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14 January 2006 @ 11:36 am
Naruto Fic: Diplomatic Relations, Side Story  
I posted chapter 16 during the week, so if somebody missed it, be sure to go back and read it first, or this bit really won't make sense.



Here's the side-story I mentioned last time. It's a side-story because for the first time it's not Lee's POV, and because it's not reaaaally necessary to the DR continuity (though my inner stickler-for-details swears it is- I try not to listen to her all the time). I almost didn't write/post this small chapter, but...ugh, when I see something that begs a question - 'can anybody actually keep a relationship secret in a Hidden Village?' for eg - I just have to answer. I need to see a shrink...Fortunately, in this case, the answer didn't give rise to any boring paragraph of exposition that bogs down the plot: it gave rise to this small side-story which I hope makes sense, and is a bit funny as well ^__^



Protector



'Guardian Three' was, as his codename indicated, the third of the four ANBU bodyguards responsible for the Kazekage's direct protection in Suna. As it turned out, protecting the current Kazekage was a surprisingly cushy job. Gaara of the Desert was just about as far from an easy target as one could get, after all. The four-man special taskforce was principally on the lookout for poisons and entrapping jutsus; their leader had little to fear from anything else.

As an ANBU of Sunagakure, Guardian Three was highly trained, physically, mentally and emotionally. He was tough, analytical and calm in a crisis. He'd quickly sorted out the important facts of what he'd just seen into a five-point list, which he'd presented to his leader, Guardian One, as soon as he was able to report in.

Guardian One had called in Guardian Two, and they’d asked him a series of questions, but the key points of the list were clear enough and went something like this:

Fact #1: I was observing the Kazekage's residence from Lookout Point 2. Gaara-sama was sitting at his bedroom window, so I kept a watch on the room and the grounds around him for possible snipers.

Fact #2: At 13:44 hours, the Leaf Jounin Rock Lee entered the premises.

Fact #3: They talked for a few minutes, then they ended up on the bed and the Kazekage made advances to the Jounin. The Jounin didn't object.

Fact #4: I remained at my post, and insured that no harm came to the Kazekage during the encounter that followed.

Fact #5: Because my loyalty is to the Kazekage, not to the ANBU high command or the Council, I have only reported these facts to the members of my cell and my leader.

Fact #6: I'm going to need a long vacation after this. Maybe therapy too.

Guardian Three didn't actually add that last bullet point out loud. It was nonetheless quite valid.

He'd been initially pleased to see Lee climb the road towards the Kazekage's door. He'd remained vigilant, naturally, but he'd allowed himself a mild hope, that Lee's presence might cheer Gaara up a bit. Three had been watching over Gaara-sama for a couple of years now, so it had been obvious to him, seeing his charge sitting at the window for over an hour staring out at nothing, that the young Kazekage hadn't been in a very happy place.

According to Three's observation, Gaara was in a much better mood now. The same couldn't be said for his hapless bodyguard. He'd been forced to watch the whole thing because Rock Lee might be the most straightforward and amiable guy this side of anywhere, but he was also a very dangerous killer. A large part of Three's stress came from the fact that if Lee had reached up and snapped Gaara's neck, neither Three nor even the Sand would have had the speed to stop him at that range. Gaara was the only person in the village who could take on that Konoha Jounin single-handedly in close combat, and Gaara-sama-...well, Three was ready to bet his leader hadn't had attack, defence and strategy at the top of his mind right then.

Three had considered going in there and getting Gaara out of a potentially risky situation, but the Kazekage was a man who chose his own risks and didn't take kindly to interference. He was also an eighteen-year-old who apparently liked weird-looking but adorably earnest male Jounin, and would probably peel the skin off of any ANBU who would stop him in the pursuit of such. Three had let a mixture of respect for his leader's decisions and old-fashioned self-preservation keep him in Lookout Point 2, but he'd been on tenterhooks the whole time he was watching his Kazekage roll around the bed with a foreign Shinobi in legwarmers.

He was really going to need a long vacation after this. Probably in Suna's Ninja Sanatorium for Work-Related Injuries.

As an indication of how frazzled the young ANBU was, Three didn't actually register the complete lack of staggering surprise around him until he'd answered all of Guardian One and Two's questions and stood waiting for their reaction.

His two colleagues were sitting around Guardian One's kitchen table, staring at it through their masks. Sand Shinobi were famous for their composure, their icy control over their own emotions, but there were bloody limits.

"You knew about this?!" Three exclaimed.

