Of Sneezes and Weasels
Disclaimer: Neither Naruto nor Crayola Model Magic nor Twister belong to Mitsukai. Mitsukai does, however, own this story, a tub of dry Model Magic, and a dysfunctional Twister mat.
Author's Note: I am so sorry that this took FOREVER to get out, but I had this MAJOR writer's block, and applications were taking up a ton of my time. Anyhow, this is the end result, which I think of as just okay, but it's satisfactory enough. After this, there will unfortunately be no sequel because I am clean out of ideas for this story.
Epilogue: Of Intruding Brothers and Knocking
Temari and Itachi were happily living together but a few months after their engagement. The Mr. and soon-to-be Mrs. Uchiha moved out of the house, leaving a somewhat relieved Kankurou and an irritated Gaara behind.
Itachi retired from the Akatsuki, but he lent a helping hand every now and then when they were in dire need of his services…which actually happened quite often.
Before he officially left, he introduced Temari to all the members, which resulted in rather drastic consequences that included Deidara being smacked numerous times, Tobi's mask getting cracked (they were confused to find yet another mask beneath the first), Kakuzu's piggy bank being smashed open with a sledgehammer, Hidan impaled experimentally by his own pike around seventeen times, Kisame's hair dyed a bright purple (in addition to his toothpaste being thrown away), and Zetsu's plant appendages receiving an expert pruning.
All courtesy of Temari.
The leader and the unnamed member were off to who-knows-where for who-knows-what, so they were the lucky exceptions to the blonde's rampage of destruction.
The group of missing-nin would occasionally visit the new couple's home from time to time. When Deidara first came a-calling, Temari grabbed his ponytail and dragged him to the Kazekage's office, ordering him to apologize to Gaara for 'killing' him. Upon their unforeseen entrance, the redhead instinctively wrapped Deidara in his sand as soon as he sighted the blond man. Fortunately for the self-proclaimed artist, the Sand kunoichi stopped her youngest brother from squeezing him into microscopic molecules.
His 'sorry' said, Deidara ran like hell away from the slightly psychopathic Sand Siblings.
The Akatsuki couldn't exactly say that they missed Itachi—he was the coldest ice cube they had ever met—and he wouldn't say he missed them either, but they never really forgot about each other. And all of the S-class criminals received a birthday present from the Uchiha and his new fiancée.
Tobi got a new mask. "Yay!" he had cheered. He seemed to forget that his good eye was on the right, not the left…
Deidara was granted with ten pounds of Crayola Model Magic. And some nitroglycerin. They wondered where the married couple had gotten the explosive fluid.
Much to his ire, Hidan received a bottle of mousse. The one for hair, not the chocolate one. And some strawberry-scented hairspray.
Kakuzu was given a new piggy bank.
Zetsu got a vase of red roses, which had a suspicious pink heart scribbled over on the attached card. And, if one looked closely beneath the 'Happy Birthday!', one could read 'Happy Valentine's Day!'
Leader-sama and the unnamed member, since neither Itachi nor Temari knew too much about the mysterious pair, both were given socks.
Thus was their dysfunctional long-distance relationship with Itachi's adoptive, mostly male 'family'. Temari wondered how none of them were gay yet…
If the Akatsuki was the family from out of the country, Gaara and Kankurou were practically their next-door neighbors. Wait…they were the next-door neighbors! As it turned out, the engaged couple had moved out of the house, but their new purchase was right next to their former dwelling. Odd, isn't it?
Anyhow, being the good next-door neighbors that they were, the two brothers gave friendly rules the couple would have to follow in order to preserve the neighborhood peace.
Kankurou suggested sound-proof walls.
Gaara proposed abstinence (to which the elder brother called him a prude).
In response, Temari recommended shutting the hell up before she killed someone or got Itachi to do it for her. Ah, the love of family!
Thus, the rather tender subject was soundly dropped by the two brothers. Still, being the overprotective younger siblings they were, Gaara and Kankurou would check on their sister every now and then…without knocking, much to the couple's distress. Gaara was pleased to discover yet another perk at being a Kazekage.
No longer would locks stand in his way. Muahaha.
