"What the…" Naruto whispered. Sakura was on top of one of the bandits, or so he assumed by the look of his clothes. At first glance it looked like they were fighting. Now that he was loser he could see that she was trying to take off his clothes?! Even Shukaku was speechless. Naruto was at a loss as to what to do. Should he rescue Sakura, but it seemed like the bandit was the on unwilling.

'Desperate,' Shukaku whispered.

"Hush," he responded. Naruto got a sick feeling in his stomach. He knew the bandit was the bad guy but no one deserved that.

'Kami, are you thinking what I'm thinking?' Shukaku asked him.

"Yeah I think I am,"

'Okay then c'mon.'

"Wait what?"

'I was thinking about food….'

"Baka!"

He watches as Sakura was momentarily distracted. She looked around, but thankfully didn't look up.

"Do you love me?"

"Shukaku, baka, stop asking me that!"

Kakashi eventually found the bandit camp.

"Oi, he hasn't come back yet. Should we go look?"

"No, idiot's probably lost or something."

Kakashi jumped down from the tree he was perched on. In a matter of minutes they were all dead and there was no trace they'd ever been there to begin with. He sighed, sometimes even the copycat nin tired of all the killing. He shook his head to clear his thoughts and headed back in the direction he had come from.

What he stumbled upon was not what he had expected to see.

The rumble of thunder echoed from far away as did the brief flash of white from lightning. The brilliant white light flashed again closer and more intense. In its wake came the thunder and the realization that the bandit was gone.

"I knew it, you don't love me!"

"…"

"That's it, I'm going to my mother's!"

"Baka."

"Hey, are you okay?"

"I – I have kids. And a lovely wife to go home to!"

"If you have so much at stake, why would you become a bandit?"

The bandit sighed, "it's because I have so much at stake. Mess up one mission and they practically exile me."

Naruto said nothing. Just watched the man leave.

'You're being stupid. He probably just took advantage of you.'

He felt that gnawing anger again. Why did everyone betray him? Silently, he followed the bandit and eventually caught up to him. He trailed after him, waiting for a chance to prove himself right and show himself, when he caught the bandit in a lie.

What he saw shocked him and made him ashamed of himself. The bandit took off his mask, revealing blond hair much like his own. He ran toward someone that Naruto assumed was his wife. He picked her up and spun her around. He set her back down and cupped her face.

"Let's start over. I don't want us to have a life like this."

"What brought this on?" Naruto could just barely make out what she said.

"I…." He couldn't hear the rest, even with his superb hearing. He felt a sense of longing as he watched the man's children, two to be exact, race out and hug their father.

"Shukaku, Shukaku"

"…"

"I love you. Are you happy?"

"I love you too Kyuu-chan"

Naruto walked home, to Suna in the pouring rain.

"It's not home. It's not home."

'Yes it is. There's no place like home! There's no place like home!'

"That reminds me of something. "

'Nope nothing at all… heheh.'

He arrived at Suna just as the rain cleared. All he could think about was the feeling of Gaara's warm lips on his skin.

'Who you think you're kidding, he's the Earth and Heaven-'

"Shut. Up."

'Why is everyone so mean?'

"Why must you be such a nuisance?"

'Oh a big word Naruto, I'm impressed. It's part of the job.'

He walked past the Suna borders and went down the familiar path. He silently opened the front door, climbed up the steps and went into the bedroom. Without thinking about it he changed and slipped into bed, Gaara's bed.

'Kukuku'

"Whatever you just did, I don't want to know about it." Naruto mumbled before drifting off.

Things in between here have nothing to do with anything. You can skip 'em if you want.

I'm running on very little sleep. :D So sorry for the long wait. I know I keep playing around with the format and I'm sorry if it bothers anybody. I write these on paper, then on MS word, then I put them up. Don't know how other writers do it. If anyone's wondering, those little pieces of whatever they are, in between my chapter breaks, those have nothing to do with the plot. I just think they're cute. Feedback's always appreciated.

Okay, so here's something for y'all. Since my reviewer asked...

If its bold its either Shukaku or Kyuubi. Follow the story along and it should kind of be obvious which.

Italics is a special little voice in Narutos head. Sorry for spoiling the suprise! :P

Things in between here have nothing to do with anything. You can skip 'em if you want.

Thanks :)


R/R?