A/N: I swear I am getting so horrible with this. The updates are coming slower and slower. The good news is that after April work slows down tremendously. So yay! On an angry note I will stat this one more time, and that is final.


Chapter 14: Everything

I can't breathe. I can't even move. This must be what death feels like. Sometimes I think I have a fate worse then death: life. Somehow, I know I'm not dead. It's too bright to be Hell, and with my life that's where I'm sure I'd be. I have to shut my eyes again; it's blinding. I can't remember ever being anywhere with so much brightness. I try to move, but I can't. It hurts too much. Besides, I think I'm strapped down. I turn my head slightly.

I know you. I'm pretty sure I do. Why do you look so sad? I think you're sad, but my vision is still blurry. I want to remember something, anything, but I can't. The last few days don't even exist in my head anymore. I close my eyes again. I need to know what I did. All I can feel is my whole body throbbing, pulsating with pain.

I do know one thing: I know I didn't cut myself again; it hurts too much. This fiery sensation of pain is more then I can bear. I call out to you, but my voice is so weak that I can barely make out my own whisper over the constant beeping. Somehow I manage you attention. Those eyes. Even the through the deepest brown I can see the blue tint of sadness behind them. Slowly you step over to me, your gaze flickers to my bandaged body as you can only utter one small word, but that one simple word holds so much turmoil, so much pain. It claws at my soul: "Why?"

A young man in a white lab coat walked into the door, pulling Kankurou aside. "I see that he's awake right now. We gave him a much-needed sedative to dull the pain. He won't be coherent or mobile for much of the day. It seems your brother suffered from some traumatic event. Has he had any problems with mental stability in the past?"

"I have already told about five different people the same thing; yes, he has. Gaara's been through so much shit in his life. I've witnessed most of it, but was too young to stop it." Kankurou sighed heavily. He had been through this too much already today. Temari had to leave for work. She tried to get someone to cover her workload, but they needed her, leaving Kankurou to answer everything. Kankurou was still uncertain if she would be able to function. After all, her baby brother was lying in a hospital right now.

"Okay. Well, can you tell me exactly what he's suffered from?" The young man pushed up his glasses, scribbling something down on his note pad.

"Mostly depression, along with a few... Look can you just tell me what's going on with him? I mean look at him! No one has been able to tell me a damn thing about this. All they keep doing is coming in here, and asking the same questions over, and over again. Frankly, I'm sick of it. It's time I got some answers, dammit! What's wrong with him? Is he going to be okay? I need to know something!" He dropped back into his chair, closing his eyes slowly.

This whole thing had exhausted him. He had already spent one day here. Gaara had been so scared at first, not even really comprehending anything that was being said. He just kept screaming about how dirty he was. That was until they knocked him out. It was rather hard for them to do, considering most of the spots where needles were placed were oozing blood. Everything from his neck to his knees was raw. Kankurou thought that he wouldn't have been satisfied until all traces of flesh were torn away.

"I'm sorry, but--"

"Look, I don't want to hear "I'm sorry." I'm his guardian, dammit! He's got no family besides his sister and me. So let me know something, or get the Hell out."

The young man sighed, taking a seat next to him, unaware that green eyes followed their every move. "Your brother, Gaara… He's going to be here for a while. With the damage he's done to his skin... Well. I'll just put it this way. What your brother did essentially was burn himself, just without the flame. The skin has seven layers; your brother has succeeded in removing the first two. With that in mind there is high risk for infection, and a possibility of death without proper care. I would like to keep him here at least until the skin starts to heal."

Kankurou took in the words, each sentence weighing him down slowly. "Dead? Gaara could die?"

"Yes. That is what I'm saying. Without proper treatment he will get an infection, and die. A person's skin is there for protection. Without it the body becomes infected, and can die. The reason for all the questions was to see if we should give him any medication while he was here."

"No. He doesn't. Now leave. I need to talk to him. Alone."

That's it. I can't take it any more. I don't want to be in this house. I can't believe I was so stupid. I told myself that I wasn't going to fall for him. Maybe if I can hit my head on this table a few more times my brain will fall out of my skull, and I'll die. No. With my luck, the doctors will find some way to put it back in, and I'll just be brain dead for the rest of my life.

