When they arrived in Amegakure it just stopped raining. Gazing up into the grey dark sky Kazumi walked beside Kisame, totally wet and cold, nervous like hell, but somehow also self-confident. She had had enough time to think about a plan how to convince Pain and Tobi not to kill her. Also Itachi had helped her, he had whispered in her ear that Tora was alright and save, and he had weakened the seal so that she could break it anytime, now that her chakra had returned again.
She could make it.
Konan was already waiting for them at the foot of the highest tower. Kazumi thought she had seen something orange on the giant tongue that came out of the building … Probably one of the Deva Paths who was watching them since they had entered his village.
“You can go” Konan said to the others without any emotion noticeable. “Pain wants to see the girl alone.” The others nodded and walked off, Kisame with a great smirk and the words:
“It was nice to know you little one”, Deidara with a nod, Sasori without any signs of care though he was in his puppet again so she couldn’t really tell, and Itachi gave her a very quick smile when no one else was looking at him. Taking a deep breath Kazumi followed Konan up the stairs.
“Pain isn’t sure yet if he should kill you or not” the blue haired woman suddenly said. “Say the right things and act obeying, then he is maybe going to let you live.” The girl smiled.
“Thank you Konan.” She got a nod and a slight encouraging smile before Konan knocked on a door.
“Enter” Pain’s voice was heard from the other side. Konan opened it and mentioned Kazumi to enter it. When she did so, the Origami user closed the door behind her, leaving her alone with Pain who stood at the entrance which was leading on that tongue, with water droplets on his cloak, and his cold emotionless face watching her. And then there was of course Tobi who was leaning against the wall with his arms crossed in front of his chest, his aura dark and threatening.
Kazumi gulped her fear down and faced the two Akatsuki leaders with as much as determination as she could offer in the moment.
“I guess you know why you are here” Pain started speaking, his ringed eyes pierced coldly into hers. “You lied to us, gave us wrong information, escaped and fought against two of the members. You turned out to be an enemy and not a possible ally of the Akatsuki, this means your death, and the same goes to your blind friend.”
Kazumi tried to stay as emotionless as Pain was, hoping that her plan would work while her heart was beating loudly against her chest.
“The only thing I coan offer you is to tell me where your friend is, and I’ll kill you quick and painless.”
Kazumi remained quiet. Pain nodded, not looking worried at all that she didn’t plan to cooperate and only nodded at Tobi.
“That wasn’t a wise choice girl” said Tobi “because we’ll get the information either way.”
He walked slowly toward her and then she could see them the first time… his eyes. They were bloody red with black dots, the Sharingan.
“You’re an Uchiha?” she asked surprised.
“Maybe, you’ll never know” he said in a smirking voice and his Sharingan spun, ready to draw her into his Genjutsu. But Kazumi broke the seal that made her chakra control impossible completely with a heavy push of Masayoshi’s power and met his eyes with the dragon’s view.
She was dead, Rin was dead. He saw her dying, saw how Kakashi pierced her with his Chidori – and he couldn’t save her.
Everything became meaningless. He wasn’t the naïve child anymore, who believed in impossible things. Now he had a plan.
He was going to create a new world, a perfect world, where he could control every action and create everything.
He would bring her back.
But he would do it on his own, he wouldn’t summon Madara, he wouldn’t be his tool anymore.
He was Obito Uchiha.
Kazumi knew that Tobi saw everything she saw. She knew that he knew that she just saw his past, his goals and his secrets. She smiled slightly as she looked into the Sharingan that stared at her through the hole darkly while spinning widely.
“Pain, would you give us a minute?” Tobi asked, trying to control his anger. Pain looked at them slightly confused but didn’t say anything; he just nodded and walked out of the room. As soon as the door closed, Kazumi was slammed against the wall by Tobi aka Madara aka Obito.
“What was that?!” he growled at her angrily. She only smirked.
“The important points in your life, your story, your chances and a look into your soul” she said. “Did you know that this dragon spirit that is sealed inside me once was sent on Earth to wipe out the rotten souls, because she could see right into the human’s hearts and decide whether they were evil or good? I can do this too. I can see into every soul by just looking them in the eyes. Your damn mask though always prevented me from doing this, but now you showed me your eyes and tadaa… I guess I’m now the only person in this world who knows who you really are, except for Zetsu.”
