" I could have killed you." His cold words not really directed at anything, yet striking her.-

The sun was setting, and the atmosphere was chilling. How had time passed to quickly? What had they been doing?

Sakura felt her long pink stresses being carried by the wind.

" You wouldn't." She stated, yet feeling very uncertain.

He didn't remove his eyes from hers. Staring intently at her. His pale skin taking a strange glow from the setting sun.

" I would kill the world." He replied.

Sakura smiled.

" But not me."

His eyes softened.

" But not you."

Chapter 7

Day 5

-Sakura played with her silky locks, twirling them between her slender fingers in every way possible. She could hear the soft rustling of leaves outside her tent. The moon illuminated them in a way that was almost scary.


Replaying the events of this afternoon over and over again in her mind, she wondered what had made her act that way. Feeling her cheeks slightly redden in embarrassment, she rethought her actions. Amazed at the courage she had shown, touching Gaara like that, walking up to him… Embracing him.

Now that her mind was clear, it just seemed, not only uncharacteristic, but also impossible. Gaara had never touched her. Or had he?

Trying to remember the first time he had touched her, the previous night came to mind.

The last time they had practiced her 'flexibility', using the same routine, he had used sand to support her.

Yet today, he had used his hand.

Could it have something to do with last night?

Remembering the state of ecstasy the electricity had left her in, she wouldn't doubt it. Gaara had probably felt it too, maybe he had become curious?
Maybe he intended all of this to happen. It occurred to her that he had said nothing. Nothing of real importance at least.
He had just accepted her touching him. He had just stared at her. Stood there. His heart had been racing she recalled, she had felt it through his shirt.

It had felt so warm in his embrace, inhuman, again. Or was it human? Was it something she just never experienced before? Something completely normal.


She couldn't quite put her finger on it.

But then her mind settled onto the black out.

Or had she really blacked out? Maybe… Just maybe, she had fallen asleep.

She knew that, the past years she had had trouble sleeping. Her body and mind had been tired for a long time. Never really getting the proper rest, always carrying the strain of everyday life. She hadn't put much thought into it. Never really bothered to. But after falling asleep this afternoon, she had felt strangely rested, refreshed maybe. As if all the sleep that had been missed was suddenly caught up with.

She smiled slightly, her fingers working out a small knot they had found.

Gaara had fallen asleep too. Maybe he had problems sleeping just like her? He must have been tired.

A frown suddenly replaced her lighthearted smile.

Recalling the sickening feeling she had felt upon touching him when he was asleep. The dark air surrounding him, eating away at him. Her heart had raced in an ill way when he didn't wake up.

Closing her eyes, she mesmerized the chakra flowing through her hands. She never knew she had abilities like that. Or was it really an ability?

Looking at her hands, she could still see the remnants of Gaara. His colors still resting upon her palms. His scent still captured by her fingers, the feel of his skin still fresh in her mind.

Friends they were.

Yet she couldn't quite place him as a friend. But he wasn't less. Had he become more?

Snorting at the thought she quickly disposed of it. Nothing had happened between them. She had nothing to justify the idea.

Still a strange smile settled upon her face. Closing her eyes she mouthed some words.

" But not you."

The next day had gone by quickly. After the rather awkward sparring match they had, each had taken shelter underneath the large trees.

Sakura hadn't expected for it all to be like this, but after the previous day's events they both appeared to be rather reluctant towards each other. Not sure about their feelings and proper ways to approach one another. Gaara had been more silent than usual, and Sakura could only wonder what was going through his mind.

Irritated, she pulled at her long pink tresses, removing them from her heated face. She stared at her trainer, whom was lying underneath the opposite tree. The rustling of the leaves by the wind was the only sound besides their breathing. Biting down on her lip she recalculated some thoughts of her own. Pondering on what to do, or not to do. Closing her eyes shut, she decided to be bold and quickly stood from her spot.

With slightly trembling hands she walked over to Gaara, all the while cursing at her stupid self for doing this.

The person in question opened his dark rimmed eyes at the sound of cracking leaves, indicating footsteps.

As he looked her in the eye she considered turning around.

But she didn't.

Dropping down beside him she grinned at the sheer warmth he gave off. Intoxicated by it, she felt herself relax.
Leaning her head against the tree she closed her eyes, enjoying the proximity. The sun was already starting to set, coating them in orange hues.

" I've been alone." Gaara caught her by surprise.

A small breeze passed, allowing her to take a small whiff of his unusual scent.

Smiling she replied; " Me too."

Both fell silent. Uncertain of what was becoming of them. And on the other hand, not caring in the least.

What would Sasuke be doing right now? Sakura found herself wondering. She mentally slapped herself for it, yet she couldn't hold herself from the traitorous thought. Would he miss her at all? Would he even care? A small frown created a slight crease upon her pale forehead. Disappointment tugging at her heart, she figured he probably wouldn't. He was so perfect… Everything a girl could wish for.

Mysterious, complicated, handsome, cool, strong… Why had she allowed herself to fall for his type? She'd never stand a chance, or so she reckoned.

She needed to get her head out of the gutter. What had she been thinking! Why had her mind been so clouded by this boy? It was as if, now that he wasn't there, her thoughts finally made sense. She was more rational then she had ever been.

Scratching her dirty leg, she felt her eyelids droop, tired from the entire day full of practice, she wanted nothing more than to just fall asleep. Putting aside her thoughts of Sasuke, she drowsily blinked a few times, allowing her head to rest upon Gaara's shoulder, causing her heart to swell with warmth. Wiping a few grains of sand from her exhausted legs, before closing her eyes, she felt herself drift off. The shivers that ran through Gaara's shoulder didn't go unnoticed, and she couldn't help but grin at the small notice.

