Author's Note: This is part of a project I'm working on at my DeviantART: the Naruto Disney Princesses. All the cover pictures can be found there. I hope I can make you laugh a bit with my messed up casting.
Walt Disney and GothicDancer proudly present:
Konan as Mulan
The land of Akatsuki was thought to be peaceful. Recently, a seal had been put on the land to keep its citizens safe from outside forces. Guards and spies were constantly on watch to be sure that the seal was never broken, and the strategy had worked for years.
However, on one cold, windy night, all that changed. A large, powerful force suddenly penetrated the seal and sent a wave of enemy ninja into Akatsuki. The guards quickly lit the signals to warn everyone, but the man behind the attack didn't even flinch.
"Now all of Akatsuki knows you're here!" a guard named Yuura shouted. The man before him just smirked.
"Your Majesty, Emperor Madara!" a man in armor addressed as he knelt before his leader. "Amegakure forces have invaded Akatsuki at the North Border with Nagato as their leader. We will quickly assemble our forces around your castle."
"No, General Yahiko," Madara replied, standing, "send your troops to protect my people! Sasuke!"
A man dressed in blue with a clipboard stepped out of the darkness. "Yes, Your Excellency?"
"Note this: I want to recruit as many men as possible for this war. I will not put my people in danger. General Yahiko, I want you to assemble your strongest troops to fight at the front line."
"Your Majesty, I must insist otherwise!" Yahiko argued. "I think my troops alone can stop them!"
"I will not take any chances, Yahiko," Madara replied. "A single grain of rice can tip the scale. One man may be the difference between victory and defeat."
In a quiet town on the outskirts of Akatsuki, a young woman was sitting on her bed, writing a few notes on her arm and mumbling to herself over her rice breakfast. "Quiet…patient…delicate…elegant…poised…respectful…polite...and…punctual!" A rooster let out its morning call. "Oh no!" the woman cried, scrambling out of bed. She blew on her arm to dry the ink while shouting, "Gamakichi! Gamakichi!" She almost tripped over a frog. "Oh, there you are! Hee, who's the smartest little frog in the whole wide world?" She giggled and opened up a can. "Want to help me with my chores?" She tied a bag of chicken feed to the frog and let the flies in the can go. Gamakichi hopped along trying to get to the flies while tossing the seeds all over the place.
At the top of a hill in a small shrine, a single man kneeled before several carved stones. "Please, Honorable Ancestors," he murmured, "please let Konan impress the matchmaker today…please…" Gamakichi and the chickens suddenly appeared inside the shrine covered in seeds. "…Please!" He slowly lifted his head and looked outside to see Konan running towards him.
"Papa Jiraiya, I brought your tea!" she sang happily, pouring the hot liquid into the cup.
"Remember what the doctor said: Three cups of tea in the morning and three at night."
"Konan, you should already be in town…"
"I know, I know, I'm on my way now. Wish me luck!" With that, Konan grabbed the family's giant frog Gamabunta and made her way into town.
Jiraiya stared at the little frog covered in chicken feed. "I'm going to go…pray some more."
A young-looking blonde woman paced back and forth along the street. "Of all the days to be late!" she growled. "I should have prayed to the ancestors for luck this morning."
"Oh, Mama Tsuande, how lucky could THEY possibly be?!" a feminine-looking, white-skinned man (in a dress) snorted. "They're dead." He held up a miniature cage with a white butterfly inside. "This little guy has all the luck we'll need! Time to test him!" He covered his eyes and stepped onto the busy street.
"Grandma Orochi, no!" Tsunade called. But it was too late. Orochi was on the other side of the ruined street, waving the cage around.
"THIS IS A LUCKY ONE!!" he shouted in pure joy.
Suddenly, Gamabunta jumped onto the sidewalk, and Konan jumped off him. "I'm here!" she announced happily. Her smile turned to a frown though when she saw her mother's face. "What?" she asked. "Mama Tsunade!"
"No excuses! We've got to get you cleaned up!"
Soon, several women were at work fixing Konan's hair, clothes, face, and make-up. Tsunade brought in a beautiful white rose to put in her daughter's hair, and Orochi came in with several other items, including an apple, a pendant, a jade necklace, and the butterfly from earlier.
"With this, even you can't blow it," he snickered. "You'll bring honor to us all."
As she walked out towards the matchmaker's office, Konan whispered a prayer. "Ancestors, hear my plea: Help me not to make a fool of me and to not uproot my family tree. Keep my father standing tall…"When she and the other girls made it to their destination, the matchmaker opened her doors and called Konan inside first.
Only moments later, Konan rushed out of the office, a very wet, very messy, and very angry matchmaker following her in a rage. "You are an absolute DISGRACE!" the woman shouted, throwing a teapot at Konan and her family. "You may look like a bride, but you will NEVER BRING YOUR FAMILY HONOR!!" She stomped back inside her office and slammed the doors shut. The other girls and townsfolk just shook their heads and sighed out of pity.
Konan wanted to cry by the time she got home. She led Gamabunta back into the yard as she kept her face hidden from her father. Jiraiya frowned and leaned on his cane as he tried to comfort his wife, who ran up to him in tears.
