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Hors d'Ouevres (Naruto)

Chapter Text

~~~Written 8/21/13~~~
Prompt:  YamaSai; Sai's got it in his mind that he has to top to be considered a man. Yamato ends up leading Sai through it from the bottom.
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"Sai, what a man does in his bedroom--what...position, you take, when we have sex--it has nothing to do with your masculinity or your worth as a man, as anything."  He was very careful to express only patience, to not let his irritation color his tone, but if he ever found out who'd put that notion in Sai's head, they'd be getting intimately acquainted with the interior of a tree.

"Oh."  Sai's brow furrowed slightly in a thoughtful frown.

Yamato exhaled heavily through his nose and settled a warm hand on Sai's shoulder.  "I would be glad to switch, whenever you like.  I...would enjoy doing that, for you."  He hadn't realized how much truth was in that statement until he said it.  "But let's do it because you want to, not because some narrow-minded idiot out there thinks it's emasculating to bottom."

"Alright," Sai agreed, straightening up.  "Then, I would like to 'switch', because I am...curious.  I enjoy the way it feels to have you inside of me, but I want to know what it feels like to be inside you as well.  Will you teach me how to do it?"

Yamato couldn't help breaking into a brilliant smile.  "Of course."  He dipped down to kiss Sai soundly on the mouth, still smiling.  "I'll teach you anything you want to know."
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Prompt:  Gai, Kakashi - Sand
Buried on the beach with only his head free, Gai contemplated this latest challenge with his rival and conceded that perhaps he had chosen rashly.  Whoever stayed buried longest would be declared the victor, but Gai was already twitching, restless, dissatisfied with remaining uselessly still for so long; there was sand in his briefs and no respite from the glaring sun in his eyes and he would have taken heart from the idea that Kakashi was equally uncomfortable, had he not been almost positive that his Rival was sound asleep beneath his own mound of sand two meters away.

Prompt:  Yamato - Sunscreen
He knew it was a bad idea, but Sai had offered with such guileless solicitousness, and Yamato was pitifully weak-willed when it came to the boy; he buried his face in his folded arms and fiercely willed his loins to behave, aware that he had no one but himself to blame for Sai's slender, skillful hands smoothing sunscreen all over his back, Sai's touch gliding gently (sensually) against his skin, Sai's nearly-naked body hovering so closely over his own.

Prompt:  Shizune/Tsunade - Devotion
Tsunade's smile is ragged and tired when the treaty is finally drawn up and Shizune is sure her own looks no different; the sky outside is growing light and neither of them have had any rest in nearly forty-eight hours, but Shizune has not once thought of leaving Tsunade's side in the interest of catching sleep.  This is where she belongs, and come hell or high water, there's nowhere else she'd rather be.

Prompt:  Lee/Gai - Forbidden
Masturbation is perfectly natural and healthy and there is nothing wrong with it!  That's what Gai-sensei had told him during That Talk years ago, and Lee is too hard and too aroused to resist the urge to touch himself while the shower pours over him.  He's guiltily certain it is wrong, however, that it's Gai-sensei who occupies his thoughts while he does so, Gai-sensei's handsome face and powerful physique that fill his imagination, and it is unquestionably and absolutely Not Right that he should want to feel Gai-sensei's hands in place of his own.

~~~Written 8/23/13 - 8/28/13~~~
Prompt:  Sakumo/Gai - Dad
Gai had always liked Sakumo, and he'd always been able to see where Kakashi's striking good looks came from, but he'd never thought of it as a proper crush.  It would be silly to feel that way about his best friend's father, after all!  But when his own father left the country on business and the Hatakes moved him in so he could finish school among familiar faces, something changed.  He saw more of Sakumo--in every sense of the phrase--and it did appalling things to his hormones.  Sakumo's smile was cheerful and infectious and it gave Gai an invigorating little jolt of happiness every time, along with an unexpected whisper of warmth in his gut.  Sakumo always had time to help Gai puzzle out the most frustrating problems on his math homework, and Gai sometimes found himself asking the man for help with formulas and equations he already understood, simply for the warm feeling he got when Sakumo leaned over his shoulder to read the question and review his work.  And Gai's pulse never failed to jump when he'd pass Sakumo on the way from the shower, clad only in the towel around his waist, smelling clean and damp and...sexy.

