*This is an idea I've had running through my brain for a while. It came to me in a dream. Okay, so it's 2:38…I have school tomorrow…or should I say today, and I'm totally brain-dead, so expect the unexpected with this oneshot. I assume you guys already know how very much crack I'm on, but just in case…I'm on crack. Okay, okay, it's only remiron, and it's not NEARLY as bad as my crazed, ambiened-out ravings from over the summer. Also, it's a bit of an AU, as some of the events are tweaked just a bit, but aside from that it's virtually a different take on canon. I'm attempting to throw NaruGaa on its head, so I hope it goes well. Enjoy. Oh and p.s. Darkness metaphors ftw…oh…and also, I mention God, angels, and Hell, but those views are figurative at best. They are a metaphor…wrapped in an allegory…or something. Whatever, the point is, sorry if I offend you and your church/temple/place of worship.

Warning: Confusing prose ahead, slow down at curves (lolz…it's like driver's ed). Also, spoilers up until 32ish of Shippuuden. That's…I have no idea what the manga equivalent is (I should know since I read the manga online). Okay, up until we meet Sai, okay. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, that means that you only watch the American dub, so you probably shouldn't read this yet (give it about another 6 months). There is yaoi. Major NaruGaa with some hints of LeeNeji.

Disclaimer: I don't own anything I happen to mention in this fic. Especially Naruto.

Disclaimer #2: If we offend, it is with our goodwill./ That you should think we come not to offend,/ But with goodwill. To show our simple skill,/ That is the true beginning of our end./ Consider, then, we come but in despite./ We do not come, as minding to content you,/ Our true intent is. All for your delight/ We are not here. That you should here repent you,/ The actors are at hand, and by their show,/ You shall know all that you are like to know. – A Midsummer Night's Dream (5.1…this is my generic oneshot disclaimer)

O Rose, thou art sick!

The invisible worm

That flies in the night,

In the howling storm,

Has found out thy bed

Of crimson joy:

And his dark secret love

Does thy life destroy.

-The Sick rose by William Blake

People make the strangest assumptions. In fact, assumptions have followed my redheaded lover and I for the entirety of our lives. The minute we were born, the people in our respective villages assumed that we were monsters. This label was branded on the poor little Gaara as he grew, and as he became what humanity thought of him, inhuman. I, however, was rarely called a monster directly as he had been. Instead, my label was one of a failure. Of a boy who would never amount to anything. Sometimes I wonder what those dissenters would say when they realize the many times that he and I have put our lives at risk for the sake of the villages that we all love so dearly. It doesn't matter. Those people will always find a way to ridicule and jeer, and I have accepted it. The small redhead curled up in my arms, however, is a different story. Every glance, every sneer, every whispered word of hatred, he feels them. They crack his soul. They dig at his body. They break him slowly. Sure, the oppressors may not realize the true damage that they have inflicted on this poor undeserving soul, but I can see it. No mask that Gaara can create for himself, no persona, no false reality can hide his true inner self from my eyes.

Yet, the strangest assumptions of all have nothing to do with the demon that resided in Gaara and the one that still resides in me. To most people who see us, Gaara and I are living foils. We are polar opposites. To them, I drive the darkness away from Gaara. I am his angel, a pure figure that none can taint. How very wrong they are. Though, it is true to some extent. I did save Gaara from the darkness; we are polar opposites, and one of us is most certainly an angel, but, let me tell you, that angel is not I. The Kazekage himself is the one with the beautiful white wings and golden halo. Gaara is the light to my darkness, not the other way around.

Now some of you may be asking, how is it possible for someone who has murdered as many times as the redhead has to be an angel. Well, those of you who ask this are ignorant of the true intent of the darkness. The darkness, the true cause of all despair, all evil, all anxiety, all insanity, does not simply attach to a person who is already full of the stuff. Darkness does not seek the already tainted bodies of the jaded. Darkness is a connoisseur of taste, and, above all else, it loves the sweet, delectable honey of the pure. It will eat away at the purest, most innocent child that it can find until they are simply coated in the dark. The dark then begins to move and speak for them. It coils around the soft purity so tightly that the true soul of the host can do nothing but curl into itself and cry silently as the evil whispers sickeningly sweet words and sings soft, enticing lullabies until the soul gives up and sleeps, and sleeps.

