Chapter one: The punk in the Café

Gaara's POV

When Naruto had begged to come see me, a part of me didn't want to face him. I was at a lose to what I would do what I would say, if he came. But I couldn't deny him his wish, and I did agree to let him come see me.

"I'm so sorry," It is the first thing he whispers to me. And that sadness that I see in his eyes, it causes something within me to ache. It is unlike that sadness that for so long intrigued me, and kept me from pushing him away completely, in our earlier one-sided relationship.

"Don't cry…" I mutter to him, as I see tears threatening to spill from his crystal eyes. All this time he was afraid he would bring me bad luck, but he's involved himself with me. Possibly it would have been better if I did push him away. Because seeing him like this, it's causing so many emotions to build up within me. The most that I've ever felt in my entire life, and I don't think I can handle it. So I try to shut them out, I try to ignore them, because I don't want to deal with them. They are too much, they are to confusing, to cluttered.

"I should have never come here…. it's all my fault."

"No it's not, don't worry about it," I say in all honesty, not wanting him to blame himself.

"You always tell me not to worry! I can't help it!," He yells at me. "We won't see each other anymore….how can I not worry." He adds in a much more subdued tone. I tell him not to worry, because he over reacts. He lets his emotions take him over, and's not a bad thing. It's almost amazing seeing him like this, but it causes me pain at the same time. I say nothing, I don't know what to say. Instead I reach for his tanned hand. Possibly I can give him some sort of comfort this way. I lead him down the street my feet moving at a slow pace. Out of the corner of my eye I see him wipe the tears from his face. Again a sinking feeling comes over me, and I push it aside, keeping my calm. I squeeze Naruto's hand out of reflex, as I push down my thoughts to keep my composure.

We stop in front of my home, and I take a seat on the steps. Naruto lets himself drop next to me, letting his body scoot closer; I do not mind the action.

"Isn't there anything you can do? Anything we can do?" He asks desperately. I do not know what to tell him, I have no hope to give. "You don't deserve to be sent away…you're dad is a jerk…"

"But he's my guardian until I'm eighteen," I say pointing out the reality.

"But…can't you run away. I mean right now, we could just leave, and never turn back."

I fold my hands together, and look out into the street before turning to my muse. "I've tired. I wanted to." I say honestly.

"So? We can do it now, it's not like there's anyone to stop you."

"Naruto, I don't want to ruin your life," I mumble out. After taking the time to think about it, after Kankuro stopped me. It seemed foolish...pointless.

"How would you be ruining my life?"

"If we were to run away…what sort of life would be waiting for us? We both probably wouldn't be able to finish school, and it would be hard for use to find jobs. I had wanted to leave…but my brother stopped me…he made a lot of sense…I don't think we could make it."

Naruto glares at me intensely, but then his expression softens. "Yeah I guess you're right. I'm sorry I must just be adding more stress ontop of your situation with talk like this. I'm sorry for fucking shit up."

"I said it's not your fault…I'm glad you came to see me. …I'm glade I met you…" I explain keeping my eyes away from the sight of his face.

"Don't talk like that…you're making it sound like you're breaking up with me," Naruto pleads with me, holding on to my arm. How can he hold on so tightly? What have I ever done to keep him so interested in me, to keep him coming back? I've become attached to him…and he has become attached to me. But now, this attachment must be broken. There's no way we could hold on.

"The life I'm going to be forced into, it will be strict and I'll be monitored. I won't be able to stay in contact with you," I explain, letting myself look at my nymph.

"That's's all ok…I just…"

"Don't you think it would be better if we just…go our separate ways?" I ask.

"What?! No! I mean…do you really want that?" No I don't, but it doesn't seem fair to him. I've never been so attached to anyone before. It's been so very long since I've decided to let myself enter into any sort of relationship with anyone.

I shrug, "I feel….I know I love you…but it seems that everything is pulling us apart. There's no good solution…we're both to young… It wouldn't be fair to make you wait for me. I'm too much of an uncertainty. Wouldn't you like to find someone else?" I feel odd having those words leave me lips.

"No! I'll wait, I want to. I just…I don't' want this to end. I've worked to damn hard to get you to talk to me!" He says letting a smile grace his lips, as if he needs it to protect himself. I look at him blankly.

