Playlist for chapter: Shadow of the day - Linkin Park, Tilting the hourglass - Alesana, Makeup - Escape the Fate, Iris - The GooGooDollz


He sits there staring blankly at me for a second, chewing lightly on the inside of his lip. I ball my hands into fists on my lap and he, hesitating momentarily, reaches out a hand and places it lightly over mine. I clench my jaw, tendons pulling tighter in my neck. I look back at the table cloth trying to think straight, that was all very confusing. It's funny how Itachi knows exactly how to make me feel like shit. Sadistic bastard. I look out the cafe's roller door (And more essentially it's window to the street outside) and at Itachi's car, a moment later it sped off down the street. I cringe at how fast it's going and look back to Gaara.

"What'd he say to your brother?" I ask, my tone surprisingly bitter, though he doesn't seem to mind, I'm not sure if the change really registers to him either.

"Why don't you ask my brother," he asks nonchalantly. My eyes narrow of their own accord, honestly I didn't mean for them to. Gaara sighs. "He said 'take care of her',"

I glance away, confusion gracing my features. "Why would he say that?" I mutter, more to myself than him.

"Because he doesn't think he can," Gaara said, shrugging as though it was the most obvious thing ever.

"How do you know?" I ask, almost suspiciously.

"I don't" he says leaning away from me in his chair, releasing my hand, which feels suddenly freezing.

"Then why bother-?"

"Because that's what it seems like," he says cutting me off, man I hate it when people do that. I bring my hand up to the table again and drum my fingers against the surface.

'This time, its war," an electric beat sounds in the background, completely ruining the mood. Gaara grimaces and looks across at Kankurou, dancing behind the counter.

"HERE'S JOHNNY!" he calls with the song; again most of the people in the cafe don't notice his sporadic outbursts. Gaara shoots him a death glares that says 'turn-that-shit-off-before-i-use-that-cd-player-for-target-practise'. Oh but he doesn't we get a lovely dose of techno to 'lighten up the mood'. I soon turn the sounds off and slip into a mindless world, which is pleasantly blank.

Gaara must've noticed how inattentive I was because when I finally snap out of it he isn't sitting in front of me anymore. It takes me a moment to remember where I am and when I do I drop my head onto the (now plate-less) table. My hands are lying on my lap and after a moment of thinking about what Itachi had said I feel my nails digging in and scratching at the skin of my wrist. I stop myself by closing my hands around each other so I can't get to the flesh. After a few minutes I feel hands on my shoulders. I sit up abruptly at the sudden contact. Craning my head backwards I see, surprisingly enough, Gaara standing behind me.

"C'mon, let's go," he indicates to the door with a nod of his head. I stand up obediently and walk out the door, the walk is somewhat quiet. I start to shake again, and again it's not because of the cold. Gaara subconsciously wraps an arm around my waist and pulls me closer to him, offering his body heat.

"Can we stop?" I ask looking over at the park to the side of the road. Quietly, he redirects our walk towards the small block of land. We sit beneath a small tree whose branches are hanging lowly, nearly touching the tops of our heads.

"Do you by any chances have your MP3?" I ask longingly.

"Mhm," he says pulling it out of his pocket, he hands me one of the headphones and after a few moments music is playing through my head. I readjust myself, leaning against his chest to become more comfortable and more to the point, to share his body heat.

A few tracks pass, well it feels like a few but could be much longer. The next track comes on and my breath hitches. The riff is so easy to recognize from the times I spent wallowing in self pity and guilt in my room. Yeah, this had been our song, ours no one else's, and listening to it with Gaara made me feel like I'd betrayed him some how. His beautiful voice sings out through the headphones;

"And I'd give up forever to touch you
'Cause I know that you feel me somehow
You're the closest to heaven that I'll ever be
And I don't want to go home right now

And all I can taste is this moment
And all I can breathe is your life
'Cause sooner or later it's over
I just don't want to miss you tonight

And I don't want the world to see me
'Cause I don't think that they'd understand
When everything's made to be broken
I just want you to know who I am

And you can't fight the tears that ain't coming
Or the moment of truth in your lies
When everything feels like the movies
Yeah you bleed just to know you're alive

And I don't want the world to see me
'Cause I don't think that they'd understand
When everything's made to be broken
I just want you to know who I am

And I don't want the world to see me
'Cause I don't think that they'd understand
When everything's made to be broken
I just want you to know who I am

And I don't want the world to see me
'Cause I don't think that they'd understand
When everything's made to be broken
I just want you to know who I am

I just want you to know who I am
I just want you to know who I am
I just want you to know who I am
"

By the end of the song my breathing has hastened so much that I feel like I'm gonna pass out. I don't no whether I wanna scream louder than ever before or just sob. It's confusing, both these emotions, Anger and pain, are so prominently brought out when I listen to this. The redhead behind me's arms slink around my middle, pulling me closer to him, he reaches one hand up and tugs gently on the earpiece.

"What's wrong?" he whispers into my, now headphone-less, ear.

"I-It hurts," I choke out, breathing even more sharply.

"What does?" he asks.

"Please, it hurts, make it stop hurting," I mutter quickly, shutting my eyes, Jesus, I'm so fucking pathetic. Look at me getting cut up from some old song.

