Yes well, I know must of you are going to kill me for posting something new up instead of updating one of my other stories but I beg you to have mercy! xD I promise you will like it! (crosses her fingers)

I was halfway through the next chapter of Flowers in the rain when an idea hit me directly in the head and I simply couldn't let it go. There's a cold front hitting my country right now and it sort of inspired me to write this. You know me, I sit down with the intention to write a chapter for a specific fic and I end up writing something else altogether.

Don't worry, this story is already 90 percent complete. I wrote most of it in one go. I'm posting it up in two separate chapters because I didn't get to finish or proof read the second part on time so I'll be posting that one in the following days. So no worries, I will get back to work on my other stories right away.

This is actually an experimental fic, since I wanted to try out a different version of Gaara. When I say different, it means that I want to show another aspect of what his arrogance can be… so you can expect him to be tricky, manipulative and out to get what he wants. Don't we just love him?

So I know there might be mistakes and the characterization might seem strange at first but I'm just playing with things here. If it turns out alright, I might be inspired to write another fic. I'm rating it M just in case.

But enough talk already, on with the show!

Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters of Naruto. This story was meant for entertainment purposes only.



Sakura shivered as she rode the elevator down to the first floor of the hospital. Even though the whole building was engulfed in the delicious warmth of its powerful heating system, the pink haired doctor knew that the first freezing winds of winter were blowing outside…winds she would have to face when she ended her shift in around an hour.

Usually, she looked forward to the end of her day but not this time. She had recently realized that her heater, used to bring a toasty warm atmosphere to the insides of her small house, had broken and had been taken apart by the repairman in an attempt to have it ready for the first winter storms. She wasn't so lucky however, since it seemed that everyone who had a broken down heating system had decided to repair it at the same time as she and the spare parts that she needed replaced would take around week to arrive. Thus, she would have to face the beginning of winter engulfed in layers of warm clothing inside her house just to be able to sleep at night.

'You should check your heater as soon as you can.'

Sakura could hear Hinata's voice clearly inside her head, could hear the warning her friend had given her a couple of weeks ago, just before the cold front had hit the city directly. As she was wont to do, the pink haired doctor had nodded her head and had proceeded to forget all about it in the next couple of minutes. She could be such a bird brain sometimes.

Thinking that she might be able to crash at Ino's place in the meantime, Sakura's train of thought was interrupted when the elevator doors opened and she stepped out into the corridor of the emergency sector of the hospital. People were everywhere, running up and down while trying to get to where they were supposed to be. Doctors tried to calm patients down while parents asked where their injured son or daughter was. On the surface, it all seemed like utter chaos but Sakura knew that beneath it all, there was a strange order that reigned in this part of the hospital. She had received a call saying that the ER was completely full and thus, she had volunteered to spend the last hour of her shift down here to help out.

And as it was usually the case when she showed up, she was approached before she could take two steps out of the elevator.

"Dr. Haruno!" a young intern yelled while making her way towards Sakura in a hurry. "I'm so glad you're here. This way please."

"Sure, Nariko, lead the way."

Turning round to follow the young woman down a separate hallway, the pink haired doctor was given the details of what she would be facing without her needing to ask.

"A group of four men came in recently and were beaten up pretty badly. From what we can tell and from witness accounts, they were trying to mug a twelve year old boy…"

"What?" Sakura asked in shock. "Is the boy alright?"

"Yes, we took care of him first, obviously. He only had a couple of minor bruises," Nariko said, reassuring the more experienced doctor.

"Good," the pink haired doctor replied, completely relieved. You simply wouldn't be able to believe the things that happened out on the streets if you didn't have to deal with them in here.

"The thing is, it seems the boy was rescued by a single man… and from what the muggers say, he was the one that delivered the damage to all of them."

Sakura could only raise an elegant eyebrow in question at her, clearly sceptical.

Nariko smiled as they turned the corner of the hallway. "See for yourself."

