The Akatsuki's Daughter

Chapter 9

I stayed at Dolly's for awhile longer, having missed our weekly conversations and having the time to do so uninterrupted now since Rosa was away.

We didn't really speak about anything serious, having taken care of all of that in the beginning, though I had continued to laugh each time that he had tilted his head to concentrate, and he smiled each time he caught me doing the same movement.

It was starting to get dark when I decided that I needed to get home, having spent the majority of the day at Dolly's. I wanted to be out of the house before Rosa got back, which could be at any moment...though I would have loved to see Niko. Dealing with the consequences of staying just wasn't worth it tonight. Especially not when Dolly had promised to bring the child to see me during the following days.

I nodded and hugged Dolly goodbye, hoping that I could make it home before nightfall.

Though the countryside was beautiful in sunlight, there were some creepy things that roamed around at night. And not all of them were animal, though they smelt like it.

I increased my pace a little bit when Dolly's house disappeared from view. I could take care of myself of course, but that still didn't stop the eerie feeling of something hiding in the trees or grass and not wanting it to pop out at me.

Just as the last rays of light were sinking into the horizon, I caught sight of my house and breathed a sigh of relief as I ran the rest of the way home.

As I got closer, I realized that almost every light in the house was turned on. Which wasn't normal. Salem was a huge conservative and threw a colossal fit if you left a light on in a room that you had left. Which meant that the ninjas must be packing to leave.

I sighed and walked into the house, instantly realizing that I was right about them packing.

They were running around the house like crazy. Scattering here and there while trying to avoid the other, trying to get everything ready to leave before daybreak.

As I watched from the safe distance of the front door, Kankuro and Sai collided into each other with a loud smack, causing me to grimace, though I used the lack of running to pick my way towards the stairs, stepping over random clothes and weapons. It was like an obstical course, several of the ninja's running down the stairs at full speed and causing me to stay pressed to the wall as much as possible.

I finally made it to my bedroom without injury, and watched the ninjas for a few more seconds before opening the door to my room and stepping inside, my eyes having to adjust to the blackness. My room must have been the only room in the house that had the light off and I quickly decided to fix that, flipping on the switch and discovering that I wasn't the only person that had escaped to my room to enjoy the quiet.

Gaara was sitting on my bed, his back propped up against the headboard and I smiled before walking towards him, his eyes watching me for a moment before he began to speak.

''Yours was the only room in this entire house that didn't have people running in and out of it. Do you mind that I came to hide in here?''

I shook my head and crawled next to him, leaning against him and feeling him stiffen for a moment before he wrapped his arms around me as I answered him.

''No, I don't mind. I would have done the same thing to get away from the chaos downstairs.''

He nodded and we were quiet for a moment before he spoke again, his voice hesitant.

''Can I ask where you went today?''

I nodded and shrugged, not seeing a problem in telling him. He already knew about my family and hadn't told the others, so I thought that it would be safe for him to know.

''I went to Weasel's and then to Dolly's. Weasel was the one that gave me the information about Sasuke, and I went to Dolly's just to talk to him. I hadn't seen him in a while.''

Gaara nodded, and I looked up at him to see that his face was serious. He wouldn't look at me when he spoke again.

''The next time that we're together, could you maybe tell me when you are leaving? I looked all over the house for you, and didn't find out until Naruto got back that you had been with him. Then you didn't come back for hours after he did...I couldn't really get to him to ask him if you were coming back soon.''

He still refused to look at me. Even when I began speaking, a small smile on my face.

''Were you worried about me?''

He nodded again, and my smile widened. He really was adorable sometimes.

''Alright, Gaara. The next time I go somewhere, and you're around, I'll make sure to find and tell you. Okay?''

He relaxed and finally turned back to me, the corners of his mouth turned up in a small smile.


We sat like that for a while, listening to the frantic bustling of the other ninjas in the halls and the slamming of the doors. At one point I heard Kankuro's voice calling through the house curiously.

''Hey! Temari, where'd Gaara go?''

I laughed and turned my grin towards the hiding Kazekage.

''See? They do worry about you.''

He shook his head and held up a finger, a small spark in his eyes.

''Wait a moment.''

I nodded and not even a second after Gaara spoke, Temari had started yelling back at Kankuro, her voice more muffled than her brothers had been.

''It doesn't matter. Gaara is more than capable of taking care of himself. Besides, his stuff is already packed and ready to go. Unlike yours! Kankuro! This room is a mess!''

She continued to scold him and I laughed as we heard Kankuro's grumbling before I turned my attention back to Gaara, shaking my head slightly, admitting defeat.

''Alright, so I was wrong.''

He smirked at me, letting us fall back into our comfortable silence and a few minutes later, quiet had taken the entire house.

I sighed and relaxed slightly, now not having to worry about them breaking one of my doors when they busted through them.

''Well, I guess they finally went to sleep.''

I looked up at Gaara when he didn't respond and saw that his face was upset, causing me to frown. I turned in his arms so that I was facing him and put my hand on his cheek.

''Whats wrong, hon?''

