Yesterdays, tomorrows, and an actor without a motivation. Kankurou POV, KanTema.
Um. I write weird crap sometimes.
This is a very personal vision of Kankurou on my part, so I'm not sure how comprehensible it will be to anyone who hasn't read my other Sand Sib-related fics. This one is directly in continuity with Grateful (and by extension, Chevira Lowe's wonderful lovely awesome Tempest/) and draws strongly on the fanon version of Sunagakure that's sprung up in my head over the course of writing /Butterfly Knot/, /Of That Most Beautiful Disorder/, and /Wilderness/, and roleplaying Kankurou various places. So, I think it /might make sense, but if it doesn't, I apologize. XD;
No real spoilers to speak of, save the identity of the new Kazekage, which I think is a fairly well-known fact by now... anyhoo, without further adieu.
My sister always says I move through this palace like I own it. And hell, clichÃ© or not, I very nearly do.
I walk down the stairs into the ballroom and I can feel all the gazes that turn on me, all dolled up in one of my favorite kimono -- black, of course, it's the only color that suits me -- with the playhouse's crest, and facepaint I picked out just for the occasion. I'm looking forward to having it smudged later.
There's only one real reason to come to these affairs, after all.
I just have to grin a little, it's a natural thing. A performer can't help but get a bit of a rush when all eyes are on him. Sabaku no Kankurou, enter stage left. I'd rate at least second or third on the Dramatis Personae for this production -- if not the romantic lead, then maybe the dashing stranger who comes to sweep the heroine off her feet?
Funnily enough, I hate these fake political assholes, but I'm really damn good at pretending to be one of them. I guess it's just that the script is so easy to memorize.
I walk through the crowd, giving everybody those boring little greetings and talking for five seconds about nothing, the way the nobles like; most of these dipshits think of me as an extension of Gaara -- the same way, before Gaara, I was an extension of him -- and I've got Kazekage-sama's reputation to keep in mind, so I play the part of Bored Son of Nobility Who is Just Like You, and Nonthreatening Despite Being Shinobi, as best I can. A dark-haired stranger, a real beauty, smiles a bit at me as I pass. Asks whether I'm really that Kankurou, just to have something to say. He knows exactly who I am.
See? Easy. I already know the climax of this plotline.
There's still hunting to do tonight, though, I've only just gotten here; so I flirt with him a little and let him go with a grin and a promise to meet by the punchbowl later. He heads off to grab some booze, or gossip to his yuppie friends about me, or tell his dear mummy the daimyou's wife that he's about to make an Important Political Connection with the Kazekage's brother, or whatever the hell this particular idiot is into. He has a nice ass and nice eyes and I'm betting he'll let me top, so I really don't give a shit whether he wants me to Save the Sand Whales or fucking marry his sister or something. Not like I'm gonna be giving him anything he wants, except maybe an orgasm or three.
Unless, of course, I find somebody cuter. The night is still young and all that shit. If I'm seriously lucky I might end up with two in one evening, but that sort of thing is really best saved for a New Years party or something like that, where your first fuck is probably gonna end up too drunk to notice your second one. It's really funny, you know, I've been hanging around the Wind Country court for years and nobody seems to have realized I am in this for the free sex, I don't care that you're fucking me 'cos I'm the Kazekage's son or brother or whatever, I'm not going to do a goddamn thing for you anywhere outside the nearest room with a bed. I mean, sure, a lot of these people are foreign dignitaries, but you'd think they'd... tell their friends, or something.
Oh, right, political-jockeying assholes, no friends involved. Check.
I like to think of sex as an art. It's the same as a good fight, really: two people circling each other, on the battlefield or the dance floor, sizing each other up. Making your first move, your first assault; carefully constructing your trap and leading them into it, testing them, anticipating their next move and countering accordingly. Pulling their strings and keeping them off-balance until the last moment, completely in your clutches -- and then ending it all with a wet splash across a body somewhere, whether red or white.
I've lost fights before, but I make it a point never to lose at sex.
And it's not like it's anything /important/, so I don't know why I feel like I have to run off so fast that night, after the dark-haired stranger starts picking up his clothes and giving me snobbish looks. I don't know why my chest feels so tight while I'm stumbling down the hall to my room, closing the door behind me and slumping back against it there in the dark. I don't know... I don't know why there's something burning behind my eyes, all warm and wet-like.
Fuck, I am seventeen years old and I am not gonna start bawling like a toddler, like some idiot girl with a--
So, of course, I am wiping my wet face with the backs of my hands and sniffling pathetically when my sister pushes open the door.
She's pushing me with it and I pitch forward a little, and after I recover from my surprise I move over so she can get in, but she's already shoved her way inside; she's looking down at me with a scowl, one hand on her hip with thumb tapping annoyedly, and finally she rolls her eyes -- a familiar pose.
"What're /you/, five years old?"
Fuck, this is... just... /fuck/. Embarrassing. Why the hell can't I stop sniveling like some... I look away and suck up the snot that's trying to dribble down my nose, god that's fucking nasty, I hate crying, but I just can't--
"This guy... from the party... I was-- fucking him and-- and he got this rash from the lube." I think this is about as fucking miserable as I've felt in my life. I wonder if it comes through in my voice.
She's giving me this look, it's... it's the Temari Look. The 'what the fuck are you on about' look.
"So he was allergic. To your lube."
I sniffle again. "Y-yeah." Okay, st-- just stop that, I am not going to fucking /sob/, god, I need a tissue or something--
"You're sitting in your room in the dark, bawling, because the guy you were having sex with was allergic to your lube." She's upgraded to the 'you need to be fucking committed' look.
