Chapter 8

Amejisuto awoke after a strange dream (something about a man turning into a weapon and her using him to defeat evil) and sat up quickly. A sense of urgency was running through her, but she didn't know why. Something just felt... Wrong. There was a knock at her door before it opened and Itachi walked in. He looked slightly worried.

"You and I are going to meet up with Team Seven and head to Sunagakure right away. The Kazekage has been kidnapped by the Akatsuki," he announced. "Pack lightly. We're leaving in half an hour at the gates."

He left her to get dressed and strap on an emergency mission bag. She quickly brushed her hair, put it in her usual ponytail and slipped her ninja headband on. She went to the kitchen where Itachi and Sasuke were waiting and they were off in a flash. They met up with Sakura, Naruto and Kakashi at the gates, and they all left quickly racing through the trees, ready for the three day journey to the Land of Wind.

"Good morning, Ameji," Sakura half smiled, trying to make the mood a bit lighter so they wouldn't get as drained from depression and worry.

"Hey Sakura. What exactly happened?" Amejisuto asked.

"Gaara was kidnapped by the Akatsuki," Kakashi explained.

"I know that already, but who exactly are they?"

"A criminal organisation that is powerful and gets hired for military purposes sometimes. The pervy sage has a lot of information. He said that they're planning something huge and the only way to stop the world from going into chaos is to destroy them," Naruto growled. "I don't get why they would need Gaara though."

The brunette felt sad for her usually-cheerful friend. His best friend other than Sasuke had been kidnapped, and she knew Naruto felt responsible for him since he was Gaara’s first real friend. Plus, they both had tailed demons in them, so they knew how each other felt.

"Wait, maybe that's it!" she thought out loud. "Gaara has a demon in him, right? They might be trying to take it!"

The others looked at her with wide eyes, which seemed weird as they were all jumping through trees and could fall at any time. "You know, I think she might be right," Kakashi said.

"If they were for hire for military purposes, imagine what people would pay to have a tailed beast on their side," Itachi pointed out. The others all nodded.

"We can't be certain, but if that theory is correct, then be careful Naruto," Kakashi warned.

After that, everyone split into groups, trying to make the three day's travel not so treacherous. The girls decided to gossip about random things happening around the village and different medical things. The two teen boys started talking about training and almost broke into a few fights (but were stopped by Sakura's threat to punch them across the forest) and the ex-ANBU members talked about different techniques for teaching. The first day of travelling was finally over and they set up camp for the night.

They had no time to set up or take down tents so they slept in light sleeping bags under the stars. The Ishi looked around and yawned before crawling into her warm zippered blanket. She noticed that her sensei was extremely close to her on the left side, and she couldn't fight the blush that was covering her face, reminded of what she questioned herself about the week before. Thankfully for her, it was dark and the fire they had in the middle of the camp made everyone's face seem tinged red and gold.

"Goodnight you guys. I'll take the whole watch, and tomorrow you guys can rotate, ok?" Kakashi said before opening the newest edition of his weird Icha-Icha books.

"Goodnight," Sakura bid before falling asleep.

Naruto squirmed around in his sleeping bag before giving up on finding comfort with a sigh. "Night, jerk, Ameji, Kakashi sensei, Sakura and Itachi."

"Hn," Sasuke answered before rolling over and falling asleep.

"Goodnight Ameji," the older Uchiha mumbled quietly.

"Goodnight Itachi," Amejisuto replied before they both went unconscious.

Kakashi looked over at them with an eyebrow raised. 'This is getting interesting.'


"Give Gaara back, you criminals!" Kankuro yelled once he caught up to the Akatsuki members. He spotted his bother lying on a white clay bird, unconscious.

"Go on ahead, Deidara. You've had your fun, now I'll have mine," Sasori ordered. The blond shrugged and hopped on the bird, taking off with the Kazekage. Kankuro growled and pulled out his favorite puppet: Crow. It had several blades and a compartment so someone could be shoved in him and stabbed. Sasori smirked. 'Puppet vs. puppet, eh?'

The brunet sent off his beloved puppet, attaching invisible chakra strings to move it. It sliced at Sasori, who was still inside his shell. "Ok, Hiriko, let's finish this quickly," the redhead mumbled to his own puppet, sending out more chakra strings to a hidden metal scorpion tail. It swiped at the other puppet user, who leapt back and sent Crow forward to slice off a part of Hiriko's cloth mask for tracking. He knew inside that he wouldn't be able to make it past this guy. He recognised the tail and saw a symbol on the side of it.

"Sasori of the red sand, I won't go down without a fight, though you may be the second best puppet user in all of Sunagakure history," Kankuro growled, aiming a few blows to the other puppet's 'head'. The fight was short as Sasori wanted it; he sent out a poison tipped senbon while the Kazekage's bother was distracted on finding the body controlling Hiriko.

"Don't worry about dying now. It will slowly stop you organs over three days. Then you will die," the Akatsuki member smirked before taking off, leaving Kankuro lying in the sand. He was already feeling the effects of the poison and cried out. "By the way," Sasori stopped. "I'm never second best. Not even to my grandmother, and obviously not to someone who got beaten so easily."

He walked out of sight, and not long after, Suna ninja came and rushed Kankuro to the hospital while he started to feel the painful effects of the poison. He was starting to die.

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