Title: A New Kind of Sickness
Author:
Winter Ashby (rosweldrmr)
Disclaimer: I have nothing to do with Naruto or the GOD known as Masashi Kishimoto-sama.
Rating:
M
Summary:
Gaara fears that he might be broken when he is stricken with a strange & haunting kind of illness. He is trapped and can no longer distinguish fiction from reality. Is there no hope for him? Is he alone in this sickness? (Gaara & Sakura)
Authors Notes:
I'm sorry for the rating on this. I was aiming for something a little more wholesome, but regretfully I didn't make it. Gomen! And trust me when I tell you that the rating is appropriate... heed this warning. I don't think it's too explicit, thus the reason I am still posting it in its entirety here and not on my MM account. I feel that I have complied with FF regulations, please tell you if you guys think this is too much.

That said, I think this came out pretty self explanatory. This, once again, picks up after chapter 281 of the manga. Everything happened just like it did in the manga, but disregard everything that follows.

I've wanted to do a fic like this for these two for a while now. This started out as an idea I had a long time ago for another fandom I used to write for. I hope it's not too out there for you. If you can get past the slight AU-ish quality of this, I think it's pretty plausible.

I suppose that's all for the notes. But as always, if you have any questions, feel free to ask me!


Also, just as a suggestion. You might want to LEGALLY download (ha ha ha) a song called Displace by Azure Ray to listen to on constant repeat while you read this. It's what I was listening to when I wrote it, and I really think it will enhance the experience. It's just a suggestion, but I really do highly recommend it. I think it really influenced this piece and would help with the overall atmosphere.

That's all for now. Enjoy!

-Ash


He held her unresponsive body and screamed through the sun to great nothing that swung in through the hole in his heart and swirled around the last hanging vestige of his humanity. The blood that stained his hands and seeped into the very fibers of his soul was rank and putrid, but it was all he had left of her – so he loved it. Her eyes were fixed up at the heavens and dancing fireflies in the summer midnight sky. She looked so calm, so tired. So he lets her rest for just a little while longer before they moved. His legs begin to cramp and the tear tracks that burned his face were beginning to dry. He could smell the rain in the distance and feel the shift in the wind. It wouldn't be long now.

"Sakura…" his voice was a whisper as it passed unnoticed over her pale cheek in the shadowed moonlight of the vacant clearing. "We have to go now." Still, silent, and oh so lifeless. He was sure then, that he was broken. He could hear the ripping as her empty soul and stiff body ripped through his heart and fragmented the remaining pieces of his soul into a scattered minefield. He was broken, and teeming with a searing anger that coursed through his veins and seeped from his eyes.

The hate and vengeance that held his body together grew with each second that she didn't blink; didn't move; didn't live. He could feel the blank void that spread through his limps and ended in the twisted, torn fabric of her familiar red shirt. The howl that flew from his lips was hot and so loud it made his ears bleed. But even over the echoing sound of his own tortured bellow, he could clearly make out the distinct sound of his own newly human heart shattering into a million splitters of glass.

---

Gaara woke with a scream stifled in his throat and the sheets of his bed gripped firmly between the clenched fists of his hands. He could feel the sweat that pooled in the small dimples of his clavicle and ran down the back of his neck. The sun was already high in the sky and as his ragged breath began to slow and his eyes frantically scanned the room for any traces of pink or green.

He waited, it wouldn't be long now until the door swung open and his sister appeared to ask him if was torturing animals in his chambers, again. This would now make an entire month of sleep… and nightmares. After he was resurrected, the dreams began – as did sleep. And even if he was relatively new to the whole conception of sleep, he was almost certain that having such vivid, terrifying nightmares every night, about a woman he barely knew, wasn't normal. Perhaps he was brought back wrong, perhaps he was now defective.

With a short, little disgusted snort, he acknowledged the fact that he was made wrong. He'd never been right, from the moment that Chiyo-sama sealed Shukaku in him and he was made into a tool for Suna, he was wrong. Perhaps this was his atonement for all the killing, and torture, and pleasure he'd taken from his role as his countries assassin. He deserved this fate; he deserved this and so much worse.

