Summary: Gaara is a quiet teen, burdened with a sickness that is his deepest secret. He was supposed to die a year ago but has somehow managed to hold on. Fate guides his way but for better or for worse? Will he get a chance at life? SasuGaa fic. YAOI.
Author's Note: Well, this is my second SasuGaa fic. I hope you all like it.
Disclaimer: Of course I own Naruto. May a piano fall on me if I lie. – gets hit by a piano –
Letting Go of the Future
Chapter One: Gaara
Hello. Do you know me? Because I know you. Do not be afraid of me. Or maybe you should be. I am the one with my finger on the scale, the brakes and the bullet. I choose who lives and who dies, who soars and who crashes. I decide which disease, disasters and dilemmas you go through. Have I introduced myself? No? How rude of me. My name is Kismet, Chance, Providence, Destiny and Luck. My name is Fate. I watch over you and guide your actions. I am always there. Sometimes, to keep myself amused, I enjoy a little game. Let us enter our first player. Gaara Kaze. I have not tilted the scale in his favour at all. The harder the life the more interesting the game. I have his life in my hands, my paw on his tail. I will let him loose for now; the game hasn't truly started yet. But when it does…….we shall see.
It wasn't the best day for anyone. The sky was gray, the water reflected the colour of the sky and to all those who were outside, it seemed as though the world had gone into a state of complete gray. Gaara both loved and hated days like this. The particular tint of clouds made him wonder if it was going to rain. If it was, he would enjoy it. Otherwise he hated that the colours of the world were sucked out and replaced by a depressing shade.
Gaara was walking along the river, heading towards his favourite place. The place in question was an extremely old but tall tree that had been around for ages. The branches were curled and twisted and only someone with a fairly agile body would be able to climb into the branches of the tree. That was the reason Gaara had for claiming said tree as his place. No one else he knew of had the ability to swing into the tangled branches of the tree. He was grateful for the chance to escape his world and to come to this place of peace where he could gaze at the river and feel nothing at all.
The redhead walked to the base of the old tree and placed his hands on the lowest branch. Pulling himself up, he swung forward, hooking his legs around a branch that was higher up. He let go of the one he was holding and pushed against the tree trunk to bring himself up completely. He settled into an array of branches that seemed to have been made just for him. His back could lean against the tree while four other branches held his legs and two branches on the side created armrests. It seemed big enough to fit two people but Gaara would never bring someone else here.
Feeling a slight twinge of pain in his neck, he placed his hand to a burn-like mark on his neck. The feeling faded and Gaara relaxed. He wished that he could be normal but Gaara knew the uselessness of wishing. There was no point in it unless you had the power to make your wish come true. Many wishes are unattainable. So why bother? Gaara lapsed into his usual train of thought as he stared through the branches of the tree to the view he had of Konoha. His mind went blank as he looked at the landscape around him.
A drop of water landed on his shoulder and he looked skyward to see dark clouds swirl over the city, preparing to unleash a torrent of rain. The redhead sighed and sat up. He stretched his back and then proceeded to descend from his perch, jumping down somewhat recklessly. He landed with practiced ease and stood up calmly. It was beginning to rain a little harder but Gaara didn't mind. In fact, he rather enjoyed the rain when he was outside. However, he knew that he had to return home soon or face the wrath of his sister, Temari.
The redhead began to walk back along the river. The sky released a downpour of rain causing the other citizens to go scrambling back indoors. Gaara loved walking in the rain. He loved the cleansing feeling it gave him even if he got sick the next day which was very unlikely. Within moments, the redhead was drenched in water; his hair was hanging limp and his clothes sticking to his body. Gaara didn't care, he enjoyed every minute of it.
He turned around a corner and made out three shapes at the end of the block. He knew their shapes very well and from the looks of their outlines, they were none other than Naruto, Haku and Hinata. They were the closest people to him apart from his family and he treated them as such. He moved toward them, a small smile gracing his features but vanishing as he got within eyesight of the three.
"Hey look! It's Gaara! Hey, Gaa-" Haku began to greet the redhead but was cut off by Naruto.
"Why the hell aren't you wearing a jacket or carrying an umbrella? Are you trying to get sick?!" Naruto demanded. Gaara shook his head, spraying the three of them with water droplets.
