People talking, "Hello everyone."

People thinking, 'Cake is the best.'

Demon/beast/other talking, "I will eat you."

Demon/beast/other thinking, 'I wonder what turtle tastes like, Sanbi get over here!'

Jutsu/Unknown names, "Suiton: Mizudeppō no Jutsu."

'Document'

Italics can be used for certain kinds of emphasis or snide comments.

Bold can be used for forceful yelling/shouting/screaming.


Chapter One: Bloody White Sands

A small boy walked down the sandy streets of Sunagakure, the buildings made of earth towering over him, blocking the moon and making the shadowy alleyways even darker. The child was unfazed by this, being used to the gloom he continued calmly walking.

He was around 6 years old, had shaggy longish white hair, pale skin, and two small horns coming out of his forehead, one on each side of his forehead. The boy was wearing light brown deteriorating rags as clothing, covered in dust and sand. White, pale pupil-less eyes took in his surroundings as he left the alleyway. He was searching for food once again, It had been a while since he last ate.

He came upon the market of the village not long later, the smell of fresh food leading him. Upon entering the area, they immediately spotted him.

"It's the Shiroi Oni (White Demon)! Get him!" One villager yelled, pointing at him. The young boy frowned, watching as some braver villagers rushed toward him while the majority backed away in fear.

The white-haired child stared emotionlessly at the villagers as they approached him, not trying to run. As the villagers got close enough to hit him, brandishing knives and kunai, dark brown vines covered in leaves burst violently out of the surrounding ground. The vines extended menacingly, swinging through the air they wrapped themselves around the villagers tightly, squeezing them slowly and painfully.

"L-let me go! You damn demon!" One of the villagers cried, struggling as hard as he could, trying to cut the strong vines with his knife. The nearby residents looked on in fear at the pale-eyed child, who walked past the restrained villagers to an abandoned stand. Once he reached the food stand, he grabbed several rolls of bread before calmly walking away.

"LET US GO!" A trapped villager yelled at his receding form, drawing his attention back to them. The horned 6-year-old turned and looked over his shoulder, one hand outstretched toward them. The boy looked hesitant, unsure what to do.

"Let them go Naruto, they're morons, not worth it." The white-haired boy pivoted sharply and saw the owner of the voice. A very tall man, who had two distinctive, red markings on the right side of his face, the only visible part of his head. The rest hidden by his turban-like headgear and by a sheet hanging from it on the left side of his face. He wore the standard attire of a Suna-nin, complete with a forehead protector and flak jacket.

The now named child nodded, relaxing his arm and letting it fall to his side. As he did so the vines holding the 5 villagers loosened and slid back into the sandy ground, disappearing altogether. The entire market plaza was silent as the villagers coughed from having their air supply cut off. Naruto walked away from the area, fading into the gloomy alleyway.

The shinobi who had arrived watched the child leave, exhaling he turned to the villagers to berate them for antagonizing the child yet again. "Fools! You're lucky I was here, or you would all be dead!" Baki thundered, they trembled from his killing intent and the anger in his voice.

"But it's a demon!" One of them apparently didn't care about his killing intent, yelling back at him in outrage.

"He may well be one, and if he is; do you honestly think you can kill him?" Baki deadpanned, glaring into the foolish villager's eyes. The man faulted as he realized his own idiocy.

"Morons, even we shinobi can't kill the boy, some have tried. Besides, the Kazekage has ordered for the boy to be left alone. DO YOU UNDERSTAND?!" Baki yelled at everyone present, who all nodded in fear at the killing intent he was leaking.

"Good," Baki disappeared in a swirl of sand to report this newest incident to his leader.

With Naruto

One could see a boy, sitting on one of the many rocks that stuck out from the villages massive sand and rock walls, slowly eating the bread he stole. Naruto's pale eyes gazed over the sandy and usually hot village. It was late at night, and Naruto needed to find a safe place to sleep again, the last spot discovered a few days ago and booby-trapped in an attempt to kill him.

Naruto cringed as he remembered his life, what his purpose was… Who were his parents, why did the plants protect him? Why did he look so different from everybody else? No one else in the village had white eyes, white hair, or had horns growing from their head. He also had unusually pale skin no one else in the town did, and besides growing up in the hot desert sun, he never tanned like everyone else.

Regardless, Naruto was grateful for the plants that protected him from harm. They hadn't always been there, but since… that day, they had been around keeping anyone from harming him.

