O-kay, guys. I kept you hanging for long enough – unfortunately, there is an awful lot going on at the moment, including but not limited to: possibility of losing job, deciding if I will have to undergo a surgery, some personal trouble and harsh allergy.

But I'm not forgetting you… Here's the very last part of the "Diplomacy" story and I'd like to thank all who liked it enough to drop a Fav, an Alert or a Review.


Lee was half-sitting in his bed. This day was simply amazing – sneaking out of the hospital, learning about Gaara's guilt eating the man from inside and then the mind-blowing change in their relationship… Well, not only mind-blowing, the injured man smirked.

He was tired and in pain, hobbling from the hospital to Gaara's office and all their…activities were not kind to his injuries, but he still could not fall asleep. His nerves were overexcited, both from the steamy scene with Gaara and overexerting himself, and also from his own little plan he started to execute on the side.

Lee sighed and tried to find a better position and closed his eyes, trying to will himself into the land of dreams.

Nearly silent footsteps approached his room, the door creaked and somebody stepped in. The smell was familiar for Lee enough to recognize the person.

His eyes closed, he smiled into the darkness, "Can't sleep?"

"Can't sleep," confirmed Gaara softly and slid under the covers next to the black-haired man, nuzzling his shoulder lightly.

Lee hummed wordlessly, still keeping his eyes closed, looping his right arm around Gaara and dragging the red-head closer. He felt the red hair tickling his chin and soon he stroked the Kazekage's back just like he would pet a cat.

Gaara was all but purring contentedly, before he started to chuckle.

"What?" Lee's hand paused on his back.

The sand user shook his hand, but continued to laugh lightly.

"What?" The black-haired man poked him in the ribs to emphasize his question.

"I just recalled Kankuro's face…" Gaara's voice trailed off and he started to laugh again.

Lee could not help himself and joined him. "Ou… Ouch!" He was panting soon, because his broken ribs definitely did not like this. Still, he could not stop laughing. "I wonder where he went actually. I haven't seen him the whole afternoon."

The Kazekage calmed a bit. "Apparently he told the rest of the impromptu search party that everything's okay and that he's going to get drunk. Temari saw him later totally smashed and Shikamaru did not look much better."

The wounded man let his head fall back on the pillow and groaned. "Okay, so better start thinking on some official statement."

Inquiring jade eyes were boring into him. "Why?"

Lee resumed stroking his lover. "Because he's definitely gonna tell Shika. And Shika will tell Ino, because she knows how to get under his skin and I swear she used the mind-possession jutsu on him a few times to find out stuff."

Gaara snuggled close again. "So?"

"And if Ino knows, then everybody knows," Lee was getting annoyed a bit about this. "I swear, she would be the most useful in the T&I but Ibiki-san never asked her to join. I guess it's because she can't keep a secret for more than a day."

The smaller man propped himself on one elbow and looked at his lover. "You do not wish to make our relation public?"

Lee sighed and pulled himself a bit higher, now sitting fully against the headboard. This is going to be a tough one. "It is not that I have something against it. I mean what I said, you are my precious person and that is that, Gaara. But you're the Kazekage. Don't you think that the Daimyo will use this against you and the whole Sunagakure? What then?" He ran his good hand through his hair, to keep the black mane out of his eyes and chuckled a bit. "Besides, getting used to being so close with you in private would have been nice. I did not expect to have to look out for your rabid fangirls so early."

Gaara continued to look up at him from his position on the bed and ran his hand along Lee's left thigh. "I could…talk to Ino…" he offered, before letting his head rest where his hand was just a moment ago. He could see this was really troubling for his lover and he understood why. He should worry about the consequences too, but somehow he could not bring himself to think about politics now, that he had the black-haired fighter so close and was finally allowed to touch him.

"No, that would not help anything. That's just the way she is. Now that I think about it, she hasn't participated in any undercover mission either. She's a great fighter and that mind-reading jutsu is damn useful, but she would rat herself out within five minutes from the start…" Lee sighed again.

