Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto or any of its characters.

Chapter 27: Secretaries and Reports

Kira walked through the doors of the Kazekage tower just minutes after setting off. She rounded a corner and ran up the staircase to the top floor. In a rush, she didn't pause once she made it to the top, but instead ran up to the receptionist desk outside the Kazekage's office.

"I need to see the Kazekage immediately," Kira said, not even waiting for the secretary to notice her first.

The woman behind the counter lazily looked up from her paperwork and looked the leaf shinobi up and down. After giving Kira a sneer, she spat out bluntly, "I don't think so."

Kira raised an eyebrow at the girl no older then herself, "It's a matter of great importance. If you're questioning whether or not I'm an enemy, you can just ask him who I am. I'm sure there won't be a problem."

"There is a problem. I don't like you," she said while going to examine her nails, "Delicate little things like you come in all the time from different countries and think that just cause you're a bit pretty, you'll have a chance at Gaara-sama. Well, look here slut. You're not his type."

Kira's eyebrow twitched slightly. Children's lives were at stake and all this woman cared about was something like that?

"I think we have a misunderstanding. I'm not interested in your Kazekage for those purposes. I need to tell him about-"

"Not interested!?" the Suna girl stopped looking at her nails to glare at Kira, "Any girl with eyes would want to have him. What are you, blind or something?"

"You could say that. Now I need to meet with him. I was here earlier with my escort, so I have the clearance-"

"And that's another thing," the woman said, cutting her off again, "your 'escort' has some nerve calling the Kazekage so familiarly and attacking him in his own office! He could have hurt him and then there would have been a war thanks to that blonde idiot!"

"And how would you know what went on in his office Shiho?" came a voice from the stairwell. One that Kira had 'seen' coming and had hoped would climb up sooner rather than later to hear everything that this…Shiho…had to say.

"Tamari-san!" the secretary exclaimed as she jumped out of her seat and bowed, "I was just-"

"You were just detaining a very important guest of the Kazekage, himself, from delivering imperative information to him while simultaneously ridiculing his closest friend. That 'blonde idiot' is what stopped a war from arising between Suna and Konoha and helped form the close bond we have with them today."

Shiho seemed to shrink back with every word that came out of Temari's mouth while Kira just felt immense relief. It seemed that Temari had heard almost everything.

"And, Shiho?" Temari said with a wild smile.

"Y-yes Temari-san?" she replied, still in a bow, sweat begining to form on her brow.

"You didn't answer my initial question. How did you know about my brother being, as you said, attacked in his office? The doors are always soundproofed when a meeting is in session and no one that had been in that room has said a word about it," Temari stated while still smiling. Kira could physically 'see' Shiho's heart skip a beat before it began racing. She had never known anyone to be so terrified of a female before. What could this slightly older kunoichi possibly have done before to inflict such terror in a person with a simple smile?

"I-I," the panicking girl stuttered, "It's not what you think. It was only for the safety of Gaara-sama that I did it. I swear it wasn't going to be used for anything other than that."

"It?" Temari said calmly as she walked with the grace of a hunting lioness over to the now-shaking secretary. Temari placed her index finger on the girl's chin and lifted it so that they were looking eye-to-eye, "Care to tell me what 'it' is? Though, if you don't tell me, then that's perfectly find too," the eldest of the sand siblings then proceeded to gently pat the girl's cheek as Kira watched the poor girl start to hyperventilate, "I've been needing a moving target for my training anyway."

"Cameras! I set up two small cameras in his office while he was in a meeting. They're only video and don't have sound. Please Temari-sama, have mercy!"

"So it's -sama now, huh?" Temari looked over her shoulder to grin mischievously at Kira, "Who knew that a little threat would gain such high respect?"

A moment later, a member of ANBU took away the still quivering girl to be further questioned. Temari dusted off her hands and turned to Kira once again.

"Sorry that took so long. I knew there was something slightly off about that girl. That, and I just didn't like her too much," the sand kunoichi said as she stretched a bit, making her joints give a nice popping sound.

Kira snapped out of her momentary daze and remembered why she was there, "Temari-san, I'm sorry I didn't wait for you earlier, but I need to see the Kazekage. Something happened at the hospital."

Temari stopped stretching and gave Kira a slightly blank stare, "Well, why didn't you say so sooner? Go right in, I'm not stopping you."

Kira hesitated slightly, almost puzzled by this woman before her. Was she calm or violent? Kind or ruthless? The blind ninja just couldn't seem to figure her out. Placing these thoughts in the back of her mind for further examination at a later time, Kira strode over to the office door and knocked.

"Oh, for Kami's sake! I told you just to go in if it's that important," came Temari's voice from behind her as a voice from within bid her enter. Yes, she would definitely need to ponder this information over later.

Once inside, Kira closed the door and walked over to stand in front of the Kazekage's desk. Gaara looked up from his short stack of paperwork, which was such a huge contrast to the work left on the Hokage's back home, it was almost comical.

