Chapter 1

It'd been a long day for him, having awoken early this morning to practice before school and staying a good while after school to get even more practice in. He was changing out of his training sweats, having access to the school's gym after school thanks to his over enthusiastic coach. His coach would either train with him, or help him, they worked hard. It all paid off, though, since he won many awards for his speed and precision. Soon he'd be competing for the title of 'fastest in the nation' so he was practicing twice as much and twice as hard. Distractions were not an option; he had to stay focused on school and on track.

"Lee! Stay safe going home tonight, it's gotten rather dark. See you bright and early tomorrow!" The coach, Mr. Gai shouted to him merrily from his office as Lee made his way out of the locker room. He had changed into old faded blue jeans and a long sleeved green sweater, carrying his sweat-drenched clothes in a small workout bag. He kept his running shoes on, planning on doing a light jog home.

He didn't reply to his beloved teacher's words, because his throat was dry from rigorous training. He quickly pulled a water bottle from his bag and picked up his school bag he'd left in his locker earlier. After slinging his backpack over his shoulders he made his way out of the school and started a light jog home. He didn't have too much homework, and was looking forward to finally getting some much-needed rest.

It'd been a long day for him, having awoken early this morning only to not attend school; the thought hadn't crossed his mind. He went to bed late every night and woke up too early, that is, if he slept at all. Usually he went to school, having nothing better to do but not really caring. He wasn't unintelligent, he wasn't too much of a troublemaker as of late, and hadn't hurt anyone in a long while. Unless self-inflicted wounds counted. He'd awoken this morning to one thought, which still rang clearly through his head as if he was saying aloud.

'Today is surely my last day alive.'

He wasn't normal, he knew that, and over the years he found ways to cope with the loneliness of being ostracized. He'd grown up a violent child, violence being his way of dealing with the self hate and the fact of being on his own. His mother had died because of him; his siblings couldn't accept him, called him a demon. His father had hated him, and had recently passed away, assassinated. He was apart of a powerful family, wealthy to say the least. But money does not buy happiness for the few who are not entertained by material possessions. Everyone knew his name, it's not like he was ignored or forgotten, quite the contrary. Though attention wasn't the same as caring, and he'd always received negative attention.

So he'd end it. Life was much too hard, proving to not be worth the effort. There were so many ways to kill yourself, he knows there's been many a book on it. He'd go for something simple and easy, having a long razor with him, buried deep within his pocket. So unoriginal, he thought, but it'd suffice. He'd never found a reason to be creative anyway; it was pointless, since no one would have appreciated it.

The blood red hair was easy to spot in the throngs of people as he made his way through the crowds. He'd been wandering the streets all day, subconsciously hoping for a reason to appear, a reason for him to stop himself. But by this time he'd lost all hope of living, not thinking anything could stop him. It'd gotten dark quickly, and it was now the time. He'd find somewhere he could bleed to death peacefully. At home he'd be found too quickly and his efforts would be wasted. Moving to towards the slums of the too bright city he knew he'd be able to find a nice alley to hide away in. No one recognized him; he kept a thick scarf over his mouth and nose, using a small tilt of the head to have his hair fall over his eyes. The light January breeze kept him cold enough to stay numb, and for the first time that day he though of the date. Mid January; the 19th. How fitting, now he finally realized why he knew it'd be his last day here on this planet. Today was the day marking his birth, and would finally be written down as the day of his death, seventeen years later.

He reached his destination, the rundown part of the city. No one cared what happened here, no one would look at him twice if he cut himself right then and there, too cold and under fed to care. He started his search for an unoccupied alley.

Lee was making his way home, not happy with having to live in the bad part of town, but knowing it was all he could currently afford, having turned eighteen and being kicked out of the orphanage. What he didn't expect was to see that familiar mop of red hair ahead of him, heading in the same direction that he was. He could easily catch up; see if it really was who he thought it was. He believed himself in recognizing the boy from the back of his head, knowing that it had to be his classmate, Gaara.

