-rises from the grave, decaying flesh dripping from face as maggots crawl inside my body- Ugg, well, since 'Mother' is kicking my ass right now, god damn solo 2c, I decided to do some writing. I'm starting at midnight and am going straight through. Yosh!

The funeral was large with nearly three quarters of the village attending, along with prestigious members of nearby villages to 'pay respects to the great and noble Uchiha clan', or accurately to assure their nation that the legendary bloodline is indeed away from Konoha. Many stood up to talk about how much Sasuke excelled at things, or how his fragile mind became corrupted between the massacre and other (demonic) influences. It was a somber occasion, especially for Naruto, who sat in a nearby tree listening to how even in death Sasuke was inferior to him. Then he heard a voice that caused him to pay attention. Subaka no Gaara.

"I hear you people call him strong. How he survived horrible tragedies and corruptible people. Let me tell you, as his opponent. Uchiha Sasuke was not strong. Yes, he was powerful, but not strong. All he thought of was how he could gain power to kill his brother, but that is why he lost to me. But even I was not strong, not back then, a seemingly short time ago during the chunnin exams. I met someone strong, someone who is hated and feared like me. However, because I lacked strength, I became a relentless monster, killing as I pleased while he, he just wants to protect everyone, including you who shun him. I would like to thank that person for changing me. I am living proof that we can be helped. Thank you Uzumaki Naruto." Gaara left a stunned audience, noticing a few faces in the front rows. The Hyuuga girled the he cheered for looked uncertain while the other Hyuuga, the one that was beat in the exams, was nodding in some understanding. He too, was changed by Naruto.

Shikamaru stood in the back, taking it all in. He was here more for the fact that Sasuke was a fellow shinobi, fallen or other wise. "Tch, so troublesome" He said as he left while another noble blabbed on about the almighty Uchiha. Ignoring the confused looks from his teammates about him ditching, Shikamaru decided to visit the library to look up some things.

Gaara was standing under a tree, apparently observing the going ons as people slowly filed out of the proceedings. A ring of sand slowly circled the ground around him and the tree when he heard a voice.

"Hey, did you really mean that?" Gaara gave a slight nod as he continued to stare off into nothing, though aware of everything. "Thanks. I glad that there is hope for me." The voice continued. "Even if nothing can go back to normal."

"Come, I'm hungry. I want food." He paused for a second. "And no ramen." A moan and soft thud indicating a pair of feet landing followed and they walked on undisturbed. It may have been Gaara's words, or the fact that Naruto took a chunk out of part of the Hyuugan estate, but most likely it was the threatening sand that circled the two ninja, and one tiny fox. It was also the sand that helped get prompt, if not slightly terrified, attention at the dango place that normally hated Naruto.

After ordering something with fish, a small piece of beef, and an order of 'the best food or else' for Naruto, the trio sat in silence. Petting Nero, the fox, Naruto spoke up.

"Temari, and Kank…uhh, your brother, do they, fear you still?" He stared at his tea.

"Yes." Naruto winced at the emotional pain he imagined he will be facing. "but, I think their fear is not of me, but for me. They are afraid that I will go back to a monster, killing for pleasure."

"But, if they left," He chose his words carefully "would you go back?" Gaara sighed, facing a similar question himself.

"I believe I would, even if I did not want it so. I often ask myself a question. Are they here because I am stabilizing, or so I stay that way?" He paused as the waitress shakily handed out the food, keeping an eye on the small sand spikes surrounding the floor of their booth.

"But they stayed with you before hand, so now that it's good, I don't think that they will want to leave your side. Because….They were there through the worst, and didn't run away." Naruto trailed off to himself as Nero nibbled on the piece of partially cooked beef. They sat in silence, unsure what to say to each other as an uninvited guest decided to make an entrance and sat next to Gaara, an interesting feat considering a sand spike was protruding from it moments ago.

