Disclaimer: I own nothing!

Akatsuki At The Seaside

It was the same every year.

The Leader summoned all the Akatsuki members in order to make an announcement. When everyone was gathered around he stated flatly "I have decided that we should go to the seaside." He said this as though he had just thought of it. He hadn't, of course. Every single year, on the same date, the Leader made the same announcement and the Akatsuki went to the beach for the day.

The Leader never bothered to explain why everyone had to go to the seaside on that day. Once or twice, Deidara or Kisame or someone had asked, but they had barely finished the question before they were regretting it. The Leader seemed especially touchy on that subject for some reason.

So now, nobody questioned it. They just went and had a 'nice day out at the seaside'.

Not long ago, the feared organisation of S-Class criminals had arrived at the same quiet little beach they always went to, to do the same things they always did there. Upon arrival, the Leader produced a tartan rug, which he spread on the sand, and a striped windbreak, which he erected on the appropriate side of his rug. He was currently snoozing in a deckchair with a knotted handkerchief on his head.

'This is ridiculous' thought Itachi from under his enormous shady parasol. He burned easily, and was worried about the sun ruining his lovely pale skin. Hence the parasol and secretly slathering himself in sunblock before leaving. Then he just sat there looking moody and mysterious, and pretending to be thinking about evil, until the Leader declared it was time to leave. In actual fact he spent half the time thinking about his looks and image, and the other half thinking about sex.

Kisame was in the sea, of course, having the time of his life. He would kill you before he ever admitted it though. He had already frightened away a woman and her small child who had been the beach's only occupants before the Akatsuki arrived. Now he dived and swam in the deep water, stalking marine life and scaring it out of its wits.

Zetsu hid in the sand dunes. White-san was there to examine all the local plant life, because it was so interesting and quite unique. Black-san was looking for people who might be using the relative privacy of the dunes to sunbathe nude.

Kakuzu brought a metal detector and used it to search for money people might have dropped in the sand. So far he had found two 10-ryo coins, approximately seventeen thousand bottle caps and old cans, and a rusty fork. He had kept the fork as well as the money, thinking it might be useful later.

Hidan used the time for extra praying. He had started off quietly enough, but was increasing in volume by the minute and showed no signs of stopping. He was already inciting the rage of several of his fellow criminal organisation members but they didn't say anything. Uncannily, they shared the same wish; to not end up as a sacrifice. Luckily Hidan moved further down the beach and almost out of earshot before anyone did anything rash.

Sasori sat inside Hiruko, grumpily licking an ice cream. He hated the beach. The sand was somehow different from the sand in the desert, and it got into his puppets' joints and crevices, making them scratchy so they didn't move as smoothly as he liked. He would have to take every single piece apart and carefully clean it before putting the whole thing back together. Much as he loved working on his puppets, it was a pain. He didn't understand what good coming to the seaside every year did, or why they needed to come here when there was plenty of nice, non-irritating sand in the desert. The puppet-master wished he could just stay in his nice dimly-lit room in the Akatsuki Lair, making beautiful, everlasting Art.

Goodness knows where Sasori had got his ice cream. There wasn't a shop or vendor for miles. It was also a mystery why he was eating one when he didn't need to eat and most likely couldn't taste it. Although he could have at least asked if anyone else wanted one while he was there.

Deidara was happily building a sandcastle. It was turning out to be quite a masterpiece this year. There were numerous turrets and walkways, tiny windows cut out and a drawbridge lowered over a large moat. The whole thing was taller than Sasori inside Hiruko, almost reaching Deidara's own shoulders. Deidara smiled contentedly as he modelled seashells from clay and used them to decorate his wonderful example of Art.

Tobi had been unable to find Zetsu-san since they had arrived despite the fact that unnaturally large Venus Fly-Traps are not native to such beaches or indeed anywhere. So he thought he would copy Deidara-sempai instead. ("Tobi will make a sandcastle just like Deidara-sempai!" "Foolish little Tobi," Itachi had said as he lay back on the sand "You lack…talent").However, because Itachi was right and he was lacking in artistic skill, Tobi was simply digging a hole. More than making up in enthusiasm what he lacked elsewhere, the hole was now eleven feet deep and the only evidence left of the orange-masked fool's presence was sand periodically flying into the air.

By now, Itachi had dozed off and was mumbling in his sleep. Hidan had vanished but could still be heard, somewhere. Far off, Kisame splashed and laughed (in an evil way, not like a toddler in a paddling pool).

Deidara sat back and sighed in happiness. It was finished. His beautiful sandcastle would only have a fleeting existence, but that made it all the more beautiful in Deidara's eyes. His danna would have to agree now that true art lasted mere moments. "Sasori-danna! I have finally created a perfect work of Art! Come and look, un!"

Sasori shuffled over. "Idiot brat," he grumbled, throwing his empty ice cream cone at Deidara's head. "That is not Art. The sea will wash it away in minutes. True Art is eternal and lasts forever."

A pause, as they both looked over to Itachi who had just moaned. Apparently the mass-murderer was having a rather interesting dream.

