Disclaimer: I do not own Yu Yu Hakusho or Naruto. Kiara is owned by Yusuke'sSister.

Claimer: I do own the plot line, the Kuro Tournament, Kristy, Jason, Jessica, Chris, Bashere, and anything else related to them.

"Talking"
'Thinking'
'Telepathy'

Jinchuuriki - Youkai name - # of Tails - Youkai type
Yugito - Azami - two/Nibi - cat
Kisame - Hiroshi - three/Sanbi - shark
Sasori - Kenta - four/Yonbi - scorpion
unknown - Mikio - five/Gobi - wolf
Itachi - Tasuki - six/Rokubi - weasel
Deidara - Sadao - seven/Shichibi - badger
Orochimaru - Nobuo - eight/Hachibi - snake

Ages
Kristy - 19
Itachi - 14
Deidara - 16
Sasori - 21
Yugito - 9
Orochimaru - 40
Kisame - 26
Hiei - unknown
Raiga - 25
Zabuza - 23

(1) - Onee-chan means older sister.

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Under A Bloody Moon

Chapter 13
The Coup

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Hidden Mist Village, February, 1 Year S.A.

For several long moments no one made any sound as I stared blankly at Hiei. Then in one swift movement I wrapped an arm around the back of Hiei's neck, pulled him down to my level, and began to give him a noogie.

"Hiei!" I growled in mock anger, "I don't see you for almost two years and then the first thing you can say to me is, 'What happened to your ears?'?!"

Abruptly I paused with a pensive look on my face, considering Hiei's question and allowing him to escape my grip. Half self-consciously and half absentmindedly I patted the top of my head where my wolf ears had once existed.

"You know," I said thoughtfully, "I don't really know. They and my...other appendages disappeared when I...arrived."

As Hiei and I spoke the other three Swordsmen had been looking back and forth between us with incredulous expressions. "You know her/him?" two voices suddenly asked. The two speakers, Kisame and Itachi--who apparently had just appeared behind me--glanced at each other with raised eyebrows.

A quick glance behind me showed that the rest of the Akatsuki was standing there was well. They and the three Swordsmen were regarding each other with obvious distrust while Hiei and I stood in the middle.

"Unfortunately," Hiei answered with a snort, but there was no venom in his voice.

I clapped a hand over my heart. "Ah, Hiei-kun, you wound me!" I exclaimed. "Is this how you great your most beloved teammate?"

Hiei raised one dark eyebrow. "Teammate? I seem to remember that we were on opposing teams during the tournament."

"Yes, yes, but we were friends long before the Kuro Incident."

Hiei's second eyebrow joined the first near his hairline. "The 'Kuro Incident'?" he questioned, amusement clear in his voice.

"Yes," I said with a resolute nod, "The Kuro Incident."

Hiei rolled his eyes, which in turn caused me to become amused; I was pretty sure I'd never seen him do that before. He must have been in a good mood or something, especially since he was talking so much.

"Right, well, who are you lot anyway?" Zabuza suddenly cut in. A glare was fixed firmly on his face.

I rubbed the back of my neck sheepishly. "Ah, right, sorry about that. I'm Kristy, an old friend of Hiei's. My friends are Uchiha Itachi, Deidara, Sasori, and Orochimaru."

With each name the three Swordsmen grew more and more shocked. When I finally reached Orochimaru's, Zabuza was practically choking and even Hiei was staring at me in surprise.

The small fire youkai shook his head ruefully. "Only you would become friends with a group of S-class Missing-nin," he said dryly.

"Of course," I replied with a grin. "The situation is actually quite a bit more complicated that that, but I'll explain all that later. In the mean time, who...?" I trailed off and gestured to Hiei's comrades.

"Hn," Hiei grunted, growing serious once more. "This is Kurosuki Raiga, Momochi Zabuza, and Hoshigaki Kisame. They're members of the Seven Swordsmen of the Mist, along with myself. And the explanation for how that came about can wait until later, so don't even ask."

