DISCLAIMER: I do not own 'Naruto'. All rights belong to Masashi Kishimoto. I also do not own the song 'Clear Hearts Grey Flowers'. All rights belong to Jack Off Jill. I only own my OCs, and this fanfiction. Thank you.

NOTE: Violence in this Chapter, a.k.a death.

Your love is like a funeral

Where words go to die

Your love is like a funeral

Where kisses go to die…

It was like something out of an old gangster movie. An enclosed space, one retreating figure, backed up against the wall like he wanted to phase right through it. His voice was young, though haggard. In this moment, he was pleading for all he was worth. "No! Please! PLEASE! I-I'll get the money to you by next Sunday! I swear! Just give me another chance!"

And there, somehow managing to corner him effectively in their first job, were two hulking brutes with enough muscle on them to lay down, or imagine a decent smackdown. The first one let out a sharp snort, addressing the male on the floor in a gruff tone. "Sorry, but you had your chance. In fact, you had near to three of 'em."

Beside him, his companion chuckled. "Yeah, I'm amazed that guy let you live as long as he did." This was a true wondering, based on what they'd heard. He and his partner had been surprised at the age on the target-he was fresh out of high school, it seemed. He'd been enrolled at the local university, but now he was drowning in debt, from both college expenses and a slightly lavish lifestyle, on credit he couldn't pay back.

Looking for a way out, he'd ultimately turned to a loan sharking company. When he couldn't cough up the dough to them though, not making nearly enough on two jobs...well, that's where their new boss stepped in.

By this point, the second thug was making a fist, and drawing back for a clear shot. The young male on the floor was horrified, breaking out in a fresh wave of frantic, indeterminate babbling and bargaining-all the tricks and last resorts of a condemned soul. His partner was pulling out his knife.

He didn't mind a bit of close combat. He'd just wash up later. Besides, he wasn't good yet with guns, and this was their beginning mission under this particular employer's wing. He didn't want to mess this up. A lot hinged on this first impression, not just a future of work, but... Flipping his knife around, the second prepared to stab. Another comment to his partner. "Hey, maybe it's 'cause he's like a kid?"

The male on the ground had let out a cry, as a strong blow was let loose to his face-what was reachable through his scrawny arms, which he'd held up to protect himself. It didn't do much to aid him-he was still bleeding. He let out a little gurgling groan as his head cracked against the wall, and his attacker laughed then, at both his strength and the last remark. "Yeah, maybe. Guess that sadist has at least a hint of a heart-"

Suddenly, that sound. The unmistakeable click of a safety being switched. Before anyone else could move, the powerful bang of a revolver rang out. In a flash, the bullet had zipped straight through the narrow space between the two thugs. Faster than the second punch. Faster than this first slice. Only the figure pressed against the wall had seen it coming. But he hadn't been able to do a damn thing about it. In that split second, it was all over.

The distinct thud of a body hitting the floor, and clattering metal, were the final sounds following the encounter for a good few moments. It seemed that the two males, so eager and inexperienced with how things worked among this particular group...hadn't been expecting quite the sudden dispatch. At least, not while they were so close.

Also...they'd made the mistake of forgetting the third member of their gang tonight. The one who was heading this whole job. The one who would ultimately decide their fate.

The one who had grown just a little tired of playing patient with the children.

"Ah…w-what the hell, Konan-san?" The first male had dropped his knife, as realization and blood had struck him. His words were spoken in fear and haste. With eyes wide as he surveyed the body, he marveled-and trembled-at the clean hole through the front of the young man's head. On the other side, he tried not to focus too much on the internal thought process and higher function splattered all over the wall that, just a few moments prior, had been used as support.

His friend was taking deep breaths, and composing himself enough to actually be able to speak when he opened his mouth. He was going to give this nut job a piece of his mind, no matter if it was a woman. "For crying out loud! You wanna give us a heart attack?"

Yes...a woman...