Gaara hadn't been at school today, Lee had noticed, sharing a few classes with the male. Lee knew a lot about Gaara, since everyone knew about his family through the news and such. But Lee had always liked Gaara, for reasons he couldn't explain. He'd always wanted to make the other teen smile, if it was just once. Maybe it was because he was too much of a nice guy, as everyone said. But he really hated seeing his classmate sad, even though he was still beautiful while sad, Lee had to wonder how gorgeous he would be if he were happy. Lee had also memorized Gaara's information from the school, Gai helping him to access the files. Gai hadn't wanted to, but saw how much his favorite student was starting to care for the boy he'd never so much as talked to and caved in. Lee knew for a fact that today was Gaara's birthday, and had wanted to present a gift to him today at school. He thought about it, and he still had the gift in his bag, maybe he could work up the courage to give it to him. He knew Gaara would never like him, but maybe, just maybe one day he'd tolerate him. Lee's biggest dream, what he wanted even more than the title of 'fastest in the nation' was Gaara's friendship. He'd gotten a few friends in high school, but Gaara was secretly who he looked forward to befriending before he graduated.

He looked ahead at the red hair, making sure not to loose sight of it; soon they'd be approaching the apartment where Lee lived. Lee had to work up his courage before they got there, or he'd never do it. He knew he'd never talked to Gaara before, but this was his only chance. It was rare for him to run into Gaara outside of school, even stranger that he'd run into him in his own neighborhood. For a moment, Lee wondered what Gaara could possibly be doing here, but shook his head, speeding up to catch up with Gaara, knowing it a was now or never!

"Hey, Gaara!" Lee said, not so confident after the words were out of his mouth. What if it wasn't Gaara? What if he'd just called out to this random stranger? He was wearing enough black to be Gaara, and as Lee approached the figure to look at him from the side he knew it was Gaara, even if most of his face was covered. Lee smiled down at the other teen, while Gaara looked up at him, an unreadable look on his features, his eyes more lifeless than Lee had ever witnessed.

Gaara had never expected something like this to happen right now. It was so late, too late, he thought, to run into anyone. Why this man, who he knew to be the school's pride and joy, their famous track star, Rock Lee? Why? They'd never said a word to each other before, but now Lee greeted him like they were old friends, giving him that caring smile. Caring? No one cared for him, what was this guy, practically a stranger, doing giving him that smile? It had to be fake. Subconsciously Gaara could see it was genuine, but convinced himself it was fake. Gaara did nothing to acknowledge Lee's greeting other than look up at him, not trusting his voice to work at the moment. He'd been one turn away from leaving all this forever, why'd he have to run into Lee? Everyone knew Lee to be a nice guy, and Lee wouldn't leave him alone if he knew that he was even the tiniest bit depressed. Everyone liked Lee, why did it have to be Lee?

Lee couldn't bring himself to give him the gift; it'd be too embarrassing! Especially with Gaara looking up at him as if he didn't know him. Maybe he didn't? It crushed Lee's heart to think so. He wasn't exactly invisible, and had always noticed Gaara. He hadn't stopped to think that maybe Gaara never noticed him. But he could at least wish him a happy birthday, even though it was so late in the day.

"Well, uh, I live right over there so I'll see you around. Have a happy birthday!" Lee stuttered, smiling and blushing a bit. He convinced him self that he blushed because it was cold. Just as he was going to walk up to his apartment Gaara stopped and finally said something, causing Lee to turn around again and give the red head his undivided attention.

"How'd you know it was today? No one knows… other than the school and my siblings." Gaara mumbled, not believing what he was hearing. He was on the verge of rage; did Lee know what he was doing to him? Breaking him, breaking the ice, killing him with that kindness! That kindness wasn't for him, it couldn't be for him! No one, no one gave him kindness! No one should've cared! Why did he care, why did he know? Why did he say such things to him? Why? It wasn't fair, it wasn't for him. It was for everyone; Lee was just a nice guy, giving his affection out carelessly! Why did he give Gaara such affection, such kindness! He gave it to everyone, didn't he? It wasn't special. Even though the look on his face was one of indisputable kindness, it wasn't for him. Not for him, not kindness…

"Ah, I …" Now Lee was at a loss of words; he hadn't expected it to be some kind of secret! How was he supposed to explain himself without getting Mr. Gai in trouble? He couldn't tell Gaara the truth, the fact that Lee was falling for Gaara so hard that his teacher had been worried and given him what little information he could. He smiled another wide grin for Gaara, placing his hand behind his head nervously, hoping to think of an excuse in the next couple of seconds.

