I woke up to Butterball scratching and whining at the door, causing me to groan and roll over, trying to get away from the noises and the thought of getting up.
As I pushed closer to the hard surface beside me, I felt a movement and suddenly the hard surface was gone, a loud thump echoing throughout the room.
I sat up startled, blinking in confusion as Gaara sat up from his place on the floor, a hand pressed to his head as he looked at me with a bewildered expression.
"Was there a specific reason as to why you pushed me off of the bed ?"
I gaped at him, suddenly horrified as I woke up completely and realized what I had just done.
"Oh my gosh! I'm sorry Gaara! I thought that you were a wall so I pressed into you. I wasn't expecting a wall to move."
He quickly crawled back onto the bed and pressed his mouth to mine gently, stopping my apologetic ramble, smiling in amusement when he pulled back.
"It's fine, Ria. I'm not angry at you. That was just an interesting awakening. I wasn't expecting to have you push against me so much that you pushed me off of the bed. Maybe the mattress here just isn't wide enough for your sleepy movements."
I nodded, still slightly embarrassed about the whole situation and he kissed me again, this one just as brief as the last before he began to trail kisses across my jaw, heading towards my neck when I suddenly pushed on his chest. He pulled back and stared at me in alarm and I could see him second guessing his actions before either of us had even spoken.
I forced down a frown as I heard the underlying question of 'what did I do wrong' in his words, but ignored them and put on a stern expression.
"Oh no. You are not going to do that today. Misa saw my neck yesterday and apparently you left marks because she freaked out."
Gaara looked confused and I saw his eyes trail over my neck, his forehead wrinkling in confusion as he noticed the red marks for the first time.
"I can leave marks from kissing you?"
I nodded and rolled my eyes.
"Yes, Gaara, you can leave marks."
He bit his lip hesitantly and looked at me, his eyes upset and I instantly realized what he was thinking without him having to tell me. Because Gaara was not used to kissing or anything that ran along those lines, a visible mark on my skin to him, would make him think that he had hurt me, like a cut or bruise. That he had injured me for something like that to show, and the thought that he had hurt me was something that apparently affected Gaara deeply.
I framed his face with my hands and gave him a comforting look.
''You didn't hurt me you know. They aren't anything that hurts, or that I can even feel.''
He bit his lip, his eyes still sad as he didn't understand and I sighed, smiling gently.
"I think that I might need to show you what I mean. You obviously don't believe me otherwise.''
Gaara looked at me sadly and nodded, seeming to be prepared for some amount of pain.
I pushed him to the bed before shifting his shirt collar and leaning over him, pressing my mouth to the skin there. I didn't need his marks to show. I could always cover mine up with make-up, but I doubted that Gaara would allow me to put foundation on his skin...even if we did almost have the same shade of skin.
Gaara didn't move or speak, still upset about the marks and I could almost hear his inner thoughts berating himself over what was literally nothing to worry about.
I finally sat up and looked over my work, a smile coming to my face. There was a bright red spot where I had just been and I nodded in satisfaction, looking at Gaara's eyes and seeing that he appeared a bit dazed until I started speaking.
"Okay. Did that hurt at all?"
He swallowed hard and focused on me before he shook his head. I nodded and pulled him up so that I could lead him over to the mirror and pointed at his reflection.
He moved his collar and I saw his expression fill with shock. He touched the spot, his brow wrinkling in confusion before he turned to look at me, his voice questioning.
"It doesn't hurt at all."
I shook my head and smiled smugly.
"And it wont. It's kinda just there. It'll disappear after a little bit and I wouldn't have even known that I had them myself if Misa hadn't seen them."
He nodded and looked back at the mirror, studying the mark as he spoke to me.
"And this is exactly what I did to you yesterday? It didn't hurt you at all?"
I shook my head and rolled my eyes fondly.
"You didn't hurt me. The only problem I really got from them was the small amount of teasing from Mona...I'll probably get some more today."
I frowned at the thought before shrugging and walking back to the bed and sitting on the edge, watching as Gaara continued to look at me in the mirror before he turned suddenly and stalked towards me, an evil smirk on his face.
