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Demented Ink.
Naruto Fanfiction // Turning the Tables -- Undercurrents Side Story 
16th-Sep-2011 10:41 am
cig mouth tie
Title: Turning the Tables -- Undercurrents Side Story
Series: Monoshizukanohi/Naruto AU
Author: Darkprism
Genre: Drama/Romance/Kink
Rating: Mature
Pairing: Neji & Shikamaru; references to Kakashi/Iruka, Ita/Kimi/Haku
Word Count: 9500
Warnings/Notes: Adult content, m/m sex, sounding, nudity, language, D/s relationships, bondage, toys, shameless humor.

I wanted to write something that could serve as a little "Thank You" for all the love and virtual baked goods. Since Undercurrents remains a favorite, or so it seems, I picked my favorite political shaker and his genius boyfriend to star in the lead roles.

Hope you enjoy, much love, and many thanks from Demented, Inc.

Spoilers: None whatsoever.

Summary: Shikamaru wins a game of chess and gets to call the shots.



"Shit," Shikamaru exclaimed, brown eyes wide with obvious distress. "I won."

Neji looked over the chessboard sitting on the coffee table between himself and his lover. It took him an extra second longer than his irritatingly brilliant partner, but eventually he saw the inevitable outcome seven moves into the future. The aggravation of losing quickly got buried beneath an avalanche of unexpected opportunity. "It appears you did," Neji agreed, toppling his king.

"Dammit!" Shikamaru cursed vehemently and slammed the pawn he'd just taken onto the rug.

Neji couldn't help it, he laughed. "Goodness, but I do hate it when you outsmart yourself."

"Shut it, Hyuuga." Shikamaru scowled, and his back thumped against the couch. "I wasn't trying to win."

"You never do," Neji pointed out helpfully and got a glower like a lightning strike. Shika was so cute when angry. Neji grinned. "Because now that you've beaten me in chess..."

"No," Shikamaru said, shaking his head while Neji crawled around the furniture. "No, no--"

"That means, by consensual agreement to terms by both parties, that now you get to--"

"No way. In hell. Am I--"

"Beat me," Neji finished, teasing. He tried to kiss Shika's cheek, but the Nara leapt up off the floor.

"Two out of three," Shikamaru demanded.

Neji didn't like the fear marring Shika's expression for a few reasons, the least of which was concern for his boyfriend, but he wasn't about to back down. "Hell no," he said. "You won. Fair's fair."

"Rematch!" Shika called. "You had unfair advantage."

"You’ve got to be kidding," Neji drawled, standing and brushing invisible lint off his slacks. "In what universe did I have something over you in chess? I hate the game, and you know it."

"And you know speed chess is not my forte," Shikamaru accused.

Neji didn't care for the Nara's implications in the slightest, and he straightened his spine. "Shika," he said and the other man flinched and dropped eyes at the slow, modulated tone. "We've been using games as a way to determine when and how we play for months, and you know the rules. We state them before we start every single time." Neji paced closer and put a hand on Shikamaru's elbow.

"Winner gets to construct and top the next scene," Shikamaru mumbled.

"Precisely," Neji said, attempting to coax Shikamaru's shoulders from around his ears. "And while you valiantly lose and undercut me despite my best efforts, you had to know that someday you might slip and actually win fair and square."

Shikamaru made an unhappy sound, and Neji sighed. "So what in the world--"

"I didn't plan it," Shika said, bright gaze meeting Neji's and pleading.

"I see," Neji said, speaking slowly and trying to figure out the source of the angst. "You're angry that you won?"

Shikamaru fidgeted with the hem of his shirt. "Sort of."

"Do you want to safeword out of the deal?"

"N-no," Shika stammered, and an adorable flush colored his cheeks. He scowled again. "That's not the point."

Neji gave up. "Then enlighten me."

"It's important that you know I didn't mean to do it," Shikamaru explained like a teacher would to a toddler. Neji cocked an eyebrow.

"Sorry," Shikamaru mumbled, contrite and leaning closer. "Didn't do it intentionally. Surprised me. Want you to get that."

Neji forced Shikamaru into a hug, stalling for an extra two seconds to gather his thoughts. God but he did love how Shika made him work for every inch of ground gained. "You want me to understand that winning after hundreds of lost matches isn't your way of telling me that you want to dom me in a scene?" Hot breath blew against Neji's neck, made him shut his eyes on the sensation.

"Yeah," Shikamaru answered.

"But you understand that I knew this was a possibility every time I down with you at a board?"

Shikamaru unwound against Neji. "Yes, Sir."

"So you know I'm not upset by this turn of events?"

Shikamaru nodded.

"Good," Neji praised, relieved they were well beyond those hurdles, now. "And you don't want to safeword out of the next round?" he asked. It didn't hurt to ask twice.

"No, Sir," Shikamaru replied, arms wrapping around Neji and squeezing.

Neji stroked Shikamaru's hair, loose from its typical tail at Neji's preference. He wet his lips and forced himself to ask the difficult question. "So the idea of swapping roles isn't so horrible?"

"Of course not," Shika said, and Neji liked the notes of disdain. "Intimidating. Worrisome. Unexpected. But definitely not undesirable, Sir. Though..."

"Yes?" Neji prompted, heart in his throat.

"...I don't know about pain, Sir."

Neji hummed, relaxing by degrees and burying his nose in Shikamaru's spicy scent. "I like you thinking about what you do know, Shika. And this is about figuring out what you want and coming to me with a proposal."

Shikamaru didn't say anything right away, but lips brushed the skin behind Neji's ear and Neji rubbed Shika's back, thumb digging into the tender spot near the Nara's left shoulder blade. Shikamaru grunted and pressed against Neji from pelvis to torso, and Neji felt Shika's arousal against his hip.

"We've not really talked much about what you like done to you, Sir," Shikamaru pointed out.

"You know me and more about my preferences than almost anyone alive," Neji countered, considering. He withdrew and caught Shika's chin with one hand. "But if it sweetens the deal or gives you a starting point, we could say that whatever you decide to do to me, I'll do in return for you."

Shika's eyes widened briefly as the offer merged into the Autobahn network of brain highway. "Yeah?"

"Mmhm," Neji said, giving in to the temptation and sliding his hands beneath Shikamaru's shirt and caressing familiar lean muscles. "I know what you can, do, and like to take. I'm confident that turnabout will be more than fair play."

