Title: No Regrets
Summary: At Temari's wedding, Gaara catches the bouquet. Inept at understanding things like superstion and luck, Gaara now believes he has to get married. He wanders around the wedding party asking random girls to marry him. Matsuri, who is at this point mostly drunk, agrees to marry him. Insert hilarity here. [gaara/matsuri, shika/tema, minor reference to ino/chou and jiraya/tsunade
A/N: Many super huge thanks to my awesome and super-fast beta, crazykuroi! And an added thank to jade, for, uh, 'inspiring' me, lol!
The wedding colors were dark green and black, respectively.
"To match her eyes," said a love-struck and possibly drugged Shikamaru, no doubt repeating what his mother had preached to him a million times already. Overall, Shikamaru-the-Groom looked as though he would much rather be anywhere else in the world right now, at least until Temari-the-Bride came and latched on to his arm, which replaced his forlorn look with a hazy gaze and a half-assed smile.
"We should have eloped," he would whisper slowly. "Why the hell didn't we elope?"
In response, Temari would fidget uncomfortably in her dress, tug at her hair, and tell him plainly: "Your mother would have killed us."
That answer did not satisfy Shikamaru. "She would have gotten over it. I'm her only son—she can't hate me forever." He would then shove his hands uncomfortably in his pockets, and frown. "We could be on our honeymoon right now. We could be having sex, right now, on the beach."
On the inside, Temari was just as miserable as Shikamaru. At least he wasn't in high heels and a dress. "Oh, get over it, crybaby. The reception will only last a few more hours."
To which he would simply roll his eyes, and mutter, "How trouble—"
"Don't say it!"
He blinked. "Er, troubling?" He would offer lamely, only to get smacked upside the head by his new wife.
The conversation would then repeat itself identically every ten minutes or so.
It amused Gaara to no end.
As Kazekage, he had been to a number of weddings, and had performed even more of them, but this was the first he had attended in which he was actually related to someone of the wedding party. Weddings were a lot more fun, Gaara thought, when his sister was the dolled-up bride, and he was allowed to relax and have fun, rather than smile uncomfortably and give his best wishes to people he didn't even know.
It helped, too, that he had friends there, even if Naruto was slightly tipsy (or possibly completely hammered, Gaara never quite knew the difference) and Rock Lee was in a dress, screaming to the world: "I AM A BEAUTIFUL PRINCESS OF SPRRRIIIINNNGGGTIMMMMEEEE YOUTHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!"
It was still a fun party, as far as Gaara was concerned.
At least, until that happened.
"Okay everyone!" Yoshino, the mother of the groom, screamed out cheerfully. "It's almost time for the newly-weds to leave on their honeymoon—"
("Oh, thank God." said newly-weds in complete unison, which got a couple of good-natured chuckles from the people close enough to hear them.)
"So it's time to throw the bouquet!"
Temari blinked. "You want me to throw this?"
"Well, yes, of course I do, it's tradition, but—"
The blonde threw her arms up in the air. "Okay! That part's easy!"
"WAIT, NOT YE—"
But it was too late. Gone was the simple yet elegant bouquet, off into the crowd surrounding the bride, never to be found again…
…Until it appeared moments later in Gaara's hand.
In fact, Gaara was quite sure he could hear crickets chirping in the background.
"Well," Naruto hiccupped, "That's awkward."
"It's unorthodox." Yoshino corrected. "Girls are supposed to catch the bouquet."
"I wasn't trying to catch the flowers," Gaara defended himself. "They just sort of…landed here."
"Oh, who the hell cares?" Temari said plainly, earning a mild look of annoyance from her mother-in-law. "This wedding is unorthodox! Gaara, you can keep the damn flowers. Come on, Shikamaru, let's go."
The groom blinked. "But—"
That got the groom to his feet. "Yes ma'am."
"YOU CAN'T LEAVE YET!" Yoshino cried, running after the sprinting couple.