"You know I don't need help with that," Gaara commented dryly. Naruto rolled his eyes while Haku laughed and Hinata gave a tentative smile. Naruto held his umbrella over Gaara's dripping head. The corners of Gaara's mouth lifted the tiniest fraction and he slipped from under the umbrella to stand in the rain once more.
"If you get sick then blame yourself," Naruto sighed. The redhead tilted his head back and let the rain cascade over his face.
"Gaara-chan, you don't need more sickness," Haku said exasperatedly. Gaara merely looked at him, bored. Haku took the opportunity to drag them into the nearest building which happened to be a restaurant. The foursome slid into a nearby booth, Gaara managing to drip water everywhere.
"Naru……Naruto……we sh-should wait…here…until the rain stops. That way…Gaara……won't get wet…or sicker…" Hinata stammered. Naruto smiled softly at his girlfriend and nodded. Gaara opened his mouth to object but Haku was already ordering what he wanted for lunch and this left the others no choice but to wait with him. Gaara settled back as comfortably as he could in wet clothing.
"That's why you shouldn't have gotten soaked, Gaara," Naruto chastised. Gaara turned his head so fast that he felt slightly nauseous.
"Shut up, Naruto," Gaara snarled. Naruto "eeped" and blushed, backing down from the wrath of the redhead. Haku laughed loudly and pointed at the embarrassed blonde.
"You should have known that Gaara-chan would have come after you if you scolded him like that," Haku laughed. A timid smile spread across Hinata's face as Naruto turned a deep shade of red. Gaara smirked at the blonde and then leaned against his chair. The redhead stretched his arms skyward, elongating his body in order to relieve every cramped muscle. He relaxed and let his arms fall to his sides. Naruto, sensing that the coast was clear, began to talk again.
"Honestly, Kaze. You've got to-"
"Did I not just say 'shut up', Uzumaki? There is no way anything I get is going to be worse than what I already have," Gaara interrupted Naruto. Haku grinned at the pair of them. Whenever the two of them started to use their last names, they were starting to get serious and concerned about one another. Haku loved it when this happened. The feminine looking teen dug into the steak that was placed in front of him and eagerly awaited the beginning of the show. Naruto sent a heated glance in the redhead's direction while Gaara sent an equally (if not more) fiery glare back at him.
"Don't add sickness to sickness. And anyway, we're staying here until the rain stops. Deal with it, Kaze," Naruto said. Gaara twitched. Naruto was his best friend but the blonde was annoyingly protective. Gaara knew that Naruto was just looking out for him but he still hated that he was weaker than he would like.
Haku grinned. This wasn't as interesting as some of the other battles he had witnessed between the two but it was enough to keep him entertained. Hinata, on the other hand, was looking nervously from her boyfriend to Gaara.
"Kaze, I've beaten you once before. I'll do it again," Naruto smirked. Gaara cracked a small smile. He remembered the fight well. He had been walking down the school hallway when someone crashed into him from behind. Gaara had turned around and thrown the person into the lockers. He strode away, knowing that whoever it had been would regret that they had crashed into him. He did not expect his shoulder to be grabbed and a punch to be thrown. He was sent backwards, his jaw smarting from the blow he had received.
He regained his balance and looked at his attacker. A blonde teen with deep blue eyes and weird markings on his face glared at him. Gaara had felt his blood boil and the two engaged in an intense, destructive fight. For a while, Gaara had the upper hand, his other self coming out and doing quite a bit of damage to the blonde. But then, as he held Naruto by the shoulders, preparing to shove him into the lockers, Naruto had leaned forward and head-butted him. He had been knocked out and Naruto had won.
The redhead smiled mentally at the memory. They had become great friends when they had had to serve fifteen hours of community service in order to make up for the fight. Gaara, being Gaara, had finished first since most of the people in Konoha wanted nothing to do with him but he stayed with Naruto until he finished his community service. The two had become fast friends. Haku had joined them a year afterwards when he had declared he was bored simply talking to normal people. Hinata, who had been crushing on Naruto for years, had finally gone steady with the blonde and had joined them a few months ago.