He put his hands on the bed on either side of me and bent down till he was eye level with me, causing me to lean back away from him slightly, that smirk still on his face as he spoke, his voice seeming to be teasing.
"So, no kissing your neck, huh?"
I shook my head and frowned at him, unsure about how to handle this suddenly different side to him.
"Nope. My neck is officially off limits."
The glint in his eyes told me that he was laughing at me, seeming to find something funny while that evil smirk continued to grow on his face.
I crossed my arms and narrowed my eyes as I nodded slowly, huffing slightly. I had never enjoyed being laughed at when I didn't understand the reason, and I wouldn't ever admit it, but he had kind of thrown me off balance with his sudden mood shift.
That smirk had turned into a full blown grin, the evil tinge to it making me shift uncomfortably and he leaned even closer, causing me to lean back even more to shift back from him. His voice was not comforting when he spoke.
"You know. A bad thing about my character, is that I'm always the one to cross and ignore limits."
My mouth dropped open in shock and he instantly pressed his lips to mine, forcing me backwards onto the bed as he crawled over me, his body pressing mine into the mattress.
I was starting to get light headed when Gaara suddenly 'ooffed" and pulled away from my mouth to look at his back, his lips turning down into a harsh frown.
I sat up as much as possible with his body still pinning me to see what had caused him to stop and fell back to the bed as I laughed in relief.
Butterball was perched on top of Gaara's back, ignoring Gaara's death glare and causing me to sigh.
"Saved by the panda."
Gaara smirked down at me, a teasing light in his eyes.
I faked my horror, suddenly liking this playful mood that he was in and able to join in now that I had found my footing.
"Oh no. I'll have to be careful."
I laughed and Gaara smiled as he stood, letting me sit up in time to see Butterball slide off of Gaara's back and onto the floor. I smiled and shook my head, looking up at the standing Kazekage.
"I think that Butterball has to use the bathroom."
Gaara nodded and frowned.
"Apparently. I'll take him with me so that Temari can see him."
I nodded and stretched, speaking through a yawn.
"Sounds good to me. I think that I'll sleep a little more."
Gaara looked at me sternly.
"Sleep? Who needs sleep? Besides, wont the others be up soon?"
I smiled smugly and shook my head.
"Misa might, but Salem and Mona will sleep until someone wakes them up and I don't know about Toru."
He nodded knowingly.
" Unless there's a mission, Kankuro doesn't get up until around noon each day either, so I understand."
He stopped suddenly and gave me a curious look.
"Would you like to go to the Kazekage Tower with me? I have a little work to do, but otherwise I'm free the rest of the day."
I scoffed and gave him a scolding look.
''You call that avalanche of papers all over your desk a little work? I think that you're delusional.''
He continued to look at me expectantly and I sighed before giving him a half smile.
"How about you get finished and then come back here? Because one: I don't think that you want me to punch your secretary in the nose. And two: I don't think that you would get any work done with me there."
Gaara snorted and nodded.
"Probably not. Alright, I'll come back and get you."
He frowned, his voice slightly unsure.
"Actually...you don't have an outfit for tonight do you?"
I shook my head no and he nodded thoughtfully.
"Why don't we go to the market here after I get back. Like I told you the other day, I don't go to the market much, and it's never been for clothes, but from what Temari says, they should have some stuff that you would like."
I smiled and nodded, speaking excitedly.
"We'd have to take the other girls with us, and Salem will tag along if Toru's coming, but I would love to go shopping."
He grimaced and sighed deeply.
"So much for my day alone with you."
I laughed and shrugged.
"It's alright, we'll sneak off later tonight."
He smirked and nodded.
"Good. At least I get some alone time with you."
He looked outside, seeing how high the sun had risen and sighed, his voice coming out in a small huff.
"I have to get to work if I plan to be back in two hours."
I nodded and he bent down again, this time simply pressing his lips to my forehead in a quick kiss, speaking when he had pulled away slightly.
"I'll see you in a little bit."
I smiled and nodded, seeing him pull away completely and stand straight as I spoke.
"Okay. Don't forget Butterball. You can make the Sniffing Man babysit him while you work."
He smiled and shook his head in amusement, picking up the panda from beside his feet.
