It was his problem, not Sasuke's. This couldn't transfer to him, though the pain shining in his eyes made it hard to ignore. Those azure eyes, that once held such intense pity for the man, now refused to show any of the pain in his heart.

"Gaara," Sasuke spoke his name and Gaara shook his head, reproving before Sasuke could even begin the sentence.

"Sasuke, don't. I brought this upon myself as surely as the days brings the night. I shouldn't have let my work consume me, but I did. This is my fault, god knows why I stand here ranting to you."

Gaara shook his head at his own foolishness and sighed. Sasuke frowned and opened his mouth to speak, barely registering when Gaara pressed his hand over Sasuke's mouth. How often had Gaara had to chastise him for speaking out of turn? Had he learnt his lesson? Definitely not.

It had been 6 years since they found each other. At 16years old Sasuke went back to Konoha, the result had be uproar...

"If you'll just let me speak-" Sasuke tried to talk but the din of the crowd quickly overwhelmed him. He sank back into the chair. Not that he could do anything more then rise and perhaps walk around the damn thing.

"Silence." The voice was almost as quiet as Sasuke's but the command in it was clear. The room fell silent as ordered and from the back of the room the voice spoke up again," Sasuke. Why are you here?" The voice was simple, gruff but soft. Sasuke looked backwards and spotted the culprit.

"Gaara?" He rose and walked to the back of the chair. Last time he'd seen the redhead, he definitely wasn't the man he was now. Back then he'd been a 12yr old murderer. Hellbent on destroying Sasuke. Now 4 years later, Gaara had grown taller, leaner, definitely more cat-like in his walk, all in all progressed towards becoming a fine man.

"Answer me Uchiha." The tone turned rough. Sasuke nodded, almost meekly, fatigue was tearing at him having lost the past 3 days to interrogation by ANBU he'd gotten no sleep beyond when he fell unconscious. Even then the ANBU woke him quickly.

"Because, I want to come back. I want to be a shinobi again, a shinobi who isn't hunted down every day of his life for reasons that used to make no sense. I get it now, I know why I was hunted but I'm tired of it. I want to work here, if they'll take me."

"Sasuke, you must realize that the likelihood of you even surviving this hearing is dim. There's a reason you are chained to the chair."

"Beats my previous cell. When I first showed up here, I got blindfolded and had my arms stretched above my head, tied. I couldn't move beyond kneeling." Sasuke couldn't resist the poke at the immediate mistreatment of a willingly-surrendered enemy.

Gaara nodded indulgently and faced the current Hokage, Tsunade," Well? What is your ruling?"

Tsunade was steady and strong when she rose from her seat and scowled at the last Uchiha," The family line of the Uchihas, ends with Sasuke Uchiha. He dies tomorrow morning, quick as we can."

"Wrong," Gaara walked forward and snapped his fingers, breaking the chains with his sand," He comes with me." The redhead placed one comforting hand on Sasuke's shoulder," I take him on as my protegé seeing as none of you are wise enough to do so. If you recall Tsunade you still owe me a favor. This is it. He's leaving with me in the morning."

Tsunade gasped and tried to find a rebuke, but in the morning, The Kazekage walked out of Konoha the last Uchiha following at his shoulder, listening quietly to his explanation of why the hell he saved his life.

Sasuke had started out hostile - a full year before he trusted Gaara with any information - but he'd grown to respect and obey the man before him. 2 years after that, and they never went anywhere without the other. They were like brothers, no, closer then brothers. If Sasuke got hurt on a mission, Gaara would be at the hospital before he could even arrive. When Gaara was sick, Sasuke was the first to notice the signs nagging at him.

So when Gaara's emotional temperment changed drastically, Sasuke was the first one who locked them both in his office and demanded to know what was happening.

"Sierra? She's cheating on you?" Sasuke's eyes widened drastically. Sierra was Gaara's fianceé and the Uchiha had been positive that she was a good person. Now very suddenly every flaw she had seemed to be thrown back in his face, cursing him for not noticing them.

Gaara nodded jerkily," It's my own fault. I've often cussed you out for ignoring people, but I allowed my job to grab and hold my attention. I've left her alone for god knows how long. How could I have expected her to wait for me?" Gaara uttered a curse and Sasuke couldn't resist flinching. His friend didn't curse often, but the amount of times Gaara cussed at Sasuke was nearly 90% of the times he did swear.

