Hello everyone! I'm back!

I'm sorry for taking so long to update this story, but i had been looking back at previous chapters and decided to take this in a different direction. So instead of Neji/Sasu this story is going to be Gaara/Sasu... It just fits better.

But don't worry Neji/Sasu fans, I'm cooking up another story that is sure to grab your attention, after all, it's still my favorite and it makes my heart break slightly to think that there are so few of those stories out there.

Anyways, I hope you're not too mad at me :(

For disclaimer and warning, see first chapter...

Now, on with the show.

I've gone too far to come back from here

But you don't have a clue

You don't know what you do to me

-Stop This Song (lovesick melody) by Paramore

Shikamaru sighed, it took all of his will power to refrain from rolling his eyes and smirking in amusement, which he doubted Gaara would appreciate very much.

Not many people could read Gaara, but it was something that their little group could do fairly well, with Sasuke being the best and Die being the worst. However Shikamaru was fairly proud at being second only to Sasuke at this matter, as such it was relatively simple to see the annoyance and worry that Gaara was currently displaying. His shoulders were slightly tense, his knuckles white, his jaw barely noticeably tightened, and his eyes darting to the door at every miniscule sound.

When they had finished unpacking, Shino, Gaara, and himself had met up with Die and Deidara to help bring the food up to Gaara and Sasuke's apartment. They were fully expecting Sasuke to be there waiting for them, so it came as a surprise when he was no where to be seen. Sasuke rarely did anything without telling Gaara, but they were enlightened with a quick text from Hinata saying that Sasuke was helping her cousin unpack.

They were all put on edge at first, Neji's name was familiar to them and they knew that he had played some part of the ravens tragic past, but eventually they had relaxed, trusting in Sasuke to understand his limits. All of them, except for Gaara.

"You should calm down Gaara. If Sasuke didn't think he could handle it, he wouldn't have gone." Shino said, trying to get Gaara to relax some and see from Sasuke's point of view. Die and Deidara stopped their conversation to look over at their disgruntled friend.

'So Shino noticed too…' Shikamaru thought as he watched their tall redheaded friend stand up and begin to get down plates and cups. Every now and then he would catch a glimpse of his face, his lips set in a thin line and his mint green eyes narrowed. 'This is such a drag, what a way to start off the new term.'

Shikamaru knew that Gaara was worried for Sasuke, but he knew that Sasuke could handle himself now. Gaara was more upset over the fact that Sasuke hadn't told him. Not that Shikamaru blamed him, they were all protective of each other, especially towards Sasuke. Gaara in particular was extremely protective of Sasuke, if anything came close to threatening him Gaara would make sure it was dealt with. The only thing that kept the others from being annoyed at Sasuke for not telling them was the fact that they understood that sometimes people had to do things on their own. Facing Neji was that kind of something for Sasuke. Then again, not all of them shared Gaara's feelings toward Sasuke….

As Gaara reclaimed his former seat, there was a distinct sound of a key being placed in the lock and turning, the door swung open and Sasuke walked inside, followed by Hinata and who Shikamaru assumed to be Neji Hyuuga. This time he couldn't help the sigh that came out of him, this was a recipe for disaster. He really should have figured that this would happen though, Sasuke's generous nature being what it was.

"Sorry we're late everyone, but Neji's room was a lot dirtier than we expected." Hinata said with a small smile, looking at Shikamaru.

The lazy genius just shook his head and sighed, knowing she was looking at him for an update on Gaara's mood. The shy girl bit her lip and as she forced herself to keep the smile on her face, although it was now about as tense as the air in the little living room.

"Anyways, this is my cousin, Neji. Neji this is Shikamaru, Die, Deidara, Shino, and Gaara." Hinata introduced them, pointing to each person as she said their names. Neji nodded his head and muttered a greeting, obviously aware that all of those assembled knew Sasuke's story, and his place in it.

At his name Gaara glared at the white-eyed boy, he was tense again and Sasuke was biting his lip as he stood next to said boy, a nervous trait he had picked up from Hinata.

"I invited Neji-san over for dinner as a sort of welcome, first days are a bit overwhelming and I thought it would help if he knew a few people. I figured we would have plenty of food." Sasuke supplied hesitantly as he moved to make everyone's plate, Hinata helping him. "Please make yourself comfortable Neji-san."

Neji threw him a grateful smile and Sasuke gave him one back.

Gaara's eyes narrowed even further and Shikamaru caught a glint of what he thought was jealousy. Sometimes Shikamaru wondered if it was really Sasuke who was the best at reading Gaara, because if he was, then surely he would have picked up on Gaara's feelings. It wasn't that hard to see actually, the way Gaara's eyes and hands always lingered a bit too long and the undeniable affection he had for Sasuke were blatantly obvious. Yet it was only he and Shino who noticed, then again sometimes it's easier to see from the outside looking in.

Neji took a seat by Hinata when she finally sat as Sasuke placed a plate in front of everyone before taking his own seat beside Gaara. Everyone sitting in a semi-comfortable circle as they ate, no one daring to break the silence for the first few minutes.

"So, Neji, how do you like the place so far?" Leave it to Die to be oblivious to the tense atmosphere.

"It's a very nice campus, big though, it will take some getting used to, but Sasuke-chan says that it gets easier to navigate after a while." Neji replied, looking over at Sasuke briefly before turning his head back to direction of conversation.

"It does get easier, the hallways all go in a circle by hundreds, with the cafeteria at the center. The library is kind of tricky, but once you find it, you'll never lose it, it is huge!" Deidara assured.

