HELLO PANDA!by ang3Lix.

Chapter 2

They have gone halfway through their travel when the sun finally dipped itself upon the horizon. They began to set up camp immediately just when the sun was about to fully disappear. A few minutes after, a lively fire blazed wonderfully at the center, while they sat in an uneven circle around the heat.

Sasuke sat beside a continuously decreasing pile of tree branches, once in a while throwing a piece in the fire. He peacefully watched the flickering fire in a slight daze.

Naruto was busy rummaging through his pack for his doggy night cap.

Hinata was busy helping him out.

Sakura was busy, also, rummaging through her pack, while Gaara was busy ignoring everybody.

With a loud 'HURRAY!', Sakura retrieved her arm from inside her bag, clutching something that slightly resembled a filthy rag. Naruto, Hinata, Sasuke and Gaara had to take a closer look before they realized that Sakura brought out an old, tattered bear. No, a panda, actually. The almost graying color of the panda's black arms, legs and one eye was still slightly visible.

" Everybody, meet Couppy-chan!" Sakura beamed, extending the panda forward for the others to see. " I bring it to every mission I go to! I actually can't sleep without him. I had him since I was a little kid, but I can't bring it out because the kids at the academy would make fun of me! They'll say I can't afford buying a real teddy bear."

Sasuke's mouth thinned that it resembled a simple line. He couldn't quite help notice the panda's resemblance to the red-head that sat just at his left. And how pathetic the panda bear's name was. Sasuke would more likely die if his name was Couppy-chan.

It seemed it was not only him that noticed the resemblance. Sakura's eyes darted continuously from Couppy-chan to Gaara. Gaara oblivious, though everybody knew he was starting to get the picture.

" Hey!" Sakura said, starting to grin, " Gaara, you look a lot like Couppy-chan!"

Sakura bolted away from her bag on the floor and went at Gaara's front. She took hold of Couppy-chan on his navel, then inched it near the Sand-nin's stoic face.

Naruto had to actually place his fist into his mouth just to keep himself from laughing. Hinata was too shocked by the pink-haired female's action to ever feel like laughing. Sasuke smirked, as he watched the humiliation and emotional turmoil the male should be undergoing.

Gaara, in that very precise moment, found he also had a split personality.

Dude, the girl is right. Said his inner self. Seriously.

I doubt it.

Dude, no, really, look at the ultra-cool markings around the mega-coolaroodi panda thingy. Said his inner self, Dude, you're looking at your bro!

I am not anywhere related to you, right?

His inner self, surprisingly, stared to panic. Dude, we're like 100 percent allergic to cottony fiber! Unless it's like 100 percent polyester or a psychedelic combination of 10 percent spandex and 90 percent polyester, we're in like, very serious danger! Seriously!

I am not anywhere related to you, right?

Dude! You're almost touching the mega-coolaroodi panda thingy! Run! Seriously!

Shut up.

" ..maybe I can call you Cappy-chan instead!" Sakura continued to rant, while Gaara continued to ignore. " So Couppy-chan wouldn't get so lonely! Couppy-chan is running low on sugar that's why he's so lonely and dull. Couppy-chan and Cappy-chan! That's a good combination! Couppy-chan and Cappy-chan! Couppy-chan and Cappy-chan! Couppy-chan Cappy-chan Couppy-chan Cappy-chan Couppy-chan Cappy-chan—"

It seemed like Gaara cannot ignore anymore.

Because a thin trail of sand shot out of his gourd with a small pop of the cap, sped towards Couppy-chan, got a good grip on the panda bear's leg, then slowly crept the plushie towards the fire. Sakura's eyes barely registered the absence of her Couppy-chan in her hands, and the next thing she knew, her precious sleeping buddy was about to roast under the smoldering fire.

Truth be told, Gaara was only doing this to shut the girl up with all her Couppy-chan Cappy-chan Couppy-chan Cappy-chan babbles. But he was too busy smirking at her bewildered reaction to notice Sasuke throwing another twig towards the fire lazily—and the small piece of a tree bumped on Couppy-chan—and sent it down, down, down.. to the fire below.

Naruto gasped.

Hinata covered her mouth in, again, shock.

Sasuke's eye twitched.

Gaara's mouth turned thin.

Sakura, miraculously, did nothing but stare blankly at the fire, watching her kind-of best friend crumble slowly into ashes.

Hinata was the first to react—she twisted the cap of her water jug open and tossed the contents of it onto the fire. It reduced into smoke, hissing. Couppy-chan was burnt in quite many places that could never be remedied by needle and thread.

" Couppy-chan's dead." Sakura murmured. " I guess that means I hate you." She said quietly to Gaara, who sat unmoving without any kind of emotion on his face.

In about a few seconds, Sakura disappeared into her tent.

" Sakura-chan's very upset Gaara." Naruto said seriously. " Better go apologize or your ass is gas."

Gaara rolled his eyes. What a nice advice.


AUTHOR'S NOTES: 1) sorry if this chapter is not the funniest, but I intended it not to be. I guess we already passed the humor stage back at part 1, and this chapter now implies a bit of drama. I think I suck at drama. 2) Thank you to the people who read and reviewed this fic. I really appreciate it. - 3) one chapter to go before Hello Panda! truly sends us it's last buh-bye! 4) thanks for the words of encouragement, whether it may be a simple 'PLEASE UPDATE!' or words of advice, or may it be an exaggerating 'YOUR FIC SUX.', I still thank you all. 4) ENJOY, Y'ALL!