Arc 3 - Part 8


Little known fact - Kankurou is the most sensitive of the Sand Siblings.

Kankurou trudged through the streets of Suna, headed home from the Kazekage's office. He had just returned from a lengthy mission and he was exhausted, not to mention starved. He really wanted to quicken his pace so that he would get home sooner but he just didn't have the energy.

He hoisted his scrolls a little higher and continued on his way, glancing absently from side to side. As he passed close to a little, round house, he heard voices coming from above him. He walked on a bit, then turned back and looked upward, raising his hand to shield his eyes from the glare of the sun.

A middle aged man and a little boy were standing on the flat roof of the house - Kankurou (rightly) assumed that they were father and son. The man had a kite in his hands and he was winding the string back onto the spool while simultaneously walking back to the boy. He looked down and handed the spool to the child, covering his son's smaller hands with his own to make sure that he kept a firm grip on it, all the while, talking to him and instructing him how to keep the kite in the air.

Kankurou felt something tighten in his chest as he watched the father and son and unable to bear it, he turned and started down the street at a much brisker pace. However he couldn't move fast enough to evade the memory that was threatening to overwhelm him - a memory that he'd thought long forgotten...

Kankurou stood in front of the Kazekage's office door, trying to build up the courage to knock. In all his eight years of life, he had never once been to the Kazekage's office without a summons but today was going to be different. Today he didn't have a summons but he was going to go in anyway. Now if he could just stop his hands from shaking and knock on the darn door.

He looked down at the small, purple kite in his hands. He thought it looked pretty good if he said so himself. He had made it in between training sessions in the hope that maybe, just maybe the Kazekage could take time out of his busy schedule to teach him how to fly it.

He dropped the hand with the kite to his side and lifted his other hand to knock when a familiar voice called out to him, "Kankurou? What are you doing here?"

Kankurou turned and saw Temari walking toward him. He immediately hid the kite behind his back but she still managed to catch a glimpse of it. He shrugged, stood up straighter and puffed out his chest - even then, he'd been trying to act tough, "I came to see the Kazekage - "

He stopped when the door to the Kazekage's office suddenly swung open and the Kazekage himself appeared in his customary white and blue. The perpetual frown on his face deepened, "What are you two doing here?"

Kankurou gulped and all of his resolve drained away - he was suddenly glad that he'd already hidden the kite. He shook his head, "I, um, I - "

Temari, his saviour, jumped in. "Good day, Kazekage-sama," she said, bowing deeply (Kankurou followed suit), "We're very sorry to bother you - we know you're busy but we were hoping that maybe later when you're not so busy, you could, um," she faltered then for the request sounded foolish even to her own ears.

Kankurou suddenly brought forward his creation, "Kite," he muttered dumbly, eyes to the ground, afraid to see the scorn (or worse, anger) in the Kazekage's eyes.

Several minutes of silence passed, then the Kazekage made a short, dismissive sound before brushing past his elder son and walking down the hall.

Kankurou continued to stand there, in front of his father's open office door, not thinking, not thinking about anything, all the while feeling Temari's concerned gaze boring into the back of his head.

Eventually he felt her link her arm with his and start to tug him gently down the hallway, back outside, away from the mean man who refused to play with his own children. She said nothing about what happened, just murmured quietly, "I'll fly it with you."

Kankurou placed one foot in front of the other and allowed his sister to pull him into the bright, bright sunlight, finally understanding why he and Temari always called the Kazekage 'Kazekage'.

When Kankurou finally emerged from the memory, he found that his feet had taken him further away from home rather than closer. It was just as well, he thought as he turned a corner and started down another street.

When he finally reached his destination, he dropped his scrolls to the floor, then dropped himself to the ground as well, seating himself directly across from the large hourglass shaped tombstone.

He sighed and leaned back against the wall, making himself comfortable. Then he looked at the tombstone and read the short inscription - there was only one word transcribed there - Kazekage. "Hey," he whispered, scuffing the ground with his shoe, "It's been a long time."

Little known fact - Kankurou is the most sensitive of the Sand Siblings.

A/N: In case you were wondering about the food in this chapter, well it's food for thought and the theme is starvation. Yes, i know I'm grasping at straws but I really wanted to post this here. Besides, Easter is kite season. Yes, I know it's probably too windy in Suna for kites but whatever. Happy Easter!