The pink haired doctor turned emerald eyes towards the new corridor they were now facing. Surprise filtered across her face at the sight that suddenly appeared before her. Three of the four men Nariko had been talking about were sitting on a long bench against one of the walls, waiting to be treated. Their faces were swollen and large bruises were starting to form on their foreheads and cheeks. One of them seemed to be holding his arm against his chest in pain while another one was clutching his leg desperately.

"We have two broken arms and a dislodged knee cap," Nariko said in an unbelieving tone, as if she hadn't come to terms with the facts yet. "The one that's missing was taken away for some x-rays since he received some considerable damage to his ribs."

Sakura only stared with incredulous green eyes at the scene before her. This wasn't a beating, this was carnage.

But before she could speculate further about the whole thing, she saw a boy sitting some distance down the hall on another bench; he was eyeing the men with a look of apprehension in his gaze. Without thinking twice, Sakura walked quickly over to him and kneeled in front of him.

"Hi there sweety," she said to him in a soft voice. "Are you okay?"

The boy turned to look down at her and blushed to the roots of his short brown hair when he was abruptly confronted by the sight of the prettiest doctor he had ever seen.

"Y-yes, thank you ma'am," he stuttered in response.

"Do you want to tell me what happened?" Sakura asked, wanting to know all the details.

"I was running some errands for my mother but I was running late. So I took a short cut through Cozamer Street…"

Sakura instantly grimaced at the name of the road. Everyone knew that that sector of town was plagued by thieving gangs.

"I know it was stupid of me," the boy said at seeing her expression, "but my mother needed the medicines I had gone out to buy so I needed to hurry."

Placing her hand on his, the pink haired doctor silently reassured him so he could continue.

"I was surrounded by them," he said while pointing at the men down the hall, "when I was halfway down the street. They wanted to take my money but I didn't have any. Then they took my mother's medicine away from me and when I tried to take it back, they kicked me out of the way."

Emerald eyes sparked with sudden anger and Sakura suddenly felt glad that the thugs had been beaten so badly. How could anyone do such a thing to a child?

"It would've ended much worse if the redheaded stranger hadn't shown up," the boy said, his eye lighting up at the memory. "He took them all of them on at the same time and they had knives too! You should've seen him! He moved like lighting!"

Sakura raised both her eyebrows and opened her eyes widely, pretending to be amazed. In truth, she was clearly sceptical concerning the boy's account but she allowed him to continue. It wouldn't do to spoil his fantasies, not at a moment like this.

"He got hit by them too, but it wasn't as bad as any of them."

"So he rescued you, then?" the pink haired doctor said with a smile.

"Yes! He's the best!" the boy replied.

"Well, I'm glad you're alright," she said while standing up. "Be more careful next time."

"Yes, ma'am, I will."

"Now, I know this is going to sound awful, but I need to go over there and treat the ones that attacked you… but don't worry," she added with a wink, "I'll make sure it hurts."

The boy smiled widely up at her.

Turning around, Sakura was confronted by Nariko once more. "Who do I start with?" the pink haired doctor asked, gesturing towards the injured men.

"Well, with none of them in fact," the young intern replied, a glint of mischief in her eyes. "You see, we have all decided that you will have the privilege of treating the boy's saviour."

Sakura raised threw a questioning look her way as Nariko handed her a clipboard with the man's information. "And why is that?" she asked.

"Well…" the young intern said, looking away momentarily, "we think someone with your expertise will be needed to handle him."

The pink haired doctor simply stared at her silently for a few seconds.

It didn't take long for Nariko to succumb to the pressure. "He's kind of difficult, Dr. Haruno. He didn't want to be treated by anyone when he came in. In fact, he tried to jump out of the ambulance when he was brought here. He's shouted and cursed at everyone that has tried to go into the room he's in and he hasn't let anyone get near him."

Sakura groaned. Why did she always get the nutcases?

"He's definitely not the hero the young boy paints him to be," Nariko said. "So, we will leave him in your capable hands!"

