The rain...

It has a way of working through the thickness of your skin, your shell, and into your heart at the most unwelcoming moments in your life. It tries to cradle your wounds, yet its hands are unpleasantly cold and you shrink away from its sympathy. No wonder you don't feel an uplifting.

Maybe that's why you hate the rain.

Yet, there's nothing to hate when it was you that didn't give it a chance to give, to apologize for its sudden appearance. It was only trying to help. I was only trying to help. You should've been grateful that someone still cared enough to seal up your shredded wounds; especially when you were ready to let the blood just leak away.

I admit that gratitude isn't one of your qualities and it would be a rare day for when you'd decide to say "Sorry". You're an ungrateful bastard and I regret the day I didn't tell you this; instead, I continued to confess my undying love to you. Hoping you'd have some sense enough to stop your self-destruction; your melt down. Just to stay within the rain's blanket of chilling concern.

Maybe its coldness was too much to bare. Heh. I had to crack a smile at that, knowing that compared to you; the rain was nothing but an extra layer of frost for the ice block surrounding your desperate form. Am I the only one that sees you're not a victim of despair?

That you're just being selfish?

You've had a lot of chances in Konoha to train more and be powerful without the rules of leaving emotions behind plaguing you. Yet, you've danced your way directly into his greedy and tainted palms, seeking the wrong ways of judgment and pride from someone who can't even spell it without lying through his teeth.

But…

I can't save you. No one can. Especially, if you don't want to save yourself.

"Sakura."


Bright viridian hues glanced over her shoulder as Sakura was interrupted from her silent thoughts and she had to smile lightly after seeing who it was.

Gaara of the Sand. Kazekage.

"What is it? Has shishou become too drunk to assist you?" She said the last part with a light grin, mirth glowing in her distant eyes and she took a polite step forward, bowing with the respect she knew he has earned after the ordeal with Deidara and Akatsuki. Though the small frown on his face froze her; not out of fear, but of curiosity and concern.

"Is there something troubling you?" Sakura murmured as her pink brows furrowed, her bare hands wringing at the anticipation hung with the atmosphere. It was almost suffocating…

Like dread…

The sudden sound of clothes shifting caught her attention, which was out of focus, and Gaara was soon coming toward her, his eyes a paler shade of green as they seemed to glaze over in deep thought. Then, the movement stopped and Sakura had to blink to believe that Gaara had actually sat next to her feet; where she had been sitting just moments before he came.

He didn't speak, didn't even glance at her; but, Sakura took it as an invitation and flopped down beside him, non-too-gracefully. When he didn't protest, she relaxed and propped her knees up to rest her arms and head on. It was she who spoke first, her voice close to a mere whisper and her eyes glowed with uncertainty. "Why does the rain end up shunning people away? It is because it's not beautiful? Because it comes in the worst of moments?"

There were a few moments of silence and soon, Sakura had regretted asking with a downcast expression. Though, what surprised her were his words.

"It is not the rain that shuns them. It's the people."

"Then, people are all ungrateful?"

"Not…all. Just some. The people that do treasure it are the ones that feel its warmth and security."

That was understandable. She had knew this before she asked; only wanting to hear someone else's view and assure herself that she was not the only one. It was difficult in a world full of ungrateful people. Glancing over to her current, and unexpected, company, she noticed that he didn't seem threatened or uncomfortable at all. Times have changed…

"What happens to the people that don't? Do they suffer from the cold outside of the rain? Or do they somehow survive?"

"They find ways of surviving by using the sun as their shelter of warmth; not knowing that sun will only last for so long and its heat can be blocked at anytime or place."

"What would you do if you were in their shoes?"

"Neither."

"Huh?" Sakura didn't hide the surprise and disappointment clear in her voice as possibilities swarmed her mind in a parade of curiosity.

"Neither." Gaara repeated without much care as she could tell, his enigmatic form only creating more interest to rise within Sakura from her view. "I cannot see or imagine myself in other people's shoes, for one." He began carefully, obviously thinking about it as he continued. "And…the cold of the rain can't harm my skin and I need no shelter to survive."

His words were true and gave Sakura a sense of reality through the haziness of her dreams that plague her during the sleepless nights. No, Gaara could not see himself as someone else, much less a human. She was foolish to think he could.

"What about you?"

"Hm?" Looking up, Sakura noticed that his attention had taken a turn and landed itself on her, which was surprising and unexpected to say the least. "What about me?"

"I gave you my answer, now I want yours."

He's right. It would only be fair if she should do.

"Neither."

This definitely caught his interest and she smiled lightly at his confusion before looking off onto the distance, the horizon in full view. "Neither."

"I cannot see or imagine myself in other people's shoes, for one." Using his exact words, she couldn't suppress the giggles threatening to escape her parted lips. He was scowling at her answer, but she wasn't finished.

"And…it only took me a moment to realize…that I am the rain."

Gaara followed her gaze and gave a small smirk, apparently agreeing with her words as he closed his eyes. "Yes. You certainly are."

"Why did you come to me today? I know it wasn't to strike up a conversation." Sakura questioned softly and took a glimpse of him through pink locks of her short hair. His maroon mane slightly tousled and she took notice of the pink tongue darting out onto his lips as he wetted them.

"No…Naruto isn't here." He said with a small sneer and she suddenly understood. He needed some company. Someone he could talk to without saying many words and they could still understand each other. That person would be Naruto, a boy full of energy and conversation. He could wear you out by the time the day ended, but he still wouldn't tire. She admired him for that and apparently Gaara does, too.

Naruto wasn't here. The boy went off training with Kakashi for a new technique she wasn't sure about, yet. That left her some time to take in the recent happenings of his return and Akatsuki's sudden movement. So much was going on, so little time. Especially with Orochimaru's boldness.

Gaara had no one to talk to and even though his village would have been willing to, he still wasn't use to it. He needed familiarity. Sakura wasn't a person he was familiar with, but she was the next best thing from Naruto. She healed Kankurou and fought along side of Chiyo like she was apart of Sand as Gaara had been told. Naruto said she was understanding and everything to him.

It was enough to convince Gaara to come to her in times like these.

"Ah, I see." Sakura nodded with a light smile, clearly knowing how much Naruto was of importance to him and many other people whose lives he had influence to take a better path. That boy was too much.

"Do you mind it?"

"Mind what?"

…"My presence."

"No, of course not!" She objected as if whatever he had been thinking was ridiculous to even be a thought. She was truly something.

Drip.

Drip.

"Hey, Gaara..?"

"Aa?"

"It's raining."

"…Hai. It is."

"What does it feel like..?"

…"It's warm."