Chapter II:

An Odd Venture

It was the day after Christmas. The snow still blanketed the ground with its white sheen. However, the lively merriment that was occurring outside quickly dented the white blanket with brisk footsteps. Vigorous laughter could be heard from outside, the screams of joy and gaiety pierced the usually quite house.

Using her slender fingers, Hinata gingerly spooned the left over eggnog, her nimble fingers tightened meditatively around the dark colored mug.

Almost a full year had passed since she had officially joined the infamous Akatsuki. Oddly enough, she was truly happy being an assassin slash art thief. She didn't mind being used as a weapon, as an ascetic tool. It was an odd thought, but finally being accepted had made her so blissful that the other details didn't matter as much. The thought would have bothered a long time ago, but that part of her withered and died.

She tugged her feet between her chest, as she shifted more comfortably on the crimson velvet couch. And she giggled. After going through such harsh and austere training with all of her rather unrelenting senseis, she had the right to. Even though at the beginning she looked like nothing but failure, they hadn't given up on her, so in response she had not given up as well.

Looking at the calendar that hung just above the lightly flamed fireplace, her opal eyes widened, and realized that tomorrow was going to be her sixteenth birthday. A broad smiled lightened her soft features. Five years.

Five years, she was able to survive living and working a long side the most dangerous of people. She was well aware that she was no longer the weak – willed girl she once was. Take that father! She mentally accolades herself.

"Yo! Princess," The said girl's head whirls around, her pale eyes landed upon a palpably muscular man, with an acerbic grin plastered on his ruggedly attractive features. He plopped himself on his one - person red couch adjacent to her, and lifted his feet on the glassed table while holding what looked to be a sandwich.

"H-Hai, H-Hidan-s-sama?" She nervously looked at the man in front of her. He was assertively slouching on the chair, his dark purple gaze scrutinizing her, while he took a bite out of his bread.

He grunted. "You call Deidara and Sasori like your friends. Why so formal with me? Hmm, princess?" He insolently swallowed his food. "We are friends, aren't we?" He snidely asked, and than smirked at the increasing blush on the younger girl's face.

"H-Hai..." She responded slowly, while stuttering.

"Than call me Hidan – kun or something." He ordered, rather than asking her.

She briskly nodded, "H-Hai, Hidan...kun." She took a slight sip of her milky drink, and curiously looked at the male across from her. She wasn't going to lie. Hidan intimated her. Like a lot. He was rather crude, and enjoyed making her uncomfortable as if it were a personal hobby. However, he was very, very handsome. In fact, all her allies in Akatsuki were abnormally beautiful or intensely handsome. She couldn't help but feel as if she paled in comparison.

Hidan used his free hand to remove a strand of white hair from falling into his eyes. "Fuck. I think I need to buy more hair jell." He told himself as he soothed the pesky strands.

"Hidan-sa...kun, was there something you needed?" She asked, while lightly tapping her fingers against the smooth mug, she felt anxious as to what he wanted to tell her.

"You're turning sixteen, right?" She nodded. "Isn't this when most girls usually decided to lose their, what is it, innocence?" Hinata's face turned several shades of red. What in the world did he mean?

"And maybe, you know I can help you in that department." He licked his bottom lip, a smirk extolled on his olive skin. Hinata felt herself instinctively coil in to a tight ball.

"Stop teasing the poor girl, yeah." Long arms wrapped around Hinata's shoulders. Laughter radiated from Hidan. She blushed, and looked up and found herself staring in to teal eyes, as blond hair tickled her face.


"I was just joking! Sheesh, princess! Don't take it so seriously!" Slapping his knee, he pretended to wipe a faux tear from his dark plum tinted eyes. Hinata felt her face heat up again in embarrassment at Hidan's shameless fun in her mortification, but felt Deidara tighten his grip around her.

She looked up again in to his teal hues, well one of them. Half his face was now veiled by his smooth lengthy side bang. His noble - like handsome features always sent her heart reeling. He was almost too beautiful to be authentic. His lean build pressed closer to her, causing her heart to beat rapidly. She saw his teal gaze was no longer warmly on her, but was steely fixed on the laughing male, while his eyebrows furred in impatience.

