|The Art of Graciousness
Author: Gingersnap87 PM
She was obviously in one her moods if she was painting a landscape. Landscapes were only painted when she was feeling upset. Sadly enough, they were some of her best works." GaaxOC. Please review if you want to save this to your favorites!Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Friendship/Hurt/Comfort - Gaara - Words: 2,013 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 4 - Published: 02-11-10 - Status: Complete - id: 5736917
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
(A.N.- I came up with this while roleplaying with some of my friends and I had no homework to work on now that I'm in college. This is totally independent of my other GaaxRed fic, The Cure: Finding It. I just wrote this one more as because I wanted to and needed some inspiration. If you read this and decide to favorite it, please, please take a few moments to review it. I really want to get readers' input. Thanks and enjoy!)
The Art of Graciousness
When I finally came upon her, my insides were in a turmoil. Good thing I found her or I might have snapped…or snapped someone's neck. I may have started on the path to change, but on a full moon, all bets were still off. My sandaled feet came to a quick halt, only the whoosh of air from my momentum giving a hint of my presence. Whether she knew I was there, she didn't indicate.
Her long, usually free flowing red hair was currently restrained in a low pony tail. Before her stood an easel with a canvas of goat hide perched on it. A small, porcelain hand peeked out from her casual kimono. A horse-hair paint brush gripped surely between her delicate digits. She was obviously in one her moods if she was painting a landscape. Landscapes were only painted when she was feeling upset. Sadly enough, they were some of her best works.
Flaring my nostrils, I allowed the cool desert air to expand my lungs before I walked towards her back. She continued painting and I didn't disturb her with words. I caught view of her face as my body sat down on the roof, next to her temporary studio. One knee drew itself up towards my body almost instinctively, while my arm draped leisurely upon it.
The purposeful movements of her hand, pulled my eyes in like a magnet. Her hand finished up the last brush strokes of her own personal rendering of a Suna sunset. Afterwards, she moved the brush and dabbed it into a different color from her paint palette, and simply wrote her initials onto the bottom right corner. My acute eyes picked up every detail of her hands. The tendons flexing with each elegant sweep of her instrument. The curvature of her fingers when they bent. The slightness of her wrist and the occasional prominence of her veins as they strained under her skin.
I felt my breath involuntarily hitch and forces my eyes to something else, her face. Her gentle face was now directed towards me with neutral doe-eyes. All my muscles maintained control easily after years of practice. My face didn't even twitch.
For the next few minutes - or maybe it was longer - we stared at each other with the most minimal of expressions possible. She broke the spell of silence first.
"It's a full moon."
"Ah," I simply affirmed. No need to say more on that subject for the time being. Instead I decided to bring up my earlier observation about her.
"You're upset, Red…"
She turned back to the painting as if to examine it, but I knew she was only avoiding the subject. When she spoke again it faintly surprised me.
"You're troubled too." Her eyes returned to mine.
"You're avoiding my statement…talk," I reprimanded gruffly.
"You are too," she countered softly. So that's what she meant about her remark about the moon…
"So you talk first," she added before I could protest. Damn it…I hated talking, but she was one of my exceptions.
A forceful sigh left my lips as I searched for the right words, even though she'd probably understand no matter what way I put them. I tended to be thorough when I did speak though.
"Since that fight with Uzumaki Naruto, I've been trying to change, and I feel that I'm mostly in control. On full moons, though, he really fights," I said at last.
"Shukaku knows that he is strongest on full moons…"
"Yes," I affirmed what she already knew.
"Have you tried pretending that his rants are just a radio station you can't turn off?"
"No, but the problem is that he's not just being auditory…"
"He's also giving you visionary stimuli?" she asked. I nodded.
"What about doing something relaxing?"
I shook my head. "Meditation doesn't help," I replied.
"No, not strictly meditation," she corrected me, "I mean doing something that is relaxing or stress relieving, such as reading, listening to music, or even drawing. You don't have to be good at it as long as it helps you maintain focus on the world and not Shukaku."
I looked down at my feet, giving that some thought. I'd never really had a hobby during my life, except when I was still completely influenced my the biju sealed within me. I'd read books before, but Shukaku's voice only grew more determined to break my focus, and I'd lose my place in the book. Then it hit me…
"Talking…he seems to be silent when I'm talking to you…" I spoke out my realization.
"I see," she said, turning to glance at her painting as if examining it again. My brows drew together at her action. It was her turn to talk….
"I want to hear you talk now, Red," I demanded, "No more stalling."
