I am on a roll with this drabble business. XD Fic from the LJ, requested by firefly using the keyword "brain freeze." Hope y'all enjoy!


Brain Freeze
"There he is."

"I know. I can see him, douchebag."

Kankuro shot his sister a withering glare. "D'you have to be such a bitch all the time?"

"As a matter of fact," Temari said, swiping the chilled cardboard container out of his hand, "yes." She advanced, slowly, feet whispering over hardwood paneling, and Kankuro followed.

"I think you should let me do it," the puppet master whispered when they came to a halt in front of the leopard print couch—one of their youngest sibling's most recent acquisitions from his legions of adoring female sycophants. At first, Gaara insisted, rather vehemently, that they drag it somewhere and set it on fire, but Temari convinced him to relent after she proved how comfortable it was, and "after all, it's idiotic to trash perfectly good furniture." She neglected to tell him that the idea of the Kazekage owning leopard print anything sent her into fits of hysterics, because he would've gotten rid of it for sure—"My precision's better than yours."

Temari scowled. "How do you figure that?"

Her brother grinned, and, just as quickly as she grabbed the ice cream from him, he stole it back. "Operating puppets is a science, slick. All in the strings, yeah? Any old average Joe can't do what I—"

"Shh!" Temari elbowed him in the ribs. "You'll wake him up!"

Immediately, Kankuro shut his mouth.

On the couch, their unwitting victim shifted slightly, one arm flopped over the side, the other sprawled across his chest. His mouth was open, and his wild red hair was mussed about his face. Luckily, his eyes remained closed. Ever since Shukaku's extraction, Gaara went from perpetual insomniac to sound sleeper, though it had been quite a process spanning months of him getting used to the idea. He did still have moments of restlessness, however, and even the softest noises could jerk him out of slumber. Temari didn't want this particular moment to be one of them.

Expression determined, Kankuro murmured, "Gimme the spoon."

The blonde girl produced one from a pocket in her skirt and passed it to him, excited and anxious in turns. If everything went according to plan, this would be their greatest prank to date—the whoopee cushion on his council room chair, while juvenile, came in as a close second—and she had her heart set on pulling it off.

Gaara was her little brother. Little brothers existed so their big sisters could torment them.

Considering the Kazekage's charming personality quirks, opportunity rarely rolled around—unless he presented it.

Currently, Kankuro's skill would determine success or failure, and she wasn't positive she liked the feeling.

As though he sensed her agitation, Kankuro said, "Assuming relationships are built on trust, ours is doomed to fail," and winked before removing the lid of the container. Because it had been left out to thaw for a bit, the ice cream—double chocolate marshmallow swirl, Gaara's favorite—was soft as he plunged the spoon in, but not so soft that it would melt right away. Once he had a decent-sized scoop, he returned the container to Temari and crouched, bringing himself at a level with his brother's sleeping form.

Temari tensed, held her breath.

"Well…here goes," Kankuro said.

Positioning the spoon directly above Gaara's mouth, he used his pointer finger to slide the ice cream off, making certain it went where it was supposed to—one must be thorough during these delicate little endeavors—and then got the hell out of dodge.

They watched, Temari gnawing on her lip, Kankuro puffing his cheeks.

Oblivious, Gaara swallowed.


"You're both dirty thieves, just so you know."

"Oh blow yourself, Highness," Kankuro said, and barely managed to dodge a volley of utensils—butter knives, forks, and a random can opener—which his brother proceeded to chuck at him from his position near the kitchen's silverware drawer.

Temari, seated beside Kankuro at the dinner table, rolled her eyes. "You're making a mess," she said acidly as the can opener sailed past, ruffling one of her ponytails and crashing into the pantry doors. "And I'm not cleaning it up, either, so you can just—" But she was unable to finish reprimanding her brother because a potholder adorned with gaudy sunflowers smacked her square in the face.

