A/n: I am not really into incest, so don't think of this as a romance fanfic. Just…a feel-good one ne? This may not be what the request that trickmaster wants, but hehehe, I tried my best, promise! I found writing the characters difficult, so yep, OOC warnings.

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Little Specks

A Gaara-any female request by trickmaster, delayed beyond reason. Sowee!

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His eyes, although its void could not reveal anything, were actually deeper than anyone could have thought of. They bore secrets and a past he deems best buried underneath. There were people who taught him betrayal, hatred, and greed for power. There were deserted places like playgrounds and sandboxes that were populated by his lone presence and no one else. Shadows, lines and movements that etched permanently in his souls scars that even a lifetime could not completely heal.

But amidst the darkness were small fragments of light images that take up some spaces in his meditative silence. The Kyuubi boy whose own unhappy childhood he held in kindred sentiments with silently. The pink-haired lass who bravely faced his attack to shield the one she loves dearly. And yes, his uncle that treated him anything but a nephew, least of all a human being, yet he still admits to care for in his mind.

Right now though, his ebony eyes reflect an image of a woman. Her usually dark flaxen hair tied up in several tails behind her head were now freely hanging by her nape, curtaining the upper half of her back. She was dressed in a pale green loose kimono—the only other piece of clothing she bought for special occasions when her everyday shinobi attire wasn't suitable for them. The clothes made her look younger and softer, he remembered Nara Shikamaru saying awhile ago when he dropped by their house without notice, and he himself couldn't help but agree.

In silence.

He knew he could never be as vocal…never would be.

She was concentrating on tying a paper fan together—one not as large as she carries and props around as a weapon, certainly. In fact, the whole miniature fans could be held in the palm. Her face was drawn in concentration as she made the final knot, and then smiled slowly. She took the other fans she made and then strung them together with the small piece of gold coins that she said symbolizes luck. He wasn't convinced, but he let her be. He hated arguments, he hated sermons. He hated speaking unnecessarily, period.

Finally, she got up, carrying the art craft. He followed her into the entrance of their house, where she placed a seat to stand on. He watched her still when she effortlessly heaved herself up the stool and tiptoed to reach the nail that she had asked Kankuro to place before he left for training in the mountains yesterday, leaving just the two of them to celebrate the New Year.

"There!" Temari smiled in satisfaction when she stepped down from the stool and looked back up at the self-made chimes to admire her work. "It will keep the bad spirits away for the rest of the year."

Had he been taught laughter, he would have done so at that moment. A year ago, he could never imagine his sister speaking that way, let alone smile. Her eyes were always grim, her smile, sarcastic. She would not tolerate anything outside her given missions, thus her reputation as a perfect shinobi. Had he not known the people of Konoha personally, he would have doubted at once the identity of this yellow-haired green-clad woman who now talks with utmost liveliness on good luck chimes and such.

He followed her gaze up at the dancing tiny paper fans and gold coins in the air, which was softly tinkling. Strangely, he felt peaceful—a feeling that was virtually a stranger to him. Perhaps, the one year they had spent in Konoha was starting to affect them already. Tranquility had never been part of his vocabulary until now.

Only to be ruined minutes later with his low "ouch". This got his sister's attention.

"Gaara?" Her worried gaze fell on him. "Is something wrong? Are you feeling something bad? Should I take you to the Godai—" The rest of her words were stopped by his slow jerk of his hand. His finger pointed to his eye.

"What is it?" she asked, as if waiting for a huge monster to emerge from his face.

"Something…"

"Something? The raccoon demon?"

"…got stuck in my eye."

Her mouth dropped. "Oh."

Making him frown. Was his sister disappointed when the monster she was expecting didn't come? Nevertheless, he didn't speak anymore. He merely rubbed his eyes with some annoyance.

"No, Gaara. You'll just irritate it when you rub it like that," she gently scolded. "Here, I'll help you." She bent down to peer at his face closely, her eyes scrutinizing his own. "Hmm, a speck of dust. Maybe you are allergic to anything other than sand particles."

His face being cupped by warm human hands was a new experience for him, and admittedly, it was very pleasant. And anything pleasant was wrong, according to his understanding. "Get your hands off me."

"Sure, after we get the dirt out." And before he could react, she stooped lower to blow on his eyelids, the tips of her fingers gently massaging the bags beneath his eyes.

Human breath. Human touch. Human nearness.

All the foreign sensations happening to him all at once could not warrant any reaction from him which he had deemed proper. All he knew was he could give anything asked of to be touched again that way. There was nothing cold or sinister or lethal about the contact—it was something warm, something he wanted since he was betrayed by his trusted uncle.

It was all over in a few seconds, and she was back to tying the chimes on the doorway, adjusting its place. He felt that the little speck of dirt was no more, having done its task to annoy people with the little limited abilities that it has. However, that time, it had done more than its own usual share of work.

It had made him look at his sister with gentler eyes than before.

-end-