Lightning Speed - "When the Obito who activated the time seal finally appears, Konan is forced to reveal vital information. Meanwhile, the Rinnegan eyes rest in a seal around the Godaime's neck, and Naruto is sent on a mission to Ame. A continuation of The Resilience of Time."
Note: I suggest you read 'The Resilience of Time' first (^^'')
Prologue – An Angelic Herald of Life
The Lake of Ame was still.
Konan didn't know why, as the rain hadn't ceased to fall since Nagato's death. The villagers were celebrating. They assumed that the spirit of Pein-sama had returned from where he had sacrificed his life to protect them, and was displaying his power once more.
She had walked through the lively streets with a sinking feeling in her heart, until she came to stand at the edge of the Lake to look out over the unnaturally calm waters. The red clouds of her Akatsuki cloak gleamed in the evening light.
Something was about to happen, and she had to be prepared.
It was a month since he had died, and the village was recovering slowly but steadily. She'd told them that he had sacrificed himself, but had decided to leave the question of who he had died for to the people's imagination. It became known that Pein-sama had perished for his beloved village, and memorials stood at every street. Konan thought it fitting.
She felt the presence of someone behind her, and turned to see the man in Amegakure's jonin uniform.
"Konan-sama," he began, head bowed. "Won't you tell us why this is happening? The villagers wish to hear you speak." The people had grown increasingly bold in approaching her, and in a way she didn't like it. Konan preferred the silence that had come with godhood, even if she was uncomfortable with being seen as a god.
"No," she told him. "There is something I have to do first. Tell them to delay the celebrations. I won't breathe properly until the rain falls again." Her voice was sharp, and the jonin cringed in apprehension before flickering away.
Konan walked calmly onto a rock platform on the lake that was surrounded by still waters reflecting the grey clouds above, heavy with the rain that did not fall. There was only one other person who could calm the rains of Ame, and it was someone she had never wanted to see again. Nagato had died opposing him, and she would follow in his footsteps if she had to.
She had first suspected it almost a month ago, when she sensed Hoshigaki Kisame approaching the village gates. There had been no need to worry, because he would have died if he'd laid one foot within her village. But somehow, instead of entering he had simply disappeared. She'd waited for two weeks before realizing that he would not seek her out.
Kisame and Zetsu were both gone and she didn't know where. The knowledge of their presence weighed on her mind as a constant reminder that no matter how peaceful the village seemed, it was still not safe.
And so she stood there, waiting. The cool lake breeze tugged at the hems of her cloak and tangled the paper flower into her hair. It took another fifteen minutes for Uchiha Obito to arrive.
As much as she prided herself on her senses, she was still unable to tell where he had come from. He was simply and suddenly there, standing on the same rock platform as her and watching her with a single red eye that peered out through a bright orange mask.
"Konan," he greeted, "you know why I'm here."
Konan knew. She'd spent the last month carefully arranging the paper bombs beneath the lake, waiting for this very moment. She paid attention to the smaller things, the tiny details that everyone else missed. She knew Obito-sama's weakness.
She nodded silently.
Obito was still wearing the Akatsuki cloak, and she felt anger rise within her upon seeing it. Akatsuki belonged to her and Yahiko and Nagato and he had no right to wear that cloak anymore. But she held it down and waited for him to speak, silently summoning chakra into her fingers in preparation.
"Where is it?" He asked.
This was it. Faint tinges of worry pulled at her because she didn't think she had enough. Most of the paper bombs she'd prepared for the defense of Ame had been used to blast away the meteor, and she'd been too busy helping the village recuperate to gather more. But maybe, just maybe, if she used up every last ounce of chakra she could take him down with her...
Her arm twitched, wanting to raise and blast her jutsu as this person who had led Nagato to ruin. Ame would be fine, she had trained her council of jonin well. But something was holding her back. Something was whispering memories of a voice in her ear.
If he…comes for… you… don't die, Konan. Stay… alive.
Tell Konan… that she means everything. Tell her to… stay alive.
Stupid, traitorous voice. She'd already made up her mind, but it wouldn't let her go on. It wouldn't let her die the same honorable death that Jiraiya-sensei had died. It made her loosen her arm, and smooth a blank expression onto her face.
"They took them," she forced herself to say. "They took them when they killed Nagato."
Obito gave her a contemplative look with that one eye, but she was not afraid. She had spent too long learning how act, and this was no exception. "For a moment, I thought you had left," he said, "why did you not find me after Nagato was killed?"
"I had a village to rebuild," The words flew smoothly. "Kisame and Zetsu did not return. I assumed they had left." She did not lie, but simply withheld the unnecessary truths.
"I found them," Obito told her. "You see, I was under a certain condition for the past five to six years, and was inclined to think the worst of you. The information that Zetsu revealed to me seemed to support that."
"Akatsuki belonged to us," Konan said. "We would never betray its cause." She was not worried by whatever Zetsu had told him. If he were certain that she had turned traitor, he would not even be speaking to her. He would attack. She had observed Obito-sama for years, ever since Itachi had first revealed his identity while she looked on, and knew his tendencies well.
Obito stood there in silence, head tilted slightly to one side. Slowly, almost carefully, droplets of rain began to re-emerge from the heavy clouds above, falling down upon their forms and disrupting the surface of the lake once again. It affected neither of them, but Konan felt relief tug at her heart. She wondered what the villagers thought.
"Who has them?" He finally asked. "And who killed him?"
Konan remembered the carefully penned letters sent to her by Konoha's Hokage, and the body that had been returned two weeks before. The letters had been filled with offers of aid and relief, but she had rejected every one, knowing that she could lead Ame herself. Introducing foreign influence into their closed-off village when it was like this would only confuse the people. One particular letter surfaced in her mind.
"The eyes are held by the current Hokage of Konoha, Senju Tsunade," she explained. "And the one who took down Nagato was a boy named Uzumaki Naruto." The names rung out in the silent lake, and only Nagato's final words kept her from feeling like a traitor.
Hearing that, Obito's single eye narrowed. "Come with me," he ordered. "The Akatsuki has a new base, right where that is located. We cannot operate in a village that is still rebuilding."
No. That she could not follow. She still had other things to do, and if she left them incomplete she really would become a traitor to everything Nagato stood for. "I must decline, Obito-sama," she said. "Nagato would want me to stay and help Ame, and that is my priority. Do what you must, but I will remain here."
Her words were spoken with confidence, and Obito was silent for a while before continuing. She expected him to protest, or to demand otherwise, and was surprised when he relented.
"Fine," he said. "I will return with Nagato's eyes, after your village is rebuilt."
With that he disappeared, swirling into himself as he always did, and Konan was left standing alone among newly tumultuous waters.
Short prologue is short.
In case you were wondering, 'Lightning Speed' is the name of a Shippuden OST. My favourite is actually 'Flying Light', that one's just epic ;D
And the continuation is up! Does anyone get the Naruto reference in the chapter title (An Angelic Herald of Life)? Even my walking Narutopedia of a beta didn't get it and I'm just patting myself on the back. And I have a beta! 'uzumaki rakku' has awesome writing and I highly recommend that you look her up and go read her fics (^^)
I have discovered the beauty of alternate story lines. But unlike TRT where there were many, here there will only be three main ones :P