A/N: Blurb I whipped up at school during my free time….so….read? Please?

Disclaimer: Don't own Gaara, or Baki, or the Naruto series in general.

Step. Step. Step. Step. Step. Turn. Step. Step. Step. Step. Step. Turn.

Baki paused in his pacing for a moment to stare at his charge's bedroom door. Gaara was in there, he knew he was. His chakra signature was still there, just as it had been for the past half hour.

Step. Step. Step. Step. Step. Turn. Step. Step. Step. Step. Step. Turn.

He stopped again at the slightest sound from the room. It was probably just Gaara moving in his sleep. Alright then. Baki felt particularly responsible for Gaara, as not only was he the only current ANBU guard; he was the Kazekage's former teacher. The Akatsuki attack that had captured Gaara had killed many of the village's jounin and ANBU, and for now, they could only spare one to watch their leader. Baki had willingly volunteered for the job, which he had instantly received. Many people still didn't trust their leader, even though he hadn't needlessly killed anyone since he took the office of Kazekage. As they had seen that Baki wasn't going to be slaughtered by his former student, he had been given guard duty over Gaara more often than most of the others. The only other people who had anywhere near the same amount of time were Temari, Kankuro, and Matsuri, Gaara's own student. It had been established that Gaara wasn't likely to crush them out of irritation either.

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The sound of rustling sheets came through Gaara's door, and Baki froze. Was something wrong with Gaara? Admittedly, this was his first time actually being asleep, so he did expect something to come up…especially with Temari, Kankuro, and Matsuri all away on missions. Gaara had sent them out of Wind Country on various missions to keep them from hovering. Baki had seen that he did appreciate the concern, but the Kazekage was trying to get himself functioning again, and the constant attention wasn't helping. Baki was still worried that this was Gaara's first time sleeping and neither his siblings nor his student were around. Baki was closer to Gaara than most, yes, but not as close as they were. If something went wrong, they had a better chance of stopping it than he did. Some people might have argued that Gaara had already slept on his way back and for about three days after his rescue, but Baki knew better. That was unconsciousness, and dreams never came then. Dreams only came when you were genuinely asleep. Nightmares often came with them.

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There was a sudden cry from inside the room, and Baki just about ripped the door off its hinges running in. Within seconds, he had taken the scene in and was at the bedside shaking Gaara's shoulder.

"Gaara! Gaara, wake up!" The redhead's eyes snapped open instantly, and his entire body curled in on itself as he shook. He looked back at his former teacher, eyes wide.

"B…Baki?" The ANBU took this as an invitation to sit on the edge of the bed.

"I'm right here, Kazekage-sama," Now, without the potential threat, Baki reverted back to Gaara's proper title.

"I…I didn't kill you?" Gaara reached out and brushed his hand down Baki's arm.

"No, Kazekage-sama. You had a nightmare."

"T…The village…it isn't…?"

"The village is perfectly fine. The same as it was when you went to sleep, Kazekage-sama."

"B…but…I…I saw it…" Gaara was sitting up now, hugging his knees to his chest and looking like the frightened five year old that Baki had seen when he had been rejected by the other children.

"You had a nightmare, Kazekage-sama."

"D…don't call me that," Baki blinked in surprise, meeting the firm stare of his leader. "I do not want to sound like my father." Despite his tone, Gaara's eyes were filling with frightened tears.

"You don't," Baki assured him. Gaara nodded and rested his chin on his knees, sniffling quietly. He still looked as if he was about to cry. "You should go back to sleep, Kaze-Gaara." Gaara shook his head quickly.

"I'm not going to sleep."

"Ever? Gaara, without…your former prisoner-"

"He was demon, and I was a demon-holder. Call us what we were."

"Without…Shukaku…you don't have the energy to just keep going like you did. You have to sleep now. You don't have a choice." Gaara bit his lip and looked away.

"I don't want to see anymore," he whispered hoarsely, "I don't want to see everyone die." Baki hesitated, and then leaned over to gently wrap his arm around Gaara's shoulders. The boy stiffened slightly at the contact, but once he realized that the touch wasn't threatening, he relaxed, allowing himself to be pulled against his former teacher's side.

