To be on a mission with full-mouth-idiot was more annoying than lying alone in a room doing nothing. The whole time he told me and his partner who was as pissed-off at him as I was about his shitty religion, why we should convert to Jashinism before it would be too late and lots of other boring things.
“Seriously, can’t you just kill him?” I asked Kakuzu as we finally set up camp for the night near the border to the Land of Grass. Hidan disappeared to collect wood for a fire – of course not after he tried to protest against it with cussing – while I enrolled my sleeping bag.
“Believe me I tried it, but this guy is sadly immortal. Try to overhear his talking is the best you can do.”
I groaned. “You know what Kakuzu? I think I start to understand why you are so grumpy. I feel sorry for you for being partnered up with Hidan.”
“Why do you feel fucking sorry for him?” Full-mouth-idiot yelled as he threw some dry wood between us. I smirked because of course I had felt him coming.
“Because he’s partnered with an asshole of a stupid idiot” I answered calmly.
Of course said idiot took a step forward to attack me – and I only made a short movement with my foot and the Jashinist landed right into the trees. And I swore that I heard Kakuzu chuckle with his dark voice as he picked up the wood to make a fire while full-mouth-idiot was hanging upside down from a branch.
Kazumi had no idea why someone actually wanted to live in a desert. Honestly, it was hot, dry, sandy, hot, boring, and deathly and did she already mention hot? They were flying on Deidara’s giant birds for who knows how long over the endless ocean of sand and even the flying didn’t provide them a little cold breeze.
Maybe this was the real reason why Sasori left Suna, Kazumi thought while she pulled her vest deeper in her face to protect herself from the burning hot sun. Of course she had seen Sasori’s past as well as Deidara’s whereas the one from the puppeteer was much more interesting… and sadder. The cute little boy who lost his parents in the war but never was told from his granny, growing up in loneliness and sadness, trying to replace the hole in his heart with puppets until he wanted to get rid of these feelings by becoming a puppet himself. It was hard to believe that that adorable kid became a monster. But most of the monsters have been cute little kids once.
“There is Suna”, Sasori suddenly spoke with the deep voice of the crawling puppet he was in right now. Kazumi narrowed her eyes and despite the sand and the glimmering air she could see a small point at the horizon that had to be the outer wall of the village.
“We’ll land and walk the rest of the way” Sasori ordered and without protesting Deidara landed his birds and let them disappear as soon as they had jumped down.
“Why do we have to walk the whole way?” Kazumi asked with as much innocence as possible, hiding her frustration that now she would have sand even in her shoes.
Sasori only glared at her with his puppet eyes. “Foolish kid, don’t you see how flat it is here? They’ll see the brat’s birds coming long before we arrive and think it would be an attack. No, we walk.” His words left no room for argument and so Kazumi went quiet, drunk some of the hot water they carried with them while the Akatsuki members changed their clothes from the black with red clouds to white ones. Of course Sasori stayed in his puppet though.
Then they started walking: the long sandy hot way to the point which didn’t seem to grow bigger.
Between noon and evening at the next day we arrived in the village Hidden in the grass. I knew that the typical signs from Akatsuki were a black coat with red clouds on it and straw hats with bells, but I had no idea if Kakuzu and Hidan were carrying them right now. But anyway, the guards let us in and Kakuzu searched despite full-mouth-idiot’s protest immediately the cheapest hotel in the area. And if I say cheapest I meant it. As soon as we entered the bare dirty room with only two worn out mattresses, a flickering light, one little desk and two chairs that didn’t feel safe to sit on, I felt all sorts of insects and rats crawling in the thin walls and underneath the ground. That was really disgusting, and for the first time I agreed with Hidan as he called Kakuzu a geezer and fucker and I don’t know what.
“Shut up Hidan, or you can buy your food with your own money!”
“Fuck you Kakuzu! I want one fucking time a nice room with a damn running hot shower and not such a Jashin cursed messy thing!”
“It doesn’t look that different than your room.”
“It fucking does!”
“Can we buy some foot now?” I asked carefully. In normal times I’d enjoy the scene but in the moment I was very hungry because Kakuzu even saved with the food which he allowed me and Hidan to eat. The more I spent time with those two I didn’t know whom I should pity more: Kakuzu for Hidan’s idiocy and cussing; or Hidan for Kakuzu’s geezer problem, so I decided to hate both of them and pity myself.