Not all of his dreams were this violent, and bloody – and yet all disturbed and vexed him just as much. Sometimes she'd look at him, deep in his pupil-less eyes and scream in terror. He hated her then and the way she feared him. Sometimes he murderer her, savored the feel of her soft, cut flesh squirming in the grip of his sand, just before she exploded and rained down on him with devastating joy. Sometimes he hovered over her and in her and bit down his minute fangs into his lower lip while she screamed his name and clamped around him. He hated these dreams the most, those fantasies; because it would take the longest to escape the lingering images of those moments.

Whenever he closed his eyes, he could see her. She was bare, and soft, and vulnerable. And the way her eyes slit and darkened when she begged him to take her… he shuddered. Yes, those were the worst. It got to be so bad he'd disappear on his magic carpet of sand to some secluded place and pump into his fist while he imagined it was her. He was crazier now that he had ever been before because he wanted someone he barely knew and he dreamed about touching her and making her scream his name.

It was insane to want her so badly when he knew nothing about her, but he did all the same. He was human now and had no excuse, except he couldn't resist the curve of her hips or the swell of her breasts. So he hated himself and disappeared on lonely nights and dreamt about her and what she would taste like. But he grew restless and tired because he couldn't sleep. He'd wake more tired than the night before and was disturbed because he could still feel her skin rub against his.

With his new lack of sanity, he indulged in his sick fantasies and recurring nightmares. He could barely tell where the line of reality and dreams was, so everything blurred together in a haze of pink and green. Since the first night he slept, he was haunted by her. Because it all seemed so real, he could feel her stiff body lay heavy in his arms and feel her hand scratch long jagged ridges into his back. He was withering away.

When the rest of his life faded away, he forgot to eat, or breathe, so he slept and dreamt of the murderer he was longer capable of being or the lover he knew he would never get a chance to be. Once he saw her when she was just a girl and he was a monster. He remembered the tears in her eyes for another boy. He destroyed a canyon that night without the help of any demon. He licked away the tears from her cheek and then murdered her, again.

Eventually, he slid so far into the oblivion that one day, he opened his eyes and she was there. Her lips parted and moved, but the sound of rushing blood in his ears was much too loud to make out anything she might have said. He adjusted he eyes in the midday's sun that drifted in though his grimy windows. She looked down at him; he must have passed out in a chair.

Pink hair, green eyes, black gloves, and a pair of the sexiest knee-high boots he knew to be in existence. He was hallucinating now, so he sighed deeply and fumed for the dementia that was clearly fogging his mind. But she looked at him differently now. It wasn't the terror or ecstasy that he'd grown used to. A horrible kind of chill ran the length of his spin as his battered brain categorized this look as concern.

It was bad enough that he took great pleasure in the nights of fantasy sex or guilt that ran so deep it cut through his soul as he held her blood body. Now, his fractured, broken mind was creating concern in her eyes, and he couldn't stop himself from liking it even more. He couldn't help but wonder: if he really had the power to stop it, would he want to? He bared his fangs and stood menacingly half a foot under her gaze. She didn't back away; he hadn't really expected her to.

He watched in slow motion as she removed the glove of her right hand, one aching finger at a time. It was like watching someone else opening his birthday present. He licked his lips and stepped closer. She didn't seem to notice as she lifted her hand and laid it flat against his forehead. Well this was certainly different. This was about the time he either killed her, or parted her quivering thighs. But there was something very different, very wrong about all this.

Her hands were so cold. They'd never been cold before, they'd never been this real before. In the past, when he woke it always felt like it was real. But this time, it was 3D and in complete surround sound. He took an experimental sniff, and tasted her sweet, natural scent on his tongue. He nearly choked. She shifted her cold hand and ran it down his left cheek. He hissed and stumbled back over the forgotten chair. Where was he? He couldn't even remember what day it was anymore.

She watched him retreat like a hunted animal, but only stood, fixed, and expressionless. Her eyes betrayed nothing of what she felt, or thought. She waited and he breathed deeply. But his ragged breath only grew more erratic as his vision blurred and the world tipped. He could feel his feet sliding down the slanted floor while he tried to stand. But then, he was upright and caught in the confine or two slender, cold arms. A single black glove still clasped in her left hand.

