Yes. I know. You all hate me. Honestly, I was surprised to see that this story was still getting hits. I entered a LONG period of writer's block for.. pretty much ANYTHING I was working on, and I apologize. I had this in my documents folder for as long as I can remember, and I didn't want to post it seeing as it was only 7 pages long in Word. BUT, I felt you guys deserved the rest of what I've written. I may discontinue this depending on how busy I become later this year and during the next, but I really don't want to. I really like this story and I know you guys do too, and for that, I'm sorry.

I'll try to add on to this in any way necessary!

Chapter 7

Fear Like They've Never Known

Gaara sat on the mat facing the glass door to look off into the stars. He hated it, but he was almost afraid that if he sat outside on the balcony, somehow that monster would appear within the darkness that would loom behind him and whisper the last words that would ever grace Gaara's ears again. His sister and brother were sleeping soundly behind him and his sensei was out somewhere, going over the plan of attacking Konoha with one of the Sound spies. So, the young genin sat and waited, cursed with the inability to sleep as long as this demon possessed him, but his mind didn't dwell on that subject tonight. No, not after witnessing one of the most gruesome murders of his life.

He shuddered.

The scenes were still playing and replaying in his mind. That woman, soaking in her own blood as it left her body. He saw her scarred pale face in front of his teal eyes. The tears slid quickly down her face and she bit hard on her lower lip, trying to distract herself from the rest of the pain racking throughout her body. She clenched her fist, her fingers leaving blood trails on the concrete beside her. Her entire body was shivering. Conversely, the boy standing above her looked at her steadily with his body rigid. He was grinning.

Gaara closed his eyes. He even reached up to rub his left arm almost as if he were cold. He got the feeling that he wouldn't have been able to sleep even if he could. The redhead decided that it was best not to tell his siblings what he observed. It would bring nothing but fear, and that wouldn't be useful in the slightest when the great betrayal between Leaf and Sand began.

So, the Sand genin sat and waited the rest of the night. His eyes were wide and alert. And although he tried to keep his mind calm, his conscience was twisted with anxiety and paranoia.

°º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°°º¤ø,¸ °º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°°º¤ø,¸ °º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°°º¤ø,¸

This was it. The Third Chuunin Exam was tomorrow. The great betrayal was tomorrow. Gaara and his siblings were no less reluctant to carry the mission out as the time passed. If anything, they were even more unenthusiastic about the whole ordeal. And what was more, not only was the youngest of the three ordered to use his demon to boost the power and impact of the attack, but all three of them had no idea what difficulty they would face if Konoha's Jinchuuriki chose to present his demon-ridden side at the same time.

If as much energy, panic and adrenaline was caused by the treacherous event as Gaara expected, he didn't doubt that it would affect the Uzumaki. And then the blond would lash out with power they could scarcely imagine, not to protect his village, no, but to rip, mangle, maim and desecrate whatever living thing he set eyes upon.

Why? Because he would enjoy it.

It would make him feel alive.

Gaara shuddered for the umpteenth time, walking down the one of the many streets of Konoha, unnoticed by any of the villagers that passed him by. He wasn't sure where he was going, nor did he really care. His body just felt the urge to be anywhere but behind closed doors back in that apartment. In fact, the redhead was so absorbed in his thoughts that he had even forgotten that Kankurou had been walking beside him the entire time.

And he had continued to be oblivious until his brother spoke, "It's so alive and colorful in this village. It's different from back home."

Gaara's expression cracked for a mere moment, turning to look at his brother directly before he hesitantly answered, "I suppose. The buildings and streets are filled with… voices."

"Haha, yeah," Kankurou chuckled, "It is quiet back home in Suna, huh? Most of what you hear is the wind and the occasional whistle it has."

The Jinchuuriki nodded, leading the way around a corner, "It is different. I don't recall a time where everyone was so… social, back in our village."

"Me either," the brunet admitted, keeping in step.

