Chapter One


Gaara walked into the office, letting out a content sigh. It had been six months since he told Sakura that he was in love with her, and his life had never been better. The receptionist smiled happily at her Kazekage, growing used to his cheerful demeanor these days. "Good morning Kazekage-sama! Another good day I assume?"

The redhead turned to her and laughed, "Well why not?"

"True." She nodded, exhilarated that her leader was so filled with life. "I assume it's still because of Sakura-sama. I love her to death. I wonder when she's coming to visit again, everyone really misses her."

"Hopefully soon," Gaara gave her a small wave before disappearing up the steps. During the past months he and Sakura had only sporadically seen one another, a few visits back and forth, meeting halfway every now and then. The elders hadn't been too excited with his sudden disappearances, but were pleased he had found interest in a woman. A very politically influential woman.

He reached the top of the stairs and headed down the hallway, not to his office, but to the meeting room. He had a very important meeting with the council today. It was the day that his whole life was going to change.

Pushing the doors open to the large council room, he took his seat in the only chair available. "Good morning, Kazekage-sama." They all spoke in unison. The table was filled with young and old men from the village, and only a couple women. "Now shall we begin?" another called around the table, only getting nods in response.

"Kazekage-sama, why have you called this meeting today?" an older woman spoke, watching her redheaded leader closely.

Gaara took a deep breath and leaned forward, folding his hands together. "I think that it is time I take a wife." He announced. The murmuring rose, excitement coming from most of the elders.

"Oh Kazekage-sama yes, we were thinking the same thing. After all, you are of age and a Kage needs a wife."

"Who did you have in mind?" another asked.

The women of the council laughed, a brunette speaking up now. "Haruno Sakura, of course. Kazekage-sama is in love with the Leaf medic."

"A Konoha shinobi?" an older man said, disapproval all over his face. Gaara could not stop the glare that had focused on the man.

"Hmm…" a younger one of the council pondered. "Actually…that's not a bad idea." Instantly Gaara's glare vanished as he was reassured by one of his council members. "Kazekage-sama is very attached to Haruno Sakura, and she is a brilliant medic. Marrying someone from Konoha would strengthen the alliance between the two villages."

"She could also run the hospital. We need her expertise since her departure has left us without a head medic." Another woman spoke up.

"The head nurse was a pain, I never really liked her." An older man sighed, glad they were rid of dealing with the demanding Yoko.

Gaara leaned back in his seat, a smile setting in on his face. This was going a lot smoother than he thought it would.

"I think Haruno Sakura would make an excellent addition to Suna, her medical skills and physical prowess are sought after by many." A younger blonde woman nodded, the two men beside her nodding with their own approval.

"I agree."

"And I."

"I think Kazekage-sama should marry someone from Suna." The youngest girl of the group spoke out finally, determination on her face. A few of the oldest members nodded with agreement.

The blonde woman who seemed fond of Sakura rolled her eyes, joining her Kazekage in glaring at the girl. "Matsuri, Kazekage-sama is never going to spontaneously fall in love with you, so please save your feelings for another time, and do not bring such hopeless nonsense into the council room."

The brunette went wide eyed, a dark blush now on her face. Gaara simply rolled his eyes. He was now positive that Hana was his favorite council member. The room was silent then, some of the members whispering to one another. Finally after a long debate amongst themselves, Gaara slammed his hands on the table, getting the undivided attention of the others.

"Enough of this bickering, a vote is needed." Gaara said sternly. The twenty members nodded, awaiting the moment to cast their opinions. "Now," Gaara cleared his throat and laced his fingers together, leaning forward and resting his elbows on the table.

"Everyone who agrees with me and my decision to marry Haruno Sakura, please raise your hands."

Hana, the blonde council member, raised her hand first, followed by the men beside her, and then followed by ten other members.

"And those opposed?" the redhead asked darkly, ready to take note of the ones who would regret it later. Matsuri shot her hand in the air with the six remaining members, mostly older associates.

"Well!" Hana began excitedly, clapping her hands together. "It looks like a landslide. Haruno Sakura will become a member of Suna and join our Kazekage-sama in matrimony."

"If she says yes…" Matsuri mumbled incoherently.

Ignoring the younger woman, Hana continued. "What a happy day," she smiled brightly, turning to face the redhead. "I am happy for you Kazekage-sama, I wish you luck in your journey to retrieve Sakura-sama."

"What? He's leaving to go get her?" one of the defiant ones spoke up.

Surprisingly, another one of the older women who had voted against the Konoha shinobi rolled her eyes. "Of course he is. If Kazekage-sama is going to do this he will do it right. You do not propose to a woman by letter or any other means, you go to her and ask. Despite my objection, I will make sure Kazekage-sama is a gentleman about the matter." She nodded, getting giggles from some of the other girls and stares from the men.

Gaara laughed as well. He really liked where this was all going. Now he could finally see Sakura and make her his, and then they would no longer have to be apart. They could be together forever.

"Now, when will you be leaving?"

"Today." Gaara said quickly. He saw some of the disapproving looks, but no one said anything. "Temari will be traveling with me, so I am leaving Hana in charge of things while I am gone." He said simply, gesturing to the blonde who gave an approving nod.

"I will do my best Kazekage-sama."

"I know." He smiled softly.

"What about Kankuro-sama?" a man asked, obviously peeved that he was not chosen to hold the Kazekage's place.

"What about Kankuro?" Gaara glared, still holding onto his vendetta with his elder brother.

There was nothing else said after that, so Gaara dismissed the meeting and left the room quickly. He wanted to leave for Konoha as soon as possible. Unable to stand the walk home, his sand wrapped around him and he vanished, leaving nothing but a few particles behind.

Arriving in his room, he grabbed the bag he had packed the previous night and slung it over his shoulder. There was only one more thing he needed before meeting Temari at the gates. He went to his dresser and took down a dark velvet box. He opened it to examine the ring he had gotten for Sakura. It was a white gold band, with a fairly large diamond cut precisely and arranged to look like a cherry blossom. It was perfect, he hoped. Gaara then slid the box into his pocket and left his house in the same manner in which he arrived.

The sand stirred in the air next to Temari, and he appeared beside her. The event was so natural for her that she didn't even find it startling. "Well are you ready to go?"

"Of course I am," Gaara said simply, placing his hand at his side and feeling his pocket to make sure the ring was still there, an action he would perform every few moments the whole way to Konoha.

"Well let's go." She gave him a smile, before they took off into the desert.