Speaking of which, said woman had decided she was done listening to her two pieces of hired muscle talk down to her. They would learn their place at this organization, and learn it well. She'd be more than willing to offer the first lessons. "Shut up. We came here to do a job, not chit-chat or gloat. Get in, get out. No sympathies. If you two want to last in the Akatsuki, you better learn that, remember it, and follow it fully."

Her words were cold and precise, enough to get both men to exchange shared glances of worry. Her voice hid nothing-she had a gun, and she wasn't afraid to use it. And she could use it so easily on either of them, too.

Such a grim scene indeed. A small, shady apartment, piled with boxes and papers, with a single light swinging from the ceiling. It appeared that everyone had been gathered in the kitchen or dining area. A wooden table, wooden chair, and small fridge were the only non-living objects remaining objects adorning the gloomy room, which had now become a tomb.

In the corner, pressed against the wall, was that corpse. Nameless, now and forever-just another sap who had gotten in over his head. So young, so foolish, so eager to please but unable to pay...in the end, he finally did absolve his debt, though as it was plain to see, the freedom came with a price. Thus, here he lay; brains and blood spread out and splattered against the off-white walls, like a twisted work of art. A few droplets and chunks were slowly sliding down the surface, pooling into a puddle upon the wooden floor.

Although she may have startled them the first time around though, it seemed that her message still hadn't gotten through. "Shit…you're one psycho bitch, you know that?" The second thug was pushing dark red hair away from his brow, to wipe away the sweat that had formed. His deep brown eyes were bulging, as they attempted not to dart, to and fro, from the victim to she who had pulled the trigger.

His partner, bending down to pick up his knife, had his own retort to offer. "Shuichi's right-ya could've at least let him have a few final words, requests, something like that." He ran his hand through wavy, shaggy brown locks that framed his narrow face. To be honest, he hadn't expected the death. He'd thought the kid was just going to get a good roughing up, enough to drive the point home.

And even if he'd used his knife to kill the kid, he'd at least have let him do something before he was to truly expire. Not that he felt sympathy, just...it felt right. He looked down his pointed nose at the female in question; their official leader of the 'expedition' they were currently engaged in.

Their words had no other effect on the woman, other than to resume her prior task with a new icy fire. "Quit your whining. If you're so inclined to last rights and the like, then beg for them when you're cornered in an alley with a .45 against your skull. On your own damn time." From the way she was talking, it was debatable whether she was speaking from experience, or because it was what she actually believed. And that was only the first of this strange figure's 'quirks'.

As a woman, she was something of a rarity. Soft hued hair, periwinkle blue, was partially pulled into a side bun, with a white paper rose pinned in front of it. Thick parted bangs and the rest of her locks framed her heart shaped face. Piercing hazel eyes, like amber, were adorned with light violet shadow, making them stand out further against her fair skin. Her features seemed to be exquisitely carved, her face without lines or blemishes. Nothing to betray her age. The only distinguishable marking of any sort-and it certainly wasn't a disfiguring one-was a small silver stud under her lower lip.

The head of this job, previously referred to as 'Konan', had been sent to take care of a debt on behalf of her company, under her Leader's order. She was also assigned to bring along the two males, who were rookies to the business. They all had to start somewhere, and what better way than this, under one of the group's highest ranking members?

However, these two were probably the most annoying ones she'd ever had to put up with. If it hadn't been for the mission, she would've just ended things then and there just as quickly as she had with the target. The heavy cooling metal in her gloved hand reminded her that she could turn on them in a second if she wished to. After all, it wasn't like her syndicate was hurting for members or recruits.

But ultimately, she didn't care to deal with more bodies-or explanations-than were necessary at the moment. She'd given these newbies a good taste of how the show was run, and what would be expected of them.

Slipping the pistol into a holster around her waist, Konan started for the exit without missing a beat. "Let's go." Luckily, the victim had been stupid enough to open it when they had tried the 'knocking politely' method. It may've seemed unbelievable, but it was a valid method that worked-at least, if she were the one to do it. Nobody would question opening a door to get a look at the cute lady who owned that sweet, imploring voice.

