AN: I don't own Naruto and I'm not making money so don't sue me please!
The Village Hidden in the Sand is home to an odd mixture of people and ninjas. When the village was first founded the harshness of their environment ensured that only the absolutely strongest made it into their teens. This gave those that did survive and their offspring an extreme strength and viciousness, but this is an adaptation that was developed solely for survival and it hides how much pain those that did survive feel for their lost villagers and ninjas. Thus the ninja of Suna, though few in number, protect themselves and all those they care about against all the pain they can with that inborn strength. They are a dangerous enemy and could make perfect allies for Konoha.
Yondaime Hokage- Tactical and Diplomatic Lecture to Konoha's Jounin: the Hidden Villages series- Suna
Chapter 1- Escape from Death
The Yondaime Kazekage- Subaku no Kanbei- sat poised and watchful in the conference room ready to respond with intelligence and passion at a moments notice. He had been Kazekage for almost thirteen years now. He had risen to that title through a mix of his noble decent from the Shodai Kazekage and his exemplary service during the Third Great Ninja War as well as political skill. He had fought hard to rise so high and had left many enemies dead or broken in his wake and even a couple of friends. After he had attained his position he fought to expand his power, but though few would believe it he had not done it for himself or even his family, at least not all for those reasons, mostly it had been for his village and his country. He had proved it by even sacrificing those he loved most although that had been forced on him at the start of his reign.
He had battled hardliners on his council ever since his rise to power. Petty fools who reached farther than their abilities could grasp. They were however able early on to force decisions on Kanbei by manipulating the well meaning and naïve civilian members of Suna's ruling council. Unlike the Hokage the Kazekage did not have the ability to make his word law… not yet anyway. One of those awful decisions had been to seal the demon Shukaku into a new vessel. How he had hated the idea. None of the vessels for that demon had ever been useful long. He had also feared that the vessel would come from a family that opposed him. That was when his wife's brother, Yashamaru, suggested that their own child be used. Though the idea horrified him his wife managed to convince him that it was the best way to approach the situation. It would turn the hardliners' plans to his own purposes and increase his influence.
His wife had shared his vision for the future and had supported him in everyway. Even though theirs had been an arranged marriage they loved each other very much. She was wise beyond her years and Kanbei missed her council almost as much as he missed the love they shared. Kanbei was reserved, cold, and quite. He was not one to show much emotion but that did not mean he did not feel. People felt that Kanbei had merely used his wife to further his own career, but if that were so why had he not remarried someone to help his political ambitions? That was a question that few were perceptive enough to ask. His wife had sought out the old fuuinjutsu and kinjustu mistress Chiyo for the purpose of finding a better method of sealing the one tailed beast. Chiyo discovered that the previous seals had been too straightforward. They had all been designed to give the vessel almost constant access to Shukaku's power, but by giving them easy access to the demon's power they also gave the demon easy access to the vessels' minds.
Chiyo devised a seal that would give the vessel a subconscious connection to the demon's power and would set up a kind of pseudo "barrier" personality based on his wife's that would throw off the demon's hold until he matured enough and developed his will to be strong enough to keep himself sane. When it came time for Gaara to be born Chiyo performed the sealing perfectly, but she had left out a important factor in her calculations. That being she did not devise a seal to protect Kanbei's wife during the sealing and that was what had led to failure. When the Shukaku's essence entered his wife it quickly drove her mad, and thus corrupted the presence that would protect Gaara's mind. Madly his wife cursed their youngest and their village. Deep down Kanbei knew that somewhere in his son was the uncorrupted imprint of his mother's mind why else would the sand protect Gaara so fircely when the Shukaku was kept at bay most of the time?
The lose of his wife devastated him and his family. To protect his two remaining children while he waited to see the outcome on Gaara's mind he placed the boy under the care of his wife's brother. Kanbei hated the simpering man and the feeling was mutual. His brother-in-law had never accepted the fact that his sister could love someone more than him. As Gaara grew Kanbei observed him closely. The boy tried hard to fit in but his powers were greatly out of control. One day he watched as Gaara tried to apologize to another child he had hurt and saw his failure. However, Kanbei felt the boy was stable enough and would soon take a hand in trying to teach the boy to control his abilities and reunite him with his siblings. His brother-in-law demolished those plans however when he attempted to kill Gaara, failed, lied about his mother, and then told the boy it had been done on his orders. A damn lie!
