"Checkmate" -- Kiriban Gift FicSeries:
Neji & Shikamaru, Naruto & SasukeWord Count:
Language, adult situations, m/m sex references.Spoilers:
Neji and Naruto have some business to do on a Sunday and leave Shikamaru to contend with Sasuke. Kiriban for Animeluney.
"Thank you for joining me," Hyuuga Neji murmured, low, sleepy voice crawling up Nara Shikamaru's spine and firing neurons of lust as they rode in the elevator toward the thirty-ninth floor of the Hyuuga Building in downtown Monoshizukanohi. It was Sunday, they were the only two in the lift, and Neji's sleek, dark hair spilled over one shoulder as he watched his finger trace the back of Shikamaru's hand where it rested on the chrome railing.
"No problem," Shikamaru answered, marveling yet again that since being with Neji his sexual recovery time was drastically reduced. A scant eighty-four minutes ago Shikamaru was bound to a sturdy headboard biting a gag in half while Neji moved within his body in the languorous pace that drove Shika half out of his damned mind. And the murmured slips of affectionate teasing--"Going to take you until I have my fill, boy. And then and only then will you have yours."
-- managed the other fifty percent toward the goal of incoherency. "It's not like I had other plans," Shika said as Neji circled his middle knuckle.
Neji hummed a pleased sound, smile turning thin lips. Shikamaru kissed Neji's warm hair; smelled shampoo and the suspension that kept it tamed and straight and loved that all of Shikamaru's boyfriend, lover, Sir's sounds were catalogued and filed. The hum was particularly nice as it was a noise made only for Shika when Neji was happy about a specific of their linked existence.
"Don't let Naruto keep you too long," Shikamaru said.
Large lavender-gray eyes turned to meet Shikamaru and a sculpted brow arched: cunning and amused and about to fish for reassurance. "Missing me before we even part, are you?" Bishop takes pawn.
Shikamaru drew closer, brought up a deliberate hand to caress Neji's cheek. The effect was immediate: lips parted and chest expanded in a hitching breath. He brushed a delicate ear, trailed to stroke exposed neck above the collar of Neji's shirt. "Yes…" A pause, a tilt of chin. "Sir," Shikamaru whispered.Knight takes bishop. Check.
Neji clasped Shikamaru's wrist and squeezed. "Then I'll keep the meeting brief." A hand on Shikamaru's lower back; the flush of fully-clothed bodies that really should be naked to relieve the heat generating between them. "So that I can quench such loneliness…" Neji's hip against Shikamaru's groin, and Shika relished the shiver that rocked his shoulders; basked in the unadulterated want
that Neji projected and maintained like a force field. "Maybe find a better use for a Sunday at the office once the mundane business is complete?"Queen takes knight.
The elevator stopped, the doors opened, and Shikamaru put his hands in his pockets else he grab Neji by the lapels in a prelude to dirty fucking between floors. "I always thought the view from bent over your desk would be pretty sweet."
Neji laughed, Shikamaru grinned, and they walked into the foyer between Neji and Hiashi's offices. They passed Melody's vacant desk and spotted Naruto standing across the room in front of the tall windows.
"There you are," Naruto called, turning and dodging fashionable chairs, benches, and tables. He wore a Red Sox ball cap, old jeans, and a t-shirt, but his jacket and shoes probably cost more than Shikamaru's first car. Gifts from Sasuke, no doubt.
"You're early," Neji said, and Shikamaru smirked at the subtle notes of surprise in the two words.
"I know. Crazy, right?" Naruto laughed, not missing a beat as he reached them. He pulled Neji into a bear hug and thumped the Hyuuga on the back. Blue eyes flickered and gave Shika the once-over. "Shikamaru." The wicked grin that split the blond's face made Shika think he flashed back to last week at Break. The downside to getting flogged by Neji at the club was that there were witnesses.
And occasionally those witnesses were insufferably smug.
"Hey," Shika answered in a dull voice as he weighed every consequence and benefit of public play. And once again, Being Neji's in the Hyuuga's club and underground world,
trumped all else.
"Aw, shit," Naruto said with a flash frown. "You two didn't break plans for this did ya?"
And then occasionally said smug witnesses redeemed themselves by bordering on cute.
"Nice of you to ask," Neji said, gesturing toward a closed door and not answering the question. "Why don't we go ahead into my office?"
