Disclaimer
For the last time, I do not own Naruto.




Chapter Twelve & Epilogue: A New Beginning

Temari's mouth fell open as she stared incredulously at Kenoyo. "Are you serious?" she whispered, her eyes gleaming in happiness.

Kenoyo grinned and nodded, tilting her head. Her hair fell down on her face, yet was slightly shorter than usual due to the Sand Village headband that was wrapped around her head. "I am serious, most villagers were gossiping about it."

Temari allowed herself to fall on a dining room chair, shocked. "My little brother, Kazekage of our village…" she whispered, still not believing what Kenoyo just told her.

The other girl smiled happily and nodded again. "Gaara didn't tell anyone but me, he didn't really want it to be known. I guess it was made official a few minutes ago since everyone's talking about it."

Temari grinned and looked out of the window in the darkness, the moon shining onto the newly reconstructed houses. It was now three weeks after the incident of the unknown race of ninjas who attacked Suna. Everyone's houses were now rebuilt, burials and mourning were over with, and the town had decided it was time for them to have a new Kazekage.

"Never in a lifetime had I expected that they'd pick Gaara for the job! Everyone's scared of him… But I did notice how much he changed since you've been here Kenoyo. He actually answers people when they talk to him!" Temari said, the smile never leaving her lips.

Just as the two girls finished talking, the front door was pushed open. Gaara and Kankuro stepped in, both with emotionless faces. Yet Kenoyo practically ran in Gaara's arms as Temari gave him her congratulations and jumped out of her chair.

But the Sand ninja didn't seem impressed with his new title. Instead, he gave Temari a small smile of acknowledgement and took Kenoyo's hand, then pulled her out of the house and into the night.

Kenoyo couldn't stop smiling as he walked her to a tree and jumped up to sit on a branch. She followed him up, dropping her head on his shoulder as he pulled her close to him. "Kazekage of Suna…" he murmured, as if he couldn't believe it himself.

The girl broke into a grin, pulling away slightly to look at him. "My boyfriend's a Kage!" she exclaimed in a whisper, her smile widening. She was so proud of him and like Temari had said, he had changed so much for the best.

Gaara smirked slightly as his new title, knowing that it would weight down many responsibilities on him. But he didn't mind. Now that Kenoyo had given him a definite new outlook on life, he could actually do something with it.

"Thanks to you. I know every time you go in the village, you gush to everyone on how nice I am," he said, turning to face her with a sly smile on his face.

Kenoyo didn't even answer him; she simply leaned in to kiss him. Every single time their lips would meet, her heart would race frantically and a slight feeling of drowsiness would take control of her mind. No matter how many kisses they shared, he still had the same intoxicating effect on her, and she was craving that sweet prison right now.

"Kenoyo?"

Her lips were a fraction of an inch from his, but she pulled away rather quickly and looked down from the tree towards the girl's voice. She frowned slightly at the trio that were peeking up at her, then clutched Gaara's hand and looked down at them. It was obvious she had acknowledged them, but she didn't have to say a word. Not after what they did to her.

The boy stepped forward, holding his girlfriend's hand tightly and said, "Listen, we're sorry about last time. We won't do it again, promise, and we'd enjoy getting to know you. We're free tonight, if you wanna hang out…"

Kenoyo looked down at the three squirming teenagers. Kenshin, looking right at her boldly, Azumi who studied her shoes in shame, and Natsumi hiding behind the two, looking around nervously.

She gave them a soft smile, but turned her attention back to Gaara and simply said, "No. I'm busy right now."

The new Kazekage's eyes were soft as he leaned forward and whispered, "You can go, Kenoyo. I'm not forcing you to stay."

But the girl could see the need in his face; she knew that he wanted her to stay with him. Kenoyo wasn't regretting her answer at all as she slid back in his arms and shook her head, throwing a glance down at the three teens.

Azumi was now looking up as well and it was evident that she was regretting the lies she spread about Gaara. When her eyes met Kenoyo's, she lowered her head back to her initial position.

But then Natsumi's bubbly personality came out and she jumped in front of the two, smiling up at the couple. "Come on! You and our new Kazekage! It would be fun to get to know you both!" she shouted, even if the couple was only a few feet away from her.

Gaara actually looked surprised and Kenoyo couldn't suppress a smile. It was probably his very first invitation to go somewhere that wasn't mission-related. She looked at him with a grin; letting him answer the invitation he had just been given.

The Kazekage looked down boldly at the trio, making them shift away slightly. But his voice was gentle as he said, "Not tonight. Thank you."

The thanks seemed to shock the teenagers, who had expected him to explode at their request. But eventually they all got out of their shock and slipped away to leave the couple alone.

"That deserved a kiss," Kenoyo whispered, proud of her lover for speaking to them so gently. "Plus the one we didn't finish when they showed up!"

The pair gave each other two long kisses in succession, then Kenoyo gently stroked her own face on his shirt and slid her arms around his waist. But then her hand hit something hard as it passed over one of the pockets in his jacket and she peeked up at him curiously.

Gaara smiled and reached in it to retrieve a set of keys. He then filtered through them until he found two identical ones. He unclipped one of the two and slipped it in Kenoyo's hand, then murmured, "As Kazekage, I now have my own house."

The girl burst into a smile, forming a fist around the key in her hand. "Our house," he specified, leaning over and brushing a sweet kiss on her lips. "Now we can do anything we want without having Temari and Kankuro constantly asking us what we're doing!"

Kenoyo's heart hammered with happiness as she wrapped her arms around Gaara's shoulders and gave him another long kiss before pulling away and smiling peacefully. She looked deeply in his eyes, her mind whirring with a million thoughts. He opened his mouth to ask her what she was thinking, but Kenoyo gently put a finger to his lips and dropped her forehead to his neck.

Her eyes, heavy from tiredness, closed in peace as she began to reflect about her adventure with Gaara. They had had their ups and downs, but from now on there would be no more downs. She was happier than she had ever been and she doubted that there was a happiness bigger than this.

Gaara used to have a wall built around him. A wall that he never would've allowed anyone to pierce through, yet no one ever tried. The sand he used to crush people had scared many of them and villagers were often found having nightmare about his sand murdering them But she had looked right through the facade. She knew that behind his wall of sand, there was a man longing to be loved and cared for.

Right when she was about to fall asleep, she felt Gaara's warm lips gently brush her forehead. Sitting up again, Kenoyo leaned over and locked him in a passionate kiss, then smiled against his lips, knowing there would be many, many more to come in the future.


The end


A/N: Aww, my very first story, complete; Happy birthday to my girl Bonez!

Big time apology to the reviewers. I promised two chapters, but I pretty much hit a Writer's Block wall and only wrote one. Maybe, and I say maybe, I'll make a sequel later on. Depending if I top the 100 reviews.

Thank you to those who faithfully reviewed my story, you guys were just awesome!

Take care!