That was not a word Gai had ever expected to apply to this man, and it was nothing he would ever admit to Kakashi, but...

"Just call me Substitute-Dad!" Sakumo would say, laughing while he cooked both boys breakfast, and something in Gai's stomach would twist hotly, would turn the innocent and goofy phrase into something entirely inappropriate.  Call me Daddy, he'd hear instead, imagining Sakumo's pleasant baritone softened to a sultry purr, imagining that voice directly in his ear, imagining Sakumo's hands sliding against his skin, and Gai would squirm surreptitiously in his seat at the table, would bury himself in his eggs and rice and pray that Kakashi never found out the kinds of thoughts his best friend entertained about his father.
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~~~Written 8/21/13~~~
Prompt: Obito/Shizune - War
He was the bringer of war, one who destroyed while she fought to preserve, and yet they were not so dissimilar; their means were different but she could empathize with the end result he sought.

~~~Written 10/14/13 - 10/16/13~~~
Prompt:  Geico Gecko, Yamato - Creation
When Yamato spotted the little lizard pitifully trying to shelter from the rain under a drooping leaf that simply wasn't up to the task, he assumed it was some sort of summon.  He crouched down, not exactly at eye-level but certainly closer than standing upright.  "You look a bit out of your element, there," he said by way of introduction, speaking over the soft rush of the rain and holding up the flap of his cloak to do what the leaf could not.

The creature blinked up at him, its large eyes shining black in the gloomy grey daylight.  "Well yes, a bit, perhaps--thank you."  It brushed a few beaded drops of water from its head.  "I've been looking for a fellow called Kakuzu, but word has it he's dead.  Which probably explains why he's stopped paying on our contract.  Can't say as I'll miss him--he always did seem a nasty, ill-tempered sort--but I will miss all the money I saved him.  I like saving people money--it's what I'm good at."  It--he, Yamato supposed, if the voice was anything to go by--peered up with hopeful curiosity and an utterly charming little smile that crinkled his eyes from the bottom.  "I don't suppose you have any current insurance needs I could see to?"

"Nope," Yamato chuckled, pressing his hands together in the seal to invoke his mokuton, "but I can do you a favor of a different sort."  Oddly enough he found the lizard likeable, trustworthy and generally 'alright', which gave him slight pause--especially after the admission of being contracted to an Akatsuki.  There was no indication of trickery or genjutsu of any sort, though; Yamato was wary by nature but his instincts had seldom steered him wrong and he'd learned to listen to them.

He rarely worked in miniature, but it was really the same principal as the houses he usually erected, only...less.  He concentrated, murmured the words, and raised a small wooden enclosure with an ornate roof and a pattern of swirling leaves around the door.

"Blimey," the lizard murmured, wide-eyed, and reached out one tiny little...paw? Hand? to touch the nearest wall.  "That's quite an impressive talent you've got there, Mr...?"  He turned, looking up with an expectantly-inquisitive face.

"Yamato."

"Well, then, it's nice to meet you, Mr. Yamato."  He stuck out a hand.  "Name's Martin, but everybody just calls me The Gecko."

Carefully, Yamato grasped the tiny appendage between his thumb and forefinger and gently shook, intrigued by the texture of the fingerpads that returned the grip. "A pleasure to meet you too.  It doesn't look like the rain's going to let up for awhile, but this should at least keep you dry."

"Thank you very much."  The Gecko blinked, dipped his head in a grateful little bob, and scurried inside the tiny house Yamato had made only to pop back out the doorway a second later.  "I really do appreciate it; is there anything I can do in return?"

"Nope.  But thanks."

"Well if you ever need financial advice or any kind of insurance, just look me up, eh?"

"I will."  Yamato quirked a smile and turned to go; behind him, he heard the Gecko's voice retreating back inside his wooden creation.

"Lovely, it's quite lovely--dry, warm...so cozy...!"

Yamato let his smile grow and moved on through the rain, quietly pleased.
=

