13 Tips, 24 Hours
Things to do when you're in an unusual predicament somewhere—anywhere—with the used-to-be killer Kazekage of Suna:
#1: Do not blame him for what happened.
"This is all your fault!" Sakura yelled angrily, glaring daggers at the maroon-haired, green-eyed boy who was standing beside her, inside the damned underground rocky place they were trapped in. A cave, most probably—not that it mattered, because the point was, they were trapped. Period. End of story.
And he was the one to blame.
Gaara, the seventeen-year-old Kazekage of Suna, merely glanced at her, an unreadable expression on his face. His arms were, as usual, folded over his chest, as if he wasn't going anywhere.
Which he probably wasn't.
Not that they could! Sakura furiously thought. She kept on glaring, hoping it would faze him, even for just a bit.
"And how is this my fault?" he asked, voice cool and calm.
"Because instead of controlling yourself, you just had to show off and use all your sand to defeat that ninja—you could have done it with just a kunai! Now look at this...we're trapped in the middle of nowhere!"
"...we are not in the middle of nowhere. We are inside an underground cave."
"ARGHHH! You are impossible! That sentence is as stupid as your stupid sand!" she growled, pointing an accusing finger at him. "Stupid, damning sand!"
#2: Do not insult his stupid san...er, his sand.
"—you weren't thinking and now look! They managed to outwit us all because you were just flinging your stupid sand around like it was some kind of toy! It's irresponsible and you could have killed us and—"
"What!" Sakura shouted out, breathing in and out after her tireless ranting. Gaara merely eyed her stoically, still not moving.
"Don't call my sand stupid."
#3: Do not insult him.
"Fine—then you are the stupid one!"
The only thing that made Sakura realize that maybe she had crossed some kind of line was that Gaara had moved—right in front of her. He had...backed her off. Against the wall of a cave. A damp, cold cave, with no way out. Oh, Kami.
His face was still unreadable, but, well...this was Gaara. When had he ever shown emotion?
He stepped closer. She nearly hyperventilated with dread.
"Yes?" she all but squeaked out.
"You really should learn your manners, rude girl."
"And try to be useful. Start a fire."
Then Sakura found that she could do nothing but stare at his retreating back. Then widen her eyes in shock. Then recover.
He just basically called her useless!
Oh, he was so gonna pay for that remark.
Well, when she got her chakra back, that is.
#4: Do not start pointless conversations.
When Gaara had finished scouting the dark surroundings and had determined that, yes, there really was no way out, he went back to Sakura, and saw that she had finished making a small fire out of two stones.
Impressive enough—if you weren't ninja.
They sat in silence for a while. He, silently staring at the fire as it flickered and brought them that small relief from darkness. She, silently brooding over being outwitted (she really should have seen that chakra-depleting jutsu coming!) by her blasted enemies.
Eventually, the boredom got to the pink-haired kunoichi.
She never did like calling him Kazekage-sama—too old-fashioned, in her opinion.
"Do you think those Sound nins are still out there?"
"Do you think someone's searching for us?"
"...do you think our chakra will be back?"
"Do you think we will...die here?"
She blinked, at the sudden change of answer. "Oh."
"How do we take a bath?"
"Or how do we eat?"
"I can't stay in these clothes...I'll smell!"
"I need hygiene!"
"Yes?" she replied, eager for some sort—any sort—of conversation.
"How do I get you to shut up?"
Well, okay. Not that kind of conversation.
"Jerk," Sakura muttered, folding her arms in a huff.
Gaara merely closed his eyes.
#5: Do not initiate body-heat sharing.
Sakura sighed, and tried again. "Gaara..."
She gave him a glare. "Freezing cold. You do know what that means, don't you?"
"...that you'll be too tired to talk?"
"No!" she snapped, albeit the slight chattering of her teeth. "It means...I need body heat."
"...then use your own, dimwit."
"I am not a dimwit, you dimwit!" Sakura screamed, jumping up from where she was seated on a rock. "I meant—I need your body heat!"
"...you want to have sex with me?"
There was a choke, as Sakura stared at him with shock and horror on her face.
"How dare—you—even—suggest it!" she spluttered, still choking a bit.
