Fairy Godmother Shukaku

Chapter 13: Epilogue

A/N: I know it's over, but reviews are still very much appreciated!

"So, I guess you're free to go, Shikamaru," Kankuro said, winking at him. "We've found some other sucker to take Temari off our hands..."

Shikamaru shouldered the strap of his water gourd and stared down the road that lead back to Konoha as Temari punched her brother. "Eh, I'm just glad to be going back home... I bet my dad's sober enough to notice I've been missing by now."

"And you can get back to finding a girlfriend whose family won't kidnap you," Temari smiled.

Shikamaru blushed. "Yeah, something like that."

"Well, you'd better get going," Temari said. "It's not getting any earlier, and you've got a long trip,"

"Yeah, not to mention that we shouldn't leave Itachi, Shukaku, and Gaara alone in the house for very long," Kankuro added. He watched Temari man-hug her friend.

"Bye, Shikamaru! Don't forget to write," she said.

"Yeah, invite me to the wedding, ok?"

"Wedding? What wedding?" Temari said, sticking her nose in the air. "I really don't know what you're talking about."

"Whatever," Shikamaru laughed to himself. "Keep in touch."

"I will."

The three ninjas smiled at each other. It was not such a long journey to Konoha, Kankuro thought. They would see Shikamaru again soon. Which was good. He'd gotten pretty close to his sister's best friend during the whole ordeal.

Close enough, he decided, to justify hugging him once before Shikamaru left.

"Life's going to be pretty boring without you, Shika."

"Come over sometime, ok, Kanky?" Shikamaru told him, hugging back. "We'll play Simpson's Road Rage. It's like Mario Karts and a half."

The next morning Itachi planned to leave, to take Shukaku back to his evil organization. Gaara was still asleep, and showed no signs of waking up soon. Shikamaru was gone. Shukaku wasn't good company. And Temari... well, she and Itachi really just wanted to be alone. So Kankuro offered to go to Itachi's hotel and pack for him. It beat sitting at home with only an angry demon and a teen couple for company.

It wasn't difficult, really. A true ninja to the bone, Itachi didn't travel with too many possessions. Just a change of clothes and a toothbrush, that kind of thing.

Kankuro shoved the last spare kunai into the Uchiha's pack and thought about maybe jumping on the bed, when the phone rang.

Not knowing what else to do, he answered it.

"Hello. Will you accept a collect call from–,"

"Your fairy god-puppet."

Kankuro stared at the receiver for a moment. "Yes?"

"Hey, Itachi. Just talked to Zetsu... have you apologized yet?"

"This isn't Itachi..." Kankuro said. "I mean, it's his room, he's just not in right now. I'm Temari's brother,"

"Oh. So, they're back together, I take it?"

"Yeah," Kankuro said. "Very back together. He's actually spending the night at our house... do you want the number?"

"Nah, I won't interrupt them... He'd probably be angry."

Kankuro smiled. "If not him, then definitely Temari."

The man on the phone laughed. "Yeah, and I wouldn't want to call her wrath down on you. Well, when he's more accessible, could you tell him that Sasori called?"

Kankuro's knees felt weak. He could hardly believe his ears. "Sa-Sasori?" he gasped. "Sasori of the Red Sand? The most powerful, revolutionary puppetmaster since- since- since... since puppeteering? The Sasori?"

"Well, if you want to put it that way, I guess... yeah, as a matter of fact."

Kankuro fainted.

Itachi was fairly certain that he had never been happier. And if he had been, he didn't want to know about it. Had anything in his life ever worked out so perfectly? Or... He watched Temari's chest rise and fall as she slept next to him. Maybe his entire life had simply been building up to this.


Itachi started as Temari opened one eye. "Hmm?"

"Go to sleep," she ordered bluntly. "You've got a long walk tomorrow."

Sighing, Itachi shifted his position so he was lying down more completely. Temari turned slightly to grab his arm, the wounded one, and pull it around her shoulder. "I love you..."

"I love you, too," Itachi whispered. In a few minutes, she heard his breath steady, as though he had fallen asleep.

Temari smiled to herself. Lulled by the sounds of Gaara snoring in the room down the hall and Shukaku hissing and shrieking in the closet they had locked him in, she drifted off to sleep.

Final A/N: That's all, folks.

As always, thanks for sticking with me on this story... it was very... experimental for me. Also, as you might have been able to tell, I didn't have it plotted at all, which is rare, for me. So I'm just proud that it's a little coherent.