The darkness began to prey on Gaara since the first day the word "bakemono" was uttered in his presence. It slowly ate away at the poor thing's defenses for six whole years. It wasn't until Yashamaru destroyed everything that the little redhead had, that the darkness was able to sink its fangs into Gaara's tiny vulnerable body, and its poison able to seep slowly and surely into his frail soul. Then, Gaara became disenfranchised from the world of the light for another six years. Sometimes I feel as though his silent tears had transcended time and space. I feel as though for those six years, even if it was only subconsciously, I heard him. I felt for him. Even then, I wanted his release from the evil. I wanted Gaara to be happy, to be mine. Somehow, I think I was waiting for him for a long time, maybe even forever.

Then the chuunin exams came. My love was twelve then, as was I. His soul was resting, crying, it was giving up. The darkness sneered, feeding off of its favorite plaything, its beautiful fallen angel. When I first met the redhead's blue-green eyes, I saw the tears of the angel behind them. I felt something then, something so deep, so strong, so meaningful, that for a moment there, it was as if the world was ending in a cataclysm, right in front of me, and nobody but me could see it. In that moment, I wanted nothing more than to reach out to him. I knew that darkness. It had corrupted me the very day I was born. I was never pure enough for it to completely overtake my soul, like my Gaara, and that is why I survived when Gaara could not. It was not just Iruka that stopped the darkness for me. No, it was my own inherent darkness, just a little, not enough to turn me into a killer, but enough to act like an antibody, protecting me from the true evil in this world.

Even so, when I looked into those sorrowful, tired eyes, I felt a connection so very powerful and profound, that I knew that I had to save him. That was my angel, the angel that had been waiting twelve years or more for me, and it was time that I reclaimed him from that vile, corrupting predator that was the darkness. That chance came when Suna and Oto attacked during Sasuke and Gaara's fight. As Sakura, Pakkun, Shikamaru, and I chased after Sasuke, my little redhead, and his siblings, I did not think that I would end up fighting my love in his demonic form. Still, I knew that that day, something was going to change for the both of us.

When Gaara and I fought, anyone who had been watching would tell you that my only motive for fighting was to save Sakura and Sasuke. They would be wrong. It is true that the main reason for the fight was for my friends' protection, but I had an underlying motive as well. I remember my initial reaction to the horror that was Gaara in his half-transformation. Sure, I know that my redhead is no monster, but that does not mean that I enjoy seeing him like that. No, not at all. In fact, when I saw him for that very first time, I wanted to vomit. My Gaara, my pure little redhead, my angel, my light, had been contorted and morphed by a force that had been controlling him for six years. All carnal instinct, all darkness, a miserable creature he was, and I looked into that miserable creatures eyes, one black and gold, the other white and beryl. Those sad, sad eyes. I saw his soul, and it was crying, reaching out towards me. "Naruto! Naruto! Help me! I need you! Make it go away!" It was not Sakura being pinned to a tree that made me stand and fight; it was those eyes.

Throughout that entire battle, my lovely Gaara was not the one fighting me; it was the darkness. It sneered at me, hissing, "You cannot save him. This one is mine. I will not even let you near him." I lived for this day, for on this day, I would prove that darkness wrong. For once I would save another out of the good of my heart. Gaara saved me that day as well. He saved me because he gave me someone to save. He lit my path by allowing me to light his, and in that moment that we head-butted, neither of us felt that blow. We did not feel the blood as it trickled down our foreheads, as our skulls collided with a crack like the lightening. Instead, in that moment, I entered the realm of his soul. Going on pure instinct alone, I ran towards him and fished him out of the sea of evil that he was drowning in. He gasped for breath, and I watched breathlessly as those beautiful clear eyes opened for the first time in six years. I was in love. Gaara smiled weakly and softly. He could not speak, but he did not have to. He simply rested limply in my arms, eyes closed in exhaustion. I clutched him to my chest, whispering words of love and stroking his hair until the world around us was reborn in white. But then, I was thrown out of his mind as the force of our heads colliding threw us apart. My body was broken, as was his, and I knew that he could not move if his life depended on it. Virtually paralyzed from the neck down, I pulled my way over to him using only my chin. I had to get to him, no matter what.

"I will not cease to exist! I won't! I refuse!! Don't come near me!!!" It may seem as though Gaara himself was bellowing these words of hatred and fear at me, but the last remnants of the darkness were still controlling his every thought, every motion, every word. But that darkness was disappearing, and it knew that were I to touch my angel in the physical world, to caress his soft skin, to finger his fiery crimson hair (as I so wanted to do) the Gaara of light and purity would awaken and re-dominate his body. That was something that the darkness simply could not bear. But then, the worst happened, before I could even touch him--no!--before I was even in arms reach of him, Sasuke, Temari, and Kankuro dropped down from the treetops, and my angel was carried away from me for God knows how long.

