(Disclaimer: Naruto and all of its characters belong to Masashi Kishimoto.)
Gaara stared dully at the onyx sky above him, hardly aware of his surroundings or anything that was going on. He sat alone under a tall pine tree, ivory snowflakes melting against his skin as they fell. He hardly noticed how absolutely frigid he felt, for he was deep in thought. It was two o'clock in the morning, and he was sitting outside of Uzumaki's Naruto's house, pondering to himself. Despite his damp and shivering exterior, inside he felt… warm. And it confused him.
He lifted his hand slowly and tugged gently at the location of his heart. It didn't hurt. For the first time in eighteen years, he felt no pain in his heart. And he was confused by this. He'd never felt like this before, ever. How was he supposed to react? Was it a good thing? Should he see a doctor?
The single word uttered across his mind. Gaara had never been in love. He had loved Yashamaru once, but it didn't feel the same as this. It was warmer, more controlling. He couldn't stop feeling it for a moment. At first he just thought he was going insane, but he pondered the words Yashamaru told him long ago. And he wondered: Was it love? He wouldn't know. But it was the only conclusion he could come up with for this peculiar feeling.
Gaara eyes wandered over to the figure he was being addressed by.
'What are you doing here this late? Me, I couldn't sleep.'
Gaara didn't answer. He simply stared. And stared. And stared.
It was him. Gaara felt this hopelessly incurable feeling whenever he talked to, thought about, or even glanced at Naruto. And because of this, he became afraid of him. He wondered if it was some kind of curse, or hypnosis. He explained this feeling of excitement and insecurity to Temari, hoping maybe she had some knowledge of whatever Naruto was trying to do to him. Temari blinked her eyes in thought, and after a few moments of pondering, she grinned amusingly at Gaara, and said simply:
Gaara stared at her with an expression that read plainly: It couldn't be.
Yet now, he vaguely wondered if she was right all along.
Gaara lifted his hand, beckoning Naruto to come closer to him. Naruto smiled softly, then trudged over to him through the dense snow with his arms folded. He claimed the spot beside Gaara beneath the white pine, bundling up to himself to feel warmer. Naruto glanced over at Gaara.
'Aren't you cold?' he asked innocently, pulling his knees tighter to his chest.
Gaara did not answer; he stared at Naruto for a moment, their eyes locked. Then, hesitantly, he reached out his hand and brushed his fingers against Naruto's cheek. It felt so warm compared to his nearly frozen fingertips. Naruto made a naïve, dazed expression, cocking his head to the side in confusion.
'Do you love me?'
The question was plain, and hardly audible; but because the streets were deadly silent, Naruto heard it clearly, although he wasn't sure if he wanted to. He shyly looked away from Gaara, not wanting to make eye contact with him.
For a few moments, the world was still, Naruto was silent, and Gaara didn't dare to breathe.
Then, with an awkward, hushed sigh, he answered with his head still turned away, 'No.'
Gaara didn't comprehend. Suddenly the world was blurred. He couldn't see. He couldn't process what was going on. The next thing he knew he was on top of Naruto in the freezing snow, crushing his lips against his, ignoring the wriggling and protests that came out of the object of his admiration. Or rather, obsession. He tangled his fingers into his sunlit hair, littered with snowflakes. He ran his tongue eagerly through his mouth, savoring every taste. He grinded against him until there wasn't a single space left between them. He teasingly began lifting Naruto's shirt. He couldn't control himself. He didn't want to. It was perfect. It was real. It was everything he ever wanted; ever needed.
… What was this warm liquid running down his cheeks? Snowflakes are supposed to be cold.
Gaara lifted his head, looking down in horror.
He was crying.
His angel was crying.
And it was his fault.
He came back to his senses, trying to process what was going on. He just kneeled there, above him, shell-shocked. Without a second thought, Naruto pushed him away and ran back into the safety of his home. Gaara remained where he was, not moving a muscle, seeming to be in a trance.
After a few minutes passed by, he timidly raised his hand and grabbed his chest. The pain was there again. He was suddenly aware of the freezing winter air around him. His mind was blank. He felt numb. He felt ashamed. But most of all, he felt lonely. He felt the way he used to feel everyday: unloved, forgotten, betrayed.
And Gaara remained loveless yet again.