It wasn't long before Matsuri was starring at her old home where she and her parents used to live . . . well her more than most because her parents were always out on missions, but she still had some good times with them. Especially in her early years when she was little. That was the time when they spent the most time with her and she loved it—oh if she could relive it again she would.

She gave off a small smile at the remembrance of her younger years, but that was that and it was never coming back. She inhaled as she went inside and the movers had placed her belongings where she wanted them. After they had she bid them thank-you and goodbye and then goodnight. Now it was just her in that lonely house.

She sighed seeing everything was left just as it was the last she was there. Many of the furniture were covered with sheets though due to the amount of dust everything's gathered. Well—that was the first order in business . . . take all the sheets off everything.

Matsuri inhaled and exhaled as she rolled up her sleeves and prepared to get dirty. She spent all night cleaning up everything and placing her belongings where they should be. She decided to make her old room into a guest room just in case anyone wanted to stay for a night and moved all her things into her parents room—yeah, she was old enough to handle this room.

As soon as she got the last thing done she looked out of her window and saw the sun rising. She smiled realizing she had spent the whole night preparing this home for herself and that she had gotten no sleep whatsoever. She then realized as well that she wasn't even tired. She always spent so much time sleeping when she was with Gaara that she felt like she could stay up for days.

She did feel the strain in her muscles from all the work she had done. She wasn't used to it that much and so it felt pretty good to her. She needed to gain a little bit more muscle if she was going to be a shinobi.

Matsuri smiled at the thought. That's right—she was going to be a shinobi like her parents. If she was going to live by herself then she needed to take care of herself and that meant defend herself from any threat that come her way.

Sure she was a bit old to join the academy, but she could do it. She was sure of it. Gaara had pretty much taken her place in the ninja world, but she wanted to take it back and be like her parents—be great shinobis like them. She was sure she could do it.

She inhaled and exhaled as she looked at the sun rising in the sky. It was a new day and a new life for her. She wasn't Gaara's Matsuri any more. She was just . . . Matsuri.

Still though . . . she remembered that she wasn't supposed to become a shinobi. She remembered that her and Gaara made a promise that she wouldn't for Gaara would be her protector—her shinobi. She chuckled remembering her asking that if she couldn't be a shinobi then what could she be . . . she remembered how cute Gaara looked thinking so hard of what she could be and how cute he sounded when he said 'my wife'.

Oh they were so young back then she wondered if he even knew what a wife was. He apparently knew what a fiancé was seeing how they decided to remain that until they became older. Oh those were the best days . . . the days of their innocence when everything was good to them . . . when they were good to each other.

Matsuri often wondered how a true friendship like that could end. She guessed it was bound to, but usually when one of the friends runs away from the other—not when one lets the other go. It seemed like a sad love story to Matsuri . . . she always thought Gaara needed love, but now where was he to get it? Could it be possible he had friends elsewhere? Could that be the reason he retuned in such a different mood?

She didn't know and didn't know if she wanted to know. She guessed she just needed to learn to let go mentally and physically. It was somewhat hard seeing how long she was with Gaara. They still shared that bond that would never be cut, but now that bond was free and enabled to let other bonds attach.

Matsuri smiled knowing Gaara wanted her to make other friends and live life to the fullest. He must have known that she could never as long as she was with him. She understood—she seemed to always understand.

That whole day Matsuri spent pondering things and making her home into a home full of new beginnings. That day she did. It took until late at night, but she was done. The next day she'd go join the academy and start her career as a shinobi for Suna. Right now though—she was tired.

She went to her new room and slept though it was a bit difficult. She still wasn't used to sleeping without Gaara by her side clinging onto her. Sure she got the chance the past month or so, but that was just one month without him. How can you get used to something when it was your routine most of the time? She guessed she'd just have to get used to this a day at a time.

The first night though was hard for her. She kept waking up in natural reaction strangely waiting for Gaara to come and take her. Sometimes she was so tired when she opened her eyes that she began to see Gaara standing at her door with his arms crossed just starring at her. Once she rubbed them and looked again he wasn't there.