"Calm down, let me help you" he commands, his voice still even and calm. I twist around, breaking away from his arms. I look him right in the eyes and grab his hands, quickly holding them to my throat. I twist my hands around so that his are gripping my neck. He looks confused and irritated, and tries to pull his arms away. My momentary lapse of strength allows me to apply pressure to my neck, using his hands. This isn't right, why am I doing this??

"Let go Sakura," he says, a bitter in his tone.

"You told me to let you help me," I say innocently, holding his hands in place. He's over reacting of course; all this amount of pressure does is make me gasp for breath a little.

"Well then I take it back," he says, pulling his hands away from my throat. I lean forward with his arms and smirk a little. I hear the low whir from the headphone still in his ear.
"There's no escaping you'll see, There's no escaping from me." I sing the lyrics, releasing his hands, unwillingly. "Quite ironic, no?"

"No, what's wrong with you, do you have like two personalities?" he asks, his voice harsh. I blink a few times; he must think he upset me because he wraps his arms around me and pulls me to him, muttering an apology.

"I don't want to wait anymore," I say, a smile playing morbidly at the corner of my lips. And yet for some reason he smiles too. He stands up and drags me to my feet, our fingers intertwining.

"I guess we're good for each other huh?" he murmurs, I look up at him curiously. "We're both far past the point of saving," he smirks a little and it vanishes after a moment, he looks forward and we walk for a long while. I don't know where we're going, nor does he apparently, we just follow the path for a long while until finally coming to a stop in unison. We look at each other at the same time and he smiles again. "Kinda funny," he says, his eyes curving into a shape reminding me of a crescent moon. We keep walking tiredly, both dragging our feet a little. Past the tombstones, past the dying flowers on graves. I wave slightly as we pass Sasuke's grave, I don't know why, maybe to let him know that I'm okay. I guess. We soon reach the back fence and hop over it. They'd be shutting the cemetery off soon, its dusk and the sun is dwindling on the edge of the horizon. On landing on the other side of the fence he re-offers me a headphone.

"You take my breathe away...
but I'll never taste your lips
as fate keeps me locked away
I must close my eyes to see your face
"

Or walk is quiet, but not the awkward sort of silence. It's really nice. It's amusing how the screams in the background of this song sound so peaceful.

"Emptiness has darkened my eyes
as I hopelessly beg for my life to end
...tell me why...
my iron eyes tell the tale
heroes always pay in their blood
I can be only this
"

I feel his eyes lingering on the side of my face when we reach the brook. I look up to meet his eyes.

"Shall we?" I ask, kicking off my shoes and socks, leaving my over-priced converse on the grass next to the water, I step off of the small drop into the water, only showing mild surprise when it reaches above my knee's. He follows suit, stepping after me. I replace the headphone in my ear again and we hold it between our two hands.

"I see the fear growing in their lost eyes
my purpose is so clear...I am the ax
I am the ax and this is why I must not fear the end
and when I'm gone will you forget me?
pen wears its steady course across the page
resigned to it's designs to take the hive
,"

Unperturbed by the water soaking our jeans and slowing our walk, we continue.

"Emptiness has darkened my eyes
as I hopelessly beg for my life to end
...tell me why...
I wish I could make you see, I wish I could make you see through the pain
through the end, I wish I could make you see the greater purpose that I have to serve...
no one else will fight...no-one else will fight...so I must
my iron eyes tell the tale
heroes always pay in their blood
I can be only this
...I am the ax...
fear has been lost to faith
the darkened night has come before the end
of which we must prevail
amidst the pitch of steel we shall arise
I will destroy all those who oppose me
my iron eyes tell the tale
heroes always pay in their blood
I can be only this
"

The song is stuck on repeat for hours, my legs drag through the water, my body reluctant continue, his too seems so slow that he may pass out. Understandable though. I have no idea where we are, we passed a few houses on our way here, cottages mainly, most abandoned. I don't travel and this is one of the first times I've left town but it doesn't bother me.

"Are we going anywhere?" I ask curiously, he glances down at me and shakes his head wearily. It is night now, incredibly hard to see, the small light from his MP3 marking our way, it has dimmed though, running low on battery. Similar to us. As we've walked the water has risen to our middles now, having to hold our arms awkwardly to avoid the music player to get dropped under water level.

He looks up to the sky and blinks tiredly, I look up with him.

"Can we go now?" I ask, double meanings intended. His eyes flutter shut but he re-opens them to look at me. I see him smile from the dim light of the mp3 player; he pulls it away from me and searches it for a song. My heartbeat quickens but this time I don't have a breakdown. He wraps an arm around my body limply and leans down to place a soft kiss on my lips. After a few moments he leans back slightly.

"Yeah,"

He searches my eyes for something; regret maybe, unable to find what he looked for he brushes his lips again. We drop to our knee's in unison and our heads only just reach above the water, he laces our right hand together, the MP3 player skips and jumps before slowly whirring to a stop, but the song still continues playing through my head and I barely notice that the actual electronic item has stopped. I reach an arm around his back, latching onto the soaked material of his shirt, I breathe in heavily and rest my head against his chest, submerging my head under the water in the process. My body is too weak to thrash around, to try and restore my breath. But it doesn't feel wrong; it feels right, right that my last breath was with him. It feels, absolutely perfect.

"And I don't want the world to see me
'Cause I don't think that they'd understand
When everything's made to be broken
I just want you to know who I am"


A/N That's all, that was the last chapter, finished. Done.
Lyrics: Tilting the hourglass - Alesana & Iris - The GooGoo Dolls

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