Hello folks! This will just be a collection of one shots. There won't be any timelines followed and it will jump all over the place. Just some looks at life with the Akatsuki!
If you have any ideas for one shots or other ideas you'd like to see, just drop me a line.
Much Akatsuki love!
"Right!" roared Kisame as he flung the door to the kitchen open with a crash that rattled the windows.
All activity within the room immediately ceased. The argument over whether waffles or pancakes were the superior breakfast food ground to a halt, much to the relief of everyone not involved, and even Pein deigned to lower his paper to look over at the man/shark in the doorway.
Kisame was many things; an accomplished ninja, a genius, a prodigious inventor of jutsu, a deranged sociopath, but above all he was not someone that you wanted to irritate. Compared with the rest of his fellows Kisame had a long fuse and an even temperament. He just wasn't the type to snap and maim someone for crimes such as breathing loudly (Kakuzu), or running out of conditioner (Deidara) and was secure enough in himself to ignore the vast majority of offensive slurs that were thrown in his direction.
Therefore whatever it was that had him dressed in his full uniform with Samehada in hand and a wild expression in his yellow eyes must have been serious.
Deidara and Hidan had taken the opportunity to freeze in the hopes of testing out the theory that Kisame could only see you if you were moving. It was something they'd overheard from one of the young gate guards and apparently it was a rumour that was running rampant throughout the village. Sakura had rolled her eyes at them but Pein was secretly relieved that there was, if not a rational explanation, at least an explanation for why people always seemed to be playing musical statues whenever Kisame walked past.
"What's the matter Kisame?" asked Konan, when she realised that no one else was brave enough to make the first move.
Kisame seemed to swell with anger and for a man who was already at least seven feet tall it sent the others scoping possible exits to avoid the blast radius.
"This is the fucking matter!" he shouted, not even enjoying the way everyone except Pein and Konan flinched.
Onto the table he flung a battered newspaper. It was dated a few days before and seemed to come from Wave Country. Gingerly Itachi reached forward and unfolded it, keeping one eye on Kisame as he did so.
The headline read: SHARK MAN IN MASS FEEDING FRENZY! and underneath was a fuzzy picture of a figure that looked very much like Kisame.
Pein read the page upside down and looked to Kisame, "I didn't know you'd been to Wave recently?"
Kisame ground his teeth so hard Sakura winced at the sound of grating enamel, "I haven't been to Wave recently," he managed in a deadly calm monotone.
"Sure looks like you fishy, seriously," said Hidan, yanking the paper away from Itachi so he could get a better look at the picture.
Itachi glared and fought the urge to scratch at his newly shaven face. Deidara and Kakuzu, the latter much less animatedly than the former, leaned over Hidan's shoulders so they could weigh in. Zetsu was much more concerned with when these people were planning on making breakfast. It was usually Kisame but the plant-man knew Kisame didn't like to cook angry. Hopefully if he kept casting meaningful looks at the stove they would get the hint.
"So if it's not you, then what is it?" asked Sakura.
"A clone maybe?" suggested Konan, eternally thankful that they now had someone like Sakura to help keep discussions on track when Kisame was either away or part of the problem.
Kisame somehow managed to frown even harder and pulled out a small package from inside his cloak. Flicking through it he pulled out a photo and handed it to Pein who snorted a laugh before passing it around.
"I got one of my contacts over there to look into it for me and this is what he came up with," Kisame said, his voice showing that he was not quite as amused by the photo as the others around the table.
Those with any sense of self-preservation managed to keep their reactions to stifled laughs and grins hidden behind hands at the picture of a very tall man who had painted himself blue, given himself yellow contacts and had a 'Samehada' that looked like it was made of papier-mâché. Despite the glaring flaws it was actually a pretty decent attempt at pretending to be Kisame. It was probably this fact that was annoying Kisame the most.
Hidan, of course, roared with laughter, "What the fuck is this?! You didn't tell me you had a brother fishy! Never thought you'd be the looker in a family!"
Kisame reached into the sink near the door and threw a mug at Hidan's head. Even crippling himself with laughter Hidan managed to duck under it and Itachi was forced to catch it out of the air before it smashed and added yet another thing to be taken out of their wages.
"It's not funny, you son of a bitch!"
"What I don't understand is why the fuck they're pretending to be you, yeah?" said Deidara, "I mean, the only thing more difficult to look like than a seven-foot tall blue shark guy is the guy with the plant on his head, yeah?"
"Maybe he keeps that for the weekends," snickered Hidan.
