Me: Here we are! The long awaited Chapter 9. Because I know you guys are probably going to come after me with pointy objects soon, I'll just let you read.

Gaara: ... Sabaku no Myth does not own Naruto.

-----------------------------------------------------------------

"Fresh fish! Straight from the sea!"

Naruka glared. Why she had decided to come to the market, of all the places she could have gone, even she didn't know. Naruka had just let her feet take her wherever they wanted. Next time, she would know better.

Naruka browsed, looking at items with half of her mind. Her Jagan picked up scraps of thoughts and opinions, filling her mind with them. She listened idly. A stall fill with katanas, kunais, and shurkien caught her eye, and Naruka practically flew over to look.

The shopkeeper frowned slightly. He didn't expect girls at his stall. Usually just Black Ops members, with their masks and expressionless faces (what was visible anyway.). Not a small, innocent girl with strange clothes that were a little too big for her and a katana strapped to her back. A well-used katana. He shivered. Maybe not so innocent.

Naruka picked up a kunai with a short, red tassel at the end, admiring it. She tugged gently at a strand of hair, and ran it lightly over the edge of the kunai. The hair was sliced neatly in half. Naruka grinned. This is one sharp kunai. And it felt nice too, fitting snuggly in her palm. She turned to the shopkeeper.

She definitely reminds me of someone. Though the shopkeeper. His eyes narrowed, watching her examine the kunai. She didn't look like she would cause trouble, but…

"How much is this?" she inquired, holding out the kunai.

Those eyes. Dark. Deep. Empty. Tinged with a deep, golden yellow at the edges. The shopkeeper swallowed hard. He'd seen those eyes before. But at that time, they belonged to the red-haired demon boy. The expression in her eyes was exactly the same as Sabaku no Gaara's.

"Sir?"

Her voice snapped him back to reality. He swallowed again, slowly averting his gaze. Kami-sama, he didn't want to see her eyes again, ever!

"No charge. You can have it." He mumbled.

Naruka was puzzled. The kunai was obviously of very good quality, and he could easily fetch a high price for it. But life had raised her to accept these kinds of things, so she pocketed it without saying a word.

As she walked away, the merchant gave a barely audible sigh. The Jagan caught the last thought of the weapon-selling vender. So you're glad to see me go? She thought silently. Naruka's lips curled up into a smirk. Well, you won't be the last. She pushed through the crowd to a deserted alley.

"Ahhh." Naruka rejoiced silently in the dark. The pulsing of her instincts stilled, her mind grew quiet.

"Didja see the freak? Not so scary now, since he's been chewed out by the Kazekage, is he?"

Naruka frowned. This voice was real, not a piece of mind seen by her Jagan.

"I know. I'm glad that the Kazekage has some control of that monster."

Another one. Real. Close by. Very close by. Who were they talking about?

"Yeah. Or else we'd all be dead about now. If I were him, I'da have killed myself. For being a freak, I mean."

Voice number 2 snickered.

"It doesn't get any freakier than him, that's for sure."

Naruka walked toward the voices. Unfortunately, it brought her back to the middle of the street, where the crowds were.

"His mom should've named him 'Panda' instead of 'Gaara'." said voice #1.

Naruka stopped. They were talking about Gaara! Her eyes narrowed, and her fingernails dug into her palms as she clenched her hands into fists. Her world grew cold. They called him a freak. Whispered her demon self. They called him a monster and a panda. If her demon self had teeth, it would've smiled. They cannot be forgiven.

"Yeah. Gaara the panda-eyed freak of Sunagakure." They laughed, enjoying their little joke at the expense of Gaara. Suddenly they were pinned to the wall.

"What the…" He screamed. Fire brands surrounded his writs, ankles, and neck, standing about half a foot from his skin. He'd moved and burned himself on the rings of fire.

A girl stood in front of them, hands in her pockets.

"I wouldn't move if I were you." She said idly. She could be talking about the weather for all her voice was indicating.

