The Mysterious Hermano
A/N: This is based off of an episode of Arrested Development, one of my favorite TV shows. I wrote it for my friend who supports both ShikaKan and Arrested Development, and who also figures that Shikamaru is supposed to be Mexican.
Warnings; AU, Character Life, Hanabi (lifted from her relative obscurity), trace amounts of GaarSaku, ShikaTem, NaruSasu, JiraiTsu, OroTsu, (platonic) NejiHina, and SHIKAMARU AND KANKURO! TOGETHER! IF YOU DON'T LIKE YAOI, YOU SHOULDN'T BE READING THIS STORY! YOU SHOULD NOT HAVE EVEN CLICKED ON THIS STORY TO BEGIN WITH! What did you think SHIKAMARU X KANKURO meant? That they were going to double date with their girlfriends? If there's one thing I can't stand on fanfiction, it's people who click on a story that has something they don't like (incest, yaoi, yuri, lemon...) and then flame it, like they were surprised or something. Morons.
It was Gaara and Sakura's anniversary, and Kankuro had taken it upon himself to throw them a small party at the Uchiha place (because Sasuke had a wide-screen TV), with a little financial help from Tsunade. Only a few people were there: Gaara and Sakura, obviously, Temari and her boyfriend Shikamaru, Sasuke (as it was his house), Tsunade and Jiraiya, the Hyuuga cousins (you couldn't invite one without inviting the other because inevitably they would hear about it and be insulted), and Naruto.
"Thanks for doing this, Nii-san," Gaara said, finding a chance to hug his brother after cornering him at the punch bowl.
"Of course. Family first. Happy anniversary,"
"Anniversary?" Tsunade exclaimed, walking by with a martini. "You told me this was a Valentine's Day party! You tricked me!"
Kankuro laughed. "No, Tsunade-sama, I deceived you. Tricked makes it sound like we have a playful relationship."
"Touche. Shizune! Untie the balloons!"
In the next room, Shizune looked helplessly at the ninety-nine red balloons she had just finished inflating.
Kankuro wasn't much of a party person, so he settled himself in a corner with his drink and prepared to watch the action from afar, when Shikamaru (also not a big party person) joined him.
Temari and Shikamaru had a rocky relationship, mostly because Temari was not the type of girl capable of holding down a steady relationship for very long. And, much as he loved his sister, Kankuro felt that Shikamaru could do better. To be more direct, Kankuro felt that Shikamaru would be doing better to be doing him. He had even considered telling Shikamaru about his feelings when Temari decided to stop cheating on her boyfriend and just break up.
Two Weeks Ago: "Shikamaru, I think we should break up... It's not you, it's me. I've made a huge mistake."
But Kankuro had felt guilty, and had arranged for them to get back together.
One Week Ago: "Shikamaru, I love you... I've made a huge mistake!"
So it was awkward for him to be sitting next to Shikamaru, and all the more awkward when Shikamaru smiled at him. "All alone on Valentine's Day, huh?"
Kankuro shrugged and gulped down some punch. "Yup."
"I'm... a little surprised," Shikamaru admitted in his typical deliberate way. "You just seem... I dunno, like such a romantic... I can just picture you showing up at some lucky nin's door, in a tuxedo, with flowers, and a bottle of champagne."
Kankuro laughed nervously, grateful for how well the kabuki paint hid blushing. "Well, if I showed up with all that, maybe I could just get away with shorts and a T-shirt. I mean, I don't even own a tux," he babbled.
"Oh," Shikamaru shrugged. "So... you don't have anyone you're interested in?"
"Well, there was someone, but I was too much of a brother– bother, it was too much of a bother."
Shikamaru nodded, then noticed Temari waving for him and wandered off again. His seat was taken by Sakura, who had been watching and, as she was basically everybody's confidante, knew about her brother-in-law's relationship troubles. "That's got to hurt," she said sympathetically as Temari snogged her boyfriend.
"It does, a little, but I'm over it. Right now, I just want to focus on my family. I'm going to be all about supporting you guys. I mean, wow, five years. You two must be doing something right."
Sakura sighed. "If not filing for divorce is something right."
Kankuro looked at her. "Are you and Gaara ... ok?"
"He's back with Naruto."
Gaara had recently hired Naruto, whom he had long admired, to help coach him in having emotions. (Something Gaara had always struggled with). The pair was currently outside talking.
