Disclaimer
I do not own the characters except Kenoyo Kimura. Actually, I don't own her either. She belongs to Bonez, and the Naruto characters all belong… to the dude who created Naruto. Obviously. -.-'

Note
Firstly, this was my first fanfic ever, so don't expect it to be... breathtaking. I did rewrite it with my new grammar knowledge, thought I kept the original plot. I barely had any Naruto knowledge when I did write it, so if there's some tweaks, don't get pissed...

Also, if anyone says Gaara is OOC (especially now that I rewrote the story), well find me a Gaara story where he isn't OOC...

Dedication
To my friend Bonez. Girl, sorry but I'll have to take every "HAPPY BIRTHDAY BONEZ!!" from the chapters out... But you know I mean them, eh!?

Rated
T for romance themes.


Chapter one: The Sand Storm

Kimura Kenoyo gasped, struggling to draw in a precious, sand less breath as she walked through the desert. She told herself for the tenth time today that this had to be the stupidest thing she had ever done in her whole life. What was her Sensei thinking, sending her to give a message to a friend of his in Sand Village? Now, the 17 year old kunoichi from Konoha trudged through the sand storm, frustrated as hours trickled by. There was still no sign of the hidden village and her water supply was getting dangerously low.

Kenoyo nearly ran into a large rock that stood two feet in front of her, only noticing it when it blocked the raging wind filled with sand from her face. She plopped down beside her protective shield and dropped her pack beside her, pushing her jet black hair away from her tired face. Her blue eyes were aching with the sand that had entered them while she walked, but it was the least of her problems right now.

After a short pause, she got up and stepped back in the storm, her mind aching with the task ahead of her. It was late afternoon and the last thing she wanted was to thread through the desert in the middle of the night. It was confusing enough already, no need to make her situation worse with darkness.

Another long, exhausting hour trickled by as the girl pushed through an intensifying storm. She started to cough, unable to swallow, and reached in her bag for the water bottle she had brought along.

Her hand gripped air.

Despite the heat, Kenoyo felt her blood freeze. She had left her bag behind the rock. Whimpering with sudden worry, she started to run up ahead, trying to find a way to get out of this mess. She was thirsty and the air was getting heavier and heavier, which wasn't a good sign.

After five more minutes, the heat became too intense for her and she sunk to her knees, unable to go on. The storm seemed to let up now that she had fallen, but after a good fifteen minutes she slowly felt the sand covering up her body. As if she was snapping out a daze, Kenoyo suddenly struggled to keep her head out of the sand, but her legs were too numb for her to pull them out. Her fears intensified when she realized she couldn't do anything beside feel the sand slowly crushing her body under its sudden weight, and the pain eventually became excruciating as blackness smothered her vision.

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When the color came back in front of her eyes, it was almost as if a knife had pierced right through her brain. Kenoyo blinked a few times to clear her blurry vision and the figure looming above her smiled. She then felt the pressure of the mattress and the pillow under her, but she had no clue where she was and who this slightly older girl was.

Kenoyo immediately seized up the other girl and vaguely noticed a second, much bigger figure standing in the back of the room. The girl was tall, blonde, with a Sand Village headband across her neck. 'Wait,' Kenoyo thought to herself. 'Sand Village? You mean I actually made it?!'

"Here, drink this. You must be dehydrated," the blonde girl said, tipping a cup of water to her burning lips. The thirsty girl drained the whole glass, then sank back down on her bed, whispering a quick thank you.

"My name's Temari, and my brother over there is Kankuro. We found you half buried in sand just outside the village, we had to dig you out. You're slightly burned from the heat of the sand, but there's no other damage. I suggest you stay with us for a while to recover," she diagnosed quickly, shooting a glance behind her.

Then the other presence in the room stepped forward and Kenoyo could finally see his face. He had dark purple marks in his face and his head was covered in a sort of hat that had… were those ears? Yes, they were. But she didn't make anything out of them and gave Kankuro a wobbly smile, thanking them again in a soft voice for rescuing her as she introduced herself properly. Kankuro shifted uncomfortably and uttered, "I'm not sure about this, Temari. Does she have to stay here? I mean, what if Gaara doesn't appreciate it…"

Temari frowned slightly at the mention of her little brother, but then shrugged and the smile came back to her face. "Well he's going to have to get used to it, will he? We'll take care of her, he won't have to do a thing!" she chipped in, turning back to the feverish girl.

Kankuro turned and left the room, grumbling that Temari would be the one to announce to Gaara that a guest would be staying in their house for a few days. But his sister didn't listen and sat on the bed, whispering that her brother was an idiot.

Kenoyo had watched the exchange in slight fascination, straining her mind to recall a small detail from years ago. She had heard that name before, Gaara of the Desert. The only problem was that she didn't remember anything about him. "Who's Gaara?" she asked through a heavy, tired voice.

"You'll meet him soon enough. Now sleep, Kenoyo, it's bed time for everybody," Temari announced, then got up from the bed as the black haired kunoichi nodded and fell asleep within seconds.

'This is going to be interesting,' she thought with a smirk as she left the room and closed the door behind her.


A/N: Hn, thank goodness I rewrote this. Poor Temari was so OOC I couldn't recognize her... Tell me what you think!

Take care!