Brave New World

Baki watched the three leaving for that brave new world - the Five Kage Summit.

Gaara had every right to be there.

And Suna's Kazekage couldn't have two more capable advisers than Kankuro and Temari.

Konoha had proven to be a reliable ally. Chiyo had misjudged Leaf shinobi. Temari held them in high regard.

She should know, she spent enough time there.

Baki pondered that, unsure if he liked her on-going assignment to Konoha and her relationship with that Nara boy. Wistfully he realized he had very little say in that matter.

For the first time there was hope that the Five Great Nations could achieve a united front.

All it took was an opponent that threatened their continued existence.

Grudgingly he had to admit that Chiyo had been right about one thing. The previous generations had done a damned fine job of cocking up the world.

And it was up to the next generation to do something about it.

But he also realized you couldn't get to the end of your life like she did and just hope the next generation would step up to it.

You had to do something yourself to make that happen.

Watching the three of them he hoped he'd done enough.

~ The End ~

A/N: Thanks to all who've read along and reviewed as I tried to take a look at the shinobi world from a non-standard point of view. There's just so many points in the manga where he had to be the man who would "stand in the gap," as it were, for both Suna and the Sand Sibs.

Chapter title is from "The Tempest" by Shakespeare - "How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world, that has such people in it."

Apologies that this doesn't follow the 3/6/9 format, but as always it is exactly 207 words. I just felt compelled to wrap it up in one fell swoop. Hope you enjoyed!