Crimson Beautiful

By: firefly

Note: Man, I haven't written anything dark in a long while, so I came up with this particularly morbid piece. Not intended to seem sandcesty, just Gaara being his psycho self. Squeamish people and people fearing a blood lusting and psychotic Gaara should press the "Back" button, because yes, I wrote him as a total quack in this.

Just a compulsive one-shot, by the way.

I would like to search inside

For all of the things that you hide

What's the problem? Can't you seem to

Open your body and let me touch you

"Full of Sorrow"

- Korn

Crimson Beautiful

I was impassive when Kankuro came bursting through the front door, keeping a neutral expression when he screamed for medical attention. His bloodied hands were trembling as he lowered Temari to the couch, breathing hard as he pushed a reddened cloth to her side.

I tilted my head slightly to catch a glimpse of my sister, seeing the shining, bloodied hilt of a kunai embedded in her abdomen.

"Akari!" He screamed again, his voice hoarse and strangled. "What the fuck are you doing?"

Baki had left us with a temporary guardian until he retuned from his mission, and the medic nin-in-training came rushing in, further blocking my view as she knelt before Temari, eyes widening with shock.

"What happened?"

"What the hell does it look like?" Kankuro snapped, pulling away the stained rag. "Fix it!"

"Oh…" she let out a low moan of dismay at the sight of the wound. "I-I'll try."

Kankuro turned a furious glare on her, speckles of blood adorning his face paint. "Don't try. Just do it."

I took a step closer, craning my neck to see Temari's pale face, only to catch a brief glimpse of one cut cheek before Kankuro blocked my view. One of her arms hung over the side of the couch, fingertips coated in the brown aftermath of blood.

They blocked my view again with their backs, and my eyes lowered to the floor when the bloody kunai was thrown to the ground. I listened, rather, waiting for the moment she would gasp for breath and choke on her own blood.

"Temari, don't die…" Kankuro muttered repeatedly under his breath. "Please…please…"

A few moments passed in silence as Akari pulsed chakra into the wound, quelling the blood flow. My eyes roved amid the slight synapse between Kankuro and Akari, and caught a glimpse of Temari's twitching fingers.

A ragged gasp broke the silence, followed immediately by a serious of violent coughs. Sand curled about my feet reclusively as I watched Kankuro drop the rag in relief, the linen still glistening red.

"You're okay," he rambled, sounding half-hysterical and half-relieved. "Temari, you're okay."

I listened passively to her ragged breathing, forcing the sand back into the gourd. Kankuro got to his feet, shaking visibly as he turned around. His eyes met mine, and I didn't react to the bitter glare he aimed at me.

"Why didn't you wait for us, Gaara? It was a mission assigned for all three of us," he said, his tone acidic.

"You're too slow," I retorted, casting a vain glance at Akari's back.

The sand pushed threateningly against the cork when he grabbed hold of my shirt, jerking me forward violently.

"She took that hit for me," he breathed, enraged. "She took that hit and nearly died, you fucking bastard."

I gave another vain glance in her direction, my face expressionless.


It was all he could do to keep from attacking me, and only the sight of sand rising before my face made his fist halt in mid-air. He released me, striding back over to where Temari lay.

"I think she'll be okay," Akari said tentatively, seeing Kankuro's expression. "Just put her to bed, and we'll keep an eye on her."

My gaze followed them as Kankuro carried Temari upstairs, watching her limp arm dangle listlessly from her side. They disappeared from sight, and I looked back down at the rag on the floor. Sand gingerly delivered it to my hands, the crimson cloth feeling cold and wet against my skin.

I've never seen Temari bleed like this before, I realized, dropping the rag and rubbing the remnants between my thumb and forefinger.

I've never seen it flow from her…my eyes traced the crimson lines outlining my fingerprints, feeling a shiver course through my body as the clouds parted to reveal the pale globe in the night sky.

It's going to be difficult tonight…

I spent a few hours in my room, contemplating Kankuro's words as silence reigned in the house. Occasional tremors would rack my body, making my right eye twitch as pulses of excitement erratically attacked my will.

I turned away from the window, feeling the glare of the moonlight burn against my back, provoking the dulcet, manic tones of his voice.

