Chapter 21 Moving on

Gaara's POV

I open the door to our hotel room, expecting that maybe Naruto has already gone to sleep. It's somewhat late. Temari tried to keep me a little while after dinner, hoping to strike a deep conversation between all of us. Temari is like Naruto in the way that she wants me and Kankuro to make up. I don't see how they can both be so optimistic. Of course I ignored Kankuro for most of the evening. I already resolved, sometime during dinner, that right now wasn't the time to push the subject. I'll see what my father's will brings me. Maybe that will change Kankuro's mind about me. After all he put so much trust in my father's words.

I close the hotel door behind me. Naruto is on the bed resting against the headboard, idly flipping through the few channels on the hotel's TV.

"So, how'd it go?" he asks me and in a light and hopeful tone.

"Not as you would hope. There wasn't much to say between us, and I really don't talk about it."

"OK," Naruto nods in understanding. It took me by surprise, usually he'd encourage me; but I'm not complaining. Maybe he's being a little bit more realistic. Or maybe there's something in my expression that tells him that I don't want to discuss this right now. I come to sit next to him on the bed. He simply smiles at me, reminding me of the nymph I knew back in high school. Somehow, I don't let this evening's occurrence flow through my mind anymore, and I simply have the urge the focus on my muse. It seems with the funeral going on and the tension between me and my siblings—and of course my conflicting thoughts and emotions—I have overlooked Naruto.

"I now, this is probably no fun for you." I say not really thinking the sentence through.

"Well, I told you befor this is not how I wanted to spend my new year's." he says lightheartedly. I simply nod as an answer. "Do you think, maybe one day will get married, and start acting like your cousin and his husband? Same old routine, getting on each other's nerves." Naruto says this almost dreamily, as if that would be a fairy tale ending. I remember having a conversation like this before, and I'm really not ready to be thinking about those kinds of commitments. It's not that I don't care for Naruto but we're both still young; so I simply don't answer him. Of course this doesn't bother my muse in any way. He leans over to rest his head on my shoulder, and I let out a long sigh that seems to have been in me this whole evening; but which I did not dare to let out during dinner.

"You know what would cheer up this whole gloomy atmosphere?" Naruto whispers out suggestively. I close my eye, already knowing where Naruto's train of thought was going. My hand reaches over to let me touch his shoulder. His eyes look up to me impishly, it's not too long before I bring our lips together. Naruto seems starved for the attention, and pushes against my lips softly. I slowly twist my body to be in front of him, and gently push him down onto the bed. His hand, almost automatically, weaves its way into my short hair. Our kiss deepens, and Naruto arches his back a little bit so that our chests connect. The kiss is a simple one, erotic and sweet. A reassuring kiss, telling both of us that we have not forgotten about each other. Naruto's wraps his arms around me, and I trail my hand down his side. For now nothing but simple caresses. This doesn't have to become anything. This kiss doesn't have to lead us anywhere, just connect us. Naruto pulls away a little bit, and lets out a content sigh. For some odd reason I nuzzle his neck. Not that I am one for cuddling. I can feel Naruto's smile spread across his face over my head. He wraps his arms around me, and soon we start kissing again. Our legs intertwining; my mind seems to shut down, and it's just the two of us. No worries about my brother or my father. Just this; the feeling of being needed, and wanted.

The rest of this funeral proceedings seem to have fly by. I don't know if it's because I was actively trying to ignore my brother, or because I simply couldn't relate to anybody who was mourning my father. However, today was the day… my father's last will and testament would be read. Because of the sharp glare Kankuro and a lawyer had given Naruto, the blonde was forced to stay outside, while I was locked in this room with my two siblings. All of us were seated in comfortable leather chairs. It was deafly quiet, I don't think any one of us knows what to expect.

"So now, the reading of the Will shall commence," the lawyer announces. I set up a little straighter in my seat. The Lawman reads through a little narrative left behind by my father. The assets of his company split between Temari and Kankuro. While the management of the company was left purely to my brother. He also gets the house, and my sister two small sum of cash. I'm not suppressed that the Will is mainly addressing my two older siblings.

"Before his death," the lawyer look straight at me now, "you're father did a small and quick revision of his will."

I look up expectantly at the lawyer awaiting my share of my father's assets; even if that is simply a last word I never heard.

"To my youngest son, Gaara, I leave this personal letter to be given to him and read in private." The lawyer hands me a decorative envelope, which I assume must hold the letter. "I also leave to him, all of my wife's belongings which I have kept in the addict."

