"Keep your eyes closed, we're almost there," Gaara whispered as he dragged Harry along the path and through the forest. He kept an eye on his friend and one on the path. Harry had one hand covering his eyes to stop him from peeking as Gaara held the other and led him around. He had found something that he really wanted to share with his best friend. It was something that explained how he felt in a way that words never would, and he needed to show him now because he didn't know if they would still be there later.
Gaara wasn't as expressive as Harry, and couldn't properly form sentences about his feelings or worries. He didn't need to really, since Harry had been able to read his subtle body movements since the day they met, but through observation, he had learned that reinforcing positive feelings towards someone ensured a long and happy life together. It had to be, since Charlus Potter still held his wife's hand, and told her that he loved her every morning over breakfast, and look at how old they were and still together. Rivals for Harry's attention were coming closer and leaves and cake just wouldn't cut it anymore if he wanted to keep Harry to himself. He needed a big gesture like the time Charlus had the elves decorate the ballroom for his and Dorea's wedding anniversary.
"Can't you just tell me what you found?" Harry pouted.
"You have to see it," Gaara answered simply. He picked up his pace a little, determined to reach the destination quicker as to no longer torment Harry.
"But Granma and Papa don't like us being in the woods without them," Harry pointed out. "They say dangerous stuff lives here like werewolves and giant rabbits that eat naughty little boys."
Gaara tightened his hold on his friend's hand, "I'll use my sand to protect you. I will not allow anything to hurt you." It was the best Gaara could do to comfort Harry. He had confidence that his sand could stop any giant rabbit or rabid wolf from trying to eat his friend.
"I know. I'm safest when with you…" Harry whispered before falling silent. The sides of Gaara's lips quirked up a bit in a smile, but just for a moment before dropping again as he focused entirely on safely navigating Harry to his surprise. Harry closed his mouth, completely content to follow Gaara without another word.
The rest of the journey was accompanied by their soft footfalls, and the wind rustling the leaves on the tree tops. They didn't run into anything dangerous or boy-eating, which was good because that would have only delayed Harry's surprise. If they were going at a slower pace it might have been a nice walk, but Gaara had somewhere to go and quickly. He moved fast, but still took the time to ensure that Harry wouldn't stumble over a raised root, or trip over a stray rock. Harry's safety is the most important thing.
When they reached the destination, Gaara positioned Harry in the middle of the clearing and stepped in front of him, wanting to see his face. He stopped his feet from shuffling in nervousness, suddenly anxious. But that was silly, and Gaara told himself that because it was surprise for his Harry, and he knew Harry would love it.
"Okay, you can look now."
Harry dropped the hand that had been covering his eyes until now, and looked around. It took a second but once the sight registered his face lit up in joy. "It's beautiful," he whispered his eyes darting everywhere trying to see everything at once.
The clearing was filled with butterflies. Thousands of them. Big ones and small, red, blue, yellow, purple, butterflies of almost every colour, and so many different wing designs that it would be impossible to record them all. The effect was amplified by the sun, streaming down and shining through the delicate wings as the butterflies fluttered around them. It was like a scene from one of those fairy tales at the end when they announce the 'happily ever after' bit.
A large turquoise butterfly flew over Harry's face, reflecting its magnificent colour across his cheeks and nose. The clearing itself was wonderful, but with Harry added the entire thing was so breath-taking that Gaara momentarily forgot what he wanted to say. Harry always left him like this. It was why he followed the little boy who offered him a cookie away from his home. He wanted to feel this more.
"This clearing…" Gaara started. Harry turned to him, his eyes wide in happiness, and Gaara felt his words coming back to him. "This is how my stomach and heart felt when I first met you, and how they feel every time you smile."
A blush spread across Harry's cheeks as a large smile stretched them. "M-mine too," Harry whispered shyly. "I just never knew how to say it." Gaara felt the smile form on his face. Not the little quirky one, but the real one that only appeared when he was alone with his Harry.
Gaara nodded, happy that his message had been received and understood. He didn't need any more words. He opened his arms knowing Harry was moving towards him as quickly as possible, and instantly Harry was jumping into them, hugging him tightly. Gaara's wrapped his arms around his friend and the feelings in his stomach changed. They felt deeper, more whole now.
Gaara frowned. It seemed he would need to find something else to express them now, because he didn't know if butterflies would cut it anymore, they weren't lively enough to express them any longer. The sun needed to shine more, make the butterflies glow brighter; make them warmer, he just didn't know how to do that. Yet.
But he would worry about that later; find a way to make the sun shine brighter, because right now he wanted to enjoy his hug.