Trouble Brewing in the House of Sand

Chapter One: Meet Mr. and Mrs. Of the Sand

A/N: Friendly reminder that there are NO original characters in the following fic. It just seems like it, because all the characters I deal with are shamefully underdeveloped. Also, this story was written before Minato, so he's just "Yondaime", and I refer to Karura (that would be Gaara's crazy mum) as "Rosemary"... not for any good reason.

I like Gaara's mom and dad; his mom was apparently really unmaternal, and his dad hangs out on street corners and doesn't talk much. I also like his effeminate bi-polar uncle.

Once upon a time there was a girl named Rosemary, who lived in a magical, far-away, sandy place. Flagstaff, Arizona, to be precise, but locally it was known as Sunagakure. Why? I dunno. I've never been to Suna or Flagstaff.

Anyway, her name was Rosemary, but she called herself Rose, and everyone knew her as Anita.

Now, she and her man had been married right out of school, back when they were young, in love, and big hippies. And by "big hippies", I of course mean they puffed the magic dragon quite a bit. They had been together pretty much as long as anyone could remember, although, this wasn't necessarily all that long, since all of their friends were big stoners as well.

His name nobody used, or, if they were honest, knew at all. However, since it seemed impolite to admit that they couldn't remember his name, nobody ever asked. They simply referred to him as "the Kazekage", or, if he was in the room, "Kazekage-sama". (Rosemary was the only exception to this rule. She called him Lamont. This wasn't his name, but the Kazekage didn't want to admit that his own wife couldn't remember his name.)

As is often the case when a couple is married right out of school, it was not long before Rosemary and the Kazekage realized they had made a huge mistake, and that they in fact hated one another's guts. He coped by burying himself in the demands and burdens of running an entire Shinobi nation (into the ground, that is), and she coped by turning to the same substance that she had been hyped up on when she agreed to marry him in the first place. Namely, marijuana.

"Lamont!" she called one morning, walking into his office (their home doubled as the Suna Town Hall, sort of like the White House) in her underwear and one of his old T-shirts. "Lamont, I thought I told you to buy some more grass," she hissed, ignoring the room's other occupant. "We didn't have enough for a decent buzz this morning, let alone a whole joint."

"Uh, Anita?" the Kazekage interrupted embarrassedly. "I'm kind of busy..."

"Well, baby, if you had bought the stuff like I told you to earlier, you wouldn't have this problem to worry about right now."

The room's other occupant, as it turned out, was a handsome stranger. "Hey, Kaze," he hailed Rosemary's husband casually, "I didn't know you had a sister."

"This is my wife," growled the Kazekage.

"No kidding?" gasped the man, blinking his clear blue eyes in surprise. "How'd a guy like you end up with a babe like her?"

"Some guys just have all the luck, I guess," Rosemary purred, wrapping her arms around her husband. Only one factor kept their marriage together; both had a deep-seated need to Keep Up Appearances.

"Sweetheart," the Kazekage said sweetly, the irony undetected by his guest, "this is the Hokage from Fire Country." The Hokage winked at her and pushed some of his unruly blond hair from his eyes mischievously. "We were discussing the—,"

Suddenly, an unimportant flunky (we'll call him Baki... if we call him at all) burst into the room. "Sir, the kettle has set the Treasury Building on fire! Again!"

Swearing loudly to himself, the Kazekage bolted from the room.

"So..." the Hokage said after a moment. "You're Mrs. Of the Sand."

Rosemary nodded. "And you're... Yondaime, right?"

"Yup. Say, you pretty serious about your husband?"

"No." Rosemary said frankly. "You're cute, you know that?"

And roughly nine months later, Temari was born.