~~~Written 2/11/14~~~
Prompt:  Hashirama/Yamato - Narcissism
"It's not about the DNA.  It's got nothing to do with the DNA," Hashirama asserts between kisses, and Yamato can't help but believe, because the God of Shinobi has absolutely no shred of the self-important conceit that such a title might ordinarily convey.

~~~Written 2/11/14~~~
Prompt:  Shino, Torune - Hold My Hand
Shino does not interbreed his insects with Torune's for practical reasons alone.  It is not just for resistance and immunity in future generations of his swarm.  It is not simply to see how their two varieties of kikaichu meld.  It is not solely for the research value.

It's because eventually, immunity for Shino's swarm could result in immunity for Shino.

It's because Torune has never been able to touch another human being without killing them.

It's because he would like to bring Torune home in the future, after Shino has graduated from the academy, after he's made chuunin and possibly even jounin, after hundreds of generations of his kikaichu have bred and died.  He would like to walk the arbors by the river again, deep on Aburame lands with the cousin who became a brother, and talk the way they used to before Torune volunteered for Root.  He would like to quietly slip his hand into Torune's grasp without the barrier of gloves between them, skin against skin, human and intimate and non-lethal.

It's because he wants Torune to know what it is to touch someone and have them live.

It's because Torune deserves that much.
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Chapter Text

~~~Written 7/31/13~~~
Prompt: KakaYama Smut
"Aagh—Senpai—" He gasped, arched his back and spread his knees, opening himself completely to Kakashi’s desperate thrusts behind him; there were more words in his head—harder faster oh god don’t stop don’t stop Senpai please—but all he could get out was ‘Senpai’, over and over and over while Kakashi panted above him and fucked him into the mattress and Tenzou felt the edge rising before him, unable to do anything but clench his hands in the sweaty sheets and cry out as he fell over far too quickly.

