The Akatsuki was an organization of the most elite killers in all the Great Nations who work together for the higher purpose of collecting more and standing in the day and age we all live in. My wife, Konan, and I are part of that group.
Even better, we formed and lead them.
It was a lot of work, being sure that no one started fights or drew attention to ourselves. But what could make it harder?
Becoming a father in the middle of it all.
Konan had been scared to tell me she was pregnant and had kept it a secret for months -which had been easy since I had been away on a mission for three months. Though Konan had been good at containing her mood swings and passing off morning sickness as a cold, she finally had to come clean when her stomach became too large to hide with her cloak.
And I had taken it well, when Konan was watching, but when she wasn't around I was constantly getting angry or upset or just plain destroyed at the fact that my plans were crashing down around me.
I won't love this child. I won't acknowledge it as my own. I don't care if it'd hate me; I kill him or her if they dare to defy me.
The door to the Konan's room opened and out came the doctor. Smiling his new-found glory of a clean, easy birth -they'd reassured me that Konan would be fine afterward and that Konan was a strong young woman, not that they needed to tell me. The doctor's wizened face scrunched and he looked at me solemnly. "Congratulations, you have a strong baby girl."
A girl? I know I wasn't as excited for the baby as Konan was, but I had wanted a boy.
Someone to at least try to prove themselves to me as my son.
Even more reason to hate it...her.
The doctor motioned me in and I stepped into Konan's room, frowning at the sight.
Konan sat proudly in the hospital bed, clutching a pink blanketed infant to her body. Her midnight blue hair was pulled into a bun off her sweaty forehead and her blue eyes sparkled down at the infant in her arms. She saw me and her smile immediately decreased. Reading my emotions she saw everything on my face and the truth.
She knew I didn't want the child.
"Pein, come see her." She whispered. All the nurses filed out of the room, giving shy glances at me and ran out. I took a step forward then walked around Konan's bed. When I looked down at the infant and I almost gasped.
I found myself lost in a sweet heart-shaped face fixed with huge blue eyes, Konan's eyes, studied me intently with a gaze steadier than a newborn's should be. Locks of pink hair crowed the top of her head in soft wisps. She had porcelain skin, like a China doll's, making her look fragile and weak, but almost as pale as me.
I smirked. "Her hair is pink. Are you sure she's mine?" I was half-joking, but Konan smacked my shoulder with all the strength she could muster. I looked at her shocked and Konan held the infant away from me, shielding her with her body.
"She drains me of all energy and patience, so she's yours." Konan growled. "If you don't want to be here Pein, then leave. I don't want anyone who hates my daughter anywhere near her." Her usual calm monotone was long gone as the possessive, motherly instinct kicked in.
My gaze fell to the infant in my wife's arms, still watching me like she knew who I was. My expression could only be described as dumbstruck when she actually smiled at me.
I didn't notice Konan shifting her closer to me, her own expression softening as she watched her daughter's reaction towards me.
I wanted to hold her, but how should I ask? A moment ago Konan was ready to rip my head off because I looked at her funny. "You want to hold her don't you?" Konan asked. She sat up a little more and held the pink haired baby out to me.
I reached out slowly and held the warm baby to my body. I gently rocked her in my arms and her eyes slowly fell shut in sleep.
How could orange and blue make pink? I wondered to myself. My fingers brushed over the pink tuffs softly.
"What should we call her?" Konan asked. I studied my small face and then glanced at her hair color again.
"Cherry blossoms..." I murmured almost puzzled, and then the idea hit me. "How about Sakura?" Konan smiled, then nodded.
"Sakura of the Akatsuki, daughter of Pein and Konan, leaders of the Akatsuki." She said the title to herself then smiled brighter when I didn't oppose. "I like it."
Up until I was ten-years-old I have been confined to living in a windowless room with one locked door in the Rain Village. There I learned to read, write and most of my teachings over the years have been from my parents, Konan and Pein, who mainly told me the importance of the Akatsuki -the group they led- and my inherited powers.
My parents said I was special and that bad people would hurt me if I ventured outside too early in my training. But as Saku told me it was because my mother and father were wanted dead and if people knew that they had a daughter (whom the loved very much), I'd be kidnapped and killed along side them.
Saku was an interesting person, a demon really.
She knew everything I knew and more.