"Yes. I was on duty a couple of days ago, when Gaara-sama went to visit the Leaf at the Jounin barracks," One answered absently. He didn't elaborate on what he'd witnessed, but Three could now make an educated guess.

"Why didn't you say anything?!"

"It wasn't clear what was going on. A lot of stuff happened out in the desert, as you know."

The four ANBU watched Gaara's place of work and his residence, so that he could let down his guard and rest in his own village. They didn't follow him outside of Suna or on missions unless requested. But they would have had to have been deaf, blind, and possibly dead as well to miss the massive chakra discharges that had ripped through the sand and stones around their village a few days back. Nobody had known what to make of it. Gaara's guardians, as well as many other Shinobi, had been all ready to rush out into the desert to look for their Kazekage and to hell with standing orders. But Temari-san had taken command of the forces that night in her brother's absence and kept every man inside the walls and at strategic places around the civilian shelters.

Guardian One's fingers drummed against the table. He didn't reprove his young subordinate for his outburst, possibly out of sympathy for the afternoon Three had just had. "I told Two what had happened, since he had the next shift. I would have told you and Four as well...but then the Kazekage and Rock-san had some kind of argument shortly after that, and it wasn't clear where that had left the relationship, assuming there even was one. Two and I decided to wait and observe."

"They made up," Three pointed out acidly.

Two tapped his mask with a thoughtful gesture. "That crazy Leaf actually got down and blew the Kazekage?"

Three wished he could be that blasé about it. The other two men were older than he was by more than eight years, maybe their greater experience and maturity was showing. Or maybe it was because they only had a second-hand account to deal with, while Three was still getting these mortifying images playing through his mind: Lee slipping to his knees by the bed, his hands on Gaara's body, that bowl-cut trailing down to- Three wondered if the Sanatorium rooms were padded.

"Yes, as far as I can tell, he did," he answered in a reasonably professional tone of voice.

"The guy knows no fear, I'll give him that," One grunted. "Rock Lee has lived here for well over a year now, and we all know that he's far from being an idiot, despite appearances. He must have gathered by now that there might have been... some risk involved. We certainly thought there might be."

Up until now, the whole village had assumed, rather optimistically, that Gaara was asexual. He'd never shown the slightest hint of interest in either gender before. Apparently he just had particular tastes. Very particular.

"I'm sure there were risks the first time they screwed," Two stated, with a touch of hard, dry humour. "I bet that's what happened three days ago, when he tore up the desert. He tumbled the Jounin, lost it and they both got burnt. Lucky for us that Leaf survived, I'd hate to explain that situation to Konoha."

"Oh no, I'm pretty sure this was their first time," Three corrected him.

He shifted uncomfortably as both men stared at him, but he trusted his intuition in this. Guardian Three was eighteen, the same age as Gaara, and he'd gone through something like this not too long ago himself. He had recognized the way the two young men had moved: Shinobi assurance mixed with caution, slowly discovering each other in a way their extensive training as fighters and killers had not fully prepared them for.

If his cell leader asked him how he knew this, Three would dutifully answer. He would explain the parallels between what he'd seen and his own recent experience as proof of his assumption, and then he would wait for his girlfriend to find out about it and kill him very painfully.

But Guardian One didn't ask for details. He reached up and slipped off his mask. His sun-beaten face was calm.

The two others stared at him, then followed suit, removing their own masks. This meant that something very important was about to be said.

"Where's Four...?" One asked, rubbing the bridge of his nose.

"She took over from me watching the house. I didn't tell her anything, since Lee-san had left by then."

"We'll have a talk with her when her tour of duty is over."

Guardian One was silent for a long time, scratching the stubble on his cheeks. His shift wasn't until midnight; he'd been asleep when Three had burst through his door after Lee had gone home.

"We tell no-one," the veteran ANBU finally declared.

With those four words, a very important decision had been made, and not just about discretion. It couldn't be put into words - it would require discussing things that were Not Discussed in Sunagakure - but his meaning was clear.

The four special ANBU were in a unique position in the village. The first loyalty of every Sand Shinobi was to Sunagakure. But the prime obligation of the four guardians was Gaara's protection, not Suna's. The village would be worried about what the flurry of emotions inherent to a relationship might do to Gaara's self-control one day. Nobody thought it very likely that Gaara would unleash Shukaku on his people anymore, but the Sand Shinobi never took any risk that wasn't fully justified. Their concerns might be valid, but the duty of the four ANBU guards was to Gaara-sama, not to cater to Suna's anxieties and superstitions.