What does Kankuro fear? Why does he scream so when sister Temari is bleeding so beautifully? The voice asked, almost innocently, rumbling hungrily after mentioning Temari's blood.

"I don't know," I answered absently, intent on not letting it distract me.

My dear…my Gaara, it was hissing now. Do you like it…? Do you like sister Temari's blood? Will you scream when she is bleeding so beautifully…?

My fingers twitched before clenching into fists, its rumbling growing louder and tone softening seductively.

She is sweet to you, Gaara…she shows you compassion, it whispered, sounding half-scolding. She is unlike others, unlike brother Kankuro. She may love you…

My shoulders sagged, eyes widening slightly as sand stroked the side of my face.

Listen for her, it urged. Listen for her footsteps…then bring her to meet me, show her you care for her; that you appreciate when she bleeds…

I stared at my hands in silent shock, my frame trembling as it continued to speak, saying things unlike anything it had ever said before. It wanted my sister, this I realized, but perpetual reminders of how she loved me…I couldn't help it…I couldn't help but listen…

The voice was stifled immediately when soft, dragging footsteps broke the silence, and I raised my eyes to the closed door as the footsteps dragged past.

A short succession of coughs made me turn towards the door, the soft, ragged breathing unmistakably Temari's. The faint sound of rushing water met my ears, and the voice whispered its encouragement as I slowly moved towards the door.

I turned the knob, stepping silently into the hall to see her indistinct form at the end of it. She stood in the darkened washroom, hunched over the sink and breathing erratically, heavy drips sounding in the silence.

She failed to notice me as I approached, silently, eyes closing briefly as the scent of her blood invaded my senses. I stood a few feet from the open doorway, watching her clasp one hand against her injury, inky blackness spilling over her fingers.

The dripping sounds arose from blood hitting the porcelain interior of the sink, falling in a steady stream from her mouth.

I took another step forward, and she finally seemed to notice me, pained, foggy eyes squinting in my direction. She didn't move or speak as I neared her, crossing the threshold and eyeing the spidery black lines dripping over her fingers.

She blinked, and I felt myself freeze when my hand flicked the light switch, illuminating a sporadic spatter of blood inside the white sink. My eyes rose to her face, meticulously following the thick crimson liquid that spilled heavily and slowly over her lower lip.

"Gaara?" she said my name in a tone of exhausted worry, and I can't help but feel guilty as his voice scolds me for being insensitive.

She reached for the tap again, her trembling hand stopping when I spoke.

"Leave it, Temari."

She's avoiding my eyes, her face paling further as grains of sand swept some crimson droplets from the floor.

Show her you mean no harm, the voice admonished. Show her how you appreciate her bleeding so beautifully.

She stiffened, watching me with wide, terrified eyes when I reached out, prying her hand away from her injury. And it is with admiration and appreciation that I watch it slowly seep forward, looking so different on her skin for some strange reason.

I had never seen someone bleed so beautifully before.

"G-Gaara…" she whimpered now, trembling as I touched the wound, raising my eyes to her reassuringly.

It is no longer a threat to her life, I realized faintly, tracing the dark line made by the kunai. It looks different on her, all of this crimson.

She shuddered visibly as my hand drifted back to my side, and she cast one pained, tired look at my complacent expression. Then her eyes widened, and she slumped against the cold white counter, coughing and spattering more sporadic crimson into the sink.

I observed her nails scratching feebly at the marble counter, wondering whether she was hurting from this.

When she raised her head again, her eyes were watering with held-in tears, her lips drenched in a shiny coat of vermilion. Short, ragged gasps issued from her throat, her shoulders shaking as she barely supported herself.

She pains…he whispered, sounding uncharacteristically subdued. She sheds tears, because you don't help wipe it away…

I stared at her, stared at where she bled, and I swear I felt something special.

Her eyes rose in questioning alarm when I took her wrist in my hand, pulling on it as gently as I could muster.

"What, Gaara?" her frame was shaking again, and I watched in unconcealed fascination as her blood-stained lips moved to form the words.

"I'm cleaning it," I murmured softly, tugging her into the hallway.

I don't think she heard me, as another bout of coughs stifled my words. I felt him smile when I sensed a wet speck land against the back of my hand.