 

~~~Written 9/6/13~~~
Prompt: KakaYama Week; daily theme - Arguing, daily theme - Sexual Sunday
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"Mmh--"

That was all the warning Tenzou had, just that soft little noise that didn't quite make it out of Kakashi's throat into their joined mouths, before Kakashi's hands tightened on his hip, around the back of his neck. Kakashi's body went rigid underneath him and Tenzou ground down, held steady while Kakashi finished inside him, kept kissing Kakashi's open mouth until the tension abruptly went out of his senpai. He let himself go lax as well, then, sprawling on top of Kakashi as Kakashi melted into the mattress, and broke the kiss at last.

"Toldja I'd make you come first," he murmured, lips brushing Kakashi's chin, and shifted just enough to emphasize the hard-on he was still sporting.

"Hmm," Kakashi hummed, the hand on the back of Tenzou's neck raking up into his unkempt hair and sending shivers down his spine. "I believe your exact claim was that you always make me come first, though--" he guided Tenzou's head as he spoke until his words were murmured warmly into Tenzou's ear "--and my rebuttal still stands: No you don't."
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~~~Written 9/5/13 - 9/4/14~~~
Prompt: KakaYama week, a lightly-steamed appetizer combining ingredients from the daily Paperwork and Dangerous Mission themes with the weekend Sexual theme. Bon appetit.
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"Fuck the paperwork!" Kakashi snarls, and the claws of his glove are digging into Tenzou's thigh despite the thick uniform pants he's still got on. "I'll help you do it after. Just—" He heaves a harsh breath, and there's a wildness in his eye that Tenzou has seen before—the last time they came a little too close to dying on a mission, as a matter of fact.

It's unsettling, when his senpai is usually so calm and unflappable, but Tenzou has always been good at keeping his own cool and he can recognize the forces at work inside Kakashi right now. Kakashi doesn't like letting people in, and once he does, he doesn't like reminders that he could lose them. It makes him a little bit feral, a little overzealous in his attachment, and that's why Tenzou finds himself being accosted at the desk before either of them has gotten completely out of uniform.
Kakashi's claws prick again as he takes another deep breath and Tenzou shivers despite himself.

No one will be expecting that report before tomorrow morning, anyhow.

"I'm pretty sure you'll have more fun with me than the paperwork," he says archly, slipping an arm around Kakashi's shoulders in tacit acquiescence. I'm still alive. I'm not going anywhere just yet.

"Probably," Kakashi agrees, exhaling with force, that wildness settling slightly now that he's got Tenzou's cooperation. He eases the sharp grip he still has on Tenzou's thigh.

Tenzou slides his arm up behind Kakashi's neck and pulls himself close, moves his freed leg to hook behind Kakashi's. "Help me take these pants off, Senpai, and we can confirm it," he murmurs, lips brushing Kakashi's ear, "right here on top of the desk."

He scoots the report out of harm's way first, however, because he knows Kakashi well enough to realize that help or no help, he'll still be doing most of it himself, and there's no sense ruining the start he's made already.
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~~~Written 10/8/14-10/11/14~~~
Prompt: Ouija board thinks we should fuck AU - SasuSui
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Y-O-U

S-H-O-U-L-D

F-U-C-K

"Is...that it?"

"Looks like."

"...That's it."

"Pretty sure the Ouija board just told us to do the nasty, Sauce. C'mon, let's get naked."

"Are you kidding me."

"Hey, don't look at me like that--the board has spoken."

"You moved it."

"The spirits moved it. D'you really wanna go against the spirits?"

"Suigetsu--"

"Hey, vengeful spirits are serious business! I don't want 'em comin' after me!"

"And you think sex with me will keep you on their good side."

"I think sex with you would be hella fun, is what I think, but if I please the spirits in the bargain I'm not gonna complain."

"Don't say 'hella', you're not twelve."

"Sasuke, you're a pain in the ass, but you're my pain in the ass and you're pretty damn hot and I think sex with you would be the most awesome kind of awesome that I ever have awesomed."

"..."

"And the Ouija board said we should do it, don't forget that."

"..."

"C'mon, I'm easy on the eyes and not half bad in the sack by all reports. You could do worse, right?"

"...Probably."

"Look--you wanna pass, that's up to you, no harm no foul but I'd call it a cryin' shame. I'll even bend over for you, huh? Whaddya say?"

"...Vengeful spirits?"

"They only get vengeful when you blow off their advice."

"So it's in our best interest to do what the board suggests, then."

"...Hell yes."

"You're so transparent. Shut up and get naked."

"...Wait, you mean it?"

"Do I look like I'm joking?"

"No, you...actually look like you wanna get in my pants. Hot damn, dude."

"Don't make me regret letting you talk me into this."

"Takin' 'em off, gimme a sec--"

"Convenient, that we're already in your bedroom."

"Isn't it though? Remind me to thank the spirits later."
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~~~Written 10/20/14~~~ for chidorgy's birthday
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He was only trying to find Sai's hospital room. He hadn't meant to walk in on...whatever this was.

He wasn't sure he wanted to know.

Yamato was no fool, and he was very aware of Sakura's temper and strength, so he quietly closed the door again and walked briskly away, praying that neither occupant of the room behind would have sensed his chakra or felt him there.

"Think they were good and distracted, Yamato," he muttered to himself, trying not to dwell on it, but--

What the hell was an Akatsuki doing in Konoha's hospital in the first place?!

He only knew it was Akatsuki because of the signature robe crumpled across the empty bed. He hadn't actually seen much, but he was pretty sure it was the plant guy. Those toothy flytrap things were nowhere in sight but there'd been one black foot and one white sticking up over the bed and Sakura had been straddling someone on the floor, saying--

Well, she'd been saying some peculiarly provocative things about weeds and fertilizer and Yamato was very sure she wasn't talking about gardening.

Really, it was none of his business. She was free to consort with whomever she pleased, however she pleased, in whatever context--

Lick my stamen, you dirty little weed, and if you do it well enough I'll step on your face again--

But he really wished he hadn't overheard. There were some things he just did not need to know, and this one would be very hard to forget.
=

 

