Disclaimer (why did I only bother doing this in the last chapters again?): I don't currently, and never will, own Naruto, blah blah blah you know the drill.
Chapter 28: Revelations and a Shock Ending
Yumi released her hold on the bird and shook Deidara off, climbing unsteadily to her feet. Hidan had given away their position AND run straight into the other group, effectively ruining any chance they might have had to bypass them and beat them to the base.
"Yumi what happened?" Sasuke asked, following her as she jumped cautiously from tree to tree, trying to prolong the amount of time before they ran into the others.
"Hidan's an ass, that's all. Same as usual." She let out a fake laugh at the end, startling herself.
"Oi Bitch, come here would you?" Yumi sighed, motioning for Sasuke to stay put. She didn't care if Deidara came with her but she really didn't want a confrontation in the middle of the night.
"Don't call me that!" She called back as she dropped down to the ground and proceeded to where the campsite was situated. Three pairs of eyes stared at her as she emerged in the small clearing, Deidara close behind. Apparently he would rather face the older Uchiha than stay with Sasuke. Yumi made a point of staring fearlessly into Itachi's sharingan. She had built up a fair bit of mental resistance to the sharingan through forcing Sasuke to use it on her and she wasn't scared, not even of the fabled mangekyo sharingan.
"Deidara? When Hidan turned up I never would have guessed that you were with him." Yumi looked away from the red eyes of the Uchiha to look at the blue skinned Kisame Hoshigake. She had never actually seen someone with blue skin before, it was a rather novel experience, like when she had seen Deidara's hand mouths for the first time.
"Shut up, un."
"I also can't believe you gave her your scythe Hidan." Kisame continued, ignoring Deidara's remark. The silver haired man scowled, pointing an accusing finger at her.
"I didn't give it to her, she fucking stole it and she won't give it the fuck back!" Yumi rolled her eyes, holding the scythe with one hand and pointing it at Hidan.
"If you really wanted it back I'm sure you would have it by now." She pointed out. The movement clearly showed the curse mark at the base of her neck, and while Deidara already knew about it and Hidan didn't care Itachi and Kisame examined it with great interest.
"Orochimaru's seal…" Itachi muttered, closing his eyes and reopening them to reveal their normal, sharinganless appearance.
"Okay, so why are you two lugging around one of that snake's pets?" Yumi rested the scythe against her shoulder and turned to stare Kisame in the eye. The headband on her forehead reflected the wavering light from the fire as she glared at him.
"Pet? I take offence to that Hoshigake-san." Kisame blinked in surprise. Apparently he had never been called that before.
"That's what I thought." She put on a triumphant air which served to further confuse the blue man.
"Someone's coming." Itachi said suddenly. She spun to face the direction he was looking in.
"Shit! I told him to stay put! Deidara you should have stayed with him." She was planning on intercepting him but he was too close, he would be able to hear them anyway. Desperate for some sort of evasion tactic she suddenly ran around behind Itachi and clamped her hands over his eyes. There was silence in the clearing for a moment as they registered what had just happened.
"… What are you doing?" Yumi blanked, making sure to keep a firm grip on him as she tried to think.
"Um… Guess who?" She could tell that he was getting annoyed, but that was only the start of her troubles. As she tried to keep calm the dreaded arrival happened. Sasuke burst out of the trees and landed on the ground in front of everyone.
"Itachi!" He yelled angrily, expression becoming confused when he saw Yumi hanging off his back. She was about to respond to his questioning look when she felt a tug on her consciousness and found herself being tugged away into a swirl of memories as she accidentally delved inside Itachi's mind like she had done so many times while looking after Hidan's severed head.
A myriad of images and scenes flashed before her eyes and she realised that some of them were things she had seen before. Some of it was flashes of the Leaf village, some of it things that she had seen in Sasuke's mind, and then there were things that she had never seen before. She recognised the location, it was somewhere she had been once or twice before.
She managed to grab onto a select few scenes, ones that caught her attention. Letting them play out fully in front of her she heard everything that Itachi remembered from those times and she could feel his emotions pulsing through the memories.
Someone forcefully broke the physical connection and she went flying back, hitting a tree.
"Ngh…" There was blood in her mouth, she had bitten her tongue pretty hard when she landed.
"Yumi!" She couldn't tell who was calling her name. It could have been any of them, although Kisame and Itachi didn't know her name. Yumi forced her eyes open but stayed sitting on the ground as she waited for her strength to return. When her vision focused properly she ignored everyone and stared straight into Itachi's mangekyo sharingan. She had learnt a lot of things in that short amount of time. Things that were important and things she wished that she hadn't seen.