The months following the Chuunin exams were rather strange. The citizens of Konoha were rebuilding, and we needed a new Hokage. I was too young to even consider grasping for the title of Godaime Hokage, so that was one less thing on my mind. Itachi came for me, and I recall Ero-Sennin telling me that it was Kyuubi that he and his shark-like companion were after, not me, not Sasuke. As soon as I conceptualized that information, I worried for my own safety a little, but mostly, I worried for my Gaara's. Our demons, the very things that caused us so much suffering in our pasts, may just get us killed in the future. Such is the fate of the Jinchuuriki. They don't just call us human sacrifices for the hell of it you know.

After the Akatsuki incident, I learned a new technique, found Tsunade, the future Godaime, and witnessed possibly one of the greatest battles of its time, a fight between Sannin. Needless to say, it distracted me from my redhead, not much mind you, just a little bit. Then, it seemed like only days after the inauguration of Tsunade that Sasuke left. It was pure, unadulterated hell. I mean really, one day you're sitting around the ramen stand with your team laughing and joking around, and the next your best friend runs off to gain more power from some creepy Voldemort-reject so that he can kill his homicidal older brother. I suppose after twelve years of immersion in the Shinobi World, I should be used to this, but I digress. My heart broke when I saw Sakura crying that day. I wanted to beat the crap out of Sasuke, drag him back to Konoha, and make him bow to Sakura while apologizing until he was blue in the face. Unfortunately, I never got the liberty of doing that. What I did get, however, was the liberty of feeling the sheer anxiety and stress of watching your teammates go down one by one, each one telling you something along the lines of, "Go on, Naruto! I'll hold this guy off!" Now that I think about it the thought of sending four genin and one newly promoted chuunin off to fight Orochimaru's personal guard, all jounin level or higher, was pretty stupid. I suppose Tsunade-baa-chan must have been pretty damn desperate.

I was scared when Choji stayed back. Very scared. Choji was never the strongest or smartest guy in Konoha. He was a tough one; I can tell you that much, but he never seemed like the fighting type to me. He was kind, the type of shinobi you'd want to have on a tough mission to cheer everyone up when things start to get bad. His techniques were meant to be used alongside others. They were complimentary techniques, so when Choji, someone I'd known since my academy days, was sent off alone, naturally I feared for him. Then, Neji went. That one hit close to home. I wanted to cry when we left him. He was…let me put it to you this way. There are five people in this world that I am sure would take a bullet for me: Gaara, of course, Sakura-chan, Iruka-sensei, Tsunade-baa-chan, and Neji. Needless to say, he is very close to me. He was the first to mention, or even notice for that matter, my supposed "Special Power." My power to break through the darkness, or rather, my power to be unaffected by the darkness. It is true that I saved him from the dark as well, but it was different than what happened with Gaara. I did not watch as his world became pure and white again, but that moment when I uppercut him, we connected. His soul cried on my shoulder when I dragged him away from the darkness that threatened to swallow him whole. But our connection was brief, and the rest of his recovery, he did on his own. Well, I suspect that Lee played a bigger part than you'd have thought, but that is a story for a different time.

Certainly though, when Neji told me that I had better eyes than him, it was not Sasuke or Neji himself that I was reminded of: it was that redhead that I hadn't seen in months. All this talk of darkness, of all-seeing eyes, the only thought that ran through my mind was that I had to see him again. And later, after Shikamaru, Kiba and I were separated, after I fought that weird bone guy, after Lee came to my rescue, after Sasuke and I had our final encounter and fight for a whole three years, I would have my chance.

When I awoke in the hospital, I thought of three things. The first was Sasuke, I had been fighting to bring him home after all, but Sasuke was not there when I woke up. I was no longer at the Valley of the End, and Sasuke was long gone. The second was Neji. In fact, my entire team (Lee included) came to mind, though out of all of them, Neji was foremost in my mind. Especially after that weird hallucination of him I had in the cave. You would be thinking of a guy too if you had a vision of him telling you to keep your head clear and to keep going. I had a bad feeling in my stomach, and it was just about to settle there when Shikamaru walked in, explaining that he, Lee, and Kiba would be fine, however, Choji and Neji were in critical condition, and their chances of survival were slim. With that he left, and I felt as if a little part of me had died. The third and final thought was of Gaara. It felt as if he had never left my mind since the day we fought. It was probably true. Alone in that room, I wondered where he was, if he was okay. I thought of that small smile he had as I held him in the dark. I wondered if his eyes would be a little less melancholy the next time I saw him. That would make me happy I thought as I drifted off to sleep again.