It was then Gaara scanned the many villagers ahead of him to catch sight of light pink hair. The girl's identity was easy to remember. Not many had that shade of color in their hair. She was walking with a blonde Gaara didn't recognize all that well. He looked at her once during the Chuunin Exams. If he remembered correctly, her teammates consisted of a large boy who ate more than usual and another skinny boy who always looked irritated and tired. She had a fruit basket in her hand.

Kankurou looked up after the sun was blocked by a large white building looming over the street, "Hey, look at that. We found the hospital."

His brother followed his gaze. They must've been on the other side of the village from their apartment by now. He hadn't realized they had been walking for so long. Suddenly, Gaara stopped, still staring at the building above the pair. Kankurou came to a halt several steps ahead.

"Gaara?" he called with raised eyebrows.

Said boy didn't respond immediately. Memories of the preliminaries entered his already pressured mind, and he lowered his gaze to watch the pair of genin walking ahead of them once again. They were turning up the sidewalk to the hospital ironically. Gaara shortly wondered whom they were aiming to visit. Maybe it was that Uchiha boy that the pink-headed girl had once tried to have back out of the preliminaries. Other than him, Gaara could think of no other reason.

"Gaara?" Kankurou broke his thoughts with a call louder than the last one.

His brother looked at him for the first time in several minutes, then shook his head, "It's nothing."

And then he began walking again. Once he was beside the older genin, Kankurou turned to continue walking with him. Then, as his mind continued to linger on the preliminary matches, the scene of the large crater that resulted from the seventh match flashed in front of his eyes. And then the boy named Kiba, lying beaten and bloody in the midst of it. Uzumaki appeared next to him with nails sharp and eyes scarlet.

Gaara refrained from shooting a hand up to grip his head from the abrupt throbbing he felt in his temple. Before he even thought about it, he declared, "Let's go inside the hospital."

Kankurou gave him a bemused look, "For what?"

"That…" the Sand genin hesitated, deciding whether he should be honest or not, "That boy. Inuzuka."

He concluded Kankurou would accept the truth after a brief explanation. His sibling only looked more puzzled, "Inuzuka? Who fought Uzumaki in the prelims?"

"Yes," Gaara replied, steering them through the gate, "I wish to see how much damage he had received and how he has healed since then. It is… surprising to know he survived such a fight."

"Well," his older brother looked thoughtful, "That's true. He fought fate with chance. It wasn't exactly a promising or intelligent decision."

They were inside the building before the older genin realized. He didn't show his sibling the uncomfortable feeling he felt when they walked up to the desk. The woman looked up curiously from what she was recently reading.

"Yes, may I help you?" she asked.

Gaara nodded, Kankurou answering for him, "Yes, can you tell us where the room Inuzuka Kiba might be staying in?"

"Inuzuka-kun?" there was a hint of suspicion in her voice, but she brushed it off, "Of course. He would be in room B 108."

"Thank you," the brothers bowed before turning to walk up the stairs to the left.

It wasn't long until they reached the hall where the room should've been, but once they turned into the corridor, both couldn't help but have an ominous chill crawl up their spines. The couple shuddered, surprised by the unexpected fear they felt. Gaara actually slowed his pace a good amount.

"Something's not right," he muttered.

"Yeah, no shit," his brother winced.

The redhead ignored his language when a nurse came into view. She seemed to almost be in a panicked rush, unsure of where she was going, much less what she was doing. Nevertheless, it was almost a relief to see someone other than themselves inhabiting the soundless hallway. She caught sight of them once she stopped mumbling to herself, looking nervous, then halted in front of them.

"You wouldn't be here visiting Inuzuka-kun, would you?" she asked, not meeting their eyes.

Both boys nodded after a moment, "We would be, yeah."

"Oh then, I am truly sorry, but you must wait," she answered.

Kankurou almost looked annoyed, "What? Why?"

"Well, there is a boy there now, and he has requested that his visit go undisturbed. I'm sorry, but I can't let you visit until he leaves," she explained, biting her lip.