~~~Written 7/15/15~~~ for an RP prompt to submit a sex dream that one character has had about the other, in a universe where Sai has initiated a consensual sexual relationship with Danzo. If that is not your cup of tea this is where you'll want to stop reading. :)
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The dream is inconsistent as dreams tend to be, and he comes aware only halfway through, shifting intermittently from hazy wisps of impression to vivid detail and back. He cannot recall whatever dream-events brought him here but he finds himself naked in Danzo's bed, as he has been more than once in reality by now. He is lying on his stomach, knees drawn up somewhat and spread wide, hips raised, and Danzo is pressed close behind him, inside him, is leaning over his back and moving with unhurried care. It is languid and pleasant and comfortably rhythmic in its slowness and he cannot tell if it is minutes or hours that are passing in this fashion.

The dream sharpens, then, and Sai is suddenly alight with the wash of pleasure pouring through him; he's squirming upward now, seized by a sense of urgency, seeking harder and deeper, grasping at the bedclothes as he buries his face against them, open-mouthed. He pushes up on his elbows, not quite sure how to get more but wanting it badly; it's then that Danzo finally shifts his weight to one arm, wraps the other around Sai's shoulders and puts a measure of force behind his next thrust, and Sai is left gasping.

Another thrust, slow and heavy, and another, and then another as Danzo shifts again, hand splayed now over Sai's chest, stroking slowly up and down his sternum in rhythm with their coupling before sliding up, up---

Danzo's hand comes to rest against his throat.

Ordinarily, it would be a dangerous sort of touch, but it is Danzo's touch and it accompanies another artfully-unhurried thrust and Sai is arching his head back, arching into it, breath caught on a sudden influx of need as arousal blooms sharply in the pit of his stomach. Danzo hums briefly beside his ear, the sound rich with approval; his fingers close softly around the vulnerable curve of Sai's throat, slide up to grasp his jaw from beneath, and Sai's voice escapes on a breathless whine, cut short and barely audible and completely involuntary.

Danzo's lips brush the side of his face, linger briefly at his temple, and he's sure his name is spoken there, Sai, simple affirmation of who he has become, and then Danzo is moving within him again, marginally faster; his hand strokes slowly (tenderly?) up and down Sai's throat, his grip firm yet utterly gentle at the same time, and Sai shivers, gooseflesh rippling down his arms and all along his spine, fingers clenched in the sheets.

Danzo is murmuring quiet things every now and again, lips warm against his hair, his ear; Sai can't make out any words in the dream but it doesn't matter---the sound of his voice, the intimacy of it, the gentle pressure of his hand around Sai's throat, they heighten the swelling of pleasure in Sai's gut and he is panting with every slow heavy thrust, lost in the immediacy of the moment.

The dream slips out of focus again, details blending together, until it's all warmth and pleasure and trust and steady motion, building and building; he thinks it might go on forever and he would never tire of it, thinks he might go mad if it goes on one second longer, and then---

It loses cohesion, falls apart like shifting sand, sense and sensation wisping away into stillness. Bliss.

He comes awake then, facedown in his own bed, and his heart rate is still somewhat elevated, slowing. The trousers he's sleeping in are sticky and wet at his groin; the warm pleasure of the dream is still sitting close on his senses and he can feel himself smiling, sated and content as the half-memory fades away, fingers curling idly in his sheets at the impressions lingering in its wake.
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Chapter Text

~~~Written 12/16/17~~~
Prompt: GaiKaka - silence
Gai is not, by any stretch of the imagination, what anyone would call a quiet man. Yet for all his boisterous speeches and effusive declarations, it is his long silent gazes full of devotion (love) that Kakashi finds most eloquent.

 