Finally Shikamaru smiled, shaking his head in amusement. "You and your challenges."

"You and your puzzles," Neji countered.

The grin was half smirk, and Shikamaru kissed Neji in an entirely too brief bit of contact. "About this knowing what I can take, business."

"Yes?"

"Well," Shikamaru said, reaching and cupping Neji's ass with both hands. "Wouldn't hurt to be reminded of one or two baselines."

Neji chuckled, his tongue found Shikamaru's, and they began a lazy waltz to the bedroom where Neji was more than happy to show Shikamaru exactly what Neji had to give.


~*~



Two days later, Neji sat in his office at the top of Hyuuga Tower in downtown Monoshizukanohi staring out the bank of floor-to-ceiling windows that ran along two sides of the room. Shikamaru hadn't said a word about the game that was afoot, and anticipation was beginning to wear on Neji. He didn't exactly suffer in silence or have a friendly relationship with patience. Typically when Neji won a round, the discussion of the scene that he wanted happened in the same night or the next day at the latest.

Then again, Shikamaru didn't have hours upon hours of meetings to attend wherein the only sanity saver was extensive scenario planning.

The phone intercom buzzed. "Sir?" said Melody, Neji's secretary. "Hatake Kakashi here to see you."

"Thank you," Neji replied, swiveling in the chair and adjusting his sky blue tie. "Send him in."

Neji reached for a drawer, and his cell phone rang. Momentarily annoyed by too many types of contact at once, he dug in his suit jacket pocket. He heard the door to his office open, and Neji gestured for Kakashi to come in and sit in the chair across from Neji. The man strolled over to the desk, whistling cheerfully, and Neji rolled his eyes as he answered Shikamaru's call.

"Yes?" Neji answered. It was unusual for Shikamaru to contact Neji while he was at the office, and he stifled the pinprick of panic that sparked in the back of his mind.

"I'm sorry to disturb you, Sir," Shikamaru said, tone formal, quiet, and submissive. Neji immediately sat straighter in his chair. "Do you have a moment for me?"

"Of course, b--" Neji cut himself off with a glance at Kakashi, who had settled in a chair and who was pretending to be insanely interested in a piece of artwork. "Yes. I do. Go ahead."

"I am in need of your permission, Sir."

"To do what?"

Shikamaru took a deep breath, and Neji had to stop himself from clutching the edge of his desk. "To attend a demonstration of a particular element of Scene."

"Oh?" Neji asked, mind a flurry of possibilities and dead ends. "What element?"

"If you'll indulge me, Sir, I'd rather not say."

"I beg your pardon?" Neji asked. Kakashi coughed, no doubt to cover a laugh, and Neji glared at the man. Kakashi returned the look with an innocent shrug. Neji reached for the files in Kakashi's hands, and the bartender handed them over, mismatched eyes dancing.

"It has to do with our arrangement, Sir, and I wish, with your permission, for it to be a surprise."

Neji gritted his teeth. "You know how I feel about those," he said, not caring that Kakashi was privy to his irritation.

"I do, Sir." Another deep breath. "You dislike surprises as they throw you off your game, Sir, and in your occupation, that's exceptionally dangerous."

"So good of you to notice the inherent peril." Kakashi snickered, and Neji whacked his information man on the arm with a legal pad. He made a threatening gesture with a letter opener, and Kakashi feigned sincere injury.

"I never forget it, Sir," Shikamaru said quietly.

Neji shifted his focus. "What are you getting at, Shika?"

"Only that I've been thinking nonstop about the scene I'd like to craft for us, Sir, and while I know you hate surprises in life, I believe that not knowing every aspect of my strategy beforehand would allow me to serve you better."

Neji gave Shikamaru points for diplomacy. It worked. "Do you, now?" he asked.

"Yes, Sir. From what you've taught me and what I know of my own desires, I think that withholding some of the details will get you out of your comfort zone and help us achieve the goals of this exercise."

"I see," Neji murmured, and he tried to ignore the weight of Kakashi's study.

"I can tell you that it involves roles as we've previously discussed, some equipment from our dungeon, and the need for my further training."

"And that's all you're willing to share?"

Shikamaru hesitated, and when he spoke, Neji had to turn the volume up on the phone to hear him. "No pain, Sir, and I can give you a range of days in which the scene will most likely happen."

Neji racked his brain trying to figure out what Shikamaru needed training in that didn't involve pain, ran into too many distracting images, and had to retreat from the train of thought else he get lost in Possibility Bay. "And I suppose I'm to safeword out should I disapprove of this plan?"

"Please, Sir," Shikamaru answered, firmer and louder. "And I don't wish to go any further without your permission to seek education or without your consent to these terms."

"I see," Neji replied, a hundred emotions swirling in his gut. He loved and trusted Shikamaru implicitly. He could tell that his lover was nervous, earnest, and hopeful. Neji hated being in the dark, and he wasn't crazy about the idea of going in blind to whatever Shikamaru had planned, but he adored Shikamaru plotting out a scene for them. He cherished the respect Shikamaru afforded him, and he knew from the soles of his feet to the crown of his head that Shika would never do anything to harm either of them. They'd been through too much, knew each other too well, and had learned too many a lesson together.

"You seek knowledge from someone you trust?" Neji asked, voice gentler.

"Yes, Sir," Shikamaru answered without hesitation.

"From someone I trust?"

"Yes, Sir," Shika repeated, and again, no hint of doubt colored his voice.

"Am I to assume time is limited since we're having this discussion over the phone?"

"Correct, Sir."

"That was unavoidable, I take it."

"Also correct, Sir."

Neji's eyes narrowed and, for once, Kakashi stayed still and silent. "Is this education going to involve anyone handling you?"

"No, Sir."

Neji sat back in his chair. "Very well, Shikamaru. I accept and give you permission to do as you need to learn."

"Thank you for your trust, Sir. I promise it won't be in vain."

Neji swallowed thickly at the fervor in Shikamaru's voice, so rare to hear. It reminded him of what Shika truly craved -- praise -- and of what Neji really needed -- his Shikamaru. "I never have doubts in your abilities to please me."

"Thank you, Sir," Shikamaru whispered.

"Is there anything else?" Neji asked.

"No, Sir. I'll see you this evening? After nine?"

"You will."

"Thank you."

"Love you," Neji said absently, and when Shikamaru replied with return sentiment, Neji hung up and clasped the locket around his neck. Possession and curiosity and affection mixed so thick it became hard to breathe.

