For those of you who don't know, this is the first story I ever posted on FF. I went back and revised it a bit, sonce my writing has improved since then. So let me know what you think! Reviews are always appreciated. :)

Caring

Comfort

When he had left the hotel that morning all he wanted to do was find Naruto and spar. The last thing on his mind was running into Naruto's pink haired teammate, and having her cling to him and begin to cry.

In all honesty, he didn't know what to do in situations like these. All he could think to do at the moment was to ask her out of politeness what was wrong.

"Nothing" she sniffled, "It's just that I had another blind date that Ino set me up with last night and it didn't go very well. I mean, I thought it went okay. We had a lot in common and conversation was never lacking. But just a few moments ago he came up to me and said that I wasn't his type. Apparently he can't be with someone more successful than him, and the fact that I could crush his skull with one hand freaked him out." Puffy red emerald looked into cool jade. "What if I never find anyone else that I can be with? What if I never get the chance to get over Sasuke?" At this she started to bawl even harder into his shirt.

He knew that people normally said encouraging and comforting words in situations like these, but being a man of few words, Gaara decided to try to comfort her physically. The only problem now was how? Once, when Temari was watching one of her many Soap Operas, he had seen the male lead embrace and kiss the female lead to comfort her. But that was a bit too much physical contact for his comfort, and since he didn't know the pink haired kunoichi very well in the first place, the whole act would be awkward, and she would probably mistake his intentions.

Then the answer came to him. When he was walking home from work in Suna one day, he happened upon a child and her mother. The little girl, for unknown reasons, was crying. Then her mother reached out a patted her on the back while saying "It's alright." This is what he would do in order to make the pink haired woman stop crying and get off him so that he could go train with Naruto.

So he slowly reached out his hand and slapped her on the back a few times. He was sure that he had done it correctly, because each time he hit her you could hear the sound of his hand coming in contact with her back. After three pats he stopped. Three seemed like a good enough number of pats to him. Suddenly, he was looking down into a sea of angry emerald, causing his satisfied look to vanish.

"What was that for?" she yelled.

Now he was confused. The answer was obvious, and he thought that she was smart enough to be able to figure it out on her own. Maybe he had given her too much credit.

"I was comforting you." he said.

"What?" she asked confusedly.

If he was one to roll his eyes he would have. This girl was making him speak unnecessary words. "It is customary for someone to give another person in distress a form of comfort yes? I was merely patting you on the back to make you feel better." he explained.

Then she started laughing. Hysterically. She was laughing so hard that her body was shaking his with her merriment. Now he was annoyed. Was the thought of him trying to comfort a friend's friend so hard to believe?

"What?" he asked, glaring at her lightly.

This time when she sniffled, it was not because of the tears. It was to hold in the rest of her laughter. "Awww Gaara I didn't think that you cared about me!" she said.

Wait, what? She thought he cared for her? Impossible. But before he could say anything on the matter, she was hugging him. Yet again, he was at a loss about what to do in this kind of situation.

"Thanks for making me feel better Gaara. I really appreciate it." and with that she gave him a peck on the cheek, and skipped away.

Damn, girls were confusing. He wouldn't tell Naruto about this, because he had a feeling that if he did, he would never hear the end of it.


She couldn't believe that Gaara of all people had tried to comfort her. She had originally been looking for Naruto, as he was the best person to talk to when she was feeling down about herself. But when she had bumped into Gaara and seen the look of contempt that he gave her, she just couldn't hold it in any longer. She was rather embarrassed that Gaara had seen her in one of her weaker moments, for she liked people to think that she was stronger than she used to be.

But when he had asked her what was wrong she detected a note of concern and sincerity in his voice. So she let go of her pride and told him. She didn't expect him to understand, or try to make her feel better, so she was surprised when he had hit her on the back hard enough for it to hurt a little.

At first she had thought that he was just being mean, hurting her in her time of weakness. Kicking the enemy while they down so to speak. But when he had explained his reasoning to her she found the whole situation to be funny. Gaara of the Sand was trying to comfort someone, and doing a horrible job at it. She had seen the look of annoyance and anger he gave her when she had started laughing at him. But, much like the tears, she couldn't hold it in, and once she got going, she couldn't stop.

She knew the whole situation was awkward for him, and so she decided to be nice and thank him. For his one simple action had made her forget her troubles, and smile. So, as she skipped home, she decided that maybe it wouldn't be such a bad idea to find Gaara when she was feeling down. After all, it would be fun to see what other forms of comfort he could come up with, and if he cared enough about her, though he would never admit it, to try. Yes, life was now going to be very interesting for the red headed Kazekage of Suna. She would make sure of that.