Gaara's eyes blinked open, sky-blue orbs shooing away the last vestiges of sleep. He yawned and stretched, feeling better than he had in ages. He got up and grabbed his gourd, preparing to make his way down for breakfast...

...and froze.

Gaara felt his heart turn to ice.


Gaara NEVER slept. A certain someone saw to that for a sizable chunk of his life. Sleep meant Gaara's mind was an all-you-can-eat buffet for the tanuki. But here he was, having just woken up from the most wonderful sleep of his life, and nothing seemed amiss. There wasn't any blood in the room or on his clothes, the villagers weren't forming a mob outside his house, asking for his head and he heard no mad cackling in the back of his mind.

In fact, he couldn't even sense Shukaku's presence at all.

Slowly, Gaara's impassive face morphed into a smirk.

Then a grin...

Then a smile...

Then it split apart as the redhead broke into uproarious, giddy, devil-may-care laughter, tossing his gourd to the side and rolling around on the bed, reminding one of a very famous clown.

The sound of rapid footsteps barely reached Gaara's ears as his siblings Kankuro and Temari burst into his room, puppets in battle stances and fan at the ready.

"Gaara!" shrieked Temari, a worried look on her face. "Are you okay? We thought we heard Shu...ka...ku..."

She stopped mid-sentence when she saw the sight before her; Gaara literally rolling on the floor, laughing his ass off.

There were so many things wrong with this. Gaara did not laugh. At the very most, the corners of his mouth tugged and he tossed out a snarky quip. But laughing? GAARA? LAUGHING? It was a sign of the apocalypse.

Kankuro leaned in close to his sister, eyes still focused on the laughing Gaara and hands poised for his puppets. "Should we call the shrink again?"

Gaara's laughter slowly died down and he picked himself off the floor, gripping the bed for support. Finally taking notice of his stunned siblings, his face once again broke into a smile. "Temari." he said, his eyes shining.

The blonde squeaked and held onto her fan for dear life. No telling when she'd need it. "Y-yes, Gaara?"

Faster than either of them could see, Gaara had leapt off the floor, wrapped his arm around Temari's waist, took one hand in his own and dipped her until her pigtails were practically touching the floor.

"Dance with me."

The wind-user was too stunned to even speak, instead flapping her lips open and closed like a fish.

Gaara took the silence as a go-ahead and promptly lifted back up his sister, twirling her expertly before leaning her to the side like a professional. Where Gaara learned to dance, they had no clue, but they suspected it to be one of the ways he had kept himself occupied during his endless insomnia.

"Kankuro!" screeched Temari, finally finding her voice just as Gaara whirled her around with an incredibly complicated swing move. "Don't just stand there; DO something!" Snapping out of his trance, Kankuro recalled his puppets and ran out of the doorway to his room. "Where do you think you're going?"

"To get my video camera!" he hollowed back. "This shit is too funny to miss!"

After Gaara and Temari finished dancing (which was quite a while; the little bugger must've been taking endurance lessons from Rock Lee), the three gathered in the kitchen to assess the situation.

...That wasn't entirely accurate. It was more like Gaara was making Kankuro and Temari breakfast while they stared at him with eyes the size of Odama Rasengan.

Gaara milled around the kitchen, setting up pans and turning on stoves in preparations for omlettes, humming a tune to himself that his siblings SWORE was the theme from Sailor Moon.

"Kankuro..." whispered Temari, not taking her eyes off her brother. "You can call the shrink now."

"Fuck the shrink." was his response. "We need a priest."

"Temari," piped up Gaara, tossing his sister a smile that, for all its creepiness, warmed her heart and made her feel at ease. "What do you want in your omlette?"

"H-ham and cheese is fine."

"Ham and cheese it is, then! And Kankuro?"

"Okay." said the puppetmaster, slamming his hands on the counter. "What the FUCK is going on?"

Gaara blinked. "Do you want French toast instead?"

"NO, I DO NOT WANT FRENCH TOAST INSTEAD!" snapped Kankuro, completely forgetting his younger brother used to instill enough fear in him to make him catatonic. "What I want is to know what the hell happened to you! You're Gaara of the Sand, not Gaara of the Kiss the Cook apron!"

Gaara looked down at the aforementioned garment, then back at Kankuro. "That wasn't nice. Hinata gave me this as a gift."

"I DON'T CARE!" Kankuro was positively livid now. "We wake up to the sound of deranged laughter and burst in on not you going all demon on us, but you having woken up from sleeping-SLEEPING!- and then you start dancing with Temari and now you're making us breakfast? What the actual FUCK?"

Gaara scowled, an action that oddly made the older brother feel somewhat at ease. "I sense you are confused." "Confu-YOU'RE DAMN RIGHT WE'RE CON-" Kankuro was promptly silenced as Temari snatched the spatula out of Gaara's hand and smacked it across the puppeteer's face, knocking him out instantly.

"What we're trying to say," began Temari calmly, dropping her unconscious brother onto the couch. "Is that your behavior has us...concerned."

Gaara sighed and produced a second spatula and went back to his omlette. "Well, there's no need to worry about me; I'm perfectly fine."

"We know that. What we want to know is...why." Gaara turned around and smiled wide. Dammit, she STILL couldn't get used to that.

"You want to know why I'm happy? Isn't it obvious by now?" Temari shook her head and Gaara had to bite back tears of laughter.

"He's GONE."

Temari blinked. "Who?"


And far, far, far away, in the strange and bizarre land of Hoshigakure, a dark-skinned youth awoke, overwhelmed by the sudden urge to set bunnies on fire.

To be continued, said excitedly~