Their Kazekage watched ceaselessly over Suna and asked for nothing in return. For their sake and through the sheer strength of his will, he'd changed from an unhinged, dangerous monster to a powerful leader they could all follow. He'd nearly died for them. In Three's opinion, the young man who patrolled Sunagakure's streets alone night after sleepless night deserved at least four people who, in turn, had his wellbeing at heart.

Not that their help was all that useful; Gaara possessed the Ultimate Defence, after all. If that was beaten, the opponent was too high a calibre for them, as Deidara had chillingly demonstrated over three years ago. Not only had they been nowhere near strong enough to challenge the Akatsuki physically, the fight had been simply too high above their heads - literally - for them to defend Gaara. They'd watched helplessly as he defended them all instead, and paid the price.

Well today, they might actually be able to protect him. There was deep, abiding respect for Gaara in the village, but there lingered some fear and suspicion as well, from the superstitious, from Shinobi who remembered Gaara's death-toll, back when there had been regular attempts on his life, from councillors appointed by his war-driven father who didn't like Gaara's peaceful policies. The Kazekage was impregnable, not to say oblivious, to that ill-will, but he was also a young adult who'd just reached out to someone for the first time, and that made him vulnerable. Especially since his choice of partner for this tryst was a foreigner from a village they'd been at war with six years ago. His decision might put Gaara - and Lee - through a lot of grief if it leaked out.

But it wasn't going to leak out. Not before Gaara himself decided to let the village know. His guardians would defend his right to make his own decision in this matter without outside pressure. Even though it would take quite some doing to keep this under wraps in a village full of Shinobi who specialized in spying, assassination, infiltration and all manners of things sneaky.

The two ANBU nodded solemnly, agreeing with One's decision. Guardian Four would be of the same mind as well.

Guardian One rubbed his chin, staring blindly at the table. "We're all going to be pulling double and triple shifts for awhile. Keeping this quiet will mean a lot of work... Three, you know Gaara's aide, right?"

"Yes, he was my Jounin cell leader before I made ANBU."

"He's in the best position to stumble onto this or notice any change in Gaara's behaviour and habits. I want you to stick to him like fleas to a dog and run interference as much as you can. Chat with him, offer to help him out with some of his duties, throw the odd 'security sweep' his way; whatever it takes. Make sure he doesn't, ah, interrupt anything, or get enough information to start putting two and two together. Four can cover Gaara-sama's sister. They were in the academy together, they know each other. She can keep Temari-san distracted."

"Won't be too hard. Temari-san's busier than hell, she hardly has the time to see her brother as it is. I bet she'll be the last to know anyway," Two said.

"You'd have lost that bet then; she talked to me yesterday, tried to get information out of me regarding Gaara-sama's state of mind and recent activities. She asked me specifically if her brother and Lee-san were getting along alright, and if they'd had any quarrels."

"Damn, she's sharp."

"She's worried, and I don't blame her. I don't think we'll be able to keep this hidden from his sister for any length of time, or from Kankuro-san either once he gets back, but we'll do our best. Four will certainly have her hands full. I'll manage the Kazekage's upper cadre and the other ANBU, and make sure they don't get wind of this. That leaves you with the dirty job, my friend," One concluded, nodding at Guardian Two.

"Sheet duty, hm?"

"Yes. Make sure you get there before the cleaners do and don't leave anything for them to find. Gaara-sama spends most of his time in the office anyway, it should be easy to remove any evidence when he leaves, today and in the future too."

"How about the Leaf's laundry?" Two asked, completely poised (Three permitted himself a brief flash of irritated envy).

"Well, that's the flaw," One admitted. "We can't go near Lee's office, room or belongings because of his diplomatic status, and we also can't be seen hanging around him or watching his movements and security too closely; that'd attract more attention than we could handle. We'll have to hope they'll be discreet, or else use the Kazekage's room."

"Maybe we'll get lucky and they'll both come to their senses," Two sighed.

"Lucky...?" Guardian One's black eyes lost their focus for an instant, turned inward. "...Three, you were there. Tell me, first impression...I don't think it's his style, but is there any chance that Lee is playing with him?"

"Playing- Oh no! It's obvious they're both-...um, deeply attached..."

Three suddenly wished he had his mask on. That had been a very un-ANBU-like exclamation. The faint flush on his cheeks was probably not very professional either. The two older men looked at him impassively, but he could just feel them grinning inside.

"Good," One said softly.