“Yeah bitch let’s fucking eat something but you can buy your own food you fucking geezer!” Hidan snarled and shut the door behind us loudly.
The sky already turned orange as they were close enough to Suna to see the high wall surrounding the village. By now Kazumi had tons of hot corny sand in her shoes that made walking to a real challenge. Furthermore her head started to hurt even though she had covered it and her legs burned like fire.
The only good thing was that neither the crawling Sasori nor Deidara walked faster than her. Also Suna came closer with every heavy step they took, so Kazumi could recognize some guards standing in front of the wall.
“How do we pass the guards?” Kazumi asked quietly, regretting it instantly as more dry sand came into her mouth. She really was jealous at Sasori who was protected in his puppet.
“I’ve got a spy in Suna. In a few minutes I’ll break a seal in his mind which made him forget me. I’ll give him order to meet us at the gate after he took care of getting us a hotel room or apartment we can use.”
“If you have a spy in Suna, why can’t he actually take care of the information, un?” asked Deidara curiously. He didn’t think much of that mission because he wasn’t allowed to blow something off and to show those villagers his true fleeting art.
The puppet glared at him. “My abilities of using him have limits. I can’t control him fully from the distance, brat.”
Deidara held up his hands in defence. “Alright danna, I’ve just asked, un.”
They still needed almost an hour until they finally were standing in front of the high stone wall and the two shinobi guards who looked at them with narrowed eyes.
“Who are you, from what village do you come from and what do you intend to do in Suna?” the right guard, a man in his mid-thirties with brown hair and moustache who was holding a sword in his right hand asked. Kazumi just wondered how many people they already have asked this sentence, and how many they have sent away again. To be honest, even though she would hate returning to that sandy dry desert Kazumi hoped that these two men wouldn’t let them pass. She didn’t want the Jinchuriki to be captured.
“Our names are Kaito”, Deidara pointed to Sasori after they all bowed slightly to the shinobi, “Mei”, he pointed to Kazumi, “and Sora”, he pointed to himself. “We come from a small village in the south of the Land of Rivers and were invited by the council member Yura. He knows that we come.”
The guards look at each other unsure if that was right. “I’m sorry” the left shinobi said – he had black hair and looked to be twenty, “but Yura said nothing about this and until we’re not sure we can’t let you pass.”
“Then ask him quickly because I hate waiting”, Sasori growled. The young guard gulped at the threatening tone and nodded while his partner gave the crawling form a suspicious look.
Suddenly a third person appeared behind the guards. “It’s alright. I’ll take care of them from here on.”
Quickly the shinobi took a step aside and bowed at the newcomer. He had black hair that covered his right eye and a pointed beard. His eyes were strangely empty and his voice was almost mechanical – that had to be the spy, Yura, Sasori’s marionette.
“Of course” the older guard replied and let the two Akatsuki and Kazumi pass. They walked through the dark passage that spent some lovely shadow, but then they saw the village itself.
“Wow”, was everything Kazumi could say. Suna was built more or less in a circle, with lots of high houses made from sand. She couldn’t see the Kazekage tower from her spot but she was sure it was placed in the middle of the village. It looked very impressing and she wondered how they were able to build steady houses from dry sand.
Yura just guided them through the streets that were much easier to walk on than the desert, to a hotel.
“I reserved two rooms like you have ordered, master Sasori”, he said monotony while bowing.
“Thanks Yura, I’m glad to see that you still obey me.”
“But of course master Sasori.”
“We need to find the son of the Kazekage. How can we speak with him without anybody else being present?” the puppet master asked his spy.
“Around midnight Gaara of the Desert goes to that building” he pointed to a high house not far away from the hotel. “He often just sits there. But I have to warn you: He already killed some people which only passed that building when he was in a bad mood.”
Sasori nodded shortly. “Thank you. Now I’ll fix the seal and you’ll go back to the place you had been before I called you, and forget us except that you know us and that you let us in.”
“Yes master Sasori.” A moment later the marionette walked away silently. While Sasori went without any words into the hotel Deidara and I watched after Yura. “Despite the fact that’s useful, it’s still creepy, un.”
Kazumi only nodded in agreement.