And slowly but surely, the remaining wedding party returned to the prior habitations. Naruto had yet another drink, Ino hit on anything male with legs, and Lee was still wearing a dress. (Why he was, Gaara didn't want to know.)
"Great." Gaara said out loud, holding the flowers out in annoyance. "Now what am I supposed to do?"
"You -hic- don't -hic- know?" Naruto said, drunkenly draping an arm around Gaara's shoulders.
A vein popped out of Gaara's forehead. In years past, he simply would have killed his friend for asking such a stupid question. Nowadays, however, he simply ground his teeth a bit. "I wouldn't have asked if I did."
"Oh," Naruto replied stupid. "Well, it means you have to -hic- get married, of course."
Gaara dropped the bouquet.
"It's tradition." Naruto said with a drunken, toothy grin. "Whoever catches the -hic- bouquet has to -hic- get married next."
Oh shit. Was Gaara's only thought at the moment. Suddenly, he eyed the flowers on the floor, not with annoyance, but with despair.
Naruto patted him on the back cheerfully. "I'd be -hic- finding me a bride, if I were you."
"Will you marry me?"
"Will you marry me?"
"Will you marry me?"
The girl's face turned very, very red. "I-It's n-not that I w-wouldn't, G-gaara-kun, but N-naruto-kun…"
Gaara sighed. "I'll take that as a no, then."
Off to find another girl, then.
"Will you marry me?"
"Will you marry me?'
"I'm already married, idiot, go find someone else!"
"Will you marry me?"
The blonde in question stared at him momentarily. "Well, that depends. Are you rich?"
Gaara huffed. "I am the Kazekage. Of course I'm rich."
The blonde's face turned into a very wide smile. "Well then, of course I'll marry—"
Right before she could finish, a gigantic, heavy-set young man in a tux (whom Gaara recognized as the Best Man) grabbed her and pulled her away.
"What she means to say, Gaara-sama," The man--Chouji, if Gaara could recall—intervened. "Is no thank-you, Kazekage, sir, but thank you for the offer."
The blonde blinked, her face red with anger. "But this one is rich, Chouji! He's not a worthless bum like the last guy. I could so marry him."
Chouji sighed. "No, Ino, you don't need to marry anyone."
The girl—Ino, Gaara supposed was her name—frowned. "But Shikamaru got married! I should get married, too. I think I'll—"
"I think you've had enough to drink." Chouji said plainly. He then proceeded to pick the blonde up and carried her away from the wedding party.
Ah, damn. There went another one.
Oh well. Time to try again…
"Will you marry me?"
"Will you marry me?"
"Will you marry me?"
"That is the worst pick up line I've ever heard. Go flirt with someone else, will you?"
He was flirting? Wow. He thought, mildly amused. That's a first.
Time to try again.
"Will you marry me?"
"Haven't you already asked me?"
"I have?" Gaara blinked slowly. "Oh, sorry."
"No problem." The woman then drowned a bit more of her sake. Gaara stared at her intrusively.
"You, uh, haven't changed your mind, have you?"
Tsunade smiled at him gracefully. "I'm sorry, kid, but you're just a little too young for me."
He stared at her again, blinking briefly. "How old are you?"
She grimaced. "Older than I look."
"Ancient," the woman's white-haired companion answered, a wicked grin plastered on his face. "Older than dirt. Why, she's must be at least a hundred and fifty years old, and that's being generous—"
"JIRAYA SHUT YOUR MOUTH BEFORE I SHUT IT FOR YOU!" Tsunade screamed. She then paused, thinking over what he just said. "And I can't be a hundred and fifty years old! If I was a hundred and fifty, you'd be even older BECAUSE YOU'RE OLDER THAN ME!"
The man snorted before drowning another large gulp of sake. "At least I look my age and don't get hit on by twenty-something year olds."
