#01 – Ring
There was never a ring, a ceremony, a legal document, no physical tangible thing tying them together, there never needed to be one.
#02 – Hero
Kankuro sees nothing heroic about taking a kunai or two for the Konoha-nin, he see’s it as another form of self preservation.
#03 – Memory
Lee had woken up late one morning to the sight of the small table set for two, and his not quite boyfriend sneaking small bites of egg and rice, he had not had time eat but the memory had left him smiling for weeks afterwards.
#04 – Box
There is one box secreted away in a corner of Rock Lee’s closet, packed neatly into it are all the instant photos and coded notes, one receipt from a dinner out and two ticket stubs, all the evidence preserved, and carefully tucked away from sight.
#05 – Run
Everyone knows that Rock Lee is already the fastest, but he knows that he can never stop running, because the second he slows down he’s going to be left behind again, and nothing scares him more than that.
#06 – Hurricane
Shinobi do not take kindly to being trapped indoors, whether by a monsoon or a sandstorm, and, well, they have to work off that extra energy somehow.
#07 – Wings
After the first time Kankuro saw Rock Lee fight, he had to laugh at anyone who claimed that humans were not meant to fly.
#08 – Cold
Kankuro does not like snow; it is cold, wet, a waste of water and inconvenient to move about in, but his sour mood is interrupted by a snowball blindsiding him from the left, and he takes off running after the hyperactive Leaf, not caring so much about the bits of snow melting down the back of his shirt.
#09 – Red
He knows that his jealousy is irrational, Naruto is just a physical person, but he still sees red every time the little loud mouth dipshit throws an arm around Lees shoulders.
#10 – Drink
Even before he’s technically old enough Kankuro enjoys getting uproariously drunk after their joint missions, in part because Lee is the only one he knows for sure will drag him safely home afterwards.
#11 – Midnight
When Hyuuga Neji showed up on his doorstep, shaking, blood spattered, and clutching a torn red hittai atte, Kankuro suddenly understood the biting sense of dread that hadn’t let him get to sleep that night.
#12 – Temptation
Slim and strong; the leaf-nin had a body that just begged for someone to throw him down and have their way with it, it was really kind of infuriating.
On nights when it is too hot for either of them to sleep Kankuro and Lee lie on the rooftops and pass the time making up constellations.
#14 – Music
Lee did not need music to dance, just the clash of battle, he fought so gracefully.
#15 – Silk
Lee has never been entirely comfortable sleeping in Kankuros fine bed, but he still feels just as guilty asking the prince to share his own tattered one.
#16 – Cover
They work surprisingly well together, Kankuro defending with his puppets, providing cover while Lee pounds the enemy into submission.
#17 – Promise
Lee is freezing, bleeding, exhausted, twenty feet under water and his vision is starting to darken, but he will not die, because when he left he was given a signet ring imprinted with Sunagakures seal, and he promised that he would return it.
#18 – Dream
“Hey little brother, have a bad dream? You were talking in your sleep last night…are you sick? Your face has gone all red.”
#19 – Candle
Kankuro had never been over-romantic, but if Lee wanted to light candles and cook for him he sure as hell wasn’t complaining.
#20 – Talent
It was a gift, the warm, goofball Leaf-nin could always, always manage to make him smile.
#21 – Silence
Nobody knew about them, not Gaara, not Temari, not even Lee’s team and if the two had their way nobody ever would, they were far to aware of would happen should they break their silence.
#22 – Journey
“ Yosh! I will make it to Konoha and back in less than one week or I will run 200 laps around Suna backwards upon my return!” And he’s off, a flash of green speeding across the desert, the Puppet Master can only watch and shake his head.
#23 – Fire
Kankuro didn’t think he could ever put into words just how special te fire in Lee was to him so he didn’t even bother to try.
Kankuro is somewhat embarrassed to discover that Lee has no trouble at all dragging his unconscious ass and damaged puppets all the way back to Suna.
#25 – Mask
The way Kankuro see’s it people choose a shinobi’s life, a life of blood and fear, for one of two reasons; either it’s a family gig, or they’ve got something twisted up wrong inside them to begin with, he knows Lee has no family and he’s still looking for the twist, this worries him because in his experience things hidden away that deeply are deadly dangerous.
#26 – Ice
When a bored Kankuro slips an ice cube down the back of an unsuspecting Lees shirt, it’s absolutely not just to be mean, and because he finds torturing the Leaf amusing, absolutely not.
#27 – Fall
When most people think of falling in love, they think of fairytales and teenage crushes grand confessions with flowers and maybe butterflies; it wasn’t so much like that, it was more like sleeping in shifts in caves in foreign countries and watching his silhouette cast on the wall by your small fire, and the light glinting off the blade he was testing with deft hands.
