Deadened blue eyes gazed over the edge of the high roof, the five year old's face screwed up in thought. This boy wasn't as dull as everyone thought him. No, he was most likely brighter than someone three times his age, he just didn't bother to show it.
Today was his birthday. It was also the day he'd survived his eight assassination attempt. You wouldn't be able to tell by his body though, all the wounds had already healed up by some mysterious power he possessed. The man who'd tried to kill him had been dragged away by ANBU forces, and reprimanded by the Hokage. Naruto had just been ushered away while being assured everything would be alright. He snorted. Nothing was ever right.
Today was a special day for Naruto. No matter how hard he tried he couldn't figure out why he was despised by 99.9 percent of Konoha. Sometimes the answer seemed to be within his grasp, but every time he reached for it, it slipped away like a leaf on the wind. The little boy couldn't take it any more.
A ghostly smile crept at the corners of his mouth.
Today was a special day, because it would be the third time he tried to kill himself. Maybe this time he would succeed.
Beyond the agonizing pain, he caught a glimpse of glowing red eyes and heard a low growl.
What he didn't see was the glistening of tears or the whimper that followed.
The next thing he saw was white, before the scents of bleach and disinfectant invaded his sensitive nose. He moaned. Once again he'd failed. He sat up, knowing he would be able to do so without pain. Off to his side sat the Sandaime, who gazed at him with solemn eyes. "Naruto, why do you keep doing this?" he asked sadly. Naruto didn't answer, just stared at him with an unreadable gaze.
Sarutobi sighed, watching the broken boy in the hospital bed. He was not living up to his promise to the Yondaime well. His promise to take care of his son. He could see the young one had already tumbled far over the edge of what anyone should be able to take, and Sarutobi only had one small hope of bringing him back.
"Naruto…there is someone I want you to meet." he could tell the boy was only half listening. "He's visiting for the next two weeks from Sunagakure. He's also…a lot like you." Now he'd grabbed the other's attention. Naruto's head whipped toward him, studying him with curious eyes. "He's hated by his entire village for something he can't control, just like you." Sarutobi continued. "I think you would like meeting him."
He waited while the blond absorbed this new information.
"Ok." the other said slowly. "I'll meet him." He took the Sandaime's offered hand and slipped out of the bed. Amazingly he showed no sign of the numerous fractures and internal bleeding he'd had when an ANBU had found him two days ago.
He followed the Hokage out of the room.
Gaara clutched as his teddy bear nervously. He didn't know why he was here. He'd overheard his father talking to a ninja. All he'd been able to make out was "…seal scroll…Youma…and Sandaime". Now after a week's trip he was suddenly in a foreign village with his father and uncle Yashamaru, and with no clue what was going on.
It didn't help that he had a dark voice in the back of his mind. It was whispering continually to kill everyone and escape. He shook his head. He knew his father would punish him if he tried to kill anyone, especially in the presence of the old red-robed man. He'd never seen his father act so respectful of anyone before. Gaara assumed he must be powerful.
'Kill…kill….KILL!' the voice rang through his mind again. Gaara held his bear tighter. He couldn't give in. He glanced at his father sitting solemnly beside him. The blue Kazekage robes he wore mad him look imposing. He fought off a sudden spike of fear that shot through him when the man looked at him.
Suddenly the door to the office opened, and the red-robed man Gaara recognized from two days earlier stepped through. "Ah, Kazekage-sama," the man said, "you're here already! I apologize for being late, I had to pick up Naruto from the hospital."
"It's fine Sarutobi-sama." his father said. "You brought the boy then?" Gaara looked up curiously. He'd never heard him sound so eager before. "Hai." Sarutobi turned to the door. "Naruto, you can come in now."
Suddenly a short figure appeared in the doorway. All Gaara could make out was his scarred tan cheeks, his eyes were hidden by a fringe of blond hair. Sarutobi made introductions. "Naruto, this is Kazekage-sama of Sunagakure." The blond bowed stiffly to his father. Then the old man turned to him. "And this is the boy I was telling you about, Sabaku no Gaara."
The voice of his monster was chanting now. 'Kill them, kill them, KILL TH-' suddenly it fell silent as azure eyes met his own, and it's fear threatened to flood through him. Then it's presence was gone almost entirely. His eyes widened.
Naruto didn't know what to expect of this new person. He'd thought all his feelings had gone numb a long time ago. Confronted with this new situation, he was confused. There was someone out there like him, who was hated by everyone. Under his layers this brought him a small sense of happiness, that he had found someone he could commune with, but there was also sadness, that anyone should have to suffer such as he had.
When he walked into Sandaime's office his eyes were immediately drawn to the red-haired boy in the corner. He barely hear the Hokage make introductions as he paused.
When cerulean met jade he felt a rush of connection, a sudden overwhelming force that screamed I KNOW YOU into his mind. It was like taking a fresh breath after nearly drowning, like a new reason to live.
He smiled ever so slightly, and could see the other doing the same.
Inside his mind Sarutobi was waiting anxiously. They had no idea how the jinchuuriki would react to each other, as no two had ever met before. Sarutobi just hoped this was good choice to make, introducing Naruto to Gaara. From what the Kazekage had told him, Gaara was on the brink of losing his mind to Shukaku the Sand Tanuki and becoming homicidal. He wasn't totally sure what his motives of bringing Gaara here were, but Sarutobi was sure they weren't entirely good hearted. As for Naruto…he hoped that meeting Gaara would give him some perspective. Maybe he would even make a friend in him, and that would prevent him from doing what he'd tried two days ago…
The Sandaime was not prepared for both boys to suddenly smile. Naruto moved from where he'd been standing and over to Gaara. Sarutobi bit back a chuckle when he noticed that Naruto was shorted than even the small Gaara. The blond had always been touchy on that subject.
Naruto stuck out a hand. "Watashi wa Uzumaki Naruto desu. Hajime mashite." he said quietly. The green eyed boy looked at his hand before shifting his grip on the teddy bear and hesitantly taking it in his own. "S-Sabaku no Gaara."
Sarutobi and the Kazekage were to caught up in the sudden change in the moods of both boys to notice the slight jolt they gave when their hands touched and a connection was forged.
Naruto could barely contain his shock at the sudden rush through his mind as their thoughts linked. He could feel a sudden presence that hadn't been there before.
'I know you.' he thought.
'I know you, too.' came the answer.
"Naruto, why don't you show Gaara around Konoha? He needs to see al the best places." Sarutobi said. Naruto turned to him with a smile. Small, but genuine. "Sure ojii-san!" he said, and rushed out of the room, a confused Gaara in tow.
A/n: Yes, I'm starting another one, because my mind won't focus DAMMIT! It's obviously going to be a GaaNaru or NaruGaa, whichever I decide. I'm still continuing Invictus and Yuruginai Shinrai, I'm just having trouble with the next chapters.
Mugon- silent, mute, speechless. A HUGE foreshadowing here!
Also, I need the readers to vote, though I won't tell you why yet.
Fire or Wind?