"Ah, wuv. Twoo wuv," Kakashi sing-songed, startling Neji. "It's what bwings us two-gevah--"

"Kakashi," Neji said, frost punctuating the syllables. "Give me your report and then kindly go to hell."

"Gladly," Kakashi answered without missing a beat. "Iruka and I need a vacation, anyway. Hear the weather's lovely down--"

"Now Kakashi."

"Oh," Kakashi said, leaning forward with a frown that made Neji nervous. "So you want to hear it when, exactly, Sir? Because I'm a little unclear on--"

Neji made a frustrated sound and managed to get through his meeting without braining Kakashi with a stapler.

Barely.


~*~



The email came at long last on a Friday while Neji was at an early dinner meeting. He excused himself and made his way to the men's room, proud of his stately pace and calm demeanor. Once he was safely locked in a stall, he thumbed through his phone's menu screens and read the instructions with equal parts trepidation and relief.

Sir,

Should it suit your schedule, I wish to enact our scene tonight after you get home from work. It will begin upon your arrival and end in its due time. If it pleases you, I wish to remain your boy and for you to be my Sir, as even in this I long to serve you. Melody tells me your day is done at six. If it isn't too much of a burden, I ask that you please see my attached list and purchase the items on it on your way to the house. You can find all of them at one of Uzumaki's superstores. Should any of this pose too much a burden, please know that is not my intention and please contact me by any means you so choose to discuss difficulties.

If this plan meets with your approval, then I humbly request you message me to that effect at your leisure so that I may continue to prepare for our night together.

To your pleasure I strive and in your service I pledge,
Your boy


Neji leaned heavily against the tiled wall of the bathroom stall and memorized Shikamaru's words. The man could be positively eloquent when Shika wanted to be, and Neji waved fingertips over the phone like he could caress the very message itself.

Other men came and went, and still Neji stayed. He knew he needed to get back to his meeting, knew he needed to type something in the message box he'd opened to reply to Shikamaru, and knew that hanging out in a bathroom for the next few hours until he had to go home wasn't really a viable course of action. However desirable.

Because in that moment, Neji realized that he'd been far more concerned with how Shikamaru felt about swapping roles and doing this scene rather than with how he actually felt about it. Yes, it'd been fun to tease the man initially and to discover that Shikamaru had an interest in changing up their usual pattern. Neji'd even tolerated letting Shikamaru keep secrets and plot the event, despite Neji's reservations. The last few days, however, had heightened his anxiety by several degrees, and the full awareness of how many degrees crashed around Neji like so many balls of hail. He was sweating beneath his suit, his heart rate was up, and he loosened his tie to make it easier to swallow on a dry throat.

It'd been years since Neji had subbed. Bottomed? Sure. Learned something new at Break by taking lash or tail or prong? Absolutely. But done a scene in which the sole purpose was to send Neji flying? Neji struggled to recall the last time, remembered Kiba's signature, sadistic chuckle, and shivered.

The memory wasn't a bad one by any means, but as Neji stared at the blinking cursor on his phone and the fear of failure weighed on his shoulders, he wondered if he could even remember how to be submissive. He'd not been terribly good at it even in the early days. He could still remember Tenzou's teasing.

And now he faced a night with Shikamaru, and he didn't even know what in the hell was expected. Didn't know how to act or what to do or--

Neji took a deep breath and stopped himself from hyperventilating in a public bathroom and making an entirely different kind of scene. He waited for the panic to subside and listened to the droning voice of reason trying to be heard in the back of his mind.

The days of waiting for Shikamaru to make a move had obviously taken a toll and were affecting Neji as, he had no doubt, the Nara intended. It was easier to tip Neji's scales, to cast him off-kilter, but he wasn't completely without parameters as to how to proceed or in utterly unfamiliar territory. Neji was still "Sir" for the night, and he knew when and where to show up. He had safewords to halt an instance or to call ceasefire to the entire evening. He even had an errand to complete; an obvious task and a means to make it successful. There was power in remembering where control really rested, and Neji took comfort in that knowledge.

Blowing a harsh exhale, Neji opened the attachment and stared at the five items listed in neat sans serif.

Epsom salts, apples, massage oil, cranberry pills, wasabi

Neji read the list again. And again. And then one more time for good measure. He tried to fit the items into a construct and got stymied by the sheer chaos of the permutations. Hell, he didn't even know what cranberry pills were -- did that indicate color or main ingredient? -- much less how in the blue fuck they were to be used.

He'd actually typed the word, "Canary" into the message box before Neji stopped himself to think about that course of action. The pause let him see the list for what it was: a mind game. Yet another instance designed to knock Neji off balance, and all be damned if it wasn't working.

"Very good, pet," Neji murmured in sincere admiration while deleting his reply and sending another, instead.

Boy,

I find your suggestions satisfactory and your rules intriguing. I will do as you ask and look forward to the remainder of the unveiling.

Loving regards,
Sir


Neji shoved the phone into his pocket, tucked an errant strand of long hair that had escaped its tail behind his ear, and went back to hurry through the rest of his day.


~*~



The sidewalk leading from six-car garage to Neji's home crunched beneath the heels of his Pradas. He'd parked the Rover in bay three, grabbed the bag of mystery supplies, and now resisted the temptation to run to the front door. He paused at the base of the porch stairs, noting the warm glowing lights of the home he shared with Shikamaru when the Nara wasn't at the cabin, saw the wind moving one of the rocking chairs in a silent sway, and watched his breath fog in the night. He shivered beneath his heavy coat and suit jacket and as his shoes ticked the count of the steps, he remembered the very first time he'd come home to Shikamaru and a night of play. The pressure behind his fly increased at the sensate memory, and he pressed the handle to enter his -- their -- home.

Shikamaru was waiting in the foyer at the base of the winding staircase wearing blood red silk pants and nothing else. "Good evening, Sir," he said in greeting before Neji even had time to catch breath or shut the door. Shika smiled, bowed slightly at the waist, and Neji threw locks and got mesmerized by the tug and shift of fabric that outlined the Nara's fit, lean form as he drew closer.

"May I take your coat?" Shikamaru asked, voice low and sweet. He didn't know what, exactly, he'd been expecting upon his arrival, but this visual treat was a pleasant surprise. The pattern was familiar, and tension began to unwind in Neji's guts.