Flashback

Naruto was 3 years old, playing in the living room of his family's house, his kaa-san was at the kitchen stove preparing lunch. He watched her with joy in his heart as she stirred the pot. Her long sandy-brown hair flowed over her shoulders and down her back, he grinned as she looked over at him with her light brown affectionate eyes.

"Go wash your hand's, Naruto-kun." She ordered, he nodded hastily, setting down his toys and rushing off to the bathroom, she smiled as she saw him go. Even though he differed significantly from all other children, she cared about him passionately. His pale eyes and horns had terrified her in the beginning. They'd been walking home from a visit with the family in a nearby village when they found baby Naruto laying naked in the sand crying.

She'd decided that she would keep him and adopt him, as he was evidently abandoned. Curious as to why he had such pale skin, horns and weird white hair, but it didn't matter to her. Both she and her husband were concerned about Naruto being seen negatively in the village. Because of this, they didn't let the boy play outside, and he didn't have any friends. They were still debating what was to be done.

She grimaced, okay, sometimes they did take Naruto out in the village. Two weeks ago she had taken Naruto with her to the market like usual, making sure he wore a hood to cover his features. Naruto had excitedly walked along beside her holding her hand and asking questions about everything. It had surprised them when he could talk, read, and write from a young age.

As they walked down the market area to get food, a boy ran past them, possibly to his mother with something he wanted to buy and tumbled into Naruto, knocking him over and his hood slipped off. Everyone nearby had frozen as they took in Naruto's strange features, the horns, and white eyes, the uncharacteristic pale skin. She had swiftly put his hood back on and left the square, dashing home.

Since then she hadn't taken Naruto back out, but rumors about how he was a demon and evil moved about the village. She was frightened for her boy, but as long as she kept him inside he should be safe…

"I'm done Kaa-san!" Naruto called as he rushed down the hall to the dining table and hopped into his seat. His pupil-less pale eyes showed his joy at getting to eat, and she chuckled at his ecstatic expression, 'He's always loved eating.' She mused with a smile.

"Here you go Naruto-kun, eat up. Tou-san should be home soon." She said, putting a plate of food in front of him that he dug into with gusto. She sat down in her own seat and began eating.

A couple of moments later there was a loud crash at the front door and indistinct yelling.

"Stay here Naruto," Miyabe ordered sternly, getting up and moving to the door. As she got closer, she could make out what was being said.

"Let us in! We know the demons in there!" Someone yelled in anger loudly, she heard another pounding sound.

"NO! Go away…" Her eyes widened as she heard her husband respond, shooting to the door she opened it. She could see her husbands back and 4 angry villagers brandishing weapons standing on their doorstep.

Opening the door had been the wrong thing to do, for as soon as she did the foremost villager punched her husband in the face, knocking him into her and both of them onto the ground.

"Let's go boys!" One cheered as they filed into the house, Miyabe tried to stop them but received a kick to the face.

"KAA-SAN!" Naruto's distraught voice cried out, she looked up at the entrance to the living room and saw Naruto standing there, eyes wide in fear and shock.

"RUN NARUTO!" She yelled at him but it was too late, one villager grabbed the boy and hurled him into a wall.

"Kill the demon!" One shouted as he stabbed a knife into the child. Oyakawa was dazed from the punch but fought through it when he heard Naruto's scream, getting to his feet he rushed the men. Leaping and tackling the one who'd stabbed his son. He noticed from his close proximity that they were all drunk.

"What the-" The man yelled before his head struck the floor.

"Hey! How fucking dare you!" One man yelled, swinging his short sword he sliced into Oyakawa's back, who released a yell in pain. The adrenaline still pumping through him to defend his son he jumped back up, ignoring the pain and leaped at the man.

It was the wrong move, the drunk man moved the sword between them and Oyakawa impaled himself on the sword.

"TOU-SAN! NOOO!" Naruto cried as his father coughed up a ton of blood, the man who had stabbed him grinned and punched his father away before turning to Miyabe who was shaking uncontrollably. Naruto tried to crawl to his father, his mind not realizing what was happening, the pain in his arm making it hard to think and move.

"NARUTO!" Naruto turned his head and saw his mother over him, his blank eyes didn't understand what he was seeing for a frozen moment in time. Time seemed to resume as his mother coughed up blood onto his face.

It was only then that Naruto processed the sharp metal edge coming from his mother's chest, it was only then that Naruto saw the maniacal grin of the man behind his mother, holding the handle of the sword.

