Chapter 18

Two weeks later, Itachi and Amejisuto were still trapped with the Akatsuki. They hadn’t been assigned to any missions, but were dreading the day they would be forced out to take innocent lives, or even worse: capture jinchuriki. The Akatsuki already had the five tails and Hidan and Kakuzu were out getting the sixth. "Good Morning, Deidara," Amejisuto greeted as she walked into the hideout’s kitchen. The brunette was still trying to make the best out of their situation until they left.

"Good morning, Amejisuto," the blonde answered. He kind of reminded her of a mix of Naruto and Ino because of the hair style, eyes, and the way he overreacted to things a lot. "Have you eaten breakfast yet, yeah?"

"No, I'm not really hungry these days," she sat down and laid back, closing he eyes with a sigh.

"You know, I was forced into the Akatsuki too by Pain. Eventually you'll get used to being here and not care, yeah."

"I was taken by surprise from my village and friends. You were a rogue ninja anyways, right?"

"I see your point, but you'll stop caring after a while. We'll even hold a wedding ceremony for you and lover boy," Deidara teased, making the girl blush. "By the way, how many months until you get tied down, yeah?"

"Ten. It's the end of October right now, and my birthday is at the end of August."

"Wow, married so soon... It must be weird, yeah."

"Yah it is… It's also kinda awkward to talk about... By the way, how do you make your bombs?" she quickly changed the subject, letting the enthusiastic blonde to talk about how he fills clay with his chakra and uses different types of bombs for different things.

"Hello," Itachi walked into the room with them and sat next to the Ishi. He was still bitter about being forced into the Akatsuki and the fact that they took away most of his chakra and sealed it like they did to Amejisuto, assuring their own safety and making it so the two couldn't escape or use any jutsu on them.

His future bride smiled softly, bringing him out of his annoyed mood just a bit. He had woken up to Kakuzu and Hidan yelling at each other about sacrifices and then what they would do next time they left the hideout, Kakuzu won his argument to go look for people in the bingo book by cutting off Hidan's head and left, leading the Jashinist to complain and curse until Itachi went out of his room and put his head back on his body, not even receiving a thanks. Not that he wanted one anyways.

"Uchiha, Ishi, come with me," Konan called from the door. "Pain has a mission for you." Her words sent apprehensive chills down their spines as they got up and followed her, leaving the blonde terrorist behind. She seemed to sense their slight panic. "Don't worry, I doubt he would give you a jinchuriki mission," the bluenette tried to ease their nerves a bit. Thankfully for them, she understood their point of view and was a bit nicer to them.

"Your first mission here is to go assassinate this man. He is an enemy to the Akatsuki and has been sneaking around, discovering and sharing our secrets," Pain handed them a picture of a man who looked like he was about thirty years old. He had curly brown hair and green eyes, and was wearing a Sunagakure headband, but with a slash in it as a sign that he was a rogue ninja. "He's been selling information to any pitiful person or country that is willing to pay."

Amejisuto let out the breath she had been holding. 'At least it isn't Jiraiya,' she thought, knowing the sannin would never wear a Suna headband no matter what. He had something against them, but no one knew what…

"I'm going to undo the seals that hold back your chakra, but if you try to escape, we will destroy your village," Pain threatened before jabbing his hands forward and pressing them against the Konoha ninja's stomachs. They instantly felt their chakra flow heavily through them again.

Amejisuto and Itachi were offered a clay bird ride from Deidara, who had quickly warmed up to the young couple. The sharingan user politely declined, as they only had a two week deadline and would make it to Suna in less than three days if they walked at a normal pace even. Finding the man to assassinate would probably take a while, though they would manage.

Once they left the hideout, they decided to run so it would be over with sooner. "Man, sometimes I wish I had the byakugan," mumbled Amejisuto.

"Why don't you listen to the wind when we get to Suna?" suggested Itachi.

