Title: Rhythm & Bruise: Gaara's Story
Series: Monoshizukanohi//Naruto AU
Pairing: Main pairing: Kiba/Gaara. But almost everyone in the Naru-verse is here in some capacity or another.
Word Count: Ongoing
Warnings/Notes: THIS CHAPTER: References to violence. Overall: Dark fiction. Bloodplay, angst, violence, abuse, gangs, D/s, bondage, impact play, other.
Spoilers: None whatsoever.
Summary: The streets of Monoshizukanohi are not kind to youth, and Gaara is no exception. After running away from an abusive home, Gaara struggles to find meaning in life through violence, drugs, and anything he can manage to survive. Join him as Gaara and his ever-present friend Jody struggle from the streets to the top of the social strata. It's rags to riches, despair to hope, and everything in between.
Gaara set down his pen and flexed his hand, eying the letter in front of him with critical caution. Writing was surprisingly easy for Gaara, as it turned out, and he liked that when he didn’t know what to say he could just wait for the words to arrive instead of making someone uncomfortable with a long silence and blank stare. Licking his lips, Gaara read over the words he wrote to answer Kiba's question:
This is some of my truth: I met Jody in an alleyway in Midaretakaze, where I was born. I’d been with the Saints for a while. Don’t know how long, but my word was good with them. I liked killing, and I liked how the Saints killed: guns and prayers. Shoot someone, bring back their name, say a prayer at Leon’s altar. Leon’s dead now, too. I read it in the paper a few years ago. I didn’t say a prayer for him. I don’t really believe in anything now that I no longer believe in killing.
Jody was hungry, and I watched him dig in a trash can for food. I’d been there, and I watched him work. But I was there on a mission from the Saints, and soon the Dogs came. The Devil Dogs were our enemies. They liked to do PCP before they went out hunting. It makes you not feel pain. Sometimes it took a lot to kill them.
One of the Dogs saw Jody and raised a gun. I shot him before he could fire, and I killed one other. The third escaped. Jody looked at me and started crying. He does that when he feels too much. I told him to stop that shit and tried to leave but Jody came with me. Said I had saved his life and now he was mine. I liked that idea but didn’t really get it. But I took him to Leon, Jody became part of our gang, and he’s been with me ever since.
Everyone tells me I love Jody. I just know he’s got my back.
Unable to think of anything else to say and feeling uneasy about whether or not what he wrote was right, Gaara folded the page and sealed it in an envelope before he could think on it too long. Haku was still in the lobby when Gaara emerged from his office and handed over the note. The pretty man merely nodded and then left without another word, for which Gaara was grateful.
And the next day, Haku appeared again with another note from Kiba:
Jody’s good for you, and he is very much with you. Believe me – I’ve got the bruises to prove it.
Tell me about your family.
The note Gaara wrote back was equally brief:
Parents dead. Siblings not.
But Kiba was apparently undeterred by Gaara’s terse note as Haku came back the following day with not only a reply, but two jars of homemade strawberry preserves. Apparently Kiba’s mother liked to cook and can, and Kiba thought Gaara would enjoy the flavor.
Other than Jody, the gift marked the first one given Gaara by someone who had been physically intimate with the redhead. And when Jody came in from the shop to find Gaara with his nose buried in sweet-smelling jam, he had to cover his mouth with one wrist and duck back into the shop to have a talk with the employees. Gaara watched Guren, Sora, and Ranmaru shoot him glances around Jody’s wide body as the big man spoke to them, and eventually Gaara looked away, unsure. Feeling off-center, Gaara let Jody do what he felt he needed to do, and Gaara wrote back to Kiba.
The letters continued and so did the strawberry-themed gifts. Kiba asked everything from Gaara’s favorite color, (black) to how he got interesting in spinning, (Jody and his turntable gift), to what he normally did for Christmas (take the day off and have dinner with Jody and the employees). Kiba sent everything from a strawberry-scented candle to a basket of fresh-cut fruit to a bouquet of long-stemmed “roses” the buds of which were actually strawberry-shaped pieces of chocolate.
