Alrighty then!

In case this is your first introduction to me, Hello. My name is Olly BaaBaa-Chan. Friends call me Olly. This story was the first Fanfic I ever wrote, and it is almost five years old. It's long, a bit poorly written, and very, very OOC in some parts.

However, if you've continued reading and haven't already exited to go looking for a better story to read, I would like to encourage you to check out A One Month Bet Revamped. Really, I would've rather simply removed this story from FFnet and allowed the new version to be the only version, but I was afraid some readers would be upset if I did that. Instead, I am letting the original story remain as it is. All I can do is ask and encourage you to check out Revamped. I promise it's much better and much more in depth than the story you're about to read.

Or, if you really feel like it, try reading both! And you can see firsthand how much the story will have changed for the better.

Anyways, I don't mean to harass you. I adore any readers for any one of my stories at all.

I hope you will take my advice, or at least continue reading here.

Thank you,

~Olly BaaBaa-Chan

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Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.

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A One Month Bet

A pink haired kunoichi walked through the sand village of Suna. She had only just arrived and was in search of the Kazekage's mansion. The village of Suna had a fine medical system, but it wasn't nearly as advanced as Konoha's, so the Kazekage had requested that the Hokage send some of her best medical Nin to train Suna's hospital. Because of the growing threat of war, Tsunade decided instead of sending a portion of her regular medical team, she would send her one most talented medial ninja. That is why Sakura continued walking through Suna's streets. Finally she found her destination and walked in.

"I'm here to see the Kazekage," Sakura said to the lady at the desk. "It is to do with the matter of training medical Nin."

"Oh yes!" the lady smiled. "I'll just tell him you're coming and you may go right in." Sakura watched the lady press a button and say, "Kazekage-sama, the medical nin from Konoha is here."

A rough deep voice on the other line answered, "Alright, send them in." the lady smiled and nodded for Sakura to proceed. She walked forward and entered the Kazekage office. He didn't even look up when she entered, but kept his mind focused on the documents in front of him. Lazily he lifted his hand and ordered, "Give me the scroll then," Even when she handed him the scroll, he didn't look up, but just took it, unrolled it, and began reading. She could see his muscles tense under his Kazekage uniform. She guessed he had just read the part about, "not being able to send our entire medical team. Please accept my choice of sending our best medical Nin in the village, and my trusted friend and apprentice, Haruno Sakura." Finally he looked up from the scroll to look at her. She could see how his features had changed.

Gaara of the Sand. The Kazekage. The last time she had seen him was when he was brought back to life after having the Shukaku removed nearly five years earlier. He definitely looked older. His emerald eyes were still rimmed in black, and she guessed that they would remain that way forever, but he had grown slight eyebrows that matched perfectly with his red-brown hair. His hair had grown slightly longer and shaggier, but it completed his overall look. She could still read the symbol on the left side of his forehead, Love. In fact, it was then she realized why he had fan girls, just like her Hokage had fan boys back home. He was quite handsome.

She had grown also. She had kept her hair in the same short style, because it was easier to handle when on missions, but it framed her face in a more womanly look. She had grown into her forehead (which made her extremely happy) and her eyes had become even more sea-foam green than ever before, giving her quite the intense look. Her outfit had changed too, but it was still easy to move around in. Comfortable black shorts and a red shirt with white edging. Bandages covered the top of her legs and around one wrist, though she saw the bandages more as fashion than to cover scars (hey, just because she's a ninja doesn't mean she can't look good.)

But when she looked at his intense expression she still saw the monster who had tied to kill her. "What's this?" he demanded.

"What do you mean, sir?" She asked quite truthfully.

"This!" he said shaking the scroll angrily. "How can you possibly train our entire medical staff? You're just the Hokage's pet." He smirked at her.

Her anger rose, but she forced herself to remember who exactly she was talking to. "Sir, I trained under Tsunade-sama herself, and I am more than capable of training each and every one of your medical nin." She gave a small smirk herself. "With all due respect, Kazekage sir, you would do better with me than with our most talented medical team," she added with a little pride, "because, they are stillunder my teaching."

He looked at her and said, "So you're better than a whole team of ninja just like you, hmm?" He said it with more than a hint of sarcasm.

"No," she said and watched his eyes narrow to join the smirk playing on his lips. "They aren't like me because I know so much more than them." She could tell she was pissing him off with her arguing, and it gave her a small feeling of satisfaction. "Each person has there own area of expertise," She continued. "From healing bones to removing poison. The reason Tsunade-sama sent me is because I am an expert in all cases." She noticed the glare he had focused in her direction as she finished.

"You seem very sure of yourself, Haruno Sakura." The way he said her name gave her a sudden chill, but she ignored it. It was true she seemed a little proud, but Tsunade herself had said those exact words to her while explaining what Sakura was to do in Suna. In all truthfulness, Sakura was just angry that Gaara-sama thought she couldn't do it. It pissed her off that people still saw her as the weak cry-baby from when she was twelve. She had become one of the strongest and smartest ninja in Konoha (not to mention one of the prettiest, according to Naruto) and she wanted to be recognized for it!

Inner Sakura was wanting to punch Gaara just to show him how strong she was, but instead outer Sakura said, "Do you think Tsunade-sama would have sent me if she thought I couldn't handle it? I'm no longer the weak little girl you almost killed." She had gone through that speech a million times, but was always happy to recite it to someone who hadn't heard it. She noticed his facial muscles tense when she mentioned his attempted murder of her. His eyes wandered away from her gaze for a split second before returning her glare. When he said nothing, she got a sudden idea. "Give me a month," she proposed. "One month, and your medical nin will immediately soar in ability. If they haven't improved by then I will go back to Konoha and send you the medical team in which you're so desperate for." She couldn't help but add a little sarcasm on the end of her sentence. She could easily tell that it had angered him.

Standing up rather abruptly, he rolled the scroll back up and walked over to her. She could tell her face was red slightly from anger. His intense stare never left her direction and when he didn't stop walking she had to catch herself before wavering backwards. He stopped barely a foot from her and dropped his voice to just above a whisper. "Alright then, one month." His voice was deep and husky. Had he not been the Kazekage agreeing a bet with her, she might have blushed, but she didn't. He held the scroll mockingly in front of her face. She glared at his smirk and snatched the scroll away somewhat rudely, but he didn't say anything.

As she turned to leave the office, she froze as he said, "I'll have Temari show you to a room." When she turned to face him he had already sat back down at his desk to continue looking over his many documents.

"What?" she asked. A room? In his house? She was sure she could find a hotel. Why did she need to live in the Kazekage's mansion for a month?

Again he refused to look up at her. "I want to make absolutely sure that you don't miss a day at work. Monday through Saturday, I want you training them from 7am to 6pm everyday. You will have Sundays to train or rest, whatever. If I find that you start slacking off, I will immediately send you back to Konoha." He kept his head down, but she was still able to catch the devilish smirk on his face.

Before she was able to stop herself, she found herself arguing. "Seven to six, that's outrageous! They still need to work with their original trainers, not to mention sleep." Then she realized,ooh that sneaky little jerk, he's trying to discourage me! By that point he was already looking at her with his usual blank expression, but she could see the smugness in his eyes.

"Oh? Well then you have to choices." Now a smirk was visible. "You can accept the terms or I can tell Temari not get you a room," he smirked deeper now, showing some teeth. "Since you will be going back to Konoha."

She collected herself. She felt stupid for not noticing it before. He was pissed because when he requested a medical team, Tsunade had sent him this girl, a girl whom he remembered and recognized as weak. Well as long as he had her, he was going to torment Sakura. He was playing the "I have control over you and there's nothing you can do about it" game. He was the Kazekage and she was under his rule and she would have to do exactly as he said unless it put anyone and/or Konoha in direct danger. All she could do was make proposals and if they were shot down, that was that. He was giving her one month, working everyday (with the exception of about five Sundays) from 7am to 6pm. She knew it was absolutely not logical and not healthy for his medics. Also, she knew that tearing a student from their teacher could put problems on the learning process. She knew this, Gaara didn't. So she threw it in his face.

"I mean no disrespect, Kazekage sir, even though your requirements would almost surely effect my ability to teach your medics, as I'm sure you've already realized," his smirk widened a little, but he then arched an eyebrow at her 'but', "but, it would also effect the normal abilities on your medical system and possibly make them less reliable than to begin with." His smirk disappeared. "As a medical ninja it is my duty to inform you that an ordinary medical ninja needs at least seven hours of sleep. Yes I know ninjas can still perform excellently on little sleep," she cast a small glance at his black ringed eyes, "or no sleep at all, but for a medical nin it is always best to have seven hours under your belt to keep your mind focused in case of an emergency. Also in my years of experience I've learned that quickly switching masters while training in a subject matter like medical care, can easily damage the learning process, which I would definitely not recommend. Extra training is, as you have already made clear, necessary or otherwise I wouldn't be here, but putting to much pressure on the human mind, ninja or not, can quickly turn disastrous. Sleeping for seven hours then waking to train with me," she did the calculations in her head. "from seven to six would only leave six small hours to train with their normal teachers, which is a BIG difference compared to the eleven hours they'd be spending with me each day and that is of course assuming that they don't get any breaks including one for lunch which is also harmful to the delicate process of learning medical jutsu…"

"ENOUGH!" he shouted from his desk. It was so loud that the nice lady in the other room barely suppressed a yelp. CHA! I so pissed him off with my logic! Sakura smiled smugly. Although she had just proved that she was total and complete nerd, anyone who dared call her one would've received a sharp punch in the jaw. But as she saw his anger, she immediately reminded herself who she was dealing with. He was Kazekage after all, and had he still had Shukaku in him, his gourd of sand would have already been choking her to death.

In the most apologetic tone she could muster she said, "I'm sorry Kazekage-sama, but I believe it would be an unwise choice to continue with the preparations that you have made." She bowed respectively towards him and waited for his response.

Gaara stared at the desk below him. Damn, she had to be a smartass. How was I supposed to know that there was a whole delicate process? I'm not a medical Nin; I'm the Kazekage God dammit! Tsunade sends me this girl who says she can heighten the ability of Suna's medical Nin in only a month. When I try to call her bluff she goes all medical logic on me! He glanced at the girl. No, not girl, woman. She was bowing respectfully to him.Could she be telling the truth? He gave a disgusted "humph" and said, "Fine, make your own schedule, but just shut up and go. I want you working Monday though Saturday. I have work to do." Sakura straightened. Gaara noticed some of her pink hair had gotten caught in her eyelash and she was respectfully trying not to blink. For her sake he adverted his gaze to press the button on his communicator and tell the lady to call in Temari. When he turned to look back at Sakura, she had adjusted her hair. She really did look a lot different from when he had last seen her five years ago.

She had enough time to say, "Thank you Kazekage-sama." before there was a knock on the door. He allowed the person entrance. It was (not surprisingly) Temari.

"Hey Gaara, you called me?" She barely finished her sentence before turning to Sakura. "Sakura-chan! What are doing here?" she gave her a quick hug.

Sakura didn't have time to greet Temari before Gaara said, "She'll be here for a month training our medical unit. I don't want her missing a single day so I want you to find her a room somewhere in the mansion to stay so I will know exactly what she's doing while here."

"Wow Gaara it's been a while since I've heard you speak in complete sentences," his sister commented sarcastically. She turned to Sakura. "Right on! I'm proud. Not even I can make him do that. Well alright let's get you a room then. It'll be good to have some female accompaniment in this big place." Her voice faded off as she and Sakura exited. Gaara couldn't help but see the bare patch of skin on Sakura's back. He noticed his heart beat a little faster, but he quickly busied himself with rearranging papers on his desk. He gave another annoyed "humph." and continued working.

WEEK 1

Wow, only four days in the Kazekage's mansion and I'm already realizing how much my apartment sucks.Sakura had just gotten of work and had entered the big house to greet the lady at the desk (whose name was Mitaya by the way). "Hello Mitaya. I'm beat. I'll just be gone for a sec, I want to go to the bathhouse, so I'm just getting money, ok?"