I just shake my head and start fumbling around for a... a towel, or something. Wasn't there one laying around here this morning? "Look, I know it's--"
"Kankurou. What the hell is wrong with you?" She gives herself a mock slap to the face and rolls her eyes at me, and plops down on the floor. And hands me the washcloth she must've picked up off the dresser.
I wipe off my face and my hands and try to be quiet about the sniffling. My makeup must look like shit by now... all courtesy me, of course, the other guy never even got that far--
"Look, I-- I know it's stupid--" I have to keep stopping to sob, fuck, this is fucking /ridiculous/, why can't I just /quit/-- "I just can't-- calm down for-- for some reason."
"God, Kankurou, which one of us is the girl in this family?" she's muttering, and she tugs on the front of my kimono and slides an arm across my back, and holds me against her with the side of my face resting on her shoulder. I must be getting tears and wet purple shit all over her pajama top, but she doesn't say a word. Just pets my hair and sits there all quiet, and I take deep breaths and try to concentrate on not acting like a fucking idiot.
"So... did you like this guy?" she asks quietly. She sounds a little weirded-out, or like she's just not sure what to say. This whole thing is so damn confusing, guess I can't blame her for asking stupid questions.
"No, of course not," I mutter into her shirt.
"Know him at all?"
"...are you gonna see him again later?"
"God, I hope not," is the first thing that pops into my head, and I snort a little. "I mean... Don't know why I would."
"Then... why the hell do you care?" Now she's doing her best I'm Trying to Be Sympathetic But You're Not Making it Easy voice. "There's no reason to get so upset, is there?"
"I don't know/," I say and it /almost turns into a sob, trying to think about it is getting me worked up again and this is so fucking stupid and I don't understand, FUCK-- "I have no fucking idea why--"
"I mean, it was just a freak accident, nothing you could've--"
"Just fucking leave it, would you!?" --somehow I just need her to please shut her MOUTH right now and it just makes me so pissed and I choke back a sob again and god I'm so fucking pathetic/-- "I don't /know why I'm upset and it is not your fucking job to kiss my fucking booboos and make it all better, /mother/."
...That's a word we don't say, in this house.
It's ten times as quiet as it was before all of a sudden, and I think I shocked myself out of crying, because all I hear is the sound of my breath and her heartbeat inside her chest. My throat feels so tight it's aching and I expect her to throw me off her or hit me or something but she just sits there, and after a minute, her hand goes back to my hair. For some reason it makes me shiver.
"You just need to calm down, okay?" she murmurs in my ear. I didn't even think of responding, but she says it again-- "Okay, Kankurou?" and I nod a little against her chest.
"You have a mission tomorrow, don't you?" I nod again. She's speaking in this weird quiet super-reasonable kind of voice, like she was trying to coax a rabbit out from under a bush or something. "So you don't wanna be all upset when you start off, you'll need your focus... So... just try to relax."
I don't really notice when the stroking turns into kissing the top of my head, but I've pretty much calmed down by the time she gets to my lips, and she smears weird little patterns in my messed-up facepaint while our tongues slide against each other.
With Temari, it's not... it's not like with other people. Oh, sure, we do a lot of the same things, but the feeling of it--
I... I know I shouldn't, of course I fucking /know/. But she's the only person who ever makes me feel like...
...and... like... like she did tonight, and I just... want to show her how much I...
Show her in a way that really means something... the best way I know how.
Words are fucking liars. I should know, I'm an actor. But with this, you can tell, you can show when it means -- I mean I can't fake the shiver that runs down my spine and pricks her side just from thinking of her grin while I sit there kissing her. And I wrap my arms around her and run a hand through her hair, and pull out the ties one by one, and show her how much I need her. And she shows me back.
She kissed me first. I know... I know that means she wants it too... Right?
By the time we finish, all curled up on my futon together with the blankets thrown off in the corner somewhere, I've almost managed to forget about my stranger. Except for how, y'know, I'm still thinking about him.
Temari stretches a little in her sleep, and just lays there naked in the moonlight from the window, looking all effortlessly fucking perfect like she always does; and I wonder whether I've lost at sex with her before and she was just too much of a bitch to tell me so.
She looks tired. I bet she was asleep already. Probably got up to get a glass of water or something and heard her crazy little brother bawling in his bedroom. Sometimes I wonder which one of us is really the biggest mental case in this family... I mean, Gaara's getting better, whereas I just keep getting more incomprehensible even to myself.
God, I fucking hate this introspection shit. And my head hurts. Must be from the crying.
The desert at night is cold when you're not making your own heat, so I grope around for one of the blankets and pull it over us. I shift a little closer to her, tuck my arm around her; and even though she's asleep she leans closer too, and I can feel her breath on my face, just a little bit.
I never liked tragedies. Most boring genre of plays, if you ask me. Gimme a comedy any day. Or better yet, something with a little adventure and romance. Doesn't have to be profound. The kind where you get a standing ovation at the end just because the audience had so much fun.
I wish life could be like that.
But, I mean, I'm shinobi. I'm a realist. Real life doesn't work that way. But still...
Well, no matter what, it's not like there isn't time yet. I'm not even on my third act. Whether it's a tragedy or an epic or a comedy of errors, I guess only time will tell. But before then, I've got a mission to go on and... I hate this introspection shit.
I kiss her on the cheek and close my eyes, and listen to the distant howl of the wind outside while I drift off to sleep.
When I wake up, this will just be another yesterday... And I think I can live with that.
I always liked tomorrows better anyway.