"Hahhaahahaha! This is what you get for caring for a demon!" The man laughed, the two of the other men laughed with him, while the last one thought this maybe wasn't a good idea, he suddenly realized they'd just committed murder.

"K-kaa-san…" Naruto's eyes were wide and his body frozen in shock, Miyabe smiled sadly at him, fighting to stay alive, protecting Naruto with her body.

"Run Naruto-kun and remember I will always love you." She whispered, the light leaving her eyes before she collapsed onto of Naruto. Naruto was frozen in shock, the blood on his face sliding down into his clothes.

"Time to kill the demon!" The man with the sword cried, sliding the sword out of his mother with a sickening noise and kicking her dead, lifeless body aside.

Naruto's mind shut down, unable to process all of this in his albeit intelligent but still 3-year-old mind. He did nothing, frozen in shock as they approached him and beat him, stabbing him and cutting his skin deeply.

They enjoyed his screams, dragging their weapons through his skin. Naruto curled up into a ball as they took to kicking him repeatedly. Suddenly they stopped, the pain dulled and faded away. He could feel someone, their sorrow, they were... sorry.

Naruto didn't understand, but he felt his bruised and beaten body supported by something soft, opening his eyes he found himself in a cocoon made of plants and vines. He watched with wide eyes as barbed vines broke out of the floor and walls, almost angrily the plants cut through his attackers and killed them, their screams only lasting for a few moments.

Naruto passed out after that, unable to process the death of his family, the death around him and the excruciating pain in his body.

End Flashback

Naruto shook his head, finishing the last bite of the bread. He had woken up after that in a cell, the man he came to know as Baki introduced himself. Naruto had been scared, and the plants had responded to his fear, his want to escape. The thick, thorny vines had tried to kill Baki, who had only barely got away, though he gained a thick cut across his chest.

After that the plants had attacked the cell wall, breaking it down rapidly and pulling him through. Naruto had run, run and run until he found a park, vanishing inside the shrubs he had hidden for days as he dealt with everything. He'd cried for days, the loneliness he'd felt that day had never gone away. All he could think about was his mother and father dying, but he hadn't been entirely alone. The plants had wrapped around him comfortingly, caring for him, warming him and providing shelter.

That had been 3ish years ago, and since then he'd learned to survive, get food and shelter for himself. There had been several assassination attempts from villagers and shinobi alike, but the plants had always dispatched them with ease. The Kazekage, leader of the village, had noticed him and ordered his men to stop attacking him, though it didn't really prevent the villagers.

Naruto sighed, hopping off the rocky ledge tens of feet from the ground. Free falling for several seconds he was caught by plants that extended from the dirt, creating a soft landing for the young white-haired boy. Naruto rubbed one vine affectionately, deeply glad for them and the protection they gave him.

'I wish one day I could understand my life, I don't feel like… I fit in here, I don't belong here.' Naruto thought as he walked once again through the darkened alleyways. Before long Naruto reached one of his favorite areas in the whole village, one of the few locations with actual plants. The Suna Greenhouse, the first time he'd come upon it he had immediately broken through the wall with the help of his plants and stayed inside for sometime before the Shinobi found him.

Naruto grimaced, they had not left him alone, continually trying to get him to leave. Several Shinobi had died in the attempt, they hadn't used Jutsu though, afraid to damage their precious plants.

Eventually, the Kazekage had come and allowed him to stay there when he wished as long as he didn't harm the plants. Naruto didn't trust the man, he was shifty, and Naruto didn't feel any warmth from him. Regardless he was going to take up the man's offer once again.

Naruto walked through the near-abandoned streets, the few villagers out this late gave him a wide berth, averting their eyes or glaring at him. It didn't matter to Naruto, no one liked him, and he knew that. For some reason, he didn't feel a need to get their approval.

Before long Naruto reached the wall of the greenhouse. Trying to communicate with his plants he succeeded in creating a couple of vines that lifted him over the barricade, softly depositing him on the soft, lush grass of the greenhouse.

Naruto quickly hurried to his favorite spot, the roots of a large tree. Curling in a small ball and attempting to wrap his decaying rags around him he started to go to sleep. A few moments later a wooden dome began to form around him before encasing him inside in safety from those that may want to do him harm.

A week later

Nighttime was once again upon the village, but it had only been a few hours since the sun fell. Naruto honestly preferred the night, it was cooler, and the sun beat mercilessly upon his unprotected skin.

