Okay, so I know that it's been a very long wait, and I'm extremely sorry for that! I'll try not to let that happen again. But hey, stuff happens, ya know? On a less solemn note, this chapter is where the plot line thickens (*cue mysterious music*)! Thank you guys for everything, and here's the next batch of wonderfully spontaneous shit, courtesy of XXXAxelleXXX!



"You want me to what?" I said, staring at Deidara.

"We need you to cook dinner, yeah." He repeated, oblivious to the fact that I felt like I needed to strangle somebody. Or maybe he did know that, but he just didn't want to be the one strangled. Hell, I don't blame him.

"I heard you! I mean, why the hell do you need me to cook for you, when there are a whole shitbag of servants in this god forsaken place!" I exclaimed, gesturing to the cabinets and walls of the kitchen in a frustrated manner, as if they too were servants. He stared at me as I made an idiot of myself, the corner of his mouth edging up into a grin in the slightest way.

"Shitbag? Did you honestly just say that, yeah?"

"Well, I…I'm just a very creative pers-"

"Sakura-san." A soft, calm female voice reached my ears, interrupting Deidara's sentence. Surprised, I turned to the source of the sound, to meet a stunningly beautiful woman, looking about in her early twenties. She had silky blue hair, half of which was twisted up into an elegant bun, the rest falling just above her shoulders. Being in her sudden presence, I suddenly felt as if I needed to hold a very respectful and ladylike manner.

"…Yes?" I answered, a slight frown gracing my lips. Her face was passive and smoothly emotionless in a way that usually would have intimidated or irritated me, but there was a certain warmth and kindness in her eyes as she looked at me. Faintly, I recognized her face, yet I could not exactly pick her name from my memory of the Bingo books that I had diligently stored in my mind. Something with a "K" in it…

"Pein wishes to talk with you." she said, somehow able to seem so graceful when only speaking a mere number of words. I bit the inside of my bottom lip, refusing to reveal the bubble of nerves that had erupted inside me. Had I done something wrong?

"Oh…" I said, not quite sure how I was supposed to respond to her words. Before I could say much more, the woman soon took the initiative.

"Please follow me." She said calmly, drawing me towards her with a gentle, cool gaze. Somewhat intimated and admiring of her beauty, I simply nodded and followed her. Unlike all of the previous acquaintances I'd come across, I didn't feel the need to snap or be stubborn around her. Perhaps it was because she didn't spew perverted things or order me around, or maybe just because she was too a female; someone slightly more familiar in this pack of hot blooded, strange men.

"Um…If you don't mind me asking, why does this Leader guy want to see me?" I asked as we made our way down the hallway of dizzying black and white tiles, my palms sweaty with nervousness. She glanced my way, a slightly humorous expression on her face. I was surprised, but it went just as quickly as it had come.

"You don't need to worry. Pein simply wishes to discuss his reasons." She answered smoothly, her face once again blank and emotionless. Unfortunately, when it was like that, she gave absolutely nothing away. I didn't know if I could trust her. Despite the fact that I had some proof that I wasn't going to get my ass killed, nervous feelings still swirled inside of me. His reasons? What is that supposed to mean?

I was dying inside to ask, but I was still wary of this woman, no matter how gentle or beautiful she looked. I didn't want to push my luck. At the same time, I did not want to seem too painfully obvious or nosy.

"Here we are." She said, stopping in front yet another plain, black door. Yes, just like all the other fucking doors in this place. I grimaced, suddenly feeling a lot more nervous than I had a few moments ago. I smoothed my damp palms over my thighs, wiping the perspiration that had built up. The nameless woman gave me a passive stare. I sighed. Well, that sure didn't help my confidence.

Nonetheless, I pushed open the door before she could, because I rarely liked other people to take control of the situation for me. I was met with a dark, suspicious room that, oddly, had an ethereal feel to it. I was stunned by the strange attractiveness that it seemed to hold.

Unlike the rest of the rooms I had seen in this vicinity, this particular one was completely made of rough, black granite. It continued from the walls on to the floor, surrounding me in a sea of darkness, almost like a cave that you might find on the rise of a mountain or cliff. The most astounding though, was the stained glass window that extended across most of the small ceiling, colorful and peaceful. It was beautiful in a simple, yet satisfying way. Directly underneath the pane of multicolored, entrancing glass, was a simple desk. It was placed in the center of the office, unable to avoid. But perhaps the man sitting behind that very desk was what left me the most unsettled.

The leader of the Akatsuki, Pein.

Despite the flecks of colored light that rested on his face in jagged, distorted slashes, he seemed even more intimidating than he had before. The light bounced off his numerous piercings, creating a much unhelpful tense atmosphere. Maybe that was the point of the stained glass, after all.

"Sakura Haruno." Pein addressed me solemnly, his voice seeming to boom abruptly in the silence. He sat calmly with his fingers threaded together atop his desk, his mouth hovering closely behind them, so that I was only met with his foreboding, ringed gaze. Despite the way I was feeling right now, I couldn't help but think that this was all just too ridiculously cliché.

