Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto only just the story I'm writing.

Political Alliances

Chapter 1: Games of Politics

In the heart of the dessert of the country of Wind, fortified by high walls of rock was the hidden village of Suna, home of the Sand Ninjas. Things hadn't been going well for their village they were still rebuilding their forces after the failed invasion plan with the Sound Village. But it wasn't totally their fault as their Kage had been in reality Orochimaru, the body of their real Kage had finally been found and the funeral had been held for him and their fallen ninjas. The village mourned the losses that had been suffered and also shamed at how they had been manipulated.

In the center of the village in the largest of structures the council elders were in a meeting discussing the future of the village. In a large room with statues of all the past leaders against one wall, there was a long table with all the leaders of the village. They were discussing candidates for who the future Kage would be, how to deal with such a loss of man power as well. They were in for some rough times as they had to keep up appearances that they weren't as weakened as they were. Another village might take advantage of that weakness and like all villages they needed the income from the people who hired them.

Those who paid well went to the villages with the most strength, and a weak village didn't get as much business.

But there was another matter on the table and that was how to firmly cement their alliance back with Konoha. They had been allies and had betrayed them. That was something that wouldn't be forgotten easily and they needed to make up for it and prove their commitment to the new alliance. They already agreed that the Sound village would be a mutual enemy, but they felt something else was needed.

"We need to prove to them that we are committed to the Alliance," an elderly man in robes spoke. "The Leave village did suffer losses but even at two to one odds they still came out on top. Despite their own losses they are still stronger than our village and if they don't trust us and feel we are only buying time to rebuild..."

"They might think we're planning to attack them again," another member said sombrely. "After our attack on them I wouldn't be surprised if certain members are planning to attack us to wipe out a possible enemy or for revenge."

"I still find it hard to believe that they were able to repulse the attacks by two villages," one member said.

"Give it a rest," said an annoyed elder, "We were led to believe they were weak and we were proven wrong. So now we have to think of a way to make a solid alliance with them."

"Yes, although they are now currently in the same state as we are in looking for a new leader." A man said looking at reports on the matter. "Apparently they went Jiraiya to look for his old teammate, Tsunade."

"She would be a perfect choice, although I thought she left the village not wanting to return?"

"If she does return then Konoha will have a powerful leader, she's related to the first two Hokages and is a legend herself. With her as a leader their village will soon start to rebuild itself and we still haven't agreed on a new Kazekage. When did he depart to look for Tsunade?" One asked his fellow council member with the reports.

"It says that he was spotted outside the village...that's odd. Apparently he's taken in a young genin with him. The reports weren't clear but from what our sources have sated it appears that he's taken on a new apprentice." The man looked through his reports for a name for the boy. "Apparently it's someone named Naruto..."

"Wait, did you say Naruto?" another member said as he suddenly went looking through several sheets of paper he had in front of him. "Is it a Naruto Uzumaki?"

The man blinked and looked at the report he had, "Yes that's his name."

"He was the one that defeated Gaara," he told them all and they all looked shocked at the revelation.

"Are you sure?" someone asked.

"The report was by Temari herself as she was a witness," the man said looking at the report in question. "From her accounts when the Uchiha couldn't damage Gaara the Uzumaki boy use what was referred to only as 'a unique move' to cause a lot of damaged him with an exploding kunai. Then somehow made, by her accounts created 'more clones than she could count' but she estimated something close to a thousand shadow clones."

"A thousand!? No one can make that many!" A few other mummers agreed to that.

"While that is highly unlikely," the man said who had been reading the report. "But the boy did somehow manage to beat Gaara, and it is listed on his official report that he does know the shadow clone technique. When first I heard I had a few people look into him. He's largely unknown, an orphan boy of unknown parentage. He was regarded highly by the Third Hokage for unknown reasons. He was said to be dead last of his class and yet he knows an advanced jonin move and was on a mission that went to A Class, which was also the mission that killed the Demon of the Mist himself."

That started many mummers among the council now, although what they didn't know the circumstances of that mission but what they did know was starting to painting a picture about Naruto.

"Do you think that the Leaf village is hiding his true power? I mean he has no real past and yet he's shown great promise, regarded by the late Hokage, defeated Gaara who I thought was impossible. And now it seems that Jiraiya himself has taken him under his wing too?" A man spoke up.

