We know the Akatsuki members would have killed the OCs right away. But if they did that, we wouldn't have a story. We hate OOCness as much as anyone, but for the sake of having a plot, it must be done. If you've got a problem with that, hit the back button right now.
Claire: Hello again, everyone! I suppose people are probably wondering why they're getting an alert on a story that's already, in theory, finished. If it works that way…I'm not even sure it does…But if anyone who has already read this is reading it again, we would like to explain.
Our writing styles tend to change very often. And by change I mostly mean improve. It bugs the hell out of us that when we re-read the first few chapters and cringed at how much they sucked. I personally get very bothered when the writing in a story isn't that good, and I tend to give up on them unless people with more patience than me tough it out and tell me it's good.
So this is mostly for the people who have not ever read anything about this story before: the first four chapters of this story are not the original version. We are reposting it so hopefully you continue reading, because we like having readers. Makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside :)
We also want you to enjoy what other people have told us is a really good story, and you can't do that if you give up on reading it.
So when the level of writing drops after Chapter 5, please don't get discouraged. It should go up again.
I…sound…really whiny here…Ehh…oh well, this stuff needs to be said.
Leah: I can't believe how much we've improved since we started this story…wow…
Eva: Yeah. I'm basically gonna say what Claire said, but just a bit simpler. Originally, the first four chapters of this fanfiction were, we thought, decent. But as we kept writing, we got better at writing, but the first chapters remained suckish. It was bugging us a lot, and we think, turning a lot of people away from our story, even though it gets a LOT better as you get farther into it. So we (as in Leah and Claire—I'm insanely sick right now and couldn't go to Leah's house to help XP), re-wrote the first four chapters.
Claire: I did say that….anyway, this is 1 of 4 revised chapters
The barking woke her immediately. Claire sighed, smashing her head crankily against the pillows before propping herself up. She brushed a few floppy strands of her shoulder-length red hair out of her faced and jerked her head to the left, scowling.
"LEAH!" Claire called again, getting more pissed off by the second as her housemate's dog continued to yap volumes that a small white dog should not be capable of one floor below.
The mass of tangled brown locks remained splayed over Leah's arm and head, making her look like a hundred-year-old mop. She was just about as useful as one too.
Claire grumbled and shifted her gaze to the right, towards the third person in the room.
Yet another corpse-like response.
"Damn it Eva, listen to me! I know you aren't asleep!"
"I am asleep. That's what people do when it's two in the morning," Eva protested.
"Bullshit. Make Durham shut up."
"Do it yourself."
"Arg…why are you all so lazy…?" Claire complained hypocritically. She got up anyway, dragging her feet one in front of the other as she went towards the door. She kicked Eva's sleeping bag as she passed.
Claire emerged into the hallway sulkily and trudged towards the stairs. The stairs offered no help to someone as tired as she, as they made her ideally straight descent downward a mere illusion. The moronic architect must have decided that the three story house had needed MORE room than it already had, and had achieved this by artistically providing two sharp turns that confined them to a corner adjacent to the large front door.
She had just managed to clunk down to the foot of the second turn, almost within range to yell at the stupid howling dog and scare him into silence. However, the yell that broke the staccato barks of the beast in the next few seconds was not her own; the voice belonged to a man.
"Shut up!" A sharp thump and a whimper followed, and Durham was quiet. Claire's eyes widened and her heart pounded as she glimpsed several humanoid shadows moving in the living room. She gasped and whirled around, tripping over her own feet as rushed back Leah's room.
The two of them were thankfully already up, saving Claire the trouble of wasting precious time on it herself. By their horrified expressions, she had guessed they had heard the intruder too. They were silent, waiting, praying for more silence to tell them they were all hallucinating.
No such luck.
"Tobi," another voice commanded, echoing loudly despite the dozens of feet of space and drywall between them, "Search the building—if anyone's there, bring them back here."
The three girls did not even dare to blink. Eva leaped out of her sleeping bag and forced herself to fit underneath Leah's bed. Claire hastily followed. Leah also scampered out from under her covers and flopped to the floor, joining her friends as they quaked in fear.
