School of Freaks

Chapter 14: Coming Closer

I'm sorry everyone, a few weeks ago I got in a really bad car accident and was in the hospital for a while. I was pretty bad hurt and the car was totaled but I'm out nowBut DUDE people I got like 50 emails, not reviews, emails with threats/bribes/pleads, mostly threats to keep writing. It wasn't my fault, I was in the hospital! It made me sad that everyone was yelling at me cause I couldn't do anything about it but everyone was still mad and didn't care if I like fell off the planet or died or something. Well anyway, here's your new chapter hope u all are happy.

That weekend found Gaara alone in the apartment again. He didn't know where Haku went, but he didn't really care. He could take care of himself. The snow outside was melting, like the icy loneliness he felt before that was slowing melting away. He and Neji were hardly dating, though the title of boyfriends had been established. A secret. He never had a secret to share with someone else, it was a lot harder then he expected. Neji had mentioned through IM chats giving him rides home from school, but Gaara had been walking home with Haku since he started living with him. It would draw his attention. He didn't like keeping this secret from Haku, but at the same time, he felt compelled too. Neji was not one of Haku's favorite people, but hadn't he always tried to talk Gaara into talking to him? Gaara felt lost. Lost in his thoughts, lost in Neji, lost in his friendship.

A screen, adorn with a wallpaper of Slipknot, stared back at him. Word was open, he was supposed to be copying lyrics from his handwritten book to the safety of the computer, but he couldn't concentrate. He found him staring at his buddy list, blaring various artist from his play list. Why? Neji wasn't on yet. Although, what normal person gets up at eight in the morning just to chat? He did, but who was he to be labeled as normal?

The snow was melting. Snowboarding would become impossible in a few days. He would have to get his skateboard back from Kankurou. He had left it there on his last visit. The thought of home, or what he once called his home, caused him to look away from the computer and stare out the window, watching the dripping icy thorns that had gathered on the top of the window and the window above him. They made their own music with their drops and clinks and occasional crack as they loosened. He wished they played a sad song, one to fit his mood, but they didn't sound sad. They were joyful at the coming aspect of spring.

Through the blaring death metal music, he thought he heard a different sound that made him turn his sound off quickly and tilted his head to the side, listening. It sounded again. Someone was knocking at the door.

Swinging his chair around he got up and hurried to the door and unlocked it, opening it enough to look out. When he saw who it was he gasped and started to slam the door shut again, but a foot stomped down, preventing its closing.

"No! No! Don't shut the door Gaara!" came the voice from the other end as he pushed against Gaara's.

"Go away! I don't want to talk to you!" Gaara said, putting his full weight on the door.

"I came to say I'm sorry!"

"Yeah, right," Gaara snapped, finally getting the door closed, locking both locks before stepping back panting. What was he doing here? Hadn't he had enough yet? He slumped down against the door and sighed, slipping to the floor. He only had a few minutes piece before a loud knocking sounded again, this time at the desk.

With a look of disbelief, Gaara got up and went over to the door, staring at the blond haired boy standing there, looking determined. Gaara stared at him through the glass, but didn't open the door. "What are you doing? How did you…."

"I climbed over from the people above you," Naruto said, crossing his arms. "Let me in! Or at least open the door."

Gaara sighed then slowly opened the door and stepped backwards away from him as he came inside. He cringed slightly and bringing his hands to ferociously rub the cold away from his bare arms, forgetting he was only wearing a stomach showing sleeveless t-shirt. Forgetting that the jacket he always wore over his clothes to hide his scars was still hanging on the computer chair. "What?" he asked when Naruto shut the door.

Naruto saw the scars, but didn't say anything about them. It wasn't for him to bring it up; in fact it sickened him, not towards Gaara, though. To see such a ciaos of scratches and silvery pink lines running up and down his entire arm. He gave a quick glance over, searching for any new ones, but they seemed old or not recent at least. Not wanting to be caught staring, he looked down at the floor, fumbling his finger. "I'm really sorry about Monday…" he said quietly. "I don't know why I did it…and I shouldn't have called you those names. And I'm just…really sorry."

