Author's note: This is a HUMOR fic. Therefore, it is meant to be taken with a grain of salt and, um, LAUGHED AT. I've tried to keep people in character as much as possible while still having a laugh at their expense.
Also, I realize that most of the Akatsuki have died/been rendered incapacitated. And I know Orochimaru's been out of Akatsuki since pretty much before the start of the series. But for the sake of pure fun and delusion, I've included all of the original Akatsuki plus Tobi in this chapter. Enjoy!
Not everyone in Akatsuki was a morning person. In fact, the not morning people tended to vocalize loudly and often how much they resented being woken before a suitable hour. Kisame, as luck would have it, was paired with the ultimate morning person. Itachi always had a bit of trouble waking the blue man—he snored so loudly that he could never quite hear Itachi's soft-spoken attempts to rouse him. Luckily for Itachi, they were currently stationed at the main base in Rain, which meant he might find help in rousing the slumbering shark man.
"Kakuzu, you ass!"
Impeccable timing, Itachi thought to himself. Enter Hidan, the other (louder) not morning person.
Through Itachi and Kisame's open bedroom door, an irate Hidan fumed, his cheeks a pleasant shade of cherry. He was also drenched in an unidentified brown liquid.
"Why the hell did you pour chocolate milk on me?" Hidan screeched.
Kakuzu, clutching an incriminatingly empty glass dripping a familiar chocolaty substance, merely regarded his partner with an air of boredom. "You asked for it."
Hidan flushed a pretty shade of scarlet, and not from feminine shame. "You know I like to drink chocolate milk, not fucking shower in it, seriously. And it was hot. You did it on purpose, you piece of shit!"
"Oh, excuse me, I didn't realize that you drooling on your pillow and whining for your daily hot beverage was a joke. I was thoughtfully obliging you."
"Horse shit! I was still sleeping and you took advantage of my vulnerable state! And on top of that, you wasted my chocolate milk."
Itachi sighed and looked back at Kisame, who was now stirring.
"Kisame," he called to his partner.
"What's all the racket?" the sleepy shark nin rubbed the sand from his eyes. "What time is it?"
"7:27 a.m.," Itachi replied.
Kisame frowned irritably. "Then why the hell am I awake? And shut the door. Hidan's yelling is making my ears bleed."
"We have a meeting in three minutes. Leader does not like to be kept waiting," Itachi said, tugging the sheets off the bed.
Kisame made a last-ditch grab for the bedding, eeping indignantly at the cool rush of morning air on his bare legs.
"Hahaha!" Hidan laughed in the doorway. "Kisame, your legs are so spindly. I never knew!"
Kisame immediately leaped out of bed, wearing only boxers decorated with small goldfish and a T-shirt. "Oh yeah? You smell like a chocolate cow's udder, prick."
Hidan mouthed wordlessly, taken aback momentarily by the insult.
"Hidan, I suggest you take a quick shower. We wouldn't want Pein's common room to smell like…chocolate cow's udder," Kakuzu advised tonelessly.
"Screw all of you, seriously. You keep puttin' me down, but your insults don't even faze me. Cows don't even have chocolate udders," he grumbled as he trudged unceremoniously to the bathroom.
"Kisame, please put some pants on," Itachi supplied before briskly exiting the room. "I'll see you at the meeting."
When Itachi had departed, Kakuzu was left alone with Kisame. Curiosity led him to examine Kisame's skinny legs, which didn't go unnoticed by the Mist-nin. Kisame narrowed his eyes. "You got somethin' to say, Zombie Twin?"
Kakuzu turned to leave, but turned his head back to say, "You have very shapely calves."
With that, Kakuzu left Kisame to change. Kisame blushed. "I know that."
"Now that everyone is here," Pein looked pointedly at Hidan who, thanks to his impromptu shower, had been the last to arrive. "We can get started."
"It's rare for everyone to be here together," Orochimaru cooed. "Like we're one big, happy family."
Itachi tried to ignore the loaded look Orochimaru sent his way. Nevertheless, a cold shudder ran down his spine. Don't look, don't look, don't look!
Itachi looked. Big mistake.
Orochimaru grinned at him, his purple tongue lolling out of his mouth and dripping translucent spit.
Icky, Itachi cringed.
"Yes," Pein said a bit hesitantly.
"Yes!" Tobi repeated enthusiastically.
"Shut up, idiot," Deidara hissed.
"Perhaps you should take your own advice," Sasori glared at the blonde.
Deidara shot Sasori a wounded look.
"The reason I've called you all here today is a matter of the utmost importance. It seems that the newest edition of the Bingo book is scheduled for release soon, and you all know what that means."
Excited whispers filled the room. Konan, however, did not look at all pleased.
"This year's edition will be in color, and everyone will need an up-to-date picture," Pein elaborated, a small smile playing at his lips. "It will be the best version yet."