I thought I could deal with the fact that I was being used. I lied to myself, though. What a beautiful lie it was, too. That is… until you destroyed it. You brought my world crashing down. I knew it would happen. I can even say I knew it would hurt, but is it really supposed to hurt this much?

All of this sucks - you suck. Everything about you and this environment sucks. I haven't even gotten myself off the floor yet. I'm still looking at the door you walked out of. You left twelve hours ago. I can almost laugh at myself. I'm pathetic. Some part of me wants to believe that you will walk right through that door, and tell me you made a mistake. Then I will gladly take you back. He will lose you for the second time, and I can have you all to myself again. Sadly, reality never plays out the way people want it to. In the end, nobody's happy.

I should turn that into a picture. "There are no happy endings. Only death." My depressed mind will think highly of that one. Sometimes I find such beauty in pain. Not right now, though. Right now I need a shower, and I need to leave. I just can't take sitting in this house any longer. Your sent is everywhere, screaming infidelities.

That's it. I need to leave. I try to get up, but in the end I fall right back down. Maybe it wasn't the best idea to sit on my knees for twelve hours. At least the stinging in my legs could distract me for a small increment of time.

Sakura walked down the road. She was pissed. Actually, "pissed" would not be an appropriate term for her. She was livid. She had briefly seen Temari on her way to visit Gaara. She was shocked to find him not there, but Temari told her all that had happened. She tried to talk to her young friend. In the end Sakura walked off fuming, saying that she would explain later if Gaara didn't.

"Stupid, fucking Neji. I swear if anything happens to him I'll kill him myself. It's not like I don't have the influence now."

'That's right. I'm going to be another whore to seal a deal.'

'No. Right now is not the time to be thinking of me, but I need to think about Gaara. He need someone now.' Sakura's train of thought slowly became derailed as her body weight was slammed down to the ground.

"I'm so terribly sorry. I really should have been watching where I was going." Sakura stood up finally looking at whom she had crashed into. "Oh... I'm sorry really. Please excuse me. I'm needed somewhere." Sakura stepped to the side, spinning around and attempting to walk off. She found herself pulled back by the wrist, and soon found out that her wrist was attached to someone's arm.

She glared up at the blond. "What? I really need to leave."

"Well... Never mind, yeah." He released her, but kept his eyes locked on her face.

"Look if you got something to say, just say it. I don't have time for your stammering." She looked back at Deidara crossly, hands gripping at her hips before turning around quickly, and walking away.

"You're friends with Gaara, yeah? I need you to do something for me, yeah." She stopped in her tracks, never turning, just waiting. "Just tell Gaara congratulations, yeah. He won." Deidara vaguely heard a small laugh coming from the pink haired girl.

"Look. You have no idea what you're talking about." She paused deciding whether to inform him. "Just go to the fourth floor at Konoha General, room 423 and you'll get your answer." With that she walked off, not wanting to hear a reply.

"Konoha General? Isn't that a hospital, yeah?" Deidara shrugged, sketchbook in hand, and walked away. He would just have to visit later.

'What the hell did that stupid girl mean, yeah? "I'll get my answer…"' He shook his head, sitting down beside a tree and pulling out a small piece of charcoal that had been worn down to a nub. It was not like he had the money to buy more. Art supplies were expensive, and he had no family, or money for that fact. He looked up one last time before going back to the blank paper. 'It looks like rain.'

Sakura quickened her pace, trying desperately to make it to the hospital before the frigid December air frosted her lungs. She could faintly hear her name being called from in front of her only to look up into a pair of pale eyes. "Hey Hinata." She tried to hide her mood with a false smile, but her long time friend saw right through it.

"What's wrong? You look out of it." She cocked her head slightly in worry.

"Nothing... Actually would you mind coming with me? I'm going to the hospital. Don't ask any questions. I'll explain on the way. We still have a ten minute walk." Sakura continued walking. She figured that if Hinata were coming she'd fall into step slightly behind her like she always did.

Hinata leaned forward attempting to look into Sakura's eyes. "So what's wrong? Who's in the hospital?"

Sakura sighed watching a large puff of vapor escape her lips. "Gaara... The other night at the party he was... Well… Neji raped him."