"Tell him Itachi." Her voice cracked and she coughed, clearing her throat. "Tell him the truth, all of it, and I'll let him kill you."
"What do you mean 'let him kill you'? Did you hit your head?" Sasuke was furious, it was obvious that she was talking about him when she said that and he couldn't imagine what she was getting at pulling something like that all of a sudden.
"Deidara?" She held out her arm and wiggled her fingers in a childish gesture for help. Reluctantly he stepped forward and helped her to her feet. When she was steady and not at risk of immediately falling over she picked up the forgotten scythe and walked unsteadily towards Hidan.
"What do you want now bitch?" She laughed, a laugh that sounded hysterical in her current state. She held the scythe out to him, carefully holding it between two of the blades. He gave her a quizzical look and made a grab at the handle, expecting her to whip it out of his reach again. This time she didn't, when he wrapped his hand around it she let go, letting him have it.
"Sorry." She said sheepishly, stepping back carefully. Hidan continued to look at her with a confused expression.
"Hey midget Uchiha, I think your girlfriend has a serious concussion or something." Sasuke coloured slightly at the word 'girlfriend' but quickly returned to glaring at everyone in turn. It was quite an awkward stand off all things considered. Kisame was the one who had thrown Yumi into the tree, so Sasuke was almost as angry at him as he was at Itachi for merely existing, while Hidan and Deidara were just bystanders.
"Did Jashin-sama tell you it was okay to ridicule an injured girl if you aren't going to sacrifice her?" Yumi questioned the immortal, shocking him further. Without waiting for an answer she marched over to Itachi, wincing as she walked. If the situation had been a bit different she probably would have paid more attention to her possibly broken ribs, but now wasn't the time to whine about petty injuries. It wasn't life threatening, so it could wait.
"What did you see?" The elder Uchiha asked quietly, the tiniest hint of curiosity evident in his voice.
"Everything." He frowned and before she knew it she was in the Tsukuyomi world. It shocked her a little that she was merely standing there, she had half expected to be tied up and tortured.
"If you saw everything then you know why I can't tell him." Yumi forced out an irritated noise through her teeth as she thought about how best to put her point across. Her silence sent Itachi the impression that she had given in, but that wasn't the case.
"You don't want him to hate the village, I get that. Listen, he's been back, he can deal with it. I know he can. If you tell him the right way then he has no reason to hate the village." The frown made its way back onto Itachi's face. He wasn't buying into what she was telling him.
"It won't work. He'll hate the Leaf and he won't be able to achieve his revenge." She pulled at her hair in irritation, glaring at him. Her ribs were still sore so she sat down on the 'ground' of the strange world.
"Revenge revenge revenge. Sometimes I really can't stand you Uchihas. Those memories are my memories too now, so if you don't tell him I can show him. And believe me when I say I will."
"Why do you care so much about Sasuke knowing the truth?" It seemed that Yumi was slowly breaking down his resolve, or perhaps he was just allowing his curious side to roam free since no-one else could hear or see them.
"It's just… Family shouldn't hate each other." She muttered, looking at her feet.
"But even if I tell him he won't believe me." Yumi glanced up at him. For a high class criminal he was incredibly easy to read when he accidentally let his guard down. He sounded distressed, even slightly panicked, although the panic might have something to do with how Sasuke would react when he realised that Itachi had used the sharingan on her.
"You have a point there…" She agreed softly, turning to look around the warped dimension. "Just because someone tells the truth it doesn't guarantee that others will believe it. Everything is in the eye of the beholder. Anything you say will probably be a lie in his mind, just like everything Naruto says is pointless and annoying."
"What should I do then?" She blinked up at him curiously, wondering if she had heard him right.
"I'm not sure. I'll think of something later." The frown appeared on Itachi's face once more before he released her. The real world flashed back into existence around her and she almost fell over, disorientated. Itachi grabbed her wrist just long enough to steady her before letting go and stepping away. She sent him a tiny smile of thanks before trying to find Sasuke.
"What did you do to her?" He shouted angrily, storming forwards. Itachi's now expressionless face turned to him and stared him down.
"Foolish little brother, you know nothing and yet here you are, convinced you can kill me." Yumi groaned, that wasn't exactly what she had been hoping for. Sasuke didn't appreciate his answer either, so he momentarily turned his attention to her instead.
