CHANGE OF FATE
Change Of Fate, a Naruto fanfic
Cowritten by: MihaelKai and SiberiaFox
Summary: AU: Who said life wasn't a circus? Acrobats falling in artist's laps, fights with the blade... In this crazy world, what will it take to change your fate? NaruGaa, don't like, don't read. Cowrite: MihaelKai & SiberiaFox
Disclaimer: We only own the plotline. And even that... who knows in this world?
Flames: Will be used to roast the people who wrote them.
Reviews are MUCH appreciated!
CHAPTER 1: Accidents and Introductions
'Damn them.' The high-pitched screaming of kids that needed a beating badly echoed in Gaara's ears. "Why am I here with you guys again?"
"Show Temari some support Gaara. She wanted us to watch her first show. The one she has with the fans and swords is really good," Kankuro yelled, over the brats running haphazardly around Gaara's legs.
Naruto was waiting just behind the tent. Shit. It was the first day with his new act. And he didn't have it perfected yet. He probably should've been practicing instead of eating ramen the night before. But he could do it! He would be the best!
Temari ran behind the curtains, flustered and jumping into her outfit. "I'm so sorry that I'm late," she said to the ringmaster. "Kakuro talked my brother Gaara into coming, and we had car trouble."
"Your other brother is living with you?" Kakashi, the ringmaster asked.
"No, he just dropped by earlier today for lunch." Temari huffed as she squeezed into the skimpy costume. "We finally got on good terms with him after our Dad died."
'Well, at least this new troop was finally assembled,' Kakashi thought. Finding replacements after the previous ones retired from the business was difficult. "We're starting in ten minutes people, shake a leg!"
"Ten minutes!?" Naruto exclaimed, jumping up from his chair and standing on it. "We're going to do great! Dattebayo!"
Lee looked up at Naruto and grinned. "Yosh! The power of youth will lead us to victory!"
Gaara and Kankuro had finally seated themselves at the second row, as close to the stage as possible. Kankuro looked over to Gaara with concern. "Are you alright?"
Popcorn went flying behind them and Gaara remained motionless, his arms crossed and lips thin as popcorn pieces dusted his shoulders. Gaara turned to look at Kankuro. "I'm fine."
That look sent chills down Kankuro's spine.
Gaara's face looked even more stoic than usual as a kid ran by screaming, the mother chasing after him. "YOUNG MAN, YOU GET BACK HERE THIS INSTANT! Oh, excuse me," she muttered as she tripped over Gaara's legs. Kankuro saw Gaara's eye twitch.
Naruto glared at the clock. Still five minutes to go? "Meh, Kakashi! Can't we start yet?" He huffed and sat back down in his seat, tapping his foot impatiently.
"You aren't even the first act Naruto. Calm your ass down," Kakashi said.
He jumped up and glared at him, cheeks poofing out indignantly. "But the sooner we start, the sooner I get to go! Dattebayo!"
"If you don't calm down before your act, you're going to fluster yourself. It's your first show, I know, but I need you to focus yourself," Kakashi sighed. He pulled out a microphone from his pocket and switched it on. "Ladies and gentlemen, the show will be starting in five minutes. Please take your seats."
"Will not!" Naruto huffed, sitting back down and crossing his arms. "Stupid Kakashi-sensei..." he muttered.
Temari chuckled and ruffled his hair. "I'm excited too," she whispered to Naruto.
Naruto's eyes brightened. "Really!?" He started bouncing in his seat.
"Naruto, be quiet," Temari smiled, covering his mouth.
Naruto pouted but nodded, still bouncing in his seat. "Hey, I think they're starting finally," he whispered excitedly as the lights dimmed.
"Thank god," Kankuro muttered. The crowd quieted.
Kakashi smiled beneath his mask, apparent in the way it shined in his eyes. "Showtime," he whispered, jumping into the ring.
Naruto started bouncing even more. So close. He would be the best!