"I'll make it fast, man," Naruto said to Shikamaru over one shoulder. "Just club business. Oh!" Naruto turned to Neji. "And we have to make passkeys for Tetsu and Zumo. Was thinking mini metal Xbox controllers?"
"I'm sure you can work out something appropriate," Neji soothed.
Shikamaru shook his head while Neji got a babbling Naruto into the next room. He grabbed an Economist
off an end table and sat down on a deep sofa. Two page turns later and the rush-swish of a swinging door made Shikamaru look up to see Sasuke exiting the men's lavatory across the lobby. Shikamaru took the usual two seconds to admire how attractive Sasuke was -- tight jeans, snug button-down, royal blue scarf, styled hair, and coordinating piercings -- before the dull glower marred the pretty features and ruined the effect.
Sasuke snorted, coming over to the couch and flopping onto it. "What is this, bring your sub to work day?"
Shikamaru didn't bother to answer the question, unwilling to rise to Sasuke's version of a battle of wits. Shika didn't like to go up against someone so utterly at a disadvantage; felt like kicking puppies. He found an article about the Deep Internet, rested an ankle on the opposite knee and ignored Sasuke's fidgeting.
"Can't believe he's got a meeting on Sunday."
A pause, more fidgeting: straightening cuffs, adjusting the scarf, waggling one foot after Sasuke crossed his legs. Shikamaru stopped reading when he heard the tell-tale intake of breath that meant Sasuke wasn't going to take the hint. How unfortunate.
"You two going to Break tonight?" Sasuke asked, and Shikamaru didn't like the analysis of all the possible conversations where the simple question could lead. An affirmative would keep the man talking, a negative would make him question it, and regardless of the answer or supervening dialogue, Sasuke never made idle
chitchat. Which meant he wanted something.Dammit. Should have gone into the office.
"Why, are you?" Shikamaru deflected.
"Doubt it." Sasuke sighed and fiddled with the ends of his hair. The tips were dyed deep blue, and Shikamaru distracted himself for an instant thinking about coloring, processing, bleach, and how entirely troublesome the whole beauty industry was.
"Naru's got to be in Kansas for some meeting mid-week. Probably just wants to stay home." Sasuke smirked. "You know. Keep it cozy."
"Uh-huh." Shikamaru flipped back to the table of contents, done with the article, and absently listed all the major metropolitan areas in Kansas in order of population size. Kansas City, Topeka, Wichita, Manhattan…
"So how are you and Neji?"
Another loaded question. God but Shikamaru hated conversation; it was so hard to pick the correct answers -- the ones that would give him peace and quiet. He snapped the magazine flatter. "Together."
Sasuke made an incredulous, irritated noise, and Shikamaru knew he'd chosen poorly. "Together," the Uchiha repeated.
"And are we happy about that?"
"But he's not?"
Fed up, Shikamaru threw a glare at the other man. "The hell do you want, Sasuke?"
Sasuke was terrible at feigning innocence. It'd be easier for Lee to fake laziness for Chrissakes. "Yes. Want."
"What makes you think I want anything from you?" Big, black eyes outlined in liner batted at Shikamaru, and he resisted the temptation to swat Sasuke on the nose like a misbehaving kitten.
"You're talking to me," Shikamaru pointed out the obvious.
"I'm making conversation."
Shikamaru rolled his eyes, silently repeated the serenity prayer and the statistics concerning rising levels of alcoholism in developed, industrialized nations and slumped on the couch with his eyes closed. "Whatever."
After a blissful moment's reprieve, Sasuke clucked his tongue. "Okay. I have got
"Mm." Shikamaru stopped statistics and turned to digits of pi; something soothing on which his brain could focus for longer than its usual three seconds of attention span when it didn't have a problem to fix, at least four sources of input, or Neji nearby to annihilate thought through games and praise.
"How in the world does someone like you
please somebody like him
And there they were: at the first crossroads leading to wherever the hell Sasuke was going. If the Uchiha was asking about Shikamaru's relationship, that must mean he wanted to gain some insight for his own. Because God knew that with Sasuke, situations, circumstances, interests, and the phases of the fucking moon were rarely about anything other than himself.
Which of course meant that Shikamaru could deduce that if Sasuke wanted to know how Shikamaru could please Neji, ultimately the issue had to do with Sasuke pleasing Naruto. The Uchiha wasn't stupid by any factor, but his pattern of derisive commentary about other peoples' relationships was a clear indicator of his own insecurities about the only person who may, on rare occasion, matter more to Sasuke than the Uchiha's own proclivities.Oh… fucking fantastic.
