Author's Note: This will have some intense scenes with our two lead characters. So if you don't like it, don't read it. This isn't my best work so constructive criticism is helpful.

A blood red sun shone down upon the two shinobi. A beam of light reflected off one of the forehead proctors, disappearing into the sky. Rock Lee lay sprawled on the ground, hands behind his head and feet crossed. He glanced at his companion and could only wonder what thoughts hid behind his silent, emotionless features. Gaara leaned forward, one elbow resting on his drawn up knee while his other leg stretched out in front of him. His eyes wandered skyward and his mind drifted into the calm nothingness that he'd discovered; of course this was only after being beaten by one Uzumaki Naruto.

'I hope Naruto is able to reach Uchiha.' Lee thought with a sigh. 'Although neither has said anything…well, no one loves Sasuke more then Naruto does. And I had thought that Sasuke had felt the same way. Maybe we were all wrong.' Lee twisted his head and looked at Gaara. "Hey Gaara?" He got no response but continued anyway. "Why did you come back?"

Slowly, Gaara turned piercing eyes to look at him. Within the misty depths, Lee glimpsed site of a world beyond his comprehension. He gulped and waited. Just when he was about to give up on getting an answer, Gaara opened his mouth to utter a single word, "Business." Rock Lee gave him a droll stare. 'Well no kidding? I never would have guessed.'

"Why are you here? This should have been Naruto's fight, not yours." Lee was taken aback by the question.

"Well, it's because we're all teammates, we're all friends. That's what we do. It's all apart of being a ninja; helping out others and being there for your fellow shinobi."

Gaara gave him what Lee could only interpret as confusion. "Friends?"

"Yeah," Lee gave him a smile, "you know; people you hang out with and share your secrets with, people you trust and respect."

Gaara looked down at upturned palms. "I've never had a friend before."

Using his hands, Lee pushed himself up. "What do you mean? You can't tell me that you've seriously never had a friend before."

Gaara didn't look up as images from his childhood slid through his mind like a never-ending movie. "Everyone I've ever met, everyone I've ever known, look at me with fear. I have no friends. I have no true companions."

Lee made a fist with his hand before sticking it out towards Gaara. "Fine! Then I'll be your first friend! The happiness and vitality of youth shall not be taken by the ignorance of cowards!"

Gaara stared at the hand for a long time. A strange feeling swept him and his chest began to throb. Unlike previous times though, the pain in his chest felt nice; it was the most foreign feeling he had ever experienced. With a shaking arm, Gaara placed his hand in Lee's. Rock Lee grasped it with a comforting pressure and grinned. Lee stood, dragging a dazed Gaara to his feet. "You were heading to Konoha right?" Gaara gave a swift nod. "Then let me treat you to some dinner and a cup of sake."

"Friends do this?"

"All the time!"