He looked at me with sad eyes, his voice soft.

''I'm leaving.''

I nodded encouragingly and he continued, his words unhappy.

''I'm going back to prepare for a war. Unless Naruto can convince Sasuke otherwise of course. I wont be able to see you for a while. I had been hopping that when I left that you would consider coming with me, at least for a visit. However there would be no point in that now. Seeing that I'm not going to be home myself for who knows how long.''

Gaara sighed, leaning back into my head bored and I smiled sympathetically, already having come to terms with those very things when I had been at Dolly's and able to talk them out with him.

''It's alright. After this war thing you can come back to see me. If I remember right, we're really not that far from Suna. The leaving part however, I will really have to think about. It would be hard for me to leave everything that I've ever known and go to a place where I know nothing besides you and your siblings.''

I kept my gaze level, hopping that he understood and apparently he did because he smiled softly and leaned down to kiss my forehead. Speaking as he pulled away.

''Its alright. You won't have to face leaving for a while anyways. I won't force you to do something that you don't want to do.''

I smiled, a small feeling of relief washing over me and I leaned up to kiss his cheek gratefully.

I hesitated as I pulled away, realizing something suddenly and looked up at him curiously, wondering if he had noticed it as well.

''Hey, Gaara? Did you notice that we haven't really kissed yet?''

He gave me a confused frown, his forehead wrinkling.

''What do you mean? You just kissed me a second ago, and I kissed you a moment before that...I didn't do that wrong did I?''

I shook my head and rolled my eyes.

''No, that was fine. I mean, we haven't really kissed yet. Not just pecks on the cheeks or forehead.''

He was obviously still confused and I frowned, realizing that I was going to have show him.

I pulled out of his arms fully to kneel in front of him and balanced myself with hands on his shoulders as I leaned in closer, noticing the unsure look in his gaze before I took a deep breath and pressed my mouth to his gently.

I knew that I had surprised him, that much was clear as he sat there without moving.

I pulled away after only a moment, feeling slightly unsure of myself now that the act was over and he hadn't responded, and focused on his face to judge his reaction. Laughing self-consciously when he still didn't move.

He blinked as I laughed and I saw him swallow hard, his tongue coming out to lick at his mouth before he spoke, his eyes holding an intense spark that hadn't been there before.

''What was that?''

I giggled a little harder and shook my head.

''I told you, Gaara, that was a kiss.''

He swallowed again and shifted slightly, that intense look in his eyes not fading. '

''That was a kiss?''

I nodded and he frowned suddenly, pushing himself back into the headboard slightly.

''So do I have to kiss other people like that now that I know what it is? I've had to greet several visiting dignitaries with kisses on the cheek before.''

I shook my head, the image of Gaara having to stiffly give a stranger a kiss making me laugh harder, my voice shaking slightly from my mirth when I replied.

''No, Gaara. Normally only people in relationships kiss like that. So you only need to kiss me like that. Unless of course you have a girl on the side that I need to worry about?''

I was still laughing too much for my mock scowl to be effective and I saw him roll his eyes before he shook his head and reached out for me, twisting us both so that I was resting on the mattress, his body hovering over me and he looked down at me seriously.

''I would like to kiss you this.''

I shrugged and nodded, bringing my arms up to wrap around his neck as he lowered his body to rest against mine, keeping the majority of his weight off of me. He let his mouth touch mine, mimicking the movements I had done before and I sucked in a breath before sighing deeply. He smelt really good. Like fresh air and sand, and if I had been able to put a scent to sunlight, it would have been what he radiated the most. And like the sun, he was warm.

He wriggled his arms under my back, his body pressing into me more as he led the kiss, his soft lips urging mine to follow his lead and I did so curiously, wondering how he knew how to do such a thing when he hadn't even known that such a thing existed only moments before.

When we finally pulled away to breathe, I was panting for breath while Gaara looked down at me, a smug smirk on his face, his breathing only slightly faster than normal.

It took me several moments to catch my breath enough to speak and when I did manage it, my voice was still breathless.

''Are you sure that you have never kissed anyone else before?''

He shook his head and frowned at me.

''Not like that. Why do you ask?''

I blinked at him, feeling slightly dazed.

''Because, you're a really good kisser.''

His smile was slightly ironic.'

''I'm glad you think so, because I had absolutely no idea what I was doing.''

I laughed and shook my head.

''Believe me, it didn't show.''

He moved us slowly so that we could lie in my bed facing each other and I sighed as I snuggled into his chest. I didn't really want to be apart from him until I had to be and looked up at him hopefully.

''Gaara, do you want to sleep in here tonight?''

His reply was hesitant, his body shifting nervously.

''Would you like for me too?''

I nodded without thought and he nodded, his answer more confident this time.

''I will then, though I don't really sleep much. Old habit.''

I smiled up at him and nodded.

''I have to change.''

He nodded and moved his arms so I could crawl out of the bed and I quickly grabbed a pair of pajamas before hurrying to the bathroom to change to get ready for bed. Happy that he had agreed to stay with me.

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