100 Writing Theme Challenge

#49-Umbrella

Gaara/Sakura

820 words

AN: I'm doing the 100 challenge out of order, meaning whichever ones stand out to me the most, I will do first. The timeline here is indeterminate, but does take place before the time-skip. Enjoy.

"It's been raining for three days. Our village is gonna flood if it keeps up!" Naruto complained, resting his chopsticks on the side of his ramen bowl.

"Naruto-kun, we're not going to flood."

"How do you know, Sakura-chan? What if we drown in our sleep? That'd be a stupid way for a shinobi to die."

Sakura shoved his arm half-heartedly. She couldn't help but smile.

It was nice to have a meal as a team for once. She couldn't remember the last time they spent a calm moment together, just the three of them.

"Achoo!"

The tea cups clinked gently as Naruto bumped into the table from the force of his sneeze.

Sakura eyed him warily. One glance at her told him what she was thinking.

"It's just a sneeze. I'm as healthy as ever!" He stood quickly for effect.

She brought her hand to his forehead and he stilled immediately.

"Your head's warmer than usual. I think you're coming down with a fever; your face is a little red as well." She leaned in closer to take a look at his pupils.

His eyes widened and began blinking nervously.

"Hold still."

"Uh, Sakura-chaaaan." He grumbled, obviously turning even redder at their close proximity.

"Kakashi-sensei, will you take Naruto back to his place?" She asked, removing her hand from Naruto's head, causing him to breathe out a sigh.

Kakashi, who had been silent up until now, looked up from his book and gave a brief nod.

"Will you be alright Sakura-chan?" He asked, putting money on the table and standing nearer to Naruto.

"Yes. I'll be fine. We just can't have Naruto be sick on our mission tomorrow."

"Hm. Okay. Good night, Sakura-chan. Take care of yourself too." He called over his shoulder as he nudged a semi-protestant Naruto towards the exit.

Finishing the remnants of tea, she saw that it was still raining outside.

"Good thing I brought my umbrella."

Sakura stepped across the restaurant's threshold to breathe in the crisp, fresh air. She shook open her umbrella and began making her way home.

After a few minutes, she noticed a figure walking down the same street a little bit ahead.

They're going to catch pneumonia at that rate. Her beginner's medic training began to take over as she huffed to herself and jogged to catch up with the person.

Upon reaching them, the first thing she thought was a very strong obscenity due to surprise, next a tiny flash of fear wiggled its way into her mind but she suppressed it and forced a look of calm.

Who would have thought Gaara of the Sand was visiting Konoha today, walking in the rain, by himself? She certainly didn't.

He had continued walking as if she wasn't even there.

Alright, she could do this. She could-

"Is there any reason as to why you are following me?"

She was started out of her thoughts and fumbled for an answer.

What was she doing? Wait, why was she even here?

Her hand gripped the handle of her umbrella, which by the way was thankfully not a shade of blinding pink, and suddenly remembered.

Her hand that held the umbrella stretched out closer to him and he visibly tensed.

"What are you doing?"

"Keeping you from getting soaked, what does it look like?" Her temper getting the best of her.

He glared. Did this woman have a death wish?

"Look, it wouldn't do well if a citizen of another shinobi village got sick in ours. So, let me just walk you to wherever you're staying."

He stared.

"Why?" He responded in monotone.

"I already said why. Because I don't want you to get-."

"I meant, why aren't you afraid of me?" He asked, keeping his green eyes on hers.

She clicked her tongue.

"Gaara-san, you're our friend now. Why would I be afraid of you?"

"Because I-." He looked away, focusing his gaze elsewhere. She smiled gently as a form of reassurance.

"Gaara-san, come on. Remember, we're your allies now. Anything in the past is behind us, where it belongs. Okay?" She spoke softly, in a tone she hoped would encourage him.

He lifted his head to look at her once more.

"Don't" He managed to say, his voice held a small waver.

Sakura's shoulders slumped forwards when she heard him start speaking again.

"Don't…address me so formally." He whispered. She barely caught what he said through the rain's sound hitting the street.

She faced him and this time smiled more widely, more genuinely.

"Alright, Gaara-kun. Now, how about we get you home before you freeze?" She held the umbrella right over both of their heads and looked at him intently. He nodded and attempted to turn his mouth slightly upwards. What resulted was a quivering of his left cheek and soon all efforts were abandoned. But his eyes reflected what his expression could not.

And that was definitely a start.

AN: I know. It's short. There will be a sequel, but in a completely separate story. This story is a one-shot and is completed. Thank you for reading. Don't forget to review. : )