They'd been looking after their leader for a long time; Guardian One had been his silent, invisible shadow since the day of Gaara's accession four years ago. They remained distant, vigilant, professional...but Shinobi were human, too. They'd never admit it out loud, but they knew they'd all developed a small amount of protective attachment to their young charge over the years. If Lee was stupid enough to hurt Gaara - well, chances were they’d be sending the Jounin back home in a sand-encrusted full-body cast in that case, but if he managed to escape unscathed, then he would have four Sand ANBU who would want to have a little chat with him.

But Three didn't think that would be necessary.

Lee still irritated or confused some of Sand's Shinobi. And he certainly had an interesting set of foibles (but then again, so did most powerful Jounin in Three's experience). Despite this, many in Suna had come to respect him for his strength, endurance and willpower. In fact, Three suspected a lot of his colleagues rather liked the guy, and not just for his qualities as a Shinobi. Lee was serious, so intense it was almost tiring to watch him at times, but when you got to know him, he was also honest, open and friendly, even when he was kicking your ass in a sparring match. Especially when he was kicking your ass. Crazy Leaf...

Three didn't know the man personally, and he had to stay vigilant and impartial either way. But he'd observed Lee as he interacted with Gaara. You could tell a lot about someone when you watched them unawares, particularly when they thought they were alone with a friend. Three didn't judge Lee's qualities as a Shinobi, beyond 'strong enough to challenge Gaara' and 'crazy enough to challenge Gaara'. But he'd come to the private conclusion awhile back that, whatever else he was, Rock Lee was a good guy. The kind who wouldn't toy with anyone's affections or give in to the attraction of a cheap fling. Quite the contrary...

One and Two started making lists of potential problems and people to watch. Three listened attentively, taking mental notes. But in the back of his mind, he dwelled on what he'd seen through that window (once the really embarrassing stuff was over).

The two young men had been stretched out side by side on the bed, talking together softly. Every small detail...Lee's smile; Gaara's solemn eyes fastened on the Leaf's face; the occasional touch...even a tough, analytical and somewhat calm ANBU had had to admit that there had been a lot of affection and tenderness in evidence in that room.

Three wondered absently what his girlfriend was doing right at this minute. He hoped she was okay. He'd heard from her last week, a quick coded message. She was still in Water country, slowly closing in on Sound's whereabouts with Kankuro-san's team. They should be back in a couple of weeks if things went well.

"If this happens again, do we have to be there?" Two's voice faltered; he must have remembered he wasn't wearing his mask, and the faint look of discomfort on his face was now visible. Three felt vindicated, though of course he didn't let this show on his expression, which he kept studiously straight and serious.

"If they get physical again, concentrate on their surroundings and only give them the occasional check," One decided, not commenting on Two's reaction. "If something goes down between them, we'll have to rely on Gaara-sama's defences. We've confirmed by now that Lee can't use ninjutsu or genjutsu, so he can't do anything that Gaara can't parry. Or rather, at that proximity, Gaara has a chance of parrying him, while we wouldn't, however closely we watched. But let's not get paranoid; I'll trust the Kazekage's instincts in this. And we owe Lee-san for Gaara-sama's life. Let's leave them alone, and watch out for interference and threats to his residence or office, same as usual."

Since Three and Two were tough, emotionless Shinobi, they didn't actually breathe sighs of relief. Three thought he might even make it without that long vacation if he didn't have to watch again in the future. Especially if Gaara-sama remembered to draw the curtains next time. Maybe there was a way of leaving him a subtle hint about that...? Lookout Point 2 was the only spot in Sunagakure from which you could get a view inside the Kazekage's bedroom, but you could never be too careful or too discreet (or too thoughtful about your ANBU bodyguard's peace of mind).

"One advantage to all this: the way those two fight as a team, Gaara-sama's defence is now all but guaranteed while they're together, and they'll probably be together a lot," Two said with a dollop of dry humour.

Three realized he was nodding in agreement, while already making plans for a modified patrol route that would take this new factor into account. As if having the Kazekage bedding Rock Lee, Konoha Jounin, deadly and amiable from his bowl-cut down to his legwarmers, was already a solidly accepted fact and perfectly normal.

Yes, the Shinobi of the Sand were certainly the most resourceful and adaptable of all the Hidden Village ninja, and here was surely the ultimate proof.



