Tobi Calls Australia!
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.
Note: Because every time the Akatsuki comes to the real world, I die a little. :p Takes place right after Sasori's death.
Mary Sue, typical rabid Naruto fangirl that she was, was very upset by the way the episode she had just witnessed had played out.
"No!" she cried, distraught. "Sasori's dead! He was so pretty…Creepy, but pretty. I just hope this 'meet with my spy' thing doesn't mean more Orochimaru. It's not like I want to see him as a pedophile, it's just that every other word out of his mouth just screams 'Do Not Leave Alone With Children'…" She shook her head and consoled herself that at least Sasuke and Kabuto – both very pretty people themselves, if a bit unstable – would be making a return. "I wonder what's been going on with Sasuke. Knowing Orochimaru, he'll have him running around shirtless or something…"
Mary Sue reached for the mouse to click on the next episode when she accidentally knocked her bowl of Ramen (for how could she possibly watch Naruto without it?) onto the computer. She winced and ran from the room to get a towel and hopefully salvage some piece of her beloved computer.
The Akatsuki were having a meeting after their successful extraction of Shukaku and their slightly less successful 'dealing with the last-minute rescue.'
"Explain to me again why I have to be the new guy's partner, yeah," Deidara demanded.
"Because you're the one with a recently deceased partner and everyone else is happy with their partners," Pein explained patiently for the fifth time that meeting. "Right?"
Konan quickly nodded her support.
"Itachi's the best partner I've ever had," Kisame averred.
"Kisame and I work well together," Itachi spoke up.
"I don't even have a partner," Zetsu's white half said.
"And I am just fine with that," the black half added.
"Tobi can't wait to work with Deidara-senpai!" Madara enthused. "Tobi will learn so much, he can already tell."
"I want a new partner," Hidan announced.
"Me too. I'll switch with Deidara," Kakuzu volunteered.
"Well, now that that's settled-" Deidara began cheerfully.
"It's not settled," Pein argued. "Hidan, Kakuzu, you guys can't trade partners."
"Why not?" Hidan whined. "We really fucking hate each other."
"Be that as it may, you've both killed all of your other partners," Pein reminded them.
"We'll talk later," Kakuzu whispered to Deidara.
"So, if there's nothing else then you can all go. With any luck, we should have the Nibi by the end of the month," Pein told them.
He, Konan, Kisame, and Itachi left while the others stayed behind.
"Maybe we could pretend to keep our current partner arrangements," Deidara suggested. "If you kill Tobi, I'll claim he wandered into a hole and died. They'll probably believe me, yeah."
"Deidara-senpai, be fair," Madara pouted. "Tobi hasn't fallen in a hole in at least two weeks!"
"Wow," Hidan said, shaking his head incredulously. "That's really – what the hell is that?"
The others turned to see what had disturbed their most religious comrade and saw a bright light moving closer to them.
"It looks like a bright light enveloping us," Zetsu's black half said unnecessarily.
Hidan snorted. "No shit."
The light reached them and they could see nothing for nearly a minute. When the light receded, they were in what appeared to be a bedroom staring at a girl with blue hair who was holding up a towel.
"Oh my God!" the girl shrieked. "I know you're not supposed to spill things on your computer, but I thought it was just going to break, not bring Anime characters to life!"
"Who are you?" Kakuzu demanded angrily. "What's going on? Where are we?"
"I'm Mary Sue," Mary Sue introduced with a bright smile. "Don't bother remembering it, though, since I only answer to Haruno Sakura. I would be so much better than that pink-haired bitch you guys know. I mean, GOD, she is so pathetic. All Naruto wants to do is love her but she abuses him every time she turns around! Not to mention her obsession with Sasuke. Can't she see he's in love with Naruto? Or maybe Itachi, I'm not sure. And Naruto could do so much better than her it's not even funny. Like me! Or Hinata, she's always liked him. Or Temari, they seemed to be getting along during Gaara's rescue. Tenten would be cute with him…Or Ayame! She could give him ramen. And Tayuya is so fiery and exploited by Orochimaru just like him. And even Ino is so much less shallow than Sakura. Then again, Sasuke and Naruto DO have this incredible bond that no one could ever hope to break. Although, Itachi is probably the sexiest Anime character I've ever seen and I refuse to believe he's evil, so he and Naruto might be good together. But Gaara and Naruto are the only ones who can understand each other's pain…And Naruto has changed Neji's life so much, too. And then there's Kakashi-"
The Akatsuki, who had been staring at Mary Sue in confusion and slight horror during her rant, suddenly came to life.
Kakuzu was fastest and stabbed the Sakura wannabe in the neck. "Just shut up already!" he ordered.
"Oh, way to go," Hidan snarked. "Now we have no idea where we are."
"Oh please, like you weren't about to do the same thing," Kakuzu said dismissively. "Besides, I really don't think she was planning on answering that question anytime soon."
"Now what?" Deidara wondered.
"Now I'm going to take her heart to bolster my immortality," Kakuzu announced.
"As long as we kill people, I don't fucking care," Hidan added in his two cents.
"Can I eat the rest of her when you're done?" Zetsu's black half asked eagerly.