He could feel her breath on his neck as she held him from behind. Her breasts were pressing against his shoulder blades and her hands were pressed flat on his heaving chest. He closed his eyes, and gave in because he was tired and weak, and obviously being punished for all the wrong he'd done in his short life. This was a fate he deserved, to be tortured by the perfect woman he knew nothing about. So he leaned into her and savored the smell of her flower shampoo and the way her bangs tickled across the back of his neck. He was too exhausted to fight it anymore.

"I give up." He hadn't spoken in so long; he barely recognized his own voice. Because it didn't sound right, it was too soft, too defeated. He was devastated by dreams of this young kunoichi. He was strong, and terrifying. He used to be able to hear the ground crack under his feet, and feel the wind part on his face to let him pass. He wanted to feel the monster inside him create sand from the soil in the earth. He wished for anything but her hands on his chest and her lips near his ear. He shivered and slumped farther into his conqueror.

"Temari-san and Kankurou-san were worried, Gaara-sama." She said his name, and vaguely he recalled being asked to step down as the Godaime Kazekage. He couldn't even remember the last time he felt his gourd on his back, or seen the pained face of his brother or the unruly blond hair of his sister. Something about all this was so very wrong, but he just couldn't make himself understand what. She'd never spoken like this before, she'd mentioned other people. It made her sound real.

"Why are you doing this to me?" he was so small in her arms and he struggled to free himself from her hold. But she was strong and he was weak, because of her. So he remained still while she maneuvered him back into the recliner and knelt in front of him. She wore that same expression, and he was drawn forward again. It was so familiar now, to lean in and taste her. He shouldn't have hesitated, but he always did.

"Nan…" she looked small, and lost. Just for a moment. But it was there, and for a second, he was the victor. So he leaned down and pressed his lips to hers. But then she was gone, vanished to the far corner of the room and he was strangely proud of this new reaction. It made him feel almost human enough to admit that he would never be good enough. She touched her lips, almost like she didn't believe it. He smirked and settled back for the inevitable next step.

She would stand in front of him, and remove her shirt with an achingly slow pull of the zipper. She would smile as the cloth slid from her arms and pooled on the floor, soon to be joined by the mesh she wore and the bandages that held her breasts down. She would kneel and run her hands up his legs and pull his shirt from his body. It was so real, so familiar… so not happening. She still stood in the corner, touching her lips, looking very much like a deer caught in the headlights of a car.

"Gaara-sama, there's something wrong with you. You are sick. Do you understand what I'm telling you?" She spoke, slow, cold, reserved. Where was the screaming, the fear, the orgasms that should have filled these eventless minutes? Where was the need, the hunger that he desired so completely? He wasn't listening to what she said, because all he could see was the way her skirt was pulled up in her retreat and how her thighs beckoned him home.

"I can't do this anymore." He admitted to his hands, because admitting it to her would mean that she'd broken him. He still had pieces of his pride, even if she was the one who held them hostage. There were remains of him that were still intact in her hands. "What do you want from me?" he was tired, and beaten and so very alone in his dreams. He watched his hands clench and them into the rough calluses of his palms like the monster he no longer was. There was no response, he hadn't expected there to be. After all, he was only talking to himself.

"I… I don't want anything, Gaara-sama." He lifted his eyes to meet hers. She seemed different, somehow. But everything was so jumbled, and mixed. He was sure he was missing something very important. "I don't understand…" for months, he'd let her destroy him, tear apart at his soul piece by piece until all that was left was this hole in the center of him that she would crawl into and massage with his desperation. He'd had enough, he'd suffered enough. He couldn't live like this, and he knew it. He would die, and she would be the one to kill him.

"Why are you haunting me?" He stood, and she recoiled. He took this as a good sign and ventured forward. She pressed her back into the wood panels of the wall and closed her eyes. There was the fear he was used to. "Every time I close my eyes, you're there. I can't eat, or breathe, or live!" He stood in front of her now, so close, so far, so real, so tempting. "Is this because of what I let Shukaku do to you when we were young, in the forest outside Konoha?" he had to know, had to understand why this was happening.

