Chapter One: Fifty-Fourth Time Lucky


I yawned and rolled over, the bed squeaking beneath me. To no one's surprise Kisame had crawled into bed with me the night before. My face blushed the color of a tomato and I slipped out of the bed, grabbing some clothes and getting dressed. I took ne glance at Kisame and then headed for the kitchen. As usual, I was the early riser at the hideout. Very few Akatsuki members willingly get up before seven. I put the coffee on, made myself a bowl of cereal, and settle down to watch the news. When that was over, I headed back to the kitchen and decided to make pancakes today.

I should have known better.

When the other fifty-three attempts end with explosions, blood, fish, human-body parts, sugar, chakra, poison, and other deadly things, I should know better than to try for a fifty-fourth time. But – hey! – fifty-fourth time lucky?

I started pulling ingredients from the pantry (thank you, Itachi, for keeping us well stocked on food) when Tobi sauntered into the kitchen and made a beeline for the coffeepot.

"I thought you hated coffee," I said, starting to add ingredients to the mixing bowl.

Tobi turned around to face me, his one visible eye narrowing. "Don't mess with my coffee."

"Oh. It's you."

Madara picked up his first cup of coffee and start downing it.

"It's probably a good thing, I can't imagine what the world would come to if Tobi liked coffee." I paused and then turned to stare at Madara. "Why are you you anyways?"

Madara snorted. "Tobi had a nightmare last night and it scared him so much that he switched places with me."

"That's terrible," I cried. "What was the nightmare about?"

"Something to do with fanged teddy bears."

I tried to smother a giggled. "Fanged teddy bears are very frightening."

"To think that is my appearance ninety-percent of the time." Madara chugged down the rest of the coffee and then poured himself another cup.

"You'd better not finish all the coffee," I said. "Leader, Dessie, Kakuzu, and Itachi are coffee drinkers of the highest degree."

"I know."

I grinned and added some more ingredients to the bowl. "Right. Itachi destroyed half a forest, Leader make Deidara and Hidan clean the entire hideout with a toothbrush, Kakuzu had a melt down and destroyed all of Tobi's Nunu plushies, and then Dessie put her foot through the flat screen TV."

"Not my problem."

"No," I said. "It was Tobi's problem."

"There are some plus sides – I can appear every once and awhile, piss everyone off, and then change back into Tobi."

"It's always the coffee," I said with a sigh.

"Coffee is life."

The door of the kitchen flew open and Kisame charged in, his blue face stretched into a massive grin. "I missed my morning cuddle, Kate! You have no idea how sad that made me!"

"I'm making pancakes."

Kisame paused and peered at the giant bowl of what would soon be pancake mixture. He grinned and hugged me around the shoulders. "This is why I love you – pancakes! I get first dibs!"


Madara snorted and continued to chug down his third cup of coffee. He froze, mid-chug, and then spat the entire contents of the cup all over Kisame and I. He hopped up and down, waving his hands and shrieking. "Bad! Bad! Tobi doesn't like coffee! Black! Bad! Ew! Ew! Bad! Ew!"

"Looks like Tobi is back," said Kisame wiping the coffee off his face and then turning to clean mine.

I ignored Kisame and glowered at Tobi, Or, it wasn't me glowering – technically. (Ten Second Recap: In Seanova, I acquired a homosexual split personality named Felix) Felix flipped off Tobi and, um, said some not very nice things. Tobi froze mid-hack and stared at me with one wide eye. He started to tear up and fled the kitchen crying, "Kate is mean! Tobi didn't do anything wrong! Mean! Mean!"

"I'm sorry!" I called after him. "Sorry! It was Felix, not me!"

"Quit blaming me, bitch," said Felix. "That stupid git spat hot coffee all over us."

"He didn't know he was drinking it!" I cried. "Tobi is just as messed up as we are!"

"Yeah, yeah, defend that mask wearing idiot."

I sighed and returned to my cooking. "Why did Felix have to come back with me?"

"Are you kidding?" asked Kisame. "I love Felix! He provides me with much entertainment."

"I'm glad he makes you so happy."


I rolled over in bed and groaned. Konan had been up for two hours preparing files and papers for Leader's work day – how does she do that! I make it a personal rule never to get up before nine. Anything that happens in the Akatsuki hideout before nine can't be good. Then again, neither can anything that happens after nine.

I glanced at my clock, which read 9:03. Well, it's after nine, I should probably get up. So, I slipped out of bed, grabbed my clothes, and like the usual morning zombie that I am, I staggered to the bathroom.

A quick note about that bathroom – I have to share it with Zetsu and Deidara. There were five showers in the Akatsuki hideout. One that Leader and Konan share. One that Deidara, Zetsu, and I share. One that Itachi, Tobi, Kakuzu, and Sasori share. One that Kisame and Kate use that adjoins to their bedroom. One that Hidan and Dessie use for their rituals (they usually borrow someone else's shower afterwards, much to everyone's irritation).