Kakuzu shrugged. "Fine by me."
"Oh, oh!" Madara started jumping up and down. Never let it be said he wasn't an opportunist. "Tobi has an idea!"
Deidara rolled his eyes, annoyed already. "What?"
"Tobi wants to take over the world!" Never let it be said that Madara didn't have a one-track mind either.
"Hm…that was kind of what we were planning before, except there's probably no Bijuu here…and we don't know if there are any ninja," Deidara mused, considering the idea. "I suggest we start killing people and see if anyone can stop us."
"I knew I wanted you for a partner for a reason," Hidan said approvingly, allowing a sadistic smile to spread across his face.
"Madara and the others have been gone for two months now," Konan exposited. "I think we should just accept that they're gone and move on."
"But we can't collect eight Bijuu with only four people!" Pein protested. "It's just impractical and I hate recruiting. S-class Missing-nin don't grow on trees, you know."
"Madara said his Sharingan was needed once all the Bijuu were gathered so since he's not here, we couldn't really do that anyway." Konan paused. "Whatever 'that's was."
"Maybe Itachi knows. It's his distant undead relative he likes to pretend he doesn't know, after all. Or maybe he or Kisame have suggestions on what to do now. I'm going to summon them," Pein told Konan.
Ten minutes later, the other half of the Akatsuki finally deigned to answer their call.
"Yes?" Kisame asked, trying not to sound too eager. "Do we finally get to kill something?" Itachi never let him kill anything.
"Possibly," Pein allowed. "I have something to confess to you both."
"We already know you and Konan are together," Kisame said, sounding bored. "You're not exactly subtle."
Konan glared at him. "And we all you know you want to be with Itachi but don't stand a chance because he's way too pretty for you and not into bestiality."
Kisame gave a mock-shudder. "Cold, Konan. Very cold."
Pein coughed pointedly. "As I was saying, I need to tell you something. 'Tobi' was actually the alias for the real mastermind behind the Akatsuki: Uchiha Madara."
"That's strange, because the way I heard, the whole Uchiha clan was wiped out ... by-" Kisame started to say.
"Yes, yes, you said the same thing when you met Sasuke," Itachi interrupted.
"I'm just saying, one survivor could be a mistake, but two? That's just sloppy," Kisame criticized.
"Madara wasn't even in Konoha and Sasuke started crying," Itachi shot back. "You know I draw the line at killing crying people."
Kisame grinned. "Oh, yes, I know. It just means more blood for me."
"Right," Pein said, trying to get them back on track. "Well, Madara said that by gathering the Bijuu, he would create lasting peace. Do either of you know anything about that?"
"Gathering Bijuu to create peace?" Kisame repeated, confused. "How? By ensuring they can't be used for violent ends?"
"No, he was planning on combining the nine Bijuu into the Juubi and becoming a Jinchuriki. Then he wanted to use the moon – which he said was the Juubi's corpse – to put everyone under a genjutsu forever," Itachi summarized.
"Was he high when he came up with that?" Kisame asked incredulously.
"I have often wondered that myself," Itachi admitted.
Pein looked uncomfortable. "Well, he mysteriously vanished so we couldn't implement that plan anyway. Does anyone have any other ideas?"
Kisame snorted. "Here's one: make sure the people in charge of coming up with plans are sober."
"Duly noted," Pein said dryly. "Itachi? What do you think?"
"You could always try and unite all the minor villages so they could deal with the bigger villages on a more equal level," Itachi offered.
"That could work," Konan said approvingly. "The problems Amegakure faced are common problem among the lesser nations."
"I don't think that will be as effective as the 'traumatize the world into peace' plan, but I recognize that that plan will take time and an alliance would only increase our legitimacy," Pein agreed reluctantly.
"This DOES mean we get to kill people, right?" Kisame asked, almost desperate.
Pein nodded. "Lesser nations often have petty tyrants ruling over them, officially or otherwise. Just look at the problems Wave was having a few years back."
"So you're telling me the Akatsuki has honestly decided to drop the 'capturing Bijuu' plan and have taken up international diplomacy instead?" Jiraiya's disbelief was palpable.
Itachi nodded. "Pein was reluctant enough at first, but the lesser nations were very receptive and they have achieved very promising results."
"Didn't you say he only thought peace could be achieved through excessive violence?" Jiraiya asked shrewdly.
"Konan is trying to talk him down from that and the more successful the alliance is, the more progress she is making," Itachi explained.
"I see. Are they still anti-Konoha?" was Jiraiya's next question.
"They are anti-Konoha, anti-Suna, anti-Kiri, anti-Kumo, and anti-Iwa," Itachi replied.
"So should we be concerned?" Jiraiya queried.
Itachi considered the question. "They don't trust any of the Great Five Shinobi Nations, but there are no plans to attack unprovoked at present."
"That's good," Jiraiya said, relieved. "And there's still no word from Madara?"
"None," Itachi confirmed. "He and others disappeared without a trace."
"So the threat of Madara and of the Akatsuki as a criminal organization are gone," Jiraiya concluded.
"So it would seem," Itachi concurred.
"So what are your plans now?" Jiraiya asked, seemingly casual.