Pein gave Kisame a pointed stare when it looked like he was going to go for the crockery again.
"The real question is why isn't he just using a jutsu?" asked Sakura, "Even if they could see he was using something it'd be a hell of a lot more convincing than that shitty cosplay attempt."
"Whoever this is, he's definitely a ninja and he obviously knows you pretty well Kisame: 'fountains of blood', 'sickening displays', ooh this is a good one 'never seen such unbridled animal ferocity'. Sounds like you doesn't it?" remarked Konan as she scanned the article in the paper.
Kisame preened slightly at this praise from the higher management while Pein just rolled his eyes.
"I do not understand his motivations," interjected Itachi, his voice hadn't gotten any noticeably deeper but Kisame was confident on his progress.
Konan skimmed until she found the information, "Says here he just appears randomly every so often, 'striking fear into the hearts of the populous' before 'disappearing to his lair to plot another attack'."
"Our trade links with Wave are reasonably valuable ..." Pein trailed off as he began calculating figures in his head.
Sakura stretched, "Maybe that's what it is, he wants to make Wave think you've told Kisame to come and fuck some stuff up so they stop trading with you."
"That's a really fucking boring reason, seriously," Hidan groused.
"He's right yeah. What if he's like in love with Kisame and dressing up like him is what gets him off?" wondered Deidara.
"First of all Deidara that's disgusting and you need serious professional help, and secondly he might be right Kisame so be careful," said Pein with a revolted look on his face.
"Yeah, he might want to wear your skin or something, seriously, I've heard of that happening," said Hidan.
"You people are fucked up," laughed Kisame, finally starting to be less angry about the situation.
"Hey we're not the ones who want to wear your skin, yeah?" said Deidara, folding his arms as if he'd made an inarguable point.
"You have to remember Sakura that just because you know Kisame is tied to Rain doesn't mean everyone else does," said Konan, evidently deciding to head the conversation back in a more sane direction.
"Yeah that's a good point. Maybe it is the skin thing, Kisame, it was nice knowing you," Sakura nodded.
"I suppose you want to go and check this out?" Pein asked, a little redundantly saying as Kisame was clearly ready to leave as soon as he got the ok from the boss.
"Hell yeah, I'm going to show that little punk how a real mist-nin operates," Kisame grinned, his razor teeth glinting ominously.
"You should take back-up, I'll be very cross if I lose one of my best ninjas to a depraved fetishist," said Pein.
Ignoring the fact that everyone had looked at him when Pein had used the words 'depraved fetishist' Hidan almost bounced out of his chair, "I'm so going with you fishy, seriously!"
Pein frowned, "Why? Scared he brings out his Hidan costume for special occasions?"
"There's no one sexy enough to pull off being me, seriously," Hidan gave his boss a look as though such a statement was so obvious before continuing, "No, there's no way in hell I'm missing the look on that guy's face when the real Kisame shows up. I'm going to take a deck-chair and some fucking popcorn, seriously."
"He's right, I'm going too," announced Sakura, pointedly ignoring the elated look that crossed over the priest's face.
Deidara laughed, "Count me in, yeah!"
The table looked to Kakuzu who had flipped through to the financial section of the Wave newspaper and was making some notes in his ever-present ledger. On feeling everyone's eyes on him he didn't even look up to reply, "If he has a bounty collect it for me, otherwise I really could not give a fuck."
"You really are a joyless old fuck aren't you? What about you little red-eyes?" asked Hidan, shaking his head in disgust at his boring partner.
Itachi frowned, Sakura and Kisame noticed at least, as he thought about whether to join them on their little excursion.
Pein looked over to him, "I think you should Itachi, you've been spending an awful lot of time in your room lately."
Itachi opened his mouth to argue that point but Kisame was nodding sagely so he decided to save his energy and humour the cretins he was surrounded by. Of course he was spending a lot of time in his room; the people out here just didn't understand him.
Kisame and Sakura shared a concerned looks as these rebellious thoughts flickered over Itachi's face. Hopefully he wasn't thinking about writing any more of his chronically awful poetry.
"So that's settled. Don't take too long and try to make sure Kisame comes home with all his skin, ok?" ordered Pein.
"So what's the plan when we get there fishy?" asked Hidan as they began crossing the great Naruto Bridge into Wave.
They had chosen to make their party as inconspicuous as possible for travelling the land and shucked their Akatsuki cloaks to stop the Kisame-impersonator having any forewarning of the ass-kicking he was about to receive. Sakura hadn't told them that it was still pretty obvious who they were if anyone with any sense looked at them for more than a second – these people were just not used to hiding their identities.
