If anyone watched the Naruto fillers :I know some people did and some didn't: Matsuri is the girl that tags along with Gaara and his team at the end of the fillers. I always wanted to write a story about Gaara, but didn't really know what to write till this idea came into my head. It seemed like a cute story to me. Plus I enjoy writing stories with pairings between random characters. :P

I hope you like it!

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto

Matsuri straightened her clothes once more before entering the gala room. When she walked into the door, she could not help but stand in awe at the crowd around her. People from all over had come to holiday festival at Suna. In sight of the first year with the new allied villages, Suna was the new center of the festival.

She looked through the crowds, where was he?

Having just returned from her mission, originally worried that she would not get back in time, Matsuri was glad that she made it before the end. From what she saw, the party was still in full blast.

She spotted him.

He was standing in a circle of officials. Since Gaara-sensei had become Kazekage of the Suna Village, the whole town had taken almost an entire turn around. It was not longer closed off, and ambassadors were arriving daily to try for the new leader's attention. Having just turned 15 that year, Gaara was the youngest in history to ever become a leader of a shinobi village. Although his father had been the previous leader, the advisers assured everyone that it had nothing to do with hereditary means.

Gaara was a genius, and not just in ninjutsu.

"Staring at Gaara again?" Temari was standing next to her, "You're never going to make any progress by just staring at him, Matsuri-chan."

"B-But..." Matsuri twiddled her thumbs, "Gaara-sensei is so...so..."

"Twerpy? Geeky?" Temari frowned, "Short?"

"He is not!"

"He's my little brother. I can't think of him in any other way." Temari shrugged, taking another sip of her wine. Spotting Shikamaru, who often acted as the Konoha ambassador, she nudged Matsuri and motioned in Gaara's direction, then disappeared. Matsuri did not miss the fact that her blond superior seemed to have a thing for the Konoha man. The minute Temari reached him, Shikamaru glanced at her, and there was a soft look in his eyes. In the past three years, they had gotten to know each other well.

Matsuri watched Gaara, still holding onto the necklace into her hand. Holding it behind her back, she approached him. He was dressed in his formal robes, as he often was. The last few years had done well to his appearance. He was taller, much more trim, but the serious expression that he had never changed.

The festival music floated in the background and people began to leave to the dance floor. Gaara remained in his spot, watching the other officials excuse themselves. He had been talking for hours, and Matsuri was not surprised to see him open the door to the outside balcony and leave without anyone noticing. Taking the opportunity, she waited a few moments, and then left through the same door.

As she peeked outside, Gaara was standing under the large trellis on the balcony that had been built for the festival. It decorated with lights and other items. He noticed her presence the moment she stepped outside, which did not surprise her.

Gaara stared for a moment.

"I hope I'm not disturbing you, Gaara-sensei."

"Not at all."

"I was surprised when those officials left." she smiled, "It looked like they were talking you to death."

Gaara sighed, "I have grown used to it over the years, but I am still not one for crowds."

"Kankuro-san and Temari-san told me the same thing."

He made a face and crossed his arms, "They say too much."

"They care about you though." Matsuri leaned on the railing, staring at the starry sky.

"I suppose." he replied, "They are my family."

"Is being the Kazekage difficult, Gaara-sensei?"

"Not any more difficult then anything else." he said, "It gives me the opportunity to try and make up for the mistakes that were made by my father. This village works hard, and deserves acknowledgment."

"You've worked hard too." she said.

"I do it because it is something I want to do." he said, his hands leaning on the railing, letting the warm wind blow through his hair. All of land in front of him belonged to him. It was his village, his country, and he was going to protect it with his life until the day he died. Before he never felt any sort of loyalty to the country that hated him, but now...he felt a strange connection to it. It was his life, and extension of himself.



She smiled, "Thank you."

He stared at her a moment, "For what?"

"For working so hard."

He shook his head, "I do not do it for thanks."

She giggled, "I guess you're right. But none the less, I still feel like no one thanks you for everything you do."

Gaara opened his mouth to say something, and then said, "You're welcome."

Satisfied at that response, she did not press him further. She reached into her pocket as he turned back to look at the landscape.


"Matsuri." he replied, "You do not always have to call me-"

She stepped forward, reached up, she slipped the necklace over his head. Staring at her curiously , she smiled up at him, "Happy Holidays."

Gaara glanced down at the sparkling red crystal that now hung from his neck. It was a small rock, only about an inch long. The blood red color sparkled in the lights as he touched it. She had set it onto a silver chain that hung just below his collar.

"It found it when I was on a mission to the volcanic regions." she said, "It was a wonderful place, and when I saw that I thought...that it suited you." her cheeks turned bright red as she shuffled slightly while looking at the ground, "I know it's sort of a girly thing, but-"

"It's fine."

He was still staring at it, like he was in a trance. She really did not expect any loud expression for it, but the simple reply seemed to say much more then that. From what Temari and Kankuro had told her, it surprised her if he had ever really received any sort of present in his entire life.

When she looked back at him, there was a slightly strange look on his face, like he was shocked.

"Why did you do this?" he asked.

"I just thought..." she murmured, "...well, I figured that you'd get a lot of stuff because everyone likes you so much, and I know it's really simple...b-but...I just thought it would look nice. The color matches your hair...", oh dear god, now she was rambling.

He seemed to pause a minute to contemplate that idea, and then nodded in agreement. Over the years his hair had gotten slightly shaggy, and Temari bugged him occasionally to get it cut. He let go of the crystal and let it rest on his chest.

She frowned, her cheeks turning more red, "If you don't want to-"

"I shall wear it."


She stared at him dumbfounded. He did not smile or laugh, but he seemed happy...as happy as he could look.

"Thank you." he told her.

She beamed, he really seemed to like it, "You're welcome, Gaara-sensei."



He glanced at her from the corner of his eye, "Just call me Gaara."

Her mouth dropped open, "Oh...okay."

There was a strange silence that passed between them for a moment, and she started to think that maybe it was a bad idea. Giving him something had seemed to create this weird feeling in the air that she really was starting to dislike.

There was music that was still playing inside.


"Yes?" she said quickly.

"Would you-" he looked towards the door, "-would you like to dance? The music will be going on for a while."

"Sure." she smiled, following him towards the door. Suddenly stopping, she gasped and jerked back to keep from bumping into him, "Gaara-san, what's wrong?"

He stood still a moment, and then seemed to look up a moment.


He turned around, and before she could react, he gently leaned over and touched his lips to hers. It was so soft that she could barely tell he had even done it a moment. When he pulled back, her hands were gripping the front of his robes, and she was gazing up at him with her own shocked face.

Then, to her astonishment, he smiled. It was a small smile, nothing big or with a lot of flare. He then pointed up, "Mistletoe."


Looking up, she spotted the green and red bundle of leaves hanging from the ceiling. Gaara suspected his sister had put them around the palace in hopes that she could catch Nara off guard.

"Oh..." Matsuri blushed, "...I see."

There was a grin on her face. Taking her hand he lead her to the door.

"Let's get in a dance." he face had returned to his neutral look, "Before the ambassadors find me again and decide to chat my ears off."

She laughed.

I hope you liked it!

Send a review and tell me what you think. :D