Crimson Motive

Prologue- Motivation

A/N: I started writing this on a whim really, and I will continue to do so just as impulsively, so don't expect regular updates. I'll write and complete stories for this as inspiration strikes me. And please, don't take the tales of how the various Akatsuki to be cannon: I'm just writing this for fun, and to explore possibilities for each of the Akatsuki member's background. Truly, this isn't one story, but a bunch of one-shots that (in the end) you should be able to read in any order at your leisure without much care for what order you read them in. I hope you enjoy them, and I really do hope be able to write, and complete a few member's stories, seeing as this "chapter" is only an introduction to them.

Warnings: mention of alcohol, and violence in future chapters.

Motivation: The psychological feature that arouses an organism to act toward a desired goal; the reason for the action; that which gives purpose and direction to behavior.

No man is ever born believing that he is destined to be a murderer. No human child ever dreamed of a future paved in crimson blood, staining everything in a malicious scarlet. Being a criminal has never been on anyone's "what I want to be when I grow up" list, and never before was there a murderer without a motive, or a reason for his crime. Without a reason to do so, no man willing bathes himself in blood, for once you've killed, your hands will always be stained red. No matter how many times you wash your hands, you can never wash away your crimes. Red is the mark, the color of a murderer…Red: The color of blood, symbolic of pain, death, and suffering. The only other color to bear anywhere as close an ominous feel as red is black: the color of night, of darkness, of death, and of the end. Crimson clouds on a midnight sky: that was their symbol; the symbol of murders, the symbol of the Akatsuki.

They were ruthless, merciless, cruel, cold, concise… and human above all. And though their day job consisted of running around killing people, they yet had the components of any other human being. They needed food and drink to sustain themselves, shelter to protect themselves from the elements, and finally, the pleasure of the company of others.

It was a rare thing indeed that they all could get together; usually they were all out on missions, but today there wasn't any work to do, and no people to kill. And so they all sat together around a long table—all so different and looking so out of place in each other's company—drinking some good strong sake, and enjoying a few rare moments of peace that was rarely found in the lives of professional assassins.

Perhaps it was a desire to socialize that spurred off the conversation, or perhaps it was just the sake, but at some point, the group of killers began a conversation. It began with sporadic comments, and then progressed to brief commentary on killing styles, and somehow, someway, it became an actual discussion.

"So." Kakuzu managed to slur out as he nursed his own bottle of sake, "I always kinda wondered… what some of you were doing here…"

"W-What do you mean Kakuzu-sempai?" Tobi questioned, nervously holding a bottle of sake like his comrades, but not drinking a sip.

"What I MEAN kid, is sometimes I wonder how some of you people got here to begin with. How you guys turned murders, missing-nin and then Akatsuki members."

Kisame let out a boisterous deep chuckle and shook his head. "You act as if becoming a traitor to one's homeland is something we think through thoroughly—as if it were a goal we wished to obtain from the start!"

"Then why are YOU here fish head?" Kakuzu asked drunkenly, "Isn't killing all you've ever done? I mean, you're a former Mist ninja, and everyone knows that Mist ninja are brutal."

"There's much more to Mist ninja then that." Kisame replied hotly, taking another swig from his own bottle of alcohol, "Nothing is ever as simple as you think it is Kakuzu."

"Then tell me," Kakuzu taunted, "tell me what Mist ninja were really like. Tell me why you're here."

Kisame growled slightly, and drained the rest of his drink. "Fine! I will. So listen up, and listen closely, because I'm not telling the story twice! But first I'm going to need some more sake."

A/N: If you want to review, or send any suggestions, I'll be happy to receive them. ;)


Chapter 1 Preview: Hoshigaki Kisame

"When I was born, I've been told that the nurse delivering me screamed."