Me again, with another Naruto fic.

This one is a little bit odd, but... I wanted to write this. Kankuro is pretty cool, I think. This is a kind of a character introspective drabble-y fic. I hope that ya'll like it. Please, please review. This is highly experimental, and I want to hear what you guys think.

Please check out my profile page, while you're at it.

I don't own Naruto.


Cold paint touches his face lightly, but he doesn't flinch.

He's used to it by now.

The brush slides up from his jaw line and then across over a pale scar on his cheekbone, one that he had gotten years ago from his father.

He closes his eyes, allowing the brush to ghost over his eyelids, strong and thick as he slowly thins the line as it reaches his temple.

He repeats the mirroring action, counting silently as he waits for the paint to dry.

He stares into the mirror, mapping out the lines of the paint.

His dark brown-black eyes gaze piercingly back at him, contrasting the pale skin and half applied paint.

He dips the brush into the bottle before underlining each cold, emotionless eye carefully.

A broad, strong line runs down from his forehead to the end of his nose.

Strong and powerful, it declared. Like he was supposed to be.

Shaking his head slightly, he reaches up and glides the brush over his lips, taking care not to brush the surrounding skin.

Gently, he paints a triangular shape on the center of his chin, reaching up to the bottom of his lip.

He stares into the mirror again, searching for the slightest imperfection.

His eyes fine none. The scars are all covered. The thick purple paint around his eyes covers the bruise that Temari gave him yesterday.

The lines of emotions are washed away, hidden under the ink that comes with his status.

That is the objective of the puppeteer. Hide your face from the world, they say.

He laughs quietly at the thought, the veneer he presents to the world.

Normality. The face of society.

He hides the rage, the anger, the frustration behind the mask.

He hides the talent, the intelligence, the cunning behind the puppets.

He hides the pain, the hurt, the loneliness behind the laughter.

He laughs again. He laughs, as always, to hide the pain.

On impulse, he seizes the brush and draws a line from the corner of his eye to about where his mouth is.

A single teardrop to replace the one that he always refuses to let drop.

Sighing slightly, he musses his thick brown hair and pulls on the black cloth hat. He straightens the 'ears' and looks once more into the mirror.

Kankuro stares back at the puppet master in the mirror, the fa├žade that he shows to the world.

Sighing again, he stands up and leaves the room, shoving the pain back into the corners of his mind.