Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters used in this story.

This takes place sometime after Gaara tells Kankuro about his desire to become the next Kazekage.

Trust

Gaara couldn't pinpoint exactly when it happened. The feeling seemed to creep up on him, but one day he realized that his brother was becoming precious to him. This was what he wanted. To forge bonds with others. But it was still frightening.

The three siblings had been raised apart, and by the time they were placed on the same team, Gaara could think of them with nothing but hatred. Kankuro in particular clashed with him. Gaara threatened to kill him many times. It was incredible that he didn't, really. Even if his older brother backed down, Gaara always knew that there would be other incidents. Thinking back, Kankuro often seemed to be trying to get through to him. But why would he do that?

Certainly it could not have been because he cared. His older sibling feared him after all. Gaara had never dared to hope another person could love him since Yashamaru's death. But now...

Kankuro seemed to care for him. Though he often tried to hide this concern, his actions matched Yashamaru's description of love. Could Gaara trust that? His uncle once lead him to believe he was loved, if even a little, and then accepted a mission from his father to kill him because he could not forgive his sister's death. Gaara remembered asking Yashamaru if he hated him and then being told, "You are very precious to me."

Was Kankuro lying to him now? As much as he wanted to believe Kankuro's worry for him during their talk was genuine, doubts lingered in his mind.

"You are very precious to me," Yashamaru's words echoed in his head again. Had the council decided to renew their efforts to kill him? Were they using Kankuro to get close to him? Was Temari in on it? Baki?

And yet, why would Kankuro warn him of villagers' opinions if he meant to harm him. Kankuro seemed happy for him when he shared his goal to become the Kazekage. But then again, he was a puppet master. He liked pulling strings...

You are very precious to me.

Gaara believed it was in Kankuro's basic nature to be honest. To have a friend there for him every day. To have an older brother. It was tempting to believe...

You are very precious to me.

Gaara imagined Kankuro saying those words. It was unlike him to verbally express such feelings. It would be rather suspicious too. The puppeteer had to know that. But his every action lately seemed to say it.

Gaara noticed his brother standing nearer to him. He talked more casually around him. His eyes flickered with anger when someone insulted Gaara. Could it be that he cared? Maybe even loved him?

You are very precious to me.

The past betrayal still haunted him, but somehow Gaara had begun caring for another family member. Without fully realizing it, he had let someone else get close. Close enough to be able to hurt him one day. But Gaara was also starting to believe Kankuro would stay loyal to him. He wanted to believe that. He wanted a brother.