"Alright, dear, I'll just tell the Kazekage then." Mitaya answered. What? Sakura froze. The Kazekage didn't need to know when she was going to the bathhouse... that just made things awkward.

"Oh," Sakura said. "Kazekage-sama doesn't need to know that I'm going to the bathhouse. It's ok."

Mitaya looked confused. "Oh, well ok then." Sakura smiled sweetly then ran up to her room, grabbed some money, and ran back down. She was excited. Taking a bath always made her excited. Just the feeling of being clean after a hard day of work made her anxious. She was practically skipping out the door until…

"Where are you going?" it was the last thing she wanted to hear at that moment. She turned around to see the blank face of Gaara.

"Umm, nowhere really." She answered with a smile. She was hoping against hope that he would accept that answer and let her be on her way. He didn't.

"Tell me where you're going, Sakura." It wasn't a request, it was a demand. He stood sternly beside Mitaya's desk. Glancing at the old lady, Sakura wished with all her might that she could've let Mitaya tell him, because if that had been awkward, then this was mortifying.

"Um, well," she said. "I was gonna head over to the," she could lie…no! She couldn't lie to the Kazekage! What if she said she was going to the Kimono store? It's right next to the bathhouse. NO! She couldn't lie, not this time. Pink flushed to her cheeks, rivaling her hair. "I'm going to the bathhouse so bye!" she fled out the door before anyone could say anything. Lucky for Gaara she was out the door before he said his embarrassing, "um…oh." Mitaya let a small chuckle escape her before Gaara gave her a look of annoyance, making her immediately silence. He stalked back to his office and slammed the door behind him.

After Sakura finished her refreshing bath, she dreaded heading back to the Kazekage's mansion. What would he say? What would she say if he said anything? She really didn't want to go back, but she had no choice. Grudgingly she walked back. Water was still dripping from her hair into her clothes, making them stick to her skin. What was worse was the sun was still hot and it made her feel sweaty and gross all over again. When she opened the door of the mansion she greeted the cool blast of air from inside. It immediately made her feel a little better.

What brought down her sudden good mood was the fact that Gaara was talking with Kankuro in Gaara's office and it was loud enough to hear through the door. Mitaya wasn't there, so Sakura guessed she went to get something to eat. It was entirely inappropriate, but Sakura stood by the door, listening.

"Well Gaara it's natural. Frankly, I'm proud. I never thought this day would come." What was Kankuro so proud of?

"Just shut up, Kankuro"

"But my little brother has his first crush. What's an older brother to do, except give advice on what's goin' on?" So Gaara liked someone. That was a change (and frankly a good change, considering he used to kill people for fun).

"Kankuro shut up. I don't want your advice."

"Well then you shouldn't have told me you liked her."

"I didn't you dumbass."

"That's right I figured it out, but you've practically admitted it. I actually feel sorry for you cause you had to miss out on all that kind of stuff growing up, and now you have your first crush at twenty years old."

"Kankuro, I'm telling you to SHUT UP." There was definitely a tone of annoyance.

"So you have a crush. Big deal. It's nothing to be embarrassed about."

"I'm ignoring you."

"So do you think she's pretty?"

"…"

"Do you think she has a hot body?"

"…"

"Oh my GOD! Gaara are you blushing?" Gaara blush? snigger there was a crash that sounded like a breaking pot and the faint sound: whoosh. Sakura guessed it was sand flying under Gaara's control. Then the muffled, "Ok, ok, you weren't blushing. You're just angry." from Kankuro. Sakura heard the thud of Kankuro dropping and decided it was time to leave.

She backed quietly away from the door until she was half-way to the hallway before walking normally. She heard Gaara's office door open. She kept going as if she didn't hear. "Oh, hey Sakura. You're back from the bathhouse, I see." He had said it loud enough so that anyone in a twenty-foot diameter could've heard, though the only other person was Gaara. She turned around to see Kankuro smiling stupidly in his purple face paint.

What could she say? "Uhh no, actually I decided to dunk my head in the fish tank." Fish tank? Did they even have a fish tank? WTF, did they even have fish? "Heh, uh, yeah I'm back." His smile got even wider, and she felt heat rush to her cheeks. All she could do was smile back and walk slowly towards the hallway. The way he smiled stupidly and waved her goodbye reminded her of the way Naruto used to smile before pulling a prank on her. He thought she had walked away, but she didn't miss the very girl-like yelp he gave when he saw sand creeping up his leg in the perfect position to break his ankle.

WEEK 2

Sakura was in the middle of writing her report for the day for Tsunade when she heard a knock on the door. Shit.She wouldn't have a lot of time to work on her report after this. "Uh, just a sec!" she called. She stacked her papers up neatly before getting up to open the door. It was Temari, smiling big as anything. "Oh, hi Temari."

"Hi Sakura. Gaara wants to see you. Did you now he has a crush on someone?"

Oh wow. Who knew Temari was one for letting the gossip out quick? Of course she couldn't say yes, or they would know she eavesdropped. She had to be surprised. "Oh! Really? Gaara? Who is it?"

Temari rolled her eyes. "Well I don't know yet, but Kankaro told me that Gaara let it slip by accident that he liked someone. Can you imagine? His first crush, at twenty! Oh well, anyway, out of the blue, Gaara wants a kissing lesson!"

She said it so bubbly that Sakura couldn't help but laugh. "That's funny! Gaara wants a kissing lesson? HA! THAT would sure be weird. Thanks Temari, I needed a good laugh. So what was it that Gaara wanted to see me about?"

Temari's smile faltered a bit. "Uh, well I know it's crazy but that is why. He said he wanted a kissing lesson for the girl he liked. It's only the four of us that are here. Mitaya went home already, though that would've been gross anyway. Kankaro's a guy…and Gaara's brother so I would imagine that wouldn't work very well." She laughed out loud then stopped, thought about it, and continued with, "EWW…anyway, even though I'm a girl, I'm Gaara's sister. That would be SO DISGUSTING." She made a gagging noise. "So, really you're the only option. Is that ok?"

Sakura was speechless for a moment, and then, "Gaara wants a kissing lesson from me?" it didn't seem likely at all. It was just so…un-Gaara-ish, not to mention completely unprofessional.

"Well I said it was out of the blue, didn't I?" she had. "I mean apparently he cares a lot about her," umm… "And he wants to get close to her," how close? "He wants to kiss her." right. "But I mean, its Gaara," well duh. "He's probably never had a proper kiss in his life," explainable, considering he used to be a murderer. "And we just don't want him to disappoint the lucky girl," Lucky? Right…are we talking about Gaara? "And so I suggested a kissing lesson," with kissing? Oh, Crap! "And now it's all up to you, Sakura-chan. Please help out our baby brother." Temari's eyes showed how desperate she was. How could Sakura say no?

Just like this: "Uh, I'm sorry Temari, but no."

Temari's entire body slumped out of disappointment. She couldn't help out her baby brother. Maybe one last try? "Please Sakura? He needs it." Maybe the chibi eyes would work…

They did. "Oh fine. But I really have to…"

SCORE! CHIBI EYES ALWAYS WORK! Temari grabbed Sakura's hand and practically dragged her downstairs. Kankuro was waiting. "Awesome! I knew you'd help us out!" he said happily to Sakura. All he got in reply was a soft whimper.

"Now all you have to do," said Temari, "is go in there show him how to kiss. It's completely between friends, ok?" she gave Sakura a shove into Gaara's office and shut the door before she could say a word of protest. Turning to her other brother she said, "Think it'll work?"

"Well if it does he'll be a man by morning," was Kankuro's reply. "If it doesn't we can send her body and our condolences back to Konoha." Temari sniggered and then said "shh" so she could hear through the door.

When Sakura turned around Gaara was staring at her from his desk. He looked completely unmoved. She was turning redder by the second. She hadn't been so nervous in a long time. Temari and Kankuro (and apparently Gaara too) wanted her to show Gaara how to kiss. Well she had spent most of her life in love with Sasuke, but once she realized it would never happen between them, she had gotten her share of kisses from numerous boys. At least enough to tell the difference between a bad kiss, a good kiss, and a wonderful kiss. Let's just keep it at Good with Gaara. I don't want him to get the wrong idea.Sakura was grateful that it was a little dark in the room so that maybe Gaara couldn't tell exactly how red she was. Suddenly she felt like slapping herself. She had gone through A and B class missions, and here she was freaking out over a kiss. Not even a real kiss. A kiss for a kissing lesson. Thinking about that made her feel a little more relaxed. Slowly she walked around the right side of his desk. His gaze followed her all the way around. He turned his chair towards her. By now he was curious (and by the way, if you haven't figured out that this wasonly Kankuro and Temari's plan, then you're a dimwit. ). Sakura knelt respectfully and said, "Kazekage-sama, I'm only going to do this once so please don't ask me questions later. This is very embarrassing as it is."

She looked down to gather breath (and courage). Gaara was very confused by this point, and he opened his mouth to say something. He was barely able to manage, "Wha…" before his speech was lost as Sakura leaned up to kiss him. This scared the hell out of him and for a moment he held his breath and kept his eyes wide open. He would've jumped back, but he was in a chair. His hands clasped the arm rests on his chair. He was completely frozen. Sure, he was the Kazekage. He upheld a village. He killed people. But this was his first kiss, and he wouldn't have been able to move even if he was about to be brutally slaughtered. All he could do was stare at the pink-haired kunoichi that was attached to his face (metaphorically speaking of course).

Sakura had thought perhaps his lips would be cold, but she was surprised to find them actually warm and inviting, so it made her job a lot easier. Her eyes were closed, so she couldn't see him staring at her with a mix of fright, anger, and complete confusion. Her hands moved to his shoulders for balance. She could feel his muscles tense at her touch. She thought about running her fingers through his hair, but decided against it because she didn't know what the reaction might be. Instead she started gently kissing his lower lip, and then went back to regular kissing. It wasn't a bad kiss, but he didn't seem to be moving at all. Tongue?She thought.No, definitely not. I should stop soon anyway. This isn't a make-out session. She stopped and pulled away with her eyes closed as if she was afraid (which frankly, she was a little). She opened one eye before the other.

Gaara stared at her in compete disbelief. It was hard to ever tell difference in his expression, but she could tell that his eyes were wide and his mouth was slightly open (partly because of the kiss and partly because he was, without question, utterly dumbfounded). Sakura got her bearings back first. "Well," she said. "That's that." She slid her hands from his shoulders and stood up. "I guess I'll be going now. I have to finish my report and plan tomorrow's assignment and get my seven hours of sleep." She was trying to sound as casual as possible, and hoped that he couldn't hear the hurriedness in her voice. "Goodnight and I will see you tomorrow morning, Kazekage-sama!"

She turned around to leave the room. That's when Gaara finally realized what had happened and it had fully registered in his brain. He cleared his throat to get her attention. She turned around and for a moment and he couldn't breathe again. "Uhh," he said, avoiding her gaze. "Uhh, you can call me Gaara you know." He added lazily, "Temari and Kankuro do."

"Oh, uhh, thanks…Gaara." She said. She turned to leave, but then remembered what she had planned to say when leaving. Just to 'lighten' the tension she said, "Just be yourself, ok? I'm sure your crush will like the kiss. Night." This time she actually did leave.

What? Thought Gaara.Be myself? My crush will like the kiss? He turned his chair straight and let his forehead fall and hit the desk with a thud before his sand could come to the rescue. WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT? Be myself an my crush will like the ki…he suddenly realized everything, well most everything…ohh, Temari and Kankuro…you two are so busted! But was Sakura in on it? Or was she completely oblivious? He would ask them.