And with that, the young intern turned on her heels and basically fled down the corridor.

The pink haired doctor signed in resignation as she looked down at the clipboard and went over the information written there.

Name: Gaara. Age: 25. Height: 6'0.

From the details that were given, he had been injured in the arm by a one of the knives the muggers had branded. He was currently located in examination room 54b, which could be found a few doors down the hall.

Breathing in deeply one last time, Sakura made her way towards the appointed room. Without hesitation, she opened the door and stepped inside. The worst thing you could do with these types of cases was to show any weakness. He needed to learn that the she was the doctor here and the sooner he did, the sooner this whole thing would be over.

She looked up then and her eyes fell on the man sitting on the examination table.

Fiery jade met determined emerald in the complete silence of the small room.

Sakura tried to react but found that her body wasn't responding.

'Well, someone could have warned me that he was a complete hotty!' she exclaimed inside her mind as she took in the sight of the man before her.

His short crimson hair was dishevelled and she had the impression that he always wore it that way. His face was round but there was nothing soft about it. The hard lines of his cheekbones and chin clearly showed the façade of a man who was used to fighting and the set of his eyes evidently told her that he never backed down from an opponent. This was all made even more apparent by the red kanji tattoo on his forehead. 'Love' it read… love for the fight, most probably.

But it was those jade orbs that were staring directly at her that made her breath catch. There was such intensity reflected inside them that the pink haired doctor thought she would be overwhelmed. There was an aura on hidden power surrounding him, as if there was a demon hidden inside of him that he could barely control and that he could unleash upon the world when he willed. It was clear that he was used to having his way and was accustomed to intimidating whoever came near him.

Sakura shifted her eyes momentarily and noticed there was a jacket on the table beside him. There was emblem on one of its sleeves and even from this distance, she could read the words 'Suna Kyokushin' written underneath the kanji of the insignia.

It all suddenly made sense.

'No wonder he seems to emanate violence,' Sakura thought. 'These martial artists and their passion for fighting.'

Now that she knew were she stood, Sakura knew she wouldn't have any problems dealing with him… not after having had another kyokushin fighter for a best friend all her life.

"I'm Dr. Haruno Sakura," she said politely as she walked up to him. She knew very well that he wanted to intimidate her but she wasn't going to fall for his schemes. If he wanted her to back down and stay away from him, then she would do exactly the opposite and treat him like any other person.

But it was then that he smiled at her… technically.

His lips parted and showed his teeth but in truth, you really couldn't call it a smile. It was more like a smirk… like the grin of a hunting feline when it is about to bring down its prey.

Sakura felt a shiver run down her spine as if something was warning her about the man in front of her. But she gave herself a mental shake and hardened her resolve. She wasn't going to back down, ever.

"You're Gaara, right?" she asked, while looking momentarily at the clipboard to make sure she had gotten his name right.

He nodded at her but said nothing, that devilish grin still plastered across his face.

"Well, let's see what the damage is then," she said with a sigh as she walked up to him to examine his injury.


So this was what his tantrums had brought him. Chuckling inwardly, Gaara was suddenly glad that he had cursed at all those interns that had come in and had sent all of them running out the door. If he hadn't done so, then she would never have come in to treat him.

He knew the tactic well and was, in fact, expecting it. When confronted with an enraged and difficult male, throwing a pacifying and pretty female at him was the logical thing to do. Gaara had been prepared to bring down whatever would-be doctor they threw his way but was caught completely off guard when Dr. Haruno walked through the door.

He was expecting pretty, but he never thought she would be this beautiful.

The verbal attacks he had planned to bring her weeping to her knees were suddenly drowned inside his head and were replaced by something else altogether… especially when he saw that stubborn glint in her gorgeous emerald eyes. His body reacted immediately to her and if there was something the red headed fighter had learned throughout his life, it was to trust in his body's reactions.

