Music soothes the savage beast.

That's how the saying went. Most people wouldn't have taken it quite so literally – after all the last thing you think of when being mauled by a large, rabid animal is singing to it or trying to screech out a tune on what soon becomes an equally mangled violin. Truthfully, music is given little more credit than begin able to help folks 'get their groove on'.

But to the tormented, those without the blessing of serenity in anything much, music becomes a sweet escape. Such was once the case of a certain sand-nin. Gaara had felt little joy in his life and it was a safe bet that he'd felt more pain than sane pleasures. His days were empty, his nights the same, and he only felt truly alive when there was blood spattering over his cracking features. So one can imagine his uncharacteristic inward awe when he heard his first aria, or the harmonies of the chorus working in perfect unison.

Nearly three years after the Chuunin exam which had first brought him to Konoha, Gaara ventured to the little village of his own accord. The demon inside him had become more restless than usual and he sought out any means in which to allay its probes for him to sleep. He tried to keep active, keep thinking his own thoughts of his own will. Becoming the Kazakage of the Hidden Sand helped him in this a great deal and in the process he managed to work out his frustrations in useful ways.

It was not to be for long. The tanuki was relentless. It didn't like to be ignored and clawed around inside his subconscious like a child throwing a violent tantrum after not getting what it wanted. It wasn't long before he could barely concentrate on business matters of the Kazekage position. Inwardly bewildered and distraught, he left the village in the hands of his sister, Temari, and left for an undetermined amount of time.

He didn't know why his feet had led him back to Konoha – perhaps not his feet but the Tanuki whispering in his head. He took immediate notice of just how much the village had grown since he had last seen it, crumbling during the battle with the Sand and Sound. It was thriving in what seemed the healthiest manner for a village. Almost instantly he was drawn to a distinctly new and delicate looking building. In the back of his mind somewhere memories echoed of having heard something in passing about the theatre Konoha had been funding. So, here it was …..intricate and promising some sort of refinement.

His darkened eyes regarded the building indifferently and he soon turned to continue passing it by down the dusty road.

But as he turned he was stopped by sounds suddenly floating out from the open double doors. His brow furrowed as if he'd just heard something completely foreign. For a moment he stood, listening to the clouded sounds the building thrust at him teasingly. Finally, his body gave in to his curiosity cautiously and he ventured up the stone steps.

His eyes searched the empty lobby as he reached the entrance. No one was around; he could feel that much. Truthfully, he felt a little anxious about venturing into this space even though he wasn't sure why. For the first time in many years he was echoing the movements of a child, peeking and sneaking while expecting to be scolded as soon as they were caught. Luckily, it seemed the entire building wasn't occupied heavily. The flowing sound he heard continued and he slipped gracefully to follow it, his high wrapped cloak swishing quietly behind him.

He found his way to a door that led into the main theater. Instantly the music grew clearer to his ears and it became obvious it was a variety of voices rising together in a strange yet entrancing manner. Quickly and quietly Gaara slipped from the door to conceal himself behind a burgundy velvet curtain that hung behind the back row of seats. His green eyes peered from the shadows, his lips parting with a soft breath as he continued to listen.

What was this? What were these sounds? Could humans make such beautiful music – even more beautiful than when they screamed in death? He was almost startled when the orchestra rose up to accompany the choir in their rehearsal. Gaara's eyes widened slightly when this amazing sound became even more awe-inspiring. The music echoed majestically throughout the otherwise empty theatre and the Kazekage felt something strange inside himself. It felt as though his heart, something he was sure had died ages ago, was swelling and speeding up in ways he'd only felt in the thrill of battle. His fingertips twitched against his palm and he grasped lightly at his cloak to still them.

What was this? Instinctively, Gaara's eyes closed and he released a deep breath once again. He hadn't noticed it, but all his thoughts had silenced themselves, and even the Tanuki had fallen silent. It was probably the first moment he had ever felt this depth of peace. Even the sand in his ever-vigilant gourd was seeping out unconsciously and sliding across the floor over his feet.

Then before he knew it the music stopped and his eyes snapped open, the sand rearing up agitatedly. He didn't want it to stop! He needed more of it! This music! His heart lurched in his chest and he wasn't sure whether the thought was the Tanuki's or his own. Perhaps it was a little of both.

I want this! I want this as my own – forever!


Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto or Gaara (Wahhhh)

Author's Note: Ahahaa… Thus ends my prologue. ;) The next chapter begins the Narutonized version of "The Phantom of the Opera!" I plan to meld the two in such a manner that it tells a similar story, but remains faithful to Naruto and its characters (to the best extent I can manage that is!) So, for those of you worried that I was gonna scar up Gaara's pretty face for the sake of Phantomizing him, no worries! XD No such thing will evvah happen! Evvah!