He continues to speak, "I don't' know…maybe it's being childish…and maybe it's just a mistake. But I feel like I can't just let it end, not like this. Not when it's not because one of is unhappy. I want to make you happy, I want to be that one person that you can think about and be sure that they love you. I don't want to abandon you, and I don't want you to leave me. I've been alone so long…since I was little and only recently have I been able to make friendships, and you… you're so much more. Which only makes it harder, I don't want this to end."

"But there's nothing we can do..."

"No not about you leaving but…" My hand reaches out to Naruto almost absentmindedly. But as I tilt his head back I realize I don't want him to speak anymore, it's all too much. We can't do anything, not now. I lean in slowly and capture his lips with my own.

I pull away from him, and he lets out a whimper. "You're a strange little thing," I whisper. He looks into my eyes, and I feel something tugging at my lips. A smile, and I let him see it. I feel content…very content. Naruto graces me with a smile of his own, and then he wraps his arms around me resting his head on my shoulder. We stay like this for along time, and I feel warm. Then a thought comes to me.


"Yes?" He whispers.

"If you….if you are sure…Then I promise I will find you once I turn eighteen, I will seek you out."



"Then I'll wait,"

My eyes flutter open, and I look around my bedroom. The sun is shining brightly through my curtains, and when I look at my clock I notice that it is almost noon. I get out of my bed, still suffering from jet lag. For now I'm on a much needed vacation. Unexpected turns in my life have lead to my delay in that promise. I wonder …is Naruto still waiting? I wouldn't be surprised if he's not, if he's given up on me. However I'm going to find him, I wish to. Because though many good things have happened to me…I also feel hallow and empty. I am just like I was before I met Naruto.

Those years I spent in military school…I isolated myself from everyone. I was disliked yet again, and rumors about me left others lips. I didn't cause trouble however, and my instructors were quite indifferent about me. They ignored me, and it didn't bother me. I had no time to draw, and hardly any inspiration at that.

However once I graduated, and my father told me to leave and never speak to him again, I took a hold of my own life. I never wanted to see my father again, nor my brother. My sister I could handle. I took out student loans, and enrolled in art school, wanting to get out some of what was built up inside me. My work was far from magnificent…or so I thought. Something was missing…my muse. However I did continue to draw, and study, occasionally doing odd jobs, and working part time to put myself through school.

But now, money is no longer a problem. All I'm worried about is finding Naruto.

I finish dressing myself, and head downstairs to the parking lot. Where is it that I should start? I haven't the slightest idea. But I have to time as been wasted enough. Naruto, I hope is still waiting. And though I've seemed to have 'killed' every relationship I've ever had, I do not want this one to die. Because I let myself be attached to him…and I do not regret it.

I get onto my motorcycle, and knowing no other place to start, I head back to where it all began. Konoha Greens, all boys school.

Naruto's POV

"Studying for your test in American history?" Hinata—a girl who's in my economics class—asks me. I turn to face the purple eyed girl with a smile.

"Yup, wanna keep up my C average after all." The black haired girl lets out a slight giggle, and sits down next to my rather shyly.

"Um…Naruto…Well, there's going to be a…what I mean is, Ino's going out on a date tomorrow. But she doesn't want to go alone…she asked me to double date with her."

"You're not comfortable with it?" I ask her seeing as she starts to shake and blush.

"Well…not that…I don't' have a date…"


She fumbles with the pages of her book, "Would you……my date?"

Well I didn't see that coming. I stare at her for along time, before laughing. Which causes Hinata to wince and she slowly gets to her feet, her cheeks completely red. "Hinata wait, hold on," I say trying to stifle my laughter.

"I'm not laughing at you. I'd love to go out on a date with you, but I'm gay. Ontop of that Ino knows I'm gay," I tell the big eyed girl. Her blush only becomes deeper.

"Oh…I didn't know…" she mumbles hiding behind her book.

"Maybe you can ask Kiba," I offer her with a wink. "He talks about you all the time."

"Um…ok…can...can you tell him for me Naruto? Please?"

"Sure, I'll have him call your cell with his answer."

"Thank you Naruto," she says with a light smile.

I look at my watch and get to my feet suddenly. "Oh shit. Sorry Hinata can't stay and chat, I'm going to be late for work."

"Ok…good luck on your test tomorrow," she says, and I thank her before taking off.

I rush out of the library, ignoring the Liberian when she tells me no running. I head up to my dorm, and burst threw the door, causing Kiba to jump five feet in the air.