After that, it was all a matter of brute strength. And these two new lackeys had plenty of that to offer. Thankfully.

The men stumbled after her. "Uh, right, right." Both were trying to hide their discomfort, but at the same time refused to let it go as they whispered heatedly to one another. She didn't even need to glance behind to know that they were trying not to gag at the sight of fresh blood and the inner workings of the human skull. She scoffed silently to herself. Amateurs. If they were going to be sick, then they'd best save it for when they were behind closed doors, where the rest of their comrades couldn't see. They could learn how to hold it back, how to control parts of that physical reaction.

She had, anyway.

From there, they piled into a black van, to head back to...wherever they'd been sent from. Konan was behind the wheel, the males were in the back. Almost like a soccer mom, complete with rugrats. What a heartwarming image.

Except it was midnight, they weren't kids-no matter what their reactions suggested-and she most certainly wasn't a 'mother figure' of any kind. The ride extended on, completely devoid of vocal sound. The road twisted and wound, and they passed through quite a few tunnels before Konan finally parked the vehicle in what would soon turn out to be a metal reinforced separate garage with key access only.

After what felt like an eternity of driving, they had returned to the base-the upper outer layer, anyway. Konan made sure to check in the car, as part of protocol. It would be picked up soon enough for 'maintenance', i.e a sweep and scrub down, just to make sure they and their 'friend' hadn't left any stains behind. Everyone in this business knew that leaving a trace was bad. A very bad thing indeed.

Where the headquarters were located exactly, no one could say. Simply an unknown location, to the grunts that came into the grind. Off and away from the main roads. Only the head honchos actually knew the exact route. And they weren't going to be sharing that information anytime soon.

On the outside, it appeared to be a packaging warehouse. And if one were to step in, without any clues or previous tip offs, that's what they would see. To reach the main hub, one would have to look.

Really look. With a trained eye.

The blue haired female headed to a switchboard that was used to control the main machinery. It was attached to a side wall made of cinder-blocks, in contrast to the outside of the facility, which was wood and metal. Under the controls, there was a smaller block. Unless you were specifically searching, you would not notice that one was tinier than the others, a perfect square.

She pushed it with her fist. It slid out partway, revealing a mini keypad and screen. After typing in a few symbols and figures, it beeped before returning into the wall.

The sound of whirring started up, as a panel on the floor slid open. Its top merely appeared to be a part of the design, so it wouldn't stand out. From the hole rose a large cylindrical chamber. The doors parted, revealing it to be an elevator. The three entered silently, entrance closing once more before retreating into the floor.

Eventually, they reached their destination. It was a rather long journey; the organization hadn't spared any expense to keep things on the down low and underground. Quite literally so, in fact. Who knew how far under the Earth they were now. And things were always changing, always being expanded upon. Development was important, if they wanted to stay ahead in their dark game. With a ding of the elevator bell, Konan stepped out briskly, followed by the other two. They were still a bit shaky, and the ride hadn't helped much to soothe them on that end. Truly, they were leaving the outside world behind-and they could never turn back.

A bountiful grave indeed-because if they didn't die first in the business, they'd be killed by their superiors. Their guide tonight was only one example of that fact. Briefly, the pair stopped, to take in the new scenery.

Long halls, and deeply hued walls graced by never-ending mirrors. Like watching yourself walk towards certain doom. It almost felt like the building itself were alive and pulsing, eagerly waiting to suck them up into its gaping, multiple maws. This was the true hideout of the Akatsuki. An underground base, created especially by the Leader himself-simply because he was that crafty, and had the money to spend. And as long as they stayed active, it would never run out. Death was messy, but quite rewarding-if you knew how to play your cards right.

Realizing that their womanly reaper had already started down one of the enormous hall, the two men scrambled to catch up. Obviously, she was wasting no time, and neither should they. They'd have all the time in the world to get familiar later.