The Sand Siblings paused, exchanging glances. Kankurou shrugged momentarily.

'Well, when in doubt,' he thought, 'Lie.'

"Look lady," he fought to remember the genin's first name, "He… Kiba is our friend. If there's a guy visiting him, we probably know him. So, it should be fi-"

"I'm sorry, boys. But there is simply nothing I can do until he leaves," the nurse shook her head and her voice was stern, but yet she still looked slightly disturbed. Almost guilty of an action she had recently done.

The boy seemed about ready to protest further, but a pale hand appeared in his view, "It's fine, Kankurou."

Said boy turned in time to witness his brother bow respectfully to the employee, "We apologize… We were just anxious to see him."

"It's quite alright," she answered with a small shaky smile.

The three of them turned to walk back where the pair had just came with the nurse slightly in the lead. The puppet master however, was opening and closing his mouth in disbelief. He was unsure of what his brother was thinking until the redhead suddenly glanced at him. Kankurou looked down to notice the cork lazily hanging between the genin's fingers. His dumbstruck expression slowly turned into a knowing grin.

A thin mist of dust floated soundly above their heads. The nurse didn't notice it drift softly ahead of her. A door was pushed open ahead of them, and the cloud entered. It wasn't long until a woman screamed from the same room. The nurse jumped, whirling her head about in alarm. She made a dash to the room in the next moment, forgetting the pair of brothers behind her immediately and missing the light brown thin cloud floating back out of the room as she sprinted inside. Kankurou laughed.

"Nice…" he complimented while Gaara replaced the cork into his gourd. The redhead nodded in response, then the both of them turned to walk back to Kiba's room. However, once they reached the hallway again, the same ominous feeling returned, making them feel almost cold.

They were at the door after what seemed like half an hour, although it was only a few short minutes. Since then, whatever chill they felt instantly became rays of heat beating on their necks. Both of them were sweating. The air surrounding them almost felt as if it were coming off a stove. It was when Gaara reached out to open the door, that he noticed he was shaking. Kankurou was experiencing a similar condition. Something was very wrong, and they could both sense it was all because of what was inside of the room they were about to enter. The redhead could even feel his heart drumming in his ears.

Yes, something incredibly bad was about to happen.

The boy took a big intake of breath before glancing up at his older brother. Kankurou nodded. Then, with what strength he had since his body was beginning to feel numb, he opened the door to a sight that made his heart jump into his throat. He felt his brother choke beside him. Neither of them blinked.

Kiba was indeed in here, and he was facing them when they entered. Closed lids gazed at the both of them and blood was drizzling down his chin. The pair vaguely wondered why his canine companion was nowhere in sight. Gaara observed this for a split second before turning his focus to the person who caused him to momentarily lose the ability to breathe. The blond boy gripping the other by his throat would be impossible to mistake as anyone else. Kiba was hanging a foot off the ground by his throat, and the hand that held him there was constricting steadily each second that passed.

But noticing the two new presences in the room, the boy ceased his movements almost thoughtfully, "Hmm… I should've expected my request would be ignored, being someone of my reputation. Then again, I didn't expect her to attempt holding off anyone for long. This isn't the first time I've been disregarded."

When the blond looked over his shoulder, he dropped the brunet indifferently on his hospital bed. He was unconscious, but breathing, judging by the coughs that followed. The door was closed slowly behind the two with Kankurou growling in his throat, "You sick bastard."

Naruto turned, grinning that sadistic grin that caused Gaara to look away before meeting eyes with him. His brother on the other hand, seemed furious, "What the hell do you think you were doing! He wasn't even conscious for fuck's sake! You're attacking him even after beating him in the exams? And what's more, in a state where he can't even fight back! What fucked up reason made you think you could do this? Much less get away with it!"

The genin looked like he was about to laugh, "Your concern amuses me, seeing as you wouldn't hesitate to kill a five year old boy not too long ago. You barely even know him."

"When the hell did something like that matter? Besides, I was only messing around with that kid. I didn't mean it! What would you be trying to kill him for? Someone put you up to it or something?" the brunet snarled angrily.