"Their winds are harsh. Extremely hot tempered with a dry sense of humor," she growled. "I tried listening for directions the first time I was put on a mission to Suna, and they kept taunting me. 'If she doesn't know her way through the desert, how come she's here? Poor thing probably can't even see or sniff out something that's so obviously in front of her'," she said in a mockingly high voice.

"What was so obvious?"

"The stupid village was right in front of me. How could I have known it was surrounded by a huge sandy wall? I thought it was a cliff or something."

Itachi smiled lightly. "Yah, it's weird like that. Anyways, I guess that we have to find the man through rumors and spying."

The Ishi sighed. "Old fashioned and boring, but at least we get away from that hideout for a while."

"I wonder... If this mission is successful, maybe Pain will let us use our chakra and we can keep up your training. There isn't any harm in that, right?"

"They could see it as a potential threat though, but for now let's focus on the mission." They walked and talked about random things, avoiding the topic of 'how to get home' because they never knew if Zetsu was spying on them or not, since he blended in so well with nature. At night, they curled up under trees of other hiding spots, not wanting to watch for intruders. Besides, pretty much everyone had heard of the Akatsuki, and they had the cloaks on. They didn’t want to become targets.

After three and a half days of walking, they hit the desert, lucky that there weren't any sandstorms at that moment. It took them half of a day to cross the desert and Amejisuto had to hold back her complaints of the hot weather and dehydration the whole time; though they did have water, they could only have a few sips every half hour to save it.

"Itachi, are we almost there?" she panted.

"Yes, I can see it in the distance. Probably will be another hour. We should take off our cloaks," he said.

"Or we can just flip them inside-out," the brunette did that and it looked like she had a pure black cloak.

"Good idea. Hopefully the Hokage told the other nations not to attack us, but it's best to be cautious."

They eventually got to the large wall that hid and protected the village. Guards recognised them and welcomed them in. One of them called the Kazekage Gaara, who met them inside the city. "I heard you're Akatsuki members now," he narrowed his eyes.

"I was taken hostage and Itachi had to join to prevent me from being tortured, but he wouldn't leave me in the hideout with criminals," Amejisuto explained. Gaara sighed.

"So I heard, and I doubt you’re lying since you’re extremely loyal. I assume you've come to find a jinchuriki?"

"No, we just have to assassinate a man. Apparently he's a criminal anyways, so it shouldn't be a problem for anyone if he dies," they showed him the picture.

"Oh, that's Maku. Go ahead and get rid of him. I think he is probably in the Land of Waves though," the redhead informed, making the young Ishi groan.

"We have to walk another half-day through the desert again?!"

"We have teleportation ninja here if you want a quick journey."

"Can we, Itachi? Please?" she turned and begged the Uchiha.

"Alright," he approved. Gaara called for said ninja and they came running. They ended up being ANBU, wearing strange masks that were traditional for Sunagakure. “These two need to be teleported to the Land of Waves immediately." The ANBU nodded and performed special hand seals, hitting the ground at the Konoha-nin's feet. A strangely webbed circle with odd designs appeared around them.

The brunette gasped as the sensation of falling came over her. She couldn't see anything and she flung her arms around, trying to find her sensei. She opened her mouth to speak and choked when water poured in. They were now floating in it, and she opened her eyes to finally see that she and Itachi were quickly zooming toward an island.

The ANBU member was next to them but slightly blurry as the water pulsed around them. Soon, they were gasping for air as they lay on the soft grass. The elite ninja vanished, leaving the two alone. "That was a strange experience," Amejisuto brushed the grass off of her clothes and cloak. Itachi did the same.

"He could've at least teleported us through the air," Itachi complained, knowing that could’ve been an option. "We better go find that guy and get it over with. The sooner we complete our mission, the sooner we can go back to moping around the hideout." A gust of cold wind washed over them. They shivered once the cold seeped in.

"Is it ok if we stay here and warm up for a few minutes?" the Ishi rubbed her hands together to try to warm up a bit. Itachi looked at her with slight worry.

