Author's Note: Ah, So… I'd like to begin by saying sorry to my past readers on the atrocious timing of this story. I am deeply sorry for how long it took, and I could sit here for hours listing every excuse I could think of... But that would waste both your time and mine. So instead, I grace you with a lovely new story, stripped right from my very own imagination.

I'd like to thank my reviewers from Black Wolf/Golden Fox, not only for taking the time to review, but for being patient in wait for this one;

LOVETTE, skyglazingMaro, Rubi Inuzuka, loveless punk neko, FumetsuKaji, Ilamay, turquoise-kitsune, Strangers Have The Best Candeh, Saiyoru-chan, eye-of-demon-kitsune34, SasuXNaruto-Club, YaoiEmoGirl, Cutefox, luvsillyllama, Black-Dranzer-1119, ElvinDragon, Totus Aeternus Torqueo.

-Thank your for your kindness, reviews, and encouragement,

(I'm sorry I could not please you all with making this strictly a SasuXNaru or GaaxNaru, but I combined both in the hopes of a decent fic to please both audiences.)

I'm sorry again for discontinuing it.

(As you may have noticed by now, I apologize a lot. Sorry.)

I'd also like to say a special thanks to The Jade Knight for kindly being my beta for this story.

Disclaimer: The usual… "I don't own this, what's-his-face does. Bwahaha…"

You know, all that fan girl goodness…

Full Summary: A love triangle of epic proportions.

Gaara and Naruto have been best friends since they can remember, but sadly, Gaara's been in love with her for just as long. He's been keeping the guy's at bay, but when the new kid Sasuke decides to claim poor Naruto for his own; will Gaara lose his best friend? And with a budding romance with Hinata, who's to say he won't lose to love? How many hearts will be broken in the process of this love story?

Lets find out…

Chapter 1: And so it begins.

- - - - - - - - - - -

A boy sat at the top of his high school's steps; headphones on and blaring. He was dressed in a black hoodie over a dark t shirt, black leather gloves, black skinny jeans with chains, and converse. His dark teal eyes -- set under an Ai tattoo on his forehead -- probed the grounds, watching. The breeze ruffled his spiky blood red hair. Gaara was waiting for his friend to arrive. People walked past him, not really noticing him. He's something of an outcast here you see; with his dark attire, attitude, and bad-ass reputation. No one comes around him much anymore. They stopped trying long ago -- well, except a few.

Speaking of which...

"Um, Sabaku san?" He looked up to see a young raven haired girl standing in front of him. He pulled his headphones off his ears, and sighed inwardly. It was the Hyuuga girl who had a crush on him. Not that there was anything wrong with her. She never really even talked to him. He looked her over; light purple halter, and black capri's, and black flats. He supposed she was cute, and with her short black-blue hair, and lavender eyes; she stood out from a crowd. She was just so… quiet. He looked up at her.

"Yes Hinata?"

She blushed. "I ... I was wondering if you've seen Naruto chan yet today." He regarded her expression for a moment. She seemed a bit hopeful.

"Not yet. She'll be here soon though." Hinata's face fell slightly. Gaara assumed she needed to talk to Naruto about something important.

"Um, thank you..." She turned away, and headed for the school entrance. Gaara followed her with his eyes.


She stopped. "Yes?" she asked turning slowly to face him.

He gave her a small smile. "Please just call me Gaara like Naruto does," he said quietly, "there's no need for all the formality." Hinata blushed deeply.

