Memory of Love
Chapter 2: Passion
By: Vampire Toy
Disclaimer: Me no own (sadness)
The dark figure sat shaking on the rooftop of his hotel. The clouds loomed lazily in the sky, crossing the moon every now and then, almost completely darkening the village below. As the clouds left the moon yet again, the young man stood from his place on the ceiling to gaze over the city with an almost dazed look across his tan face. The wind ruffled his already messy red hair and his attention came back to the real world when some of the strands went into his dark ringed green eyes.
He made an angry face and looked over the city again with more attentiveness. He hated the weakness he was feeling, worst part being he didn't know why he felt the way he did.
(So it must be HER fault!)
Gaara's face twisted maniacally as his eyes settled on her house. He'd been there only once before, a long time ago, but he had visited it many times in his mind. He muttered something under his breath and hopped down, walking calmly towards her home. Though everyone was sleeping, especially the young nins, he could never sleep, but he found it easier that way.
About mid way to her home, he stopped and gazing over the small house's overgrown bushes and dark windows. His face seemed monotone aside from an occasional twitch of his lower lip as he thought over how to proceed with whatever he wanted to do. He stood in thought for over ten minutes before promptly turning around and disappearing into his self-made sandstorm.
(Hnn, I can't…not now, I can't kill her now….they'll kick me out of the village, I won't be able to take the exam or go through with the mission…..feh, I'll never get Baki of my case…I'll never get father off my case….)
He paused at the last thought but shook his head out and slunk back into his hotel room. He slumped against a wall and stared out the window further across the room. The red head closed his eyes and thought over the interesting day he'd had….meeting his childhood 'friend' again and meeting her….. 'love'.
Gaara's eyes shot open and he grit his teeth as a pain shot through his heart.
(Forget the girl, she's useless, I'll kill that Uchiha….I will make these feelings go away….he's the strongest of the two so it must be him that's causing this)
He couldn't see how such a weak girl could be causing him so much pain, but he could easily link her to Sasuke, and Sasuke was by far the strongest of the two. Most likely the only one capable of causing such pain, after all, it had seemed Sasuke had broken down Sakura as well.
(Yes, she was hurt by him as well, so it must be him, hopefully the matches will make it easy for me…then I can kill him quickly) he paused and thought back to Sakura sitting in such a pathetic state under a tree and sobbing. Gaara clutched at his heart and muttered angrily, he caused so much pain, that Uchiha.
(I told her, love is useless….look what it has done to you Sakura!)
The sun slowly began rising and Gaara still sat motionless as thoughts flooded his mind. The golden rays slowly washed over the floor, but it seemed to take forever for the sun to reach Gaara and when it did, it promptly stopped. The sun had risen but it only shone so far into the room, leaving the red head to his dark corner. He almost laughed and stood up, disappearing into his sand, feeling no need to step into the light.
The halls were packed with teams as Gaara and his siblings made their way to the room where the first test for the Chuunin Exams would be held. The red head was silent throughout their walk, still a little annoyed that he had to leave his gourd outside. His two older siblings conversed quietly behind him, sometimes giving him nervous a look if someone got a little too close or almost bumped into him. Gaara ignored their looks and the mess of people around him, he wanted to see if the weak girl would show up, he was curious of whether or not she would start to cry again, if she did it would probably be the Uchiha's fault.
He waited patiently for all the worthless students to file in, keeping an eye out until he saw the bobbing pink head through the crowd. Actually, he didn't even need to see her hair; her blonde teammate's loudness was drawing his attention regardless.
"MY NAME IS UZUMAKI NARUTO! AND NONE OF YOU ARE GONNA BEAT ME!"
Gaara almost let out a snort but watched curiously as Sakura attacked him viciously, grabbing him in a chokehold.
"What are you blathering about!" she cried
"I'm telling the truth!" he whined trying to break free.
Gaara watched as the room became a pool of negative energy, a few growls and snarls here and there as the older nins glared at Naruto.
(Hnn, she's more violent than I thought….)
He looked at Sasuke and his face twisted in intrigue for about a second before he turned away, losing interest.