As a kyokushin fighter, he was completely aligned with his ki and had confidence in its responses. It was his ki that allowed him to measure up his opponents and allowed him to read his adversary's movements beforehand during a fight. By training hard throughout many years, he had become an expert ki reader and could tell many things about a person by just tuning in to their energy flows and this was why he had become such an amazing fighter and had a couple of World Championship titles under his arm.

This also meant that he was an excellent judge of character and could tell if the person was an idiot the moment he first met them. Usually, people would revolt him and he would steer clear from them, gaining himself the reputation of an unapproachable loner. Evidently, he didn't give a shit about what people thought and he actually welcomed such rumours about himself so that people would leave him alone. Thus, it was completely noteworthy when a stranger caught his attention and it was striking to find that his ki was utterly attracted to the woman in front of him.

The game of 'destroy anyone who walks through that door' he had planned on playing dissolved completely and was replaced by another type of game… one that could bring very interesting results if he played it right.

Gaara watched her as she approached and surveyed his arms, trying to discern which one it was that was injured. She spotted the gash on the right sleeve of his navy blue t-shirt almost instantly and brought her hands up to examine it.

"Could you please take off your shirt?" Sakura asked.

'This is going to be too easy,' Gaara thought in malice as he did what he was told.

The pink haired girl felt the warmth of her blush start to cover her face when her eyes inevitably fell upon his muscled abdomen, but she fought it down fiercely. This wasn't the first time she saw a shirtless man in her life… there was nothing to be nervous about.

But this is the first time that you see such a perfect specimen of a man's torso Inner Sakura interrupted in glee while ogling openly at the man.

The pink haired doctor tried to silence her inner voice but she knew she was right. Gaara's abdomen could only be described as perfect; his muscles were perfectly outlined and there didn't seem to be an ounce of fat on him. And she wouldn't start on his chest and shoulders… no, she would definitely not go there…

Years of practicing her control under the most stressful medical situations allowed Sakura to regain her concentration in milliseconds and to focus on the task at hand. Grabbing his arm gently, she started to undo the bloody bandages that had been wrapped temporarily over the wound.

Oh my god, the feel of his bicep! Inner Sakura exclaimed before she fainted.

The pink haired doctor glared at her inner persona but the damage had been done. Unconsciously, she started to feel the muscles underneath her hands and she had to fight down the raging hormones that wanted to spread across her body.

'Haruno Sakura,' she told herself fiercely. 'This is a patient you are talking about here… a complete and utter stranger that needs your help. Get a hold of yourself.'

That seemed to do the trick and her body calmed down immediately, allowing her to continue with what she was doing.

Gaara had to congratulate her for being able to hide her reactions on the outside perfectly but his ki senses couldn't be fooled. He could read her like an open book and he chuckled inwardly in wickedness. It was only natural for her to react the way she did… any female would react in such a way to his body, he was very aware of that. But the fact that she didn't make any lewd comments about it or hadn't tried to make him aware of her attraction made her stand out even more. The red headed fighter was used to women who threw themselves all over him at the first opportunity, making their desire for him blatant. Sakura's reactions clearly told him that she was above all that.

A woman who held herself high in life spoke clearly of confidence… something he found incredibly attractive.

Sakura finally managed to get the bandages out of the way and let out a loud hiss at the sight of the injury on Gaara's arm. It wasn't bleeding anymore but it didn't look good.

"Oh dear, what did they do to you?" she said unbelievingly, but she really wasn't expecting an answer to her question. Confronted with the sight of the awful and deep gash across the red head's upper arm, she went to work immediately.

"Did anyone clean this properly?" she asked, looking up at him with disturbed eyes.

Gaara marvelled at the sight of her going into 'professional mode'. Even though she had suddenly slipped into her role of qualified doctor, she still held genuine concern for the patients she treated.

He shook his head in answer to her question.

Sakura cursed loudly, much to the fighter's surprise. "Such irresponsible dimwits," she said, standing up immediately. "We might need to give you a vaccine… we don't know where the knife that cut you has been."