"Never mind…" Gaara muttered before turning away from Lee and hurriedly walking away from the warmth. No, it wasn't possible, everyone knew how selfless Lee was, how much of a nice guy he was. The kindness, that kindness wasn't for him. Lee wasn't for him, Lee was just being himself. It wasn't going to stop him; those words meant nothing, even though they were slowly meaning everything. But Gaara shook his head, trying to get that voice that oozed with caring out of his head. It wasn't for him, nothing was for him…

Lee looked at the back of Gaara's head, stunned, at a loss of words or actions. Then he remembered Gaara's eyes, so lifeless. He'd never seen such depression in someone's eyes before, such overwhelming sadness. And he was in this part of town, when Lee knew he was too wealthy to live in anything but a mansion. He had said no one else knew of his birth date, did that mean he was the only one to wish Gaara a happy birthday today? Such depression reeking from him, a dark aura about him, undeniable gloom… He couldn't be thinking of doing that, could he? Lee had to follow him; if Gaara was thinking of doing anything that drastic Lee had to stop him. Or he'd never be able to live with himself again.

Gaara now staggered about the darker streets, the night getting bleaker with every passing moment. You couldn't even see the stars anymore, thanks to pollution and the bright city lights. As if pushing his way through murky water Gaara made his way into the unlighted parts of the city. A few more minutes of searching and he found it at last, an abandoned area, the alley dark and full of horrid promises, such as disease and death. Just what Gaara wanted, before Lee's words melted him, while he was still numb, he had to do this. All he could say to himself was 'It wasn't for me, not kindness, not for me, not Lee…'

As he stepped into the darkness it enveloped him in its gloomy embrace, welcoming him to death. He shoved a hand into his pocket, shuffling through the cloth to find the box cutter he shoved in there earlier. He couldn't trust his sight anymore, his eyes not having adjusted to the darkness yet. He felt for the switch to press down on to ease the blade out of its protective covering. He heard the click and then the slide of the blade out into the darkness. He wanted to smile; everything would be simple from now on. Suffering would be ended, with this last bit of pain. He wasn't one of those kids who slit their wrists for attention; he was here to get the job done. Placing the sharpest side of the razor against his skin covered vein, he made sure to press hard enough for the skin and whatever else separated the air from his cool blue blood to be ripped apart. He slid the blade down vertically, slicing the vein open until he met with the resistance of his hand. From the middle of his fore arm down, the blood was rushing forth, turning a wondrous red, the same as his hair. Of course, he could barely make it out now that his eyes were finally adjusting to the darkness. The blood came out fast, and soon he was lightheaded. He went to fall backward, hopefully crack his skull against the pavement. But he was only met with strong arms, and used what little strength he had to turn to see who would try and save him. He'd come to this part of town knowing no one would give a damn. But who would dare…


"Gaara!" Lee screamed frantically, seeing the blade in his hand and the sizable cut down his arm. The amount of blood that was pouring out of him was definitely lethal if he didn't stop it. Lee quickly tore open his workout bag, grabbing his white and green sweatshirt, quickly wrapping the cloth as best he could around Gaara's forearm. The white quickly soaked up the red, and it was soon a red and green piece of cloth with a few white spots. He tied the sweatshirt tight around the cut, trying to stop the bleeding as best he could. Gaara just continued to look up at Lee, his stare blank for more reasons than one. He was slowly loosing consciousness, but he knew he wasn't dying. Not with Lee here. Before he gave his mind to the black that was unconsciousness he heard Lee's cry.

"Please, Gaara, don't die. Oh, please, don't die. What am I to do if you die? I never even got the chance to love you… Oh, please…" Lee hiccupped out, crying so fiercely that he couldn't see. And Gaara went into the darkness with that being the last thing he heard. He thought that'd be a nice thing to hear before you die, too bad he knew he wasn't going to die now. Not with Lee.

