SweetStealer: Oh I'm so sorry for the wait. I tried to make this chapter long to make up for it, and I hope you like it! Since my inspiration left me for a while I've been dead.

IM SO SORRY.

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto. If I did, Hinata would get more air time. Deff.

Notes:// Flash continues. Oh. If anyone is confused between this time and the time Angel of Mine took place, she'll be with the Akatsuki for two years...give or take.

Edit: This chapter has been reposted without the spelling mistakes. Hopefully it's a little better. The first time was terrible, and I'm sorry. God, I need to spell check better. -sweatdrop-

--------------------------------------

Chapter 12: Cold Blood

Hinata could barely breathe as she fought her way through the tangle of branches and leaves, gasping for oxygen. The smoke was so thick she couldn't see past her hand. Coughing, she dashed through the smog, her body screaming for rest.

Fire burned through the Village Hidden in the Rock. Children shrieked as they were snatched up from their mothers, while the women screamed in the night. They were running. Sparks flashed around her.

'Deidara's burning the village.' she thought as she pushed past a man, whose blood painted her cheek.

Darts were flying all around her, courtesy of Sasori and his puppets, beginning a massacre of corpses. He would get his fresh puppets from this lot. They were a beautiful bunch of villagers...especially the children. So fresh and smooth...untainted.

'Itachi should be waiting for me at the Palace.' she remembered and made a sharp, unexpected turn into a dark ally.

She let her mouth drop as she saw Kakuzu and Hidan execute several people, as was custom for them in annihilating a Village. She prayed for their damned souls, but not too much. She had her own troubles to worry about.

Her eyes widened as she past Zetsu feeding on a child's body, blood painting his split face. He glanced up at her and crooned,

"Have some flesh, Angel...it's so tender."

She saw Tobi cringe and face the other ways so he wouldn't have to witness the gruesome display of cannibalism.

The girl ran on.

Hinata stumbled her way until she reached the burning palace of the Tsuchikage. She stared up at it, feeling the heat burning through her body.

She moved.

Running up the steps, dashing from wall to wall as stairs were a hassel, her heart pounded. The night wind fed the ever hungry fire as she slipped through the shadows. The building was quiet, besides flames licking the lower levels. Her breathing echoed around the halls.

Finally, she burst into the main office. She skid to a stop, as her green eyes surveyed the landscape. Green...she quickly made her eyes fade into white.

"Ah...Haru-hime. You...you were the cause of this?"

She looked upwards, where she caught the eyes of a man, young, debonair, and handsome, hanging upside down from the painted ceiling. His black hair fell into his liquid obsidian eyes and his black garments were laced with green.

"My name isn't Haruhi." Hinata whispered, her eyes empty.

Where is Itachi?

"Ah...then what should I call a girl so beautiful...one who could have been my future wife?" he laughed quietly.

She flashed a kunai and he did a clean back flip and landed neatly in front of her. She stared back impassively and finally hissed out angrily,

"Why would a dead man need to know?"

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-That Morning-

"So, the plan is-" Sasori began in a monotone voice, but was abruptly cut off by a galled Deidara.

"Screw the fucking plan, yeah. Angel goes in and out, pretending to be an eligible bride for the Tsuchikage and then she kills him. Simple, yeah." the bitter clay worker spat out.

"There's more to it then that, you idiot." Sasori hissed back. "This is why we fail missions." he added, his tone beginning to escalate into an arguement.

Lately, the two had been going at it more and more, causing mayhem and chaos in the lair. Minor explosions had led to half of the living room beind charred to bits and a hallways out of use until the rubble could be removed from the passageway. Sasori contributed to the wreckage by sending an ill-aimed poison needle into Kisame's shoulder.

Now Hinata, who was listening to them bicker inside the tent, rolled her eyes and wished they would cut it out. Their bad moods put everyone else in bad moods, unless you were unpermable to all that was depressing like Tobi. Hinata shivered...he looked innocent, and maybe even a ditz, but his killing techiniques and jutsus were nothing short of spectacular.

