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Title: Test Spin
Author: Zully Quirke ([livejournal.com profile] zully)
Pairing(s): Lee/Gaara
Rating: PG
Warnings: Only if you haven't seen the major Gaara fights.
Summary: Probably crack. Lee has the worst luck in the world and Gaara doesn't believe in chance.
Author's Notes: Inspired by a recent "Dare" and "Kiss" challenge I saw posted somewhere. Not necessarily a response to it, just a little crack-y ficlet.

For the sixteenth time that evening he asked himself what he was even doing here in the first place. And for the sixteenth time he reprimanded himself; he knew exactly why he was there. Suna had allied with Konoha. When resources were thin they helped each other on missions, paired off where necessary. Formed teams of mixed Sand and Leaf ninjas. That was why he was here.

The real questions were why these ordinarily perfectly functional ninja had been reduced to a team of idiots, when this had happened, and why it was Gaara found himself associating with them. He was also having to repeatedly remind himself that he no longer murdered people simply because they annoyed him.

There was a whooping cheer behind him and Gaara's eyes twitched to one side, blinking back just as quickly with an irritated sigh. Somehow one of them had brought along a bottle of alcohol. It was now empty and they still all set around the bottle in a circle, though this time they were spinning it for some reason. Gaara had come to understand the rules of the game though he still found them exceedingly stupid. One would spin the glass bottle in the center and the one doing the spinning would apparently be required to kiss whomever the neck of the bottle pointed towards.

As soon as the games began, Neji stood and left, citing exhaustion. Gaara's respect for him increased tenfold, though he'd never admit that in part he was grateful. Neji's back had been to Gaara and now Gaara had a much better view of the festivities without having to make it seem as if he were watching. The occasional fleeting curiosity should not be mistaken for actual interest. The last thing he wanted was for his tipsy teammates to "force" him to play their game. It would be a shame to lose Kohona as an ally this quickly.

Truly the only thing that had caught his attention was his surprise that one ninja in particular was participating -- Rock Lee. Gaara was unflinchingly aware of the effects alcohol had on the man, so primarily his interest had been purely cautionary. He had shook his head and declined when offered the bottle, however, and it hadn't taken long for the others to drink his share. He was the only one sober in the group, for which Gaara respected him highly for. He never understood Kankuro and Temari's fondness of alcohol.

As if on cue, Temari cheered loudly as she scrambled forward for her turn to spin the bottle. There where cheers from the sidelines, a few boys who seemed to be leering and hoping the bottle landed on them. Gaara took careful note of those individuals and tucked the information in the back of his mind for later.

"Troublesome.." Came a mutter, arms folded as he looked off to the side. Shikamaru, Gaara recalled. He had fought Temari before and won. Despite his apparent laziness, a good ninja. Effective.

The bottle had landed pointing towards him, and the flush on both of their faces had not escaped Gaara's notice. The kiss was brief and both scowled afterwards, but it became apparent that he was going to need to keep a closer eye on their relations as they developed.

Which brought the bottle to Lee. Forget flushing; Lee was one large red stain at this point. In particular he seemed to be eying a girl with pink hair, Sakura. She was one of Naruto's team mates. Somewhat useless according to his previous experiences, though there was rarely such thing as a useless ninja. Perhaps her abilities had not yet been made apparent, at least to him. His eyes narrowed. Someone else to keep his attentions on.

But for now they were captivated by the red stain in green spandex across the circle. He'd been sitting directly across from Neji, now giving Gaara a near perfect view of him.

It was odd, the sense of possessiveness he had over Rock Lee. There was no particular reason for it. Perhaps it stemmed from the fact that he was the one who began his undoing. That battle with Rock Lee was the day he realized he wasn't as untouchable as he thought he was. Naruto was largely responsible for his utter undoing, but Rock Lee had gotten the ball rolling, as it were.

Or perhaps it was the conversation they had under that tree, the day he learned a bit more about life. Or at least Lee's.

Regardless of the reason he found himself watching Rock Lee with more detail than any of his other fellow ninja. Making careful notes as to when he over-exerted himself, when he forgot to eat meals, when he almost ran into traps. Fortunately Rock Lee was a caipable ninja; an intelligent one. He didn't require much looking after. This was pleasing.

Something inside Gaara's stomach twitched angrily when Lee reached towards the bottle after a little jeering, his eye followed when he gave it a gentle flick of the wrist.

It stopped at the blank spot where Neji had been.

