SasoDei – One Gold Doubloon
The Lightning Queen crew stared with mixed emotions as the villains left them, the faces of most having turned ghostly pale. There were but two ideas that were flying around their heads, one inflicting fear and the other boiling their anger.
Sasori and Konan had been the Akatsuki members known as the Red Sand Scorpion and the Angel of White the entire time…
Sakura had shot Deidara.
The pinkette stared with all the others but couldn't help but smirk – this was exactly what she wanted. Deidara was dead and the crew would no longer be turned against her…She gave a sharp cry as she was suddenly slapped across the face and she fell to the deck with a bang. The woman gave a gasp and stared up at her attacker…Naruto stared in absolute shock as well at the sight of Sasuke standing above the woman, panting hard in anger.
"You shot Deidara," his voice was rough with rage and his eyes were burning, "you killed him and now the Akatsuki could come back to kill us! For your petty pride you have endangered your entire crew! They told me who they were long ago and they told me that as long as Deidara came to no harm then no harm would come to us."
The crew stared at him in shock and someone actually whimpered in fear. Naruto put a hand on Sasuke's shoulder and watched him with eyes wide and confused, "You knew who they were the entire time, Dattebayo?"
Sasuke looked to his love and sent him an expression of sorrow and sadness, "Not the entire time…But I kept their secret close to my heart so I could keep the person closer to my heart safe and unharmed…" Naruto's eyes widened further and tears began to shimmer in his sea blue orbs.
"…I see…" Sakura was looking down at the wooden deck below her, "All of these years…I was just chasing daydreams of becoming the queen of lightning…It seems that there will only ever be a King…" She turned a blank gaze towards Naruto above her, "A King and a Jester…" Sakura looked between them before shaking her head, shoulders shaking in quiet laughter. They watched her silently as she shakily got to her feet, "I denounce my title as captain of this vessel."
The woman took off her hat and carelessly dropped it onto the hard deck that was still stained with blood in places from the fighting of the previous day. She stepped forward with a dark umbra covering her eyes and the crew was still. It was as if they were trapped in a spell and their bodies were paralysed. The raven above watched the scene with sick surmise.
Sakura took a step onto the plank but stopped after that. Naruto tried to grab her but found that he couldn't even utter a word. Sakura drew her pistol from her holster where she had placed it automatically after killing the blonde. A chill ran through the Lightning Queen survivors but they needn't have feared for their own safety. Sakura opened the barrel and several bullets fell into emptiness until only one remained. She turned to her once loyal crew and the umbra had vanished.
Her cheeks were stained by a trail of tears but she was smiling softly. Wind rustled her short pink hair freely without the restraints of her trademark hat. "That should be my punishment, right? Being marooned on an island with only a single bullet – an option between quick death and long starvation." She smiled tenderly and shook her head, "I will save you the trouble of searching for land."
Sakura turned back to the open sea which spread itself before her. The sun still hung close to the horizon, creating a reflection of shimmers and warmth. Ever since she had been a young orphaned girl in Konoha she had always watched the sea. It had drawn her like a moth to a flame and now she would give herself to it entirely.
She walked forward, stopping at the very end of the plank. Tears were running down Naruto's cheeks at the sight of his friend meeting death with a simple smile. But still his body was at rest and movement was not an option.
Sakura looked to her pistol – had the device always felt so heavy? She looked up to the horizon once more and shook her head. "It's the rule of the ocean…A captain must always go down with her ship…And it seems that mine sunk long ago…"
Her voice crackled with sadness and new unseen tears were running down her cheeks as she brought her pistol up to her temple…
A gunshot cracked the silence.
And movement was restored.
"SAKURA!" Naruto lunged forward but it was too late. Her body was already tumbling into the gentle grasp of the ocean. For a few moments she was cradled and then she was sinking. Her smile had long since disappeared but her expression remained content.
Naruto made a move to jump over the plank as well but was stopped by Sasuke grabbing hold of him. He struggled desperately but after a while he just took to crying against his lover's chest. Sasuke stroked his hair and held him, no longer fearing the reaction of the crew.
The raven looked up to the sunset before it spread its wings and took flight, headed in the direction that the others had vanished in. Sasuke noticed the black bird against the innocent sky, his expression remaining stoic although something twisted inside of him…Itachi…
Sasuke was thankful. In Deidara's death had come the solution to his own problem. No longer would he and Naruto live in fear of their love… "Thank you, Itachi…" It was a whisper that went unheard over the crying of his lover, but it was appropriate nevertheless.
Kabuto stepped forward and picked up Sakura's discarded hat, staring at it with unshed tears in his eyes. He felt a hand on his shoulder and turned to see Orochimaru offering him a small smile, "Well it looks like we're now out of a job…Along with Yamato…Let's find someplace warm to dock." Kabuto smiled back at him and nodded his head in agreement.
