A/N : Quick Halloween contest entry. Just supposed to be 500 words or more, and it's the last day so I wanted to do something simple.


There was one special night, near the beginning of Autumn, where all the children of Suna roamed the street in strange and silly attire. All the children, that is, except Gaara, the six year old son of the kazekage. He wasn't allowed to go out, as the other kids seemed to be scared of him, but every year he watched them from his room which overlooked the alleyways outside the Kazekage's mansion. They were always laughing and running around collecting sugary treats from all the houses. They seemed to be having so much fun. Sitting there, with his little teddy, the young son of the Kazekage had always longed to be able to join the other children. He wanted to play and laugh and have a good time like them. But it wasn't possible. He'd tried to convince his uncle once to let him join, but Yashamaru had merely brushed the suggestion off and told him he'd buy Gaara the candy if the young red-head really wanted some. And every year he did.

But this year was different. This year, Yashamaru wasn't there to buy the little boy his bag of sweets, and sit in his room, going through the bag and picking out which ones to eat. Like all little boys, Gaara loved sweets. But he loved them more on this night, because it was a day associated with laughter and joy, and memories of his beloved uncle telling him spooky stories and explaining time and again why Gaara could only ever eat 4 pieces of candy a night, even though the young red-head would have liked nothing more than to eat the entire 100-piece bag of sweets in one sitting.

But that was then. Now Gaara was alone in the world, with no one to explain things to him, or to sit on the warm carpeted floor next to his bed and lecture him about rotting his teeth and stomach aches as he tried to sneak another piece under his uncles watchful eyes.

Staring longingly out the window, Gaara again wanted to join the laughing children. Maybe it would make him forget. It hadn't been that long since Gaara had lost his uncle. In his young, frail mind, the little red-head still didn't quite understand how it had happened. All he knew was that his uncle had said some horrible horrible lies. And then he was gone. Since then, Gaara had been forced to spend time with his brother and sister, who didn't particularly seemed to like him. But he didn't have much choice, and neither did they. They left him alone for the most part, but when Gaara needed to go out, he was told he had to inform one of them.

"Kankuro," his small but strong voice called to the other side of the door as the young jinchiruki came to a stop in front of his older brother's bedroom.

He waited patiently as the noises in the other room moved closer. Kankuro was only two years older than the young red-head, but being children of the Kazekage, both Kankuro and Temari had had to grow up fast. Most people often complimented Gaara's two older siblings for being mature beyond their years. They didn't say the same for Gaara, but then most often times people didn't seem to notice him. And when they did, they would often glare at him, or rush off, as if too afraid to be anywhere near him for very long.

"What do you want?" Kankuro groaned after opening the door to his bedroom. His piercing black eyes glaring down at the younger boy. Kankuro looked a lot like their father. Even the way he glared at Gaara seemed the same. Temari would also give him dirty looks, but never the same as Kankuro's, which almost mirrored their father's exactly.

"I would like to go out tonight," Gaara replied, completely unaffected by the menacing stare directed at him.

"What? Tonight?" Kankuro looked at him curiously. There was a slight hint of excitement in the older boys eyes. What Gaara didn't know, was that he wasn't the only child who never got to go out on this night. Every year Kankuro had longed to run through the busy streets in costume and collect candy. But having to set an example, as the eldest son of the Kazekage, he had never gone. "You have that bear sweater uncle gave you right?" Gaara nodded, and the next thing he knew, he was pulled into Kankuro's room, where the older boy grabbed a black hooded sweater and tin of what Gaara soon discovered to be face paint.

Moments later, the two brothers stepped into the busy streets, having snuck passed the mansion guards and disguised themselves. Gaara had dressed in a soft light brown sweater that had ears on the hood, and appeared to resemble a teddy-bear. Kankuro had pulled it over his head, making sure to tuck Gaara's noticeable red hair under the hood and then painted a black nose and bigger eyes. On his own face, the eight-year-old boy had drawn jagged lines, in random pattern. He didn't seem to have anything particular in mind, but had smiled approvingly in the mirror after finishing. Strangely enough, both boys seemed to agree that the markings on his face suited him. He looked less like their father, and somehow, more like his own person. Little did they know Kankuro's costume face paint that night would become a permanent part of his daily life in years to come.

"Ready?" the older boy smirked, for a moment forgetting his dislike of his younger brother and giving in to the festivities. After receiving a nod from the teddy-bear holding his hand, Kankuro knocked on the door as the two boys eagerly held out the empty pillow cases they had brought with them.

The door opened and a kindly old woman answered, holding a large bowl of a variety of candy. She waited for the children to give her the traditional greeting that was customary on this night. But having never been out to collect the treats on Halloween, neither Kankuro nor Gaara realized they were meant to say the words 'Trick or treat.' So instead, the short red-head in the bear sweater, pushed his pumpkin up with his protective sand and in a gravily voice unapologetically said "Give me candy!"

That night, the two brothers collected more candy than either of them knew what to do with. It was the teddy-bear's commanding voice and the sand swirling around them, that the villager's later asserted as the reason for dumping the entire contents of their bowls into the two boy's pillow cases.