The small boy rubbed one of his horns absentmindedly, it helped calm him down he'd found. Naruto was sitting on top of the dome-like part of a 3 story building, he believed it was a restaurant. Naruto stared up at the full moon in the sky, he could feel some sort of connection to it. It made him feel better when he saw the moon.

'Why am I so alone? Who are my real parents? Why did Kaa-san and Tou-san have to die?' Naruto had so many questions, and he felt it was a recurring theme. All questions and no answers in his life, it bothered him, but at the same time, he was patient. He knew the answers were coming somehow, one day something would reveal them to him. He didn't know how he knew, just did.

Naruto's pale eyes latched onto a family walking down the street below him, the mother holding her son and daughters hand as the father held their daughter's hand. They all looked so… happy. 'I want that happiness, where is my family?' Naruto sighed, 'Even though Kaa-san told me they found me in a desert, abandoned. Why do I feel like I can feel them?' More questions…

RRRAAWWWWW!

Naruto turned toward the roar and the explosion that preceded it, his eyes widened as he saw a massive sand creature, covered in blue markings. It's one tail flailing about wildly, crushing nearby buildings with ease.

The beast roared something out but Naruto couldn't understand it, he could hear the screams of nearby villagers and saw the shinobi leap across the rooftops toward the creature. Intrigued, Naruto began toward the beast, his progress much slower than the shinobi, as he had to wait for the plants to form pathways across the roofs.

As Naruto ran toward the creature of sand, he watched it create a giant wind sphere and fire it at several buildings, destroying them. As Naruto got closer, the beast suddenly turned to him and stared directly at him.

The beast's eyes were wide, and it began cackling madly, "You're finally here! YES YES YES!" The beast roared out, confusing Naruto and everyone nearby. The apparently crazy monster began to hop around in apparent joy, its tail flying around randomly. Naruto watched as its tail sent a building flying right at him, the ever protecting plants grew out quickly in mass from the street below and nearby buildings, latching on to the flying 2 story building. It took the thick vines several moments before completely stopping the building and dropping it to the ground.

Naruto narrowed his eyes at the beast, it had attacked him and while he didn't care that it was killing the villagers that attacked him. He didn't want it to destroy his greenhouse. Deciding to stop the beast he threw both hands toward the sand creature.

Said sand creatures eyes were wide as he saw that it upset the boy, it hadn't meant to throw a building at him. The next moment mass amounts of plants grew from between the buildings, tons of vines that moved through the air menacingly flew toward the sand creature.

"Ah, crap," Was all the beast got out before being covered in the plants, feeling his chakra draining he released his control over his host, shrinking rapidly and returning inside the young red-headed boy that was his host. Naruto watched the beast disappear and recalled his plants, transporting himself quickly to the large crater it had formed.

All the nearby shinobi had watched the entire ordeal, wondering what would happen when both the demons of the village met, when they had seen the Shiroi Oni (White Demon) arrive everyone had backed up quickly.

The Kazekage stood on a nearby roof, watching in extreme interest. He wouldn't stop the white-haired child if he were to kill his son. Something that he was already attempting to do, the pale-eyed boy would actually be doing him a favor. As such he ordered his men to stay back, knowing if he sent them in Naruto would most likely kill them anyway. 'To be honest, I'm not particularly interested in fighting the kid anyway, he doesn't kill anyone as long as no one bothers him and he is a valuable asset to my village.' The Kazekage mused, he hoped to someday control the child and make him a shinobi.

With Naruto, he had just reached the red-headed boy, who had black outlines around his eyes. Naruto tilted his head as he watched the boy wake up, his hair shifting and Naruto noticed the Kanji for Love on his forehead.

The red-headed boy apparently noticed him, his eyes open in shock. It surprised Naruto as sand rose around the boy menacingly before flying toward him. Naruto didn't move, and he wouldn't have been able to dodge fast enough either. Before the sand reached him a large tree branch that shot out of the ground swatted away it.

Naruto narrowed his eyes at the boy, realizing he was the same age as him. It annoyed Naruto that he had attacked him… 'But maybe he will be my friend, he's like me.' Naruto couldn't explain it, but he felt familiar with the child.

"What is your name?" Naruto asked, the plants receding as the sand did.

"G-Gaara… Why does mother want me to trust you? Who are you?" Gaara asked, shakily getting to his feet and looking back at the strange boy with horns.

Naruto's face showed his confusion, "Who is mother? And I am Naruto."

"Mother is inside my head, she protects me from the people who try… try to kill me." Gaara stated, color starting to come back into his face.

