Disclaimer: Naruto doesn't belong to me and I will be making no money from this story. This is simply a work of fiction by a fan.

Pairings:SasuNaru, one-sided GaaraNaruto, plus others

Warnings: Yaoi, angst, mpreg OOC, language, Naruto's POV

A correction was made in chapter one. I referred to Gaara as Hokage but it should have been Kazekage. I corrected the misuse of glaze to gaze plus other grammar mistakes.Thanks for pointing some out.

Hidden Heartache

Relief flooded through me as I approach the sand village; nothing had changed since I'd visited last year. The lonely yellow dry dessert sand longing for water filled me with sadness. In the past, I'd never felt a connection to the dried out sandy mounds, but now I couldn't help but feel incredible loneliness and longing. I shook my head, cleared my thoughts, and reminded myself this was not the time to dwell on unhappy things.

"Stop," a guard ordered, as I approached the main entrance.

"How can I help you?" I asked with a big smile plastered on my face, trying to appear completely harmless, while confident in the knowledge that I had every right in the world to be here.

"Let me see your papers," he ordered impolitely.

"I have a pass," I responded, pulling out a small blue card. Only an extremely important person could posses this card. The guard grabbed it from my hand.

"What's your name?" he asked, after closely examining the card, and recognizing its importance. His face held a mixture of shock and anger. The shock I could understand but the anger clearly written in his expression and visible in his eyes left me confused.

"My name isn't important. Just my clearance," I responded, pointing at the card.

"Is the Kazekage expecting you?" he asked, as he returned the card, politely handing it over.

"No but he will be happy to see me," I assured him, putting the card away and walking past him. The guard said something else to me, but I wasn't listening. His hospitality or lack of left me eager to leave his presence.

Laughing children ran through the villagers. One young boy chased the others around. They weaved around the people using the people's bodies as walls between the chaser and themselves. I smiled, watching the joy reflected on their faces. I tried to get closer to them. Mostly because I thought, their carefree life or feelings would rub off and I could absorb it. The children immersed in their game didn't stop and almost tripped me. A part of me wished I saw life the same way the children did and didn't see anything beyond my own happiness. I looked to the other villagers and admired their contentment. The people filled the streets, smiling and moving around. This village, bustling with life, reminded me of Konoha, and pain swelled in my chest as I felt a pang of homesickness. I shook my head and cleared all thoughts from my mind. It definitely wouldn't look good if I started to cry on a busy street. I silently told myself that Konoha was behind me.

Delicious smells of cooking food lofted through the air, causing my stomach to growl. I have a one-track mind and it was telling me to eat. The village has many restaurants all lively and active during the lunch hour. My hunger pulled me towards a sushi restaurant. Normally I wouldn't touch the stuff, but lately my food cravings had changed.

The atmosphere inside the restaurant relaxed my body. I breathed in aroma of fish and walked over to a small table off to the side. I watched the people laughing back and forth, their joy a definite tribute to Gaara's work as Kazekage. To bad, I won't be Hokage, I thought to myself as tears started to form as my eyes began to water, but now I am use to this feeling and quickly push the sadness away.

A young waitress, with brown hair and green eyes, walked over to me. I smiled and gave her my order and to my surprise, she smiled back. There was no hate behind her actions. She didn't ask me to leave, or do any of the things I would have expected in Konoha.

I filled my stomach with two orders. My limited finances forced me to stop even though I was still craving more. The fun and lively conversation in the restaurant helped me to relax. I listened to the sounds around me; a couple to the right made wedding plans, while the couple behind me talked about their son's second birthday party. I tried to picture my childhood birthdays, and the loneliness consumed me. Before I did something extremely stupid such as weeping at the table, I quickly paid the bill and left.

Finally, I arrived at the Kazekage's tower. The majestic building stood out. It's the tallest building around and the richest, so it looks more breathtaking than any other structure in the area. I walked through the double doors into the marble tiled entry, which I had done before, but not under these conditions. Two guards blocked the stairs leading to Gaara's office. I walked towards the guards filled with confidence and showed them my pass. They stared at it for a moment before the first guard asked, "Who are you?"