"What did he do?" He asked again, trying to sound calm when he was absolutely furious.
"We just talked." She admitted truthfully. "I'm fine." That part was less truthful, but being injured wasn't what he was worried about. Her head was pounding a bit now, probably a delayed reaction from hitting the tree. Sasuke looked like he was about to charge at Itachi, but Yumi grabbed his hand at the last moment, holding him back. If she just let him kill Itachi then she would never forgive herself, even after all those promises she had made saying that she would help him do just that.
"What?" She ignored him, walking around him and pulling him towards Itachi. Both Uchihas gave her strange looks, it was near impossible to tell what she was thinking. When she was in front of him she stopped and held her hand out to him. Everyone in the clearing was more than a little shocked by her strange actions, but Itachi hesitantly took her hand anyway.
Closing her eyes she delved into Itachi's mind, selecting memories and dragging them out for everyone to see (everyone being Itachi, Sasuke and herself). She knew it was working because she could feel Sasuke's presence in her mind, she could feel his confusion at the things he was being shown.
When it was over she released them both and fell to her knees, exhausted. Consciously doing something like that apparently took a lot out of a person. They two Uchiha males stared down at her in confusion. She waved a hand weakly showing that she was alright. Whether they believed it or not was another story.
Light footsteps could be heard in the forest near the clearing, and when Hidan raised his voice to question their identity the footsteps changed course, heading straight for them. Yumi got back on her feet with some help from Sasuke and moved to talk quietly with Itachi, not worried about whoever was coming their way. She should have been worried.
A man stood partially hidden in the canopy of the trees. His black hair helped him hide in the ever growing darkness and he used it to his advantage as he watched his unfaithful daughter in the middle of his old organisation. He had attached a tracking device to her during their last encounter so that he could know her location at any time, but she had mostly stuck to the village hidden in the leaves so he hadn't bothered getting too close. Now however was a different story.
He jumped down into the edge of the clearing and suddenly all eyes were on him. Different emotions were painted across different faces. Sasuke was angry, Yumi fearful, and the rest either confused, surprised or indifferent.
"Oh troublesome child of mine, if you had stayed in the village then I wouldn't have needed to come and get you." He mocked before getting his sword from one of the snakes. Her eyes widened in fright upon seeing the sword and he smirked, making a small show of aiming. Sasuke's anger turned to fear and he shouted for her to move, but she was frozen to the spot. The older Uchiha, Itachi, was standing just beside her, but he was certain that he wouldn't bother interfering.
Swinging his arm back he threw the sword like a spear. It sliced through the air, hurtling straight towards the frightened form of his only child, only to impale itself in a taller, black cloaked figure.
"Shit." He had miscalculated. As chaos erupted in the clearing he took his leave, swearing to come back some other time to do what he had been aiming to do.
Itachi fell to the ground in front of Yumi, sword protruding from his chest. She opened and closed her mouth several times, but nothing came out. She was in shock, extreme shock.
"Brother!" At the sound of Sasuke's voice she sunk to her knees next to him, looking down into his face.
"Itachi…" She mumbled sadly as she felt Sasuke kneel down beside her.
"You're a… strange person…" He managed, coughing slightly. "Thanks… for helping." He coughed more violently, a small trail of blood coming from his mouth.
"Don't die." She ordered him weakly, knowing that it was pointless. Itachi managed a small smile before his eyes drifted shut for the last time. Yumi wrapped her arms around Sasuke's neck and starting crying into his shoulder as silent tears fell down his own face.
The three remaining Akatsuki members present watched the scene with a dark sense of humour. The irony of the situation wasn't lost on them.
The hunters were crying over the death of their prey.
A/N: THE END!
I know some of you will be depressed, and it was sort of a weird ending, but if I didn't find some odd way to end it like that then I would never be able to finish the story. I was originally going to keep Itachi alive, but then I would have been tempted to write more chapters and it wouldn't have ended.
Anyways, thank you to everyone who reviewed or added this story to their favourites or story alerts, it's good to know that people were reading it and enjoying it.
That's all I've really got to say so… See you around.
EDIT: 29/1/12: Ok ok ok, since people keep asking I may as well put it here. I AM thinking of making a sequel, but that will take time so you'll have to be patient, alright? I need to think up a storyline first. Suggestions are welcome but it doesn't necessarily mean that I'll use them, just remember that. If I do use an idea I'll try and remember to credit the supplier :)