"Gaara-kun, Gaara-kun!" exclaims a young girl as she runs towards the six-year-old boy on a swing. The evening air rolls in, and Gaara's grip on his teddy bear tightens as the girl approaches the swing. "Sorry, I'm late. It took me a while to find an excuse to leave the house," she says, taking a seat on a different swing. It has been two years now since those two misfits became friends. However, the only ones who know about their friendship are the two children themselves. Their bond is a secret from all the disapproving eyes that would other wise tear them apart.
"I-its ok Tori-san" Gaara says weakly.
"Remember, you can call me Tori-chan, 'san' is too formal" says Tori, as she begins to pump the swing.
"Sorry, Tori-chan" he says a little more loud. The two remain silent for several minutes watching as the last few people on the streets scurry home for the evening. Their meetings traditionally start out this way; a small greeting then silence comes as they begin an activity.
"Have I ever told you why I like the swing so much?" ask Tori, breaking the peaceful silence.
"No" response Gaara shaking his head. Tori takes a deep breath before answering, allowing the last few people around time to disappear from sight.
"I love it so much because swinging is the closest thing I can get to flying" she says, while dreamingly staring at the dark sky. "To be able to sour through the sky, being one with the wind, that's my dream." The two children resume silence, engaged in their own thoughts. Tori's swing slows down as she jumps off gracefully, landing on her feet. She walks behind Gaara and begins to push his swing. The gentle motion soothes the boy's tense form, but continues to look at the ground.
He hears music drifting from behind, as the sweet melody floats passed him. Twisting his head, he discovers Tori is the source of the sound. He watches her hum an unfamiliar tone, as she continues to push him on the swing. Tori notices the gesture and says, "It's called 'Shooting Star'. I could teach you the words, if you want." Gaara only shifts his gaze back to the ground, ignoring Tori's request. The tune continues to flow through the air, despite the boy's grim response.
"It's late, you should go", Gaara says blatantly.
"But, Gaara..." she says, letting the swig slow down to a stop.
"Now" says the boy with as much authority in his voice as a six-year-old can muster. Slowly walking away, she manages to flash Gaara a bright smile as a good bye, before she runs home. Gaara stays still, watching Tori leave and waits until she has left his sight, before heading home himself.
Tori pushes open the beige door leading into her home and tiptoes through the hall, praying with all her might that her parents do not hear her. Despite Gaara's somewhat early departure, she ended up making a u-turn and followed him home. In the shadows of course, just to make sure he got home all right. Inches from the door to her room, Tori hears the one thing she was trying to avoid, he mom.
"Young lady!" Tori freezes her hand on the door knob. "Where have you been? Do you realize how late it is? I've been worried sick, y-you could have been hurt o-or worse." Tori's muscles tightens, her eyes focused on the floor, and her back to her mom. "It's really dangers on the streets for a girl your age and to top it all, you've been neglecting your training!"
"I was at the park. I know I'm late, I'm sorry!" Tori quickly says, then slides inside her room and shuts the door. She leans against the door for support, as she lets her body slide to the ground. Releasing a breath she did not realize she was holding, Tori closes her eyes and listens.
"Dear," Tori hears her dad say, "She's only six."
"I know, but the sooner she learns to defend herself the better," responds her mom. "... with her nameless friends ... late at night ... and that Demon child ... in the park lately ..." her mom's voice trails off. Tori wait a few more moments, to make sure she no longer can hear her parents, and crawls off to sleep.