The group was slowly started to warm up to Neji, asking him questions about his old school, what he did on the weekends and for fun, his extracurricular activities and anything else they could think of to ask. Neji answered all of them, grateful that he hadn't been killed and was being pretty well received by most of them. Except for Gaara. Neji could already tell that he wasn't going to be getting along with him anytime soon. The red-head obviously didn't like him, and the feeling was mutual.

He didn't know what it was about the other boy, but he had an instant distaste for him. Maybe it was the way he had inspected Sasuke when they first got there, as if checking to make sure Neji had not hurt the small raven. Maybe it was the way his eyes followed Sasuke wherever he went and when on occasion they stopped on himself, they would narrow into a fierce glare. Or maybe it was the obvious affection and longing he held for Sasuke, who seemed oblivious.

The last one bothered Neji, but why was unclear. It wasn't as if he had a claim on the beautiful raven. But there was a nagging presence in the back of his mind that told him that he wanted one. He wanted a reason to call Gaara out for staring at Sasuke like he did, wanted the right to get angry. He wanted to be that person to Sasuke, but as it stood he couldn't do anything. It wasn't his place and Sasuke was free to do whatever he wanted with whoever he wanted, even if that meant Gaara. However, that didn't mean he wasn't go to try his hardest to woo Sasuke, so that maybe one day, it would be his place.

So when it was time for him and Hinata to leave and everyone else had already left, he lifted his hand to Sasuke's face and brushed the bangs back, tucking them behind his ear.

"Good night Sasuke-chan." He said quietly, smiling at the blush on the younger boy's face. He could feel a malevolent gaze on him and before he walked out he leveled his own glare right back at the redhead. His challenge had been set.


Sasuke bit his lip as he sat on his bed waiting for Gaara to get out of the bathroom. When everyone had left he and Gaara had done the dishes and gotten ready for bed in silence. Sasuke tried to get him to talk using small talk and asking him questions but it was all ignored. He had known this was what would happen when he had chosen not to tell Gaara about where he was going that afternoon. He had justified himself at the time, telling himself that this was something he had to do on his own, and that Gaara would never have let him go. But that didn't justify not calling to tell him, he had a sneaking suspicion that he had hurt Gaara's feelings by not telling him.

The sound of the door opening caught Sasuke's attention and he looked up to see the tall redhead coming out of the bathroom. Gaara must have been hitting the gym, he was a lot more muscular than Sasuke remembered. The raven shook his head, unhappy with his thought process. He could take time later to contemplate why he had been admiring his friend's body, right now he had more important things to do.

"Gaara?" He said meekly, biting his lip again.

Gaara said nothing as pulled back the covers of his bed across from Sasuke's on the opposite wall.

"Gaara, please, I'm sorry. Please talk to me." Sasuke pleaded softly. This happened every time he upset Gaara, he would do the action that would make Gaara give him the cold shoulder, only to plead for him to talk to him within hours.

And just like every time in the past, Gaara looked at Sasuke's pleading face and sighed. He sat on the edge of his bed with his elbows resting on his legs, his face turned to the floor. Sasuke saw this sign of resignation and walked over to the others bed. Sitting down next to the redhead, Sasuke put one petite hand on Gaara's shoulder.

"I really am sorry Gaara, I know I should have told you, but you just worry far too much, I didn't want to bother you with it."

Gaara's eyes remained downcast. " You know I worry about you either way Sasuke, and don't talk about this like it isn't something important. It is important, you're well being is important. And don't talk about yourself as if you were a burden, you're not. If I didn't want to be here with you, don't think for a second that I would be. But I do want to be here, looking out for you isn't something I do because I think I have to, I do it because I want to, do you understand Sasuke?"

Gaara looked into the endless ebony eyes of the young raven, looking for some sign of understanding, trying to see if Sasuke would catch onto what he was really trying to say.

Sasuke hugged him softly, "I understand Gaara, next time I do something stupid, I'll call you to let you know so you can attempt to talk me out of it." Sasuke pulled back with a smile, " But I really don't think you have any reason to worry about Neji, he's very sweet, I don't think he could ever really hurt me."

Gaara scowled, not only did Sasuke not understand, but he had brought up that prick, "I don't like him, Sasuke."

Sasuke laughed softly, "I figured that out already, but why? It has to be more than his connection to that group, I could see you not really liking him in that case, but it's more than that. You really seem to hate him."

Gaara looked at him for a minute, he knew Sasuke was a tad oblivious when it came to stuff like this, having had a hard enough time making friends let alone tending to matters of the heart but still, "Don't you know?" He asked, his eyes looking into Sasuke's hard.

Sasuke blinked at the question, he opened his mouth to answer but the words left him when Gaara reached one hand up to cup his cheek.

"G-Gaara? What are y-you doing?" Sasuke asked shakingly as Gaara moved closer and closer to him. His mind was blank, his heart was pounding, and he couldn't seem to get enough oxygen. 'Is he really going to… to kiss me?'

Gaara stopped when he was about three inches away, taking every detail of Sasuke's delicate features in before sighing and moving his hand up to ruffle the soft unruly black hair.

"Get some sleep Sasuke. Tomorrow is going to be a long day." Gaara released him and laid down under the covers, turning his back to raven.

Sasuke stood up and walked over to his bed mechanically wondering what the hell just happened. He laid down slowly and tried to slow down his heart. Once he got himself to relax he forced himself to not think about the day and tried to sleep.

Gaara made sure the other was asleep before turning over to face the raven. 'It's you, Sasuke. It's all because of you.'


Sorry it was so short, but it's late and I'm tired.

SO what did you think? I won't know if you don't review, so leae me a comment :)