Konan watched as her family suffered, and she looked at herself in the nearby pond. "Look at me…" she sobbed. "I will never pass for a perfect bride or a perfect daughter. I don't think I'm meant to play this part…" She slowly walked over the bridge and up to the ancestors' shrine. "When will my reflection show who I am inside?" She quickly bowed to the stones and then walked down to sit near the pond. Eventually, her father came over and sat down next to her.
"My," he sighed happily, looking at the cherry blossoms above them, "what beautiful blossoms we have this year…but look! This one's a bit late!" He pointed to a bud. "But I'll bet that when it blooms, it will be the most beautiful of them all." He smiled at his daughter, who smiled back.
Suddenly, drums pounded. Jiraiya stood and opened the gates to see a group of Imperial guards come down the road on their horses. Soon all the families came out for the shocking news.
"Amegakure forces have invaded Akatsuki!" Sasuke shouted. "By order of Emperor Madara himself, one man from every family must serve in the Imperial Army!" Sasuke read the family names until he came to the one that Konan did not want to hear. "The Sannin family!"
"No!" Konan cried, rushing into the crowd and blocking her father's path. "Please, Sir, my father had already fought for Akatsuki!"
"SILENCE!!" Sasuke shouted. "Sannin Jiraiya, you would be wise to teach your daughter to hold her tongue in man's presence."
Jiraiya glared at his daughter. "Konan…you are a dishonor…"
That night, a strong storm was brewing, and the Sannin family ate in silence. Konan sadly poured the tea for her father, her mother, and her grandmother. Everyone was quiet as food was passed around, but Konan couldn't stop her anger from surfacing. "You shouldn't have to go!" she screamed, throwing her teacup on the table and standing.
"There are plenty of young, strong men who can fight for Akatsuki!"
"It is an honor to protect my country and my family."
"So you'll die for honor?!"
Jiraiya stood and came up to his daughter's face. "I will die doing what's right. I KNOW MY PLACE. It is time you learned yours!"
Konan shook her head in disbelief and ran out into the storm. She ran to one of the stone statues in the garden and sobbed for hours. When she finally lifted her head, she could see that her Grandma Orochi had already gone to bed and that Papa Jiraiya and Mama Tsunade were fighting. Eventually, Tsunade gave up and went to sleep; Jiraiya blew out the candle.
At that moment, Konan made a decision. She ran up to the ancestors' shrine, lit the incense, and said a short prayer. She then ran inside the house and took the official scroll Sasuke had given her father, replacing it with her white rose. She opened his closet and took out his armor and his sword. Once she was in the next room, she unsheathed the sword and chopped off her long, blue locks, tying up her short hair into a tight bun. She quickly donned her father's armor and woke Gamabunta. The frog feared the stranger for a moment but soon realized who it was. Taking one last look at her home, Konan slammed the gates open, and Gamabunta quickly and fiercely jumped down the path.
Orochi woke with a sudden start and ran into his granddaughter's bedroom. "KONAN IS GONE!!" he screamed, running into the master bedroom.
"WHAT?!" Jiraiya shouted, looking at the white rose. "No…it can't be!" He quickly hobbled over to his closet to see his armor gone. Tsunade followed him as he made his way to the front gates. "KOOOOONAAAAAAAAAAN!!" he screamed over the storm, falling to his knees. He looked up to see the gates open. "No…"
"You must go after her. She could be killed!" Tsunade cried.
Jiraiya shook his head. "If I reveal her…she will be."
Orochi frowned and let a few tears fall. "Ancestors, hear our prayer: Watch over Konan…"
Up at the ancestors' shrine, a ghostly, old man materialized and tapped the incense burner. "Tobi…awaken!" With that, a little person in an orange mask fell out of the burner and onto the floor with a thump.
"I live!" Tobi shouted, rising. He paused. "So what kind of poor mortal needs my help now?! Huh?! You just say the word there, Shodaime, and I'll go full-force!"
"Tobi…" the old man muttered, "you were demoted. These are the family guardians." He pointed to statues of different animals. "They protect the family, and what do you do?"
Tobi sighed. "I…ring the gong…" He picked up his instrument.
"That's right," Shodaime replied, nodding. "Now wake up the ancestors."
Tobi groaned. "One family reunion coming right up." He sounded the gong, and several other ghostly figures appeared from the stones. They started shouting among themselves, arguing over whether or not Konan was justified in her actions. Tobi, seeing that this could take a while, read the daily newspaper.
"My children never did anything like this!" Danzou shouted. "They all went on to design the nail polish Akatsuki is so famous for!"
"Well, we can't ALL design nail polish!" Nidaime argued.
"No, your great granddaughter had TO BE A CROSS-DRESSER!!"
Shodaime slammed his palm on one of the stones. "That's enough!" he interrupted, silencing the other ancestors. "We must send one of the family guardians in order to fetch Konan."
"I'll go!" Tobi insisted, throwing the paper off to the side. "I can do it!"
There was a long, awkward silence before the ancestors broke out into a fury of laughter. "Tobi, we are going to send a REAL guardian to fetch Konan," Shodaime explained.
"But I AM a real guardian! I can shoot flames from my eye!"
"Yeah, right! Your misguidance led Sarutobi to disaster!"
The old man on the other side of the room pointed to the sword in his stomach. "Yeah, thanks a lot."
