Gaara and Fiamma played together everyday after that. Wompy and Floopy were always with them, and they always had the most fun that they possibly could. It was usually at the park, where they would play catch with each other, or swing to their hearts' content, being pushed by each other. They had, however, been over to each other's houses. Fiamma enjoyed going to Gaara's house, because whenever she went over, Yashamaru (who she had to be told was Gaara's uncle, not his aunt) made ice cream sundaes for dessert (if she'd had dinner or lunch there) or snack (if she and Gaara were simply hanging out). Gaara liked her house okay; her mom was nice enough, though she was a bit wary of him at first because of his reputation (but it got better), and her father never really talked to him much (and according to Fiamma, he was on business a lot of the time, so she didn't see him much, either). They even had nicknames for each other - Fiamma called Gaara "Panda-chan', because of the circles around his eyes, and Gaara called her "Fiammetta", because it was Italian for "little flame", just adding a suffix to the end of her name for something cute. He always blushed when she called him "Panda-chan", and she always giggled when he called her "Fiammetta". They always had fun together, especially when they played with Wompy and Floopy, making them talk, too. They would invent little games, making Floopy a beautiful princess in distress, and Wompy the handsome prince who saved her. Once, Gaara showed off his sand powers for her, since she liked them so much. He made a giant sandcastle, and had played a game in which she was the princess trapped inside. Just in time, he came swooshing in on a sand cloud to save her. That was the very first time Fiamma had ridden on his sand, and she'd enjoyed it. She told him it felt as if she were flying and could do anything.

Gaara liked making Fiamma happy. It was just the way she could repay her for being his friend. He'd had no friends before she came into his life - he was almost constantly thinking of ways he could show his appreciation. She had been that one little light that lit up his whole world from the pitch-black it had been. He loved her for that, and he now shared her wish. He wanted her to say right here, in Sunagakure, by his side. He didn't ever want to be away from her.

But, as the two were about to find out the hard way, every good time eventually comes to a tragic end.

One day, Fiamma showed up at the door of Gaara's house with Floopy in hand. She hadn't been invited, so Gaara knew this was either a really good thing or a really bad thing. Was it her birthday? Or did someone in her family die? He really didn't want it to be bad news, but she didn't look happy. If it was good news, she'd have looked happy. She talked with Yashamaru for a moment, squeezing one of Floopy's arms. Yashamaru nodded when she was finished, a sad look in his eyes, and allowed her to come into the house, gesturing to the living room. So she walked in, holding Floopy with one arm, looking solemn as anything.

"Fiammetta!" Gaara called happily. Maybe, if she was having a bad day... maybe he could cheer her up. He ran to hug his friend, but she stopped him.

Fiamma held up her hand, the one that wasn't holding Floopy. "No, Gaara." That was all she said. She didn't look at all happy, and Gaara could tell that this time, he couldn't cheer her up. Something was really wrong. And he got a bad feeling that he didn't want to know what the problem was, because it'd only make both of them sad.

Gaara felt a little hurt. He didn't understand why Fiamma wouldn't at least let him hug her. It couldn't hurt; hugs could only help whatever the problem was. "What's wrong, Fiamma? Did something happen?" He stepped up, reaching out his hand to take hers. "Are you okay?"

"Yes... no, I mean... look, Gaara." She sighed, and he could see it in her eyes. Whatever she was going to say, he knew he didn't want to hear it, and he knew it was going to be really bad. "My... my dad says we have to leave. Tonight." Her voice cracked, and she couldn't look at him. "I... have to go, Gaara."

"Go?" Gaara didn't understand. Why would she have to go away? Her family was safe here. Her mother had said so, in fact: "As long as we stay here, everything will be okay. That's why I chose this village, Gaara." So why would they have to leave this village that was apparently so safe? "But... we're having so much fun together, Fiamma! Why do you have to go?"

