Just a Piercing

By: firefly

Note: Yay! Back with another sand sib fic! You know, I always notice these weird little things. Like, I got the idea for Obscured Apathy by wondering who cut Gaara's hair, and I had the idea for this fic after noticing Gaara has THREE badass piercings in one ear in the manga, which…tend to disappear and reappear spontaneously. I guess Kishimoto was drunk or something when he drew those in…but that got me thinking, how can Gaara get his ear pierced? Isn't that, technically, an injury? So I came up with this. Hope you enjoy it! By the way, I don't own Naruto.

Oh yeah, a huge THANK YOU to my wonderful staff who are a part of my C2 community, Sand Sib Symposium. I love you all. Keep up the good work!

(This story takes place before the Chunnin exams.)

Just a Piercing

Shukaku was a reasonable demon.

Life tended to get boring when you were sealed inside the most silent, boring, and stubborn host of all time, so it never came as a surprise when Shukaku came up with a few demands. After all, who was the one supplying the sand to save Gaara's miserable little tush every time an assassination was attempted?

Who was the one who carved out that stylin' forehead tattoo that distinguished his host from everyone else?

Who was the one who made those morbidly attractive black rings around his eyes?

And who was the one with the most enigmatic and charming personality?

Shukaku, naturally. Kyuubi was totally over-rated, and an aggressive, personality-lacking bastard. That Naruto kid had a crap demon compared to Shukaku, at least in Shukaku's view. Totally no style and totally nothing to distinguish him from the rest.

But anyway, as I was saying before, Shukaku was a demon with few demands, and a reasonable demon at that.

The 'love' tattoo was sick, but Shukaku wanted a little more edge; a little more panache…and this brings us to his one request.

Shukaku wanted a piercing.

"No," Gaara said blandly, as he worked on one of his enormous jigsaw puzzles. "I refuse."

Why why why? I want one BADLY! Don't be mean…

Gaara proceeded to ignore the pleading and annoying voice inside his head. He had become quite good at it, having had to share his body with it for twelve years.

I share this body with you, and show my gratitude by giving you unimaginable powers and protection. Why are you being an asshole?

Silence was Gaara's response, and he continued to fit little pieces of the puzzle together, ignoring his demon's voice.

Do I ever ask you for anything?

"No," Gaara said tonelessly, connecting two rows of the puzzle together. "You often attempt to possess my mind and kill everything in sight…without permission."

Yeah, well, can you blame me? You're the most boring prick I've ever had the misfortune to possess.

"You try to eat my personality if I sleep," Gaara countered in his unemotional way, staring at his puzzle.

…that's beside the point. I want the piercing. NOW.

Gaara found the opening he was looking for and added in another piece to the puzzle.

Did you not hear me, you disturbed little imp?

The clock's hands ticked on, and Gaara continued to pretend there was no nagging voice in his head, and Shukaku was beginning to grow frustrated.

I'll possess you right now…I'll kill your family…

One of Gaara's legs swung absentmindedly under his desk as he scoured the puzzle for more openings.

You're starting to leave me no choice…don't make me do that

Gaara's leg abruptly stopped swinging, and his body totally froze. A bead of sweat trailed down his temple, his pounding heartbeat resounding deafeningly in his ears as he struggled to find his voice.

Don't make me do it…Shukaku said in a sing-song voice, delighted that he had finally gotten a response.

"No," Gaara said hoarsely. "I'm not going to listen to you."

You sure about that? Fine, have it your way…

Gaara's eyes widened in absolute horror.

Shukaku started singing. Horribly and off-key.

99 bottles of sake on the wall, 99 bottles of sake! Take one down, pass it around, 98 bottles of sake on the wall!

Gaara clenched his fists and grit his teeth, bowing his head as he put his arms over his head, attempting futilely to block out the screeching voice that reverberated in his head. But Shukaku knew he had struck a nerve, and unless his host had become masochistic and wanted to feel the agony, Shukaku knew he was in luck.

But, Gaara could be a stubborn person, so Shukaku began to sing louder, dancing around in his head.

45 minutes later…

…1 bottle of sake! Take one down; pass it around, 0 bottles of sake on the wall!

Gaara almost fainted with relief when the song ended, and Shukaku's voice faded into silence. Sweating and trembling horribly, Gaara slowly got up from his desk and only took two steps forward when Shukaku started it up again.

Whether you're a brother or whether you're a mother…

Gaara's mouth went dry, and he slapped his hands over his ears again, eyes widening in shock. "Please…don't…"

Feel the city breakin' and everybody shakin'…

He fell to his knees, whimpering. "No…"

Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin' alive! Stayin alive! Ah, ha, ha, ha, STAYIN AALLLIIIIIIIIIVVEEEE!