Kisame was wrapped in a dark travelling cloak and Sakura supposed he was simply hoping that the occasional traveller that gave them a wide berth as they passed often saw giants wandering around. Sakura herself had covered her obvious hair and looked relatively normal as did Itachi and even Hidan. Deidara refused to put the hood of his cloak up for fear of damaging his perfectly styled locks and was possibly drawing the most attention as people tried to place where they had seen his particular looks before.
"Go to the inn and lie low until that son of a bitch appears and then take him out," said Kisame.
"How do we know that he will strike again?" asked Itachi, forever in love with poking holes in the plans of others.
Hidan scoffed, "Come on, a crazy bastard like that isn't going to stop until someone fucks him up or everyone in the area stops caring when he comes in to gut them."
"That's the worst fucking part!" snapped Kisame, "Everyone knows Samehada doesn't cut, she shaves!"
The others shared a look as he huffed and kept walking. Deidara mouthed 'oooookkkkkaaaayyy' and they continued after him at a slightly further distance than they had been before.
"How long do you think it'll take?" asked Sakura, more confident than the others that he wouldn't hit her.
"My contact said he appears about every two weeks so we should be right on time," said Kisame with the sort of glee that made the others feel a little nervous.
As they crossed the bridge Sakura stopped and sighed into the clear air. It was strange to miss the mist that had covered the place the last time she'd been here and stranger still to think that had been nearly a decade ago. The others seemed to sense that she was having a nostalgia trip and decided not to interfere for fear of her bashing them. Instead they amused themselves by looking over the edge into the water and Hidan pretending to tip Itachi over the railing. Kisame stood tapping his foot quietly, eager to get on to beat the shit out of his impersonator.
She span around and pictured their young and hugely inexperienced selves suddenly facing a challenge way above their level. It was the first time they'd seen Naruto's inner power and she'd had a little fit when that idiot Sasuke had gotten himself porcupined. Scowling she remembered why she never thought about this place anymore and stomped off towards Wave. The men stared after her and looked at each other blankly as they tried to figure out what the hell had just happened. Hidan muttered 'bitches' under his breath in an exasperated tone and the others nodded before following her into the country.
The inhabitants of the country were understandably wary of strange people in cloaks appearing and the Akatsuki found that they were treated even more suspiciously than usual. Sakura had to lie low behind the others as she was still considered something of a local hero after they had helped with the repair of the bridge. The last thing she wanted was to be seen in the company of such infamous criminals in a place where they thought of her as the nice little girl they'd seen near ten years ago.
At the inn they had to let Itachi negotiate their rooms as Kisame and Sakura weren't able. Hidan was forced to step in when it looked like he was going to get ripped off and all the way up the stairs to their rooms he grumbled about how they were forcing him to turn into his stingy-ass partner. Deidara complained that the linens were damp and the humidity made his hair frizz. Sakura was appalled by the miniscule size of the shared bathroom. Kisame was right at home and told them all that they were all pampered little princesses and if they kept complaining he'd make them listen to him read more of Itachi's poetry. All complaining immediately ceased and Itachi was left glaring at them all in silence as he defended his poetry in his mind.
The five of them were in a heated debate about who was the bigger sex offender out of Orochimaru and Madara in a restaurant when all noise around them suddenly died. Looking around them they could see the fear spreading over the faces of the populous and Kisame reached under the table to withdraw the scroll he'd sealed Samehada into. The restaurant had large windows that looked over the main street of the village and they moved over to them to see what was causing the commotion.
The other patrons of the place tried to stop them with frantic hand gestures as they retreated to cower under the tables.
"How do they know he's here yeah?" Deidara whispered as they crouched under the window, scanning the street.
Itachi pointed to a red light over the bar that was flashing the alert, "They must have set up a warning system."
Sakura frowned at just how scared the people currently retreating into the basement were, "Maybe this guy is serious business, be careful Kisame."
"They don't have ninjas, even a low level asshole would be like superman to these folks," muttered Kisame.
"He dresses up as Kisame to terrorise people – the only fucking serious thing this guy is seriously mental," said Hidan, wishing that he'd remembered to bring the popcorn down from his room. He'd have to do with the end of his meal.
