Autumn by AlwaysHiei

A GaaHina Oneshot

Dedication to: Carlos. Happy birthday!

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I'm just a leaf; a common and generally insignificant being.

I live my life through my connection to a tree, a complex of people who give me water to live, but who chain me down to them and tell me what to do.

As a leaf, I don't have much of a life. I stay on this branch where I've always stayed, unable to stray away; I basically remain a creature of habit who can't try anything new and who just lives the same life from day to day.

I'm untalented. I only have my particular set of skills, and those are few and far between; everything I'm able to do most others can as well anyway.

I'm weak. It's not hard to rip me apart or make me sad.

I'm always the same. I never change.

Until you came along.

You walked into my life, stopped under my tree, looked straight up, and looked right at me.

I was surprised; at first I thought that you were staring at someone else, but it became clear; your eyes were locked onto my own.

I was scared; you were someone new, someone different, someone frightening, someone wondrous...

...and I was just a leaf.

What could you possibly want with me?

What were you planning?

What were you going to do?

Were you going to rip me off of my branch and tear me apart?

I was nervous, and it was obvious; I'm a leaf and I'm not used to being singled out as someone... someone who is different in some way from everyone else. I studied your face; your lack of eyebrows, your tattoo, your brilliantly green eyes and fire-like hair. You were different than all of us; you were intriguing.

I wanted to squeeze my eyes shut and wait for you to go; I was used to the same old thing, but you were a change in my schedule.

I couldn't, though. I couldn't stop staring right back.

Slowly, you smiled... chuckled a bit... nodded to me... and walked away.

You'd think I'd have been filled with relief; the scary moment was gone, everything was normal again. But I was dismayed.

You did nothing. The change you made in my routine was barely anything. Everything was normal again.

I was once more just a leaf.

It was the next day that things started to become different for me.

I noticed it was slightly colder; my usual green color seemed a bit different, too.

And you returned again. You did the same thing you'd done the day before. Stood under my branch, looked up at me, smiled, chuckled, nodded, and walked away again.

This happened day after day for weeks afterwards, and each day I became a little bit different from the day before.

I was no longer green at all but instead red, more like your hair. I wasn't as connected to my tree anymore; my stem was breaking off slightly, and I was yearning to go to you and away from this same old lifestyle I've always lived. I wanted to let go of what I was used to and plunge into the world to live my life to the fullest.

I didn't want to be like everyone else around me.

I didn't want to be useless and untalented.

I didn't want to be weak.

I didn't want to be the same.

I just wanted to take a risk, jump into uncharted waters, have some fun, be happy, spend my life with you...

... the different one.

The one who started this change for me; the one who got me thinking about becoming someone new.

You came again; walked under the tree, looked up and stared at me, smiled, chuckled, nodded...

...and stayed.

A gust of air came suddenly; it wasn't a strong wind, but my stem wasn't as connected to my lifeline anymore and that was all it would take.

I was pushed off of the tree and into the air, connected to no one and nothing; just being me.

I was falling, falling to the ground; and I was scared again.

I stared up, frightened as I floated down.

Was this the end of my hardly experienced freedom?

You caught me in your hand, stared at me again, smiled, chuckled, nodded, and said, "I'm Gaara. I'm very glad to finally have you down here where I can see you more clearly."

"I'm Hinata," I replied automatically. "I'm very happy to be here too. It's a... change."

"Change is good," you agreed, "but it can be dangerous if done alone."

"I want to do something different, even if it's unsafe," I answered.

You raised a nonexistent eyebrow but laughed at the same time. "Then mind if I tag along?"

"Not at all."

You smiled at me again before placing me in your pocket and walking away with me.

You are my change. You are my switch in routine; you are my protection; you are my freedom; you are my joy.

Gaara, you are my autumn.

THE END

It's my first GaaHina, so go easy on me I guess. I did my best as it's for someone very important, but I know it's not flawless. Please review!

Seeya,
AlwaysHiei