The red-haired shinobi nuzzled his thigh again and murmured in a sleepy voice, "Stop worrying so much. So they will know and what? It's not like they wanted me to have children at the first place – I'm considered to be too unstable to be allowed to procreate. I'm a monster, remember?" He bit the skin close to his mouth lightly and earned himself a slap between his shoulders. The Kazekage let go and continued, "And if they cause problems because they don't want the Kazekage to have a relationship with a man, then I will resign."

A hand in his hair pulled his head back and made him face the concerned look on Lee's face. The big black eyes looked even rounder than usually, but the frown created a deep crease between the prominent eyebrows. "Gaara…"

He reached out to smooth the wrinkle on his lover's forehead. "You worry too much, Lee. Can't you just lay all this aside for tonight? I'm sure we'll have enough to deal with tomorrow. Besides, even though Temari would hate me for shifting all this on her, she would be a wonderful Rokudaime Kazekage. Don't you think?" He chuckled evilly. "And the council simply loves her…"

"You're right, oh the magnificent one." Lee sighed and slid back deeper under the cover and snuggling to his lover as much as his bandages would allow. "Let's sleep now," he yawned. "I hope that the morning, with its springtime of youth, would handle everything."


Several weeks passed and their relationship was accepted without much ado. Only the Elder Jouseki tried to protest the Kazekage having a male lover, but he was promptly shushed when Gaara offered to step down and give the powers over to his sister.

Believed monster or not, the youngest Sabaku was still easier to deal with than the harsh kunoichi.

Aside from couple of stares, the two young men had not experienced any negative reactions, even though Kankuro assured them that Gaara's fanclub was crying bitter tears somewhere in a corner.

What surprised them all though was Ino implying that Lee had a fanclub on his own and that they were much more dangerous – because their motto was never to give up.

Gaara sighed and leaned back against the wall.

Today Lee's cast would come off and depending on the results Sekka might even let him get back to work. That would be good – bored Lee was dangerous Lee.

As Gaara learned hands first over the few weeks.

The black haired man could not move much, but what he could do with his fingers and his mouth simply left the Kazekage in a breathless heap on his bed, mewling in pleasure.

The red-head smirked. Of course that as soon as he recovered, he gave Lee back as good as he got, but still, they had to be careful not to strain all the healing tissue. Gaara had to apply his iron will from time to time, because he did not want to take Lee if it might have caused him pain.

The other way around was practically impossible because it would put too much strain on Lee's damaged right leg, no matter how they tried to work around this. The one time they tried they had to stop immediately and Lee's knee was swollen for three more days afterwards.

Finally the door opened and his lover walked out, the medic nin following him.

Sekka gave Lee some papers and shook his hand, congratulating him on healing properly, then he turned to the Kazekage, "Well, Kazekage-sama, Lee-san is definitely making a good progress. I am telling you, because I need to be sure that he will follow the directions though. I do not want to have to explain this to him in Tenten-san's style, like after that sunburn."

Gaara peeled off the wall and nodded, folding his hands on his chest.

The medic continued, "First of all, Lee-san needs to take everything slowly. His muscles were very badly damaged and then he was in forced inactivity for more than one month. He should move every day a bit, walking will be good. Also, after a week of getting used to all the changes in his body, he can start with the basic stretching patterns. Absolutely no speed or force training unless I personally clear him. At this stage it still could reverse all the job Sakura-san has done and this time not even her or the Hokage would be able to save him."

The Kazekage nodded, grunting "I'll see to it."

Sekka chuckled. "I am sure. That's why I am telling you. I gave Lee-san an ointment that will help the circulation in his muscles. He should rub it in every evening and let it soak in over the night. It will also help to soothe any strains from the normal activity the muscles are no longer used to. And I'll see him in two weeks for another check-up."

Gaara nodded again, to acknowledge all those facts

The older man nodded too and turned to leave, but then looked back over his shoulder, "And absolutely no strenuous activity for at least next three days, if you get what I mean."