"So, do you see me as more the ice cube with a secret heart of gold, or the beloved optimistic child with the tragic past?"
Naruto clapped a hand on his prodigy's shoulder. "Gaara, let me tell you a story about angst. A few years back, I had just failed to make genin for the second time, I was sitting in the playground, watching the other kids and their parents talk and laugh... I go over to the restaurant across the street, get a leftover piece of steak, some frozen veggies, a little pepper... baby, I had a stew going!"
Gaara stared at him, at a complete loss for words.
And so, the family and friends gathered around the TV to watch the pre-recorded anniversary toast that Gaara's father had sent over from Suna, since, frankly, he didn't actually want to be in Konoha any more than his children wanted to see him.
"I know I've cheated, I've lied, I've whored around, but I have found PEACE—," the video started.
"Oh, no, not another one of his stupid Kaz Wisdom tapes!" Temari groaned as her father pranced around on screen trying to sell the complete set of his videos for only three easy payments of 14.99.
After a narrow escape from death at the hands of Orochimaru, the Kazekage had converted to an obscure religious sect known as "Jashinism" and had promptly begun marketing a series of self-help tapes based on his religious experiences.
"This was supposed to be my anniversary toast," Gaara exclaimed angrily, glaring at the VCR.
"Well, this was supposed to be my Valentine's Day Party," Tsunade countered unsympathetically. "Which reminds me... Shizune! Where are those balloons?"
"You want balloons now?"
Jiraiya looked around slyly, then began tapping his spoon against his glass. "Speech, speech, speech,"
The other joined in, "Speech. Speech. Speech."
The group continued to chant "Speech, speech," for several minutes for no one in particular.
"Gee, after all that, I was kind of hoping someone would make a speech," Sasuke said when they finally stopped.
By this time, Kankuro had had quite a few glasses of punch, so he stepped up gamely. "All right... I'll think up something to say... Well, I know that none of us here have had it easy in life. We've all been pushed around and shot down, and sometimes it feels like it's just not worth it to pick yourself up and keep going. But, I think Sakura and Gaara have shown us that it is worth it, even if it hurts, to keep going, not just give up and take the easy way out... so, on this very unusual Valentine's Day, to Gaara and Sakura," the couple raised their glasses, "To Tsunade and her old teammate,"
"Let's not forget my boyfriend," Tsunade beamed, pulling Jiraiya closer.
A bead of sweat appeared on Kankuro's forehead, but he didn't miss a beat. "That's who I meant, to Naruto, Sasuke, and their respective girlfriends, to—," Kankuro stopped himself with a laugh and pointed to the two people he had been about to toast. "I almost said Neji and Hinata, there."
Hinata and the rest of the crowd smiled, and Neji burst into semi-hysterical laughter. Kankuro remembered uneasily that Tenten had just broken up with him in a dispute over an unknown girl. He decided to keep going as though nothing had happened. "To Temari and Shikamaru, I love all of you, Shika."
And that's when Shikamaru realized that it was not Temari, but her brother that was everything he wanted. "I've made a huge mistake," he whispered to himself.
Most of the partygoers collapsed in various bedrooms around the house, the exception being Shikamaru, who had to get home, because it was his father's night to get drunk off peppermint schnapps at the Konoha Legion, and his son had to be there when he got home to help him to bed. Temari walked him home.
"And I don't have a problem with that," Kankuro told Sakura, downing another goblet of punch and then staggering off to a guest bedroom.
"Come on, Hinata-sama, let's get you to bed," Neji said, pulling Hinata along against her will.
"I'm not a little kid anymore, I can put myself to bed! I am a woman, Naru— Nudgie," she corrected herself, even though the outburst (and the jacket-ripping off to reveal her cleavage that accompanied it) was clearly directed at Naruto. The blond man completely ignored her as her cousin lead her away. He was stopping Sasuke from throwing away a sparerib he hadn't eaten.
"Whoa!" Naruto rescued the meat. "There's still some meat on this bone! You put this in a pot, add some water, some noddles, baby, you've got yourself a stew."
Sakura and Gaara looked at each other, fake smiles at the ready. "Well, guess we should turn in..."
The couple looked at each other again. Finally, Sakura shook her head. "Gaara, we can't keep avoiding the problem. We need to look at this marriage head on and confront whatever it is that's wrong."
"Hinata, you're rooming with me," Sakura declared as her husband claimed the young brunette's bed from himself.
"What?" Neji asked, looking alarmed. "But why?"
