A/N: Yay..don't we all just love suspense stories? Sorry if this is not quite what it seems, but the title took me a long time to think of, and it is still not too good. Well, like I said before...ENJOY, to the best of your ability.

numberTHREE: A Penny For My Thoughts…

start

Nothing is left.

Gaara's pale colored eyes surveyed the area like a hawk's. He was on a higher plan, or a tree branch (upside down, mind you), and everything seemed different. The sceneries he had seen before were no longer there. What would've appeared to you as a bunch of trees and a small lake would've been black nothingness to him.

Nothing.

What was this feeling that he was experiencing? It was tearing him up from the inside. Just recently, he had left the Hidden Sand Village. Although, this time, instead of leaving with his siblings and with a reason, he was alone and with no purpose to serve.

There's something here, I just can't quite grasp it…

He felt sleepy, almost drowsy, and that never happens. Even if he did feel this certain tiredness that all others had felt, why? Gaara, at that moment, seemed to interrogate himself with countless questions, one after the other.

I'm missing something. But what?

It's not like he had lost Shukaku, he still had the desire to kill, but it was weakening inside him. Perhaps, it was finally accepting its role, it's finally learning the fact that it cannot get out from this weak form.

It can't be…

If, and only if, the demon inside him had left, had abandoned him, once and for all, he wouldn't be like this. He wouldn't be alone. He wouldn't be lost in this fucked up world.

A rustle of leaves announced the arrival of someone else. The figure was behind Gaara, but that didn't matter. He knew, even when alone like this, that he was still a formidable opponent.

"I assume you are Sabaku no Gaara…"

The unknown person behind him was obviously a man, and there was a certain tone of uncertainty in his voice. He was one of those people that you just did not trust, no matter what. But of course, that didn't matter, whether this man was the angel of heaven or the devil of hell, it didn't matter to Gaara. So, doing what he usually did, Gaara ignored him.

"I know you will probably not listen," The Man continued. "But I have some news from your village that you would probably be interested in..."

Only then did the cold-hearted demon child pay attention. Gaara could now see the basic appearance of the stranger. He was wearing a rather strange robe, with even weirder designs embedding the fabric. The being appeared old, he must've been at least 40. There was no sign of which village he was from, and no other signs of any identification whatsoever.

What could he say that was so important?

"I'm afraid..."

Gaara stared deeply into his eyes, searching for any sign of retaliation.

"Yasamaru has died."

WHAT?

The two stood there, next to the lake. And for what seemed like an eternity, no one spoke, not even one muscle had been moved. More questions had entered Gaara's mind. Questions along the lines of 'Who was this man?', 'Why does he know all this?', or 'How did this happen?' where just one of the few.

Finally, Gaara spoke.

"Who are you?" There was a complete tone of hatred, of suspicion, coating his voice. After all, this man had to be from the Sand Village, otherwise, how would he have known of this news?

"Who I am will not be a matter to you."

"Then why did you come here?" He was starting to get argumentative. "Why was the death of Yasamaru so important that you had to tell me?"

The other figure did not speak.

"TELL ME."

"You'll find out soon enough..."

And he disappeared into the air, leaving only Gaara in the icy cold darkness of the night...

end