A/N: I only just remembered to post this, even though I wrote it a fair while before Deidara Walks Into a Gay Bar. I didn't want to put it up before I handed it in for an assessment, and I basically just forgot several times...

But that's okay, because it is posted now! *snaps fingers in anticipation*

(Also, this was probably inspired by Haru from 50% Off, and even if it wasn't you should watch that thing anyway because it's awesome.)

xxx

Summary: Gaara and Naruto bid one another a heartwarming farewell after Gaara's resurrection. Well, sort of heartwarming. Probably. (Set during episode 32 of Shippuuden.)

Words: 1,209

Warnings: ...I... don't think there are any? Wow.

Disclaimer: I don't happen to possess Naruto.

xxx

They stopped outside the city gates. For a moment nobody spoke, neither Naruto nor Gaara wanting to be the first to say goodbye. The others stayed silent too, feeling that it wasn't their place to intrude on this farewell between friends.

I think I'm going to miss Naruto, you know.

Well obviously. He's my best friend. I have literally no other friends. It's kind of sad, but since everybody's stopped running for their lives and hiding their children when they see me, I'd say I'm doing pretty well. Village: 0, Gaara: 1. Plus 15 points for putting up with that for the first 15 years of my life.

Except I kind of retaliated and/or earned it by, you know, crushing lots of them to death with my telekinetically controlled sand, so...

Call it quits?

Good idea, Gaara.

Thank you, Gaara.

...

Hey

Hey

Hey Gaara

Gaara

Why did the chicken cross the road?

Because it saw that I was on the same side as it.

Yes! Hahaha I'm so funny right

Haha yeah that was actually a pretty good one

Hey

Hey Gaara

Why did the chicken stay on the same side of the road

To get to the other side

Get it

Like the afterlife

Because it wanted to die

Oh man I crack me up

Oh gosh I can't stop giggling

Hey

Wait

Wait a second ok

I've forgotten something

I'm supposed to be saying goodbye to Naruto!

Oh that's right! Crap.

I should probably say something? I'm head of the village, I'm probably supposed to start the goodbyes, right?

That's a thing right?

Yeah I think so.

Eventually, Gaara spoke. "See you."

"Ah, yeah." Naruto replied, kicking himself for his eloquence and lack thereof.

There was another lengthy pause as they looked at one another, preserving the moment, drawing it out before the inevitable parting of ways until who knew when.

Is... he just going to keep staring at me?

Okay to be fair, I'm staring at him pretty equally, so it's not like he's the one being weird here.

Fine, fine. But it just seems a little creepy is all I'm saying.

Well I could always stop staring at him, that would be a good start.

Sure, sure

But first

Knock knock

Who's there?

Not Naruto, he's leaving me.

Ouch.

Yeah but it was funny right.

No, actually.

Whatever.

Anyway, it wouldn't even work. Knowing Naruto he would pitch up on my doorstep in the middle of the night complaining about something or another, with no respect for time or social norm.

Except he lives several days away.

Well that's true, but would it really stop him?

...No.

Exactly. He'd just unabashedly burst in at 3am, waking everyone up with his hair.

His yelling...?

That too.

What-?

But I'd be awake anyway...

Ha! No I wouldn't! I would be busy catching up on 16 years' worth of sleep!

Why am I awake, again?

Umm

Oh yeah I'm saying goodbye to Naruto aren't I?

Right!

...

Wait.

Hold on.

Am I still staring at him? Is he still staring at me?

Jesus, this guy does not understand social graces.

Neither do I.

That's not the point.

Hey.

Wasn't I going to say something to Naruto to break this- is it a staring contest?

I don't think so...

Hopefully though! I always win those.

Hey!

Yes?

What's spiky, yellow and brighter than the sun?

Naruto's h-

Naruto's hair!

God I'm witty.

However, as with all silences, it was broken. It was, predictably, Naruto who did so. Gaara had always been more at ease than anyone during silence. He was a man of few words, solemn and profound and always, always serious. Silence was his element.

It was not Naruto's.

"I guess this is where we're supposed to shake hands and say goodbye…" He was actually slightly unsure of this, having had little occasion to say goodbye to a friend in his life- not for fortune of them never leaving, but for lack of any friends -present or otherwise- existing. "But I kinda suck at that kind of stuff, so…"

Hey whoa

Huh?

He just said we're supposed to shake hands, right?

Crap I knew I should have been paying attention, he's totally calling me out!

What do I do?

Gaara you idiot, he said to shake hands. He literally told you what you're supposed to do right now.

Gaara silently extended a hand, breaking off Naruto's awkward rambling. Naruto looked at it in surprise for a long moment before raising his eyes to meet Gaara's. He smiled.

He's... meant to take my hand and shake it, yeah? Why is he not doing that?

Shh, appreciate the moment. He's smiling at you. Nobody ever used to smile at you.

He's a good friend.

The best.

But his hair is so distracting!

Really?

Yes! What's soft and yellow?

Butter?

Naruto's hair!

That... was really terrible.

Also, there's this thing called hypocrisy.

Oh whatever.

I have bright red hair.

Very red hair.

Like, 'I couldn't even tell when there was blood in my hair after I pulverised someone' red hair.

Whatever!

I actually look like I should be an Uzumaki instead of Naruto, who managed to miss out on the Uzumaki Red Hair(TM) by virtue of his UNNATURALLY YELLOW HAIR.

You'd think that after knowing a guy for 4 years I'd be able to stop making jokes about and obsessing over his hair colour.

And in my defence, I only saw him for maybe two months of those four years.

Okay I'm over this, why isn't he shaking my hand?

A few more seconds went by before Gaara gently prompted Naruto to respond, pulling the other boy's hand up with a cloud of lazily swirling sand. Recovering from his initial surprise at the action, Naruto's expression softened and he fondly allowed Gaara to place the blond's hand in his.

Oh that's cute.

See, I can do some things right!

Yeah, but mostly it's Naruto making it easy for me. Too bad I'm not going to see him till god knows when.

Look, one of us can always die again, then I'd probably see him, like, next week.

Can't argue with that.

Hey

Gaara

Hey

What do you call a fish cake?

Naruto

Pffffhahahahahahahaha oh my god

Every time.

It's so stupid!

It means maelstrom but it also means a ramen topping! And he loves ramen! And it's just priceless! I can't breathe

Fish cake!

Oh gosh.

Pffhaha- okay okay I'll try-

Naruto!

I'm crying!

No I'm not.

Mentally.

Ahem.

Stop snickering

It's not that funny

Yes it is!

Okay it is.

Every. Time.

Why can't I start picking appropriate times to make fun of my closest friend's name?

I don't know Gaara, why can't you?

Shhh I think he's about to leave! This is not the time!

Yeah I kind of already said that.

My best friend is leaving to another country! Coping with it by way of insulting him is not helpful!

It's funny though, right. Yeah it is. No denying that.

That's it. Hand shaking is commencing. Watching him leave is gonna be so hilarious right.

But his name means fish cake...

They shook, silently promising warmth and friendship, regardless of how far apart they would soon be.