"Because..." Sakura smiled phonily as Hinata clung to her. "Um... cousins of the opposite gender... shouldn't be roommates."
"That's ridiculous, of course they should... er, can be. That's why they call it 'bunkin' cousins'! Gender has nothing to do with it!" Neji objected, a little too loudly. Hinata, on the other hand, was all too grateful to not have to stay with the member of her family who had openly tried to kill her on more than one occasion.
"I thought that was 'kissin' cousins,' Neji," Gaara said.
"But we aren't kissing, that's the point!"
"Neji?" Hinata said uncertainly, "It's ok... good night."
Hinata tried to get some sleep, but Sakura was not so inclined.
"This'll be fun! Like a sleep over!" she said, bouncing up and down on Hinata's bed. Hinata groaned.
"That's it. Sakura, tell me what's up with you and Gaara!"
"Nothing at all!" Sakura said unconvincingly.
"It's your anniversary, and you're sleeping in separate bedrooms. What's wrong?"
"I told you, nothing. We have a wonderful, close relationship..." Sakura leaned in, as though telling a secret, "And you know something else? Knowing he's in the next room makes me miss him all the more."
Hinata blinked at her. "Please, Sakura. He's got a big-boy crush on "Believe-it" Uzumaki."
"I know!" Sakura groaned, flopping back on the bed.
Gaara was trying to sleep, but something was bothering him. "Neji, do you always sleep with your headband on?"
"Yes... it's a thing... you wouldn't understand."
"Do you wear it constantly because you're ashamed to be branded with the symbol associated with the group responsible for one of the worst genocides in human history, or because you want to hide your widow's peak?"
There was a long silence from Neji's bed. "...I'm hiding my widow's peak."
"Kankuro! Kankuro! Wake up!" Temari shook her brother until he began to stir.
"I think Shikamaru is cheating on me!"
"That's ridiculous, he's not the type. If he was cheating, I'd like to think— you're the cheater, not him!"
"I know, that's how I know all the signs! He's all weird and distant, wouldn't make love to me in Sasuke's dead parents' bedroom... I won't even tell you what he would do on the way home, and when he got home, he started talking to his dad, all secret-like, in Spanish,"
"Shikamaru speaks Spanish?"
"Oh, yeah, his whole family does. Anyway, this guy's name kept coming up... Hermano..."
"A guy!?" Kankuro exclaimed.
"I'm not all that surprised, actually... he's always been a little... queer, y'know, not real into sex... I mean, how do you not have sex with me?"
"It is a struggle," Kankuro said sarcastically. "Anyway, Temari, I'm going to help you find this Hermano guy. If Shikamaru dates anyone, it's going to be one of us."
"And I don't have a problem with that."
Hermano is Spanish for brother. So, the conversation that Temari overheard at the Nara household, translated, went like this;
"Hey, son. How was your date?"
"I just can't get over that you're dating a girl. I mean, you were always so anti female, I'd always assumed you were gay."
"... I am, Dad. I'm in love with her brother." (Hermano.)
"Her brother?" (Hermano?)
"Her brother." (Hermano.)
"Well, ready to find this Hermano, mom frere?" Temari asked Kankuro in the morning. "That's French for brother, by the way. I don't know why I know that. I took four years of Spanish."
Hinata awoke, severely hung-over, and went to the kitchen to get some coffee... where she found Naruto and Sasuke passed out in a heap.
Naruto raised his head from Sasuke's chest feebly. "Oh, hey, Hinata."
"What are you doing?"
"Oh, Sasuke and I were just getting a stew on last night."
"I don't know what that means, but it sounds disgusting," she said, storming into the livingroom, where she found Kankuro leafing through an unfinished manuscript of a book.
"Oh, are you reading that, Kankuro-kun?"
"Yeah... The Misadventures of Hermano... did you write this?"
"No, my little sister Hanabi did... Dad's not real happy that she wants to be a writer, so Shikamaru's been letting her use his computer and stuff."
And Kankuro was heartbroken, yet again, because not only was Shikamaru a cheater, he was apparently straight after all.
His cell phone rang. It was Temari.
"Ok, Fratello (that's Italian for Brother, by the way) I've been on his trail all day, and I think he's gay... He just bought something at that swanky men's store downtown,"
"Actually, Temari, I was just talking to Hi—,"
"Oh, gotta go. I'm losing signal..."
She hung up, and the phone rang again. This time, it was Shikamaru.
