Sometimes, she thinks that they don't actually do anything at all, just still there, and think and know that there's someone else out there who has never felt a mother's kiss, like every one else h...
A/N: ... okay, so it looks like I might be making a series of these - the Sand siblings rock. So if I write any more of these, let's call this one, I don't know, Sand Introspection #2? Which would make Forbidden Words number one.
And just so you know, they'll probably all be from Temari's point of view. I like her. Oh, and if you're wondering, I'm trying not to make these AU, but it's really hard. I only barely managed not to make this one AU. It just sort of... happened. So, to avoid confusion: When I get to the part about Akatsuki, it's not in present tense, while the rest are - so it's like Temari looking back at events that have passed. Okay! On with the fic!
Temari, if she thinks about it very, very hard, can just barely remember her mother's kisses - that magical press of skin against skin that works better than a medical technique, despite doing no actual healing.
It conveyed so much: /I love you/, and /This will pass/, and /It'll be alright/.
She knows - she asked - that Kankuro remembers a little more clearly. He's older and can remember a few instances of their mother making it all better. He can even remember instances of their mother making it all better for Temari.
He can also - though Temari doesn't - remember the raging arguments between their parents. The Kazekage - they stopped referring to him as father a long time ago - would say that she was coddling them, and that he had brought them into the world to be shinobi, not whiny brats.
Their mother would sharply remind him who had borne each of them for nine months, and that he, too, had whined, and cried, and been soothed by his mother's kisses.
That had usually been when the screaming started.
Temari knew - or at least, it seems to her that she knew - instantly, when she first saw Gaara, that mother's kiss was gone forever. Uncle Yashamaru had presented the baby, crying out against the world, and the cruel voice in its head, and the trembling of it's - his - perch in Yashamaru's arms, to Temari and said that it was her younger brother, with a tremor in his voice.
Now, Temari thinks he was just one inch from killing himself, and the baby with him. Except that he didn't dare give up that one last thread to his sister; that last connection... otherwise he might have done it after all.
Then, when she first met Naruto, she might have thought it would be worth it. Now, she knows it wouldn't have been.
The two are close. Actually, Naruto is close with their whole family. /He's like a parasite/, she thinks. /He worms his way into your life, until you can't get rid of him without hurting yourself/.
Naruto shares jokes with Kankuro, and Konoha fashions (not that she really cares, she'll never wear the clothes, she just... actually she's not sure why she bothers asking him about the fashions. It's something to do, she supposes) with her.
And with Gaara... she's not sure what they do together, because often enough they do it where there isn't anyone else. Nothing illegal, or wrong, or that would start rumors about the Kazekage, she thinks (Gaara's far more politically minded than he lets on, and actually cares about things like that), because once, she listened through the door, and couldn't hear anything.
Which, she admits, doesn't really mean much. They're shinobi, after all. But sometimes... sometimes, she thinks that they don't actually do anything at all, just still there, and think and know that there's someone else out there who has never felt a mother's kiss, like every one else has.
Of course, knowing Naruto, Temari isn't sure he's capable of silence. He's just too... loud.
And while he was out there, searching for Akatsuki, trying to save Gaara so that everything would be okay, Temari thought that she might have liked to have one last mother's kiss.
Of course, she had just had to mention that to Matsuri, while it was their watch, and they'd been sitting in silence for too many hours, watching for an invasion that was probably never going to come.
Matsuri told her that mother's kisses were never as good when you got older - and she should know. Temari isn't usually one to let someone else tell her what is and what isn't good - or she'd have killed Gaara years ago, or been killed herself trying. But just this once, she wants to believe that mother's kisses are only for children.
That way, at least, she knows that she's not missing some wellspring of comfort while one of her brothers was likely dead or dying, and the other was only not dying because of a Konoha ninja that she vaguely recalls as being whiny and weak, and Naruto was walking right into the lair of real monsters who are after him too.