Shinobis or Babysitters?
Kankurou and Temari sat at the sofa in their living room in Konoha. They had been in the same exact position for exactly five hours (Kankurou kept an annoying track of the time, due to annoyance), waiting for Gaara. While their younger brother was not usually a family sort of guy, he usually at least had the sense not to go out at night. Ever since the attack on Konoha during the Chuunin exam, the Leafs had begun to give the Sand suspicious looks whenever they walked by, as if they expecting them to attack at any moment; if Gaara was caught alone at night, it could be trouble for them. The village would say Gaara was going to assassinate someone, and have them thrown out.
Suddenly, the door behind them slid open, and, as one person, the two of them turned.
"Gaara!" Kankurou shouted, jumping up. "Do you know what time it is?!"
"Time for you to shut up," the younger red haired boy muttered, crossing the room to his bedroom and opening the door.
"Gaara, we were worried about you," Temari said smoothly. Ticking Gaara off and never was a pleasant experience for her. "Where were you?"
Gaara turned to look at her. "Not here," he said shortly, making to close the door, but Kankurou stopped him with his foot.
"Gaara, you can't just walk away from us!" the puppeteer snapped, forcing the door open.
"Yes, I can," Gaara said in a monotone, using the Sand to push his brother out of the way, and closed the door.
Kankurou stood up from where the Sand had pushed him down and glared at the door. "You are so immature!" he shouted at the wood. "Sometimes I think you were less of a handful when you were a kid! At least then, you'd be worth having around, and not threaten us when we make you mad!"
Temari gasped. "Kankurou! You went too far!"
"I don't care!" the older ninja shouted. "He doesn't even care that we're worried about him! I thought that loud kid had put some sense in him, but apparently not! Why did we have to get stuck with him on our team, anyway?! He's a team by himself, with that Shukaku, and that voice he calls his mother!"
"Kankurou! What if he hears you?" Temari glanced at the door.
"Let him!" Kankurou shouted. "He must know by now no one likes him!" Kankurou turned on the poor piece of wood that was Gaara's door and pounded on it. "You hear that, squirt?! No one likes you! You don't have any friends! And you know why?! Because you're a selfish jerk!"
"Kankurou!" Temari shouted, hitting him upside the head with her fan.
"He doesn't care," Kankurou said coldly, recovering from his five-second coma, which was due to direct damage to what was left of his brain cells.
"You don't know that!"
"Believe me, if he did he'd be out here by now, and both of us would be dead."
But Kankurou was wrong. Behind the door stood a small, red haired boy, listening to every word, the familiar pain in his chest, the feeling his brother had described to him in detail: no one loved him.
Tsunade smiled slightly, looking down into her orb at the small, dejected red haired boy. She couldn't relate to him, but she had a wave of pity for him, even if he was from the Sand. Passing her hand over it again, she glared at the black-clad puppeteer. The jerk!
"So ... you want your brother to go back to being a kid?" she said quietly. "We'll see how much you appreciate him after this."
The next morning, Temari got up before Kankurou and scratched at Gaara's door. She had a feeling if she didn't apologize for Kankurou, she would be short one brother very shortly.
"Gaara?" she called softly. "Are you in there?" She knew it would be stupid to ask if he was awake.
For a moment, she didn't hear anything. She wondered if he had left again. Then, she heard a soft cry, though very faint, coming come the room. Was Gaara crying? She opened the door and looked around. Perhaps she's imagined it, and he'd already gone out. The room looked empty. She looked down at Gaara's bed. She smirked. Gaara had left his clothes in a heap there, as usual, when he changed that morning. She crossed the room to the heap and started picking up a few articles of clothing. As the clothes were slowly cleared away, she saw what had made the crying noise. And it hadn't been imagined.
Kankurou sat up in bed. "I'll have the teriyaki chicken... Temari..." he said, still half asleep.
"KANKUROU!" Temari screamed, running into his room.
"Eh...?" He looked over at her, straightening his pig-eared hood.
"Look!" she snapped, thrusting something in his arms.
Kankurou looked down at the thing in his arms. "Eh?!"