Anyways, since neither of the teens knocked, they would often walk into some rather…interesting scenes. As in, Temari slipping on a rug and sliding into the kitchen on her stomach or Itachi tripping down the stairs and perfectly executing a face-plant.
And here we find Gaara and Kankurou, after a good day's work filled with handing out missions and avoiding the ever-rabid fangirls, walking up to Temari's house for dinner, due to their less than exceptional cooking skills.
Simultaneously, they both mentally thanked Kami-sama that she had married Itachi.
The young Kazekage used his sand to unlock the door, and the two brothers marched in without invitation.
Kankurou called out, "Hey, Tem—mmph!"
Gaara swiftly placed his hand over his older brother's mouth to muffle the noise. "Shh!" he hissed. "Hear that?"
The puppet master paused, listening. He heard a thud. Wriggling from Gaara's grip, he whispered, "What is that?"
The redhead shrugged.
"Maybe we should go check it out." Genius, Kankurou. Pure genius. The readers applaud you and your superior intellect.
The diabolical duo tiptoed up the stairs to find that the suspicious thuds were coming from the room shared by Itachi and Temari.
Pressing their ears against the door, they began eavesdropping, apparently having not learned from their last experience despite their 'battle' scars.
"Weasel-kun, I can't put my hand there!" they heard their sister exclaim. (Evidently, she hadn't gotten out of the endearing habit of calling the Uchiha by his affectionate nickname.)
"Yes, you can," the man urged, now used to ignoring her use of the moniker. "C'mon, right there. Right between my legs."
A light grunt was emitted by Temari. "I can't reach!"
"Just a little farther…"
"Your leg's in the way!"
"Is not. Here, let me help you."
"Hey! That's my thigh you're grabbing!"
"Hn. Do you want to do this or not?"
"Oh! I got it through!"
"Took you long enough."
Not wanting to hear more, Gaara and Kankurou burst into the room.
"HOW DARE YOU DEFILE MY SISTER!" Gaara roared in outrage.
Temari and Itachi stared up from the Twister mat they had entangled themselves on, their limbs linked together in a human knot.
An awkward silence ensued.
"Uh…left foot, green?" Kankurou said sheepishly.
Temari pulled her legs from under Itachi and stood up. Both brothers could feel the rage she was emanating.
"Get…the hell…out of MY ROOM!" Hurling her younger siblings into the hall unceremoniously, the angry blonde thrust the door shut with a loud bang.
The raven-haired man stared at his fiancée. "Don't you think that was a bit over the top?" he asked.
"Wouldn't you be pissed if your brother came barging into your room without permission and assuming that you were letting your soon-to-be husband rape you?"
"I don't have a soon-to-be husband, so I wouldn't know."
"But I do, and that's what matters!"
"Yeah, yeah, keep telling yourself that."
She snorted. "C'mon, honey, let's go outside and listen to my pathetic little brothers, whom I love very much, stammer out an apology in your intimidating presence."
Itachi raised an eyebrow. "Gaara knows how to stammer?"
Taking a moment in thought, Temari amended, "Let's watch Kankurou stammer out an apology and Gaara stand off to the side, shifting uncomfortably in your presence."
"Well, you're a loving sister," he scoffed.
The blonde grinned. "I know I am."
"I hope you're an even more loving wife, dearest."
"Oh, don't worry," she assured Itachi, "I'll be that and more."
"You better be," he growled in a low voice. "I didn't propose to you for nothing."
A normal woman would probably have found that statement rude, offensive, and other words that mean the same thing as either rude or offensive, but Temari was no normal woman. Having practically raised her brothers, she knew how a domineering man's mind worked.
Thus, instead of gasping in disgust, she retorted, "Of course you didn't. I totally seduced you with this sexy body!" Grinning foolishly, the blonde ground her hip into his side.
Itachi shoved the girl off. "Stop that. I better go start cooking before they barge in again." The last had been the eleventh time in the past two weeks. The Uchiha seriously thought the two brothers were going for a new world record.
"Hmph," she huffed. "They don't deserve dinner after interrupting our Twister game."
"They were just trying to look out for you."
"Since when did I need looking out for?" Temari inquired, placing her hands on her hips.
Although she made an extremely valid point, being the oh-so-experienced kunoichi that she was, Itachi muttered an incoherent "Since ever" beneath his breath.
