Edge of Tomorrow
Chapter 0
-Konoaguke no Seto:
In The Darkest Night-

By Geor-sama

The ANBU was like a wraith, unseen and unheard as he slipped through the Gate checkpoint and then among the buildings. He blended almost perfectly into the background, dressed entirely in black garb of the Hokage's private messenger, and only those who were also ANBU could detect his presence, though they chose to pretend they had not. It explained how he could slip so easily into the Hokage Tower and make his way to the top floor.

Here for the first time he paused, having almost collided with a dark-haired, plain looking woman who was carrying a pig in her arms. Her face registered shock, and then her eyes drifted to sealed scrolls in his hand. "Are those the reports?"

He nodded, speaking softly. "Is she awake? I was told this was an urgent dispatch."

The woman sighed. "Yes. She's awake..."

He slipped past her without a word and then entered the office cautiously, aware of the danger this could present for startling a Hokage. Thankfully, she was indeed awake, bathed in the moonlight streaming through the window of her office and reclining behind the massive desk. It was also obvious that she had been drinking; the Hokage did not even bother to hide the sake bottle.

Not that he could blame her for drinking.

"So?" The Hokage finally prompted, her brown eyes staring at him intently. Unnerved, he set the various scrolls on the desk before her. The Godaime reached out, pulling each one towards herself, studying the seals for a moment before looking up at him. "Anything else?"

"Yes." The man said, producing a slightly battered bingo book. "A gift from Waterfall. Apparently they managed to obtain a copy of an Iwa bingo book."

"Interesting," the Hokage said almost dryly, staring at the book as he handed it over.

"I was told that the third entry on page 234 would interest us," the messenger said, and, when he noted her sudden interest, he continued: "I agree Hokage-sama, that entry is very interesting for Konoha."

The Godaime raised an eyebrow at that and then, forcing aside her interest in the scrolls, checked the bingo book in her hands. At first she did not react, just read; the messenger could tell because he could see the way her eyes kept flickering while her mouth moved ever so slightly.

He was trying to figure out what she was feeling, or her thoughts, but she was a closed book to him. When she finally set the book aside, he was disturbed by the amused look on her face even though it did look strained. "So, Jiraiya wasn't making up stories..."


The Hokage fixed him with a level gaze, lacing her fingers together. "Nothing." Looking away, the blonde woman raised her voice slightly. "You don't have to listen at the keyhole Shizune. You can come in."

The messenger turned slightly, surprised that he had missed the girl. The dark haired woman, still carrying that pig, was chuckling nervously as she entered the room. "I-I'm sorry..."

The Hokage, however, brushed her off, selected the first scroll, and started reading. "I knew it would be something like that." The Hokage finally muttered, looking up at Shizune. "Sai was a traitor acting on Danzou's orders..."

"A traitor?" The messenger said aloud, knowing both men. This would be very bad; he knew without words that he would be carrying orders for an assassination tonight.

"Yes...I'm not surprised, that's why I put 'Yamato' on the team," the Godaime said, almost absently continuing to read the scroll as her face clouded over. " not good. Sakura and 'Yamato' think that the Uchiha brat has used a forbidden scroll or taken part in forbidden medical experiments."

"What does that mean?" Shizune asked nervously, joined by nervous sounding 'ton tons'.

"...That we're running out of time." Tsunade muttered setting the scroll aside and selecting the next one.

If her face had been clouded when she had read about the Uchiha, her face now was a mask of outrage. She glared at the scroll and then up at them. "Get the Niju Shotai ready to move in the morning. After that I want to see the ANBU commander, the Advisors and every other damn jackass in this village that's going to screw with me about military action."

"W-why?" The messenger asked, taken aback by that command. So many people to wake up, all highly important people, and she wanted to take a military action?

"Because," the Hokage drawled slowly fixing him with a glare that made him cringe, "according to this scroll, the Hidden Cloud village has been decimated. The Raikage is in hiding and the Nibi no Nekomata vessel has been captured."

"But why military action?" Shizune asked curiously, unphased by the news.

"Because the Hidden Rock have noticed the trend and are asking for some support in a pre-emptive attack on this mysterious group." the Godaime explained with a shrug. "They are also offering an alliance instead of a cease-fire."

Shitei blinked in surprise, fighting the urge to waver. He couldn't believe it; the Cloud were decimated? The Rock going to war and offering an alliance? A Biju had been captured? Then something flashed through his mind. "H-Hokage-sama, what about..."

The Godaime fixed him with another intense stare her voice hard. "I received a report from a reliable source that Naruto will be back within our walls in another week."

"This one is from the Kazekage?" Shizune asked, holding up the remaining scroll.

"Yes." The Hokage snapped, not even glancing at the scroll. "I want you to make it very clear to everyone that you get out of bed--and you can use any means necessary, if you have to--that they will be in the meeting chamber or they will be guilty of treason."

The messenger nodded vigorously before he turned to hurry out and complete his tasks. He had a lot of people to threaten and even more to alert. He stopped suddenly, brought up short by her hard tone, one that brooked no forgetfulness. "Shitei, when Sakura-chan arrives I want her in my office immediately. I want to be done dealing with her well before Naruto-kun arrives."

"Yes Hokage-sama." He bowed, waiting for the next order.

"Also, as soon as Naruto-kun enters the village I want you to get his ass to my office. No questions, no stalling. I see him immediately. If he refuses you get every damn ANBU needed and drag him here!"

"Yes Hokage-sama." Shitei bowed, waiting to see if there was anything else.

"Well, what are you waiting for?!" The Godaime bellowed, and he was gone.