Standard disclaimers apply.
This is a oneshot. No sequels.
It was a wonder he noticed her at all. Neji had laughed when he realised the blonde meant his cousin. She was small and had an unusual knack for making herself invisible. It took Naruto time to tune his hearing to her light strides. Sometimes he would look up from his practice sheet to find her comfortably sitting on the first stair of the basement steps as if she had always been there and he had passed her on the way down. He could never make out her features as she sat in the deep blue and noir shadows, the dull light from the old lamp making only her indigo highlights visible. When they finished, she would wordlessly clean the refurbished rec room. He never knew until he had run down the stairs one day to find her sweeping up bits of corn chips and dirt and dust. A little dazed, he could only stupidly mumble, "delrex" and with a faint blush, she wordlessly produced the worn but dependable heavy gauge guitar pick. He uttered a humble "thanks", quickly dashing back up the stairs and out of the room which had suddenly become her inner sanctum. After that he was more careful about throwing out trash or using coasters.
Gently he began to appreciate her permeable presence and little kindnesses; his ears felt hot as he thought of her lithe hands holding out his bright orange scarf last fall, or a cool can of soda that unusually humid spring before. They also went warm whenever Kiba begged her to listen to him play something after practice. The brown haired electric bass player was not embarrassed at all to put her name into song, rhyming it with, "I wanna get to know ya" or "I miss you when I can't see ya". The other three members didn't mind the disruption while they packed the equipment; it gave them something to debate on. Naruto never joined in. he knew it was hard to write a song yet Kiba kept writing them, those horrible lines that made her blush a sweet red. Inside he knew how the other felt; this girl deserved a song.
He learned she was a ballerina from worn pearl coloured toe shoes hung on her duffel bag. In the colder months after practice, he would stumblingly ask her for a performance. She blushed hotly but invited him to see her practice. Sitting on the cool concrete with the sea air tearing through his windbreaker, he would watch her dance. Her moves were agile and strangely powerful, swirls of sand enhancing her actions. While he shivered in a battle to keep out the cold, she sweated, the beads glistening on her smooth forehead. He liked to watch her practice so hard, the wide smile on her face telling him things he did not know about her yet. He began to wish she would smile like that always. Observing her behind cerulean blue orbs, he never noticed when he began to lightly hum the melody.
The song was mildly familiar but its words were buried far from his memory. With an unfamiliar delicacy, the tune wound itself into his head. It was sometimes frustrating that such a soft ballad clung with the intensity of one of Shikamaru's rock anthems. His band mates caught him strumming an unusually gentle song in- between sets. It was what he wished he could play whenever he saw her pale, luminous face in the sea of head- rocking devotees, her lips inaudibly singing along. Catching his breath between verses his tongue would subconsciously lick his lips in response. Neji began to make him help Gaara dismantle the drums after shows. The red head quirked an invisible eyebrow but didn't comment. Watching the rhythm guitarist move the toms and snare drum, he could already recognise the symptoms that classified the blood red kanji on his forehead. He knew it was best not to interfere. A few nights later, when the smaller Hyuga politely inquired where her nii- san was, he did not know what possessed him to silently point backstage instead of the opposite direction.
Naruto's back went rigid at the sweetly inflected gait. The footfalls echoed in his ears. Unlike the standard crowd she was dressed in her usual jeans and converse. Her shirt, one of the tees they sold outside venues to cover new equipment or gas, was lavender instead of the band colours. Azure spheres watched her stop in the doorway, looking around the nearly empty stage. The lilac tinged irises settled on him almost immediately.
"P- please, is Neji here?"
"Nah, he's been gone ages ago."
Noises filtered in from the outside hallway. He grinned broadly, rocking back and forth on his heels, while she found the hem of her top very interesting. Plucking at a loose thread, she mumbled that he played very well. The girl's head was bowed, showing him the neat part in her hair. Pulling his body's restless shifting under control, he closed the few feet between them. The small face darted up. Her smile lit like heat through his stomach. Small huffs of breath escaped from her mouth to brush his. It felt like heaven to share her air. The whiskered cheeks went warm at the thought; he ducked his head.
"I need you," he admitted. He mumbled it in a voice barely above a whisper, blonde bangs thankfully hiding her response. His world tilted dangerously on its axis but stubbornly he pulled her closer, tucking her possessively against him. Words tumbled out like rain in a storm with no sense of direction yet somehow he managed to tell her there behind that dim half- lit stage. He never said he loved her; he did not understand yet what it meant to wish for her warmth constantly. With half dismantled drums and a guitar case standing witness he let his face lean in close. He wanted to take the chance. Before Gaara came back for the rest of the equipment, before Neji realised she wasn't by the van, before the heat flooding his face made him turn away. Her lower lip quivered at his light touch and he was surprised by the strong ache that locked in with the action. Dim, faint notes played in his head.
'Softly,' he reminded himself as his lips parted her own. The subtle taste was intoxicating. 'Slowly.'
After a brief pause, her mouth shyly opened. Her fingers traced lightly down his arm to fumble into a lock with his. He loved the husky quality of her stutter when Neji found them. He loved it even more when despite her older cousin's pointed stare, her small white hand stayed in a firm grip with his larger tanned one.
A.N: Though it's not a songfic a song did inspire it lightly. Like it? Hate it? Let me know... where else can you find Gaara playing a clueless cupid?