"You may," Neji answered, shrugging out of clothing and placing it into Shika's awaiting arms.

"Thank you, Sir," Shikamaru said kindly, but the twinkle in his eye alerted Neji that something was amiss a second before the Nara acted.

In lieu of hanging the coat, Shikamaru tossed it carelessly onto a nearby table, cleared of its usual vase, Neji noted. He felt the question burble up his throat just as Shikamaru pressed against him and shoved him into the door. Breath left Neji's lungs in a gasp, and he braced against the wood, the bag of supplies falling to the tile with a thump and clatter. Lips hovered over Neji's, and Neji's vision was consumed by long lashes flicking with the direction of Shikamaru's gaze, down, up, and down again.

"And may I have the pleasure of taking the rest of your clothing, Sir?" Shikamaru whispered with hands pushing Neji's jacket off his arms and groins against one another.

"You may," Neji said, and was shocked by the speed of the reply as well as the wavering quality of it.

"Thank you, Sir," Shikamaru said, dropping the first piece of Neji's suit into a neglected pile of the finest black wool. "Been dying to get you naked all day, Sir."

"Is that so?" Neji asked. His belt fell with a clank of buckle, his tie slid with a whine of silk on cotton, and his buttons parted beneath Shikamaru's attentions.

"It is always so, Sir," Shika said, and his mouth brushed Neji's. "Few things I like more than my hands on your skin. You're... gorgeous, Sir."

Neji heard the dominant intent but also the honesty in the phrasing, and he was stunned to discover that both worked to awaken his cock and stir a fever out of the wintry chill. He toed out of his shoes with Shikamaru's hands shoving beneath the waist of his pants and gripping his backside. Another kiss, this one firmer but still brief, and it took everything Neji had to let Shikamaru lead and not to claim Shika's mouth until they were flushed and flustered.

"Stunning," Shikamaru whispered. Neji clutched Shika's waist and shoulder when two fingers shoved aside the elastic band of Neji's underwear and parted his cheeks to seek his asshole and rub in a back-and-forth tease. Neji's breath hitched, and his pants fell in a pool around his ankles. Shikamaru leaned against him once the cloth was out of the way, and finally the mesh of mouths was a heated exploration that lasted for too few seconds. Shikamaru tasted like toothpaste and mint, and the Nara wore the rich, herbal scent that Neji dearly loved.

"Welcome home, Sir," Shikamaru said, redder about the face and breaking the kiss to bend and strip Neji of briefs, slacks, and socks. He gathered the plastic bag from the store with a smile, and stopped Neji's question with another quick kiss.

"Will you come upstairs with me, please?" Shika asked politely, lacing their fingers together.

"Oh... why not..." Neji replied, slightly shaken by the sensory onslaught and ensuing cessation. It really shouldn't be that easy, but this was Shikamaru. Even Neji admitted that if anyone could get to him with the simplest tactics, it would be his Nara.

Leaving the clothing scattered around the foyer, Neji followed Shikamaru to the second floor. Shikamaru never let go of Neji's hand, and the single glance over one sleek shoulder was attentive. Neji tried not to guess his way through the evening, focusing instead on the curls of Shika's hair.

Down the hallway, through the master bedroom, and Neji surmised the first phase of the scene when his bare feet hit the bathroom floor. He heard running water and gloated to himself, but his thoughts scattered when they paused and he saw the care in Shikamaru's details.

Not only did candles encircle the soaking tub surrounded by Greek style stone pillars, but they were the soy ones in the Thunderstorm scent that Neji liked but were so hard to find. There was a bath awaiting him, that was true, but Shikamaru had topped the surface of the water with some kind of flower petal that accentuated the candles' smell. Neji got closer and saw that Shikamaru had kept the water at the perfect temperature by letting it run slowly and by using some sort of stopper over the drain that let some of the water out. No overflow and no worries about how long it would take them to get from foyer to bathroom.

Neji started to comment while Shikamaru plugged the tub and adjusted the taps, but then he saw that what he assumed was his robe lying over the chair was not, in fact, his. It was new, ridiculously fluffy and soft seeming and a pale lavender that Neji never would have chosen for himself but rather liked. A monogramed, "N" was stitched to the breast. It was obviously a gift that was some time in the making, and a perfect one.

Next to the chair was a table and on it was a silver tray laden with Neji's favorite finger foods. Shika got the apples and set them next to an uncorked bottle of Neji's rare and preferred champagne on ice and a single crystal flute. And when Shikamaru fetched the Epsom salts from the bag and dumped them into the steaming water, Neji had absolutely no idea what to say. He was dumbstruck with the attention, with the reality of his suspicions made infinitely better through his partner's understanding. Crazily and stupidly, the beginnings of tears burned his eyes, and Shikamaru caught his hands when Neji took a step backward toward the door.

"You never let me spoil you," Shikamaru said, one hand kneading Neji's nape until Neji sighed in defeat. "And it's the first thing on our agenda tonight, Sir."

"As you wish," Neji said, and Shikamaru feathered kisses to Neji's face and throat. He stroked Neji's skin with the light touch that fried Neji's nerves and sent higher thinking to the rear of his mind. By the time Neji sank into the water with a throaty groan of appreciation, he was dizzy and hard and willing to accept Shikamaru's guidance.

"Found a family of hungry raccoons today out on the Preserve," Shikamaru commented. He shut off the water and retrieved a knife and an apple from the tray.

"Oh?" Neji prompted, and listened to Shikamaru speak of mundane things. Simple, easy, and Neji could get lost in the way Shika's lips formed words while the Nara peeled the skin off the Fiji just as Neji liked and put slices coated in a creamy sauce that Shika dipped out of a small bowl to Neji's mouth. Not once did Shikamaru stop the chatter, and not once did Neji pause to think it strange or silly to be hand fed. The moment he was thirsty, Shikamaru poured champagne, and the moment he was done, Shikamaru sank to kneel and remove the band from Neji's hair.

"Under, please," Shikamaru requested, and Neji ducked beneath the surface without a second thought. He came up and wiped his eyes clear, resting against the side of the tub.

"Thank you, Sir." Shikamaru poured shampoo and began working lather into Neji's hair, blunt nails and firm fingers massaging into his scalp. Neji knew Shikamaru still spoke, but it was beyond him to listen while Shika melted Neji into a substance barely thicker than the perfumed water. Shikamaru took care, washed and conditioned and grabbed a towel to squeeze the moisture from Neji's strands with a patient affection that Neji never had.

