Drabble. Temari POV. The children of the Kazekage have some words that they just don't say. No agreement, no deal; they just don't say them.
Temari, in all her ten year old omniscience - to Kankurou's eleven year old immaturity - presumed that meant that Yashamaru knew Gaara's 'tenketsu' (the word for which Temari had only learned a few days ago).
But still, there were words you just didn't say. Once, they hadn't been forbidden. Once, Temari and Kankurou had said them everyday, and with smiles when they did so. Once upon a time, Gaara hadn't been born.
Now they were forbidden; swept away as the first victim of Shukaku's wrath. Now, Temari and Kankurou were constantly tired, taking it in turns with uncle Yashamaru to keep Gaara awake and moderately amused at all hours of the day.
Occasionally, they still smiled, but never like they had when the forbidden words weren't restricted to memory. But then, Gaara never smiled either - not that they expected him to.
Kankurou was the first to break the unspoken ban. Temari was waking him from an afternoon nap over his school scrolls, and reminding him that he still had to eat, and make sure he did his homework, because Kankurou was a /boy/, and boys could never be depended on to do things they had to, because they were /icky/.
Kankurou, tired - she would later reflect - and probably angry over having been caught sleeping while he was supposed to be studying, snapped at her. "Yes, mother," he glared at her, uncut brown hair ill covering the mirror print his open scroll had left on his forehead.
Temari paled. Kankurou did as well. "I'm sorry," he said, sincere as only children can be.
"It's okay," she muttered, without thinking about it. It wasn't, really. That was one of the forbidden words. One of many.
/Mother, love, happy/; examples of the whole. Those words were forbidden. Things would never be okay, because they'd never be able to say those words again. There was no mother to tuck them in to bed, or to remind Kankurou to do the things he never remembered to do on his own, or make them bento for lunch (Temari did, badly). So the words were forbidden: because they would never have a mother again, never be loved by a parent again, never be happy again - not like they had once been.
Kankurou, awkwardly, wrapped his arms around her, and Temari was horrified to find her lower lip trembling and her vision shaky with tears. It was far from the dignified behaviour required of her as the kunoichi she (nearly) was already. But she couldn't stop it, and she cried. She cried like when she cut her knee with one of Kankurou's - only partially finished - puppets, and her mother (/no, can't use that word, hurts too much/) had put a band-aid over it, with a gentle kiss to her forehead, and a '/you'll be fine, love. Don't worry/'. The memory only made her cry harder.
When she pulled away Temari wiped her nose on her sleeve - which hurt - and the wiped at her eyes.
"It'll be okay," Kankurou offered hesitantly. She shot him a glare, a few more tears leaking from her eyes. That was two, tonight. '/It'll be okay/' were all forbidden, too.