My mouth snapped shut with an audible click and I flushed at how easily Hiei was able to read me. Did he really know me so well?

"Now, exactly what are you doing here in the Hidden Mist Village?" Hiei asked.

My eyes briefly flickered over to Kisame before focusing back on Hiei. After only a moment's contemplation I decided that telling the truth would be the best and most profitable route to take. I released a quiet sigh and then launched into a recount of the past year and a half that had all four of the Swordsmen enraptured.

When I finally finished Zabuza let out a low whistle. "So the Akatsuki is made up of jinchuuriki?" he mused. "No wonder you're al S-class shinobi..."

"And it looks like you're being bumped down the line again, eh Zabuza?" Raiga said with a smirk as he nudged the taller shinobi in the ribs. Zabuza responded with a glare that could have wilted flowers.

I stared at the two in confusion, not at all understanding what Raiga had meant by that. I transferred my questioning gaze to Hiei, but surprisingly it was Kisame who finally spoke up.

"Zabuza is known as the 'Demon of the Mist' for his ruthlessness," the jinchuuriki said, "But the three of us know that Hiei is an actual youkai. Now with you here there are two youkai, so he's being 'bumped down the line', if you will."

As Kisame finished I couldn't help but snicker slightly. The situation was amusing; it was a human and not Hiei, a youkai, who was called the "Demon". Raiga and Kisame doubtless got a kick out of that.

"I'm surprised that you accept that Kristy's a youkai so easily," Sasori commented.

Kisame shrugged. "We've known that Hiei is a youkai for a while now, so if she says she is, I'll believe it," he replied. "Plus she's an old friend of Hiei's, so it only makes sense." Suddenly Kisame grinned widely, revealing rows and rows of sharp teeth and once again causing him to greatly resemble a shark. "Not to mention that you guys being here couldn't have come at a more opportune time."

Raiga looked at him sharply. "You can't honestly mean--?!"

"No, he's right," Hiei interrupted. He studied me with a thoughtful expression. "This may just be the very push that we need to succeed."

"Push?" I asked with a raised eyebrow. Eagerly I scooted closer to Hiei. "Alright, you've caught my attention. What's this about?"

The four Swordsmen shared a glance before nodding simultaneously. "We've been planning a coup," Hiei said bluntly.

For a moment all I could do was stare at him. "...Seriously? You're planning on taking over Mist's government?"

"The government as it is now is inept and corrupted," Zabuza said passionately. "Our economy is slowly but surely dieing while old officials grow fat on the tax money of our citizens. We barely survived the last Secret Shinobi War even though we weren't officially a part of it, and ever since then the Mizukage has been little more than a puppet for the government. The way things are now, if there's another major conflict Mist will be easily overrun! I REFUSE to allow that to happen to my country!"

For several minutes after Zabuza finished his impromptu speech I silently contemplated his words. To be entirely honest, I was somewhat moved by the passion and pure emotion that he'd put into his words. He truly believed in what he was doing. Finally I opened up a mental link with all of the Akatsuki.

'What do you guys think?' I asked.

'We should definitely help out!' Deidara said instantly. The others were a bit more reserved.

'The repercussions if we get caught would be pretty bad,' Sasori murmured. 'And it'll be us and whoever these Swordsmen have against all of Mist. Those aren't good odds.'

'We can disguise ourselves as Mist shinobi,' Deidara argued. 'That way no one will know who we are.'

'The idea does have merits,' Orochimaru commented. 'If the coup succeeds then we will have close ties to the Village Hidden in the Mist and will possibly even be able to get political immunity here.'

'Itachi?' I questioned while mulling over the others' answers. 'What about you?'

'...I will follow whatever you choose to do, Onee-chan(1),'

I blinked in surprise at the unexpected answer. 'Umm, okay then, I guess that's a vote of two to one. We'll be assisting the coup. We'll do it undisguised though; we'll probably have more of an impact if people see and know that the Akatsuki are supporting the coup.'

"We'll help," I said aloud while turning back to the Mist-nin. "So, how will you be going about this?"