Did her body ache for Gaara that bad? Was she so brainwashed by Gaara? She never thought just being away from him like this was going to be this bad. Seeing him everywhere made her uneasy.

Matsuri even dreamt of Gaara. It was always the same—she was still in his room and living with him. He would be out training until he returned home and came to her to passionately take her like he did the night before he left to the chunin exams. Matsuri wasn't going to lie—she liked it, but after realizing how much Gaara controlled her life she began to force herself to dream of other dreams like her parents—it sometimes worked and sometimes didn't, but before she knew it she was dreaming in peace . . . without Gaara.

When Matsuri joined the academy many people were surprised to see her there. She didn't care what they said or thought she was there to learn to become a shinobi and that is what she was going to do. She studied hard and listened closely to the teachers. So she wasn't the brightest in her class, but at least she would pass with average grades.

It had been a while now since she had last seen Gaara. She had seen him once after his mission, but that was from a distance and she doubted he saw her. Perhaps he's moved on as well. He always seemed so solemn all the time and carefree—perhaps he has, if so then she was happy for him, at least he could as well.

It wasn't long before Matsuri made some friends of her own. Friends to chat with and sit together. Of course it took a while for Matsuri to convince them that she was free of Gaara and that no matter what he wouldn't intervene or show up again in her life. Once they knew that was a fact they began calling her 'Matsuri-san' instead of 'Matsuri-sama' and not being afraid to come near her.

Matsuri was glad they took so kindly to her, but wondered often on how Gaara was doing. If he made any friends or if he had risen to chunin yet. She wondered if she should be thinking of him so much if she was indeed free from him, but no it wasn't wrong to be thinking of an old friend.

One of the best days of Matsuri's life after all this would probably be graduation day. When she was officially called a genin. Oh she was so proud for now she could be officially called a shinobi—well, more or less. She wasn't that great or anything, but once she got a sensei she knew he or she'd make her great.

One thing she knew she needed to work on was her weapon fear. One of the reasons why she passed was because she scored pretty high in the written test, but handling weapons she got a zero. Ever since her parents were killed by countless weapons she refused to touch a weapon—anything sharp or anything that could be used to kill she just didn't trust. She knew though that to be a ninja she'd have to get over that fear—she'd just have to—especially if it was to save her own life or the life of a comrade.

She didn't think about that now though. She'd have plenty of time to when it came time to pick a sensei. They'd help her she knew it. A sensei was always somewhat of a friend to you who can help you through anything.

"Matsuri-chan!" smiled some of her friends as they came up to her just watching her look at her headband, which she used for a necklace. "Are you excited?!"

"What, about getting to meet our sensei today?" asked Matsuri with a smile. "Of course I am."

"I heard there's going to be three to pick from," said one of her friends as she clasped her hands together in front of her chin.

"Just three?" asked Matsuri. "Well considering how many of us there is are you sure that's such a good idea?"

"Of course," said one. "These three are supposed to be pretty tough and capable of taking on many students."

"If you say so," said Matsuri. "When are we going out to meet them?"

"In a few," said another.

And so they waited until their teacher came and told them it was time to come with him and go pick their sensei. Matsuri smiled as she stood up. She inhaled and walked with the crowd very excited about getting the training she needed from a person who knew what they were doing and would know how to help her climb that ladder to become a great shinobi.

It's about time, She smiled with her heart. I know I can do it, and I know . . . my sensei will believe in me as well. Whoever he or she is I hope I get to pick the best one for me.

Hot Shot's Girl: Well sorry this is the last chp for ya now 'cause I never really saw the ep when she got to meet her new 'sensei' I'll try and get back to you guys and I just want you to know I've already written about 20 plus chps for this story it's just the next one was missing 'cause I haven't seen the ep. Well enjoy guys and no I'm not dead and yes this story is still going on :)