"Gaara you can't blame yourself. Who is he? Surely you know?"

"Tamaki, Tamaki Tayu. He's a good man - besides being cheating on his wife with the Kazekage's fianceé." Gaara rolled his eyes," This wouldn't have happened if she'd been with you. You're a far better man then I my friend." Gaara placed one pale long-fingered hand onto Sasuke's shoulder and rose to his feet.

"Gaara, at the very least, confront her. Tell her you know." Sasuke pleaded desperately with his brother, gripping the hand on his shoulder to keep Gaara in front of him.

"No, I'll let Tamaki have her. I allowed this to happen, who am I to tell her no?" Gaara scruffed his friend's hair and walked towards the door," Sasuke, I didn't mean to tell you this. It's my problem and so it shall remain, keep this in silence, I shouldn't place such a burden on your shoulders but I have no choice. Keep this quiet Sasuke, I'm trusting you to do so." Gaara stepped closer and embraced his brother.

Sasuke's shoulders shook softly with repressed sobs, it killed to see his brother like this and be unable to do anything about it. Not that he'd ever cry in front of anyone with a heartbeat. Gaara held onto him a little longer then he should have and then smiled crookedly at Sasuke.

"It'll be okay 'Suke," Gaara turned on his heel and walked away. Dimly Sasuke noticed the nickname Gaara had given him, knocking off the first two letters made his name sound a lot more girly but Sasuke couldn't bring himself to care.

The next couple of weeks were hard. Sasuke continued on, but Gaara fell ill. Badly so, ever since the loss of Shukaku, Gaara didn't get sick often. But when he did get sick, he ended up in the hospital almost every time.

So when Gaara started having short coughing fits, Sasuke got incredibly worried. Then incredibly sick, Sierra fawned over her fianceé like he was dying. Gaara accepted Sasuke's attention, but often feigned being engrossed in work when she showed up.

Sierra Komo was gorgeous, no doubt. Beautiful blue eyes, and bright purple hair, but Sasuke couldn't stand the bitch. Sierra and he didn't see eye to eye. When Gaara collapsed in his office and wouldn't awaken, the doctor asked who was in charge of his affairs. Both Sierra and Sasuke had stepped up.

"I'm his wife!," She exclaimed loudly. Sasuke shook his head as he dug in his pockets.

"Not yet you hag and," Sasuke produced a letter on the Kazekage's stationary," he's not dead, until he wakes up however, I'm in charge." Sasuke showed the letter to the doctor. Satisfied that Sasuke really was in charge, after Gaara's careful written detailing of his instructions, the doctor sent the man into Gaara's room.

"Is he gone?" Gaara's voice was hoarse and he coughed quietly so as not to alert the doctor. Sasuke nodded and sat beside the bed, bring up a pale hand to grip an even paler one. With a bowed head, to create the illusion of Sasuke trying to wake Gaara he shook it softly.

"Yea, Sierra is probably trying to convince him I faked the note. How ya feeling Gaara," Sasuke held back the pleading tone from his voice, knowing exactly what Gaara would say if he could hear it.

"Don't. I don't want to be surrounded by people mourning a living man. I'm not dead, and I won't die from a frigging cold," Those were the exact words Gaara had growled out when Temari had came in crying over him. He wouldn't accept pity, and definitely wouldn't allow people to mourn a living man.

"Like hell, but nothing I can't handle," He shrugged and sat up," Close the blinds, I don't want that damn white-coat calling himself my doctor seeing me up." Sasuke nodded and closed the blinds quickly, catching one glance of Sierra glaring at the room before he shut her out. Gaara smirked when he was done and held out a hand as he forced himself up from the bed," Pass me my shirt."

"What? Gaara no. Stay in the hospital, you're up now, they can't do anything without your say-so, hell they couldn't before," Sasuke gently but firmly placed both hands on his friends shoulders to keep him on the bed.

" Sasuke, I'm not lying passive while an idiot runs a thousand tests to tell me I have a cold. I was over-working myself, that's why I collapsed, it's fine. Get Sierra in here, I suppose it's smarter to do this now." Sasuke nodded with a reluctant, pleading glance, but moved to do his brother's bidding.

"Sierra. He's asking for you," Sasuke called then sat back down, Sierra walked in her heels clicking loudly in the halls. She sat on the bed and wrapped her arms around Gaara's waist.

"Baby," She whimpered, forcing tears to her eyes," I was so worried, then this idiot wouldn't let me see you. Send him away darling I don't like him."