Temari and Kankuro both woke with a start when a blood-curdling scream tore through the house, emanating from Gaara's room. A door slammed open and loud footsteps were heard crossing the hallway.

Gaara threw the door to Temari's room open, scaring the hell out of his sister when he strode over to her bedside, breathing hard and looking like he was on the verge of going off the deep end.

"What's wrong, Gaara?" Temari squeaked in terror, freaked out by the combined look of rage and terror on his face.

"Won't…stop…" Gaara gasped in a hoarse voice. "He won't…stop…!"

Kankuro poked his head uncertainly into Temari's room, looking fearful. "W-what's going on?" he asked hesitantly.

Gaara whipped around, and Kankuro literally fell back on his ass from the force of Gaara's scream.

"HE WON'T STOP SINGING!" Gaara screamed at him, before turning back to Temari, fists trembling by his sides.

"Make him stop, or I'll kill you," Gaara gasped out again, grabbing a fistful of his hair, looking totally out of it. "I'll kill you both."

"W-What do I do?" Temari cried out, falling out of bed and crawling over to where Kankuro was huddled in fear. "Tell me what you want me do, and Kankuro and I will do it!"

"Just…don't kill us!" Kankuro added, as Gaara stared at them with wide eyes, still looking slightly like a rabid and caged animal.

It took a few moments for Gaara to calm down, and he resumed his normal blank expression as Shukaku finally stopped singing the Bee Gee's, cackling in triumph.

Good boy! I would've started 'Wannabe' by the Spice Girls if you didn't listen…

Gaara shuddered.

…but anyway, tell sister Temari that you want a piercing. Go on, there's a good boy.

"Temari," Gaara said, trying to keep his face expressionless. "I want you to give me…a piercing."

Of all the psychotic and disturbing things that Temari and Kankuro expected to come out of Gaara's mouth, this was not one of them.

"…what?" Temari and Kankuro asked together, taken aback by the random demand.

Gaara gave them his infamous eyebrow-less glare, and they both shot to their feet, rushing out of the room to retrieve the equipment they would need.

Go on, Gaara dear, follow older brother and sister. They will give you a pretty piercing. I have told the sand not to interfere.

"I hate you," Gaara whispered, sounding dazed as he slowly followed them downstairs.

I love you too.

Gaara came into the living room, taking a seat as Temari and Kankuro rushed about the house, looking for the stuff they'd need. Temari ran into the living room with the sewing kit and a small box, and Kankuro emerged from the kitchen holding a bottle of distilled alcohol, a lighter, a bunch of paper towels, and a bag of ice.

Up until this moment, Gaara had never feared physical pain, since his sand always protected him. But his stomach began to react strangely when Temari pulled out a long, sharp needle, and Kankuro put the paper towels and ice on the coffee table.

Yeah, it'll bleed, and hurt like a bitch…Shukaku's voice said cheerfully. Let's see how you handle it!

Temari and Kankuro seemed ready to do Gaara's bidding, and looked nervously at their silent brother, who sat there staring back at them without expression.

"Um, G-Gaara…" Temari stammered, anxiously. You have to…uh, lie down, for me to do this. But before that…" she trailed off, and instead opened the box she brought, showing him what was inside.

Gaara looked inside and saw a variety of different earrings, which Temari owned but never wore.

The black stud! That one. That's hot! Don't pick the flashy one, or you'll look like a fruitcake.

Suppressing a sigh, Gaara reached into the box and pulled out one small black stud, his eyes widening when he realized his ear was to be impaled by the pointy metal thing that protruded from it.

He handed it to his sister and Kankuro placed a paper towel over the pillow before his brother lay down. Gaara leaned back until his back met with the sofa's cushions, and he stared blankly up at the ceiling, feeling slightly vulnerable for the first time in his life.

"Hold the ice pack under your ear…please?" Kankuro said in a nervously high voice, as Gaara took the ice pack and did as he was told, flinching at the cold.

"What is this for?" he questioned.

Kankuro smiled shakily. "To…n-numb the pain."

"It won't hurt that bad," Temari said, very quietly, seeing the subtle look of anxiety flash across Gaara's expression. "I had it done when I was three."

Gaara watched from the corner of his eye as Temari raised the sharp needle, flicking on the lighter and putting the needle tip within the flame. Kankuro watched uneasily, and Temari answered both her brother's unasked questions.

"This is to disinfect the needle, and make it easier for the needle to go through the flesh," she said, looking completely unaffected compared to Kankuro's reaction. All the blood drained out of his face. Gaara watched with wide eyes as she put the lighter aside, and the tip of the needle was left smoking.