Gaara listened, not speaking, not looking at him. "Who told you to come?" he asked quietly. It wasn't that he didn't believe Naruto's apology, or that he was truly sorry, but his untrusting mind assumed things it shouldn't.

"Neji's in my second period class," Naruto admitted. "He told me what happened at the party…I'm really sorry about what Sasuke did too…"

It wasn't often that Gaara's suspicions were right, it surprised him. He turned away from Naruto and went into the kitchen, finding something to occupy himself with. "You only came because Neji made you?"

"No!" Naruto cried, following him at a short distance. "I was gonna apologize before…I just didn't know…you were telling the truth."

Gaara watched the blonde's reflection on the microwave, then sighed and turned around, crossing his arms as he leaned against the counter. "I forgive you…" he mumbled quietly, giving him a small grin.

Naruto's face visibly brightened and a grin spread across his face. "Thanks! Hey I gotta go, no one really knows where I am," he grinned sheepishly and couldn't help glancing back down at Gaara's pale arms before he turned and moved over to the door. "See you at school ok?"

"S—sure…" Gaara watched him, an odd look passing over his face until the door clicked shut and Naruto's sneakers squeaked on the stairs. Shaking himself slightly, he shrugged and tossed the salt shaker he'd been fiddling with back on the counter then started to move out of the kitchen when the phone rang. He picked it up and put it to his ear, moving over to the coffee machine and pouring himself some to take back to his room. "Hello?"

"Hey, is Gaara there?"


"Hey, it's Neji," came the familiar voice on the other end.

"Hi!" Gaara said into the phone, his voice brightening. "You know…I have a cell phone…"

"Well, you never gave me your cell, did you?" Neji's voice had a smirk to it. It sounded like he was driving while talking; the background suggesting at a red light. "Hey, look, are you free today?"

"I have no life," Gaara responded, dully. "And I donno where Haku went."

"'Kay, I'll be over in a minute."

"Huh?" but all that responded was a dial tone. He hung up the receiver and went back to his room, not paying any heed to the conversation. It wasn't until a knock sounded at the door did he realize what Neji said and jumped up to answer it. A broad smirk met him at the door, Gaara felt something get stuck in his chest when saw it.

"You're not going out in that are you?" Neji leaned on the door and continued smirking down at him with his eye brow raised.

"I didn't think you were serious…" Gaara mumbled, blushing slightly. His eyes blinked in confusion as Neji's smirk slowly faded from his face as he looked him over. "…Neji…? What's wrong…?"

Neji closed his eyes and looked away. "You aren't wearing your jacket…" he replied in a quiet and hushed voice, half knowing Gaara's reaction. He almost wished he hadn't said anything.

Gaara looked at him confused for a minute, then glanced down at himself. His bare arms stuck out like a sore thumb to him, blinding everything else. It was near impossible for anyone to tear their eyes from anything other then the thin, pale arms, riddled chaotically by scars and cuts, visions of his own self mutilation designing his right arm like a palpable tattoo. His eyes widened, feeling himself shaking slightly. No one was to ever see them. Haku had rarely laid eyes on him as he never took his jacket off, even in the house or wore long sleeves, but the sight of the black shield hanging on the back of the computer chair came to him. "Oh shit!" he cursed quietly, voicing his panic, and turned to rush back down the hallway away from Neji, his hands trying desperately to cover them. Strong arms wrapped around his torso from behind, holding him back. "No, Neji! Let me go!"

"Let me see them," Neji said softly, not loosening his grip.

"Why? They're so…disgusting…"

"Let me see them," Neji repeated, in a soft whisper, letting his breath play by Gaara's ear, smiling as he stopped fighting him, blushing darkly as he noticed how close he was to him.

Neji POV

I've been told I have the capacity to be a very sadistic and manipulative bastard. I suppose I am when I want to be. I know I can get anyone to do what I want, people are like a piano when it comes to playing, you just need to know what key to press to make the music you hear in your head. It sounds disgustingly horrible, but I don't do it all the time like it sounds. This is important though, and you are no different from the other musical pieces.