The "thing" in his arms was a small, red haired baby who starred up at him with bright blue-green eyes. He had a feeling the baby was naked, since Temari seemed to have hurried wrapped it up in what looked like Gaara's sash.
"Temari, you had a baby?!" he cried.
"No!" she shouted. "That's GAARA!"
"EH?!" Kankurou starred down at the baby, who laughed and pulled at his hood. "That's impossible!"
"It would be, if YOU hadn't told him he was so immature!"
"So, it's MY fault?!"
"What do you want me to do?! It's not my fault!"
"Well, some clothes would be good."
"He's covered, Temari, we don't—"
"No! Clothes for YOU!" Temari shouted, running out of the room.
"Huh?" Kankurou looked down. His face turned beet-red. He was wearing nothing but his boxers, and he'd kicked off his covers sometime during the night. "WELL, YOU COULD'VE SAID SOMETHING!"Kankurou wandered the streets of Konoha, looking very much harassed. Strapped to his back by Gaara's sash was baby Gaara, who, when the idea came upon him, liked to pull on Kankurou's hood, or drool on his neck. People tended to stare at him as he wandered around. Temari had kicked him out of the house, telling him not to come back until he had baby clothes for Gaara, "preferably in black or green." Kankurou groaned. How was he going to find a shop that sold baby clothes? He'd never even held a baby, let alone shopped for one!
"Eh..." Kankurou groaned loudly. As if he didn't have enough problems. He turned around. "That's not my name, fool."
Naruto laughed. "Where'd you get the baby?"
Kankurou preferred not to answer that; as if they'd believe him.
"OH! HE'S SO CUTE!" Sakura, who'd been standing behind Naruto, cried, making a rush at Kankurou, or rather, for Gaara.
"Eh?" Kankurou turned around. "NO TOUCHIE!" he shouted, whirling around so she couldn't get to the baby. The last thing he needed was to have the village ninjas come down on him for his baby brother murdering someone. "That's Gaara!"
"GAARA?!" Naruto shouted, falling over.
"Yes, Gaara," Kankurou muttered, walking away. "Now, excuse me while I go find clothes for him."
"Um ... you're not going to find baby clothes on the restaurant street," Sakura called after him, slightly put out that she couldn't hold the baby.
"Eh?" Kankurou looked around. True enough, he was surrounded by places at which to eat. "Then where's the baby clothes?!" he shouted, looking around, thoroughly bewildered.
Sakura and Naruto looked at each other and nodded. Together, they each grabbed one of Kankurou's arms and dragged him away, Sasuke following at a drastically slower pace.
"Hey! Where're we going?!" Kankurou shouted, kicking his feet angrily in an attempt to break free.
"We're going to get you some clothes for Gaara!" Naruto said cheerfully.
"What—I don't need some kids' help!" Kankurou shouted.
"Sure, you don't," Sakura said, grinning.
The two younger ninjas dragged Kankurou (with Gaara laughing excitedly) down the street, making a right down an alley. There, they entered a new street.
Kankurou stopped shouting for a moment to look around. He felt Gaara push his hood out of the way so he could see, too. The two brother's mouths dropped open.
Gaara said something in a very astounded baby language.
"Got that right," Kankurou said softly.
The entire street was colored pink, blue and yellow. The shops consisted of toyshops, furniture shops, clothes shops—and all of them for babies. In one of the stores, they saw a swing, which could be hung from the ceiling and pushed "to give your baby fun for hours!" (Kankurou made a mental note he wanted that for himself) In another, they saw a white crib (He didn't see why they would need one of those; it's not like Gaara actually slept). In another, they saw a window full of stuffed toys. Gaara made an excited noise and pointed at that window.
"No toys, we're here for clothes," Kankurou muttered, going over to a window filled with baby clothes.
Gaara screamed and yanked on Kankurou's hair beneath his hood, pointing desperately at the window.
"ACK! Alright, alright, we'll get you a toy!" Kankurou muttered to himself, crossing the street to the toyshop.
Sakura and Naruto followed, looking around. "Come on, Sasuke-kun!" Sakura called after the other boy, who stood at the other end of the street.
"These stores suck out your souls."
"Oh, come on, Sasuke, that's stupid!" Naruto laughed.