"Do you want to be friends? You are like me, I don't know how but you just are. I feel like I know you…" Naruto trailed off, staring into Gaara's eyes.

"F-friends?" Gaara asked in shock, the restless sand around him finally settling down.

"Yeah!" Naruto said brightly, walking toward Gaara. Scared of the boy he backed up, but what astonished him was how the sand didn't attack Naruto, it seemed to even move out of his way.

"Trust him Gaara, he will help you, he will be your friend. You don't have to be alone anymore." A voice reverberated in Gaara's head, 'Mother?'

Naruto reached out his hand, patiently standing in front of the red-headed boy. Gaara stared at him for a moment before shakily lifting his, and they shook hands.

"I don't know what being friends means, but I'm sure I can learn," Gaara stated as they both observed each other, a small smile on both their faces. Gaara could feel a connection to Naruto, he couldn't describe it, but he somehow knew he'd found someone who would be his friend, someone he could trust.

"I don't know either, I've never had one. But let's learn together Gaara." Naruto said with a growing smile.

Within Gaara's seal, the tanuki grinned, 'He's finally here! Am I the first one to find him? I'm awesome!' He laughed happily; finally, his Oji-san had arrived. 'I should stop torturing my host, I don't want to escape now.'

In the real world, Gaara and Naruto were walking together away from the crater, Gaara was leading Naruto to his house, and Naruto was saying that he didn't have to, that he was okay. Gaara was adamant though, insisting that Naruto should live with him, they had plenty of room after all. The massive tanuki smiled as he could feel Gaara's determination, he didn't want to lose his new friend.

"Gaara, I am sorry for how I have treated you. You can sleep now, I will not try to escape anymore." The sand creature knew he had really messed up with his host, and he hoped that he could rebuild it with the boy. Outside the seal, Gaara stopped in shock, staring off into space, which concerned Naruto.

"Gaara? Are you okay?" Naruto asked, standing a bit ahead of his new friend.

"Yeah… just that mother said I could sleep…" Gaara's voice conveyed his shock at that. Naruto raised an eyebrow, confused at his friend's statement.

"She doesn't let you sleep?" Naruto asked, visibly upset that his friend couldn't sleep.

"No… Mother has never let me sleep before, every time I do she tries to escape…" Gaara shook his head and began walking again. Naruto walking beside him as they continued toward Gaara's home.

"Doesn't sound like a very kind mother to me…" Naruto muttered, but Gaara heard him and nodded. Within Gaara's mindscape the tanuki cringed, he had a lot to rebuild with the boy… 'I'm sorry, I just wanted to escape, and Naruto's arrival made me realize that I shouldn't have tortured you, it wasn't your fault…'

"Hai," Gaara said, speeding up as they moved through the streets, there were only a few villagers visible, ones that were coming back to see what happened. Upon seeing both demons together, they turned tail and ran for their lives, scared out of their minds. One demon was more than enough to kill hundreds of people, both could probably level the village!

"Gaara, where do you live?" Naruto asked, wondering where they were going.

"The Kazekage Mansion…" Gaara replied, turning on the street, the next moment the mansion came into clear view. Naruto's jaw dropped open in shock.

"Wait, you're the son of the Kazekage?!" Gaara nodded, "I would not call him my father, he's tried to kill me multiple times…"

Naruto had no response, understanding his friend's emotions and the distinct lack of them. Keeping his peace, he followed his friend up to the front double door, "Are you sure me staying here is okay?"

"I will make it okay." Gaara's voice held a level of danger and Naruto was touched, glad that Gaara would be willing to stand up for him even though they'd just met. Naruto smiled as they walked inside, the massive doors closing behind them with a resounding clang.

4 months later

The Kazekage sat at his office desk, the room around him plain, containing only the bare essentials required to complete his job. He worked through the paperwork that directly needed him to read it, the council or secretaries handled a lot of the everyday paperwork.

He picked up one sheet from the council, it detailed their thoughts on his son, and the horned boy Gaara had become friends with. The Kazekage had been extremely surprised when Naruto became friends with his son, and it had changed many things in only a few days.

At first, he had been against Naruto living in his house, which had resulted in him having to dodge his sons sand as it leaped at him. Naruto had quickly intervened, resting his hand on Gaara's shoulder he calmed him down with ease, and Gaara retracted his attack.

He had watched in amazement as the white-haired horned boy calmed down his son from his rage, something no one had yet been able to do besides Yashamaru before he had ordered him to kill Gaara. Naruto was able to calm him down and was going to leave, something that Gaara was clearly very against.

