By: Junsui Kegasu

A/N: THAT'S IT! THAT'S IT! I DON'T CARE ANYMORE! I NEED KANKYGAA AND I AM GONNA GET KANKYGAA! After MUCH internal struggle, you are FINALLY getting Haunted. And it's coming out before LaF is finished. Just as a note, Kanky and Gaara are NOT brothers in this, which definitely defeats the purpose of Sandcest, but whatever.

A/N that's on the paper most of this is written on: Hee…due to some encouragement from both spork ai and Kanky-chan, I have decided to begin my KankyGaa epic! (triumphant music) 'Cept, at the moment, I'm writing it in school. During World Studies. SNORE! Anyways. Here ya go. Oh! And before I forget! Here's a list of ages:

Kankurou – 20
Gaara – 18
Neji – 19
Temari – 21
Shikamaru – 21

Disclaimer: I wouldn't be writing this if I owned it! n.n;;

Chapter One
Kankurou was dead tired. He had just got back from a double-shift at the café he worked for, and he was beat. The first thing he had done upon walking in the door of his apartment was make a bee-line to the couch and (with his jacket and shoes still on) collapsed onto it.

Shivering slightly, he thought, 'If I don't fix the space heater, it's gonna be warmer outside than it is in here. I'll do it…later.' And with that conclusion, Kankurou fell asleep.

He hadn't been asleep for more than three hours when a loud thump sounded. Being an extraordinarily light sleeper, this of course snapped the young man to awareness. He found himself opening the door, but wasn't completely awake until he saw just what had waked him.

Blinking the bright light from his darkness-adjusted vision, he saw a crumpled figure. A rather familiar crumpled figure.

"HOLY SHIT, GAARA?" he screeched. A couple doors opened, bearing angry, sleepy residents. Apologizing sheepishly, he pulled the obviously-injured redhead into his apartment.

He waited until closing the door before thoroughly inspecting the unconscious Gaara. The actual beating hadn't been severe; Kankurou had seen him in worse condition. He did, however, notice that the barely-legal adult was wearing no jacket…or footwear.

He sighed. It was the middle of January – 1 week after Gaara's 18th birthday. The younger man had, as long as Kankurou had known him, always had a weak immune system. Putting two and two together, he knew Gaara was almost definitely going to get sick, if he wasn't already.

It must've been precipitating (Kankurou couldn't tell if it was rain, snow, or sleet) since Gaara's clothes were soaked through. He'd have to change him into dry clothes.

Getting close enough to peel away the dark blue shirt, Kankurou's sensitive nose picked up the stench of alcohol. He frowned. Gaara was a generally law-abiding individual. It would be another two years before the redhead could legally drink. That meant his bastard of a boyfriend was all over him when he was drunk.


Sighing again, (he noticed he did that a lot in these situations) he surveyed the damage done to the smaller man's torso. Nothing looked broken; Kankurou could easily (and worriedly) see most of his ribs. There were a few cuts and already-bruising areas, but he was mostly alright.

It was then he noticed the blood seeping into the light-blue carpet around Gaara's head. Panicking, he abandoned his previous observations to gently lift the teen's head and inspect it.

There was a large, still bleeding cut at the back of his skull. Kankurou expected that to be the cause of his oblivion and gently set Gaara's head down again to go search for bandages.

Before he could leave, however, a tiny whimper alerted him back to Gaara.

"Gaara…?" he asked the stirring figure.


Kankurou frowned. He REALLY regretted granting that prick permission to date the teen he considered his baby brother. "No…not Neji…Kankurou." He said, gently. "And I'll be right back, okay?" he wasn't really sure if Gaara could hear him, but that was okay.

When he didn't get a response, he quickly made his way to the bathroom and pulled out a roll of bandages from the medicine cabinet. When he returned, Gaara had curled up on his side and was whimpering gently.

Another nightmare. He wasn't sure what plagued the teen more, his father's screams or his abusive boyfriend.

He gently lifted Gaara's head and, noting that he calmed down at the simple touch, wiped away some of the blood with his sleeve. He had forgotten to grab a cloth. He felt the redhead wince, and mentally apologized.

Dressing the wound, he sat back and admired his work. He had been sure to let red bangs overlap the white bandages, since Gaara hated when his hair got into his eyes. He just never bothered cutting it.

Kankurou knew why.

"You look pretty with your hair long like that, Koibito-chan."