As her heels clacked against the shining linoleum floor, Konan turned her head slightly, to glance at her right. Full length mirrors adorned this hallway, framed by blood red wallpaper. The glass only stopped by the final fifteen steps. She knew this, she had counted. Only down this hallway was it so. Every time she returned, traveling down that long and imposing tunnel, it had always been fifteen steps…fifteen steps before her hands clenched around the cold, curling door handles.

With a slow, echoing creak, the large, mahogany double doors swung open. Revealed was a conference room, complete with some homely trappings. A mix of themes, perhaps? There was a prominent oval table, with exactly twenty-five cushioned seats. It stood directly in line with the entrance. A flat screen television was perched upon the farthest wall, in perfect view of the main furniture.

To the right was a small parlor, complete with a glass coffee table, two couches, and four regular seats. To the left was a tiny and tidy kitchen, always stocked with whatever was needed for its main members. A bar was included, for obvious reasons. And, finally, another door, right next to the television, led to the dormitories and the Leader's office.

"Alright. Let's get this over with." Konan strode over to the back entrance. Turning the knob, the group began another trek, down another darkened hallway. This one had no colored walls or mirrors, and was only lit by single hanging lights above, notably marked with large gaps between them. Certainly not very welcoming. The two men behind her were trying not to let their nerves get the better of them, instead grumbling quietly to each other about 'would it never end?' They already knew the answer to that.

They weren't being quite as quiet as they thought, however. Konan, being involved in the work she was, had developed a sharply honed set of senses. Anything could be used against you. She had to clench her fist to keep from lashing out. Seriously-these guys were really grating at her last nerve. Why had she gotten stuck with recruit training, anyway? She had better things to do. And a pair of blubbering idiots as well, who were doing a horrible job of staying cool. Looks like she'd have to share one more little 'pep-talk' with them, before they actually entered the main chambers ahead.

Once they'd finally reached the door, Konan halted abruptly. The two males had to avoid crashing into her altogether; it really was a pain trying to see one's way down here. How did the other members deal with this on a daily basis?

But their mental musings were silenced instantly, as with a deliberate turn, Konan regarded them once more. The look on her face told them all they needed to know: she meant business. They were barely breathing, as she gave them her last piece of advice-and their final warning.

"We're here. Keep your manners and your wits about you at all times. This is Leader-sama you're dealing with. Do you understand?" Her voice was sharp and tight, and it served its purpose, chilling both males to the core. Konan was scary enough…this Leader guy must be like a demon or something. It surely seemed that way, just by looking at the state of this new entrance. The door to his room was made of deep redwood, nearly black in the dim lighting. It almost camouflaged with the inky walls. There were thick, jagged slashes running across-as if something had tried to claw its way in...or out. Gulping, both managed to answer with nods and stumbling yeses.

She ignored the obvious nervous tremor to both responses, and proceeded to knock. One…two…three. Three times. Exactly three times, with the same amount of force. No more, no less. Firm without being brash. He wouldn't have it any other way. They waited, even she herself, with bated breath. No one was immune from this man and his imposing presence. No one.

Finally, a sound, shattering the still of the shadows. "Enter." As thick as the door was, it could not hide that voice-that low, smooth, silky tone that could both freeze the blood in one's veins and heat the heart in a body at the same time. Konan gripped the knob tightly, before turning it and pushing forward. It was time. The three of them stepped inside, door closing with a finality in its heavy click.

The place honestly felt more like an ancient chamber than a mere room. The carpet was a dark, velvety wine shade, but in the nearly absent lighting, it resembled a miniature field of black tar; ready and waiting to suck down anyone who dared cross its surface. It was even more frightful than the emptiness outside; with the energy radiating from every corner of this abode, it was no wonder why. The walls were a deep yellow, almost a dull gold, and were bare, save for the occasional picture frame. All but one were filled with articles. Newspaper clippings, some detailed, others quick, but all relating to the same subject matter.