"Sasuke stay put, I made need protection after this one," He mouthed to his friend then spoke," Sierra, I'm not marrying you. We're not going to be seeing each other anymore. I've moved you back to active duty as any threat pertaining to you is null now. You have your first mission in a day. Get out, and get ready. Tamaki's wife has been informed of your indiscretions with him and she had me transfer him to Konoha."

Sierra gasped indignantly and huffed. Gaara nodded towards Sasuke who stepped between the two and easily caught the slap aimed for his friend, using the raised hand to shove the woman from the room. She screamed hexes and curses, but Sasuke merely locked the door and sat back down, gripping his friend's hand again.

Briefly, oh so briefly, Gaara squeezed Sasuke's hand. Gaara allowed affection to be shown towards him, but the rarity of him showing affection towards anyone was incredible. Sasuke smiled softly and Gaara offered a crooked smile in return.

"Thank you Sasuke. You've no idea how much a difference your presence made for me these past 6 years. 7 this next Tuesday," Gaara glanced towards the needle firmly embedded in his arm and gave a small, hinting glance at Sasuke,"'Suke if you will please..." Gaara trailed off.

Sasuke nodded and chuckled as he carefully removed the needle, pressing a fingertip to the small hole. Lacking a cotton ball, his finger would have to do. Gaara smiled at the relief of pressure in his arm. He hated IVs for the sole purpose that they created an uncomfortable pressure in his arm. Sasuke dropped the now toxic waste into the safe container and sat back down.

It took 2 weeks before the doctors - and Sasuke - deemed the Kazekage well enough to leave the safety of the hospital. Gaara was the picture of grace and charm, all elegance and perfection, but Sasuke could see the effort it took to plaster that smile on his weary face. The moment they were out of eyesight, Gaara collapsed again. After begging for a moment, Sasuke agreed not to drag him right back to the hospital, but instead made the Kazekage agree to stay with him until he could walk a mile and a half without dropping.

"Gaara? You okay?" Sasuke wandered into his apartment and the words crossed his mouth before he could stop them. He mentally cussed himself out when Gaara's sarcastic remark came from the kitchen.

"No 'Suke I'm dying." Gaara stuck his head out, his hair was messy and his shoulders were bare. Meaning no shirt, and probably just got out of bed. Gaara smirked and came out, toting a cup of coffee. During the times Gaara had spent here, he'd grown addicted to Sasuke's coffee.

"Morning," Sasuke smiled and Gaara frowned, gripped his hand and tugged him behind him.

"'Suke, we have a problem." Gaara grumbled, pushing his friend to sit on the bed. Sasuke looked up at his coffee drinking friend and puzzled.

A problem? What problem? Konoha isn't trying to kill me again are they? A million different scenarios that could possibly make Gaara say there was a problem flitted through his mind.

"What's the matter?" He knew he almost sounded desperate, but as of late some of his enemies had been messing with his head, saying that right now Gaara kept him close, but that if he ever became a problem that he wouldn't hesitate to send him back to Konoha.

"The problem is," Gaara set his coffee down on the dresser and leaned over his friend, Sasuke dropped back onto his elbows to allow the advancement," that I can't seem to be able to hold myself in check anymore." The redhead lifted a hand and opened a few buttons on Sasuke's shirt. Sasuke raised an eyebrow, but let Gaara continue.

"What do you mean?" Sasuke's voice betrayed him, falling to a near whisper as his friend's pale fingers played along his chest in the path of taking the buttons off. His heart pounded against his chest, the panic from earlier still keeping a tight hold on his heart.

"I mean that I thought I could resist. Could keep things strictly professional, Sierra helped the illusion along, but it seems I can't," and with that remark, Gaara leaned down and pressed his lips to the last Uchiha's open mouth. Sasuke gasped but immediately began responding.

"Gaara?" Sasuke broke away and Gaara placed a searing hot kiss to his neck. Barely perceptible, Gaara nodded, Sasuke noticed from the 7 years experience he had. " I didn't know--" Sasuke cut himself off with a short but strong moan. Gaara's hand pressed flush against his stomach and his mouth had latched onto Sasuke's sweet spot. Right on the connection between his shoulder and neck, the nerves were insanely sensitive, and Gaara's tongue was tormenting him.

"Didn't know," Gaara prompted with a smirk and well-intended nip. Sasuke didn't bother trying to retort, just moaned softly and trapped his finger's in the red spikes tickling his shoulder.