Shodaime just shook his head. "We will send Obito, one of our family's most trusted and powerful guardians." He pointed to a large statue out in the gardens next to the pond. "He'll fetch Konan. Go now, Tobi!" He threw the little man outside. "Wake him up!"
Tobi grunted and dragged the gong over to the statue. "What's so special about this guy?" he asked himself. "He's only got one eye! Well, I guess I shouldn't be talking." Tobi tried to sound the gong, but no one arose from the statue. "Oh, FORGET IT!" he shouted, throwing the gong at the stone. With that, the statue crumbled into a million pieces. Tobi stared. "OH MAN, THEY'RE GONNA KILL ME!!"
"Obito!" Shodaime called from the shrine. "Have you awakened?"
Thinking fast, Tobi pulled his mask off and rubbed some of the rubble on his scarred face. "Uh…YES!" he shouted. "Yes, I just woke up! I'm Obito! I shall now go and fetch Konan! Uh…DID I MENTION I WAS OBITO?!" Tobi could barely hear what Shodaime had to say in response, because he fell backwards and landed at the bottom of the hill. It hardly mattered though, because Shodaime truly thought that the guardian was on his way. "Just perfect!" Tobi shouted, putting his mask back on. "Just great! I'd have to bring Konan home with a medal in order to get my position back!" Tobi glanced at a white butterfly on the ground next to him and smiled. "THAT'S IT!" he realized. "I'll turn Konan into a war hero! They'll be begging me to come back!" Tobi ran off down the path but saw the butterfly following him. "What makes you think you're coming? Huh? You're LUCKY?!"
Meanwhile, Nagato and the other Amegakure ninjas had found Yuura and his partner spying on them in the bushes. "Congratulations," he laughed, "you found the ninjas of the Rain Village."
"Emperor Madara will stop you!" Yuura's partner Kabuto shouted.
"Stop me?" Nagato repeated. "He invited me. When he put up that barrier, he challenged my strength. GO! Go and tell your Emperor to send his strongest troops!"
"Okay…um…" Konan stammered, trying to find the right words. "Uh…how about I…? No…Um…" She deepened her voice. "Hello, Fellow Man!" Gamabunta just laughed; Konan threw her shoe at the frog. "I'M WORKING ON IT!" she shouted, putting her shoe back on. "Oh…who am I kidding? It would take a miracle to get me into the army…"
"DID I HEAR SOMEONE ASK FOR A MIRACLE?! LET ME HEAR YOU SAY 'ARRGGGG'!!"
Konan screamed. "GYAAAAAAAAAH!!"
"Close enough!" A giant shadow appeared against a tall rock. "Get ready, Konan! Your ancestors have sent me! If the army finds out you're a girl, the punishment…IS DEATH!!"
"Who ARE you?!" Konan gasped.
"Who am I? WHO AM I?! I am the POWERFUL, the PLEASURABLE, the INDESTRUCTABLE Tobi!" The little man walked out from behind the rock. "Hee, I'm pretty awesome, huh?" Gamabunta jumped on him.
Konan stared at the little man. "My ancestors sent a child to help me?"
"Hey, I'm fully grown!" Tobi insisted.
"But you're tiny!"
"I'm TRAVEL SIZE! Trust me; if I were my real size, your tadpole over here would die of fright. Plus, I have powers beyond your imagination!" Tobi crawled up Konan until he was at level with her chest. "For example, my eyes…can see straight through your armor…" Konan gasped and slapped him. "ALRIGHT, THAT'S IT!" Tobi shouted. "DISHONOR! DISHONOR ON YOU, DISHONOR ON YOUR TADPOLE, DISHONOR ON YOUR WHOLE FAMILY!!"
"Wait, stop!" Konan cried, patting Tobi on the head. "I'm sorry. I'm just nervous! I've never done this before."
"Duh!" the little man replied. "That's why you need me!"
Konan stared at the sight before her. "They're disgusting…" she whispered.
"No, they're men," Tobi explained, gesturing towards the people in the tents. "You'll have to act just like them!"
"Look!" a random man shouted, unbuttoning his shirt. "This tattoo will protect me from harm!" A tall, blue man looked at the artwork and punched the man in the stomach. A blonde man behind him laughed.
"I hope you can get your money back, un!" he called.
Konan twitched. "I don't think I can do this…"
"It's all about attitude," Tobi muttered. "Be tough like the blue guy! Punch him! It's how men say hello!" Konan did as she was told, and the blue man yelped in surprise.
"You!" he growled. "Why you little…"
"Kisame!" a stitched-up man grinned. "It looks like you made a friend!"
"You aren't worth my time…" Kisame grunted. "Blue-haired pansy…"
"PANSY?!" Tobi shouted. "WHY YOU LITTLE GUPPY!!"
"OKAY, THAT'S IT." Kisame threw a punch, but Konan ducked out of the way in time. The punch landed on the blonde man instead. "Oops…" Kisame realized. "Sorry, Deidara."
"Amegakure ninjas have struck here and here," General Yahiko explained, pointing on the map before him. "I will take the troops up to the village at the Heaven and Earth Bridge. There, we will stop Nagato." Yahiko smiled. "You will stay here and train the new recruits. When you're ready, meet us at the front, Captain."
"Captain?!" Sasuke repeated, staring at the boy sitting across from Yahiko. "But General Yahiko, are you sure?"