Gaara found himself bemused, curious, warm about the insides, and a little sorry for Haku who seemed to do nothing but run errands for the Inuzuka these days. When Gaara began to feel angry or irritated by Kiba’s attentions, he would look at Jody and try to remember his epiphany about things that were complicated and how they could also be good. Sometimes it helped and sometimes it made Gaara want to hide under the counter of the shop. But he persevered, immune to the strange glances from his employees and customers and only slightly put-off by Jody’s tolerant smiles.
A week and a half after the arrival of the first note, Gaara sat at the counter of his shop wondering at himself because he was anxious for the arrival of Haku and Kiba’s next communication. Some of it was the show that accompanied Haku, these days; the pretty man entertained himself by flirting outrageously with Jody at every available opportunity, and it seemed to make Jody nervous, much to Gaara’s surprise and quiet amusement. It gave Haku something to do while he waited for Gaara’s reply.
Gaara’s lips twitched as he stared at the clock. Usually Haku arrived between one and two in the afternoon. It was half-past noon, and Gaara fidgeted. It was a slow day, and Jody hummed to himself as he dusted the display shelves in the lobby. Gaara watched him work, observing the slow, careful movements of his friend’s body and trying not to think about how he missed Kiba at Break and Bliss. He seemed to be keeping his distance on all fronts, and for many reasons that bothered Gaara. The redhead didn’t know if it was because he wanted to see Kiba or if it was because it made him feel avoided. Not shunned, exactly, but…Placated?
Rolling his eyes, Gaara observed the two cars in the bays, and watched as Sora came into the lobby, wiping his hands on a rag.
“We get those powdercoat pieces back that go on the Chevy?” Sora asked Jody.
“Not yet,” Jody replied, coming out from behind the shelves, Swiffer Duster in hand. “Should get ‘em tomorrow.”
“Right,” Sora clipped, always slightly sullen. He turned and walked over to the counter, hand coming up so he could finger one of the chocolate roses that were still in their waterless vase. “You going to eat these?”
Gaara shrugged and Sora smirked.
“Then can I have one? Or are they off limits since they’re from your mystery lover?”
“Sora,” Jody cautioned, crossing his arms with the duster still in one hand.
“What?” Sora retorted.
“We talked about this, kid.”
“I’m just teasing.” Sora frowned, taking his hand away from the chocolate flower.
“You think that’s a good idea?” Jody asked in a patient tone. “Teasing the boss?”
Sora glanced at Gaara and then at Jody, looking caught. “Well, maybe not before. But now he’s got someone, so it’s like…better.”
Gaara frowned as the two men spoke about him like he wasn’t there. “I don’t have a someone. Or a lover.”
Not exactly, anyway, Gaara amended to himself as he thought about Kiba’s hand on his dick back at Bliss. Seemed like that was a long time ago, and that bothered Gaara. Apparently, it was just a day to be bothered by a long list of things associated with the Inuzuka.
Gaara thought he should be used to that phenomenon by now.
Sora’s head whipped to look at Gaara, and then his eyes fell away from the steady blue-green gaze. “Wasn’t supposed to talk about it. Sorry.” He sounded like he choked on the apology, and Gaara looked at Jody, questioning with an arch of his eyebrow.
Jody sighed. “I just didn’t want them to say nothin’, boss. Seemed like it’d be difficult ‘nuff without the kids’ bein’ all helpful.” He gave Sora a meaningful look.
“They’re just gifts and letters,” Gaara said, though his heart was beating faster at the thought. And where the hell was Haku, anyway?
letters.” Sora snickered. Jody stalked over to the boy who immediately retreated with his hands up.
“Sorry, sorry!” Sora said quickly, but he was grinning.
“You askin’ for it, boy,” Jody said.
“They’re not love letters,” Gaara sighed. “He’s just asking questions.”
