The 12 Days of GaaNaru Christmas

XII. Twelve Drummers Drumming

'The last present,' Naruto thought. He stood on the roof tying the letter and tiny package to the bird's leg. 'This is the last present and I know that I can't win with this… It's sad that this is the best I can do.'

Naruto looked towards the sky. It was a clear and cool morning. The wind was crisp against his skin as it flowed against him on the top of the roof. The bird would have nice morning to fly to Sunagakure. It wouldn't be too hot or too cold. At least that would be something right for the day.

Naruto couldn't explain it, but he was very much uncharacteristically depressed. Maybe he was upset at himself for not thinking of a better present. Maybe he was just lonely. He was going to attend a small Christmas party later with friends. Maybe that would cheer him up. Being around all those people usually made him feel better. Naruto nodded. Now he was sure that all he needed was to be at that party later. Still, he was abnormally miserable this Christmas day.

The Hokage took up the bird and gave it careful instructions on whom to give the message. Konoha birds were very special in that not only were train by the best trainers money could pay for, they were also specially bred from a long line of messenger birds and picked up their parents' skills. Naruto lifted the large white bird from her perch and towards the sky. He reminded her where to go--directly to the Kazekage--before throwing his arm up. The bird circled for a second and came back down and landed on a perch behind him. Naruto was greatly confused.

That is, he was greatly confused until he looked up and saw a figure with red hair and robes of white and blue standing before him. Naruto blinked a few times to make sure he was seeing things right. His mind wouldn't believe what his eyes saw. Was that Gaara really standing in front of him? When Naruto realized that he wasn't hallucinating, he ran squealing like a girl straight into Gaara's open arms. Had anyone seen the Hokage just tackle hug the Kazekage, they might have wet their pants laughing.

"Gaara! Gaara! GaaraGaaraGaara!" Naruto screamed.

"Naruto," the other man whispered. "I'm so glad you never change or grow up."

"Hey," Naruto lightly hit Gaara on the shoulder from still in his arms with a laugh. Naruto pulled back, "How did you get here so fast?"

Gaara smiled at Naruto, "With the use of a new jutsu and over the course of a couple days. Didn't you wonder where the tree bark came from and why it was written in charcoal?"

Naruto blushed, "I hadn't even thought about it, honestly. I was more concerned with trying to top your present."

Gaara chuckled, "That's just like you."

Naruto told him about the Christmas party that was tonight and how he had to attend now that he was here. Naruto handed him the letter and small box but told him to wait until later to open it so that they could hurry back to his office. At his office, Naruto registered that the Kazekage had come from a diplomatic meeting and would be staying for at least overnight. He then called together his top jounin and announced that no new missions would be assigned for today. They were to spread the message downward. Naruto closed his office and left a note to his secretary who hadn't come in yet that she had the day off and he would be with the Kazekage all day.

Gaara sighed and followed the hyperactive Hokage around the village. Naruto had decided that Gaara had to catch up with everyone. They went around saying hello to everyone. People kept bowing at the two as they passed, embarrassing Naruto and honoring Gaara. The Kazekage was introduced to some of Naruto's top ninja and he even visited Konoha Academy. They visited Ino who was running the shop and Naruto bought a small violet and playfully put it in Gaara's hair. The two also crossed paths with Konohamaru, Moegi, and Udon who were running around aimlessly.

They had a rather eventful day catching up with a lot of people but also had a lot of quiet time near the edge of the forest under a tree. Naruto had taken a quick nap on Gaara's shoulder. The redhead had to poke and tickle the blonde awake so they weren't late for that party that he had mentioned. Naruto forced Gaara to change out of his Kage robes. Reluctantly, he agreed but refused to not wear his jacket that was white and blue with swirls lining the bottom and sleeves. Underneath were khaki pants and a plain white turtleneck. Naruto decided that an orange t-shirt and black pants and a black jacket would be enough for him.

Once they arrived at the party, lots of people jumped up to say hello to the Kazekage. They all bowed to him, which actually annoyed him because they were supposed to be actual acquaintances of his, not people below him. Of course, he got rattled with questions about why he was in Konoha, none of which he answered because Naruto always jumped in about diplomatic meetings and such. Near the end of the night when over half the people had left, Gaara sat in the corner watching his lover talk wildly with his hands to Sakura, Sasuke, Kakashi, Ino, Kiba, Shikamaru, and a couple other people Gaara didn't recognize. It wasn't that he didn't want to converse, he just didn't want to share Naruto at the moment.

Naruto kept glancing in his direction but continued telling a story to all of his friends. Gaara had slouched more and more into his seat as time went on. Naruto had noticed this and decided to hurry up the last part of his story. He said the last sentence and while everyone was laughing, Naruto faked a great big yawn. He made excuses about having to get up early for our meeting so that Gaara could have plenty of time to get back to Sunagakure without problem.

Gaara stood silently and followed him out the door, nodding to the people as he passed. It was a short walk back to the Hokage compound. We entered the compound and Naruto led them to one specific house that seemed to be the best kept. It was obviously where Naruto lived. Gaara questioned about the other buildings, but the blonde just shrugged it off. He led the redhead to the kitchen where he began to make tea for the both of them.

"I'm sorry that you had to sit there like that. It wasn't fair to make you wait for me to be done talking to everyone. I know you had hoped to spend some alone time with me and all," Naruto sighed.

"It's alright. You had plans and I showed up unexpectedly," Gaara shrugs.

