By TheLostMaximoff

Disclaimer: I do not own these characters. This is a Valentine's Day gift for my girlfriend. I hope everybody, especially her, likes it. R/R.

Flowers don't grow in the desert. It is a simple fact that most things of beauty can't survive the harsh climates of the desert. Occasionally, yes, some plants survive and even thrive in the arid wastelands I call home but most of them are far from beautiful and the ones that still are go unnoticed by the masses. No one associates beauty with the desert just like no one associates it with me. The few that ever did are too afraid to admit it. Either that or I've ripped their throats out for doing so. Flowers and beautiful things don't belong in the desert. The desert is for dead, inhuman things like me. I prefer it this way.

You peak my curiosity, little girl. I can't say why. I am Gaara of the desert. I am self-loving carnage. I have never known kindness, not from those of my village and not even from my own family. It's a curious wonder how monsters like me are created. I can remember faking kindness, faking caring for other people just as Yashamaru faked caring for me. He encoruaged that caring, that weakness, in me because he wanted me to blend in with the sheep, with the nameless and pitiless rabble that scorned me and hated me for the demon inside me. The day that Yashamaru died while trying to kill me was the day I stopped trying to be a wolf in sheep's clothing and started being the predator and killer I was born to be.

Some monsters are born while others are merely created. That's where you interest me, little girl. I was born a monster who was even cursed by his own mother as her last words before death. I accept this as my fate. You, however, are another story. As I said, some monsters are created. Perhaps they start out as innocent but somewhere they take a tragic turn. Anyone can have the stomach for murder and violence. It's all just a question of how much is too much to take. It works like quicksand, this monstrous sickness. The more you fight and try to pull yourself up, the more it grips you and pulls you down into its suffocating embrace.

Sakura Haruno. I remember the first time I saw you I almost threw up because you naueseated me so. You were a beautiful flower. You were pretty, intelligent, and kind. You weren't the top of your class but I'm sure you were rising fast as your kind tends to do. I considered killing you from the moment I first laid eyes on you because, quite frankly, people like you are the worst disease spawned by this pack of mongrels we call "humanity". I was formulating your death in my mind until I saw something. You hang on Sasuke's every word, following him around like some lost and lonely puppy. I inwardly laughed when I noticed that he knew of your obvious affections for him and spurned you anyway. I didn't think that pretty people such as yourself were capable of receiving rejection. Beautiful flowers like you are admired while ugly demons like me are scorned. It's the nature of the world.

I saw this rejection and now I can't stop watching you. It must be painful to have your affections remain unrequited. That kind of pain can lead to dangerous things, little flower girl. If you're not careful about where you step then the quicksand will grab you and suck you in. Some monsters are created through the dulling of their emotions. I have no emotions anymore. I feel neither love nor pity. You're not that many steps away from me, Sakura. How long do you think you can play this game? How long will your love for Sasuke continue until it turns into a dull and hollow ache? How long will that dull and hollow ache presist until your emotions simply shut down from the pain? What will you do once that happens?

Flowers don't grow in the desert, Sakura. The ones that do survive have a kind of hardened, weathered beauty that only someone such as I could love. I'm still watching you because I'm waiting to see what kind of emotional climate and turmoil it will take to turn a cherry blossom into a desert rose. I saw the fear in your eyes the day you first looked at me. Are you afraid of me or afraid of just becoming me? I'm watching you, Sakura, because I'm waiting for the quicksand to pull you under. When it does, you'll come out of it a monster and on that day you'll be mine forever.