Sora’s eyes went huge. “So it is
“Sora.” Jody loomed over the much smaller form, and Sora seemed to shrink.
“Jody,” Gaara said and the man backed off two steps.
“Yes, it’s a ‘he.’” Gaara looked at Sora, who met his gaze and grinned.
Gaara tilted his head, lips quirking. “It is?”
“Well, sure, boss,” Sora said, inching away from Jody while the blond glared at him. “We’re all happy you’re…uh…well. Finding some sort of…I mean…” His mouth formed a smirk. “Normal. We’re fuckin’ happy you’re a little more normal these days.”
Gaara’s eyes widened, and Jody ran a hand over his face.
“…thank you. I think.” Gaara frowned. “But there’s nothing ‘normal’ about the Inuzuka.” Gaara looked at the chocolate bouquet as if this proved his point.
Sora’s jaw dropped. “Inuzuka? You’re dating fuckin’ Stryke?”
Gaara felt new lines threaten to form in his forehead and felt a flicker of agitation at both Sora’s tone and the fact that he had no idea what Sora was talking about. “I’m not dating. And who or what is ‘Stryke?’”
Sora threw his hands up in the air. “He’s only
the most famous DJ in the fuckin’ city!”
“That’ll be ‘bout enough, Sora,” Jody drawled, waving the duster menacingly.
“No, it’s…” Gaara shook his head once, cursing his ignorance and hating the feeling of being in the damned dark. Jody looked at Gaara curiously while the redhead struggled to find words.
“How do you know this?” Gaara asked after a second or two.
Sora smiled and Gaara was reminded of sharks. “Not really supposed to know, because he rarely makes public appearances. Only does the late-late show on WKDS. But I was out with my friends once and saw this guy get out of a car and head into the Hyuuga Building downtown, and my friend goes, ‘That’s DJ Stryke!’ And he knew him ‘cause there used to be a photo of the guy up on the radio’s website before Styke got all famous. So when Mr. Inuzuka came into the shop the other day…” Sora shrugged as if the rest should be obvious.
Gaara mulled that over, feeling slightly grateful for the knowledge that Kiba worked in radio. A DJ. A famous DJ.
“Thanks for the education, Sora,” Jody sighed, looking at Gaara again for a heartbeat or two before he continued. “Let’s get back to the Chevy, a’right?”
“Sure, sure…whatever.” Sora shrugged and turned to go back into the shop, but Guren came inside, instead.
“Trouble,” she said, low and fast and looking at Gaara first and Jody second. “Got a guy out here who says he knows you. I don’t like the look of him or his four little friends.”
Gaara watched as Jody frowned and craned his head to look out the glass wall into the shop. Gaara’s eyes glanced and saw what Jody’s words confirmed: “I don’t see nobody?”
“They’re out in the parking lot. Nicely out of view of the main windows,” Guren said pointedly.
Not giving it another thought, Gaara reached beneath the counter and grabbed a 9MM out of a holster bolted to the underside. If Guren was nervous, then Gaara was, too. She rarely ever made a fuss – which Gaara liked – and was a woman of few words - which Gaara respected. Her declaration of trouble made Gaara wish he had more than one weapon as fight or flight wove a knot in his guts.
Shoving the gun in the back of his pants, Gaara looked up and Guren nodded at him. Sora reached into his pocket and pulled out his cell, looking at Jody.
“Don’t make no calls, yet,” Jody said, as Gaara stepped out from behind the counter. “But keep the digits up.”
“You got it,” Sora said, standing aside as Gaara walked over to the door into the shop. Jody grabbed his arm and stopped Gaara, moving in a long stride to walk out ahead of him. Gaara said nothing and followed, Guren and Sora behind him. Jody grabbed his massive wrench, Guren picked up a blowtorch, and Sora followed with the phone. Gaara took a moment to be proud of his crew.