~~~Written 12/16/17 - 12/18/17~~~
Prompt: ThunderScience - blind
When Bruce finally de-Hulks after the fall of Asgard it is Thor who finds him, crumpled lifeless across the bed in Hulk’s quarters, and Thor’s heart skips a beat as he rushes over. Hulk has always kept Bruce alive, he knows this, but perhaps that fall had been too much after all? But there, no, Bruce is stirring, sitting up with a groan, and Thor breathes out his sudden (intense) relief; Bruce squints up at him, blinking, inquisitive and confused—and unexpectedly, underneath that relief, Thor’s heart skips a very different sort of beat.

But maybe, he thinks, as the realization sinks in and he sees Bruce before him—kind, courageous, self-sacrificing Bruce, endearingly frazzled and fumbling to grasp his own reality again—it shouldn't be so unexpected after all, even if he’s been blind to it until this moment.
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~~~Written 12/17/17~~~
Prompt: Gojyo/Hakkai - warm
Most mornings Hakkai rises early; there are many things to be done, after all, and only so much daylight. Today, however, he is entirely too comfortable to stir from his place quite so soon. The air is cool but Gojyo is warm against his side and the blankets are warm with the heat of their bodies and even his toes are exactly the right temperature, and he is unwilling to give up the pleasure of such perfect balance just yet. He shifts closer to Gojyo, drapes his arm over Gojyo’s hip, savoring the warmth of skin against skin; Gojyo murmurs something indistinct in his sleep and snores softly, and Hakkai smiles as he closes his eyes again, drifting, content.
=

~~~Written 12/16/17 - 12/18/17~~~
Prompt: Sai - ribbons
Sai puts as much consideration into the wrapping of his teammates’ presents as he did into the gifts themselves, choosing and arranging the ribbons with care. Naruto gets frothing curls of the most garish colors, loud and attention-grabbing just like his personality, bright orange and sky blue and a vivid sunny yellow. Sakura’s are metallic reds and pinks, warm and fierce at the same time, with an elegant silver accent ribbon woven into the looping strands. Kakashi’s are muted shades of silver and dark blue, twisted round and round on themselves in crisp points until they resemble stars, beauty crafted out of sharp edges. Yamato’s are green, every shade he can find, curled just a little into elegant ringlets, richly understated and unassuming and Sai smiles as he fixes the last bit in place. He'll take them all with him when he meets the others later at Naruto's home, and he is...looking forward, to watching his friends open them.

Chapter Text

Sai was very sure they weren’t actually supposed to be here; it was well after midnight and the gates around the pool had all been locked. Neither were there any other patrons at the pool nor any lifeguard on duty, but Kankurou had assured him that he knew what he was doing so he followed without question, for now at least.

“C’mon.” Kankurou peeled off his shirt and dove in, so Sai followed suit.

He liked being in the water; the first cool-wet shock and the sense of semi-weightlessness were very pleasant, and the runnels and rivulets cascading over his skin as he surfaced were a sensory experience that he found invigorating.

Despite the desert cooling considerably at night Suna’s buildings still held the heat of the day, so when Kankurou suggested a midnight swim Sai had readily agreed, and it was in fact as refreshing as his boyfriend had promised.

He hadn’t expected they’d be breaking any rules to accomplish it, however.

Kankurou surfaced directly in front of him and threw his arms around Sai’s neck, pecked him gently on the lips. “Feels good, yeah?”

Sai put one hand on the side of the pool to help keep them both afloat, let the other one rest against Kankurou’s waist. “You are certain we’re permitted to be here?”

“Mmmmmmnope.” Kankurou kissed his chin. “That’s half of what makes it so fun.”

Sai said nothing, but his doubt must have shown on his face, because Kankurou sighed. “Don’t worry—if anyone shows up to yell at us we can be gone in two seconds, right? And we’re not hurtin’ or harmin’ anything. Just enjoyin’ a swim together.” His legs were moving, treading water to keep from sinking; he tucked his face into the crook of Sai’s neck and pressed another kiss there. “It’s only an administrative-type rule, not a safety rule. Admin rules I sometimes don’t mind breakin’. Like now.”