"Let me see them," my voice is as soft and low as I can make it, breathy so that it blows your hair and ear. I know I have you when you freeze, shivering slightly. Though you're not as shy as you were before, you are still crushing on me and are nervous around me. As your body relaxes from its previous resisting, I turn you around to face me, smiling at your blushing face. I'm not ashamed to say I think you're cute now. I don't know what happened, maybe it's just the fact that I got over myself, but how could any one not think you were, standing there, fists clenched so hard you're shaking, your eyes squeezed shut as you bite your lip, face red from embarrassment at my touches.

Tearing my attention to you're face, I take your arm and hold it up, running my fingers lightly across each scar, feeling you wince at each touch, no long embarrassed, but ashamed. Thin lines, dark scars, fading, dark scabs, I touch them all. A policy I have on dating anyone is that you must feel comfortable with anything about the other person. This is my way of accepting the pain you've inflicted on your self. I know little details and explanations, but still my mind wonders. How do you get that lonely, that hurt and afraid, that you would do this? My eyes return to your face again. You're biting your lips so hard I think you'll draw blood any second. Lifting my hand up and touch your lips, but you jerk away, not expecting the contact, possibly fearing anger on my part.

My hand moves behind your neck and brings you closer as I now touch your lips with my own. You have drawn blood; I taste it on my lips as my tongue moistens them. Not minding the non existing reaction from you I life your chin and kiss you again, taking my time until you finally kiss me back, tilting your head to the side. You're still embarrassed, the kiss is light and soft, but I smile and pull away, smiling at you.

"Go get dress," I say, the mood to much to disturb with a normal voice. "I'll wait for you."


Staring out the window at the world running passed them, Gaara remained silent. It wasn't that he didn't want to speak; on the contrary, the silence was making him uncomfortable. He wanted to speak, but nothing intelligent would come to him mind to say that wouldn't sound stupid. Although it wasn't like Neji was trying to have a conversation either. He'd been in the car with Neji before hadn't he? He'd had a decent conversation with him hadn't he? He cursed his bipolar mind that allowed him to speak freely to Neji sometimes, yet free at others.

Finally he thought of something to say and spoke, breaking the silence between them. "Where are we going?" A real intelligent thing to say. He mentally smacked himself and blushed.

"You'll see," Neji said absentmindedly.

"…C—can I have a hint?"

"It's at my house…sorta."

Gaara blinked and looked at him curiously. The area where Neji lived was huge; it would probably take weeks just to go through the whole thing. From what he understood, all the Hyugas lived together in their own community development that could be considered a small town. Every thing was with a Japanese design as Neji's family was very traditional. It seemed as though it would be an interesting place to live, but Neji seemed to take it for granted.

When they pulled through the driveway and Neji parked the car, they stepped out and Gaara started moving towards the house, but Neji grabbed the back of his jacket and turned him in a different direction.

"No, not in the house," Neji said with a smile.

"Oh," Gaara blushed as his mistake, but Neji didn't seem to care as he let him through a small outdoor hallway then out into a court yard, making Gaara feel like he had stepped onto a movie set. They walked across the dusty courtyard then moved towards the edge. Neji took off his black boots and gave a subtle motion for Gaara to do the same with his high tops. The wood floors in the one walled hallway felt smooth underneath their socked feet as Neji led him towards a rice paper door. Gaara had the sudden urge to run and slide across the shiny wood floors cheering like an idiot, he quickly dismissed that thought as he decided Neji would think that was stupid and childish. He wondered if Neji ever slid across the floors in his socks before. With this smiling thought he entered the room Neji ushered him in, then watched him shutting and locking the door.

Nudging Gaara into the middle of the bare room, he crossed his arms and gave him an even look. "You're not very strong," he stated.

Gaara blushed and nodded his agreement.

"And you're no good at defending yourself."

Gaara shook his head.

"Okay, I'm gonna teach you then," Neji said with a grin. "My family goes back real far, we have our own style of martial arts and I'm gonna teach you. Don't argue with me," he added as Gaara opened his mouth to do so.