Lee hurriedly moved Gaara's limp and lifeless body into his arms as soon as his tears had calmed down enough so he could at least see where he was going. His bag hung limply from his wrist, and he took the pants out to put over the soiled sweatshirt, hoping it'd help stop the blood flow. He ran, as fast as he could, towards the hospital, carrying the limp body like it weighed nothing. The nearest hospital was at least two miles from where he was, but he ran, the tears annoying him but not stopping. No one in this area gave him a second glance, and he knew he'd have to get a good paying job and move out of there soon. They were such horrible people, they would have let Gaara die, which is why Gaara had probably come down here. But Lee wouldn't allow him to die. So he ran, as fast as his legs would carry him, his speed on the verge of superhuman. They reached the hospital in a little less than ten minutes, Lee panting from the effort.

"Please, help him… Oh please…" He pleaded as he entered the emergency room and approached the secretary at the desk. He'd barely gotten the words out before he too fell into unconsciousness from overexerting himself. He struggled against the darkness, only to be pulled further into it.

"Late last night Gaara, the son of recently deceased billionaire, Mr. Sabaku, was taken to the emergency room for blood loss and a self inflicted fatal wound." The blonde haired news reporter woman said in her too serious to be real voice. "The interesting thing is that he was saved by local track star, Rock Lee, who doctors believe made it to the hospital in record time from site where the wound was inflicted to the emergency room. Evidence and reports show that they had been in the darker parts of the city when the incident happened and were at the hospital in less than ten minutes, which was a little over two miles away. Considering that he was carrying such a heavy load and going over a mile in less than four minutes it's quite the feat! Though he passed out as soon as he reached the emergency room, he saved the young billionaire's life. Had they been even just a few minutes later the doctors are sure that he would have died of blood loss. The two teens have yet to awaken, but doctors assure us that they will probably regain consciousness within the next twenty-four hours. We'll keep you up to date on this exciting local story once there's more information available. Our text story is far more depressing, the victims of a…" The television was switched off after that by the shocked blonde haired boy.

"Damn! I guess that means I won't see bushy brows or Gaara at school today. Maybe they'll let me visit them later, I wonder what happened, you can never really trust the news…" Naruto muttered to himself, taking a swig of milk right out of the carton. He then wiped his mouth on his sleeve, swung his backpack over his shoulder, and left for school. Today there would be a buzz of excitement and gossip. Nothing anyone said would be the truth, and he really wondered if they'd let him visit Lee and Gaara. He was one of Lee's best friends, and considered himself Gaara's friend, even though Gaara rarely acknowledged it. Why would Gaara do something so drastic?

Lee regained normal brain functions not long after the television broadcast on the news of what had happened. Of course, he had no idea that it was already such big news. The instant he was awake he thought of Gaara, wondering if he was all right. He shoots up out of the bed, trying to sit up, only to have a mess of cords and bed covers hold him down.

"He's awake!" Lee hears someone shout, and finally opens his eyes, though the bright lights hurt said eyes as they open. He looks around as his vision adjusts, seeing a doctor and a few people who look like reporters by his bed. But it wasn't his bed, it was a hospital bed, and he finally remembers his own fall into unconsciousness. He doesn't like that he's now in a hospital gown, doesn't like how they've hooked him up at all. He feels perfectly fine now! Would they let him see Gaara?

"Where's Gaara?" Is the first question Lee asks, his voice sounding worse than he thought it would have. The doctor simply smiles and pulls a light blue curtain back to reveal the other bed in the room. There lies Gaara, seemingly lifeless with more cords stuck in him than Lee can count, one of them connected to a heart rate machine, which beeps regularly to assure Lee that Gaara is indeed alive.

"Oh, thank you…" He breathes in a sigh of relief, smiling.

"Don't thank me, I should be thanking you for getting him here so quickly. You're the reason he's still alive right now, I was just doing my job." The tall, older male doctor replies. Lee just continues to gaze at the other teen, tears welling up in his eyes as he realizes how close he was to loosing his chance to befriend Gaara. Tears slowly make their way down his face, but are cut short by the loud voices on the other side of the room.

"So, Rock Lee, how does it fell to be a hero?" One reporter asks from the doorway, not noticing the tears.

"How did you find him? How did you make it here so fast carrying him and your school bag?" Another reporter starts, and they both try to continue but the doctor moves to the door, shutting it.

"Sorry about them, everyone's interested in this story, we have to beat them off with sticks! They're so persistent." The doctor tells him, a slight smile on his lips.

"Story? What story? So those were reporters?" Lee asked, not really wanting to deal with this becoming a huge news story. Too bad for him, it already was.