Sakura closed the door behind her. There were Temari and Kankuro sitting quite casually. Kankuro was reading a newspaper upside-down and Temari was picking at her fingernails. Sakura rolled her eyes. Obviously they had been eavesdropping and had just then scrambled away from the door. She cleared her throat rather loudly and they both looked up simultaneously and smiled. Oh yeah, they were masters at being devious. "So, how'd it…" Temari was cut off.

"Save it. I know you guys were listening the whole time. And by the way, your paper's upside-down." She looked at Kankuro, who shifted uneasily and put the paper away. Sakura smiled and walked away back to her room.

As soon as Sakura was gone, Temari stopped smiling and slapped her brother upside the head. "Smooth Mr. Incognito. You can be such a twit sometimes!"

"Well you're the one who threw the paper at me! Is it my fault that it almost flew across the room? I was lucky to even get it open before she opened the door!" Kankuro argued back.

"Actually it is your fault that you couldn't catch it. It was a perfectly good throw." Temari retorted, closing her eyes and crossing her arms. She waited for a quickly thought up comeback, but there was nothing. When she opened her eyes Kankuro was looking directly behind her, not blinking. She turned around to see a very normal looking Gaara staring at both of them. He was leaning his shoulder in the door frame of his office.

'Come in to my office," he said casually, turning back into his office.

Kankuro knew going in there meant trouble right then. "Well actually, Gaara we had to—" he started.

"That's an order, Kankuro. Both of you come into my office." His voice was stern and terribly superior.

At the exact same moment, both Kankuro and Temari thought the same thing. Damn, we have to! Ooh, if only he weren't the Kazekage…

They followed him in and closed the door regrettably. It was their only escape route, and it was shut off. They turned to face their little brother.

"Well," he started. He didn't normally like talking much, but if it was necessary, he would. He took note though, that Temari and Kankuro would be the ones doing most of the talking…thanks to his sand. "Explain yourselves."

His siblings shifted uneasily, but neither of them said anything. Gaara's gourd shook slightly and sand started seeping out. Temari and Kankuro were completely defenseless (Temari having left her fan in her room, as Kankuro had done the same with his puppets). When they saw the sand one gasped and the other (guess who .) yelped. Both Temari and Gaara looked at their brother because of his reaction but then continued with the interrogation, much to Temari and Kankuro's despair.

"Well?" Gaara pressured, the sand floating in the air menacingly. His eyes never left his brother and sister. Temari finally cracked under his stare. "Uh well, Kankuro told me you liked someone but he wouldn't say who," she shot a glare towards him. "I was all like, 'omg who?' But he would never tell me but he said that you said that you wanted to kiss her. That completely through me off guard and then I was all 'does he even know how to kiss?' and Kankuro was like, 'actually I think he's never had a real kiss before' so I was like 'well he should get a lesson' and Kankuro was like 'yeah but who' and we were sitting there wondering trying to create a good plan because we knew that you'd reject the offer so we had to throw it at you when you least expected. So then I was like 'omg what about Sakura? I'm sure she'd be ok with it' and that's when Kankuro gave me that weird smirk and then," it had suddenly dawned on her. "OMG you like—"

She was suddenly cut off by sand forming into a kunai right in front of her face. Kankuro just glared at her because earlier they had sworn to secrecy, though secretly he had been about to do the same thing. Gaara stared emotionlessly and his siblings. The only thing that was going through his mind at that moment was WTF WTF WTF WTF WTF…the sound of his sister's voice suddenly brought him back to reality. "So uh Gaara, did you get it?"

Gaara suddenly snapped back to attention. He then realized that both his siblings were still eyeing the sand kunai in front of Temari's face, but it seemed his sister still had the guts to question him. It pissed him off even more that he didn't understand he question.

"What?" he asked.

"Did you get it?" she repeated, and then, "did you get your first kiss?"

Gaara was on the brink of blushing. He could easily feel the heat rising to his face in the cool room. The sand kunai inched dangerously close to Temari, but she kept her eyes glued to her little brother, giving him a small, reassuring smile, despite her predicament.

"Shouldn't you two eavesdroppers know that answer?" Gaara asked threateningly.

"Well actually," Kankaro mumbled. "We couldn't hear anything besides your talking, so really, you could've given her your death glare and made her leave for all we know." Gaara stared at his brother with a questioning look as if he didn't believe his explanation. When nothing was said Kankuro shot back, "well it's not like we heard any moaning or anything so what I said is true we don't know what happened."

Gaara was finally blushing by now and he silently cursed himself for it, at the same time blessing the darkened room so that maybe they wouldn't see it. Kankuro's remark onmoaninghad forced Gaara's cheeks to become completely red, partly because of embarrassment and partly because of anger.

"Perv!" Temari barked.

"What? I'm telling the truth here!" Kankuro defended himself. Gaara simply shifted in his chair, trying to focus on anything besides the word moan.He stared at the top of his desk. He was determined not to look at either of his siblings until his blush went away. Gaara never blushed. It was because he was Gaara. Gaara DID NOT blush. Finally he felt his cheeks cool again.

He looked up at his siblings. He had forgotten to make the sand kunai retreat, so he did and looked at them with his usual blank stare. Watching the sand retreat back closer to the gourd, Kankuro nodded to Temari in silent agreement that now would be the best time to use their second and last chance at asking him. They both walked forward. Kankuro stopped in front of the desk, but Temari walked around behind the desk to stand next to their little brother. Gaara's gaze swept lazily from his brother to his sister. Gently Temari squatted down so she was closer at eye level with Gaara. Both of the older siblings saw his gourd shift but Temari continued on anyway.

"Well Gaara, did she kiss you?" Temari braced herself for a smack in the face or an ambush of sand but when nothing happened she looked at her baby brother's face. He turned away and focused firmly on a spot on his desk. His eyebrows furrowed and then finally…

"hn,"

Temari gasped and Kankuro looked like he was about to fall backwards. Their reactions made Gaara angry again and he was about to sick his sand on them when… Kankuro gave Gaara a big thumbs up (much like Rock Lee's) and Temari hugged him around the neck. Their sudden show of approval completely shocked him. Temari suddenly let go and she and Kankuro scrambled to get to the door before Gaara's rage erupted, but he called, "Wait!"

Temari and Kankuro froze and slowly turned around to face a standing Gaara. His face still showed no emotion as he said, "there's something I want to ask before you leave." They looked at each other uneasily before turning back to him and nodding to show that they were listening. Gaara focused his gaze on the door behind them, rather than looking at their faces. Quietly they said, "Did you tell Sakura? Did she do it because…" he trailed off.

Temari looked at him with care in her eyes. She may have been a bad ass shinobi, but she still had feelings. She was still Gaara's older sister. "Oh Gaara!" she exclaimed. Her voice went a little higher than normal and it made her brothers look at her questioningly. She giggled and that completely freaked them out. Gaara was on the brink of wondering if she had been replaced with an intruder. "Oh Gaara!" she said again. "Don't worry, Sakura doesn't know anything. Everything was completely real to her. You're still ok." Internally Gaara gave a sigh of relief. He snapped back to attention though, when Temari continued speaking. "You know," she said a little softer, "Sakura did seem a little happier after leaving your office though. She was all, cheerful-like." Gaara stared at his sister. She held a smug smile on her face. Actually, Gaara thought that with her eyes closed, she would have looked much like Uzamaki Naruto. Had they not been in the current situation, he might have slapped the smile right off her face.

"H-happy?" Gaara mumbled in confusion.

She nodded. "Yup. All smiley after she left. Isn't that right, Kankuro?" Kankuro was actually wondering if Sakura's smile had been because of his stupidity with the newspaper, but when he received a sharp jab in the side (courtesy of Temari's elbow) he nodded in agreement.

"Oh yeah. She was all smiles!" Kankuro said with a smile of his own.

Gaara smirked. His sister had a lot of nerve talking to him the way she did, in her suggestive tone. When she had jabbed his brother to help make a point, he inwardly laughed. He noticed Temari's hand snaking to the door handle behind her with the other hand reaching out to grab Kankuro's sleeve, all the time keeping her smug expression and looking directly at Gaara. He had a feeling of what might happen next, but he hadn't really expected Temari to do it.

"Well, Gaara," she said, slowly turning the door handle. "Making her smile like that, you must be a better kisser than we thought!" Gaara's smirk disappeared and Temari's smile grew. She pushed open the door and slid backwards outside the office with Kankuro following her. Too bad for them though, because Gaara's sand was faster and in a matter of seconds, he had their feet glued to the floor right out side his office. Gaara leaned in the door frame and allowed the sand to slowly move them around so he was facing them.

Gaara's face was once again emotionless, but he lowered his gaze and his eyelids came together a bit, making his expression look a little softer and more caring. "You guys," he started but instead said, "thanks."

Kankuro and Temari blinked in surprise but before they opened their eyes the sand had retreated and Gaara had slammed the door in their faces.

"WHAT?" Temari and Kankaro both said in unison.

"Did he just say what I think he said?" asked Kankuro.

"Oh my God, I think he did!" answered Temari. They stood in shock outside Gaara's office. Kankuro smiled weakly.

"Well I guess that's that. At least he didn't kill us."

Temari nodded in agreement. "Well that's something you don't see everyday." Kankuro looked at her as he knew that was the understatement of the year. "Anyway," she said catching Kankuro's strange look. "I'm tired now; I think I'll go to bed." She left. After a moment Kankuro did the same.

Gaara sat back behind the desk. He had been so scared when Sakura had kissed him. He hadn't moved at all. She had kissed him, but he had been so still she might have been better off kissing a fucking statue. He rubbed his tired eyes in his hands. He needed to go to bed soon. He was still learning how to sleep properly. He imagined Sakura in his mind. He imagined her kissing him again, but in his daydream, he was kissing her back.

He opened his eyes at the few papers still on his desk from that day. He didn't have time to dwell on daydreams that would probably never come true. He busied himself with finishing the papers before heading up to his quarters to sleep.

Sakura had woken up from her strange dream. She didn't try to remember it. She just wanted to go back to sleep. Glancing over at her clock she read 2:17 am. She couldn't fall back asleep (gasp how surprising). She groaned and stood up out of her bed. She rubbed her eyes, trying to think of something to help her fall back into slumber. Milk. It suddenly sprung into her mind. It was said that milk could help a person fall asleep. She sighed and stood up. Walking over to her door she opened it quietly so she wouldn't wake anyone. She was afraid that the sound of closing her door might be louder than expected so she just left her door opened just a little. She made her way through the hallways and into the kitchen.

Gaara sat up in his bed. He was panting slightly and he suddenly felt too hot underneath his sheets. He removed them and sat on the edge of his bed. He struggled to remember his dream. The dream that had woken him up. It wasn't a nightmare, what was it? His tired mind tried to remember. It was Sakura. Sakura was there. She had been with me…finally realizing his entire dream he stood up in shame. Gaara cursed at himself and his dream. He pulled a robe on along with a new pair of sleeping shorts (they were really more like boxers) and he stepped into the hallway. The cool air swept over his face as he walked down the hall. He walked by Sakura's room. The door was slightly ajar. He was tempted to open it and look inside at her sleeping, but he decided against it, because it brought back images from his dream. He ventured down towards the kitchen.

Sakura looked through the cabinets and even drawers in the huge kitchen. Fuck, only like three people live here. Why do they need such a huge kitchen? Dammit where the stupid cups?She continued to look for something to put some milk in. She was getting frustrated and was just about ready to chug the milk from the carton.

