Naruto Fan Fiction ❯ Captive ( Chapter 7 )
Sound Sleep Ch 7
Sakura leaned back on the door as if the gateway would open at her will. She looked toward the only other figure in the room sitting on the desk almost as surprised as she was, his eyes only showing a hint of alarm at her sudden appearance. The sound of her breathing was obvious well across the room, and he could feel more than hear the pounding of a thickened heartbeat in her chest. For moments neither of them moved, just stared at each other in awe.
Well, mostly Sakura.
Gaara had begun to sensitize himself to her presence whether he like it or not. It was driving him mad knowing that she had this power but was unwilling to help him gain a little sleep, but every time she was near she invaded all his senses as if somewhere deep inside the demon was trying to take in as much of her as it could, this meeting no exception. He was drowning in the urge to sink into the bed and rest.
Her green eyes skimmed over his position on the desk: chair scooted out, one drawer open, and Gaara sitting cross-legged on top as if he had been meditating before she was thrown into the room. Wearily, Sakura moved from the door and sat on the bed, which was well across the space from the Kazekage. And that was fine with her for now, as long as he stayed that way.
« Gaara, » she knew that he could be just as talkative as she could, considering their meeting in the woods not too long ago. Unconsciously the demon watched her small hand lift and graze the skin of her neck as if she was almost reliving his assault; he nodded in response. Obviously Sakura had expected something verbally to give her an idea of what to say, but he offered her no quick out. What kind of conversation do you make with a being such as Gaara of the Sand? « Why am I here? »
He shrugged slightly, « I really have no idea. »
Sakura looked unconvinced. « Really? » Her feet shifted to a cross-legged position like his, « You didn’t put your brother and sister up to kidnapping me and forcing me into a room with you, the person who’s been trying to get alone with me for a long time? » The red head shook his head.
« No, I did not, nor do I appreciate the third degree interrogation. »
Temari looked at Kankuro from their position on the other side of the door. She felt slightly guilty for eavesdropping on them, but even her other brother had insisted they press their ears to the door and finally get some answers. They heard the weight of the desk shift slightly as Gaara stood, but without visual aid the duo wasn’t able to figure out what he was doing.
Sakura pressed hard into the firm headboard as the man crossed the room to sit next to her on the bed. Next to her! She shrunk her lithe form into the very corner of her side of the mattress, aware that should she stand he might jump over the bed and follow her. Nonetheless, she wasn’t as relaxed as Gaara was, but he wasn’t actively staring at her so the young girl could almost breathe a sigh of relief while shifting onto the bed and mimicking him in his forward stare.
After a good thirty minutes of this, however, Sakura was starting to give herself a headache. It wasn’t easy trying to shove her eyes into the very corner of their sockets to keep sights on Gaara, who had yet to move. Finally he did move; shifting, sliding almost, his shoulders met contact with her own, and even though Sakura was about to jump completely out of her skin in the dimming room, she didn’t make a peep. With a quick turn of her head it revealed that Gaara’s eyes were closed.
‘Oh Kami!!! He’s gone to sleep… What am I supposed to do now? » She took a minute to study him in a relaxed position. His eyes closed, invisible eyebrows were at ease, locks of burnt rose falling into his face, which looked much younger as he slept. She could have gasped at the beautiful, boyish creature leaning on her shoulder. Had this been a movie set, or even possibly a different situation between them, Sakura might have inclined her head on top of his, but this wasn’t and she couldn’t forget that. As uncharacteristic as it was for Gaara to be sleeping on a woman’s shoulder, just to add to that he moaned a little in his slumber. ‘Moaned?’ Sakura gasped in bewilderment at the nearly vulnerable noise; big mistake.
The small noise awoke Gaara from the relaxing and rewarding sleep, and he was out on the war path for the origin. His head rose from her small shoulder and his palm (instead of sand) met with her neck as he pinned her down onto the bed. Gaara didn’t register what he was doing for the first few seconds, but in the blurry sight before him his vision came back. Her cheeks were flushed the color of her hair and she was breathing particularly shallow with his weight on her, but Sakura wasn’t struggling; she knew better than to do something so futile.
Without the burden of sleep in his past, Gaara had never dealt with what’s known as a ‘hazy head’ that some people suffered from upon waking, but since he’d never had it before, Gaara certainly wasn’t thinking straight. For the first time, Haruno looked like a woman before him.
And from what he’d heard from Kankuro, women were something to trifle with when it came to emotions. If he really wanted this girl to stay by his side and allow her power to wash over him at night so he might succumb to sweet hibernation, he was going to have to tread carefully—or maybe this was just the sleep wearing off. Kankuro had talked about women getting too attached after his brother had ‘just started to have fun with them’ or however he had put it. So that meant?
Sakura was about to say something with the little breath she had in her lungs until Gaara shifted his hand from her throat and his weight from on top of her. Beautiful sweet breath filled her lungs until she was able to exhale brilliantly until noticing the man still hovering above her. He seemed to be weighing something in his mind, though what Gaara might be thinking about in this particular position Sakura was not prepared to guess.
