Boyfriend. Boyfriend. What a stupid word. How… insufficient. Childishly categorizing. A stupid word, really.
But still Gaara couldn't think of any other fitting term. Yes, he felt uncomfortable with this word. If asked he'd be quick to admit that he didn't like it, that the mere thought made him want to squirm. Boyfriend. Whenever this word appeared in his mind, sluggishly floating through his thoughts into a sentence he had tried to form, he wanted to spit it out, knowing that he'd always, always choke on this term.
It wasn't that he was ashamed or something. Or that he didn't care for Naruto. On the contrary, he was very possessive. He just failed at expressing this with words.
Boyfriend. What sort of word was that to begin with?
But no other term would work.
Not that "boyfriend" in the common sense of the word fit either. But if you thought of it with a sort of twisted logic, it kinda made sense. Naruto was a boy (or rather a man, maybe), after all. And he was also his friend. So at least that bit of it was true.
But what this word implied – and especially what it didn't – was what made Gaara feel so itchy about it.
For one thing this word, plainly put, suggested that a person was linked with another romantically (another of those words Gaara hated so much) and formed a couple with that person. And here comes the whole shebang, meaning dating, giggling, candles and all that things that apparently were oh-so important and romantic.
And it wasn't like that at all.
Which led him to his second point: how childish and immature this word could make every relationship seem. This association with sappy and hokey that seemed so firmly stuck to the term "boyfriend". Distasteful.
This word could not even cover half of what Gaara felt for Naruto, didn't even get close to what he meant to him. Not even barely could it scratch the surface of what boiled beneath, between them, of what connected them.
But what else should he say?
Lover? – Never. This word somehow seemed so disrespectful and thoughtless, because calling Naruto that felt like erasing not only parts of what defined their relationship, reducing it, but also like erasing their past. Which was part of what they were. The past – not only the hurt-parts, also the bright sides – simply couldn't be left out. Forgotten. Their past was a part of them. All of it.
He would never want Naruto to think that he was forgetting their past and how they had developed. "Lover" sounded too superficial, as if that was all they were. But they had so much more. This term was too often associated with nothing more but pure carnal interests, no past, no future. That wasn't it at all.
Though it was part of it. And certainly one of his favourite, he'd admit that.
It was always the same. Most times this whole…thing felt natural to Gaara. He didn't think it was wrong or weird to be involved with another man that way. It didn't feel wrong or weird anyway. It felt very nice. It felt safe and at the same time excitingly unpredictable.
It was just that it was so difficult to find words for what exactly it was. Or to describe it. It bugged him that certain terms and words just didn't seem to fit.
"What are you thinking about so hard?", a tired voice asked him.
Gaara blinked surprised. He hadn't realized that Naruto was awake. Looking down at the other, he realized that Naruto was still half-asleep, hair ruffled and hugging his pillow.
He smiled lightly, then brought his hand up to brush through the messy blond bangs.
"Nothing, Naruto. You can go back to sleep."
He caught a glimpse of something behind Naruto's eyes, but was to slow to recognize it. The blonde had already wound his arms around him instead of the pillow, looking down at him with a sly smile on his face. Apparently he wasn't as much half-asleep as Gaara had thought.
"I don't think I want to," he drawled.
"What do you want to do then?"
"How about you fulfil your duties as my boyfriend?"
Gaara smirked at that. At least Naruto, it seemed, had no problem at all with calling him his boyfriend.