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10 Roses

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// Day 1; Uneasy

It was over. Gaara stood in the Arena, Surrounded by the floating sand particles that saved his life, and just ruined one. A large man stood in front of him, a bit blurred to see in the safety of his sand. The battle was over once he jumped in to save Lee’s life from the sand. Gaara won. Gaara won his match. He could hear the yells of people, not sure if they were angry at him or happy. Not like Gaara cared what they thought.

But something inside of him made Gaara feel…. Guilty. That's what Gaara described the feeling. The fact that an almost dead person was in front of him, a almost dead person he made in that state, was heartbreaking. But why with him? Gaara killed many people before, worthy or just someone Gaara felt killing. A voice in his head begged him to go up and help the young man, But nothing would make him.

Gaara rubbed the side of his face, a bruise seemed to welp up. With a trembling fear he looked back at Lee, who was being carried away by paramedics. His speed was incredible. It wasn't everyday someone could land such a blow like that on Gaara’s face. As he focused on the pain, he could feel more circles of pain around his body. His legs, chest, stomach, all ached from the kicks and punches. Gaara remembered the feel of Lee wrapping his body around him, although it was a life or death moment, the world stopped. He melted into the warmth that was pressed against his own, until he was slammed onto the ground, sand armour breaking.

Another voice, loud and obnoxious, started yelling. Gaara looked to the side, and a quite angry, orange and blue ball was yelling. Yelling at…. Gaara? He was confused. What did he do? All Gaara did was win the match that proved he was worthy of being a Chunin. He noticed That Kakashi, The orange and blue boy’s Sensei, held onto the shaking boy. A small talk arose from the two, Nothing Gaara could hear though. Gaara took one last look at them until he sighed, Shifting himself up into sand. A voice welcomed him back, Temari it seemed. “Welcome back Gaara, you sure did a thing or two to that Lee guy.” She said in a very snarky way

Gaara grumbled a little bit, his arms crossed like always. His deep, raspy voice responded a bit warily. “I guess, his wounds looked bad.” Temari gave a slight reaction to what he said.

“When did you start caring about your opponents? That's not like you.” Her hands were pressed on her hips, once again trying to sound a bit sassy. Temari felt a finger tap her shoulder, looking behind her she saw Kankuro with a grim look on his face.

Gaara sighed, glaring at the two before he turned to his sensei. His Sensei gave him a slight smile, nodding as he looked back to the bickering Temari and Kankuro. The sand slithered around him, floating softly and waving in the breeze. He looked to the corner of his eye, watching as the next match was made. Another day, another nightmare.

--

“The finale battles are Next month.” He heard. Everyone seemed surprised, or shocked even. Gaara didn’t mind. There was something he wanted to do in the meantime. As he thought about it, a soft red glow made its way to his face. Now that shocked him. With a attempt to get rid of the soft red face he held, he just ended up making it worse. The red head tried to hide his face, noticing most of the Genin were leaving anyway. Gaara sighed, trailing behind his sister and brother slowly.

He tried to show no emotion when he saw Neji trail by with a face that was apparently supposed to make him wary. Gaara shrugged the threat off, just assuming that Neji was worried for Lee as well. With a uncomfortable grunt, he picked up his pace to his brother, Kankuro.

--

Home. Or, a small apartment he called home. The Red Head sighed, dropping his items on the floor as the first place he went was the small area he called his own. Gaara took a minute to sit down and collect some of his thoughts. His thumb and index finger moved to the temple of his eyes, rubbing them softly. His head was in pain, spinning from the afternoon he shared with intense battles, yelling, and floating debris.

About a minute later, a soft knock arose from the wall. Temari and her giant fan came into his view. “Hey, me and Kankuro were gonna go grab a bite to eat, i’m sure you don’t wanna come along so here is some money.” She pulled a twenty from her pocket and handed it to him. Gaara watched her leave in an instant. He looked at the money, holding it tightly. He wasn’t hungry.

--

“Hey Ino!”

Turning his head, the voice of a very annoying brat was confirmed to be the pink haired Sakura. She was apparently perched at a small flower shop. With a groan he tried to ignore her high voice, still wondering what to get with the money he was given.

“I was planning to get a flower for Sasuke.”

He heard her say. Gaara shifted his head to look directly at the flower shop. Get someone a flower? Why would you do such a thing? Both Sakura and Ino swooned over Sasuke, and getting a flower for him would only present their love.

Love.

That cursed word. Imprinted on his forehead. There wasn’t much things he loved. Sand, The Earth, His Gourd, Killing. To list a few things he decently liked. Basically the main things that got him riled up was fun, happiness, determination, care, innocence, and love. After a minute of repeating those words he felt his arm jolt up, covering his mouth. It felt as if his eyes were going to water.

Fun, Happiness, Determination, Care, Innocence, and Love was the sum of Rock Lee.