Gaara's mind had been broken since then, and he became a thousand times more dangerous ever since. The council had hired other assassins since then and had forced him to do the same on several occasions. Every time he waited torn between his desire to see his son live and have a chance to overcome his madness or be released from his pain. Gaara always survived, it was in his blood. After a time Kanbei was able to convince Gaara that if he became a ninja he would have plenty of strong victims to sate his bloodlust, and he would be a ninja as long as he protected his teammates, his brother and sister. Gaara had told him he would only watch over them until he was strong enough to kill the Kazekage and then he would destroy everyone in order to "prove my existence." Kanbei prayed he could find an alternative to that outcome and soon.
So that was the way things had been for the past two years. His children had been on one team and the three were well on their way to becoming powerful ninja. Temari and Kankuro would one day become important leaders for Suna. Kanbei hoped that he would be able to at least change Gaara for the better and allow him to have as normal a life possible for a Jinchuuriki. Not that it would ever be an easy life but it would be better than what he lived now.
All these thoughts and memories swirled around the Kazekage's head as he sat in on the most important meeting of his tenure as the Kage of Suna. He was sitting in Konoha's private council chamber with his right hand man, former teammate, and protector and Sensei to his children Baki informing the Hokage of his former pupil Orochimaru's plan to destroy Konoha. All of the council and the Hokage had listened to his report and not a word had been spoken for almost three unbroken minutes.
Finally after silently staring at the table for so long the Hokage spoke, "Well this is interesting to say the least."
Danzo, the old war hawk, spoke slowly, "This is not a joking matter. Who knows what twisted plans your former student might have come up with while he has been in exile. He could have caused massive amounts of damage to us before we defeated his forces."
The Kazekage was slightly annoyed that Danzo felt that both Suna and Oto together would still be defeated by Konoha, but he knew that Suna had been slow in recovering from the last great war and had only retained its status because of its alliance with Konoha and the fact that all but the other four great countries were just now getting back up to pre-war status.
The Hokage smiled at Danzo and spoke in a patronizing tone, "But Danzo we did learn of the attack thanks to our ally the Kazekage."
The Kazekage gave a small bow of the head to his counterpart.
The Hokage's former teammate Koharu spoke, "Indeed, but I would like to know how exactly he came by these plans." All of the council turned towards Kanbei and waited.
Kanbei spoke in an even confident voice, "I was contacted by an envoy from Oto two weeks ago and asked to go and meet his leader concerning a "business proposition which needed the utmost secrecy." I informed the ambassador that I was to busy to go and said that if the leader wanted to see me he would have to come and meet me in Suna. The man then said his leader was too busy to go that far and wanted to know if we could meet in Wind country at near the border with Bird Country. I was intrigued and we decided on the number of guards we would bring and the exact location and time. One week later the time for the meeting had arrived and I was feeling very nervous which was strange as I shouldn't of had to be afraid of anyone form such a new village as Oto. I erred on the side of caution and created a shadow clone of myself and hid a mile or so away from the meeting place. Imagine my clones surprise when the leader arrived with a group of four guards and revealed himself to be Orochimaru. He explained his plan to me, which I have told you about, I told him I would consider his plan and get back to him as soon as possible. It was at that point he laughed and said I had already agreed to it. His guards killed my men and he attacked my clone. Needless to say when I received its memories I retreated post-haste. I was able to evade several close calls while Orochimaru and his men tracked thinks in part to my knowledge of the desert."
The room was silent for a moment before Nara Shikaku spoke in his usual lazy manner, "It is possible that those plans are fake and he merely wanted to have you assassinated."
The Kazekage spoke back, "Why then would he not just have attacked me before he revealed himself?"