The full-mouth-idiot and I were in a ramen shop and each of us ate a large bowl of hot delicious ramen. While I tried to forget the memories of me and Naruto at Ichiraku’s I listened more or less to Hidan’s constant talking about Jashinism, some heathens he already had killed, his fights, the pleasure of pain except when his head was chopped off, and so on. Despite the fact that it totally annoyed me I now knew that I’d never let him have my blood. The owner of the restaurant had tried once to remove Hidan friendly because he had scared some customers away with his cussing and loud voice. But Hidan just had threatened him with Jashin and his scythe and now the owner was sitting in a back room shitting in his pants. Well at least we had our ramen.
It already had turned dark as we returned to the crappy hotel. Kakuzu wasn’t present and while Hidan walked away searching a bathroom to do his ritual – which contained a lot of blood, I’ve learned – I lay down on one of the hard mattresses and closed my eyes trying to find some sleep. For a short moment I thought about escaping but it was absurd. Pain would punish and most likely kill Kazumi for this and I wasn’t even sure if I could escape, so I gave that idea up and tried ignoring all the animals sitting behind that thin wall.
The papers with the information about the Jinchuriki of the one-tails were placed in front of them in one of the little hotel rooms. They studied them, read over the data, but actually the group already knew the plan: Kazumi would sit on the roof of the building Yura had shown them, waiting for the Jinchuriki. If he would come she had to start a conversation with him finding out his personality, weaknesses, strengths etc. while trying not to be killed by his anger. Sasori and Deidara would wait nearby to keep an eye on Kazumi though they wouldn’t move a muscle if the girl should fail and be killed.
Kazumi wasn’t exactly sure if the two wanted to kill her or gather information about the one-tails but sadly she couldn’t protest against it and so she walked together with the two artists out of the hotel room at around ten o’clock in the evening and to the building.
Luckily – or not - stairs led up to the roof and minutes later she had a wonderful view over the now cool, silent and lightened up village. It was beautiful, and after half an hour she had completely forgotten that she had to talk to a demon soon and watched totally amazed the clear sky with its blinking stars and the bright full moon. Sometimes people passed the building, laughing and talking. It was peaceful until…
“What are you doing on my spot?” a dark rasping voice asked. Kazumi almost fell off the roof because of shock but turned around with an apologetic smile. A boy with red hair was standing right behind her. His eyes were blue but they had dark shadows, on his forehead was a red kanji for love, he was dressed in black pants and shirt and on his back was a huge brown vessel.
He looked at Kazumi threatening and darkly while the sand from the roof slowly started to move, reaching out for her.
“Eh… I’m sorry” she smiled, ignoring the dangerous situation she was in right now. “I didn’t know this was your spot, I just wanted to have a great view over this village so… I’m deeply sorry but if you want to we can sit together on the roof.” Kazumi smiled at him with her most innocent mask while her heart was beating rapidly.
The boy still stood there, arms crossed, like a statue, not moving a muscle as the sand lifted itself up off the ground.
“I don’t want any company. So leave now or I have to kill you.”
I would do this with pleasure, Kazumi thought, but if I retreat now Sasori and Deidara will kill me anyway.
So she stayed where she was and only titled her head to the side. “What’s your name? I’m Kazumi.” Still smiling she stretched a hand out to the boy.
He hesitated for a moment but replied: “My name is Gaara of the Desert.”
I was being woken up in the middle of the night from Hidan who was hitting my side.
“Stay up bitch!” he screamed and I crawled off the mattress, yawning and stretching.
“Why are you screaming like this?” I asked tiredly.
“That dumbass told me to wake you up so that we can finish our fucking mission.”
“What mission? It’s in the middle of the night!”
“I found out that our target usually sits every evening in a bar in this town, drinking and looking out for women” Kakuzu said totally ignoring my protest. “To separate our target from his friends the blind girl will be our bait.”
I blinked “What again?”
As an answer Kakuzu just threw something that felt like a bag in front of my feet. “You’ll dress into these clothes, go with us to the bar, get the target’s attention and lead him outside, alone, so that I and Hidan can question and deal with him. Understood?”
“So I have to act like a whore?” I really hoped I understood him the wrong way.
“If you want it like this: yes. And now get dressed; I won’t waste any time because time is money!”
Groaning and too tired to start a useless argument with him I grabbed the bag and disappeared into the bathroom while full-mouth-idiot sat in a corner and laughed his ass off.