Whew, I've been working on this chapter for a long time XD (more like I started it a long time ago but waited until now to finish it)
I don't exactly know how to describe some things in this chapter, please excuse me ^^;
Hirata had kept laughing, she figured it was part of the hysteria of relief that she didn't die or get beat up by Pein during the test. She set down the microphone and took a deep breath; slow, single claps within second intervals were heard. Hirata spun around to see who was making the clapping, finding Zetsu, engulfed in shadows standing in the corner of the room. "Oh, phew, it's you, Zetsu-San." Hirata sighed, putting a hand on her hip and bending down as she did so, queasily smiling. Zetsu didn't say anything, he just started walking toward Hirata, one slow step at a time, it was almost menacing. Tap… tap… tap… Hirata was scared by now, having straightened up and gone wide-eyed. Zetsu was only a few steps away now, Hirata backed away, wondering what the hell was going on with him. That's where he stopped, his Venus flytrap apparel crackled a bit, and then he spoke, "Make sure you pass all the tests, or at least make it to the 7th one, I'm pretty hungry." He leaned over Hirata, frightening her even more, with his yellow beady-eyed stare she almost felt like his gaze was burning through her very existence. Then, too quick for Hirata to realize, Zetsu swiped the kunai that was resting in her shorts pocket; disappearing through the floor immediately after he had it in his grasp.
Hirata let out a gasp, "Is this part of the test? I knew it wasn't that easy!" She wasn't sure what to do, but Zetsu went to the floor below, she figured she could take the stairs down if she couldn't go through the floor like he could, so she high-tailed out of the room, and sprinted down the nearest flight of stairs she caught sight of. Hirata was flying down them, practically skipping 3 or 4 steps at a time; she hit a landing, now realizing where she was. "These are the stairs we went up yesterday! Weird, so much packed into only 2 days so far…" She thought as she ran down another flight of stairs, there she noticed was a hallway she didn't realize the first day. Hirata paused in front of it, wondering whether or not to go in it and catching her breath.
She decided to go in it, gulping and inhaling sharply, Hirata stepped into the hallway, her footstep echoing through it. She took more steps, each becoming faster until again she was in a full sprint. Hirata glanced right and left as she ran through the long hallway, looking for any doors or corners leading to other hallways. She found a turn at the very end of the hallway; the walls were cracked and seemed to be rotting away, brown cardboard boxes with who knows what in them littered the floor.
"And yet another hallway to cautiously enter…" Hirata thought aloud, seeing if this hallway echoed like the last, it did. For a while in fact, the word "enter" kept repeating and Hirata stood there waiting for it to stop, but it didn't. Was it just she or was the echo getting louder? Was it just a trick of the mind that the echo kept getting lower in pitch, eventually sounding like a man speaking? Was it was merely her imagination that it didn't sound like her voice anymore? It sounded menacing, but no, it was all in her head, she was going crazy, that was all. Pretty soon the word 'enter' was repeating faster and faster in her head, louder and louder, nonstop. Hirata pointlessly covered her ears and crouched down, eyes wide and pupils miniscule. She stared at the ground, as it seemed to get darker and colder, darker and colder. Chills ran up and down her spine, the voice becoming more ghastly and not leaving her head. Hirata screamed out, wanting to be heard all over again, and tried to move without success. She continued to crouch in despair, shutting her eyes tightly closed. She tried to comfort herself with her own words but she only heard the voice repeat over and over.
Something pushed her from behind; Hirata stumbled forward, letting go of her ears and miraculously being able to hear again. Hirata opened her eyes wide and gasped; she began to fall.
If it wasn't as terrifying the first time, it was twice as much this time, it seemed as though she was going triple the speed and rolling. Hirata was in a tunnel path of some sort, there were many turns and it just kept going down. "I'll reach hell soon." Hirata thought, starting to feel queasy. Out of the blur she saw while rolling in what seemed to be a human-sized marble track, a glimpse of light shined through the darkness. Only feeling relief, Hirata didn't brace herself for the fall ahead. And so she fell, again, but in light. Spreading her arms and legs out once again; Hirata was falling in a belly flop position. Though her left arm was still outstretched in front of her. Before she was aware, she landed, on it.