Jade eyes widened but said nothing, admiring the way she walked around the office with an air of authority and found the things she needed.

The pink haired doctor knew she should be a bit nervous at the fact that her patient hadn't spoken a single word to her during all this time even though she had been told that he had been extremely 'expressive' with all the other interns that had come in to see him. But she shoved her worries to the back of her mind; this was not a time to ponder about the odd behaviour of the man she was treating.

Placing the things she would need to clean and stitch the wound next to where Gaara was sitting, she turned round and walked towards the door. She stuck her head out into the hall and gave an angry shout at someone, demanding that they bring her something with a weird name that she needed.

When she turned round to face him once again, the red head approved of the wrathful glint in her eyes and thought that she looked even more stunning when angered. He wondered what he needed to do for her to look at him with such intensity.

"This might hurt," Sakura warned as she pulled up a chair to sit down next to him. She took out the antiseptic she needed to clean the wound and proceeded with the task.

She was amazed to see him take the stinging antibacterial without even flinching once, even though she was completely sure that the pain he was experiencing was terrible. His face was utterly serious but his expression didn't waver at all. She was careful with her ministrations and was extra cautious so that she didn't provoke any further discomfort.

When she was done with the cleaning, a man entered the door while carrying a tray. Gaara recognized him as one of the interns that had tried to treat him before. The red head glared openly at him.

"Dr. Haruno," the man said while trying to avoid the jade stare piercing through him, "here's the vaccine you requested."

"Put it on the table, Sachio. Thank you," Sakura replied offhandedly as she proceeded to thread the needle she would use to suture Gaara's arm.

The intern placed the tray where he was told and proceeded to run out of the room, completely amazed at Dr. Haruno's abilities and how she had managed to subdue that madman.

Once he was gone, Sakura finished with the needle and sprayed some anaesthetic over the wound so she could stitch it. While she waited for it to take effect, her eyes fell on Gaara's jacket once more.

"So you're a kyokushin fighter. That explains the beating you gave those men outside," she said with a chuckle.

The red head only looked at her but didn't say anything, a strange feeling surging up inside him. People never started a casual conversation with him… they were usually too afraid to even draw near him. He knew there was something about his appearance that made him completely unapproachable. But here she was, talking to him nonchalantly like if he were any other person in the world. His interest towards her suddenly increased immensely.

"My best friend's a kyokushin fighter too…he's actually obsessed with it." she added after a moment while rolling her eyes.

"What's his name?" Gaara asked.

Sakura blinked several times. He had actually spoken to her!

Who would've thought that his voice was so deep and sexy? Inner Sakura interrupted… yet again.

"Uzumaki Naruto," Sakura replied, ignoring her inner persona.

She saw his jade eyes widen in shock.

"You're a friend of the Raging Fox?" he asked unbelievingly.

"Unfortunately sometimes, but yes," Sakura said, not knowing why he was so surprised. "We've known each other since before we could walk."

He merely stared at her, as if his opinion of her had suddenly shifted in a positive way.

"I've fought against him," the red head stated seriously after a moment.

"Really? When?" Sakura asked as she finished readying the needle.

"Last year, at the World Championship finals," he said.

Now it was Sakura's turn to be surprised.

"What?" she asked in shock. "He was completely obsessed with that fight! He recounted it like 5 thousand times afterwards, saying that it was the toughest fight he had ever had and that he had barely managed to win…"

She suddenly looked up at him as if remembering something important.

"Holy shit!" she exclaimed but brought her hand over her mouth after realized what she had just said. Her surprise didn't lessen however. "You're the Crimson Death!"

He chuckled slightly. "A pleasure to make your acquaintance."