Gaara's eyes widened. "Um, I meant no disrespect, of course, but—"
"SHUT UP JIRAYA! YOU JUST WISH YOU COULD GET HIT ON BY TWENTY-SOMETHINGS!"
Gaara winced. "Um, I think I shall be taking my leave…"
He then ran as far from that area as he could without making a scene.
Okay. Okay. Breathe Gaara! He could do this. He was the Kazekage. He could find a wife. Sure. No problem. Mind you, his most recent attempts at it had failed miserably, but he wasn't going to give up. Not yet, at least.
"Will you marry me?"
"Will you marry me?"
"Will you marry me?"
If Gaara had had eyebrows, he was sure one of them would have been raised in complete and utter frustration.
"IS THERE ANYONE HERE WHO WOULD BE WILLING TO MARRY ME?!" He screamed, loud enough for the entire wedding party to hear.
("I wil—" Ino began, only to be silenced by Chouji once more. "NO SHE WILL NOT- IGNORE HER!")
"If you would like, Gaara-sensei," A petite voice called out from the crowd. "I would be willing to marry you."
Gaara whirled around as fast as he could, his eyes meeting those of his future bride's.
It was his student, Matsuri.
He had forgotten about her, to be quite honest. Matsuri could be surprisingly quiet and unnoticed when she chose to be.
His face turned slightly red.
No. Matsuri was his student. Never mind that she was only a year younger than him. Wasn't there something unethical about marrying your student?
And yet…Matsuri was the first person besides Temari and Kankuro to accept him. She was very precious to him, and he would be absolutely devastated if something were to happen to her…
"Are you sure?" He had to ask, with all the politeness he could muster at that point.
Now, to wait for her answer…
Matsuri had absolutely no idea why she just said that.
…Okay, so she might have had a crush on him. Might have. A long time ago. Back when she was a little girl and he still had a monster inside of him. Big deal. He was just so different from everything she had expected him to be. It was like going in and expecting a monster and instead, finding a prince. Gaara-sensei was kind to her, appreciated her, taught her and cared for her. She would do anything in the world for Gaara-sensei.
And she knew, of course, that not many other girls would agree to marry Gaara-sensei. Many in their village still believed Gaara-sensei to be a horrible, demon-possessed monster, even after his numerous sacrifices for the village. Chances were, Matsuri might have been the only chance poor Gaara-sensei had, and, well, she was willing to help her Kazekage with whatever it was he needed, even if it was a bride.
So she smiled at him warmly, took another large drink of her sake, and prayed she would remember what happened come morning.
"Sure! Why not?"
"Really?!" Gaara said cheerily. "That's great!"
"Are we having another wedding?" Naruto asked with a cheeky grin, a bottle of sake half drank in his hands. "I love weddings! Who are you marrying, Gaara?"
He smiled. "My student, Matsuri."
The blond man stared at the girl, a wide-eyed grin plastered on his face. "Well, then, welcome to the family, Matsuri!"
A rough-feeling hand landed on the girl's shoulder. "Gaara, you cannot be serious."
Gaara blinked at his brother. "Of course I'm serious, Kankuro. When am I not serious?"
The brown-haired man stared. "Right now. You can't get married!"
"But why not?" Gaara cried. "She said she'd marry me!"
Kankuro sighed. "She's probably drunk, Gaara."
Matsuri huffed. "I'm only tipsy!" She then tripped over her own feet and would have fallen face down on the floor, if Gaara hadn't swooped down to catch her.
His brother blinked. "See? She can't even walk straight. She's definitely not in the right mindset to give you a real answer—"
"But I really want to marry Gaara-sensei!" Matsuri argued, remaining in Gaara's arms. "He treats me nicely, looks after me even though I'm not that great of a ninja," she then hiccuped briefly. "And he's sweet."
Kankuro blinked. "Are we still talking about my brother, here?"
"Yes." Matsuri argued.
