Apparently people actually like my terrible attempts at GaaHina (RED, Pants Off Now, and Make Me a Sandwich). ILOVEYOUSOFRICKINMUCH!

And I've got a poll going on my profile that has confirmed that the masses want more GaaHina. Don't agree? Go vote you silly goose!

I'm going with the interconnection thingy now. Elements from this are in RED and Make Me a Sandwich too.

I think I might end up doing a chapter fic-what do you guys think? I ended up taking the SasuHina one down cuz' my muses were fighting over it and I don't want that to happen again. :P

DISCLAIMER: Violets aren't red, roses aren't blue, I don't own Naruto but neither do you!

100 Themes Challenge #25: Insomnia.

'Cause maybe then I could sleep at night.
I wouldn't lay awake until the morning light.
This is something that I'll never control.
My nerves will be the death of me, I know.

~The Death of Me by City & Color

Gaara has never slept, and having the Shukaku taken out of him doesn't change this.

He thinks he should be upset, at first. Insomnia is a bad thing, right? And he had been looking forward to something Temari had referred to as 'dreaming'. It sounded nice, especially the 'subliminal wish fulfillment' portion.

But he gets over it quickly, if only because he is Gaara no Subaku and he doesn't linger over things.

But even the infamous Sand Demon needs to relax, and he finds his relaxation in walking. The cooler temperature of nighttime Suna make him glad for his robes, and as he walks he wonders if he shouldn't contact the village electricians and contract them for more lighting. The streets are dark at night and the sand that blows in his face isn't really helping his visibility.

He's almost at the Academy when he hears a faint 'hah!' that sounds like a battle cry followed by the loud sound of wood splintering beneath hands. It's distracting him from the peace and tranquility of his nighttime stroll and he uses his shinobi skills to track down the source of the noise.

It turns out to be a girl-woman with long hair the color of a late summer's evening and skin the color of the Suna moon that hangs over them. She is a whirlwind of movement and grace and her hands fly out, barely brushing the wooden posts that surround her. His first impression is that despite this girl's goddess like beauty, she is a poor kunochi. She is standing in the middle of the training ground, panting, and it doesn't appear that she's made a single mark on the dozen training posts, save for the one that had splintered earlier. He wonders how she pulled that off if her skills are so lacking. But then something changes and the posts break open, steaming woodchips trickling out like blood might stream out from an injured enemy.

He gets it now when she straightens up and he sees her eyes, star-silver and filled with pain. She's a Hyuuga, the woman Kakashi-sama sent as the new Konoha liason. Not that there was anything wrong with the previous one, but he's married now (to his sister, a fact he doesn't quite enjoy though he did enjoy threatening the brunette genius) and honestly, this one is seemingly much more intelligent and a better diplomat for sure.

Her chest rises and falls beneath her loose cream colored t-shirt. It's too long for her and yet too tight around the chest, and when he sees the small lavender-red fan on the back he realizes it belongs to Temari. The shorts she's wearing must belong to his sister too-this woman doesn't have Temari's wide hips and yet she curves in a feminine way that forces the shorts to cling to her like a second skin. Her legs are the same moon-pale as the rest of her body, and he notices a little too well that the shorts are rather short and that her legs seem to go on forever.

Then he sees that she's barefoot and when she spins outward, a sphere of blue chakra expanding around her to protect her from the flying wood, she leaves droplets of crimson blood in her wake. And when she crumples to the ground following her expulsion of chakra, he sees her hands are bleeding too. She winces when her hands meet the ground and he wants to cry out and tell her not to get back up. But he doesn't and she does and she grabs onto her stomach and cries out in pain. This time he doesn't hold back and this time he catches her before she falls.

"G-Gaara-sama?" She stutters out and his name sounds so sweet coming from the lips of an angel. He doesn't respond and instead straightens up, cradling her in his arms bridal style. But she's staring up at him with eyes full of confusion and he manages an awkward smile just for her.