“Ah.” Sai wasn’t entirely convinced but the argument did make a certain kind of sense.

“Look.” Kankurou drew back, grabbed the side of the pool himself, caught Sai’s gaze. “I promise, we’re fine. But if you genuinely don’t wanna be here we can go.”

“...I’ll stay,” Sai decided, and flashed a small smile. “I’ll follow your lead.”

“Oh good,” Kankurou grinned, and abruptly dunked Sai under with no warning.

When Sai came back up again, spluttering, Kankurou was some distance away. “Betcha can’t get me back!” he called, grinning; Sai narrowed his gaze and dove forward and Kankurou fled, laughing all the while.

They carried on this way for some time with much chasing and splashing, stealing kisses whenever one of them caught the other, winding down eventually until at long last they found themselves floating together at a depth where they could comfortably touch bottom if needed, catching their breath. Sai’s arms were around Kankurou’s neck and Kankurou held him snug about the waist, their faces close together.

“Having fun?” Kankurou asked, and his smile was so full of affection that Sai was compelled to kiss it.

“Yes,” he replied, content in the warmth of their bodies close together in the cool water, the scent of the pool and the moon reflecting bright against its surface.

“Good,” Kankurou breathed, and then they were kissing again, longer, slower, more intently as the playful mood subsided, gave way to something less innocent.

Eventually they drifted up against the side, undisturbed in their intimacy, Sai’s back to the wall; he’d opened his legs for Kankurou to fit close up in between and when he wrapped them languidly around Kankurou’s body to press him closer, Kankurou made a low, drawn-out sound into the crook of his neck and shoulder.

“Maybe we should head for home now, yeah?” His voice was low and husky, dark with desire, and Sai nodded.

“Yes.”

They had sex when they returned to Kankurou’s rooms, intense and urgent, moving together in age-old rhythms until they both were sated; afterward, when the sweat had cooled their bodies and they’d cleaned up everything that needed it, Sai lay in Kankurou’s bed with Kankurou sleeping nestled comfortably against his chest, reflecting on the merits of the evening spent.

He fell asleep moments later, thoroughly content as Kankurou shifted against him, a soft smile still curving his mouth.

Chapter Text

Sunlight streaming in the window woke Yamato, and he rolled over, groggy and disoriented. The morning sun was usually a lot softer than this—had they overslept—?

He blinked himself fully awake, lifting his head—

Rumpled blankets met his gaze on either side; he was alone in the oversized bed. And yes, it appeared he had overslept. Why hadn’t they woken him?

“Ugh,” he grumbled, pushing up and over to sit up on the edge of the bed, swinging his legs over the side. “What time is it anyway—?”

His foot landed in something cool and damp.

“Oh, what the—?”

It looked a lot like Sai’s ink, spilled in a little ribbon all around the bed.

The flutter of wings sounded abruptly at the window and Yamato’s head whipped up to see a monochrome bird swooping in, landing on the bedside table and dissolving into the functionally-elegant strokes of Sai’s handwriting.

Happy Birthday, Yamato, and many joyful years ahead. Inojin and I will be at the training fields all day. We would welcome your company if you want to come, but I suspect that Anko is correct; she has known you longer, after all. Enjoy your day; we’ll see you this evening.

The still-flowing ink marked out the strokes of Sai’s name and looped around it with the stylized heart that Sai had taken to signing his letters to Yamato with, and it made him smile fondly. But the message was apparently not complete; as Sai’s black ink began to fade out a bright purple appeared beneath it in a much more childish hand.

Happy Birthday, Uncle Freaky-Face! Love, Inojin

Yamato smiled, glad all over again that the kid was part of their lives.

The message ink faded completely, followed by the trigger-ink around the bed curling itself up off the floorboards into a ribbon that wisped away into nothingness.