Gaara looked around the ring, watching dispassionately at the clown act laid before his eyes. He was a fool to think that he might find some inspiration in a carnival setting. He wanted a cigarette. He glanced to his left, looking at the older man sitting with his family. Whatever. Gaara pulled out his pack and lit the end, ignoring the glare the father gave him. He wondered when Temari was going to come on. She at the very least had talent with her blades and fans. Maybe he could do a piece for her.
Kankuro was smiling. The sight of Gaara lighting up next to all these kids was more amusing than the clowns on the stage.
Naruto peeked out from behind the curtain. So many people! He'd never seen so many people in one place!
Lee was hopping up and down, getting his blood running. "Our act will be the best act tonight, Naruto! I know it!" He whispered.
TenTen chuckled. "You guys are on next."
Gaara was grateful that the onslaught of morons in bad drag was over. The lights spotted onto the ringmaster in the center as Gaara tossed his cigarette to the floor, stomping it under his boot. It wouldn't be the last if he had to watch any more of this.
Naruto jumped out of his seat. "We're gonna rock! Dattebayo!" He walked to just behind the curtain, waiting for their act to be announced.
"And now, boys and girls, ladies and gents, feast your eyes on our brand new acts! First, the amazing beasts of acrobatics, Naruto and Lee!" Kakashi exclaimed.
Naruto walked out and quickly climbed the platform, Lee close behind him. Aerial acrobatics. He could do this. He would do this. Their cue music started and Lee swung out first onto the trapeze. Moments later, Naruto followed him, grabbing onto Lee's arms. The act continued until Lee was to 'throw' Naruto back onto the platform before exiting himself. Naruto landed on the platform but his foot slipped and he wound up falling past the net, into the audience! He braced himself for the impact, but landed on something surprisingly... soft.
If Gaara was looking, he would have seen it coming. If he was looking, he would have noticed the man and his family running away from something. If he wasn't drifting away, he would have heard Kankuro shouting something. But he didn't. He casually looked back to the ring to see a flash of yellow before somersaulting backwards into the next row with a strange creature in his lap. He blinked, looking down at this creature. Wait, creature? He looked around and realized the act had fallen safely into his lap. This was the acrobat?
The blonde shook his head and looked up slowly, and cautiously. 'Those eyes,' Gaara thought in wonder. Like iceburgs and ocean, a vast and mysterious swarm of color. The blonde looked at his surroundings before looking back with a meek smile.
Kankuro had never seen Gaara so shocked in his life as he sat there holding this acrobat, stunned and immobile one row further back than he should have been. Now what?
Naruto blinked up at Gaara. "Eheh... gomen nasai... erm. Very sorry." He looked at Gaara, fascinated. This wasn't the average boy who came to the circus. He must have been here with someone. Naruto felt even more embarassed, blushing slightly as he sat up and hopped off Gaara's lap. "Eheh..." he rubbed the back of his head nervously.
Gaara just blinked, eyes slightly wider than normal. Struck speechless at the turn of events, he gave a slight nod. What the hell else could he do? Other members of the circus came running up to them as he got slowly to his feet and sat back down next to Kankuro. He even managed not to wince as a stabbing pain shot up his back. If he wasn't there to break the blonde's fall, he could have been seriously injured. He looked up at that innocent, embarassed face and the pain dulled. 'My back will heal,' he thought. 'Besides, it's not everyday that a random beautiful man falls directly into my lap...wait, did I just think that?'
Kankuro was speaking to the other workers. "My brother will be fine, just forget about it," he said, knowing Gaara hated speaking more than was necessary.
Naruto was still staring at Gaara transfixedly. He owed this man his life. This... unusually attractive man. He mentally slapped himself. No falling for the audience. Hm. But he had fallen in his lap. So that rule was already broken...
Lee shouted from the high step. "NARUTO! IS HE ALRIGHT?"
The crowd was in utter chaos around them. The man Gaara was sitting next to was trying to keep his kids back.