"Alright, thank you Gaara san." She turned quickly and fled into the school, not looking back. He sighed. She obviously wouldn't drop the 'san' anytime soon. Gaara turned back to watching the front of the school yard, wondering if he had just made a mistake encouraging Hinata like that. Would she assume he liked her now? He didn't need a problem such as that at the moment. It was bad enough he was in love with a girl who was oblivious to every move he made on her. He sighed audibly. He was in love with his best friend. He's been in love with her for as long as he could remember. As long as she was by his side, he had no problem with her dating other guys…

Okay, sure, fine! He freaked out on a few guys for trying to go out with Naruto. He had to kick a few asses now and again, but really ... who's counting? Naruto was oblivious to everything, and just thought it was really odd when guys stopped asking her out altogether. Not to mention the fact that people started avoiding her when she was with Gaara ... and avoiding Gaara in general. But it was high school after all. Teenagers are freaks; it's natural for them to make no sense. So he was safe. It's not like anyone actually tried to tell Naruto what was happening... Gaara made it clear that doing that would have some very painful outcomes…

Anyways... where was Naruto? Gaara glanced around. There weren't many people outside anymore. It must be close to homeroom. He heard quick, light footsteps, and looked to the front gates, in time to see Naruto come running through, headed straight for him. She caught sight of him on the steps, and waved.

"Morning Gaara!" she yelled. His eyes warmed at the sight of her. He raised a hand in a wave, and stood. He watched as Naruto approached him. His eyes widened though, when he realized she had no intent of stopping. As she reached the bottom of the steps -- she jumped, launching herself at him, arms outstretched as if to hug him. He had enough time to brace himself -- a bit -- but it wasn't enough. She hit him and he stumbled back, falling onto the cement. As his arms were busy keeping her from hurting herself when they fell, he took the full force of the impact.

They were still for a moment, and then Naruto moaned. "Shit ..." Gaara tried to move and groaned.

"Ugh ... fuck ... Naruto you idiot ..." Naruto opened her eyes, concern and pain laced in her expression.

"Oh! I'm so sorry Gaara! I didn't ... think it through." She looked away. She tried to getting off him, to no avail. "Uh, Gaara you can let go now.." He looked up at her, realizing his arms were still locked tight around her.

"Oh ... sorry." He let go, and she stood up.

"Ow, remind me not to do that again." She said, brushing the dirt off herself carefully.

He rolled his eyes. "No problem." He stood gracefully, wincing slightly at the pain in his back. He stretched himself out, back cracking loudly. Naruto winced.

"Ew. Sounds painful." He raised a non-existent eyebrow, as if to say 'excuse me?'. She raised her hands defensively.

"I get it, I get it ... my bad" She sighed, and bent down to gather the things that fell out of her bag. He looked her over. Shaggy blond hair to her shoulders. Black leather jacket that came mid torso, covering a tight black t shirt with a pink skull on it. A black skirt with black leggings, and pink converse. Her beautiful blue eyes were outlined with a thick black line of eyeliner. He took in her beauty for a long moment, and then as she stood, he smirked.

"No orange? What's wrong with you today Naruto?" He asked, his voice full of mock worry. She shook her blond bangs out of her eyes, and winked.

"Oh ... there's orange alright."

Gaara chuckled, shaking his head to rid himself of images of lacey things. "Didn't need to know that."

She stuck out her tongue. "You love it." She said, and grabbed his hand. "Come on! We're gonna be late you slowpoke!" He sighed, letting himself be dragged along.

"You do realize you are the reason we're late almost every day?"

She made a face at that comment. "You do realize you could come pick me up for school sometimes ... Or you could just head to class yourself," she said in a know-it-all voice.

Gaara smiled slightly and shook his head. "I wait for you to make sure you get to class on time ... or at least close to the right time. And as for option one." he lowered his voice, in case anyone was in earshot. "Your sister scares me; I'd rather not go there too often." Naruto laughed at that one.

"Kyuu chan isn't that scary. Besides, I wanted you to come over after school. She said to tell you she misses seeing you in the mornings." At this comment, Gaara actually looked worried for a moment. Naruto gave him a pitying glance. "I swear, she's not gonna try anything this time, she got herself a new boyfriend." A look of relief washed over Gaara's face. His face quickly emptied of emotion a moment later when they entered the classroom. No need to ruin his reputation.

Naruto watched his face change, and screwed up her own face in distaste. "You know, I wish you wouldn't cover yourself up like that Gaara.." She muttered, quietly so only he would hear. Suddenly they were interrupted.

