AN: Part of the Defining Moments Series I am working on. So far I have an outline of all the stories, but have managed to write 2 of eight. They can be read individually. It is unbeta'd so feel free to drop me a line telling me to fix things.
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto or anything remotely related to it.
Gaara hated the rain. He hated the rain more than not being able to know what everyone called emotions, but less than he hated himself. He hated the way the rain seeped into any crevice and chilled all it touched. He hated the way it made his sand stick together as it ran through it. He hated the fact that he couldn't out run it or use his sand to protect himself like he did with everything else. Rain was not something he was used to and he hated its foreign smell and taste. However, what he hated the most was how it always caught him unprepared.
Gaara ran from the rain, trying to stay dry, but it appeared as if the fates were against him because just as he turned the corner the heavens opened up and let out a torrent of rain. Gaara cursed the heavens for their treachery and cursed himself for ditching the incompetent body guards that had been assigned to him. He should have listened to Temari when she offered to go instead, but as Kazekage he thought this was a job best suited for him. He made a mental note to let Temari become the official ambassadress, she could handle the rain.
Gaara realized his mistake too late, he should have been paying attention to the street and not thinking about the dreaded water, if he had been paying attention he wouldn't have been ankle deep in a puddle of water. He also wouldn't have stumbled, fallen on his side, and his gourd wouldn't have fallen off and hit the door causing quite the ruckus. He really hated the rain.
Hinata loved the rain. She loved the rain more than the sun which burned her pale skin, but less than the snow that chilled her to the bone. The rain is a perfect combination of sun and snow, and she loved it for its ambiguity. She loved the way it covered everything with out discrimination. She loved the way it fastened even the most elusive material together, but most of all she loved the way it washed away everything. Impurities, pain, sorrow, every negative feeling was washed away by the cleansing water brought forth by the rain.
It was because of her love of rain and the negative emotions that haunted her that she was often found outside during most rainstorms. She usually rushed out during the climax of the storm and let the water beat down on her cleansing away all her insecurities for a moment. She got into the habit of letting the rain wash away her fears and aches when Naruto first left for training nine months ago. That was the reason why she heard the clattering noise outside the compound.
Hinata activated her byakugan and noticed the unusual chakra pattern that flowed through the individual. She had only seen that type of oddity twice before, within Naruto and Garra of the sand. She rushed outside to help whom she assumed must have been the newest Kazekage of the Sand Village. It really wasn't safe for him to be out side in this type of weather especially unprotected. She opened the gate and was met with a soaked Gaara, who was trying to manipulate his sand into its gourd.
"Uhm, Kazekage-sama do you need some help?" Hinata asked as she bend down to help him scoop sand back into his gourd.
"Hmn." Was Gaara's cryptic reply as he finished placing the sand into his gourd. Hinata wasn't sure what that meant so she thought to be polite and help him. She activated her byakugan and looked around, she was too busy looking for his chakra infused sand that she missed him tense at the activation of her bloodline.
"There is some sand inside the puddle Kazekage-sama," Hinata said pointing in the general direction of the sand. Gaara didn't make any noise just began to concentrate on the sand and retrieving it from the water. It was a bit more difficult than he was used to, but he finally manage to place all his specialized sand inside its container. Hinata looked Gaara over and suppressed the urge to giggle.
Gaara looked down right adorable, miserable, but adorable. His messy red hair was plastered to his head, his clothes stuck to him, his face was a cross between a pout and a scowl, and as she stood up to look down at him he reminded her of a child. Logically she knew that he was no child and if she angered him she wouldn't even live long to apologize, but right now the rain was pouring and she felt bold. She extended her hand to him and hoped he understood. He didn't.
"Would you like to come inside Kazekage-sama? If you were to catch a cold Tsunade-sama would be most disappointed in me," Hinata said as she extended her hand farther to him. She was actually quite proud of herself for not stuttering so far, sure her voice lacked any strength behind it, but at least she had gotten some control over her stuttering. Gaara gave her a questioning glance and took her proffered hand. Hinata tried to keep the blood from rushing to her face, but her cheeks still managed to turn red.
Hinata and Gaara rushed to the Hyuuga compound and Gaara felt much better once he was out of the rain. Hinata dropped his hand and led him to the living area and gestured for him to sit before leaving. Gaara felt awkward standing in the middle of the living area and went to stand next to the hearth to absorb some heat. He didn't want to sit down and ruin the Hyuuga's furniture so he would just stand until she came back from where ever it was she had gone. He cursed himself once again for not letting Temari go to the Hokage's meeting, he should have gone home while he still had the chance. He was shaken from his musings when he heard Hinata enter the room, wearing different clothes and carrying a bundle.