The door swung open suddenly, and everyone turned to see Zetsu, followed closely by a horde of people carrying cameras, tripods, aluminum light stands, umbrellas, director's chairs, hand painted backdrops, a cheer cone that read "Go Akatsuki!", and a box full of berets.
"Because you can't have a photo shoot without totally irrelevant pseudo-chic French paraphernalia," Kakuzu whispered to Hidan, who nodded without really getting it.
"I brought the photographers," White Zetsu said politely.
"And I didn't eat any of them," Black Zetsu added helpfully.
"Excellent!" Pein said, clapping his hands together. Konan shot him a disturbed look.
"Hello, hello, members of Akatsuki! Let's make some magic!" a man clad in a red and black striped crop top, purple neck scarf, and giant Chanel sunglasses gushed. He adjusted his beret so that it fell at a perfect forty-five degree angle off the left side of his head.
Sasori found himself cringing at the man's atrocious fashion sense, while Orochimaru nodded approvingly. While this did not surprise Sasori, given Orochimaru's penchant for 'alternative fashion,' it was no less uncomfortable.
The director of photography introduced himself as Kevin. He seemed normal enough, if one could ignore the hairy chest that his crop top didn't manage to cover completely. As soon as he shooed his crew to set up for the photo session, he addressed the Akatsuki. "Alright, who wants to go first?"
Tobi raised his hand enthusiastically, but Deidara clunked him over the head before he could verbally volunteer. Hidan was grinning suspiciously and Kakuzu was too busy scrutinizing the very expensive looking photography equipment.
"We'll draw numbers," Pein said before anyone could beat him to it.
Konan proceeded to hand out paper to everyone. When she finished distributing, she raised her fingers in a seal. Everyone's paper smoked as a number burned into the middle of the papers.
"Hell yeah!" Hidan shouted triumphantly. "I'm first!"
"Aw, Tobi's last," Tobi said, crestfallen.
"No, you're not. There are eleven of us. I'm last, yeah," Deidara said irritably.
At this, Tobi perked up. "Oh, good! Tobi is glad he doesn't have to go last. That's probably the worst place to be since the photographer will be tired and will probably mess up the picture!"
Deidara attempted to punch Tobi, but Sasori held him back with his strings and directed an it's-not-worth-it headshake at the blonde.
"Wonderful!" Kevin enthused. "Let's get started." He looked Hidan over, noting the toned, pale chest barely concealed by the trademark Akatsuki robe and slicked, silver hair. Kevin smiled joyously. "You don't even need to go into makeup!"
"Che," Hidan cocked his head. "I was born for this shit, seriously."
Everyone huddled together to watch Hidan's turn. Kevin had him try various poses.
"Ok, Hidan, was it? Try putting your thumb under the open collar of your cloak…yes, like that. And pull it—yes, that's perfect. A little skin goes a long way, I always say."
Hidan ran a hand through his hair as Kevin snapped a few photos from various angles. "Yes, yes, that's great! Now let's see a smile."
Hidan flashed a bright grin and his perfect teeth actually sparkled. Thank goodness for the photographer's impractically large Chanel sunglasses!
"Oh, gorgeous! You're a natural!"
"Fucking duh," Hidan boasted. "You think Jashin-sama would accept a fat ass for a disciple?"
Kakuzu watched as Kevin snapped more photos. Each click of the camera made him more and more on edge.
"Wait, wait! You should get a picture of me while I'm in my ritual mode because I look different. What if people don't recognize me?" Hidan said, genuine concern lacing his words.
"Oh, that's true," Kevin agreed. "Ok, show me your spiritual side!"
Hidan grinned wider. "Deidara-chan, hand me that rod. Yeah, that one… I don't give a shit if it's not mine, just hand it over!"
"Wait a minute," Kakuzu interrupted, approaching Kevin the photographer who paused from his shooting spree. "How many pictures will actually go in the Bingo book?"
Kevin smiled politely at the freakishly tall Akatsuki. "Oh, only one, sir. But it's important that I get the right angle. Wouldn't want to have a fluke picture. The books are in active circulation for a year, and a bad picture could lead to unfortunate gossip. It's the kind of thing that ruins reputations, you know."
"A bad picture in a Bingo book could ruin someone's reputation?" Konan said incredulously.
Everyone turned to look at her like she was a lunatic. "It's alright, Konan, you didn't know," Pein said, giving her shoulder a sympathetic pat.
Konan crossed her arms defensively and stared at the floor.
"And how much is this going to cost?" Kakuzu resumed.
"Oh, you know, we charge by the hour, so it really depends on how long it takes."
"I see." Kakuzu turned to Pein and they exchanged a silent glance before Pein nodded discreetly. "Hidan, you will not be taking any more pictures."
