Seasons change and relationships grow.
Pairing: Naruto x Shikamaru
Word Count: 1, 465
Summary: Seasons change and relationships grow.
A/Ns: Pairing request made by fairyniamh.
There was just something about autumn. Summer was too hot, winter too cold. The spring held the promise of new life with a building energy that charged everyone and everything. But autumn, autumn was something else. It was a winding down of the year, with the weather starting to cool, and the world beginning to ready itself for its long winter sleep. The windows could finally be opened without the stifling heat or humidity suffocating the indoor occupants, and the sun was no longer the enemy.
Shikamaru sighed and leaned back against his hands. He sat in the waning sunlight coming through the opened window of his fifth story apartment. It warmed his body against the slightly chilly air. He took a deep breath, closing his eyes, and enjoyed the slight burning in his lungs as his brain urged him to exhale. He complied, releasing it with another long sigh.
“What’s the matter?”
Shikamaru didn’t say anything, disregarding the question completely. His brain was too far off to explain anything, and yet felt some obligation to the other man to express some of his thoughts. It was a habit he had picked up, expressing his mind when there wasn’t really a need. But there was a need. A need to appease the other who feared the silence and the memories of loneliness it held. “I’m thinking about taking up smoking.”
The blond head poked itself from around the corner to look at his boyfriend. “Seriously? Like Asuma?”
“No,” Shikamaru paused. “I don’t know, maybe.”
Naruto stared at the other man, confused. “You shouldn’t take up cigarettes.”
Shikamaru arched a brow and leaned further back so he could look at Naruto over his left shoulder. “Oh? Actually listening to Sakura’s nagging?”
“No. It’s just not you. If you want to smoke, you should use a kiseru.”
He couldn’t help but laugh. He laid fully down, slinging his arms over his eyes, and unraveling his legs so they were bent at the knees with his feet flat against the tatami mats. “And why a kiseru?”
Naruto shrugged, knowing the other couldn’t see him. He entered the room fully and walked over to the other man. He sat down next to him, breathing in as the other had done and exhaling with a loud shock of air. He smiled like a cat and laid down on his side next to Shikamaru, looking down at him. “It’s just…regal.”
“And I’m regal?”
“No, but you’re lazy and that’s practically the same thing.”
Shikamaru chuckled. He uncovered his face with one arm and reached up to tangle it in the orange-stained, blond locks. It was hard to believe that the hyperactive nin could look more radiant than he did normally, but basking in the glow of the waning day, Naruto looked almost ethereal.
“When do you leave on your next mission?”
“Tomorrow morning. I’m meeting Neji and Shino at the East gates at 8 am sharp.”
“Must be an interesting mission to put you three on the same team. I didn’t you think were on speaking terms with either of those two, given your last situation with Hinata.”
Naruto blushed and tried to look away. The hand entangled in his hair kept him from going too far. “It’s a mission,” he said, as if that explained everything.
The blond looked back down at Shikamaru and smiled. The lazy nin’s breath hitched in his chest. Naruto was a person of many surprises, but nothing was more shocking than the deeper levels of his personality that held his insecurities, his weaknesses, and his tender need for affection. There was something…endearing to know that it was only he who was privy to the small gestures of affection, the shy smiles, and soft kisses. It was only he who got to see the raw emotions Naruto worked so hard to keep covered with layer upon layer of foolish acts, and struggles for power. It was something he treasured. Something he didn’t, wouldn’t, share with a soul.
“Gonna miss me?” Naruto said.
It was laced with his normal boisterous pride but spoken softly with just a hint of the need to hear that he would be missed, that he was wanted, and that Shikamaru would still be here when he came back.
The lazy nin didn’t say anything. With the hand still in the other’s hair, he tugged at the locks to bring the other man down to him. Naruto complied, moving his left arm over to help prop himself up on the other side of Shikamaru’s body.
“I don’t answer stupid questions,” he said, before craning his neck up to meet the others lips.
It was tender, not rushed or passionate. It was a release of emotions that neither could say aloud for all the fear such emotions held for danger-bound ninjas. Tongues intertwined as free hands skimmed over hard flesh, sneaking their way underneath clothing to earn quiet gasps from the other.
Eventually Naruto pulled back to lavish kisses down Shikamaru’s jaw and neck. He stopped at the juncture of neck and shoulder to pay extra attention to one of his lover’s sweet spot. He smiled again the pale skin as the lazy genius inhaled sharply at the light bite. Both of Shikamaru’s arms came to encircle the man who was now leaning completely over him. Nimble hands found the edge of Naruto’s shirt and pushed it so that he could run his hands up the other’s spine.
“Your hands are cold,” Naruto hissed, breaking his concentration briefly on the mark he was happily leaving on his boyfriend.
“Warm them then.”
“Hm,” the other snorted. “Of course you would be too lazy to even keep yourself healthy. What will you do without me here?”
Shikamaru smiled, bringing one hand down to bring Naruto’s face to his. “I’ll sit here pining away for you to return,” he said, a smile over his face.
“Oh I’m sure,” Naruto said, leaning down to steal a quick kiss that quickly degenerated to another, deeper one. “Until Chouji comes over with some sake and then you’ll forget all about your pining.”
“Ah, that’s where you have it wrong,” Shikamaru said with a gasp as Naruto returned to his earlier ministrations. “No one pines away better than a drunkard.”
“Oh? So I should be thanking Chouji for his helping of the cause?”
Naruto laughed lightly. He raised himself up so he could look down at his handiwork. Approving of the red, purple, and blues spreading over the small expanse of skin, he moved to the side so he was only half lying on the man below him. He rested his head on Shikamaru’s shoulder, looking at the hickey he just added to the pale skin and occasionally moving over to kiss at it again.
There was no urgency in their movements, or at least not on this particular evening. No need to consummate their relationship over the fear of what was coming tomorrow when Naruto left for another A-Class mission. Instead, they rested peacefully against each other, dragging their fingers over taunt skin, and chatting in hushed tones as the sun disappeared completely from their window.
“Hey,” Naruto whispered as they both faded into sleep.
“I love you, ya know?”
Shikamaru smiled sleepily, his eyes still closed. He squeezed the blond in his arms. “Yeah, I know.”
Naruto sighed and snuggled closer up to the other man. Shikamaru let him fall asleep, knowing he would have to be up early to finish the preparations for his mission. He craned his neck forward uncomfortably so he could kiss the beautiful blond hair. He inhaled the unique smell of Naruto and let it over take his sense, leaving his body tingling and heady.
“I love you too, Naruto,” Shikamaru whispered to the sleeping blond.
Instinctively, as if his body could feel the words coming from the other man, he shimmied himself closer to the other man, rubbing his face in the crook of Shikamaru’s neck. The lazy nin shivered, both from the action against his sensitive neck and the chilly air now flooding their apartment.
“But damn do you make a shitty blanket,” he mumbled as another chill ran through him.
He sighed, knowing moving wasn’t an option, and tried to concentrate on Naruto’s warmth. He smiled, feeling comfortable even with the slight cold. He shut his eyes trying hard not to think about tomorrow. He inhaled again, the smell of autumn mixing with the warm smell of Naruto. He let out his breath in a slow, soft sigh. He looked over at the sleeping blond again. He threw his right arm over the blond.
This was why Shikamaru loved autumn so much. Peaceful times with the person he loved. What could be better than that?
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