"Oh. Hello. My sister's not here," Kankuro said coldly.
"No... I ... wanted to talk to you, actually, Kankuro. I was wondering... could you come over for dinner tonight?"
Kankuro was angry that Shikamaru would cheat on his beloved sister, and jealous that he was involved with someone else, but he still blushed at the question. He agreed; to get to the bottom of the "Hermano" mystery, he told himself.
Temari had met up with another expert on cheating, Jiraiya.
"I need to find the man called Hermano."
"He's cheating on you with Gaara?!"
"Gaara is Hermano?!"
"Hermano means brother."
"It does?" Temari was stumped. "Well, I know he's not dating Gaara... so, who is he seeing?"
Jiraiya thought about this for a moment. "Well, everybody around here calls Neji "Nii-san" a lot because of Hinata... I'd start with him."
Temari cracked her knuckles.
Dinner with Shikamaru was awkward. How awkward? Well, Hanabi answered the door.
"Does Temari know about this arrangement?" Kankuro asked, nodding over to Hanabi, who was typing at the computer as though she was alone.
"Nah, too much of a drag explaining it to her, and then she'd get all jealous and stuff," Shikamaru sighed. "Anyway, Hanabi wasn't much of a threat to Temari."
"You're already thinking of her as past tense, huh?" Kankuro growled. Shikamaru turned red.
"Well, I mean, it's like you said last night, you can't just take the easy way out of things when you know there's a problem,"
"You've made it work so far,"
"That was before I realized, and, I mean, it's not fair to her, and it's such a drag to keep it up..." the phone rang, much to the relief of both men. Shikamaru left the table to answer it, looking flustered, which was rare, for Shikamaru. Kankuro would have felt bad for him if he wasn't so angry.
And that's when Kankuro found the package from the expensive men's store that Temari had mentioned. Curious, he opened it to find a tuxedo and a little note.
Now you just have to bring the champagne.
Te amo -Shikamaru.
The sound of typing caught his attention. "Hanabi, you speak Spanish, right?"
"A little," she admitted, spinning to face him in her swively computer chair.
"What does 'te amo' mean?"
"I love you."
Kankuro sighed, the sinking feeling in his stomach getting worse and worse. "And your book... is about Neji, isn't it?"
"You've read it?" Hanabi said, sounding a little pleased. "Yeah, Shikamaru-kun came up with the alias, because everybody calls him "Nii-san" and Hermano means,"
"Brother," Kankuro finished. "I've made a huge mistake."
Just then, Shikamaru rushed into the room. "Kankuro, Neji just put your sister in the hospital!"
Temari looked ok, except for the life support machines. "It was him, Kan-kun! Hermano means brother!"
Kankuro slapped himself on the forehead. "No, Temari, it wasn't Neji, it was me! I'm Hermano. I'm the one Shikamaru was after."
Temari smiled. "Really?"
Temari laughed. "Boy do I look like an idiot now. Do you like him?"
Kankuro turned red. "Yeah, actually. I do."
"AW! How sweet!"
"You don't care?"
Temari shook her head. "If I had known it was you... you're a good kid, hermano."
Shikamaru was pacing the hospital lobby, worried about Temari and berating himself for his stupid little escapade that night. The one time his strategic skills had failed him. He had known how close the Sand Sibs were, he should have known that Kankuro wouldn't date his sister's boyfriend behind her back. He should have talked to Temari first, how stupid of him... now it was over, totally over, and his girlfriend was dying... that's what you get for trying to be romantic.
Kankuro was smiling when he walked out of Temari's room. He ignored Hanabi, who was scribbling furiously on a legal pad before she forgot what she wanted to write, and walked up to Shikamaru.
"Let's go for it."
A/N: Usually at the end of a parody I list who played what part, but that's difficult, since I changed some people to play more than one role in this. However, here's as good as I can do:
Kankuro as Michael Bluth,
Temari as G.O.B. Bluth,
Tsunade as Lucille Bluth (Kinda),
Haruno Sakura as Lindsay Funke,
Gaara as Tobias Funke,
Nara Shikamaru as Marta,
Hyuuga Hanabi as Marta's child,
Hyuuga Neji as George-Michael Bluth (And Marta's Co-Star),
Hyuuga Hinata as Maeby Bluth,
Uzumaki Naruto as Carl Weathers,
and Jiraiya and Uchiha Sasuke as Whoever I Needed Them To Be.