"I'm fine, Lee!" Naruto shouted back, not taking his eyes off Gaara. "Are you alright? I think I landed on you pretty hard... Gomen..."
Kankuro looked at Gaara, who merely blinked in reply, still shocked. Kankuro took a step forward and rested a hand on the blonde's shoulder. "Naruto, right?" He nodded, not taking his eyes away from the mesmerizing face in front of him. "Gaara will be fine. I'll have Temari look at him after the show, she's our sister."
"No way! Temari's sister? Gaara as in the Sabaku no Gaara? The artist dude!? Your art rocks! Dattebayo!"
Gaara blinked. This event was so random, so odd that he still hadn't really recovered. "Thanks," he said with his sexy growl of a voice. 'Thanks?' Gaara mentally slapped himself. Smooth. Real smooth. Why the hell was he always so distant?
Kankuro noticed the discomfort in Gaara's face.
"Hey Naruto, why don't you meet up with us after the show when Temari takes a look at him?"
Naruto blushed more, nodding enthusiastically. "Um, sure! If your back's bothering you or anything, I'm a great masseuse, dattebayo!"
Kankuro looked over to Gaara, still in the process of registering what had just happened. 'He's not angry yet, thank God,' he thought with relief, but when was he going to quit spacing out? Kankuro knew that Gaara wasn't much of a talker, and he didn't usually like getting open recognition from his work. It was then that Gaara slightly recovered himself.
"Then I will hold you to one," Gaara replied with a slight nod. 'What...the...hell? Did I hit my head?' Gaara thought incredulously. He was never that forward. Confident, but never flirtacious.
Naruto grinned, seeming to recover his enthusiasm. "You bet! Um... I should probably go... Kakashi-sensei's going to yell at me. Later!" he jumped over the rows of seats, landing on the net before jumping down again and running behind the curtain.
"Jesus, that was a WTF moment if I ever saw one. Are you okay Gaara? You hit the ground REALLY hard. I mean, I heard the loudest thump, I thought you broke through the ground or something. ...Gaara?" Kankuro looked over to see Gaara still looking straight ahead.
He blinked. "I'm fine."
The rest of the show went by rather quickly, finishing with Temari's fan and blade dance. Gaara hadn't stopped smoking since, but watched Temari attentively. Kankuro saw this and smiled. 'He really is getting closer to us,' he thought, pleased with the turn of events. To get Gaara to come was a feat of its own right; he had to care, at least a little.
Gaara actually smirked when Temari lit the blades on fire as she twirled them with an expert hand. 'She really is inspiring,' he thought.
Temari finished with a dramatic burst of flame that floated magically on top of one of her fans, before disappearing in a cloud of smoke.
Naruto, after being yelled at by Kakashi and putting on a sweatshirt, waited backstage embarassedly. He had so fucked up. He watched Temari's act from behind the curtain though. It was awesome. She didn't fuck up. He frowned to himself. He would never be the best, would he?
An enormous eruption of applause came from the crowd and Temari appeared backstage, sweating and panting. "Adding fire to my act really kicked it up a notch, but I nearly set myself on fire at one part."
"Really!? That would have sucked!" 'Almost as much as our act did,' he added mentally. "But the audience loved you at least!"
Temari broke out in hysterics. "I can't believe that of all the people you had to land on, you landed on Gaara." She saw Naruto's face and smiled. "You'll do better next time, this stuff happens."
Naruto frowned at being laughed at, glaring indignantly. "Yeah, luck is a bitch like that. But I will be the best someday. Dattebayo!"
Temari knocked him playfully on the shoulder. "Atta boy. I should go to my room and check on Gaara. I saw that landing. Tough as he is, he has to be hurting."
He nodded. "That reminds me! I promised him a massage. I think I kinda killed his back..." he rubbed the back of his head nervously.
Temari looked shocked. "He agreed to let you give him a massage?" Her face was alight with wonder.