"Of course I am!" Yahiko replied. "Pein was at the top of his class in the academy and has great knowledge of war strategies. I think he'll make a fine captain."
An orange-haired man with piercings all over his face and body smiled happily. "It's an honor!" He smirked to himself when Yahiko and Sasuke left the tent. "Heh…Captain Pein…leader of Akatsuki's finest troops. No! Leader of the greatest troops of all-time! Heh heh…" But when he walked out of the tent, he saw total chaos among the troops. Pein stared.
Yahiko mounted his horse. "I'll expect Sasuke's report in three weeks!" he called as his horse galloped off. The experienced troops followed him.
Pein frowned as he watched the man leave. "Good luck, Father." His attention then suddenly turned to the fighting men. "SOLDIERS!" he shouted. The men immediately stopped and pointed to Konan.
"HE STARTED IT."
Konan looked around and stood for the captain. "I'm sorry!" she said quickly in her deeper voice. "I…uh…"
"What's your name?" Pein asked, getting close to her face.
"Uh…I've got a name, and it's a boy's name…"
"Deidara!" Tobi whispered. "Deidara was my ex-boyfriend!"
"But HIS name is Deidara…" Konan gestured towards the blonde man.
"I didn't ask for HIS name!" Pein shouted. "I asked for YOUR name!"
"THEN WHAT IS IT?!"
Tobi pulled on Konan's ear. "Zetsu! Zetsu was my boyfriend after Deidara!"
"IT'S ZETSU," Konan replied.
"Zetsu…?" Pein questioned.
Tobi scratched his head. "Of course, Zetsu turned out to be a cannibal…"
"Yes, my name is Zetsu," Konan confirmed, slapping Tobi on her back.
Pein held out his hand. "Let me see your documents." He took the paper from Konan and glanced at the name. "Jiraiya? THE Sannin Jiraiya?!"
Sasuke stared. "I didn't know Sannin Jiraiya had a son!"
Konan stammered. "Uh…he doesn't talk about me that much!"
Sasuke nodded. "I can see why."
Pein frowned. "Okay, Everyone, thanks to your new friend Zetsu, you'll spend tonight picking up every single grain of rice you dropped. Tomorrow, the REAL work begins."
The next morning, Tobi fixed up a bowl of "Happy Porridge" for Konan and sent her off to the training field. Well, actually, Konan rushed out since Gamabunta told Tobi that the troops had already left. Tobi couldn't help the tears that fell down his face. "My little baby…off to destroy people…"
"Hey, look, Guys!" Deidara announced as Konan ran up to the line of men. "It looks like our new friend here slept in late." He grinned. "Hello, Zetsu, you hungry?"
"Yeah," Kisame added, "because I owe you A KNUCKLE SANDWICH."
That call had become the norm with the recruits. Pein walked up to them with a bow and arrow and threw his shirt over to a barrel of wooden staffs. Konan stared but instantly snapped back to reality when her captain started talking again. "You will assemble swiftly and silently every morning," Pein continued. "Anyone who acts otherwise…will answer to me."
Kisame snorted. "Oh, tough guy…"
"Kisame!" Pein shot the arrow to the top of a tall, bare tree trunk. "Thank you for volunteering! Retrieve the arrow."
Kisame grunted. "I'll get that arrow, Pretty Boy," he muttered, cracking his knuckles, "and I'll do it with my shirt ON."
"Wait a second! You're missing something," Pein interrupted. The orange-haired man pulled two large, golden weights dangling from red cloths from a nearby box. "This represents discipline," he explained, tying one of the weights to Kisame's hand. The blue man's arm instantly fell to the ground. "This represents strength." The captain tied the other weight to Kisame's other hand, which also fell. "You need both to reach the arrow," he finished.
Kisame glanced upwards and tried to climb up the tree trunk, but he quickly slipped downwards and landed on the ground with a hard thump. Deidara then tried and almost landed on his head. Kakuzu, the stitched man, tried but also failed. When Konan gave it a shot, she instantly landed on her behind, which was sore for the rest of the day. Pein just shook his head and sighed.
"We've got a long way to go…" He paused and threw the wooden staffs to the recruits, saving one for himself. He narrowed his gray eyes, and his piercings sparkled in the early morning sunlight as he began. "LET'S GET DOWN TO BUSINESS TO DEFEAT THE AMEGAKURE NINJAS!!" he shouted.
For the next few days, training was intense. Every day from dawn to dusk, the recruits worked on their techniques and strategies. For a long time, it seemed as though they were getting nowhere. It was obvious that many of them had never trained like this before.
Konan was the worst off. Used to a rather calm lifestyle, she could barely keep her eyes open during the mile-long runs the troops did every morning. She had absolutely no balance and almost fell off cliffs several times. Pein easily defeated her in hand-to-hand combat. Tobi did his best to keep Konan on her feet, but one night, things looked terrible for the woman in disguise. Pein came right up to her face and said, "You're unsuited for the rage of war. Pack up! Go home! You're through!" He began walking away but looked back to spit, "I could never make a man out of you!"
Konan wanted to sob when she heard this harsh insult, but something stopped her from leaving. She saw the shadow of the tall tree trunk and attempted to climb it one last time. Tobi, Gamabunta, and the white butterfly watched as she failed yet again.