(I hope this crap starts soon)
He ignored the rest of the commotion, glancing over only once when a Sound nin attacked a blue haired man a little too close to Sakura. When he saw that the only one injured was the man he lost all interest once more.
Finally the teacher arrived and he announced the first part would be a written test. Everyone was given assigned seats and the teacher quickly went over the rules. Gaara's seat was a few behind Sakura's, enabling him to watch as the pink haired girl asked questions on behalf of her teammate.
(So, she's afraid he'll fail? She must be pretty confident in her own skills….so what was that whining yesterday Sakura?)
Gaara had kept himself from using Sakura as a cheat sheet, pondering something about how written tests must be her only strong point and it would be useless since she knew about his sand. When the test did finally end, Gaara listened to his sister yell at the teacher and asking what such a waste of time could have to do with the Chuunin Exams. Gaara almost let out a growl as the teacher went on explaining, playing one last trick before passing them all.
A female teacher burst through the window and they were escorted to a fenced up forest; 'The Forest of Death'. Gaara stood only a little ways away from Sakura and watched as she gaped at the dark passageway.
(What's to be afraid of? Death is inevitable)
The forest of death proved to be a boring 'challenge' for Gaara. He never got his chance to kill the Uchiha or Sakura and he grew annoyed at the menial threats that were supposed to test him. His only hopes were that he'd get a worth while match for the next part of the exam.
He looked around as everyone who had survived filed into the fighting area. He spotted his target's pink head once more swaying through the crowd. She caught his eye and gave a quick smirk before disappearing behind her Uchiha obsession. Gaara made an angry face and continued staring at the Uchiha's back, seemingly to look through him.
The teachers began speaking but Gaara blocked them out, glancing over to see if the Uchiha had moved but finding each time he was still blocking his view. Finally he saw the raven-haired boy move to the side enough for him to see Sakura peeking around to catch a glimpse as well. She gave an embarrassed smile when she saw he'd caught her and grabbed something from out of her shirt. He continued staring, mentally noting her hair length had changed. She fiddled a moment longer, disappearing behind Sasuke for a moment then stepping forward slightly to lightly wave something that was hanging around her neck on a red ribbon.
At first he wasn't sure what it was but soon he realized it was some of his own sand.
(What…..? Oh yes, I remember, I gave that to her didn't I? What's she showing it to me for? She want's me to take it back?)
Sakura put it back in her shirt, hiding it nicely as before and looked at him expectantly. Gaara was confused for a moment but realized she wanted him to show her HIS friendship bracelet.
(After her near-death experience yesterday THAT'S what she's concerned about? A stupid bracelet?)
Gaara turned away form her and saw her frown in the corner of his eye but didn't acknowledge her further.
(How did she hold onto that all these years? It should have fallen apart when I left…but….) He looked over at her, she was paying attention to the teachers now, (I suppose it's because I am here now…but it needs my will to become a solid object)
Gaara silently fumed at the thought that it might have been his subconscious wish to make it a bracelet.
(I don't care about her, I care for no one... it doesn't make any sense, it probably just reformed because of my presence)
The red haired insomniac stood deep in thought the rest of the time, only perking when the first match was announced.
(Let's see if her Uchiha can fight)
The red head's eyes narrowed as Sasuke took his place across from his opponent; he knew Uchihas were supposedly 'special' but he doubted that any skill Sasuke had would ever beat his own.
As he'd suspected, the fight wasn't too exciting. The Uchiha seemed to struggle, which meant he wasn't all as strong as he liked to act.
(What a waste of time)
Gaara inwardly complained about the lack of good competition. He couldn't help but notice, however, the amount of attention Sakura and Lee were giving each other, or perhaps it was just the attention Lee was giving Sakura. Nonetheless, Gaara didn't enjoy the prospect of someone else distracting his problem. He wanted to deal with her and he wanted her to realize it. With others in the way, it was difficult.
Gaara's attention perked when he heard Sakura's full name being announced along with a 'Yamaka Ino'. Her fight was next; he wanted to see this.
Her fight was much more interesting than the Uchiha's fight, he could see her determination in every movement she made; she had a strong will and a strong passion. Gaara's face remained frozen as he pondered to himself. What was her passion directed at? Where did she drink it from….this enormous determination of hers?
