Facing Reality

A/N: Hey I had a cute idea so I typed it down immediately. Read and Review Onegai…

Disclaimer: I don't own anything…

"You've got to be kidding me?" a pink haired girl rummaged her bag after she parked her car. "No way!" she emptied her bag on the vacant seat and scoured again and again. "Gone… no… it's gone!" Checking her gas meter, she sighed painfully then followed by the loud growling of her stomach. The world hates me. My wallet's gone with entire savings… I have enough fuel to drive for only a couple of meters and now my stomach's complaining… really… reality sucks! What the heck am I supposed to do!"

"I'll pay you back when I get a job I promise…" she begged for the countless time. Sakura had no choice. Knowing nobody in the city and having no money did not go well together especially for her. Standing in front of the hotel she just begged to stay in, she glared at it for the longest time as if it would react but then the thunder clapped followed by a heavy down pour. She retreated to the shelter of her car and started to drive away when… thud… thud… the engine begun to make funny noises until it finally stopped. "No…no…no!" she slammed her hands on the steering wheel and glared at the rain.

"Darling… you better get inside before you get cold…" an old voice made its way to her ears. Tearing her glare away from the rain, she looked on the other side of the street to find an old woman beckoning her husband to enter their humble abode. Sakura bit her lip and swallowed hard. The junk shop didn't exactly offer the comfy shelter she was looking for but… all I need is a place to park Arcia. She said to her self as she took off her seat belt, opened the door and ran through the rain.

"Sumimasen…" she shouted from behind the fence. The old man turned around and adjusted his eye glasses to see clearly who the person was. "Yes?" "Ano… can I park my car here for a couple of days? I'll pay you back…" even before she can finish her request "Oh my dear come inside you're soaking wet…" the old lady opened the gate for her. The old lady handed her a towel as they entered their tiny house. "Now… what is it you're asking?" "Um… I was wondering if I can park my car in your place for a couple of days. I'll pay you back I promise." She begged as mentally she had her fingers crossed.

"Oh if it's just a parking space then no problem. You don't have to pay us back too." The old woman smiled at her as did the old man. "Really? No I'll pay you back it's just that I had my share of bad luck today so…" midway through her explanation the old lady signaled for her not to continue so she didn't. "Where will you be staying of your car's here?" Sakura fidgeted and finally answered. "Actually… I'll be in my car," she was afraid to look at them.

"Why don't you stay here with us?" they offered. "Oh no… thanks for the offer but having a place to park my car is more than enough," she answered truthfully. She didn't want to be a burden to anybody especially to the first people to show her hospitality in this busy city. Besides, their house only has space for two people if she decides to live with them, they wouldn't have enough room to breath.

On the next day, Sakura decided to finally make her first step to survive. She needs to find a job. Having her outstanding achievements, it was easy for her to find work but then when she computed her salary versus her expenses, still it wasn't enough. In the end, she passed four interviews. On the mornings of the weekdays, she'll be a saleslady in a pastry shop; on the afternoons she'll be a dishwasher in a restaurant; on the evenings she'll be a maid in a famous hotel plus during the weekdays she'll be a volunteer doctor.

It was a good thing that the uniform's fees are deducted to her first salary so she didn't have to worry about money first since the food is provided by the old couple and her clothes were under the hood of her car. For the first three days her body complained about fatigue and stress but then it got used to it.

Early in the evening, Sakura arrived and surprised the old couple with a cake and a few delicious dishes she brought. "Sakura, why are you so early and where did this come from?" she smiled and said proudly "The manager of the pastry shop was so happy with my performance so she decided to give me a bonus plus the fact that more customers came when I started working she added. The dishes came from the chef of the restaurant. He said my smiles brighten his days and takes away his stress. He treats me like a daughter. The manager of the hotel decided to give me an early dismissal since I did my work in half time." She winked at them.

"Sakura, I think you're starting to kill yourself," the old man joked as the old lady chuckled with Sakura. "No… I'm just determined to find someone." Sakura can't hold back the truth since the couple had been very nice to her. "In truth, I sold my property and everything else just to find my mother. Arcia… my car, is the only thing I have left… it was a gift from my deceased father. I just want to see my mother… that's all. But then I found out that money runs this world so I have to raise it to find her. I don't want to charge anyone when I'm treating them… it's been a dream of mine to help people this way." she revealed as the couple looked at her tenderly. "Dear… stay as long as you like…" "Thank you…"

On one particular afternoon, everyone was tensed since they heard that the head of the restaurant shall be visiting the vicinity. Though not one knew who he was, they started guessing who. Sakura on the other hand wasn't distracted at all. She was washing the remaining dishes when she heard someone scream. The guards chased the suspect as a man lay there with a knife through his chest. Everyone panicked.