Sasuke's free hand gripped onto the belt that leaned over him. With a soft tug he managed to get Gaara to bring one knee up onto the bed, pressing them closer together. Gaara smirked and gripped Sasuke's wrist.

"What? Don't like my belt?" He was definitely enjoying this, Sasuke's back arched as nimble fingers slipped below his belt to slowly caress and torment trapped flesh.

"Hate it," He managed to force out, untangling his hand in order to have it help take off the Kazekage's belt. Gaara chuckled softly and kissed Sasuke's lips softly. Sasuke pressed back, urgently craving more. With assured movements, Gaara's tongue parted Sasuke's lips enough to slip into his mouth. Sasuke groaned softly and silently cursed his pants for being so constricting.

"Then do something about it," Gaara pushed them both further up on the bed, now kneeling over his friends hips. Sasuke gripped the belt and glanced up for assurance, with another barely-noticeable nod Sasuke was tugging off the belt. Gaara nipped his neck again and tugged the shirt off his shoulders, forcing his hands off with the fabric. Sasuke protested with a scowl and set back to his task, pressing shy but proud kisses to Gaara's stomach, tracing the lines of his abs with the tip of his tongue.

Sasuke smiled as Gaara's hand made quick work of his belt, popping the button and undoing the zipper on his jeans in seconds. Gaara slipped down, his natural grace enhanced to almost cat-like, languid, sensual movements. Gliding his mouth down pale, trembling muscles, Gaara slipped Sasuke's jeans off his hips and off him entirely.

Self-conscious of the way Gaara was staring at him Sasuke wrapped his arms around his stomach and glanced to the side. Milliseconds passed before Gaara's breath fanned over his ear and his voice was in his ear. No more then a whisper, but almost a purr.

"Why are you hiding," He gripped Sasuke's hands and intertwined their fingers, tugging Sasuke's hands up to pin them beside his head.

The rough material of Gaara's still present jeans pressed harshly against Sasuke's skin when Gaara quickly grinded himself against Sasuke. A loud moan of appreciation tore it's way out of both theirs throats.

"Jeans, Gaara, jeans," Sasuke tugged softly at the hold Gaara had on his wrists and gasped when suddenly the grains of the sand had his hands tied to the bed's headboard. Gaara pushed himself off the bed and scowled at Sasuke's boxers.

"These," Gaara slid them deftly off Sasuke's hips," have to go." Sasuke thought about squirming under the gaze of his...well now his lover, but quickly opted against it. Gaara clearly intended to rid Sasuke of that silly thing Sasuke called his shame, so why shouldn't Sasuke try to lend a hand.

Gaara slipped open his jeans then seemed to remember something. He kissed his new lover quickly and disappeared into the bathroom. Sasuke whimpered his protests at the loss and tugged at the sand, knowing very well that the sand was almost like a part of his friend's body. Most of time, Gaara acted as though he could feel whatever the sand was touching. So it was doubtless that Gaara could feel him trying to free his hands.

"Sasuke, you're a virgin, I don't want to hurt you," Gaara dropped a tube of something on the bed and easily climbed back over the arching man. Gaara chuckled softly when he felt a soft tugging on his jeans. Immediately his eyes flicked to confirm Sasuke was still tied, seeing he was he met onyx eyes," Chakra?"

"Strings, Kankuro taught me how. I really don't want to explain right now, remind me later," Insistently Sasuke arched and tugged Gaara's hips down to his with one leg on the back of the redheads.

The connection was like throwing gas on a wildfire. In moments Gaara's jeans were gone and Sasuke was gasping and calling out for more," Gaara---oh!" A low chuckle from the man ghosting one hand down his frame told Sasuke that Gaara was clearly amused by his reactions.

"You have all of my attentions 'Suke," Dimly Sasuke was aware of a soft click, then a startling pressure forced a yelp from his throat. The sand fell away from his hands and both of them gripped onto Gaara's neck and shoulders.

"Gaara?" His voice was muffled by the sweat-beaded skin he was burying his face in. He felt Gaara's arm slide around his shoulders in comfort and the pressure got worse. Sasuke's mouth opened in a silent exclamation when he felt Gaara's fingers stretching him, and scissoring inside of him.