Luckily for him, said oh-so-experienced kunoichi did not hear him.
Moving along, oh-so-experienced kunoichi, whose name was just remembered to be Temari, and Itachi walked out of their room and into the hallway to find a pair of flushing, embarrassed brothers.
"Hey," the blonde greeted them.
"Sorry about the intrusion," said Kankurou. "It was a complete misunderstanding."
"Yeah, yeah, whatever. That's completely understandable." The two teenagers let out a sigh of relief. "However, what isn't understandable," she continued, "is why you were listening through my door."
The brothers' faces grew even redder. Yeah, that's right. Sabaku no Gaara, the infamous Kazekage of the Sand Village, and his intimidating painted brother were blushing.
Quickly recovering from his humiliation, the redhead snarled, "Take a picture. It lasts longer."
With an indifferent shrug, Itachi pulled out a digital camera (a gift from Kisame) and snapped a picture of Kankurou's still-embarrassed expression.
The three siblings all blinked.
"Weasel-kun… He was being sarcastic," Temari said slowly.
He shrugged. "I know. But the opportunity was too good to pass up."
Kankurou glared a glare that almost (almost!) rivaled Itachi's own glare, though it wasn't up to par with Gaara's. "You're evil."
"Not evil," corrected Itachi, "just conniving."
"Muahahaha," laughed Temari. The three males of the four stared. "What?"
"What…the hell…was that?" asked Gaara.
The blonde grinned. "Evilness always needs an accompanying evil laugh, which Weasel-kun was lacking, so I performed one to make up for it."
The young Kazekage groaned, rubbing his temples, "I'm surrounded by idiots."
"Hey!" exclaimed Kankurou and Temari in unison. Like brother, like sister?
Meanwhile, Itachi just said very intelligently, "Hn."
The kunoichi shook her head at his demonstration of his immense mental capabilities and poked him in the ribs. "New word, Weasel-kun. Get a new word."
"Thank you!" The blonde dramatically threw her arms around his neck and hugged him tightly.
Gaara silently agreed, but he remained silent for fear of Temari's impending anti-'hn' lecture-rant combination. The very thought sent tremors through his spine.
"You okay, Gaara?" she asked when she saw her youngest brother shivering so very lightly.
"H-hn," the redhead stuttered out his usual response. His eyes widened in realization of what he had just done.
"You, too?!" Temari said so shrilly that it came out in a screech. "What the hell is with you guys and 'hn'-ing?!"
The three males flinched.
Suddenly, and rather uncharacteristically, the blond kunoichi flung her arms around Kankurou and held him tightly. "Oh, Kankurou! I'm soo sorry for being so inconsiderate to you when you're the only one who's considerate of my feelings! Thank you, 'Kuro-kun for not 'hn'-ing!"
Meanwhile, in the flurry of hugs, Kankurou was shrinking beneath Itachi's heated glare. Of all people his sister could get engaged to, it had to be the overprotective and highly dangerous one! (Obviously, he hadn't taken a look at himself or Gaara recently, both being overprotective and highly dangerous younger brothers.)
Gaara noticed his older brother's face slowly turning purple—so purple, in fact, that his face paint was getting harder and harder to see. Stealing a glance at Itachi, he saw that the older man was hiding an amused smirk at Kankurou's lack of blood flow.
With a deep sigh, Gaara, feeling at fault for his brother's circulation deficiency since he was the last person who hn-ed, said, "Oi, Temari! You might want to let him go. You can't see his make-up anymore."
Upon looking down to see that one, indeed, could not see the kabuki paint, the blonde released her brother from her death grip and said apologetically, "Sorry."
"It's okay," Kankurou breathily managed between gasps, his face reverting to its normal color.
Itachi frowned at his lost entertainment.
Scratch that—Itachi glared at his lost entertainment. The two brothers shifted uncomfortably underneath the Uchiha's heated gaze.
Finally, deciding that his life wasn't worth a well-cooked meal, Kankurou said, "Gaara and I will just eat dinner at home… because… I left the stove on!" He grabbed his younger brother's hand and ran out of the house.