Him. Neji. Gaara's boyfriend. It was at times like these when Kankurou hated the younger man with a passion. He had seemed so adoring of Gaara at first…Kankurou didn't know what had happened.

But he wouldn't think about Neji right now. Lifting Gaara into his arms, he transported the lightweight man to the couch, which was probably more comfortable than the floor.

'He looks so…cute when he's sleeping.' He thought dreamily.

Wait a second! Gaara? Cute? He hadn't thought his best friend 'cute' since the boy was five, when they had first met. And back then, it had been absolutely true, with his messy red hair and big, green eyes.

That was before he started putting on eye liner, which was a habit he had picked up in 7th grade. 7th grade also had determined Gaara's sexuality as gay. Kankurou didn't really care; he was still undecided. He had never really…liked someone. He didn't count his hormone induced lusts as 'liking someone', because that wasn't his mind thinking, it was his penis!

And here he was, calling the sleeping eighteen year old in front of him cute. That didn't really disturb him, and he found that he really didn't care. Gaara WAS cute. End of story.

A glance at the clock told him that it was 12:30 in the morning, and since his shifts were messed up (or his boss hated him) he needed to be into work at 4:30 A.M. But he didn't really like the idea of Gaara sleeping unwatched with a head injury. He had been aware of cases of death because of sleeping with a bad head injury.

He didn't know what he'd do if Gaara were to die. He was his best friend for 13 years, and he would never be able to get over his death knowing it was because he wasn't paying attention to his health.

Oh, well. After tonight's events, chances were, he probably wouldn't be sleeping anyways. Oh, how he hated insomnia. He knew Gaara had it too, though, worse than him, so he bit his tongue.

And of course, since life officially hated him, tonight happened to be the night when his most recent insomniac bout ended. If he didn't sleep, he'd fall asleep at work. And that was bad.

…But Gaara's health felt more important to him.

…But he needed the money very badly.

Scowling, he scooped up the slumbering teen and made his way into the bedroom. His bed was big enough for the two of them; he'd just sleep close enough to hear if anything was irregular with his heart or breathing.

Apparently, this time around, Gaara wasn't such a light sleeper.

"Mm? Mama?" were the first words, mumbled and heavy with sleep that left his mouth.

"Nah. Nice guess though."

"O-oh! Kankurou! How did…oh, never mind, I remember," he trailed off, and looked down.

"…Kankurou, why am I shirtless?"

Oh yeah. He hadn't finished changing Gaara into dry clothes.

"You were soaking wet. Are your pants still wet?"

"Nn…yeah." Came the reply after a moment. He knew that Gaara had difficulty accepting kindness, and he always felt undeserving. Even with a wonderful mother, it had always been in his nature.

"Alright. Do you mind borrowing any clothes from me? And are you hungry? When did you last eat?" Kankurou knew he was firing off questions, but he knew Gaara would answer them all easily.

"W-well…I mean…I'd hate to just take your clothes…you know the chances of you getting them back, unharmed especially, are very slim…and I ate…uhm…I ate…" Gaara was fumbling for an excuse there.

"…Gaara, has Neji been feeding you right?"

"Of course!"

Kankurou waited a moment.


He sighed. "Gaara, you're a horrible liar. You really need to work on speaking your mind more, too. Now, are you hungry?"

Again, he waited. He knew Gaara was probably having an internal struggle, his mind deciding whether or not it was 'hungry'. Before the smaller man had a chance to answer, however, his stomach emitted a noise that Kankurou thought was only possible in anime.

"Alright, so first, you get dry clothes, and then you're gonna eat something. Okay?"

"Ah! I'm de-" Gaara stopped there, giving up. "…Fine…" he deadpanned a moment later.

"Good, because you know me. I don't take 'no' for an answer." Kankurou said with a bit of humor, setting Gaara down on his bed to look for a pair of pajama pants that would somewhat fit the boy. Drawstrings bothered him, so he always threw them out, never needing them, but Gaara was a lot smaller than him, so finding him a pair of pants that would fit would prove to be difficult.

He finally found a pair, at the bottom of his drawer, that his mother had sent him, but he had never worn. They were bright yellow with a lot of happy faces. Usually preferring darker colors, Kankurou had shoved it into the bottom of his drawer, not even bothering to remove the drawstrings.

Well, that would work out just fine. Plus, bright colors just made the shy redhead look cuter.

…Dear gods, there was something wrong with him.

