Disclaimer: Naruto obviously belongs to Masashi Kishimoto, not to me, and will continue to not belong to me for the duration of the story. (Like I make enough money to buy the rights to Naruto, or any anime at all. Seriously.)
Spoilers present, varying chapters.Human Nature
By: TailFearChapter 00: Betrayed by Home
Her arms were wrapped around his shoulders tightly. Actually, had it been anyone but her they would have been dead for this particular offense. But that wasn't particularly important at the moment. What was more important was the drama unfolding in front of him. This whole meeting was technically about him, technically being the key word, seeing how he had no say, and it was really more about the council of elders instead.
"You can't send him there, they hate him! You can't just send him into unfriendly territory and expect him to live there peacefully," Temari yelled from beside him. She was fuming, the air nearly burning around her.
"What use is an unbeatable weapon that has been beaten?" one of the elders snapped, leaning forward in his seat to look at the siblings standing in front of the council.
"He's not just some weapon to be thrown away!" Temari shot back, her arms tightening around the shoulders of her younger brother protectively. On her other side Kankuro nodded, his arms crossed over his chest.
"Enough!" the new Kazekage thundered, glaring at everyone in the room. With a sigh he looked at the three siblings standing alone on the stone floor. "This is not a matter for debate. After the death of the previous Kazekage we've decided that this is the best way to take care of matters between us and the village of Konoha."
"Look, it isn't our fault the Orochimaru was just using us and our father," Temari snapped, looking at each and every one of them as they all looked away. "You all agreed with the alliance with the Sound village, and with sending us to that chuunin exam in the Konoha village. Just because you wanted revenge because Konoha is stronger than us. And now? Now you're sending Gaara there as part of the peace treaty! That's insane."
"That's our decision, so deal with it," another elder snapped. The rest of the council nodded, and he continued, strengthened by this support, "We're not here to debate, you're here to be informed. Gaara will be leaving tomorrow, escorted by jounin, so be ready. And if you try to leave tonight, you'll be stopped, so don't bother."
Gaara was glaring from behind the protective shield of Temari's tan arms. He could feel the anger bubbling up, but so far was only successfully making the village's elders look anywhere but at him as they shifted nervously. With the anger he could feel something akin to emptiness starting to swell up inside along with the eternal taunting that came with having a tanuki living with him inside of his body.
"Like you could stop is if we really wanted to leave," Temari snapped, releasing Gaara with one of her arms so that she could move the fan strapped to her back threateningly. " We could k-"
"Temari, we're leaving," Gaara had ducked out from under her arms and was heading towards the doors. Temari took the time to glare at the council members one last time before storming out with Kankuro at her back.
"Shit, this is all bullshit!" Temari snarled as they stalked down the streets of Suna. People who had been loitering in the streets scattered out of the way as the three angry chuunin made their way home, each one radiating killing intent. Wide, frightened eyes followed their backs as mothers shielded the eyes of their children, watching as the demon of the sands passed them by, murder written on his face.
As darkness fell that night a wind sprang up from the east, sucking the heat out of the air and leaving a rapidly cooling atmosphere behind. Sounds swirled along with the winds and sand particles, twining coolly around the squat, almost square buildings that made up the hidden village of Suna.
The red-headed Gaara was sitting on the roof of the home he shared with his two siblings, watching the town bustle in the darkening night. His insomnia ringed green eyes were alert, waiting, watching the world around him. He was at home in the night, in the darkness. No one could see him, he was free; free from the looks of fear and disdain. Awake and away from prying eyes he could prowl the streets, keeping tabs on the underworld that took place only as night fell.
He felt a presence behind him, but didn't turn. He felt, rather than saw, (although that would have been easy as well,) Temari come to stand behind him, just far enough away incase her little brother decided to lash out. When he didn't move she let out the breath that she had been holding, and draped the blanket she had brought with her over Gaara's shoulders and bare forearms.
"Hey," she said, sitting down next to her brother on the edge of the roof, her legs dangling over the edge.
He didn't reply, but his eyes flickered in her direction even as he drew the blanket tighter around his shoulders. Together they sat in silence, just watching as Sunagakure lit up with the falling night. Warm yellow lights sparkled on wide avenues, while pinks, blues, and greens were mixed among the yellows as other businesses, some only open at night, as streets narrowed and got seedier away from the broad avenues.
"It'll be alright," Temari whispered after a while. Goosebumps were starting to raise on her arms, but she didn't care. Gaara stiffened, but didn't say anything, his eyes narrowing as he continued to look ahead.
"I mean…" Temari trailed off, not really sure what to say. She felt pathetic. The village was sending her brother away, her youngest brother, and she couldn't do anything to stop it. She couldn't rage and destroy things like she wanted to, couldn't do anything to defend her brother past words, and those had failed miserably already. She hated feeling like this.
"This is so frustrating! I hate this," Temari yelled, jumping to her feet so that she could pace. "I hate not being able to do anything when they just decide to send you away because it's convenient! This is so stupid!"
"Temari," Gaara said. Temari stopped and sighed, sitting back down. She was still carefully watching the red-head, keeping and eye out for any warning signs that he showed before snapping. In the last three years Gaara had changed considerably, especially after the shock given to him after the first chuunin exams three years ago. Even three years hadn't dulled the caution she had around her younger brother, but now she could at least get close to him without getting knocked away.
"I just-" she started, but Gaara cut her off.
"I know," he said with a sigh. His head tilted upwards, observing the night skies above him, eyes flickering over the sea of twinkling stars. Green eyes locked onto brown ones and Temari shuddered, catching the rage flickering in their depths. Gaara was anything but happy with this situation.
"The council will live to regret their decision."
The finality in Gaara's tone send shivers down her spine, even as he turned his attentions to the sky once again. For a while she watched both him and the village below, until her shivers told her that it was time to retreat back into the warmth of their house. She said a quiet goodnight and left, climbing down the ladder that was perched on the top of the first story and entering through the second story balcony; leaving Gaara to his own devices for the rest of the night.
A while after Temari had disappeared into the house, as the night crowds started to clear out, Gaara took off, moving skillfully from building to building in silence. On the ground he melted into the shadows, fading from view as he took his last look around the village where he had lived since infancy. As always the gourd was strapped to his back, his constant companion, with him where ever he went.
As he walked through deserted streets, sand swirling around his feet with each step, he remembered bits and pieces of his life. A shake of his head stopped that, and left him with only himself and his inner demons.
"We could always give them a present before the escort us out," Shukaku suggested from the back of his mind, sneering at the thought of leaving without a struggle.
Gaara sighed, both internally and externally. No, he thought firmly. We aren't going on a rampage.
"You always were weak," Shukaku snorted before letting it drop and fading further into the background. Gaara rolled his eyes and continued on his way, moving once again from building to building until he came across his home again. He settled back down to wait the rest of the night out, watching the sky and sinking into his thoughts until the rosy fingers of dawn started to streak across the horizon.
As the sun rose the jounin and special jounin came to "collect" him as he sat on the edge of his roof, waiting as the sun fell across his face, and across the sealed chains that glinted silver in the dawning light.