Gaara finally lays eyes on the ocean before his death.
The young kazekage's dark-rimmed eyes gazed out across the ocean. Shining a deep gold in the early morning sun, it reminded him a little of the rolling sands of his home.
The boy felt a pang of nostalgia, but only for a moment- then it was gone, like all his other emotions.
"You're sure?" asked the yellow-haired shinobi at his side, and the kazekage gave the tiniest inclination of a smile.
"If I cannot do this," he responded, "then I have failed completely." the smile turned slightly more noticeable, and it gave his features an air of longing. "Perhaps," he added, "perhaps if I can do this, I will have accomplished... Something good." his eyes flickered down at the sand on which he was kneeling, and lingered there for a moment as he said "I would like to do something good for a change." but then his gaze drifted back to the ocean once more. He had never seen it before, nor would he again, and he felt it was an experience he should drink in every moment of.
Naruto nodded. His hand still rested on the hilt of the katana that was plunged into the sand next to him. As he tightened his grip on the sword and began to pull it from the sand, Gaara's defenses activated, but stopped short. The swirling sands paused around Uzumaki, as if unsure of what to do.
"Obey ME now..." Gaara hissed, veins in his forehead and temples pronounced as he struggled against the power of the demon within him. "Obey ME now. I am Kazekage. I am your vessel and your master. YOU obey ME. NOT the other way around." the sands settled and contented themselves with swirling in intricate circles around gaara's knees. Uzumaki Naruto pulled the blade from the sand. It was only him and Gaara now. No member of the sand village was there. Or any village, for that matter. Gaara had asked Naruto and Naruto alone to accompany him on this final venture.
Why? He asked himself, and he realized he truly did not know. For many reasons, really, he couldn't pick just one. Naruto had been the one to open his eyes, to make him realize3 he wanted to be more than a psychotic killer with a thirst for vengeance against any who had wronged him. He was also the only other person with a demon inside him that Gaara knew of. Besides allowing him to survive should Gaara fail to hold dominion over the Shukaku, it added a certain... elegance, perhaps, to the situation. Gaara had tried to follow Uzumaki's path. Tried to become a better person, to feel emotions besides hate, and anger and a thirst for vengeance. He had tried, tried so hard to find some small measure of peace in his tumultuous existence.
He had failed.
Temari was murdered by the shukaku three weeks ago. Taking her suggestion, Gaara had finally decided to sleep. He'd always been too afraid to sleep for more than a few minutes at a time, but she had given him a sisterly smile and a hand on his shoulder and said,
"I know my little brother. You're different now, gaara. You're not the Shukaku. You're Gaara of the Sand, Kazekage, and the demon doesn't control you any longer."
Gaara had awoken in the midst of tearing her throat out.
He suspected that the Shukaku had chosen her for her attempts to wipe it out of Gaara, and had decided to annihilate the threat. Two weeks later, Gaara had left the sand secretly, appointed one of the elders to rule as kazekage, and asked Uzumaki Naruto to help him die.
"I am... happy," Gaara said, staring out across the glimmering sea, "That it is you who does it. I think... You understand." he gave a small smile. It was the most emotion the yellow-haired ninja had ever seen Gaara emit. "I think perhaps it is good that I saw the ocean before I died."
Naruto said nothing. He wet the blade and drew it back, and although the sands became angrier and more violent, they did not attack.
"Do you see, Uzumaki?" Gaara asked tearfully. "Did you see me? I kept them back," he said. "I beat it. I did something good."
And Gaara of the Sand died with a smile on his face.
bit crappy... it's kinda choppy. my first fanfic, so reviews are all appreciated! ^_^