Normally, she and Gaara got along fine. They teased and picked on each other often, but it was nothing serious. The shouting matches and impromptu fistfights, as a rule, were reserved for Kankuro, since he was feisty and took the abuse well—and she grew up beating on him, anyway.

Yet, every now and then, something would get Gaara rolling, and he would attack not only his brother—Gaara and Kankuro had their own rules that they played by, most of which involved scathing banter and any manner of unconventional objects serving as projectiles—but his sister as well.

In other words, Gaara was in a contrary mood today, and he decreed that she ought to have kept her comments to herself.

Kankuro snickered. "Never interfere with male bonding time, woman. It's an essential part of any hea—" A fork bounced off his nose.

"About time," Gaara said, and sat down opposite his siblings—Kankuro massaging his nose, Temari peeling the potholder from her face—at the table. "What did you think you were doing with my ice cream, eh?" He glanced at the container set between the two of them, brow furrowed.

The Kazekage was very protective of his ice cream. Very protective. It made him severely unhappy when persons other than his illustrious self saw fit to sample it without bothering to ask his permission, and even then, he would become rather surly about the whole thing.

Temari and Kankuro were well aware of this, of course, but they chose to try their luck anyway.

Ah well.

"We were bored," Kankuro said.

"That's no reason pillage my ice cream," Gaara shot back savagely, crossing his arms and frowning. "Why—"

"The game's called 'Brain Freeze,'" Temari interrupted. "You have to take as much ice cream as you can, shovel it in your mouth, and swallow. Whoever collapses first loses." She shrugged, and pointed at the container. "That's your contribution to the cause."

"…Says who?" Gaara grated. "I don't have to contribute anyth—"

"How about this," Kankuro said. "We win, and we'll pretend nothing ever happened. You win, and we'll buy you ice cream for a month." Grinning slyly, he added, "Unless you're too much of a pansy to accept the challenge…"

Temari rubbed her temples. "Egg him on, jackass. That's just fucking fantastic." And I'll bet he expects me to shell out the cash for the ice cream, because he spent all of his on paint…prick…

But Gaara had already come to a decision. Resting his chin in his palm, he said, "Bring it, bastards."

Kankuro smacked the table, saying "HA!" while Temari flung her arms in the air, muttering atrocities under her breath. Her money was on the line. Hard earned money. That cheesed her off.

Shoving her chair away from the table, she stormed to the half-empty silverware drawer, gathered three spoons, and returned to her seat, flinging a spoon at each of her brothers—she didn't know which one she despised more right now.

"Let's go," she snarled, skin rather pink. "Count of three, we dip 'em, and then down the hatch." She waited until the boys gripped their spoons, and started counting. "One…two…three!"

Hands banged together as the siblings dug their spoons into the container and extracted them loaded with ice cream. Completely focused on winning, Temari crammed her portion into her mouth, eyes watering at the sharp chill, and swallowed. Kankuro, a hair slower, did the same.

Many interesting things occurred after that.

Temari, sinuses aching so intensely she saw stars, jumped up and circled the table as her throat produced a series of squeaking noises. Eventually, she went to the counter and mashed her fists against it.

Kankuro unleashed a barrage of colorful language—"holyflyingfuckwadandaRIVERDANCINGQUARTERBACK," for example—before doubling over and bracing his head between his knees, twitching spasmodically.

And Gaara?

"Well," he said, cradling the container in his lap, legs propped on the table, "looks like I win." He lifted his—untouched—scoop of double chocolate marshmallow swirl to his lips and licked it slowly, smirking.

"GAARA!"


"What the…"

"Why isn't he reacting?"

"Shit…you got me."

"Son of a—"

A pair of sea green eyes shot open.

Kankuro and Temari sucked in deep breaths, waiting…waiting…waiting…

"SWEET MOTHER!"

Promptly, the Kazekage rolled off the couch and landed on his stomach, arms splayed in front of him, fingers seizing.

Kaching.

There was a clicking sound as Temari pressed the shutter button on her camera.

"Well," Kankuro said, "looks like we win."

Touché.