"Gaara…" her eyes were open now, watching him stalk her from the corners of her eyes while she watched the window with a sick kind of longing. She used to look at someone else like that too, but not him. Not even the best fantasies did she look at him like that. So he snapped, because he was crazy, after all. What harm would it to now to finally get some answers. He would just kill her and wake up in a few minutes anyway.

"Why? Why are you here? Why you? Why now? Why won't you just let me sleep?" But this wasn't like all the other times. Because his lung worked, and obeyed the words he wanted to say. So he took advantage of this strange kind of control and finally said what he hadn't been able to in his dreams. "I'm too tired to do this anymore, Sakura. Please, please just let me sleep." He was pleading and his eyes were watering. He was on the verge of collapsing from complete exhaustion.

He fell to his knees, at her feet and took her hands in his. He looked past the cold flesh of one hand, and the smooth material of her glove from the other to her eyes and begged like there was no tomorrow. But she just kept looking at him like she was worried. She wasn't scared anymore, or angry, or hungry like he wanted, like he was used to. She was surprised and all he wanted to do was melt into her and taste her sweet lips and be inside her. Because that was the only time he ever felt like he was alive.

"You know my name?" it was such a silly question, but she looked so serious while he held her hands and pleaded with her to free him. He was so confused now; he didn't even register as she dropped to her knees and leveled their eyes. It wasn't until she was cupping his face, pulling him closer that something very frightening swirled in his gut. His whole body shook with repressed dread that gripped at his consciousness.

"You're… are you… is this… is this real?" nothing made sense anymore. But her eye shifted over his face and shaking body. She held his shoulders, bowed her head and sighed. "Sakura…" his voice was crisp and urgent. Everything hung on her words, on her voice, on her eyes, and her hands, on her body that was now so clearly rooted in reality. He chastised himself for not understanding soon.

She looked at him, still holding his face while a ghost passed through her eyes. There was something she was afraid of, was it him, was it the melting distance that separated their lips, did she dream to? "Your healers couldn't figure out what was wrong. Suna contacted Konoha and requested Tsunade-shishou, but she and Shizune are dealing with… other matters." She paused, she was hiding something: the ghost, a boy with crimson eyes, raven hair, a winding seal and chirping fire. "I'm the best medic-nin in Konoha. The Godaime Hokage taught me herself. I was sent to heal you Gaara-sama."

His whole body buckled under the exhaustion and he slumped forward, into her arms. His body twisted and contorted until he was firmly entwined in her protective embrace. Blackness fell as he looked up into her shinning green eyes. He breathed fresh, free air for the first time since he learned how to sleep. Finally, she came for him. Finally, he would be free. There was only one thought that echoed through his dimming mind. "Yokata."

---

There was a figure in the distance. Pink shoulder-length hair blew in the breeze and her green eyes bore into him. Her red shirt and black boots made his legs quiver. She stood, so very far away, separated by something more than just distance and empty space.

"I don't understand." His voice was so soft, like he was a child. Lost, wandering confused. He raised his hand to look at it. He remembered this place, these feelings of emptiness and singularity. He'd been here before… when he died.

"You never did." She took a step towards him. There was something that stood between them. But this was different than the last time he'd been here. Last time he was face to face with the part of him that wanted to be loved. Now it was her face that greeted him in this lonely, deserted plane. He took a step forward, but knew instantly that no matter how many times he advanced, he would never be able to touch her.

"Why are you doing this to me?" He was sure there had to be a reason for all this. For the dreams, and the nightmares that made his spirit wither and die inside him. He knew there was something important, some connection that he wasn't aware of. What tied him so completely to her?

"Why are you letting me?" She took another step but still got no closer. The wall of impenetrable distance that separated him from her was frustrating. Think, he commanded his feeble mind. Last time he was here, he was being split in two. Half of who he had been was taken from him. He was empty, and alone, and desperate of love.

"I can't stop." There should have been a clue, or at least a hint. He looked back at his hands and all at once wished that he could touch her just once. He had the insane notion that if he could just touch her face, taste her lips that somehow all this would fade away and he would be able to live again.

"Can't or won't?" She smirked and rested a hand on her hip. He swore that for a second, he could feel her hand on his own hip. But then it was gone and he was left with the lingering impression that he was very, very alone.