A man walked into the room—or at least it seemed to be a man—they could only see the shadow of him, barely lit by the dim light of the moon streaming in from a small window at the end of the hall. A long cape hung on his frame as his shadow's face panned the room. He walked over to the bed, reaching underneath and scooping up the girls' legs in one swift movement. They screamed and kicked but Tobi didn't flinch or loosen his grip in the slightest.
He dragged them all the way to the living room deposited them on the floor in front of eight other figures, all of them standing out of the glow from the lamp on the glass coffee table so the three could not see them. They did not move, paralyzed by fear and the awful weight of the knowledge that all resistance attempts would be futile.
The three friends huddled together, whimpering. "Who are you?" Claire asked quietly, though she already knew.
"What the hell…" Leah squeaked to herself.
"Are you gonna kill us?" Eva questioned. Unlike the other two, her terror did not show in her voice. Her tone was contrarily numb.
One of the men surrounding them shifted so he was out of the shadows. Though only half of him shown, they recognized his blue skin and appearance somewhat akin to that of a shark. "Probably," he answered honestly.
Eva started laughing.
The tense atmosphere fluctuated briefly. The whole group—Leah, Claire, Tobi, and the other figures shrouded in darkness—all glanced at her curiously.
"Why the fuck are you laughing?" one of the men growled, his slick silver hair glinting as he too shifted into the reach of the lamp's rays.
Eva quickly stopped laughing and turned her gaze to her feet, though an idiotic grin was still plastered on her face. "I laugh in bad situations," she mumbled.
Leah bravely tried to save her friend by adding, "It's a mental disorder, she can't control it."
"No it's—" Eva began to defend herself, but the figure that had commanded Tobi cut her off.
"Just tell us where we are," he demanded impatiently.
None of the intruders said anything.
"Earth?" Claire offered.
Still more silence.
"Here," said the three girls simultaneously.
The leader of the Akatsuki picked a different topic. "Who are you?"
"Leah. And the white fluff ball in the corner of the room, who apparently just got smacked, is my dog, Durham."
There were faint murmurs amidst the group, with an air of skepticism and irritation clearly present. It quickly dissipated and all twelve pairs of ears idle.
"My foot is asleep," Eva pointed out.
"Which one?" Claire responded, the questioned tinted slightly with sarcasm.
"The left one," she said thoughtfully.
"Bathe in the wit of my comrade," Claire scoffed, holding her arms toward Eva as if she were Vanna White.
Eva glared at her, finally catching on.
"These guys are criminals; we need to show them respect…they're not exactly our friends…" Leah whispered, nudging Eva in the side.
"Can I please kill them?" Kisame asked, getting impatient.
"Fuck yes!" Hidan agreed eagerly.
Itachi turned to Pein questioningly.
"No!" Tobi piped up before he had a chance to reply.
"Why not?" Kakuzu glared at him.
"Well…," he stammered, "Leah's hot…"
"But Claire's a kiss up bitch—we can kill her, right?" Hidan asked hopefully.
"How am I a kiss up bitch, you man-whore?" Claire inquired. This set Hidan off. He and Claire continued their 'colorful' argument while the others ignored erupted into their own scuffle about who was going to die, and when.
"No!" Kisame protested. "If we're gonna kill anyone it might as well be Eva—that idiotic twit's pissing me off!"
"Ha! What an accomplishment," Deidara butted in.
The argument escalated as eventually everyone was pulled in. Soon there was shouting and threats. Durham, distressed by all the panic, started barking again, hopping and biting at the heels of the Akatsuki members.
Pein stepped in, holding up his hand in a request for silence, his face contorted by his comrades' triflings. The result was immediate. He spoke to Deidara. "Take Tobi and interrogate Leah. Hidan and Kakuzu, you're in charge of Claire. Itachi, Kisame, you have…Eva," he said, giving Eva a carefully neutral look. "Question them until they crack, get whatever information you can. And I forbid you from physically harming them…for the time being."
Deidara and Tobi nodded and took Leah into the kitchen; she went with them without a fuss, though she gave apprehensive looks to her two friends. Hidan and Claire glared at each other as Kakuzu led them into the nearest room. Eva was pushed into the backyard by Kisame and Itachi slowly followed after slid the glass door closed behind them.