There was a burst of laughter.

"Lucky for you Neji went to bed, huh Lee?" Naruto grinned, clapping him on the back.

"B-but Neji's a boy!" Lee protested. "That wouldn't have counted anyway!"

"'course it does!" Kiba slurred. "'s part of the fun of the game!" He grinned sloppily. "What's the fun in it if there isn't a little danger?"

Lee gulped, reaching down towards the bottle again with a look of grim determination and giving it a much more hearty spin.

It landed pointing in the same direction. Lee frowned over at it. "How is that even possible?"

"The powers that be want you to kiss Neji, your eternal rival!" Tenten grinned.

"Or no one at all," Came the muttered voice of Shino. "It's an empty space now. Neji has gone to sleep."

Lee wasn't one to be deterred. He spun it again and again, each time it landed in the same blank spot. He sat back, panting slightly, hands rested on his knees.

"I think it's broken," He said forlornly.

"Let me give it a try," Naruto bit at his tongue and gave the bottom a firm twist. Sure enough, it came to a stop in front of Sakura. He flushed from head to toe.

"Seems to be working fine to me!"

"That was a test spin, it didn't count!" Sakura was insisting, but Lee was too far lost in thought. Even in a game of spin the bottle he couldn't get Sakura to kiss him, but on his first try...

No, there was something wrong here! Something deeper. That last time he'd almost felt it. Maybe this time if he concentrated harder...

"I'm going to try again," Lee announced, grabbing the bottle and spinning it. He felt it, that pull, that twinge in the air that left it tasting like lightning had struck. He'd felt it before.

Smacking himself for not thinking of it earlier, he allowed his eyes to complete the path from Neji's former spot to where Gaara of the Desert stood. No one else seemed to notice, though. Perhaps the alcohol?

He looked questioningly at Gaara who held his gaze only for a moment before looking away.

The rest were still arguing over whether or not Sakura had to kiss Naruto, so Lee stood and dusted himself off, walking the short distance between the two. If he hadn't known better he'd have sworn that Gaara was shifting uncomfortably at his impending approach.


"It's made of glass," Gaara's voice was clipped, distant. "Glass is made of sand."

"I... yes, I know," Lee nodded slowly. There was a part of this train of thought that he was missing, though for once that may not have had anything to do with his social ineptitude. "What I don't know is why."

Gaara's lips twitched. "It's a foolish game. I gave it my own.. spin."

"By making the bottle point at you?" Lee's voice cracked loudly, and there was a sudden eerie quiet as the realization that every member of their group had just overheard him settled in like a cloud around his shoulders.

"It counts," Kiba's grin was slow, malicious. "It so counts."

"He's not even playing!" Lee protested, arms waving in front of him.

"Yes I am," Gaara said quietly.

Another stunned silence.

"Let's get this over with," Gaara said, grabbing at Lee's chin. He analyzed it for a moment, as if determining the exact distance he'd need to lean forward to finish the deed completely and memorizing the coordinates of Lee's lips on his face.

It wasn't until he was close enough that Lee could feel his breath against his lips that Gaara's lips moved once more in a whisper that was nearly inaudible, even to Lee.

"But I'm only playing for you."

As someone who had never been kissed before, Lee had no means to compare this kiss against the great kisses of the world. He imagined though that scoring kisses was something that would've come natural to a person. It was either good or bad based on it's own merits and the preferences of the recipient.

Gaara's kiss was by no means experienced. It was awkward and rough, even slightly stiff as chapped lips pressed firmly against Lee's. It was as if Gaara had seen the action done before, understood it's significance, but had never before thought of it's practical application. Which may well have been the case. And oddly, that's what made Lee lean forward to return it. That roughness and inexperience stirred something warm and tight in Lee's gut that he wasn't even aware existed to stir.

By the time it ended (much too early, Lee thought before he could stop himself) Lee was feeling a bit dizzy and lightheaded. He stared up at Gaara in a daze, and he would've sworn he saw a self-satisfied smirk twist at his lips before he snorted and walked back towards his tent.

Lee didn't move for several seconds. His friends behind him were completely silent, unmoving. Clearly that had been the last thing any of them had suspected. It was equally as clear that Gaara voluntarily kissing Lee was the best instant sobriety medication money could buy.

By the time his voice returned to him he licked his lips experimentally and turned back to the group, eyes still slightly glazed, smiling dazedly.

"Anyone up for strip poker?"
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Zully Quirke // → Natalie

February 2016

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