Listen listen, I’m going to tell you about the dream I just had involving these dorks Naruto and Gaara.
So I guess this takes place maybe just before shippuden starts, like a little after Naruto and Gaara fight and Gaara isn’t murderous anymore but still very awkward and conflicting about himself and people in general. Somehow the entirety of the ninja world is like at peace for the time being, so everybody decides to meet up at this gigantic prairie land looking area and have this big old festival. Like there’s vendors and little tents and games and everyone’s just chilling. We’re focused on Naruto and Gaara arriving at this location, not together, but they’re both coming from their own villages. They’re like on opposite ends of this riverside near the festival.
Naruto catches sight of Gaara first and grins instantly. He hasn’t seen him since their fight, but he already is ready to greet his former opponent like a brother. Gaara on the other hand, catches sight of Naruto and becomes uneasy. He hasn’t seen that boy since the time when he tried to murder him and his friends. Why would he want to be around a former monster like that? Instinctually, Gaara becomes insecure and recoils from Naruto’s view before walking any further in his direction, just on time to miss seeing an excitedly waving hand from Naruto. He still feels very uncomfortable being around people that once viewed him as the monster he was. He just doesn’t know how to be okay with people yet, somewhat of a social anxiety you could say. He especially feels vulnerable around Naruto.
Naruto upon seeing Gaara suddenly retreat from his sight frowns and his mood drops instantly. What the hell was that about? Why would he disappear like that after seeing me, doesn’t he recognize me?? Naruto is overcome with confusion, which quickly turns to frustration, and bitterly makes his way into the festival. He finds Kakashi (he sorta just comes out of nowhere) and Kakashi notices Naruto’s bad mood right away by the plain sight of his face and upset noises he keeps making. He finally asks Naruto what’s wrong, so Naruto starts angrily blurting to him about his weird encounter with Gaara. After a moment of contemplating and silence as Naruto looks like he’s about to burst into angry tears, Kakashi laughs. Naruto is shocked and upset. “What the hell are you laughing about?!”
“Well, it sounds like Gaara’s just nervous. He doesn’t hate you, Naruto. He just doesn’t know how to be around people after what he’s been through. He’s never had any real friends of his own, and he’s still very wary when it comes to trusting others. You can understand why. I think the reason why he’s so reluctant to run into you is because you’re the only person trying to reach out to him so directly, and he isn’t prepared for that. Considering what you both have in common, I’ll bet he’s wanted to befriend you the most, which is why his nerves are acting up now. He’s just being a bit shy about it.”
This little pep talk has Naruto in awe, and his mood is lifted once more, perhaps more than the first time. He has a stupid grin on his face and his cheeks are pink with happiness at the thought of Gaara really wanting to be friends, too. Kakashi tells him to calm down. “Now you can’t just go running after Gaara, that’s sure to scare him. You have to approach him gently, like a cat. Think of Gaara as that cat from your first mission. Hopefully you don’t get scratched.”
Meanwhile, Gaara is stooping around in some semi-secluded area, like some sort of alley (I don’t know why there’s an alley, there just is), and he’s being eaten away by whatever anxious thoughts he has, until someone pops out of nowhere to talk some sense into him. You guessed it, it’s Maito Gai (I don’t know, I don’t know). Much to Gaara’s surprise and mild uneasiness, Gai starts to ask him what seems to be troubling his head. Of course, Gaara doesn’t say much of anything, but somehow Gai already knows (actually, I bet he found out about their encounter through Kakashi, but Gai let’s Gaara think he’s some sort of special mind reader). He asks if it’s about Naruto, and Gaara nods, brow furrowed. Gai chuckles a bit to himself. “You know, that boy really wants to befriend you. We can’t even say ‘Suna’ without him asking a million questions about ya! ‘How’s Gaara doing, what has Gaara been up to, when are we gonna invite Gaara to the leaf village’ he’s nuts!”
Gaara just sits there with this wide-eyed expression at Gai, and finally speaks out.
Gai laughs at Gaara’s shy response “Really really.”(I’m sorry)
They both decide to seek out each other again, and after some searching they run into each other on opposite sides of a crowd. Kakashi and Gai are watching their encounter from a hidden point, like the concerned parents they’re are(actually more like Gai dragged Kakashi out to accompany his eavesdropping). They boys are far apart like before, but Gaara catches Naruto shouting his name over the crowd. Just as Gaara’s about to make his way towards him, he’s taken aback again, this time because Naruto’s is running straight towards him like he’s going to make a jump attack. Kakashi groans as Gai tries to fight back his laughter. Gaara wants to recoil again, but instead stands his ground and just faces Naruto head on, hands at his side, heartbeat picking up. All at once, Naruto runs into Gaara like a long lost lover and encloses him in a bear hug, a pretty tight one too, probably the first real hug Gaara’s ever received. He is shook.
Naruto starts giggling because he knows he scared Gaara but he also knows Gaara’s just shy to his feelings. He hugs tighter. “Hey, don’t think I’m not gonna be excited as hell to see you after all this time! So don’t even try avoiding me!” Gaara finally allows himself to smile back, his anxiety loosening a bit as he reciprocates Naruto’s hug in his own gentle way. After maybe a million questions, they head off here and there, Naruto leading the way mainly, throughout the festival. At one point, Naruto and Gaara are chilling together while taking turns doing transformation jutsus and laughing at each other like the true dorks that they are (by the way, their voices are the Japanese actors, and Gaara is actually laughing, not like that creepy giggle he does when he is about to kill someone, but like a real actual happy laugh and he sounds like an angel and I’m crying). Naruto turns himself into some ugly old lady. They both laugh. Gaara turns himself into a bird.
“Why is that funny?”
“… because I’m a bird.”
They both laugh.(what’s wrong with these kids)