However, Konan suddenly realized something. "You need…both…" she whispered to herself. And that was when she had it. She tied the two weights around each other on the other side of the tree trunk and began climbing. One by one, the other recruits came from their tents to see what was going on. Konan was climbing higher and higher, higher than anyone else had.
As soon as daybreak hit, Pein came out of his tent and met with an arrow landing right in front of him. He looked up and saw Konan sitting on top of the tree trunk with a big smile on her face. The entire camp was celebrating.
From that moment on, training went much better. Kisame, Deidara, and Kakuzu all completed their forms of training, and Konan rose to the top of the pack. Even Pein had to admit how impressed he was.
"WE ARE SO GOING TO GET CAUGHT."
"Tobi, if you're so scared, why don't you stand watch?"
"OH YEAH, I'LL STAND WATCH WHILE YOU BLOW OUR SECRET!!"
Tobi glared at Konan swimming naked in the nearby lake. All seemed quiet on that peaceful night, but all that changed in a second. Kisame, Deidara, and Kakuzu threw their clothes off and jumped into the water. Tobi panicked on land while Konan looked for a way out of the water.
"Hey, look!" Deidara called. "It's Zetsu!" The blonde swam over to the "man." "Hey, Zetsu, we're sorry we were such jerks to you, un. Let's start over! My name is Deidara, un!"
Konan managed a nervous smile and shook the man's hand. "Hello…Deidara."
"I'm Kakuzu," the stitched man added, smiling strangely.
Konan nodded. "Hello, Kakuzu…"
"And I…am Kisame, KING OF THE ROCK, and there's nothing you little girls can do about it!" the blue man laughed, climbing on top of a nearby rock.
"I bet that Zetsu and I could take you!" Deidara challenged, pulling on Konan's arm.
Konan tried to pull away, but Deidara screamed and let go first. "SOMETHING BIT ME, UN!!" he cried, looking around. Tobi popped up out of the water.
"What a nasty flavor…"
"SNAKE!!" Deidara screamed. While he and the others scrambled to climb on top of the rock, Konan climbed out of the lake and wrapped a towel around herself.
"That was too close…" she breathed. "I never want to see another naked man ever again."
The rest of the soldiers, naked, ran into the lake.
Tobi glared at Konan. "Don't look at me. I'm not biting anymore butts." With that, he walked off with the butterfly towards Pein's tent. What he heard shocked him.
"You and your troops will never see battle!" Sasuke shouted, throwing Pein out of the tent. Tobi gasped.
"No way! I've worked too hard to get Konan into this war!"
The little man waited until Sasuke was gone to sneak into the tent with the butterfly. Inside, they wrote out a message and put together a little plan. They put together a set of armor and some straw on top of a panda and headed off towards the lake. There, Sasuke was yelling.
"YOU MEN OWE ME A NEW PAIR OF SLIPPERS!!" He snorted, "And I do NOT squeal like a girl." The panda bit his remaining slipper. "KYAAAAAAAA!!" He looked up and saw Tobi's creation.
"I have urgent news from General Yahiko!" Tobi said in a deep voice, thrusting the message the butterfly had written into Sasuke's hand. Sasuke glanced at the message and didn't see Tobi and the panda leave. By the time he looked up, they were gone, and he ran back to the tent to find Pein.
"CAPTAIN PEIN!!" he shouted, showing the pierced man the message. "We're wanted at the front!!"
"We've been walking for such a long time…"
"I feel like a cow…"
"I don't know how much more I can take…."
"HEY!!" Deidara cried happily. "Forget the war, un! Think of…a girl worth fighting for…"
Konan stopped dead in her tracks. "…Huh?"
"Yeah," the blonde man continued. "A girl worth fighting for!" He sighed. "I want her with pale skin and sparkling eyes, un. I want her to be smart and always have some little tricks up her sleeve. She'd stay young and beautiful…and I have a thing for redheads."
"My girl would marvel at my strength," Kisame added. "She'd think I was amazingly powerful. She would always be calm and poised, but I wouldn't mind if she broke out into random laughter every so often. All that topped off with long, shiny black hair…"
"I really couldn't care about her looks," Kakuzu finished. "I would just hope that she'd always stand by me…and cook plenty of good meals. She'd be strong and have a sharp tongue, and she'd have a really high pain tolerance."
The men laughed and dreamed among themselves, but Konan stopped, completely frozen, when she and Pein saw the sight before them. The others quickly caught on to stare at the destroyed village. The joyful, happy mood disappeared, only to be replaced with one conclusion: They were too late.
"I don't understand…" Pein gasped. "My father should have been here…"
"Captain Pein!" Sasuke called, pointing towards a large ravine. Pein and the others stared at the dead bodies of Akatsuki's strongest troops before them. Kisame, Deidara, and Kakuzu found General Yahiko's helmet. Konan found a little doll in the snow. She choked.
"They even killed the children…"
Pein swallowed his sadness and turned to his men. "The Amegakure ninjas are moving quickly. We're the only hope for the Emperor now. Move out."
Suddenly, in the middle of their travels, a cannon went off in one of the carts. Konan looked back to see Tobi pointing at the butterfly. She groaned.