As Sakura saw the scene, her doctor's instincts kicked in, she walked through the crowd and knelt over the man. "Miroku-san, call an ambulance quick," she said calmly as she took a small knife, a straw then a bottle of alcohol. She poured the alcohol over the straw and knife then without hesitation she quickly punctured the second space in between the man's ribs and inserted the straw. Within seconds, blood started pouring out of the straw.

Soon enough the ambulance came, everyone was surprised when they heard Sakura giving a detailed medical explanation to the medics.

A blond lady and a handsome red head ran through the white corridors of the hospital. "What happened?" the woman asked he doctor who exited her brother's room. "He had a stab wound. He was very lucky though… there was someone in the restaurant who knows what she's doing. Without her, your brother's lungs would've been filled with blood long before help arrived." The doctor explained.

After a while the two entered the room, "Hey Temari… Gaara!" the bed ridden man called weakly. "Huh? You're pretty pathetic Kankuro… getting stabbed just like that," this was his brother's way of greeting and he was used to it. "Nice to see you too Gaara," "Just look at yourself… bandages and all… sheesh. You're one damn lucky bastard," Temari slapped his brother's arm painfully.

Sakura came home pretty late so she tried to make little noise as possible. She was about to go to her car when she heard the couple's discussion. "Darling… the junk shop will be auctioned off on the end of this month," the old woman said. "I know Chiyo but there's really nothing we can do about it," the old man said sadly. Biting her lips, she went to her car.

Kankuro was released after a few weeks. An assembly was held for all the managers of the restaurant Kankuro owned together with his siblings. "By the way… who was the girl who saved me?" "She is a dishwasher named Haruno, Sakura." The manager of the restaurant answered formally. "Tell her we're expecting her to be in our house tomorrow by eight," Temari joined the discussion. "Hai,"

"What? No… I can't…" Sakura backed away from her boss as he happily tell her their boss' request. "Why not?" her co-workers raised a questioning eyebrow. "I'm not used to such formality… I don't like rich people," she staggered for an excuse. "Oh come on, it's your chance to feel how the 'other half' feels," one of her closest friends elbowed her. "Besides, even of I'd like to go… I don't have anything to wear," she finally made a perfect excuse. "Oh honey, it's not what you got…it's who you know… and what THEY got," her co-workers rejoiced.

Everyone pitched in to lend Sakura something to make her a one-night high-class socialite. The result was stunning… anyone who would look at her right now would she's a princess. The limo was parked right outside the restaurant. Good thing tonight was her day off in the hotel too.

Gaara was so bored. Why did he have to wear a suit if it's just dinner? The discussion between them and their head managers was lively but for him it was always the same. But when a beautiful angel entered the scene, everything was forgotten. She stood right in front of the door way wearing an elegant dress that hugged her curves. Her long pink hair was styled to be wavy this time, her skin is so flawless, her lips were so pink and appears to be soft and her eyes were the most expressive emerald orbs he has ever seen.

Sakura's eyes were immediately met with his. Everything else faded leaving her and this man to look at each other for the longest time. His face is absolutely perfect, his frame is just right, the suit fits him perfectly and the kanji tattoo just adds up to his charms.

"Sakura?" two voices called her simultaneously so she had to tear her gaze away from the man and to the origin of the voice. Upon realizing the pinch she was in, she wished that the floor would just split open to eat her up.

Around the dining table was her superiors in the hotel, the restaurant and the pastry shop. "So you're Sakura, will you join us please?" Kankuro offered his hand and Sakura hesitantly took it. "Good evening… I'm Haruno, Sakura," she bowed slightly before she sat down. "How do you guys know Sakura?" Temari asked the managers. "Well Sakura is the most industrious maid I've seen," the hotel manager proudly said. "Sakura's my best employee and the main asset of the shop," the pastry shop manager added and smiled. "Ano… I'll quit if you want me to," she suggested weakly.

"Quit? Who said anything about quitting?" Kankuro chuckled. "We're just amazed on how you managed your time and strength in all of that?" Temari added up. Without thinking, her stare landed on the man beside Kankuro. When their eyes met, heat rose to their face that they had to turn away. The blond woman saw this and hid her smile as she drank her wine.

Sakura didn't know why she acted like this. It was only a stare from a stranger but it made her knees go weak and made her heart leap a thousand heights. Gaara was confused as well. Ever since Sakura entered the room, he can't take his eyes off her.

It was finally revealed to her that the main owner of all the chain pastry shops was Temari, the chain restaurants were Kankuro's and the hotels were Gaara's… and to top it all up… they're siblings. It really was a small world.

When the dinner concluded, Sakura was claimed by the limo and the other guests left as well. "She's pretty… isn't she… Gaara?" she looked at his younger brother enthusiastically. Gaara merely groaned of his sister's correct trail of thought.

