Disclaimer: the characters in this fic such as Shukaku, Gaara, Matsuri, etc. don't belong to me, although if they did, oh geez, Gaara and Matsuri would be utterly hassled by Shukaku at every available opportunity.

Dedication: God, my parents, my fans, Masashi Kishimoto for creating the Naruto series and giving us these colorful characters, and especially to my beloved friends, especially VGuyver, Andrew Glasco, Musashi Sanada, Francisco, Ariescelestial, and all of you other wonderful readers!!

Special dedication to: Kat, who has been a great supportive friend, and also because she plays an excellent Shukaku… though I wonder if that's a good or bad thing, hehehe.

Naruto: 20 Moonlit Massacres

(20 Truths About Shukaku and Gaara)

By Tiger5913

Theme #1 – Before

It was no secret that Shukaku preferred his life now much more than when he was a priest of the Sand Village.

Those fools, they thought that just because of his profession, he was so holy and righteous. By the time the others had discovered his true nature, it was too late for them to stop him from becoming a demon spirit.

But he had underestimated their strength, and after a long, drawn-out battle finally ended, he was eventually subdued. Getting sealed in that damned small jar of tea was absolutely infuriating, without a doubt!

Oh, how he craved freedom…

Theme #2 – Moon

The ethereal glow of the moon usually calmed the wily sand demon, for it was under the very same veil of bleak shadows that Shukaku had spent the best times lounging around in bars where he drank and took advantage of women to his heart's content. Of course, he always had to go to the seediest, underground locations that were unknown to the general public, and also conceal his identity in some way.

If the other villagers discovered who he was before the right preparations were in place, then his plans would be ruined, and he couldn't let that happen.

Theme #3 – Return

The teapot was dark, damp, and extremely confining. In other words, a place that was completely unsuitable for a great and powerful god such as the sand demon of the earth and wind elements. As the endless days and nights passed by slowly, he paced around inside the tiny prison and waited to be released. He knew humans were greedy and would eventually seek his power again. Shukaku idly wondered whose body he would inhabit next; hopefully, a weak and mindless host that he could control easily.

And then finally, he returned to the world of consciousness.

Kyahahahaha! I'm back!

Theme #4 – Death

Gaara might not remember the first life he ever took, but Shukaku certainly did.

The hatred in that woman's eyes, oh, how delicious it felt, to almost tingle from the very aura of her resentment boring right at him as the sand spirit entered her baby's body, and snuffed out her last breath. Pathetic woman – didn't she know there had to be a sacrifice in exchange for great power? Stupid humans and their self-entitlement; she should've been grateful that her weak and pitiful existence was going to serve some purpose!

Shukaku cackled in wicked delight as he watched her die.

Theme #5 – Mother

Upon hearing the effeminate uncle giving that bullshit explanation to his naïve little nephew on why the sand protected him, the tailed beast snorted in disgust. Telling the kid that the spirit of his dead mother lingered within the tiny grains that obeyed his will, now that was a mind fuck. Even after Yashamaru revealed himself to be a manipulative backstabber, Gaara still treated the sand as if his mother's life force was really in it. But he wanted to be a good boy and please "her."

For that reason, Shukaku didn't mind playing along with the charade at all…

Theme #6 – Love

Shortly after Yashamaru filled the kid's head with all that talk about wounds of the heart and how there was only one cure for them, Gaara tentatively asked the dormant sand demon for his opinion on the subject. At that point, he didn't know how trustworthy Shukaku really was, but the tailed beast just so happened to be his constant companion, and it wasn't like Gaara had any other people he could go to.

Kya, it's all a load of crap-! Shukaku scoffed in immediate reply, determined to discourage his host. No human's that selfless, kid. You're better off alone…

Theme #7 – Six

The six years of the young Sand vessel's greatest mental torment was the best time that Shukaku enjoyed.