It was late afternoon and the sun was starting to set, bathing the street in a reddish light. Everyone had retreated into their homes giving the place an eerie ghost town feel. Sakura couldn't help it, she was feeling a bit on edge even though she was surrounded by four of the most powerful men in the world, and one of them had a serious axe to grind. Deidara and Hidan, by contrast, could not have looked more exited. They kept glancing between the street and Kisame hoping to get the full view of Kisame's initial reaction. Itachi looked bored as usual.
A shadow of a tall figure came into view and Sakura had to put a super-strength enhanced hand on Kisame's shoulder to stop him barrelling through the glass to fuck the guy up. They'd come all this way so they were going to enjoy this and not let Kisame end it before they'd basked in the ridiculousness of the situation.
Instead they moved silently towards the door with their chakra masked, pausing only to pick up a couple of plates and a half full flask of sake. Kisame glared at them all and pulled up the scarf around his neck to cover his identity completely beneath the hood. They let Kisame stand in the middle and flanked him in an attempt to look imposing despite the fact they were holding the end of their dinner behind their backs.
The figure approached with a swagger Sakura felt was totally unjustified given who he was facing but that would make the coming reaction all the sweeter. Hidan and Deidara were practically vibrating with excitement next to her. Itachi simply stood staring into space and probably composing more terrible verses in his head.
"What have we here?" the figure announced, throwing back his hood to reveal his terrible Kisame get-up.
He was tall, but not as tall as Kisame, and certainly not as broad. Whereas Kisame's voice was a deep bass rumble fitting a man his size and weight the voice of the man in front of them was about three octaves higher. Up close they could see the paint over his skin and the edges of the contacts he was wearing, as well as the brown roots of his hair under the dark dye. Altogether he looked about as convincing as a Halloween costume.
Hidan just about managed to turn his bark of laughter into a cough. Deidara had brought a hand up to his face to chew on his knuckles to stop the hysterical laughter bubbling out. Sakura had to look at the ground and not make eye contact with anyone in the vain hope of not cackling madly at the ridiculous display in front of them. Even something that approached a smile passed over Itachi's face .
Kisame had gone very still and from the stress he was putting on the poor scroll that contained his sword it was clear that he was about three seconds away from the mother of all melt-downs.
The man seemed quite taken aback that they were not cowering in fear like the terrorised Wave inhabitants he was used to. He stretched up to his full height of around six foot six – very impressive by normal circumstances but rather less so when compared to the shark/man in front of him. As he did so a shower of blue dust puffed out from his hair and Hidan practically went into convulsions.
"Who the hell are you?" Kisame asked from between clenched teeth, the scroll in his big hands practically screaming.
The man tipped his head back to stare down haughtily at them; Deidara grabbed Sakura's hand in a bruising grip as they both fought to stay relatively calm.
"Isn't it obvious? I'm Hoshigaki Kisame, the Swordsman of the Mist!" the man announced with a flourish.
Itachi turned to look at his partner who looked stunned. Behind them the three others were clinging onto each other as they watched it unfold.
"It's better than I could've fucking hoped! I owe Jashin-sama a big-ass sacrifice for this!" whispered Hidan, almost reverent at the quality of entertainment before him.
"What the hell is this guy playing at, yeah?"
"Shh!" Sakura managed through her deep breathing to control her giggles.
Seeing as Kisame was having trouble getting over the shock enough to form words, Itachi stepped forwards, "Really? Tell us about yourself."
The man looked a little less cocksure at Itachi's bland request. Everyone else before him had simply run screaming at supposedly being faced by the Akatsuki member.
So, naturally, he decided to go on the defensive, "Why should I? Why shouldn't I just gut you right now?" he shouted, pulling out his 'Samehada' as he did so.
To Sakura's untrained eye it appeared to be made of some hardened resin-like substance and had been augmented with razor blades buried into it. Unfortunately the resin had set awkwardly at the top and the tip was at a slight angle.
"Jashin-sama, I can die happy now."
"This is the best day of my life, yeah."
"I don't think trying that is a very good idea," said Itachi mildly, looking off to one side to see that the town was pressed up against its windows to watch them.
"And why not? Who are you anyway?"
Itachi pulled down his sunglasses that he'd taken to wearing whenever they had to try and remain inconspicuous. Sakura had suggested that he simply turn off the Sharingan as the simplest and most health-conscious method but Itachi had simply stared at her blankly until she'd thrown her hands up and let him choose the stylish shades he was currently using.
Hidan and Deidara leaned around Kisame and waved, "Deidara, yeah!"
"Hidan, and this is my bitch!" he announced, flinging his arm around Sakura's shoulders as Deidara turned to glare at him.
