Be my Teddy Bear.
Gaara's insomnia has reached epic proportions and it is starting to affect his sanity. However on his recent trip to Konoha, he inadvertently finds a solution to the problem … and it involves Hinata.
"Naruto." Replied the slightly drained looking Kazekage to the newly appointed Hokage of Konoha, the Village Hidden in the Leaves. Naruto hugged his friend tightly, Gaara taking his time before patting his friend on the back twice.
"Gaara?" Naruto pulled himself back slightly from his friend to look at him better as he felt the Kazekage's rib cage when he embraced him. The red-haired man had even darker rings around his eyes than usual, the red veins in his eyes violently clashed against the opaque green colour of his irisis. His skin was really pale and he had lost a lot of weight, dispite never having ever been big or even medium sized in his life.
Gaara looked into the piercing blue eyes of his blonde, spiky haired friend and smiled as he looked at the flame orange long coat he wore.
"Naruto… nice jacket." Naruto smiled at his friend though he was still worried as hell about him.
"You should see the back," Naruto said, spinning on the spot and showing to Gaara the embroided letters. "Konoha's Orange Kohage." Gaara smirked slightly as Naruto looked over his shoulder to see his friend's face. "I know, right. Just couldn't stop myself."
Naruto spun around smoothly again to face his worn-out looking friend full on. It had been almost a year since the war and since then, Naruto received letters from Temari and Kankuro saying how worried they were about Gaara. Naruto tried to visit Sunagakure, Gaara's village, but Gaara refused to see him until 'issues had been resolved'. Gaara never told Naruto or his siblings Temari or Kankuro what was wrong but now it seemed he was ready to face the world again. Dedicated exclusively to his village, he did every job The Land of Earth desired of him without fail. It seemed that he had overworked himself.
"Hey, pea brain!" Yelled Kankuro who with Temari caught up with their little brother. "Congratulations! Where's the beer?"
"Idiot!" Muttered Temari, whacking Kankuro around the head as soon they stopped running.
"Ouch! Sis, love really hurts, huh?"
"Guess so, bro. Naruto-Sama," Temari bowed to the newly appointed Hokage who blushed at the woman bowing to him. "I also want to wish you congratulations."
"Thanks Temari-Sama … but I'm still me. Number one knuckle-head…"
"Amen to that." Agreed Sakura, slowly walking up to them.
"Hi Sakura-Chan," Said a coquettish Kankuro who had gone nearly as red as Naruto had done. "Shouldn't we be congratulating you too?" He pointed to the little tummy she was showing and she giggled like a school girl.
"Thank you." She said with a small smile and slight blush on her face as Naruto put his arm around his blossoming wife and kissed her on cheek."Let's bring you to our home. We hope you don't mind but your like family to us and we are not having you stay in some lodgings…"
"Psst," Whispered Naruto to Kankuro. "The beers there too. We've got a bit of a party planned for tonight so when we get back, get Gaara to rest up."
"My hero." Whispered Kankuro who patting the Hokae on the back, walked with his siblings and friends to the Hokage Mansion.
" How's he been?" Naruto asked and Kankuro let out a small sigh. Gaara was smiling as he listened to Temari and Sakura talk about the things had happened that last year.
"Not good," Kankuro said sadly. "He's either been locking himself away in his office, running the Village and desert with all his might or watching the stars until sunrise. He hardly ever sleeps now … not since he saw our father and had to fight him."
Naruto nodded. Man, that has to be the hardest thing imaginable, having to fight and kill your own father who is under the control of some evil, heartless idiot… unimaginable.
"He looks like he could fly away in a strong gust of wind." Naruto commented bitterly and noticed Kankuro wince but nod in agreement.
"We thought he was going to die on the way here. Last night, his breathing became so heavy its like he had to fight for every breath."
"Sakura can help." Naruto offered and Kankuro patted his back again.
"I agree. If anyone can save him, she can. She certainly saved me."Kankuro said, reflecting on how the pink medical-ninja not only saved his life but with Granny Choji, beat the legendary Sasori of the Red Sands where he had failed the first time.
"He's going to get better, Kankuro. Let's get him rested and tonight… we are going to party."
"Party." Agreed Kankuro and together they caught up with the three shinobi: the two woman chattering away and the frozen, fake smile upon Gaara's face.