"My daddy did something... really bad, Gaara." She looked down, rubbing her arm with one of Floopy's ears. "My family can't stay here. My daddy will get in trouble, and then... then Mommy and me are gonna get sent to one of those homeless places. And then we're not gonna be able to see you no more. We gotta leave the Hidden Sand Village, Gaara."

"But... But... I don't want you to leave!" he shouted. He hung on her arm, feeling tears pricking at his eyes. She couldn't leave... not now! Not when they were having such a good time together! "You can't! You gotta stay here!"

"We don't got any choice, Gaara. If we stay here, it's just gonna get worse." She didn't hug him back, but she didn't make any move to get him off her arm, either. "We have to go. I wanna stay here, Gaara. With you. I mean... really, I do! You gotta believe that. This is the best thing that ever happened to me. But... I can't stay... I'm sorry. I really am."

"Fiamma, no! No, no, NO!" He grabbed her and held her tight. He wouldn't ever let her go... she couldn't leave him. He'd be alone again. He couldn't be alone again... he needed her. "My - My dad, he's the Kazekage! He can get your dad outta trouble, and then you can stay! You won't have to leave! I won't let you leave! I'll keep you right here beside me forever! I mean... that's where you're supposed to be forever 'n' ever! You can't go, I won't let you!"

"Gaara, please!" Tears streamed down her face, creating a vividly melancholy waterfall down her cheeks. Her bright eyes were dark and sad as she cried; and Gaara suddenly realized that he'd never seen Fiamma cry before. Not for real - just that time she'd lost Floopy, and it had only been wailing, not tears. She hadn't ever cried until now. "You're only makin' this harder for both of us! I wanna stay right here with you - I really do! You gotta believe that! But if I do, my whole family's lives could be in danger! I can't stay an' let that happen!"

"So you'd choose your family over me?" Gaara was outraged at that. How could she do that? They were best friends! She couldn't choose family over friends! That was unfair!

"You know that's not what I'm sayin', Gaara! I gotta think 'bout everybody, and right now, my family needs me most!" She took a deep breath, but her voice was still shaky. Her next words were unexpected - the words he never thought she'd say to him. He never thought she'd say anything like that, because she was never mean to him. "And - And the way you're actin' now, I - I think you need me a lot more than I need you!"

Gaara let himself collapse on the floor, a heap of tears and a broken heart. Was she calling him selfish? She was the one being selfish! She was leaving him, when she knew how much he needed her! "I can't go back to being alone, Fiamma! You don't know what it's like, not to have any friends! I've only got you! I can't go back to that! I will die!"

"Gaara, stop it! Come on!" Yashamaru took hold of Gaara, taking him by the arms. It was obvious that he was struggling with his nephew, however, if you listened to his annoyed grunting and looked at the pained expression on his face. "Don't throw a tantrum! You're not three anymore - you're a big boy, and you do not use tantrums to communicate! Now, come on! I understand you're upset - I would be, too! But do you really want Fiamma to stay here, where she might get hurt? I know this is - I'm sorry, but you can't always have your way in the world, Gaara!"

Gaara wriggled to break free of his uncle's admittedly tight grip. What else would work? How could he get away? "YES, I CAN!" He decided to do something he hardly ever did: use his sand to attack on purpose. He created a barrier of sand around himself to deflect Yashamaru. It produced the desired effect, pushing the man away from him. There was one problem, though - he'd accidentally hit Fiamma, too.

He'd promised to never let the sand hurt her. The one thing he swore to her he'd never do, and he'd just done it.

OK, here's the deal: the first chapter is going to be totally rewritten. I wrote it when I was just starting out in Naruto. And this is the rewritten second chapter. Originally they were shorter and far less detailed, like the first chapter was. But thanks to everyone who read and reviewed and stuff! (By the way, Broken-Becca, I'M UPDATING! XD)

Soooo... until I rewrite the first chapter and upload it, enjoy this one! :D

~Ai-chan ^^