Disclaimer- I don't own Naruto. Just Takara, Miyu and Keiji. And whatever random OC I decide to throw your way.
Author's Note- There used to be song lyrics in this story but I learned that you can't have songs that aren't yours. How cruel. Oh well. The song that used to go here was called "Breathe no More" by Evanescence.
"Tsunade-sama said they'd be at the gates by now," Neji yelled to Naruto, "Let's hope they haven't left yet."
"Right!" Naruto nodded and leapt across another rooftop.
Both boys were currently in hot pursuit of Sasuke Uchiha and Nara Shikamaru. Somehow, both men managed to change into their anbu gear at miraculous speeds and were now going after Sakura and Ino. Naruto and the others had to scramble to get out of their wedding outfits and chase after them. Tsunade had sent Neji and Naruto to retrieve Sasuke and Shikamaru, while the rest headed off to Hokage Tower.
"I think I see them!" the kitsune squinted and saw two shadows, "And they're at the gates-just like Baa-chan said."
"Well don't let them get any further," Neji said as he swept down and landed straight in front of the gates. "Stop."
Sasuke and Shikamaru came to a screeching halt, both snarling and ripping off their masks. The Uchiha's eyes were still narrowed and tinted Sharingan. Sasuke glared at Neji. "Get out of the way," his voice was murderous, "Or I'll force you."
Neji froze and narrowed his eyes at the Uchiha, "You wouldn't."
"Try me," Sasuke snarled and fingered two kunai. Suddenly, Naruto appeared as well and positioned himself in front of Shikamaru.
"Move, Naruto," Shikamaru's voice was equally as threatening as Sasuke's.
"Tsunade-baachan said you guys can't just leave like that!" Naruto raised his hands to block them from leaving, "We have to go to her office and plan things out first!"
"We don't have time for that," Sasuke became more irritated by the second.
"Every second we waste Ino and Sakura could be one second closer to death," Shikamaru argued, "And I sure as hell am not going to let Ino die!"
"But-" Naruto stepped up.
"Damn it!" Sasuke yelled, "MOVE!" In his frustration, he aimed a kick at them. In return, Naruto launched a counter kick of his own.
"Stop!" a shrill voice shrieked and grabbed both of the boys' feet, blocking their attacks. Sasuke and Naruto withdrew their kicks and stared at the person who dared interrupt the fight. It was Tsunade. She was flustered. "Sasuke Uchiha and Nara Shikamaru: you two have no right to act impulsively like that. And for starters, you two don't even have a clue where to start looking!"
Sasuke and Shikamaru growled, clenching their fists. Though nobody saw, the ring Sakura gave to Sasuke began to glow.
"It's a special stone. It will lead you to the one you love if you ever happen to lose her..."
"Now come on," Tsunade sighed sadly, "Let's get to my office. We need to develop a plan." Reluctantly, Sasuke and Shikamaru sheathed their kunai before following the Hokage, Naruto and Neji trailing at their feet.
"Sakura and Ino were recently sent on a mission to the Village Hidden in the Trees," Tsunade said, "They were due to return the day after tomorrow." The Hokage sat at her desk, with a map of the five great shinobi nations splayed before her. Naruto, Neji, Sasuke, Shikamaru, Tenten, Shizune, and Hinata were crowded around her. The rest of the anbu and ninja were sent to calm the rising crowd that had formed around Hokage Tower. They wanted to know what happened.
"We have no idea of their current status," the sannin said, "All Keiji told us that Sakura and Ino were taken by the Akatsuki- specifically Itachi Uchiha and his partner. Keiji also hinted that the girls might be in mortal danger."
"T-Tsunade-s-sama," Hinata asked, "W-What d-do you t-think will h-happen to them?" her voice crackled more than it usually did. True, over the years the once shy Hyuuga had gained more confidence and gradually began to lose her habit of stuttering, but in a situation like this it put her on edge and her nervousness returned. Naruto put a reassuring arm around his girlfriend's shoulders.
"I don't know," the Hokage sighed, "The Akatsuki are known to be ruthless- as well as twisted. We don't know what they could be doing with Sakura and Ino. It could be anything- possibly even torturing them for information."
Instantly, all of them sucked in a sharp breath. "I hope it's nothing like that," Shizune muttered.
"We all do," Neji said, "But the Akatsuki are unpredictable." Behind him, Sasuke grit his teeth. Shikamaru clenched his fists so hard that the nails left little red crescents in his flesh.
"Neji, Naruto, Sasuke, and Shikamaru," Tsunade said, "You four will be the expedition sent to retrieve Sakura and Ino." In the back of her head, Tsunade regretted allowing Sasuke and Shikamaru to join the group. Right now the boys were acting on impulse, and she feared they would do something rash that'd jeopardize the entire mission. But nonetheless, even if she forbade them, they'd go anyways, so she had no choice.
