Nine years ago, a peace treaty was proposed to put a stop to the war between Kumo and Konoha. Nine years ago, the delegation from Kumo arrived with the intention to betray the treaty and escape wit...
Black clouds swirled over many of the Clan districts, and aside from pelting any villager who dared to stick a head out that afternoon, the flashes of branching lightning above served as a constant reminder of the enemy within their walls.
It was well known that Kumo, the Village Hidden in the Clouds, had no reserve when it came to accomplishing something.
That they had brewed such a violent storm along the way was only yet another indication of their loud, obnoxious point of view, and of the instability promised by the peace treaty set to be signed that night.
Many Konoha shinobi performing their normal duties found themselves soaked to the bone in a matter of seconds, and more than one Jōnin shifted uneasily with the boom that accompanied yet another of their trees struck down by the wild bolts overhead.
Only a few raced through the rain as if oblivious to it, flashing forward within the Body Flicker Technique.
Shisui Uchiha was one of them, and at his side and keeping nearly apace came his cousin Itachi.
They passed by or over the innumerable muddy pools and patches of land seeking to gum up their journey toward the Naka Shrine, and to the meeting ordained by their head of Clan only minutes before.
When they arrived and slipped in through the gap in each window, they found Fugaku Uchiha awaiting them.
He leaned tensely against the farthest wall, and though his arms were held just beneath his chest, he stared ahead at them as if they were the only other occupants of the room, rather than upon the man reclining at ease in front of him.
Neither of them had seen the older male before, with his bleach-blond hair drawn back in several parallel sections that settled into spikes, or the white band holding up his unseen hitai-ate, completely at contrast to the dark brown of his skin.
A white body armor wrapped around his chest and over his back, while the black cloth beneath flared up sharply above each shoulder to hang evenly with the height of his spikes.
Even his black pants were styled differently than those of Konoha ANBU or Jōnin wore.
"So, now that we're all here and settled," the unknown nin stated brashly as the rain dripped off of their wet cloths, not the least surprised at their arrival, "let's continue with the negotiations, Fugaku-san."
Itachi warily took his eyes off of the shinobi to bow toward his father respectfully. What unease he felt was schooled behind a simple look of curiosity.
Shisui had less compunction about the subject.
"Fugaku-sama," he stated with emphasis on the honorific as he, too, bowed toward their leader.
The unknown man snorted at the implied rebuke within the Uchiha's simple greeting, but instead of responding, he merely cracked the knuckles of his left hand one at a time.
The eldest Uchiha present cut Shisui a sharp glance in their guest's place, and he said firmly, "This is the envoy from Kumo, Jōnin Commander A, bringing forth the peace treaty for our two villages."
His tone lacked any of the irritation that he felt, but it was not missed by the younger shinobi.
"That meeting will take place between himself and the Third Hokage at precisely 6 o'clock tonight. This meeting has never happened, nor will word of our intentions spread."
His gaze lingered on Itachi slightly longer than upon Shisui as he spoke.
"Yes, Fugaku-sama," they both answered.
The elder man lowered his arms from their crossed position and sat down upon his knees before A, gesturing toward his left and right hand for them to join him respectively.
The meaning of their positions was not lost, and A let out a rough, rolling laugh at the tension permuting the triangle of Uchiha's before him after a few moments.
"As you said, let us continue the necessary discussions," Fugaku stated once all was settled down.
A leaned his head down to focus on the lead shinobi, cool gaze unconcerned by the risk of such an act with these particular genjutsu-specialists.
"On behalf of the Third Raikage and the orders contained within the treaty outline, I am authorized to make alternative decisions so long as the end-goal remains the same," he said.
"What did you have in mind?" Fugaku asked quietly.
A smiled. "I know you're smarter than this, Fugaku-sama," he answered with a dollop of sarcasm aimed directly toward Shisui.
The lines between Shisui's eyes crinkled and tensed. For a moment he glared, and he felt the urge to awaken his Sharingan.
In the same moment, a faint flicker of yellow seemed to engulf the Kumo-nin, but was gone even before he had been sure he had detected anything.
But the smile on A's face had sharpened, and Fugaku reclined his head before answering.
"What provisions are the Third Raikage seeking from us? We are a limited clan, bound to our compound. Even were we not, our resources are fewer than many of the other Clans."
A slapped a hand to the ground at the attempted lies, showing his contempt for it.
"So you don't control the Konoha Military Police Force," he said, with a smile hardened even further than before. "Two strikes."
A slow and drawn sigh escaped the Clan head.
"Very well. In exchange for the Third Raikage's offer of aide in securing the office of Hokage for our Clan at long last, we propose equal aide in matters of war and assassination once again."
A nodded and leaned back, then reached inside of his jacket and withdrew the peace treaty. He set it to the tatami mats between them and gestured to it.
"In exchange for the Uchiha Clan's service in conquering the other Hidden Villages, we offer the aide of overthrowing Konoha's government and setting the Uchiha back upon their rightful place at its top," he answered.
A grimace spread over Fugaku's features. "One Hidden Village," he countered, "outside of Konoha itself."
A's teeth shone as he laughed again, drowned out by a sudden boom of thunder overhead, and the ground rumbled as another tree fell.
"Two Hidden Villages," A finally challenged, "with access to Konoha when it is deemed necessary."
For a moment Fugaku's chest swelled, and his mouth twisted over a denial at being used so.
Instead he leaned back again and drew a kunai from within his pocket.
Then he dragged it across his palm and used the blood as ink, and signed the terms of agreement across the original measures of peace.
When he was done and had signed his name, concluding it with Acting Fifth Hokage Fugaku Uchiha, he offered the kunai to A.
The Kumo-nin repeated the procedure on his own hand and signed it Acting Vassal of the Third Raikage.
A flicked the kunai to the mat beside the peace treaty and pressed one hand to the mark in his palm, and the amusement from before slid away to be replaced by complete seriousness.
"Be ready in two hours. I'll coordinate my team in the meanwhile."
Fugaku had tied a strip of cloth from the edge of Itachi's jacket around his own palm, and he stood up without preamble.
"And how many will you have? If I am to coordinate my own, it is necessary that we each share logistics."
A stood up and approached the door without an answer. He only paused near the edge, tilting his head to one side as if listening for something.
"Enough to match a third of your Clan," he stated just before another boom, and when lightning flashed outside of the windows, he had vanished by the time it died down again.