"Naruto chan! I was looking for you!" They looked up to see Hinata making her way over to them.

Naruto smiled, "Good morning Hinata!" she said cheerfully. Gaara slipped his hand away from hers as the girls embraced. He made his way to the back of the classroom, weaving though students. He felt no need to intrude on their conversation. Hinata seemed disappointed that he left so soon though, and a few moments later -- after they were finished talking -- she came and joined them. She usually sat at the front with Kiba, Shino, and that annoying blond ... what was her name? Ino? Bah ... whatever.

"Gaara san ... would you ...?" She caught his expression. "How are you? Hinata asked quietly, looking away.

"I'm fine.. How are you?"

She blushed. "Fine." Naruto watched them, nudging Hinata when she responded. Gaara raised a invisible eyebrow. Naruto sighed, irritated at something, and leaned over to whisper in Hinata's ear.

"Hinata ... just ask him!" Hinata blushed very deeply at that. She looked at anything but Gaara. Gaara sighed. This is what he though would happen, as soon as she slipped up in her greeting. He stood, and held a hand out to Hinata. She looked up at him confused.

"Could I talk to you in a more private place please, Hinata?" She blushed and looked towards the front of the classroom. The teacher wasn't here yet. Naruto smiled, knowing what she was thinking.

"I'll cover you guys if he comes, okay?" Gaara nodded, and pulled Hinata gently out of the classroom, getting odd looks from various students. He pulled her down the hallways, and into a deserted corridor. He then stopped and turned to her.

She blushed and looked away. After a moment of silence, she spoke. "Y-you wanted to say something, Gaara san?"

He gave her a kind look. "It's you that wanted to say something Hinata. What was it?"

She blushed and looked away. "I-it's nothing ..." She tried to turn away, but he caught her hand turning her back to him and pulling her closer. He turned her to face him. He met her eyes for a moment, then he turned away and sighed deeply.

"Hinata ... there's something you need to know." Her breath caught in her throat, and he winced slightly. "You see, I know you like me, but I can't return your feelings." She looked utterly crushed at that.

He sighed. "I know this is a bad time, but could I confess something to you?"

She was quiet for a moment, then looked up at him slowly. "Wh- what is it?"

"I -" He stopped for a moment, not sure how to say it. "It's not that I don't like you. You're a sweet, kind girl. I hold a lot of respect for you. I'm just ... in love with someone else."

Hinata smiled sadly. "I thought so.. It's Naruto chan isn't it?" He froze for a moment. She laughed. "Don't worry about it, I just had a feeling. She doesn't have a clue."

Gaara breathed a sigh of relief. "I kinda wish she knew though."

Hinata frowned. "Why haven't you told her?"

Gaara sweat dropped and looked away. He fidgeted, and dropped his voice to a whisper. "I ... don't wanna ruin our friendship."

Hinata smiled sweetly. "Awe... Poor Gaara kun." Gaara smiled faintly at the change of honorific. Hinata watched him for a moment. He looked up to see her staring at him thoughtfully.


Hinata gave him a small smile. "I-I could ... find out if she likes you."

Gaara blushed. He flailed his arms defensively in front of his face. "No, don't worry about it Hinata! I'm fine. I'll just ... tell her myself ... just, not today." He mumbled the last part, turning away from her. She laughed lightly. He turned back, slightly entranced at the sound. She leaned forward quickly and kissed Gaara on the cheek.

"You are so cute Gaara kun. You better be careful with Naruto though ... She won't stay single forever." She said blushing. "But we must get back to class. Kakashi sensei will be arriving shortly." And with that she turned and walked back down the hall towards the class, leaving Gaara standing alone.

He stood in quiet contemplation. A light blush grazed his cheeks, a hand raised to his face where she kissed him. He shook his head. Hinata had a point. He needed to let Naruto know, and quickly before she's snatched up by another guy. He frowned. Yes ... that would be very bad. He then turned and followed Hinata's trail back to class, her words echoing in his head over and over.

"You'd better be careful... She won't stay single forever..."