Though I've never seen her before, I've seen her in pictures; the beautiful demon placed into my body when I was dying of a high fiver when I was five-years-old. Father hadn't wanted to do it, but he had no choice. It would be risky, too. If Saku didn't accept me as her Carrier I could be killed just as easily.
Saku was a demon known for her stunning appearance and healing skills. And no one had to be sacrificed when she overtook -or more like inhabited my body, since it was like just have two minds- my body.
She was released from her restrains and entered the nearest living body; me.
When she'd accepted me, I grew healthier and found myself talking out loud to the voice in my head that told me things I wasn't suppose to know. I'd learned to control her inner monologue, during training hours I'd call on her to tell me when someone was behind me and how to heal when I was injured.
Sakura, behind you.
On impulse I turned and grabbed the kunai flying at me and sent it back at Pein. Spinning around I dodged the rest of the weapons and finally came to a stop; breathing heavy and sweating. I watched my father exit the forest with a satisfied look.
"Better, but you still need work."
Hmph. I think you did exceptionally well for someone your age, I didn't warn you until it was aimed at your head. Saku grumbled to me. I restrained myself from giggling and thought back to her.
He's a perfectionist, Saku, he likes to challenge me. I'm not exactly a normal twelve-year-old.
He sees me as a tool for you to use. I will help you train and become better, not do everything for you. She argued.
He doesn't know we had that agreement.
We ran the drill again and again, until I was so tired Pein had laughed and carried me back to the Rain Village where my mother was waiting to scold us both.
An hour later I was back in my room, bathed and ready for bed. Konan came to my room later to ask how my training went and to say good night. After I turned twelve she wasn't compelled to hover over me as she had done all my life, instead her missions and duties called her all over the world and she was forced to leave me behind (though she had taken me with her once or twice).
This time for a meeting.
For a long time I thought this was how my life would be forever.
Until that one night when Snake-man, Orochimaru, attacked.
My parents and the rest of the Akatsuki stood proudly, balancing on the finger tips of two giant hands at the buiji where everyone met to say what they've learned on their missions and travels. Pein and Konan had been forced to take, and introduce, me to the Akatsuki two years ago and I was accepted with open arms –mainly from Tobi because he loved to spend time with me.
Itachi stood next to me...Or rather stood over me while I sat. His red eyes cut through the dark cave as he shot the death glare at those who laughed at his new-found mission as my bodyguard. I paid attention to my parent's endless chatter about the threat who was named Orochimaru.
"...and lastly-" But my mother's words where cut off by a loud crash. The walls started to cave in and Itachi looped an arm around my waist then jumped over the falling rubble.
Shouts and calls were heard and I screamed as the world, as it had seemed, fell down upon me, though Itachi had skillfully avoided all the debris.
Once we settled on what remained of the roof, he set me down.
"T-thank you, Itachi." I coughed. Konan and Pein appeared next to us, thanking Itachi and checking me for injuries.
"Report!" Pein called out.
"We're all accounted for Leader-sama!" Sasori called out, his red head just noticeable over a cloud of dust of the other side with Deidara, Kakuza and Hidan.
"Who could have done this?" Konan wondered out loud. A laugh echoed from inside the cloud of settling dust. A kunai shot out of nowhere towards me, just glazing my cheekbone.
"Ahh!" I growled, my hand flying up to insure that it was, indeed, bleeding. Pein's eyes narrowed and with a hand-sign I didn't recognize the dust cleared and reveled and larger than life, dark purple snake. Konan pulled me behind her and got in a fight stance.
When I looked closer I saw a flash of flying raven hair and gray-white skin. Yellow eyes glowed in the mid-day sun and I could make-out the purple eyeliner around them.
"Orochimaru." My parents said together a lace of hatred and anger in their voices.
"Itachi, get Sakura to safety. We'll hold down fort here." Pein whispered. Itachi nodded then grabbed me roughly, throwing me over his shoulder. By the look my father gave him he was going to pay for that later. I knew better than to call out to them, but I did anyway.
Out of pure horror that I may never see them again.
"Mother, Father!" But they were out of sight within seconds and the only reply I received were the sounds of battle.
We finally stopped at the Rain Village and waited for word to come next.
My parents came days later beaten but victorious and with a new mission...for me.
I was to go to the Leaf Village, gain their trust and gather information. Also it was to keep me safe from harm. Orochimaru wouldn't dare to show his face Konaha after he betrayed it...in his youth.
Though I wondered if I'd be accepted in this strange new land.