A request from DrunkManSquakin. Alright, AU time! Which means I can toy with just about anything-grins-Here are the ages (I didn't list anyone who remained the same or that I didn't use for more than a mere mention):

Anko and Kurenai: 18

Hinata: 16

Kiba, Ino, Temari, Naruto, Sakura, and the Sound Four: 17

Tsunade: 34

Gaara and Asuma: 23

Neji: 25

Kankuro: 27

Note: Tayuya's last name (Uta) means "song" in Japanese. Several characters don't have last names so I gave them Japanese ones that I thought would be fitting. Just see the note at the top, ok?

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto. This, my friends, is merely a (hopefully) masterfully manipulated version of Kishimoto's concepts and characters. You will not be seeing this again so read it and remember.

Thanks for beta-ing for me, yet again, Benevolence! Much love to you! =D

Don't worry, this is the longest author's note you'll see—I promise you. Hehe.

And, without further ado, let's get this party started.

--Yearning for Change--


What the fuck was wrong with the girl!? She had frozen in place, leaving her body an easy target for the bullets that whistled through the air all around them.

Cursing his luck, Kidomaru closed his eyes; moments later he appeared beside the aforementioned red-head and grabbed her around the waist before disappearing again.

"HEY!" He shook her none too gently, trying to remove the glazed look from her eyes.

The girl blinked a few times then, her eyebrows drew together in a familiar scowl. "Whaddya want?"

"We're fighting, remember!"

As though to prove his point, the two had to leap apart as a knife streaked directly through the spot they had just deserted.

"Focus!" Kidomaru snapped, palming his own blade and going after their assailant.

Tayuya shook her head, trying to clear it of the thoughts that had suddenly filled it. Now really wasn't the time to be daydreaming. Breathing in through her mouth and out through her nose, the teenager pulled the gun from the holster strapped to her thigh (her beloved Glock 17) and shot over her shoulder in one smooth motion; she didn't even have to look to aim, the yelp of pain behind her—and the last sound that person would ever utter—signaled a hit.

A group of males around her age had managed to surround her, their faces twisted into leers. She would be an easy picking, or so they thought.

"We've heard about you," one of them said.

"Tayuya Uta," another one laughed. "The one female member of the Otogakure. I hear you're not only easy on the eyes—you're pretty tough stuff."

The sadism in the grin that spread across her face caused them to take a step back.

"You poor bastards have no idea what you've gotten yourselves into. Lesson one: bullets plus flesh equals pain or death." She cocked the handgun, the 'tch-tch' sound ominous. "Lesson two: don't fuck with me. End of lesson. Let's review, shall we?"

Moments later, the bodies had been piled up and Tayuya was leaning against a chain-link fence, polishing her gun.

Same old, same old. The cops don't even bother coming out here anymore for Christ sake.

"Nice work out there, Tayuya."

She grunted in acknowledgement, not bothering to look away from her weapon. The teen received like comments from several other voices—each male—but they all blended into a single blurb.

Ok, the compliments have been given. Which means Kidomaru, Sakon, Kimimaro and Jirobo should be here in five, four, three, two…

"What happened out there, Tayuya? You didn't lay them out as quickly as you usually do."

Right on time.

She dragged her gaze upwards, fixing irritated chestnut orbs on the speaker. "Didn't see your fat ass out on the front lines. You 'aint got room to talk."

"Cool it, you two." Kimimaro said calmly. "It's time to go. Is everyone accounted for?"

"Yup, everyone's in one piece and rarin' for another fight," Sakon smirked. "Who're we taking down next?"

"Whoever it is, they don't stand a chance." For once, Kidomaru wasn't just being arrogant. By now everyone knew that no force on Earth could take down the Otogakure.

"You know it. Let's get the Hell outta here."


Hours later, they had reached The Cave—a temporary home away from home that the Sound Four used whenever the headquarters was too far away.

It had started out as an abandoned motel; the teens had cleaned it up well enough so that it was inhabitable. "The Cave" had been a joking name by Kidomaru, but it had stuck all the same.

"We leave at first light," Kimimaro announced—not one to be away from Orochimaru for too long— before disappearing into his room.

Well, there goes anyone worth sparring with that won't go berserk and actually try to murder me. Yeah, Sakon, I'm talkin' 'bout you.

Kidomaru collapsed onto a raggedy sofa, dust swirling into air as a result. He dug a remote from under the cushions and flipped the T.V on.

He'll be there all night.

"I'll be in the gym," Sakon grunted, disappearing.

He'll be in there for a few hours, dismantle that room, then come out and crash.

"I'm hungry," Jirobo said.

Big surprise. Better grab something to eat or I'll be going to bed hungry.

Before the overweight male could move, the red-head made a beeline to the kitchen. The cupboards were stocked with packaged goods and heat-up-and-eat meals that wouldn't go bad quickly; she swiped one without checking what it was, tossed it into the microwave and nuked it.

By the time the little timer 'ding'ed, Jirobo came lumbering down the narrow hallway.

"Kitchen's all yours, fat ass," she sneered, retreating to her room with her dinner.

The analog clock on top of the T.V read 12:57. Tayuya balled up the remains of her meal; tossed it like a basketball and sighed, rolling onto her back so she could stare up at the ceiling. It made it in, not that she had been expecting otherwise.

I should probably get some shut-eye considering that Kimimaro is anal to the extreme and will literally be waking up at dawn. Fucker needs to get layed…

She rolled onto her side, curled into a ball, willed herself to sleep. Nothing. Rolling onto her other side, the teenager sighed again, the action causing strands of flame-coloured hair to dance.

Damnit... Why am I so listless?

Tayuya rose; padded over to a grime-streaked window, undid the clasp and clambered onto the fire escape outside. The night air was cool against her face as she climbed swiftly upwards. Soon, the girl was sitting on the roof, her feet dangling over the edge. Out in the distance she could make out the twinkling lights that were Konoha at night.

This town sucks. If I could, I'd up and leave.

But she couldn't. Once you joined a gang, that was it—membership lasted as long as your heart kept beating. There had only been one person in the history of the Otogakure that had quit—so to speak—and lived to tell the tale.

Lucky bastard.

Chestnut orbs flicked upwards—out here, away from the city, one could actually see the stars.

Still… you never know until you give it a shot.

With that in mind, Tayuya returned to her room; they would be leaving soon and she had one Hell of a resignation to deal with.

--End Chapter--

Short, yes, but this is the prologue, please keep in mind. I'll have chapter one up a little later. Jus' lemme know what you think, k?