When I next awoke, I was sure that I was dreaming. There he was, the object of my affection, my most important person, right in front of me. I was shocked. Gaara was sitting next to me, hands resting neatly in his lap. When he looked into my eyes, I saw a strange new light in his eyes. They were warm, still sad, but warm. He just looked so small, fragile almost, as he sat there staring at me. I could see why the darkness wanted him so badly; he seemed to embody purity. When he was there, the room seemed to glow with an ethereal, heavenly light. Finally, he spoke with that hushed voice of his, "It's…been a long time…Naruto-kun." I couldn't stop myself after that. I grabbed him, pulled him onto the bed next to me, and clutched him to my chest as if the world around us was crumbling. His body was cold, and he smelled of earth. It was strange but, in a way, perfect. I noted that he had taken off his sand armour, as his skin was as soft as a newborn babe's. And the very moment that he curled into my warmth, that he buried his face in the crook of my neck and sighed out, "Arigatou," I knew that he was an angel. And not just any angel, he was my angel.

I fell asleep again, holding him close, like a teddy bear. Nowadays, Gaara tells me that were he able to sleep back then, he would've succumbed as well. He lay with me until late. When a nurse wondered in to check my vitals and whatnot, he hid under the bed until the person left, and we would continue exactly where we left off. Eventually, we realized that we could not remain this way forever. He had to go to his siblings lest they worry about him. I held him close to me one last time as he moved to leave. Faintly, I asked if he would come back tomorrow. Without hesitating, he whispered, "Yes." It was strange: I felt giddy, as though I was a schoolgirl who had just asked her secret crush out on a date and got a positive response. Some date, lying in a hospital bed, avoiding nurses, and barely speaking a word to each other. Once again, I would like to reiterate that whole, "ninjas are weird" concept.

This became routine for two more days, until finally, I was released from the hospital. I went and saw Neji on my way out. He was covered in bandages and did not smile much, but his eyes were kind. We sat together in silence for what felt like hours. And then, out of the blue, he clasped my hands in his bandaged ones, and said, "Naruto, you and Gaara need each other. He may not be in Konoha much longer, and you never know when you'll see him again. Don't let this chance slip away from you." My eyes widened. When did he figure all this out? Finally, I chuckled whispering, "That Byakugan of yours is crazy." Neji just shook his head and smiled.

Not an hour later, Gaara and I were back at my apartment. I was lying on the bed with my head propped up on a couple pillows; he lay in my lap, perfectly content. We said nothing, the very same as in the hospital room, but it was much more intimate here. We didn't have to worry about nurses or friends popping in every so often. Here, we could just be. I watched as those light eyes of his trailed over towards my team picture on the nightstand. His gaze became half-lidded as he looked at the boy scowling on the far left: Uchiha Sasuke. He looked from the picture to me before whispering, "Naruto-kun, I can never replace him for you…" I smiled sadly, pulling the redhead up and holding him close. "You're not a replacement, Gaara," I murmured sincerely. "You're…something else entirely." Gaara looked at me curiously. Smiling gently, he grabbed my hand and placed it lovingly on his cheek. I felt something inside me burst releasing wave after wave of joy. After all, this was the first time Gaara had initiated contact between us.

The very next day, we were at Ichiraku's. Gaara was not eating, though every once in a while, I would force him to take a bite from my chopsticks (he doesn't eat enough you know). Still, he didn't seem to mind. He sighed looking down to the ground solemnly. "I'm leaving tomorrow, Naruto-kun." My eyes widened. Already? The days with him had gone by so fast. "You're training with Jiraiya soon anyway. You'll be busy." I shook my head. "That doesn't mean I won't miss you," I exclaimed. He smiled. "This isn't goodbye, Naruto-kun…this is 'see you later.' Who knows? We might even meet during your travels." I held his hand, gently stroking the soft skin. We spent the rest of the day together, until he once again had to return to his siblings.