"Anyway, un. You are wrong, Sasori-danna." Deidara haughtily brushed away the ice cream cone and smoothed his hair back into place.

"We have had this discussion a thousand times or more, Deidara. What you call art is not Art, for it is only temporary. True Art remains, it endures, for countless generations…"

"No, Danna. You are wrong on that point, of course. But I was referring to the fact that the sea will not wash my work away, un." The bomber grinned wickedly…

…and detonated his clay seashells.

'BOOM!!!'

Sand flew in all directions, showering all those in the vicinity with bits of exploding sandcastle. The blast shook the whole beach. Sasori was unmoved by Deidara's artistic performance, and shuffled away to be grumpy and generally fume at his dumb blond partner. Even more so this time as the sand-bomb had made sand get into the cracks of his puppet and it was now inside Hiruko with him, irritating his own puppet body. Which meant more needless work when they returned to the Lair.

The explosion surprisingly hadn't roused Itachi or the Leader. Of Tobi, there was no sign. The shock of the blast had caused his hole to collapse on top of him and he was now buried under approximately three tons of sand. No one noticed.

Deidara, covered in clumps of sand, was laughing hysterically at his fabulous creation. "Art is a bang, un!" he yelled to the sky.

"Shut up!" Kisame yelled back. "You're scaring the fish!"

"I'm scaring the fish? I'M scaring the fish?!!"

"Come here and say that, you…" Kisame began to unwrap Samehada.

Sasori moved closer to Deidara protectively, uncoiling his scorpion's tail. The blond might be an idiot brat, but he was Sasori's blon… ahem, partner, and Sasori couldn't be bothered getting used to another partner again. Yes, that was it. Just that. And Deidara was an idiot brat.

Luckily (or unluckily depending where you were sitting and who your money was on) the imminent fight was halted by an unearthly shriek coming from the direction of the dunes.

Zetsu appeared over the brow of a sand dune, hotly pursued by a naked Hidan.

"HOW DARE YOU INTERRUPT THE SACRED RITUALS OF THE GREAT LORD JASHIN-SAMA?! MAY YOU BE FOREVER CURSED, YOU FUCKING TWAT-FACED GREEN COCK-MUNCHING…"

"AAAAGH!!" screamed White-san.

"FUCK YOU!" shouted Black-san. "GET A LIFE, YOU LOON! AND THAT'S THE TINIEST …oof…"

Unfortunately Zetsu's plant had closed to protect his poor eyes and as he couldn't see where he was running he had just tripped over Itachi, who moaned again and shifted in his sleep.

"Ooh…You're a good boy, Tobi…"

Fight and chase were utterly forgotten as everyone (except the still-dozing Leader and still-buried Tobi) froze and stared at Itachi.

"Stop it…no don't stop," giggled the blissfully unaware Itachi.

Kisame dived under the waves in an attempt to block his ears, all thought of killing Deidara gone.

Zetsu ran away again, still too afraid to open the plant in front of his face and once again chased by the furious Hidan. He was determined Zetsu would pay for his crime of worship-interruption-by-accidental-voyeurism. To aid him in this retribution, Hidan grabbed the first thing he laid hands on and brandished it wildly as he ran. The only, very very minor, problem was that it was Itachi's parasol.

"Sasori-danna, make it stop, un! Such horrible images!" Poor Deidara tried to climb inside Hiruko, with no luck. It seemed the puppeteer had forgotten his previous generosity towards his partner. Now it was every man, puppet and freak of nature for himself.

In answer to Deidara, Kisame's head became visible above the water. "You think you have it bad? I have to sleep in the same room as that!" He disappeared under the water again.

"DISRESPECTFUL DICKHEAD!! I'LL SHOVE THIS FUCKING UMBRELLA SO FAR UP YOUR ARSE, YOU SHITTING VEGETABLE…" Hidan shouted in the distance.

Sasori simply flicked Deidara off his back with his tail and used it to slap Itachi, quickly retreating before the man woke up.

Itachi snorted awake all of a sudden. Regaining his usual composure he looked around for the thing that hit him. Coincidentally, the first thing he saw was Sasori.

"Katon! Goukakyu no jutsu!"

Deidara could only look on in horror from his position stuck upside down on a sand dune.

"More work." Sasori thought dejectedly, knowing he wouldn't be able to move out of the way of the fireball in time.

Sasori was completely unscathed, as was Hiruko. They weren't even a tiny bit singed. It was a miracle, if you believed in a god, which the forever-young redhead didn't.

He called it a bizarre accident.

As Itachi performed his jutsu, Zetsu and Hidan reappeared on top of the sand dune Deidara had been tossed up against. Zetsu pelted across the sand in front of Sasori, his plant now open in a clever tactical manoeuvre of 'seeing where he was running'. At that point Hidan spotted his chance. Instead of giving chase he remained where he was and launched the folded parasol like a javelin, bellowing the noble holy-war cry of "WANKER!!!"