"I'll be elsewhere, doing something that might actually prove valuable," Sasuke called, walking out of sight towards the street they'd just been in.
Sakura sighed, slightly disappointed, and followed Naruto and Kankurou into the toy- shop.
Gaara made another excited noise and pointed at a stuffed teddy bear. "But you already had one of th—OK, OK!" Kankurou pried Gaara's gums off his hood. "We'll get the bear!"
To Gaara's excited squawks, they purchased the bear, and, the baby now satisfied, they crossed the street to the clothes shop. Kankurou looked around at the aisles of clothes. Picking up a shirt, he starred at it, while Gaara snuggled the bear on his back. "It's so small!" he said, grinning and the shirt slightly.
"Can I help you?"
Kankurou yelped and whirled around. An old, withered lady stood behind the counter, smiling at him. "Er ... I need clothes for him," he muttered, jutting his thumb at Gaara, who instantly grabbed his finger and stuck it in his mouth.
"It's his brother!" Naruto said, grinning.
"I see. Do you know his sizes?" The lady smiled.
"Er ... No." How was he supposed to know that?
"I see. Perhaps we should measure him," the lady said, reaching under the counter and taking out a tape measurer.
Kankurou eyeballed her as she came out from the counter and held out her hands for Gaara. "Um, No, I think I'll just hold onto him, shall I?" Kankurou backed away.
"I can't measure him if you don't give him to me," the lady said, smiling.
Before Kankurou could protest further, Naruto pulled Gaara off his back and handed him to the lady. "It's not that big of a deal, Pig-Ears," Naruto said, grinning.
Gaara looked around at the change in atmosphere. He looked up at the lady, still clutching his bear, then over at Kankurou. The three ninjas saw him take a deep breath, then drop his bear and reach for his brother, squawking angrily. The lady simply smiled and whipped out her measuring tape. "Just a minute, now. Such healthy lungs!"
After she finished measuring Gaara, she gave him back to Kankurou, who bent down to pick up the bear. Both brothers glared at the demon disguised in the garb of a saleslady as she disappeared within the several aisles of clothing and came back out with several outfits.
"We want green and black," Kankurou said scornfully. She'd brought colors of blue, which hadn't been on the list of Temari's chosen colors, and Kankurou was set on proving he was just as good at taking care of a baby, as she seemed to think she was.
"Green and black?" Sakura asked.
"That's what Temari said." Kankurou looked around at the nearby stacks of clothes. "Hey." He picked up an outfit and examined it. "I like this!"
Naruto looked over his shoulder. It was a pair of black tiny overalls and a dark green T-shirt. The bib of the overalls had a sewn-on picture of what looked like a chibi form of the Shukaku. "Ha ha, that looks like the—"
"I have your things," the lady said, coming back with an armful of black and green.
Without bothering to see how Gaara looked in the new outfits, Kankurou purchased them and left the store.
"You need diapers, too," Sakura said, pointed at another store. At Kankurou's harassed look, she said quickly, "Or, I'll get those. And some food, too."
Kankurou nodded slightly and went back into the toyshop. Naruto looked around with bright eyes and at once, ran to the other side of the store. Kankurou looked at Gaara, who looked back at him with large, emotionless eyes. "Wait..." he called weakly after Naruto.
Gaara squawked and pointed at a large pile of toys. Kankurou put him down and looked around. He grinned when he found a Cabbage Patch Girl, and picked it up. Looking around to make sure the salesperson wasn't anywhere near him, he attached a chakra string to the doll's stomach and lifted it up in the air.
"Hey, Gaara, look."
Gaara looked up and burst into laughter. He held up his bear, and made a loud noise. Kankurou grinned, and, within five minutes, had about a hundred toys lifted in the air, like a cloud of flying polyester. Suddenly, a salesperson appeared and shouted, "I hope you're willing to pay for those!"
Kankurou yelped and dropped the toys. "Um, yeah, these're mine," he said quietly, giving her some cash.
"TEMARI! OPEN THE DOOR!"
Temari sat up from where she was lounging on the sofa, sipping a fruit drink. "Kankurou?"
"OPEN IT!" he shouted from the hallway.
"Open it yourself," she said lazily, lying down again.