The next day, Gaara called for one of his agents and ordered him to find out as much information as he can on Sakura. In only a few hours, he discovered that she was also a volunteer doctor in a public hospital and that she is living in her car parked in a junk yard.

Sakura was delighted to have a raise in her salary. She was at first reluctant to accept it but after a few 'encouraging advices' from her co-workers she agreed. Today was the last day for the junk yard. Claiming her well-earned salaries, she rushed back to the junk shop but she was welcomed by the couple's sad expression. "What's wrong?" she asked. "The land has been auctioned off," Chiyo said meekly. "What?"

A lawyer presented itself before the couple asking them to sign a few papers. "I want to meet your employer," Sakura courageously ordered as the man merely nodded.

Still wearing her medical uniform, Sakura went into the said place where she'll meet up with the man who bought the land. She stopped dead when she saw the last person she expected to see.

Gaara sat there on the bench wearing a black t-shirt and cargo pants. He looked at Sakura for the longest time. She looks good in anything she wears.

Her eyebrows furrowed, as she approached the man. "Gaara-san… what are you doing here?" she asked. I thought you'd like to meet me?" he replied as he motioned for her to sit next to him. "Then… you're the one that bought Chiyo's property?" he merely nodded. "Onegai… can I please buy it back? I have enough money… I think but if its not enough then… I'll earn it," she pleaded as she kept her eyes fastened on his.

The determination in her eyes was moving. He smirked as he saw this. He drew his face closer to hers so that their breaths met. "Why are you so determined?" he drew closer but she didn't move an inch. "Because that land means a lot to them." He felt her breath on his cheeks. Without hesitation, he leaned forward slowly and closed his eyes.

Sakura didn't know what to do so she mimicked his actions. When she felt his lips brush against hers, her stomach did summer saults and her heart skipped. Gaara felt the same way. Nibbling on her lower lip, he begged for entry and she shyly opened for him. His tongue made its way to her sweet mouth so she imitated him. When the need for air drew them apart, they realized what just transpired and backed away blushing.

There was a long period of silence before Gaara finally spoke "I'm giving it to you as a token of appreciation for saving Kankuro's worthless life. And mind you I don't take 'no' for an answer," he said sternly but was still blushing. Sakura was so overwhelmed with joy that she threw her arms around him and hugged him tightly. Gaara didn't know what to do so he hugged her back while inhaling her fragrance. "Thank you… thank you…" she drew back and placed a kiss on his cheek before running off to deliver the good news.

Gaara touched his cheek. It was surprising how a simple gesture had a huge effect on him then he smiled.

"Sakura… can I ask you an enormous favor?" her closest friend in the restaurant pleaded.

"What Ino?"

"You watched each and every practice I had with Sasuke-kun didn't you?"

"Y-Yes I supposed since you were practicing before the place opens up. Why do you ask?"

Ino grabbed Sakura's hands and "Please… could you take my place?"

"WHAT!" Sakura's green eyes widened in shock.

"You're the only one capable to be his partner. I sprained my ankle and I'm so sure that even if I can move a little, I won't be able to move the way Sasuke wants me too. Please Sakura, this contest means a lot to him and to me. We'll divide the grand prize if we win," she asked desperately with tears forming in her eyes.

"No… it's not the prize. I know you've been practicing really hard for this contest. The money that you will be winning is really allotted for your wedding am I right? I won't take a single cent even if you force me to… it's just that…"

"What is it Sakura?"

Sakura fidgeted under her stare. "The moves you two practiced are really… uhh… physically… err… challenging. Are you sure you're not going to mind him dancing with me?"

Ino laughed a loud until her sides hurt. "Sakura I trust you… and I trust him too… that's how it works and that's why you're the only one I asked to replace me... so is that a 'yes'?"

Sakura smiled at her. Ino hugged her tightly as she thanked her repeatedly.

Good thing she had a four hour interval before her evening job. She met up with Sasuke and Ino on the said five-star hotel with a very sexy dress that Ino lent her.

The dance floor was cleared to let the couples take their place. The music started and soon they began dancing. Sakura focused on the dance and nothing more although she's been feeling that somebody's watching her heatedly.

Three esteemed personalities eyed the couple as they continued on with their ballroom dancing. A pair of green eyes never left Sakura as soon as she entered the dance floor. Gaara was first surprised when Temari asked him "Hey is that… Sakura?" his eyes immediately darted to where her finger pointed out. The pink hair was a damn give away and sure enough it was Sakura… she's the only one who has that effect on him.