"This story, everyone praises you as a hero, Lee. The basics have already been broadcasted on the morning news. Sometimes I wonder how they get all that information from us, we have to have a spy somewhere here." The doctor replies easily, but Lee has a horrified look on his face.

"The news? You're telling me it was on television?" Lee becomes mortified. He doesn't want this, he just wants Gaara to be all right, and he doesn't want to be a hero. And he was positive all the questions and attention would get to Gaara, he was unstable as it was. He wanted to be able to comfort Gaara, not be plagued by reporters and questions he didn't want to answer.

"Yes, on every local news station early this morning. But don't worry; we'll try our best to keep them off your backs while you're here at the hospital. I just can't promise you anything when you get out." The doctor said the last part with true remorse. He hated reporters, how pushy they were, a lot of accidents happened because of persistent reporters.

"It's okay, thank you." Lee replied quietly, looking over once again at Gaara. "Can I at least stay here until he's recovered?"

"Of course. You just need rest, so you'd be able to leave by tomorrow. Depending on when he wakes up, he might have to stay here for a week or more, though." The doctor stated calmly, looking from the ebony haired boy to the crimson haired one.

"By the way, if you don't mind answering, how do you know him?" The doctor asked, motioning to Gaara.

"From school." Lee replied easily, knowing that's only answer he could give at the moment. Then he realized, he'd missed school, he'd missed practice! And if he stayed with Gaara he was going to miss even more school and more practice. He'd give that up, sure, but was Mr. Gai okay with that? He'd have to get his work from school, Gaara's too, so that they wouldn't fall behind.

"Do you think I could call someone?" Lee asked suddenly. The doctor nodded and moved a phone onto the table beside his bed. Lee quickly thanked him and dialed the number that he knew so well.

"A family member?" The doctor asked, Lee having been registered as an adult so there had been no one for them to contact. Lee only shook his head though.

"Don't have any, I'm calling my coach." Lee stated, as if it were the most normal thing in the world. But the doctor realized he meant he was an orphan, now living on his own.

"Hello, Mr. Gai?" Lee said into the phone, a jubilant voice coming from the receiver, loud enough for the doctor to hear.

"Lee! I'm glad you're all right!" Gai replied.

"I'm sorry about missing practice…" Lee started.

"Don't be! You did a great job running last night! I'm so proud." Gai said, dramatic tears rushing forth, his happy sobs completely audible.

"Thank you, Mr. Gai." Lee said bashfully, always happy to receive praise from his beloved teacher.

"You're calling about practices and school work, aren't you?" Gai questioned.

"Yes, how did you know?" Lee asked, glad he didn't have to explain anything.

"I am your coach, and your teacher. I've gotten to know you pretty well, Lee! As for school work, I'll have yours and Gaara's sent to you at the hospital by Naruto, is that all right?" Gai asked, and Lee could hear him telling Naruto his job as he waited for Lee's reply.

"Of course it is, I'm sure Naruto will be happy to do it." Lee replied.

"He's been looking for an excuse to go see you two all morning, I'm glad to finally find him some work. He'll come by after school everyday until you two get out. As for training we'll have to postpone it." Gai said sadly.

"But, Mr. Gai…!" Lee tried to protest.

"You can't push yourself too hard! Besides, it just means we have an excuse to train three times as hard once you're well." Gai laughed into the phone.

"Yes, Mr. Gai! Thank you." Lee said, smiling again.

"Don't worry about it. Now, if you'll excuse me, I must go back to teaching my class." Gai retorted, laughing again as Lee apologized loudly. They said goodbye and hung up the phone, Lee feeling better about staying now.

"So everything's settled?" The doctor asked, smiling at the energy Lee showed, even while recovering.

"Yes, so I can stay with Gaara until he's better? But I don't have money or insurance…" Lee replied sadly, not knowing how he was going to pay the medical expenses.

"Don't worry about it, Gaara's siblings have already informed me to put the bill for both of you on their tab. And I'll tell everyone you need recovery rest, even though you seem to be quite the healer." The doctor said, merrily, moving towards the door.

"Just press the nurse button if you need anything, you'll find a remote for the television there and everything. Please notify us when he awakens, I'll make sure the reporters leave now, before I go on to my other patients. Okay?" The doctor asked, and Lee nodded. With that, the doctor was out the door and Lee was left to stare at the wounded teen in the bed next to his.