"What happened?!" Pein shouted. "YOU JUST GAVE AWAY OUR POSITION!" That was when an arrow struck the man in the shoulder. The other soldiers looked up and saw a group of Amegakure ninjas firing down at them. The troops scrambled to get out of the way and fight. A few of them grabbed the cannons they could and started firing at the mountaintop. After a moment of silence, Pein halted the use of the last cannon.
Konan narrowed her eyes towards the top of the nearby cliff and saw a single figure on a horse smirking down at them. Her eyes widened when she saw the other figures appearing behind them. One by one, the Amegakure ninjas gathered.
Pein looked at his troops. "Prepare to fight. If we die, we die with honor. Kisame, aim the last cannon at Nagato."
Konan stared in horror as Nagato and the other ninjas raced down the hill. She drew her sword but saw something very interesting in its reflection. The snow at the top of the mountain was perfect avalanche snow. Without thinking, Konan grabbed the cannon from Kisame and ran out with Tobi and the butterfly.
"ZETSU, COME BACK!!" Pein screamed. Konan ignored him and ran until she collapsed in the snow, losing the light. Tobi panicked for a moment but then realized what Konan had in mind.
"Tobi!" she cried, lifting the orange mask. The red eye underneath immediately went to work, and a black fire surrounded the cannon. It instantly went off, just when Nagato was about to attack.
"YOU MISSED!!" Tobi screamed as he flew through the air with the cannon. "HOW COULD YOU MISS?! HE WAS THREE FEET IN FRONT OF YOU!!"
Suddenly, a tiny explosion in the distance went off, and the snow tumbled down the mountain. The Amegakure ninjas tried to escape but fell victim to its icy wrath. Nagato glared and Konan and struck her midsection with his sword. Konan fell backwards and scampered down the mountain, where she found and mounted Gamabunta. The other soldiers took shelter under a smaller cliff, but Pein was caught in the snow. Konan rushed out to grab him while Tobi slid down the snowy cliff on an Amegakure shield he had found. He called out for Konan but found the butterfly. "Man, you are one lucky bug."
Once the worst of the avalanche was over, Kisame, Deidara, and Kakuzu threw a rope out for their fellow soldier. Konan grabbed the rope and tied it around her saddle. Once done, the other soldiers pulled as hard as they could to keep their comrades from falling.
Eventually, Konan, Tobi, the butterfly, Gamabunta, and a knocked-out Pein were on their way back to safety. "Yes, yes!" Tobi cried happily. "We did it!" He turned to Konan. "You the man…Well, sort of."
Once they were at the cliff's edge, Pein awoke and looked at a panting Konan. "Zetsu," he began, "you are THE CRAZIEST man I have ever met." He smiled. "For that, I owe you my life. From now on, you have my trust."
Konan smiled but soon doubled over in pain, crying out. She wrapped her arms around her midsection and saw the blood trickling down her armor. Pein gasped.
"HE'S WOUNDED! GET HELP!"
Pein rushed inside the medical tent and stared at the soldier in the sleeping bag. Konan awoke and smiled, sitting up. Her midsection was wrapped up, but there two things there that Pein immediately noticed. Konan gasped and hoisted the blanket back up. "I can explain!" she cried.
Sasuke barged into the tent. "It's true!" he gasped. "I knew there was something strange about you!" He pulled her out into the open. "A WOMAN!!" The soldiers gasped. "You snake!" Sasuke threw her to the ground.
"MY NAME IS KONAN!"
"YOU DESERVE THE ULTIMATE PUNISHMENT!!"
"BUT I DID IT TO SAVE MY FATHER!"
Pein glared at the woman before him. Slowly, he unsheathed her sword and walked towards her. Sasuke restrained Gamabunta while the other soldiers blocked Kisame, Deidara, and Kakuzu's paths. Konan cried as she saw Pein come towards her with the sword, but she felt no pain. She looked down to see the sword lying in the snow. "A life for a life," Pein murmured. "My debt is repaid." He turned. "Move out."
Konan, Tobi, the butterfly, and Gamabunta sat together in the snow. Konan tried to get some warmth from the blanket around her, but the attempt was futile. Even the butterfly shivered underneath the layer. Tobi wrapped his arms around his legs. "Who would have thought it would turn out like this?"
Konan shook her head. "I should have never left home."
"Oh," Tobi sighed, "who would have thought you'd dishonor your family and lose all your friends? Hey, at least you saved your father's life."
"Maybe I didn't do it to save my father. Maybe I did it because I wanted to prove I was worth something…so that when I looked in the mirror, I'd see someone worth while, but I was wrong. I SEE NOTHING." Konan buried her face in her palms and sobbed quietly.
The butterfly made a little squeaking sound, and Tobi gasped. "You're NOT lucky?!" he shouted. The butterfly nodded. "YOU LIED TO ME?!" He looked up at Gamabunta. "AND WHAT ARE YOU, A SLUG?!" Tobi glanced Konan. "You know, the truth is, we're both frauds," he confessed. "Your ancestors never sent me; they don't even like me. You risked your life to help those you love. I risked your life to help myself. At least you had good intentions." Konan just barely smiled. "We started this together, and we'll finish it together," Tobi confirmed. "I promise."
Konan nodded. "I'll need to face my father sometime. Let's go home."
