Umbra

♪♪♪♪

Destroy government, shoot your leaders down and become revolution – assassin be born.

Sand got in her eyes but she got up anyway, yelling out a battle cry at the man opposite of her, a kunai in her hand while she dashed forth. The nine year old girl was flipped through the air and landed heavily on the sandy ground but she spit out of the side of her mouth and got to her feet; charging once more. "Faster!" he instructed sharply and Temari smirked – she could do faster.

Baki awaited the small girl to come at him; she was small, even if she was exceedingly intelligent and utterly ruthless when it came down to it, but her little brother Kankurou was bigger than her and she was only a hair larger than her youngest brother Gaara. She roared when she came at him again, slicing and nicking his left pant leg. Baki felt pride (it may have been wrong to because he was merely an instructor and not her father) at the fury that burned deep in her eyes and the way she spun on the balls of her feet to slice at him again before ducking under his leg quickly, small fingers going up to press into a nerve under his knee.

He kicked her away and she spun through the air but landed in a wobbly crouch. She licked her lips and though she was panting, face red and sweat beading from her, she didn't ask for a break. She wanted to fight. She wanted to keep fighting until some sort of progress was reached and Baki felt his lips twitch. "Temari," the blonde girl looked up at him, her instructor and the closest thing she'd ever had to a father. "Come, water break." He ordered before striding away in neat steps.

Temari scowled at the thought of interrupting a fight but nonetheless welcomed the thought of cold water. Walking beside her instructor, she asked suddenly, "Baki?"

He looked down at her, small black eyes on her, "What is it Temari?"

"What kind of weapon do you think I'm…" her brows scrunched, "Suited for?"

Baki thought it over, the way she howled ferociously when in battle, the times she was merely silent but came up so suddenly. Her teal eyes gleamed in the desert sun while she awaited his conclusion. "Well?"

"A fan," he said, looking ahead of them once more, while they retreated inside of the Academy, "A strong and large structure built with a steel skeleton and made to destroy far range or long range. With one swing," he went on and pretended not to notice the excited gleam in her eyes, "Toss them over air currents that could rip them to shreds and break their bones when they land, confuse them so they don't know what's up or down and then crush them with it closed." He turned his head to her appraisingly, "That is what you are suited for."

Temari smiled and though it looked pretty on her features, that didn't stop it from looking vicious like a desert jackal – so sneaky and cunning and deceptive in looks even. "Really Baki?" she asked, looking up at him just so that her teal eyes darkened to a blackened sort of color.

Baki withheld his smirk and hid the pride of his prized student, "Really."

The smile on her face melted to a smug smirk and Baki could already see the teeth of a well suited jackal grinning beneath it.

Sasori clucked his tongue at Hinata whose teeth grit and pale features were illuminated, "Hinata," she looked over at him. "Your feet need to be set more firmly but spread apart so your enemy does not know which way you are going. Again," he called to her calmly. She got to her feet and smoothed her muscles into position. Sasori noted that instead of tensing her muscles like she had several times, she forced them to relax and give a sort of a false sense of security.

He nearly smiled at the prospect that she was such a fast learner.

"Come," he commanded and she did, not in a reckless charge as before, but a calm stride that smoothed over into a sprint his way.

His leg swept out and where her head had been, was no longer, she having ducked to aim an open fist at his solar plexus. He moved, but allowed his movements to be quite slow compared to what they would have been had it been a normal training session. Sasori looked down at her eyes and saw them – thin slivers of dragon's claws reaching out before retreating.

The Byakugan she possessed was awakening slowly, albeit, but all the same it was on the peak of its horizon.

He gripped Hinata by her scruff and tossed her easily, not such a harsh throw that she would fall hard, but all the same was flung like a rag doll. She landed on the ground and rolled before she got up, hacking up desert sand. She got into a position once more but Sasori moved, holding up a hand, "That's enough Hinata, much better." He approached her and pat her head gently, fingers running through her hair. "Hinata," he called to her softly and she looked up at him though he only stared ahead into the rising and falling sand dunes. "Tonight is our last night here. There is something to be done and it must be done quickly," he looked down at her with pseudo warm eyes the color of baking red clay.

Hinata's head cocked in confusion, since they had only arrived a couple of weeks ago, but all the same listened and agreed with Sasori. He crouched down in front of her and looked her straight in the eye, "Before we leave, there is something that you must do for me before we leave, understand?" Hinata nodded slowly. He smiled and Hinata's Byakugan wasn't so underdeveloped that she did not recognize that it was a farce of a smile. "There is a man named Akagane Hiroshi and he is one of the councilmen of Suna, do you know what a councilman is?" he asked.

Hinata nodded silently, eyes leaving or blinking from the redhead in front of her. "Good, now, tonight he is going to bring up to the other councilmen to hunt me down immediately due to my past…services."

Hinata bit her lip, knowing enough of politics and shinobi to know what 'hunt down' meant. "S-Sasori-san?" she asked and he waited patiently for her to go on. "D-did you do s-something b-b-bad?"