"What was it he said... oh, right. He said he'd hold me to it!" Naruto announced proudly.
"Did he hit his head?" Temari asked, concerned.
Naruto shook his head. "No... why?" He tilted his to the side in confusion.
Temari shook her head as if to clear out the confusion. "Nothing, he's just doesn't like people very much. He especially doesn't like to be touched. I can't even remember either Kankuro or myself even hugging him." Temari's mind raced. 'No, it cant be,' she thought, looking at Naruto. Well, he was rather sexy.
Naruto nodded slightly and thought for a minute. When was the last time he had been hugged? "He must just be lonely!" he decided, oblivious to Temari's gaze on him.
Temari smiled. "Gaara doesn't like most people. He usually views them as moronic fakes. Come on," she motioned. "You must have done something to get him to react like that." Temari walked towards her dressing room.
Naruto followed, her words only just then sinking in and causing him to blush. Gaara was rather hot... but why would someone like him like someone like Naruto? It wasn't like he was anything special. He was lost in his thoughts and wound up walking into Temari.
"Hey!" Temari huffed as he knocked the air out of her. She opened her door and walked in, hissing in air. "Shit Gaara, that looks horrible."
Gaara had his skintight black shirt over his head and glanced back at Temari. "It's nothing. You did wonderful tonight Temari," Gaara said.
Temari practicaly beamed before walking up to Gaara and Kankuro, examining Gaara's bruised back. A large purple and green bruise was painting itself on Gaara's pale, muscled skin. At the worst part she noticed that the skin was split open. She quickly grabbed a washcloth and ran it under the sink. "Jesus, you're bleeding."
Kankuro spoke. "He hit the edge of the upper row seats."
Gaara glared. "I said I was fine."
Temari was still wetting the washcloth when she looked back at the doorway. "Are you going to come in?"
Naruto blushed but nodded. "Again, gomen nasai, Gaara-sama." He looked at Temari, staring at the washcloth in her hand. "If you just use that it'll get infected. Give it here, I've got an idea." He held out his hand, pulling a small bottle out of his sweatshirt pocket.
Gaara turned to see this Naruto again. Once again, he felt...something. Something other than the numbness he was used to, though his face gave away nothing. "What is that?"
He grabbed the washcloth, pouring on a few drops of whatever was in the bottle. He walked to stand behind Gaara, trying not to focus on his perfect skin or body. "This will sting a bit. It's lemon, but it should keep infection down." He gently pressed the cloth against the wound, cleaning it.
Gaara felt the cool stinging sensation and shivered. The sweet stinging pain brought his attention back into his body as he watched Naruto nursing his back. "It's really not that big of a deal."
Temari and Kankuro watched, Temari putting sweats over her costume and pulling on the towel around her neck, trying not to smile. She grabbed Kankuro by the arm and hoisted him towards the door. "Kankuro and I are going to go and grab something to drink. Kakashi said he would have food and drinks prepared after the show tonight to celebrate all the newbies." The door clicked shut and they were gone.
Naruto blinked at their sudden departure. "What got into them? And it is a big deal. You're hurt and it's my fault. Sorry... again."
Gaara smirked. "It doesn't matter. I've had worse from training."
"T-training? Training for what?"
"Where do you think Temari learned how to handle weapons? Granted, she uses them in dances, but she learned how to fight from me." Gaara stated simply. The washcloth ran down his spine, wiping away the blood threatening to drip to his black pants. He shivered against the wonderful cold touch.
"Seriously!? That's so cool! I wish I could fight. But I'd probably just wind up killing myself..." he pouted slightly, continuing to clean the wound. He saw Gaara shiver and for some reason found it... alluring. What did he just tell himself about falling for the audience!?
"It just takes practice, and lots of exercise." What was he doing? He was having a conversation? This day really was getting weirder by the second. He felt Naruto's hand brush his side inadvertently and it sent another involuntary shiver coursing down his body, goosebumps dotting along his side. Trying to recover his cool, he spoke. "Out in the stands, you mentioned knowing about my artwork."
