Gaara and I were walking down the roads of Sunakagure, heading towards our favorite cliff where we watched the sunset. We had just finished with an intense training session, during which my ankle had been caught in Gaara's sand coffin, so it was hard for me to walk because of the pain. Gaara had suggested we go to the hospital and have it checked out, but I refused. Watching the sunset was the only time I got to spend alone with Gaara between our training and his duties as Kazekage. Ever since Gaara had been chosen as Sunakagure's Kazekage, we'd barely had any time to spend together, and what little time we did share was usually spent training. I sighed and turned my head to look at Gaara. Big mistake. The setting sun shone upon his red hair, dancing across his eyes and face. I felt my cheeks turn red and stumbled over my own feet, losing my balance. Instinctively, I tried to grab onto something to keep myself from falling. Unfortunately, the "something" my hands found was Gaara's red robe. I fell to the ground, pulling Gaara down with me.
"Oww…" I groaned, feeling my ankle and side cry out in pain. The grass on the cliff had cushioned me somewhat, but my ankle had landed funny. I slowly opened my eyes only to find myself gazing straight into Gaara's teal orbs. My cheeks flushed as I stuttered an apology. Gaara had a look of confusion on his face as he looked down at me.
"Matsuri. Your face is all red. Are you sick?" Gaara asked, clueless but concerned. Couldn't he see that I liked him?
"N-no, Gaara-Sensei. I'm fine. I just tripped, that's all." I stuttered, trying to sit up. I flinched, though, causing Gaara to eye me curiously. Again, I caught myself staring at his face. Before he noticed, I turned away. He moved off of me and stood, offering me his hand. I accepted, but nearly came crashing back down when my injured ankle gave out. "Ahh… oww…" I groaned in pain. Gaara landing on me probably didn't help the fact that my ankle was already injured. Gaara, noticing my sudden loss of balance, secured his arm around my waist, holding me up. I blushed at his sudden touch. Looking up at Gaara, I noticed he had a look of concern dancing on his usually expressionless face.
"Is your ankle still troubling you?" He asked. I nodded in reply, swallowing back the few tears that had welled up in my throat due to the pain searing through my leg. Gaara walked me over to a rock and sat me down carefully.
"Let me take a look." He said, crouching down to inspect the swollen area.
"I'll be fine, Gaara-Sensei! I'm sure it's just a- ow!" I yelped. Gaara had tried to move my ankle, and the resulting pain was petrifying. I couldn't help but think how stupid this whole thing was. I mean, I was helpless and had to rely on Gaara just to walk. All because of an ankle, nonetheless.
"I'm sorry, Matsuri. Did I cause you pain?" Gaara asked, snapping me back to attention.
"No, I mean yes, but it wasn't your fault, Gaara-Sensei!" I assured him, finding myself at a loss for words.
"Okay. We should get you to the hospital. It appears that your ankle might be broken." Gaara informed me, standing back up. I was about to protest when two strong arms picked me up.
"G-Gaara-Sensei?" I asked, shocked. I knew I was blushing, but I couldn't help it. He'd caught me off guard.
"Yes, Matsuri?" He asked, looking down at me. He was completely unaware of the way he affected me. Sometimes I ask myself why I even bother, but no matter how hard I try, I can't shake my feelings for him. So, even though it's futile, I continue loving him, hoping he'll get the hint someday. I blinked as I felt his blank gaze drift to meet mine. My face was bright red, and I turned away, avoiding his questioning stare.
"Never mind." I whispered, trying not to make eye contact with my red haired sensei. Gaara must have sensed that I didn't want to talk, and started off to the hospital with me in his arms.
After what seemed like forever, we finally reached the hospital. We had traveled in an awkward silence, which only made the walk drag on longer. Gaara seemed to be thinking the whole time, but his face revealed no clues as to what. I had been tempted to ask several times, but decided against it. As we walked into the hospital, Gaara carrying me bridal style, the medical ninja on duty led us through a door and into the first open room. Normally, we'd of had to wait, but Gaara, being Kazekage, got special treatment. Although, he'd told me once that he really hated it. I smirked to myself at the thought. I knew exactly what he was thinking, for once. Once inside the room, the ninja instructed Gaara to lay me down on the examining table. Gaara did as he was told, gently placing me on the cold, metal surface. He stepped out of the room, allowing the ninja to examine my ankle. The last thing I remember is being wheeled into an operation room, and seeing Gaara walking beside the other medics.
I woke up feeling groggy. It was like a train had hit me or something. I sat up and stretched my arms, yawning. The sound of a door opening and closing caught my attention as I turned to see Gaara walking towards my bed.
"You're awake now, I see." Gaara said, looking at me. I blushed and averted my gaze.
