A/N: This is a GaaraxHinata fic with some NejixHinata so for those who do not like this pairing but clicked on it anyway even after I stated the pairing in the summary please don't read it, or read it, who the hell am I to stop you. But my poor heart can't take Flames, but if you do wish to Flame I guess I can't stop you... By the way I am aware that the characters might be a bit OOC sometimes and if you do spot it please tell me. Anyway... Read and Review!
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto. There happy?
He had a month to do whatever he wished before the final exam to become a Chuunin. Gaara knew that he was probably stronger than most Chuunin out there and didn't understand why he had to stand by gruelingly fighting with mere children. The only person that he desired to fight with was Uchiha Sasuke and perhaps Hyuuga Neji, he would win easily of course.
Gaara wandered into the hospital, maybe he could end that green kid's suffering; the one with the freaky eyes due to those freaky lashes and those bushy ass eyebrows. An evil smirk tugged at his lips. Rock Lee… the thought of him and his worthless sensei made him sick to the core.
"Don't worry you'll be all better in no time," he overheard a woman say in the room he was just passing. Stepping back he heard the door open. He watched as a young woman in her twenties stepped out. The nurse gave him a suspicious look but passed him. Why did everyone give him that look?
He peeked into the room the nurse had just come out of to see a fragile looking girl lying on white satin sheets. She seemed to be getting special treatment, the Hyuuga girl. He remembered her match; it was kind of pathetic watching her struggle against the impossible. It was like him being nice to actually make friends. He wondered why'd she even tried to fight the other Hyuuga, if she just gave up she could be outside training than lying beaten up like a dead dog in a hospital bed.
He slowly walked into her room, he could slice the tension in the air with a knife. The Hyuuga girl gawked at him with fearful eyes.
"A-ano," she said, scared and backing up as far as she could. He should end her life right there, and then she wouldn't have to worry about proving herself to the world. It's not like anyone cared.
"Why'd you…do that?" he asked. "Why didn't you give up?" he asked, he had to know before he killed her. She sat for a few seconds confused but suddenly realized that he was talking about the match between herself and her cousin. She turned, looking at him with those white eyes. White eyes that symbolized innocence, purity, and death.
"B-because," she said pausing for a second. "Because I wanted to prove that I-I can change," she was feeling silly for telling a complete stranger some of her deepest thoughts. Gaara's eyes narrowed as he looked down at the helpless girl. What the hell was she talking about?
"Why do you want to change?" he asked, confused. "Most people don't like change." She wanted to be stronger right? If she did she could just go train, instead of fighting against the impossible and endangering her own life. She was rather… stupid.
"Because…" she said a little bolder now, "I wanted to show everyone that I'm not weak anymore."
"I- I want people to acknowledge me," she said blushing a little.
"Baka, who wants acknowledgement anyway?" This girl… why does she care what people think? He certainly didn't anymore. People couldn't be trusted. Her cheeks pinked, she bashfully played with her fingers trying to hide a nervous smile.
"I- I want acknowledgement," she said, suddenly coughing again. It sounded painful. He should kill her.
"Sounds stupid," he muttered.
"Gaara-san," she said quietly. "D-don't you want to change?" she asked.
"Why? I'm strong, powerful, feared by all, what do I need to change?" he asked bitterly.
"B-but… people change not just to be stronger or anything. They change so they can be happier. Are you happy… just being strong?" she asked shyly. Gaara's eyes widened.
Flashes of Yashamaru flooded his mind, her talk about love and someone you care for. His knees nearly gave away beneath him as he clutched his head in pain, sharp it felt as if sharp hot iron needles were trying to penetrate his skull. He tried to focus on something and his eyes caught hers. Those pearly white eyes gave him a worried look. They were really… pretty.
"A-are you okay? Daijoubu?" she asked. He glared at her making her wince and look away.
"Being strong is the only thing I need," he snapped at her. "I only need to protect myself because I only love myself," he said coldly and walked away, his head still spinning.
Hinata walked around the woods near the hidden leaf village scavenging for herbs. She had dedicated her time in hopes into becoming a medic-nin. Neji was with her, her cousin; the man that nearly killed her. They were on good terms now of course, now that he had forgiven the head family thanks to Naruto.
"Is this it?" Neji asked, holding up a fern that he pulled out of the ground.
"Uh, sorry Neji-san, it isn't," she said sheepishly. He had been plucking this and that for awhile now.
"I'm not very good at this obviously," he said chuckling at himself. Hinata giggled.