Hidan, who was getting ready to stab himself in the gut, looked up at Kakuzu. "What? But why?"
"Because your glamor shots are taking too much time. Now move over so the next person can go."
"Wha— But that's not fair! It's my turn, and I want my goddamn picture taken!"
"You've already had," Kakuzu glanced at Kevin's camera. "Seventy-two shots. I think that should give you enough of a selection to choose from."
"You fucking miser. This is about the goddamn money again!" He was fuming, until a sly smirk found its way onto his lips. "Heh, you're just jealous because I'm so photogenic, seriously."
"He is very photogenic," Kevin commented.
"Hidan, give someone else a turn," Pein called out.
Hidan looked like he wanted to retort, but instead he threw down the pilfered rod in frustration. "Cheapskate," he muttered at Kakuzu under his breath.
"It's ok, Hidan," Tobi tried to cheer him up. "I'm sure all of your pictures look beautiful!"
Hidan wanted to smack Tobi, but thought better of it. "You're fucking right, Tobi. My pictures will look absolutely fantastic. All seventy-two of them. Maybe I can order individual prints," he said, rubbing his chin thoughtfully.
"Who's next?" Kevin said, now slightly wary of Kakuzu.
"Um, I am. Zetsu," Zetsu introduced himself.
"Ah," Kevin took a look at Zetsu and furrowed his brow. Or, he would have if his brow were visible under his gigantic Chanel sunglasses. "Maria, position the umbrella at eighty degrees… Yes, just do it. Because I said so!"
Maria, presumably, teetered precariously on a ladder, a giant, white umbrella in her hands as she tried to reflect the light off of Zetsu's…head.
"Let's see," Kevin mused. "Tilt your, um, upper body to the left…yes, just like that, now hold it."
"Be sure to get my good side," White Zetsu said cheerfully.
"That would be me," Black Zetsu rasped.
Kisame looked on, a little confused. He leaned down to Itachi and whispered, "Which side do you think is his good side?"
Itachi sighed tiredly, thinking this would lead to nothing but a headache.
"No, that's my side. White reflects the light better," White Zetsu argued.
"Tan is very 'in' right now," Black Zetsu countered.
"Um," Kevin looked a bit at a loss for words. Maria was halfway down her ladder, trying to decide whether to stay and shine light on the black half of Zetsu or move to the other side and illuminate the white half.
The Venus flytrap on Zetsu's head quivered erratically, giving everyone the creeps. Had Zetsu had his breakfast today?
"We can do a straight angle to the center!" Kevin interrupted Zetsu's solitary quarrel. "I'll get the best angle—the front!"
There was a pause as Zetsu's yellow eyes blinked suspiciously at the photographer. Kevin gulped. I'm talking to a plant.
"Very well," White Zetsu conceded.
"But make sure to get my flytrap's jaws. I just had them trimmed."
The room let out a collective sigh of relief, and Kevin unleashed a short round of snapshots, making sure to capture the giant flora in a way that really brought out the chlorophyll.
"Great!" he said, nodding to Zetsu that he could go.
Zetsu wordlessly walked off stage.
"Me," Sasori said tonelessly from beside Deidara.
Sasori walked the short distance to the stage with mechanical precision. Kevin lit up at the prospect of photographing a human instead of a plant. At least, he was pretty sure this one was human.
"Sasori. And this is Hiruko," he said, summoning the bulky puppet armor and making to climb inside.
"Uh, hey, what are you doing?" Kevin asked.
"Getting inside my puppet, obviously."
Sasori blinked. "Why not?"
"Well, it'll be hard to get you on film if you're hiding in there."
"I'm not hiding. This is a human puppet," he said, his tone taking on a slight edge. "I killed a man to create Hiruko."
"Aw, Sasori, don't get in that smelly thing," Kisame spoke up.
"Yes, we don't want to hide your youthful features behind that hideous plaything," Orochimaru crooned.
"He isn't a plaything, he's a human puppet. And he's not smelly," Sasori said indignantly.
"Mr. Sasori, you can't take your picture inside that," Kevin gestured to Hiruko.
The cherubic redhead focused his cold stare on Kevin. "Why not?"
Kevin shifted nervously at Sasori's icy tone. No one spoke up to back him up, and he could feel himself sweating bullets. Damnit, I should have stuck to baby showers!
"Well, because…it would hide your beautiful face?" he tried.
Sasori narrowed his eyes at the now quaking photographer, and the air suddenly got a little colder. Orochimaru giggled somewhere in the background.
"You're absolutely right," Sasori finally said. "Hiruko would conceal the timeless perfection that is my face."
Kevin let out an audible sigh of relief. Sasori set Hiruko to the side and allowed Kevin to snap a few photos of his phenomenally sculpted face.
"Ok, we're finished."
"Not yet," Sasori cut in. "Next is my Sandaime Kazekage puppet." Sasori proceeded to summon his favorite pet.