He'd changed his mind at that moment, and in hindsight he was pleased he did, allowing Naruto to stay. Since then many things had changed in the last 4 months, Gaara was able to sleep for some reason, and his usual insanity was not present. While Naruto was a strange one, he found him to be very intelligent and observant. Though Naruto clearly didn't like him for his attacks on his son.

Temari and Kankuro, his two other children, had been deathly afraid of Naruto in the beginning, flat out avoiding him as much as possible. Temari had told him that she was scared of Naruto, but surprisingly Gaara had been the one to encourage them to get to know Naruto.

They were all slowly becoming friends, and he was glad that he now had a way to keep Naruto under his control. Naruto's incredible control over the plants reminded him of the First Hokage's Mokuton, but different, and he had a sneaking suspicion of why Naruto's eyes were pupil-less.

Shaking his head he turned his attention back to the sheet in his hand, the council had suggested that Naruto once he was old enough, be entered in the academy along with his children. It also expressed their confusion at what exactly Naruto was, but they had mostly agreed that it didn't really matter as long as they could harness Naruto's power for the village.

The sand village was after all one of the weakest of the great five.

With Naruto

Naruto sat cross-legged in the living room of his new home, in front of him was a wooden Go board. It was being supported on the side in front of him by plants, while on the other side where Gaara sat it was being propped by sand.

Naruto had come up with this game of sorts for them as it taught them both strategy and control of their abilities. They wouldn't actually touch the pieces on the board and would instead try to use their respective powers to move the pieces on a tiny area without breaking the board.

"Hmm, interesting move," Naruto commented in his usual calm near melodic voice, he manipulated a plant vine to wrap around a piece before moving it to retaliate to his friend's strategy. Naruto himself wasn't entirely sure why he'd come up with such a tedious way for them both to play. He felt this need to get stronger and train, that he was going to need power in the future. 'I can feel the answers coming, they are getting close.' Naruto thought.

On the nearby couch sat Gaara's two siblings, Temari was oblivious to the world, buried deep within the scroll on wind that she was reading. Kankuro, on the other hand, was watching them both with deep interest, mainly Naruto.

Kankuro had been extremely afraid of Naruto in the beginning, seeing that Naruto's powers were eerily similar to his younger brothers sand defense. But he had come to like Naruto, and they got along pretty well, Kankuro, being older had begun teaching both of them how to throw shuriken.

'I have to thank Naruto again for becoming friends with Gaara. Since he did, I have actually been able to have a relationship with my brother.' Kankuro thought, watching as the two boys concentrated on their board game.

Naruto looked very different from how he did when they first met him. He had moderately shaggy white hair, which was somewhat long. His bangs were short and hung to the left side of his face with a chin-length lock which hung from the right side of his face, and his two horns parted his hair somewhat. Naruto's pale eyes had creeped him out in the beginning, but he'd gotten over it, Naruto also had ashen skin which never tanned no matter how much sun he got. (He has the hairstyle of Hamura Ōtsutsuki and Toneri Ōtsutsuki combined but still the same facial structure as Naruto, minus whisker marks.)

Naruto's clothes had also changed from the rags that he had worn 4 months ago, Gaara had insisted that Naruto wear proper clothes. Naruto had nothing wrong with that, and both had gone shopping. Taking a good deal of money with them from the house the second day after Naruto came to the mansion. Kankuro and Temari had feared Naruto and Gaara back then and were just happy they were out of the house.

'I'm willing to bet they probably had to threaten someone to give them Naruto's new clothes' Kankuro mused, as people were still terrified of them, now calling them the Dēmonde~yuo (Demon Duo).

Naruto had chosen clothes that were similar to the garb worn in Suna, but with his own style, he had selected a white kimono, pale green sash, and black sandals. Kankuro honestly thought he looked pretty good in it.

"Ahh, I win again Gaara-nii-san," Naruto said, laughing at Gaara's annoyed expression, having lost yet another game to his friend/brother. Gaara and Naruto had decided to become brothers as they felt this unexplainable bond between each other.

"Want to go again?" Naruto asked, and before Gaara could answer Kankuro cut in. "You guys want to go out and eat? I'm hungry, what about you?" He asked.

"I'm fine with that, what about you Gaara?" Naruto stood up and stretched, the plants holding up the board sliding back into the ground.

