Author's Note: First and foremost, thank you babygaaralover for this suggestion – I would never have thought of this! It just sounds so damn cute! Ok! Enough! I must write now! Read and review, please!
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto.
Gaara Gets Hiccups
Gaara had hiccups.
Naturally, he had no idea what was the matter with him. He'd thought he was having a heart attack at first, but had been confused as to why there was no accompanying pain and death. There was also the obvious fact that he was a perfectly healthy teenager who didn't smoke or drink. But if this wasn't a heart attack affecting him and causing him so much discomfort, then what was it? No sickness Gaara had encountered before seemed to be even vaguely related to this newest ailment, so Gaara was left with his own vivid imagination as to what horrible things would follow.
It was annoying. Bordering on unbearable. His chest and stomach seemed to jerk and spasm every few seconds and he'd gasp in surprise, uttering a small 'hic!' as air rushed into his lungs. The irritable pockets of air seeping through his mouth had been plaguing him for almost fifteen full minutes before he'd decided that if they were to be cured, he would need some help. Luckily, Gaara was in Konohagakure for a festival that Temari had kindly requested they attend (she'd threatened the brothers into going, as she'd wanted to go with Shikamaru and wouldn't stop short of violence to get what she wanted) and so had many reliable sources to seek out and ask advice from. First on his list, of course, was…
"Kanku- (hic!). Kankur- (hic!). Kan- (hic! hic!)." Kankuro stared blankly at his brother, who was desperately trying to pronounce his name through an assailment of hiccups. Kankuro couldn't decide whether to laugh or cry at the sight. The poor thing. Gaara had given up trying to speak his brother's name, and simply stared at Kankuro with wide puppy eyes, begging for help. Kankuro sighed.
"You've got hiccups, Gaara." Kankuro sat back on one of the twin beds and scratched a hand through his spiked hair. The two brothers were in their spacious hotel room, where they were staying for their 'vacation'. Temari was out (with Shikamaru, undoubtedly) and Gaara had been trying to spend a little quiet time on the roof, until his suffering had forced him indoors in search of a cure. Kankuro, meanwhile, had been busy tinkering with the newest gadgets and weapons he'd installed in his lethal puppets when Gaara had slipped in through the window and made his need for help apparent.
"What (hic!) are (hic!) hic- (hic!) hic- (hic!)…"
"Hiccups," Kankuro finished for Gaara, who greatly appreciated it and closed his mouth, the following hiccups being muffled somewhat. "Hiccups are just a kind of random thing that happens. Nobody really knows what causes them, and nobody really knows how to get rid of them."
"What (hic!)?" Gaara's face fell as he realized what this might entail – he might be stuck with these 'hiccups'… forever. Gaara bit his lip against the continuing hiccups and thought hard. "You sure (hic!) there isn't (hic!) a cure (hic!)?"
"Well…" Kankuro crossed his arms and gazed at the ceiling. "Usually, hiccups just go away after a little while, but if you really want to get rid of them so badly, just ask around. A lot of people have different suggestions as to what to do to get rid of them, but none are guaranteed to work. You can try a few, if you like, but don't get your hopes up."
"I'll (hic!) try anything (hic!)." Gaara stared at Kankuro in anticipation. He immediately understood.
"Hmmm…" Kankuro narrowed his eyes, thinking. "What I do when I get hiccups is hang upside down on my bed and let the blood rush to my head." Gaara regarded Kankuro with a disturbed look. Kankuro noticed and scowled. "Hey! Don't complain! I'm helpin' you out! Besides, it works for me, anyway."
Gaara sighed in defeat and clambered onto the bed opposite Kankuro. Flipping over on his back, he angled himself and hung upside down, arms trailing the floor, waiting for the hiccups to stop. Several moments passed.
"Too bad," Kankuro chuckled, helping his now dizzy brother stand up. Gaara wobbled a bit, then found his footing. Kankuro grinned and patted his back in sympathy. "Go ask the others for advice. Maybe one of their miracle cures will work."
"Stand on your head!" Naruto hopped up and down excitedly, eager to help his friend. The yellow-haired monkey was hyperactive as always, slurping Ichiraku ramen while talking at the same time.
"That (hic!) will cure (hic!) these hiccups (hic!)?" Gaara asked dubiously.
"…Nope! I just want to see you do it!"
"Forget (hic!) it." Gaara should have known better than to ask Naruto for help with this.
"I heard that if you talk nonstop for ten seconds, your hiccups will go away!" Ino cried from behind the register in her family's flower shop. Gaara wisely kept to himself the thought that Ino must have never gotten hiccups in her entire life. Sakura, who was shifting through some various buds off to the side of the store, sniffed loudly at Ino's declaration.
"Hah! Like that would work! Shows just how much you know!" The pink-haired kunoichi picked out a flower and inspected it absently. Ino's jaw fell open and she rounded on the other girl in fury. Gaara squeezed his eyes shut for the ensuing tirade that he knew was coming.
