I do not own either Naruto or Umineko no naku koro ni!

Please don't kill me if the characters seem a little OOC, I've had to tweak them in order that they fit in with the story…

Anyway, please enjoy and review!

The light poured in through the tall window, a harsh light that was devoid of warmth or comfort. It felt almost sterile, especially when one took into account the white colouring of the walls that made up the small room, and the checkerboard patterned flooring. It was sparsely furnished, although the few fittings were certainly elaborate. Several high-backed chairs sat in the room, elegantly carved with padded arms and seats, and a small table with a spotless glass surface. There was the small noise of china as a teacup was set upon its matching saucer, its owner careful not to spill any tea on the clean glass surface beneath. Lady Bernkastel's gaze shifted from her teacup to observe the scene unfolding in front of her. A look of mild amusement played around her features, which was one of the few emotions she ever showed. Her lifeless violet eyes appeared however, as cold as they always were.

A tall woman sat opposite her, deep in a heated discussion with another girl, who sat on Bernkastel's other side. The former was dressed in an elaborate gown, almost Victorian or Tudor in style, black and deep crimson, decorated with golden designs and a white frill that followed the shape of the low neckline. Her hair was held up in a complicated bun made up of a twisted plait, curly bangs framing her perfectly sculptured features. However, at this moment, Beatrice's face was twisted with a mixture of defiance and arrogance as she conversed with the girl beside Bernkastel.

"I still don't think you can do it, Beato." Said she, watching Beatrice's expression with glee, resting her chin on the back of her hand. This girl was dressed more or less completely in pink, almost sickeningly so. The lolita-style dress was adorned with numerous decorations; red bows, the odd ivy leaf, and even a small pumpkin with an evil grin adorned the pink skirt. Her arms were covered with long black gloves that went up past her elbows. Her bright red eyes sparkled with the joy of tormenting her rival.

"Lambdadelta, do not underestimate me…no mortal can triumph against me." Beatrice allowed herself a wide, sickening smile that made her eyes look, if anything, a bit insane.

"Or are you afraid that if I prove it to you, you will have to accept that I am better than you?" She said, leaning close to Lambdadelta and fixing her with her intense blue eyes.

"Then shall we call it a game?" Countered the girl in pink, mirroring the unhinged smile, her own red eyes easily as unnerving as her rival's. Bernkastel picked up her teacup and concentrated on it instead, bored with the bickering of her companions. Beatrice held out her hand, and Lambdadelta took it. They both shook hands, eyes locked.

"So," Said Lambdadelta, leaning back into her chair, taking a cookie from a plate on the table, "where shall we play this time?"

Shikamaru yawned, bleary eyed as he sat up, absent-mindedly scratching the back of his head. He rubbed his face and gave a sleepy grunt as he stood up.

"Shikamaru," Called his mother, ten minutes later impatiently from their small kitchen, "Get a move on! Lady Hokage has summoned you, and do you know what she's like when you…."

"Yeah, yeah….I know….." Muttered Shikamaru as he stomped down the wooden stairs, intentionally making them creak at each step to annoy his father who was at that moment reading the Konoha newspaper at the table. With a sleepy "g'mornin'" to his father, he took a couple of slices of toast and stepped out the front door. Monday mornings were such a drag, especially with Lady Fifth calling for him at the crack of dawn, as if he didn't have enough to do….well….scratch that, he had nothing to do, but that wasn't the point. As he walked, he checked he carried his usual supplies of kunai, shuriken and other tools, as he had forgotten to check when he was at home. After a quarter of an hour of exceedingly lazy walking, he finally reached the door to the Hokage's office. He pushed it open with a creak, and was immediately surprised by what he saw. Crammed into the small and sparsely furnished office, were no fewer than nine people…oh, and a dog the size of a large bear too.

At that moment, all of the inhabitants of the room turned and looked at him, apart from one. After a minute, Lady Tsunade, the leaf Hokage, looked up from the papers on her desk to look at him with a gaze so stern it could have belonged to his mother.

"You are late." She informed him, pushing a pile of documents to the side, which her second in command, Shizune, quickly gathered up into a neat pile and filed away, looking severely overworked.

"I apologize." Shikamaru said dully, wistfully thinking that he could be sleeping right now. He looked around, mentally counting who was here, and trying to work out for what purpose. He could see all of the members of team Guy, excluding Might Guy himself, there was Tenten, Neji and Lee. Also, he noticed that Hinata and Kiba were there as well. Of course, that explained why Akumaru the colossal dog was in here, making the place stink. Lastly, he could see Kakashi-sensei here, looking impassive as usual, a book in one hand – also as usual.

"Well, never mind that now." Tsunade said. Shikamaru was surprised, for Lady Fifth not to yell at him for being late, something important must have happened.

"I doubt you are aware as it has been kept top secret, but recently we have gained intelligence that the Akatsuki organization are on the move."

Shikamaru stiffened. He had heard of them before alright. However, he still didn't understand why they were all here. Surely a full-scale hunt would be unwise at this point, seeing as the village was at its weakest right now.

"However, we have also gained the information that they are heading to a remote island south of the Hidden-leaf Village."

Shikamaru could see where this was going, his strategist's mind already analysing the information.

"And as they are all moving together as a group, which is pretty unheard of, we can assume that they are after something right?" He asked, testing his hypothesis.

"Exactly," Lady Tsunade replied, nodding. "Our scouts report that a lot of local legend surrounds this island, of which the name we don't know at this moment. Some people say that the island is haunted by a ghost, others that it contains a treasure beyond any that mankind has ever seen, and still others report that a massive concentration of chakra is sealed there, perhaps even a bijuu."

"And I guess they are after the latter than?" Shikamaru asked. He could see why a myth of a bijuu would definitely attract the Akatsuki organisation, after all, they were their prime objective.

"However," Continued the Hokage, "That does not explain why the whole Akatsuki are moving, together, at once. We can only guess that this island is particularly dangerous for unknown reasons, or that they actually believe this legend of a so called 'ghost'." Kiba laughed. Tsunade fixed him with a murderous look until he apologized, looking sheepish.

"Therefore, we cannot allow the organization to get their hands on such a possibly dangerous weapon. That is where you come in. If this place is so dangerous that the whole Akatsuki have to go for it, then I need a large cell of capable ninja to shadow them and get to this power first. It is imperative they do not get their hands on it. That is your mission. Understood?"

A chorus of "Yes Ma'am!" Rang through the cramped room.

"Good. Then you are dismissed." She said. The room was soon empty. Ten minutes later, the cell had left the village well behind. Shikamaru yawned once more before focussing on the task at hand, and staying in their devised formation. This was going to be a fun filled weak…he thought sarcastically to himself as the village disappeared from view, and they were truly on their way.