Gaara strode into the kitchen, trying to forget his shaming dream when, low and behold, the damn thing he'd been trying to forget appeared right in front of him. His eyes took a moment to adjust to the light, but then he saw her clearly. Sakura was looking trough one of the lower cabinets, giving him a clear view of her perfectly rounded ahem backside, on which his eyes lingered for perhaps a bit too long. When she stood straight, he saw her full attire. She was wearing a small tank top and a pair of sleeping shorts that were almost too short. He was too busy taking in her beauty to notice that her muscles had tensed, sensing his presence. Her hand wandered to a large wooden spoon on the counter, gripped it, with lightning speed turned and through it at the unknown person. Gaara didn't see it coming for three reasons:

he was busy looking at the back of Sakura in all its beautiful glory

he was half asleep

his gourd wasn't there to provide an automatic sand shield to protect him

The wooden spoon flew through the air like a kunai, and by the time Gaara noticed it, he was too late. It connected with his forehead making a thunksound before clattering to the floor. Gaara made of grunt of pain and surprise and fell down landing hard on his butt. He held his forehead in one of his hands and muttered, "Ow,"

Sakura gasped when she realized who she had just hit with wooden spoon. She rushed over and helped him to his feet. "Omg, I'm so sorry, Kazek-"he looked at her. "Erm, Gaara. Are you ok?" He looked at the concern in her face and smirked.

"I'm fine," his breath caught. Sakura was so close. She wasn't wearing the bandages around her chest. All she had was the thin tank top on. He couldn't help it, his eyes wandered down to just above the top of her shirt. Thoughts started racing through his mind. Heat rose to his face. Gaara couldn't let anyone see his blush, especially Sakura, so he cleared his throat and turned away.

Sakura had barely noticed what had just happened, and she blushed like crazy. Well what could she do? She supposed Gaara was a man after all. Trying to bring her blush down, she decided to change the subject. "Sorry Gaara, but could you tell me where all your glasses or cups are? I can't find them for the life of me." She gave him a big smile, in which he responded with his usual blank stare. Sakura was holding on to his arm from helping him up, and he was reluctant to make her let go.

He shifted. "Um…here," he shrugged her off his arm (grudgingly) and led her over to the fridge. As he opened the door, Sakura gasped. The entire refrigerator door was filled with cups and glasses of all shapes and sizes. Sakura scowled.

"Who in the world keeps all their cups and glasses inside their fridge?" she demanded.

Gaara smirked, "well apparently…me." She crossed her arms in a pout as Gaara reached down and took two cups. "What can I say? I like my glasses chilled." He turned to smirk at her again, but stopped when he noticed just how adorable she looked when she pouted. He forced a small smirk on his lips once more before handing her one of the cups. "What did you want to drink?" he asked her.

"Milk please, if you have it." Was her reply. He reached for the milk carton. It was then Sakura really noticed what he was wearing, which wasn't much at all. She took in the beauty of his robe first. It was black, but with dark red and maroon etching on the sleeves and hem. When he turned around with the milk in hand she saw (not all, but part) of his toned chest. With his shaggy hair, he looked positively gorgeous. She blushed at her thoughts thinking,No! NO! Am I fucking out of my mind? He's the Kazekage for Christ's sake! And also,she looked back at him,he likes someone else.

Gaara turned around to see Sakura looking at him with a slight blush, but she turned away when he saw.Shit! He saw me! She thought.

Damn she's so shy. It makes her even more attractive.Gaara was looking at her again. Her skin was so smooth looking, and the fairness of it matched her hair color wondrously. Her hands seemed so much smaller than his own. She was so petite and beautiful. He had never felt this way for anyone in his entire life. He cared for her, but not in the way he cared for his siblings, or his friend, Uzamaki Naruto. He desired her lips and her touch. His eyes lingered on her lips, and he felt his heart beat faster.

"Um, Gaara?" Sakura was looking at him.

Shit, I looked at her for too long."hn?"

She chuckled. "Could I have the milk please?"

"Oh, I'll do it," he said. The milk carton was the only thing he had to hold on to in his awkward situation.

"Ok," she handed him her cup and he poured the creamy white milk into both cups. Putting the milk away, he turned back to her. She had already started sipping the cool liquid. Gaara didn't know how to ask her if she would join to sit with him in the den, so he casually nodded to her and walked away, hoping that she might follow. She hesitated a moment, then did.

Gaara sat carelessly in one of the many couches. Sakura sat in the couch across from him and curled up almost, protectively. No, Gaara thought, maybe she could just be cold? Sakura shivered a bit, before hugging herself with one arm (the other arm held her cup). "Are you cold?" asked Gaara quizzically.

"Oh," she seemed startled by the question. "Well just a little," she said honestly. "I was told that the desert became cool at night, but I didn't realize it would be this cool. It was a lot warmer in my bed." Gaara looked up at her last statement. She had meant it quite innocently, but she was blushing none-the-less.

Gaara smirked and continued sipping his drink. When he pulled the cup away, he heard Sakura giggling. "What?" he asked her a little annoyed but enchanted by her laugh at the same time.

"I'm sorry Gaara-san, but you have a milk-mustache!" her giggling continued. He thought she was acting rather like a school girl. He gave a small grunt of annoyance and wiped away the mustache with the back of his sleeve. Sakura stopped laughing at looked at him caringly. God, he loved her eyes. "So," she said changing the subject again, "how come you're awake?"

"hn? Oh I had a," wet dream? Hell no. "A nightmare." He lied.

"Oh really?" she said with concern. "I'm sorry. I hate nightmares—but I guess I had one myself because I woke up and couldn't fall back asleep." She looked at him again. "I can't remember what the nightmare was though," suddenly images raced through her mind as she looked at his husky, masculine appearance. Oh shit! She had just realized her dream. Gaara had been there, with her, and…OH SHIT! She blushed, so much so that her cheeks became darker than her hair. She tried to hide behind her cup, forcing herself to look at anything but him.Omg! What the hell is wrong with me? I can't have dreams about him like that!Inner Sakura had an opinion of her own.Omg that man is hot. We should make that dream of ours come true!No, no, no! This is wrong! I'm just here on business for the Hokage and Konoha! This is so wrong!You know what girl? You need a boyfriend, and soon. Why don't you just go for the hunk of man right in front of you! I'm dyin' in here! Sakura blushed even harder at Inner Sakura's request. Gaara was handsome. Very handsome.

Gaara sat there with his empty cup, trying very hard to not just stare at her. He would try to focus his gaze on something else, but his eyes swept back to her beautiful face. He noticed her shiver again, and wanted to run over hold her in his arms to make her warm. Hell, what am I thinking? Am I insane? It would be completely inappropriate! I'm the Kazekage! I can't just fall in love and suddenly become all sympathetic and-he stopped. Fall in love? He had unconsciously used those exact words. Was he in love? He had never felt such a thing before. Perhaps he was?

Sakura was trying to bring her blush down. She began to feel the cool air on her cheeks again, so she lowered her cup. She was out of milk, and decided to go to bed soon. Gaara saw her actions and knew she was getting ready to leave. An idea popped into his head. This might be his only chance, but he would have to swallow his pride completely. Sakura shifted in her chair, preparing to stand. Ask her! Ask her now! His own head was screaming at him. She stood up, cup in hand. Dammit ask her now!

"Sakura!" he had called to her a little louder than he meant to and was currently cursing himself for it.

She turned around. "Yes, Gaara?"

He cleared his throat weakly. Ok I've got her attention, now ask her.He averted his gaze and asked, "uh… you…sigh…you know that lesson you gave me?"

Sakura blushed, "you mean the…k-kissing one?" her stutter caused him to look up. He smirked at her blush; it gave him a little more confidence.

"Yeah," she blushed even more. "Well," he continued. "You know you didn't really give me chance to learn anything." Sakura felt like she was about to fall backwards. He wanted another kiss? No, she corrected herself. He wants another kissing lesson. It was true that when she had kissed him before, he had become as stiff as a board. She had done all the kissing, and she had been too embarrassed to explain anything.

"o-oh," she stuttered again. Gaara kept his smirk but on the inside he was mentally beating himself up. If she said no, he felt he would die on the spot. She couldn't tell, but Gaara was holding his breath. "Um, well," He couldn't breathe. "Ok, Gaara."

Gaara could've passed out for the surprise he felt. She had agreed to it. He was going to actually kiss her this time. He wouldn't freeze. He couldn't. This could be his last chance. He wanted this kiss more than anything.

Sakura stood there, unsure of what to do. Finally she put her cup down and made her way over to the couch Gaara occupied. He didn't move a muscle. Omg, omg, omg, omg! Sakura chanted out her nerves in her head. Inner Sakura, on the other hand was cheering, complete with fog horn and mini flag in hand. She sat in front of him. "Ok, I'll kiss you, and you can mimic what I do, ok?" he nodded. She leaned forward, and then stopped.

"Gaara?"

"hn?"

"You have to close your eyes first."

"Right."

He closed his eyes. He looked so…she couldn't think of the word. His eye lids were completely black. She shook the thought out of her head and leaned forward. For the second time, their lips met. She shuddered once again at the unexpected warmth. This time, he was moving his lips with hers. It was the strangest kiss she had ever had. She wasn't sure whether to enjoy or not. It's just a lesson, it's just a lesson, it's just a lesson. She had to repeat that over and over again in her head to keep herself focused.

Gaara was freaking out. Of course, he would never ever show it, but still. He had to force himself to keep calm and not freeze up again. He tried to stay focused, but he kept getting distracted by pleasurable things such as, how warm and soft her lips were, how they tasted sweet from milk, how she had shuddered pleasantly at his touch.

Quickly, Sakura brought her mind back into concentration, and gently started kissing his lower lip as she had done before. Gaara only barely moved his lips allowing her to continue. She went back to kissing normally but got a shock when she felt Gaara's start to kiss her own bottom lip. She shivered unwillingly. Apparently Sakura had forgotten her own rules that Gaara was to mimic everything she did. Her arms unconsciously snaked around his neck, deepening the kiss. Gaara was shocked, but didn't show it, and only continued to kiss her.

When Gaara stopped, and went back to kissing her regularly, she could tell her mind was started to become a little unfocused. She gently started sucking on his lower lip. It sent tingling sensations down Gaara's spine, and was barely able to stop a small moan from escaping. Instead he decided to use her trick against her, and wrapped his strong arms around her slender waist. Sakura gave a small gasp but didn't stop kissing him. He smirked against her lips. This guys a fucking natural! Inner Sakura let her presence be known. Inwardly Sakura nodded in agreement. Gaara began sucking on her lip as she had done to him. Her breathing came a little shorter and faster. Finally her mind clouded over completely. This had to be one of the best kisses she had ever experienced.

Ever so lightly her tongue found it way to one of Gaara's lips and carefully licked it. Her tongue retreated quickly. Had she been sane at the moment, she would've never done such a thing, but she was too busy enjoying the kiss to care. Gaara, however, was still trying to learn something. As much as it shocked him that she had licked his lip, he thought it was still part of the lesson (no matter how much he wished it wasn't a lesson at all). He decided to follow the pattern of mimicry and sent his own tongue to Sakura's lips. He lightly licked her top lip causing her to let out a small moan of pleasure.

She opened her eyes and pulled back immediately, covering her mouth. "Omg I'm so sorry Gaara!" she looked like she was on the verge of tears. Gaara sat there transfixed at what he had made her do. His mouth was slightly open but his eyes remained on her (supposedly) emotionless. Sakura's embarrassment was almost too much to bear. She turned and lightly ran through the hallways back to her room. She forgot about the loud noise her door made and shut it behind her. Leaning against the door, she slid down to hug her knees. Omg what did I do? I moaned for him, in a kissing lesson! Omg I'll never be able to look at him the same way again! Her tears started falling as choke-like sobs found their way to her throat.Oh don't worry Inner Sakura tried to console herselfit'll be ok. Maybe he won't think anything of it. It was just a small sound. You didn't arch your back or anything like that. Try to cheer up. Maybe you can just try to avoid him for the next few weeks. Sakura groaned and let her head hit the door behind her, giving her a sharp pain in the back of her head. She would never be able to live this down. She headed over to her bed and crawled into her blankets. Sakura then cried herself to sleep.