"Just what the hell does that mean?! Maybe if your forehead wasn't so big you'd see that I was right!"
"Shut up! Everyone knows you say 'pineapple' to cure hiccups! Maybe if you weren't such a pig you'd agree with me! It's no wonder Sasuke doesn't like you!"
"Take that back! Sasuke loves me!"
"No! He loves me!"
Gaara managed to slip out unscathed as the catfight exploded into all out chair-throwing and glass breaking.
"I always eat a popsicle…" Choji muttered through mouthfuls of potato chips. "That fixes me right up. Here, I'll give you one now." Choji pulled the cold treat from somewhere on his person, surprising Gaara, or rather, not surprising Gaara, as it was a quite clear and known fact that the rotund boy had various stashing places in his clothes for snacks and sweets. Gaara accepted the popsicle gratefully (it certainly wasn't every day that Choji would share one of his treats with someone, even Shikamaru) and ate it. It was quite delicious.
"Thanks (hic!) for the (hic!) popsicle," Gaara stuttered, hopes drooping dismally. Choji wasn't done yet.
"You can try to eat a spoonful of sugar, too" he suggested.
"…I think (hic!) I'm good." Gaara wasn't ready to become a diabetic just yet.
"U-um…" Hinata fiddled with her fingers and stared at her feet, blushing. "I heard…that if y-you hold your breath for as l-long as you can…that can cure your h-hiccups." Gaara shrugged his shoulders. Why not? Hinata was nearly the most trustworthy person he knew. Sucking in a deep breath, he began holding it as long as he could until-
"I…I'm sorry…" Hinata looked ready to burst into tears. Gaara quickly consoled her, thanked her immensely, and continued on his search for a cure. Luckily, Kiba had been coming to meet Hinata and so was also able to suggest something.
"Screaming for a long as you can gets rid of my hiccups!" Kiba grinned wolfishly. Akamaru barked his appreciation at the notion as Gaara contemplated this. Oh, whatever.
"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!" Numerous birds fled from their perches and people jumped in fright at Gaara's great expulsion of sound. The cry echoed from the hills several more times before finally dissipating. Kiba and his canine companion appraised the seemingly meek boy with an impressed look.
"Wow. That was pretty damn good. Your hiccups gone?"
"No (hic!). I feel (hic!) better, though." Screaming was good therapy. Gaara would remember this.
"Hiccups?" Sasuke turned from his target practice and sternly regarded the teenager standing before him. Expertly twirling a shuriken on one finger, a thoughtful expression dawned on his face. "I plug my ears and swallow three times."
Gaara barely managed to stifle a laugh as the mental image of Sasuke performing the said action entered his mind. This did not go unnoticed by the perceptive genin, who immediately glared at him in annoyance. Time to go.
"Thanks (hic!) anyway…" Gaara shambled off dejectedly, searching for someone else with a more believable cure.
"Oh, Gaara!" Temari cried in pity as her eyes fell on her hiccupping brother. "You should have come to see me first thing! The way to get rid of hiccups is to try not to think about them. Try to think of all the bald people you know."
"Bald (hic!) people?" The gears in Gaara's head began spinning as he thought. There was Baki (although it was hard to tell as he always wore his turban thing), and… that was it. There wasn't anyone else Gaara knew who was or could possibly be bald.
"Sorry." Temari smiled sheepishly. "Bad suggestion. What do you think, Shikamaru?" The lazy boy was seated next to her on the park bench, gazing absentmindedly at the clouds.
"It's troublesome…" he grumbled, before being elbowed sharply in the ribs by Temari. Rubbing his side, he looked at Gaara seriously. "Here's a surefire way to cure your hiccups. Count the approximate number of seconds between each hiccup, i.e. normal interval between hiccups could be several seconds apart. With this information as a guide, now anticipate each hiccup and mimic the hiccups both in frequency, sound, and even body language, so that you are deliberately hiccupping 'in sync' with it, even better if you can exaggerate the mimicking activity -- like acting on stage? The hiccups should disappear after 5 to 6 deliberations, between 20 seconds to half a minute usually." Shikamaru leaned back, crossing his arms smugly. Gaara simply stared at the certified genius sitting before him before spinning on his heel and walking away.
"Drink three big gulps of cold water," Tenten said helpfully. Gaara went to the nearby fountain and tried.
"Eat something with magnesia phosphoricum," Neji suggested coolly. Gaara couldn't figure out what on earth magnesia phosphoricum was, and so had to give up on that idea.
Gaara dragged his feet in the Konoha dirt, still hiccupping miserably. He had asked nearly everyone he knew in town for a cure, and none had worked. The hiccupping was becoming maddeningly irritating, and Gaara feared he would lose his already tenuous hold on sanity if it didn't go away soon. If only-
"BOO!" Like a green turtle's head popping from its shell, Rock Lee popped out from behind a sign on the side of the road, succeeding in frightening Gaara out of his mind. He didn't scream, as he was too in control for that, but his eyes did widen and he froze mid-step.