The Akatsuki.

And there, directly facing the door, at the very end of his quarters, drenched in darkness, lay Leader-sama. The only thing they could make out were his eyes-swirling, fearsome, and red. Whenever he was alert, or planning...or even displeased. Especially when he was displeased, in fact. A shade of brutality, intellect...

...and passion. His eyes would fill with that ruby hue just as much when he was enjoying himself. And oh, but he had his ways of doing so. She knew them all too well.

Konan took a few steps forward-three, to be exact, before stopping perfectly still. Again, the countdown. Her feet were in alignment with each other, no space in-between yet not tightly pressed together, and her arms were folded behind her back. She took a slow, deep breath, as her eyes flickered up to meet his. Deep amber, like a subdued fire, meeting a now cool grey tone. The normal color. He was calmer now.

He wasted no time in getting to the heart of things. "Report, Konan-san, if you will." His words were clear, and unmistakeable. Stumbling and omission were not to be tolerated. Neither was delay. Linking his fingers together, he leaned forward, elbows resting upon the polished tabletop. Just eager enough to resemble a student behind a desk in school, for once looking forward to something planned for the day. Or a child at his birthday party, eager to blow out the candles on his cake and make a wish, hoping it would come true.

Well...he was smart. Painfully so, in fact. And he always got his way. That was non-negotiable.

Without missing a beat, his subordinate replied as efficiently as possible. "The collection was a success. The debt was paid in full. No money, just blood."

He nodded slightly, a quick jerk of the head. "Very well. A shame about the payment, but...there are other fish in the sea." If he couldn't get the money, then he'd simply take something else in exchange-the most precious thing to a person that he could think of. What was that? Why their life, of course; their very existence. Why should people who couldn't be trusted be allowed to live, anyway?

There were too many of them for his liking in the world today, corrupting it on a far worse level than he. He simply took advantage of it, while getting his subtle revenge on the masses who had 'done him wrong'. He never was one to leave a debt unpaid.

"And?" His eyes now rested on the two rookies in the doorway, who were trying their best not to break down under his gaze. Again, the shift-a crimson hue was beginning to flicker through his irises. It was horribly hypnotizing, to stare into those depths, unknowing of what may come of it, or what you'd find at the very end. Was there an end to this taut, orderly, terrifying being? Perhaps his 'evil' had no bottom or bounds. Maybe there was nothing inside him at all.

Forcing themselves to look away, and break the control, they turned their focus to Konan. Everything tonight had led up to this moment. The mission, the interaction, their ability to follow instructions. It was all on her shoulders now…if she said that they were lousy, they could kiss their careers-and lives-goodbye. It was obvious that 'Leader-sama' was not a man to be crossed, and with people like Konan under his service, had no qualms about building up a body count.

They hadn't heard any stories before taking up the assignment here; there weren't really any persons on the outside who talked about the inner workings of the Akatsuki. And if they did, you could bet that they wouldn't be doing it for very long. Squealers and deserters were not tolerated. They'd gone in completely blind, no inkling of what they were truly in for.

But they had nowhere else to turn. Both of them had lost their jobs, and gotten run ragged by the failure of a system that was in place to handle people like them. It was only fair that they take something back for themselves. One of them had done a brief stint in prison a few years back, while the other hadn't been too hard to coax into further wrong-doing.

At first, they'd tried it with the lower-level gangs in the city. But they were sloppy, often losing members to cops and raids. Plus, they didn't bring in nearly as much of a payoff as these guys did-which was why they'd eventually sought out their employment here.

Both men were sweating profusely, fearful and meek, as they waited for her answer. Looking at them from the corner of her eye, Konan let out a faint sigh, as she deliberated over her verdict. The extra labor wouldn't hurt, and aside from being a bit irritating they had done their jobs as required.

So...would she play nice tonight?