"Don't mind that bastard, he's childish, un." The laughing stopped. Hidan blinked. Than narrowed his eyes.

"What was that fucker? You want to fight me? Bring it on, you fucking gay transvestite!" Hidan yelled, his chest puffed in fury. Deidara only sorted in response, upturning his dainty nose like royalty, as if Hidan was too far beneath to even bother answering him, even if he was one of the younger member's of the Akatsuki.

These fights got old rather quick; it would only go to bickering, and usually end there. Though at times, if the grudge still held, they would usually beat on each other much more than needed during comeback practice. Other than that, nothing really ever happened from the bickering.

Sighing softly, Hinata placed her mug on the lucid table, and removed herself from the now bickering Deidara's hold. She softly excused herself. However, the two males were too far gone in their now incoherent fighting to notice her absence.

While making sure she remained unnoticed, Hinata stealthy escaped to the outside, in to the bitter cold. Deciding she needed to be well – equipped against the low temperatures, she wore a hooded black sweater, loosely fit blue sweatpants, black boots, and for added protection furry gloves that she'd received last year as a gift.

She swiftly placed her raven hair into a ponytail that trailed down her back. Letting out a small sigh, her opal eyes amiably gazed at the snow and the way the children gaily played. The busy giggles left her with a somewhat aching feeling in her stomach. She blew in to her furry mittens, and rubbed her hands together.

"Hey! Watch out!" Hinata turned around her lilac eyes widened in curiosity. A huge snowball was speeding towards her, aiming straight for her face. Blinking lazily, with her heightened reflexes, she smoothly side-stepped the accelerating snowball, letting it go past her swiftly.

She turned to see a group of kids, no, teenagers, about the same age as her running up to her. She smiled.

A blond, with alluring blue eyes was the first to reach her. He was the first to speak...or yell. "THAT WAS AWESOME! How did you do that?!" He questioned her, buzzing with fascinated curiosity.

Hinata blinked, and tilted her head in response. "Hm?"

"I mean, the snowball was like 'blahhh!' and you were just like 'whoosh!' And you all side-stepped it like it was nothing." He used his hands, and well his whole body to demonstrate what she did.

She couldn't help but blush at his brash praise. "O-Oh...Ah, arigatou," She hadn't gotten his name.

His eyes widened in realization. "Oh! My name is Uzumaki Naruto! The greatest snowball player ever!" He pumped his fisted hand in the air.


He idly placed his hands back down at her lack of response, and just smiled. "And these are my buddies." He pointed to each of his friends. "Kiba, and his dog Akamaru. Shikamaru, Haku, he's a guy by the way, Choji, Shino, Lee, and Sai." Each of them shook her hand, and gave her a smile, while she blushed. However, she felt completely insulted by the one called Sai, who candidly called her "The most Hideous thing he had ever seen". However, the one labeled Kiba reassured her he had meant to say the opposite, and that Sai, was incompetently socially retarded. "And..." The one called Naruto scratched his head. "Ah, where the hell is that Sasuke-teme?" He asked himself. "He was here a few moments ago... He was the one I was trying to hit before you came."

"Naruto – baka." A low yet softly precarious voice spoke from behind her. Hinata turned around, and her placid eyes fell in to daring obsidian eyes.

Her lips parted in astonishment. "Ita - ?" Before she could finish her wording, the Itachi look – alike (she realized there was no way in a cold day in hell Itachi could ever be here), scowled at her. Even though this was obviously not Itachi, he was staggeringly handsome, his ivory skin starkly contrasted with his inky black locks that danced on his face. Unlike her sensei's hair, she noticed, his was spiked haphazardly in the back whilst Itachi had his tied conveniently in a ponytail. Hinata tilted her head. His eyes lingered on her form, scrutinizing her, while his face remained impeccably impassive. It was astoundingly parallel to Itachi's gaze when he was studying her.