"I was asking, not suggesting. You said body heat."
"Which means hugging!"
"...which leads to sex."
"No! Where did you get that idea?"
"...oh. But I thought he's...gone."
Gaara shrugged. "...so? He was right, wasn't he? Sex is body heat."
It was galling to think that he was right—but he was.
"Yeah," Sakura replied reluctantly. "It...is."
"...so you want body heat."
"Yes—no!" Sakura couldn't believe it—now she wasn't only choking, she was stuttering! And all because of...this! "I want body heat—"
"Which is sex."
"But I don't want sex—"
"Which is body heat."
"Oh! let's just end this conversation, you—you—pervert!" she screamed. Then she stalked off, red in the face and muttering curses under her breath.
Maybe she could just kill herself and be done with this madness. Seriously.
#6: Do not show vulnerability.
It was an hour later.
And she was afraid she was going to freeze to death.
"Gaara..." she said, in a softer voice this time. She tried to keep her teeth from chattering again, but it was useless—even with her arms wrapped around herself, and the backpack beside her...she was going to die if she kept this up.
Gaara looked up, from his spot on the other side of the small cave. The fire was long gone, with only small flames and embers remaining. It was enough for both of them to see each other's silhouettes, though expressions were kept hidden.
"I need...body heat."
"But not sex," she added, for good measure—in case he got the wrong idea (damn that Shukaku for staining his mind!).
"Please," she added again, after a while. Okay, so it cost her some pride—but what was pride, really, compared to numb limbs and possible hypothermia?
There was another short bout of silence.
Then she heard a sigh. And saw him—his silhouette—moving from his spot, slowly approaching her.
"No sex," she repeated, making sure the point came across. He got it, didn't he? Because if he didn't—
"Just shut your trap and let me hug you."
#7: Do not be an irritant around him.
Silently, they agreed to settle beside the nearly-gone fire. Sakura dragged her backpack with her, and took out the only blanket she had—a thin one, used to wrap the medicinal herbs safely. She spread it on the cold floor.
Then she turned to look at him.
Or rather, the blurry version of him.
Gaara merely nodded. "Lie down. I'll lie down next."
She hesitated, unsure now.
"You don't want it, then?" He obviously saw—sensed, whatever—her hesitation.
She bit her lip. "I know you don't like...human contact."
"I can manage," he replied.
"...but if you don't really want to—"
"I'm not gonna murder you in your sleep, Haruno."
"I know that!" she exclaimed, incredulous that he would think she would think that. "What am I, stupid? I know you're not a killer anymore!"
Then he sighed.
"Lie down, Haruno."
"Why doesn't the jerk just call me by my name, anyway," she muttered under her breath.
"Lie down, Sakura."
"Fine, I will!" she snapped, glaring daggers once more. With a grimace, she lay down on the blanketed floor, instantly shivering—it was cold!
Moments after, she heard shuffling behind her, as he slowly lay down, too. She was facing the fire, and he was facing her back. She waited. And waited.
With an indignant huff, she reached behind her, finding his arms. She pulled. And finally, his chest collided with her back, providing some semblance of warmth. She kept pulling his arms, intent on wrapping them around her. She managed to do it.
And it was then, to her surprise, she found out that his hands were freezing. Freezing.
Apparently, she wasn't the only one.
The stupid, egoistical jerk!
With a snap, Sakura twisted her head, opened her mouth—about to tell him exactly what she thought of his pride (especially after she just abandoned hers).
Because his face was hovering inches from hers.
#8: Do not get affected by his touch.
Their lips were nearly touching, and it was all Sakura could do not to squeak in alarm.
Quickly, she turned her head back, until she was staring at the fire again. It was diminishing.
"Gaara, the fire is—" she began.
"Leave it," he repeated, more firmly this time. When he wrapped his arms more securely around her, she found she couldn't argue, because the warmth of his body was indeed slowly seeping through—her teeth weren't chattering anymore.
They stayed like that in silence.
Sakura did her best to ignore his warm hands on her waist, his warm arms around her own. His warm breath on her hair. He was so...warm.
