Itachi's First Day
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.
"Attention everyone," Pein called. The various members of Akatsuki that were assembled before him quieted immediately. "Now, as this is the first time we've had so many of us gathered together in quite some time I thought we'd take this opportunity to discuss any important news. Where are Hidan and Kakuzu?"
"Hidan recently sacrificed Kakuzu's bounty officer to Jashin so Kakuzu is looking for another one while trying to kill Hidan," Zetsu's black half explained.
"Even more so than usual," the white half added. "So they may be awhile."
"I think the zombie brothers may quite possibly have the most issues out of any of us," Kisame decided.
"Don't call them that, Kisame," Pein said absently. "Well, I suppose we can't wait for them then. It's a shame; it's been three years since we've all assembled together…can't be helped, though. As I am the official leader, I'll go first: I would like to introduce our newest member, Uchiha Itachi. Say hello, Itachi."
The young teenager – still dressed in his bloodied ANBU uniform – said nothing.
"He looks like he's ten. What did he do?" Kisame snorted. "Told his mommy and daddy he hated them and ran away from home?"
"No," Pein corrected. "He apparently massacred his entire clan, with the sole survivor being-"
"Me," Itachi spoke up quietly, not entirely sure that it would be a good idea for this ragtag group of renegade killers to hear about Sasuke. Especially if he were to have any…issues with them in the future.
Pein decided he didn't care enough to reveal the truth so he let it go.
Kisame still wasn't impressed. "Your whole clan, huh? How many people is that? Three? Four?"
"318," Itachi said quietly.
Kisame whistled appreciatively. "Now that's more like it. You might not be so bad after all."
"I'm glad you think that," Pein said smoothly. "Seeing as how he's going to be your new partner."
Kisame shrugged. "As long as he doesn't slow me down, that should be fine."
"Try to be more careful with this new partner," Konan implored him. "The nature of our organization is such that we cannot really advertise and personal recruitment takes time."
"I don't know what you're talking about," Kisame said innocently. "My last three partners killed themselves."
"People do not generally cut themselves into hundreds of pieces when they wish to commit suicide," Zetsu's black half noted.
"Although it does make them nice and bite-sized," the white half informed them hungrily.
Unconsciously, everyone took three steps back.
Kisame shrugged. "It's not my fault you keep assigning me suicidal partners. Say, Itachi, do you want to die?"
"Not at the moment, no," Itachi replied.
"So why'd you kill them?" Kisame asked eagerly, hoping to hear a tale of bloodlust he could perhaps bond with his new partner over.
"I didn't mean to," Itachi deadpanned. It was the first time he'd been asked that question since Sasuke, but it would most certainly not be the last. "I have a terrible sleep-murdering tendency. I hope that won't cause problems."
Kisame gulped. "Not at all," he assured the younger boy and making a mental note to always make sure to book separate rooms whenever the pair of them stayed anywhere. And maybe separate hotels.
"The Uchiha clan is extinct?" Orochimaru spoke up, looking rather put-out. "I knew I shouldn't have put that off…"
"Put what off?" Sasori asked, disinterested.
"Oh, nothing," Orochimaru lied easily. "So what you're telling me, Itachi, is that you are the only person alive right now that has the Sharingan?"
"I wouldn't say that," Itachi said neutrally. "Hatake Kakashi, for instance, has a Sharingan and I'm pretty sure one of the Village Elders did some grave robbing recently…"
"No, that wouldn't do at all; I could just implant it in that case…" Orochimaru murmured.
"Does he always mutter nonsensically to himself?" Itachi asked the group as a whole.
"Yes, always," Sasori replied promptly.
"I am impressed, Itachi, so I will warn you now: at some point I'm going to come after your body," Orochimaru addressed Itachi again, leering slightly.
"…Pardon?" Itachi asked, a little uncertainly. He'd barely gotten to second base with his girlfriend before he'd killed her, after all.
"Oh don't mind him," Sasori said, "he hits on everyone. In fact, that brings me to my piece of news: I have become a puppet."
"Why?" Kisame asked, apparently not having learned his lesson two minutes ago.
"Because real boys are overrated," Sasori responded automatically.
"…What?" Kisame didn't get it.
Sasori sighed. "Never mind, it's a Suna thing."
"You've become completely a puppet?" a new voice inquired, intrigued. "That sounds really fun!" The Akatsuki spun around to see a tall man in an orange spiral mask.
"Who are you and how did you get in here?" Sasori demanded.
"This is my associate," Zetsu's black half said.
"I'm Tobi!" Madara greeted them.
"Tobi is a good boy," Zetsu's white half vouched.
"And that qualifies him to be involved in a criminal organization such as this?" Pein murmured absently.