Sakura gaped openly at him, suddenly realizing who she was talking to. Everything Naruto had told her about this man came crashing into her mind. He had been World Champion twice and was going for his third win when her blond friend had finally managed to bring down his reign. He was a calculating and vicious fighter with a troubled past but had managed to overcome his hindrances and had risen in the ranks of kyokushin like no one before. The Crimson Death was a legend in the martial arts world, said to be able to take on an army single-handedly if he wanted to.

And from what Sakura had witnessed from the men outside, she realized that this statement wasn't exactly false.

"Wow," she said under her breath. "And what are you doing in town?"

"I came as part of an exchange program between dojos. I'm actually stationed at the same academy as your friend."

"Really? And for how long have you been here?" Sakura asked with a smile but realized she really needed to get on with her stitching before the anaesthesia wore off. "Wait a second, can you feel this?"

She touched the edges of the wound carefully as she spoke.

"No," the red head answered.

"Good," she said and started to suture the wound.

Gaara watched her work silently for a few moments before realizing that she had asked him a question. Usually, he wouldn't involve himself in such conversations, but his ki kept reacting to her closeness and it would not be ignored. Besides, if this was someone the Raging Fox approved of, then she was definitely worth his time.

"I've been here for 2 months," he told her.

"Now that I think about it, Naruto did mention something about some visitors coming to the dojo" Sakura said thoughtfully. "But he's always overexcited about anything that has to do with kyokushin so I didn't pay much attention."

Gaara only looked at her but said nothing, allowing keep working without any further disturbance. In the end, the gash on his arm required twelve stitches and would definitely leave a mark.

"I just need to give you your vaccine and then you can go," Sakura said with a smile as she stood up to get the small syringe that Sachio had left on an adjacent table.

As she turned back towards him, she caught him staring at her with a curious expression in his eyes. She averted her gaze from his face instinctively only for it to fall upon his muscled chest.

That's what I'm talking about! Inner Sakura exclaimed in satisfaction.

He pink haired doctor refused to be interrupted her lascivious inner voice and ignored her comment entirely.

Applying the injection on his opposite arm quickly, the pink haired doctor decreed that Gaara was good to go.

"I know it's useless to tell you to avoid any fights while you have your stitches, so I'm just going to ask you to be careful. You can come back in one week to take them off," she told him as he put his shirt back on.

The red head nodded at her when he stood up.

It was then that Sakura realized how tall he was. She admired his well-built frame for a moment but before she could embarrass herself, she started to put away the equipment she had used.

"At what time do you get out?" he asked abruptly.

She was completely taken aback by his question since had expected him walk out the door immediately.

"Like in 25 minutes," she said while glancing at the clock on the wall, not knowing exactly why she was answering his question.

"Good," he said before making his way towards the exit and walking through the door without even looking back.

Completely confused at his behaviour, Sakura shook her head to rearrange her thoughts and continued to organize the small examination room.

It was only a few minutes after that she realized that he hadn't even said thank you.


Some time later, the pink haired doctor stood before the sliding double doors of the hospital's exit, bracing herself for the cold. At least it wasn't snowing… yet.

She tightened her coat around her and made sure that her scarf was safely secured around her neck. Closing her eyes, she stepped forward and walked unto the busy sidewalk of the city's 5 o'clock rush hour.

She had taken longer to leave the emergency room than she would've thought and had been forced to work overtime so she could treat the last of the patients on her shift. Now she was completely exhausted and wanted nothing more than to head home so she could collapse on her couch and watch TV.

Intent on reaching her destination as soon as possible, she stepped forward and joined the throng of pedestrians on the sidewalk.

But she was stopped after only a few steps by a deep familiar voice.

"That was longer than 25 minutes," Gaara said, annoyance evident in his tone.

Sakura stopped abruptly and turned to look at him. He was wearing his kyokushin jacket now, its hood covering his head and his breath came out in white clouds from the cold.

The pink haired doctor instinctively started to voice an apology in response to the tone of his voice when she caught herself in mid sentence. She suddenly realized that she really didn't need to explain herself to him… she had just met him!

"What are you doing here?" she asked instead.