"I don't know. Why is it always you?" The plane that held them swirled false air over their faces and his kanji ached. He touched two fingers to the tattoo on his forehead and considered the implications of what was being said. This must be his clue, his hint. Somewhere in what she said was the answer. She took a long time to answer, like she was trying to decide if she really knew the answer.

"Because, we are linked." He took a step back because he could feel the distinct pull of a string on his heart. And there, between them and all the space was a red string that appeared from her chest and was attached to him. There was something that held them together.

"Linked by what?" what was the string that held him to her, and did it change anything? He waited and thought deeply about what exactly had led him here, to her, to this place, to these dreams, and this unconventional connection. There must be some part of all this that he could understand. She waited too… waited for his mind to turn while she pulled the tie that connected them taut. His feet were pulled forward and it seemed like she might have actually gotten closer.

"Chiyo-sama." The string flared to life and was engulfed in the light blue aura of chakra. It swirled around their bodies and drew them closer. It felt as though the slack of the string was being coiled around his heart while he pulled her to him. His feet hovered just above the ground and floated over the desert sand. He was sure now, that she was twisted and tied around every inch of his heart. There was now a thin layer of chakra-laden Sakura-string bound to his heart and circulating through his body.

"What does she have to do with this?" His bindings were loosened and he regretted asking. Without the pull at his chest, his feet wavered and she drifted from him. There was now only a meter that separated them and his fingers itched to touch her soft face and cold hands.

"Everything." He fell to his knees, lost in thought and implications of a life he'd taken and a fate he was no longer fit to secure. He was powerless, and weak. He was empty and alone and so frightened that he longed for his childhood teddy bear whose face was soaked in blood. He wished for his gourd and the power to control the desert. Maybe then, he could push her towards him and his waiting arms.

"I don't understand." She was fading, disappearing into the background of ashen grey sky and the muted tans of a washed out desert. His eyes stung and his fingers dipped into the sand. The grains between his fingers and under his nails was familiar and he savored the sensation because it was the most he'd felt from the outside world in months.

"I know, but soon you will." She knelt too, half a meter away and looked deep into his stinging eyes and pounding heart. He could feel the beat of her heart in his chest, trying desperately to catch up to his. He winced in pain as his own heart skipped a beat and soon became perfectly in tuned with hers.

"I could end it, if you wanted me to." his hands held the sting that tied her to him. And suddenly there was a kunai in his hand, positioned just above the rope. He could cut it, sever it strand by strand until she completely disappeared and detached from his life. He paused, because he knew he could cut it and be singular again. He thought back to the first time he'd been in this place, and desperately wished he could understand.

"You'll never be whole without me." Her voice cut through his prison of self-doubt and petulant fear. He growled, deep in his throat and held the blade to the chakra-string. It wouldn't be so hard to slice the metal through and watch her fall. He could be free, he would be incomplete and empty – but he would be free.

"I know." The blade vanished, and she once again became a solid figure. She smiled and he was sure he'd fallen into some horrible trap. She was wrapped around his heart and completely entwined in every cell of his body. He could feel her breathe in his lungs and the sand under her knees. She was a part of him now. Even if the string was fading, he knew it would always be there. "Do you dream of me?" Morbid curiosity bubbled from his lips and bathed her in his child-like fixation, yet again.

"I don't know." He looked into her eyes and memorized the spiraling pattern of greens that swirled together in her irises. He watched her chest rise and fall as she breathed. He crawled, hands and knees in the sand to her. Because he knew there would be no barrier now. She would be his, he would touch her and taste her and make her his, because he was hers now too.

"Why not." His face was inches from hers, noses touching, eyes slowly slipping shut, faces tilting and leaning in. He could feel her breath on his lips and shivered as he drew her closer. His hand lay at the curve of her back and the slope of her neck. He felt her skin under his fingers and the fabric of her shirt under his grip. He felt her trembling in his embrace and waited… because she would come to him.

"Because I am you." He waited still, waited for her lips, for her tilt and lean. He waited for her declaration of defeat in the cage of his arms and the power of desire for her. "The real me is waiting." She leaned forward and brushed her parted pink lips over his in the darkness his shut lids created. "It's time to wake up now, Gaara-sama."