Gaara continued to stare into space, the sound Sakura had made playing over and over again in his head. That was one of the most pleasurable experiences he had ever had. No, it was the most pleasurable experience he ever had. He shuddered remembering it. He gave a shaky sigh trying to calm down his emotions. He now realized that was he wanted more than anything in the world. He wanted Sakura by him, near him, always with him. He wanted to be able to see her, hold her, and taste her lips without shame. He closed his eyes, imagining her smile. Finally he decided,she would never love me. Not only is it completely irrational, but she only kissed me because I had requested. Not because she wanted to. His mind stopped. But if she really didn't like him at all, she could've refused him. But she didn't. She had agreed to do it.But was because I'm Kazekage? I tried to kill her in the Chuunin exams, but she still agreed. And that sound she made…he groaned lightly remembering the satisfaction that could be heard in her voice. Shaking the thought out of his head, he stood up, picking up both cups and returning them to the kitchen. He stood over the sink for a moment, wondering what to do next.

"What hell did you do?" Gaara jumped; more shocked that he couldn't feel the presence than by who was watching him. He turned around to face his brother.

"Eh…Kankuro," Gaara didn't feel like talking. He turned back around to look at the sink.

His brother glared at him. His face was clean of his usual face paint, and without his hat, his dirty-brown hair was showing. "I asked you a question, Gaara. What the hell did you do?" the younger brother looked up in confusion.

"What do mean?" Gaara didn't feel like arguing at the time. He was still shaken up by his kiss with Sakura. When he looked at his brother, Gaara didn't try to hide any emotion. Kankuro saw his brother's confusion and weariness in his eyes.

Kankuro sighed. He was no longer talking to the great and powerful Kazekage. He was talking to his love-sick and confused little brother. "Gaara, I had gotten up to use the bathroom and was heading back and I saw Sakura running to her room crying, and practically slamming the door behind her. I don't think she saw me but there was like a thud on the door and then nothing. I was wondering if you had…" realizing that his brother would never hurt Sakura; he dropped the last part of the sentence.

"You thought maybe I had hurt her?" Gaara asked plainly. His face didn't change, but Kankuro caught a hint of worry in his voice.

"Well," said Kankuro chuckling. "At first, but I know that you wouldn't hurt her for the world." He tried to smile at Gaara, but Gaara only turned away again. Kankuro sighed. "What did happen then?"

Gaara would've rather jumped off a cliff than explain what happened to Kankuro, but he didn't have that choice. He remained silent, staring at the sink. Kankuro saw that being insistent wouldn't help, so tuned around to walk back to his room.

"We kissed." Kankuro turned back around. Gaara had said it like a cornered 13 year old. His face remained the same. He didn't look at Kankuro. This was certainly a strange day. Only a number of hours before Gaara had said 'thanks' to him and Temari, and now he was telling Kankuro that he had made out with Sakura. Kankuro made a noise like a muffled "oh," he was contemplating asking Gaara this, but after a minute or so his curiosity got the better of him.

"Well, why was she crying?"

Gaara turned around to face his brother. Kankuro had never seen his brother's face so full of concern. It was so different from his usual expressionless face. Kankuro felt sorry or his little brother. "Was she crying…hard?" Gaara asked.

Omg, he really cares about her. More than just a crush. Kankuro pondered how he would answer Gaara's question. "Uh well not really I guess. I could barely hear it." He added the last part with a smile hoping it would make Gaara feel better. It didn't seem to. Kankuro sighed. "Well do you wanna tell me why she was crying?"

Gaara looked away again. "Embarrassment I guess."

"Embarrassment?" his brother's short answers were starting to get on his nerves.

Gaara sighed a long troubled sigh. "…I…" he didn't want to say it. He looked at Kankuro, hoping he didn't seem too interested. He did, and Gaara silently cursed at him.

"What did you do to make her so embarrassed?" Kankuro asked a little more impatiently this time.

Gaara growled, but then turned away again in silence. "I…made her…moan."

This slapped Kankuro in the face harder then Temari did when he caught her in a bathroom towel once. Gaara had his first kiss less than 10 hours ago and he was already making girls moan. (Omg Kankuro is so dumb; he's completely missing the point! .)

Gaara growled at his brother's delayed response. He suddenly felt sick as a nauseating realization dawned upon him. He leaned over the sink a little further. "She'll never want to speak to me again." He said weakly (if you can imagine Gaara sounding weak—very OOC, I know).

Kankuro was suddenly brought back to reality. His brother who was once powerful and threatening was now leaning feebly over a kitchen sink, all because of a woman. "Aw c'mon Gaara, you know that's not true!" he said trying to make Gaara cheer up. "She was a little embarrassed, but she'll get over it." Gaara glanced up. Kankaro continued happily now that he had his brother's attention. "You know, I was always told that moaning is good. It means she liked the kiss that's all."

Gaara looked back down. "But it wasn't a real kiss." He said quietly. "I was," he cursed at himself for acting so childish and weak, but he continued. "I was afraid that she would refuse to really kiss me, so I asked for another 'lesson'. I made her moan in a kissing lesson. It's," he sighed wearily. "It's not the same."

His mind wandered back to the moan Sakura had given him. He had never had a girl moan for him before. Hell he had never had that kind of kiss before. Temari had kissed his cheeks every birthday since he was brought back to life. He had always pushed her away, because he had found her annoying and disgusting. His fan girl's had blown him kisses, but he always regarded them with a mean stare, making them back away. He found kisses revolting and unnecessary. But now, after kissing Sakura's soft pink lips, it was all he could think about. He had been happy, and he had made her happy, but now he had accidentally embarrassed her, so much so that he would be afraid to look at her from then on. Gaara was sure that she most likely felt the same, if not more.

His slammed his hand on the counter and turned around. Kankuro just stood there, unable to respond. He walked swiftly making a beeline towards the sleeping quarters. Something caught his shoulder, making him stop still. It was Kankuro's hand. "Gaara," he said softly. "I have never truly been in love, so I can only imagine what trouble you're going through. Whatever it is I can tell it must be hard on you. Please try not to worry too much about it. As your brother, I am giving you my greatest show of admiration. You're a great person Gaara, no matter your past. If she didn't love before, she's definitely falling for you now." Kankuro's words caught Gaara's breath. No one had ever said something like that to him before. It froze him in his tracks.

When Gaara was finally able to speak again, he didn't know how to truthfully say a worthy thank you. Instead he asked, "How do you know that?" it came out a bit colder than he had meant it, and he mentally punished himself.

Kankuro only chuckled. Gaara turned around to see his brother smiling a crooked grin at his question. "Because, Gaara," he stated simply. "I can tell those types of things. Trust me." The older brother swept by Gaara and headed for his room. "Night," he called. Gaara followed his example and headed to his own room, closing the door and falling with a sigh on to his bed.

He quickly recapped all the beautiful kunoichi had done to him in that one day. He had received his first kiss, he had said thank you to his brother and sister, he had received his second kiss resulting in the most delightful moment he had ever experienced, he had opened up to his brother, and then they had shared a brotherly moment. All of those things had never happened to him before. This was certainly a shocking day to remember. He sank into his bed and sheets and eventually dozed off into seep, dreaming about pink hair and kisses.

WEEK 3

Sakura rolled over sleepily in her bed. Her eyes opened slowly and glanced at her clock. 10:16 am. She slowly closed her eyes again. Wait a minute…10:16! Omg I'm so fucking late!She jumped out of bed, grabbed her bandages, and ran into the bathroom to change. She was halfway between brushing her teeth and combing her hair when she glanced at the clock again. 10:21. Shit!She quickly finished and practically stumbled out the door, through the hall, and down the stairs. She was about to jump through the front door when she heard a voice. "Where are you going?"

Sakura's head stopped, but the rest of her body kept going. She found herself slipping and falling flat on her back. She let out a small yelp before she hit the ground. It had been Gaara who had asked the question. He had tried to remain as professional as possible since their kiss, but her eyes always avoiding his was driving him insane.

Sakura didn't want to get up. She didn't want to have to face Gaara and say she was late. Talking to him was still awkward. She stayed on her back for a second before slowly getting up to face him. He had watched her fall, and had wanted to run and catch her, but he had remained motionless. Gaara was beating himself up on the inside and looked at her painfully as she once again averted her eyes.

Temari, who had been sitting in the corner the entire time, looked at Sakura and cheerfully exclaimed, "Good morning Sakura!"

Sakura merely nodded to her. "Where are you going?" Gaara asked again.

"Work," she spat out the word while scowling at the floor.

"What?" Gaara asked in all honest confusion.

"Work!" she said finally looking at him with her sea-foam green eyes. "I'm going to work because I slept in and I'm almost two hours late and I refuse to lose in our agreement! Those medical nin are going to get extra training today for my mistake. Now if you'll excuse me," she turned on her heal in a heated rush. She was never late and it was really pissing her off at how calm everyone seemed. She was about to go through the door when she heard Gaara's voice again.

"Sakura," he said calmly.

"What?" she asked angrily whipping around to face him.

"It's Sunday."

She gasped. She now realized why she had slept in. It was because yesterday she hadn't set her alarm. She had wanted to sleep in, but for the past three weeks she had been waking up at the same time every morning to go to work teaching and helping out in Suna's hospital. Even on her last Sunday she had agreed to wake up to do some extra teaching with a few of her students. Not that it wasn't doing wonders for her students, because their abilities were soaring, but she hadn't had any time to reallyrest. Her eyes glazed over at the news. Temari started giggling; Gaara had shot her a death glare to make her stop but it didn't help. Sakura slumped a little and leaned against the door. Gaara was looking at her again. On the outside his face showed absolutely no emotion, but on the inside he was wanting to kiss her just for being so damn innocent right then.

"Oh," she said strangely. "Well I guess I'll go train then." She stood up straight and opened the door to leave, abandoning Gaara to look after her longingly. After she shut the door, Gaara turned to his still giggling sister, with a look of pure disgust. Sakura wandered on towards the training grounds. Her cheeks were red with anger and embarrassment.

"Shut up Temari." Gaara commanded. She stopped giggling but continued to smile at him.

"You've got it bad, haven't you, baby brother?" she asked him.

"I told you not to call me that!" he retorted angrily.

"Alright, alright, sorry, Gaara." She said his name with a bit of sarcasm. She had really started to push her luck with his temper the past few weeks. "Kankuro told me about the kiss. Why don't you just do something nice for her? She might decide to disregard her embarrassment." Temari proposed the idea so unexpectedly that Gaara was frozen a moment without an answer.

He turned to face his sister. She had already moved on to reading the newspaper (right-side-up mind you) and said nothing. Gaara hated these conversations that his siblings had been forcing him into lately. He was desperate for the answers that they dangled mockingly in front him, so he had no choice but to comply.

"What do you mean?" Gaara asked her grudgingly.

She smiled at him again, but he could sense her smugness. "Well you practically embarrassed her to death, so she's afraid to talk or make eye contact with you. Do something nice for her, as an apology."

She had left him hanging… again. He sighed. "Like what?"

"well I don't know," she adjusted the newspaper, bringing it closer as though she couldn't read it, but Gaara saw that she was just trying to hide her smirk.

He growled at her for wasting his time. He knew she had an answer, and was just about ready to send his sand at her. He finally realized it. She wanted him to say please. It was one of the words not found in Gaara's vocabulary. Most of the time he got his way by letting his sand do the work, but Temari was smarter than that. She knew he wouldn't kill her, and would never tell until she got what she wanted. Despite how much power he had over her a Kazekage, he decided to not waste time. Maybe he could get away without directly saying it.

"Temari, of course you know. I know you know because…" he paused and looked at her face, trying to make the moment seem a little more touching. "Because…you're Temari." She merely arched an eyebrow at him, clearly not satisfied. He decided to try again. "Temari, you are the big sister of all big sisters. You know everything about these kinds of problems." He could tell that he had hit a sentimental nerve, because she was looking at him with her 'big sister' eyes. The ones that showed all the love she had for her family. But she turned back to her paper, still not satisfied. Gaara glowered at her. Turning away and glaring at every speck of dirt on the floor he muttered,

"Please."