#28 – Forgotten
Kankuro does not remember the first time they had sex, he remembers the days mission, the stupid mistake that had almost proved fatal and the subsequent need to not let his partner out of his sight for the next twenty for hours, he remembers the hangover he woke up with, but most of all he remembers Lee making him the best damn cup of coffee he’s ever had, then walking out the door as if nothing had happened at all.
#29 – Dance
Kankuro had a bad habit of turning his headphones up too loud and dancing around the living room, completely oblivious to the approach of anyone else, Lee liked to exploit these frequent moments of vulnerability.
#30 – Body
It is a ridiculously sappy thought, he knows, but Kankuro still likes the way Lee fits perfectly into his arms, and how his head rests under his chin.
#31 – Sacred
To Kankuro, putting on his kabuki make-up each morning is a ritual, it is one the Lee feels privileged to be allowed to watch.
#32 – Farewells
Their goodbyes were always rather curt and formal, usually Kankuros siblings were there, it was a matter of diplomacy.
#33 – World
The world could, and would continue turning, in a few hours the sun would rise and they’d be scrambling to dress and groom and make like they barely knew each other, but that was in a few hours, for now they lay safe in a tangle of sheets and limbs and slept, and the world could wait a little bit longer.
#34 – Formal
When Rock Lee is angry or hurt and doesn’t know what to do about it, he falls back on formality, so when Kankuro hears the honorific ‘dono’ attached to his name, he knows he had better start making up his bed on the couch.
#35 – Fever
With mouths and fingertips they paint each others skin with burning lines, fire all shot through with adrenaline, and an exhausted undercurrent of can barely believe they’re both still alive.
#36 – Laugh
In a shinobi village nothing can stay secret forever; when Tamari final discovers the secret her little brothers been guarding so ferociously she laughs so hard she can’t breathe, she laughs until he finally starts yelling at her, but she just ruffles his hair and tells him he’s got nothing to worry about.
#37 – Lies
The room was intimately dim and quiet, all shafts of golden dusty light and the rustle of tearing fabric, and Kankuro felt he ought to say something “I don’t need you, you know.” Lee glanced up quickly from the bandage he’d been applying to the puppet masters foot “So? I don’t need you either.”
#38 – Forever
It was not supposed to be forever, it was not supposed to be anything at all, eventually Kankuros toothbrush had moved in to Lee’s bathroom, and his clothes into the closet, and Kankuro started keeping packets of instant curry his own fridge and had about half the Leaf-nins cd collection lying around unreturned, neither ever openly acknowledged it, but they both knew.
#39 – Overwhelmed
Kankuro did his best, but he never lasted more than a few minutes when they sparred, he just couldn’t keep up.
#40 – Whisper
“Do you think they’re gone ye-“ “Shhh! I dunno!” Note to self; when trying to avoid being caught sucking face with a foreign shinobi, diving into the nearest broom closet is not the best idea.
#41 – Wait
Suna and Konoha are a only a few days travel apart, but there’s only so many missions each can volunteer for in the others direction before someone starts asking questions and so, they wait.
#42 – Talk
Kankuro has started teaching him the sign language that Suna puppeteers and performers use to communicate backstage, he is skilled with his hands and learns quickly, so before long they can literally communicate without words.
#43 – Search
The hat Kankuro had been tearing Lee’s apartment apart looking for for the last 30 minutes was on top of the dresser, just where it had been tossed the night before, but the younger boy certainly wasn’t going to tell him that because the puppet master was just that cute when angry.
#44 – Hope
Lee lives his life full of hope, it’s part of who he is, and it’s about the only thing that’s pulled him through to this point, Kankuro is a hardened cynic, but he can’t bring himself to challenge the smile on the younger ninjas face.
#45 – Eclipse
“Kankuro-kun come see come see!” he grumbles, but allows the excited boy to drag him out onto the balcony anyway.
#46 – Gravity
They spent more than a year circling each other in nervous orbit, each bent on thoroughly ignoring the others pull, but in the end they found , you can’t beat gravity.
#47 – Highway
It is easy to get tunnel vision as a shinobi, and losing perspective is the fastest way to burn out, Kankuro is grateful he has someone to force him to back of and take a break on occasion.
#48 – Unknown
Lee doesn’t know that Kankuro lies awake when he leaves at night, and that he is only pretending to sleep when he slips back into the bed.
#49 – Lock
Purple face paint and the ‘cat hat’, bandages that never come of, these little disguises are just another way of locking others out, and it’s only the real doors are firmly locked and the shades are drawn that these personal safeguards can come off.
#50 – BreatheKankuro is accustomed to falling asleep listening to Lees even steady breaths long before he consciously allows the word ‘love’ to even cross his mind, but once it surfaced amongst his sleepy thoughts he couldn’t take it back.