Suddenly, the door to the Hokage's office burst open as two familiar and flustered looking brides stumbled in. "Take us with you!" they shouted.
"What?" Naruto stare at them with an incredulous look, "No! This is way too dangerous for you guys!"
"We have some ninja training," Miyu said, "So we can be of some help."
"I-It's not s-safe," Hinata warned. Did these chuunins actually think they could handle an S-Class mission?
Takara's violet eyes widened as she feigned hurt. A hand flew to her chest in a dramatic manner and she lowered her head, forcing tears to come out. "B-But," she mock-sobbed, "I-I just w-want to b-be with m-my h-h-husband…"
"Correction," Tenten snarled, "Your fiancée. You two aren't officially married yet."
Takara flashed the weapons mistress a bitch-don't-mess-with-me look, "So? It was all that Kanji's fault. If he hadn't interrupted then Sasuke-kun and I would be happily married by now."
"Keiji," Tsunade corrected as Neji restrained Tenten from pummeling the redhead, "And if it weren't for him then we would have never known-"
"I don't care!" Takara snapped, "You could have gotten some other ninja to chase after Sakeru and what's-her-face, instead of ruining my wedding!" Takara was pissed. She had come so close to marrying Sasuke-so close to his fortune. All that money…so close yet so far.
"How can you be so insensitive!" Shizune near screamed. It was the first time anyone had seen her so hysterical like that, since Shizune was usually a calm and collected kunoichi. But Sakura was like a younger sister to her, so her worry was understandable.
Takara opened her mouth to retort but Tsunade beat her to it.
"STOP!" the sannin yelled and stomped her foot on the ground, causing the room to tremor a bit. Everyone immediately shut their mouths. Furiously, the Hokage turned towards Takara and Miyu, "There is no way two chuunin like you can be able to take on this mission! Leave it to the others. I am not putting you on the team, is that clear?"
"Hai," Miyu frowned. Takara merely snorted.
"Now get out of here," Tsunade pointed an angered finger towards the door.
Once the girls were outside, Naruto turned to Sasuke, "How can you marry that…that… bitch!" he yelled. Tenten, Hinata, and Neji nodded their heads in agreement. Sasuke growled and turned away gruffly.
"Continued, Tsunade," Shikamaru said in a frustrated voice. The longer he stayed in the office the more restless he became. The clock was ticking…
"You four have an hour to prepare," Tsunade said, "once at the gate, I will have messengers there with the necessary scrolls and documentation…"
Outside the Hokage's office, a certain redhead was pressing her ear up against the door, listening to the muffled voices chat inside. Miyu stood behind Takara, fiddling nervously with her fingers. As Tsunade started announcing the mission briefing, the devious gears in Takara's head started to turn.
"What are we going to do now?" Miyu said.
The redhead looked at her as if she was stupid, "We sneak in of course."
"And how do you propose we do that?"
Takara smirked, "Watch me."
The Akatsuki base was a cold and dark place, so inevitably gloomy with a depressive atmosphere that could dampen even Naruto's spirit. Cautiously, Ino and Sakura followed Itachi as he led them through the stone hallway, with Kisame at the rear to make sure they didn't escape. They had just arrived at the base.
After a few moments, Itachi had led them to a somewhat spacious chamber that they presumed to be the "living" room. As soon as they set foot in the room, Sakura and Ino felt someone slam them up against the cold stone wall- a clawed hand gripping their throats painfully.
"Who are you?" it hissed, "And what is your purpose here?"
"Easy, Zetsu," Kisame smirked and plopped down in a nearby chair, "Those girls are with us."
A few of the other members in the room raised their heads in interest. Was that so?
"Bringing back two girls? Alive?" a male with silver hair twirled his rosary beads, "Hmph. I would have rather had them killed."
The man Kisame referred to as Zetsu gave a growl at the girls before retreating back in his dark corner. As soon as he let them go, Sakura and Ino fell to the ground, coughing for air. Sakura looked up and got a good look at that Zetsu guy… and let's just say she didn't like what she saw. Half his body was tinted black, while the other was a blanched white. He seemed to be engulfed in a giant Venus flytrap, with pupil-less gold eyes to boot. Ino shivered. Were all the Akatsuki members monsters?
"You'll have to report to the leader about this," Zetsu said.
"Hn," Itachi grunted.
"We know," Kisame translated.
Suddenly, another man turned his attention to the girls. This man had blonde hair that was pulled up in a high ponytail, similar to Ino's… and he even had a stray clump of bangs like Ino. His eyes were colored a crystal blue… like Ino!