"This boy seems ordinary and yet there are all these things that make no sense," he added as the others started to think about this.

"The boy is obviously a hidden ace for their village," one member said after thinking about all of this. "There is no way someone with this kind of school record that you mentioned could have done the things it says here. He comes out of the academy with an A class jutsu, can use it to make an unheard of number of clones, took out one of the seven swordsmen of the mist and defeated Gaara? His school record was obviously faked to throw everyone off."

"I agree the boy must be a genius. A natural talented ninja and with Jiraiya there's no telling how strong this boy will become. Hell his team sensei is Kakashi Hatake too it says here," One member said pointing to s piece of his copy of the reports. "If this boy is any indication he could be the next Yellow Flash."

"Aren't you being a little overdramatic?"

"Of course not!" He shouted back at him, "Think about all this and the fact that Jiraiya trained the Yellow Flash himself and Jiraiya was taught by their Third Hokage too. There's no telling what the boy will learn and if he's already this strong imagine what he'll be like as an adult?"

There was a silence there in the room at this, the thought of another ninja as powerful as the Yellow Flash in Konoha was a freighting thought. Even as allies the Yellow Flash was a named respected and feared by many ninjas who remembered that man. The fact that they could be seeing a return of a ninja of that skill would be dangerous. If Konoha ever decided that they weren't faithful to their alliance a war could be very devastating to them. Everyone remembered how brutally the Rock ninjas had been beaten in the last ninja war,

"It might not be so farfetched," the one that had read Temari's report on Gaara's defeat spoke up. "It said that the boy already could summon the toads, in fact she described the one of the ones she called 'the size of a small mountain. It was all red, had on a vest with scars on the body and carried a sword', there is only one toad I can think of that describes that."

He didn't have to say it, as everyone knew the chief of the toads just by his description. There weren't many toad summons that could even come close and it seemed even more likely that Jiraiya was now training a new protégé, a new ninja that could rival his last apprentice. If the boy had already signed the contract the boy was obviously already on his way there.

"This could be bad for us," one of the older members spoke up feeling his age at the moment. "If they have a secret weapon in the makings, one I might add that trumped our own weapon, we must prove the depths of our alliance with them now more than ever."

"How, we've already agreed to some restitutions to help them rebuild the damage to the village," a man to his left said.

He nodded his head to that point, "Yes but I do have an idea. It might kill two birds with one stone and even be beneficial to us if things can go perfectly down the years."

"What are you talking about?"

He continued on, "Simply, we put in for the Bonding Alliance contract with them."

Everyone remembered that old ritual, mainly when two villages or countries had been at war and one side lost there was a way to cement the peace. It mainly said that the loser would offer up a prodigious member of that group to marry into the victor's forces. It was a way to show commitment on both parts.

"That...might work," a member said thinking about it. "It hadn't been done in awhile but there is president for it. If we make an offer to the Konoha council they might accept but we need to ensure that they would. But who would we pick? It would have to be someone close to the boy's age but also someone upstanding of else the offer could not even be looked at."

Names were thrown out as to whom could it be but when someone actually suggested Temari herself that caused a bit of talk.

"I don't think we should give her up," someone said. "She's one of our most potential ninja, she's the eldest child of our late Kage himself. Plus if the boy is as powerful as we think he could be, then any children they would have would be just as strong if not stronger."

"Yes it would but that would entice their council to accept, that's why it's a good idea."

"No it isn't, we wanted to ensure a peace not give another village a family of powerful ninja!"

"Hear me out. First it would give them incentive to accept the offer and yes it would create that. But they would have family in Suna making it harder for them to fight against our village. And if they are that powerful they would most likely become even a Hokage at one point, if they had strong ties to our village we could rest easy."

That made the council think on matters, it would be true if it happened. Having a strong family of ninjas that has strong ties to their village would be something that could benefit them down the road. It was also offered that maybe one of their children could be married off to someone in their own village, that way whatever strong bloodline that would be produced could also be started in Suna as well. That was what sealed the deal for the council. Everything if it worked out would benefit their village, they would have a strong alliance with one of the strongest villages, and possible strong allies in the future and even future stronger ninjas for them down the road too. Preparations were made to send an official deal to Konoha as soon as possible.