Both men groaned at hearing this and turned to leave the hospital.

Lee limped on silent Gaara's side, plucking at his clothes and scratching on his chest with his finally free left hand. "This is disgusting."

"Hm?" Gaara rose from whatever thoughts he had and looked at the man, not understanding.

The black haired fighter chuckled. "I itch all over. I mean, how long was I in that cast? Five or six weeks? I would really like to go and soak in the hot springs at the moment, but I'd have to go and grab a spare of clothes."

He plucked on his clothes again, wrinkled his nose in disgust and sighed. "Too much walking, so I guess it's the shower today."

Lee did not even manage to complete the sentence, when the familiar feeling of side-along transportation jutsu spun his head. When his vision cleared again, he found himself in his own room, which he now shared with Gaara.

The red-head claimed that his own room had too much bad memories and that he liked Lee's better anyhow.

The former shinobi stood leaning on his cane and watched his lover in amusement.

The Kazekage walked briskly around the room in a flurry of robes and retrieved several items.

Lee recognized his favorite pair of slacks, a white-and-black long-sleeved shirt made from light cotton and the bottle of massage oil. He raised an eyebrow at that.

Gaara stopped and pulled his robes over his head, then digging in Lee's wardrobe for something he could wear. He found a deep green shirt he actually liked, pulled it on and grabbed the items off the bed. "For the massage," he answered Lee's silent question.

The black-haired man snorted. "Right. Massage."

His chuckle was the last thing heard in the room before the smoke of transportation jutsu spun them away.


Lee sighed contentedly.

Gaara transported them right in front of the onsen and they got his private pool again. The Kazekage helped his lover this time around, giving him a good scrub, and helping him into the hot water.

This was pure bliss. The healing shinobi had not realized how much he missed being able to soak in hot water until he was sitting chin-deep in the pool, every muscle zinging with pleasure. He closed his eyes and allowed himself to nod off for a while.

The red-haired man prodded him awake after several minutes and ordered him on the same bench where Lee gave him the massage before. But this time the Kazekage oiled his skin and then scraped away all the dead layers gently, all over his body.

This was definitely heaven. Getting rid of the bothersome cast and now being so thoroughly cleaned by somebody so close to his heart was so great that it simply switched his mind off.

Gaara helped him up and back into the washing room, to get rid of the remaining bits of oil, not to soil the pool with it, then he let his lover to lean on him again, as they went back to the pool for a good and thorough soak.

Now they were back in his room, Gaara transporting them again, to spare Lee the strain.

The black-haired man was thankful for this – because after the much needed relax in the onsen his legs turned into mush and he was not sure if he could make it from the baths to the Sabaku house without falling asleep somewhere along the way. He was lazing in his bed now, half asleep, waiting for Gaara to join him.

It didn't take long for the red-haired man to sneak under the covers and start planting small kisses across Lee's chest, teasing the nipples with fast and short licks of his tongue.

The taller man wriggled under his ministrations. "Gaara, you heard the doctor. No strenuous activity for at least three days…" His voice was breathless, small moans punctuating his words now and then.

The Kazekage bit slightly on the nipple in his mouth while he let his fingers dance over Lee's hips. "Let me do all the work then." He continued to kiss his way steadily downwards, stopping to lick at the still-defined muscles under his lips from time to time. "I was waiting so long to do this and now the cast is finally off…" He dipped his tongue into the belly button and then bit the soft skin near to it. "Let me…" He knew his voice was low and needy, but he did need this. He needed his lover.

Lee groaned. Gaara's attention was leaving a trail of fire across his skin, which was hypersensitive after being protected from all contact for so long. Everything felt so much more intense, Gaara's lips, Gaara's slick tongue or the brush of his silky hair. He moaned again. "Alright. But if I say so, you'll stop immediately."

"Of course." The red-head busied himself with kissing along his groin, then sliding even lower and turning his attention to Lee's right ankle instead.