"I think you're just jealous," Gaara said, smirking. "Because Temari got married, and now I'm getting married, and no one is ever going to be willing to marry you."
Kankuro's face turned bright red. "THAT IS TOTALLY NOT TRUE! I COULD SO GET MARRIED AT ANY POINT IN TIME, TO ANY GIRL I CHOOSE!"
Gaara simply rolled his eyes in response.
"So, are we having a wedding?" Naruto hiccuped. "Let's have another wedding!"
"Well, that will depend." Gaara answered plainly. "Tsunade-sama, would you be willing to perform another wedding?"
The woman blinked. "But of course!"
"Sure thing!" She grinned widely. "SHIZUNE! GET ME SOME NEW WEDDING PAPERS! I GOT A WEDDING I NEED TO PERFORM!"
Matsuri blinked. "We're seriously going to do this?"
Gaara shrugged. "I don't see why not. Besides my sister, everyone I could possibly want to be at my wedding is here already. Why not kill two stones with one bird?"
Kankuro blinked again. "You mean two birds with one stone."
"Right," Gaara said sheepishly. "I always get those things messed up."
Matsuri frowned, biting her lip softly. "But what about the wedding party? I mean, don't we need a best man, a maid of honor…"
"Naruto," Gaara said calmly. "You're my best man."
"Alright!" The boy cheered. "Don't worry, Gaara, I'll be the best Best Man ever. Believe it!"
"Don't ever do that again," Gaara warned. "And, uh, Rock Lee?"
The Green Beast of Konoha smiled. "Yes, Gaara-kun? Whatever do you need?"
"Um…" Gaara had to turn away, unable to look at his friend seriously. "Why are you in a dress again?"
"We were short of bridesmaids." Sakura answered, a grim look of embarrassment glued to her face. "He was the only man confident enough in his sexuality to wear the damn thing and be Neji's escort."
Neji still look traumatized from the whole experience.
Poor guy. Gaara thought sadly.
"Well, then, Lee, will you be our Maid of Honor?" Since you are, uh, already dressed for the occasion?
Lee jumped up in excitement. "But of course I shall, Gaara-kun! Do not worry, I shall do whatever it is required of me to assist my friends in their journey towards beautiful youth and love!"
"Er, thanks. I guess." Gaara said lamely.
Around then, Shizune popped up. "Here are the papers, Tsunade-sama." She breathed in deeply, trying to catch her breath. "But I don't get it; aren't Shikamaru and Temari already married?"
"Of course they are. Those two are on their honeymoon right now." She answered plainly, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. "Gaara-san is the one who wants to get married now."
Shizune blinked. "Right now?"
Tsunade shrugged. "Why the hell not?" She then straightened up, brushed a bit of wedding cake off of her blouse, and then proceeded with the wedding ceremony.
"Do you have any witnesses?" She asked plainly, organizing the papers in front of her.
"Naruto. Lee." Gaara answered. Then, as an afterthought, "And I suppose Kankuro, too."
The boy in question rolled his eyes. "Glad to know I'm so important, little brother."
"Right." Tsunade said, ignoring the banter that would have followed. "Do you, Sabaku no Gaara, take thee, uh…"
"Matsuri." Matsuri added calmly.
"Matsuri, to be your lawfully wedded wife?"
"I do." He said, a smile on his face.
"And do you, Matsuri, take thee, Sabaku no Gaara, to be your lawfully wedded husband?"
"And," Tsunade asked to the lingering crowd that still remained. "Is there any here who have any objection to this union? Speak now or forever hold your peace."
Kankuro merely rolled his eyes. "You do know Temari's going to kill you for getting married while she's on her honeymoon."
Gaara shrugged. "She'll get over it eventually."
"Alright then. Any preference on where we bury the body?"
Gaara paused, his hand on his chin thoughtfully. "I guess near Mom's grave, I suppose."
Kankuro nodded. "Alright. I got it."