"No, I did it of my own choosing," Naruto's grin had faded and his expression became blank, "It's nothing complicated. It's not even personal. Being stopped in our fight only delayed my killing him. Since my chance was stolen back then, I've decided to finish it now. It's only my desire that he dies."

"What sort of fucked up person comes to that conclusion?" came the vehement question in response.

For a moment, the Jinchuuriki looked as though he wanted to laugh, "Interesting question, but I have no desire to repeat myself. Now if you don't mind, I'd like to finish what I've started. Interrupt me further, and I'll be forced to stop ignoring your pathetic excuse of an existence."

"Fuck that, you little-"

"Kankurou," Gaara's voice was barely above a whisper, "Enough."

His eyes pierced his brother's, pleading for him to stop messing with the fire before them. Kankurou took a deep breath.

"Calm yourself," his little brother ordered lightly before turning back to the blond and sighing, "And you… Continuing this sickening desire would be a mistake. I understand you have your demons as well as I, but that is no reason to resort to these measures. Me and my brother will act the moment you touch him again."

The underlying message he stated seemed to strike something in the Uzumaki as he ceased his movements immediately once again. Then, Naruto turned to look at the Sand genin curiously, really studying him for the first time.

"Demons as well as I…" he repeated thoughtfully, scrutinizing the boy's face until a light seemed to flicker behind his dead eyes, "Insomnia."

Both brothers blinked. Neither of them expected the plain remark. The leaf Jinchuuriki had stated it so casually, Gaara wasn't sure if he even had heard him correctly.

"You haven't slept for…" Naruto started, then paused, "No… You've never slept…"

Gaara fought to hold his gaze. He was beginning to feel even more uncomfortable than a few moments ago. It felt as if those blue eyes were looking through him. Learning about him. Judging him. Stealing what strength he had and replacing it with anxiety. They were cold and lifeless.

One minute passed that felt like an hour to the siblings. Naruto didn't blink once before breaking the silence, "Killing you might be more fulfilling than killing Uchiha. Seeing your eyes are all that I need to know what you've been through. I can see it… You could've become similar to me… Maybe even worse. The reason being the same as to why you have that unique ability over what hangs on your shoulders almost like a burden. But…"

His eyes flicked over to Kankurou's gaze this time, who shifted uncomfortably but didn't break eye contact, "You realized that you had family. You have a brother and a sister from what I observe. Not only that…"

He looked back at Gaara, "You're sons to the Kage of the Wind Country as I've heard around the village. It is interesting, meeting you two. Especially you, Gaara of the Desert, whose demons are as real as mine."

Kankurou was shaking with fury still, and he took a step forward, driving to change the subject, "How can you kill these people? Not only him, but I've heard what's been happening in this village. Ninjas and innocents alike are disappearing only to be found dead in some alleyway, and it's not hard to see why! Is this your sick idea of a joke? And what about your Hokage! What the hell has he been doing while you're walking the streets freely like some living nightmare!"

"Nothing," Naruto shrugged simply, "In all honesty, that old man would be the only resident in this village that I would resist ripping apart.

"After the Kyuubi was incarcerated within my body by the Fourth Hokage, the Third took it upon himself to burden his life with mine. He raised me into my childhood until I was of age to live sufficiently on my own with the money given to me. I have never blamed him for making the decision, seeing as he has returned to the position of village leader after the Fourth died to seal the Kyuubi inside me. I see him as someone I should return a debt to. Even so, I was hated and ignored by the very village that I was served as a tool to protect. My mother and father seemingly died somewhere after my birth, and I had no siblings to share my life with. I have lived life completely hated and alone for unknown reasons since I was never told the truth behind the odium. Apparently, it was tabooed to talk of the day the Kyuubi attacked Konoha, but it was foolish to expect I wouldn't discover what everyone resisted to say," the blond explained nonchalantly, "That I was a monster. Knowing this, my mind was thrown into a swirling period of chaos. My sanity began to slip between my fingers and I became emotionally unstable. The people of this place continued breaking me down every time I appeared in plain sight, so I resorted to only moving about at night within the shadows so as not to be discovered by those that loathed my subsistence. I learned that my existence developed into what many fear to become. The sheer fact caused me to lay alone in my home, wishing for my life to end."