The dark-haired shinobi sucked a deep breath as he felt the slight scrape of Gaara's teeth around his ankle and the hot mouth slowly working its way up. "Kami, you are such a tease!"

The had found by an accident that Lee's ankles were extremely sensitive and since then Gaara simply loved to play with them, only to enjoy the sounds Lee made. But today he had another goal.

He trailed slight bites along Lee's thighs, moving from one to the other and back, until he arrived at his groin again. He licked at his lover's fully hard shaft before taking the tip into his mouth and laving at it with the flat of his tongue.

Lee arched off the bed, moaning at the now familiar but still amazing feeling of Gaara's mouth around him, trailing his fingers in the red hair. He used his left hand this time, still reveling in the amazingly heightened sense of touch on the uncovered skin.

The Kazekage bobbed his head up and down several times, adding his hand to cover the rest of Lee's shaft, still circling the tip of the long and slender cock in his mouth. He paused briefly to reach for the bottle of oil on the nightstand and covered both his palms with it, then he leaned back and took Lee's member in his mouth again, one hand sliding around the base of the hard organ easily, the other trailing lower, stopping to play with the sack of balls, before it reached behind them and found the puckered entrance.

Lee mewled wantonly, sweat starting to appear on his skin, as he writhed under Gaara's ministration. His right hand was clutched in the pillow, his legs falling wide open to give his lover better access for what he knew was coming.

Soon enough Gaara eased two fingers into Lee's hole. The Kazekage had long and slender fingers and they did this often enough by now to know what he could afford with Lee and what was out of the limit. Apparently, slow teasing was one of the off-limit things.

He moved his fingers in and out his lover's toned body in the same rhythm as he sucked on his dick, enjoying each of the sighs and moans he got out of the man beneath him, knowing that it was him, Gaara, who caused the healing but still powerful man groan in pleasure and ask for more.

He added a third finger soon enough, massaging along the inner walls until he found what he was looking for. He teased over Lee's prostate with light strokes while sucking on his cock, knowing that it would not take much to push his lover over the edge. Not now, not like this.

Lee opened his eyes and took in the image of his pale lover kneeling over him and looking up to him with his cock deep in between those lips.

The black-haired man struggled to keep his eyes open as his senses went into the overdrive, both from physical and visual stimulation, the tight coil in his belly snapping undone, sending his seed down the Kazekage's throat.

He flopped back on the bed, trying to catch his breath, convinced that this time he did see the stars, only to realize that Gaara had yet to remove his fingers from his ass.

The red-head continued his languid pace for a while, moving his hand under Lee's balls, stretching him unhurriedly, before he removed his fingers only to push slightly on his lover's hip, showing him to turn on his belly.

Lee complied, bunching a big pillow under his chest and stomach for support and bent his left leg, leaving the right one straight.

Gaara sat on his heels for a short moment, admiring his lover, not daring to touch just yet, just in a case this was a dream.

The taijutsu user was spread across the bed in a nearly boneless fashion, the slight sheen of sweat on his skin glistening in the last rays of the afternoon sun and he looked more like a deity from another world than a mere human. His long dark mane draped over the pillow left under his head with few strands sticking to his shoulders, his black eyes sending the Kazekage a smoldering look and the muscles still showing under his skin, velvety smooth from the bath, despite the forced inactivity, all this created a very inviting scene.

Gaara did not want to hold back any longer. He kneeled behind Lee, stretching over his body and tasting the skin on his lover's shoulders, kissing and licking again, savoring the feel under his lips. It was great to be able to finally touch all of his lover's body and he definitely used the opportunity to do so.

One of his hands found the globes of Lee's ass again, massaging one pert muscle, then the other, before dipping into the valley between them and finding his opening again, just teasing around.

Lee let his head fall on the pillow and closed his eyes, losing himself in Gaara's touches and caresses. He knew that this was probably going to be too much and he'll be sore all over afterwards, but just like his red-haired lover, he couldn't wait anymore. He groaned, the low sound more reverberating through his body than really leaving his lips.