Pein turned to Blue and Zetsu. "Search the rest of the property. See if you can find anything useful pertaining to our location."
"Why are we wasting out time on this? Shouldn't we be trying to capture the jinchurikki?" Blue asked Pein.
Pein shook his head, "I'm not sure of where La Jolla is, or if it even exists. And either way I don't know how we can get back to the hideout, or any familiar territory. It's possible that those girls can provide us useful information."
"I see…" Blue did what she was told and began to search the house along with Zetsu and Pein.
Despite the fact that Deidara and Tobi were the ones meant to interrogate her, Leah led the way into the kitchen and they followed, observing the surroundings curiously. She walked to the edge of the white-countered island that stood in the middle of the room and leaned against it, facing a large glass table. Deidara spun one of the chairs around roughly and sat facing her. Tobi stood for a second, and then decided to imitate him, almost knocking the chair over as he tried to turn it.
"So…" Leah said after a moment's silence.
"Well, we should get down to business," Deidara sighed.
"Deidara-senpai," Tobi whispered.
"What are we supposed to ask her?"
Deidara blinked. "I dunno, un."
"So…" Leah said again, calling their attention back to her after it had been momentarily lost.
Deidara sighed again, resting his chin on his hands that were crossed over the chair's back. "Where are we?"
"We're in La Jolla."
"Be more specific."
"California—the United States of America—North America—Earth."
"What do you know about us?"
Leah paused. She hardly wanted to lie, but would it really be wise to let them know that they had their own show and…with that…a fan base? She decided it wouldn't be. "Only what I've learned tonight. So not much."
"What do you think we should do now?" Deidara asked her abruptly. Tobi and Leah stared at him, somewhat confused by his out-of-place question.
"What do you mean?" she said slowly
"Well…should we leave and go out into your world? I can only assume we're on a completely different world if you've never heard of the Akatsuki, un," he clarified. "Or…should we stay here until we find out how we got here and how to go back? And while we're on that topic, should we kill you? Should we keep you as hostages? Should we trust what you say and do what you want us to for the sake of our survival?"
"Well?" Deidara prompted. "I want your honest answer."
"Well you should probably stay here—I don't think the rest of the world would be very accommodating to you. I'm of course, against killing us for very obvious reasons…and being a hostage doesn't really seem like it'd be very enjoyable either, and this is our world so we do know how to get around in it and stuff…so I'd say you guys just kind of trust us…to a certain extent."
"You're too honest. That could get you into some trouble, un."
"So…" Leah began again.
At the other side of the house, Claire was sitting against the bed, glaring up at the two standing in front of her. She was really only glaring at Hidan, but she didn't want Kakuzu to feel awkward, so just to be accommodating, she shifted her eyes between them every few seconds.
"Little bitch…" Hidan muttered. He spoke so quietly that this would have gone undetected if Claire had not switched her stony stare to him a fraction of a second before.
"Could you repeat the question officer, I couldn't quite hear you?" she said, grinning innocently. Obviously she had forgotten she was in a room with two of the most dangerous people you could ever possibly meet—or couldn't for that matter, seeing as they didn't exist—and was choosing to obey her argumentative nature.
"Just tell us where the fuck we are—and none of this 'La Hoola' shit either. I don't buy it," Hidan sneered.
"Well if you don't believe it, that's your problem. It's the truth, even if you're too stubborn to see it."
Hidan started to reply, but Kakuzu cut him off, "What country is this 'La Jolla' in?"
"The United States."
"No, I meant is it the Fire Country or the Water Country…?"
"The United States," Claire repeated.
"Listen you bitch, if you don't answer the fucking question—"
"—I did answer the fucking question, keep your shirt on! Oh wait, you can't can you? You aren't wearing a fucking shirt! And don't call me a bitch again you man-whore."
"I'll call you whatever the fuck I like!"
"Oh you will, will you? Fucking asshole…"
"SHUT UP YOU FUCKING BITCH!"
"NO YOU SHUT UP!"
"GO TO FUCKING HELL!"
"I'LL SEE YOU THERE, WON'T I?"
