2,324... 2,325... 2,326...
Sakura sat down at the kitchen table, twidling with her thumbs silently. Directly across the table was Kakuzu without his hood and mask, counting the money from his most recent bounty. Money had to be deducted from the Akatsuki's finances because of two occurrences. One, Deidara's room had to repaired due to numerous unexpected explosions. Two, the wall in the living area had to be restored because Tobi was sent right through for causing the earlier incident.
2,327... 2,328... 2,329...
"Dei... Deidara-san said that you have a temper. Is that true?" she questioned meekly.
His hand paused for a split second before continuing to flip through the money.
2,330... 2,331... 2, 332...
Sakura looked back down at her hands. She had been at the base for about two weeks now and had stuck to Tobi and Deidara the entire time. In those two weeks, she had seen Kakuzu either counting money, scribbling down things in his small notebook, or getting into extremely violent arguments with the guy with the silver hair.
"Papa says I have a temper too." she murmured. Kakuzu took his attention of the money and raised an eyebrow. "He told me that I got really mad one time and I broke his desk in half."
That was hard to believe considering that the leader's desk was made of thick wood.
"A temper, you say..." Kakuzu mused quietly. Now slightly interested, he set down his money and raised his eyes to put the entirety of his attention on her. Sakura ducked her head down ever further if it were possible.
"Raise your head. I don't like talking down to people when they're sitting right across from me."
Her head snapped up and her cheeks flushed pink.
"S-Sorry, Kakuzu-san." she said. Her head might be up, but her eyes were glued to the table, avoiding his gaze. Kakuzu sighed internally. It wasn't his intention to intimidate her to this extent. She was only a child, after all. He might be a grown man without many morals, but scaring little kids wasn't on his to-do list.
He sighed outwardly.
"Sakura, when was the last time you were taken out in the village?" he asked. She turned her eyes to the ceiling for a few moments before looking at him with shy, green eyes.
"I... I don't think I've gone. Mama and Papa wan' me to stay here cuz' it's safe." Sakura mumbled. Kakuzu slid out of his seat.
"Let's go, then. I have errands to run and I can't leave you alone."
A look of pure excitement flashed across her face as she hopped out of her seat and ran towards her room.
"Lemme get my jacket firs', Kakuzu-san!" she called as she bolted down the hallway. Kakuzu watched her go with a quirked brow.
Needless to say, Sakura was absolutely ecstatic to be out in the cold, bundled up in her red jacket and lime green scarf. She looked around curiously as she took in all the sights and sounds of the hustle and bustle of civilian life. But no matter how curious she was, she stuck to Kakuzu's side. He was grateful that she didn't give him any reason for him to keep a constant eye out. She was also rather well behaved for her age, letting him do what he had to do without a fuss. She was good company, actually. Compared to Hidan at least.
He felt a tug on his cloak.
"Kakuzu-san, what's that?"
Sakura was pointing to a building where you could see books upon books stacked on shelves on the inside.
"That's a library." he answered, interest piqued, "It's a place where you can read all sorts of books... would you stay here while I run the last of my errands? I'll be back in an hour or so."
She smiled up at him and nodded enthusiastically before trotting inside.
He had taken much longer than he had anticipated. Kakuzu's last few errands had taken him at least three hours to complete. Night had already crested over the horizon and left only a sliver of pink in the far off sky. Kakuzu walked back to the library and stepped inside.
The place was rather barren with the librarian no where in sight. A couple of tables were scattered amongst the room. They were also unoccupied, savef or the one at the far corner. There was a small stack of books on the wooden surface with a shock of pink beside it. Sakura was napping quietly with her head buried in her arms. Kakuzu ran a hand over his masked face and picked her up.
"Mmm... Kakuzu-san?" she muttered groggily.
"Just sleep. I'll take you home."
She hummed in reply while wrapping her hands around his neck and burying her face in the junction of his shoulder. Kakuzu stiffened at her cuddling and opened his mouth to reprimand her. After some quick consideration, he closed his mouth and let out a near silent sigh.
Perhaps, this one time, he could let it slide.