Gaara could be persuaded to partake in violence so easily that it was almost endearingly pathetic. All the sand demon had to do was convince the naïve boy that someone was trying to kill him again, and within mere minutes – even seconds if the redhead was feeling particularly moody – a person would be dead.

There were quite a few people in the Sand Village that Shukaku held grudges against, and he aimed to get rid of them all, one at a time.

Theme #8 – Connection

Out of all the hosts he had been acquainted with in the past, Shukaku would grudgingly admit to himself that the redhead was probably his favorite so far.

Not that he really gave a damn about the boy. Really, he was just looking out for number one, and sometimes that entailed saving the reckless little idiot just so Shukaku could preserve his own existence. Nothing would be more humiliating than dying in a human's body when he had so many powerful abilities and endless chakra.

Forced together by uncontrollable circumstances, Shukaku just made the best of his situation with Gaara.

Theme #9 – Demon

His previous human life was really more of a stepping-stone than anything of actual importance.

When he was still alive back in the form of a pathetic being of sentiment, the devious monk never stopped desiring great power. For years, he pursued knowledge on the various techniques and rituals, even dabbling in the forbidden subjects.

The first time he came into contact with the pale-faced ninja of the Legendary Three Sannin, he knew exactly what Orochimaru wanted. Shukaku sniggered while wondering if the snake-like man really had the smarts and perseverance to figure out the secret of attaining true immortality.

Theme #10 – Temari

Humans were too easy to scare, and Shukaku particularly relished in making his host's sister tremble in his presence.

He remembered the look on her face very vividly when she saw his true form emerging from the kid's body for the first time. Her eyes had widened so much that the demon wouldn't have been surprised to see them rolling right out of her head. She was young back then, and probably afraid of her own shadow at that point, but nevertheless, her fear fed his power.

After that day, Shukaku frequently thought of Temari and guffawed with mocking intent.

Theme #11 – Kankuro

He knew that his presence disgusted the puppeteer, and the pure revulsion on his expression just made Shukaku laugh.

The brat was a little wannabe tough guy, and not a very good one either with the way he ran his smart-aleck mouth off all the time. Although if they weren't so vehemently opposed, Shukaku wouldn't have minded investing a bit of his precious time figuring out how to terrorize him. It was obvious that the sand spirit could easily frighten the living hell out of Temari, but Kankuro was a tougher nut to crack.

No matter… he would break eventually.

Theme #12 – Sake

The boy was susceptible to his manipulations and prone to violence, but the sand demon wanted to fulfill more of his selfish desires. He didn't want to wait until his host was old enough to legally drink alcohol to actually start, but Gaara sullenly insisted that he saw no purpose in consuming alcohol. Shukaku knew that he could get the redhead to comply someday, maybe when he was a couple of years older – and after he finally grew some balls – so he dropped the subject for the time being.

But whenever it finally happened, then the real fun could begin.

Theme #13 – Naruto

To say that Shukaku hated Naruto was an understatement.

Even long afterward, he still couldn't believe the little blond moron was actually the first opponent to defeat his red-haired host – how the hell did that happen?! The giant frog summon was no match for Shukaku's power, so surely it had just been blind luck that Naruto happened to wake up the sand wielder shortly into the battle. Damn that Nine-Tails brat!

And to make the situation even more frustrating, Gaara refused to kill Naruto, apparently regarding him as a friend now.

Shukaku vowed to see the blond idiot dead somehow.

Theme #14 – Reform

His host was such a damn prude.

Before the little weakling lost against Naruto Uzumaki, he used to indulge in the sand demon's lust for blood. But now that he wanted to be a goody-two-shoes and undergo a severe reform, Shukaku felt his frustration growing until over time until it just about boiled over. Gaara never wanted to do anything fun anymore, and even more aggravating was the fact that he started ignoring the tailed beast almost every time Shukaku initiated conversation.

Wandering around the recesses of the redhead's mind, the demon wondered how he could bend the boy's will.