"Sir?" Shikamaru inquired, combing through the ends of Neji's damp hair where it hung over the lip of the bath.

"Hm?"

Shikamaru chuckled, and Neji managed to kiss back when warm lips touched his. "A choice, Sir, if you're with me?"

Sitting straighter, Neji met Shika's eyes and smiled. "What is it?"

"I'm happy to put you to bed, Sir, if you'd rather rest than continue to the dungeon. If you're at peace with the evening as it is, then I don't want to push you."

Neji heard what Shikamaru didn't say, and his knuckle met Shikamaru's cheek and petted the stubble-free skin. "Am I to understand that bed means the pleasure ends here?"

The change in expression was subtle, but Neji saw the delight all the same. "You are correct, Sir. As usual."

"Mm, and if we go to the dungeon, I get off?" Neji asked calmly and loved the way Shika's tongue darted to wet his mouth.

"Yes, Sir."

"While you fuck me, perhaps?" Neji asked, deliberately sleepy.

"Nnngh... yes. Sir."

"And between here and endgame..." Neji trailed off and arched a brow.

"There is more, yes, Sir."

"Then it's an easy decision," Neji said, standing and shuddering at the water and oil sluicing over his body. "Dungeon, it is."

Shikamaru helped Neji out of the bath and wrapped him in an oversized towel. Neji dried off while Shika blew out candles and let the tub drain. Shikamaru held the robe for Neji, and it was even softer than it looked.

"Texture, Sir," Shikamaru whispered, tying the cord around Neji's waist. "I saw it and thought of you."

"Thank you," Neji replied and before the touches turned deliberate or the kisses turned purposeful, Shikamaru grabbed the superstore bag and they left the master suite to retrace their steps downstairs. Shikamaru keyed in the electronic code on the heavy oak door leading into the remodeled garage. Over a thousand square feet surrounded by insulated walls, filled with programmable light and sound, and packed with the best equipment money could buy and Tenzou could make sprawled before them. Neji waited while Shikamaru hit buttons on the soundboard, and soft classical music filled the air and blue and red gels made purple haze over a section of the room on the far side. A bondage table had been draped with sheets, and a rolling tray stood nearby covered by cloth. The set up was next to the glass-walled bathroom and close to the bed in the rear corner.

"Sir?" Shikamaru asked when the door shut behind them, hinges silent but locking mechanism loud. "May I have your safewords?"

"Canary to stop an action," Neji answered as he swept toward the lit table. He drank in every detail, trying to analyze with a brain that wanted to go on strike and a cock that wanted friction. Dark sheets, old and worn and delicious on the skin. Four cuffs at ankles and wrists attached to long lengths of chain. Wooden instruments and a string of beads on a cord meant for massage. A drape over the rest of the rolling cart, keeping the main act under wraps. Hunger thrummed in Neji's core; alive, eager, impatient.

"And rouge," Neji nearly purred, turning and letting the robe fall. Shikamaru stopped short, the silk of the pants displaying the Nara's erection beautifully. "To stop the game." Neji leveraged himself onto the sheet, felt the give of the leather beneath it. "Now tell me how you want me, Shika."

"On your stomach facing away from the cart with your arms bent, hands near your head, and legs comfortable, please, Sir."

Breathing faster at the command in his boy's voice, Neji obeyed, flipping his hair out of the way and rubbing his cheek against the nap of the sheet as he settled. A rustle behind him made him think of the oil, and he smiled when Shikamaru's warm, dry hands raked through his hair, traced the line of neck to shoulder, and mapped a course along one arm to his left wrist. Shika dug into tender spots while laying out the first cuff, and, after buckling the leather restraint, Shikamaru tested the fit. Chain clinked, and Neji realized he had plenty of leeway, could reach above his head or to the edge of the table if he wanted, and he sighed a long, cleansing sigh.

"Bear with me, Sir," Shikamaru whispered in Neji's ear and took enough time to trace the shape of it that Neji bit his lip on a groan.

Shikamaru moved on with a satisfied noise, and he never stopped touching Neji through the other three bindings. The pattern was soothing: rub, trace, cinch, test, and when the task was complete and Neji was bound by leather and link, the Nara climbed on top with Neji. Pleasant weight pressed Neji into the padded surface, and Shika suckled at Neji's neck with harsher pulls of lips and the hint of teeth.

"Shika... oh..." Neji twisted to offer more throat, and Shikamaru caught his chin. Heavy-lidded eyes flashed and then Neji was living in the space between desperate licks alongside his tongue and the quick draws of air he sucked through his nose.

"Going to massage every part of you," Shikamaru said against Neji's lips. The grip on his face tightened, and Neji gasped a quiet sound that had nothing at all to do with pain. "Inside and out, Sir," Shika further explained and let go of Neji to snatch the oil off the cart.

Images assaulted Neji's mind, what he thought Shikamaru meant, what he hoped would happen. He ground against the table, tipping and squirming to find a reasonably comfortable position while bound and hard and growing needier by the second. The detached portion of his brain congratulated Shikamaru on a masterful use of Neji's main weakness, touch, and he didn't bother stifling his growling moan when slick, hot palms started rubbing slow circles in a prelude to a deeper dig of skilled fingers. "God... boy... yes..."

Shikamaru answered Neji with a firmer press to tender muscles, and when Neji had the choice to climb aboard the small ship sailing to serene seas or to cling to dry land in a coming storm, he filled mental sails with tropical winds and disembarked from shore. He completely lost track of time, motion, gravity, and self. He knew he praised Shikamaru with inarticulate sounds, knew the moment when Shika worked a knot in his lower back finally free, and knew he roll-arched into the grip on his ass. Shikamaru dug thumbs into the spaces beneath the swell of Neji's buttocks, worked his inner thighs until Neji was ready to beg for more and for less.

"So fuckin' beautiful." The muttered words reached Neji's ears and sent a sizzle down his spine. The overwhelming sensation of being surrounded by genuine adoration struck home again, and this time there was no way to retreat toward an exit. Neji turned his face into the table, and his own breath blew hot into his face in staccato bursts. Shikamaru's weight shifted, Neji froze with his eyes squeezed shut and heart hammering through the waves of carnal craving, and something touched his upper back and snaked down to his cleft.