‘Should I kiss her? Isn’t that what Kankuro said… that they started to get attached once he kissed them, or more?’ Truthfully, while it wasn’t a completely horrid idea, Gaara wasn’t used to such intimate contact—that was out of his comfort zone. Just as his mind turned over a new thought he registered Sakura letting out a breath. It was enough to break his reverie, and Gaara shifted off the bed and out the door in one swift motion. Sakura just lay there diagonally on the bed confused. Had Gaara almost kissed her there? He was becoming more and more of an enigma to her… He obviously needed her presence, though that was confirmed when she looked down at his sleeping form.
What else would he need someone like her for?
Sakura closed her eyes, not caring that she was drifting to sleep in Gaara’s suite. He owed her much more than just this luxurious bed, but for now she’d take it.
The large door to the council room slammed behind her. Obviously her portion of the discussion was over and she was no longer needed. It was official: Sakura Haruno was to be shipped off to Suna.
And what was worse? The council men hadn’t even blinked an eye. Tsunade was the only one who had fought to keep her there or at least had the sense to question them about their intentions. The answers were vague at best.
That didn’t matter anymore. Her fate was sealed: wax in place, Gaara had placed his seal on the chains that now bound her to him. Metaphorically of course, for Sakura wasn’t so stubborn than restraint was necessary to cart her off… yet. Gaara hadn’t said much in the entire meeting—he didn’t have to. One whiff of a treaty in their nostrils and the council members of Konoha would agree to anything without any real arguing.
Guess there wasn’t anything left to do but pack. Her head bowed sullenly and she allowed a small jiggle of her chin before trudging along with tears threatening to rear their watery heads. Shino wasn’t going to like this, but what could she do? Treat it like a mission as Temari had said? Sure, but what about Sakura?
No one was thinking about Sakura or what she wanted: Tsunade and her politics, Gaara and his lust for sleep, and even Suna had something to gain from her skills. Was she whining too much; should she just suck it up and take it like a ninja would?
Her deft hands all but threw various undershirts and uniforms into the case which was first stocked with kunai and other weapons of choice should she have to really defend herself from anyone in Suna, Gaara or otherwise. She contemplated stocking some medical gear if it was true that she was suppose to work in the hospital under false pretenses. She wasn’t going there to heal people or forward their skills in medical chakra control. No, Sakura Haruno was being slugged all the way to Suna to be the bitch of one Gaara of the Sand so that he could sleep.
Wasn’t that his calling card? Insanity due to insomnia?
Shino watched from the doorway, arms crossed and silence as usual. Sakura could feel the tension, feel how he was obviously trying to think of something to say; he was terrified of her leaving, especially when she had to deal with Gaara. He pondered: would Gaara want to sleep in the room with her every night? In her bed?
He was furious at the thought of Gaara taking advantage of her like that. The bug man had half a mind to walk over there and just rip the bag from her small, ineffectual hands and demand that she stay there with him. Suna would survive; Konoha would survive. They would be fine.
« Sakura, think about this; don’t go. »
Oh, she closed her eyes, if there was any way she could stay with a man and his silky voice like that she would. Shivers haunted her spine for a moment to humor her situation a bit. What might she think of this situation had Shino and she actually completed their one night stand? What would Tsunade have done differently; probably nothing. The Hokage would have told her that a relationship with another nin was an expendable thing… she inwardly shook her head.
« I don’t want to, Shino, » she approached him. « I really meant what I said in the tub the other night; if it were in my power to stay here… with you, » she gulped. « I’d choose. »
He stepped forward to hug his arms around her, enveloping Sakura into a warmth that was unlike anything she’d experienced before.
« And if I could ever come to you? » Sakura pulled back from his embrace and looked into his eyes with confusion. « If I could ever come to you, save you from Suna’s grasp, could I? »
« If only, » Sakura imagined his riding in on some wave of beetles to come save her. Apart from the chill the thought of bugs gave her, underneath that Sakura felt a longing. Could he save her? « If only you could, Shino. »
He just squeezed her harder yet.
Sakura had more than enjoyed the small get together with friends the night before. Without Naruto trying to shove alcohol down her throat left and right, it would have been even more fun, but they all showed their support, and each and every one hugged her in private, tears slipping down all faces as it ended…
Currently the endless glare of Gaara caught with Shino’s strong counter as the demon husk wondered what this other nin was gdoing escorting her to the gates. This bug nin had been a thorn in his side the entire time; of course he would come to bother him just as he was about to take the woman for himself once and for all. He stood, poised to jump from the lands of Konoha before Tsunade approached Sakura daring to have tears in her hard, brown eyes.
« Sakura, » the young girl just looked at her mentor for the out of character state she was in. « I feel like I’m losing a part of me, a part of my life. » And consequentially, Tsunade was. Her daughter, her protege, her companion was going to Suna, past Lake Country, and out of her comfort zone. For the first time in a long string of being ruler, the Hokage was really beginning to regret everything that she was forced to force Sakura into. « Please forgive me for not standing up for you, but I know, » she paused for a hiccup of guilt. « I know that you will make me, us proud. »
« I will, Tsunade. » She hugged both her and Shino, hanging on a little longer to the bug man than Gaara liked and walked towards the group of people waiting. Council members leered at Sakura, at the though of having the jewel of Konoha within their country and within their grasps.