-Konoha council-

A few days later the Konoha council was in session, since there was still no Hokage they needed to help run the village as best they could. They did have limited power though they couldn't institute policy or wage war or anything like that. They couldn't accept missions that were A or S rank and only certain B rank missions. But they did have to help with the rebuilding of the village and with relief efforts as well. At the moment three of the most influential members of the council were meeting with each other.

Two were an elderly male and woman both had been teammates to the late Third Hokage, the other however had been a thorn in the Third's side for years. He was a tall man in robes and bandages covering his face and walked with a cane. He was Danzo the 'war hawk' of the village as it was said. He was a more militaristic influence and even though he had no official office in the council anymore, many still listened to his council.

Homura Mitokado the old woman was currently sipping her tea as she watched Koharu Utatane read the letter that was to be sent to the council that afternoon from Suna. The old man's face was an emotionless mask as he read it carefully trying to read it to see if there was any hidden meaning in it. She had done it herself and she felt that even though the Suna council was being upfront they were still hoping for something to come of this. Danzo had already read it and was looking out a window lost in his own thoughts.

Homura finally let out a sigh and put it down.

"Your thoughts?" she asked him.

"It seems they want to establish stronger ties with us. After all they did violate the last treaty we had."

"Yes although they were manipulated into it by that traitor Orochimaru," she pointed out.

"Agreed, although many still hold resentment over them with all the losses. Also not one of them ever seemed to have spoken out against the plot as well which does not do them any favors." He paused for a moment thinking about what to say next. "Although this would help heal that rift and the person they offered for this deal is most surprising."

"I still can't believe they are offering up Temari," she agreed. "From all reports she's one of their strongest genin, I didn't expect them to offer someone like her."

"It must mean they are trying to show how serious they are taking this," he said to her and then frowned. "However I don't like that fact that they requested that only the ninja of their choosing would be given to her and none other. Now normally I expected something like this but who they chose..."

She didn't like it any better, "I know. Someone like a Hyuga or the last Uchiha I can understand or even someone from one of the other clans. But to choose that boy is insane. I can't see why they would want him."

Danzo turned around to face them, "I say we agree to it."

They were both shocked by this but he raised his good hand silence anything outburst against it. "Hear me out. If we accept it we gain a very powerful genin that could one day help us out much as her training continues. Also what if this is a trap? If there are members that are trying to send us a spy then would we want to argue who they want? If they did ask for someone like the Uchiha then I would be suspicious a bit more on their actions."

"Therefore I think they are honest about wanting to strengthen the new alliance with this show of loyalty. We should accept also because otherwise it would insult them and might sow some distrust with our views on the alliance. I know you both don't think much of the boy but if he's the one they want then who are we to argue the point? They obviously want the boy for a reason although for what reason I can't see at the moment."

"Could they know about the Kyuubi?" Junko asked.

Danzo shook his head, "I doubt it. The Third made it very hard for any outsider to know about it. And if they did I'm not sure if they would chose him anyway. I believe they might have chosen him for another reason."

"Perhaps it was because they chose him instead of one of the nobler clans as a way to prove that they weren't doing this just to marry into one of our clans?" Homura stated.

Danzo thought about that point, "that is a possibility. But I feel the union could be beneficial to us regardless. I know you feel the boy should never have been made a ninja. However I always felt the boy would have served us better as a weapon but I was outvoted from that. At any rate, their children could be very powerful ninjas in the future. A young ninja like her shows much promise and the boy's chakra is insane for his age, if that is passed on it could lead to a family of high chakra users with powerful justus."

"So you can't use the boy as a weapon you intend to breed him is that correct?" Junko said in mild disgust. She was never in favor of breeding programs but in the past they had been beneficial. Although she could think of better people then the Uzumaki boy.

"Yes," Danzo said simply. It wasn't uncommon for villages to breed new and stronger generations and if he couldn't use the boy as a weapon then he could ensure that their village could have stronger ninja in the future. If the children were 

strong enough they could be used as fine soldiers in future wars, it was just too bad that he might be a bit too old before they were ready.

"I do suggest that they have at least one child as soon as possible," he stated to them. "After all with children the marriage alliance is complete and if she is a traitor and a spy we can use her child as a hostage against her. If she's not a spy then it would make her more loyal to the village that's home to her child."

"They're a bit young aren't they?" She asked him.