Kisame pulled up into the shallows of a lonesome cay which displayed no apparent human life. Sasori grabbed the blonde bridal style and treaded through the water until he was on the sandy shore. He carefully rested his love down and pulled his gloves off hastily before ripping the boy's shirt open.
Deidara's chest was covered in blood and the wound was indescribable. Sasori stared in utter shock for a few moments until he snapped out of the trance. His hands went to the wound and a light aura surrounded his touch. And it started to heal – flesh began to reform and skin slowly grew – but only for a few moments.
Sasori growled and pushed his energy harder but with little results. By this point in time both Kisame and Konan were running over to the duo to see what was happening. The red head clenched his teeth as a sharp pain wracked through his body but he refused to give up on trying to save his beloved.
"Give up Red," Konan shrugged her shoulders, "he's already dead. You can stop a heartbeat in a moment but you will never be able to start one. It's not in your programming. Your healing powers are a miracle and were never pre-planned when you were designed by Pein. Your only purpose is to be a heartless killing machine for the Akatsuki – that is the purpose of all of us." She shrugged and sat down on the sand next to him, "Besides, his soul is probably already in the domain of the lost – he's already seen the light and is walking towards it…"
Deidara opened his eyes to the darkness that surrounded him, "…Where am I, un?" He sat up with his head a daze and looked around to find that he was in a tunnel. The blonde blinked in surprise as he gazed into the two direct directions that he had to choose from…
The route to the right of him continued into deep foreboding darkness that made him shudder, while the course to his left ended in a warm bright light…
He stood up and turned towards the shine but didn't have to shield either of his eyes. The eye-patch was gone and his eye had returned to him. There was no longer pain in his chest either and he looked down to see no wound at all…
Once more he gazed at the light…It felt warm against his skin and a strange content washed over his mind at the sight. The illumination beckoned to him sweetly and he felt no resistance stir inside of himself as he took a step forward.
"I don't care!" Sasori growled at Konan and returned to trying to heal the blonde. Kisame sent him a piteous expression before stepping forward and placing his hand on Sasori's shoulder. The red head felt a rush of energy in his body and the pain he felt eased. Deidara's flesh began to once again regenerate and Sasori turned to stare at the Demon Shark of the South, "…Kisame…"
"I understand how much this boy means to you, Red." He grinned at the male with serrated teeth, "The least I can do is help."
Konan stared in shock…Why was Kisame trying to bring back the dead as well? He had never even met Deidara and yet he was willing to try to save him…
There was a sudden caw and the three turned to see a raven beginning to land on the cay. Just as it was touching the ground the bird's body began to shift until none other than Itachi Uchiha stood before them. "What needed to be done has been done, Konan." The fallen angel blinked at him before slowly nodding her head in recognition. Itachi turned to the two who were trying to resurrect the blonde and he frowned at them, "His body has no soul; healing him will not do any good."
"I don't care…" Sasori narrowed his eyes at the Fire Breather before turning back to the blonde. Itachi sighed with a wisp of flame exiting his mouth, shaking his head in annoyance. He stepped forward and placed his hand on Sasori's other shoulder. Energy churned through the red head and the blonde's flesh and skin began to grow at an ever faster pace. Sasori looked to the raven before giving him a sad smile, "Thank you."
Itachi nodded and Konan stared in absolute confusion. Itachi and Kisame had never even met the blonde before and yet…
Konan felt a stab in her chest and a shudder ran through her body…What was this feeling?
A few minutes flew by quickly and the blonde's wounds were finally healed. But his eyes remained closed and his chest would not rise with breath. "He still has no soul…And there is only one among us who has the ability to travel to the land of the lost spirits…" Itachi turned to look at Konan steadily.
She jumped in shock and quickly shook her head, "Never! To bring back a departed soul is the harshest crime for an angel to commit! That would also mean changing the future! I'd be stripped of my wings and-" Konan cut herself off with a gasp at what she had said…
"You lost your wings long ago, Konan." She stared at Itachi in shock, "No longer are you what you were made to be…You're not an angel anymore; you're an Akatsuki member."
"…" She looked away from them as she thought to herself…A flash of memory appeared in her mind – the sight of a young blonde boy…Dirty and hungry…With no family or friends or future…Until he had grown up. Then he had become Konan's friend. He was one of the few who had known what she was but had held no hatred for the fallen beauty, "…I can only bring him back if he goes towards the darkness instead of the light…The chances are slim…" Her paper wings formed once again and wrapped around her fragile body, "But I will try…For my friend."
"I wouldn't go that way if I were you."
Deidara jumped at the voice and quickly spun around, eyes wide and mouth gaping at the sight of the woman, "…You! What are you doing here, un?"
