Gaara couldn't sleep. He could never sleep. The tumultuous fear of being eaten alive…of ceasing to exist constantly haunted him if he so much as breathed. He was always tired but he was driven on by fear and hatred. The pale moon hung high over him, emitting a pearly silver glow, illuminating his face.
He was in the very spot where Yashamaru had died. He loved his uncle more than anything and to be betrayed by the very one he trusted…hurt so badly. His name was Gaara. 'Gaara' meant to love oneself and fight only for oneself. He was given the name so he could continue to exist. So he could destroy his father and his village. He was the medium channeling his mother's hatred and vengeance.
It had been so painful when the realization that his own mother had never loved him set in. Yashamaru had told him that the Shukaku was the manifestation of his mother's love and that the sand shield was her will to protect him, even after she died. He wanted to believe that, even after Yashamaru had told him the truth. And he did.
He remembered the look of disgust in his father's eyes. The eyes that would never acknowledge him. The eyes that would forever fear and hate him. He saw those eyes manifested by everyone in the village. Even Kankurou and Temari. Even Baki.
It wasn't fair. How could something that was never his fault haunt him like it had all his life? The Kazekage had sealed the Shukaku inside him and then tried to kill him. Did he even see him as his son? Was he just a component of the Kazekage's twisted experiment, to be discarded when unneeded? Gaara gazed up at the moon and he saw Yashamaru's gentle face and loving eyes.
"Gaara, you are a very important person to me and I love you," Yashamaru's words resonated in his head. He wished so badly…that it could be true.
But it was all just a façade.
"Oh," said a small voice. Gaara turned, suddenly alert and wary.
It was a girl. About his age. She had short dark hair and soft, pearly gray eyes. She looked immensely terrified. She stared at the ground, her fists clutched to her chest.
"I'm sorry," she said nervously. She seemed to be frozen on the spot. Gaara's eyes shifted to her neck, where she wore her band. What was a Konoha ninja doing here in Suna?
"Why are you here?" he asked. His tone was neutral, but it seemed to terrify the girl out of her wits. She was trembling as his pale, cruel gaze met hers. She flinched.
"Um…I'm on…a mission…"
"And why are you here, on this rooftop?"
Her soft voice was strangely comforting. She was frightened of him, but then she seemed like the kind of person who was frightened of everything. But at least she didn't run from him.
Then he realized that he had seen her before. He recalled the Chuunin exams…he had watched her fight. She had been so incredibly weak and foolish, trying to win against an opponent that was so many times more powerful than she was. Gaara stared at her.
"I'm…um…going now….sorry I…um…disturbed…you…" stammered the girl. She made to walk away but she was trembling too hard. Gaara watched her try to muster her courage to move. She was stumbling. What a coward. So weak, so pathetic…but she had acknowledged him. She saw him as something that deserved respect.
She was scared of him, but she had given him some decent respect.
Perhaps it was because Gaara had such a deep-seated desperation for acknowledgment. That being said, the smallest of notions would have great emotional impact on him. He wanted her take tense steps away from him, her back turned to him.
The girl stopped dead in her tracks. She seemed to be shaking badly.
"Sit here with me."
The girl turned to look at him, her eyes widening. Then she blushed. Gaara's mouth curved to form a good-natured smile. It was surreal, to smile again. The last time he had smiled had been six years ago, when he was with Yashamaru.
The girl was more confident now. She was smiling shyly, blushing all the while when Gaara smiled at her. She made her way slowly towards Gaara.
She sat down beside him and looked away, twiddling her thumbs.
"What is your name?"
"Um…Hinata…Hyuuga," she answered shyly, "um…you must be…Gaara…"
He was quite taken aback. She had actually bothered to remember his name. He looked at Hinata who had averted her eyes.
"You…have nice eyes," said Gaara softly. He said it because it was true. Hinata blushed again, but this time more intensely.
There was an awkward silence and Hinata suddenly said, "I…um…think you're…really…um…strong…"
Gaara bowed his head.
"Thank you," he said, trying to sound gentle. He really was grateful for her compliment and wanted her to know he was. He gazed at the moon once again. It was a full moon and the most breathtaking thing he had ever seen. He saw Yashamaru again. He missed his uncle with all his heart. He could never forget how he had raised him and taught him about the ways of the world. Gaara knew all of it was a lie. But he wanted to pretend it wasn't so.
"You…um…seem to…be…in pain…" Hinata observed quietly. Gaara looked at her and he found himself telling her everything about his life. The pain he had felt throughout his twelve years…he was confiding in her. Her presence was so comforting, so gentle and it made him feel good. He tried to stop himself from trusting her so easily to prevent any possible heart breaks that would inevitably occur if she betrayed him.
Feelings were a weakness. He didn't need weaknesses.
But he couldn't help trusting Hinata Hyuuga. He needed someone like her in his life. Someone who would acknowledge him and relieve the never-faltering pain that was existent in his heart.
Hinata gazed at him when he finished. Her eyes glowed with admiration for him.
"You're…so brave…I could never…be like you,' she murmured. She gave him a gentle, encouraging smile. They watched the dark, gray clouds drift drearily across the moon, forming a translucent green cover. Gaara saw Yashamaru's face, but this time bloodied and distant. He saw his six-year-old self, crying beside Yashamaru's limp body.
"I could have refused to kill you, Gaara," whispered Yashamaru, "but I didn't."
"Yashamaru…" he saw himself crying. Tears were streaming down his cheeks. His eyes were extremely pained. And lonely.
"Your mother named you. Gaara…it means to love oneself and fight only for oneself. She never loved you. She only wanted you to exist so that you could carry out her last vengeful wish to destroy your father and the village which so cruelly sacrificed her against her will when you, the ultimate weapon was born," Yashamaru's whisper, so cold and unfeeling echoed in his head.
"Gaara…" Hinata's voice trailed off. Her hand was on his shoulder. She gazed into his eyes. The eyes that harbored hate, vengeance and a craving for power. But she only saw how truly lonely he was.
She put her arms around him and pressed her cheek to his shoulder.
The moon hung high above them, watching silently.
A/N: Ok, I wrote this last night and it was sort of a speed write because I did it at like eleven when I usually have random bursts of inspiration. So don't blame me if it sounds overly corny. And this is intended to be a one-shot and will remain as such. However, if I get other random bursts of inspiration, it will become a multi-chapter. Do contribute some constructive criticisms. Thanks for reading.