Danzo nodded, "Yes so we won't make the demand right away but at some point they will need to produce a child."

The other two nodded in agreement, they wouldn't push for it right away but they would wait for a bit before they did. Danzo went back to looking out the window as his mind drifted to making some new plans for the Uzumaki children, if they were born with strong talents he would have to see if he could influence them in some way. He doubted he could do it in person but there were always other ways.

-On the road-

Walking on one of the many roads within the Fire Country was a tall man with long white spiky hair, he was in a red vest and had two painted lines on his face. Next to him was his young new apprentice clad in an orange and blue outfit. Naruto was walking along trying to get the next stage of the rasengan, he had already finished the first step with the water balloons and he could break the rubber ones slightly but Jiraiya said he wanted him to totally break the rubber balls and not just make a small hole in them.

He was just about it get it too when he sneezed again.

"Kid, are you coming down with a cold or something? You've been sneezing like crazy for the past few days." The older man asked Naruto.

"I don't know, I've never been sick before in my life. Anyway, where is this team mate of yours?"

"She should be in the next village," he told his young student. At least he hoped she was in the next village, so far all his leads pointed to here but she had a way of running out of town once the money she owed from gambling became a bit much. At any rate he was proud of the kid's progress he was taking to it better than he had not that he would tell the kid that. He had an ego enough as it was.

He looked at the golden haired boy and just looking at him he could see Minato in everything and his mother's personality as well. He knew that the boy's parents would be proud of him and how he overcame everything to get where he was. He just wished he could have raised the boy but he was on the road all the time with his spy network and he couldn't have done it. He should have came back more to check up on the boy but he had thought the Third would know best.

He sighed to himself at how wrong that was, true he knew that his sensei did the best that he could under the circumstances but still he could have at least found a family for the boy. Jiraiya knew full well how lonely life could get but then he was a hermit by choice. But he pushed those thoughts away, he didn't need them especially not when he was going to see Tsunade as well although how he was going to talk her into the job he had no idea. She was a very stubborn woman but that was one of the reasons he brought Naruto along.

He was just as stubborn as she was and the kid had a way with people. If anyone could get her to take the job it was the blonde knucklehead there.


"I'm to be what!?"

The female yell was heard clear halfway across Suna, inside a large building that was home to the late Kage in a small audience chamber there was Kankuro in his usual all black outfit only the hood was down and his brown hair was free although he still had on his purple face paint. Next to him was his younger brother Gaara, he cast a look to younger brother. The red headed boy was stonic as ever but ever since that fight with the blonde haired boy he had changed. He wasn't ready to kill at the drop of a hat, in fact the usual terror people normally felt around him was greatly diminished.

He just couldn't figure out what happened in that fight, sure it was the first and only time Gaara had been defeated but there had to be something more to it. Gaara had for years been unstable and now he seemed to be calm and yet controlled. He wasn't sure what was more creepy the old monster Gaara that would kill you if he suddenly felt like it, or this new calm and collect Gaara that you didn't know what was going on in his head these days.

He sighed and decided to enjoy the show for the moment before he missed it.

They had all been called into the room by their jonin sensei Baki. The man looked a little nervous about something which was odd since the man was hardly the nervous type. Although it soon became known to him why he was nervous, apparently the council had entered into an agreement with the Leaf village. Something about an arranged marriage to smooth things over, he could see why they would want that. Despite being outnumbered the Leaf village had won and were in better shape than they were from what he heard.

His older sister Temari had asked what this had to do with them.

Well Baki had told her that she was the one that the council had put forth for the arrange marriage. That was when the yelling started and he had to snicker, the only thing that came close to Gaara's temperament was his older sister's. The tall blonde haired woman looked like she wanted to reach for her large battle fan on her back and wanted to use it on the adult.

"Temari, this is an order by the council and I had nothing to do with it. I was just to tell you of what is going on and to help prepare you." He said trying to calm the young ninja down.

"So what I get no say in this!? Why the hell are they sending me anyway?" She demanded of their sensei.

"Because you are the eldest child of the late leader, so it's fitting that you are sent as a message that we are truly sorry for what we did. You're a symbol for the village that we mean peace."

Temari grounded her teeth as she fumed, she couldn't believe this was happening to her. Of course it made a bit of sense but still that didn't mean she had to like it.