When would Gaara wake up? The doctor hadn't told him; maybe he was going to be like this for a while. Lee hoped not, but didn't want to rush it. He had a lot of things he wanted to say to Gaara, but nothing was rushed now, because Gaara was going to live. Lee felt a few more tears fall from his eyes before sleep overcame him.

His slumber was disturbed a few hours later by Naruto being escorted into the room. Lee was awake immediately, smiling brightly at his one of his closest friends. "Hey Naruto!" Lee greeted merrily, glad he had a visitor other than those annoying reporters.

"Hey bushy brows! Is Gaara asleep or still knocked out?" Naruto asked, coming into the room with arms full of papers and books. He set them down on a table, letting out a sigh of relief.

"He has awaken yet, I don't know when he's going to." Lee replied, a little crest fallen. He wished he knew when Gaara would get up, or Gaara to get up right now.

"Well, the news lady said he's supposed to get up in the next twenty-four hours or something. But that was this morning. Speaking of which, I want to know the true story. What happened? I can't trust those damn news reporters." Naruto said, flopping down on a chair next to Lee's bed, making himself comfortable.

"First, what did the news say? I've been wondering what they said." Lee asked.

"They said some stuff like Gaara had some kind of incident, got a self inflicted wound, and you rushed him to the hospital like a hero. But that seems like only part of the big picture." Naruto stated, using hand motions to emphasis his points.

"Okay, if I tell you my whole side of the story do you promise not to tell anyone?" Lee asked before going on.

"Of course not! Scouts honor!" Naruto said, holding his hand up in what he thought was the scout's hand symbol.

"You never were in boy scouts, Naruto, but I trust you, so I'll tell you anyway." Lee drew in a long breath, only to sigh before starting. Naruto moved around in the chair until his legs were over the armrest and his head was against the backrest, ready to listen.

"I went home late yesterday, because of training, you know?" Naruto nodded in affirmation. "Anyway, I was jogging home when I spotted him walking to the streets by where I live."

"The ghetto?" Naruto asked, and now Lee nodded.

"Yeah, I thought it was weird but didn't question it. Okay, so I'm not going to tell you how I know this, but yesterday was Gaara's birthday." Lee said, Naruto giving him a look of disbelief.

"Really? I had no idea, and I've known him longer than you have! I actually talk with him, thank you very much." Naruto added, giving Lee a knowing grin.

"You know I get embarrassed around him easily!" Lee retorted, blushing a bit just from Naruto mentioning it.

"Whatever, get on with the story." Naruto said, kicking his legs a bit in the chair.

"So, since it was Gaara's birthday I had gotten him a present. I thought I'd give it to him at school, but you know he wasn't there yesterday. When I saw him I thought it was my chance! But I didn't expect him to look at me like that when I greeted him…" Lee trailed off, remembering those listless eyes.

"What look? Did he scowl at you? That's what he always does whenever I greet him, it's no biggie." Naruto replied, but stopped when he saw Lee's serious look.

"No, he looked at me like there was no life in him. I thought it was because he didn't recognize me, but that wasn't it. Then, when we approached my apartment I was going to let him go. I couldn't work up the nerve to give him the present so I just wished him a happy birthday. Then he got angry, like I'd insulted him, asking how I knew about his birth date. I tried to come up with an answer, but we walked off muttering 'never mind,'" Here Lee did his own impersonation of Gaara's unemotional voice, which made Naruto choke back a giggle. "He was acting so strange I knew something had to be up. And he was in the bad part of town all by himself, so I followed him; just to make sure he got home all right. But he didn't turn back towards home, just walked further into the dark parts of the city. I had trouble finding him when he turned down one street with no lights. I couldn't find him for a moment, but after searching I saw him in one of the blackened alleyways. Naruto…" Lee looked up at Naruto with concern. "He tried to kill himself. I did all that I could, I saved his life, but…" Lee couldn't help but pause again, his eyes filling up with tears, "What if he hates me for it?" Lee let himself cry here, really worried about Gaara hating him. He could live with Gaara ignoring him, but if he hated him…?