“That was a really stupid move girl, because now I have no other choice than killing you” he said darkly, gripping her throat tighter but again she only smirked, trying to ignore the sudden cut out from air and the chills his dark voice gave her.
“You wanted to do it anyway, but you know what, the moment you kill me, Masayoshi, the dragon spirit, flies away, with the information about the real you. She can inform anyone she wants about you; I think Pain would be interested about your true plans, or Kakashi that his old teammate is still alive and evil now, or the Kages to know the true leader of Akatsuki…” she stopped speaking, her throat was hurting now too much and she didn’t get enough air to do so. Obito continued squeezing her neck, knocking out the rest of oxygen in her lungs.
She started to doubt if her plan was working, if he would really risk the discovery of his true identity. She didn’t lie, Masayoshi could really do it, but she didn’t want to die. But suddenly Obito let go of her throat and took a step away so that she fell on the ground on her knees, coughing and gasping for air.
She heard the door open then. “You stay here in that room until someone gets you” Obito said before he left.
Still coughing Kazumi moved to lean against the wall. A small smile made it on her lips though. She did it.
I stood in front of the gates of Konoha; the crow was sitting on my shoulder.
“I’m home” I said softly, smiling. The crow shifted and I caressed its feathers. “Thank you. You can retreat to Itachi now, greet and thank him from me, but tell him that he should protect Kazumi under all cost or he’d regret it.” The bird croaked and then puffed away.
I turned to the gates sighing. Taking a deep breath I walked into Konoha. The guards who sat in a little stall near the entrance were the same as the first time I had come to Konoha, with Kiba.
“What’s your name and purpose for staying in Konoha?” one of them asked me, sounding bored like hell.
I walked up to them, asking myself if they’d recognize me. They did.
“Hey, you’re the blind girl Kiba found in the forest, right?” the second guard asked. I nodded.
“Yeah, you’re right Kotetsu, now I recognize her. You just disappeared one day, the Hokage was very worried. And your friend, Naruto, ordered us after he left to keep an eye out for you if you should return…”
“Naruto left?” I asked in a sad voice. I had hoped I’d see him again when I’d return.
“Yes, he’s on a training trip with Jiraya.”
“What happened to you?” Kotetsu asked. I think they were very happy about that change of their daily work as guards so I played along.
But I didn’t want to tell them the whole story. Not now at least. So I shrugged at the question.
“I got in some problems. Is the Hokage there, I’d like to see her” I quickly changed the subject.
“Of course, she’s like always in her office and probably would like to see you too. If you’re going to her anyway, you can take that pile of papers with you, for us, okay?” the first guard asked.
I sighed but nodded. “But only when you tell me your name, Mister Guard.”
“It’s Izumo” he said in a grinning tone. I grinned back, taking the pile.
So I walked through Konoha with my arms full of papers, and right now I was lucky that I saw with the earth because with a normal eye sight I would have seen nothing. The paper file was higher than my head after all.
Unluckily the Hokage tower was almost empty of ninjas, at every door I came across – okay, they were only two, but still – no one was in sight to open it. Not having a free hand I kicked them open, the first door was off its hinges after that, the second only slammed against the wall. Then I stood in front of Tsunade’s office.
“Hey, I know that there is someone in there! So open the door!” I yelled. A second later the door was actually opened and I knew it was Tsunade’s assistant… I think her name was Shizune.
“What are you yelling like this? And where are Kotetsu and Izumo?” Shizune asked and I bet that she was frowning at me with a slight glare. Of course she couldn’t see that it was me because of all the papers. I almost disappeared behind them.
I walked past her, into the office where Tsunade was sitting at the table.
Shrugging to the question though she didn’t see it anyway I answered: “They’re too bored to do it.”
I finally load the papers on the table, stepping to the side so that they could see me finally, locking with my blind eyes at the Hokage. There was a heavy silence for some seconds, before-
I grinned from one ear to another and nodded.
When the door opened again it was Konan who entered. A slight smile was on her lips as she looked at Kazumi.
“I guess you said the right things, because Pain lets you live for now. He’ll have a meeting about you with the other members at one of the bases, Itachi and Kisame will bring you there.”
Kazumi nodded and stood up. So Obito would do everything to keep his secrets after all and he convinced Pain to not kill her yet. So far so good…
She followed Konan down the stairs where the duo was already waiting. It was still dry and Kazumi thanked Pain in her mind for that. She was already wet enough.