“Alright then,” he murmured, talking to himself. “Let’s go see what Anko’s up to...”

But Anko didn’t seem to be in the house, either; instead, he found a note in the kitchen pinned to the cutting board with a clean kunai.

Happy Birthday, loser! Here’s your annual reminder that you’ll never be as old as I am. Now listen up. Sai and the kid are gone all day and I’m meetin’ up with Shino to talk lesson plans for the coming year, so you’ve got the house to yourself. Hopefully you slept in but if not—fuck, go back to bed. Gai’s got Kakashi collared and Sakura’s keeping Naruto and his kids in check so NO ONE’S GONNA BOTHER YOU ALL DAY. Enjoy. Let loose. I know you got a few new issues of that building mag to catch up on—go nuts. There’s food in the fridge so you don’t have to cook. I mean if you wanna go out then go ahead but you’re all set to stay in.

Now if I’m wrong (I’m not, but just in case), go find Sai and the kid and they’ll launch the backup plan. But I figure you’d appreciate a quiet birthday all to yourself to do whatever you want. There’s a dinner later so all your friends can pester you and give you crap about aging and shower you with gifts; I’ll come get you at dusk. Meantime, relax. Enjoy yourself. You deserve it.

Yamato read the note over again, smiling. Sai was right; Anko really did know him well.

“Okay then!” he said cheerfully, to the plants in the windowsill. Shower first, or coffee and breakfast? Either way would suit him fine. Maybe breakfast and then a long bath, with those unread issues of Architecture Today that Anko had mentioned. He had a whole day ahead of him free of all responsibilities and obligations, no demands on his time or attention until the evening. He could spend it however he liked.

It was the best present he could have asked for.

Chapter Text

“Anko, I’m home—“ Yamato shut the door behind him, dropped his keys in the basket. A glance into the living room and another down the hall didn’t reveal his housemate; hoisting the bag of groceries higher on his hip, he headed for the kitchen. “Anko?”

“Yeah, in here.”

He rounded the corner and found Anko standing over the chopping board, wielding the chef’s knife from the set he’d bought when they moved in together like it was a machete.

“I’m helpin’ with dinner tonight,” she announced before he could ask, and brought the knife down again as if the carrots and celery on the board had crawled out of an open grave and she meant to send them back.

Yamato blinked, set the bag of groceries on the counter well out of her way. “But...it’s your birthday; I’m supposed to cook for you.”

“‘It’s my birthday’ means I can help if want.” Whack. Whack. Whack.. “Oughta start pullin’ my weight if we’re Officially Adulting now, don’t you think?”

“What are you talking about, you do plenty—“

“I’m a fuckin’ disaster in the kitchen, you know this.” She whirled and pointed the knife at him, heedless of the mangled bits of vegetable that flung off with the motion. “You know it’s true. Quit tryin’ to spare my feelings.”

“Alright, okay. Which begs the question—” He gestured expansively at the mayhem on the cutting board.

“Can’t get better if I don’t practice, right?” She turned back, raised the knife for another gleeful chop, and Yamato winced.

“Okay but—can I offer some pointers?”

She paused to glance at him, knife still raised. “Yeah?”

“They’re vegetables; it’s not like you’ve got to kill them. Maybe come at it with a little less violence?”

Anko snorted. “Well where’s the fun in that?” But she brought the knife down with a bit more care than previously.

“You don’t even have to lift the knife off the board, really. Just use the tip like a hinge point and—here, let me show you.” He stepped close behind her, reaching to guide her hand-over-hand. “Smaller movements give you more control, and let you actually chop faster too.”

“Okay, makes sense.” She let him guide for another moment before shrugging him off. “I got it now, lemme try on my own.”

Half a moment’s observation proved she’d picked up the technique, and Yamato grinned. “Congratulations, you’re officially one step closer to being less of a disaster.”

Anko paused her chopping to flick a chunk of carrot at his forehead. “Quit bein’ so smug about it and put your damn groceries away.”

Yamato’s smile was full of fondness as he moved to comply.