I appreciate the response this had gotten! Thank you and here is the final chapter. I hope you've all enjoyed this story as much as I've enjoyed writing it. I look forward to writing some other tales and finishing some too!
Chapter 4: We're screwed.
Kankurou's face contorted in a pained cry. "WE'RE SCREWED!"
They jumped up and ran around the couch, meeting behind it and screamed so more, gripping each other and shaking each other in senseless panic. The mess was enormous and they had been sure that they had five days not five hours to clear it out. Now they had to perform a miracle to end all miracles or they would never live to see another day.
Gaara grabbed Kankurou in an attempt to calm him. "Okay, okay. Shut up, you stupid, stupid, irresponsible, fucking moron. You got us into this mess, so you're taking the fall!"
"You went along with it! And you're supposed to be the responsible one!" He accused right back. "You should take the fall for being a stupid, stupid, irresponsible," he sputtered for a moment. "CREEPY BASTARD!"
Gaara shook his head. "Look, Kankurou, I understand you're a fool but I'll kill you after we've cleaned up this mess! We're ninja. We should be able to clean this house in one hour, much less five. So let's make a plan."
"We need groceries," Kankurou blurted out. "That'll take an hour alone. I'll go do that."
"No! The house takes priority!" Gaara slapped him. "Think, you idiot! We haven't seen the floor in a week!"
They struggled with the logistics of clearing the house. "Laundry," Kankurou said suddenly. "Once we get the clothes out of the way, the rest should mostly be trash.
"Yes and then we can vacuum."
"Someone should do the bathrooms…" Immediately they tossed down a few games of rock paper scissors; Gaara won two out of three.
"While you're doing that, I'll get groceries," Gaara offered. Kankurou nodded and they dashed off to perform their duties. Never have ninjas moved so fast as they began sorting the trash from the treasure.
Fluffy watch them languidly from his perch on top of the TV. Occasionally the two boys would collide but they'd bounce right off of each other and dash to the next thing. After they had sorted the clothes it became apparent that they would never finish every load in the allotted time.
"WE'RE SCREWED!" Kankurou screamed. Gaara slapped him again. "Thank you."
"Laundromat," Gaara stated firmly. And they were off. Thankfully it was a slow day and the confused manager watched the boys take up five or six of her washing machines before dashing out in a panicked blur.
When they returned home, they could see about a fourth of the floor.
Then came the task of sorting the trash. Gaara was amazed that the different varieties of 'gross' that he discovered living under and around the couch, where they spent most of their week. At some point, Kankurou got a shovel and began shoveling garbage into a bag. A bit unorthodox, Gaara thought, but very effective and even deigned to nod in approval. When they had finished that task, they only had two hours remaining and a mountain of trash bags looming over them.
Gaara considered this predicament. Temari could not see dozens of bags or she would know what was up. "Kankurou, disperse this trash around the neighborhood. I'll straighten up," he said with all the command and stability of a leader.
"Why do I have to do the dirty work!" To answer him Gaara summoned the sand around him and began straightening everything that was askew in one motion. Kankurou was without argument. "Damn you."
While Gaara's sand did his bidding, Kankurou worked as the opposite of a trashman. On the return trip, he again shocked the Laundromat manager by putting the now washed clothes in the dryer and dashing back to their home. Now the house looked how Temari had left it but that wasn't good enough. She wanted the house clean.
No one ever said that she was reasonable.
"Bathrooms," Kankurou said not stopping as he ran through the door.
"Groceries," Gaara replied running out.
At the Grocery store Gaara realized he had no idea what to buy and simply went up and down the aisles letting his sand grab one of everything. Kankurou donned his raincoat, yellow latex gloves and Karasu as he kicked in the bathroom door, ready for battle. Karasu's arms were working up a sudsy fury while Gaara was downstairs using his manipulation of sand to stock the cabinets and refrigerator like the maniac he was.
The clock gave an ominous ding-dong that warned them that they had thirty minutes to live or die.