"You can't have more than one turn!" Tobi huffed.
Sasori ignored him and positioned his grisly trophy on the photography set. "I just washed his hair, so make sure to put it in a good light."
"Um, each criminal only gets one picture in the book…" Kevin trailed off.
"Yes, one picture. One for each of my puppets. Let's get started; I have two hundred and ninety-seven."
"Actually, I meant only one picture in total. As in, only one for you and…not your puppets."
"Awkward…" Zetsu mumbled.
"Sasori, you are out of your mind if you think you can take all those pictures. Time is money. Get off the stage."
"These puppets are a part of me, Kakuzu," Sasori argued. "They want their pictures taken, too."
"They don't want anything. They're not real."
"They're real to me!"
"Alright, that's enough," Pein's booming voice broke up the argument. "Kisame, I believe you're next?"
Sasori pouted and for a second, Kevin the photographer's heart melted at the sight. Aww, he's so adorbs!
"Let's just get this over with," Kisame grumbled as he occupied the center stage where Sasori had been standing only moments ago.
"Alright, lights, people! Give me some light!" Kevin shouted through his "Go Akatsuki!" cheer cone.
The unimportant photography staff scrambled to rearrange umbrellas and aluminum light stands. Kisame squinted and held a big, blue hand in front of his eyes to shield them from the bright lights.
"Hey, turn the lights down!" he shouted.
Furious shutter snapping indicated that the photographer had ignored him. Thankfully, a few seconds later the lights died down and Kisame blinked the tears from his singed sockets.
"I think we've got a keeper!" Kevin announced.
"Let me take a look at those," Kisame said, skeptical.
Kevin pulled up the digital images on his Masta Flasha 3000X and showed them to Kisame. The images elicited a gasp from the blue man.
"Hey, the flash totally washed me out!"
"What do you mean? Look how tan you look!" Kevin gushed.
"Are you kidding me? I have the complexion of soggy oatmeal! I demand a reshoot!"
Kevin seemed to debate this momentarily before sighing dramatically. "Alright, alright, Your Majesty." He whispered that last part, but it didn't stop Hidan and Deidara from snickering like middle schoolers.
Kisame let loose a string of expletives under his breath, but figured arguing would get him nowhere—not with Kakuzu on Clock Duty. Kisame waited for the telltale click of the camera, but nothing happened. He shifted his weight. Still nothing. Then he cleared his throat. "Er, any day now."
"Kisame, I think it may be best if we get you into hair and makeup first. Lots of makeup," Kevin said with a tilt of his head.
"What? I didn't need that before."
"Yes, well," Kevin paused, apparently trying to choose his words delicately. "You seem to have an unhealthy blue tint to your skin." He held up his hands in a placating gesture when he saw the stunned look on Kisame's face. "Oh! I'm sure you just ate some bad shellfish or something. It's just unlucky that it happened today. But don't worry, a little foundation should cover that right up!"
Kisame blinked, speechless, as a pair of tiny women rushed at him with makeup easels and brushes, ready to paint him like the Mona Lisa.
"What the— Don't touch me with that powder puff shit!"
The women had managed to land a couple of puffs on his face and neck, and Kisame sneezed from the stray dust particles now floating around his head. "Damnit, now I look like I have rosacea!"
"Oh, Kisame, please don't be alarmed. The ladies are just applying blush, so please cooperate."
"But I'm supposed to be blue, you imbecile!" Kisame growled, wiping his face on his cloak and smearing blush and foundation allover the sleeves. "Just take the damn picture and be done with it!"
"Ohhhhh," Kevin said dramatically, comprehension finally dawning. "In that case, Maria, the backdrop, please."
Maria flipped a switch and a new backdrop unrolled behind Kisame. It was an underwater scene replete with cute fish and brightly colored, smiling coral.
"There we go! Now you'll blend in better!"
Before Kisame had a chance to protest, Kevin snapped a few choice shots and shooed him off the stage. Kisame stalked back to where Itachi stood. This sucked.
"Um, Kakuzu?" Kevin squeaked.
The tall man moved his eyes to stare at the photographer. "What."
"I don't supposed you'd like to go next?"
Kakuzu seemed to consider this for a minute before replying, "I don't need a picture."
Gasps resounded. "Oh, Kakuzu, you're so modest," Orochimaru teased.
"I can use last year's picture. There's no sense in spending the extra money."
Kevin and Pein both gaped at Kakuzu, slack-jawed.
"But Kakuzu, this year's edition will be in color," Zetsu pointed out.
"Heh, I bet he's just uncomfortable having his picture taken. I bet under that weird headdress, he's totally hideous, yeah," Deidara whispered to Sasori and Hidan.
"Kakuzu, stop being a little bitch and take your damn picture," Hidan said. "Or, if you really don't want to, I'll take your spot."