Tsunade's eyebrow rose. "So no objections?"
"Nope." Kankuro grinned. "If he wants Temari to kill him, that's his own business. I'm more worried Matsuri is going to wake up in the morning and hate herself."
Matsuri grinned. "Nope, not yet!"
"Then," Tsunade said smiling, "By the power invested in me as the Hokage of Konoha, I now pronounce you husband and wife! Go on, then! Kiss-kiss!"
Gaara smiled softly before pulling Matsuri closer and kissing her so very gently on the lips.
It was beautiful.
AT THE BEACH, A FEW DAYS LATER…
A man in a nice tuxedo came up to her while she was sunbathing on the beach.
"Nara Temari?" The man asked. Temari removed her sunglasses and looked at the man, angry that he had interrupted her sunbathing. "I believe this is for you."
Temari took the drink out of the man's hand and looked at him blankly. "…I didn't order this." She said stiffly, completely and utterly confused.
The man nodded. "I know you didn't. It was ordered for you by another guest. I believe she said she was your sister?"
Immediately suspicious, Temari looked at the drink wearily. "I don't have a sister. Unless," she looked over to her husband beside her, ready to grill him on his family history…
…only to find he was fast asleep.
He's going to get sunburned, and I'm going to laugh at him. Temari thought evilly. And besides-he's an only child.
"I don't know who this is from." She said blankly. "Can you at least point out to me who paid for it?"
The man in the tux nodded. "Certainly, madam."
He then pointed over to a young couple nearby.
Temari squinted her eyes. Well, they certainly didn't look suspicio—
"HOLY CRAP IS THAT GAARA?!"
Her yelling woke up the man beside her. "Damnit, Temari, it's our honeymoon. Unless you want sex, let me sleep…"
"OH GOD, IT IS MY BROTHER!" Temari screamed, oblivious to her husband's complaints. "AND, AND…IS THAT A GIRL?"
That woke Shikamaru up. "You have got to be kidding—"
But, as it turns out, it was Gaara. And…
"Isn't that Matsuri?"
Sure enough, it was. In fact, the younger couple had caught sight of them, and waved at them cheekily.
"HEY TEMARI! HEY SHIKAMARU!"
That got the two beach bums up, rushing towards them like bats out of hell.
"Gaara? Matsuri? What in the nine layers of hell are you--?"
"Hi Temari!" Matsuri smiled and waved. "We got married!"
Temari's face paled. "You…you what?"
Gaara shrugged nonchalantly. "We got married."
Temari eyed them both. "You…got married."
Temari frowned. "You weren't even dating. Were you?"
"No," Gaara answered honestly. "But Naruto said that, well, because I caught the bouquet, I had to get married. So I asked Matsuri here if she would marry me—"
"I said yes!"
"—and so here we are, married." Gaara then smiled lightly. "And on our honeymoon. Just like you!"
Temari couldn't help it; she burst out laughing as hard as she could.
"Oh Gaara!" She giggled, finding this entire situation amusing. "That's a superstition! You didn't actually have to get married!"
"Oh." Gaara blinked, utterly confused. "But I like being married to Matsuri-chan. Can't we stay married, Temari-neesan?"
He was being serious. He only called Temari 'neesan' whenever he was being serious. Or if he perhaps wanted her to do something for him.
"That's completely up to you." Temari said with a smile. "Who and why you get married is something only the two of you can decide."
"I'm just, er, shocked that Matsuri-san said yes." Shikamaru confessed, reminding everyone he was there.
"Well, I was a little drunk at the time," Matsuri explained, as though that explained everything. "And you can imagine that I was, uh, surprised when I woke up and Gaara told me we were married."
Gaara winced at the memory. "She screamed for fifteen minutes straight before she let me explain what I was doing in bed with her."
