Gaara lay in his bed tossing & turning not sleeping though, his sand rustling restlessly in his gourd. Deep inside his thoughts, someone whispered his name. ' "Gaara…" A pink haired medic-nin from the Leaf Village came into view. Suddenly she screamed in agony, but there were no visible wounds. Whatever happened it didn't take long for her to be covered in crimson. "GAARA!!!" She screamed as she fell into darkness.' Gaara bolted up in bed, he was panting heavily & had beads of sweat all over his body. "Why the hell did I imagine that again & why was it about her again?" Gaara growled while holding his head tightly.

'The sand allows these thought to enter your mind & you know the answer to the other question'. Shukaku purred inside Gaara's mind. Gaara felt his pale cheeks heating up. "I don't believe that reason, Shukaku." Gaara growled out in denial. Shukaku laughed hysterically at the blushing young man he inhabited. 'You expect me to believe that weak excuse. Deep inside you know the truth & you long for her.' Gaara sighed in resignation, then Gaara's pale face twisted into a sadistic smirk. "Alright Shukaku you win, let's go to the Village Hidden in the Leaves."

Sakura rose from her bed partially naked. She stretched her tired battle scarred body. The cherry blossom of the Village Hidden in the Leaves had awakened. She had grown up & out of her Sasuke fetish, she had finally moved on. Sakura sighed as her eyes fell upon a small hourglass pendant on her dresser; she picked it up & placed it around her neck. She smiled remembering the day she got it.

Flashback: It was the day she healed Gaara's wounds. He had warned her that his sand might attack her, but she knew it wouldn't harm her. Gaara sat there in shock for a moment. He smiled, which was shocking, & it got even more shocking. He opened his gourd & his sand rustled over to her & then placed the small hourglass pendant in her hand. "Sakura wear this always, it has my sand in it. If you ever need help the sand will protect you."

A knock came to her door. "Sakura." A soft female voice came from behind the door. "Yes, what is it?" Sakura asked finally replying to the voice. "You have a visitor." Sakura perked up at hearing this. "Alright, I'll be right down." She said as she quickly slipped into a pair of shorts & grabbed some bandages to wrap her chest. "W-well, he wants to see you right away. Is it alright if he comes in." The voice sounded a little unnerved. Sakura looked herself over. She had her black shorts & wrapped her chest in bandages underneath her transparent shirt. "Sure, Go ahead." The door opened & there stood Gaara in his usual way. "Gaara, if I had known you were coming I would have dressed a little more presentable." Sakura blushed, looking down at her clothing. Gaara smiled at her. "You look fine, Sakura." Sakura only turned even redder.

"What brings the Kazekage to the leaf village today?" He looked away with the slightest shade of pink on his cheeks. "I came all this way to see someone in the village." Sakura perked up at this comment. "Really, that's awesome news. So, who's the lucky girl?" Sakura explain as she walking over to him with a big smile on her face. "Well, that's kind of hard to say really." Gaara whispered his cheeks turning a deeper shade of pink. "Gaara is it that awkward or have you not told her your feelings yet." He looked the opposite direction as he answered. "You could say that." Sakura walked around to him. "Well come on, I'll help you figure out how to tell her." Sakura grabbed him by the hand & practically dragged him to a large lush green training field.

Right before she let go he noticed something around her neck. It was the pendant he had given her so long ago. "So, what's she like?" Gaara snapped out on his thoughts. "If I explain her to you, you'll know exactly who she is." She perked up even more at that comment. 'Shukaku, I can't do this.' 'Yes, you can or do you want me to do it for you.' Gaara swallowed a lump that had been stuck in his throat. Afraid to even know how Shukaku would deal with it. "Gaara?" Sakura asked questioningly. "It's nothing. I will tell you some things about her, but not all." She jumped up in excitement.

"Okay, I'll ask questions. Is she pretty?" Sakura asked as she flopped down on the grass. Gaara did the same before answering. "Yes, she's beautiful." Sakura thought for a moment. "Does she live here & do I know her personally?" Gaara gulped nervously at those questions knowing it was going to get worse. "Yes, she lives here in the Leaf Village & you know her extremely well. More than anyone else really. " Sakura bounced around a little excited about the whole thing. "How old is she & have you gave her a nickname?" Gaara thought for a moment. "She is 16 & her nickname is the—" "Hey guys, what are you doing?" The loud blonde headed Naruto yelled.

