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16 May 2007 @ 03:47 pm
[Complete] The Morning After - Kiba/Neji, LW1  
Title: The Morning After
Authors: chichiri_no_da and miko_no_da
Characters: Hyuuga Neji and Inuzuka Kiba
Fandom: Naruto
Theme Set: LW1
Theme(s): Coffee
Warnings and Notes: None

The sun coming in through the window struck Kiba full in the face. They hadn't stopped to close the blinds the night before - hadn't been sober enough for it to occur to them, really. He stifled a groan, not wanting to wake Neji if he was still asleep. The older ninja had been considerably farther gone than Kiba had, and was probably going to be suffering a hell of a hangover.

That sun really just needed to die, though. Or something. Trying to block it with his hand didn't help enough, and now he was well and truly awake. He was used to getting up at dawn for his exercises, after all.

Sighing, he shifted himself carefully away from the warm body he could feel at his back. Neji didn't move, still out cold apparently. Kiba sat up and swung his legs off the bed, stretching and grimacing. His head was pounding, he hadn't drunk enough water the night before.

Coffee. They needed coffee. A lot of coffee. Glancing at Neji, Kiba briefly debated waiting for the other boy to wake up first, but finally decided against it. He'd slip out, get drinks for them both, and bring it back so it would be there when Neji woke.

At least he didn't have to make any real effort to get dressed. His clothes were rumpled to say the least, and he wrinkled his nose at the smell of them, but they would do until he got home. Dressing silently, he walked stealthily to the door and opened it, wondering where the best place to get coffee around here was.

It didn't take him long to find - the moment he opened the door the rich scent of well-brewed coffee hit him, and his nostrils flared as he sniffed the air. He looked from side to side in confusion, but it wasn't until it occurred to him to look down that he found the source of the appetizing scent.

Someone had left coffee in thermos mugs just outside their door. Mystified, Kiba picked one up and studied it. Who would do something like that? Was it safe to drink? They were inside Konoha, and he couldn't imagine an enemy ninja sneaking around leaving poisoned coffee for drunk shinobi in random hotels, but...

A marking on the thermos caught his eye, two little straight lines at a slight angle. It looked like it had been scratched into the surface with a kunai. Kiba blinked at it, then laughed softly as he figured it out. It was a 'tenten', the little hash marks used to change a letter to a different sound in hiragana. Picking up the other mug, he brought both back into the room and shut the door again.
Chichiri no da: Neji - Healingchichiri_no_da on May 16th, 2007 11:08 pm (UTC)
Neji was stirring as Kiba came back into the room. He was used to getting up at dawn, too, and the sounds of the door and shifting of the mattress had done just enough to rouse him that the pounding agony behind his eyelids did the rest.

He opened his eyes, then immediately squeezed them shut again as the sight of the sunlight coming in through the window caused a lance of pain to bury itself in his skull. What's going on? he thought, his heartrate beginning to climb. Was I poisoned? What's wrong with me?
Miko no da: Naruto - Kiba - all grown upmiko_no_da on May 16th, 2007 11:11 pm (UTC)
Seeing Neji moving - and the pained expression on the other boy's face - Kiba smiled at him sympathetically. "Hey," he said, keeping his voice soft in deference to the headache it looked like the other ninja was suffering from. "Remind me to thank Tenten later - she's apparently looking out for you, and I got lumped in as well. Coffee? I know you probably don't want it, but it'll make you feel a little better."
Chichiri no da: Neji - Sure Whateverchichiri_no_da on May 16th, 2007 11:13 pm (UTC)
Neji recognized the voice, thankfully, and the events of the night before came rushing back. He opened his eyes to slits and twisted until Kiba came into his field of vision - using the Byakugan wasn't happening just at the moment.

"Coffee?" he echoed sceptically. His stomach churned at the thought, and he suddenly remembered a phrase - something about hair and biting dogs. "Is it spiked?"
Miko no da: Naruto - Kiba & Akamaru - lazy daysmiko_no_da on May 16th, 2007 11:23 pm (UTC)
"Not unless Tenten is the type to play mean practical jokes," Kiba shrugged. "You know her better than I do. But I don't smell anything." He took a tentative sip from one mug, and shook his head. "Nope. Just coffee. Really good coffee," he added with a faint overtone of surprise. "Maybe it's her way of apologizing for dragging you to the party in the first place."
Chichiri no da: Neji - Deadchichiri_no_da on May 16th, 2007 11:26 pm (UTC)
"Tenten left this for us?" Neji murmured, belatedly remembering that Kiba had said something about that before. He shifted to sit up, pressing his index fingers to his temples for a moment before reaching out for a mug of his own.