Temari turned back to him flashing her biggest smile. "Oh what was that Gaara? I don't think I heard you!" she was about to laugh when she felt something grasp her wrists. Gaara was practically cutting of her blood circulation. Right now he absolutely hated his sister, and his sand floated threateningly in the air behind him. His glare was so fierce that Temari couldn't breathe, but she forced out a smile and said, "Ok, ok, you win."

Gaara let her go and stood up. He continued to stare at her as she picked up the newspaper and began 'reading' it again. "Well?" Gaara asked impatiently.

"Oh look!" she said happily, pointing at a spot on the newspaper. "There's sale on mini skirts at the Kimono store! 15 off all," Gaara snatched the paper away from her.

"Just answer the question!" he demanded.

Temari sighed, looking at him caringly. "You really do have it bad, don't you?"

Gaara glared. "Are we going to go through all that again?" he asked angrily.

She sighed again. "No. Invite her to lunch or dinner. It's a nice way to apologize and get in some good conversation, but whatever you do, don't bring up the kiss, or it will just make things awkward again." Temari snatched the newspaper back into her own possession. Gaara stood transfixed. He hadn't expected the answer to come so quickly. He turned to leave before catching Temari's request. "And could you tell her that I want to see her? I might need a shopping partner." He rolled his eyes and headed for the training grounds.

Sakura stood as the sand kunoichi she had been fighting flew across the field and landed in a cloud of dust. When the cloud faded away, the opposing ninja stood up weakly and admitted defeat. Sakura bowed respectfully to the woman and looked into the small crowd that had gathered. They all gazed at her in wonder. This Hidden Leaf kunoichi had beaten every single sparring partner she had since arriving at the training grounds that morning. No one had been able to beat her. In the beginning ninja had fought her in the hopes of outsmarting the kunoichi in battle, but after a while they only went against her for the benefit of their own training.

"Is there anyone else?" Sakura asked sweetly. She knew she probably seemed a bit overconfident, but she was growing annoyed that ninja were only using her to train themselves. She was perfectly happy training by herself, but it was the other people that kept challenging her.

Gaara stalked lazily into the crowd. Most of the people didn't notice it at first, but there were some who did and bowed respectfully to him, before turning back to the pink haired woman in the middle of the field. There was a man standing near him, who bowed respectfully before turning back. He began to speak. Gaara wasn't sure if the man was talking to him or not, but Gaara listened anyway.

"Well I was told that she was a medical Nin, but then she comes out here and BAM! Beats every single opponent that comes to her. I've been waiting back here hoping her stamina would weaken a bit, because I know I'm no match for her, but I would like to fight her nonetheless." The man shifted on his feet before saying, "she is pretty isn't she?"

Gaara stared at the man as he walked through the crowd to challenge Sakura. His last words had left Gaara's blood to boil, but it wasn't just what the man had said, but also the way he had said it. Gaara had caught the smirk in his voice, and it sent warning signals off in his head. He spotted a near-by tree and decided to climb it for a better view. Also if he didn't get out of sight soon, the fan girls would come.

He peered through the branches and watched as the man walked up to Sakura and challenged her. She just shrugged and walked away a bit before getting into battle stance. The man did the same. Gaara watched intently, but something else momentarily drew his attention. The crowed was murmuring quietly, but he was able to catch some of their comments, and they troubled him even more.

"I can't believe that he's challenging her."

"His intentions can't be good."

"Why, what's wrong?"

"Don't you know? He's the town pervert."

Gaara looked back at his cherry blossom and the man who had challenged her to battle. Sakura made the first move. Three kunai flew from her hand. The man's attention was drawn to the flying knives. He blocked them with three of his own shurrikun. He turned back to face Sakura but she was already gone. He turned around just in time to dodge a side kick. He flew down and tried to knock her to the ground. She jumped his leg and did front flip over his body. As she landed, she punched the ground, sending a large crack into the ground in his direction. The small earthquake caught him off guard, making him stumble.

He quickly gathered chakra into his feet and jumped. While in the air he threw a kunai at her. She was already a step ahead of him. She turned around faster than someone could blink and caught the kunai in its hook ring (Gaara smirked at that). Gathering chakra into her own feet she jumped and caught the man on his way down. Sakura used her feet to grasp around his neck. Her momentum was still propelling upward so she started spinning. She did a summersault in the air, plummeting the still spinning man to the ground. Sakura stopped spinning and landed quite cat-like on the ground. Gaara smirked again. She was pretty good.

Sakura stood straight and waited for the dust to clear. The man stood. He had numerous scratches and bruises, but he wasn't giving up yet.

"You're a persistent little bitch, aren't you?" he called. His comment nearly made Gaara abandon his spot in the tree to beat the man senseless.

Sakura merely smiled and replied, "You haven't seen the worst of it." This made Gaara smirk once again. Pretty, smart, strong, tough, and a good kisser. His mind was brought back into focus when he saw man start running toward Sakura again.

Sakura back-flipped and used her arms to push her backwards a good twenty five feet through the air. Immediately she started evenly distributing chakra through her body. She was getting annoyed with this man and wanted him to be her last opponent for that day. She looked back at the man. He was still running but then, he was gone! She turned around but he was already ahead of her. He had used a teleportation jutsu. Before she could react his hand had slid down her back ( O.O ) to grab her. She gasped and the disgusting man licked her ear.

She could've punched him right then. Beaten him to death. But she didn't. For some reason her reflexes went purely standard. Sakura pushed him away and slapped him. Even so, her insane strength knocked him backwards. "What the fuck were you thinking you stupid ass hole!" she screamed at him.

He just laughed at her. "Calm down, I jus- whuph!" Sakura jumped back as a wall of sand knocked the man into the air before slamming him into a tree trunk. The sand held him fast and he couldn't move at all.

Sakura turned around to see a very angry Gaara glaring at the man as if he wanted to kill him. He had one arm held up, his hand (seemingly) clutching nothing. He was holding the man still with his sand. He was so angry that his entire gourd of sand was swirling menacingly above him. Sakura was actually a little happy to see him.

"If you ever touch her like that again, I won't hesitate to kill you. I daresay the other women in this village would be very happy also." Gaara's words came slow and cold. The man was still dazed from having the air knocked out of him, but once the words sunk in he looked in complete terror at the Kazekage. Sakura actually blushed a little before walking up to the man under Gaara's grasp.

"You disgust me." She said. Gathering chakra into her finger, she flicked the man in the side of the head, instantly rendering him unconscious. She turned back to Gaara. He still looked at the man, even though he was now out cold.

"Gaara?"

"hn?" he didn't look at her.

"Thanks." He looked at her this time. She was blushing slightly. "I could've handled it myself, but you rushed in to help me anyway."

"Oh," he said quietly. "You're welcome."

"Gaara?"

"hn?"

"You can let him down now." this angered him again.

"Why?"

"The villagers are staring." Gaara looked at Sakura who was waving sweetly in the direction of the crowd, then at the crowd itself. It was true. They were staring at him. He calmed down a little and the swirling sand retreated back into his gourd. He let his arm fall back to his side, and the sand holding the man fell also. The man limply collapsed to the ground. There was some worried murmuring among the crowd. Sakura didn't want the people of Suna to look at their Kazekage in fear. He was just trying to protect her. She ran up towards them.

"Isn't this wonderful?" she asked the people. She stated acting like one of Gaara's fan girls. "The Kazekage will stop at nothing to protect the women of Suna from people like that guy" she motioned towards the unconscious pervert. "Oh it's absolutely dreamy!" she ran back to Gaara and threw her arms around him and pulled him into a big hug.

"What the—?" he began. He was so shocked by Sakura's sudden act of affection that he couldn't finish his sentence. He just stared at the beautiful girl attached to him. This was the closest they'd been since their kiss.

"Just play along," she whispered. "Try to push me away." He didn't want to. She noticed he wasn't moving. "Just do it." He cursed and started to pry her off him. Actually she was trying to stay and hug him. She was acting like one of his annoying fan girls. Wait! He looked back at the crowd. Most of the crowd was looking at him fondly. The remaining faces were young girls that had started emerging.

Shit! "Get off, Sakura!" he tried pulling harder. "You've called in the damn mob!" she only looked up and smiled.

"At least they're not looking at you in fear anymore."

He finally realized her plan. She hadn't wanted the people to be afraid of him, but instead see him has a man who actually did care about things such as perverts. Of course in all reality he did care, but had never shown it in public. He was always busy with bigger matters. He continued to try and pull Sakura off, but this time he was acting and tried to gently push her away. The young girls that had been emerging were starting to walk forward. They were starting to call out to him.

"Oh Kazekage! You're so sweet and strong at the same time!"

"You pulverized that mean old pervert!"

"Oh thank you, Kazekage!"

They were barely ten feet from Gaara and Sakura. "Ok," Sakura whispered. "Time for a dramatic escape." He smirked. The sand in his gourd started to swirl around him and Sakura. The girls recognized this movement and were calling for him to stay. He only gave them a half-hearted wave before disappearing into his cloud of sand. Sakura had never before experienced this, and she let out a small gasp as the sand blew around her and through her hair. Gaara snaked an arm around her protectively, as if telling her not to worry. Sakura closed her eyes.

When she opened her eyes, she was still holding on to Gaara, he still had his arm around her, but instead of a group of obsessed girls, she was staring at the court yard out side the Kazekage's mansion. It was just a small courtyard. It was actually more like a green house. In the desert it was hard to grow plants to be used for various things. Despite the small size, the site of green plants and the few colored flowers that were there made Sakura feel refreshed and relaxed. She took a huge breath of the moist scent and let it out in a sigh. Gaara glanced at her. She hadn't let him go yet. It made him wonder if maybe…

No, she wouldn't see me in that way…would she? He thought about holding her tighter with his arm, but decided against it. He was afraid of her reaction. Instead he let his arm slacken a little. He wished he hadn't though. As she felt his arm muscles relax, Sakura immediately realized that she hadn't let go of him. She quickly did so, blushing and murmuring, "Sorry."

He didn't want her to let him go. He had been starved of contact from her since their kiss. Gaara only grunted at her apology and turned away.

"Why did you bring us here?" Sakura asked quietly. Gaara looked back at her. He actually didn't know why the sand had taken them to the courtyard. When his arm had grasped her all he saw was her. His Sakura. His cherry blossom. Cherry blossom…a cherry blossom is flower. Had his mind thought flower? Had the sand gone to where the closest flowers were because his mind had thought flower? He didn't know, but was secretly happy that it's where they had landed. So quiet, so tranquil, so… sensual.

When Sakura questioned him again though, he simply said, "Because it's close to the house."

He watched Sakura wander through the small garden, examining various plants and flowers. When he would look at her she would smile, blush, and turn away. Every time she did so, he got shivering sensations down his spine. Why did she blush all the time? Did she really like him, or was it just embarrassment?

Sakura continued looking at the plants. She tried to steal glances at the handsome Kazekage now and again, but every time she looked up he was always already looking at her. Dammit!She thought.Every time I try to look him! He'll think I have a crush on him!Well frankly, ya do. Inner Sakura joined in.I know, but it's completely inappropriate!Honey, you're passed inappropriate. You're working for the guy and already you've kissed him twice. Not to mention the dreams. It was true. Ever since their second kiss she had been strangely drawn to Gaara. Every night she had dreams about him. Some were good dreams, others were… She couldn't openly admit that she had a crush on him. Sakura was still under the impression that he liked someone else. She sighed. Why do I always fall for the guys I can't have? She tried to look at him once more, but again caught his eyes.Maybe he likes you and is afraid to say so.Sakura shook her head.That's only wishful thinking.

"Sakura," his voice was so deep masculine. It made Sakura swoon every time she heard it.