'Saved by the Naruto, who would have thought?' Naruto ran over to them a huge smile on his face. "Sakura, Ino wants you to come see her. She has some great news." Naruto exclaimed with a thumps up. Sakura smiled brightly at Naruto. "Why can't you tell me, Naruto?" Naruto scratched the back of his head. "Well, I promised to let her you herself." Sakura smiled at the both of them. "Oh Gaara, we'll finish what we were talking about later." She said then ran off in the direction of Ino's house. Gaara sighed in relief.

"Thank you for coming at that time, Naruto. I think she would be shocked to hear that part." Naruto cocked his head to the side. "What part?" Gaara hung his head. "Naruto if I tell you this you promise not to tell a soul especially Sakura." Naruto thought about for a second then noticed that Gaara had a deadly look in his eyes. He knew he was dead if he told anyone. "I won't tell a soul, just promise you won't kill me after telling me." Gaara nodded in agreement. "The reason I'm here is I came to see someone. You can not let that someone."

Naruto nodded as he moved a bit closer to make sure no one else heard. "Who is it?" Gaara's cheeks turned a pale pink. "I came here to see… Sakura…" Naruto sat there in shock for a few seconds. "Have you told her yet?" He asked as flopped from his squatting position into a sitting position on the grass. Gaara sighed, & then looked around to make sure no one was near. "No, she thinks it's another girl in the town. She was asking me questions trying to figure out who it is." Naruto's smile broadened. "Gaara, I have an idea, come on. We have to get you fitted with a tux."

Naruto said as he pulled Gaara up & pulled him along. "Naruto, what do I need a tuxedo for?" Naruto slowed down to a walk so Gaara was next to him. "There's a party tonight at the Hyuga mansion. It's a masquerade formal party for all of us. You can tell Sakura without her knowing it's you, then tell her to meet you somewhere. Make sure at that point you don't have a mask on & hopefully she'll figure it out." Gaara smirked at the thought of her reaction to that moment. Gaara picked up his pace & for once Naruto had to keep up with him. They made their way to the local formal attire shop. Standing inside to greet them was a tall, skinny man with black hair & bright blue eyes. "How may I help you today, sirs?" He chimed merrily. "Yes, we need to find a tux & a matching masquerade mask for this gentlemen."

Meanwhile at Ino's house. "Ino, I can't believe it. Kiba finally popped the question. That's so awesome." Sakura chimed happily, as she sat down next to her best friend. Ino's smile got even bigger. "There's another surprise. I'm the 'P' word." Sakura's eyes lit up with glee. "You're pregnant. OMG! Does Kiba know about that yet?" Ino smirked with a wicked gleam in her eye. Sakura smirked knowing the answer without a word said.

"What are you thinking Ino?" Sakura asked smirking evilly. "Well, I was thinking about announcing it at the masquerade party tonight." Ino said in a most evil sounding voice. "Oh, that reminds me. Guess who came to visit this morning?" Ino thought for a moment, before snapping her fingers. "Did Lee come by to propose again?" Ino asked in almost a mocking voice. Sakura rolled her eyes at the comment. "No! Gaara came by to visit & he told me that he was here to see someone. He didn't really tell me who, but we were playing question/answer game to see if I could figure it out."

Ino smiled, before thinking about it all. "Did he tell you how old she was?" Ino asked with a serious look on her face. Sakura nodded. "Yeah, he said she was 16." Ino smiled bigger & began to chuckle. "Sakura honey! Who's the only single 16 year old girl in our village?" Sakura thought for a moment before hanging her head. "Me…" Ino leaned in closer to her. "Sakura, you're the one he wants I bet on it. You should try it. Besides he's rich, because he's the Kazekage." Ino pulled away & looked at her best friend; there was sadness in her eyes. "Sakura what's wrong? Did I say something?" Sakura shook her head no. "I'm so dense. The whole time I trying to figure out who & it was me the whole time. I have an idea. I bet Naruto has invited Gaara to the party. I'll talk to him there." Ino smiled at her best friend.