"KAKUZU, STAND OVER THERE, I'M SACRIFICING THIS FUCKING BITCH!" Hidan roared, shoving Kakuzu aside. "I hope Jashin likes the ornery ones…"
"Wait a second, Leader said not to kill them!" he argued, sounding slightly panicked. He moved back to the spot Hidan had pushed him away from. Hidan fumed, but merely stood there, looking murderous. Claire stuck out her tongue at him triumphantly. Hidan lost his brief accumulation of composure and dived at her, ready to claw her eyes out with his bare hands.
Blue paused and stood up, abandoning the bookcase she had been searching for…whatever it was that Pein had wanted her to find. "See if you can find anything" wasn't exactly helpful. She thought she could hear muffled screams and possible profanity coming from the floor below…She supposed Hidan's interrogation wasn't going well. She shrugged and turned back, searching the next shelf down.
Eva sat cross-legged on the concrete several feet in front of the sliding glass door that lead to outside. Her blond hair hung limply around her face, the blue tips in it were illuminated just enough to be seen by the pale moonlight. She was too lazy to take off her black eyeliner before she went to bed each night, and so it was smeared below her eyes. She took a moment to wipe it away, though the effort was blind so she had no idea how it turned out. Her baggy pants kept her reasonably warm, but her arms got goose bumps from the too-early-to-be-awake weather. She tapped her black nails on the concrete impatiently as Itachi and Kisame found lawn chairs to sit in.
Itachi's red eyes shone unnaturally in the dark atmosphere and it sent shivers of fear down her spine, which she promptly ignored. She could barely see Kisame at all, as they had closed the curtains behind the door, so the only light was from the moon and even that was mostly obscured by the eucalyptus trees in the backyard. She waited for them to begin.
"Where are we?" Itachi asked.
She spoke simply and calmly, like she was bored with the whole situation. "La Jolla."
"I have no idea what that is," Kisame growled.
"It's a city in the United States."
"What country?" Kisame continued.
"The United States is a country."
"Lying to us is only going to give us a reason to hurt you." Eva could tell he was smiling.
"I'm not lying," she calmly insisted.
"Then perhaps you don't understand the question. When we say country, we mean like Fire Country, Earth Country, things like that." He was very clearly patronizing her, and it ticked Eva off to no end.
"I know what you meant by the question, but judging by how poorly you and your group fit into our society, it appears you are from another dimension. Different dimensions have different countries," she sneered, giving the last sentence a particularly strong coating of sarcasm.
"Are you a ninja?" Itachi changed the subject. He figured they might as well move on to a different topic and wear her down a bit more before getting to more complex or guarded subjects.
"No; no one here is."
"Can anyone here use ninjutsu?" Kisame questioned.
"Depends what you mean by ninjutsu."
Itachi stood up and turned to face an empty expanse of concrete before making several hand signs and bring his fingers to his mouth, "Katon Ryuuka no Jutsu!" A large ball of fire appeared out of thin air. It lingered for a few seconds, than disappeared into the atmosphere.
Despite having seen it many times on the anime, the real thing absolutely terrified Eva, and she screamed in her thoughts, though she managed to keep the external sound down to a gulp. "No…nothing like that," she whispered, her words a bit shakier than she had intended.
This interrogation seemed to be full of holes. Holes being long, empty silences. Leah wasn't much of a talker in the first place, and hardly found her capture by dangerous criminals to be the time to start. But it appeared the Akatsuki members before her were not so great at conversing with others either. Tobi was obviously an idiot, so no surprise here. Deidara must have been used to Sasori being in command. Or wasn't big on interrogation. Whatever the case, anything any of them said seemed to have to start and end with at least three seconds of quiet, not counting the odd shouting noises coming from across the house.
Deidara studied was currently studying Leah's face. "You have a pointy nose," he pointed out.
Leah blinked; she hated her nose. She quickly cast her gaze downward to let the curtain of her long brown hair hide said ski slope.
"Okee, I have a question!" Tobi piped up suddenly. Leah and Deidara both looked at him.
"Er...ok?" Leah mumbled swallowing her blush, for he seemed to be waiting for confirmation. This was definitely not how interrogations were supposed go.
"Do you know…how to get out of here?"
"TOBI!" Deidara shouted, smacking him on the back of his head.