Figiting a little, Hinata struggled to get air into the tent that was being upheld by the four Akatsuki members all in disguise. She had memorized each one, devoting herself to learning their faces if she had ever need to call upon them.

Itachi was turned into a handsome seventeen year old. His dark hair was cut short, and his eyes were a dark green, almost black. The lines on his face disappeared and his face was kept hidden by a hooded cloak. He wouldn't talk, only listen and snarl at Kisame who would shoot back blunt comments.

Sasori stuck his now brunette head in. His eyes were a cloudy azure blue, and his features were darkened. Dark sleepy rings hung around his eyes from the lack of sleep. He shifted and looked at Hinata who stared back at him curiously.

"Relax, we're almost there. And don't smudge your makeup." he snapped, as he withdrew his head, irritable at his blunt and ignorant partner.

"I won't." she said, forcefully, shooting a glare at the yellow curtain laced with red.

Kakuzu nearly had a fit when he tallied the expenses for the mission. Hinata's garments, the weaponry, the transportation...it had cut deeply into their accounts. However, if they could just take over this village, all their money would be restored and with extra put in.

Kisame snorted from the front. His dark blue hair was contrasting against his burnt tan skin. His black eyes darted, while ignoring his commrade's snide glares and the arrogant comments of Deidara and the snappy replies of Sasori. He looked more human then ever.

"We're almost there." Itachi broke in irritably, cutting off a very rude remark from the Pyromaniac.

Deidara huffed haughtily and turned to face foreward, ignoring his sempai who was right behind him. His green hair and pale complexion were set off by blue eyes. He was colorful indeed, much to the annoyance of others. He reasoned, the more you stick out the less likely you will be noticed.

Kisame said that was bullshit.

Tension was already building and Itachi feared that this would ruin the plan. Deidara and Sasori's notorious relationship was known to help them fail their missions. He would not let them ruin this one, besides, if Hinata didn't play her part well, she'd be executed on the spot.

No, the couldn't mess this one up.

...Not that they'd grown attached to Hinata or anything. It would just look bad on their records and to the Leader-sama.

Ah, sweet denial.

Kisame, who was stationed behind Itachi, sent a meaningful look to Sasori that said clearly, 'if-you-don't-shut-your-partner-up-i-will-for-good.' The puppeteer took the hint and kicked Deidara in the calf.

"We're here."

Hinata glanced up from her many cushions and blankets and peeked out the curtain. Surprisingly, it looked a lot like Konoha. It had the Tsuchikage's Palace in the center and the whole ways was lined with shops, stores and houses.

Suddenly, something caught her eyes.

There was a flash of blonde hair, followed by a whisk of indigo locks. She looked back sharply as clouded memories of the torturous past began to flood her mind.

Her green eyes widened and she cried out,

"Naruto-kun!"

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The girl scrambled around the tent, craning her neck to get a better look at the two children when she painfully kicked Deidara in the back of the head.

As Deidara finally tripped, sending the tent flying, onto the ground, Hinata felt two small bodies squirming under the yellow curtains and she crawled out, glaring at Deidara who looked back, annoyed. She lifted the tent folds and found them, a small blonde haired boy and a timid looking violet haired girl.

They stared at each other for a few minutes before the girl whispered breathlessly,

"You're so beautiful!"

"Are you here to become the Tsuchikage's bride?!" the boy bounced up excitedly, pulling the girl up with him.

Hinata observed the two. They seemed closer then she and Naruto had ever been and she became slightly jealous.

But Naruto isn't here anymore.

She smiled at them and said softly,

"Hai, I have."

The girl clapped her hands and the boy squealed in delight. His blue eyes lit up and he said ernestly as little kids do,

"He's sure to pick you! One day, I'm going to become Hokage and marry someone as beautiful as you!"

Hinata gasped at the words and observed the tiny girl. The girl was blushing and looking a little upset, and Hinata felt very empathic towards her. Still, the tinge of jealousy was present.