"Hey Naruto, heard you off-ed the Uchiha brat. Good job! Kami knows he needed to be knocked down a few pegs. Damn Uchihas with their precious eyes of theirs. It's only cause of that damned seal that a Hyuuga doesn't pull the same stunt as Itachi. Oy!" she suddenly called to the waitress, "Gimme five orders of the usual!" It was followed with a prompt hai. "ooh, cute fox, lemme see 'im!" The lady suddenly picked up Nero, examining him, especially the muzzle. "Now, I may not be an Inuzuka, but this fox has a nice set of choppers, they could easily tear something apart."

Naruto looked up at the new table guest. Purple hair, fishnet shirt, and a weird sadistic glint in her eyes, it could only be one person in Konoha.

"Anko, what are you doing here?" Naruto asked in the depressed tone he had lately.

"What do you think I'm doing, this is a dango shop, is it not? I should be asking you that question, aren't you normally eating that nasty ramen?" Slowly, he looked up; anger all over his eyes, threatening to turn red, which only egged Anko on even more. Taking a bite off of his plate, she went on. "Seriously, how can you eat crap like that when-Hey!" she suddenly turned to the waitress "How come I never got dango as awesome as this? Have you been holding out on me?" The waitress looked at the three menacing shinobi and lost it. Screaming, she bolted out the door running for her life.

Another voice was heard as a slightly chubby man came out, obviously the owner, holding a 'HELP WANTED' sign. "Damn it Anko, you gotta stop threatening every poor girl who works here! I may have to kick you out if you don't stop it!" He muttered under his breath while she scoffed at him. Somehow it took away the tension in the room and the sand had all but disappeared back into the gourd whence it came from.

"Well, I hate to eat and run, but I got crap to do. The little kiddies at the academy are at a field trip in the forest and I want to go and mess with them. Later!" She finished the last piece of food from Naruto's plate and chugged his tea before strolling out. Naruto watched her leave before he realized something.

"Wait a minute, she ate my food and insulted ramen. Get back here you crazy snake lady!" Naruto jumped out and started a futile pursuit with Gaara shrugging and making his way out of the restaurant with Nero walking next to him. With people like Anko around, he began to think, that maybe being normal wasn't such a good thing around Konoha.

It was nearly sundown as Naruto made his way towards home with Nero. Thankfully, the mob had vanished since last week, even though he knew that one wrong slip up and they'd be back, worse than before. As he turned the corner he stopped in his tracks. Standing in front of his apartment building was Hinata holding a blue flower. She kept on looking between the entrance and his window, trying to make a decision. Finally, she dropped the flower and lowered her head.

"I'm sorry Naruto, I still can't" she whispered to herself. Slowly she walked away leaving a lone flower, on the verge of being blown away with even the gentlest of breezes. When she was out of sight, he walked over and picked up the flower. He stared down at it, a one tear fell onto it. Looking in her direction he made a fist around the head (???) of the flower.

"So am I" He whispered, opening his fist as a wind came along dispersing the petals through out the city. Dropping the stem, he walked inside with little Nero in tow.

Hinata sat next to the swing Naruto always sat on during the academy days. Slowly she bagan to sway as a breeze picked up and a lone, wet petal fell onto her lap. Holding it up, she felt the sadness imbedded within it, and it ached her dearly knowing that she caused the pain. "Naruto……kun" She closed her eyes praying for the strength that she needed.

Meanwhile, at a bar 20km south of Konoha

Two men sat at a dark table in the corner. Both wore cloaks and straw hats, but the larger one had a large object covered in cloth on his back. Under the shadow of his wide brimmed hat, a devious smile showing deadly sharp teeth as plans were made.

"So, we strike at noon, eh?" The figure sitting opposite of him raised his head, his face one complete shadow save for his eyes, which glowed bright red with three comma like markings.

Well, it is now quarter of two, and after writing this straight, I believe that three good chapters are left. Sorry for dieing on you and probolly the many grammer/spelling mistakes here. Remember, I just sat down and pounded this out in an hour and half, hope you like! I know, I know, cliffies suck, but I can't help it.

Ja ne!