The sand user reached for the oil again, this time slathering his straining erection. He gripped Lee's good shoulder with one hand, guiding himself into his lover's body slowly. As the tip of his rather thick cock eased behind the constricting ring of muscles, he could not help but moan himself quite loudly.

He had lovers before, but nobody felt as perfect around him as the black-haired fighter. He leaned over Lee's back again, propping himself up on his elbows on either side of his heaving body and continued to sheathe himself in the tight accepting heat of his lover, trailing soft kisses and occasional bites across the firm shoulders under him.

Lee would love to turn and kiss Gaara properly, but the pull in the muscles around his spine told him it was not a good idea.

The lithe red-head felt so good inside him, stretching him and filling him completely in a slow and steady motion, halting only when he was fully sheathed.

The black-haired man moaned, neglecting the slight burning pain of his stretched entrance and marveling in the feeling of his lover withdrawing slowly and then entering him again with a slow but steady undulation of his hips. Lee felt his own erection getting back to life promptly and the soft friction against the sheets felt really good.

It was amazing what Gaara could do to his body.

He knew that the young Kazekage was by no means inexperienced virgin but his lover still surprised him by playing his body so perfectly.

Lee gritted his teeth as Gaara's erection pressed into his prostate firmly and swore to himself that he had to get better soon, if only to show his lover what he himself could do…

The measured caress was driving him mad.

It would be so great to feel his lover pounding into him with abandon, but he understood that his body was not up to it yet. Still, if he moved a bit like this, maybe it would help things…

Gaara continued to love him in a slow caressing way, losing himself in the body under him, when he felt Lee bucking and meeting his strokes, forcing him into a faster, harsher rhythm.

He growled and bit on the skin under his lips rather harshly, to remind the other man that he was in charge.

His lover gasped and writhed at the wordless reprimand, but didn't cease his efforts.

Suddenly the black-haired fighter felt the body above him raising, one strong hand gripping his hip, forcing him to stay still, the other materializing in between his shoulder blades, pressing him firmly but gently into the mattress.

He knew he was completely at Gaara's mercy at the moment, the sudden feeling of submission so powerful that he couldn't help but moan loudly.

The red-head's dick was still in his hole, but completely motionless.

Lee growled and tried to move, just to feel that length sliding into him again.

The Kazekage tightened his grip on his lover. "Do you want to hurt yourself?" His voice was harsh and throaty, more a growl than actual words.

The man under him all but whined, "You're killing me by this, Gaara. Just a little bit faster, please…" His words trailed off in another unsatisfied moan.

He sighed, leaning down to kiss Lee's back again. "Okay. But you will tell me if something feels wrong."

It wasn't a question, it was an order and the healing man knew it. He nodded and then gasped, unprepared for Gaara actually giving in to his needs.

It was not the reckless pounding his body wished for, but this was definitely more satisfying.

The pale man held his lover immobile and rocked into his wanting pliant body with more force than he thought was wise, but it felt oh so good. He loved those low cries of pleasure nearly every stroke forced out of the body under his hands and the tight velvety passage around his cock felt simply marvelous.

They waited so long to do this, that even though he wanted the pleasure last as long as possible, he felt he was not going to last much longer.

What caught him totally unprepared was clenching of his lover's ass around him, as he hit the sweet spot again.

Unable to stop himself he rocked hard into Lee, sheathing himself as deep as possible, once, twice, before the pleasure burned through his whole body. He heard himself shout wordlessly as he spent himself inside his lover, gripping the skin under his hands with nearly bruising force.

Lee groaned in pain as he was held in a punishing grasp. He could not help but feel a slight twinge in the pit of his stomach. Of course he was glad to give pleasure to his lover, but somehow he hoped that they would plunge over the edge together this time.

Sure, he knew that having sex for the first time with a new partner was rarely a mind-blowing affair. Even though they spent considerable amount of time learning each other's responses, this was something they hadn't done yet together and they were back to the imaginary step one, recognizing, mapping and getting used to the other again.

