Note: I know. I'm on crack. XD Reviews would be nice!
Gaara loved hugs.
He loved to be surrounded in the warm, pleasant cocoon of security that only a hug could provide. He loved to be hugged when he demanded it, usually in the form of a monotonous order.
Gaara loved hugs from his siblings the most. They smelled familiar, and were the only ones who didn't flee screaming when he asked for one.
It began a few months after their unscheduled return from Konoha, after the war had died down and things were more or less normal again.
Gaara appeared in the kitchen, looking dead on his feet after mentally punching Shukaku into submission last night since it was a full moon.
"Gaara, you look terrible," Temari commented, brow furrowing in worry as he swayed unsteadily on the spot, blinking slowly at some obscure point on the wall.
"Shukaku," was his one-worded answer, and as he turned to get his morning fix of caffeine, Temari suddenly puffed up her cheeks, squeezed her eyes shut, and hugged him.
It came as a surprise, and ended almost immediately, but Gaara stared at her, transfixed as she stood there with her eyes squeezed shut, awaiting death.
"Why did you do that?"
She cracked a teal eye open when he spoke, blinking in surprise.
"Oh…er, because you seemed kind of down…you know, hugs make people feel better."
Temari looked away, frowning uncomfortably as he continued to stare at her.
"God, Gaara, it's just a way for people to show they care"—
"Do it again," he interrupted.
Gaara looked at her blankly, voice utterly toneless.
Thus, Gaara became severely attached to hugging. He wanted hugs when he was bored, when he was tense, and when he was feeling touchy feely, as Kankuro had sarcastically dubbed it.
But Gaara wasn't restricted to getting hugs from Temari alone.
The day his sister went out for some groceries, Gaara turned to his brother.
"What, Gaara?" Kankuro asked lazily, lounging in front of the TV and eating chips. "I can't see the TV. Move out of the way."
"Yeah?" the puppet master gave him a bored look.
The sand reached forward to punch Kankuro in the stomach when he started choking on his chips.
"—the hell did you say!"
"Hug me," Gaara repeated monotonously.
"What—NO! Wait, where's Temari? Go ask her for one!"
"She's not here."
"Then wait for her! Jeez, friggin' give me a heart attack…"
Gaara continued to stand there, obstructing Kankuro's view of the beloved TV and refusing to move. Kankuro tried the futile tactic of moving his head side to side, only to have the sand block his view each time.
"God dammit, Gaara!" Kankuro leapt to his feet.
"What the hell is wrong with you! Before, you'd threaten to kill me if I even invaded your breathing space, and now…" Kankuro trailed off, smacking his hand against his forehead when Gaara continued to regard him silently.
"I like it," Gaara said after a while, when neither spoke. "It feels like…the sand surrounding me, but softer…and it doesn't smell like blood."
Kankuro looked at him, expression unreadable, then finally sighed, raising his arms half-heartedly in defeat.
Gaara willingly obliged and Kankuro berated himself when he drew his brother close in a quick, tight hug.
"What the hell?" Kankuro jumped back from Gaara, whipping his head towards the doorway and gaping when he saw Temari lowering a camera, a wide grin on her face.
"Temari," Kankuro said in a voice of forced calm, advancing towards her. "Give me the camera."
She grinned. "Hell no."
"GIVE ME THE DAMN CAMERA!" Kankuro lunged at her, but she easily evaded, running out the door with the camera in hand.
Kankuro cursed as he tripped over the spilled grocery bags, but then staggered outside in pursuit.
"Come back here! I'll KILL you if you get those developed!"
Gaara watched all this impassively, not even bothering to wonder why Kankuro was making such a huge deal out of it.
Well, it didn't matter to him, he thought as he stepped outside to see Kankuro chasing Temari through the sand dunes.
Just as long as he got his hugs.