Sakura simply rolled her eyes but didn't correct him; she'd just beat on him later once they were away from Wave.
The man didn't seem bothered by them but he'd gone a bit pale under the make-up when he'd heard Itachi's name. The only real source of information on Kisame was contained in the Bingo Book and the wild hear-say stories of easily frightened civilians. Both would have told him that Hoshigaki Kisame was more often than not accompanied by Uchiha Itachi.
Suddenly the huge, hulking figure standing shaking with rage in the middle of the street looked a bit more worrisome than it had before. The man stepped back slightly, bringing 'Samehada' in front of him as a reflex. Sakura, Hidan and Deidara were leaning forward to absorb the entirety of the suddenly awkward situation.
Kisame very slowly drew the scarf down from his face, still hidden by the hood. Then slowly stretched to his full height and flicked his hood down.
The Kisame-impersonator froze, all swagger gone in a heartbeat. He made a noise that sounded suspiciously like a whimper and seemed to crumple into himself.
Hidan, Sakura and Deidara finally gave in and roared with laughter, holding onto each other to stay upright. Even Itachi smirked slightly, the corners of his mouth turning up very slightly – his equivalent of sobbing with laughter as the others were.
Kisame was not as amused as the rest and it showed on his face. The men looked as though he wished the ground would open up and swallow him – both out of fear that Kisame was going to fuck him up and the sheer embarrassment of having been caught in one hell of a whopper of a lie.
"What in the absolute fuck are you playing at, son?" he asked, his voice a low and ominous rumble that had caused stronger men than this idiot to piss themselves.
"Umm ..." the man managed to stutter out, cringing away from the terrible realisation that he was fucked.
"Didn't you think I'd find out, idiot?"
The man shook his head and sunk lower to the ground.
"What a fucking moron. He is actually offending me with what a tit he is," Hidan said loudly to the others.
"So what's your game plan here mister?" asked Deidara, smirking over at him.
The man made some spluttering noises and cringed when the fear stopped him making any words.
Kisame marched over to him and grabbed him by the collar, lifting him up to his eye level and giving him a good shake, "You had better start talking you fuck, or I'm going to show you what the real Hoshigaki Kisame does to people who piss him off!"
Sakura looked to the others, "He's going to show him that anyway right?"
The others nodded in sync.
The man sputtered and managed to squeak out that his name was Nobu and he was originally from Mist. He'd never made it above chuunin level and had left not long after Kisame had disappeared from the village and gone underground. He'd drifted around doing mercenary work for a time and a few months back he'd come to Wave. Away from the main ninja centres Wave Country suffered from a lack of real information about the scary outside world and Nobu had hit on the brilliant idea of extorting money from the place by pretending to be one of their most feared bogey-figures.
"Boooooooring!" Hidan and Deidara chorused from the peanut gallery while Sakura and Itachi shared the flask of sake.
"Boring?" Nobu managed to ask from between the big hands at his throat.
"Yeah, boring. Just kill the fucker Kisame and let's get back to the base," yawned Hidan, disappointed that their lurid theories hadn't played out.
"Still, his fucking face, yeah?" laughed Deidara, snagging the flask from Itachi to drain the end of it.
"Totally worth it, do you think we can get some more of that tempura to go?" asked Sakura, already thinking of their journey home.
Nobu began thrashing in Kisame's hold and begging him not to kill him. Kisame made a disgusted noise under his breath and was about to deal with him when he caught the faces of the villagers out of the corner of his eye.
"You know, I don't think I will kill you. I've got a better idea ..." he trailed off, looking over to the gathering villagers with a malicious grin.
The others looked at him in confusion before catching up to his train of thought and sharing in his evil smile.
The five of them waved at the villagers who had gathered around the tied up figure of Nobu. Kisame had demanded some soap and had used several of his least gentle water jutsu to scrub the ridiculous blue paint off the man. After he'd ruined the man's costume he'd strapped him up tightly enough that he had no hope of escape. Then he'd simply handed him over to the crowd who were not exactly warm and welcoming to the man who'd been terrorising them for the past few months.
"That was very restrained of you Kisame," said Sakura as they started crossing back over the bridge.
"Well, he was just an idiot," replied Kisame who was looking much more cheerful now the issue had been resolved.
"It would've been better if he had wanted your skin, seriously," commented Hidan.
"Still, wasn't a total waste, yeah?" said Deidara, shrugging his shoulder to show the pack full of food and good quality sake they'd been given in thanks.
Itachi simply strolled along wondering if he'd remembered to pick up his notepads from his room at the inn.