"What the hell man!"

"Sorry late for work," I say stripping of my jeans, not even bothering to close the door.

"Close the door, people will get the wrong idea," Kiba mutters.

"Oh Kiba if I were giving you s strip tease it would be much sexier believe me," I tease my friend while pulling on my black work slacks. "Oh Hinata's looking for a date, I recommended you."

"Really?!" I nod my head. Kiba keeps a grin on his face, before it falls. "Not that I really want to know about this but…have you been dating?"

I freeze for a moment, then I continue buttoning up my white collar shirt. "No…" I mutter.

"Naruto….don't you think it's time to move on?"

"No offense Kiba but you didn't agree with my relationship with Gaara to begin with, so I really don't want your input about it now," I snap at him being more then just a little defensive. After all this is a touchy subject. I'm nineteen…and still I've heard nothing from my red head.

"What relationship? If he ain't here with you, it's hardly a relationship."

"Shut up," I mumble out, taking my apron and bow tie, not bothering to put them on. I just want to get out of the room. Kiba…is still a little homophobic. He doesn't ask me about my love life, and he gets a little nervous when it comes to me changing clothes in front of him, or the other way around. I give him his space, and I've stopped taking his actions personal. He did after all volunteer to share a dorm with me, and I was happy to hear it. In high school, he had apologized to me, and we both came to an agreement that it would be best for our friendship if we avoided certain subject. Kiba just broke that rule. Because Gaara is one of the subjects we vowed never to bring up

"Naruto, you forgot your cell!" Kiba calls as I rush out the door, but I don't bother to go back for it. If some emergency comes up then they'll have to call at my work place.

I walk down the street, my work not being to far from the collage campus. I can't afford a car, or even a scooter. Shit I can barley afford my student loans! Iruka tried hard to get me the money for school, but in the end there was only enough to pay for my first year of education. I told him not to worry about it, and we looked into affordable student loans along with other ways of getting money for collage.

It's ok, I mean my job doesn't provide me with tons of money, but it's better then working at a fast food place. I open the door to the café I work in, the little silver bell hanging over the door frame ringing loudly.

I clock in, and a yell comes form across the café, "You're five minute late!"

"Sorry Sakura," I tell my pink haired co-worker, who's pretty anal about being on time.

"Hurry up we'll be opening soon, light the candles," she commands, and I give her an obedient nod. I take out the lighter and light all the bright red candles on every table. This café is pretty popular and a lot of the local collage students come here to have a good cup of coffee. Every so often a band will play, but usually we have poetry readings. It's a very relaxing atmosphere, with low lights, and of course candles for an extra cozy touch. I'm a waiter, and usually I run around a lot during the night, but at eleven I can call it a day and go on back to my dorm to either study or sleep. Tonight I'll probably be studying, since I have a major test in my U.S history class.

The night starts out busy. Tonight we have some local entertainment, a small underground band. I find myself singing along a little to the songs they play, as I severe coffee, cake and other things with a smile on my face. I get a few complements on my singing and I take them with a humble attitude. I can't help but let my mind drift to past events. Like the talent show in high school, and how much Gaara seemed to adore my singing. My smile drops for just a moment, but when someone calls for a waiter I turn around beaming. After all it's part of the job to look cheerful!

"Damn I need this break so bad," I groan out, plopping myself into a chair in the employee break room. I have another worker covering for me. But I am entitled to my fifteen minute break, and I'm planing on taking it. Sakura is across the table her nose in some magazine.

"This guy's so creepy," she mumbles out.


"Some artist…why do all artist look like murders?"

I can't help but grin, "Imaginative and artistic people are always weirdos," I chime. My little red head was a weirdo, and I'm sure he still is. I smile to myself a little, trying to fight away the depression that comes along with memories of Gaara. I wonder if he still remembers his promise…I don't care what Kiba says or thinks…I promised I'd wait. I can't very well give up on him just because he's a year late…right?

"Naruto?" Ino comes into the break room, with something in her hand. "A customer wanted me to give this too you.." she mumbles sounding a little creeped out. I raise an eyebrow and take the medium sized square. I turn it around, and see that it's a painting. My eyes widen.

"The person who gave this to you, how did they look?" I ask Ino.

"Really weird, pale as a sheet, circles around his eyes—"

"Is he still here?!" I ask excited, pushing her out of the way and heading for the door. Ino pulls me back roughly.