Raiga, Zabuza, and Kisame shared wide grins. Zabuza pulled out a scroll that'd been hidden somewhere on his person and the rest of us gather around him as he opened it up.

"Alright then, here's the plan..."

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"Teams Alpha and Beta are in position," Zabuza was saying into a radio mike. "Team Gamma, commence operation. Team Delta is performing a sweep of the area and--"

I tuned the older shinobi out and turned to Hiei. He, Zabuza, Raiga, Kisame, and the Akatsuki and I were in a dark building in the middle of Mist that was being used as a sort of "head of operations". Zabuza, I'd found, was definitely the head of the coup even though Kisame and Hiei were far more powerful than him. He was the one who was the most passionate about it and he was also the one who'd organized everything and had brought quite a few shinobi in on the plan. Considering that he'd most likely become the Mizukage is this succeeded, it was good that he had such a strong sense of leadership, despite his relatively young age.

"So when are we leaving?" I quietly asked Hiei.

"Just as soon as Zabuza's done making sure everyone is in position and has secured the outer guard posts and facilities," he replied. "Then he'll send the Akatsuki off on their missions while the rest of us will head over to the Mizukage's office to interrupt the meeting going on there."

I nodded in understanding. Of course I'd already been told the plan in full, but it was still good to get confirmation of what stage we were at.

As my eyes swept over the room I saw that Itachi, Deidara, Sasori, Orochimaru, Kisame, and Raiga were standing in one corner, talking. Spread out over a table before them was a large map of the Hidden Mist Village that was covered with several red dots. Kisame and Raiga were doubtlessly explaining to the Akatsuki where they'd be heading and who there targets were.

Yes, targets.

The Akatsuki had been given the task of assassinating several key members of the council that helped to rule the Hidden Mist Village. I honestly wasn't sure about how I felt about this. I mean, sure, they'd all done assassinations many, many times before including while they were apart of Akatsuki, but that didn't mean I had to like it. With a sigh, I turned my gaze away.

And it wasn't like I hadn't had to participate in a couple of those assassinations myself.

"Kristy...?"

With a jerk I turned to face Hiei. I opened my mouth to tell him that I was okay, only to pause. He had the strangest expression on his face, but I couldn't quite place what it was. Before either of us could say anything more Zabuza suddenly called for everyone's attention.

"Everyone else is in place," he said. He turned to the Akatsuki. "Do you four know where to go? Good. Then let's move out!"

We all burst into motion, gathering up our things and heading to the exits. As we did so, I once again turned to Hiei.

"I'll stay out of sight once we get to the Mizukage's office," I told him.

Hiei raised an eyebrow and then smirked at me. "Going to stay as the unknown leader of the Akatsuki, eh?"

I matched him smirk for smirk. "Of course!" I replied. "Besides, just imagine what people will think when they find out that the leader of the Akatsuki is a short teenage girl!"

I dissolved into a fit of snickers and even Hiei couldn't help but snort at the image. We were once again broken up by Zabuza as he strode over to us.

"Alright, alright, break it up lovebirds," he said with a smirk. "We've got to get going now, before the meeting ends."

Instantly both Hiei and I began to splutter out protests. I knew that my face was flaming red and suddenly found that I couldn't look at Hiei out of embarrassment. Damn that Zabuza! How dare he make an assumption like that!

Fortunately Zabuza's comment was quickly forgotten as we began to move out across the Village. The Mizukage's office was located in a tall government building in the middle of the Village, so we would have to skirt only a small amount of security on the way. Once we actually got into the building most of the security on a direct path to the office would be taken care of by other shinobi, so we were able to reach the office with minimal resistance.

Two ANBU in colorful masks and black cloaks were stationed outside of the door to the Mizukage's office. They were taken care of before they even new anyone was there and there now headless bodies slumped quietly to the floor. I took the time then to slip an illusion over my body, hiding me from view.

Zabuza took a deep breath and gave us all one last grin before throwing the doors open and stalking into the room.