The two other boys stared at him as he explained his life, unmoving. Their bodies were rigid and their minds were frozen. The sheer horror of his reminisce accompanied with the vacancy of feeling in his eyes was enough for them to not even dare to breathe.

"I was unnecessary," Naruto stated steadily, "Unnecessary and hated to the point that the village wished I would one day vanish and become a lost memory in their minds. The Third protected me in result of the Fourth's dying wish, but even so, he was the only one who thought of me as something worth protecting. Countless times, under his very nose, I was sought out to be killed. Assassin upon assassin attempted to wipe out my existence. The only reason I survived each effort is imprisoned within my body."

He lifted the hand that had been recently used to crush Kiba's neck to his stomach, "When I became five years old, I heard his voice for the first time since I began this living hell. He spoke soothing words… Words of what you would describe as kindness… It was more than anyone else in this village ever did, of course, excluding the Third. I surrendered to a sort of meditation that ended with me entering the darkest depths of my mind. It was the first moment I met Kyuubi, the most powerful being who ever existed.

"I must say, I was entranced when I saw him sealed behind those bars. He was something to be feared and respected. An entity of raw power. A deity, if you will. To say I admired him would be an understatement, even seeing him reduced to a mere prisoner cheated of his will. I had met him after the first attempt to end my life. It was a villager, nothing much to be feared. Even so, I was weak, pathetic and fearful for my life. Yet, as he attacked and unbeknownst to me, I felt something similar to possession, and I moved to lash out in defense. My vision reddened and I didn't witness what I was sure to happen. It was when I heard the yells and screams of fright by the villagers and saw the blood on my hands that I knew he was mangled and dead at my feet. I learned that my life was saved by the demon inside me. He promised protection, and I didn't hesitate to listen," the genin continued, "I learned that the only thing that mattered in life was myself. The fact that I killed to survive only made me realize how easy one's existence could disappear. I will kill in order to live for the rest of my life. People will die at my hands into eternity. The variable of death by old age has never bothered me. When I feel my time has come, I trust that releasing my demon will make sure the rest of the worthless people in this world perish. I will live on through him, spreading pain and destruction to the weak-willed and weak-minded. The fact that he is immortal only means that my existence will never disappear. He has taught me all there is to ever know in life."

The brothers waited for him to finish, still oblivious to the fact that they were holding their breath. When Naruto closed his eyes the beatings of their hearts only quickened. And when he opened them, what they saw almost made them run. His blue eyes, now portraying slits for pupils, were alive with insanity. The grin that appeared spoke with almost excitement.

"Live only for yourself. Love only yourself. And even on the brink of death," he declared through his grin, "You will live on."

Fangs appeared among his teeth and Gaara couldn't help but take a step back, pressing his gourd against the door and letting out the breath he had been holding, 'Those… Those eyes… His life… I could've become like that. And it would've been so easy. He's been broken down into insanity enough to resort in only trusting the one thing that brought about the reason for his solitude in the first place. He had… No one. I'm… I'm not sure which is worse: being born a monster or being forced to become one. He kills to exist. And… The strength his decision has given him is unimaginable. I can't… I can't even look him in the eyes without wanting to run. It's like looking at death itself. He'll… He'll seriously kill my brother and me if he has even the slightest urge to do so, regardless of my defense. Something tells me even that would shatter easily against him. No, we can't face this. There would be no chance of surviving.'

