Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto. If I did, there would be a lot more appearances by the Sand Shinobi.
Temari and Kankuro walked quickly in front of the rest of their group. Elder Ebizo had instructed them to "take a break" by walking for a bit instead of running, because everyone else was worn out. Kankuro and Temari were walking as fast as they could without running.
"Dammit!" Temari muttered, "When can we start moving quickly again? I can't stand this!"
Kankuro sighed and glanced behind him at the rest of the group, "Hopefully soon."
Temari glanced behind her as well. The group did look completely worn out. Temari abd Kankuro had been pushing them to move as quickly as physically possible, and even that wasn't fast enough. Normally, Temari would feel bad, but her little brother was in danger, there was no time to feel sorry for people.
While Temari was lost in thought, Kankuto nudged her.
"What?" she asked.
He pointed to a spot in front of him where she saw a group of people. She recognized them as Team Gai and Team Kakashi. If they were there that meant that Gaara-
"Let's go!" She ordered Kankuro.
He didn't need to be told twice. The two of them took off as fast as they could, despite the protests of the group behind them. Since Kankuro's legs were longer, he made it to the scene first. He immediately went to where his brother lay on the ground next to Naruto. He was obviously unconscious or something, but he was alive and that's all that mattered. Temari showed up minutes later and stood next to TenTen while Kankuro stood next to Gaara.
"What happened to him?" Temari asked TenTen.
"Well," TenTen said hesitantly, "The Akatsuki removed the demon."
"Shakaku's gone?" Temari asked, "How is that possible?"
"Temari," TenTen said gently, "This is going to sound really weird, but Gaara… He died."
"What?" Temari asked, confused. She glanced at the red-head that was laying only a few feet from her. He was unconscious, but obviously still breathing.
"Gaara died," TenTen explained, "Elder Chiyo just performed this jutsu that brought him back to life."
Temari could feel the color drain from her face as what TenTen said sunk in. Her brother had died while she had done nothing but sit in the village waiting for an attack that never came.
TenTen looked worried, "Will you be okay? I know that's a lot to handle, but he's fine now."
Temari took a deep breath and nodded, plastering a fake smile on her face, "I'm fine."
'There's no use in freaking out now. All that will accomplish is making everyone else freak out,' She thought.
She walked over to her brothers and kneeled next to Gaara to make sure he really was breathing. The rest of the group that Temari and Kankuro were traveling with finally arrived. Soon after they came, the other groups that were sent out of the village to "rescue" Gaara showed up. Temari glanced at Gaara's old student Matsuri. She had been in her group. Gaara had done a great job turning her into a shin obi. She had graduated and become a chuunin, and she had the vest to prove it. All of the groups crouded around Gaara anxiously.
Kankuro leaned in to Temari, "Jeez, like, half of Suna is here!"
Temari looked around and smiled. Her smile soon faded when she realized that one person was missing.
"Where's Baki?" She asked.
"Baki-sama stayed behind to lead the watches for attackers," one ninja informed her.
"Oh," She said flatly.
Temari glanced at Kankuro and could tell he was thinking the same thing as her, why the hell was Baki staying in Suna, when the kid who was practically his son was in mortal danger?
They didn't have much time to think about it however, because Gaara stirred. His eyes fluttered open and he sat up slowly. He looked around at everyone, very confused.
"They're…" He started to say, looking at the mass of people around him.
"Everyone ran here to come save you!" Naruto explained, grinning at him.
Matsuri pushed to the front of the crowd, "Gaara-sama! Are you okay!?"
He nodded slowly, still looking very confused.
She grinned, and cheered, "YES!"
Everyone started cheering and celebrating that the Kazekage was alive.
Naruto smiled, "You caused a big fuss."
"I'll say!" Kankuro stated, stpping in closer to Gaara, "You had me worried little brother."
He was happy to see that his brother was functioning… well, at least slightly.
Temari smirked, "Who do you two think you are? Gaara IS the Kazekage! Show some respect you lowlifes!" She then proceded to shove Naruto out of the way so she could get closer to Gaara, "Gaara, how do you feel?"
He looked confused still, but not so much that he didn't try to stand up.
"You shouldn't start moving around yet!" Temari told him, "Your body's still very stiff."
