Author Notes: Hello, everyone, and Happy Easter to those who celebrate this day. This is a small follow up to my story The Akatsuki to the Rescue! so it will make a bit more sense if you've read that one.
General Warning: Details on Easter were sourced from wiki/Easter and adapted for the sole purpose of this story. My apologies in advance for any mistakes made.
Story Warning: Almost crack. Some OOCness. A couple of spoilers for the Akatsuki members, but nothing really earth shattering.
Disclaimer: Bleach belongs to Tite Kubo.
- Story Start -
In a large bungalow somewhere in the Land of Rain...
A month passed since the Akatsuki rescued four Hidden Leaf jounin-sensei teams. They were able to get enough missions after that to keep them occupied while waiting for the right time to go after the Tailed Beasts.
Today was the day of their next monthly meeting. As they filed into the dining room which doubled as their meeting room, every member was in good spirits except for Kakuzu who was still bemoaning the thirty five million Ryo that had slipped through their fingers.
As soon as everyone settled down, Pein cleared his throat and started the meeting. At the end of the agenda, he looked around the table, eyebrows raised in a silent invitation for questions.
Zetsu was the first to raise a hand, and when Pein nodded at him, placed something on the table. Everyone stared at the large wicker basket which had a green bow tied to its handle, its contents covered by a checkered red and white cloth.
"Explain," Pein said after a moment.
"I found this basket in front of our tree this morning," Zetsu began in his sing song voice. "After I-"
"We have a tree?" Sasori interrupted in Hiroko's deep voice.
"I thought Zetsu was our tree," said Deidara.
"I meant the tree that serves as our mailbox," Zetsu said, annoyed.
"We have a mailbox?" Hidan asked at once.
"Don't suppose Sarutobi's head's in there," Kakuzu grumbled.
"In the mailbox?" Deidara asked.
"No, the basket!"
"Just the head? I need the body attached to it, and the whole thing alive, for a sacrifice," Hidan complained, just to annoy Kakuzu.
"There is no head in there! Or body either!" Zetsu snapped. "I shouldn't have-"
"It smells sweet," Itachi cut in, delicate nostrils flaring as he sniffed.
"Really sweet," Kisame added sourly, less than delicate nostrils twitching.
"Finally. You are both right." Zetsu looked appeased.
"It could be a trap," Konan warned.
"No, I've checked. No explosives or triggers for hidden jutsu or anything," Zetsu confirmed.
Everyone relaxed a bit and looked at Pein expectantly.
"Open the basket," he ordered.
With a flourish, Zetsu whipped off the checkered cloth and everyone leaned forward to take a closer look. Inside the basket, nestled in dark green cloth, were four huge eggs, decorated with coloured paper and paint.
"There's a note." Zetsu fished out a piece of paper and held it up. Everyone's eyes narrowed at the familiar symbol printed on the back. Pein took the paper and read aloud.
"Happy Easter! Please accept this token of appreciation for your valuable assistance a month ago. With compliments from the Konoha Twelve."
"Who are the Konoha Twelve?" Deidara asked.
"Since the genin teams are a three man squad, my guess is the genin from the four teams we rescued," Itachi suggested.
"They know who we are?" Hidan asked.
"They're laughing at us!" Kakuzu growled, light green eyes glowing with anger.
"I haven't finished reading," Pein said in a dry tone and continued.
"Easter is a Christian holiday, but some people who are not Christians celebrate it as a cultural holiday. Most of these celebrations have nothing to do with the Christian meaning of the holiday. One such celebration involves giving children baskets filled with candy. Eggs are decorated and hidden for children to find that the "Easter Bunny" supposedly laid."
Everyone looked at each other and then at the basket.
"Does the Leaf think we're children?" Konan asked, sounding uncertain.
With a snort, Kisame reached into the basket and took out an egg. There was a small note stuck to it which he read aloud.
"For our rescuers who brought Kakashi-sensei and us to safety. Thank you to the blond nii-san who didn't laugh when I told him my dream, dattebayo. Oh, and his weird friend too!"
Seeing as there was only one blond Akatsuki, he handed the egg to Deidara who accepted it with a surprised grin before glancing at Sasori who said nothing.
That prompted Hidan to take out the next egg and read the message aloud.
"For our rescuers who brought Kurenai-sensei and us to safety. Thank you to the kind lady who listened to my dearest wish and encouraged me, and her silent friend."
Seeing as there was only one female Akatsuki, he handed the egg to Konan who accepted it with a soft smile before glancing at Pein who said nothing.
Itachi reached into the basket and took out another egg. The attached note was longer than the previous two.
"For our rescuers who brought Gai-sensei and us to safety! Thank you to the strong ninja who carried Gai-sensei so easily and listened with rapt attention to my retelling of all of Gai-sensei's notable contests with his eternal rival, Kakashi-sensei! And to his silent (though still valued) partner!"
Amid loud snickering, Itachi placed the egg in front of Kisame who sat beside him.
"I believe this is ours," he said in a grave voice, lips twitching. Kisame gave him a murderous look.
Sasori took out the last egg and read the message on it.
"For our rescuers who brought Asuma-sensei and us to safety." (Kakuzu made a pained noise.) "Thank you to the charming man with the three bladed scythe, and his silent friend who loves potato chips."
"Right, that's us!" Hidan accepted the egg with a cheerful grin before glancing at Kakuzu who looked both furious and mortified.
For almost a minute, they just stared at their respective eggs and then at each other's, the memory of those said missions going through their minds. It was Zetsu who broke the silence.
"But the whole ninja for hire thing was my idea," he said in a plaintive voice. "I should get an egg too."
"That's what comes of staying behind the scenes," Sasori told him before turning to Deidara who was still staring at his egg.
"Open it already. You know I don't like to be kept waiting."
Deidara did so and shook out an assortment of chocolates, sweets and two mini cup noodles.
"No bakudan, but this is cute, hm," he said and offered the sweets to Sasori who just shook his head.
Hidan opened his egg and poured out an assortment of individually wrapped pastries and potato chip packets.
"No spare ribs, but ah well," he said and nudged the potato chips closer to Kakuzu whose hands were clenched into tight fists.
Itachi opened his egg and discovered individual packs of chocolates, onigiri and dango sticks.
"I... I've missed these," he said softly and offered them to Kisame who just shook his head and muttered, "You can have the lot."
Finally, Konan opened her egg and poured out individual packs of sweets, chocolates and dried meat.
"This is lovely," she said and looked at Pein who just shook his head.
"But don't I get anything?" Zetsu complained.
Rolling his eyes, Kisame reached into the basket and pulled out the green cloth lining it. He shook it out to reveal an adult sized jumpsuit made from green spandex.
"Ah," Itachi said, eyes suddenly twinkling.
Kisame blanched and flung the offending garment across the table to Zetsu.
"You can have this," he growled.
- Story End -
A/N: Thank you for reading! Please leave a review if you enjoyed it :)