Kankurou leaned over the bed, looking into his brother's dead eyes. "Gaara. I wish you'd talk to me. I don't know what happened. As much as you've been through, I really don't know what could have set you off so badly." Kankurou felt like he was talking to a corpse. He never talked. He would hardly blink, even. Then again, the doctor had said that he would be sedated for the next few days. If he were not, the pain would be unbearable. "Look. I'm going to go get some food. I'll be back soon. I promise."

Kankurou left tentatively. He could have sworn he saw a slight twitch of fear in his brother's eyes. Then again he might have just blinked. Kankurou stepped out the door only to be greeted by two solemn faces. "Hey guys. Um... Gaara's really out of it right now, so I don't know if he'll talk to anyone, but I'm going to get some coffee. I'll be back in ten minutes. Would you mind looking after him for a minute, Sakura?"

"Sure. Anything you need from me. I'm here."

"Thanks. Oh. Do you by any chance know what happened to him? I mean what caused him to do this? He won't talk. The only thing I got out of him was something about being dirty."

"Well… I do know, but I don't want to say anything. It's his choice whether he tells you or not. Sorry." She looked away, her heart feeling like it would retch. She couldn't look at that pained look in Kankurou's eyes, even if she didn't know him that well. Sakura could only imagine what he was going through. She only heard a long sigh, and a quick "thanks" before he disappeared down the hall. She took in a long shuddering breath before pushing the door open and stepping in. She could only prey that it would turn out all right.

I'm vaguely aware that the door opened. Maybe Kankurou came back already. He must have been worried. Then again, he hasn't left this room since I came here. I'm sure Temari would have stayed if it wasn't for her job. I heard her pleading on the phone to let someone else take her shift, but no one would cover for her. Some co-workers she has. I still haven't realized why I'm here. I really do want to remember. I need to start piecing things together.

My whole body hurts so badly. It feels like I'm suffocating on the inside. The doctors changed the bandages three times already today. At least that's what I can remember. I can't even look at myself. I'm disgusting. I hear a feminine voice call out to me. Okay, so I was wrong. It wasn't Kankurou, and it doesn't sound like Temari. Who else would know I'm here? I turn my head to see the intruders.

No! Those eyes! Everything washes over me. It's flooding my mind, choking my air off. No! Go away! I don't want to see you. Not you! I never want to see you. You've killed me. I'm not even a person because of you! Those pale eyes burn holes through my soul. Go away, now! I can't look at you…

I can hear someone screaming. Maybe it's me, but the fear has taken a hold of me so strongly I can barely breathe. Maybe if I stop trying, I'll die. I feel someone grab my arms, trying to push me down.

No… not again! This can't be happening again. I don't want to be hurt. I'm so tired of being hurt. I can feel the pain ripping up my spine again. No! Not again! Why are you doing this to me? What did I do to deserve this?

I think some one's calling to me. I don't know whom. I don't want to know. Don't look at me… ever. My soul is gone; I'm nothing more then a body. You did this to me, Neji! This is your entire fault!

Then he's gone. The memory's not though. I can still feel his breath on my skin, the pain in my back - the cold steel of the bench. Just make it stop. Make it all go away.

Kankurou almost dropped his cup of coffee when a familer screech was heard down the hall. He looked up in time to see an extremely frightened girl leaning against the wall, gasping for breath.

"Gaara?" He sprinted down the hall, only to find the yelling increasing in volume. There were two voices. One could be made out distinctly as Gaara's. The other belonged to his pink-haired friend. He took a quick glance at the pale-eyed girl before looking into the room. Gaara had actually broken on of the restraints, and was well on his way to breaking the other one. He yelled down the hall at a passing doctor.

"My brother is flipping out! We need help! Now!"

The doctor jumped slightly at the tone, but made his way to a phone to call for help.

Kankurou bolted in the door, only to find Sakura attempting to restrain him. "What the hell happened?"

"I'm sorry! I wasn't thinking. He just took one look at Hinata, and flipped. I'm sorry. I really didn't think he would have been this bad!"

"What the hell are you talking about? Why would he freak so badly after seeing Hinata? What are you not telling me?" He Sat on the bed, being careful of Gaara's bandaged thighs. Grabbing his marred hands, he forced them to the bed. "Gaara calm down! Please. Just calm down!"

Three doctors stormed in the room, armed with a very threatening looking needle. "Try to hold him still."