"Definitely not," Kakuzu said venomously.
"It's just one picture, Kakuzu," Sasori said, bored and examining his painted nails. He would have to repaint them after this. Nothing said 'unhygienic' like chipped nails. Ew.
"It'll just take a second, Kakuzu," Kevin pleaded, adjusting his big sunglasses.
Kakuzu sighed. "Fine. But just one."
So Kakuzu quickly walked on stage and waited for the click of Kevin's camera. He waited. And waited.
"What's taking so long?"
"You know, you have the most unusual eyes. I think a special background is in order for you, too."
Kakuzu narrowed his 'unusual' eyes. "I don't care what it looks like, just take the picture. We're wasting time." And money.
"I've got it! Maria, quickly, the December oil painting!"
Maria set down the three umbrellas she was balancing and scrambled to locate and unroll the requested backdrop.
"I didn't think I would need this, but a good photographer always comes prepared!" Kevin congratulated himself.
Maria finished unrolling the tarp and Kakuzu turned to examine it, confused. "Is that a Christmas tree?"
"Why, yes. Don't you think the red bows and deep green pine needles bring out your eyes?"
"You think just because my eyes are red and green that they automatically denote that wasteful holiday?"
Tobi gasped. "Christmas is my favorite holiday, Kakuzu-san!"
"Yeah, Christmas is the shit, Kakuzu," Hidan grinned. "Only an old fart like you wouldn't appreciate it."
"One of these days, Hidan, I will kill you."
"Kakuzu, you're wasting your own time and money," Black Zetsu interrupted.
Kakuzu snapped his attention back to Kevin. "Fine. You can use your ridiculous Christmas background. Just take the picture already."
Kevin snapped a single picture and Kakuzu stormed off the stage faster than a bat out of hell.
"Ok, uh, who's next?"
Instead of a verbal response, a short, dark haired young man sauntered up to the photography set like he had all the time in the world, earning a scowl from Kakuzu who was busy checking his watch every thirty-four seconds. Kevin blinked and smiled, taking in the man's delicately feminine features and run-your-fingers-through-it raven hair. That's more like it! He thought, thinking back to Hidan's turn and eagerly anticipating another glamor set.
"Right, and your name?"
"Uchiha Itachi," he said tonelessly.
A shiver ran up Kevin's spine, making his fashionably angled beret shake. Whatever, this guy was born to be a model! "Mr. Uchiha. Alright, let's get started!"
Kevin snapped a few shots as Itachi just stood there, stiff as a board. Frowning, Kevin thought he might need to give the adorably shy man a little encouragement.
"Ok, why don't you take out that ponytail and let your hair fly? Maria!" he shouted through the "Go Akatsuki!" cheer cone. "The fan!"
Maria aimed a large floor fan at Itachi, whose bulky Akatsuki cloak flapped haplessly in the artificial wind. Itachi's bangs now obscured some of his face. But he didn't move to release his ponytail.
"Um, Maria cut the fan. Yes, turn it off!"
Kevin the photographer was not to be discouraged, however. Maybe the guy didn't want to mess up his hair? "Mr. Uchiha, why don't you unbutton your cloak? I'm sure we can get some good shots even with your hair still tied back."
Once again, Itachi made no indication that he'd even heard Kevin. He just stood there like a statue. Kevin was starting to get desperate when he heard someone snicker in the background.
"Ok, how about a smile then? Surely, you can manage a smile, Mr. Uchiha."
Itachi raised an eyebrow (we have movement!). "I don't have to smile to look hot."
Audible murmurs of assent bubbled around the room. Konan face-palmed.
"Oh, ok then," Kevin sighed, defeated. He snapped a couple more shots of Itachi before the latter politely excused himself.
"It appears I'm next," Orochimaru drawled as he practically slithered on stage. Itachi gave him a wide berth as they passed each other, shuddering.
"Ah, and you are?" Kevin asked.
"Orochimaru," he said, licking his lips.
Kevin paled. Was this guy's tongue purple? "Ok, just act natural, Orochimaru."
Kevin the photographer paced the makeshift studio, trying to capture Orochimaru at varying angles. But no matter what he did, he couldn't avoid the problem.
"Could you," he hesitated.
"Well, could you please stop licking your face like that?"
Deidara made fake gagging motions and Hidan guffawed at his antics.
"Oh? Licking…my face?" Orochimaru said innocently.
The room got a bit hotter. Kisame coughed.
"Well, er, you have an unnaturally long tongue, sir, and I'm afraid it's distracting from the rest of your face," Kevin said.
Orochimaru beamed at the photographer. "Why didn't you just say so?" He slurped his purple tongue back inside his mouth and flashed the camera a winning smile. "Better?"