At this Kankuro turns his head to look at me, perhaps slightly jealous. I ignore him, I'm sure my father's reasoning for this will be explained in the letter; not that I would inform Kankuro about the content of that letter. Temari smiles at me softly, I don't really know why but I appreciate the gesture. I don't know what I'll do with all the belongings of a mother that I never really knew. I feel like those belongings will only stirrup painful memories. All I remember of my mother is her crying and wailing. All my memories of her are connected to pain and accusation. Lost in my train of thought, I don't notice that my siblings have already gotten up from their seats. Temari rests a hand on my shoulder and squeezes slightly. I look up at her with blank eyes, before getting up myself. Kankuro makes a childish point of bumping into Naruto on his way out. Temari stands by my boyfriend, waiting for me to join them.

"I'm sure dad has a reason for what he left you. I just hope it'll bring you closure, and that may be my two little brothers will stop fighting," she sighs out the last part, but I don't make any promises. After all it's not my fault that Kankuro is acting so childish and bitter. I simply nod to her, and take Naruto's hand in mine pulling him away from the oak door.

"So what did you get?" the blonde asks me promptly.

"A letter and all my mother's belongings." I reply emotionlessly. Naruto's blue eyes look at me with slight confusion. I shrug in return.

"What do you think the letter says?"

"I don't know, but I'm sure on his death bed he realized a lot of mistakes he made. I still don't really know what I want from this whole ordeal, or what I expect to gain from my father now that he's dead. The only thing running through my mind is that I don't want to be blamed anymore."

"It never was your fault," Naruto says softly, in that sweet cheerful voice of his.

To, my son

It seems now it is too late. When faced with death a man is forced to realize all the things he has done wrong in his life. I'm not here to ask for your forgiveness, nor explain or excuse my actions. I'm sure you know by now, that your mother's death along with your uncle's death had strained our whole family; including you. I should've known back then it wasn't your fault. You where just a child, afraid and lost, and I wasn't man enough to guide you or assure you that everything would be OK.

All that I can give to you as proof, that I have realized my fault, is to entrust you with all the keepsakes I have of my beloved wife; your mother. You never really had a chance to get to know her. I don't think, she ever really had a chance to get to know you. And even if her mind was not completely clear, I know in her heart like any other mother she loved you.

With sincere apology,

You're father.


Naruto's POV

We unpacked the moving boxes that are in the living room. The big windows let in the bright California Sun. I still haven't stopped smiling, not that Gaara's complaining.

"I still think you should write a contract," Gaara mumbles out under his breath, while setting up the entertainment set.

"But I Trust you, I don't need a document to protect me from something that'll never happen." Gaara lets out a snort, pessimistic as always. I get up from the couch and wrap my arms around him as he hooks up the TV. "Just like I'd don't need a document to tell me that were married." I say romantically, over exaggerating my soft voice. "Would you likes some dinner honey?" I put on my best 'leave it to beaver' wife act. Gaara only lets out annoyed groan.

"Just go finish unpacking."

I go back to the couch giggling and continuing to pile the dishes in one area of the room, to be put in the kitchen later. Gaara's artistic hiatus didn't last long. Even without a manager, he managed to get work. Soon enough, he was offered a job as a graphic designer here in California. Of course he was worried about taking me away from my studies. I'm not giving up on them, deciding to take a hiatus of my own for a while. Once I checkout the community colleges here, I'll see if I want to go back to studying again. Before we took this big step together, Gaara had insisted on drafting a document similar to a prenuptial. Clearly outlining what is mine and what is his, and promising me some cash if we ever broke up; so I wouldn't be completely out on my ass. It was a sweet gesture, which only strengthened my resolve that something like that wouldn't happen. Of course like always Gara wasn't happy with that, and was grumbling on about it the entire time we were packing for our move here. So, I took it upon myself, to get a promise ring for him. A cheap 24 carat gold band; can't afford much. Gaara seemed to be annoyed by the whole scenario. I don't know why, I thought it was rather romantic that I got on my knee and proposed that he should propose to me.

Of course, my proposal was answered a day before we were ready to move out, with a ring. The ring is gold, with a two karat diamond in the middle nestled between two small amber stones. I don't wear the ring on my finger, but instead on a gold chain around my neck. Gaara however, does where the gold band on his ring finger. I'm glad; it'll keep the ladies away from him.

"This will be a great new start!" I say and pick up the plates and moved them into the kitchen. We are no longer in an apartment but rather a small two bedroom home. Of course, the second bedroom was converted into an art studio.

"Yeah," was Gaara's only reply but I can hear the underlying tone of happiness in his stoic voice.

That's it, I wouldn't be able to think of much more things that would happen in this story, but I hope I tied up any lose ends with the little Naruto finish. I didn't want to get into the whole Kankuro Gaara relationship thing because realistically it would take years for them to resolve everything. So the conflict between Gaara and his father was the only thing I worried about resolving.

I'm most defiantly dong a bonus chapter in Sasuke's point of view (thanks to a request from Lazeyfreeloader2673) that will give a little more insight on Naruto and Gaara after they settle into their new home in California.

Thanks for reading everyone, and sticking with it, even through my ups and downs!