She turned her gaze towards the Naruto look alike. Her heart ached a little as she thought of his self proclaimed 'Next-Hokage!' outbursts, the Academy days, the ramen coupons and handmade card she had made him for his tenth birthday.

Sunlight burst into Hinata's mind as she let herself be carried from the shadows, even if it was for a moment. It was gone now, replaced by disappointment and sadness.

"You're so much like him..." she whispered, almost foolishly.

The boy raised an eyebrow.

"Like who?"

"HARUHI-SAMA!"

It was Deidara. He decided to give Hinata the name of Haruhi, and in doing so, earned a glare from Hinata. Itachi jogged up, and held out his hand to her. She took it, and let him dust her off like the good servant he was.

"N-Naruto." she whispered, almost like her old self as Itachi walked her away from the confused children.

"Don't talk." Itachi ordered, and helped her climb back into the carriage.

She kept her head in the rest of the way to the palace.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As Hinata stared blankly at the Kage's mansion, she couldn't help but scoff at the decoration lining the walls and the rich, plush carpets on the floor. She removed her shoes and left them with Kisame and Deidara who were staying with the tent.

She gave a skeptical, almost disgusted look at a portrait of a young, handsome man who was richly dressed, looking out over the Village. She cocked her head and observed him. By his dress and manner in the picture, this was probably the most recent Kage, as the paint still smelled fresh. Hinata blinked as Itachi tapped her in the back of the head and said,

"He's ready for you."

She nodded curtly and walked through a rounded archway that was veiled with thick green curtains. She shifted uncomfortably in her kimono and glared at Sasori as he lightly kicked the back of her foot.

Bowing gracefully, she dared to raise her eyes to the man in front of her. Hinata suppressed as light gasp. The portrait had not done this man justice in terms of being handsome. His thick, black hair hung lazily in his eyes of the deepest black that rivaled even Sasuke's.

That is, the Sasuke she remember.

Bastard.

The man got up hurridely as he watched the beauty in front of him bow. He rushed to her and knelt down before her, his hand outstretched. Hinata looked up, and under her polite yet puzzled stare was the mockery and sting of pure unrivaled hatred.

"My name, my lady, is Yomado Takeshi. I am the Tsuchikage of the Village Hidden in the Grass. I newly appointed last winter."

For the corner, Hinata could see Deidara roll his eyes and it took all of Kisame's willpower to stop himself from letting out a loud snicker. Was this guy old fashioned or what?

"No, Takeshi-sama, I've only come here to see if I am eligible to be your bride. My name is Takeda Haruhi, daughter of a merchant." she said quietly, keeping her eyes on the floor.

The man beamed at her and helped her up.

"She is my favorite so far." he announced, a little loudly.

Mutely, Hinata thought that this man...the supposed best ninja in all of the Grass Village...was a joke. He was talking about her like she was some prized horse to be paraded around so everyone could see he had good taste.

"You will dine with me tonight, my Haruhi." he said, grandly, motioning for her to get ready.

Wordlessly, with a graceful bow, Hinata exited, and allowed herself to be escorted out by Kisame who was shaking with surpressed laughter that looked like he was coughing.

The mission felt like a joke to her.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The quarters Hinata was given was nothing short of beautiful. It was larger then any room in her old Hyuuga compound, and it was certainly larger then the humble lair of the Akatsuki. The air was fresh and light, with high windows that let in the sun. A feather bed was in the back center of the room, with curtain drawn around it. A vanity table was place in front of her with a large mirror.

Hinata set down her weapons disguised as baggages of makeup and kimonos. Itachi had stationed Sasori and Kisame outside the double door of her bedroom. Deidara would be incharge of the outside balcony and windows. Itachi himself would be in the room visible to her.

Going around so he was behind her, Itachi hissed into her ear,

"It will happen tonight. At dinner the candles will blow out and the power supply cut off. That fool will tell you to go back to your room. One of use will escort you back here. If we aren't there, go back here alone, change and find the Tsuchikage."