His eyes widened slightly as Sakura threw out her last punch, easily matching Ino's in a violent clash. Both girls were out cold.
Too simple of a solution, there shouldn't be such a thing.
When Gaara's fight came, he had to admit he was surprised; Rock Lee, the one who was distracting this troublesome girl. He would have fun with this, he had decided. He swirled onto the floor, making a nice entrance for anyone watching. It was similar to a horror movie from the moment he stepped onto the floor. Gaara's aura radiated of death and destruction, and at first it seemed he would win… until this bushy-browed boy revealed his true speed.
By this time Sakura was back and alert, watching with a smile; her smile seemed to be directed at Lee, but when Gaara looked, she was clutching the bracelet again.
No, that smile was for him.
He would win this; he would show Sakura a grand spectacle, something she would not easily forget.
He made good on his silent promise; Sakura was horrified, a precious friend of hers was in critical condition now. Gaara couldn't help but let a smirk find his lips.
Do you miss me still? He thought mockingly as he sat in a medical examination room; what part of me do you recognize when you smile at me like that Sakura?
To his undeniable surprise, she came to find him after the matches. Standing in his doorway, she looked unsure and nervous, clutching the pseudo-necklace she'd made of his sand. He stood by the door silently; it wasn't open but he could see her with his sand; it was always near her after all.
She lifted her small fist and knocked again. Gaara opened the door this time, but very slowly.
"Oh!" her voice went shrill in surprise and then she smiled sheepishly, "Good evening."
"I…" she looked down at her tightly clenched fists and opened them hesitantly, "I have something of yours."
Gaara looked at the sand bracelet for a moment.
"You…you gave this to me a long time ago….I….." her voice cracked and he looked up to see her face contort painfully, "What you did to Lee…." She bit her lip, her gaze on the ground as her eyebrows furrowed apprehensively. He responded to her statement with a stoic smirk. She blinked in surprise but narrowed her eyes quickly, this time in anger.
"Listen….I don't know what happened in those years I didn't see you, but I can see you've obviously changed." Her voice grew more confident with each word and her chest seemed to rise and her chin seemed to lift as she braced herself for her next words, "Don't go picking on my friends because you think I'm too weak to mess with. You're not the only one who's changed. If you want to deal with me, then do that, don't take it out on others."
The redheaded killer watched her intently as she spoke; he saw the same passion and determination from her match, ebbing inside her as she defied him. It diffused from her body like the intoxicating heat of the desert in the early mornings.
"When you are a threat to me, then I will 'deal' with you." An order that slipped from his lips ever so quietly. She seemed infuriated by his words and clenched her fists tightly by her side.
"When you grow a spine, you know where to find me." she said slowly and shakily. She turned to leave but Gaara was not finished with her, his sand wrapped around her body in a tight grip and yanked her close to his face.
"Is it love that makes you a fool?" he whispered with a sneer, "Is it that one emotion that makes you risk your life…" the sand squeezed tighter and Sakura yelped, "…to try protect your…. 'friends'….hmm?"
He was physically closer to her now, than he had been to anyone in a long time. So close he could feel her rage; it teased him and he smirked.
"You….you stay away from them….." she grunted and tried to wriggle free despite the pain of the grip she was in, "I don't know what happened to you Gaara! Something happened to change you, I know it…." Her face softened sadly, "Your full of hate…..like Sasuke." Gaara dropped her in response to being compared to the Uchiha he disliked so much.
"We're not alike." He stated coldly. She smiled, almost sarcastically, before pushing herself up weakly.
"No, you're right, your not like Sasuke, your more like me."
Gaara blinked, unsure of what she meant.
"No one will look at you and see what you really want them to see." With that, she promptly turned and walked away.
Gaara was more intrigued than ever.
A/N: Hehee, I said I'd do another chapter and here it is, sorry it took so long but I wanted to be accurate about times and matches so it took a little longer than I thought it would XD. Hmm, well, I could very well do more, seeing as the series obviously doesn't stop here, but unfortunately, I have no time and too many other stories to continue this. So here it ends. I hope you all enjoyed it R & R please, flames welcome.