"Oh! Yes, that's great!" Kevin eagerly snapped a few shots as Orochimaru continued to grin like a kid with candy.
"Your pictures will turn out just fabulous!" Kevin said, now much more at ease.
"Ah, well, I'm sure Itachi's pictures will turn out the best," Orochimaru shot the elder Uchiha a knowing look. "Those Uchiha have such strong jaw lines and high cheek bones. They're really quite regal, don't you think?"
"Uh, sure," Kevin said, distracted by the awesome quality of his new pictures.
Itachi, however, promptly stepped to hide behind Kisame while Hidan backed away in terror. "Dude, does the snake have the hots for Uchiha? That's like, fucking robbing the cradle! What are you, like, fifty?"
"What's not to like?" Orochimaru smiled.
When Orochimaru descended the stage, everyone parted to let him pass. No one wanted to touch him—even if pedophilia wasn't contagious, he definitely had cooties, at the very least.
"Konan, I believe it's your turn," Pein said, giving his female partner a push.
Konan grumbled, but trudged to the stage looking like a kicked puppy.
"Oh, I was wondering when I would get to shoot Akatsuki's leading lady!" Kevin said enthusiastically. "Let's get you into wardrobe immediately. Maria!" he shouted through the "Go Akatsuki!" cheer cone. "Get Miss Konan into wardrobe! Like, this century, would be good!"
"Wardrobe?" Konan said. "But what I'm currently wearing is the standard Akatsuki uniform."
"Oh, hon, you're the Queen Bee here, so you need to look the part!"
Maria shooed Konan away to get changed.
"While we wait, who's next?"
"Me," Pein said, striding confidently to the stage. "You can call me Sir Leader."
Hidan bit back a snotty comment about how far up his ass Pein's head was when Kakuzu roughly stepped on his foot.
"Alright, let's go!" Kevin beamed.
Pein actually took some decent pictures. His various piercings made him look edgy, and edgy was totally in right now. This was turning out really well!
"My picture will hang in the houses of every civilian and shinobi family in the world," Pein said out loud, a faraway look in his eyes. "This was a great idea."
"That's Pein's bullshit plan?" Hidan blurted out before Kakuzu could preempt him.
"You didn't know?" Sasori asked.
"Great! I got some good shots, so you're done, um, Sir Leader."
Pein nodded, but didn't move. "Make sure my picture is the largest. I want it featured prominently on my Bingo book page, right in the center."
"Oh, well, there's actually only one size available, er, Sir Leader," Kevin said. "And it's the same size for everyone."
Pein just stared at him curiously. "Excuse me?"
"And it doesn't go in the center of the page. See, there's a pre-approved layout for the bios. Everyone's looks the same, as far as formatting goes."
Pein blinked, unsure if he'd heard the photographer correctly. "Then you will change the format to suit my needs."
"Pein, that will probably cost extra," Kakuzu said.
The fearsome leader of Akatsuki turned on his subordinate. "I don't care if it costs extra. I want the 560 by 480 size, and I will have it."
Kakuzu looked visibly distraught.
"Tobi wants that size, too!" Tobi said.
"Can it, idiot," Deidara said.
"Mr. Kevin, we're back," Maria called out.
Everyone turned to look, but Konan was nowhere in sight.
"Maria, where is Miss Konan?" Kevin said.
Maria turned, eyes wide, then briefly disappeared. A few seconds later, a crashing sound could be heard, followed by Maria limping back into view, covered in paper cuts. "She will not come out, sir."
Kevin peered at her over his massive sunglasses. "What do you mean, she won't come out?"
"Konan," Pein's voice boomed, his own photo crisis forgotten. "Get out here."
"No!" Konan's muted voice sounded from backstage.
"Did you just deny me?"
"I'm not coming out like this!"
The Akatsuki exchanged glances among each other before Pein turned to Kisame. "Kisame, bring Konan."
Kisame grinned and swiftly disappeared backstage.
"Hey, what are you— Let go, Kisame! I SAID DON'T TOUCH ME!" Konan yelled desperately.
A few moments, and a few crashing and ripping sounds later, Kisame reemerged with Konan slung over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes, kicking and screaming.
"Hey, watch it! Samehada's sharp!" Konan complained when Kisame set her down unceremoniously on the stage.
For a few moments, no one said anything as they took in Konan' altered appearance.
"Why is Konan wearing a wedding dress?" White Zetsu asked, genuinely curious. "And…a crown?"
"Yes, that's what I'd like to know," a very pissed off Konan glared at the photographer as she adjusted the big crown on her head. "This is a photo shoot, not a wedding ceremony."
"Oh, Miss Konan, every day should be like your wedding day as First Lady of Akatsuki." Then he leaned forward to whisper, "You're their Queen. Own it, girl."
"I am not wearing this for the picture. Just because I'm a girl, doesn't mean I have to wear this…this…abomination!"
