A/N: So...A disclaimer >< I don't own the lyrics used in this story. They all belong to the amazing people who wrote them!
Erm...Angst warning maybe? It's a little AU as well... And major MAJOR Ooc-ness. I'm not good with writing Gaara....Enjoy anyways!
-------------------Story Starts Here-----------
I don't know what made me pick up the headphones and listen to the eardrum-shattering music blasting through them, but I did. Contrary to popular belief, this music wasn't really my style. To be honest, I like the soft smooth sounds of Jazz. So, I'm not sure what I found so appealing about the heavy bass, and random screaming I heard coming from the oversized headphones. I knew that when I placed them over my ears, I would be itching to rip the vocal chords out of whoever's throat produced the atrocious melody.
But the moment I heard the chorus pass through my ears my mind quit imagining those bloody scenes
So what if you can see the darkest side of me
No one will ever change the animal I have becomeHelp me believe it's not the real meSomebody help me tame this animalThis animal, this animal.It felt as though someone were opening my chest, dipping a pen inside my heart and writing my feelings with their voice. I could feel my soul was tied in those lyrics and were being violated with every word. Within seconds I was hearing not only my mind screaming those words at me, but the voice inside the headphones.
The sand slipped from the gourd on my back and swirled around my ankles, whispering words of betrayal and blood-lust. I gripped the headphones in my hands, making the sound louder and much clearer. How dare someone reach into my mind like this and display my fears and doubts like an everyday advertisement?
I could feel the sand pawing at my knees, unsure who to protect me from or what direction the enemy was attacking from. As the music ended I realized that there were a few people staring at me. Focus, I told myself, remember where you are. I was standing in a music store, knuckles white on the headphones on my head and eyes locked on the blinking sign in front of me that said, "Animal I have Become, by Three Days Grace. Listen Again?" I willed the sand back into it's gourd.
Three Days Grace. I had heard the name before, but never bothered to investigate the popular band. Fingers shaking slightly I removed the headphones and turned away from the blinking screen. I told myself it would not be very healthy if I bought the CD, for if there were more songs like the one I just heard it would spell disaster.
It didn't help any.
With shaking fingers I picked up the newest album I could find and took it to the man at the check-out desk. He might as well have been wearing a "I really wish I wasn't here right now" button pinned to his chest. The man scanned the item, typed something into the computer and droned, "Your total is 14 dollars and 75 cents." I watched as he not-so-carefully put the CD in a bag and held it out to me before I even had the chance to grab my wallet. Taking the bag, I handed him 15 dollars, not noticing that he didn't even give me my change.
As soon as I returned home I pulled the CD from it's case and hunted for a CD player. I knew Temari would have one as I could always hear the soft, tinkling sounds of orchestra music playing from the floor under me. I opened her bedroom door without knocking, to find her on the floor bending over a large fan. She looked up with a look of annoyance, that quickly turned into surprise when she realized it was me barging into her room.
"Gaara? What are you-"
"I need your CD player. Now." I cut her off, already looking around her room for the object I desired. Temari nodded and moved to the bed-stand. She pulled the drawer open and dug through the contents. My impatience grew as I waited, a frown turning into a scowl on my face. Temari let out a happy exclamation as she pulled a small black square from the drawer.
"Here it is, Gaara! Do you know how to use it?" Temari grinned at me while saying this, even after I shot her a glare.
"I don't know when I'll return this." I said as a goodbye as I walked out of her bedroom. I hurried to my own room and moved to sit on the bed. I inserted the disk into the waiting player, and lay back against the pillows. The first song made me gasp.
If you want to get out aliveHold onto your life.If you want to get out aliveHold on to your life.How many times had I thought that before I killed someone? Back when I was crazy. Back when I didn't have any other reason to be alive other than to kill people. How many times did the small child inside me begged for the person to run away before my sand caught them? I could only close my eyes and remember that time. That time when the bigger, blood-thirsty part of my mind controlled everything I did and said. How I would enjoy the sound of someone screaming as my sand crushed their bodies and absorbed their blood for the sake of my 'mother'. How I could watch the life leave the person's eyes and smile at them.
How I can do that even now, now that I'm not crazy. Or am I?
Before I can finish processing that horrifying thought, the next song starts playing in my ears.