"Ouch…what did I say?" he mumbled, rubbing the injured area. Then he added under his breath so only he could hear, "And you got my hair wet…"
"You aren't supposed to—!" he looked around at Leah, who was eyeing them both curiously. "Uhmmmm…excuse us for a second."
Deidara grabbed the back of Tobi's coat and pulled him out of the kitchen and into the family room, seemingly unaware that they could be easily heard from the kitchen, due to the lack of a door.
"We're supposed to be interrogating her, not asking for advice! You're undermining the whole system of…of…power…and stuff, un!" Deidara whispered angrily.
"Um…I'm sorry?" Tobi whimpered uncertainly. Leah, unnoticed by either of them, scooted over to the other side of the island, peeking around the wall to look at them.
"I can…hear you…you know…"
They both turned and looked at her.
Books, papers, and a number of other objects that had previously been resting on the shelves built into the wall now lay on the floor. The bed was aligned crookedly against the wall, and a lamp on the stand in the corner had been upended so it was now rolling oddly around on the wooden surface. Claire stood in one corner, Kakuzu holding Hidan's arms behind him in another. All three of them were panting.
Despite her habit of picking fights with anyone who pissed her off, regardless of them being murderous criminals, Claire was still not stupid enough to just stand in one spot when being attack, thus the destruction of this room. Kakuzu was starting to lose his patience with her as well as Hidan, and was having trouble not killing her himself.
"Okay…let's just…continue the interrogation, shall we?" he said through gritted teeth. Claire and Hidan continued to glare at each other, but Claire huffily sat down again, crossing her arms and legs.
"What's the question?" she muttered.
"We'll ask the questions, thank you," Kakuzu said.
"I know, what is the question?" she repeated.
"How can you not want to kill her?!" Hidan asked incredulously. Kakuzu ignored him.
"You've already told us you aren't from the Fire Country, so—"
"—What, you believe her? She's a lying bitch!"
"Let's say we're being hypothetical then!"
"Right, fine, whatever…"
"Hm. You aren't from the Fire Country, are you an ally of Konoha?"
Claire sighed impatiently. "There is no Konoha here! There is no Fire Country. IT'S THE UNITED STATES." She paused. "Of America," she added for good measure.
"THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS THE UNITED STATES OF…WHATEVER IT WAS!" Hidan shouted.
"THEN WHERE THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU ARE, THE VOID?!"
Hidan spluttered angrily, not knowing exactly how to reply to this. "…You're a bitch!" he said again.
"And you're a man-whore! We've been through this already."
"WHY DO YOU KEEP FUCKING CALLING ME A MAN-WHORE!"
"BECAUSE YOU LOOK LIKE A FUCKING MAN-WHORE. YOU—AREN'T—WEARING—A—SHIRT!"
There really didn't seem to be anything worth investigating in this house. The only thing they really had was furniture. How boring. Zetsu wandered through an exceptionally dull room on the third floor full of nothing but beige couches and a TV. There was also a coffee table with some magazines and coasters on it. Zetsu picked up one of the coasters and examined it.
"Do you think this is edible?"
"I dunno. It looks stale."
"…You're probably right." He put it back down and left to find a more interesting room. Or at least one with better snacks.
"No! Nonononono! Please don't do that!" Eva pleaded, eyeing the kunai that was being held inches from her face.
"Then tell us the truth," Itachi said calmly.
"Goddamn it I AM!" she yelled. The kunai moved closer. "What answer do you want then if you don't like the one I'm giving you?! I'll gladly repeat it if you get that thing away from me!"
"Just tell us if there is some kind of plot against the Akatsuki. Are you allied with Konoha, or the Sand? Are they rallying troops or something? Why are we here in this La Jolla place?" Itachi said. His voice was still mostly calm, but slightly louder. He had discovered it was a habit he had picked up when he was forced to converse with…people of lesser intelligence, such as Eva.
"There isn't, I'm not, no, and I DON'T KNOW!" she said, getting more panicky and frustrated by the second. "NO DON'T! DON'T CUT OFF MY HAIR!" she added hysterically, as Kisame moved the kunai ever closer to her blue-tipped blonde hair.
Itachi sighed. This was getting nowhere.