"They were fine. Their strength came in handy. There were no problems." It was like the weight of the world had been lifted off of their shoulders, as the two males shot each other quick glances of shock and relief. They'd done it! They'd gotten a place in this crazy high-ranking underworld institution! All their problems would go right down the drain like soap suds in a sink!

There was silence for a few moments, before the man behind the desk finally spoke. "I see." More silence a hint of the prior shared tension beginning to creep back in. Was Leader-sama...thinking of overturning Konan's decision?


"Very well. I will ring one of the others to lead them out." It was all-clear; they'd survived their first night on the job. As he pushed a small button on a panel built into the tabletop, he added on a second comment, this one aimed at Konan and her alone. "It seems you are in dire need of some 'personal time'." At this, she twitched just slightly. Had he...picked up on her mild deliberation over their new recruits? Could he see through to the light stress she'd picked up in the evening's events?

She could almost see his smirk as he let these words roll off of his tongue. Waving a hand casually, he closed his eyes. That glaring red gaze was shut off from the world once more. "You two-you're free to go. Wait out in the hall for your escort. Close the door." They did not hesitate to follow his commands, no matter if his demeanor towards them had changed a tad. As soon as they were gone, Konan huffed, and brushed a strand of blue hair away from her face. Leader chuckled.

The woman shot him an icy glare, though she knew she wouldn't be able to keep it up for long. It didn't serve to deter him any, as he offered up a half-playful, half-mocking question. "Oh, what's wrong? Does my sense of humor not appeal to you?" She merely continued glaring. She'd hold it for as long as she could...which wasn't really much time at all. After a few more moments of quiet, she finally spoke. "I am going to take a shower now. Unless you need me again, I will retire for the night."

Bowing shortly, she turned on her heel, and prepared to exit the office. She didn't usually get so...snippy, certainly not with him. It varied, the amount of snark and opinion he would take from her on a daily basis. She usually kept it low, but for some reason tonight, she'd allowed a bit more than usual to filter out of her and into her responses. The clipped tones had come out as soon as the rookies had left the room, heading off to only God knew where after this excursion. She didn't keep track of lower-levels grunts beyond training. They were just lucky they'd had her as an instructor, and not one of her comrades.

It was only when she stood directly in front of the large door that he addressed her. "Konan-san?" She froze in her tracks, her hand an inch away from the doorknob.

"Y-Yes, Leader-sama?" She hadn't meant to stutter; her fear had mistakenly slipped out. Inwardly, she cursed herself. That tone of his...just like she had her voice which signified that she was taking no prisoners, so too did he.

And his...had far more of an impression to leave behind. His threats were not merely that; he could carry them out with ease, whether by the hand of another or by his own. Depending on the circumstance and body involved, he may have stepped into the executioner's spot himself. Everybody was on his list, set to go at any time if he deemed it so.

Konan was no exception to this rule. "Do not forget your place, not just in this organization, but with me." His tone was a dagger, slowly slicing its way through her flesh, and down her spine. She didn't have to turn around to see for herself; she knew, as plain as the hair on her head. His eyes were fearsomely scarlet, boring into her and permeating every inch of her solitary figure, standing among the pitch-black. He could see her, clear as day, every piece, down to her core. There was nothing she could hide from his watchful eye. "Is that clear?"

She knew what he meant. He didn't need to use a lot of words to get his point across. She had grown used to this routine by now…or at least, she tried to convince herself that she had. When she overstepped her boundaries, the ones he had set up as time had passed between them. As time had marched on, and they had gone from children to the monsters they were now. Her response was cowed, but steady.

"Yes…I understand."

Instantly, his demeanor changed, back to that teasingly casual tone. He could shift so easily, it was impossible to tell which side was which, or real. "Good. Don't turn in before I arrive, hmm?" Looks like there went her plans of an early slumber. Although it seemed like a mere playful request, Konan knew better. She had been with this man long enough to be able to read every vocal pitch, every look, every phrase, every sign. Just like everything else, it was a command.