If this was the cure, he'd take it, and wouldn't whine about the state of his head or his stomach. It was his own stupidity that had brought him to this. "I wasn't trying to say she was...mean or anything. I just thought some people believed that was a cure for hangovers," he explained quietly.
Miko no da: Naruto - Kiba & Akamaru - lazy daysmiko_no_da on May 16th, 2007 11:35 pm (UTC)
"Some people do - and I suppose it is, in that getting drunk again makes your body forget about the aftereffects," Kiba said, settling gingerly onto the edge of the bed and sipping more deeply at his mug. "But if you want to stay sober, there's not really much you can do but tough it out and treat the symptoms."
Chichiri no da: Neji - Deadchichiri_no_da on May 16th, 2007 11:37 pm (UTC)
"I want to stay sober," Neji said fervently, taking a sip of his coffee to test the temperature. "Tenten must have been fairly sober if she got up early to deliver coffee to our room," he observed, a little sourly. From what he remembered, she had seemed tipsy, but nothing compared to Neji.

How humiliating!
Miko no da: Naruto - Kiba - all grown upmiko_no_da on May 16th, 2007 11:46 pm (UTC)
"Yeah, well, she spent most of her time running around organizing things," Kiba pointed out. "And dancing with everyone. I noticed she even got you out on the floor." He gave his companion a slightly fanged grin. "So, was it as horrible as you thought it'd be? Hangover notwithstanding."
Chichiri no da: Neji - Iceychichiri_no_da on May 16th, 2007 11:50 pm (UTC)
Neji took a larger gulp of the coffee, praying desperately for the caffiene - or whatever else was in it that had curative properties - to hit soon. He felt like hell.

He gave Kiba a disgruntled look. "The hangover rather makes a difference," he growled. "But...it was fine. Boring, I guess, but not too bad. I won't be drinking anything at one of these parties again, though."
Miko no damiko_no_da on May 17th, 2007 12:04 am (UTC)
"Well, you learn pretty fast what your limit is," Kiba chuckled softly, tucking his legs up under him. "I hope you will come again, though. It was good to have you there - even if you are just one more guy in competition for the few girls we've got." He grinned again.
Chichiri no da: Neji - See Through Youchichiri_no_da on May 17th, 2007 12:28 am (UTC)
Neji cocked his head, watching Kiba. The caffiene was starting to help a little, and the headache was becoming manageable - though perhaps just because he was growing used to it. "Why was it good to have me there?" he asked softly, with honest curiosity.

That was the part he could never really understand. He was surly at the best of times, let alone when he felt uncomfortable and off-balance. He could somewhat understand why Tenten wanted him there for her birthday, but why would Kiba care?
Miko no da: Naruto - Kiba & Akamaru - lazy daysmiko_no_da on May 17th, 2007 12:33 am (UTC)
"Huh? I dunno," Kiba shrugged with one shoulder. "I enjoyed talking to you. I usually do - you're more interesting than some of the other guys." Neji had some of the same things that interested him about Hinata, like how wildly different she was from Kiba. But he didn't have Hinata's flaws, like being shy to the point of ridiculousness.

Of course, he had more than enough flaws of his own to make up for it. But Kiba liked him anyway.
Chichiri no da: Neji - Hotnesschichiri_no_da on May 17th, 2007 12:38 am (UTC)
Neji blinked slowly. "Oh," he said, nonplussed. His face shifted into a hesitant smile, almost despite himself. However cynical he was - not to mention acutely aware of some of his own flaws - it was nice to hear that someone actually enjoyed his company.

It was one of the reasons he came to the party at all. Tenten had wanted him there, and that was a rare and precious feeling. He couldn't have refused, however much he griped and resisted.

"I enjoyed talking to you, too," he admitted reluctantly.
Miko no da: Naruto - Kiba - playfulmiko_no_da on May 17th, 2007 12:42 am (UTC)
Kiba was glad he hadn't been taking a sip when Neji smiled like that, because he might just have choked on it. He was pretty sure he could count on the fingers of one hand the number of times he'd seen Neji genuinely smile - and still have plenty of fingers left over. He was gorgeous when he smiled.

He was damn attractive the rest of the time, of course, but Kiba was so used to that he didn't really pay attention to it any more.