"Ah, Sasuke-teme! You're here! Where the hell did you go?" Naruto asked. The dark haired male in question simply rolled his eyes, but the blond remained undeterred by the aloof male's lack of interest. "Sasuke meet –" He scratched his head. "Um..."

"Idiot!" The one called Kiba laughed, his dancing brown eyes looked at the blond in disbelief. "You were all gloating and praising her, yet you don't even know her name." Hinata looked at him for what seemed the first time. He wasn't bad – looking, in fact he was rather attractive with his unruly brow hair and warm brown eyes. He smirked at her. She blinked in response. He kind of looked familiar...

"I'm Inuzuka Kiba, and this is Akamaru, if you don't remember." The small white dog barked in compliance. "Just to let you know, we aren't like that baka, Naruto." He told her, she giggled, and Naruto fumed.

"So, what is your name you hideous freak." Sai asked her.

She blinked, "Um...Hinata." Was this really his way of giving her a compliment?

"Hinata is such an ugly name." He told her, while taking her gloved hand and kissed it. Why did it seem like he was insulting her on purpose?

"Hinata...?" She turned around.

"Hai?" She was looked at the one called Shino. He wore circular dark glasses, which shielded his eyes. She could only concur that his eyesight might be sensitive. However, his high cheek bones, and the smooth looking skin, proved that he was more than likely highly attractive. And he too, seemed familiar, in the same way Kiba did. Despite her usually immaculate memory, she felt her mind mist when trying to remember those two.

"I don't remember seeing you around? Do you go to our school?" He questioned. She shook her head. "Are you visiting Tokyo?"

She declined that hypothesis as well. "N-No...Actually, I don't really live far from here...," She told him.

"Oh." She smiled.

"HINATA IS SUCH A YOUTHFUL NAME, YES?!" Rock Lee, she presumed, jumped in front of her with surprising speed for a civilian; a huge smile decorated his face. "WITH SUCH LOVELY FEATURES TO MATCH." Despite the two large fuzzy caterpillars that were crawling on his face, he wasn't bad looking. He was actually attractive in a sort of unique way that she guessed only he could probably pull off. So once again, for the umpteenth time, she blinked.

"A...Ah, arigatou Lee-san." She faintly smiled.

"Anyways...Hinata-chan..." Naruto said, while dragging her away from Lee. "We were actually in the middle of a great snowball fight." Hinata tilted her head. "Do you wanna join us?" Unsure of what to say to this 'snowball fight', she nodded. It seemed like a challenge, and like all challenges, an Akatsuki never backs down.

"YES! I call Hinata-chan on my team." The blond exclaimed animatedly. "Oh, Sasuke – teme, you're going down!"

The teams were divided, and she was placed with Naruto, Kiba, Choji, and Lee. On the opposing team were Sasuke, Shino, Haku, and Sai. Shikamaru had given her his spot rather happily, lazily saying that he'd much rather referee. The teams were still uneven, but the other team, she dubbed them the 'dark' team since all the members seemed so brooding, didn't think having a her, a girl, would make much of a difference anyway. Hinata let a smirk play on her lips. Her team was in the lead by a good whooping fifteen points because of her, and she still didn't have a speck of snow on her.

She shook her head lightly, it wasn't really fair. She was a highly trained assassin after all.

Firmly securing the ball of snow in her hands, Hinata covertly hid behind a tree. Her boots crunched the snow, as she turned around placing her hands on the tree's bark, looking to see if the coast was clear.

Ding! Ding! Brnnnngg!

What was that sound? Her opal eyes widened when she realized her pocket was vibrating. She dropped the snowball, and hurriedly checked her pockets. Taking out her communicator, she placed it on her ears.

"Hinata." Itachi's voice spoke from the other end of the line. It wasn't loud, but the dark warning tone it held sent chills through her body.

"H-Hai, Itachi-sensei?"

"Where are you?" He asked with conviction, and she could sense a light trail of annoyance in his voice. Her eyes descended, she didn't like disappointing Itachi, especially after everything he's done for her.

