Aaargh… forgot to put this at the top. I dunno if this is just a one-shot of a multi-chapter… thinking about a multi chapter but I'm not sure. Sorry about making Naruto a jackass.

Neji and Gaara where one of those few people who could hold entire conversations without speaking one word. Touches and simple gestures and basic sounds were enough, words ruined simplicity of it all.

Neji walked up to Gaara apprehensively.

He was in a mood, you could tell- hell, you could feel it. The problem was that Neji wasn't sure what the mood was exactly. He studied the redhead- hunched over, head bowed, as if he was trying to disappear into his heavy black greatcoat. Neji tilted his head to the side and tiptoed closer, until he loomed over the redhead. If Gaara knew Neji was there (which Neji was sure he did) he didn't acknowledge it; he merely- pointedly- changed the song on his I-pod, tipping the screen a little closer to Neji.

Neji knew this was for him. He leaned over some more, but still couldn't discern the text on the now dark screen. He sat next to Gaara, watching as his thumb (black nail polish peeling) swirled across the flat white circle, which had the dual effect of increasing the volume and lighting the screen up.

"Dir en grey…"

Now that was an interesting pick. Dependant on the song, it could mean he was either angry and murderous, or melancholy and suicidal. Each called for a different form of comforting, a different Neji. Neji ducked his head to peer at the song. 'Machiavellism…' Aaaah. Murderous it is, then.

Neji laid his head on Gaara's shoulder. He felt the muscles under his head jump as Gaara shifted to look down at him. He, in turn, tipped his head up to face Gaara. For a while, nothing was said. Then Gaara closed his kohl-rimmed eyes and, with a sigh, turned away again.

'God. You won't believe the day I had.'

Neji's hand crept up to Gaara's arm and rubbed it gently, tracing the rough fabric of the coat.

'What happened?'

Gaara sighed again, and leaned in to place a small peck on Neji's forehead. He felt an arm rise behind him and pull him closer into the body next to him, and he complied immediately. A thumb slowly traced his spine, covered only by a thin cotton shirt.

They sat there, like that, for a while, just content to hold each other quietly in the school hallway, after hours, out in the open where everyone could see.

Neji pinched Gaara's thigh after a while.

'We're not done yet.'

He pulled away from the warm coat (and the even warmer person underneath) and stared at Gaara, waiting, patiently, for an answer he is sure will come.

Time passes.

The clock above Neji's head ticks softly, yet the sound seems to echo in the empty gray of the hallway.

The charm bracelet on Neji's wrist jingles, as if touched by some wind. But the doors are shut.

Neji hears it before it comes. A deep rumbling starts in Gaara's chest, like boulders cracking, and the sound bubbles up before sliding out of thin pale lips, as clear and cool and deep and refreshing as a lake in the idle of summer.

'When did I get so melodramatic?' Neji wonders to himself.

"Naruto."

Gaara's voice is deep. To deep, Neji thinks, for such a small frame. With all the muscle he has, Gaara's about a full inch or some shorter than Neji, but not as slight. His shoulders are a bit broader, and stronger, somehow, though Neji can't quite put his finger on it. His hair is wild and unkempt as always, Neji finally giving up on his attempts to tame it into something manageable. His eyes were an aquamarine, occasionally shifting between green and blue, depending on Gaara's mood. His eyebrows were nonexistent, though there was a piercing there, and his skin was slightly tanned from living in the desert for so long.

"Naruto?" Neji said, slowly and carefully, as if tasting the word. 'What did that idiot do now,' he thought, sliding back till his back it the wall and his shoulder bumped Gaara's. He reached up and began to toy with a strand of hair, a curl directly in the middle of his forehead, remembering an old nursery rhyme Hiashi would tease him with.

'There was a little girl with a little curl in the middle of her forehead

And when she was good, she was very, very good,-'

"He called you," Gaara paused to take a deep breath, calming himself, as if the words themselves angered him. "He called you a whore. A slut. A cunt. And my personal favorite, an ice bitch." Gaara spat the words out as if they tasted disgusting to him, his face twisted into a grimace.

Neji turned to him, surprised; he would've never pegged Gaara as the type to be protective.

"They're just words, Gaara. He doesn't know we're-"

"It doesn't matter what they were just! He didn't have any right to say those about you!"

If there was one thing Neji couldn't stand, it was people cutting him off. He hated it. Hated it hated it hated it hated it hated it.

Just for emphasis.

"And you do?! If I remember correctly it was just a few weeks ago that you said the same things to me, and to my face no less! At least Naruto had the decency to only tell you!"

'And when she was bad she was horrid.'

Gaara looked taken aback for a moment, as if he didn't expect the venom of Neji's words, the sudden fit of anger. Neji whipped his head away from Gaara, not even wanting to look at him now.

"It was the same few weeks ago that you called me a worthless loser."

Neji shuddered, remembering the incident, which had involved him breaking his brand new tennis racket over Gaara's head, then attempting to strangle him with Gaara's guitar strings.

"Why can't Naruto know? Hell, why can't the school know, Neji?"

Neji winced. He knew his reasons were superficial, he knew he felt something for Gaara, but he just couldn't bring himself to tell anyone. He was at the top of the school's social ladder, he had fought tooth and nail to get there, and he intended to stay there.

"Gaara… we've been over this before-"

"Jesus H. Christ! You don't get it, do you? Are your stupid friends more important to you than me?!"

He felt Gaara surge to his feet but refused to look around, refused to look into his eyes because he knew then he'd be truly defeated.

"Or do I mean nothing to you at all? Am I just some pet project for you to laugh about behind my back?"

Neji froze, hearing the anger drain out of Gaara's voice, replaced by a hollowness that scared Neji more than anything Gaara could throw at him. He turned around.

"Gaara…"

Gaara's head was bowed, his hands clenched.

"Am I still some worthless loser to you?"

Neji was speechless. He was angry, afraid, disappointed, pensive- all of these emotions were battling for control, trying to force themselves out of his throat, choking him and leaving him gasping for air.

"I…" he trailed off. Determined, he opened his mouth and tried again "I…"

Gaara didn't stick around. He snatched up his guitar case and walked to the door, chains clinking and boots thudding with each step. He reached the door, and pushed… nothing happened. He tried again. Still nothing.

Neji was still sitting in the hallway, staring at Gaara's back. He heard the muttered curse. Gaara turned back around and leaned against the door, his head bowed, examining his boots.

"We're locked in."

For some reason, Neji didn't feel as if Gaara was speaking to him, more like addressing the hallway at large. He looked behind Gaara and saw the bloated sun drop slowly below the horizon, feeling his heart sink lower with it. The school lights flickered, then blasted on, drowning the hallway in a wave of burning white light. Neji shielded his eyes, waiting to adjust, before turning slowly to pick up his messenger bag and racket case. He stood up slowly, carefully, feeling Gaara's eyes follow every movement before starting towards the library.

Neji and Gaara where one of those few people who could hold entire conversations without speaking one word. Touches and simple gestures and basic sounds were enough, words ruined simplicity of it all.