The desert heat has always been deadly.
Warning: Yaoi, you are warned.
Notes: Request drabble for lina_metallium of GaaraxShikamaru. This idea demanded a setting and then drove me mad trying to decide if it wanted a plot or PWP. I'm not entirely sure which one it chose. pokes fic Are you done yet?
The deserts of the Wind Country are vast and empty. The ground is a uniform brown and there is little variation to break it up. The sun bears down on it sending wave after wave of heat that blurs on the edge of vision creating dancing illusions to wanderers. Thankfully, it's a dry heat, with no water to make it unbearably humid. Of course that can be a danger in and of itself. The illusion of water on the horizon and sameness of the land could confuse even the most worldly of men; and an unprepared nin traveling through the desert could quickly find himself in trouble.
Which was why Shikamaru had made damn sure he'd been more than well prepared when he'd been sent to that wretched place. It was the only reason he was still alive five days after he was supposed to have shown up at the hidden Sand village.
Shikamaru sighed and pulled the scarf around his face tighter as the wind picked up, blowing more dust into his face. If this kept up he'd have to stop again or risk getting lost and losing what little chance he had at surviving the dessert. Though stopping long enough for the sandstorm to pass would soon not be an option for him. By his best calculations he was roughly a day away from the village and he was down to his last canteen of water.
If he rationed it well, it would last him a day and a half. That left him far less room for error than he would have liked.
A gust of wind tore past him, stinging his face with bits of sand and forcing him to stop. He could barely see ten feet in front of him now. Grudgingly the leaf nin stopped and crouched down with his back to the wind. Without the vague outline of the landmarks he'd been following he had no choice but to wait it out.
Shikamaru could still feel the heat of the unrelenting sun, even through the false darkness created by the sandstorm. If he closed his eyes he could ignore the biting sand and imagine he was just laying out in the middle of a very hot day. Laying on soft and cool blades of grass... Shikamaru forced his eyes open again as his body tried to shut down. Although it was hard to be certain, he thought he was starting to run a fever.
At least that's what the increasing number of hallucinations pointed towards.
Shikamaru ignored the dryness of his mouth that begged for another mouthful of water and tucked his hands into his armpits. He squinted into the storm wishing he had longer eyelashes to shield his eyes. As soon as the winds let up he wanted to start moving again, if he stayed still for too long he knew he probably wouldn't be getting up again.
Shikamaru blinked as the sand suddenly stopped. The wind continued to press against his back and tear at the ends of his scarf, but the stinging sand was gone. It didn't exactly take a genius to figure this one out.
"Gaara," Shikamaru croaked, shaking sand off of his body before turning to the other teen.
Sabaku no Gaara watched him, face expressionless as usual, from under the hood of a worn looking cloak. The pair seemed to be surrounded on all sides by a thick wall of sand as it obeyed the red head's command to stay away. Shikamaru was thankful for the chance to be able to breath without having to spit up sand for the first time in a week.
"It's not my fault," Shikamaru explained. "I wasted two days waiting for that guide to come for me at the border."
It had been two long days spent watching the wind increase before realizing he couldn't afford to wait any longer. Shikamaru reached into one of his pouches and pulled out a scratched set of dog tags. "I hope he had nothing important on him, he was pretty much picked clean by the time I found him."
Gaara took the metal disks and glanced at the etched name before stowing them away. "You didn't do too bad on your own. You've only passed the village by ten miles."
Ten miles. Shikamaru groaned, his calculations had been really off.
"Here," a flat flask was pushed into his hands. "You've been out here too long."
The flask felt cool and Shikamaru eagerly pulled the scarf down to drink. The water soothes the aching dryness of his mouth and finally washed out the taste of dust. He tilted it up further but a hand on his own stopped him.
"You'll get sick if you drink it too fast," the slightest hint of a frown marred the Sand nin's normally blank face.
"Yeah, yeah," Shikamaru grugingly agreed. it sounded like something his mother would say. He drank the rest slowly, though Gaara's hand remained steadying it, and handed the empty container back. His mouth still felt dry but at least the worst of it was gone. "Thanks."
The red head simply nodded. Shikamaru looked at the barrier around them seeing that the sand seemed to have become darker as the storm intensified and showed no signs of abating. There was no way Shikamaru could have survived out there.
It seemed very funny to him suddenly, and he bit his lips to keep a giggle from escaping. He had a feeling that if he started laughing he might not stop.
"Don't bite your lips like that," Gaara ran his fingers over Shikamaru's lips. "You're bleeding," the Sand nin held his bloody fingers up for Shikamaru to see.
He had noticed but hadn't paid it any attention, more concerned with keeping as much moisture inside his mouth as possible. The cuts stung as he reached up to prod his mouth. There was only a little blood on his skin when he pulled his hand away. Gaara absently licked the blood away from his fingertips before leaning forward to pull Shikamaru's fingers into his mouth.
What little coherent thought left in the dark haired nin had fled. Maybe it was that while Gaara's mouth was searingly hot, his tongue was very wet; and Shikamaru's mouth was still too dry. But it only seemed logical to pull his fingers away and replace them with his lips.
A tongue as hot as the sun soothed his dry lips with a wet lick and Shikamaru opened his mouth allowing it in. Both of his hands fisted in wild red hair and he sucked on the tongue invading his mouth, moaning at the growl that action produced.
Then the tongue and mouth where gone. His legs where hooked out from under him and he fell to the sand in an undignified sprawl under the still growling Gaara. Dust billowed upwards in a cloud that would've made them cough and choke if they were breathing instead of kissing.
And Shikamaru should've known better. Heat exhaustion, a fever, and lack of oxygen do not combine well. The last thing he remembered before passing out were a pair of indignant green eyes.
Yeah, don't hurt me. Please?