REUPLOADED: Because it was out of character and I didn't like it, and then it was pointed out by a reviewer. Things have been edited.

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What if Gaara was incapable of being resurrected by Chiyo-baasama when the Akatsuki got to him? And what if, noticing the spiritual disturbance caused by Gaara after death, Soul Society sent Hitsugaya Toshirou to investigate?

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Gaara felt so cold, so stiff...his vision was black, his body was motionless, and he could only hear a soft murmur of voices, the scream of a chakra full of malice and sounds of screams and sobs...he silently cursed his weakness, and wished so badly to be able to see the light.

"Shukaku?" No matter how much he called out to the darkness, he could not find the demon. It was empty, and he longed to find his inner world, the desert in which he sought the surprising benevolence of the sand demon that had grown a fatherly side for him, where he sought the warmth of the large arms of the tanuki, the calming breaths and the deep voice which calmed him so...he yearned for it so badly, and yet he could not find it. He was alone...

He was dead? Yes, he was no longer living...the demon was gone, all that he worked for was gone, and he could never retrieve it in his minds eye.

And then something was flowing within his veins, chakra, but not his own...it was weak, but for a second he was hopeful that it would reach his heart, and start making it beat once more, letting him live again, but his body was rejecting it...and him. He was forced into a sitting position with a pained gasp, and the sound of a rattle of a chain was the first thing of clarity that reached his ears, and he saw a wide-eyed Chiyo at his side, and a sharp gasp brought his attention to the surrounding ninja from Konoha, and Naruto had a happy expression, but something seemed off and he knew it. He slowly got to his feet, and then looked down, and a look of horror crossed their faces to see that Gaara's body lay on the ground.

"I...What the hell?..." The chain on his chest was broken, and his breath quickened with a morbid realization as more shinobi arrived.

"Is he...?"

"I am sorry, Gaara..." Chiyo murmured softly. "I have failed you yet again."

"YOU MEAN HE'S STILL DEAD?!" Naruto's voice was now at a screaming level as Gaara now stumbled away from his body, unable to control his uneven breaths.

"B-b-but...I-I'm standing!" Gaara tried to reason with this news, and he suddenly felt light-headed. "How can I be standing and not standing?...How is this possible?" Temari and Kankurou stepped forward, and then saw his body, and saw him.

"Gaara...You...You're dead?"

"I...can't be dead...I'm standing, breathing, talking, and you can see me! You all can see me, right?!" Nods were given. "I...I don't know anymore..." However, eyes widened as something seemed to well up in his throat his body trembling and something shifting under his skin. The feeling...it was just like he was transforming into Shukaku...what was he turning into?...but it couldn't be good. It was painful, and he didn't want it. And before he knew it he started a loud scream before it was muffled when a white substance shot out of his mouth from inside his throat and began to cover his face. Eyes wide, he gripped the sides of his head, fading from the outside world and recoiling back into himself. Even as he opened his eyes and noticed he was no longer aware of the outer world he felt a horrible burning in his chest, and his skin began to feel clammy and cold to the touch.

"W-what's going on?..." He was looking around in the desert, and felt a familiar presence behind him. He looked to the sides of the desert and noticed that they were quickly disappearing.

"Why am I here?" He turned to see the large tanuki behind him with a confused and frantic expression on his face.

"Shukaku?! You're back?!"

"I have no idea...But- I feel like I'm supposed to tell you something." The tanuki murmured. He was very confused, to say the least. "Shukaku doesn't seem like my name anymore. Its really, really weird."

"Then...what IS your name?"

"It's like...a new name. A command name...it is...."

"What?"

"My "command" name is-"

--

The ninja all were on their knees, suppressed by an inhuman energy coming from the late Kazekage. There was a strange mask forming on his face, but his body remained the same. And someone watched, from a distance, hand on the hilt of a sword in case things got out of hand...but it was odd really, because the current situation that the red-headed ninja was in was similar to that told to him of a certain orange haired associate of his. And then the shadowed figures's eyes widened as they saw the sword forming in the hand of the male, the hole in his chest disappearing.

"Roar across the endless deserts and reconcile in the endless destruction with your brethren...Kazesuna no Tanuki..." The sword glowed brightly, before transforming into a black spear with multiple blades at the end, with a strange marking. The butt of the spear was colored purple, and slowly faded into thin tendrils of the color as the sight progressed upward.

"W-What?...That's- Shukaku's spear!" One ninja shouted, alarmed. Temari shook her head as Gaara moaned lightly, making no move to remove the fully formed mask that resembled the demon Shukaku's face and instead voting for the alternate "fall forward flat on your face from exhaustion".

"No...Shukaku's blade is made out of sand....just what did he become? A spirit-ninja or something?"

"Wrong." Now the shadow figure revealed himself.

"What would you know, you're just a kid!" Naruto shouted. The white haired, teal eyed, tan skinned male was indeed short and child-like, but he wore a black shihakusho and a white haori.

The boy said nothing, before calmly shunpo'ing to the red-head's side, rolling him over and removing the mask, oddly looking like a tanuki. He drew his sword out, turned it around so that the hilt was pointed towards his forehead, and slammed it down on the unconscious spirit's forehead as the butt of the sword began to glow a bright blue, his form quickly deteriorating before fully disappearing. And then he blocked a chakra charged fist from Naruto, who had charged in a blind rage.

"WHY DID YOU SEND GAARA AWAY!?" Naruto howled angrily.

"Its my job." He said simply. He was punched in the face.

"HE STILL HAD TO LIVE! HE WASN'T SUPPOSED TO BE DEAD! IT WAS BECAUSE OF HIS FUCKING VILLAGE THAT HE WAS CONDEMNED AS A JINCHUURIKI! HE WAS LIKE ME!" Naruto continued to scream, his aura changing to the Kyuubi. But he was instantly lashed down by an onslaught of ice from the tip of the boys blade.

"I pity you." He said. "But he was still dead. He couldn't be here anymore."

Then he turned to leave.

"Remember this name should we meet again. Hitsugaya Toshirou."

And then Hitsugaya entered the portal he opened with his blade.

And only then did Naruto realize it was snowing.