"Yeah! How could I not. Your work is awesome. It's like... so... torn and filled with turmoil. I dunno. I guess I just... get it. I've got like... four of your pieces in my appartment. Things cost me a damn fortune. But I still got them, Dattebayo!" He grabbed a roll of gauze tape, "Lift your arms" he said before wrapping the tape around him.
Gaara complied and lifted his arms above his head, trying his hardest not to shiver against Naruto's hands. The last thing he wanted was for this blonde to see him reacting to casual touch. Why was his body reacting like this? He hated people touching him, but this...it felt wonderful. "I'd be curious to see which ones you chose," he said thoughtfully.
Naruto smirked when he saw Gaara shiver slightly. It was more than slightly entertaining to see this obviously stoic person shivering under his touch and he took some sense of pride in it. "Relax, I'm not going to hurt you. As for which ones I picked, you could come over to my appartment sometime and see for yourself."
'Shit!' Gaara thought with emphasis. 'I walked right into that!' Gaara recovered quickly though. "It would be my pleasure." Gaara felt Naruto finish bandaging him and stood stiffly to his feet, turning to face Naruto, aware that he was giving him a good view of his well-toned abs. "Thanks."
Naruto's eyes traveled up and down Gaara's body quickly before he smiled. "Not a problem. It's my fault anyway. Still want that massage? That's gonna be a bitch in the morning if you don't work the knots out of it."
Gaara looked around the room. "Where do you want me?"
Naruto raised an eyebrow at Gaara's choice of words before coughing and pointing to the couch.
Gaara gracefully lowered himself on the spacious couch and relaxed into it.
"Lay flat on your stomach," Naruto ordered, walking towards the couch as well.
He turned, painfully aware of the beautiful and muscled blonde approaching him. He stared into those deep cerulean eyes, wishing that he could paint that face. Gaara did need quite a few models, there could be no harm in asking later.
"It's rude to stare, you know," he said with a smirk. From the side of the couch, he started to massage Gaara's back, trying not to irritate the surface bruises.
Gaara refused to react to the sore throbbing from Naruto hitting the bruises, keeping eye contact with Naruto. "Only if you don't have a reason," he shrugged.
"You have to relax. Otherwise it'll only hurt." He realized the akwardness of that statement and hastily added "...the bruises."
Gaara attempted to relax into the couch. It was difficult considering he was always tense around his uppper and lower back. Slowly it started feeling better, Naruto's soft hands working on his flesh. "You're good at this," he muttered.
"Everyone has their talents," he replied with a smirk. "This just so happens to be mine. Dattebayo." He paused. "I have to get a different angle to get the other side. Hold still and just relax." In an instant he was on his knees, straddling Gaara's thighs from behind and continuing to massage. "You've got a lot of tension in your back."
'No shit,' he thought as Naruto's warmth tingled on his skin.
"So, done any new pieces lately?" Naruto asked conversationally.
Gaara nodded. "A client commissioned one. I finished it yesterday." He paused for a moment. "I haven't really worked on any of my freelance work though. I haven't really had any inspiration up until now." Gaara said, voice husky.
"Up until now? What's your new inspiration then?" he asked with a small smirk, not missing the tone of Gaara's voice.
Gaara sighed. "I really didn't want to come tonight. I hate crowds, but Temari had been working so hard. I didn't know that she added fire to her routine. It was inspiring to say the least. She was beautiful tonight, so I wanted to do a piece based on her performance." Gaara really hoped Naruto didn't tell Temari about all the praise he was giving her, it wasn't like him. Gaara gave a secretive smile though, hoping Naruto couldn't see it. Would he rise to the bait?
Naruto's smirk grew. Was Gaara teasing him? "Oh? You didn't know? Hm, you being her brother and all, I figured she would have told you. Hm, only the fire act? None of the other acts or... performers caught your eye?"