"Would you please spread your legs slightly wider, Sir, so that I may have better access to your asshole?" Shikamaru asked in husky, honeyed tones that Neji was sure were meant to drive spikes of lust into his gut from all angles.

"Nnn... fuck..." Neji cursed, pushing his knees wider and flexing his feet to stub toes into the table. Pain lanced in his hands, and he glanced at his fist, clenched tightly with nails digging half-moon wounds. It took effort to undo it, and time was playing tricks on Neji. Moving slowly, moving too fast, and definitely not obeying the usual laws of seconds, minutes, hours, eternities.

The roll of cart, the repositioning of weight and body, slick sounds, and Shikamaru at Neji's ear. "There are eight nickel-sized balls on this cord, Sir. I'd like you to take each one a deep breath at a time." Shikamaru paused while Neji yanked chain, rocked for friction, and cursed into the sheet.

"Very good, Sir," Shikamaru said, deferential but lust drenched. Neji started to try and reply with something other than noise, but a hand gripped his ass cheek, and a bead teased his hole in an entirely distracting maneuver. "Deep breath in and out, Sir?"

Neji didn't know why in the hell breathing was required to take something so slight, but he followed orders and pressed his lips together to turn the whimper into a grunt when the first ball entered his body.

"Thank you, Sir. Again, please, Sir."

"Shika," Neji complained but forced a long inhale and exhale. The second bead joined the first, and Neji breathed again without being asked for the third and fourth. On the fifth he thrashed, the pressure on his inner walls driving him crazy in the want of more, and Shikamaru waited with infuriating patience until Neji drew a deeper breath toned with more than one shade of irritation and helplessness.

"Thank you, Sir," Shikamaru said, and the kindness in the words undermined Neji's anger. He stretched to cling to the corners of the table, breathing and slowly, steadily being filled. Comprehension dawned somewhere between the seventh and eighth ball being worked into his ass, and he saw the game of control that Shikamaru played. Neji would get what he wanted and what Shika wished, so long as Neji complied with Shikamaru's efforts to keep Neji where Shikamaru wanted him: somewhere between blissfully relaxed and begging to be fucked.

A fist clenched Neji's hair, moved his head with undeniable strength, and it wasn't until Shikamaru's tongue darted into Neji's mouth that he realized he was whimpering. He waited for Shikamaru to remove the string and take him, wondered if the drape on the cart actually covered anything else at all or if it was just another mind game, and he willed Shika to feel the spiraling desperation yawning within him. Something, anything, just now goddammit.

"I need you to roll over, Sir," Shikamaru whispered, and he helped Neji when the task seemed too complicated. The chain criss-crossed, pulling Neji's arms higher and keeping Neji's legs closer together. The beads shifted, Neji cried out, and an eon filled with Shikamaru's damnable soft kisses and aimless touch passed.

"With me, Sir?"

Neji licked his lips, unsure when Shika had made the transition from on the table to standing at the head of it. "Be more with you if you'd do something, boy."

Shikamaru's grin was demonically benign, and Neji nipped his lower lip until Shika gasped and withdrew. "As you like, Sir." Shikamaru grasped the cloth on the cart, let it flutter to the ground, and it took Neji a moment to comprehend what lie in its wake.

A basin of water with chunks of ice floating at the surface; soap, latex gloves in a box, a syringe minus the needle filled with a clear substance; betadine swabs in square packets, and a gradually widening series of straight, gleaming metal rods in disposable sterile plastic.

Neji gaped, uncomprehending in the heartbeat before knowledge descended like a howling dervish. They'd spoken of sounding once or twice, and Shika had shown hesitant interest. Neji hadn't pushed, though he'd recounted his single experience with urethral play that happened years ago, and in his mind he heard himself speak on replay--

"... whatever you decide to do to me, I'll do in return for you.... sweeten the deal..."

--and heard Shikamaru's warning--

"...massage... every part of you... inside and out, Sir..."

--and felt the tender kiss to the hinge of his jaw.

"Nothing you don't want, Sir," Shikamaru said, bending over Neji upside down and nuzzling Neji's neck and shoulder. "Just speak the word."

More pieces flew together, and Neji understood with the intuition that came from knowing one's partner better than one knew oneself that Shikamaru didn't actually expect Neji to concede to the next agenda item. Shikamaru wanted this for himself, and knew that Neji would do it for him when the roles reversed to their usual state. It explained the training that Shikamaru had sought, as both a means of preparation just in case the improbable happened and Neji deigned to say "Yes" and to see if sounding was really something Shikamaru wanted to add to their list of acceptable practices.

"Here to serve, Sir," Shikamaru murmured, lips finding Neji's nipple and pressing it between them. "Your word is my command, and I'll do as you like, Sir, please."

Neji hummed and kissed Shikamaru's chest. The Nara flew back up to meet Neji's eyes, unmasked love in the gaze along with a glimmer of fearful hope.

Neji smiled. "Oh, my boy... I have nothing to say."

The shock that contorted Shika's features was worth ten years of discomfort, and a chuckle worked its way out of Neji's throat. The stunned aftermath of permission hung frozen in the air for a lingering moment, crystalizing, forming, awakening, and then Shikamaru was on Neji like an embodied god of unsated passion. Slicked hands over Neji's skin, mouth a flurry of presses, nips, sucks, teeth carving marks over torso, and Neji's mind whited out under the crushing weight of Shikamaru's will. Distantly, the portion of self that sat behind the desk of strategic reason pondered how Shikamaru would get Neji's hard, passage-constricted anatomy make way for metal, and the thought had no more than graced his mind than Shikamaru reared up over Neji.

"Apologies, Sir," Shikamaru said, and Neji blinked, dazed, and then tried to back-peddle off the table when Shika cupped Neji's balls in a freezing hand and held a piece of ice to the tender skin. He had absolutely no idea when Shikamaru had retrieved that chunk of torture from the basin, and he hissed a slew of curses and took Shika's name in vain.

Crooning, Shikamaru slid off the table, the ice having its desire effect and wilting Neji's erection while doing nothing for the continual thrum of need in his veins. "Damn you, boy," Neji threated between grinding teeth. "You'll pay for this."

"I hope so, Sir," Shikamaru replied.