The group walked the length of the shop and turned to look out the last bay door. That was the empty stall, and Gaara saw Ranmaru first, and blinked. The young man’s head was down, his fists clenched, and he stood facing away from the shop. Standing with an arm around Ranmaru’s shoulders and his back to Gaara was a tall man with black hair. He wore a dark suit, and the sun picked up the glint off the multiple gold rings on the hand resting on Ranmaru’s narrow shoulder.
The rings reminded Gaara of something from the distant past, and the world began to slow down.
“I told you, I’m not fucking interested. I got a job!” Ranmaru said heatedly to the man in the suit. Around them in a loose half-circle was a group of men, all standing casually and in such varying states of dress that it gave Gaara pause. One dark-skinned man wore all leather, a blond wore a red suit, a third had on a ratty t-shirt and ripped jeans, and the fourth had on plaid pants and a pink shirt.
The world slowed down even further as Gaara saw the tale-tell fleshy burn scar of a brand on the side of their necks: the two “D’s” that at one time marked such men for immediate death in Gaara and Jody’s world.
When Jody and the rest appeared in the open bay door, the four men in odd clothing took a collective step back and toward one another making a loose formation. Gaara’s hand was already behind him and on the gun before Ranmaru and the suit turned in seeming slow-motion.
“Well, I'll be good goddamned,” said Vince – one time chop shop owner and prostitution ring-runner. Gaara stared at the man who had been the intended recipient of Beast all those years ago, and his eyes narrowed when Vince flashed a golden-tooth-capped smile. Gaara felt momentarily set adrift in time and space before he forced himself to feel his feet on the concrete. He watched Vince’s arm tighten around Ranmaru’s shoulders, and Vince’s new men took a step closer to their boss.
Gaara observed everything and didn't like what he understood: that Vince was alive and well, associated with the Devil Dogs, and Gaara’s throat constricted as he wondered what in the hell Vince was doing here with the damned mutts.
“They told me some big, dumb blond and his red-headed fucktoy ran this place, but goddamn…” Vince’s grin turned feral and his dark eyes flashed. “I thought it was just the meth talkin’.”
“Sora,” Gaara growled, hand tightening on the Sig and brain explaining that shooting Vince unprovoked would still land Gaara in jail. No matter how much the fucker might deserve it.
Without a word, the youth hit the “send” button on his cell phone and brought the device to his ear. Gaara felt another little surge of pride that Sora never took his eyes off the enemy.
“Now, what’s that little shit doin’?” Vince asked, grin still in place but eyes on Sora.
“We need police sent to Akasuna Auto,” Sora said in response to the dispatcher’s question. “There’s a group of men threatening one of our employees, and we think they’re armed.”
Vince’s face lost its grin and he snarled. “Now that’s not very fuckin’ neighborly,” he hissed. “I’ve not harmed our little buddy, here.” His fingers tightened around Ranmaru’s shoulders, and Gaara’s gaze narrowed.
"Get off me," Ranmaru muttered and finally shrugged out of Vince’s grip to stumble-walk to Jody, who caught him and wrapped him into a loose hold with his free hand. The other one held the wrench in a grip that managed to be menacing and functional.
“You can wait ‘round ‘til the cops show up if you wanna,” Jody said, voice on the edge of threatening as Sora spoke their address and repeated the level of threat into the cell phone. “I’m sure they’d love to chat with you people.”
Vince spat on the pavement and pointed at Jody and Ranmaru. “That little bitch owes a man named Raiga a favor. And that favor goes to me.” Vince’s head ducked down and he looked positively demonic as he grinned again. “He’s gonna be the newest Dog in my little pack. We been thinking for a while now that this City’s too damned soft and pretty.”
“I’ll be sure to pass all that along to the cops when they get here,” Jody said pleasantly. “But by all means, keep tellin’ me all your dirty plans, Vince. I’m all eager and shit.”