"Huh?" Shikamaru played dumb and recalled that Gaara's half-sister was a shrink. Maybe he could get some of the woman's business cards and start handing them out to petulant, over-sexed pretty boys who tried to corner Shikamaru to talk about their love lives for who-knew-what insane reason.
"Well… come on," Sasuke said. "You're a lazy, uncommunicative, lumberjack who's never really done anything
with your life. No offense."
"And you're with Neji
?" Sasuke's high pitch made Shikamaru wince, and over the discomfort, he categorized Sasuke's insults: lazy meant that Sasuke felt like he wasn't doing enough for Naruto. Uncommunicative meant he didn't feel he could talk to Naruto. Lumberjack… that one was trickier. It was at odds with Neji's political savvy, so perhaps that meant Sasuke was worried about being wrong for Naruto, and the last bit about never doing anything in life was so obvious a statement about himself that Shikamaru felt sorry for the kid.
"Yep," Shikamaru answered.
Sasuke threw up his hands, dramatic with wide eyes and cocked head. "Do you drug
The images of anyone trying to spring a trap on Neji that the Hyuuga didn't want to fall into for some complex politicking or sexual release made Shikamaru chuckle. "What? You think you'd do better by him?"
"Oh hell no," Sasuke said. "He's so not my type."
Amused at the Uchiha's immediate efforts to cover up his admission of inadequacy, Shikamaru squinted up at Sasuke from his slouch. "But Naruto is."
Sasuke made a noise like he had a hairball caught in the back of his throat. "Apparently."
This conversation could either last the entire damned time they were together or Shikamaru could lead the idiot into confessing what bothered the Uchiha and catch a quick nap before hopefully losing his mind again while riding Neji's cock.
Shikamaru chose option two. "Mm," he said and waited for it.
"I mean, we've been with each other forever, and God it's droll sometimes. You know how it goes." Sasuke glanced at Shikamaru, the arch look impressive in its depth of falsehood. "Oh. Well. Maybe you don't. Yet, anyway."
"Mm." Shikamaru mulled over baseball stats he'd memorized when he was a boy, thinking Sasuke needed to dig the grave a little deeper before Shikamaru buried the Uchiha in it.
"Eventually, if you last that long, you'll find out what I mean. How hard it can be to coordinate schedules, keep interest alive, water the fucking relationship plant or whatever the psych-hype is these days. And the serving a Master bit is just that much more difficult, you know. Or. Well… in theory you would
, though you couldn't possibly do it well--"
"Sasuke, cut it out," Shikamaru said calmly.
"Cut what out?"
Shikamaru sighed, weary of the games. "You're not stupid."
"Obviously." The smirk was positively demonic in its delight.
"You can be a prissy queen pain in the ass--"
"Well, fuck you very much," Sasuke hissed with a low laugh.
"But you're no idiot," Shikamaru continued, ignoring the retaliatory sentiment and the further proof of the point.
"Aw, so sweet of you," Sasuke cooed. "But what, exactly, are you getting at? Oh," Sasuke bit his lip in mock horror. "Did I touch a nerve?"
Shikamaru shrugged and continued like Sasuke didn't waste air on words he didn't mean. The guy played so hard on the insult-to-sate-curiosity line that he had to be hurting pretty good somewhere under that ice queen exterior. Shikamaru felt a pang of sympathy. "So," Shika said, level and slow. "Why do you act like it's a chore to serve Naruto when we both know you wouldn't do it if you didn't want to?"
Sasuke did a goldfish imitation, and Shikamaru basked in the four seconds of quiet that was his reward for deductive behavior.
"W-what?" The Uchiha sat straighter, posture going on the defensive. "That's not what I--"
"You love the guy, he loves you, and I've seen you play. You fucking love being his. So why do you do it if you don't like it?"
"Why do you
do it?" Sasuke huffed, nostrils flaring.
