Summary: A misunderstood sand ninja

Time of Your Life

Summary: A misunderstood sand ninja. A long-forgotten girl from his past. What happens next?

Chapter 1

They all ran from him. What was wrong with him? He was only trying to give them back their ball. He only wanted to play with them.

"It's Gaara!" they cried, running the opposite way. "It's Gaara of the Sand! Don't let him touch you! Stay away from him!"

And he couldn't help it. The tears streamed down his cheeks. "No, don't leave me alone! I don't want to be alone anymore!" He sunk to the ground, hugging his teddy bear. "Please! I just wanna play with you!"

"I'll play with you."

He looked up. Through his tears, he saw a small body. It was a girl. She didn't run from him. She had black hair and brown eyes. She was smiling. She picked up the ball, putting her own stuffed rabbit under her arm. "Come on. Your name's Gaara, right?"

"Yeah." He stood up, clutching his teddy. "And what's your name?"

"I'm Fiamma. Let's play!"

"Okay." He was still clinging to his bear.

"Are you crying?"

"Uh-huh."

"How come? Is it because of those other kids? Don't pay any attention to them. They just like to think they're better than everyone else. One of them is my cousin, and I know her. Don't worry. I'm not like that."

"So... you'd never leave me?"

"Nah." She reached over and wiped off his tears using her thumb. "I'll always be your friend, Gaara. You don't tease me about my bunny like everyone else does."

"That's 'cause I have something like that, too, Fiamma." He held up his bear proudly. "Fiamma, meet Wompy. Wompy, this is Fiamma, my new friend." He made Wompy kiss her. "It's nice to meet you, Fiamma," he said in the deep voice he gave Wompy.

Fiamma giggled. "Neat!" She held up her bunny. "Gaara, this is Floopy-- my, um, Wompy. Floopy, this is Gaara and Wompy." She made Floopy kiss both of them, giggling. "Nice to meet ya," she said in a high-pitched, squeaky voice.

"Cool! Let's play, Fiamma!"

For a while, they tossed the ball around. Fiamma bounced it to Gaara, and he bounced it back

They had fun, but eventually decided to stop playing with the ball. "You wanna swing, Fiamma?" Gaara asked her, pointing at the swing.

"Sure. Me and Floopy can swing. Right, Floopy?" She made Floopy nod and said in the high-pitched voice, "Right, Fiamma."

Gaara helped Fiamma onto the swing. Fiamma held Floopy tight with one hand and the other held onto the chain of the swing. Gaara pushed her as hard as he thought she could handle. "Whee!" she cried. She was laughing. "This is fun, Gaara! I'm going to stay right here in this village forever!"

Gaara was so excited, he pushed a little too hard. Fiamma went flying off, and she let go of Floopy. "Ahhhhh!" she screamed.

Gaara's eyes widened. He ran forward, and held out his arms. Fiamma fell into them, safe and unharmed. A little frightened, but she wasn't hurt.

She looked into his eyes. She smiled softly. "Wow." She leaned over and kissed him on the cheek.

He was shocked. She kissed him? He gently put her down. "There. Are you okay?"

"Yeah, I'm fine. But it's getting dark… Floopy and I have to be home before the sun sets—Floopy!" She glanced around wildly, looking for her stuffed animal. She pointed up at a high cliff, where Floopy was sitting on her side, and Fiamma started crying. "Floopy!"

Gaara saw how upset she was, and after all it was his fault, even if by accident; he had to take responsibility for his actions. He lifted his hand and pointed it at Floopy. Sand encased the toy. He waved his hand toward himself.

Floopy floated down, and landed in his hands. He tenderly touched Fiamma's shoulder. She'd been watching in fascination the whole time. "Here, Fiamma."

Fiamma took Floopy. A smile crossed her lips. "Thanks, Gaara." She threw her arms around him. "You're the best friend I ever had."

"So you're not scared of what I just did?"

"Scared? You saved Floopy!" She kissed his cheek again. "You're my hero!"

Gaara looked at the sun. It was setting. "You should go now, Fiamma. It's getting late."

"Yeah. Bye, Gaara! Thanks for a great time!" She hugged him once more, then sped off.

Gaara sat down. He smiled. He had a friend. It felt good to be someone's hero.