Summary: Demonic chakra filled the area, and time began to twist. Naruto found himself stuck repeating the day of the Chuunin Exam Finals over and over. Why didn't anyone believe him? Time Loop.
The two twelve-year-old Jinchuuriki both crashed to the ground, landing a distance from each other. The blond started crawling toward the exhausted One Tail Jinchuuriki.
"My existence won't be put out! It won't be put out! Will I be saved?"
Naruto continued on crawling, thinking about everything. 'This guy… he wants to destroy because of what happened in the past...'
"D-don't come closer!"
'That is the worst pain I know… a world where one's existence is called "unnecessary".' The whisker-marked Jinchuuriki looked up. "Being alone, being incomplete… What you must feel… what your pain must be… I understand that."
Gaara's eyes were wide with surprise.
"But, for the people who are precious to me, to be able to…" Naruto struggled to find the words. "The people that are precious to me… if you are hurting them… if you are trying to kill them… I will stop you."
"What…? Until now, for the sake of other people, you've…" The red-haired demon container was beginning to understand.
"Because they rescued me from the pain of being alone… They acknowledged my existence. That's why they are all the most important…"
Gaara remembered his uncle's words. '…Needing those close to you. An affectionate heart that gives all of itself for those important people, and is watching over them…' It all started to make sense to him. "…Love…" 'That's why this guy is so strong…'
"That's enough, Naruto. Sakura is alright now. This guy has run out of chakra and Sakura has been saved from the sand," the Uchiha stated from where he stood beside Naruto.
"Is that so…?" Naruto said absently.
Temari and Kankuro landed beside their younger brother, ready to fight.
Gaara spoke first. "That's enough… stop it." 'A maelstrom… is that what you are, Naruto…?'
"I understand…" Kankuro said, wrapping his arm around his brother and lifting him up to a standing position.
Temari and Kankuro, who held onto Gaara, leapt into the trees to head back to their village.
"Temari, Kankuro… I'm sorry…"
The addressed shinobi shared a surprised glance: Gaara never apologized. Never.
Kankuro managed to stutter out a reply. "N-no problem."
Naruto and Gaara both fell unconscious, and demonic chakra filled the area. Time began to twist.
Naruto was about to be very, very confused.