Gaara’s eyes moved to look at Jody, alarmed, as he calculated how fast he could shoot these men should they draw on his long-time protector. He clicked the safety off the gun and watched, adrenaline making everything move like it was submersed in water.
Nostrils flaring, Vince gave some signal to his men, and as a group they began to walk backward. Vince turned and caught Gaara’s eye and pointed a finger crowned with a yellowed nail at the redhead. “And you owe me a goddamned car. Don’t think I forgot, you little cunt.”
Gaara said nothing and Jody took a step forward as Guren turned on her blow torch. “Call my boss another name, Vince, and we’ll see what we can cut off ‘a you and your boys ‘fore the police get here and turn us all civilized.”
But Vince didn’t look at Jody or respond to his threat. Instead, Vince kept his gaze steady on Gaara, who returned it with equanimity despite the voices urging him to shoot Vince in the face while Gaara had the chance. It’d feel really, really good, after all. Vince used to rough up all the younger Saint boys. Raped more than one of them, if Gaara’s memory served. Leon never corrected the behavior as he needed Vince for whatever bullshit gang reasoning that made sense back in those days and was just ash and stale memory dust to Gaara now.
Vince never attempted to lay a finger on Gaara, however. Not with Jody at his back. And not with Gaara’s reputation.
“Can’t believe you’re still sucking air,” Vince said to Gaara.
“Likewise,” Gaara said levelly.
“You owe me.”
“All I have is mine,” Gaara replied, stepping forward next to Jody and Ranmaru. “Come back here again, and I’ll blow your brains out.” Gaara tilted his head as one of the Dogs looked nervously at Vince before regaining his thug demeanor.
Sirens sounded, and Vince and his men suddenly broke their posturing stances and ran for a rust bucket that might have been an Oldsmobile at some point in the distant past. Doors slammed and the car roared to life, flinging bits of rock as they left the parking lot. Gaara watched, explaining to his body that it could calm down, now. No one was going to spill blood today.Dammit.
“Boss, if you could get back inside and store that weapon, I’d feel better ‘bout the cops gettin’ here,” Jody said without taking his eyes off the back of the Olds, which had no tag that Gaara could see.
Nodding once, Gaara turned and walked back across the bay floors and into the lobby. His hands shook as he put the gun back in its holster, and it wasn’t until he straightened up that he saw Haku. Gaara nearly jumped but caught himself.
“Sorry,” Haku said quietly, taking a step back and head going down in apology.
“How long have you been here?” Gaara asked, and he sounded breathy to himself, which made him frown.
“Long enough to see most of the confrontation,” Haku said to the floor. “I have word from Master Kiba.”
Gaara closed his eyes and inhaled long and slow. He didn’t know how to feel: worried, angry, upset, shocked. It was all there in some proportion, and it made it hard to think about Kiba or notes or much of anything that wasn’t soaked in the drying, stale blood of memories long dead.
“Haku. I can’t. Not right now,” Gaara said, opening his eyes to find the slim man wearing a dark blue summer dress already nodding.
“Should I…” Haku bit his lip and looked out toward the shop.
“Should you what?”
“Tell Master Kiba to come here?” Haku looked at Gaara with doe eyes, and Gaara heard himself speak before his brain caught up to his lips.
Haku’s entire body seemed to relax in relief, and he bowed before turning to run out the front door, letter still in hand. Gaara watched Haku disappear from his line of sight as two police cars pulled into the parking lot. Playing the part of the observer, Gaara stood at the counter with a blank expression as Jody went out to greet the officers. He found it ironic and incredible that Jody – who, at one time, played the part of moving target for cursing cops – calmly spoke to all four of Monoshizukanohi’s finest and shook their hands. Jody motioned and Ranmaru came out as well, head down.
For a moment, the world slipped into a surreal state where Gaara felt caught: should he take charge? Go out and stand with Jody and Ranmaru as they spoke to the officers? He felt almost guilty and like he was hiding here in the shop, though what Jody said about the weapon made good sense. License or no, being armed when cops were involved was never a good idea. Not in Gaara’s extensive experience, anyway.