At the base of the mountain, Nagato lifted himself from the cold snow. He climbed out of the wreckage to see that most of his army was dead. Frustrated, he let out a long, powerful shout that called forth any surviving soldiers. Only a few surfaced from the snow, two of them with scarves around their necks and three of them with umbrellas on their backs.
Konan watched in terror as the men made their way down the mountain to the Imperial City. She quickly put her sword back in its sheath and mounted Gamabunta.
"Home is THAT way!" Tobi insisted, pointing in the opposite direction.
Konan glanced at him. "Are we in this together or not?"
"Did you see those ninja? They popped out of the snow…LIKE DAISIES!!" Tobi looked at her and then at the butterfly, who gave an enthusiastic squeak. "Oh well. LET'S GO WASH UP THOSE RAIN VILLAGE NINJA!!"
Down at the Imperial City, Pein, Sasuke, Kisame, Deidara, and Kakuzu walked in the parade to celebrate Akatsuki's victory over Amegakure. Konan suddenly appeared on the sidelines, and Gamabunta jumped in the middle of the street. "Pein!"
"The Amegakure ninjas are alive! I saw them! You have to believe me!"
"Why should I?"
"Why else would I come back?" Konan glared at Pein. "You said you'd trust Zetsu. Why is Konan any different?" Pein stared at her and motioned his horse around Gamabunta.
Konan looked at the other soldiers. "Keep your eyes open for them. I know they're here."
When he reached the top of the stairs to the Imperial Palace, Pein walked up to Emperor Madara with his prize. Madara smiled and looked out towards the crowd. "Children of Akatsuki!" he called. "Akatsuki will sleep safely tonight, thanks to our brave troops!" He looked back at Pein.
The orange-haired man stepped forward. "Your Majesty, Emperor Madara," he began, "I present to you the sword of Nagato."
Madara nodded. "I know how much this means to you, Pein," he whispered. "Your father would have been very proud." He was just about to take the sword when Amegakure ninjas burst out of the float behind them and smacked the sword up towards the top of the palace, where Nagato stood. The crowd gasped and screamed in horror as the ninja grabbed Madara and dragged him inside the palace, locking the doors behind them.
Konan ran up the stairs and watched and the soldiers tried to force the door open without any progress. She bit her lip. "They'll never reach Emperor Madara in time…" She paused but then shouted, "Hey, Guys! I've got an idea!" With that, she ran off into the shadows with her three friends following her.
When they reemerged, Konan, Kisame, Deidara, and Kakuzu were dressed in women's clothing and took their silk sashes from around their waists. They each wrapped one of the sashes around a pole and waited for Konan's order. She was just about to climb up when Pein wrapped his cape around the last pole. The five of them all smiled at one another and made their way up to the top of the palace.
Already up there was Nagato, who had his sword at Emperor Madara's neck. "Your walls and armies have fallen," he hissed. "Bow to me!"
Madara snorted. "No matter how loudly the wind howls, the mountain cannot bow to it."
Meanwhile, Konan and the others in dresses walked up to the guards in scarves and umbrellas standing outside the doors to the top of the palace. They flirted the best they could, and one of the guards fell victim to their charms. The other ones just groaned, "Ugly concubines…"
But then a bitten apple fell out from underneath Deidara's dress. Thinking their cover had been blown, Kisame and Kakuzu pulled the fruit from their dresses and smashed them over the guards' heads. Pein then slammed the doors open and ran up the stairs to where Nagato and Madara were, punching Nagato off to the side. Kakuzu grabbed Madara and followed Kisame and Deidara down a rope leading to safety. Konan was about to join them when she saw Pein fall to the ground. Instead of jumping down to safety, she grabbed Nagato's sword and cut the rope so he at least couldn't get down.
"NO!!" Nagato shouted. He glared at Pein and grabbed him by the collar. "YOU STOLE MY VICTORY!!"
"NO, HE DIDN'T!!" Konan screamed, throwing her shoe at Nagato's head. "I did." She pulled back her short blue hair into a tight bun. Nagato's eyes nearly popped.
"The soldier from the mountains…I was defeated…BY A WOMAN?!" He charged down the stairs as Konan scrambled to put her shoe back on. She ran as fast as she could until she met up with Tobi and the butterfly.
"So what's the plan?" Tobi asked.
"YOU DON'T HAVE A PLAN?!"
"Hey, I'm making this up as I…go." Konan stopped and looked at the fireworks tower. "Tobi!"
"Way ahead of you! Come on, Butterfly!" Tobi jumped onto the butterfly's back, and the two of them flew over to the fireworks tower.
Konan gasped when Nagato turned a corner and nearly hit her. She jumped up onto the roof of the palace and looked out at the fireworks tower, trying to position herself. She took a step back, and Nagato jumped up behind her, scaring her to death. She panted as she looked for her sword, only to find her fan.
Nagato smirked. "It looks like you're out of ideas." He thrust his sword forward through the fan, and Konan twisted it at the last second so it flew into her hands.
"Not quite. READY, TOBI?"
Tobi stepped out of the darkness to reveal the fireworks on his back. "I AM READY, BABY!!" he shouted. He lifted his mask and lit the fuse; the fireworks sped towards Nagato. Konan stabbed his sword through his clothes, pinning him to the roof. Tobi cut himself off from the fireworks at the last second, slamming the explosives into Nagato. Nagato screamed as he rushed towards the fireworks tower. As soon as he hit it, all the explosives went off and lit up the night sky.