He suddenly stood up and strode over to Ino, scrutinizing her. She held her breath. "Un," he grumbled, "You stole my look, un."
"Huh?" Ino was dumfounded for a second, "I stole your look?" Before Deidara or Ino had time to continue, a voice interrupted them.
"You say you're our entertainers," another male by the name of Sasori folded his hands in front of his face, "Let's see what you got."
"W-What?" Ino drew back.
"Now?" Sakura said.
"Perhaps they need a little provoking," Kisame grinned and flashed every one of his sharp fang-like teeth. The girls gulped and complied.
Slowly, Sakura closed her eyes and imagined the tune in her head. As the melody became more familiar, she gently parted her lips and sang. At the same time, Ino unsurely took a step forward, letting her hips rock to the sweet melody.
It was a sad song… reflecting the very feelings of Sakura Haruno herself. At first her voice had come out crackled and a bit off-key, due to her nervousness. But after letting the lyrics flow from her, Sakura felt more comfortable.
Ino's dance started out a bit lopsided as well, her steps seemed a bit forced and her movements lacked grace. But like Sakura, the more she danced the more comfortable she felt and soon her body eased into an elegant sway.
In another corner of the room, a certain male with red hair took an interest to the pink haired one. Her song… it was so beautiful. Despite the rough beginning, it maintained a consistent flow and left a lasting effect… just how art should be. In Sasori's opinion, true art was something that lasted, an eternal beauty.
Deidara raised his head in interest and kept an especial eye on the blonde girl. He observed her, watching the way the muscles on her back swam when she moved. How her feet barely padded the gritty, stone floor, and how that long ponytail of hers trailed like a golden ribbon. Every fleeting second of her dance was a single moment of beauty, disappearing just as soon as it came. In Deidara's opinion, that was true art. Something that lasted for only a moment but left a lasting effect- like Ino's dance. Deidara smirked and rested his chin on the back of his hand.
Sakura sang louder, those rosy lips producing such magnificent vibrato that the other Akatsuki members couldn't help but giver their undivided attention. Line after line the kunoichi sang in perfect harmony, not a single note was off-key or flat. Everything was just simply divine.
Beside her, Ino's hips danced smoothly to the beat and it was enough to entice even the happiest married man. But then again, none of the Akatsuki was married…
Emotions poured from the lithe kunoichi, unbarred and raw. This was a side Sakura never let anyone see, this was the side of her that pained in rejection. The side spawned from Sasuke's marriage to Takara. She incorporated her soul into the song, captivating its true essence and the attention of a certain Uchiha, along with a certain puppet master. Sakura singer tuned out every other disturbance, focusing mainly on the song at hand.
By now Ino as well had closed her eyes and was lost to her own world, the world where nothing existed except herself and the dance she was performing. Her body rolled sensuously alongside the depressive song, so fitting that a certain silver haired man found it hard to tear his eyes away from her. For once, Hidan put his praying to a pause.
By the time the song ended, nobody noticed. Sakura was busy humming the last part- the part where the pianist, if there were any, ended with a musical accompaniment. The song and dance was so comforting and oddly relaxing that even Zetsu had ventured forth from his dark corner. Itachi smirked and stared at Sakura. He was a bit pleased with himself for finding such a talented girl. Sasori's thoughts were also occupied by a certain pink haired kunoichi. Deidara noticed Kisame's expression when he watched Ino. Ideas started forming in the blonde's head.
"Mildly surprised," Kakuzu was the first to talk, "That kunoichi from such a happy village like Konoha are capable of such a sad song."
"I wouldn't call it happy," Sakura muttered, her tone dripped with satire. An image of Sasuke flashed before her mind.
"Kisame," Itachi suddenly stood up, "Introduce the girls to the other members."
"And where are you going?" the shark man snorted.
"To report to the leader," Itachi pulled his cloak up higher and exited the room.
Ah, sorry about the crappy chapter. It's summer and I've been out having fun, so my head isn't spitting out as many ideas as it used to. I'll take a look at this chapter later and rewrite it.
Also, Zetsu will not be paired with anyone. Why? Well, because…he's creepy. Shiver. Neither will the Akatsuki leader, because so far the only thing I know about him is that he's… the Akatsuki leader. Kakuzu is another funky character, and if he were to be paired up with someone I'd stick him with Sakura but that left such a disturbing image that I decided to leave him single like Zetsu. There is another member. Not much is known about them, except that he/she might be a girl. Well, wouldn't want Yuri in this fic, now, would we? Anyways, I'll stop my rant now. Buh bye!