"Hey! Don't cry, bushy brows! I'm sure he doesn't hate you. He may not like people, but he doesn't hate people like he used to. Lee…" Naruto comforted, Lee looking up at Naruto when he said his name. Naruto only used his name when he was really serious. Lee stopped his tears to listen.

"Maybe he'll be mad at you. But I don't think he really wanted to die. Even if it's only subconsciously, I bet he's grateful for what you did. Just, don't let him get to you while he's angry. He used to beat up a lot of kids, but I knew it was only a cover. I think he's just lonely. If that really is the case, you have to fix that, Lee. Try and be his friend, no matter what. Heck, I'm still trying to this day. I'll be jealous if he acknowledges you as a friend first, I've been trying for years! I know how much he means to you, bushy brows. Let him know, not right when he wakes up, but don't hide it." Naruto said, his seriousness out of character, which only made it all the more impacting. Lee nodded at Naruto's words, his tears now completely dried.

"Thank you, Naruto." Lee said, giving him a thumbs up and a smile, his infamous 'Nice Guy Pose.'

"Anytime, bushy brows. But of course, next time you'll have to treat me to ramen!" At this, his stomach growled. "Speaking of which, I got to get home and eat, I'm starved!" Naruto exclaimed, jumping out the chair and grabbing his dropped school bag. "See you tomorrow!" And with that Naruto had left.

Lee thought about what he'd said about Gaara. Naruto had known Gaara longer than Lee had. They were both orphans, but Lee had always lived at the orphanage while Naruto had gotten a good foster parent back in middle school. So Naruto had met Gaara in middle school while Lee had to wait until the orphanage let him attend the local public high school a few years later. The only reason Gaara went to their school is because he'd gotten kicked out of all the fancy academies while he was still young. Lee realized there were still a lot of things he needed to learn about Gaara. He felt jealous that Naruto knew more about him, but shook the feeling off. Naruto was his friend, and the both wanted to be friends with Gaara. Why should he be jealous? No reason, exactly.

A few minutes after Naruto's departure the doctor came into the room, giving Lee that serious smile. "Well, I see he still hasn't awakened yet. As for you, I'm pretty sure it's safe to take you off this and let you eat normally." The doctor moved to the side of Lee's bed, where he carefully removed the IV that was supplying him with nutrients. Once the machine was off of Lee there were no more machines to hold him down, that having been the only one. His condition was anything but critical so he hadn't needed much attention. The doctor put the IV away in the closet and then went over to Gaara's bedside, where he made sure all the machines were functioning properly.

"Well, he's in much better condition. I'm certain he's on his way to a full recovery. Physically, that is." The doctor added, turning towards Lee.

"Until now it's been written down that it was a 'self inflicted injury' meaning he could have hurt himself on accident. But, I talked with his counselor, reviewed his files. It wasn't an accident, was it Lee?" The doctor asked directly, Lee froze on the spot. What was he supposed to say? If he told them Gaara had tried to kill himself then they might lock Gaara away, and then Lee really would never see him again. And Gaara would hate him even more.

"I couldn't say…" Lee started, he hated lying, but he'd do it, so Gaara wouldn't hate him anymore than he had to. The doctor was giving him a look of disbelief, but Lee couldn't tell him, they'd take Gaara away!

"We won't lock Gaara away, but he will have to see a therapist and have his whereabouts known at all times. Just tell me the truth." The doctor coaxed, but in reality he couldn't promise anything, it was up to his siblings since Gaara was only seventeen.

"I can't tell you now… I need to talk to Gaara, before anyone else does. I …" Lee tried to get out of it, he didn't like this conversation at all.

"It's all right, but you do realize you'll have to talk about it sooner or later?" The doctor was once again moving towards the exit.

"I know, just… not now." Lee replied.

"Whatever you say." The door shut loudly behind him, leaving Lee to his thoughts once again. Since he was no longer tied down he decided to grab the books Naruto had left for him, along with the assignment papers.

He found that his books and such made up the top half while the bottom half was Gaara's. He looked over his own quickly, setting it on his bed, but then continued to leaf through Gaara's. Lee was a year older than everyone, but in the same grade due to a mix up with his papers at the orphanage. He didn't mind, though. But Gaara was still a math class ahead of him. 'Must be smart.' And as Lee looked through the other books he realized Gaara was in all advanced classes, with much more work than Lee had. 'Must be really smart. I'm surprised we share any classes.' Since freshman year they'd shared their study hour period, but other than that they only shared Junior English this year, which Gaara had gotten put into half way into first semester for refusing to do all the extra assignments in honors English.

