The man's eye opened to blue sky.

Brushing his blond locks out of his face, he looked around. Where was this? He did not know how he had gotten here. In fact, he couldn't remember anything. Well, of course, he remembered how to breathe. Shakily standing up, he saw that he remembered how to stand.

"Hello, hmm?" he said, and proved that he remembered how to talk. Well… three things right there. But everything else was a blank. How old was he? What was his name? And why did his hands itch?

He inspected them, finding them normal… until the palms opened up, revealing mouths, which grinned. He screamed, tumbling backwards, and heard the pitter pattering of feet coming towards him. Three figures appeared: a girl, and two men.

"Oh! It's a traveler." The girl said, running over. "What's wrong?" she asked.

"My hands… my hands, hmm!" he cried, showing her. The girl frowned when she saw the mouths.

"Is this a genjutsu? I'll try and dispel it…" she said, and made a few crazy signs with her hands. The men watched with interest.

"Whoa. Crazy, it's not a genjutsu. But you'd think somebody would know if they had mouths on their hands. What's your name, traveler?"

"I… I don't know…" he whispered. He racked his brain for an answer to the question, but none came.

"Well, that helps. You have amnesia, traveler."


The girl laughed. "It means that you can't remember a lot of things… like, what your name is, or where you were born. Usually it's only temporary, but, for now… you should find a place to stay. Do you have one?"

"No. I just woke up here… and I don't know where I am." The man whispered, looking around. "Where am I?"

"You're in the Fire Country, traveler. I am Raiah, and these two over here are Geoin and Heoin. Twin brothers."

The two of them waved. Indeed, the way their light brown hair was brushed was exactly alike, the way they wore their green vests over their white shirts and blue pants was exactly alike. They gave cheesy grins.

"Fire… Country?" he whispered, looking at the three of them. Raiah's smiling, delicate, pale face suddenly became worried, and she brushed a lock of blond hair away from her light brown eyes.

"You… don't know what that is?" she said, and then pointed at the headband she was wearing. "Do you know what this is?"

"No. Sorry… it looks like just a headband to me."

"Just a headband…" Raiah whispered, and shook her head. "This is one serious case of amnesia."

Geoin and Heoin nodded, at the same time. "Doesn't even know the ninja basics, I bet."

The man frowned. "Ninja? What about ninjas?"

Raiah offered her hand, and pulled him up with a stunning amount of strength. He found that he towered over her. She could be no older then 12, the twins no older then 18.

"Well, since I don't know your real name, I'll just call you… Kinen! Because it means memory." She said, smiling. "Ironic, huh?"

"Errm… yeah… ironic." Kinen said, frowning, but following the small group as they left the trees, heading for a village in the distance.

It was huge. Kinen stared at it in wonder, amazed by how they could construct such a city out of only wood, and various other materials.

"This is Hitoku. It's a place where people who don't have anywhere else to go can find shelter. It's near water, and resources are easy to find. Sure, there are some people here with not so okay reasons for running away, but it's meant to be shelter for anyone who needs it." Raiah explained. Kinen nodded. A few people waved jovially as they entered, though they gave Kinen strange looks.

"Sorry about them. They're just a bit wary of newcomers… they don't know if they could be thieves, or they could be followed by people who want to capture the criminals within the city. They'll accept you, eventually." Geoin and Heoin said in perfect unison, before a girl called both of them over to a box full of something. They waved goodbye to Kinen and Raiah, then rushed off.

"What's with the cloak?" someone growled.

Kinen turned. "Me, hmm?" he asked, pointing at himself.

"Yeah, you. Wearing that cloak like you is some show-off. What you doing here?" the owner of the voice grumbled. He was bald, and seemed rather tough, thick muscles rippling up and down his huge arms.

"Bayou! Leave the new member alone!"

"I surprised you don't recognize it, Raiah." Bayou grumbled. "Isn't that cloak of those who killed you parents?"

Raiah shook her head. "Nahhh… it's just a coincidence. The Akatsuki would never leave one of their members out in the cold, and wearing their cloak too. It's impossible that he's one of them."

"Akatsuki?" Kinen pondered. "Who's that, hmm?"

"A band of really powerful criminals. They're ruthless… they're trying to rule the world, you know, the typical plot."

"And they killed your parents, hmm?"

"Yeah… they destroyed the entire village. It was these two guys fighting, and they battled so fiercely that they destroyed the town they battled in. I, among others, escaped the attack, but my parents didn't."

"Oh, hmm."

The room was small and cozy. There was a bed, a carpet on the floor, a small clock on the bedside table, and a dresser to hold clothes.

"There are already some clothes in there for you." Raiah said, smiling at Kinen's wonder of the room. "You share the room with someone, but he barely ever comes back here on his journeys, so that's why there's one-"

Soft footsteps fell on the carpet as the figure easily swerved his way around Raiah. The only thing Kinen could see of the boy's form was his head, covered in messy red hair, and with large brown eyes. His skin was lightly tanned, and no smile graced his face. There were no emotions in that face. The rest of his body was covered by a tattered brown cloak, which was pulled tightly around him. He shuffled around in his cloak for a bit, before placing a small red stone on the top of the wardrobe. Kinen now saw that there were other things up there too. Mostly various shiny rocks and such, but there were also small jeweled objects and a brown bag, drawn up tightly. The boy turned, and Kinen now found the dark brown eyes piercing his.