She tried not to think about the fact that her lips still tingled. All because of that near-kiss incident.
Was he even aware of it, that near-kiss? Was he even thinking of it?
Or was he just sleeping soundly right now?
Heck...did he even sleep?
The questions ceased, as sleep finally overtook her.
#9: Do not hit him when you wake up.
Hours later, they woke up—only to find themselves in an...awkward predicament.
She had turned to him in her sleep, and was now snuggled into his chest, breathing into his neck. Their limbs were tangled. Her hands were hugging him, resting on his back. And his hands...they were on her front. One on her stomach, the other...up.
Under her shirt.
Right below the underside of her breasts.
And she was braless.
She kicked him, and then slapped him—and then she quickly disentangled, standing up and pointing an accusing finger.
"Pervert!" she repeated, glaring—trying with all her might to ignore the sudden tingling all over her body, especially...there. She was being crazy!
Gaara looked confused—but only for a second, because he stood up, too, and simply looked at her.
"What?" Gaara finally asked.
"You were—touching me!"
"Of course. We were sharing body heat."
"You were—touching me there!"
She almost stuttered all over again. "Th—there! You know where!"
Gaara shrugged. "I don't. I was sleeping."
"You don't sleep!"
"Shukaku's gone. I've been sleeping for two years now."
"I—I—" What the hell was she supposed to say to that?
Nearly screaming in frustration, Sakura looked down—and her eyes widened when she saw how clearly...aroused he was.
Really, really aroused.
#10: Do not talk about his...morning wood.
Unintentionally, she pointed at it.
"Liar!" she shouted, a bit triumphantly. Then, horrified that she was being triumphant over such a sight, she instantly flushed pink. "That—that is proof!"
Gaara looked down. She thought he would have looked repentant, or apologize—but oh, no.
He merely sighed.
"It's morning wood."
"You know...the erection every male—"
"I know that!" she snapped. "What I meant was...I...it's..." Suddenly she didn't know what she meant. What was she supposed to say when she couldn't concentrate on anything but his morning wood, standing erect and proud and—
"Sakura...why are you staring at it like that?"
His voice was low. When did it become so low?
He took a step towards her. She backed away.
"I wasn't staring at it," she said defensively, trying not to stare at it anymore. Her eyes landed on his eyes, green on green. Even in the shadows, their color was clear.
Even in the dark, she was adult enough to recognize the emotion in them.
He took another step forward. She was aware of the wall nearly behind her, so instead of backing up again, she put a hand on his chest to stop him.
Maybe she shouldn't have. Because now her hand was suddenly so...warm.
Silently, he took her hand—she felt like she was scalded there.
"You're shivering, Sakura."
Maybe it was her imagination, but somehow, the way he said her name sounded so...intimate now.
"I am not," she muttered. He took a step closer, until they were standing only inches apart. He let go of her hand. Put his own on her neck. Brought her closer, until his lips were touching her ear.
Her breath hitched.
"You're shivering," he repeated. Her ear felt his breath, and it was enough to cloud her senses.
She couldn't speak.
"You want more body heat?" he asked, in a very soft whisper.
She still couldn't speak.
"I could give you more," he murmured. Gently, he licked her ear.
She couldn't breath. Kami.
Since when did Gaara the killer become Gaara the seducer?
"Pervert," she stated, ignoring her spurning insides.
He licked her ear again. She shivered.
"Pervert," she repeated, without much conviction.
He ran his fingers on her waist. She trembled.
He never let her finish the sentence.
#11: Do not succumb to temptation.
The next thing she knew, she was trapped—her back on the wall, and him in front of her. The wall was damp, and cold, but she didn't care.
Because his mouth was on hers, and it was the most intense feeling ever.
He attacked her lips, willing them to open for him. Moaning, she relented, and let his tongue in. He had the most wonderful tongue. The warmest.
He was driving her crazy with his kisses alone.
Sakura let her hands slide on his hair. Gaara let his hands run on her bottom.
Then he pulled her up, hoisting her, until her legs wrapped instinctively on his waist. He pushed her further on the wall, until his ache met her own. Until they collided. She trembled once more, and arched into the irresistible heat.