Theme #15 – Matsuri

Gaara might have been too oblivious or blind – maybe even both – to realize some very obvious things, but Shukaku was keenly aware of the girl's feelings for his host.

He paid close attention when the two interacted, noticing the mild blush that danced over her fair cheeks every time the redhead gave her any praises. (Which was really a joke in itself, because the girl was so damn shy and faint of heart that Shukaku wondered why the hell she wanted to become a ninja in the first place.)

Weak as she was, though, Shukaku could find use for her…

Theme #16 – Sex

At 14, the nagging for a different kind of desire began to persistently echo inside Gaara's head. It didn't help that he was undergoing the process of puberty, which caused his hormones to flare up on occasion.

Shukaku's suggestions were truly disgusting, and the redhead reacted to each one with great disdain. After all the years of learning how to intently suppress his emotions, and then even the will of the sand demon, sexual urges just became another aspect for him to control.

Though Gaara fought hard to conceal his interest toward a certain brunette that he cared for.

Theme #17 – Deidara

The tailed beast stirred with excitement at the prospect of an intense battle that would surely end in the opponent's death. It had been far too long since Gaara engaged in a fight with the intentions of stopping a foe by force, and Shukaku was somewhat eager to lend him power for this encounter. Though the exploding clay bombs were child's play against sand.

He would definitely try his best to convince the redhead that it was necessary for him to kill the dark-robed stranger, and he cackled with impish glee upon feeling blood soaking into the sand once again.

Theme #18 – Chastise

You're fucking pathetic!


What the fuck was that?! To hell with the village! You could've killed that Akatsuki moron while he was dropping the fucking bomb!!

…No. I must protect my people. It is my duty. I am their Kazekage.

You fucking idiot, you're gonna be a dead Kazekage!! You threw away your life for nothing!

You're wrong, Shukaku. This is a cause I'm willing to die for. After everything I have done to the village… all the lives I had destroyed in the past… Perhaps now, I can finally redeem myself.

Fuck, you deserve to die…!

…Farewell, then.

Theme #19 – Separation

The sand demon was enraged.

Because of his host's ludicrous attachment to that damn worthless village, he had gotten himself captured by the Akatsuki. Now, Shukaku was being extracted from his body, and he would be sealed away again, no doubt.

Using the mental bond he shared with the redhead, the one-tailed beast expressed his disdain through relentless yelling and screaming.

Gaara didn't respond until the end drew very near…

At least… I will finally be free… of you…

With that final thought, his last breath elicited into the air, and then Gaara's dead body fell limply to the floor.

Theme #20 – Next

Back in the damn unwanted darkness again.

This time, he had company that made the sand demon fervently wish he still had possession of his abilities so that he could eliminate the other spirits. Shukaku absolutely hated being stuck with these particularly aggravating companions, and if the Nine-Tails fox joined eventually, then he would raise hell.

There wasn't much he could do to remedy the current undesirable situation with all the restrictions on his powers, and so he had to wait for freedom once more.

It seemed as though his influence would be suppressed for now.

Until the next host…

The End

Author's Note: Geez, it's been a long while since my last story was uploaded, huh? I really should be studying for finals, heh, but I just had to get something out in early celebration of my eighth year here at – I feel so old admitting that – and even though I am two days early, I know that I won't have time to post anything on the 17th. Besides, I feel bad for making you readers wait this long for a new story, eek… Please don't come at me with pitchforks or anything, hehehe.

Oh, I totally weakened and went back to the blissfully familiar territory of past-tense usage for this installment, but I hope each little drabble is still enjoyable. As always, these are all arranged in chronological order, but of course, if there is any confusion on the timeline, please feel free to ask questions! Honestly, I don't get why there aren't more stories about Shukaku and Gaara. I seriously find their connection far more fascinating and twisted than the one between Naruto and the Nine-Tailed fox.

Well, that's way more babbling than necessary, so my dear readers, please leave a review and let me know your thoughts regarding these 20 truths on Shukaku and Gaara!

With love for my fans,