more interesting," he said, relaxing down in his chair and turning to the page in his book where he had last left off.
He smiled, listening to Shikamaru's breathing, making notes of things in the book that he wanted to try. Later, of course, when Shikamaru was feeling better.
That's it for now. Let me know what you think. This is my first fic out of a horrible writer's block. The "Useless Facts" is a thematic device used for the purpose of helping me write during that awful period of nothingness. The facts were collected from various sites around the net.
Responses are always loved.