The Arrival

Gaara frowned from behind the heavily tinted windows of the shiny black Lexus GX at the asymmetrical brick building his driver stopped in front of. The gold plated letters set in the brick sign announced that this indeed was the Konohagakure University. It was set back nearly two miles from the main road, it's lush, sprawling grounds littered with trees, dramatic artistic sculptures in various mediums, and boasted a gorgeous fountain shaped like a tree in the commons area, the water spilling out to create branches.

"Wow," breathed his sister, Temari, flipping her blond hair over her shoulder as she peered excitedly out her window. His brother, Kankuro, let out a low whistle, running a hand through his spiky brown hair as his black eyes roamed over the girls, nudging Gaara with his elbow and waggling his eyebrows. Gaara just rolled his eyes and ignored his brother's immaturity. His green eyes surveyed the prestigious college uncertainly. He wondered if he'd ever fit in here and if how his so called talents were good enough to get him in here.

Bright light flooded the vehicle as the driver opened the door for them. Temari and Kankuro clambered out without a second thought to the man who stood ramrod straight and held the door for them, even extending his hand to Temari automatically to help her out. They definitely took for granted the privileges their wealth brought them. Gaara shifted his messenger bag over his shoulder and forced himself out of the dark, air conditioned luxury and into the sun, nodded his thanks to the driver with a slight smile. The driver smiled back and wished him well.

"Are you sure we can't at least accompany you to your dorm?" asked Temari, a hint of sadness wavering in her voice.

"I can find it on my own, but thank you," answered Gaara, busying himself with digging his campus map out of his bag so he wouldn't see the sadness in Temari's eyes.

"Well, we better let you get going, we wouldn't want to make you miss out on something," said Kankuro, extending his hand to his little brother with a wide grin. Gaara grinned back and clasped his brother's hand with his own, releasing it after a second and bumping their fists together. Kankuro ruffled his hair playfully.

"Don't forget, women always go weak in the knees for that cool, elite type of guy," he said with a wink and climbed back into the waiting vehicle.

Temari stepped toward him and slid a finger beneath his chin, making him meet her eyes.

"You remember who you are, don't let any of these losers get to you. You are strong, Gaara. Never forget it."

"Yes, ma'am," he said with a soft smile. His eyes widened as Temari lost her tough composure, pulling him in close for a warm but brief hug.

"Call me if you need anything," she said as she went to join Kankuro in the waiting SUV, waving before shutting the door. Gaara watched until the car carrying his siblings was gone and hit play on his Ipod. He studied his map for a second to figure out where he was headed, and took off toward his destination, his head nodding to the beat of the music, aware of every pair of eyes that stared at him.

Gaara huffed a little, finally reaching the third floor of Building C. If he wasn't engrossed with finding his I.D. card in his bag as he walked down the hall, he might have seen the guy in his way instead of crashing in to him.

"What the hell?" said the guy, turning around to glare impudently at Gaara; who clicked off his Ipod and muttered an apology.

"Ngh, a freshman," the man said with disdain. "I'll let you off with a warning this time, but you better learn your place here noob, or you could end up in trouble."

"Excuse me?" said Gaara in a bored tone, raising a non-existent eyebrow. "I think it's you who'll end up in trouble if you don't learn some manners. I did apologize."

The guy's orange eyes glittered with malice.

"You obliviously don't' know who I am. My name's Pain and that's exactly what you'll feel if you don't scurry along, brat."

Gaara chuckled, taking in the neatly combed auburn hair and the fitted green polo shirt with the collar popped up.

"Really? A spoiled rich kid named Pain? No wonder why you have a stick up your ass."

"Fuck you!" screamed Pain, swinging his fist toward Gaara, who quickly side stepped and watched as Pain's fist smashed into the brick wall. Pain whirled around, pure hatred on his face, cradling his aching hand and hoping nothing was broken. Gaara suddenly noticed the other two people that were occupying the hallway were advancing toward him; a girl with blue hair with a giant rose pinned in it and a boy with black eyes and sharp looking teeth. The way his bones angled beneath his skin made him look like a shark.

Shit, he thought. 3 on 1 aren't the best odds and one of them is a girl…


Gaara jumped at the loud voice that suddenly appeared next to him. He turned to look at the brightly smiling blond who stood next to him, his blue eyes shining with excitement and innocence.

"Get the hell out of here, Uzumaki," snarled Pain, his goonies closing in on them.

The boy just smiled bigger.

"Why, 3 on 1 is hardly fair. Why you guys picking on my friend here, anyway?"

"Because he has a smart fucking mouth for a little emo faggot"—


Gaara punched Pain right in the mouth, who went sprawling straight backwards on his ass. The blond took that as his cue to drop down and kick shark boy's legs out from underneath him, leaving Gaara and the blue haired girl to stare each other down.

"Get him, Konan!" screamed Pain, spitting blood from his mouth as he sat up.

Her eyes narrowed and she poised to strike. Gaara shifted into defensive mode, he wasn't prepared to hit a girl. The blond and shark boy were wrestling now, arms and legs flying everywhere.

"What is going on here?"

The cold, flat voice stopped all movement from all parties.

Gaara looked at the new arrival from the corner of his eye. Cold eyes colored slate and ink black hair made his skin look extremely pale. But these things only enhanced him. He was handsome and the aura around him demanded respect.

"Is someone going to answer me, or shall I repeat myself?" he said, his eyes stern and his tone unwavering.

The blond untangled himself from shark boy and spoke up.

"The odds were unfair, Itachi. I had to step in, despite your rules."

Itachi's gray eyes swept over the scene before him once more and he frowned.

"Alright, Uzumaki. I agree that your intentions were honorable. I assume this boy is Gaara, are you not?" Itachi said, his cold eyes raking over Gaara, who simply nodded.

"Uzumaki, this is your new roommate. Show him to your dorm, and I'd appreciate it if the two of you would refrain from fighting in the dormitory."

Gaara's mouth opened in defense of his actions, but the blond boy grabbed his arm and began to tow him away down the hall.

The blond kid swiped his I.D. card in lock and hauled Gaara inside.

"Welcome home. I'm Naruto, by the way," he added, flopping down on his brightly colored bedspread. Gaara saw that his side of the room was covered in the boxes and packages he'd sent ahead of him from home. He sighed inwardly at the mess he had to unpack and organize.

"I'm Gaara, as you now know. Thanks for your help back there."

"No problem. I always have a friend's back, man," he replied with a grin.

Gaara pulled open one of the boxes and looked at Naruto quizzically.

"You don't even know me, how is it you call me a friend?"

Naruto pointed to his shirt.

"Anyone who likes Escape the Fate is brethren, man. Besides, I don't mean to judge you on appearances or anything, but I can tell you are going to fit in with my crowd great!"

Gaara smirked.

"You mean to tell me that there are more "emo faggots" like me here?"

"Believe it," said Naruto, jumping up and grabbing a box.