She moaned his name, gripping his hair. He groaned out hers, nipping her bottom lip.
His hands ran down her shirt, traveling up. She let him, craving for the touch.
Was this even for real?
"Gaara," she tried to say, in between their kisses. He merely kissed harder, making her whimper with pleasure. "I don't—feel—cold—anymore—"
"Neither do I." His voice was hoarse. When did she ever think of hoarse as sexy?
"We have to stop—"
Without warning, his one hand traveled up, feeling the bare underside of her breast. She moaned louder, as his thumb caressed them.
Then, quick as lightning, his mouth disentangled. And went to latch onto her breast, over her thin shirt.
She whimpered more, as that mouth suckled on a pert, aroused nipple.
She was going insane. He was suckling like there was no tomorrow, electrifying her body. Firing up her soul.
And then...and then...
An explosion sounded.
#12: Do not say goodbye.
It came from above them—instantly shattering rocks, and causing the ground to tremble.
Without thinking, Gaara moved, taking Sakura with her. He shoved them both to the ground, shielding her in the process.
The ground stopped trembling, after a while. And, before they knew it, sunlight was shining above them.
Plus there were voices.
"Dobe—that was a stupid thing to do."
"It was the only thing I can think of, teme!"
"Then you're an idiot."
Really familiar voices.
Hesitantly, Gaara stood up, again taking Sakura with him. They eyed the shadows above, until one jumped inside, in the middle of the cave.
It was Naruto.
"Naruto!" Sakura cried out. Immediately she was running towards him. Naruto looked startled for while—but he grinned in relief, when he saw who it was. He ran, too, and they both met for a long hug.
"Sakura-chan!" he exclaimed happily. "Guys, I found her! I found her!" He looked up, and saw Gaara staring. "Gaara!"
Gaara simply nodded. More shadows jumped down. Kakashi. Sasuke. Sai.
Then his siblings.
"Oi, Gaara! Thought you'd still be alive!" Kankuro shouted, grinning mischievously. Temari merely eyed him, looking satisfied.
"Nice to see you, brother," she said. Gaara remained silent.
Kakashi spoke up. "Glad that you're both fine...but why didn't you use your chakras to get out of here? We've been looking for you for twenty-four hours..."
"We were poisoned, Kakashi-sensei," Sakura replied. She glanced at Gaara. He was staring back.
She turned red, and decided to ignore him. After a moment, he ignored her, too.
"We need to go to the hospital now," she stated. "We don't want this chakra depletion to be permanent."
Kakashi nodded. "Alright. We also need to go, in case more Sound nins come."
The ninjas dispersed, leaving Sakura and Gaara last. Before they went up, they stared at each other again. She, confused. He, emotionless once more.
She wanted to kiss him again. She wanted to pull away.
What was the right choice?
"I...I guess were safe."
"This can't happen, you know," she murmured, trying to convince him. Trying to convince herself. It was just...body heat. Spur of the moment. Nothing more. She didn't care for him, and he didn't care for her.
He never would.
"I need to go back to Suna," he said, abruptly. Sakura nodded. Somehow, she knew he was gonna say that. It meant he was agreeing. Letting her—them both—off the hook.
It meant goodbye. What she wanted.
"Goodbye, then," she whispered.
What they both wanted.
Why did she feel like crying, then?
#13: Do not fall in love.
Slowly, they dispersed too, and soon the ninjas traveled. She and her teammates back to Konoha, and he and his siblings back to their own land, Suna.
It was the right decision. The best decision.
Because she couldn't have had feelings for him, right? No, not in just twenty-four hours.
But , as she slowly approached her own village, she couldn't help but realize that her heart somewhat felt empty, and her mind somewhat felt bleak.
And she wondered if maybe, just maybe...she'd been wrong all along.
Anything was possible in just one day.
Anything at all.
a/n: My first Gaara-Sakura fanfic! This is a oneshot, but i'm thinking if maybe it's worth a shot doing a sequel...well, what do you think? Is it good enough for a sequel? Or should I stop here?
Please review! And share your opinions, if you can.
Thank you so much!
P.S. Sequel already out. Title: Best Laid Plans. Check it out. :)