"But then I thought about it, and I decided, you know, why shouldn't I stay married to Gaara-sensei? I mean, it's not like I have many other friends, certainly not any other suitors…He's only a year older than me, I already know him, and, well, it just made sense, you know?" She then smiled widely and leaned her head on Gaara's shoulders. "We then decided to go on our honeymoon here, since we knew you guys would be here, and we figured Temari would want to know as soon as possible, so well, here we are!"
Shikamaru smiled. "Well, I think a congratulations is in order." He shook Gaara's hand professionally and offered his congrats to the newlyweds.
"Thank you, Nara-san." Gaara said quietly.
Shikamaru rolled his eyes. "No need to be so formal, Gaara. We are family now, you know. You can call me niisan, if you'd like."
Gaara's smile widened. "Thank you, then, Shikamaru-niisan. And Temari-neesan—"
Temari wrapped her arms around her little brother tightly. "Oh, my baby brother is married! Oh, I never thought this day would come!" She sniffled lightly. "I'm so happy! Mind you, I have half a mind to kill you for not inviting me to the wedding, but, well, ah, I guess I'll let you off the hook this time…"
A FEW YEARS LATER…
"And they all lived happily ever after."
The little red haired girl before him frowned. "Daddy! That's not very romantic at all!"
Gaara blinked. "Well, you asked me to tell you about your Mommy and Daddy's wedding, so I told you."
The little girl pouted until her mother wrapped her arms around her.
"Daddy's not very good at telling stories, is he, sweetie?"
The little girl shook her head violently.
"Next time, come to Mommy for a story. I tell them better than Daddy does." Matsuri kissed the little girl on the forehead. "Now, I think your Uncle Kanky is here. Why don't you go say hi to him?"
The little girl's eyes widened before she ran off to meet her Uncle.
Gaara frowned. "I don't get it. She asked me to tell her how Mommy and Daddy got married. I did that."
Matsuri laughed before planting a kiss on Gaara's forehead, right where his love tattoo was. "Rukia is a little girl, Gaara. You've got to make things sound romantic."
"What should I have done differently?" Her husband asked softly.
"You should have told her how absolutely beautiful I was," She said, kissing him again, "And you should have mentioned how you just couldn't take your eyes off of me, and how poetic your proposal was."
Gaara merely shook his head. "I'll never understand girls, will I?"
Matsuri smiled. "Of course not. Now come on, Kankuro really is here, and I'm sure he has other places he'd rather be at the moment."
But Gaara didn't move.
"You—you are happy, aren't you, Matsuri?" He asked softly, brushing a stray hair out of her face. "I mean, you don't have any regrets, do you?"
Matsuri frowned. "What brought this on all of the sudden?"
Gaara pulled her closer. "Well, when I was telling Rukia about our marriage, I realized how sudden it all must have been to you, and I just," He frowned softly, "I just wanted to know, I guess. Because, I mean, you were the first person in the village outside of my siblings who actually saw me for something other than the Shukaku's holder, and you are one of my precious people, and I—"
She kissed him suddenly, hard and forcefully on the lips, effectively shutting him up momentarily.
She pulled away slowly.
"No regrets," She muttered against him. She kissed him lightly in response. "I have no regrets. Yes, our marriage was a little sudden and sort of unorthodox, but if I had to do it all over again, I would do it exactly the same in a heartbeat."
Gaara smiled. "I love you."
Matsuri grinned. "I love you, too."
"I'm going to be sick if you two get any cheesier." Kankuro muttered, his face purple (oh wait, that was his makeup…). "And besides, there are virgin eyes in this room, so keep it G-rated, alright?"
Gaara made a clicking sound with his tongue. "Honestly, Kankuro, you shouldn't talk about yourself like that."
Rukia pulled on Kankuro's arm. "Uncle, what's a virgin?"
Kankuro's face turned scarlet. "Nothing you need to know about yet, sweetie."
Gaara and Matsuri laughed loudly.
This time, everyone really did live happily ever after.
(please review kplzthnx)