"G...Gomennasai. I left the headquarters f-for some fresh air. Gomennasai."

She could hear him faintly sigh. "Well hurry back. Leader – sama has a new mission for you, as well as a surprise. Did anyone?"

Her eyes widened exponentially. She wasn't sure what to say, she was never really one to fib, especially to Itachi. However, her gut told her it wasn't wise to say the truth. So she lied. "No, I was only taking a walk."

She heard him sigh again. "Well, I expect your arrival to be prompt."

She couldn't help but note the infinitesimal traces of concern in his voice. The thought created a rupture of peculiar warmth in her stomach despite the bitter cold. A small smile played on her lips. "Hai... goodbye, Itachi-sensei." She clicked the 'off' button on the communicator, and placed it back in to her pocket.

"Who were you talking to?" Hinata turned around briskly, and caught sight of Sasuke standing about a foot a way from her, staring at her with narrowed eyes.

Her mind started to whirl in panic, searching for an excuse. "A...Ah, it was my mom, she wants me to go" She noticed his face contort in disbelief. Shit.

"I could have sworn you said...Itachi." His eyes flared blood red, and once she blinked it returned back to condescending obsidian.

"That's my!"She mentally slapped herself. My cat?!

"Your cat?" He raised an eyebrow in question, she nodded in response.

"Hai! I named him, I-Itachi, and I was asking my mom if she fed him today! You know how cats get when their hungry!"

"No. I don't."

"Well, t-they might just claw your face off!" She feigned a laugh at her expense. Sasuke just nodded."Oh, p-please would you tell the others that I had to depart? Or you know my cat will go berserk on me!" She really needed to stop with this cat business! She smiled at him, while he still gazed at her blankly. However, she could sense his suspicion behind the bemused facade. She shrugged it off.

"Sure." He stated impassively.

She began to walk in the other direction. "Arigatou!" She burst in to a run.

Sasuke gazed at the retreating girl's form, as she disappeared he felt his grip tighten on the snowball. "A cat...named Itachi? ...She was definitely lying." He felt his grasp loosen on the snowball as it fell to the ground in flaky wisps. "...Hinata?"

"My baby, un!" Before she could even find herself through the door's frame, Hinata found herself landing into Deidara's awaiting arms as he trapped her in a bone-crushing hug. "I thought I lost you, un!"

Hinata giggled. "I just went out for a walk, Deidara-kun." She spoke softly, while he let her go. He looked down worry acutely embedded on his features, as he scanned the lavender eyed girl.

"That's still no excuse! I mean what if a rapist was out there molesting you?" She blushed at the bold statement. "You'd leave Dei-chichi behind, yeah!" She couldn't help but giggle softly in her hands. "Where were you?" He suddenly asked. "You were in my hold, and than without me noticing you just vanished!"

"I was...out?" She carefully stated.

"Hinata." Both of them looked behind Deidara to see a red – headed male with a milky complexion, only a few inches shorter than Deidara. His haunting brown eyes were fixed on the petite girl next to the blonde. He ran a smooth hand through his silky crimson tresses that made Hinata's heart skip a beat. "You need to get dressed. In about an hour or so, Leader-sama wants you report to his meeting room along with everyone else."

Her eyes widened at that. "May I ask what this may be out Sasori-kun?"

He shrugged impassively, "If I knew, I would tell you. Just hurry. Deidara and I will meet you outside the meeting room in an hour." She nodded.

Hinata decided on all – black attire that reflexively hung trimly on her body, flattering her curvaceous figure. She'd decided to tie her hair up using a black ribbon as an accessory. She'd made sure to wash her face thoroughly, to flush out the red that had appeared on her cheeks due to the cold.

After dressing herself, Hinata made her way swiftly down the dim – lit hallway, making her way to the designated meeting room.