"Let us go," Gaara replied in his usual straight to the point tone, lacking it's usually threatening undertone. Naruto had helped Gaara deal with the insanity that had been slowly consuming him, and being able to sleep probably helped too.

Kankuro nodded, and they left the room, leaving Temari engrossed in her scroll. They quickly left the large mansion, arriving on the street outside.

People spotted them and backed away, scared of the two demons with their brother. No one dared threaten them, the demons were perfectly capable of defending themselves and it was now illegal to bother either of them. The trio ignored the looks and made their way to one of the more popular restaurants in town.

"So Naruto, what are you planning to do later on in life? I know me and Gaara, as well as Temari, will be enrolling in the academy." Kankuro said, turning toward Naruto as they walked, Naruto's pale eyes turned to him, and Gaara was paying attention, wanting to know what his friend planned to do.

"When does the academy start?" Naruto questioned, "At 8 years old." Was Kankuro's reply.

"Most likely I will join you at the academy unless something changes…" Naruto trailed off, gaining a thoughtful look on his face.

"Naruto-nii-san, can you please explain why you seem to think something is coming? You keep referring to something." Gaara asked, his curiosity evident in his voice.

"I don't really understand it myself Gaara, I have this… feeling that the answers to my questions are coming. I don't know how else to explain it." Naruto replied.

"How is Shukaku today?" Naruto asked, looking toward Gaara.

"Sleeping again, it's almost all the lazy raccoon does." Gaara said and suddenly winced, "Okay he's awake…" Naruto grinned, "Yelling again?"

"Yeah…" Gaara replied, holding a hand to his head. Gaara's relationship to the tanuki within his head had improved dramatically, Shukaku had pulled him into his head a week after meeting Naruto and introduced himself, apologizing for trying to break out all the time and torturing him. Shukaku had explained that he wasn't his mother and had gone on to tell Gaara the true story of his mother and how she loved him. Gaara had gone into a rage, wanting to kill his father for lying to him and genuinely losing any sort of caring he had for his father.

Naruto had been the only thing that prevented him from attempting to kill his father, which he was grateful for, not wanting to lose himself to his emotions, as well as possibly dying. He wasn't strong enough to kill his own father after all. Shukaku had told Gaara his name and promised to take care of him, Gaara had surprised the Tanuki that day, asking if they could be friends. Gaara at the time still didn't fully understand the meaning of friends, but he wanted to be friends with the beast regardless.

'Do you have to yell all the time Shukaku?' Gaara complained, only causing the mischievous raccoon to grin and yell louder about absolutely nothing.

"Arg…" Gaara muttered, holding his head with both hands now in a way that was reminiscent of his insane rages. Naruto raised an eyebrow, "You know you can cut the connection to Shukaku right? He did say you could do that."

Gaara facepalmed before cutting the connection to his insane inner demon, "Thanks." Naruto nodded.

"Ahh, we are here," Kankuro said, and so they had, reaching the front doors of the restaurant they walked in and found a table. The villagers within saw them but kept quiet, letting them be. It was a couple of moments before a waiter came to their table and quietly laid out menus for them.

Naruto picked up his and browsed, ultimately settling on BBQ. Gaara got rice and Kankuro had some ramen. Giving their orders to the silent waiter, they waited patiently for their food to arrive.

"So Kankuro, how is training with puppets going?" Naruto asked, gaining Kankuro's attention. The young boy's expression became excited.

"Awesome! Puppets are so cool! Lady Chiyo is training me, and while I'm rather bad at some things. I think I'll become a great puppet master one day!" Kankuro replied ecstatically, Naruto smiled.

"You said you were learning to connect chakra to the puppets?" Naruto asked, a grin on his face. "Uhh, yeah?"

"Can you connect one to that lady's drink?" Kankuro smirked as he caught on to Naruto's plan.

"Oh yeah, easy."

"Do it."

A nearly invisible string shot out of Kankuro's finger and flew through the air until it latched onto the glass of the lady a couple of tables over. Kankuro waited until the lady went to grab her drink before moving it out of the way.

Naruto and Gaara to an extent burst out laughing while Kankuro fought to keep down his laughter at the ladies shocked expression. He needed to concentrate on keeping the connection to the glass. The lady went for her drink again, and he moved it just out of the way once more, her expression became angry, and she continued to grab for the glass.

By the time she realized it was Kankuro's doing Naruto and Gaara were laughing hard, Kankuro could see her rage at the prank in her face. It was amusing to see it quickly disappear as the woman realized just who was sitting at the table. Two of the Kazekage's children and the boy who had killed countless villagers is enough to stop anyone in their tracks.