Still, he couldn't help the small smug smile on his face. It was good to be connected to Gaara that intimately and it was even better to know that he had such an effect on his lover.

He felt the other's member withdrawing from his body and moaned in protest. The hand on his back rubbed his skin soothingly, while the other pushed his him, indicating that he should turn on his back again.

The black-haired fighter settled on his back, the feeling of his lover's cum seeping slowly out of his hole teasing his hungry senses even more. He ogled Gaara's flushed skin, perspiration beading on his chest here and there, the Kazekage's red lips that looked positively bitten, but what drove Lee's libido even higher was the glazed satisfied look in those deep green eyes.

Stroking his painfully hard member, Lee growled, "Gaara, I need you. Now."

A predatory smirk lit those jade-colored eyes, as the pale man crawled over Lee again to claim his lips in a bruising kiss. His still oil-slicked hand swatted the tan one away and resumed stroking the taijutsu master's weeping erection, smearing the greasy liquid on his shaft as well as the precum dripping from the slit on the tip of the cock in his hand. He warned the man under him in a low tone, "Remember, do not move."

Lee's eyes fell closed during the kiss, but shot open as tight heat constricted his member suddenly. The view was gorgeous:

Gaara straddled his hips, impaling himself on the long slender cock, leaning backwards and propping himself with one hand on Lee's left thigh and the other between the taijutsu user's legs. His own pale and thick erection was still jutting into the air proudly, bending upwards so that it nearly touched his belly.

Lee moaned and arched off the bed when he saw himself disappearing into that hot pale body above him, Gaara's hole engulfing him greedily even without any preparation.

The red-head started to move, throwing his head back in pleasure. Taking Lee into his body at once was painful a bit, but with each motion the uncomfortable feeling lessened, until there was only a pure bliss left.

He rocked himself up and down, looking on the powerful man under him, marveling in the nearly helpless look on Lee's face mixed with a pure want. He shifted himself a bit and gasped as his lover's cock grazed his prostate more firmly with each stroke.

Lee was in heaven. He expected Gaara to finish him with a blow job again, but this was so much better.

The red-head's passage fit like a snug glove around him, driving him mad with each motion. The man seemed to posses the power to drive him insane with every little thing he did, with each gasp, each look and moan.

He knew he would not last much longer. "Gaara…"

The Kazekage understood. He was very close again himself, the feel of Lee's cock deep inside him was unbelievable. "Touch me."

Tanned hand wrapped around his member, sliding over the smooth skin in the same pace as he rode his lover.

It was too much for Lee. He arched himself of the bed, impaling his lover firmly, as he felt the coil in his lower belly snap and send his seed shooting out into Gaara's body.

Feeling his lover's spasming member coating his insides with cum and the nearly painful squeeze on his dick sent the red-head over the edge as well, forcing him to cover the heaving body under him with the white sticky fluid.

It was all Gaara could do not to collapse directly on the healing man. He fell sideways instead and then dragged himself close to his lover again.

Lee threw his arm around the lithe body, pulling the Kazekage close. "We should probably shower," he murmured.

Gaara shook his head. "Not right now. Can't move." The Kazekage yawned, feeling utterly spent.

Soon they drifted off to sleep, not caring about the mess they created.


Kankuro was going through reports from the Suna ANBU team-leaders on the efficiency of their teams. The annual time for the physical check-ups and performance tests arrived and he, as the Captain of the ANBU, had to verify each and every result. This was really troublesome, as Shikamaru used to say.

There was a commotion in the corridor and a team of three chuunin came tearing into the antechambers. A red-haired girl, though her hair was more titian than his brother's bloody red, and two brunet boys, one with glasses and the other with a spiky hairstyle that reminded Kankuro of late Asuma-sensei from Konoha. Sure enough, their hitai-ate all showed the swirl of Leaf symbol.

The puppeteer grinned, he was fond of this particular batch. They were seventeen now and skilled shinobi, having completed many missions, and they appeared in Suna regularly.