His mind brought up a small picture of the boy. Wrapped in rich, green spandex. Horrible Bowl Cut hair. Thick eyebrows. And a signature nice guy pose. It was all the things about Lee he hated.

And Loved.

---

It took a while, but Ino finally returned from going with Sakura to give Sasuke the flowers they both picked out. Gaara gulped slightly, feeling his feet move him over and inside of the decently sized flower shop. The fact that He knew that Ino knew what he did made him hope that she didn’t think he had a soft spot.

I mean he did but Gaara didn’t want to show it.

Ino looked up from a small magazine from the counter to say, “Hello! Anyth-” Ino Stopped. “Gaara?”

He froze.

“Hello.” He said. The fact that he almost forgot that his voice was this raspy and dead, was nerving. Listening to Lee’s voice replay in his head was forgetting that he had his own voice.

“You. The literal God Of Sand, Getting flowers?”

“It’s something Temari Requested.” Gaara crossed his arms, looking away with a small, but un-noticeable, red tinge on his face. “A decoration for the Time Being I guess.”

The curiosity on Ino’s face dropped a bit, almost seeming disappointed that his story isn't as interesting as she expected. “Oh, okay then. Did she ask what kind of flowers she preferred or what?”

“No, I mean what do you prefer?” Gaara said a bit Uncomfortably.

Ino gave him a soft smile, it was obvious she liked to pick out the flowers for customers, obviously in hope some day she would get the same flower from a special someone. “Oh! Well, I mean not to seem pushy but I always tell my Customers to get Roses. They really seal the deal when giving them to others,”

Gaara stood there, considering her choice. “Do they work well as Gifts to people you…” He didn’t want to say the word. “....Love?” It slipped out.

Ino seemed to jump out of her skin once she heard the word. “Love?! Gaara are you saying you Like Someone??” Her eyes almost started to glow. “Who is it?? Who is the girl?!”

Gaara growled, reaching over the counter to cover her mouth. “No! Shut up! I don’t love anyone!” As he said that his face just seemed to glow brighter and brighter. “Damnit Ino!”

Ino continued to chuckle, wiping a fake tear from her eye as she pointed to a bundle of roses. “Their over there,”

Gaara glared at her as he made his way to the roses. It was odd, but the array of colours and sizes seemed to surprise him. But the deep, lush red colour of a certain batch interested him. He brushed the petals of the rose, smiling softly as he picked one up. Perfect.

---

“Come again!” Ino said, waving the red head off.

Gaara sighed, holding the one rose in his hand. He would never escape Ino’s constant love of making fun of others, even if they could control sand. The small spikes softly touched his skin, almost breaking the thin layer. The red head sighed, drooping as he wondered when it would be the right time deliver the rose. Any minute of any day he could be caught red handed with his care for the person he almost killed.

Gaara looked up slightly, his eyes glued on the tall building that Rock Lee was in.

“I’m sorry” Gaara gripped the rose. “I’m sorry I put you in there.”

Filled with only a bit more confidence, Gaara continued walking his way to the building. He felt as if people were giving him a weird look, even if they weren’t. The rose stayed in his hand, awaiting it’s destination.

---

“He's on the Second Floor, But you don’t have much time. You have about six to seven minutes max.” The Clerk warned Gaara. He nodded, just happy that he got here in time. It took about five minutes to get here, for some reason.

Gaara nervously made his way up the stairs, for some reason filling the need to climb instead of ride the elevator. It didn’t take long, that's for sure. The red head looked at the rose, wondering more about it. How would Lee react? Would Lee forgive him? Would He accept the Rose? All those questions haunted him.

As he walked up to the door, Gaara tried his best not to give Lee a red face. His hands covered his cheeks and eyes, rubbing them softly. The back of his hand rapped on the door, hoping that Lee was up.

No response.

With a gulp, Gaara slowly opened up the door to see an almost pure white room. On the far left laid a desk, and Lee. He was sleeping on a seemingly comfortable bed. The damage he was done was hidden by a white blanket. He was still sorry.

Gaara walked up to Lee, getting a better and much more lovelier view. Not much changed about his young face. Gaara didn’t know why, but his hand softly rubbed against the side of his face.

He was so cold.

He closed his eyes, thinking. Thinking about Lee. Thinking about how he missed him so much, even if he was right in front of him. He missed the enthusiasm. He missed his cheery voice. He missed his determination.

He missed Lee.

Opening up his eyes, Gaara placed the rose on his blanket, close to Lee’s hand. Softly but firmly, he picked up Lee’s hand, kissing the skin that surrounded pure strength. It felt weird.

With a final goodbye, and a few words spoken, Gaara left Lee alone to rest. To recover from what he had done. In his pocket was about fifteen dollars.

With a growl of his stomach, Now it was the time to pick up some food.