Gaara stared at himself in the mirrors in front of him. The front of the top was open revealing most of his chest & stomach. It was held in place by a belt that wrapped around his waist & tied on the right side. The pants were long, baggy things that were stuffed inside the black boots at the bottom. The colors matched him well the top was a deep red with gold trim. The belt was also gold & the pants & boots were black. Gaara had found a matching mask that covered his entire face. Naruto smiled triumphant at how well this had worked out.

After they decided to get it, Naruto grabbed Gaara & drug him toward to Hyuga Mansion. "I'm not dressed yet we can't go there." Naruto smiled over his shoulder at him. "The girls are at Ino's house getting ready & all the guys are getting ready here." Gaara smiled as the large doors opened for them. Inside the men were getting dressed for the party ahead of them. Gaara walked to one of the many rooms & went inside. He slipped off his usual attire down to his boxers. His body was thin, sleek & was well toned with muscles. He slipped on his loose fitting pants & stuffed the bottoms in the boots. He slipped on the & quickly tied the belt around his waist. He smirked as at his reflection as covered his face with the mask.

He walked out to find Naruto trying desperately to put black make up around his eyes. "Here Naruto, let me help you." He sat down next to him & carefully brushed the dark make up around his eyes. Naruto looked in the mirror & smiled. "Hey that looks great Gaara. How did you do it so easy?" Gaara shrugged his answer. After a while of helping setup for the party & fiddling around with stuff, Gaara wondered off to find the spot for meeting Sakura. He found a beautiful balcony that over looked the village. It was perfect he thought as he heard the festivities starting the girls must have arrived.

He walked back to the large ball room it was being held in to find everyone there. All the girls had on half masks that just covered their eyes, which made it easier to find Sakura. Gaara over heard Naruto telling her that he wasn't there yet that would be here later & that she should go dance, & have a little fun. With heard Gaara smirked & disappeared into the crowd. Sakura sighed & did as she was told. She wondered out on the ball room floor. She stopped when a snow-white rose was held out to her. At first, she thought it was Lee, but when she looked at the mask, she didn't recognize the face.

"Would you care to dance my lady?" The young man asked as he bent down & lightly kissed her hand. Sakura blushed then nodded her reply. The young man led her out onto the dance & slowly started to waltz with her. It was perfect, Gaara thought as he waltzed with her close to him. Sakura stared up at him. He was so mysterious, But some how she felt a tracked to him. The dance finished & he turned to leave. "Wait." Sakura called, but before she could catch him, he was gone. She looked down at the rose, there was a piece of paper wrapped around its stem.

She pulled it off & read it.

My dear lady fair,

I ask of you to come up the stairs to your right to the balcony. I wish to see you in private. If you do not wish to come I understand."

~Red Phantom~

Sakura looked to her right & indeed, there was stairs there. Naruto secretly watched from the dance floor with Hinata. "Yes, it worked." Sakura slowly & cautiously climbed the stairs at the top she found the young man facing away from the entrance. A slight wind blew his hair lightly. She noticed that you could see the whole village & in the sky the stars were twinkling brightly as if this was planned. "Did you leave this letter for me?" She asked softly as she slowly walked up behind him.

He turned to her. She froze when she saw his face. "Yes, I did Sakura." It was Gaara standing before her. "G…Gaara…" Was all she could get out before she literally tackled him. "I knew you would be surprised." He purred as he stroked her hair. "Gaara why didn't you tell me?" Gaara pulled her away slightly. "I was afraid of rejection, but I want you to know I fell in love with you that day you healed me & I will always love you. No matter of you return my feelings or not ." Sakura stared up at him a bit of shock flicking in her eyes. "If you don't want to be with a monster like me I understand."

Sakura pulled away slightly. "Gaara I…"She was cut off when the large curtains behind them opened. Everyone was there watching & cheering Gaara on. He got down on one knee. "Sakura Haruno will you be my beloved?" He whispered as he pulled out a small ring. Sakura was almost in tears. "Yes." She choked out as Gaara slipped the ring on her finger. He stood up then bent down to her height & kissed her with all the passion & longing he had for her. Sakura wrapped her arms around his neck & happily kissed him back.

A few months later Tsunade in the Village Hidden in the Leaves held the wedding ceremony. The cherry blossom of Konoha & the Kage of Suna were wed.