"Waiting for you," he replied casually, as if it were the most normal thing in the world.

Sakura gaped up at him at a loss for words. He was waiting for her?

"Why?" she said after a few moments.

He simply looked at her and shrugged his shoulders in response.

"But…" Sakura started to say but her voice failed her. She really didn't understand what was going on here. "Well, I'm actually going home…"

"I'll walk you then," he replied quickly.

She started to voice a protest but realized that it was useless when she saw a glint of stubbornness in his jade eyes. He was clearly up to something but she didn't know exactly what that something was. His façade was completely serious and he there wasn't a single hint of uncertainty or hesitation in his voice. He was completely sure of what he was doing and she suddenly admired his self-confidence.

It wasn't any man who had the courage to approach a woman in such a direct way.

Without saying anything, she turned to walk down the street, surrounded by the throng of people making their way home as well. He fell into step right beside her with ease. They walked for a few minutes in silence, engulfed by the sounds of the city.

"This could be considered stalking, you know," she said to him while they waited for the red light at a corner.

He only chuckled in mirth at her statement but said nothing.

They crossed the street along with all the other pedestrians and made their way down the opposite sidewalk. Sakura's bus stop was located somewhere nearby and they would reach it soon enough.

"It was a great thing that you did for that little boy today," she said out of nowhere.

Gaara merely nodded in acknowledgement.

"No everyone would've gone out of their ways to defend, especially not against for adult men."

"I lived through it myself many times when I was young," he told her, his jade eyes taking on a glint of anger. "It was impossible for me to leave the boy alone."

Sakura turned to look at him with a concerned look but didn't say anything else. She realized it was a touchy subject and it was best for her to steer clear of it.

They reached her bus stop and Sakura came to stand at the end of the line of people that were waiting for the bus as well.

"And here I thought that all doctors had enough money to buy a car," Gaara said snidely as he came to stand next to her.

"Well, not all doctors have a scholarship loan to pay!" she exclaimed defensively, her mouth settling into a pout at his statement.

That feline grin he had given her before returned to his face as he looked down at her and a small glint of pleasure was shining from his eyes. It was then that Sakura realized that he was provoking her on purpose.

She simply shook her head and she realized that he was probably a really difficult person to deal with. Now, it was all the more evident that he was used to having his way and that he would be easily angered if things didn't work out how he wanted them to. His jade eyes reflected a nasty temper and she was sure that he was violent when riled. He spoke his thoughts without even thinking if they would hurt the other person and wasn't at all affected by the consequences that his words might bring.

'I always get the nutcases,' Sakura thought for that second time that day, sighing in resignation.

She looked at the passing traffic on the street and was lost amongst the noise of the many cars passing by for a few moments. When she turned towards Gaara again, she realized that he was staring candidly at her with a thoughtful expression.

The pink haired doctor forced herself to stare back into those eyes without distracting herself with what was on the surface… and what she found surprised her greatly. They were looking back at her with open admiration and maybe with a little bit of lust. The feline grin that had adorned his face before was reflected ten-fold in his jade orbs and they mirrored such intensity that Sakura thought she would be overwhelmed.

Can you imagine what it would be like to be caught by this cat? Inner Sakura asked. It was evident that she was already contemplating the possibilities.

'I do not want to be caught by any cat!' the pink haired doctor thought angrily as she abruptly broke eye contact with Gaara.

You're lying her inner persona replied and flooded her mind with the feelings of loneliness that had been invading Sakura's life recently. She had wanted someone special to share her life with for some time now and had actually been somewhat depressed at the fact that all her friends had lovers while she stayed single.

She had secretly dreamed of being swept off her feet by a complete stranger…

And what do you think this is?

'This definitely doesn't count," she thought is exasperation. 'It's not supposed to happen like this.'

The best things in life never happen like we want to.

'He's acting weird, not to mention the fact that he's basically stalking me,' she added as an excuse.