Without hesitation or regard, he answered, "They believe I have," he saw her eyes widen in panic and nearly smiled again.

"T-That's a l-lie! S-Sasori-san would d-do a-anything b-b-bad!" her voice was an octave louder than her norm while she profusely and exuberantly denied his having to have done bad doings.

Sasori looked at her calmly, petting her head gently and fingers running through her tangles. "How would you know, Hinata?" he asked it not as a challenge of her meager child intellect, nor as proposed innocence – a flat question wanting an answer.

His fingers swept right through her hair and she latched onto his middle, whimpering a bit, "C-c-cause you d-didn't do anything bad," her grip on his middle tightened slightly, "Y-You wouldn't," she whispered.

He neither denied nor agreed on the matter but touched her shoulders gently and shushed her gently when she began to cry quietly.

"Hinata," he called to her softly, tone changing from his normal voice to a more maternally sounding tone to which she responded so wonderfully to. Her head buried further into the dark depths of his cloak and fingers clasped at the fabric with the grip of a tiny talon less hawk. She was listening for her crying had subsided. "Do you want me to be caught and more than likely killed by those he will convince after me?" she shook her head harshly, hug on him tightening. "Then, this is what I need to do, listen carefully Hinata…" his voice had dropped to a mere whisper, mouth near her ear while the wind howled.

And then he whispered murder into her ear.

Gaara sat on a chair in the banquet Sunagakure was holding for the politicians and watched his father talk to a man he didn't seem to particularly like. "Kazekage-sama, with all due respect Akasuna no Sasori – no matter how much of a vital aspect he is to Suna, is the most likely murderer of our previous Kazekage, surely you will look in on it!" his father; the Kazekage scowled.

"Akasuna no Sasori has no benefit to reap from the Third's death; he was the most trusted and feared of all our shinobi – he has no reason to have killed the Third."

The man, slightly pudgy and wrinkled with liver spots on his balding head dropped his voice, "But you had all and more benefits to reap from his death so you are a suspect as well."

His father's black eyes flashed, "Are you accusing me of treachery Hiroshi?" he hissed.

Hiroshi shook his head in a sigh, "Kazekage-sama, please understand that Sasori must be brought to justice because the councilmen are also raising questions of his innocence in all of this. After all, the Third was going to banish him from Suna because he had been suspected of using our people as experiments," he hissed. The Kazekage stared at Hiroshi silently.

"Hiroshi, bring it up to the councilmen if you wish, and if there is a unanimous agreement, then we will pursue Sasori, if not, all charges and suspicions are dropped. Understood?" Hiroshi nodded with tightened lips. "Off with you then," he made a shooing gesture.

Yashamaru leaned over to Gaara, "Gaara-sama, it's time we retire from the party." Gaara nodded quietly, watching Hiroshi leave with slumping shoulders before he noticed a small blur of black trail after him. "Gaara-sama, is there something wrong?" Gaara didn't say anything, watching as the two disappeared in the sea of politicians and other anonymous guests.

"No," he responded, shaking his head.

Yashamaru bit his lip and resisted calling Gaara a liar.

His blonde head snapped up when there was a sudden scream near the doorway and guards were rushing, a woman screaming out, one Yashamaru recognized as Hiroshi's mistress, "Akagane-sama is dead!" her makeup was running. The Kazekage stood and walked down from his chair, approaching the other guards at the entryway.

"Stay here, Gaara-sama," he told his charge firmly before running after the Kazekage.

Yashamaru stopped behind his brother in law and several of the other guards who leaned over Hiroshi's prone body. The Kazekage clicked his tongue in something akin to amusement, "Isn't that ironic. About to turn over our best shinobi and here you are now Hiroshi." He bent down to pull the kunai out of Hiroshi's side.

"Should we pursue his killer, Kazekage-sama?" one of the guards spoke up.

"Do you know who his killer was?"

"No, Kazekage-sama."

"Do you know what the killer looked like?"

"…No, Kazekage-sama."

"Then don't bother with stupid questions," he turned to the captain of the guards suddenly, "Send ANBU over to Sasori-san's workshop – bring him in alive or dead." With his toe pointed, he poked at Hiroshi's bulging dead belly, "Now look what you've done, we have to get rid of our finest." He looked at the other guards, "Take care of his body and try to placate the crowd," he said before turning on his heel to his Kazekage tower.

The moon overhead was red, and illuminated the blackened clouds with such an outline.

(Small inscriptions are written in the bottom and you can make out a few of them – reborn, assassin and dawning of the… this last word is smudged out and probably holds no meaning, you think before moving on)

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Ack. Shukaku is sort of an imaginary friend and yet real, but this physical form at the moment is only visible to Gaara and this is how Shukaku first begins to communicate with Gaara – he does not yet control him. It's a very confusing analysis, but hopefully I can explain it better.

Anyway, this chapter was pretty crappy and for that I apologize and hopefully the next one won't be as piss poor. Next chapter will have a time skip and have Naruto and Sasuke, Temari and Kankurou and perhaps others.