AT THE HOKAGE'S MANSION…
After putting away their things in their enormously sized, en-suited rooms, The Sand Siblings quickly made themselves at home: Temari was on the phone to Shikamaru who was meeting up with her later at the party, Naruto and Kankuro were having a couple of beers whilst talking about the latest new in the countries whilst Gaara chose to stay in his room. He lay on the four-poster bed and gazed at the beautifully furnished room and patio doors ahead of him. That night he would simply open the doors and watch the stars from the bed.
It was fit for King. It had a snack bar and drinks bar, the en-suite bathroom included a Jacuzzi and even a thermally warming toilet seat with book holder and drinks stand. Despite all of the pleasentries… he still couldn't sleep. He had done all he could to get the images from the war out of his head and even after nearly three years, nothing had really changed. This first 2 years, he had put up a good fight and even managed to sleep his normal 4 or 5 hours every day.
It was this last year that had really been the hardest and part of that was due to the reason that it would have been his father's 50th birthday. He knew Temari knew it was too (he knew Kankuro would have forgotten) and chose not to discuss it in case it caused her any pain. He would endure the pain of hell itself if it meant his siblings were happy. This did however mean he was yet again very lonely and in pain without relief.
"Come in." Gaara said, rising up from the bed.
"Hey Gaara," Said Naruto cheerfully, handing his friend a cool can of beer. Naruto wore a wild looking Hawain-styled red shirt with bright orange shorts. "The party starts in half an hour. What are you going to wear?"
"This." Gaara said, pointing to the Diplomat uniform neatly hung on the door of the white wardrobe with pearl handles.
"Nice," Said Naruto, nodding at his friend's appreciation of formal wear. "But you don't have to worry about wearing formal wear to this party. It's very casual. Only people we have known extremely well are coming tonight. So, just be comfortable."
Gaara nodded, slightly leaning away from the brightness of his friend's shirt but could understand his friend's thoughtfulness.
"I'll… see what I can do," He said, taking the can from his friend and opening it, took a small beamed the full warmth of the sunshine at Gaara through his smile. He knows Gaara hates beer but the fact he did it for him, meant the world. That was why it was really apple juice but with the beer label on the outside of the can. Gaara smiled at his friend and tilting his head to one side and holding the can up to examine it, advised naruto that:
"Is it me, or is the beer rather… sweet?"
"Our little secret to get your bro off your back." Said Naruto, winking at the Kazekage who smiling took another sip.
"No biggie. Just promise me to take better care of yourself or I will fall apart." He meant that too. If anything happened to his friend, especially there in his home … he'd never get over it.
"Agreed." Gaara said and Naruto turned and walked out the room, gently closing the door.
"Well," Gaara said to himself, putting down the can. "What do I wear?"
HALF AN HOUR LATER… PARTY TIME!
Deciding on a black T-shirt and a pair of red combat trousers he usually wore for training, he left his room, picked up his can and entered the incredibly noisy and packed living room. Music was blaring from speakers which in fact had been two of the walls of the room and making the furniture jump gently with each beat that came out. The Konoha 11 were all there, as well as a few of the Sunagakure ninja who came to Konoha either on a mission or as diplomats. Either way, it was a very good job the room was so big and that Naruto and Sakura had a lot of furniture.
"Matsuri." He saw his young protige talking with Kankuro, both of them laughing and joking with each other. They had been dating now for 6 months and seeing how happy both of them were together, gave them both his blessings and full support. She turned and ran to her leader and sensei.
"Gaara-Sama, you look …" She was going to say 'Ready for a work out' as she knew almost better than anyone the standard training clothes he wore when he taught her but was interrupted by a fast-approaching boyfriend who grabbed her around the waist, almost out of breath.
"Nice outfit bro." He said, looking at the can of beer in his baby brother's hands and first actual attempt of casual clothes. He felt proud.
"Thanks." Gaara said with a small smile at the happy couple. At first, when he heard from Temari that Kankuro and Matsuri had started dating, he felt like he should beat his brother up for taking advantage of minor but…
"What was that for?" Kankuro asked the pretty girl by his side, rubbing the large bump now appearing on his head.
"For what you are about to start thinking."
"Huh?" He said, totally bewildered until she kissed him on the cheek and it burned crimson as soon as her lips parted from his skin.
… it seemed that Masuri had things under control.
Feeling slightly dizzy, Gaara decided to sit down on the nearest sofa a.s.a.p. Excusing himself from the now flirting couple, he sat down gently with a small sigh and closed his eyes for a moment.
"Forgive me Kazekage-Sama," Said a quiet voice from his right-hand side. "But if you feel a little under the weather, I have something that might help." He opened his eyes and saw a beautiful young dark haired gir in a blue one-straped tank top and long indigo skirt taking out a small pot from a tiny turquoise bag.