The Mizukage's office was a large, oval-shaped room with only a long Japanese-style table in the middle. Five people, including a man wearing the white robe and hat that signified him as the Mizukage, were kneeling around that table. When the door suddenly burst open they all looked up in surprise, wondering who was interrupting their meeting. When they saw Zabuza stride into the room however, they became furious.

"Momochi!" one of the older men snarled, leaping from his seat. "What do you think you're doing?! This is a priva--!"

In an instant Zabuza's sword was out of its sheath and an inch away from the man's throat. He froze instantly, fear taking over his entire body, and started to take a step back before the narrowing of Zabuza's eyes persuaded him that such as action would not be in his best interest.

Behind the man the four others slowly rose from their seats. "What is this, Momochi-san?" the Mizukage asked quietly. His face was titled forward, causing his hat to shadow his face, effectively hiding it.

"This," Zabuza replied while Raiga and Hiei spread out to stand on either side of him, "Is a coup. But you'd probably already guessed this."

"You think you can get away with this?" another of the council members growled. Or at least I assumed the other four were council members since Kisame had told me that the Mizukage would be in a meeting with the top officials. That was why they'd picked this time to make their move. "No one will listen to you even if you try to take control!"

Zabuza smirked widely. "Oh, I believe they will, particularly with you backing me."

The speaker scoffed. "We would never do that! And even if you kill us the rest of the government will still take you down!"

Zabuza began chuckling, softly at first, but within a few moments it turned into full out laughter. "The rest of the government?" he sneered. "And who's that?"

I took that line as my queue and instantly activated the mind link that connected me to the Akatsuki. 'It's time,' I told them. I felt their mental conformation and then just moments later they simultaneously activated the feature of the rings that used shadows to bring them to my location.

It was quite a sight, I couldn't help but muse. The four members of the Akatsuki literally stepped out of the shadows of the wall behind Zabuza, their black and red cloaks swirling around them. Each of them held the bloody head of one of the council members in their hands.

The other four council members and the Mizukage all let out choked gasps at this sight and began looking more than a little nervous. Zabuza just chuckled again.

"See?" he said while making a sweeping gesture with his free hand. "No one to 'take me down'. The rest of the council has been eliminated." He paused, listening to something from the radio receiver hooked over his ear, and then smirked like the cat that caught the canary. "All of the Village's guard posts, armories, and intel stations have been taken over and the citizens have been alerted and are gathering in the streets as we speak. You no longer have any base of power, nor any supporters. Your corrupt regime has come to an end."

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A/N: See, this one's out faster than last time...Even though I barely even got half the number of reviews for the last chapter. This chapter I actually got done really quickly, mainly because my muse forced me to. And my muse is frickin' scary when he wants to be. He's basically like a miniature version of Sali Tayi from Threads of Time (which, by the way is a fucking awesome manga, but is not for kiddies). And for those of you who've never read ToT, Sali Tayi is kind of like an older, blood thirsty psychotic version of Sasuke (seriously, he looks almost exactly like Sasuke, but his personality is a hundred times darker. Sure, Sasuke had his whole family killed by his older brother, but Sali Tayi was completely abandoned by his parents so that they could save their own hides. And then when he met up with them again years later, they didn't even fucking remember him! And that's only part of his past! His entire history is so damn frustrating. And the worst part is, Sali Tayi was actually a real person and his character is entirely based off that real person.) ...Yeah, sorry for that little rant there. Again, I blame my muse.

Anyways, finally Hiei is fully in the story (grins) I debated with myself for a while about whether or not Zabuza would succeed with the Mist coup (for those of you who have read/see the manga/anime, he originally fails) but in the end certain...future events...pursued me that this was the best course of action. And before anyone asks, don't worry, Haku will still be in this story, if not for a little while.

This chapter is kind of like the end of the first half of the story. Now that Hiei is here and the Akatsuki has been mostly formed things will begin to pick up. There's still much, much more that I have planned though.

Please review! Ja ne!

--B.I.