"Don't worry Neji nii-san, you'll get it soon," she assured him.
"I'll do my best, Hinata-sama," he said.
The days were filled like this, her and Neji wandering around the outskirts of the village, looking for herbs or training. She never expected them to grow this close. She glanced up at the sky, one hand shading her eyes from the harsh rays of the sun. It was about noon now, they had been out there for at least an hour.
"Is this it?" Neji asked her, once more holding up… another fern. Even with the Byakugan he still couldn't differentiate plants.
"Yes, it is, thank you," she said taking it into her basket. She lied but she didn't want Neji to feel stupid so she decided to take it anyway.
"Hinata-chan!" a female voice called from behind her. She knew it was Sakura.
"Sakura-chan, it's nice to see you," Hinata greeted her with a warm smile.
"Same here!" Sakura said smiling, "Looking for herbs again?" she asked.
"Hai," Hinata replied giving a slight nod.
"What do you want?" Neji asked, rather rudely. Hinata gave him a disapproving look.
"Well… Tsunade-sama has a mission for the two of us," Sakura informed her. Hinata gave her a puzzled look.
"Hokage-sama?" she asked. Sakura nodded.
"Okay," she said. "Well I'll see you later, Neji-san," she said looking back at him, he nodded.
"Take care Hinata," he said. She smiled back at him and walked off with the pink haired girl. She walked back into the village, she assumed Neji was going to go train by himself now, he had been training a lot since that mission to retrieve Uchiha Sasuke. The one where he almost died just so Sasuke wouldn't come back.
"So what is this mission about?" Hinata asked.
"I don't know, Tsunade-sama just asked me to come get you," Sakura told her. They walked into Tsunade's office. A woman who looked no older than her twenties was thumbing through a giant textbook.
"Good, you're both here," Tsunade said not looking up.
"What's the mission?" Sakura asked excitedly. Since the uproar in the village died down there hasn't been many missions lately, except for simple Genin ones.
"Ah, this could be a fairly difficult or fairly easy mission depending on how things go…" Tsunade began to explain. She looked up, "The Kazekage of the Hidden Sand Village has arrived at Konoha in request of an antidote for the plague sweeping the village in the Wind country. You must protect him at all costs while I try to figure out how to make the antidote. I'm not sure how long it will last but those are your orders until then," she told them.
"Why is the Kazekage here though? Shouldn't he send someone else, it would be less risky," Sakura asked.
"He's one of the few who didn't suffer from it. It is risky but the Kazekage will do whatever he needs to, to protect his village," Tsunade replied.
"Where is he?" Hinata asked.
"Hanging in the lobby I'm guessing," Tsunade replied.
"So what do you want us to do with him?" Sakura asked.
"Give him a tour, lock him in a room, whatever just accompany him," Tsunade replied annoyed at the amount of questions being thrown at her.
"Hai," Hinata and Sakura replied at the same time.
Hinata followed Sakura to the lobby. She gasped when she saw a familiar red headed sand-nin. Sakura was just as surprised as she was. Gaara of the desert was sitting in an armchair flipping through a medical magazine. He gave them a menacing look.
"Uh-" Hinata began to say but Sakura interrupted her. "YOU'RE THE KAZEKAGE?" she exploded. Hinata guessed she still wasn't over that time when he tried to kill her friends and her.
"Of course," he replied casually. "Who else would it be?"
"Maybe someone, you know less bloodthirsty," Sakura snapped.
"Sakura-chan, remember our mission," Hinata said trying to calm her down. "It would be bad to get in a fight with the one you were trying to protect." She gave a heavy sigh.
"I guess it can't be helped," Sakura replied, still with a scowl implanted on her face. Hinata sighed, thank goodness.
She felt the cold green eyes land on her. Naruto preached that he changed but no one can completely change into something completely different. It's like as impossible as Hinata turning into a rebellious missing-nin in one day.
"U-um Kazkekage-san, we're your bodyguards," Hinata said bowing her head slightly.
"Whatever, it'll probably end up the other way around," he said, getting out of his seat. He dropped the magazine onto the armchair and walked pass them. Sakura and Hinata followed him obediently. They walked outside, it was early spring, and the air was still cool from the wintertime.
"Kazekage-sama," Sakura interrupted. "Where are you going?" she asked.
"I feel like..." he said turning his head towards them, chills ran down Hinata's spine. "Eating."
"Okay fine, but don't think we'll treat you," Sakura said. Hinata's stomach rumbled. She forgot that she hadn't had any breakfast this morning.