"There's no need, Miss…" He knew he should have remembered her name but not only was he dizzy but his head started to hurt. He tried to focus on the pain and stop himself from crying out. Quickly, she unscrewed the lid of the tiny white pot and rubbed a small amount onto her finger tips. Leaning closer to him, she started to rub the sweet-smelling cream onto his temples and suddenly, the pain and dizziness disappeared. He gasped. Never had he experienced anything that effective before in his entire life.
"Hyuga," She whispered quietly beside him and even though the music blared somehow he managed to hear her perfectly. "Hinata Hyuga."
"Thank you." He said in a surprised voice, his face under control and he gently leant back into the sofa.
"It was nothing, Kazekage-Sama." She said, placing the small pot into his hands.
Blushing slightly as her fingers briefly touched his, he looked intently into her eyes. He noticed how round and perfectly white they were, as if he was staring at the night sky at twin full moons… twin full moons… full moons… full…
The Kages head slumped, he eyes slowly closing as he landed on Hinata's shoulder gently and completely sound asleep.
"GAARA!" Screamed Temari, who had been talking to Shikamaru and saw her brother had collapsed. The music was stopped abruptly. Everyone turned to look at what was happening. Kankuro started to panic and Matsuri tried all she could to calm him. Temari rushed over to the sofa where her brother was sitting and it was then she heard something…. SNORE!
"Oh Kami!" Naruto yelled as he saw Temari huddled over his friend. "Is he…"
"He's asleep!" She said, raising herself upright and putting her hands on her hips before laughing out loud. "And out for count now too for the looks of it." She eyed the girl who became her brother's pillow and smiled at her.
"Hinata, are you okay?" A white-eyed man in a white shirt and black shorts asked with long, black hair.
"Yes brother, I'm fine." She blushed at the sudden attention people were now giving her and the suggestive smiles they gave too.
"Have you ever heard him snore before?" Kankuro teased, coming up to his brother and shocked to hear just how loudly he was snoring.
"Never." She said, looking at the contented look upon the panda bear-eyed man as he slept.
"Perhaps it was the ointment I put on his temples…" Hinata suggested to the friends around her. "… But it was to cure his head pain and not send him to sleep."
"Well, I better put him to bed." Advised Kankuro, bending down to pick up his little brother.
"Hmph." Snorted Gaara, trying to swot his brother like a fly with his eyes still closed. "Mmmm," He murmured smiling as he took the arm that tried to swot his brother away and wrapped around Hinata. "Ge-Ge."
"Ge-Ge?" Kankuro stated to everyone around, rubbing his in confusion but smiling at the sight of his brother having finally put his arms around a girl. Though the girl in question was beetroot red and looked totally embarrassed.
"Don't you remember Ge-Ge?" Tamari asked Kankuro. "He refused to sleep without him for years."
The light in Kankuro's head switched on and with it a massive grin.
"Hang on, wasn't that Gaara's teddy bear?"
"Yes." Temari exclaimed and Kankuro couldn't hold the laughter in anymore.
"Oooo." Said Hinata quietly, making Gaara cling to her even tighter.
"Ge-Ge safe now." Gaara reassured her in such a small, sweet voice everyone stared at the former demon carrier in disbelief. She froze in his arms as he snored even louder and Temari had more news that would make the girl slightly more worried.
"Hinata honey," Temari said gently, trying not to embarress the girl even further. "Kankuro might need to lift up you and Gaara together to get him into his room. I remember still how much of fight Gaara would put up if anyone dared remove him from his teddy bear. Is this okay?"
Hinata honestly didn't know how much worse things could get so she nodded gently.
Temari then nodded to Kankuro who then scooped up the pair in his broad arms. It scared him how light both of them were! He then took them into Gaara's bedroom and placed them gently on the bed. He started at the clock on the bedside table. It was 9:30pm.
"This is the 1st time I have known Gaara to be asleep before 2:30am," Kankuro told Hinata. "He has been so sick recently that he hardly ever sleeps more than a few hours every 2-3 days. Would stay with so he could get at least one night's good sleep? I know this must be embarrassing and hard for you … but you'd be saving his life. Will you stay with him tonight?"
Hinata was bursting for the bathroom but knew she could not leave anyone, let alone Gaara when he might need her most. Who could desert the man who helped save the Shinobi World by helping get some sleep for a few hours…
"Of course." She said and Kankuro nodded happily to her.
"Thank you." He said before leaving the room and closing the door.