Haven't you thought that he's doing this because he likes you?

'If he liked me, he would've approached me with a completely different attitude.'

Oh come on, romance is completely over rated. This is much more exciting.

Sakura groaned inwardly. She was losing the fight against her inner persona and she didn't like it.

The least you can do is give him a chance.

She suddenly realized that her inner voice was right. It was the very least that she could do. She would be fooling herself if she ignored the evident attraction she had felt towards him ever since she had walked into the examination room…

"Would like to go get some coffee?" Sakura asked suddenly.

The red head looked at her with surprised jade orbs, her offer completely unexpected.

"There's a really nice place just a few blocks away," she said.

"Lead the way," he told her evenly, but his grin was creeping its way across his face again.

But much to his surprise, she confronted him with a grin of her own.


A couple of hours later, they walked out of the coffee shop and into the cold night.

Much to Sakura's surprise, Gaara wasn't as bad as she had thought and it was possible to have a civil conversation with the quiet man. He answered her questions willingly, even if it was in a concise and brief manner. However, he had a tendency to make biting and sarcastic remarks, something which eventually got on the pink haired doctor's nerves and she would end up snapping at him… something which always seemed to provoke a strange spark of admiration in his eyes.

Not to mention the fact that he openly glared at the cute water that had given Sakura an appreciative glance when they had walked into the place whenever he had the chance. The poor man had succumbed to the effect of the red head's intimidation and had steered clear of their table for the rest of their time there.

She had ignored all of it though and had concentrated on trying to get to know him. Even though she did most of the talking, she had managed to find out that he had taken up kyokushin when he was 13 and it had actually been a life changing decision; it had allowed him to acquire the means to go forward in life. He refused to talk about his childhood vehemently, so she had steered away from the topic. There was something he didn't want to reveal and she respected that.

In return, she had talked to him about college and how she had made her way through medical school. Sakura recounted all the times she had to stay up studying for entire nights and how it had been necessary for her for work part time during school so she could cover her living expenses. She had been able to obtain a scholarship loan, but it only paid for her tuition.

She also told him about the beginnings of her friendship with Naruto and how her parents had lived next door to a children's home. Sakura had grown up with the kids living there and she had immediately connected with a loud orphaned blond with sapphire blue eyes. They had been inseparable ever since and had gone through their school years together.

This was how she learned that Naruto was, in fact, Gaara's friend and from the way the red head spoke about him, she could tell that he admired the Raging Fox very much. Sakura knew there was hidden story behind this but decided not to pry. She knew she would find out eventually, especially if she decided to tell Naruto that she had gone out for coffee with the Crimson Death. She could just imagine the shock on his face when she delivered the news.

Shaking her head at how small the world was, the pink haired doctor turned towards the tall kyokushin fighter to say her goodbyes.

"Well, it was great meeting you," she told him, a genuine smile in her face.

Gaara nodded, but he wasn't one to bother with pleasantries. "I'll see you soon then," he told her and with that, he turned round and walked away.

The pink haired girl tried to call out to him, tried to say something, but her mouth just kept hanging open in incredulity.

'That's it?' Sakura thought in disbelief as the tall red headed man continued to walk away. 'After he stalked me and everything?'

Inner Sakura chuckled at his antics and stared appreciatively at Gaara's behind as he made his way down the sidewalk.

'What an insensitive jerk!'

Her inner persona nodded but was too worked up about it. He does seem really sure that we'll see each other again

'Egotistical moron,' the pink haired kept cursing him.

And from the way he said it, you know very well this won't be the last time we cross paths.

Sakura considered what her inner voice had just told her and realized that she was right. Men like Gaara were like those weeds in your garden that no matter how many times you pulled out, they just kept showing up.

'I sure know how to pick them,' she thought desperately as she turned in the opposite direction and started to walk down the road.

There you go! Let me know what you think. I'll be putting up the second part soon since I really want to get to work on my other stories.

Thanks for reading, guys.