"Darn! I heard from Naruto that you were being plagued by hiccups!" The green beast of Konoha's face fell at his failure. "Scaring someone with hiccups is the best way to get rid of them." He looked over his shoulder. "It didn't work!"
"Awww!" Naruto, followed by all the other Konoha genin, came out of their hiding places, thoroughly disappointed. This had been their trump card, and it had failed.
"It's (hic!) okay." Gaara attempted to console the others, but was interrupted by another bout of hiccups. The others looked at Gaara with pity in their eyes, wanting to help their friend but cruelly unable. Lee cleared his throat to grab everyone's attention.
"Gai-sensei told me hiccups are a good way to train, but if you truly want to get rid of them, have someone deliver a swift punch to your abdomen!" Lee's eyes shone as he spoke of his beloved teacher. Gaara cautiously began backing away from him.
"I (hic!) don't think- BGOORF!" Gaara's sentence was cut off as Lee slugged him in the gut. His strike was so blindingly fast it bypassed Gaara's normally protective wall of sand, but was thankfully softened by the continuous armor shell that covered all of Gaara's body. The force of the blow was still strong enough to make him double over, clutching his stomach and coughing loudly. Lee stared at him expectantly, waiting to see if his 'medicine' had worked its magic.
"Perhaps it was two hits…"
"Never (hic!) mind!" Gaara managed to stumble away from Lee before he could cause any more damage to his aching belly. Now every hiccup incited a twinge of pain along with the irritating gasp. Wonderful.
"I have a solution." Shino slid from the shadows, startling everyone, as they hadn't noticed his presence. The mysterious and solitary genin fluidly adjusted his darkened glasses, even though there was no need.
"What (hic!)?" Gaara, by this time, was desperate and would do practically anything to get rid of these infuriating hiccups, including kiss Ino (heaven forbid). Shino wasted no time and stepped past the others, approaching Gaara and stopping a hair's breadth away from the already nervous, hiccupping redhead. Gaara began sweating and fidgeting under the stoic gaze of Shino, who leaned in even closer until his nose nearly met Gaara's. Staring point-blank through his lenses into Gaara's shadowed eyes, he spoke in a deep and deadpan tone.
"Hiccup for me."
Gaara blinked. What? Hiccup for him? How could this help him? He stood still and waited. And waited. And waited. Where were the hiccups? Shino had told him to hiccup for him, so where were…
"They're gone!" Gaara's face light up in a rare wide smile. Naruto whooped loudly and Lee somersaulted in celebration as the other Konoha ninja cheered. Shino smirked in triumph before disappearing back into the shadows from whence he came. He wasn't one for gloating in the spotlight. Kiba, maybe, but certainly not him. The bug-boy stalked off in search of the strange bug he'd heard chirping earlier that morning.
"Yeah! Let's go eat at Ichiraku to celebrate!" Naruto hollered before being bopped on the head by an angry Sakura. Gaara, still smiling, thanked everyone copiously for their assistance (even though their suggestions didn't work) and told them that he'd better head back to the hotel room, as Kankuro was sure to be getting worried about him. After saying goodbye to everyone, he began walking down the street toward the hotel, but stopped short as a familiar jump-suit clad figure stepped into view.
"Ga- (hic!). Gaar- (hic!) G- (hic!)." Gaara stared in turn at Kankuro, who was desperately trying to pronounce his name through a rather violent hiccup attack.
"You've got them now?" He asked placidly. Kankuro nodded, not wanting to speak as the hiccups made it too difficult. "Your way didn't work?" A shake of the head, this time. "Go find Shino, he'll cure them for you."
"That (hic!) creepy bug (hic!) guy?" Kankuro didn't seem too keen on that notion, but relented. He didn't care who cured his hiccups, as long as it worked. Heck, if Orochimaru showed up with a cure, he'd take it. "Where'd he (hic!) run off (hic!) to?"
"That way." Gaara pointed off toward the forest, as he had managed to catch a glimpse of Shino before he'd slipped into the woods. Kankuro started toward it, eager to find the miracle worker.
"What's wrong with Kankuro?" Lee asked, appearing beside Gaara as if by magic. Gaara stared at him incredulously before responding.
"He's got hiccups."
"Really?" Lee cracked his knuckles in preparation. "You don't think he'd mind if I tried Gai-Sensei's method again, do you?" He shot off after the retreating puppet master without waiting to hear Gaara's opinion.
Gaara couldn't tear his eyes away.
This was gonna be good.
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto.
Author's Note: Shino's little cure is a dedication to my sister, as that is how she always gets rid of my hiccups (I swear! It works! For me at least…). Hope you liked it, babygaaralover! Thanks again for the suggestion! Read and review, please!