They soon lost track of the time as the morning turned into afternoon and the red rays of the setting sun of the evening drifted through the rice paper doors with the lazy patience that reflected in Neji's teachings. Gaara, Neji learned, had very good balance and was quite easy to teach and was willing to go at the slow pace Neji enjoyed when working on this style. While Gaara was going the exercises taught to him, Neji did his own advanced drills and forms learned to him since he was young. Gaara found himself staring at the graceful movements Neji made. Each step, each flick of his wrists or swoop of his arm was well known and well memorized, mesmerizing him until all he could do was stand there and stare until Neji saw him and grinned, causing him to blush and turn away.

It was a new feeling to be doing something like this. When he finally pulled his attention from Neji and focused on himself, he soon lost himself in his own movements, not nearly as graceful as Neji's were. He smiled as he finished one of the exercises and started a new one, but Neji stopped him with a hand on his arm.

"You sure you don't have anywhere to be?" he asked.

Gaara responded with a shake of his head. "Nothing's going on, and Haku had already left. If he wants me he'll call my cell."

"Speaking of," Neji pulled out his phone and opened it. "Gimme your number so I don't have to keep calling the house."

As they were exchanging their numbers, a loud knock sounded at the door. "Neji-kun? Are you in here?" The lock clicked and the door slid open.

Neji sighed loudly and stepped away from Gaara, as he had been to close for friends. He glared at his uncle and crossed his arms. "Yeah, I'm here. I have a guest."

Hiashi turned his eyes on Gaara, but showed him on greeting. He looked over the speck of a boy that was standing in his dojo, wearing black as though he were mourning. Black pants, a black, long sleeve shirt that was too tight for a boy to wear and shoed his stomach and that horrid black make up. Gaara greeted him with a small smile, but Hiashi didn't return it. "You didn't tell me you were having a guest over," he said, focusing on Neji again.

"I don't have to have your permission to bring someone over," Neji snapped angrily. "We're not bothering anyone."


With a glare, Neji grabbed Gaara's wrist and pulled him to push passed his uncle and led him over to where their shoes were and put his own on, Gaara following in suit. Hesitation on Gaara's part was diminished as Hiashi turned and yelled after Neji, who grabbed his wrist again and dragged him back to the main house and up to his room. Unintentionally, Neji shoved Gaara into the room then slammed the door loudly, voicing his frustrated anger with a growl. Gaara watched him, slightly nervous at Neji's sudden burst of anger. He watched Neji lean against the now locked door and close his eyes, breathing in and out, calming himself.

"Sorry, I'm sorry," Neji said, with a shake of his head and a wave of his hand. He leaned against the door and looked at Gaara. He bit his lip to keep from laughing, but Gaara saw the catch and blushed.

"What's funny?" he asked, looking away.

"Tch, you," Neji snipped out, finally moving away from the door. "You're cute when you're shy." This statement only made Gaara blush and mumble several incoherent phrases as Neji approached him and kissed him, silencing his indecisive rambling. Taking steps forward, Neji pushed Gaara back then lifted him down to lay on the bean bags before following him, never breaking the kiss.

"N—no, Neji. I don't want—"

"I'm not going to," Neji murmured, his lips hovering over Gaara's before he kissed his chin then moved down his neck with breathy kisses. He was experimenting, not really knowing what he was doing. Playing by what he knew felt good to him, or simply playing by ear to the little noises Gaara was making for him. He stopped Gaara's wandering hands with his own and held them away from his body, not giving an explanation to his actions. Noises he could handle, touching he couldn't. He decided that a few days ago. A questioning sound came from Gaara's throat and Neji responded with a sharp bite on a tender area he's discovered. This sharp bite was returned with a sharp yelp which Neji hurriedly silenced with a hand as a knock sounded at the door.

"Neji-kun, I'd like to speak to you!"

With his other hand, Neji hurriedly grabbed for the remote and turned on the muted game he'd been playing earlier and rolled off Gaara and grabbed the controller. "Why? I'm busy!" Neji snapped back, angry at the interruption.

"I do not care, come now."

Gaara clutched at the bean bag as he watched Neji again voice his frustration and toss the controller on the floor and storm over to the door and open it, slipping out into the hallway, shutting the door behind him. He could hear Neji and his uncle yelling at each other. About him and about Neji's rudeness. He bit his lip and clenched his fists tightly. He hated yelling.