Kanbei knew that question had merely been for the civilians on the council who might have been thinking the same thing, and the Nara's way of testing him.
Homura, the Sandaime's other teammate spoke, "Now that Orochimaru plans have been exposed perhaps he will abandon them, and we can use that time to strengthen ourselves and increase our knowlege of Oto."
Danzo shook his head, "That is unlikely. The fact that he could afford to wait this long to try and bring in outside aid means that the attack is going to take place one way or another."
The Hokage nodded gravel, "Danzo is correct. Orochimaru is so arrogant that he thinks anything he plans is as close to foolproof as anything can be."
Shikaku spoke again, "It is possible that Orochimaru wanted you to escape, or that he has other villages helping him and just omitted them when he was meeting with you."
Yamanaka Inoichi spoke, "Or the Kazekage could really be working with Orochimaru and this is just supposed to throw us off."
Annoyed the Kazekage spoke, "What purpose would putting you on your guard serve?" he then turned to the Nara head and acknowleged, "It would not be beyond imagination that he could have other allies."
The Hokage spoke, "Orochimaru has no allies only pawns to be spent. Whoever will help him will be destroyed one way or another. Now Kazekage-dono how can we repay your friendship and honor?"
Kanbei spoke, "We have been at peace with each other since we signed our truce during the last great war. A war I must mention that we only joined because our Sandaime wished to fight it, and when he disappeared we had no place it. For the last thirteen years we have been allies. Unequal allies because my village wished to show that we had no hard fillings against yours even though you defeated us during the war and I think we have done that. Now I wish to re-forge our alliance. I wish for my village to be treated as what we are one of the Five Great Nations. I do not wish to challenge Konoha's clear position as the greatest, but I want my people and ninja to be treated with respect. I want three things and on two of those points I am willing to negotiate to what extent those two things are agreed upon. Those two things being a more open sharing of intelligence between ourselves about outside foes, and more free trade between our two villages. The last point I must be firm and not budge on, Konoha must no longer offer cheaper mission rates to any of Wind countries nobility. Ours is the only country you allow that to happen with, and that includes your enemy countries as well."
The council was quite for a few moments before the Hokage spoke once again, "You have every right to be angry about the pricing of missions, and after the Chuunin Exam we shall rework our alliance as quickly and as fairly as possible. On this I give you my word. Now there is something else I would like to tell us."
The Kazekage spoke, "And that is?"
The Kazekage was cut off by a shocked Homura, "Wait we will still have the exams? Knowing that there is a trap?"
"The Hokage chuckled, "Knowing there is a trap is the first step in escaping it. If we cancelled the exams it would be a server blow to our prestige, and it would raise many questions. However if we can destroy Orochimaru and whoever might aid him and still pull off the exams then we will show the world what our Will of Fire means. Now back to the Kazekage's question." He face Kanbei and looked him dead in the eye, "I am sure Orochimaru promised you quite a lot for your cooperation, and asked for something seemingly small in return. He also probably told you that there was one thing you had which would ensure the success of the attack… what were those two things?"
Kanbei's eyebrows rose in shock before he allowed himself a small chuckle, "I see you still live up to your reputation as The Professor Hokage-sama. Orochimaru wanted only a small chuck of land from our supposed conquest, which I would decide on, and he wanted to make sure that Uchiha Saskue was turned over to him relatively unharmed."
This cause quite a stir among the council who all began to mutter among themselves until the Hokage once again questioned.
"What were you to provide?"
Kanbei held back for a moment, "By telling you this I am giving up an advantage in the Chuunin Exams and I hope you can appreciate that given you all know how imprtant that is. My youngest son Gaara is the Jinchuuriki for the Ichibi."
At that announcement the room was once again plunged into silence.
AN: Hello all this is my second Naruto fic and I hope you will enjoy it. This Chapter is just to set the stage so bear with me. This will be a Naruto Temari fic, but that won't be the only paring. No bashing please. I don't plan on doing any either. Anyway please Read and Review, and please give some constructive comments only... or pure I love either one will work. lol. No Flames please.