Since he hadn't been drinking, he managed to contain his reaction to a startled blink, and then a return smile of his own. "Good! And that's what the parties are for. Hanging out and talking with your friends when you're not in a life or death situation.
Chichiri no da: Neji - Sure Whateverchichiri_no_da on May 17th, 2007 12:45 am (UTC)
Neji's expression turned contemplative. "I suppose that makes sense," he said after a moment or two. "To unwind, and build teamwork in a more comfortable setting." It explained the preponderance of alcohol, too.

He supposed he had understood it before, but hadn't really thought such things applied to him. But he hadn't really thought about it in those terms before. It made it seem so much more...useful.
Miko no da: Naruto - Kiba & Akamaru - partnersmiko_no_da on May 17th, 2007 12:49 am (UTC)
"Exactly! Though I might not've put it in quite those words," Kiba nodded enthusiastically.

And immediately regretted it, as his own headache reminded him that he'd been a little overindulgent himself last night. "Ow," he said mildly, wincing and rubbing at his temple. "Um. Remind me not to do that for a couple of hours. I'm glad Akamaru decided to sit this one out at home." He took another sip of his coffee.
Chichiri no da: Neji - Deadchichiri_no_da on May 17th, 2007 12:54 am (UTC)
"How come?" Neji asked. Surely Akamaru wouldn't be affected if Kiba were drunk. Unless Kiba meant that Akamaru might bark and hurt both of their heads.

Neji finished his own coffee and set the mug down. His stomach was settling a little, but his mouth was dry as flypaper. He wondered if he was brave enough to stick his head under the tap in the sink.
Miko no da: Naruto - Kiba & Akamaru - lazy daysmiko_no_da on May 17th, 2007 01:07 am (UTC)
"Because he'd make fun of me - and probably of you, too," Kiba grumbled. "And he'd have barked to wake us up, just because he's a sadistic asshole and enjoys seeing me suffer for my sins." He sighed. "Do I want a shower here, or just trudge home and hop in the tub there? Ugh, I hate making choices when I'm hungover. Of any kind."
Chichiri no da: Neji - Hotnesschichiri_no_da on May 17th, 2007 01:15 am (UTC)
Neji frowned. "Well, I'm not going anywhere without a shower," he said decidedly. "I'll wait if you want to take yours first." He considered for a moment. Breakfast was out of the question. In fact, all he wanted to do was sleep. But he wanted to thank Kiba for taking care of him - and he really had. He just wasn't really sure how.
Miko no da: Naruto - Kiba - all grown upmiko_no_da on May 17th, 2007 01:32 am (UTC)
That decided Kiba. "Nah, you go ahead," he waved Neji's offer off, hauling himself up off the bed again. "I'll head home, I'm in better shape than you were so I don't need one as bad as you probably feel like you do. I'd rather soak in the tub at home, anyway."
Chichiri no da: Neji - Hotnesschichiri_no_da on May 17th, 2007 01:35 am (UTC)
Neji nodded, sliding off the bed and straightening up. He was relieved that he didn't end up shucking all of his clothes the day before. He watched Kiba for a moment. "Thanks," he said finally, offering the other boy a bow. "Thanks for what you did last night."
Miko no da: Naruto - Kiba - all grown upmiko_no_da on May 17th, 2007 01:37 am (UTC)
"Hey, no problem," Kiba assured him, genuinely startled at the thanks. "What're friends for? I couldn't leave you to try to get home by yourself. You might have ended up deciding that parties sucked and you didn't want to come to any more." He grinned. "I'll just leave my mug with yours, and you can take them both back to Tenten, okay?"
Chichiri no da: Neji - Hotnesschichiri_no_da on May 17th, 2007 01:39 am (UTC)
"Of course," Neji said, straightening and giving a nod. He smiled slightly. "I hope you feel better soon," he added, a touch awkwardly, not knowing what else to say.
Miko no da: Naruto - Kiba - all grown upmiko_no_da on May 17th, 2007 02:14 am (UTC)
"You, too. I recommend dark, quiet places until the worst of it goes away. And nothing heavy to eat," Kiba told him with a rueful grin. "See you around, Neji." Turning, he headed for the door with a wave.
Chichiri no da: Neji - Hotnesschichiri_no_da on May 17th, 2007 02:17 am (UTC)
"See you," Neji replied, taking that advice to heart. He watched Kiba go, then turned to go have his shower.