A muffled ringing pulled his attention from the argument just outside the door. He pulled his phone out of his pocket and answered it. "Hello?"

"Hey, Gaara, where are you?" Haku's smooth, cool voice sounded on the other end.

"I'm at a friend's," Gaara replied. "Why you need me home?"

"No…I was just wondering where you got off to," Haku responded, he sounded like he was making dinner. "Are you staying for dinner or coming home?"

Gaara glanced over at the door, angry voices still in conflict on the other side. "I'm…not sure," he responded. It didn't sound as though he was very welcome for dinner, but Neji might have something in mind. He nearly dropped his phone at the thought of going out to dinner with Neji.

"Well, if not, there's pizza in the fridge when you get home, kay?"

"Alright," Gaara said with a nod he knew Haku couldn't see. "Bye." He hung up and clicked his phone closed with a snap and dropped it on the floor, waiting for Neji to come back in.

When he did, the door was slammed shut behind the fuming raven haired Hyuga. He stormed across the room and grabbed Gaara's arm and lifted him up to his feet. The grip wasn't hard but he was still shocked nonetheless and started to question him when Neji snapped him a glare. "Get your shoes on, we're leaving."



Gaara jumped slightly and hurried to pull on and tie his shoes, then stood and started for the door, apparently not quick enough for Neji as he grabbed his arm and dragged him out, storming past his glaring uncle and down the stairs to the front door. His arm wasn't released until they were in front of Neji's car and he was commanded to get into the passenger's side. He hurriedly complied and quickly sat down and buckled his seat belt as Neji got in and started the car, pulling out and driving away. Silence dragged on again, but this time Gaara had no intention of breaking it. Neji looked ready to kill something as he glared at the road before them. After driving for nearly ten whole minutes, the car pulled off to the shoulder and Neji put the car in neutral and sat back with a sigh.

"I'm sorry," he said again, looking at the black steering wheel instead of the most likely terrified red head next to him. "I didn't mean for that to go like that."

"It's ok…it wasn't you…."

Neji shook his head slightly. "I'm still sorry. I'll make it up…somehow…"

"Your uncle…doesn't like me, does he?"

"Not…in…the slightest…" Neji said with a hint of exasperation. He sighed and glanced over at him with a small smile. "He thinks you're weird…" It was paraphrased and knocked down, but it was kind of true.

"I am weird…" Gaara responded, with a little smile.

"Yeah," Neji said with a smirk, looking away to the road. He put the car back in gear and pulled out onto the street again. He saw Gaara subconsciously pull his knees to his chest as he stared out the window with a thoughtful expression. Neji wondered what he was thinking about, but didn't inquire as he drove them a long ways down the road before pulling into a small parking lot in front of a building.

Snapping out of his daydream, Gaara looked around curiously. "Where are we?"

Neji grinned and turned the car off. "What? Don't you recognize it? Or have you only seen it at night?"

Gaara looked up at the building blankly for a minute then realization dawned as he realized they were at the Chinese Restaurant and Sushi bar they had met at unintentionally on that rainy night before the holidays started. He followed Neji in, his thoughtful expression on his face again, then he paused in his following and blushed darkly. They were eating dinner together. Alone. At a restaurant. His face grew darker as he stared at the ground, lost in his embarrassed, shyness. Neji glanced back at him, then smiled and retraced his steps, putting his hands on Gaara's shoulders and pushing him into the building.

"Come on, I feel bad for not feeding you lunch," he said with a grin, leading him over to a booth and pushed him to sit down before sitting across from him,

"…I don't have any money…"

Neji gave him a look and scoffed slightly. "Like I'd actually let you pay," he said, looking at him, daring him to argue against him, which he knew even before he said it that he wouldn't. Gaara was too shy around him. Not that it would make any difference to him, but he wished he wasn't, even though he thought it looked cute. They sat and talked little snippets of conversation before the waiter gave to take their orders. He'd loosen Gaara up eventually, but for now he was content with this.

Anyone who believed that story about me being in the hospital…I laugh at you…
but only cause I did get 50 emails with threats and people yelling at me for not updating to your liking.