Madara began bouncing around the room and, quickly losing interest, the official members of Akatsuki save Zetsu turned their attention back to Sasori's announcement.
"Tobi?" Zetsu's black half asked quietly once he was sure no one was paying the two any mind.
"Do you like it?" Madara asked idly. "I'm using it in honor of the Second Hokage, Senju Tobirama."
"I thought you hated the Senju?" Zetsu's white half was confused. "That's why you started all of this."
"Oh, I do," Madara assured him, "but I've never hated anyone as much as I hated Hashirama and nobody could drive Hashirama crazier than Tobirama. Thus, my alter ego will be a tribute to him."
"Why are you here?" Zetsu's white half asked. "I thought you didn't want to be an active part of this until you absolutely had to."
"I don't," Madara answered. "But I heard Itachi was joining and I just had to see my little great-great-some-relative-or-another off on his first day as an S-class criminal. I remember my first day away from Konoha," Madara sounded almost fond. "Of course, I didn't get to wipe out my traitorous clan at the time, but you know what they say: revenge can't be taken in haste."
"Yes, I transformed myself completely into a puppet," Sasori was saying. He would have mentioned his still very human, very vulnerable heart he had kept if he had trusted anyone there. "It will make me stronger and stop Orochimaru's ongoing quest to 'possess' me so he'll be forced to turn his attentions elsewhere."
"Like on me?" Itachi asked, eyeing the Snake Sannin warily. Sure, snakes didn't have eyelids, but would it kill the older man to blink every once in awhile as he stared unabashedly at him?
"It's your own fault, you know," Orochimaru sniffed. "If you hadn't killed everyone else, I could have had my way with any of them…now it will have to be you. And you are such a pretty specimen, too…"
Itachi's eyes widened even further and Konan finally took pity on him. "Don't worry," she told him softly. "He's not going to molest you…probably. He wants to use a jutsu to steal your body."
"I'm not sure if that's better or worse," Itachi confessed.
"Hey, Sasori," Kisame piped up.
"What?" Sasori asked, annoyed.
"When you said you turned ALL of you into wood, did you mean it?" Kisame asked, trying to keep a straight face.
"Yes, wh-oh, grow up," Sasori snapped. "And besides, this way I'll get to keep my already ridiculously youthful appearance."
"That sounds like a path to immortality," Pein noted. "Puppets do not age and if anything happens to damage it, you can always repair it."
"Indeed it is," Sasori said proudly.
"Oh, not ANOTHER one," Kisame groaned. "Tell me, is anyone in Akatsuki besides me NOT lusting after immortality?"
"I'm not," Itachi replied quietly.
"Or me," Zetsu's black half said.
"Or me," the white half concurred.
Kisame rolled his eyes. "Okay, you don't count as two people, Zetsu, as if one of you were immortal the other half would be as well and even if you did, you still wouldn't count because you freak me the hell out. And you don't count, kid, because you're, like, ten."
"I'm thirteen," Itachi corrected frostily. "And if you call me a kid again I shall trap you in a room with a moose for weeks upon end."
"Is that a threat, kid?" Kisame grinned.
"Mangekyou Sharingan," Itachi activated his now even rarer and more valuable Kekkei genkai.
A few seconds later Kisame was spasming on the floor. "Right, don't call you 'kid', got it," he said weakly.
"He does have a point," Pein mused, completely ignoring Kisame's distress. "I have my paths and Konan has my Outer Path. Hidan has his Jashin and Kakuzu has his multiple hearts. Orochimaru keeps switching bodies and Tobi…I'm not actually sure what he plans to do and I'm not sure I want to know."
"I'm going to destroy the moon!" Madara announced. "That way I'll live forever for sure!"
"Yeah, that's nice," Pein said. "And I was right: I did not want to know."
"Everyone here is absolutely insane, aren't they?" Itachi asked Konan, sounding slightly horrified.
She shrugged. "You get used to it, I guess. And that's kind of why we don't meet up very often…"
Suddenly, loud footsteps were heard outside the meeting room.
"Get back here so I can kill you!" Kakuzu screamed.
"Jashin cannot be denied, you philistine!" Hidan shot back. "Now stop chasing me so I can go find someone to sacrifice!"
"Hey, ki-er, Itachi," Kisame amended when he saw Itachi's eyes flash Sharingan red again. "Let's get out of here."
"Why?" Itachi asked.
"Because I kind of owe Kakuzu money and he appears to be on the warpath right now. And if Hidan needs a sacrifice, Kakuzu might just let him go after me…" Kisame explained, heading quickly towards the exit.
As Itachi escaped with his new partner, he grumbled. "I knew should have stayed in Konoha…"