"You shouldn't have sent Temari, Kankuro, and Matsuri away." He commented.

"They wouldn't let me work. I can't spend the rest of my life 'resting'. The village needs me functioning."

"Gaara, you didn't rest at all. The minute you were awake, you were trying to get back into your office."

"There were things to be done…and…the…the…council…they were angry."

"I know," Baki sighed. He did know. He himself was on the council, and had been attempting to quell the rising rebellious tendencies of the council members that still did not trust the former demon carrier. It wasn't working, and it was good for Gaara to be seen by his people as reassurance that he was alive and well. It just wasn't good that Gaara was so drop-dead exhausted. The abject pity he felt for his former student was rising sharply with every minute that passed. Gaara rubbed his eyes sleepily, but didn't move from his place against Baki. He was very comfortable where he was.

"Baki…will the council vote to have me replaced?" Gaara asked.

"I…I don't know. They might, depending on how many Kankuro, Temari, and I can sway to your side." Gaara nodded, as if this decided something.

"That's it, then. I'm not sleeping until all of this is straightened out." Baki blinked.

"Gaara, you have to sleep at night, or you'll find yourself falling asleep during a council meeting, and we'll see how far that gets you." He received a glare from his former student, but Gaara didn't say anything. He knew Baki, as always, was right.


"Nightmares? I have a cure for that, for tonight anyway. We can think of something better when your siblings and Matsuri get back." Baki rummaged through one of the pouches on his belt, finally pulling out a bottle of sleeping pills. They were part of a ninja's normal kit, and could be used for anything from forcing yourself to actually rest on a mission to drugging a target. They were completely harmless if you weren't allergic, and every ninja was tested to make sure that they weren't. It wasn't a common allergy, and Gaara, thankfully, didn't have it. The Kazekage recognized the bottle immediately. He had one himself that he kept in a hidden pocket on the sash he always wore to hold his gourd. If he wanted to, he could crush the tablets and hide the powder in his sand before forcing it into someone's mouth.

"You honestly want me to take sleeping pills?" Gaara asked, staring at the innocent looking white bottle.

"If they'll get you to sleep through the rest of night, then yes."

"You don't dream?"

"No. Not once."

"…Alright." Baki wordlessly handed the bottle to Gaara, who swallowed two pills dry with no hesitation. The jounin winced at this. Those pills tasted horrible, as he knew from past experience, but apparently Gaara didn't mind. Within minutes, the Kazekage was fast asleep against Baki's side, head on his shoulder. Baki shifted himself to put the Kazekage in bed and go back out to his post, but found that Gaara had knotted his hand in his fabric of his shirt. He didn't even try to pull Gaara loose. He knew, also from past experience, that Gaara had a grip of steel, and if he didn't want to let go of Baki, or was asleep/unconscious, then Baki wasn't going anywhere anytime soon.

Without any more thought about the subject, Baki shifted himself so he was leaning against the headboard of the large bed with Gaara curled in his lap. He himself couldn't sleep because he was still technically on guard duty, but he could call someone. The council could (would have to) understand. Baki activated the radio that connected him to the mission tower.

"Baki-sama, is there trouble?" A voice asked over the radio. Baki didn't recognize the person, but it was probably a young chunnin, judging from the voice.

"There's no trouble, but I am currently unable to guard the Kazekage due to…unforeseen circumstances. I need a replacement here for the remainder of the night."

"I'll see what I can do," The chunnin promised, and cut off communications. Baki sighed and made himself comfortable just as he replacement arrived. It was a young-ish boy, and Baki had a feeling it was the person that he had spoken too at the tower.

"Baki-sama," The boy said. Yes, it was definitely him, "There was no one else available but me." He paused, staring at the Kazekage, "Is…he…um…alright?"

"He's fine. He is also the reason I can't be at my post at the moment." The chunnin took the hint and fled to the hall, closing the door behind him. Baki sighed again, staring blankly at the ceiling. Gaara shifted slightly in his sleep. Outside, the boy was pacing, exactly as Baki himself had been doing earlier.

Step. Step. Step. Step. Step. Turn. Step. Step. Step. Step. Step. Turn.

A/N:….I'm not sure if I like how this turned out……