"TEMARI, IF YOU VALUE ME AT ALL AS YOUR BROTHER, OPEN THE STINKIN' DOOR! And you better open the door, or I'm gonna know something's up!"
"Ok, ok," she snapped, getting up and opening the door. "ACK!"
A large quantity of shopping bags fell on her. "Uh...Thanks," Kankurou said, still bending over with the weight of the shopping bags he was still holding.
"DID YOU BUY THE WHOLE STORE?!" she shrieked, jumping up.
"Well ... lets just say those sales people can be very convincing," he muttered, dropping the rest of the bags on the sofa.
"Where's Gaara?" Temari asked, looking around in the bags. "I said get CLOTHES, not toys ... WHY DID YOU GET A SWING?"
"Well ... it looked fun," he said weakly, picking up Gaara, who had somehow found his way into one of the bags and was clinging to his teddy bear koala- style.
"Aw, doesn't he look adorable in his overalls?" Temari cooed, reaching for Gaara, who Kankurou had dressed in the overalls and shirt he'd found.
Gaara squawked and clung to Kankurou's arm, glaring at Temari.
Temari glared at Kankurou. "Why ... is he clinging ... to you?" she said slowly in a cold, deadly voice.
"Er ... you know how it is with brothers," Kankurou said, waving his hands in front of his face. Gaara shrieked (he was still on Kankurou's arm), and Kankurou picked him up, but he kept screaming.
"What'd you do?" Temari shouted.
"Me?! I didn't do anything!" Kankurou shouted back.
"Well, do something!" Temari covered her ears.
"Ugh ... "Kankurou strapped the screaming Gaara on his back again and picked up the phone book. "Haruno ... Haruno..." He ran his finger down the page. "Haruno!" he picked up the phone and dialed Sakura's number.
"How do you know her name?" Temari asked, frowning.
"I actually looked at the screen during the preliminary rounds," he said, waiting for Sakura to pick up the phone.
"Hello? Haruno residence."
"Sakura?" Kankurou said, rather too loudly.
"No, I'm sorry, this is Sakura's mother."
"Well, can you get her?"
Kankurou sighed. "It's official. I hate grown-ups, too."
"Sakura?!" he shouted again (at that moment, Gaara had let out a wail and reached around Kankurou's head, pulling on his cheeks).
"Sakura, he won't stop screaming!" he shouted, pushing Gaara's hands away.
"So, change him."
"Sakura, I can't change him!"
"Sure you can. I bought you diapers, didn't I?"
"Oh, yeah," Kankurou said, as if he knew what she meant.
"OK, well, bye," she said, and hung up.
"No—wait—SAKURA, I HATE YOU!" he shouted at the dial tone, and slammed the phone down. "She said to change him,' he said to Temari, unstraping Gaara from his back and holding him out to her.
"Well, don't look at me!" she shouted, backing away. "I'm a girl! I'm not allowed to see that!"
"He's, like, one year old! It doesn't matter! You're the girl; you do the maternal stuff!" he shouted back.
"Ugh ... fine," she muttered, taking Gaara and fishing out the diapers.
Kankurou sat down and started playing with the Cabbage Patch doll he'd bought, lifting it up in the air with his chakra strings. He glanced over at Temari, who was currently trying to put Gaara's diaper on his stomach. "There's a picture on the wrapper; I think that's how it's suppose to be," he said, by way of helping.
"Shut up!" she snapped. After several tries, she finally got the diaper on, but Gaara didn't stop screaming.
"Hey, hey, hey!" Kankurou butted Temari out of the way, several toys now suspended in mid-air. "Look, Gaara! Look, you like this!"
Gaara stopped, looking at the toys. He laughed and reached for them, making a gurgling noise.
Temari glared at Kankurou. "I hate you so much."
One hour later, Kankurou was tossed on the sofa, one leg over the back, Temari sprawled out on the floor, half-asleep, both of them thoroughly exhausted. Gaara was very quiet; he was suspended in midair by Kankurou's chakra strings, and every once and a while, when Kankurou had built up enough energy, he was rocked back and forth, and enjoying it immensely.
"You know what sucks?" Temari groaned, rolling over.
