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People Who are Important: Book One

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Disclaimer: Naruto is the property of Masashi Kishimoto and Tv tokyo. This is a purely fanwritten work, with which I make no money, and write only for the pleasure of myself and my readers.

July 08: Minor Edits

Prologue

Cold, clear green eyes stared blankly up at the hospital ceiling. The attack on Konoha had failed, and he had just returned to Suna with his two siblings. The fight had taken so much out of him, not just physically, but mentally as well. Uzumaki Naruto…he thought to himself. A boy who despite his fear, would do anything to protect the ones he loved.

(flashback)

"They're my friends! And if you hurt them any more, I'll kick your sorry ass!" the young blond boy exclaimed. His bright blue eyes were overwhelmed by anger, concern, and determination.

'Why does he want to protect these people so badly?' the Suna shinobi thought. Naruto's eyes blazed with fury as they fixed on the young girl passed out on the tree. The shinning blue orbs then turned to his raven haired friend laying exhausted on the ground. The more he saw his friends suffer, the stronger his resolve to defeat Shukaku's host became.

(end)

The twelve year old "monster of Suna" remembered clearly how vehemently his blond opponent had fought to protect Uchiha Sasuke and his Sakura-chan. Even as he fought the Konoha ninja, the red haired boy could not help but admire Naruto's courage. His strength came from the love he had for those important to him. It was with that strength that Uzumaki Naruto had beaten all odds and defeated "Suna's ultimate weapon". The blond shinobi understood the pain of being a monster… of being an outcast in his own village. He had felt rejection of the villagers who thought of him as nothing more than a demon. He saw people run away from him in fear, and forbid their children to socialize with him because of the Nine-tails sealed inside. He suffered for a long time, alone, but he found people to accept and love him. He did everything in his power to protect those people. At first, the demon of Suna could not understand this immense desire to protect others. Now, however, it made more sense to him. Protecting the ones he loved is what made Naruto strong. Perhaps it was the blonde's understanding of his pain that made Gaara calculate these words.

(flashback)

"I understand your pain so much it hurts," the young blond boy said. His big blue eyes shined with pain that the monster of the sand knew all to well. Naruto continued to drag his exhausted body closer to the opposing shinobi.

"But those people saved me from that hell. They accepted me as I was and acknowledged my existence. I won't let you hurt them, even if I have to kill you," his weary, yet determined voice declared. His eyes showed his tired state, but they were so strong. He was so strong, all because of them. Friends…people who are important.

(end)

The shinobi's pale green eyes glanced around his stark white hospital room. He was attached to a few machines, and was covered in a thin sheet. The walls were so white that the light from the intense sun of Sunagakure became blinding against it. It smelled of sickness, medication, and sanitizer. The young nurse in the room moved quickly and efficiently. His black rimmed eyes fell on her. He hesitated a moment, unsure or more afraid of what her reaction would be to his voice.

"Water," he managed to say. The young woman nearly jumped out of her skin at the sound of his voice. Her wide, frightened brown eyes turned on him. A little sting in his heart caused him to turn away. He hated it when people reacted like that to him. Granted, he'd created his own reputation after he'd decided that he was alone, and he could trust no one. But, he wasn't always that way. He was once an innocent child, however far off and distant the memory was. They had always reacted to him the same; even when he just wanted to be normal. Even before he started to hate them they looked down on him.

He'd began to hate them after the betrayal of his uncle. After his uncle, the one person he thought hadn't hated him, tried to kill him. Yashamaru's dying words ultimately turned this young ninja into a monster. They were hateful words, the one who said he didn't hate him, had truthfully hated him all along. The young boy let his dark lids fall over his cold eyes. 'I don't want to be feared anymore,' he thought as the nurse scrambled out of the room. He opened his eyes and let them wander over to the open window. A slight, dry breeze wafted into the room rustling the mess of red hair on his head. The hot sun blazed down on Suna today, just like most days.

'Is there no chance of redemption for me? Will I always be feared as an unstable monster?' he thought. An image of the blond shinobi who'd unknowingly changed his life flashed through his thoughts.

'One day I will be accepted too…I will fight for those who are important to me…brother…sister…and maybe one day friends..I will….me..Sabaku no Gaara,' he thought as the nurse nervously flitted in and out of the room. She left a glass of water in her wake. He watched as a small droplet of water traveled the length of the glass, then picked it up and drank. 'One day…'

a/n: REVIEWS PLEASE!