"I will take care of you, Hinata-san."

That seems good enough for her because she passes out. He guesses it's from lack of chakra and when he starts to move he realizes how light she is and how thin her body feels. The cream shirt that had made her look so alluring from a distance now betrays how skinny she is-it rides up on her and exposes a hip bone that juts out under milky white skin. He briefly wonders when the last time she's eaten was and it scares him to think that maybe she's starving herself. Goddesses shouldn't hurt, not like this.

He finds a good use for his bed for once when he lies her in it and her hair fans out beneath her on his midnight-black pillows. Her skin that had looked so healthy under the light of the moon looks paper-pale sick against his too-black blanket, and he sees the bags under her eyes that resemble bruises.

She looks too-sick for words and he wants to panic and destroy something, but instead he calmly makes tea. She already smells like lavender and vanilla so he figures jasmine tea is perfect. It isn't until he spills the boiling water on his hand that he realizes his hands are trembling. He hisses in pain and wraps the blistering skin up with a bandage.

"Gaara-s-sama?" He glances up mid-wrap and sees her standing on shaky legs in his kitchen doorway. "A-ano, thank you for h-helping me. I'll go now." She keeps her head bowed and won't meet his eyes as she rushes to his front door. But he's fast and he beats her to it so that when she reaches for the door handle she meets his firm chest instead.

"G-Gaara-sama?" It's the third time she's said his name like this and he nearly blushes at how innocently erotic it sounds. But then he swallows and turns on his Kazekage mode.

"What happened to you, Hinata?" He crosses a personal barrier when he uses her name without a suffix, but he figures that they've known each other for a year now and if he wasn't in love with her when he met her strong, kunochi-diplomat self then he's in love with her broken, vulnerable sick-self.

"I-I-" She can't seem to answer him or meet his eyes, so he solves the latter problem by catching her chin in his too-soft hand and forcing her to look up. He searches her eyes for a sign that she's not falling apart and he doesn't find it.

"What. Happened?" He grits his teeth and spits out the question this time. "I won't ask again."

She cringes and he wants to take back his words but when she crumples into his arms he doesn't regret it.

"They're g-going to m-marry her off, Gaara!" She sobs. "T-they gave her a choice, the s-seal or m-marriage and I can't d-do a damn thing!"

He stiffens and automatically knows that 'they' is her clan and 'her' is her barely thirteen year old sister. He knows tradition should dictate that her sister won't be married till she's eighteen, but it will take away her freedom and he knows Hinata would rather die than let that happen. And tt appears that dying is exactly what she intends to do.

"So starving yourself is the proper alternative?" He hisses, his grip a little too tight on her too thin shoulders.

"N-no!" She cries through her tears."I-I just, I can't eat and I c-can't sleep because I all I c-can do is worry about her!"

"Then do something." He demands. "Do something about it!"

She stops crying so hard and part of him sighs in relief. "I k-know, I'm trying…B-but the only way I-I can give up b-being clan head is if t-they approve of a marriage, a-and they'd n-never approve! Kiba-kun and Shino-kun aren't p-powerful enough to demand it e-even if I l-let them-" He's met 'Kiba-kun' and 'Shino-kun' and he wants to throw up at the thought of one of her teammates taking her as a wife.

And unfortunately for him, Gaara's mouth (and his heart) are a little ahead of his mind and as such the words come out before he can stop himself.

"Marry me." He blurts out, cutting her off mid-sentence. Her silver eyes widen and he tenses, prepared to run at her response.

"W-what?" She asks, eyes wide as the moon that hasn't yet disappeared.

"Marry me then," His heart continues to speak for him and he wonders why he hasn't just killed himself yet. "And they won't have a choice. I'm Kazekage and that out-weighs any clan member. They won't be able to seal you since it'd become an international incident, and you could still work on your jutsu to get rid of the seal. Hanabi could become head and you could help her from here."