Kankuro smiled as Temari hovered over her youngest brother. Only days ago, she was doing the same thing with him. Hell, she was still hovering over him, she was just distracted at the moment. He diverted his attention to Matsuri and her friend who were totally drooling over Gaara. He laughed as his sister attempted to keep the two girls away from the still confused and groggy Gaara.
A voice next to him grumbled, "That's right. I'm still a genin."
He glanced next to him at Naruto who was sitting on the ground. He knelt next to him and grinned, "Don't let it get you down. The girls who drool over the 'cool elite' guys are always the weakest ones. That's how it goes."
Kankuro knew this wasn't true, but it always made him feel better to say that to himself when girls were drooling over his younger brother.
"Yeah, I think Shikamaru told me something like that once too." Naruto shrugged.
Kankuro glanced back at Gaara. He was alive. He had known if anyone was going to save him, it was Naruto. Even though Naruto and Gaara had only seen each other three times before Naruto had left for training, they were closer then he's ever seen two friends. It was actually thanks to Naruto that Kankuro had even gotten as close as he was to Gaara. He thought back to when he and Gaara had been talking about Naruto: "He felt the same suffering I did, and he taught me that I can change the path I want life to take," Gaara had told him, "He has people who need him. Someday, I want people to need me too."
Kankuro looked back at Naruto and said, "Thank you, Naruto."
Naruto grinned sheepishly, "You should thank the old lady over there, not me. She saved Gaara with some kind of medical ninjustsu. She's passed out now, but she'll come around when we get back to the village-"
Kankuro shook his head, "No, you're wrong."
He looked over to where Sakura held the dead Elder Chiyo. 'Elder Chiyo used that technique.' he thought. If Elder Chiyo had to use that technique, that meant Gaara had-
"I'm wrong? About what?" Naruto asked, interrupting his thoughts.
"It wasn't a medical ninjustsu," Kankuro explained, "It was a life-transferring technique. Elder Chiyo is dead."
The whole crowd fell silent as he said this. Even the two drooling girls stopped pushing to talk to Gaara and listened to Kankuro.
"Life-transferring technique?" TenTen asked confused.
"W-what do you mean?" Naruto asked.
Kankuro sighed, "A ninjutsu that allows you to bring back the dead in exchange for your own life."
"No way!" TenTen gasped.
The whole groups focus was on him.
"Many years ago," Kankuro began, "The Puppet Brigades were conducting research on how to bring their puppets to life. Elder Chiyo was in charge of it. They were able to figure out the theory behind it, but… in the midst of their research, they decided it was too risky. They made it illegal to conduct the research on humans and forbade anyone to use that technique."
Naruto stood up and looked at Elder Chiyo's body with shock. Temari knew how he felt. She had heard the people at the Jonin meetings talk about how Chiyo was a crabby old lady who didn't give a damn about anything.
"Naruto, you really are a strange person, "She commented, "You have the power to change people. Elder Chiyo was always saying how she didn't care what happened what happened to the Village. She wasn't the type of person who would do this for Gaara."
She glanced down at her brother. Yep. Still breathing.
"Elder Chiyo has placed the future in yours and Gaara's hands," She heard Kakashi tell Naruto, "A splendid end befitting a true shinobi."
Temari looked towards Elder Chiyo. She felt bad that she died. She really did. But if she were still alive, Gaara would still be dead. Temari couldn't even begin to imagine what would've happened if Gaara hadn't woken up.
Suddenly she heard Matsuri exclaim, "Gaara-sama!"
She turned quickly to see Gaara attempting to stand again. Matsuri tried to help him, but Gaara pushed her away.
"I'm fine!" He insisted.
Temari and Kankuro were about to go help him, but they noticed Naruto walk over to him and relaxed slightly. He'd take care of Gaara. They watched as Gaara got himself about halfway to a standing position before stumbling. Naruto grabbed his arm discreetly so as not to cause a scene and helped him into a standing position.
Temari and Kankuro glanced at each other and smiled. Naruto knew just how to handle any situation with Gaara.
Gaara looked down at the woman who had given her life to save his, "Everyone, pray for Elder Chiyo."
Everyone closed their eyes and prayed silently. When they had finished, they all decided that they should get back to Suna to let the other villagers know that the Kazekage was alive.
A/N: Alright everyone. Chapter one is done. I promise the whole story isn't going to me using lines from the episodes. I hope you enjoyed! Review please!!