Shikamaru deftly pulled out the honesty card. "Because I decided a long time ago that I could either go through life living up to everyone's expectations of me and my own supposed potential and die of a heart attack at thirty, or I could do something that made me happy and let my brain work on shit that wouldn't keep me up for nights on end. Unfortunately, that means disappointing everyone on a fairly regular basis, which leaves me with a crippling need for praise." Shikamaru paused, eyed Sasuke, and calculated suspicions. "And I think you know exactly how
Sasuke's eyes dropped away from Shika's face, and it was all the confirmation Shikamaru needed that Sasuke had been in on the revenge Neji extorted from Kabuto and Haze. "But now I'm with Neji, and I'm his because I love the guy and because often by mere existence I get the affirmation I want. And playing shuts my fucking mind off in ways nothing else can manage. Now." Shikamaru took a breath. "The fuck's your
"I don't have--"
"Sasuke," Shikamaru interrupted, vowels of the name elongated in irked supplication. He rolled his neck against the back of the couch, getting more comfortable, feet sprawled in front of him. "Either get to the real point or shut the hell up and let me doze."
"Asshole," Sasuke muttered.
"Bitch," Shikamaru returned, pleasantly, and the pause in conversation was long enough that Shikamaru thought Sasuke might abdicate the game -- let Shikamaru win by default -- but instead Sasuke tucked his knees to his chest and rested his chin on one of them. He sighed.
think I'm a pain in the ass, you should see me with him." I have. It's awful. I think you're both fucking nuts.
"Yeah?" Shikamaru encouraged. The change in tone worried him -- the last thing he needed was a legitimately upset Uchiha on his hands. Good God, what would Shika do if the kid cried or something?
But it was too late to undo the moves and truth be told in the sanctity of Shikamaru's mind, he was interested in what had Sasuke so unmoored. He could guess, of course, but confirmation was so much easier.
"Yeah," Sasuke replied. He stared at the door to Neji's office with a blank expression.
"So… what's that about?"
Sasuke licked his lips. "That's the way it's always been," he deadpanned.
Of course it was. Everybody knew Sasuke and Naruto had been together practically since the sandbox. Naruto adored the younger Uchiha for whatever illogical reason. Sasuke resisted the affection but ultimately gave in because he actually felt the same way. And woe unto the ignorant dipshit who suggested to either of them that maybe -- just maybe -- they weren't really good
for one another. Naruto didn't take that kind of feedback well. At all.
And Sasuke made Naruto look sane and mundane when he pitched one of his murderous fits in response to such criticism. Neji probably wouldn't appreciate a trashed lobby, so Shikamaru treaded carefully in these brackish waters. "And you like it that way." He didn't make it a question.
Another hairball noise and Sasuke tugged the ends of his hair. "Sometimes. Maybe." He scowled. "I don't know. Naru expects it, you know? Everybody does."
"You never struck me as the type to do something just because people expect it."
"I know," Sasuke said, sidelong glance meeting Shikamaru's. "We have that in common."
Shikamaru set that little gem aside to contemplate later with copious amounts of alcoholic encouragement. "Right…"
"I mean, sometimes I think about changing things up on Naru. You know."
The quick smile was almost sweet; a glimpse of the real Sasuke that Naruto swore was not a figment of everyone's imagination. And even though Sasuke couldn't top much less dom a house plant, Shikamaru kept that truth to himself. Best to keep the conversation ambiguous so they didn't stray into too many emotional landmines. "You mean it always goes one way?"
The question got Shikamaru the Uchiha death glare, but he caught the threads of anxiety in the dark eyes. Intuition and observation clicked to show Shikamaru the whole picture: Sasuke and Naruto, together for years, set in particular patterns, and Sasuke still terrified that Naruto would leave. Because Sasuke was always afraid of being left; his mother, his father, his brother -- all gone, though thankfully Itachi seemed to be coming around more often. But even Jiraiya, whom Shikamaru knew was like a father figure to Sasuke, was deceased. Sasuke had Naruto but their friends tended to be Naruto's
friends; Sasuke didn't deign to speak to people much so far as Shikamaru could tell.
And obviously, Sasuke didn't talk to Naruto about jack shit.
Shikamaru had a hard time talking, too, but he had Neji. Given enough time, Neji could make anybody talk. Diplomats, dictators, district attorneys, dust bunnies. Neji manifested atmosphere -- a sort of, You will speak of this to me
-- and Shikamaru had yet to nail down the equation that explained the mixture of trust, safety, desire, and other components Neji used to make such a thing possible.
Part of that mix, however, was understanding that Neji wanted to know, but the other party still had to confess; had to meet Neji halfway. Shikamaru was absolutely sure such niceties were given only to those individuals whom Neji liked
, and Shika shuddered to think about how Neji used such skill to his advantage in other arenas.