Hinata followed behind Gaara, looking at her feet as she walked behind him. They never talked before, maybe except that one time but she doubted he even remembered that event. She could still remember it like it was yesterday; their talk about change and happiness.
Gaara suddenly stopped in his tracks making Hinata run into his neck and shoulder.
"Can you not walk behind me, it's making me paranoid," he said flatly. For the first time she realized that he didn't carry that gourd along with him.
"Sumimasen," she said apologetically, taking a few steps away from Gaara.
They continued to walk until he stopped next to Ichiraku Ramen shop where you could see Naruto sitting, slurping away happily.
"Naruto!" Sakura said cheerfully.
It seemed that Sakura had given up on Sasuke, she certainly did spend more time concerning herself with Naruto instead. Naruto loved every moment of it of course. Her hopes of winning over Naruto, the number one ninja of surprises had already began to fade. Hinata didn't think she was fun enough for him anyway.
"Hi, Naruto-kun," Hinata said shyly. Naruto turned around after gulping down the rest of the soup from his bowl, wiped his face with his sleeve and greeted them with a giant grin. Typical Naruto.
"Sakura-chan! Hinata-chan! What are you two doing here?" he asked. Then he spotted Gaara. "Gaara?" he asked, confused.
"Looks like I've became the Kazekage before you became the Hokage," Gaara said, watching the blonde shovel down another bowl of Ramen.
"Don't you worry! I'll become the Hokage!" Naruto assured him. Hinata giggled but received a sharp look from Gaara which had her mouth shut. That Naruto… even after four years he's still striving to become the Hokage. Well it would be bad for him to go back on his word now.
"Sasuke!" Naruto shouted, running off to greet him. Naruto ran off after the dark haired boy who was called to be a traitor just like his brother. It took some time but Naruto finally brought him back, Hinata believed he would. She knew Sasuke just got back from a mission with Kakashi.
"You can go too, Sakura-chan," Hinata told her, Sakura was looking in the direction eagerly. Sakura nodded and ran after them.
"I'll be right back!" she shouted after running off.
"Hinata," Gaara said suddenly. She looked at him surprised, she didn't expect him to know her name since she hadn't even introduce herself to him. Maybe Hokage-sama told him.
"Hai," she said, putting her attention on the red headed boy. Well not really a boy, he matured quite a bit, she couldn't help thinking.
"Remember about four years ago," he said quietly, looking down at the ground. Hinata's heart pounded, why was she so excited all of a sudden? She was glad that he remembered but she didn't expect herself to be so extremely happy.
"Yes," she said, she couldn't help but smile bashfully. He remembered!
"You said that you wanted to change so people will acknowledge you, and that, that would make you happy. I actually thought about it," he said, gazing far off. "I know that happiness isn't measured by how powerful you are…" he told her. "I know…" he had a sad tint in his eyes.
This was something new, she never thought Gaara would be the one to open up to her. She never really thought they would ever meet again, let alone be having a conversation about a subject so deep in front of a ramen shop.
"Gaara-san, w-would you like to sit down?" she asked pointing to a nice shop across the ramen shop. He nodded slowly and followed her. The waiter asked for their orders and Hinata just asked for some tea, Gaara on the other hand didn't feel like eating anymore.
"I have a question…" he said, not looking directly at her, which didn't faze Hinata since she felt too awkward to look him in the eye. She stared at the tea leaves swimming in her porcelain cup.
"Hai, Gaara-san?" she said politely.
"What makes you happy?" he asked. It would've sound incredibly weird if he said it in any other way. It seemed more like he wanted to an example instead of actually wanting her personal opinion.
"Well…" she said quietly thinking. The grinning blonde popped up into her head, next Neji and her teammates with Kurenai-san, Konoha, smiling faces.
"I'm happy… when I'm around people I love and care about, it makes me happy when people actually… want me around," she said bashfully, swirling her tea leaves.
"What if no one wants you around and you couldn't care less about anyone else," Gaara said quietly, which surprised Hinata. He had such a lonely, desperate tone in his voice.
"W-well, that's why so many people do stupid things for love," she said nervously. "Everyone has someone important to them, at least one, you can't think of anyone Gaara-san," she said, not believing she was telling this to Subaku no Gaara, the Kazekage of the hidden sand village.
He sat there for awhile thinking, with a pained expression on his face as if recalling a traumatic memory.
"Yashamaru," he said so quietly that she thought she was just imagining it.
"Who?" she asked puzzled.
"No one," he said sharply. His tone changed to something softer, "No one at all."