Ugh. I'm very tired. But someone wanted me to write something today. So I did. (smiles) So...not my best work. Mostly because I'm trying a different sort of style here. It's a bit more descriptive than my usual style and it was very odd to write.

Anyways, hope you all enjoy even if the GaanNaru part feels a little off to me.

Oh, yeah. And Naruto? Not mine. Very much not mine.Although I'll gladly take it if someone wants to get rid of it.

Let the rain fall down

And wake my dreams

Let it wash away my sanity

Blue eyes snapped open.

A body tensed unaware of its surroundings.

Glancing around, the eyes saw the utilitarian metal frame of the bed. To the left: a small wooden nightstand, the green of a cold tile floor and a door on the far wall. To the right: a window covered with curtains the same green of the tile floor and the bedspread.

The tension in the body eased, recognizing the all too familiar surroundings of Konoha's hospital.

With a sigh, Uzumaki Naruto sat up. Sasuke...he had been so close this time. So very close and then... He squeezed a bandaged fist and his eyes against the bitter feelings of failure. So close, only to end up back in the hospital. It was becoming a bad habit. A really bad habit.

He glanced towards the window and pulled the curtain back a little. A small amount of pale grey light poured in accompanied by a patter sound from outside. The blonde looked at his warped reflection in the wet glass. Thunder rolled in the distance. Rain.

Rain to match his mood and his defeat and his failure.

He watched the rain fall a little longer and suddenly the rain didn't seem like such a terrible thing. Maybe he should...But no, he had been badly injured and Sakura-chan and Tsunade-baasan would kill him. But he didn't feel hurt anymore. It only took a day or so for Kyuubi to heal him and he probably had been asleep for that long.

So probably...Yeah, it'd be alright.

Unwrapping the bandages from his hands, head and torso, he left them lying on the unmade bed and slipped out the window into the rain.

Pale green eyes stared at the cup on the table.

A body twitch as it was poked on the right side.

"You're brooding again." Came a boyish voice from the right, loud and clear over the buzzing of the crowd in the small Yakiniku place the group had gathered at.

The body was poked again. Annoyed by the action, a tendril of sand swatted lightly at the bandaged hand guilty of the action.

Gaara of the Desert turned to glare at his companion sitting on his right. Rock Lee smiled brightly at the other boy, withdrawing the hand he had been poking the redhead with.

"You shouldn't brood. It's not good for you. Gai-sensei says it gives your wrinkles. And I don't think the cup really did anything to you."

Gaara stared at the taijutsu master. " talk a lot."

Lee just flashed another brilliantly white smile and leaned back against the bench. "You guys have been coming here for how many years and hanging out with our group for how long? And you say that every time."

This, at least, was true. Ever since their initial actions as allies of the Leaf, the Sand siblings had been sent on constant missions to Konoha. And miraculously, the original genin teams, no longer genin, had invited the siblings into their circle. It was a very odd thing to have friends, Gaara found. But he kinda liked it.

Even fuzzy browed idiots who wouldn't let him brood in peace.

He looked over to where his sister was chatting up, or rather lambasting, the lazy ass genius. Shikamaru caught his glance and the two shared a brief look of mutual long suffering before Temari smacked him on the head to regain his attention.

Kankuro was flirting badly with TenTen while Hyuuga attempted to use the byakuugan to literally glare daggers at the puppeteer. There was the other Hyuuga and the Dog Boy and the blonde She Banshee that like to argue with Temari and the fat one.

The remaining members of Team Seven were noticeable absent.

"Sakura-san is with Hokage-sama helping at the Hospital...and Naruto is in the hospital after another attempt to retrieve Uchiha Sasuke." Lee answered the unasked question quietly.


"You know...if you wanted to leave and visit him no one would mind. It...might cheer him up. He's always really depressed after an encounter with Sasuke-kun."

Gaara didn't say a word. He simply got up and walked to the door.

Lee simply watched the redhead go with a smile before turning back to the conversation.

He found a grove of trees. Near enough to the hospital that he could get back quickly and secluded enough that no one would find him unless they looked for him.

He stood in the center of the clearing within the grove and raised his face to sky. Rain fell in fat drops, plastering his hair to his head and his clothes to his body. It had been a long time since he had done this. Not since someone had acknowledge him. But...Sasuke...he needed this. Needed the rain.

With his face raised to the sky and his eyes closed, he began.

First the rain fell onto his face, running down his nose and cheeks. Dripping off his chin. It was cool and refreshing. Then the cold rivers of rain running down his cheeks joined with warm rivers from his eyes.

Then, he began to move. Slightly at first, the twitch of a shoulder or the flick of a wrist. Then in regulated movements, taijutsu katas, blocking moves. Until finally, he just moved letting his body go into whatever movement and rhythm it wanted.

Finally, he began to scream with the thunder. Only when the thunder rolled. Stupid Sasuke, this was all his fault . Stupid traitor. Why did he have to abandon the village? Abandon Kakashi-sensei and Sakura-chan? Why did he have to abandon him? He obviously couldn't kill Naruto, but abandonment was worse.

He had been so close this time. Ero-sennin had been keeping Orochimaru busy and he had confronted Sasuke. He had seen the flicker of hesitation in those sharingan eyes. The longing for home. But a flare of the seal and Sasuke was lost to him yet again. It wasn't fair!

Sasuke had been everything to him for awhile there. He wanted back his rival, no one could really challenge him like the cold bastard. He wanted back his friend, the first friend he had ever had. He wanted back his brother. Because that what Sasuke really was to him when he thought about it. The closest thing to family he would ever have. And he had failed to get it back again.