"It'll be okay 'Suke, you have to relax though," Gaara's voice was calming and his mouth pressed soft, warm kisses to his shoulders and hair. Sasuke forced himself to calm, clinging to Gaara's passionate, welcoming aura. Once he was calm, the pressure was gone, only to be replaced by a worse one.

Sasuke whimpered softly and clung tighter to his lover. Gaara murmured words of praise, words of love in his ear and remained immobile until Sasuke was no longer rigid with pain. Once Sasuke's tense muscles relaxed Gaara lowered his head down and pressed his mouth to Sasuke's, skillfully drawing the air from his lungs and drawing pleading moan after pleading moan from his younger lover.

Once Sasuke was oblivious, focused more on the pleasure waves Gaara was sending straight to his groin, Gaars moved within him. Sasuke accidently nipped Gaara's lip in surprise, Gaara kissed him softly in apology and began shifting his hips. Thrusting deeply and aiming wisely.

With a particularly loud groan Sasuke arched into Gaara, responding now eagerly to the man above him," Gaara..."Sasuke couldn't even finish the sentence. Every thrust slammed something deep within him, striking every nerve in just the right ways to make his body sing like a harp. Gaara ran one hand through Sasuke's slicked hair and reached between them, smirking when Sasuke spoke again,"Oh god, please."

Wave after wave of pleasure shot through him, from the thrusting being delivered one way and the delightful grip Gaara held on him. Sasuke was a virgin, in more ways then one, and the climax waiting over the brink, clawing at his virtue called to him.

Sasuke knew he was standing on the brink, and was heavily aware that Gaara was going to be the one to push him over it, but he didn't care. The man above him, red hair spiked and wild azure-jade eyes glittering with sensual pride and shining down at the Uchiha, was definitely worth the wait. Definitely worth the pain of being hunted down and forced to live in Suna.

With a one last cry of his lover's name, Sasuke toppled over the edge. The white-hot first climax burned out his senses for a moment and when he realized what was happening Gaara was pulling out of him. Sasuke smiled and kissed the Kazekage's neck softly.

"Christ," He murmured," we need to shower." Sasuke glanced up then frowned. Guilt was written all over the redhead's face, and apology was in his every movement. From the gentle movements of his fingertips over Sasuke's shoulders, to the occasional caress on his pale cheek everything screamed; I'm so sorry. "Gaara what's wrong?"

"Good god I'm a monster. I shouldn't have taken advantage of you like this," Gaara murmured almost to himself as he gently nipped the shell of Sasuke's ear. "You were a virgin, I should have stepped back, distanced myself from you. But you kept coming closer to me, hell knows I didn't make it easy for you to back off--" Sasuke kissed Gaara hotly, running his tongue over his bottom lip and exploring his mouth much like Gaara had been doing early.

"Don't regret this, please? I'm fine, I'm more then fine I'm quite satisfied. Don't regret me, or if you're going to, send me away first. Send me off on some mission, something to take my mind off you, then feel bad about darkening an already black soul," Sasuke rose and stretched, falling down into a back-walkover to loosen too-tight muscles.

"'Suke-"

"I"m taking a shower, either go home and I'll know not to come see you tomorrow, or come join me and we'll see what a shower does for this mess I'm calling a body," Sasuke moved to walk away and exclaimed softly when he was tugged back down to the bed.

"Who cares about a frigging shower, unless I'm allowed making love to you in it, when there's a perfectly good bed right here," Gaara nipped Sasuke earlobe lovingly and placed his forehead against Sasuke's. Immediately Sasuke felt bad looking at Gaara, seeing the spilt lip he inflicted when he couldn't control himself," I don't regret anything I do. And this definitely isn't something high up on the list of things I wish I didn't do.

"Hey, what are you..oh," Gaara flicked his tongue over the blood covering his mouth and chuckled," Hmm, so it appears you marked me. Worst case, I can say I got into a fight." Gaara stood up and gripped Sasuke's hips, stepping behind him to walk the two of them into the bathroom.

"Why bother? Now, you said something about fucking me in the shower," Sasuke's voice was innocent but the way he was ever so slightly grinding backwards against the redhead betrayed him.

"I said making love, but if you wanted to be fucked, then," Gaara shoved Sasuke up against the door frame and pinned his stomach flat against it. With Gaara's hands gripping Sasuke's wrists and holding them trapped against the wall, Sasuke suddenly felt very vulnerable," that can be arranged."

With a purposeful suck to his sweet spot, Gaara pulled a moan from Sasuke. The bonfire burning hot once more.