I hate everything about youWhy do I love you?You hate everything about meWhy do you love me?My mind had no issues finding a memory to fit this song. Uzumaki Naruto. When I first met the blond haired boy, I hated him. I hated everything I could see and hear about him. He was the vessel of a demon like myself. We had so many things in common, but we were so very different. I hated the way he smiled, the way he held himself. I hated that burning determination in his eyes whenever he was challenged. I hated his friends, his personality and every single cell in the boy's body.
But it didn't stop me from needing him. I hadn't realized it at the time, as I was lost in my own mind, but I needed the boy. It was Naruto who pushed open the curtains and showed me the light. He showed me that I had to prove that I deserved attention, that I had to make bonds with people and protect those who were precious to me.
Thought it was not as though he was always so willing. From the moment we met he hated me as well. I brought it on myself of course, trying to kill his friends. Naruto compared himself to me, and hated what he saw. But somewhere under that he felt what I did. Which led him to being so persistent to change me.
I smiled, thinking of the obnoxious blond. What was he doing now? Was he okay? My mind wandered away from the lyrics, and listened to the heavy beat. Why was it so comforting? I could feel my heart beating in time with the song as though it were really connected to the melody. When the song ended, my heart stuttered in my chest. I listened carefully to the next song, wary.
Pain without love
Pain, I can't get enoughPain, I like it roughCause I'd rather feel pain than nothing at allI winced away from the song. I, like most people, have never liked pain. It was the pain of betrayal that sent my mind over the edge when I was six. It was pain that made me kill everything with a heartbeat. I would rather feel nothing at all than feel pain.
I stopped there. Isn't that what drove me so deep into myself? I couldn't find any reason to be alive. I felt nothing. If I never felt anything, would I want to feel pain instead of nothing? Would I do anything to feel something again? My heart ached, but for the first time I felt happy about it. A smile touched my lips, curving them upwards. I could feel. That meant...That meant I was human.
Human. Is that was feeling really was? Human? I gasped, opening my eyes. If being human meant you had to be able to feel...Then maybe I really was human. I had felt loneliness, pain, sadness and anger. Hate had bound itself to my blood, but it was something. I shook my head, trying to figure out where my thoughts were taking me.
So what if you can see the darkest side of me?That's right. Many people had witnessed the demon I held inside me. They had witnessed the horrible things I had done to people. Uzumaki Naruto was one of those people. But...Even though he knew what I was, he struggled to bring me to the light. He became a close friend, someone I held close to my heart. So what if he had seen my demon? He was able to look past it...He was...
No one will ever change the animal I have becomeNo one would be able to change what I was. To the past, I would always be that demented child, that blood-thirsty demon. There was nothing I could do to change that. But I could change what the future saw of me. I could. I would.
Help me believe it's not the real me
Somebody help me tame this animalNaruto, Baki, Kankurou, and Temari's faces clouded my vision. Would they look past the demon I bore inside me? They, who I had hurt so much, would they be able to see what I wanted to be, and not what I once was? Kankurou, with his witty humour. Temari, with her quick temper. Naruto, with that contagious smile. They would never let me take a step back. Combined, the three would push me further, to that dream that once seemed so far away.
The CD ended. I continued to stare at the ceiling with the headphones covering my ears for some time. I felt as though I just relived part of my life in only an hour. An idle thought came to my mind. If someone had written these songs, did someone else feel as I did? Did they share the same doubts and fears as I? Was I not as alone as I thought myself to be?
I removed myself from the bed and searched for a paper and pen. After searching through the CD booklet I found an address. I would write whomever was at the adress.
To whomever wrote the songs,Thank you.Gaara
I held the finished copy up to my face to get a good look at it. I had spent some time scribbling out half made sentences before I decided on that little phrase. With a smile, I made a point to myself not to sign it as Sabaku no Gaara. I titled towards the window to get better light. It was then that I noticed how dark it was. Through my window I could see the sun rising. I had spent a very long time thinking, and writing the letter.
I set the letter down and walked to the window so I could view the rising sun. It looked fresh and new, bravely heading into the sky like it always did. A smile touched my face. I wanted to be like the sun. I wanted to rise as something new.
I no longer wanted to be Sabaku no Gaara. I wanted to be known just as Gaara. That was who I pictured myself to be. I knew it would take time for others to see the me I saw but I wouldn't stop working at it until they did. I still had my doubts and fears, the songs hadn't cleared me of everything, but they had cleared my mind.
I don't know what made me pick up the headphones and listen to the eardrum-shattering music blasting through them, but I did.
And I was happy that I had done it.