There was a fresh snap and Hirata let out a scream. Her vision blurred in and out, her arm hurt, a lot. She landed on something soft, she couldn't clearly see it, but it was green so she figured it was moss or grass. Hirata had fallen right onto her outstretched left arm, which resulted in the snapping of bone between her wrist and elbow. Hirata could see the blood, for the bone was protruding out of her skin. Seeing it horrified her, but it was nothing compared to the pain. It felt as if a thousand needles were stabbing every one of the cells in her left arm, mainly where the bone was damaged. Where it was she felt a terrible shooting pain, which was aching at the same time. Man, it was excruciating. Hirata had never broken a bone before, and had never known such pain, much less what to do. She needed to find help, unless it would just magically come to her, she doubted that. So she found the strength buried deep inside her to get up, trying to avoid any more damage to her bleeding arm.
Hirata examined the place, having the ability to see again, and found herself in a bright forest. It would've made a nice picnic spot if her arm weren't broken at the moment. What she had landed on, she saw, was indeed moss. "Moss! Maybe I can use it to wipe up some of the blood on my arm." Hirata thought, so she bent down, again minding her damaged arm, and gripped a handful of moss. Pulling it out of the ground was hard, he had to lean back until it finally budged, and when it did Hirata fell backwards onto her ass. She didn't have a free arm to brace herself with so this fall was a bit harder than the others she took. Hirata noticed the moss she retrieved tore in a long strip, "Bingo." She said aloud.
In times of need, your brain works better than normal, so Hirata was able to think to use the long strip of moss as a sling for her arm. She had torn another wider strip of moss and wrapped it around her arm. Hirata didn't apply any pressure to where the bone was broken though; it still hurt like hell. She got up again, her left arm more "portable" and again looked over the area. "That's strange, this looks a lot like where Zetsu brought Yuki-Chan and me to the entrance of the lair…" Hirata thought aloud, walking out of the patch of moss she fell on and turning left and right. Hirata then looked straight ahead and spied a gray blur of what seemed like a building, off in the distance. Having poor vision, for all she could know it was a car, but chances were, she thought, it was the Akatsuki entrance. Then all of a sudden a crazy idea came up into Hirata's mind, "If that's the entrance, then the well and possibly home is-" Hirata spun around and indeed saw the vaguely familiar path in which Zetsu, herself and her friend had come to the Akatsuki lair. "Home… Is that way I guess…" She said, finding herself taking a step towards the path, and another, and another… She just kept stepping towards home, but then paused, what about Yuki-Chan?
Hirata was just about to turn right around- she would never leave a friend- when Zetsu appeared. Out of a tree, of course, half of his body visible and the rest mysteriously hidden within the branch overhead Hirata. She looked up, terrified; Zetsu's yellow beady eyes gleamed with a strange savage hunger. He smiled a sharp-toothed grin and out of the blue, dropped down. It was only reflexes that saved Hirata from being fallen upon by Zetsu. The surprising thing was he interpreted it in the first place. He never hit the ground; more like went right through it and disappeared into it. Before Hirata could even register it into her mind Zetsu appeared once again, but behind her, without her knowing it. "Blood…" He growled, making her spin around with wide eyes. He lunged at her, aiming for her left arm where it was broken, but got much lower than that for Hirata had tried to leap out of the way.
It was creepy, and painful. The sling Hirata made out of the moss broke and her damaged arm was exposed. But it wasn't seeing her arm again that made her scream and yell out in pain, Zetsu had firmly gripped his jaws on her arm slightly above her wrist. She of course was trying to pull away, but the broken bone above where Zetsu was biting kept her from doing so. She at least had a firm grip on his head with her right hand. But his teeth were chewing through her skin, she was bleeding more than before, before she knew it Zetsu was already biting through the muscle. Hirata saw blinding light before her eyes and her head was throbbing with the pain messages surging to it. Tears were flowing down her face as much as blood was flowing from her arm.