Kankurou didn't look much different than his brother. Neither of them liked the sudden thirst that was expressed on the blond's face. Gaara dared to blink at that second only to have the Leaf genin vanish from sight. He froze only to have his older brother gasp. Naruto was leaning on the wall beside him, looking at his fingernails. Kankurou moved to jump as far away from him as possible, but somewhere in that process, Naruto had graced him with a harsh uppercut to his chin. He slammed against the window across from the door, grunting as he slid to the ground. Gaara stepped away from him quickly, but the Uzumaki's gaze was still set pityingly on Kankurou.

Naruto flickered to hover above the brunet in the next instant. Gaara moved protectively, ready to guard his brother if Naruto tried anything. That is, until the door opened. The Sand genin whipped around to face whom he had observed earlier that day. Sakura looked back in a state of shock, her hand covering her gaping mouth. Her green eyes scanned the scene taking place in Kiba's hospital room. Naruto looked at her over his shoulder and the expression of thirst slowly faded from his eyes. They returned to their usual façade of dull and dead.

"Sakura…" he looked back down at Kankurou's still and panicked form beneath him, "It is… unexpected for you to visit someone from Team 8. Well, I won't stop you. As you can observe, I am preoccupied with something else. It would be for the best that you carry on as if we weren't even here."

"Actually, Naruto," her voice shook, but her stance was confident. It was clear she had dealt with facing him too many times before to not know how to handle herself with him. Still, she looked alarmed and cautious, "A nurse told me you were in here. A man named Jiraiya is looking for you. So I came because someone told me they last saw you heading for the hospital."

"Hm," the blond seemed to be considering something, "That perverted hermit again…"

He turned to look at her directly this time but his eyes were unfocused, and for a moment, just a moment, Gaara thought he saw a flicker of life that had nothing to do with thirst, obsession or killing intent, but a genuine curiosity. And somehow, Gaara believed this man called Jiraiya (or the 'perverted hermit' as Naruto seemed to know him as) must've held Naruto's interest in a field different than the one that motivated him to kill. And it occurred to the redhead that sometime, before the final exam, he needed to find and talk to this stranger. What about, he wasn't exactly sure, but he knew it was because of something intuitive.

His thoughts were cut off when Naruto made his way over to the door once again and nodded at his teammate, "Alright. Let's see what he wants. Thank you, Sakura."

She stumbled back into the hallway with an awestruck face while holding the door open with her shoulder, obviously not used to being showed gratitude by the likes of Naruto. Even so, she hurried to stutter, "Y-Your welcome, N-Naruto."

Gaara watched him approach the threshold beside him with his brother mirroring his expression. However, he didn't expect the Jinchuuriki to pause in the doorway a mere foot in front of the boy. He didn't turn to look at Gaara, but it was obvious what he said next was directed at him.

"Your tattoo…" he commented abruptly, catching the redhead off guard. There was a moment's silence until he opened his mouth again, "Love…"

The word seemed to linger on his tongue as well as the air around them. Still, Naruto didn't look at him when he finally said, "It's interesting…"

And with that, he walked away with Sakura beside him. She kept in step with him timidly. It almost seemed that if she failed to keep his pace and fall behind he might whip around and strike her. Nevertheless, Naruto's eyes were trained on the floor where he walked. Sakura connected eyes with a blonde coming up the hallway and striding in the direction the pair had just come from. Their gazes were locked for a few moments, and Sakura immediately recognized her as the third and oldest Sand Sibling.

Temari's gaze shifted to Naruto once they were right beside her and her blank expression immediately turned to one of caution. But with time, each disappeared from the other's sight and resumed their stride. The Sand Sibling looked up with her heart beating quicker than it had been only moments ago. B 108. Her brothers were said to be in there.

And sure enough when she opened the door she was greeted with her brothers positioned at the exact same locations they were at when Naruto left the room. From what she could see, they were clearly in shock. It didn't take much to put two and two together to figure out why, so no questions were asked on her part. Instead, she walked over and knelt down next to Kankurou, putting a hand on his shoulder.

"Alright, guys," she announced loudly, "C'mon! Get a grip and snap out of it. It's alright. He's gone."

