Sakura examines Sasuke and concludes that he has lost control of himself again, just as he did during the Chuunin Exam. Naruto can’t find out who is in front of them, and after Pakkun explains to him that he is facing a disguised Gaara, he remembers him telling him that the Sand Spirit is imprisoned in him. Naruto shouts to his comrades to flee exactly at the moment when Gaara rushes at Sasuke to kill him. Sakura doesn’t hesitate to stand up to Sasuke, but Gaara pushes her away and pushes her against a tree trunk. However, her determination to protect her comrade makes Gaara remember her childhood. This pause is used by Naruto to move Sasuke farther away.
Gaara recalls his past. The children are playing ball somewhere in the Village of Hidden Sand, and little Gaara sits alone nearby. By chance the ball ends up on the edge of a hill, and none of the children are able to reach it. Gaara shows initiative and lowers the ball for them, but the children scatter when they see the boy. Gaara doesn’t want to be alone and his fear makes the sand move, catching the fleeing children. Fear of being alone is replaced by anger that everyone is shunning him. Because of this, obeying jinchuurika’s emotions, the sand squeezes the trapped children harder. When the sand should have dealt a fatal blow, his uncle Yashamaru intervenes. Later, trying to understand the others’ feelings, Gaara tries to hurt himself, but the sand prevents him from doing so. He asks his uncle what pain is.