She gripped the doorknob tighter, her knuckles turning white. It always wound up like this. She was never done for the day, no-she was done when he was done with her. He was both her closest confidant...and her Master. Her owner. "Yes…Pein-sama." That smug satisfaction, laced with cruel intentions, was all too evident in his voice as he addressed her one last time.

"Good girl." Just like a pet. Konan opened the door and stepped through, before closing it as quickly yet quietly as possible. She didn't want to make it look like she was actually hurrying to get away. At least the hall was now empty…no surprise there. Everybody here was expected to be punctual. It was their head if anything went otherwise. Nobody wanted to be the bearer of bad news here.

She made her way down, all the way to the end-the very last door. This was her room.

Hers and Pein's.

A/N: WHEW. Hey, everybody, I'm back! And FINALLY, so is this story-or at least, the Chapters that have been posted so far. How're y'all diddling since I saw you last?

If you've read my other fanfic 'TLC: To Love Chaos', then you know that one has also been under some EXTREME reconstruction work. After looking over my profile last year, and seeing that both it and this one had been up for seven, now going on eight years, w/no resolution in sight? Well, I got sick of it. And I made a decision.

A LOT of the reason why I stopped working on these two stories was b/c I got discouraged; I felt like I wasn't telling them right, or getting things across properly. I reread all I had posted, and came to the conclusion:

I'm not a 'bad' writer, per se. But my earlier fic DEFINITELY needs some work. And I needed a better idea of what I wanted to do w/these two stories. So...why not go from the beginning, and work my way back up? That's where I got the notion to 'Revamp' my two fanfics, up to par w/what else I've got on my profile now. I used to be so concerned w/updates, and b/c I didn't plan my stories well, there were often plotholes, or not enough description, or things feeling rushed. Now I've started writing out complete stories, so that nobody has to wait YEARS for updates b/c of Writer's Block. I plan on doing the same w/these two as well, just w/the edits coming up first.

I wanted to provide better entertainment for my readers. You're all very important to me, and I HATE the idea of not finishing my work here. Even if it's only one person reading this/these stories now, I don't care. At least I'll have made SOMEone happy, and that's good enough for me. As writers, we have to be able to analyze our own work, and recognize our shortcomings. That's what I did here, which is why I'm redoing them, in a sense, from the ground up. I'm giving them the story and development now that they should've had from the start; I was just too new and inexperienced to fully do so. Hopefully, I can back up my talk here by providing some decent fic.

So, onto the Chapter summary here. If you've read this before, you may've noticed that this Chapter ends quite differently than its former incarnation. That's b/c after all the edits I did, the Chapter wound up at seventeen pages, as opposed to the original five-six. Yeah...that's a LOT to drop on someone in one sitting for a regular fic, IMO. So, I split it.

Here, we have a night on the town, collecting some dues in a stunning show of violence and calm rationale. We've been introduced to Konan, one of our main leads here [you can already guess who the other's going to be, if you've read the filter X3]. She's certainly an interesting one, isn't she? So cold, yet not w/out her own wants and fears. Even as she does her job flawlessly, she still finds herself under intense scrutiny, of her own doing...and his.

Yes, we've also met the fearsome man that Konan works under: Leader-sama. Or, as she calls him once they're alone, "Pein-sama". Obviously, there's more to their relationship than meets the eye. But just how far and deep it runs is as yet to be realized. Terror and reverence, all bestowed upon one figure. Just how does he have so much control over our Paper Angel here?

And finally, the duo of wannabe henchmen! Did you enjoy their little appearance here? Well, you'll be seeing them again...in the next Revamp update! Which I will try to post as soon as I can; I need to get to work editing Chapter Two first. I've got a WHOLE lotta work ahead of me for that one. ^^; Wish me luck...?

As always, feedback is welcomed, encouraged and appreciated. No matter the form, all is accepted. :3 Next time: An introspective, steamy soak. And, what happens when the tables are turned, and monsters must fight among themselves?

Until then, take care dear Readers.