End Side Story


Next part up next week ^_^


 
 
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( 58 comments — Leave a comment )
Yuumoyayuumoya on January 14th, 2006 07:00 pm (UTC)
XD Awww.... That was kinda' cute. *snicker*
Maldorormaldoror_gw on January 24th, 2006 12:03 am (UTC)
Thanks ^_^ Cute and funny was what I was aiming for, to give the readers a bit of a break from all the heavy stuff :P
Nobody puts Qem in a corner.: craneqem_chibati on January 14th, 2006 07:02 pm (UTC)
That was awesome. Pure awesomeness.

I loved the poor guards discomfort (ebil creature that I am) and the analyse and how they were going to cope and the plans! XD the plans were wondeful! So I take it that Temari isn't going to be finding out just yet?

Major Squee!
Maldorormaldoror_gw on January 24th, 2006 12:04 am (UTC)
Well, Temari won't be finding out right away, but even these hardened veteran ANBU aren't kidding themselves that it's not gonna take long for her to rumble the happy couple, and they're probably right ^_^
All's Fair in Love and War...: Jenova Witnessesartimusdin on January 14th, 2006 07:03 pm (UTC)
*flails wildly* EEEEEE! *inane grin* OMG, so much love! Poor, poor shinobi, having to put up with watching their boss get down and dirty with That Insane Ninja.
Maldorormaldoror_gw on January 24th, 2006 12:06 am (UTC)
...Yeah. Poor Shinobi. Watching two hot bishies (well, one majorly hot bishie and one who's got his own adorable quirkie charm) roll around in bed. Pooooor guy. Mind you, I wrote the trauma to Three myself, so I know where he's coming from, but still...we should all be so 'unfortunate' ^_^;
(no subject) - artimusdin on January 24th, 2006 12:22 am (UTC) (Expand)
Asuka Kureru: NaruGaara_Chibi furries_headchomp!!askerian on January 14th, 2006 07:07 pm (UTC)
aaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwww!!!! *squishes*

Poor, poor Three. XDDDD he's so cute for such a high-level ninja with important responsibilities.

Up until now, the whole village had assumed, rather optimistically, that Gaara was asexual. He'd never shown the slightest hint of interest in either gender before. Apparently he just had particular tastes. Very particular.

*DIES*

I love the "sheets cleaning duty." It makes so much sense and yet. NINJA MAIDS. *rises and dies again* That's awesome. XD

Anyway, love that look at the secret going-ons in the village and love your humor as always. *cuddlelovelicks* I kinda hope we'll get to see these guys in the main fic now. XD

(and now i kind of want a team seven sidefic about them discovering that Lee and Gaara shacked up. *hopes the bunny breeds* XD Aso wondering what everyone at the Leaf is up to, but there's a chance you'll take care of that in the main fic, so i'll wait until the end for a mention ^^)
Maldorormaldoror_gw on January 24th, 2006 12:12 am (UTC)
I liked the idea of a tough ANBU...who's also 18 and just seen something disturbing. And the bit where he starts thinking about his girlfriend...yeah, cute was what I was aiming for.

Glad you like it ^_^ We'll see a brief cameo by one of these guys in the future, but most of the time we won't be seeing them (that's sort of their job, not to be seen). As for what's going on in Leaf, well, that's not really going to be covered by this fic, this is Lee's adventures in Suna. He does go back towards the end, for that whole 'coming out' thing, but I'm a having majorly hard time deciding which of two plots/tones to use for that, comic or dramatic :P Decisions decisions...We won't be seeing much of Team 7 unless I throw in a short humor sidefic of the 'OMG Sakura I need to have my brain checked I just thought I saw Lee and Gaara kissing over there!' type. Oooooorrrrr...someone else could write it ^____^
joisbishmyogajoisbishmyoga on January 14th, 2006 07:07 pm (UTC)
OMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGSQUEEEEEEEEEEE!

wow, I feel like an idiot, but... O.M.G. I somehow want to smack them for putting Gaara's First Time in such crude terms, but I'm still boggling at that sentence. "blew him"

I can't be coherent, or give a decent review, but I have a present for you. If I could have your address so I can mail it? JWPname@aol.com
Maldorormaldoror_gw on January 15th, 2006 04:33 pm (UTC)
Lol, Guardian Two is the sarcastic kind - a bit like Kankuro, I imagined him - and I think he was trying to reduce the impact of it all with a bit of lewdness. But it made a pretty funny picture in my head when I wrote it ^_^

*is puzzled* I already sent you an email to that address several days ago. Didn't you get it? I'm pretty sure I got the right email address and it didn't bounce back. Maybe send me an email at jenn_ange@yahoo.ca and I'll respond?
questionable537: pornquestionable537 on January 14th, 2006 08:23 pm (UTC)
but he'd been on tenterhooks the whole time he was watching his Kazekage roll around the bed with a foreign Shinobi in legwarmers.