I ignored the question. "Do you have an appointment?" the second guard asked, after realizing I wasn't going to answer the question.

"No I don't have an appointment but Gaara will see me," I stated staring directly into the guards eyes, shifting my gaze between them. "That is why he gave me the special clearance."

Both guards looked unsure and confused. The shorter guard responded, looking at me with cold eyes. "Kazekage will return in two hours. You can wait here or I can have someone summon you when he returns, but you can't go up stairs."

"I'll wait here," I assured him, before walking over to the hard wooden bench. I didn't have anywhere to go, places want money in order to give you a room, and that was something I didn't have enough of. The nonexistent activity in the area was boring so I pulled my legs up onto the bench and against my chest, resting my head on my knees. I closed my eyes for a few minutes and fell into a restless sleep.

"Someone's waiting," a strangely familiar voice said, waking me from my sleep. I lifted my eyes to look at the unfamiliar surroundings. It took a few minutes before my surrounds became familiar. Someone was approaching with hard forceful steps. "I don't know a dirty, scruffy person," he said.

"Gaara?" I questioned slightly uncertain of his voice. I heard a surprised gasp as my eyes met his. He looked me over, clearly surprised by my changed appearance. "My legs fall off the bench and I started to rise, but the amount of time I spent in that position caused my legs to fall asleep and I started to stumble. Strong arms grabbed hold of my shoulders and guided me down to the floor. Gaara's scent invaded my senses. I looked up at him as my body filled with relief. "I need your help, "I said with a mixture of pleading and desperation.

My body was lifted off the ground. Gaara carried me towards the stairs leading to his office. The guards were tripping over themselves to open the door for us. After the door shut, I felt safe for the first time in weeks. The pain and fear I had experienced played in my mind and for the first time since I left Konoha, I started to cry. At first, I tried to muffle the sound with Gaara's shirt, but his gentle voice spoke, "Of course I will help you, so let it out." That was all I needed before wailing.

I don't remember anything else about that day. I was still sleepy from my previous nap and I ended up crying myself back to sleep. When I woke again, it was dark outside. The stars filled the sky, while the moon's light gave the room a soft glow. I turned to look around the unfamiliar room.

"You're awake?" Gaara asked.

I turned my eyes towards the voice and spotted Gaara in the doorway. Smiling I responded, "Yeah, but I still feel sleepy." I sat up stretching and let out a big yawn.

"The sun won't rise for a few more hours, so go back to sleep." Gaara pulled a chair up to the bed and started to pour water from the pitcher on the nearby table. He handed it to me and I drank the whole glass in one giant gulp before returning the glass. "Are you hungry too?" he asked a little concerned, while watching my every move.

"Yeah but I'll wait until morning." My stomach felt a little nauseous and I didn't think Gaara would appreciate me throwing up all over the room. I started to rub my eyes and felt the tear residue. My face turned bright red. "I'm so sorry," I said as my eyesight became blurry again; this time I wanted to cry from embarrassment.

"Stop that," Gaara said interrupting my next near breakdown. "You don't need to apologize for crying. Try to relax until morning.' He stopped speaking for a moment and moved to stare directly into my eyes." I hate to break this to you but you don't look well. We will talk about that in the morning. Right now you need more sleep."

"Yeah I'm still a little sleepy and this bed is really comfortable." My worn out body needed rest and until that moment, I wasn't aware of how much. I'd been living the last few weeks in hell, camping in the woods, but I wasn't feeling well, which is the reasons I came here.

"Go back to sleep Naruto. I will be nearby if you need me," Gaara said. He stood and glanced over at me before leaving.

I lay back down and looked around the nicely furnished room before averting my gaze back towards the window, which was right next to my bed. Watching the enormous night sky had become a habit since leaving Konoha. The massive dark blue sky with the sparkling stars always made my problems seem so small. If the stars could shine brightly in the vast heavens, then I could live my life here and on most nights, I would tell myself this. Soon my eyes became heavy and I fell back to sleep, and this time I dreamt of a safe warm place were I wasn't alone.