"Get off the roof," Konan mumbled to herself. "Get off the roof!" She jumped off the edge and ran down the stairs, meeting up with Pein and the other soldiers along the way.
Sasuke walked out from the ashes. "THAT WAS AN ATTEMPT ON MY LIFE!!" he shouted, stomping towards the group. "WHERE IS SHE?! That creature isn't worth protecting!"
Pein grabbed his collar. "She's a hero!"
"She's a woman! She'll never be worth anything!"
"LISTEN, YOU LITTLE…!"
"THAT. IS. ENOUGH." Madara marched down the stairs towards the group, pushing Pein out of the way. Konan stepped forward and bowed deeply before her leader. "I have heard an awful lot about you, Miss Sannin Konan. You stole your father's armor, ran away from home, impersonated a male soldier, deceived your commanding officers, put thousands of lives in danger, destroyed my palace, AND…!" He paused when Konan winced. Suddenly, his face relaxed. "…You have saved us all." He smiled and bowed before her. Sasuke looked at him and gasped, getting on his knees. Konan turned and saw Pein, Kisame, Deidara, and Kakuzu bowing before her. She then looked out to the audience and saw that they, too, were bowing.
On top of Gamabunta, Tobi sobbed. "My little baby is all grown up and saving Akatsuki…Butterfly, do you have a tissue?"
When Madara rose, he looked at his messenger. "Sasuke, see to it that this woman is made a member of my council."
"WHAT?!" Sasuke exploded. "Uh…there are no council positions open!"
Madara shrugged. "Okay." He turned to Konan. "You can have his job."
Konan giggled. "With all due respect, Your Excellency, I think I've been away from home long enough."
Madara nodded. "Alright. Take this though." He placed Nagato's sword in her hands. "Everyone will now know what you have done for me." He took his necklace off and placed it around her. "Take this, too, so that the world will know what you have done for Akatsuki." Konan stared at her presents and then leaped into Madara's arms.
"Is she allowed to do that?" Kisame asked. He shrugged when she came over to him though, because they, along with Deidara and Kakuzu, had a group hug. When Konan got to Pein, he was at a loss for words.
"Uh…" he stuttered, "…you fight well."
Konan twitched. "Uh…thanks." She walked past him and mounted her frog with Tobi and the butterfly. "Gamabunta, let's go home."
As the frog jumped down the stairs, Madara walked over to Pein's side and cleared his throat. "The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of them all."
Madara frowned and pointed to Konan. "You don't meet a girl like THAT every dynasty."
Back at home, Jiraiya sat next to the pond. The late flower fell off the tree branch and landed in his lap, just as his daughter appeared before him. He gasped. "Konan…"
"Father…" Konan murmured as she got down on her knees. "I brought you the sword of Nagato and the crest of Emperor Madara! They're gifts to honor the Sannin family."
Jiraiya looked at the gifts in his lap and threw them off to the side. He got down on his knees and embraced his daughter tightly, letting a few tears fall. "The greatest gift and honor," he whispered, "is having you for a daughter. I have missed you so much…"
Konan sobbed quietly and wrapped her arms around her father. "I missed you, too, Papa Jira-chan…"
Nearby, Tsuande and Orochi stood, watching the scene. Tsuande wiped the tears from her eyes as Orochi crossed his arms. "Oh, GREAT," he muttered, "she brings home A SWORD. If you ask me, the LEAST she could have done was bring home A MAN!"
Tsunade and Orochi turned to see Pein.
"Does Miss Sannin Konan live here?"
Tsuande's and Orochi's eyes went wide, and they pointed towards the pond. Pein bowed and walked by them. "Thank you."
Orochi stared at the man. "WOAH!!" he shouted. "Sign ME up for the next war!!"
Jiraiya stood when he saw Pein walking towards him. "Honorable Sannin Jiraiya," the captain began. He stopped though when he saw the young lady. "Konan!" he realized. "Uh…you…you forgot your helmet! Um…well, I guess it's, uh, YOUR helmet, isn't it? Heh…" Pein held out the helmet for Jiraiya to take, but Konan took it instead.
"Would you like to stay for dinner?"
"WOULD YOU LIKE TO STAY FOREVER?!" Orochi shouted from the other side of the pond.
Pein laughed and looked at Konan. "Dinner would be great."
Up at the ancestors' shrine, Shodaime glared at Tobi. The little man in the orange mask grinned. "Come on," he coaxed, "who did a good job?"
Shodaime groaned. "OH, FINE!" he gave in. "…You can be a guardian again."
"OH YEAH, BABY!!" Tobi exploded happily, jumping up to his pedestal. "TAKE IT, BUTTERFLY!!" The little white bug sounded the gong and woke the ancestors, who celebrated Konan's victory. Tobi, lost in all the excitement, fell from his pedestal and landed on the stairs to the shrine. Konan walked up to the little man and smiled.
"Thanks, Tobi," she giggled as she kissed him. Tobi smiled brightly and headed back into the shrine to take his position while Konan took Pein's hand. "I just needed to be true to my heart."
Next Story: Temari as Pocahontas