Temari watched the door swing close, before she turned to her youngest brother. She gazed upon him with pity, but also with anger. The horrible things he had said to Sai…where had those hateful words come from? Ever since the Shukaku had been removed, Gaara hadn't been…cruel. He'd been understanding, and gentle. He would smile all the time…but it seemed as though Rock Lee's betrayal had really taken its toll on him.

"Gaara…I know you're hurting. Trust me, I know. But all of those things you said to him…" She shook her head, putting her hands on her his shoulders.. "They used to say them about you, too." She whispered the last statement.

Gaara's eyes went wide, and he stared at his feet. Was this…shame? He shook his head.

"Yes, but I did nothing to deserve those cruel words. He, on the other hand, does." His tone was dark, and emotionless…just like it used to be. Temari removed her hands, the look in her eyes sad, and scared. She walked away, into her room. She just couldn't take seeing her little brother like that again.


Sai knew he shouldn't go back to Gaara's hotel room. The younger boy didn't want to see him, of that he was sure. It would end badly, and he would most likely end up crying again…but he couldn't stop himself. He'd stopped by the park and picked a handful of bright yellow daffodils. It couldn't hurt.

As he knocked on the door again, memories of his last visit flashed through his head. Perhaps this was a mistake? There was no turning back, though, as the door creaked open to reveal a brooding Kazekage. Even now, with his disheveled hair and exhausted eyes, the younger boy still took Sai's breath away. He truly was hopelessly in love with Gaara. He held out the flowers, a smile plastered on his face.

"I picked these for you. Aren't they lovely?" He offered in a kind voice. If looked could kill, Gaara's eyes would have slaughtered him.

"You just don't know when to quit, do you? Freak." Gaara hissed.

In one swift motion, he knocked the bouquette out of Sai's hands, and stepped on them. As he crushed the petals into the carpet with his foot, he grabbed Sai by the collar of his jacket and shoved him up against the wall, hard. Sai saw stars as his skull cracked against the wood, and there was a murderous intent in Gaara's sea green eyes. In a brave move, Sai reached up and cupped the red head's soft face.

"Gaara…I'm not him. Please, stop taking out what he did to you on me! I am trying to help you! I am trying to love you." He whispered. Gaara chuckled, his eyes darkening further.

"No one can love me." He hissed. "And you'll learn what happens when you try."

Sai suddenly felt something cold and gritty encase his legs. He glanced down, and sure enough, it was Gaara's sand. Sai swallowed his fear, his hands still on Gaara's face. He moved them to his hair, running his fingers through the blood red locks. He marveled in how soft they were. The sand's grip tightened painfully, but Sai showed no signs of discomfort. He continued to smile down at the younger boy.

"Do you remember all those portraits I drew of you, Gaara? You're just as beautiful to me now as you were then. You always will be. I'm hopelessly in love with you. I'm sorry, if it's inconvenient. I'm sorry if it hurts. But there's no stopping what I feel for you." The raven said with conviction, his hands rubbing small circles into Gaara's scalp. The maddening look in the Kazekage's eyes only deepend.

"You freak. You monster." He whispered in a harsh voice. "Go ahead and say the truth. How you really feel about me! Whore. Faggot."

Sai gasped at those words, but everything was coming together in his mind. This is why Gaara was pushing him away? He was fearing what others thought of him. And he was assuming Sai felt the same?

"Gaara. I've spent countless hours drawing you…painting you…fantasizing about how you would feel in my arms. I memorized your voice, and I replayed it in my head so many nights, I've lost count. I don't think those things about you. If only you would understand. I do not fear you. I do not fear the sand wrapped around my legs. You are not a freak, and you are not a monster. As for you being a whore…no, Gaara. Yes, you are lovely, and yes, I want to be with you in that way. But only because to share those moments with you, to worship your body…would be the highest honor." And with that, Sai leaned forward, and pressed his lips against Gaara's.

Gaara's grip on Sai's jacket tightened, but as the sand slithered down to the floor, he knew he was in no danger. The smaller boy kissed back frantically, his hands sliding up to grip Sai's ink black hair. Not missing a beat, the ex-Root nin lifted Gaara up and wrapped the smaller boys legs around his waist. He carried him into the hotel room, bypassing the living room and Temari's room, and going straight into Gaara's room down the hall. He kicked the door closed, as Gaara bit down hard at the hollow of his throat. He groaned, laying the red head down on his bed.

"Please…please, Sai…say those things again. Say you don't fear me!" The Kazekage's voice sounded small, and fragile. Sai lay down beside him, kissing him passionately once more.

"I do not fear you, I only fear losing you." He whispered into the smaller boy's ear. "I only fear you never feeling or understanding the love I have for you. You do not need to love me back, Gaara. I am not trying to pressure you. That's not what my…attempts have been about. I simply need you to understand."

Gaara felt himself blush, and he turned on his side to cuddle against Sai's strong body. He buried his face in the painter's chest.

"I do…I do understand…" He murmured. "I'm…I'm sorry. About the daffodils…about the poem. Do you still have it? The poem?"

Sai smiled, kissing the top of Gaara's head. "Of course I do, Gaara. Of course I do."

They stayed like that, in each other's arms, for a very long time. They made love that night, as the moonlight poured in through the window. Gaara's heart began to mend.