The redhead winced as a bolt of pain shot through his body. The other three noticed the small movement and narrowed their eyes as they gazed at the redhead. Gaara felt a flush rise to his face as he looked at all of them. He mentally told the flush to go back where it came from and it backed off. He dipped his head but his stance dared them to say something. Hinata spoke up timidly.
"Gaara-sama? It happened……didn't……didn't it?" Hinata stuttered. Gaara lifted his head and looked at the timid girl. Hinata met his gaze squarely despite the stuttering in her voice. Surprisingly, it was Gaara who backed down from the firm stare of the Hyuuga.
"Gaara, medication. Get it. Now." Naruto glared at the redhead. Gaara felt another twinge of pain course through his body. Haku sighed and pointed at the restaurant door.
"How long has this been going on?" Haku asked. Gaara looked away and didn't answer. "When we came in?" There was no answer. "When you met us?" The redhead was silent. "Since before you met us?" Although Gaara was facing away from Haku, the feminine boy could tell that Gaara was blushing. "Go home!"
"But…" Gaara began.
"Look at you; you've started trembling all over. Kaze, I'm exactly the same." Naruto pointed towards the door. "Medication, Gaara. Take care of your health for once!"
Seeing that there was no opportunity whatsoever to argue, Gaara got up and walked towards the door. His steps were shaky and he knew that his friends would call him on that afterwards. He made it to the door and walked into the damp world outside. The rain had slowed but a steady trickle still fell from the sky. Gaara felt the cold right to his very bones. The air felt frigid as it flowed into his lungs.
Gaara walked quickly, hoping that he would make it home before his pain doubled, or worse, he collapsed. He managed to get into his house and halfway up the stairs before he was confronted by his elder brother. He held his cellphone out to him and shook it in Gaara's face. The redhead pushed Kankuro's hand away.
"Naruto just called me and asked if you had gotten home safely. When I asked why, he said it was because you never got your FUCKING MEDICATION!" Gaara flinched as the volume of his brother's voice rose. He dipped his head in a way that Kankuro supposed was meant to be sorrowful. He grabbed his younger brother by the arm and pulled him towards the kitchen. Gaara tried to wrench his arm free unsuccessfully.
"You're too rough! Temari wasn't here this morning! That's why I didn't-" Gaara started to protest.
"No excuses! You should have taken it yourself!"
"You banned me from taking it myself!" Gaara shouted. Kankuro paused for a moment.
"True, very true. But that doesn't matter now. Stand still," Kankuro positioned his brother and then took up a syringe that was lying on the kitchen counter. He made sure the right dosage was in and then turned to his brother and pulled down the collar of his shirt.
"Fuck! Why the hell do you have to be so rough?!"
"Sorry, sorry! I'll try to be gentler next time!"
Gaara pulled his shirt back into place while glaring at his brother. Kankuro took no notice of the look that was being sent his way. He was immune to the Gaara glare. After living with it for so long, it no longer had any effect on him. Gaara rubbed his neck where Kankuro had jabbed the needle inside of him. His sister Temari was much gentler but because she left early for work and Gaara was forbidden to take medication on his own, the job fell to Kankuro.
"Why can't I do it myself?" Gaara grumbled. "I'm seventeen. Aren't I old enough to do it myself?"
"Remember what happened last time? You overdosed because your other half made you try to kill yourself. So you are no longer allowed to give yourself med. Stop sulking," Kankuro smiled at his younger sibling. The redhead ignored him and stomped up the stairs to his room. Kankuro watched sadly as Gaara left the room. His brother was so young; too young to deserve the fate that was set out for him. Kankuro hoped, with all his being, that the prediction he made when Gaara had first gotten sick was incorrect. But then again, Kankuro was almost always wrong.
So the first player has been moved. Gaara Kaze has now been entered in my game. As I said before, I enjoy a little fun now and then. Gaara is the perfect player. Now how can I mess up his life? The main problem has been given and now we need others. Will you join my little game? You need not play, you can simply observe. It will be very interesting. Or at least, I will make it very interesting.
Gaara slammed his bedroom door and turned to flop on his bed. The bed with its black linens and purple comforter was Gaara's favourite piece of furniture. He lay back against the pillows and closed his eyes as he waited for the medication to take effect. He felt a soothing coolness relieve the burning he felt on his neck and the rest of his body. Gaara looked towards the skylight that was built into his room.