Kankuro turned back to the table as the waiter arrived with their food and they dug in with gusto.

One week later

"Hey Naruto, here are the scrolls you asked for," Temari said, handing the horned boy a bag full of scrolls. "Thank you, Temari," Naruto replied, taking the bag from her and sitting down on the couch. Naruto had decided he needed to have at least a basic understanding of Chakra and Shinobi life before he enrolled in the academy, he had the free time, and this was a productive way to spend it.

Gaara sat in the middle of the living room mat a few feet off, sand swirling in a mesmerizing pattern around him. He had his hands held apart as he attempted to form his sand into different complex shapes as fast as possible, finding it immensely entertaining. At first, he created a sphere, then a square, triangle, kunai, shuriken, sword, book, bowl, knife, and then a spoon.

Temari smiled as she watched her sibling and his friend go about their activities, Gaara working hard to get a better understanding of his sand and Naruto reading intently.

"You two don't mind if I invite a friend over do you?" Naruto looked up from his scroll at Temari, seeing her unsure expression.

"I'm fine with it," Naruto replied before returning to the scroll. Gaara stared at her oddly for a moment before a small smile came to his face, "Sure, Temari-onee-san." He said, before returning to shaping his sand into a castle bit by bit.

Temari smiled at the irony, Gaara making a sand castle. He'd have never even thought of something like that 4 months ago. Nodding she made her exit, heading toward her friend's house to invite her over.

A couple of hours passed as Naruto continued to read his scrolls, Gaara eventually moved outside and practiced throwing shuriken at the targets in the backyard. Naruto was distracted from his reading by the sound of the front doors opening, laying down the scroll he stood and moved through the halls.

He was curious as to who Temari had brought into the mansion; usually, no one beside him and Gaara's siblings were in the estate. Yes, Gaara's father was here, but they rarely saw him.

Walking through the doorway into the entrance hall Naruto spotted Temari talking to her friend who looked somewhat scared, it was a girl around their age with dark brown hair, almost black. Her hair was shoulder length, and she had hazel eyes. She was wearing a kimono similar to Temari's. Upon seeing him, the girl froze and stared at him, taking in his strange features.

Naruto stood calmly, watching as Temari reassured the girl that he wasn't dangerous. Once she had calmed down, he spoke, "Hello, my name is Naruto, nice to meet you." He gave a small bow to the girl, "H-Hai, my name is Chinami Koki, n-nice to meet you." The girl replied, much calmer than she was before but still scared of the pale boy.

Naruto nodded before walking in his normal almost royal gait across the hall toward the kitchen and disappearing in the doorway.

"See, he's not that bad. Gaara is much better too." Temari said, her friend shakily nodded.

"He's much nicer than I thought he would be, Kaa-san said he was a demon who wanted to kill everyone." She replied, stronger now.

"Told ya, they are wrong. Naruto-san is just misunderstood, he only defended himself against people who attacked him for being different." Temari said, "Come on, let's go play!"

"Hai," With that they both rushed up the stairs to Temari's room.

With Naruto

"Oh hi Kankuro," Naruto said, seeing Kankuro eating some snacks at the kitchen table.

"Hi Naruto, just came back for some lunch since Lady Chiyo gave me a break," Kankuro replied, stuffing some more food in his mouth.

"You still going to wear that silly cat uniform?"

"It's not a cat uniform!"

"Uh huh," Naruto said, moving to the fridge and getting out some food to eat. Naruto sat down beside Kankuro and continued to tease the boy about his fashion choices for the rest of the time Kankuro was there.

After Kankuro left Naruto returned to his scrolls and continued reading, finding Gaara napping once again on the living room couch, the sand wrapped around him like a blanket. Naruto chuckled, Gaara loved sleeping like nothing else after not being able to sleep for so long.

In fact, Gaara was usually violent if woken up before he wanted to. When Temari had tried it once Gaara's sand had pushed her away, wanting to stay asleep longer. Naruto grinned as he remembered that day, they had an outing planned at the park, and it was time to go. Temari had asked for his help, and he'd slid a vine through the covers, slipping past Gaara's sand and tickling Gaara mercilessly until he woke up.

Naruto chuckled, leaning back on the couch he picked up where he left off in the scroll. 'Hmm, Chakra is created when two other forms of energy, known collectively as one's "stamina," are molded together…'

END CHAPTER

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