Xiana: Wow, I actually wrote something that's not Kingdom Hearts related! This is a story I wrote for Ramen Ichiraku's birthday, yeah, that was a while ago, but I'm going to post it up here now! She is a fan of the Gaaku, meaning Gaara/Haku, pairing, so yeah, that's what this is.

Words in bold refer to Gaara.

Words that are italicized refer to Haku.

He had never before felt a longing as powerful as he felt now. Want, he had felt before, but this want wasn't nearly as mundane as hunger or his body's eternal longing for sleep, or as hopelessly desperate as the quest for affection he had once undertaken only to draw back into himself deeper than anyone had expected. They had rejected his friendly advances, run from his approach, and feared him before he had known that he was something to be feared. But he had never seen any of that hate that had so unreasonably filled the eyes of the villagers in the soft brown eyes of the one who he longed for and needed more than he had ever thought possible.

It was, perhaps, because he was an outsider. He had not been taught since birth that he was a monster, a demon, a murderer. But he did know. He had told him, and he had simply accepted it. He understood, and did not judge him for mistakes that were not his own.

It was ironic, then, how he blamed himself so much for what he could not possibly control. From the moment of their first meeting that night, two years ago by the riverside, he had refused to acknowledge that their deaths were not his fault. He had not been taught properly, and he had been misled by the one he had once called "sensei." It was a fragile game he played, a game in which he was innocent, beautiful and good and whole, completely without flaws.

But he did have flaws. He had caused the deaths of his parents, directly or not. He had slain hundreds, possibly thousands, in his master's name. And he was still full of guilt, unable to forgive himself for actions set into motion by others but performed by his own hands. Oh, he might pretend that he was perfection incarnate, but the superficial imperfections that cut into his heart of crystalline diamond gave him that third dimension, releasing him from the thick mirror of glass that condemned him to be his antithesis. And the flaws that they shared, the sins they had committed, were what allowed him to love him, and him to love him.

He could never say that he was perfect. He had made that quite clear, from the moment he had pulled his delicate, effeminate body from the grasp of the river, and, upon his awakening, had heard his faint whisper of "Angel?" Though he had been half-dead, almost drowned, he had shaken him in an attempt to rattle the thought out of his head. "Listen, kid, I'm no angel." But he had known, even as he slipped into unconsciousness, that he was. Not any typical angel, but a fallen angel. He was someone who wore his scars openly, as if daring someone to reopen the old wounds. But he knew that he didn't want to be wounded again, that he had never wanted to be hurt. He was a fallen angel, but one who had been forcibly dragged down from heaven by the clutches of eternally jealous devils. If anyone in the world had been wronged, it was he. He was full of a darkness not of his choosing, and his heart was locked within the most impenetrable prison imaginable, a prison created for him by each spiteful word ever said to him. It had taken him so, so long to infiltrate that prison, and so he knew what he had done. But he would never hold it against him. Never, never, never.

He had wanted him, and he hadn't known for so long. It had been so obvious to everyone except him. They had seen the way he stared at him, drinking in every image of his long black hair, so often tied up in a round bun or left to swing loosely around his shoulders. They had noticed how he made every excuse to stay near him, how reluctant he was to ever leave him alone. And they had watched that night when he had taken his soft, unblemished hands into his own and said the words that he had longed to say and he had yearned to hear for a very long time.

He had shown his affection in less obvious ways. Nobody had seen the way his eyes, hidden behind that mask, tracked his every movement. Nobody had noticed how he never chose to leave his side, how he was the one to leave, however reluctantly. And though they watched that night, they never expected him to acknowledge him and to return his feelings with a soft kiss on the cheek.

And then their secret was out. From then on, they had been happy, inasmuch as he had ever known happiness, and he had ever known the love of another. And they lay together, side by side, on warm summer nights, looking to the stars in wonder and hope. In winter, they sat inside and stared out into the snow that reminded him so much of home. Spring was when they watched the flowers grow and come to life. When they saw an iris in full bloom, he would give it to him, and he would smile and blush and treasure it until it wilted, or press it between the pages of a book to be able to cherish it always. In fall, he would return the favor, seeking out the most beautiful and vibrant of the dying leaves to give to him, to show him what he had achieved that day.

He was like a flower. When he awoke and saw him lying beside him, he was just a bud. When he woke to meet his gaze, he reached maturity, unfolding one petal after another as he stretched sleep-weary limbs. Throughout the day, he was fully grown, bright, happy and always facing towards the sun in order to drink in its energy. By evening, he began to fold and droop, becoming weary and showing signs of aging. Then sleep took him into its deathly clutches, killing him in a slow, unsightly manner, withering his petals and rotting his stem only to bring him back to life the next morning as a new bud. His days were a cycle of life, death, and rebirth.

His days were spent on the verge of death, on the edge of a cataclysmic escarpment from which return would be impossible. He was like the leaves that he brought him, full of blazing passion and the promise of one final day before oblivion. He was undying, unchanging, unable to escape his chronic symptoms of a disease known only as repetition. He was trapped within life, his life, and he would never move on to an afterlife.

This was partially because he would never consent to move on without him.

And then there was the fact that they already were dead. Dead to the world, dead to themselves, never dead to each other. Oh, but they weren't rotting, decaying, decomposing in the way every organism must. They formed for the other a preservative, far less toxic and infinitely more emotionally involved than caustic formaldehyde. He lived in his eyes. He lived in his. That was enough.

When the full moon shone in the night sky, with its pale light overcoming far off stars only to be replaced in turn by the overbearing force of the dawn, he gently woke him, hoping to show him what he saw every night. The night, eclipsed, replaced by hollow graying light. It was, at first, to show him how he lived, an attempt to repel him with a show of implied darkness. He had always been sure of his feelings for him, so he had done it to convince himself of his fidelity and love. But he hadn't reacted the way he thought he would. He had thought it beautiful. Eventually, he had convinced him as well, and so they spent one precious hour of their eternal lives each day watching the sun begin to rise, at least until he fell asleep again.

"Gaara. I'm glad that I have you… that I could have the one who is important to me beside me always."

"I'm glad too. To think that someone would be able to care for me… To think that it would be a person like Haku…"

"I love you," they say in unison, and the day begins.

So, that's that then. I hope you liked it.

I hope it wasn't confusing, or anything. A few quick notes: irises stand for faith, wisdom, hope, courage, and admiration, and when given as gifts, they represent deep... love... or something. And, er, the whole "we're already dead" part, that can be taken a few different ways. Either they are dead to the rest of the world, and only seem to be alive when they are together, or they are in some alternate universe or something, or they... literally are dead. That's the one I like. (I'm so messed up...)

Anyway, please review if you enjoyed it! Or if you didn't enjoy it... Constructive criticism is appreciated, after all.