---

"You killed me." Gaara made out the sound of her voice before he could open his eyes. He was laying flat on his back, surrounded by soft sheets and feather pillows. He grunted, deep and low in his dry throat. He slowly dared to open his eyes as he carefully gathered together the broken pieces of his pride and attempted to sit up. He teetered and fell back, but her hand on his back held him steady while she adjusted his pillows. He seemed to have misplaced his pride, yet again…

"Yes, I did." He was still tired, but it was better. He was a little less tired now. His entire body ached and felt stiff. He glanced around at his quarters like it was the first time he'd seen it. He was pretty sure this was the first time he'd seen this room. She tilted her head to see past the shadows from the light in the windows. He wanted to lick her cheek. He frowned and repressed the urge.

"Soca." She released her hand from his back and slid onto the bed beside him. It felt so natural to be with her, to wake up with her, to hold her and taste her. Had she seen everything they did? Did she know how tortured he'd been, spending nights alone, wishing she was there? Did she remember what it was like to lie beneath him and wrap her legs around him and whisper his name into the night sky?

"You made my back bleed." There was a devastatingly appealing pink hue that spread across her cheeks in the sunlight. She smiled a nervous, quiet little smile that showed just the tips of her teeth. And something shattered inside him. His chest tightened immediately, but he watched in horrified amazement as her face twisted and she reached for her chest. "Why is this happening?"

"Chiyo-sama used her Tensei ninjutsu on me too." Her eyes were downcast and mournful because she knew it was enough to hold them together over months and hundreds of miles. He knew this because it was in his mind too. Her thoughts echoed in his expression. "I let Chiyo-sama use me as her marionette when we fought Sasori. I was poisoned and stabbed, but she brought me back." He waited, patiently for her to continue, because he knew that she would. "That's why she didn't have enough chakra to save you without Naruto's help."

"So, this…" he gestured between the centimeters that separated their bodies on the large, plush bed. "…is all because of Chiyo-sama's Tensei ninjutsu?" It didn't seem like that would be enough to make reality fade and blend into a haze of elicit fantasies and chilling nightmares. How could a life transfer be the root of ailment over these months of isolation and separation?

"Hai. I suppose, we're connected now." she looked up to him, deep in his eyes and he could feel their collective heart beat speed up. "I don't think she meant for this to happen though…" Even if he's managed to sleep, and have a quasi-normal dream, it didn't mean that when she left he would be able to live. He wanted her, and he was slowly losing the self-control he'd been maintaining since he woke to find her hovering over him.

"Sakura…" his voice was soft, but so deep. It was barely above a whisper and he could feel her shiver. Immediately he could feel the heat begin to swirl in the pit of his stomach as he watched in complete fixation as her eyes darkened by three shades of green. He was suddenly in the middle of a forest somewhere between fire and wind and the only thing he wanted was to feel her body against his.

"I don't understand what you do to me." Her lips moved as her body leaned forward, hands reaching the hem of his black shirt. Her words sent violent ripples of pleasure coursing through his veins and burning the tattered bits of resolve he'd managed to accumulate. He pulled her to him, hands gripping her forearms, desperate to feel her lips on his.

He pinned her down, watched her wiggle under his grasp and smiled because he knew, she wanted him too. She was sweet and soft, just like she'd always been. But this was so much different, because she was real. Clothes melted in the sun and faded in the magnificent sight of her bare breast and exposed stomach. She was soft under his touch and pulled air in through gritted teeth as he scrapped his over the muscle of her neck. She craned her head to look through the sun at him with the most captivating expression he'd ever seen. He couldn't hold back anymore… couldn't stop himself from being inside her.

He molded his lean body to touch every inch of her heated flesh and hissed with growing need as she spread her legs for him. He hesitated, he always did. But this time, she looked deep at him with 3D eyes and surround-sound moans and invited him home. He pushed in, and purred as her nails grazed his back. The look in her eyes hypnotized him and he was lost in her. He panted and cursed sweet thanks to a god he didn't acknowledge because she was so warm and tight he though he might break her.

But she smiled under him and he was healed. All the shattered splinters of his heart melted in the heat of her apex and reformed as she slid her fingers down his trembling arms. She moaned his name and screamed as she came. He closed his eyes then, and leaned in to taste her lips as she pleaded his name. His hands frantically roamed the curves of her body and through her matted hair. He kissed a trail of kisses over the ridge of her eyebrow and down her cheekbones.