"Pein." I responded, dismissing the slightly worrisome fact that I had just called the leader of an s-class organization by his first name. At this point, though, it didn't matter to me. If I was going down, then I sure as hell was going down with my pride. And style, of course.

His eyes slightly narrowed at my casual usage of his name, but he concealed it well. Of course, he had to act all calm and collected, because he was just too cool for anything else. If he was pissed, then it only confirmed my suspicions about him having a major god complex.

Yeah, I know, like pull out the tampon and stop being a little bitch, seriously.

I somewhat choked at the sudden comment, my hand flying to my mouth to muffle the undoubtedly rude laughter that might have escaped. As truthful as it may have been, I still didn't want dig myself an even deeper hole. Pein raised one eyebrow at me in the most suspicious way, but seemed to think it was minor enough that he could ignore it.

"I have called you here to discuss your membership of the Akatsuki, and to share with you my reasons for having my men capture you." he said, a completely emotionless expression spreading across his features once again. Immediately, I became solemn at the mention of the topic, as well. A familiar feeling of confusion rolled over me for about the fifteenth time that day.

"So I see. Then why exactly, have you chosen me, in a whole myriad of perfectly capable and daunting shinobi? Furthermore, why even go to the extent to pick one who hasn't severed their ties with their home village? Certainly, it's obvious that there could obviously be much trouble avoided, if you had simply sought after a missing nin. You realize that Konoha will now become even more of a problem for you?" I explained, my jade green eyes fixed to his own strange, frightening pair without a flinch. I kept my hands folded neatly behind my back, standing in an almost respectful manner.

"You have made a valid point, but it is unfortunate that I cannot afford to release you for various reasons. One, possibly being the most apparent, is that you are a vital need of the Akatsuki. Simply put, we need you." he looked almost pained to let the words leave his mouth, yet he tried to seem as if he wasn't disgusted at the thought that his organization needed help from anyone. My eyebrows furrowed together.

"But why me? What is so important about me that you couldn't find it in someone else?" I tried again, yearning for a straight answer this time, one that would finally make sense. I mean, surely, there were many other medics they could have snatched away, right?

"You see, Haruno, that is a very long story."

"Tell me." I answered just as quickly as his sentence had ended. Pein paused, looking at me through slitted eyes.

"I would have even if you didn't want to know." He replied, seeming somewhat insulted that I dared to even make a request to him. I glared back, a wave of stupidity washing over me. Or course he would. Why didn't I think of that?

"There are various things I must explain to you for you to understand. First of all, your ability. Plainly put, you possess a rare power that has not been recorded within the last ten decades." Pein said, his stoic gaze never seeming to leave my face. Blankly, I stared back at him.

"Umm, okay. And what is that?" I asked, already feeling like this was the first load of shit in the whole line of other assorted loads of shit. His lips were pressed in a firm, unamused line; he knew that I did not register nor believe a word he had just said.

"It is called the Genso shiryoku. It means elemental death force."

I raised one slender eyebrow. "Huh. And what is so great about this "Ginza shiryaku"?"

"It's Genso shiryoku, Haruno." Pein stated cryptically.

"Well, excuse me." I muttered under my breath, but I was quite sure that he had heard me nonetheless. Even so, he yet again ignored my antics.

"It is a special rare ability that only few in the past have had. It is immensely powerful, and deemed unsafe and dangerously reckless by many of the higher-ups. We, however, do not view it as a problem. To us, it is a blessing."

Oh. My. God. I swear, I've seen this in a movie before.

I know. I mean, this is pure bullshit. Remember, it was that one about the-

For God's sake, listen to the him! Not me!

Wha- You were the one that distracted me in the first place, you retard!

Psshhh, yeah. Like, WHATEVER.

I swear, you-

You really wanna finish that sentence? Cuz' now he's looking at you like your mentally ill.

"Haruno, I'd appreciate it if you would actually listen to what I have the persistence to tell you." Pein stated, seeming rather irritated. I shrugged.

"Sorry about that. I was busy thinking about how this is atotal waste of time."

"Are you trying to test my patience?"

"And what if I am?"

"You'll find that I have very little of it." His strange eyes seemed to glint in the darkness as the words left his mouth, meant to be interpreted as menacing in every way possible. Silently, and with a bit of a struggle, I sealed my rebellious mouth shut. I nodded, and tried not to notice the lazy satisfaction in his gaze.

"The last person to have owned the Genso shiryoku was a woman named Kaeda Tsuyoshi. 100 years ago, exactly." Pein continued, seeming to speak in the most agonizingly slow manner. It was so annoying.

"Okay, that's great for her. Now why would you think that I have this power, so to speak?" I tried, quite exasperated with the horribly lagging pace of this conversation. And that was weird. I should be way more concerned with the fact that I'm even having this conversation, with this nut, of all people.

"She made a prophecy, in the face of death. They were her last words. And they were about you, Haruno. For these past ten decades, millions of people have sought out to find you."