His gaze traveled to the man beside her. He's a good-looking man with raven black spiked hair and onyx eyes. When the music began, Gaara's blood boiled when his hands traveled in Sakura's cleavage and down to her long legs. It was then followed by numerous 'sensual steps' that only couples can do. It was like having sex on the dance floor. They were in the closest way possible without being one. But he can't deny how good this guy dances and how elegant Sakura moves.

It was not surprising that they got the interest of almost everyone in the room. "The winner is… couple number… two!" the announcer declared Sakura smiled widely as she shook hands with her partner. "Thank you," Sasuke said as he continually shook her hand. Sakura gestured for Ino to come over so the blond lady did. "Congratulations… why don't we celebrate," she suggested. "Gomen Ino, I have work in like (checking her watch)… now," she kissed Ino's cheeks and waved the both of them goodbye.

Sakura was making her way to the exit but she had to turn around when she smelled something vaguely familiar. I know this scent… it's… she turned around to find Gaara and his siblings a few feet away from her. Temari and Kankuro looked at her with smiles on their faces while Gaara was scowling. "Temari-san, Kankuro-san… Gaara-san," she made a slight bow.

"You're one heck pf a dancer Sakura. Maybe you should teach me," her blond boss winked at her. "Don't even go there," Kankuro interrupted so he gained a huge bump on the head. Sakura was blushing terribly but when she met the eyes of Gaara she flushed even more. "Gomen… but I have to go now… I'll be late for work…" "Don't worry about it," Gaara cut her statements and looked at her.

Temari and Kankuro decided to make themselves scarce. The lights dimmed and the music played a soft tune. Gaara grabbed her hand and dragged her in the dance floor. As soon as they were there, he placed his hands on her hips making her swallow hard. Sakura then placed her hands around his neck and soon they began dancing. Their silence was substituted by the conversation between their eyes for as soon as they began dancing their eyes never left each other's.

The next day, Sakura was on duty in the public hospital. Her head started throbbing painfully. She overheard…"Hey did you see the man candy outside? He's so damn hot!" one nurse gossiped cheerfully. Sakura exited the hospital and saw a figure leaning against a motorbike. Upon clearer view, she mentally panicked as she realized it was "Gaara," the man wearing a black jacket and black pants walked to her "You're tired why don't I give you a ride?" he didn't wait for her reply instead he handed her a helmet and started heading back to his motorcycle. Sakura stared after him incredulously. When he said he doesn't take 'no' for an answer he mean it. She followed after him.

At first, Sakura's hands were on his shoulders but when he sped up she had to put them around his waist. She rejoiced in his warmth and scent. Being tired and all, she had to lay her head on his back. Gaara was more than happy to feel this. He wanted her warmth so he sped up just to make her closer. When he felt her arms losing their grip he had to stop.

Sakura fell forward unconscious. "Oi… what's wrong?" he was mentally panicking but kept his cool. He carried her bridal style and drove off.

Her emerald eyes fluttered open. Hearing someone say "It's because of over fatigue and stress," finally it occurred to her that she was lying on a very soft bed in a very luxurious bedroom. The door then opened and a man entered the room.

"Gaara-san," she sat up abruptly making blood rush to her head. Her vision blurred so she staggered forward. A pair of strong arms caught her and laid her back on the bed. Muttering her thanks, she touched her aching head. "I called Kankuro and Temari and told them you were resigning," he crossed his muscled arms in front of his chest. "What!" she sat up again but he forced her back down. "A famous designer saw you in the hotel and decided to make you her model… her offer is much higher compared to the salary you get even if the three were put together," he added arrogantly.

"But…" "I told you… I don't take 'no' for an answer," she blushed as he placed his palm over her forehead. "You're a doctor right? You should know the limits of your body… you work too much…" "Thanks…"

She closed her eyes gradually but when she felt his hands touch her face she opened them again. Gaara can't fight the urge to touch her… she was there in front of him. His thumb stroked her cheek as she closed her eyes to feel the full effect of the sensation he was giving her. One of her hands covered his. He knelt then leaned forward to claim her lips and she did the same.

Sakura's career as a model sky rocketed because of her stunning beauty. On every photo-shot and fashion show, Gaara was there watching her proudly as Sakura always spared her a cute smile as she walked down the cat walk and posed for a shot. It wasn't surprising when they started dating. Sakura was first reluctant to be with a man of higher status but when his siblings showed approval, they began going out.

"Gaara-kun… can you please take me to the north end cemetery?" she requested him as he drove his motorcycle. "Why?" "I found mom…" she replied shortly and upon instinct he didn't asked further.

She stood there, silent. Reading the cracked tombstone, she broke down. Gaara held her all through out. "I'm here," he whispered as he stroked her hair. "I know," she looked up and he bent his head. Her eyes turned into slits as they shared a passionate kiss.

A/N: Okay… that was the end of my idea. Tell me what do you think? Read and Review please.