"What if you are there?" she asked, puzzled as to why she could be alone.

"We will only be there if the Tsuchikage hasn't left the building. The main power supply is down the road a ways. If he has left by the time you are up here, find him, and kill him." Itachi said in his monotone voice.

My first kill.

"I've taught you what you need. The others will join us later to help take down this pathetic excuse for a village. I myself will meet you near where the Tsuchikage is, if you can't complete the task, I will do it for you." he said, his eyes flickering away from hers.

Hinata looked down, ashamed.

"You don't expect me to finish?" she asked, crestfallen.

Itachi looked back at her, his eyes burning holes into her head. She broke his gaze.

"I do, but if you need help I'll be there." he lied, easily.

Hinata looked down. She knew. They all knew. It had been a wordless expectation.

No, I do not expect you to live.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dinner was elegant.

Dressed in a long, flowing kimono of red and gold, Hinata nervously bit into her meat in small, anxious bites. The man across from her kept on praising her! How daintily she ate! How cultured she was! Her beauty was astounding!

Hinata scoffed inwardly at his comments but graciously accepted them all the same.

"You are too kind, Takeshi-sama." Hinata said, smiling softly at the man in front of her.

"You, Haru-chan, are truely a wonderful girl. I used to think people like you were...a little odd, but I can see now that you are really kind." he grinned.

Hinata jolted. Before the Chuunin exams, hadn't Naruto said something like that to her?

Naruto...

Suddenly, the candles went out.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-Returning-

"Byakugan."

Hinata charged, sweat dripping down her nose and into her eyes, stinging them as she rushed at the man in front of her, whose battle hardened eyes lingered on her white ones. With an enraged cry, she swiped viciously, trying to tear at skin.

She could feel herself excelling. Her speed had increased enormously with Itachi's training and skill. Her blows had been more accurate then they would usually be in a battle, and she managed to finally hit one of Deidara's chakra points during a spar a few weeks ago. It wasn't much, and in the end she had lost, but it was an achievement.

Now, she pushed herself. Was it the hope of praise of the others that had driven her to a crazed madness when she fought her adversary? Or was it the threat of death hanging over her head? She never sought hard enough to find out.

She could feel Takeshi going easy on her, in hopes she would back down and leave.

Was he really in love with me?

Hinata, a usual Juuken user, had surprisingly excelled in the more formal ninja arts; taijutsu and ninjutsu had been her specialty...so why did it take her so long to even make progress in the Juuken?

As she ducked the man's aggressive blows, she saved her energy for her more lethal attacks. This was just to wear him down a bit. She could see the chakra fleeing his body rapidly and the two finally broke apart to breathe.

"Hyuuga." Takeshi said abruptly.

Hinata looked up, startled. Her eyes lingered on his, hiding her disbelief well. Takeshi began to speak.

"You're Hinata Hyuuga. From Kohona. Tsunade had sent out messages to all of the rulers of-"

He was suddenly cut short when he found a shuriken lodged in his shoulder. Hinata stared at him impassively.

In a flash she charged, her eyes blazing. Her fingertips found all of his chakra points, her heart unleashed her hatred for her village and the people in it. There would be no huge battle. This was it.

60 seconds later the man fell to his knees, and then fell backwards, dead.

Hinata stared at the body. Horrified with herself, she backed away, staring at a man who was once breathing not even three minutes earlier. Who was she to play God and take a life? Who was she to actually strip a human being of the one thing they can truly own?

She had taken life.

Suddenly, she hardened up again as she felt Itachi's presence in the room. She turned, and watched him. He look mildly surprised, but pleased. Well, as pleased as he could show. He nodded in approval.

"The greatest warriors fall by the tongue."

Hinata nodded respectfully and left through the smoke, tearing her eyes away from the body.

Back into the fire.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

More notes:// The Tsuchikage is the leader of the Village Hidden in the Rock. I've changed the Village. It used to be Village in the Grass. Thanks to everyone who helped point out the mistakes!

Reviews are love.

Peace.