The puppet master was breathing heavily and Gaara was no different, but they seemed to grow alarmed enough to realize she was talking to them. The harsh thumping in his rib cage made the redhead feel like it was about to burst out of his chest any second. Each beat was strong enough to push him forward without his consent.

Once Kankurou seemed to be getting back his conscience, Temari moved to the side of Kiba's bed. He was also breathing heavily and his neck was swollen. The shades of red and purple were hard to miss. And for once, she felt a flicker of fear for the life of someone she knew nothing about. Dried trails of blood had dripped from the corners of his mouth, but what she was worried about was the fact that his neck might have been internally bleeding.

She whipped around, "Gaara!"

He looked at her slowly, as if willing himself to realize she was present. She almost growled, "Go get a nurse!"

He seemed to hesitate.


The boy blinked, finally realizing he was being told to do something, and he turned and was out the door in the next moment. Kankurou also seemed to snap back to his senses at her yell and he stood shakily before walking over to her side. It wasn't long until the youngest of them was back with a nurse in tow. In the meantime, Temari had pulled the covers back over the boy, hoping it might in some way help the situation.

The three of them stood back as the nurse hastily worked on the Leaf genin. Once she was done, Kiba's face that was once contorted in pain returned to one of relaxation. She turned to them with a small relieved smile and a soft sigh, "Thank goodness you came and got me when you did. Any later and the bruising on his neck would've grown too severe to heal."

Kankurou suddenly looked angry, "Why the hell did you let that psycho come here in the first place! Of course everyone in this village already realizes how dangerous he is! Does everyone just let this Naruto kid push them around?"

The nurse bit her lip, "Well… Honestly, yes."

The three were nothing short of stunned by her reply. She avoided their eyes, "Since Naruto-kun resulted to murder as his way of life, no one has really faced him and lived to tell the tale. It's the village's fault he grew into what he is, and most of the villagers regret the things they've said and done to him completely, but still, old habits die hard and hatred is not a feeling the villagers lack. Yes, many have tried to stop him only to end up beaten up and dead between buildings or other such places. And frankly, I believe the village deserves the punishment of what it's created."

Her honesty was nothing like they expected. It was completely the opposite of what they expected. Temari, who was now getting the urge to digress off such a subject, looked over at Kiba once more and nodded in his direction, "Will he be alright?"

The nurse also looked at the boy, seemingly grateful to change the subject as well, "Oh yes, he'll be fine…"

But as soon as her smile formed, it faded and her eyes were filled with sorrow. Her shoulders slumped at the epiphany that hit her, "Well… He'll survive at least."

Kankurou furrowed his eyebrows, "What's that supposed to mean?"

She looked back at them somberly, "Well… It was concluded after the preliminary exam that Inuzuka-kun would no longer be able to move properly. His left leg was shattered, meaning it wasn't just broken, but the whole of it was in pieces scattered throughout his thigh. Something that fatal can't be fixed with healing techniques alone. And not only that… His left shoulder blade was broken in several places as well along with a few of his ribs. For months he won't even be able to move on his own, meaning he'll be sitting in a wheelchair for much of this year and the next. Eventually he'll be able to use crutches, but it won't be for a while."

"That's terrible," Temari said in a cracked voice, "His life was stolen from him. It's… It's so…"

"Unfair?" Gaara finished. He hadn't taken his eyes off the boy once since he got back. Yes, he was very familiar with the word. Finally, he looked up, "So, there's no chance?"

The nurse shook her head almost shamefully, "There could be, but not here. There are medical ninjas skilled enough to operate on him, but none in this hospital."

Gaara nodded. He could see his siblings grit their teeth on either side of them, probably to hold back from yelling. With a sigh, he turned to walk toward the door, "Temari. Kankurou. Let's go."

They didn't reply, but followed momentarily. There wasn't so much as a goodbye to the nurse as they left.

Haha, would you say it was worth the wait? lol, prolly not. Oh well, I hope you enjoyed it nonetheless. Like I said, I'll do everything I can to update regularly. Read and Review please!