There was a small pause where neither person said anything. Finally, the red haired boy spoke.

"I'm going out, Raiah. Tell my roommate not to touch my stuff." The boy said, and then he left, swerving back around Raiah, who looked slightly stunned that he had shown up.

"Of course." She said, staring at the ground as he went by.

"Is that… him, hmm?" Kinen said, as the figure vanished out of sight.

"Yeah." Raiah said, letting out a small breath. "Jesus, he's so creepy."

"What's his name, hmm?"

"He never told us. He didn't really tell us much of anything. But he says he's a really good thief. Calls himself The Red Scorpion." Raiah said, slowly. "Keeps to himself, mostly. The others don't trust him, though. After he arrived, some of our best fighters started disappearing. They still haven't turned up… but it stopped after a few days. And new people keep coming every day, so, I guess we got them back after a while… but some of the others think that he stole them away, somehow, and did something to him. I mean, I think he's creepy, but not THAT creepy."

Kinen just nodded at this explanation. "So, what stuff shouldn't I touch, hmm?"

"Just the stuff on the top of the wardrobe. That's random stuff he brings back from his journeys. Looks like shiny rocks to me, except for those trinkets… I especially like the bracelet. And I don't know what's in the bag… I'm sure it's something special."

"Oh, hmm." Kinen said.

Raiah looked at him, and her frown turned to a smile. "You should probably get some sleep. It's getting late. Tomorrow, I'll take you on a tour of the city. That'll be fun."

Kinen glanced at her. She started to leave, but Kinen called her name.

"Raiah, hmm!"

She stopped. "Yeah, Kinen?"

"Why are you helping me, hmm?"

Raiah thought about it for a second. "I dunno. If I forgot everything, I'd want to be helped too."

And with that she was gone.

Kinen sat on the edge of the bed, trying to draw in everything like a sponge, so he wouldn't forget overnight. He closed his eyes for a second, just thinking and remembering everything. And before he realized it, his body had sunk into the soft bed, and he was asleep.

Was he looking at himself?

Kinen blinked, gazing at the figure in the mirror. Blond hair, some of it brushed over his right eye, and some pulled into a huge ponytail. Was he really that pale? He reached one hand up, and the other mimicked him. He wore the same cloak, with the large neckband, black and covered in red clouds. Then, the other him started making the movements, pushing the hair away to reveal his right eye being completely mechanical.

Kinen gasped in shock as the other him gave an evil grin.

"Are you afraid of your memories, Deidara?" asked his roommate, appearing next to the other him in the mirror. The Red Scorpion and his other self chuckled.

"Is that my name?" Kinen asked.

"Your true one, yes, hmm." The other him said.

"Tell me more about me… please. I need to know."

"There is a difference between want and need, Deidara." The Red Scorpion said. "For now… just wake up… wake up… wake up…"

"WAKE UP, BONEHEAD!" Raiah said, giving him a swift crack over the head.

Deidara shot up in bed. "Oww, hmm! That hurt!" he grumbled.

"You wouldn't have woken up if I'd left you there, Kinen." Raiah said, moving towards the door. "Let's get going. I want to give you a tour."

"That's not my name, hmm."

"What?" Raiah asked, turning. "Did you remember your real one? Great! What is it?"


There was a long, uncomfortable pause, and then Raiah began to laugh. "You're funny, Kinen!"

"No. Really. I had this dream where I was-"

"YOUR NAME IS KINEN!" Raiah screeched, stunning Deidara. "Your. Name. Is. Kinen! Don't joke around with that name, you idiot, because if you just spout it like nothing you'll get yourself killed here." Raiah seethed.


"Meet me outside. I'll start the tour." Raiah said, her voice like daggers, and then the door slammed. And Deidara was left alone in silence.

He didn't say anything, and then glanced to the door leading to the bathroom.

He stared into the mirror, waiting for that other him to start moving. But nothing happened.

Indeed, brushing away the bang revealed his entire right eye made of metal. Exploring its capabilities revealed that it could zoom in and out. He could count the eyes of the spider on the wall.

"Probably should take a shower, too, hmm."

He found the shampoo, soap and towels. However, there was also a pair of scissors on the table. Glancing at his hairstyle in the mirror, a grin crossed Deidara's face.

There was no harm in a little haircut now and then.

Clean, and now wearing a simple olive green shirt and jeans, Deidara inspected his new haircut. Now, his hair was much shorter, though his bangs still fell in his eyes. He liked the slightly rebellious look it gave him. He hadn't found a way to keep the mechanical eye hidden, so he kept it in plain sight. With how Raiah described the village, it probably wouldn't make any difference. The Akatsuki cloak had been stuffed under the bed.

He walked outside, finding that Raiah was no longer there. There was, however, a note.


Sorry, but you were taking too long. I have some other things to do today. How about you just explore the city by yourself? Don't get in trouble, don't start any fights, and if you reach The Key Gate, don't go in. There's some bad stuff in that area. Have fun!"

Even the letter sounded pinched, and Deidara regretted telling Raiah his true name. Perhaps it would be best to go by Kinen for now. Shoving the letter in his pocket, he started to walk down the street that seemed best.

The tour had begun.