There was no time to think or form letters to words to reply. It seemed like Neji blinked and the ice vanished, Shika's hands were chilly, dry, and covered in gloves, and Neji stared down in wonderment at the swab cleaning him off and at the syringe of lube poised above the head of his cock. Shikamaru held Neji's length in one hand, the tube in the other, and when Shika's thumb engaged plunger, Neji called out at the bizarre sensation of surgical-grade slick entering his orifice.

"Sir?" Shikamaru inquired.

"Tingles... burns... a little..." Neji said between pants.

"Normal," Shikamaru decreed, finishing the task and setting syringe aside.

Neji began to comment on what Shikamaru could do with this so-called normal, but the world narrowed to the sight of the slim, metal rod Shikamaru removed from its plastic and dipped into a tiny vat of lubricant next to the basin. Neji held on to the top of the table, saw his toes curl and thought it strange that he didn't have any control over that in the slightest, and he whimpered when sound met opening.

"Call 'green' to let me know you're good, Sir, and 'stop' to quit," Shikamaru commanded, and the volume reached Neji's muddled mind. Shikamaru waited until Neji nodded and still held his position.

"Green," Neji said on an exhale as he realized what Shikamaru wanted, and the Nara turned to the task. Shika stabilized the rod with a careful grip and with an incredible slowness and care that Neji registered even half out of his mind, Shikamaru let gravity begin to feed the rod into Neji's dick.

At first Neji couldn't sort feeling from amazement. It was too damned weird and too damned fascinating to watch his cock suck down the sound. It disappeared in a crawl, Shikamaru's fingers guiding the pace, and when a full inch was inside him, Neji finally registered the stretch and the dull burning heat.

"Sir?"

"Green," Neji rasped, tensing and unwinding on the table. His knees tried to bend when the beads up his ass made themselves known, and the cuffs and chain stopped the motion. "Oooh... fuck... oh shit..." Neji canted his eyes and watched himself take another half inch, and his gasps were colored by tones of awe. "Green," he repeated, head falling onto the table. "Oh God... green... fucking..."

"Jesus," Shikamaru murmured, but his hands never so much as trembled. Lower and lower the sound sank, and Neji nearly bit through a lip when Shika had to adjust the rod and Neji's length to accommodate the shape of Neji's urethra.

"Green, baby, ooooh..." Neji couldn't help the minute twitches of his hips. The urge to squeeze his shaft around the rod, feel it move and fill and press was upon him like a fever. It ripped at his control, tore his better sense to shreds. But he couldn't move his hands, his legs were caught in place, and the tensing earned him nothing more than shifting beads against a prostate that got massaged on two fronts once the rod settled. "Christ!" Neji called, and he wondered at the echo in the room, the steady noises he heard, the rattle and whisper of fabric. He couldn't connect it to anything, couldn't get his eyes to focus, and when the sounding rod twisted oh-so-slightly, all Neji could do was moan.

Vaguely, Neji registered another set of lungs steaming the air with frantic breaths. He tipped his chin, swallowing and trying to figure out what it was that Shika held in one hand. The Nara met Neji's eyes, pupils like empty space, and Shika whacked the object against the cart. Neji jumped and bit back a whine when the need to jerk off tried to break his will. "S-Shika? Nnf... I... I..."

"I know," Shikamaru said, inexplicably but with an emphasis that gave Neji hope for the Nara's intimate understanding.

And then Shika touched the humming tuning fork to the end of the rod jutting out of Neji's cock.

"Mother... fucker!" Neji yelled, registering that word and then no others that erupted from his taut-tension-dancing body. Sensory overload drowned him head first in steaming waters of want, and he thought he might be begging. He searched for the word that meant, Fuck me until I pass the hell out goddammit, but couldn't find it, and he struggled to make sense of the aural and physical input that was on a delayed course to his addled mind. A harsh curse that was not his. The feeling like his dick was being fucked in reverse by the world's hardest vibrator. The snap of latex. A gentle milking to his overwrought cock that sent spine-bending pleasure into his balls, thighs, and stuffed ass. A howl that was probably his. Clinks, clatters, wheels on carpet. His feet being freed, his legs being bent, and Neji got an eyeful of Shikamaru's flushed, determined, face just as the balls were yanked from Neji's asshole.

"Nnnagh!" Neji's head went back and fell off the table. He couldn't remember the last time he needed to come this badly, and the urge only intensified when Shikamaru's fingers dug into his leg and held Neji bent and wide. Silk brushed Neji's ass and thighs, and somewhere it hit him that Shikamaru didn't even both to take off the red pants, just pushed them lower, and then nothing mattered but the harsh, barely-regulated shove of Shika's cock into Neji's body.

"Oooh, fuck... yeah," Neji called, neck aching on its angle and Neji soundly not giving a shit. "Nnn--Yes!" he encouraged when Shikamaru hooked under Neji's leg, braced Neji with bruising force, and set a punishing pace that knocked the wind from Neji's lungs in a cry with every single thrust. Shikamaru's snarls and grunts met Neji's vocalizations in an ode to brutal lust, and Neji nearly broke the cuffs trying to get a hand down between his legs.

"Shit, Sir," Shikamaru spat, breathless with exertion, and Neji keened in relief when a fist wrapped around him and pumped.

"God!" Neji slurred, unable to do much else than move with Shikamaru's force and surrender to the pleasure setting fire to the screeching need and threatening to burn him alive from the inside out. He grunted in shock, going rigid and almost afraid of the odd burn running in a line down his dick. Powerless and unwilling to do anything but ride the ending, Neji sobbed in choked, broken syllables as the orgasm crested, hit, wound tighter, built momentum, and pushed its way from Neji's nuts and out his cock. Reality cracked, and the only things real and solid were the pleasure, the relief, and Shikamaru's teeth in his shoulder, muffling the Nara's spending shout.

Drifting, kissing, airy and light, and Neji came to with his Shika wrapped around him like a living blanket. They didn't need words, only firm hugs and light touches. The actions spoke the entirety of every volume of love and concern. When Neji gave some unknown signal, Shikamaru helped him off the bench and to the bathroom. Apparently the cranberry pills were to help keep infection at bay, though Neji rather thought that was overkill. Shikamaru's stern look silenced the protests, however, and Neji swallowed the medicine at Shikamaru's urging. And he took a piss with Shika's mouth on his neck and arms around his middle to make sure he didn't stumble or fall.

Bed, blankets, and darkness were the next things Neji knew, and he drifted for a while, safe and comforted in the knowledge that Shikamaru steered the ship back to solid ground. Existence reasserted itself through the warm hand rubbing his back, the steady heartbeat next to his face, and the rise and fall of the body next to and under him.

