A/N-This is my next one-shot. I only thought of it when I was listening to the song today…and I almost cried while I was writing it. But anyways, here it is. It's a Gaara/Sakura Angst story. This story is only based on the song Whiskey Lullaby. If you want, look up the lyrics while you read it...the story will make more sense.
Disclaimer-I do not own Naruto and Whiskey Lullaby by Brad Paisley with Allison Krauss.
He stood, nothing but the sand surrounding him. His childhood, up to and after he became Kazekage of Suna had involved fighting and killing. But until this night he didn't truly know the meaning of pain. A half-empty bottle of whiskey was on the table constructed out of sand in front of him. He picked it up and swirled it around before taking a swig. It burned as it went down and did nothing to dull the pain of the scene he had come across mere hours ago.
The sand settled at his feet as he came home from a hard day of politics. All he wanted to do was rest and talk with his wife, his little pink-haired Shinobi-the only person he was open with. Hearing her giggle upstairs he smirked and allowed his sand to transport him to where she was.
Where she was, was lying on their bed with…Uchiha. The original pain at seeing this twisted tableau was quickly replaced by fury. His fist shook as the sand tried to engulf Sasuke but failing when Sakura, screaming got in the way. He immediately stopped-as much as she had hurt him, he still loved her and would die himself before anything happened to her, at his hand especially.
She had been the first one he had opened up to…the first one he had fallen in love with, and the only one he would ever fall in love with. The only one who could cause him pain…and he wasn't even bleeding. But on the inside it felt as though he was dying slowly. He picked up the whiskey bottle and took a swig. Clutching it in his hand, he recalled the original fury he felt towards her and clenched his hand tighter…the bottle shattered in his hands, the glass slicing his palm and whiskey beading in the sand. The silence of the desert was pierced by the scream of raw fury and grief he emitted, not at the pain in his hand but rather at the pain his cheating wife had given him.
Without warning the wind picked up. He looked out across the sand with his jade eyes and saw, in the moonlight, the wall of sand headed across the desert right at him. His sand responded to shelter him from the sandstorm but he forced it down and allowed the rough grains of sand to score his skin and cause him to bleed.
It was in the middle of the sandstorm that he had a moment of perfect clarity and he knew exactly what his last option was. He allowed his own sand to take him out of the sandstorm and too his office in Kazekage tower.
Temari found his body the next day in his office, a kunai of sand protruding form his chest. Her screams attracted the ANBU in the tower as well as her brother Kankuro. They were all stunned at the tableau that confronted them-The Kazekage, dead in a pool of his own blood. When one of the ANBU touched the kunai it disintegrated into a pile of sand that contained tiny balls of whiskey and shards of glass. They were all mystified until….Kankuro found the note
Temari, Kankuro I'm sorry…I will love her until the day I die.
Temari knew whom he was talking about the second she read that line. She had seen her sister-in-law in a restaurant the previous day with someone she identified as a former teammate…the Uchiha prodigy. She hadn't suspected a thing and had confirmed with the young woman that she was coming with her husband to Temari's house for supper with Shikamaru the next night…that night. She had a suspicion however and she had to check it out…it hurt to think that it might be true.
Sakura opened the door, pink hair messed, startling green eyes had become red-rimmed. Her suspicions where confirmed when she saw a shock of black hair behind her sister-in-law. The normally warm fan mistress became cold as ice and in a voice that sounded nothing like her own, informed Sakura of her husband's death-of her husband's suicide. This caused her to break out in a fresh wave of tears as Temari turned her back on the cheating woman. Sakura went inside to where Sasuke-who had heard everything-was. Back in the bedroom.
"Sakura…stop crying…with him out of the way, we can be together…like you wanted when we were little." "Sasuke-kun…get out…" she said in a soft voice. "I made a mistake and I will now pay for it until the day I die. So please…leave. I just realized…" She couldn't continue. He made an attempt to hug her but she shoved him away from her, down the stairs and out the door.
Going to a cupboard her husband only opened after an extremely hard days of being Kazekage she opened it, and, pulling out his favorite drink-whiskey-she set it on the table in front of her and stared at it. There was a bottle missing…had he grabbed it before he left? Temari had said…shards of glass and beads of whiskey…had he been drunk when he committed suicide?