She has to avert her eyes and she pushes herself off of his chest. "B-but what about y-you?" She fiddles with the edge of her shirt and when he spots the blood drops seeping into the shirt he realizes she's still bleeding. He grabs the bottle of salve she gave him in thanks the first time he took her out to lunch and he grabs her hands before she can protest.

"What about me?" He asks while he smoothes the white cream onto her cuts. He knows from experience that her salve doesn't sting and yet she winces anyway.

"Y-you deserve to be w-with someone you love." She mumbles so quietly he almost can't hear her.

He snorts. "I don't think you quite understand, Hinata." He pins the bandages down and yet doesn't let go of her hands, keeping his eyes on her long tapered fingers. "In all honesty, I'm just being selfish."

He knows that this echoes her own confession of love and he wants to laugh at the irony. He knows she's not in love with the blonde Jinchuuriki anymore and a part of him thinks that he's at least got a chance now.

"I'm in love with you." His words are blunt and he lets out a breath he didn't know he was holding. Even if she doesn't accept him, he feels a sort of drug-like high just from telling her. Is this what it felt like for her? He hopes so. He hopes everyone has the chance to feel this. It's a bit like free falling without having to think about the possibility of hitting the ground.

"What?" She repeats, her voice soft and without a stutter.

"I said I'm in love with you."

He watches her face for a reaction, and she closes her eyes and laughs weakly. His heart stills and he wonders if she's about to reject him. But she stretches her arms up and wraps them around his neck, pulling his face closer to her's. Now his heart is beating again and he briefly thinks that she might be able to hear it beating.

"That's good, Gaara," She murmurs, her eyes lidded as she moves and closes the last few inches between them. "I kind of love you too."

He closes the final millimeter and his lips crash against hers. It isn't chaste or sweet or innocent. It's heartbreaking and passionate and they fall to the ground, twisting in midair so that it's his head that hits the hardwood floor. She tastes like salty tears and blood and vanilla and it's a dangerous combination. Her weight on him is a part of himself he's been missing and he marvels at how well she fits in his arms.

When they part, breathing labored and chests heaving, her skin is flushed and looks much healthier. The pain is gone from her eyes and is replaced with the wonder that is love and he wants to kiss her again and the feeling is apparently mutual because she presses her lips to his.

This kiss is sweet and gentle and is what first kisses should be like. When they part this time it isn't for air, it's because they need a moment to just hold each other.

"We should've done this a long time ago." He thinks out loud.

"What stopped us?" She voices his own thoughts for him, resting her head in the crook of his neck. He strokes her hair unconsciously and it feels unbelievably soft under his fingers.

"Fear." He realizes he's right after he actually says it. Neither of them is used to being loved and he thinks that this is going to be an interesting relationship.

She accepts his answer without another thought and her breathing begins to even out as she slowly falls into a natural sleep.

He sits there on the ground with her for another few minutes before he stands up, gently holding her as one might hold a baby. He carries her to his bedroom and this time pulls back the blankets before laying her down. This time instead of nearly crying at the unhealthy pallor of her skin, he sees the flush of her cheeks and the way her lips are parted slightly. This time instead of escaping to the safety of the kitchen, he pulls off his robes and his sandals so that he is left in his pants. He's not a pervert (he likes to forget the first time he and Hinata met) like Naruto is quickly becoming and he knows she knows that. Besides, her eyes are slightly open and her lips are curved up into a smile. And when he slides under the crisp sheets beside her, she curls up against his chest and he wraps an arm around her waist protectively.

It takes a few more minutes for Gaara to be completely and totally grateful that he doesn't need to sleep. Besides, if he was asleep, he couldn't see how beautiful she is when her eyelashes graze her high cheekbones and he couldn't tell how right she feels curled up against him under his arms.

And that's when he realizes that honestly, insomnia is a good thing.

I really, really don't like how this turned out. -_-

Eh. Read & review!