First she continued to stare at her canvas, but not really see it. She was looking into the portal of her mind, something that I or no other could see at the moment. Her usually expressive eyes turned more dull now, like two large gems set into her face that had lost their luster. I couldn't help myself now, I stood and moved the easel away and behind her and bent down to eye level in front of her. She couldn't escape my gaze so easily now.
"Talk," I ordered more firmly. Her brown eyes managed to stay fixed on my face, but never reached and held my eyes. My patience was quickly starting to wither down to thin tethers. I leaned my face in closer and gripped her chin, gently forcing her eyes to mine.
"I know something is up with you, otherwise you wouldn't be painting the sunset. Now talk to me, damn it…" My voice was sounding gravely and gruff now. The only change in her demeanor was the widening of her eyes and a peculiar dusting of pink covered her cheekbones.
"I-I…just…I've been feeling l-lonely lately…" she answered in almost a whisper, but my keen ears caught it. I felt my mouth and eyes soften a little. We both knew what loneliness felt, but it ached me more to hear her say that now that I was working to relate to others on a more emotional and social level.
"B-But it's ok, I know you've been busy with the village council and missions," she added with a clumsy smile. I sighed. No wonder she was feeling upset, I haven't really seen her - really seen and talked with her - since the last full moon. I had been more preoccupied trying to impress the council of elders. I wanted them to elect me as Kazekage. My mind never crossed the thought of who I might have been neglecting while on this pursuit. Yet here she was, trying not to be a burden…it was typical of her, but I wouldn't allow it.
"I should still find time for you, like I did in the old days," I countered.
A small smirk lifted her lips. "Back in the 'old days,' you were mainly barking out threats and how I should not care about anyone but myself."
"I still gave you my time, that's more than I gave most others," I said, hoping she understood that even back then she interested me, even if it was on a more abstract level.
"The village trusts you a little more and are giving you more responsibilities. I don't want to hinder the completion of your tasks."
"You're no hindrance!" I growled, more angry with her logic than at her. Still she flinched back minutely, but held her ground. I relaxed my features again and my hand unconsciously reached behind her to free her hair of its tie. When I was in front of her again, my hand held out the ribbon for her to take. Her eyes glanced up to mine in mild surprise then averted to the ribbon, her smaller hand reaching to take it from mine.
I used the proximity to my advantage - not that I really needed it - and took her hand in mine. My hand nearly engulfed it, so I had to remind myself not to grip too hard. The sound of her breath hitching, accompanied by a small gasp, resounded in my ears; I raised my eyes back to her face. That coloring of her cheeks was there again and her mouth was slightly ajar, her eyes still wide. Her hand felt warm in mine and the ribbon slithered audibly over our skin as it whipped in the sudden wind. Long red locks flew like a flame behind her head. My eyes were drawn to that too.
"If it doesn't trouble you, I'd like it if we talked at night before you turn in," I asked. My thumb ghosted over the back of her hand, as if it were its own entity, and it too hoped that she would agree. The pink on her cheeks grew a little brighter and she gave me a small smile I could only call "endearing."
"Ok, only if you promise to stay until I fall asleep."
The corner of my lip twitched up in an almost foreign expression. Inwardly my mind was jumping in an erratic dance, because she agreed. My other hand raised up and held her hand as the one that held the ribbon released it. I felt a strange sensation in my chest as I turned her hand palm up, placed the ribbon in it, and closed her fingers around it. It was like her skin was sending pleasant electrical currents through my body. I found myself holding onto her hand longer than necessary.
"I-I need to grab my painting," she said demurely. Her voice broke me from my touch-induced trance and I reluctantly let go of her hand. A hesitation passed where she simply stood as she was, then she seemed to also break out of a trance, turning to pick up her painting. The paint wasn't dry yet, so I grabbed the easel and her palette and brush.
"Ready?" I asked her as I braced one foot on the edge of the roof, preparing to push off. She nodded.
Before I could leap down from the building, her voice stopped me, "Gaara."
I turned back to face her, telling her silently that I was listening. Her fingers played with the sleeves of her kimono where they poked out nervously. I wondered at what was making her like this.
"Y-You'll make a good Kazekage for Sunagakure," she continued with a brighter, more confident smile.
I looked at her with what was probably the most expression I've shown in quite awhile. My lungs felt like they quit functioning for a fraction of a second and all thought left my brain as if it were a permeable object.
My body was on auto pilot, I couldn't think. I heard the clatter of her art supplies as my hands released them with little care, and the next thing I knew, my arms had surrounded her body in an embrace. The wind blew strong again, carrying her hair and her scent towards my face. I closed my eyes in content bliss and spoke words, I rarely ever said.
"Thank you, Red."