"Yes?" she asked a little breathlessly.

"I would like you join me for dinner tonight." His words almost knocked her unconscious.

"What?" she was utterly shocked.

Damn, she doesn't want to and she's all shocked now!Gaara cursed at himself silently. "I want to discuss your work with Suna's medical Nin." He added quickly.

"Oh, sure!" she said happily. Did I seem too eager? I seemed too eager didn't I? Dammit! Inner Sakura however was crying her heart out.It only has to do with business! Why? Why? Can't it just be a regular date?She smiled but turned away to join Inner Sakura in her wallowing. When she turned back around she gave him a big smile.

Why does she have to smile? It just reminds me that she and her smile don't belong to me. Gaara turned to leave, when he remembered something. "Oh, Sakura,"

"Yes Gaara?" Please make him say that he just realized how much he loves me and he wants me to marry him. Sakura was praying in her head.

"Temari wanted to see you."

"Oh, ok" Sakura's dreams came crashing down.

Gaara stalked out, leaving Sakura behind to look at the plant life. She sighed. Why did things always have to be so complicated? Why couldn't she just fall for a guy who was already crazy about her? She sat down and picked a small flower that happened to be near her. She examined it. It was a dark shade of purple and had spikes rather than petals, but they weren't sharp to the touch. Carefully she plucked one of the spikes.

"He loves me." She said quietly. She plucked another spike. "He loves me not." It was childish of her, but she continued. "He loves me, he loves me not, he loves me, he loves me not, he loves me," only one petal remained. She plucked it sadly. "He loves me not." She sighed once more and let the spike-less bud fall to the ground. She hadn't noticed the one small petal that had been hidden behind the others. As Sakura stood to walk away, the last small spike broke off and slid to the ground. He loves me.

Sakura walked back into the house to look for Temari. She found her trying to repair a small puncture in her fan. When Temari saw her she smiled but then went back to her work.

"Hi Temari-chan." Sakura said.

"Oh hi Sakura-chan. One second, I'm almost finished." She motioned toward her fan. Sakura nodded but decided to continue.

"Gaara said you wanted to see me." Sakura said as-a-matter-of-factly. Temari looked up as though confused but then realization swept over her.

"Oh yeah I had the day off too and thought maybe we could do something together. Hang on just a few more stitches. Tell me about your day then. I'm just about done." Temari went back to her fan.

"Oh…well I got grabbed by a pervert at the training grounds, Gaara saved the day, and now he wants to have dinner with me so we can discuss Suna's medical advancements." Sakura kept her face focused on a spot on the wall as she said it. Temari finished patching her fan and looked up at Sakura with her biggest smile.

"Gaara wants to have dinner with you?" she asked Sakura as though she hadn't heard anything else. Sakura nodded.

"Well that's great! Now I know exactly what we can do today!" Temari smile widened (if that was even possible). Sakura was looking at her expressionless. Sakura had to forget about the flower. She plastered on a big smile for Temari.

"What are we going to do?" Sakura asked. Temari's face lightened a Sakura's sudden show of enthusiasm.

"Well you're having dinner with Gaara. We need to make sure you look good." Sakura's smile dropped.

"But Temari, it only has to with work. It's not a date or anything like that." Temari only continued smiling.

"Well look at it this way. You're having dinner with the Kazekage. You don't want to look all crummy and dirty like you do now."

Sakura scowled. "Who ever said I looked crummy and dirty?" she asked angrily.

Temari laughed. "I did. Now let's get some money. You're going to the bathhouse and then shopping. Hell we might even do something with your hair."

Sakura made a motion as if she as trying to look at her own hair, but then turned back to Temari. She smiled again at Temari's eagerness. She nodded in agreement and allowed Temari to grab her by the hand and drag her out of the room.

Sakura and Temari went to the bathhouse. When they left Temari immediately started taking her to all her favorite stores. Sakura was awed by her friend's bold choices. Fish net stockings, mini skirts. Sakura was willing to try something new, but she couldn't decide if she was completely ready for the bad-ass appearance that Temari was giving her. While shopping Sakura noticed just how worn out her kunoichi uniform had become. They picked out an entirely new outfit for each of them (Sakura making sure it was mission worthy, incase she decided to wear it again), and headed to a salon. Temari refused to abandon her four ponytails, but agreed to get her bangs positioned differently. Sakura, on the other hand, fueled by Temari's daring attitude, decided to do something that she would've never dreamed of before. She admired the change in the mirror, complimenting the stylist. When Temari saw her she arched an eyebrow but then smiled. She was proud of Sakura for letting go a little.

"Way to go Sakura-chan! You look great." Temari congratulated her friend. She added silently though, Gaara's gonna do back flips when he sees you. You'll be turning heads everywhere.

Sakura blushed and turned towards the Kazekage mansion. With every step her nervousness grew. What would Gaara think? Would he like her new changes? She took in a shuddering breath. Too late now. She had the clothes and her new hair. She was going to look at life in a new way, no matter what happened between her and Gaara.

Gaara sat in his kitchen. Mitaya had hired a few cooks to cook a nice meal for Sakura and him. He watched them hustle around stirring this and seasoning that. It isn't a date. It isn't a date. He repeated this over in his head. But…it was dinner. Dinner that required an invitation (though Sakura was the only person that had received an invite). They were going to talk about her progress in the medical unit, so it was just a friendly dinner to discuss work. But still, it was formal. He looked down at his Kazekage robe. Should he change into something else? It was Sakura after all.

He heard the door open. Temari looked in as if trying to see if the coast was clear or not. When she saw Gaara she immediately decided it was not and closed the door a little bit.

"What are you doing, Temari?" he inquired quizzically.

"Oh nothing, Gaara. I just have a surprise for you is all, and you can't see it until your dinner with Sakura." She smiled at him.

He glared. "Is Sakura with you?"

"Maybe." She smiled even wider, making it obvious that Sakura was in fact with her, hiding behind the door. Gaara rolled his eyes.

"Whatever just tell her that dinner will be in half an hour."

"Sure thing. Now you just run upstairs to change, ok?"

He glared. How had she known that he was going to change? He growled before turning and walking towards the sleeping quarters. After he was out of sight, Temari pulled Sakura inside and helped her prepare for the dinner.

"Ok you look great. Now the key is to make a big entrance,"

"Temari,"

"You go in, strut your stuff,"

"Temari."

"Show off your hair,"

"TEMARI!"

"What?"

"This dinner is just to discuss work. That's it. I don't need a big entrance."

"Oh fine. But tell me everything later."

"Why?"

"Just do, ok?"

"Whatever. I have to go now."

Sakura cut off the argument she was having with Temari and took one last glance in the mirror. Ok, this is it. She really did look different.

Slowly Sakura made her way to the dining room. Peeking around the corner she saw Gaara waiting for her. He had changed out of his usual Kazekage uniform and into a more formal one. It was black with red and burgundy on every edge. She thought it matched perfectly with his hair, and his black ringed eyes. His eyes. She let her gaze linger on them for a moment too long. Gaara's eyes remained in the same spot, focusing on nothing, but his voice broke the silence.

"Are you just going to hide behind that wall for the entire evening?" he said.

Sakura suppressed a surprised gasp/yelp/thing. She hadn't thought he'd seen her. Taking a deep breath, she stepped out from behind the wall and walked forward into the light of the room. Gaara looked up at her to acknowledge her entrance, but his air was caught in mid-breath. He…he had never seen something like what he saw before him.

Sakura stood almost shyly in front of him. She wore a red halter top with the character 'faith' on it. Underneath the halter top was a normal black ninja mesh shirt. The bottom half of her outfit came in layers. She wore black shorts that fit her curve perfectly. Emerging from under her shorts came her usual bandages, and emerging from underneath those came black fish nets that reached all the way down into her mission boots. Her arms had fish nets also. They started at her elbows and ended in a hook around thumbs.

Temari had put just a little bit of eyeliner on Sakura to go with her hair. Gaara stared at her hair. It was still pink, but the ends had been dyed black, along with a single black streak in front of her face. She looked like a gothic cherry blossom. Wait… that's exactly what Temari had turned her into, a gothic cherry blossom (not that Sakura really minded).

Gaara nearly fell backwards in his chair. She looked so…so…God he wanted to take her then and there. Sakura blushed at his reaction. He stared completely dumbstruck. His mouth was slightly open in awe. Well,she thought inwardly shrugging I guess that's what I get for shopping with Temari.She took her seat across from Gaara, whose expression didn't change. Cha! You look hot! It's written all over his face! Inner Sakura was punching the air in triumph. Sakura looked back at Gaara who was still staring at her and giggled.

"Gaara," she said still giggling. "It's rude to stare."

He snapped out of his daze and looked at the table. He knew if he looked at her again he might go into the same state all over again.

"I see you dressed up for the occasion." He said blankly.

"Oh this? No. Temari just took me shopping is all." She blushed.

Dammit Temari! How am I supposed to get through this dinner now?Gaara was silently cursing his sister for putting him in such a dilemma. Gaara was momentarily saved by the cooks bringing in their meal. Sakura said thank you and Gaara nodded to them. He didn't want took at her—correction—he desperately wanted to look at her but forced himself not to for fear that he would lose speech again.

"Itadakimasu." Sakura said politely.

"Itadakimasu." Gaara echoed.

They began eating silently. After a while though, Gaara decided to bring up the subject that this whole dinner had been centered on.

"You may tell me about our medical nin at any time." Gaara tried to sound polite, but was devastated when it came out sounding a little cold and impatient. Sakura however, didn't seem to notice.

"Oh! Yes they're doing excellent! All of my students are quickly grasping the different aspects of being medical Nin. Of course, I didn't train them all separately, so naturally they all have developed their own section of expertise. I have about four who have excelled greatly healing broken bones. There are about five others who specialize in removing poisons, and so on. Some are better at relaxing muscle tension and I actually have a few that were able to stabilize heart rates. But over all their chakra control has sky rocketed. I'm so proud of them!" she ended with a beaming smile.

Gaara tried not to look at her for too long. "Yes I was told that the success rates at Suna's hospital have gone up."

Sakura continued smiling. "Well I know it's not the end of the month yet but I'm assuming that I've won our little bet."

Gaara looked back up at her in surprise. She had crossed her arms smugly, with her award-winning smile tugging across her face. Their bet? He had bet that she couldn't train Suna's medical Nin in one month, but she did. He had wanted to send her back to Konoha. He had wanted to be rid of the girl he thought to be weak and unnecessary.

Gaara laughed. It was the first time he had ever laughed (at least out loud). Sakura gasped and gawked at him. His laugh was a low rumble that ended in very joyous chuckling. An actual smile rested on his lips as he looked at her.

"Yes I suppose you have. You'll just have to stay in Suna with me." His laughter quickly ended once he realized exactly what he had just said. With me? He felt like punching himself. Sakura blushed like crazy.

"I…" she started. Gaara held his breath at her response. "I suppose so." She immediately began eating again, and Gaara silently followed her example. Did he just say what I think he just said?Sakura asked herself. Omg! He did! With him? What was that supposed to mean? Does he like me being here? Sakura looked back at him and blushed.

Gaara looked at his food. Temari had told him not to bring up the kiss, but he was dying to know. He swallowed hard. She could become embarrassed again and ruin their happy moment together.

"Sakura?"

She looked at him. "Yes?"

"That…um," he was having trouble asking the question. "Um…that kiss,"

She quickly became red. "The kiss?" looking down she said, "I said I was sorry Gaara. I didn't mean to make that," she struggled. "…sound…"

"That's not what I wanted to know," he said quietly. He looked up at her to make sure he had her attention. He did. "I wanted to know if…if you liked it."