Gaara smirked and turned his head to look at that awe-inspiring face. A muse like that was rare to find, perhaps that was why he was being so forward. "You could say that inspiration... fell right into my lap tonight. If you don't mind my asking, would you like to model for me sometime?"
Naruto returned the smirk easily. "I'd be honored to model for you. Dattebayo."
Gaara lied back on the couch, pleased and content. It wasn't such a horrible night after all.
Naruto, having finished his massage, climbed off Gaara's back, letting his hand subtly trace across Gaara's side as he did so. "Well, I've done all I can for your back."
Gaara raised himself to a sitting position and looked for his shirt. "I should probably grab your number." Gaara looked at his watch, it was still early.
Naruto nodded. "Yeah. Probably. He grabbed a pen and a notepad off of the table, scribbling down his cellphone number. He paused before handing it to him. "Hm. But you did mention wanting to see which pieces of yours I picked out. When might you want to do that?"
Gaara looked at Naruto's body and shrugged. Why not? It was early and he never slept at night anyway. "What are you doing after this?"
"Original plan? Go home and play video games. Translation, nothing important. Why?" He smirked slightly.
Gaara strode up to him both hands looped through his shirt as he took the paper out of Naruto's hand. He was playing innocent. That was unbelievably sexy, but two could play that game. He was mere inches away as he pulled his shirt back on over his bandages, slowly sliding it down his sides.
Naruto had to repress a groan at the sight. Gaara was a tease. But turnabout was fair play. He leaned in, lips brushing against Gaara's ear as he whispered. "So, wanna go to my place?... Look at some... art?"
Gaara stood back and looked him straight in the eyes. "Do you have a car? I came with Temari and left my bike at home."
Naruto grinned. "Something like that. You wanna say goodbye to your sister and stuff first? I just gotta grab my bag. It's in the same room."
"Yeah, I should probably let them know that they don't have to wait up." Gaara left the room, shocked at having been so brazen. This was...not...normal. He found Temari and Kankuro in some sort of chill lounge speaking with Kakashi, who was hanging on some dark-haired man. "Temari, that performance was excellent, the crowd loved it. You're going to go far with that act," Kakashi said happily.
Temari smiled and saw Gaara emerge, face revealing nothing as he approached. "I'm going. Don't worry about giving me a ride back tonight."
Temari raised an eyebrow. "Oh? Well alright then. Give me a call sometime, okay?" Gaara nodded and Temari sat confused until she saw Naruto and an idea formed. She shook her head. 'No, he couldn't be. Could he?' she wondered.
Naruto walked into the room close behind him and grabbed his bag. "See you tomorrow, Kakashi-sensei, Temari-san." He left the room with a smile.
Gaara followed quietly and the room froze. 'He isn't. Gaara?'
Kankuro whispered to Temari. "He had to have hit his head. Have you ever seen him act like that around people before?"
Temari shook her head but smiled. Finally.
Naruto blinked at Gaara. "Is it me or did it get REALLY quiet in there after we walked out?" he asked, leading him out to the back exit.
Gaara shrugged. "Does it matter?"
Naruto contemplated this for a minute. "Nah. Just kinda weird. Anyway, come on." He led Gaara out into the parking lot.
Gaara scanned the lot as he walked beside Naruto, wondering what he drove.
Naruto led him to the far end of the lot where there stood a yellow motorcycle with an orange swirl on the front (A/N: Uzumaki whirl ftw!). "Gaara, meet my baby." He handed Gaara a helmet. "Well don't just stand there, get on!"
So he had a bike too. Gaara sat behind the blonde, holding onto his hips and scooting closer, basking in the afterglow of his scent. Like orange and cloves.
"Hold on tight," Naruto said before revving up the bike and speeding off down the parking lot. "Be warned, I don't drive slow."
"Neither do I," was Gaara's reply.
Naruto grinned, trying not to shiver at the hands on his hips as he sped down the streets back to his appartment.