"Nothing's changed; I'm still considered a missing-nin and Amegakure remains one of the few places willing to harbor me. I will probably stay there until Sasuke is strong enough," Itachi decided.
"You could do that," Jiraiya agreed easily enough. "On the other hand, Tsunade is looking for representative from Konoha to deal with this new alliance Pein has formed. They would trust you more than anyone else we could send."
Itachi blinked. "I'm a missing-nin."
"We can get around technicalities like that," Jiraiya said dismissively.
"How?" Itachi demanded.
"We can reveal you were assigned to keep an eye on Madara and now that he's gone your mission is over," Jiraiya responded.
"And the Massacre?" Itachi challenged. "The attempted coup cannot be revealed."
"It won't be," Jiraiya assured him. "Madara could have been the sole perpetrator."
Itachi raised an eyebrow. "Why would I have taken responsibility? Why would I have left Sasuke alone? He was eight."
"You were leaving anyway and would have been labeled a missing-nin for your cover. Having killed your clan was a far more believable reason for leaving than just not being bothered to stay, especially in the wake of the tragic Massacre. As far as Sasuke is concerned, if he wanted vengeance – which anyone who has spent more than five minutes with him could tell you that he would – blaming you would keep him safe from chasing after Madara and getting himself killed," Jiraiya said smoothly.
"The Godaime would be okay with that?" Itachi was skeptical. The Sandaime was very sorry, of course, and had promised to protect Sasuke but he had basically been told that he was on his own and could never come back.
"It was Tsunade's idea," Jiraiya revealed. "Morality aside, you are a very talented shinobi and have more than proven your loyalty so as long as Konoha isn't implicated in what happened, the Council is fine with it. Danzo thinks it would be sending the wrong message to others who have sacrificed themselves who wouldn't get an opportunity like this, but it's not his decision."
"That is a very generous offer," Itachi said neutrally. "And far more than I ever expected. Still-"
"If you returned, Sasuke would be sure to follow," Jiraiya interrupted. "He's wasted the last two and a half years with Orochimaru - who murdered our Hokgae and led an invasion into our Village - and sooner or later Tsunade will have to acknowledge this."
"What do you propose I do about that?" Itachi asked tiredly.
"You come back, he will return to kill you if nothing else," Jiraiya replied. "You two can sort your various issues and, whatever the outcome, people who care about Sasuke will be on hand to keep him in Konoha."
"You've made your point," Itachi conceded. "You are going a great deal further than would be expected for my brother. Why do you care so much about him?"
Jiraiya snorted. "Truthfully? I don't. I'm not even sure I met the kid. My idiot apprentice, on the other hand, can't seem to go a single day without mentioning him…"
"I spared your life on a whim, nothing more. But this time, my whim is telling me to finish what I started," Sasuke claimed.
"Oh, come off it, Sasuke. Just come back home with us already," Naruto entreated. "You can't possibly enjoy life with Orochimaru more than life with us. I mean, even Sai isn't annoying enough for me to willingly spend more than five minutes with Orochimaru."
"What was that, dickless?" Sai inquired politely.
"Make that ten minutes," Naruto amended.
"There is nothing left for me in Konoha," Sasuke said coldly.
"Your brother's in Konoha," Naruto countered.
Sasuke, as expected, froze. "What?"
"Yeah," Naruto confirmed. "He's actually not as bad as I thought he was. He apologized for trying to kidnap me and for stopping us from getting to Gaara on time."
"But he's evil!" Sasuke objected.
Naruto merely shrugged. "I really don't know much about it. When he heard I was coming to look for you, though, he said to tell you that if you were still obsessing about vengeance, he'd be waiting for you in Konoha."
"So if I want to kill him, I have to go back to Konoha?" Sasuke demanded. "Does he enjoy torturing me?"
"Is that a rhetorical question?" Sakura asked.
"So, are you coming or not?" Naruto asked impatiently.
"Fine," Sasuke sighed. "But I don't want to hear anything about me or staying or whatnot until I confront Itachi."
"I'm afraid I can't let you leave, Sasuke-kun," Orochimaru said, his words dripping with false regret. "I need your body, you see."
"You guys distract Kabuto," Sasuke ordered, activating his Sharingan. "I hadn't been planning to do this for a few more weeks and under vastly different circumstances, but…"
"That was a bit of a letdown, yeah," Deidara said, disappointed.
"Oh, I don't know," Hidan disagreed. "There were a lot of people we got to violently kill."
"And I won't be wanting for hearts for quite some time," Kakuzu added.
"Tobi calls Australia!" Madara announced.
"Fine, Tobi, you can have Australia," Zetsu's white half agreed.
"But there really weren't any strong fighter to challenge us, yeah," Deidara complained. "And it probably should have taken us longer than three months to conquer the entire planet."
"You shouldn't complain; you made creating explosions the universal pastime," Kakuzu pointed out.
"True," Deidara admitted, allowing a smile to flit across his face at the mention of his art. "But think of how awesome things would have been if poor, dead what's-her-name hadn't brought us here…"
Note: Sasuke & co. did, in fact, make it back to Konoha. What happened then? Well…