Temari blinked at the now unoccupied space. "How'd the stove get on? Don't they always come here directly after work?" she asked Itachi.
The ninja shrugged, hiding his evil pleasure in frightening little children. Or, in this case, not-so-little children. Actually, more like teenagers.
Stupid kids… teenagers… whatever those two were. Ah, young adults!
Itachi nodded, pleased with his newfound conclusion.
Temari stared in dazed wonderment as her loving fiancée began nodding at nothing in particular. "You're so weird…" she said, shaking her head.
The 'weird' person in question looked at her curiously. "I'm weird? Have you looked in a mirror recently?"
The blonde smirked. "Yes, actually, because I, unlike others, know the benefits gained from maintaining good personal hygiene."
"What does looking in a mirror have to do with that?"
She shrugged. "No idea, but it sounded cool."
"Overgrown, ugly, hairy ferret!" she retorted. No one insults her hair color and gets away with it!
He simply responded with a deft raise of his eyebrow. "Ferret?"
"Aren't those the same things as weasels?"
"Same family. Different genus."
The kunoichi's lips curved to form an 'o' shape. "Oh."
Suddenly hearing a loud crash, the couple poked their heads out of the window to see Kankurou rushing out of the house with his cat-hood on fire and Gaara rushing after him with his sand in an attempt to extinguish the flames.
"Put it out! Put it out!" Temari's younger brother was screaming as he ran down the street.
"Hold still, damn you!" the Kazekage cursed in reply as he followed the larger teen.
"Maybe we should have cooked for them," contemplated Itachi. "I think they lit the stove on fire again."
"Oh, well." Temari flopped onto their couch and let out a deep breath. "I'm bored."
"I knew it!!!" She leapt off her perch and onto Itachi's back.
"What…the hell." It came out as more of a statement than a question.
"Now, ride! Into the horizon!" the blonde ordered, pointing at some random direction. Directly in the random direction happened to be where the Akatsuki (who are taking part in this fic) were standing.
"Holy shit!" she exclaimed, leaning backwards, which caused Itachi to lean backwards, which caused them to lose balance and fall in a heap on the ground.
Deidara, Hidan, and Kakuzu snickered while Kisame and Tobi helped the two up.
"Why can't anyone knock?" Temari asked.
"The door was open, yeah," said Deidara. "You're brothers left it that way when they ran out."
The kunoichi began muttering beneath her breath. It had something to do with 'stupid brothers' and 'annoying teammates'.
"I am not annoying, yeah!" Deidara said indignantly. He ignored the looks shared by the other Akatsuki members.
"Believe what you may, but you all are annoying as hell," growled Itachi as he shoved them forcefully out the door.
"Kisame, I thought you said him having a wife made him more enjoyable to be around," said Kakuzu.
Kisame just shrugged. "Having a wife has helped his social skills. You just have to look closely and catch him in a good mood."
"Hell, does he even have a good mood?" Hidan vocally wondered.
"Weasel-kun, that wasn't very nice," scolded Temari.
Itachi just scowled.
"You didn't even let them say 'hi'! How often do you see them in a year?"
"Too often. Way too often."
Temari just laughed. "Well, they're gone now. Happy?"
"Weasel-kun…" she trailed off. Clearing her throat, the blond kunoichi began again, "Weasel-kun, we've been engaged for months now. When are we going to actually get married?"
Itachi shrugged. "How about now?"
Temari gaped. "Now?"
"Yeah, now. Let's go elope."
She stared some more.
"Anyways," he continued, "I don't like large weddings."
In the end, they eloped, much to Temari's brother's and the Akatsuki's ire, and lived generally happy lives filled with arguing, shouting, tripping, and watching television. Temari finally learned to cook a decent meal. Gaara, Kankurou, and the Akatsuki members never did learn to knock, which resulted in several injuries. Itachi never got out of the habit of saying 'hn', and Temari never stopped referring to her husband as 'Weasel-kun'.
Author's Final Final Word to the Readers: Thank you, once again, to all my wonderful reviewers! It's because of you that I was able to finish this fanfiction. I can't really thank anyone in particular because you all were such great support! So I'll just give a giant THANK YOU!!! to everyone for simply being awesome. Thanks again, stay cool, and enjoy your summer!