"I brought you a towel so you could dry your hair Kazekage-sama and a change of clothes in case you wanted to get out of your wet robes," Hinata said as she handed the bundle of clothes to Gaara. He stood there in shock as Hinata held the bundle out. She was looking at the floor and he could swear she was red once again. He took the clothes and she looked up giving him a shaky smile. They stood there in awkward silence until Gaara spoke for the first time.
"Where should I change?" Hinata's eyes widened and she turned red once again. She bowed low and began to fidget as she apologized.
"I apologize greatly Kazekage-sama. It was very thoughtless of me to neglect to give you some privacy so you could change. Please follow me and I shall take you to the bathing area." Hinata felt very foolish as she guided Gaara to a bathroom where he could change. She took his wet clothes as he changed and put them to dry while she went to make tea. When Gaara exited the bathroom he was wearing navy blue robes a size too big, the attendant that had been waiting for him pinned them in certain places and asked Gaara to follow him back to the living area.
"Did my father's robe fit you well enough Kazekage-sama?" Hinata asked as she poured them some tea. Gaara nodded and finally sat down. They drank their tea in silence waiting to hear the end of the rainstorm.
"Thank you," Gaara said as he finished his tea, he focused his stare out the window and missed Hinata's puzzled look.
"It really was no problem Kazekage-sama. It would not do for such an important man as you to get a cold. Plus I would do anything to help a friend of Naruto-kun." Hinata said as she placed their cups on tray. Gaara saw the trembling in her hands as she said Naruto's name and briefly thought of is only friend.
"Gaara," Gaara said as he turned to look at her. Her head was tilted to the side and he could read the confusion written on her face. "You keep calling me Kazekage-sama, it takes to long to say." Hinata gave him a small smile and nodded.
"I would be honored Gaara-san." Hinata bowed once again and Gaara made some sort of throaty noise. "The rain storm seems to be dissipating." Hinata commented as she saw the torrential rain die out. Gaara opened his mouth to say something when a servant walked in.
"I'm sorry to interrupt Hinata-sama, but Kazekage-sama's clothes are dry." The servant placed the clothes on the table, bowed, and let. Gaara grabbed them and looked at Hinata expectantly. Hinata didn't falter this time and took him back to the room where he had first changed. This time she waited for him to finish outside the door.
"The rain has stopped completely Gaara-san, would you like me to escort you back to your place?" Hinata asked leaving her father's clothes in a basket behind the door. Gaara thought about it for a moment before nodding. Hinata smiled and led him out of the house and to the Ambassador's tower. "I had a nice time with you today Gaara-san. I usually spend rainy days alone." Hinata said blushing lightly. Gaara gave her a ghost of a smile and Hinata's grin widened. Their nice moment however was ruined when three shinobi rushed towards them, looking at Hinata suspiciously.
"Kazekage-sama are you alright? Where you attacked?" One of the three asked as he checked Gaara over.
"I am fine, Hinata-san has been keeping me company." Gaara replied.
"You really shouldn't scare your body guards like this Gaara. I understand that you aren't used to having an entourage follow you, but it is for your safety," Temari chastised.
"They wouldn't be able to do anything I can't already do for myself," Gaara responded.
"Don't worry Gaara, Temari is just upset that she didn't get to see that Nara guy," Kankuro teased.
"Listen here make-up boy…"
"It's not make up!" The incoming argument was cut short by a giggle from Hinata.
"You have amusing siblings Gaara-san." Gaara looked at Hinata and placed his hand on her head, ruffling her shoulder length locks. Hinata blushed for the umpteenth time that day and smiled at him warmly.
"I hope to see you again Hinata-san." Gaara then by passed his stunned siblings and bodyguards.
"I hope to see you again also Gaara-san." Hinata called out as Gaara disappeared behind the doors to the tower. Hinata looked over at the sand siblings and gave them a shaky smile.
"I am sorry if I caused any problems." Hinata bowed low and left when no one seemed capable of responding.
"Did Gaara just?"
"When did he?"
"I have no clue makeup boy."
"It's not makeup!"
After that day when ever Konoha needed someone from the Sand Village Gaara was more than happy to offer his services. Temari still became the ambassadress, but the Kazekage was known to show up more often than was necessary and he always seemed to end up in the Hyuuga compound. Not many where sure when that strange friendship came to be, but the outcome was a pleasant surprise. Having a friend, someone he could talk to with out pressure or expectations let Gaara understand the reasons behind certain actions. Overall having a friend let Gaara enjoy the rain storms.