"Don't use that word," Kankurou mumbled, remembered Gaara sucking on his hood. "It's just too painful."
"Yesterday, he liked me more then you," Temari continued. "And now, he doesn't want any of me, and won't let anyone but you hold him."
"He doesn't like you more then me!" Kankurou said in a weak protest.
"Do you see me saying he doesn't have any friends?" Temari asked, propping herself up on her elbow.
"It's true, he doesn't!"
"Yeah, but he doesn't need his brother to say that! We're his family, we're supposed to love him!"
"Temari. The guy's a murdering fiend!"
"Shush! Don't provoke any later-life behavior in him! You might make him ambitious! If we're lucky, maybe we can raise him to be nice!"
"Yeah, right. You try being possessed but nice at the same time."
"Yeah, I know, it's hard for him, but you could be a little supportive!"
"Temari." Kankurou rolled over and starred at her. "If you say one more thing that would make someone who doesn't know about this think we had a kid together, I swear I'll hang you upside down in front of that Chuunin you like so much."
"Shikamaru and I are friends," Temari said coldly, but she blushed slightly.
"How're we going to sleep?"Due to the fact that Temari was convinced Kankurou's wish for Gaara to turn into a baby again was the cause of their problems, she went to bed around three am, after giving Kankurou a sweet promise that if he fell asleep, she would kill him. Kankurou sighed, looking down at Gaara, who sat upright on his brother's stomach, starring at him. Kankurou sighed and reached over to the pile of baby clothes he was folding while lying on his back between a pile of shopping bags full of clothes waiting to be folded and a smaller pile of clothes neatly folded. He grinned slightly, picked up a tiny little undershirt with a snap-up bottom, like the kinds kids wear under their clothes when they're little. Kankurou grinned, stretching it out slightly.
"You know," he said thoughtfully to Gaara, "I don't think anything that could once fit into something this small could be scary." He folded it, set it on the pile, and ruffled Gaara's messy red hair. "You're alright, kid."
Tsunade smiled at the orb, which showed the two brothers, Kankurou now making Gaara's hands play Patty-cake, both of them laughing. "You finally see the friend you could have," she said quietly. "Good job, Kankurou. You've done well."
The small pig beneath her chair snorted loudly, as if to scold her.
"Oh, alright, I'll stop the drama!" Tsunade snapped. "Gaara will change back to his regular size tomorrow!"
Kankurou groaned slightly, squinting out the window. Was it morning already? How was that possibly possible? It's just been two o-clock a second ago. He gasped.
"I FELL ASLEEP!" he shouted, sitting bolt upright on the floor. "TEMARI'S GOING TO KILL ME!"
"Why do you have to be this loud all the time? You're worse then Naruto."
"Eh?" Kankurou turned around.
Gaara stood with his back against the wall, his arms crossed, looking at Kankurou. But it wasn't baby Gaara; it was the regular, twelve-year-old Gaara. Kankurou's jaw dropped.
"HOW DID YOU DO THAT?!"
"I don't know," Gaara said coldly.
"Where's Temari?" Kankurou asked, noticing her bedroom door was open and she wasn't in there.
"Returning all that stuff you bought yesterday."
"Even the toys?!"
Kankurou felt a rising wave of rage creep over him. "CURSE YOU, O DAUGHTER OF THE NETHER WORLD!" he shouted at the ceiling.
Something soft hit him in the face, causing him to shut up. He looked down. In his lap was the Cabbage Patch doll he'd been playing with. "How'd you save this?" he asked, picking it up. He'd never been able to save so much as an article of clothing from Temari when she wanted to do laundry.
"I hid it in my gourd," Gaara said, looking almost pleased with himself.
"I can see," Kankurou said, shaking the doll and watching the sand fly.
"Thanks," Gaara said shortly, opening the door and heading out. "You're a good babysitter."
Kankurou started to apologize for what he had said the other night, but stopped. Secured with the red sash around Gaara's gourd was a small teddy bear, which started back at him with sewn-on eyes. He grinned.
Gaara really wasn't so bad.
Hey guys this is my first fic I've posted ...and just so's you know I don't hate Kankurou, He's just easy to put in comical situations. please Read and Review