"So I'm the sacrificial lamb is that it?"

"Not really, but you get the idea. Despite that we were tricked by Orochimaru we still all went against the peace treaty we had with their village. We were in the wrong and we need to repair our relationship with their village, since both of our forces are hurting it will take years to get back the strength we lost. In that time we both can't afford a war with each other as that would invite others to put a dagger into our backs when we aren't looking." He explained.

Temari thought about it, true there were a few major powers that would love to see either of them taken down. If Suna and Konoha fought a war even if there was a winner, that winner would be too weak to protect themselves. With two great powers weakened she could easily see smaller nations wanted to expand their boarders and power, and the larger nations to wipe out a couple of rivals in the deal as well. It would mean all out war all over and in the end only her village and that of the Leaf would be destroyed.

She gripped the top of a chair thinking about all of this, she was a Kage's daughter and as such had been trained in diplomacy and to think in the big picture. She could see the logic in what the council did but she loved this village, her youngest brother was slowly regaining his humanity and she never felt closer to him. She didn't want to leave her home and her family behind. She looked at her two younger brothers, they were the only family she had left in the world but if a war started then how could she live with herself knowing that she could have stopped it.

"I hate this," She whispered out to herself.

Baki sighed and walked over to her and gently placed a hand on her shoulder.

"I know but it's your duty to do this, this is the greatest mission that you'll uptake for this village, Temari. You know full well that the life of a ninja is for the country and for the village. Our personal lives come second to them and at times we are asked to do things of great difficulty as well. "

Temari hung her head in defeat, "Who is it that I'll marry?"

"Don't know yet, we have to hear back from Konoha first. In the mean time we're to get you ready, study up on the Leaf village and any customs that you'll need to know."

Temari let out a long sigh and felt a hand on her shoulder she looked surprised to see that it was Gaara. Although his face was void of emotion there seemed to be a hint of something in his eyes.

"If he hurts you I'll kill him." He said simply.

Normally that wouldn't be anything new but there was a difference. Gaara killed only for himself and never for other people, he was basically telling her in his own way that he would be looking out for her. That if whoever she was marrying hurt her that he would be there to protect her and help her. She never had known Gaara to offer anything like that before and she was strangely touched by it.

She actually smiled at him and for a moment Gaara seemed to be pleased, she wasn't sure how she knew but she just did.

"Thank you Gaara."

"Yeah well you're our big sister what do you expect," Kankuro said smiling at her.

Gaara nodded, "Family is important, you are important and I will not let anyone harm those precious to me."

Temari couldn't speak she didn't trust herself not to choke at his words. Gaara had never said that they were precious to him. She had no idea what had changed her baby brother but for the first time in years she had her youngest brother back. To the surprise of everyone she hugged the younger boy to her.

Gaara was shocked by the gesture and he was trying to make sense of the feelings he was getting. The warm embrace of his sister reminded him of when he was in his sand but this was different. This was warm and he felt something nice growing inside of him. He wasn't sure what to do but something told him to hug her back, so very gently he reached up with his arms and wrapped them around his big sister. He couldn't remember if he was ever hugged in his life and it felt nice for some reason. He was still getting used to all the new emotions and feelings, for so long he lived for only himself and loved only himself.

But Naruto had shown him where real power came from, the boy was like him in so many ways and yet he hadn't turned into a monster. He had beaten back the darkness and had shown Gaara that he didn't have to live in darkness himself. Gaara was forever thankful for Naruto to opening his eyes to a new world and right now he suddenly started to understand where Naruto got his true power. The feelings he had with his sister hugging him made him want to protect her and Kankuro, he would do anything to protect them and it felt nicer than anything in the past.

Baki watched on as the two siblings were hugging, he had a small smile on his face at the sight. Whatever happened to change Gaara had also healed the rift in this family. He hated that they had to take Temari away from it, but duty came first. But he would ensure that they could visit whenever they could and also have enough time together before she left as well.

Next up chapter 2: Wedding News

Also for all those that are new to me, spelling/grammar is something I struggle with I'm not horrible and I've improved but unless you can help don't just say 'need work on spelling/grammar' without actually saying what needs work. I'm not a mind reader. Anyways this story is M rate for safety as it may or may not have some more adult content later on. That will be up to you how much you want to see in this.