Naruto isn't mine. If it was, I would extract Shukaku myself and become the new Ichibi jinchuuriki. Totes~

The tick, tick, tick of a clock was the only sound that permeated the massive sand sibling household. Were it any quieter, a large MUTE sign would have been visible in the peripheral vision of the occupants.

But it wasn't.

Tick, tick, tick.

Shikamaru Nara sat at the large kitchen table, opposite Kankuro and Sabaku no Gaara, both of whom wore solemn, icy, practically murderous look. He wasn't an easily rattled shinobi (Ino was his teammate, after all), but even now, with the redheaded demon container eyeing him like a tiger might venison, he couldn't help but think of one word:


"So..." said Shikamaru, casually trying to break the tense silence that had enveloped them for the last hour. "Anything...new with you guys?"

"No." replied Kankuro instantly, as though he were anticipating the question. "Nothing new."

"I see..." replied the pineapple-head, silently cursing Temari for taking so long. "Gaara-san?"

Gaara's sky-blue eyes gleamed slightly and his cold scowl slowly broke into a smile that would have put the Joker to shame.

"Yesterday, someone thought it would be funny to wolf-whistle at Temari as she walked by. I vivisected him immediately."


"That's nice." replied the Leaf nin, wondering why the hell he had decided to get out of bed today.

"The day before that, I ripped the head off a passerby." Gaara folded his hands in his lap and his smile began widening so much, Shikamaru swore he heard the sound of flesh tearing.

"He hadn't even provoked me."

Shikamaru hoped that the damp spot at the front of his pants was sweat.

"Would you like to see it?" asked Gaara, reaching into his large gourd. "It came off rather nicely."

Shikamaru quickly held up a hand, his face a pale shade of green. "That won't be necessary, Gaara-san."

"Oh, I insist." "Really, Gaara-san, you don't have to go through such trou-oh, sweet Lord."

From somewhere within his massive gourd, Gaara had produced the severed head of one VERY unfortunate Suna nin. The face was twisted into a look of pure agony, no doubt the exact moment when his head was torn off by Hokage knows what. The neck was a jagged clump of flesh which, to Shikamaru's horror, was still somewhat fresh, blood oozing out when Gaara slammed it on the table. The whites of his eyes were showing, looking startlingly similar to Byakugan.

At that very moment, the lazy ninja wanted nothing more than to run home at high speeds, seal himself in his room forever and never come back to Suna for as long as he lived.

"Okay!" came a chirpy voice from the second floor, and faster than lightning, Gaara grabbed the severed head and stowed it back in his gourd. Three pairs of eyes turned to see Temari descending the stairs, her hair undone from its usual pigtails and flowing behind her majestically. In place of her usual dress was a low-cut, sleeveless green top and skinny blue jeans. Her skin, lightly tanned from all the blazing desert sun, shone like a jewel. The smile on her face lit up the room and even Kankuro, who was a perpetual grump, couldn't help but let his face soften at the sight of his dear sister.

Shikamaru, while still terrified from the earlier events, couldn't deny she looked great.

"So," she said, turning around on her heel, giving the three boys a view. "What do you think?"

Gaara and Kankuro's heads immediately snapped to Shikamaru, daring him to say the wrong thing. The killing intent was practically palpable. The genius felt his palms sweat and swallowed the hard lump in his throat. "You look very...lovely, Temari."

She smirked in response and strode over to the brunette, looping her arm through his. "I know." She turned back to her brothers. "Don't wait up, you two. We'll be back. Late." Winking, she turned to leave, but was stopped by someone putting a hand on her shoulder.

Shikamaru turned slowly to see Gaara staring at him with a sinister smirk, Kankuro standing next to him, arms crossed and grinning like a madman.

"We just wanted to say..." began the puppet-master. "We hope the two of you have a good time. We know you'll take good care of Temari, Shika-chan." The way he voiced that, it sounded like a threat. A very subtle threat.

"That's right." said Gaara, and Shikamaru SWORE the redhead's eyes flashed yellow for a second. "She has good taste. She chose someone with a good head on his shoulders."

Th pineapple-head felt like crying. But instead, he nodded in agreement while Temari rolled her eyes. "Whatever, dads. Don't wait up." She then made her way out the door, practically dragging the poor prodigy. With her back turned to her siblings and Shikamaru's eyes still locked on to the brothers, she didn't see the slashing motion Gaara made across his throat.

He loved Temari and all, but right now, he was regretting not joining that monastery when he had the chance.

It is irresponsible how much fun I had with this~