Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters used in this fan fic.

This takes place shortly after the Gaara Rescue arc in Shippuuden.

Someone Else's Story

"Kankuro, didn't you want to talk to Gaara? I saw you pass by his office at least three times now." Temari approached her brother from behind the couch he was currently sprawled across and sat beside him.

He turned towards her. "I just don't know what to say to him now. What to do for him."

"He's safe. What more would you need to do except check on him every so often to make sure he's okay?"

Kankuro stared at the floor. "We were pretty useless, weren't we?"

"Hmm?"

"We couldn't do anything to save him."

His sister turned towards the wall, a thoughtful expression on her face. "Well, you did help them pick up the trail." She felt the urge to scold him for letting himself get poisoned, but it wasn't the time for that.

"But would it have mattered? Couldn't they have found Gaara anyway?" An uncomfortable silence passed between them. "Temari, I've been thinking."

She smirked nervously. "That sounds dangerous."

"Do you ever feel like you're a minor character in someone else's story? Like we're all just puppets forced to perform on some grand stage?"

"Huh?" Temari gave him an incredulous look. "Where is this coming from anyway? Maybe I should call a medical ninja and see if it's an aftereffect of the poison." She shook her head. "But let's go with this little theory of yours. Who is the star of this grand tale?"

"Naruto Uzumaki."

"Naruto doesn't even live in the Sand Village."

"That's because it doesn't take place in the Sand Village. For the most part anyway. It takes place in the Leaf Village."

"Uh-huh." Temari crossed her arms.

"If it did take place here, Gaara would be the star."

"How do you know that?"

"I just know. Then I would have a bigger role, and maybe I could have been more useful in saving him."

"Okay." Temari's eyes were about to roll out of her head.

"Just think about it." Kankuro waved a hand in front of his face as if he were describing a great narrative. "Why is this one kid so special? Why does he inspire everyone and do all these things that no one else can?"

"Naruto is certainly very unique, but it's not like he's the only skilled ninja."

"I've heard stories, Temari. Gaara's not the only one he changed. There's that Hyuga kid. They say he also used to resent his own family. Their current Hokage apparently accepted that position because of his efforts. Not to mention how he changed an elder from our own village. She asked Naruto to take care of Gaara. Why not us?"

"Kankuro…" Temari looked somber for the first time during the conversation.

"What use are we to Gaara? Even now?"

His older sister reached out to touch his shoulder. "This is really bothering you, isn't it?" She bit her lip. "Kankuro, Gaara needs us. He needs you. Whatever Naruto Uzumaki has done for him, he's not here now. You are. Gaara trusts you. I've seen that. You've supported him for a long time, and he needs that support now more than ever."

Kankuro gave her a lopsided grin. "You might have a point…"

She punched him playfully in the shoulder. "Don't question me." Her expression became gentler. "And by the way, you'll always be my best friend no matter what some kid in another village does."

"At least until Shikamaru…"

"Don't finish that sentence!"

Kankuro rubbed the back of his head. "I'll go talk to Gaara."

"Good. Go and bond with your younger brother." She grinned at him as he got off the couch. "You know, being a minor character isn't so bad. I mean, who knows what can happen behind the scenes when the author isn't looking."

The puppet master chuckled as he reached the hallway. "Yeah, I guess that's right."

"But if you ever find this great author," she called out to him, "ask him to write you a glorious battle. Or maybe get you a girlfriend."