Then, the kettle started to whistle. Naruto poured tea for Gaara and himself and sat down with his mate. They sat there for quite a few hours and caught up with each other. Naruto kept heating up more water for tea. He also brought out some things to snack on. They talked about all sorts of things from paperwork to siblings and to their gifts for each other. That then brought Gaara to think about the last present that Naruto was going to send him. Naruto ran out of the kitchen and into another room, he returned with the letter and small box.

"I guess you can open those and read it now," Naruto said blushing.

Gaara opened the letter first.

Dear Gaara,

I tried to find the perfect gift to give to you. You have given me such perfect gifts. I will love them and cherish them for the rest of my life. I don't know how you got these gifts to be so perfect. I could barely find ones to give back to you. I looked to find the perfect final gift for you, but found myself to be a failure.

We all know how I feel about failing at things. I spent all night thinking about what I could get you. I wanted to beat you at your present game so badly. I couldn't come up with anything. But you know what, I don't really care that I failed at that anymore. Because while I was doing all that thinking, I realized that the best presents that you gave to me were so great because they came from your heart.

I finally chose something that came from my heart also. I suppose that this isn't the grandest gift possible. Nor is this the most expensive, fancy new thing off the shelves. I thought that you may not understand why I chose to give you this. That's why there is this letter to accompany it.

Open the gift now and read the rest afterwards.

Gaara did as directed and found an old looking necklace. The black cord was slightly frayed and cracked, proving its age. Two silver balls accompanied the long blue crystal in the middle. It was a beautiful necklace, Gaara had to admit, but he didn't understand why this beat up thing was so important. He noticed Naruto watching his expressions intently.

You must be wondering why I gave you this old thing. Well, I have to tell you a story about when I was twelve. It all started after the attack of Oto and Suna. Ero-sennin enlisted me to join him on a search for the new Hokage, Tsunade-baachan. That is when he taught me about the Rasengan. I hadn't fully completed it when Tsunade-baachan and I got into a fight about what the title of Hokage meant. She told me that to be a Hokage was to be a fool. I challenged her on that. I told her that I would be Hokage some day and that I demanded the title to be respected.

She gave me a week after our extremely short battle to properly learn the Rasengan on the condition that she would become Hokage and give me her necklace if I did. She didn't believe that I could do it at such a young age because only my father and Jiraiya had ever pulled it off. Turns out, Orochimaru and Kabuto were there trying to coerce Tsunade-baachan into healing Orochimaru. There was a big fight, and I ended up using a completed Rasengan on Kabuto. So, Tsunade-baachan gave me the necklace as she promised and became Hokage.

The story behind the necklace is more than that. Shizune told me that the necklace belonged to the first Hokage, who was Tsunade-baachan's grandfather. She gave the necklace to her little brother, Nawaki, the day he became a genin along with a kiss charm of good luck on the forehead. The next day, he died on a mission. Later, she gave the necklace to her boyfriend Dan, who was Shizune's uncle, with the same kiss charm. He also died soon afterwards. When she gave the necklace to me, she kissed me on the forehead, too. Yet, I didn't die. I became the Hokage like her brother and boyfriend had wanted to.

So you see, I want you to have this. I know that you have no ambitions to become Hokage because you're already Kazekage and you got to that position way before me. The reason that I want you to have this is because of all that it means to so many people. I believe you are the one who deserves this most. You've been so strong over the years. You have come so far on so little. I think you deserve the respect of everyone in the world because of that. You used to say that I was your inspiration for being what you are… Now, I think that you're my inspiration.

I love you.


Gaara looked up at Naruto in disbelief. He stood from the table and walked over to Naruto. Naruto stared at the redhead wondering what his reaction was to the necklace gift. Gaara grabbed the necklace as he made his way around the table. He shoved the necklace into Naruto's face. The blonde's face fell, his present wasn't wanted.

"Don't misunderstand," Gaara said calmly. "Put it on me."

Naruto stood quickly from his chair, knocking said wooden object over on the floor. He eagerly took the necklace out of Gaara's hand. With a wide grin on his face, he wrapped his arms around Gaara and clasped the necklace behind him. Out of instinct, he leaned forward and kissed Gaara on the forehead. When Naruto returned to his feet, he blushed and realized what he had done. Gaara just smiled at him and took his hand in his own.

"I think its time for bed," Gaara whispered.

Naruto just nodded and led Gaara by hand into his bedroom. In there, they both stripped down to their boxers and crawled into the big fluffy bed on opposite sides. Naruto curled up to Gaara and rested his head on his chest while playing with the silky strands of maroon. Gaara pulled Naruto closer into a tight embrace. Naruto leaned his head up and pressed his lips against Gaara's softly. The redhead sighed into the kiss and reached his hand up to cup his lover's cheek. Naruto pulled back and they found themselves staring into each other's eyes. Gaara smiled and Naruto smiled back.

"Merry Christmas, Naruto."

"Merry Christmas, Gaara."

And again their lips found each other. Through the night, tongues clashed, lips were smashed, and sweat dripped off of their naked bodies. It was all really a private affair between the Hokage and the Kazekage and no one else needed to know the details of their relationship. These special moments were for Naruto and Gaara alone. They didn't have much time together, but they hardly wasted a second. No one may ever know if they tried out their outfits together or if they simply kissed all night. Either way, neither of the young men got any sleep that night.

(2,369 Words)