When I woke, the warm sunshine filled the room. A fresh outfit was placed on the bed along with a towel and a note addressed to me. I picked the message up and read it aloud. "Naruto, there is a shower to your right and here is a fresh set of clothes. When you're done, come down the hall to my office. No one will be here today, so don't worry about being seen, Gaara."

A shower, I thought jumping to my feet and hurrying towards the bathroom. A part of me feared the wonderful warm water was only a dream, or even worse, it would disappear before I arrived and I would be plagued with the nightmare of just missing my chance to feel human. My sprint towards the bathroom caused my legs to feel weak and a nauseous feeling in my stomach. It took a few minutes for me to compose myself before I proceeded to strip off my dirty clothes. I wore a tunic with a pair of black leggings. Because I'm short with a small build, I could easily pass as a girl, which is how I traveled. This outfit with my shoulder length black hair that I hoped would grow out soon only added to the girlish image. Originally, I had wanted brown hair but too much dye and no experience using the stuff left me with little control over the outcome. I looked at my naked body in the full-length mirror. It was a wonder that Gaara recognized me at all. I covered the scars on my face with makeup that I had carried. My dark black hair made my skin look paler than usual and made my blue eyes stand out. In the past few weeks, my healthy tan disappeared. I had lost a little weight in my shoulders and arms but gained some in the stomach area. I barely recognized myself.

The hot water soothed all my aches and pains. I scrubbed my skin raw with soap and used a generous amount of shampoo in my hair. When I was done, I felt like a new person, clean with fresh clothes. The clothes Gaara supplied were almost identical to the ones I just took off. The only difference was the color. Now I wore an orange tunic with royal blue leggings and matching sandals. I stopped wearing my trademark orange when I left Konoha because I would be to easily recognizable, but here it didn't matter because Gaara already knew me.

I left my room, heading down the hall. I didn't recognize this place before but now, I knew the place. The richly waxed floor creaked as I walked towards Gaara's office. The quiet abandoned halls relieved me. No one could know I was here. When I reached Gaara's office, I hesitated. What would I say to him? How could I explain my situations? Would he understand? But this was Gaara, and if he couldn't understand who would? We shared something and understood each other more than anyone else could. For a moment, I thought I should run away and maybe I would have if I hadn't heard Gaara's distinct voice saying, "Enter." There was no going back. If I tried to run, Gaara wouldn't let me leave. I slowly opened the door and walked in, trying to act as cheerful as possible.

"Hey Gaara," I spoke, as my eyes wondered towards his desk and the platter of biscuits and pastries. My stomach growled, while my face turned bright red in embarrassment.

"Have some," Gaara said, calling me over to a chair in front of him. "Unfortunately, I only have these. It's what I normally eat and asking for something else might raise some suspicions," he explained.

"Thanks, I don't think I could stomach anything heavier."

"Are you sick?" Gaara asked, while examining me with his eyes.

"No I just get nauseous sometimes," I answered before quickly changing the subject. "How are things here?"

Gaara must have realized my diversion ploy because he ignored my question and continued on the subject. "Uzumaki Naruto, you look much better today but you still look sick and what's wrong with your hair? It's hideous."

If I was going to ask Gaara for his help, he had to know everything. Deep down, I knew that Gaara was the only one who could understand. A part of me was still afraid he would abandon me, but another part knew how foolish I was being for thinking such a thing. Besides, he was risking a lot hiding me here. I couldn't keep up my fake happiness façade. I met Gaara's eyes before I spoke, "Hey Gaara." He snorted, but remained silent. Gaara's eyes never left mine and I continued to speak, "I'm in a little bit of trouble and need a some help and you're the only one I can ask." I stopped and waited for his response.

"A little bit of trouble? That's an understatement, Naruto. You've left your village and have been labeled a missing nin."

"I know it's a lot to ask. Our villages are on friendly terms and helping me could ruin all that, but I won't stay long…"

Gaara interrupted me, "Just tell me what happened. You aren't someone who would leave for no reason."

"It's a long story." I stated, trying to find the words. Gaara seemed to realize my troubles and folded his hands, waiting for me to continue. I took a deep breath and started to tell my story.