“So you are still alive, kiddo” Kisame said smirking widely, handing Itachi a money note. She only raised an eyebrow.
“Seriously?” she asked. “I wouldn’t have thought you’d bet against me” she said pouting a bit at the shark ninja who just laughed.
“Well well, see who has a complete change of attitude suddenly” he said chuckling. “But I like this version of you better.” He winked at her and she smirked.
“We should go now” Itachi said, interrupting them, and turned around. Konan nodded and disappeared into paper butterflies which flew upwards toward the tongue of the tower.
They needed three hours to the hideout that was somewhere in Rain Country, Kazumi couldn’t tell where exactly because Itachi blindfolded her. But she could tell that it was in Rain Country because well… it had started raining again as soon as they had left Amekagure.
Arriving at the base Kazumi had the time to take a shower, dress into dry clothes and make herself some tea to warm her body up. She just took a seat next to Itachi and opposite to Deidara who had arrived at the base with his partner earlier than them. That was when Hidan and Kakuzu entered.
“Why in Lord Jashin’s name have we to be fucking here?! I have a damn ritual to do!” Hidan stopped in his tracks as he entered the room, staring at Kazumi in surprise.
“What is this little bitch doing here?!” His anger then turned into a malicious grin. But before he could open his mouth Itachi said:
“The meeting will be about her. And no, you won’t have her as a sacrifice.”
Hidan growled, his eyes never leaving Kazumi who only stared back at him with a blank expression, sipping her tea.
“We’ll fucking see…” he grumbled.
“Deidara-sempai! Tobi missed his sempai!” Deidara growled as the masked ninja dashed past Hidan toward him. It was followed by curses, explosions, whining, laughing and more cursing.
Kazumi only sat in her seat, sipping her tea and smirking slightly.
Everybody froze on the spot though when Zetsu merged through the ground, saying: “Leader and Konan are coming. So you better shut up everyone.”
A few minutes later Pain and Konan entered the room. All the members sat around the table like nothing had happened, and waited patiently. Pain sat down at the head of the table, Konan by his side.
“I ordered the meeting because some new circumstances regarding Kazumi and Tora are given. I decided that because of Kazumi is already the host of the dragon spirit and can control it so it seems, she shall continue living and become the new member of Akatsuki.”
Everybody was silent for a few seconds. Kazumi blinked some times, she was as surprised as the rest. She had thought that she would continue being half a prisoner, and not being accepted into the group. She gazed at Konan to see if that was all a big joke, but Konan smiled slightly at her, nodding, to show that this wasn’t the case.
“What the fuck does this mean?!” Hidan yelled. “I want to sacrifice this bitch!”
“Leader-sama, are you sure about that?” Sasori asked not too happy of that idea either. “They betrayed us after all.”
“I know, Sasori” Pain said calmly. “But the dragon spirit is a power we could use, and I have a few conditions about letting her join.” He gazed at Kazumi who looked straight back into his emotionless ringed eyes.
“You will help Akatsuki achieving our goals, and use your power in our liking. When you are going to disobey me just once, you’ll be dead for sure.”
Kazumi nodded. “I’ll be completely loyal to you, as long as you’ll keep Tora out of this. You won’t hunt her down, hurt and/or kill her in any way. Leader-sama” she added quickly. Pain looked at her for a split second but nodded.
“Alright, you’ll all stay here for today until I give you further orders.” He then left with Konan who gave Kazumi a warm smile.
“Fuck this!” Hidan yelled still furious about that decision. “Lord Jashin will get that bitch!”
“Try it then” Kazumi said to him with a slight smirk on her lips. Hidan grinned madly and gripped the handle of his scythe that leaned at his chair behind him. But before he could stood up Kazumi sent a small earth version of Masayoshi into the earth and let it come out directly under Hidan’s chair. The Jashinist flew backwards, together with his chair.
She heard Kisame chuckle next to her but wasn’t done yet. She sent a water dragon flying across the table, making Deidara at the other side yanking his head away just in time. Hidan who had fought himself on his feet swung his scythe at the dragon but it was useless as the water just covered his weapon and after that his whole body, turning into ice in the next moment. Frozen Hidan stood there, a furious expression still on his face, his scythe in the middle of swinging.
Kazumi smiled happily at her work while the others broke into a fit of laughter.
Maybe being in Akatsuki wasn’t that bad after all.