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Aki's P.O.V.

I sighed.

Gaara was giving me the silent treatment.

His head was turned away slightly and his chin was angled higher than usual, as if turning his nose up.
His eyes were also closed.

To an outsider, his expression is the same blank and intimidating mask.

But to me, his mannerisms screamed that he was sulking.

He'd even folded his arms.

"Gaara," I said calmly, for the second time.

He was sat on that carp statue again, hugging his knee to his chest and letting the other hang lazily off the side.

I was glowing softly, amplifying the moonlight so that I didn't have a repeat of the cave incident, Gaara hadn't complained about the brightness yet.

In fact, he hadn't said anything as he continued to turn his nose up in the air.

I leant on the carp's head, staring into his face, but he still didn't react.

"Gaaaaaaaaaara,~" I drawled,
"I'm sorry you got knocked out."

His eyebrow twitched slightly, but he did nothing else.

I was stood on the carp's lips so my face was level with his, an idea wormed into my head and a sly grin grew on my face.

I slowly reached a hand to his face, he didn't even flinch since his eyes were closed to the danger.

I pinched his nose tightly between my fingers, laughing lightly as Gaara's arms flew to my arm and his eyes snapped open in shock.

I let go and he glared with a bright red nose as he clung to my arm.
"What was that for?!"

I grinned cheekily,
"It got you talking, didn't it?"

He stopped glaring and averted his eyes, he still hadn't let go of my arm.

I sighed bitterly,
"How are you feeling about your fight with Sasuke?"

He narrowed his eyes, his grip subconsciously tightening.
But he didn't say anything.

I breathed deeply, closing my eyes and trying to dispel this anxious feeling in the pit of my stomach.

"Gaara," I said urgently, my voice sharp,
"Whenever I mention the third exam, you tense up. It's like you're hiding something...
Why can't you just speak to me?
I... I-I miss you..."

This seemed to make him snap and he grabbed my shoulders roughly, staring into my face.
"Why didn't you speak to me?! Huh?!
I missed you!!"

He blushed faintly and blinked, surprised at his own outburst and let me go, averting his eyes once more.

I blushed as well, slightly heavier than Gaara,
"Oooooooooooooh..." I said quietly, the revelation causing my face to burn slightly more.

"But... I told you that was... I-I was... that mission changed me, Gaara! I couldn't help it! I n-needed time... I just needed time..."

He nodded his head,
"I know, forget I said anything...
But, I feel like you're hiding something.
And I'm not talking about the mask, I don't know what's the deal with those marks or whatever but something else happened on that mission that you've not told us."

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