The Butterfly Tamer
Butterflies were rarely seen in the desert. So rare, many said, that only a few had actually ever spotted one. The hot climate was to blame for this, of course. It was always too hot during the day and too cold during the night.
Children, small but growing quickly, were often told stories by their elders of butterflies in fantasy worlds. They were left in awe, hoping to see a butterfly of their own one day. Every child did, well, everyone expect for one.
Gaara never had the luxury of being told fairy tales. He was never told about the butterflies, he didn't even know that they existed. There was no one to tell him stories and there was no one who would tell him about those stories.
He had no one.
The small child, barely at the age of seven, was rejected many times from being included in just about everything. His father despised him and everyone else was terrified of him.
But it was all the sand's fault.
Gaara of the Sand, they called him. His name was usually spoken with hatred laced in it as many people pointed accusing fingers his way. Gaara didn't mean for the sand to act out on its own, he didn't mean to be as scary as they claimed or cause them any harm. But above all, he didn't want to be shunned away from everyone like some kind of...some kind of monster.
The life of Gaara was definitely not a good one.
It was that time again. Every night, it seemed, Gaara found himself wandering through the streets of his village. Nobody was ever out but were inside their homes completely unconscious with their eyes closed shut. No matter how hard he tried, Gaara could not do what the others could, it was just impossible.
The night was always so cold. Gaara couldn't decide if he liked the weather more or the equally as cold stares that the village people directed towards him constantly. However, with night it brought complete silence, peacefulness, and a lack of hateful people. But with everything else, the night caused Gaara to only feel extreme loneliness.
Tonight was different though. Much different from the others.
As Gaara walked alone down the vacant streets of the village, a small teddy bear held close to him as if it were a lifeline, he came across a sight he had never seen before.
Up ahead, sitting on a rotten old bench, was a girl close to his age and her grandfather by the looks of it. The girl was staring at the older man intently, her hands placed on her young face. It looked like she was being told an interesting story. But why so late at night?
"Come on grandpa! One more story! Please?"
The old man sighed and settled down against the bench. He placed his hands on his knees and adjusted the old glasses that rested on his face.
"This is the last one for tonight. Your mother is going to kill me if she finds out that you were out this late."
Gaara flinched. He no longer had a mother, that's what he had been told at least. She had died. The child quickly moved behind a building close to the two people so that he wouldn't be seen and peered around the corner, excited to hear his first fairy tale.
"Butterflies are one of the most rare creatures in the dessert," the man began. "It has been said that they possess magical powers."
"Grandpa, what is a b-butterfly?"
"They are beautiful bugs with finely colored wings. They are as free as birds and are extremely peaceful. But child, we must get back to the story before you mother finds us."
The girl giggled as Gaara stood silently, mesmerized by the butterfly thing. He couldn't recall ever seeing one and hoped to himself that maybe one day he would be able to.
"A long time ago," the old man continued, "When I was about your age, I saw one of these butterflies." He paused for effect and watched as the girl's face lit up with excitement before he went on again. "It was the most beautiful thing that I have ever seen in my entire life."
"What did it look like grandpa?"
"It's wings were bright yellow with black stripes. There were blue speckles near the ends of it's wings and they stood out as if they were extra special."
"Grandpa, did it have magical-"
"Ahem!" Came a voice from behind the two people. Gaara watched as an angry woman stepped towards the bench with her arms crossed over her chest. "Just what do you think you're doing father? It's way past her bed time!"
Gaara chose that moment to leave. He couldn't wait to get back home, although he didn't exactly feel welcome there, and draw himself a picture of a pretty little butterfly, just like the one in the old man's story.
The scorching sun shone brightly down on the hidden village of sand. Today was relatively better than any other and a cool, most welcome breeze, blew over those walking around outside.
On a large sand dune, away from the clutter of buildings and those inhabiting it, Gaara stood silently. He was missing his teddy bear but was in good spirits. It was quite the change from his usual self.
Today, he thought, I'm going to see a butterfly!
The wind blew a small cloud of sand towards him but it, just like everything else, was blocked by his sand before it could come in contact with his body. Gaara didn't understand why the sand was so protective of him all the time.
Gaara knew he had a one in a million chance of seeing a butterfly but he thought that maybe because he was always told that he was special the butterflies would come to him. He hoped that he was right and waited and waited and waited and waited...
Hours had passed. Gaara found himself laying on top of the hill, his hands folded behind his head. The sun had no effect on him (even though he was incredibly pale) as he continued to wait patiently.
While staring blankly at the clear blue sky above him, Gaara suddenly felt his nose itch. Before he could react, the child saw, much to his excitement, what could only be a butterfly perched directly on his nose.
Gaara didn't bother wondering why the sand hadn't killed the beautiful creature, he was too amazed to care. His usual sad face lit up and a thin rare smile, just as rare as the butterfly, formed on his lips.
He got to see his first butterfly! And it was resting on him too!
The beautiful insect, colored exactly the same as the one the old man had described, began to tickle Gaara's nose. He couldn't help it, he had to sneeze.
Flying in the air, much to Gaara's disappointment, the butterfly fluttered it's finely powdered wings. The child sat up, the sand making him feel more comfortable, and with a downcast look he wished the thing had stayed longer.
Gaara walked slowly back to the village. He was really quite happy that he, of all people, had seen the pretty little insect but he wanted it to stay longer. It was the only thing that liked him after all.
Slow step after slow step, Gaara entered the clutter of buildings; however, he froze as something landed lightly on his right shoulder. The child looked and much to his surprise, the same butterfly from before rested while showing off it's beautiful wings.
As Gaara walked down street after busy street, almost everyone he passed stopped and stared at him and the rare butterfly that was perched on his shoulder.
They had never seen any child as happy as Gaara before. It was indeed a rare sight to behold.
I hope everyone liked it. This is my first ever Naruto related fanfiction, even though it is a one-shot. I came up with the idea for this one from sitting in the sand on an extremely hot day and then this buttery passed by and immediately the idea popped into my head!
A super big thanks to Cyram for editing this, super cookies for you!
Please tell me what you thought, it would be much appreciated. All feedback is encouraged!