And what about Haku and Kiba? Gaara leaned to rest his forearms on the counter and studied a piece of grit on the laminate while he chewed on the joint of his left thumb. Gaara wanted to believe he told Haku that Kiba could come to the shop because Gaara couldn’t manage Vince, the Dogs, and Kiba's letters all at the same time.
But in truth, seeing Vince made Gaara feel young
. And also above that sort of nonsense. Yes, he wanted to kill the man – and his friends – but that seemed fairly on par. What wasn’t typical was that the idea made Gaara feel tired. Seeing Jody take such a firm stance made Gaara feel the urge to take a nap, and since Gaara liked sleep almost as much as he liked the idea of Vince and the dogs in town, Gaara was surprised at himself.
And what about Vince. The hell was he doing, trying to encroach on the city? Recruiting Ranmaru off the street or just away from Gaara? All that bullshit happened so long ago with the cars. Gaara felt like it was all a very small piece of him, now, and thought briefly that Brian the shrink would approve of that. He frowned and shook that thought away.
But while Gaara may not understand his urge to curl up under covers and rest, he did know that seeing Vince made him grateful for his connection to Neji, the city, and in possession of top-of-the-line security systems. It was odd to think of himself as a “citizen” instead of an outsider, but he supposed that’s what he was, now. Business owner. Employee. Granted, a well-armed version of both those things, but a functional member of society nonetheless.
Shifting his weight, Gaara’s eyes lost focus as he thought about Vince and then Kiba, and the combined images made him want to hit things. He wasn’t scared of Vince, the Dogs, or death. But…
Gaara’s gaze fixated on the bottom part of the vase of fake roses Kiba had sent. Parts of Gaara ached because the vase was there and Vince was alive and the cops were in Gaara’s shop. Kiba was involved in Gaara’s life, now, and said life just got messy. Possibly bloody and messy. Gaara considered that, and he tried to ignore the lump in his throat.
Am I upset because I don’t want Kiba involved and stupidly told him to come to the shop or am I upset because Vince threatened everyone and I don’t want to…maybe I am a little upset at the idea of dying because…
Everything got tangled and dirty in Gaara’s mind, and six voices tried to speak at once. Making a soft noise, he clutched at his hair with his free hand and stayed that way until the front door jingled. Gaara’s head snapped up and his eyes met the concerned, pale green stare of one Inuzuka.
Gaara tried to feel nothing, but the relief and nerves ignored his best efforts.
“The hell the cops here for?” Kiba demanded, crossing quickly to the counter and resting his hand near Gaara’s arm. He didn’t touch the redhead, but he definitely got close.
Kiba scowled and Haku entered the shop, trying to be unobtrusive. “Haku said some asshole threatened you and Jody.” Kiba’s eyes searched Gaara’s, and the redhead finally had to look away. Having Kiba here was different now. Gaara’s mind showed him a picture on a downward angle: Kiba’s hand around Gaara’s cock. The image made Gaara jerk his head in a rough shake. He didn’t feel so much like hurting Kiba after that incident, the lassitude that followed, and all the letters. Gaara was damned near happy to see Kiba, actually, he begrudgingly admitted to himself, but there was Vince and Ranmaru and Gaara’s strange cowardice about death.
“Gaara…” Kiba’s voice approached tender, and Gaara straightened up, glaring at the man.
“How did you get here so fast?”
“I drove Haku here ev’ry day,” Kiba answered, eyes intense and ablaze with life and determination. Gaara felt oddly safer beneath such scrutiny.
“Just parked down the street an’ waited.”
Gaara didn’t know what to say to that, really. It made sense. And made him want to accuse Kiba of stalking him, but Gaara’d answered his letters and accepted his gifts, which made him a willing participant.
“The hell is wrong with me?” Gaara muttered. His lips felt numb and there seemed to be a block of ice forming in his stomach.