He let his head fall into the perfect crater of her neck and shoulder and died the most horrible death as he came in her. His muscles shuddered and radiated with all the repressed nights he'd spent alone and singular. He was whole and complete in the only way he'd ever convinced himself he could never have. But she wrapped her arms around his neck and wept into his shoulder.

Her tears were hot against his bare skin. But as they slipped from his sweat-sheen body the winding path they left behind in their wake cooled against the filtered air and sent shivers running down his spine. She cried and held him like he would disappear if she didn't and he was ashamed to admit that he feared opening his eyes only to find that he would be once again alone and insane. So he held her tight and let a tear drip from his damp lashes and coat her body in everything he couldn't say in that moment.

Will you stay with me?

But he knew she could hear it. She gasped just under his overwhelming desperation to keep her with him. He knew she understood because she laughed through her tears and kissed urgent little pecks up his neck and whispered her answer to his unspoken question in his ear. "Yes." Kiss. "Yes." Kiss. "Yes." Kiss. "Yes." Kiss. "Yes." Kiss. "Yes." Kiss. "Yes." Kiss.

He laughed and rolled their entwined bodies and connected heart so he could look at her shinning eyes and bouncing breast. She was perfect, and utterly engrained in every part of his body and soul and mind. He didn't know the word to express it, but he didn't need to know because she reached down and touched the kanji on his forehead and cried some more.

She smiled through her tears and he was sure it was the most beautiful thing he'd ever seen. She blushed and tilted her head so her bangs fell in front of her face to hide the blush from him. But he could feel the heat cover her entire body and simply reached to pull the hair from her face and trace the pout of her lip. "I understand now." He looked in her eyes and confessed his own truth now. She nodded in affirmation and watched him fold himself into her. He pulled her wrist and savored the fell of her naked body falling to cover his.

They separated, but only long enough to curl into a 'C' shape as he pulled the covers up to hide their flesh from the cold air in the room. He wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her flush against his chest. She giggled and looked over her should at him. There was a moment of no words that passed between them and served to answer all the questions they might have had. Because when he held her like this, he could feel the collective string that connected them strengthen. He knew he'd never be alone again.

He gave one last look to the grimy window and bowed his head in reverence. "Arigatou Chiyo-sama." He placed a soft kiss on her should and finally let his eyes shut of their own volition and take away all the fatigue his body felt. He let his body be lulled into a hypnotizing trance by the sound of her even breathing and her back rise and fall against him. Finally, he could sleep, finally he could rest. Finally, he could live.


Acknowledgemets:

I want to thank anyone who is about to review this, or has already. Thank you for everything you do for me. I really love checking my mail and seeing the comments you all leave for me. With that said, there are a few people I need to thank by name, please bare with me!

CHICA DE LA LUNA FANTASMA AKA CF AKA SakuraCharmed:

You, my dear are a true friend. Thank you so much for voting for me, and helping me out with this. You had some really great ideas, I'm just sorry that I didn't steal them. But sadly, a new inspiration struck that let me keep the canon intact… and I always like this option more than messing with the story. (Especially when it's so good.) I'm so glad you liked your icon, feel free to stop by my DA page and bug me anytime. You are my sunshine!

Chixon:

I want give you huge thanks to for listening to my insane rantings about how to make this work and your insightful suggestions. I truly appreciate having a friend like you. Thank you so much, from the bottom of my heart. I loved your ideas, but in the middle of writing this, something else came to me, you'll see what I'm talking about. I hope you still like it.

SilverSimoneLady:

I loved your reviews, and they couldn't have come at a better time. I hope you enjoy this as much as you did SDWL and Love! Thanks so much for your support, it's people like you that keep me writing.

onyx-angel AKA colleen:

Thank you so much for your vote. It really meant a lot to me. I appreciate what it took to do so, and I just wanted you to know how grateful I am. Arigatou Colleen-chan!

Sakura-and-Gaara-4ever:

I promised you I'd have this by the end of the week. I hope it doesn't disappoint!


Ja na:)