"Sakurai-san, I wasn't expecting a report from you so soon," he said as he set aside the documentations.

"It is most unfortunate that I should need to Kazekage-sama, but there was something that happened today that I thought would require your immediate attention," she said as she bowed.

"What happened?" he asked, a bit of concern entering his voice.

Kira proceeded to explain what had happened with Sato and the four children before him that hadn't been so lucky. Gaara's expression turned dark as she continued to explain about the parents all being active shinobi.

"This is disconcerting indeed," he said as he folded his hands on his desk, "The children of Suna are being targeted," his glare increased as he stared past Kira. She heard a dry rustling in his direction that was starting to become familiar to her. His sand was moving. She felt as if she were seeing a shadow of the part of him that he tried to hide away. The part that had most in the village calling him a monster while he was younger. And if this was the shadow, she didn't want to witness the real thing. She wasn't the one his anger was directed at, and yet she felt that if she didn't say something soon…well, she didn't want to know what would happen.

"Kazekage-sama?"

The sand settled in an instant and his eyes landed on the slight young woman before him, "Forgive me Sakurai-san."

Kira bowed, "You were upset for the children, Kazekage-sama. That is no reason to apologize."

He nodded his head, "Was that all you had to report?"

"Hai."

"Then there is one other thing that I wish to discuss with you."

"What is it Kazekage-sama?"

Gaara stood from his seat and walked over to look out his balcony window, hands clasped behind his back, "Temari told me about your conversation at lunch."

Kira remained silent. There wasn't anything she could say. She wasn't going to apologize for what she had said about Deidara. She believed every word and refused to retract her opinion.

Gaara glanced back at her and noticed her attent, yet silent form, "I believe that your views are correct."

Kira's eyes widened briefly, "Kazekage-sama?"

Gaara looked forward again to gaze out at his village, "I was once a murderer filled with nothing but hate," came his calm voice, "What makes me so different from your Akatsuki friend?"

Kira tilted her head down slightly and hesitated before answering, "He killed you."

Gaara nodded, "And I would have done the same to him had I been given the chance. We are shinobi. It's our way of life. Besides," he said as he turned toward her, his face as emotionless as her own, "I'm alive now and that was years ago."

Kira's lips quirked up slightly at the familiarity of his statement. A detail not missed by the young leader, "You find this amusing?"

She shook her head slightly, "Deidara said something similar before I left."

Gaara tilted his head a bit, waiting for her to explain.

"He wanted to come with me in place of Naruto. I advised him against it, for obvious reasons. His only argument was that you weren't dead and that it happened years ago."

Gaara thought this over a moment, then looked at Kira once more, "You're dismissed. Go home and rest. I'll look into the poisoning."

Kira bowed and turned to leave, his voice stopping her as she was about to reach the door, "If he truly has changed, I will allow him into the village under supervision."

Kira inclined her head back towards his direction and nodded, "Thank you."

With that, she left his office. Temari was waiting for her again, but Kira barely noticed her presence as she fell into step beside her. It was a quiet walk back to her new place of residence. The sand kunoichi seemed to realize that there was a lot on the blind girl's mind and stayed quiet throughout the trip.

The first thing she needed to sort through was the poisoning. Who would want to target these children? And why? They haven't done a thing to deserve death.

Then there was the bipolar kunoichi walking calmly beside her. Was she a brash, violent person by nature? Or was that a front put up to protect herself from the world. Maybe a combination of both? Her earlier thought of Temari resembling a hunting lioness seemed to be fairly accurate.

Another thing that concerned her was the fact that she had been defending herself lately. Once every so often no longer came as too big a surprise to her, but three times in one day? And one of those times had been against a male. A male that was very much her superior.

And speaking of the young Kazekage. He had a bloody past. He had killed countless people, many of them being innocent. But he was like Deidara in that respect. That, and they were both no longer blood thirsty. Was that why she felt so calm around him? Because he reminded her of Deidara? Perhaps, but she was starting to feel at ease around this man and that confused her greatly. He was a man. He used to be exceedingly violent. Why was she starting to trust him after not even a single day had passed? Was it all because of Naruto? Deidara? Could there be some other factor that she was overlooking that drew her in?

Kira shook her head to stop her inner ramblings, feeling the beginnings of a headache creep into her skull. One thing was certain. If today was any indicator as to how the rest of her stay in Suna would be, she had no idea how much she would change before she was able to return home.

Yay! Another chapter so soon after the last one! :D *dances like the crazy person I am* …Now that that's done… How was the chapter? Stupid Shiho and her cameras. When will those fangirls ever learn? *shakes head* And Kira feels something drawing her to trust Gaara! But whatever could that be? Hmmm, I wonder… :P Anywho! Please read and review! (hehe, that rhymed!)