"It's just a dress, Miss Konan."
"NO. I am as much a member of Akatsuki as all of them," she indicated the motley assortment of male members with slight disdain. "So there is no reason why I should not wear the standard uniform."
Even if it does make me look a bit lumpy.
"I think you look nice, Konan," Pein said.
"Hey, she does looks pretty hot, yeah," Deidara commented.
"Yes, Konan is very beautiful, for a human," Sasori had to admit.
"She might give Itachi a run for his money as the prettiest member of Akatsuki," Kisame laughed.
"Unlikely," Itachi and Orochimaru said at the same time.
"I don't know. White makes her look kinda fat," Hidan said as he scrutinized her.
"This is why there are no other women in this organization," Konan lamented.
"Alright, smile!" Kevin said. Konan glared daggers at him, but this didn't ruin Kevin's euphoria as he gloriously captured her on film.
"Ok, I think we're on number ten now," Kevin announced.
"Oh! Me! Tobi!" Tobi exclaimed, jogging to the stage before Deidara could yank him back by the collar.
"Tobi? Ok, please stand over there."
Tobi practically danced into position, clearly overjoyed. He tried to high-five Konan as she walked off stage, but she ignored him. Whatever, nothing was going to ruin Tobi's mood today!
"Right here?" he asked.
"Yes, that's great."
Kevin zoomed his camera lens in and out trying to find the perfect depth for Tobi's picture. Unfortunately, not matter much he twisted and turned, even his Masta Flasha 3000X couldn't get past that hideous orange mask Tobi wore. Hmm.
"Tobi, would you please remove that mask so I can get a shot of your face?"
"Yes, your mask. The one currently on your face."
"Oh, well," Tobi said hesitantly. He reached up a hand to touch his mask.
Unconsciously, all the other members of Akatsuki leaned forward in anticipation. Would Tobi actually take his mask off for some lousy picture? Even Konan had abandoned tugging at the obnoxious sequins on her dress to watch with rapt attention. Everyone but Sasori seemed to be waiting, wide-eyed. Sasori just didn't give a shit about other people.
"Actually, Mr. Photographer, Tobi is sorry but the mask cannot come off!"
"Well, Tobi, that's kind of a problem because the Bingo book is suppose to let weak, innocent people study your face so they know that when they cross paths with you, they'll be dying very soon. I'm sure you can understand that people will want to be prepared to die when they see you, right?"
"Yes, but…but…" Tobi seemed a little desperate now. "Tobi has stage fright!"
"Huh?" Konan said dumbly.
"Tobi cannot remove the mask because he is afraid of the stage!"
"That doesn't make any sense, Tobi. This is a photo shoot," Pein said.
Deidara snorted. "Stage fright means you can't act, yeah."
"What a retard, seriously," Hidan muttered.
"Don't pick on Tobi," Zetsu said. "He's a good boy."
"Maria," Kevin nodded at his assistant.
Maria walk over to Tobi just as several unimportant helpers from the photography troupe attempted to restrain Tobi.
"Hey, what is happening? Unhand Tobi, please!" Tobi said, frantically trying to pull his arms free from the grabby assistants. "No, you can't make me! Deidara-sempai, help!"
Deidara, of course, ignored Tobi's entreaties.
Maria made a swipe at Tobi's mask, but her hand flew right through him. "Wha— He's a ghost! Ahh!" She ran the other way and out the door.
"Damnit, Maria!" Kevin remembered his "Go Akatsuki!" cheer cone and snatched it up. "MARIA! GET YOUR ASS BACK HERE!"
But Maria was long gone. Kevin sniffled, pushing his gigantic sunglasses up his nose. Above all, he could not lose his cool. He must remain professional!
"Well, I guess we'll just take the picture with your mask on," he grouched.
"Okay!" Tobi jumped in the air for joy.
Kevin snapped a few shots of Tobi dancing.
"Mr. Photographer, please take one while Tobi is smiling!"
Kevin looked at the nearest Akatsuki, who happened to be Pein. Pein nodded at Kevin, indicating that he was to do as Tobi requested. Weird.
"Uh, sure. Hold that…smile," he said. Can't tell with that dumb mask covering his face…whatever.
"Can Tobi see the pictures now?"
"Sure," Kevin said, warily. What if this guy really was a ghost?
Tobi watched as Kevin flipped through the digital images. "Oh! Tobi has a winning smile, don't you think? See, right there?" he pointed to a picture that, to Kevin, looked just like all the others.
"Uh, yeah." Whatever, the customer is always right. Or delusional.
"Alright, Tobi, that's enough. You're wasting time," Kakuzu droned.
Deidara, the last person to go, was already walking to the stage where Kevin and Tobi were standing.
"Mr. Kevin, please let Tobi stay here to get a good view of Deidara-sempai's pictures!"