The day he left, we met in an alley. I had remembered Neji's words from before, and asked the redhead to meet me here. As soon as he dropped down from the nearby building (it seemed more as if he had descended from the heavens to me), I took him into my arms. As per usual, we said nothing. Finally, after what seemed like years and years of waiting (it may as well have been), I cupped his cheek. Our eyes met. His pure innocent gaze met my jaded longing one. After eternity came and went, my lips touched his. I craved more contact, pulling him towards me and deepening the kiss. It was beautiful. Once again, I understood the darkness' motivation; those lips were sweeter than any nectar that nature could manufacture, and I, like the buzzing bee, descended upon that flower, longing to suck it dry. As he melted into the kiss, I felt a deep weight settle in the pit of my stomach, threatening to pull me under. It was guilt. I had tempted and defiled an angel, the purest of all creatures. I was a vile succubus, a demon, for I knew that once my tainted, sinful lips touched his, I had poisoned him. I knew that I had given the darkness its second chance, and God, above all else, was angry.

As we pulled apart, breaths heavy with desire, I whispered the one thing that had been running through my mind for months, but I had to say it now, to solidify it, despite God and the darkness. "Gaara," I murmured seriously, "I promise to protect you. In life, and in death." My angel looked down, blushing feverishly. "Even if I'm off training with Ero-Sennin, all you have to do is give me a whistle and wait. I'll come there in an instant." He smiled at me, truly happy. "Instant or not," he began softly, still as red as a tomato (it was endearing in many ways), "I will wait for as long as it takes." My mind turned to mush at this point, for in Gaara-speak, that was virtually, "I love you." Soon after, he was gone.

And then, three years later, my chance to protect him finally came, and I failed. I was training with Sakura-chan and Kakashi-sensei when it happened. It was not a very intense battle, but there was a melancholy wind blowing through the trees. I was hiding, figuring out an attack strategy when I first felt it. It was more than just unnerving; it was terrifying. Oh, that's when it struck me. Racked with tremors, I clutched at the place where my throbbing heart rested. I could have sworn that I could smell sand. With it came a voice, his voice. It was like a child's scared and alone, seeking comfort. "Naruto-kun…Naruto-kun…" There was no pleas for help like the first time he called my name, when he was in the darkness. There was no screaming, no gasping for air. Just my name, being said over and over again, like a mantra. Gaara's broken mantra. "Naruto-kun…Naruto-kun…" It was eerily beautiful, like a song from a caged songbird, a hymn. "Naruto-kun…" And then it was over. Stopped. Stifled. There were no words to truly epitomize my terror.

Later, after the mission report came, I was running. Sprinting. I could never reach Suna fast enough. Sakura-chan kept yelling at me to slow down, to conserve my energy. As much as I love her, I just wanted her to be quiet. She didn't, couldn't understand. No one could. And I'm not talking about the fact that they're not Jinchuuriki either. It is very true that I cried for Gaara because of our similar pasts, because he always seemed to get dealt the worst hand in life. But I also cried for other reasons. I was guilty, and not just because I couldn't protect him, though that played a part. No, I was guilty because his capture was entirely my fault. God was furious. I had tainted an angel, and now he was punishing both of us. Gaara would be executed in the worst way imaginable, three full days of torment, agony, as he felt the life draining out of him along with Shukaku, as the world around him faded until he finally died, falling to the ground, limp as a ragdoll. I would be left to grieve, to mourn and mourn until I too died. We would be reunited and live out the rest of eternity together in Hell. Yes, that was God's plan. And I cried, cried because I could not protect him, cried because his death was needlessly caused by my own greed and temptation.

The rest of the journey was a haze. It went so fast. One minute, Sakura was treating Kankuro for heavy metals poisoning, the next we were fighting Uchiha Itachi. That fight was needless stalling. To this day I wonder if I could have saved my angel if that damned Uchiha hadn't been in the way. That is something that will never be answered. And that genjutsu of Itachi's only made me feel guiltier and guiltier. Gaara's face was a part of me, just like Sakura-chan's, Kakashi-sensei's, and Sasuke's. I still tell my friends that all that the genjutsu Gaara said was, "Why? Why are you the lucky one? Why don't you suffer like me?" That is a flat-out lie. The genjutsu Gaara had been kind. That was what made it horrible. He whispered sweet nothings to me, told me that everything was fine, that he was happy that I was not the one suffering, and that he didn't mind dying if it extended my life some. He told me to protect myself, to return to Konoha and leave him. I was bawling. It was too perfect. My real angel would have said something to that extent. Itachi almost had me, when finally the genjutsu redhead whispered, "Please leave, Naruto." My eyes widened. Gaara never called me by my first name alone. I could hear his soft, adorable voice in my head, murmuring, "Naruto-kun." And then I heard my angel's song. "Naruto-kun…Naruto-kun…" That's about the time I started trying to break the genjutsu.