I blinked, opening my mouth to speak. Unfortunately, no words came out. I wasn't quite sure how I was supposed to respond to that. So I simply gave him a blank, speechless look.

"Also, there is yet another contributing factor to my suspicions that you are the one Kaeda had spoken about."

Ooh, he called you "The One".

"That is?" I asked, my fingers subconsciously twisted together behind my back. For some reason, I had started to become a little nervous. It just had to be because of the way he was talking.

"She was your direct ancestor." His ringed, purple gaze closed in on me. An uneasy feeling stirred deep inside of me as I balled my hands in to fists.

"You can't be- That's impossible. You said her name was Kaeda Tsuyoshi. She's not even a Haruno." I shook my head lightly, my bright jade eyes never swaying from his own. The corner of Pein's mouth edged up in a small, sly smirk.

"Yes, she was. She married into the Tsuyoshi family. Her real name was Kaeda Haruno."

"Well- that doesn't mean anything. That doesn't mean that I have this…power that you speak of." I fumbled for the correct words, noticing that the air had grown noticeably thicker and tenser. Or maybe it was just me. Either way, I'd never heard anything about a Kaeda Haruno. Never.

"But, why yes, Haruno, it does indeed mean something. The one spoken about in the prophecy is a female, one around the young age as Kaeda had been when she was executed. You are the only existing adolescent female in the Haruno clan, yes?"

"…Yes, I am. As far as I know, at least..." I answered, hesitantly.

"Exactly. Not only must that shock you, but there is yet another fact that will rather…startle you." Pein said, calculating me as though wondering if I would be able to handle the next batch of shit he dropped on me.

"Yes - and that is?" I asked, my lower lip trembling ever so slightly, like it always did when I became nervous. Even so, I kept my gaze strong and unwavering. I would not show my weak side.

"I'm quite sure you remember the incident of your parents assassination by the Hidden Village of Cloud, two years ago?" he responded.

A sharp feeling of pain panged inside of my chest, at the mention of my parents. I averted my eyes from his own intense pair, subconsciously sinking my teeth in to my lower lip. I didn't want to talk about this. Especially not with him. Why?...Why would he bring that up now?

"Yes." I said, my tone clipped and stiff, as if there were something heavy in my jaw. Pein seemed to notice my uneasiness, but decidedly ignored it. God, I really did not want to talk about this. I never did; not even with my closest friends. Not even Tsunade, and she was basically a second mother to me.

"They were not your real parents."

Slowly, I lifted my head, turning my gaze to him. My lips were parted, but I couldn't seem to find the right words. Or any words, for that matter. What the hell?...

"What-What are you talking about?" I stuttered. I must have heard him wrong. To hear him say that…that's just impossible. Totally off topic and random and so not true. It couldn't be.

"In other words, they were skilled impersonators of your real mother and father. They had been undercover since you were ten years of age. As of now, the whereabouts of your biological parents are unknown. Their real names-"

"Wait. Slow down. I…I don't understand. Or I do, but you must have the wrong person. I can't be who you're looking for." I interrupted Pein, before I could become even more confused.

"No, Haruno. You are without a doubt, the one we have been searching for." He replied, without a flinch despite all of the times I had abruptly interrupted his sentences.

"I won't believe you. I can't, and I never will. Because…I know that they were my parents. My real parents. Because they loved me."

"I'm afraid you're the one mistaken, girl. All of these things that you insist on believing in, they are not the truth." Pein stated, his eyes as hard as steel, his words as cold as ice. For the umpteenth time, I had no idea how to respond. I blinked back the ridiculous warm, wet feeling that pricked at my eyes. Seriously?...I'm going to cry now, of all times?

He seemed to notice the traitorous tears that had begun to build up in my sad eyes. He seemed to notice that I was trying to hold them back, all of my feelings, all of my confusion, all of my hurt. But alas, he yet again stared back at me with that same, unfeeling, harsh gaze. Candidly, I wondered if he ever felt anything, if he even had emotions. As a decent response popped into my mind, I dug my fingernails into the flesh of my thigh. I narrowed my bright jade green eyes at him.

"So, what are you trying to say? That I don't know what I'm talking about, that what you say- all of this- is true? The real truth?" I asked sincerely. Truthfully, I just wanted to know. I just wanted to know, and then be finally done with all of this.

"No, Haruno. What I'm trying to say, is that you've been living a lie your whole life. And it's finally time for you to wake up."


OH YEAH, bet ya'll didn't see THAT coming, DID YOU? Or who knows, maybe you're a freaking awesome psychic and you did see that coming. Oh well, whether you knew my every move or not, tell me if you like the way the story is going! Oh, and tell me if you want Pein to be a love interest for Sakura as well. Honestly, I think PeinXKonan is wund-ah-ful, but it's up to you guys! Anyhoo, I've already started working on the next chapter, so it should be up soon, unless more shit happens! Thanks to all of you! Oh, and by the way, I LOVE reviews *wink wink*!

Lots of love3