Kankurou and Sakura did their best to try and still him as the doctor pulled down his pants, and injecting it into his thigh. Within moments Gaara had visibly calmed. His screams became soft mumbles, as Kankurou turned to her.

"You will tell me everything. He's never been this bad. I don't care if it's not your place. Tell me. Why the hell would he freak out so bad from looking at Hinata?"

"It's her eyes. Even though she's Neji's cousin, they do bare a striking resemblance. Don't you think?"

Kankurou glared at her. "What the fuck does Neji have to do with this?"

Sakura sighed. "Everything."

Drip. Drip. Drip.

"Fucking rain, yeah." Deidara sighed, closing his book and tucking it under his shirt. He could not afford his artwork to be destroyed. Other people had pictures or a journal to keep memories fresh. He just had his sketchpad.

"You're friends with Gaara, yeah? I need you to do something for me, yeah." She stopped in her tracks, never turning, just waiting. "Just tell Gaara congratulations, yeah. He won." Deidara vaguely heard a small laugh coming from the pink haired girl.

"Look. You have no idea what you're talking about." She paused deciding whether to inform him. "Just go to the fourth floor at Konoha General, room 423 and you'll get your answer." With that she walked off, not wanting to hear a reply.

"Well, looks like now would be as good a time as any, yeah."

He got up and made his way towards the hospital, pondering the entire time what Sakura could have possible meant by that. 'Why would Gaara be in the hospital? Maybe Neji fucked him so hard that he had a heart attack, and now he's in the hospital for exertion, yeah.' Just then, the rain seemed to pour harder from the sky. Deidara sprinted the rest of the way.

'No reason to get completely soaked, yeah.'

Deidara took one last sigh before entering the horrid blandness of the hospital. "I swear this place is so dull and morbid, yeah. They should put in something other than white, yeah." He made his way through deserted stairways and empty halls, all the while his shoes never once drying, continuing their never-ending squeaking. Deidara could have sworn it to be the most irritating and indescribable sound ever. He paused outside Gaara's room. Taking in a deep breath, he walked in slowly.

"Doesn't look like anyone's h--" His eyes focused on a lump of white in the bed, only a tuft of bright red standing out.

'Well, there's the color I asked for, yeah.'

"Gaara?" Deidara heard the slight shifting, and took that as a sign that he had been noticed. "What the hell happened to you, yeah?"

He just blinked in return. With Deidara unaware of the fact that he had been heavily sedated only half an hour ago, he continued.

"What the hell are you doing in a hospital, yeah? You won. Shouldn't you be out celebrating or something, yeah? I just don't get it. You've won. You always did. For once, why couldn't you just let me have him, yeah? You didn't need him. I did, yeah. It's not fair. It's fucking not fair! I can't fucking stand you, yeah!" He took a step closer to the bed. "Why couldn't you just give up, yeah?" By this time, Deidara had finally looked over Gaara's body. Bandages covered him everywhere. The only thing left uncovered that Deidara could see was his face: that ever-present blankness. "What the fuck happened to you, yeah?" Deidara was answered by silence. "Fine, don't fucking talk to me, yeah. Sakura's a fucking liar. This didn't answer a thing, yeah."

Deidara flung the door open only to run into someone. "Sorry, yeah." He stormed past him, disappearing down the hall.

"Gaara? What the hell was that about?" Kankurou walked over, looking at him to make sure nothing on him was harmed. "Dammit, Gaara! I know you can hear me. Just say something - anything. At least let me know you're okay."

"Aniki," Gaara paused slightly before continuing. "Is "squick" a word?"


"You know. Squick. That boy... The one who was yelling at me… his shoes were making noises from the rain outside. It's not really a squeaking noise. It's just… squick."

Kankurou sighed loudly. "I'm blaming that question on the sedative."

DK's authoress notes: Please forgive me! It's been a horrible two months. I haven't updated in two months! stands at the edge of a bridge I swear I'll jump. Please forgive me! I'm so sorry this took so long. I don't really have an excuse... it's just been a bad few months. Please review as always.

Junsui Kegasu's BETA Notes: Ahh… we both are the masters of short chapters this time around, ne, ne? It's a nice ending place (and one typical to you!) I really need to kill Neji at this point.