Introduction to Konoha

He didn't hate little kids, really. He just hated that little kid. Well…maybe the whole group of them. After all, they weren't acting like shinobi. And the ringleader was at least twelve, so he had to know he was setting a bad example. But here he was, and these snot-nosed idiot kids were following this guy's lead, like he was some kind of hero.

There's nothing heroic about transforming into a naked girl and flashing your friends, Kankuro thought irritably.

When the kid with the goggles on his head bumped into him, that was just the last straw. Besides, what good were goggles on the top of your head? They're eye protection, not a fashion accessory.

Kankuro yanked the kid up off his feet by the front of his shirt and threatened to beat him up to prove a point. He could tell with one glance that punk kid with the blonde hair wasn't going to save anybody. Probably wasn't going to try.

Sure enough, the kid spouted big words, but he didn't do anything to step in. Kankuro cocked back his fist. A black eye would hurt a little, but not as much as trusting a coward to watch your back. Kankuro didn't expect to be thanked. But someone had to show these kids there were better people to follow around and idolize.

Then a rock hit his hand, pretty hard, and that pissed him off because real shinobi threw kunai or shuriken. A rock? A goddamned rock? He dropped the kid with the goggles and rubbed his hand, glaring.

Some kid in a tree smirked at him, like the kid thought he was hot shit or something. Annoying.

"You…" Kankuro swallowed his insult, since he didn't actually want to start a fight. You call yourself a shinobi, and you can't even throw a real weapon? Or are you just insulting me? God help me, if you think you're better than me I'm going to whip out Karasu right here and teach you a lesson about puppet masters.

Gaara sensed the spike of chakra and stepped in. "Enough. You'll dishonor the village."

Kankuro was surprised Gaara would care. "Gaara…" Then he was just sullen. Yeah. Like I was doing anything. Gaara didn't care if I was going to beat someone up. He just wanted another excuse to pick on me. That drove him crazy. But he swallowed it, because Gaara could actually squash him like a bug, and Kankuro wasn't going to end up that way if he could help it.

Temari knew how irritated he was, so of course she couldn't resist teasing him about how cute his attacker was. Like she'd actually care about a twelve-year-old. She was sixteen.

If this was what Konoha was like, Kankuro wanted Gaara to bury it under ten tons of sand.