"I would, but his sniffing might scare Butterball."
I laughed and he gave me a quick smile from where he had walked to the balcony before he stepped outside and disappeared into the bright sunlight.
I sighed once he was gone and flopped back on to the mattress for a moment. I would need to wake everyone up soon and get ready myself, but I really just wanted to lay still.
I let myself lay there for another moment before groaning and forcing myself off of the soft mattress and out of the bedroom door to go wake up my still sleeping friends.
I laid on my bed listening to the frantic slamming of doors and sighed deeply.
All of the girls had been ecstatic about the idea of shopping...after Mona had finished glaring at me for waking her up, the three of them speaking quickly about what they wanted to buy.
Salem hadn't been as thrilled. But like I had said, Toru was going and he had wanted to tag along.
The kitchen had been fully stocked, but we had been in such a rush that we had simply ate a breakfast of cereal, which Salem had complained would be gone in an hour and that he would be hungry again.
Mona had laughed at him and haughtily told him that he should cook something then, if he was going to complain. Salem had looked appalled at the thought of him cooking and I had choked on the bite of cereal that I had just taken, trying to yell that we didn't need to be the cause of the entire village burning down. Salem had had to slap my back several times before the stubborn grain had unlodged from my throat and I had quickly told them to never let Salem cook unsupervised.
He had scoffed, saying that he had no intention of ever cooking again after his last incident and quickly taken his and Toru's bowls to the sinks before returning to his room to get ready for the day. The rest of us had followed his lead and returned to our rooms to get dressed.
Which now left me bored. I had finished dressing over an hour before, not exactly caring about what I was wearing into the sand filled market, and not willing to put on make-up or deal with the mess that was my hair at the moment...it would just get tangled again in the wind after all.
So, I was lying on my bed, staring up at the ceiling and trying to find some patterns in the plain, white surface. I huffed as I finally gave up and let my eyes drift close for a few minutes. I wasn't tired, but the back of my eyelids seemed more appealing than the sight of the boring ceiling.
A few minutes later and I felt myself starting to doze, just for the fact of having nothing else to do when something new caught my attention. I still heard the frantic running and slamming of doors outside of my room, but it now sounded like the wind was blowing inside my room. I sighed inwardly as I remembered that I hadn't locked the balcony doors and realized that the wind must have blown them open...I wasn't getting up to shut them either.
A few seconds after that thought I felt the bed dip and someone curled up beside me, causing my eyes to snap open before I caught a glimpse of Gaara's hair, his arms wrapping around my waist as he snuggled his face into my neck. I relaxed into his hold and smiled, bringing a hand up to pull through the silky strands.
"How did your work go?"
He groaned and shifted into my hand in his hair, seeming to like the feel of me pulling it through my fingers.
"It took longer than I expected. And I left Butterball with Temari so that we wouldn't have to worry about lugging him around while you shopped. I can't imagine that he would enjoy a shopping trip."
I was having trouble hearing him since his voice was muffled by my neck and frowned, unsure if I had heard everything right.
"Um, okay. So what does she think of our little panda?"
I felt Gaara frown before he answered.
"She thought that he was, as she put it 'the cutest thing that she had ever seen' and she explained that in a very annoying, high pitched voice."
I laughed at his disgusted tone and nodded.
"I figured that would be her reaction."
Gaara grumbled and snuggled more into me, his arms pulling me tighter to him and I smiled.
"Don't get too comfortable we have to go."
He shook his head and buried his face deeper into my neck, making it even harder to understand him when he spoke.
"I think we should stay here a bit longer."
I smiled and shook my head, tugging at his hair lightly.
"You promised the other girls that we would go shopping. You'll get mauled if we don't go now."
He mumbled something about his bright idea and sat up with a sigh, giving the wall a harsh glare.
"Fine. Since I'm here, we might as well go."
He stood from the bed before holding his hand out to help me up and leading me towards the door once I was stable on my feet. He paused before stepping out of the room, giving me a serious look.
"I'll be glad when the others get here. Then I won't have to deal with your friends anymore and can just have you to myself."
I smiled at him and didn't answer, instead reaching past him to push the door open and nudging him through it and into the chaos that had become the living room.