As promised, Deidara and Sasori were patiently awaiting her arrival. They were both wearing black clothing that showed off their lean, yet frivolously well-built bodies. Deidara's eyes lit up when he caught sight of the girl, a goofy grin plastered on his handsome face. Almost polar opposite in demeanor, Sasori's eyes held inert boredom and a light scowl in irritation. Her mind couldn't help but place on the similarities between Sasori and Sasuke, and Deidara and Naruto's dispositions. She shook her mind of the redundant thought. She was certain she would never see them again, almost a one out of a thousand chance. And she'd rather keep it that way; she wanted to avoid as much complications as possible.

"Are you ready?" Sasori coolly asked, and Hinata nodded. Deidara offered her a bright smile in reassurance, which she couldn't help but return.

Both males grabbed a door handle, opening the large doors for her to get in. Hinata inwardly gulped, though she willed her conduct to remain unreadable, and stepped inside the rather dimly lit room, with Deidara and Sasori fallowing close behind.

She wasn't really surprised that she was the last to arrive. Everyone looked up at the entering trio with weak curiosity.

Hinata soon realized the only person absent was Itachi-sensei, which also did not daze her since he was regularly set on missions. What did alarm her was Kisame's presence; he had been left behind, which was peculiar since they always went on missions together. Especially since every operation that the senior members went on were usually conducted in duos. As if sensing her bewilderment, Kisame sent her a teeth bearing grin, as if to tell her everything was alright.

She caught sight of Kazuku and Hidan (who was expectantly quiet, weird), standing near each other. Kazuku impersonally nodded at her, while Hidan smirked causing her to blush.

She made her way to her newly designated spot in the intimate circle, which was next to Kisame.

Before she could ask about Itachi's whereabouts, authoritative footsteps echoed throughout the room causing her to snap out of her thought haze and stare at the front of the meeting room. She caught sight of Pein, their leader, walking to the upper corner of their hemisphere. She couldn't help but stare at his surreal features. His disheveled spiked dark orange hair and multiple piercings made him look dangerously feral. While the impervious expression on his pale face told of regality and royalty.

All bowed at his entrance, to shows signs of respect.

"You may arise." They all looked up. Pein was sitting on his chair, while everyone stood around him. A brief moment of quiet passed over the room. "About a year ago, Hinata our new lovely member had joined the Akatsuki, demonstrating great skill and unwavering loyalty. She has successfully gained our trust and confidence, and has more than proven worthy in my eyes." Everyone nodded in agreement, while Hinata was glad the room was dark or else she might shame herself with the bright red blush that 'blessed' her face.

"Arigatou." She softly stated, lightly bowing her head.

"It's only idyllic that I provide something in return for your accomplishments." Pein told her. "I have a surprise for you, my dear."

Hinata's eyes widened in query and wonder. What kind of surprise? She felt her heart accelerate its tempo in acute angst, ready for anything.

"Meet your new partner..."


Instantaneously, a random door flew open. Everyone's head spun to the direction of the noise. A man dressed in the mission attire for Akatsuki stepped in. The man had on a mask, which she fond odd. Did she know this man?

As soon as she blinked, she found herself face to face with the masked him, his head tilting in observation.

"I…" She started.

"Hi! I'm Tobi, and I'm a good boy!"

Are you serious?!

A/N: Well, before anyone asks, yes Konan and Zetsu are part of the Akatsuki in my story. However, this meeting is mostly for the people who fight. Konan doesn't really fight in the manga, though I guess she can fight but she doesn't really. R.I.P by the way baby. She was beautiful. She will be entering later on in the story, where I will try and explain what she does. Zetsu, also will play a important part. I feel like he is not really a fighter, so he won't be set on the missions where he is doing the, er, 'dirty work', he's just too far above that. But that doesn't mean he can't, and he has been one of Hinata's sensei's, as well as Konan, but hardly with things concerning combat and theft.

Also, I have other people that I will introduce, like Neji, Kakashi, and etcetera. Ooooh, by the way who do you think will be Hinata's first kiss? Hehe.

I hope you all enjoyed it! I should have two more updates during Spring Break! Review!