"You see, Hi no Kusari makes it so the person chained is unable to move. The fire doesn't touch you directly or you'd burn to death. However…" Here Naruka smirked, for she's seen both guys break out in sweat. "The fire is currently at 110° degrees. Enough for the burns you receive from this fire to be horribly painful. Now." She suddenly became all-business. "What were you saying about Gaara?"

The one on the right blurted out, "Why do you want to know?"

Naruka smiled thinly, no humor in her golden eyes.

"Because I'm interested." Her voice dripped honey. "And because," Here the fire around them tightened, making smaller rings. "You won't die as quickly."

"Gaara got in trouble with the Kazekage." Said the one on the left hurriedly. "It was something about not completing a mission."

"Yeah." It seemed as though the one was also keen to live. "It was about being unable to retrieve a scroll."

Naruka frowned inwardly. Scroll?

"What did the scroll contain?"

"We wouldn't know," began the first.

The bands blazed.

"But we heard it contained information about a hidden technique that the Kazekage wanted." Finished the second hurriedly.

Naruka stared at them blankly, mind somewhere else.

I had that scroll. He needed it. He got in trouble for it. Yet he saved me. Why? Why didn't he just leave me? I need answers… She saw her captives again. I won't get any from them.

"Please. We've told you all you wanted to know."

"Yeah." said the other. "Let us go."

Naruka smiled cruelly. I forgo how I used to love this. The feeling of holding someone's life in your hand. And… Her chakra flared. The feeling of power when you get to take that life.

"Please. Let us go." Voice One pleaded. "We haven't done anything to you."

Time to test out my new kunai. Naruka thought, drawing it out. She tossed it, answered, "You were born." Catching the kunai and simultaneously drawing her katana, she leapt toward them.

The first was stabbed, kunai to heart. With a flick of her wrist, Naruka slit the other's throat. They were dead before they had time to scream. The coppery tang of blood filled her nostrils. Oh, how she had forgotten that feeling of ultimate power. And now, tasting blood and having that power, Naruka threw back her head and laughed. It didn't matter that it was broad daylight, and that she was in a foreign (and possibly hostile) village slaughtering their civilians. No. All that matter was her weapons soaked in red, fresh blood splattered on her clothes and hugging her flesh, that copper tang against her nostrils, and the feeling of power in her heart.

Killing was like a drug and Naruka had just gotten another heavy dose.

She turned around, a reckless grin on her face, a maniacal glint in her eyes. The shoppers stood and stared. Another quick flick and her katana was clean. Another and it was sheathed on her back. Naruka marveled at how easily her new kunai slipped out of the corpse at her tug, the body falling to join the other at the base of the wall. She shook her head, flicking off the blood and pocketing it. The crowd parted easily, letting her through to the weapons stall.

Probably from shock. Naruka mused. Their brains haven't caught up with their eyes yet.

Likewise, the weapons shopkeeper was also in shock with his eyes wide and mouth agape.

"You…you…" He stuttered, clearly at loss for words. Behind her, some in the crowd had snapped from their daze and were moving toward his stall angrily.

The girl leaned in close. He could see his reflection in her pale gold eyes and smell the freshly spilled blood soaked in her clothes.

"Thanks for the kunai." He heard her say with her lips curved in a smirk. "It's perfect." That, and her soft maniacal laugh, were the last things he heard before sinking to the ground in a death faint.

Civilians. Naruka thought amused. So fragile and excitable. She glanced behind her at the angry crowd. Time to go.

Raising her hands to make the sign of the dragon, she smiled. Her hands made the sign and Naruka disappeared in a sudden whirl of fire.

--------------------------------------------------

Me: -sighs- Wasn't that nice?

Gaara: -has no coment-

Me: Oh, and by the way, Hi no Kusari is Chains of Fire in Japanese. It's an imprisionment technique. Read and review please!

Gaara: You don't desearve reviews.

Me: -pushes Gaara out of the way- Don't listen to him.

Gaara: -attackes author violently-

Me: Help...