Zetsu jerked his head abruptly sideways, snapping bone once again. Hirata screamed, louder than before, cursing him and giving his head a firm pull away from her arm and falling to the ground. She lay there, curled up around her arm and where her hand used to be. It wasn't very pretty, a stump of bone, blood, and flesh below where her wrist should've been while a little more up the arm than that was still a broken bone, damaged more than before. Zetsu was cackling and chewing on Hirata's hand, not caring for her pain, he thought he'd finish her off later if he thought her hand was tasty enough.
Hirata had opened her eyes slightly to scowl at Zetsu, but couldn't manage to lift her gaze to his face. She was about arms length away from him, she couldn't seem to turn her head up and look at his face. Instead she spotted a kunai, resting on the ground next to his foot- it had a neon yellow ribbon around it. She planned it all too quickly, she was almost doubtful of if it would work, but there was no other way. "Animals let their guard down when they are eating…" She mumbled, Zetsu not noticing, as she outstretched her right arm and took the kunai.
With all her might Hirata got up, not minding her left arm this time. As fast as she could, she darted past Zetsu, who still had her hand in his mouth, it made her want to hurl. But still Hirata kept running, toward the gray building-like figure in the distance, willing it to be the Akatsuki lair. Surprisingly it was closer than it seemed, Hirata was happy about that, and in fact it was the Akatsuki lair, "Thank God!" She thought, smiling with a worried expression, hoping she could make it there before Zetsu.
He had just noticed Hirata took the kunai when she was a fair distance away from him. In rage, he dropped her hand and darted after her, catching up to her as they neared the Akatsuki lair entrance. Zetsu remembered he left it so people could go in, was he that hungry? He saw Hirata successfully reach the entrance and go in, Zetsu sped up to catch her. Once he got in she was already racing up the stairs frantically, Zetsu could see the worried expression on her face. Too easy he thought, figuring she would go to the meeting room again to find Tobi, he'd just go there and beat her to it by going through the floors. And so he did, appearing the room where they had organized the girls' fates. Zetsu didn't expect her to be there already, so he calmly waited outside the door, thinking of how to finish her off. He wished he didn't leave her hand outside where some other animal could get it. "Yeah, that was a stupid thing to do." He said, "Shut up, we needed to catch her first." He replied to himself in another voice. "We could've simply brought it along."
"Don't you think she'd be here by now? Considering how fast she was running?"
And indeed she would've been there by then, but Hirata had taken a sharp turn right to the Akatsuki member's individual rooms when she saw Zetsu standing in the room right in front of the door. Zetsu realized she passed too, and swung the door open. The chase began again, but this time, Hirata would have a harder time. What she planned to do was search each room for Tobi and have him stop Zetsu from devouring her. But it was difficult for her because holding a kunai and turning a doorknob with the only had you had left was difficult, Hirata figured she'd at least try. So she reached the end of the hallway, luckily when Zetsu was in the middle of it.
At the first door, the idea popped into her head she could put the kunai in her mouth, so she did, and opened the door with her now free and only hand. Kisame was in the room; he was currently napping but awoke groggily when Hirata opened the door urgently. "Oops." She said quickly, leaving the door open and going to the next one. Kisame raised an eyebrow about what just happened and saw Zetsu pass his door, raging and yelling. The next-door Hirata opened was Itachi's; the same questioning went on in Itachi's mind when she abruptly left. The other door was Hidan's, then Kakuzu's; they had come out of their rooms to see what the ruckus was about. Zetsu was still chasing after Hirata, who was opening doors as fast as she could. The next-door, Hirata saw, was slightly ajar; she kicked it open, having less time now that Zetsu was on her tail. Inside Miyuki and Deidara were sitting, just sitting and having a conversation. Hirata paused for a moment, but only a moment and darted to the next door. During that moment, Miyuki noticed her friend's missing of hand, terrified face and bloody arm with bone protruding out of it. Zetsu sped by, Miyuki left the room and looked down the hallway. Zetsu was chasing Hirata who had a kunai in her mouth. Hirata didn't open the next door because she knew it was Sasori's; Zetsu was also much too close now.