She stopped suddenly, and I turned to see her slumping against the wall, her hand smearing a red handprint on the white paint. Her wound was bleeding again, and she was too weak to protest when I pulled her into my room.

She falls, he spoke in mock sadness, and I turned around to see her knees buckling dangerously beneath her, her wrist slackening in my grip.

I stepped forward, raising my arms expectantly when she fell into them, feeling and looking so frail and delicate.

And then I felt it seeping in. I felt it warm and spreading across my skin, soaking into my shirt. She whimpers, and suddenly, violently, I understand that she is special. Nobody had ever shared it with me before, I realized, staring blankly past her.

It had always gone to him…

Now something else was leaking into my shirt, and I looked down at her, a slow smile lifting the corners of my lips as her sobs become muffled against my shoulder. He is scolding me again, his tone growing more urgent as I continue to ignore him.

Her feet dragged over the carpet as I carried her to my bed, carefully lowering her to the unused sheets and pillow. She is staring at me differently, bloodied lips parted slightly as I stand near her, staring at the warm, wet material of my shirt sticking to my skin.

Her foggy, dazed eyes drifted around the room, and suddenly she looked terrified as she realized where she was.

The sand stirred restlessly in the gourd, and I cast a narrowed-eyed stare in its direction at the opposite end of the room.

The blood felt cold and unpleasant now, and I lowered my eyes to her again, eyeing the still-warm redness issuing from the wound. Her eyes widened when I slowly sat down at the edge of the mattress, looking contemplatively at the wound.

"What are you doing?" her voice is barely a whisper, and I block out his senseless rage at his denial.

"You won't die," I told her calmly, and oddly enough she looked even more terrified.

Almost casually, I glanced back at her injury, prying her hand away from it again. It still looked strange on her, for some reason. It looked much richer against her skin, skin that seemed too soft and delicate to belong to a shinobi.

And it was so seamless, I noticed in vague fascination, the smooth line made by the rude kunai. She tensed when my fingertips drifted contemplatively over it, before settling back into my lap, stiff from the caked layers of crimson.

"What do you want?" she whispered, her overly bright teal eyes watching me intently.

I blocked out his voice completely, wanting this for myself, wanting to experience it for my own satisfaction and appeasement, not his. I wanted this.

"I want you to share it with me," I answered in a hollow murmur, feeling a calm sort of hysteria deaden my voice.

She looked torn between fright and confusion, choosing a painful mix of both when I lowered my eyes to her wound again. A sharp intake of breath pierced the air when I leaned forward, pausing to watch her reaction.

She stared back at me with a weak sort of defiance, and my lips gave into the small, slow smile from before. It was interesting to see her defiance die into an entranced sort of horror when my feet slowly left the floor, arms settling against the mattress by her sides as I crawled on top of her.

Her lips mouthed wordlessly as one of my legs settled in between hers, creating a loose entanglement of limbs as I hovered momentarily above her.

She stared at me in unconcealed shock, and I found it difficult to tear my gaze away from those bloodied lips. He was screaming as my trembling fingertips wiped away the red wetness, and that look she gave me, when I brought my fingers back to my mouth…

I found it so fucking special.

And it was with dim realization that I figured out the strange appearance of her blood-stained skin, lowering myself against her and hearing her near-silent whimper. My eyes slid closed from a gentle euphoria as the pressure of my weight brought forth more blood, the heady liquid seeping through my shirt.

She was shaking, and crying, I supposed, in a way that made me feel slightly guilty for being so insensitive again.

Why it looked so strange against her…I realized why, listening to her rapid pulse. She looked beautiful in it, in wet, warm crimson…so beautiful…

And I think I made up for my insensitivity, for leaving her behind on the mission, and for making her cry.

"You're beautiful," I told her softly, and she cried quietly in response.

I licked my lips absently, resting my head against her erratic pulse, finding appeasement in the coppery taste that filled my mouth. Her short, hitched breaths lulled me into a state of drowsiness, and eventually her quaking was reduced to a faint trembling.

And I felt my lips curve into a slight smile, eyes closing in contentment as the cold wetness on my shirt grew warm again.

Note: Reviews would be nice if you haven't run away by now. (sweatdrops) Different from my other sand sib stuff, I know.