And he didn't care.

He tossed the offending-colored pants at the small figure on his bed, smiling when they landed on his spiky, bandaged head and pulled out a sweatshirt. Then he stopped to think.

"Hey, are you cold?"

Before Gaara had a chance to lie, as Kankurou knew he would, he sneezed violently, blinking, and then blushing, which Kankurou couldn't see in the darkness.

"…Yeah…I figured that was gonna happen. Alright. I have no heat here right now, so you're going to have to deal with hoodies that you can practically drown in, alright?"

Gaara nodded slowly and accepted the shirt, slipping it on over his now visibly trembling frame and getting to work at peeling his wet, faded blue jeans that only had hopes of staying up because of a belt. Kankurou left the room to give him some privacy, though he knew Gaara didn't care, and set to work at finding something edible.

Since he was putting in a lot of overtime, he was hardly ever home. Especially when his insomnia got bad, he was nearly a workaholic. Sometimes, he'd work nonstop for days if he had to. His boss tended to restrict him from doing that. ("You know, I have OTHER employees, Kankurou.")

Either way, he hardly ate at home, so he hardly had any food at home. This was not good. He knew just by how badly Gaara had tried to cover it up that the redhead probably hadn't eaten in a while, and being the concerned friend he was, he'd feel horrible if he didn't get anything into the younger boy's system.

As he was scouring the refrigerator, he felt Gaara come up to him. Inwardly smirking he recalled how long it had taken him to get used to the boy's stealth inclination. All throughout middle school when they would meet each other at their lockers, it had scared him. But now, both boys out of high school, he was more than a little used to it.

"Mm…Gaara, the only thing I think I got in here is some spoiled milk. Which is going in the garbage right now." Kankurou picked up the carton and tossed it in the trashcan, which was full to the maximum. He kept missing trash-day because he was at work, but he had a feeling that his boss was going to order him a block of days off, so he would be sure to take care of the pesky chore then.

"If there isn't anything, I'll be okay…really." Gaara said, trying to sound reassuring. This was difficult and unsuccessful because his voice was small and quiet, as it had always been.

Kankurou turned to face him, and almost had to repress an "Awww!". While Gaara had been able to pull the drawstrings so they fit, somewhat, he was over a foot shorter than Kankurou, and the legs dragged on the floor around him, pooling around his feet. That was probably good, since Kankurou knew from experience that his feet were a helluva lot bigger than Gaara's, too, and lending him socks would've probably been impossible. The shirt hung off his thin frame and made it all the way to his knees, the sleeves coming at least six inches past his hands.

Kankurou should've known better than to give him clothing that still fit HIM.

Collecting himself, he shook his head. "No, Gaara, seriously, when was the last time you ate?"

The younger's response was hesitant, and when he did speak, it was so quiet and mumbled that Kankurou barely made it out.

"Four days. Gaara, four days?"

Instinctively, the redhead flinched, apologizing weekly. Kankurou sighed, and embraced him gently. "Gaara…Gaara, you got to leave him!" he cried, keeping him close.

Gaara completely broke down, shaking his head against Kankurou's chest, and sobbing freely.

"I c-can't, K-kankurou! I…I l-love him!" he managed in between heart-wrenching sobs.

Kankurou just held him tighter, rocking slightly. This wasn't all that unusual in the slightest; it had usually been Kankurou that Gaara turned to whenever his father started yelling.

It took three years of arguments and screaming before his mother left that man, after he had hit her and Gaara in a drunken rage.

"Shh…I know you do," he said softly, rubbing soothing circles on the younger man's back. He wasn't done yet.

"Why? Why, Kankurou? Why doesn't he love m-me back?" and then he erupted into a coughing fit so violent that it scared Kankurou.

"B-breathe, Gaara…breathe….I don't know why he doesn't love you…I really don't…" he confessed, feeling ready to cry, himself.

No, he wouldn't cry. He COULDN'T cry. He needed to be strong. For Gaara's sake if not his own.

HA! I STARTED IT. I STAAARTED IT! O.O; Okay, I'm better now. I swear. Reviews are appreciated and I'll lubb you if you do. Also, this is not completely mine. Well, okay, it is, but a lot of stuff, especially Kanky telling Gaara he needs to speak his mind more is in The Godly RP Kanky-chan and I do online. I live for da RP, yo!

Yeah, I did promise her some credit for this too (even though she was kidding XD) so nyah.