"Still awake?" Shikamaru asked, cupping Neji's jaw.

"How do you always know?" Neji asked, smiling into Shika's palm.

"Tension in your neck and your breathing."

Neji chuckled. "Of course."

"How do you feel, Sir?"

Humming, Neji languidly kissed his way to Shika's mouth, not bothering to answer with words when his tongue could be thus explanatory.

"Good," Shika sighed, frowned, and shook his head. "Can't believe you--"

"Didn't call uncle?" Neji finished.

"Yeah."

"Perhaps next time it'd be easier just to tell me what you want."

"Maybe," Shikamaru replied. "But those weren't the terms of the game, Sir."

"Ah, yes," Neji sighed. "You and your grand plan of secrecy."

"So easily toppled by your cursed control. Sir."

Neji laughed, hooked a leg over Shika's hips and drew them closer. "You're cute when manipulative." Shika's grunt was unimpressed, and only made Neji smile wider. "And you must tell me who was hosting the sounding demonstration."

"That was more difficult than I thought," Shika confessed. "Since I couldn't set anything up at Break--"

"Without me knowing, yes."

"Right," Shika agreed. "Went to Sasuke first--"

"Sasuke?" Neji repeated, horrified.

"But turns out he and Naruto aren't into sounding," Shikamaru continued like Neji hadn't spoken. "Naruto referred me to Tenzou."

"Ah," Neji said and blinked at the flash of too intelligent gaze watching him in the darkness.

"And you really must tell me some of your earlier history sometime, Sir."

"As you like," Neji agreed simply, shrugging.

"Mm," Shika hummed as though waiting for resistance. When it didn't manifest, he relaxed. "Learned all about the principles from Tenzou, but he suggested a live demonstration before I tried anything on you."

"Good man."

"And referred me to Itachi."

"He what?" Neji exclaimed.

Shika's teeth gleamed in the murk. "Man has two boys who are, it turns out, more than just 'into' sounding."

"Oh?" Neji prompted.

"They were only in town, though, this last week. Stopping in before doing some other leg of their world tour or whatever."

"So that explains the time crunch," Neji mused.

"Exactly. So I went over to the Uchiha manor, where Itachi was good enough to let me practice with Kimimaro and Haku."

Neji tried to recreate that sequence of events -- the initial phone conversation, the drive, the set up, Itachi in a chair with legs crossed and chilly expression -- and his mind ran off cliffs. "It went well, I take it?"

"Oh yeah," Shika confirmed, almost a complaint. "They were... eager."

"I'm sure."

"And now I know what both of them look like when they get off." Shikamaru sighed. "Sorry, Sir."

"That's all right," Neji soothed. "I'm familiar, myself. With Kimi, at least."

"Haku's louder."

"Sweet Jesus."

"Yeah."

Neji chuckled and Shikamaru joined him, their breathing syncing and slowing as sleep encroached. "Oh!" Neji said. "One last thing."

"Yes, Sir?"

"The hell was up with the wasabi?"

Neji didn't need light to see it or sight to confirm it. Shikamaru's smirk was outlined clearly in his voice. "Oh. We were just out, Sir."

"You are so going to pay," Neji drawled, getting comfortable and letting contentment fill him to the brim.

"Oh, I know, Sir. I know."


~*~

Comments 
16th-Sep-2011 05:41 pm (UTC)
OMG! DELICIOUS and I'm not even into sounding(kind of a squick for me). And the wasabi at the end - lol. Perfect.
20th-Sep-2011 05:24 pm (UTC)
*laughs*

Sounding is quite the acquired taste, but I really liked being able to portray it here. So glad you liked that -- despite the squick -- and the story!!!

Thank you.
17th-Sep-2011 12:41 am (UTC)
That was an absolute delight darlin' I live how Shikamaru moves things lie a game to reach his goal, how Neji sees and accepts it. And just how much you cansee into there relationship by seeing all the little things they know and love in eachother.

Gorgeous!
20th-Sep-2011 05:25 pm (UTC)
*happy sighs*

I always enjoy reading what you see, love.

Thank you so much.
21st-Sep-2011 07:44 am (UTC)
My pleasure darlin', I love to read your storys because there is so much to see, feel and experience. :)
17th-Sep-2011 02:25 pm (UTC)
The love and understanding of Shikamaru and Neji can be felt through the words in this chapter. Every time I read your stories I feel every thought and action of the characters. Oh and the juicy sex is just the icing on the top. Thank you because you are truly a wonderful writer.
20th-Sep-2011 05:25 pm (UTC)
And you are entirely too kind. Thank you very much for pointing out what you like and what works, truly and always appreciated.

<3
17th-Sep-2011 03:25 pm (UTC)
This was delightful. Absolutely wonderfully done. It was descriptive and rich and best of all an AU that was still in character. I loved it.
20th-Sep-2011 05:26 pm (UTC)
I'm always thrilled to read people enjoying the AU and finding the boys still in character. Thank you so much for the lovely feedback!
21st-Sep-2011 03:10 pm (UTC)
So good I read it twice. Sorry it took a while to comment, I have a habit of reading on my phone.
7th-Oct-2011 02:08 pm (UTC)
*WOO HOO!!!*

Sorry. Always makes me happy to see you 'round these parts. Terrifically glad you enjoyed the story!
21st-Sep-2011 07:33 pm (UTC)
Love that Shika was able to get past his nervousness and lead the scene. They encourage one another so sweetly and it's clear that the other's comfort is top priority. From game start to end, I was as intrigued as Neji to see how things would turn out. And boy did things turn out splendid.
Wondered a bit myself at the wasabi. Lol. I recalled the warnings at the beginning and thought, surely not. In conjunction. With... *died a little*
heh. Such a nice little wrench there, thrown into Neji's over-analyzing mind. (mine, as well)
Thanks so much for the wonderful 'Thank you'! : D
7th-Oct-2011 02:09 pm (UTC)
There was MUCH evil cackling over here when I came up with that shopping list. Ain't gonna lie. XD

So happy you enjoyed, and thank YOU for reading!!!
16th-Dec-2011 03:18 pm (UTC)
Please post ALL your stories on AFF net, cause finding them here is kinda hard. Is there any story indicating Naratu and Sasuke's gettogether????
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