The same parasol that had earlier belonged to Itachi. The same parasol that was currently lying on the sand, a blackened, smouldering skeleton of its former self. Parts of it were still on fire, burning pathetically.

Itachi stared at his ex-parasol. Swiftly remembering himself once more he whirled around to glare at the offending Hidan. "How would you like to be stabbed with that ridiculous scythe of yours for the next seventy-two hours?"

Hidan's rage had understandably not cooled off, as he had failed to hit Zetsu with the parasol and now the cannibal had vanished (he was hiding in the sea behind some conveniently-placed rocks). Unwisely, he took out his frustrations on Itachi "Piss off, you dirty heathen arse-bandit!"

"What did you say?" Itachi said dangerously, Mangekyou swirling slowly. He took a step forward.

"I said, I know what you secretly fantasiiaaaargh!" Itachi quickly trapped Hidan in his genjutsu before the religious fanatic could incriminate him in any way. He wasn't to know he had managed that pretty well himself.

It was now that Kakuzu decided to make his reappearance, after his painstaking sweep of the whole beach, deep in concentration listening for the slightest sound from his metal detector, still no richer than he was earlier. "What in the world has been happening here? I heard all this shouting and crashing about… Hidan? Are you with me?"

"Get out of the way. I'm hurting him," said Itachi.

Kakuzu still needed a partner though, however much fun it was to see Hidan under Itachi's Mangekyou Sharingan. He took out his rusty fork and prodded Hidan in the kidney, breaking Itachi's genjutsu. See, he knew that fork would come in handy!

Hidan ungratefully punched Kakuzu for stabbing him with a nasty old fork he had found on the floor. Kakuzu attempted to retaliate, but Itachi kicked him for letting Hidan out of his punishment. Hidan then hit Itachi, because no one was allowed to hit his partner except him. Kisame hared out of the sea to back up Itachi, Deidara climbed off the sand dune and joined in thinking it all looked terrifically good fun, and Sasori sighed in resignation and hauled himself over in case Deidara needed help. That was how the full-scale brawl finally got started.

The Leader had duly woken up at three-thirty p.m. prompt, and was now observing his merry band of missing-nin fighting amongst themselves. He delicately sipped tea from a fine bone-china cup and viewed the chaos contentedly.

Tobi broke the surface, gasping for air. He scrabbled out of what used to be his hole.

"Tobi," said the Leader calmly, setting his cup in its saucer. "Come here."

Tobi obeyed, because Tobi was a good boy.

"Now get on all fours, Tobi. Just there. No, left a bit. No, your left…Look, just go that way, you imbecile! Stop there! Perfect, yes." The Leader put his feet up on Tobi's back and continued to enjoy the show.

Meanwhile Zetsu had crept out of his hiding place and joined the bust-up. He was hoping to pay Hidan back for traumatising him with naked rituals and attempting to skewer him with a beach accessory. The trouble was, Hidan was still stark-bollock-naked, so Zetsu had to keep his plant closed to avoid seeing anything he didn't want to see. As a result he blundered around crashing into everyone and adding to the confusion. Giving it up as a bad job, Zetsu slunk off to lick his wounded pride and munch on a couple of juicy-looking teenagers he'd spied up the road.

Noticing the sun was getting low in the sky as the afternoon wore on, the Leader finished off his cup of tea and stood up.

"Put me down, scrotum-features! Look, money!"

"Where? Bastard!"

"Run out of playdough, have we? What are you going to do now, you dumb blond pussy?"

"Like I'd waste my art on the likes of you, un! 'Ooh look at me, I'm so evil and brooding, I massacred my clan but couldn't take out the five-year-old!'"

"Hey Itachi, let's see if he's a natural blon… OW! Watch your mouths, bitch! I'll shave all your skin off for that!"

"You are welcome to try that, mackerel-breath. I have been thinking of adding to my collection."

"I said put me down, scumfuck!"

"RIGHT!"

The warring criminals froze in a tableau of violence. Kakuzu was using Hidan as a shield, since no one wanted to get too close to him, reaching out from behind his partner to slap and claw at Itachi. Itachi had Deidara in a headlock and was pummelling the blond in the ribs. Deidara had two fingers up Kisame's nose. Kisame was trying to throttle Sasori, forgetting that the puppet didn't need to breathe. Sasori was twisting Hidan's nipples. Finally, Hidan was kicking Kakuzu in the shins.

That's ninja flexibility for you.

The Leader continued in a slightly softer tone. "Everyone let go of everyone. Now apologise." A chorus of mumbled, entirely insincere "Sorry"s. "Hidan, go and put your clothes back on. Tobi, go and tell Zetsu to either finish that child or throw it away. It's time to leave." The halfwit scampered off up the beach.

Finally the Akatsuki were assembled with their clothing, weapons and hair back in their proper places. The Leader packed away his deckchair, rug, windbreak, china and flask of tea. "Let's be off then."

And with that command, the fearsome group of criminals began to trudge back to the Lair. No sign remained on the beach of the antisocial behaviour that had occurred mere minutes ago.

It was the same every year.