The sky was beginning to show signs of a storm ahead. Even better. Storms were Gaara's favourite kind of weather. He found lightning fascinating and knew the colours and most of the shapes. The redhead sighed as he thought about his illness. The only times he would ever show emotion was when he was alone in his room. Even those who he was extremely close to did not receive all that much expression. Only rarely did Gaara ever truly show what he was feeling.
The only things that saw emotion constantly from the redhead were the objects in his room. And now, Gaara allowed his room to see the pain that flitted across his face as the soothing cold turned into a burning frigidness that froze everything inside of him. It felt like tiny needles were poking their way into him. He twitched as the ache moved across his body. Within minutes he was cold all over.
The redhead shivered and pulled a soft black blanket around his slender shoulders. Normally, Gaara would be sticking it out wherever he was, allowing nothing to betray him. But here, in his room, he would permit himself to show weakness. As long as nobody randomly walked in the door, he would be fine. Gaara's shivering was now starting to shake the bed very slightly. He wrapped the blanket around him tighter and gazed at the darkening sky.
A flash of bright light seared through the western horizon and lit up the sky. A few seconds after that, a resounding crash split the sky and a torrent of rain poured down. Gaara watched the storm with a fascinated but slightly bored expression. He made a mental note of the colours that the lightning bore. Green, white, white, yellow, red, white, yellow. There were so many different colours. A new list formed in his head of shapes. Jagged, straight, curved, curved, straight, curved, jagged.
So many different forms. Gaara put a hand unconsciously to the mark on his neck. It was normal temperature now. The redhead took his hand away and brought it back under the blanket to keep warm. Within two minutes, he heard his father's car in the driveway. Gaara closed his eyes and prayed that tonight would be the night for his father to actually take notice and acknowledge him. Even though Gaara did this every night, his father continued to act as if he did not exist and this hurt the redhead more than any form of abuse could.
Gaara released the blankets from his grasp and let them fall back to the bed. He got up and composed himself, shutting in every single bit of emotion he might feel the need to express. He walked downstairs, not bothering to hurry because his father moved just as slowly as he did and sometimes even more so. Gaara went into the hallway at the same moment that his father opened the door.
The spiky hair of his father was reproduced on both Kankuro and Gaara. Kankuro's hair was the exact replica of his father's while Gaara only retained the spikiness. Temari (when she let her hair down) took after their mother which explained why she and Kankuro were the favourites among their father. Gaara had neither the eye colour nor the hair colour of anyone in their family.
His father was standing in the hall, Kankuro and leaning against the doorframe of the living room archway. Gaara was only ever shy around his father who he felt he barely knew.
"How are you my son?" He murmured to Kankuro.
"I'm fine, Dad," Kankuro replied with a smile.
"That's good. Where's Temari?"
"She's not home yet. The weather must be holding up traffic or something."
Their father nodded and walked right past Gaara into the kitchen, giving no sign that he knew his son was there or even existed. The redhead, although knowing that his father would not acknowledge him, deep in some small corner of his heart, he hoped that his father would say something to him. But as his father walked through the kitchen door and sat down at the table, that small hope was crushed as it had been so many other nights.
Gaara raised his head to look at his brother who stared at him with an expression of sorrow. Gaara turned away and followed their father into the kitchen. The redhead went to the kitchen counter and picked up three plates of spaghetti and placed them on the round kitchen table. He silently thanked Kankuro for the ability to cook food well. Gaara sat beside Kankuro, who had strategically planned the seating so Gaara would be opposite their father.
This had no effect whatsoever. The head Kaze simply turned his head to the side and spoke to Kankuro, never once looking up directly at Gaara. The redhead was used to this sort of treatment from his father and it felt no different from any other night. Gaara sighed almost inaudibly and stood up from the table, picking up his plate and dumping it in the sink before he left for his room. He could feel Kankuro's sympathetic gaze on his back but Gaara didn't want his brother's pity.
Gaara quietly climbed the stairs and walked back into his room, closing his door softly and standing at the window. A bolt of lightning split the sky and a large crack of thunder followed a few minutes later. Gaara sighed as he turned away from the window. He pulled out his notebook and opened it to a fresh page. It was times like these that the redhead was grateful for something to hold onto, even if it was a spiral notebook. He pulled his favourite pen from his messenger bag and sat down on the sofa that was placed in his room.