“I dunno, sweetheart. ‘swhat I’m tryin’ to find out,” Kiba answered, stepping closer again; sliding along the counter to reach his hand toward Gaara.
“No,” Gaara said, shaking his head and he wasn’t even sure what he denied, but it didn’t matter as Jody stepped through the service door at that moment, eying Kiba with a look that Gaara recognized. The look made Gaara want to be angry, but the best he could do was conjure up a good solid, irritated.
“Jody,” Kiba said as if the man embodied the last sane one on earth. “The hell’s happenin’?”
Jody looked at Kiba and his eyes flickered to Gaara. The big man frowned at his old friend and sighed, and again Gaara felt like the entire globe was in on some secret and Gaara was on the outside looking in. And the most damnably irritating thing about it was that apparently Gaara’s body language or smell or whatever gave off impressions that added to said secret, and Gaara was just…he hated…and…it was all so…
“Yeah,” Jody agreed with Gaara. “It is. Got an old friend in town causin’ trouble. We’re handlin’ it, but…” Jody shrugged and swiveled his head to address Gaara. “Gonna go with Ranmaru downtown. Police want him on record and need to sign some sorta paperwork about restraining orders or protection or somethin’. Boss…think you might ought to close early today.”
Nodding, Gaara thought that was a good idea. It was a slow day, anyway, and he was grateful that none of their high-end customers had witnessed Vince’s antics. That thought made Gaara angry as it threatened him on different levels, and his jaw flexed.
“I don’t much like the idea ‘a you bein’ by yourself, though,” Jody said quietly. And then he looked at Kiba. Gaara watched something pass between the two men and felt managed.
“I’ll stay,” Kiba said.
“Yeah…I suspect you will."
“Jody…” Kiba began but the big man put up a hand.
“Don’t matter right now. I seen what you’re doin’. And I seen what boss makes of it.”
Kiba said nothing, and Haku quietly cleared his throat, catching Jody’s attention.
“Hey there,” Jody said amiably. “You need a ride somewhere?”
“That would be lovely, yes, if Mas-…” Haku paused, smiled, and then continued. “If Mr
. Inuzuka is going to be otherwise occupied with Mr. Sabaku, then a ride would be lovely.”
“Well, c’mon with me, then,” Jody said before turning back to Gaara and Kiba. “The kids’ll close up, boss. Just go on with Kiba if you would.”
Gaara bristled, and Jody immediately made placating signs with his hands. “I don’t mean to tell you what to do, boss, I’m just a big pile of worry and got too many to keep a watch on.”
Pulling a face, Gaara relented. “Fine.”
“Aw, gee, thanks, sweetheart,” Kiba rasped, grinning at Gaara.
“He tries anything you don’t like, just shoot his nuts off, boss,” Jody quipped, only half-kidding.
“Ya people seriously got it in fer my balls,” Kiba joked back, watching as Gaara walked around the counter. “No good deed goes unrewarded an’ shit.”
Jody snorted and Haku followed the big man back into the shop. Gaara stayed silent, and Kiba followed the redhead out the front door and around the side of the building. The Charger was parked next to Beast, and Gaara paused, taking that in.
“I can follow ya,” Kiba said, voice close and making Gaara jerk and struggle not to step away from the presence he felt at his back.
“Fine,” Gaara grumbled.
“See ya at the house, then.” Kiba’s body barely brushed Gaara’s as he walked around the smaller man, heading toward his car.
Thinking this was a bad idea on many levels and resenting the hell out of Jody and the man’s incessant need to protect, Gaara stalked over to Beast. Moments later, two engines roared to life and tires churned grit as the cars made their way up to Gaara’s home.~*~A/N: Thank you everyone for your patience! Extras are over on the Main Story Entry for this fic (found on the left side bar on my LJ page, for easy access). Beginning to get a little...interesting 'round the Auto shop, hm? XD
Also: Midaretakaze = "sad sand."