As you can imagine, the shower arrangements have led to some weird situations. Like the time Dessie walked in on Kisame and Kate sharing a shower. Or the time Deidara and Zetsu got into a fight over who got to use the shower first and since neither one of them would back down they ended up getting a shower together. Or the time Tobi flooded the bathroom so he could play with his rubber bath-toys – a pissed off Sasori then used the toys as puppets and made them come to life and torment Tobi in the night. That situation never repeated itself.

Anyways, entertaining and humiliating shower stories aside, this particular December morning, I got up to use the shower and found that Deidara was already in it. Fun Fact: I hate waiting to use the bathroom.

I knocked on the door once.

"Yeah, uhn?"

"Deidara, if you don't get out of the bathroom right now I will show everyone the video tape of what you did on my birthday to Zetsu's favorite cat-eating cactus."


The door of the bathroom flew opened and Deidara, dressed in only a towel, came sprinting out. He managed one "Good morning" before he fled down the hall and back to his room. I smiled and stepped into the bathroom. Personally, I love the shower arrangement

When I was clean and dressed, I headed to the kitchen. Kate was making pancakes (again) with Kisame hovering over her shoulder. I took one look at the pancake mix and headed for the pantry to find some cereal.

"You don't need that," said Kate. "I'm making pancakes."

"Good luck with that," I said, picking up a box of honeycomb. "Let me know if you actually get to eat one this time."

"Come on," said Kate. "There's bound to be one time when nothing terrible happens to them."

"Sure… But I'll stick to my cereal."

I had just finished pouring the milk when Leader entered the kitchen, looking extremely sleeping. He didn't even acknowledge us as he crossed the kitchen to the coffeepot. He paused and stared blankly at the pot. "Where's my coffee?"

"Madara," said Kate. "You can make some more."

Leader turned to glare at Kate. "I don't want to wait for my coffee. I am the leader of an S-ranked criminal organization – and I can't even have a fucking cup of coffee when I want."

Kate shivered.

"You can always go torment Madara in revenge," I said helpfully.

"Madara turned back into Tobi," said Kate.

I shrugged. "All the more reason to torment him."

Kate shot me a You-Are-Not-Helping glare, before turning to Leader with a nervous smile. "I'll bring a cup of coffee to your office a few minutes."

Leader paused. He was staring at the bowl of pancake mix behind Kate. She followed his gaze and then turned back to him, a puzzled expression on her face. "What?"

Leader headed back to his office. "Whoever makes the mess is cleaning it up."

"No one is going to destroy the pancakes this time!"

As soon as Leader left, Zetsu appeared in the kitchen looking extremely disturbed. He greeted Hannah and then headed straight for his personal freezer when he kept the human body parts. He pulled down the bag of fingers leftover from last night and started munching on them. Kate shuddered and turned back to her pancakes. She turned on the stove and placed the pan on it, waiting for the metal to heat up.

"What's up?" I asked.

Zetsu shivered. "Deidara ran into our room this morning. We think we are going blind."

I snickered and retrieved the milk from the fridge. "Sorry about that."

"Did you kick him out of the bathroom again?"


"Who's making pancakes?"

We all turned in the direction of the kitchen door. Sasori and Kakuzu had arrived. Kakuzu headed straight for the coffeepot while Sasori inspected the pancakes over kate's shoulder.

"I'm actually in the mood for pancakes," said Sasori.

"Don't get your hopes up," I said.

"Why not?"

"Where is the coffee?" asked Kakuzu.

"Pancakes never survive the creation process."

Zetsu started miming an explosion with his hands. He added in sound effects and ended with his head tilted to the side and his tongue hanging out.

"That doesn't always happen!" shouted Kate.

"Why is there no coffee?"

"Yeah," said Kisame, coming to his girlfriend's aid. "Sometimes Hidan and Dessie bring their most recent sacrifice into the kitchen to boast and it bleeds all over the pancakes."

Sasori blinked.

"Hey!" said Kate. "Fifty-fourth time lucky!"

I rolled my eyes at Sasori. "Always the optimist, our Kate is."

Kakuzu slammed his fist on the counter. "Where is my coffee, damn it?"

"Why can't anyone make their own coffee in this place!" wailed Kate.


Hidan slipped into my bed again last night. Great. Maybe it's because his bed is covered in blood. Whatever. I don't want to deal with it. I kicked Hidan in the ribs and pushed him off the bed. He fell to the floor with a heavy thud.

"Fucking bitch!"

I sat up on the bed. "Stay out of my bed, Zombie Whore!"

"My bed is all sticky."

"Then get a fucking shower before you go to sleep!"