She turned the corner, Tobi appeared, and nonchalantly walking down the hallway and Hirata praised the lord. She ran to him and stopped right in front of him to spin around to face Zetsu. He still charged at her, mouth open and yelling, he was a couple feet away from her now and not looking as though he was going to stop. At the spur of the moment, Hirata grabbed the kunai out of her mouth and outstretched her arm, pointing it at Zetsu. He stopped right in front of it, the point of the kunai only centimeters away from him. "Good job, Hirata." Tobi said, in a low tone, nodding at Zetsu who grumbled and started walking away. "You passed your second test!" He finished in a light voice, clapping and putting a hand on her shoulder.
Then the rest of the Akatsuki appeared, or just those whose door were suddenly opened. Kisame, Itachi, Hidan, Kakuzu, Deidara and Miyuki were standing at the end of the hallway, staring at Hirata. "Did you hear that everybody? Hira-Chan passed the test!!" Tobi repeated, clapping this time. But there was still silence. "What the f*** happened to her hand?" Hidan said looking with disgust at her left arm. Hirata bent down, putting her right hand on her left shoulder, she didn't feel so well. Miyuki raced to Hirata's side, putting an arm around her. "You ok, Sempai?" She asked, worry in her expression and voice. Hirata nodded, just then, she hurled. The other withdrew away from her as the others arrived. Sasori, Pein and Konan, Pein standing their with a confused look and Sasori looking stricken with concern along with Konan.
Konan started walking towards Hirata and stayed clear of the throw-up. She started to give instructions "Kisame clean up this mess. Kakuzu, you'll have to help Hirata's arm situation-" But Sasori cut her off. "I'll deal with her arm, it'll be quick and simple. Painful a little, but faster." Konan sighed. "Alright, just do it quickly." Hirata shook her head, trying to say she wasn't up to moving at the moment. Miyuki had most concern for her, "She's shaking all over!" Konan took charge once more, "Oh, somebody carry her! Deidara get a towel over here, will you?" And orders were followed. Kisame conjured a mop from somewhere and cleaned up Hirata's sick, Deidara gave Miyuki a wet towel that she used to wipe Hirata's face, and Pein carried Hirata to Sasori's room.
In his room Hirata spoke, "H-how are you going to fix it Danna?" She asked, trembling. Everyone else had left except for Miyuki; she refused to leave Hirata's side. "Guess." He said, pulling out an assortment of puppet arms and hands from his storage closet. "Is it gonna hurt?" Hirata continued, eyes widening, she squeezed Miyuki's hand. "Much less than having needles poke into your skin a couple dozen times." He said, gathering his equipment for the operation. "The only part that'll hurt is putting the base on your arm, so it'll be easier to put on the hand." Sasori finished, smiling in a hard-to-read way. Hirata gulped, Sasori kept smiling, and Miyuki said, "Sempai can handle it." Squeezing Hirata's hand reassuringly.
The operation went on, Hirata was glad it went by quickly. Before they all knew it Hirata's left arm looked as good as new. "And you can twist it all the way around, I added a part that spews out fire and water at will. Like my arms." Sasori explained; they all were currently in the meeting room where Hirata was showing off her new arm. Technically it wasn't a full puppet arm, but from where her bone was broken to her hand, (in the middle of her wrist and elbow) it was made of wood.
"Hey, Sempai, your hair's shorter." Miyuki observed, Hirata let out a quizzical sound and found that her hair was shorter. "Huh?!" She exclaimed, Itachi explained, "It was part of the test, I used my Sharingan when you chased Zetsu and broke your arm. It only seemed like you broke your arm but in reality your hair was just cut. But when Zetsu started eating your hand, he broke where you think you already broke you arm and your wrist, enabling him to eat your hand. When you started running I released the Sharingan." Some of them got it but some of them didn't. "Man, at first I thought I just pulled a Deidara by having my left arm basically destroyed, but now I pulled a Sakura too?" Hirata said in disappointment. "Well, you're hair's cuter now!" Miyuki replied, smiling and playing with her friend's hair. "All is well I guess… But we still got a lot to do left." Hirata continued. Miyuki nodded and finished, "But you passed the second test without knowing it was!" The second test ended with many changes, a happy note, and much more to come.
What a cheezy ending...