*snerk*

Poor Number Three. His boss is sleeping with a foreigndiplomat. And just think of how said diplomat's boss would react to having that sort of hold over the Kazekage...yep, I can imagine alternate reasons for keeping that particular liason secret. XD
Maldorormaldoror_gw on January 24th, 2006 12:16 am (UTC)
Oh yeah, there's reasons to hide this with a Konoha postmark on them too ^^; There's quite a few reasons why this is going to be a bit of a fuss when it comes out, which is why I wanted it to come out in instalments, as it were. Hence the poor ANBU getting dragged into this. I'm so mean...
凍結する砂漠の中心hime_no_nishi on January 14th, 2006 08:31 pm (UTC)
*twitches rapidly* That lucky, sodding, son of a.... HE GOT TO WATCH LEE AND GAARA HAVE SEX!!!!

Now onto the real comment instead of just fangirling
I really liked this because it was somewhat light and fluffy in a somewhat different way from traditional fluff.
Guardian One asked him a series of questions, but the key points of the list were clear enough and went something like this:

Fact #1: I was observing the Kazekage's residence from Lookout Point 2. Gaara-sama was sitting at his bedroom window, so I kept a watch on the room and the grounds around him for possible snipers.

Fact #2: At 13:44 hours, the Leaf Jounin Rock Lee entered the premises.

Fact #3: They talked for a few minutes, then they ended up on the bed and the Kazekage made advances to the Jounin. The Jounin didn't object.

Fact #4: I remained at my post, and insured that no harm came to the Kazekage during the encounter that followed.

Fact #5: Because my loyalty is to the Kazekage, not to the ANBU high command or the Council, I have only reported these facts to my cell leader.

Fact #6: I'm going to need a long vacation after this. Maybe therapy too.

Guardian Three didn't actually add that last bullet point out loud.

I loved this part the most though. You do character portayal very well. Seeing part of the story from a different perspective other than Lee and Gaara's in it's own skewed way is strangely refreshing.
Maldorormaldoror_gw on January 26th, 2006 12:45 am (UTC)
Thanks ^_^ It was a nice break from Lee's immersive POV. I'm not sure Three enjoys the 'luck' of catching his Kazekage rolling around in bed with Lee, but we enjoyed it vicariously through his eyes :P
obsessed_futagoobsessed_futago on January 14th, 2006 08:58 pm (UTC)
Heh. Nice to see it from another person's point of view...and it's really amazingly cute/sweet to see how much Gaara is loved by his village.
Maldorormaldoror_gw on January 26th, 2006 12:46 am (UTC)
The main impetus of this chapter was to give a reason why this affair won't be known by half the SHinobi in Suna three days later, but also, I wanted to take the opportunity to show the village's evolving attitude towards Lee and Gaara. Glad you liked it ^_^
K. Takefutago_02 on January 14th, 2006 09:18 pm (UTC)
really didn't expect that.. :) i wonder if gaara even knows or thinks about them... :) i love it, though. like the way you describe three's experience and thoughts~! :)
Maldorormaldoror_gw on January 26th, 2006 12:48 am (UTC)
Gaara does know about them, being the Kazekage. I don't think he thinks about them actively, though. And if he realized THree was watching, I don't think it would bother him all that much. Lee, now, that's another matter entirely ^^;
Elizabeth Culmer, only a *little* bit crazy...edenfalling on January 14th, 2006 09:19 pm (UTC)
Awww, so cute! I really like their loyalty, as well as their embarrassment, and the level of detail and thought you've put into this is... I'm not sure if I should say 'inspiring' or 'scary.' :-)

Not that their help was all that useful; Gaara was doted with the Ultimate Defence, after all. I'm not sure in what sense you're using that verb, but if it's correct, it's a pretty damn obscure usage.

Lookout Point 2 was the only spot in Konoha from which you could get a view inside the Kazekage's bedroom, but you could never be too careful or too discreet (or too thoughtful about your ANBU bodyguard's peace of mind). That should be Suna.
Maldorormaldoror_gw on January 14th, 2006 09:52 pm (UTC)
Ah, thanks, well spotted ^^; *fixes hurriedly*
(no subject) - maldoror_gw on January 14th, 2006 09:53 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Always a Scribble, Never a Master Piecestillfindinggod on January 15th, 2006 12:18 am (UTC)
He'd been initially pleased to see Lee climb the road towards the Kazekage's door. Climb sounds slightly strange but it makes enough sense.