Moegi was their unofficial leader, or at least the spokesperson, being sometimes as loud as Naruto (or Lee) used to be. She followed the unspoken tradition of Konoha Eleven and got some medical training, but she was a skilled genjutsu user.

Quiet Udon with his eyes hiding behind glasses was a brilliant strategist, one to rival Nara family easily. What came as a surprise during one training with Kankuro was that he was very proficient in taijutsu as well.

And Konohamaru resembled his uncle more than anybody would expect just a few years ago. He got himself a pair of trench knives and learned to use them with the extended chakra just as Asuma used to do, only his affinity was lightning, not wind element. And thanks Kami, he did not take to smoking. He was a formidable fighter and will make a great leader one day.

The masked man stood up from his table. "Hey kids, what's up?"

Moegi grinned right back at him, ignoring Udon's scoff at being called 'kids'. "It's our turn now – you're stuck with us, old man!"

Kankuro gave a mock groan and hid his face with his hands. "Oh no, my bones are creaking and I just lost my cane! What shall I do…" He straightened again. "Any news?"

Konohamaru stepped forward, "Yup. A scroll for you, some official paperwork for the Kazekage and two scrolls for Lee."

The puppeteer raised his eyebrow. "A scroll for me? On what business?"

Udon gave an evil grin that was more Uchiha-like than Kankuro liked. "Oh, we don't know. It's private."

Moegi giggled behind her hand and mumbled something that sounded suspiciously like "Shikamaru".

Kankuro was glad that his kabuki paint covered any blush.

Fortunately, the cavalry arrived at that moment.

Lee and Gaara returned from a meeting with the Kusa ambassador, discussing the progress on their way.

Udon smiled brightly, "Lee-san!"

"Hello, Udon!" Lee's smile was as blinding as ever. "Is it your turn now?"

"Yes! Will you train with me again?" Udon's voice was almost reverent.

Gaara growled from behind, "He'll coach you."

"Okay." Anything was good with Udon, just as long as he could learn more from the taijutsu master. He passed two scrolls to the older shinobi. "For you from the Hokage-sama."

"Thank you." Lee broke the seal on the first one and read it, frowning slightly. "So it's official."

Kankuro was puzzled a bit, "What is?"

Lee passed him the scroll and broke the seal on the other one.

The puppeteer unwound the piece of parchment, reading aloud, "By the power invested in me, I hereby declare Rock Lee, jounin, unfit for further service as a shinobi due to physical reasons. Rock Lee is hereby retired and a standard retirement allowance will be sent to his account each month in addition to any other income he may procure. Signed, Senju Tsunade, Godaime Hokage." He looked up, only to find the man in question grinning.

The now retired shinobi was feeling victorious. His plan worked. He didn't even want to tell Gaara about it beforehand, not to make him feel disappointed, but it came out exactly as he suggested. "Listen!" He started to read aloud from the scroll in his hand, "Due to the increasing cooperation with the Sunagakure, we require a permanent ambassador to be stationed in Suna. Because of his personal bonds and knowledge of the village, Rock Lee is hereby appointed to act as the first permanent Konohan Ambassador in the Sunagakure for an indefinite period of time, starting immediately upon receiving this order. Signed, Senju Tsunade, Godaime Hokage."

Gaara gaped a bit at his grinning lover. The sneaky bastard. But it was clear that Lee's diplomatic training was now truly successful – he managed to get his village approve his permanent stay in Konoha with the Kazekage and even get some pay for it.

The young shinobi cheered loudly for their older friend, praising the Hokage.

Only Kankuro muttered darkly, "You better get yourself thicker walls now, Gaara."


For those who have this on Story Alert: There is another piece coming (in fact I'm going to post it within few hours) with Ibiki/Iruka pairing. Some more things that are currently being written include Genma and Tenzo, Izumo and Kotetsu, Sakura with about anyone (so she's my favorite female character) and some slash and crossovers too… As I said, stay tuned ;-)