And so here he was, dancing alone with tears pouring down his cheeks for the traitorous, bastard, brother of his heart. And the rain was pouring on him, cleansing him of his sorrow and sins. Washing away everything.

Thunder rolled.

"Sasuke, you idiot!!"

He hated the rain. It was wet. It was cold.

And mostly, he was useless in it. His sand would turn to mud, making it next to impossible to control.

Snarling, he stopped by their room first and left the gourd there. It was stupid to carry the thing around when it would only be useless extra weight to him. He didn't like being without it, but common sense prevailed on this for once. Besides, he could always make more sand in the case of an emergency.

The walk to the hospital was wet. And cold.

And he was almost to the welcome dryness when he spotted a figure in black and orange with blonde hair darting away from the building. Damnit, what type of trouble was Naruto up to this time? Remembering the last time Naruto had gotten into mischief when he was in Konoha, Gaara decided it would probably be wisest to follow the leaf nin.

He found the blonde a little later in a grove of trees. And stopped dead at the sight.

Naruto was...well, he wouldn't exactly call it dancing, but he wasn't really sure what other name to give the activity taking place in front of him.

Spikey blonde locks were plastered to the boy's head, dripping into his eyes and fling water when he would toss his head every now and again. The black t shirt with the neon green spiral was molded to his torso, showed every well toned muscle on the boy's chest and the outline of some necklace. Orange pants were equally molded to calf muscles and...

Gaara, he told himself. You are an aloof, bad ass. You did not just check out Uzumaki Naruto's ass.

Another quick glance down at the wet pants.

Yup. You sure did. Twice now. Damn.

Thunder rolled and he distinctly heard, "Sasuke, you idiot!!"

And then he saw that it wasn't all rain running down the other boy's cheeks. That this wasn't just some idiotic, joyous celebration of the rain.

This had purpose. It was an unclear purpose to Gaara. But it had purpose.

He danced and screamed and cried. He could feel everything leaving, his failure, his sorrow, all his sins and loneliness. He hadn't done this ritual since he was eight. Hadn't needed to. But for now, just for a little while, the rain would take it all away it and he could be selfish. Just for a little while.

He screamed to the heavens and then spun, tossing his head and opening his eyes in the process. At the edge of the clearing, green eyes watched him. And he stopped dead in his tracks.

He wasn't alone.

His ritual had been seen. Gaara stood, with his head cocked to the side watching the blonde. The rain had flattened his red hair to the pale skin of his face, making it look like he had a tremendous head wound. Dark rimmed eyes watched him silently.

Just as silently, the sand nin walked the small space between them and stood before him. Hesitantly, a pale hand lifted and lightly brushed away some of the tears and rain from his cheek.

"Why?" Came the simple question.

"Why what?"

"Why this? What's the purpose?"

"" Damn. How the hell was he suppose to explain this to Gaara when he barely understood it himself?

"It washes everything away. Makes everything clean and like the beginning. At least for a little while."

Gaara was quite for a long moment. The rain fell down around them, soaking them further, and thunder rumbled in the distance.



"Even blood?"

Blood...? Why was he asking about...Naruto noticed the other boy looking at his hands with a sense of regret.

"Even blood."

"...I can't dance."

Naruto smiled. "You don't dance. You just do whatever your body wants. Move however you want. No thinking about it."

To say that he was surprised when the blonde took his hands and placed them around the tan neck was an understatement. Reflexively, he buried his fingers in the thick blonde spikes, but then stopped, slightly horrified at his actions.

Naruto slipped his arms around Gaara's red clad waist and rested their foreheads against each other. He smiled softly at the redhead.

"No thinking, remember?"

No thinking, right. Pale green eyes slid shut and he moved to hug the boy in front of him. No thinking. Naruto hugged him back and they stood like that in the pouring rain for a while. No thinking.

Thunder rumbled.

"You scream with the thunder." Naruto whispered, explaining another part of this bizarre ritual.

He nodded against the tan neck. No thinking.

Naruto kept him close and made the two of them sway gently. No thinking. Just move, don't think.

And they moved. One minute it was sparring, with punches and blocks and the next an embrace with the two of them clinging to each other. He would thrust out a hand to pull the blonde in closer, but Naruto would smile and side step, making the redhead chasing.

They sparred like shinobi, they played like children, they clung to each other like lost souls. It didn't matter as long as they moved. No thinking. Make it all go away.

Thunder sounded, shaking the trees in the grove. And Gaara threw his head back and screamed. Every bit of darkness, sadness, regret, hate, loneliness, he screamed it all to the heavens and heard Naruto and the heavens themselves join him.

And it was leaving. All of it. The rain was washing it all away. It was making him clean. For once in his life he'd be clean. No thinking, just move.

Just move. Don't think, move.

He caught the blonde's arm and pulled him close.

Cupping the fox-like face, leaned in and kissed the other boy.

No thinking, just move.

Strong arms circled his waist and the kiss was returned.

Randomly, he noticed that Naruto tasted like miso. Miso mixed with rain water.

He decided he liked the flavor.

Gaara, oddly enough, tasted like cinnamon, Naruto found. Cinnamon mixed with coffee. Maybe he had to drink a lot to keep awake or something.

He decided he should probably drink coffee more often. And put cinnamon in it.

They had stopped moving and were just standing in the rain. But that was okay, because he still wasn't thinking. The kiss was making sure of that.

And yet, somehow, it all went away. Sasuke, Konoha, everything. More so than the rain washing it away. He needed this. And he had an eerie feeling that he would still need this even after the rain.

But for right now, they clung to each other. They kissed as if they had to breathe through the other's lungs. No thinking. Just do. The world would come back later, but this was the world for the moment.

And they stood there as the rain washed everything away.