He felt weird standing there, but soon understood that it wasn't because he was looking at Gaara's books so much as he wasn't wearing anything but that skimpy hospital gown! He quickly looked for his pants, his boxers, anything. He found his belongings neatly piled together in one of the cabinets. He slipped on his boxers, feeling more comfortable now he wouldn't be exposed to the world. Or worse, have Gaara wake up to see his nakedness showing!

Gaara had the bed next to the window, and having nowhere better to do his work, he brought his books over to the chair beside the window and started on his schoolwork. Every so often he'd look over at Gaara, who looked even sicklier when Lee saw him up close. He was undeniably beautiful, though. Lee recognized that he'd thought this before about Gaara. Gaara really was good looking, no one could deny that. A lot of people thought he just looked creepy, but Lee knew that deep down they just had to be jealous. Such fiery hair, ivory skin, and those wondrous sky colored eyes. Not to mention he was in good shape, a bit short, but that was all. But a lot of people were scared off by him black eyeliner and facial tattoo. The kanji for 'love' placed right there on his forehead in dark red ink, matching his hair color. Lee wondered when he'd gotten that tattoo, since he'd had it ever since Lee had met him. Maybe Naruto knew…

He had to get back to work! Focus! He worked later than he usually would, but only because he'd slept all morning and could stand to stay up a few more hours. As the clock approached midnight Lee started his last assignment, happy to be finished with it at around half past twelve. He'd also done a couple notes for the English class he and Gaara had together, to help Gaara when he finally got up. He shoved the notes into Gaara's book and set his books and such besides Gaara's, falling back onto his hospital bed with a happy sigh. He was actually going to enjoy being in the hospital here with Gaara. The bed was a lot better than the one he had and home, the food he'd had for dinner wasn't bad, either. Plus, instead of being all alone, he had Gaara here. Now that he thought about it, he'd been alone for the longest time, his one long time friend being Naruto. Recently he'd gotten more friends, but was that because of his personality or his being top ranked in the nation in sports for high school students? He'd worked hard to get where he was, to be liked. Back in freshman year he'd been made fun of for his appearance, but as his awkward features turned handsome he'd found that he had more friends and less enemies. Though, a lot of the time he still felt really alone, especially on the weekends when all he did was work, eat, sleep, and train. He tried to think about how Gaara felt, being an outcast as he was. He had money, good looks, and was smart, which got him a few female admirers. But that's all they were… Lee started to see why Gaara might go to the extremes like he had.

Lee wanted to change Gaara, not against his will, but let Gaara know that people cared for him. He cared for him, so did Naruto. And on some level, his siblings had to care for him, didn't they? It was approaching one in the morning when Lee noticed the small stir from where Gaara lay. Lee shot up, immediately by Gaara's bedside, completely forgetting about how the doctor had told him to ring the pager when Gaara awoke.

"Gaara?" Lee whispered hopefully, staring intently at the teen in the white sheets. The machine said he was alive, but Lee couldn't trust the machine, he had to see the eyes, those eyes open before he could believe. He wanted to chase the lifelessness away from them, the listlessness he'd seen. He wanted to make Gaara smile, with all his heart, that's what he wanted to do. But it was too early for that, for now he just hoped those eyes would open for him. Even if he were angry with him, it'd be better to see anger than to see nothing.

"Please, open your eyes. Let me know you're alive." Lee whispered quietly, placing his hand over Gaara's, feeling their icy coldness and becoming worried. "Please." He said softly as he gripped Gaara's hand, hoping to take the cold away from him. He'd take Gaara's coldness within in himself, if it meant Gaara could be warm. He'd give anything to see those eyes at this moment.


Here's my latest piece of work! I'm working on so many things when out of nowhere BAM this little guy hits me in the face screaming 'Write me!' so I wrote a little today, and I'm really enjoying this one. So beware, I might slack off on my other fanfiction because I like writing this one so much. It was originally a oneshot, but now it can't be. I thought, 'Hey, I'll write a one shot where Lee saves Gaara from commiting suicide!' look how that turns out, I swear I'm going to write too much...