Hidan glared at me reproachfully. "Our shower is covered in blood."

"Go borrow Deidara's."

I hopped out of bed and examined myself in the mirror sleepily. Tank top, short-shorts, and bed hair that looked like a bush – yep, I looked like mornings. Urggggg.

"I'm going to get my coffee."

Hidan got to his feet and yawned. "I need to perform a ritual before breakfast."

"Have fun with that." I scratched the back of my head and headed for the kitchen.

Before you get all excited – Hidan and Dessie are still sharing a room – Oh my Jashin! No. Just no. I heard enough of that from Kisame. Enough of that from Kate. Enough of that from Konan – I don't need it from you. We were sharing a room as just friends. As fellow Jashin enthusiasts. Nothing else. Don't get excited.

When I arrived in the kitchen, it was already full of people. Hannah was peacefully eating her cereal while Kakuzu was freaking out over something. Zetsu was munching on some fingers while Kisame and Kate stood over the stove making pancakes.

"I'm not cleaning up," I said, crossing the room for the coffeepot.

"It's not going to explode!" cried Kate. "Fifty-fourth time lucky!"

I froze. And stared. And stared. "Where the fuck is my coffee?"

"I know," said Kakuzu. "I came in here and it was all gone – all gone."

"Who did it?" I asked, my voice dangerously low. "Who drank all my coffee?'


"That coffee-thieving bastard!" I spun around and punched the palm of my hand, grinding an imaginary Madara-head to dust. "Where is that shit?"

"He's Tobi now," said Kate. "And why can't any of you make your own coffee?"

"I don't care if he's Tobi or a fucking puppy," I hissed. "I will beat whatever form he's in until Madara can feel pain to the very depths of his soul."

"I'll help," said Kakuzu.

"You might want to enlist Leader too," said Kisame.

I inspected the kitchen racks for some good, sharp knives. Kate sighed and put the pancakes on hold to prepare another pot of coffee.

"So, Sasori," said Hannah absent-mindedly. "How is sharing a room with Kakuzu? Does he snore? Any annoying habits I should catch on film?"

"We stay out of each other's way," said Sasori.

"We admire your bravery," said Zetsu. "We would never dare go in the basement."

"I didn't have the Wargonia ordeal," said Sasori.

"It's still impressive. We thank you for your sacrifice."

"Hey, Dessie," said Kisame suddenly.

I pulled out a butcher's knife and inspected in tip carefully. "Yeah?"

"What happened to that, um," Kisame glanced at Kate. "Special tape, I leant to you."

"Oh? The Little Sexmaid? It's in my room. Do you need it back?"

Kate stopped filling the coffee machine and turned to stare at Kisame. "The Little Sexmaid? You have a video called the Little Sexmaid?" She squeaked the last words.

"It's not like you don't do dirtier things than in the video," I said, deciding the knife was perfect for the job.

"How would you know what dirty stuff they do?" asked Hannah.

"I borrow their shower," I said. "You should see–"

"Dessie," said Kate sweetly. "I could just not make you coffee this morning."

I cringed. "Not the coffee!"

Kate smiled, finished filling the machines, turned it on, and then returned to the pancakes while Kisame headed for my bedroom to collect his special tape.

I turned to Kakuzu and muttered, "I liked Kate better when she didn't have Felix – he's a bad influence on her."

Kakuzu nodded. "So, are we going on a Madara hunt?"

I grinned and lifted the knife for Kakuzu to see. "This is the last time that bastard messes with my coffee."

We didn't even make it to the door. Kisame came flying into the kitchen, screaming at the top of his lungs. He grabbed Kate by the shoulder and shook her violently.

"Hi-Hi-Hi- Oh my – Wha – Oh – Fuck – People – Blood – Oh – Hida – Ah!"

"Oops," I said. "I probably should have told you Hidan was performing a ritual… Was he doing the one where he starts tries to swallow his stick but ends up missing the stomach and it comes out through his spine? Or is it the one where he tries to stick the spear through one arm and have it come out the other arm?"

Kisame turned green, bent over, and threw up into the pancake mix.

"Oh, so it's the one where tries to stick the spear up his ass and have it come out his mouth."

"Well," said Hannah. "There goes the pancakes."

"No really thought they were going to last," said Kakuzu.

"I'm not cleaning it up," I added. "Oh look – the coffee is ready."

Kakuzu and I helped ourselves to freshly made coffee while Felix punished Kisame in horrible ways that I really didn't pay attention to because I was too busy enjoying my coffee. Then we all headed to the living room and left Kisame to clean on his own.

Yep. Fifty-fourth Time: Fail.

A/N: Hey - I said it wouldn't take me long to upload. I have the first five chapters already written and the story mapped out to chapter sixty something...

REVIEW! Or Kate will come and make you pancakes... And that never has a good ending.