She cautiously picked up the bottle as though it was going to explode when she touched it. Taking the screw cap off, she raised it to her lips and allowed the harsh golden liquid to slide down her throat. She coughed and sputtered. Gaara had always been the drinker, she couldn't stand the stuff, it burned. But now, she thought she deserved every stab of pain that was sliding down her throat. She knew she was the reason…
Sakura wore her best black dress to the funeral, as well as a shawl around her bright pink hair. Temari watched her the entire time…and only saw one tear slip out of her eyes when he was lowered into his grave beneath the willow in their front yard…one of the few trees in the city and their special spot.
As he was lowered into the ground she could feel the eyes of everyone present staring at her back…blaming her. And they had every right to. It was telling her what every citizen in Suna already knew. It was her fault…it was all her fault…that the great Sabaku no Gaara, Kazekage of Suna was dead by his own hand.
This was what drove her too it…Sakura left the funeral reception early and went back into her own house and picked the whiskey bottle back up…the only reason she hadn't gone to his funeral drunk was of respect for the dead.
Haruno Sakura barely lasted a week after her husband's death and funeral. Ino had come from Konoha to comfort her friend, unaware of the circumstances in which he had died, only wishing to comfort her friend. A sandstorm had prevented her from reaching Suna the day before and when she reached Sakura's house, a feeling of foreboding overtook her as she stood at the door and knocked…and her friend didn't answer. She opened the door and the feeling got worse.
There were bottles everywhere and the stench of alcohol permeated the house. On the table sat a pen and a pad of paper covered in a scrawl that looked like her friend handwriting…it was distorted as if a child had written it however not so distorted that Ino couldn't read it. She could decipher some phrases here and there.
…It's my fault…please…Gaara forgive me…I've made such a mistake. I….I….love you…forgive me…so I can forgive myself…I realized…I stopped loving Sasuke the day I met you… the next bit was blotted out by tearstains to the point where it was illegible and then …Why did I do it? I'm not even sure I know… I've made such a mistake…all I want is to take it back, tell you I'm sorry and that…still…I'll love you till the day I die.
This last line gave Ino the chills and she raced up the stairs of the house to where she knew Sakura's bedroom was.
The coppery stench of half dried blood was her first warning. Wrenching open the door she gasped in horror at what was in front of her.
Sakura was lying on the bed, one hand clutching a photo of Gaara and herself on their wedding day-one of the few she had of him smiling-tightly while the other one was wrapped around the kunai buried in her heart. Ino didn't have to check for a pulse, she knew her friend was gone. When the medical ninjas showed up, alerted by Shikamaru who had been alerted by Ino's gut wrenching sobs for her friend, it was determined that time of death had been around the time the sandstorm had hit the previous night.
The next day, out of respect for the dead Kazekage the citizens of Suna gathered to bury his dead wife. It had been written on the paper Ino had found, on the bottom-bury me next to him…
The night after Sakura's funeral Ino was staying at Temari and Shikamaru's across from Sakura's old house-she had a perfect view of the willow and she sat up late just staring at the fresh mounds of dirt that covered the graves of her friend and her husband. Suddenly, without warning the wind picked up and a sandstorm howled through Suna. Ino was forced to shut the window that had been opened to create a draft but she continued to look across the street.
It was then she glimpsed two figures in the dust. 'Who would be crazy enough to go out on a night like tonight?' She wondered. Her curiosity piqued, she continued to watch. The figure of what seemed to be a girl, if the silhouette of long hair was any indication approached the figure of a guy who stood directly underneath the willow tree. The figure of the guy held out his hand causing the girl to run straight into his arms.
Then suddenly as it had come it was gone and all was still. As the dust settled Ino kept a steady gaze on the base of the willow tree where the two figures were and when she could finally see them, she was extremely shocked to see a flash of pink hair.
In front of her, in their special spot, stood Sakura in Gaara's arms. They were transparent-Ino could see right through them to the bark of the tree. She watched, incredulous as the spirits of her best friend and her husband stood together under the willow tree until the first lights of dawn peeked over the horizon. Now, as the legend goes in Suna, they appear after every sandstorm that occurs at night and just stand there enjoying each other's presence…enjoying what was lost to them in life.
A/N-whhew. This one was hard to write…it's bad enough that I had to kill Sakura but killing GAARA? That was too much for me to handle. anyways, R&R (to my beta. Pyro-witch, I'm sorry I didn't run this one past you for errors…) I'm off to errect a nice fort i can live in until the whole Gaara dying thing blows over.