A short ficlet about a Sand Shinobi's all-important 'first time'. Kankuro POV.
His First Time
Kankuro walked taller, even while darting through shadows. He'd done it. His first time. Now he was a man. And it had been easy!
"Careful, we're coming up to the second outpost," his sister said with a peremptory gesture of caution.
He'd known that. She hadn't needed to say that, the bossy little- maybe she was nervous, Kankuro decided with a touch of malice and brotherly condescension combined. It had been her first time too, after all.
Too bad Baki had insisted they do it together. Kankuro hadn't needed any help. The target had been easy. Baki had dealt with the bodyguards, the only real threat; all that the two brand new Genin had to do was shoot the old man. They'd hurled their shuriken simultaneously and the geezer had collapsed, and now Kankuro was confirmed as a full-blooded Shinobi by Suna's traditions. It was annoying that those same traditions had forced him to use shuriken - a set of two, one for each sibling, a gift from their father for the occasion. Kankuro would have rather used his puppet; executing his first kill in the style and manner in which he would do all the rest.
And it had been easy. Now nobody - least of all their father, who had ordered this - would be able to look straight through Kankuro, discounting him as 'the harmless one'...
Deep inside, where Kankuro was still ten years old yet much older as well, he knew it had been easy because Temari had been there. He hadn't had time to think, to hesitate, or Temari would have done it without him. At the bottom of his soul was scrawled the word 'murder' in thick, red letters, but it was obscured by waves of pride and relief that he'd not screwed up. At that singular moment of the execution, the fact he was killing someone had mattered less than choking up while his peer succeeded. That superficial equation helped put the word 'murder' in its place; he'd been doing his job; he'd been following orders; he'd just done the same as Temari. He'd not seen a man, whimpering and trying to crawl away from them; he'd seen nothing but a target, and his sister take aim at it. The metal had left his fingers before he could process any more than that. And it had been easy.
His first time; it wasn't such a big deal after all.
Years later, when Kankuro would lead two newly-promoted Genin through the same rite, he would realize why the children were always sent out in pairs, and why Temari herself had fired that night.