Well… shuddered and then got half-hard at such innate and carefully wielded power.
"What?" Sasuke asked.
"You're fucking staring."
"Thinking," Shikamaru corrected, refocusing on the tense man seated next to him.
"Going to share, Nara?" Sasuke asked, but the question didn't come out with the keen edge Shikamaru thought Sasuke intended.
"Yeah. I am." Shikamaru met Sasuke's gaze. "If Naruto hasn't left your ass on a street corner by now, he's never going to. So stop being a chicken shit and tell Naruto that you're done fighting what you want."
Shikamaru let that one sink into Sasuke's guts for a few heartbeats before continuing, voice kinder. "He's been dying to hear that for years, now, and you becoming easier to live with won't be a bad thing, Sasuke. It'll make Naruto happy for Chrissakes."
"Hn," Sasuke intoned, turning away to bore smoldering holes into the opposite wall.
"You know I'm right," Shikamaru said, resettling on the sofa and closing his eyes. "Just like you know that somehow I do please Neji. And we are together. And more than just happy. Which means I have to know what the fuck I'm talking about or we wouldn't be having this conversation. Such as it is." Shikamaru smiled. "You're not
"No…" Sasuke murmured: ache, contemplation, hope, and fear.
"But even geniuses make mistakes."
"You would know."
The barb didn't bite because it was true. "I do."
"Right." Sasuke untucked himself from a ball, arms crossing and leg bouncing again. "Sure. Whatever."
Issue exposed and problem now firmly in Sasuke's court, Shikamaru relaxed. Neither man spoke again, and Shikamaru woke with a startled snort when Neji's door opened fifteen minutes later.
"Thanks again, man," Naruto said, shaking Neji's hand. "Sunday. Business. It's bullshit."
"Indeed," Neji agreed, smiling as the pair walked toward the couch. Sasuke and Shikamaru stood, and Neji's expression softened when he glanced at Shikamaru. Unconsciously, his and came up to touch the locket Neji wore against his skin at all times, and Shika's insides roiled and melted. Rook takes pawn.
"You two play nice?" Naruto asked, arm sliding around Sasuke's shoulders to pull the Uchiha closer for a kiss.
"Of course," Sasuke replied with the usual smirk, but it wavered, faltered, and he turned to Shikamaru with one of the more honest and open expressions Shikamaru had ever seen painted on Sasuke's face. "Enlightening, Nara. Thank you."
Naruto's shocked laugh eased the tension. "Holy hell, Shikamaru. What'd you do?"
"Talked," Shika answered with a shrug, getting distracted when Neji stroked along his spine.White pins queen.
Naruto focused for a long second on Shikamaru; assessing. But he maintained the easy posture as he hugged Sasuke. "You'll have to let me know your secrets."
"They're trademarked," Neji said, and Shikamaru lost focus when Neji fisted his shirt at the small of Shika's back.Save strategy. Pawn sacrificed. Check.
"Yeah, yeah…" Naruto grinned, nodding. "Later."
"Enjoy," Neji said graciously as the two men headed to the elevator, and Shikamaru allowed himself to be turned toward the office. He paused outside the door, slipped a hand into Neji's hair, and made their lips meet for a kiss that was anything but innocent of intent.
"Delicious," Neji said over Shikamaru's mouth, his eyes darker as his pupils expanded. The single word sent Shikamaru's blood to singing. "Any reasoning behind such sudden affection? Other than my irresistible nature, of course." Final gambit. Queen takes queen.
The rare Hyuuga grin -- one often given only to Shikamaru after Neji made fun of himself -- spurred another kiss. Shikamaru didn't want to waste time explaining all the ways Neji saved Shikamaru -- mentally, physically, otherwise. Couldn't form all the proper words to talk of bonds and souls and gratitude or risk valuable seconds on stammering when they could be wrapped up in physicality. "Nah," Shikamaru muttered as he undid the bottom button of Neji's shirt. "Just thinking about that desk."
The liquid sex laugh filled the lobby. Shikamaru went ahead of Neji into the office -- brightly lit with midday sun. And when the door closed and Neji's touch and lips began their dance over Shikamaru's body, all Shika could hear was breathing, earnest and eager praise, and the faint sound of a king rolling across a marble board.~*~