A storm can destroy cities. A hurricane can destroy countries and humanity can destroy the world.
Gaara lifted the pen from the creamy white page, wondering what else he could add to the statement he had just written. His thoughts were interrupted by the sound of a car screeching into the driveway of their house. Temari's home. Gaara put his pen down. He listened as the door opened and Temari entered, making as much noise as the garbage disposal did. And she brought her noise with her. Great.
"Traffic is absolutely terrible! Honestly, I could have ordered pizza and gone to a movie and still be sitting in traffic!" Temari's voice came through the cracks of the door. Gaara smiled slightly. The vivacious blonde always made her opinions and thoughts known no matter who was or wasn't listening.
"I'm glad you made it home safely, Temari." Their father's voice joined his sister's. Gaara felt a slight stab of pain as their father lavished his attention on his sister.
"Temari, can't you be quieter? Do you have to come through the house like a fucking bulldozer?" Kankuro joined the conversation.
"Listen, it's not my fault that you have sensitive ears. Go put earplugs in then!"
"Earplugs wouldn't be of any use whatsoever! You're loud enough to break all sound barriers!"
Gaara felt another jolt of pain near his heart as he listened to his family banter playfully downstairs. He was the outcast, the misfit, the black sheep in a flock of white. Gaara picked up his pen once more and bit his lip to keep his emotions from pouring out. There was silence as his family stopped talking.
Family, despite all the faults, is the only true constant in one's life.
Gaara closed his notebook and threw it on his bed. There was a creak from the floorboards outside in the hallways and Gaara lifted his head slightly. He heard a knock at the door and turned to see Temari walking in.
"Hey little bro. How are you?" Temari asked gently. Gaara looked at her.
"No better and no worse than usual," Gaara responded tonelessly. The blonde sighed and sat down on Gaara's bed. The redhead twitched as his comforter was messed.
"Still didn't talk to you tonight?"
"Temari, for the last seventeen years he has never once spoken to me or acknowledged my presence. I applaud him actually. I have no idea how he does it. Personally, I couldn't ignore anyone for a full seventeen years," Gaara finished his little rant and glared at the floor. He tensed as he felt Temari awkwardly place her hand on the small of his back.
"I don't know how to make him pay attention to you, Gaara," Temari whispered softly.
"It doesn't matter. He won't anyway," Gaara sighed.
"No one should have to live through that," she protested.
"I have to live through it. I'm surviving. It's not like everybody else loves me. I'm used to it," Gaara whispered. He moved his sister's hand from his back and stood up. "I've got tons of homework, Temari."
The blonde recognized it as a dismissal and turned to leave. Gaara exhaled softly as she closed the door behind her. As much as Gaara appreciated her help, he wanted his father to take notice of him on his own terms. Not by force. The redhead straightened his bedcovers and looked heavenward. Mom, if you're up there listening to me like those cheesy movies say, then what is Dad's reason for not talking to me? If you had lived maybe things would have been different. Gaara finished his internal speech with his mother and sighed. It was starting to get late and if Gaara wanted to get at least a few minutes of sleep that night, he would have to go to bed soon.
Gaara was an insomniac and it took him at least two hours to find a comfortable position and another two in order to relax enough to actually fall asleep. By that time, he had merely a few minutes of night left. But it didn't matter. Gaara functioned well enough on the little amount of sleep that he got. The redhead pulled on an oversized t-shirt that read "Insomniac" on it in large white letters and changed into boxers. He slid into bed and pulled the blankets over his head. It would take a while for him to go to sleep but it didn't matter. It gave him time to think and thinking was what Gaara did best of all.
Aww, poor little Gaara. Making people's lives miserable is what I do. They say Fate is cruel. They were right. After all, it isn't exactly a nice thing when his father completely ignores him. That is, of course, my doing. I am the cat, he is the mouse. I will lift my paw from his tail for now. I will let him roam around. But when this game truly starts……..then we shall see.
OMG why do I always write such BORING starting chapters? It's pathetic. I just can never think of ways to make the beginning more interesting. Maybe it is interesting but because I wrote it I can't tell. Only my reviewers can do that. Please click that little review button. You know you want to. It would make me so happy.