What was it that Gaara had said about recovering?

Oh yes, that he was going to do so; however, this was not what he had had in mind.

Gaara stood at the end of a mat along with the other patients, each one grinning or frowning, looking down at their feet and friends as they already knew the purpose of the situation: social teamwork.

"Alright," Shizune spoke, clapping her hands together as she looked at the kids in front of her, "What I want you all to do is move this mat so that it is turned over using nothing but your feet. Simple enough; All it requires you to do is work with each other."

"Then why is he here?" Deidara piped in, Sasori chuckling beside him as purple hues drifted over to the other redheaded boy.

The woman shook her head, already seeing a problem developing between Gaara and the other patients. None of them liked him. Each one had seen his reactions and they all had concluded that the boy was crazy, or that he had some kind of tailed beast from Japanese folk legend inside of him, picking up the nickname 'Jinchuriki.'

Not that Gaara cared anymore. As much as he wanted to get better, he feared that there was really no way of doing so. He was so disgusted by himself that he was sure he wouldn't be able to function in the outside world. He was a monster.

"Enough." She said, glaring at the boys, "Gaara has just as much right to be here, and there is nothing wrong with him."

Oh, how funny for one to say that about such a kid in such a place.

The teen scoffed, turning a blue eye back to the shorter male next to him as he whispered to him in their own little world.

Shaking her head, Shizune stepped back, motioning for them to start.

In the beginning, no one moved, simply standing with dull looks, wondering if the nurse was serious or if this was really supposed to be a game. When she only narrowed her eyes, a sigh came from the stitched man known as Kakuzu, the male kicking his foot as her moved the mat, rolling it in on itself as the others soon followed his example.

It was nothing hard, the group soon having the mat on its opposite side as they merely stood there now. Shizune clapped her hands, giving a bright smile before she let them go for a break, each one moving away and leaving Gaara to stand alone.

"Good job," Came a soft voice, Sakura standing behind the young male as she placed her hand on his shoulder, "I was watching from the nurse's desk. I'm sure it wasn't easy, but you got the job done. Your first step in a line to getting out and being happy; I know it doesn't seem like much, but soon I think you'll find it more helpful than stupid."

Sakura's voice was calm and her words true and meaningful as always. It was fitting that she did what she did, even at such a young age. Gaara couldn't imagine her doing anything else, and with a shrug of his shoulders, he turned to fully face her.

"I guess."

Shaking her head she gave another bright smile, "Just keep your chin up. Naruto told me that you're hard on yourself."

"Huh?" the dumbed sound fell from his lips. He had never told Naruto that he hated himself. Or was it obvious?

Or did he know what it was like?

. . . .

"So Granny, how's it looking today?" asked the blonde, bright blue hues shining at her as they watched her face. The slight twitch of her lips was enough to give it away, and Naruto was beaming from every pore in his body.

"There are no visible traces of the cancer at all. It looks like we've won for the time being." Tsunade hummed, her usually bitter demeanor gone at the moment as she looked over the scans once again.

Yes, after having been in in-patient treatment for over a year now, Naruto was finally able to say that he was cancer free. And that really was the best feeling in the world.

"Thanks Granny!" he said, giving her a hug as she returned it, something she almost never did. When they parted, Naruto ran from the room, telling everyone of his great news as he yelled it up and down the halls, floor to floor as he made his way to the psyche ward.

He wanted to tell Gaara, to let him know that he was going to live, to be able to see him through all his problems and stand by his side no matter what.

But would he even care? Would Gaara want to know that? He didn't have many friends, many people to tell him that they were there for him and that he could always talk to them. So why wouldn't he be happy?

Shaking his head, he pushed his conflicting thoughts aside, stopping to catch his breath as he stood outside the doors, knocking on the window to get Sakura's attention.

Seeing him, she shook her head, opening the doors to let him in despite it, "Naruto, you know you're not supposed to be here." She scolded, giving him a hard look. The blonde nodded but smiled on.

"I know, but I have some great news and I wanted to share it with Gaara." He explained, bounding on the spot as he smiled to the pink haired girl, watching as her green eyes widened in shock and hope.

"You mean. . .?" she asked, Naruto nodding as he needed no words.

"Yeah, I get to live."

. . .


Ha, well, here's another chapter. I'm probably going to go ahead and write me up some LeviXHanji here because yes I am all over SnK. Keep an eye out if you're interested cause the LeviXEren isn't far behind.