Chapter 14

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The day of the final Chunin Exams were finally here. The past month has been extremely challenging on both my mind and body. No matter how many walks I would take through different parts of the village each day based on frivolous excuses that weren't true, he just wasn't anywhere. Each morning, an extra weight would place itself on my chest, and it began to be such a task simply to get up now. I had hope that I could fix things today, but I still find myself weary. Nonetheless, I make my way to the Chunin Exam Stadium with determination upon my heart.

I get there a bit early for the chance to explain myself to Gaara and hopefully make things right before this all even started. A Chunin pointed me to a line-up of the Chunin Exam finalists and I see Gaara. He sees me as well, and doesn't try to look away or pretend I was never here. He simply glares threateningly at me. I bite my lip and take a deep breath as I make my way over. I see the cloaked ninja I suspected to be my enemy. I tried to get Kisai to figure her out and even out the odds, but not even she could find a single fact about them. When I walk past, I see their mouth smirk at me. I narrow my eyes and brush past her.

I can't stand close to Gaara because his brother and sister are on either side of him. When they see me, they look upset and confused. I look softly back at them and shake my head gently. So much for trying to talk to him before this. I look into the stands and see Suji and Kisai staring down at me sympathetically. I sigh softly. Gaara..

The first round started with Neji Hyuga versus Naruto Uzumaki. I leaned on the railing of the waiting pit set up for the competitors. I kept glancing over to Gaara, but his eyes were hard on Naruto. I wanted to just go up to him and basically spill my guts out to him, but I was so drowned with nervousness. I didn't understand why.. I didn't have anything left to lose. Gaara is already gone from me so its not like it matters if he hates me after I tell him. But I guess that's just the error of being human.

Naruto won his fight with a surprise comeback. Kankuro suspiciously forfeits his fight, so the next fight was with Temari and Shikamaru due to Sasuke's tardiness. With Temari gone, I push myself off the railing. Gaara sends a harsh glare my way before walking off. I furrow my eyebrows in determination and follow him, only to be stopped by Kankuro.

"I wouldn't do that if I were you." He advised.

"You don't understand." I say firmly.

"You're right. Gaara doesn't tell me anything, but I have figured out that something between you two happened and now Gaara's on edge. He might hurt you."

"That doesn't matter. I need to talk to him."

"Maybe it would be better if.." Kankuro trails off. He seems to know something I don't. I give him a scowl.

"Look, I don't know what you're planning here but, frankly, I don't care. I don't care if it would be better this way because that's not what my instincts are telling me. You could burn down the village for all I care, but I'm talking to Gaara."

"You don't even know what you just figured out without figuring it out." Kankuro sighed. I raise my eyebrow at him, but shake my head, my stomach jumping that I was losing my chance.

"Are you going to keep stalling or do I need to force you out of my way." I hiss. Kankuro sighs again and raises his hands in surrender.

"I'm not going in after you if you don't come back." He warned. I snort, walking past him.

"You're a lost cause anyway." I shrug. Kankuro scowls.

"She seem so serious, yet she still manages to make time to get on my nerves like that." He mutters to himself once you were gone.

The hall is darkly lit once I turn the corridor, save for the daylight streaming from the exit around each corner of the hall. I glance around, knowing Gaara is still in here.

"Gaara..?" I call out quietly, stepping forward when suddenly I find myself pinned to the wall to my left.  Rough sand wraps around my calves and ankles, while warm flesh secures my wrists outstretched on either side of myself. I look up into the glowing sea-colored eyes of Gaara. He snarls down at me, eyes raging and wild. There was only one way to describe how Gaara looked in front of me: Predatorial. 

"Why.. Do you insist on tormenting me!?" He asks dangerously in a low growl. I lose my voice for a moment and his grip tightens painfully.

"What happened in the forest, it wasn't what you thought-." I start, but Gaara takes my torso and slams it back into the wall. I grit my teeth.


"Please." I beg him to understand. "It's only because I didn't want you to know that-"

"That you're the same as everybody else!" He spat. My heart races.

"Gaara, I-"

"I don't want to hear it." He growls. "I just have to wait a few hours longer before I never have to see your face again."


"A few more hours, and I never have to hear your heart beat again." He hisses. My eyes widen, but so does his. It's quiet except for our heavy breathing. Gaara's head dips down and his eyes are unblinking. He didn't want to say that.

"If- if that would make you happy." I finally whisper. Gaara's head snaps up and his eyes lock with mine. Despite his utmost rage with you, he couldn't stand the thought of it. He didn't want you to die. That could never do any good for him. You're heartbeat was the most soothing thing he had ever heard. He never wanted it to go away.

"Shut up." Gaara says. He meant to say it angrily- forcefully. But it came out weak and desperate.

" won't die." His voice fades to a whisper and his body weakens against me. "I won't let you die." My eyes widen.

"I'm so sorry." I whimper out, trying to prevent my voice from cracking. How could I be so cruel all this time him? Gaara's grip tightens again on me. There they were again. Those damned horrible words. Even now, when both of you knew he deserved those words, he still couldn't stand to hear you say them.

"Don't." He growls roughly.

"Gaara.." I stare into his confused eyes. "I-"

His lips crash against mine forcefully. I close my eyes tightly and kiss him back with all I have, desperately wishing for so many things. It felt so good to kiss him again, yet there was something so tragic about it too.

Gaara pulls away, but I don't bother opening my eyes. I know he's gone. I shut my eyes tighter and bite my lip, sliding down to the floor. I open my eyes and stare the blackness of the corridor. Large, wet tears roll down my face as I try to keep myself silent. I wasn't even completely sure why I was even crying. Soon enough, the tears stop coming. I clutch my legs tighter to myself as I feel myself shake.

"Will Jinx Zurui and Netami Ketaki report to the stadium grounds immediately."

I look up slowly, still trembling.

This is it.

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