And so began the long journey to Suna; sand in the sandals, long hot days, and endless lonliness awaited her.
Her sandals dug into the sand as they paused for a break; up ahead, Gaara stood off to the side, not resting at all, but she assumed that he was the least in need of a break even after such a long journey. Sakura examined his back from her crouching position on the hard grains; it was broad, something unlike the child Gaara that she knew and feared. But she could see the way his back moved, see tiny hairs on his neck, the way that even though he was mostly unfazed by the heat Gaara had a gentle flush of blood in his face. She knew she’d said it before, but these traits were just so… human.
‘But still,’ Sakura panted as her foot shifted in the sand. ‘I can’t get that face… his face out of my head. As he was sleeping, it was so soft and hominal that it’s just stuck.’ Truthfully, Sakura’s cold barrier of denial was starting to melt, which began at first glance at Gaara that odd night.
Sakura couldn’t get the image of Gaara asleep on her shoulder out of her head; it was a moment of vulnerability that he had been willing to show her, well, not so much willing as he had no choice. Which brought her to the next question in her mind. Why her? What about her was able to calm Shukaku down so?
Gaara rose, and for a second Sakura flinched as if he could read her mind, but he walked straight past her and in the direction of Suna: her new home for the next six months at least. Could she do it, bear Gaara for that long? The entire journey she watched his back, breathing through her nose and out her mouth almost in time with his steps. One of the council members had stared at her, even offering to carry her the entire way should she need it; Sakura shivered with disgust. At last, however, the peaks of Suna’s sandy buildings rose over the far dune and they progressed toward the city with the relief of being home – or in Sakura’s case, the unease of now being home.
« This is where you’ll be staying, Miss Haruno, » a maid or servant of some sort had greeted them as soon as Gaara and Sakura had arrived at the Kage building. Obviously this is where Gaara lived, but she couldn’t be sure about Temari and the painted one, Kankuro. The Kage had disappeared as soon as he made sure she was in the maids’ care—as if she would run! If she did, where the hell would she go?
The color palette of the room was mute at best, the knick knacks usually found in bedrooms were missing, and there were no personal touches whatsoever. If it wasn’t for the fact that it had a plush bed centered on the far wall Sakura probably would have demanded another room for her six month stay. She lay down first, reveling in the way her figure sank into it. Now this was a bed—even better than her own. But the window eventually called her attention. The cushiony seat below it beckoned her to sit and look down at the many happenings down in the streets. The vast, sandy town was not what she had imagined. There were patches of grass and small gardens that she spied behind average-sized houses, though the patches of soil consisted more of vegetables than flowers. Sakura was amazed that anything was able to grow in those conditions, but she noticed that hardly any flowers at all were able to fair against the heat. Perhaps she would find some somewhere that might remind her of Konoha.
People strolled along the streets going about their daily lives not knowing of her presence there—or why it was required. A blonde blob caught here eye and for a moment she envisioned Naruto there or maybe another of her friends, but a strange face turned and she realized that her mind was already playing tricks on her after just one day. Sakura was alone here, and she’d just have to get used to that. She was no longer on her own soil.
The evening bared its ugly teeth sooner than she thought, and she sighed at that thought that this was the sunset of the last day she’d see Konoha for a long time.
A knock sounded at her door, Sakura rising to answer it, « Temari, what are you doing here? » The pinkette didn’t remember becoming friends with the girl in Konoha, which mean that this was less than a social visit.
« I’m here to escort you to dinner. » It may have been her imagination, but Temari seemed slightly less than amused at the thought of being reduced to such menial labor as to fetch Sakura.
« Really? »
The blonde just looked at Sakura as if to berate her for even asking the question. They stalked down the hallways in a reverse path from the one she’d taken with the maid earlier. You could cut the air. Sakura was not used to having to make stressed conversation with someone. « So… »
Temari turned her head, knowing that Sakura wanted to ask her something. « So what? Spit it out. »
« Do you know how things are going to work?” Sakura finally decided to address the elephant in the room, and its name was Gaara.
« What do you mean by that? »
« I mean with the Gaara situation… he obviously brought me here to aid him in sleeping. Does that mean that he’s going to be sleeping in my room or vice versa? » It was the blonde’s turn to just look at Sakura incredulously.
« Haruno, that is Gaara’s room. You’re staying in the Kage building; practically the only bedrooms here are Gaara’s, Kankuro’s, and mine. If he wanted anything else for you, you’d be staying in the Ambassador building. »
Tsuyoku: Ugh, sorry sorry sorry this took soooooo damn long to write, revise, etc. I’ve been up to my eyeballs in school, work, and having a social life. But here it is, and it’s long enough that I hope you won’t kill me for taking this long. And I’m beginning ch 8 as we speak. ^.^ Thx, R&R