None other than Sakura stood several paces behind him with her usual snob expression in place but her captain's hat being no where in sight. "I'm dead you moron, why else would I be here? You really are a stupid uneducated street rat…" Deidara glared at her viciously and she shook her head, "Now as I was saying before you so rudely interrupted me…" She motioned towards the bright light ahead, "I would not go in that direction if I were you. What you're seeking is in the darkness over there."
She pointed back down the tunnel and Deidara gazed towards the looming emptiness which seemed to be pressing him back. The blonde frowned in confusion and turned to Sakura, "What's there?"
"For you, street scum?" She snickered ironically, "Everything. Light, love and life…"
Deidara frowned at her suspiciously, "Then why don't you go that way? You're going towards the light as well, un."
Sakura sniggered and gazed snidely into the darkness, "Because there is nothing for me back there. There is no light. There is no love…" He expression became almost sad and regretful, "…There is no life…Only darkness, death and sharks…I can't return but you can."
Deidara stared at the darkness but the power of it seemed to once again push him back, "Sasori is in that direction?" Her head nodded but her eyes were staring at the light that lay before her – it called to her so desperately and she was struggling to resist its pleas, "…Why should I trust you, un? You're the one who killed me!"
Sakura managed to close her eyes and a sly smile curved her lips. "Because street rat…Everything that I have done thus far has been wrong…And for once in my life I want to do something right…" She shook her head ironically and opened her eyes, starting her walk towards the light. "Take my advice or leave it…You'll find a friend waiting for you and when you find them…Thank her." Deidara watched her as she walked towards the light but he had to gaze away in order to resist its calls.
He instead stared into the darkness that both awaited him and repulsed him. It told him to turn and go into the light with all of its will but he took a step forward. Deidara took another step and soon he was walking towards the yawning depths. It was as if a great wave were pushing him back but still he kept on, knowing that at the end of the darkness waited a different light…
"DEIDARA!" A familiar voice called out his name and he jumped in surprise as the force against him began to ease. Soon it had disappeared entirely and he stood in the still darkness, looking around frantically.
"I'M HERE!" A wide grin broke out on his face as a small white light appeared a few paces away. It was small and floating but the voice that was calling to him from it was so familiar. He took those final steps and reached his hand out for the light…
Deidara's remaining eye opened slowly and his vision was blurred for several moments. He was staring up at a stone ceiling and he was definitely lying on a bed somewhere… "Where am I, un?"
"You're at the AkatsukiTemple." Deidara jumped in surprise at the familiar voice and turned to see a woman standing beside his bed. "You have been unconscious for a week while your soul once again adjusted to your physical self." He blinked at the angel and looked down at his chest to see that he was shirtless but without the bullet wound. "Welcome back."
"…I was dead…" He stared at his chest in awe and then looked up towards Konan, "…I saw a light…And I went towards it but…" He jumped in shock once again, "Sakura was there!"
"Yes," Konan nodded her head, "I was told by Itachi that Sakura committed suicide just after we left."
"She told me to tell you…Thank you, un…" The bluenette blinked at him in surprise before smiling tenderly at the young male.
"…I owe you an apology, Deidara…You are a dear friend of mine and in this cruel world I know exactly how important that is…" She turned her back towards the blonde and Deidara heard the woman give a small laugh, "I sent Sasori away but I shall go fetch him…Thank you for your memories as well…One of generosity, one of pain, one of honesty, one of terror and one of joy. Welcome to the Akatsuki."
Deidara watched her leave and frowned to himself…Some of his memories had been removed…? He tried to recall which memories were no longer but of course failed in his plight. The blonde gave up and soon the door opened to reveal his red headed lover.
He stared stoically at the blonde for a few moments before pacing up to the bed. Deidara was suddenly pulled into a tight embrace and he quickly returned it, "Danna…"
"Don't you dare die on me again, Brat." Sasori held him tighter and refused to let go, "I won't allow it." Deidara blinked before his lips curved into a fine smile.
"I love you too, Danna…" The blonde closed his unbroken eye and held the red head close, "I love you too…"
Konan watched them from the doorway before sighing in nostalgia. She had betrayed the two deadly sins of the angel race – to never bring back a soul and to never change the future. By saving Deidara she had also rescued Sasori. With the blonde at his back in five years time he was no longer at the risk of being stabbed through the heart.
Both would live long lives among the Akatsuki…
Konan continued to walk down the stone hallway but stopped at a strange sound beneath her foot. She blinked and gazed down at the floor, her amber eyes catching on to an equally gold light…
The fallen angel bent over and picked up the treasure, laying it flat in her open palm… "Well what do you know…? One gold doubloon…" She smiled ironically and shook her head, "Welcome to the world of the Akatsuki Pirates, Deidara…I mean…The 'Golden Shot'…Keep him safe Red Sand…He was hard to find and easy to lose…Keep him safe."