From then on work was even more desperate and furious. Kankurou practically flew down the stairs and grabbed the vacuum. Gaara dashed out of the door and came back in record time with a cart made of sand carrying their laundry. Kankurou abandoned vacuuming to fold and Gaara picked up where he left off. Eventually, Kankurou used both of his puppets to get the job done.
Time was quickly becoming their enemy. Every time they heard footsteps walk past their door they would freeze like frightened deer before resuming their frantic pace. They hardly spoke to one another finding that chit-chat took too much time and spoke in one word phrases that only they could decipher.
Temari meanwhile had entered the village and was heading home. She enjoyed her mission with a few other girls and felt only slightly guilty that she hadn't returned home to tell her two brothers that she would be gone.
She had already delivered her report to Baki and the older teacher had told her how they had called looking for her seemingly worried. Still she could not shake her feeling of irritation. She was sure that when she opened the door what awaited her was a mess that she would have to clean up. With that in mind she quickened her pace. If she started early, she might be able to finish by dinnertime.
As Temari drew nearer to the house she thought she could hear the sounds of them milling about inside. They were probably trying to clean up before she got in the house. Fools, she thought. She ran to the door and swung it open, running into the living room. Kankurou and Gaara were right where she had left them. Kankurou was playing a video game on the couch and Gaara was in the window staring out with bored resignation.
She narrowed her eyes suspiciously and looked underneath the couch. There weren't even dust bunnies there to greet her. The house was suspiciously immaculate. She ran over to the closet and swung it open. The jackets and shoes were neatly arranged. Slowly she closed the door, shooting them a look. Neither stirred.
She inspected the kitchen. The cabinets were stocked, dishes were clean and stacked neatly, and the refrigerator had been cleaned and stocked full as well. The floors were clean enough to eat off of, which Kankurou did on the occasion, so that was good. She exited the kitchen and walked to the stairs never taking her eyes off of them as she did so.
"This better not be a genjutsu," she warned. Kankurou shrugged.
Temari ran to her room. Nothing was out of place. Even her diary was still locked away. Gaara's room was clean and most suspiciously, Kankurou's room was clean. The bathroom sparkled and looked like an ad in a magazine. Something was definitely up.
She walked down the stairs and stood in front of the TV. "How did you do it? Who did you hire and how much did you pay them?"
Kankurou leaned to the side to see around her and gave an annoyed scoff. "What are you talking about? It's been like this since you left," he lied without conviction.
"LIAR! There isn't a clean bone in your body!" She turned and looked at Gaara. "Well?"
Gaara turned his head and gave her his usual emotionless gaze. "Well, what? You heard him. We cleaned up after you left and it's been this way all week. Stop overreacting."
"Yeah, dog-face, have some freaking faith in us."
"Rrrrooowwwr." Temari looked down and watched a mouse run away from a black mound of fur. She screamed and jumped onto the couch, scrambling over Kankurou, who tried to dislodge her with supreme irritation.
"What the hell was that!"
Kankurou saved his game and turned it off, assuming that he'd never get anything done with his idiot sister screaming and accusing them of stuff. "It's a mouse. Stop being a girl."
"Not that! That!" She pointed to Fluffy, who peered under a table, swishing his tail.
"It's a cat," Kankurou explained. "You like cats."
Temari gave him a look that said she thought he was an idiot. "That is not a cat."
Gaara looked justified.
Kankurou picked up the furry fuzzball and handed it to an unsure Temari. "It's a rare exotic breed, you idiot. We found him so we decided to give him a good home. His name is Fluffy."
Temari sat down on the couch in disbelief. It was though she had entered some strange alternate dimension where here brothers were responsible and she had a mutant cat on her lap. Somehow she had managed to scare her brothers into keeping the house clean. It seemed like things were finally beginning to change.
"So did you get humped by Shikamaru?" Kankurou called from the kitchen.
Some things, however, did not.