"Tobi, you better not screw up my shots, yeah."
"Ok, Deidara, right? Let's see a smile," Kevin focused his attention on the blonde.
Deidara grinned and held out his hands, which also grinned.
"Well, that's a lot of smiles," Kevin said politely.
The mouths on Deidara's hands stuck their tongues out at the photographer, who was promptly reminded of the last tongue incident.
Sasori sighed. Why was he always given partners with tongue problems?
"Fire away, yeah!"
Kevin snapped a few shots of Deidara and his grinning hands, deciding that he should just get this over with and get the hell out.
"What the— Tobi, get out of my picture!"
"But Tobi wants a picture with Deidara-sempai! Please?" Tobi was tugging on Deidara's sleeve.
"LET GO, GODDAMNIT!"
"Tobi, let go before Deidara decides to blo—" But Kisame never had the chance to finish his sentence.
Deidara launched a clay bird at Tobi's face, but unfortunately it went right through him…
And landed on the camera equipment.
Camera parts, broken umbrella bits, and shredded backdrops rained down in the aftermath of the explosion. Some people were coughing, others were swearing, and Tobi was whimpering.
"Deidara-sempai, that hurts!" he squealed.
Deidara had Tobi by the neck and was shaking him to and fro. "Look what you made me do, yeah!"
"My equipment!" Kevin cried as he melodramatically sank to the floor on his knees and raised his forsaken hands to the heavens fruitlessly.
"Deidara, you moron. That equipment looked expensive. If Akatsuki is held responsible for the damages, I will force feed you that clay you love through your hands until you puke," Kakuzu said.
Everyone took a step away from the tall man as his aura became deadly and stifling. All except Hidan, who had never really had any sense of self-preservation, anyway. "Aw, Kakuzu-chan, somethin' the matter?" he taunted.
Kakuzu punched Hidan in the face. "Ow, fucker!"
"I'm changing out of this stupid dress," Konan mumbled.
"You could wear it a little longer, Konan," Pein said. "You're sparkling."
"Itachi, can I borrow your Revlon Diamond Strength nail polish?" Sasori asked the stony faced Uchiha.
"Of course," Itachi responded. "What shade?"
"What do you have?"
"Poppin' Purple and Bodacious Blue."
"I'll take Bodacious Blue."
"A good choice."
"Hey, does this mean I can't get my seventy-two pictures?" Hidan asked Kevin. "Cuz I want all seventy-two, man."
"My equipment… It's all been destroyed!" Kevin muttered to himself.
"Che, this blows," Hidan huffed.
"Deidara, I demand that you pay for the damages out of your own pocket. I will not use Akatsuki's official funds to fix your mistake," Kakuzu threatened the younger blonde.
"Chill, gramps! And that's not even fair because that bomb was meant for Tobi, not the camera, yeah."
"It's not Tobi's fault that he can make himself intangible at will," Zetsu said.
"Mr. Kevin, what will you require for the damages?" Pein asked. He'd given up on trying to get Konan to model the dress for him.
"You know what? Don't even worry about it. I'm getting the hell away from you crazy people!" Kevin got up and pulled off his huge sunglasses. He proceeded to throw them on the floor in a dramatic fit. "I'll send you a bill for the pictures."
And with that, Kevin the photographer ran out of the room after Maria.
Orochimaru bent to pick up Kevin's abandoned sunglasses and donned them experimentally. "How do I look?" he flipped his hair coyly.
"That's a good look for you, Orochimaru-san!" Tobi said, clapping his hands together.
"You're not bringing those on missions," Sasori deadpanned.
"You look like a whore," Hidan said louder than was really necessary. Probably because he was using the discarded "Go Akatsuki!" cheer cone that had miraculously survived the blast.
"Hidan, I'll take that," Pein said.
"Aw, come on! Finders keepers, seriously."
Itachi snatched the cheer cone from Hidan, who sulked. "Bitch."
"Cretin," Itachi shot back.
"Those pictures better look amazing," Kisame grumbled.
"We are not having retakes," Kakuzu said before anyone could think to suggest it.
"Hey, I think Tobi may have ruined my pictures! I don't want him in my Bingo book profile, yeah."
"I'm sure Hidan has extras you can use," Sasori offered.
"You'll have to pay me for them, Deidara-chan," Hidan grinned.
"This sucks, yeah."
"Look on the bright side," Zetsu said. "At least it's over."
"Yes, everyone is dismissed. And Orochimaru, you can keep the sunglasses if you want."
Orochimaru winked at him over the top of his new fashion accessory.
So, what did you guys think? I've been reading so much crack humor lately that I thought I should try it out. This was super fun to write! Reviews are like French toast, and I can't tell you how much I love French toast.
There will be a second chapter featuring Taka and possibly Kabuto, so stay tuned! Hugs.