"I hope you don't catch a cold or something," he inched closer.

"I can dry us off. Wind style: Wind jet jutsu!" Wind shot out of her hands like a blow dryer and she shot wind over them, leaving only their hair slightly damp.

"Thanks," he smiled.

"No problem. I'm still a bit cold though," she shivered again. Itachi pulled her to the ground and sat her on his lap, wrapping his arms around her.

"Is that better?" he asked. Amejisuto was blushing like a tomato at the close space.

"Y-yah," she stammered. He mistook the stuttering as a sign of still being cold so he turned her completely around so she was facing him and opened her cloak. Once it was opened, he slipped his arms around her under the cloak to give as much warmth as he could. Amejisuto didn't protest at all due to her lack of voice from shock and embarrassment. 'I better get used to physical contact with him. Soon he'll be my husband,' she reminded herself.

Soon, they got up and left to the main village. They quickly memorised the face of the man they were supposed to kill from the picture and put it away, scouring the town in search of him. "I think the best strategy here is to ask around for anyone with information on the Akatsuki. It should get us to him sooner than just wandering around," Itachi suggested.

They decided to split up and meet in the middle of town after 10 minutes. Amejisuto looked around and the first person she asked was an old man sitting in an ally. "Excuse me, sir, but do you know anything about the Akatsuki organisation?"

"I'm sorry, but I only know of the name. Nothing more," the man shook his head.

"Oh, alright. Thanks anyways," she smiled and started to walk away.

"Wait young miss!" she turned around. "I know a fella who might know a bit about this organisation. His name's Muryokuna.”

"Muryokuna?" she wondered out loud. "Thanks for your help, sir," she waved and ran off. She was lost in thought and didn't watch where she was going. She crashed into someone and both fell on the ground; the man she bumped into spilling his groceries. "Oh I'm so sorry!" Amejisuto apologised, gathering up the items as quick as she could and helping the man up.

"It's alright. No major harm done," the man replied, dusting himself off and taking the groceries from the girl. "You don't look familiar," he observed. "Must not be from around here, huh?"

"No, I'm just visiting," she smiled. "Um, would you happen to know a man named Muryokuna?"

"Muryo? Oh yah, he's the town's only ninja. Why? Do you want to see him?"

"Yes, I'm a ninja from Konohagakure and I would like to trade some info with him," she lied.

"Wow, you're a ninja! That's awesome! Can you do any cool tricks?"

"I can do a lot of stuff, since I'm a higher ranked ninja. Now, can you please take me to Muryokuna," she requested.

"Can we stop at my house first to drop off my groceries? My fridge is expecting them."


After they did the small task, the man, who she learned was Damasu, led her out of town and into the woods. Amejisuto questioned him, but he just told her that Muryo lived in a house there since he liked isolation for the most part. She stayed quiet for the rest of the walk, face-palming when she realised she forgot about meeting up with Itachi. 'I hope he doesn't worry about me,' she thought.

"It's right over here," Damasu said, moving some large bushes between two trees so they could see the small house on the other side.

"It looks like such a quaint place," Amejisuto smiled. "Thanks. I can go from here." She jumped a bit when he slammed his hand on a tree; his arm in front of her, preventing her from going forward.

"Be careful," he smirked. "He may be the town's hero and a ninja, but he's not one to play by the rules."

"Thanks for the warning," she said nervously as she ducked under his arm and walked up to the house. "Maybe I should go back and get Itachi," she thought, making up her mind to turn around and run back to the village. Before she could take a step forward, she dropped to the ground. "What's happening?" she panicked. Someone came up behind her, wrapped a cloth over her eyes so she couldn't see them, and also another cloth over her mouth so she couldn't scream loud enough to attract any unwanted attention. She got pulled into the house and the door slammed shut.

The last thing she remembered before getting knocked out was thinking 'why is it always me who needs saving?'

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