Glancing at his hand, which rested upon his knee, she noticed the warm colors that radiated off of him. As if he was slowly starting to melt. Smiling, she fell asleep, allowing the scent of Gaara to intrude her mind.

She woke up to find Gaara staring directly into her eyes, seeming to penetrate her very soul. Slightly shaken by this peculiar gesture, she backed away against the tree, trying to escape his intense gaze. The sky had turned purple, and the temperature was obviously dropping. She hadn't slept long, but at least it had been long enough to rest her muscles. Her legs didn't feel as strained as they had before, and her arms didn't feel as bruised either.

Swallowing silently, she darted her eyes at the boy next to her, his hand still upon his knee, sitting in the exact same manner as before. It was as if he hadn't moved at all. Meeting his stare for a brief second, she wondered what he was thinking. She didn't feel like speaking, enjoying the mutual silence between them, treasuring the unspoken words. But yet she felt like she needed to, just to break his impenetrable gaze.

Seeming to have picked up on her discomfort, he quickly looked away, taking a deep breath. She felt his shoulder twitch in the slightest, and found herself liking the movement against her skin. Her small hands traveled to her eyes, rubbing the sleep from them. Stifling a yawn, she could almost smell the colors flowing freely from Gaara's body, surrounding her in a light cloud. They were so intense, yet soft, she treasured their strange hues.

" What do you live for?" Gaara suddenly broke the silence, he appeared to be doing that more frequently.

Sakura carefully mauled over the words, considering possible answers, discarding them when not adequate. Rubbing her chin whilst biting her rosy lip, she wondered.

" For my friends and family, I think, and I guess for my own entertainment also." She decided upon answering.

"Your own entertainment?" Gaara more stated than asked, his tone flat as a penny.

Looking into his eyes, she found him to be looking incredulously at her. At least, that's the emotion she found within the jade depths. Laughing at that revelation, she tipped her head to the side, smiling up to him.

" What point would there be in living if you don't enjoy it in the least?" She asked him, giggling at the dense stare he sent her.

Probably thinking over his words before answering, she patiently awaited his reply. Sneakily taking the opportunity to sneak closer to his warm form unnoticed.

" What would there be to enjoy?" He countered.

She wanted to slap him in the face, at least shake him a little. There was so much to enjoy! How could he possibly even ask? Had he never lived at all? Of course, he was a shinobi, as was she. She sadly had to admit to herself that shinobi often didn't get the chance to allow themselves to enjoy anything at all.

" I guess it's more like enjoying the appreciation of the smaller things given to us."

He turned away, taking that thought to ponder about by himself. She smiled sympathetically at him, he probably had been struggling for most of his life, like most shinobi children did.

That truth reminded her of Naruto, how would he be holding up without her? Feeling shame and regret washing over her body as she thought of the way she had treated him the past few years, she quickly discarded all thoughts of the jinchuuriki boy. Not wanting to ruin her mood. She had always felt a twinge of guilt strike her heart when she acted rudely towards him, but she couldn't entirely help it, it had become a force of habit… Kind of.

" Like this?" Gaara again startled her with his sudden comment.

Feeling slightly dazed, and not having heard what exactly he had said, she mildly shook her head before returning his gaze, her eyebrows raised by her yet unspoken question.

" What?"

" Like this" He quickly replied. Looking at her with his eyes fully opened, almost making him appear surprised.

" Like this? What do you mean by that?" She asked, feeling annoyed by that vagueness that dominated their conversation.

He just looked at her with that exact same expression, as if trying top understand why she wasn't getting it.

" Like us sitting here, talking." He then explained, sounding like he was stating obvious facts, which he was.

Realization downed upon her as she took in what he had said. Smiling warmly at him when she finally understood. He was right, this was a moment to enjoy, actually, it was a moment she was enjoying, to the fullest even. It wasn't often when she could just sit down like this, thinking about her life, going through her mistakes and sharing her point of view, all the while enjoying the much appreciated source of heat next to her.

Nodding she replied; " Like this."

She swore she could see one of the corners of his mouth lift upward… Too bad it was turning too dark to see clearly. Squinting her eyes, the moment had passed quicker than it had come.

Silence rested down upon them once more, engulfing them in a strange sense comfort and companionship. The crescent moon had shown up and illuminated both of them. The dark leaves rustled all around them, making it feel like this situation was nothing but a dream, nothing but a good dream.

Studying Gaara's features, while he appeared to be doing the same with her, she couldn't help but like the way he still looked so much like a boy. His face still soft and round, his cheeks still slightly puffy, his skin still perfectly smooth and his eyes still endearingly big. The way his eyes wandered her own face caused a satisfying shiver to travel up her spine.

" Stay with me" It was her turn to break the silence.

Gaara simply stared at her, his eyes now locked with hers. She could feel his breaths linger on her flushed cheeks, she could smell his intoxicating sent that reminded her so much of hot summers and sand on the beaches she would visit.

Slowly but surely, he nodded, and allowed her to rest her head upon his shoulder once more. She was starting to tire again, even though she didn't want to sleep just yet. She was trying to treasure their time together. Her heart ached at the realization that he would be gone after all this, after the chuunin exams, he'd be gone.

She looked at his face, noticing the way his lips slightly parted, as if wanting to say something to her. Closing when he probably couldn't think of anything, he simply stared at the moon.

Smiling, she closed her eyes, feeling sleep taking her once again. Muttering something beneath her breath, just before she faded.

" Stay."