A/N: Right, quick warning for the squickish- mentions of yaoi here. Nothing hardcore, not even kissing, but it bothers some folks. Okay, now that that's all set...


Kankuro has been to two weddings in his lifetime.

The first one was generally conventional, if you counted in the fact that the bride was a blonde terror and the groom a lazy ass with hair that looked like a pineapple. They held it at a waterfall, halfway between the two villages, and he stood there and looked imposing in his black and purple formal hakama, an intricate design painted in white and purple on his face.

If anyone asked, he would have told them that the paint was from a comedy, and it was the mask worn by the samurai brother of the princess bride, who married her sweetheart after five acts of various misshaps.

No one asked.

He congratulated them, as was proper; let his younger brother do the talking at the after party. His sister was beautiful and he told her that; the groom was in trouble, and he told him that. His gift to them was an intricately carved mobile, for the child all three knew was on the way; it had clouds and fans and small wooden dolls that smiled when the right part was pulled. He told the groom to take care of his sister, and none-too-jealously watched as she donned the new headband, with its stylized leaf.

The second wedding was anything but conventional, for there were two grooms and none-too-few protests; but in the end the Kazekage had his Green Beast, and the wedding this time was held within the walls of the Hidden Village of Sand. The paper lanterns were bright red, the night was cool but not freezing, and Kankuro again painted his face.

If anyone asked, he would have told them that the design was that of a soldier in a great battle, who survived to carry a wedding gift from his commander to the commander's lover, many miles away; and he delivered the gift and died (according to stage direction) in a single pool of light, a hero.

No one asked.

He congratulated the two of them, and endured the bone-crunching hug for his brother alone; his gift to them was private, a set of puppets, exact replicas of the both of them right down to the clothes they wore. He would spend the next year acclimating himself to the mannerisms, the walks, the words; and when the next assassination attempt occurred there would be no stopping Kankuro, because death walked in his brother's shadow like Kankuro's own puppets walked behind him.

There is a day that Kankuro keeps all to himself. He speaks of it to no one, not even his brother, who has long ago learned that to assign him missions on that day is pointless. They won't get done.

Kankuro spends his day at the playhouse, standing atop her highest tower in Sunakagure's harsh sun; and he sings a song to himself so softly that no one can confess to knowing the words. And when the sun begins to sink just below the horizon he goes to the village wall, and past it; no one tries to stop him.

Kankuro walks for two miles, until he reaches a broad plateau, with steps worn into the side from years of ninja feet, burning pieces away with chakra strain. He ascends gracefully and stands nearest the edge, to watch the sun go down. He watches the scorpions skitter away from his feet, and sings his song again, but the wind carries it away from Sunakagure.

He wears his most delicate design on this day.

If anyone asked, he could tell them that the paint was that of a young woman, whose beloved betrayed their homeland and died a villain, never returning her feelings. He could tell them of the tiny kanji for 'love' scratched into the nearest edge of the plateau with a genin's unsure hand. It is worn with the wind and sand and time, bearing two names- one above, one below.

He could tell them the story of the foolish crow, who fell in love with a scorpion.

No one ever asks.

Kankuro has been to two weddings in his lifetime, and will never have one of his own.

Because crows cannot love scorpions.

No matter how hard they try.

A/N: Apparently, I am on a Kankuro/Sasori kick. This came to me while I was supposed to be doing other things. You know, eventually I will write something happy again, I swear.