Sakura was dumbstruck. She was afraid to tell him that she had in fact, enjoyed their kiss immensely. In all actuality, it had been the best kiss she had ever had. If he was inquiring because he wanted to know if he had actually done good in the lesson, she might sound too excited and he would find out that she really liked him. But, his 'stay with him' comment had left her wondering. If, by chance, he did really like her, was he wanting to know if he had pleased her? If that was the case, then she wanted her feelings known and the truth let out so as not to disappoint him. Thanks to Gaara's never changing emotionless face however, she was prohibited from figuring out which situation she was in fact in. Sakura bit her lip nervously. She would have to guess. Unless…

She folded her arms. "Well that depends. Are you asking whether I liked it, or are you asking whether someone else would like it? Namely your crush?"

Gaara stopped. His crush? Sakura was his crush. Did she think he liked somebody else? He chuckled on the inside. Temari had told her I liked someone but she didn't tell Sakura who. With they way Sakura's been acting lately, could she really like me and yet be afraid that I like another person?In all certainty that was exactly what had happened. Sakura really liked Gaara but was still unaware that the person he liked was her. Just as she had been, Gaara was faced with two options, and no way to figure out which one to chose. He could tell her that he wanted to know what she thought, implying that he was interested in just her, and hope his theory was correct. However, if he was wrong and he implied that he was interested in her, she may not like him back, and the now awkward situation would become devastatingly worse.

Gaara sighed. It would be inappropriate as the Kazekage, but he was still just a human. He had been a human for five years now. Thanks to his siblings he had learned small traces of emotions, but since Sakura came, an unfamiliar emotion had over powered him. Kankuro had mentioned love, and so had his own inner self, but was that really what it was? Could it just be physical attraction?

He glanced up at Sakura and looked into her eyes. Those pools of sea foam green that reminded him of the forest, but perhaps also something more. She tried to hide any obvious facial expressions from him, but gazing into her eyes he saw that something was troubling her. Through one eye he saw hope, but through the other eye he saw fear. Fear.The word echoed in his head.She's afraid of me. But, upon looking back at that particular eye, he noticed, it was not fear of him, but fear of something else. An action, per say, like rejection. She was afraid of his answer. He noticed again, two options. She could be afraid that he liked her and hoped he didn't, or…he looked at her whole face. She gazed back at him with a mock intense stare like his. Is it possible that she hopes I like her and is afraid that I don't?

"I wanted to know if…if you liked it." That was it. Gaara closed his eyes and waited for answer. He had meant to ponder it a bit longer, but it seemed the words had stumbled out of his mouth against his will. There was nothing he could to now except wait for her reply. If it turned out Sakura didn't like him, well, that was that. If that happened, then he would have to accept it and continue with politeness and try to forget the whole ordeal ever happened. If she did like him, well then Gaara might just faint (of course he wouldn't, but remember, this poor guy is really nervous). Gaara unknowingly held his breath.

Sakura gawked. That had been the answer she desperately wanted, but she hadn't expected it. She stared at his unmoving, emotionless form. He had his eyes closed again. He wanted to know if she had liked the kiss, meaning he wanted to know her opinion for himself,not her opinion on how the kiss might be for someone else, but on how she had taken it. Things started rushing through her mind. The second kiss, the way he had protected her, the invitation to dinner with him, his reaction at her new appearance. They all pointed to the fact that he was attracted to her.Is it possible? She thought.Could I be his crush? Inner Sakura decided to join in. well think about the way he acts around you, it's certainly different than the way he acts around other people. And also, think about the way you feel about him.But, but what if…she tried to think of a reason but Inner Sakura cut her off, apparently pissed. Stop trying to push yourself away from what you want! All arrows point to him liking you! He likes you, possibly even loves you! And you're trying to make it not so! Damn girl, no wonder you don't have a boyfriend! You're afraid! Inner Sakura's comment caught Sakura off guard. She was afraid. She was afraid that maybe her commitment would be stronger than his, or vise versa. She was afraid that after a while he wouldn't love her same way or as much. She was afraid that the relationship might not work and he would leave her to be lonely, again. She was afraid of the adaptations she would have to make. Sakura was still learning to live her own life with the constant changes in it, how was she supposed to live his life too?

Ok, try to imagine Inner Sakura slapping Sakura right now. I know that's not possible, (unless Sakura was to slap herself) but just use you imagination, ok? What is your problem? You're afraid of change even though it's inevitable. You're gonna die the old crazy cat lady, you know that?Sakura stared. She wanted to be with Gaara. She loved him. But Inner Sakura was right. She would die alone if she didn't suck it up and enjoy the ride. Change came with life, and unless she was to die, there was no way of avoiding it.

"Gaara," she said finally, looking up to gaze at his face. Gaara opened his eyes. Sakura wasn't aware of it, but Gaara hadn't taken a single breath during her silence, and was just about ready to pass out from lack of air. He slowly let out the air, trying to remain silent. Sakura shifted in her seat.

"…I…" she wanted her feelings known to him, but she didn't know how to state it. Taking a deep breath she shut her eyes tightly. "'mafaridthatyouwon'''''llstillloveyou." She held her head with her hands and ducked down under the table to hide her embarrassment. Also she was trying to steady her heart beat by taking slow deep breathes, though they weren't bringing down her blush. She had just confessed her love to him but it came out so fast that she was scared she might have to repeat it. Also she had mentioned a relationship. Relationship? Am I insane? We don't even have a relationship, well at least not yet but still…he probably thinks I'm crazy.

Gaara stared at the empty chair in front of him. This was one of the few times shock (let alone any emotion) was easily readable on his features. Her blabbering was replaying through his mind as he tried to sort out the words. So he had been right. Sakura actually did like him, but had thought he liked another. But she had also mentioned love. Did he love her? Glancing back at the empty chair he chuckled at how childish her actions were, hiding underneath the table. Yes, he loved her. He loved her beauty, her grace, her courage, and also her innocence, kindness, and funniness. She wasn't afraid of him, like others were. She respected his power, but made him feel like a real person on the inside. She was smart and strong, but also sweet. She had determination and faith in what she did. Her blush made him smile, and her touch made him shiver. Yes, he loved her.

"Sakura," he said quietly to the empty chair. Slowly a pink hairball rose from below the table, making Gaara chuckle again. Carefully she looked back to face him, barely sitting on the edge of the chair. Embarrassment played on her cheeks, while she tried to hide it behind some of her hair. Her netted arms hugged her self unsurely before she replied. "Yes?"

"I love you too."

Sakura's faced snapped back to look at him in he eyes. Her face showed a mixture of shock, confusion, and happiness at the same time. Gaara smirked.

Sakura stuttered in amazement. "I-I…uh…you wha—uhph!" all Gaara saw was the pink hairball disappear quite quickly below the table again, however this time was by accident. She was sitting on the very, very edge of her seat, and when she had moved suddenly, the pressure was too much for the poor chair to handle, sending the flabbergasted Sakura to the ground once more. Gaara stood and walked around to help her, chuckling once more as she looked around in confusion. She was just so damn cute.

Sakura looked at him as he leaned down to help her. "Are you o-" his words were cut off as he felt her lips against his. Gaara was puzzled and blinked a few times before closing his eyes to kiss her back. As her arms found their way around his neck, he got down on his knees to join her on the floor; his own arms went around her waist to deepen the kiss. This kiss wasn't like the others before it. It was passionate and full of need. He found he couldn't breathe and broke for air. Sakura smiled and hugged him. He rested his chin on the top of her head and sighed.

"Sakura, would you like to go for a walk?" he asked quietly.

She giggled into his chest. "With you?"

"Yeah,"

"Sure."

Sakura smiled again and pulled away, much to the displeasure of Gaara. However his disappointment was erased when her hand grasped his own. He had never had someone hold his hand before, but he found the contact pleasant, so he entwined his rough, callused fingers with her smooth and slender ones.

Her eyes found his and searched through them. He was honest. She sighed, satisfied, and allowed Gaara to lead her outside. She would just have to deal with the changes. They had shit ahead of them for sure, her being of the Hidden Leaf and him being the Kazekage of the Hidden Sand. She would have to leave friends behind to be with him, and Tsunade definitely wasn't going to be too happy. None of these things were going through Sakura's mind though, as she strolled with him in back of the Kazekage mansion. She was in love and she loved it. She loved being in love with him. No worries crossed her mind as she breathed in the sweet smell of evening.

Gaara watched as Sakura wandered a few steps in one direction, a few steps in another, and smirked as it seemed she was so happy she couldn't decide where to go. He had never felt this kind of joy around anyone and wanted the feeling to never leave. Some of the worries that couldn't get through Sakura's mind slowly drifted into his, but he decided to push them aside and enjoy being carefree for once in his life. He loved her so much, and was equally happy that she now knew about it, and loved him back. Before she came he knew nothing about crushes, kisses, or anything else of the sort. He smiled and relished the feeling of having her by his side.

"Hey Gaara?" Sakura asked.

"Yes, Sakura?"

"Does this mean you're my boyfriend?"

He smiled. "I suppose it does." He pulled her into a hug. "And it means you're my Cherry Blossom." Sakura blushed and pecked him on the lips.

As the night progressed they hugged, they kissed, and they even laughed (well Gaara only chuckled) about their feelings for each other before the truth was known. They laughed at Sakura's blushes and Gaara's hidden embarrassments. He had never talked so much in his entire life, and felt comfortable conversing with Sakura. He was even able to conjure up a joke or two (gasp). Her laugh sounded like a heavenly melody to him, and when he held her, his arms made her feel safe and secure like never before. They were truly deep in love.

(Back in the dining room, just after Gaara and Sakura left)

"Ha-ha! YEAH!" Temari shouted punching the air. Kankuro just sat there and grumbled. Although he was really happy for his brother, loss of a bet to Temari as was never something to be cheerful about.

Temari did a victory dance with her fan, twirling around in circles and stopping right in front of Kankuro with her biggest smile. "Alright Kankuro! They're in love, now pay up, little bro!"

He just glared at her and handed her $200. She gave a high pitched "thank you!" causing Kankaro to cringe. "Yeah, yeah, don't rub it in." Temari stopped, and turned around with a devilish smirk.

"I'll bet you he loses his virginity before they're married." She said.

"No Gaara's not that kind of person and I'm not making any more bets with you." Kankuro stated turning his back on his sister.

"Aw come on!" she said pouting. "I'll bet you they're married in less than a year!" she tried again.

"Nope."

"I'll bet you the weddings outside."

"No."

"I'll bet you he'll take her on a honeymoon to the beach."

"Stop it Temari."

"I'll bet you she gets pregnant on the honeymoon."

"Shut up." He started to walk away because his sister was freaking him out. He wasn't going to bet on any of those things.

Temari, on the other hand, wanted more money. "Hey!" she called, making him stop to listen. "I'll bet their first kid is a girl."

Kankuro became frigid, causing to Temari to smirk even more. No way in hell was Gaara gonna give him a niece before a nephew! "Hell no Temari, Gaara's first kid is gonna be a boy!" he nearly shouted, turning to face her.

"Oh well I don't know, Sakura might want a girl first."

"Well it's not like they can choose."

"Well you never know. I mean, Sakura is a medic Nin."

Kankuro growled. "Gaara's first kid will be a boy."

"I say it'll be a girl."

"Boy."

"Girl."

"Boy!"

"Girl!"

"I'll bet $50 that it'll be a boy!"

"Oh yeah? Well I bet $70 that it's a girl."

"$100 for a boy!"

"$120 for a girl!"

"$150 for a boy!"

"Fine we'll even it out $150 for a boy or girl."

"Fine!"

"Fine!"

Temari smiled, content that she had gotten into another bet with Kankuro. As he walked away in a huff she sat there and sighed. Gaara had the hardest past of them all, and he was the first of the three to get into a real relationship. She sighed again and guessed that out of three of them, Gaara really was the one who deserved a relationship the most. She smiled. Way to go, baby brother.

X X X X X X X X X X X

Well there you have it. Again, I ask you humbly to look into the Revamped version.

My thanks to you.

~Olly BaaBaa-Chan