|Like a single grain of sand
Author: llothcat PM
The calloused hand of the lead jonin smacks onto the seal, and as the sudden poof of smoke slowly disperses, the first thing he notes is the fact that the wrists of this liberated slave are chained well apart...A FMA Naruto crossover...Rated: Fiction T - English - & Edward E. - Chapters: 34 - Words: 61,697 - Reviews: 334 - Favs: 203 - Follows: 228 - Updated: 11-26-11 - Published: 04-03-11 - Status: Complete - id: 6872468
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The report of the successful raid in his hand, he reads what the team leaders, both jonin, have to say of the bandit stronghold they discovered at the border. His face is expressionless, but even he despises what the bandits really were: slave traders.
It doesn't take him long to reach the very hospital that the group is heading to.
He watches with his arms folded over his chest as the large scroll in unrolled onto the hospital tile. The calloused hand of the lead jonin smacks onto the seal, and as the sudden poof of smoke slowly disperses, the first thing he notes is the fact that the wrists of this liberated slave are chained well apart.
He eyes the shivering form of a pale long haired boy dressed in a ragged pair of breaches, gazing at the many round intricate tattoos that vaguely remind him of seals.
"We found him this way, Kazekage. Drugged and chained up."
Gaara nods. He can see with his own eyes why the jonin considered the boy a possible missing nin. Gaara mind whirls, assessing the dangers to Sand that the boy represents.
"Extremely low chakra." The Leaf jonin says dully.
"I think he struggled mightily before he was overwhelmed.." One of the genin supplies.
"Or he was tortured." Another says darkly.
Gaara narrows his eyes, watching the boy jerk his arms hard as if unaware, or uncaring, that they are bound behind his back. The genin gasp, and there is a flurry of hand signs.
He watches the lids of the boy rise, revealing irises of shocking gold which are fever bright and highly unfocused.
Before any jutsu takes effect, the boy arches his back and kicks out. He sweeps his legs at them all in a wild sort of taijustu, and all just manage to dodge out of the way of the mad strike. The boy's left foot breaks uselessly through a sturdy wall.
"Low chakra." Repeats the jonin, watching on as the mednin descend on the feverish boy. Even with his foot stuck in the wall, it takes ten to pin him. As they pull the foot free, the dull shine of metal glints in the hospital light.
The boy struggles so wildly, so blindly, that it takes even more to move him to a proper bed for any sort of treatment. Gaara wonders if the boy has entirely lost his wits as he sees the many scars about the boy's torso. Who knew how long the slavers had him.
Gaara listens to whispers as the med-nins list off the many challenges to the boy's well-being: Severely infected gashes. Puncture wounds. It takes a day for medical nins to successfully reverse the poison they had found coating a sebon embedded in a particularly long scar that snakes it's way around the right shoulder. They stab many needles into his arms, dripping charka stabilizing solutions into his bloodstream.
Days pass. Gaara paces restlessly, absently reading through a chart that says the boy's chakra never seems to rise very far, as if the body is burning chakra as fast as it develops. The head mednin speculates that perhaps the boy is dying. Gaara nods and trusts them with their task.
He considers the boy a threat no longer, and he has paperwork awaiting his signature back in his tower.
Days later, Gaara reaches a lull in the mounds of papers. He long since assumed the boy had passed on, but could not suppress the urge to go for a simple walk. He relishes in the warm desert breeze that brushes his skin. It is one of many feelings he has now that Shikaku was violently taken from him.
The imposing building which holds the hospital goes nearly unnoticed in his pondering, and before long, Gaara wanders by the boy's door. He widens his eyes slightly at the crashing sound within.
With a glance, he sees the boy is still alive.
As he watches, the boy struggles and jerks halfway out of the bed in spite of the fact he is strapped down in with sturdy leather straps. His progress is only halted by the tubing stuck in his arms, leaving him dangling over the floor for a few breathless moments. The golden head wobbles, and he paws at the many tubes. He firmly grabs a hand full with a white knuckled fist, and with a grimace, yanks hard.
The dripping of tubes on the floor set off all sorts of screeching alarms and ringing bells. As the red light above the bed flashes, the hall fills with the pounding of sandled feet. Several med-nins rush by Gaara.
"Oh! Lord Gaara.. Kazekage..!" Gaara gives a small wave to calm the girl who stumbled into him in her rush to help the other med-nins.
"The boy lives.." Gaara prompts.
"Y-yes." The med-nin stutters. "It seems that.. Um. E-even without chakra, he's stronger than he looks."
Gaara lifts is gaze to the boy. Long golden hair is dulled down to brown, and slicked down. His sweat covered face is red and twisted in fury as the boy yells out things that Gaara doesn't recognize.
The mednins yell back.
Fever bright golden eyes slide about. The boy pants. A heartbeat later he yells out something else.. vowels harsh and a great mouthful to his ears. Another language Gaara supposes.
Three mednins pin down the left leg, and Gaara hears the chilling rattle of chains, perhaps slipping under the warm blankets. The boy arches his back and squirms under the grasp of the med-nins once more as he is manhandled back under the leather straps.
During a fleeting, lucid moment, Gaara strides into the human maelstrom to stand before the foot of the bed. It takes a few moments, but the boy's bright gaze settles warily upon him, and the wildly swinging slows. The med-nins snap down a new strap across the boy's bandaged chest, and tentatively lift their hands. The boy scowls down at the restraint, and pants from his enormous, ultimately useless struggles. He then glares at Gaara, and waits.
The med nins back away, stepping to the wall. Some flinch as if expecting Gaara to lash out in anger with his sand, even though he is plainly not angry in the least.
"You do not understand what I am saying, do you?" Gaara says emotionlessly, arms folded across his chest.
The boy continues to glare, but Gaara watches the flickering expressions on the boy's face.
Gaara then gestures to himself, and says "Gaara."
The stranger's golden eyes focus slightly, lingering on the Kanji, "love", carved onto his forehead. Then, with a nearly unnoticable jerk of his chin, says, "Ghaaahaaarha." As if tasting the word.
Gaara replaces his arm into his fold, and stares at the boy in expectation.
The boy swallows, and pants a few more times before passing his glare about the room with an air of displeasure. He then glares back at the Kazekage, and in a huff, grunts something the sounds like "id."
"Id-" Gaara says experimentally, adding the affectionate"- kun" to the end. It was a strange name, if it was a name.
The boy shakes his head slightly, and blinks a slow blink. Gaara wonders if that's a no.
"Ed." The boy says firmly.