"Watch were you're going. Besides he left. I don't' think he thought you were working tonight. He came here once before asking about you…but it was your day off."

My lips curve up into a big grin, and I hug the picture to my chest. "He had red hair too didn't he?" I ask in a dreamy sort of voice.

"If you would have let me finish my description you would have found out. But yeah he did.." She eyes me suspiciously. "I'd be careful if I were you…someone like that asking about you. He maybe a stalker."

"A stalker I wouldn't mind having," I say.

"You're messed up," Ino says with a roll of her eyes, and steps out of the break room. I sit back down and take the time to look at the picture in more detail.

It's a light colored picture, with me as the centerpiece. I have pointed ears and the marks on my cheeks are bleeding along with a whole in my chest the shape of a heart. In my hand is a little person, and upon closer examination I note that said person is only half complete. One arm and one leg being skeletons, I hold the little person close to my heart…or were my heart would be if it weren't for the whole. I note that the little person in my hand also has red hair. I let out a lovesick sigh. Happiness washes over me.

"How romantic," I mumble to myself, but Sakura's ears pick up on it.

"Wha—" she stops as her eyes land upon my gift. "Oh my god Naruto!"

"What?" I ask staring at her bewildered.

"That painting!" She takes out her magazine and shows me the page she was reading. "That art style, it's just like Gaara Sabaku's!"

"Sabaku?" I look down at he magazine, and see a picture of a red head, resembling Gaara. He has an emotionless expression on his face, and his features seem more defined, more mature. His thin lips are pressed together in a line showing neither joy, nor displeasure, and from his bottom lip hangs a piercing. I almost melt in my seat. He's changed a little, but the years have been very kind to him.

"Why is there a magazine article about him?" I ask my pink haired co-worker.

"Naruto you really know nothing about the art world do you?"

"Nope!" I say cheerfully with a big grin.

"He's fucking rich!"

"Are you serious?"

"Yeah, he's only in his second year of collage…well not collage like you, he's going to an art institute near by. Anyway, near the middle of the last school year he was discovered and hit it big. He started out doing odd jobs, says here, to help pay for his education. But then a lot of people liked his work, and he got better jobs. He's taken modeling pictures for famous gothic magazines, and cloths lines, such as "Gothic Lolita' in Japan!"

"You're kidding?" I say in amazement hardly believe what I'm hearing.

"It says it all right here. Actually this interview with him was conducted after he came back from Japan just a month ago. Anyway that's not all, he's also designed the covers of many gothic romance novels. Like "Lust of the night" and "Crimson moon."

"I've never heard of those."

"Sakura smirks suddenly. "You know...all those books were gay vampire romance novels, and the main character was always a blonde. He refuses to draw the covers for any books with no blondes in it." She rests her hand on her chin, and looks down at my painting.

"Do you know him?" She questions already having figured out the answer.

"Maybe," I drag out he word in a teasing manner.

"Oh my god you totally do!" she shrieks out in a girlie manner. "Could It be," she says in a poetic fashion as she points out a quote in the magazine, "That you're being talked about here," she clears her throat dramatically and starts to read. " 'I've enjoyed my experiences, and I do not intend on giving up on my art work, however I will be taking a vacation. Now that I have the means there is something I must do. A muse that I must find'. When asked if this muse was a past friend or lover, he didn't comment, he said it is nothing I wishes to make public. Oh Naruto don't lie! Why else would he send a picture to you!"

"Sakura you're acting like some fangirl. Didn't you say earlier that all artist look like weirdos?"

"Yeah they do, but he's still a really good artist! I mean look at some of the examples of his work they show here! It's fabulous! Both the paintings and photography!"

"Well I have to get back to work," I say getting up, Sakura tries to stop me but I quickly disappear. Hopefully the painting will be safe in the break room until my shift is over. I can't help but feel really bubbly. He didn't forget about me…but I wonder what took him so long. Did he put his art before me? No I can't start thinking like that…after all he said he was looking for his muse, and he refuses to paint anything without blondes in it. I'm still an important part of him. But that doesn't mean I'll let him off easy! After all he's a year late!

A/N: Lucky for you all, I got the sequel out early. And I couldn't help giving Gaara a lip piercing. I mean come on he would look so smexy with one (girlie scream). Please review, thanks!