"Yes." I whispered, embarrassed. I had on the typical hospital garb, which consisted of a paper thin robe and not much else. I felt my cheeks heat up as I detected Gaara's watchful eyes on me. Gathering my courage, I took a deep breath and turned my head so I was facing him. He looked confused for a second, but wiped the expression away.
"Your ankle was broken. The medics put it in a cast, but you won't be able to walk for awhile." Gaara notified me. I groaned, earning another puzzled look from Gaara. Not only had I managed to look like an idiot in front of Gaara, but somehow I ended up breaking my ankle, too. Luck definitely was not on my side. Gaara took a step closer to the side of my bed and rested the back of his hand on my forehead. A worried look flashed across his face as I blushed furiously. "You're warm. Would you like me to get the medics back in here?" Gaara asked, causing me to panic.
"No! I mean, I'm fine, Gaara-Sensei." The last thing I needed was for the ninja to tell Gaara the real reason my face was so warm. Although, knowing him, he probably wouldn't understand anyway. But still. Gaara looked at me suspiciously, but eventually dropped it. I sighed in relief. "So, when can I go back home?" I asked, suddenly realizing how tired I actually was. Gaara looked as though he were deciding something before he answered.
"Since you can't walk, you won't be going home. I've arranged for you to stay with Kankuro, Temari, and I until you've recovered fully. All of your stuff is already at the house, so you don't need to worry about that." Gaara said.
My mind was racing. Me? At his house? I'd never been inside before, and now I was going to be living there for who knows how long! Gaara must've noticed my sudden change in breathing, as he knelt down to me level. "Are you okay with the arrangement?" He asked, looking concerned again. I managed a curt nod before suddenly collapsing into his chest.
My eyes opened to the worried face of Gaara. I quickly glanced around, taking in my new surroundings. I was no longer at the hospital that much I knew. So that only left one other place. Gaara's house. I jolted upward, flinching as I bumped my ankle. Gaara reached out his arms to steady me and keep me from further injuring myself. I turned so I was looking at him. His face was so close to mine, I couldn't help but blush. His lips were no more than an inch from my own. I gulped as my face reddened even more. Gaara moved so I was an arm length away. A feeling of disappointment washed through me, but I quickly dismissed it.
"Wh-what happened?" I asked. I still had no idea how I'd gotten from the hospital room to what seemed to be Gaara's bedroom.
"You fainted. I took you back to my house so you could get some rest. But your face is still flushed, so maybe I should take you back…" He wondered aloud.
"N-no! You don't need to do that, really Gaara-Sensei. I'm fine." I quickly told him. He seemed to accept my explanation for now, and I allowed relief to once again wash over me.
"Why is you face always so red when I'm around, Matsuri? I don't understand." Gaara asked innocently. I couldn't control the extreme redness that came as a result of being asked that question by the one who was the cause of it in the first place. I looked up, examining Gaara's face. It was obvious that he wasn't going to drop it. Crap. There was no way out of this one. I sighed, turning to face my sensei.
"Well, the truth is… whenever I'm around you I…" I wasn't sure how to finish, so I looked up at Gaara, trying to see how he'd reacted to what I'd started to say. Naturally, his face was blank. A sinking feeling occurred in my chest as I realized he would never get it. I was just being naïve in thinking he could understand. I felt a tear slide down my cheek and fall to the bed. Another followed, and another until I was sobbing softly. I hid my face in my hands, hoping Gaara would leave. But he didn't. He took his hands and pulled mine off my face. He was now sitting cross legged in front of me on the bed, and his eyes were sad. I gazed at him, eye to eye, with my own watery orbs. I felt another sly tear begin to trickle down my red cheeks, but a soft hand wiped it away. Gaara's hand.
"Matsuri, I'm trying to understand. What do you mean?" Gaara asked gently. I looked up and met his gaze.
"What I meant was that whenever I'm around you, I… I… Dammit! I love you, Gaara!" I couldn't hold it in any longer. I knelt my head and started crying again, loud sobs racking my body. Gaara was dumbstruck. I knew I'd just sabotaged any hint of friendship we'd had, but I just added it to the list of reasons why I cried. Suddenly, something soft and wet pressed against my lips, silencing my anguished cries. My eyes widened. Gaara was kissing me. Me! I closed my eyes and succumbed to the kiss, feeling disappointed when it ended. I looked up at Gaara, wondering why he'd kissed me. What I saw was a tear stained face.
"Matsuri. I love you, too. All these years I thought no one would ever love me, a monster, but you proved me wrong. I've had feelings for you for awhile, but I thought that you…" Now it was my turn to silence him with a kiss. He took me in his arms and pulled me into a warm embrace. "You must be tired. Let's sleep." Gaara murmured into my ear. I silently agreed, and we both collapsed onto the bed, intertwined in the other's grip.