After that traumatizing experience, the blur of a mission continued. Soon, we were standing outside the Akatsuki's hideout with Team Gai. Neji was there. He looked different in many ways, and it was strange, but I could have sworn that he was looking at me with something akin to pride, almost like an older brother. When nobody was looking (except Lee, who knows this side of Neji well), the brunette clasped my hand in his and squeezed it reassuringly. Somehow, the weight in my stomach seemed a bit less heavy. Well, that was until I got my first look inside the cave. There was Gaara, or rather, Gaara's body, with an Akatsuki member sitting on him as if he was never even a person. I lost it, and this time, there was no Neji to calm me down. I ran in screaming at my angel to wake up, but he never would, and somewhere deep inside, I knew it. From there, my vision went red, as if I had blood on my eyes. My mind was a haze of rage and vengeance. Kakashi-sensei's voice was muffled, like the world around me. All that I knew was that that Akatsuki son of a bitch had the love of my life, and, dead or alive, I wanted him back.

I'm not quite sure when I completely gave in to Kyuubi, or even how I did. All I am sure of is that the first tail formed, and I attacked Kakashi-sensei. Being totally immersed in the Kyuubi's power was awful. You are surrounded by nothing but your darkest emotions, the ones that you cast away and lock deep inside you. Everything around you is boiling, like magma. You cannot breathe. Kakashi-sensei slapped the seal on my forehead, and for a moment, I tried to fight it. Then, he came. My angel, halo and wings, clad in simple, pure white shirt and pants, appeared before me. His fiery hair mussed up, beryl eyes more exhausted than usual, he was even more inhumanly pale than on an average day (if possible). He intertwined his fingers with mine, and gently, ever-so-gently, leaned into me, whispering, "Naruto-kun, take control again." So I did. I can never disappoint my angel after all.

Soon, we were in a clearing, and I saw nothing but my darling redhead's cold, dead body in front of me. I didn't notice as Neji tried to approach me but was stopped by Lee, who shook his head solemnly. I didn't notice the tears falling from my eyes. All I knew was that my Gaara was dead, and I wanted to slit my wrists right there and then. Good thing I didn't, because before I knew it, I was giving my chakra to Chiyo to defy God's laws, to bring him back from the dead.

I was six again, and running all the way from Konoha to Suna. There was the desert. The desert of Gaara's mind. Those cracks in the ground were not caused by the dryness. No, those cracks were from the darkness attempting to once again overtake the soul of that angel. I had to stop it. As the first crack of darkness threatened to breach Gaara's world, I sprinted over, grabbed that redhead, and held him in my arms as if there was no tomorrow. Then, I was doing the same in the physical world, surrounded by Suna shinobi. Gaara stared at the amount of people that cam to rescue him, truly shocked, but when his gaze captured mine, he didn't seem surprised to see me in the least. "I whistled," he whispered hoarsely, barely audibly. "And I came," I finished.

And now, here we are, back in Suna. Gaara is fast asleep in my arms, body still a bit stiff and he can still barely speak or walk, but it's not like we ever communicated much through our voices anyway. He has had several nightmares tonight. The first one prompted him to seek me out in my guest room for the night. When he woke from the rest of the nightmares, I simple cradled him in my arms, stroked his ruby locks, and whispered sweet nothings until he drifted back off to sleep. Even after everything that happened, tonight is perfection. I have finally been given a chance to protect him, even if it is just a bit. My angel, my redhead, my light, I have tainted him in God's eyes, but not in mine. He will always be the light to my darkness. The yin to my yang. My Gaara.

*Well, that was long. What did you guys think? I had a lot of fun writing it, and I really like this different sort of perspective on the NaruGaa relationship. I hope there aren't many typos. Still, let me know which parts you thought were weak, cuz I did have some issues when writing this…but that may just be because I was high for most of it. Oh, well. I'm so excited! I finally got to mark something as complete! Yayz for my first oneshot! Woot!! I might write a sequel that takes Naruto and Gaara through Shippuuden…once Kishimoto finally decides to bring Gaara back for a couple seconds…my God. Hopefully that will be soon. Oh…and btw, that part after they kissed for the first time…I had the strangest urge to write "And then they banged. The end." Ha! That would have been awful. Well, anyway, thanks for reading!