Awesome chapter, Im always awed by the dedication you put forth to your writing.
Maldorormaldoror_gw on January 26th, 2006 12:49 am (UTC)
I think that 'climb' is a french alliterism. Oh well *is too lazy to change it* Thanks ^_^ Glad you liked the chapter!
tokagemusume on January 15th, 2006 01:33 am (UTC)
Coz You Never Know
That was a worthwhile sidebar... It explains the lack of bodyguards when Lee is alone with Gaara. It had occurred to me that they might be falling down on their job because you'd expect them to have to take note... after all, if Lee becomes Gaara's family, well, that changes their mission scope for sure. And either he's a lover or he's a problem, from a security point of view. Very pertinent in shinobi land...

"Apparently he just had particular tastes. Very particular." Cute! *g*
Maldorormaldoror_gw on January 26th, 2006 12:52 am (UTC)
Re: Coz You Never Know
I remember that scene in the manga/anime where Gaara's father is shown briefly. He always has two bodyguards with him, and most people aren't allowed to get close. So yes, they're there! But Gaara, of course, would be uncomfortable having anybody hanging around him that much, and he would rather defend himself without any encumbrance. So these bodyguards are relegated to watching from a distance and checking for traps and poisons. And watching their hot bishie Kazekage get down and dirty with this Leaf guy. Pooooor ANBU. It's a hard job, but someone's gotta do it...
Xellos_No_Himitsuyuki_no_kitsune on January 15th, 2006 03:14 am (UTC)
XXXXXXD *dies multiple times*
Trivrurounitriv on January 15th, 2006 03:18 am (UTC)
Poor Three, stuck with watching. XD
Maldorormaldoror_gw on January 26th, 2006 12:53 am (UTC)
That's what they made liquor for ^_^
technodestinytechnoranma on January 15th, 2006 09:47 am (UTC)
I LITERALLY SCREAMED AND RANTED IN AN UNKNOWN LANGUAGE WHEN I SAW YOU POST THIS.

I was just thinking it would be erfect if some other characters started noticing or finding out... and YOU ARE ONE-STEP AHEAD. I thouroughly enjoyed this. I can't wait for more Temari and Kankuro... I have so much rambling love I could give ya right now, but I think I will just say that I had a huge grin on my face from start to finish, and then I went back and read ch 16 again, to see it from 3's pov, LOL didnt work though cause I soon forgot all about that and got pulled in by your intensely sweet Lee and your i-want-lee Gaara.

Thank you so much for your chapters and story!!
Maldorormaldoror_gw on January 26th, 2006 12:55 am (UTC)
Thanks ^_^ We have now a few characters who've found out...and who are going to work very hard to stop others from finding out, at least right away. Which means that Lee and Gaara can have their lemons in peace for a little while ^___^ Hopefully more sweetness and hotness ahead!
Qaddafi the Ripper: Naruto Fartqaddafi on January 15th, 2006 01:21 pm (UTC)
This was hilarious! Poor Three, forced by his job to become a voyeur! Say, how did Two know about the, ahem, blowing if Three's report didn't include any details due to loyalty?

Very good. With side stories like this, do you really have to get back to the serious stuff (says the humor writer)?

No, seriously, can't wait for more, no matter what it is you write.
Maldorormaldoror_gw on January 26th, 2006 12:57 am (UTC)
Glad you liked the side story ^__^ I like humor; it's a good way of making sure the angst isn't aggregating.

It wasn't all that clear, actually, but Two was there from the start and was listening while One dragged all the lovely details out of poor Three. His loyalty will stop Three from telling the Council or the other ANBU, but his cell leader and teammate need to know, if they're to do their job protecting Gaara (and besides, odds are that if they hadn't known, they would have found out shortly :P)
(Anonymous) on January 15th, 2006 01:52 pm (UTC)
wow... Lucky us... Now, the next Freeport chapter and I'll die from heart-attack :D

The POV was really surprising( I didn't see it coming at all), and as usual very well wrote. I liked the Sand Anbu, all business-like, making plans to keep the affair secret... Huh... Poor Three ^^

Jainas
Maldorormaldoror_gw on January 26th, 2006 12:59 am (UTC)
Your heart is safe for a few more days ^^; But hopefully I'll have that next FP chapter out within a week! Keep that cardio unit and pace-maker handy.