"Okay…" Temari said, getting to her knees and crouching near Gaara's side, holding the stud and needle in hand. She looked down at him, blinking in surprise to see that Gaara's wide-eyed gaze was focused on the needle in her hand, and his chest seemed to rise and fall a little more rapidly than normal.

Her eyes drifted to his hands, which were clenched into fists and trembling slightly by his sides.

She sighed. Men were such sissies.

"Kankuro," she ordered. "Hold Gaara's hand."

Kankuro looked outraged and Gaara looked murderous. "Are you friggin' crazy?!" he yelled. "What the hell do I look like?"

"It'll distract him," Temari said defensively. "And give him something to bite down on. Here." She got up and picked out a leather kunai pouch from the closet, handing it to Kankuro.

You should listen to you sister, Gaara, for once. I'd like to see the result before you kill them. You can do that after this is done, Shukaku said calmly in his head.

Grudgingly, Gaara opened his mouth and bit down lightly on the leather, glaring at Kankuro as he held his hand. Kankuro looked humiliated, and refused to look at Gaara, worried more about his masculinity than his life.

Temari swabbed his ear lobe with a cotton ball soaked in the alcohol, and Gaara wrinkled his nose slightly at the smell.

He forgot his murderous thoughts when silence descended on the small group, and Temari leaned forward, bringing the needle with her. Gaara's wide eyes watched it descend, and for a moment, Temari paused, looking up and meeting her demon-possessed brother's gaze.

She looked hesitant, but then gave him a wavering, reassuring smile, which somehow seemed to calm his pounding heart. Holding the ice steady beneath his ear, Temari placed the tip of the hot needle against the soft flesh of his earlobe.

Gaara squeezed his eyes shut and Temari pushed the needle down.

Kankuro screamed.

Gaara missed the leather and instead clamped his jaws down on his brother's hand, proceeding to break the other hand's bones with his painfully strong grip.

"SON OF A BITCH!" Kankuro shrieked in pain, attempting to pull his right hand out from between his brother's sharp teeth, and pull his left from the bone-crushing grip of Gaara's hand.

"Hold him still, Kankuro!" Temari said, completely oblivious to Kankuro's agony as she pushed the needle through and replaced it with the stud, her fingers quickly coating with the free-flowing blood. Gaara was gasping for breath, spitting out Kankuro's right hand as Temari dabbed at his ear with the paper towels, trying to stem the blood flow.

His eyes were still tightly screwed shut, and Temari could have sworn that she saw something glistening at the corner of his blackened eyelids. She pressed the ice pack against his now slightly red ear, turning her head to see Kankuro writhing on the floor in pain, cradling both his hands.

"What happened to you?" she asked in surprise.

"The bastard bit me!" he gasped out, too agonized to care about insulting his psychotic brother. "And broke my other hand!"

"Tch. Don't be a sissy, Kankuro," Temari said disdainfully, turning her attention back to Gaara, who seemed to be recovering from his first-ever bout of physical pain.

"Are you…okay, Gaara?" Temari asked hesitantly as he finally opened his eyes, squinting in pain. He was really beginning to miss his sand.

"What…is that warm…thing?" he rasped out, feeling something wet and warm on his throbbing ear lobe, despite the presence of the ice pack.

"The needle," Temari said quickly, pulling away the bloody paper towels and replacing them with fresh ones. She wasn't prepared to see Gaara's reaction at seeing his own blood. He attempted to turn his head to look, but Temari stopped him by placing a firm hand on his forehead, surprising him and her.

"Don't move," she blurted. "The stud might fall out."

Gaara pictured that happening, and having to go through the experience again. He decided to keep still.

Kankuro struggled to his knees, wincing as he dabbed at his injury with the paper towel, a bite-mark identical to the top and bottom row of Gaara's teeth. The other hand already had purplish welts on it in the shape of Gaara's fingers.

The throbbing pain was starting to subside, and Gaara grimaced inwardly when Shukaku's voice rang out in his head again.

Good job! You didn't even kill them! Of course, you're free to now, but…damn, we must look hot

If Gaara hadn't been the sociopath and badass we all know and love, he would have burst into tears.

Heh, but even Gaara couldn't help but bursting into tears when Shukaku declared, two weeks later, that he wanted two more piercings to add some originality.

Trust me, three piercings will look sexy! Shukaku cried enthusiastically as Gaara's tear ducts began to well up as his mind took a steep dive off a narrow cliff, plunging into the thrashing water below.

Come on now! You're making me do the Spice Girls! I'll tell you what I want, what I really, really want! So tell me what you want, what you really, really want! I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna really, really, really wanna zigazig ha!