Glad you liked it! I like being surprising from time to time ^__^
RESPECTAWIGGLE MUDDIGGLE: every one of us is specialelfiepike on January 15th, 2006 10:15 pm (UTC)
this was deeply, deeply adorable. ♥
Maldorormaldoror_gw on January 26th, 2006 12:59 am (UTC)
Thanks ^__^
thewarriorkaithewarriorkai on January 16th, 2006 04:00 am (UTC)
Awesome
This was exactly what I was hoping to see! It makes perfect sense and everything on top of it all. Thank you so much. I'm far too happy now to do my job of tormenting my students... oh well, maybe I can laugh like a made scientist at odd times and torment them that way... it'll keep them on their toes if nothing else.
Maldorormaldoror_gw on January 26th, 2006 01:01 am (UTC)
Re: Awesome
Get a grip! Tormenting students is a fundamental part of their education! YOu have a duty!!!

Glad you liked it, and that it answered your hopes! That little paragraph on Lee was actually inspired by your review from last chapter, because originally it was *much* smaller. I do read and listen to my reviewers ^__^ (Even if I take flippin' weeks to answer sometimes *hangs head in shame*)
complexphoenixcomplexphoenix on January 16th, 2006 07:42 am (UTC)
I'm betting Temari finds out within a week. Two weeks, maximum.

Much, much love for the way you balanced humor and sweet seriousness. Lovely, lovely work :)
Maldorormaldoror_gw on January 26th, 2006 01:03 am (UTC)
You win the bet ;P

Thanks ^__^ THe balance was hard in this whole fic (this chapter was a bit easier, though a first draft was actually much more serious and it bogged down something dreadful).
Doewiebeledoewiebele on January 16th, 2006 07:52 am (UTC)
Love this side story! Most resourceful and original way to show the readers more about the characters and surroundings by using a side story. I loved it and read it with glee.

Now I'm going to have the word "blew" in my head the whole day ~_~;

*gives you yummy cookie*
Maldorormaldoror_gw on January 26th, 2006 01:04 am (UTC)
Thanks ^__^ The problem with a very immersive POV like Lee's in DR is that you can hint on how other people see him and Gaara, but it's hard to actually put into words. I enjoyed the opportunity of putting all of Lee's gloriously ambiguous charm into the spotlight in the eyes of another :P
(Anonymous) on January 16th, 2006 03:34 pm (UTC)
"That crazy Leaf actaully got down and blew the Kazekage?"

Best line.....ever. I was giggling through the whole thing. It's great to have someone outside of Lee's and Gaara's relationship give their perspective. EEEK!!!! EVERYONE ELSE CAN SEE THE LURV!!!!!!
Maldorormaldoror_gw on January 26th, 2006 01:06 am (UTC)
Lol, well, not everyone can see the lurv, and the ANBU four will make very, very sure of that ^_~ Glad you liked the line; as I imagined him, Two is a sarcastic SOB after my own heart :P
jade_dragonessjade_dragoness on January 16th, 2006 09:30 pm (UTC)
*grins* I loved this. It was such a tasty treat. And a way to show how some people will react to having Gaara and Lee together just by the way that the ANBU plotting.

*beams* It was adorable, fluffy and funny. It made want to hug Three and just squee! Actually the way they decided to protect Gaara made me want to hug all of them.

*grins helplessly*
Maldorormaldoror_gw on January 26th, 2006 01:10 am (UTC)
Thanks ^__^ This chapter popped up in my head very suddenly, considering most of the chapters of this fic are sketched out weeks/months in advance. This one occured to me while I was working on chapter 16. I hesitated, since it broke the POV...but there was really a lot to say about how Lee is seen, how others will see this relationship, how Gaara is perceived these days. I'm amazed I managed to say or hint all that in such a short chapter actually ^^;

The moment these toughened ANBU rally around their leader, and decide to let him play around with his boyfriend undisturbed, made me go a bit gooey too when I first thought up the idea ^__^
(Deleted comment)
Maldorormaldoror_gw on January 26th, 2006 01:12 am (UTC)
Thanks! Wow, even better than the smexiness poor Three was forced to watch? High compliment indeedy ^_^ More hawtness coming up, though, so the contest for Favourite Chapter is still on!
oh_my_fryoh_my_fry on January 20th, 2006 12:51 am (UTC)
nah
hahhhaah lol funny! and cute!!
Maldorormaldoror_gw on January 26th, 2006 01:12 am (UTC)
Re: nah
Thanks ^__^ (Icon love, by the way)
Re: nah - oh_my_fry on January 26th, 2006 01:14 am (UTC) (Expand)
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